Sermon 180: I praise Allah for whatever matter He ordine…

Condemning his disobedient men

ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)

في ذمّ العاصين من أصحابه

I praise Allah for whatever matter He ordained and whatever action He destines and for my trial with you, O group of people who do not obey when I order and do not respond when I call you. If you are at ease you engage in (conceited) conversation, but if you are faced with battle you show weakness.

If people agree on one Imam you taunt them. If you are faced with an arduous matter you turn away from it. May others have no father (woe to your enemy!) what are you waiting for in the matter of your assistance and for fighting for your rights? For you there is either death or disgrace. By Allah, if my day (of death) comes. and it is sure to come, it will cause separation between me and you while I am sick of your company and feel alone although I am with you.

أَحْمَدُ اللهَ عَلَى مَا قَضَى مِنْ أَمْر، وَقَدَّرَ مِنْ فِعْل، وَعَلَى ابْتِلاَئِي بِكُم أَيَّتُهَا الْفِرْقَةُ الَّتِي إذَا أَمَرْتُ لَمْ تُطِعْ، وَإذَا دَعَوْتُ لَمْ تُجِبْ، إنْ أُمْهِلْتُمْ خُضْتُمْ، وَإنْ حُورِبْتُمْ خُرْتُمْ، وَإنِ اجْتَمَعَ النَّاسُ عَلَى إمَام طَعَنْتُمْ، وَإنْ أُجِبْتُمْ إلَى مُشَاقَّة نَكَصْتُمْ.

لاَ أَبَا لِغَيْرِكُمْ! مَا تَنْتَظِرُونَ بِنَصْرِكُمْ وَالْجِهَادِ عَلَى حَقِّكُمْ؟ الْمَوْتَ أَوِ الذُّلَّ لَكُمْ؟ فَوَاللهِ لَئِنْ جَاءَ يَوْمِي ـ وَلَيَأْتِيَنِّي ـ لَيُفَرِّقَنَّ بَيْني وَبَيْنَكُمْ وَأَنا لِصُحْبَتِكُمْ قَال، وَبِكُمْ غَيْرُ كَثِير.

May Allah deal with you! Is there no religion which may unite you or sense of shamefulness that may sharpen you? Is it not strange that Mu’awiyah calls out to some rude low people and they follow him without any support or grant, but when I call you, although you are the successors of Islam and the (worthy) survivors of the people, with support and distributed grants you scatter away from me and oppose me?

Truly, there is nothing between me to you which I like and you also like it, or with which I am angry and you may also unite against it. What I love most is death. I have taught you the Qur'an, clarified to you arguments, apprised you of what you were ignorant and made you swallow what you were spitting out. Even a blind man would have been able to see, and he who was sleeping would have been awakened. How ignorant of Allah is their leader Mu’awiyah and their instructor Ibn an-Nabighah! 1

لله أَنْتُمْ! أمَا دِينٌ يَجْمَعُكُمْ! وَلاَ مَحْمِيّةٌ تَشْحَذُكُمْ ! أَوَلَيْسَ عَجَباً أَنَّ مُعَاوِيَةَ يَدْعُو الْجُفَاةَ الطَّغَامَ فَيَتَّبِعُونَهُ عَلَى غَيْرِ مَعُونَة وَلاَ عَطَاء، وَأَنَا أَدْعُوكُمْ ـ وَأَنْتُمْ تَرِيكَةُ الاْسْلاَمِ، وَبَقِيَّةُ النَّاسِ ـ إلَى الْمَعُونَةِ أَوطَائِفَة مِنَ الْعَطَاءِ، فَتَفَرَّقُونَ عَنِّي وَتَخْتَلِفُونَ عَلَيَّ؟ إِنَّهُ لاَ يَخْرُجُ إِلَيْكُمْ مِنْ أَمْرِي رِضىً فَتَرْضَوْنَهُ، وَلاَ سُخْطٌ فَتَجْتَمِعُونَ عَلَيْهِ، وَإنَّ أَحَبَّ مَا أَنَا لاَق إِلَيَّ الْمَوْتُ! قَدْ دَارَسْتُكُمُ الْكِتَابَ، وَفَاتَحْتُكُمُ الْحِجَاجَ، وَعَرَّفْتُكُمْ مَا أَنْكَرْتُمْ، وَسَوَّغْتُكُمْ مَا مَجَجْتُمْ، لَوْ كَانَ الاْعْمَى يَلْحَظُ، أَوِ النَّائِمُ يَسْتَيْقِظُ! وَأَقْرِبْ بِقَوْم مِنَ الْجَهْلِ بِاللهِ قَائِدُهُمْ مُعَاوِيَةُ! وَمُؤَدِّبُهُمُ ابْنُ النَّابِغَةِ!

Alternative Sources for Sermon 180

(1) Al-Thaqafi, al-Gharat, I, 291;

(2) al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, VI, 60, events of 38 H.;

(3) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, I, 188 (t.r.k).

  • 1. "an-Nabighah" is the surname of Layla bint Harmalah al-`Anaziyyah, mother of `Amr ibn al-`As. The reason for attributing him to his mother is her common reputation in the matter. When Arwa bint al-Harith ibn `Abd al-Muttalib went to Mu`awiyah, during the conversation, when `Amr ibn al-`As intervened, she said to him: "O' son of an-Nabighah, you too dare speak, although your mother was known publicly and was a singer of Mecca. That is why five persons claimed you (as a son), and when she was asked she admitted that five people had visited her and that you should be regarded as the son of him you resembled most. You must have resembled al-`As ibn Wa'il and therefore you came to be known as his son."
    These five persons were (1) al-`As ibn Wa'il, (2) Abu Lahab, (3) Umayyah ibn Khalaf, (4) Hisham ibn al-Mughirah, and (5) Abu Sufyan ibn Harb. (Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`lqd al-farid, vol. 2, p. 120; Ibn Tayfur, Balaghat an-nisa', p. 27; Ibn Hijjah, Thamarat al-awraq, vol. 1, p. 132; Safwat, Jamharat khutab al-`Arab, vol. 2, p.363; Ibn Abi'l-Hadid, vol. 6, pp. 283-285, 291; al-Halabi, as-Sirah vol. 1, p. 46).