In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
The Spirit of Justice in Practice
The person who is familiar with Islamic teachings and the records of Imam Ali (PBUH) knows how he was trained by the Great Prophet (PBUH&HP); and for this person the conduct and the special sensitivity of Imam Ali (PBUH) regarding justice and its importance is not surprising.
Yes, isn’t it mentioned in the Holy Quran that “Indeed We have sent Our Messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance (justice) that mankind may keep up justice …”? (1)
In this verse justice is introduced as the purpose for appointment of all the prophets. The status and sacredness of justice is revered to an extent that the appointment of the divine prophets is intended for it. Now how is it possible for Ali (PBUH) who is the interpreter of the Quran and the explainer of the principles and details of Islam to remain silent about this issue or to neglect it?
As an instance, based on the historical evidences, during the rule of Amir al-Mu’minin Ali (PBUH), his armor was lost and after a while it was found at the hands of a Christian. Amir al-Mu’minin (PBUH) took him to the judge and claimed for the armor and said, “This armor belongs to me. I neither sold it nor did I bestow it to anyone, and now I have found it at the hands of this man.” The judge told the Christian, “The Caliph of Muslims expressed his claim. Now, what do you have to say for yourself?”
The Christian said, “This armor belongs to me; however, I don’t deny the claim of the Caliph, for that he might have made a mistake.”
The judge turned to Amir al-Mu’minin (PBUH) and said, “You claim this armor and this person denies your claim. Therefore it is your task to bring a witness.”
Ali (PBUH) laughed and said, “The judge is right, now it is my task to bring a witness. However, I don’t have any witness.”
Based on the fact that claimer did not have a witness, the judge ruled in favor of the Christian, and he took the armor and started to leave.
However, the Christian who knew that the armor was not his, after taking a few steps came to his conscience and returned and said, “This way of conduct and rule of this man (Amir al-Mu’minin (PBUH)) is not typical for normal rulers; it is rather typical for the rule of the prophets. Then he confessed that the armor was for Amir al-Mu’minin Ali (PBUH).”
After a while he was seen converted to Islam and faithfully and passionately taking part in the battle of Nahrawaan on the side of Amir al-Mu’minin (PBUH).
There are some people who don’t regard such central matters like justice in their teachings or think that justice is a side issue and only matters such as Salat (prayer) and fasting is important in the religion. These people should reconsider their beliefs and way of thinking, and take into account such instances in the conduct of Amir al-Mu’minin (PBUH).
(The above is a selection taken from “The Set of Works of Martyred Scholar, Murtada Mutahhari vol. 16 and 18”)
The Roshd Website congratulates all Muslims and free-thinkers around the world, especially you dear friend, upon 13th of Rajab, the birthday anniversary of the justice spreader Imam and the righteous ruler of the, Amir al-Mu’minin Imam Ali (PBUH).
Roshd Islamic Shia Website
1. The Holy Quran, (57:25)