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Mental Health in the IIIumination of Nahjul-balagha




Thanks God who bestowed us the intellect and named us human who is the outcome of life; therefore, their mental and physical health is our collective great responsibility. The exalted God states the human creation, and then granting generosity to them in Koran. God created them as divine creatures and descended the Fetra" verse, accordingly. Hereby we are to become familiar with concepts of normality and health.


Normality and Health:

Some terms though widely disseminated, are vaguely defined. Some people, however, know what it means, should not expect others to make use of it in the same way as they do. The so-called terms are two notable examples.


Psychologists and psychiatrists have tried to provide a definition for mental health and normality. It was previously believed that mental health is just the opposite of mental illness. But now this old wives" tale is open to doubts; therefore, it encouraged researchers to assume a vital importance to offering a comprehensive definition for mental health.


Norm has four branches, which are value norm, statistical norm, individual norm and typical norm. In this sphere Daniel Offer and Melvin Sabshin, quoting from Sadock 2003, have developed four perspectives. They categorized normality as the health, the ideal, the middle and a process. These perspectives are each other"s complementary so that collectively demonstrate the general approaches existing in social and behavioral sciences regarding normality.


World Health Organization (1964) also has constituted a definition for health:

"Health is the complete physical, mental, and social well – being and not merely feeling ill or faint.

Although there is no unanimity on the definition of a normal individual, most psychologists identify the following as decisive factors in emotional maturity:

1- practical perception

2- Self – knowledge

3- Capability in controlling personal conduct

4- Having self – esteem and acceptance

5- Capability in maintaining emotional relationship

6- Productivity


Referring to Nahj ul-Balagha one can observe that Imam Ali (AS) has perfectly stated the indications of normality and the patterns of perfection.


In 193rd Khotbah (speech), part 4, his highness states the reflections of virtuous men:

imam ali(as)
"Of virtuous men"s reflections are that they are lenient, provident, capable of conducting their religious affairs, firm believers, rapacious in acquiring knowledge, forbearing while being knowledgeable, moderate while being wealthy, humble in prayer, adorned in dearth and tolerant in hardships; moreover, they seek for Halal sustenance, enjoy to guide others, and avoid greed.


They perform good deeds and are afraid of God, spend their days while thanking God and their nights while thinking Him. They fearfully sleep, and happily wake up (they fear ever show ignorance and happy for the God"s granted blessings). If their Selves refused to do what is seemingly hard for them, deprive them of what they like. Their happiness hinges on an eternal object so they put down what is not permanent. They combine tolerance with knowledge and speech with practice.


The virtuous men ambitions are close to them and their blunders are few, their hearts are humble, their Selves contented, their food little, their works easy, their religion preserved, their lust in unlawful matters has died away and they control their anger; moreover, people are hopeful to their blessings and are safe from their harm.


The Perfect Man many times has been repeatedly mentioned in NAHJUL-BALAGHA. For instance, in saying no. 132nd it has been cited that:

 Happy are they who are humble, their works are straight, their souls clean and their behavior well.They forgive for the sake of God, do not talk a lot and not perturb others. The prophet"s Sunnah  (tradition) will suffice them, too. They thus do not innovate in religion.


Self–construction is one of the ways to set up the so-called sought–after state. Following describes the necessity of Taghwa and self–construction:

"Thee God servants! Notice that Taqwa is an unyielding bulwark unlike sin, which is a tumbledown abode ready to ruin and does not defend its inhabitants. Consequently, one who takes refuge in Taqwa"s bulwark is secured. Know thou through virtue one can eradicate sins, and through faith achieve the utmost prominent status."

In order to reach such a standing moving through a number of stages is required.


In 176th khotba(speech), part 8, concerning the necessity of self–construction :

imam ali(as)
"Blessed are the who their own mistakes prevent them of noticing that of others, pay attention to their family, consume halal food, obey God, observe their faults, and always are careful about their ego so people are safe from their harm".

Furthermore, the human great prominence can so increase that they could be dubbed the God"s companion and achieve a high status before Him. Regarding that, Imam Ali (as) about God"s companion"s characteristics states:

"God"s companions would cry in this world when people cast eyes on them, and would become busy with the world"s future, when people involve in the transient affairs. Then, kill temptations. "

Hence, it prepares the ground to understand what normality is and how one can return to it. One of its privileges is that it is in detail and it talks about human. In other words, it can be an extra – religion subject.


Other Related Articles:

Those Who Allah Loves Most

The Compiler Of  Nahjul-balagha

Imam Ali"s Letter to Malik Ashtar



1- Hazrat Amir – momoenin Ali (AS), Nahj al – Balagha, Muhammad Dashti, 1st edition, 1379 of the Islamic lunar calendar, Hozour publications, Qom

2- Sadock, B.& Sadock, 2003. Synopsis of Psychology Behavioral Science, Cynical Psychology.

3- Sims, A. (1995) Symptoms in the Mind (An Introduction to Descriptive psychology). 2nd edition. W.S. Saunders.com

Author: Abbas Ali Madadi: The Faculty Member of International University of Hawaii, and

Fatimah Noughanie: The faculty member of the Nursing and Midwifery College

Translated By Mohsen Hanif

Mental Health in the Illumination of Nahj Ul-Balagha


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