SIGNS OF THE INTELLECT AND THE FOOL
The following characters are the hallmark of the intellectual:
(a) if his status is elevated, he becomes humble and takes care of his people
(b) if someone insults him, he forgives with patience
(c) if he performs a good deed, he will not wait for anyone to thank him
(d) if someone causes him harm, he will find a way to protect himself and forgive the other
(e) his main character is to forgive and let go
(f) he leads others to goodness. The sight of him comforts you, sitting with him is a treasure, pleasure and elevation to you, and if you need him you will find that he will deliver
(g) his word is a constitution, and he will stand by it
(h) he renders advice conservatively
(i) when he is quiet, you gain from him, and when he talks, you gain from him. The more you talk with him, the more you value and the more you learn from him.
(j) the intellect talks very little, and keeps silent often. He will not engage in talk until someone asks him, and he talks accordingly with knowledge and wisdom.
In contrast the following are the signs of the fool:
(i) misleading to himself and others
(ii) if you get close to him, he becomes arrogant, and if you stay away from him, he gets upset and angry
(iii) if he talks, he will not fulfil his speech, and if he promises, he will not keep it
(iv) spending time with him is a disgrace
(v) arguing with him is a calamity
(vi) conversations with him leads you nowhere but cannot stop talking
(vii) his companionship will harm you.
(viii) the closer you get, the more it makes you blind. If you decide to have him as a spouse or a friend, welcome to never ending misery!
(ix) his speech is riddled with digressions, fabrications and contradictions
(x) he renders advice indiscriminately
(xi) the fool always wants to talk, and offers his opinions and conclusions regardless of his knowledge of the topic or audience. Astonishingly, he doesn’t realise he is a fool, but everyone else does. This is because he doesn’t have the time to listen, for he is too busy talking!
(xi) AFTER ALL THAT, HE WILL ALWAYS BE UPSET WITH YOU, BECAUSE HE BELIEVES HE MEANS WELL
One of the early kings, when displeased or upset with any of his court, would place the offender in jail with a fool, as a torture!
The fool always discredits others, blames and complains, dismissive and he assumes that he is always right. He expects everyone to thank him for his so called wisdom. Another hallmark is that if you meet the fool a year, or even ten years later, the foolishness would have increased. His stubbornness and ignorance are firmly entrenched in his personality.
The fool’s destruction knows no bounds. Every time you assume that some goodness will come from him, you will be let down and instead find more from the same fountain of ignorance: more arrogance, more wickedness and more drama.
One of the early scholars had something beautiful to say about that:
“You can save yourself from everything, and you can try to avoid everything that harms and hurts you, except the fool. He cannot protect himself from himself.”
The real legacy of this life is your intellect and wisdom, and the ultimate disgrace for a human being is his foolishness.
THE PERSON WITHIN
The early people used to say, that the tongue belies the person within. When he opens his mouth, his personality will be exposed.
Also be careful of the hidden fool, especially in the time of marriage. He pretends to be extremely polite, shy and quiet. Whatever you say, he will agree with meekly. He will nod and smile as if tongue tied. Remember, iman has many levels, intellect has many levels and foolishness has many levels. The hidden fool realises that he is not as smart as he portrays himself to be and therefore cloaks it in silence when it suits him. Therefore in such a situation, engage him in conversation to assess whether he is capable of any profound opinion.