Nahjul Balagha Letter 10

To Muawiya

What will you do when the coverings of this world in which you are wrapped are removed from you. The world attracted you with its embellishment and deceived you with its pleasure. It called you and you responded to it. It led you and you followed it. It commanded you and you obeyed it. Shortly an informer will inform you of things against which there will be no shield (for your protection). Therefore, keep off from this affair, take heed of the accounting (on the Day of Judgement), get ready for death that will soon overtake you and do not give your ears to those who have gone astray. If you do not do so I shall recall to you whatever you have forgotten, because you are a man living in ease and luxury.  Satan has taken you in his clutches, secured his wishes in you, and taken complete control of you, like the soul and blood.

O Muawiya, when were you protector of the ruled and guardian of the affairs of people without any forward step or conspicuous distinction? We seek Allah's protection against befalling of previous misfortunes, and I warn you lest you continue being deceived by desires and your appearances becomes different from your inner self.

You have called me to war. Better to leave the people on one side, come out to me and spare both the parties from fighting so that it may be known who of us has a rusted heart, and covered eyes. I am Abul-Hasan who killed your grandfather, your brother and your uncle by cutting them to pieces on the day of Badr. The same sword is with me and I meet my adversary with the same heart. I have not altered the religion nor put up any new prophet. I am surely (treading) on that very highway which you had willingly foresaken (in the beginning) and then adopted per force.

You think you have come out seeking to revenge Uthman's blood. Certainly, you know how Uthman's blood was shed. If you want to avenge it, avenge it there. It is as though I see that when war is cutting you with its teeth you cry like camels crying under a heavy load. And it is as though I see your party bewildered by the incessant striking of swords, occurrence of death and falling of bodies after bodies, calling me towards the Quran although they would themselves be either unbelievers, deniers of truth or breakers of allegiance after swearing it.