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Nahjul Balagha: Peak of Eloquence [Paperback]

Ali Ibn Abu Talib , S.A. Reza
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 1985
The Prophet Muhammad referred to his eloquent son-in-law Ali as the “gate to the city of knowledge.” Peak of Eloquence, Nahjul Balagha, is both a compilation of Ali’s sermons, letters, and sayings and a glimpse into his personality. Compiled by Sayyid al-Sharif ar-Radi more than 1,000 years ago, it is considered a literary masterpiece and, by the Shia Muslims, the most valuable text after the Holy Qur’an.

Product details

  • Paperback: 1013 pages
  • Publisher: Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an Inc.,U.S.; 4th Revised edition edition (Dec 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0940368420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0940368422
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.5 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 384,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life, Humanity and Science. 30 Aug 2003
By kevin
Nahjul Balagha - Peak of Eloquence ....Each time I read this wonderful book which contains the sermons, letters and sayings of a Master Thinker, I am left in wonder and enlightenment. This book should be a best seller but sadly remains an undiscovered gem despite western thinkers rating it highly. If you ever asked questions such as 'Why am I here', 'How did it all begin', 'Is there a God', 'Does science have a role in religion' this book should be read. Indeed it gives much more and is not only a read for the religious but also those who are humanitarian at heart for it overflows with love, peace and the rights of humanity. It is a literary masterpiece too, yet is so easy to read. To me it unmasks the real Islam as well as the vibrancy of life, hope, wisdom and knowledge. It contains philosophy and even prophecies yet at the same time also an understanding of science which is unmatched. Full of humanity and care it comes highly recommended by the likes of Bernard Shaw, Thomas Carlyle who wrote Heroes (And Hero-Worship. Page 77, 1968 edition):- "NAHJUL BALAGHA" As for this young Ali, one cannot but like him. A noble-minded creature, as he shows himself, now and always afterwards; full of affection, of fiery daring. Something chivalrous in him: brave as lion; yet with a grace, a truth and affection worthy of Christian knighthood.
The contents are fed to the reader with the love and simplicity with which an indulgent mother instructs her only child. Once opened this book will compel you to revisit it time and again! PRICELESS! The Tarike Tarsile published edition contains useful introduction, notes and commentry.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent contribution to Islamic studies 30 Aug 2008
I must say first that the lack of a corresponding Arabic text to this book is a great disadvantage. I happen to have an Arabic edition of this book and it is a pain to look to compare from 2 different books it so it must be extremely frustrating to not have access to the original text at all.

The translator does draw a line below which he makes comment on the text that he has translated so it is fairly easy to distinguish the text from commentary. The pages do however, overlap at times which can cause some confusion when reading.

There are numerous typos and some of the style of translation may be slightly heavy and at parts confusing to the Western reader I would imagine first because of the problems with translating Arabic to English and second English not being the translators 1st language.

This book has been translated from the Shia point of view so it is possible that Sunni Muslims may be offended by some of the comments of the text and commentary I would however point out to those who are offended that this is a historical and important text of Islamic history that many Sunni Muslims have written commentaries on (my copy has text by Muhammad Abduh)

I would recommend this book to the serious student of Islamic history, it would be an excellent study tool along side the 4 volume translation of ibn Kathir's life of the Prophet, Tabari's history book and the Tabaqat of ibn Sa'd (in spite of its questionable translation)

I look forward to the history book of ibn al-Athir being translated into English and ibn Khallikan's book being more easily available in the mean time, it would be well worth picking this book up and if possible, an Arabic copy as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indescribable! 27 July 2011
This book is excellent if you would like to learn more about Ali Ibn Abu Talib (a.s) and increase your Islamic knowledge on death and remembrance of Allah swt. It makes you see the world differently. Perfect. Some sermons are explained in greater detail with commentaries on the history behind it. However, I find it very difficult sometimes to understand the English used when translated from Arabic as much of the depth of meaning in the words are lost. Some sermons need to be read more than one time to understand it properly. It also contains Shia ideology and may offend some Sunni brothers/sisters. However, everything is backed up with sources and hadiths which does prove its points very clearly.

This book not only provides you with some history but the normes and values of older generations which could be of good benefit. Islamically, we could see the difference between lifestyle, attitudes, behaviour and language used now and then. The sermons are very interesting and I always feel enlightened. Amazingly, it is very useful after 1400 years. I would recommend this to any muslim, whether Sunni or Shiite, as the sermons are not biased but extraordinarily breathtaking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonder of Eloquence 15 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An wonderful book, not explored by many but amazed many people who read it.
Really great, the more I read- I find the Eloquence is really great.
I really suggest readers to read and explore a new world of Knowledge.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars second to none but the Quran 8 Oct 2002
By "seyed_abdullah" - Published on
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 6 Oct 2003
By A Customer - Published on
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! 7 April 2003
By A Customer - Published on
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Lord of the Sufis 17 Mar 2001
By Z - Published on
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.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The title says it all. It is the "Peak of Eloquence", the epitome of wisdom. 17 April 2006
By Mirsad - Published on
The sheer wisdom and knowledge contained in this volume is both humbling and awe inspiring. As a collection of Imam Ali's speeches, sayings, writings, and letters, it provides a gateway into the mind of perhaps the wisest and most learned man ever to walk the earth, after the Holy Prophet himself.

After reading this volume, it becomes apparent why Imam Ali's "Peak of Eloquence" is hailed above the words of man, and second only to the revealed words of God Almighty, which are manifested in the Holy Qur'an.

Every time I open this book, my thirst for knowledge is quenched, and my longing for wisdom is settled. It is not only an overwhelming treasure to own and comprehend, but it is thought provoking as well as motivational. It will inspire the person to deeply ponder over the greatest and most profound truths of our existence, within the realm of human comprehension.

The Christian Author and Researcher, George Jordaq in his tribute to Imam Ali (AS), says: "The Imam's sermons are full of wise thoughts. O' world, what would have happen if you mobilized your forces to produce in every era a man as great as Imam Ali (AS) in terms of wisdom, moral, expression, eloquence, valour, simplicity, generosity, patience, piety, and magnitude, for the human societies?"

It is a tremendous source of knowledge, and the feeling one gets when one closes this volume is simply amazing, and yet, it is written in a manner such that any reader of any level can benefit from it, from the most educated scholar to the beginning academic.

It would be truly a waste to pass up an opportunity to buy this book. The treasures contained within are boundless. There is nothing like it.
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