Sunday, February 8, 2009

Imam Ali - Man of Compassion and Jihad.

I was just reading an English translation of the Nahjol Balagha of Imam Ali (pbuh) that was given me to a few days ago. In the preface to the book is a collection of accounts of various happenings in his life. I thought some of them showed the true spirit of Jihad and wanted to share them.


In the battle of Siffeen Moaawiya reached the river Euphrates before the army of Hazrat, and took position of the river. When Hazrat's army reached there he was informed that they would not be allowed a drop of water from the river. Hazrat sent a messenger to Moaawiya saying that this action was against the canons of humanity and the orders of Islam. Moaawiya's reply was:

"A war is a war therein one cannot accept principles of humanity and doctrines of Islam. My sole aim is to kill Ali and to demoralize his army and this stoppage of water will bring about these results easily and quickly."

Hazrat ordered Imam Hosayn to attack and get back the river. The attack took place and the riverside position was captured.It was then Moaawiya's turn to beseech permission to get water from the river. His messengers arrived and Ali told them to take as much water as they like and as often as they require. When his officer told him that those were the very people who had refused water to them, should they be allowed a free run on the river? He replied:

"They are human beings and though they have acted inhumanely yet I cannot follow their example and cannot refuse a man food and drink because he happens to be my worst enemy."


It was the battle of Nahrawan and he himself was fighting like any ordinary solider. During this battle a man came to face him and in the encounter lost his sword. He realized his plight standing before Ali without any weapon in hand. Ali's hand was raised for a blow when he saw the antagonist trembling with fear he lowered his hand slowly and said:

"Run away friend you are in no position to defend yourself"

This attitude made the man bold and he said:

"Ali! Why don't you kill me? I would have made one enemy less for you."

Imam Ali said: "I cannot strike a man , who cannot defend himself. You were begging for your life and it was spared."

The opponent got bolder and said:

"I am told that you have never refused a beggar. Now I beg you of your sword, will you grant it to me ?

Ali handed him over the sword. Taking possession of the sword he said:

"Now Ali, who is going to defend you against me and save you from my killing blow?"

Ali Said:

"Of course God, He will defend me if He so wills. He has appointed my death to be my guardian angel none can harm before it is due and none can save me when it arrives."

The Nobility of thought and action effected the foe and he kissed the bridle of Ali's horse and said:

" O lord, you are a great man indeed. You cannot only forsake the life of your enemy in a battle field but also can grant him your sword. May I have the honor to act as your body guard and to fight for you ?

Ali replied: "Friend, fight for truth and justice and do not fight for persons"


In the battle of Jamal in the thick of the encounter one of his servants brought him some sweet syrup saying:

" My lord the sun is very hot an you have been constantly fighting, have a glass of this cold drink to refresh yourself."

Ali looked around and replied:

"Shall I refresh myself when hundreds of people around me are lying wounded and dying of thirst and wounds? Instead of bringing sweet syrup for me take a few men with you and give each of these wounded persons a cool drink."
She replied: "My lord, they are all your enemies"

Imam Ali said: "They may be but they are human beings so attend to them".

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