In the name of Allah

The All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful

11th Ramadan 1445 (22nd 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 19

As explained last week Imam Ali (a.s.), in Sermon 86, advised that we should not waste time and refrain from being heedless of Allah (s.w.t)’s commands as the life in this world is temporary. He also advised as follows:


  • The best guide in Islam is one who is obedient to his Lord, adheres to the teachings of his religion, is keen to please Allah (s.w.t.), hastens on the basis of faith to do good deeds, turns away out of fear of Allah (s.w.t) from all evil deeds, learns from righteous individuals and takes them as friends for the sake of Allah (s.w.t.), opposes the enemies of Allah (s.w.t.) and resents sin. Such a person’s faith is safe unlike the disbelievers who deceive themselves and are heedless about the grave consequences they will bear in the hereafter. The Imam has said: “The best adviser is he who is the most obedient to Allah, and the most deceiving is he who is the most disobedient to Allahs commands. Deceived is one who deceives himself. Enviable is he whose faith is safe. Fortunate is he who takes lessons from others…”
  • Vain desires include desire for power, wealth, fame and the like. They are difficult to satisfy and the more one gets, the more one wants. A victim of such desires is in a state of obliviousness and in denial of the eternal life in the hereafter. In order to overcome such false desires, one should free oneself from attachment of material things and surrender to one’s faith, with a renewed sense of purpose in life. The Imam has said in his sermon: “Unfortunate is he who falls victim to his desires.” He has also said: And know that desires make the mind forgetful and obliterates memory. You should refrain from false desire because it is a deception, and he who has such desires is in deceit.”
  • The means of Ibadat (worship) to Allah (s.w.t) must be pure and without even the slightest association with anyone or anything with Him. According to the Imam, “You should know that even the smallest hypocrisy believes in more than one God.”
  • Truthfulness is the fundamental characteristic of a believer and the platform for virtuous deeds, falsehood on the other hand is contrary to faith. The Holy Quran demonstrates that a liar is not a believer and one who is a believer never speaks a lie. The Holy Prophet (a.) advised: Beware of the greatest mortal sins: Associating anything with Allah, disobeying parents and lying!” A similar tradition has been quoted from Imam Hasan Al-Askari (a.s.): “All the evils have been locked in a room and its key is lying.” In the sermon under reference the Imam said: “Be on your guard against falsehood because it is contrary to faith. A truthful person is on the height of salvation and dignity, while a liar is on the edge of ignominy and degradation.”
  • Jealousy (hasad) is not only a sin in Islam but it is considered as the most destructive emotion and one of the major illnesses that destroys a person’s mental state and happiness. It also weakens one’s faith in Allah (s.w.t) and turns a person into a sinner, like Satan. When Allah (s.w.t.) ordered Satan to prostrate to Adam, he refused to do so as he was jealous of the status and honor Allah (s.w.t) had conferred on Adam. Imam Ali (a.s.) has said: “Do not be jealous because jealousy eats away faith like fire eats away dried wood.
  • Malice or deep-seated resentment towards someone is a painful ailment and a negative emotion which stems from envy, jealousy or hatred. This feeling of malice is not only harmful to the person who harbors it, but it also spreads like a disease, infecting others around them. It is a spiritual sickness that afflicts the heart and soul. The Holy Quran has warned about its destructive consequences and the Holy Prophet (s.a.) has said: “Malice shaves away a person’s deeds until his account is bare.” Imam Ali (a.s.) has advised: “Do not bear malice because, it is a scraper of virtues.” To be continued



Second Sermon

The virtues of the holy month of Ramadan – Part 4

The Holy Prophet (s.a.) in the third part of his Ramadan sermon pointed out the special reward for performing some acts and deeds during this auspicious month:

“And for the one who spreads his kindness, Allah will spread His mercy over him on the day of Judgement. As for the one who cuts the ties of relation, Allah will cut His mercy from him…

“Whosoever performs a recommended prayer in this month Allah will keep the fire of hell away from him…

Whoever performs an obligatory prayer Allah will reward him with seventy prayers in this month. And whosoever prays a lot during this month he will have his load lightened on the day of measure. He who recites one verse of the Holy Quran will be given the reward of reciting the entire Quran.”

  • In view of the foregoing, we should show kindness to all especially during the month of Ramadan as Allah (s.w.t.) will spread His mercy over us on the Day of Judgement.
  • We will be deprived of Allah (s.w.t.)’s blessings if we sever ties of kinship. We should therefore maintain good relations with our kin.
  • We should offer both mandatory and recommended prayers as the reward is immense during this month.
  • Reciting the Holy Quran is very rewarding in Ramadan as even a single verse recited in Ramadan has the reward of reciting the entire Quran.


I would also like to add that according to Ayah 183 of Surah Al-Baqarah fasting helps us to achieve piety and righteousness. It has great ramification on us, both physically as well as spiritually. It is important for a number of reasons; when we are not paying attention to our mortal needs such as food, we may be in a position to become more in tune with Allah (s.w.t.) and our spiritual side thereby freeing our soul from the shackles of temptations and wrongdoings and learning discipline, self-restraint, patience and flexibility. The Ayah states as follows: “O you who believe! Fasting has been ordained to you as it was ordained to those before you, so that you guard yourselves against evil.”

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