Nahjul Balagha Letter 36

To his brother Aqieel bin Abi Talib, in reply to his letter which contained a reference to the army Ameerul Momineen had sent to some enemy.

I sent towards him a large army of Muslims. When he came to know of it he fled away and retreated repenting. They met him on the way when the sun was about to set. They grappled for a while like nothing. It was about an hour and he rescued himself half-dead as he had almost been taken by the neck and only the last breath remained in him. In this way, he escaped in a panic.

Leave the Quraysh in their rushing into misguidance, their galloping in disunity and their leaping over destruction. They have joined together to fight me as they had joined to fight the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) before me. I wish the Quraysh will get the reward of their treatment of me. For they disregarded my kinship and deprived me of the power due to me from the son of my mother (the Holy Prophet).

As for your enquiry about my opinion to fight till I die, I am in favour of fighting those who regard fighting lawful. The crowd of men around me does not give me strength nor does their dispersal from me cause any loneliness. Surely, do not consider the son of your father weak or afraid, even though all people have forsaken him, bow down submissively before injustice or hand over his reins into the hand of the puller, or allow his back to be used by the rider to sit upon. But he is as the man of Banu Salim has said:
If you enquire how I am, then listen that I am enduring and strong against the vicissitudes of time. I do not allow myself to be grieved lest the foe feels joyful and the friend feels sorry.