1. How to Recognize the Status of a Person
It has been reported by Imam Jafar Sadiq (A) that during the caliphate of Hazrat Ali (A) a man went on pilgrimage to Mecca accompanied by his slave. During the journey the master punished his slave for Some mistake on the latter’s part. The slave took it so ill that he became deadly against his master so much so that he refused to be his slave. He instead claimed to be the master of his own master and the quarrel continued throughout the journey till they both reached Kufa on their way back home. On their arrival at Kufa the master said to his slave:
“O ye! the enemy of Allah. Let us go to Amir-ul-Momineen Hazrat Ali (A) and let him decide the case between the two of us.”
When Hazrat Ali (A) granted them audience the master said to Amir-ulMomineen:
“Ya, Amir-ul-Momineen, This is my slave. I had punished him for some mistake on his part while going to Mecca on pilgrimage. Ever since he refused to be my slave and instead saysthat I am his slave.” When ordered by Hazrat Ali (A) the slave took an oath to the effect that he was the master and not the slave and his father had sent him on pilgrimage to Mecca with him as a guide for performing ‘Haj’.
“Now, further proceeded the slave, this man claims to be my master instead of being my slave with the intention to taking possession of my property.”
The master when ordered by Hazrat Ali (A) to tell thetruth, he also said on oath that he was the master and that his companion was telling a lie.
Hearing them both, Hazrat Ali (A) ordered them to attend his court the subsequent day for a decision in the case. Meanwhile, Amir-ul-Momineen Hazrat Ali (A) ordered his orderly Qambar to make two holes in a wall of his court. People who had heard the two persons pleading their cases before Hazrat Ali (A) become very much interested to see as to what decision Hazrat Ali (A) would give the next day in such a complicated case. So, they and many others who heard of that strange case assembled and went to the court of Hazrat Ali (A) to see as to what judgement he would deliver therein.
The next day when the master and the slave went to Hazrat Ali (A) for a decision in their case as promised by him the previous day, he ordered them to put their heads accrossthe holes in a wall Qamber had already made under his orders.
When both of them had put their heads accross the holes in the wall as had been ordered by Hazrat Ali (A), he ordered Qamber dramatically as he had brought home the him to previous day.
“Qamber! cut off the head of the slave with one stroke of your sword.” No sooner heared, the man who actually was the slave pulled back his head from the hole in the wall.
Seeing this Hazrat Ali (A) said to him: “Were you not saying yesterday that you were the master and not the slave and had you not even taken an oath to that effect?”
The slave replied. apologizingly:
“Ya Amir-ul- M omineen, I am no doubt the slave of this man, but as he had beaten me red and blue for a very slight mistake I refused to be his slave.”
(Kafi, Nasikhut Tawarikh, vol. 3, p. 738, Manaqib, vol. 2, p. 200). 3. The Refusal of a Mother to Own Her Son
Asim bin Zaura has been quoted by the author of Hadaiqi Abu Turab as follows:
“I saw a young man at Madina making a hue and cry and saying aloud, ‘O God! You are the one who can decide between me and my mother.” According to Asim bin Zaura Hazrat Omar (RA) was passing by the place where the above mentioned young man was addressing Allah as quoted above.
“When Hazrat Omar (RA) asked him as to why he was cursing his mother, the young man said as follows: “O the Caliph of the Muslims: My mother bore me in her womb for nine months. Then she gave me birth and nursed me for two years. But now when I have grown up a man she refuses to be my mother. Not only that she has turned me out of her house and says tha, I am not her son.”
“On enquiry by Hazrat Omar (RA) as to where his mother lived the young man gave him the address of her house.”
“When Hazrat Omar (RA) sent.for the woman in question she came to him accompanied by her four brothers and forty other persons of her tribe.”
“When she was asked by Hazrat Omar (RA) as to why she had turned out her son, she told him that the young man was a lier and that she did not even know as to who he was.”
“Proceeding further the woman told Hazrat Omar (RA) that she was a virgin haling from a tribe of Quresh and that the young man most probably desired to defame her.”
When asked by Hazrat Omar (RA) her four brothers and the forty men of her tribe who had accompanied her also confirmed on oath what she had told him. Although the young man said repeatedly and also took oath before Hazrat Omar (RA) that the woman in question was his real mother yet she denied it also on oath, that she was not. Moreover, the youngman had no evidence to prove and support his claim while the woman had not only her four brother but also the forty men who confirmed unanimously what she had said. Therefore Hazrat Omar (RA) could not but order for punishing the youngman by whipping him for false imputation against a virgin.”
When the young man was bein carried for punishment under the orders of Hazrat Omar, (RA) he saw Hazrat Ali (A) who happened to pass by that way only by chance and yelled
“O the cousion of the Holy Prophet (SA)! I am an oppressed man. Kindly help me.”
Hazrat Ali (A) asked him as to what had happened to hit and when the young man related his story to Amir-ul-Momineen. Hazrat Ali (A) he ordered the people who were taking him for whipping to take him back to Hazrat Omar (RA) and he himself also accompanied them.”
When the people took the youngman back to Hazrat Omar (RA) he asked as to why they had come back. They told him that the had done that under the orders of Hazrat Ali (A).
Hazrat Ali (A) said to Hazrat Omar (RA):
“Could you allow me to reopen and decide the case on your behalf?” “With pleasure, said Hazrat Omar (RA) and also added: “How could I deny you that right when I have heard the Holy Prophet (SA) saying that you were the most learned man among us all.’
“Then, Hazrat Ali (A) sent for the woman in question who came accompanied again as before by her four brothers and the same forty men of her tribe. And when ordered by Amir-ul-Momineen Hazrat Ali (A) she repeated the same statement which she had given before Hazrat Omer. (RA) Her four brothers and the forty men of her tribe also confirmed her statement, again on Oath.”
“Finding her adamant Hazrat Ali (A) said to her “Do you know who am I? and do you also know that nothing remains hidden from me when I turn to Allah to let me know it?”
“In turn the woman f\lthough affirmed that she knew Hazrat Ali (A) well and also his qualities as an Imam, yet she remained adamant in her previous statement i.e., she was a virgin and that the young man simply wanted to share her property fraudulently.
Seeing no other way out Hazrat Ali (A) asked the young man if he objected to his adopting him as his son, so that he could become and treated as his two other sons, Hasan & Husain (A). The young man did not only agree to the Proposal of Hazrat Ali (A) but also thanked him a great many times therefor. Hazrat Ali (A) then asked the four brothers of the woman, who were also her guardians as to whether they agreed to his marrying the woman whom they had stated to be a virgin to the youngman to which they agreed. Hazrat Ali (A) had already asked the woman as to who her guardians were and she had
pointed to her brothers. This done, Hazrat Ali (A) said to the people present there at that time, including Hazrat Oamar (RA):
“With the witness of Allah and all of you present here I marry this girl, with the permission of her guardians to this young man and fix four hundred Dirhams as her lower which I shall pay from my own pocket.”
“Saying this Hazrat Ali (A) ordered Qamber, his personal servant, to bring four hundred Dirhams from his (Hazrat Ali (A) house and give to the young man.”
“He then asked the young man.” to put those four hundred Dirhams in the skirt of the garment of the woman in question and take her home and pass the night with her as her husband.”
“Hazrat Ali (A) also ordered the young man to report to him the next morning that he had complied with his orders.” Hearing all this the woman yelled:
“Fie! Ya’ Ali ! fie! Do you want me to go to Hell? This young man is my real son! Allah will not forgive me! I go with him as his wife and how on earth could I?”
“Thereafter she told Hazrat Ali (A) that her husband was a man of very ordinary means to whom her brothers had married her in order to usurp the share she had inherited from her father and then they wanted to deprive her son of whatever little property her husband who had died in some other country while on journey had left.”
“Therefore, she proceeded further,” they had forced me to state before Hazrat Omar (RA) as well as before you.”
“However” she said, I offer penitence to all for what I have wrongly stated and hope that you would also forgive me therefor.”
“Having said that she held the hand of the young man and went away”, concludes Asim bin Zaura as quoted in HadaeqiAbu- Turab.
Note: Allama Majlisi has also incorporated in his records regarding the judgements of Hazrat Ali (A) a similar story on another authority with the only difference that the witnesses produced by the woman mentioned in that story were seven women and they were all bribed by that man as well as the woman examined her under the orders of Hazrat Ali (A). However, both the
above records which are most authentic ones bear a clear proof of the rare psychological wisdom possessed by Hazrat Ali (A).
Rare Justice: Judgements, Decisions and Answers to Difficult Questions part 18