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Peak of Eloquence, Nahjul Balagha [Paperback]

Ali ibn Abu-Talib , Sayyid al-Sharif ar-Radi , Martyr Murtadha Mutahhari
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars second to none but the Quran Oct. 8 2002
Format:Hardcover
mohammed PBH called himself the city of knowledge, and ali AS its GATES. "whosoever wishes to enter the city, should enter through its gates".
this book is a window to the mind that was the "gate" of the city of knowledge. a must read not only for muslims, but those who search the meaning of life and wisdom.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener Jan. 30 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Its a great read. Thought provoking ideas from 1,400 years ago. Its hard to believe his man lived so long ago.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A spring of freshness and inspiration March 16 2010
Format:Paperback
After the Holy Quran, this is the most important book to read imho. Imam Ali bin Abi Talib's discourses and letters cover the following topics:

- Theological and metaphysical issues
- Mystic path and worship
- Government and social justice
- Ahlul bayt and the issue of caliphate
- Wisdom and admonition; the world and worldiness
- Heroism and bravery
- Prayers and invocation
- Social philosophy
- Morality and self-discipline
- ... and a host of other topics

Best,
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
A word of caution , small people appropriate the words of great people according to their own capacities of understanding and concern.
Hadrat Ali (RA) is loved and honoured by muslims and non muslims alike , and his talks & letters contain so many jewels and doors of spirituality that no one can afford to reduce them to a purely political, historical or social level, which is unfortunately exactly what the publishers of this edition have done.
Each talk is followed by an Shia diatribe aimed only at propogating their own limited ideology rather than at elevating the readers spiritual level & closeness to God.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars second to none but the Quran Oct. 8 2002
By "seyed_abdullah" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
mohammed PBH called himself the city of knowledge, and ali AS its GATES. "whosoever wishes to enter the city, should enter through its gates".
this book is a window to the mind that was the "gate" of the city of knowledge. a must read not only for muslims, but those who search the meaning of life and wisdom.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Oct. 5 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Whether you are a Sunni or a Shia, or whether you believe every word here to have been spoken by Hadrat Ali or not, it is undeniable that this collection of speeches and letters is saturated with widsom- which, according to a proverb found in this book, is the same no matter its source. The major themes running throughout these sermons are the deadly mirages and shortness of the present life compared to the infinite worth of the hereafter, the major need to work for it, and discourses about God, particularly His astonishing power as manifested through astonishing creations such as the peacock, locusts, bats... Other notable material included two touching prayers for rain, and a portrayal of the luminous qualities of a sober, self-fulfilled believer. The style throughout is highly eloquent and often philosophic, yet also extremely clear. There was also included a instructions to a governor for an ideal government which in their fairness, tolerance, and mercy could well be a guide for any Muslim nation today. I would recommend this book, particularly to non-Muslims who find it hard to believe that a volume of this size could be entirely about Islam, and yet with barely any reference to rules or regulations.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure trove of knowledge! April 7 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is one of the greatest literary masterpieces ever. From the details of the creation of the Universe to the day to day advice given by Imam Ali(A.S.), this book is a must read.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent source, rather deficient presentation Sept. 8 2007
By xul - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is a moot matter to criticise Shi'a translators for their one-sidedness when, as far as one can see from the internet, no translation of Nahjul Balagha in any European language exists from Sunni scholars, although both Sunni and Shi'a recognise the legitimacy of Ali ibn Abi Talib, may G'd be pleased with him, and the excellence of his discourse.

If Sunni muslim scholars differ with the views expressed in the comments, may they publish a better translation with better commentary, striving with their Shi'a brethren in good work!

Concerning the underlying source, one would have to attribute an indefinite number of stars. The 3 star qualification results from the deficient qualities of the book as such. Except from the text quoted from Hadrat Ali, the typeface is simply too small or even much too small for anyone other than those with excellent vision. For those readers over 45 or so, not even reading glasses suffice, a magnifying glass is required to read the smallest type.

Nearly every page contains spelling and / or syntax errors in English. Scanning the text and running it through syntax and spell checking programmes is a must.

Some doubts may be entertained concerning the inner qualifications of the translators. For example, Hadrat Ali is translated as having said that G'd does not come from "non-existence". What Arabic word is "non-existence" supposed to translate? Ex-istence comes from Latin ex-stare, meaning outside or out of being. The opposite would be "in-istence". In this and similar cases, the translators would be well advised to put the transliterated Arabic word in brackets after the English, as one often sees in scholarly works. This lowers the risk of misunderstanding.

Lastly, the translators inadequately convey the eloquence of Hadrat Ali's Arabic into their translation, although this is admittedly difficult. To compensate, they might add an introductory chapter explaining and illustrating why Hadrat Ali's use of Arabic is considered, after the Noble Qur"an, to be the epitome of eloquence.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lord of the Sufis March 17 2001
By Z - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
No wonder why he is called "Lord of the Sufis". Hazrat Ali, Amir al-moemenin,(Commander and Lord of those who have faith) peace be upon him, can not be described in words. It is said that the light of God in his heart was so expansive, that he once looked to the Sun and said, "For forty years you have not surpassed me." He is the first example of a true student, who demonstrated the truth of following in the footsteps of the Prophets (meaning all of the Prophets without the exclusion of the last and the wisest,) upon them be peace. And along side with him walked another true student, Salman-e Farsi who had spent his life first as a devout Zoroastrian, who then became a christian and spent all his time studying scriptures and the words of Jesus, peace be upon him, untill he began to look for the one of whose coming Jesus spoke of, prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him. One wonders, why are true examples so rarely understood, and so often misunderstood? Are we really in search of the same truth that they endeavored to find? Read and find out; these are amongst the Topics addressed in this book.
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