My spy in the West has written  to me telling me that some people of Syria have been sent for ḥajj who are blind of heart, deaf of ears and devoid of eyesight. They confound the truth with vanity, obey men in disobeying Allāh, claim the milk of the world in the name of religion, and trade in the pleasures of this world by forsaking the rewards of the virtuous and the Godfearing. No one achieves good except he who acts for it, and no one is awarded the recompense of evil except he who commits it. 'Therefore, behave yourself in your duties like an intelligent, experienced, well-wishing and wise man who follows his superior and is obedient to his Imam. You should avoid what you may have to explain. Do not rise up in riches nor lose courage in distress; and that is an end to the matter.
 Mu‘āwiyah sent some men in the garb of pilgrims to Mecca in order to create sensation in the peaceful atmosphere of the place, by taking common men into their confidence, by a show of piety and God-fearing and then convincing them that ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib has instigated the people against ‘Uthmān and in the end succeeded in getting him killed. In this way, they were to hold him responsible for the killing of ‘Uthmān and to turn the people against him, and also to incline the people towards him (Mu‘āwiyah) by mentioning the greatness of his character, the sublimity of his manners and stories of his generosity. But when the men whom Amīr al-mu’minīn had put on the job gave him the information, he wrote this letter to Qutham ibn al-‘Abbās to keep an eye on their movements and to put a stop to their mischief - mongerings.