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Expert: “Nahjul-Balaghah can play a fundamental role in fostering a realistic view of humanity”

SHAFAQNA- “Seyed Saeed Ketabi Pour,” a teacher of Nahjul-Balaghah, believes: Engaging with Nahjul-Balaghah means paying attention to who we are and understanding society as it is. If we pay attention to the statements of Imam Ali, we find insights into our identity, how we live, the kind of society we have, and the extent of our deviation from our true selves and our society’s reality. We cannot achieve happiness and perfection by fantasizing and distorting the reality of life.

It can be firmly stated that Nahjul-Balaghah can play a fundamental role in changing perspective, namely, fostering a realistic view of humanity and the environment. It’s also worth noting that this valuable book serves as a guide to reaching true humanity, perfection, and happiness.

In a conversation with Shafaqna reporter, Seyed Saeed Ketabi Pour, a religious researcher, explained “The Reality of Humanity from the Perspective of Nahjul-Balaghah”, stating: Understanding humanity based on religious teachings relies on recognizing the self and one’s educational environment. Therefore, sometimes discussions revolve around the human being and their internal faculties, and sometimes they concern external factors such as family, social environment, and cultural upbringing. Another aspect is where humans with their possessions and circumstances should aim to reach. What the Quranic guidance for humanity expresses is that true happiness and perfection lie in both this world and the Hereafter. It’s another way of asking: where should one go?

He added: However, Imam Ali’s (AS) portrayal of humanity in Nahjul-Balaghah is a kind of expression of his life experience with humans as they are living. It involves analyzing humanity past, present, and future, meaning a transcendent humanity—an individual who, throughout history, faces more bitterness, failure, and defeat than triumph. Imam Ali’s discourse in Nahj al-Balagha reflects this realistic perspective. His talks and writings about humanity depict aspects of human psychology, bitterness, ugliness, and falsehood. This negative and pessimistic view of humanity and society isn’t disdainful; rather, it’s Imam Ali’s (AS) way of expressing the individual and social realities as they are, based on his deep understanding of living alongside humans.

Hojjatul-Islam Ketabi Pour, referring to the Letter 31 of Nahjul-Balaghah, explained: Imam Ali (AS) says, “O’ my child, even though I have not reached the age which those before me have, yet I looked into their behaviour and thought over events of their lives. I walked among their ruins till I was as one of them. In fact, by virtue of those of their affairs that have become known to me it is as though I have lived with them from the first to the last. I have therefore been able to discern the impure from the clean and the benefit from the harm. “In essence, Imam Ali (AS) implies that contemporary humans resemble their predecessors, facing similar concerns and challenges.

He clarified: So, what led them to destruction and ruin in the past based on experience will also lead to similar consequences in the present and future. Reflecting on the classification of society into various classes in Imam’s discourse, which indicates its permanence, addresses one of the human dilemmas. In Wisdom 147, it is stated: “People are of three types: One is the scholar and divine; then the seeker of knowledge who is also on the way to deliverance. Then (lastly) the common rot who run after every caller and bend in the direction of every wind. They seek no light from the effulgence of knowledge and do not take protection of any reliable support.”

Source: Shafaqna Persian

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