There is a collection of the sayings of the Prophet (s) called Nahj al-Fasāhah which was written after Nahj al-Balāghah in the 14th century (A.H.). The person who compiled it wanted to give it a name similar to that of Nahj al-Balāghah so he named it thus. However, prior to the 14th century, hadiths of the Prophet (s) can be found in the sayings of Imam Ali (a) in Nahj al-Balāghah, and in the sayings of Imam al-Hasan (a), Imam al-Husayn (a), Imam Zayn al-‘Abidīn (a), and all other Imams (a).
It is well known that when the first three caliphs banned the narration of hadiths – because they believed that if people cared about hadiths, the Qur’an would be overshadowed – the followers of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) did not observe this ban and they continued to narrate the hadiths of the Prophet (s). Therefore, in the school of the Ahl al-Bayt (a), the hadiths of the Prophet (s) about akhlāq are found throughout the generations, going all the way back to the Prophet (s) himself. However, in the other schools of Islam, the ban was finally removed at the end of the first century by ‘Omar b. ‘Abd al-‘Azīz who ruled from 99 to 101 (A.H.), near the end of the Umayyad period. The major collections of hadiths were mostly compiled and came into existence in the time of the ‘Abbasīds. Unfortunately, this created a gap, whereas in the school of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) there is no such gap; generation after generation, the hadiths of the Prophet (s) were narrated, recorded in writing, and passed on to the next generation.
Therefore, the teachings of the Prophet (s) and the teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) did not emerge only at the time when major collections of hadiths were compiled. They existed right from the beginning and, thanks to Allah (swt), today we can trace all of these hadiths back to the Prophet (s) or the Imams (a) of the Ahl al-Bayt (a). Even though it is now thirteen or fourteen centuries after the Prophet (s) and the Imams (a) lived (depending on which Imam (a) we are talking about), even today it is possible to verify all the people who have occurred in the chain of narrators. This is very important. It demonstrates the great attention paid by scholars to the preservation of these hadiths along with the chain of narrators so that people can themselves evaluate whether a particular chain is reliable or not.
Numerous hadiths of the Prophet (s) and of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) are full of inspirations about morality. Some of these moral narrations are collected in specific books such as alSahīfa al-Sajjādīyah of Imam Zayn al-‘Abidīn (a). This particular book contains about 50 of his supplications. It has been translated into English at least twice. One such translation is entitled The Psalms of Islam, translated by William Chittick. It is a book on spirituality and morality; a vast and deep ocean of moral teachings.
In addition, there are many individual hadiths from the Prophet (s) and the Ahl al-Bayt (a) regarding morality which are not necessarily all gathered together in one book but are to be found in various collections of hadiths or in short essays.