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Khalifa Ali bin Abu Talib - Letters of Ali Addressed to Muawiyah

Partition of the Muslim state

Muawiyah suggested that the Muslim State be partitioned and Syria be assigned to him. Ali replied in the following terms: "As regards your proposal that Syria be assigned to you I cannot accept that proposal today which I have rejected yesterday. Your observation that war has eaten into the vital of the Arabs, you should bear in mind that those who fought in the cause of God have earned paradise and those who fought to secure a worldly end have already been sentenced to hell. Your statement that in the matter of military strength we both are at par, is mere presumption, and presumption cannot take the place of conviction. Also keep in mind that the people of Iraq are as much desirous of paradise as the people of Syria covet that world. Your statement that we both are the descendants of Abd Manaf is correct, but it should be remembered that the Banu Umayya are not to equal to Banu Hashim; Harb can not equal Abdul Muttalib; Sufiyan is not equal to Abu Talib, nor can falsehood equal the truth. You have forgotten that we have honor of prophethood with us. It was because of this prophethood that the powerful were humbled, and the lowly were elevated. When Islam triumphed and the people willingly or unwillingly were converts, who accepted the faith because of fear, or greed. In the circumstances the proper thing for you that you should not allow Satan to overpower you."

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