2. The Analysis of 'The Sermon of the God-Fearing'
1. Their Speech is to the point
The reason Imam Ali (A.S) starts with the way of speaking is that speech is what distinguishes between human beings and animals. The personality of a person is revealed by his speech.
The key to human beings thought is what he says. Honesty in speech is an accomplishment which is due to observing justice of tongue.This means when it is required to speak, human should not be silent, or else he /she has committed delinquency; and the time when it is required to be silent, human should not speak or else he has committed extravagance. Man should speak in its appropriate place and at an appropriate time. This justice of tongue is different from honesty and truthfulness, because it is possible for a person to say something which is not proper and at the same time it might also be true. What is spoken should be appropriate. The quality and quantity of speech is important. The speech which is said appropriately is more important than silence.
2. Their dress is moderate.
Moderation in clothing is an accomplishment which is due the consideration of justice in clothing. Therefore he/she does not wear anything that will be considered as unsparing and pampered. He/she does not wear something which is away from the pious and ascetics. Tradition and enters him to the colony of ignoble and Scotchmen.
3. Their gait is humble.
Gait means walking and moving and this is related to the appearance too. The pious are humble. The first and biggest inconvenience is arrogance. Humility is a branch of modest. A humble behavior entails elegance and dignity which is due to the modesty of ego.
4. They keep their eyes closed for what Allah has made unlawful for them.
"They keep their eyes closed" means they control and protect their eyes from what God has forbidden. Watching creates imagination. What we see affects our thought. We cannot permit our eyes to see everything as it causes stress and quietness.
Controlling the eyes is the result of continence. Watching appropriately causes thinking appropriately. Improper visual images vitiate purity. And they put their ears to that knowledge which is beneficial to them.
They have devoted their ears to listening to useful knowledge, knowledge includes divine sciences and whatever is related to it and it is the completion of human’s practical power which is the practical doctrine. The effect of the ears is more than eyes. Eyes see in the domain of 1800. But ears hear in the domain of 3600 Ears have an important role in the development or destruction of human’s personality. Whatever we hear fills our memory. Human beings should be aware not to listen to everything. A sage person ignores whatever is not his/her business and whatever he/she does not benefit from. Useful and useless science depends on a person’s personality. Pious people care about hearing and seeing in a responsible manner.
6. They remain during trials as they remain in comfort.
In disaster and difficulty, righteous are those who are as if they are in welfare. This means on the one hand they do not get hopeless in difficulty and calamity, and on the other hand they don’t become proud and jaunty in welfare, rather they are thankful in both situations. The pious know that life means loft and bent, sorrow and joy, fall and rise. An aware person knows that after every crying there is laughter and after every laughter there is crying.
Imam Ali (A.S) says one day life is pro and the other day it is against you. Live in a way that both days are congruent with you. Human’s personality should be stable, not like water that changes according to its container. A pious tolerates a burdensome situation.
To be continued...
* Fahimeh Mahdavi