(Amirul Mumineen SA)
Live among people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they long for your company
The sayings (akaleem) of Amirul Mumineen Maulana Ali b. Abi Talib SA are life lessons that can help us become better human beings and lead more fulfilling lives. Fundamentally, Maulana Ali’s akaleem (sayings) are ethical teachings: “His teachings are universal, applicable to lives of humans in different times and places; Ethical teachings are directed to all humans, and they are meant to be applied toward all humans; they are universal teachings.”
The teaching quoted in the beginning of this Sijill Article is a great lesson in altruism, “Live among people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they long for your company.” This teaching encourages endearment not only with family, not only with friends, not only with community, but with all “people.” It raises the expectation of one being endeared to his family and friends, to being endeared to all humans with who we interact. It sets the bar very high.
Maulana Ali’s kalaam presents a goal: you must behave in such a way that people long for your company when you you are alive and weep your loss when you die. The path to achieving such endearment is explicated by our Hudaat Kiraam in many other teachings that instill the virtues of sincerity, honesty, trustworthy, selflessness, the control of anger, meeting people with a smile etc.
There are people who by their virtue and conscious efforts achieve this goal in their life. In all aspects of our lives we set goals – we often have financial, business, educational, and even recreational goals. But this teaching is about a moral goal. It is not always possible to achieve all of our goals in life, but it is important to set goals and to make lifelong efforts to achieve them.
Religious teachings are spiritual, temporal and moral guidelines that pull us away from animalistic behaviors and inclinations, and instead draw us towards humanitarian behavior. Our religious teachings inculcate the virtues of honesty, modesty, empathy, helping others, sacrifice, family values among many other things. These teachings ultimately help us achieve a higher version of ourselves by inculcating the virtues of piety, forbearance, contemplation and the importance of higher learning.
Our Hudaat Kiraam, and Dai-z-zaman, achieve the highest ranks of spirituality and morality among all others. They are our role models for spirituality and morality. Following their example ensures that we live up to the highest human values and, most importantly, achieve the purpose of this life: salvation.
When discussing this teaching by Amirul Mumineen, we remember Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin RA – none more than him lived their lives in such a way and endeared themselves to all people around them. All who knew him and interacted with him, even if it was for a brief moment always yearned for him. After his passing they wept for him, and they will weep in awe of his remembrance for generations to come. Indeed, ourAwliya’ Kiraam, and their Du’at Mutlaqeen, not only preach these highest human values but are they themselves are the best examples of these virtues. (The photo on the left is from 2013 in Sanliurfa, Turkey, in the place of Ayyub Nabi’s well from which he received shifa. Local Muslims, who had seen him for the first time in their lives, were drawn to him. Syedna characteristically affectionately engaged with everyone who approached him)
May we have the strength to live our lives according to the high moral values set by our Awliya’ Kiraam. May we interact with such values with our family, our friends, our community members and all the people with whom we engage. Although this is not an easy task, may Allah ta’ala grant us the tawfiq to recognize and realize this goal so that we can at the very least try to achieve it in our lifetime.