Chapter Four: The Fleeing of Some of the Companions of Imam Ali (AS) to Muawiyah

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.

د ـ كِتابُ الإِمامِ عليه السلام إلى سَهلٍ فيمَن لَحِقَ بِمُعاوِيَةَ

The Letter of Imam Ali (AS) to Sahl about Those Who Joined Muawiyah

501. الإمام عليّ عليه السلامـ

501. Imam Ali (AS) said,

مِن كِتابٍ لَهُ إلى سَهلِ بنِ حُنَيفِ الأَنصاري ، وهُوَ عامِلُهُ عَلَى المَدينَةِ ، في مَعنى قَومٍ مِن أهلِها لَحِقوا بِمُعاوِيَةَ ـ:

in a letter written to Sahl ibn Hunayf al-Ansari, his Governor in Medina concerning some Medinites who had joined Muawiyah:

أمّا بَعدُ ؛ فَقَد بَلَغَني أنَّ رِجالاً مِمَّن قَبلَكَ يَتَسَلَّلون إلى مُعاوِيَةَ ؛

“It has reached me that men from your camp are secretly joining Muawiyah.

فَلا تَأسَف عَلى ما يَفوتُكَ مِن عَدَدِهِم ،

Do not regret the decrease in their number

ويَذهَبُ عَنكَ مِن مَدَدِهِم ؛ فَكَفى لَهُم غَيّا ، ولَكَ مِنهُم شافِيا ،

or the departure of their support. [That is ‘Do not feel sorry for fleeing of those who have left you and have thus refused you their help and assistance.]

فِرارُهُم مِنَ الهُدى وَالحَقِّ ،

Their fleeing from guidance and truth

وإيضاعُهُم إلَى العَمى وَالجَهلِ ،

and their movement to blindness and ignorance is a sufficient sin for them and a healing for you from them.  

وإنَّما هُم أهلُ دُنيا مُقبِلونَ عَلَيها ،

Indeed, these are worldly-minded people, drawn towards it

ومُهطِعونَ إلَيها ،

and are running fast after it.

وقَد عَرَفُوا العَدلَ ورَأَوهُ ، وسَمِعوهُ ووَعَوهُ ،

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

وعَلِموا أنَّ النّاسَ عِندَنا فِي الحَقِّ اُسوَةٌ ،

They have known the people with us are exemplars of truth

فَهَرَبوا إلَى الأَثَرَةِ ،

but they have fled for selfishness.

فَبُعدا لَهُم وسُحقا ! !

May they be far and distant!

 إنَّهُم ـ وَاللّهِ ـ لَم يَنفِروا مِن جَورٍ ،

Indeed, - I swear by God - that they did not flee away from injustice,

ولَم يَلحَقوا بِعَدلٍ ،

nor did they join justice.  

وإنّا لَنَطمَعُ في هذَا الأَمرِ أن يُذَلِّلَ اللّهُ لَنا صعَبَهُ ،

Indeed, we desire from this issue that God will alleviate our difficulties

ويُسَهِّلَ لَنا حَزنَهُ ،

and make easy and soften for us the difficult terrain,

إن شاءَ اللّهُ ، وَالسَّلامُ .

if He wills. Peace [be on you].”

نهج البلاغة : الكتاب 70 .

Nahj al-Balagha, Letter 70