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 Muawiyah

أَمَّا بَعْدُ،


فَقَدْ بَلَغَنِي أَنَّ رِجَالاً مِمَّنْ قِبَلَكَ يَتَسَلَّلُونَ إِلَى مُعَاوِيَةَ،

I have come to know that certain persons from your side are stealthily going over to Mu`awiyah.

فَلاَ تَأْسَفْ عَلَى مَا يَفُوتُكَ مِنْ عَدَدِهِمْ،

Do not feel sorry for their numbers so lost to you

وَيَذْهَبُ عَنْكَ مِنْ مَدَدِهِمْ،

or for their help of which you are deprived.

فَكَفى لَهُمْ غَيّاً،

It is enough that they have gone into misguidance

وَلَكَ مِنْهُمْ شَافِياً،

and you have been relieved of them.

فِرَارُهُمْ مِنَ الْهُدَى والْحَقِّ،

They are running away from guidance and truth

وَإِيضَاعُهُمْ إِلَى الْعَمَى وَالْجَهْلِ،

and advancing towards blindness and ignorance.

وَإِنَّمَا هُمْ أَهْلُ دُنْيَا مُقْبِلُونَ عَلَيْهَا،

They are seekers of this world and are proceeding to it

وَمُهْطِعُونَ إِلَيْهَا،

and are leaping towards it.

قَدْ عَرَفُوا الْعَدْلَ وَرَأَوْهُ، وَسَمِعُوهُ وَ وَعَوْهُ،

They have known justice, seen it, heard it and appreciated it.

وَعَلِمُوا أَنَّ النَّاسَ عِنْدَنَا فِي الْحَقِّ أُسْوَةٌ،

They have realized that here, to us, all men are equal in the matter of right.

فَهَرَبُوا إِلَى الاْثَرَةِ،

Therefore, they ran away to selfishness and partiality.

فَبُعْداً لَهُمْ وَسُحْقاً!

Let them remain remote and far away.

إِنَّهُمْ ـ وَاللهِ ـ لَمْ يَنْفِرُوا مِنْ جَوْر،

By Allah, surely they have not gone away from oppression

وَلَمْ يَلْحَقُوا بِعَدْل،

and joined justice.

وَإِنَّا لَنَطْمَعُ فِي هذَا الاْمْرِ أَنْ يُذَلِّلَ اللهُ لَنَا صَعْبَهُ،

In this matter, we only desire Allah to resolve for us its hardships

يُسَهِّلَ لَنَا حَزْنَهُ،

and to level for us its uneveness,

إِنْ شَاءَ اللهُ،

if Allah wills;

وَالسَّلاَمُ علَيْكَ.

and that is an end to the matter.