The book in your hand is derived from an English translation of a collection of sermons, letters, and sayings of Imam Ali (p), which, in the original Arabic language is titled Nahjul Balagha, i.e., Peak of Eloquence. The sermons, letters, and sayings were delivered by Imam Ali during the six years of his Caliphate, as the ruler of the then Muslim State. Syed Mohammed Razi took it upon himself to collect these in the form of a book some one thousand years ago. It has been translated into many different languages. An English translation by Syed Ali Raza was published by Tahrike Tarsile Qur’an, Inc., of Elmhurst, New York. An online version is also available at www.nahjulbalagha.com.
The original collection consists of 239 sermons, seventy-nine letters, and 489 sayings. Each sermon deals with many topics, depending upon the needs of the time, in answer to a question, or in response to a specific event or request. The subjects deal with every aspect of worldly life and contain detailed guidance on moral values; God-consciousness; political, judicial, military, and administrative matters; the spiritual life; the life in the Hereafter; and other topics.
In the original text, the subject matter is scattered among many sermons and letters. Thus, one sermon may address more than one topic. If a reader wishes to know what more is said on a particular topic, then he/she will need to read the entire document.
There was a need for a topically arranged edition of the book. This void is, in some ways, filled by the book in your hand. Additionally, the topics selected are more relevant in the modern day and age, addressing the teachings of Imam Ali (p) that would be useful for humanity in day-to-day life.
We are told that God created humans to worship Him. In order to worship God we need to have understanding of who He is and who He is not. His worship with understanding paves the way for a God-conscious life and promise of a blissful life in the Hereafter, and this is true success.