Letter 76: Instructions to Abdullah b. Abbas when he sent him as his representative to Basra

Given to Abdullah ibn al-Abbas at the time of his appoint ment as his Governor of Basrah

سَعِ النَّاسَ بِوَجْهِكَ

Meet people with a broad face,


allow them free audience


and pass generous orders.

وإِيَّاكَ وَالْغَضَبَ

Avoid anger

فَإِنَّهُ طَيْرَةٌ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ.

because it is an augury of Satan.

وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ مَا قَرَّبَكَ مِنَ اللهِ يُبَاعِدُكَ مِنْ النَّارِ،

Remember that whatever takes you near Allah takes you away from the Fire (of Hell),

وَمَا بَاعَدَكَ مِنَ اللهِ يُقَرِّبُكَ مِنَ النَّارِ.

and whatever takes you away from Allah takes you near the Fire.