Home 

 

SAMPLE SAYINGS OF IMAM ALI

 

A 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.

 

There is no wealth greater than reason, no poverty like ignorance, and no heritage better than noble manners.

 

Oh 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 worthy-of-worship.

 

Many a mighty man was ruined by his character and many a humble one rose to honor and glory on account of it.

 

Honesty is a Divine tongue.  To fulfill promises is the highest form of integrity.  Truth means conformity of speech with the Divine mode of working.

 

The most effective way of achieving Divine blessing is to harbor universal benevolence for all humanity.

 

For one who is possessed of conceit, do not look forward to his good deeds.

 

He, whose humility has diminished, his piety has dwindled.

 

The 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.

 

Religion is a store and knowledge is the route to it.

 

There is no greater worship than meditation on the handiwork of the Great and Mighty Allah.

 

To 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.

 

Excessive censure and reproach open the door to obstinacy and persistence.

 

Destroy the evil in others by eliminating it from yourself.

 

No Muslim being of service to brother Muslims without Allah granting him in heaven an equal number of servants.

 

The servant of Allah will not enjoy belief till he abandons lying in his serious talks or in his wit.

 

Nothing except true light can ever purify life.

 

I have never argued with an ignorant fool and won; nor have I argued with a rational person and lost.

 

Forgiveness is at its best when you forgive while you have the upper hand.

 

If you doubt the sincerity of a person, just ask your heart.

 

Work for your temporal world as if you will live forever; and work for the Hereafter as if you will die tomorrow.

 

The oppressor and the oppressed will both suffer in the Hereafter; the oppressor for his tyranny and the oppressed for accepting it.

 

Righteousness left me alone with no companions.

 

The weakest of people are those unable to make friends; even weaker are those who lose the friends they have gained.

 

If you are running away and death is approaching; the encounter will be soon.

 

Do not be too hard, lest you will be broken; Do not be too soft, lest you will be squeezed.

 

The greatest wealth is in giving up excessive desires.

 

To prolong hope is ill-doing.

 

Beware the anger of a kind and generous person when in starvation; and the wrath of a mean person when full.

 

Wealth in an alien country is a homeland; poverty in your homeland is alienation.

 

Contentment is a perpetual treasure.

 

Your friends are many when you count them; but in hardships they become few.

 

People are enemies of what they do not know.

 

Greed is eternal slavery.

 

A person who just observes others will die of grief.  Avoid the harm and trouble of someone you have helped.

 

"O 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."

 

Many quote knowledge and few note it in mind.

 

Allah's most complete gift is life based on knowledge.

 

The innumerable fools have made the learned very scarce.

 

The learned men are the living ones in the dead mass of ignorance.

 

Knowledge kills ignorance.

 

Knowledge gives life to the soul.

 

Little knowledge of Allah damages conduct.

 

To respect the learned is to respect Allah.  Knowledge creates fear of Allah.

 

Practice makes knowledge perfect.

 

To teach is to learn.

  

 Noble character is the best companion of man.

 

Verily, Allah singled out and chose his blessed Prophets for nobility of their character.

 

In good manners is hidden the wealth of good fortune.

 

The malady of lying is the ugliest of diseases.

 

Falsehood is not goodwhether in earnest or in jest.  It is not fit that any of you makes a promise to his child and not fulfill his promise.

 

There is no evil greater than falsehood.

 

It is Allah's desire that every man should have goodwill toward the rest of humanity.

 

Lack of forgiveness in a man is his greatest shortcoming, and vindictiveness is the worst of transgressions.

 

Enhance your worthiness by overlooking matters of inconsequence.

 

A man's hypocrisy is due to degradation he experiences within himself.

 

Vicious people take delight in publishing the vices of others, so that, they might thereby extend the ground of excuses for their own.

 

Self-esteem exposes one's faults and failings.

 

To covet praise which one does not deserve is foolishness.

 

Breach of promise incurs the detestation of Allah and man.

 

The reasonable man is admonished politely and the beasts are upbraided with blows.

 

The mettle of men is revealed in times of reverse.

 

Aspire not for something you do not deserve.

 

Every kind of excess in praise or blame is due to one's overindulgence and this is folly.

 

The sense of shame dissuades one from disgraceful acts.

 

The one who is fond of pleasure, subdued by sensual delights, and the other who is infatuated by gathering of wealthnone of these heed their faith in any matter.  That which comes closest to resemble them are the grazing cattle.

 

Good manners are an evidence of noble descent.

 

When a man's origin is noble, both his exterior and interior are honorable.

 

No one conceals a matter in his heart but gives himself away in slips of the tongue or expressions of the face.

 

The highest knowledge for man is the knowledge of his own self.

 

Gather wisdom even from those who are astray.

 

The greatest ignorance for man is his ignorance of his own self.

  

Knowledge is the compensation for mental exertion.

 

The chief aim of knowledge is virtue.

 

Fear of Allah is the final result of knowledge.

 

The sum of excellency is knowledge.

 

Who teaches a letter binds me with a fetter.

 

The best knowledge is what benefits its possessor.

 

Knowledge is life and health.

 

Humility is the outcome of knowledge.

 

The learned man is alive though dead.

 

To be successful, obey knowledge and discard ignorance.

 

The wise man is the one who puts the right thing in its right place.

 

It suffices: the wisdom to distinguish the path of guidance from the path of ignorance and sin.

 

To 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.

 

A wise man relies on his efforts and the fool relies on his hopes.

 

To flatter and to envy are not in the nature of a Mu'min (a true believer), save, in the course of pursuit of knowledge.

 

The one who scrutinizes his own self is benefited thereby, and the one who  overlooks it is lost.

 

Kumayl 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.

   "O Kumayl," Imam Ali answered, "there are four: the growing Vegetative self, the perceiving Animal self, the venerable Rational self and the Angelic Divine self."

 

I 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.

 

Good etiquette is the best inheritance that parents can leave behind for their children.

 

There is no inheritance like good breeding.

 

One who does not learn in his early years will not lead in his later ones.

 

None of you should ever feel embarrassed when asked about something you do not know; just admit your ignorance.

 

Once, 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."

 

Instruct the orphan in the manner you educate your own child; if you punish him, punish him like you would your own child.

 

 

ALI'S SPECIFICS during His Khilaafah  go to top of page

 

EVENTS AND HAPPENINGS:

Ali's numerous speeches and sermons

Ali's discourses collected later as Nahjul Balaaghah

Ali's Du'aas like Du'aa Kumayl

Ali the source for Islamic information

Ali the Marji' (Religious Reference)

Ali the contributor to Islam

 

 

 NAHJUL 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:  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  go to top of page

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 heartthe 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 darkness....

  

SELECT SECTION OF DU'AA KUMAYL  go to top of page

My Lord!  My Lord!  My Lord!

I ask Thee

    by Thy Truth,

    Thy Holiness and

    the greatest of Thy Attributes and Names,

that You make my times in the day and night

    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

                everlasting.

 

O My Lord! O He upon whom I depend!

O The One to whom I murmur about my states!

 

My Lord!  My Lord!  My Lord!

Strengthen my bodily members in Thy service,

fortify my ribs with resolve

and let me be earnest in my fear of Thee

and continuity in being of service to Thee

    so I may move easily toward Thee in

    battlefields of the foremost,

and hurry to Thee among the prominent,

and fervently love Thy proximity along

    with the fervently desirous,

and move near to Thee with the nearness of

    the sincere,

and fear Thee as of those who Truly fear Thee

and gather with the believers in Thy vicinity,