The Battle of Camel (Jamal) was the first war declared against Imam Ali (AS) in Basra in year 36/656 after people appointed Ali as their leader of the Muslim community.
When Allah gave him (Amir al-mu’minin) victory over the enemy at the Battle of Jamal one of his comrades said on that occasion, “I wish my brother so-and-so had been present and he too would have seen what success and victory Allah had given you,” whereupon Amir al-mu’minin said:
“Did your brother hold me friend?”
He said: “Yes,”
Then Amir al-mu’minin said:
In that case he was with us. Rather in this army of ours even those persons were also present who are still in the loins of men and wombs of women. Shortly, time will bring them out and faith will get strength through them.
Note: If a person falls short in his actions despite means and equipment, this would be indicative of the weakness of his will. But if there is an impediment in the way of action or his life comes to an end as a result of which his action remains incomplete, then in that case Allah would not deprive him of the reward on the basis that actions are judged by intention. Since his intention in any case was to perform the action, therefore he should deserve reward to some extent.
In the case of action, there may be absence of reward because action can involve show or pretence but intention is hidden in the depth of heart. It can have not a jot of show or affectation. The intention would remain at the same level of frankness, truth, perfection and correctness where it is, even though there may be no action due to some impediment. Even if there is no occasion for forming intention but there is passion and zeal in the heart, a man would deserve reward on the basis of his heart’s feelings. This is to what Amir al-mu’minin has alluded in this sermon, namely that “If your brother loved me he would share the reward with those who secured martyrdom for our support.”
Nahjul balagha Sermon12