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  • 2/13/2015

Human Rights in Islam: Fair Treatment of Enemy

imam ali (a.s)

In the Battle of Jamal, when the people of Basra were defeated and escaped away, the soldiers of Islam followed them. Amidst the fight and flee a pregnant woman from Basra was struggling hard to escape. She fell on the ground and died along with her instantly born child. When they reported this touching incident to Imam Ali (A.S), he became very upset. The Imam summoned his husband. In his presence, Imam Ali (A.S) asked the witnesses:
- Who died first, mother or the child?
- They said: New born child died earlier.
The Imam issued the following order:
“Pay two-third of the blood money for the child and half of the blood money of the woman to her husband, and one-third of the blood money of the child and half of the blood money of the woman to her relatives.”1
Although the people of Basra set up an uprising and killed 500 companions of Imam Ali (A.S) before the breakout of war, they were defeated. Although the defeated armies and people in all wars are not given any rights and choice, Imam Ali (A.S) who is a perfect example of humanity, observed the rights of his enemies and became upset with such an incident as the death of a woman and her child at war.

The above incident indicates that Islam respects the rights of the defeated enemy and instructs Muslims to treat the enemy fairly.

Translated by: Sadroddin Musawi

1. Sheikh Tousi, Tahzib al-Ahkam, Vol. 8; Koleini, Forou’ Kafi, P. 354

Other links:

Read This, So that You Won’t Commit Suicide!  

What Obliges People to Have Respect for the Rights of Others? (Part 2)

The Divine Source of Human Rights (Part 2)

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