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Ethical Precept in Assuming the Leadership of Islamic Society

imam ali (a.s)

Imam Ali (A.S) did not violate any ethical rules in assuming the leadership of the Islamic society.  He never committed inhuman acts in safeguarding his reign. In the proposed council of the Second Caliph, one major proposal by Abdur Rahman bin Awf was this that Imam Ali (A.S) shall administer the governmental affairs according to Qur’an and based on the viewpoints of the two previous caliphs. The Imam did not accept since he opposed the viewpoints of the previous caliphs. He could accept in words but act upon his own decisions and opinions once he gained power. But it was a breach in the promise, against values and an instance of illegitimate method for Imam Ali (A.S). He is not a man to do this.
Ethical Precept in Stabilization of Government
In the civil conflicts, uprisings, and breaches in the promises in his reign, Imam Ali (A.S) could fulfill the illegitimate requests of Talha and Zubair or reinstate Muawiyah in his throne. Perhaps his government would be saved from harms imposed by the Mareqin, Nakesin and Qasetin (the three groups that rioted against Imam Ali during his reign and went to war against him) if he did so, but Ali was not the one who sacrifices ethical criteria for government. This is because rulership must revive values, and values are not to revive government.
Following allegiance, Imam Ali (A.S) began ousting political officials of Uthman, the third caliph, who belonged to Bani Umayyah and their followers. Despite negotiations and consultations for reinstating those officials, specially by Moghayrah and even Ibn Abbas, who referred to him many times stressing on reinstating of Muawiyah, Imam Ali (A.S) said: “I cannot stand Muawiyah even for two days.” In response to Moghayrah’s insistence on reinstating Muawiyah and Abdullah bin Amer he said: “I will never choose an oppressor to be my companion.”

Translated by: Sadroddin Musawi


1. Habibollah Ahmadi, Imam Ali (AS) a Model for Life, Fatima Publishing Company, Winter 99, Pp. 107-108
  Ibid, P. 108

Other links:

 The Value of Man from viewpoint of Imam Ali (A.S)

Ali’s Antagonisation

Abstinence and Piety of Imam Ali (A.S)

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