Sermon 26: Verily, Allah sent Muhammad (S) ...

Arabia before proclamation of Prophethood

ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)

وفيها يصف العرب قبل البعثة ثم يصف حاله قبل البيعة له

]العرب قبل البعثه[

Verily, Allah sent Muhammad (S) as a warner (against vice) for all the worlds and a trustee of His revelation, while you people of Arabia were following the worst religion and you resided among rough stones and venomous serpents. You drank dirty water and ate filthy food. You shed blood of each other and cared not for relationship. Idols are fixed among you and sins are clinging to you.

انَّ اللهَ سُبحانَه بَعَثَ مُحَمَّداً نَذِيراً لِلْعَالَمِينَ، وَأَمِيناً عَلَى التَّنْزِيلِ، وَأَنْتُمْ مَعْشَرَ العَرَبِ عَلَى شَرِّ دِينٍ، وَفِي شَرِّ دَارٍ، مُنِيخُونَ بَيْنَ حِجارَةٍ خُشْنٍ وَحَيَّاتٍ صُمٍّ تشْرَبُونَ الكَدِرَ، وَتَأْكُلُونَ الجَشِبَ وَتَسْفِكُونَ دِمَاءَكُمْ، وَتَقْطَعُونَ أَرْحَامَكُمْ، الاْصْنَامُ فِيكُمْ مَنْصُوبَةٌ، وَالاْثَامُ بِكُمْ مَعْصُوبَةٌ

Part of the same sermon in describing his condition before allegiance was paid to him (after the death of the Holy Prophet)

I looked and found that there is no supporter for me except family, so I refrained from thrusting them unto death. I kept my eyes closed despite motes in them. I drank despite choking of throat. I exercised patience despite trouble in breathing and despite having to take sour colocynth as food.


فَنَظَرْتُ فَإِذَا لَيْسَ لِي مُعِينٌ إِلاَّ أَهْلُ بَيْتِي، فَضَنِنْتُ بِهمْ عَنِ المَوْتِ، وَأَغْضَيْتُ عَلَى القَذَى، وَشَرِبْتُ عَلَى الشَّجَا وَصَبَرْتُ عَلَى أَخْذِ الكَظَمِ، وَعَلىْ أَمَرَّ مِنْ طَعْمِ العَلْقَمِ.

Part of the same sermon on the settlement between Mu’awiyah and ‘Amr ibn al-’As

He did not swear allegiance till he got him to agree that he would pay him its price. The hand of this purchaser (of allegiance) may not be successful and the contract of the seller may face disgrace. Now you should take up arms for war and arrange equipment for it. Its flames have grown high and its brightness has increased. Clothe yourself with patience for it is the best to victory.1


وَلَمْ يُبَايعْ حَتَّى شَرَطَ أَنْ يُؤْتِيَهِ عَلَى البَيْعَةِ ثَمَناً، فَلاَ ظَفِرَتْ يَدُ المبايِعِ، وخَزِيَتْ أَمَانَةُ المُبْتَاعِ فَخُذُوا لِلْحَرْبِ أُهْبَتَهَا وَأعِدُّوا لَهَا عُدَّتَهَا، فَقَدْ شَبَّ لَظَاهَا وَعَلاَ سَنَاهَا وَاسْتَشْعِرُوا الصَّبْرَ فَإِنَّهُ أحْزَمُ لِلنَّصْرِ.

Alternative Sources for Sermon 26

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

(2) al-Thaqafi, al-Gharat, I, 303, II, 633;

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

(4) Ibn Tawus, Kashf, 173;

(5) al-Kulayni, al-Rasa'il, mentioned by Ibn Tawus, op. cit.

  • 1. Amir al-mu'minin had delivered a sermon before setting off for Nahrawan. These are three parts from it. In the first part he has described the condition of Arabia before Proclamation (of Prophethood); in the second he has referred to circumstances which forced him to keep quiet and in the third he has described the conversation and settlement between Mu`awiyah and `Amr ibn al-`As. The position of this mutual settlement was that when Amir al-mu'minin sent Jarir ibn `Abdillah al-Bajali to Mu`awiyah to secure his allegiance he detained Jarir under the excuse of giving a reply, and in the meantime he began exploring how far the people of Syria would support him. When he succeeded in making them his supporters by rousing them to avenge `Uthman's blood he consulted his brother `Utbah ibn Abi Sufyan. He suggested, "If in this matter `Amr ibn al-`As was associated he would solve most of the difficulties through his sagacity, but he would not be easily prepared to stabilise your authority unless he got the price he desired for it. If you are ready for this he would prove the best counsellor and helper." Mu`awiyah liked this suggestion, sent for `Amr ibn al-`As and discussed with him, and eventually it was settled that he would avenge `Uthman's blood by holding Amir al-mu'minin liable for it in exchange for the governorship of Egypt, and by whatever means possible would not let Mu`awiyah's authority in Syria suffer. Consequently, both of them fulfilled the agreement and kept their words fully.