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Letter 34: To Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr

To Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, when Amir al-mu’minin, peace be on him, heard that he was grieved at being replaced as Governor of Egypt by (Malik) al-Ashtar; then al-Ashtar died on his way to Egypt.

ومن كتاب له (عليه السلام)

إلى محمد بن أبي بكر

لما بلغه توجّده من عزله بالاشتر عن مصر، ثم توفي الاشتر في توجهه إلى هناك قبل وصوله إليها

I have come to know of your anger at the posting of al-Ashtar in your place, but I did not do so because of any shortcoming on your part or to get you to increase your efforts, but when I had taken away what was under your authority I would have placed you at a position which would have been less exacting and more attractive to you.

أما بعد، وَقَدْ بَلَغَنِي مَوْجِدَتُكَ مِنْ تَسْرِيحِ الاْشْتَرِ إِلَى عَمَلِكَ وَإِنِّي لَمْ أَفْعَلْ ذلِكَ اسْتِبْطَاءً لَكَ فِي الجَهْدِ، وَلاَ ازدِياداً لَكَ فِي الْجِدِّ، وَلَوْ نَزَعْتُ مَا تَحْتَ يَدِكَ مِنْ سُلْطَانِكَ، لَوَلَّيْتُكَ مَا هُوَ أَيْسَرُ عَلَيْكَ مَؤُونَةً، وَأَعْجَبُ إِلَيْكَ وِلاَيَةً

The man whom I have made Governor of Egypt was my well-wisher, and very severe and vengeful towards our enemies. May Allah have mercy on him, as he has finished his days and met his death. I am quite pleased with him. May Allah too accord him His pleasure, and multiply his reward. Now get ready for your enemy and act according to your intelligence. Prepare for fighting him who fights you and calling to the path of Allah. Seek Allah's help exceedingly. If Allah wills He will assist you in what worries you and help you with what befalls you.

إِنَّ الرَّجُلَ الَّذِي كُنْتُ وَلَّيْتُهُ أَمْرَ مِصْرَ كَانَ رَجُلاً لَنَا نَاصِحاً، وَعَلَى عَدُوِّنَا شَدِيداً نَاقِماً فَرَحِمَهُ اللهُ! فَلَقَدِ اسْتَكْمَلَ أَيَّامَهُ، وَلاَقَى حِمَامَهُ وَنَحْنُ عَنْهُ رَاضونَ، أَوْلاَهُ اللهُ رِضْوَانَهُ، وَضَاعَفَ الثَّوَابَ لَهُ. فَأَصْحِرْـ لِعَدُوِّكَ، وَامْضِ عَلَى بَصيرَتِكَ، وَشَمِّرْ لِحَرْبِ مَنْ حَارَبَكَ، وَادْعُ إِلَى سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ، وَأَكْثِرِ الاِسْتِعَانَةَ بِاللهِ يَكْفِكَ مَا أَهَمَّكَ، وَيُعِنْكَ عَلَى مَا يُنْزِلُ بِكَ، إِنْ شَاءَ اللهُ.

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