In the name of Allah

The All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful

15 Dhil-Qadah 1445 (24 May 2024)

Islamic Universal Association

20 Penzance Place, Holland Park

London, W11 4 PG


Imam Ali (a.s)s advice in the Nahjal-Balagha – Part 28


Further to my discussion on Imam Ali (a.s)’s Sermon 105, I would like to highlight below the duties and obligations of an Imam/leader of Muslims:


  • An Imam should excel in good deeds, acquire divine virtues and be impeccable in his actions and deeds. People should accept his teachings and enlightened guidance and follow his spiritual light. Imam Ali (a.s) in his sermon has said:
  • “…Secure light from the flame of lamp of the preacher who follows what he preaches and draws water from the spring which has been cleaned from dirt.”
  • An Imam has an obligation to advise the Islamic nation without any ambiguity and to convey messages and warn the people as best as possible, and in doing so the people should not have any excuse that they were not aware of the meanings and implications. Relevant extract from the Sermon reads:
  • “Certainly, there is no obligation on the Imam except what has been devolved on him from Allah, namely to convey warnings, to exert good advice.”
  • He should uphold and revive the Sunnah which is the legacy of the Holy Prophet (s.a) and the lens through which the Holy Quran is interpreted and understood. Sunnah is the transmitted record of the teachings, deeds and sayings of the Holy Prophet (s.a), which is the source of Islamic law after the Holy Quran.
  • The Imam should enforce the Shariah law and apply penalties whenever necessary and ensure that the laws are not flouted.
  • The Imam should administer the revenue of the Baitul Maal appropriately and give due shares to the poor and needy. Baitul Maal is a public treasury of the Islamic State which was established by the Holy Prophet (s.a). Its literal meaning is House of Wealth and it has a significant role in the eradication of poverty.


In the sermon the Imam urges his followers to seek knowledge from proper sources and not to desist from acquiring knowledge from scholars and Imams, who are well-versed in the principles of Islam. He also advised his followers to advise others to abstain from forbidden acts (Nahe An-Munkar), and in any case they should refrain from such acts themselves. The relevant extract from the Sermon provides:

“So hasten towards knowledge before its source dries up and before you turn away from seeking knowledge from those who have it. Desist others from the unlawful and abstain from it yourself, because you have been commanded to abstain yourself before abstaining others.”


Second Sermon

Personality of Imam Ali Ibne Musa Al Reza (a.s)

I hereby reiterate that Imam Reza (a.s.) was a progeny of the Holy Prophet (s.a.) and his eighth successor. His father, Musa Al-Kazim (a.s), was our seventh Imam and his mother, Najmah, was extremely virtuous.

Imam Reza (a.s.)’s life is a beacon for the straying, a milestone for those who tread on the path of piety and devotion and an ideal example of excellent morals and integrity. He safeguarded and propagated the principles of Islam and guided the perplexed and the aberrant to the truth. He devoted his entire life in exalting the position of Muslims and Allah (s.w.t.) appointed him as an eminent figure for the Shiites. He was also the best, most humble and sincere worshipper of Allah (s.w.t.) during his era and even his enemies acknowledged this fact. The famous poet, Ibrahim Ibn Abbas, paid tribute to the Imam as follows: I have never seen nor heard anyone as knowledgeable, meritorious and virtuous as Abul Hasan Al-Reza. He never turned away from anyone nor did he reject the needy; he did not interrupt or stretch his legs before an audience; he never abused his slaves, servants or attendants; he never laughed out loud, rather his laughter was merely a smile. When he was ready to eat, he would invite his slaves and attendants to sit and eat with him. He spent most of his nights in prayers and recitation of the Quran. He was extremely generous and gave charity especially at nights when he could not be seen or recognised by anyone.” (Manaqib Ibne Shahr Ashoob, volume 4, page 360)


Once a man said to him: “By God, there is none who is superior to you in nobility.” The Imam replied: “My ancestors are honored merely for their godliness, piety and worship.” Another man once declared: By God, you are the best in the world.” The Imam checked him and said: “Do not take Allah’s name in vain; any man who is more pious than me can be better than me.The Imam on several occasions would declare the Hadith of the Holy Prophet (s.a.) that a black slave can be better than a person from his own family if his deeds are better. He would complete the recitation of the Holy Quran every three days and once he said: “I can complete the recitation of the Quran in less than three days. However, I do not only recite the verses but I also ponder over their profound meanings and understand when and why they were revealed. It is for these reasons that I complete the recitation of the Quran in three days.” His behavior with the poor and the destitute was humane in the deepest sense of the word. He considered them as his co-religionists and brothers in humanity. It has been narrated in Bihar Al-Anwar, V: 49 Page: 101 that whenever food was served, he would call all his servants, including the gatekeeper to sit and eat with him. He insisted on eating his meals only after the entire members of his family, young and old, including his servants were present. When someone suggested that it would be better to make separate eating arrangements for the servants, The Imam replied: “We are created by God, Adam is their father and Eve is their mother. Everyone will be judged by God according to their deeds. Why should there be any discrimination in this world?”


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