In the name of Allah

The All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful

27th Shabaan  1445 (8th March  2024)

Islamic Universal Association

20 Penzance Place, Holland Park

London, W11 4 PG


Imam Ali (a.s.)’s advice in the Nahjal-Balagha – Part 17

Imam Ali (a.s.) was the reservoir and fountainhead of eloquence and his sermons and advice bear the imprint of divine wisdom. His Sermon 86 has great depth and I quote below its first two paragraphs:

“Allah knows hidden secrets and is aware of inner feelings. He encompasses everything. He has control and power over everything. Everyone should do whatever he has to do during his days of opportunity (life) and before the expiry of his term (death) and during his free time before his pre-occupation, and during his breathing and before he is overtaken by suffocation and is seized by death. He should provide for himself and his journey and should collect provisions from his place of temporary stay for his place of eternal rest.

So remember Allah, O’ people, about what He has asked you in His Book to take care of, and about His rights that He has entrusted to you. Verily, Allah has not created you aimlessly and in vain and He has not left you unbridled, alone in ignorance and gloom. He has defined what you should leave behind, taught you your acts, decreed your death, sent down to you “the Book (Quran) explaining everything.” (Quran, 16:89) and made His Prophet live among you for a long time until He completed for him and for you His message through His Book namely His religion which He was satisfied with and clarified through His Prophet the acts that He liked and disliked, His prohibitions and His commands.”


Valuable point

  • Man should be aware of the realities of life and the fact that death is a certainty. He is merely a traveler here far away from his original abode.
  • As the life in the world is a trial, we are enjoined to take from it nothing more than that which will help us to lead a life of subsistence and to fortify ourselves with good work and piety.
  • We are responsible for our activities on earth where we have freedom of choice. We have not been created to strive for this world, but we have been made to stay here to stand trial in the hereafter. We should therefore recall acts with which our forefathers were entangled in for which they have to account and our time is not far behind,
  • We have not been created aimlessly and in vain; we have been given a perfect sense to acquire knowledge of the external world, and also reason and wisdom to exercise freedom of thought and action. Although Allah (s.w.t.) has given us complete freedom to do as we like, we are required to follow His commands and refrain from what He has prohibited so as to lead us towards the most convenient ways of life.
  • We should therefore make full atonement during our remaining days and practice endurance. These days are fewer as against the many days during which we have shown obliviousness and heedlessness. We should not waste our time and procrastinate because it will lead us towards depravity and sinfulness. To be continued.



Second Sermon

Virtues of the holy month of Ramadan – Part 2

The month of Ramadan has special merit for it is the month wherein Allah (s.w.t) grants clemency and reprieve to the believers who fast, pray and supplicate him with the greatest of fervour and sincerity. The Holy Prophet (s.a.) regarded this month with great reverence and in his sermon on the holy month of Ramadan he gave extensive advice on gaining the best possible benefits during this month. The sermon itself is pretty lengthy and I quote below an extract from it.


O’ Muslims! A month has approached you laden with blessings, mercy and forgiveness. It is a month which Allah regards it as the best of all months; its days, in the sight of Allah, are the best of all days, its nights are the best of all nights and its hours are the best of all hours. It is a month wherein you are invited to be the guest of Allah and to be near Him. You have been selected as a recipient of honour and Allah’s Grace. Every breath you take during this month has the reward of tasbih (glorification of Allah), your sleep is worship, your good deeds are accepted and so are your invocations. Your voluntary acts of worship are received favourably and your supplications are granted. So ask Allah, our Lord, with earnestness and with hearts that are free from sins to enable you to fast during this month and to recite His Book. Those who are devoid of Allah’s forgiveness during this great month are the unfortunate. Give alms to the needy and the poor, honour the elderly, show kindness to the young, maintain relations with your relatives, guard your tongue, refrain from seeing or hearing that which are not permissible, show compassion to the orphans, sincerely seek Allah’s forgiveness for your sins and raise your hands in supplication during these times, for they are the best of times as Allah looks towards his creatures with kindness and answers their prayers and grants their needs if they invoke Him with sincerity.…..”


The above extract comprehensively highlights the importance and virtues of this month. The ten key features are as follows:

  1. It is a month of blessings, mercy and forgiveness.
  2. It is the best month regarded by Allah (s.w.t.); its days, nights and hours are the very best.
  3. It is a month of great honour, wherein we have been invited to be the guest of Allah (s.w.t.) and to be near Him.
  4. Allah (s.w.t.)’s blessings and mercy are bestowed on us constantly day and night.
  5. Every breath we take during this month has the reward of glorifying Allah (s.w.t).
  6. Our sleep is worship and our deeds are accepted favourably.
  7. It is the best of times and Allah (s.w.t) looks towards his creatures with kindness and answers their prayers and grants their needs if they invoke Him with earnestness.
  8. We should beseech Allah (s.w.t) to enable us to fast and recite the Holy Quran.
  9. We should seek forgiveness for our sins and omissions for this is best month for seeking Allah (s.w.t.)’s forgiveness.
  10. Those who are devoid of Allah (s.w.t.)’s forgiveness during this great month are the unfortunate.

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