Covenant of Imam Ali to Malik Al Ashtar

Covenant of Imam Ali to Malik Al Ashtar

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Imam Ali (a) wrote the letter to Malik al-Ashtar when he had appointed him as the ruler of Egypt and its surrounding areas. It is mostly concerned with how the government should treat Muslim and non-Muslim citizens and its duties concerning the development of the society.

Here are some subject-matters Imam Ali (a) wrote about to Malik al-Ashtar as the ruler of Egypt:

  • Justice and fairness
  • Satisfaction of people
  • Not peering into, instead covering, people's weaknesses
  • Having a good opinion of people
  • Taking intellectuals—men of intelligence and foresight—as counsellors for issues concerning the administration of cities
  • Considering different classes of jobs and occupations in the community, and observing the rights of each class
  • Attributes of a judge
  • Attributes of officials and governmental agents
  • Giving priority to the development of farms and lands, instead of taxes
  • Conditions of scribes
  • Good treatment of businessmen and artisans
  • Being careful about the poor
  • Causing no discomfort for people when leading in congregational prayers
  • Giving no advantages to close friends and relatives from the Bayt al-mal (treasury)
  • Removing people's suspicions about any possible cases of injustice
  • Peace and compromise with the enemy (on their request and in accordance with divine satisfaction)
  • Keeping promises.