Sermon 43: My preparations for war with the Syrians ...

After Amir al-mu’minin had sent Jarir ibn ‘Abdillah al-Bajali to Mu’awiyah
After Amir al-mu’minin had sent Jarir ibn ‘Abdillah al-Bajali to Mu’awiyah (for securing his allegiance) some of his companions suggested preparation to fight with him then he said:

ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)

وقد أشار عليه أصحابه بالاستعداد لحرب أهل الشام بعد إرساله جرير بن عبدالله البجلي إلى معاوية

My preparation for war with the people of Syria (ash-Sham) while Jarir ibn ‘Abdillah al-Bajali is still there would be closing the door for Syria and prevention of its people from good action (i.e. allegiance) if they intend doing it.

However, I have fixed a time limit for Jarir after which he would not stay without either deception or in disobedience. My opinion is in favour of patience, so wait a while. (In the meantime) I do not dislike your getting ready.

إِنَّ اسْتَعْدَادِي لِحَرْبِ أَهْلِ الشَّامِ وَجِرِيرٌ عِنْدَهُمْ، إِغْلاَقٌ لِلشَّامِ، وَصَرْفٌ لاِهْلِهِ عَنْ خَيْر إِنْ أَرادُوهُ، وَلكِنْ قَدْ وَقَّتُّ لِجَرِير وَقْتاً لاَ يُقِيمُ بَعْدَهُ إِلاَّ مَخْدُوعاً أَوْ عَاصِياً، وَالرَّأْيُ مَعَ الاْنَاةِ، فَأَرْوِدُوا، وَلاَ أَكْرَهُ لَكُمُ الاْعْدَادَ.

I have observed this matter thoroughly from all sides but I do not find any way except war or heresy. Certainly, there was over the people a ruler (before me) who brought about new (un-Islamic) things and compelled the people to speak out. So they did speak, then rose up and thereafter changed the whole system.

وَلَقَدْ ضَرَبْتُ أَنْفَ هذَا الاْمْرِ وَعَيْنَهُ، وَقَلَّبْتُ ظَهْرَهُ وَبَطنَهُ، فَلَمْ أَرَلِي إِلاَّ الْقِتَالَ أَوِ الْكُفْرَ. إِنَّهُ قَدْ كَانَ عَلَى الاْمَّةِ وَال أَحْدَثَ أَحْدَاثاً، وَأَوْجَدَ النَّاسَ مَقَالاً، فَقَالُوا، ثُمَّ نَقَمُوا فَغَيَّروا.

Alternative Sources for Sermon 43

(1) Al-Khwarazmi, Manaqib, 108;

(2) Nasr ibn Muzahim, Siffin, 55;

(3) Ibn Qutaybah, al-'Imamah, I, 94;

(4) Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih, al-’Iqd, II, 108;

(5) al-Saduq, Man la yahduruh, I, 461;

(6) al-Tusi, Misbah, 429.