Imam Ali and Political Leadership


The Status of the Interests of the Islamic State in the Issuing of Verdicts

397. al-Ghārāt – narrating from Shurayh, “Ali (a.s.) sent an order to me: “Judge as you have judged before until the affairs of the people are settled.”1

398. Sharh Nahj al-Balāghah – explaining Ali’s (a.s.) statement: “If my steps stand firm on these slippery places, I would alter several things”: Without doubt, in certain legal ordinances and events he moved in a direction which contradicted the companions (sahābah) declarations such as amputation of the thief’s tips of fingers [rather than the whole hand], sale of mothers of one’s children (slave-maid), etc.; what prevented him from reforming the previous ordinances was his involvement in the battles against the rebels and the Khārijites, to which he referred as madāhid (turbulences or slippery places) and in which he wished his steps would stand firm. Therefore, he ordered his judges: “to judge as you have judged before so that people remain united.” Here the word ‘hatta’ suggests that he allowed them to follow the previous procedures in judgment so long as the people’s integration is maintained; and [it is evident] that the clauses after ‘hatta’ are in contrast to the main clauses (this means that when there is no fear of division, do not follow the previous procedures any more).”2

1.. al-Ghārāt, vol. ۱, p. ۱۲۳.

2.. Sharh Nahj al-Balāghah, vol. ۱۹, p. ۱۶۱.

Imam Ali and Political Leadership

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موقف مصالح النّظام الإسلاميّ في صدور الأحکام

397. الغارات عن شُرَيح: بَعَثَ إلَيَّ عَلِيٌّ علیه السلام أن اقضِ بِما كُنتَ تَقضي حَتّى يَجتَمِعَ أمرُ النّاسِ.1

398. شرح نهج البلاغة لابن أبي الحدید ـ في شَرحِ قَولِهِ علیه السلام: «لَو قَدِ استَوَت قَدَمايَ مِن هذِهِ المَداحِضِ لَغَيَّرتُ أشياءَ» قالَ ـ: لَسنا نَشُكُّ أنَّهُ كانَ يَذهَبُ في الأَحكامِ الشَّرعِيَّةِ وَالقَضايا إلى أشياءَ يُخالِفُ فيها أقوالَ الصَّحابَةِ، نَحوَ قَطعِهِ يَدَ السّارِقِ مِن رُؤوسِ الأَصابِعِ، وبَيعِهِ اُمَّهاتِ الأَولادِ، وغَيرِ ذلِكَ، وإنَّما كانَ يَمنَعُهُ مِن تَغَيُّرِ أحكامِ مَن تَقَدَّمَهُ اشتِغالُهُ بِحَربِ البُغاةِ وَالخَوارِجِ، وإلى ذلِكَ يُشيرُ بِالمَداحِضِ الَّتي كان يُؤَمِّلُ استِواءَ قَدَمَيهِ مِنها، ولِهذا قالَ لِقُضاتِهِ: «اِقضوا كَما كُنتُم تَقضونَ حَتّى يَكونَ لِلنّاسِ جَماعَةٌ»، فَلَفظَةُ «حَتّى» ـ هاهُنا ـ مُؤَذِّنَةٌ بِأَنَّهُ فَسَحَ لَهُم في اتِّباعِ عادَتِهِم في القَضايا والأَحكامِ الَّتي يَعهَدونَها إلى أن يَصيرَ لِلنّاسِ جَماعَة، وما بَعدَ «إلى» و«حَتّى» يَنبَغي أن يَكونَ مُخالِفاً لِما قَبلَهُما.2

1.. الغارات: ج۱ ص۱۲۳.

2.. شرح نهج البلاغة لابن أبي الحدید: ج۱۹ ص۱۶۱.

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    Imam Ali and Political Leadership
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