Ameerul Momineen (a s ) is the best judge in the nation

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According to traditions from both sects, Ameerul Momineen, Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) is the best judge among all Muslims.

There are many traditions reported by Ahle Tasannun scholars on this subject.

  1. Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) narrates:

Once, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) sent me to Yemen (as judge) while I was very young.

I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, you are sending me to a people among whom there are a lot

of disagreements and troubles (to be settled) and I am a very young man!

He (s.a.w.a.) placed his hand on my chest and said – Surely, Allah will guide your heart and make firm your tongue.

After that, I never doubted while judging between two persons.

  • Musnad of Ahmed Ibn Hanbal part 1, p 88-111 (Ahle Tasannun)
  • Khasais trad no. 35, also see 36, 37 (Ahle Tasannun)
  • Also see Fazail al-Sahabah v 2 p 580 (Ahle Tasannun)
  1. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) declared –

Certainly, the most proficient in my nation in passing decrees is Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.).

  • Mustadrak ala al-Sahihain v 3 p 135
  • Zakhair al-Uqba p 83
  • Al-Tabaqat v 2 p 338
  1. Ibn Abbas narrates:

Umar Ibn Khattab addressed us – The best among us in passing decrees is Ali (a.s.)…

  • Al-Tabaqat v 2 p 339
  • Mustadrak ala al-Sahihain v 3 p 305
  • Al-Musnad of Ahmed Ibn Hanbal v 5 p 113
  1. Abdullah narrates:

Ali (a.s.) was the knowledgeable in the nation in passing decrees.

  • Mustadrak ala al-Sahihain v 3 p 135
  • Al-Tabaqat v 2 p 339
  1. Saeed Ibn Musayyab narrates:

Umar used to say – May Allah never entangle me in a difficulty in Abul Hasan’s absence.

  • Fazail al-Sahabah v 2 p 647 (Ahle Tasannun)
  • Al-Istiab v 2 p 1,102 (Ahle Tasannun)
  1. Abdullah narrates:

We used to say – There is no better judge than Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) in the whole of Medina.

Al-Istiab v 2 p 1,103 (Ahle Tasannun)

Traditions under the topic (i.e. Ali is the best judge) have been narrated by many groups of Ahle Tasannun scholars.

Among them are:
i. Shawaahid al-Tanzeel vol. 2 p. 467
ii. Seyar A’lam al-Nobala vol. 14 p. 209
iii. Faiz al-Qadeer vol. 5 p. 668
iv. Tuhfah al-Ahwaazi vol. 10 p. 205
v. Fath al-Baari vol. 10 p. 487
vi. Sharh-o-Nahj al-Balaaghaah, vol. 1 p. 18, vol. 7 p. 219
vii. Kashf al-Khafaa, vol. 1 p. 162
viii. Tafseer-e-Qurtubbi vol. 15 p. 162
ix. Al-Usool al-Aseelah p. 112
x. Al-Akhaam vol. 4 p. 237
xi. Taareekh-e-Dimishq vol. 15 p. 300
xii. Al-Jawharato fi Nasbe Imam Ali (a.s.) wa Aalehi p. 71
xiii. Tarikh of Ibne Khaldoon vol. 1 p. 197
xiv. Jawaahir al-Mataalib vol. 1 p. 76
xv. Al-Ghadeer vol. 3 p. 95 narrated from Al Isteeaab, vol. 3 p. 235
xvi. Mataalib al-So’l p. 23, Tameez al-Tayyib min al-Khabees p. 25

…and it is narrated from Saeed b. Abi Khuzaib, a companion of Imam Sadiq (a.s.) – Ibn Abi Laila and I entered Medina and went to the Prophet’s Mosque when Imam Sadiq (a.s.) entered.

We approached him (a.s.) and Imam (a.s.) asked about me and my family. Then he asked about my fellow traveler Ibn Abi Laila.

I said to Imam (a.s.) – He is Ibn Abi Laila, the judge of the Muslims. Imam (a.s.) asked him – Have you taken the property of one person and given it to another or have you made divorce between a husband and a wife and in this were you fearful of anyone?

He replied – Yes.

Imam (a.s.) asked – Through what do you judge?

He replied – Through the traditions that have reached me from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), Abu Bakr and Umar.

Imam (a.s.) asked him – Has this tradition of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) not reached you that – In judgment Ali is the best amongst you.

He replied – Yes.

Imam (a.s.) asked him – Then why don’t you judge as per the judgments of Ali (a.s.), even after this tradition has reached you?

The narrator says that signs of grief appeared on the face of Ibn Abi Laila and he said to me – Find yourself another friend, by Allah I will never talk to you

xvii. Kafi v 7 p 408, Tahzeeb al-Ahkaam v 6, p 221 (Shia)
xviii. Wasail al-Shia vol. 18 p. 8 (Shia)
xix. Al Ehtijaaj, vol. 2 p. 102 (Shia)
xx. Behaar al-Anwaar vol. 47 p. 334 (Shia)

In the absence of similar traditions in favour of other companions, Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) was the most suited to pass decrees on matters like Fadak, as also selection of the caliph, matters which deeply divided the nation. In fact, he (a.s.) was most suited to rule over the nation by virtue of being the best judge, in addition to other merits like knowledge, bravery, relation with the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) – all traits in which he excelled over the companions.

Of course, the most important event that makes him eligible for caliphate was his public appointment at Ghadeer, as the successor of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

Unfortunately, not only did the Muslims ignore Ameerul Momineen’s (a.s.) innumerable merits but they subjected him to oppression and chose lesser ones to rule the nation.

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