Pearl of Wisdom

in a letter he wrote to al-Ashtar when he made him governor of Egypt, said, '...Then choose for judgment between people the best of your subjects, who are of excellent character and high calibre and for whom no issue or case is hard. They must not lose their temper, disputes should not let him fall astray they should not exceed in their mistakes, and when the truth is made clear to them they should not hesitate to accept it [change their verdict]. They should not lean towards greed. They should not satisfy themselves with the lowest of understanding over the highest, they must be more precautious than anyone else in doubtful and ambiguous matters. They must attach the greatest importance to reasoning, arguments and proofs. They must exhibit the least annoyance at seeing the opponent, be the most patient in scanning details, and most serious in the issuing of a verdict when the matter is clear. The praisings of people should not deceive them. They should not be misled by flattery, but unfortunately such people are few. After you have selected such men to act as your judges, make it a point to go through some of their Judgments and to check their proceedings.'

Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib [as]
Nahj al-Baldgha, Letter 53

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