Sermon 217: O My God! I beseech Thee….

About the excesses of the Quraysh

ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)

في التظلم والتشكي من قريش

O My God! I beseech Thee to take revenge on the Quraysh and those who are assisting them, for they have cut asunder my kinship and over-turned my cup and have joined together to contest a right to which I was entitled more than anyone else. They said to me: “If you get your right, that will be just, but if you are denied the right, that too will be just. Endure it with sadness or kill yourself in grief.” I looked around but found no one to shield me, protect me or help me except the members of my family. I refrained from flinging them into death and therefore closed my eyes despite the dust, kept swallowing saliva despite (the suffocation of) grief and endured pangs of anger although it was more bitter than colocynth and more grievous than the bite of knives.

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْتَعْدِيكَ عَلَى قُرَيْش، فَإِنَّهُمْ قَدْ قَطَعُوا رَحِمِي، وَأَكْفَأُوا إِنَائِي، وَأَجْمَعُوا عَلَى مُنَازَعَتِي حَقّاً كُنْتُ أَوْلَى بِهِ مِنْ غَيْرِي، وَقَالُوا: أَلاَ إِنَّ فِي الْحَقِّ أَنْ تَأْخُذَهُ، وَفِي الْحَقِّ أَنْ تُمْنَعَهُ، فَاصْبِرْ مَغْمُوماً، أَوْ مُتْ مُتَأَسِّفاً.

فَنَظَرْتُ فَإِذَا لَيْسَ لِي رَافِدٌ، وَلاَ ذَابٌّ وَلاَ مُسَاعِدٌ، إِلاَّ أَهْلَ بَيْتِي، فَضَنِنْتُ بِهِمْ عَنِ الْمَنِيَّةِ، فَأَغْضَيْتُ عَلَى الْقَذى، وَجَرِعْتُ رِيقِي عَلَى الشَّجَا، وَصَبَرْتُ مِنْ كَظْمِ الغَيْظِ عَلى أَمَرَّ مِنَ العَلْقَمِ، وَآلَمَ لِلْقَلْبِ مِنْ خَزِّ الشِّفَارِ

As-Sayyid ar-Radi says: This utterance of Amir al-mu’minin has already appeared in an earlier Sermon (172), but I have repeated it here because of the difference of versions.

قال الشريف رضي الله عنه: وقد مضى هذا الكلام في أثناء خطبة متقدمة، إلاّ أنّني كرّرتُهُ هاهنا لاختلاف الروايتين.

A part of the same sermon about those who went to Basrah to fight Amir al-Mu’minin


في ذكر السائرين إلى البصرة لحربه (عليه السلام)

They marched on my officers and the custodians of the public treasury which is still under my control and on the people of a metropolis, all of whom were obedient to me and were in allegiance to me. They created division among them, instigated their party against me and attacked my followers. They killed a group of them by treachery, while another group took up swords against them and fought with the swords till they met Allah as adherents to truth.

فَقَدِمُوا عَلَى عُمَّالِي، وَخُزَّانِ بَيْتِ مَالِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ الَّذِي في يَدَيَّ، وَعَلى أَهْلِ مِصْر، كُلُّهُمْ فِي طَاعَتِي وَعَلَى بَيْعَتِي، فَشَتَّتُوا كَلِمَتَهُمْ، وَأَفْسَدُوا عَلَيَّ جَمَاعَتَهُمْ، وَوَثَبُوا عَلى شِيعَتِي، فَقَتَلُوا طَائِفَةً مِنْهُمْ غَدْراً، وَطَائِفَةٌ عَضُّوا عَلى أَسْيَافِهِمْ، فَضَارَبُوا بِهَا حَتَّى لَقُوا اللهَ صَادِقِينَ.

Alternative Sources for Sermon 217

(1) Al-Kulayni, al-Rasa'il, see (2)

(2) Ibn Tawus, Kashf, 173;

(3) Ibn Qutaybah, al-'Imamah, I, 154;

(4) al-Thaqafi, al-Gharat;

(5) al-Tabari, al-Mustarshid, 95;

(6) Safwah, Jamharah.