Delivered on return from Siffin
Arabia before proclamation of Prophethood
praise Allah seeking completion of His Blessing, submitting to His Glory
and expecting safety from committing His sins. I invoke His help being in
need of His Sufficiency (of protection).
whom He guides does not get astray, He with whom He is hostile gets no
protection. He whom He supports does not remain needy. Praise is most
weighty of all that is weighed and the most valuable of all that is
stand witness that there is no god but Allah the One. He has no like. My
testimony has been tested in its frankness, and its essence is our belief.
We shall cling to it for ever till we live and shall store it facing the
tribulations that overtake us because it is the foundation stone of Belief
(iman) and the first step towards good actions and Divine pleasure. It is
the means to keep Satan away.
also stand witness that Muhammad (p.b.u.h.a.h.p.) is His slave and His
Prophet. Allah sent him with the illustrious religion, effective emblem,
effulgent light, sparkling gleam and decisive injunction in order to
dispel doubts, present clear proofs, administer warning through signs and
to warn of punishments. At that time people had fallen in vices whereby
the rope of religion had been broken, the pillars of belief had been
shaken, principles had been sacrileged, system had become topsy turvy,
openings were narrow, passage was dark, guidance was unknown and darkness
was being disobeyed, Satan was given support and Belief had been forsaken.
As a result the pillars of religion fell down, its traces could not be
discerned, its passages had been destroyed and its streets had fallen into
decay. People obeyed Satan and treaded his paths. They sought water from
his watering places. Through them Satan's emblems got flying and his
standard was raised in vices which trampled the people under their hoofs,
and treaded upon them with their feet. The vices stood on their toes (in
full stature) and the people immersed in them were strayed, perplexed,
ignorant and seduced as though in a good house(2)
with bad neighbours. Instead of sleep they had wakefulness and for
antimony they had tears in the eyes. They were in a land where the learned
were in bridle (keeping their mouths shut) while the ignorant were
In the same sermon Amir al-mu'minin referred to Al an-Nabi (the Household
of the Holy Prophet) as under:
are the trustees of His secrets, shelter for His affairs, source of
knowledge about Him, centre of His wisdom, valleys for His books and
mountains of His religion. With them Allah straightened the bend of
religion's back and removed the trembling of its limbs.
In the same Sermon he spoke about the hypocrites
sowed vices, watered them with deception and harvested destruction.
(Alu Muhammad = Ahl al-bayt = Chosen people of his house)
in the Islamic community can be taken at par with the Progeny(3)
of the Prophet (Alu Muhammad). One who was under their obligation cannot
be matched with them. They are the foundation of religion and pillar of
forward runner has to turn back to them while the follower has to overtake
them. They possess the chief characteristics for vicegerency. In their
favour exists the will and succession (of the Prophet). This is the time
when right has returned to its owner and diverted to its centre of return.
(1). The Preserved Record.
(2). Good House means 'Mecca' while the bad
neighbours mean the 'Unbelievers of Quraysh.'
(3). About the Progeny of the Prophet Amir
al-mu'minin has said that no person in the world can be brought at par
with them, nor can any one be deemed their equal in sublimity, because the
world is overladen with their obligations and has been able to secure
eternal blessings only through their guidance. They are the corner stone
and foundation of religion and the sustenance for its life and survival.
are such strong pillars of knowledge and belief that they can turn away
the stormy flow of doubt and suspicion. They are such middle course among
the paths of excess and backwardness that if some one goes far towards
excess and exaggeration or falls behind then unless he comes back or steps
forward to that middle course he cannot be on the path of Islam.
possess all the characteristics which give the superiority in the right
for vicegerency and leadership. Consequently, no one else in the ummah
enjoys the right of patronage and guardianship. That is why the Prophet
declared them his vicegerents and successors. About will and succession
the commentator Ibn Abi'l-Hadid Mu`tazili writes that there can be no
doubt about the vicegerency of Amir al-mu'minin but succession cannot
imply succession in position although the Shi`ite sect has so interpreted
rather implies succession of learning. Now, if according to him succession
is taken to imply succession in learning even he does not seem to succeed
in achieving his object, because even by this interpretation the right of
succeeding the Prophet does not devolve on any other person. When it is
agreed that learning is the most essential requirement of khilafah
(caliphate) because the most important functions of the Prophet's Caliph
consist of dispensation of justice, solving problems of religious laws,
clarifying intricacies and administration of religious penalties. If these
functions are taken away from the Prophet's deputy his position will come
down to that of a worldly ruler.
cannot be regarded as the pivot of religious authority. Therefore either
we should keep governmental authority separate from Prophet's vicegerency
or accept the successor of Prophet's knowledge to suit that position. The
interpretation of Ibn Abi'l-Hadid could be acceptable if Amir al-mu'minin
had uttered this sentence alone, but observing that it was uttered soon
after `Ali's (p.b.u.h.) recognition as Caliph and just after it the
sentence "Right has returned to its owner" exists, this interpretation of
his seems baseless. Rather, the Prophet's will cannot imply any other will
except that for vicegerency and caliphate, and succession would imply not
succession in property nor in knowledge because this was not an occasion
to mention it here but it must mean the succession in the right leadership
which stood proved as from Allah not only on the ground of kinship but on
the ground of qualities of perfection.