‘Alee’s Advice To His Troops During His Reign As Caliph


When some border land under Ali’s control was raided, he said:

“Jihaad is one of the gates of paradise, which Allaah opens to the closest of His friends. It is the garment of piety, the shield of Allaah and the greatest protection. Whoever abandons it because of lack of interest, Allaah will give him a garment of humiliation to wear; calamities will befall him, he will be brought low and a seal will be placed on his heart. He will be led away from truth because of neglecting jihaad; he will be humiliated and deprived of justice.

Verily, I called you by night and by day, secretly and openly to fight these people. I told you to attack them before they attacked you, for by Allaah, no people are attacked in their land but they are humiliated. But you were negligent and reluctant, so attacks were launched against you and land was taken from you….

How strange it is, by Allah, that these people are united in their falsehood, and you are disunited and do not support your truth. This is what breaks the heart and brings grief and sorrow. May you perish, for you have become a target to be shot; you are raided and do not raid others, you are attacked and do not attack others. Allaah is being disobeyed, and you are pleased with that. If I command you to march towards them on a hot day, you will say that it is too hot and we should wait until it cools down. If I command you to march towards them in winter, you will say that it is too cold and we should wait until it warms up.

All of that in order to avoid heat and cold. If you are trying to avoid heat and cold, then by Allaah you will try harder to flee from the sword, O you men who are not men. Yon have the minds of children and are as irrational as women…

You have spoiled all my plans with your disobedience and reluctance, to the point that Quraysh have begun to say that the son of Abu Taalib is a courageous man, but he has no experience of war. What a strange thing they are saying! Is there anyone among them with more experience of war than me? Or who has attained a higher position in it than me? For I got involved in it when I had not yet reached the age of twenty, and here I am having passed the age of sixty. But if a man is not obeyed, his wisdom is to no avail…”

[Al-Bayaan Wat-Tabyeen, by Al-Jaahidh, Pp. 238-239]

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