Chapter One: The Allegiance of Light

Encyclopedia of Imam Ali (AS), written by Muhammad Muhammadi Rayshahri, abridged by Mahdi Gholamali, translated by Zaid Alsalami and Safyullah Khan, edited by Hamid Reza Salarkia and published by NORPUB.

186. الإمام عليّ عليه السلامـ في كِتابِهِ إلى أهلِ الكوفَةِ عِندَ مَسيرِهِ مِنَ المَدينَةِ إلَى البَصرَةِ ـ:

186. Imam Ali (AS) said, in his letter to the people of Kufah when he was proceeding from Medina to Basra [for the Battle of Camel]:

بايَعَنِي النّاسُ

“The people pledged allegiance to me

غَيرَ مُستَكرَهينَ ،

without any force

ولا مُجبَرينَ ،

or compulsion,

بَل طائِعينَ

or rather, out of free choice

مُخَيَّرينَ .

and of their own accord.”

نهج البلاغة : الكتاب 1 .

Nahj al-Balagha, Letter 1.

187. الإمام عليّ عليه السلامـ في خُطبَتِهِ بَعدَ البَيعَةِ ـ:

187. Imam Ali (AS) said, in a sermon he delivered after the pledge of allegiance:

أمّا بَعدُ ، فَإِنّي قَد كُنتُ كارِها لِهذهِ الوِلايَةِ ـ

“Lo! I was reluctant to assume rulership over the ummah of Muhammad (SA) –

يَعلَمُ اللّهُ في سَماواتِهِ وفَوقَ عَرشِهِ ـ

and Allah in His Heavens and above His Throne knows this–,

عَلى اُمَّةِ مُحَمَّدٍ صلى الله عليه و آله ، حَتَّى اجتَمَعتُم عَلى ذلِكَ ، فَدَخَلتُ فيهِ .

until you all agreed upon it, and so I accepted.”

الأمالي للطوسي : ص728 ح1530 .

Al-Amali, by al-Tusi, p. 728, h. 1530.

188. الإمام عليّ عليه السلام :

188. Imam Ali (AS) said:

أما وَالَّذي فَلَقَ الحَبَّةَ ،

 “Behold, by Him who split the grain [to grow]

وبَرَأَ النَّسَمَةَ ،

and created living beings,

لَولا حُضورُ الحاضِرِ ،

if people had not come to me

وقِيامُ الحُجَّةِ بِوُجودِ النّاصِرِ ،

and the proof had not been furnished,

وما أخَذَ اللّهُ عَلَى العُلَماءِ

and if there had been no covenant of Allah with the learned to the effect that

ألّا يُقارّوا عَلى كِظَّةِ ظالِمٍ ،

they should not acquiesce in the gluttony of the oppressor

ولا سَغَبِ مَظلومٍ ،

and the hunger of the oppressed,

لَأَلقَيتُ حَبلَها عَلى غارِبِها ،

I would have cast the rope of Caliphate on its own shoulders,

وَلَسَقَيتُ آخِرَها بِكَأسِ أوَّلِها ،

and would have given the last one what had been given as to the first one.

ولَأَلفَيتُم دُنياكُم هذِهِ أزهَدَ عِندي مِن عَفطَةِ عَنزٍ .

Then you would see that this world of yours is no better than the sneezing of a goat.”

نهج البلاغة : الخطبة 3 .

Nahj al-Balagha, Sermon 3.

189. الكامل في التاريخ :

189. Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh:

لَمّا قُتِلَ عُثمانُ ،

“When `Uthman was killed,

اجتَمَعَ أصحابُ رَسولِ اللّهِ صلى الله عليه و آله مِنَ المُهاجِرينَ وَالأَنصارِ

the companions of the Messenger of Allah (SA) from the Muhajirin and the Ansar gathered,

وفيهِم طَلحَةُ وَالزُّبَيرُ ،

including Talha and al-Zubayr.

فَأَتَوا عَلِيّا ، فَقالوا لَهُ : إنَّهُ لابُدَّ لِلنّاسِ مِن إِمامٍ !

They went to Ali and said to him: “The people must have a leader!”

قالَ : لا حاجَةَ لي ]في[أمرِكُم ؛

He said: “I have no need for this affair of yours,

فَمَنِ اخترَتُم رَضيتُ بِهِ .

and so I will be well pleased with whoever you choose.”

فَقالوا : ما نَختارُ غَيرَكَ .

They said: “We will choose nobody save you.”

 وتَرَدَّدوا إلَيهِ مِرارا ،

They paid him a visit many times and,

وقالوا لَهُ في آخِرِ ذلِكَ :

at the end, said to him:

إنّا لا نَعلَمُ أحَدا أحَقَّ بِهِ مِنكَ ؛

“We do not know any one worthier of it than you are,

لا أقدَمَ سابِقَةً ، ولا أقرَبَ قَرابَةً مِن رَسولِ اللّهِ صلى الله عليه و آله .

in respect of your precedence [in Islam] and kinship to the Messenger of Allah (SA).”

فَقالَ : لا تَفعَلوا ،

He said: “Do not do that.

فَإِنّي أكونُ وَزيرا خَيرا مِن أن أكونَ أميرا .

I am better for you as an agent than as a ruler”

فَقالوا : وَاللّهِ ما نَحنُ بِفاعِلينَ حَتّى نُبايِعَكَ .

They said: “By Allah, we will do nothing until we pledge allegiance to you.”

قالَ : فَفِي المَسجِدِ ؛

He said: “Then let it be done at the mosque,

فَإِنَّ بَيعَتي لا تَكونُ خَفِيَّةً ، ولا تَكونُ إلّا فِي المَسجِدِ ـ

for my allegiance will not be pledged secretly.”

وكانَ في بَيتِهِ ، وقيلَ : في حائِطٍ لِبَني عَمرِو بنِ مَبذولٍ ـ .

He was in his house at that time or in the garden of Bani `Amr ibn Mabdhul tribe.

 فَخَرَجَ إلَى المَسجِدِ وعَلَيه إزارٌ وطاقٌ وعِمامَةُ خَزٍّ ،

So he left for the mosque, wearing a loincloth, a cloak and a turban made from wool (khaz),

ونَعلاهُ في يَدِهِ ،

with his sandals in his hands,

مُتَوَكِّئا عَلى قَوسٍ ،

leaning on a bow.

فَبَايَعَهُ النّاسُ .

The people pledged allegiance to him;

وكانَ أوَّلُ مَن بايَعَهُ مِنَ النّاسِ طَلحَةَ بنَ عُبَيدِ اللّهِ .

the first to pledge was Talha ibn `Ubaidullah.

فَنَظَرَ إلَيهِ حَبيبُ بنُ ذُؤَيبٍ فَقالَ :

Habib ibn Dha’ub looked at him and said:

إنّا لِلّهِ !

“We indeed return to Allah!

أوَّلُ مَن بَدَأَ بِالبَيعَةِ يَدٌ شَلّاءُ ،

The first to pledge allegiance is a feeble hand.

لا يَتِمُّ هذَا الأَمرُ !

This affair will not settle.”

وبايَعَهُ الزُّبَيرُ .

Then al-Zubayr pledged allegiance to him.

وقالَ لَهُما عَلِيٌّ : إن أحببَتُما أن تُبايِعاني ،

Ali said to the both of them: “If you wish, you can pledge allegiance to me,

وإن أحبَبتُما بايَعتُكُما !

and if you wish I can pledge allegiance to you!”

فَقالا : بَل نُبايِعُكَ .

They said: “We will pledge allegiance to you.”

الكامل في التاريخ : ج2 ص302 .

Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 302.

190. الإمام عليّ عليه السلامـ في وَصفِ بَيعَتِهِ ـ:

190. Imam Ali (AS) said, describing the pledge of allegiance to him:

بَسَطتُم يَدي فَكَفَفتُها ،

“You drew out my hand towards you for allegiance, but I held it back,

ومَدَدتُموها فَقَبَضتُها ،

and you stretched it, but I contracted it.

ثُمَّ تَداكَكتُم عَلَيَّ تَداكَّ الإِبِلِ الهيمِ عَلى حِياضِها يَومَ وِردِها ،

Then you crowded over me as thirsty camels crowd over watering cisterns when taken there,

حَتَّى انقَطَعَتِ النَّعلُ ،

so much that shoes were torn,

وسَقَطَ الرِّداءُ ،

cloaks fell off

ووُطِئَ الضَّعيفُ ،

and the weak were trampled.

وبَلَغَ مِن سُرورِ النّاسِ بِبَيعَتِهِم إيّايَ أنِ ابتَهَجَ بِهَا الصَّغيرُ ،

The happiness of people for their allegiance to me was so apparent that small children felt joyful,

وهَدَجَ إلَيهَا الكَبيرُ ،

the old staggered towards it [pledging allegiance],

وتَحامَلَ نَحوَها العَليلُ ،

the sick hurried for it

وحَسَرَت إلَيهَا الكِعابُ .

and even young girls revealed their faces [to witness the scene].”

نهج البلاغة : الخطبة 229 .

Nahj al-Balagha, Sermon 229.

191. الطبقات الكبرى :

191. Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra:

لَمّا قُتِلَ عُثمانُ يَومَ الجُمُعَةِ لِثمانِيَ عَشَرَةَ لَيلَةً مَضَت مِن ذِي الحِجَّةِ سَنَةَ خَمسٍ وثَلاثينَ ،

“When `Uthman was killed on Friday, the eighteenth of Dhu ’l-Hijjah, 35 [AH],

وبويِعَ لِعَلِيِّ بنِ أبي طالِبٍ ؛ بِالمَدينَةِ الغَدَ مِن يَومَ قُتِلَ عُثمانُ ، بِالخِلافَةِ ،

allegiance was pledged to Ali ibn Abi Talib in Medina to assume the Caliphate one day after the assassintion of `Uthman.

بايَعَهُ طَلحَةُ ، وَالزُّبَيرُ ، وسَعدُ بنُ أبي وَقّاصٍ ، وسَعيدُ بنُ زَيدِ بنِ عَمرِو بنِ نُفَيلٍ ، وعَمّارُ بنُ ياسِرٍ ، واُسامَةُ بنُ زَيدٍ ، وسَهلُ بنُ حُنَيفٍ ، وأبو أيّوبَ الأَنصاريُّ ، ومُحَمَّدُ بنُ مَسلَمَةَ ، وزَيدُ بنُ ثابِتٍ ، وخُزَيمَةُ بنُ ثابِتٍ ، وجَميعُ مَن كانَ بِالمَدينَةِ مِن أصحابِ رَسولِ اللّهِ صلى الله عليه و آله ، وغَيرُهُم .

Talha, al-Zubayr, Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas, Sa`id ibn Zaid ibn `Amr ibn Nufail, `Ammar ibn Yasir, Usamah ibn Zaid, Sahl ibn Hunayf, Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, Muhammad ibn Maslamah, Zaid ibn Thabit, Khuzaimah ibn Thabit, as all the companions of the Messenger of Allah (SA) who were in Medina, all pledged allegiance to him.”

الطبقات الكبرى : ج3 ص31 .

Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, vol. 3, p. 31.