A Case Which was Decided Wrongly by Qazi (Judge)
It has been recorded in Ajaibul Ahkam that once when Hazrat Ali (A) entered the Mosque of Kufa, he saw a young man who was weeping pitiably. Hazrat Ali (A) asked him about the cause of such weeping.
The man replied :
“Ya Amir ul-Momineen, I have come to you for appeal against the decision of Qazi in my case.”
Hazrat Ali (A) asked him about the case The young man said : “My father had gone on journey with some persons. When these persons returned from the journey, I asked them about my father. They said: He died during the journey. When I asked them about the money my father had taken with him, they said he left no money, but I know for certain that he had a good amount of money with him.”
The young man further said to Hazrat Ali (A): “As I was certain about the money my father had carried with him, I reported the matter to Qazi Sharih and be sought a judgement from him in the case.”
The young man continued, “Qazi Sharih called those persons and took oath from them one by one. They all said unanimously on oath that my father had no cash at the time of his death. Therefore, Qazi Sharih ordered for their release.”
Relating the above story to Hazrat Ali (A), the young man said:
“Ya Amir ul-Momineen! I have now come to you for a righteous judgement.”
Amir ul-Momineen Hazrat All (A) said: “I shall deliver judgement in this case as none has ever before delivered in any case other than Hazrat Daud (David) (A).”
Hazrat Ali (A) then asked Qanbar, his personal servant, to call some men of shurtatul Khamees (a contingent of the officers in command of an Army). When these officers arrived, Amir ul-Momineen Hazrat Ali (A) ordered them to ask the young man the names of the persons who had accompanied his father on the journey and present them before him immediately. The orders of Hazrat Ali (A) were carried out forthwith.
When all those persons were brought before Hazrat Ali (A), he cast a glance over them all and ordered each to be tied with the pillars of the mosque separately and asked the people, present in the mosque to join him in Takbir (Greatest is God) loudly when he said it, Hazrat Ali (A) then called one of the persons and asked him as to what he had to say in the matter.
He said what he had said to Qazi. Qazi Sharih was also present there.
Hazrat Ali (A) said to the man:
“Don’t think that I do not know any thing about this case. Go ahead now; When did you all start on the fateful journey; tell me the year, the month, the day and the exact time when you all started on your journey with the father of this yolmg man ? And when was he taken ill, where and what day and at what time ? What was his disease ? Who treated him and with which medicine ? When did he die ? Give me the date and the time. Who gave him bath after his death ? Who wrapped him in the coffin ? How many people attended his funeral ? Name any of them, if possible. Who lowered him in his grave?.”
The man was first baffled by this volley of the most relevant questions, but he tried to answer them one by one obviously at random. When he had finished, Amir ul-Momineen Hazrat Ali (A) said the Takbir aloud. All the other people present in the mosque repeated it as they were ordered before. Hazrat Ali (A) then sent the man to prison and called the second man.
The second man being now certain because of the Takbir of the people following Hazrat Ali (A) and his sending the first man to the prison that his companion had confessed, told Hazrat Ali (A) that he was from the very beginning against the murder of their companion, the father of the young man, and taking away his cash and that none of the others listened to him.
He then besought forgiveness and mercy at the hands of Amir ul-Momineen as he was only compelled to become an accomplice in the case. Thereafter, all the rest also had to confess their crime of murder and loot. Amir ul-Momineen Hazrat Ali (A) then made them to return the money of the deceased to his son, together with the penalty for the murder .
Qazi, who was called to attend the hearing of the case was reprimanded and warned to be careful in serious cases such as murder. Very politely rather humbly he asked Amir ul-Momineen Hazrat Ali (A) as to what the case decided by Hazrat Daud (David) (A) referred to by him as, a similar case was.
Hazrat Ali (A) described the case thus: “Hazrat Daud (A) was once passing through a lane when he heard some children playing & calling one of their play- mates by the name of ‘Matat Din’. The boy was also answered to this name. Hazrat Daud (A) was very much surprised at hearing this queer name which meant, “religion diedl.” Therefore, prophet David (A) called the boy and asked him as to who had given him that name.” The boy said: “My father, Sir.” “Where is your father” ? asked the prophet. “He is dead”, replied the boy Hazrat Daud (A) then asked the boy to take him to his mother, which he did.
When asked about the name, the mother of the boy told the prophet that the name was given to the boy under the last will of his father . When asked about the details, she told him that the father of the boy had gone on a journey with some persons, but he did not return from that journey which was his last. When the mother of the boy enquiredabout her husband, his companions told her that he had died on his way back home.
She asked: “What about the money he had taken with him”,.
“He left no money”, they replied innocently.
Relating this much Amir ul-Momineen, Hazrat Ali (A) said to Qazi Shareh and the people then present in the mosque, that Hazrat Daud (A) had decided the case as he himself had decided that day. He also told them that after delivering the judgement in that identical case Hazrat Daud (A) asked the woman to call her son by the name “Ashad Din”, which meant the “religion has survived.” According to Kafi there also started a dispute between the young man and the murderers of his father regarding the amount of the money carried by his father from home for the journey.