الرسالة ۳۶

و من كتاب له عليه السلام إلى أخيه عقيل بن أبيطالب في ذكر جيش أنفذه إلى بعض الأعداء و هو جواب كتاب كتبه إليه عقيل

فسرحت الیه جیشا کثیفا من المسلمین فلما بلغه ذلک شمر هاربا و نکص نادما فلحقوه ببعض الطریق و قد طفلت الشمس للایاب فاقتتلوا شیئا کلا و لا فما کان الا کموقف ساعه حتى نجا جریضا بعد ما اخذ منه بالمخنق و لم یبق منه غیر الرمق فلایا بلای ما نجا فدع عنک قریشا و ترکاضهم فی الضلال و تجوالهم فی الشقاق و جماحهم فی التیه فانهم قد اجمعوا على حربی کاجماعهم على حرب رسول الله صلى الله علیه واله قبلی فجزت قریشا عنی الجوازی فقد قطعوا رحمی و سلبونی سلطان ابن امی و اما ما سالت عنه من رایی فی القتال فان رایی قتال المحلین حتى القى الله لا یزیدنی کثره الناس حولی عزه و لا تفرقهم عنی وحشه و لا تحسبن ابن ابیک و لو اسلمه الناس متضرعا متخشعا و لا مقرا للضیم واهنا و لا سلس الزمام للقائد و لا وطی‏ الظهر للراکب المقتعد و لکنه کما قال اخو بنی سلیم فان تسالینی کیف انت فاننی صبور على ریب الزمان صلیب‏ یعز علی ان ترى بی کابه فیشمت عاد او یسا حبیب‏

Letter 36

A Letter from Imam Ali (a.s)

[The following is a letter written by Imam Ali (a) to his brother Aqil. It so happened that Zahaak bin Qays Fahri was sent to Makkah by Mu'awiya with a force of guerrillas to ravage the city. Imam Ali (a) had sent Hujr bin Adi Kindi to defend the city of Makkah. Hujr defeated Zahaak. Aqil at that time was in Makkah. He wrote to Imam Ali (a) offering his voluntary services saying that the Quraysh were not sincerely serving the cause of Islam and were bent upon the enmity of Imam Ali (a). In reply Imam Ali (a) wrote:] I had sent against him (Zahaak) a strong force of Muslim fighters. When he realised this, he wanted to run away, giving up loot and plunder. Before sunset our expeditionary force overtook him and his guerrillas, a skirmish did take place, not worth being mentioned as a battle, and he fled. When he was caught by the throat he thought a cowardly retreat to be the best solution. Do not take to heart the behaviour of Quraysh. To talk about their scepticism, their enmity of Islam, their revolt against the cause of Allah and their desire to bring harm to me are a waste of time. They now are as much bent upon doing me injustice and fighting against me, as they were unanimously against the Holy Prophet (s). May Allah punish them for their sins. They have not even paid any consideration to the relationship that existed between them and I. They have deprived me of the estate of my mother's son. As far as your enquiry about my intention against the enemies of Islam is concerned, my opinion is to combat those who have made up their minds to harm the cause of Islam. I shall keep on combating them to the end of my life. I am neither emboldened by abundance of followers nor am I disheartened by their scarcity. Do not think that your brother will lose heart if people forsake him and give up their help or he will humiliate himself, bow down against heavy odds, submit to unreasonable demands of others or accept their commands or orders like a beast of burden. So far as I am concerned I am like a person about whom a poet of Bani Salim says:- "If you enquire about me, my beloved, Then hear me: I am very strong to face calamities and reverses; I cannot tolerate That signs of sorrows and griefs on my face Make my enemies happy, And increase sorrows of my friends".