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Quran and Etrat Internet University Nahj ul-Balaghah
ﺑـﺴ ــﻢ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﺍﻟﺮﺣﻤﻦ ﺍﻟﺮﺣﻴﻢ In the Name of God, Lord of Mercy and Lord of Grace
Nahj ul Balaghah Introduction Nahj ul Balaghah, a highly valued book, consists of: – – – 254 sermons, 48 letters, and 212 sayings of Imam Ali Nahj ul Balaghah is unique to Imam Ali None of the Sahaaba was ever able to produce anything like it: neither in substance nor in literary eloquence. No wonder Ali was referred to as: 1. Sayyid al Bulaghaa' (Pinnacle of Literary Expression) and 2. Sayyid al Fu'qahaa, (Pinnacle of the Jurisprudents)
Nahj ul Balaghah was Regarded: 1. as the greatest reference on the philosophy of mono theism, 2. as the best lectures for character building, 3. as exalted sources of inspiration, 4. as persuasive sermons towards piety, 5. as guiding beacons towards truth and justice, 6. as marvelous eulogies of the Prophet (pbuh) and the Holy Quran, 7. as convincing discourses on the spiritual values of Islam, 8. as awe inspiring discussions about Allah's attributes, 9. as masterpiece of literary works, and 10. as models of the art of rhetoric.
Early Compliers 1 ST CENTURY: Zaid Al Juhani, ( ﺃﻠﺠـﻬـــــﻨﻲ died in 90 AH). Abdul Hameed Ibin Yahya 231( ﺇﺑـﻦ ﻳﺤـــﻰ AH). 2 ND CENTURY: Ibn al Mu'qaffa 241( ﺇﺑـﻦ ﺍﻟﻤـﻘــــــﻔـﻊ AH). Hisham Ibn Kalbee 641( ﺇﺑـﻦ ﺍﻟـﻜﻠــــﺒﻲ AH). Al‑Jahiz (255 AH). 3 RD CENTURY: Ibn Qu’taiba Al‑Daynoori, (276 AH). Ya'qoobi, (278 AH). Abu Hanifa Al Daynoori (280 AH). Abul Abbas Almoburd (286 AH).
AL SHAREEF AL RADHEE ﺍﻟﺸــــﺮﻳﻒ ﺍﻟﺮﺿــﻲ THE COMPILER Born in Baghdad in 359 AH Family known for: – – art and literature, interest in history, philosophy and religion. Father a descendant of Imam Musa al Kadhim Mother was the great‑granddaughter of Imam Zainul‑Abideen.
Studies and Education Before he was 21, al Radhee studied under: – Sheikh Mufeed , ﺷـﻴﺦ ﻣﻔـﻴــــﺪ then – Joined the institute of Tibari, ﺍﻟﻄــﺒﺮﻱ Al Rubaee, ﺍﻟﺮﺑـﻴــﻌﻲ and Al Khawarizmi, ﺍﻟﺨـــﻮﺍﺭﺯﻣﻲ At age 21 was elected as Naqeeb ﻧـﻘــــﻴـﺐ (headmaster) of the family of Benu Talib
In Earlier Centuries Early on the sayings, sermons and letters of Imam Ali were found scattered in: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. books of philosophy, religion, history, biography, literature, commentaries of the Quran, and in the Traditions of the Prophet (pbuh).
The Passion to Compile Al Radhee toured all over the Middle East to collect the sermons, sayings, and letters of Imam Ali Some biographers claim that Syed Al Radhee devoted eighteen hours a day to this work for a number of years. It was a labor of love. Though his health was failing he continued the work with unabated intensity.
THE MASTERPIECE Al Radhee wrote about 40 books, – Some were great works, consisting of Commentaries: On the Holy Quran, On religion and On philosophy, His masterpiece was Nahj ul Balaghah the collection of the sermons, letters and sayings of Imam Ali
Samples of Subjects Discussed 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Allah (swt) Quran Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Ali Describing Himself Ahlul Bayt Companions of the Prophet (pbuh) Good Character Iman Tawhid
ABOUT ALLAH'S GREATNESS: Sermon 152, Page 211 Praise be to Allah who: Made the creation as a sign of His Eternal Presence; The evolution of His creation a manifestation of His Eternity; The similarity of His creation a proof that nothing is similar to Him. Senses cannot conceptualize Him, Nor can any veil conceal Him; Allah is One but not in the sense of counting, He Creates but without implying movement or labor, He Hears but without a hearing organ, He Sees but without opening eyelids. Allah is the Witness but without physical presence; Allah is the Unseen but without being distant, Allah is the Manifest without being seen, and He is the Hidden without obscurity.
ABOUT THE QURAN: ﻋﻦ ﺍﻟﻘـــــﺮآﻦ Sermon 198, Page 315 The Quran is the light that never fades, A lantern everlasting, ever radiant. The Quran is a fathomless sea of knowledge, A guide that leads to the right path, and A ray that penetrates all darkness. The Quran is a remedy With no side effects, A force whose followers do not lose, and The right whose supporters never fail. The Quran is the crux and mainstay of faith. It is the source of all knowledge, and A haven of justice that people seek for shelter and security.
ABOUT THE PROPHET ( ﻋﻦ ﺍﻟﻨـﺒـﻲ ) ﺹ Sermon 94, Page 139 Allah brought forth Muhammad from: – A glorious origin and an honorable seed. – It was from the same honorable lineage of the Prophets; – And from this seed He selected His trustees [family]. Muhammad's descendants [Ahlul Bayt] are the best of descendants, – his kinsmen the cream of kin, and – his lineal tree the finest of all. This tree grew in esteem and rose in distinction. It branched out and produced marvelous fruit.
ALI DESCRIBING HIMSELF: ﻋﻠﻲ ﻋـﻦ ﻧﻔﺴـﻪ I used to follow the Prophet (pbuh) like a baby to its mother. – Everyday he used to show me yet another example of his noble character, – And would command me to follow his model. Every year he used to frequent – Cave Hiraa for meditation, and – I used to see him but nobody else did. Once there was only one Muslim house: – the one that housed the Prophet (pbuh), Khadija, and myself. – There I saw the shining light of the revelation and felt the aromatic scent of Prophethood. – I heard the sigh of agony of Satan when the Prophet (pbuh) received a revelation. – I asked the Prophet what that cry was. He said: – “That is Satan's cry for he despaired from not being worshipped any more. You hear what I hear and see what I see. You are not a prophet, but you are the elite and in the right way”.
ABOUT AHLUL BAYT: Sermon 97, Page 143 Observe the behavior of your Prophet's family (Ahlul Bayt)! Emulate their example, do not deviate from it. Never will they lead you astray, nor will they take you to misguidance. – – If they stay, stay with them. If they move follow them: Do not outsmart them since it will lead you astray, Nor lag behind them, for that would bring about your ruin.
ABOUT THE COMPANIONS: Sermon 97, Page 143 The Companions would rise in the morning with pale faces, – because they had spent their nights in prayer, – alternating between bowing and prostrating. They would bow before their Lord with humility – Prostrating their faces and cheeks to the ground. On remembering the Day of Resurrection, they are seized with awe, as if standing on live coal. Even the skin of their foreheads is calloused, due to long prostration. The Companions were such that the mention of the Almighty would bring tears to their eyes, – but also send them trembling like trees on a stormy day, – not only for fear of Allah's wrath – but also in happy anticipation of His reward.
ABOUT GOOD CHARACTER: ﻋﻦ ـــﻠﻕ ﺍﻷﺸــﺨﺎﺹ By describing the worldly people, Imam Ali said—, Many people speak in a pious tone, yet they lust for material life. When given bounties in this world, they want more; and If deprived they become distressed. Unwilling to offer thanks for Allah’s bounty, but aspire for more of what they already have. They warn against evil and call for piety, yet they do not practice what they preach. They admire the pious, but do not imitate their action, and dislike the sinners while they are sinners themselves. They are frightened of death because of their sins, but do not refrain from the sins to ease their fright.
ABOUT IMAN: ﻋﻦ ﺍﻹﻳـﻤــــﺎﻥ “Allah ordained the: – Faith: as purity from plurality of gods, – Prayers: as safeguard against conceit, – Zakat: as a means of spreading wealth, – Fasting: as a test for devotion. – Pilgrimage: as demonstration of sincerity in religion, and – Jihad: as defense for Islam. Allah has also ordained the Enjoining to good deeds in the interest of the whole, and preventing evil to deter the reprehensible. Allah has prescribed the Tightening of ties with the kin to strengthen the community, Punishment of trespassers to avoid bloodshed and to respect the rights of others, Abstention from drinking alcohol in order not to lose one's reason.
ABOUT TAWHID (ONENESS OF ALLAH): ﻋﻦ ﺍﻟﺘﻮﺣـﻴــﺪ “By attributing qualifications to Allah a person will have negated Allah's Oneness. By comparing anything with Allah a person shows his ignorance about Allah's reality. By giving Allah a simile, a person misses the point. By pointing to Allah or imagining Him, a person will have meant something other than Allah. By having to depend on something else it means the object is a created recipient, thus becomes deficient by itself.
Quran and Etrat Internet University Summer 2009 Semester