Letter 17 A reply to a letter of Mu'awiya
You want me to give Syria over to you but remember that what I have previously refused you cannot be handed over to you and I will never consent to your usurpation of the same. You tell me that wars have annihilated the Arabs and very few people are left alive. I must inform you that verily, those, who were killed defending the truth and Islam were martyrs, and they are in Paradise and those who were killed helping paganism or hypocrisy, are now in Hell. But the contention that your position in wars is the same as mine, is very fantastic and ludicrous. The absurdity of your claim is due to the fact that you want to match your doubt and incredulity in the truth of Islam to my sincere belief and faith in it, this you cannot do. Further the Syrians are as keen for these worldly gains as Iraqis are to achieve the favour of Allah and the Holy Prophet (s) [therefore they are so willing to run the hazard of war].
You claim that your clan is also descended from Abd Manaf is true but you must remember, as the history of the Arabs will convince you, that your ancestor, Ummayya was not equal to our ancestor, the famous Hashim, neither Harb, another ancestor of yours, was equal to our Abdul Muttalib who was the defender and the guardian of Makkah nor Abu Sufyan could claim himself equal to Abu Taalib [who defended, guarded and suffered so much for the Holy Prophet (s) and Islam]. What is more, no freed-slave can be considered equal to a Muhajir and one coming from a doubtful lineage cannot claim to be equal to those who come from the noble parentage while there is no similarity between one who follows truth and Islam and one who doubts the truth of Islam. Remember also that the worst descendant is one who follows in the footstep of his ancestor in the way of paganism, hypocrisy and Hell.
We (Bani Hashim) still own the glory of prophethood (having the Holy Prophet (s) from amongst us). Prophethood which brought equality to mankind by lowering the position of mighty and despotic lords and raising the status of oppressed and humiliated persons. When Allah willed the Arabs to embrace Islam, in large numbers they entered its fold willingly or reluctantly. During the days when those who had precedence in embracing Islam were receiving the Blessings of the Lord for this precedence or when those who, on account of unbearable sufferings from the hands of your clan, were forced to migrate from Makkah, you and your family were after wealth and power. Some of you embraced Islam to better your position because Muslims were gaining ascendancy and supremacy and some others became Muslims because after having harmed and wronged the Muslims in the early days of Islam, you felt that the only way to protect yourself from their vengeance was to profess their religion, though outwardly and hypocritically. Fear Allah and do not let Satan influence your mind and body and do not give it a way into your soul.