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The Lessons Muslim Ruler Ought to Learn from Imam Ali (AS)

“People are of two groups. They are either your brothers in faith, or your equals in humanity.” These immortal words were expressed a millennium and four centuries ago to his governor of the then Christian-majority Egypt for full respect of human rights by the only person who ever established the administration of social justice in history.

Ever since, only a handful of rulers of the vast Muslim world had aspired to emulate the model of Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS) but never succeeded because of human frailties, despite their sincere respect for Prophet Muhammad’s (SAWA) cousin, son-in-law, and vicegerent, whose virtues of wisdom, valour, magnanimity, and justice have been hailed by scholars and laymen alike, including non-Muslims.

The above-quoted phrase is part of a lengthy Epistle of Instructions to Malek al-Ashtar, a paragraph of which reads:

“Be it known to you, O, Malek, I am sending you as governor to a country (Egypt) which in the past has experienced both just and unjust rule. Men will scrutinize your actions with a searching eye, even as you used to scrutinize the actions of those before you, and speak of you even as you did speak of them. The fact is that the public speaks well of only those who do good. It is they who furnish the proof of your actions. Hence the richest treasure that you may covet would be the treasure of good deeds”.

Preserved in the famous book “Nahj al-Balagha” (Highway of Eloquence) this epistle, among others was publicly commended in 2002 by the then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan as an ideal model for governance which deserves to be embraced by modern-day rulers.

The Late Annan’s confession that Imam Ali (AS) was “the fairest governor who appeared in human history,” does not exalt the transcendental personality of the Prophet’s Successor, neither does the Lebanese Christian author George Jordac’s work “Ali the Voice of Human Justice” (after comparison with Socrates, Aristotle and the French Revolution), nor does the following tribute of British historian Edward Gibbon in his book “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”:

“He united the qualifications of a poet, a soldier, and a saint: his wisdom still breathes in a collection of moral and religious sayings; and every antagonist, in the combats of the tongue or of the sword, was subdued by his eloquence and valor. From the first hour of his mission to the last rites of his funeral, the Prophet was never forsaken by a generous friend, whom he delighted to name his brother, his vicegerent, and the faithful Aaron of a second Moses.”

Imam Ali (AS) is incomparable and no one can aspire to attain his position. Even the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (AS), who practically set Iran on the path of Imam Ali (AS), used to consider himself as a mere pupil of the Ethereal School of the Prophet’s Vicegerent.

It means the crisis-stricken Muslim countries have much to learn from the life and teachings of Imam Ali (AS) and his model government of social justice.

In the 21st of Ramadan Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Yemen, the Caucasus republic of Azerbaijan, Bahrain, and parts of India, are observing a holiday with commemorative processions on the martyrdom anniversary of the person who never differentiated on the superficial basis of race, language, colour of skin, and beliefs, who ordered regular payment from the public treasury for destitute Christian, and whose sense of justice was so supreme that he is on record as saying:

“By Allah even if I am given all the domains of the seven climes with all that exists under the skies in order that I may disobey Allah to the extent of snatching one grain of barley from an ant I would not do it. For me the world is lighter than the leaf in the mouth of a locust that is chewing it.”

Let us earnestly hope that the Muslim World by earnestly treading the path of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) and Imam Ali (AS) will resolve the problems and strive to build a solidified Ummah capable of defending Islam from the plots of its enemies, especially the US and the illegal Zionist entity.


About Ali Teymoori

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