The Prophet Muhammad (s) said: ”I am the house of wisdom and ‘Ali is its door”
Who is Ali ibn Abi Talib(as)?
The personality of Imam Ali(as) is mesmerizing. No man on earth would disregard his Knowledge, wisdom, and eloquence. Whichever field one looks at; Ali(as) is found to excel in it. Entire human history fails to provide such a man with excellence and superiority. On the field of battle, he fights as no one would. An undefeated warrior. On the prayer mat, he cries like an old, poor, and weak man in front of Allah. On the pulpit he announces the depth of his knowledge by saying, “Ask me, ask me before you lose me.”
Imam Ali(as) is well known among all schools of Islam for his eloquent sermons and sayings. His words are like pearls of wisdom. He delivered many sermons in his lifetime. From these sermons, one sermon is unique. Let’s see how is it unique?
What is so remarkable about this sermon?
Arabic is an eloquent language. It has 28 alphabets. Out of 28 alphabets, 15 alphabets have dots in them. To speak a sentence without these 15 alphabets is indeed a difficult task. But Imam Ali(as) delivers a sermon without any preparation is truly amazing.
Sermon without dots in Arabic
هذه خطبة لأمير المؤمنين علي بن أبي طالب (ع) جميع حروف كلماتها خالية من ذكر “النقطة”:
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
الحمد لله الملك المحمود، المالك الودود، مصور كل مولود، ومآل كل مطرود، ساطح المهاد وموطد الأطواد، ومرسل الأمطار ومسهل الأوطار، عالم الأسرار ومدركها، ومدمر الأملاك ومهلكها، ومكور الدهور ومكررها، ومورد الأمور ومصدرها، عم سماحه وكمل ركامه، وهمل، طاول السؤال والأمل، وأوسع الرمل وأرمل،
أحمده حمدا ممدودا، وأوحده كما وحد الأواه، وهو الله لا إله للأمم سواه، ولا صادع لما عدل له وسواه، أرسل محمدا علما للإسلام وإماما للحكام، سددا للرعاع ومعطل أحكام ود وسواع، أعلم وعلم، وحكم وأحكم، وأصل الأصول، ومهد وأكد الموعود وأوعد، أوصل الله له الإكرام، وأودع روحه الإسلام،
ورحم آله وأهله الكرام، ما لمع رائل وملع دال، وطلع هلال، وسمع إهلال. إعملوا رعاكم الله أصلح الأعمال، واسلكوا مسالك الحلال، واطرحوا الحرام ودعوه، واسمعوا أمر الله وعوه، و صلوا الأرحام و راعوها، وآعصوا الأهواء وآردعوها، وصاهروا أهل الصلاح والورع،
و صارموا رهط اللهو والطمع، ومصاهركم أطهر الأحرار مولدا وأسراهم سؤددا، وأحلامكم موردا، وها هو إمامكم وحل حرمكم مملكا، عروسكم المكرمه، وما مهر لها كما مهر رسول الله أم سلمه، وهو أكرم صهر، و أودع الأولاد، وملك ما أراد، وما سهل مملكه ولا هم ولا وكس ملاحمه ولا وصم، اسأل الله لكم أحمد وصاله، ودوام إسعاده، وألهم كلا إصلاح حاله والأعداد لمآ له ومعاده، وله الحمد السرمد، والمدح لرسوله أحمد.
Sermon without dots in English
All praise be to Allah: the praised King, the affectionate Owner, the Fashioner of all who are born, the Recourse for every downtrodden, the Outstretcher of lands, the Establisher of firm mountains, the Sender of rain, the Alleviator of difficulties, the Knower and Perceiver of secrets, the Destroyer of kingdoms and Perisher of possessions, the Renewer of eras and their Repetitor, the Source of all things and their Destination. Widespread is His generosity and sufficient are the layered clouds and the supply of rain. He responds to the one who asks or hopes, giving wide and with abundance.
I praise Him endlessly. I consider Him one as He is considered one by those who turn to Him. Lo! He is Allah, there is no god for the nations except Him. No one can distort what He set upright and established. He sent Muhammad as the standard-bearer of submission (Islam), the leader for the rulers and preventer of their oppression, The crippler of the authorities of Wudd and Sawa` (two idols). He informed and educated, appointed and perfected. He founded the fundamentals and eased them in. He emphasized the appointed promise (Day of Judgment) and forewarned. Allah has linked him with honor and granted his soul the peace, and may Allah have mercy on his progeny and his venerated family; as long as the guiding stars shine, the crescent continues to rise, and the chant of the oneness (La ilaha illa Allah) is made to be heard around.
May God protect ye! Work towards the best of deeds. So tread the path seeking the lawful, and give up the forbidden and abandon it. Listen to the command of Allah and be aware of it. Maintain the ties with relations and nurture them. Disobey desires and repel them. Bond as kins with the righteous and pious, and discontinue the company of amusement and greed.
Your groom is the most impeccable of free men by birth, most generous and honorable with glories, and of the sweetest of descent. Here he came to you, took your kin with permission, in marriage, the gracious bride. Offered a dowry, just as the Messenger of Allah did to Umm Salamah. Certainly, he [s] was the most gracious son-in-law. Kind to his progeny. He gave them in marriage to whom he wanted. He was neither confused in his choice of wife nor had an oversight.
I ask Allah, on your behalf, for the lasting graciousness of His connection. And the continuation of His pleasures, and that He may inspire all: the reform of their own condition, and the preparation for their individual destiny and the hereafter. Gratitude is for Him forever and the praise for His Messenger Ahmad [s].
Another miraculous sermon by Imam Ali(as)
The sermon called al-Khutbah al-Muniqah is a sermon delivered by Imam Ali(as) which has no letter Alif. Anyone who knows Arabic(at least to read) will agree that composing a meaningful sentence without the letter Alif is a hard task to do. Now, what about delivering a sermon full of wisdom and eloquence? There is where this sermon stands unique.
Sunni scholars like Muhammad b. Muslim al-Shafi’I and bn Abi’l Hadid al-Mu’tazili have noted this sermon in book Kifayat al-Talib, p. 248 and Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah, vol. 19, p. 140 respectively.