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Justice as part of Amirul Mumineen, Imam Ali's (as) life: Behavior towards guests

Justice as part of Amirul MumineenThere are numerous incidents from the life of Amirul Mumineen, Imam Ali (as) which we have read and heard from others. We must carefully analyze those incidents to see the core message. Justice had become such an integral part of Imam Ali's (as) life that whatever he said and did, Adl (Justice) was projected from it. Study the following incidents:

A father and a son were once guests of Amirul Mumineen, Imam Ali (as). As they arrived, Imam Ali (as) received them warmly and arranged for their comfortable accommodation. In a room where they were seated, Imam Ali (as) sat opposite to them, engaging them in a friendly conversation. And then it was time for the meal. After food had been served and eaten, Qambar, Amirul Mumineen's well known servant, brought a basin and a pitcher full of water for washing the guest's hands. Imam Ali (as) took the pitcher himself and asked the father to extend his hands so that he would pour the water.

"How is it possible that my Amir (Leader) serves me? It should be other way," the guest said.

Amirul Mumineen, Imam Ali (as) said: "Here is your brother in faith, eager to serve his brother and to earn the pleasure of Allah (SWT). Why do you prevent him?"

But the guest hesitated. Finally Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (as) said: "As your Amir, I request that you allow me the honor of this service."

And when the guest complied, Imam Ali (as) said: "Let your hands be washed thoroughly. Do not hasten, thinking that I should be relieved of this duty early."

When it was the son's turn, Amirul Mumineen, Imam Ali (as) instructed his own son Muhammad ibn Hanafiyyah, to hold the pitcher and wash the guest's hands. Looking at his son, Imam Ali (as) said:

I washed your father's hands. My son washed your hands. If your father had not been my guest today, I would have washed your hands myself. But Allah (SWT) loves to see that when a father and a son are present in a place, the father enjoys a privilege and a priority.

Amirul Mumineen, Imam Ali (as) and Mat al-Din (Religion died)

Amirul Mumineen, Imam Ali (as)Amirul Mumineen, Imam Ali (as) was passing by a place where a group of children were engaged in play. However, there was one boy who was not playing with them but stood aloof and sad. Imam Ali (as) approached him and asked: "What is your name?" He replied: "Mat al-Din (Religion died)."

Amirul Mumineen, Imam Ali (as) desired to know the reason for such a name and so inquired about the child's father. He was informed that his father had died, but his mother was alive. Imam Ali (as) called for his mother and inquired about the reason for such a strange name, whereupon the mother said: "When this child was in my womb, his father had embarked upon a journey." After a period his companions approached me and said: "Your husband fell ill on the way and died, but before his death he requested us that if his child was born, he should be named Mat al-Din (Religion died)."

Having heard this, Amirul Mumineen, Imam Ali (as) comprehended the reason for such a name and ordered all the people to gather in the mosque. When the people had gathered, Imam Ali (as) said to them: "Whenever I recite Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest), all of you should recite it in unison too."

Amirul Mumineen, Imam Ali (as) then called for the dead person's companions, who were four in number and subjected them to individual and separate interrogation.

Turning to the first person, Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (as) sought to know how he had killed the boy's father. The man, who was stunned to hear the question, blurted out: "All I did was to present the cord." Amirul Mumineen, Imam Ali (as) recited Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest), and the people in the mosque chorused.

The second one, in answer to the Imam Ali's (as) question, said: "My only crime was to tie the cord around his neck." The third person said: "I had brought the knife", while the fourth person, recounting the incident explicitly, said: "We collectively murdered him for the purpose of seizing and appropriating his wealth." Amirul Mumineen, Imam Ali (as) recited Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest), and the people too recited in unison.

Amirul Mumineen, Imam Ali (as) took possession of the wealth which they had stolen from the deceased and handed it to the boy's mother, and then subjected the killers to a severe punishment. Then turning to the boy's mother, Imam Ali (as) said: "Change his name to Asha al-Din (religion is alive)."

Judgement of Ameer ul Momineen: Five Fornicators and Five different Rulings

Judgement of Ameer ul MomineenFive persons, who had committed fornication, were brought before Umar ibn Khattab, who ordered them to be subjected to the legal punishment for the crime. At that moment Ameer ul Momineen, Imam Ali (as) arrived and said: "O' Umar ibn Khattab! Allah's ruling in their case is not as you have ruled!" Umar ibn Khattab requested: "You issue the ruling for them and implement the legal punishment."

Ameer ul Momineen, Imam Ali (as) beheaded the first person, stoned the second, subjected the third to the full punishment of eighty lashes, the fourth to half the punishment and ordered the discretionary punishment for the fifth!

Umar ibn Khattab was amazed and the people astounded over the Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib's (as) ruling. Umar ibn Khattab asked him: "O' Abul Hasan! Five persons were involved in one crime and you have issued different rulings for all of them?"

Ameer ul Momineen, Imam Ali (as) explained: "The first person was a Dhimmi (A free non-Muslim subject living in a Muslim country) who had transgressed (the honour of) a Muslim woman and so had fallen out of the Dhimmah (Covenant of protection.) as such, his punishment could only be death.

The second person who had committed fornication possessed a spouse and so I had him stoned. The third one to have been involved in the crime did not have a wife and so I punished him with eighty lashes.

The fourth was a slave and therefore I subjected him to half the legal punishment (of eighty lashes), while the fifth one was poor of intellect due to which I subjected him to the discretionary punishment (few lashes)."

Hearing the explanation Umar ibn Khattab exclaimed: "O' Abul Hasan! May it never happen that I have to live with the people when you are not around (to help me)!

Complaint against Husband: Taking care of oppressed woman in Islam

Taking care of oppressed woman in IslamAmeer ul Momineen, Imam Ali (as) during the days of his Caliphate (Khilafat) used to personally listen to the grievances and complaints of the people. Once, the days were hot and people did not venture out of their houses after midday. Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (as) sat everyday outside his house under the shade of a wall so that if someone had any complaints, could lodge the same to him directly. Sometimes he walked in lanes and streets observing the general condition of the people.

One day he returned to his residence tired and sweating, and found a woman waiting. Seeing Amirul Mumineen, she came near and said:

"I am in trouble. My husband oppresses me. He has turned me out from the house and has threatened to beat me. If I go to him he will beat me. I request you to do justice between us".

"O Servant of Allah (SWT), it is too hot now. Wait till it cools down in the afternoon. Then I shall come with you and redress your grievances".

"If I stay out too long, I am afraid it may increase his anger".

For a moment he bowed his head and then raised it up saying to himself, "No, By God, justice to the oppressed should not be delayed. The right of the oppressed should certainly be taken from the oppressor; and every fear should be taken out from her heart so that she may stand boldly before the oppressor and demand her right".

"Tell me where your house is?" Ameer ul Momineen, Imam Ali (as) asked.

"It is in such and such place", replied the woman.

"Let us go." Amirul Mumineen, Imam Ali (as) said.

He accompanied her to her house, stood at the door and called loudly, "O Master of the house! Peace be upon thee".

A young man came out. He was her husband. He did not recognize Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as). He found that an old man of about sixty years had accompanied her and assumed that she had brought him for support and mediation; but he kept silent.

"This lady has a complaint against you. She says that you have oppressed her and have ousted her from the house. Besides you have threatened to beat her. I have come here to tell you to fear Allah (SWT) and be kind to your wife". Amirul Mumineen, Imam Ali (as) said.

"In what way does it concern you if I have not treated my wife well. Yes, I had threatened to beat her, but now, since she has brought you to obey plead for her, I shall throw her into fire and burn her alive".

Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) was disturbed by the impudence of the young man. Drawing out his sword he said, "I am only advising you to do good and admonishing you from bad deeds; but you are replying me in such manner clearly saying to burn this woman in fire. Do you think there is no authority in this world?"

Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib's (as) loud voice drew the attention of the passers by, and a huge crowd gathered. Whoever came bowed down with reverence before the old man and saluted him by saying "Peace be on you O Commander of the Faithful".

When the rude young man realized as to whom he was talking with, he trembled and supplicated, "O Ameer ul Momineen! Forgive me. I confess my faults and promise that henceforth I shall obey my wife".

Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) turned to the woman and told her to go in the house and cautioned her not to behave in such a manner that her husband had to be angry again.

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Islamic Moral Stories is designed by Akramulla Syed Last Updated: Thursday, November 17, 2016