Letter 60: To the officers through whose jurisdiction the army passed

From the servant of Allah Ali, Amir al-muminin, to all the collectors of revenue and officers of the realm through whose area the army passes.

أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَإِنِّي قَدْ سَيَّرْتُ جُنُوداً هِيَ مَارَّةٌ بِكُمْ إِنْ شَاءَ اللهُ،

Now, I have sent an army that will pass by you, if Allah wills.

وَقَدْ أَوْصَيْتُهُمْ بِمَا يَجِبُ لله عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْ كَفِّ الاْذَى،

I have instructed them about what Allah has made obligatory on them, namely that they should avoid molestation

وَصَرْفِ الشَّذَى،

and avert harm.

وَأَنَا أَبْرَأُ إِلَيْكُمْ وَإِلَى ذِمَّتِكُمْ مِنْ مَعَرَّةِ الْجَيْشِ،

I hold myself clear before you and those (unbelievers) who are under your protection from any annoyance committed by the army

إِلاَّ مِنْ جَوْعَةِ الْمُضْطَرِّ،

except when one is compelled by hunger

لاَ يَجِدُ عَنْهَا مَذْهَباً إلَى شِبَعِهِ.

and there is no other way of satisfying it.

فَنَكِّلُوا مَنْ تَنَاوَلَ مِنْهُمْ [شَيْئاً] ظُلْماً عَنْ ظُلْمِهِمْ،

If anyone of them takes anything through force you should punish him.

وَكُفُّوا أَيْدِيَ سُفَهَائِكُمْ عَنْ مُضَادَّتِهِمْ،

None of you should be foolish enough to obstruct them

وَالتَّعَرُّضِ لَهُمْ فِيما اسْتَثْنَيْنَاهُ مِنْهُمْ،

or intervene in matters which we have allowed them by way of exception.

وَأَنَا بَيْنَ أَظْهُرِ الْجَيْشِ،

I am myself within the army.

فَارْفَعُوا إِلَيَّ مَظَالِمَكُمْ،

So, refer to me their high-handedness

وَمَا عَرَاكُمْ مِمَّا يَغْلِبُكُمْ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ،

and any hardship which is caused by them

وَلاَ تُطِيقُونَ دَفْعَهُ إِلاَّ بِاللهِ وَبِي،

and which you cannot avert except through Allah and through me.

أُغَيِّرْهُ بِمَعُونَةِ اللهِ،

I shall then avert it with the help of Allah,

إِنْ شَاءَ اللهُ.

if He so wills.