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Although Ali had led an army to Basra, he was averse to any armed conflict between the Muslims. He felt that those who had rebelled against his authority labored under some misunderstanding. It was his endeavor that such misunderstanding should be removed and unity should be restored among the Muslims. When his army Generals asked his instructions about beginning the war operations, he commanded that war was not to be resorted to until all possibilities of an equitable settlement through peaceful means had been exhausted. He ordered that even on the failure of the peace parleys, the first shot was not to be fired from his side. "Let the other side take the initiative in the war, if they are not inclined to listen to the voice of reason" he said.