Well, I have sent forward my vanguard  and have ordered them to remain in camp on this bank of the River till my order reaches them. My intention is that I should cross this water over to the small habitation of people residing on the sides of the Tigris and rouse them to march with you towards the enemy and keep them as auxiliary force for you.
قال السيد الشريف: أقول: يعني عليه السلام بالملطاط ها هنا: السّمْتَ الذي أمرهم بلزومه، وهو شاطىء الفرات، ويقال ذلك أيضاً لشاطىء البحر، وأصله ما استوى من الاَرض. ويعني بالنطفة: ماء الفرات، وهو من غريب العبارات وعجيبها.
as-Sayyid ar-Raḍī says: Here by “milṭāṭ” Amīr al-mu’minīn has meant the direction where he had ordered the men to camp and that was the bank of the Euphrates, and “milṭāṭ” is used for the bank of a river although its literal meaning is level ground whereas by “nuṭfah” he means the water of the Euphrates, and these are amazing expressions.
 Amīr al-mu’minīn delivered this sermon when he camped at the Valley of an-Nukhaylah on Wednesday the 5th Shawwal 37 A.H. on his way to Ṣiffīn. The Vanguard mentioned herein means the twelve thousand persons whom he had sent towards Ṣiffīn under the command of Ziyād ibn an-Naḍr and Shurayh ibn Hāni, while the small force of al-Madā‘in mentioned by him was a contingent of twelve hundred men who had come up in response to Amīr al-mu’minīn’s call.