The Wisdom of Hazrat Ali: Selections from Nahj al-Balaghah for Young People (II)

INTRODUCTION: Nahj al-Balaghah is regarded as one of the masterpieces of Arabic prose. The hundreds of sayings, sermons, letters and speeches which appear in the book are attributed to Hazrat Ali. The work is difficult to translate, yet by carefully reading through the book one comes across passages that will appeal to everyone, including children and young adults. This is a continuation of our series on Nahj al-Balaghah for Young People.  The sermon number, where available, is provided after each quote for further reading of the passages.



By God,
were I given all the seven heavens
with all they contain
in order that
I may disobey God
by depriving an ant
from the husk of a grain of barley,
I would not do it…..224



We are the tree of Prophethood,
the place of descent
of Divine revelation,
the place of frequenting
of the angels,
and the mainsprings of knowledge.
Those who help us and love us
await (God’s) mercy…..109


Amongst you,
I am like a lamp in the darkness.
Everyone making his way through the darkness
have to get light from it…..187


To them (the Household of the Prophet)
pertain the noblest of human virtues described in the Qur’an,
and they are the treasures of the Beneficent Allah.
When they speak, they speak the truth,
but when they keep quiet, no one can out strip them.



Commit yourselves to prayer
and be watchful over it.
Pray as much as you can
and seek nearness to God through it…..199



O God, send out for us Your rains,
that would benefit us, satiate our thirst,
and makes the land green with grass,
wherewith all that has withered may grow,
and come to life all that has died,
a rain which brings abundance,
produces plenty of fruits,
dressing the trees with foliage…..143



Learn the Qur’an,
for it is the most splendid of all speech;
and become learned in it,
for it is the spring of the hearts.
Cure yourselves with its light,
for it is a remedy for sick hearts.
Recite it in the best manner,
for it is the fairest of accounts…..110



One who acts without knowledge
is like one who walks off the road.
Then his deviating from the clear path
takes him farther and farther away from
his destination.
But one who acts with knowledge
is like one who walks on the clear path.
Therefore, one should see
whether he is moving forward
towards his goal or going backwards……154



Everything submits to Him,
and everything exists by Him.
He is the recourse of every poor,
the honour of the lowly,
the might of the weak,
and the comfort of the grieved.
He hears the speech of every speaker,
and knows the secret thoughts of
one who keeps silent.
He provides the livelihood of every living thing,
and to Him returns everything that dies…..109



I will tell you about Jesus,
son of Mary.
he had a stone for his pillow,
wore coarse dress,
and ate rough food.
His lamp at night was the moon,
and the earth’s vast expanse east and
west, his roof during winter.
His dessert and relish were
what grows on the earth for cattle.
His feet were his means of transport
and his two hands his servant.



Praise be to Allah
when the night falls
and darkens,
and praise be to Allah
when the stars shine and set…..48



The young among you should follow the elders
while the elders should be kind to the young.
Do not be like those rude people of the
pre-lslamic period
who did not exert themselves in religion
nor use their intellects in the matter of Allah.
They are like the breaking of eggs
in the nest of a dangerous bird,
because their breaking looks bad,
but keeping them intact
would mean the production
of dangerous young ones…..164

 Date posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012.


Please also click: The Wisdom of Hazrat Ali: Selections from Nahj al-Balaghah for Young People (I)

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