Letter 16: His advice to his followers during a battle
He used to give to his followers at the time of battle
وكان يقول (عليه السلام)
لاصحابه عند الحرب
The retreat after which return is intended and the withdrawal after which attack is in view should not make you unhappy. Do justice with the swords (allow your swords to do their duties). Keep ready a place for the falling of bodies (of your foe); prepare yourselves for hurling strong spears and striking swords with full force, and keep your voices down as that keeps off cowardice.
لاَ تَشْتَدَّنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ فَرَّةٌ بَعْدَهَا كَرَّةٌ، وَلاَ جَوْلَةٌ بَعْدَهَا حَمْلَةٌ، وَأَعْطُوا السُّيُوفَ حُقُوقَهَا، وَوَطِّئُوا لِلْجُنُوبِ مَصَارِعَهَا، وَاذْمُرُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ عَلَى الطَّعْنِ الْدَّعْسِيِّ، وَالضَّرْبِ الطِّلَحْفِيِّ، وَأَمِيتُوا الاْصْوَاتَ، فإِنَّهُ أَطْردُ لِلْفَشَلِ
By Him Who broke open the seed (for growing) and created living beings, they had not accepted Islam but they had secured safety (by verbally professing it) and had hidden their misbelief. Consequently when they found helpers for their misbelief they disclosed it.
[فـ] والَّذِي فَلَقَ الْحَبَّةَ، وَبَرَأَ النَّسَمَةَ، مَا أَسْلَمُوا وَلَكِنِ اسْتَسْلَمُوا، وَأَسَرُّوا الْكُفْرَ، فَلَمَّا وَجَدُوا أَعْوَاناً عَلَيْهِ أَظْهَرُوهُ.