Uthman listened patiently to the talk of Ali and then said:
"All, I am grateful to you for having come and talked to me. I have always looked to you as my best support. You are a keen judge of men and matters, and you are known for your perception of the truth. I had expected that in this crisis you would discern the truth, and take measures to stop the false propaganda that is poisoning the atmosphere. Instead you have talked in the same vein as the malcontents. You have insinuated that as an Imam I had been cruel and tyrannical and that the punishment therefor is hell. This is uncharitable on your part. You have been- apparently led away by the false propaganda that is being carried by some persons who have their own axe-to grind. In my speech on the occasion of the Hajj in 655- C.E. I dealt with all the allegations that had been levelled against me. All the persons assembled corroborated what I had said. No one had the courage to stand up and say anything to the contrary. It is unfortunate that in Madina some further propaganda has been made. I have pondered over all what the people say, and I will talk about this further in the Prophet's mosque.
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