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Letter 70: To Sahl ibn Hunayf al-Ansari

To Sahl ibn Hunayf al-Ansari, his Governor of Medina about certain persons in Medina who had gone over to Mu`awiyah

ومن كتاب له (عليه السلام)

إلى سهل بن حُنَيف الانصاري

وهو عامله على المدينه، في معنى قوم من أهلها لحقوا بمعاوية

Now, I have come to know that certain persons from your side are stealthily going over to Mu`awiyah. Do not feel sorry for their numbers so lost to you or for their help of which you are deprived. It is enough that they have gone into misguidance and you have been relieved of them. They are running away from guidance and truth and advancing towards blindness and ignorance. They are seekers of this world and are proceeding to it and are leaping towards it. They have known justice, seen it, heard it and appreciated it. They have realized that here, to us, all men are equal in the matter of right. Therefore, they ran away to selfishness and partiality. Let them remain remote and far away.

أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَقَدْ بَلَغَنِي أَنَّ رِجَالاً مِمَّنْ قِبَلَكَ يَتَسَلَّلُونَ إِلَى مُعَاوِيَةَ، فَلاَ تَأْسَفْ عَلَى مَا يَفُوتُكَ مِنْ عَدَدِهِمْ، وَيَذْهَبُ عَنْكَ مِنْ مَدَدِهِمْ، فَكَفى لَهُمْ غَيّاً، وَلَكَ مِنْهُمْ شَافِياً، فِرَارُهُمْ مِنَ الْهُدَى والْحَقِّ، وَإِيضَاعُهُمْ إِلَى الْعَمَى وَالْجَهْلِ، وَإِنَّمَا هُمْ أَهْلُ دُنْيَا مُقْبِلُونَ عَلَيْهَا، وَمُهْطِعُونَ إِلَيْهَا، قَدْ عَرَفُوا الْعَدْلَ وَرَأَوْهُ، وَسَمِعُوهُ وَ وَعَوْهُ، وَعَلِمُوا أَنَّ النَّاسَ عِنْدَنَا فِي الْحَقِّ أُسْوَةٌ، فَهَرَبُوا إِلَى الاْثَرَةِ، فَبُعْداً لَهُمْ وَسُحْقاً!

By Allah, surely they have not gone away from oppression and joined justice. In this matter, we only desire Allah to resolve for us its hardships and to level for us its uneveness, if Allah wills; and that is an end to the matter.

إِنَّهُمْ ـ وَاللهِ ـ لَمْ يَنْفِرُوا مِنْ جَوْر، وَلَمْ يَلْحَقُوا بِعَدْل، وَإِنَّا لَنَطْمَعُ فِي هذَا الاْمْرِ أَنْ يُذَلِّلَ اللهُ لَنَا صَعْبَهُ،يُسَهِّلَ لَنَا حَزْنَهُ، إِنْ شَاءَ اللهُ، وَالسَّلاَمُ علَيْكَ.