Sermon 039 – In disparagement of those who shrink from fighting

                I am faced with men who do not obey when I order and do not respond when I call them. May you have no father! (Woe to you!) What are you waiting for to rise for the cause of Alláh? Does not faith join you together, or sense of shame rouse you? I stand among you shouting and I am calling you for help, but you do not listen to my word, and do not obey my orders, till circumstances show out their bad consequences. No blood can be avenged through you and no purpose can be achieved with you. I called you for help of your brethren but made noises like the camel having pain in stomach, and became loose like the camel of thin back. Then a wavering weak contingent came to me from amongst you: “as if they are being led to death and they are only watching.” (1) (Qur’án, 8:6)

                as-Sayyid ar-Radí says: Amír al-mu’minín’s word “mutadhá’ib” means “mutharib” (i.e. moved or troubled), as they say “tadhá’abat ar-ríh“ (i.e. the winds blow in troubled manner). Similarly the wolf is called “dhi’b” because of its troubled movement.

 (1).         Mu`áwiyah sent a contingent of two thousand soldiers under an-Nu`mán ibn Bashír to assault `Aynu’t-Tamr. This place was a defence base of Amír al-mu’minín near Kúfah whose incharge was Málik ibn Ka`b al-Arhabí. Although there were a thousand combatants under him, but at the moment only hundred men were present there. When Málik noticed the offensive force advancing he wrote to Amír al-mu’minín for help. When Amír al-mu’minín received the message he asked the people for his help but only three hundred men got ready as a result of which Amír al-mu’minín was much disgusted and delivered this sermon in their admonition. When Amír al-mu’minín reached his house after delivering the sermon `Adí ibn Hátim at-Tá’í came and said, “O’ Amír al-mu’minín a thousand men of Banú Tayyi’ are under me. If you say I shall send them off.” Amír al-mu’minín said, “It does not look nice that people of one tribe only should meet the enemy. You prepare your force in the Valley of an-Nukhaylah.” Accordingly he went there and called people to jihád, when besides Banú Tayyi’ one thousand other combatants also assembled. They were still preparing to set off when word reached from Málik ibn Ka`b that there was no need for help as he had repulsed the enemy.

                The reason of this was that Málik had sent off `Abdulláh ibn Hawálah al-Azdí hastily to Qarazah ibn Ka`b al-Ansárí and Mikhnaf ibn Sulaym al-Azdí so that if there was delay in the arrival of support from Kúfah he could get help from here in time. `Abdulláh went to both, but got no help from Qara~ah. However, Mikhnaf ibn Sulaym got ready fifty persons under `Abd ar-Rahmán ibn Mikhnaf and they reached there near evening. Upto that time the two thousand men (of the enemy) had not been able to subdue the hundred men of Málik. When an-Nu`mán saw these fifty men he thought that their forces had started coming in so he fled away from the battlefield. Even in their retreat Málik attacked them from rear and killed three of their men.

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