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  • 12/27/2012

Principle of Equality

(part 3)


The Prophet thus considered himself equal in all affairs, and behaved without any privilege over others. Among the criterion of equality in the behaviour and practice of the holy Prophet is equality in the face of law.  According to Imam Khomeini (R.A):

“The Noble Prophet and the Infallible Imams had respect for law and were law-abiding.”‌

This is of more importance to those who hold power, as power can give one the tendency towards discrimination and power seeking and not being willing to abide rules and regulations. But in the conduct of the Prophet this attribute is so prominent that it is unique in the history of mankind and governments. This attribute has been quoted in Imam Khomeini's (R.A) statements in many forms and has been emphasized upon. As we read:

“Islamic government is what we had in the beginning of Islam, when all tribes were equal in the face of law.”‌

“The government of Islam is based on law, which is the divine law, the law of Qur'an and of the holy Prophet's conduct. The Prophet himself abided by this law, so did Imam 'Ali (A.S) and they wouldn't deviate from the law and couldn't do so.”‌

In the last days of the Prophet, an incident happened that highlights equality in face of law. People witnessed this significant incident to realize forever how to behave in the face of law and how the dearest creature of God behaved in such an instance. Imam Khomeini (R.A) has described the scene as follows:

“In the last days of his life, the Noble Prophet asked the people to tell him if he owed anything to anyone. No one said anything. An Arab stood up and said: You owe me something. He said: Name it. He said: In one of the wars, while passing you hit me with your lash. He asked: Where did I hit you? He said: Here. The Prophet (PBUH) said: Come hit me at the same place. He said: No, at that time my shoulder was bare, you have to bare your shoulder too. The Noble Prophet (PBUH) did so and the Arab went and kissed his shoulder and said: I just wanted to kiss the body of the Messenger of God (PBUH). But the point is that the Absolute Authority in the Hijaz””Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)””goes public and asks people if he owes them anything.”‌

Prominent historians have recorded this incident in detail. It is said on that day; the Prophet was gravely ill and walked with difficulty. Fadl ibn 'Abbas and Imam Ali (A.S) supported him from each side and he went to the mosque and said his last words to the people as follows:

“O' people! I praise the one and only God in front of you. If I owe anyone anything speak up. If I have lashed anyone, here is my back, come and lash me back. If I have said something ill to anyone, come and speak to me in like manner. Beware that enmity is not in my conduct. Know that the most beloved one of you would be the one who asks for what I owe him and blesses me so I would be pure when I go to meet my God. I see this request does not suffice and I have to get up among you and repeat it several times.”‌

He then came down the pulpit, said his noon prayers and went up the pulpit and repeated the same words. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was the perfect manifestation of divine mercy; he had never hurt anyone, never trampled on anyone's right, never acted against equality and justice and never implemented the law without having consideration for others.

He never became angry unless for the sake of God. But now, at the time of returning to the Divine Court, he insisted on not owing anything to anyone and to achieve equality in face of law in all its aspects. Following the repeated remarks of the Prophet a man got up and said: O' Messenger of God! You owe me three Dirhams. The Prophet (PBUH) said: Fadl! Pay him up, and Fadl did so. The man sat down, and then the Prophet said:

“O' People! If you have anyone's money with you, you have to pay him back and shouldn't say it is disgrace in this world. Rest assured that disgraces in this world are much easier than disgrace in afterlife.”‌

The thus showed that in the face of law, God's Prophet has no precedence over ordinary people so as to teach those who claim justice and equality, how to behave properly and practically.


Behavior and Character of the Holy Prophet of Islam from Imam Khomeini's Viewpoint  

Written By: Mostafa Dilshad Tehrani 

Translator: Ali Shahbaz

Other Links:

Principle of Modesty and Humbleness (part 1)  

Principle of Modesty and Humbleness (part 2)  

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