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Imam Ali: Excerpt from Sermon 102

Imam Ali: Excerpt from Sermon 102

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Photo:  Damascus Mahmal; late 19th cent. The tradition of sending a mahmal with the pilgrim caravans was continued by the Ottomans after their conquest of Egypt. The ‘Damascus’ mahmal symbolized the authority of the Ottoman sultans in Istanbul in the same way as the mahmal that travelled from Cairo.


O people! Look at the world like those who abstain from it and turn away from it. By Allah, it will shortly turn out its inhabitants and cause grief to the happy and the safe. That which turns and goes away from it never returns and that which is likely to come about is not known or anticipated. Its joy is mingled with grief. Herein men’s firmness inclines towards weakness and languidness. The majority of what pleases you here should not mislead you because that which will help you will be little.
Allah may shower His mercy on him who ponders and takes lesson thereby and when he takes lesson he achieves enlightenment. Whatever is present in this world will shortly not exist, while whatever is (perceived) to Exist in the Hereafter is already in existence. Every countable thing will pass away. Every anticipation should be taken to be coming up and everything that is to come up should be taken as just near.
(Imam Ali)
Recommended Reading:
'Living and Dying with Grace: Counsels of Hadrat Ali'
By Thomas Cleary (Translator)
Purchase Book:

Living and Dying with Grace is a book of aphoristic Sufi teachings on how to make one'e way in the world - especially on how to bring spiritual insights to the affairs of daily life. Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam, contains a vast body of knowledge concerning the inner development of the complete human being. This book contains four hundred of Hadrat 'Ali's teachings, showing how people can use the everyday realities of their lives to cultivate wisdom and well-being, both temporal and eternal, offering a path to living and dying with grace.
''Ali, a great warrior and statesman of emergent Islam, was well known and well respected for his knowledge of the esoteric. His compassion, loyalty, and devotion marked his tenure as both a political and religious leader. The sayings here collected reveal penetrating and timeless insights into the world of life and death. For example, 'Ali's reflection that "the ignorant among you are promoted, while the knowledgeable are put off," could be a description of contemporary American politics. Cleary's able translation retains the liveliness of the original. Recommended for large public libraries or for libraries interested in Islamic spirituality.'
(Reed Business)


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