Letter 66: To `Abdullah ibn al-`Abbas

(This letter has already been included with a different version)

أَمَّا بَعْدُ،

And then,

فإِنَّ العَبْدَ لَيَفْرَحُ بِالشَّيْءِ الَّذِي لَمْ يَكُنْ لِيَفُوتَهُ،

sometimes a person feels joyful about a thing which he was not to miss in any case

وَيَحْزَنُ عَلَى الشَّيْءِ الَّذِي لَمْ يَكُنْ لِيُصِيبَهُ،

and feels grieved for a thing which was not to come to him at all.

فَلاَ يَكُنْ أَفْضَلَ مَا نِلْتَ في نَفْسِكَ مِنْ دُنْيَاكَ بُلُوغُ لَذَّة أَوْ شِفَاءُ غَيْظ،

Therefore, you should not regard the attainment of pleasure and the satisfaction of the desire for revenge as the best favour of this world,

وَلكِنْ إطْفَاءُ بِاطِل أَوْ إِحْيَاءُ حَقٍّ.

but it should be the putting off of the (flame of) wrong and the revival of right.

وَلْيَكُنْ سُرورُكَ بِمَا قَدَّمْتَ،

Your pleasure should be for what (good acts) you have sent forward;

وَأَسَفُكَ عَلَى مَا خَلَّفْتَ،

your grief should be for what you are leaving behind;

وَهَمُّكَ فِيَما بَعْدَ الْموْتِ

and your worry should be about what is to befall after death.