No Ordinary Sermon

It was no ordinary sermon…
Once his words were heard
whose heart would fail to soften
which life remains untouched?

He advised that words
until uttered
they remain in your control.
and surely silence can be
the most eloquent of replies.
look at what is being said
rather than who speaks it.
the tongue created so light
yet it has the power to devastate.
your secret is your prisoner
which if let loose
will instead make you its prisoner.
speak the truth
even if it be against you.
ask so that you may understand
and not in order to find fault.
speak only when your words
are more beautiful than silence.

And of anger
which is like a ball of fire
but if swallowed
is sweeter than honey.
he who angers you
controls you.
camels carry heavy loads
real strength lies with he
who controls his temper.
and be aware that
forgiveness is the best revenge.

He says about you
if you want to know
where your heart lies
observe where your mind goes
when it wonders.
authority, power and wealth
do not change a man
but only reveal him.
the real you
is what you do
when no one is watching you.
a liar’s biggest punishment
is that even his truth is rejected.
equip yourself
your departure has already been announced.
leave behind you every sweet memory
for you are a guest in this life.
confess to your sins
for you will be better
than the obedient man
who brags of his good deeds.

When a raindrop falls
into the mouth of a sea shell
it will turn into a pearl
the raindrop that falls
in the mouth of a snake
turns into poison.

He speaks of wealth and charity
how greed turns man
into an eternal beggar.
a person who is filled with envy
experiences no rest.
generosity should be to give even before
the deserving man requests.
nourish your body with food
nourish your soul by feeding others.
and before you pray for yourself
pray for others.
why do you feel ashamed
if the amount of charity is small
when the greater act of shame
is to refuse the needy.
be mindful to
hide the good you do
and make known
the good done to you.

Our enemy is no outsider
but it is our own ignorance.
the container of knowledge
expands as it is filled.
he who has knowledge
does not say he does
he who has ignorance
says he does not.
choose wisely for
knowledge protects you
while you have to protect wealth.
there is enough light
for one who wishes to see.

It is not that you should not own anything
but that nothing should own you.
live in this world
without allowing the world
to live within you.
impossibility and possibility
are merely concepts of your mind.

You sin so much yet you receive grace
imagine if you were obedient….

and he counseled thus…
saying my name
will not be easy in any era
yet if you call my name
I will never deny my help.
It was no ordinary sermon…
He was no ordinary man.

For this post I have merely compiled some of the wise sayings of Imam Ali which are already poetic in themselves. How could I not use these beautiful words to grace my 100th post? I am so grateful for the events and people that led me to this milestone, deeply appreciative of everyone who visits my blog and reads my words.

Source: Imam Ali quotes 

19 thoughts on “No Ordinary Sermon

  1. Hello Sonya,

    I’m a curriculum specialist at an online school based in the US, and we would like to introduce the students in our World Literature & Writing course to you through this poem. This course aims to teach students how an author’s viewpoint is impacted by time, location, and culture- aiming to help students develop deeper appreciation of the diverse voices of literature from around the world.

    May we use the poem in our course, citing you as the author and providing students a link to your website?

    Thank you so much for the gift of your words online and for consideration of my request!



  2. Reblogged this on Melting-Pot Dharma and commented:
    I recently came across this poem, written and posted more than two years ago by Sonya Kassam, It incorporates wise sayings from her imam. I think it fits beautifully with the theme of Melting-Pot Dharma.

    — Mel


    1. Your appreciation means a lot, Kunal. It was a special post and very close to my heart. Imam Ali was most a eloquent speaker. These quotes are complied from a collection of his sermons titled The Peak of Eloquence, Nahj al-Balagha

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Greetings,

    What you’ve shared is so very, very lovely. I like this a lot. Indeed, this may now become my very favorite post of all times!

    Thank you for creating and sharing this.

    All good wishes,



    1. That would be a wonderful honor, I am so glad you enjoyed this. I actually thought it would be an easy post, but it took a lot of effort to choose the sayings, group them together and then to present them with a rhythm. Thank you for being a part of this journey :-)


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