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 Imam Ali stories4

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A>Zai
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PostSubject: Imam Ali stories4   Mon Oct 23, 2006 8:26 pm

THE PROHIBITION OF WATER

Moawiya was ruling over Syria as its governor for nearly sixteen years; and was secretly planning to grab the Caliphate taking advantage of every possible opportunity. The best excuse for him to revolt against the Central authority and declare his own caliphate was the Othman's murder. He had not done any thing concerning the appeals of Othman for help, during his lifetime. In fact, he was waiting far him to be murdered, so that he could make it an excuse for his scheme. Othman got murdered and Moawiya immediately sought to exploit the situation for his own purpose.

On the other hand, people after the murder of Othman rallied behind Ali (who because of various reasons, was reluctant to take the responsibility of Caliphate) and declared their allegiance to him. Observing that the responsibility was now formally turned to him, he accepted it and his Caliphate was proclaimed in Medina, the capital and centre of Muslim world in those days. All provinces of Islamic government submitted to his obedience - with the exception of Syria, which was under Moawiya. He refused allegiance to Ali, accusing him of sheltering the murders of Othman. He recruited a large number of Syrian soldiers and made preparation for the declaration of independence of his provinces.

After settling the issue of the battle of Camel (JAMAL), Ali turned his attention to Moawiya. He wrote several letters to him, but in vain. Both sides moved their armies towards each another. Abul Aawar Salmi was leading Moawiya's advanced battalion and Malik Ashtar was in command of the advanced battalion of Ali. They met at the bank of the Euphrates. Ali's directive to Malik was not to be the first to attack. But Abul Aawar made a severe attack to intimidate the soldiers of Ali. Mailk then pushed the Syrians far behind. Salmi now thought of another tactics. He reached the Ghat, i.e. the slope on bank of the Euphrates, which was the only spot convenient to fetch water. He deployed his spearmen and archers to guard the spot and prevent Malik and his company from coming near it. Soon after, Moawiya himself arrived with a large army. Happy at the strategy of his commander he further increased the number of the soldiers guarding the approach to river. Soldiers of Ali were put in distress owing to the shortage of water. Moawiya with pleasure said: "This is our first Victory." Only one man, Amr bin Al-Aas, the shrewd minister of Moawiya did not think it a good policy. On the other side, Ali himself had arrived and was informed of the situation. He sent a letter with Saasa'a to Moawiya notifying:

"We have come here, but as far as possible we do not like to wage a war of fratricide between the Muslims. We earnestly hope to settle our differences through negotiations and discussions. But we observe that you and your followers have started using weapons of destruction before trying anything else. Besides, you have denied water on my companions. Instruct them to desist from this act, so that we can start negotiations. Of course, if you do not like anything but war, we are not afraid of it."

Moawiya consulted his advisor. The general opinion was to take advantage of the golden opportunity and ignore the letter. Only Amr bin Al-Aas against this view. He said, "You are mistaken." The fact is that Ali and his men do not want to start the war themselves, and it is because of this that they are silent at present and have tried to dissuade you from your scheme through this letter. Do not think they will retreat if you ignore their letter and continue denying them the water. Because then they will take out arms and will not stop till they have driven you away from Euphrates with disgrace." But the majority of advisors were of the opinion that the denial of water would weaken the enemy compelling them to retreat. Moawiya personally was in favor of this idea. Discussion came to end; Saasa'a asked for the reply; Moawiya, using the delaying tactics, said that he would send the reply afterwards. Meanwhile, he ordered his soldiers guarding water to be extra alert and to prevent coming and going of the soldiers of Ali.

Ali was distressed at this development, because it brought to an end every hope of any amicable settlement through talks and negotiations, and showed that the opposite side was devoid of every goodwill. Now, the only way out was to use force. He stood before his soldiers and delivered a short but forceful address, the contents of which were as follows:

"These people have started oppression, and opened the door of conflict and welcomed you with hostility. They are hungry for war and are demanding war and bloodshed from you. They have denied you water. Now you have to choose between the two paths. There is no third course. Either accept the humiliation and oppression or remain thirsty as you are, or satisfy your thirsty swords with their dirty bloods so that you may quench your thirst with the sweet water. Death is to live a defeated and disgraceful life; and Life is to be victorious even at the cost of death. Verily, Moawiya has gathered around him some ignorant and misguided mob; and is taking advantage of their ignorance, so that they are making their necks targets of the arrows of death."

This address moved the soldiers of Ali and stirred their blood. They made a severe attack and pushed the enemy far back and took the possession of (Shariah) Ghat.

Amir bin Al-Aas (whose forecast was now a fact) said to Moawiya: "Now, if Ali and his army pay you with your own coin what will you do? Can you take possession of the "Shariah" (Ghat) from them for the second time?" Moawiya said, "In your opinion, how will Ali deal with us now?"

"I believe, Ali will not behave as you had done. He will not deny us water. He has not come here for such deeds."

The soldiers of Ali after removing the soldiers of Moawiya from Ghat, asked his permission to prevent the enemy from taking water. Ali said, "Don't deny them water. These are the methods of ignorant. I do not set my hands to such acts. I am going to start negotiation with them on the basis of the Holy Book of God. If they accept my proposals, well and good; and if they refuse, I shall fight with them, but gentlemanly not by denying them water. I will never do such thing and will not oppress them by shortage of water."

Not long afterwards soldiers of Moawiya used to come to the Ghat side by side with the soldiers of Ali, and nobody prevented them.


WHAT DID HAPPEN TO THY SONS?

After the martyrdom of Ali and absolute domination of Moawiya over the Caliphate, willy-nilly contacts were taking place between him and the sincere followers of Ali. He tried hard to make them confess that they did not gain anything by their friendship with Ali. Obviously they had lost everything on the altar of that friendship. He longed to hear from their mouth at least some expression of regret and remorse, but this wish never materialized. The followers of Ali, after his martyrdom, had become more and more aware of his virtues and greatness. Whatever their sacrifices during his lifetime, now they were doing more for his love, for his principles and for keeping his mission alive. They were having all kinds of hardship very courageously. And, as a result, the endeavors of Moawiya sometimes produced opposite results.

Adi son of Hatim, the paramount chief of the Tai Tribe, was one of the devoted, sincere and knowledgeable followers of Ali. He had many sons. He, his sons and his tribe were always ready to sacrifice there all for Ali. His three sans named Tarfa, Turaif and Tarif were martyred in the war of Seffin under the banner of Ali. The time went on; Ali was martyred; Moawiya usurped the Caliphate; and once Adi came face to face with Moawiya.

To revive his sad memories and to make him confess how much harm had come to him in the friendship of Ali, Moawiya said:

"What happened to your three sons, Tarfa, Turaif and Tarif?"

"They were martyred in the battle of Seffin under the banner of Ali."

"Ali did not do justice to you."

"Why?"

"Because he threw your sons in the mouth of death and preserved his own sons in safety."

"I did not do justice to Ali."

"Why?"

"Because he was killed and I am still alive. I ought to have sacrificed myself for him in his lifetime."

Moawiya saw that he was not getting what he had aimed at. On the other side, he also wanted to hear about the character and life of Ali from those who had been nearer to Ali and had lived with him day in and day out. Therefore, he asked Adi to narrate to him the character of Ali as he had seen it. Adi asked to be excused; but Moawiya insisted and then Adi said.

"By God, Ali was the most far-sighted and strong man. He talked with righteousness and decided the cases with clarity. He was an ocean of knowledge and wisdom. He hated the worldly pomp and show, and liked the solitude of night. He wept more (in love of Allah) and thought more (about Allah). In solitude, he scrutinized his own self and pitied about the past. He preferred short clothes and simple life. Amongst us he was like one of us. If we requested him for anything he granted our request. When we visited him he made us sit near him without keeping any distance. Inspite of all this humbleness, his presence was so awe-inspiring that we did not dare utter any words before him. He was so majestic that we could not look at him. When he smiled his teeth appeared like a string of pearls. He respected honest and pious people and was kind to indigent. Neither a strong man had any fear of injustice from him, nor a weak person ever lost hope of his justice. By God, one night I saw him standing in his place of worship when the dark night had engulfed everything; tears were rolling down on his face and beard; he was restless like a snake-bitten person and was weeping like a bereaved man."

"It seems as if even now I am hearing his voice as he was addressing the world: 'O World, thou is coming towards me and want to lure me? Go deceive someone else. Thy time is not come. I have divorced thee thrice after when there is no return. Thy pleasure is valueless and thy importance insignificant. Alas! The provision is too little, the journey too long and there is no companion."

Hearing these worlds of Adi, Moawiya started crying, and then wiping off the tears, he said:

"May God bless Abul Hassan (Ali). He was as you have said. Now tell me how do you feel without him?"

"I feel like a mother whose dear one is beheaded in her lap."

"Wouldn't you ever forget him?"

"Would the world allow me to forget him?"


ARE YOU ASLEEP OR AWAKE ?


Habbah Arni and Nawf Bakali were lying in the courtyard of Darul-Amarah (fort) of Kufah. After the midnight, they saw that the Leader of the Faithful, Imam Ali (A.S.), was coming from the fort towards the coutyard. But his condition was bad; he was having extraordinary fear and was unable to keep the equilibrium of his body. Keeping his hands on the wall and having his body in bent position, he was walking slowly with the support of the wall. And he was reciting the last verses(Ayat) of Surah Ale-Imran as follows:

"Indeed in the creation of the heaven and the earth and alteration of the night and the day, there are signs for men of acumen. Those who extol Allah, standing, sitting and (lying) on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): 'Our Lord! You have not created this in vain! Glory is Yours; protect us against the torment of the Fire. Our Lord! indeed whomsoever You enter the Fire, You have surely disgraced him, and there shall be no helpers for the worngdoers. Our Lord! surely we have heard a caller calling to faith (saying): 'Believe in your Lord', so we did believe; Our Lord! forgive us, therefore, our sins and cover our evil deeds and recieve us with the righteous. Our Lord! grant us what You have promised us through Your messengers and do not disgrace us on the Resurrection Day; surely You do not break the promise ."(3: 190-194)

As soon as he finished these verses, his condition became bad; he then repeated these verses again and again and his condition became bad to worse and he became almost unconscious.

Both Habbah and Nawf were witnessing this amazing scene, while lying on their beds. Habbah, while quite startled, was looking this astonishing scene.

But Nawf was unable to control his tears and he was continuously weeping. By this time, Imam Ali (A.S.) reached the bed of Habbah and said: "Are you awake or asleep?"

Habbah replied: "I am awake, O Leader of the Pious! If a person like you has such a condition of awe and fear of Allah, then what would heppen to poor people like us."

The Leader of the Pious looked down and wept. He then said: "O Habbah! all of us will be presented before Allah one day. And no deed of ours is hidden from Him. He is very near to you and to me. Nothing can act as an obstruction between us and Allah."

Then he said to Nawf: "Are you asleep?" (Nawf replied:) "No, O Leader of the Pious! I am awake. It is for some time that I am shedding tears."

Imam Ali (A.S.) said: "O Nawf! If today you shed tears in fear of Allah, tomorrow your eyes will glitter.

"O Nawf! No one has more respect than that person who cries in the fear of Allah and that he likes to do it only for His sake.

"O Nawf! The one who loves Allah and that whatever he loves, he does it just for the sake of Allah, does not prefer anything over love of Allah. And the one who dislikes anything, and does it for the sake of Allah, he would receive nothing except virtue for his disliking. Whenever you reach such a stage, you have attained the truths of faith to their perfection."

After saying this, he preached and gave a peice of advice to Habbah and Nawf. His last sentence was: "I have told you that you should fear from Allah." Then he passed by both of them and got busy with his own work. He started his prayers and while doing so, he said: "O Allah! I wish I knew that when I am neglectful towards You, do You ignore me or do You still care for me? I wish I knew that in these long neglectful dreams of mine and in my shortcomings in thanking you, what is my position before You?"

Habbah and Nawf, said: "By Allah! he(Ali(A.S.)) kept on walking and he had the same condition continuously till dawn."
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