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Level 1: Introduction to the Nahj al-balāgha

Time limit: 365 days
10 credits

£400 Enrol

Full course description

As a registered charity, we charge course fees to cover our running costs. However, we aim to make our education accessible to as many people as possible and are therefore able to offer a 65% fee waiver. To make use of this fee waiver, please use the code AMI65 when purchasing your courses.

Students in need of further financial assistance should contact the education team at to enquire about the possibility of further fee waivers. 


This course introduces students to the academic study of Nahj al-balāgha. After historically contextualising the text, it will analyse specific sermons, letters, and maxims to acquaint students with the spiritual and moral teachings of Imām ʿAlī (ع). Through a close reading of the text, students will learn the skills that are necessary for the proper translation and interpretation of Nahj al-balāgha.


Lesson Breakdown

Lesson 1      Introduction to course, why this text is important, authenticity of the text, understanding the meaning of the text, the purpose with which to study the text

Lesson 2      Structure of the text, various themes in the text.

Theme of this course: Morality and moral philosophy

General introduction to the theme of morality

Lesson 3      Imām ʿAlī’s theory in normative ethics, epistemic virtues/vices and theological virtues in the text.

Characteristics of the virtue ethics in the text

Lesson 4      Imām ʿAlī’s conception of piety – Khuṭbat al-muttaqīn (attributes 1-4)

Lesson 5      Khuṭbat al-muttaqīn (attributes 5-6)

Lesson 6      Khuṭbat al-muttaqīn (attribute 7)

Lesson 7      Khuṭbat al-muttaqīn (attributes 8-16)

Lesson 8      Khuṭbat al-muttaqīn (attributes 17-18)

Lesson 9      Khuṭbat al-muttaqīn (attributes 19-24)

Lesson 10    Khuṭbat al-muttaqīn (attributes 25-29)

Lesson 11    Khuṭbat al-muttaqīn (attributes 28-29)

Imām ʿAlī’s letter 53 to Mālik al-Ashtar, saying 55 on patience

Lesson 12    Khuṭbat al-muttaqīn (attribute 30)

Lesson 13    Khuṭbat al-muttaqīn (attributes 31-37)

Lesson 14    Conception of heaven and hell and nature of real enemy in the eyes of the pious

Imām ʿAlī’s prescription for having a good life

Khuṭbat al-muttaqīn (attributes 38-41)

Lesson 15    Khuṭbat al-muttaqīn (attribute 42)

Lesson 16    Khuṭbat al-muttaqīn (attributes 42-48)

Lesson 17    Khuṭbat al-muttaqīn (attributes 49-57)

Lesson 18    Khuṭbat al-muttaqīn (attributes 58-67)


Hours of Study

9 hours


Assessment Method

Oral exam (100%)


Course Instructor

Dr Ali Fanaei