Saturday 1st of April 2023
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Greed for Power

As part of their mudslinging campaign another baseless accusation buried against Imam \'Ali (A.S.) by his enemies was the greed for power despite the obvious fact that he never fits the description of a person thirsty for power. Power-mongers – whether in history or in our own times - are so obsessed with authority and the means to acquire it that they try to justify whatever methods
that are used to reach their goals.
But Imam \'Ali (A.S.) offers the finest example of a person who did not pursue power even when he knew it to be his right (and was offered support to make a bid for it after the event of Saqifah Bani Sa\'dah) 66. He had taken up the reins of caliphate because of the acute necessity of the times and his own responsibility in this regard in view of his primordial position in Islam. If circumstances had not warranted it, he would never have agreed to become the caliph. This sense of responsibility of the Imam was misinterpreted by persons who were greedy for power themselves, as power mongering. In his own words it is clear how he viewed his commitment to the commandments of God and what he felt about merely clinging to power and leadership:
By Allah, I shall not be like the badger, which feigns sleep on continuous (sound of) stone-throwing till he who is in search of it finds it or he who is on the lockout for it overpowers it. Rather I shall ever strike the deviators from truth with the help of those who advance towards it, and the sinners and doubters with the help of those who listen to me and obey, till my day (of death) comes. By Allah I have been continually deprived of my right from the day the Prophet (S.A.W.) passed away till today."67
Unlike any politician he spelt out his policies in clear terms no matter what the outcome. As a matter of fact the real power- mongers were those companions of the Prophet who had prospered during \'Uthman\'s rule and who thought that Imam \'Ali (A.S.) might continue the same policy of showing favours to them at the expense of the masses. But when they realised that he was committed to the letter and spirit of justice and truth, and on no account would yield to their demands, they turned into his enemies and labelled the wild accusation that he was thirsty for power. The Imam says about these persons:
They are hankering after this world out of jealousy against him on whom Allah has bestowed it (authority). So they intend reverting the matters on their back, while on us it is obligatory, for your sake, to abide by the Qur\'an and the conduct of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), to stand by his rights and revival of his Sunnah."68
Elsewhere he says:
"By Allah I had no liking for the caliphate nor any interest in government, but you yourself invited me to it and prepared me for it. When the caliphate came to me I kept the Book of Allah in my view and all that Allah had put therein for us, and all that according to which He has commanded us to take decisions; and I followed it, and also acted on whatever the Prophet (S.A.W.) had laid down as Sunnah.69

source : http://shiastudies.net
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