About Nahjul Balaghah
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate the Merciful
Grand Ayatollah Sistani (may Allah grant him long life)
Your Eminence is kindly requested to let us know your view in a few sentences regarding Nahjul Balaghah.
May Allah protect you for Islam and Muslims.
Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate the Merciful
What has been recorded in this book from words and sayings of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (A.S) is, without doubt, at the peak and pinnacle of eloquence after the words of Allah, the Exalted, and those of His Prophet (S). That is because the book offers innate (fitri) methods of thinking and reflection on the universe and the realities in it. As well, the book provides an exposition of the tenets of Islam, its teachings, guidelines and traditions which human life is based upon. Also, the ways to self-purification and development of the soul, the purposes of Shari'ah which provide the basis of religious laws have been put forward. Similarly, the etiquettes of statesmanship, its conditions and necessary qualifications, the method of praising and glorifying Allah, invocation and supplication etc. have been explained.
This precious book, on the other hand, is a true mirror showcasing the history of Islam and the events that took place following the demise of the Holy Prophet (S) especially the period of the caliphate of Imam Ali (A.S) encompassing an important part of his normative conduct, moral virtues, knowledge and jurisprudence.
It is befitting for all Muslims to benefit from this book in their religious matters, to learn from it and use it for self-purification. I recommend all – especially the youth – to give special importance to studying this book, reflecting on it and memorizing a part of it. What is expected of those who claim to love the Imam and who wish to have lived in his time so that they could hear his advice and benefit from his guidance and walk in his path, is to fulfill their wish by benefiting from the contents of this book.
The Commander of the Faithful, Ali (A.S) said during the Battle of Jamal: "I am accompanied, in this battle, by those who are still in their fathers' loins and their mothers' uteruses." He referred to those whose true intentions based on their aspirations and desires concerning the presence of the Imam of Time (A.S) and obedience to his commands, God is aware of. These are people who – on the Day of Judgment when every people will be resurrected with their leaders (good or bad) – will be resurrected with divine saints (awlia). That is because they acted upon the teachings of the Commander of the Faithful (A.S) without casting doubt or making an excuse or showing their attachment towards him by expressing their desires only.
It is befitting for Muslim rulers to fulfill the duties which the Imam (A.S) has laid upon people like them; to obey his orders and endeavor to walk in his footsteps in terms of their conducts and deeds. Muslim rulers should consider themselves as though they are governors appointed by the Imam so that the degree of their adherence and abidance to his commands may be made known.
We pray to God, the Exalted, to assist us all and guide us in the right path and protect us from the evils of carnal desires. Indeed, success and victory is granted by the Lord only.
Ali Al-Hussaini Al-Sistani
26 Rajab 1433 A.H