The prophet Moses, on whom be peace, admonished Carum, saying: “Be bounteous in like manner as God has been bounteous to thee":—but he listened not, and you have heard the end of him. Whoever did not an act of charity with his silver and gold, sacrificed his future prospects on his hoard of gold and silver. If desirous that thou shouldst benefit by the wealth of this world, be generous with thy fellow-creature, as God has been generous with thee.
The Arabs say:—“Show thy generosity, but make it not obligatory, that the benefit of it may redound to thee":—that is, bestow and make presents, but do not exact an obligation that the profit of that act may be returned to you. Wherever the tree of generosity strikes root it sends forth its boughs, and they shoot above the skies. If thou cherishest a hope of enjoying its fruit, by gratitude I entreat of thee not to lay a saw upon its trunk. Render thanks to God, that thou wert found worthy of his divine grace, that he has not excluded thee from the riches of his bounty. Esteem it no obligation that thou art serving the king, but show thy gratitude to him, namely God, who has placed thee in this service.
Two persons labored to a vain, and studied to an unprofitable end: he who hoarded wealth and did not spend it, and he who acquired science and did not practise it:—However much thou art read in theory, if thou hast no practice thou art ignorant. He is neither a sage philosopher nor an acute divine, but a beast of burden with a load of books. How can that brainless head know or comprehend whether he carries on his back a library or bundle of fagots?
Learning is intended to fortify religious practice, and not to gratify worldly traffic:—Whoever prostituted his temperance, piety, and science, gathered his harvest into a heap and set fire to it.
An intemperate man of learning is like a blind link-boy:—He shows the road to others, but sees it not himself:—whoever ventured his life on an unproductive hazard gained nothing by the risk, and lost his own stake.
A kingdom is embellished by the wise, and religion rendered illustrious by the pious. Kings stand more in need of the company of the intelligent than the intelligent do of the society of kings:—If, O king! thou wilt listen to my advice, in all thy archives thou canst not find a wiser maxim than this: entrust thy concerns only to the learned, notwithstanding business is not a learned man’s concern.
Three things have no durability without their concomitants: property without trade, knowledge without debate, or a sovereignty without government.