SELECTION FROM SERMONS, LETTERS AND SAYINGS OF AMIR AL-MUMININ, `ALI IBN ABI TÃLIB Selected...
R e v i s e d b y:Board of Writing, Translation and Publication First edition 1401/1980 Second edition 1 4...
FOREWORD We have made up our mind, with the power and strength ofAllah, to start the printing of the first part of the...
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST COMPASSIONATE, THE MERCIFUL.Praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of all bein...
TRANSLITERATIONSymbol Transliteration Symbol Transliteration Short Vowel...
CONTENTS PagePREFACE - By t...
6. Delivered on being advised not to chase Talhah ibn `Ubaydillah and az-Zubayr ibn al-`Awwam for fighting …….…………...
19. About the treachery and hypocrisy of al-Ash`ath ibn Qays al-Kindi ……………………………………………..……….… 8120. Death and ta...
32. About the disparagement of the world and categories of its people ….………….……………………………………….… 10933. At the t...
47. About calamities befalling Kufah ...............................................13048. At the time of marching tow...
63. About decline and destruction of the world .................................14564. About Allahs attributes ..........
78. About the prophecy of astrologers .............................................. 16079. Physical defects of wome...
89. Allahs attributes and some advice ............................................ 18490. The Sermon of Skeletons (Khu...
100. About the vicissitudes of time ..................................................215101. About the Day of Judgeme...
110. Caution about this world .................................................... 231111. About the Angel of Deat...
PART ONE
NAHJ AL-BALÃGHAH PREFACE By the compiler of Nahj al-balãghah, al- `Allamah ash-Sharif ar-Radi
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful the Compassionate. So now, praise is due to Allah who has he...
4 A number of my friends and brothers-in-faith, while wondering at itsdelicate and blossoming expressions, admired ...
5 In my view Amir al-muminins utterances are divisible in three categories;firstly Sermons and Decrees, secondly Lett...
6 Within this compilation, some repetition of words or subject matter are to beexpected, as the utterances of Amir a...
NOTESPREFACE 1. al-Farazdaq whose name was Hammãm ibn Ghãlib belonged to the tribe ofBani Dãrim and was a notable po...
8 as-Sayyid ar-Radi has pointed at this relationship and distinction at such anappropriate moment that there can be ...
9ed him his sword he threw it before him being confident of the prowess of his naked arm. An Urdu couplet says: ...
10 By giving his own personal malice the garb of fundamental differences man notonly deceives others but also tries ...
11 Examples of harmony in utterance and action are quite rare but Amir al-muminins action preceded his utterance, as h...
12 A Persian couplet says: The figure of my beloved is so beautiful that when I cast my glance on the body fro...
NAHJ AL-BALÃGHAH PART ONE SELECTION FROM THE SERMONS OF AMIR AL-MUMININ `ALI IBN ABI TALIB...
SERMON 1 In this sermon he recalls the creation of Earth and Sky and the birth of ...
16everything to which something is attributed is different from the attribute. Thuswhoever attaches attributes to Allah re...
17 Then Almighty created forth wind and made its movement sterile,perpetuate its position, intensified its motion ...
18and do not point at Him through illustrations. Description of the Creation of Adam Allah collect...
19Then his enemy (Iblis) envied his abiding in Paradise and his contacts with thevirtuous. So he changed his conviction in...
20his progeny) as His Prophet, in fulfilment of His promise and in completionof His Prophethood. His pledge had been taken...
21threat of fire (Hell), and others are minor for which there are prospects offorgiveness. There are also those of which a...
22limitations as against abject freedom of activity. These very limitations are din (Religion)whose point of commencement ...
23 The third stage is that His existence should be acknowledged along with belief inUnity and One-ness. Without this ...
24 Vision perceiveth Him not, and He perceiveth (all) vision; He is the Subtle, the All- aware (Quran, 6:104). ...
25 Our Allah the Glorified, the Magnificent has ever had knowledge as His Self even though there was nothing t...
26 What! enjoin ye upon the people righteousness and ye forget your own selves? Yet ye read the scripture? Wha...
27 And remember when We made a covenant with you and raised the `tūr (the Mountain) above you (saying), `Hold y...
28is to press His authority and control. In it there are brief injunctions such as "establishprayer" and those of deep mea...
29 night and the day; Knoweth He that never can ye take (correct) account of it, so turneth He unto you (merci...
30effective emblem, written Book,1 effulgent light, sparkling gleam and decisiveinjunction in order to dispel doubts, pres...
31One who was under their obligation cannot be matched with them. They are thefoundation of religion and pillar of Belief....
32 The interpretation of Ibn Abil-Hadid could be acceptable if Amir al-mumininhad uttered this sentence alone, but o...
33 My days are now passed on the camels back (in difficulty) while there were days (of ease) when I enjoyed th...
34goats. When I took up the reins of government one party broke away andanother turned disobedient while the rest began ac...
35"ashnaq an-nãgah " is used when the rider holds up the rein and raises the camelshead upwards. In the same sense the wor...
36 Consequently, the idea that it is the production of as-Sayyid ar-Radi is farfrom truth and a result of partisanship...
373) He further writes that he saw this sermon in Abu Ja`far (Muhammad ibn`Abd ar-Rahmãn), Ibn Qibahs book al-Insãf. He...
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Nahjul balaghah

SELECTION FROM SERMONS, LETTERS AND SAYINGS OF AMIR AL-MU'MININ, `ALI IBN ABI TÃLIB
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
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Transcripts - Nahjul balaghah

  • 1. SELECTION FROM SERMONS, LETTERS AND SAYINGS OF AMIR AL-MUMININ, `ALI IBN ABI TÃLIB Selected and Compiled by:as-Sayyid Abul-Hasan `Ali ibn al-Husayn ar-Radi al-Musawi Translated by: Syed Ali Raza WOFISWorld Organization for Islamic Services Tehran — IRAN
  • 2. R e v i s e d b y:Board of Writing, Translation and Publication First edition 1401/1980 Second edition 1 4 0 7 / 1 9 8 7 Tehran — IRAN. Published by:World Organization for Islamic Services P. O. Box No.11365-1514, Tehran — IRAN.
  • 3. FOREWORD We have made up our mind, with the power and strength ofAllah, to start the printing of the first part of the Englishtranslation of Nahj al-balãghah. However, we deem it necessary to bring to the kind attention ofour readers the fact that we were preparing a special introductionfor this translation containing a most important study of thesermons of Amir al-muminin, peace be upon him, and a specialreference to the book (Nahj al-balãghah) and the biography of itscompiler as-Sayyid ash-Sharif ar-Radi, may Allah be pleased withhim and make him pleased too. In the said introduction we were to explain, in detail, ourpolicy concerning this translation as to how we have repeatedlychecked and compared it with the original text in Arabic, how wehave edited and revised the commentary and how we have deletedwhat was not necessary and added what is necessary. Since the above mentioned introduction (in Arabic) and itsEnglish translation was not ready (for printing) and we did notwant to delay any further in the printing of this first part of Nahj al-balãghah after it has undergone a long process of checking andrechecking, we have decided to start the printing of this part withthe hope that, by the will of Allah, the introduction will becompleted in the near future to be attached to the first volume, andthat the technical indexes will be printed with the third and finalvolume. Finally, we seek guidance and success from Allah, the Al-mighty, the Exalted, and to Him we pray to pave the way for us forfurther services in His cause since He is the best Master and thebest Helper. World Organization for Islamic Services (Board of Writing, Translation and Publication)21/7/139916/6/1979Tehran, IRAN.
  • 4. IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST COMPASSIONATE, THE MERCIFUL.Praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of all beings; the Most Compassionate, the Merciful; the Master of the Day of Judgment;Thee only we serve, and to Thee alone we pray for succour; Guide us in the straight path; the path of those whom Thou hast blessed, who are immune from Thy wrath and have never gone astray. O Allah! send your blessings to the head of your messengers and the last of your prophets Muhammad, and his pure and cleansed progeny. Also send your blessings to all your prophets and envoys.
  • 5. TRANSLITERATIONSymbol Transliteration Symbol Transliteration Short Vowels xiii
  • 6. CONTENTS PagePREFACE - By the Compiler of Nahj al-balãghah ................................... 3NOTES — to the Preface .......................................................................... 7SERMONS: 1. The Creation of Earth and Sky and the Birth of Adam ................. 15 The Creation of the Universe ................................................... 16 The Creation of the Angels ...................................................... 17 Description of the Creation of Adam ....................................... 18 Allah chooses His Prophets ..................................................... 19 The Prophethood of Muhammad ............................................. 19 The Holy Quran and Sunnah ................................................... 20 About Hajj ................................................................................ 21 2. Arabia before proclamation of Prophethood ................................. 29 About Al an-Nabi (the Household of the Holy Prophet) ……. 30 About the Hypocrites ............................................................... 30 3. The Sermon of ash-Shiqshiqiyyah — Amir al-muminins view about the First three Caliphs rule, troubles created by the opponents during his own rule………..………………………… 32 4. Amir al-muminins far-sightedness and his staunch conviction in belief ………………………………………………..………. 50 5. Delivered when the Holy Prophet died and `Abbas ibn `Abd al- Muttalib and Abu Sufyan ibn Harb offered to pay allegiance to Amir al-muminin for the Caliphate .............................................. 51
  • 7. 6. Delivered on being advised not to chase Talhah ibn `Ubaydillah and az-Zubayr ibn al-`Awwam for fighting …….…………….. 54 7. About the Hypocrites .................................................................... 55 8. Said about az-Zubayr at a time for which it was appropriate …... 56 9. Cowardice of the people of Jamal ................................................. 5710. About Talhah and az-Zubayr ........................................................ 5811. Delivered in the Battle of Jamal when Amir al-mu-minin gave the standard to his own son Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah …… 5812. When Allah gave Amir al-muminin victory over the enemy at the Battle of Jamal one of his comrades said on that occasion, " I wish my brother so-and-so had been present and he too would have seen what success and victory Allah had given you," whereupon Amir al-mumininn said ………………………..…. 6113. Condemning the people of Basrah ................................................ 6214. Condemning the people of Basrah ................................................ 7115. After resuming the land grants made by `Uthman ibn `Affan ….. 7116. Delivered when allegiance was sworn to him at Medina ………. 7117. About those who sit for dispensation of justice among people but are not fit for it …….………………………………………….… 7418. In disparagement of the differences of view among theologians …………………………………………………………………… 76
  • 8. 19. About the treachery and hypocrisy of al-Ash`ath ibn Qays al-Kindi ……………………………………………..……….… 8120. Death and taking lessons from it ................................................... 8621. Advice to keep light in this world ................................................. 8622. About those who accused Amir al-muminin of `Uthmans killing …………………………..………………………………. 8723. About keeping aloof from envy, and good behaviours towards kith and kin ……………………………………………………… 8924. Exhorting people for jihad ............................................................. 9125. After devastation spread by Busr ibn Abi Artat ............................ 9126. Arabia before the proclamation of Prophethood ............................ 93 On the attentiveness of the people after the death of the Holy Prophet ....................................................................... 93 On the settlement between Mu`awiyah and `Amr ibn al-`As ....................................................................................... 9427. Exhorting people for jihad ............................................................. 9528. About the transient nature of this world and importance of the next world …………………………………………………..…… 9729. About those who found pretext at the time of jihad ....................... 9930. Attitude in connection with `Uthman ibn `Affans killing ……… 10131. At the time of sending `Abdullah ibn `Abbas to az-Zubayr ibn `Awwam on the eve of the battle of Jamal …………………… .. 108
  • 9. 32. About the disparagement of the world and categories of its people ….………….……………………………………….… 10933. At the time of setting off for the Battle of Jamal ........................ 11134. Exhorting people to fight against the people of Syria (ash- Sham) ………………………………………………….…… 11235. About Arbitration ………………………………………… 11536. Warning the people of Nahrawãn of their fate............................ 11937. Amir al-muminins utterance which runs like a sermon. About his own stead-fastness in religion and precedence in (accept- ance of) belief .………………………………………………... 12138. About naming of doubt as such and disparagement of those in doubt …………………………..…………………………… 12239. In disparagement of those who shrink from fighting …………. 12240. In reply to the slogan of the Kharijites that there is no verdict save of Allah ……………………………………..………… 12341. In condemnation of treason ....................................................... 12442. About hearts desires and extended hopes .................................. 12543. When people advised Amir al-muminin to fight ....................... 12644. When Masqalah ibn Hubayrah ash-Shaybani fled away to Mu`a-wiyah ………………………………………………… 12645. About Allahs greatness and lowliness of this world .................. 12846. At the time of marching towards Syria (ash-Sham) .........................129
  • 10. 47. About calamities befalling Kufah ...............................................13048. At the time of marching towards Syria (ash-Sham).....................13149. About Allahs Greatness and Sublimity ......................................13250. Admixture of right and wrong ....................................................13251. When the Syrians stopped the supply of water ...........................13352. About the downfall of the world and reward and punishment of the next world …………………………………………… .. 134 Qualities of the animal meant for sacrifice (on `Id al-Adha) ….. 13453. On the swear of allegiance .........................................................13554. When people thought Amir al-muminin was delaying the perm- ission to fight in Siffin …………………………………… … 13555. About steadiness in the battle-field ............................................13656. About Mu`awiyah ......................................................................13757. Prophecy about the Kharijites ....................................................13958. Prophecy about the defeat of the Kharijites ................................14059. When Amir al-muminin was told that the Kharijites had been totally killed …………………………………………………… 14160. About the Kharijites ...................................................................14361. On being threatened of being killed by deceit .............................14462. About the transience of the world ...............................................144
  • 11. 63. About decline and destruction of the world .................................14564. About Allahs attributes ..............................................................14665. In some of the days of Siffin Amir al-muminin said to his followers about ways of fighting ……………….……………... 14766. On hearing the account of what took place in Saqifah of Bani Saidah ………………………………………………………… 14767. On hearing the news of Muhammad ibn Abi Bakrs death ….… 15068. Admonishing his companions about careless behaviour ……... 15269. At dawn of the night of assassination ..........................................15370. In condemnation of the people of Iraq ........................................15371. How to seek blessings on the Prophet .........................................15472. When Hasan and Husayn interceded on behalf of Marwan ibn al- Hakam ……………………………………………………….. 15673. When the Consultative Committee (of Shura) decided to swear allegiance to `Uthman ibn `Affan ………………………………. 15774. When the Umayyads accused Amir al-muminin killing `Uthman ………………………………………………………………... 15875. About preaching and counselling ...............................................15876. About Umayyads ......................................................................15977. Supplications of Amir al-muminin .............................................159
  • 12. 78. About the prophecy of astrologers .............................................. 16079. Physical defects of women ......................................................... 16180. About the way of preaching and counselling............................... 16381. About the world and its people ................................................... 16382. The brilliant Sermon .................................................................. 165 Enjoining people to Piety ....................................................... 166 Caution against this world ...................................................... 166 Death and Resurrection .......................................................... 167 The limitation of Life ............................................................. 167 No happiness without Piety .................................................... 167 Reminding people of Allahs bounties .................................... 168 Preparation for the Day of Judgement .................................... 169 Warning against Satan ............................................................ 170 About the Creation of Man ...............................................................171 The lesson to be learnt from those who have passed away ....................................................................................... 17283. About `Amr ibn al-`As ............................................................... 17484. About the perfection of Allah and counselling ........................... 175 About Paradise ........................................................................ 17685. About getting ready for the next world and following Allahs commandments ……………………………………………... 17686. The qualities of a faithful believer .............................................. 178 The characteristics of an unfaithful believer ........................... 179 About the Descendents (`Itrah) of the Holy Prophet ............... 179 About Bani Umayyah (Umayyads) ........................................ 18087. About the division of the community into factions ..................... 18288. About the Holy Prophet ................................................................. 183
  • 13. 89. Allahs attributes and some advice ............................................ 18490. The Sermon of Skeletons (Khutbatul-Ashbãh) ……….……… 185 Description of Allah .................................................................. 186 Attributes of Allah as described in the holy Quran ................. 186 About Allahs Creation ........................................................... 187 About the greatest perfection in Allahs creation .................... 188 Description of the Sky ............................................................ 189 Description of Angels ............................................................. 190 In description of earth and its spreading on water.................... 192 On the creation of Man and the sending of the Prophet ................................................................................... 19491. When allegiance was sworn to Amir al-muminin ..................... 20192. About the annihilation of the Kharijites, the mischief mongering of Umayyads and the vastness of his own knowledge …………………………………..………………. 20393. Allahs praise and eulogy of the prophets .................................. 206 About the prophets ................................................................. 207 About the Holy Prophet and his Descendants (`Itrah) ………. 20794. About the condition of the people at the time of the Prophets proclamation and his actions to do with the dissemination of his message ………………………………… 20895. In eulogy of the Holy Prophet ................................................... 208 About the Holy Prophet .......................................................... 20896. Admonishing his own companion ............................................. 209 About the Household of the Holy Prophet .............................. 21097. Oppression of the Umayyads .................................................... 21298. About abstinence of the world and vicissitudes of time ……….21399. About the Holy Prophet and his Descendants ........................... 214
  • 14. 100. About the vicissitudes of time ..................................................215101. About the Day of Judgement ....................................................216 About future troubles (fitan) .................................................216102. About abstemiousness and fear of Allah ..................................217 On the attributions of a learned person..................................217 Concerning future times .......................................................218103. About the condition of the people before the proclamation of prophethood and the Prophets performance in spreading his message …………… ……………………………………… 219104. In eulogy of the Holy Prophet ..................................................219 About the Umayyads ............................................................220 About the functions of the Imams ........................................220105. About Islam .............................................................................221 About the Holy Prophet .......................................................222 Addressed to his followers ...................................................222106. Delivered during one of the days in Siffin ................................223107. About the vicissitudes of time ..................................................223 About the Holy Prophet .......................................................223 Blaming Muslims .................................................................224108. About the Might of Allah .........................................................225 About the Angels ......................................................................................226 About the bounties and guidance of Allah, and those who are ungrateful ......................................................227 About Death .........................................................................227 About the Day of Judgement ................................................229 About the Holy Prophet .......................................................229 About the Descendants of the Holy Prophet..........................230109. About Islam .............................................................................230 About the Holy Quran and Sunnah ......................................231
  • 15. 110. Caution about this world .................................................... 231111. About the Angel of Death and departing of spirit ............. 234112. About this world and its people ......................................... 235113. About abstemiousness, fear of Allah and importance of providing for the next life ............................................... 236 Enjoining people to Piety ................................................ 237114. Seeking rain ........................................................................ 239115. About troubles which would arise and the Day of Judgement ............................................................................ 241 Complaining about his men ............................................ 241116. Rebuking Misers ................................................................. 242111. In raise of his faithful companions ....................................... 243118. On his companions keeping silence when called to jihãd ………………………………………………………. 243119. About the greatness of Ahlul-bayt and the importance of the laws of Islam …………………………………… 244120. In reply to a person who raised objection about Arbitration during the course of a sermon ……………… 245121. In reply to Khãrijites when they became adamant in rejecting the Arbitration …………….…………………… 247 * * * * *
  • 16. PART ONE
  • 17. NAHJ AL-BALÃGHAH PREFACE By the compiler of Nahj al-balãghah, al- `Allamah ash-Sharif ar-Radi
  • 18. In the Name of Allah, the Merciful the Compassionate. So now, praise is due to Allah who has held praise as the price of Hisbounties, protection against His retribution, pathway to His paradises and meansfor multiplication of His good treatment, and blessings be on his Messenger, theProphet of Mercy, the torch of the people, the chosen one from the origin ofgreatness and family of long-standing honours, the plantation of all-engrossingglory and the branch of sublimity full of fruits and foliage, and on the membersof his family who are lanterns of darkness, protection of the peoples, brilliantminarets of religion and high standards of greatness, Allah may shower uponthem all blessings befitting their distinction as reward for their actions andsuitable to the chastity of their lineage so long as the morning dawns and the starstwinkle. In my early age at the dawn of youth I commenced writing a book on thecharacteristics of the Imams covering the account of their virtues andmasterpieces of their utterances. The purpose of the compilation was stated byme in the beginning of the book. Therein I completed the portion relating to theaccount of Amir al-muminin `Ali (peace be upon him) but I could not completethat part concerning the other Imams due to impediments of the time andobstacles of the days. I divided the book into several chapters and sections, in amanner for its last section to comprise whatever had been related to `Alis (p. b. u.h.) short utterances such as counsels, maxims arid, proverbs but not long lecturesand detailed discourses. 3
  • 19. 4 A number of my friends and brothers-in-faith, while wondering at itsdelicate and blossoming expressions, admired the con-tents of this particularsection, and desired me to complete a book which should cover all the forms ofthe utterances of Amir almuminin, including diverse materials such as lectures,letters, counsels, ethics, etc., as they were convinced that the entire proceedingswould comprise wonders and surprises of eloquence and rhetorics, brilliant jewelsof Arabic language and shining expressions about faith; collected in any otherwork, nor found together in any other book, because Amir al-muminin was thefountain of eloquence and the source of rhetorics. Through him the hiddendelicacies of eloquence and rhetorics came to light, and from him were learnt itsprinciples and rules. Every speaker and orator had to tread on his footprints andevery eloquent preacher availed of his utterances. Even then none could equal him and so the credit for being the first andforemost remained with him, because his utterances are those that carry thereflection of Divine knowledge and savour of the Prophets utterance.Accordingly, I acceded to their request as I knew that it meant great reward,handsome reputation and a treasure of recompense. The object of this compilation is to bring forth Amir almuminins greatnessand superiority in the art of rhetorics, in addition to his countless qualities andinnumerable distinctions, and to show that he had risen to the highest pinnacle ofthis attainment; was singular among all those predecessors whose utterances arequoted here and there, whereas his own utterances are such an on-rushing streamthat its flow cannot be encountered and such a treasure of delicacies that cannot bematched. Since I proudly trace my descent from him I have a pleasure of quotinga couplet of al-Farazdaq: "These are my forefathers O Jarir." When we get together, can you claim forth their equals? 1
  • 20. 5 In my view Amir al-muminins utterances are divisible in three categories;firstly Sermons and Decrees, secondly Letters and Communications and thirdlyMaxims and Counsels, Allah willing I have decided to compile first the Sermons,then Letters, and finally the Maxims and Counsels, whilst proposing a separateChapter for each category, leaving blank pages in between each so that if anythinghas been left out and becomes handy afterwards it may be inserted therein,whereas any utterance which is routine or in reply to some question or has someother aim does not fit in with any of my divisions should be included in thecategory for which it is most suitable or to which its subject matter is most akin. Inthis compilation, some sections and sentences have crept in whose arrangementsavours of disarray and disorderliness. This is because I am only collecting the mostrepresentative brilliant utterances but do not wish to arrange or array them. The characteristic of Amir al-muminin 2 in which he is unparalleled and isshared by no one, is that his utterances on reclusion, piety, remembrance of Allahand admonition are such that when a person peruses them without bearing in mindthat they are the words of a man who enjoys great and ruling position and whocontrols destinies of men he can have no doubt that it is the utterance of a manwho has no interest other than reclusion and no activity save worshipping; who isconfined to the interior of some house or the valley of some mountain where hehears no-thing save his own murmur and sees no one except himself. He wouldnot believe that this is the utterance of one who plunges in battles with drawnsword severing heads and vanquishing the heroes and comes back with his sworddripping with blood and hearts fluid. And despite all this he is supreme among therecluse and chief among the saints. This distinction is one of those astonishingcharacteristics of Amir al-muminin with which he collected in himselfcontradictory qualities and patched together diverse greatnesses. I often mentionthese to my brethren-in-faith and put them wondering over it. It is indeed a subjectto ponder over and think about.
  • 21. 6 Within this compilation, some repetition of words or subject matter are to beexpected, as the utterances of Amir al-muminin have been known to be related innumerous forms. Sometimes it happened that a particular utterance was found in aparticular form in a tradition and was taken down in that very form. There-after, thesame utterance was found in some other tradition either with acceptable addition orin a more attractive style of expression. In such a case with a view to further theobject of compilation and to preserve the beautiful utterance from being lost it wasdecided to repeat it elsewhere. It has also happened that a particular utterance hadappeared earlier but due to remoteness it has been entered again. This is throughomission, not by intent. In spite of all this I do not claim that I have collected Amir al-mumininsutterances from all sources and that no single sentence of any type or constructionhas been left out. In fact I do not rule out the possibility that whatever has been leftout might be more than what has been collected, and what has been in anyknowledge and use is far less than what has remained beyond my reach. My taskwas to strive to the best of my capacity and it was Allahs part to make the way easyand guide me to the goal; Allah may will so. Having completed my work, both in the collection and compilation of thismanuscript; Nahj al-balãghah, the pathway of rhetoric would be the appropriatetitle of the book, in that it would open the doors of eloquence for the reader andshorten its approach for him; the scholar and the student would meet their needsfrom it while the rhetoricians as well as the recluse would find their objectives in itas well. In this book would be found a wonderful discussion on Allahs One-ness,Justness and His being free from body and form, that would quench every thirst (forlearning), provide cure for every malady (of un-belief) and remove every doubt. Iseek from Allah succour, protection against straying, correctness of action and Hisassistance. I seek His protection against mistakes of heart before mistakes of tongueand against mistakes of speech before mistakes of action. He is my Reliance and Heis the best Trustee.
  • 22. NOTESPREFACE 1. al-Farazdaq whose name was Hammãm ibn Ghãlib belonged to the tribe ofBani Dãrim and was a notable poet. He was generally at loggerheads with another Arabpoet named Jarir ibn `Atiyyah and they showed their merit only in mutual abuse andboasting over each other. The quoted couplet of al-Farazdaq is a link from that chain,wherein he addresses Jarir saying "My forefathers were such as you have just heard, nowyou come forward with what your forefathers were, and if there were any one like mine,name them before all of us." Reciting this couplet about his own forefathers as-Sayyid ar-Radi challenges every one to bring forth their like, if any. al-Farazdaq had addressed onlyJarir but its quotation here has made it general and universal when its addressee is nomore one single individual, but every person can consider himself to be its addressee.Despite this generality and universality the challenge to "name their like" remainsunresponded like the Quranic challenge "then bring forth its Like." 7
  • 23. 8 as-Sayyid ar-Radi has pointed at this relationship and distinction at such anappropriate moment that there can be no better occasion, because the greatness of thepersonality (namely Amir al-muminin) through whom he claims pride has already beenmentioned and eyes have stood dazzled at the brilliance of his status while mind hasacknowledged the sublimity of his position. Now hearts can easily be made to bow beforethe height and greatness of this individual who bears relationship to him. Thus at themoment when heart and mind were already inclined as-Sayyid ar-Radis eloquence-conscious eyes turned the sight towards himself as he was the ray of the sun whoseabundant light dazzles the eye, and a scion of the same lineal tree whose root is in theearth and whose branch extends up to the sky. Now who is there who would remainunaffected by this relationship and distinction and refuse to acknowledge his greatnessand sublimity? 2. In the World such persons are rarely found in whom besides one or two virtuousqualities other qualities might also attain prominence, much less the convergence of allcontradictory qualities, because every temperament is not suited for the development ofevery quality, each quality has a peculiar tempo and each virtue needs a particularclimate, and they are appropriate only for such qualities or virtues with which theyaccord, but where there is contradiction instead of harmony the natural tendencies act asobstacles and do not allow any other quality to grow. For example; generosity andbountifulness demand that a person should possess the feeling of pity and God-fearing sothat on seeing anyone in poverty or want his heart would rend, and his feelings would bedisturbed at others tribulations while the dictates of bravery and fighting require thatinstead of pity and compassion there should be the passion of blood-shed and killing,prompting the person at every moment to enter into scuffle, ready to kill or be killed.These two qualities differ so widely that it is not possible to fuse the delicacies ofgenerosity into the stiff manifestations of bravery just as bravery cannot be expected fromHãtim nor generosity from Rustam. But the personality of `Ali ibn Abi Tãlib (p.b.u.h.)showed full accord with every greatness and complete harmony with everyaccomplishment, and there was no good attribute or accomplishment which he lacked,nor any robe of greatness or beauty which did not fit his body. Thus the contradictoryqualities of generosity and bravery were found in him side by side. If he rained like thecloud in generosity, he also fought bravely standing firm as a mountain. Thus hisgenerosity and liberty of nature was of a degree that even during days of want andstarvation whatever he earned as the wage of his days toil its major part was distributedamong the poor and the starving, and he would never allow a beggar to returndisappointed from his door, so much so that even when in the battle field the enemy ask-
  • 24. 9ed him his sword he threw it before him being confident of the prowess of his naked arm. An Urdu couplet says: The unbeliever depends on his sword but the believer fights even without it. And his bravery and courage was such that the onslaught of armies could notshake the firmness of his foot with the result that he achieved success in every encounterand even the bravest fighter could not save his life in an encounter with him. Thus IbnQutaybah writes in al-Ma`ãrif, "Whomever he encountered was prostrated." Theheartless nature of the brave is not wont to thinking or pondering nor do they haveanything to do with foresight or fore judging but `Ali (p.b.u.h.) had the quality ofthinking of the highest degree. Thus, ash-Shãfi`i said as follows: What can I say about a man in whom three qualities existed with three other qualities that were never found together in any other man — Generosity with want, Bravery with sagacity and Knowledge with practical achievements. It was the result of this proper thinking and correct judgement that when after thedeath of the Prophet some people advised him to fight and promised to enlist warriors forhim he rejected this advice, although on such occasions even a slight support is enoughto encourage the heartless brave, yet `Ali (p.b.u.h.) far-sighted mind at once foresaw thatif battle was raged at that moment the voice of Islam would be submerged under theclutter of swords, and then even if success was achieved it would be said that the positionwas gained by dint of sword and that there was no right for it. Thus, by withholding hissword on the one hand he provided protection to Islam and on the other saved his ownright from the imputation of bloodshed. When the veins are full of daring blood and the bosom full of flames of anger andwrath it is extremely difficult to curb the passion of vengeance by adopting the course offorgiving and, despite authority and power, to pardon and overlook. But `Alis (p.b.u.h.)metal used to shine on such occasions when his forgiving nature would accommodateeven his blood-thirsty foes. Thus, at the end of the Battle of Jamal he made a general pro-clamation that no one who flees away from the field or seeks our protection would bemolested and he let go without any punishment even such enemies as Marwãn ibnHakam and `Abdullah ibn Zubayr. And the treatment that he meted out to `Aishahmatchless manifestation of his nobility and high character — is that in spite of her openenmity and rebellion he sent with her women in mens garb to escort her to Medina.
  • 25. 10 By giving his own personal malice the garb of fundamental differences man notonly deceives others but also tries to keep himself under deception, and in these conditionssuch a delicate situation arises that a man fails to distinguish and separate his personalmalice from a fundamental difference but easily mixing them together considers that hehas followed the Command of Allah, and in this way he satisfies his passion for vengeanceas well. But Amir al-muminins discerning eyes never got deceived nor did they willinglydeceive themselves. Thus, on an occasion when after prostrating the opponent he placedhimself on his bosom the vanquished opponent spat on his face. As man his rage shouldhave risen and his hand should have moved quicker but instead of being enraged he got offfrom the mans bosom lest his action would be tarnished by personal feeling, and slew himonly after the anger had subsided. There is nothing in common between combat and encounter and reclusion and God-fearing because one shows valour and courage while the other supplication andsubmission. But Amir al-muminin was a unique combination of both these qualities as hishands that were bound in devotion were equally active in the battle-field, and side by sidewith relaxing in seclusion for devotion he was a common visitor of the field of action. Thescene of the Night of Harir puts human wit in astonishment and wonder when closing hiseyes to the bloody action around he spread his prayer cloth and engaged himself in prayerwith full peace of mind and heart while arrows were darting off sometimes over his headand sometimes from his right or left. But he remained engaged in Allahs remembrancewithout any fear or apprehension. After finishing he again cast his hand on the swordshandle and the fierce battle that then followed in unparalleled in history. The position wasthat on all sides there was such hue and cry and fleeing activity that even voices falling onthe ears could not be discerned. Of course, after every moment or so his own call ofAllahu Akbar rose in the atmosphere and resounded in the ears, and every such call meantdeath of a foe. Those who counted these calls of takbir recorded their number as fivehundred and twenty three. The taste for learning and God-knowing does not combine with material activitybut Amir al-muminin adorned the meetings of learning and scholarship along with war-like pursuits, and he watered the field of Islam with springs of learning and truth alongwith shedding streams of blood (in battles). Where there is perfection of learning, then even if there is not complete absence ofaction, there must no doubt exist shortness of action, but Amir al-muminin treaded thefield of knowledge and action equally, as has been already shown in ash-Shafi`is verse.
  • 26. 11 Examples of harmony in utterance and action are quite rare but Amir al-muminins action preceded his utterance, as he himself says: O people I do not exhort you to any action but that I myself first proceed towards it before you and do not desist you from any matter but that I first desist from it myself. As soon as we think of a recluse and a pious man we visualize a face full offrowns because for piety severity of temper and hardness of face are inseparable somuch so that the thought of a smile on the lips of a pious man is regarded as a sin. Butdespite extreme piety and self-denial Amiral-muminin always had such appearance that his light temper and brightness of face wasapparent from his looks and his lips always bore playful smile. He never showed frownson his fore-head like the dry recluse, so much so that when people could not find anydefect in him this very lightness of temper was taken to be his fault, while hard temperand bitter face was held to be a virtue. If a man possesses cheerful heart and joyous temper he cannot command authorityover others; but Amir al-muminins cheerful face was so full of awe and dignity that noeye could face it. Once Mu`awiyah tauntingly said "Allah bless `Ali. He was a man ofcheerful taste," then Qays ibn Sa`d retorted. "By Allah despite cheerful disposition andentertaining countenance he was more awe-inspiring than a hungry lion and this awe wasdue to his piety not like your awe over the non-descripts of Syria." Where there is rule and authority there is also a crowd of servants and workers,checks of grandeur and eminence with equipment of pageantry but Amir al-mumininsperiod of rule was an example of the highest simplicity. In him people saw only a tatteredturban in place of a Royal Crown, patched apparel in place of the regal robes and the floorof earth in place of the rulers throne. He never liked grandeur and pageantry nor allowedshow of external grandiosity. Once he was passing on a horse back when Harb ibnShurahbil started walking with him and began talking. Then Amir al-muminin said tohim, "Get back because walking on foot with me by one like you is mischievous for theruler (me) and an insult to the believer (you). In short he was such a versatile personality in whom numerous contradictoryqualities had joined together and all the good attributes were centered in their fullbrightness as though his oneself was a collection of several selves and each self was anastounding portrait of achievement which showed forth the delineation of distinction in itsuntainted form, and on whose accomplishment one wonders with bewilderment.
  • 27. 12 A Persian couplet says: The figure of my beloved is so beautiful that when I cast my glance on the body from head to foot. Every spot thereof calls my attention claiming to be the most en- chanting. * * * * *
  • 28. NAHJ AL-BALÃGHAH PART ONE SELECTION FROM THE SERMONS OF AMIR AL-MUMININ `ALI IBN ABI TALIB (P.B.U.H.) AND HIS INJUNCTION This selection also includes his utterances delivered in the form of sermons at various meetings, encounters and occasions that he faced.
  • 29. SERMON 1 In this sermon he recalls the creation of Earth and Sky and the birth of Adam. Praise is due to Allah whose worth cannot be described by speakers, whosebounties cannot be counted by calculators and whose claim (to obedience) cannotbe satisfied by those who attempt to do so, whom the height of intellectualcourage cannot appreciate, and the diving of understanding cannot reach; He forwhose description no limit has been laid down, no eulogy exists, no time isordained and no duration is fixed. He brought forth creation through HisOmnipotence, dispersed winds through His Compassion, and made firm theshaking earth with rocks. The foremost in religion is the acknowledgement of Him, the perfection ofacknowledging Him is to testify Him, the perfection of testifying Him is tobelieve in His One-ness, the perfection of believing in His One-ness is to regardHim Pure, and the perfection of His purity is to deny Him attributes, becauseevery attribute is a proof that it is different from that to which it is attributed and 15
  • 30. 16everything to which something is attributed is different from the attribute. Thuswhoever attaches attributes to Allah recognizes His like, and who recognises Hislike regards Him two; and who regards Him two recognises parts for Him; andwho recognises parts for Him mistook Him; and who mistook Him pointed atHim; and who pointed at Him admitted limitations for Him; and who admittedlimitations for Him numbered Him. Whoever said in what is He, held that He is contained; and whoever said onwhat is He held He is not on something else. He is a Being but not throughphenomenon of coming into being. He exists but not from non-existence. He iswith everything but not in physical nearness. He is different from everything butnot in physical separation. He acts but without connotation of movements andinstruments. He sees even when there is none to be looked at from among Hiscreation. He is only One, such that there is none with whom He may keepcompany or whom He may miss in his absence. The Creation of the Universe He initiated creation most initially and commenced it originally, withoutundergoing reflection, without making use of any experiment, without innovatingany movement, and without experiencing any aspiration of mind. He allotted allthings their times, put together their variations gave them their properties, anddetermined their features knowing them before creating them, realizing fully theirlimits and confines and appreciating their propensities and intricacies. When Almighty created the openings of atmosphere, expanse of firmamentand strata of winds, He flowed into it water whose waves were stormy and whosesurges leapt one over the other. He loaded it on dashing wind and breakingtyphoons, ordered them to shed it back (as rain), gave the wind control over thevigour of the rain, and acquainted it with its limitations. The wind blew under itwhile water flowed furiously over it.
  • 31. 17 Then Almighty created forth wind and made its movement sterile,perpetuate its position, intensified its motion and spread it far and wide. Then Heordered the wind to raise up deep waters and to intensify the waves of the oceans.So the wind churned it like the churning of curd and pushed it fiercely into thefirmament throwing its front position on the rear and the stationary on the flowingtill its level was raised and the surface was full of foam. Then Almighty raised thefoam on to the open wind and vast firmament and made therefrom the sevenskies and made the lower one as a stationary surge and the upper one asprotective ceiling and a high edifice without any pole to support it or nail to holdit together. Then He decorated them with stars and the light of meteors and hungin it the shinning sun and effulgent moon under the revolving sky, moving ceilingand rotating firmament. The Creation of the Angels Then He created the openings between high skies and filled them with allclasses of His angels. Some of them are in prostration and do not kneel up. Othersin kneeling position and do not stand up. Some of them are in array and do notleave their position. Others are extolling Allah and do not get tired. The sleep ofthe eye or the slip of wit or languor of the body or the effect of forgetfulness doesnot affect them. Among them are those who work as trusted bearers of His message, thosewho serve as speaking tongues for His prophets and those who carry to and froHis orders and injunctions. Among them are the protectors of His creatures andguards of the doors of the gardens of Paradise. Among them are those also whosesteps are fixed on earth but their necks are protruding into the skies, their limbsare getting out on all sides, their shoulders are in accord with the columns of theDivine Throne, their eyes are down cast before it, they have spread down theirwings under it and they have rendered between themselves and all else curtains ofhonour and screens of power. They do not think of their Creator through image,do not impute to Him attributes of the created, do not confine Him within abodes
  • 32. 18and do not point at Him through illustrations. Description of the Creation of Adam Allah collected from hard, soft, sweet and sour earth, clay which Hedripped in water till it got pure, and kneaded it with moisture till it becamegluey. From it He carved an image with curves, joints, limbs and segments. Hesolidified it till it dried up for a fixed time and a known duration. Then He blewinto it out of His Spirit whereupon it took the pattern of a human being withmind that governs him, intelligence which he makes use of, limbs that servehim, organs that change his position, sagacity that differentiates between truthand untruth, tastes and smells, colours and species. He is a mixture of clays ofdifferent colours, cohesive materials, divergent contradictories and differingproperties like heat, cold, softness and hardness. Then Allah asked the angels to fulfil His promise with them and toaccomplish the pledge of His injunction to them by acknowledging Himthrough prostration to Him and submission to His honoured position. So Allahsaid : "Be prostrate towards Adam and they prostrated except Iblis (Satan)." (Quran, 2:34; 7:11;17:61;18:50; 20:116) Self-importance withheld him and vice overcame him. So that he tookpride in his own creation with fire and treated contemptuously the creation ofclay. So Allah allowed him time in order to let him fully deserve His wrath, andto complete (mans) test and to fulfil the promise (He had made to Satan). Thus,He said: "Verily you have been allowed time till the known Day." (Quran, 15:38; 38:81) Thereafter, Allah inhabited Adam (p.b.u.h.) in a house where He made hislife pleasant and his stay safe, and He cautioned him of Iblis and his enmity.
  • 33. 19Then his enemy (Iblis) envied his abiding in Paradise and his contacts with thevirtuous. So he changed his conviction into wavering and determination intoweakness. He thus converted his happiness into fear and his prestige into shame.Then Allah offered to Adam (p.b.u.h.) the chance to repent, taught him words ofHis Mercy, promised him return to His Paradise and sent him down to the placeof trial and procreation of progeny. Allah chooses His Prophets From his (Adam) progeny Allah chose prophets and took their pledge forhis revelation and for carrying His message as their trust. In course of time manypeople perverted Allahs trust with them and ignored His position and tookcompeers along with Him. Satan turned them away from knowing Him and keptthem aloof from His worship. Then Allah sent His Messengers and series of Hisprophets towards them to get them fulfil the pledges of His creation, to recall tothem His bounties, to exhort them by preaching, to unveil before them thehidden virtues of wisdom and show them the signs of His Omnipotence namelythe sky which is raised over them, the earth that is placed beneath them, meansof living that sustain them, deaths that make them die, ailments that turn themold and incidents that successively betake them. Allah never allowed His creation to remain without a Prophet deputed byHim, or a book sent down from Him or a binding argument or a standing plea.These Messengers were such that they did not feel little because of smallness oftheir number or of largeness of the number of their falsifiers. Among them waseither a predecessor who would name the one to follow or the follower who hadbeen introduced by the predecessor. The Prophethood of Muhammad In this way ages passed by and times rolled on, fathers passed away whilesons took their places till Allah deputed Muhammad (peace be upon him and
  • 34. 20his progeny) as His Prophet, in fulfilment of His promise and in completionof His Prophethood. His pledge had been taken from the Prophets, his traitsof character were well reputed and his birth was honourable. The people ofthe earth at this time were divided in different parties, their aims wereseparate and ways were diverse. They either likened Allah with His creationor twisted His Names or turned to else than Him. Through Muhammad(p.b.u.h.a.h.p.) Allah guided them out of wrong and with his efforts tookthem out of ignorance. Then Allah chose for Muhammad - peace be upon him and on hisprogeny, to meet Him, selected him for His own nearness, regarded him toodignified to remain in this world and decided to remove him from this placeof trial. So He drew him towards Himself with honour. Allah may showerHis blessing on him, and his progeny. The Holy Quran and Sunnah But the Prophet left among you the same which other Prophets leftamong their peoples, because Prophets do not leave them untended (in dark)without a clear path and a standing ensign, namely the Book of your Creatorclarifying its permission and prohibitions, its obligations and discretion, itsrepealing injunctions and the repealed ones, its permissible matters and com-pulsory ones, its particulars and the general ones, its lessons and illustrations,its long and the short ones, its clear and obscure ones, detailing itsabbreviations and clarifying its obscurities. In it there are some verses whose knowledge 1 is obligatory and otherswhose ignorance by the people is permissible. It also contains what appearsto be obligatory according to the Book 2 but its repeal is signified by theProphets action (sunnah) or that which appears compulsory according to theProphets action but the Book allows not following it. Or there are thosewhich are obligatory in a given time but not so after that time. Its prohibitionsalso differ. Some are major regarding which there exists the
  • 35. 21threat of fire (Hell), and others are minor for which there are prospects offorgiveness. There are also those of which a small portion is also acceptable (toAllah) but they are capable of being expanded. In this very sermon he spoke about Hajj Allah has made obligatory upon you the pilgrimage (hajj) to His sacredHouse which is the turning point for the people who go to it as beasts or pigeonsgo towards spring water. Allah the glorified made it a sign of their supplicationbefore His Greatness and their acknowledgement of His Dignity. He selectedfrom among His creation those who on listening to His call responded to it andtestified His word. They stood in the position of His Prophets and resembled Hisangels who surround the Divine Throne securing all the benefits of performingHis worship and hastening towards His promised forgiveness. Allah the glorifiedmade it (His sacred House) an emblem for. Islam and an object of respect forthose who turn to it. He made obligatory its pilgrimage and laid down its claimfor which He held you responsible to discharge it. Thus, Allah the glorified said : . . . And (purely) for Allah, is incumbent upon mankind, the pilgrimage to the House, for those who can afford to journey thither. And whoever denieth then verily, Allah is Self-sufficiently independents of the worlds (Quran, 3:96). 1. "The foremost in religion ( d i n ) i s H i s knowledge." The literal meaning of dinis obedience, and its popular sense is code, whether literal sense is taken or the popularone, in either case, if the mind is devoid of any conception of Divinity, there would be noquestion of obedience, nor of following any code; because when there is no aim there isno point in advancing towards it; where there is no object in view there is no sense inmaking efforts to achieve it. Nevertheless, when the nature and guiding faculty of manbring him in contact with a superior Authority and his taste for obedience and impulse ofsubmission subjugates him before a Deity, he finds himself bound by certain
  • 36. 22limitations as against abject freedom of activity. These very limitations are din (Religion)whose point of commencement is knowledge of Allah and acknowledgement of HisBeing. After pointing out the essentials of Divine knowledge Amir al-muminin hasdescribed its important constituents and conditions. He has held those stages of suchknowledge which people generally regard as the point of highest approach to beinsufficient. He says that its first stage is that with the natural sense of search for theunknown and the guidance of conscience or on hearing from the followers of religions animage of the Unseen Being known as Allah is formed in the mind. This image in fact isthe forerunner of the obligation to thinking and reflection and to seeking His knowledge.But those who love idleness, or are under pressure of environment, do not undertake thissearch despite creation of such image and the image fails to get testified. In this case theyremain deprived of Divine knowledge, and since their inaccess to the stage of testifyingafter the formation of image is by volition they deserve to be questioned about it. But onewho is moved by the power of this image goes further and considers thinking andreflection necessary. In this way one reaches the next stage in the attainment of Divineknowledge, namely to search for the Creator through diversification of creation andspecies of creatures, because every picture is a solid and in-flexible guide to the existenceof its painter and every effect to the action of its cause. When he casts his glance aroundhimself he does not find a single thing which might have come into existence without theact of a maker so much so that he does not find the sign of a footstep without a walkernor a construction without a builder. How can he comprehend that this blue sky with thesun and the moon in its expanse and the earth with the exuberance of its grass andflowers could have come into existence without the action of a Creator. Therefore, afterobserving all that exists in the world and the regulated system of the entire creation noone can help concluding that there is a Creator for this world of diversities becauseexistence cannot come out of non-existence, nor can existence sprout forth fromnothingness. The holy Quran has pointed to this reasoning thus: ... What! about Allah is there any doubt, the Originator of the heavens and the earth?... (14:10). But this stage would also be insufficient if this testimony in favour of Allah istarnished by belief in the divinity of some other deity.
  • 37. 23 The third stage is that His existence should be acknowledged along with belief inUnity and One-ness. Without this the testimony to Allahs existence cannot be completebecause if more gods are believed in He would not be One whereas it is necessary that Heshould be One. The reason is that in case of more than one god the question would arisewhether one of them created all this creation or all of them together. If one of them createdit there should be some differentia to distinguish him otherwise he would be accordedpreferential position without reason, which is unacceptable to the mind. If all have createdit collectively then the position has only two forms; either he cannot perform his functionswithout the assistance of others or he is above the need for their assistance. The first casemeans his incapability and being in need of others while the other case means that they areseveral regular performers of a single act and the fallacy of both has already been shown.If we assume that all the gods performed the act of creation by dividing among themselvesthen, in this case all the creation will not bear the same relationship towards the creatorsince each creature will bear relationship only to its own creator whereas every creatureshould have one and the same relationship to all creators. This is because all the creationshould have one and the same relationship to all the creators as all the created in theircapacity to accept effect and all the creators in their capacity to produce effect should besimilar. In short there is no way but to acknowledge Him as One because in believing innumerous creators there remains no possibility of the existence of any other thing, anddestruction proves implicit for the earth, the sky and everything in creation. Allah theglorified has expapssed this argument in the following words: Had there been in (the heavens and the earth [other] ) gods except Allah, they both had been in disorder.. . (Quran, 21:22). The fourth stage is that Allah should be regarded free of all defects and deficiencies,and devoid of body, form, illustration, similarity, position of place or time, motion,stillness, incapability and ignorance because there can be no deficiency or defect in theperfect Being nor can anyone be deemed like Him because all these attributes bring downa being from the high position of the Creator to the low position of the created. That iswhy along with Unity, Allah has held purity from deficiency of equal importance. Say: `He (Allah) is One (alone). Allah, the needless. He begetteth not, nor is He begotten., And there is none like unto Him (Quran, 112:1-4).
  • 38. 24 Vision perceiveth Him not, and He perceiveth (all) vision; He is the Subtle, the All- aware (Quran, 6:104). So coin ye not any similitudes to Allah; verily Allah knoweth (every-thing) and ye know not. (Quran, 1 6 : 7 4 ). ... Nothing whatsoever (is there) like the like of Him; and He (alone) is the All- hearing and the All-seeing. (Quran, 42:11). The fifth stage of completing His Knowledge is that attributes should not be put inHim from outside lest there be duality in His One-ness, and deviating from its properconnotation Unity may fall in the labyrinth of one in three and three in one, because HisBeing is not a combination of essence and form so that attributes may cling to Him likesmell in the flowers or brightness in the stars. Rather, He is the fountain head of allattributes and needs no medium for manifestation of His perfect Attributes. If He isnamed Omniscient it is because the signs of his knowledge are manifest. If He is calledOmnipotent it is because every particle points to His Omnipotence and Activity, and if toHim is attributed the power to listen or to see it is because the cohesion of the entirecreation and its administration cannot be done without hearing or seeing but the existenceof these attributes in Him cannot be held to be in the same way as in the creation namelythat He should be capable to know only after He acquires knowledge or He should bepowerful and strong only after energy runs into His limbs because taking attributes asseparate from His Being would connote duality and where there is duality unitydisappears. That is how Amir al-muminin has rejected the idea of attributes beingaddition to His Being, presented Unity in its true significance, and did not allow Unity tobe tainted with stains of multiplicity. This does not mean that adjectives cannot at all beattributed to Him, as this would be giving support to those who are groping in the darkabyss of negativism, although every nook and corner in the entire existence is brimmingwith His attributes and every particle of creation stands witness that He has knowledge,He is powerful, He hears, He sees. He nurtures under His care and allows growth underHis mercy. The intention is that for Him nothing can be suggested to serve as an adjunctto Him, because His self includes attributes and His attributes connote His Self. Let uslearn this very theme in the words of al-Imam Abu `Abdillah Ja`far ibn Muhammad as-Sadiq (p.b.u.h.) comparing it with the belief in Unity adopted by other religions and thenappreciate who is the exponent of the true concept of Unity. The Imam says :
  • 39. 25 Our Allah the Glorified, the Magnificent has ever had knowledge as His Self even though there was nothing to know, sight as His Self even though there was nothing to know, sight as His Self even though there was nothing to behold, hearing as His Self even though there was no-thing to hear, and Potent as His Self even though there was nothing to be under His Potent. When He created the things and the object of knowledge came into existence His knowledge became related to the known, hearing related to the heard, sight related to the seen, and potent related to its object. (at-Tawhid by ash-Shaykh as-Saduq, p.139) This is the belief over which the Imams of the Prophets family are unanimous, butthe majority group has adopted a different course by creating the idea of differentiationbetween His Self and Attributes. ash-Shahristani says on page 42 of his book Kitãb al-milal wan-nih a l: According to Abu1-Hasan al-Ashari Allah knows through (the attribute of) knowledge, is Powerful through activity, speaks through speech, hears through hearing and sees through sight. If we regard attributes distinct from Self in this manner there would be twoalternatives; either the attributes must have existed in Him from ever or they must haveoccurred later. In the first case we have to recognise as many eternal objects as theattributes which all will share with Him in being eternal, but "Allah is above what thepeople deem Him to have equals." In the second case in addition to subjecting Him to thealternations it would also means that before the acquiring of the attributes He was neithersilent, nor powerful, nor hearer nor beholder and this runs counter to the basic tenet ofIslam. ... Allah hath decreed trade lawful and hath forbidden i nt e re st . . . (Quran, 2:275). And when you have finished the prayer remember Allah standing, and sitting, and reacting, and when ye are secure (from danger) establish prayer . . . (Quran, 4:103). O ye men! eat of what is in the earth lawful and good and follow not the foot-steps of Satan; for verily he is an open enemy unto you, (Quran, 2:168). (And) say thou: `I am only a man like you, it is revealed unto me that your god is but one God, therefore whosoever desirth to meet his Lord, let him do good deeds, and associate not any one in the worship of his Lord (Quran, 18:110).
  • 40. 26 What! enjoin ye upon the people righteousness and ye forget your own selves? Yet ye read the scripture? What: do ye riot understand? (Quran, 2:44) 2. About the Quran Amir al-muminin says that it contains description of thepermitted, and the forbidden acts such as "Allah has allowed sale and purchase butprohibited usury." It clarifies obligatory and optional acts such as "when you have finished theprayer (of fear) remember Allah rising, sitting or lying and when you feel safe (from theenemy) then say the prayers (as usual)." Here prayer is obligatory while other forms of remembering (Allah) are optional.It has repealing and repealed verses such as about the period of seclusion after husbandsdeath "four months and ten days" or the repealed one such as "till one year withoutgoing out" which shows that this period of seclusion should be one year. I n particularplaces it permits the forbidden such as "whoever is compelled without being wilfullywrongful or transgressor, commits no sins." It has positive injunctions such "One should not add anyone with Allah inworship." It has particular and general injunctions. Particular is the one where the wordshows generality but the sense is limited such as "I have made you superior overworlds." O Bani Isra`il. Here the sense of "Worlds," is confined to that particular time, al-though theword is general i n its literal meaning. The general injunctions are one which isextensive in meaning such as "Allah has knowledge of every-thing." It has lessons andillustrations lessons such as "Allah caught him in the punishment of this world and thenext and there is lesson in it." So seized him Allah, with the chastisement in the hereafter, and the life before (it) (Quran, 7 9 : 2 5 ) Verily in this there is a lesson unto him who feareth (Allah) (Quran, 79:26) A kind word and pardon is better than charity that is followed by injury, and verily Allah is Self-sufficient, the Most forbearing. (Quran, 2 : 2 6 3 )
  • 41. 27 And remember when We made a covenant with you and raised the `tūr (the Mountain) above you (saying), `Hold ye fast that which We have bestowed upon you with the strength (of determination) and remember that which is therein so that you may guard (yourself) against evil. (Quran, 2:63) So we made it a lesson for (those of) their own times and for those (of their posterity) who came after them and an exhortation unto those who guard (themselves) against evil. (Quran, 2:66) He it is Who fashioneth you in the wombs (of your mothers) as He liketh; There is no god but HE, the All-mighty, the All-wise. (Quran, 3:5) Obedience and a fair word; but when the affair is determined then if they be true to Allah, it would certainly be better for them. (Quran, 47:21) O those who believe! It is not lawful for you to inherit women against their will, and do not straiten them in order that ye may take a part of what ye have given, unless they are guilty of manifest lewdness; but deal kindly with them, and if ye hate them, it may be that ye hate a thing while Allah hath placed in it abundant good.(Quran, 4:19) Say thou (unto the people of the Book), `Dispute ye with us about Allah; whereas He is our Lord and your Lord, and for us are our deeds and for you are your deeds; to Him (alone) we are (exclusively) loyal? (Quran, 2:139) "There is a lesson in it for him who fears Allah," and illustration such as "Theexample of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a grain whichgrows seven ears each one of which bears hundred grains." It has unspecific andspecific verses. Unspecific is one which has no limitation on specification such as"Recall when Moses told his people `Allah commands you to sacrifice a cow. " Specific is one where denotation is limited such as Allah says that "the cowshould be such that it has neither been used for ploughing nor for irrigation fields."There is clear and obscure in it. Clear is that which has no intricacy such as "VerilyAllah has sway over everything," while obscure is that whose meaning has complicationsuch as "the Merciful (Allah) occupies the throne," whose apparent meaning gives theimpression as if Allah is bodily sitting on the Throne although the intention
  • 42. 28is to press His authority and control. In it there are brief injunctions such as "establishprayer" and those of deep meanings such as the verses about which says : " That the sense is not known except to Allah and those immersed in knowledge."Then Amir al-muminin dilates upon this theme in a different style says that there aresomethings in it which are necessary to know, such as "So know that there is no god butAllah" and there are others which are not necessary to know such as "alif lãm mim" etc.It has also injunctions which have been repealed by the Prophets action such as "As foryour women who commit adultery get four male witnesses and if four witnesses doappear shut such women in the house till death ends their life." This punishment wascurrent in early Islam but was later replaced by stoning in the case of married women. Init there are some injunctions which repealed the Prophets action such as "Turn your facetowards Masjid al-harãm" by which the injunction for facing Bayt al-maqdis wasrepealed. It also contains injunctions which are obligatory only at a particular time afterwhich their obligation ends, such as "when the call for prayer is made on Friday thenhasten towards remembrance of Allah." It has also indicated grades of prohibitions asthe division of sins into light and serious ones — light such as "Tell the believers tolower their eyes" and serious ones such as "whoever kills a Believer wilfully his award isto remain in Hell for ever." It also contains injunctions where a little performance isenough but there is scope for further performance such as "Read the Qurãn as much asyou easily can." Verily your Lord, certainly is He the All-mighty, the All-merciful. (Qurãn, 26:9) Say thou (O Our Prophet Muhammad) unto the believer men that they cast down their gaze and guard their private parts; that is purer for them; verily Allah is All-aware of what (all) ye do. (Qurãn, 24:30) Not equal are those of the believers who sit (holding back) other than those hurt, and those who strive in the way of Allah with their wealth and their selves (lives). Allah bath raised the strivers with their wealth and selves (lives), in rank above those sitting (holding back); Unto all (in faith) Allah hath promised good; but those who strive, He bath distinguished above those who sit (holding [by]) a great recompense. (Qurãn, 4:95) Verily, thy Lord knowest that thou standest up (in the Night Prayer) night two-third of the night, and (sometimes) half of it, and (sometimes) a third of it, and a group of those with thee; and Allah measureth (well) the
  • 43. 29 night and the day; Knoweth He that never can ye take (correct) account of it, so turneth He unto you (mercifully so recite ye whatever be easy (in the prayers) to be read of the Qur an; Knoweth He that there may be among you sick, and others travelling in the earth seeking of the grace of Allah, and others fighting in the way of Allah, so recite ye as much as it can easily be done of it, and establish ye the (regular) prayers, and pay ye the (prescribed) poor-rate, and offer ye unto Allah a goodly loan; and whatsoever of good ye send on before hand for yourselves, ye will (surely) find it with Allah, that is the best and the greatest recompense; and seek ye the forgiveness of Allah; Verily, Allah is Oft forgiving, the Most Merciful. (Quran, 73:20) * * * * * SERMON 2 Delivered on return from Siffin Arabia before proclamation of Prophethood I praise Allah seeking completion of His Blessing, submitting to His Gloryand expecting safety from committing His sins. I invoke His help being in need ofHis Sufficiency (of protection). He whom He guides does not get astray, He withwhom He is hostile gets no protection. He whom He supports does not remainneedy. Praise is most weighty of all that is weighed and the most valuable of allthat is treasured. I stand witness that there is no god but Allah the One. He has no like. Mytestimony has been tested in its frankness, and its essence is our belief. We shallcling to it for ever till we live and shall store it facing the tribulations that overtakeus because it is the foundation stone of Belief (imãn) and the first step towardsgood actions and Divine pleasure. It is the means to keep Satan away. I also stand witness that Muhammad (p.b.u.h.a.h.p.) is His. slave and HisProphet. Allah sent him with the illustrious religion,
  • 44. 30effective emblem, written Book,1 effulgent light, sparkling gleam and decisiveinjunction in order to dispel doubts, present clear proofs, administer warningthrough signs and to warn of punishments. At that time people had fallen in viceswhereby the rope of religion had been broken, the pillars of belief had beenshaken, principles had been sacrileged, system had become topsy-turvy, openingswere narrow, passage was dark, guidance was unknown and darkness prevailed. Allah was being disobeyed, Satan was given support and Belief had beenforsaken. As a result the pillars of religion fell down, its traces could not bediscerned, its passages had been destroyed and its streets had fallen into decay.People obeyed Satan and tread his paths. They sought water from his wateringplaces. Through them Satans emblems got flying and his standard was raised invices which trampled the people under their hoofs, and treaded upon them withtheir feet. The vices stood on their toes (in full stature) and the people immersedin them were strayed, perplexed, ignorant and seduced as though in a goodhouse 2 with bad neighbours. Instead of sleep they had wakefulness and forantimony they had tears in the eyes. They were in a land where the learned werein bridle (keeping their mouths shut) while the ignorant were honoured. In the same sermon Amir al-muminin referred to Al an-Nabi (the Household of the Holy Prophet) as under. They are the trustees of His secrets, shelter for His affairs, source ofknowledge about Him, centre of His wisdom, valleys for His books andmountains of His religion. With them Allah straightened the bend of religionsback and removed the trembling of its limbs. In the same Sermon he spoke about the hypocrites They sowed vices, watered them with deception and harvested destruction.None in the Islamic community can be taken at par with the Progeny 3 of theProphet (Ãlu Muhammad).
  • 45. 31One who was under their obligation cannot be matched with them. They are thefoundation of religion and pillar of Belief. The forward runner has to turn back tothem while the follower has to overtake them. They possess the chiefcharacteristics for vicegerency. In their favour exists the will and succession (ofthe Prophet). This is the time when right has returned to its owner and diverted toits centre of return. 1. The Preserved Record. 2. Good House means `Mecca while the bad neighbours mean the `Unbelievers ofQuraysh. 3. About the Progeny of the Prophet Amir al-muminin has said that no person inthe world can be brought at par with them, nor can any one be deemed their equal insublimity, because the world is overladen with their obligations and has been able tosecure eternal blessings only through their guidance. They are the corner stone andfoundation of religion and the sustenance for its life and survival. They are such strongpillars of knowledge and belief that they can turn away the stormy flow of doubt andsuspicion. They are such middle course among the paths of excess and backwardness thatif some one goes far towards excess and exaggeration or falls behind then unless he comesback or steps forward to that middle course he cannot be on the path of Islam. Theypossess all the characteristics which give the superiority in the right for vicegerency andleadership. Consequently, no one else in the ummah enjoys the right of patronage andguardianship. That is why the Prophet declared them his vicegerents and successors.About will and succession the commentator Ibn Abil-Hadid Mu`tazili writes that there canbe no doubt about the vicegerency of Amir al-muminin but succession cannot implysuccession in position although the Shi`ite sect has so interpreted it. It rather impliessuccession of learning. Now, if according to him succession is taken to imply successionin learning even he does not seem to succeed in achieving his object, because even by thisinterpretation the right of succeeding the Prophet does not devolve on any other person.When it is agreed that learning is the most essential requirement of khilafah (caliphate)because the most important functions of the Prophets Caliph consist of dispensation ofjustice, solving problems of religious laws, clarifying intricacies and administration ofreligious penalties. If these functions are taken away from the Prophets deputy his positionwill come down to that of a worldly ruler. He cannot be regarded as the pivot of religiousauthority. Therefore either we should keep governmental authority separate from Prophetsvicegerency or accept the successor of Prophets knowledge to suit that position.
  • 46. 32 The interpretation of Ibn Abil-Hadid could be acceptable if Amir al-mumininhad uttered this sentence alone, but observing that it was uttered soon after `Alis(p.b.u.h.) recognition as Caliph and just after it the sentence "Right has returned to itsowner" exists, this interpretation of his seems baseless. Rather, the Prophets will cannotimply any other will except that for vicegerency and caliphate, and succession wouldimply not succession in property nor in knowledge because this was not an occasion tomention it here but it must mean the succession in the right leadership which stoodproved as from Allah not only on the ground of kinship but on the ground of qualities ofperfection. * * * * * SERMON 3 Known as the Sermon of ash-Shiqshiqiyyah1 Beware ! By Allah the son of Abu Quhafah (Abu Bakr) 2 dressed himselfwith it (the caliphate) and he certainly knew that my position in relation to itwas the same as the position of the axis in relation to the hand-mill. The floodwater flows down from me and the bird cannot fly upto me. I put a curtainagainst the caliphate and kept myself detached from it. Then I began to think whether I should assault or endure calmly theblinding darkness of tribulations wherein the grown up are feeble and the younggrow old and the true believer acts under strain till he meets Allah (on hisdeath). I found that endurance thereon was wiser. So I adopted patiencealthough there was pricking in the eye and suffocation (of mortification) in thethroats. I watched the plundering of my inheritance till the first one went hisway but handed over the Caliphate to Ibn al-Khattab after himself.(Then he quoted al-A`shas verse):
  • 47. 33 My days are now passed on the camels back (in difficulty) while there were days (of ease) when I enjoyed the company of Jãbirs brother Hayyan.3 It is strange that during his lifetime he wished to be released from thecaliphate but he confirmed it for the other one after his death. No doubt these twoshared its udders strictly among themselves. This one put the Caliphate in atough enclosure where the utterance was haughty and the touch was rough. Mis-takes were in plenty and so also the excuses therefore. One in contact with it waslike the rider of an unruly camel. If he pulled up its rein the very nostril would beslit, but if he let it loose he would be thrown. Consequently, by Allah people gotinvolved in recklessness, wickedness, unsteadiness and deviation. Nevertheless, I remained patient despite length of period and stiffness oftrial, till when he went his way (of death) he put the matter (of Caliphate) in agroup¢ and regarded me to be one of them. But good Heavens! what had I to dowith this "consultation"? Where was any doubt about me with regard to the firstof them that I was now considered akin to these ones? But I remained low whenthey were low and flew high when they flew high. One of them turned againstme because of his hatred and the other got inclined the other way due to his in-law relationship and this thing and that thing, till the third man of these peoplestood up with heaving breasts between his dung and fodder. With him hischildren of his grand-father, (Umayyah) also stood up swallowing up Allahswealth like a camel devouring the foliage of spring, till his rope broke down, hisactions finished him and his gluttony brought him down prostrate. At that moment, nothing took me by surprise, but the crowd of people rushingto me. It advanced towards me from every side like the mane of the hyena somuch so that Hasan and Husayn were getting crushed and both the ends of myshoulder garment were torn. They collected around me like the herd of sheep and
  • 48. 34goats. When I took up the reins of government one party broke away andanother turned disobedient while the rest began acting wrongfully as if they hadnot heard the word of Allah saying : That abode in the hereafter, We assign it for those who intend not to exult themselves in the earth, nor (to make) mischief (therein) ; and the end is (best) for the pious ones. (Quran, 28:83) Yes, by Allah, they had heard it and understood it but the world appearedglittering in their eyes and its embellishments seduced them. Behold, by Himwho split the grain (to grow) and created living beings, if people had not cometo me and supporters had not exhausted the argument and if there had been nopledge of Allah with the learned to the effect that they should not acquiesce inthe gluttony of the oppressor and the hunger of the oppressed I would have castthe rope of Caliphate on its own shoulders, and would have given the last onethe same treatment as to the first one. Then you would have seen that in myview this world of yours is no better than the sneezing of a goat. ( I t is said that when Amir al-muminin reached here in his sermon a manof Iraq stood up and handed him over a writing. Amir al-muminin beganlooking at it, when Ibn `Abbas said, " O Amir al-muminin, I wish youresumed your Sermon from where you broke it." Thereupon he replied, " O Ibn `Abbas it was like the foam of a Camel which gushed out but subsided." Ibn`Abbas says that he never grieved over any utterance as he did over this onebecause Amir al-muminin could not finish it as he wished to.) ash-Sharif ar-Radi says: The words in this sermon "like the rider of acamel" mean to convey that when a camel rider is stiff in drawing up the rein thenin this scuffle the nostril gets bruised, but if he lets it loose in spite of camelsunruliness, it would throw him somewhere and would get out of control.
  • 49. 35"ashnaq an-nãgah " is used when the rider holds up the rein and raises the camelshead upwards. In the same sense the word "shanaqa an-nãgah" is used. Ibn as-Sikkit has mentioned this in Islãh al-mantiq. Amir al-muminin has said "ashnaqalahã" instead of "ashnagaha," this is because he has used this word in harmonywith "aslasa lahã" and harmony could be retained only by using both in the sameform. Thus, Amir al-muminin has used "ashnaga lahã" as though in place of "inrafa`a lahã rasahã," that is, "if he stops it by holding up the reins." 1. This sermon is known as the sermon of ash-Shiqshiqiyyah, and is countedamong the most famous sermons of Amir al-muminin. It was delivered at ar-Rahbah.Although some people have denied it to be Amir almuminins utterance and by attributingit to as-Sayyid ar-Radi (or ash-Sharif ar-Radi) have laid blame on his acknowledgedintegrity, yet truth-loving scholars have denied its veracity. Nor can there be any groundfor this denial because `Alis (p.b.u.h.) difference of view in the matter of Caliphate is not asecret matter, so that such hints should be regarded as something alien. And the eventswhich have been alluded to in this sermon are preserved in the annals of history whichtestifies them word by word and sentence by sentence. If the same events which arerelated by history are recounted by Amir al-muminin then what is the ground for denyingthem? If the memory of discouraging circumstances faced by him soon after the death ofthe Prophet appeared unpalatable to him it should not be surprising. No doubt this sermonhits at the prestige of certain personalities and gives a set back to the faith and belief inthem but this cannot be sustained by denying the sermon to be Amir al-mumininsutterance, unless the true events are analysed and truth unveiled; otherwise just denying itto be Amir al-muminins utterance because it contains disparagement of certainindividuals carries no weight, when similar criticism has been related by other historiansas well. Thus (Abu `Uthman) `Amr ibn Bahr al-Jãhidh has recorded the following wordsof a sermon of Amir al-muminin and they are not less weighty than the criticism in the"Sermon of ash-Shiqshiqiyyah." Those two passed away and the third one rose like the crow whose courage is confined to the belly. It would have been better if both his wings had been cut and his head severed.
  • 50. 36 Consequently, the idea that it is the production of as-Sayyid ar-Radi is farfrom truth and a result of partisanship and partiality. Or else if it is the resultof some research it should be brought out. Otherwise, remaining in suchwishful illusion does not alter the truth, nor can the force of decisivearguments be curbed down by mere disagreement and displeasure. Now we set forth the evidence of those scholars and traditionists whohave clearly held it of be Amir al-muminins production, so that its historicalimportance should become known. Among these scholars some are thosebefore as-Sayyid ar-Radis period, some are his contemporaries and some arethose who came after him but they all related it through their own chain ofauthority. 1) Ibn Abil-Hadid al-Mu`tazili writes that his master Abul-Khayr Musaddiq ibn Shabib al-Wasiti (d. 605 A. H.) stated that he heard this sermon from ash-Shaykh Abu Muhammad `Abdullah ibn Ahmad al- Baghdadi (d. 567 A. H.) known as Ibn al-Khashshab and when he reached where Ibn `Abbas expressed sorrow for this sermon having remained incomplete Ibn al-Khashshãb said to him that if he had heard the expression of sorrow from Ibn `Abbas he would have certainly asked him if there had remained with his cousin any further unsatisfied desire because excepting the Prophet he had already spared neither the predecessors nor followers and had uttered all that he wished to utter. Why should therefore be any sorrow that he could not say what he wished? Musaddiq says that Ibn al-Khashshãb was a man of jolly heart and decent taste. I inquired from him whether he also regarded the sermon to be a fabrication when he replied "By Allah, I believe it to he Amir al-muminins word as I believe you to be Musaddiq ibn Shabib" I said that some people regard it to be as-Sayyid ar-Radis production when he replied : "How c a n a r -Radi have such guts or such style of writing. I have seen as-Sayyid ar-Radis writings and know his style of composition. Nowhere does his writing match with this one and I have already seen it in books written two hundred years before the birth of as- Sayyid ar-Radi, and I have seen it in familiar writings about which I know by which scholars or men of letters they were compiled. At that time not only ar-Radi but even his father Abu Ahmad an-Naqib has not been born. " 2) Thereafter Ibn Abil-Hadid writes that he saw this sermon in the compilations of his master Abul-Qasim Abdullah ibn Ahmad) al-Balkhi (d. 317 A. H.). He was the Imam of the Mu`tazilites in the reign of al- Muqtadir Billãh while al-Muqtadirs period was far earlier than the birth of as-Sayyid ar-Radi.
  • 51. 373) He further writes that he saw this sermon in Abu Ja`far (Muhammad ibn`Abd ar-Rahmãn), Ibn Qibahs book al-Insãf. He was the pupil of Abul-Qãsimal-Balkhi and a theologian of Imamiyyah (Shi`ite) sect. (Sharh of Ibn Abil-Hadid, vol. 1, pp. 205—206)4) Ibn Maytham al-Bahrãni (d. 679 A.H.) writes in his commentary that he hadseen one such copy of this sermon which bore writing of al-Muqtadir Billahsminister Abul-Hasan `Ali ibn Muhammad ibn al-Furãt (d. 312 A.H.). (Sharh al-balãghah, v o l . 1 . , pp.252-253)5) al-`Allãmah Muhammad Bãqir al-Majlisi has related the following chain ofauthority about this Sermon from ash-Shaykh Qutbud-Din ar-Rãwandiscompilation Minhaj al-bara `ah fi Sharh Nahj al-balãghah: ash-Shaykh Abu Nasr al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim informed me from al-Hãjib Abu1-Wafi Muhammad ibn Badi`, al-Husayn ibn Ahmad ibn Badi` and al-Husayn ibn Ahmad ibn `Abd ar-Rahmãn and they from al-Hafiz Abu Bakr (Ahmad ibn Musa) ibn Marduwayh al-Isbahãni (d. 416 A.H.) and he from al-Hafiz Abul-Qãsim Sulayman ibn Ahmad at-Tabarãni (d. 360 A.H.) and he from Ahmad ibn `Ali al-Abbãr and he from Ishaq ibn Said Abu Salamah ad-Dimashqi and he from Khulayd ibn Da`laj and he from `Atã ibn Abi Rabãh and he from Ibn `Abbãs. (Bihãr al-anwãr, 1st ed., vol.8, pp. 160-161)6) In the context al-`Allãmah al-Majlisi has written that this sermon is alsocontained in the compilations of Abu `Ali (Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Wahhãb) al-Jubbai (d. 303 A.H.).7) In connection with this very authenticity al-`Allãmah al-Majlisi writes : al-Qãdi `Abd al Jabbãr ibn Ahmad al-Asadãbãdi (d. 415 A.H.) who was a strict Mu`tazilite explains some expressions of this sermon in his book al- Mughni and tries to prove that it does not strike against any preceding caliph but does not deny it to be Amir al-muminins composition. (ibid., p.161)8) Abu Ja`far Muhammad ibn `Ali, Ibn Babawayh (d. 381 A.H.) writes : Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Ishãq at-Tãlaqãni told us that `Abd al-`Aziz ibn Yahya al-Jaludi (d. 332 A.H.) told him that Abn `Abdillãh Ahmad ibn `Ammar ibn Khãlid told him that Yahya ibn `Abd al-Hamid al-Himmãni

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