Following are a few cases relating to physics decided by Hazrat Ali (A): 1. Compensation Judgement in Case of the Loss of an Eye
Once a slave of Hazrat Othman (RA) hit the eye of a bedouin resulting in the loss of his eye. The bedouine took the matter to Hazrat Othman, (AR) who tried to patch up the matter by offering full penalty of the eye of the complainant, but he would not agree.
Hazrat Otman (RA) then offered him the double of the amount fixed as penalty for an eye by the religious law, but the bedouine would still not agree to the offer but insisted on taking th eye of the slave out as an exchange of his eye which was lost by the hit of the slave.
HazratOthman (RA) was confused as what to do thereafter and referred the case to Hazrat Ali (A) who first tried to make the bedouine to accept the offer, but when he would not agree despite all the possible efforts of even the Holy Imam (A), he sent for a patch of cotton put in the water and placed it in the eye of the slave, leaving the pupil open. Then, he sent for a mirror and put it in the sun and ordered the slave to see the sun therein with that eye till the sight thereof was lost, but the eye ball remained intact (Wafi, vol. 9, p. 99)
2. Medical Examination of an Eye
A man’s head was hit by some body also whereafter the man who was hit claimed that his eye sight had become weak thereby.
Hazrat Ali (A) examined his eye in the following way: He held an egg in his hand and asked the man to stand at some distance and say as to whether he could se the egg. When
the man in question replied in the affirmative he made the man to get back to a certain further distance and again to a little more. Hazrat Ali (A) repeated this action till after the man said he could not see the egg. He also repeated this action keeping the egg in the circumferance of a horizontal line and marking the target in each case. He then measured the various distances in each case and found all the distances 1.e., right and left and up and down and announced that the claim of the man was correct otherwise, he said, there must have been a difference in the various distances measured by him.He then repeated this action in respect of another man, who had hit the first man in question whose eye sight had become deffective as a result of his hit, to pay him penalty according to the difference of his eye sight as compared with the man whose eye sight was normal. (Wasael, vol. 3, p. 405, Mustadrik, vol. 3, p. 285 through Abu Turab (Urdu) by Allama Jazaeri vol. 2, p. 308).
3. Examination of Eye Sight, the Power of Talking and that of Smelling It has been reported in the book Ajaibul Ahkam that a man was struck on the head of by another person with something hard. The man who was struck claimed that he had lost his eye sight as well as his power of talking and that of smelling as a result of that stroke.
Hazrat Ali (A) said if the man was correct, he deserved to receive penalty on all the three counts. When asked as to how was it possible to check that the claim of the man in question was correct, Hazrat Ali (A) said as follows:
(i) “As regards his eye sight the man will be made to stand in the open and cast his eyes on the sun. In case he could and did not shut his eyes his claim of losing his eye sight would be correct.”
(ii) In the case of the power of smelling he would be made to inhale the smoke of a patch of burning cotton. If he does not make signs of feeling sensation in his nose and also does not shed tears by the effect thereof his claim of losing his power of smell would be deemed as intact.
(iii) In the case of power of talking the tip of his tongue would be pricked with a small needle. If the drop of blood which would come out of his tongue is red he would be deemed to possess power of talking and only as malingering there about. But if the drop of blood is black he would be deemed as correct in his claim. He also advised to examine all the dumbs in the same manner. (Wafi, Kafi and Turaqi Hakmia, p.49).
4. Counting of the Beats of Breathing
A man struck the chest of another man who claimed that it had affected the regularity of his breathing. Hazrat Ali (A) decided the case by counting the beats of his breath in the following manner.
According to Hazrat Ali (A), the breath of a person remains for some time in ones right nostril and sometimes in the left. In the early morning till sunrises he said it remains in the right nostril. Therefore he counted the breath of the man in question while it was in the right nostril and then the next morning that of another man supposed to be possessing regularly breathing and then made the man who had struck the complainant pay the latter a penalty therefor according to the difference between normality and irregularity of the latters breathing. (Qaza p. 150)
5. The Sign of Chastity in a Virgin
A man filed a suit against his wife in the court of Hazrat Ali (A) accusing her that she did not possess the sign of virginity.
Hazrat Ali (A) told the man that thin skin in the womb of a virgin, which is usually supposed to be the sign of her virginity some time bursts automatically in jumping and also during a play wherein jumpings is freely required and dismissed the case he had taken to his court against his wife. (Qaza-wa-Teeha, p. 165).
Rare Justice: Judgements, Decisions and Answers to Difficult Questions part 19