The English translation (accompanied with original Arabic text) of the supremely eloquent sermons of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (peace be upon him). Nahjul Balagha contains 240 sermons given by Imam Ali (a), dealing with a wide variety of topics including our existence, relationship with the Almighty, building a God-fearing personality, and the Imam's (a) reflections upon historical incidents.
The Letters and Sayings of Imam 'Ali can be found here: http://www.al-islam.org/nahjul-balagha-part-2-letters-and-sayings 
So now, praise is due to Allah who has held praise as the price of His bounties, protection against His retribution, pathway to His paradises and means for multiplication of His good treatment, and blessings be on his Messenger, the Prophet of Mercy, the torch of the people, the chosen one from the origin of greatness and family of long-standing honours, the plantation of all engrossing glory and the branch of sublimity full of fruits and foliage, and on the members of his family who are lanterns of darkness, protection of the peoples, brilliant minarets of religion and high standards of greatness, Allah may shower upon them all blessings befitting their distinction as reward for their actions and suitable to the chastity of their lineage so long as the morning dawns and the stars twinkle.
In my early age at the dawn of youth I commenced writing a book on the characteristics of the Imams covering the account of their virtues and masterpieces of their utterances. The purpose of the compilation was stated by me in the beginning of the book. Therein I completed the portion relating to the account of Amir al-mu'minin 'Ali (peace be upon him) but I could not complete that part concerning the other Imams due to impediments of the time and obstacles of the days. I divided the book into several chapters and sections, in a manner for its last section to comprise whatever had been related to `Ali's (p.b.u.h.) short utterances such as counsels, maxims and proverbs but not long lectures and detailed discourses.
A number of my friends and brothers-in-faith, while wondering at its delicate and blossoming expressions, admired the contents of this particular section, and desired me to complete a book which should cover all the forms of the utterances of Amir al- mu'minin, including diverse materials such as lectures, letters, counsels, ethics, etc., as they were convinced that the entire proceedings would comprise wonders and surprises of eloquence and rhetoric’s, brilliant jewels of Arabic language and shining expressions about faith; collected in any other work, nor found together in any other book, because Amir al-mu'minin was the fountain of eloquence and the source of rhetoric’s.
Through him the hidden delicacies of eloquence and rhetoric’s came to light, and from him were learnt its principles and rules. Every speaker and orator had to tread on his footprints and every eloquent preacher availed of his utterances. Even then none could equal him and so the credit for being the first and foremost remained `4th him, because his utterances are those that carry the reflection of Divine knowledge and savour of the Prophet's utterance.
Accordingly, I acceded to their request as I knew that it meant great reward, handsome reputation and a treasure of recompense. The object of this compilation is to bring forth Amir al-mu'minin's greatness and superiority in the art of rhetoric’s, in addition to his countless qualities and innumerable distinctions, and to show that he had risen to the highest pinnacle of this attainment; was singular among all those predecessors whose utterances are quoted here and there, whereas his own utterances are such an on-rushing stream that its flow cannot be encountered and such a treasure of delicacies that cannot be matched.
Since I proudly trace my descent from him I have a pleasure of quoting a couplet of al-Farazdaq: "These are my forefathers O' Jarir. When we get together, can you claim forth their equals?” 1
In my view Amir al-mu'minin's utterances are divisible in three categories; firstly Sermons and Decrees, secondly Letters and Communications and thirdly Maxims and Counsels, Allah willing I have decided to compile first the Sermons, then letters, and finally the Maxims and Counsels, whilst proposing a separate Chapter for each category, leaving blank page in between each so that if anything has been left out and becomes handy afterwards it may be inserted therein, whereas any utterance which is routine or in reply to some question or has some other aim does not fit in with any of my divisions should be included in the category for which it is most suitable or to which its subject matter is most akin. In this compilation, some sections and sentences have crept in whose arrangement savours of disarray and disorderliness.
This is because I am only collecting the most representative brilliant utterances but do not wish to arrange or array them.
The characteristic of Amir al-mu'minin2 in which he is un-paralleled and is shared by no one, is that his utterances on reclusion, piety, remembrance of Allah and admonition are such that when a person peruses them without bearing in mind that they are the words of a man who enjoys great and ruling position and who controls destinies of men he can have no doubt that it is the utterance of a man who has no interest other than reclusion and no activity save worshipping; who is confined to the interior of some house or the valley of some mountain where he hears nothing save his own murmur arid sees no one except himself.
He would not believe that this is the utterance of one who plunges in battles with drawn sword severing heads and vanquishing the heroes and comes back with his sword dripping with blood and heart's fluid. And despite all this he is supreme among the recluse and chief among the saints.
This distinction is one of those astonishing characteristics of Amir al-mu'minin with which he collected in himself contradictory qualities and patched together diverse greatnesses. I often mention these to my brethren-in-faith and put them wondering over it. It is indeed a subject to ponder over and think about.
Within this compilation, some repetition of words or subject matter are to be expected, as the utterances of Amir al-mu'minin have been known to be related in numerous forms. Sometimes it happened that a particular utterance was found in a particular form in a tradition and was taken down in that very form. Thereafter, the same utterance was found in some other tradition either with acceptable addition or in a more attractive style of expression. In such a case with a view to further the object of compilation and to preserve the beautiful utterance from being lost it was decided to repeat it elsewhere. It has also happened that a particular utterance had appeared earlier but due to remoteness it has been entered again. This is through omission, not by intent.
In spite of all this I do not claim that I have collected Amir al-mu'minin's utterances from all sources and that no single sentence of any type or construction has been left out. In fact I do not rule out the possibility that whatever has been left out might be more than what has been collected, and what has been in any knowledge and use is far less than what has remained beyond my reach. My task was to strive to the best of my capacity and it was Allah's part to make the way easy and guide me to the goal; Allah may will so.
Having completed my work, both in the collection and compilation of this manuscript; Nahjul Balaghah, the pathway of rhetoric’s would be the appropriate title of the book, in that it would open the doors of eloquence for the reader and shorten its approach for him; the scholar and the student would meet their needs from it while the rhetoricians as well as the recluse would find their objectives in it as well.
In this book would be found a wonderful discussion on Allah's One-ness, Justness and His being free from body and form, that would quench every thirst (for learning), provide cure for every malady (of un-belief) and remove every doubt.
I seek from Allah succor, protection against straying, correctness of action and His assistance. I seek his protection against mistakes of heart before mistakes of tongue and against mistakes of speech before mistakes of action. He is my Reliance and lie is the best Trustee.
Reciting this couplet about his own fore father’s as-Sayyid ar-Radi challenges everyone to bring forth their like, if any. Al-Farazdaq had addressed only Jarir but its quotation here has made it general and universal when its addressee is no more one single individual, but every person can consider himself to he its addressee. Despite this generality and universality the challenge to name their “like" remains unresponded like the Qur'anic challenge "then bring forth it’s Like."
As-Sayyid ar-Radi has pointed at this relationship and distinction at such an appropriate moment that there can be no better occasion, because the greatness of the personality (namely Amir al-mu'minin) through whom he claims pride has already been mentioned and eyes have stood dazzled at the brilliance of his status while mind has acknowledged the sublimity of his position. Now hearts can easily be made to bow before the height and greatness of this individual who bears relationship to him.
Thus at the moment when heart and mind were already inclined as-Sayyid ar-Radi's eloquence-conscious eyes turned the sight towards himself as he was the ray of the sun whose abundant light dazzles the eye, and a scion of the same lineal tree whose root is in the earth and whose branch extends up to the sky. Now who is there who would remain unaffected by this relationship and distinction and refuse to acknowledge his greatness and sublimity?
For example, generosity and bountifulness demand that a person should possess the feeling of pity and God-fearing so that on seeing anyone in poverty or want his heart would rend, and his feelings would be disturbed at other's tribulations while the dictates of bravery and fighting require that instead of pity and compassion there should be the passion of blood-shed and killing, prompting the person at every moment to enter into scuffle, ready to kill or be killed. These two qualities differ so widely that it is not possible to fuse the delicacies of generosity into the stiff manifestations of bravery just as bravery cannot be expected from Hatim nor generosity from Rustam.
But the personality of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (p.b.u.h.) showed full accord with every greatness and complete harmony with every accomplishment, and there was no good attribute or accomplishment which he lacked, nor any robe of greatness or beauty which did not fit his body. Thus the contradictory qualities of generosity and bravery were found in him side by side. If he rained like the cloud in generosity, he also fought bravely standing firm as a mountain.
Thus his generosity and liberty of nature was of a degree that even during days of want and starvation whatever he earned as the wage of his day's toil its major part was distributed among the poor and the starving, and he would never allow a beggar to return disappointed from his door, so much so that even when in the battle field the enemy asked him his sword he threw it before him being confident of the prowess of his naked arm. An Urdu couplet says:
The unbeliever depends on his sword but the believer fights even without it.
And his bravery and courage was such that the onslaught of armies could not shake the firmness of his foot with the result that he achieved success in every encounter and even the bravest fighter could not save his life in an encounter with him. Thus Ibn Qutaybah writes in al-Ma'arif, "Whomever he encountered was prostrated."
The heartless nature of the brave is not won to thinking or pondering nor do they have anything to do with foresight or fore-judging but 'Ali (p.b.u.h.) had the quality 'of thinking of the highest degree. Thus, ash-Shafi'i said as follows: "what can I say about a man in whom three qualities existed with three other qualities that were never found together in any other man - generosity with want, bravery with sagacity and knowledge with practical achievements".
It was the result of this proper thinking and correct judgment that when after the death of the Prophet some people advised him to fight and promised to enlist warriors for him he rejected this advice, although on such occasions even a slight support is enough to encourage the heartless brave, yet 'Ali (p.b.u.h.) far-sighted mind at once foresaw that if battle was raged at that moment the voice of Islam would be submerged under the clutter of swords, and then even if success was achieved it would be said that the position was gained by dint of sword and that there was no right for it.
Thus, by withholding his sword on the one hand he provided protection to Islam and on the other saved his own right from the imputation of bloodshed. When the veins are full of daring blood and the bosom full of flames of anger and wrath it is extremely difficult to curb the passion of vengeance by adopting the course of forgiving and, despite authority and power, to pardon and overlook.
But 'Ali's (p.b.u.h.) metal used to shine on such occasions when his forgiving nature would accommodate even his blood-thirsty foes. Thus, at the end of the Battle of Jamal he made a general proclamation that no one who flees away from the field or seeks our protection would be molested and he let go without any punishment even such enemies as Marwan ibn Hakam and 'Abdullah ibn Zubayr.
And the treatment that he meted out to 'A'ishah matchless manifestation of his nobility and high character - is that in spite of her open enmity and rebellion he sent with her women in men's garb to escort her to Medina. By giving his own personal malice the garb of fundamental differences, man not only deceives others but also tries to keep himself under deception, and in these conditions such a delicate situation arises that a man fails to distinguish and separate his personal malice from a fundamental difference but easily mixing them together considers that he has followed the Command of Allah, and In this way he satisfies his passion for vengeance as well.
But Amir al-mu'minin's discerning eyes never got deceived nor did they willingly deceive themselves. Thus, on an occasion when after prostrating the opponent he placed himself on his bosom the vanquished opponent spat on his face. As man his rage should have risen and his band should have moved quicker but instead of being enraged he got off from the man's bosom lest his action would be tarnished by personal feeling, and slayed him only after the anger had subsided.
There is nothing in common between combat and encounter and reclusion and God-fearing because one shows valour and courage while the other supplication and submission. But Amir al-mu'minin was a unique combination of both these qualities as his hands that were bound in devotion were equally active in the battlefield, and side by side with relaxing in seclusion for devotion he was a common visitor of the field of action.
The scene of the night of Harir puts human wit in astonishment and wonder when closing his eyes to the bloody action around he spread his prayer cloth and engaged himself in prayer with full peace of mind and heart while arrows were darting off sometimes over his head and sometimes from his right or left. But he remained engaged in Allah's remembrance without any fear or apprehension. After finishing he again cast his hand on the sword's handle and the fierce battle that then followed in unparalleled in history. The position was that on all sides there was such hue and cry and fleeing activity that even voices falling on the ears could not be discerned.
Of course, after every moment or so his own call of Allahu Akbar rose in the atmosphere and resounded in the ears, and every such call meant death of a foe. Those who counted these calls of takbir recorded their number as five hundred and twenty three.
The taste for learning and God-knowing does not combine with material activity but Amir al-mu'minin adorned the meetings of learning and scholarship along with war-like pursuits, arid he watered the field of Islam with springs of learning and truth along with shedding streams of blood (in battles).
Where there is perfection of learning, then even if there is not complete absence of action, there must no doubt exist shortness of action. But Amir al-mu'minin treaded the field of knowledge and action equally, as has been already shown in ash-Shafi'i's verse. Examples of harmony in utterance and action are quite rare but Amir al-mu'minin's action preceded his utterance, as he himself says: O people I do not exhort you to any action but that I myself first proceed towards it before you and do not desist you from any matter but that I first desist from it myself.
As soon as we think of a recluse and a pious man we visualise a face null of frowns because for piety severity of temper and hardness of face are inseparable so much so that the thought of a smile on the lips of a pious man is regarded as a sin. But despite extreme piety and self-denial Amir al-mu'minin always had such appearance that his light temper and brightness of face was apparent from his looks and his lips always bore playful smile.
He never showed frowns on his fore-head like the dry recluse, so much so that when people could not find any defect in him this very lightness of temper was taken to be his fault, while hard temper and bitter face was held to be a virtue. If a man possesses cheerful heart and joyous temper he cannot command authority over others; but Amir al-mu'minin's cheerful face was so full of awe and dignity that no eye could face it. Once Mu'awiyah tauntingly said "Allah bless 'Ali. He was a man of cheerful taste," then Qays ibn Sa'd retorted. "By Allah despite cheerful disposition and entertaining countenance he was more awe-inspiring than a hungry lion and this awe was due to his piety not like your awe over the non-descripts of Syria."
Where there is rule and authority there is also a crowd of servants and workers, checks of grandeur and eminence with equipment of pageantry but Amir al-mu'minin's period of rule was an example of the highest simplicity. In him people saw only a tattered turban in place of a Royal Crown, patched apparel in place of the regal robes and the floor of earth in place of the ruler's throne. He never liked grandeur and pageantry nor allowed show of external grandiosity. Once he was passing on a horse back when Harb ibn Shurahbil started walking with him and began talking. Then Amir al-mu'minin said to him, "Get back because walking on foot with me by one like you is mischievous for the ruler (me) and an insult to the believer (you).
In short he was such a versatile personality in whom numerous contradictory qualities had joined together and all the good attributes were centered in their full brightness as though his oneself was a collection of several selves and each self was an astounding portrait of achievement which showed forth the delineation of distinction in its untained form, and on whose accomplishment one wonders with bewilderment.
A Persian couplet says:
The figure of my beloved is so beautiful that when I cast my glance on the body from head to foot, every spot thereof calls my attention claiming to be the most enchanting.
In the galaxy of the outstanding Shia Scholars two brothers from an eminent family of the descendants of the Prophet (saw) outshone all the others due to their extraordinary brilliance in their time. They were al Sharif al-Murtada, who occupied the chair of his teacher as his successor to the marji'iyyah of the Shi'ah world of scholarship, and his younger brother al-Sharif al-Radi, acclaimed to be a great genius of versatile talents, still unprecedented in the history of Islamic scholarship and Arabic literature.
Al-Radi (359-406/970-1015) died young, much earlier than his elder brother, but left his mark on the history of Muslim thought and poetry, which in no way can be described as less significant than that of any other Imamiyyah scholar who lived much longer than him. He shone on the bright horizon of the fourth century Hijri, regarded as the most extraordinary period of all round intellectual and cultural renaissance in the history of Islam, lived for a short period of forty-seven years but generated enough light to lead human quest for excellence for centuries.
Al-Rad'i's parents' lineage came directly from the Imams (as) of the Prophet's Family. From his father's side he descended from al-Imam Musa al-Kazim (as) ibn Ja'far al-Sadiq (as) ibn Muhammad al-Baqir (as) ibn 'Ali Zayn al-'Abidin (as) ibn al-Husayn (as) ibn 'Ali (as) in the following order: Abu Ahmad Husayn Tahir al-'Awhad Dhu al-Manaqib ibn Musa ibn Muhammad ibn Musa ibn Ibrahim al Mujab ibn Musa al-Kazim (as). All his forefathers were eminent in their own right. From his mother’s side he descended from the famous al-Nasir al- Kabir also known as Nasir al-Haqq (225 or 230-304/840 or 844-916) who descended from the second son of al-'Imam 'Ali ibn al-Husayn (as) ibn Ali (as).
Al-Sayyid al-Murtada, in Nasiriyyat, a commentary upon al-Nasir al-Kabir's book Mi'at mas'alah, writes that: My mother Fatimah [was] the daughter of Abu Muhammad al-Husayn al-Nasir (al-Saghir) ibn Abi al-Husayn Ahmad ibn Abi Muhammad al-Hasan al-Nasir al-Kabir (the conqueror and ruler of Daylam) ibn al-Husayn ibn 'Umar al-Ashraf ibn Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn 'Ali ibn Abi Talib.
Al-Sharif al-Radi's name was Muhammad and his kunyah was Abu al Hasan. He was the second son of al-Husayn ibn Ahmad, known as al-Tahir al-Awhad and Dhu al-Manaqib. Al-Radi's title 'al-Sharif' was a common title used for those who were descendants of the Prophet (saw) from both the maternal and paternal sides.
The word which is now commonly used for al-Sharif is al-Sayyid in Persian and Urdu. Al-Radi's father was the most eminent among the Alawids of his time. He held all the important positions which a Shi'ah could attain under the 'Abbasid regime during the fourth century H. Al-Thalibi (d. 429), in Yatimat al-dahr, a bibliography of poets and writers of Arabic, writes about the father of al-Radi: His forefathers were held in high respect by the people of Iraq.
His father, Abu Ahmad for a long time occupied the post of Naqib of the Talibiyyin, a position that empowered him to look after the Sayyids of Abu Talib's lineage. At the same time he held the office of the Nazarat Diwan al-mazalim (headship of the highest court of appeal) as well as the office of the chief of hajjaj (pilgrims to the Holy Ka'bah). In the year 380/990 he relinquished these posts in favour of his son al-Sayyid al-Radi.
Ibn Abi al-Hadid (d. 655 or 656/1257 or 1258), in his preface to the Sharh Nahjul Balaghah, confirms this statement saying: His father al-Naqib Abu Ahmad was held in high regard at the courts of Banu 'Abbas and the rulers of Al Dayalimah, and was entitled as al-Tahir Dhu al-Manaqib. Baha' al-Dawlah al-Daylami called him al-Tahir al-'Awhad, which meant "uniquely purified". He was appointed the Naqib of the Talibiyyin five times, and apart from this job; he occasionally performed duties of great political sensitivity also; for instance, he served as a negotiator to settle certain disputes between the Caliphs and the Buwayhids on the one hand, and the Hamdani rulers on the other.
Because of his political influence he was so feared by Baha' al-Dawlah's son 'Adud al-Dawlah (reigned 367-72/978-83), that in 369/980 he imprisoned him in a fort in Fars, where he underwent the hardships of prison life for seven years. 'Adud al-Dawlah (d. 372/982-83) arrested along with him his brother Abu 'Abd Allah ibn Musa and another influential 'Alawid, Muhammad ibn 'Umar, also. Abu Muhammad, the chief qadi of Baghdad, and Abu Nasr Khwanshadh were also arrested and imprisoned in the same year, 369/980.
With Abu Ahmad's arrest his entire property was confiscated, and his family had to live for seven long years in dire poverty. It was, most probably, in this period that al-Radi and his brother al-Murtada were brought to al-Shaykh al-Mufid by their mother for being educated in fiqh and other religious sciences. And perhaps it was during this period that Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Ahmad al-Tabari, a Sunni Maliki faqih, gifted a house to al-Sayyid al-Radi when he came to know that the brightest of his pupils had no residence of his own for his wife and had to live with his mother.
During the period of his father's imprisonment, al-Radi composed many poems to pay tribute to him. Abu Ahmad was set free by Sharaf al-Dawlah, son of Adud al-Dawlah, while proceeding to Baghdad from Kirman in 376/ 986-87 to depose his brother Samsam al-Dawlah, who also had not released Abu Ahmad and other captives. It is to be noted that 'Adud al-Dawlah was a Shiah of Zaydi inclination, but for him, like most of the monarchs of the Muslim world, political expedieney and interest were much more important than the matter of faith.
As even the 'Abbasid caliph of his time was afraid of al-Radi's connection with the Prophet's Family and his influence among the people, probably 'Adud al-Dawlah was also afraid of al-Radi's father, fearing that if at any time he aspired to wrest power out of his hands he could pose a serious challenge to him. Abu al-Faraj al-Jawzi has also referred to the arrest of Abu Ahmad in the course of recording the events of the year 369/979-80.
The influence of Abu Ahmad and his family assumed greater dimensions in the eyes of the rulers due to the tense and highly explosive situation ereated by the rivalries and conflicts between the Sunnis and the Shi'ah and the Turks and the Daylamites. These clashes resulted in looting, killing and burning of al-Karkh, a predominantly Shi'ah locality, for one week continuously, in the year 361/971-72, that was repeated in 363/974.
Moreover, there was a conflict between Bakhtiyar al-Daylami, the vizier, and 'Adud al-Dawlah, in which the latter emerged victorious later. Abu Ahmad was on good terms with Bakhtiyar also, which was a sufficient reason for 'Adud al-Dawlah to regard him as an enemy. Abu Ahmad died at the age of 97 in 403/1O12-13, and the high offices held by him fell upon al-Radi.
From his mother's side al-Radi belonged to a lineage that was more distinguished for its political activities than the former. His grand-father al-Nasir al-Saghir al-Husayn ibn Ahmad (d. 368/979) was a pious and respected man. According to al-Sayyid al-Murtada he was held in high regard by Mu'izz al-Dawlah (reigned 320-56/932-967), who appointed him to the office of the Naqib of al-Talibiyyin in 362/972-73 when Abu Ahmad was stripped of this post. Al Wasir al-Saghir's father Ahmad ibn al-Hasan served as a commander in his father's army, and was known for both his valour and virtue.
Al-Nasir al-Kabir whose name was al-Hasan ibn 'Ali, was responsible for propagating Islam among the Daylamites after himself conquering Daylam. He was a commander of the army of his cousin Muhammad ibn Zayd al-'Alawi, popularly known as al-Da'i al-Kabir, who conquered Mazandaran in 250/864 and laid down the foundation of the 'Alawis' rule there. Al-Mas'udi, in Muruj al-dhahab, has mentioned him at two places as al-'Atrush, which meant "the deaf".
At one occasion, he writes: Al-'Atrush appeared on the seene of Tabaristan (Mazandaran) in the year 301/913-14, and drove away the 'Abbasids, called "the Black robed people”, from there. He was a gifted man with great intelligence, scholarship, knowledge and conviction of faith. He lived for a long time among the Daylamites, who were Zoroastrians, and some even pagans, living in complete darkness.
The people of Gilan also lived in the same conditions. Al-Nasir al-Kabir invited them to worship the One God, and they embraced Islam accepting his call. In those days the Muslims reached Qazwin and the adjoinmg areas. Al Nasir al Kabir built a mosque in Daylarn.
At another place, mentioning al-'Atrush's efforts to convert the Zoroastrians to the fold of Islam, he writes that it was he who built mosques in the cities of Tabaristan (Present Mazandaran and Gilan), and extended the frontiers of the Muslim rule up to Qazwin and Chalus.
There is a common misunderstanding regarding al-Nasir al-Kabir's faith. As he supported the Daiis of the Zaydi rule and was instrumental in laying the foundation of the Zaydi dynasty, he was called a Zaydi by many historians as well as by the Zaydis themselves. Al-Najashi (d. 450/1058), a contemporary of al-Radi and al-Murtada, dispels such claims: Al Hasan ibn Ali ibn al-Hasan ibn 'Umar ibn 'Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn 'Ali ibn Abi Talib Abu Muhammad al-'Atrush believed in the imamah, and wrote several books in strict adherenee to this faith, viz. Kitab al-'imamah, Kitab at-talliq, a larger book on the Imamah, Kitah Fadak wa al-khums, Kitabb al-shuhada', Kitab fasahat Abi Talib, Kitab ma'adhir Bani Hashim fi ma nuqim 'alayhim, Kitab ansab al-A'immah wa mawalidihium (up to the Twelfth Imam (as)).
However, it seems to be a mere conjecture that he was a Twelver Imami, for al-Murtada, his grandson, in al-Nasiriyyat, criticized some of his views for being against the Twelver Imami faith. 'Ali Dawani, subscribing to the views of some early Shi'i 'ulama', holds that he was a Twelver Imami but without any conclusive evidence. Most probably he was a Zaydi Shi'ah. According to Ibn Abi al-Hadid, he fought battles against the chiefs of the Samanids and died in Mazandaran in 304/916 at the ripe age of seventy-nine. Ahmad ibn 'Ali ibn Dawud al-Hasani, known as Ibn 'Anabah (d. 828/1425), a Sunni descendant of the Hasani Sayyids, in his famous work 'Umdat al-talib, describes him as being called Nasir al-Haqq, and writes that he died in Amul in the year 303/915.
Al-Nasir al-Kabir's father, 'Ali ibn al-Husayn, and his grandfather, al-Husayn ibn 'Ali, were both regarded as eminent scholars and men of virtue. The latter is reported to be a narrator of hadith also. 'Umar ibn 'Ali ibn al-Husayn, son of the Fourth Imam (as) and known as al-'Ashraf, was among the eminent personalities of the 'Alawids. Al-Shaykh al-Mufid, in al-'Irshad, writes about him: 'Umar b. 'Ali b. al-Husyn, peace be on them, was a man of merit and of high standing.
He was in charge of the endowments (sadaqat) of the Apostle of God may God bless him and his Family, and the endowments (sadaqat) of the Conmmander of the Faithful, peace be on him. He was pious and God-fearing. Dawud ibn al-Qasim, on the authority of al-Husayn ibn Zayd, who was a nephew of 'Umar al-'Ashraf, described him to be extremely honest and cautious in dealing with the matters related to the income of the endowments and their proper management. Some traditions of the Prophet (saw) and the Imams (as) are also reported on his authority. He was treated with respect even in the court of the Umayyads.
Al-Sayyid al-Radi's mother Fatimah bint al-Da'i al-Saghir was a pious and learned lady, who brought her two sons and daughters up with care and arranged for their proper education during the seven-year period of her husband's imprisonment. It is said that al-Shaykh al-Mufid wrote his book Ahkam al-nisa' at her instance, as she asked him to compile a book according to Islamic Law, which could serve as a guide for women.
It was she who took her two sons to al-Shaykh al-Mufid after al-Murtada and al-Radi had completed primary stage of their education. Ibn Abi al-Hadid, in Sharh Nahjul Balaghah, narrates a story which is indicative of the high position of this lady of great virtue. The story goes that one night al-Shaykh al-Mufid dreamt that Fatimah (as), the Prophet's daughter, came to his place in Karkh bringing her two young sons, al-Hasan (as) and al-Husayn (as), and asked that he take up the task of teaching them. Al-Mufid awoke amazed at the dream.
The next morning Fatimah, mother of al-Sayyid al-Murtada and al-Sayyid al-Radi, came to his mosque surrounded by her servants, bringing her two small sons, asking that he teach them. Al-Sayyid al Radi in his elegy on her death paid rich tributes to her virtue, piety, religiosity, courage and other qualities of the heart and the mind. She died in the month of Dhu al-Hijjah 385/995. Al-Sayyid al-Radi was twenty-six years old at the time of his mother's death.
Al-Radi was born in 359/970 four years after his elder brother al-Murtada. His genius came to the notice of his family and teachers at a very young age. He started composing poetry at the tender age of nine. His wit and alertness of mind surprised all. He went to different teachers to study various branches of Islamic sciences, Arabic language and literature. He studied Sharh al-'Usul al-khamsah and Kitab al-'umdah under al-Qadi 'Abd al Jabbar al-Mu'tazili (b. circa. 325/936, d.415/1025), and studied Arabic language and grammar under Abu Sa'id al-Hasan ibn 'Abd Allah ibn Marzban al-Sirafi (284-368/897-979), an expert of Arabic language and literature.
He also went to study the language and literary sciences to Abu Muhammad al-'Asadi al-'Akfani, Abu al-Hasan 'Ali ibn 'isa al-Rummani (296-384/908-94), Abu al-Fath 'Uthman ibn Jinn; (330-392/942-1002) and Ibn Nubatah (335-94/946-1004). He studied hadith under Muhammad ibn 'Imran al-Marzabani (d. 378/988) and Abu Masa Harun ibn Musa al-Tal'akbari (d. 385/995). His teacher in fiqh, besides al-Mufid, was Muhammad ibn al-'Abbas al- Khwarizmi (d. 383/993).
Abu Hafs 'Umar ibn Ibrahim al-Kinani was his teacher in qira'ah and the Quran. Most of his teaehers were eminent scholars and writers of Arabic. He had started teaching at the young age of seventeen when he was himself studying. He completed his education at the age of twenty. Very soon he acquired fame as a scholar, commentator of the Quran, thinker and poet. His fame as a poet overshadowed his excellence in all other fields.
Among his teachers a few other names may be mentioned: Abu 'Ali al-Hasan ibn Ahmad al-Farsi (307-77/919-87), a Mutazili; Abu al-Hasan al-Karkhi; 'Ali ibn 'Isa ibn Salih al-Rub'i (328-420/939-40-1029); and Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Ahmad al-Tabari (d. 393/1002-3), a faqih of the Maliki school. In those days due to a climate of tolerance at least among scholars and students, the Shi'ah and Sunni students used to attend classes of teachers belonging to different sects. A number of al-Radi's teachers were Sunni and Mu'tazili.
Al-Sharif al-Radi had intimate friendly relations of mutual respect and love with eminent contemporary scholars, poets and writers professing different faiths, which was an indication of his broad humanism and tolerance. Al-Sahib ibn 'Abbad (326-85/938-95), one of the most influential of Muslim prime ministers and a great scholar of his age, was a patron of scholars and poets.
Yaqut al-Hamawi says that five hundred poets composed qasa'id in his praise. Al-Radi, despite being much younger to him, was highly respected by him. Abu al-Hasan al-'Umari, who is reported to be alive till the end of the first half of the fifth century Hijrah, was from the descendants of 'Umar ibn 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, and was an expert of genealogy. He was in close contact with the al-Sharif family. Abu al-'Ala' al-Ma'arri (363-449/973-1057), one of the greatest poets of Arabic, attended al-Murtada's lectures and was a great admirer of al-Radi.
Upon receiving the news of al-Radi's death in his hometown, al-Ma'arri paid rich tributes to him in an elegy, included in his book Siqt al-zand. Al-Husayn ibn Ahmad al-Nili al-Baghdadi, known as Ibn al-Hajjaj al-Baghdadi (d. 391/1001) was much respected by al-Radi, who compiled two selections of his poetry, viz., 'al-Hasan min shi'r al-Husayn' and 'al-Ziyadat fishi'r Ibn al-Hajjaj, and also wrote an elegy on his death. Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Hilal al-Harrani al-Sabi (d. 384/ 994), a Sabaean by faith and a confidant of the Buwayhids, was so close to al-Radi that once he wrote in a poem addressed to al-Radi: When you get the caliphate, do not forget my wife, son and family...
Al-Radi wrote a moving, emotionally charged elegy on his death, the first couplet of which became very famous: Do you know whose coffin people are carrying? Do you know how was the light of our company extinguished? People, particularly the Sunnis, admonished al-Radi saying how could a man like him, belonging to the family of the Prophet (saw), praise a non-believer. Al-Radi said in reply that he paid tribute to his learning and art, not to his faith. Whenever he passed by the side of the grave-yard where al-Sabi was buried, he used to get down from the horse as a mark of respect for the departed soul of the friend and the poet.
Nine years after al-Sabi's death al-Radi happened to visit the grave-yard and saw his friend's grave, he composed another qasidah addressing himself to the departed soul in the following words: Had my companions not been angry with me for stopping near you, I would have saluted your grave O Abu Ishaq!
Al-Radi compiled a selection of al-Sabi's poetry Mukhtar Shir Ibn Ishaq al- Sabi. Among al-Radi's close friends were two other scholarly persons. Shapur Ibn Ardshir (d. 416/1025), who served as the vizier of the Buwayhids till their fall at the hands of the Saljuqis, and who had placed his huge library of rare value at the disposal of al Radi; and Fakhr al Mulk, the vizier of Baha al Dawlah, who led al Radi's funeral congregation, and was himself murdered by Sultan Dawlah in one year after al Radi's death, that is in 407/1016.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام) يذكر فيها ابتداءَ خلق السماءِ والاَرض، وخلق آدم عليه الصلاة والسلام
(فيها ذكر الحج)
(وتحتوي على حمد الله، وخلق العالم، وخلق الملائكة، واختيار الانبياء، ومبعث النبي، والقرآن، والاحكام الشرعية)
Praise is due to Allah whose worth cannot be described by speakers, whose bounties cannot be counted by calculators and whose claim (to obedience) cannot be satisfied by those who attempt to do so, whom the height of intellectual courage cannot appreciate, and the divings of understanding cannot reach; He for whose description no limit has been laid down, no eulogy exists, no time is ordained and no duration is fixed. He brought forth creation through His Omnipotence, dispersed winds through His Compassion, and made firm the shaking earth with rocks.
الحَمْدُ للهِ الَّذَي لاَ يَبْلُغُ مِدْحَتَهُ القَائِلُونَ، وَلاِ يُحْصِي نَعْمَاءَهُ العَادُّونَ، ولاَ يُؤَدِّي حَقَّهُ الُمجْتَهِدُونَ، الَّذِي لاَ يُدْركُهُ بُعْدُ الهِمَمِ، وَلاَ يَنَالُهُ غَوْصُ الفِطَنِ، الَّذِي لَيْسَ لِصِفَتِهِ حَدٌّ مَحْدُودٌ، وَلاَ نَعْتٌ مَوْجُودٌ، وَلا وَقْتٌ مَعْدُودٌ، وَلا أَجَلٌ مَمْدُودٌ. فَطَرَ الخَلائِقَ بِقُدْرَتِهَ، وَنَشَرَ الرِّيَاحَ بِرَحْمَتِهِ، وَوَتَّدَ بِالصُّخُورِ مَيَدَانَ أَرْضِهِ.
The foremost in religion is the acknowledgement of Him, the perfection of acknowledging Him is to testify Him, the perfection of testifying Him is to believe in His Oneness, the perfection of believing in His Oneness is to regard Him Pure, and the perfection of His purity is to deny Him attributes, because every attribute is a proof that it is different from that to which it is attributed and everything to which something is attributed is different from the attribute.
Thus whoever attaches attributes to Allah recognises His like, and whoever recognises His like regards Him two; and whoever regards Him as two recognises parts for Him; and whoever recognises parts for Him mistook Him; and whoever mistook Him pointed at Him; and whoever pointed at Him admitted limitations for Him; and whoever admitted limitations for Him numbered Him. Whoever said: ‘In what is He?’, held that He is contained; and whoever said: ‘On what is He?’, held He is not on something else.
أَوَّلُ الدِّينِ مَعْرِفَتُهُ، وَكَمَالُ مَعْرِفَتِهِ التَّصْديقُ بِهِ، وَكَمَالُ التَّصْدِيقِ بِهِ تَوْحِيدُهُ، وَكَمَالُ تَوْحِيدِهِ الاخْلاصُ لَهُ، وَكَمَالُ الاخْلاصِ لَهُ نَفْيُ الصِّفَاتِ عَنْهُ، لِشَهَادَةِ كُلِّ صِفَة أَنَّها غَيْرُ المَوْصُوفِ، وَشَهَادَةِ كُلِّ مَوْصُوف أَنَّهُ غَيْرُ الصِّفَةِ، فَمَنْ وَصَفَ اللهَ سُبْحَانَهُ فَقَدْ قَرَنَهُ، وَمَنْ قَرَنَهُ فَقَدْ ثَنَّاهُ،وَمَنْ ثَنَّاهُ فَقَد جَزَّأَهُ، وَمَنْ جَزَّأَهُ فَقَدْ جَهِلَهُ، وَمَنْ جَهِلَهُ فَقَدْ أشَارَ إِلَيْهِ، وَمَنْ أشَارَ إِلَيْهِ فَقَدْ حَدَّهُ، وَمَنْ حَدَّهُ فَقَدْ عَدَّهُ، وَمَنْ قَالَ: «فِيمَ» فَقَدْ ضَمَّنَهُ، وَمَنْ قَالَ: «عَلاَمَ؟» فَقَدْ أَخْلَى مِنُهُ.
He is a Being, but not through phenomenon of coming into being. He exists but not from non-existence. He is with everything but not in physical nearness. He is different from everything but not in physical separation. He acts but without connotation of movements and instruments. He sees even when there is none to be looked at from among His creation. He is only One, such that there is none with whom He may keep company or whom He may miss in his absence.
كائِنٌ لاَ عَنْ حَدَث، مَوْجُودٌ لاَ عَنْ عَدَم، مَعَ كُلِّ شَيْء لاَ بِمُقَارَنَة، وَغَيْرُ كُلِّ شيء لا بِمُزَايَلَة، فَاعِلٌ لا بِمَعْنَى الْحَرَكَاتِ وَالاْلةِ، بَصِيرٌ إذْ لاَ مَنْظُورَ إلَيْهِ مِنْ خَلْقِهِ، مُتَوَحِّدٌ إذْ لاَ سَكَنَ يَسْتَأْنِسُ بهِ وَلاَ يَسْتوْحِشُ لِفَقْدِهِ.
He initiated creation most initially and commenced it originally, without undergoing reflection, without making use of any experiment, without innovating any movement, and without experiencing any aspiration of mind. He allotted all things their times, put together their variations gave them their properties, and determined their features knowing them before creating them, realising fully their limits and confines and appreciating their propensities and intricacies.
أَنْشَأَ الخَلْقَ إنْشَاءً، وَابْتَدَأَهُ ابْتِدَاءً، بِلاَ رَوِيَّة أَجَالَهَا، وَلاَ تَجْرِبَة اسْتَفَادَهَا، وَلاَ حَرَكَة أَحْدَثَهَا، وَلاَ هَمَامَةِ نَفْس اضطَرَبَ فِيهَا. أَحَالَ الاْشياءَ لاِوْقَاتِهَا، وَلاَمَ بَيْنَ مُخْتَلِفَاتِهَا، وَغَرَّزَ غَرائِزَهَا، وَأَلزَمَهَا أشْبَاحَهَا، عَالِماً بِهَا قَبْلَ ابْتِدَائِهَا، مُحِيطاً بِحُدُودِها وَانْتِهَائِهَا، عَارفاً بِقَرَائِنِها وَأَحْنَائِهَا.
When Almighty created the openings of atmosphere, expanse of firmament and strata of winds, He flowed into it water whose waves were stormy and whose surges leapt one over the other. He loaded it on dashing wind and breaking typhoons, ordered them to shed it back (as rain), gave the wind control over the vigour of the rain, and acquainted it with its limitations. The wind blew under it while water flowed furiously over it.
ثُمَّ أَنْشَأَ ـ سُبْحَانَهُ ـ فَتْقَ الاْجْوَاءِ، وَشَقَّ الاْرْجَاءِ، وَسَكَائِكَ الَهوَاءِ، فأَجازَ فِيهَا مَاءً مُتَلاطِماً تَيَّارُهُ، مُتَراكِماً زَخَّارُهُ، حَمَلَهُ عَلَى مَتْنِ . الرِّيحِ الْعَاصِفَةِ، وَالزَّعْزَعِ الْقَاصِفَةِ، فَأَمَرَها بِرَدِّهِ، وَسَلَّطَهَا عَلَى شَدِّهِ، وَقَرنَهَا إِلَى حَدِّهِ، الهَوَاءُ مِنْ تَحْتِها فَتِيقٌ، وَالمَاءُ مِنْ فَوْقِهَا دَفِيقٌ.
Then Almighty created forth wind and made its movement sterile, perpetuated its position, intensified its motion and spread it far and wide. Then He ordered the wind to raise up deep waters and to intensify the waves of the oceans. So the wind churned it like the churning of curd and pushed it fiercely into the firmament throwing its front position on the rear and the stationary on the flowing till its level was raised and the surface was full of foam.
Then Almighty raised the foam on to the open wind and vast firmament and made there-from the seven skies and made the lower one as a stationary surge and the upper one as protective ceiling and a high edifice without any pole to support it or nail to hold it together.
Then He decorated them with stars and the light of meteors and hung in it the shining sun and effulgent moon under the revolving sky, moving ceiling and rotating firmament.
ثُمَّ أَنْشَأَ سُبْحَانَهُ رِيحاً اعْتَقَمَ مَهَبَّهَا، وَأَدَامَ مُرَبَّهَا، وَأَعْصَفَ مَجْرَاها، وَأَبْعَدَ مَنْشَاهَا، فَأَمَرَها بِتَصْفِيقِ المَاءِ الزَّخَّارِ، وَإِثَارَةِ مَوْجِ البِحَارِ، فَمَخَضَتْهُ مَخْضَ السِّقَاءِ، وَعَصَفَتْ بهِ عَصْفَهَا بِالفَضَاءِ، تَرُدُّ أَوَّلَهُ عَلَى آخِرِهِ، وَسَاجِيَهُ عَلَى مَائِرِهِ، حَتَّى عَبَّ عُبَابُهُ، وَرَمَى بِالزَّبَدِ رُكَامُهُ، فَرَفَعَهُ فِي هَوَاء مُنْفَتِق، وَجَوٍّ مُنْفَهِق، فَسَوَّى مِنْهُ سَبْعَ سَموَات، جَعَلَ سُفْلاَهُنَّ مَوْجاً مَكْفُوفاً، وَعُلْيَاهُنَّ سَقْفاً مَحْفُوظاً، وَسَمْكاً مَرْفُوعاً، بِغَيْر عَمَد يَدْعَمُهَا، وَلا دِسَار يَنْظِمُها.
ثُمَّ زَيَّنَهَا بِزينَةِ الكَوَاكِبِ، وَضِياءِ الثَّوَاقِبِ، وَأَجْرَى فِيها سِرَاجاً مُسْتَطِيراً، وَقَمَراً مُنِيراً: في فَلَك دَائِر، وَسَقْف سَائِر، وَرَقِيم مَائِر.
Then He created the openings between high skies and filled them with all classes of His angels. Some of them are in prostration and do not kneel up. Others in kneeling position and do not stand up. Some of them are in array and do not leave their position. Others are extolling Allah and do not get tired. The sleep of the eye or the slip of wit, or languor of the body or the effect of forgetfulness does not effect them.
Among them are those who work as trusted bearers of His message, those who serve as speaking tongues for His prophets and those who carry to and fro His orders and injunctions. Among them are the protectors of His creatures and guards of the doors of the gardens of Paradise.
Among them are those also whose steps are fixed on earth but their necks are protruding into the skies, their limbs are getting out on all sides, their shoulders are in accord with the columns of the Divine Throne, their eyes are downcast before it, they have spread down their wings under it and they have rendered between themselves and all else curtains of honour and screens of power.
They do not think of their Creator through image, do not impute to Him attributes of the created, do not confine Him within abodes and do not point at Him through illustrations.
ثُمَّ فَتَقَ مَا بَيْنَ السَّمواتِ العُلاَ، فَمَلاَهُنَّ أَطْواراً مِنْ مَلائِكَتِهِ:
مِنْهُمْ سُجُودٌ لاَيَرْكَعُونَ، وَرُكُوعٌ لاَ يَنْتَصِبُونَ، وَصَافُّونَ لاَ يَتَزَايَلُونَ، وَمُسَبِّحُونَ لاَ يَسْأَمُونَ، لاَ يَغْشَاهُمْ نَوْمُ العُيُونِ، وَلاَ سَهْوُ العُقُولِ، وَلاَ فَتْرَةُ الاَبْدَانِ، ولاَ غَفْلَةُ النِّسْيَانِ.
وَمِنْهُمْ أُمَنَاءُ عَلَى وَحْيِهِ، وأَلسِنَةٌ إِلَى رُسُلِهِ، وَمُخْتَلِفُونَ بِقَضَائِهِ وَأَمْرهِ.
وَمِنْهُمُ الحَفَظَةُ لِعِبَادِهِ، وَالسَّدَنَةُ لاِبْوَابِ جِنَانِهِ.
وَمِنْهُمُ الثَّابِتَةُ في الاْرَضِينَ السُّفْلَى أَقْدَامُهُمْ، وَالمَارِقَةُ مِنَ السَّماءِ العُلْيَا أَعْنَاقُهُمْ، والخَارجَةُ مِنَ الاْقْطَارِ أَرْكَانُهُمْ، وَالمُنَاسِبَةُ لِقَوَائِمِ العَرْشِ أَكْتَافُهُمْ، نَاكِسَةٌ دُونَهُ أَبْصارُهُمْ، مُتَلَفِّعُونَ تَحْتَهُ بِأَجْنِحَتِهِمْ، مَضْرُوبَةٌ بَيْنَهُمْ وَبَيْنَ مِنْ دُونَهُمْ حُجُبُ العِزَّةِ، وَأسْتَارُ القُدْرَةِ، لاَ يَتَوَهَّمُونَ رَبَّهُمْ بالتَّصْوِيرِ، وَلاَ يُجْرُونَ عَلَيْهِ صِفَاتِ المَصْنُوعِينَ، وَلاَ يَحُدُّونَهُ بِالاْماكِنِ، وَلاَ يُشِيرُونَ إِلَيْهِ بِالنَّظَائِرِ.
منها: في صفة خلق آدم (عليه السلام)
Allah collected from hard, soft, sweet and sour earth, clay which He dripped in water till it got pure, and kneaded it with moisture till it became gluey. From it He carved an image with curves, joints, limbs and segments. He solidified it till it dried up for a fixed time and a known duration. Then He blew into it out of His Spirit whereupon it took the pattern of a human being with mind that governs him, intelligence which he makes use of, limbs that serve him, organs that change his position, sagacity that differentiates between truth and untruth, tastes and smells, colours and species. He is a mixture of clays of different colours, cohesive materials, divergent contradictories and differing properties like heat, cold, softness and hardness, grief and joy.
ثُمَّ جَمَعَ سُبْحَانَهُ مِنْ حَزْنِ الاْرْضِ وَسَهْلِهَا، وَعَذْبِهَا وَسَبَخِهَا، تُرْبَةً سَنَّهَا بالمَاءِ حَتَّى خَلَصَتْ، وَلاَطَهَا بِالبَلَّةِ حَتَّى لَزَبَتْ، فَجَبَلَ مِنْها صُورَةً ذَاتَ أَحْنَاء وَوُصُول، وَأَعْضَاء وَفُصُول: أَجْمَدَهَا حَتَّى اسْتَمْسَكَتْ، وَأَصْلَدَهَا حَتَّى صَلْصَلَتْ، لِوَقْت مَعْدُود، وَأجَل مَعْلُوم، ثُمَّ نَفَخَ فِيها مِنْ رُوحِهِ فَمَثُلَتْ إِنْساناً ذَا أَذْهَان يُجيلُهَا، وَفِكَر يَتَصَرَّفُ بِهَا، وَجَوَارِحَ يَخْتَدِمُهَا، وَأَدَوَات يُقَلِّبُهَا، وَمَعْرِفَة يَفْرُقُ بِهَا بَيْنَ الحَقِّ وَالبَاطِلِ، والاَذْوَاقِ والَمشَامِّ، وَالاْلوَانِ وَالاْجْنَاس، مَعْجُوناً بطِينَةِ الاْلوَانِ الُمخْتَلِفَةِ، وَالاَشْبَاهِ المُؤْتَلِفَةِ، وَالاْضْدَادِ المُتَعَادِيَةِ، والاْخْلاطِ المُتَبَايِنَةِ، مِنَ الحَرِّ والبَرْدِ، وَالبَلَّةِ وَالْجُمُودِ، وَالْمَساءَةِ وَالسُّرُورِ،
Then Allah asked the angels to fulfil His promise with them and to accomplish the pledge of His injunction to them by acknowledging Him through prostration to Him and submission to His honoured position. So Allah said:
“Be prostrate towards Adam and they prostrated except Iblis (Satan).” (Qur’an, 2:34; 7:11; 17:61; 18:50; 20:116)
Self-importance withheld him and vice overcame him. So that he took pride in his own creation with fire and treated contemptuously the creation of clay. So Allah allowed him time in order to let him fully deserve His wrath, and to complete (man’s) test and to fulfil the promise (He had made to Satan). Thus, He said:
“Verily you have been allowed time till the known Day. “ (Qur’an, 15:38; 38:81)
وَاسْتَأْدَى اللهُ سُبْحَانَهُ المَلائكَةَ وَدِيعَتَهُ لَدَيْهِمْ، وَعَهْدَ وَصِيَّتِهِ إِلَيْهمْ، في الاْذْعَانِ بالسُّجُودِ لَهُ، وَالخُنُوعِ لِتَكْرِمَتِهِ، فَقَالَ عزَّمِن قائِل: ( اسْجُدُوا لاِدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ)، اعْتَرَتْهُ الحَمِيَّةُ، وَغَلَبَتْ عَلَيْهِ الشِّقْوَةُ، وَتَعَزَّزُ بِخِلْقَةِ النَّارِ، وَاسْتَوْهَنَ خَلْقَ الصَّلْصَالِ، فَأَعْطَاهُ اللهُ تَعالَى النَّظِرَةَ اسْتِحْقَاقاً لِلسُّخْطَةِ، وَاسْتِتْماماً لِلْبَلِيَّةِ، وَإِنْجَازاً لِلْعِدَةِ، فَقَالَ: (إنَّكَ مِنَ المُنْظَرِينَ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْوَقْتِ الْمَعْلُومِ)
Thereafter, Allah inhabited Adam (p.b.u.h.) in a house where He made his life pleasant and his stay safe, and He cautioned him of Iblis and his enmity. Then his enemy (Iblis) envied his abiding in Paradise and his contacts with the virtuous. So he changed his conviction into wavering and determination into weakness. He thus converted his happiness into fear and his prestige into shame. Then Allah offered to Adam (p.b.u.h.) the chance to repent, taught him words of His Mercy, promised him return to His Paradise and sent him down to the place of trial and procreation of progeny.
ثُمَّ أَسْكَنَ سُبْحَانَهُ آدَمَ دَاراً أرْغَدَ فِيهَاعَيْشَهُ، وَآمَنَ فِيهَا مَحَلَّتَهُ، وَحَذَّرَهُ إِبْلِيسَ وَعَدَاوَتَهُ، فَاغْتَرَّهُ عَدُوُّهُ نَفَاسَةً عَلَيْهِ بِدَارِ الْمُقَامِ، وَمُرَافَقَةِ الاْبْرَارِ، فَبَاعَ الْيَقِينَ بِشَكِّهِ، وَالعَزِيمَةَ بِوَهْنِهِ، وَاسْتَبْدَلَ بِالْجَذَلِ وَجَلاً، وَبِالاْغْتِرَارِ نَدَماً.
ثُمَّ بَسَطَ اللهُ سُبْحَانَهُ لَهُ في تَوْبَتِهِ، وَلَقَّاهُ كَلِمَةَ رَحْمَتِهِ، وَوَعَدَهُ المَرَدَّ إِلَى جَنَّتِهِ، فَأَهْبَطَهُ إِلَى دَارِ الَبَلِيَّةِ، وَتَنَاسُلِ الذُّرِّيَّةِ.
From his (Adam’s) progeny Allah chose prophets and took their pledge for his revelation and for carrying His message as their trust. In course of time many people perverted Allah’s trust with them and ignored His position and took compeers along with Him. Satan turned them away from knowing Him and kept them aloof from His worship. Then Allah sent His Messengers and series of His prophets towards them to get them to fulfil the pledges of His creation, to recall to them His bounties, to exhort them by preaching, to unveil before them the hidden virtues of wisdom and show them the signs of His Omnipotence namely the sky which is raised over them, the earth that is placed beneath them, means of living that sustain them, deaths that make them die, ailments that turn them old and incidents that successively betake them.
وَاصْطَفى سُبْحَانَهُ مِنْ وَلَدَهِ أَنْبيَاءَ أَخَذَ عَلَى الْوَحْيِ مِيثَاقَهُم، وَعَلَى تَبْليغِ الرِّسَالَةِ أَمَانَتَهُمْ، لَمَّا بَدَّلَ أَكْثَرُ خَلْقِهِ عَهْدَ اللهِ إِلَيْهِمْ، فَجَهِلُوا حَقَّهُ، واتَّخَذُوا الاْنْدَادَ مَعَهُ، وَاجْتَالَتْهُمُ الشَّيَاطِينُ عَنْ مَعْرفَتِهِ، وَاقتَطَعَتْهُمْ عَنْ عِبَادَتِهِ، فَبَعَثَ فِيهمْ رُسُلَهُ، وَوَاتَرَ إِلَيْهِمْ أَنْبِياءَهُ، لِيَسْتَأْدُوهُمْ مِيثَاقَ فِطْرَتِهِ، وَيُذَكِّرُوهُمْ مَنْسِيَّ نِعْمَتِهِ، وَيَحْتَجُّوا عَلَيْهِمْ بَالتَّبْلِيغِ، وَيُثِيرُوا لَهُمْ دَفَائِنَ الْعُقُولِ، وَيُرُوهُمْ آيَاتِ الْمَقْدِرَةِ: مِنْ سَقْف فَوْقَهُمْ مَرْفُوع، وَمِهَاد تَحْتَهُمْ مَوْضُوع، وَمَعَايِشَ تُحْيِيهِمْ، وَآجَال تُفْنِيهمْ، وَأَوْصَاب(5) تُهْرِمُهُمْ، وَأَحْدَاث تَتَابَعُ عَلَيْهِمْ،
Allah never allowed His creation to remain without a Prophet deputised by Him, or a book sent down from Him or a binding argument or a standing plea. These Messengers were such that they did not feel little because of smallness of their number or of largeness of the number of their falsifiers. Among them was either a predecessor who would name the one to follow or the follower who had been introduced by the predecessor.
لَمْ يُخْلِ اللهُ سُبْحَانَهُ خَلْقَهُ مِنْ نَبِيٍّ مُرْسَل، أَوْ كِتَاب مُنْزَل، أَوْ حُجَّة لاَزِمَة، أَوْ مَحَجَّة قَائِمَة، رُسُلٌ لا تُقَصِّرُ بِهِمْ قِلَّةُ عَدَدِهِمْ، وَلاَ كَثْرَةُ المُكَذِّبِينَ لَهُمْ: مِنْ سَابِق سُمِّيَ لَهُ مَنْ بَعْدَهُ، أَوْ غَابِر عَرَّفَهُ مَنْ قَبْلَهُ.
مبعث النبي (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)
In this way ages passed by and times rolled on, fathers passed away while sons took their places till Allah deputised Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) as His Prophet, in fulfilment of His promise and in completion of His Prophethood. His pledge had been taken from the Prophets, his traits of character were well reputed and his birth was honourable. The people of the earth at this time were divided in different parties, their aims were separate and ways were diverse. They either likened Allah with His creation or twisted His Names or turned to else than Him. Through Muhammad (S) Allah guided them out of wrong and with his efforts took them out of ignorance.
عَلَى ذْلِكَ نَسَلَتِ القُرُونُ، وَمَضَتِ الدُّهُورُ، وَسَلَفَتِ الاْباءُ، وَخَلَفَتِ الاْبْنَاءُ.
الَى أَنْ بَعَثَ اللهُ سُبْحَانَهُ مُحَمَّداً(صلى الله عليه وآله) لاِنْجَازِ عِدَتِهِ وَتَمامِ نُبُوَّتِهِ، مَأْخُوذاً عَلَى النَّبِيِّينَ مِيثَاقُهُ، مَشْهُورَةً سِمَاتُهُ، كَرِيماً مِيلادُهُ. وَأهْلُ الاْرْضِ يَوْمَئِذ مِلَلٌ مُتَفَرِّقَةٌ، وَأَهْوَاءٌ مُنْتَشِرَةٌ، وَطَرَائِقُ مُتَشَتِّتَةٌ، بَيْنَ مُشَبِّه للهِ بِخَلْقِهِ، أَوْ مُلْحِد في اسْمِهِ، أَوْ مُشِير إِلَى غَيْرهِ، فَهَدَاهُمْ بهِ مِنَ الضَّلاَلَةِ، وَأَنْقَذَهُمْ بمَكانِهِ مِنَ الجَهَالَةِ.
Then Allah chose for Muhammad, peace be upon him and on his progeny, to meet Him, selected him for His own nearness, regarded him too dignified to remain in this world and decided to remove him from this place of trial. So He drew him towards Himself with honour. Allah may shower His blessing on him, and his progeny.
ثُمَّ اخْتَارَ سُبْحَانَهُ لِمحَمَّد صلى الله عليه لِقَاءَهُ، وَرَضِيَ لَهُ مَا عِنْدَهُ، فَأَكْرَمَهُ عَنْ دَارِالدُّنْيَا، وَرَغِبَ بِهَ عَنْ مُقَارَنَةِ البَلْوَى، فَقَبَضَهُ إِلَيْهِ كَرِيماً صَلَّى اللهُ علَيهِ و آلِهِ،
But the Prophet left among you the same which other Prophets left among their peoples, because Prophets do not leave them untended (in dark) without a clear path and a standing ensign, namely the Book of your Creator clarifying its permission and prohibitions, its obligations and discretion, its repealing injunctions and the repealed ones, its permissible matters and compulsory ones, its particulars and the general ones, its lessons and illustrations, its long and the short ones, its clear and obscure ones, detailing its abbreviations and clarifying its obscurities.
وَخَلَّفَ فِيكُمْ مَا خَلَّفَتِ الاْنْبيَاءُ في أُمَمِها، إذْ لَم يَتْرُكُوهُمْ هَمَلاً، بِغَيْر طَريق واضِح، ولاَعَلَمٍ قَائِم.
كِتَابَ رَبِّكُمْ [فِيكُمْ:] مُبَيِّناً حَلاَلَهُ وَحَرامَهُ، وَفَرَائِضَهُ وَفَضَائِلَهُ، وَنَاسِخَهُ وَمَنْسُوخَهُ، وَرُخَصَهُ وَعَزَائِمَهُ، وَخَاصَّهُ وَعَامَّهُ، وَعِبَرَهُ وَأَمْثَالَهُ، وَمُرْسَلَهُ وَمَحْدُودَهُ، وَمُحْكَمَهُ وَمُتَشَابِهَهُ، مُفَسِّراً جُمَلَهُ، وَمُبَيِّناً غَوَامِضَهُ.
In it there are some verses whose knowledge1 is obligatory and others whose ignorance by the people is permissible. It also contains what appears to be obligatory according to the Book2 but its repeal is signified by the Prophet’s action (sunnah) or that which appears compulsory according to the Prophet’s action but the Book allows not following it.
Or there are those which are obligatory in a given time but not so after that time. Its prohibitions also differ. Some are major regarding which there exists the threat of fire (Hell), and others are minor for which there are prospects of forgiveness. There are also those of which a small portion is also acceptable (to Allah) but they are capable of being expanded.
بَيْنَ مَأْخُوذ مِيثَاقُ عِلْمِهِ، وَمُوَسَّع عَلَى العِبَادِ في جَهْلِهِ، وَبَيْنَ مُثْبَت في الكِتابِ فَرْضُهُ، وَمَعْلُوم في السُّنَّهِ نَسْخُهُ، وَوَاجب في السُّنَّةِ أَخْذُهُ، وَمُرَخَّص في الكِتابِ تَرْكُهُ، وَبَيْنَ وَاجِب بِوَقْتِهِ، وَزَائِل في مُسْتَقْبَلِهِ، وَمُبَايَنٌ بَيْنَ مَحَارِمِهِ، مِنْ كَبير أَوْعَدَ عَلَيْهِ نِيرَانَهُ، أَوْ صَغِير أَرْصَدَ لَهُ غُفْرَانَهُ، وَبَيْنَ مَقْبُول في أَدْنَاهُ، ومُوَسَّع في أَقْصَاهُ.
و[منها:] في ذكر الحج
Allah has made obligatory upon you the pilgrimage (Hajj) to His sacred House which is the turning point for the people who go to it as beasts or pigeons go towards spring water. Allah the glorified made it a sign of their supplication before His Greatness and their acknowledgement of His Dignity. He selected from among His creation those who on listening to His call responded to it and testified His word.
They stood in the position of His Prophets and resembled His angels who surround the Divine Throne securing all the benefits of performing His worship and hastening towards His promised forgiveness. Allah the glorified made it (His sacred House) an emblem for Islam and an object of respect for those who turn to it. He made obligatory its pilgrimage and laid down its claim for which He held you responsible to discharge it. Thus, Allah, the Glorified, said:
“. . . And (purely) for Allah, is incumbent upon mankind, the pilgrimage to the House, for those who can afford to journey thither. And whoever denieth then verily, Allah is Self-sufficiently independent of the worlds” (Qur’an, 3:96).
وَفَرَضَ عَلَيْكُمْ حَجَّ بَيْتِهِ الحَرَامِ، الَّذِي جَعَلَهُ قِبْلَةً لِلاْنَامِ، يَرِدُونَهُ وُرُودَ الاَنْعَامِ، وَيأْلَهُونَ إِلَيْهِ وُلُوهَ الحَمَامِ.
جَعَلَهُ سُبْحَانَهُ عَلاَمَةً لِتَوَاضُعِهمْ لِعَظَمَتِهِ، وَإِذْعَانِهِمْ لِعِزَّتِهِ، وَاخْتَارَ مِنْ خَلْقِهِ سُمَّاعاً أَجَابُوا إِلَيْهِ دَعْوَتَهُ، وَصَدَّقُوا كَلِمَتِهُ، وَوَقَفُوا مَوَاقِفَ أَنْبِيَائِهِ، وَتَشَبَّهُوا بمَلاَئِكَتِهِ المُطِيفِينَ بِعَرْشِهِ، يُحْرِزُونَ الاْرْبَاحَ فِي مَتْجَرِ عِبَادَتِهِ، وَيَتَبَادَرُونَ عِنْدَهُ مَوْعِدَ مَغْفِرَتِهِ.
جَعَلَهُ سُبْحَانَهُ لِلاِسْلامِ عَلَماً، وَلِلْعَائِذِينَ حَرَماً، فَرَضَ حَجَّهُ، وَأَوْجَبَ حَقَّهُ، وَكَتَبَ عَلَيْكُمْ وِفَادَتَهُ، فَقَالَ سُبْحَانَهُ: (وَللهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلاً وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللهَ غَنِيٌّ عَنِ العَالَمينَ).
(1) Al-Harrani, Tuhaf, 57;
(2) al-Kulayni, Usul al-Kafi, I, 140;
(3) al-Qadi al-Quda`i, Dustur, 153;
(4) al-Razi, Tafsir, II, 164;
(5) Ibn Talhah, Matalib;
(6) al-Zamakhshari, Rabi`, I, bab al-sama' wa al-kawakib;
(7) al-Wasiti, `Uyun, see al-Majlisi, Bihar, vol.77, 300, 423;
(8) al-Rawandi, Sharh, see Kashif al-Ghita', Madarik, 69;
(9) al-Tabarsi, al-'Ihtijaj, I, 150
After pointing out the essentials of Divine knowledge Amir al-mu'minin has described its important constituents and conditions. He has held those stages of such knowledge which people generally regard as the point of highest approach to be insufficient. He says that its first stage is that with the natural sense of search for the unknown and the guidance of conscience or on hearing from the followers of religions an image of the Unseen Being known as Allah is formed in the mind. This image in fact is the forerunner of the obligation to thinking and reflection and to seeking His knowledge. But those who love idleness, or are under pressure of environment, do not undertake this search despite creation of such image and the image fails to get testified. In this case they remain deprived of Divine knowledge, and since their inaccess to the stage of testifying after the formation of image is by volition they deserve to be questioned about it.
But one who is moved by the power of this image goes further and considers thinking and reflection necessary. In this way one reaches the next stage in the attainment of Divine knowledge, namely to search for the Creator through diversification of creation and species of creatures, because every picture is a solid and inflexible guide to the existence of its painter and every effect to the action of its cause.
When he casts his glance around himself he does not find a single thing which might have come into existence without the act of a maker so much so that he does not find the sign of a footstep without a walker nor a construction without a builder. How can he comprehend that this blue sky with the sun and the moon in its expanse and the earth with the exuberance of its grass and flowers could have come into existence without the action of a Creator. Therefore, after observing all that exists in the world and the regulated system of the entire creation no one can help concluding that there is a Creator for this world of diversities because existence cannot come out of non-existence, nor can existence sprout forth from nothingness.
The Holy Qur'an has pointed to this reasoning thus:
". . . What! about Allah is there any doubt, the Originator of the heavens and the earth ?. . ." (14:10).
But this stage would also be insufficient if this testimony in favour of Allah is tarnished by belief in the divinity of some other deity.
The third stage is that His existence should be acknowledged along with belief in Unity and Oneness. Without this the testimony to Allah's existence cannot be complete because if more gods are believed in He would not be One whereas it is necessary that He should be One. The reason is that in case of more than one god the question would arise whether one of them created all this creation or all of them together. If one of them created it there should be some differential to distinguish him otherwise he would be accorded preferential position without reason, which is unacceptable to the mind. If all have created it collectively then the position has only two forms; either he cannot perform his functions without the assistance of others or he is above the need for their assistance.
The first case means his incapability and being in need of others while the other case means that they are several regular performers of a single act and the fallacy of both has already been shown. If we assume that all the gods performed the act of creation by dividing among themselves then, in this case all the creation will, not bear the same relationship towards the creator since each creature will bear relationship only to its own creator whereas every creature should have one and the same relationship to all creators.
This is because all the creation should have one and the same relationship to all the creators as all the created in their capacity to accept effect and all the creators in their capacity to produce effect should be similar. In short there is no way but to acknowledge Him as One because in believing in numerous creators there remains no possibility of the existence of any other thing, and destruction proves implicit for the earth, the sky and everything in creation. Allah the glorified has expressed this argument in the following words:
"Had there been in (the heavens and the earth [other] ) gods except Allah, they both had been in disorder. . ." (Qur'an, 21:22).
The fourth stage is that Allah should be regarded free of all defects and deficiencies, and devoid of body, form, illustration, similarity, position of place or time, motion, stillness, incapability and ignorance because there can be no deficiency or defect in the perfect Being nor can anyone be deemed like Him because all these attributes bring down a being from the high position of the Creator to the low position of the created. That is why along with Unity, Allah has held purity from deficiency of equal importance.
"Say: 'He (Allah) is One (alone). Allah, the needless.He begetteth not, nor is He begotten. And there is none like unto Him" (Qur'an, 112:1-4).
"Vision perceiveth Him not, and He perceiveth (all) vision; He is the Subtle, the All-aware" (Qur'an, 6:104).
"So coin ye not any similitudes to Allah; verily Allah knoweth (every thing) and ye know not." (Qur'an, 16:74).
". . .Nothing whatsoever (is there) like the like of Him; and He (alone) is the All-hearing and the All-seeing." (Qur'an, 42:11)
The fifth stage of completing His Knowledge is that attributes should not be put in Him from outside lest there be duality in His Oneness, and deviating from its proper connotation Unity may fall in the labyrinth of one in three and three in one, because His Being is not a combination of essence and form so that attribute may cling to Him like smell in the flowers or brightness in the stars. Rather, He is the fountain head of all attributes and needs no medium for manifestation of His perfect Attributes.
If He is named Omniscient it is because the signs of his knowledge are manifest. If He is called Omnipotent it is because every particle points to His Omnipotence and Activity, and if to Him is attributed the power to listen or to see it is because the cohesion of the entire creation and its administration cannot be done without hearing or seeing but the existence of these attributes in Him cannot be held to be in the same way as in the creation namely that He should be capable to know only after He acquires knowledge or He should be powerful and strong only after energy runs into His limbs because taking attributes as separate from His Being would connote duality and where there is duality unity disappears.
That is how Amir al-mu'minin has rejected the idea of attributes being addition to His Being, presented Unity in its true significance, and did not allow Unity to be tainted with stains of multiplicity. This does not mean that adjectives cannot at all be attributed to Him, as this would be giving support to those who are groping in the dark abyss of negativism, although every nook and comer in the entire existence is brimming with His attributes and every particle of creation stands witness that He has knowledge, He is powerful, He hears, He sees. He nurtures under His care and allows growth under His mercy. The intention is that for Him nothing can be suggested to serve as an adjunct to Him, because His self includes attributes and His attributes connote His Self. Let us learn this very theme in the words of al-Imam Abu `Abdillah Ja`far ibn Muhammmad as-Sadiq (p.b.u.h.) comparing it with the belief in Unity adopted by other religions and then appreciate who is the exponent of the true concept of Unity.
The Imam says:
"Our Allah the Glorified, the Magnificent has ever had knowledge as His Self even though there was nothing to know, sight as His Self even though there was nothing to know, sight as His Self even though there was nothing to behold, hearing as His Self even though there was nothing to hear, and Potence as His Self even though there was nothing to be under His Potence. When He created the things and the object of knowledge came into existence His knowledge became related to the known, hearing related to the heard, sight related to the seen, and potence related to its object." (at-Tawhid by ash-Shaykh as-Saduq, p.139)
This is the belief over which the Imams of the Prophet's family are unanimous, but the majority group has adopted a different course by creating the idea of differentiation between His Self and Attributes. ash-Shahristani says on page 42 of his book Kitab al-milal wa'n-nihal:
According to Abu'l-Hasan al-Ash`ari, Allah knows through (the attribute of) knowledge, is Powerful through activity, speaks through speech, hears through hearing and sees through sight.
If we regard attributes distinct from Self in this manner there would be two alternatives; either the attributes must have existed in Him from ever or they must have occurred later. In the first case we have to recognise as many eternal objects as the attributes which all will share with Him in being eternal, but "Allah is above what the people deem Him to have equals." In the second case in addition to subjecting Him to the alternations it would also mean that before the acquiring of the attributes He was neither scient, nor powerful, nor hearer nor beholder and this runs counter to the basic tenet of Islam.
". . . Allah hath decreed trade lawful and hath forbidden interest. . ." (Qur'an, 2:275)
"And when you have finished the prayer remember Allah standing, and sitting, and reacting, and when ye are secure (from danger) establish prayer . . ." (Qur'an, 4:103)
"O' ye men! eat of what is in the earth lawful and good and follow not the foot-steps of Satan; for verily he is an open enemy unto you." (Qur'an, 2:168)
"(And) say thou: 'I am only a man like you, it is revealed unto me that your god is but one God, therefore whosoever desireth to meet his Lord, let him do good deeds, and associate not any one in the worship of his Lord'." (Qur'an, 18:110)
"What! enjoin ye upon the people righteousness and ye forget your own selves? Yet ye read the scripture? What: do ye not understand?" (Qur'an, 2:44).
It has positive injunctions such as "One should not add anyone with Allah in worship." It has particular and general injunctions. Particular is the one where the word shows generality but the sense is limited such as "I have made you superior over worlds, O' Bani Isra'il." Here the sense of "Worlds," is confined to that particular time, although the word is general in its literal meaning. The general injunction is one which is extensive in meaning such as "Allah has knowledge of everything." It has lessons and illustrations lessons such as "Allah caught him in the punishment of this world and the next and there is lesson in it."
"So seized him Allah, with the chastisement in the hereafter, and the life before (it)." (Qur'an, 79:25)
"Verily in this there is a lesson unto him who feareth (Allah)." (Qur'an, 79:26)
"A kind word and pardon is better than charity that is followed by injury, and verily Allah is Self-sufficient, the Most forbearing." (Qur'an, 2:263)
"And remember when We made a covenant with you and raised the 'tur' (the Mountain) above you (saying), 'Hold ye fast that which We have bestowed upon you with the strength (of determination) and remember that which is therein so that you may guard (yourself) against evil'." (Qur'an, 2:63)
"So we made it a lesson for (those of) their own times and for those (of their posterity) who came after them and an exhortation unto those who guard (themselves) against evil." (Qur'an, 2:66)
"He it is Who fashioneth you in the wombs (of your mothers) as He liketh; There is no god but He, the All-mighty, the All-wise." (Qur'an, 3:5)
"Obedience and a fair word; but when the affair is determined then if they be true to Allah, it would certainly be better for them." (Qur'an, 47:21)
"O' those who believe! It is not lawful for you to inherit women against their will; and do not straiten them in order that ye may take a part of what ye have given, unless they are guilty of manifest lewdness; but deal kindly with them, and if ye hate them, it may be that ye hate a thing while Allah hath placed in it abundant good." (Qur'an, 4:19)
"Say thou (unto the people of the Book), 'Dispute ye with us about Allah; whereas He is our Lord and your Lord, and for us are our deeds and for you are your deeds; to Him (alone) we are (exclusively) loyal?" (Qur'an, 2:139)
"There is a lesson in it for him who fears Allah," and illustration as "The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a grain which grows seven ears each one of which bears hundred grains." It has unspecific and specific verses. Unspecific is one which has no limitation on specification such as "Recall when Moses told his people 'Allah commands you to sacrifice a cow.'" Specific is one where denotation is limited such as Allah says that "the cow should be such that it has neither been used for ploughing nor for irrigation fields." There is clear and obscure in it.
Clear is that which has no intricacy such as "Verily Allah has sway over everything," while obscure is that whose meaning has complication such as "the Merciful (Allah) occupies the throne," whose apparent meaning gives the impression as if Allah is bodily sitting on the Throne although the intention is to press His authority and control. In it there are brief injunctions such as "establish prayer" and those of deep meanings such as the verses about which says:
"That the sense is not known except to Allah and those immersed in knowledge." Then Amir al-mu'minin dilates upon this theme in a different style, he says that there are some things in it which are necessary to know, such as "So know that there is no god but Allah" and there are others which are not necessary to know such as "alif lam mim" etc. It has also injunctions which have been repealed by the Prophet's action such as "As for your women who commit adultery get four male witnesses and if four witnesses do appear shut such women in the house till death ends their life."
This punishment was current in early Islam but was later replaced by stoning in the case of married women. In it there are some injunctions which repealed the Prophet's action such as "Turn your face towards Masjid al-haram" by which the injunction for facing Bayt al-maqdis was repealed. It also contains injunctions which are obligatory only at a particular time after which their obligation ends, such as "when the call for prayer is made on Friday then hasten towards remembrance of Allah." It has also indicated grades of prohibitions as the division of sins into light and serious ones - light such as "Tell the believers to lower their eyes" and serious ones such as "whoever kills a Believer wilfully his award is to remain in Hell for ever." It also contains injunctions where a little performance is enough but there is scope for further performance such as "Read the Qur'an as much as you easily can."
"Verily your Lord, certainly is He the All-mighty, the All-merciful." (Qur'an, 26:9)
"Say thou (O' Our Prophet Muhammmad) unto the believer men that they cast down their gaze and guard their private parts; that is purer for them; verily Allah is All-aware of what (all) ye do." (Qur'an, 24:30)
"Not equal are those of the believers who sit (holding back) other than those hurt, and those who strive in the way of Allah with their wealth and their selves (lives). Allah hath raised the strivers with their wealth and selves (lives), in rank above those sitting (holding back); Unto all (in faith) Allah hath promised good; but those who strive, He hath distinguished above those who sit (holding [by]) a great recompense." (Qur'an, 4:95)
"Verily, thy Lord knowest that thou standest up (in the Night Prayer) night two-third of the night, and (sometimes) half of it, and (sometimes) a third of it, and a group of those with thee; and Allah measureth (well) the night and the day; Knoweth He that never can ye take (correct) account of it, so turneth He unto you (mercifully) so recite ye whatever be easy (in the prayers) to be read of the Qur'an; Knoweth He that there may be among you sick, and others travelling in the earth seeking of the grace of Allah, and others fighting in the way of Allah, so recite ye as much as it can easily be done of it, and establish ye the (regular) prayers, and pay ye the (prescribed) poor-rate, and offer ye unto Allah a goodly loan; and whatsoever of good ye send on before hand for yourselves, ye will (surely) find it with Allah, that is the best and the greatest recompense; and seek ye the forgiveness of Allah; Verily, Allah is Oft-forgiving, the Most Merciful." (Qur'an, 73:20)
ومن خطبة له ( عليه السلام) بعد انصرافه من صفين
وفيها حال الناس قبل البعثة وصفة آل النبي ثمّ صفة قوم آخرين:
I praise Allah seeking completion of His Blessing, submitting to His Glory and expecting safety from committing His sins. I invoke His help being in need of His Sufficiency (of protection). He whom He guides does not go astray, He with whom He is hostile gets no protection. He whom He supports does not remain needy. Praise is most weighty of all that is weighed and the most valuable of all that is treasured.
أحْمَدُهُ اسْتِتْماماً لِنِعْمَتِهِ، وَاسْتِسْلاَماً لِعِزَّتِهِ، واسْتِعْصَاماً مِنْ مَعْصِيَتِهِ، وَأَسْتَعِينُهُ فَاقَةً إِلى كِفَايَتِهِ، إِنَّهُ لاَ يَضِلُّ مَنْ هَدَاهُ، وَلا يَئِلُ مَنْ عَادَاهُ، وَلا يَفْتَقِرُ مَنْ كَفَاهُ; فَإِنَّهُ أَرْجَحُ ما وُزِنَ، وَأَفْضَلُ مَا خُزِنَ.
I stand witness that there is no god but Allah the One. He has no like. My testimony has been tested in its frankness, and its essence is our belief. We shall cling to it for ever till we live and shall store it for facing the tribulations that overtake us because it is the foundation stone of Belief (iman) and the first step towards good actions and Divine pleasure. It is the means to keep Satan away.
وَأَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ، شَهَادَةً مُمْتَحَناً إِخْلاَصُهَا، مُعْتَقَداً مُصَاصُهَا، نَتَمَسَّكُ بها أَبَداً ما أَبْقانَا، وَنَدَّخِرُهَا لاِهَاوِيلِ مَا يَلْقَانَا، فَإِنَّها عَزيمَةُ الاْيمَانِ، وَفَاتِحَةُ الاْحْسَانِ، وَمَرْضَاةُ الرَّحْمنِ، وَمَدْحَرَةُ الشَّيْطَانِ.
I also stand witness that Muhammad (S) is His slave and His Prophet. Allah sent him with the illustrious religion, effective emblem, written Book,1 effulgent light, sparkling gleam and decisive injunction in order to dispel doubts, present clear proofs, administer warning through signs and to warn of punishments. At that time people had fallen in vices whereby the rope of religion had been broken, the pillars of belief had been shaken, principles had been sacrileged, system had become topsy turvy, openings were narrow, passage was dark, guidance was unknown and darkness prevailed.
وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّداً عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ، أرْسَلَهُ بِالدِّينِ المشْهُورِ، وَالعَلَمِ المأْثُورِ، وَالكِتَابِ المسْطُورِ، وَالنُّورِ السَّاطِعِ، وَالضِّيَاءِ اللاَّمِعِ، وَالاَمْرِ الصَّادِعِ، إزَاحَةً لِلشُّبُهَاتِ، وَاحْتِجَاجاً بِالبَيِّنَاتِ، وَتَحْذِيراً بِالايَاتِ، وَتَخْويفاً بِالمَثُلاَتِ، وَالنَّاسُ في فِتَن انْجَذَمَ فِيها حَبْلُ الدِّينِ، وَتَزَعْزَعَتْ سَوَارِي اليَقِينِ، وَاخْتَلَفَ النَّجْرُ، وَتَشَتَّتَ الاْمْرُ، وَضَاقَ الْـمَخْرَجُ، وَعَمِيَ المَصْدَرُ، فَالهُدَى خَامِلٌ، واَلعَمَى شَامِلٌ.
Allah was being disobeyed, Satan was given support and Belief had been forsaken. As a result the pillars of religion fell down, its traces could not be discerned, its passages had been destroyed and its streets had fallen into decay. People obeyed Satan and treaded his paths. They sought water from his watering places. Through them Satan’s emblems got flying and his standard was raised in vices which trampled the people under their hoofs, and treaded upon them with their feet. The vices stood on their toes (in full stature) and the people immersed in them were strayed, perplexed, ignorant and seduced as though in a good house2 with bad neighbours. Instead of sleep they had wakefulness and for antimony they had tears in the eyes. They were in a land where the learned were in bridle (keeping their mouths shut) while the ignorant were honoured.
عُصِيَ الرَّحْمنُ، وَنُصِرَ الشَّيْطَانُ، وَخُذِلَ الاِْيمَانُ، فَانْهَارَتْ دَعَائِمُهُ، وَتَنكَّرَتْ مَعَالِمُهُ، وَدَرَسَتْ سُبُلُهُ، وَعَفَتْ شُرُكُهُ.
أَطَاعُوا الشَّيْطَانَ فَسَلَكُوا مَسَالِكَهُ، وَوَرَدُوا مَنَاهِلَهُ، بِهِمْ سَارَتْ أَعْلامُهُ، وَقَامَ لِوَاؤُهُ، في فِتَن دَاسَتْهُمْ بِأَخْفَافِهَا، وَوَطِئَتْهُمْ بأَظْلاَفِهَا وَقَامَتْ عَلَى سَنَابِكِهَا، فَهُمْ فِيهَا تَائِهُونَ حَائِرونَ جَاهِلُونَ مَفْتُونُونَ، في خَيْرِ دَار، وَشَرِّ جِيرَان، نَوْمُهُمْ سُهُودٌ، وَكُحْلُهُمْ دُمُوعٌ، بأَرْض عَالِمُها مُلْجَمٌ، وَجَاهِلُها مُكْرَمٌ.
ومنها: ويعني آل النبي ( صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)
They are the trustees of His secrets, shelter for His affairs, source of knowledge about Him, centre of His wisdom, valleys for His books and mountains of His religion. With them Allah straightened the bend of religion’s back and removed the trembling of its limbs.
هُمْ مَوْضِعُ سِرِّهِ، وَلَجَأُ أَمْرِهِ، وَعَيْبَةُ عِلْمِهِ، وَمَوْئِلُ حُكْمِهِ، وَكُهُوفُ كُتُبِهِ، وَجِبَالُ دِينِه، بِهِمْ أَقَامَ انْحِناءَ ظَهْرِهِ، وَأذْهَبَ ارْتِعَادَ فَرَائِصِهِ.
منها: يعني بها قوماً آخرين
They sowed vices, watered them with deception and harvested destruction.
زَرَعُوا الفُجُورَ، وَسَقَوْهُ الغُرُورَ، وَحَصَدُوا الثُّبُورَ ،
آل محمد (عليه السلام)
None in the Islamic community can be taken at par with the Progeny3 of the Prophet (Ali Muhammad). One who was under their obligation cannot be matched with them. They are the foundation of religion and pillar of Belief. The forward runner has to turn back to them while the follower has to overtake them. They possess the chief characteristics for vicegerency. In their favour exists the will and succession (of the Prophet). This is the time when right has returned to its owner and diverted to its centre of return.
لا يُقَاسُ بِآلِ مُحَمَّد (عليهم السلام) مِنْ هذِهِ الاُمَّةِ أَحَدٌ، وَلا يُسَوَّى بِهِمْ مَنْ جَرَتْ نِعْمَتُهُمْ عَلَيْهِ أبَداً.
هُمْ أَسَاسُ الدِّينِ، وَعِمَادُ اليَقِينِ، إِلَيْهمْ يَفِيءُ الغَالي، وَبِهِمْ يَلْحَقُ التَّالي، وَلَهُمْ خَصَائِصُ حَقِّ الوِلايَةِ، وَفِيهِمُ الوَصِيَّةُ وَالوِرَاثَةُ، الاْنَ إِذْ رَجَعَ الحَقُّ إِلَى أَهْلِهِ، وَنُقِلَ إِلَى مُنْتَقَلِهِ.
(1) Ibn Qutaybah, `Uyun, I, 326;
(2) al-Tabari, al-Mustarshid, p. 73;
(3) Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`Iqd, III, 112;
(4) al-'Amidi, Ghurar, 331, 354;
(5) Ibn Talhah, Matalib, I.
They are such middle course among the paths of excess and backwardness that if some one goes far towards excess and exaggeration or falls behind then unless he comes back or steps forward to that middle course he cannot be on the path of Islam. They possess all the characteristics which give the superiority in the right for vicegerency and leadership. Consequently, no one else in the ummah enjoys the right of patronage and guardianship. That is why the Prophet declared them his vicegerents and successors. About will and succession the commentator Ibn Abi'l-Hadid Mu`tazili writes that there can be no doubt about the vicegerency of Amir al-mu'minin but succession cannot imply succession in position although the Shi`ite sect has so interpreted it. It rather implies succession of learning.
Now, if according to him succession is taken to imply succession in learning even he does not seem to succeed in achieving his object, because even by this interpretation the right of succeeding the Prophet does not devolve on any other person. When it is agreed that learning is the most essential requirement of khilafah (caliphate) because the most important functions of the Prophet's Caliph consist of dispensation of justice, solving problems of religious laws, clarifying intricacies and administration of religious penalties. If these functions are taken away from the Prophet's deputy his position will come down to that of a worldly ruler. He cannot be regarded as the pivot of religious authority. Therefore either we should keep governmental authority separate from Prophet's vicegerency or accept the successor of Prophet's knowledge to suit that position.
The interpretation of Ibn Abi'l-Hadid could be acceptable if Amir al-mu'minin had uttered this sentence alone, but observing that it was uttered soon after `Ali's (p.b.u.h.) recognition as Caliph and just after it the sentence "Right has returned to its owner" exists, this interpretation of his seems baseless. Rather, the Prophet's will cannot imply any other will except that for vicegerency and caliphate, and succession would imply not succession in property nor in knowledge because this was not an occasion to mention it here but it must mean the succession in the right leadership which stood proved as from Allah not only on the ground of kinship but on the ground of qualities of perfection.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام) المعروفة بالشِّقْشِقِيَّة
وتشتمل على الشكوى من أمر الخلافة ثم ترجيح صبره عنها ثم مبايعة الناس له
Beware! By Allah, the son of Abu Quhafah (Abu Bakr)2 dressed himself with it (the caliphate) and he certainly knew that my position in relation to it was the same as the position of the axis in relation to the hand-mill. The flood water flows down from me and the bird cannot fly upto me. I put a curtain against the caliphate and kept myself detached from it.
Then I began to think whether I should assault or endure calmly the blinding darkness of tribulations wherein the grown up are made feeble and the young grow old and the true believer acts under strain till he meets Allah (on his death).
أَمَا وَالله لَقَدْ تَقَمَّصَها ابْنُ اَبى قُحافَةَ ، وَإِنَّهُ لَيَعْلَمُ أَنَّ مَحَلِّيَ مِنهَا مَحَلُّ القُطْبِ مِنَ الرَّحَا، يَنْحَدِرُ عَنِّي السَّيْلُ، وَلا يَرْقَى إِلَيَّ الطَّيْرُ، فَسَدَلْتُ دُونَهَا ثَوْباً، وَطَوَيْتُ عَنْهَا كَشْحاً، وَطَفِقْتُ أَرْتَئِي بَيْنَ أَنْ أَصُولَ بِيَد جَذَّاءَ، أَوْ أَصْبِرَ عَلَى طَخْيَة عَمْيَاءَ، يَهْرَمُ فيهَا الكَبيرُ، وَيَشِيبُ فِيهَا الصَّغِيرُ، وَيَكْدَحُ فِيهَا مُؤْمِنٌ حَتَّى يَلْقَى رَبَّهُ.
ترجيح الصبرعلى فقد الاعوان
I found that endurance thereon was wiser. So I adopted patience although there was pricking in the eye and suffocation (of mortification) in the throat. I watched the plundering of my inheritance till the first one went his way but handed over the Caliphate to Ibn al-Khattab after himself.
(Then he quoted al-A`sha’s verse):
My days are now passed on the camel’s back (in difficulty) while there were days (of ease) when I enjoyed the company of Jabir’s brother Hayyan.3
فَرَأَيْتُ أَنَّ الصَّبْرَ عَلَى هَاتَا أَحْجَى، فَصَبَرتُ وَفي الْعَيْنِ قَذىً، وَفي الحَلْقِ شَجاً، أرى تُرَاثي نَهْباً، حَتَّى مَضَى الاْوَّلُ لِسَبِيلِهِ، فَأَدْلَى بِهَا إِلَى ابْنِ الْخَطّابِ بَعْدَهُ. ( ثم تمثل بقول الاعشى):
شَتّانَ ما يَومي عَاى كُوْرِها * و يَوْمُ حَيَّانَ أخي جابِرِ
It is strange that during his lifetime he wished to be released from the caliphate but he confirmed it for the other one after his death. No doubt these two shared its udders strictly among themselves. This one put the Caliphate in a tough enclosure where the utterance was haughty and the touch was rough. Mistakes were in plenty and so also the excuses therefore. One in contact with it was like the rider of an unruly camel. If he pulled up its rein the very nostril would be slit, but if he let it loose he would be thrown. Consequently, by Allah people got involved in recklessness, wickedness, unsteadiness and deviation.
فَيَا عَجَباً!! بَيْنَا هُوَ يَسْتَقِيلُها في حَيَاتِهِ إِذْ عَقَدَهَا لاخَرَ بَعْدَ وَفَاتِهِ ـ لَشَدَّ مَا تَشَطَّرَا ضَرْعَيْهَا ! ـ فَصَيَّرَهَا في حَوْزَة خَشْنَاءَ، يَغْلُظُ كَلْمُهَا، وَيَخْشُنُ مَسُّهَا، وَيَكْثُرُ العِثَارُ فِيهَا وَالاْعْتَذَارُ مِنْهَا، فَصَاحِبُهَا كَرَاكِبِ الصَّعْبَةِ، إِنْ أَشْنَقَ لَهَا خَرَمَ، وَإِنْ أَسْلَسَ لَهَا تَقَحَّمَ، فَمُنِيَ النَّاسُ ـ لَعَمْرُ اللهِ ـ بِخَبْط وَشِمَاس، وَتَلَوُّن وَاعْتِرَاض.
Nevertheless, I remained patient despite length of period and stiffness of trial, till when he went his way (of death) he put the matter (of Caliphate) in a group4 and regarded me to be one of them. But good Heavens! What had I to do with this “consultation”? Where was any doubt about me with regard to the first of them that I was now considered akin to these ones? But I remained low when they were low and flew high when they flew high.
One of them turned against me because of his hatred and the other got inclined the other way due to his in-law relationship and this thing and that thing, till the third man of these people stood up with heaving breasts between his dung and fodder. With him his children of his grand-father, (Umayyah) also stood up swallowing up Allah’s wealth5 like a camel devouring the foliage of spring, till his rope broke down, his actions finished him and his gluttony brought him down prostrate.
فَصَبَرْتُ عَلَى طُولِ الْمُدَّةِ، وَشِدَّةِ الْمحْنَةِ، حَتَّى إِذا مَضَى لِسَبِيلِهِ جَعَلَهَا في جَمَاعَة زَعَمَ أَنَّي أَحَدُهُمْ. فَيَاللهِ وَلِلشُّورَى! مَتَى اعْتَرَضَ الرَّيْبُ فِيَّ مَعَ الاْوَّلِ مِنْهُمْ، حَتَّى صِرْتُ أُقْرَنُ إِلَى هذِهِ النَّظَائِرِ! لكِنِّي أَسفَفْتُ إِذْ أَسَفُّوا، وَطِرْتُ إِذْ طَارُوا، فَصَغَا رَجُلُ مِنْهُمْ لِضِغْنِه، وَمَالَ الاْخَرُ لِصِهْرهِ، مَعَ هَن وَهَن. إِلَى أَنْ قَامَ ثَالِثُ القَوْمِ، نَافِجَاً حِضْنَيْهِ بَيْنَ نَثِيلهِ وَمُعْتَلَفِهِ، وَقَامَ مَعَهُ بَنُو أَبِيهِ يَخْضَمُونَ مَالَ اللهِ خَضْمَ الاْبِل نِبْتَةَ الرَّبِيعِ، إِلَى أَنِ انْتَكَثَ عَلَيْهِ فَتْلُهُ، وَأَجْهَزَ عَلَيْهِ عَمَلُهُ، وَكَبَتْ بِهِ بِطْنَتُهُ.
مبايعة علي (عليه السلام(
At that moment, nothing took me by surprise, but the crowd of people rushing to me. It advanced towards me from every side like the mane of the hyena so much so that Hasan and Husayn were getting crushed and both the ends of my shoulder garment were torn. They collected around me like a herd of sheep and goats. When I took up the reins of government one party broke away and another turned disobedient while the rest began acting wrongfully as if they had not heard the word of Allah saying:
That abode in the hereafter, We assign it for those who intend not to exult themselves in the earth, nor (to make) mischief (therein); and the end is (best) for the pious ones. (Qur’an, 28:83)
فَمَا رَاعَنِي إلاَّ وَالنَّاسُ إليَّ كَعُرْفِ الضَّبُعِ، يَنْثَالُونَ عَلَيَّ مِنْ كُلِّ جَانِب، حَتَّى لَقَدْ وُطِىءَ الحَسَنَانِ، وَشُقَّ عِطْفَايَ، مُجْتَمِعِينَ حَوْلي كَرَبِيضَةِ الغَنَمِ. فَلَمَّا نَهَضْتُ بِالاْمرِ نَكَثَتْ طَائِفَةٌ، وَمَرَقَتْ أُخْرَى، وَفَسَقَ [وقسط] آخَرُونَ كَأَنَّهُمْ لَمْ يَسْمَعُوا اللهَ سُبْحَانَهُ يَقُولُ: (تِلْكَ الدَّارُ الاخِرَةُ نَجْعَلُهَا للَّذِينَ لاَ يُريدُونَ عُلُوّاً في الاَرْضِ وَلاَ فَسَاداً وَالعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ(،
Yes, by Allah, they had heard it and understood it but the world appeared glittering in their eyes and its embellishments seduced them. Behold, by Him who split the grain (to grow) and created living beings, if people had not come to me and supporters had not exhausted the argument and if there had been no pledge of Allah with the learned to the effect that they should not acquiesce in the gluttony of the oppressor and the hunger of the oppressed I would have cast the rope of Caliphate on its own shoulders, and would have given the last one the same treatment as to the first one. Then you would have seen that in my view this world of yours is no better than the sneezing of a goat.
بَلَى! وَاللهِ لَقَدْ سَمِعُوهَا وَوَعَوْهَا، وَلكِنَّهُمْ حَلِيَتَ الدُّنْيَا في أَعْيُنِهمْ، وَرَاقَهُمْ زِبْرِجُهَا! أَمَا وَالَّذِي فَلَقَ الْحَبَّةَ، وَبَرَأَ النَّسَمَةَ، لَوْلاَ حُضُورُ الْحَاضِرِ، وَقِيَامُ الْحُجَّةِ بِوُجُودِ النَّاصِرِ، وَمَا أَخَذَ اللهُ عَلَى العُلَمَاءِ أَلاَّ يُقَارُّوا عَلَى كِظَّةِ ظَالِم، وَلا سَغَبِ مَظْلُوم، لاَلقَيْتُ حَبْلَهَا عَلَى غَارِبِهَا، وَلَسَقَيْتُ آخِرَهَا بِكَأْسِ أَوَّلِها، وَلاَلفَيْتُمْ دُنْيَاكُمْ هذِهِ أَزْهَدَ عِنْدِي مِنْ عَفْطَةِ عَنْز!
(It is said that when Amir al-mu’minin reached here in his sermon a man of Iraq stood up and handed him over a writing. Amir al-mu’minin began looking at it, when Ibn `Abbas said, “O’ Amir al-mu’minin, I wish you resumed your Sermon from where you broke it.” Thereupon he replied, “O’ Ibn `Abbas it was like the foam of a Camel which gushed out but subsided.” Ibn `Abbas says that he never grieved over any utterance as he did over this one because Amir al-mu’minin could not finish it as he wished to.)
قالوا: وقام إِليه رجل من أهل السوادعند بلوغه إلى هذا الموضع من خطبته، فناوله كتاباً، فأقبل ينظر فيه، فلمّا فرغ من قراءته قال له ابن عباس: يا أميرالمؤمنين، لو اطَّرَدت مَقالتكَ من حيث أَفضيتَ! فَقَالَ(عليه السلام): هَيْهَاتَ يَابْنَ عَبَّاس! تِلْكَ شِقْشِقَةٌ هَدَرَتْ ثُمَّ قَرَّتْ! قال ابن عباس: فوالله ما أَسفت على كلام قطّ كأَسفي على ذلك الكلام أَلاَّ يكون أميرالمؤمنين (عليه السلام) بلغ منه حيث أراد.
Al-Sharif al-Radi says: The words in this sermon “like the rider of a camel” mean to convey that when a camel rider is stiff in drawing up the rein then in this scuffle the nostril gets bruised, but if he lets it loose in spite of the camel’s unruliness, it would throw him somewhere and would get out of control. “ashnaq an-naqah” is used when the rider holds up the rein and raises the camel’s head upwards. In the same sense the word “shanaqa an-naqah” is used. Ibn as-Sikkit has mentioned this in Islah al-Mantiq.
Amir al-mu’minin has said “ashnaqa laha” instead of “ashnaqaha”, this is because he has used this word in harmony with “aslasa laha” and harmony could be retained only by using both in the same form. Thus, Amir al-mu’minin has used “ashnaqa laha” as though in place of “in rafa`a laha ra’saha”, that is, “if he stops it by holding up the reins.”
قال الشريف الرضي: قوله (عليه السلام) في هذه الخطبة: «كراكب الصعبة إن أشنق لها خرم، وإن أسلس لها تقحم» يريد: أنه إذا شدد عليها في جذب الزمام وهي تنازعه رأسها خرم أنفها، وإن أرخى لها شيئاً مع صعوبتها تقحمت به فلم يملكها، يقال: أشنق الناقة، إذا جذب رأسها بالزمام فرفعه، وشنقها أيضاً: ذكر ذلك ابن السكيت في «إصلاح المنطق». وإنما قال (عليه السلام): «أشنق لها» ولم يقل: «أشنقها»، لانه جعله في مقابلة قوله: «أسلس لها»، فكأنه (عليه السلام) قال: إن رفع لها رأسها يعني أمسكه عليها بالزمام .
(1) Al-Mufid, al-Jamal, 62;
(2) Ibn Qubbah, al-'Insaf, see Ibn Abi al-Hadid, Sharh, I, 69, see also `Abd al-Zahra', I, 309-310;
(3) al-Saduq, Ma`ani, 344;
(4) al-Hasan ibn `Abd Allah al-`Askari, from him al-Saduq in Ma`ani;
(5) Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`Iqd, IV, see `Abd al-Zahra', I, 311-312 and al-Majlisi, Bihar, vol.8, 160;
(6) al-Ka`bi (d.319/931) - see Ibn Abi al-Hadid, Sharh, I, 69;
(7) Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Manaqib, see Bihar, vol.8, 160; and `Abd al-Zahra', I, 310-11;
(8) al-Mufid, al-'Irshad, 135;
(9) al-Qadi `Abd al-Jabbar, al-Mughni, see al-Ghadir, VII, 83;
(10) al-Saduq, `Ilal, bab al-`illat allati min ajliha taraka Amir al-Mu'minin (A) mujahadat ahl al-khilaf;
(11) Abu Sa`id al-'Abi, Nathr al-durar and Nuzhat al-'adib, see `Abd al-Zahra', I, 313;
(12) al-Murtada, al-Shafi, 203, 204;
(13) al-Haffar, al-'Insaf from him al-Tusi in al-'Amali;
(14) al-Tusi, al-'Amali, I, 392;
(15) Qutb al-Din Rawandi, Sharh, from Ibn Mardawayh and al-Tabarani;
(16) Sibt ibn al-Jawzi, Tadhkirah, 133;
(17) al-Harrani, Tuhaf, 313;
(18) al-Murtada, Sharh al-Khutbat al-Shiqshiqiyyah, seeA`yan al-Shi`ah, vol. 41, p. 195;
(19) al-Tabarsi, al-'Ihtijaj; I, 95; for a detailed discussion of sources, see `Abd al-Zahra', I, 309-324.
If the same events which are related by history are recounted by Amir al-mu'minin then what is the ground for denying them? If the memory of discouraging circumstances faced by him soon after the death of the Prophet appeared unpalatable to him it should not be surprising. No doubt this sermon hits at the prestige of certain personalities and gives a set back to the faith and belief in them but this cannot be sustained by denying the sermon to be Amir al-mu'minin's utterance, unless the true events are analysed and truth unveiled; otherwise just denying it to be Amir al-mu'minin's utterance because it contains disparagement of certain individuals carries no weight, when similar criticism has been related by other historians as well. Thus (Abu `Uthman) `Amr ibn Bahr al-Jahiz has recorded the following words of a sermon of Amir al-mu'minin and they are not less weighty than the criticism in the "Sermon of ash-Shiqshiqiyyah."
Those two passed away and the third one rose like the crow whose courage is confined to the belly. It would have been better if both his wings had been cut and his head severed.
Consequently, the idea that it is the production of as-Sayyid ar-Radi is far from truth and a result of partisanship and partiality. Or else if it is the result of some research it should be brought out. Otherwise, remaining in such wishful illusion does not alter the truth, nor can the force of decisive arguments be curbed down by mere disagreement and displeasure.
Now we set forth the evidence of those scholars and traditionists who have clearly held it to be Amir al-mu'minin's production, so that its historical importance should become known. Among these scholars some are those before as-Sayyid ar-Radi's period, some are his contemporaries and some are those who came after him but they all related it through their own chain of authority.
1) Ibn Abi'l-Hadid al-Mu`tazili writes that his master Abu'l-Khayr Musaddiq ibn Shabib al-Wasiti (d. 605 A.H.) stated that he heard this sermon from ash-Shaykh Abu Muhammad `Abdullah ibn Ahmad al-Baghdadi (d. 567 A.H.) known as Ibn al-Khashshab and when he reached where Ibn `Abbas expressed sorrow for this sermon having remained incomplete Ibn al-Khashshab said to him that if he had heard the expression of sorrow from Ibn `Abbas he would have certainly asked him if there had remained with his cousin any further unsatisfied desire because excepting the Prophet he had already spared neither the predecessors nor followers and had uttered all that he wished to utter. Why should therefore be any sorrow that he could not say what he wished?
Musaddiq says that Ibn al-Khashshab was a man of jolly heart and decent taste. I inquired from him whether he also regarded the sermon to be a fabrication when he replied "By Allah, I believe it to be Amir al-mu'minin's word as I believe you to be Musaddiq ibn Shabib." I said that some people regard it to be as-Sayyid ar-Radi's production when he replied: "How can ar-Radi have such guts or such style of writing. I have seen as-Sayyid ar-Radi's writings and know his style of composition. Nowhere does his writing match with this one and I have already seen it in books written two hundred years before the birth of as-Sayyid ar-Radi, and I have seen it in familiar writings about which I know by which scholars or men of letters they were compiled. At that time not only ar-Radi but even his father Abu Ahmad an-Naqib has not been born."
2) Thereafter Ibn Abi'l-Hadid writes that he saw this sermon in the compilations of his master Abu'l-Qasim (`Abdullah ibn Ahmad) al-Balkhi (d. 317 A.H.). He was the Imam of the Mu'tazilites in the reign of al-Muqtadir Billah while al-Muqtadir's period was far earlier than the birth of as-Sayyid ar-Radi.
3) He further writes that he saw this sermon in Abu Ja`far (Muhammad ibn `Abd ar-Rahman), Ibn Qibah's book al-Insaf. He was the pupil of Abu'l-Qasim al-Balkhi and a theologian of Imamiyyah (Shi`ite) sect. (Sharh of Ibn Abi'l-Hadid, vol.1, pp.205-206)
4) Ibn Maytham al-Bahrani (d. 679 A.H.) writes in his commentary that he had seen one such copy of this sermon which bore writing of al-Muqtadir Billah's minister Abu'l-Hasan `Ali ibn Muhammad ibn al-Furat (d. 312 A.H.). (Sharh al-balaghah, vol.1., pp.252-253)
5) al-`Allamah Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi has related the following chain of authority about this Sermon from ash-Shaykh Qutbu'd-Din ar-Rawandi's compilation Minhaj al-bara`ah fi Sharh Nahjul Balaghah: Ash-Shaykh Abu Nasr al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim informed me from al-Hajib Abu'l-Wafa' Muhammad ibn Badi`, al-Husayn ibn Ahmad ibn Badi` and al-Husayn ibn Ahmad ibn `Abd ar-Rahman and they from al-Hafiz Abu Bakr (Ahmad ibn Musa) ibn Marduwayh al-Isbahani (d. 416 A.H.) and he from al-Hafiz Abu'l-Qasim Sulayman ibn Ahmad at-Tabarani (d. 360 A.H.) and he from Ahmad ibn `Ali al-Abbar and he from Is'haq ibn Sa`id Abu Salamah ad-Dimashqi and he from Khulayd ibn Da`laj and he from `Ata' ibn Abi Rabah and he from Ibn `Abbas. (Bihar al-anwar, 1st ed. vol.8, pp.160-161)
6) In the context al-`Allamah al-Majlisi has written that this sermon is also contained in the compilations of Abu `Ali (Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Wahhab) al-Jubba 'i (d. 303 A.H.) .
7) In connection with this very authenticity al-`Allamah al-Majlisi writes: Al-Qadi `Abd al-Jabbar ibn Ahmad al-Asad'abadi (d. 415A.H.) who was a strict Mu`tazilite explains some expressions of this sermon in his book al-Mughni and tries to prove that it does not strike against any preceding caliph but does not deny it to be Amir al-mu'minin's composition. (ibid., p.161)
8) Abu Ja`far Muhammad ibn `Ali, Ibn Babawayh (d. 381 A.H.) writes: Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Is'haq at-Talaqani told us that `Abd al-`Aziz ibn Yahya al-Jaludi (d. 332 A.H.) told him that Abu `Abdillah Ahmad ibn `Ammar ibn Khalid told him that Yahya ibn `Abd al-Hamid al- Himmani (d. 228 A.H.) told him that `Isa ibn Rashid related this sermon from `Ali ibn Hudhayfah and he from `Ikrimah and he from Ibn `Abbas. (`Ilal ash-shara'i`,vol.1, chap. 122, p.144; Ma`ani al-akhbar, chap.22, pp.360-361)
9) Then Ibn Babawayh records the following chain of authorities :- Muhammad ibn `Ali Majilawayh related this sermon to us and he took it from his uncle Muhammad ibn Abi'l-Qasim and he from Ahmad ibn Abi `Abdillah (Muhammad ibn Khalid) al-Barqi and he from his father and he from (Muhammad) Ibn Abi `Umayr and he from Aban ibn `Uthman and he from Aban ibn Taghlib and he from `Ikrimah and he from Ibn `Abbas. (`Ilal ash-shara'i`, vol.1, chap.122, p.l46; Ma`ani al-akhbar, chap.22, p.361)
10) Abu Ahmad al-Hasan ibn `Abdillah ibn Sa`id al-`Askari (d.382 A.H.) who counts among great scholars of the Sunnis has written commentary and explanation of this sermon that has been recorded by Ibn Babawayh in `Ilal ash-shara'i` and Ma`ani al-akhbar.
11) as-Sayyid Ni`matullah al-Jaza'iri writes: The author of Kitab al-gharat Abu Is'haq, Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ath-Thaqafi al-Kufi (d. 283 A.H.) has related this sermon through his own chain of authorities. The date of completion of writing this book is Tuesday the 13th Shawwal 255 A.H. and in the same year, Murtada al-Musawi was born. He was older in age than his brother as-Sayyid ar-Radi. (Anwar an-Nu`maniyyah, p.37)
12) as-Sayyid Radi ad-Din Abu'l-Qasim `Ali ibn Musa, Ibn Tawus al-Husayni al-Hulli (d. 664 A.H.) has related this sermon from Kitab al-gharat with the following chain of authorities:- This sermon was related to us by Muhammad ibn Yusuf who related it from al-Hasan ibn `Ali ibn `Abd al-Karim az-Za`farani and he from Muhammad ibn Zakariyyah al-Ghallabi and he from Ya`qub ibn Ja`far ibn Sulayman and he from his father and he from his grand-father and he from Ibn `Abbas. (Translation of at-Tara'if, p.202)
13) Shaykh at-Ta'ifah, Muhammad ibn al- Hasan at-Tusi (d. 460 A.H.) writes: (Abu'l-Fath Hilal ibn Muhammad ibn Ja`far) al-Haffar related this sermon to us. He related it from Abu'l-Qasim (Isma`il ibn `Ali ibn `Ali) ad-Di`bili and he from his father and he from his brother Di`bil (ibn `Ali al-Kuza`i) and he from Muhammad ibn Salamah ash-Shami and he from Zurarah ibn A`yan and he from Abu Ja`far Muhammad ibn `Ali and he from Ibn `Abbas. (al-Amali, p.237)
14) ash-Shaykh al-Mufid (Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn an-Nu`man, d. 413 A.H.) who was the teacher of as-Sayyid ar-Radi writes about the chain of authorities of this sermon: A number of relaters of traditions have related this sermon from Ibn `Abbas through numerous chains. (al-Irshad, p.135)
15) `Alam al-Huda (emblem of guidance) as-Sayyid al-Murtada who was the elder brother of as-Sayyid ar-Radi has recorded it on pp. 203,204 of his book ash-Shafi.
16) Abu Mansur at-Tabarsi writes: A number of relaters have given an account of this sermon from Ibn `Abbas through various chains. Ibn `Abbas said that he was in the audience of Amir al-mu'minin at ar-Rahbah (a place in Kufah) when conversation turned to Caliphate and those who had preceded him as Caliphs, when Amir al-mu'minin breathed a sigh and delivered this sermon. (al-Ihtijaj, p. 101)
17) Abu'l-Muzaffar Yusuf ibn `Abdillah and Sibt ibn al-Jawzi al-Hanafi (d. 654 A.H.) writes: Our ash-Shaykh Abu'l-Qasim an-Nafis al-Anbari related this sermon to us through his chain of authorities that ends with Ibn `Abbas, who said that after allegiance had been paid to Amir al-mu'minin as Caliph he was sitting on the pulpit when a man from the audience enquired why he had remained quiet till then whereupon Amir al-mu'minin delivered this sermon extempore. (Tadhkarat khawass al-ummah, p.73)
18) al-Qadi Ahmad ibn Muhammad, ash-Shihab al-Khafaji (d. 1069 A.H.) writes with regard to its authenticity: It is stated in the utterances of Amir al-mu'minin `Ali (Allah may be pleased with him) that "It is strange during life time he (Abu Bakr) wanted to give up the Caliphate but he strengthened its foundation for the other one after his death." (Sharh durrat al-ghawwas, p.17)
19) ash-Shaykh `Ala ad-Dawlah as-Simnani writes: Amir al-mu'minin Sayyid al-`Arifin `Ali (p.b.u.h.) has stated in one of his brilliant Sermons "this is the Shiqshiqah that burst forth." (al-`Urwah li ahl al-khalwah wa'l-jalwah, p3, manuscript in Nasiriah Library, Lucknow, India)
20) Abu'l-Fadl Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Maydani (d. 518 A.H.) has written in connection with the word Shiqshiqah: One sermon of Amir al-mu'minin `Ali is known as Khutbah ash-Shiqshiqiyyah (the sermon of the Camel's Foam). (Majma` al-amthal, vol.1, p.369)
21) In fifteen places in an-Nihayah while explaining the words of this sermon Abu's-Sa`adat Mubarak ibn Muhammad, Ibn al-Athir al-Jazari (d. 606 A.H.) has acknowledged it to be Amir al-mu'minin's utterance.
22) Shaykh Muhammad Tahir Patni while explaining the same words in Majma` bihar al-anwar testifies this sermon to be Amir al-mu'minin's by saying, "`Ali says so."
23) Abu'l-Fadl ibn Manzur (d. 711 A.H.) has acknowledged it as Amir al-mu'minin's utterance in Lisan al-`Arab, vol.12, p.54 by saying, "In the sayings of `Ali in his sermon 'It is the camel's foam that burst forth then subsided.'"
24) Majdu'd-Din al-Firuz'abadi (d. 816/817 A.H.) has recorded under the word "Shiqshiqah" in his lexicon (al-Qamus, vol.3, p.251): Khutbah ash-Shiqshiqiyyah is by `Ali so named because when Ibn `Abbas asked him to resume it where he had left it, he said "O' Ibn `Abbas! it was the foam of a camel that burst forth then subsided."
25) The compiler of Muntaha al-adab writes: Khutbah ash-Shiqshiqiyyah of `Ali is attributed to `Ali (Allah may honour his face).
26) ash-Shaykh Muhammad `Abduh, Mufti of Egypt, recognising it as Amir al-mu'minin's utterance, has written its explanations.
27) Muhammad Muhyi'd-Din `Abd al-Hamid, Professor in the Faculty of Arabic Language, al-Azhar University has written annotations on Nahjul Balaghah adding a foreword in the beginning wherein he recognises all such sermons which contain disparaging remarks to be the utterances of Amir al-mu'minin.
In the face of these evidences and undeniable proofs is there any scope to hold that it is not Amir al-mu'minin's production and that as-Sayyid ar-Radi prepared it himself?
He knew that this dress had been stitched for his own body and his position with relation to the Caliphate was that of the axis in the hand-mill which cannot retain its central position without it nor be of any use. Similarly, he held "I was the central pivot of the Caliphate, were I not there, its entire system would have gone astray from the pivot. It was I who acted as a guard for its organisation and order and guided it through all difficulties. Currents of learning flowed from my bosom and watered it on all sides. My position was high beyond imagination but lust of world seekers for government became a tumbling stone for me and I had to confine myself to seclusion. Blinding darkness prevailed all round and there was intense gloom everywhere. The young grew old and the old departed for the graves but this patience-breaking period would not end. I kept watching with my eyes the plundering of my own inheritance and saw the passing of Caliphate from one hand to the other but remained patient as I could not stop their high-handedness for lack of means."
Need For The Prophet's Caliph And The Mode Of His Appointment
After the Prophet of Islam the presence of such a personality was inevitable who could stop the community from disintegration and guard the religious law against change, alteration and interference by those who wanted to twist it to suit their own desires. If this very need is denied then there is no sense in attaching so much importance to the succession of the Prophet that the assemblage in Saqifah of Banu Sa`idah should have been considered more important than the burial of the Prophet.
If the need is recognised, the question is whether or not the Prophet too realised it. If it is held he could not attend to it and appreciate its need or absence of need it would be the biggest proof for regarding the Prophet's mind to be blank for thinking of means to stop the evils of innovations and apostasy in spite of having given warnings about them. If it is said that he did realise it but had to live it unresolved on account of some advantage then instead of keeping it hidden the advantage should be clearly indicated otherwise silence without purpose would constitute delinquency in the discharge of the obligations of Prophethood. If there was some impediment, it should be disclosed otherwise we should agree that just as the Prophet did not leave any item of religion incomplete he did not leave this matter either and did propose such a course of action for it, that if it was acted upon religion would have remained safe against the interference of others.
The question now is what was that course of action. If it is taken to be the consensus of opinion of the community then it cannot truly take place as in such consensus acquiescence of every individual is necessary; but taking into account the difference in human temperaments it seems impossible that they would agree on any single point. Nor is there any example where on such matters there has been no single voice of dissent. How then can such a fundamental need be made dependent on the occurrence of such an impossible event - need on which converges the future of Islam and the good of the Muslims. Therefore, the mind is not prepared to accept this criterion. Nor is tradition in harmony with it, as al-Qadi `Adud ad-Din al-'Iji has written in Sharh al-mawaqif: ‘You should know that Caliphate cannot depend upon unanimity of election because no logical or traditional argument can be advanced for it’.
In fact when the advocates of unanimous election found that unanimity of all votes is difficult they adopted the agreement of the majority as a substitute for unanimity, ignoring the difference of the minority. In such a case also it often happens that the force of fair and foul or correct and incorrect ways turns the flow of the majority opinion in the direction where there is neither individual distinction nor personal merit as a result of which competent persons remain hidden while incompetent individuals stand forward.
When capabilities remain so curbed and personal ends stand in the way as hurdles, how can there be expectation for the election of correct person. Even if it is assumed that all voters have an independent unbiased view, that none of them has his own objective and that none has any other consideration, it is not necessary that every verdict of the majority should be correct, and that it cannot go astray. Experience shows that after experiment the majority has held its own verdict to be wrong.
If every verdict of the majority is correct then its first verdict should be wrong because the verdict which holds it wrong is also that of the majority. In this circumstances if the election of the Caliph goes wrong who would be responsible for the mistake, and who should face the blame for the ruination of the Islamic polity. Similarly on whom would be the liability for the bloodshed and slaughter following the turmoil and activity of the elections. When it has been seen that even those who sat in the audience of the Holy Prophet could not be free of mutual quarrel and strife how can others avoid it.
If with a view to avoid mischief it is left to the people of authority to choose anyone they like then here too the same friction and conflict would prevail because here again convergence of human temperaments on one point is not necessary nor can they be assumed to rise above personal ends. In fact here the chances of conflict and collision would be stronger because if not all at least most of them would themselves be candidates for that position and would not spare any effort to defeat their opponent, creating impediments in his way as best as possible. Its inevitable consequence would be mutual struggle and mischief-mongering.
Thus, it would not be possible to ward off the mischief for which this device was adopted, and instead of finding a proper individual the community would just become an instrument for the achievement of personal benefits of the others. Again, what would be the criterion for these people in authority? The same as has usually been, namely whoever collects a few supporters and is able to create commotion in any meeting by use of forceful words would count among the people of authority. Or would capabilities also be judged? If the mode of judging the capabilities is again this very common vote then the same complications and conflicts would arise here too, to avoid which this way was adopted.
If there is some other standard, then instead of judging the capabilities of the voters by it why not judge the person who is considered suitable for the position in view. Further, how many persons in authority would be enough to give a verdict? Apparently a verdict once accepted would be precedent for good and the number that would give this verdict would become the criterion for future. al-Qadi `Adud ad-Din al-'Iji writes: ‘Rather the nomination of one or two individuals by the people in authority is enough because we know that the companions who were strict in religion deemed it enough as the nomination of Abu Bakr by `Umar and of `Uthman by `Abd ar-Rahman’. (Sharh al-mawaqif, p.351 )
This is the account of the "unanimous election" in the Hall of Bani Sa`idah and the activity of the consultative assembly: that is, one man's action has been given the name of unanimous election and one individual's deed given the name of consultative assembly. Abu Bakr had well understood this reality that election means the vote of a person or two only which is to be attributed to common simple people.
That is why he ignored the requirements of unanimous election, majority vote or method of choosing through electoral assembly and appointed `Umar by nomination. `A'ishah also considered that leaving the question of caliphate to the vote of a few particular individuals meant inviting mischief and trouble. She sent a word to `Umar on his death saying: Do not leave the Islamic community without a chief. Nominate a Caliph for it and leave it not without an authority as otherwise I apprehend mischief and trouble.
When the election by those in authority proved futile it was given up and only "might is right" became the criteria-namely whoever subdues others and binds them under his sway and control is accepted as the Caliph of the Prophet and his true successor. These are those self-adopted principles in the face of which all the Prophet's sayings uttered in the "Feast of the Relatives," on the night of hijrah, at the battle of Tabuk, on the occasion of conveying the Qur'anic chapter "al-Bara'ah" (at-Tawbah, chap.9) and at Ghadir (the spring of) Khumm.
The strange thing is that when each of the first three caliphates is based on one individual's choice how can this very right to choose be denied to the Prophet himself, particularly when this was the only way to end all the dissension, namely that the Prophet should have himself settled it and saved the community from future disturbances and spared it from leaving this decision in the hands of people who were themselves involved in personal aims and objects. This is the correct procedure which stands to reason and which has also the support of the Prophet's definite sayings.
Generally Amir al-mu'minin's quoting of this verse has been taken to compare this troubled period with the peaceful days passed under the care and protection of the Prophet when he was free from all sorts of troubles and enjoyed mental peace. But taking into account the occasion for making this comparison and the subject matter of the verse it would not be far fetched if it is taken to indicate the difference between the unimportant position of those in power during the Prophet's life time and the authority and power enjoyed by them after him, that is, at one time in the days of the Prophet no heed was paid to them because of `Ali's personality but now the time had so changed that the same people were masters of the affairs of the Muslim world.
He said that Sa`d was harsh-tempered and hot headed; `Abd ar-Rahman was the Pharaoh of the community; az-Zubayr was, if pleased, a true believer but if displeased an unbeliever; Talhah was the embodiment of pride and haughtiness, if he was made caliph he would put the ring of the caliphate on his wife's finger while `Uthman did not see beyond his kinsmen. As regards `Ali he is enamoured of the Caliphate although I know that he alone can run it on right lines. Nevertheless, despite this admission, he thought it necessary to constitute the consultative Committee and in selecting its members and laying down the working procedure he made sure that the Caliphate would take the direction in which he wished to turn it.
Thus, a man of ordinary prudence can draw the conclusion that all the factors for `Uthman's success were present therein. If we look at its members we see that one of them namely `Abd ar-Rahman ibn `Awf is the husband of `Uthman's sister, next Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas besides bearing malice towards `Ali is a relation and kinsman of `Abd ar-Rahman. Neither of them can be taken to go against `Uthman. The third Talhah ibn `Ubaydillah about whom Prof. Muhammad `Abduh writes in his annotation on Nahjul Balaghah:
Talhah was inclined towards `Uthman and the reason for it was no less than that he was against `Ali, because he himself was at at-Taymi and Abu Bakr's accession to the Caliphate had created bad blood between Bani Taym and Banu Hashim.
As regards az-Zubayr, even if he had voted for `Ali, what could his single vote achieve. According to at-Tabari's statement Talhah was not present in Medina at that time but his absence did not stand in the way of `Uthman's success. Rather even if he were present, as he did actually reach at the meeting (of the Committee), and he is taken to be `Ali's supporter, still there could be no doubt in `Uthman's success because `Umar's sagacious mind had set the working procedure that:
If two agree about one and the other two about another then `Abdullah ibn `Umar should act as the arbitrator. The group whom he orders should choose the Caliph from among themselves. If they do not accept `Abdullah ibn `Umar's verdict, support should be given to the group which includes `Abd ar-Rahman ibn `Awf, but if the others do not agree they should be beheaded for opposing this verdict. (at-Tabari, vol.1, pp.2779-2780; Ibn al-Athir, vol.3, p.67).
Here disagreement with the verdict of `Abdullah ibn `Umar has no meaning since he was directed to support the group which included `Abd ar-Rahman ibn `Awf. He had ordered his son `Abdullah and Suhayb that: ‘If the people differ, you should side with the majority, but if three of them are on one side and the other three on the other, you should side with the group including `Abd ar-Rahman ibn `Awf’. (at-Tabari, vol.1, pp.2725,2780; Ibn al-Athir, vol.3, pp.51,67).
In this instruction the agreement with the majority also means support of `Abd ar-Rahman because the majority could not be on any other side since fifty blood-thirsty swords had been put on the heads of the opposition group with orders to fall on their heads on `Abd ar-Rahman's behest. Amir al-mu'minin's eye had fore-read it at that very moment that the Caliphate was going to `Uthman as appears from his following words which he spoke to al-`Abbas ibn `Abd al-Muttalib:
"The Caliphate has been turned away from us." al-`Abbas asked how could he know it. Then he replied, "`Uthman has also been coupled with me and it has been laid down that the majority should be supported; but if two agree on one and two on the other, then support should be given to the group which includes `Abd ar-Rahman ibn `Awf. Now Sa`d will support his cousin `Abd ar-Rahman who is of course the husband of `Uthman's sister." (ibid )
However, after `Umar's death this meeting took place in the room of `A'ishah and on its door stood Abu Talhah al-Ansari with fifty men having drawn swords in their hands. Talhah started the proceedings and inviting all others to be witness said that he gave his right of vote to `Uthman. This touched az-Zubayr's sense of honour as his mother Safiyyah daughter of `Abd al-Muttalib was the sister of Prophet's father. So he gave his right of vote to `Ali.
Thereafter Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas made his right of vote to `Abd ar-Rahman. This left three members of the consultative committee out of whom `Abd ar-Rahman said that he was willing to give up his own right of vote if `Ali (p.b.u.h.) and `Uthman gave him the right to choose one of them or one of these two should acquire this right by withdrawing. This was a trap in which `Ali had been entangled from all sides namely that either he should abandon his own right or else allow `Abd ar-Rahman to do as he wished. The first case was not possible for him; that is, to give up his own right and elect `Uthman or `Abd ar-Rahman.
So, he clung to his right, while `Abd ar-Rahman separating himself from it assumed this power and said to Amir al-mu'minin, "I pay you allegiance on your following the Book of Allah, the sunnah of the Prophet and the conduct of the two Shaykhs, (Abu Bakr and `Umar). `Ali replied, "Rather on following the Book of Allah, the sunnah of the Prophet and my own findings." When he got the same reply even after repeating the question thrice he turned to `Uthman saying, "Do you accept these conditions." He had no reason to refuse and so he agreed to the conditions and allegiance was paid to him. When Amir al mu'minin saw his rights being thus trampled he said: "This is not the first day when you behaved against us. I have only to keep good patience. Allah is the Helper against whatever you say. By Allah, you have not made `Uthman Caliph but in the hope that he would give back the Caliphate to you."
After recording the events of ash-Shura (consultative committee), Ibn Abi'l-Hadid has written that when allegiance had been paid to `Uthman, `Ali addressed `Uthman and `Abd ar-Rahman saying, "May Allah sow the seed of dissension among you," and so it happened that each turned a bitter enemy of the other and `Abd ar-Rahman did not ever after speak to `Uthman till death. Even on death bed he turned his face on seeing him.
On seeing these events the question arises whether ash-Shura (consultative committee) means confining the matter to six persons, thereafter to three and finally to one only. Also whether the condition of following the conduct of the two Shaykhs for Caliphate was put by `Umar or it was just a hurdle put by `Abd ar-Rahman between `Ali (p.b.u.h.) and the Caliphate, although the first Caliph did not put forth this condition at the time of nominating the second Caliph, namely that he should follow the former's footsteps. What then was the occasion for this condition here?
However, Amir al-mu'minin had agreed to participate in it in order to avoid mischief and to put an end to arguing so that others should be silenced and should not be able to claim that they would have voted in his favour and that he himself evaded the consultative committee and did not give them an opportunity of selecting him.
The maladministration that took place in this period was such that no Muslim can remain unmoved to see that Companions of high position were lying uncared for, they were stricken with poverty and surrounded by pennilessness while control over Bayt al-mal (public fund) was that of Banu Umayyah, government positions were occupied by their young and inexperienced persons, special Muslim properties were owned by them, meadows provided grazing but to their cattle, houses were built but by them, and orchards were but for them. If any compassionate person spoke about these excesses his ribs were broken, and if someone agitated this capitalism he was externed from the city. The uses to which zakat and charities which were meant for the poor and the wretched and the public fund which was the common property of the Muslims were put may be observed from the following few illustrations;
1) al-Hakam ibn Abi'l-`As who had been exiled from Medina by the Prophet was allowed back in the city not only against the Prophet's sunnah but also against the conduct of the first two Caliphs and he was paid three hundred thousand Dirhams from the public fund. (Ansab al-ashraf, vol.5, pp.27, 28, 125)
2) al-Walid ibn `Uqbah who has been named hypocrite in the Qur'an was paid one hundred thousand Dirhams from the Muslim's public fund. (al-`Iqd al-farid, vol.3, p.94)
3) The Caliph married his own daughter Umm Aban to Marwan ibn al-Hakam and paid him one hundred thousand Dirhams from the public fund. (Sharh of Ibn Abi'l-Hadid, vol.1, pp.198-199).
4) He married his daughter `A'ishah to Harith ibn al-Hakam and granted him one hundred thousand Dirhams from the public fund. (ibid.)
5) `Abdullah ibn Khalid was paid four hundred thousand Dirhams. (al-Ma`arif of Ibn Qutaybah, p.84)
6) Allowed the khums (one fifth religious duty) from Africa (amounting to five hundred thousand Dinars) to Marwan ibn al-Hakam. (ibid)
7) Fadak which was withheld from the angelic daughter of the Prophet on the ground of being general charity was given as a royal favour to Marwan ibn al-Hakam. (ibid.)
8) Mahzur a place in the commercial area of Medina which had been declared a public trust by the Prophet was gifted to Harith ibn al-Hakam. (ibid.)
9) In the meadows around Medina no camel except those of Banu Umayyah were allowed to graze. (Sharh of Ibn Abi'l-Hadid, vol.l, p.l99)
10) After his death (`Uthman's) one hundred and fifty thousand Dinars (gold coins) and one million Dirhams (silver coins) were found in his house. There was no limit to tax free lands; and the total value of the landed estate he owned in Wadi al-Qura and Hunayn was one hundred thousand Dinars. There were countless camels and horses. (Muruj adh-dhahab, vol.l, p.435)
11) The Caliph's relations ruled all the principal cities. Thus, at Kufah, al-Walid ibn `Uqbah was the governor but when in the state of intoxication of wine he led the morning prayer in four instead of two rak`ah and people agitated he was removed, but the Caliph put in his place a hypocrite like Sa`id ibn al-`As. In Egypt `Abdullah ibn Sa`d ibn Abi Sarh, in Syria Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, and in Basrah, `Abdullah ibn `Amir were the governors appointed by him (ibid.)
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
وهي من أفصح كلامه (عليه السلام)، وفيها يعظ الناس ويهديهم من ضلالتهم،
ويقال: إنه خطبها بعد قتل طلحة والزبير
Through us you got guidance in the darkness and secured high position, and through us you got out of the gloomy night. The ears which do not listen to the cries may become deaf. How can one who remained deaf to the loud cries (of the Qur’an and the Prophet) listen to (my) feeble voice? The heart that has ever palpitated (with fear of Allah) may get peace.
بِنَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ في الظَّلْمَاءِ، وَتَسَنَّمْتُمُ العلْيَاءَ، وبِنَا انْفَجَرْتُم عَنِ السِّرَارِ، وُقِرَ سَمْعٌ لَمْ يَفْقَهِ الوَاعِيَةَ، كَيْفَ يُرَاعِي النَّبْأَةَ مَنْ أَصَمَّتْهُ الصَّيْحَةُ؟ رُبِطَ جَنَانٌ لَمْ يُفَارِقْهُ الخَفَقَانُ.
I always apprehended from you consequences of treachery and I had seen you through in the garb of the deceitful. The curtain of religion had kept me hidden from you but the truth of my intentions disclosed you to me. I stood for you on the path of truth among misleading tracks where you met each other but there was no leader and you dug but got no water.
مَا زِلتُ أَنْتَظِرُ بِكُمْ عَوَاقِبَ الغَدْرِ، وَأَتَوَسَّمُكُمْ بِحِلْيَةِ الـمُغْتَرِّينَ ، سَتَرَني عَنْكُمْ جِلْبَابُ الدِّينِ، وَبَصَّرَنِيكُمْ صِدْقُ النِّيَّةِ، أَقَمْتُ لَكُمْ عَلَى سَنَنِ الحَقِّ في جَوَادِّ الـمَضَلَّةِ، حيْثُ تَلْتَقُونَ وَلا دَلِيلَ، وَتَحْتَفِرُونَ وَلا تُميِهُونَ.
Today I am making these dumb things speak to you (i.e. my suggestive ideas and deep musings etc.) which are full of descriptive power. The opinion of the person who abandons me may get astray. I have never doubted in the truth since it has been shown to me. Musa (Moses)1 did not entertain fear for his own self. Rather he apprehended mastery of the ignorant and away of deviation. Today we stand on the cross-roads of truth and untruth. The one who is sure of getting water feels no thirst.
اليَوْمَ أُنْطِقُ لَكُمُ العَجْمَاءَ ذاتَ البَيَان! عَزَبَ رَأْيُ امْرِىء تَخَلَّفَ عَنِّي، مَا شَكَكْتُ في الحَقِّ مُذْ أُرِيتُهُ! لَمْ يُوجِسْ مُوسَى خِيفَةً عَلَى نَفْسِهِ، أَشْفَقَ مِنْ غَلَبَةِ الجُهَّالِ وَدُوَلِ الضَّلالِ! اليَوْمَ تَوَاقَفْنَا عَلَى سَبِيلِ الحَقِّ وَالباطِلِ، مَنْ وَثِقَ بِمَاء لَمْ يَظْمَأْ!
(1) Al-Mufid, al-'Irshad, 147;
(2) al-Tabari, al-Mustarshid, 95.
. it seemed to him (Moses), by their sorcery as if they were running.Then Moses felt in himself a fear. We said: Fear not! Verily thou art the uppermost. (20:66-68)
Amir al-mu'minin says that the ground for Moses’ fear was not that since he saw ropes and sticks moving he might have entertained fear for his life but the cause of his fear was lest people be impressed with this sorcery and get astray, and untruth might prevail on account of this craft. That is why Moses was not consoled by saying that his life was safe but by saying that he would prove superior, and his claim would be upheld.
Since his fear was for the defeat of the truth and victory of the untruth, not for his own life, the consideration was given to him for the victory of truth and not for the protection of his life. Amir al-mu'minin also means that he too had the same fear viz. that the people should not be caught in the trap of these (Talhah, az-Zubayr, etc.) and fail into misguidance by getting astray from the true faith. Otherwise, he himself never feared for his own life.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام) لمّا قبض رسول الله(صلى الله عليه وآله)
وخاطبه العباس وأبوسفيان في أن يبايعا له بالخلافة
(وذلك بعد أن تمّت البيعة لابي بكر في السقيفة، وفيها ينهى عن الفتنة ويبين عن خلقه وعلمه):
Steer clear through the waves of mischief by boats of deliverance, turn away from the path of dissension and put off the crowns of pride. Prosperous is one who rises with wings (i.e. when he has power) or else he remains peaceful and others enjoy ease. It (i.e. the aspiration for Caliphate) is like turbid water or like a morsel that would suffocate the person who swallows it. One who plucks fruits before ripening is like one who cultivated in another’s field.
النهي عن الفتنة
أَيُّها النَّاسُ، شُقُّوا أَمْوَاجَ الفِتَنِ بِسُفُنِ النَّجَاةِ، وَعَرِّجُوا عَنْ طَريقِ الـمُنَافَرَةِ، وَضَعُوا تِيجَانَ الـمُفَاخَرَةِ. أَفْلَحَ مَنْ نَهَضَ بِجَنَاح، أوِ اسْتَسْلَمَ فَأَراحَ، مَاءٌ آجِنٌ، وَلُقْمَةٌ يَغَصُّ بِهَا آكِلُهَا، وَمُجْتَنِي الَّثمَرَةِ لِغَيْرِ وَقْتِ إِينَاعِهَا كالزَّارعِ بِغَيْرِ أَرْضِهِ.
If I speak out they would call me greedy towards power but if I keep quiet they would say I was afraid of death. It is a pity that after all the ups and downs (I have been through). By Allah, the son of Abu Talib2 is more familiar with death than an infant with the breast of its mother. I have hidden knowledge, if I disclose it you will start trembling like ropes in deep wells.
فَإِنْ أقُلْ يَقُولُوا: حَرَصَ عَلَى الـمُلْكِ، وَإنْ أَسْكُتْ يَقُولُوا: جَزعَ مِنَ المَوْتِ! هَيْهَاتَ بَعْدَ اللَّتَيَّا وَالَّتِي! وَاللهِ لاَبْنُ أَبي طَالِب آنَسُ بالمَوْتِ مِنَ الطِّفْلِ بِثَدْي أُمِّهِ، بَلِ انْدَمَجْتُ عَلَى مَكْنُونِ عِلْم لَوْ بُحْتُ بِهِ لاَضْطَرَبْتُمُ اضْطِرَابَ الاْرْشِيَةِ في الطَّوِيِّ البَعِيدَةِ!
(1) Sibt ibn al-Jawzi, Tadhkirah, bab 6, 137;
(2) al-Tabarsi, al-'Ihtijaj, I, 127;
(3) al-Bayhaqi, al-Mahasin, II, 139, see `Arshi.
So taking `Abbas with him he came to `Ali and said: "Let me your hand; I pay allegiance to you and if anyone rises in opposition I would fill the streets of Medina with men of cavalry and infantry." This was the most delicate moment for Amir al-mu'minin. He regarded himself as the true head and successor of the Prophet while a man with the backing of his tribe and party like Abu Sufyan was ready to support him. Just a signal was enough to ignite the flames of war. But Amir al-mu'minin's foresight and right judgement saved the Muslims from civil war as his piercing eyes perceived that this man wanted to start civil war by rousing the passions of tribal partisanship and distinction of birth, so that Islam should be struck with a convulsion that would shake it to its roots.
Amir al-mu'minin therefore rejected his counsel and admonished him severely and spoke forth the words, whereby he has stopped people from mischief mongering, and undue conceit, and declared his stand to be that for him there were only two courses - either to take up arms or to sit quietly at home. If he rose for war there was no supporter so that he could suppress these rising insurgencies. The only course left was quietly to wait for the opportunity till circumstances were favourable.
Amir al-mu'minin's quietness at this stage was indicative of his high policy and far-sightedness, because if in those circumstances Medina had become the centre of war its fire would have engulfed the whole of Arabia in its flames. The discord and scuffle that had already begun among muhajirun (those who came from Mecca) and ansar (the locals of Medina) would have increased to maximum, the wire-pullings of the hypocrites would have had full play, and Islam's ship would have been caught in such a whirlpool that its balancing would have been difficult; Amir al-mu'minin suffered trouble and tribulations but did not raise his hands.
History is witness that during his life at Mecca the Prophet suffered all sorts of troubles but he was not prepared to clash or struggle by abandoning patience and endurance, because he realised that if war took place at that stage the way for Islam's growth and fruition would be closed. Of course, when he had collected supporters and helpers enough to suppress the flood of unbelief and curb the disturbances, he rose to face the enemy. Similarly, Amir al-mu'minin, treating the life of the Prophet as a torch for his guidance refrained from exhibiting the power of his arm because he was realising that rising against the enemy without helpers and supporters would become a source of revolt and defeat instead of success and victory.
Therefore, on this occasion Amir al-mu'minin has likened the desire for Caliphate to turbid water or a morsel suffocating the throat. Thus, even where people had forcibly snatched this morsel and wanted to swallow it by forcible thrusting, it became stuck in their throat. They could neither swallow it nor vomit it out. That is, they could neither manage it as is apparent from the blunders they committed in connection with Islamic injunctions, nor were they ready to cast off the knot from their neck.
He reiterated the same ideas in different words thus: "If had I attempted to pluck the unripe fruit of Caliphate then by this the orchard would have been desolated and I too would have achieved nothing, like these people who cultivate on other's land but can neither guard it, nor water it at proper time, nor reap any crop from it. The position of these people is that if I ask them to vacate it so that the owner should cultivate it himself and protect it, they say how greedy I am, while if I keep quiet they think I am afraid of death.
They should tell me on what occasion did I ever feel afraid, or flew from battle-field for life, whereas every small or big encounter is proof of my bravery and a witness to my daring and courage. He who plays with swords and strikes against hillocks is not afraid of death. I am so familiar with death that even an infant is not so familiar with the breast of its mother. Hark! The reason for my silence is the knowledge that the Prophet has put in my bosom. If I divulge it you would get perplexed and bewildered. Let some days pass and you would know the reason of my inaction, and perceive with your own eyes what sorts of people would appear on this scene under the name of Islam, and what destruction they would bring about. My silence is because this would happen, otherwise it is not silence without reason."
A Persian hemistch says: "Silence has meaning which cannot be couched in words."
But the love of prophets and saints for union with Allah is mental and spiritual, and mental and spiritual feelings do not change, nor does weakness or decay occur in them. Since death is the means and first rung towards this goal their love for death increases to such an extent that its rigours become the cause of pleasure for them and its bitterness proves to be the source of delight for their taste.
Their love for it is the same as that of the thirsty for the well or that of a lost passenger for his goal. Thus when Amir al-mu'minin was wounded by `Abd ar-Rahman ibn Muljam's fatal attack, he said, "I was but like the walker who has reached (the goal) or like the seeker who has found (his object) and whatever is with Allah is good for the pious." The Prophet also said that there is no pleasure for a believer other than union with Allah.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
لمّا أشير عليه بألاّ يتبع طلحةَ والزبيرَ ولا يُرصدَ لهما القتال
[وفيه يبين عن صفته بأنه (عليه السلام) لا يخدع]
By Allah, I shall not be like the badger, that feigns sleep on continuous (sound of) stone-throwing till he who is in search of it finds it or he who is on the look out for it overpowers it. Rather, I shall ever strike the deviators from truth with the help of those who advance towards it, and the sinners and doubters with the help of those who listen to me and obey, till my day (of death) comes. By Allah I have been continually deprived of my right, with others being given preference to me, from the day the Prophet died till today.
وَاللهِ لاَ أَكُونُ كالضَّبُعِ: تَنَامُ عَلى طُولِ اللَّدْمِ، حَتَّى يَصِلَ إِلَيْهَا طَالِبُهَا،وَيَخْتِلَهَا رَاصِدُها، وَلكِنِّي أَضْرِبُ بِالمُقْبِلِ إِلَى الحَقِّ المُدْبِرَ عَنْهُ، وَبِالسَّامِعِ المُطِيعِ العَاصِيَ المُريبَ أَبَداً، حَتَّى يَأْتِيَ عَلَيَّ يَوْمِي. فَوَاللهِ مَا زِلتُ مَدْفُوعاً عَنْ حَقِّي، مُسْتَأْثَراً عَلَيَّ، مُنْذُ قَبَضَ اللهُ تعالى نَبِيَّهُ (صلى الله عليه وآله) حَتَّى يَوْمِ النَّاسِ هذَا.
(1) Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, events of the year 36 H.S VI, 3107;
(2) Ibn Salam, Gharib al-hadith, 174;
(3) al-Jawhari, al-Sihah, V, 2026;
(4) al-Tusi, al-'Amali, 33*.
Dabu` means badger. Its nickname is Umm `Amir and Umm Turrayq. It is also called "the glutton", because it swallows everything and eats up whatever it gets as if several bellies were contained in one, and they do not have their fill. It is also called Na`thal. It is a very simple and silly animal. Its slyness is apparent from the way it is easily caught. It is said that the hunter surrounds its den and strikes it with his foot or a stick, and calls out softly, "Bow you head Umm Turrayq, conceal yourself Umm `Amir."
On repeating this sentence and patting the ground, it conceals itself in a corner of the den. Then the hunter says, "Umm `Amir is not in its den, it is sleeping." On hearing this it stretches its limbs and feigns sleep. The hunter then puts the knot in its feet and drags it out, and if falls like a coward into his hand without resistance.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
يذم فيها أتباع الشيطان
They1 have made Satan the master of their affairs, and he has taken them as partners. He has laid eggs and hatched them in their bosoms. He creeps and crawls in their laps. He sees through their eyes, and speaks with their tongues. In this way he has led them to sinfulness and adorned for them foul things like the action of one whom Satan has made partner in his domain and speaks untruth through his tongue.
اتَّخَذُوا الشَّيْطَانَ لاِمْرِهِمْ مِلاَكاً، وَاتَّخَذَهُمْ لَهُ أَشْرَاكاً، فَبَاضَ وَفَرَّخَ في صُدُورِهِمْ، وَدَبَّ وَدَرَجَ في حُجُورِهِمْ، فَنَظَرَ بِأَعْيُنِهِمْ، وَنَطَقَ بِأَلسِنَتِهِمْ، فَرَكِبَ بِهِمُ الزَّلَلَ، وَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الخَطَلَ، فِعْلَ مَنْ قَدْ شَرِكَهُ الشَّيْطَانُ في سُلْطَانِهِ، وَنَطَقَ بِالبَاطِلِ عَلى لِسَانِهِ!
(1) Al-Zamakhshari, Rabi`, I, 109;
(2) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, II, 50. (kh-t-l )
He has so permeated in their blood and mingled in their spirit that both have become completely unified. Now eyes are theirs but sight is his, the tongue is theirs but the words are his, as the Prophet had said, "Verily, Satan permeates the progeny of Adam like blood." That is, just as the circulation of blood does not stop, in the same way the quick succession of Satan's evil ideas know no break and he draws man towards evil in sleep and wakefulness, and in every posture, rising or sitting. He so paints them with his dye that their word and action reflect an exact portrait of his word and action. Those whose bosoms shine with the effulgence of faith prevent such evil ideas but some are already ready to welcome those evils and these are the persons who under the garb of Islam are ever after advancement of heresy.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
يعني به الزبير في حال اقتضت ذلك
[ويدعوه للدخول في البيعة ثانية]
He claims that he swore allegiance to me with his hand but did not swear with his heart.1 So he does admit allegiance. As regards his claiming it otherwise than with his heart he should come forward with a clear argument for it. Otherwise, he should return to wherefrom he has gone out.2
يَزْعُمُ أَنَّهُ قَدْ بَايَعَ بِيَدِهِ، وَلَمْ يُبَايعْ بِقَلْبِهِ، فَقَدْ أَقَرَّ بِالبَيْعَةِ، وَادَّعَى الوَلِيجَةَ، فَلْيَأْتِ عَلَيْهَا بِأَمْر يُعْرَفُ، وَإِلاَّ فَلْيَدخُلْ فِيَما خَرَجَ مِنْهُ.
(1) Al-Mufid, al-Jamal, 175, from (2)
(2) al-Waqidi, al-Jamal.
But this excuse is like that of the one who reverts to apostasy after adopting Islam and to avoid penalty may say that he had accepted Islam only by the tongue, not in the heart. Obviously, such an excuse cannot be heard, nor can avoid punishment by this argument. If az-Zubayr suspected that `Uthman was slain at Amir al-mu'minin's insistence, this suspicion should have existed when he was taking oath for obedience and stretching his hand for allegiance, not now that his expectations were getting frustrated and hopes had started dawning from somewhere else.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
في صفته وصفة خصومه ويقال إنّها في أصحاب الجمل
They1 thundered like clouds and shone like lightning but despite both these things they exhibited cowardice, while we do not thunder until we pounce upon the foe nor do we show flow (of words) until we have not virtually rained.
وقَدْ أَرْعَدُوا وَأبْرَقُوا، وَمَعَ هذَيْنِ الاْمْرَيْنِ الفَشَلُ، وَلَسْنَا نُرْعِدُ حَتَّى نُوقِعَ، وَلا نُسِيلُ حَتَّى نُمْطِر .
(1) Al-Mufid, al-Jamal, 177, from (2)
(2) al-Waqidi, al-Jamal.
(3) Ibn A`tham, Futuh, as quoted by (4)
(4) al-Khwarazmi in al-Manaqib.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
يريد الشيطان أويكني به عن قوم
Beware! Satan1 has collected his group and assembled his horse-men and foot-soldiers. Surely, with me is my sagacity. I have neither deceived myself nor ever been deceived. By Allah I shall fill to the brim for them a cistern from which I alone would draw water. They can neither turn away from it nor return to it.
أَلاَ وإنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ قَدْ جَمَعَ حِزْبَهُ وَاسْتَجْلَبَ خَيْلَهُ وَرَجِلَهُ، وإِنَّ مَعِي لَبَصِيرَتي. مَا لَبَّسْتُ عَلَى نَفْسِي، وَلاَ لُبِّسَ عَلَيَّ. وَايْمُ اللهِ لاَفْرِطَنَّ لَهُمْ حَوْضاً أَنَا مَاتِحُهُ !لاَ يَصْدِرُونَ عَنْهُ، وَلاَ يَعُودُونَ إِلَيْهِ.
(1) Al-Mufid, al-'Irshad, 118; see also under Sermon:22 and Sermon:134 below.
تَزُولُ الجِبَالُ وَلاَ تَزُلْ! عَضَّ عَلَى نَاجِذِكَ، أَعِرِ اللهَ جُمجُمَتَكَ، تِدْ في الاْرْضِ قَدَمَكَ، ارْمِ بِبَصَرِكَ أَقْصَى القَوْمِ، وَغُضَّ بَصَرَكَ، وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ النَّصْرَ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللهِ سُبْحَانَهُ.
(1) Al-Mamatiri, Nuzhat al-'absar, see `Abd al-Zahra', I, 340;
(2) al-Zamakhshari, Rabi`, IV, bab al-qatl wa al-shahadah.
Most historians have written his surname as Abu'l-Qasim. Thus, the author of al-Isti`ab (vol. 3, pp. 1366, 1367-1368, 1370, 1371-1372) has narrated the opinion of Abu Rashid ibn Hafs az-Zuhri that from among the sons of the companions (of the Prophet) he came across four individuals everyone of whom was named Muhammad and surnamed Abu'l-Qasim, namely (1) Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah, (2) Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr (3) Muhammad ibn Talhah and (4) Muhammad ibn Sa`d. After this he writes that Muhammad ibn Talhah's name and surname was given by the Prophet. al-Waqidi writes that the name and surname of Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr was suggested by `A'ishah. Apparently the Holy Prophet's giving the name of Muhammad ibn Talhah seems incorrect since from some traditions it appears that the Prophet had reserved it for a son of Amir al-mu'minin and he was Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah.
As regards his surname it is said that the Prophet had particularised it and that he had told `Ali that a son would be born to you after me and I have given him my name and surname and after that it is not permissible for anyone in my people to have this name and surname together.
With this opinion before us how can it be correct that the Prophet had given this very name and surname to anyone else since particularisation means that no one else would share it. Moreover, some people have recorded the surname of Ibn Talhah as Abu Sulayman instead of Abu'l-Qasim and this further confirms our view point. Similarly, if the surname of Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr was on the ground that his son's name was Qasim, who was among the theologians of Medina, then what is the sense in `A'ishah having suggested it. If she had suggested it along with the name how could Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr tolerate it later on since having been brought up under the care of Amir al-mu'minin the Prophet's saying could not remain concealed from him. Moreover, most people have recorded his surname as Abu `Abd ar-Rahman, which weakens the view of Abu Rashid.
Let alone these people's surname being Abu'l-Qasim, even for Ibn al-Hanafiyyah this surname is not proved. Although Ibn Khallikan (in Wafayat al-a`yan, vol. 4, p.170) has taken that son of Amir al-mu'minin for whom the Prophet had particularised this surname to be Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah, yet al-`Allamah al-Mamaqani (in Tanqih al-maqal, vol. 3, Part 1, p. 112) writes:
In applying this tradition to Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah, Ibn Khallikan has got into confusion, because the son of Amir al- mu'minin whom the Prophet's name and surname together have been gifted by the Prophet, and which is not permissible to be given to any one else, is to the awaited last Imam (may our lives be his ransom), and not to Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah, nor is the surname Abu'l- Qasim established for him, rather some of the Sunnis being ignorant of the real intention of the Prophet, have taken to mean Ibn al-Hanafiyyah.
However, Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah was prominent in righteousness and piety, sublime in renunciation and worship, lofty in knowledge and achievements and heir of his father in bravery. His performance in the battles of Jamal and Siffin had created such impression among the Arabs that even warriors of consequence trembled at his name. Amir al-mu'minin too was proud of his courage and valour, and always placed him forward in encounters. ash-Shaykh al-Baha'i has written in al-Kashkul that `Ali ibn Abi Talib kept him abreast in the battles and did not allow Hasan and Husayn to go ahead, and used to say, "He is my son while these two are sons of the Prophet of Allah."
When a Kharijite said to Ibn al-Hanafiyyah that `Ali thrust him into the flames of war but saved away Hasan and Husayn he replied that he himself was like the right hand and Hasan and Husayn like `Ali's two eyes and that `Ali protected his eyes with his right hand. But al-`Allamah al-Mamaqani has written in Tanqih al-Maqal that this was not the reply of Ibn al-Hanafiyyah but of Amir al-mu'minin himself. When during the battle of Siffin Muhammad mentioned this matter to Amir al-mu'minin in a complaining tone he replied, "You are my right hand whereas they are my eyes, and the hand should protect the eyes."
Apparently it seems that first Amir al-mu'minin must have given this reply and thereafter someone might have mentioned it to Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah and he must have repeated the same reply as there could be no more eloquent reply than this one and its eloquence confirms the view that it was originally the outcome of the eloquent tongue of Amir al-mu'minin and was later appropriated by Muhammad al-Hanafiyyah.
Consequently, both these views can be held to be correct and there is no incongruity between them. However, he was born in the reign of the second Caliph and died in the reign of `Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan at the age of sixty-five years. Some writers have recorded the year of his death as 80 A.H. and others as 81 A.H. There is a difference about the place of his death as well. Some have put it as Medina, some Aylah and some Ta'if.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
لابنه محمّد بن الحنفية لمّا أعطاه الراية يوم الجمل
Mountains When in the Battle of Jamal Amir al-mu'minin sent Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah to the battle-field, he told him that he should fix himself before the enemy like the mountain of determination and resoluteness so that the onslaught of the army should not be able to displace him, and should charge the enemy with closed teeth because by pressing teeth over the teeth tension occurs in the nerves of the skull as a result of which the stroke of the sword goes amiss, as he said at another place also viz. "Press together the teeth. It sends amiss the edge of the sword."
Then he says, "My child, lend your head to Allah in order that you may be able to achieve eternal life in place of this one, because for a lent article there is the right to get it back. Therefore, you should fight being heedless of your life, otherwise also if your mind clings to life you will hesitate to advance towards deathly encounters and that would tell upon your reputation of bravery. Look, don't let your steps falter because the enemy is emboldened at the faltering of steps, and faltering steps fastens the feet of the enemy.
Keep the last lines of the enemy as your aim so that the enemy may be overawed with loftiness of your intentions and you may feel ease in tearing through their lives, and their movement should also not remain concealed from you. Look, do not pay heed to their superiority in numbers, otherwise your valour and courage would suffer." This sentence can also mean that one should not wide open the eyes to be dazzled by the shining of weapons, and the enemy may make an attack by taking advantage of the situation. Also, always bear it in mind that victory is from Allah. "If Allah helps you no one can overpower you." Therefore, instead of relying on material means seek His support and succour.
(Remember O' ye Believers!) If Allah helpeth you, none shall overcome you...(Qur'an, 3:160)
When1 Allah gave him (Amir al-mu’minin) victory over the enemy at the Battle of Jamal one of his comrades said on that occasion, “I wish my brother so-and-so had been present and he too would have seen what success and victory Allah had given you,” whereupon Amir al-mu’minin said:
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
لمّا أظفره الله تعالى بأصحاب الجمل وقد قال له بعض أصحابه:
وددت أن أخي فلاناً معك شاهداً ليرى ما نصرك الله به على أعدائك، فقال له عليه السلام
“Did your brother hold me friend?”
He said: “Yes,”
Then Amir al-mu’minin said:
In that case he was with us. Rather in this army of ours even those persons were also present who are still in the loins of men and wombs of women. Shortly, time will bring them out and faith will get strength through them.
أَهَوَى أَخِيك مَعَنَا؟
قالَ: فَقَدْ شَهِدنَا، وَلَقَدْ شَهِدَنَا في عَسْكَرِنَا هذَا أَقْوَامٌ في أَصْلاَبِ الرِّجَالِ، وَأَرْحَامِ النِّسَاءِ، سَيَرْعُفُ بِهِمُ الزَّمَانُ، ويَقْوَى بِهِمُ الاْيمَانُ.
(1) Al-Barqi, al-Mahasin, I, 262.
In the case of action, there may be absence of reward because action can involve show or pretence but intention is hidden in the depth of heart. It can have not a jot of show or affectation. The intention would remain at the same level of frankness, truth, perfection and correctness where it is, even though there may be no action due to some impediment. Even if there is no occasion for forming intention but there is passion and zeal in the heart, a man would deserve reward on the basis of his heart's feelings. This is to what Amir al-mu'minin has alluded in this sermon, namely that "If your brother loved me he would share the reward with those who secured martyrdom for our support."
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
في ذم البصرة وأهلها [بعد وقعة الجمل]
You were the army of a woman and in the command of a quadruped. When it grumbled you responded, and when it was wounded (hamstrung) you fled away. Your character is low and your pledge is broken. Your faith is hypocrisy. Your water is brackish. He who stays with you is laden with sins and he who forsakes you secures Allah’s mercy. It is as though I see your mosque prominent, resembling the surface of a boat, while Allah has sent chastisement from above and from below it and everyone who is on it is drowned.2
كُنْتُمْ جُنْدَ الْمَرْأَةِ، وَأَتْبَاعَ البَهِيمَةِ رَغَافَأَجَبْتُم، وَعُقِرَفَهَرَبْتُمْ. أَخْلاَقُكُمْ دِقَاقٌ وَعَهْدُكُمْ شِقَاقٌ، وَدِيْنُكُمْ نِفَاقٌ، وَمَاؤُكُمْ زُعَاقٌ المُقِيمُ بَيْنَ أَظْهُرِكُمْ مُرْتَهَنٌ بِذَنْبِهِ، وَالشَّاخِصُ عَنْكُمْ مُتَدَارَكٌ بِرَحْمةٍ مِنْ رَبِّهِ. كَأَنِّي بِمَسْجِدكُمْ كَجُؤْجُؤِ سَفِينَةٍ قَدْ بَعَثَ اللهُ عَلَيْها العَذَابَ مِنْ فَوْقِها وَمِنْ تَحتِها، وَغَرِقَ مَنْ في ضِمْنِها
By Allah, your city would certainly be drowned so much so that as though I see its mosque like the upper part of a boat or a sitting ostrich.
وَأيْمُ اللهِ لَتَغْرَقَنَّ بَلْدَتُكُمْ حَتَّى كَأَنِّي أَنْظُرُ إِلى مَسْجِدِهَا كَجُؤْجُؤِ سَفِينَةٍ، أَوْ نَعَامَةٍ جَاثِمَةٍ
Like the bosom of a bird in deep sea.
وفي رواية أخرى:
كَجُؤْجُؤِ طَيْرٍ في لُجَّةِ بَحْرٍ
Your city is the most stinking of all the cities as regards its clay, the nearest to water and remotest from the sky. It contains nine tenths of evil. He who enters it is surrounded with his sins and he who is out of it enjoys Allah’s forgiveness. It seems as though I look at this habitation of yours that water has so engulfed it that nothing can be seen of it except the highest part of mosque appearing like the bosom of a bird in deep sea.
و في رواية:
بلادكم أنتن بلاد الله تربةً: أقربها من الماء و أبعدها من السماء . و بها تسعة اعشار الشر، المحتَبَس فيها بِذنبِهِ ، و الخارج بِعفوِ اللهِ . كأنّي أنظر الى قريتكم هذه قد طبَّقَها الماء ، حتّى ما يرى منها الّا شُرُف المسجد ، كأنه جؤجؤ طير في لجة بحر.
(1) Al-Dinawari, al-'Akhbar, 153;
(2) al-Mas`udi, Muruj, II, 377;
(3) Ibn Qutaybah, `Uyun, I, 217;
(4) Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`Iqd, IV, 328;
(5) al-Majlisi, Bihar, VIII, 447;
(6) `Ali ibn Ibrahim, Tafsir, 655;
(7) al-Tusi, al-'Amali,* 78;
(8) al-Mufid, al-Jamal, 210, 203.
This battle originated in this way that when although during the life time of `Uthman, `A'ishah used to oppose him and had left for Mecca leaving him in siege and as such she had a share in his assassination details of which would be stated at some suitable place but when on her return from Mecca towards Medina she heard from `Abdullah ibn Salamah that after `Uthman allegiance had been paid to `Ali (as Caliph) she suddenly exclaimed, "If allegiance has been paid to `Ali, I wish the sky had burst on the earth. Let me go back to Mecca." Consequently she decided to return to Mecca and began saying, "By Allah `Uthman has been killed helplessly. I shall certainly avenge his blood."
On seeing this wide change in the state of affairs Abu Salamah said, "What are you saying as you yourself used to say "Kill this Na`thal ; he had turned unbeliever." Thereupon she replied, "Not only I but everyone used to say so; but leave these things and listen to what I am now saying, that is better and deserves more attention. It is so strange that first he was called upon to repent but before giving him an opportunity to do so he has been killed." On this Abu Salamah recited the following verses addressing her:
You started it and now you are changing and raising storms of wind and rain.
You ordered for his killing and told us that he had turned unbeliever.
We admit that he has been killed but under your orders and the real Killer is one who ordered it.
Nevertheless, neither the sky fell over us nor did the sun and moon fall into eclipse.
Certainly people have paid allegiance to one who can ward off the enemy with power and grandeur, does not allow swords to come near him and loosens the twist of the rope, that is, subdues the enemy.
He is always fully armed for combat and the faithful is never like the traitor.
However, when she reached Mecca with a passion for vengeance she began rousing the people to avenge `Uthman's blood by circulating stories of his having been victimised. The first to respond to this call was `Abdullah ibn `Amir al-Hadrami who had been the governor of Mecca in `Uthman's reign and with him Marwan ibn al-Hakam, Sa`id ibn al-`As and other Umayyads rose to support her. On the other side Talhah ibn `Ubaydillah and az-Zubayr ibn al-`Awwam also reached Mecca from Medina. From Yemen Ya`la ibn Munabbih who had been governor there during `Uthman's caliphate and the former governor of Basrah, `Abdullah ibn `Amir ibn Kurayz also reached there, and joining together began preparing their plans.
Battle had been decided upon but discussion was about the venue of confrontation. `A'ishah's opinion was to make Medina the venue of the battle but some people opposed and held that it was difficult to deal with Medinites, and that some other place should be chosen as the venue. At last after much discussion it was decided to march towards Basrah as there was no dearth of men to support the cause. Consequently on the strength of `Abdullah ibn `Amir's countless wealth, and the offer of six hundred thousand Dirhams and six hundred camels by Ya`la ibn Munabbih they prepared an army of three thousand and set off to Basrah. There was a small incident on the way on account of which `A'ishah refused to advance further.
What happened was that at a place she heard the barking of dogs and enquired from the camel driver the name of the place. He said it was Haw'ab. On hearing this name she recalled the Prophet's admonition when he had said to his wives, "I wish I could know at which of you the dogs of Haw'ab would bark." So when she realised that she herself was that one she got the camel seated by patting and expressed her intention to abandon the march. But the device of her companions saved the deteriorating situation. `Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr swore to assure her that it was not Haw'ab, Talhah seconded him and for her further assurance also sent for fifty persons to stand witness to it. When all the people were on one side what could a single woman do by opposing. Eventually they were successful and `A'ishah resumed her forward march with the same enthusiasm.
When this army reached Basrah, people were first amazed to see the riding animal of `A'ishah. Jariyah ibn Qudamah came forward and said, "O' mother of the faithful, the assassination of `Uthman was one tragedy but the greater tragedy is that you have come out on this cursed camel and ruined your honour and esteem. It is better that you should get back." But since neither the incident at Haw'ab could deter her nor could the Qur'anic injunction: "Keep sitting in your houses" (33:33) stop her, what effect could these voices produce. Consequently, she disregarded all this.
When this army tried to enter the city the Governor of Basrah `Uthman ibn Hunayf came forward to stop them and when the two parties came face to face they drew their swords out of the sheaths and pounced upon each other. When a good number had been killed from either side `A'ishah intervened on the basis of her influence and the two groups agreed that till the arrival of Amir al-mu'minin the existing administration should continue and `Uthman ibn Hunayf should continue on his post. But only two days had elapsed when they made a nightly attack on `Uthman ibn Hunayf, killed forty innocent persons, beat `Uthman ibn Hunayf, plucked every hair of his beard, took him in their custody and shut him up. Then they attacked public treasury and while ransacking it killed twenty persons on the spot, and beheaded fifty more after arresting them.
Then they attacked the grain store, whereupon an elderly noble of Basrah Hukaym ibn Jabalah could not control himself and reaching there with his men said to `Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr, "Spare some of this grain for the city's populace. After all there should be a limit to oppression. You have spread killing and destruction all round and put `Uthman ibn Hunayf in confinement. For Allah's sake keep off these ruining activities and release `Uthman ibn Hunayf. Is there no fear of Allah in your hearts?" Ibn az-Zubayr said, "This is vengeance of `Uthman's life." Hukaym ibn Jabalah retorted, "Were those who have been killed assassins of `Uthman? By Allah, if I had supporters and comrades I should have certainly avenged the blood of these Muslims whom you have killed without reason." Ibn az-Zubayr replied, "We shall not give anything out of this grain, nor will `Uthman ibn Hunayf be released." At last the battle raged between these two parties but how could a few individuals deal with such a big force? The result was that Hukaym ibn Jabalah, his son al-Ashraf ibn Hukaym ibn Jabalah, his brother ar-Ri'l ibn Jabalah and seventy persons of his tribe were killed. In short, killing and looting prevailed all round. Neither anyone's life was secure nor was there any way to save one's honour or property.
When Amir al-mu'minin was informed of the march to Basrah he set out to stop it with a force which consisted of seventy of those who had taken part in the battle of Badr and four hundred out of those companions who had the honour of being present at the Allegiance of Ridwan (Divine Pleasure). When he stopped at the stage of Dhiqar he sent his son Hasan (p.b.u.h.) and `Ammar ibn Yasir to Kufah to invite its people to fighting. Consequently, despite interference of Abu Musa al-Ash`ari seven thousand combatants from there joined Amir al- mu'minin's army. He left that place after placing the army under various commanders.
Eye witnesses state that when this force reached near Basrah first of all a contingent of ansar appeared foremost. Its standard was held by Abu Ayyub al-Ansari. After it appeared another contingent of 1000 whose commander was Khuzaymah ibn Thabit al-Ansari. Then another contingent came in sight. Its standard was borne by Abu Qatadah ibn ar-Rabi`. Then a crowd of a thousand old and young persons was seen. They had signs of prostration on their foreheads and veil of fear of Allah on their face. It seemed as if they were standing before the Divine Glory on the Day of Judgement. Their Commander rode a dark horse, was dressed in white, had black turban on his head and was reciting the Qur'an loudly. This was `Ammar ibn Yasir. Then another contingent appeared. Its standard was in the hand of Qays ibn Sa`d ibn `Ubadah.
Then an army came to sight. Its leader wore white dress and had a black turban on his head. He was so handsome that all eyes centred around him. This was `Abdullah ibn `Abbas. Then followed a contingent of the companions of the Prophet. Their standard bearer was Qutham ibn al-`Abbas. Then after the passing of a few contingents a big crowd was seen, wherein there was such a large number of spears that they were overlapping and flags of numerous colours were flying. Among them a big and lofty standard was seen with distinctive position. Behind it was seen a rider guarded by sublimity and greatness. His sinews were well-developed and eyes were cast downwards. His awe and dignity was such that no one could look at him. This was the Ever Victorious Lion of Allah namely `Ali ibn Abi Talib (p.b.u.h.).
On his right and left were Hasan and Husayn (p.b.u.t.). In front of him Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah walked in slow steps carrying the banner of victory and glory, and on the back were the young men of Banu Hashim, the people of Badr and `Abdullah ibn Ja`far ibn Abi Talib. When this army reached the place az-Zawiyah, Amir al-mu'minin alighted from the horse, and after performing four rak`ah of prayer put his cheeks on the ground. When he lifted his head the ground was drenched with tears and the tongue was uttering these words: O' Sustainer of earth, heaven and the high firmament, this is Basrah. Fill our lap with its good and protect us from its evils.
Then proceeding forward he got down in the battle-field of Jamal where the enemy was already camping. First of all Amir al-mu'minin announced in his army that no one should attack another, nor take the initiative. Saying this he came in front of the opposite army and said to Talhah and az-Zubayr, "You ask `A'ishah by swearing in the name of Allah and His prophet whether I am not free from the blame of `Uthman's blood, and whether I used the same words for him which you used to say, and whether I pressurised you for allegiance or you swore it of your own free will." Talhah got exasperated at these words but az-Zubayr relented, and Amir al-mu'minin turned back after it, and giving the Qur'an to Muslim (a young man from the tribe of `Abd Qays) sent him towards them to pronounce to them the verdict of the Qur'an. But people took both of them within aim and covered this godly man with their arrows.
Then `Ammar ibn Yasir went to canvass and convince them and caution them with the consequences of war but his words were also replied by arrows. Till now Amir al-mu'minin had not allowed an attack as a result of which the enemy continued feeling encouraged and went on raining arrows constantly. At last with the dying of a few valiant combatants consternation was created among Amir al-mu'minin's ranks and some people came with a few bodies before him and said, "O' Commander of the faithful you are not allowing us to fight while they are covering us with arrows. How long can we let them make our bosoms the victim of their arrows, and remain handfolded at their excesses?"
At this Amir al-mu'minin did show anger but acting with restraint and endurance, came to the enemy in that very form without wearing armour or any arm and shouted, "Where is az-Zubayr?" At first az-Zubayr hesitated to come forward but he noticed that Amir al-mu'minin had no arms he came out. Amir al-mu'minin said to him "O' az-Zubayr, you must remember that one day the Prophet told you that you would fight with me and wrong and excess would be on your side." az-Zubayr replied that he had said so. Then Amir al-mu'minin enquired "Why have you come then?" He replied that his memory had missed it and if he had recollected it earlier he would not have come that way. Amir al-mu'minin said, "Well, now you have recollected it" and he replied, "Yes." Saying this he went straight to `A'ishah and told her that he was getting back.
She asked him the reason and he replied, "`Ali has reminded me a forgotten matter. I had gone astray, but now I have come on the right path and would not fight `Ali ibn Abi Talib at any cost." `A'ishah said, "You have caught fear of the swords of the sons of `Abd al-Muttalib." He said, "No" and saying this he turned the reins of his horse. However, it is gratifying that some consideration was accorded to the Prophet's saying, for at Haw'ab even after recollection of the Prophet's words no more than transient effect was taken of it. On returning after this conversation Amir al-mu'minin observed that they had attacked the right and left flanks of his army. Noticing this Amir al-mu'minin said, "Now the plea has been exhausted. Call my son Muhammad." When he came Amir al-mu'minin said, "My son, attack them now."
Muhammad bowed his head and taking the standard proceeded to the battle-field. But arrows were falling in such exuberance that he had to stop. When Amir al-mu'minin saw this he called out at him, "Muhammad, why don't you advance?" He said, "Father, in this shower of arrows there is no way to proceed. Wait till the violence of arrows subsides." He said, "No, thrust yourself in the arrows and spears and attack." Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah advanced a little but the archers so surrounded him that he had to hold his steps. On seeing this a frown appeared on Amir al-mu'minin's fore-head and getting forward he hit the sword's handle on the Muhammad's back and said, "This is the effect of your mother's veins."
Saying this he took the standard from his hands and folding up his sleeves made such and attack that a tumult was created in the enemy's ranks from one end to the other. To whichever row he turned, it became clear and to whatever side he directed himself bodies were seen falling and heads rolling in the hoofs of horses. When after convulsing the rows he returned to his position he said to Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah, "Look, my son, battle is fought like this." Saying this he gave the standard to him and ordered him to proceed. Muhammad advanced towards the enemy with a contingent of ansar. The enemy also came out moving and balancing their spears. But the brave son of the valiant father convulsed rows over rows while the other warriors also made the battle-field glory and left heaps of dead bodies.
From the other side also there was full demonstration of spirit of sacrifice. Dead bodies were falling one over the other but they continued sacrificing their lives devotedly around the camel. Particularly the condition of Banu Dabbah was that although their hands were being severed from the elbows for holding the reins of the camel, and bosoms were being pierced yet they had the following battle-song on their tongues: a) To us death is sweeter than honey. We are Banu Dabbah, camel rearers. b) We are sons of death when death comes. We announce the death of `Uthman with the edges of spears. c) Give us back our chief and there is an end to it.
The low character and ignorance from faith of these Banu Dabbah, can be well understood by that one incident which al-Mada'ini has narrated. He writes that in Basrah there was a man with mutilated ear. He asked him its reason when he said, "I was watching the sight of dead bodies in the battle-field of Jamal when I saw a wounded man who sometimes raised his head and sometimes dashed it back on the ground. I approached near. Then the following two verses were on his lips: a) Our mother pushed us into the deep waters of death and did not get back till we had thoroughly drunk. b) By misfortune we obeyed Banu Taym who are none but slave men and slave girls.
"I told him it was not the time to recite verses; he should rather recall Allah and recite the kalimat ash-shahadah (verse of testimony). On my saying this he saw me with angry looks and uttering a severe abuse and said, "You are asking me to recite kalimat ash-shahadah, get frightened at the last moment and show impatience." I was astonished to hear this and decided to return without saying anything further. When he saw me returning he said, "Wait; for your sake I am prepared to recite, but teach me." I drew close to teach him the kalimah when he asked me to get closer. When I got closer he caught my ear with his teeth and did not leave it till he tore it from the root. I did not think it proper to molest a dying man and was about to get back abusing and cursing him when he asked me to listen one more thing. I agreed to listen lest he had an unsatisfied wish. He said that when I should get to my mother and she enquired who had bitten my ear I should say that it was done by `Umayr ibn al-Ahlab ad-Dabbi who had been deceived by a woman aspiring to become the commander of the faithful (head of the state)."
However, when the dazzling lightning of swords finished the lives of thousands of persons and hundreds of Banu Azd and Banu Dabbah were killed for holding the rein of the camel, Amir al-mu'minin ordered, "Kill the camel for it is Satan." Saying this he made such a severe attack that the cries of "Peace" and "Protection" rose from all round. When he reached near the camel he ordered Bujayr ibn Duljah to kill the camel at once. Consequently, Bujayr hit him with such full might that the camel fell in agony on the side of its bosom. No sooner than the camel fell the opposite army took to heels and the carrier holding `A'ishah was left lonely and unguarded. The companion of Amir al-mu'minin took control of the carrier and under orders of Amir al-mu'minin, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr escorted `A'ishah to the house of Safiyyah bint al-Harith.
This encounter commenced on the 10th of Jumada ath-thaniyah, 36 A.H., in the afternoon and came to an end the same evening. In it from Amir al-mu'minin's army of twenty two thousand, one thousand and seventy or according to another version five hundred persons were killed as martyrs while from `A'ishah's army of thirty thousand, seventeen thousand persons were killed, and the Prophet's saying, "That people who assigned their affairs (of state) to a woman would never prosper" was fully corroborated. (al-Imamah wa's-siyasah; Muruj adh-dhahab; al-`Iqd al-farid; at-Tarikh, at Tabari)
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
في مثل ذلك
Your land is close to the sea and away from the sky. Your wits have become light and your minds are full of folly. You are the aim of the archer, a morsel for the eater and an easy prey for the hunter.
أرْضُكُمْ قَرِيبَةٌ مِنَ المَاءِ، بَعِيدَةٌ مِنَ السَّماءِ، خَفَّتْ عُقُولُكُمْ، وَسَفِهَتْ حُلُومُكُمْ، فَأَنْتُمْ غَرَضٌ لِنَابِل، وَأُكْلَةٌ لاِكِل، وَفَرِيسَةٌ لِصائِد.
(1) Al-Mufid, al-Jamal, 217;
(2) al-Waqidi, al-Jamal, see al-Mufid, op. cit.;
(3) al-Dinawari, al-'Akhbar, 151;
(4) Ibn Qutaybah, `Uyun, I, 217;
(5) al-Mas`udi, Muruj, II, 368;
(6) Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`Iqd, II, 169.
After returning to the Muslims the land grants made by `Uthman ibn `Affan, he said:
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
فيما ردّه على المسلمين من قطائع عثمان
By Allah, even if I had found that by such money women have been married or slave-maids have been purchased I would have returned it (to its owners) because there is wide scope in dispensation of justice, and he who finds it hard to act justly will find it harder to deal with injustice.
وَاللهِ لَوْ وَجَدْتُهُ قَدْ تُزُوِّجَ بِهِ النِّسَاءُ، وَمُلِكَ بِهِ الاْمَاءُ، لَرَدَدْتُهُ; فَإِنَّ في العَدْلِ سَعَةً، وَمَنْ ضَاقَ عَلَيْهِ العَدْلُ، فَالجَوْرُ عَلَيْهِ أَضيَقُ!
(1) Al-`Askari, al-'Awa'il, 102;
(2) al-Qadi al-Nu`man, Da`a'im, I, 396;
(3) al-Mas`udi, Ithbat,120.
من كلام له (عليه السلام)
لمّا بويع بالمدينة
وفيها يخبر الناس بعلمه بما تؤول إليه أحوالهم وفيها يقسمهم إلى أقسام
The responsibility for what I say is guaranteed and I am answerable for it. He to whom experiences have clearly shown the past exemplary punishments (given by Allah to peoples) is prevented by piety from falling into doubts. You should know that the same troubles have returned to you which existed when the Prophet was first sent.
By Allah who sent the Prophet with faith and truth, you will be severely subverted, bitterly shaken as in sieving and fully mixed as by spooning in a cooking pot till your low persons become high and high ones become low, those who were behind would attain forward positions and those who were forward would become backward. By Allah, I have not concealed a single word or spoken any lie and I had been informed of this event and of this time.
ذِمَّتي بِمَا أَقُولُ رَهِينَةٌ وَأَنَا بِهِ زَعِيمٌ : إِنَّ مَنْ صَرَّحَتْ لَهُ العِبَرُ عَمَّا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ المَثُلاتِ، حَجَزَهُ التَّقْوَى عَنْ تَقَحُّمِ الشُّبُهَاتِ. أَلاَ وَإِنَّ بَلِيَّتَكُمْ قَدْ عَادَتْ كَهَيْئَتِهَا يَوْمَ بَعَثَ اللهُ نَبِيَّهُ (صلى الله عليه وآله)، وَالَّذِي بَعَثَهُ بِالحَقِّ لَتُبَلْبَلُنَّ بَلْبَلَةً، وَلَتُغَرْبَلُنَّ غَرْبَلَةً، وَلَتُسَاطُنَّ سَوْطَ القِدْرِ، حَتَّى يَعُودَ أَسْفَلُكُمْ أَعْلاَكُمْ، وَأَعْلاَكُمْ أَسْفَلَكُمْ، وَلَيَسْبِقَنَّ سَابِقُونَ كَانُوا قَصَّرُوا، وَلَيُقَصِّرَنَّ سَبَّاقُونَ كَانُوا سَبَقُوا. وَاللهِ مَا كَتَمْتُ وَشْمَةً، وَلا كَذَبْتُ كِذْبَةً، وَلَقَدْ نُبِّئْتُ بِهذا المَقامِ وَهذَا اليَوْمِ.
Beware that sins are like unruly horses on whom their riders have been placed and their reins have been let loose so that they would jump with them in Hell. Beware that piety is like trained horses on whom the riders have been placed with the reins in their hands, so that they would take the riders to Heaven. There is right and wrong and there are followers for each. If wrong dominates, it has (always) in the past been so, and if truth goes down that too has often occurred. It seldom happens that a thing that lags behind comes forward.
أَلاَ وَإِنَّ الخَطَايَا خَيْلٌ شُمُسٌ حُمِلَ عَلَيْهَا أَهْلُها، وَخُلِعَتْ لُجُمُهَا، فَتَقَحَّمَتْ بِهِمْ في النَّارِ.
أَلاَ وَإِنَّ التَّقْوَى مَطَايَا ذُلُلٌ(2)، حُمِلَ عَلَيْهَا أَهْلُهَا، وَأُعْطُوا أَزِمَّتَها، فَأَوْرَدَتْهُمُ الجَنَّةَ.
حَقٌّ وَبَاطِلٌ، وَلِكُلٍّ أَهْلٌ، فَلَئِنْ أَمِرَ البَاطِلُ لَقَدِيماً فَعَلَ، وَلَئِنْ قَلَّ الحقُّ لَرُبَّما وَلَعَلَّ، وَلَقَلَّمَا أَدْبَرَ شَيءٌ فَأَقْبَلَ!
ash-Sharif ar-Radi says: In this small speech there is more beauty than can be appreciated, and the quantity of amazement aroused by it is more than the appreciation accorded to it. Despite what we have stated it has so many aspects of eloquence that cannot be expressed nor can anyone reach its depth, and no one can understand what I am saying unless one has attained this art and known its details.
No one appreciates it except those who know (Qur’an, 29:43)
قال السيد الشريف: وأقول: إنّ في هذا الكلام الادنى من مواقع الاحسان ملا تبلغه مواقع الاستحسان، وإنّ حظ العجب منه أكثر من حظ العُجب به، وفيه ـ مع الحال التي وصفنا ـ زوائد من الفصاحة لا يقوم بها لسان، ولا يَطَّلع فَجها إنسان، ولا يعرف ما أقوله إلاّ من ضرب في هذه الصناعة بحق، وجرى فيها على عرق، (وَمَا يَعْقِلُهَا إلاّ العَالمِونَ).
ومن هذه الخطبة
[وفيها يقسّم الناس إلى ثلاثة أصناف]
He who has heaven and hell in his view has no other aim. He who attempts and acts quickly, succeeds, while the seeker who is slow may also entertain hope, and he who falls short of action faces destruction in Hell. On right and left there are misleading paths. Only the middle way is the (right) path which is the Everlasting Book and the traditions of the Prophet. From it the sunnah has spread out and towards it is the eventual return.
شُغِلَ مَنِ الجَنَّةُ وَالنَّارُ أَمَامَهُ! سَاع سَرِيعٌ نَجَا، وَطَالِبٌ بَطِيءٌ رَجَا، وَمُقَصِّرٌ في النَّارِ هَوَى. الَيمِينُ وَالشِّمالُ مَضَلَّةٌ، وَالطَّرِيقُ الوُسْطَى هِيَ الجَادَّةُ’ عَلَيْهَا بَاقي الكِتَابِ وَآثَارُ النُّبُوَّةِ، وَمِنْهَا مَنْفَذُ السُّنَّةِ، وَإلَيْهَا مَصِيرُ العَاقِبَةِ.
He who claims (otherwise) is ruined and he who concocts falsehood is disappointed. He who opposes1 right with his face gets destruction. It is enough ignorance for a man not to know himself. He who is strong rooted2 in piety does not get destruction, and the plantation of a people based on piety never remains without water. Hide yourselves in your houses and reform yourselves. Repentance is at your back. One should praise only Allah and condemn only his own self.
هَلَكَ مَنِ ادَّعى، وَخَابَ مَنِ افْتَرَى، مَنْ أَبْدَى صَفْحَتَهُ لِلْحَقِّ هَلَكَ، وَكَفَى بِالْمَرْءِ جَهْلاً أَلاَّ يَعْرِفَ قَدْرَهُ، لاَيَهْلِكُ عَلَى التَّقْوَى سِنْخ أَصْل، وَلاَ يَظْمَأُ عَلَيْهَا زَرْعُ قَوْم.
فَاسْتَتِرُوا بِبُيُوتِكُمْ، وَأَصْلِحُوا ذَاتَ بَيْنِكُمْ، وَالتَّوْبَةُ مِنْ وَرَائِكُمْ، وَلاَ يَحْمَدْ حَامِدٌ إِلاَّ رَبَّهُ، وَلاَ يَلُمْ لاَئِمٌ إِلاَّ نَفْسَهُ.
(1) Al-Jahiz, al-Bayan, I, 170;
(2) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, I, 132;
(3) al-Mufid, al-'Irshad, 139;
(4) Ibn Qutaybah, `Uyun, II, 236;
(5) Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`Iqd, II, 162;
(6) al-`Askari, al-'Awa'il, 102;
(7) al-Kulayni, Usul al-Kafi, I, 369 and Rawdat al-Kafi, 67;
(8) al-Tusi, al'Amali, * 147.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
في صفة من يتصدّى للحكم بين الاْمة وليس لذلك بأَهل
Among1 all the people the most detested before Allah are two persons. One is he who is devoted to his self. So he is deviated from the true path and loves speaking about (foul) innovations and inviting towards wrong path. He is therefore a nuisance for those who are enamoured of him, is himself misled from the guidance of those preceding him, misleads those who follow him in his life or after his death, carries the weight of others’ sins and is entangled in his own misdeeds.
انَّ أَبْغَضَ الخَلائِقِ إِلَى اللهِ تعالى رَجُلانِ: رَجُلٌ وَكَلَهُ اللهُ إِلَى نَفْسِهِ فَهُوَ جَائِرٌ عَنْ قَصْدِ السَّبِيلِ مَشْغُوفٌ بِكَلاَمِ بِدْعَةٍ وَدُعَاءِ ضَلاَلَةٍ، فَهُوَ فِتْنَةٌ لَمِنِ افْتَتَنَ بِهِ، ضَالٌّ عَنْ هَدْي مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَهُ، مُضِلُّ لِمَنِ اقْتَدَى بِهِ في حَيَاتِهِ وَبَعْدَ وَفَاتِهِ، حَمَّالٌ خَطَايَا غَيْرِهِ، رَهْنٌ بِخَطِيئَتِهِ
The other man is he who has picked up ignorance. He moves among the ignorant, is senseless in the thick of mischief and is blind to the advantages of peace. Those resembling like men have named him scholar but he is not so. He goes out early morning to collect things whose deficiency is better than plenty, till when he has quenched his thirst from polluted water and acquired meaningless things, he sits among the people as a judge responsible for solving whatever is confusing to the others.
If an ambiguous problem is presented before him he manages shabby argument about it of his own accord and passes judgement on its basis. In this way he is entangled in the confusion of doubts as in the spider’s web, not knowing whether he was right or wrong. If he is right he fears lest he erred, while if he is wrong he hopes he is right. He is ignorant, wandering astray in ignorance and riding on carriages aimlessly moving in darkness. He did not try to find reality of knowledge. He scatters the traditions as the wind scatters the dry leaves.
وَرَجُلٌ قَمَشَ جَهْلاً مُوضِعٌ في جُهَّالِ الاْمَّةِ غادرٍ في أَغْبَاشِ الفِتْنَةِ، عِمٍبِمَا في عَقْدِ الهُدْنَةِ قَدْ سَمَّاهُ أَشْبَاهُ النَّاسِ عَالمِاً وَلَيْسَ بِهِ ، بَكَّرَ فَاسْتَكْثَرَ مِنْ جَمْعٍ، مَا قَلَّ مِنْهُ خَيْرٌ مِمَّا كَثُرَ، حَتَّى إِذَا ارْتَوَى مِنْ مَاءٍ آجِنٍك، وَأكْثَر مِن غَيْرِ طَائِلٍ جَلَسَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ قَاضِياً ضَامِناً لِتَخْلِيصِ مَا التَبَسَ عَلَى غيْرِهِ. فَإِنْ نَزَلَتْ بِهِ إِحْدَى المُبْهَمَاتِ هَيَّأَ لَهَا حَشْواً رَثّاً مِنْ رَأْيِهِ، ثُمَّ قَطَعَ بِهِ، فَهُوَ مِنْ لَبْسِ الشُّبُهَاتِ في مِثْلِ نَسْجِ العَنْكَبُوتِ: لاَ يَدْرِي أَصَابَ أَمْ أَخْطَأَ. إنْ أَصَابَ خَافَ أَنْ يَكُونَ قَدْ أَخْطَأَ، وَإِنْ أَخْطَأَ رَجَا أَنْ يَكُونَ قَدْ أَصَابَ. جَاهِلٌ خَبَّاطُجَهلات، عَاشٍرَكَّابُ عَشَوَات لَمْ يَعَضَّ عَلَى العِلْمِ بِضِرْسٍ قَاطِعٍ، يُذرِي الرِّوَايَاتِ إذْراءَ الرِّيحِ الهَشِيمَ .
By Allah, he is not capable of solving the problems that come to him nor is fit for the position assigned to him. Whatever he does not know he does not regard it worth knowing. He does not realise that what is beyond his reach is within the reach of others. If anything is not clear to him he keeps quiet over it because he knows his own ignorance. Lost lives are crying against his unjust verdicts, and properties (that have been wrongly disposed of) are grumbling against him.
لاَ مَلِيٌ وَاللهِ ـ بِإِصْدَارِ مَا وَرَدَ عَلَيْهِ، وَلاَ هُوَ أَهْلٌ لِما فُوّضَ إليه، لاَ يَحْسَبُ العِلْمَ في شيْءٍ مِمَّا أَنْكَرَهُ، وَلاَ يَرَى أَنَّ مِنْ وَرَاءِ مَا بَلَغَ منه مَذْهَباً لِغَيْرهِ، وَإِنْ أَظْلَمَ عَلَيْهِ أَمْرٌ اكْتَتَمَ بِهِلِمَا يَعْلَمُ مِنْ جَهْلِ نَفْسِهِ ، تَصْرُخُ مِنْ جَوْرِ قَضَائِهِ الدِّمَاءُ، وَتَعَجُّ مِنْهُ المَوَارِيثُ.
I complain to Allah about persons who live ignorant and die misguided. For them nothing is more worthless than the Qur’an if it is recited as it should be recited, nor anything more valuable than the Qur’an if its verses are removed from their places, nor anything more vicious than virtue nor more virtuous than vice.
إِلَى اللهِ أَشْكُو مِنْ مَعْشَرٍ يَعِيشُونَ جُهَّالاً، وَيَمُوتُونَ ضُلاَّلاً، لَيْسَ فِيهمْ سِلْعَةٌ أَبْوَرُمِنَ الكِتَابِ إِذَا تُلِيَ حَقَّ تِلاَوَتِهِ، وَلاَ سِلْعَةٌ أَنْفَقُبَيْعاً وَلاَ أَغْلَى ثَمَناً مِنَ الكِتَابِ إِذَا حُرِّفَ عَنْ مَوَاضِعِهِ، وَلاَ عِنْدَهُمْ أَنْكَرُ مِنَ المَعْرُوفِ، وَلاَ أَعْرَفُ مِنَ المُنكَرِ.
(1) al-Kulayni, Usul al-Kafi, I, 55;
(2) Abu Talib al-Makki, Qut, I, 290;
(3) al-Harawi, al-Jam`, see (4)
(4) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah (under kh-b-t);
(5) al-Qadi al-Nu`man, Usul al-madhahib, 135;
(6) al-Tusi, al-'Amali, I, 240;
(7) al-Tabarsi, al-'Ihtijaj, I, 390;
(8) al-Mufid, al-'Irshad, 109;
(9) Ibn Qutaybah, `Uyun, I, 61;
(10) Ibn Qutaybah, Gharib al-hadith, see Ibn Abi al-Hadid, Sharh, I, 90.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
في ذمّ اختلاف العلماء في الفتيا
[وفيه يذم أهل الرأي ويكل أمر الحكم في أمور الدين للقرآن]
When1 a problem is put before anyone of them he passes judgement on it from his imagination. When exactly the same problem is placed before another of them he passes an opposite verdict. Then these judges go to the chief who had appointed them and he confirms all the verdicts, although their Allah is One (and the same), their Prophet is one (and the same), their Book (the Qur’an) is one (and the same)!
تَرِدُ عَلَى أحَدِهِمُ القَضِيَّةُ في حُكْمٍ مِنَ الاْحْكَامِ فَيَحْكُمُ فِيهَا بِرَأْيِهِ، ثُمَّ تَرِدُ تِلْكَ القَضِيَّةُ بِعَيْنِهَا عَلَى غَيْرِهِ فَيَحْكُمُ فِيها بِخِلافِ قَوْلِهِ، ثُمَّ يَجْتَمِعُ القُضَاةُ بِذلِكَ عِنْدَ إمامِهِم الَّذِي اسْتَقْضَاهُم فَيُصَوِّبُ آرَاءَهُمْ جَمِيعاً، وَإِلهُهُمْ وَاحِدٌ! وَنَبِيُّهُمْ وَاحِدٌ! وَكِتَابُهُمْ وَاحِدٌ!
Is it that Allah ordered them to differ and they obeyed Him? Or He prohibited them from it but they disobeyed Him? Or (is it that) Allah sent an incomplete Faith and sought their help to complete it? Or they are His partners in the affairs, so that it is their share of duty to pronounce and He has to agree? Or is it that Allah the Glorified sent a perfect faith but the Prophet fell short of conveying it and handing it over (to the people)? The fact is that Allah the Glorified says:
We have not neglected anything in the Book (Qur’an) . . . (6:38),
and in it is a ‘clarification of everything’2 And He says that one part of the Qur’an verifies another part and that there is no divergence in it as He says:
.And if it had been from any other than Allah, they would surely have found in it much discrepancy. (4:82)
أَفَأَمَرَهُمُ اللهُ ـ سُبْحَانَهُ ـ بِالاخْتلاَفِ فَأَطَاعُوهُ! أَمْ نَهَاهُمْ عَنْهُ فَعَصَوْهُ! أَمْ أَنْزَلَ اللهُ سُبْحَانَهُ دِيناً نَاقِصاً فَاسْتَعَانَ بِهِمْ عَلَى إِتْمَامِهِ! أَمْ كَانُوا شُرَكَاءَ لَهُ فَلَهُمْ أَنْ يَقُولُوا وَعَلَيْهِ أَنْ يَرْضِى؟ أَمْ أَنْزَلَ اللهُ سُبْحَانَهُ دِيناً تَامّاً فَقَصَّرَ الرَّسُولُ (صلى الله عليه وآله) عَنْ تَبْلِيغِهِ وَأَدَائِهِ؟ وَاللهُ سُبْحَانَهُ يَقُولُ: (مَا فَرَّطْنَا في الكِتَابِ مِنْ شَيْء) وَفِيهِ تِبْيَانٌ لِكُلِّ شَيْء، وَذَكَرَ أَنَّ الكِتَابَ يُصَدِّقُ بَعْضُهُ بَعْضاً، وَأَنَّهُ لاَ اخْتِلافَ فِيهِ، فَقَالَ سُبْحَانَهُ: (وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِنْدِ غَيرِ اللهِ لَوَجَدُوا فِيهِ اخْتِلافاً كَثِيراً)
Certainly the outside of the Qur’an is wonderful and its inside is deep (in meaning). Its wonders will never disappear, its amazements will never pass away and its intricacies cannot be cleared except through itself.
وَإِنَّ القُرآنَ ظَاهِرُهُ أَنِيقٌ وَبَاطِنُهُ عَمِيقٌ، لاَ تَفْنَى عَجَائِبُهُ، وَلاَتَنْقَضِي غَرَائِبُهُ، وَلاَ تُكْشَفُ الظُّلُمَاتُ إلاَّ بِهِ.
(1) Ibn Talhah, Matalib, I, 141;
(2) al-Tabarsi, al-'Ihtijaj, I, 139;
(3) al-Qadi al-Nu`man, Da`a'im, I, 93;
(4) Narrated by Ibn Udhaynah from al-'Imam al-Sadiq (A) in al-Nuri, Mustadrak al-Wasa'il, III, 174; see also al-Saffar, Basa'ir al-darajat.
Amir al-mu’minin was delivering a lecture from the pulpit of (the mosque of) Kufah when al-Ash`ath ibn Qays1 objected and said, “O’ Amir al-mu’minin this thing is not in your favour but against you.”2 Amir al-mu’minin looked at him with anger and said:
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
قاله للاشعث بن قيس وهو على منبر الكوفة يخطب
فمضى في بعض كلامه شيء اعترضه الاشعث، فقال: يا أميرالمؤمنين، هذه عليك لا لك، فخفض (عليه السلام) إليه بصره ثم قال:
How do you know what is for me and what is against me?! Curse of Allah and others be on you. You are a weaver and son of a weaver. You are the son of an unbeliever and yourself a hypocrite. You were arrested once by the Unbelievers and once by the Muslims, but your wealth and birth could not save you from either. The man who contrives for his own people to be put to sword and invites death and destruction for them does deserve that the near ones should hate him and the remote ones should not trust him.
ومَا يُدْرِيكَ مَا عَلَيَّ مِمَّا لِي؟ عَلَيْكَ لَعْنَةُ اللهِ وَلَعْنَةُ اللاَّعِنِينَ! حَائِكٌ ابْنُ حَائِك! مُنَافِقٌ ابْنُ كُافِر! وَاللهِ لَقَدْ أَسَرَكَ الكُفْرُ مَرَّةً وَالاسْلامُ أُخْرَى! فَمَا فَداكَ مِنْ وَاحِدَة مِنْهُمَا مَالُكَ وَلاَ حَسَبُكَ! وَإِنَّ امْرَأً دَلَّ عَلَى قَوْمِهِ السَّيْفَ، وَسَاقَ إِلَيْهِمُ الحَتْفَ، لَحَرِيٌّ أَنْ يَمقُتَهُ الاْقْرَبُ، وَلاَ يَأْمَنَهُ الاْبْعَدُ!
as-Sayyid ar-Radi says: This man was arrested once when an unbeliever and once in days of Islam. As for Amir al-mu’minin’s words that the man contrived for his own people to be put to sword, the reference herein is to the incident which occurred to al-Ash`ath ibn Qays in confrontation with Khalid ibn Walid at Yamamah, where he deceived his people and contrived a trick till Khalid attacked them. After this incident his people nicknamed him “`Urf an-Nar” which in the parlance stood for traitor.
قال السيد الشربف: يريد عليه السلام أنه أُسر في الكفر مرة وفي الاِسلام مرة . وأما قوله: «دل على قومه السيف»، فأراد به: حديثاً كان للاَشعث مع خالد بن الوليد باليمامة، غرّ فيه قومه ومكر بهم حتى أوقع بهم خالد، وكان قومه بعد ذلك يسمو نه «عُرْفَ النار»، وهو اسم للغادر عندهم.
(1) Abu al-Faraj, al-'Aghani,VIII, 59.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
وفيها ينفر من الغفلة وينبه إلى الفرار لله
Indeed, if you could see that has been seen by those of you who have died, you would be puzzled and troubled. Then you would have listened and obeyed; but what they have seen is yet curtained off from you. Shortly, the curtain would be thrown off. You have been shown, provided you see and you have been made to listen provided you listen, and you have been guided if you accept guidance. I spoke unto you with truth.
You have been called aloud by (instructive) examples and warned through items full of warnings. After the heavenly messengers (angels), only man can convey message from Allah. (So what I am conveying is from Allah).
فَإِنَّكُمْ لَوْ عَايَنْتُمْ مَا قَدْ عَايَنَ مَنْ مَاتَ مِنْكُمْ لَجَزِعْتُمْ وَوَهِلْتُمْ وَسَمِعْتُمْ وَأَطَعْتُمْ، وَلكِنْ مَحْجُوبٌ عَنْكُمْ مَا عَايَنُوا، وَقَرِيبٌ مَا يُطْرَحُ الحِجَابُ! وَلَقَدْ بُصِّرْتُمْ إِنْ أَبْصَرْتُمْ، وَأُسْمِعْتُمْ إِنْ سَمِعْتُمْ، وَهُدِيتُمْ إِنِ اهْتَدَيْتُمْ، وَبِحَقٍّ أَقَولُ لَكُمْ: لَقَدْ جَاهَرَتْكُمُ العِبَرُ وَزُجِرْتُمْ بِمَا فِيهِ مُزْدَجَرٌ، وَمَا يُبَلِّغُ عَنِ اللهِ بَعْدَ رُسُلِ السَّماءِ إِلاَّ البَشَرُ.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
وهي كلمة جامعة للعظة والحكمة
Your ultimate goal (reward or punishment) is before you. Behind your back is the hour (of resurrection) which is driving you on. Keep (yourself) light and overtake (the forward ones). Your last ones are being awaited by the first ones (who have preceded).
فإِنَّ الغَايَةَ أَمَامَكُمْ، وَإِنَّ وَرَاءَكُمُ السَّاعَةَ تَحْدُوكُمْ تَخَفَّفُواتَلْحَقوا، فَإنَّمَا يُنْتَظَرُ بِأوَّلِكُمْ آخِرُكُمْ .
as-Sayyid ar-Radi says: If this utterance of `Ali (p.b.u.h.) is weighed with any other utterance except the word of Allah or of the Holy Prophet, it would prove heavier and superior in every respect. For example, `Ali’s saying “Keep light and overtake” is the shortest expression ever heard with the greatest sense conveyed by it. How wide is its meaning and how clear its spring of wisdom! We have pointed out the greatness and meaningfulness of this phrase in our book al-Khasa’is.
وأقول: إنّ هذا الكلام لو وزن بعد كلام الله سبحانه وكلام رسوله صلى الله عليه وآله بكل كلام لمال به راجحاً، وبرّز عليه سابقاً. فأما قوله عليه السلام : «تخففوا تلحقوا»، فما سمع كلام أقل منه مسموعاً ولا أكثر منه محصولاً، وما أبعد غورها من كلمة! وأنقع نطفتها من حكمة! وقد نبهنا في كتاب «الخصائص» على عظم قدرها وشرف جوهرها.
(1) al-Sharif al-Radi, Khasa'is, 87;
(2) al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, * V, 157.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
حين بلغه خبر الناكثين ببيعته
[وفيها يذم عملهم ويلزمهم دم عثمان ويتهدّدهم بالحرب]
Beware! Satan has certainly started instigating his forces and has collected his army in order that oppression may reach its extreme ends and wrong may come back to its position. By Allah they have not put a correct blame on me, nor have they done justice between me and themselves.
أَلاَ وإِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ قَدْ ذَمَّرَ حِزْبَهُ وَاسْتَجْلَبَ جَلَبَهُ لِيَعُودَ الجَوْرُ إِلَى أَوْطَانِهِ، وَيَرْجِعَ البِاطِلُ إِلَى نِصَابِهِ وَاللهِ مَا أَنْكَرُوا عَلَيَّ مُنْكَراً، وَلاَ جَعَلُوا بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَهُمْ نَصِفاً
They are demanding of me a right which they have abandoned, and a blood that they have themselves shed.1 If I were a partner with them in it then they too have their share of it. But if they did it without me they alone have to face the consequences. Their biggest argument (against me) is (really) against themselves.
They are suckling from a mother who is already dry, and bringing into life innovation that is already dead. How disappointing is this challenger (to battle)? Who is this challenger and for what is he being responded to? I am happy that the reasoning of Allah has been exhausted before them and He knows (all) about them.
وَإِنَّهُمْ لَيَطْلُبُونَ حَقّاً هُمْ تَرَكُوهُ، وَدَماً هُمْ سَفَكُوهُ، فَلَئِنْ كُنْتُ شَرِيكَهُمْ فِيهِ فَإِنَّ لَهُمْ لَنَصِيبَهُمْ مِنْهُ، وَلَئِنْ كَانُوا وَلُوهُ دُوني، فَمَا التَّبِعَةُ إِلاَّ عِنْدَهُمْ، وَإِنَّ أَعْظَمَ حُجَّتِهِمْ لَعَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ، يَرْتَضِعُونَ أُمّاً قَدْ فَطَمَتْ وَيُحْيُونَ بِدْعَةً قَدْأُمِيتَتْ. يا خَيْبَةَ الدَّاعِي! مَنْ دَعَا! وَإِلاَمَ أُجِيبَ! وَإِنِّي لَرَاضٍ بِحُجَّةِ اللهِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَعِلْمِهِ فِيهمْ.
If they refuse (to obey) I will offer them the edge of the sword which is enough a curer of wrong and supporter of Right.
It is strange they send me word to proceed to them for spear-fighting and to keep ready for fighting with swords. May the mourning women mourn over them. I have ever been so that I was never frightened by fighting nor threatened by clashing. I enjoy full certainty of belief from My God and have no doubt in my faith.
فَإِنْ أَبَوْا أَعْطَيْتُهُمْ حَدَّ السَّيْفِ، وَكَفَى بِهِ شَافِياً مِنَ البَاطِلِ، وَنَاصَراً لِلْحَقِّ! وَمِنَ العَجَبِ بَعْثُهُمْ إِلَيَّ أَنْ أَبْرُزَ لِلطِّعَانِ! وَأَنْ أصْبِرَ لِلْجِلادِ! هَبِلَتْهُمُ الهَبُولُ! لَقَدْ كُنْتُ وَمَا أُهَدَّدُ بِالحَرْبِ، وَلاَ أُرَهَّبُ بِالضَّرْبِ! وَإِنِّي لَعَلَى يَقِينٍ مِنْ رَبِّي، وَغَيْرِ شُبْهَةٍ مِنْ دِيني.
(1) Ibn Qutaybah, al-'Imamah, I, 154;
(2) al-Thaqafi, al-Gharat, see Ibn Abi al-Hadid, II, 35;
(3) al-Tabari, al-Mustarshid, 95;
(4) Ibn Tawus, Kashf, 173;
(5) al-Tusi, al-'Amali, I, 172;
(6) al-Khwarazmi, al-Manaqib; 117;
(7) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, I, 171, II, 167;
(8) al-Mufid, al-Jamal, * 129; see Sermon:26 and Sermon:171 below.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
وتشتمل على تهذيب الفقراء بالزهد وتأديب الاغنياء بالشفقة
Now then, verily Divine orders descend from heaven to earth like drops of rain, bringing to everyone what is destined for him whether plenty or paucity. So if any one of you observes for his brother plenty of progeny or of wealth or of self, it should not be a worry for him. So long as a Muslim does not commit such an act that if it is disclosed he has to bend his eyes (in shame) and by which low people are emboldened, he is like the gambler who expects that the first draw of his arrow would secure him gain and also cover up the previous loss.
أمَّا بَعْدُ، فَإِنَّ الاْمْرَ يَنْزِلُ مِنَ السَّماءِ إِلَى الاْرْضِ كَقَطر المَطَرِ إِلَى كُلِّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا قُسِمَ لَهَا مِنْ زِيَادَةٍ أَوْ نُقْصَانٍ، فإذا رَأَى أَحَدُكُمْ لاِخِيهِ غَفِيرَةًفي أَهْلٍ أَوْ مَالٍ أَوْ نَفْسٍ فَلاَ تَكُونَنَّ لَهُ فِتْنَةً، فَإِنَّ المَرْءَ المُسْلِمَ مَا لَمْ يَغْشَ دَنَاءَةً تَظْهَرُ فَيَخْشَعُ لَهَا إِذَا ذُكِرَتْ، وَيُغْرَى بهَا لِئَامُ النَّاسِ، كانَ كَالفَالِجِ اليَاسِرِشة الَّذِي يَنْتَظِرُ أَوَّلَ فَوْزَةٍ مِنْ قِدَاحِهِ تُوجِبُ لَهُ المَغْنَمَ، وَيُرْفَعُ عَنْهُ بهاالمَغْرَمُ.
Similarly, the Muslim who is free from dishonesty expects one of the two good things: either call from Allah and in that case whatever is with Allah is the best for him, or the livelihood of Allah. He has already children and property while his faith and respect are with him. Certainly, wealth and children are the plantations of this world while virtuous deed is the plantation of the next world. Sometimes Allah joins all these in some groups.
كَذْلِكَ المَرْءُ المُسْلِمُ البَرِيءُ مِنَ الخِيَانَةِ يَنْتَظِرُ مِنَ اللهِ إِحْدَى الحُسْنَيَيْنِ: إِمَّا دَاعِيَ اللهِ فَمَا عِنْدَ اللهِ خَيْرٌ لَهُ، وَإِمَّا رِزْقَ اللهِ فَإِذَا هُوَ ذُوأَهْلٍ وَمَالٍ، وَمَعَهُ دِينُهُ وَحَسَبُهُ. إِنَّ المَالَ وَالبَنِينَ حَرْثُ الدُّنْيَا، والعَمَلَ الصَّالِحَ حَرْثُ الاْخِرَةِ، وَقَدْ يَجْمَعُهُمَا اللهُ لاِقْوَامٍ،
Beware of Allah against what He has cautioned you and keep afraid of Him to the extent that no excuse be needed for it. Act without show or intention of being heard, for if a man acts for other than Allah, then Allah entrusts him to that one. We ask Allah (to grant us) the positions of the martyrs, company of the virtuous and friendship of the prophets.
فَاحْذَرُوا مِنَ اللهِ مَا حَذَّرَكُمْ مِنْ نَفْسِهِ، وَاخْشَوْهُ خَشْيَةً لَيْسَتُ بَتَعْذِيرٍ وَاعْمَلُوا في غَيْرِ رِيَاءٍ وَلاَ سُمْعَةٍ؛ فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ يَعْمَلْ لِغَيْرِ اللهِ يَكِلْهُ اللهُ إِلَى مَنْ عَمِلَ لَهُ. نَسْأَلُ اللهَ مَنَازِلَ الشُّهَدَاءِ، وَمُعَايَشَةَ السُّعَدَاءِ، وَمُرَافَقَةَ الاْنْبِيَاءِ.
O people! Surely no one (even though he may be rich) can do without his kinsmen, and their support by hands or tongues. They alone are his support from rear and can ward off from him his troubles, and they are the most kind to him when tribulations befall him. The good memory of a man that Allah retains among people is better than the property which others inherit from him.
أَيُّهَا النّاسُ، إِنَّهُ لاَ يَسْتَغْنِي الرَّجُلُ ـ وَإِنْ كَانَ ذَا مَالٍ ـ عَنْ عَشِيرَتِهِ، وَدِفَاعِهِمْ عَنْهُ بِأَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَلسِنَتِهمْ، وَهُمْ أَعْظَمُ النَّاسِ حَيْطَةً مِنْ وَرَائِهِ وَأَلَمُّهُمْ لِشَعَثِهِ، وَأَعْطَفُهُمْ عَلَيْهِ عِنْدَ نَازِلَةٍ إنْ نَزَلَتْ بِهِ. وَلِسَانُ الصِّدْقِ يَجْعَلُهُ اللهُ لِلْمَرْءِ في النَّاسِ خَيْرٌ لَهُ مِنَ المَالِ يُورِثُهُ غيرَهُ.
Behold! If any one of you finds your near ones in want or starvation, he should not desist from helping them with that which will not increase if this help is not extended, nor decrease by thus spending it. Whoever holds up his hand from (helping) his kinsmen, he holds only one hand, but at the time of his need many hands remain held up from helping him. One who is sweet tempered can retain the love of his people for good.
أَلاَ لاَيَعْدِلَنَّ أَحَدُكُمْ عَنِ القَرَابِةِ يَرَى بِهَا الخَصَاصَةَ أنْ يَسُدَّهَا بِالَّذِي لايَزِيدُهُ إِنْ أَمْسَكَهُ وَلاَ يَنْقُصُهُ إِنْ أَهْلَكَهُ، وَمَنْ يَقْبِضْ يَدَهُ عَنْ عَشِيرَتِهِ، فَإِنَّمَا تُقْبَضُ مِنْهُ عَنْهُمْ يَدٌ وَاحِدَةٌ، وَتُقْبَضُ مِنْهُمْ عَنْهُ أَيْد كَثِيرَةٌ; وَمَنْ تَلِنْ حَاشِيَتُهُ يَسْتَدِمْ مِنْ قَوْمِهِ المَوَدَّةَ.
As-Sayyid ar-Radi says: In this sermon "al-ghafirah" means plenty or abundance, and this is derived from the Arab saying, "al-jamm al-ghafir" or "al-jamma' al-ghafir" meaning thick crowd. In some versions for "al-ghafirah" "`afwatan" appears. "`afwah" means the good and selected part of anything.
It is said "akaltu `afwata 't-ta`am", to mean "I ate select meal." About "wa man yaqbid yadahu `an `ashiratihi" appearing towards the end he points out how beautiful the meaning of this sentence is, Amir al-mu'minin implies that he who does not help his own kinsmen withholds only his hand but when he is in need of their assistance and would be looking for their sympathy and support then he would remain deprived of the sympathies and succour of so many of their extending hands and marching feet.
قال السيد الشريف: اقول: الغفيرة ها هنا الزيادة و الكثرة ، من قولهم للجمع الكثير: الجم الغفير، و الجماء الغفير. و يروي "عِفوة من اهل أو مال" و العِفوة: الخيار من الشيء، يقال: اكلت عِفوة الطعام، اي خياره. وما أحسن المعنى الذي أراده (عليه السلام) بقوله: «ومن يقبض يده عن عشيرته...» إلى تمام الكلام، فإن الممسك خيره عن عشيرته إنما يمسك نفع يد واحدة; فإذا احتاج إلى نصرتهم، واضطر إلى مرافدتهم قعدوا عن نصره، وتثاقلوا عن صوته، فمنع ترافد الايدي الكثيرة، وتناهض الاقدام الجمة.
(1) Al-Kulayni, al-Kafi, II, 56, 294, V, 56;
(2) Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`Iqd, II, 366;
(3) Nasr ibn Muzahim, Siffin, 10;
(4) al-Ya`qubi Ta'rikh, II, 149;
(5) al-Zamakhshari, Rabi`, bab al-kasb wa al-mal;
(6) al-Muttaqi, Kanz, VIII, 225;
(7) Ibn `Asakir, Ta'rikh, in the biographical account of `A1i (A);
(8) Ibn Salam, Gharib al-hadith, II, 183;
(9) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, III, 468;
(10) Ibn Qutaybah, `Uyun, I, 189;
(11) al-Thaqafi, al-Gharat, I, 80.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
وهي كلمة جامعة له
فيها تسويغ قتال المخالف، والدعوة إلى طاعة الله، والترقي فيها لضمان الفوز
By my life there will be no regard for anyone nor slackening from me in fighting against one who opposes right or gropes in misguidance. O creatures of Allah, fear Allah and flee unto Allah from His wrath (seek protection in His Mercy). Tread on the path He has laid down for you and stand by what He has enjoined upon you. In that case `Ali would stand surety for your success (salvation) eventually even though you may not get it immediately (i.e. in this world).
وَلَعَمْرِي مَا عَلَيَّ مِنْ قِتَالِ مَنْ خَالَفَ الحَقَّ، وَخَابَطَ الغَيَّ مِنْ إِدْهَانٍ وَلاَ إِيهَانٍ فَاتَّقُوا اللهَ عِبَادَ اللهِ، وَفِرُّوا إِلَى اللهِ مِنَ اللهِ وَامْضُوا في الَّذِي نَهَجَهُ لَكُمْ، وَقُومُوا بِمَا عَصَبَهُ بِكُمْ فَعَلِيٌّ ضَامِنٌ لِفَلْجِكُمْ آجِلاً، إِنْ لَمْ تُمنَحُوهُ عَاجِلاً
(1) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, III, 244 (`a.s.b).
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
وقد تواترت عليه الاَخبار باستيلاءِ أصحاب معاوية على البلاد، وقدم عليه عاملاه على اليمن ـ وهما عبيدالله بن العباس وسعيد بن نمران ـ لمّا غلب عليها بُسْرُ بن أبي أَرْطَاة، فقام (عليه السلام) إلى المنبر ضجراً بتثاقل أَصحابه عن الجهاد، ومخالفتهم له في الرأْي، وقال:
Nothing (is left to me) but Kufah which I can hold and extend (which is in my hand to play with). (O Kufah) if this is your condition that whirlwinds continue blowing through you, then Allah may destroy you.
مَا هِيَ إِلاَّ الكُوفَةُ، أقْبِضُهَا وَأَبْسُطُهَا، إنْ لَمْ تَكُوني إِلاَّ أَنْتِ، تَهُبُّ أَعَاصِيرُك، فَقَبَّحَكِ اللهُ!
Then he illustrated with the verse of a poet:
وتمثّل بقول الشاعر:
O `Amr! By your good father's life. I have received only a small bit of fat from this pot (fat that remains sticking to it after it has been emptied).
لَعَمْرُ أَبِيكَ الخَيْرِ يَا عَمْرُوإِنَّني عَلَى وَضَرٍ - مِنْ ذَا الاْنَاءِ ـ قَلِيلِ
Then he continued:
I have been informed that Busr has overpowered Yemen. By Allah, I have begun thinking about these people that they would shortly snatch away the whole country through their unity on their wrong and your disunity (from your own right), and separation, your disobedience of your Imam in matters of right and their obedience to their leader in matters of wrong, their fulfilment of the trust in favour of their master and your betrayal, their good work in their cities and your mischief. Even if I give you charge of a wooden bowl I fear you would run away with its handle.
ثم قال (عليه السلام): أُنْبِئْتُ بُسْراً قَدِ اطَّلَعَ الَيمنَ، وَإِنِّي وَاللهِ لاَظُنُّ هؤُلاءِ القَوْمَ سَيُدَالُونَ مِنْكُمْ بِاجْتِماعِهمْ عَلَى بَاطِلِهمْ، وَتَفَرُّقِكُمْ عَنْ حَقِّكُمْ، وَبِمَعْصِيَتِكُمْ إِمَامَكُمْ في الحَقِّ، وَطَاعَتِهِمْ إِمَامَهُمْ في البَاطِلِ، وَبِأَدَائِهِمُ الاْمَانَةَ إِلَى صَاحِبِهِمْ وَخِيَانَتِكُمْ، وَبِصَلاَحِهمْ في بِلاَدِهِمْ وَفَسَادِكُمْ، فَلَو ائْتَمَنْتُ أَحَدَكُمْ عَلَى قَعْب لَخَشِيتُ أَنْ يَذْهَبَ بِعِلاَقَتِهِ.
O My God they are disgusted of me and I am disgusted of them. They are weary of me and I am weary of them. Change them for me with better ones and change me for them with worse one. O My God, melt their hearts as salt melts in water. By Allah, I wish I had only a thousand horsemen of Banu Firas ibn Ghanm (as the poet says):
If you call them the horsemen would come to you like the summer cloud.
(Thereafter Amir al-mu'minin alighted from the pulpit).
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي قَدْ مَلِلْتُهُمْ وَمَلُّوني، وَسَئِمْتُهُمْ وَسَئِمُوني، فَأَبْدِلنِي بِهِمْ خَيْراً مِنْهُمْ، وأَبْدِلُهمْ بِي شَرَّاً مِنِّى، اللَّهُمَّ مِثْ قُلُوبَهُمْ كَمَا يُمَاثُ الْمِلْحُ فِي الْمَاءِ، أَمَاوَاللهِ لَوَدِدْتُ أَنَّ لِي بِكُمْ أَلفَ فَارِس مِنْ بَنِي فِرَاسِ بْنِ غَنْم.:
هُنَالِكَ، لَوْ دَعَوْتَ، أَتَاكَ مِنْهُمْ فَوَارِسُ مِثْلُ أَرْمِيَةِ الحَمِيم
ثم نزل(عليه السلام) من المنبر.
as-Sayyid ar-Radi says: In this verse the word "armiyah" is plural of "ramiyy" which means cloud and "hamim" here means summer. The poet has particularised the cloud of summer because it moves swiftly. This is because it is devoid of water while a cloud moves slowly when it is laden with rain. Such clouds generally appear (in Arabia) in winter. By this verse the poet intends to convey that when they are called and referred to for help they approach with rapidity and this is borne by the first line "if you call them they will reach you."
قال السيد الشريف: قلتُ أنا: والارمية جمع رَميٍّ وهو: السحاب، والحميم في هذا الموضع: وقت الصيف، وإنما خصّ الشاعر سحاب الصيف بالذكر لانه أشد جفولاً، وَأسرع خُفوفاً، لانه لا ماء فيه، وإنما يكون السحاب ثقيل السير لامتلائه بالماء، وذلك لا يكون في الاكثر إلا زمان الشتاء، وإنما أراد الشاعر وصفهم بالسرعة إذا دُعوا، والاغاثة إذا استغيثوا، والدليل على ذلك قوله: «هنالك، لو دعوت، أتاك منهم...».
(1) Al-Mas`udi, Muruj, III, 149;
(2) Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`Iqd, III, 337;
(3) Ibn `Asakir, Ta'rikh, I, 305, X, 225;
(4) al-Baladhuri, Ansab, II, 383;
(5) al-Mufid, al-'Irshad,* 163;
(6) al-Thaqafi, al-Gharat II, 636.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
وفيها يصف العرب قبل البعثة ثم يصف حاله قبل البيعة له
]العرب قبل البعثه[
Verily, Allah sent Muhammad (S) as a warner (against vice) for all the worlds and a trustee of His revelation, while you people of Arabia were following the worst religion and you resided among rough stones and venomous serpents. You drank dirty water and ate filthy food. You shed blood of each other and cared not for relationship. Idols are fixed among you and sins are clinging to you.
انَّ اللهَ سُبحانَه بَعَثَ مُحَمَّداً نَذِيراً لِلْعَالَمِينَ، وَأَمِيناً عَلَى التَّنْزِيلِ، وَأَنْتُمْ مَعْشَرَ العَرَبِ عَلَى شَرِّ دِينٍ، وَفِي شَرِّ دَارٍ، مُنِيخُونَ بَيْنَ حِجارَةٍ خُشْنٍ وَحَيَّاتٍ صُمٍّ تشْرَبُونَ الكَدِرَ، وَتَأْكُلُونَ الجَشِبَ وَتَسْفِكُونَ دِمَاءَكُمْ، وَتَقْطَعُونَ أَرْحَامَكُمْ، الاْصْنَامُ فِيكُمْ مَنْصُوبَةٌ، وَالاْثَامُ بِكُمْ مَعْصُوبَةٌ
I looked and found that there is no supporter for me except family, so I refrained from thrusting them unto death. I kept my eyes closed despite motes in them. I drank despite choking of throat. I exercised patience despite trouble in breathing and despite having to take sour colocynth as food.
فَنَظَرْتُ فَإِذَا لَيْسَ لِي مُعِينٌ إِلاَّ أَهْلُ بَيْتِي، فَضَنِنْتُ بِهمْ عَنِ المَوْتِ، وَأَغْضَيْتُ عَلَى القَذَى، وَشَرِبْتُ عَلَى الشَّجَا وَصَبَرْتُ عَلَى أَخْذِ الكَظَمِ، وَعَلىْ أَمَرَّ مِنْ طَعْمِ العَلْقَمِ.
He did not swear allegiance till he got him to agree that he would pay him its price. The hand of this purchaser (of allegiance) may not be successful and the contract of the seller may face disgrace. Now you should take up arms for war and arrange equipment for it. Its flames have grown high and its brightness has increased. Clothe yourself with patience for it is the best to victory.1
وَلَمْ يُبَايعْ حَتَّى شَرَطَ أَنْ يُؤْتِيَهِ عَلَى البَيْعَةِ ثَمَناً، فَلاَ ظَفِرَتْ يَدُ المبايِعِ، وخَزِيَتْ أَمَانَةُ المُبْتَاعِ فَخُذُوا لِلْحَرْبِ أُهْبَتَهَا وَأعِدُّوا لَهَا عُدَّتَهَا، فَقَدْ شَبَّ لَظَاهَا وَعَلاَ سَنَاهَا وَاسْتَشْعِرُوا الصَّبْرَ فَإِنَّهُ أحْزَمُ لِلنَّصْرِ.
(1) Ibn Qutaybah, al-'Imamah, I, 154;
(2) al-Thaqafi, al-Gharat, I, 303, II, 633;
(3) al-Tabari, al-Mustarshid, 95;
(4) Ibn Tawus, Kashf, 173;
(5) al-Kulayni, al-Rasa'il, mentioned by Ibn Tawus, op. cit.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
وقد قالها يستنهض بها الناس حين ورد خبر غزوالانبار بجيش معاوية فلم ينهضوا، وفيها يذكر فضل الجهاد، ويستنهض الناس، ويذكر علمه بالحرب، ويلقي عليهم التبعة لعدم طاعته
Indeed, surely jihad is one of the doors of Paradise, which Allah has opened for His chief friends. It is the dress of piety and the protective armour of Allah and His trustworthy shield. Whoever abandons it Allah covers him with the dress of disgrace and the clothes of distress. He is kicked with contempt and scorn, and his heart is veiled with screens (of neglect). Truth is taken away from him because of missing jihad. He has to suffer ignominy and justice is denied to him.
امَّا بَعْدُ، فَإِنَّ الجِهَادَ بَابٌ مِنْ أَبْوَابِ الجَنَّةِ، فَتَحَهُ اللهُ لِخَاصَّةِ أَوْلِيَائِهِ، وَهُوَ لِباسُ التَّقْوَى، وَدِرْعُ اللهِ الحَصِينَةُ، وَجُنَّتُهُ الوَثِيقَةُ، فَمَنْ تَرَكَهُ رَغْبَةً عَنْهُ أَلبَسَهُ اللهُ ثَوْبَ الذُّلِّ، وَشَمِلَهُ البَلاَءُ، وَدُيِّثَ بِالصَّغَارِ وَالقَمَاءَةِ وَضُرِبَ عَلَى قَلْبِهِ بِالاْسْهَابِ وَأُدِيلَ الحَقُّ مِنْهُ بِتَضْيِيعِ الجِهَادِ، وَسِيمَ الخَسْفَـ، وَمُنِعَ النَّصَفَ
Beware! I called you (insistently) to fight these people night and day, secretly and openly and exhorted you to attack them before they attacked you, because by Allah, no people have been attacked in the hearts of their houses but they suffered disgrace; but you put it off to others and forsook it till destruction befell you and your cities were occupied. The horsemen of Banu Ghamid1 have reached al-Anbar and killed Hassan ibn Hassan al-Bakri. They have removed your horsemen from the garrison.
أَلاَ وَإِنِّي قَدْ دَعَوْتُكُمْ إِلَى قِتَالِ هؤُلاَءِ القَوْمِ لَيْلاً وَنَهَاراً، وَسِرّاً وَإِعْلاَناً، وَقُلْتُ لَكُمُ: اغْزُوهُمْ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَغْزُوكُمْ، فَوَاللهِ مَا غُزِيَ قَوْمٌ قَطُّ في عُقْرِ دَارِهِمْ إِلاَّ ذَلُّوا، فَتَوَاكَلْتُمْ وَتَخَاذَلتُمْ حَتَّى شُنَّتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الغَارَاتُ وَمُلِكَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الاْوْطَانُ. وَهذَا أَخُو غَامِدٍ قَدْ وَرَدَتْ خَيْلُهُ الاْنْبَارَ وَقَدْ قَتَلَ حَسَّانَ بْنَ حَسَّانَ البَكْرِيَّ، وَأَزَالَ خَيْلَكُمْ عَنْ مَسَالِحِهَا
I have come to know that every one of them entered upon Muslim women and other women under protection of Islam and took away their ornaments from legs, arms, necks and ears and no woman could resist it except by pronouncing the verse,
“We are for Allah and to Him we shall return.” (2:156)
Then they got back laden with wealth without any wound or loss of life. If any Muslim dies of grief after all this he is not to be blamed but rather there is justification for him before me.
وَلَقَدْ بَلَغَنِي أَنَّ الرَّجُلَ مِنْهُمْ كَانَ يَدْخُلُ عَلَى المَرْأَةِ المُسْلِمَةِ، وَالاْخْرَى المُعَاهَدَةِ فيَنْتَزِعُ حِجْلَهَا وَقُلْبَهَا وَقَلاَئِدَهَا، وَرِعَاثَهَا ما تَمْتَنِعُ مِنْهُ إِلاَّ بِالاسْتِرْجَاعِ وَالاِسْتِرْحَامِ ثُمَّ انْصَرَفُوا وَافِرِينَ مَا نَالَ رَجُلاً مِنْهُمْ كَلْمٌ وَلاَ أُرِيقَ لَهُمْ دَمٌ، فَلَوْ أَنَّ امْرَأً مُسْلِماً مَاتَ مِن بَعْدِ هَذا أَسَفاً مَا كَانَ بِهِ مَلُوماً، بَلْ كَانَ بِهِ عِنْدِي جَدِيراً.
How strange! How strange! By Allah my heart sinks to see the unity of these people on their wrong and your dispersion from your right. Woe and grief befall you. You have become the target at which arrows are shot. You are being killed and you do not kill. You are being attacked but you do not attack. Allah is being disobeyed and you remain agreeable to it.
When I ask you to move against them in summer you say it is hot weather. Spare us till heat subsides from us. When I order you to march in winter you say it is severely cold; give us time till cold clears from us. These are just excuses for evading heat and cold because if you run away from heat and cold, you would be, by Allah, running away (in a greater degree) from sword (war).
فَيَا عَجَباً! عَجَباًـ وَاللهِ ـ يُمِيتُ القَلْبَ وَيَجْلِبُ الهَمَّ مِن اجْتِماعِ هؤُلاَءِ القَوْمِ عَلَى بَاطِلِهمْ، وَتَفَرُّقِكُمْ عَنْ حَقِّكُمْ! فَقُبْحاً لَكُمْ وَتَرَحاً حِينَ صِرْتُمْ غَرَضاً يُرمَى يُغَارُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَلاَ تُغِيرُونَ، وَتُغْزَوْنَ وَلاَ تَغْرُونَ، وَيُعْصَى اللهُ وَتَرْضَوْن! فَإِذَا أَمَرْتُكُمْ بِالسَّيْرِ إِلَيْهِم فِي أَيَّامِ الحَرِّ قُلْتُمْ: هذِهِ حَمَارَّةُ القَيْظِ أَمْهِلْنَا يُسَبَّخُ عَنَّا الحَرُّ وَإِذَا أَمَرْتُكُمْ بِالسَّيْرِ إِلَيْهِمْ فِي الشِّتَاءِ قُلْتُمْ: هذِهِ صَبَارَّةُ القُرِّ، أَمْهِلْنَا يَنْسَلِخْ عَنَّا البَرْدُ، كُلُّ هذا فِرَاراً مِنَ الحَرِّ وَالقُرِّ؛ فَإِذَا كُنْتُمْ مِنَ الحَرِّ وَالقُرِّ تَفِرُّونَ فَأَنْتُمْ وَاللهِ مِنَ السَّيْفِ أَفَرُّ!
O you semblance of men, not men, your intelligence is that of children and your wit is that of the occupants of the curtained canopies (women kept in seclusion from the outside world). I wish I had not seen you nor known you. By Allah, this acquaintance has brought about shame and resulted in repentance. May Allah fight you! You have filled my heart with pus and loaded my bosom with rage. You made me drink mouthful of grief one after the other.
You shattered my counsel by disobeying and leaving me so much so that Quraysh started saying that the son of Abi Talib is brave but does not know (tactics of) war. Allah bless them! Is any one of them fiercer in war and older in it than I am? I rose for it although yet within twenties, and here I am, have crossed over sixty, but one who is not obeyed can have no opinion.
يَا أَشْبَاهَ الرِّجَالِ وَلاَ رِجَالَ! حُلُومُ الاْطْفَالِ، وَعُقُولُ رَبّاتِ الحِجَالِ لَوَدِدْتُ أَنِّي لَمْ أَرَكُمْ وَلَمْ أَعْرِفْكمْ مَعْرِفَةً ـ وَاللهِ ـ جَرَّتْ نَدَماً، وَأَعقَبَتْسَدَماً قَاتَلَكُمُ اللهُ! لَقَدْ مَلاَتُمْ قَلْبِي قَيْحاً وَشَحَنْتُمْ صَدْرِي غَيْظاً، وَجَرَّعْتُمُونِي نُغَبَ التَّهْمَامِ أَنْفَاساً وَأَفْسَدْتُمْ عَلَيَّ رَأْيِي بِالعِصْيَانِ وَالخذْلاَن، حَتَّى قَالَتْ قُريْشٌ: إِنَّ ابْنَ أَبِي طَالِبٍ رَجُلٌ شُجَاعٌ، وَلْكِنْ لاَ عِلْمَ لَهُ بِالحَرْبِ. للهِ أَبُوهُمْ! وَهَلْ أَحدٌ مِنْهُمْ أَشَدُّ لَهَا مِرَاساً وَأَقْدَمُ فِيهَا مَقَاماً مِنِّي؟! لَقَدْ نَهَضْتُ فِيهَا وَمَا بَلَغْتُ العِشْرِينَ، وها أناذا قَدْ ذَرَّفْتُ عَلَى السِّتِّينَ! وَلكِنْ لا رَأْيَ لَمِنْ لاَ يُطَاعُ!
(1) Al-Jahiz, al-Bayan, I, 170, II, 66;
(2) Ibn Qutaybah, `Uyun, II, 236;
(3) al-Dinawari, al-'Akhbar, 211;
(4) al-Thaqafi, al-Gharat, II, 474;
(5) al-Mubarrad, al-Kamil, I, 13;
(6) Abu al-Faraj, al-'Aghani, XV, 45;
(7) Idem., Maqatil, 27;
(8) al-Saduq, Ma`ani, 309;
(9) al-Baladhuri, Ansab, II, 442;
(10) al-Mas`udi, Muruj, II, 403;
(11) Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`Iqd, IV, 69;
(12) al-Mufid, al-'Irshad,* 160-164;
(13) al-Kulayni, Furu` al-Kafi, IV, 5.
This is a section of the Sermon (45) that begins: ‘All praise belongs to Allah from Whose mercy no one loses hope…’ . It contains 11 exhortations
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
]وهو فصل من الخطبة التي أولها: «الحمد لله غير مقنوط من رحمته» وفيه أحد عشر تنبيها[
Surely this world has turned its back and announced its departure while the next world has appeared forward and proclaimed its approach. Today is the day of preparation while tomorrow is the day of race. The place to proceed to is Paradise while the place of doom is Hell. Is there no one to offer repentance over his faults before his death? Or is there no one to perform virtuous acts before the day of trial?
امَّا بَعْدُ، فَإِنَّ الدُّنْيَا قَدْ أَدْبَرَتْ، وَآذَنَتْ بِوَدَاعٍ، وَإِنَّ الاْخِرَةَ قَدْ أَقْبَلَتْ، وَأَشْرَفَتْ بِاطِّلاَعٍ أَلاَ وَإِنَّ اليَوْمَ المِضْمارَ وَغَداً السِّبَاقَ، وَالسَّبَقَة الجَنَّةُ ، وَالغَايَةُ النَّارُ؛ أَفَلاَ تَائِبٌ مِنْ خَطِيئَتِهِ قَبْلَ مَنِيَّتِهِ أَلاَ عَامِلٌ لِنَفْسِهِ قَبْلَ يَوْمِ بُؤْسِهِ
Beware, surely you are in the days of hopes behind which stands death. Whoever acts during the days of his hope before approach of his death, his action would benefit him and his death would not harm him. But he who fails to act during the period of hope before the approach of death his action is a loss and his death is a harm to him.
Beware, and act during a period of attraction just as you act during a period of dread. Beware, surely I have not seen a coveter for Paradise asleep nor a dreader from Hell to be asleep. Beware, he whom right does not benefit must suffer the harm of the wrong, and he whom guidance does not keep firm will be led away by misguidance towards destruction.
أَلاَ وَإِنَّكُمْ في أَيَّامِ أَمَلٍ مِنْ وَرَائِهِ أَجَلٌ، فَمَنْ عَمِلَ في أَيَّامِ أَمَلهِ قَبْلَ حُضُورِ أَجَلِهِ فَقَدْ نَفَعَهُ عَمَلُهُ، وَلَمْ يَضرُرْهُ أَجَلُهُ؛ وَمَنْ قَصَّرَ في أَيَّامِ أَمَلِهِ قَبْلَ حُضُورِ أَجَلِهِ، فَقَدْ خَسِرَ عَمَلَهُ، وَضَرَّهُ أَجَلُهُ. أَلاَ فَاعْمَلُوا فِي الرَّغْبَةِ كَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ فِي الرَّهْبَةِ أَلاَوَإِنِّي لَمْ أَرَ كَالجَنَّةِ نَامَ طَالِبُهَا، وَلاَ كَالنَّارِ نَامَ هَارِبُهَا، أَلاَ وَإنَّهُ مَنْ لاَيَنْفَعُهُ الحقُّ يَضْرُرهُ البَاطِلُ، وَمَنْ لا يستقم بِهِ الهُدَى يَجُرُّ بِهِ الضَّلاَلُ إِلَى الرَّدَىْ
Beware, you have been ordered insistently to march and been guided how to provide for the journey. Surely the most frightening thing which I am afraid of about you is to follow desires and to widen the hopes. Provide for yourself from this world what would save you tomorrow (on the Day of Judgement).
أَلاَ وَإِنَّكُمْ قَد أُمِرْتُمْ بِالظَّعْنِ وَدُلِلْتُمْ عَلى الزَّادَ. وَإِنَّ أَخْوَفَ مَا أَخافُ عَلَيْكُمُ: اتِّبَاعُ الهَوَى، وَطُولُ الاْمَلِ. تَزَوَّدُوا فِي الدُّنْيَا مِنَ الدُّنْيَا مَا تَحُوزُونَ بِهِ أَنْفُسَكُمْ غَداً
As-Sayyid ar-Radi says: If there could be an utterance which would drag by neck towards renunciation in this world and force to action for the next world, it is this sermon. It is enough to cut off from the entanglements of hopes and to ignite the flames of preaching (for virtue) and warning (against vice).
His most wonderful words in this sermon are “Today is the day of preparation while tomorrow is the day of race. The place to proceed to is Paradise while the place of doom is Hell,” because besides sublimity of words, greatness of meaning, true similes and factual illustrations, there are wonderful secrets and delicate implications therein.
قال السيد الشريف ـرضي الله عنه ـ وأقول: إنّهُ لو كان كلامٌ يأخذ بالأعناق إلى الزهد في الدنيا، ويضطر إلى عمل الآخرة لكان هذا الكلام، وكفى به قاطعاً لعلائق الآمال، وقادحاً زناد الاتعاظ والازدجار.
ومِن أعجبه قوله عليه السلام: ألا وَإنّ اليَوْمَ المِضْمارَ وَغَداً السِّبَاقَ، وَالسّبَقَةُ الجَنّة وَالغَايَة النّار فإن فيه ـ مع فخامة اللفظ، وعظم قدر المعنى، وصادق التمثيل، وواقع التشبيه ـ سرّاً عجيباً، ومعنى لطيفاً،
It is his saying that he place to proceed to is Paradise while the place of doom is Hell. Here he has used two different words to convey two different meanings. For Paradise he has used the word “the place to proceed to” but for Hell this word has not been used. One proceeds to a place which he likes and desires, and this can be true for Paradise only.
Hell does not have the attractiveness that it may be liked or proceeded to. We seek Allah’s protection from it. Since for Hell it was not proper to say “to be proceeded to” Amir al-mu’minin employed the word “doom” implying the last place of stay where one reaches even though it may mean grief and worry or happiness and pleasure.
وهو قوله عليه السلام: والسَبَقَة الجَنّة، وَالغَايَة النّار، فخالف بين اللفظين لاختلاف المعنيين، ولم يقل: «السّبَقَة النّار» كما قال: السّبَقَة الجَنّة، لان الاستباق إنما يكون إلى أمر محبوبٍ، وغرض مطلوبٍ، وهذه صفة الجنة، وليس هذا المعنى موجوداً في النار، نعوذ بالله منها! فلم يجز أن يقول: «والسّبَقَة النّار»، بل قال: والغَايَة النّار، لان الغاية قد ينتهي إليها من لا يسره الانتهاء إليها ومن يسره ذلك،
This word is capable of conveying both senses. However, it should be taken in the sense of “al-masir” or “al-ma’al”, that is, last resort. The Qur’anic verse is
‘Say thou: “Enjoy ye (your pleasures yet a while), for your last resort is unto the (hell) fire”’ (14:30).
Here to say “sabqatakum” that is, “the place for you to proceed to” in place of the word “masirakum” that is, your doom or last resort would not be proper in any way. Think and ponder over it and see how wondrous is its inner implication and how far its depth goes with beauty. Amir al-mu’minin’s utterance is generally on these lines. In some versions the word “sabqah” is shown as “subqah” which is applied to reward fixed for the winner in a race. However, both the meanings are near each other, because a reward is not for an undesirable action but for good and commendable performance.
فصَلح أن يعبّر بها عن الامرين معاً، فهي في هذا الموضع كالمصير والمآل، قال الله عزّوجلّ: (قُلْ تَمتَّعُوا فَإنَّ مَصِيرَكُم إلى النّارِ)، ولا يجوز في هذا الموضع أن يقال: سبْقتكم إلى النار، فتأمل ذلك، فباطنه عجيب، وغوره بعيد، وكذلك أكثر كلامه (عليه السلام). وفي رواية أخرى: «والسُّبْقة» بضم السين، والسبّقة اسم عندهم لما يجعل للسابق إذا سبق من مال أوعَرَض، والمعنيان متقاربان، لان ذلك لا يكون جزاءً على فعل الامر المذموم، وإنما يكون جزاءً على فعل الامر المحمود.
(1) Al-Mufid, al-'Irshad,* 138;
(2) al-Jahiz, al-Bayan, I, 171;
(3) al-Baqillani, I`jaz, 222;
(4) al-Harrani, Tuhaf, 35;
(5) Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`Iqd, II, 365;
(6) Ibn Qutaybah, `Uyun, II, 235;
(7) al-Mas`udi, Muruj, II, 413;
(8) al-Thaqafi, al-Gharat, II, 633.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
بعد غارة الضحاك بن قيس صاحب معاوية على الحاجّ بعد قصة الحكمين
[وفيها يستنهض أصحابه لما حدث في الاطراف]
O people, your bodies are together but your desires are divergent. Your talk softens the hard stones and your action attracts your enemy towards you. You claim in your sittings that you would do this and that, but when fighting approaches, you say (to war), “turn thou away” (i.e. flee away). If one calls you (for help) the call receives no heed. And he who deals hardly with you his heart has no solace.
The excuses are amiss like that of a debtor unwilling to pay. The ignoble cannot ward off oppression. Right cannot be achieved without effort. Which is the house besides this one to protect? And with which leader (Imam) would you go for fighting after me?
أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، الْمجْتَمِعَةُ أبْدَانُهُمْ، الُمخْتَلِفَةُ أهْوَاؤُهُمْ، كَلامُكُم يُوهِي الصُّمَّ الصِّلابَ، وَفِعْلُكُمْ يُطْمِعُ فِيكُمُ الاْعْدَاءَ! تَقُولُونَ فِي الَمجَالِسِ: كَيْتَ وَكَيْتَ، فَإذَا جَاءَ الْقِتَالُ قُلْتُمْ: حِيدِي حَيَادِ! مَا عَزَّتْ دَعْوَةُ مَنْ دَعَاكُمْ، وَلاَ اسْتَرَاحَ قَلْبُ مَنْ قَاسَاكُمْ، أَعَالِيلُ بِأَضَالِيلَ، دِفَاعَ ذِي الدَّيْنِ المَطُولِ، لاَ يَمنَعُ الضَّيْمَ الذَّلِيلُ! وَلاَ يُدْرَكُ الْحَقُّ إِلاَ بِالْجِدِّ! أَيَّ دَار بَعْدَ دَارِكُمْ تَمْنَعُونَ، وَمَعَ أَىِّ إِمَام بَعْدِي تُقَاتِلُونَ؟
By Allah! Deceived is one whom you have deceived while, by Allah, he who is successful with you receives only useless arrows! You are like broken arrows thrown over the enemy. By Allah! I am now in the position that I neither confirm your views nor hope for your support, nor challenge the enemy through you. What is the matter with you? What is your ailment? What is your cure? The other party is also men of your shape (but they are so different in character). Will there be talk without action, carelessness without piety and greed in things not right? !1
المَغْرُورُ وَاللهِ مَنْ غَرَرْتُمُوهُ، وَمْنْ فَازَبِكُمْ فَازَ بَالسَّهْمِ الاْخْيَبِ، وَمَنْ رَمَى بِكُمْ فَقَدْ رَمَى بِأَفْوَقَ نَاصِل. أَصْبَحْتُ وَاللهِ لا أُصَدِّقُ قَوْلَكُمْ، وَلاَ أَطْمَعُ فِي نَصْرِكُمْ، وَلاَ أُوعِدُ العَدُوَّ بِكُم. مَا بَالُكُم؟ مَا دَوَاؤُكُمْ؟ مَا طِبُّكُمْ؟ القَوْمُ رِجَالٌ أَمْثَالُكُمْ، أَقَوْلاً بَغَيْرِ عِلْم! وَغَفْلَةً مِنْ غَيْرِ وَرَع! وَطَمَعاً في غَيْرِ حَقٍّ؟!
(1) Al-Jahiz, al-Bayan, I, 170;
(2) Ibn Qutaybah, al-'Imamah, I, 150;
(3) Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`Iqd, IV, 71;
(4) al-Baladhuri, Ansab, II, 380;
(5) al-Qadi al-Nu`man, Da`a'im, I, 391;
(6) Ibn `Asakir, Ta'rikh, I, 306;
(7) al-Tusi, al-'Amali, I, 112;
(8) al-Thaqafi, al-Gharat, II, 483;
(9) al-Mufid, al-'Irshad, * 158;
(10) al-Kulayni, al-Kafi.
Amir al-mu’minin said:
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
في معنى قتل عثمان
[و هو حكم له على عثمان و على الناس بما فعلوا و براءة له من دمه]
If I had ordered his assassination I should have been his killer, but if I had refrained others from killing him I would have been his helper. The position was that he who helped him cannot now say that he is better than the one who deserted him while he who deserted him cannot say that he is better than the one who helped him. I am putting before you his case. He appropriated (wealth) and did it badly. You protested against it and committed excess therein. With Allah lies the real verdict between the appropriator and the protester.
لَوْ أَمَرْتُ بِهِ لَكُنْتُ قَاتِلاً، أَوْ نَهَيْتُ عَنْهُ لَكُنْتُ نَاصِراً، غَيْرَ أَنَّ مَنْ نَصَرَهُ لاَ يَسْتَطِيعُ أَنْ يَقُولَ: خَذَلَهُ مَنْ أَنَا خَيْرٌ مِنْهُ، وَمَنْ خَذَلَهُ لاَ يَسْتَطِيعُ أَنْ يَقُولَ: نَصَرَهُ مَنْ هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِنِّي. وَأَنَا جَامِعٌ لَكُمْ أَمْرَهُ، اسْتَأْثَرَ فَأَسَاءَ الاْثَرَةَ وَجَزِعْتُمْ فَأَسَأْتُمُ الجَزَعَ وَللهِ حُكْمٌ وَاقِعٌ في المُسْتَأْثِرِ وَالجَازعِ .
(1) Al-Baladhuri, Ansab, V, 98, 101.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
لمّا أنفذ عبدالله بن العباس(رحمه الله) إلى الزبير
قبل وقوع الحرب يوم الجمل ليستفيئه إلى طاعته
Do not meet Talhah (ibn `Ubaydillah). If you meet him you will find him like an unruly bull whose horns are turned towards its ears. He rides a ferocious riding beast and says it has been tamed. But you meet az-Zubayr because he is soft-tempered. Tell him that your maternal cousin says that, “(It looks as if) in the Hijaz you knew me (accepted me), but (on coming here to) Iraq you do not know me (do not accept me). So, what has dissuaded (you) from what was shown (by you previously)?!”
لاتَلْقَيَنَّ طَلْحَةَ، فَإِنَّكَ إِنْ تَلْقَهُ تَجِدْهُ كَالثَّوْرِ عَاقِصاً قَرْنَهُ يَرْكَبُ الصَّعْبَئِ وَيَقُولُ: هُوَ الذَّلُولُ، وَلكِنِ القَ الزُّبَيْرَ، فَإِنَّهُ أَليَنُ عَرِيكَةً فَقُلْ لَهُ: يَقُولُ لَكَ ابْنُ خَالِكَ: عَرَفْتَني بَالحِجَازِ وَأَنْكَرْتَنِي بِالعِرَاقِ، فَمَا عَدَا مِمَّابَدَا
As-Sayyid ar-Radi says: The last sentence of this sermon “fama `ada mimma bada” has been heard only from Amir al-mu’minin.
قال السيد الشريف: وهو (عليه السلام) أوّل من سمعت منه هذه الكلمة، أعني: «فَمَا عَدَا مِمَّا بَدَا«.
(1) Al-Jahiz, al-Bayan, II, 115;
(2) Ibn Qutaybah, `Uyun, I, 115;
(3) Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`Iqd, IV, 314;
(4) al-Zubayr ibn Bakkar, al-Muwaffaqiyyat, see Ibn Abi al-Hadid, I, 171;
(5) Ibn Khallikan, Wafayat al-'a`yan, biographical account of Ibn al-Mu`allim, see `Abd al-Zahra', I, 412.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
وفيها يصف زمانه بالجور، ويقسم الناس فيه خمسة أصناف، ثم يزهد في الدنيا
معنى جور الزمان
O people! We have been born in such a wrongful and thankless period wherein the virtuous is deemed vicious and the oppressor goes on advancing in his excess. We do not make use of what we know and do not discover what we do not know. We do not fear calamity till it befalls.
أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، إِنَّا قَدْ أَصْبَحْنَا في دَهْرٍ عَنُودٍ وَزَمَنٍ كَنُودٍ يُعَدُّ فِيهِ الُمحْسِنُ مُسِيئاً، وَيَزْدَادُ الظَّالِمُ فِيهِ عُتُوّاً، لاَ نَنْتَفِعُ بِمَا عَلِمْنَا، وَلاَ نَسْأَلُ عَمَّا جَهِلْنَا، وَلاَ نَتَخَوَّفُ قَارِعَةً حَتَّى تَحُلَّ بِنَا.
People are of four categories. Among them is one who is prevented from mischief only by his low position, lack of means and paucity of wealth.
فَالنَّاسُ عَلَى أَرْبَعَةِ أَصْنَافٍ: مِنْهُمْ مَنْ لاَ يَمْنَعُهُ الفَسَادَ في الاْرْضِ إِلاَّ مَهَانَةُ نَفْسِهِ، وَكَلاَلَةُ حَدِّهِ وَنَضِيضُ وَفْرِهِ
Then there is he who has drawn his sword, openly commits mischief, has collected his horsemen and foot-men and has devoted himself to securing wealth, leading troops, rising on the pulpit and has allowed his faith to perish. How bad is the transaction that you allow (enjoyment of) this world to be a price for yourself as an alternative for what there is with Allah for you.
وَمِنْهُمُ المُصْلِتُ لِسَيْفِهِ، وَالمُعْلِنُ بِشَرِّهِ، وَالُمجْلِبُ بِخَيْلِهِ وَرَجِلِهِ قَدْ أَشْرَطَ نَفْسَهُ وَأَوْبَقَ دِينَهُ لِحُطَامٍ يَنْتَهِزُهُ أَوْ مِقْنَبٍ يَقُودُهُ، أَوْ مِنْبَرٍيَفْرَعُهُ وَلَبِئْسَ المَتْجَرُ أَنْ تَرَى الدُّنْيَا لِنَفْسِكَ ثَمَناً، وَمِمَّا لَكَ عِنْدَاللهِ عِوَضاً!
And among them is he who seeks (benefits of) this world through actions meant for the next world, but does not seek (good of) the next world through actions of this world. He keeps his body calm (in dignity), raises small steps, holds up his clothes, embellishes his body for appearance of trust-worthiness and uses the position of Allah's connivance as a means of committing sins.
وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَطلُبُ الدُّنْيَا بِعَمَلِ الاْخِرَةِ، وَلاَ يَطْلُبُ الاْخِرَةَ بِعَمَلِ الدُّنْيَا، قَدْ طَامَنَ مِنْ شَخْصِهِ، وَقَارَبَ مِنْ خَطْوِهِ، وَشَمَّرَ مِنْ ثَوْبِهِ، وَزَخْرَفَ مِنْ نَفْسِهِ لِلاْمَانَةِ، وَاتَّخَذَ سِتْرَ اللهِ ذَرِيعَةًإِلَى المَعْصِيَةِ
Then there is one whose weakness and lack of means have held him back from conquest of lands. This keeps down his position and he has named it contentment and he clothes himself with the robe of renunciation although he has never had any connection with these qualities.
وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ أقْعَدَهُ عَنْ طَلَبِ المُلْكِ ضُؤولَةُ نَفْسِهِ وَانقِطاعُ سَبَبِهِ، فَقَصَرَتْهُ الحالُ عَلَى حَالِهِ، فَتَحَلَّى بِاسْمِ القَنَاعَةِ، وَتَزَيَّنَ بِلِبَاسِ أَهْلِ الزَّهَادَةِ، وَلَيْسَ مِنْ ذلِكَ في مَرَاحٍ وَلاَ مَغْدىً.
Then there remain a few people in whose case the remembrance of their return (to Allah on Doomsday) keeps their eyes bent, and the fear of Resurrection moves their tears. Some of them are scared away (from the world) and dispersed; some are frightened and subdued; some are quiet as if muzzled; some are praying sincerely, some are grief-stricken and pain-ridden whom fear has confined to namelessness and disgrace has shrouded them, so they are in (the sea of) bitter water, their mouths are closed and their hearts are bruised. They preached till they were tired, they were oppressed till they were disgraced and they were killed till they remained few in number.
وَبَقِيَ رِجَالٌ غَضَّ أَبْصَارَهُمْ ذِكْرُ الْمَرْجِعِ، وَأَرَاقَ دُمُوعَهُمْ خَوْفُ الْـمَحْشَرِ، فَهُمْ بَيْنَ شَرِيدٍ نَادٍّ وَخَائِفٍ مَقْمُوعٍ وَسَاكِتٍ مَكْعُومٍ وَدَاعٍ مُخْلِصٍ، وَثَكْلاَنَ مُوجَعٍ قَدْ أَخْمَلَتْهُمُ التَّقِيَّةُ وَشَمِلَتْهُمُ الذِّلَّةُ، فَهُمْ في بَحْرٍ أُجَاجٍ أَفْوَاهُهُمْ ضَامِزَةٌ وَقُلُوبُهُمْ قَرِحَةٌ قَدْ وَعَظُوا حَتَّى مَلُّوا وَقُهِرُوا حَتَّى ذَلُّوا، وَقُتِلُوا حَتَّى قَلُّوا.
The world in your eyes should be smaller than the bark of acacia and the clippings of wool. Seek instruction from those who preceded you before those who follow you take instruction from you, and keep aloof from it realising its evil because it cuts off even from those who were more attached to it than you.
فَلْتَكُنِ الدُّنْيَا أَصْغَرَ في أَعْيُنِكُمْ مِنْ حُثَالَةِالْقَرَظِ وَقُرَاضَةِ الْجَلَمِ وَاتّعِظُوا بِمَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَتَّعِظَ بِكُمْ مَنْ بَعْدَكُمْ؛ وَارْفُضُوهَا ذَمِيمَةً، فَإِنَّهَا قَد رَفَضَتْ مَنْ كَانَ أَشْغَفَ بِهَا مِنْكُمْ.
As-Sayyid ar-Radi says: Some ignorant persons attributed this sermon to Mu`awiyah but it is the speech of Amir al-mu'minin. There should be no doubt about it. What comparison is there between gold and clay or sweet and bitter water. This has been pointed out by the skilful guide and the expert critic `Amr ibn Bahr al-Jahiz as he has mentioned this sermon in his book, al-Bayan wa't-tabyin (vol. 2, pp. 59-61).
He has also mentioned who attributed it to Mu`awiyah and then states that it is most akin to be the speech of `Ali and most in accord with his way of categorising people and information about their oppression, disgrace, apprehension and fear. (On the other hand) we never found Mu`awiyah speaking on the lives of renunciates or worshippers.
قال السيد الشريف : أقول: وهذه الخطبة ربما نسبها من لا علم له بها إلى معاوية، وهي من كلام أميرالمؤمنين (عليه السلام) الذي لا يشك فيه، وأين الذهب من الرّغام! والعذب من الاجاج! وقد دلّ على ذلك الدليل الخِرِّيِت ونقده الناقد البصير عمروبن بحر الجاحظ; فإنه ذكر هذه الخطبة في كتابه «البيان والتبيين» وذكر من نسبها إلى معاوية، ثم تكلم من بعدها بكلام في معناها، جملته أنه قال: وهذا الكلام بكلام علي (عليه السلام) أشبه، وبمذهبه في تصنيف الناس وفي الاخبار عماهم عليه من القهر والاذلال ومن التقية والخوف أليق. قال: ومتى وجدنا معاوية في حال من الاحوال يسلك في كلامه مسلك الزهاد، ومذاهب العُبّاد!
(1) Ibn Talhah, Matalib, I, 90;
(2) al-Jahiz, al-Bayan, I, 175;
(3) al-Dhahabi, Mizan, II, 276;
(4) Ibn Qutaybah, `Uyun, II, 237;
(5) Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`Iqd, * II, 173;
(6) al-Baqillani, I`jaz, I, 197.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
عند خروجه لقتال أهل البصرة
]وفيها حكمة مبعث الرسل، ثمّ يذكر فضله ويذم الخارجين[
`Abdullah ibn `Abbas says that when Amir al-mu’minin set out for war with the people of Basrah he came to his audience at Dhi Qar and saw that he was stitching his shoe. Then Amir al-mu’minin said to me, “What is the price of this shoe?” I said: “It has no value now.” He then said, “By Allah, it should have been dearer to me than ruling over you but for the fact that I may establish right and ward off wrong.”
Then he came out and spoke:
قال عبدالله بن عباس (رحمه الله): دخلت على أَميرالمؤمنين صلوات الله عليه بذي قار وهو يخصِف نعله، فقال لي: ما قيمة هذا النعل؟ فقلت: لا قيمةَ لها! قال: والله لَهِيَ أَحَبُّ إِليَّ من إِمرتكم، إِلاّ أَن أُقيم حقّاً، أَوأَدفع باطلاً،
ثمّ خرج(عليه السلام) فخطب الناس فقال:
Verily, Allah sent Muhammad (S) when none among the Arabs read a book or claimed prophethood. He guided the people till he took them to their (correct) position and their salvation. So their spears (i.e. officers) became straight and their conditions settled down.
إنَّ اللهَ سُبحانَه بَعَثَ مُحَمَّداً (صلى الله عليه وآله)، وَلَيْسَ أَحَدٌ مِنَ الْعَرَبِ يَقْرَأُ كِتَاباً، وَلاَ يَدَّعِي نُبُوَّةً، فَسَاقَ النَّاسَ حَتَّى بَوَّأَهُمْ مَحَلَّتَهُم، وَبَلَّغَهُمْ مَنْجَاتَهُمْ، فَاسْتَقَامَتْ قَنَاتُهُمْ، وَاطْمَأَنَّتْ صِفَاتُهُمْ.
By Allah, surely I was in their lead till it took shape with its walls. I did not show weakness or cowardice. My existing march is also like that. I shall certainly pierce the wrong till right comes out of its side.
أَمَا وَاللهِ إنْ كُنْتُ لَفِي سَاقَتِهَا حَتَّى تَوَلَّتْ بِحَذَافِيرِهَا، مَا عَجَزْتُ،وَلاَ جَبُنْتُ، وَإِنَّ مَسِيرِي هذَا لِمثْلِهَا، فَلاَنْقُبَنَّ الْبَاطِلَ حَتَّى يَخْرُجَ الْحَقُّ مِنْ جَنْبِهِ.
What (cause of conflict) is there between me and the Quraysh? By Allah, I have fought them when they were unbelievers and I shall fight them when they have been misled. I shall be the same for them today as I was for them yesterday. By Allah, the Quraysh only take revenge against us because Allah has given us (i.e. the Holy Prophet and his progeny) preference over them. So, we have allowed them into our domain, whereupon they have become as the former poet says:
By my life, you continued drinking fresh milk every morning,
And (continued) eating fine stoned dates with butter;
We have given you the nobility which you did not possess before;
And surrounded (protected) you with thoroughbred horses and tawny-coloured spears (strong spears).1
مَالي وَلِقُرَيْش! وَاللهِ لَقَدْ قَاتَلْتُهُمْ كَافِرِينَ، وَلاَقَاتِلَنَّهُمْ مَفْتُونِينَ، وَإِنِّي لَصَاحِبُهُمْ بِالاْمْسِ، كَمَا أَنَا صَاحِبُهُمُ الْيَوْمَ! وَاللّهِ ما تَنْقِمُ مِنّا قُرَيْشٌ اِلاّ اَنَّ اللّه اَخْتارَنا عَلَيْهِمْ، فَاَدْخَلْناهُمْ فى حَيِّزِنا، فَكانُوا كَما قالَ الاْوَّلُ:
اَدَمْتَ لَعَمْرى شُرْبَكَ الْمَحْضَ صابِحاً *** وَ اَكْلَكَ بِالزُّبْدِ الْمُقَشَّرَةَ الْبُجْرا
وَ نَحْنُ وَهَبْناكَ الْعَلاءَ وَ لَمْ تَكُنْ *** عَلِيّاً، وَ حُطْنا حَوْلَكَ الْجُرْدَ وَالسُّمْرا
(1) Al-Mufid, al-'Irshad, 154.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
في استنفار الناس إلى الشام [بعد فراغه من أمر الخوارج]
]وفيها يتأفف بالناس، وينصح لهم بطريق السداد: [
Woe to you. I am tired of rebuking you. Do you accept this worldly life in place of the next life? Or disgrace in place of dignity? When I invite you to fight your enemy your eyes revolve as though you are in the clutches of death, and in the senselessness of last moments.
My pleadings are not understood by you and you remain stunned. It is as though your hearts are affected with madness so that you do not understand. You have lost my confidence for good. Neither are you a support for me to lean upon, nor a means to honour and victory. Your example is that of the camels whose protector has disappeared, so that if they are collected from one side they disperse away from the other side.
اُفٍ لَكُمْ! لَقَدْ سَئِمْتُ عِتَابَكُمْ! أَرَضِيتُمْ بِالْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا مِنَ الاْخِرَةِ عِوَضاً؟ وَبِالذُّلِّ مِنَ الْعِزِّ خَلَفاً؟ إِذَا دَعَوْتُكُمْ إِلَى جِهَادِ عَدُوِّكُمْ دَارَتْ أَعْيُنُكُمْز، كَأَنَّكُمْ مِنَ الْمَوْتِ فِي غَمْرَةٍ وَمِنَ الذُّهُولِ في سَكْرَةٍ، يُرْتَجُ عَلَيْكُمْ حَوَارِي فَتَعْمَهُونَ فَكَأَنَّ قُلُوبَكُمْ مَأْلُوسَةٌ فَأَنْتُمْ لاَ تَعْقِلُونَ. مَا أَنْتُمْ لي بِثِقَةٍ سَجِيسَ اللَّيَالي وَمَاأَنْتُمْ بِرُكْنٍ يُمَالُ بِكُمْ وَلاَزَوَافِرُ عِزٍّ يُفْتَقَرُ إِلَيْكُمْ. مَا أَنْتُمْ إِلاَّ كَإِبِلٍ ضَلَّ رُعَاتُهَا، فَكُلَّمَا جُمِعَتْ مِنْ جَانِبٍ انْتَشَرَتْ مِن آخَرَ،
By Allah, how bad are you for igniting flames of war. You are intrigued against but do not intrigue (against the enemy). Your boundaries are decreasing but you do not get enraged over it. Those against you do not sleep but you are unmindful. By Allah, those who leave matters one for the other are subdued. By Allah, I believed about you that if battle rages and death hovers around you, you will cut away from the son of Abi Talib like the severing of head from the trunk.2
لَبِئْسَ ـ لَعَمْرُ اللهِ ـ سُعْرُ نَارِ الْحَرْبِ أَنْتُمْ! تُكَادُونَ وَلاَ تَكِيدُونَ، وَتُنْتَقَصُ أَطْرَافُكُمْ فَلاَ تَمْتَعِضُونَ لاَ يُنَامُ عَنْكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ في غَفْلَةٍ سَاهُونَ، غُلِبَ وَاللهِ الْمُتَخَاذِلُونَ! وَأيْمُ اللهِ إِنِّي لاَظُنُّ بِكُمْ أنْ لَوْ حَمِسَ الْوَغَىي، وَاسْتَحَرَّ الْمَوْتُ قَدِ انْفَرَجْتُمْ عَنِ ابْنِ أَبِي طَالِبٍ انْفِرَاجَ الرَّأْسِ
By Allah, he who makes it possible for his adversary to so overpower him as to remove the flesh (from his bones), crush his bones and cut his skin into pieces, then it means that his helplessness is great and his heart surrounded within the sides of his chest is weak. You may become like this if you wish. But for me, before I allow it I shall use my sharp edged swords of al-Mushrafiyyah which would cut as under the bones of the head and fly away arms and feet. Thereafter, Allah will do whatever He wills.
وَاللهِ إِنَّ امْرَأً يُمَكِّنُ عَدُوَّهُ مِنْ نَفْسِهِ يَعْرُقُ لَحْمَهُ وَيَهْشِمُ عَظْمَهُ، وَيَفْرِي جِلْدَهُ، لَعَظِيمٌ عَجْزُهُ، ضَعِيفٌ ماضُمَّتْ عَلَيْهِ جَوَانِحُ صَدْرِهِ أَنْتَ فَكُنْ ذَاكَ إِنْ شِئْتَ، فَأَمَّا أَنَا فَوَاللهِ دُونَ أَنْ أُعْطِيَ ذلِكَ ضَرْبٌ بِالْمَشْرَفِيَّةِ تَطِيرُ مِنْهُ فَرَاشُ الْهَامِ وَتَطِيحُ السَّوَاعِدُ وَالاْقْدَامُ، وَيَفْعَلُ اللهُ بَعْدَ ذلِكَ مَا يَشَاءُ.
O people, I have a right over you and you have a right over me. As for your right over me, that is to counsel you, to pay you your dues fully, to teach you that you may not remain ignorant and instruct you in behaviourism that you may act upon. As for my right over you, it is fulfilment of (the obligation of) allegiance, well-wishing in presence or in absence, response when I call you and obedience when I order you.
أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ! إِنَّ لِي عَلَيْكُمْ حَقّاً، وَلَكُمْ عَلَيَّ حَقٌّ: فَأَمَّا حَقُّكُمْ عَلَيَّ: فَالنَّصِيحَةُ لَكُمْ، وَتَوْفِيرُ فَيْئِكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ، وَتَعْلِيمُكُمْ كَيْلا تَجْهَلُوا، وَتَأْدِيبُكُمْ كَيْما تَعْلَمُوا. وَأَمَّا حَقِّي عَلَيْكُمْ: فَالوَفَاءُ بِالبَيْعَةِ، وَالنَّصِيحَةُ في الْمَشْهَدِ وَالْمَغِيبِ، وَالاْجَابَةُ حِينَ أَدْعُوكُمْ، وَالطَّاعَةُ حِينَ آمُرُكُمْ.
(1) Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, VI, 51;
(2) Ibn Qutaybah, al-'Imamah, I, 150;
(3) al-Baladhuri, Ansab, 380;
(4) al-Mufid, al-Majalis, 79;
(5) Nasr ibn Muzahim, see Ibn Abi al-Hadid, I, 179.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
بعد التحكيم وما بلغه من أمر الحكمين
وفيها حمد الله على بلائه، ثمّ بيان سبب البلوى
All praise is due to Allah even though time has brought (for us) crushing calamity and great occurrence. And I stand witness that there is no god but Allah the One, there is no partner for Him nor is there with Him any god other than Himself, and that Muhammad is His slave and His Prophet (May Allah’s blessing and greeting be upon him and his progeny).
الْحَمْدُ للهِ وَإنْ أَتَى الدَّهْرُ بِالْخَطْبِ الْفَادِحِ وَالْحَدَثِ الْجَلِيلِ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلهَ إِلاّ اللهُ، لَيْسَ مَعَهُ إِلهٌ غَيْرُهُ، وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّداً عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ صلى الله عليه وآله .
So now, certainly the disobedience of sympathetic counsellor who has knowledge as well as experience brings about disappointment and result in repentance. I had given you my orders about this arbitration and put before you my hidden view, if Qasir’s2 orders were fulfilled but you rejected it (my orders) like rough opponents and disobedient insurgents till the counsellor himself fell in doubt about his counsel and the flint (of his wit) ceased to give flame. Consequently, mine and your position became as the poet of Hawazin says:
I gave you my orders at Mun`araji’l-liwa but you did not see the good of my counsel till the noon of next day (when it was too late)3.
مَّا بَعْدُ، فَإِنَّ مَعْصِيَةَ النَّاصِحِ الشَّفِيقِ الْعَالِمِ الُْمجَرِّبِ تُورِثُ الْحَسْرَةَ، وَتُعْقِبُ النَّدَامَةَ، وَقَدْ كُنْتُ أَمَرْتُكُمْ في هذِهِ الْحُكُومَةِ أَمْرِي، وَنَخَلْتُ لَكُمْ مَخزُونَ رَأْيِي لَوْ كَانَ يُطَاعُ لِقَصِيرٍأَمْرٌ! فَأَبَيْتُمْ عَلَيَّ إِبَاءَ الُْمخَالِفِينَ الْجُفَاةِ، وَالمُنَابِذِينَ الْعُصَاةِ، حَتَّى ارْتَابَ النَّاصِحُ بِنُصْحِهِ، وَضَنَّ الزَّنْدُ بِقَدْحِهِچ، فَكُنْتُ وَإِيَّاكُمْ كَمَا قَالَ أَخُو
أَمَرْتُكُمُ أَمْري بِمُنْعَرَجِ اللِّوَى فَلَمْ تَسْتَبِينُوا النُّصْحَ إِلاَّ ضُحَى الْغَدِ
(1) al-Baladhuri, Ansab, 365;
(2) al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, VI, 43;
(3) Ibn Qutaybah, al-'Imamah, I, 119, 141;
(4) Nasr, Siffin, see Ibn Abi al-Hadid, I, 110;
(5) Sibt, Tadhkirah, 103;
(6) Abu al-Faraj, al-'Aghani, IX, 5;
(7) al-Mas`udi, Muruj, II, 412;
(8) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Kamil, II, 171;
(9) Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah, VII, 286.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
في تخويف أَهل النهروان
I am warning you that you will be killed on the bend of this canal and on the level of this low area while you will have no clear excuse before Allah nor any open authority with you. You have come out of your houses and then divine decree entangled you.
I had advised you against this arbitration but you rejected my advice like adversaries and opponents till I turned my ideas in the direction of your wishes. You are a group whose heads are devoid of wit and intelligence. May you have no father! (Allah’s woe be to you!) I have not put you in any calamity nor wished you harm.
فَأَنَا نَذِيرٌ لَكُمْ أَنْ تُصْبِحُوا صَرْعَى بِأَثْنَاءِ هذَا النَّهَرِ، وَبِأَهْضَامِ هذَاالْغَائِطِ عَلَى غَيْرِ بَيِّنَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ، وَلاَ سُلْطَانٍ مُبِينٍ مَعَكُمْ، قَدْ طَوَّحَتْ بِكُمُ الدَّارُ، وَاحْتَبَلَكُمُ الْمِقْدَارُ وَقَدْ كُنْتُ نَهَيْتُكُمْ عَنْ هذِهِ الْحُكُومَةِ فَأَبَيْتُمْ عَلَيَّ إِبَاءَ المخالفين، حَتَّى صَرَفْتُ رَأْيِي إِلَىْ هَوَاكُمْ، وَأَنْتُمْ مَعَاشِرُ أَخِفَّاءُ الْهَامِّ، سُفَهَاءُ الاْحْلاَمِ وَلَمْ آتِ ـ لاَ أَبَا لَكُمْ ـ بُجْراً وَلاَ أَرَدْتُ لَكُمْ ضُرّاً.
(1) Al-Zubayr ibn Bakkar, al-Muwaffaqiyyat, 350;
(2) al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, VI, 47;
(3) Ibn Qutaybah, al-'Imamah, I, 147;
(4) Sibt, Tadhkirah, 100;
(5) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, I, 97;
(6) al-Mas`udi, Muruj, II, 402;
(7) al-Baladhuri, Ansab, II, 371.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
يجري مجرى الخطبة
[وفيه يذكر فضائله (عليه السلام) قاله بعد وقعة النهروان]
I discharged duties when others lost courage (to do so), and I came forward when others hid themselves. I spoke when others remained mum. I stroke with Divine light when others remained standing. I was the quietest of them in voice but the highest in going forward. I cleaved to its rein and applied myself solely to its pledge, like the mountain which neither sweeping wind could move nor storm could shake. No one could find fault with me nor could any speaker speak ill of me.
فَقُمْتُ بِالاْمْرِ حِينَ فَشِلُوا وَتَطَلَّعْتُ حِينَ تَعْتَعُوا وَمَضَيْتُ بِنُورِ اللهِ حِينَ وَقَفُوا، وَكُنْتُ أَخْفَضَهُمْ صَوْتاً، وَأَعْلاَهُمْ فَوْتاً فَطِرْتُ بِعِنَانِهَا وَاسْتَبْدَدْتُ بِرِهَانِهَا كَالْجَبَلِ لاَ تُحَرِّكُهُ الْقَوَاصِفُ، وَلاَ تُزِيلُهُ الْعَوَاصِفُ. لَمْ يَكُنْ لاِحَدٍ فيَّ مَهْمَزٌ، وَلاَ لِقَائِلٍ فيَّ مَغْمَزٌ.
The low is in my view worthy of honour till I secure (his) right for him while the strong is in my view weak till I take (other’s) right from him. We are happy with the destiny ordained by Allah and have submitted to the command of Allah. Do you think I would speak lie about the Prophet of Allah?
By Allah, I am surely the first to testify him, so I will not be the first to falsify him. I looked at my affairs and found that my obedience should have precedence over my allegiance while my pledge with him is a burden on my neck.
الذَّلِيلُ عِنْدِي عَزِيزٌ حَتَّى آخُذَ الْحَقَّ لَهُ، وَالْقَوِيُّ عِنْدِي ضَعِيفٌ حَتَّى آخُذَ الْحَقَّ مَنْهُ، رَضِينَا عَنِ اللهِ قَضَاءَهُ، وَسَلَّمْنَا له أَمْرَهُ. أَتَرَاني أَكْذِبُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وآله ؟ وَاللهِ لاَنَا أَوَّلُ مَنْ صَدَّقَهُ فَلاَ أَكُونُ أَوَّلَ مَنْ كَذَبَ عَلَيْهِ. فَنَظَرْتُ في أَمْرِي، فَإِذَا طَاعَتِي قَدْ سَبَقَتْ بَيْعَتِي، وَإِذَا الميِثَاقُ في عُنُقِي لِغَيْرِي.
(1) Al-Saduq, al-'Amali, 134;
(2) al-Bayhaqi, al-Mahasin, I, 37.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
وفيها علة تسمية الشبهة شبهة، ثم بيان حال الناس فيها
Doubt is named doubt (al-shubhah) because it resembles truth. As for lovers of Allah, their conviction serves them as light and the direction of the right path (itself) serves as their guide; while the enemies of Allah, in time of doubt call to misguidance in the darkness of doubt and their guide is blindness (of intelligence). One who fears death cannot escape it nor can one who loves eternal life secure it.
وَإِنَّمَا سُمِّيَتِ الشُّبْهَةُ شُبْهَةً لاِنَّهَا تُشْبِهُ الْحَقَّ، فَأَمَّا أَوْلِيَاءُ اللهِ فَضِيَاؤُهُمْ فِيهَا الْيَقِينُ، وَدَلِيلُهُمْ سَمْتُ الْهُدَى وَأَمَّا أَعْدَاءُ اللهِ فَدُعَاؤُهُمْ الضَّلالُ، وَدَلِيلُهُمُ الْعَمْى، فَمَا يَنْجُو مِنَ المَوْتِ مَنْ خَافَهُ، وَلا يُعْطَى الْبَقَاءَ مَنْ أَحَبَّهُ.
(1) Al-'Amidi, Ghurar, 98;
(2) Ibn Talhah, Matalib, I, 170;
(3) al-Jahiz, Rasa'il, 125.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
[خطبها عند علمه بغزوة النعمان بن بشير صاحب معاوية لعين التمر]
[وفيها يبدي عذره، ويستنهض الناس لنصرته]
I am faced with men who do not obey when I order and do not respond when I call them. May you have no father! (Woe to you!) What are you waiting for to rise for the cause of Allah? Does not faith join you together, or sense of shame rouse you? I stand among you shouting and I am calling you for help, but you do not listen to my word, and do not obey my orders, till circumstances show out their bad consequences.
No blood can be avenged through you and no purpose can be achieved with you. I called you for help of your brethren but made noises like the camel having pain in stomach, and became loose like the camel of thin back. Then a wavering weak contingent came to me from amongst you: “as if they are being led to death and they are only watching.”1 (Qur’an, 8:6)
مُنِيتُ بِمَنْ لاَ يُطِيعُ إِذَا أَمَرْتُ وَلا يُجِيبُ إِذَا دَعَوْتُ، لاَ أَبَا لَكُمْ! مَا تَنْتَظِرُونَ بِنَصْرِكُمْ رَبَّكُمْ؟ أَمَا دِينٌ يَجْمَعُكُمْ، وَلاَ حَمِيَّةَ تُحْمِشُكُمْ؟! أَقُومُ فِيكُمْ مُسْتَصْرِخاً، وَأُنادِيكُمْ مُتَغَوِّثاً، فَلاَ تَسْمَعُونَ لي قَوْلاً، وَلاَ تُطِيعُون لِي أَمْراً، حَتَّى تَكَشَّفَ الاْمُورُ عَنْ عَوَاقِبِ الْمَساءَةِ، فَمَا يُدْرَكُ بِكُمْ ثَارٌ، وَلاَ يُبْلَغُ بِكُمْ مَرَامٌ، دَعَوْتُكُمْ إِلَى نَصْرِ إِخْوَانِكُمْ فَجَرْجَرْتُمْ جَرْجَرَةَ الْجَمَلِ الاْسَرِّ، وَتَثَاقَلْتُمْ تَثَاقُلَ الْنِّضْوِ الاْدْبَرِ، ثُمَّ خَرَجَ إِلَيَّ مِنْكُمْ جُنَيْدٌ مُتَذَائِبٌ ضَعِيفٌ (كَأَنَّمَا يُسَاقُونَ إِلَى الْمَوْتِ وَهُمْ يَنْظُرُون).
As-Sayyid ar-Radi says: Amir al-mu’minin’s word “mutadha’ib” means “mudtarib” (i.e. moved or troubled), as they say “tadha’abat ar-rih“ (i.e. the winds blow in troubled manner). Similarly the wolf is called “dhi’b” because of its troubled movement.
قال السيد الشريف: أقول: قوله (عليه السلام): «مُتَذَائِبٌ» أي: مضطرب، من قولهم: تذاءبت الريح أي: اضطرب هبوبها، ومنه سمّي الذئب، لاضطراب مشيته.
(1) Al-Thaqafi, al-Gharat, I, 291, 297, II, 453-4;
(2) al-Baladhuri, Ansab, II, 404;
(3) al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, VI, 41, events of the year 39 H.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
في الخوارج لما سمع(عليه السلام) قولهم: "لا حكم إلاّ لله"
A true statement to which a false meaning is attributed. It is true that verdict lies but with Allah, but these people say that (the function of) governance is only for Allah. The fact is that there is no escape for men from ruler good or bad. The faithful persons perform (good) acts in his rule while the unfaithful enjoys (worldly) benefits in it. During the rule, Allah would carry everything to end. Through the ruler tax is collected, enemy is fought, roadways are protected and the right of the weak is taken from the strong till the virtuous enjoys peace and allowed protection from (the oppression of) the wicked.
قال (عليه السلام):
كَلِمَةُ حَقٍّ يُرَادُ بِهَا بَاطِلٌ! نَعَمْ إِنَّهُ لا حُكْمَ إِلاَّ للهِ، ولكِنَّ هؤُلاَءِ يَقُولُونَ: لاَ إِمْرَةَ، فَإِنَّهُ لاَبُدَّ لِلنَّاسِ مِنْ أَمِير بَرّ أَوْ فَاجِر، يَعْمَلُ فِي إِمْرَتِهِ الْمُؤْمِنُ، وَيَسْتَمْتِعُ فِيهَا الْكَافِرُ، وَيُبَلِّغُ اللهُ فِيهَا الاْجَلَ، وَيُجْمَعُ بِهِ الْفَيءُ، وَيُقَاتَلُ بِهِ الْعَدُوُّ، وَتَأْمَنُ بِهِ السُّبُلُ، وَيُؤْخَذُ بِهِ لِلضَّعِيفِ مِنَ الْقَوِيِّ، حَتَّى يَسْتَرِيحَ بَرٌّ، وَيُسْتَرَاحَ مِنْ فَاجِر.
When Amir al-mu’minin heard the cry of the Kharijites on the said verdict he said:
I am expecting the verdict (destiny) of Allah on you.
Then he continued:
As for good government the pious man performs good acts in it, while in a bad government the wicked person enjoys till his time is over and death overtakes him.
وفي رواية أُخرى أنّه(عليه السلام) لمّا سمع تحكيمهم قال: حُكْمَ اللهِ أَنْتَظِرُ فِيكُمْ.
أَمَّا الاْمْرَةُ الْبَرَّةُ فَيَعْمَلُ فيها التَّقِيُّ، وَأَمَّا الاْمْرَةُ الْفَاجرَةُ فَيَتَمَتَّعُ فِيهَا الشَّقِيُّ، إلى أَنْ تَنْقَطِعَ مُدَّتُهُ، وَتُدْرِكَهُ مَنِيَّتُهُ.
(1) Al-Shafi`i, Kitab al-'umm;
(2) al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, VI, 41;
(3) Abu Talib al-Makki, Qut, I, 530;
(4) al-Ya`qubi, Ta'rikh, II, 136;
(5) al-Baladhuri, Ansab, 352, 355, 361, 377;
(6) al-Mubarrad, al-Kamil, II, 131.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
وفيها ينهى عن الغدر ويحذر منه
O people! Surely loyalty (fulfilment of pledge) and truthfulness are twins. I do not know a better shield (against the assaults of sin) than it. One who realises the reality of return (to the next world) never betrays. We are in a period when most of the people regard betrayal as wisdom. In these days the ignorants call it excellence of cunning. What is the matter with them? Allah may destroy them.
One who has been through thick and thin of life finds the excuses to be preventing him from orders and prohibitions of Allah but he disregards them despite capability (to succumb to them and follows the commands of Allah), while one who has no restraints of religion seizes the opportunity (and accepts the excuses for not following the commands of Allah).
إِنَّ الْوَفَاءَ تَوْأَمُ الصِّدْقِ، وَلاَ أَعْلَمُ جُنَّةً أوْقَى مِنْهُ، وَمَا يَغْدِرُ مَنْ عَلِمَ كَيْفَ الْمَرْجِعُ، وَلَقَدْ أَصْبَحْنا في زَمَان اتَّخَذَ أَكْثَرُ أَهْلِهِ الْغَدْرَ كَيْساً، وَنَسَبَهُمْ أَهْلُ الْجَهْلِ فِيهِ إِلى حُسْنِ الْحِيلَةِ، مَا لَهُمْ! قَاتَلَهُمُ اللهُ! قَدْ يَرَى الْحُوَّلُ الْقُلَّبُ وَجْهَ الْحِيلَةِ وَدُونَهَا مَانِعٌ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللهِ وَنَهْيِهِ، فَيَدَعُهَا رَأْيَ عَيْن بَعْدَ الْقُدْرَةِ عَلَيْهَا، وَيَنْتَهِزُ فُرْصَتَهَا مَنْ لاَ حَرِيجَةَ لَهُ فِي الدِّينِ.
(1) Ibn Talhah, Matalib, I, 170;
(2) al-Jahiz, Rasa'il, 125.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
وفيها يحذر من اتباع الهوى وطول الامل في الدنيا
O people! What I fear most about you are two things - acting according to desires and extending of hopes. As regards acting according to desires, this prevents from truth; and as regards extending of hopes, it makes one forget the next world.
You should know this world is moving rapidly and nothing has remained out of it except last particles like the dregs of a vessel which has been emptied by someone. Beware, the next world is advancing, and either of them has sons i.e. followers. You should become sons of the next world and not become sons of this world because on the Day of Judgement every son would cling to his mother. Today is the Day of action and there is no reckoning while tomorrow is the Day of reckoning but there would be no (opportunity for) action.
أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ! إِنَّ أَخْوَفَ مَا أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمُ اثْنَانِ: اتِّبَاعُ الْهَوَى، وَطُولُ الاَْمَلِ ; فَأَمَّا اتِّبَاعُ الْهَوَى فَيَصُدُّ عَنِ الْحَقِّ، وَأَمَّا طُولُ الاْمَلِ فَيُنْسِي الاْخِرَةَ.
أَلاَ وَإنَّ الدُّنْيَا قَدْ وَلَّتْ حَذَّاءَ، فَلَمْ يَبْقَ مِنْهَا إِلاَّ صُبَابَةٌ كَصُبَابَةِ الاْنَاءِ اصْطَبَّهَا صَابُّهَا، أَلاَ وَإِنَّ الاْخِرَةَ قَدْ أَقْبَلَتْ، وَلِكُلٍّ مِنْهُمَا بَنُونَ، فَكُونُوا مِنْ أَبْنَاءِ الاْخِرَةِ، وَلاَ تَكُونُوا مِنْ أَبْنَاءِ الدُّنْيَا، فَإِنَّ كُلَّ وَلَد سَيُلْحَقُ بأُمِّهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، وَإِنَّ الْيَوْمَ عَمَلٌ وَلاَ حِسَابَ، وَغَداً حِسَابٌ وَلاَ عَمَلَ.
As-Sayyid ar-Radi says: “al-hadhdha’“means rapid but some people have read it “jadhdha’ “. According to this version the meaning would be that the cycle of worldly enjoyments would end soon.
قال السيد الشريف: اَقُولُ: الْحَذّاءُ: السَّريعَةُ. وَ مِنَ النّاسِ مَنْ يَرْويهِ جَذّاءَ، بِالْجيم وَ الذّالِ، اَىِ انْقَطَعَ دَرُّها وَ خَيْرُها.
(1) Nasr, Siffin, 3, 4;
(2) al-Mufid, al-Majalis, 50;
(3) Ibn Qutaybah, `Uyun, II, 353;
(4) al-Kulayni, Furu` al-Kafi, III, 29;
(5) al-Harrani, Tuhaf, 35, 47;
(6) al-Mufid, al-'Irshad, * 138;
(7) al-Tusi, al-'Amali, * 73, 145;
(8) Abu Nu`aym, Hilyah, I, 56;
(9) al-Mas`udi, Muruj, II, 436.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
وقد أشار عليه أصحابه بالاستعداد لحرب أهل الشام بعد إرساله جرير بن عبدالله البجلي إلى معاوية
My preparation for war with the people of Syria (ash-Sham) while Jarir ibn `Abdillah al-Bajali is still there would be closing the door for Syria and prevention of its people from good action (i.e. allegiance) if they intend doing it.
However, I have fixed a time limit for Jarir after which he would not stay without either deception or in disobedience. My opinion is in favour of patience, so wait a while. (In the meantime) I do not dislike your getting ready.
إِنَّ اسْتَعْدَادِي لِحَرْبِ أَهْلِ الشَّامِ وَجِرِيرٌ عِنْدَهُمْ، إِغْلاَقٌ لِلشَّامِ، وَصَرْفٌ لاِهْلِهِ عَنْ خَيْر إِنْ أَرادُوهُ، وَلكِنْ قَدْ وَقَّتُّ لِجَرِير وَقْتاً لاَ يُقِيمُ بَعْدَهُ إِلاَّ مَخْدُوعاً أَوْ عَاصِياً، وَالرَّأْيُ مَعَ الاْنَاةِ، فَأَرْوِدُوا، وَلاَ أَكْرَهُ لَكُمُ الاْعْدَادَ.
I have observed this matter thoroughly from all sides but I do not find any way except war or heresy. Certainly, there was over the people a ruler (before me) who brought about new (un-Islamic) things and compelled the people to speak out. So they did speak, then rose up and thereafter changed the whole system.
وَلَقَدْ ضَرَبْتُ أَنْفَ هذَا الاْمْرِ وَعَيْنَهُ، وَقَلَّبْتُ ظَهْرَهُ وَبَطنَهُ، فَلَمْ أَرَلِي إِلاَّ الْقِتَالَ أَوِ الْكُفْرَ. إِنَّهُ قَدْ كَانَ عَلَى الاْمَّةِ وَال أَحْدَثَ أَحْدَاثاً، وَأَوْجَدَ النَّاسَ مَقَالاً، فَقَالُوا، ثُمَّ نَقَمُوا فَغَيَّروا.
(1) Al-Khwarazmi, Manaqib, 108;
(2) Nasr ibn Muzahim, Siffin, 55;
(3) Ibn Qutaybah, al-'Imamah, I, 94;
(4) Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`Iqd, II, 108;
(5) al-Saduq, Man la yahduruh, I, 461;
(6) al-Tusi, Misbah, 429.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
لمّا هرب مَصْقَلة بنُ هُبيرة الشيباني إلى معاوية، وكان قد ابتاع سَبْيَ بني ناجية من عامل أميرالمؤمنين (عليه السلام) وأعتقهم، فلمّا طالبه(عليه السلام) بالمال خاس به وهرب إلى الشام،
Allah may be bad to Masqalah. He acted like the noble but fled away like a slave. Before his admirer could speak (about him) he silenced him and before his eulogist could testify to his good deeds he closed his mouth. If he had stayed behind we would have taken from him what he could easily pay and waited for the balance till his money increased.
قَبَّحَ اللهُ مَصْقَلَةَ! فَعَلَ فِعْلَ السَّادَةِ، وَفَرَّ فِرَارَ الْعَبِيدِ! فَمَا أَنْطَقَ مَادِحَهُ حَتَّى أَسْكَتَهُ، وَلاَ صَدَّقَ وَاصِفَهُ حَتَّى بَكَّتَهُ، وَلَو أَقَامَ لاَخَذْنَا مَيْسُورَهُ، وَانْتَظَرْنا بِمَالِهِ وُفُورَهُ.
(1) Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, VI, 65-77,
(2) al-Thaqafi, al-Gharat, 329-372;
(3) al-Baladhuri, Ansab, 411-417;
(4) Ibn `Asakir, Ta'rikh, vol. 55 in the account of Masqalah ibn Hubayrah;
(5) al-Mas`udi, Muruj, III, 419;
(6) Abu al-Faraj, al-'Aghani, IX, 100-106.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
وهو بعض خطبة طويلة خطبها يوم الفطر
وفيها يحمد الله ويذم الدنيا:
Praise is due to Allah from Whose mercy no one loses hope, from Whose bounty no one is deprived, from Whose forgiveness no one is disappointed and for Whose worship no one is too high. His mercy never ceases and His bounty is never missed.
ألْحَمْدُ للهِ غَيْرَ مَقْنُوط مِنْ رَحْمَتِهِ، وَلاَ مَخْلُوٍّ مِنْ نِعْمَتِهِ، وَلاَ مَأْيُوس مِنْ مَغْفِرَتِهِ، وَلاَ مُسْتَنْكَف عَنْ عِبَادَتِهِ، الَّذِي لاَ تَبْرَحُ مِنْهُ رَحْمَةٌ، وَلاَ تُفْقَدُ لَهُ نِعْمَةٌ.
This world is a place for which destruction is ordained and for its inhabitants departure from here is destined. It is sweet and green. It hastens towards its seeker and attaches to the heart of the viewer. So depart from here with the best of provision available with you and do not ask herein more than what is enough and do not demand from it more than subsistence.
وَالدُّنْيَا دَارٌ مُنِيَ لَهَا الْفَنَاءُ، وَلاِهْلِهَا مِنْهَا الْجَلاَءُ، وَهِيَ حُلْوَةٌ خَضِرَةٌ، قَدْ عُجِّلَتْ لِلطَّالِبِ، وَالْتَبَسَتْ بِقَلْبِ النَّاظِرِ; فَارْتَحِلُوا مِنْهَا بِأَحْسَنِ مَا بِحَضْرَتِكُمْ مِنَ الزَّادِ، وَلاَ تَسْأَلُوا فِيها فَوْقَ الْكَفَافِ، وَلاَ تَطْلُبُوا مِنْهَا أكْثَرَ مِنَ الْبَلاَغِ.
(1) Al-Saduq, Man la yahduruh, I, 327;
(2) al-Tusi, Misbah, 458; parts of it recorded by (3)
(3) al-Mufid, al-'Irshad;
(4) al-Jahiz, al-Bayan, I, 171;
(5) Ibn Qutaybah, `Uyun, II, 235;
(6) al-Harrani, Tuhaf;
(7) al-Baqillani, I`jaz, 222.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
عند عزمه على المسير إِلى الشام
[وهو دعاء دعا به ربَّه عند وضع رجله في الركاب:]
My God, I seek Thy protection from the hardships of journey, from the grief of returning and from the scene of devastation of property and men. O Allah, Thou art the companion in journey and Thou art one who is left behind for (protection of the) family.
None except Thee can join these two because one who is left behind cannot be a companion in journey nor one who is in company on a journey can at the same time be left behind.
اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ وَعْثَاءِ السَّفَرِ، وَكَآبَةِ المُنْقَلَبِ، وَسُوءِ المَنظَرِ فِي الاْهْلِ وَالمَالِ والْوَلَدِ . اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ الصَّاحِبُ في السَّفَرِ، وَأَنْتَ الْخلِيفَةُ فِي الاْهْلِ، وَلاَ يَجْمَعُهُما غَيْرُكَ، لاِنَّ الْمُسْتَخْلَفَ لاَ يَكُونُ مُسْتَصْحَباً، وَالمُسْتَصْحَبُ لاَ يَكُونُ مُسْتَخْلَفاً.
As-Sayyid ar-Radi says: The earlier part of this sermon is related from the Prophet but Amir al-mu’minin has completed it very aptly by adding most eloquent sentences at the end. This addition is from “None except Thee can join” upto the end.
قال السيد الشريف: أقول: وابتداء هذا الكلام مرويّ عن رسول الله(صلى الله عليه وآله)، وقد قفّاه(عليه السلام) بأبلغ كلام وتمّمه بأحسن تمام; من قوله: «ولا يجْمَعُهُمَا غَيْرُكَ» إلى آخر الفصل.
(1) A`tham al-Kufi, al-Futuh, II, 461;
(2) Nasr, Siffin, 132;
(3) al-Qadi al-Nu`man, Da`a'im, I, 347;
(4) narrated from the Prophet (S) in al-'Azhari, Tahdhib, III, 153;
(5) al-Nuri, Riyad al-salihin, 197, hadith 975.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
في ذكر الكوفة
O Kufah, as though I see you being drawn like the tanned leather of `Ukazi1 in the market, you are being scraped by calamities and being ridden by severe troubles. I certainly2 know that if any tyrant intends evil for you Allah will afflict him with worry and fling him with a killer (set someone on him to kill him).
كَأَنَّي بِكِ يَاكُوفَةُ تُمَدِّينَ مَدَّ الاْدَيمِ الْعُكَاظِيِّ، تُعْرَكِينَ بِالنَّوَازِلِ، وَتُرْكَبِينَ بِالزَّلاَزِلِ، وَإِنَّي لاَعْلَمُ أَنَّهُ مَاأَرَادَ بِكِ جَبَّارٌ سُوءاً إِلاَّ ابْتَلاَهُ اللهُ بِشَاغِل، وَرَمَاهُ بِقَاتِل!
(1) Ibn al-Faqih, Kitab al-buldan, 163;
(2) al-Zamakhshari, Rabi`, I, bab al-bilad wa al-diyar.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
عند المسير إلى الشام
قيل: إنه خطب بها وهو بالنخيلة خارجاً من الكوفة إلى صفين:
Praise is due to Allah when night spreads and darkens, and praise be to Allah whenever the star shines and sets. And praise be to Allah whose bounty never misses and whose favours cannot be repaid.
الْحَمْدُ للهِ كُلَّمَا وَقَبَ لَيْلٌ وَغَسَقَ، وَالْحَمْدُ للهِ كُلَّمَا لاَحَ نَجْمٌ وَخَفَقَ، والْحَمْدُ للهِ غَيْرَ مَفْقُودِ الاْنْعَام، وَلاَ مُكَافَاَ الاْفْضَالِ.
Well, I have sent forward my vanguard1 and have ordered them to remain in camp on this bank of the River till my order reaches them. My intention is that I should cross this water over to the small habitation of people residing on the sides of the Tigris and rouse them to march with you towards the enemy and keep them as auxiliary force for you.
أَمّا بَعْدُ، فَقَدْ بَعَثْتُ مُقَدِّمَتِي، وَأَمَرْتُهُمْ بِلُزُومِ هذَا المِلْطَاطِ، حَتَّى يأْتِيَهُمْ أَمْرِي، وَقَدْ رَأَيْتُ أَنْ أَقْطَعَ هذِهِ الْنُّطْفَةَ إِلَى شِرْذِمَة مِنْكُمْ، مُوَطِّنِينَ أَكْنَافَ دَجْلَةَ، فَأُنْهِضَهُمْ مَعَكُمْ إِلَى عَدُوِّكُمْ، وَأَجْعَلَهُمْ مِنْ أَمْدَادِ الْقُوَّةِ لَكُمْ.
As-Sayyid ar-Radi says: Here by "miltat" Amir al-mu'minin has meant the direction where he had ordered the men to camp and that was the bank of the Euphrates, and "miltat" is used for the bank of a river although its literal meaning is level ground whereas by "nutfah" he means the water of the Euphrates, and these are amazing expressions.
قال السيد الشريف: أقول: يعني عليه السلام بالملطاط ها هنا: السّمْتَ الذي أمرهم بلزومه، وهو شاطىء الفرات، ويقال ذلك أيضاً لشاطىء البحر، وأصله ما استوى من الاَرض. ويعني بالنطفة: ماء الفرات، وهو من غريب العبارات وعجيبها.
(1) Nasr, Siffin, 131, 132;
(2) mentioned by a group of biographers, see Ibn Abi al-Hadid, I, 287.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
وفيها جملة من صفات الربوبية والعلم الالهي
Praise be to Allah Who lies inside all hidden things, and towards Whom all open things guide. He cannot be seen by the eye of an onlooker, but the eye which does not see Him cannot deny Him while the mind that proves His existence cannot perceive Him. He is so high in sublimity that nothing can be more sublime than He, while in nearness, He is so near that no one can be nearer than He.
But his sublimity does not put Him at a distance from anything of His creation, nor does His nearness bring them on equal level to Him. He has not informed (human) wit about the limits of His qualities.
Nevertheless, He has not prevented it from securing essential knowledge of Him. So he is such that all signs of existence stand witness for Him till the denying mind also believes in Him. Allah is sublime beyond what is described by those who liken Him to things or those who deny Him.
الْحَمْدُ للهِ الَّذِي بَطَنَ خَفِيَّاتِ الاْمُورِ، وَدَلَّتْ عَلَيْهِ أَعْلاَمُ الظُّهُورِ، وَامْتَنَعَ عَلَى عَيْنِ الْبَصِيرِ; فَلاَ عَيْنُ مَنْ لَمْ يَرَهُ تُنْكِرُهُ، وَلاَ قَلْبُ مَنْ أَثْبَتَهُ يُبْصِرُهُ، سَبَقَ فِي الْعُلُوِّ فَلاَ شَيءَ أَعْلَى مِنْهُ، وَقَرُبَ فِي الدُّنُوِّ فَلاَ شَيْءَ أَقْرَبُ مِنْهُ، فَلاَ اسْتِعْلاَؤُهُ بِاعَدَهُ عَنْ شَيْء مِنْ خَلْقِهِ، وَلاَ قُرْبُهُ سَاوَاهُمْ في المَكَانِ بِهِ، لَمْ يُطْلِعِ الْعُقُولَ عَلَى تَحْدِيدِ صِفَتِهِ، ولَمْ يَحْجُبْهَا عَنْ وَاجِبِ مَعْرِفِتِهِ، فَهُوَ الَّذِي تَشْهَدُ لَهُ أَعْلاَمُ الْوُجُودِ، عَلَى إِقْرَارِ قَلْبِ ذِي الْجُحُودِ، تَعَالَى اللهُ عَمَّا يَقولُ الْمُشَبِّهُونَ بِهِ وَالْجَاحِدُونَ لَهُ عُلوّاً كَبِيراً!
(1) Al-Wasiti, `Uyun, see al-Majlisi, Bihar, vol.67, 304.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
وفيها بيان لما يخرب العالم به من الفتن وبيان هذه الفتن
The basis of the occurrence of evils are those desires which are acted upon and the orders that are innovated. They are against the Book of Allah. People co-operate with each other about them even though it is against the Religion of Allah. If wrong had been pure and unmixed it would not be hidden from those who are in search of it. And if right had been pure without admixture of wrong those who bear hatred towards it would have been silenced.
What is, however, done is that something is taken from here and something from there and the two are mixed! At this stage Satan overpowers his friends and they alone escape for whom ‘virtue has been apportioned by Allah from before’ (ref. 21:101).
إِنَّمَا بَدْءُ وُقُوعِ الْفِتَنِ أَهْوَاءٌ تُتَّبَعُ، وَأَحْكَامٌ تُبْتَدَعُ، يُخَالَفُ فِيهَا كِتابُ اللهِ، وَيَتَوَلَّى عَلَيْهَا رِجَالٌ رِجَالاً، عَلَى غَيْرِ دِينِ اللهِ، فَلَوْ أَنَّ الْبَاطِلَ خَلَصَ مِنْ مِزَاجِ الْحَقِّ لَمْ يَخْفَ عَلَى الْمُرْتَادِينَ، وَلَوْ أَنَّ الْحقَّ خَلَصَ مِنْ لَبْسِ البَاطِلِ انْقَطَعَتْ عَنْهُ أَلْسُنُ الْمُعَانِدِينَ; وَلكِن يُؤْخَذُ مِنْ هذَا ضِغْثٌ، وَمِنْ هذَا ضِغْثٌ، فَيُمْزَجَانِ! فَهُنَالِكَ يَسْتَوْلي الشَّيْطَانُ عَلَى أَوْلِيَائِهِ، وَيَنْجُو الَّذِينَ سَبَقَتْ لَهُمْ مِنَ اللهِ الْحُسْنَى.
(1) al-Barqi, al-Mahasin, I, 208;
(2) al-Kulayni, Usul al-Kafi, bab al-bida` wa al-ra'y wa al-maqayis;
(3) Idem., Rawdat al-Kafi, 58;
(4) al-Ya`qubi, Ta'rikh, II, 136;
(5) al-Tawhidi, al-Basa'ir, 32.
ومن كلامه (عليه السلام)
لمّا غلب أصحاب معاوية أصحابه عليه السلام على شريعة الفرات بصفين ومنعوهم الماء
They1 are asking you morsels of battle. So either you remain in ignominy and the lowest position or drench your swords with blood and quench your thirst with water. Real death is in the life of subjugation while real life is in dying as subjugators. Beware, Mu`awiyah is leading a small group of insurgents and has kept them in dark about the true facts with the result that they have made their bosoms the targets of death.
قَدِ اسْتَطْعَمُوكُمُ الْقِتَالَ، فَأَقِرُّوا عَلَى مَذَلَّة، وَتَأْخِيرِ مَحَلَّة، أَوْ رَوُّوا السُّيُوفَ مِنَ الدِّمَاءِ تَرْوَوْا مِنَ الْمَاءِ، فَالمَوْتُ في حَيَاتِكُمْ مَقْهُورِينَ، وَالْحَيَاةُ في مَوْتِكُمْ قَاهِرِينَ. أَلاَ وَإِنَّ مُعَاوِيَةَ قَادَ لُمَةً مِنَ الْغُوَاةِ وَعَمَّسَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْخَبَرَ، حَتَّى جَعَلُوا نُحُورَهُمْ أَغْرَاضَ الْمَنِيَّةِ.
(1) Nasr, Siffin, see Ibn Abi al-Hadid, Sharh, I, 329.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
قد تقدّم مختارها برواية ونذكرها هاهنا برواية أخرى لتغاير الروايتين
Beware, the world is wrapping itself up and has announced its departure. Its known things have become strangers and it is speedily moving backward. It is advancing its inhabitants towards destruction and driving its neighbours towards death. Its sweet things (enjoyments) have become sour, and its clear things have become polluted. Consequently, what has remained of it is just like the remaining water in a vessel or a mouthful of water in the measure. If a thirsty person drinks it his thirst is not quenched.
أَلاَ وَإِنَّ الدُّنْيَا قَدْ تَصَرَّمَتْ، وَآذَنَتْ بِانْقِضَاء، وَتَنَكَّرَ مَعْرُوفُها، وَأَدْبَرَتْ حَذَّاءَ، فَهِيَ تَحْفِزُ بِالْفَنَاءِ سُكَّانَهَا، وَتَحْدُو بِالْمَوْتِ جِيرَانَهَا، وَقَدْ مَرَّمِنْها مَا كَانَ حُلْواً، وَكَدِرَ مِنْهَا ما كَانَ صَفْواً، فَلَمْ يَبْقَ مِنْهَا إِلاَّ سَمَلَةٌ كَسَمَلَةِ الاْدَاوَةِ، أَوْ جُرْعَةٌ كَجُرْعَةِ الْمَقْلَةِ، لَوْ تَمَزَّزَهَا الصَّدْيَانُ لَمْ يَنْقَعْ .
O creatures of Allah, get ready to go out of this world for whose inhabitants decay is ordained, and (beware) heart’s wishes should overpower you, nor should you take your stay (in life) to be long. By Allah, if you cry like the she-camel that has lost its young one, call out like the cooing of pigeons, make noise like devoted recluses and turn to Allah leaving your wealth and children as a means to secure His nearness and high position with Him or the forgiveness of sins which have been covered by His books and recorded by His angels, it would be less than His reward that I expect for you or His retribution that I fear about you.
فَأَزْمِعُوا عِبَادَ اللهِ الرَّحِيلَ عَنْ هذِهِ الدَّارِ المَقْدُورِ عَلَى أَهْلِهَا الزَّوالُ، وَلاَ يَغْلِبَنَّكُمْ فِيهَا الاْمَلُ، وَلاَ يَطُولَنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ الاْمَدُ. فَوَاللهِ لَوْ حَنَنْتُمْ حَنِينَ الْوُلَّهِ الْعِجَالِ، وَدَعَوْتُمْ بِهَدِيلِ الْحَمَامِ، وَجَأَرْتُمْ جُؤَارَ مُتَبَتِّلِي الرُّهْبَانِ، وَخَرَجْتُمْ إِلَى اللهِ مِنَ الاْمْوَالِ وَالاْوْلاَدِ، الْتمَاسَ الْقُرْبَةِ إِلَيْهِ فِي ارْتِفَاعِ دَرَجَة عِنْدَهُ، أوغُفْرَانِ سِيِّئَة أَحْصَتْهَا كُتُبُهُ، وَحَفِظَتْهَا رُسُلُهُ، لَكَانَ قَلِيلاً فَيَما أَرْجُو لَكُم مِنْ ثَوَابِهِ، وَأَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ مِنْ عِقَابِهِ.
By Allah, if your hearts melt down thoroughly and your eyes shed tears of blood either in hope for Him or for fear from Him and you are also allowed to live in this world all the time that it lasts even then your actions cannot pay for His great bounties over you and His having guided you towards faith.
وَتَاللهِ لَوِ انْمَاثَتْ قُلوبُكُمُ انْمِيَاثاً، وَسَالَتْ عُيُونُكُمْ مِنْ رَغْبَة إِلَيْهِ وَرَهْبَة مِنْهُ دَماً، ثُمَّ عُمِّرْتُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا، مَا الدُّنْيَا بَاقِيَةٌ، مَا جَزَتْ أَعْمَالُكُمْ [عَنْكُمْ] ـ وَلَوْ لَمْ تُبْقُوا شَيْئاً مِنْ جُهْدِكُمْ ـ أَنْعُمَهُ عَلَيْكُمُ الْعِظَامَ، وَهُدَاهُ إِيَّاكُمْ لِلاْيمَانِ.
(1) al-Saduq, Man la yahduruh, I, 329;
(2) al-Tusi, al-Misbah, 461;
(3) Parts of it in Abu Nu`aym, al-Hilyah, I, 77;
(4) al-Mufid, al-'Amali, 87.
ومنها: في ذكر يوم النحر وصفة الاضحية
For an animal to be fully fit for sacrifice it is necessary that both its ears should be raised upwards and its eyes should be healthy. If the ears and the eyes are sound the animal of sacrifice is sound and perfect, even though its horn be broken or it drags its feet to the place of sacrifice.
As-Sayyid ar-Radi says: Here place of sacrifice means place of slaughter.
وَ مِنْ تَمامِ الاْضْحِيَّةِ اسْتِشْرافُ اُذُنِها، وَ سَلامَةُ عَيْنِها. فَاِذا سَلِمَتِ الاْذُنُ وَالْعَيْنُ سَلِمَتِ الاْضْحِيَّةُ وَ تَمَّتْ، وَلَوْ كانَتْ عَضْباءَ لْقَرْنِ تَجُرُّ رِجْلَها اِلَى الْمَنْسَكِ. .
قال السيد الشريف: وَالْمَنْسَـكُ هُنَـا الْمَـذْبَـحُ.
(1) Al-Saduq, Man la yahduruh, I, 461;
(2) al-Tusi, Misbah, 429;
(3) al-Khwarazmi, al-Manaqib, 108;
(4) Nasr, Siffin, 201;
(5) Ibn Qutaybah, al-'Imamah, 94;
(6) Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`Iqd, II, 108.
وَ مِنْ كَلام لَهُ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ
فى ذِكْرِ الْبَيْعَةِ
وفيه يصف أصحابه بصفين حين طال منعهم له من قتال أهل الشام
They leapt upon me as the camels leap upon each other on their arrival for drinking water, having been let loose after unfastening of their four legs till I thought they would either kill me or kill one another in front of me.
I thought over this matter in and out to the extent that it prevented me from sleeping. But I found no way except to fight them or else to reject whatever has been brought by Muhammad (S). I found that to face war was easier for me than to face the retribution, and the hardships of this world were easier than the hardships of the next world.
فَتَدَاكُّوا عَلَيَّ تَدَاكَّ الاِْبِلِ الْهِيمِ يَوْمَ وِرْدِهَا، قَدْ أَرْسَلَهَا رَاعِيهَا، وَخُلِعَتْ مَثَانِيهَا، حَتَّى ظَنَنْتُ أَنَّهُمْ قَاتِليَّ، أَوْ بَعْضُهُمْ قَاتِلُ بَعْض لَدَيَّ، وَقَدْ قلَّبْتُ هذَا الاْمْرَ بَطْنَهُ وَظَهْرَهُ حَتَّى مَنَعَنِي النَّوْمَ، فَمَا وَجَدْتُنِي يَسَعْني إِلاَّ قِتَالُهُمْ أَوِ الْجُحُودُ بِمَا جَاءَ بِهِ مُحَمَّدٌ(صلى الله عليه وآله)، فَكَانَتْ مُعَالَجَةُ الْقِتَالِ أَهْوَنَ عَلَيَّ مِنْ مُعَالَجَةِ الْعِقَابِ، وَمَوْتَاتُ الدُّنْيَا أَهْوَنَ عَلَيَّ مِنْ مَوْتَاتِ الاْخِرَةِ.
(1) Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`Iqd, IV;
(2) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, II, 128 (d.k.k);
(3) Abu Mikhnaf, al-Jamal, see Ibn Abi al-Hadid, I, 340;
(4) also the sources mentioned under Sermon:26.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
وقد استبطأ أصحابه إذنه لهم في القتال بصفين
Well, as for your idea whether this (delay) is due to my unwillingness for death, then by Allah I do not care whether I proceed towards death or death advances towards me. As for your impression that it may be due to my misgivings about the people of Syria (ash-Sham), well by Allah, I did not put off war even for a day except in the hope that some group may join me, find guidance through me and see my light with their weak eyes. This is dearer to me than to kill them in the state of their misguidance although they would be bearing their own sins.
أمَّا قَوْلُكُمْ: أَكُلَّ ذلِكَ كَرَاهِيَةَ الْمَوْتِ؟ فَوَاللهِ مَا أُبَالِي دَخَلْتُ إِلَى المَوْتِ أَوْ خَرَجَ المَوْتُ إِلَيَّ.
وَأَمَّا قَوْلُكُمْ: شَكّاً في أَهْلِ الشَّامِ! فَوَاللهِ مَا دَفَعْتُ الْحَرْبَ يَوْماً إِلاَّ وَأَنَا أَطْمَعُ أَنْ تَلْحَقَ بِي طَائِفَةٌ فَتَهْتَدِيَ بِي، وَتَعْشُوَ إِلى ضَوْئِي، فهُوَ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِنْ أَنْ أَقْتُلَهَا عَلَى ضَلالِهَا، وَإِنْ كَانَتْ تَبُوءُ بِآثَامِهَا.
(1) Nasr, Siffin, 209;
(2) `Abd al-Zahra', Masadir, II, 27, says that statements to this effect have been widely narrated from `Ali (A).
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
يصف أصحاب رسول الله
وذلك يوم صفين حين أمر الناس بالصلح
In the company of the Prophet of Allah (S) we used to fight our parents, sons, brothers and uncles, and this continued us in our faith, in submission, in our following the right path, in endurance over the pangs of pain and in our fight against the enemy.
A man from our side and one from the enemy would pounce upon each other like energetic men contesting as to who would kill the other; sometime our man got over his adversary and some-time the enemy's man got over ours.
وَلَقَدْ كُنَّا مَعَ رَسُولِ اللهِ(صلى الله عليه وآله)، نَقْتُلُ آبَاءَنا وَأَبْنَاءَنَا وَإخْوَانَنا وَأَعْمَامَنَا، مَا يَزِيدُنَا ذلِكَ إلاَّ إِيمَاناً وَتَسْلِيماً، وَمُضِيّاً عَلَى اللَّقَمِ، وَصَبْراً عَلى مَضَضِ الاْلَمِ، وَجِدّاً عَلى جِهَادِ الْعَدُوِّ، وَلَقَدْ كَانَ الرَّجُلُ مِنَّا وَالاْخَرُ مِنْ عَدُوِّنا يَتَصَاوَلاَنِ تَصَاوُلَ الْفَحْلَيْنِ، يَتَخَالَسَانِ أَنْفُسَهُمَا، أيُّهُمَا يَسْقِي صَاحِبَهُ كَأْسَ المَنُونِ، فَمَرَّةً لَنَا مِنْ عَدُوِّنَا، ومَرَّةً لِعَدُوِّنا مِنَّا،
When Allah had observed our truth, He sent ignominy to our foe and sent His succour to us till Islam got established (like the camel) with neck on the ground and resting in its place. By my life, if we had also behaved like you, no pillar of (our) religion could have been raised, nor could the tree of faith have borne leaves. By Allah, certainly you will now milk our blood (instead of milk) and eventually you will face shame.1
فَلَمَّا رَأَى اللهُ صِدْقَنَا أَنْزَلَ بِعَدُوِّنَا الْكَبْتَ، وَأَنْزَلَ عَلَيْنَا النَّصرَ، حَتَّى اسْتَقَرَّ الاْسْلاَمُ مُلْقِياً جِرَانَهُ وَمُتَبَوِّئاً أَوْطَانَهُ، وَلَعَمْرِي لَوْ كُنَّا نَأْتِي مَا أَتَيْتُمْ، مَا قَامَ لِلدِّينِ عَمُودٌ، وَلاَ اخْضَرَّ لِلاِيمَانِ عُودٌ، وَأَيْمُ اللهِ لَتَحْتَلِبُنَّهَا دَماً، وَلَتُتْبِعُنَّهَا نَدَماً!
(1) Nasr, Siffin, 520;
(2) al-Zamakhshari, IV, Rabi`, bab al-qatl wa al-shahadah;
(3) al-Thaqafi, al-Gharat;
(4) al-Waqidi, al-Jamal; for (3) and (4) see Ibn Abi al-Hadid, I, 348-355.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام) لاصحابه
في صفة رجل مذموم، ثم في فضله هو عليه السلام
Soon after me, there would be put on you a man with a broad mouth and a big belly. He would swallow whatever he gets and would crave for what he does not get. You should kill him but (I know) you would not kill him. He would command you to abuse me and to renounce me. As for abusing, you do abuse me because that would mean purification for me and salvation for you. As regards renunciation, you should not renounce me because I have been born on the natural religion (Islam) and was foremost in accepting it as well as in Hijrah ( migrating from Mecca to Medina).1
أما إنِّهُ سِيَظْهَرُ عَلَيْكُمْ بَعْدِي رَجُلٌ رَحْبُ الْبُلْعُومِ، مُنْدَحِقُ الْبَطْنِ، يَأْكُلُ مَا يَجِدُ، وَيَطْلُبُ مَا لاَ يَجِدُ، فَاقْتُلُوهُ، وَلَنْ تَقْتُلُوهُ! أَلاَ وَإِنَّهُ سَيَأْمُرُكُمْ بِسَبِّي وَالْبَرَاءَةِ مِنِّي; فَأَمَّا السَّبُّ فَسُبُّونِي، فَإِنَّهُ لي زَكَاةٌ،وَلَكُمْ نَجَاةٌ; وَأَمَّا الْبَرَاءَةُ فَلاَ تَتَبَرَّأُوا مِنِّي، فَإِنِّي وَلِدْتُ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ، وَسَبَقْتُ إِلَى الاْيمَانِ وَالْهِجْرَةِ.
(1) al-Thaqafi, al-Gharat, see Ibn Abi al-Hadid, I, 373;
(2) al-Kulayni, Usul al-Kafi (1278) 207;
(3) al-`Ayyashi, Tafsir, under verse 16:106;
(4) al-Himyari, Qurb al-'asnad;
(5) al-Baladhuri, Ansab, II, 119;
(6) al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, II, 385;
(7) al-Tusi, al-'Amali, I, 214, II, 374;
(8) al-Mufid, al-'Irshad, * 184.
ومن كلامه (عليه السلام)
كلّم به الخوارج حين اعتزلوا الحكومة وتنادوا: أن لا حكم إلاّ لله
Storms may overtake you while there may be none to prick you (for reforms). Shall I be witness to my becoming heretic after acceptance of Faith and fighting in the company of the Prophet?!
"In that case I shall be misguided and I shall not be on the right path." (Qur'an, 6:56).
So you should return to your evil places, and get back on the traces of your heels. Beware! Certainly you will meet, after me, overwhelming disgrace and sharp sword and tradition that will be adopted by the oppressors as a norm towards you.1
أَصَابَكُمْ حَاصِبٌ، وَلاَ بَقِيَ مِنْكُمْ آبرٌ، أَبَعْدَ إِيمَاني بِاللهِ وَجِهَادِي مَعَ رَسُولِ اللهِ (صلى الله عليه وآله) أَشْهَدُ عَلَى نَفْسِي بِالْكُفْرِ !لَقَدْ )ضَلَلْتُ إِذاً وَمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُهْتَدِينَ !(فَأُوبُوا شَرَّ مَآب، وَارْجِعُوا عَلَى أَثَرِ الاْعْقَابِ، أَمَا إِنَّكُمْ سَتَلْقَوْنَ بَعْدِي ذُلاًّ شَامِلاً، وَسَيْفاً قَاطِعاً، وَأَثَرَةً يَتَّخِذُهَا الظَّالِمونَ فِيكُمْ سُنَّةً.
As-Sayyid ar-Radi says: In the words "wala baqiyah minkum abirun" used by Amir al-mu'minin the "abir" has been related with "ba'" and "ra'" and it has been taken from the Arab saying "rajulun abirun" which means the man who prunes the date-palm trees and improves them. In one version the word is "athir" and its meaning is "relator of good news."
In my view this is more appropriate, as though Amir al-mu'minin intends to say that there should remain none to carry news. In one version the word appears as "abiz" with "za'" which means one who leaps. One who dies is also called "abiz".
قال الشريف: قوله عليه السلام : «ولا بقي منكم آبر» يُروى على ثلاثة أوجه: أحدها أن يكون كما ذكرناه، بالراء، من قولهم: رجلٌ آبِرٌ: للذي يأبر النخل، أي: يصلحه. ويروى: «آثِرٌ»، يُراد به: الذي يأثر الحديث، أي: يحكيه ويرويه، وهو أصح الوجوه عندي، كأنه عليه السلام قال: لا بقي منكم مُخبر! ويروى: «آبِز» ـ بالزاي معجمة ـ وهو: الواثب، والهالك أيضاً يقال له: آبزٌ
(1) Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, VI, 48, 3378;
(2) Ibn Qutaybah, al-'Imamah, I, 124;
(3) Sibt ibn al-Jawzi, Tadhkirah, 100;
(4) al-Tabari, al-Mustarshid, 162;
(5) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, under (a.b.r);
(6) al-Baladhuri, Ansab, II, 369;
(7) al-Mubarrad, al-Kamil, II, 141.
وقال (عليه السلام)
لمّا عزم على حرب الخوارج
وقيل له: إن القوم قد عبروا جسر النهروان
Their falling place is on this side of the river. By Allah, not even ten of them will survive while from your side not even ten will be killed.1
مَصَارِعُهُمْ دُونَ النُّطْفَةِ، وَاللهِ لاَ يُفْلِتُ مِنْهُمْ عَشَرَةٌ، وَلاَ يَهْلِكُ مِنْكُمْ عَشَرَةٌ.
As-Sayyid ar-Radi says: In this sermon "nutfah" implies the River Euphrates, and for water this is the nicest expression, even though water may be much. We have indicated that in an earlier sermon (48) where a similar expression was used.
قال الشريف: يعني بالنطفة: ماء النهر، وهي أفصح كناية عن الماء وإن كان كثيراً جماً، وقد أشرنا إلى ذلك فيما تقدم عند مضيّ ما أشبهه.
(1) Al-Bayhaqi, al-Mahasin, 385;
(2) al-Mas`udi, Muruj, II, 416;
(3) al-Mubarrad, al-Kamil, II, 120.
When Amir al-mu'minin was told that the Kharijites had been totally killed, he said:
وقال (عليه السلام)
لمّا قتل الخوارج
فقيل له: يا أميرالمؤمنين، هلك القوم بأجمعهم، فقال:
By Allah! No, not yet. They still exist in the loins of men and wombs of women. Whenever a chief would appear from among them, he would be cut down till the last of them would turn thieves and robbers. 1
كَلاَّ وَالله، إِنَّهُمْ نُطَفٌ فِي أَصْلاَبِ الرِّجَالِ، وَقَرَارَاتِ النِّسَاءِ، كُلَّمَا نَجَمَ مِنْهُمْ قَرْنٌ قُطِعَ، حَتَّى يَكُونَ آخِرُهُمْ لُصُوصاً سَلاَّبِينَ.
(1) Al-Bayhaqi, al-Mahasin, 385;
(2) al-Mas`udi, Muruj, II, 416;
(3) al-Mubarrad, al-Kamil, II, 120.
وقال (عليه السلام) فيهم
Do not fight1 the Kharijites after me, because one who seeks right but does not find it, is not like one who seeks wrong and finds it.
As-Sayyid ar-Radi says: (By “one who seeks wrong and finds it”) Amir al-mu'minin means Mu`awiyah and his men.
لاَ تَقْتُلُوا الْخَوَارِجَ بَعْدِي، فَلَيْسَ مَنْ طَلَبَ الْحَقَّ فَأَخْطَأَهُ، كَمَنْ طَلَبَ الْبَاطِلَ فَأَدْرَكَهُ.
قال السيد الشريف: يعني معاوية وأصحابه.
(1) Al-Saduq, `Ilal, 201;
(2) al-Tusi, al-Tahdhib, II, 48.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
لمّا خُوِّف من الغيلة
Surely, there is a strong protective shield of Allah over me. When my day would come it would get away from me and hand me over to death. At that time neither an arrow would go amiss nor a wound would heal up.
وَإِنَّ عَلَيَّ مِنَ اللهِ جُنَّةً حَصِينةً، فَإِذَا جَاءَ يَوْمِي انْفَرَجَتْ عَنِّي وَأَسْلَمَتْنِي؛ فَحِينَئِذٍ لاَ يَطِيشُ السَّهْمُ وَلاَ يَبْرَأُ الْكَلْمُ.
(1) Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah, VIII, 12, from (2)
(2) Abu Dawud, Kitab al-qadar;
(3) al-'Amidi, Ghurar, 89;
(4) al-Zamakhshari, Rabi`, bab al-qatl wa al-shahadah.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
يحذر من فتنة الدنيا
Beware! Surely this world is a place from which protection cannot be sought except while one is in it. The action which is performed only for this world cannot secure salvation. People are tested in it through calamities.
Those who have taken worldly pleasures here will be taken out from them (by death) and will be questioned about them. And whatever (good actions) they have achieved for the other world, they will get them there and stay in them. For the intelligent this world is like the shade - one moment it is spread out and extended but soon it shrinks and contracts.
أَلاَ وإنَّ الدُّنْيَا دَارٌ لاَ يُسْلَمُ مِنْهَا إِلاَّ فِيهَا، وَلاَ يُنْجَى بِشَيْءٍ كَانَ لَهَا، ابْتُلِيَ النَّاسُ بِهَا فِتْنَةً، فَمَا أَخَذُوهُ مِنْهَا لَهَا أُخْرِجُوا مِنْهُ وَحُوسِبُوا عَلَيْهِ، وَمَا أَخَذُوهُ مِنْهَا لِغَيْرِهَا قَدِمُوا عَلَيْهِ وَأَقَامُوا فِيهِ؛ فَإِنَّهَا عِنْدَ ذَوِي الْعُقُولِ كَفَيْءِ الظِّلِّ، بِيْنَا تَرَاهُ سَابِغاًحَتَّى قَلَصَ وَزَائِداً حَتَّى نَقَصَ.
(1) Al-'Amidi, Ghurar, under inna, 10, 88, 199.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
في المبادرة إلى صالح الاعمال
O creatures of Allah! Fear Allah and anticipate your death by good actions. Purchase everlasting joy by paying transitory things - pleasures of this world. Get ready for the journey, for you are being driven, and prepare yourselves for death, since it is hovering over you. Be a people who wake up when called, and who know that this world is not their abode, and so have it changed (with the next).
وَاتَّقُوا اللهَ عِبَادَ اللهِ، وَبَادِرُوا آجَالَكُمْ بِأَعْمَالِكُمْ وَابْتَاعُوامَا يَبْقَى لَكُمْ بِمَا يَزُولُ عَنْكُمْ، وَتَرَحَّلُوافَقَدْ جُدَّ بِكُمْ وَاسْتَعِدُّوا لِلْمَوْتِ فَقَدْ أَظَلَّكُمْ وَكُونُوا قَوْماً صِيحَ بِهمْ فَانْتَبَهُوا، وَعَلِمُوا أَنَّ الدُّنْيَا لَيْسَتْ لَهُمْ بِدَارٍ فَاسْتَبْدَلُوا
Certainly, Allah has not created you aimlessly nor left you as useless. There is nothing between anyone of you and Paradise or Hell except death that must befall him. The life that is being shortened every moment and being dismantled every hour must be regarded very short.
The hidden thing namely death which is being driven (to you) by two over new phenomena, the day and the night, is certainly quick of approach. The traveller which is approaching with success or failure (namely death) deserves the best of provision. So acquire such provision from this world while you are here with which you may shield yourself tomorrow (on the Day of Judgement).
فَإِنَّ اللهَ لَمْ يَخْلُقْكُمْ عَبَثاً، وَلَمْ يَتْرُكْكُمْ سُدىً وَمَا بَيْنَ أَحَدِكُمْ وَبَيْنَ الْجَنَّةِ أَوِ النَّارِ إِلاَّ الْمَوْتُ أَنْ يَنْزِلَ بِهِ. وَإِنَّ غَايَةً تَنْقُصُهَا اللَّحْظَةُ، وَتَهْدِمُهَا السَّاعَةُ، لَجَدِيرَةٌ بِقِصَرِالْمُدَّةِ، وَإِنَّ غَائِباً يَحْدُوهُ الْجَدِيدَانِ اللَّيْلُ وَالنَّهَارُ، لَحَرِيٌّ بِسُرْعَةِ الاْوْبَةِ وَإِنَّ قَادِماً يَقْدُمُ بِالفَوْزِ أَوالشِّقْوَةِ لَمُسْتَحِقٌّ لاِفْضَلِ الْعُدَّةِ، فَتَزَوَّدُوا فِي الدُّنيَا مِنَ الدُّنْيَا مَا تَحْرُزُونَ بِهِ نُفُوسَكُمْ غَداً.
So everyone should fear Allah, should admonish himself, should send forward his repentance and should overpower his desire, because his death is hidden from him, his desires deceive him and Satan is posted on him and he beautifies for him sin so that he may commit it and prompts him to delay repentance till his desires make him the most negligent. Pity is for the negligent person whose life itself would be a proof against him and his own days (passed in sin) would lead him to punishment.
فَاتَّقَىْ عَبْدٌ رَبِّهُ، نَصَحَ نَفْسَهُ، قَدَّمَ تَوْبَتَهُ، غَلَبَ شَهْوَتَهُ، فَإِنَّ أَجَلَهُ مَسْتُورٌ عَنْهُ، وَأَمَلَهُ خَادِعٌ لَهُ، والشَّيْطَانُ مُوَكَّلٌ بِه، يُزَيِّنُ لَهُ الْمَعْصِيَةَ لِيَرْكَبَهَا، وَيُمَنِّيهِ التَّوْبَةَ لِيُسَوِّفَهَا حتّى تَهْجُم مَنِيَّتُهُ عَلَيْهِ أَغْفَلَ مَا يَكُونُ عَنْهَا. فَيَالَهَا حَسْرَةً عَلَى كُلِّ ذِي غَفْلَةٍ أَنْ يَكُونَ عُمُرُهُ عَلَيْهِ حُجَّةً، وَأَنْ تُؤَدِّيَهُ أَيَّامُهُ إِلَى الشِّقْوَةِ!
We ask Allah, the Glorified, that He may make us and you like one whom bounty does not mislead, whom nothing can stop from obedience of Allah and whom shame and grief do not befall after death.
نَسْأَلُ اللهَ سُبْحَانَهُ أَنْ يَجْعَلَنَا وَإِيَّاكُمْ مِمِّنْ لاَ تُبْطِرُهُ نَعْمَةٌ وَلاَ تُقَصِّرُ بِهِ عَنْ طَاعَةِ رَبِّهِ غَايَةٌ، وَلاَ تَحُلُّ بِهِ بَعْدَ الْمَوْتِ نَدَامَةٌ وَلاَ كَآبَةٌ.
(1) Al-'Amidi, Ghurar, 105, 154, 155, 246;
(2) Sibt, Tadhkirah, 145.
(3) Nasr, Siffin, 7.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
وفيها مباحث لطيفة من العلم الالهي
Praise be to Allah for Whom one condition does not proceed another so that He may be the First before being the Last or He may be Manifest before being Hidden. Everyone called one (alone) save Him is by virtue of being small (in number); and everyone enjoying honour other than Him is humble. Every powerful person other than Him is weak. Every master (owner) other than Him is slave (owned).
الْحَمْدُ للهِ الَّذِي لَمْ تَسْبِقْ لَهُ حَالٌ حالاً، فَيَكُونَ أَوَّلاً قَبْلَ أَنْ يَكُونَ آخِراً، وَيَكُونَ ظَاهِراً قَبْلَ أَنْ يَكُونَ بَاطِناً.
كُلُّ مُسَمّىً بِالْوَحْدَةِ غَيْرَهُ قَلِيلٌ، وَكُلُّ عَزِيز غَيْرَهُ ذَلِيلٌ، وَكُلُّ قَوِي غَيْرَهُ ضَعِيفٌ، وَكُلُّ مَالِك غَيْرَهُ مَمْلُوكٌ،
Every knower other than Him is seeker of knowledge. Every controller other than Him is sometimes imbued with control and sometimes with disability. Every listener other than Him is deaf to light voices while loud voices make him deaf and distant voices also get away from him. Every onlooker other than Him is blind to hidden colours and delicate bodies. Every manifest thing other than Him is hidden, but every hidden thing other than Him is incapable of becoming manifest.
وَكُلُّ عَالِم غَيْرَهُ مُتَعَلِّمٌ، وَكُلُّ قَادِر غَيْرَهُ يَقْدِرُ وَيَعْجَزُ، وَكُلُّ سَمِيع غَيْرَهُ يَصَمُّ عَنْ لَطِيفِ الاْصْوَاتِ، ويُصِمُّهُ كَبِيرُهَا، وَيَذْهَبُ عَنْهُ مَا بَعُدَ مِنْهَا، وَكُلُّ بَصِير غَيْرَهُ يَعْمَى عَنْ خَفِيِّ الاْلْوَانِ وَلَطِيفِ الاْجْسَامِ، وَكُلُّ ظَاهِر غَيْرَهُ غَيْرُ بَاطِن، وَكُلُّ بَاطِن غَيْرَهُ غَيْرُ ظَاهِر.
He did not create what He created to fortify His authority nor for fear of the consequences of time, nor to seek help against the attack of an equal or a boastful partner or a hateful opponent. On the other hand all the creatures are reared by him and are His humbled slaves.
He is not conditioned in anything so that it be said that He exists therein, nor is He separated from anything so as to be said that He is away from it. The creation of what He initiated or the administration of what He controls did not fatigue Him. No disability overtook Him against what He created. No misgiving ever occurred to Him in what He ordained and resolved. But His verdict is certain, His knowledge is definite, His governance is overwhelming. He is wished for at time of distress and He is feared even in bounty.
لَمْ يَخْلُقْ مَا خَلَقَهُ لِتَشْدِيدِ سُلْطَانٍ، وَلاَ تَخْوُّفٍ مِنْ عَوَاقِبِ زَمَانٍ، وَلاَ اسْتِعَانَةٍ عَلَى نِدٍّاً مُثَاوِرٍ وَلاَ شَرِيكٍ مُكَاثِرٍ وَلاَ ضِدٍّ مُنَافِرٍ وَلكِنْ خَلاَئِقُ مَرْبُوبُونَ وَعِبَادٌ دَاخِرُونَ
لَمْ يَحْلُلْ فِي الاْشْيَاءِ فَيُقَالَ: هُوَ فيها كَائِنٌ، وَلَمْ يَنْأَ عَنْهَا فَيُقَالَ: هُوَ مِنْهَا بَائِنٌ لَمْ يَؤُدْهُ خَلْقُ مَا ابْتَدَأَ، وَلاَ تَدْبِيرُ مَا ذَرَأَ وَلاَ وَقَفَ بِهِ عَجْرٌ عَمَّا خَلَقَ،وَلاَ وَلَجَتْ عَلَيْهِ شُبْهُةٌ فِيَما قَضَى وَقَدَّرَ، بَلْ قَضَاءٌ مُتْقَنٌ، وَعِلْمٌ مُحْكَمٌ، وَأَمْرٌ مُبْرَمٌ المَأْمُولُ مَعَ النِّقَمِ، المرَهُوبُ مَعَ النِّعَمِ .
(1) Al-Saduq, al-Tawhid, 29, 62;
(2) al-Wasiti, `Uyun;
(3) al-'Amidi, Ghurar, 238.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
في تعليم الحرب والمقاتلة
في بعض أيام صفين
O Muslims! Make fear of Allah the routine of your life. Cover yourselves with peace of mind and clench your teeth because this makes the sword slip off from the skull. Complete your armour and shake your swords in their sheathes before showing them out. Have your eyes on the enemy. Use your spears on both sides and strike (the enemy) with swords. Keep in mind that you are before Allah and in the company of the Prophet's cousin.
Repeat your attacks and feel ashamed of running away, because it is a shame for posterity and (cause of awarding you) fire on the Day of Judgement. Give your lives (to Allah) willingly and walk towards death with ease. Beware of this great majority, and the pitched tent and aim at its centre because Satan is hiding in its corner. He has extended his hand for assault and has kept back his foot for running away. Keep on enduring till the light of Truth dawns upon you.
While ye have the upper hand, and Allah is with you, and never will He depreciate your deeds. (Qur'an, 47:35)
مَعَاشِرَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ: اسْتَشْعِرُوا الْخَشْيَةَ وَتَجَلْبَبُواالسَّكِينَةَ، وَعَضُّواعَلَى النَّوَاجِذِ فَإِنَّهُ أَنْبَى لِلْسُّيُوفِ عَنِ الْهَامِ وَأَكْمِلُوا اللاَّمَةَ ،وَقَلْقِلُواالسُّيُوفَ فِي أَغْمَادِهَا قَبْلَ سَلِّهَا، وَالْحَظُوا الْخَزْرَ وَاطْعُنُوا الشَّزْرَ وَنَافِحُوا بِالظُّبَا وَصِلُوا السُّيُوفَ بَالْخُطَا وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّكُمْ بِعَيْنِ اللهِ، وَمَعَ ابْنِ عَمِّ رَسُولِ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وآله ، فَعَاوِدُوا الْكَرَّ، وَاسْتَحْيُوا مِنَ الْفَرِّ فَإِنَّهُ عَارٌ فِي الاْعْقَابِ وَنَارٌ يَوْمَ الْحِسَابِ، وَطِيبُوا عَنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ نَفْساً، وَامْشُوا إِلَى الْمَوْتِ مَشْياً سُجُحاً وَعَلَيْكُمْ بِهذَا السَّوَادِ الاْعْظَمِ، وَالرِّوَاقِ المُطَنَّبِ، فَاضْرِبُوا ثَبَجَهُ فإِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ كَامِنٌ فِي كِسْرِهِ قَدْ قَدَّمَ لِلْوَثْبَةِ يَداً، وَأَخَّرَ لِلنُّكُوصِ رِجْلاً؛ فَصَمْداً صَمْداً! حَتَّى يَنْجَلِيَ لَكُمْ عَمُودُ الْحَقِّ . (وَأَنْتُمُ الاْعْلَوْنَ وَاللهُ مَعَكُمْ وَلَنْ يَتِرَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ).
(1) Nasr, Siffin, see Ibn Abi al-Hadid, I, 479;
(2) Ibn Qutaybah, `Uyun, I, 110, 133;
(3) al-Jahiz, al-Bayan, II, 24;
(4) al-Bayhaqi, al-Mahasin, 45;
(5) al-Tabari, Basharah, 172;
(6) al-Quda`i, Dustur, 124;
(7) Ibn `Asakir, Ta'rikh, XII, 182;
(8) al-Mas`udi, Muruj, II, 380;
(9) Furat, Tafsir al-Qur'an.
When after the death of the Prophet, news reached Amir al-mu'minin about the happening in Saqifah of Bani Sa`idah,1 he enquired what the Ansar said. People said that they were asking for one chief from among them and one from the others, Amir al-mu'minin said:
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
في معنى الانصار
قالوا: لمّا انتهت إلى أميرالمؤمنين (عليه السلام) أنباء السقيفة بعد وفاة رسول الله(صلى الله عليه وآله)،
قال(عليه السلام): ما قالت الانصار؟
قالوا: قالت: منا أمير ومنكم أمير، قال عليه السلام: .
Why did you not argue against them (ansar) that the Prophet had left his will that whoever is good among Ansar should be treated well and whoever is bad should be forgiven.
People said: "What is the proof against them in it?"
Amir al-mu'minin said:
"If the Government was for them there should have been no will in their favour."
Then he said:
"What did the Quraysh plead?"
People said: "They argued that they belong to the lineal tree of the Prophet.
Then Amir al-mu'minin said:
"They defended themselves with the plea of the tree but neglected the fruit."
قال (عليه السلام): فَهَلاَّ احْتَجَجْتُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ: بِأَنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ(صلى الله عليه وآله) وَصَّى بِأَنْ يُحْسَنَ إِلَى مُحْسِنِهمْ، وَيُتَجَاوَزَ عَنْ مُسِيئِهِمْ؟
قالوا: وما في هذا من الحجّة عليهم؟
فقال(عليه السلام): لَوْ كَانَتِ الامارة فِيهمْ لَمْ تَكُنِ الْوَصِيَّةُ بِهِمْ.
ثم قال: فَمَاذَا قَالَتْ قُرَيْشٌ؟
قالوا: احتجت بأَنها شجرة الرسول (صلى الله عليه وآله).
فقال (عليه السلام): احْتَجُّوا بِالشَّجَرَةِ، وَأَضَاعُوا الَّثمَرَةَ.
(1) Al-Nuwayri, Nihayah, VIII, 168;
(2) al-'Amidi, Ghurar, 326;
(3) al-Karajiki, al-Ta`ajjub, 13;
(4) al-Jawhari, al-Saqifah, see Ibn Abi al-Hadid, II, at the beginning;
(5) al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, VI, 263;
(6) Ibn `Abd al-Birr, al-'Isti`ab, in the account of `Awf ibn Athathah;
(7) al-Mas`udi, Muruj;
(8) al-Tawhidi, al-Basa'ir, 59;
(9)al-Murtada, al-'Amali, I, 198.
When Amir al-mu'minin appointed Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr1 Governor of Egypt and he was overpowered and killed, Amir al-mu'minin said:
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
لمّا قلد محمّد بن أبي بكر مصر فملكت عليه وقتل
I had intended to send Hashim ibn `Utbah to Egypt and had l done so he would not have made way for the opponents nor given them time (to get hold of him). This is without reproach to Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr as I loved him and had brought him up.
وَقَدْ أَرَدْتُ تَوْلِيَةَ مِصْرَ هَاشِمَ بْنَ عُتْبَةَ، وَلَوْ وَلَّيْتُهُ إِيَّاهَا لَما خَلَّى لَهُمُ الْعَرْصَةَ، وَلاَ أَنْهَزَهُمُ الْفُرْصَةَ، بَلاَ ذَمٍّ لِمحَمَّدِ بْنِ أَبي بَكْر، فَلَقَدْ كَانَ إِلَيَّ حَبِيباً، وَكَانَ لي رَبِيباً.
(1) Al-Thaqafi, al-Gharat;
(2) al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, VI, 63 (events of the year 36);
(3) al-Baladhuri, Ansab, II, 404.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
في ذمّ أصحابه
How long shall I accord you consideration that is accorded to camels with hollow hump, or to worn clothes which when stitched on one side give way on the other. Whenever a vanguard force of Syria (ash-Sham) hovers over you, everyone of you shuts his door and hides himself like the lizard in its hole or a badger it its den.
By Allah, he whom people like you support must suffer disgrace and he who throws arrows with your support is as if he throws arrows that are broken both at head and tail. By Allah, within the courtyard you are quite numerous but under the banner you are only a few.
Certainly, I know what can improve you and how your crookedness can be straightened. But I shall not improve your condition by marring myself. Allah may disgrace your faces and destroy you. You do not understand the right as you understand the wrong and do not crush the wrong as you crush the right.
كَمْ أُدَارِيكُمْ كَمَا تُدَارَى الْبِكَارُ الْعَمِدَةُ وَالثِّيَابُ الْمتَدَاعِيَةُ! كُلَّما حِيصَتْا مِنْ جَانِبٍ تَهَتَّكَتْ مِنْ آخَرَ، كُلَّما أَطَلَّ عَلَيْكُمْ مَنْسِرٌمِنْ مَنَاسِرِ أَهْلِ الشَّامِ أَغْلَقَ كُلُّ رَجُلٍ مِنْكُمْ بَابَهُ، وَانْجَحَرَانْجِحَارَ الضَّبَّةِ في جُحْرِهَا، وَالضَّبُعِ فِي وِجَارِهَا. الذَّلِيلُ وَاللهِ مَنْ نَصَرْتُمُوهُ! وَمَنْ رُمِيَ بِكُمْ فَقَدْ رُمِيَ بِأَفْوَقَ نَاصِلٍ
إِنَّكُمْ ـ وَاللهِ ـ لَكَثِيرٌ فِي الْبَاحَاتِ قَليِلٌ تَحْتَ الرَّايَاتِ، وَإِنِّي لَعَالِمٌ بِمَا يُصْلِحُكُمْ، وَيُقِيمُ أَوَدَكُمْ وَلكِنِّي واللهِ لاَ أَرى إِصْلاَحَكُمْ بَإِفْسَادِ نَفْسِي. أَضْرَعَ اللهُ خُدُودَكُمْ وَأَتْعَسَ جُدُودَكُمْ لاَ تَعْرِفُونَ الْحَقَّ كَمَعْرِفَتِكُمُ الْبَاطِلَ، وَلاَ تُبْطِلُونَ الْبَاطِلَ كَإِبطَالِكُمُ الْحَقَّ!
(1) Al-Baladhuri, Ansab, II, 438, 458;
(2) al-Ya`qubi, Ta'rikh, II, 184;
(3) al-Thaqafi, al-Gharat;
(4) al-Tabari, Ta'rikh,* VI, 3444, 3445, chronicles of the year 39.
وقال (عليه السلام)
في سُحرة اليوم الذي ضرب فيه
I was sitting when sleep overtook me. I saw the Prophet of Allah appear before me, and I said: "O Prophet of Allah! What crookedness and enmity I had to face from the people. "The Prophet of Allah said: "Invoke (Allah) evil upon them," but I said, "Allah may change them for me with better ones and change me for them with a worse one”.
مَلَكَتْنِي عَيْنِي وَأَنَا جَالِسٌ، فَسَنَحَ لي رَسُولُ اللهِ (صلى الله عليه وآله( : يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، مَاذَا لَقِيتُ مِنْ أُمَّتِكَ مِنَ الاْوَدِ وَاللَّدَدِ؟ فَقَالَ: «ادْعُ عَلَيْهِمْ»، فَقُلْتُ: أَبْدَلَنِي اللهُ بِهمْ خَيْراً لي مِنْهُمْ، وَأَبْدَلَهُمْ بِي شَرّاً لَهُمْ مِنِّي.
as-Sayyid ar-Radi says: "al-awad" means crookedness and "al-ladad" means enmity, and this is the most eloquent expression.
يعني(عليه السلام) بالاود: الاعوجاج، وباللدد: الخصام. وهذا من أفصح الكلام.
(1) Ibn Sa`d, al-Tabaqat, III, 36;
(2) Abu al-Faraj, Maqatil, 16;
(3) Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`Iqd, II, 298;
(4) al-Qali, Dhayl al-'Amali, 190;
(5) Ibn Qutaybah, al-'Imamah, I, 160;
(6) Muhammad ibn Habib, al-Mughtalin, on the authority of Abu `Abd al-Rahman al-Salami;
(7) Ibn `Abd al-Birr, al-'Isti`ab, III, 61;
(8) al-Mufid, al-'Irshad, 9;
(9) al-Murtada, Ghurar, IV, 78;
(10) al-Baladhuri, Ansab, II, 495.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
في ذم أَهل العراق
[وفيها يوبّخهم على ترك القتال، والنصر يكاد يتمّ، ثم تكذيبهم له]
Now then, O people1 of Iraq! You are like the pregnant woman who, on completion of the period of pregnancy delivers a dead child and her husband is also dead and her period of widowhood is long while only remote relation inherits her. By Allah, I did not come to you of my own accord. I came to you by force of circumstances. I have come to know that you say `Ali speaks lie. May Allah fight you! Against whom do I speak lie?
Whether against Allah? But I am the first to have believed in him. Whether against His Prophet? But I am the first who testified to him. Certainly not. By Allah it was a way of expression which you failed to appreciate, and you were not capable of it. Woe to you. I am giving out these measures of nice expression free of any cost. I wish there were vessels good enough to hold them.
Certainly, you will understand it after some time. (Qur'an, 38:88)
أَمَّا بَعْدُ يَا أَهْلَ الْعِرَاقِ، فَإِنَّمَا أَنْتُمْ كَالْمَرْأَةِ الْحَامِلِ، حَمَلَتْ فَلَمَّا أَتَمَّتْ أَمْلَصَتْ، وَمَاتَ قَيِّمُهَا، وَطَالَ تَأَيُّمُهَا، وَوَرِثَهَا أَبْعَدُهَا.
أَمَا وَاللهِ مَا أَتَيْتُكُمُ اخْتِيَاراً، وَلكِنْ جَئْتُ إِلَيْكُمْ سَوْقاً، وَلَقَدْ بَلَغَنِي أَنَّكُمْ تَقُولُونَ: [عَليٌّ ] يَكْذِبُ، قَاتَلَكُمُ اللهُ! فَعَلَى مَنْ أَكْذِبُ؟ أَعَلَى اللهِ؟ فَأَنَا أَوَّلُ مَنْ آمَنَ بِهِ! أَمْ عَلَى نَبِيِّهِ؟ فَأَنَا أَوَّلُ مَنْ صَدَّقَهُ! كَلاَّ وَاللهِ، ولكِنَّهَا لَهْجَةٌ غِبْتُمْ عَنْهَا، وَلَمْ تَكُونُوا مِنْ أَهْلِهَا، وَيْلُ امِّهِ، كَيْلاً بِغَيْرِ ثَمَن! لَوْ كَانَ لَهُ وِعَاءٌ، ) وَلَتَعْلَمُنَّ نَبَأَهُ بَعْدَ حِين(
(1) Ibn Da`b, al-'Ikhtisas, 155;
(2) al-Mufid, al-'Irshad, 161;
(3) al-Tabarsi, al-'Ihtijaj, I, 254;
(4) al-Kulayni, al-Kafi, II, 236;
(5) Ibn Qutaybah, `Uyun, II, 301;
(6) al-Mufid, al-Majalis, 105;
(7) Sibt, Tadhkirah, 137.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
علّم فيها الناس الصلاة على رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله)
]وفيها بيان صفات الله سبحانه وصفة النبي والدعاء له[
My God, the Spreader of the surfaces (of earth) and Keeper (intact) of all skies, Creator of hearts on good and evil nature, send Thy choicest blessings and growing favours on Muhammad Thy servant and Thy Prophet who is the last of those who preceded (him) and an opener for what is closed, proclaimer of truth with truth, repulser of the forces of wrong and crusher of the onslaughts of misguidance.
As he was burdened (with responsibility of prophethood) so he bore it standing by Thy commands, advancing towards Thy will, without shrinking of steps of weakness of determination, listening to Thy revelation, preserving Thy testament, proceeding forward in the spreading of Thy commands till he lit fire for its seeker and lighted the path for the groper in the dark.
اللَّهُمَّ دَاحَيَ الْمَدْحُوَّاتِ، وَدَاعِمَ الْمَسْمُوكَاتِ، وَجَابِلَ الْقُلُوبِ عَلَى فِطْرَتِهَا: شَقِيِّهَا وَسَعِيدِهَا. اجْعَلْ شَرَائِفَ صَلَوَاتِكَ، وَنَوَامِيَ بَرَكَاتِكَ، عَلَى مُحَمَّد عَبْدِكَ وَرَسُولِكَ، الْخَاتمِ لِمَا سَبَقَ، وَالْفَاتِحِ لِمَا انْغَلَقَ، وَالْمُعْلِنِ الْحَقَّ بِالْحَقِّ، وَالدَّافِعِ جَيْشَاتِ الاْباطِيلِ، وَالدَّامِغِ صَوْلاَتِ الاْضَالِيلِ، كَمَا حُمِّلَ فَاضْطَلَعَ، قَائِماً بِأَمْرِكَ، مُسْتَوْفِزاً فِي مَرْضَاتِكَ، غَيْرَ نَاكِل عَنْ قُدُم، وَلاَ وَاه فِي عَزْمِ، وَاعِياً لِوَحْيِكَ، حَافِظاً لِعَهْدَكَ، مَاضِياً عَلَى نَفَاذِ أَمْرِكَ; حَتَّى أَوْرَى قَبَسَ الْقَابِسِ، وَأَضَاءَ الطَّرِيقَ لِلْخَابِطِ
Hearts achieved guidance through him after being ridden with troubles. He introduced clearly guiding signs and shining injunctions. He is Thy trusted trustee, the treasurer of Thy treasured knowledge, Thy witness on the Day of Judgement, Thy envoy of truth and Thy Messenger towards the people.
وَهُدِيَتْ بِهِ الْقُلُوبُ بَعْدَ خَوْضَاتِ الْفِتَنِ، وَأَقَامَ مُوضِحاتِ الاْعْلاَمِ، وَنَيِّرَاتِ الاْحْكَامِ، فَهُوَ أَمِينُكَ الْمَأْمُونُ، وَخَازِنُ عِلْمِكَ الْمخْزُونِ، وَشَهِيدُكَ يَوْمَ الدِّينِ، وَبَعِيثُكَ بِالْحَقِّ، وَرَسُولُكَ إِلَى الْخَلْقِ.
My God prepare large place for him under Thy shade and award him multiplying good by Thy bounty. My God, give height to his construction above all other constructions, heighten his position with Thee, grant perfection to his effulgence and perfect for him his light. In reward for his discharging Thy prophetship, grant him that his testimony be admitted and his speech be liked for his speech is just, and his judgements are clear-cut. My God put us and him together in the pleasures of life, continuance of bounty, satisfaction of desires, enjoyment of pleasures. ease of living, peace of mind and gifts of honour.
اللَّهُمَّ افْسَحْ لَهُ مَفْسَحاً فِي ظِلِّكَ، وَاجْزِهِ مُضَاعَفَاتِ الْخَيْرِ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ . اللَّهُمَّ أَعْلِ عَلَى بِنَاءِ الْبَانِينَ بِنَاءَهُ، وَأَكْرِمْ لَدَيْكَ مَنْزِلَتَهُ، وَأَتْمِمْ لَهُ نُورَهُ، وَاجْزِهِ مِنَ ابْتِعَاثِكَ لَهُ مَقبُولَ الشَّهَادَةِ، مَرْضِيَّ المَقالَةِ، ذا مَنْطِق عَدْل، وخُطّة فَصْل.
اللَّهُمَّ اجْمَعْ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَهُ فِي بَرْدِ الْعَيشِ، وَقَرَارِ النِّعْمَةِ، وَمُنَى الشَّهَوَاتِ، وَأَهْوَاءِ اللَّذَّاتِ، وَرَخَاءِ الدَّعَةِ وَمُنْتَهَى الْطُمَأْنِينَةِ، وَتُحَفِ الْكَرَامَةِ.
(1) Ibn Qutaybah, Gharib al-hadith, see Ibn Abi al-Hadid, IV, 364;
(2) al-Thaqafi, al-Gharat, I, 159;
(3) al-Qali, Dhayl al-'Amali, 173;
(4) al-'Azhari, Tahdhib;
(5) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah;
(6) al-Quda`i, Dustur, 119;
(7) Sibt, Tadhkirah, 136;
(8) al-Samahiji, al-Sahifat al-`Alawiyyah,
(9) al-Zamakhshari, al-Fa'iq; for the asnad of this Khutbah see al-Mahmudi, Nahj al-sa`adah, 286.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
قاله لمروان بن الحكم بالبصرة
قالوا: أُخِذَ مروان بن الحكم أَسيراً يوم الجمل، فاستشفع الحسن والحسين (عليهما السلام) إلى أَميرالمؤمنين (عليه السلام)، فكلّماه فيه، فخلّى سبيله، فقالا له: يبايعك يا أميرالمؤمنين؟ فقال:
Did he not swear me allegiance after the killing of `Uthman? Now I do not need his allegiance, because his is the hand of a Jew. If he swears me allegiance with his hand he would violate it after a short while. Well, he is to get power for so long as a dog licks his nose. He is the father of four rams (who will also rule). The people will face days through him and his sons. 1
أَفَلَمْ يُبَايِعْنِي بَعْدَ قَتْلِ عُثْمانَ؟ لاَ حَاجَةَ لِي في بَيْعَتِهِ! إِنِّهَا كَفٌّ يَهُودِيَّةٌ لَوْ بَايَعَنِي بِيَدِهِ لَغَدَرَ بِسُبَّتِهِ. أَمَا إِنَّ لَهُ إِمْرَةً كَلَعْقَةِ الْكَلْبِ أَنْفَهُ، وَهُوَ أَبُو الاْكُبُشِ الاْرْبَعَةِ، وَسَتَلْقَى الاْمَّة مِنْهُ وَمِنْ وَلَدِهِ يَوْمَاً أَحْمَرَ!
(1) Ibn Sa`d, al-Tabaqat, I, in the account of Marwan;
(2) al-Baladhuri, Ansab, II, 361;
(3) al-Zamakhshari, Rabi`, I, 37;
(4) Sibt, Tadhkirah, 78;
(5) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, I, 67; see al-Damiri, Hayat al-hayawan and Ibn Abi al-Hadid, II, 54.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
لمّا عزموا على بيعة عثمان
You have certainly known that I am the most rightful of all others for the Caliphate. By Allah, so long as the affairs of Muslims remain intact and there is no oppression in it save on myself I shall keep quiet seeking reward for it (from Allah) and keeping aloof from its attractions and allurements for which you aspire.
لَقَدْ عَلِمْتُمْ أَنَّي أَحَقُّ بِهَا مِنْ غَيْرِي، وَوَاللهِ لاَسْلِمَنَّ مَاسَلِمَتْ أُمُورُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ، وَلَمْ يَكُنْ فِيهِا جَوْرٌ إِلاَّ عَلَيَّ خَاصَّةً، الْتمَاساً لاِجْرِ ذلِكَ وَفَضْلِهِ، وَزُهْداً فِيَما تَنافَسْتُمُوهُ مِنْ زُخْرُفِهِ وَزِبْرِجِهِ
(1) Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, chronicles of the year 23;
(2) al-'Azhari, Tahdhib, I, 341;
(3) al-Harawi, al-Jam`;
(4) al-Shaykh Warram, Tanbih;
(5) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, events of the year 23.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
لمّا بلغه اتهام بني أُميّة له بالمشاركة في دم عثمان
The Umayyads's knowledge about me did not restrain them from accusing me, nor did my precedence (in accepting Islam) keep off these ignorant people from blaming me. Allah's admonitions are more eloquent than my tongue. I am the contester against those who break away from Faith and the opposer of those who entertain doubts. Uncertainties should be placed before Qur'an, the Book of Allah (for clarification). Certainly, people will be recompensed according to what they have in their hearts.
أَوَلَمْ يَنْهَ بَنِي أُمَيَّةَ عِلْمُهَا بِي عَنْ قَرْفي أَوَمَا وَزَعَ الْجُهَّالُ سَابِقَتِي عَنْ تُهَمَتِي؟! وَلَمَا وَعَظَهُمُ اللهُ بِهِ أَبْلَغُ مِنْ لِسَاني. أَنَا حَجِيجُ الْمَارِقِينَ وَخَصِيمُ الْمُرْتَابِينَ، عَلَى كِتَابِ اللهِ تُعْرَضُ الاْمْثالُ، وَبِمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ تُجَازَى الْعِبَادُ!
(1) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, under (q.r.f);
(2) al-Turayhi, Majma`, under (q.r.f).
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
في الحث على العمل الصالح
May Allah bless whoever listens to a point of wisdom and retains it, when he is invited to the right path he approaches it, he follows a leader (by catching his waist band) and finds salvation, keeps Allah before his eyes and fears his sins, performs actions sincerely and acts virtuously, earns treasure of heavenly rewards, avoids vice, aims at (good) objectives and reaps recompense, faces his desires and rejects (fake) hopes, makes endurance the means to his salvation and piety the provision for his death, rides on the path of honour and sticks to the highway of truth, makes good use of his time and hastens towards the end and takes with him the provision of (good) actions.
رَحِمَ اللهُ عَبْداً سَمِعَ حُكْماً فَوَعَى وَدُعِيَ إِلَى رَشَادٍ فَدَنَا وَأَخَذَ بِحُجْزَةِ هَادٍ فَنَجَا، رَاقَبَ رَبِّهُ، وَخَافَ ذَنْبَهُ، قَدَّمَ خَالِصاً، وَعَمِلَ صَالِحاً، اكْتَسَبَ مَذْخُوراً وَاجْتَنَبَ مَحْذُوراً، رَمَى غَرَضاً، وَأَحْرَزَ عِوَضاً، كابَرَ هَوَاهُ، وَكَذَّبَ مُناهُ، جَعَلَ الصَّبْرَ مَطِيَّةَ نَجَاتِهِ، والتَّقْوَى عُدَّةَ وَفَاتِهِ، رَكِبَ الطَّرِيقَةَ الْغَرَّاءَ وَلَزِمَ الْمحَجَّةَ الْبَيْضَاءَ، اغْتَنَمَ الْمَهَلَ وَبَادَرَ الاْجَلَ، وَتَزَوَّدَ مِنَ الْعَمَلِ.
(1) Al-Harrani, Tuhaf, 151;
(2) al-Karajiki, Kanz, 162;
(3) Ibn Talhah, Matalib, I, 59;
(4) Ibn Shakir, `Uyun al-hikam;
(5) al-Zamakhshari, Rabi`, I, 231;
(6) al-Husari, Zahr, I, 42;
(7) al-'Amidi, Ghurar;
(8) Sibt, Tadhkirah, 145.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
وذلك حين منعه سعيد بن العاص حقه
The Banu Umayyah (Umayyads) are allowing me the inheritance of Muhammad (S) bit (by bit). By Allah, if I live I would throw them away as the butcher removes the dust from the dust-covered piece of flesh.
إِنَّ بَنِي أُمَيَّةَ لَيُفَوِّقُونَني تُرَاثَ مُحَمَّد تَفْوِيقاً، وَاللهِ لَئِنْ بَقِيتُ لُهُمْ لاَنْفُضَنَّهُمْ نَفْضَ اللَّحَّام الْوِذَامَ التَّرِبَةَ!
as-Sayyid ar-Radi says: In one version for “al-widhamu’t-taribah” (dust covered piece of flesh) the words “at-turabu’l-wadhimah” (the soil sticking on a piece of flesh) have been shown. That is, for the adjective the qualified noun and for the qualified noun the adjective has been placed. And by the word “layufawwiqunani” Amir al-mu’minin implies that they allow him bit by bit just as a she-camel may be milked a little and then its young one may be made to suck milk so that it may be ready to be milked. And “al-widham” is the plural of “wadhamah” which means the piece of stomach or of liver which falls on the ground and then the dust is removed from it.
قال الشريف: ويروى: «التراب الوَذَمَة»، وهو على القلب.
و قوله (عليه السلام): «لَيُفَوّقونَني» أي: يعطونني من المال قليلاً قليلاً كفُواق الناقة، وهو الحلبة الواحدة من لبنها. والوِذَامُ: جمع وَذَمة، وهي: الحُزّة من الكرش أوالكبد تقع في التراب فتنفض.
(1) Abu al-Faraj, al-'Aghani, XI, 29, II, 29;
(2) al-'Azhari, Tahdhib, XV, 27;
(3) Ibn Salam, Gharib al-hadith;
(4) Ibn Durayd, al-Mu'talif;
(5) Al-'Isfahani, al-Jam` bayn al-Gharibayn;
(6) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, I, 186;
(7) al-`Askari, Jamharat al-'amthal, I, 165.
ومن كلمات له (عليه السلام) كان يدعوبها
O My God! Forgive me what Thou knowest about me more than I do. If I return (to the sins) Thou return to forgiveness. My God forgive me what I had promised to myself but Thou didst not find its fulfilment with me. My God forgive me that with what I sought nearness to Thee with my tongue but my heart opposed and did not perform it. My God forgive me winkings of the eye, vile utterances, desires of the heart and errors of speech.
اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي مَا أَنْتَ أَعْلَمُ بِهِ مِنِّي، فَإِنْ عُدْتُ فَعُدْ لي بِالْمَغْفِرَةِ .
اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي مَا وَأَيْتُ مِنْ نَفْسِي، وَلَمْ تَجِدْ لَهُ وَفَاءً عِنْدي.
اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي مَا تَقَرَّبْتُ بِهِ إِلَيْكَ [بِلِسَاني]، ثُمَّ خَالَفَهُ قَلْبِي.
اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي رَمَزَاتِ الاْلْحَاظِ وَسَقَطَاتِ الاْلْفَاظِ وَشَهَوَاتِ الْجَنَانِ ، وَهَفَوَاتِ اللِّسَانِ .
(1) Al-Jahiz, al-Mi'at al-mukhtarah.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
لبعض أصحابه لمّا عزم على المسير إِلى الخوارج، فقال له: يا أميرالمؤمنين إن سرت في هذا الوقت، خشيتُ ألاَّ تظفر بمرادك، من طريق علم النجوم، فقال (عليه السلام):
Do you think you can tell the time when a man goes out and no evil befall him or can warn of the time at which if one goes out harm will accrue? Whoever testifies to this falsifies the Qur’an and becomes unmindful of Allah in achieving his desired objective and in warding off the undesirable. You cherish saying this so that he who acts on what you say should praise you rather than Allah because according to your misconception you have guided him about the hour in which he would secure benefit and avoid harm.
أَتَزْعَمُ أَنَّكَ تَهْدِي إِلَى السَّاعَةِ الَّتِي مَنْ سَارَ فِيهَا صُرِفَ عَنْهُ السُّوءُ؟ وَتُخَوِّفُ مِنَ السَّاعَةِ الَّتي مَنْ سَارَ فِيهَا حَاقَ بِهِ الضُّرُّ؟ فَمَنْ صَدَّقَكَ بِهذَا فَقَدْ كَذَّبَ الْقُرْآنَ، وَاسْتَغْنَى عَنِ الاِسْتِعَانَةِ بِاللهِ عزّوجلّ فِي نَيْلِ الْمحْبُوبِ وَدَفْعِ الْمَكْرُوهِ، وَتَبْتَغِي في قوْلِكَ لِلْعَامِلِ بِأَمْرِكَ أَنْ يُولِيَكَ الْحَمْدَ دُونَ رَبِّهِ، لاَِنَّكَ ـ بِزَعْمِكَ ـ أَنْتَ هَدَيْتَهُ إِلَى السَّاعَةِ الَّتِي نَالَ فِيهَا النَّفْعَ، وَأَمِنَ الضُّرَّ!!
Then Amir al-mu’minin advanced towards the people and said:
O People! Beware of learning the science of stars except that with which guidance is sought on land or sea, because it leads to divining and an astrologer is a diviner, while the diviner is like the sorcerer, the sorcerer is like the unbeliever and the unbeliever would be in Hell. Get forward in the name of Allah.
أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، إِيَّاكُمْ وَتَعَلُّمَ النُّجُومِ، إِلاَّ مَا يُهْتَدَى بِهِ في بَرٍّ أَوْ بَحْر، فَإِنَّهَا تَدْعُو إِلَى الْكَهَانَةِ، والمُنَجَّمُ كَالْكَاهِنِ، وَالْكَاهِنُ كَالسَّاحِرِ، وَالسَّاحِرُ كَالْكَافِرِ! وَالْكَافِرُ في النَّارِ! سِيرُوا عَلَى اسْمِ اللهِ.
(1) Ibrahim ibn al-Hasan, Siffin, see Ibn Abi al-Hadid, I, 203;
(2) al-Saduq, `Uyun akhbar al-Rida, I, 138;
(3) al-Saduq, al-'Amali, 249;
(4) al-Saduq, `Uyun al-jawahir, see (5)
(5) Ibn Tawus, Faraj al-mahmum, 57-59;
(6) al-Baladhuri, Ansab, II, 368.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
بعد فراغه من حرب الجمل، في ذم النساء
O people! Women are deficient in Faith, deficient in shares and deficient in intelligence. As regards the deficiency in their Faith, it is their abstention from prayers and fasting during their menstrual period.
As regards deficiency in their intelligence it is because the evidence of two women is equal to that of one man. As for the deficiency of their shares that is because of their share in inheritance being half of men. So beware of the evils of women. Be on your guard even from those of them who are (reportedly) good. Do not obey them even in good things so that they may not attract you to evils.
مَعَاشِرَ النَّاسِ، إِنَّ النِّسَاءَ نَوَاقِصُ الاْيمَانِ، نَوَاقِصُ الْحُظُوظِ، نَوَاقِصُ الْعُقُولِ: فَأَمَّا نُقْصَانُ إِيمَانِهِنَّ فَقُعُودُهُنَّ عَنِ الصَّلاةِ وَالصِّيَامِ فِي أَيَّامِ حَيْضِهِنَّ، وَأَمَّا نُقْصَانُ عُقُولِهِنَّ فَشَهَادَةُ امْرَأَتَيْنِ مِنْهُنّ كَشَهَادَةِ الرَّجُلِ الْوَاحِدِ، وَأَمَّا نُقْصَانُ حُظُوظِهِنَّ فَمَوَارِيثُهُنَّ عَلَى الاْنْصَافِ مِنْ مَوارِيثِ الرِّجَالِ; فَاتَّقُوا شِرَارَ النِّسَاءِ، وَكُونُوا مِنْ خِيَارِهِنَّ عَلَى حَذَر، وَلاَتُطِيعُوهُنَّ فِي المَعْرُوفِ حَتَّى لاَ يَطْمَعْنَ فِي المُنكَرِ.
(1) Sibt ibn al-Jawzi, Tadhkirah, 85;
(2) Abu Talib al-Makki, Qut, I, 282;
(3) al-Kulayni, Furu` al-Kafi, V;
(4) al-Saduq, al-'Amali, Majlis 50;
(5) al-Mufid, al-'Ikhtisas.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
O people! Abstinence (zuhd) is to shorten desires, to thank for bounties and to keep away from what is prohibited. If (all of) this is not possible then (at least) what is prohibited should not overpower your patience; and do not forget gratitude when receiving blessings For Allah has exhausted the excuses before you through clear, shining arguments and open, bright books.
أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، الزَّهَادَةُ قِصَرُ الاْمَلِ، وَالشُّكْرُ عِنْدَ النِّعَمِ، والورعُ عِنْدَ الْـمَحَارِمِ، فَإِنْ عَزَبَ ذلِكَ عَنْكُمْ فَلاَ يَغْلِبِ الْحَرَامُ صَبْرَكُمْ، وَلاَ تَنْسَوْا عِنْدَ النِّعَمِ شُكْرَكُمْ، فَقَدْ أَعْذَرَاللهُ إِلَيْكُمْ بِحُجَجٍ مُسْفِرَةٍ ظَاهِرَةٍ، وَكُتُبٍ بَارِزَةِ الْعُذْرِ وَاضِحَةٍ.
(1) Al-Saduq, Ma`ani al-'akhbar, 251;
(2) Idem., al-Khisal, I, 11;
(3) al-Barqi, al-Mahasin, 234;
(4) al- 'Amidi, Ghurar, 119;
(5) al-Fattal, Rawdah, 434;
(6) al-Tabarsi, Mishkat,106.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
في صفة الدنيا
In what way shall I describe this world whose beginning is grief and whose end is destruction?1 The lawful actions performed here have to be accounted for, while for the forbidden ones there is punishment. Whoever is rich here faces mischief and whoever is poor gets grief. One who hankers after it does not get it. If one keeps away from it then it advances towards him. If one sees through it, it would bestow him sight, but if one has his eye on it then it would blind him.
مَا أَصِفُ مِنْ دَار أَوَّلُهَا عَنَاءٌ وَآخِرُهَا فَنَاءٌ! فِي حَلاَلِهَا حِسَابٌ، وَفِي حَرَامِهَا عِقَابٌ. مَنِ اسْتَغْنَى فِيهَا فُتِنَ، وَمَنِ افْتَقَرَ فِيهَا حَزِنَ، وَمَنْ سَاعَاهَا فَاتَتْهُ، وَمَنْ قَعَدَ عَنْهَا وَاتَتْهُ، وَمَنْ أَبْصَرَ بِهَا بَصَّرَتْهُ، وَمَنْ أَبْصَرَ إلَيْهَا أَعْمَتْهُ.
As-Sayyid ar-Radi says: If a thinker thinks over this phrase of Amir al-mu’minin “waman absara biha bassarat’hu” (“If one sees through it, it would bestow him sight”) he would find thereunder very amazing meaning and far-reaching sense whose purpose cannot be appreciated and whose aim cannot be understood particularly when he joins it with Amir al-mu’minin’s phrase “waman absara ilayha a`mat’hu” (“If one, has his eye on it, them it would blind him) he would find the difference between “absara biha” and “absara laha”, clear, bright, wonderful and shining.
قال الشريف: أقول: وإذا تأمل المتأمل قوله (عليه السلام): «وَمَنْ أبْصَرَبِهَا بصّرَتْهُ» وجد تحته من المعنى العجيب، والغرض البعيد، ما لا تُبلغ غايته ولا يدرك غوره، لا سيما إذا قرن إليه قوله: «ومَن أبْصَرَ إليها أعْمَتْهُ»، فإنه يجد الفرق بين «أبصر بها» و«أبصر إليها» واضحاً نيراً عجيباً باهراً!
(1) Al-Mubarrad, al-Kamil, I, 88;
(2) al-Qali, al-'Amali, II, 117;
(3) Ibn Durayd, al-Mujtana, 31;
(4) al-Harrani, Tuhaf, 138;
(5) Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`Iqd, III, 172;
(6) al-Murtada, al-'Amali, 153;
(7) Sibt ibn al-Jawzi, Tadhkirah, 136;
(8) al-Tabarsi, Mishkat, 243;
(9) al-'Amidi, Ghurar, 86;
(10) al-Karajiki, Kanz, 160.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
وهي من الخطب العجيبة تسمّى "الغراء"
وفيها نعوت الله جل شأنه، ثمّ الوصية بتقواه، ثمّ التنفير من الدنيا، ثمّ ما يلحق من دخول القيامة، ثمّ تنبيه الخلق إلى ما هم فيه من الاعراض، ثمّ فضله (عليه السلام) في التذكير
Praise be to Allah who is High above all else, and is Near (the creation) through His bounty. He is the Giver of all reward and distinction, and Dispeller of all calamities and hardships. I praise Him for His continuous mercy and His copious bounties.
I believe in Him as He is the First of all and He is Manifest. I seek guidance from Him as He is Near and is the Guide. I seek His succour as He is Mighty and Subduer. I depend upon Him as He is Sufficer and Supporter. And I stand witness that Muhammad (blessing of Allah be on him and his progeny) is His slave and His Prophet. He sent him for enforcement of His commands, for exhausting His pleas and for presenting warnings (against eternal punishment).
الْحَمْدُ للهِ الَّذِي عَلاَ بِحَوْلِهِ ودَنَا بِطَوْلِهِ مَانِحِ كُلِّ غَنِيمَةٍ وَفَضْلٍ، وَكَاشِفِ كُلِّ عَظِيمَةٍ وَأَزْلٍ أَحْمَدُهُ عَلَى عَوَاطِفِ كَرَمِهِ، وَسَوَابِغِ ـ نِعَمِهِ وَأُومِنُ بهَ أَوَّلاً بَادِياً وَأَسْتَهْدِيهِ قَرِيباً هَادِياً، وَأَسْتَعِينُهُ قَاهِراً قَادِراً، وَأَتَوَكَّلُ عَلَيْهِ كَافِياً نَاصِراً. وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّداً صلى الله عليه وآله عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ، أَرْسَلَهُ لاِنْفَاذِ أَمْرِهِ، وَإِنْهَاءِ عُذْرِهِ وَتَقْدِيمِ نُذُرِهِ
O creatures of Allah I advise you to have fear of Allah Who has furnished illustrations and Who has timed for you your lives. He has given you covering of dress1 and He has scattered for you livelihood. He has surrounded you with His knowledge. He has ordained rewards. He has bestowed upon you vast bounties and extensive gifts. He has warned you through far reaching arguments, and He has counted you by numbers. He has fixed for you ages (to live) in this place of test and house of instruction.
You are on test in this world and have to render account about it.
أوصِيكُمْ عِبَادَ اللهِ بِتَقْوَى اللهِ الَّذِي ضَرَبَ لَكُمُ الاْمْثَالَ وَوَقَّتَ لَكُمُ الاْجَالَ ، وَأَلْبَسَكُمُ الرِّيَاشَ وَأَرْفَغَ لَكُمُ المَعَاشَ وَأَحَاطَ بِكُمُ الاْحْصَاءَ وَأَرْصَدَ لَكُمُ الْجَزَاءَ وَآثَرَكُمْ بِالنِّعَمِ السَّوَابغِ، وَالرِّفَدِ الرَّوافِغِ ، وَأَنْذَرَكُمْ بِالْحُجَجِ الْبَوَالِغِ فَأَحْصَاكُمْ عَدَداً، ووَظَّفَ لَكُمْ مُدَداً فِي قَرَارِ خِبْرَةٍ وَدَارِ عِبْرَةٍ، أَنْتُمْ مُخْتَبَرُونَ فِيهَا، وَمُحَاسِبُونَ عَلَيْهَا.
التنفير من الدنيا
Certainly this world is a dirty watering place and a muddy source of drinking.
Its appearance is attractive and its inside is destructive. It is a deception, a vanishing reflection and a bent pillar. When its despiser begins to like it and he who is not acquainted with it feels satisfied with it, then it raises and puts down its feet (in joy), entraps him in its trap, makes him the target of its arrows and puts round his neck the rope of death taking him to the narrow grave and fearful abode in order to show him his place of stay and the recompense of his acts. This goes on from generation to generation. Neither death stops from cutting them asunder nor do the survivors keep aloof from committing of sins.
فَإِنَّ الدُّنْيَا رَنِقٌ مَشْرَبُهَا، رَدِغٌ مَشْرَعُهَا، يُونِقُ مَنْظَرُهَا، وَيُوبِقُ مَخْبَرُهَا، غُرُورٌ حَائِلٌ، وَضَوْءٌ آفِلٌ، وَظِلٌّ زائِلٌ، وَسِنَادٌ مَائِلٌ، حَتَّى إِذَا أَنِسَ نَافِرُهَا، وَاطْمَأَنَّ نَاكِرُهَا، قَمَصَتْ بِأَرْجُلِهَا، وَقَنَصَتْ بِأَحْبُلِهَا، وَأَقْصَدَتْ بِأَسْهُمِهَا، وَأَعْلَقَتِ الْمَرْءَ أَوْهَاقَ الْمَنِيَّةِ قَائِدَةً لَهُ إِلى ضَنْكَ الْمَضْجَعِ، وَوَحْشَةِ الْمَرْجِعِ، ومُعَايَنَةِ الْـمَحَلِّ، وَثَوَابِ الْعَمَلِ، وَكَذلِكَ الْخَلَفُ بِعَقْبِ السَّلَفِ، لاَتُقْلِعُ الْمَنِيَّةُ اخْتِرَاماً، وَلاَيَرْعَوِي الْبَاقُونَ اجْتِرَاماً،
بعد الموت البعث
They are emulating each other and proceeding in groups towards the final objective and the rendezvous of death, till when matters come to a close, the world dies and resurrection draws near. Allah2 would take them out from the corners of the graves, the nests of birds. the dens of beasts and the centres of death. They hasten towards His command and run towards the place fixed for their final return group by group, quiet, standing and arrayed in rows. They will be within Allah’s sight and will hear every one who would call them.
يَحْتَذُون مِثَالاً، وَيَمْضُونَ أَرْسَالاً، إِلَى غَايَةِ الانْتِهَاءِ، وَصَيُّورِ الْفَنَاءِ. حَتَّى إِذَا تَصَرَّمَتِ الاْمُورُ، وَتَقَضَّتِ الدُّهُورُ، وَأَزِفَ النُّشُورُ، أَخْرَجَهُمْ مِنْ ضَرَائِحِ الْقُبُورِ، وَأَوْكَارِ الطُّيُورِ، وَأَوْجِرَةِ السِّبَاعِ، وَمَطَارِحِ الْمَهَالِكِ، سِرَاعاً إِلَى أَمْرِهِ، مُهْطِعِينَ إِلَى مَعَادِهِ، رَعِيلاً صُمُوتاً، قِيَاماً صُفُوفاً، يَنْفُذُهُمُ الْبَصَرُ وَيُسْمِعُهُمُ الدَّاعِي،
They will have the dress of helplessness and covering of submission and indignity. (At this time) contrivances would disappear, desires would be cut, hearts would sink quietly, voices would be curbed down, sweat would choke the throat, fear would increase and ears would resound with the thundering voice of the announcer calling towards the final judgement, award of recompense, striking of punishment and paying of reward.
عَلَيْهِمْ لَبُوسُ الاسْتِكانَةِ، وَضَرَعُ الاسْتِسْلاَمِ وَالذِّلَّةِ، قَدْ ضَلَّتِ الْحِيَلُ، وانْقَطَعَ الاْمَلُ، وَهَوَتِ الاْفْئِدَةُ كَاظِمَةً، وَخَشَعَتِ الاْصْوَاتُ مُهَيْنِمَةً، وَأَلْجَمَ الْعَرَقُ، وَعَظُمَ الشَّفَقُ، وَأُرْعِدَتِ الاْسْمَاعُ لِزَبْرَةِ الدَّاعِي إِلَى فَصْلِ الْخِطَابِ، وَمُقَايَضَةِ الْجَزَاءِ، وَنَكَالِ الْعِقَابِ، وَنَوَالِ الثَّوَابِ.
People have been created as a proof of (His) power, have been brought up with authority, they are made to die through pangs, and placed in graves where they turn into crumbs. Then they would be resurrected one by one, awarded their recompense and would have to account for their actions, each one separately.
They had been allowed time to seek deliverance, had been shown the right path and had been allowed to live and seek favours, the darkness of doubts had been removed, and they had been let free in this period of life as a training place in order to make preparation for the race on the Day of Judgement, to search for the objective with thoughtfulness, to get time necessary to secure benefits and provide for the next place of stay.
عِبَادٌ مَخْلُوقُونَ اقْتِدَاراً، وَمَرْبُوبُونَ اقْتِسَاراً وَمَقْبُوضُونَ احْتِضَاراً وَمُضَمَّنُونَ أَجْدَاثاً وَكَائِنُونَ رُفَاتاً وَمَبْعُوثُونَ أَفْرَاداً، وَمَدِينُون جَزَاءً، وَمُمَيَّزُونَ حِسَاباً قَدْ أُمْهِلُوا في طَلَبِ الْـمَخْرَجِ، وَهُدُوا سَبِيلَ الْمَنْهَجِ ، وَعُمِّرُوا مَهَلَ الْمُسْتَعْتِبِ وَكُشِفَتْ عَنْهُمْ سُدَفُ الرِّيَبِ وَخُلُّوا لمِضْماَرِ الْجِيَادِ وَرَوِيَّةِ الاِرْتِيَادِ وَأَنَاةِ الْمُقْتَبِسِ الْمُرْتَادِ فِي مُدَّةِ الاْجَلِ، وَمُضْطَرَبِ الْمَهَلِ .
How appropriate are these illustrations and effective admonitions provided they are received by pure hearts, open ears, firm views and sharp wits. Fear Allah like him who listened (good advice) and bowed before it, when he committed sin he admitted it, when he felt fear he acted virtuously, when he apprehended he hastened (towards good acts), when he believed he performed virtuous acts, when he was asked to take lesson (from the happenings of this world) he did take the lesson, when he was asked to desist he abstained (from evil), when he responded to the call (of Allah) he leaned (towards him), when he turned back (to evil) he repented, when he followed he almost imitated and when he was shown (the right path) he saw it.
فَيَا لَهَا أَمْثَالاً صَائِبَةً وَمَوَاعِظَ شَافِيَةً، لَوْ صَادَفَتْ قُلُوباً زاكِيَةً، وَأَسْمَاعاً وَاعِيَةً، وَآرَاءً عَازِمَةً، وَأَلْبَاباً حَازِمَةً! فَاتَّقُوا اللهَ تَقِيَّةَ مَنْ سَمِعَ فَخَشَعَ، وَاقْتَرَفَ فَاعْتَرَفَ، وَوَجِلَ فَعَمِلَ، وَحَاذَرَ فَبَادَرَ وَأَيْقَنَ فَأَحْسَنَ، وَعُبِّرَ فَاعْتَبَرَ وَحُذِّرَ فَحَذِرَ، وَزُجِرَ فَازْدَجَرَ، وَأَجَابَ فأَنَابَ وَرَاجَعَ فَتَابَ، وَاقْتَدَى فَاحْتَذَى وَأُرِيَ فَرَأَى،
Such a man was busy in search of truth and got rid (of the worldly evils) by running away. He collected provision (of good acts) for himself, purified his inner self, built for the next world, and took with himself provision for the day of his departure, keeping in view his journey, his requirement and the position of his need. He sent ahead of him for the abode of his stay (in the next world).
O creatures of Allah, fear Allah keeping in view the reason why He created you and be afraid of Him to the extent He has advised you to do. Make yourself deserve what He has promised you, by having confidence in the truth of His promise and entertaining fear for the Day of Judgement.
فَأَسْرَعَ طَالِباً، وَنَجَا هَارِباً، فَأَفَادَ ذَخِيرَةً وَأَطَابَ سَرِيرَةً، وَعَمَّرَ مَعَاداً، وَاسْتَظْهَرَ زَاداً لِيَوْمِ رَحِيلِهِ وَوَجْهِ سَبِيلِهِ وَحَالِ حَاجَتِهِ، وَمَوْطِنِ فَاقَتِهِ، وَقَدَّمَ أَمَامَهُ لِدَارِ مُقَامِهِ. فَاتَّقُوا اللهَ عِبَادَ اللهِ جِهَةَ مَا خَلَقَكُمْ لَهُ، وَاحْذَرُوا مِنْهُ كُنْهَ مَا حَذَّرَكُمْ مِنْ نَفْسِهِ، وَاسْتَحِقُّوا مِنْهُ مَا أَعَدَّ لَكُمْ بِالتَّنَجُّزِلِصِدْقِ مِيعَادِهِ، وَالْحَذَرِ مِنْ هَوْلِ مَعَادِهِ
منها: [في التذكير بضروب النعم]
He has made for you ears to preserve what is important, eyes to have sight in place of blindness and limbs which consist of many (smaller) parts, whose curves are in proportion with the moulding of their shapes and lengths of their ages, and also bodies that are sustaining themselves and hearts that are busy in search of their food, besides other big bounties, obliging bestowings and fortresses of safety. He has fixed for you ages that are not known to you. He has retained for you remains of the past people for your instruction.
Those people enjoyed themselves fully and were completely unhampered. Death overtook them before (satisfaction of) their desires, from which the hands of death separated them. They did not provide for themselves during health of their bodies, and did not take lesson during their youth.
جَعَلَ لَكُمْ أسْمَاعاً لِتَعِيَ مَا عَنَاهَا، وَأَبْصَاراً لِتَجْلُوَ عَنْ عَشَاهَا، وَأَشْلاَءً جَامِعَةً لاِعْضَائِهَا، مُلاَئِمَةً لاِحْنَائِهَا في تَرْكِيبِ صُوَرِهَا، وَمُدَدِ عُمُرِهَا، بِأَبْدَان قَائِمَة بِأَرْفَاقِهَا، وَقُلُوب رائِدَة لاِرْزَاقِهَا، فِي مُجَلِّلاَتِ نِعَمِهِ، وَمُوجِبَاتِ مِنَنِهِ، وَحَوَاجِزِ عَافِيَتِهِ. وَقَدَّرَ لَكُمْ أَعْمَاراً سَتَرَهَا عَنْكُمْ، وَخَلَّفَ لَكُمْ عِبَراً مِنْ آثَارِ الْمَاضِينَ قَبْلَكُمْ، مِنْ مُسْتَمْتَعِ خَلاَقِهِمْ، وَمُسْتَفْسَحِ خَنَاقِهِمْ. أَرْهَقَتْهُمُ الْمَنَايَا دُونَ الاْمَالِ، وَشَذَّبَهمْ عَنْهَا تَخَرُّمُ الاْجَالِ، لَمْ يَمْهَدُوا فِي سَلاَمَةِ الاْبْدَانِ، وَلَمْ يَعْتَبِرُوا فِي أُنُفِ الاْوَانِ.
Are these people who are in youth waiting for the backbending old age, and those enjoying fresh health waiting for ailments, and these living persons looking for the hour of death? When the hour of departure will be close and the journey at hand, with pangs of grief and trouble, suffering of sorrows and suffocation of saliva, and the time would arrive for calling relations and friends for help and changing sides on the bed.
فَهَلْ يَنْتَظِرُ أَهْلُ بَضَاضَةِ الشَّبَابِ إِلاَّ حَوَانِيَ الْهَرَمِ؟ وَأَهْلُ غَضَارَةِ الصِّحَّةِ إِلاَّ نَوَازِلَ السَّقَمِ؟ وَأَهْلُ مُدَّةِ الْبَقَاءِ إِلاَّ آوِنَةَ الْفَنَاءِ؟ مَعَ قُرْبِ الزِّيَالِ، وَأُزُوفِ الانتِقَالِ، وَعَلَزِ الْقَلَقِ، وَأَلَمِ الْمَضَضِ، وَغُصَصِ الْجَرَضِ، وَتَلَفُّتِ الاِسْتِغَاثَةِ بِنُصْرَةِ الْحَفَدَةِ وَالاْقْرِبَاءِ، وَالاْعِزَّةِ وَالْقُرَنَاءِ!
Could then the near ones stop death, or the mourning women do any good? Rather, he will be left in the graveyard, a hostage (to his sins) and alone in his constricted grave, his skin pierced all over by reptiles, and his freshness destroyed by these tribulations. Storms have removed his traces and calamities have obliterated even his signs. Fresh bodies have turned thin and withered and bones have become rotten. The spirits are burdened with the weight of sins and have become conscious of the unknown things.
But now neither the good acts can be added to nor can evil acts be atoned for by repentance. Are you not sons, fathers, brothers and relations of these dead? Are you not to follow their footsteps and pass by their paths? But hearts are still unmoved, heedless of guidance and moving on wrong lines, as though the addressee is someone else, and as though the correct way is to amass worldly gains.
فَهَلْ دَفَعَتِ الاْقَارَبُ، أَوْ نَفَعَتِ النَّوَاحِبُ؟ وَقَدْ غُودِرَ فِي مَحَلَّةِ الاْمُوَاتِ رَهِيناً، وَفِي ضِيقِ الْمَضْجَعِ وَحِيداً، قَدْ هَتَكَتِ الْهَوَامُّ جِلْدَتَهُ، وَأَبْلَتِ النَّوَاهِكُ جِدَّتَهُ، وَعَفَتِ الْعَوَاصِفُ آثَارَهُ، وَمَحَا الْحَدَثَانُ مَعَالِمَهُ، وَصَارَتِ الاْجْسَادُ شَحِبَةً بَعْدَ بَضَّتِهَا، وَالْعِظَامُ نَخِرَةً بَعْدَ قُوَّتِهَا، وَالاْرْوَاحُ مُرْتَهَنَةً بِثِقَلِ أَعْبَائِهَا مُوقِنَةً بَغَيْبِ أَنْبَائِهَا، لاَ تُسْتَزَادُ مِنْ صَالِحِ عَمَلِهَا، وَلاَ تُسْتَعْتَبُ مِنْ سَيِّىءِ زَلَلِهَا! أَوَلَسْتُمْ أَبْنَاءَ الْقَوْمِ وَالابَاءَ، وَإِخْوَانَهُمْ وَالاْقْرِبَاءَ؟ تَحْتَذُونَ أَمْثِلَتَهُمْ، وَتَرْكَبُونَ قِدَّتَهُمْ، وَتَطَؤُونَ جَادَّتَهُمْ؟! فَالْقُلُوبُ قَاسِيَةٌ عَنْ حَظِّهَا، لاَهِيَةٌ عَنْ رُشْدِهَا، سَالِكَةٌ في غَيْرِ مِضْمارِهَا! كَأَنَّ الْمَعْنِيَّ سِوَاهَا، وَكَأَنَّ الرُّشْدَ في إحْرَازِ دُنْيَاهَا.
التحذير من هول الصراط
And know that you have to pass over the pathway (of Sirat) where steps waver, feet slip away and there are fearful dangers at every step. O creatures of Allah, fear Allah, like the fearing of wise man whom the thought (of next world) has turned away from other matters, fear (of Allah) has afflicted his body with trouble and pain, his engagement in the night prayer has turned even his short sleep into awakening, hope (of eternal recompense) keeps him thirsty in the day, abstention has curbed his desires, and remembrance of Allah is ever moving his tongue. He entertains fear before dangers.
He avoids uneven ways in favour of clear ones. He follows the shortest route to secure his purpose, wishfulness does not twist his thinking and ambiguities do not blind his eyes. He enjoys deep sleep and passes his day happily because of the happiness of good tidings and pleasure of (eternal bounties).
وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ مَجَازَكُمْ عَلَى الصِّراطِ وَمَزَالِقِ دَحْضِهِ، وَأَهَاوِيلِ زللِ ه، وَتَارَاتِ أَهْوَالِهِ; فَاتَّقُوا اللهَ تَقِيَّةَ ذِي لُبٍّ شَغَلَ التَّفَكُّرُ قَلْبَهُ، وَأَنْصَبَ الْخَوْفُ بَدَنَهُ، وَأَسْهَرَ التَّهَجُّدُ غِرَارَ نَوْمِهِ، وَأَظْمَأَ الرَّجَاءُ هَوَاجِرَ يَوْمِهِ، وَظَلَفَ الزُّهْدُ شَهَوَاتِهِ، وَأَوْجَفَ الذِّكْرُ بِلِسَانِهِ، وَقَدَّمَ الْخَوْفَ لاِمَانِهِ، وَتَنَكَّبَ الْمخالجَ عَنْ وَضَحِ السَّبِيلِ، وَسَلَكَ أَقْصَدَ المَسَالِكَ إِلَى النَّهْجِ الْمَطْلُوبِ; وَلَمْ تَفْتِلْهُ فَاتِلاَتُ الْغُرُورِ، وَلَمْ تَعْمَ عَلَيْهِ مُشْتَبِهَاتُ الاْمُورِ، ظَافِراً بِفَرْحَةِ الْبُشْرَى، وَرَاحَةِ النُّعْمَى، في أَنْعَمِ نَوْمِهِ، وَآمَنِ يَوْمِهِ.
He passes the pathway of this world in praiseworthy manner. He reaches the next world with virtues. He hastens (towards virtue) out of fear (for vice). He moves briskly during the short time (of life in this world). He devotes himself in seeking (eternal good), he runs away from evil. During today he is mindful of tomorrow, and keeps the future in his view. Certainly Paradise is the best reward and achievement, while hell is appropriate punishment and suffering. Allah is the best Avenger and Helper and the Qur’an is the best argument and confronter.
قَدْ عَبَرَ مَعْبَرَ الْعَاجِلَةِ حَمِيداً، وَقَدَّمَ زَادَ الاْجِلَةِ سَعِيداً، وَبَادَرَ مِنْ وَجَل، وَأَكْمَشَ فِي مَهَل، وَرَغِبَ فِي طَلَب، وَذَهَبَ عَنْ هَرَب، وَرَاقَبَ فِي يَوْمِهِ غَدَهُ، وَنَظَرَ قُدُماً أَمَامَهُ. فَكَفَى بِالْجَنَّةِ ثَوَاباً وَنَوَالاً، وَكَفى بَالنَّارِ عِقَاباً وَوَبَالاً! وَكَفَى بِاللهِ مُنْتَقِماً وَنَصِيراً! وَكَفَى بِالكِتَابِ حَجيجاً وَخَصِيماً
I enjoin upon you fear of Allah Who has left no excuse against what He has warned, has exhausted argument (of guidance) about the (right) path He has shown. He has warned you of the enemy that steals into hearts and stealthily speaks into ears, and thereby misguides and brings about destruction, makes (false) promises and keeps under wrong impression, he represents evil sins in attractive shape, and shows as light even serious crimes.
When he has deceived his comrades and exhausted the pledge he begins to find fault with what he presented as good, and considers serious what he had shown as light, and threatens from what he had shown as safe.
أُوصِيكُمْ بِتَقْوَى اللهِ الَّذِي أَعْذَرَ بِمَا أَنْذَرَ، وَاحْتَجَّ بِمَا نَهَجَ، وَحَذَّرَكُمْ عَدُوّاً نَفَذَ فِي الصُّدُورِ خَفِيّاً، وَنَفَثَ فِي الاذَانِ نَجِيّاً، فَأَضَلَّ وَأَرْدَى، وَوَعَدَ فَمَنَّى، وَزَيَّنَ سَيِّئَاتِ الْجَرَائِمِ، وَهَوَّنَ مُوبِقَاتِ الْعَظَائمِ، حَتَّى إِذَا اسْتَدْرَجَ قَرِينَتَهُ، وَاستَغْلَقَ رَهِينَتَهُ، أَنْكَرَ مَا زَيَّنَ، وَاسْتَعْظَمَ مَا هَوَّنَ، وَحَذَّرَ مَا أَمَّنَ.
منها: في صفة خلق الانسان
Or look at man whom Allah has created in the dark wombs and layers of curtains from what was overflowing semen, then shapeless clot, then embryo, then suckling infant, then child and then fully grown up young man. Then He gave him heart with memory, tongue to talk and eye to see with, in order that he may take lesson (from whatever is around him) and understand it and follow the admonition and abstain from evil.
أَمْ هذَا الَّذِي أَنْشَأَهُ فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الاْرْحَامِ، وَشُغُفِ الاْسْتَارِ، نُطْفَةً دِفاقاً، وَعَلَقَةً مِحَاقاً، وَجَنِيناً وَرَاضِعاً، وَوَلِيداً وَيَافِعاً ثُمَّ مَنَحَهُ قَلْباً حَافِظاً، وَلِساناً لاَفِظاً، وَبَصَراً لاَحِظاً، لِيَفْهَمَ مُعْتَبِراً، وَيُقَصِّرَ مُزْدَجِراً;
When he attained the normal growth and his structure gained its average development he fell in self-conceit and got perplexed. He drew bucketfuls of his desires, got immersed in fulfilling his wishes for pleasures of the world and his (sordid) aims. He did not fear any evil nor got frightened of any apprehension. He died infatuated with his vices. He spent his short life in rubbish pursuits. He earned no reward nor did he fulfil any obligation.
Fatal illness overtook him while he was still in his enjoyments and perplexed him. He passed the night in wakefulness in the hardships of grief and pricking of pains and ailments in the presence of real brother, loving father, wailing mother, crying sister, while he himself was under maddening uneasiness, serious senselessness, fearful cries, suffocating pains, anguish of suffocating sufferings and the pangs of death.
حَتَّى إِذَا قَامَ اعْتِدَالُهُ، وَاسْتَوَى مِثالُهُ، نَفَرَ مُسْتَكْبِراً، وَخَبَطَ سَادِراً، مَاتِحاً فِي غَرْبِ هَوَاهُ، كَادِحاً سَعْياً لِدُنْيَاهُ، فِي لَذَّاتِ طَرَبِهِ، وَبَدَوَاتِ أَرَبِهِ; لاَ يَحْتَسِبُ رَزِيَّةً، وَلاَ يَخْشَعُ تَقِيَّةً; فَمَاتَ فِي فِتْنَتِهِ غَرِيراً، وَعَاشَ فِي هَفْوَتِهِ أسيراً، لَمْ يُفِدْ عِوَضاً، وَلَمْ يَقْضِ مُفْتَرَضاً. دَهِمَتْهُ فَجَعَاتُ الْمَنِيَّةِ فِي غُبَّرِ جِمَاحِهِ، وَسَنَنِ مِرَاحِهِ، فَظَلَّ سَادِراً، وَبَاتَ سَاهِراً فِي غَمَرَاتِ الاْلاَمِ، وَطَوَارِقِ الاْوْجَاعِ والاْسْقَامِ، بَيْنَ أَخ شَقِيق، وَوَالِد شَفِيق، وَدَاعِيَة بِالْوَيْلِ جَزَعاً، وَلاَدِمَة لِلصَّدْرِ قَلَقاً. وَالْمَرءُ فِي سَكْرَة مُلْهِية، وَغَمْرَة كَارِثَة، وَأَنَّة مُوجِعَة، وَجَذْبَة مُكْرِبَة وَسَوْقَة مُتْعِبَة.
Thereafter he was clad in the shroud while he remained quiet and thoroughly submissive to others. Then he was placed on planks in such a state that he had been down-trodden by hardships and thinned by ailments. The crowd of young men and helping brothers carried him to his house of loneliness where all connections of visitors are severed.
Thereafter those who accompanied him went away and those who were wailing for him returned and then he was made to sit in his grave for terrifying questioning and slippery examination. The great calamity of that place is the hot water and entry into Hell, flames of eternal Fire and intensity of blazes.
There is no resting period, no gap for ease, no power to intervene, no death to bring about solace and no sleep to make him forget pain. He rather lies under several kinds of deaths and moment-to-moment punishment. We seek refuge with Allah.
ثُمَّ أُدْرِجَ فِي أَكْفَانِهِ مُبْلِساً، وَجُذِبَ مُنْقَاداً سَلِساً، ثُمَّ أُلْقِيَ عَلَى الاْعَوادِ رَجِيعَ وَصِب، وَنِضْوَ سَقَم، تَحْمِلُهُ حَفَدَةُ الْوِلْدَانِ، وَحَشَدَةُ الاْخْوَانِ، إِلَى دَارِ غُرْبَتِهِ، وَمُنْقَطَعِ زَوْرَتِهِ; حَتَّى إِذَا انْصَرَفَ الْمُشَيِّعُ، وَرَجَعَ الْمُتَفَجِّعُ أُقْعِدَ فِي حُفْرَتِهِ نَجِيّاً لِبَهْتَةِ السُّؤَالِ، وَعَثْرَةِ الامْتِحَانِ. وَأَعْظَمُ مَاهُنَالِكَ بَلِيَّةً نُزُلُ الْحَمِيم، وَتَصْلِيَةُ الْجَحِيمِ، وَفَوْرَاتُ السَّعِيرِ، وَسَوْراتُ السَّعِيرِ، لاَ فَتْرَةٌ مُرِيحَةٌ، وَلاَ دَعَةٌ مُزِيحَةٌ، وَلاَ قُوَّةٌ حَاجِزَةٌ، وَلاَ مَوْتَةٌ نَاجِزَةٌ، وَلاَ سِنَةٌ مُسَلِّيَةٌ، بَيْنَ أَطْوَارِ الْمَوْتَاتِ، وَعَذَابِ السَّاعَاتِ! إِنَّا بِاللهِ عَائِذُونَ!
O creatures of Allah! Where are those who were allowed (long) ages to live and they enjoyed bounty? They were taught and they learnt; they were given time and they passed it in vain; they were kept healthy and they forgot (their duty). They were allowed long period (of life), were handsomely provided, were warned of grievous punishment and were promised big rewards. You should avoid sins that lead to destruction and vices that attract wrath (of Allah).
عِبَادَ اللهِ، أَيْنَ الَّذِينَ عُمِّرُوا فَنَعِمُوا، وَعُلِّمُوا فَفَهِمُوا، وَأُنْظِرُوا فَلَهَوْا، وَسُلِّمُوا فَنَسُوا؟ أُمْهِلُوا طَوِيلاً، وَمُنِحُوا جَميِلاً، وَحُذِّرُوا ألِيماً، وَوُعِدُوا جَسِيماً! احْذَرُوا الذُّنُوبَ الْمُوَرِّطَةَ، وَالْعُيُوبَ الْمُسْخِطَةَ.
O people who possess eyes and ears and health and wealth! Is there any place of protection, any shelter of safety, or asylum or haven, or occasion to run away or to come back (to this world)? If not,
“How are you then turned away” (Qur’an, 6:95; 10:34; 35:3; 40:62)
and whither are you averting? By what things have you been deceived? Certainly, the share of every one of you from this earth is just a piece of land equal to his own stature and size where he would lie on his cheeks covered with dust.
أُولِي الاْبْصَارِ والاْسْمَاعِ، وَالْعَافِيَةِ وَالمَتَاعِ، هَلْ مِنْ مَنَاص أَوْ خَلاَص، أَوْ مَعَاذ أَوْ مَلاَذ، أَوْ فِرَار أَوْ مجاز أوْ مَحَار! أَمْ لاَ؟ (فَأَنَّى تُؤْفَكُونَ)! أَمْ أَيْنَ تُصْرَفُونَ! أَمْ بِمَاذَا تَغْتَرُّونَ؟ وَإِنَّمَا حَظُّ أَحَدِكُمْ مِنَ الاْرْضِ، ذَاتِ الطُّولِ وَالْعَرْضِ، قِيدُ قَدِّهِ، مُتَعَفِّراً عَلى خَدِّهِ!
The present is an opportune moment for acting, O creatures of Allah, since the neck is free from the loop, and spirit is also unfettered, now you have time for seeking guidance: you are in ease of body; you can assemble in crowds, the rest of life is before you; you have opportunity of acting by will; there is opportunity for repentance, and peaceful circumstances. (But you should act) before you are overtaken by narrow circumstances and distress, or fear and weakness, before the approach of the awaited death and before seizure by the Almighty, the Powerful.
الاْنَ عِبَادَ اللهِ وَالْخِنَاقُ مُهْمَلٌ، وَالرُّوحُ مُرْسَلٌ، فِي فَيْنَةِ الاِرْشَادِ، وَرَاحَةِ الاْجْسَادِ، وَبَاحَةِ الاحْتِشَادِ، وَمَهَلِ الْبَقِيَّةِ، وَأُنُفِ الْمَشِيَّةِ، وَإِنْظَارِ التَّوْبَةِ، وَانْفِسَاحِ الْحَوْبَةِ قَبْلَ الضَّنْكِ وَالْمَضِيقِ، وَالرَّوْعِ وَالزُّهُوقِ، وَقَبْلَ قُدُومِ الْغَائِبِ المُنتَظَرِ، وَإِخْذَةِ الْعَزِيزِ الْمُقْتَدِرِ.
as-Sayyid ar-Radi says: It is related that when Amir al-mu’minin delivered this sermon people began to tremble, tears flowed from their eyes and their hearts were frightened. Some people call this sermon the Brilliant Sermon (al-Khutbatu’l-Gharra’)
قال الشريف: وفي الخبر: أنّه (عليه السلام) لمّا خطب بهذه الخطبة اقشعرت لها الجلود، وبكت العيون، ورجفت القلوب. ومن الناس من يسمي هذه الخطبة: «الغراء».
(1) Al-Harrani, Tuhaf, 146;
(2) al-Quda`i, Dustur, 59,
(3) al-'Amidi, Ghurar;
(4) al-Wasiti, `Uyun al-hikam;
(5) Abu Nu`aym, Hilyah, I, 77;
(6) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, I, 132 (b.d.d), II, 287 (`a.a.z).
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
في ذكر عمرو بن العاص
I am surprised at the son of an-Nabighah that he says about me among the people of Syria (ash-Sham) that I am a jester and that I am engaged in frolics and fun. He said wrong and spoke sinfully. Beware, the worst speech is what is untrue. He speaks and lies. He promises and breaks the promise. He begs and beseeches, but when someone begs from him he withholds miserly. He betrays the pledge and ignores kinship.
عَجَباً لاِبْنِ النَّابِغَةِ! يَزْعُمُ لاِهْلِ الشَّامِ أَنَّ فِيَّ دُعَابَةً، وَأَنِّي امْرُؤٌ تِلْعَابَةٌ: أُعَافِسُ وَأُمَارِسُ ! لَقَدْ قَالَ بَاطِلاً، وَنَطَقَ آثِماً. أَمَا ـ وَشَرُّ الْقَوْلِ الْكَذِبُ ـ إِنَّهُ لَيَقُولُ فَيَكْذِبُ، وَيَعِدُ فَيُخْلِفُ، وَيُسْأَلُ فَيَبْخَلُ، وَيَسْأَلُ فَيُلْحِفُ، وَيَخُونُ الْعَهْدَ، وَيَقْطَعُ الْاِلَّ
When in a battle, he commands and admonishes but only until the swords do not come into action. When such a moment arrives his great trick is to turn naked1 before his adversary. By Allah, surely the remembrance of death has kept me away from fun and play while obliviousness about the next world has prevented him from speaking truth. He has not sworn allegiance to Mu`awiyah without purpose; but has beforehand got him to agree that he will have to pay its price, and gave him an award for forsaking religion.
فَإِذَا كَانَ عِنْدَ الْحَرْبِ فَأَيُّ زَاجِر وَآمِر هُوَ مَا لَمْ تَأْخُذِ السُّيُوفُ مَآخِذَهَا! فَإِذَا كَانَ ذلِكَ كَانَ أَكْبَرُ مَكيدَتِهِ أَنْ يَمْنَحَ الْقَوْمَ سُبَّتَهُ. أَمَا واللهِ إِنِّي لَـيَمْنَعُنِي مِنَ اللَّعِبِ ذِكْرُ الْموْتِ، وَإِنَّهُ لَيمَنَعُهُ مِنْ قَوْلِ الْحَقِّ نِسْيَانُ الاْخِرَةِ، إِنَّهُ لَمْ يُبَايعْ مُعَاوِيَةَ حَتَّى شَرَطَ لَهُ أَنْ يُؤْتِيَهُ أَتِيَّةً، وَيَرْضَخَ لَهُ عَلَى تَرْكِ الدِّينِ رَضِيخَةً.
(1) Ibn Qutaybah, `Uyun, III, 10, I, 164;
(2) Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`Iqd, II, 287;
(3) al-Tawhidi, al-'Imta`, III, 183;
(4) al-Bayhaqi, al-Mahasin, 54;
(5) al-Baladhuri, Ansab, II, 145, 151;
(6) al-'Tusi, al-'Amali, I, 131;
(7) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, I, 117, III, 59, 110, IV, 59, 89;
(8) al-Thaqafi, al-Gharat, 513; al-Tusi narrates from Muhammad ibn `Imran al-Marzbani (d.384/994), Ibn `Uqdah (d.333/944) and al-Zubayr ibn Bakkar (d.255/869).
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
وفيها صفات ثمان من صفات الجلال
I stand witness that there is no god except Allah, He is One and there is no partner with Him. He is the First, such that nothing was before Him. He is the Last, such that there is not limit for Him. Imagination cannot catch any of His qualities. Hearts cannot entertain belief about His nature. Analysis and division cannot be applied to Him. Eyes and hearts cannot encompass Him.
وَأَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ: الاْوَّلُ لاَ شَيْءَ قَبْلَهُ، وَالاخِرُ لاَ غَايَةَ لَهُ، لاَ تَقَعُ الاْوْهَامُ لَهُ عَلى صِفَة، وَلاَ تُعْقَدُ الْقُلُوبُ مِنْهُ عَلَى كَيْفِيَّة، وَلاَ تَنَالُهُ التَّجْزِئَةُ وَالتَّبْعِيضُ، وَلاَ تُحِيطُ بِهِ الاْبْصَارُ وَالْقُلُوبُ.
O creatures of Allah! Take lesson from useful items of instruction and shining indications. Be cautioned by effective items of warning. Get benefit from preaching and admonition. It is as though the claws of death are pressed in you, the connection of hope and desires has been cut asunder, hard affairs have befallen you and your march is towards the place where everyone has to go, namely death. Hence, "with every person there is a driver and a witness" (Qur'an, 50:21). The driver drives him towards resurrection while the witness furnishes evidence about his deeds.
فَاتَّعِظُوا عِبَادَ اللهِ بِالعِبَرِ النَّوَافِعِ، وَاعْتَبِرُوا بِالاْي السَّوَاطِعِ، وَازْدَجِرُوا بِالنُّذُرِ الْبَوَالِغِ، وَانْتَفِعُوا بِالذِّكْرِ وَالْمَوَاعِظِ، فَكَأَنْ قَدْ عَلِقَتْكُمْ مَخَالِبُ الْمَنِيَّةِ، وَانْقَطَعَتْ مِنْكُمْ عَلاَئِقُ الاْمْنِيَّةِ، وَدَهِمَتْكُمْ مُفْظِعَاتُ الاْمُورِ، وَالسِّيَاقَةُ إِلى الْوِرْدِ المَوْرُودِ، (وَكُلُّ نَفْس مَعَهَا سَائِقٌ وَشَهِيدٌ): سَائِقٌ يَسُوقُهَا إِلَى مَحْشَرِهَا; وَشاهِدٌ يَشْهَدُ عَلَيْهَا بِعَمَلِهَا.
منها: في صفة الجنّة
In Paradise there are various degrees of excellence and different places of stay. Its blessings never end. He who stays in it will never depart from it. He who is endowed with everlasting abode in it will not get old, and its resident will not face want.
دَرَجَاتٌ مُتَفَاضِلاَتٌ، وَمَنَازِلُ مُتَفَاوِتَاتٌ، لاَ يَنْقَطِعُ نَعِيمُهَا، وَلاَ يَظْعَنُ مُقِيمُهَا، وَلاَ يَهْرَمُ خَالِدُهَا، وَلاَ يَبْأَسُ سَاكِنُهَا.
(1) Abu Nu`aym, Hilyah, I, 77;
(2) al-Wasiti, `Uyun al-hikam;
(3) Sibt, Tadhkirah, 131;
(4) Ibn Talhah, Matalib, I, 140.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
وفيها بيان صفات الحق جلّ جلاله ثمّ عظة الناس بالتقوى والمشورة
Allah knows hidden secrets and is aware of inner feelings. He encompasses everything. He has control over everything and power over everything. Everyone of you should do whatever he has to do during his days of life before the approach of death, in his leisure before his occupation, and during the breathing of his breath before it is overtaken by suffocation, should provide for himself and his journey and should collect provision from his place of halt for his place of stay.
قَدْ عَلِمَ السَّرائِرَ، وَخَبَرَ الضَّمائِرَ، لَهُ الاْحَاطَةُ بِكُلِّ شَيْء، وَالْغَلَبَةُ لِكُلِّ شَيْء، وَالْقُوَّةُ عَلى كُلِّ شَيْء. فَلْيَعْمَلِ الْعَامِلُ مِنْكُمْ فِي أَيَّامِ مَهَلِهِ، قَبْلَ إِرْهَاقِ أَجَلِهِ، وَفِي فَرَاغِهِ قَبْلَ أَوَانِ شُغُلِهِ، وَفِي مُتَنَفَّسِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يُؤْخَذَ بِكَظَمِهِ، وَلْـيُمَهِّدْ لِنَفْسِهِ وَقَدَمِهِ، وَلْيَتَزَوَّدْ مِنْ دَارِ ظَعْنِهِ لِدَارِ إِقَامَتِهِ.
So remember Allah, O people, about what He has asked you in His Book to take care of, and about His rights that He has entrusted to you. Verily, Allah has not created you in vain nor left you unbridled nor left you alone in ignorance and gloom. He has defined what you should leave behind. taught you your acts, ordained your death, sent down to you. "the Book (Qur'an) explaining everything" (Qur'an, 16:89) and made His Prophet live among you for a long time till He completed for him and for you the message sent through the Qur'an namely the religion liked by Him, and clarified through him the acts liked and disliked by Him, His prohibitions and His commands.
فَاللهَ اللهَ أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، فِيَما اسْتَحْفَظَكُمْ مِنْ كِتَابِهِ، وَاسْتَوْدَعَكُمْ مِنْ حُقُوقِهِ، فَإِنَّ اللهَ سُبْحَانَهُ لَمْ يَخْلُقْكُمْ عَبَثاً، وَلَمْ يَتْرُكْكُمْ سُدىً، وَلَمْ يَدَعْكُمْ فِي جَهَالَة وَلاَ عَمىً، قَدْ سَمَّى آثَارَكُمْ، وَعَلِمَ أعْمَالَكُمْ، وَكَتَبَ آجَالَكُمْ، وَأَنْزَلَ عَلَيْكُمُ (الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَاناً)، وَعَمَّرَ فِيكُمْ نَبِيَّهُ أَزْمَاناً، حَتَّى أَكْمَلَ لَهُ وَلَكُمْ ـ فِيَما أنْزَلَ مِنْ كِتَابِهِ ـ دِينَهُ الَّذِي رَضِيَ لِنفْسِهِ، وَأَنْهَى إِلَيْكُمْ ـ عَلَى لِسَانِهِ ـ مَحَابَّهُ مِنَ الاْعْمَالِ وَمَكَارِهَهُ، وَنَوَاهِيَهُ وَأَوَامِرَهُ،
He placed before you His arguments and exhausted his excuses upon you. He put forth to you His promises and warned you of severe retribution. You should therefore make full atonement during your remaining days and let yourselves practice endurance in these days. These days are fewer as against the many days during which you have shown obliviousness and heedlessness towards admonition. Do not allow time to yourselves because it will put you on the path of wrong-doers and do not be easy-going because this will push you towards sinfulness.
فَأَلقَى إِلَيْكُمُ الْمِعْذِرَةَ، وَاتَّخَذَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْحُجَّةَ، وَقَدَّمَ إِلَيْكُمْ بِالْوَعِيدِ، وَأَنْذَرَكُمْ بَيْنَ يَدَيْ عَذَاب شَديد.
فَاسْتَدْرِكُوا بَقِيَّةَ أَيَّامِكُمْ، وَاصْبِرُوا لَهَا أَنْفُسَكُمْ، فَإِنَّهَا قَلِيلٌ فِي كَثِيرِ الاْيَّامِ الَّتِى تَكُونُ مِنْكُم فِيهَا الْغَفْلَةُ وَالتَّشَاغُلُ عَنِ الْمَوْعِظَةِ; وَلاَ تُرَخِّصُوا لاِنْفُسِكُمْ، فَتَذْهَبَ بِكُمُ الرُّخَصُ مَذَاهِبَ الْظَّلَمَةِ، وَلاَ تُدَاهِنُوا فَيَهْجُمَ بِكُمُ الاْدْهَانُ عَلَى الْمَعْصِيَةِ.
O creatures of Allah! The best adviser for himself is he who is the most obedient to Allah, and the most deceiving for himself is he who is the most disobedient to Allah. Deceived is he who deceived his own self. Enviable is he whose Faith is safe. Fortunate is he who takes lesson from others, while unfortunate is he who fell victim to his desires. You should know that even the smallest hypocrisy is like believing in more than one God, and keeping company of people who follow their desires is the key to obliviousness from religion, and is the seat of Satan.
عِبَادَ اللهِ، إِنَّ أَنْصَحَ النَّاسِ لِنَفْسِهِ أَطْوَعُهُمْ لِرَبِّهِ، وَإِنَّ أَغَشَّهُمْ لِنَفْسِهِ أَعْصَاهُمْ لِرَبِّهِ; وَالْمَغْبُونُ مَنْ غَبَنَ نَفْسَهُ، وَالْمَغْبُوطُ مَنْ سَلِمِ لَهُ دِينُهُ، وَالسَّعِيدُ مَنْ وُعِظَ بِغَيْرِهِ، وَالشَّقِيُّ مَنِ انْخَدَعَ لِهَوَاهُ وَغُرُورِهِ. وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ يَسِيرَ الرِّيَإِ شِرْكٌ، وَمُجَالَسَةَ أَهْلِ الْهَوَى مَنْسَاةٌ لِلاْيمَانِ، وَمَحْضَرَةٌ لِلشَّيْطَانِ.
Be on your guard against falsehood because it is contrary to Faith. A truthful person is on the height of salvation and dignity, while the liar is on the edge of ignominy and degradation. Do not be jealous because jealousy eats away Faith just as fire eats away dried wood. Do not bear malice because, it is a scraper (of virtues). And know that desires make wit forgetful and make memory oblivious. You should falsify desire because it is a deception, and he who has desires is in deceit.
جَانِبُوا الْكَذِبَ فَإِنَّهُ مُجَانِبٌ لِلاْيمَانِ، الصَّادِقُ عَلَى شَفَا مَنْجَاة وَكَرَامَة، وَالْكَاذِبُ عَلَى شَرَفِ مَهْوَاة وَمَهَانَة.
لاَ تَحَاسَدُوا، فَإِنَّ الْحَسَدَ يَأْكُلُ الاْيمَانَ كَمَا تَأْكُلُ النَّارُ الْحَطَبَ، وَلاَ تَبَاغَضُوا فَإِنَّهَا الْحَالِقَةُ، وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ الاْمَلَ يُسْهِي الْعَقْلَ، وَيُنْسِي الذِّكْرَ، فَأَكْذِبُوا الاْمَلَ فَإِنَّهُ غُرُورٌ، وَصَاحِبُهُ مَغْرُورٌ.
(1) Al-Dinawari, Akhbar, 145;
(2) al-Harrani, Tuhaf, 100, 101;
(3) al-Barqi, al-Mahasin, 233-4;
(4) al-Mufid, al-Majalis, 120;
(5) al-Tabarsi, Mishkat, 156;
(6) al- 'Amidi, Ghurar.
ومن خطبة له عليه السلام
وهي في بيان صفات المتقين وصفات الفساق والتنبيه إلى مكان العترة الطيبة والظن الخاطىء لبعض الناس
O creatures of Allah! The most beloved of Allah is he whom Allah has given power (to act) against his passions, so that his inner side is (submerged in) grief and the outer side is covered with fear. The lamp of guidance is burning in his heart. He has provided entertainment for the day that is to befall him. He regards what is distant to be near himself and takes the hard to be light. He looks at and perceives; he remembers (Allah) and enhances (the tempo of his) actions.
He drinks sweet water to whose source his way has been made easy. So he drinks to satisfaction and takes the level path. He has put off the clothes of desires and got rid of worries except one worry peculiar to him. He is safe from misguidance and the company of people who follow their passions. He has become the key to the doors of guidance, and the lock for the doors of destruction.
عِبَادَ اللهِ، إِنَّ مِنْ أَحَبِّ عِبَادِ اللهِ إِلَيْهِ عَبْداً أَعَانَهُ اللهُ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ، فَاسْتَشْعَرَ الْحُزْنَ، وَتَجَلْبَبَ الْخَوْفَ فَزَهَرَ مِصْبَاحُ الْهُدَى فِي قَلْبِهِ، وَأَعَدَّ الْقِرَى لِيَوْمِهِ النَّازِلِ بِهِ، فَقَرَّبَ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ الْبَعِيدَ، وَهَوَّنَ الشَّدِيدَ، نَظَرَ فَأَبْصَرَ، وَذَكَرَ فَاسْتَكْثَرَ، وَارْتَوَى مِنْ عَذْبٍ فُرَاتٍ سُهِّلَتْ لَهُ مَوَارِدُهُ، فَشَرِبَ نَهَلاً وَسَلَكَ سَبِيلاً جَدَداً قَدْ خَلَعَ سَرَابِيلَ الشَّهَوَاتِ، وَتَخَلَّى مِنَ الْهُمُومِ، إِلاَّ هَمّاً وَاحِداً انْفَرَدَ بِهِ، فَخَرَجَ مِنْ صِفَةِ الْعَمَى، وَمُشَارَكَةِ أَهْلِ الْهَوَى، وَصَارَ مِنْ مَفَاتِيحِ أَبْوَابِ الْهُدَى، وَمَغَالِيقِ أَبْوَابِ الرَّدَى.
He has seen his way and is walking on it. He knows his pillar (of guidance) and has crossed over his deep water. He has caught hold of the most reliable supports and the strongest ropes. He is on that level of conviction which is like the brightness of the sun. He has set himself for Allah, the Glorified, for performance of the most sublime acts of facing all that befalls him and taking every step needed for it. He is the lamp in darkness. He is the dispeller of all blindness, key to the obscure, remover of complexities, and a guide in vast deserts. When he speaks he makes you understand whereas when he remains silent then it is safe to do so. He did everything only for Allah and so Allah also made him His own. Consequently, he is among the mines of His faith and stakes in His earth.
قَدْ أبْصَرَ طَرِيقَهُ، وَسَلَكَ سَبِيلَهُ، وَعَرَفَ مَنَارَهُ، وَقَطَعَ غِمَارَهُ وَاسْتَمْسَكَ مِنَ الْعُرَى بِأَوْثَقِهَا، وَمِنَ الْحِبَالِ بِأَمْتَنِهَا، فَهُوَ مِنَ الْيَقِينِ عَلَى مِثْلِ ضَوْءِ الشَّمْسِ، قَدْ نَصَبَ نَفْسَهُ للهِ ـ سُبْحَانَهُ ـ فِي أَرْفَعِ الاْمُورِ، مِنْ إِصْدَارِ كُلِّ وَارِدٍ عَلَيْهِ، وَتَصْيِيرِ كُلِّ فَرْعٍ إِلى أَصْلِهِ. مِصْبَاحُ ظُلُمَاتٍ، كَشَّافُ غَشَوَاتٍ، مِفْتَاحُ مُبْهَمَاتٍ، دَفَّاعُ مُعْضِلاَتٍ، دَلِيلُ فَلَوَاتٍ يَقُولُ فَيُفْهِمُ، وَيَسْكُتُ فَيَسْلَمُ. قَدْ أَخْلَصَ للهِ فَاسْتَخْلَصَهُ فَهُوَ مِنْ مَعَادِنِ دِينِهِ، وَأَوْتَادِ أَرْضِهِ.
He has enjoined upon himself (to follow) justice. The first step of his justice is the rejection of desires from his heart. He describes right and acts according to it. There is no good which he has not aimed at or any likely place (of virtue) to which he has not proceeded. He has placed his reins in the hands of the Qur'an. Therefore the Qur'an is his guide and leader. He gets down when the Qur'an puts down its weight and he settles where the Qur'an settles down.
قَدْ أَلْزَمَ نَفْسَهُ الْعَدْلَ، كَانَ أَوَّلَ عَدْلِهِ نَفْيُ الْهَوَى عَنْ نَفْسِهِ، يَصِفُ الْحَقَّ وَيَعْمَلُ بِهِ، لاَ يَدَعُ لِلْخَيْرِ غَايَةً إِلاَّ أَمَّهَا وَلاَ مَظِنَّةً إِلاَّ قَصَدَهَا، قَدْ أَمْكَنَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْ زِمَامِهِ فَهُوَ قَائِدُهُ وَإِمَامُهُ، يَحُلُّ حَيْثُ حَلَّ ثَقَلُهُ وَيَنْزِلُ حَيْثُ كَانَ مَنْزِلُهُ.
While the other (kind of) man is he who calls himself learned but he is not so. He has gleaned ignorance from the ignorant and misguidance from the misguided. He has set for the people a trap (made) of the ropes of deceit and untrue speech. He takes the Qur'an according to his own views and right after his passions.
He makes people feel safe from big sins and takes light the serious crimes. He says that he is waiting for (clarification of) doubts but he remains plunged therein, and that he keeps aloof from innovations but actually he is immersed in them. His shape is that of a man, but his heart is that of a beast. He does not know the door of guidance to follow nor the door of misguidance to keep aloof therefrom. These are living dead bodies.
وَآخَرُ قَدْ تَسَمَّى عَالمِاً وَلَيْسَ بِهِ، فَاقْتَبَسَ جَهَائِلَ مِنْ جُهَّالٍ وَأَضَالِيلَ مِنْ ضُلاَّلٍ، وَنَصَبَ لِلنَّاسِ أَشْرَاكاً مِنْ حبالِ غُرُورٍ، وَقَوْلِ زُورٍ، قَدْ حَمَلَ الْكِتَابَ عَلَى آرَائِهِ، وَعَطَفَ الْحَقَّعَلى أَهْوَائِهِ، يُؤْمِنُ مِنَ الْعَظَائِمِ، وَيُهَوِّنُ كَبِيرَ الْجَرَائِمِ، يَقُولُ: أَقِفُ عِنْدَ الشُّبُهَاتِ، وَفِيهَا وَقَعَ، وَيَقُولُ: أَعْتَزِلُ الْبِدَعَ، وَبَيْنَهَا اضْطَجَعَ فَالصُّورَةُ صُورَةُ إِنْسَانٍ، وَالْقَلْبُ قَلْبُ حَيَوَانٍ، لاَ يَعْرِفُ بَابَ الْهُدَى فَيَتَّبِعَهُ، وَلاَ بَابَ الْعَمَى فيَصُدَّ عَنْهُ، فَذلِكَ مَيِّتُ الاْحْيَاءَ!
"So whither are you going to" (Qur'an, 81:26)
"how are you then turned away?" (Qur'an, 6:95; 10:34; 35:3; 40:62).
Ensigns (of guidance) are standing, indications (of virtue) are clear, and the minarets (of light) have been fixed. Where are you being taken astray and how are you groping while you have among you the descendants of the Prophet? They are the reins of Right, ensigns of Faith and tongues of truth. Accord to them the same good position as you accord to the Qur'an, and come to them (for quenching the thirst of guidance) as the thirsty camels approach the water spring.
(فَأَيْنَ تَذْهَبُونَ)؟ و (أَنَّى تُؤْفَكُونَ)؟ وَالاْعْلاَمُ قَائِمَةٌ، وَالاْيَاتُ وَاضِحَةٌ، وَالْمَنَارُ مَنْصُوبَةٌ، فَأَيْنَ يُتَاهُ بِكُمْ؟ بَلْ كَيْفَ تَعْمَهُونَ وَبَيْنَكُمْ عِتْرَةُ نَبِيِّكُمْ؟ وَهُمْ أَزِمَّةُ الْحَقِّ، و أعلام الدِّين وَأَلْسِنَةُ الصِّدْقِ! فأَنْزِلُوهُمْ بِأَحْسَنِ مَنَازِلِ القُرْآنِ، وَرِدُوهُمْ وُرُودَ الْهِيمِ الْعِطَاشِ
O people learn this saying1 of the last of the Prophets: “He who dies from among us is not dead, and he who decays (after dying) from among us does not really decay”. Do not say what you do not understand, because most of the Right is in what you deny. Accept the argument of one against whom you have no argument. It is I. Did I not act before you on the greater thaqal (ath-thaqal al-akbar, i.e. the Qur'an) and did I not retain among you the smaller thaqal (ath-thaqal-al-asghar, i.e. the descendants of the Prophet)2? I fixed among you the standard of faith, and I taught you the limits of lawful and unlawful. I clothed you with the garments of safety with my justice and spread for you (the carpet of) virtue by my word and deed.
I showed you high manners through myself. Do not exercise your imagination about what the eye cannot see or the mind cannot conceive.
أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، خُذُوهَا عَنْ خَاتَمِ النَّبِيِّينَ (صلى الله عليه وآله): «إِنَّهُ يَمُوتُ مَنْ مَاتَ مِنَّا وَلَيْسَ بِمَيِّت، وَيَبْلَى مَنْ بَلِيَ مِنَّا وَلَيْسَ بِبَال»، فَلاَ تَقُولُوا بِمَا لاَتَعْرِفُونَ، فَإنَّ أَكْثَرَ الْحَقِّ فِيَما تُنْكِرُونَ، وَاعْذِرُوا مَنْ لاَ حُجَّةَ لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِ ـ وَأَنَا هُوَ ـ أَلَمْ أَعْمَلْ فِيكُمْ بِالثَّقَلِ الاْكْبَرِ! وَأَتْرُكْ فِيكُمُ الثَّقَلَ الاْصْغَرَ! وَرَكَزْتُ فِيكُمْ رَايَةَ الاْيمَانِ، وَوَقَفْتُكُمْ عَلَى حُدُودِ الْحَلاَلِ وَالْحَرَامِ، وَأَلْبَسْتُكُمُ الْعَافِيَةَ مِنْ عَدْلِي، وَفَرَشْتُكُمُ المَعْرُوفَ مِنْ قَوْلي وَفِعْلي، وَأَرَيْتُكُمْ كَرَائِمَ الاْخْلاَقِ مِنْ نَفْسِي؟ فَلاَ تَسْتَعْمِلُوا الرَّأْيَ فِيَما لاَ يُدْرِكُ قَعْرَهُ الْبَصَرُ، وَلاَ تَتَغَلْغَلُ إِلَيْهِ الْفِكَرُ.
منها:في الظنّ الخاطىَ
Till people begin thinking that the world is attached to the Umayyads, showering its benefits on them, and leading them to its clear spring for watering, and that their whip and sword will not be removed from the people. Whoever thinks so is wrong. There are rather a few drops from the joys of life which they would suck for a while and then vomit out the whole of it.
حَتَّى يَظُنَّ الظَّانُّ أَنَّ الدُّنْيَا مَعْقُولَةٌ عَلَى بَنِي أُمَيَّةَ، تَمْنَحُهُمْ دَرَّهَا، وَتُورِدُهُمْ صَفْوَهَا، وَلاَ يُرْفَعُ عَنْ هذِهِ الاْمَّةِ سَوْطُهَا وَلاَ سَيْفُهَا، وَكَذَبَ الظَّانُّ لِذلِكَ. بَلْ هِيَ مَجَّةٌ مِنْ لَذِيذِ الْعَيْشِ يَتَطَعَّمُونَهَا بُرْهَةً، ثُمَّ يَلْفِظُونَهَا جُمْلَةً!
(1) Al-Zamakhshari, Rabi`, bab al-`izz wa al-sharaf; see also Ibn Abi al-Hadid, II, 132.
And say not of those who are slain in the path of Allah that they are dead; Nay, (they are) living, but ye perceive not. (2:154)
At another place it says about their life:
Reckon not those who are slain in the way of Allah, to be dead; Nay! alive they are with their Lord being sustained. (3:169)
When restriction has been placed on mind and tongue even in respect of the common martyrs that they should not be called dead nor considered dead, how would not those individuals whose necks were reserved for sword and palate for poison be living for all times to come.
About their bodies Amir al-mu'minin has said that by passage of time no signs of ageing or decay occur in them, but they remain in the same state in which they fell as martyrs. There should be nothing strange in it because dead bodies preserved through material means still exist. When it is possible to do so through material means will it be out of the Power of the Omnipotent Creator to preserve against change and decay the bodies of those upon whom He has bestowed the sense of everlasting life? Thus about the martyrs of Badr, the Holy Prophet said: “Shroud them even with their wounds and flowing blood because when they would rise on the Day of Judgement blood would be pushing out of their throats”.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
وفيها بيان للاسباب التي تهلك الناس
Indeed, Allah did not crush any unruly tyrant in this world except after allowing him time and opportunity and did not join the broken bone of any people (ummah) until He did not inflict calamity and distress upon them. Even less than what sufferings and misfortunes have yet to fall upon you or have already befallen you are enough for giving lessons. Every man with a heart is not intelligent, every ear does not listen and every eye does not see.
أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَإِنَّ اللهَ سُبْحانَهُ لَمْ يَقْصِمْ جَبَّارِي دَهْر قَطُّ إِلاّ بَعْدَ تَمْهِيل وَرَخَاء، وَلَمْ يَجْبُرْ عَظْمَ أَحَد مِنَ الاْمَمِ إِلاَّ بَعْدَ أَزْل وَبَلاَء، وَفِي دُونِ مَا اسْتَقْبَلْتُمْ مِنْ خَطْب وَاسْتَدْبَرْتُمْ مِنْ خَطْب مُعْتَبَرٌ! وَمَا كُلُّ ذِي قَلْب بَلَبِيب، وَلاَ كُلُّ ذِي سَمْع بِسَمِيع، وَلاَ كُلُّ ذِي نَاظِر بِبَصِير.
I wonder, and there is no reason why I should not wonder, about the faults of these groups who have introduced alterations in their religious pleas, who do not move on the footsteps of their Prophet nor follow the actions of the vicegerent. They do not believe in the unknown and do not avoid the evil. They act on the doubts and tread in (the way of) their passions. For them good is whatever they consider good and evil is whatever they consider evil.
Their reliance for resolving distresses is on themselves. Their confidence in regard to dubious matters is on their own opinions as if every one of them is the Leader (Imam) of himself. Whatever he has decided himself he considers it to have been taken through reliable sources and strong factors.
فَيَا عَجَباً! وَمَا لِيَ لاَ أَعْجَبُ مِنْ خَطَإِ هذِهِ الْفِرَقِ عَلَى اختِلاَفِ حُجَجِهَا فِي دِينِهَا! لاَ يَقْتَصُّونَ أَثَرَ نَبِيٍّ، وَلاَيَقْتَدُونَ بَعَمَلِ وَصِيٍّ، وَلاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بَغَيْب، وَلاَ يَعِفُّونَ عَنْ عَيْب، يَعْمَلُونَ فِي الشُّبُهَاتِ، وَيَسِيرُونَ فِي الشَّهَوَاتِ، الْمَعْرُوفُ فِيهمْ مَا عَرَفُوا، وَالْمُنْكَرُ عِنْدَهُمْ مَا أَنْكَرُوا، مَفْزَعُهُمْ فِي الْمُعْضِلاَتِ إِلَى أَنْفُسِهمْ، وَتَعْوِيلُهُمْ فِي المُبْهماتِ عَلَى آرَائِهِمْ، كَأَنَّ كُلَّ امْرِىء مِنْهُمْ إِمَامُ نَفْسِهِ، قَدْ أَخَذَ مِنْهَا فِيَما يَرَى بَعُرىً ثِقَات، وأَسْبَاب مُحْكَمَات.
(1) Al-Kulayni, Rawdah, 62;
(2) al-Mufid, al-'Irshad, 173;
(3) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, I, 46 (a.z.l.).
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
في الرسول الاعظم (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) وبلاغ الامام عنه
Allah sent the Prophet after the mission of other Prophets had stopped and the peoples were in slumber for a long time. Evils were raising heads, all matters were under disruption and in flames of wars, while the world was devoid of brightness, and full of open deceitfulness. Its leaves had turned yellow and there was absence of hope about its fruits and its water had gone underground. The minarets of guidance had disappeared and signs of destruction had appeared. It was stern to its people and frowned in the face of its seeker. Its fruit was vice and its food was carcass. Its inner dress was fear and outer cover was sword.
أَرْسَلَهُ عَلَى حِينِ فَتْرَةٍ مِنَ الرُّسُلِ، وَطُولِ هَجْعَةٍ مِنَ الاْمَمِ، وَاعْتِزَامٍ مِنَ الْفِتَنِ، وَانْتَشَارٍ مِنَ الاْمُورِ، وَتَلَظٍّمِنَ الْحُرُوبِ، والدُّنْيَا كَاسِفَةُ النُّورِ، ظَاهِرَةُ الْغُرُورِ، عَلَى حِينِ اصْفِرَارٍ مِنْ وَرَقِهَا، وَإِيَاسٍ مِنْ ثَمَرِهَا، وَاغْوِرَارٍ مِنْ مَائِهَا، قَدْ دَرَسَتْ أعْلامُ الْهُدَى، وَظَهَرَتْ أَعْلاَمُ الرِّدَى، فَهِيَ مُتَجَهِّمَةٌ لاِهْلِهَا، عَابِسَةٌ فِي وَجْهِ طَالِبِهَا، ثَمَرُهَا الْفِتْنَةُ وَطَعَامُهَا الْجِيفَةُ وَشِعَارُهَا الْخَوْفُ، وَدِثَارُهَا السَّيْفُ.
So take lesson, O creatures of Allah, and recall that (evil doing) with which your fathers and brothers are entangled, and for which they have to account. By my life, your time is not much behind theirs, nor have long periods or centuries lapsed between you and them, nor are you much distant from when you were in their loins.
فَاعْتَبِرُوا عِبَادَ اللهِ، وَاذْكُرُوا تِيكَ الَّتي آبَاؤُكُمْ وَإِخْوَانُكُمْ بِهَا مُرْتَهَنُونَ، وَعَلَيْهَا مُحَاسَبُونَ. وَلَعَمْرِي مَا تَقَادَمَتْ بِكُمْ وَلاَ بِهِمُ الْعُهُودُ، وَلاَ خَلَتْ فِيَما بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُمُ الاَحْقَابُ وَالْقُرُونُ، وَمَا أَنْتُمُ الْيَوْمَ مِنْ يَوْمَ كُنْتُمْ فِي أَصْلاَبِهِمْ بِبَعِيد.
By Allah, whatever the Prophet told them, I am here telling you the same and whatever you hear today is not different from what they heard yesterday. The eyes that were opened for them and the hearts that were made for them at that time, just the same have been given to you at this time.
By Allah, you have not been told anything that they did not know and you have not been given anything which they were deprived. Certainly you have been afflicted by a calamity (which is like a she-camel) whose nose-string is moving about and whose strap is loose So in whatever condition these deceitful people are should not deceive you, because it is just a long shadow whose term is fixed.
وَاللهِ مَا أَسْمَعَكُمُ الرَّسُولُ (صلى الله عليه وآله) شَيْئاً إِلاَّ وَهَا أَنَا ذَا الْيَوْمَ مُسْمِعُكُمُوهُ، وَمَا أَسْمَاعُكُمُ الْيَوْمَ بِدُونِ أَسْمَاعِكُمْ بِالاْمْسِ، وَلاَ شُقَّتْ لَهُمُ الاْبصَارُ، وَجُعِلَتْ لَهُمُ الاْفْئِدَةُ في ذلِكَ الاْوَانِ، إِلاَّ وَقَدْ أُعْطِيتُمْ مِثْلَهَا فِي هذَا الزَّمَانِ. وَوَاللهِ مَا بُصِّرْتُمْ بَعْدَهُمْ شَيْئاً جَهِلُوهُ، وَلاَ أُصْفِيتُمْ بِهِ وَحُرِمُوهُ، وَلَقَدْ نَزَلَتْ بِكُمُ الْبَلِيَّةُ جَائِلاً خِطَامُهَا، رِخْواً بِطَانُهَا، فَلاَ يَغُرَّنَّكُمْ مَا أَصْبَحَ فِيهِ أَهْلُ الْغُرُورِ، فَإِنَّمَا هَوَ ظِلٌّ مَمْدُودٌ، إِلَى أَجَل مَعْدُود.
(1) Al-Kulayni, `Usul al-Kafi, I, 60;
(2) al-Sayyid al-Yamani, al-Taraz, I, 342;
(3) `Ali ibn Ibrahim, Tafsir, p.3.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
وتشتمل على قِدم الخالق وعظم مخلوقاته، ويختمها بالوعظ
Praise be to Allah who is well-known without being seen, Who creates without pondering over, Who has ever been existent when there was no sky with domes, nor curtains with lofty doors, nor gloomy night, nor peaceful ocean, nor mountains with broad pathways, nor curved mountain roads, nor earth of spread floors, nor self-reliant creatures. He is the Originator of creation and their Master. He is the God of the creation and its feeder. The sun and the moon are steadily moving in pursuit of His will. They make every fresh thing old and every distant thing near.
الْحَمْدُ للهِ الْمَعْرُوفِ مِنْ غَيْرِ رُؤْيَة، الْخَالِقِ مِنْ غَيْرِ رَوِيَّة، الَّذِي لَمْ يَزَلْ قَائِماً دَائِماً; إِذْ لاَ سَمَاءٌ ذَاتُ أَبْرَاج، وَلاَ حُجُبٌ ذَاتُ إِرْتَاج، وَلاَ لَيْلٌ دَاج، وَلاَ بَحْرٌ سَاج، وَلاَ جَبَلٌ ذُوفِجَاج، وَلاَ فَجٌّ ذُواعْوِجَاج، وَلاَ أَرْضٌ ذَاتُ مِهَاد، وَلاَ خَلْقٌ ذُوااعْتِماد: ذلِكَ مُبْتَدِعُ الْخَلْقِ وَوَارِثُهُ، وَإِلهُ الْخَلْقِ وَرَازِقُهُ، وَالشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ دَائِبَانِ فِي مَرْضَاتِهِ: يُبْلِيَانِ كُلَّ جَدِيد، وَيُقَرِّبَانِ كُلَّ بَعِيد.
He distributed their sustenance and has counted their deeds and acts, the number of their breaths, their concealed looks, and whatever is hidden in their bosoms. He knows their places of stay and places of last resort in the loins and wombs till they reach their end.
قَسَمَ أَرْزَاقَهُمْ، وَأَحْصَى آثَارَهُمْ وَأَعْمَالَهُمْ، وَعَدَدَ أنْفاسَهُمْ، وَخَائِنَةَ أعْيُنِهِمْ وَمَا تُخْفِي صُدُورُهُمْ مِنَ الضَّمِيرِ، وَمُسْتَقَرَّهُمْ وَمُسْتَوْدَعَهُمْ مِنَ الاْرْحَامِ وَالظُّهُورِ، إِلَى أَنْ تَتَنَاهَى بِهِمُ الْغَايَاتُ.
His punishment on enemies is harsh despite the extent of His Mercy, and His compassion on His friends is vast despite His harsh punishment. He overpowers one who wants to overcome Him, and destroys one who clashes with Him. He disgraces one who opposes Him and gains sway over one who bears Him hostility. He is sufficient for one who relies on Him. He gives one who asks Him. He repays one who lends to Him. He rewards one who thanks Him.
هُوَ الَّذِي اشْتَدَّتْ نِقْمَتُهُ عَلَى أَعْدَائِهِ فِي سَعَةِ رَحْمَتِهِ، وَاتَّسَعَتْ رَحْمَتُهُ لاِوْلِيَائِهِ فِي شِدَّةِ نِقْمَتِهِ، قَاهِرُ مَنْ عَازَّهُ، وَمُدَمِّرُ مَنْ شَاقَّهُ، وَمُذِلُّ مَنْ نَاوَاهُ، وَغَالِبُ مَنْ عَادَاهُ. مَنْ تَوَكَّلَ عَلَيْهِ كَفَاهُ، وَمَنْ سَأَلَهُ أَعْطَاهُ، وَمَنْ أَقْرَضَهُ قَضَاهُ، وَمَنْ شَكَرَهُ جَزَاهُ.
O creatures of Allah, weigh yourselves before you are weighed and assess yourselves before you are assessed. Breathe before suffocation of the throat. Be submissive before you are harshly driven. Know that if one does not help himself in acting as his own adviser and warner then no one else can (effectively) be his adviser or warner.
عِبَادَ اللهِ، زِنُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ تُوزَنُوا، وَحَاسِبُوهَا مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ تُحَاسَبُوا، وَتَنَفَّسُوا قَبْلَ ضِيقِ الْخِنَاقِ، وَانْقَادُوا قَبْلَ عُنْفِ السِّيَاقِ، وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّهُ مَنْ لَمْ يُعَنْ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ حَتَّى يَكُونَ لَهُ مِنْهَا وَاعِظٌ وَزَاجِرٌ، لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ مِنْ غَيْرِهَا زَاجِرٌ وَلاَ وَاعِظٌ.
(1) Al-Wasiti, `Uyun al-hikam;
(2) al-'Amidi, Ghurar, 185;
(3) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, II, 345.
Mas`adah ibn Sadaqah has related from al-Imam Ja`far ibn Muhammad as-Sadiq (p.b.u.t.) saying: "Amir al-mu'minin delivered this sermon from the pulpit of (the mosque of) Kufah when someone asked him, 'O Amir al-mu'minin! Describe Allah for us in such a way that we may imagine that we see Him with eyes so that our love and knowledge may increase about Him.'
Amir al-mu'minin became angry at this (request of the questioner) and ordered the Muslims to gather in the mosque. So many Muslims gathered in the mosque that the place was over-crowded. Then Amir al-mu'minin ascended the pulpit while he was still in a state of anger and his colour was changed. After he had praised Allah and extolled Him and sought His blessings on the Prophet he said:
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
تعرف بخطبة الاشباح وهي من جلائل الخُطب
روى مسعدة بن صدقة عن الصادق جعفر بن محمّد (عليهما السلام) أنّه قال:
خطب أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام والصلاة بهذه الخطبة على منبر الكوفة، وذلك أن رجلاً أتاه فقال له: يا أميرالمؤمنين! صف لنا ربّنا مثلما نراه عيانا لنزداد له حباً وبه معرفة. فغضب (عليه السلام) ونادى: الصلاة جامعة، فاجتمع الناس حتى غصّ المسجد بأهله . فصعد المنبر وهو مغضب متغيّر اللون، فحمد الله سبحانه وصلّى على النبي (صلى الله عليه وآله)، ثمّ قال:
وصف الله تعالى
Praise be to Allah Who is not enriched by the refusal to give away and stinginess, and Who is not impoverished by munificence and generosity, although everyone who gives away loses (to that extent) except He, and everyone who withholds is blamed for his niggardliness but He. He obliges through beneficial bounties and plentiful gifts and grants. The whole creation is His dependants (in sustenance).2
He has guaranteed their livelihood and ordained their sustenance. He has prepared the way for those who turn to Him and those who seek what is with Him. He is as generous about what He is asked as He is about that for which He is not asked. He is the First for whom there was no 'before' so that there could be anything before Him.
He is the Last for whom there is no 'after' so that there could be anything after Him. He prevents the pupils of the eyes from seeing Him or perceiving Him. Time does not change over Him, so as to admit of any change of condition about Him. He is not in any place so as to allow Him movement (from one place to another).
الْحَمْدُ للهِ الَّذِي لاَ يَفِرُهُ الْمَنْعُ وَالْجُمُودُ، وَلاَ يُكْدِيهِ الاْعْطَاءُ وَالْجُودُ; إِذْ كُلُّ مُعْط مُنْتَقِصٌ سِوَاهُ، وَكُلُّ مَانِع مَذْمُومٌ مَا خَلاَهُ، وَهُوَ الْمَنَّانُ بِفَوَائِدِ النِّعَمِ، وَعَوائِدِ المَزِيدِ وَالْقِسَمِ، عِيَالُهُ الْخَلاَئِقُ، ضَمِنَ أَرْزَاقَهُمْ، وَقَدَّرَ أَقْوَاتَهُمْ، وَنَهَجَ سَبِيلَ الرَّاغِبِينَ إِلَيْهِ، وَالطَّالِبِينَ مَا لَدَيْهِ، وَلَيْسَ بِمَا سُئِلَ بِأَجْوَدَ مِنْهُ بِمَا لَمْ يُسْأَلُ. الاَوَّلُ الَّذِي لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ قَبْلٌ فَيَكُونَ شَيءٌ قَبْلَهُ، وَالاخِرُ الَّذِي لَيْسَ لَهُ بَعْدٌ فَيَكُونَ شَيْءٌ بَعْدَهُ، وَالرَّادِعُ أَنَاسِيَّ الاْبْصَارِ عَنْ أَنْ تَنَالَهُ أَوْ تُدْرِكَهُ، مَا اخْتَلَفَ عَلَيْهِ دَهْرٌ فَيَخْتَلِفَ مِنْهُ الحَالُ، وَلاَ كَانَ فِي مَكَان فَيَجُوزَ عَلَيْهِ الانتِقَالُ،
If He gives away all that the mines of the mountains emit out or the gold, silver, pearls and cuttings of coral which the shells of the ocean vomit out, it would not affect his munificence, nor diminish the extent of what He has. (In fact) He would still have such treasures of bounty as would not decrease by the demands of the creatures, because He is that generous Being Whom the begging of beggars cannot make poor nor the pertinacity of beseechers make miser.
وَلَوْ وَهَبَ مَاتَنَفَّسَتْ عَنْهُ مَعَادِنُ الْجِبَالِ، وَضَحِكَتْ عِنْهُ أَصْدَافُ الْبِحَارِ، مِنْ فِلِزِّ اللُّجَيْنِ وَالْعِقْيَانِ، وَنُثَارَةِ الدُّرِّ وَحَصِيدِ الْمَرْجَانِ، مَا أَثَّرَ ذلِكَ فِي جُودِهِ، وَلاَ أَنْفَدَ سَعَةَ مَا عِنْدَهُ، وَلَكَانَ عِنْدَهُ مِنْ ذَخَائِرِ الاَنْعَامِ مَا لاَ تُنْفِدُهُ مَطَالِبُ الاَنَامِ، لاِنَّهُ الْجَوَادُ الَّذِي لاَ يَغِيضُهُ سُؤَالُ السَّائِلِينَ، وَلاَ يُبْخِلُهُ إِلْحَاحُ المُلِحِّينَ.
صفاته تعالى في القرآن
Then look on, questioner; be confined to those of His attributes which the Qur'an had described and seek light from the effulgence of its guidance. Leave to Allah that knowledge which Satan has prompted you to seek and which neither the Qur'an enjoins you to seek nor is there any trace of it in the actions or sayings of the Prophet and other leaders (A`immah) of guidance. This is the extreme limit of Allah's claim upon you.
Know that firm in knowledge are those who refrain from opening the curtains that lie against the unknown, and their acknowledgement of ignorance about the details of the hidden unknown prevents them from further probe. Allah praises them for their admission that they are unable to get knowledge not allowed to them. They do not go deep into the discussion of what is not enjoined upon them about knowing Him and they call it firmness. Be content with this and do not limit the Greatness of Allah after the measure of your own intelligence, or else you will be among the destroyed ones.
فَانْظُرْ أَيُّهَا السَّائِلُ: فَمَا دَلَّكَ الْقُرْآنُ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ صِفَتِهِ فَائْتَمَّ بِهِ وَاسْتَضِىءْ بِنُورِ هِدَايَتِهِ، وَمَا كَلَّفَكَ الشَّيْطَانُ عِلْمَهُ مِمَّا لَيْسَ فِي الْكِتَابِ عَلَيْكَ فَرْضُهُ، وَلاَ فِي سُنَّةِ النَّبِيِّ(صلى الله عليه وآله) وَأَئِمَّةِ الْهُدَى أَثَرُهُ، فَكِلْ عِلْمَهُ إِلَى اللهِ سُبْحَانَهُ، فَإِنَّ ذلِكَ مُنْتَهَى حَقِّ اللهِ عَلَيْكَ. وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ الرَّاسِخِينَ فِي الْعِلْمِ هُمُ الَّذِينَ أَغْنَاهُمْ عَنِ اقْتِحَامِ السُّدَدِ الْمَضْرُوبَةِ دُونَ الْغُيُوبِ، الاِْقْرَارُ بِجُمْلَةِ مَا جَهِلُوا تَفْسِيرَهُ مِنَ الْغيْبِ الْـمَحْجُوبِ، فَمَدَحَ اللهُ ـ تَعَالَى ـ اعْتِرَافَهُمْ بِالْعَجْزِ عَنْ تَنَاوُلِ مَا لَمْ يُحِيطُوا بِهِ عِلْماً، وَسَمَّى تَرْكَهُمُ التَّعَمُّقَ فِيَما لَمْ يُكَلِّفْهُمُ الْبَحْثَ عَنْ كُنْهِهِ رُسُوخاً، فاقْتَصِرْ عَلَى ذَلِكَ، وَلاَتُقَدِّرْ عَظَمَةَ اللهِ سُبْحَانَهُ عَلَى قَدْرِ عَقْلِكَ فَتَكُونَ مِنَ الْهَالِكِينَ.
He is Powerful, such that when imagination shoots its arrows to comprehend the extremity of His power, and mind, making itself free of the dangers of evil thoughts, tries to find Him in the depth of His realm, and hearts long to grasp realities of His attributes and openings of intelligence penetrate beyond description in order to secure knowledge about His Being, crossing the dark pitfalls of the unknown and concentrating towards Him He would turn them back. They would return defeated admitting that the reality of His knowledge cannot be comprehended by such random efforts, nor can an iota of the sublimity of His Honour enter the understanding of thinkers.
هُوَ الْقَادِرُ الَّذِي إِذَا ارْتَمَتِ الاَوْهَامُ لِتُدْرِكَ مُنْقَطَعَ قُدْرَتِهِ، وَحَاوَلَ الْفِكْرُ الْمُبَرَّأُ مِنْ خَطَرَاتِ الْوَسَاوِسِ أَنْ يَقَعَ عَلَيْهِ فِي عَمِيقَاتِ غُيُوبِ مَلَكُوتِهِ، وَتَوَلَّهَتِ الْقُلُوبُ إِلَيْهِ لِتَجْرِيَ فِي كَيْفِيَّةِ صِفَاتِهِ، وَغَمَضَتْ مَدَاخِلُ الْعُقُولِ في حَيْثُ لاَ تَبْلُغُهُ الصِّفَاتُ لِتنالَ عِلْمَ ذَاتِهِ، رَدَعَهَا وَهِيَ تَجُوبُ مَهَاوِيَ سُدَفِ الْغُيُوبِ، مُتَخَلِّصَةً إِلَيْهِ ـ سُبْحَانَهُ ـ فَرَجَعَتْ إِذْ جُبِهَتْ، مُعتَرِفَةً بِأَنَّهُ لاَ يُنَالُ بِجَوْرِ الاعْتِسَافِ كُنْهُ مَعْرِفَتِهِ، وَلاَ تَخْطُرُ بِبَالِ أُولِي الرَّوِيَّاتِ خَاطِرَةٌ مِنْ تَقْدِيرِ جَلاَلِ عِزَّتِهِ.
He originated the creation without any example which He could follow and without any specimen prepared by any known creator that was before Him. He showed us the realm of His Might, and such wonders which speak of His Wisdom. The confession of the created things that their existence owes itself to Him made us realise that argument has been furnished about knowing Him (so that there is no excuse against it). The signs of His creative power and standard of His wisdom are fixed in the wonderful things He has created. Whatever He has created is an argument in His favour and a guide towards Him. Even a silent thing is a guide towards Him as though it speaks, and its guidance towards the Creator is clear.
الَّذِي ابْتَدَعَ الْخَلْقَ عَلَى غَيْرِ مِثَال امْتَثَلَهُ، وَلاَ مِقْدَار احْتَذَى عَلَيْهِ، مِنْ خَالِق مَعْبُود كَانَ قَبْلَهُ، وَأَرَانَا مِنْ مَلَكُوتِ قُدْرَتِهِ، وَعَجَائِبِ مَا نَطَقَتْ بِهِ آثارُ حِكْمَتِهِ، وَاعْتِرَافِ الْحَاجَةِ مِنَ الْخَلْقِ إِلَى أَنْ يُقِيمَهَا بِمِسَاكِ قُوَّتِهِ، مَا دَلَّنا بِاضْطِرَارِ قِيَامِ الْحُجَّةِ لَهُ عَلَى مَعْرِفَتِهِ، وَظَهَرَتِ الْبَدَائِعُ الَّتِي أحْدَثَها آثَارُ صَنْعَتِهِ، وَأَعْلاَمُ حِكْمَتِهِ، فَصَارَ كُلُّ مَا خَلَقَ حُجَّةً لَهُ وَدَلِيلاً عَلَيْهِ، وَإِنْ كَانَ خَلْقاً صَامِتاً، فَحُجَّتُهُ بِالتَّدْبير نَاطِقَةٌ، وَدَلاَلَتُهُ عَلَى الْمُبْدِعِ قَائِمَةٌ.
(O Allah) I stand witness that he who likens Thee with the separateness of the limbs or with the joining of the extremities of his body did not acquaint his inner self with knowledge about Thee, and his heart did not secure conviction to the effect that there is no partner for Thee. It is as though he has not heard the (wrongful) followers disclaiming their false gods by sayings
"By Allah, we were certainly in manifest error when we equalled you with the Lord of the worlds." (Qur'an, 26:97-98).
They are wrong who liken Thee to their idols, and dress Thee with apparel of the creatures by their imagination, attribute to Thee parts of body by their own thinking and consider Thee after the creatures of various types, through the working of their intelligence. I stand witness that whoever equated Thee with anything out of Thy creation took a match for Thee, and whoever takes a match for Thee is an unbeliever, according to what is stated in Thy unambiguous verses and indicated by the evidence of Thy clear arguments. (I also stand witness that) Thou art that Allah who cannot be confined in (the fetters of) intelligence so as to admit change of condition by entering its imagination nor in the shackles of mind so as to become limited and an object of alterations.
فَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مَنْ شَبَّهَكَ بِتَبَايُنِ أَعْضَاءِ خَلْقِكَ، وَتَلاَحُمِ حِقَاقِ مَفَاصِلِهِمُ الْـمُحْتَجِبَةِ لِتَدْبِيرِ حِكْمَتِكَ، لَمْ يَعْقِدْ غَيْبَ ضَمِيرِهِ عَلَى مَعْرِفَتِكَ، وَلَمْ يُبَاشِرْ قَلْبَهُ الْيَقِينُ بِأَنَّهُ لاَنِدَّ لَكَ، وَكَأَنَّهُ لَمْ يَسْمَعْ تَبَرُّؤَ التَّابِعِينَ مِنَ المَتبُوعِينَ إِذْ يَقُولُونَ: (تَاللهِ إِنْ كُنَّا لَفِي ضَلاَل مُبِين * إِذْ نُسَوِّيكُمْ بِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ). كَذَبَ الْعَادِلُونَ بِكَ، إِذْ شَبَّهُوكَ بِأَصْنَامِهِمْ وَنَحَلُوكَ حِلْيَةَ الْـمَخْلُوقِينَ بِأَوْهَامِهمْ، وَجَزَّأُوكَ تَجْزِئَةَ الْـمُجَسَّماتِ بِخَوَاطِرِهِمْ، وَقَدَّرُوكَ عَلَى الْخِلْقَةِ الْمخْتَلِفَةِ الْقُوَى، بِقَرَائِحِ عُقُولِهِمْ.
فَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مَنْ سَاوَاكَ بِشَيْء مِنْ خَلْقِكِ فَقَدْ عَدَلَ بِكَ، وَالْعَادِلُ كَافِرٌ بِمَا تَنَزَّلَتْ بِهِ مُحْكَمَاتُ آياتِكَ، وَنَطَقَتْ عَنْهُ شَوَاهِدُ حُجَجِ بَيِّنَاتِكَ، وَإِنَّكَ أَنْتَ اللهُ الَّذِي لَمْ تَتَنَاهَ فِي الْعُقُولِ، فَتَكُونَ في مَهَبِّ فِكْرِهَا مُكَيَّفاً، وَلاَ فِي رَوِيَّاتِ خَوَاطِرِهَا فَتَكُونَ مَحْدُوداً مُصَرَّفاً.
He has fixed limits for every thing He has created and made the limits firm, and He has fixed its working and made the working delicate. He has fixed its direction and it does not transgress the limits of its position nor fall short of reaching the end of its aim. It did not disobey when it was commanded to move at His will; and how could it do so when all matters are governed by His will. He is the Producer of varieties of things without exercise of imagination, without the urge of an impulse, hidden in Him, without (the benefit of) any experiment taken from the vicissitudes of time and without any partner who might have assisted Him in creating wonderful things.
قَدَّرَ مَا خَلَقَ فَأَحْكَمَ تَقْدِيرَهُ، وَدَبَّرَهُ فَأَلْطَفَ تَدْبِيرَهُ، وَوَجَّهَهُ لِوِجْهَتِهِ فَلَمْ يَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَ مَنْزِلَتِهِ، وَلَمْ يَقْصُرْ دُونَ الاْنْتِهَاءِ إِلى غَايَتِهِ، وَلَمْ يَسْتَصْعِبْ إِذْ أُمِرَ بِالْمُضِيِّ عَلَى إِرَادَتِهِ، وَكَيْفَ وَإِنَّمَا صَدَرَتِ الاْمُورُ عَنْ مَشيئَتِهِ؟ الْمُنْشِىءُ أصْنَافَ الاْشْيَاءِ بِلاَ رَوِيَّةِ فِكْر آلَ إِلَيْهَا، وَلاَ قَريحَةِ غَرِيزَة ضْمَرَ عَلَيْهَا، وَلاَ تَجْرِبَة أَفَادَهَا مِنْ حَوَادِثِ الدُّهُورِ، وَلاَ شَرِيك أَعَانَهُ عَلَى ابْتِدَاعِ عَجَائِبِ الاْمورِ،
Thus the creation was completed by His order and it bowed to His obedience and responded to His call. The laziness of any slug or the inertness of any excuse-finder did not prevent it from doing so. So He straightened the curves of the things and fixed their limits. With His power He created coherence in their contradictory parts and joined together the factors of similarity. Then He separated them in varieties which differ in limits, quantities, properties and shapes. All this is new creation. He made them firm and shaped them according as He wished and invented them.
فَتَمَّ خَلْقُهُ، وَأَذْعَنَ لِطَاعَتِهِ، وَأَجَابَ إِلى دَعْوَتِهِ، لَم يَعْتَرِضْ دُونَهُ رَيْثُ الْمُبْطِىءِ، وَلاَ أَنَاةُ الْمُتَلَكِّىءِ، فَأَقَامَ مِنَ الاْشْيَاءِ أَوَدَهَا، وَنَهَجَ حُدُودَهَا، وَلاَءَمَ بِقُدْرَتِهِ بَيْنَ مُتَضَادِّهَا، وَوَصَلَ أَسْبَابَ قَرَائِنِهَا، وَفَرَّقَهَا أَجْنَاساً مُخْتَلِفَات فِي الْحُدُودِ وَالاْقْدَارِ، وَالْغرَائِزِ وَالْهَيْئَاتِ، بَدَايَا خَلاَئِقَ أَحْكَمَ صُنْعَهَا، وَفَطَرَهَا عَلَى مَا أَرَادَ وَابْتَدَعَهَا!
منها: في صفة السماء
He has arranged the depressions and elevations of the openings of the sky. He has joined the breadths of its breaches, and has joined them with one another. He has made easy the approach to its heights for those (angels) who come down with His commands and those (angels) who go up with the deeds of the creatures. He called it when it was yet (in the form of) vapour. At once the links of its joints joined up. Then Allah opened up its closed door and put the sentinels of meteors at its holes, and held them with His hands (i.e. power) from falling into the vastness of air.
وَنَظَمَ بِلاَ تَعْلِيق رَهَوَاتِ فُرَجِهَا، وَلاَحَمَ صُدُوعَ انْفِرَاجِهَا، وَوَشَّجَ بَيْنَهَا وَبَيْنَ أَزْوَاجِهَا، وَذَلَّلَ لِلْهَابِطِينَ بِأَمْرِهِ، وَالْصَّاعِدِينَ بِأَعْمَالِ خَلْقِهِ، حُزُونَةَ مِعْرَاجِهَا، وَنَادَاهَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هِيَ دُخَانٌ مُبِينٌ، فَالْتَحَمَتْ عُرَى أَشْرَاجِهَا، وَفَتَقَ بَعْدَ الارْتِتَاقِ صَوَامِتَ أَبْوَابِهَا، وَأَقَامَ رَصَداً مِنَ الشُّهُبِ الثَّوَاقِبِ عَلَى نِقَابِهَا، وَأَمْسَكَهَا مِنْ أَنْ تَمُورَ فِي خَرْقِ الْهَوَاءِ بِأَيْدِهِ
He commanded it to remain stationary in obedience to His commands. He made its sun the bright indication for its day, and moon the gloomy indication for its night. He then put them in motion in their orbits and ordained their (pace of) movement in the stages of their paths in order to distinguish with their help between night and day, and in order that the reckoning of years and calculations may be known by their fixed movements.
Then He hung in its vastness its sky and put therein its decoration consisting of small bright pearls and lamp-like stars. He shot at the over-hearers arrows of bright meteors. He put them in motion on their appointed routine and made them into fixed stars, moving stars, descending stars, ascending stars, ominous stars and lucky stars.
وَأَمَرَهَا أَنْ تَقِفَ مُسْتَسْلِمَةً لاِمْرِهِ، وَجَعَلَ شَمْسَهَا آيَةً مُبْصِرَةً لِنَهَارِهَا، وَقَمَرَهَا آيَةً مَمْحُوَّةً مِنْ لَيْلِهَا، وَأَجْرَاهُمَا فِي مَنَاقِلِ مَجْرَاهُمَا، وَقَدَّرَ مَسِيَرهُما فِي مَدَارِجِ دَرَجِهِمَا، لُيمَيِّزَ بَيْنَ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ بِهِمَا، وَلِيُعْلَمَ عَدَدُ السِّنِينَ والْحِسَابُ بِمَقَادِيرِهِمَا، ثُمَّ عَلَّقَ فِي جَوِّهَا فَلَكَهَا، وَنَاطَ بِهَا زِينَتَهَا، مِنْ خَفِيَّاتِ دَرَارِيِّهَا، وَمَصَابِيحِ كَوَاكِبِهَا، وَرَمَى مُسْتَرِقِي السَّمْعِ بِثَوَاقِبِ شُهُبِهَا، وَأَجْرَاها عَلَى أَذْلاَلِ تَسْخِيرِهَا مِنْ ثَبَاتِ ثَابِتِهَا، وَمَسِيرِ سَائِرِهَا، وهُبُوطِهَا وَصُعُودِهَا، وَنُحُوسِهَا وَسُعُودِهَا.
ومنها: في صفة الملائكة (عليهم السلام)
Then Allah, the Glorified, created for inhabiting of His skies and populating the higher strata of his realm new (variety of) creatures namely the angels. With them He filled the openings of its cavities and populated with them the vastness of it circumference. In between the openings of these cavities there resounds the voices of angels glorifying Him in the enclosures of sublimity, (behind) curtains of concealment and in veils of His Greatness. And behind this resounding which deafens the ears there is the effulgence of light which defies the approach of sight to it, and consequently the sight stands, disappointed at its limitation.
ثُمَّ خَلَقَ سُبْحَانَهُ لاِسْكَانِ سَمَاوَاتِهِ، وَعِمَارَةِ الصَّفِيحِ الاْعْلَى مِنْ مَلَكُوتِهِ، خَلْقاً بَدِيعاً مِنْ مَلاَئِكَتِهِ، وَمَلاَ بهِمْ فُرُوجَ فِجَاجِهَا، وَحَشَا بِهِمْ فُتُوقَ أَجْوَائِهَا، وَبَيْنَ فَجَوَاتِ تِلْكَ الْفُرُوجِ زَجَلُ الْمُسَبِّحِينَ مِنْهُمْ فِي حَظَائِرِ الْقُدُسِ، وَسُتُرَاتِ الْحُجُبِ، وَسُرَادِقَاتِ الْـمَجْدِ، وَوَرَاءَ ذلِكَ الرَّجِيج الَّذِي تَسْتَكُّ مِنْهُ الاْسْمَاعُ سُبُحَاتُ نُور تَرْدَعُ الاْبْصَارَ عَنْ بُلُوغِهَا، فَتَقِفُ خَاسِئَةً عَلَى حُدُودِهَا.
He created them in different shapes and with diverse characteristics. They have wings. They glorify the sublimity of His Honour. They do not appropriate to themselves His skill that shows itself in creation. Nor do they claim they create anything in which He is unparalleled.
"But they are rather honoured creatures who do not take precedence over Him in uttering anything, and they act according to His command." (Qur'an, 21: 26-27).
He has made them the trustees of His revelation and sent them to Prophets as holders of His injunctions and prohibitions. He has immunised them against the waviness of doubts. Consequently no one among them goes astray from the path of His will. He has helped them with the benefits of succour and has covered their hearts with humility and peace. He has opened for them doors of submission to His Glories. He has fixed for them bright minarets as signs of His Oneness.
The weights of sins do not burden them and the rotation of nights and days does not make them move. Doubts do not attack with arrows the firmness of their faith. Misgivings do not assault the bases of their beliefs. The spark of malice does not ignite among them. Amazement does not tarnish what knowledge of Him their hearts possess, or His greatness and awe of His glory that resides in their bosoms. Evil thoughts do not lean towards them to affect their imagination with their own rust.
نْشَأَهُمْ عَلَى صُوَر مُخْتَلِفَات، وَأَقْدَار مُتَفَاوِتَات،(أُولِي أَجْنِحَة) تُسَبِّحُ جَلاَلَ عِزَّتِهِ، لاَ يَنْتَحِلُونَ مَا ظَهَرَ فِي الْخَلْقِ مِنْ صُنْعِهِ، وَلاَ يَدَّعُونَ أَنَّهُمْ يَخْلُقُونَ شَيْئاً مَعَهُ مِمَّا انْفَرَدَ بِهِ، (بَلْ عِبَادٌ مُكْرَمُونَ * لاَ يَسْبِقُونَهُ بِالْقَوْلِ وَهُمْ بِأمْرِهِ يَعْمَلُونَ). جَعَلَهُمُ اللهُ فِيَما هُنَالِكَ أَهْلَ الاْمَانَةِ عَلَى وَحْيِهِ، وَحَمَّلَهُمْ إِلى الْمُرْسَلِينَ وَدَائِعَ أَمْرِهِ وَنَهْيِهِ، وَعَصَمَهُمْ مِنْ رَيْبِ الشُّبُهَاتِ، فَمَا مِنْهُمْ زَائِغٌ عَنْ سَبِيلِ مَرْضَاتِهِ، وَأَمَدَّهُمْ بِفَوَائِدِ المَعُونَةِ، وَأَشْعَرَ قُلُوبَهُمْ تَوَاضُعَ إِخْبَاتِ السَّكِينَةِ، وَفَتَحَ لَهُمْ أَبْوَاباً ذُلُلاً إِلى تَمَاجِيدِهِ، وَنَصَبَ لَهُمْ مَنَاراًوَاضِحَةً عَلَى أَعْلاَمِ تَوْحِيدِهِ، لَمْ تُثْقِلْهُمْ مُوصِرَاتُ الاْثَامِ، وَلَمْ تَرْتَحِلْهُمْ عُقَبُ اللَّيَالي وَالاْيَّامِ، وَلَمْ تَرْمِ الشُّكُوكُ بِنَوَازِعِهَا عَزِيمَةَ إِيمَانِهمْ، وَلَمْ تَعْتَرِكِ الظُّنُونُ عَلَى مَعَاقِدِ يَقِينِهمْ، وَلاَ قَدَحَتْ قَادِحَةُ الاْحَنِ فِيَما بَيْنَهُمْ، وَلاَ سَلَبَتْهُمُ الْحَيْرَةُ مَا لاَقَ مِنْ مَعْرِفَتِهِ بِضَمائِرِهمْ، وَسَكَنَ مِنْ عَظَمَتِهِ وَهَيْبَةِ جِلاَلَتِهِ فِي أَثْنَاءِ صُدُورِهمْ، وَلَمْ تَطْمَعْ فِيهِمُ الْوَسَاوِسُ فَتَقْتَرِعَ بِرَيْنِهَا عَلى فِكْرِهمْ.
Among them are those who are in the frame of heavy clouds, or in the height of lofty mountains, or in the gloom of over-powering darkness. And there are those whose feet have pierced the lowest boundaries of the earth. These feet are like white ensigns which have gone forth into the vast expanse of wind. Under them blows the light wind which retains them upto its last end.
مِنْهُمْ مَنْ هُوَ في خَلْقِ الْغَمَامِ الدُّلَّحِ، وَفي عِظَمِ الْجِبَالِ الشُّمَّخِ، وَفي قَتْرَةِ الظَّلاَمِ الاْيْهَمِ ، وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ قَدْ خَرَقَتْ أَقْدَامُهُمْ تُخُومَ الاْرْضِ السُّفْلَى، فَهِيَ كَرَايَات بِيض قَدْ نَفَذَتْ فِي مَخَارِقِ الْهَوَاءِ، وَتَحْتَهَا رِيحٌ هَفَّافَةٌ تَحْبِسُهَا عَلَى حَيْثُ انْتَهَتْ مِنَ الْحُدُودِ الْمُتَنَاهِيَةِ،
Occupation in His worship has made them carefree, and realities of Faith have served as a link between them and His knowledge. Their belief in Him has made them concentrate on Him. They long from Him not from others. They have tasted the sweetness of His knowledge and have drunk from the satiating cup of His love. The roots of His fear have been implanted in the depth of their hearts. Consequently they have bent their straight backs through His worship. The length of the humility and extreme nearness has not removed from them the rope of their fear.
قَدِاسْتَفْرَغَتْهُمْ أَشْغَالُ عِبَادَتِهِ، ووَسّلَت حَقَائِقُ الاْيمَانِ بَيْنَهُمْ وَبَيْنَ مَعْرِفَتِهِ، وَقَطَعَهُمُ الاْيقَانُ بِهِ إِلى الْوَلَهِ إِليْهِ، وَلَمْ تُجَاوِزْ رَغَبَاتُهُمْ مَا عِنْدَهُ إِلى مَا عِنْدَ غَيْرِهِ. قَدْ ذَاقُوا حَلاَوَةَ مَعْرِفَتِهِ، وَشَرِبُوا بِالْكَأْسِ الرَّوِيَّةِ مِنْ مَحَبَّتِهِ، وَتَمَكَّنَتْ مِنْ سُوَيْدَاءِ قُلُوبِهمْ وَشِيجَةُ خِيفَتِهِ، فَحَنَوْا بِطُولِ الطَّاعَةِ اعْتِدَالَ ظُهُورِهمْ، وَلَمْ يُنْفِدْ طُولُ الرَّغْبَةِ إِلَيْهِ مَادَّةَ تَضَرُّعِهِمْ، وَلاَ أَطْلَقَ عَنْهُمْ عَظِيمُ الزُّلْفَةِ رِبَقَ خُشُوعِهمْ،
They do not entertain pride so as to make much of their acts. Their humility before the glory of Allah does not allow them to esteem their own virtues. Languor does not affect them despite their long affliction. Their longings (for Him) do not lessen so that they might turn away from hope in (Allah) their Sustainer. The tips of their tongues do not get dry by constant prayers (to Allah). Engagements (in other matters) do not betake them so as to turn their (loud) voices for Him into faint ones. Their shoulders do not get displaced in the postures of worship. They do not move their necks (this and that way) for comfort in disobedience of His command. Follies of negligence do not act against their determination to strive, and the deceptions of desires do not overcome their courage.
لَمْ يَتَوَلَّهُمُ الاْعْجَابُ فَيَسْتَكْثِرُوا مَا سَلَفَ مِنْهُمْ، وَلاَ تَرَكَتْ لَهُمُ اسْتِكَانَةُ الاْجْلاَلِ نَصِيباً فِي تَعْظِيمِ حَسَنَاتِهمْ، وَلَمْ تَجْرِ الْفَتَرَاتُ فِيهِمْ عَلَى طُولِ دُؤُوبِهِمْ، وَلَمْ تَغِضْ رَغَبَاتُهُمْ فَيُخَالِفُوا عَنْ رَجَاءِ رَبِّهِمْ، وَلَمْ تَجِفَّ لِطُولِ الْمُنَاجَاةِ أَسَلاَتُ أَلْسِنَتِهمْ، وَلاَ مَلَكَتْهُمُ الاْشْغَالُ فَتَنْقَطِعَ بِهَمْسِ الخبر إِلَيْهِ أَصْواتُهُمْ، وَلَمْ تَخْتَلِفْ فِي مَقَاوِمِ الطّاعَةِ مَناكِبُهُمْ، وَلَمْ يَثْنُوا إِلَى رَاحَةِ التَّقْصِيرِ فِي أَمرِهِ رِقَابَهُمْ، وَلاَ تَعْدُوا عَلَى عَزِيمَةِ جِدِّهِم بَلاَدَةُ الْغَفَلاَتِ، وَلاَ تَنْتَضِلُ فِي هِمَمِهِمْ خَدَائِعُ الشَّهَوَاتِ
They regard the Master of the Throne (Allah) as the store for the day of their need. Because of their love (for Him) they turn to Him even when others turn to the creatures. They do not reach the ending limit of His worship. Their passionate fondness for His worship does not turn them except to the springs of their own hearts, springs which are never devoid of His hope and His fear. Fear (of Allah) never leaves them so that they might slacken in their efforts, nor have temptations entrapped them so that they might prefer this light search over their (serious) effort.
قَدْ اتَّخَذُوا ذَا الْعَرْشِ ذَخِيرَةً لِيَومِ فَاقَتِهمْ، وَيَمَّمُوهُ عِنْدَ انْقِطَاعِ الْخَلْقِ إِلى الـمَخْلُوقِينَ بِرَغْبَتِهمْ، لاَ يَقْطَعُونَ أَمَدَ غَايَةِ عِبَادَتِهِ، وَلاَ يَرْجِعُ بِهمُ الاِسْتِهْتَارُ بِلُزُومِ طَاعَتِهِ، إِلاَّ إِلَى مَوَادَّ مِنْ قُلُوبِهمْ غَيْرِ مُنْقَطِعَة مِنْ رَجَائِهِ وَمَخَافَتِهِ، لَمْ تَنْقَطِعْ أَسْبَابُ الشَّفَقَةِ مِنْهُمْ، فَيَنُوا في جِدِّهِمْ، وَلَمْ تَأْسِرْهُمُ الاْطْمَاعُ فَيُؤْثِرُوا وَشِيكَ السَّعْىِ عَلَى اجْتِهَادِهِمْ.
They do not consider their past (virtuous) deeds to be great, for if they had considered them great then (excessive) hope would have wiped away fearfulness from their hearts. They did not differ (among themselves) about their Sustainer as a result of Satan's control over them. The vice of separation from one another did not disperse them. Rancour and mutual malice did not overpower them. Ways of wavering did not divide them. Differences of degree of courage did not render them into divisions.
Thus they are captives of faith; neither crookedness (of mind), nor excess, nor lethargy nor languor loosens them from its bond. There is not the thinnest point in the skies but there is an angel over it in prostration (before Allah) or (busy) in quick performance (of His commands). By long worship of their Sustainer they increase their knowledge, and the honour of their Sustainer increases in their hearts.
ولَمْ يَسْتَعْظِمُوا مَا مَضَى مِنْ أَعْمَالِهِمْ، وَلَوِ اسْتَعْظَمُوا ذلِكَ لَنَسَخَ الرَّجَاءُ مِنْهُمْ شَفَقَاتِ وَجَلِهِمْ، وَلَمْ يَخْتَلِفُوا فِي رَبِّهِمْ بِاسْتِحْواذِ الشَّيْطَانِ عَلَيْهِمْ، وَلَمْ يُفَرِّقْهُمْ سُوءُ التَّقَاطُعِ، وَلاَتَوَلاّهُمْ غِلُّ التَّحَاسُدِ، وَلاَ تَشَعَّبَتْهُمْ مَصَارِفُ الرِّيَبِ، وَلاَ اقْتَسَمَتْهُمْ أَخْيَافُ الْهِمَمِ، فَهُمْ أُسَرَاءُ إِيمَان لَمْ يَفُكَّهُمْ مَنْ رِبْقَتِهِ زَيَغٌ وَلاَ عُدُولٌ وَلاَ وَنىً وَلاَ فُتُورٌ، وَلَيْسَ في أَطْبَاقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ مَوْضِعُ إِهَاب إِلاَّ وَعَلَيْهِ مَلَكٌ سَاجِدٌ، أَوْ سَاع حَافِدٌ، يَزْدَادُونَ عَلَى طُولِ الطَّاعَةِ بِرَبِّهمْ عِلْماً، وَتَزْدَادُ عِزَّةُ رَبِّهِمْ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ عِظَماً.
ومنها: في صفة الارض ودحوها على الماء
Allah spread the earth on stormy and tumultuous waves and the depths of swollen seas, where waves clashed with each other and high surges leapt over one another. They emitted foam like the he-camel at the time of sexual excitement. So the tumult of the stormy water was subdued by the weight of the earth, when the earth pressed it with its chest its shooting agitation eased, and when the earth rolled on it with its shoulder bones the water meekly submitted.
Thus after the tumult of its surges it became tame and overpowered, and an obedient prisoner of the shackles of disgrace, while the earth spread itself and became solid in the stormy depth of this water. (In this way) the earth put an end to the pride, self conceit, high position and superiority of the water, and muzzled the intrepidity of its flow. Consequently it stopped after its stormy flow and settled down after its tumult.
كَبَسَ الاْرْضَ عَلى مَوْرِ أَمْوَاج مُسْتَفْحِلَة، وَلُجَجِ بِحَار زَاخِرَة، تَلْتَطِمُ أَوَاذِيُّ أمْواجِهَا، وَتَصْطَفِقُ مُتَقَاذِفَاتُ أَثْبَاجِها، وَتَرْغُو زَبَداً كَالْفُحُولِ عِنْدَ هِيَاجِهَا، فَخَضَعَ جِمَاحُ الْمَاءِ الْمُتَلاَطِمِ لِثِقَلِ حَمْلِهَا، وَسَكَنَ هَيْجُ ارْتِمَائِهِ إِذْ وَطِئَتْهُ بِكَلْكَلِهَا، وَذَلَّ مُسْتَخْذِياً إِذْ تَمعَّكَتْ عَلَيْهِ بِكَوَاهِلِهَا، فَأَصْبَحَ بَعْدَ اصْطِخَابِ أَمْوَاجِهِ، سَاجِياً مَقْهُوراً، وَفِي حَكَمَةِ الذُّلِّ مُنْقَاداً أَسِيراً، وَسَكَنَتِ الاْرْضُ مَدْحُوَّةً فِي لُجَّةِ تَيَّارِهِ، وَرَدَّتْ مِنْ نَخْوَةِ بَأْوِهِ وَاعْتِلاَئِهِ، وَشُمُوخِ أَنْفِهِ وَسُمُوِّ غُلَوَائِهِ، وَكَعَمَتْهُ عَلَى كِظَّةِ جَرْيَتِهِ، فَهَمَدَ بَعْدَ نَزَقَاتِهِ، وبَعْدَ زَيَفَانِ وَثَبَاتِهِ.
When the excitement of water subsided under the earth's sides and under the weight of the high and lofty mountains placed on its shoulders, Allah flowed springs of water from its high tops and distributed them through plains and low places and moderated their movement by fixed rocks and high mountain tops. Then its trembling came to a standstill because of the penetration of mountains in (various) parts of its surface and their being fixed in its deep areas, and their standing on its plains.
Then Allah created vastness between the earth and firmament, and provided blowing wind for its inhabitants. Then He directed its inhabitants to spread all over its convenient places. Thereafter He did not leave alone the barren tracts of the earth where high portions lacked in water-springs and where rivers could not find their way, but created floating clouds which enliven the unproductive areas and grow vegetation.
فَلَمَّا سَكَنَ هَيْجُ الْمَاءِ مِنْ تَحْتِ أَكْنَافِهَا، وَحَمْلِ شَوَاهِقِ الْجِبَالِ الْبُذَّخِ عَلَى أَكْتَافِهَا، فَجَّرَ يَنَابِيعَ الْعُيُونِ مِنْ عَرَانِينِ أُنُوفِهَا، وَفَرَّقَهَا فِي سُهُوبِ بِيدِهَا وَأَخَادِيدِهَا، وَعَدَّلَ حَرَكَاتِهَا بِالرَّاسَيَاتِ مِنْ جَلاَمِيدِهَا، وَذَوَاتِ الشَّنَاخِيبِ الشُّمِّ مِنْ صَيَاخِيدِهَا، فَسَكَنَتْ مِنَ الْمَيَدَانِ بِرُسُوبِ الْجِبَالِ فِي قِطَعِ أَدِيمِهَا، وَتَغَلْغُلِهَا مُتَسَرِّبَةً في جَوْبَاتِ خَيَاشِيمِهَا، وَرُكُوبِهَا أَعْنَاقَ سُهُولِ الاُرَضِينَ وَجَرَاثِيمِهَا، وَفَسَحَ بَيْنَ الْجَوِّ وَبَيْنَهَا، وَأَعَدَّ الْهَوَاءَ مُتَنَسَّماً لِسَاكِنِهَا، وَأَخْرَجَ إِلَيْهَا أَهْلَهَا عَلَى تَمَامِ مَرَافِقِها. ثُمَّ لَمْ يَدَعْ جُرُزَ الاْرْضِ الَّتي تَقْصُرُ مِيَاهُ الْعُيُونِ عَنْ رَوَابِيهَا، وَلاَ تَجِدُ جَدَاوِلُ الاْنْهَارِ ذَرِيعَةً إِلى بُلُوغِهَا، حَتَّى أَنْشَأَ لَهَا نَاشِئَةَ سَحَاب تُحْيِي مَوَاتَهَا، وَتَسْتَخْرِجُ نَبَاتَهَا،
He made a big cloud by collecting together small clouds and when water collected in it and lightning began to flash on its sides and the flash continued under the white clouds as well as the heavy ones.He sent it raining heavily. The cloud was hanging towards the earth and southerly winds were squeezing it into shedding its water like a she-camel bending down for milking.
When the cloud prostrated itself on the ground and delivered all the water it carried on itself Allah grew vegetation on the plain earth and herbage on dry mountains. As a result, the earth felt pleased at being decorated with its gardens and wondered at her dress of soft vegetation and the ornaments of its blossoms. Allah made all this the means of sustenance for the people and feed for the beasts. He has opened up highways in its expanse and has established minarets (of guidance) for those who tread on its highways.
أَلَّفَ غَمَامَهَا بَعْدَ افْتِرَاقِ لُمَعِهَ، وَتَبَايُنِ قَزَعِهِ. حَتَّى إِذَا تَمَخَّضَتْ لُجَّةُ الْمُزْنِ فِيهِ، وَالْـتَمَعَ بَرْقُهُ فَي كُفَفِهِ، وَلَمْ يَنَمْ وَمِيضُهُ فِي كَنَهْوَرِ رَبَابِهِ، وَمُتَرَاكِمِ سَحَابِهِ، أَرْسَلَهُ سَحّاً مُتَدَارَكاً، قَدْ أَسَفَّ هَيْدَبُهُ، تَمْرِيهِ الْجَنُوبُ دِرَرَ أَهَاضِيبِه، وَدُفَعَ شَآبِيبِهِ.
فَلَمَّا أَلْقَتِ السَّحابُ بَرْكَ بِوَانَيْهَا،وَبَعَاعَ مَا اسْتَقَلَّتْ بِهِ مِنَ الْعِبْءِ الْـمَحْمُولِ عَلَيْهَا، أَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنْ هَوَامِدِ الاْرْضِ النَّبَاتَ، وَمِنْ زُعْرِالْجِبَالِ الاْعْشابَ،فَهِيَ تَبْهَجُ بِزِينَةِ رِيَاضِهَا،وَتَزْدَهِي بِمَا أُلْبِسَتْهُ مِنْ رَيْطِ، أَزَاهِيرِهَا، وَحِلْيَةِ مَا سُمِطَتْ بِهِ مِنْ نَاضِرِ أَنْوَارِهَا، وَجَعَلَ ذلِكَ بَلاَغاً لِلاْنَامِ، وَرِزْقاً لِلاْنْعَامِ، وَخَرَقَ الْفِجَاجَ فِي آفَاقِهَا، وَأَقَامَ المَنَارَ لَلسَّالِكِينَ عَلَى جَوَادِّ طُرُقِهَا.
When He spread out the earth and enforced His commands He chose Adam (peace be upon him) as the best in His creation and made him the first of all creation. He made him to reside in Paradise and gave him ample sustenance in it, and also instructed him regarding what He had prohibited him. He told him that proceeding towards it meant His disobedience and endangering his own position. But Adam did what he had been refrained from, just as Allah already knew beforehand. Consequently, Allah sent him down after (accepting) his repentance, to populate His earth with his progeny and to serve as a proof and plea for Him among his creatures.
فَلَمَّا مَهَدَ أَرْضَهُ، وَأَنْفَذَ أَمْرَهُ، اخْتَارَ آدَمَ (عليه السلام)، خِيرَةً مِنْ خَلْقِهِ، وَجَعَلَهُ
أَوّلَ جِبِلَّتِهِ، وَأَسْكَنَهُ جَنَّتَهُ، وَأَرْغَدَ فِيهَا أُكُلَهُ، وَأَوْعَزَ إِلَيْهِ فِيَما نَهَاهُ عَنْهُ، وَأَعْلَمَهُ أَنَّ فِي الاْقْدَامِ عَلَيْهِ التَّعرُّضَ لِمَعْصِيَتِهِ، وَالْـمُخَاطَرَةَ بِمَنْزِلَتِهِ; فَأَقْدَمَ عَلَى مَا نَهَاهُ عَنْهُ ـ مُوَافَاةً لِسَابِقِ عِلْمِهِ ـ فَأَهْبَطَهُ بَعْدَ التَّوْبَةِ لِيَعْمُرَ أَرْضَهُ بِنَسْلِهِ، وَلِيُقِيمَ الْحُجَّةَ بهِ عَلَى عِبَادِهِ،
Even when He made Adam die, He did not leave them without one who would serve among them as proof and plea for His Godhead, and serve as the link between them and His knowledge, but He provided to them the proofs through His chosen Messengers and bearers of the trust of His Message, age after age till the process came to end with our Prophet Muhammad - Allah may bless him and his descendants - and His pleas and warnings reached finality.
ولَمْ يُخْلِهِمْ بَعْدَ أَنْ قَبَضَهُ، مِمَّا يُؤَكِّدُ عَلَيْهِمْ حُجَّةَ رُبُوبِيَّتِهَ، وَيَصِلُ بَيْنَهُمْ وَبَيْنَ مَعْرِفَتِهِ، بَلْ تَعَاهَدَهُمْ بَالْحُجَجِ عَلَى أَلْسُنِ الْخِيَرَةِ مِنْ أَنْبِيَائِهِ، وَمُتَحَمِّلِي وَدَائِعِ رِسَالاَتِهِ، قَرْناً فَقَرْناً; حَتَّى تَمَّتْ بِنَبِيِّنَا مُحَمَّد (صلى الله عليه وآله) حُجَّتُهُ، وَبَلَغَ الْمَقْطَعَ عُذْرُهُ وَنُذُرُهُ،
He ordained livelihoods3 with plenty and with paucity. He distributed them narrowly as well as profusely. He did it with justice to test whomever He desired, with prosperity or with destitution, and to test through it the gratefulness or endurance of the rich and the poor. Then He coupled plenty with misfortunes of destitution, safety with the distresses of calamities and pleasures of enjoyment with pangs of grief. He created fixed ages and made them long or short and earlier or later, and ended them up with death. He had made death capable of pulling up the ropes of ages and cutting them asunder.
وَقَدَّرَ الاْرْزَاقَ فَكَثَّرَهَا وَقَلَّلَهَا،وَقَسَّمَهَا عَلَى الضِّيقِ والسَّعَةِ فَعَدَلَ فِيهَا لِيَبْتَلِيَ مَنْ أَرَادَ بَمَيْسُورِهَا وَمَعْسُورِهَا، وَلِيَخْتَبِرَ بِذلِكَ الشُّكْرَ والصَّبْرَ مِنْ غَنِيِّهَا وَفَقِيرِهَا، ثُمَّ قَرَنَ بِسَعَتِهَا عَقَابِيلَ فَاقَتِهَا، وَبِسَلاَمَتِهَا طَوَارِقَ آفَاتِهَا، وَبِفُرَجِ أَفْرَاحِهَا غُصَصَ أَتْرَاحِهَا . وَخَلَقَ الاْجَالَ فَأَطَالَهَا وَقَصَّرَهَا، وَقَدَّمَهَا وَأَخَّرَهَا، وَوَصَلَ بَالْمَوْتِ أَسْبَابَهَا، وَجَعَلَهُ خَالِجاً لاِشْطَانِهَا، وَقَاطِعاً لمَرائِرِأَقْرَانِهَا.
He4 knows the secrets of those who conceal them, the secret conversation of those who engage in it, the inner feelings of those who indulge in guesses, the established certainties, the furtive glances of the eyes, the inner contents of hearts and depths of the unknown. He also knows what can be heard only by bending the holes of the ears, the summer resorts of ants and winter abodes of the insects, resounding of the cries of wailing women and the sound of steps.
He also knows the spots in the inner sheaths of leaves where fruits grow, the hiding places of beasts namely caves in mountains and valleys, the hiding holes of mosquitoes on the trunks of trees and their herbage, the sprouting points of leaves in the branches, the dripping points of semen passing through passages of loins, small rising clouds and the big giant ones, the drops of rain in the thick clouds, the particles of dust scattered by whirlwinds through their skirts, the lines erased by rain floods, the movements of insects on sand-dunes, the nests of winged creatures on the cliffs of mountains and the singing of chattering birds in the gloom of their brooding places.
عَالِمُ السِّرِّ مِنْ ضَمَائِرِ الْمُضْمِرِينَ، وَنَجْوَى الْمُتَخَافِتِينَ، وَخَوَاطِرِ رَجْمِ الظُّنُونِ، وَعُقَدِ عَزِيمَاتِ الْيَقِينِ، وَمَسَارِقِ إِيمَاضِ الْجُفُونِ، وَمَا ضَمِنَتْهُ أَكْنَانُ الْقُلُوبِ، وَغَيَابَاتُ الْغُيُوبِ، وَمَا أَصْغَتْ لاِسْتِرَاقِهِ مَصَائِخُ الاْسْمَاعِ، وَمَصَائِفُ الذَّرِّ، وَمَشَاتِي الْهَوَامِّ، وَرَجْعِ الْحَنِينِ مِنْ الْمُولَهَاتِ، وَهَمْسِ الاْقْدَامِ، وَمُنْفَسَحِ الـثَّمَرَةِ مِنْ وَلاَئِجِ غُلُفِ الاْكْمَامِ، وَمُنْقَمَعِ الْوُحُوشِ مِنْ غِيرَانِ الْجِبَالِ وَأَوْدِيَتِهَا، وَمُخْتَبَاَ الْبَعُوضِ بَيْنَ سُوقِ الاْشْجَارِ وَأَلْحِيَتِهَا، وَمَغْرِزِ الاْوْرَاقِ مِنَ الاْفْنَانِ، وَمَحَطِّ الاْمْشَاجِ مِنْ مَسَارِبِ الاْصْلاَبِ، وَنَاشِئَةِ الْغُيُومِ وَمُتَلاَحِمِهَا، وَدُرُورِ قَطْرِ السَّحَابِ في مُتَرَاكِمِهَا، وَمَا تَسْقِي الاْعَاصِيرُ بِذُيُولِهَا، وَتَعْفُو الاْمْطَارُ بِسُيُولِهَا، وَعَوْمِ بَنَاتِ الاْرضِ فِي كُثْبَانِ الرِّمَالِ، وَمُسْتَقَرِّ ذَوَاتِ الاْجْنِحَةِ بِذُرَا شَنَاخِيبِ الْجِبَالِ، وَتَغْرِيدِ ذَوَاتِ الْمَنْطِقِ فِي دَيَاجِيرِالاْوْكَارِ،
And )He knows( whatever has been treasured by mother-of-pearls, and covered under the waves of oceans, all that which is concealed under the darkness of night and all that on which the light of day is shining, as well as all that on which sometimes darkness prevails and sometimes light shines, the trace of every footstep, the feel of every movement, the echo of every sound, the motion of every lip, the abode of every living being, the weight of every particle, the sobs of every sobbing heart, and whatever is there on the earth like fruits of trees or falling leaf, or the settling place of semen, or the congealing of blood or clot and the developing of life and embryo.
وَمَا أوْعَتْهُ الاْصْدَافُ، وَحَضَنَتْ عَلَيْهِ أَمْوَاجُ الْبِحَارِ، وَمَا غَشِيَتْهُ سُدْفَةُ لَيْل، أَوْ ذَرَّ عَلَيْهِ شَارِقُ نَهَار، وَمَا اعْتَقَبَتْ عَلَيْهِ أَطْبَاقُ الدَّيَاجِيرِ، وَسُبُحَاتُ النُّورِ، وَأَثَرِ كُلِّ خَطْوَة، وَحِسِّ كُلِّ حَرَكَة، وَرَجْعِ كُلِّ كَلِمَة، وَتَحْرِيكِ كُلِّ شَفَة، وَمُسْتَقَرِّ كُلِّ نَسَمَة، وَمِثْقَالِ كُلِّ ذَرَّة، وَهَمَاهِمِ كُلِّ نَفْس هَامَّة، وَمَا عَلَيْهَا مِنْ ثَمَرِ شَجَرَة، أَوْ ساقِطِ وَرَقَة، أَوْ قَرَارَةِ نُطْفَة، أوْ نُقَاعَةِ دَم وَمُضْغَة، أَوْ نَاشِئَةِ خَلْق وَسُلاَلَة.
On all this He suffers no trouble, and no impediment hampers Him in the preservation of what he created nor any languor or grief hinders Him from the enforcement of commands and management of the creatures. His knowledge penetrates through them and they are within His counting. His justice extends to all of them and His bounty encompasses them despite their falling short of what is due to Him.
لَمْ تَلْحَقْهُ فِي ذلِكَ كُلْفَةٌ، وَلاَ اعْتَرَضَتْهُ فِي حِفْظِ مَا ابْتَدَعَ مِنْ خَلْقِهِ عَارِضَةٌ، وَلاَ اعْتَوَرَتْهُ فِي تَنْفِيذِ الاْمُورِ وَتَدَابِيرِ الْـمَخلُوقِينَ مَلاَلَةٌ وَلاَ فَتْرَةٌ، بَلْ نَفَذَهُمْ عِلْمُهُ، وَأَحْصَاهُمْ عَدَدُهُ، وَوَسِعَهُمْ عَدْلُهُ، وَغَمَرَهُمْ فَضْلُهُ، مَعَ تَقْصِيرِهِمْ عَنْ كُنْهِ مَا هُوَ أَهْلُهُ.
O My God! Thou deservest handsome description and the highest esteem. If wish is directed towards Thee, Thou art the best to be wished for. If hope is reposed in Thee, Thou art the Most Honoured to be hoped from. O My God! Thou hast bestowed on me such power that I do not praise any one other than Thee, and I do not eulogise any one save Thee. I do not direct my praise towards others who are sources of disappointment and centres of misgivings. Thou hast kept away my tongue from the praises of human beings and eulogies of the created and the sustained. O My God! Every praiser has on whom he praises the right of reward and recompense. Certainly, I have turned to Thee with my eye at the treasures of Thy Mercy and stores of forgiveness.
اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ أَهْلُ الْوَصْفِ الْجَمِيلِ، وَالتَّعْدَادِ الْكَثِيرِ، إِنْ تُؤَمَّلْ فَخَيْرُ مَأْمُول، وَإِنْ تُرْجَ فأَكْرَمُ مَرْجُوٍّ.
اللَّهُمَّ وَقَدْ بَسَطْتَ لي فِيَما لاَ أَمْدَحُ بِهِ غَيْرَكَ، وَلاَ أُثْنِي بِهِ عَلَى أَحَد سِوَاكَ، وَلاَ أُوَجِّهُهُ إِلَى مَعَادِنِ الْخَيْبَةِ وَمَوَاضِعِ الرِّيبَةِ، وَعَدَلْتَ بِلِسَاني عَنْ مَدَائِحِ الاْدَمِيِّينَ، وَالثَّنَاءِ عَلَى الْمَرْبُوبِينَ الْـمَخْلُوقِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ وَلِكُلِّ مُثْن عَلَى مَنْ أَثْنَى عَلَيْهِ مَثُوبَةٌ(1) مِنْ جَزَاء، أَوْ عَارِفةٌ مِنْ عَطَاء; وَقَدْ رَجَوْتُكَ دَلِيلاً عَلَى ذَخَائِرِ الرَّحْمَةِ وَكُنُوزِ الْمَغْفِرَةِ.
O My God! Here stands one who has singled Thee with Oneness that is Thy due and has not regarded any one deserving of these praises and eulogies except Thee. My want towards Thee is such that nothing except Thy generosity can cure its destitution, nor provide for its need except Thy obligation and Thy generosity. So do grant us in this place Thy will and make us free from stretching hands to anyone other than Thee.
"Certainly, Thou art powerful over every thing. " (Qur'an, 66:8).
اللَّهُمَّ وَهذَا مَقَامُ مَنْ أَفْرَدَكَ بِالتَّوْحِيدِ الَّذِي هُوَ لَكَ، وَلَمْ يَرَ مُستَحِقّاً لِهذِهِ الْمحَامِدِ وَالْمَمادِحِ غَيْرَكَ، وَبِي فَاقَةٌ إِلَيْكَ لاَ يَجْبُرُ مَسْكَنَتَهَا إِلاَّ فضْلُكَ، وَلاَ يَنْعَشُ مِنْ خَلَّتِهَا إِلاَّ مَنُّكَ وَجُودُكَ، فَهَبْ لَنَا فِي هذَا الْمَقَامِ رِضَاكَ، وَأَغْنِنَا عَنْ مَدِّ الاْيْدِي إِلَى مَن سِوَاكَ،(إِنَّكَ عَلى كُلِّ شَيْء قَدِيرٌ)!
(1) Mas`adah ibn Sadaqah, author of Khutab Amir al-Mu'minin;
(2) Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`Iqd, II, 406;
(3) al-Saduq, al-Tawhid, 34;
(4) al-Zamakhshari, Rabi`, I, bab al-mala'ikah;
(5) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, discusses its unusual (gharib) phrases in several places;
(6) Ibn Tawus, Faraj al-mahmum, 56.
When people decided to swear allegiance1 at Amir al-mu'minin's hand after the murder of `Uthman, he said:
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
لمّا أراده الناس على البيعة بعد قتل عثمان
Leave me and seek some one else. We are facing a matter which has (several) faces and colours, which neither hearts can stand nor intelligence can accept. Clouds are hovering over the sky, and faces are not discernible. You should know that if I respond to you I would lead you as I know and would not listen to the utterance of any speaker or the reproof of any reprover. If you leave me then I am the same as you are. It is possible I would listen to and obey whomever you make in charge of your affairs. I am better for you as a counsellor than as chief.
دَعُوني وَالْـتَمِسُوا غَيْرِي; فإِنَّا مُسْتَقْبِلُونَ أَمْراً لَهُ وُجُوهٌ وَأَلْوَانٌ; لاَ تَقُومُ لَهُ الْقُلُوبُ، وَلاَ تَثْبُتُ عَلَيْهِ الْعُقُولُ، وَإِنَّ الاْفَاقَ قَدْ أَغَامَتْ، وَالْـمَحَجَّةَ قَدْ تَنَكَّرَتْ. وَاعْلَمُوا أَنِّي إنْ أَجَبْتُكُمْ رَكِبْتُ بِكُمْ مَا أَعْلَمُ، وَلَمْ أُصْغِ إِلَى قَوْلِ الْقَائِلِ وَعَتْبِ الْعَاتِبِ، وَإِنْ تَرَكْتُمُونِي فَأَنَا كَأَحَدِكُمْ; وَلَعَلِّي أَسْمَعُكُمْ وَأَطْوَعُكُمْ لِمنْ وَلَّيْتُمُوهُ أَمْرَكُمْ، وَأَنَا لَكُمْ وَزِيراً، خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ مِنِّي أَمِيراً!
(1) Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh,* VI, 3066 (events of the year 35);
(2) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah (events of the year 35);
(3) Ibn Miskawayh, Tajarib al-'umam, I, 508.
ومن خطبة له عليه السلام
وفيها ينبِّه أَمير المؤمنين على فضله وعلمه ويبيّن فتنة بني أُميّة
Praise and eulogy be to Allah, O people, I have put out the eye of revolt. No one except me advanced towards it when its gloom was swelling and its madness was intense. Ask me before you miss me, 2 because, by Allah, who has my life in His hands, if you ask me anything between now and the Day of Judgement or about the group who would guide a hundred people and also misguide a hundred people I would tell you who is announcing its march, who is driving it in the front and who is driving it at the rear, the stages where its riding animals would stop for rest and the final place of stay, and who among them would be killed and who would die a natural death.
أَمَّا بَعْد، أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ فَإِنِّي فَقَأْتُ عَيْنَ الْفِتْنَةِ، وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لِيَجْتَرِىءَ عَلَيْهَا أَحَدٌ غَيْرِي بَعْدَ أَنْ مَاجَ غَيْهَبُهَا، وَاشْتَدَّ كَلَبُهَا فَاسْأَلُوني قَبْلَ أَنْ تَفْقِدُونِي، فَوَ الَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لاَ تَسْأَلُوني عَنْ شَيْء فِيَما بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَ السَّاعَةِ، وَلاَ عَنْ فِئَة تَهْدِي مائةً وَتُضِلُّ مائةً إِلاَّ نَبَّأْتُكُمْ بِنَاعِقِهَا وَقَائِدِهَا وَسَائِقِهَا، وَمنَاخِ رِكَابِهَا، وَمَحَطِّ رِحَالِهَا، وَمَنْ يُقْتَلُ مِنْ أَهْلِهَا قَتْلاً، وَمَنْ يَمُوتُ مِنْهُمْ مَوْتاً.
When I am dead, hard circumstances and distressing events will befall you, many persons in the position of asking questions will remain silent with cast down eye, while those in the position of replying will lose courage. This would be at a time when wars will descend upon you with all hardship and days will be so hard on you that you would feel them prolonged because of hardship till Allah will give victory to those remaining virtuous among you.
وَلَوْ قَدْ فَقَدْتُمُونِي وَنَزَلَتْ كَرَائِهُ الاْمُورِ، وَحَوَازِبُ الْخُطُوبِ، لاَطْرَقَ كَثِيرٌ مِنَ السَّائِلِينَ، وَفَشِلَ كَثِيرٌ مِنَ المَسْؤُولِينَ، وَذلِكَ إِذَا قَلَّصَتْ حَرْبُكُمْ، وَشَمَّرَتْ عَنْ سَاق، وَضَاقَتِ الدُّنْيَا عَلَيْكُمْ ضِيقاً، تَسْتَطِيلُونَ أَيَّامَ الْبَلاَءِ عَلَيْكُمْ، حَتَّى يَفْتَحَ اللهُ لِبَقِيَّةِ الاْبْرَارِ مِنْكُمْ.
When mischiefs come they confuse (right with wrong) and when they clear away they leave a warning. They cannot be known at the time of approach but are recognised at the time of return. They blow like the blowing of winds, striking some cities and missing others.
Beware that the worst mischief for you in my view is the mischief of Banu Umayyah, because it is blind and also creates darkness. Its sway is general but its ill effects are for particular people. He who remains clear-sighted in it would be affected by distress, and he who remains blind in it would avoid the distress.
By Allah, you will find Banu Umayyah after me worst people for yourselves, like the old unruly she-camel who bites with its mouth, beats with its fore-legs, kicks with its hind legs and refuses to be milked. They would remain over you till they would leave among you only those who benefit them or those who do not harm them.
Their calamity would continue till your seeking help from them would become like the seeking of help by the slave from his master or of the follower from the leader. Their mischief would come to you like evil eyed fear and pre-Islamic fragments, wherein there would be neither minaret of guidance nor any sign (of salvation) to be seen.
إِنّ الْفِتَنَ إِذَا أَقْبَلَتْ شَبَّهِتْ، وَإِذَا أَدْبَرَتْ نَبَّهَتْ، يُنْكَرْنَ مُقْبِلاَت، وَيُعْرَفْنَ مُدْبِرَات، يَحُمْنَ حَوْمَ الرِّيَاحِ، يُصِبْنَ بَلَداً وَيُخْطِئْنَ بَلَداً.
أَلاَ وَإِنَّ أَخْوَفَ الْفِتَنِ عِنْدِي عَلَيْكُمْ فَتْنَةُ بَنِي اُمَيَّةَ، فإِنَّهَا فِتْنَةٌ عَمْيَاءُ مُظْلِمَةٌ: عَمَّتْ خُطَّتُهَا، وَخَصَّتْ بَلِيَّتُهَا، وَأَصَابَ الْبَلاَءُ مَنْ أَبْصَرَ فِيهَا، وَأَخْطَأَ الْبَلاَءُ مَنْ عَمِيَ عَنْهَا. وَايْمُ اللهِ لَتَجِدُنَّ بَنِي أُمَيَّةَ لَكُمْ أَرْبَابَ سُوْء بَعْدِي، كَالنَّابِ الضَّرُوسِ: تَعْذِمُ بِفِيهَا، وَتَخْبِطُ بِيَدِهَا، وتَزْبِنُ بِرِجْلِهَا، وَتَمْنَعُ دَرَّهَا، لاَ يَزَالُونَ بِكُمْ حَتَّى لاَ يَتْرُكُوا مَنْكُمْ إِلاَّ نَافِعاً لَهُمْ، أَوْ غَيْرَ ضَائِر بِهِمْ، وَلاَ يَزَالُ بَلاَؤُهُمْ حَتَّى لاَ يَكُونَ انْتِصَارُ أَحَدِكُمْ مِنْهُمْ إِلاَّ مثل انْتِصَارِ الْعَبْدِ مِنْ رَبِّهِ، وَالصَّاحِبِ مِنْ مُسْتَصْحِبِهِ، تَرِدُ عَلَيْكُمْ فِتْنَتُهُمْ شَوْهَاءَ مَخْشَيَّةً، وَقِطَعاً جَاهِلِيَّةً، لَيْسَ فِيهَا مَنَارُ هُدىً، وَلاَ عَلَمٌ يُرَى.
We Ahlul Bayt (the Household of the Prophet) are free from this mischief and we are not among those who would engender it. Thereafter, Allah would dispel it from you like the removal of the skin (from flesh) through him who would humble them, drag them by necks, make them drink full cups (of hardships), not extend them anything but sword and not clothe them save with fear. At that time Quraysh would wish at the cost of the world and all its contents to find me even only once and just for the duration of the slaughter of a camel in order that I may accept from them (the whole of) that of which at present I am asking them only a part but they are not giving me.
نَحْنُ أَهْلَ الْبِيْتِ مِنْهَا بنجاة، وَلَسْنَا فِيهَا بِدُعَاة، ثُمَّ يُفَرِّجُهَا اللهُ عَنْكُمْ كَتَفْرِيجِ الاْدِيمِ: بِمَنْ يَسُومُهُمْ خَسْفاً، وَيَسُوقُهُمْ عُنْفاً، وَيَسْقِيهِمْ بِكَأْس مُصَبَّرَة، لاَ يُعْطِيهِمْ إِلاَّ السَّيْفَ، وَلاَ يُحْلِسُهُمْ إِلاَّ الْخَوْفَ، فَعِنْدَ ذلِكَ تَوَدُّ قُرَيْشٌ ـ بِالدُّنْيَا وَمَا فِيهَا ـ لَوْ يَرَوْنَنِي مَقَاماً وَاحِداً، وَلَوْ قَدْرَ جَزْرِ جَزْور، لاِقْبَلَ مِنْهُمْ مَا أَطْلُبُ الْيَوْمَ بَعْضَهُ فَلاَ يُعْطُونِيهِ!
(1) Al-Ya`qubi, Tar'ikh, II, 182;
(2) Abu Nu`aym, Hilyah, I, 68;
(3) al-Thaqafi, al-Gharat, I, 6, 7, 16;
(4) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, I, 377 (h.z.b), III, 200 (`a.dh.m);
(5) al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, II, 466;
(6) Ibn `Abd al-Birr, Jami`, I, 114;
(7) Ibn Hajar, al-'Isabah, II, 509;
(8) al-Tabari, al-Riyad, 198;
(9) al-Suyuti, Ta'rikh al-khulafa', 124;
(10) Dahlan, al-Futuhat, II, 337;
(11) al-Qunduzi, Yanabi`, 224.
ومن خطبة له(عليه السلام
وفيها يصف الله تعالى ثمّ يبين فضل الرسول الكريم وأهل بيته ثمّ يعظ الناس
Exalted is Allah Whom heights of daring cannot approach and fineness of intelligence cannot find. He is such First that there is no extremity for Him so that He be contained within it, nor is there an end for Him where would cease.
فَتَبَارَكَ اللهُ الَّذِي لاَ تَبْلُغُهُ بُعْدُ الْهِمَمِ، وَلاَ يَنَالُهُ حَدْسُ الْفِطَنِ، الاْوَّلُ الَّذِي لاَ غَايَةَ لَهُ فَيَنْتَهِيَ، وَلاَ آخِرَ لَهُ فَيَنْقَضِيَ.
منها: [في وصف الانبياء]
Allah kept the Prophets in deposit in the best place of deposit and made them stay in the best place of stay. He moved them in succession from distinguished fore-fathers to chaste wombs. Whenever a predecessor from among them died the follower stood up for the cause of the religion of Allah.
فَاسْتَوْدَعَهُمْ فِي أَفْضَلِ مُسْتَوْدَع، وَأَقَرَّهُمْ فِي خَيْرِ مُسْتَقَرّ، تَنَاسَخَتْهُمْ كَرَائِمُ الاْصْلاَبِ إِلَى مُطَهَّرَاتِ الاْرْحَامِ; كُلَّمَا مَضَى سَلَفٌ، قَامَ مِنْهُمْ بِدِينِ اللهِ خَلَفٌ.
رسول الله وأهل بيته
Until this distinction of Allah, the Glorified, reached Muhammad - peace and blessing of Allah be upon him and his descendants. Allah brought him out from the most distinguished sources of origin and the most honourable places of planting, namely from the same (lineal) tree from which He brought forth other Prophets and from which He selected His trustees. Muhammad's descendants are the best descendants, his kinsmen the best of kin and his lineal tree the best of trees. It grew in esteem and rose in distinction. It has tall branches and unapproachable fruits.
حَتَّى أَفْضَتْ كَرَامَةُ اللهِ سُبْحَانَهُ إِلَى مُحَمَّد(صلى الله عليه وآله)، فَأَخْرَجَهُ مِنْ أَفْضَلِ الْمَعَادِنِ مَنْبِتا، وَأَعَزِّ الاْرُومَاتِ مَغْرِساً، مِنَ الشَّجَرَةِ الَّتِي صَدَعَ مِنْهَا أَنْبِيَاءَهُ، وَانْتَجَبَ مِنْهَا أُمَنَاءَهُ.
عِتْرَتُهُ خَيْرُ الْعِتَرِ، وَأُسْرَتُهُ خَيْرُ الاْسَرِ، وَشَجَرَتُهُ خَيْرُ الشَّجَرِ; نَبَتَتْ فِي حَرَم، وَبَسَقَتْ فِي كَرَم، لَهَا فُرُوعٌ طِوَالٌ، وَثَمَرٌ لاَيُنَالُ.
He is the leader (Imam) of all who exercise fear (of Allah) and a light for those who seek guidance. He is a lamp whose flame is burning, a meteor whose light is shining and a flint whose spark is bright. His conduct is upright, his behaviour is guiding, his speech is decisive and his decision is just. Allah sent him after an interval from the previous Prophets when people had fallen into errors of action and ignorance. Allah may have mercy on you.
فَهُوَ إِمَامُ مَنِ اتَّقَى، وَبَصِيرَةُ مَنِ اهْتَدَى، وسِرَاجٌ لَمَعَ ضَوْؤُهُ، وَشِهَابٌ سَطَعَ نُورُهُ وَزَنْدٌ بَرَقَ لَمْعُهُ; سِيرَتُهُ الْقَصْدُ، وَسُنَّتُهُ الرُّشْدُ، وَكَلاَمُهُ الْفَصْلُ، وَحُكْمُهُ الْعَدْلُ; أَرْسَلَهُ عَلَى حِينِ فَتْرَة مِنَ الرُّسُلِ، وَهَفْوَة عَنِ الْعَمَلِ، وَغَبَاوَة مِنَ الاْمَمِ.
May Allah shower His mercy on you! Do act according to the clear signs, because the way is straight and leads to the house of safety while you are in the place of seeking Allah's favour, and have time and opportunity. The books (of your doings) are open and pens (of angels) are busy (to record your actions) while your bodies are healthy, tongues are free, repentance is accepted and deeds are accorded recognition.
اعْمَلُوا، رَحِمَكُمُ اللهُ، عَلَى أَعْلاَم بَيِّنَة، فَالطَّرِيقُ نَهْجٌ يَدْعُو إلَى دَارِ السَّلاَمِ، وَأَنْتُمْ فِي دَارِ مُسْتَعْتَب عَلَى مَهَل وَفَرَاغ، والصُّحُفُ مَنْشُورَةٌ، وَالاْقْلاَمُ جَارِيَةٌ، وَالاْبْدَانُ صَحِيحَةٌ، والاْلْسُنُ مُطْلَقَةٌ، وَالتَّوْبَةُ مَسْمُوعَةٌ، وَالاْعْمَالُ مَقْبُولَةٌ.
(1) Al-Kulayni, Usul al-Kafi, I, 134;
(2) Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`Iqd, IV, 74.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
يقرر فضيلة الرسول الكريم
Allah sent the Prophet at a time when the people were going astray in perplexity and were moving here and there in mischief. Desires had deflected them and self-conceit had swerved them. Extreme ignorance had made them foolish. They were confounded by the unsteadiness of matters and the evils of ignorance. Then the Prophet - blessing of Allah be upon him and his descendants - did his best in giving them sincere advice, himself trod on the right path and called (them) towards wisdom and good counsel.
بَعَثَهُ وَالنَّاسُ ضُلاَّلٌ فِي حَيْرَة، وَحَاطِبُونَ فِي فِتْنَة، قَدِ اسْتَهْوَتْهُمُ الاْهْوَاءُ، وَاسْتَزَلَّتْهُمُ الْكِبْرِيَاءُ، وَاسْتَخَفَّتْهُمُ الْجَاهِلِيِّةُ الْجَهْلاَءُ: حَيَارَى فِي زَلْزَال مَنَ الاْمْرِ، وَبَلاَء مِنَ الْجَهْلِ، فَبَالَغَ (صلى الله عليه وآله) فِي النَّصِيحَةِ، وَمَضَى عَلَى الطَّرِيقَةِ، وَدَعَا إِلَى الْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ.
(1) Al-Majlisi, Bihar, XVIII, 219.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
في الله وفي الرسول الاكرم
Praise be to Allah who is such First that nothing is before Him and such Last that there is nothing after Him. He is such Manifest that there is nothing above Him and such Hidden that there is nothing nearer than He.
الْحَمْدُ للهِ الاْوَّلِ فَلاَ شَيْءَ قَبْلَهُ، وَالاخِرِ فَلاَ شَيْءَ بَعْدَهُ، وَالظَّاهِرِ فَلاَ شَيْءَ فَوْقَهُ، وَالْبَاطِنِ فَلاَ شيَ دُونَهُ.
منها: في ذكر الرسول (صلى الله عليه وآله)
His place of stay is the best of all places and his origin the noblest of all origins in the mines of honour and the cradles of safety. Hearts of virtuous persons have been inclined towards him and the reins of eyes have been turned towards him. Through him Allah buried mutual rancour and put off the flames of revolt. Through him He gave them affection like brothers and separated those who were together (through unbelief). Through him He gave honour to the low and degraded honour (of unbelief). His speaking is clear and his silence is (indicative) like tongue.
مُسْتَقَرُّهُ خَيْرُ مُسْتَقَرٍّ، وَمَنْبِتُهُ أَشْرَفُ مَنْبِت، فِي مَعَادِنِ الْكَرَامَةِ، وَمَمَاهِدِ السَّلاَمَةِ. قَدْ صُرِفَتْ نَحْوَهُ أَفْئِدَةُ الاْبْرَارِ، وَثُنِيَتْ إِلَيْهِ أَزِمَّةُ الاْبْصَارِ، دَفَنَ [اللهُ ]بِهِ الضَّغَائِنَ، وَأَطْفَأَ بِهِ الثَّوَائِر، وأَلَّفَ بِهِ إِخْوَاناً، وَفَرَّقَ بِهِ أَقْرَاناً، أَعَزَّ بِهِ الذِّلَّةَ، وَأَذَلَّ بِهِ الْعِزَّةَ، كَلاَمُهُ بَيَانٌ، وَصَمْتُهُ لِسَانٌ.
(1) Al-Majlisi, Bihar, XVI, 380.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
في أصحابه وأصحاب رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)
Although Allah gives time to the oppressor, His catch would not spare him. Allah watches him on the passage of his way and the position of that which suffocates the throats.
By Allah in Whose power my life lies, these people (Mu`awiyah and his men) will overcome you not because they have a better right than you but because of their hastening towards the wrong with their leader and your slowness about my right (to be followed).
وَلَئِنْ أَمْهَلَ اللهُ الظَّالِمَ فَلَنْ يَفُوتَ أَخْذُهُ، وَهُوَ لَهُ بَالمِرْصَادِ عَلَى مَجَازِ طَرِيقِهِ، وَبِمَوْضعِ الشَّجَا مِنْ مَسَاغِ رِيقِهِ. أَمَا وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، لَيَظْهَرَنَّ هؤُلاَءِ الْقَوْمُ عَلَيْكُمْ، لَيْسَ لاِنَّهُمْ أَوْلَى بِالْحَقِّ مِنْكُمْ، وَلكِنْ لاِسْرَاعِهِمْ إِلَى بَاطِلِ صَاحِبِهِمْ، وَإِبْطَائِكُمْ عَنْ حَقِّي.
People are afraid of the oppression of their rulers while I fear the oppression of my subjects. I called you for war but you did not come. I warned you but you did not listen. I called you secretly as well as openly, but you did not respond. I gave you sincere counsel, but you did not accept it. Are you present like the absent, and slaves like masters?
I recite before you points of wisdom but you turn away from them, and I advise you with far reaching advice but you disperse away from it. I rouse you for jihad against the people of revolt but before I come to the end of my speech, I see you disperse like the sons of Saba.2 You return to your places and deceive one another by your counsel. I straighten you in the morning but you are back to me in the evening as curved as the back of a bow. The sraightener has become weary while those to be straightened have become incorrigible.
وَلَقَدْ أَصْبَحَتِ الاْمَمُ تَخَافُ ظُلْمَ رُعَاتِهَا، وَأَصْبَحْتُ أَخَافُ ظُلْمَ رَعِيَّتِي. اسْتَنْفَرْتُكُمْ لِلْجِهَادِ فَلَمْ تَنْفِرُوا، وَأَسْمَعْتُكُمْ فَلَمْ تَسْمَعُوا، وَدَعَوْتُكُمْ سِرّاً وَجَهْراً فَلَمْ تَسْتَجِيبُوا، وَنَصَحْتُ لَكُمْ فَلَمْ تَقْبَلُوا. شُهُودٌ كَغُيَّاب، وَعَبِيدٌ كَأَرْبَاب! أَتْلُوا عَلَيْكُمُ الْحِكَمَ فَتَنْفِرُونَ مِنْهَا، وَأَعِظُكُمْ بِالمَوْعِظَةِ الْبَالِغَةِ فَتَتَفَرَّقُونَ عَنْهَا، وَأَحُثُّكُمْ عَلَى جِهَادِ أَهْلِ الْبَغْيِ فَمَا آتِي عَلَى آخِرِ قَوْلي حَتَّى أَرَاكُمْ مُتفَرِّقِينَ أَيَادِيَ سَبَا، تَرْجِعُونَ إِلى مَجَالِسِكُمْ، وَتَتَخَادَعُونَ عَنْ مَوَاعِظِكُمْ، أُقَوِّمُكُمْ غُدْوَةً، وَتَرْجِعُونَ إِلَيَّ عَشِيَّةً، كَظَهْرِ الْحَنِيَّةِ، عَجَزَ الْمُقَوِّمُ، وَأَعْضَلَ الْمُقَوَّمُ .
O those whose bodies are present but whose wits are absent, whose wishes are scattered, and whose rulers are afflicted by them. Your leader obeys Allah but you disobey him while the leader of the people of Syria (ash-Sham) disobeys Allah but they obey him. By Allah, I wish Mu`awiyah exchanges with me like Dinars with Dirhams, so that he takes from me ten of you and gives me one from them.
أَيُّهَا الشَّاهِدةُ أَبْدَانُهُمْ، الْغَائِبَةُ عَنْهُمْ عُقُولُهُمْ، الْـمُخْتَلِفَةُ أَهْوَاؤُهُمْ، المُبْتَلَى بِهمْ أُمَرَاؤُهُمْ، صَاحِبُكُمْ يُطِيعُ اللهَ وَأَنْتُمْ تَعْصُونَهُ، وَصَاحِبُ أَهْلِ الشَّامِ يَعْصِي اللهَ وَهُمْ يُطِيعُونَهُ، لَوَدِدْتُ وَاللهِ أَنَّ مُعَاوِيَةَ صَارَفَني بِكُمْ صَرْفَ الدِّينَارِ بِالدِّرْهَمِ، فَأَخَذَ مِنِّي عَشَرَةً مِنْكُمْ وَأَعْطَانِي رَجُلاً مِنْهُمْ!
O people of Kufah, I have experienced in you three things and two others: you are deaf in spite of having ears, dumb in spite of speaking, and blind in spite of having eyes. You are neither true supporters in combat nor dependable brothers in distress. Your hands may be soiled with earth. O examples of those camels whose herdsman has disappeared, if they are collected together from one side they disperse from the other. By Allah, I see you in my imagination that if war becomes intense and action is in full swing you would run away from the son of Abi Talib like the woman who becomes naked in the front. I am certainly on clear guidance from my Lord (Allah) and on the path of my Prophet and I am on the right path which I adhere to regularly.
يَاأَهْلَ الْكُوفَةِ، مُنِيتُ مِنْكُمْ بِثَلاَث وَاثنَتَيْنِ: صُمٌّ ذَوُوأَسْمَاع، وَبُكُمٌ ذَوُوكَلاَم، وَعُمْيٌ ذَوُوأَبْصَار، لاَ أَحْرَارُ صِدْق عِنْدَ اللِّقَاءِ، وَلاَ إِخْوَانُ ثِقَة عِنْدَ الْبَلاَءِ! تَرِبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ! يَا أَشْبَاهَ الاِْبِلِ غَابَ عَنْهَا رُعَاتُهَا! كُلَّمَا جُمِعَتْ مِنْ جَانِب تَفَرَّقَتْ مِنْ آخَرَ، وَاللهِ لَكَأَنِّي بِكُمْ فِيَما إخالُ : لَوْ حَمِسَ الْوَغَى، وَحَمِيَ الضِّرَابُ، قَدِ انْفَرَجْتُمْ عَنِ ابْنِ أَبي طَالِب انْفِرَاجَ الْمَرْأَةِ عَنْ قُبُلِهَا، وَإِنِّي لَعَلَى بَيِّنَة مِنْ رَبِّي، وَمِنْهَاج مِنْ نَبِيِّي، وَإِنِّي لَعَلَى الطَّرِيقِ الْوَاضِحِ أَلْقُطُهُ لَقْطاً.
أهل البيت وأصحاب رسول الله
Look at the people of the Prophet's family. Adhere to their direction. Follow their footsteps because they would never let you out of guidance, and never throw you into destruction. If they sit down, you sit down, and if they rise up you rise up. Do not go ahead of them, as you would thereby go astray and go not lag behind of them as you would thereby be ruined.
انْظُرُوا أَهْلَ بَيْتِ نَبِيِّكُمْ فَالْزَمُوا سَمْتَهُمْ، وَاتَّبِعُوا أَثَرَهُمْ فَلَنْ يُخْرِجُوكُمْ مِنْ هُدىً، وَلَنْ يُعِيدُوكُمْ فِي رَدىً، فَإِنْ لَبَدُوا فَالْبُدُوا، وَإِنْ نَهَضُوا فَانْهَضُوا، وَلاَ تَسْبِقُوهُمْ فَتَضِلُّوا، وَلاَ تَتَأَخَّرُوا عَنْهُمْ فَتَهْلِكُوا.
I have seen the companions of the Prophet but I do not find anyone resembling them. They began the day with dust on the hair and face (in hardship of life) and passed the night in prostration and standing in prayers. Sometimes they put down their foreheads and sometimes their cheeks. With the recollection of their resurrection it seemed as though they stood on live coal. It seemed that in between their eyes there were signs like knees of goats, resulting from long prostrations. When Allah was mentioned their eyes flowed freely till their shirt collars were drenched. They trembled for fear of punishment and hope of reward as the tree trembles on the day of stormy wind.
لَقَدْ رَأَيْتُ أَصْحَابَ مُحَمَّد (صلى الله عليه وآله)، فَمَا أَرَى أَحَداً يُشْبِهُهُمْ مِنْكُمْ! لَقَدْ كَانُوا يُصْبِحُونَ شُعْثاً غُبْراً، قَدْ بَاتُوا سُجّداً وَقِيَاماً، يُرَاوِحُونَ بَيْنَ جِبَاهِهِمْ وَخُدُودِهِمْ، وَيَقِفُونَ عَلَى مِثْلِ الْجَمْرِ مِنْ ذِكْرِ مَعَادِهِمْ! كَأَنَّ بَيْنَ أَعْيُنهِمْ رُكَبَ الْمِعْزَى مِنْ طُولِ سُجُودِهِمْ! إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللهُ هَمَلَتْ أَعْيُنُهُمْ حَتَّى تَبُلَّ جُيُوبَهُمْ، وَمَادُوا كَمَا يَمِيدُ الشَّجَرُ يَوْمَ الرِّيحِ الْعَاصِفِ، خَوْفاً مِنَ الْعِقَابِ، وَرَجَاءً لِلثَّوَابِ!
(1) Kitab Sulaym ibn Qays, 110;
(2) al-Kulayni, al-Kafi, II, 236;
(3) Ibn Qutaybah, `Uyun, II, 301;
(4) Abu Nu`aym, Hilyah, I, 76;
(5) al-Mufid, al-'Irshad, 161;
(6) al-Mufid, al-Majalis, 105;
(7) Sibt, Tadhkirah, 137;
(8) Ibn `Asakir, Ta'rikh, biographical account of `Ali (A);
(9) al-Jahiz, al-Bayan, II, 68;
(10) al-Baladhuri, Ansab, II, 142;
(11) al-Tusi, al-'Amali,* 62.
ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)
يشير فيه إلى ظلم بني أمية
By Allah, they would continue like this till there would be left no unlawful act before Allah but they would make it lawful and no pledge but they would break it, and till there would remain no house of bricks or of woollen tents but their oppression would enter it. Their bad dealings would make them wretched, till two groups of crying complainants would rise, one would cry for his religion and the other for this world and the help of one of you to one of them would be like the help of a slave to his master, namely when he is present he obeys him, but when the master is away he backbites him. The highest among you in distress would be he who bear best belief about Allah. If Allah grants you safety accept it, and if you are put in trouble endure it, because surely
“..(good) result is for the God-fearing” (7:128).
وَاللهِ لاَ يَزَالُونَ حَتَّى لاَ يَدَعُوا للهِ مُحَرَّماً إِلاَّ اسْتَحَلُّوهُ، وَلاَ عَقْداً إِلاَّ حَلُّوهُ، حَتَّى لاَ يَبْقَى بَيْتُ مَدَر وَلاَ وَبَر إِلاَّ دَخَلَهُ ظُلْمُهُمْ وَنَبَا بِهِ سُوءُ رَعْيِهِمْ، وَحَتَّى يَقُومَ الْبَاكِيَانِ يَبْكِيَانِ : بَاك يَبْكِي لِدِينِهِ، وَبَاك يَبْكِي لِدُنْيَاهُ، وَحَتَّى تَكُونَ نُصْرَةُ أَحَدِكمْ مِنْ أَحَدِهِمْ كَنُصْرَةِ الْعَبْدِ مِنْ سَيِّدِهِ، إِذَا شَهِدَ أَطَاعَهُ، وَإِذَا غَابِ اغْتابَهُ، وَحَتَّى يَكُونَ أَعْظَمَكُمْ فِيهَا غَناءً أَحْسَنُكُمْ بِاللهِ ظَنّاً، فَإِنْ أَتَاكُمُ اللهُ بِعَافِيَة فَاقْبَلُوا، وَإِنِ ابْتُلِيتُمْ فَاصْبِرُوا، فَإِنَّ (الْعَاقِبَة لَلْمُتَّقِينَ).
(1) Ibn Qutaybah, al-'Imamah, I, 151;
(2) Sibt, Tadhkirah, 100;
(3) al-Mufid, al-'Irshad, 157.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
في التزهيد من الدنيا
We praise Allah for what has happened and seek His succour in our affairs for what is yet to happen, and we beg Him for safety in the faith just as we beg Him for safety in our bodies.
نَحْمَدُهُ عَلَى مَا كَانَ، وَنَسْتَعِينُهُ مِنْ أَمْرِنا عَلَى مَا يَكُونُ، وَنَسْأَلُهُ الْمُعَافَاةَ في الاْدْيَانِ، كَمَا نَسَأَلُهُ الْمُعَافَاةَ فِي الاْبْدَانِ.
O creatures of Allah! I advise you to keep away from this world which is (shortly) to leave you even though you do not like its departure, and which would make your bodies old even though you would like to keep them fresh. Your example and its example is like the travellers who travel some distance and then as though they traverse it quickly or they aimed at a sign and reached it at once. How short is the distance to the aim if one heads towards it and reaches it. And how short is the stage of one who has only a day which he cannot exceed while a swift driver is driving him in this world till he departs from it.
أُوصِيكُمْ عِبادَاللهِ بِالرَّفْضِ لِهذهِ الدُّنْيَا التَّارِكَةِ لَكُمْ وَإِنْ لَمْ تُحِبُّوا تَرْكَهَا، وَالْمُبْلِيَةِ لاَِجْسَامِكُمْ وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ تَجْدِيدَهَا، فَإِنَّمَا مَثَلُكُمْ وَمَثَلُهَا كَسَفْر(1) سَلَكُوا سَبِيلاً فَكَأَنَّهُمْ قَدْ قَطَعُوهُ، وَأَمُّوا(2) عَلَماً فَكَأَنَّهُمْ قَدْ بَلَغُوهُ، وَكَمْ عَسَى الْـمُجْرِي إِلَى الْغَايَةِ(3) أَنْ يَجْرِيَ إِلَيْهَا حَتَّى يَبْلُغَهَا! وَمَا عَسَى أَنْ يَكُونَ بَقَاءُ مَنْ لَهُ يَوْمٌ لاَ يَعْدُوهُ، وَطَالِبٌ حَثِيثٌ يَحْدُوهُ(1) فِي الدُّنُيَا حَتَّى يُفَارِقَهَا!
So do not hanker after worldly honour and its pride, and do not feel happy over its beauties and bounties nor wail over its damages and misfortunes because its honour and pride will end while its beauty and bounty will perish, and its damages and misfortunes will pass away. Every period in it has an end and every living being in it is to die. Is not there for you a warning in the relics of the predecessors and an eye opener and lesson in your fore-fathers, provided you understand?
فَلاَ تَنَافَسُوا فِي عِزِّ الدُّنْيَا وَفَخْرِهَا، وَلاَ تَعْجَبُوا بَزِينَتِهَا وَنَعِيمِهَا، وَلاَ تَجْزَعُوا مِنْ ضَرَّائِهَا وَبُؤْسِهَا، فَإِنَّ عِزَّهَا وَفَخْرَهَا إِلَى انْقِطَاع، وَزِينَتَهَا وَنَعِيمَهَا إِلَى زَوَال، وَضَرَّاءَهَا وَبُؤْسَهَا إِلَى نَفَاد، وَكُلُّ مُدَّة فِيهَا إِلَى انْتِهَاء، وَكُلُّ حَيٍّ فِيهَا إِلَى فَنَاء. أَوَلَيْسَ لَكُمْ في آثَارِ الاْوَّلِينَ مُزْدَجَرٌ، وَفِي آبَائِكُمُ الْمَاضِينَ تَبْصِرَةٌ وَمُعْتَبَرٌ، إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ!
Do you not see that your predecessors do not come back and the surviving followers do not remain? Do you not observe that the people of the world pass mornings and evenings in different conditions? Thus, (somewhere) the dead is wept for, someone is being condoled, someone is prostrate in distress, someone is enquiring about the sick, someone is passing his last breath, someone is hankering after the world while death is looking for him, someone is forgetful but he is not forgotten (by death), and on the footsteps of the predecessors walk the survivors.
أَوَلَمْ تَرَوْا إِلَى الْمَاضِينَ مِنْكُمْ لاَ يَرْجِعُونَ، وَإِلَى الْخَلَفِ الباقِي لاَ يَبْقَوْنَ! أوَلَسْتُمْ تَرَوْنَ أَهْلَ الدُّنْيَا يُمْسُونَ ويُصْبِحُونَ عَلَى أَحْوَال شَتَّى: فَمَيِّتٌ يُبْكَى، وَآخَرُ يُعَزَّى، وَصَرِيعٌ مُبْتَلىً، وَعَائِدٌ يَعُودُ، وَآخَرُ بِنَفْسِهِ يَجُودُ، وَطَالِبٌ لِلدُّنْيَا وَالْمَوْتُ يَطْلُبُهُ، وَغَافِلٌ وَليْسَ بِمَغْفُول عَنْهُ; وَعَلَى أَثَرِ الْمَاضِي مَا يَمْضِي الْبَاقِي!
Beware! At the time of committing evil deeds remember the destroyer of joys, the spoiler of pleasures, and the killer of desires (namely death). Seek assistance of Allah for fulfilment of His obligatory rights, and for (thanking Him) for His countless bounties and obligations.
أَلاَ فَاذْكُرُوا هَادِمَ اللَّذَّاتِ، وَمُنَغِّصَ الشَّهَوَاتِ، وَقَاطِعَ الاْمْنِيَاتِ، عِنْدَ الْمُسَاوَرَةِ لِلاْعْمَالِ الْقَبِيحَةِ، وَاسْتَعِينُوا اللهَ عَلَى أَدَاءِ وَاجِبِ حَقِّهِ، وَمَا لاَ يُحْصَى مِنْ أَعْدَادِ نِعَمِهِ وَإِحْسَانِهِ.
(1) Al-Saduq, Ma`ani, 184;
(2) al-Saduq, Man la yahduruh, I, 270;
(3) al-Tusi, al-'Amali, II, 50;
(4) al-Tabarsi, Mishkat, 107.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
في رسول الله وأهل بيته
Praise be to Allah Who spreads His bounty throughout the creation, and extends His hand of generosity among them. We praise Him in all His affairs and seek His assistance for fulfilment of His rights. We stand witness that there is no god except He and that Muhammad (p.b.u.h.a.h.p. ) is His slave and Prophet. He sent him to manifest His commands and speak about His remembrance. Consequently, he fulfilled it with trustworthiness, and he passed away while on the right path.
الْحَمْدُ للهِ النَّاشِرِ فِي الْخَلْقِ فَضْلَهُ، وَالْبَاسِطِ فِيهمْ بِالْجُودِ يَدَهُ، نَحْمَدُهُ فِي جَمِيعِ أُمُورِهِ، وَنَسْتَعِينُهُ عَلَى رِعَايَةِ حُقُوقِهِ، وَنَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَإِلهَ غَيْرُهُ، وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّداً عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ، أَرْسَلَهُ بِأَمْرِهِ صَادِعاً، وَبِذِكْرِهِ نَاطِقاً، فَأَدَّى أَمِيناً، وَمَضَى رَشِيداً،
He left among us the standard of right. Whoever goes further from it goes out of Faith, whoever lags behind it is ruined. Whoever sticks to it would join (the right). Its guide is short of speech, slow of steps, and quick when he rises. When you have bent your necks before him and pointed towards him with your fingers his death would occur and would take him away.
They would live after him as long as Allah wills, till Allah brings out for you one who would collect you together and fuse you after diffusion. Do not place expectations in one who does not 1 come forward and do not lose hope in one who is veiled, because it is possible that one of the two feet of the veiled one may slip while the other may remain sticking, till both return to position and stick.
وَخَلَّفَ فِينَا رايَةَ الْحَقِّ، مَنْ تَقَدَّمَهَا مَرَقَ، وَمَنْ تَخَلَّفَ عَنْهَا زَهَقَ، وَمَنْ لَزِمَهَا لَحِقَ، دَلِيلُهَا مَكِيثُ الْكَلامِ، بَطِيءُ الْقِيَامِ سَرِيعٌ إِذَا قَامَ، فَإِذَا أَنْتُمْ أَلَنْتُمْ لَهُ رِقَابَكُمْ، وَأَشَرْتُمْ إِلَيْهِ بِأَصَابِعِكُمْ، جَاءَهُ الْمَوْتُ فَذَهَبَ بِهِ، فَلَبِثْتُمْ بَعْدَهُ مَا شَاءَ اللهُ حَتَّى يُطْلِعِ اللهُ لَكُمْ مَنْ يَجْمَعُكُمْ وَيَضُمُّ نَشْرَكُمْ، فَلا تَطْمَعُوا فِي غَيْرِ مُقْبِل، وَلاَ تَيْأَسُوا مِنْ مُدْبِر، فَإِنَّ الْمُدْبِرَ عَسَى أَنْ تَزِلَّ بِهِ إِحْدَى قَائِمَتَيْهِ، وَتَثْبُتَ الاْخْرى، فَتَرْجِعَا حَتَّى تَثْبُتَا جَمِيعاً.
Beware! The example of the descendants (Ali) of Muhammad - peace and blessing of Allah be upon him and his descendants - is like that of stars in the sky. When one star sets another one rises. So you are in a position that Allah's blessings on you have been perfected and He has shown you what you used to wish for.
أَلاَ إِنَّ مَثَلَ آلِ مُحَمَّد (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)، كَمَثَلِ نُجُومِ السَّماَءِ: إِذَا خَوَى نَجْمٌ طَلَعَ نَجْمٌ، فَكَأَنَّكُمْ قَدْ تَكَامَلَتْ مِنَ اللهِ فِيكُمُ الصَّنَائِعُ، وَأَتَاكُم مَا كُنْتُمْ تَأْمُلُونَ.
See `Abd al-Zahra', II, 198-199.
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.
(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.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
تجري هذا المجرى
وفيها ذكر يوم القيامة وأحوال الناس المقبلة
On that day Allah will collect on it the anteriors and the posteriors, to stand in obedience for exaction of accounts and for award of recompense for deeds. Sweat would flow upto their mouths like reins while the earth would be trembling under them. In the best condition among them would be he who has found a resting place for both his feet and an open place for his breath.
وَذلِكَ يَوْمٌ يَجْمَعُ اللهُ فِيهِ الاْوَّلِينَ والاْخِرِينَ لِنِقَاشِ الْحِسَابِ وَجَزَاءِ الاْعْمَالِ، خُضُوعاً، قِياماً، قَدْ أَلْجَمَهُمُ الْعَرَقُ وَرَجَفَتْ بِهِمُ الاْرْضُ فَأَحْسَنُهُمْ حَالاً مَنْ وَجَدَ لِقَدَمَيْهِ مَوْضِعاً، وَلِنَفْسِهِ مُتَّسَعاً.
منها:في حال مقبلة على الناس
The troubles are like a dark night. Horses would not stand for (facing) them nor would their banners turn back. They would approach in full reins and ready with saddles. Their leader would be driving them and the rider would be exerting (them). The trouble-mongers are a people whose attacks are severe. Those who would fight them for the sake of Allah would be a people who are low in the estimation of the proud, unknown in the earth but well known on the sky. Woe to you O Basrah, when an army of Allah's infliction would face upon you without (raising) dust of cries. Your inhabitants would then face bloody death and dire hunger.
فِتَنٌ كَقِطَعِ الْلَّيْلِ الْمُظْلِمِ لاَ تَقُومُ لَهَا قَائِمَةٌ، وَلاَ تُرَدُّ لَهَا رَايَةٌ، تَأْتِيكُمْ مَزْمُومَةً مَرْحُولَةً يَحْفِزُهَا قَائِدُهَا وَيَجْهَدُهَا رَاكِبُهَا، أَهْلُهَا قَوْمٌ شَدِيدٌ كَلَبُهُمْ ، قَلِيلٌ سَلَبُهُمْ يُجَاهِدُهُمْ فِي اللهِ قَوْمٌ أَذِلَّةٌ عِنْدَ الْمُتَكَبِّرِينَ، فِي الاْرْضِ مَجْهُولُونَ، وَفِي السَّماءِ مَعْرُوفُونَ. فَوَيْلٌ لَكِ يَا بَصْرَةُ عِنْدَ ذلِكَ، مِنْ جَيْشٍ مِنْ نِقَمِ الله! لاَ رَهَجَ لَهُ، وَلاَ حَسَّ ، وَسَيُبْتَلَى أَهْلُكِ بِالْمَوْتِ الاْحْمَرِ، وَالْجُوعِ الاْغْبَرِ .
(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.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
في التزهيد في الدنيا
O people! Look at the world like those who abstain from it, and turn away from it. By Allah, it would shortly turn out its inhabitants and cause grief to the happy and the safe. That which turns and goes away from it never returns and that which is likely to come about is not known or anticipated. Its joy is mingled with grief. Herein men's firmness inclines towards weakness and languidness. The majority of what pleases you here should not mislead you because that which would help you would be little.
أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، انْظُرُوا إِلى الدُّنْيَا نَظَرَ الزَّاهِدِينَ فِيهَا، الصَّادِفِينَ عَنْهَا؛ فَإِنَّهَا وَاللهِ عَمَّا قَلِيلٍ تُزِيلُ الثَّاوِيَ السَّاكِنَ، وَتَفْجَعُ الْمُتْرَفَ الاْمِنَ، لاَ يَرْجِعُ مَا تَوَلَّى مَنْهَا فَأَدْبَرَ، وَلاَ يُدْرَى مَا هُوَ آتٍ مِنْهَا فَيُنْتَظَرَ. سُرُورُهَا مَشُوبٌ بِالْحُزْنِ، وَجَلَدُالرِّجَالِ فَيهَا إِلَى الضَّعْفِ وَالْوَهْنِ فَلا يَغُرَّنَّكُمْ كَثْرَةُ مَا يُعْجِبُكُمْ فِيهَا لِقِلَّةِ مَا يَصْحَبُكُمْ مِنْهَا
Allah may shower His mercy on him who ponders and takes lesson thereby, and when he takes lesson he achieves enlightenment. Whatever is present in this world would shortly not exist, while whatever is to exist in the next world is already in existence. Every countable thing would pass away. Every anticipation should be taken to be coming up and every thing that is to come up should be taken as just near.
رَحِمَ اللهُ امْرَأً تَفَكَّرَ فَاعْتَبَرَ، واعْتَبَرَ فَأَبْصَرَ، فَكَأَنَّ مَا هُوَ كَائِنٌ مِنَ الدٌّنْيَا عَنْ قَلِيل لَمْ يَكُنْ، وَكَأَنَّ مَا هُوَ كَائِنٌ مِنَ الاْخِرَةِ عَمَّا قَلَيل لَمْ يَزَلْ، وَكُلُّ مَعْدُود مُنْقَض، وَكُلُّ مُتَوَقَّع آت، وَكُلُّ آت قَرِيبٌ دَان.
منها: في صفة العالم
Learned is he who knows his worth. It is enough for a man to remain ignorant if he knows not his worth. Certainly, the most hated man with Allah is he whom Allah has left for his own self. He goes astray from the right path, and moves without a guide. If he is called to the plantation of this world he is active, but if he is called to the plantation of the next world he is slow. As though what he is active for is obligatory upon him whereas in whatever he is slow was not required of him.
الْعَالِمُ مَنْ عَرَفَ قَدْرَهُ، وَكَفَى بِالْمَرءِ جَهْلاً أَلاَّ يَعْرِفَ قَدْرَهُ; وَإِنَّ مِنْ أَبْغَضَ الرِّجَالِ إِلَى اللهِ لَعَبْدٌ وَكَّلَهُ اللهُ إِلَى نَفْسِهِ، جَائِرٌ عَنْ قَصْدِ السَّبِيلِ، سَائِرٌ بَغَيْرِ دَلِيل، إِنْ دُعِيَ إِلَى حَرْثِ الدُّنْيَا عَمِلَ، أوْ إِلَى حَرْثِ الاْخِرَةِ كَسِلَ! كَأَنَّ مَا عَمِلَ لَهُ وَاجِبٌ عَلَيْهِ، وَكَأَنَّ مَا وَنَى فِيهِ سَاِقطٌ عَنْهُ!
منها: في آخر الزمان
There would be a time wherein only a sleeping (inactive) believer would be safe (such that) if he is present he is not recognised but if he is absent he is not sought after. These are the lamps of guidance and banners of night journeys. They do not spread calumnies nor divulge secrets, nor slander. They are those for whom Allah opens the doors of His mercy and keeps off from them the hardships of His chastisement.
وَذلِكَ زَمَانٌ لاَ يَنْجُو فِيهِ إِلاَّ كُلُّ مٌؤْمِنٍ نُوَمَةٍ إِنْ شَهِدَ لَمْ يُعْرَفْ، وَإِنْ غَابَ لَمْ يُفْتَقَدْ، أُولَئِكَ مَصَابِيحُ الْهُدَى، وَأَعْلاَمُ السُّرَى لَيْسُوا بِالْمَسَايِيحِ وَلاَ الْمَذَايِيعِ الْبُذُرِ أُولَئِكَ يَفْتَحُ اللهُ لَهُمْ أَبْوَابَ رَحْمَتِهِ، وَيَكْشِفُ عَنْهُمْ ضَرَّاءَ نِقْمَتِهِ
O people! A time will come to you when Islam would be capsized as a pot is capsized with all its contents. O people, Allah has protected you from that He might be hard on you but He has not spared you from being put on trial. Allah the Sublimest of all speakers has said:
Verily in this are signs and We do only try (the people). (Qur'an, 23:30)
أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، سَيَأْتي عَلَيْكُمْ زَمَانٌ يُكْفَأُ فِيهِ الاْسْلاَمُ، كَمَا يُكْفَأُ الاْنَاءُ بِمَا فِيهِ. أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، إِنَّ اللهَ قَدْ أَعَاذَكُمْ مِنْ أَنْ يَجُورَ عَلَيْكُمْ، وَلَمْ يُعِذْكُمْ مِنْ أَنْ يَبْتَلِيكُمْ، وَقَدْ قَالِ جَلَّ مِنْ قَائِل: (إِنَّ فِي ذلِكَ لاَيَات وَإِنْ كُنَّا لَمُبْتَلِينَ).
as-Sayyid ar-Radi says: As regards Amir al-mu'minin's words "kullu mu'minin nuwamah" (every sleeping believer), he implies thereby one who is talked of little and causes no evil. And the word "al-masayih" is the plural of "misyah". He is one who spreads trouble among people through evils and calumnies. And the word "al-madhayi" is the plural of "midhya". He is one who on hearing of an evil about some one spreads it and shouts about it. And "al-budhur" is the plural of "badhur". He is one who excels in foolishness and speaks rubbish.
قال السيد الشريف: أما قوله (عليه السلام): «كلّ مؤمِن نُوَمَة» فإنما أَراد به: الخامل الذكر القليل الشر. والمساييح: جمع مِسياح، وهو: الذي يسيح بين الناس بالفساد والنمائم. والمذاييع: جمع مِذْياع، وهو: الذي إذا سمع لغيره بفاحشة أذاعها، ونوّه بها. والبُذُرُ: جمع بَذُور وهو: الذي يكثر سفهه ويلغو منطقه.
(1) Al-Kulayni, Rawdah, 139;
(2) al-Harrani, Tuhaf, 143;
(3) al-Kulayni, Usul al-Kafi, II, 225;
(4) Ibn Qutaybah, `Uyun, II, 352;
(5) al-Zamakhshari, Rabi`, I, 219;
(6) Ibn Talhah, Matalib, I, 202;
(7) al-Qadi al-Quda`i, Dustur, 48;
(8) al-Khuza`i, al-Fitan, see (9)
(9) Ibn Tawus, al-Malahim, 27;
(10) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, V, 131.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
Certainly Allah Almighty sent Muhammad (S) as Prophet while no one among the Arabs read the Book nor claimed prophethood or revelation. He had to fight those who disobeyed him in company with those who followed him, leading them towards their salvation and hastening with them lest death overtook them. When any weary person sighed or a distressed one stopped he stood at him till he got him his aim, except the worst in whom there was not virtue at all. Eventually he showed them their goal and carried them to their places (of deliverance). Consequently, their affairs moved on and their hand-mill began to rotate (i.e. position gained strength), their spears got straightened.
أمَّا بَعْدُ، فَإِنَّ اللهَ سُبْحَانَهُ بَعَثَ مُحَمَّداً(صلى الله عليه وآله)، وَلَيْسَ أَحَدٌ مِنَ الْعَرَبِ يَقْرَأُ كِتَاباً، وَلاَ يَدَّعِي نُبُوَّةً وَلاَ وَحْياً، فَقَاتَلَ بِمَنْ أطَاعَهُ مَنْ عَصَاهُ، يَسُوقُهُم إِلَى مَنْجَاتِهِمْ، وَيُبَادِرُ بِهِمُ السَّاعَةَ أَنْ تَنْزِلَ بِهِمْ، يَحْسَرُ الْحَسَيرُ، وَيَقِفُ الْكَسِيرُ فَيُقِيمُ عَلَيْهِ حَتَّى يُلْحِقَهُ غَايَتَهُ، إِلاَّ هَالِكاً لاَ خَيْرَ فِيهِ، حَتَّى أَرَاهُمْ مَنْجَاتَهُمْ وَبَوَّأَهُمْ مَحَلَّتَهُمْ، فَاسْتَدَارَتْ رَحَاهُمْ، وَاسْتَقَامَتْ قَنَاتُهُمْ.
By Allah, I was among their rear-guard till they turned back on their sides and were flocked in their rope. I never showed weakness or lack of courage, nor did I betray or become languid. By Allah, I shall split the wrong till I extract right from its flanks.
وَايْمُ اللهِ، لَقَدْ كُنْتُ مِنْ سَاقَتِهَا حَتَّى تَوَلَّتْ بِحَذَافِيرِهَا، وَاسْتَوْسَقَتْ فِي قِيَادِهَا، مَا ضَعُفْتُ، وَلاَ جَبُنْتُ، وَلاَ خُنْتُ، وَلاَ وَهَنْتُ، وَايْمُ اللهِ، لاَبْقُرَنَّ الْبَاطِلَ حَتَّى أُخْرِجَ الْحَقَّ مِنْ خَاصِرَتِهِ!
As-Sayyid ar-Radi says: I have quoted a selected part of this sermon before, but since I have found in the narration that this part differs from the previous one, more or less, I deemed it necessary to quote it again here.
قال السيد الشريف الرضي: وقد تقدم مختار هذه الخطبة، إلاّ أنني وجدتها في هذه الرواية على خلاف ما سبق من زيادة ونقصان، فأوجبت الحال إثباتها ثانية.
(1) Al-Mufid, al-'Irshad, 154;
(2) al-Nasa'i, al-Khasa'is, 70.
ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)
في بعض صفات الرسول الكريم وتهديد بني أمية وعظة الناس
Then Allah sent Muhammad (S) as a witness, giver of good tidings and warner, the best in the universe as a child and the most chaste as a grown up man, the purest of the purified in conduct, the most generous of those who are approached for generosity.
حَتَّى بَعَثَ اللهُ مُحَمَّداً(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)، شَهِيداً، وَبَشِيراً، وَنَذِيراً، خَيْرَ الْبَرِيَّةِ طِفْلاً، وَأَنْجَبَهَا كَهْلاً، أَطْهَرَ الْمُطَهَّرِينَ شِيمَةً، وَأَجْوَدَ الْمُسْتَمْطَرِينَ دِيمَةً
This world did not appear sweet to you in its pleasures and you did not secure milk from its udders except after having met it when its nose-rein was trailing and its leather girth was loose. For certain people its unlawful items were like bent branches (laden with fruit) while its lawful items were far away, not available.
By Allah, you would find it like a long shade upto a fixed time. So the earth is with you without let or hindrance and your hands in it are extended while the hands of the leaders are held away from you. Your swords are hanging over them while their swords are held away from you.
فَمَا احْلَوْلَتْ الدُّنْيَا لَكُمْ فِي لَذَّتِهَا، وَلاَ تَمَكَّنْتُمْ مِنْ رَضَاعِ أَخْلاَفِهَا إِلاَّ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا صَادَفْتُمُوهَا جَائِلاً خِطَامُهَا قَلِقاً وَضِينُهَا ، قَدْ صَارَ حَرَامُهَا عِنْدَ أَقْوَامٍ بِمَنْزِلَةِ السِّدْر الْـمَخْضُودِ وَحَلاَلُهَا بَعِيداً غَيْرَ مَوْجُودٍ، وَصَادَفْتُمُوهَا، وَاللهِ، ظِلاًّ مَمْدُوداً إِلَى أَجَلٍ مَعْدُودٍ، فَالاْرْضُ لَكُمْ شَاغِرَةٌ وَأَيْدِيكُمْ فِيهَا مَبْسُوطَةٌ، وَأَيْدِ