the manifestation of Imam Ali\'s attraction and repulsion in his caliphate periods

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~Ali~ was all the time a two-powered personality; 'Ali always had the powers both of attraction and repulsion. In fact, we see right from the beginning of the Islamic age one group who gravitated more round 'Ali, and another group who did not have such a good connection with him and who were occasionally pained by his existence.

But the period of 'Ali's caliphate, and similarly the times after his death, that is to say the period of the appearance of the "history" of 'Ali, were the age of the greater manifestation of attraction to, and repulsion from, him; to the same extent as before the caliphate his links with the society were fewer, and also his attraction and repulsion less.

'Ali was a man who made enemies and gave people displeasure, and this, too, is another one of his great glories. Every principled man who has an aim and struggles towards it, particularly the revolutionary who pursues the putting into practice of his sacred goals and who is referred to by the words of Allah:

"Who struggle in the way of Allah, not fearing the reproach of any reproacher"(5:54).

makes enemies and leaves dissatisfied people. So if his enemies did not number more than his friends, especially in his own times, they were no fewer and nor are they now.

If Ali's personality were not distorted today, but were presented just as it was, many of those who pretend to be his friends would take a stand alongside his enemies.

The story of Imam Ali's harsh treatment on Islam army, concerning booties division
The Prophet sent `Ali as a commander of an army to the ~Yemen~. On his return he set out for Mecca to meet the Prophet, and, on reaching the environs of ~Mecca~, he appointed one of the soldiers in his place and himself hurried on to present the account of his expedition to the Messenger of Allah. That person divided up the garments which `Ali had brought along with them among the soldiers, so that they could enter Mecca in new clothes. When `Ali returned, he objected to this action, and reproved that man for lack of discipline, because no decision should have been taken about the garments before orders had been received from ~the Prophet~ about what to do with them. In the eyes of `Ali, such an action was in fact a kind of expropriation from the baytu 'l-mal (the Treasury of the Muslims) without giving notification to, and obtaining permission from, the leader of the Muslims. For this reason `Ali gave the order that they should take off the garments and put them in a particular place, until they could be delivered to the Prophet and he himself could make a decision about them. Because of this, `Ali's soldiers became disgruntled, and, as soon as they had gone in to see the Prophet, they complained about `Ali's harshness over the garments. The Prophet addressed them, and said:

"Oh men, do not grumble about 'Ali. I swear by Allah that he is more intensely in the way of God than that anyone should complain about him -Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad (transl., A. Guillaume,p. 650-.

Ali had no concern for anyone in the way of God. Rather, if he showed interest in someone or was concerned about him, it was because of God. Naturally, such an attitude makes enemies, and it causes offence to souls full of greed and craving and brings them pain.

None of the companions of the Prophet had devoted friends like 'Ali did, just as no-one had such bold and dangerous enemies as he did. He was someone who, even after his death, had his corpse attacked by enemies. He was himself aware of this and foresaw these things, and so he left as his will that his grave should be hidden and unknown to all but his sons, until after about a century had passed and the Umayyids had been overthrown, the ~Khawarij~ overthrown too, or made all but impotent, and vendettas and avengers had become few, and ~Imam as-Sadiq~ indicated the sacred soil of his resting place.

In all aspects of 'Ali's existence, of his history and biography, of his dispositions `and habits, of his character and behaviour, of his words and speech, there is instruction, examples to follow, teaching and leadership.

Just as 'Ali's "power of attraction" taught us and instructed us, so also does his "power of repelling". Usually in ziyarat [24] to 'Ali and the other Pure Ones we claim we are "the friend of your friend and the enemy of your enemy". Another way of putting this would be to say: "We will go towards that point which is in the lines of force of attraction to you and which you attract, and we will choose to be far from that point which you repulse."

How-ever, it is clear from what we said that 'Ali strongly repelled two groups - artful hypocrites, and stupid ascetics.

These two lessons are sufficient for those who claim to be his "party" - the Shi`ahs - to open their eyes and not be duped by hypocrites, to keep their vision acute and dismiss the outward aspect of things, two things with which the Shi`ah community is now sorely afflicted.


attraction and repulsion of Imam Ali p.b.u.h- pages: 102to103 and 166to167


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