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Sermon 237: They have been collected….

About the two arbitrators (Abu Musa al-Ash`ari and `Amr ibn al-`As) and disparagement of the people of Syria (ash-Sham).

ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)

في شأن الحكمين وذمّ أهل الشام

Rude, low people and mean slaves. They have been collected from all sides and picked up from every pack. They need to be taught the tenets (of Islam), disciplined, instructed, trained, supervised and led by the hand. They are neither muhajirun (immigrants from Mecca), nor ansar (helpers of Medina) nor those who made their dwellings in the abode (in Medina) and in belief.

جُفَاةٌ طَغَامٌ، عَبِيدٌ أَقْزَامٌ، جُمِّعُوا مِنْ كُلِّ أَوْب، وَتُلُقِّطُوا مِنْ كُلِّ شَوْب، مِمَّنْ يَنْبَغِي أَنْ يُفَقَّهَ وَيُؤَدَّبَ، وَيُعَلَّمَ وَيُدَرَّبَ، وَيُوَلَّى عَلَيْهِ، وَيُؤْخَذَ عَلَى يَدَيْهِ، لَيْسُوا مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالاْنْصَارِ، وَلاَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ تَبَوَّؤا الدَّارَ.

Look! They have chosen for themselves one who is nearest of all of them to what they desire, while you have chosen one who is nearest to what you dislike. You may certainly recall that the other day `Abdullah ibn Qays (Abu Musa) was saying: "It is a mischief, therefore, cut away your bow-string and sheathe your swords." If he was right (in what he said) then he was wrong in marching (with us) without being forced, but if he was lying then he should be viewed with suspicion. Therefore, send `Abdullah ibn al-`Abbas to face `Amr ibn al-`As. Make use of these days and surround the borders of Islam. Do you not see that your cities are being attacked and your prowess is being aimed at?

أَلاَ وَإِنَّ الْقَوْمَ اخْتَارُوا لاِنْفُسِهِمْ أَقْرَبَ الْقَوْمِ مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ، وَاخْتَرْتُمْ لاِنْفُسِكُمْ أَقْرَبَ الْقَوْمِ مِمَّا تَكْرَهُونَ، وَإِنَّمَا عَهْدُكُمْ بَعَبْدِ اللهِ بْنِ قَيْس بِالاْمْسِ يَقُولُ: إِنَّهَا فِتْنَةٌ فَقَطِّعُوا أَوْتَارَكُمْ وَشِيمُوا سُيُوفَكُمْ، فَإِنْ كَانَ صَادِقاً فَقَدْ أَخْطَأَ بِمَسِيرِهِ غَيْرَ مُسْتَكْرَه، وَإِنْ كَانَ كَاذِباً فَقَدْ لَزِمَتْهُ التُّهَمَهُ. فَادْفَعُوا فِي صَدْرِ عَمْرِوبْنِ الْعَاصِ بِعَبْدِ اللهِ بْنِ الْعَبَّاسِ، وَخُذُوا مَهَلَ الاْيَّامِ، وَحُوطُوا قَوَاصِيَ الاْسْلاَمِ، أَلاَ تَرَوْنَ إِلَى بَلاَدِكُمْ تُغْزَى، وَإِلَى صَفَاتِكُمْ تُرْمَى ؟

Alternative Sources for Sermon 237

(1) Ibn Qutaybah, al-'Imamah, I, 154;

(2) al-Thaqafi, al-Gharat, I, 312;

(3) al-Kulayni, al-Rasa'il;

(4) al-Tabari, al-Mustarshid, 95;

(5) Ibn Tawus, Kashf, 173;

(6) Safwah, Jamharah.

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