Imam of the people -Lessons from the Nahj ul-Balagha series

Children Corner by Ghazaleh Kamrani

As we mentioned before Imam Ali’s(a) words of advice given to the people of his time are equally relevant today. That is why here, in Children’s Corner, we have randomly selected sermons from the collection of his words for you to become familiar with.

In sermon 100, Imam says: “Be attentive that the example of the Household of the Prophet Muhammad’s(s) -Ahl ul Bayt-is like the stars of the heaven; when one star sets (or dies) another one rises”.
Here, the Imam is referring to the continuity of true Islamic teachings provided by the Prophet Muhammad(s) through his family, even after the occultation of Imam -Al Mahdi (atf), by the will of God Almighty.

The following extract from sermon 224 is one of the most remarkable. He says: “Was I given all the seven heavens with all that they contain in order that I may disobey God by depriving an ant of the husk of a grain of barley, I would not do it.”

An ant can be considered one of the smallest creatures of God. Imam Ali(a) who was known for his fairness, generosity and kindness, summarises how good it is not to deprive even an ant of its sustenance, even so little as a tiny grain. This brings us to think: Who can accept that a person who feels like this could be an unfair and unjust person especially when judging bigger and more important affairs of his community.

On the Qur’an, he says: “Certainly, the Qur’an is wonderful in its outward form, and its inner meanings are profound.” Sermon 18

Muslims believe that the Qur’an contains the words of God Almighty transmitted to humans through the revelation given to the Prophet Muhammad(s). This is not the first time that God chose to talk to people indirectly through His chosen messengers but it was the last. In the Qur’an God has completed all He wanted to say to humanity in order for people to learn from it and obey Him. Here the Imam emphasises not only the importance of the Qur’an but also its beautiful nature.

At the beginning of Islam new Muslims were lucky to hear the words of the Prophet first hand, but there still were people who misled others for their own benefit.

In respect of Imam Ali and his position after the Prophet Muhammad, we have received undisputable reports when the Prophet spoke or mentioned Imam Ali(a) which indicate his importance in preserving Islam: Sayings such as: “I am the House of Wisdom, and Ali is its Door,” or in the narration of Ghadir Khumm in which the Prophet Muhammad(s) clearly declared: “to whomever, I am a leader, Ali is also their leader.” The Prophet instructed everyone to pledge loyalty to Ali.

In sermon 187 Imam Ali(a) emphasises his leadership directly to us. He says: “Amongst you, I am like a lamp in the darkness. Everyone making his way through the darkness has to get light from it.”
Whoever wants to follow the Prophet Muhammad’s(s) teachings can easily do so by following the guidance and teachings of Imam Ali(a) and his household, the 11 Imams who came after him. They are like stars, when one sets another rise.


Illustration by Ghazaleh Kamrani

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