Mu’awiyah on Justice: Balance between the ruler and his subjects

Al-Mada’ini reported: Mu’awiyah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “It is as if there is strand of hair between the people and myself for me to keep straight without breaking it.” It was said, “How is that?” Mu’awiyah said, “When they loosen it, I will tighten it. When they tighten it, I will loosen it.”

Source: Rawḍat al-ʻUqalāʼ 40

عَنِ الْمَدَائِنِيِّ قَالَ قَالَ مُعَاوِيَةُ رضي الله عنه لَوْ أَنَّ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ النَّاسِ شَعْرَةٌ مَا انْقَطَعَتْ قِيلَ وَكَيْفَ قَالَ لأَنَّهُمْ إِنْ مَدُّوهَا خَلَّيْتُهَا وَإِنْ خَلَّوْهَا مَدَدْتُهَا

40 روضة العقلاء لابن حبان لو أن بيني وبين الناس شعرة ما انقطعت