A letter from Imam Ali (a) to one of his governors.
You are one of those persons whose assistance I require in propagating the religion, in strengthening its hold, in defeating the unbelievers and sinners and in guarding dangerous frontiers of this State. Seek the help of Allah in your difficulties and enterprises. In your behaviour with your subjects remember that you should use leniency and tolerance alongside severity. Be kind, tolerant and lenient as far as and as long as possible but when you feel that your purpose cannot be achieved without severity only then can you adopt such an attitude.
But remember always to treat them sympathetically, kindly, courteously and to treat them cheerfully. While meeting them, talking to them and wishing everyone of them, whether rich or poor, big or small you should behave as if they are your equals so that important persons of your State may not presume to derive undue advantage out of your uncalled for servile behaviour and poor people may not lose hope in your justice and sympathy.