Story No. 280 – United Nations on Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (as)

The United Nations has advised Arab countries to take Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (as) as an example in establishing a regime based on justice and democracy and encouraging knowledge.

The United Nations Development Programme in its 2002 Arab Human Development Report, distributed around the world, listed six sayings of Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (as) about ideal governance.

They include consultation between the ruler and the ruled, speaking out against corruption and other wrong doings, ensuring justice to all, and achieving domestic development and which are as follows:

1. He who has appointed himself an Imam (ruler) of the people must begin by teaching himself before teaching others, his teaching of others must be first by setting an example rather than with words, for he who begins by teaching and educating himself is more worthy of respect than he who teaches and educates others.

2. Your concern with developing the land should be greater than your concern with collecting taxes, for the latter can only be obtained by developing; whereas he who seeks revenue without development destroys the country and the people.

3. Seek the company of the learned and the wise in search of solving the problems of your country and the righteousness of your people.

4. No good can come in keeping silent as to government or in speaking out of ignorance.

5. The righteous are men of virtue, whose logic is straightforward, whose dress is unostentatious, whose path is modest, whose actions are many and who are undeterred by difficulties.

6. Choose the best among your people to administer justice among them. Choose someone who does not easily give up, who is unruffled by enmities, someone who will not persist in wrongdoing, who will not hesitate to pursue right once he knows it, someone whose heart knows no greed, who will not be satisfied with a minimum of explanation without seeking the maximum of understanding, who will be the most steadfast when doubt is cast, who will be the least impatient in correcting the opponent, the most patient in pursuing the truth, the most stern in meting out judgment; someone who is unaffected by flattery and not swayed by temptation and these are but few.