Sermon 116: Allah sent him (the Prophet) as a caller towards Truth...

About troubles which would arise and the Day of Judgement

ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)

وفيها ينصح أصحاب

Allah sent him (the Prophet) as a caller towards Truth and a witness over the creatures. The Prophet conveyed the messages of Allah tirelessly and without any negligence, and he fought His enemies in the cause of Allah unflaggingly and without pleading excuses. He is the foremost of all who practise piety and the power of perception of all those who achieve guidance.

أَرْسَلَهُ دَاعِياً إِلَى الْحَقِّ، وَشَاهِداً عَلَى الْخَلْقِ، فَبَلَّغَ رَسَالاَتِ رَبِّهِ غَيْرَ وَان وَلاَ مُقَصِّر، وَجَاهَدَ فِي اللهِ أَعْدَاءَهُ غَيْرَ وَاهِن وَلاَ مُعَذِّر، إِمَامُ مَنِ اتَّقَى، وَبَصَرُ مَنِ اهْتَدَى.

A part of the same sermon, complaining about his men

If you know what I know of the unknown that is kept wrapped up from you certainly you would have gone out into the open weeping over your deeds and beating yourselves in grief and you would have abandoned your properties without any guard for it or any substitute over it. Everyone would then have cared for his own self without paying attention to anyone else. But you have forgotten what was recalled to you and felt safe from what you had been warned. Consequently, your ideas went astray and your affairs were dispersed.

وَلَوْ تَعْلَمُونَ مَا أَعْلَمُ مِمَّا طُوِيَ عَنْكُمْ غَيْبُهُ، إِذاً لَخَرَجْتُمْ إِلَى الصُّعُدَاتِ، تَبْكُونَ عَلَى أَعْمَالِكُمْ، وَتَلْتَدِمُونَ عَلَى أَنْفُسِكُمْ، وَلَتَرَكْتُمْ أَمْوَالَكُمْ لاَ حَارِسَ لها وَلاَ خَالِفَ عَلَيْهَا، وَلَهَمَّتْ كُلَّ امْرِىء مِنْكُمْ نَفْسُهُ، لاَ يَلْتَفِتُ إِلَى غَيْرِهَا; وَلَكِنَّكُمْ نَسِيتُمْ مَا ذُكِّرْتُمْ، وَأَمِنْتُمْ مَا حُذِّرْتُمْ، فَتَاهَ عَنْكُمْ رَأْيُكُمْ، وَتَشَتَّتَ عَلَيْكُمْ أَمْرُكُمْ.

I do long that Allah may cause separation between me and you and give me those who have a better right to be with me than you. By Allah, they are people of blissful ideas, enduring wisdom and true speech. They keep aloof from revolt. They trod forward on the path (of Allah) and ran on the high road. Consequently, they achieved the everlasting next life and easeful honours.

Beware! by Allah, a tall lad of swinging gait from Banu Thaqif would be placed over you. He would eat away your vegetation and melt your fat. So, O Aba Wadhahah, is that all?

وَلَوَدِدْتُ أَنَّ اللهَ فَرَّقَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكُمْ، وَأَلْحَقَنِي بِمَنْ هُوَ أَحَقُّ بِي مِنْكُمْ، قَوْمٌ واللهِ مَيَامِينُ الرَّأْيِ، مَرَاجِيحُ الْحِلْمِ، مَقَاوِيلُ بِالْحَقِّ، مَتَارِيكُ لِلْبَغْيِ. مَضَوْا قُدُماً عَلَى الطَّرِيقَةِ، وَأَوْجَفُوا عَلَى الْـمَحَجَّةِ، فَظَفِرُوا بَالْعُقْبَى الْدَّائِمَةِ، وَالْكَرَامَةِ الْبَارِدَةِ. أَمَا وَاللهِ، لَيُسَلَّطَنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ غُلاَمُ ثَقِيف الذَّيَّالُ الْمَيَّالُ، يَأْكُلُ خَضِرَتَكُمْ، وَيُذِيبُ شَحْمَتَكُمْ، إِيه أَبَا وَذَحَةَ!

as-Sayyid ar-Radi says: "al-Wadhahah" means "al-khunfusa' (dung-beetle)." In this sentence Amir al-mu'minin has referred to al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf ath-Thaqafi and he had an incident with "al-Khunfusa '", which need not be related here.1

قال السيّد الشريف: : الْوَذَحَةُ: الخُنْفُسَاءُ. وهذا القول يومىءُ به إلى الحجاج، وله مع الوذحة حديث ليس هذا موضع ذكره.

Alternative Sources for Sermon 116

(1) Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih, al-’Iqd, VI, 249;

(2) al-Mas’udi, Muruj, III, 150;

(3) al-'Azhari, Tahdhib, VII, 101 (kh.d.r);

(4) Ibn Faqih, al-Buldan, 181;

(5) al-Harawi, al-Jam’, see Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, II, 41, V, 170;

(6) al-Muttaqi, Kanz, VI, 87;

(7) al-Daylami, al-'Irshad, I, 33.

  • 1. The detail of this incident is that one day al-Hajjaj stood up for saying prayers when al-khunfusa' advanced towards him. al-Hajjaj held out his hand to stop him but he bit him whereby his hand got swollen and eventually he died of it. Ibn Abi'l-Hadid has written that "al-Wadhahah" means the dung that remains sticking to the tail of an animal, and this surname is intended to disgrace him.