Nahjul Balagha Letter 50

To the officers of his army

From the servant of Allah, Ali, Ameerul Momineen to Officers in charge of garrisons: Now, it is obligatory on an officer that the distinction he achieves, or the wealth with which he has been exclusively endowed, should not make him change his behaviour towards those under him, and the riches Allah has bestowed on him should increase him in nearness to his people and kindness over his brethren.

Beware, it is obligatory for you on me that I should not keep anything secret from you except during war, nor should I decide any matter without consulting you except the commands of religion, nor should I ignore fulfilment of any of your rights nor desist till I discharge it fully, and that for me all of you should be equal in rights. When I have done all this, it becomes obligatory on you to thank Allah for this and to obey me, and you should not hold back when called, nor shirk good acts, and you should face hardships for the sake of right. If you do not remain steadfast in this, there will be no one more humiliated in my view than the one among you who has deviated, and then I will increase the punishment for him, wherein no one will get any concession from me. Take this (pledge) from your officers and accord to them such behaviour from your side by which Allah may improve your matters.