Praise be to Allah Who established
Islam and made it easy for those who approach it and gave strength to its
columns against anyone who tries to overpower it. So Allah made it (a source
of) peace for whoever clings to it, safety for whoever enters it, argument for
whoever speaks about it, witness for whoever fights with its help, light for
whoever seeks light from it, understanding for whoever provides it, sagacity
for whoever exerts, a sign (of guidance) for whoever perceives, sight for whoever
resolves, lesson for whoever seeks advice, salvation for whoever testifies, confidence
for whoever trusts, pleasure for whoever entrusts and a shield for whoever
It is the brightest of all paths and
the clearest of all passages. It has dignified minarets, bright highways,
burning lamps, and prestigious fields of activity and high objectives. It has a
collection of race horses. It is approached eagerly. Its riders are honorable.
A testimony (to Allah, Prophet (s.a.), etc.) is its way, good deeds are its
minarets, death is in extremity, this world is its race-course. The Day of
Judgement is its horses and Paradise is its point of approach.
Islam is the religion which Allah
has chosen for Himself, developed it before His eyes, preferred it as the best
among His creations, established its pillars on His love. He has disgraced
other religions by giving honor to it. He has humiliated all communities before
its sublimity; He has humbled its enemies with His kindness and made its
opponents lonely by according it His support. He has smashed the pillars of misguidance
with its columns. He has quenched the thirst of the thirsty with its cisterns
and filled the cisterns through those who draw its water.
He made Islam such that its
constituent parts cannot break, its joins cannot separate, its structure cannot
fall, its columns cannot decay, its plant cannot be uprooted, its time does not
end, its laws do not expire, its twigs cannot be cut, its parts do not become
narrow, its ease does not change into difficulty, its clarity is not affected
by gloom, its straightness does not acquire curvature, its wood has no
crookedness, its vast paths have no narrowness, its lamp knows no putting off
and its sweetness has no bitterness.
It consists of columns whose bases
Allah has fixed in truthfulness and whose foundation He has strengthened, and
of sources the streams of which are ever full of water, of lamps the flames of
which are full of light and of beacons with the help of which travellers get
guidance and of signs through which a way is found to its highways and of
watering places which provide water to those who come to them. Allah has placed
in Islam the height of His pleasure, the pinnacle of His pillars and the prominence
of His obedience. Before Allah, therefore, its columns stand strong, its
structure is lofty, its proofs are bright, its fires are aflame, its authority
is strong, its beacons are high and its destruction is difficult. You should,
therefore, honor it, follow it, fulfil its obligations and accord the status
due to it.
Muhammad’s distinction cannot be
paralleled nor can his loss be made good. Populated places were brightened
through him when previously there was dark misguidance, overpowering ignorance
and rude habits and people regarded unlawful as lawful, humiliated the man of
wisdom, passed lives when there were no prophets and died as unbelievers.
Allah knows the cries of the beasts
in the forest, the sins of the people in seclusion, the movements of the fishes
in the deep seas and the rising of the water by tempestuous winds. I testify
that Muhammad (s.a,) is the choice of Allah, the conveyor of His revelation and
the Messenger of His mercy.
You should not become landmarks of
mischief and signs of innovations but should adhere to that on which the rope
of the community has been wound and on which the pillars of obedience have been
founded. Proceed towards Allah as oppressed and do not proceed to
Him as oppressors. Avoid the paths
of Satan and the places of rebellion.
Do not put in your bellies unlawful
morsels because you are facing the One Who has made disobedience unlawful for
you and made the path of obedience easy for you. Worship and acquit yourselves
of the obligation of obeying Him.
the Functions of the Imams
O people! secure light from the
flame of lamps of the preacher who follows what he preaches and draw water from
the spring which has been cleaned of dirt.
O servants of Allah, do not rely on
your ignorance. Do not be obedient to your desires because he who stays at this
place is like one who stays on the brink of a bank undermined by water carrying
ruin on his back from one portion to the other and following his opinion which
he changes (one after the other). He wants to adhere what cannot adhere and
to bring together what cannot keep
together. So fear Allah and do not place your complaints before him who cannot
redress your grievance, nor undo with his opinion what has been made obligatory
Certainly, there is no obligation on
the Imam except what has been devolved on him from Allah, namely to convey
warnings, to exert in good advice, to revive the Sunnah, to enforce penalties
on those liable to them and to issue shares to the deserving. So hasten toward
knowledge before its vegetation dries up and before you turn yourselves away
from seeking knowledge from those who have it. Desist others from the unlawful
and abstain from it yourself because you have been commanded to abstain
(yourself) before abstaining (others).
the Holy Prophet (s.a.)
The Prophet (s.a.) lit flames for
the seeker and put bright signs for the impeded. So he is Your trustworthy
trustee, Your witness on the Day of Judgement, Your deputy as a blessing and
Your messenger of truth as mercy. May Allah distribute to him a share from Your
Justice and award him multiples of good by Your bounty. May Allah heighten his construction
over the construction of others, honor him when he comes to You, dignify his
status before You, give him honorable status and award him glory and
distinction and bring us out (on Day of Judgement) among his party, neither
ashamed, nor repentant, nor deviators, nor pledge breakers, nor strayers, nor
misleading others, nor seduced.
Sayyid ar-Radi says the following:
“This sermon had already appeared earlier but we have repeated it here because
of the difference between the two versions.
Sermons: 104, 105, 150, 196 of Imam
Ali from Nahjul Balagha