As you know, Imam Ali’s(a) words of advice in the form of sermons or letters have been gathered in a book called Nahj ul-Balagha. Here, in Children’s Corner, we try to select some of these and share them with you so we can all familiarise ourselves with his words.
In sermon 110 Imam Ali(a) refers to the importance of the Qur’an as the word of God and suggests to us;
“To learn the Qur’an, as it is the most wonderful of all conversations.
To think about its words and learn it, as it is like the Spring season of our hearts when everything comes to life again.
To heal our hearts with its beauty.
To read it beautifully and in the best of manners as it is the best of speech and the most realistic of all explanations.”
Again in sermon 199, Imam emphasises the importance of prayers as an essential way to show our love for God. He asks us to form a close friendship with our prayers, and to be faithful to them, and to perform them a lot [within our ability], and to try to find nearness to God through our prayers.
Imam Ali asks us to be grateful for what we have and to pray to God to receive what is good for us and in abundance.
In sermon 143, Imam Ali reminds us of God’s essential blessing – water. Water can be considered as one of the most important blessings of God. There are countries in this world whose people suffer due to lack of water; their food is limited as they cannot grow sufficient food for themselves. So it is essential that we appreciate this blessing and do not waste it.
Imam Ali says: “O God, send us Your rains, Your bounty, Your provision, and Your mercy. Give us water in a quantity that would benefit us, satisfies our thirst, and makes the land green with grass, and that all that has died may grow again. A rain which brings plenty produces delicious fruits, waters the fields, flows in the valleys, dresses the trees with vegetation, and keeps our living expenses low. God, surely You are able to do whatever You will.”
In one of his letters, Imam Ali(a) reminds us that lack of sustenance does not necessarily make you a weak person – sometimes those whose wealth is limited have stronger personalities.
He says: “Remember, that wood of the tree which grows in the desert, has the strongest of fibres, while the flourishing greenery has the softest of barks. The bushes of the desert which only rely upon rainwater make a lasting fire and are slow in dying off. (Letter 45)