The Enemy is Also Human

Muawiya was ruling over Syria, as governor, sixteen years before Imam Ali (‘a) was forced by the people to accept the reigns of governing the Islamic State as caliph. He had entrenched himself firmly and raised an army to oppose Ali’s (‘a) leadership. After the battle of Jamal, he declared independence from the Islamic State and began concocting evidence for himself as caliph. Imam Ali (‘a) was dragged into another conflict, with the intention of destabilizing his (‘a) rule.rule.rule.
Maalik e Ashter Nikhaee was the commander of the Muslims, while Muawiya’s army was led by Abul A’ur Salma. The armies stood, facing one another, on the bank of the Euphrates.
Muawiya’s troops attacked Imam Ali’s (‘a) army without forewarning and captured that corner of the river, called‘Sharia’, from which both sides took water for drinking purposes. They, then, announced that Ali’s (’a) army would not be allowed, henceforth, to collect water to drink. Meanwhile, Muawiya arrived with more soldiers and encouraged them to control the water and try to weaken the opposing side by cutting off their water supply. Maalik e Ashter did not have permission to raise arms without permission from the Imam (‘a)...
Imam Ali (‘a) as usual, wrote to Muawiya to avoid bloodshed and solve differences on the table through talks. He (‘a) sent his notable companion, S’as’ah, with a message. It ran thus: sent his notable companion, S’as’ah, with a message. It ran thus: sent his notable companion, S’as’ah, with a message. It ran thus:
‘Our armies are facing each other, but it is our wish to avoid the unnecessary bloodshed of Muslims through battle. I seek to settle differences through talks, but you and your commanders have opted to use arms first. Besides, they have cut off our water supply. Order them to stop this inhuman behaviour. However, if you are intent on fighting, then, remember, your opponent is a fearless warrior.’‘Our armies are facing each other, but it is our wish to avoid the unnecessary bloodshed of Muslims through battle. I seek to settle differences through talks, but you and your commanders have opted to use arms first. Besides, they have cut off our water supply. Order them to stop this inhuman behaviour. However, if you are intent on fighting, then, remember, your opponent is a fearless warrior.’‘Our armies are facing each other, but it is our wish to avoid the unnecessary bloodshed of Muslims through battle. I seek to settle differences through talks, but you and your commanders have opted to use arms first. Besides, they have cut off our water supply. Order them to stop this inhuman behaviour. However, if you are intent on fighting, then, remember, your opponent is a fearless warrior.’
Muawiya showed the letter to his advisors. Everyone opted for war except for Umro ibn e Aas, the most shrewd among them.
He said ‘Water or no water, Ali will defeat us outright.’
Muawiya thought the lack of water would weaken Ali’s soldiers, so he did not respond to the invitation to talk over the table. When Sa’s’ah requested a response to the letter, Muawiya said he would reply later, so he returned.
Imam Ali (‘a) realizing the evil intentions of Muawiya, which were further enhanced by his renewed orders to ensure that water did not reach Ali’s men, came to the battleground and addressed the army thus:realizing the evil intentions of Muawiya, which were further enhanced by his renewed orders to ensure that water did not reach Ali’s men, came to the battleground and addressed the army thus:realizing the evil intentions of Muawiya, which were further enhanced by his renewed orders to ensure that water did not reach Ali’s men, came to the battleground and addressed the army thus:
‘The opposing army has transgressed all limits of inhuman behaviour. They have cut off your water supply to let you die of thirst. Their thirst for war is as strong as a starving man’s desire for food. There are only two options before you: either accept humiliation and die of thirst, or quench the thirst of your swords with their impure blood.
Life has no meaning without victory and control, even if the head is severed from the body in the process. A life of humiliation and dishonour is equivalent to death. Let me inform you that Muawiya has gathered an army of contemptible, deviating individuals, whose folly and ignorance he has taken advantage of, and prepared those unfortunate ones to lay down their lives for him.’Life has no meaning without victory and control, even if the head is severed from the body in the process. A life of humiliation and dishonour is equivalent to death. Let me inform you that Muawiya has gathered an army of contemptible, deviating individuals, whose folly and ignorance he has taken advantage of, and prepared those unfortunate ones to lay down their lives for him.’Life has no meaning without victory and control, even if the head is severed from the body in the process. A life of humiliation and dishonour is equivalent to death. Let me inform you that Muawiya has gathered an army of contemptible, deviating individuals, whose folly and ignorance he has taken advantage of, and prepared those unfortunate ones to lay down their lives for him.’
Ali’s (‘a) army fought valiantly to regain their basic right and drove the army, controlling Shari’a, miles away from the waterfront in no time.
Umro ibn e Aas poked fun at Muawiya, asking him, ‘What will you do now, if Ali and his companions treat you as you treated them, and cut off your water? Can you regain the lost waterfront?’
Muawiya replied, smiling knowingly, ‘What do you think, will Ali behave like us?’ Umro said,
‘Ali will never cut off our water to make us suffer the pangs of thirst. His nobility of character is unquestionable.’‘Ali will never cut off our water to make us suffer the pangs of thirst. His nobility of character is unquestionable.’‘Ali will never cut off our water to make us suffer the pangs of thirst. His nobility of character is unquestionable.’
When Ali (‘a) was asked for permission ‘to do unto them what they had done to them’, he (‘a) said: ‘We will never stoop as low as the ignorant ones. We will let them take water and invite them to the right path in the best manner possible, as commanded in the Holy Quran. If they respond positively, well and good, but if they don’t, we will fight them bravely like men, not like cowards, by cutting off their water supply and making them suffer the pangs of thirst.’ said: ‘We will never stoop as low as the ignorant ones. We will let them take water and invite them to the right path in the best manner possible, as commanded in the Holy Quran. If they respond positively, well and good, but if they don’t, we will fight them bravely like men, not like cowards, by cutting off their water supply and making them suffer the pangs of thirst.’ said: ‘We will never stoop as low as the ignorant ones. We will let them take water and invite them to the right path in the best manner possible, as commanded in the Holy Quran. If they respond positively, well and good, but if they don’t, we will fight them bravely like men, not like cowards, by cutting off their water supply and making them suffer the pangs of thirst.’
Before sunset, two sets of human beings were seen filling water from the river to drink. One set filled with shame, the other, with dignity.