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Examples of Imam Ali’s (A.S) Moral Virtues

part 3


Those On Foot Not To Follow Riders

Imam Sadiq has reported: Amir al-Mu’minin, once, was riding when his companions started following him on foot out of respect. At this moment, he turned to them saying, “Are you in need of something?”‌ They said, “We would like to accompany you.”‌ The Imam said, “Go back, for walking or running on foot along with a rider will be a cause of corruption for the rider and a cause of humiliation for those on foot.”‌


A Jew Becomes Muslim

During Imam Ali’s caliphate, Shurayh was the judge. The Imam came to the court with a Jew so that Shurayh will judge between them. The Imam said, “The cuirass which is in your hand is mine, for I have neither sold it nor have I given it as a present.”‌ The Jew said, “The cuirass is mine and now it is in my hands.”‌ Shurayh asked the Imam to present a witness. Imam Ali said, “Qanbar (his servant) and Husayn testify that the cuirass is mine.”‌ Shurayh said, “sons’ testimonies for their fathers are not valid nor are these of servants, for they will witness in your favor.”‌ Imam Ali said, “Woe to you, Shurayh! You have certainly made several mistakes. Firstly, I am your leader and you obey Allah because you obey me and you know that what I say is not false. Secondly, you claimed that Qanbar and Hussein witnessed in my favor. The punishment for this is to judge among the Jew for three days.”‌ The Imam sent the judge to a Jewish neighborhood to judge among them and then to come back to his place of work. When the Jew heard that although Ali had two witnesses but did not misuse his authority and the judge too passed a judgment against him, said, “This is truly the Leader of the believers.”‌ Hence he became Muslim; he confessed that the cuirass belonged to Imam Ali, it had fallen off the Imam’s black and white camel during the Battle of Siffin and he had taken it for himself.


Justice in The Court

Once a plaintiff lodged a complaint before Umar ibn al-Khattab, the Caliph of those days. Both parties of litigation should appear before the court and lay their complaints. The one against whom the complaint was lodged was Imam Ali (A.S). Convoking both parties, Umar went and sat down on the seat of judgment. According to the Islamic law, both parties ought to station next to each other and the principle of equality before the Tribunal should be respected. Accordingly, the Caliph called out the plaintiff by name and beckoned him to stand up in a peculiar place before the judge. Then he turned to Ali and said, “O Abu’l-Hassan! Place yourself next to your plaintiff.”‌ On hearing these words, Ali became apparently angry.”‌ The caliph said, “O Ali, you do not want to stand next to your adversary.”‌ Ali said, “No, that is not the reason for my anger; the reason is that you have not entirely respected the norms of justice, for you called me respectfully by my nickname Abu’l-Hassan but you called the other person by his ordinary name.”‌ Umar hugged the Imam and kissed him between the eyes saying, “May my father be your ransom! Allah guided us with your mediation and brought us out of darkness into light through you.”‌



After the Battle of the Camel, when Amir al-Mu’minin was about to leave Basrah for Kufah, said, “O people of Basrah! Why are you displeased with me?”‌ Referring to his shirt and cloak, the Imam said, “By Allah, I paid the price of this shirt and cloak through spinning. So why are you truing to find fault with me?”‌ Referring to the purse which he held in his hand, the Imam said, “By Allah! The money in this purse is from selling what I have produced in Medina. If there is anything with me more than this, I will be a traitor.”‌



Being a child, some children of my age and I went to Rahbah one day. We saw Ali standing beside a pile of gold and silver coins, pushing the people backward. He, then, divided the coins among them and took nothing home!

When I returned home, I said to my father, “Today I have seen the wisest and the most unwise person in my life.”‌ My father asked, “Who is he?”‌ I said, “He is Amir al-Mu’minin…”‌ As I told him the whole story, my father said, “O son! You have seen the best man.”‌


No Desire For Wealth

Qanbar, Imam Ali’s servant, asked his master to go to a room where he had hidden bags full of gold and silver vessels. The Imam asked, “What are these?”‌ Qanbar said, “You always divide every thing among people but I have reserved all these for you.”‌ Imam Ali asked, “Would you like to bring fire to my house?”‌ Being angry, he drew his sword and broke those vessels into pieces ordering him to divide them among people. He further said, “O Gold and silver! Deceive anyone but me.”‌



Author: Allama Hussein Ansariyan

Translator: Dr. Ali Akbar Aghili Ashtiani

P. 168-189

Other Links:

Tolerance of Opponents by Imam Ali (A.S)

Freedom in Precept of Imam Ali (A.S)

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