Story No. 254 – Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb’s (as) Brilliant Judgement: A Camel Shared by Three
Three men shared a Camel equally. One of them tied his forelegs and went away for some work. In the meantime, the other two returned to their place of stay and untied one of the foreleg and they also went away together. The Camel in their absence, walked with one untied leg off the place where the first man had tied him and fell in a well and wounded himself by the fall. The two men returned again, saw the Camel fallen in the well, got him out somehow or other, and butchered him and sold the meat for collecting some money in view of a little compensation for the loss.
When the first partner returned, he saw the skin of the Camel. On enquiry, the two other partners told him what had happened. He took an objection to it, and rather complained against their untying the Camel which resulted in the heavy loss to him.
He then took the case to Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (as), who ordered for payment of 1/3 of the actual price of the Camel to him. When the cash which was collected by selling the meat of the camel was counted it was one third of the cost price of the Camel.
This amount was paid in full to the first partner of the Camel and the other two went away empty handed.
While they were about to leave, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (as) told them that as they had not taken proper care for the safety of the Camel and the safeguard of their shares, whereas their first partner had by tying his two legs, hence it is their loss.