Voice of Human Justice: Ali Ibn Abi Talib. (Part 2)

February 10, 2015

Part 2 (Things only ALI would do)

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi Paul Salamah the famous Lebanese poet and author writes about Ali and says: Truth has been so evident for a Christian that he identifies himself as follower of Ali. If Ali was not a messenger, then his creation and attributes were prophet-like. Therefore, O’ sky be my witness and O’ earth acknowledge that I love Ali and don’t say Shi’as are the only followers of Ali, when every impartial person is a Shi’a. These were the words of a Christian writer about Imam Ali and what it means to read about Ali and what it means to follow Ali, since Ali has defined perfection and everything noble in his conduct and personality. In the previous part, I stated some of the stories, which showed the noble attributes of this great man, and in this part I will continue by giving more examples about the beauty of Ali’s presence.

Ali Defines Justice, Tolerance and

Coexistence

It is narrated that one day Imam Ali the caliph of Muslims had a dispute with a Jewish man about an armor, where Imam Ali claimed the armor was his and the Jewish man denied the allegation. Therefore, Imam Ali asked the Jewish man to come with him to the Judge and resolve the matter before him. The Jewish man accepted the offer and went with Imam Ali to the judge. The judge heard the story from Imam Ali, and then asked him: do you have a witness to testify the armor is yours? Imam Ali replied: Yes my son Hussein is my witness, and his son Imam Hussein testified that the armor was his father’s. The Judge asked Imam Ali once more, if he had a second witness, and Imam Ali said that he does not have a second witness. Therefore, the judge ruled in favor of the Jewish man, and said due to absence of sufficient witnesses the armor belongs to the defendant. Imam Ali, accepted the ruling and was about to leave the place, when the Jewish man said: you are the caliph of Muslims, and you brought me here to a Judge, and the Judge ruled in my favor, and you are fine with this notion. You are the true successor of Mohammad. You were right, the armor is yours. It fell of your camel when you were leaving for a battle, and I took it. Then the Jewish man converted to Islam, when he saw the tolerance of Ali and his Justice and acceptance of others.

Ali Defines Justice, Tolerance and Coexistence 2

Caliph of Muslims, Imam Ali was walking in the Bazar with his companions one day and he witnesses an old man begging in the street. Imam Ali, asks his companions: why is this man begging in my state? They reply by saying that he is an old Christian man. Imam Ali tells them: How can you say such a thing, you used his as a member of the society when he was young and full of energy and now that he needs help, we offer him nothing? Then Imam Ali, orders his companions to address the needs of that Christian man and take care of his necessities and provide for him.

Satisfaction Equals Dignity

One of the companions of Imam Ali witnesses the cloak, which Imam Ali is wearing is very old and in poor condition and it is falling apart. Therefore, he tells Imam Ali, O’ master of the faithful, you are the caliph of Muslims and your cloak is in very poor condition. Why don’t you buy a new one and throw this one away? Imam Ali replies: I became the caliph and I only had this cloak and I am leaving my post with this only cloak as well. I don’t people to say Ali used his position to buy fancy and new cloths for himself, when there is a possibility that I have a needy man/women in my state. Without pointing fingers, I must say the closet of many state leaders and officials cannot hold the expensive suits and clothing they keep buying, when there are homeless people in their nations.

Ethics, Morals and Mercy at All Times with Everyone, Even the Enemy.

During the battle of Seffin, which was one of the battles Imam Ali had to face during his Caliphate, his army was against the corrupt governor of Levant Muawiya Ibn Abi Sufyan. Imam Ali had replaced Muawiay with another governor, but Muawiya rejected leaving his post and remained in Damascus and waged a war against Imam Ali. The two armies met in the modern Iraqi-Syrian border region, in what is today called the city of Reqqa, which hosts the Euphrates as well. Therefore, at one stage during the battle the army of Levant took control of the river and banned the army of Imam Ali from accessing any water. However, during a maneuver the army of Imam Ali was able to regain control over the river and make the other army withdraw. Nevertheless, the action that made everyone including the army of Muawiya be in state of shock, was that Imam Ali did not ban the other army from accessing water. When he was asked about the rationale behind his decision, he replied: if we do the same thing they did, then there is no difference between us and our battle here is waste of time. We are fighting for values and morals and we are the followers of Mohammad, who was the peak of ethics and morals.

No Place for Negativism

It is narrated during the battle of Seffin, some members of Imam Ali’s army were gathered around each other and were cursing and insulting the army of Muawiya. Imam Ali was passing by and he heard his those men in his army talking about their enemy in that kind of degrading manner. He stopped and hold those men: do not be cursers and insulters. Talk about, what they did and what they do, it will be more appraised and valued for evidence. This notion shows that Imam Ali wanted to teach the future generations about the value of being positive in all situations, and negativity against any side would have negative results. Just viewing the candidates ads during the elections would show how negativity would actually lower the chances of a candidate, when he/she could be offering his/her alternative programs and solutions for the society they are running for. TO BE CONTINUED.

Voice of Human Justice: Ali Ibn Abi Talib

February 6, 2015

Politics never bends Ali(a). Ali bends politics

(Part 1) By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi The main principle difference between Shi’a and Sunni Muslims lays in the concept of succession after Prophet Mohammad and Imam Ali has the primary role in this event, since Shi’a Muslims claim he is the rightful Caliph after the Prophet. However, Imam Ali remains the only person from that era, who everyone agrees was the most pious, truthful, brave, knowledgeable, generous, tolerant, wise, sagacious and dependable after the prophet. Imam Ali himself, compares his devotion and following to the prophet to the following of a weaned camel to its mother. This assimilation is an ancient Arabic quote that shows the extent of devotion one person has to another, where it is narrated if the Prophet and Ali were together, there was only one footstep. Regardless, of the historic events, which led to marginalization of Imam Ali, this article will bring few examples to show how Ali as a political leader was, and why the United Nation has named him the most just and wise ruler in history. The Muslim world today is facing some of the hardest challenges, and the modern era has proven the leaders in the Muslim world are unworthy of trust and authority. The Muslim leaders claim to be followers of Mohammad and yet they have failed to implement the teachings of Mohammad. They mobilize their masses to protest satiric pictures of Prophet Mohammad and attempts to burn the Quran, yet they stab Mohammad in the back by their conducts and policies and don’t even follow the Quran. Imam Ali’s rule as the caliph of Muslims was short and civil clashes occupied most of his era, but the results of his policies in the Islamic empire are astonishing and outstanding. Therefore, in this part we will address some of the events recorded in history about Imam Ali and see what kind of leader was Ali.

Power Does Not Legitimize Revenge

When Imam Ali became the caliph of Muslims, some of his companions came to him and asked him why wouldn’t he reclaim the land of Fadak, which was taken unwillingly from his wife Lady Fatima Al-Zahra (daughter of Prophet Mohammad)? Why wouldn’t he take revenge for the hardships he was put through? This type of question seems to be very realistic, since most political dynasties and powers tend to wipe out and overthrow the orders and policies of previous governments. However, here is how Imam Ali replied to his companions, and set an excellent examples of humanity. Imam Ali replied: in regard of your question, I would let the Prophet to be my model. His companions asked: how is Mohammad your model in this specific case? He answered: When the Prophet regained Mecca and took over his birth city, although the Quraysh tribe confiscated his house and wealth and showed him nothing but calamity and misfortune, the Prophet did not reclaim his properties and did not take revenge. In addition, I don’t want people to say, Ali has been waiting for this opportunity to take power and use his power to take revenge. This is a responsibility on my shoulder and I have to deliver. Nonetheless, I would never reclaim something, which Allah has been giving us good deeds for. Due to the oppression we were put through, we are receiving deeds from Allah, therefore, Allah would reclaim our rights on judgement day.

Favoritism Has No Place in Ali’s Government

When Imam Ali became the caliph of Muslims, he started implemented what is today known as social welfare, which is called (Bayt Al-Mal) in Arabic and it means, house of wealth. His decision to distribute equal shares to all Muslims from Bayt Al-Mal was not received well by beneficiaries of the previous systems. Therefore, many of the elites in Medina and other places left to Damascus and gathered around Muawiya, who was the enemy of Imam Ali and later on waged a war against Imam Ali. However, the story that shows favoritism had no place in Ali’s conduct is the following: Aqeel was one of the brothers of Imam Ali and he was a blind man, known to be among the poorest of Kufa. Therefore, one day he comes to his brother the caliph of Islamic empire and asks him for an allowance on top of his share from Bayt Al-Mal, and tells Imam Ali: my share is not enough, and I need more and since your are my brother and the caliph, I hope you would grant me more than my share. Imam Ali puts a piece of coal in fire and when it the coal blazed well, he picked it up and brought it close to Aqeel’s hand. Aqeel screamed and shouted, he felt the heat from the blazed coal, and wondered why his brother would do such a thing. Imam Ali replied: this was a coal blazed by man, and you could not take the heat of it, how do you expect your brother to take the heat of hell-fire on judgement day? As a reminder I would like to ask, how many leaders favor their relatives and close circles and give them all the benefits? I assume the list would be very long and continuous.

Imam Ali Defines Integrity

Two of the most prominent companions of Prophet Mohammad (Talha & Zubair), came to Imam Ali’s house and wanted to meet with him. They entered his room and sat down before him, and greeted him. He replied back by greeting them and asked them if the intention of their meeting is personal or if it is related to state affairs. Talha & Zubair said, their meeting was for a personal purpose and not a state-affairs related matter. Therefore, Imam Ali turns off the candle he was using and lit another one. They asked Imam Ali, why did he do that, and he replied: when you entered my room I was busy reviewing the affairs of Muslims and the Islamic nation, therefore, that candle belonged to Bayt Al-Mal and Muslims. You are here to see me and you have a personal matter with me, therefore, this candle I am using now, is from my own pocket and belongs to me not Bayt Al-Mal.

Interaction with the Public

One of the main reasons the gap between the political elites and the public is widening is the lack of interaction. As long as the political leaders are not aware of the pains and sufferings of the masses, they would never be able to build trust and dependable relation with their citizens. Therefore, in this case Imam Ali will put forward one of the most astonishing examples humanity has ever seen and heard in history. It is narrated that one day, Imam Ali the caliph of Muslims was walking through the allies of Kufa, he sees a woman dragging firewood and groceries and she seemed very tired and in need of help. Imam Ali offers help to that lady and tells her, he would carry the firewood to her house, and since that lady did not know who Imam Ali was, she agreed and let Imam Ali help her and carry the big load of firewood on his back. During the way to her house, Imam Ali, asks the woman about her husband and why isn’t he doing this instead of her. She replies: my husband went with Ali to one of the battles and he was killed and she has five little kids in the house and no breadwinner. Imam Ali brings the firewood inside the house and tells the lady, today I want to help you in the house work, so why would you want me to do? She tells Imam Ali: I will cook the meal and you would take care of the children. Imam Ali agrees and starts playing with the kids, and he lets them ride on his back and during this whole time Imam Ali is shedding tears and telling the kids: PLEASE FORGIVE ALI, PLEASE FORGIVE ALI, PLEASE FORGIVE ALI. The woman was about to finish her house work and her neighbor enters her house and sees the caliph of Muslims (Imam Ali) playing with the kids and they are riding on his back. She shouts to the woman: do you know who this man is? She answers: no I don’t, he is a nice and generous man who offered me help and carried the firewood to my house and then we he heard about my situation he offered to stay and help with the children. The neighbor says: O’ woman, this man is the caliph of Muslims, he is Ali Ibn Abi Talib. The woman was shocked and did not know what to do and she starts apologizing to Imam Ali. Imam Ali, replies by saying: I am the one who should apologize to you, I am the one responsible for this hardship of yours. I apologize to you and your kids. These were four examples setting the bar very high for all political leaders and there are hundreds of other examples from the life of this great man that we will discuss in coming parts. I leave you with these four examples to compare the conduct of our current leaders and the ones of Imam Ali. To be continued…

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