Praise is due to Alláh when night spreads and darkens, and praise be to Alláh whenever the star shines and sets. And praise be to Alláh whose bounty never misses and whose favours cannot be repaid.
Well, I have sent forward my vanguard (1) and have ordered them to remain in camp on this bank of the River till my order reaches them. My intention is that I should cross this water over to the small habitation of people residing on the sides of the Tigris and rouse them to march with you towards the enemy and keep them as auxiliary force for you.
as-Sayyid ar-Radí says: Here by “mitát “ Amír al-mu’minín has meant the direction where he had ordered the men to camp and that was the bank of the Euphrates, and “mitát “ is used for the bank of a river although its literal meaning is level ground whereas by “nutfah “ he means the water of the Euphrates, and these are amazing expressions.
(1). Amír al-mu’minín delivered this sermon when he camped at the Valley of an-Nukhaylah on Wednesday the 5th Shawwál 37 A.H. on his way to Siffín. The Vanguard mentioned herein means the twelve thousand persons whom he had sent towards Siffín under the command of Ziyád ibn an-Nadr and Shurayh ibn Hání, while the small force of al-Madá’in mentioned by him was a contingent of twelve hundred men who had come up in response to Amír al-mu’minín’s call