Story No. 257 – Judgement of Ameer ul Momineen: Five Fornicators and Five Different Rulings
Judgement of Ameer ul Momineen Five persons, who had committed fornication, were brought before Umar ibn Khattab, who ordered them to be subjected to the legal punishment for the crime. At that moment Ameer ul Momineen, Imam Ali (as) arrived and said: “O’ Umar ibn Khattab! Allah’s ruling in their case is not as you have ruled!” Umar ibn Khattab requested: “You issue the ruling for them and implement the legal punishment.”
Ameer ul Momineen, Imam Ali (as) beheaded the first person, stoned the second, subjected the third to the full punishment of eighty lashes, the fourth to half the punishment and ordered the discretionary punishment for the fifth!
Umar ibn Khattab was amazed and the people astounded over the Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib’s (as) ruling. Umar ibn Khattab asked him: “O’ Abul Hasan! Five persons were involved in one crime and you have issued different rulings for all of them?”
Ameer ul Momineen, Imam Ali (as) explained: “The first person was a Dhimmi (A free non-Muslim subject living in a Muslim country) who had transgressed (the honour of) a Muslim woman and so had fallen out of the Dhimmah (Covenant of protection.) as such, his punishment could only be death.
The second person who had committed fornication possessed a spouse and so I had him stoned. The third one to have been involved in the crime did not have a wife and so I punished him with eighty lashes.
The fourth was a slave and therefore I subjected him to half the legal punishment (of eighty lashes), while the fifth one was poor of intellect due to which I subjected him to the discretionary punishment (few lashes).”
Hearing the explanation Umar ibn Khattab exclaimed: “O’ Abul Hasan! May it never happen that I have to live with the people when you are not around (to help me)!