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Sermon 166: The young among you….

Advice for observing courtesy and kindness and keeping in and out of the same

ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)

الحثّ على التآلف

The young among you should follow the elders while the elders should be kind to the young. Do not be like those rude people of the pre-lslamic (al-jahiliyyah) period who did not exert themselves in religion nor use their intellects in the matter of Allah. They 1 are like the breaking of eggs in the nest of a dangerous bird, because their breaking looks bad, but keeping them intact would mean the production of dangerous young ones.

لِيَتَأَسَّ صَغِيرُكُمْ بِكَبِيرِكُمْ، وَلْيَرأَفْ كَبِيرُكُمْ بِصَغيرِكُمْ، وَلاَ تَكُونُوا كَجُفَاةِ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ: لاَ في الدِّينِ يَتَفَقَّهُونَ، وَلاَ عَنِ اللهِ يَعْقِلُونَ، كَقَيْضِ بَيْض في أَدَاح يَكُونُ كَسْرُهَا وِزْراً، وَيُخْرِجُ حِضَانُهَا شَرّاً.

A part of the same sermon about the autocracy and oppression of the Umayyads and their fate

منها: في بني أمية

They will divide after their unity and scatter away from their centre. Some of them will stick to the branches, and bending down as the branches bend, until Allah, the Sublime, will collect them together for the day that will be worst for the Umayyads just as the scattered bits of clouds collect together in the autumn. Allah will create affection among them. Then He will make them into a strong mass like the mass of clouds. Then he will open doors for them to flow out from their starting place like the flood of the two gardens (of Saba') from which neither high rocks remained safe nor small hillocks, and its flow could be repulsed neither by strong mountains nor by high lands. Allah will scatter them in the low lands of valleys and then He will make them flow like streams throughout the earth, and through them He will arrange the taking of rights of one people by another people and make one people to stay in the houses of another people. By Allah, all their position and esteem will dissolve as fat dissolves on the fire.

افْتَرَقُوا بَعْدَ أُلْفَتِهِمْ، وَتَشَتَّتُوا عَنْ أَصْلِهِمْ، فَمِنْهُمْ آخِذٌ بِغُصْن أَيْنَما مَالَ مَالَ مَعَهُ، عَلَى أَنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى سَيَجْمَعُهُمْ لِشَرِّ يَوْم لِبَنِي أُمَيَّةَ، كَمَا تَجْتَمِعُ قَزَعُ الْخَرِيفِ يُؤَلِّفُ اللهُ بَيْنَهُمْ، ثُمَّ يَجْعَلُهُمْ رُكَاماً كَرُكَامِ السَّحَابِ، ثُمَّ يَفْتَحُ لَهُمْ أَبْوَاباً، يَسِيلُونَ مِنْ مُسْتَثَارِهِمْ كَسَيْلِ الْجَنَّتَيْنِ، حَيْثُ لَمْ تَسْلَمْ عَلَيْهِ قَارَةٌ وَلَمْ تَثْبُتْ عَلَيْهِ أَكَمَةٌ، وَلَمْ يَرُدَّ سَنَنَهُ رَصُّ طَوْد، وَلاَ حِدَابُ أَرْض، يُذعْذِعُهُمُ اللهُ فِي بُطُونِ أَوْدِيَتِهِ، ثُمَّ يَسْلُكُهُمْ يَنَابِيعَ فِي الاْرْضِ، يَأَخُذُ بِهِمْ مِنْ قَوْم حُقُوقَ قَوْم، وَيُمَكِّنُ لِقَوْم فِي دِيَارِ قَوْم. وَايْمُ اللهِ، لَيَذُوبَنَّ مَا فِي أَيْدِيهمْ بَعْدَ الْعُلُوِّ وَالتَّـمْكِينِ، كَمَا تَذُوبُ الاْلْيَةُ عَلَى النَّارِ.

The cause of tyranny

الناس آخر الزمان

O people! If you had not evaded support of the truth and had not felt weakness from crushing wrong then he who was not your match would not have aimed at you and he who overpowered you would not have overpowered you. But you roamed about the deserts (of disobedience) like Banu Isra'il (Children of Israel). I swear by my life that after me your tribulations will increase several times, because you will have abandoned the truth behind your backs, severed your connection with your near ones and established relations with remote ones.

Know that if you had followed him who was calling you (to guidance) he would have made you tread the ways of the Prophet, then you would have been spared the difficulties of misguidance, and you would have thrown away the crushing burden from your necks.

أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، لَوْ لَمْ تَتَخَاذَلُوا عَنْ نَصْرِ الْحَقِّ، وَلَمْ تَهِنُوا عَنْ تَوْهِينِ الْبَاطِلِ، لَمْ يَطْمَعْ فِيكُمْ مَنْ لَيْسَ مِثْلَكُمْ، وَلَمْ يَقْوَ مَنْ قَوِيَ عَلَيْكُمْ، لكِنَّكُمْ تِهْتُمْ مَتَاهَ بَنِي إسْرَائِيلَ. وَلَعَمْرِي، لَيُضَعَّفَنَّ لَكُمُ التِّيهُ مِنْ بَعْدِي أَضْعَافاً، بِمَا خَلَّفْتُمُ الْحَقَّ وَرَاءَ ظُهُورِكُمْ، وَقَطَعْتُمُ الاْدْنى، وَوَصَلْتُمُ الاْبْعَدَ. وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّكُمْ إِنِ اتَّبَعْتُمُ الدَّاعِيَ لَكُمْ، سَلَكَ بِكُمْ مِنْهَاجَ الرَّسُولِ، وَكُفِيتُمْ مَؤُونَةَ الاعْتِسَافِ، وَنَبَذْتُمُ الثِّقْلَ الْفَادِحَ عَنِ الاْعْنَاقِ.

Alternative Sources for Sermon 166

(1) Kitab Sulaym ibn Qays, 89;

(2) al-Kulayni, Rawdah, 62;

(3) al-Mufid, al-'Irshad, 373;

(4) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, I, 46.

  • 1. The implication is that the outer Islam of these people required that they should not be molested, but the consequence of sparing them in this way was that they would create mischief and rebellion.

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