What he always wanted was freedom of the creatures of God from the core of his heart, because God has created them free and in his eyes it was not at all appropriate that creation of God should be subjected to disgrace. Their dishonor was the humiliation of humanity, and whoever humiliated humankind was treated as an enemy. How great a supporter and adherent of the helpless and oppressed persons Ali was, how he waged wars against enemies of virtue and kindness.
We like beauty as much as we hate ugliness. And as humans we hate oppression as much as we want justice. One cannot stand up against oppression and execute it until and unless we consider life to be important. So one who cannot hate similarly cannot also truly love.
War against injustice and oppression is being fought ever since man arrived on earth. However, nature, ways and conditions have been different. Those who became part of these movements against the tyrants and oppressors of their time were hundreds of thousands in number. Hence they were and are a source of pride for history. They came in succession and each continued from where the last one left. Ibrahim, Mosa and Jesus campaigned against oppression and injustice. Muhammad’ started campaign against the polytheists; which was in continuance of war waged by Jesus. He begun revolution to destroy injustice and oppression and did not rest till the oppressed were liberated.
Tyrants and cruel people haven’t felt shame for their acts of tyranny and oppression. If studied carefully they didn’t do it for fulfillment of any objective, they committed such cruel acts because it had become a part of their nature. Hajjaj bin Yusuf stood on an innocent old man who was trembling with fear. On his orders, his servants swiftly beheaded the old man. Later Hajaj had dinner with his friends as if nothing had happened. In same way firmness and steadfastness of people who stood against injustice. It was in their nature which made them stand against all odds and raise voice against what wrong was happening in society. The companions of Imam Hussain also sacrificed their lives in support of his mission, although they could see a huge army of Bani Umayyad arrayed against them & Socrates drank the cup of poison as if it was a medicine because his drinking it was a display of firmness and steadfastness against falsehood.
Noble soul among human beings, who can be termed as leader of all those who fought and stood against injustice and oppression was Ali ibn Abi Talib
Ali ibn Abi Talib had instructed people on many occasions that none should oppress others and none should tolerate oppression. When Ali took over reins of Caliphate his views were not accepted and people didn’t lend support to his intentions. Hence he along with small group of followers was left alone.
However, did it suit Ali that he would have shown weakness at a stage when the forces of evil had formed a front against him? Was it possible for a brave man to lose heart and give up effort because he was facing mishap and hardships with men like carnivores around him, particularly when everybody was afraid to rise against corrupt elements within system? People had lost all wisdom and were selling religion for sake of world, they were running after wealth & rank like stupid’s, justice was eradicated & rebellion and chaos was witnessed in major cities. In such conditions Ali ibn Abi Talib said: “Whoever called them for help never succeeded. Whoever met them did not acquire peace of mind. Whoever came in the battlefield accompanied by them sustained loss. They were deaf inspite of having ears and were dumb although they possessed power of speech. They neither showed steadfastness in the battlefield like noble and zealous men nor could one depend upon their sympathy and support at the time of adversity”
Love which Ali had in for every human being obliged him not to show mercy to one who did harm to the people even though he (i.e. Ali) had to lay down his life in fulfilling objective of this movement. One who considered it love and kindness and a sign of gentleness to remain silent in the face of the oppressors was either a liar or was not acquainted with human nature as per Ali ibn Abi Talib. True love and kindness for mankind reflects that those spreading injustice and oppression should be meat with severe tone and action so that they may free the people from bondage.
Imam Ali (a.s) never stood back when it came to standing against injustice and oppression. It was his belief that: “The presence of an Imam through whom the right of a weak person may be realized from a strong person and that of an oppressed person from an oppressor is necessary so that the righteous may live in comfort and feel secure from the mischief of the evil-doers”.
“I order you to behave harshly with the oppressor. Hold the foolish oppressor by the hand, and stop him from committing injustice”. His kindness, affection and mental strength guaranteed that commitment in the battle between truth and falsehood.
Ali saw death very closely in battlefield or during early days of Islam but neither his hands were tired of fighting nor did he heed the dread in his heart. He relied fully on his own justice and equity and firmly believed that whatever he was doing was in accordance with the core teachings of Islam. He used to say: “A weak person is strong in my eyes until I get his right paid to him, and a strong person is weak in my eyes until I receive the right from him”. He also said: “I swear by God that I am not worried whether death falls upon me or I fall upon death”.
He fought against the oppressors with his tongue as well as with his sword and remained committed in his struggle. He continued to fight against injustice and the unjust till he met martyrdom. If time had not hampered his program and the conditions had not been adverse & hostile, he would have brought about a change in a number of things.
Ali ibn Abi Talib said:
“And the sin which will not be forgiven is that one person may oppress another”.