Beware! Satan has certainly started instigating his forces and has collected his army in order that oppression may reach its extreme ends and wrong may come back to its position. By Allah they have not put a correct blame on me, nor have they done justice between me and themselves.
They are demanding of me a right which they have abandoned, and a blood that they have themselves shed.(1) If I were a partner with them in it then they too have their share of it. But if they did it without me they alone have to face the consequences. Their biggest argument (against me) is (really) against themselves. They are suckling from a mother who is already dry, and bringing into life innovation that is already dead. How disappointing is this challenger (to battle)? Who is this challenger and for what is he being responded to? I am happy that the reasoning of Allah has been exhausted before them and He knows (all) about them.
If they refuse (to obey) I will offer them the edge of the sword which is enough a curer of wrong and supporter of Right.
It is strange they send me word to proceed to them for spear-fighting and to keep ready for fighting with swords. May the mourning women mourn over them. I have ever been so that I was never frightened by fighting nor threatened by clashing. I enjoy full certainty of belief from my Allah and have no doubt in my faith.
(1). When Amir al-mu'minin
was accused of `Uthman's assassination he delivered this sermon
to refute that allegation, wherein he says about those who blamed
him that: "These seekers of vengeance cannot say that I alone
am the assassin and that no one else took part in it. Nor can
they falsify witnessed events by saying that they were unconcerned
with it. Why then have they put me foremost for this avenging?
With me they should include themselves also. If I am free of this
blame they cannot establish their freedom from it. How can they
detach themselves from this punishment? The truth of the matter
is that by accusing me of this charge their aim is that I should
behave with them in the same manner to which they are accustomed.
But they should not expect from me that I would revive the innovations
of the previous regimes. As for fighting, neither was I ever afraid
of it nor am I so now. Allah knows my intention and He also knows
that those standing on the excuse of taking revenge are themselves
his assassins." Thus, history corroborates that the people
who managed his (`Uthman's) assassination by agitation and had
even prevented his burial in Muslims' graveyard by hurling stones
at his coffin were the same who rose for avenging his blood. In
this connection, the names of Talhah ibn `Ubaydillah, az-Zubayr
ibn al-`Awwam and `A'ishah are at the top of the list since on
both occasions their efforts come to sight with conspicuity. Thus
Ibn Abi'l-Hadid writes that:
Those who have written the account of assassination
of `Uthman state that on the day of his killing Talhah's condition
was that in order to obscure himself from the eyes of the people
he had a veil on his face and was shooting arrows at `Uthman's
And in this connection, about az-Zubayr's ideas he
Historians have also state that az-Zubayr used to
say "Kill `Uthman. He has altered your faith." People
said, "Your son is standing at his door and guarding him,"
and he replied, "Even my son may be lost, but `Uthman must
be killed. `Uthman will be lying like a carcass on Sirat tomorrow."
(Sharh Nahj al-balaghah, vol.9, pp. 35-36)
About `A'ishah, Ibn `Abd Rabbih writes:
al-Mughirah ibn Shu`bah came to `A'ishah when she
said, "O' Abu `Abdillah, I wish you had been with me on the
day of Jamal; how arrows were piercing through my hawdaj
(camel litter) till some of them stuck my body." al- Mughirah
said, "I wish one of them should have killed you." She
said, "Allah may have pity you; why so?" He replied,
"So that it would have been some atonement for what you had
done against `Uthman." (al-`Iqd al-farid, vol. 4,