Those who are deeply familiar with the words of Imam ‘Ali, have no doubt that his Nahj-al-Balagha constitutes one of the greatest and richest sources for our knowledge about the sacred. Over the centuries, hundreds of eminent scholars from various disciplines of religious sciences have written long and short commentaries on his words, not merely with the aim of clarifying the ambiguities or conceptual complexities of his sayings, as we usually see in the writings of philosophers or mystics, but rather to explore the depths of his profound thought and bring forth the jewels of divine wisdom. In this regard, the contribution of Shi‘a scholars is quite remarkable and this paper specifically tries to discuss their achievement in terms of explaining various dimensions of the “The sacred.”
To this end, the meaning of “The Sacred” and other significant concepts related to it, such as “Tasbih ” (glorification) and Tanzih” (purification), are explored in the context of Imam ‘Ali’s sermons. The paper also discusses the views of a few eminent commentators of Nahj al-Balagha, such as ‘Abd al-Baqi Tabrizi and Mirza Habibullah Khoie, concerning the origin of the sacred and its manifestation in man and the world. And finally, a brief comparison is made between the idea of the sacred in Martin Heidegger’s latter thought and among classical Shi‘i scholars.