‘Alee, The Jew & The Shield


When ‘Alee Ibn Abee Taalib set out for the battle of Siffeen, he lost a shield. When the battle was over and he returned to Koofah, he found the shield in the possession of a Jewish man who was selling it in the marketplace.

He said to him: “O Jew, this shield is mine, I did not sell it or give it away.”

The Jew said: “It is my shield and it is in my possession.”

‘Alee said: “Lets go to the judge.”

So they went to Shurayh, and ‘Alee sat beside Shurayh while the Jew sat in front of him. Shurayh said: “Speak O Ameer Al-Mu’mineen.”

He said: “Yes. I say that this shield that is in the Jew’s hands is my shield. I did not sell it or give it away.”

Shurayh said: “O Ameer Al-Mu’mineen, give me proof.”

He said: “Yes. Qunbur (the freed save of ‘Alee), Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn will bear witness that this shield is mine.”

Shurayh said: “The testimony of the son for the father does not count.”

‘Alee said: “The testimony of a man who is one of the people of paradise does not count? I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say, ‘Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn will be the leaders of the youth among the people of Paradise.’

The Jew said: “The Ameer Al-Mu’mineen brought me to this judge and this judge is ruling against him? I bear witness that this is the truth; I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah and that the shield is your shield. You were riding on your dusky camel, heading towards Siffeen; you dropped this (shield) at night, and I picked it up.

‘Alee said: “Since you admit it, it is yours,” and he gave him a horse too. Shurayh later on said that he saw him when he went out to fight the Khawaarij with ‘Alee at Nahrawaan.

[Quoted in ” ‘Alee Ibn Abee Taalib, by Dr. ‘Alee Muhammad As-Sallaabee, 1/395]

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