Nahjul Balagha, letter 6 nahjul Balagha, letter-6

Verily, those who took the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman have sworn allegiance to me. Now those who were present at the election have no right to go back against their oaths of allegiance and those who were not present on the occasion have no right to oppose me. And so far as Shura (selection) was concerned it was supposed to be limited to Muhajirs and Ansars and it was also supposed that whomsoever they selected, became caliph as per approval and pleasure of Allah.

If somebody goes against such decision, then he should be persuaded to adopt the course followed by others, and if he refuses to fall in line with others, then war is the only course left open to be adopted against him and as he has refused to follow the course followed by the Muslims, Allah will let him wander in the wilderness of his ignorance and schism.

O Mu’awiya! I am sure that if you give up self-aggrandizement and self-interest, if you forsake the idea of being alive only to personal profits and pleasures, if you cease to be actuated solely by selfishness and if you ponder over the incident leading to the murder of Uthman, you will realize that I cannot at all be held responsible for the affair and I am the least concerned with the episode.

But it is a different thing that you create all these false rumours and carry on this heinous propaganda to gain your ulterior motives. Well you may do whatever you like.

[Nahjul Balagha, letter 6]

Note: (The Shia websites like, certain words have been inserted in the translation -like the word “suppose” – without putting them in the brackets in an attempt to change the meaning of the text.)

Now lets see what arabic real text quotes:

إنه بايعني القوم الذين بايعوا أبا بكر وعمر وعثمان ، على ما بايعوهم عليه ، فلم يكن للشاهد أن يختار ولا للغائب أن يرد ، وإنما الشورى للمهاجرين والأنصار ، فإن اجتمعوا على رجل وسموه إماماً كان ذلك لله رضى فإن خرج منهم خارج بطعن أو بدعة ردوه إلى ماخرج منه فإن أبى قاتلوه على اتباعه غير سبيل المؤمنين ، وولاه الله ما تولى

Translation: Verily, the people who payed allegience to Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman, have payed allegience to me based on the same principles as the allegience to them. So anyone who was present has no right to go against his pledge of allegience, and anyone who was absent has no right to oppose it. And verily shura (consultation) is only the right of the Muhajirs and the Ansar. So if they decide upon a man and declare him their imam, then it is with the pleasure of Allah. If anyone goes against this decision, then he must be persuaded to follow the rest of the people. If he persists, then fight with him for leaving that which has been accepted by the believers. And Allah shall let him wander misguided and not guide him.

& unfortunately i didnot found any word suppose or equivalent to it..!!

Now it’s up to the Shia brothers and sisters whether they want to attribute Taqyah or lie or politics or what ever to their Imam and whether they like to justify his comment in the same way that they justify verses of Quran.

(also please bear in your mind that we have an explicit verse in Quran that says “va amrohom shoora baynahom”, (and their affairs are done by consultancy between them). Surely the question of leadership is one of the affairs of Muslims. However I won’t use this verse to prove anything about Khilaafath in Islam. Unlike the Shia brothers and sisters, I am quite cautious about playing Lego with the verses of Quran)

& here are wordings of Ayatolla Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai:

Describing situation when first caliph was elected, Ayatolla Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai, said:

«This group (the one who chosed Abu Bakr) which was later to form the majority, set forth in great haste to select caliph for the Muslims with the aim of ensuring the welfare of the community and solving its immediate problems».

Source: «A series of islam and shia» p 56, 1-st edition,

printed by Ansariyan in 2005.

The interesting part in this quote is a fact, that this ayatolla admitted the aim of Muslims which chose Abu Bakr. They aim wasn’t taking ruling from ahlel-bayt, or make oppression. Aim was ensuring the welfare of the community.

Very same Tabatabai said:

“The first caliph was selected through the vote OF THE MAJORITY of the companions”.

Source: “A series of islam and shia” p 66, publisher: Al-Hoda


Filed under Exposing, Nahj ul Balagha

4 responses to “Nahjul Balagha, letter 6

  1. Pingback: Imam Ali(as) allegiance to Abu Bakr(ra) « EXPOSING & ANSWERING SHIITES

  2. Saman Uzma

    After reading the artcile given here about letter 6 of Nahjul Balagha, I decided that I should go into the details myself. And thus, I studied the letter as well as the explanation of it from both the sides( Shia and Sunni). And this is what I concluded. I hope you will not delete my comment, and leave it here for others to read.

    As we cannot understand even Quran which is the word of Allah swt, just by looking at its translated text. In order to understand Quran, we have to see the background and refer to different Tafseers of a verse. Thus how can the wordings of his creation(Hazrat Ali) could be understood by just seeing its translated text.

    Understanding its context:

    First thing which we have to do, is to understand the context of this letter. What this letter is all about, to whom it was written, what was the purpose behind writing this letter, does this letter belongs to a sequal of letters?? And if so what was the conversation which goes before and after it, etc.

    This letter was written by Hazrat Ali to Muawiya, When all the people of Medina unanimously swore allegiance to Hazrat Ali, Muawiyah refused to do so because he knew that the powers which was given to him at the life time of the previous Caliphs would be taken away if Khilafat remains with Hazrat Ali , thus he not even questioned the Khilafat of Hazrat Ali but also questioned the election process by which Khilafat was given to Hazrat Ali.
    Thus Hazrat Ali responded to him making him realize( although he already knew) that the election process he is questioning is the same process which was been adopted for previous caliphs, and at that time he was not only satisfied but also supported it and called it the Raza of Allah swt.

    Understanding the content of letter and its meaning keeping an eye on Arabic text:

    Also to note that this whole letter is written quoting the belief of Mauwiya about the election process which he is questioning now and it is not the belief of Hazrat Ali himself. And this we will soon realize, once we read the content of the letter.

    إِنَّهُ بَايَعَنِي الْقَوْمُ الَّذِينَ بَايَعُوا أَبَا بَكْر وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمانَ عَلَى مَا بَايَعُوهُمْ عَلَيْهِ

    “Verily, those who swore allegiance to Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman have sworn allegiance to me on the same basis on which they swore allegiance to them”

    In this sentence Hazrat Ali is reminding Muawiya about his(muawiya’s) belief of the whole election process and thus said that the election process about which he is questioning is the same process by which previous Caliphs have been chosen. This sentence goes accordance with the historical fact also as the ppl who swore allegiance to Hazrat Ali at that time, they did it, not believing that Hazrat Ali is the Khalifa appointed by Allah swt(as is the belief of Shia) but they did it beleiving that thay are appointed Hazrat Ali their Khalifa, like they appointed the previous one, when they swore allegiance to the previous 3 caliphs.

    فَلَمْ يَكُنْ لِلشَّاهِدِ أَنْ يَخْتَارَ، وَلاَ لِلغَائِبِ أَنْ يَرُدَّ، وَإنَّمَا الشُّورَى لِلْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالاْنْصَارِ

    “So anyone who was present has no right to go against his pledge of allegiance. and anyone who was absent has no right to oppose it. And verily Shura is only the right of Muhajirin and Ansar”

    This translation is absurd since we see that the Arabic word for ‘right’ is ‘Haq’ which cannot be found anywhere in this sentence of the letter of Hazrat Ali. The Arabic term here used is ‘LIL’ and we know that the meaning of the Arabic letter ‘LIL'(لِل) is ‘belongs to’ or ‘confined to’. Thus how I did the translation of this sentence is as follow:

    “So, it was not( فَلَمْ يَكُن) for those who were present(لِلشَّاهِدِ) but to choose(أَنْ يَخْتَارَ), And not(وَلاَ) for those who were absent(لِلغَائِبِ) that they oppose(يَرُدَّ). And verily, Shura(Consulation) is only ( وَإنَّمَا الشُّورَى) for(confined to) Muhajireen and Ansar( لِلْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالاْنْصَارِ)”

    Thus here now Hazrat Ali was talking about the election technique which was used by the people after the demise of prophet in order to select their Caliphs. This technique were invented by the people and Muawiya supported it whole heartedly. Thus, we can say that here also Hazrat Ali is talking in terms of Muawiya’s belief and reminding him that this is the election technique accepted by his ppl and was supported by him in the case of previous Caliphs.

    His saying, “Shura is only confined to Muhajirin and Ansar” is also to make him remember that this is the rule made by the people who choose previous 3 caliphs. And since he(Muawiya) is neither of the Muhajireen nor Ansar, but a Tualaqa( who converted to Islam after the day of Makka conquest), he has no right to object.(as per his own belief)

    فَإِنِ اجْتَمَعُوا عَلَى رَجُل وَسَمَّوْهُ إِمَاماً كَانَ ذلِكَ لله رِضىً

    “So, if they decide(collectively agree- اجْتَمَعُوا ) upon a man and declare him their Imam, then it was(كَانَ) for the pleasure of Allah(لله رِضىً)”

    Thus, now I think, this sentence will not be a surprise for us, as I have cleared earlier, that the whole sentence is said in order to remind Muawiya about his belief and thus telling him that what he used to think about the ‘ijtima’ of ppl on declaring anybody their Imam.

    Addressing anybody as per their belief is a very common known technique of addressing, which many ppl keep using time to time in order to proof their point(example can be seen in courts, or when ppl do munazara). Thus, in this letter, statement of Hazrat Ali doesn’t portray his own belief, rather it is making it Hujjah on Muawiyah, and hence this should be termed as “Ilzami”. An argument referred to as ‘ilzami’ or ‘ilzam alal khassam’ which means to adopt the technique of proving your opponent wrong from what he firmly believes in. It is an accusing or argumentative style, where the beliefs of your opponent are applied in order to prove him wrong.

    • Poor attempt. You said “this whole letter is written quoting belief of Muawiyah” this is your desperate addition. Nothing in the letter says this.

      The letter is very clear. It refutes the whole Shia sect. Ali believes in Shura. He believes Shura of the Muhajirin and Ansar is with the pleasure of Allah. He believes the same people who gave him Bayah, were the same people who gave bayah to previous righteous caliphs using the same principles.

      P.S. There is nothing in Nahjul Balagha about Imamah or infallibility or any other Shia beliefs. Think!

  3. Suhail Sheikh

    This letter at least proves that concept of Imamah or the belief in divinely ordained Imam is false. Because even Hazrat Ali (ra) seems content with the system of electing a Khalifa by the shura.

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