Rafed English

Imam Ali's Chivalry and Kindness

Ali’s lion-heartedness on the field of battle seems at first sight to be strangely at odds with his gentleness on all other occasions, but one must remember that although his mighty blows frequently cleft his enemies in two, he never departed from his own chivalrous code. This code of chivalry is admirably summed up in the instructions, which he gave to his son, Muhammad Ibn Hanafia, on presenting him with the flag of command at the battle of Siffin

“O son! Let the mountains move from their places but your foot should not falter from that place that has been assigned to you in the battlefield. Install your foot firmly on the ground as though a nail had been driven into it. Let your one jaw rest firmly on the other. Keep an eye on the last rank of your enemy. Enter the battle with a firm determination that you have lent yourself to the cause of God. With all this, always think that success lies in the hands of God. Above all never raise your hand against the sick women, aged and children. Even if they abuse you it behooves you to give them refuge. Never mutilate the limbs of the enemy or and other person. Give a decent burial to the dead bodies of your enemies.”

Ali’s own behavior at the Battle of the Ditch also illustrates his adherence to this code. While fighting a duel Ali had thrown his opponent, Amr, on the ground Amr had drawn his sword to cut off his head, when the latter spat on his face. Ali then left his enemy and sheathed his sword. Asked why he left such a dangerous foe alive, Ali said, “I would have killed Amr in the way of God, but when he spat on my face, I got enraged and his death at that juncture would have been attributed to a motive of retaliation rather than in the spirit of Jehad.”


Kindness to Children

Imam `Ali (A.S.) was very kind to children, especially to orphans. If he ever saw an orphan crying, he would stop whatever he was doing bend down and give the child his salam.

Wipe away the child's tears, put his hand on the child's shoulder and say, "My child, why are you crying? Has someone hurt you? Come, let me take you to my house." `Ali (A.S.) would take the child home and treat him better than any father.

He would bring the child sweets, cakes, and honey and put them in the child's mouth himself. Imam `Ali used to tell his followers to love and be kind to orphans, especially the orphans of martyrs killed in the path of Allah. "They have lost their loving fathers," he used to say.

"So cheer them up and look after them just like a father. "Their fathers were martyred in jihad and for the sake of Islam and they have rights on you. Make their souls pleased with you by cheering up their children and looking after them."

Imam Ali was always attentive to orphans especially to those of the martyrs Re used to visit them and sit and chat and play with them He used to take care of their education and training.

He would strive to solve their difficulties and always offered them guidance and advice. He would bring them gifts and, if they were poor, he would respectfully provide their expenses.

Imam `Ali (A.S.) was so kind to orphans and laid so much stress on them in his teachings that one of his companions said: "How I wish that I too was a young orphan so that I would receive kindness and love from Imam 'Ali (A.S.)

Love and be kind to children, especially orphans.


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