“My Lord, grant me such a life that on my deathbed, I may not be resentful of its worthlessness. And grant me such a death, that I may not mourn for it’s uselessness. Let me choose that, but in the way that pleases you the most.”—Dr Ali Shariati
A man once approached Imam Ja’far Al-Sadiq (as) and asked him to help understand the concepts of Freewill and predestination. The Imam (as) asked him to lift one foot off the ground. The man did as he was instructed. The Imam then asked him to lift his second foot from the ground, to which he replied “I can’t”. The Imam (as): “Your first move represents freewill, and your second, predestination”.
“What do sad people have in common? It seems they have all built a shrine to the past, and often go there to do a strange wail and worship. What is the beginning of happiness? It is to stop being so religious like that.”—Hafez
“I heard my father (MGB) narrate on the authority of his father (MGB) that a man stood in front of the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali (MGB) and said, ‘O Commander of the Faithful! How did you come to recognize your Lord?’ He (MGB) replied, ‘By the dissolution of intentions and the breach of aspirations. Sometimes I had an aspiration, but He got in the way between me and my aspirations. Sometimes I made some intentions, but destiny opposed my intentions. Thus, I realized that there is some other Planner.’ The man asked, ‘Why did you thank Him for His Blessings?’ He (MGB) replied, ‘I looked at His Calamities which He fended off from me and brought them upon someone else. Thus, I realized that He has Blessed me. Thus, I thanked Him.’ The man asked, ‘Why do you like to meet Him?’ He (MGB) replied, ‘I saw that He has given me the religion of His Angels, Messengers and Prophets. Then I realized that He has honored me with this religion and will never forget me. Therefore, I would like to meet Him.’”—Imam Sadegh (as)
“God the Exalted the Sublime says, “I swear by My Honor, Beauty, Magnificence, Loftiness that I shall make anyone needless who chooses Me over his selfish desires. I will make him attend to the affairs of his Hereafter. I will protect him from getting ruined. I will establish the heavens and the Earth as guarantees for his share of daily bread. Moreover, I will be far superior to the business of all the businessmen for him.”—Imam Baqir (as)
“We are like a child that the father is holding their hand to take them somewhere and has to pass through a bazaar to get there. The child gets mesmerized by the display windows of the stores and abandons their father’s hand and in return gets lost. Once the kid realizes this, they can’t find their father anymore and assumes their father is lost while in reality it’s the kid who lost the father. The Prophets and Imams are the fathers of the creation and hold the hand of people so that they can pass by this bazaar of life. Majority of the people have become mesmerized by the items of the world and have let go of their father’s hand and have turned lost. Imam Mahdi isn’t lost nor hidden rather we are the ones lost.”—Hajj Ismail Dolabi
“Hence, my dear friend! try to be worthy in the eyes of God. Try to win the hearts of the creatures by first pleasing the real owner of the hearts, so that He comes to your rescue. Work for the sake of God. As a consequence God Almighty, besides showering His favours and excellences upon you in the Hereafter, will bestow His honours and favours on you in this world as well, and will befriend you. He will raise your status in the eyes of people and will exalt you in both the worlds. But the only thing that you have to do is to sincerely cultivate the love of God in your heart, untainted and unspoiled, with struggle and effort. Purify your inner self so that your actions also will be pure and untainted by the love of the world or hatred of fellow beings; your spirit should be pure and untainted and all the infirmities and corruptions of the soul should be eliminated.”—Imam Khomeini (RA)