Letters

Download Letters 1-79 with embedded font that preserves special transliterated characters (MS Word 6.0). Or, view the letters below.

  1. To the people of Kufa before proceeding for the Battle of Jamal.

  2. To the people of Kufa after the conquest of Basra.

  3. To the Qadhi of Kufa, Shurayh b. Haarith when he purchased a costly house.

  4. To one of the commanders of his army.

  5. To the hypocrite Ash'ath bin Qays when he usurped public funds.

  6. To Mu'awiya on his (Ali's) right to the caliphate.

  7. To Mu'awiya, on receiving letters from him based on hypocritical advice and false accusations.

  8. Jarir bin Abdullah Bajali was sent to Damascus. He was carrying a letter for Mu'awiya. Some delay occurred in his return. Imam Ali (a) felt anxious about his safety and wrote the following letter to him.

  9. To Mu'awiya.

  10. To Mu'awiya.

  11. Part of instructions to his marshal when Imam Ali (a) sent him to a battle.

  12. When Imam Ali (a) sent an expedition of 3000 soldiers under Ma'qil bin Qays Riyahi against the Syrians, he issued the following instructions.

  13. Instructions to two of his commanders.

  14. To his soldiers before the Battle of Siffin.

  15. His invocation to Allah whenever he faced an enemy.

  16. His advice to his followers during a battle.

  17. A reply to a letter of Mu'awiya.

  18. When Abdullah bin Abbas was the Governor of Basra, Imam Ali (a) wrote the following letter to him. The cause of this letter was the behaviour of Ibn Abbas towards the clan of Bani Tamim. Ibn Abbas hated them because some of them had sided with Talha and Zubayr in the Battle of Jamal and therefore, he had on occasions treated them scornfully. They reported this matter to Imam Ali (a) requesting that the whole clan should not be treated badly because of the folly of a few. This letter shows what a kind rule it was that Imam Ali (a) wanted to introduce.

  19. A letter to one of his governors. It speaks volumes about the ways of Divine Rule. It shows how Imam Ali (a) was training the Muslims to behave tolerantly towards other religions, how minority was to be treated and what should those who hold a different creed, expect of a Muslim ruler.

  20. To Ziyad ibn Abih, who had been appointed as the Commissioner of Basra by Abdullah bin Abbas.

  21. Another letter to Ziyad ibn Abih.

  22. An advice to Abdullah b. Abbas, which the latter claimed, that except for the advice of the Holy Prophet (s), no advice had been so beneficial to him as this.

  23. Instructions to his family a little before his martyrdom.

  24. His Will in which he has left instructions as to how to treat his property and estate. It was written after his return from the Battle of Siffin.

  25. Directions to assessors and collectors of Zakat.

  26. His instructions to Zakat collectors.

  27. Instructions to Muhammad b. Abu Bakr when he appointed him as the Governor of Egypt.

  28. A famous reply to the letter of Mu'awiya. It throws ample light on many phases of the history of Islam from the time of its dawn up to the time of Imam Ali (a).

  29. To the people of Basra.

  30. To Mu'awiya.

  31. Advice to one of his sons after returning from the Battle of Siffin. Some historians consider him to be Imam Hasan (a) while others are of the opinion that he was Muhammad Hanafiya. He wrote them in the form of a will. They deal with almost every aspect of life which goes a long way to make a man successful in life - brave, humane, generous, virtuous and pious.

  32. To Mu'awiya.

  33. To Qutham b. Abbas, the brother of Abdullah b. Abbas, who was the Governor of Imam Ali (a) in the province of Hijaz.

  34. Muhammad, son of Abu Bakr (the 1st caliph) was one of the favourite disciples and companions of Imam Ali (a). Imam Ali (a) had treated and trained him like his own son and had appointed him as the Governor of Egypt. Later on Imam Ali (a) called him back from Egypt and sent Maalik Ashtar as the Governor. Muhammad thought that he was deposed and felt sad about it. When Imam Ali (a) came to know of this he wrote the following letter to him.

  35. When Muhammad bin Abi Bakr was killed in Egypt by the guerrillas of Mu'awiya through disloyalty of his (Muhammad's) own companions and officers, Imam Ali (a) felt sad and wrote the following letter to Abdullah b. Abbas.

  36. To his brother Aqil. It so happened that Zahaak bin Qays Fahri was sent to Makkah by Mu'awiya with a force of guerrillas to ravage the city. Imam Ali (a) had sent Hujr bin Adi Kindi to defend the city of Makkah. Hujr defeated Zahaak. Aqil at that time was in Makkah. He wrote to Imam Ali (a) offering his voluntary services saying that the Quraysh were not sincerely serving the cause of Islam and were bent upon the enmity of Imam Ali (a). In reply Imam Ali (a) wrote this letter.

  37. To Mu'awiya.

  38. To the people of Egypt, telling them about Maalik when Imam Ali (a) appointed him as their Governor.

  39. To Amr bin Aas.

  40. To a commissioner of a province. It could not be ascertained as to whom it was addressed.

  41. To a Governor who left Imam Ali (a) and ran away with Public Treasury, this man was a cousin of Imam Ali (a) and was his confidant. Some historians say that he was Abdullah b. Abbas who was Imam's cousin and had once behaved in this way.

  42. To Umar bin Abi Salama Mukhzumi when Imam Ali (a) called him back from the Governorship of Bahrain and appointed Nu'man bin Ajlan Zuraqi in his place.

  43. To Masqala bin Hubayra al-Shaybani who was the governor of Ardshir Khurra (Iran).

  44. To Ziyad ibn Abih when Imam Ali (a) came to know that Mu'awiya was secretly corresponding with Ziyad, inviting him to leave the side of Imam Ali (a) and to join him, offering him the bribe of being declared the son of Abu Sufyan.

  45. To Uthman bin Hunayf, the Governor of Basra, when he attended a feast given by a rich man of Basra.

  46. To one of his governors.

  47. To Imam Hasan (a) and Imam Husayn (a) after he was wounded by Abd al-Rahman b. Muljam whilst offered the morning prayers in the mosque of Kufa.

  48. To Mu'awiya.

  49. To Mu'awiya.

  50. A circular to the chiefs of his army.

  51. To the collectors of taxes and revenues.

  52. A circular about prayers to the governors of all the provinces.

  53. An order to Maalik al-Ashtar.

  54. To Talha and Zubayr (sent to them through Imran bin Hasin Khuza'i, a pious companion of the Holy Prophet (s)).

  55. To Mu'awiya.

  56. Instructions to Shuray bin Hani when he was appointed as the commanding officer of the vanguard of his army, which was marching towards Syria.

  57. To the people of Kufa while leaving Madina for Basra. It is a wonderful epistle. It invites people to judge his intentions and actions.

  58. To the people of various provinces, giving them the causes of the Battle of Siffin.

  59. To Aswad bin Qatiba, the Governor of Hulwan.

  60. A circular sent to those governors and State officers, through whose territory the armies of Imam Ali (a) were to pass.

  61. To Kumayl bin Ziyad Nakha'i, expressing his displeasure and rebuking him in leaving his province unguarded and allowing the army of the enemy to enter and carry on loot. He was the Governor of Hayit and had not properly defended the province against the Syrian guerrillas. After their attack and loot he wanted permission of Imam Ali (a) to take revenge upon the Syrian province of Kirkisiya. Imam Ali (a) replied to him in the following letter.

  62. To the Egyptians. The letter was handed over to Maalik bin Haarith Ashtar to take with him when he was appointed as the Governor of that province.

  63. To the Abdullah bin Qays, better known in history as Abu Musa Ash'ari, for his weak-faith and double-standards.

  64. A reply to Mu'awiya's letter.

  65. To Mu'awiya.

  66. To Abdullah b. Abbas. Ibn Abbas said that except the advice and sayings of the Holy Prophet (s) no other advice benefited him more than this.

  67. To Qutham b. Abbas (brother of Abdullah b. Abbas), who was the Governor of Makkah.

  68. To Salman al-Farsi, before his (Ali's) caliphate.

  69. To Harith Hamdani.

  70. To Suhayl b. Hunayf, the Governor of Madina (and brother of Uthman b. Hunayf) about some Madinites who had left him and gone over to Mu'awiya.

  71. To Munzir b. Jarud Abdi when he misappropriated something which he had been entrusted with.

  72. To Abdullah b. Abbas.

  73. To Mu'awiya.

  74. A treaty which Imam Ali (a) has worded for the Bani Rabi'a tribe and the Yemenites to agree upon.

  75. After the Muslims took oath of allegiance to Imam Ali (a), he wrote the following letter to Mu'awiya.

  76. Instructions to Abdullah b. Abbas when he sent him as his representative to Basra.

  77. Instructions to Abdullah b. Abbas when he sent him for discussions with the Kharijites.

  78. Abu Musa Ash'ari (Abdullah b. Qays) wrote a letter to Imam Ali (a) from the place where the decision of the arbitration (after Siffin) took place. Imam Ali (a) wrote to him the following letter in reply.

  79. An order issued to his generals when he took over rulership of the Muslim State.


The work is a project of the Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project.