Al-Amālī > Abu Layla seeks clarification from ‘Ali (as)
Hadith #1

2 - أخبرني أبو الحسن علي بن محمد الكاتب قال: حدثنا الحسن بن علي الزعفراني قال: حدثنا أبو إسحاق إبراهيم بن محمد الثقفي قال: حدثنا المسعودي قال: حدثنا محمد بن كثير، عن يحيى بن حماد القطان قال: حدثنا أبو محمد الحضرمي، عن أبي علي الهمداني : إن عبد الرحمن بن أبي ليلى قام إلى أمير المؤمنين علي بن أبي طالب عليه السلام فقال: يا أمير المؤمنين إني سائلك لآخذ عنك، وقد انتظرنا أن تقول من أمرك شيئا فلم تقله، ألا تحدثنا عن أمرك هذا أكان بعهد [من] رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله أو شئ رأيته؟ فإنا قد أكثرنا فيك الأقاويل، وأوثقه عندنا ما قبلناه عنك وسمعناه من فيك. إنا كنا نقول: لو رجعت إليكم بعد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله لم ينازعكم فيها أحد، والله ما أدري إذا سئلت ما أقول؟! أزعم أن القوم كانوا أولى بما كانوا فيه منك؟ فإن قلت ذلك، فعلى م نصبك رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم بعد حجة الوداع، فقال: " أيها الناس من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه "، وإن تك أولى منهم بما كانوا فيه فعلى م نتولاهم؟. فقال أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام: يا عبد الرحمن إن الله تعالى قبض نبيه صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم وأنا يوم قبضه أولى بالناس مني بقميصي هذا، وقد كان من نبي الله إلي عهد لو خزمتموني بأنفي لأقررت سمعا لله وطاعة، وإن أول ما انتقصنا [ه] بعده إبطال حقنا في الخمس، فلما رق أمرنا طمعت رعيان البهم من قريش فينا، وقد كان لي على الناس حق لو ردوه إلي عفوا قبلته وقمت به وكان إلى أجل معلوم، وكنت كرجل له على الناس حق إلى أجل فإن عجلوا له ماله أخذه وحمدهم عليه، وإن أخروه أخذه غير محمودين، وكنت كرجل يأخذ السهولة وهو عند الناس محزون . وإنما يعرف الهدى بقلة من يأخذه من الناس، فإذا سكت فاعفوني فإنه لو جاء أمر تحتاجون فيه إلى الجواب أجبتكم، فكفوا عني ما كففت عنكم. فقال عبد الرحمن: يا أمير المؤمنين فأنت لعمرك كما قال الأول: لعمرك لقد أيقظت من كان نائما * وأسمعت من كانت له أذنان

2. He said: Abul Hasan ‘Ali ibn Muhammad al-Katib reported to me from al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali al-Za’farani, who reported from Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Thaqafi, who reported from al-Mas’oodi, who reported from Muhammad ibn Katheer, from Yahya ibn Hammad al-Qattan, who reported from Abu Muhammad al-Hadhrami, from Abu ‘Ali al-Hamdani, that once Abdul Rahman ibn Abu Layla called upon Amirul Mu’mineen ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, peace be upon him and said: "O Amirul Mu’mineen! I want to ask you so as to learn from you, (though) we have waited (for long) to hear you say something about your matter, but you never said anything. Would you not tell us whether it was a covenant from the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, or was it something you had opined? We have had a lot of false sayings about you! However, we have found what we have to accept from you and what we have heard from your mouth is most reliable. Indeed, some of us say that if Caliphate were to return to you after the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, no one would have disputed with you. By Allah, I do not know what to reply if asked. Should I consider that the people who took over were more worthy than you? And if I say so, then for what purpose did the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, appoint you at the Farewell pilgrimage, when he said: ’O People, of whosoever I am the Master, ‘Ali is also his Master.’ So, if you were worthier for the authority than them, then on what score should we accept their authority?" Amirul Mu’mineen, peace be upon him, said: "O Abdul Rahman, surely, when Allah, Most High, called back His Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, I was worthiest of all people for the authority. But I had a covenant with the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, as a result of which I had to submit to the will of Allah even if they were to lead me by the nose. Surely, the first loss that was sustained was the invalidating of our right in Khums; and when our position was weakened, then the herdsmen of Quraish pounced upon us with greed. Thus, the people were indebted to us, and if they had voluntarily returned to me my rights, I would have accepted and managed it, even for a stipulated time. So I lived among them as a creditor, for a stipulated time. If they paid back earlier, the creditor would repossess his goods and thank them; and if they delayed it, he would take it without considering them deserving any gratitude. So, I was like a person accepting easy terms, yet living among them full of grief. The right guidance is identified by a small group of people who accept it. So when I am silent, excuse me. And if the time comes when you need my reply, I shall reply you. So withhold from me what I have withheld from you!" Then Abdul Rahman said: "O Amirul Mu’mineen, by your soul, you are like the one of whom the earlier poet said: "By your soul, you have indeed awakened the one who was asleep and you have caused the one with two ears to hear."