The Eloquent Manner by Imam Ali (a.s.)
Selection by: Engineer Afsaneh Cooper
1. The best companion is submission to Allah's will, knowledge is a venerable estate, good manners
are new dresses and thinking is clear mirror.
2. He who admires himself attracts many opponents against him, charity is an effective cure and the
actions of the people in their present life would be in front of their eyes in the next life.
3. How wonderful is man that he speaks with fat, talks with a piece of flesh, hears with a bone and
breathes through a hole.
4. When this world advances towards any one (with its favours) it attributes to him others' good; and
when it turns away from him it deprives him of his own good.
5. Meet people in such a manner that if you die they should weep for you and if you live they should
long for you.
6. The most helpless of all men is he who cannot find a few brothers during his age, but still more
helpless is he who finds such a brother but loses him.
7. When you get (only) small favours do not push them away through lack of gratefulness.
8. Every mischief monger cannot even be reproved.
9. All matters are subject to destiny, so much so that sometimes death results from effort.
10. He who gallops with loose rein stumbles with death.
11. The consequence of fear is disappointment and of bashfulness frustration. Opportunity passes
away like the cloud. Therefore make use of good opportunities.
12. He whom his deeds accord back position cannot be given front position by his lineage.
13. To render relief to the grief stricken and to provide comfort in hardship means atonement of big
14. Whoever prolongs his desire ruins his actions.
15. Blessed is the person who kept in mind the next life, acted so as to be able to render account;
remained content with what sufficed him and remained pleased with Allah.
16. Victory is by determination; determinations is by revolving of thoughts and thoughts are formed
by guarding secrets.
17. Hearts of the people are like wild beasts. Whoever tames them they would pounce upon him.
18. There is no riches like wisdom, no destitution like ignorance, no inheritance like refinement and
no support like consultation.
19. Wealth is the fountain head of passions.
20. Woman is a scorpion whose grip is sweet.
22. The people of the world are like travellers who are being carried while they are asleep.
23. If what you aim at does not come about then do not worry as to what you were.
24. As intelligence increases speech decreases.
25. The worth of every man is by his attainments.
26. These hearts get disgusted as the bodies get disgusted; so look for beautiful wise sayings for
27. When you hear a tradition test it according to the criterion of intelligence not that of mere
hearing, because relaters of knowledge are numerous but those who guard it are few.
28. Whoever falls short of actions gets into grief, and Allah has nothing to do with him who spares
nothing from his wealth in the name of Allah.
29. A friend is not a friend unless he affords protection to his comrade on three occasions-in
adversity, in his absence and at his death.
Imam Ali, 1981, "Nahjul-Balaghah" (The Eloquent Manner) by Imam Ali; Ansariyan Publications P.O.Box 37185/187 Qum, IRAN.
This book is the main holy book of Shi'a Muslims after the Qur'an. Imam Ali (A.S) was the cousin, son-in-law and successor of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h). He was the editor of the Qur'an.