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The justice of ‘Alī b. Abī Tālib

 The justice of ‘Alī b. Abī Tālib

may Allah be pleased with him

During his Caliphate, ‘Alī b. Abī Tālib – Allah be pleased with him – saw some armor of his with a Christian.

He decided to take the matter up legally, so he took the dispute to Shurayh (the Judge). ‘Alī said, “This is my armor, and I have not sold it nor given it away.”

Shurayh said to the Christian, “What have you to say about what the Amīr of the Believers claims?” The Christian replied, “It is my armor, although I do not regard the Amīr of the Believers to be a liar.” Shurayh then turned to ‘Alī, “O Amīr of the Believers, do you have any proof (of ownership)?” ‘Alī laughed and said, “Shurayh is correct, I have no proof.”

So Shurayh judged that the armor was the Christian’s.

The Christian took it and began to walk away but then returned. He proclaimed, “As for me, I testify that this is the judgment of the Prophets – the Amīr of the Believers himself takes me to his judge and the judge rules against him! I bear witness that there is no deity deserving worship but Allāh and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allāh. By Allāh, the armor is yours o Amīr of the Believers. I followed the army when you were on your way to the Battle of Siffīn and the armor came out of your equipment.” ‘Alī said, “If you have accepted Islām the armor is yours.” And then he put him in his horse.

Al-Sha’bī (the reporter of this incident) said, “I was later informed by those who saw this man that he fought the Khawārij (alongside ‘Alī) at the battle of Nahrawān.” 

Ibn Kathīr, Al-Bidāyah wa Al-Nihāyah Vol.8 p5

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