The Lost Jewel – Rediscovering Hazrat Ali’s Letter

This is a fascinating story.

Pakistan’s premier female poet Fahmida Riaz, read a letter by the fourth Caliph, Hazrat Ali while browsing through a translation of Nahaj ul Balagha. Today via email, she narrated how she was “so touched, and felt so angry for not knowing about it all my life, because really no one talks about the real jewels of Muslim history,they would rather conceal it from one generation after another”. She took notes from the ancient text and recently quoted it in her paper presented at an Urdu Conference held at Heidelberg, Germany.

On her current sojourn in the USA, she showed this text to Dr. Patricia Sharpe who was impressed enough to put it on her website under the title GOOD GOVERNANCE EARLY MUSLIM  STYLE.

In her email Fahmida writes further that “Another American friend in Santa Fe is writing a book for  the National Geographic about the achievements of Muslim  thinkers and  men of  the sciences and letters. I showed him the text and he has asked me to forward it to him so that he may include it in his book. ‘The Americans should know about it ,’ he wrote. I have sent him the text, sighing to myself, “..and so should the Muslims”.

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Published in: on September 5, 2006 at 4:33 pm  Comments (13)  

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13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great post. Really loved it.

  2. A wise and truly accurate description of right governance. It is no wonder that the Nimatullahi Sufi darvishes consider Hazrat Ali as the first Sufi. Thank you so much for posting it.

    Ya Haqq!

  3. A very apt title! I had first come across this letter in one of my university courses. I was amazed by the eloquent wisdom of the letter back then and it hits me again. One thing that really stands out is the great emphasis on the compassion of the leader by Hazrat Ali. It gives the leader-masses relationship a very very humane element – something which is grossly missing in our times.

    a great find!

  4. Thank you, for sharing this with us. I read Tareekh-i-Islam a while ago and I wept through half the book. Mourning all that the Muslims have lost over the centuries. The glory, the faith, the soul and so much more.

  5. Raza!This was an extraordinary post and made a heart wrenching read.This needs to be shared widely and that is what I am going to do.

  6. lovely!!

  7. Hi raza, i read the post & i liked it much.Very nice really

  8. Dear Adnan, Irving, Ayesha, Mansoor, Jugnu, Checkmate and Samina..
    many thanks for leaving comments. I was quite touched by Fahmida Riaz’s story and her passion. Indeed, this letter is a masterpiece and what a shame that it remains so obscure – relegated to history textbooks. Muslims have actively undone their rich past and the principles of equality, humanity and tolerance that spread the messag of Islam so widely.
    We have to revive this spirit of tolerance in our culture (since the religion in each context has been influenced by external environment) and also debunk the myths propagated by the orthodox, self serving and power seeking clergy across the Muslim world.
    Let us re-claim our great religion by knowing more….
    RR

  9. Dear brother Raza!
    Salamun-alaikum wa rehmatullah,

    Thank you for that mail.

    mohtaje duaa:
    Munaf.

  10. hi i am abdul haleem i am SUGI-UL-QADRI who believe all saints ok it is very good site in which all imformation u save ok

  11. Alas’ the Muslims of our time try to hide the truth of the most elevated and highly dignified family of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). May Allah bless us with the recongnition and love of the Panjthans!

  12. Highly thought-provoking post. I wish I could have words!

  13. Letter was not a surprise, muslim history is full of wisdom, the only requirnment is we carry out the research and show it to the other world of our glorious past…. or if we follow and implement the instruction of Quran, Hadiths and word of wisdom of our forefathers in our real life conduct then there is no need of these to tell them what we were.


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