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Sermon 126: Do you command me that I should seek…..

When Amir al-mu'minin was spoken ill of for showing equality in the distribution (of shares from Bayt al-mal or the Muslim Public Treasury) he said:

ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)

لمّا عوتب على تصييره الناس أسوة في العطاء من غير تفضيل إلى السابقات والشرف، قال:

Do you command me that I should seek support by oppressing those over whom I have been placed? By Allah, I won't do so as long as the world goes on, and as long as one star leads another in the sky. Even if it were my property, I would have distributed it equally among them, then why not when the property is that of Allah.

Beware; certainly that giving of wealth without any right for it is wastefulness and lavishness. It raises its doer in this world, but lowers him in the next world. It honours him before people, but disgraces him with Allah. If a man gives his property to those who have no right for it or do not deserve it, Allah deprives him of their gratefulness, and their love too would be for others. Then if he falls on bad days and needs their help, they would prove the worst comrades and ignoble friends.

أَتَأْمُرُونِّي أَنْ أَطْلُبَ النَّصْرَ بِالْجَوْرِ فِيمَنْ وُلِّيتُ عَلَيْهِ! وَاللهِ لاَ أَطُورُ بِهِ مَا سَمَرَ سَميرٌ وَمَا أَمَّ نَجْمٌ فِي السَّمَاءِ نَجْماً! لَوْ كَانَ الْمَالُ لي لَسَوَّيْتُ بَيْنَهُمْ، فَكَيْفَ وَإِنَّمَا الْمَالُ مَالُ اللهِ ! أَلاَ وَإِنَّ إِعْطَاءَ الْمَالِ فِي غَيْرِ حَقِّهَ تَبْذِيرٌ وَإِسْرَافٌ، وَهُوَ يَرْفَعُ صَاحِبَهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَيَضَعُهُ فِي الاخِرَةِ، وَيُكْرِمُهُ فِي النَّاسِ وَيُهِينُهُ عِنْدَ اللهِ، وَلَمْ يَضَعِ امْرُؤٌ مَالَهُ فِي غَيْرِ حَقِّهِ وَعِنْدَ غَيْرِ أَهْلِهِ إِلاَّ حَرَمَهُ اللهُ شُكْرَهُمْ وَكَانَ لِغَيْرِهِ وَدُّهُمْ، فَإِنْ زَلَّتْ بِهِ النَّعْلُ يَوْماً فَاحْتَاجَ إِلى مَعُونَتِهِمْ فَشَرُّ خَلِيل وَأَلاْمُ خَدِين!

Alternative Sources for Sermon 126

(1) Ibn Qutaybah, al-'Imamah, I, 153;

(2) al-Harrani, Tuhaf, 131;

(3) al-Kulayni, Furu` al-Kafi, IV, 31;

(4) al-Mufid, al-Majalis, 95;

(5) al-Tusi, al-'Amali, I, 197;

(6) al-Mada'ini, see Ibn Abi al-Hadid, I, 182;

(7) al-Thaqafi, al-Gharat, I, 75.

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