Imam Ali’s Rules in Fighting Enemies

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Such values and principles as human dignity, freedom, social equity, legitimate right of security and defense, social security, education and upbringing, negation of compulsion and coercion, supporting the rights of the women and children and the rights of the deprived classes in the society, respecting right of ownership and other humane natural, innate and contractual legal concepts, as well as legal and political concepts already exist and are studied in Islamic jurisprudence and history of Islam.

Some of these rights are related to observing the rights of the enemy. In this regard, Imam Ali (A.S) instructed his soldiers to observe the following recommendations before any war with the enemies:

“Do not fight them unless they initiate the fighting, because, by the grace of Allah, you are in the right path and to give them an opportunity to a give second thouth to the idea of war before they begin fighting will be another point from your side given to them. If, by the will of Allah, the enemy is defeated then do not kill the runner away, do not strike a helpless person, do not finish off the wounded. Do not inflict pain on women even though because they are weak in character, mind and intelligence, they may attack your honor with filthy words and insult your officers. ”

Observing the Rights of Enemy’s Women

In the time of Imam Ali (A.S), soldiers and commanders’ women used to accompany their husbands. Upon defeat of their husbands at war they fell captives to the hands of the army of Islam. The Commander of the Believers, Imam Ali (A.S) showed perfect respect to the women of the defeated army and observed their rights.

Translated by: Sadroddin Musawi

Note:

1. Seyed Razi, Nahj ul-Balagha, Letter 14, History of Tabari Shafe’i, Vol. 3, P. 82; Nasr ibn Mozahem, Siffin, P. 203, Koleini, Forou’ Kafi, Vol. 5, Pp. 38, 12, 33, 38, and 41; Masoudi, Moravvej ul-Zahab, Vol. 2, Pp. 361-2 & 410; Ibn A’tham Kufi, Al-Fotouh, Vol. 3, P. 44

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