Qualities of judge IMAM ALI (as)

These selections are made from various books on the subject in Arabic and some other languages, particularly Qazae Amir-ul-Momineen compiled by the celebrated Scholar, Al-Allama Al-Shaikh Muhammed Taqi Al-Tostari published, Najaf, 1963, duly acknowledged in this compilation, and they speak by themselves of the rare wisdom, quick with marvellous power of judgement and knowledge of Hazrat Ali (A) with regards to Mathemancs, Ancient History, Geography, Chemistry, Physics, Metaphysics Astronomy, Medical Science and even some of the modern sciences unknown to mankind in those days.

judge.gif Instructions to Judges by IMAM ALI (as)


1. Oath and Evidence


The plaintiff should be first put on oath and should accept personal responsibility of the proof. This brings the case fully to light and makes the judgments easy.


2. Presentation of Evidence


Anyone who desires to present evidence in a case before you should be given opportunity and allowed sufficient time for presenting the witnesses in due course of time. If he fails to do it during the time scheduled, you are free to deal with the case according to your own power of judgement. However, the benefit of doubt and full facilities of defence should be allowed to the accused.


3. Conditions of Witnesses


May it be known to you that all the Muslims are supposed to be just. Therefore, they should be accepted as witnesses except those who are already convicted in a previous case and have not offered penitence or are accused of mischief-making and plunderism.


4. Anxiety when in the Court of Law


You should not feel pressure of anxiety under any circumstances in delivering just judgements according to your power of decision-making. Your judgements should, in all cases be the righteous one, which is a must in view of your high office and for which there is a good reward from Allah.


5. How to go to the Court of Law

You should not go to your Court when you are hungry. You must first satisfy your hunger and then take up the hearing of cases brought to your Court therefore.



6. Undue Haste in Decisions


Judges should not make haste in delivering the judgement in any case. When a case is taken up for judgement, it should never be left incomplete and should not, be delayed as according to a general saying “Justice delayed is justice denied.” If there is a delay in some case, it should not be insisted upon and in case it is quite evident, no weakness should be shown in delivering the judgement according to the provision of law. Everything should be decided according to the schedule and should be kept in its proper place.


7. Judgement without emotions


You should keep control over your anger, fury and your tongue. No case should in any condition be decided under the influence of fury or anger. When you feel no iota of anger or strong emotion in your heart of hearts, you are free to decide the case according to the provision of law. This only is possible when you are sure of your return to Allah.


8.  Judgement without bias


When your judgement is righteous, you should not be afraid of delivering it even against your near relatives. In such a case you should only keep the pleasure of Allah before you and should exercise your complete will power. If it goes against your relations or your companions, you shall have to bear with it. Although it would be heavy on you, but you shall have to keep only the final result in view, which will certainly be good after all.


9. Sentence to death and other deterrent punishments


Sentences to death should not be executed and other examplary punishments should not be awarded until all such sentences are referred to and are confirmed by me.


10. The Jury


Your jury should not consist of those who are greedy, coward and paupers because such persons are not expected to arrive at a correct decision in any case or deliver a righteous judgement without being impartial.


11. Disposal of Work Without Delay


The work of a particular day should be disposed of according to the schedule at the proper time without any delay, because pressure of daily work demands it.


12. Watch and Check on the Lower Courts by Chief Justice

To keep a proper watch and checking of the work of the lower courts is one of your main responsibilities. The Qazis sitting there should be allowed freedom of decision but should in no case be allowed to remain needy so that nobody should have the courage to make them accept unlawful gratification and put any kind of pressure on them.


13. Appointment of Judges


For the propagation and maintaince of justice in the country it is imperative and essential that due care should be taken with regard to the appointment of the Judges. For this office only top class people and who are the best in your eyes should be selected. They should be only such people who may not be afraid of pressure of work, should not insist on their wrong decisions and should not stick to them after manifestation and revelation of facts in a case. They should neither be greedy and should be in the habit of pondering over all cases without any exception. They should also stop at doubtful cases and should give due consideration and attach importance to only clear proof. They should not as well feel tired of any long examinations of the plaintiffs and the defendants of going to the depth of each case and should be courageous enough to deliver the righteous judgements after coming of the facts to light. They should be only such persons who may not be swayed with flattery, although such people are rare in the society and are difficult to be found.


14. Mistakes in Judgements


In case someone is put to death as a result of a mistake in judgement which is beyond the control of the judge such as on the basis of witnesses, the compensation money would be paid from the Government Exchequer (Baitul Mal).


15. Justice and Generosity


Mercy is a good. thing, but justice is, however, better and should never be given up, that is, justice should not be sacrificed for mercy.


16. The Holy Quran and the Traditions


The Quranic commandments must be followed in each case but where explanation is required, traditions of the Holy Prophet (S) should invariably be referred to, because without referring to the traditions it is at times impossible to arrive at a correct decision. Besides, the carrying out of religious obligations without referring to traditions would not be possible through the Holy Quran only, which lays down only principles for the Holy Prophet (S). As for example, there is no mention of the number of Raka’at of the Namaz and the detailed Masails (Rules) of the performance of Haj etc. in the Holy Quran.


17. In Case of a Zindiq


The case of a Zindiq (one who argues against the Quranic commandments and the religious law) should be decided on the statements of two male prosecution witnesses who are pious and of proved good character notwithstanding a thousand defence witnesses of his class (Zindiq).


18. If a Judge Himself is an Eye-witness


Even if a judge himself is an eye-witness in a case of adultery his witness is not acceptable, because in such cases at least four witnesses are required according to the provisions of law.


19. Discretion


In case of the use of discretion (in some case) the path to be adopted should be the one which is most truthful and most just and satisfying to the general policy.



20. Orders of Punishment Should not be Executed on the Lands of the Enemy


Orders of punshment should not be executed within the boundaries of lands possessed by an enemy, lest the accused should run to the enemy’s camp for shelter and then fight on his behalf against our country in any way.


2 thoughts on “Qualities of judge IMAM ALI (as)”

  1. Thank you so much for this educative information. May Allah reward you abundantly. These words of Ali (RA) should be a guiding pillar to all judges on this planet. Barakallah

    Abdul Karim Kaliisa from Uganda, East Africa.


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