swearing allegiance to Amir al-mu'minin, Talhah and az-Zubayr complained
to him that he had not consulted them or sought their assistance in the
affairs (of state).
Amir al-mu'minin replied:
you frown over a small matter and leave aside big ones. Can you tell me of
anything wherein you have a right of which I have deprived you or a share
which was due to you and which I have held away from you, or any Muslim
who has laid any claim before me and I have been unable to decide it or
been ignorant of it, or committed a mistake about it?
I had no liking for the caliphate nor any interest in government, but you
yourselves invited me to it and prepared me for it. When the caliphate
came to me, I kept the Book of Allah in my view and all that Allah had put
therein for us, and all that according to which He has commanded us to
take decisions; and I followed it, and also acted on whatever the Prophet
- may Allah bless him and his descendants - had laid down as his sunnah.
In this matter I did not
need your advice or the advice of anyone else, nor has there been any
order of which I was ignorant so that I ought to have consulted you or my
Muslim brethren. If it were so I would not have turned away from you or
your reference to the question of equality (in distribution of shares from
the Muslim common fund), this is a matter in which I have not taken a
decision by my own opinion, nor have I done it by my caprice. But I found,
and you too (must have) found, that whatever the Prophet - may Allah bless
him and his descendants - brought had been finalised. Therefore, I felt no
need to turn towards you about a share which had been determined by Allah
and in which His verdict has been passed.
By Allah, in this matter,
therefore, you two or anyone else can have no favour from me. May Allah
keep our hearts and your hearts in righteousness, and may He grant us and
al-mu'minin added: May Allah have mercy on the person who, when he sees
the truth, supports it, when he sees the wrong, rejects it, and who helps
the truth against him who is on the wrong.