Nahl balagheh

 

In The Name Of God

 

Now then, surely jihad is one of the doors of Paradise, which Allah has opened for His chief friends. It is the dress of piety and the protective armour of Allah and His trustworthy shield. Whoever abandons it Allah covers him with the dress of disgrace and the clothes of distress. He is kicked with contempt and scorn, and his heart is veiled with screens (of neglect). Truth is taken away from him because of missing jihad. He has to suffer ignominy and justice is denied to him.

 

Imam Ali‘s Biography

Imam Ali, Ali ibn Abi Talib (600-661), fourth caliph of Islam and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad. He was the first imam(leader) of Shīismin all its forms. He was born in Mecca, the son of Abu Talib, Muhammad's uncle. He was one of the first converts to Islam and one of the most faithful followers of the Prophet. The devotion to Alī, not only as the heir of the Prophet but also as the first imam and the ancestor of all subsequent imams, has a central place in the religious consciousness of Shīism. He married Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) daughter Fatima, who bore him two sons, Hasan and Husayn. In 632, when the prophet died, Ali claimed the right of succession. He was preceded in the caliphate, however, by Abu Bakr, Umar I, and Uthman ibn Affan, and did not become caliph until 656.

In the first year of Imam Ali's reign he was forced to deal with a rebellion led by Aisha, whom Muhammad had married after the death of Fatima's mother and who bitterly opposed Ali's claim of succession. Although the rebellion was suppressed in late 656, disputes over Ali's right to the caliphate were not resolved. Muawiyah I, a member of Uthman's family, refused to recognize Ali as caliph and claimed the caliphate himself. This dispute continued until 661, when Ali was murdered at Al Kūfah by a member of the Kharijite sect; Muawiyah I was then acknowledged caliph.

On the 19th of Ramadan in the year 660, he was struck in the back of the head with a poisoned sword while praying in the mosque of Kufa. He died two days later and was buried in Al-Najaf. Along with Qom in Iran, Al-Najaf became—and remains to this day—one of the most important seats of Shīite learning and also a major pilgrimage site.

Dissension between Imam Ali's adherents and his opponents continued to shake the Muslim world. This conflict led to the first and most important schism in Islam, between the Shias (adherents of Ali) and the Sunnis (orthodox Muslims). Ali is the ancestor of the Fatimid line of caliphs, who traced their descent from Ali and Fatima.

 

About Nahj al-balaghah

Nahj al-balaghah comprises various issues that cover major problems of metaphysics,theology, fiqh, tafsir, hadith, prophetology, imamate, ethics,social philosophy, history,politics, administration, civics, science, rhetoric, poetry, literature, etc. Most of thediscussions about various theological issues and philosophical notions in Islam have theirorigin in this very book. Similarly, all the controversies regarding socio-political problems inthe Muslim society and state left their echo in Nahj al-balaghah,or rather those were inspiredfrom the utterances of al-lmam 'Ali (as).

The book not only reflects the spirit of early Islam and the teachings of the Quran and theProphet (saw) in the proper perspective, but also serves as a guide to traverse the future in the light of these teachings.

 

The complier of Nahj al-balaghah is Sayyid Al-Radi.

Al-Radi (359-406/970-1015) died young, much earlier than his elder brother,but left his markon the history of Muslim thought and poetry, which in no way can be described as lesssignificant than that of any other Imamiyyah scholar who lived much longer than him. Heshone on the bright horizon of the fourth century Hijri, regarded as the most extraordinaryperiod of all round intellectual and cultural renaissance in the history of Islam, lived for ashort period of forty-seven years but generated enough light to lead human quest for excellence for centuries.