The Nahj al-balaghah is a collection of sermons, precepts, prayers, epistles and aphorisms of ‘Ali (‘a) compiled by al-Sayyid al-Sharif al-Radi about one thousand years ago. However, neither the recorded words of Mawla ‘Ali are confined to those collected by al-Sayyid al-Radi, nor was he the only man to compile the sayings of Amir al-Muminin.
Addressee’s of Nahjul Balagha
Imam Ali(a.s) in his sermons addressed several categories and groups of people both in positive and negative sense, we have summarized the groups over here:
His Ahlulbayt (a.s) – Preachings , Guidance and Will
His sincere followers (a.s) – Guidance Advices (like Hamam, Meesam, Malik-e-Ashtar)
First Group of Opponents, the Mushrikeen (infidels, Jews)
Second Group of Opponents, those companion of Prophet(s.w) who opposed him.
Third Group of Opponents , those companion of Prophet(s.w) who did not oppose directly but remained silent when injustice was done to him and Islam.
Fourth Group, the opponents of Battle of Jamal
Fifth Group, the opponents of Siffeen (the companions of Muwiyah)
Sixth Group, the opponents of Naharwan (the Khwarij who deviated from him)
Seventh Group, his own followers who lacked the sense of responsibilty and were condemned by him on several occassions in very harsh language (the Kufis)
The Contents of Nahjul Balagha
Nahj al-balaghah comprises various issues that cover major problems of metaphysics, theology, fiqh, tafsir, hadith, prophetology, imamate, ethics,social philosophy, history, politics, administration, civics, science, rhetoric, poetry, literature, etc. Most of the discussions about various theological issues and philosophical notions in Islam have their origin in this very book. Similarly, all the controversies regarding socio-political problems in the Muslim society and state left their echo in Nahj al-balaghah,or rather those were inspired from the utterances of al-lmam ‘Ali (as).