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Traditional Meditations

Imam Ali: Certainly, this world is a house of truth

Imam Ali: Certainly, this world is a house of truth
Photo:  A smiling dervish from the late 1800 or early 1900's; Qajar Iran. The photo was taken by Antoin Sevruguin.
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Certainly, this world is a house of truth for him who appreciates it; a place of safety for him who understands it; a house of riches for him who collects provision from it (for the next world); and a house of instructions for him who draws instruction from it. It is the place of worship for the lovers of Allah; the place of praying for the angels of Allah; the place where the revelation of Allah descends; and the marketing place for those devoted to Allah. Herein they earned mercy and herein they acquired Paradise by way of profit.

Therefore, who can abuse it when it has announced its departure and called out that it would leave! It had given news of its own destruction and the death of its people. By its hardship it set an example of their hardships. By its pleasures it created eagerness for the pleasures (of the next world). It brings ease in the evening and grief in the morning by way of persuasion, dissuasion, alarm and warning. People abuse it on the morning of their repentance but there are others who will praise it on the Day of Judgement. The world recalled to them the next life and they bore it in mind. It related to them (things of the next life) and they acknowledged them. It preached to them and they took lesson therefrom.
(Imam Ali)


Recommended Reading:

'Imam 'Ali From Concise History to Timeless Mystery' 

By Reza Shah-Kazemi (Author)

Purchase Book:


The life of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, fourth caliph of early Islam and fountainhead of Shi'ite and Sufi lineages, 'is both inspirational and controversial: intrinsically inspirational and extrinsically controversial.' These words set the tone for what is an detailed and penetrating view of the figure of Imam 'Ali on various planes, the spiritual and ethical, the individual, the political and social. The author draws a unique portrait in which the powerful spiritual undercurrents of early Islamic history can be discerned at play, and where the sanctified heart of the Imam is revealed as a fulcrum of the harmony between the most diverse and even divergent tendencies.

These spiritual reflections on the life and thought of Imam 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad, bring to life what is essential and inspirational in his biography. 'Ali is viewed as the paragon of statesmanship, chivalry and mysticism, a man of action and contemplation, the greatest hero of his age as well as its wisest sage. The interplay between his dramatic outward story and his profound inner story heralds the triumph of the human spirit over the difficulties, tragedies and absurdities which are inevitable in 'the life of this world.'

This exceptional book may be too Shia for some Sunnis, and too Sunni for some Shia, and it may be too political for some, and too spiritual for others, and so its main value lies precisely in a higher perspective where it reveals harmony, in a keen vision of the forces of tawhid, the drive to union, alive at the centre of historical events as in human hearts. It will have a cathartic effect upon the many, Sunnis and Shia alike, who wish to see 'Ali as a fountainhead of unity in Islam, not as a source of division. It makes accessible to both Muslims and non-Muslims the treasures of loving mercy flowing from 'Ali, a global paragon of initiatic wisdom.


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