Imam Ali ('a), the First Muslim, an intimate
associate of the Holy Prophet of Islam ('s) in the life and
holy Islamic mission, the Greatest Guardian of Islam, the Immediate Successor to the Holy Prophet of
Islam ('s) and
the First Holy Immaculate Imam of the Shi'ites in the World,
Imam Ali ibn Abu Taleb ('a) was born inside the Holy Kaaba at
Mecca on Friday, the 13th day of Rajab, 600 A.D. It is an
undisputed fact that Imam Ali ('a) was born a Muslim.
Regarding divine right of Imam Ali ('a) the
Holy Prophet of Islam ('s) declared:
"Whomsoever I have authority over, Ali
has also authority over him,
O Allah! befriend whoever befriend him and be
hostile to whosoever is hostile to him".
Some of famous sayings of the Holy Prophet of
Islam ('s) regarding the uniqueness and magnificence of
Imam Ali ('a) as recorded in all the authentic Sunni and
"I am the city of knowledge and Ali ('a)
is the gate."
"Ali ('a) is with truth and truth is
with Ali ('a). They will never separate until they join at the
Pool of Kawthar in the Hereafter"
"Every prophet has a vicegerent and
inheritor and Ali ('a) is my vicegerent and inheritor."
('a)] are to me as Aaron unto
Moses, only there is no prophet after me."
"Only the faithful believer will love you
and only hypocrites will hate you."
Imam Ali ('a) was born in the Holy Kaaba at
Mecca on Friday, the 13th day of Rajab, 600 A.D. Both the Holy
Prophet ('s) and Imam Ali ('a) belonged to the same
clan. They were Hashimites, the clan of Bani Hashim.
Muhammad's ('s) father was Abdullah, and that of Imam Ali ('a), Abu Talib. They were brothers and their father was
Abdul Muttalib. Thus the Holy Prophet ('s) and Imam Ali ('a) were cousins.
Imam Ali ('a) had two brothers,
Ja'far and Aquil.
Imam Ali's mother
Fatima, was the daughter of
Asad, a famous magnate of the Quraish clan. She was also the
Aunt of the Holy Prophet, being the wife of Abu Talib, the
Prophet's paternal uncle. When she was pregnant, she promised
Muhammad ('s) to make over to him whatever child was born
to her, be it male or female. Muhammad ('s), brought forth,
gladly accepted the offer.
Ali's holy personality began its wonderful
manifestation even during the period of his mother's
pregnancy. At that time, Muhammad ('s) had not yet
announced his prophethood, and yet when he passed before
Fatima, who being his aunt was senior to him, she used to
stand up in reverence and respect for him, and something within her never allowed her to turn her face away
from Muhammad ('s) as long as he was around. When people asked her about this peculiar
behaviour of hers, she would say that she could not help it,
that some irresistible urge from within made her do so.
This statement was disbelieved by those who
wished to test her. So one day they made her sit and they
asked two strong men to hold her down when Muhammad ('s)
passed by. Then they asked Muhammad ('s) if he would walk
in front of her, to which he gladly agreed. As he came in
front of her, Fatima began to rise and she stood erect
throwing both men aside. Muhammad ('s) who alone was aware
of this mystery, used to smile.
The Holy Prophet ('s) was keenly awaiting the
birth of his cousin Ali ('a). During her pregnancy whenever Fatima was
alone, she heard from within her a mysterious whisper which
was to the glorification of God.
To understand the significance and importance
of his place of birth, it is essential to know a little of the
history of the Kaaba. The first House of God was rebuilt and
renovated at the command of Allah by the Prophet Abraham
assisted by his worthy successor, his son Ismail, under the
supervision and guidance of the Angel Gabriel.
The verses of
the Holy Qur'an say :
"And remember when Abraham raised the
foundation of the House with Ismail,
(Praying) Our Lord!
accept (this service) from us;
verily Thou and Thou (alone)
art the All-hearing and All-knowing.
Chap. 2-Verse 127.
"And remember when we made the House a
resort for mankind and a sanctuary (saying),
Take ye the
station of Abraham a place of prayer (For you);
with Abraham and Ismail (saying) purify ye to my House for
those who make the circuit,
and for those who prostrate
Chap. 2-Verse 125
This verse clearly depicts the purpose of the
Ka'aba, namely that it was to be a place of worship and that it
was pure and sacred.
Another indication of Ali's special merit was
his birthplace. No one else, from Adam down through all the
prophets, possessed such a distinction. Of all human beings,
he alone was born in the sacred precinct of the Ka'aba. At the
time of the birth of the Prophet Jesus his illustrious mother
was forced to leave the Baitu'l Muqadas. A voice said to her:
"O Mary! Leave the Baitu'l-Muqaddas, since it is the
place of worship and not of childbirth."
But when the time of Ali's birth approached,
his mother, Fatima bint Asad, was asked to enter the Ka'aba.
She was expressly called to enter the Ka'aba, the door of which
was locked. She went to the Masjidu'l-Haram, where she
felt labour pains. She prayed to Allah in the precinct of the
"O Allah! I pray to you in the name of
your honour and awe, to put me at my ease in this labour."
Suddenly, the wall of the Ka'aba, which was locked, opened. Another report says that a voice was heard
"O Fatima! Enter the House."
into the House of Allah in front of a crowd of people who were
sitting round that place and the wall returned to its original
condition. The people were greatly astonished. Abbas was also
there. When he saw what had happened, he immediately told Abu
Talib because he had the key to the door. He instantly came
there and tried his best to unlock the door, but the door did
For three days Fatima bint Asad remained
inside the Ka'aba, apparently without sustenance of any kind.
This unusual event was the talk of the town. At last, on the
third day, the passage through which she had entered again
opened and Fatima came out. The people saw that she had in
her hands a lovely child. Both sects (Shias and Sunnis) agree
that no one else had ever been given such distinction.
Hakim in his Mustadrak and Nuru'd-din Bin
Sabbagh Maliki in his Fusulu'l- Muhimma, Fasl I, p.14, say:
"No one before
Ali ('a) was born in the Ka'ba. This was
a distinction given to Ali ('a) in order to enhance his honour,
rank, and dignity."
On the third day of this happening, with awe
the wonder- struck crowds surrounding the Ka'aba witnessed the
lock falling of its own accord, and to their surprise Fatima
emerged radiant from the sacred premises, cheerfully holding
her new-born babe in her arms. Muhammad ('s) was waiting to
receive her and her new-born and the first face that little
Ali ('a) saw in this world was the smiling face of the
Apostle of Allah, Muhammad ('s), whom he greeted thus:
"Assalaamo alaika ya Rasoolallah (Peace
be upon thee 0 Prophet of Allah).
Thus it is an undisputed fact that Ali ('a)
was born a Muslim, and his first words testified to the
Prophethood of Muhammad ('s). Muhammad ('s) lovingly
took him into his arms. Ali's first bath after his birth was
given by Muhammad ('s) with a prediction that this babe
would give him his last bath. This Prophecy was fulfilled on
the demise of the Holy Prophet ('s). The child accepted no
other food other than the moisture of Muhammad's tongue, which
he sucked for several days after his birth. Muhammad ('s)
fondled him in his lap in his infancy and chewed his food and
fed Ali ('a) on it; he often made him sleep by his side and
Ali ('a) enjoyed the warmth of Muhammad's ('s) body and
inhaled the holy fragrance of his breath.
Ali ('a) was born in the sanctuary of Allah,
to which the devil had no access, he did not cry at birth but
was found smiling. Thus God had interposed a veil between the
evil spirits and the child who was to grow up to exalt His
Holy Name. All has been described as having been found like a
priceless pearl in the shell of the Ka'aba, or a sword in the
sheath of Allah's House, or as a lamp found in Allah's abode
shedding light all around.
The sanctified birth of Ali ('a), as that of
Holy Prophet Muhammad ('s), was foretold in the scriptures,
when God said to Abraham, who asked for a blessing on Ishmael;
"And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: behold I have
blessed him and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him
exceedingly, twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make
him a great nation". (Genesis 17 : 20).
The felicitous Prophecy in Genesis 17:20 about
the advent of a prophet is said to point to the appearance of
Muhammad ('s) and Ali ('a). While the Twelve Princes' of
the Mosaic Scriptures are held to be none other than the
twelve Holy Imams ('a).
When Ali ('a) was about five years of age,
Muhammad ('s) took him away from his uncle Abu Talib to
bring him up as his own child. Thus from his earliest days,
Ali ('a) came directly under the tutelage of the Apostle of
Allah, to share his high ethics and morals. Ali ('a) was ever
ready to run the risk of his own life for Muhammad ('s) at
times of danger and he was affectionately attached to him with
unswerving faithfulness. The cousins were so fond of each
other that they lived together till death parted them.
Imam Ali ('a) says:
Prophet brought me up in his own arms and fed me with his own
morsel. I followed him wherever he went, like a baby camel
which follows its mother. Each day an aspect of his character
would beam out of his noble soul and I would accept it and
follow it as a command."
Ten years in the company of Muhammad ('s)
had kept him so close and inseparable that he was one with him
in character, knowledge, self-sacrifice, forbearance, bravery,
kindness, generosity, oratory and eloquence. From his very
infancy, he prostrated himself before God along with the Holy
Prophet, as he himself said,
"I was the first to pray to God along
with the Holy Prophet."
According to Ibne-e-.Maja page 12,
Raiz-un-Nazarah Vol. II page 158, Usdul Ghaba Vol. IV page 1,
and Izalathul Khafa un Khilafatul Khulafa page 252, Ali ('a)
used to say :
"I have prayed to Allah along with the
Holy Prophet (s) seven years before any other person
The First Believers : Ibn Abbas, Anas, Zaid
bin Aqram, Salman Farsi and others have said:
was Ali ('a) who was the first to declare his Islam, and some
say that there is a consensus for this. (Major Jarret's
translation of Suyuti's History of the Caliphs page 171)
The Illustrious Ali ('a) was thus the first
to readily embrace Islam and testified to Muhammad (s)
being the Apostle of Allah.
Often did the Holy Prophet
('s) go into the
depths of the solitary desert around Mecca with his wife
Khadija and his young cousin and disciple, Ali ('a), so that
they might together offer their thanks to their Allah for His
The Commander of the faithful, Ali b. Abi
Talib ('a) and his brothers were among the
leading members of the second generation of descendants of
Hashim. In this way he gained two marks of nobility, through
his growing up under the care and education of the Apostle of
God ('s). He was the first of the
family of the House and of the Companions to believe in God
and His Apostle.
He was the first male whom the
Prophet ('s), summoned to Islam and who
answered. He never ceased to support the religion and to
strive against the polytheists. He constantly defended the
faith and fought against those who supported deviation (from
the truth) and despotism. He spread the teachings of the sunna
(the practice of the Prophet) and the Qur'an, judged with
justice and enjoined people to do good.
He was with the Apostle of
God ('s), twenty-three years after the (coming) of
the prophetic mission. Of these, thirteen years were in
Mecca before the migration when he shared with him all the
persecutions and bore most of his hardships. Then there were
ten years in Medina after the emigration when he defended him
against the polytheists and strove with him against the
He protected him with his own life from the
enemies of religion until the time God, the Exalted, took (the
Prophet) to His heaven, raised him to the highest place in
heaven and bestowed His blessings and peace on him and his
family. On that day the Commander of the faithful ('a), was thirty-three years of age.
On the day of the demise of the Holy
Prophet ('s), the community differed over
his Imamate. His Shia who were all the Banu Hashim, Salman,
Ammar, Abu Dharr, al-Miqdad, Khuzayma b. Thabit - the man who
is known as the possessor of two testimonies - Abu Ayyub
al-Ansari, Jabir b. Abd Allah al-Ansari Abu Said al-Khudri and
people like them among the important emigrants and Ansar, (all
these) maintained that he was the successor (khalifa) after
the Apostle of God ('s) and the
(They did this) because of his outstanding
merit (fadl) above all mankind, through the fact that there
were gathered in him the qualities of outstanding merit,
judgement and perfection, such as him being the first of the
community to enter the faith, his superiority over them in
knowledge of the laws, his precedence over them in fighting and the distinction which set him apart from them in
the extent of his piety, asceticism and righteousness.
Furthermore he had been specially singled out
by the Holy Prophet of Islam ('s) from among all his
relations because of the qualities which no other relation,
apart from him, shared with the Holy Prophet ('s) and
because of the nomination (nass) of his authority (wilaya) by
God, may God be magnified and exalted, in the Qur'an where He,
may His name be exalted, says:
"Your authority (wali) is God and His Apostle
and those believers who perform the prayer and pay alms
(zakat) while they are bowing (in prayer)."
It is known that no one except him paid alms
while bowing (in prayer).
It has been established in language that wali
means "the most appropriate for authority" (awla),
without there being any opposition (to this definition).
If the Commander of the
faithful ('a), was, by the stipulation of the Qur'an, more appropriate
for authority among the people than themselves because of his
being their wali according to the textual nomination (nass) in
the Clear Explanation (i.e. the Qur'an, tibyan), it was
obviously necessary for all of them to obey him, just as
obedience to God, the Most High, and obedience to His Apostle,
peace be on him and his family, was required because of the
information about their authority (wilaya) over creatures
which is given in this verse with clear proof.
Another reason for their support for the
Commander of the faithful was because of what the Prophet
('s), said on the day (of the
assembly) at his house.
He had especially gathered the Banu
Abd al-Muttalib there in order to make the (following) solemn
"Whoever helps me in this matter will be my
brother, my testamentary trustee (wasi) my helper (wazir), my
heir and my successor after me."
Then the Commander of the
faithful ('a) stood up before him among all the gathering of them,
and on that day he was the youngest of them, and he said:
"O Apostle of God, I will help
Prophet ('s), said:
"You are my brother, my trustee, my
helper, my inheritor and successor after me".
This is a clear statement about the succession
after the Prophet ('s).
In addition, there is also what
the Prophet ('s) said on the day of Ghadir
Khumm. The community had gathered to listen to the sermon (in
which he asked):
"Am I not more appropriate for authority
(awla) over you than yourselves?"
Yes, they answered.
Then he spoke to them in an ordered manner
without any interruption in his speech:
"Whomsoever I am the authority over (mawla),
Ali is also the authority over."
Thus he (the Prophet) required for him (Ali),
through laying down obedience to him and his authority (over
them), the same authority as he had over them, and which he
made them acknowledge and which they did not deny. This is
clear (evidence) of the nomination (nass) of him for the
Imamate and for succession to his position.
Furthermore there is (the
Prophet's) ('s), statement to him at the time of setting
out to Tabuk:
"You are in the same position with respect to
me as Aaron (Harun) was to Moses (Musa) except that there is
no prophet after me."
Thus he required him (to have) the office of
helping (i.e. administering) and to be characterised by love
and outstanding merit over everyone. (He also required) his
deputising for him both during his life and after his death.
The Qur'an gives evidence for all that coming to Aaron (Harun)
from Moses ('a) when God, may He be magnified
and exalted, said in giving a report of what Moses, peace be
on him, said:
"Make Aaron, my brotherly a helper for me
from my family. Give me support through him and make him
participate in my affair so that we may glorify You much and
we may remember You frequently in that You have been a
watcher over us." [ XX 29-35]
God, the Most Exalted said:
"Your request is granted Moses".
( XX 36)
This (verse) confirmed that Aaron had a
share with Moses in prophecy, and in helping in delivering
the message and his support was strengthened through him by
his aid. (Moses) also told him of deputising for him (when
"Deputise for me among my people. Act for
(their) benefit and do not follow the path of the
corrupters." (VII 142)
This confirms his succession by the precise
statement of revelation. Therefore when the Apostle of God,
may God bless him and his family, gave all the ranks which
Aaron had from Moses to the Commander of the faithful, peace
be on him, in the same extent, except for prophethood, (all
such things) were required of him as helping the Apostle,
giving him support, outstanding merit and love, because these
qualities were definitely required by that. Then by the clear
statement there is his deputising for him during his life and
"after the prophethood" which (gives evidence of his
succession) by specification of the exception, (of
Prophethood) when he excludes him from it by mentioning
The Imamate of the Commander of the
faithful ('a), was for thirty years after the Prophet ('s). For twenty-four years and six
months of these he was prevented from administering the laws
(of the office) and had to exercise precautionary
dissimulation (taqiyya) and withdrawal. For five years and six months of these, he was
troubled by wars against the hypocrites, those who broke their
pledges, the unjust and those who deviated (from the religion)
and he was plagued by the seditions of those who had gone
In the same way the Apostle of
God ('s), had been prevented from
(administering) the laws of his office through fear and
through being spied upon, and through being a fugitive and
through being exiled, so that he had no power to fight the
unbelievers and no means of defending the believers. Then he
emigrated and for ten years after the emigration he remained
making war on the unbelievers and being troubled by the
hypocrites until the time that God, may His name be exalted,
took him unto Himself and made him dwell in the gardens of
The martyrdom of the Commander of the
Faithful ('a) occurred before dawn of Friday, the
twenty-first of the month of Ramadan, in the year 40 A.H. He
was a victim of the sword. Ibn Muljam al-Muradi, may God curse
him, killed him at the mosque of Kufa, which Imam Ali ('a) had come
to, in order to wake the people for the dawn prayer on the
night of the nineteenth of the month of Ramadan.
He had been lying in wait for him from the
beginning of the night. When he (the Commander of the
faithful) passed by him while the latter was hiding his design
by feigning sleep amid a group of people who were asleep, he
(Ibn Muljam) sprang out and struck him on the top of his head
with his poisoned sword when Imam Ali ('a) was in Sajdah leading the Jamaat prayers.
He lingered through the day of the nineteenth
and the night and day of the twentieth and the first third of
the night of the twenty-first. Then he, peace be on him, died
a martyr and met his Lord, Most High, as one who has been
wronged. He, peace be on him, knew of that before its time and
he told the people of it before its time.
His two sons, al- Hasan and al-Husayn
('a) performed the tasks of washing him and shrouding
him according to his bequest. Then they carried him to
al-Ghari at Najaf in Kufa and they buried him there. They removed the traces of the place of his
burial according to his bequest which was made about that to
hath of them by him, because of what he, peace be on him, knew
about the regime of the Umayyads which would come after him,
and their hostile attitude towards him. (For he knew) the evil action and abuse to
which they would be led by their wicked intentions if they had
been able to know that place. His grave ('a),
remained hidden until al-Sadiq Jafar b. Muhammad ('a) pointed it out during the Abbasid regime. For he visited
it when he came to visit Abu Ja'far (al-Mansur) while the
latter was in al-Hira. Then the Shi'a knew of it and they
began from that time to make visitation to his (grave) ('a).
On the day of his martyrdom Imam
Ali ('a) was
63 years of age.
Imam Ali's ('a) last will to his sons Imam
Hasan ('a) and Imam Hussain ('a) after the attempt on his
life by a stab from Ibn Muljam:
"My advice to you is to be conscious of Allah
and steadfast in your religion. Do not yearn for the world,
and do not be seduced by it. Do not resent anything you have
missed in it. Proclaim the truth; work for the next world.
Oppose the oppressor and support the oppressed. I advise you and all my children, my
relatives and whosoever receives this message, to be
conscious of Allah, to remove your differences and to
strengthen your ties. I heard your grandfather ('s), say: 'Reconciliation of your differences is more
worthy than all prayers and all fasting.'
Fear Allah in matters concerning orphans.
Attend to their nutrition and do not forget their interests in
the middle of yours.
Fear Allah in your relations with your neighbours. Your Prophet often recommended them to you, so much
so that we thought he would give them a share in inheritance.
Remain attached to the Quran. Nobody should
surpass you in being intent on it, or more sincere in
Fear Allah in relation to your prayers. It is
the pillar of your religion.
Fear Allah in relation to His House; do not
abandon it as long as you live. It you should do that you
would abandon your dignity.
Persist in jihad in the cause of Allah, with
your money, your souls, and your tongue.
Maintain communication and exchange of opinion
among yourselves. Beware of disunity and enmity. Do not desist
from promoting good deeds and cautioning against bad ones.
Should you do that, the worst among you would be your leaders
and you will call upon Allah without response.
O Children of Abdul Muttaleb! Do not shed the
blood of Muslims under the banner: The Imam has been
assassinated! Only the assassin should be condemned to death.
If I die of this stab of his, kill him with
one similar stroke. Do not mutilate him! I have heard the
Prophet, peace be upon him, say: 'Mutilate not even a
He was the only man to be born in the
He was the first to offer homage to the
Holy Prophet ('s)
He was the first to offer prayers after
the Holy Prophet ('s)
He was the first to offer his services
He was the first to receive religious
instructions from the Holy Prophet ('s).
He was the first to compile and codify
the Holy Quran.
He was the first to be styled as
"brother" by the Holy Prophet ('s) and on
He was the first to give burial to the
He was the first to offer to sleep in the
Prophet's ('s) bed on the night of his emigration to
He was the first to be appointed
commander in all those battles in which the Holy Prophet
('s) did not participate personally.
The honour of the propagation of the
Quranic Sura, "al Bara'at" fell to Imam Ali's ('a)
He was the only man to be titled as the
"Second Aaron" by the Holy Prophet ('s).
The honour of owning a house which opened
into the courtyard of the Prophet's ('s) mosque was
reserved for Imam Ali ('a) alone.
He was the first to have the honour of
being nominated by the Holy Prophet ('s) as his successor, testator and vice
1. During civil disturbance adopt such an
attitude that people do not attach any importance to you -
they neither burden you with complicated affairs, nor try to
derive any advantage out of you.
2. He who is greedy is
3. Avarice is
cowardice is a
poverty often disables an intelligent man from arguing his
a poor man is a stranger in his own
helplessness are calamities.
patience is a kind of
sever attachments with the wicked world is the greatest
piety is the best weapon of defence.
4. Submission to Allah's Will is the best
wisdom is the noblest
practical knowledge are the best signs of distinction.
thinking will present the clearest picture of every problem.
5 . The mind of a wise man is the safest
custody of secrets;
6 . A conceited and self-admiring person is
disliked by others:
7. Man is a wonderful
through the layers of fat (eyes)
Hears through a bone (ears)
Speaks through a lump
of flesh (tongue).
8. When this world favours somebody it lends
him the attributes and surpassing merits of others and when it
turns its face away from him it snatches away even his own
excellences and fame.
9. Live amongst people in such a manner that
if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave
for your company.
10. If you overpower your enemy then pardon
him by way of thankfulness to Allah for being able to subdue
11. Unfortunate is he who cannot gain a few
sincere friends during his life and more unfortunate is the
one who has gained them and then lost them (through his
12. When some blessings come to you do not
drive them away through thanklessness.
13. He who is deserted by friends and
relatives will often find help and sympathy from strangers.
14. Every person who is tempted to go astray
does not deserve punishment.
15. Our affairs are attached to the destiny
decreed by Allah even our best plans may lead us to
16. There is a tradition of the Holy Prophet
('s) "With the help of hair dye turn old age
into youth so that you do not resemble the Jews". When
Imam Ali ('a) was asked to comment on this tradition he said
that in the early stage of Islam there were very few Muslims.
The Holy Prophet ('s) advised them to look young and
energetic and not to adopt the fashion of the Jews (priest)
having long white flowing beards. But the Muslims were not in
minority then theirs was a strong and powerful State they
could take up any style they liked.
17. For those who refused to side with any
party Imam Ali ('a) or his enemies Imam Ali ('a) said: They
have forsaken religion and are of no use to infidelity also.
18. One who rushes madly after inordinate
desire runs the risk of encountering destruction and death.
19. Overlook and forgive the weaknesses of
the generous people because if they fall down Allah will help
20. Failures are often the results of
timidity and fears; disappointments are the results of
bashfulness; hours of leisure pass away like summer-clouds
therefore do not waste opportunity of doing good.
21. If the right usurped from us is given
back to us we shall take it otherwise we shall go on claiming
22. If someone's deeds lower his position his
pedigree cannot elevate it.
23. To render relief to the distressed and to
help the oppressed make amends for great sins.
24. O son of Adam when you see that your Lord
the Glorified bestows His favours on you while you disobey Him
you should fear Him (take warning that His Wrath may not turn
those very blessings into misfortunes).
25. Often your utterances and expressions of
your face leak out the secrets of your hidden thoughts.
26. When you get ill do not get nervous about
it and try as much as possible to be hopeful.
The best form of devotion to the service
of Allah is not to make a show of it.
28. When you have to depart from this world
and have to meet death (eventually) then why wish delay (why
feel nervous about death).
29. Take warning.
He has not exposed so many
of your sinful activities that it appears as if He has
forgiven you (it may be that He has given you time to repent).
30. When Imam Ali ('a) was asked about Faith
in Religion he replied that the structure of faith is
supported by four pillars:
Endurance is composed of four attributes:
Conviction has also four aspects to guard
oneself against infatuations of sin; to search for explanation
of truth through knowledge; to gain lessons from instructive
things and to follow the precedent of the past people because
whoever wants to guard himself against vices and sins will
have to search for the true causes of infatuation and the true
ways of combating them out and to find those true ways one has
to search them with the help of knowledge whoever gets fully
acquainted with various branches of knowledge will take
lessons from life and whoever tries to take lessons from life
is actually engaged in the study of the causes of rise and
fall of previous civilizations.
Justice also has four aspects:
Profoundness of knowledge
Fairness of judgment
Dearness of mind; because whoever tries his best to
understand a problem will have to study it whoever has the
practice of studying the subject he is to deal with will
develop a clear mind and will always come to correct decisions
whoever tries to achieve all this will have to develop ample
patience and forbearance and whoever does this has done
justice to the cause of religion and has led a life of good
repute and fame.
Jihad is divided into four branches:
persuade people to be obedient to Allah.
to prohibit them from
sin and vice;
to struggle (in the cause of Allah) sincerely
and firmly on all occasions and
to detest the vicious. Whoever
persuades people to obey the orders of Allah provides strength
to the believers; whoever dissuades them from vices and sins
humiliates the unbelievers; whoever struggles on all occasions
discharges all his obligations and whoever detests the vicious
only for the sake of Allah then Allah will take revenge on his
enemies and will be pleased with Him on the Day of Judgment.
31 . There are four causes of infidelity and
loss of belief in Allah: hankering after whims a passion to
dispute every argument deviation from truth; and dissension
because whoever hankers after whims does not incline towards
truth; whoever keeps on disputing every argument on account of
his ignorance will always remain blind to truth whoever
deviates from truth because of ignorance will always take good
for evil and evil for good and he will always remain
intoxicated with misguidance. And whoever makes a breach (with
Allah and His Messenger) his path becomes difficult his
affairs will become complicated and his way to salvation will
Similarly doubt has also four aspects.
One who is afraid to face facts
of life death
and the life after death will always turn away from ultimate
reality one who allows doubts and uncertainties to vacillate
him will always be under the control of Satan and one who
surrenders himself to infidelity accepts damnation in both the
32 . A virtuous person is better then virtue
and a vicious person is worse than vice.
33 . Be generous but not extravagant be frugal
but not miserly.
34 . The best kind of wealth is to give up
35 . One who says unpleasant things about
others will himself quickly become a target of their scandal.
36 . One who hopes inordinately impairs his
37 . When Imam Ali ('a) marching at the head
of his army towards Syria reached Ambar the landlords of the
place came out to meet him in zeal of their love faithfulness
and respect no sooner had they seen Imam Ali ('a) they got
down from their horses and started running in front of him.
Imam Ali ('a) asked the reason of their strange actions. They
replied that it was their custom to show their love and
respect in that way.
Imam Ali ('a) replied:
"By Allah, by your action you do no good
whatsoever to your rulers but you tire yourself and put
yourself in toils in this world and in trouble in the next.
How unfortunate is that exertion, which brings harm here and
in the Hereafter and how useful is that ease which keeps you
in comfort in this world and away from the Hell in the next."
38 . Imam Ali ('a) once said to his son Imam
"My son, learn four things from me and through
them you will learn four more. If you keep them in mind your
actions will not bring any harm to you:
The greatest wealth is
The greatest poverty is
unsociableness is that of vanity and self-glorification and
The best nobility of descent exhibits itself in politeness and
in refinement of manner.
The next four
things my son are:
Do not make
friendship with a fool because when he will try to do you good
he will do you harm.
Do not make a miser your friend because
he will run away from you at the time of your dire need.
not be friendly with a vicious and wicked person because he
will sell you and your friendship at the cheapest price and
not make friend of a liar because like a mirage he will make
you visualize very near the things which lie at a great
distance and will make you see at the great distance the
things which are near to you.
39 . Recommended prayers cannot attain the
pleasures of Allah for you when obligatory prayers are left
40 . A wise man first thinks and then speaks
and a fool speaks first and then thinks.
To Refer Nahjul Balagha [The Collection of
Sermons, Letters and Sayings of Imam Ali ('a)]