LettersNahjul Balagha

Letter 64

In reply to Muawiya

Certainly, we and you were on amiable terms as you say but difference arose between us and you the other day, when we accepted belief (iman) and you rejected it. Today the position is that we are steadfast (in belief) but you are creating mischief. Those of you who accepted Islam did so reluctantlyand that too when all the chief men had accepted Islam and joined the Messenger of Allah- (pbuh).

You have stated that I killed Talhah and az-Zubayr, forced A'ishah out of her house and adopted residence between the two cities (Kufa and Basrah). These are matters with which you have no concern nor do they involve anything against you. Therefore, no explanation about them is due to you.

You also state that you are coming to me with a party of muhajirs and ansars, but hijrah came to an end on the day your brother was taken prisoner. If you are in a hurry, then wait a bit as I may come to meet you and that would be more befitting as that would mean that Allah has appointed me to punish you. But if you come to me it would be as the poet of Banu Asad said: They are advancing against summer winds which are hurling stones on them in the highlands and lowlands.

(Remember) I have still the sword with which I dispatched your grandfather, your mother's brother and your brother to one and the same place. By Allah, I know what you are. Your heart is sheathed and intelligence is weak. It is better to say you have ascended to where you view a bad scene which is against you, not in your favour, because you are searching a thing lost by someone, you are tending someone else's cattle and are hankeringafter a thing which is not yours nor have you any attachmentwith it. How remote are your words from your actions, and how closely you resemble your paternal and maternal uncles who were led by their wickedness and love for wrong to oppose Muhammad (pbuh) and in consequence they were killed as you know. They could not put up a defence against the calamity and could not protect their place of safety from the striking of swords which abound in the battle and which do not show weakness.

You have said a lot about killing of Uthman. You first join what the people have joined (allegiance) then seek a verdict about (accused ) from me and I shall settle the matter between you and them according to the Book of Allah. But what you are aiming at is just the fake nipple given to a child in first days of stopping of nursing. Peace be on those who deserve it.

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