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Sermon 101: Praise be to God, the First ...

About the vicissitudes of time

ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)

وهي من خطبته التي تشتمل على ذكر الملاحم

Praise to Allah, Who is the First before every first and the Last after every last. His Firstness necessitates that there is no (other) first before Him and His Lastness necessitates that there is no other last after Him. I do stand witness that there is no god but Allah both openly as well as secretly, with heart as well as with tongue.

الْحَمْدُ للهِ الاْوَّلِ قَبْلَ كُلِّ أَوِّل، وَالاْخِرِ بَعْدَ كُلِّ آخِر، بِأَوَّلِيَّتِهِ وَجَبَ أَنْ لاَ أَوَّلَ لَهُ، وَبِآخِرِيَّتِهِ وَجَبَ أَنْ لاَ آخِرَ لَهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ شَهَادَةً يُوَافِقُ فِيهَا السِّرُّ الاْعْلاَنَ، وَالْقَلْبُ اللِّسَانَ.

O people, do not commit the crime of opposing me, do not be seduced into disobeying me and do not wink at each other with eyes when you hear me. By Allah, Who germinates the seed and blows the wind, whatever I convey to you is from the Prophet. Neither the conveyor (of Allah's message, i.e. the Prophet) lied nor the hearer misunderstood.

أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، لاَ يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شِقَاقِي، وَلاَ يَسْتَهْوِيَنَّكُمْ عِصْيَاني، وَلاَ تَتَرَامَوْا بِالاْبْصَارِ عِنْدَ مَا تَسْمَعُونَهُ مِنِّي.

فَوَالَّذِي فَلَقَ الْحَبَّةَ، وَبَرَأَ النَّسَمَةَ، إِنَّ الَّذِي أُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِهِ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ (صلى الله عليه وآله)، مَا كَذَبَ الْمُبَلِّغُ، وَلاَ جَهِلَ السَّامِعُ،

Well, it is as though I see a misguided man 1 who is shouting in Syria (ash-Sham) and has put his banners in the outskirts of Kufah. When his mouth would be fully opened, his recalcitrance would become intense and his steps on earth would become heavy (and tyrannical) then the disorder (so created) would cut the people with its teeth and war would rage with (all) its waves, days would become severe and night full of toil.

So when the crops grows and stands on stalks, its foam shoots forth and its lightning shines, the banners of misguiding rebellion would fire up and shoot forth like darkening night and surging sea. This and how many other storms would rend Kufah and gales would sweep over it, and shortly heads would clash with heads, the standing crop would be harvested and the harvest would be smashed.

لَكَأَنِّي أَنْظُرُ إِلَى ضِلِّيل قَدْ نَعَقَ بِالشَّامِ ،وَفَحَصَ بِرَايَاتِهَ فِي ضَوَاحِي كُوفَانَ. فإِذَا فَغَرَتْ فَاغِرَتُهُ، وَاشْتَدَّتْ شَكِيمَتُهُ، وَثَقُلَتْ فِي الاْرْضِ وَطْأَتُهُ، عَضَّتِ الْفِتْنَةُ أَبْنَاءَهَا بِأَنْيَابِهَا، وَمَاجَتِ الْحَرْبُ بِأَمْوَاجِهَا، وَبَدَا مِنَ الاْيَّامِ كُلُوحُهَا، وَمِنَ اللَّيَالِي كُدُوحُهَا. فَإِذَا يَنَعَ زَرْعُهُ، وَقَامَ عَلَى يَنْعِهِ، وَهَدَرَتْ شَقَاشِقُهُ، وَبَرَقَتْ بَوَارِقُهُ، عُقِدَتْ رَايَاتُ الْفِتَنِ الْمُعْضِلَةِ، وَأَقْبَلْنَ َالْلَيْلِ الْمُظْلِمِ، وَالْبَحْرِ الْمُلْتَطِمِ. هذا، وَكَمْ يَخْرِقُ الْكُوفَةَ مِنْ قَاصِف، وَيَمُرُّ عَليْهَا مِنْ عَاصِف !وَعَنْ قَلِيل تَلْتَفُّ الْقُرُونُ بِالْقُرُونِ، وَيُحْصَدُ الْقَائِمُ، وَيُحْطَمُ الْـمَحْصُودُ.

Alternative Sources for Sermon 101

(1) Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, VI, 48;

(2) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, (b.j.r);

(3) al-Saduq, al-'Amali;

(4) al-'Amidi, Ghurar, 329;

(5) al-Karajiki, Ma`dan, 226;

(6) al-Bayhaqi, al-Mahasin, 41;

(7) al-Jahiz, al-Hayawan, II, 90.

  • 1. Some people have taken this to refer to Mu`awiyah and others to `Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan.

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