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Imam Ali and Political Leadership

formation of any corruption and in introducing reforms, it is necessary that administrators be handsomely remunerated. In this case, on one hand, they will avoid the embezzlement of the Public Treasury, and on the other hand, the officials will have the authority to punish the mutinous and treacherous and discipline the corrupt so that they would have no excuse for violation.

7. Special Care for the Armed Forces

Armed forces are the strong fortresses for safeguarding the sovereignty of a community. Their military power is definitely very effective in maintaining security and preventing the intrusion of the enemy, and above all, in barring even the slightest temptation by the rebels to launch an invasion. Military forces according to Imām Ali (a.s.) must enjoy special care from the officials. They must interact with troops as fathers do with their sons

8. Necessity for Setting up an Establishment to Monitor the Function of the Administrators

The world is a slippery place, and worldly attractions and glamour may cause one to blunder and fall. The officials are to take utmost care in selecting worthy administrators, and appointing pure-hearted, good-tempered and steadfast people for administrative tasks. Once they achieve this goal, they should not feel relieved of possible administrative corruption, violation of the law and behavioral abnormalities. Therefore, setting up an organization for supervising the administrators’ behavior and watching over the administrative violations and deviations would be mandatory. Imām Ali (a.s.) strongly forbade prying into people’s privacy in a ruling system;1 but he always emphasized the surveillance over employees of an Islamic state and monitoring the behavior of administrators through certain intelligence establishments, lest they should neglect their duties or violate people’s rights by means of their power and the authority which is at their disposal.
That section of Imām’s letters in this respect and his letters to the wrongdoing administrators such as Ash`ath ibn Qays, Ziyād ibn

1.. See Nahj al-Balāghah, letter ۵۳.


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ألا إِنَّ فيهِ عِلمَ ما يَأتي وَالحَديثَ عَنِ الماضي ودَواءَ دائِكُم ونَظمَ ما بَينَكُم... .“Verily, in it [the Qur'ān] there is the knowledge of the future, the accounts of the past, the remedy to your maladies, and (what brings) order of your affairs.”1
He would continuously advise his administrators to attempt to maintain administrative discipline and not to forget orderliness in affairs, doing whatever they plan to in its due time and not wasting their time in disorder and confusion.

5. Appointment of Competent and Capable Administrators

Administrators are the executive arms of the rulers and they are the agents of establishing justice and spreading the law in society. Their competence, capability, steadfastness and behavioral soundness have doubtlessly the most effective function in organizing the society in its various dimensions. Therefore, from the perspective of Imām Ali (a.s.), in the appointing of administrators, competence and merits must be the criteria, rather than kinship or any kind of social relations. ‘Meritocracy’ is the quintessence of appointment in Imām Ali’s (a.s.) politics. Moral competence, nobility, expertise and capability should be the criteria for the appointments, and not kinship, or any kind of causal, factional, and sectarian relations, particularly if they are with political motivations( and void of truth).
The Imām maintains that, directors and officials do not have the right to grant governmental posts to people on the basis of familial or political relations. They do not have the permission to consign people’s affairs to those who do not come from a noble and righteous family; they are not privileged to assign those who are far from moral virtues and good disposition. They cannot employ those who do not possess the proper expertise and necessary cheerfulness in performing executive jobs. He (a.s.) viewed the job of an administrator as a ‘trust’ that should not be consigned to anyone but a trustworthy person.

6. Providing the Administrators with Their Financial Needs

Imām believed that the administrators must enjoy sufficient remuneration. According to Imām Ali (a.s.), in preventing 0the

1.. See h. ۱۰۱.

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