This sermon is known as the sermon of ash-Shiqshiqiyyah, and is counted among the most famous sermons of Amir al-muminin.
The First Caliph and Endurance
Beware! By Allah the son of Abu Quhafah dressed himself with it (the caliphate) and he certainly knew that my position in relation to it was the same as the position of the axis in relation to the hand-mill.(But) I kept myself detached from it.
Then I found it wiser to endure calmly the blinding darkness of tribulations wherein the true believer acts under strain till he meets Allah (on his death). I watched the plundering of my inheritance until he died.
Situations at the Time of the Second Caliph
It is strange that during his lifetime he wished to be released from the caliphate but he confirmed it for the other one after his death. This one put the Caliphate in a tough enclosure where the utterance was haughty and the touch was rough. Mistakes were in plenty and so also the excuses therefore. Consequently, people got involved in recklessness, wickedness, unsteadiness and deviation. Nevertheless, I remained patient despite length of period and stiffness of trial.
The Consultation and the Third Caliph
When he went his way (of death) he put the matter (of Caliphate) in a group and regarded me to be one of them. Where was any doubt about me with regard to the first of them that I was now considered akin to these ones? The third man of these people stood up. With him his children of his grand-father, (Umayyah) also stood up swallowing up Allah’s wealth, till his actions finished him and his gluttony brought him down prostrate.
People Forcing Him to Rule
At that moment the crowd of people rushed to me. It advanced towards me from every side so much so that Hasan and Husain were getting crushed. When I took up the reins of government one party broke away and another turned disobedient while the rest began acting wrongfully as if they had not heard the word of Allah about the Hereafter.
But the world appeared glittering in their eyes and its embellishments seduced them. If people had not come to me and if there had been no pledge of Allah I then you would have seen that in my view this world of yours is no better than the sneezing of a goat.