Saadi recounted that the; son of a wealthy but avaricious old man, having fallen sick, his well-wishers advised him that it would be proper to get the whole Qur’an recited or else to offer a sacrifice. He meditated a while and then said: ‘It is preferable to read the Qur’an because the flock is at a distance.’ A holy man, who had heard this, afterwards remarked: ‘He selected the reading of the Qur’an because it is at the tip of the tongue but the money at the bottom of the heart.’

Ten men eat at a table

but two dogs will fight over one piece of carrion.

A greedy person will stir be hungry

with the whole world,

whilst a contented man will be satisfied

with one bread.

Wise men have said that poverty with contentment better than wealth and dissatisfaction.

Narrow intestines may be filled with dry bread

But the wealth of the surface of the world

will not fill a greedy eye.

When the term of my father’s life

had come to an end

He gave me this one advice and passed away:

Lust is fire, abstain there from,

Make not the fire of hell sharp for yourself.

In that fire the burning you

will not be able to bear,

Quench this fire with water today.


I heard about a wealthy man

who was as well known for his avarice

as Hatim Tai was for his generosity.

Outwardly he displayed the appearance of wealth but inwardly his sordid nature was so dominant that he would not for his life

give a morsel of bread to anyone

or bestow a scrap upon the kitten of Abu Hurayrah or throw a bone

to the dog of the companions of the cave.

In short, no one had seen

the door of his house open or his table-doth spread.

The dervish got nothing of his food

except the smell.

The fowl picked up the crumbs

after his bread-dinner.

I heard that he was sailing in the Mediterranean with the pride of Pharaoh in his head

according to the words of the most high,

Until drowning overtook him when all of a sudden a contrary wind befell the ship, as it is said:

What can thy heart do to thy distressed nature for the wind is not fair?

It is not at all times suitable for a ship.

He uplifted the hands of supplication

and began to lament in vain

but Allah the most high has commanded:

When they sail in a ship they call upon Allah , sincerely exhibiting unto him their religion.

Of what use is the hand of supplication

to a needy worshipper

Which is uplifted to God in the time of prayer

but in the armpit in the time of bounty?

Bestow comfort with gold and with silver

And thereby also profit yourself.

As this house of thine will remain,

Build it with a silver and a gold brick.

(The things given in charity by the believers build them lovely things in the hereafter, such as beautiful homes and gardens etc)


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