The First Address of Hazrat Ali (AS)

 Hazrat Ali (AS) was an eloquent and fiery Orator. He delivered a forceful speech when he became Caliph. He said: “You spread my hand for taking the oath of allegiance but I withdrew it. You pulled my hand but I kept it under my control. You gathered around me in large numbers and began to push one another to reach me just as the thirsty camels gather near some stream and push one another. In that wild rush, the laces of my shoes were broken and the sheet fell off my shoulder, and the weak, old people were crushed. There was so much rejoicing on the occasion of this oath of allegiance to me that the young people enjoyed this huge gathering but the old people fell down on the way. The patients suffered much while coming to me and even girls removed their veils for the oath of allegiance”. “O People! You have taken the oath of allegiance to me after due consideration. I stand in need of your help only for Allah but some people want to help me for worldly gains. O People! Prefer me to yourselves. By Allah! I want to do full justice to the oppressed persons. I will bring the tyrants to book even if they oppose me. Beware! I will fight against two persons. The first person is he who claims the Caliphate in spite of the fact that he does not deserve it. The second is he who abstains from doing those things which are incumbent upon him to do. I advise you to fear Allah. This is the best piece of advice for you people. Its ultimate result will be very good. Remember that if you strictly observe the pillars of Islam, you shall not come to grief even if you lose your worldly possessions. Remember that if you lose your faith nothing of this world shall benefit you”.   

“Your first and past trails and distresses returned again today in the same way as they came when Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) became the Messenger of Allah. I take the oath of that Allah Who made Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) the true Prophet and say that certainly you shall be badly mixed with one another”. When the noble and the ignoble shall be mixed and it will be difficult to distinguish between them. “Certainly, you (Ahl-ul-Bait) shall be cut into pieces. You shall go up and down like boiling water in a kettle”. (This means the men of high status shall be replaced by the men of inferior character and position). 

“On the rise of Islam those who had lagged behind (Abu Sufyan’s descendants) shall take the place of those who had advanced (Ahl-ul-Bait). In this world, there are only two things – Truth and the Falsehood. If any worshipper (supporter) of falsehood becomes the ruler and has a majority of followers, there is nothing to grumble at (for it has always been so); and if the supporters of the Truth are limited, you need not be disappointed. I hope that Truth shall overcome Falsehood. My followers should not be afraid of the numerical superiority of the opponents who are the champions of the Falsehood. He who stands against the Truth perishes in the long run”. 

The Caliphate was not a bed of roses for Ali (AS). The entire country was passing through a serious crisis. There was no stable government and lawlessness reigned everywhere. The strong tribes were eager to plunder the rich and the weak. They hovered over the whole atmosphere like vultures waiting to pounce. Ali (AS) was well aware of his problems. He fully realized the importance of the cooperation of his people because he was unable to run the machinery of the government successfully without it. He was elected in a mood of hatred and destruction.

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