SAYINGS OF IMAM ALI
Mu'min (a true believer) divides his time into three portions: One portion in which he prays and worships his Lord, the second in which he strives for his
livelihood, and the third for venting his lawful desires by obtaining fair and permissible pleasures.
is no wealth greater than reason, no poverty like ignorance, and no heritage better than noble manners.
Allah! I did not worship Thee because I am afraid of hell or out of greed for Thy paradise. I have worshipped Thee because I found Thou
a mighty man was ruined by his character and many a humble one rose to honor and glory on account of it.
is a Divine tongue. To fulfill promises is the highest form of integrity. Truth means conformity of speech with the Divine mode of working.
most effective way of achieving Divine blessing is to harbor universal benevolence for all humanity.
one who is possessed of conceit, do not look forward to his good deeds.
whose humility has diminished, his piety has dwindled.
ultimate wisdom for man is to know himself; and so, the one who knows his own self attains wisdom and the one who disregards it is lost.
is a store and knowledge is the route to it.
is no greater worship than meditation on the handiwork of the Great and Mighty Allah.
kiss a child is compassion; to kiss a woman is passion; to kiss one's parent is like prayer and to kiss a brother Muslim is a demonstration of faith.
censure and reproach open the door to obstinacy and persistence.
the evil in others by eliminating it from yourself.
Muslim being of service to brother Muslims without Allah granting him in heaven an equal number of servants.
servant of Allah will not enjoy belief till he abandons lying in his serious talks or in his wit.
except true light can ever purify life.
have never argued with an ignorant fool and won; nor have I argued with a rational person and lost.
is at its best when you forgive while you have the upper hand.
you doubt the sincerity of a person, just ask your heart.
for your temporal world as if you will live forever; and work for the Hereafter as if you will die tomorrow.
oppressor and the oppressed will both suffer in the Hereafter; the oppressor for his tyranny and the oppressed for accepting it.
left me alone with no companions.
weakest of people are those unable to make friends; even weaker are those who lose the friends they have gained.
you are running away and death is approaching; the encounter will be soon.
not be too hard, lest you will be broken; Do not be too soft, lest you will be squeezed.
greatest wealth is in giving up excessive desires.
prolong hope is ill-doing.
the anger of a kind and generous person when in starvation; and the wrath of a mean person when full.
in an alien country is a homeland; poverty in your homeland is alienation.
is a perpetual treasure.
friends are many when you count them; but in hardships they become few.
are enemies of what they do not know.
is eternal slavery.
person who just observes others will die of grief. Avoid the harm and trouble of someone you have helped.
people know that the maturity in religion lies in the pursuit of knowledge and putting it into practice. Indeed! The pursuit of knowledge is more incumbent
upon you than endeavor for livelihood; for, your livelihood has been apportioned and guaranteed by Allah the Just One and will be provided to you. Knowledge
is stored with its possessors and you have been commanded to acquire it from them."
quote knowledge and few note it in mind.
most complete gift is life based on knowledge.
innumerable fools have made the learned very scarce.
learned men are the living ones in the dead mass of ignorance.
gives life to the soul.
knowledge of Allah damages conduct.
respect the learned is to respect Allah. Knowledge creates fear of Allah.
makes knowledge perfect.
teach is to learn.
character is the best companion of man.
Allah singled out and chose his blessed Prophets for nobility of their character.
good manners is hidden the wealth of good fortune.
malady of lying is the ugliest of diseases.
is not good—whether in earnest or in jest. It is not fit that any of you makes a promise to his child and not fulfill his promise.
is no evil greater than falsehood.
is Allah's desire that every man should have goodwill toward the rest of humanity.
of forgiveness in a man is his greatest shortcoming, and vindictiveness is the worst of transgressions.
your worthiness by overlooking matters of inconsequence.
man's hypocrisy is due to degradation he experiences within himself.
people take delight in publishing the vices of others, so that, they might thereby extend the ground of excuses for their own.
exposes one's faults and failings.
covet praise which one does not deserve is foolishness.
of promise incurs the detestation of Allah and man.
reasonable man is admonished politely and the beasts are upbraided with blows.
mettle of men is revealed in times of reverse.
not for something you do not deserve.
kind of excess in praise or blame is due to one's overindulgence and this is folly.
sense of shame dissuades one from disgraceful acts.
one who is fond of pleasure, subdued by sensual delights, and the other who is infatuated by gathering of wealth—none of these heed their faith in any
matter. That which comes closest to resemble them are the grazing cattle.
manners are an evidence of noble descent.
a man's origin is noble, both his exterior and interior are honorable.
one conceals a matter in his heart but gives himself away in slips of the tongue or expressions of the face.
highest knowledge for man is the knowledge of his own self.
wisdom even from those who are astray.
greatest ignorance for man is his ignorance of his own self.
is the compensation for mental exertion.
chief aim of knowledge is virtue.
of Allah is the final result of knowledge.
sum of excellency is knowledge.
teaches a letter binds me with a fetter.
best knowledge is what benefits its possessor.
is life and health.
is the outcome of knowledge.
learned man is alive though dead.
be successful, obey knowledge and discard ignorance.
wise man is the one who puts the right thing in its right place.
suffices: the wisdom to distinguish the path of guidance from the path of ignorance and sin.
be sure, the body has six states: health and malady, sleep and wakefulness, life and death; and similarly, the self: doubt is its malady and conviction its
health; indifference is its slumber and vigilance its wakefulness; self-knowledge is its life and self-ignorance its death.
wise man relies on his efforts and the fool relies on his hopes.
flatter and to envy are not in the nature of a Mu'min (a true believer), save, in the course of pursuit of knowledge.
one who scrutinizes his own self is benefited thereby, and the one who overlooks it is lost.
ibn Ziyad, a Companion of the Imam, asked "Inform me about myself." The Imam answered, "O Kumayl, which `self do you want to know about?' "Master, is there
more than one of them?," asked Kumayl in surprise.
Imam Ali answered, "there are four: the growing Vegetative self, the perceiving Animal self, the
venerable Rational self and the Angelic Divine self."
wonder why people, when at night the dinner is brought for them, take trouble to light a lamp, that they may see what goes into their bellies, but while
gorging their spirits, do not take care to light up the doors of their minds that they may eschew the appendages of ignorance and sin from finding a way into
their beliefs and actions.
etiquette is the best inheritance that parents can leave behind for their children.
is no inheritance like good breeding.
who does not learn in his early years will not lead in his later ones.
of you should ever feel embarrassed when asked about something you do not know; just admit your ignorance.
during his reign, when a quantity of honey was brought to the public treasury, Imam Ali, the Prince of the Believers, asked for the orphans to be brought to
him; and while he distributed it, himself fed the orphans. When people expressed wonder at his action, he told them, "The Imam is the father of the orphans
and so I feed them like a father would have."
the orphan in the manner you educate your own child; if you punish him, punish him like you would your own child.
during His Khilaafah
EVENTS AND HAPPENINGS:
numerous speeches and sermons
discourses collected later as Nahjul Balaaghah
Du'aas like Du'aa Kumayl
the source for Islamic information
the Marji' (Religious Reference)
the contributor to Islam
BALAAGHAH: The period during Ali's Khilaafah was distinguished by tremendous discourses and numerous sermons. They
showed a brilliance of mind beyond compare. Many of his speeches were later collected in a book called Nahjul Balaaghah. This
book is regarded as the best Islamic source after the Holy Quran and the Hadith. It has been translated into many languages
including English. The book in English consists of 244 sermons (Khutba), 78 letters, and 208 sayings. It is a treasure.
Du'aa is supplication, and is highly desirable. "Du'aa is the soul of Religion," as one Hadith tells us. Of the many Du'aas
Imam Ali used to invoke one stands out. It is called Du'aa Kumayl. It is a very moving Du'aa, recited till now on every
Thursday evening. It has been translated into many languages including English.
SAMPLE OF DISCOURSES
Sermon No. 49
All praise is due to Allah. No one
is deprived of His favors. None is despondent of His blessings or forgiveness. He who prays to Allah does not become arrogant
or proud. Allah's favors are never lost, His blessings never cease. This world is soon subject to waste. Its inhabitants are
about to go out of it. To the worldly people, it is sweet. It makes haste for its lovers. But its pleasures are doubtful to
the wise. You pass through it with good deeds for the permanent world, the next.
Sermon No. 90
O' People! He is the most beloved
of Allah who has control over his passions. He fears Allah and Allah keeps the lamp of guidance burning in his heart. This
man is making preparation for his coming life. He is very much familiar with death. He bears the difficulties and
tribulations very patiently. He meditates upon Allah and remembers Him. He has quenched his thirst with the sweet water of
Allah's cognizance. He walks on the Straight Path with peace of mind and satisfaction of heart. He keeps passion under his
strict control. He has no doubts or suspicions. He has only one desire in his heart—the nearness to Allah. He is away
from the darkness of ignorance. He is not a man of avarice.....
He is the one who took hold of the
Rope. He sees the light of faith like the bright sun. He devotes his life to Allah. Such a person is a lamp in the
SELECT SECTION OF DU'AA KUMAYL
My Lord! My Lord! My Lord!
I ask Thee
by Thy Truth,
Thy Holiness and
the greatest of Thy Attributes and
that You make my times in the day and
dwell by Thy remembrance
and joined to Thy service
so that my works and my litanies
may all be a single litany
and make my occupation with Thy service
O My Lord! O He upon whom I depend!
O The One to whom I murmur about my
My Lord! My Lord! My Lord!
Strengthen my bodily members in Thy
my ribs with resolve
let me be earnest in my fear of Thee
continuity in being of service to Thee
so I may move easily toward Thee in
battlefields of the foremost,
hurry to Thee among the prominent,
fervently love Thy proximity along
with the fervently desirous,
move near to Thee with the nearness of
fear Thee as of those who Truly fear Thee
gather with the believers in Thy vicinity,