Shared Sayings of Khalif Ali ibn Abi Talib and Rabbi Simeon ben Zoma
Although one was a late first century rabbi and the other was Calif of a new Muslim Empire; both of these men taught the following wise lessons which 21st century humans still need to learn.
Khalif Ali ibn Abi Talib (d. 661CE) said:
- Who is the smartest? An errant man who sees the right path and turns toward it.
- Who is the strongest of people? The one who controls his anger.
- What is the best kind of contentment? That of one who is satisfied with what God gave him.
- Who is your worst friend? The one who tempts you into sin.
- Who is the most mature? The one who never flies into a rage.
From: A Treasury of Virtues: A collection by the Fatimid Shafi’i judge al-Quda’i (d. 1062) of sayings, sermons, and teachings attributed to Ali ibn Abi Talib (d. 661). Translated by Tahera Qutbuddin.
Rabbi Simeon Ben Zoma (d. 100CE) said:
- Who is wise? One who learns from everybody, as it is written (Psalm 119:99) "I have gained understanding from all my teachers."
- Who is mighty? He who subdues his passions, as it’s written (Proverbs 16:32) "One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and one whose temper is controlled is better than one who captures a city."
- Who is rich? He who rejoices in his portion, as it is written (Psalm 128:2) "You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you."
- Who is honored? He that honors his fellow men as it is written (I Samuel 2:30) "For those who honor me, I will honor.”
From: Pirke Avot: Aphorisms of the Fathers (early sages and rabbis) 4:1