One of Amir al-mu'minin's companions (from Banu Asad) asked him: "How was
it that your tribe (Quraysh) deprived you of this position (Caliphate)
although you deserved it most." Then in reply he said:
O' brother of Banu Asad! Your girth
is loose and you have put it on the wrong way. Nevertheless you enjoy
in-law kinship and also the right to ask, and since you have asked,
regards the oppression against us in this matter although we were the
highest as regards descent and the strongest in relationship with the
Messenger of Allah.
was a selfish act over which the hearts of people became greedy, although
some people did not care for it. The Arbiter is Allah and to Him is the
return on the Day of Judgement.
"Now leave this story of devastation
about which there is hue and cry all round."
Come and look at the son of Abu
Sufyan (Mu`awiyah). Time has made me laugh after weeping. No wonder, by
Allah; what is this affair which surpasses all wonder and which has
increased wrongfulness. These people have tried to put out the flame of
Allah's light from His lamp and to close His fountain from its source.
They mixed epidemic-producing water between me and themselves.
the trying hardships were removed from among us, I would take them on the
course of truthfulness otherwise:
"... So let not thy self go (in
vain) in grief for them; verily Allah knoweth all that they do." (Qur'an,
(1). This is a hemistich from the couplet of
the famous Arab poet Imriu'l-Qays al-Kindi. The second hemistich is: "And
let me know the story of what happened to the riding camels." The incident
behind this couplet is that when the father of Imriu'l-Qays namely Hujr
ibn al-Harith was killed, he roamed about the various Arab tribes to
avenge his father's life with their help. In this connection he stayed
with a man of Jadilah (tribe) but finding himself unsafe left that place,
and stayed with Khalid ibn Sadus an-Nabhani.
the meantime a man of Jadilah named Ba`ith ibn Huways drove away some of
his camels. Imriu'l-Qays complained of this matter to his host and he
asked him to send with him his she-camels then he would get back his
Consequently, Khalid went to those people and asked them to return the
camels of his guest which they had robbed. They said that he was neither a
guest nor under his protection. Thereupon Khalid swore that he was really
his guest and showed them his she-camels that he had with him.
then agreed to return the camels. But actually instead of returning the
camels they drove away the she-camels as well.
version is that they did return the camels to Khalid but instead of
handing them over to Imriu'l-Qays he kept them for himself. When
Imriu'l-Qays came to know this he composed a few couplets out of which
this is one. It means 'now you leave the story of these camels which were
robbed but now let me know about the she-camels snatched from my hands.'
al-mu'minin's intention in quoting this verse as an illustration is that
"Now that Mu`awiyah is at war, we should talk about and should leave the
discussion about the devastation engendered by those who had usurped my
time has gone away. Now is the time for grappling with the mischiefs of
discuss the event of the moment and do not start untimely strain." Amir
al-mu'minin said this because the man had put the question to him at the
time of the battle of Siffin, when the battle was raging and bloodshed was
in full swing.