BACK to Non-Muslim views

The voice of human justice

One of the highlights of the month of Rajab which all of the faithful look forward to the birth anniversary of the explicitly appointed successor of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family). Who earned the titles of Asadullah, Amirul Mo’mineen, Imamul Muttaqeen, Haider, Abu Turab and other such virtuous names and are of course referring to none other than Imam Ali ibne Abi Talib (a.s.).

Whatever is said or written about this great personality does not even scratch the surface of his true merits and worths, and indeed we see that many people throughout history have tried to write about this great figure however always fall short in doing so.

Leaving aside the Shia scholars, The book "The voice of human justice" was written by a Christians, George Jordac on the greatness of Ali(as); we also have books written by contemporary Western scholars on his life and times of the Commander of the Faithful such as Wilfred Madlung in The Succession to Muhammad: A Study of the Early Caliphate and we also have the non-Shia authors such as an-Nisaai, an author of one of the "Sihah as-Sittah" book of the Sunni faith writing about the character of the Leader of the Pious ones through his compilation of hadith on this great personality. Not only this, but even the United Nations has recognized his worth and merit and accordingly, advised Arab nations to study and implement his great teachings!

To show the worth of Imam Ali(a.s) in the eyes of non-Muslim writers, we quote from George Jordac in his work, "The Voice of Human Justice" where he quotes a hadith on the physical and ethical traits of this great man which are some giving below:

1) Out of the persons who have narrated the attributes of Imam Ali son of Abu Talib the author of Zakhair_al-Uqba writes thus: "His stature was moderate and slightly short. His skin was of wheaten colour and his beard was white and long. His eyes were large and black. He had a cheerful face and was good-natured. His neck was long like a goblet made of silver. His shoulders were broad. The joints of his hands were like those of a roaring lion, because his hands and wrists were completely joined with each other and distinction could hardly be made between them. His hands and fingers were strong, moderately fat and fleshy. His calves were fleshy and their lower part was thin. His arms were also fleshy in a similar manner. He walked calmly like the Prophet(p.b.u.h). However, as and when he proceeded to give a fight he walked briskly and did not turn his head to see anything else. His bodily strength was unimaginable. He usually picked up the fighters whom he laid his hands on and threw them on the ground without any difficulty or effort, as if they were small children. And if he held the arm of any warrior in his hand the latter could not even breathe. It is well-known that he did not fight with anyone whom he did not vanquish, even though he might have been very strong and a renowned champion. At times he picked up a big gate which a number of strong persons could not even close or open, and used it as a shield to defend himself. On some occasions he threw away with one hand, a stone, which could not even be shaken by a number of men. At times he roared in the battlefield so loudly that the bravest men got frightened although their number might be quite large. He possessed such a great power to bear hardships that he did not fear any harm from heat or coldness. He used to wear summer clothes in winter and winter clothes in summer".

2) When the people were divided into two groups in their attitude towards him (i.e. friends and enemies) he did not become afraid of the enemies and did not lay down arms before them, because he had perfect faith in his own truthfulness and justice and correctness of his actions. It was in this context that he said: "Even if I strike on the nose of a believer so that he may become my enemy he will not become my enemy and even if I shower all the bounties of the earth on him so that he may become friendly towards me he will not become my friend". He has also said in this behalf. "I am not afraid of fighting against these people alone even though the entire world may join their army".

When he came to know that a group of the people of Madina had joined Mu'a-wiya he wrote to Sehl son of Hanif the governor of Madina: "I understand that a group of the inhabitants of your city has secretly joined Mu'awiya. However, you should not be worried on this account that some persons will leave you and will not assist you. I swear by God that these persons have not forsaken injustice and oppression and have not stuck to equity and justice".

3)The best form of friendship and the meaning of fidelity is that a warrior, while standing in the battlefield should look at the former friends who may have come to fight in the capacity of enemies, with the same brotherly eye, should invite them to peace and remind them of former love and friendship, so that they may possibly refrain from breach of covenant and treachery, or should take away the arms from their hands and solve the difficult problems by negotiations and peace talks. Fighting with a former friend should not he started all at once, because it is possible that he may be reminded of former relations and may refrain from fighting and opposition

4)According to Ali one's being a human being was sufficient for his being honored, befriended and dealt with kindly as well as for his rights being immune from infringement by others. In the testament written by him for Malik Ashtar, the Governor of Egypt, he said. "Do not become a ferocious animal for them so that you may devour them." (The Egyptians about whom the Commander of the Faithful gave these instructions to Malik Ashtar were Christians.) There are two kinds of persons amongst the subjects, out of whom some are your brethren-in-faith and others are creatures of God like you, and you should be forgiving towards them just as you wish God to be forgiving towards you. You should not feel elated when you accord punishment.

5)According to Ali priding oneself onone's ancestry was also a sort of fanaticism. He addresses the fanatics of his time in these words: " Look here! You have opposed God openly, have been extremely oppressive and have created disturbance on the face of the earth. Fear God in the matter of priding yourselves on account of the self-conceit of the age of ignorance, because it is the source of enmity and grudge and the center of Satan's enchantment with which he allured the past nations. Look here! Fear following your chiefs and elders who give themselves airs because of their position and pomp, and pride themselves on account of their ancestry (i.e. those who consider others humble and despicable, oppose Divine decrees and deny God's kindness in order to size His blessings). These are the very persons who are the deep foundation of fanaticism and the pillars of the house of mischief.

The commander of the Faithful made the people realize that as there was a possibility of their views they should not insist upon the correctness of their views and beliefs, nor should they thrust them on others. He told them not to refrain from making consultations and not to hesitate in accepting the truth.

It is very difficult to explain fully the nature and habits of human beings and especially of great personalities because personal qualities of men are related with one another and every one of them influences others. Every quality is related with another quality and every habit is the cause of another habit and the result of a third one, or two of them are effect of another and so on and so forth. Hence, another Non-Muslim, George Jordac has done a great job by writing this book.

This article is taken from " &"

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