A Strange Cruelty on an Orphan Girl and Hazrat Ali’s Judgement Therein
It has been stated by Kulaini and Sheikh Suduq as also incorporated in Sahih Bokhari on the authority of Hazrat Imam Jafar Sadiq (A) that a slave girl was brought to the court of Hazrat Omar
(RA) with the accusation that she had not proved loyal to her master. Her story is narrated thus:
A man had given shelter to an orphan girl. As he often had to goout of his home town on business trips, he had given the girl in the care of his wife. When a few years passed like this, the girl became mature and also looked extremely beautiful. The wife of the man with the aimthat her husband should not marry the girl, once got her intoxicated, , with the help of some woman from the neighbourhood and also got removed the sign of her chastity with the help of the same woman.
When the man returned from his business tour abroad, he asked his wife about the girl. Thereupon she replied with complete innocence:
“She has eloped with a young man in the neighbourhood.” Then the man went out in search of the girl, caught hold of her and dragged her to the court of Hazrat Omar
(RA), who was then a Caliph.
Hazrat Omar (RA) finding the case to be considerably difficult, referred it to Amir ul-Momineen (A), as he had invariably done previously in such cases.
Hazrat Ali (A) sent for the man, his wife and the girl, together with the witnesses, if any. The man and his wife related the same story before Amir-ul-Momineen (A) also, which they had previously related in the court of Hazrat Omar (RA), and also produced the four women who had been named by the wife of the appellant as witnesses.
Hazrat Ali (A) called the first witness, unsheathed his sword and keeping it between the woman and himself, said to her: Do you know, I am Ali (A) Ibne Abi-Talib ? Tell me the truth, the truth and nothing but the truth.” The woman who was exceedingly clever gave the same false evidence she had given in the court of Hazrat Omar (RA) and insisted thereon.
Hazrat Ali (A) seeing this, ordered her to be kept in confinement, separate from other witness. He then caned the second witness before him and pointing to his sword, said to her: “Do you see this sword ? If you do not tell the truth, I shall behead you with this sword. And remember that the woman who has just gone out has told me the truth and, therefore, I have given her pardon. If you tell me the true story, the same you shall get.” Hearing this, the second woman related the true story of the case, out of fear of her life.
Having heard the truth from the second witness Amir-ul- Momenin (A) said, “After Daniel, the Prophet, I am the first man who has forced different statements from two witnesses.”
Thereafter, he ordered punishment to be accorded to the wife of the man in question. He also ordered the man to divorce his wife and marry the innocent girl. When his orders were carried out, he paid the dowry to the girl from his own pocket. He also fined the four women who had stood witnesses in the case, one hundred Dirhams each, and gave the whole amount of penalty to the girl.
After this strange but righteous judgement Hazrat Omar (RA) besought the favour of Amir-ul-Momenin (A) of telling him the story of Hazrat Daniel (A). Hazrat Ali (A) acceding to his request told him the following story:
“Hazrat Daniel (A) was an orphan, who had lost his father and mother both. At that time the ruler was one from Bani Israel and had two Qazis among his courtiers.
Both of these Qazis used to visit the court of the king accompanied by a very pious and godly man of the day. Once the king wanted to send a trustworthy person on an urgent official business outside the dominion of his empire and requested the two Qazis to help him in selecting of someone worthy for the purpose.
The Qazis advised the king to entrust the work to the same pious and godly man who used to visit his court every now and then alongwith themselves. Acting on their advice the king sent the pious man with necessary instructions on the fateful journey. Now per chance the pious man had a very pretty and beautiful wife who was also pious and godly like her husband. However, the man while going out of the country gave her in the care of the aforesaid Qazis, saying: I give her in your care with the will that you will treat her with virtue and will take care of her daily needs. Then he set off at his journey.
Thereafter, once the two Qazis happend to go to the house of the pious man and by chance saw his pretty wife. Seeing her they both madly felt in love with her. When they expressed their carnal desire the good woman flatly refused to fall prey to their desire. Thereupon they threatened her to complain against her to the king and say that she had committed adultery with the result that she would be stoned to death.
In reply she said: Say whatever you like, but I would not give my consent to this act of sin.”
Thereupon both the wicked Qazis went to the king and reported to him that the wife of the pious man whom he had sent on journey had committed adultery. The king was very much surprised on the report because the woman had a reputation for piety. He bent his head for a while and then lifting his head he said to them :
“I believe you and accept your witness but give me three days time for issuing orders in the matter.”
The king then consulted his Wazir in the matter and said to him:
“I don’t think she is guilty of the act of adultery, what do you say about it ?
The Wazir also on hearing the report, said to the king:
“I am also surprised.”
Then, on the 3rd day the Wazir happened to pass by a lane where some children were playing, Hazrat Daniel (A) being among them.
Hazrat Daniel (A) said to one of the children:
“Let us stage the drama of the wife of the pious man and the two Qazis, you play the part of the wife of the pious man and two other of you, the part of the Qazis.”
He then turned to the two boys and said to them :
“You present the case of this woman to me as the two Qazis have presented it to the king.”
The king meanwhile had proclaimed with the beating of the drums (as was the custom those days) that the wife of the pious man had committed adultery and the two Qazis had reported the matter to the king and, therefore, the woman was going to be stoned to death. Hazrat Daniel (A) called one of the boys who was playing the part of one of the Qazis and asked him:
“What do you say in the matter ?” He also pointed to a wooden sword wrapped in a cloth, if you tell a lie I shall behead you with this sword.”
The boy replied:
“Sir, the wife of the pious man has committed adultery and I am a witness to it”
Hazrat Daniel (A) asked him: “Where and when and on which day and what time” ? The boy answered all the questions of Hazrat Daniel (A). Then, Hazrat Daniel (A) called the other boy and put the same questions to him, but his answers were quite contrary to the answers of the other boy.
After hearing the second boy Hazrat Daniel (A) said :
“God is great, you have given false witness in the case.”
He then acquitted the woman honourably and sentenced the boys who were playing the role of the Qazis to death.
The Wazir who saw this play of the boys and the judgement of Hazrat Daniel (A) in the play reported the whole thing to the king who decided the case accordingly (Wafi, vol. 9, p.161; Manaqib, vol. 7, p.193; Turuq-i-Hikmia, p. 60).