British Muslim Heritage
The Sheikh’s Passing Thoughts
Sheikh Abdullah Quilliam, BA, LLD. (rahmatu’Llahi‘alayh)

1. Three things to admire – intellectual power, dignity, gracefulness.

2. It is better to go with truth into the wilderness than to follow falsehood into a palace.

3. The true love of God is to love beauty, truth, and goodness.

4. Whoso feeleth Islam to have filled his heart is half-way towards heaven.

5. Courage and conviction are two good warriors. When they fight shoulder to shoulder victory oft crowns their efforts.

6. There is music in the sound of the words of the man who practices that which he teaches.

7. Alive or dead still we are in the presence of the eternal All-Wise.

8. The best preacher is the conscience, the best teachers are time and experience, the best book is the world, the best friend is God.

9. Do your best, God will do the rest.

10. None of us is too old to learn. When a man ceases to desire to acquire knowledge his intellectual death has commenced, and his funeral had better be arranged for.

11. The whipped cur always yelps the loudest.

12. The difference between life and death is nothing more than the difference between to-day and to-morrow. What will happen to us to-morrow is as uncertain and unknown to us as what may occur after the happening of the event called death, and yet there are many who look forward to the coming of to-morrow with joyful anticipation and to death with dismay.

13. It is natural for us to die, as it is for us to be born. It is only the passing of another milestone on our journey.

14. Harness your chariot with truth and honesty, and the devil will come a very bad second in the race.

15. You have no more right to use abusive or insolent words to a person than you have to smack him across the face.

16. Brave men do not hesitate to recognise bravery in others, even though they may be or may have been antagonists in the field.

17. A great lie is like a great fish on dry land: it may fret and fling and make a frightful bother, but it cannot hurt you. You have only to keep still, and it will die of itself.

18. Those who most distrust others are generally those who know that others have good reason to distrust them.

19. The quarrelsome person is always the one who professes to be the easiest individual in the world to get on with.

20. Some people preach more religion in one hour than they practice during the whole of their life.

21. Meanness is the evidence of a defect of intellect as well as of heart. Even the cleverness of greed and avarice is but the extreme cunning of imbecility.

22. A good man desires nothing but that which just laws will permit him to enjoy.

23. Men love women for what they think they are; women love men for what they promise to become.

24. Cold is the absence of heat, darkness the absence of light, and spite and malignity the absence of love and right-heartedness.

25. Forget yourself, know yourself, that is the secret of both happiness and success.

26. The quintessence of knowledge is applying it when you have got it, or confessing your ignorance when you have not knowledge.

27. The person who is confident he or she could manage things better than everyone else, generally lives in a garret, and is not above borrowing a shilling.

28. Just as rain finds its way through the roof of a badly-thatched house, so passion breaks through the badly-regulated, unreflecting, or shallow mind; so as rain cannot percolate through the perfect roof, so passion will not percolate through the well-regulated and reflecting mind.

29. If you live up to your highest aspirations to-day, new glories will wait for you to-morrow.

30. The big drum makes a loud noise, but it is hollow inside.

31. He is not very good who is not better than his friends imagine him to be.

32. A lie trembles all over when it discovers that truth is on its track.

33. The poorest man in the world is the one who gets rich by selling intoxicating liquor or amassing wealth by usury.

34. I notice that the ‘new woman’ is no more proficient in alighting from a tram-car, while it is in motion, than her old-fashioned sisters.

35. A fool will be all his life learning what the wise man can see at a glance.

36. In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; in passing over it, he is superior.

37. There never was a man who did anything worth doing, that did not receive more in return than he gave.

38. When we review our lives, the follies stand out boldly; the good we have done seems very insignificant.

39. When prosperity comes we are prone to forget the lessons of adversity.

40. Keep your eyes on the goal, and remember that thousands of others are trying to get there first.

41. A small mind is about the only little thing that does not accomplish something.

42. The fool in his haste says things which the wise man dare not think.

43. Show me a person who loves to slander the absent, and I will show you a sneak, a coward and a liar.

44. The intuitive thought of conscience is the whispering of the voice of Truth.

45. The more one learns, the more ignorant he discovers he is.

46. Don’t wait for something extraordinary to happen in order to distinguish yourself, work away at the ordinary events of everyday and you will find distinction will come to you at the right time.

47. What appears to be a misfortune may become good fortune if borne with fortitude and resignation.

48. Too much pleasure becomes pain.

49. There are some persons in this world who, if they were in heaven, would find fault with the arrangement of the feathers on an angel’s wing.

50. Don’t spoil a good action by talking about it.

51. As foul gas escapes from a sewer, so doth bad language and evil thoughts emerge from a foul mind.

52. Spite is the meanest revenge of the meanest mind.

53. Work kills few, worry slays thousands.

54. Slander is like mud; throw it against a mud wall and it will adhere, but cast it against marble and it falls off as it grows older, and even the stains wash away.

55. Slander is the favourite weapon of cowards.

56. The stars sprinkled over the sky are the favourite handwriting of the Creator, and the sentence they spell is “There is only One God.’

57. Kindness is the oil which causes the hinge of the gate of Paradise to open easily.

58. Small sorrows worry us, great ones prove us.

59. The jackass who brays loudest is not always the best worker.

60. Do you want to be good? Then do good.

61. What the mother does the child thinks.

62. Misfortune tests, prosperity often spoils the man.

63. Bad habits are as contageous as the measles, and young people are the most liable to catch both.

64. Beneficence spreads its roots deep and its branches far.

65. Money and water are both good things when used properly, but they are both apt to become stagnant and useless, even poisonous, when kept too long.

66. Luxury begets effeminacy, and the off-spring of effeminacy is ruin.

67. Slander would soon die of starvation if nobody fed it.

68. Which is the strangest: eternal life, or life at all?

69. The richest man is the one who is contented with what he has got.

70. One kiss is worth more than a thousand kicks.

71. Evil thoughts like birds may alight anywhere, but that is no reason why they should not be driven away.

72. Foolish elders make foolish juniors.

73. Some people give gifts like blows.

74. It is unfair to say that a man does good deeds only for effect because he does them with effect.

75. Show me a lazy man, and I will show you a miserable one.

76. Genius is another name for a combination of energy, industry and patience.

77. It is better to bear injustice than to do it.

78. Learning is useful, but the knowledge of how to use it is wisdom.

79. Learn to bear little trials with patience, so that you can endure greater ones with complaisance.

80. Your time and your mind is your garden and your field; let them lie fallow and you will get a good crop of weeds, cultivate them both and you will have a rich harvest of flowers, fruit, and good grain.

81. The first real step towards heaven is to say farewell to evil.

82. Little minds always carp at the deeds of greater men.

83. Ingratitude is the most contemptible trait in a person’s character.

84. Never despise instruction even if you have to receive it at the hands of an enemy.

85. The first step towards happiness is self-control, the second, self-denial, the final one, persistent effort.

86. Beware of the person who professes to betray confidences to you in secret.

87. Did you ever hear of a lion who was disturbed by the braying of jackasses?

88. The first turning from the path of duty and honour lies to the crooked lane of adversity.

89. A man never gains anything by exhibiting his annoyance by his face, much less by bursting into a passion.

90. There are two sorts of patience: the one, by which we bear up in adversity, which is fine and beautiful; but the other, that by which we withstand the commission of evil, is better.

91. Perfection consists in three things: patience in affliction, moderation in our pursuits, and assisting him that asketh.

92. Liberality consists less in giving much than in giving at the right moment.

93. Nothing is more apt to remove all good thoughts than want of trust, whereas trust in a person inspires him to do right; we are touched by the good opinion of others, and will not lose it easily.

94. The present hour is all we have.

95. It is now we must be penitent, now we must be holy. This hour has its duty, which cannot be done the next. To-morrow may bring its own opportunities, but will not restore to-day’s.

96. Self-reliance and self-denial will teach a man to drink out of his own cistern and eat his own sweet bread, and to learn and labour truly to get his living and carefully expend the good things committed to his trust.

97. It is far easier to ask for what is impossible than to do that which is possible.

98. All you have to do in any individual heart is to kindle the higher life and set it to work; and that higher life will conquer all that is lower, because God is in the higher life, and you cannot defeat God.

99. Knowledge and timber shouldn’t be much used until they are seasoned.

100. If you will consider and try and reckon up all the blessings you have
enjoyed in life, you will find that although you are a polyglot you will
not have language enough to be able to thoroughly describe them all. | British Muslim Heritage