Marwan a cousin of Muawiyah was a bitter enemy of Ali. He had played a great part in inciting revolt against the caliphate of Ali. He was taken captive in the Battle of the Camel at Basra. When brought before Ali he asked for mercy. Ali released him unconditionally. Thereupon Marwan offered to pay allegiance to him, but Ali said, "I did not want his allegiance. I released him for the sake of God, and not for securing allegiance to me."