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Sermon 177: Your party had decided to select two persons…

About the two arbiters (after the battle of Siffin)

ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)

في معنى الحكمين

Your party had decided to select two persons, and so we took their pledge that they would act according to the Qur'an and would not commit excess, that their tongues should be with it and that their hearts should follow it. But they deviated from it, abandoned what was right although they had it before their eyes. Wrong-doing was their desire, and going astray was their behaviour. Although we had settled with them to decide with justice, to act according to the light and without the interference of their evil views and wrong judgement. Now that they have abandoned the course of right and have come out with just the opposite of what was settled, we have strong ground (to reject their verdict).

فأَجْمَعَ رَأْيُ مَلَئِكمْ عَلَى أَنِ اخْتَارُوا رَجُلَيْنِ، فَأَخَذْنَا عَلَيْهِمَا أَنْ يُجَعْجِعَا عِنْدَ الْقُرْآنِ، ولاَ يُجَاوِزَاهُ، وَتَكُونَ أَلْسِنَتُهُما مَعَهُ وَقُلُوبُهُمَا تَبَعَهُ، فَتَاهَا عَنْهُ، وَتَرَكَا الْحَقَّ وَهُمَا يُبْصِرَانِهِ، وَكَانَ الْجَوْرُ هَوَاهُمَا، وَالاْعْوِجَاجُ دَأْبَهُمَا، وَقَدْ سَبَقَ اسْتِثْنَاؤُنَا عَلَيْهِمَا فِي الْحُكْمِ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْعَمَلِ بِالْحَقِّ سُوءَ رَأْيِهِمَا وَجَوْرَ حُكْمِهِمَا، وَالثِّقَةُ فِي أَيْدِينَا لاِنْفُسِنَا، حِينَ خَالفَا سَبِيلَ الْحَقِّ، وَأَتَيَا بِمَا لاَ يُعْرَفُ مِنْ مَعْكُوسِ الْحُكْمِ.

Alternative Sources for Sermon 177

(1) Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, V, 48 (chronicle of the year 37) from Abu Mikhnaf.

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