When Uthman was surrounded, Abdullah ibn Abbas brought a letter to Imam from Uthman in which he expressed the desire that Imam should leave for his estate Yanbu so that the proposal that was being mooted out for him to become caliph should subside. Uthman had this request earlier also. Upon this Imam said to Ibne Abbas:
O Ibne Abbas! Uthman just wants to treat me like the water-drawing camel so that I may go forward and backward with the bucket. Once he sent me word that I should go out then sent me word that I should come back. Now, again he sends me word that I should go out. By Allah, I continued protecting him till I feared lest I become a sinner.