261. When the news of the attack of Mu‘āwiyah’s men on al-Anbār reached Amīr al-mu’minīn, peace be upon him, he himself came out walking till he reached an-Nukhaylah, where people overtook him and said: “O’ Amīr al-mu’minīn, we are enough for them,” then he said:
You cannot be enough for me against yourselves, so how can you be enough for me against others? Before me the people used to complain of the oppression of their rulers but now I have to complain of the wrongful actions of my people; as though I am led by them and they are the leaders or that I am the subject and they are the rulers.
فلما قال (عليه السلام) هذا القول، في كلامٍ طويلٍ قد ذكرنا مختارَه في جملةِ الخُطَب، تقدّم إليه رجلان من أصحابه، فقال أحدهما: إنّي لا أملك إلا نفسي وأخي، فَمُرْنا بأمرك يا أميرالمؤمنين نُنْفِد له. فقال (عليه السلام): وأَيْنَ تَقَعَانِ مِمَّا أُريدُ؟
The narrator says: When Amīr al-mu’minīn, peace be upon him, uttered this during his long speech which we have included in the collection of sermons (No. 27), two men from his companions advanced towards him and one of them said : I rule no one except myself and my brother (Qur’ān, 5:25). So, order us with your command, O’ Amīr al-mu’minīn and we will accomplish it. Thereupon, Amīr al-mu’minīn, peace be upon him, said: How can you two accomplish what I aim at?