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Title

A “PERIOD-BASED” APPROACH TO INTERPRETING THE TERM “ORDER IN AFFAIRS” IN THE QUOTE “I ADVISE YOU TO FEAR ALLAH AND KEEP ORDER IN AFFAIRS”

Pages

 Start Page 145 | End Page 183

Keywords

IMAM ALI (PBUH)Q2

Abstract

 In Letter 47 of Nahjolbalaghe, Imam Ali (PBUH) introduces three important issues including the fear of God, ORDER in AFFAIRS and peace among people. The term “ORDER in AFFAIRS” has become synonymous in recent centuries with individual ORDER – that is, the placement of every object in its position. But based on the evidence available in the context of the letter including sensitive situations in the period, addressees of the letter, literal and applied meanings of ORDER at the time and other expressions used by Imam (PBUH), it seems that another meaning was originally meant by “ORDER in AFFAIRS”. In a lexical study, it can be figured out that the word ORDER had some social sense of “consistency” in earlier periods while some recent dictionaries consider an individual meaning for it in addition to the social meaning. The synthesis of different views by interpreters and some translators of NAHJ AL-BALAGHA concerning the term “ORDER in AFFAIRS” points to the social sense of “unity and consistency”. Applications of the words “ORDER” and “affairs” in NAHJ AL-BALAGHA and other texts highlight the sense of “consistency” for the word ORDER as its original meaning and the senses of “work”, “diversity” and “management” for the word AFFAIRS. The views of some contemporaries about the term “ORDER in AFFAIRS” suggest that the meaning of UNITY for ORDER is the common ground. However, some have pointed to the sense of keeping up the government/ regime as the accurate meaning of AFFAIRS. Finally, it can be concluded that the term “ORDER in AFFAIRS” in this quote from Imam Ali (PBUH) suggests his emphasis on the concept of UNITY.

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