To the brave souls and the steadfast revolutionaries across the Arab world, know that you have in the Prophet of Allah (s) and his Holy Household the best example, therefore take heed and follow their advice.
Imam Ali (‘as) in the famous letter to his governor Malik Al Ashtar (ra) in Egypt, said:
‘Your worst ministers will be the men who had been ministers to the despotic rulers before you and who had been a party o atrocities committed by them. Such persons should not be taken into your confidence and should not be trusted because they have aided sinners and have assisted tyrants and cruel rulers. In their stead you can comfortably find persons who are equally wise and learned but who have not developed sinful and criminal mentalities, who have neither helped the tyrants in their tyrannies nor have they assisted them to carry on their sinful deeds. Such persons will prove the least troublesome to you. They will be the most helpful.’ (Nahjul Balahgha, Letter 53)
إنّ شر وزرائك من كان للأشرار قبلك وزيراً ، ومن شركهم في الآثام ، فلا يكونن لك بطانة ، فإنّهم أعوان الأثمة ، وإخوان الظلمة ، وأنت واجد منهم خير الخلف ممن له مثل آرائهم ونفاذهم ، وليس عليه مثل آصارهم وأوزارهم وآثامهم ، ممّن لم يعاون ظالماً على ظلمه ، ولا آثماً على إثمه ، أولئك أخف عليك مؤونة ، وأحسن لك معونة ، وأحنى عليك عطفاً ، وأقل لغيرك إلفاً
I would also like the religious scholars and intellectuals to remember his words in the famous ‘Shaqshaqiyah’ sermon:
‘Behold, by Him who split the grain (to grow) and created living beings, if people had not come to me and supporters had not exhausted the argument and if there had been no pledge of Allah with the learned to the effect that they should not acquiesce in the gluttony of the oppressor and the hunger of the oppressed I would have cast the rope of Caliphate on its own shoulders, and would have given the last one the same treatment as to the first one. Then you would have seen that in my view this world of yours is no better than the sneezing of a goat.’ (Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 3)