In the name of Allah

The All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful

28th Dhil-Hijja 1445 (5th July 2024)

Islamic Universal Association

20 Penzance Place, Holland Park

London, W11 4 PG



Imam Ali (A.S.)’s advice in the Nahjal-Balagha – Part 35

Further to last week’s discussion on Sermon 114 of Imam Ali (a.s.), today I would like to discuss worldly life as opposed to eternal life in the hereafter.


  • This world and the hereafter are not two distinct and separate realities; in fact, they form an inseparable single unit in which one leads to the other. The hereafter starts, when this world ends and we lose all what we had gained or achieved here in a single moment, other than the provisions for the hereafter.


  • This temporal world does not bear any significance when compared to the hereafter. We should, therefore, strive for our eternal life. The Holy Quran reminds us in Ayah 39 of Surah Al-Ghafir that the enjoyment of worldly life is transient and not forever like the hereafter: “O people! The life of this world is only a transient enjoyment; verily the hereafter is the lasting abode.”


  • The Holy Prophet (s.a.) advised his companions during the Battle of the Trench and during his farewell Hajj Sermon: “Life of this world, living in this world and living for the world all differ. Yet living in this world for the hereafter is a sign of true success.Living for the world is to pursue carnal desires whereas living for the hereafter is to try and accumulate provisions for our eternal life. The latter is living in this world without pursuing a delusional worldly life. The Holy Qur’an has warned us not to deluded or deceived by the enjoyments of worldly life in Ayah 64 of Surah Al-Ankabut:. “This life is but a vain sport and play, and verily the abode of the hereafter is the true life if you only know.”


  • We should maintain a balance in life, as the Holy Prophet (s.a.) once advised: Work for this life as though you are going to live forever, and work for the hereafter as though you will die tomorrow.” We should educate ourselves, acquire wealth and esteemed positions’, but we should not regard them as our goal in life. Rather we should be prepared for death and use these opportunities as means to reach our final destination. When this world becomes our main focus and purpose in life we get so involved with its surroundings that we begin to dedicate all our efforts in achieving and accumulating worldly materials thereby failing to acquire eternal prosperity for the hereafter. To be continued



Second Sermon

The event of Mubahala

The significant event of Mubahala occurred on the 24th of Dhil-Hijja, 10 Hijri which demonstrated the prophecy of the Holy Prophet (s.a.) and infallibility of his Ahlul Bait. Moreover, another important event occurred during the month of Dhil-Hijja, when Ayahs 8 and 9 of Surah Ad-Dahr (Insan) were revealed, which was a great evidence of the superiority and excellence of Hazrat Fatima and Imam Ali (a.s.) and their proximity to the Creator.


The Ayahs read: “And they gave away food out of love for Him to the poor man, the orphan and the captive, (Saying): “We feed you only for God’s sake; and we seek no recompense or thanks from you.” However, today I will discuss the event of Mubahala.


In 9 Hijri, the Holy Prophet (s.a.) sent a letter to Abdu Haris Ibne Alqama, the Grand Bishop of Najran, the official representative of the Roman Church in the Hijaz, inviting him and his people to embrace Islam. The following year, in 10 Hijri a Christian delegation from Najran (a city near the Yemeni border), came to Medina to seek clarification about Jesus in light of the said letter. They maintained that Jesus was the son of God although the Holy Prophet (s.a.) tried to explain to them that he was a servant of Allah (s.w.t.), chosen by Him as His Prophet. At that time, Ayahs 59 and 60 of Surah Aale Imran were revealed: Verily, the similitude of Jesus with God is like that of Adam; He created him of dust, then He said to him, “Be!” and he was. This is the truth from your Lord; therefore do not entertain any doubt.


However, when the Christians remained adamant in their belief that Jesus was the son of God and categorically refused to accept the Holy Prophet (s.a.)’s point of view, Ayahs 61-63 of Surah Aale Imran (the verses of Mubahala) were revealed: And to him who disputes with you therein after knowledge has come to you say: Come! Let us summon our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves; then let us invoke and lay the curse of God upon the liars! Verily, this is the true narrative. There is no god except Allah and verily God is the Almighty, the All-wise. But if they turn away, then, verily, God knows the mischief-makers. Hence in accordance with Allah (s.w.t.)’s command, the Holy Prophet (s.a.) challenged the Christians to a Mubahala, that is to pray and invoke Allah (s.w.t.)’s curse on the party that insists upon falsehood.


In accordance with a hadith recorded in Bihar Al-Anwar, the Christians accepted the challenge and on the following day, the 24th of Dhil-Hijja, the Holy Prophet (s.a.) came to the designated confrontation site with selected members of his family, namely, Hussain, Hassan, Fatima, and Ali (a.s.). The Christians were surprised when they saw the Holy Prophet (s.a.)’s Ahlul Bait, and they realised that if the Holy Prophet (s.a.) had the slightest doubt in the truth of the message of Islam, he would not challenge them and if he had the slightest fear of the curse he would not have come with his close family members to face them. Therefore, they backed away from the confrontation and agreed to pay the jizya tax to the Islamic State in return for their protection and the following year many Christians converted to Islam. There are various Islamic sources explaining this event which clearly denote that those who came with the Holy Prophet (s.a.) for Mubahala (Imam Ali, Hazrat Fatima, Hassan and Hussain) were infallible.

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