77. It is related that when Ḍirār ibn Ḥamzah (the correct: Ḍamrah) aḍ-Ḍibābī (or aṣ-Ṣudā’ī)  went to Mu‘āwiyah, and Mu‘āwiyah enquired from him about Amīr al-mu’minīn, peace be upon him, he said: I stand witness that I have seen him on several occasions when night had spread and he was standing in the niche (of the mosque) holding his beard, groaning like a man bitten by a snake and weeping as a grieved man, saying:
O world, O world! Get away from me. Why do you present yourself to me? Or are you eager for me? You may not get that opportunity to impress me. Deceive some other person. I have no concern with you. I have divorced you thrice whereafter there is no restitution. Your life is short, your importance is little and your aspirations are base. Alas! The provision is little, the way is long, the journey is far and the goal is hard to reach.
 Ḍirār ibn Ḥamzah was one of the companions of Amīr al-mu’minīn. After the death of Amīr al-mu’minīn, he went to Syria (ash-Shām) where he met Mu‘āwiyah. Mu‘āwiyah asked him, “Describe ‘Alī to me.” He replied, “Would you please excuse me from answering this?” But Mu‘āwiyah insisted, “You must describe him.” Whereupon Ḍirār said:
If there is no alternative, then you should know that ‘Alī was a man whose personality knew no limits, terrible in power, his speech was decisive, his judgements based on justice, his knowledge spread out in all directions and wisdom was manifest in all his behaviour. Among the food he liked most was the coarse kind and among the clothes, the short (and humble) ones. By Allāh, he was among us as one of us. He used to respond to our questions and fulfil all our requests. By Allāh, although be used to let us get close to him and he himself was close to us, we did not dare address him due to our feeling of awe towards him nor did we dare to speak first due to his greatness in our hearts. His smile displayed a row of pearls. He used to honour the pious; to be kind to the needy, to feed the orphan, the near of kin or the needy man in misery on the day of huuger; to clothe the bare ones and to help the undefended person. He used to detest the world and its flowering. I stand witness that. . . (and so forth, as quoted above by as-Sayyid ar-Raḍī).
When Mu‘āwiyah heard this from Ḍirār his eyes filled with tears and he said, “May Allāh have mercy on Abu’l-Ḥasan. He really was so.” Then, turning to Dirar he said, “How do you feel in his absence, O’ Ḍirār!” Dirar replied, “My grief is like that of a woman whose only child is butchered in her arms.” (al-Istī‘āb, vol. 3, pp. 1107—1108; Ḥilyah al-awliyā’, vol. 2, p. 84; Ṣifātu’ṣ-ṣafwah, Ibn al-Jawzī, vol. 1, p. 121; al-Amālī, Abū ‘Alī al-Qālī, vol. 2, p. 147; Zahr al-ādāb, al-Ḥuṣrī, pp. 40—41; Murūj adh-dhahab, vol. 2, p. 421; ar-Riyāḍ an-naḍirah, al-Muḥibb aṭ-Ṭabarī, vol. 2, p. 212; Ibn Abi’l-Ḥadīd, vol. 18, pp. 225 - 226)