Wise Sayings of Imam Reza (A.S.)
"God abhors hearsay, the loss of one's funds (through foolishness), and excessive questioning."
"To be courteous to people is to cross half the way to achieving wisdom."
"The mind of a Muslim is not complete except after he acquires ten merits: God accepts his good deeds, he is trustworthy, he sees as plentiful what little good others do for him, while seeing his own abundant good as little; he does not fret from being asked for favours, nor does he feel tired of constantly seeking knowledge; poverty reached in order to please God is better for him than wealth accumulated otherwise; to be subjected to power while trying to serve God is better in his regard than achieving power over his foe, and obscurity he prefers over fame." Then he said, "And the third one..., do you know what the third one is?" It was said to him, "What is it?" He said, "Whenever he meets someone, he says, `He is better than me and more pious.' People are two types: a person better than him and more pious, and one who is more evil than him and more lowly. If he meets the one who is more evil than him and more lowly, he would say to himself `Maybe the goodness of this (statement) is implied, and it is better that he hears such a compliment, while my own goodness is apparent and it is detrimental to me.' And when he sees someone better than him and more pious, he would humble himself before him trying to raise himself to his level. So if he does that, his glory will be higher, his reputation will be better, and he will become distinguished above his contemporaries."
"Silence is one of the gates of wisdom. Silence wins the love of others. It is an indication of everything good."
"Everyone's friend is his reason; his enemy is his ignorance."
"Among the habits of Prophets is cleanliness."
"One who is blessed with plenty must spend generously on his family."
"If you mention someone who is present, use a kunya (surname) for him, and if he is absent, mention his full name."
"Time will come when one's safety lies in ten things nine of which are in staying aloof from people, and the tenth in staying silent."
"Whoever scrutinizes his behaviour wins; whoever does not loses. Whoever fears consequences will live safely. Whoever learns a moral from others achieves insight, and whoever achieves insight achieves wisdom, and whoever achieves wisdom achieves knowledge. One who befriends the ignorant will be worn out. The best of wealth is that which safeguards one's honour. The best of reason is one's knowledge of his own self. If a true believer becomes angry, his anger does not cause him to abandon righteousness; when he is pleased, his pleasure will not tempt him into wrong-doing, and when he achieves power, he does not take more than what rightfully is his."
"If one's attributes become plentiful, they will relieve him from having to win praise by mentioning them."
"Do not pay attention to the view of someone who does not follow your advice for his own good. Whoever seeks guidance from the appropriate source will never slip, and if he slips, he will find a way to correct himself."
"People's hearts are sometimes coming towards you, sometimes keeping away from you; sometimes they are active, sometimes they are relaxed. If they come along, they will achieve wisdom and understanding, and if they stay away, they will be exhausted and worn out; so, take them when they come to you and when they are active, and shun them when they stay away or are relaxed."
"Accompany with caution the person who has authority over you; be humble when in the company of a friend; stay alert when facing an enemy, and mingle with the public with a smile on your face."
"Postponement is detrimental to the fulfillment of desires. Fulfillment is the gain of the strict. Wastefulness is the calamity of one who can afford it. Miserliness tears up honour. Passion invites trouble. The best and most honourable of virtues is to do others favours, to aid the one who calls for help, to bring the hope of the hopeful to reality, not to disappoint the optimist, to have an ever increase of the number of friends when you are alive, and the number of those who will cry when you die."
"The miser one is never restful. The envious is never pleased. The grumbling is never loyal. The liar has no conscience."
"One who struggles to satisfy the needs of his family shall have more rewards than those who make jihad in the Way of God."
Imam Reza (A.S.) was asked once who the best of believers are; he said, "They are the ones who are excited with expectation when they do a good deed, who pray for God's forgiveness when they commit a bad one, who show gratitude when they are granted something, who are patient when they are tried, who forgive those who anger them."
He (A.S.) was asked once, "How did you start your day?" He answered, "With a shorter life-span, with our deeds being recorded, with death round our necks, with Fire behind our backs, and we do not know what will be done to us."
He (A.S.) said, "Wealth is not accumulated except by five means: extreme miserliness, a long-standing optimism, an overwhelming care, a boycott of the relatives, and a preference of this life over the life to come."
Ali ibn Shu'ayb said that he once visited Abul-Hassan Ali al-Reza (A.S.) who asked him, "O Ali! Do you know whose subsistence is the best?" He answered, "You, master, know better than me." He said, "It is that of the one whose others' subsistence is improved through his own. Do you know who has the worst subsistence?" Ali answered, "You know better than me!" The Imam (A.S.) answered saying, "It is that of the one who does not include others in it." Then he added, "O Ali! Be thoughtful to the boons for they are wild: if they leave people, they never come back to them. O Ali! The worst of people is someone who stops his contributions to charity, eats by himself, and whips his slave."
He (A.S.) also said the following:
"Your assistance of the weak is better than your act of charity."
"No servant of God achieves true belief except when he acquires three attributes: He derives juristic deductions of the creed; he is wise regarding his livelihood, and he is patient when faced with calamities."
"Beware of one who wants to offer you advice by speaking behind others' backs; he does not realize how bad his own end shall be."
He (A.S.), upon the death of al-Hassan ibn Sahl, said, "To congratulate one for a reward in store for him is better than to console him on a quick calamity."
This is a magnificent bouquet of shining statements of Imam al-Reza (A.S.) which emanate with wisdom, overflow with iman, and over brim with good fruits. In them, the Imam (A.S.) defines glorious ethical and educational manners, the upright conduct of true belief, offering some glimpses of humanity for social cooperation and coexistence a Muslim is supposed to implement if he wants to be in harmony with the principles of Islam which are the turning point of social change from an oppressive ignorant society to an advanced civilized society built upon virtue and love, justice and equity.