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Khalifa Ali bin Abu Talib - Ali's Conduct of Wars

Instructions to the Generals of the border forces

Ali issued the following instructions to the Generals of the forces in operation in the border areas: "It is the duty of the Officer Commanding that if he has attained a high office, he should not thereby change his attitude to his subordinates. On the other hand, the greater the bounties that God has conferred on him, the greater should be his kindness to the people under his charge. It is your right on me that, except for war, I should not keep any secrets from you. It is incumbent on me that but for the matters enjoined by the Shariah, I should consult you in all affairs of the State, and should not deprive you of any of your right. If I protect your rights, it is obligatory on you that you should obey me, and should not hesitate to respond to my call for action. Do not be overawed by the difficulties that stand in the way of the vindication of Truth. If you do not act accordingly, you will lower yourself in my estimation, and you will be liable to be called to account for your lapse. You will have to face punishment on that score. Take note that I will not spare you, and will not allow you any concession. As I deal with you, you should in turn deal with your subordinates on similar lines. Such mutual understanding will keep the affairs in order."

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