Imam Ali (A.S): The Manifestation of Real Justice (Part 1)
When Imam Ali was asked about Faith in Religion, he replied that the structure of faith is supported by four pillars endurance, conviction, justice and jihad.
Imam Ali’s life and justice are closely bound up with the history of Islam. This appeared especially during his caliphate. Whenever his name is mentioned the word of justice comes to mind.
At the beginning of his life he fought against injustice and oppression of Quraysh to spread justice of Islam. In the last days of his life he confronted terrible difficulties in order to realize justice among people and at last he was martyred for it.
He regarded people with reverence, whether they were Muslims or non-Muslims. He did his best to distribute wealth and spoils among them justly. Some great Arab men stated their grievance openly because that their share from Bayt al-Mal was equal to that of the poor.
At the beginning of his rule Imam Ali said: ”I will summon those who have deprived people of their rights to the court and I will apply the law to them even though it doesn’t please them.”
Those, who enjoyed from the public treasury during the reign of Uthman, expected that Imam Ali (A.S) would never refuse to employ them in the state affairs, but he in the first day of his caliphate said: ”I will get back all the wealth gifted to this and that even if they have paid them to their wives as dowry.”
He was too strict about the public money to the extent that he displeased his older brother Aqil, who was blind and troubled with having a large family, when he had requested more than his share from the treasury.
Once when his daughter had borrowed a necklace from Bayt al-Mal for a short time, Imam Ali (A.S) got angry when he knew about it and he threatened the treasurer to be punished for his carelessness. He said to his daughter: ”I would have punished you if you had not guaranteed it against risk.”
Nowadays the world’s population is divided into two classes; a group living in extreme poverty that a bit of food is not possible for them and another group surrounded with affluence and riches living at ease and luxury.
The Islamic civilization does not allow such distinction of classes; therefore Imam Ali (A.S) in his famous epistle to the governor of Egypt wrote: ”There are many indigents among people, who do not request for more than their share when they are badly in need of more. For God’s sake, safeguard their rights because the responsibility lays on you before God. Assign a portion from the treasury for their living and education wherever they are, whether near at hand or far from you. The rights of the all ought to be protected by you.”
He often said: ”Wherever there are palaces and affluences there are surely many lost rights beside them.”
It is clear that social justice is based on righteous judgments of the judges. Therefore Imam Ali (A.S) had instructed the judges with many legal instructions in order to spread justice everywhere.
According to Imam Ali’ s instructions, every judge ought to treat the litigants equally in looking at them, talking with them and in seating them so that the judge’s relative would not exploit the opportunity to gain illegal benefits and that the judge’s enemies would not despair of justice.
Once he said to the second caliph Umar: ”There are three things that if you put in practice, you won’t be in need of other thing:
1-Enforcement of the religious law upon the stranger and acquaintance equally. 2-Judging according to the book of Allah (Qur’an) in state of anger or consent. 3- Just division of the spoils between the lowly people and the nobles and between the black and the white.”
Nowadays, in some civilized countries of the world a black-skinned boy or girl is not admitted in whites' schools. Regretfully in the hospitals of the U. S. A., even in the northern part where people used to fight against slavery, the wards and surgeries of the whites differ from those of the blacks. Young and inexperienced doctors have no right to visit the white persons, whereas the various tests are performed in the blacks’ section.
Now we go back to dry and sandy Arabia of fourteen centuries ago where ignorance and party spirits were spread. The noble privilege and grandness were too much hateful and the ordinary people could never look forward to the positions that were held by the nobles. Imam Ali (A.S) proclaimed freedom and equality and those, who were entitled to virtue, became high-ranking officials during his government. He urged people to behave fairly towards each other without letting differences trouble their life.
Although such privileges were cancelled by the charter of the Human Rights organization under the name of freedom and equality, it took a long time until the west got rid of the gloom of the ignorance of the Middle Ages.
In spite of this declaration of the Human Rights, we regretfully see the racial feelings and supremacy over other nations and bloody wars throughout the world.
The shameful act of killing the Palestinians in Sabra and Shatilla camp and the felony of the Sorbs in Kosovo and Herzegovina are not just stories. These ugly and hateful events are written down in the pages of history like a stain on man’s forehead.
Source: Imam Ali (A.S) Sunshine of Civilized Islam
By Muhammad Hussein Tahmasebi
Ali’s Attraction: Secrets and Causes (Part 1)
Ali’s Attraction: Secrets and Causes (Part 2)
Abstinence and Piety of Imam Ali (A.S)
The Vastness of Imam Ali’s Knowledge