Jarir bin Abdullah Bajali was sent to Damascus. He was carrying a letter for Mu’awiya. Some delay occurred in his return. Imam Ali (a) felt anxious about his safety and wrote the following letter to him:
After praising Allah and the Holy Prophet (s) I want to advise you that as soon as you receive this letter of mine, force Mu’awiya for a reply to my letter written to him. Compel him to come to a decision and to give a final reply. He must decide between two things. Either war or obedience. If it is going to be a war then I shall get ready to fight against him, and if it is going to be peace then you must make him swear the oath of allegiance to me and then you must return.