They say one Thursday night (during the Iran-Iraq war) the Iranian soldiers had turned off the lights except a small one to recite Dua Kumail. The mood and surrounding was very spiritual … one of the brothers takes out a small container of Et’r (kind of like cologne) and starts offering it to the other brothers (it is traditionally polite to do so). Like usual, they each put on a drop or two of on their faces and clothes. The entire atmosphere gets filled with scent and the dua is recited.
Once the dua is finished they turn on the lights. Each brother looks at the other and says:
Why is there a smudge on your face
Eh, your face is black too.
Wow, you’re the same …..
Then they suddenly realize that the brother who had initially offered the Et’r had mixed it with black ink and since nobody could see anything in they dark, everybody had rubbed it on their faces and heads.
They go give that brother a good beating and after a good laugh he sits them down and says:
This Dunya (world) is exactly like this perfume you rubbed on your face. In your own ignorance, you don’t see the darkness of the pleasures of this world and only smell the good scent so keep rubbing it on your hearts and make it darker … and when the light of Qiyamat illuminates everything, only then you will realize that all of these worldly enjoyment weren’t beautiful but instead were complete darkness …
This material world is based on extinction. The gifts given by the Highest of the high Almighty God should conform to His Greatness. His gifts are permanent. He does not take back what He grants. This world of matter is not spacious enough for this purpose. Here, what is given is also taken back. These eyes, hands and feet given to you are indeed great bounties during the safe period of youth or young age. But if you live on and reach the age of fifty or sixty, things begin to be taken back from you one after another. You lose your teeth one by one.
Likewise, there is a gradual decrease in the your faculties of seeing and hearing. The strength of your hands and legs become less and less and it makes you weaker and weaker. Even if you die before reaching old age, they put you in the grave where earthly worms eat away the whole of your body beginning with your eyes and then come downwards. Permanent and everlasting grant of bounties is not possible in this world of matter. Whoever is given new clothes also gets deprived of it. They are given children, which also have to be taken back. Every kind of happiness available here is but temporary. Such temporary gifts are not becoming to Divine grants. God’s everlasting gifts are available in Paradise.
“Man wants what his heart likes and loves. Since I and you and all of us are unaware of the Higher World, all our liking and love is for this earthly world. Therefore we do not like death to come to us. We become astonished when we hear Ali saying ‘I long for death’.”— Ayatullah Dastghayb
“There is a narration in the third volume of Biharul Anwar, which pleases the hearts of the Faithful. It says that tomorrow on Judgment Day, there will be so much manifestation of all the encompassing Mercy of God that even Satan will bow his head and long for it …”—
“I swear by Him, in whose hand is the soul of Mohammad, I have never blinked my eyes without believing that Allah might take my soul away before my eyelashes touch each other.”— Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w)
It is reported that the Holy Prophet said: It sometimes so happens that Satan, after misguiding a person, repents over what he (Satan) did and says: Oh! I should not have made this man commit this sin.
People asked, “How is it that the devil repents over his misguidance to man?”
The Holy Prophet replied, “Because that particular man, as an aftermath of his sinning, repents, burns within himself and melts his heart so much that finally he becomes dear to God forever. The devil slaps his head saying, ‘Oh! I should not have led this person to sin.’ He, after committing the sin, repents too much and feels ashamed before God and thus he goes nearer to God and his face turns radiant!”
Certainly it is “oppression of oneself”, one has oppressed himself. In the words of Khwaja Rabee, he used to weep during the nights instead of sleeping and he was begging to God. His mother asked him, “What sin have you committed that you are weeping so much restlessly? You are burning you heart so much. If you have killed someone, tell me. Do not fear. I will go there and make the victim’s relatives pleased and make them forgive you.” Listen to the reply of Rabi. What a nice reply. He said, “Mother! I have killed a soul, but not anyone’s soul. I have murdered myself. Ill luck is upon me. I have made myself valueless in front of Almighty Allah. I do not dare to raise my head before Almighty God.” It is suicide. A sinful man has killed and oppressed himself!
“A guy asked a Muslim: Why do your girls cover up their body and hair? The Muslim guy smiled and got two sweets, he opened the first one and kept the other one closed. He threw them both on the dusty floor and asked the guy: If I asked you to take one of the sweets which one will you choose? The Man replied: The covered one. Then the Muslim said that’s how we treat and see our women”—
“You place into great scrutiny the faults of others but conveniently disregard your own. With such a state of affairs, how do you expect your prayers to be answered when you yourself have shut its doors? Be pious, rectify your deeds and enjoin the good and forbid the evil so that your prayers are answered.”—Imam Ali (as)