A nomad stood up and came to Ameralmu’amineen (A.S.) at the day of Aljamel (War) and said: O Ameeralmu’amineen’ do you say that Allah is one?
He said: people blamed him saying: Don’t you see that the Imam’s heart is busy (with the affairs of war)?!
Ameeralmu’amineen (A.S.) said: “Let him ask as what he wants is the same thing we want from the other party (i-e from our enemy!)”.
Then he (A.S.) said: “O nomad’ the saying that Allah is one has four meanings, two of them are not applicable i-e they are wrong to be attributed to Allah while the other two are right and applied to Allah (be exalted).
As to those which are wrong and not applicable to Him are the saying of one that He is one, meaning the category of numbers, this is not right because one has no second for him is not counted within numbers.
Do you not see that he who said that He is the third of three became infidel; likewise that who says that He is one of people, meaning that He is on individual of the sort which is taken from the genus this is wrong because it is a likening, our Creator is exalted from that meaning.
As to the two meanings which are right to be said about Him. The first is when one says that He is one, who has no similarity among things, and our Creator is as such. The second is when one says that He is one outside numbers (monism) which means that He is not divided in reality, mind or imagination, our creator is as such, may He be exalted” 247
As a comparable point of view, what a great difference between what Imam Ali (A.S.) has done there, in spite of his being busy as his comparisons described him due to the turmoil which befell Muslim during Al-Jamal war, and what Aumer ebnal khataab has done with Alasbagh ebna assal when he asked him about the “Mutashaabeh” of Qur’an although Aumer was living untroubled at Almadeena.
Ebin Hajjar narrated that a man came to Almedeena at the time of Aumer; this man is called Alasbagh bin Assal; he asked Aumer about the “Mutashaabeh” of Qur’an Aumer called on Him and beat him with his stitch till his head bleeds, he cancelled his share from “baitelmaal”, forbade people from sitting with him- then he decided to expel him to Basrah and wrote to his governor there Abu Mousa Al-Asha'ri: “I tell you that Alasbagh has burdened on himself what he has been saved and wasted what he had been entrusted, so when my letter reaches you don’t deal with him in purchase, don’t visit him when he becomes ill and if he dies don’t participate in his funeral” 248
247. Ketaab Alkhesaal, Alsheikh Alsadouq: 2/ ch. Of Alwaahid, pub.: Jama’atalmuderreseen Qom and Ma’ani Alakhbaar: 5 baab alwaahid.
248. Alessabah fi temyeez elsahaabah: Ebnahajjar alaskalaani 2: 198- Dar Ehyaalturaath alarabi pub: 1st, , 1328 H.