‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) once set off for a battle when he noticed that some of his armour was missing. After the battle was over, he returned to Kufah. While in Kufah he one day happened to see a Jew with the same armour he had lost! He immediately confronted the Jew saying, “The armour is mine! Neither did I sell it, nor did I give it away!” The Jew, however, denied this claim and said, “The armour belongs to me and, furthermore, it is in my possession.” On hearing his denial, ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) suggested that they go to the qaadhi (judge). The Jew agreed and they were soon in the presence of Qaadhi Shurayh (rahimahullah).
Qaadhi Shurayh (rahimahullah) asked ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) to present his case first to which he stated, “This armour, which is in the hands of the Jew, belongs to me. Neither did I sell it, nor did I give it away.” Qaadhi Shurayh (rahimahullah) then turned to the Jew and asked him, “What do you have to say, O Jew?” the Jew once again denied the claim saying, “The armour is mine and furthermore, it is in my possession.” Qaadi Shurayh (rahimahullah) thereafter turned to ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and enquired, “Do you have any proof, O Ameerul Mu’mineen?” ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) replied, “Yes! Qumbur and Hasan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) will testify that the armour is mine.” Qaadhi Shurayh (rahimahullah) rejected this evidence saying, “The testimony of the son is not accepted when in favour of the father (referring to the testimony of Hasan [radhiyallahu ‘anhu]).”
When the Jew heard the decision of Qaadhi Shurayh (rahimahullah) in his favour, he immediately exclaimed, “The Leader of the Muslims took me to his own judge and his own judge passed judgement against him in my favour? This, really, is truth!” The Jew then recited the shahaadah and accepted Islam. (Taareekhul Khulafaa’ pg. 184)
1. The Jew was so impressed at the justice of Islam that he instantly renounced Judaism and accepted Islam. If we once again live our lives according to the principles of Islam, we will become beacons of guidance and attract disbelievers around the world to Islam through our sublime character.
2. We, as Muslims, are all representatives of Islam. Unfortunately, when our behaviour is incorrect, we not only give the world at large a negative impression of Islam but even give them the chance to mock and ridicule Islam due to our wrong actions.
3. Justice and fair treatment need to be exercised in every aspect of our lives. If we have a domestic worker at home, justice demands that we don’t keep her back even a single minute overtime, we are timeous in paying her, we don’t accuse her of stealing etc. without having proof to back our accusation, and we don’t extract such work from them which is more than what they can manage. Let us all ask ourselves, “Have I, through my conduct, attracted my domestic worker to Islam or have I distanced her from Islam?”