Pearl of Wisdom

'The honour of a man lies in his crying over what he has lost from his life, his affection towards his homeland, and his protectiveness of his old brothers.'

Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib [as]
Ibid. v. 74, p. 264, no. 3

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Library » Nahj ul Balagha » Letters » A letter to the Egyptians
A letter to the Egyptians E-mail
Letter 62 A letter to the Egyptians which Imam Ali (a) handed over to Maalik bin Haarith Ashtar to take with him when he was appointed as the Governor of that province.

The Almighty Allah, Glory be to Him, entrusted our Holy Prophet (s) with the mission of warning the people of the evil effects of their vicious actions and of bearing testimony to the truth actually taught and preached by other prophets. When the Holy Prophet (s) passed away, the Muslims started a tug-of-war for the caliphate. I swear by Allah that at that juncture it could not even be imagined that the Arabs would snatch the seat of the caliphate from the family and descendants of the Holy Prophet (s) and that they would be swearing the oath of allegiance for the caliphate to a different person.

At every stage I kept myself aloof from that struggle of supremacy and power-politics till I found the heretics had openly taken to heresy and schism and were trying to undermine and ruin the religion preached by our Holy Prophet (s). I felt afraid that, even after seeing and recognizing the evil, if I did not stand up to help Islam and the Muslims it would be a worse calamity to me than my losing authority and power over you, which was only a transient and short-lived affair. Therefore, when I stood up amidst the sweeping surge of innovations and schism the dark clouds of heresy dispersed, falsehood and schism were crushed and the religion was saved.

I swear by Allah that if I alone come out to face them and if all the world joins them, I shall neither feel nervous nor will I attach any care to their following. By the Grace of Allah, I know fully well what kind of reprobates they are and how they persist in vice and sin.

I am very anxious to reach the Realm of Allah and I earnestly hope and pray for His Blessings and Favours. But it grieves me to see that this nation and country is being ruled by uneducated, unwise and vicious rulers. They grasp the wealth of the country and drive its people into slavery. They hate pious and good people and quarrel or fight with them. They gather heretics and sinners around them and are happy in such company. You have had experience of some of them. One of them was punished for drinking wine. Among this crowd there is a man who did not embrace Islam until he found Islam to be not a faith or religion but a powerful State offering enormous possibility of gaining power and wealth.

If I had no desire of saving Islam and Islamic society from the influence and sway of such people, I would not have called you for Jihad, I would not have tried to make you see the reality of the situation, I would not have exerted myself to assemble you and I would not have persuaded you to defend the cause of Allah and finding you so indifferent towards the good of Islam and observing your reluctance to help its cause, I would have left you to your condition. Do you not see and realize that the boundaries of your State are getting shorter and shorter daily and parts of your kingdom are being snatched and usurped, your properties are being confiscated and your cities are being invaded. May Allah have Mercy upon you. Come out to defend your country, your property and your religion from the in-roads of your enemies. Do not be lazy, careless and cowardly, otherwise your lot will be only disgrace.

Remember, a warrior is always wary and vigilant and never careless and negligent. Whoever is careless about his cause, his enemy will not sleep over this advantage.

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