A Treasury of Virtues

Sayings, Sermons, and Teachings of Ali, with the One Hundred Proverbs, attributed to al-Jahiz

196 pages

October, 2016

ISBN: 9781479896530

$15

Paper

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Subjects:

Arabic Literature

Part of the Library of Arabic Literature series

Authors

Al-Qadi al-Qudaʿi (d. 454 H/1062 AD) was a Sunni jurist, a scholar of hadith and history, and a senior government official of the Fatimid dynasty in Cairo.

All books by al-Qadi al-Qudai

Tahera Qutbuddin is Associate Professor of Arabic Literature at the University of Chicago. She is the author of Al-Muʾayyad al-Shirazi and Fatimid Daʿwa Poetry: A Case of Commitment in Classical Arabic Literature.

All books by Tahera Qutbuddin

All books by Rowan Williams

A Treasury of Virtues is a collection of sayings, sermons, and teachings attributed to Ali ibn Abi Talib (d. 40 H/661 AD), the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad, the first Shia Imam and the fourth Sunni Caliph. An acknowledged master of Arabic eloquence and a sage of Islamic wisdom, Ali was renowned for his eloquence: his words were collected, quoted, and studied over the centuries, and extensively anthologized, excerpted, and interpreted.

Of the many compilations of Ali’s words, A Treasury of Virtues, compiled by the Fatimid Shafi'i judge al-Quda'i (d. 454 H/1062 AD), arguably possesses the broadest compass of genres and the largest variety of themes. Included are aphorisms, proverbs, sermons, speeches, homilies, prayers, letters, dialogues, and verse, all of which provide instruction on how to be a morally upstanding human being. The shorter compilation included here, One Hundred Proverbs, is attributed to the eminent writer al-Jaziz (d. 255 H/869 AD). This volume presents the first English translation of both of these important collections.

Reviews

  • "Tahera Qutbuddin’s edition proves to be definitive… A smooth presentation of the Arabic texts and a first-rate English translation."

    Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies