Imam Ali’s Last Will Brothers and sisters Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

We are commemorating the martyrdom of the commander of the faithful, the gate to the city of knowledge of the Prophet and the father of all widows and orphans who missed him like yesterday and today in Kufa (أبو الأرامل والأيتام). Let us learn the main points that the Imam (A.S) included in his last will. This will, although addressed to his two sons, Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain, peace be upon both of them, but the Imam says (ومن بلغه كتابي) whoever is going to read my book, listen to my words, all these advices are applicable to all the generations and us as we are advised by these too. First of all, the Imam orders everybody to assist the oppressed and to be enemy to the oppressor. And that is very, very important, because due to political problems and hidden agendas many people prefer to keep indifferent and silent when someone oppresses his people or others. Keeping silent and indifferent or sometimes befriending the oppressors leads to many heinous consequences. That is why the Imam (A.S) said, and this is for all of us, “assist the oppressed and be an enemy to the oppressor”. The other point that the Imam (A.S) raised his attention and advices us is to keep the order in our affairs, because mismanagement is the basis and foundation for all problems in life. Order and being well organised in everything, in saving time, in our expenditure, in our way in treating others. Everything is to be kept in order and that management that is very, very important to be well organised. Thirdly, the Imam (A.S) says that to maintain good relation amongst yourselves because the Prophet (S.A.W.W) said “reconciling the differences between people is better than most of the act of worship” which means that if we see a dispute, we see some sort of indifference or sometimes people who are separating from one another, cutting the bones, to try to reconcile between husband and wife, between partners in business between neighbours. That is very, very important. That is why the Imam advices us to focus on this to maintain good relations amongst members of the society. Then the Imam looks at the orphans, advices all to assist and to look after the orphans, not to allow them to starve and always be supervising them so they don’t miss the guardianship or the support from the other members of the community. Brothers and sisters we are all thankful to all those organisations in this country and in other countries who take care of orphans, collect whatever donations and send to them in order to allow them, to give them the opportunity to benefit and to survive. Otherwise the Prophet (S.A.W.W) said “me and those who support orphans are in Paradise like two fingers that you can’t separate between them” which means that those who support the orphans will be elevated to a higher rank, to be very, very close to the Prophet (S.A.W.W). It is not just nurturing them, even to look after their education, their well-being and to secure them to be good members of the community.
Then, the Imam talks about the neighbours. The Imam says that the Prophet (S.A.W.W) continuously, repeatedly advised us to treat our neighbours well. When we say neighbours, it is not limited to those who share the same faith with us. Even those who follow different faiths, even those who are faithless, as long as they are neighbours, we have to respect them, we have to assist them and to refrain from any harm or causing them any problems at all. For example, when you throw a party at home, do not disturb your neighbours. The Imam says that as frequently and continuously the Prophet of Islam advised us about the neighbours, we thought that he will give them a share in the inheritance. We know that those who are entitled to inherit from us are specifically mentioned in the Quran, whether it is according to Shiite doctrine or other schools of thought. So, the Imam says that when he continuously focused and advised us to look after the neighbours, we thought that he might allocate a certain share of the inheritance for them. Of course, when it comes to the Quran, the Imam says that for the Quran you must be careful. Not only to recite, not only to memorise, but to act upon teachings of the Quran. It is very important, otherwise there were the Kharijites who would recite the Quran very well, they spent the whole night in reciting the Quran, but they did not act upon the Quran. They were, and that is the example of AbdulRahman ibn Muljim who thought and was on the belief that Imam Ali (A.S), because he accepted the arbitration in the Battle of Sifeen, he is out of faith and that is why he should be assassinated and killed. So AbdulRahman ibn Muljim, like two nights ago when he hit the Imam with his sword which was poisoned and led to on the 21st of Ramadhan to be the day of his martyrdom was one of those who recited Quran, apparently but did not act upon the Quranic teachings. So, the Imam (A.S) advises us “no one should excel [above] you in acting upon the Quran, but we have to act upon the Quran and do not allow anyone to be better than us in this field”. What about the prayer? Of course, every Muslim knows that establishing the prayer is the pillar of religion, but again the Imam in his last will emphasises about the significance of prayer and establishing the prayer because it is always the advice of the Imams and it could be the concern of parents to advise the children to keep their prayers, establish their prayers all the time in a regular way. Then about the Ka’aba, about the Lord’s house (بيت الله الحرام) the Imam emphasises that do not forsake the Lord’s house otherwise you lose the power, you lose the dignity and respect by all other nations. Then the Imam speaks about jihad and unfortunately it is one of the misleading and misinterpreted by the media and many people in the West. The moment they hear jihad, they think it is to fight. Whilst the Imam refers to 3 types of jihad. Jihad in relation to property, which means when you spend money and allow others to share with you in some sort of access to your property, your money, your wealth, it is jihad. So, donating to charitable causes is jihad according to the Quran, and according to the Prophet. According to what the Imam tells us here, it is jihad with regards to our property. Then jihad regarding our tongue. Which means that when we give the best of advice to others, it is jihad. When a ruler does something wrong, we stand up and criticise and raise our voice because the best of jihad according to the hadith is when you tell the truth in the face of an unjust ruler. The third type of jihad is that you support your country, your land, your treasury, and your society when there is an attack from an enemy against them. Then the Imam emphasises the significance of bidding the good and forbidding the evil. And his last word is that “look, oh my relatives, oh my cousins, when I leave and depart this life do not take any harsh reactions in the revenge for my blood”. So, the Quran here is the best of the teachings, the command that when you have something against you, a crime was committed against you, the size of the revenge and retaliation must be exactly the same size of the attack. Do not kill other than the one who dared to slay me. And do not amputate or dismantle the limbs of the person because it is not allowed in any way and no one should go for it. After these advises which are applicable to us, the Imam departed from this life to the eternal life and was happy to meet the Prophet (S.A.W.W). And our commemoration on this particular day of course it coincides with the night of Qadr and destiny, goes for the hope of intercession of the Imam (A.S) hoping it will help us a lot in the hereafter.