There is a lot of focus on Ameer al-Mu’mineen’s (as) mercy, love and generosity that made him second to none and the best of creations after the Prophet (sawa) – but what also made him (as) stand out is his willingness to go out of his way to keep justice and equity within the streets and markets of Kufah during his time as Caliph. He would constantly be patrolling the markets with his whip and/or elite forces – reminding people with words and actions, knowing his tenure as caliph meant he had to take necessary action to ensure justice and equity amongst the people.

“Abu Ja’far, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, has said that Ali ‘Alayhi al-Salam, would go out every morning and patrol the market-places in al-Kufah one shop at a time and with him was a durrah (whip) which he carried on his shoulder. It had two strips and it was called al-Sabibah. He (i.e. Ali) would stand in every market and say: “You must seek goodness (from Allah) and conclude a transaction with ease, stay close to buyers, dress up with forbearance, stay away from swearing, lying and injustice. Exercise fairness with the oppressed and do not become close to Riba’. Maintain proper measurement and balance. You must not reduce people’s things and you must not spread corruption in the land.” Thus he (i.e. Ali) patrolled all the markets of Kufa, and would that and then would say (the following couplet):
The pleasure fades away from the one who obtained the finest from the impermissible, and only its sin and shame is left,
A trail of negative consequences are to follow it, there’s no good in a pleasure which is followed with hell fire.

Sanad: My (al-Sadooq) Father, from Sa’ad bin Abdullah, from Ibrahim bin Hashim, from Abd al-Rahmaan bin abi Najraan, from `Aasim bin Hameed, from Muhammad bin Qays who said the above hadith

Source: al-Amaali al-Sadooq, Assembly 75, Hadith #6 (See First Image below)

Grading: Sh. Haadi al-Najafi said it is Sahih/Authentic [Mawsu’atu Ahadith Ahlulbayt, Volume 7, Page 12 (See Second Image below)]; Asif al-Mohsini also grades it a reliable hadith in Mu’jim al-Ahadeeth al-Mu`tabarra, Volume 2, Page 174

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There are other variations of this, also found in our books:

“Abu Ja’far, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, has said that ’Amir al-Mu’minin, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, lived among you in al-Kufah. He would have one loaf of bread everyday for his lunch and walk in market-places of al-Kufah one by one with a durrah (whip) on his shoulder. It had two strips and it was called al-Sabibah. He addressed the people of every market-place and said, ‘Those people who do business must maintain piety before Allah, most Majestic, most Glorious.’ People on hearing his voice dropped down whatever they had in their hands, their hearts repented and their ears listened. He (the Imam) would say, ‘You must seek goodness (from Allah) and conclude a transaction with ease, stay close to buyers, dress up with forbearance, stay away from swearing, lying and injustice. Exercise fairness with the oppressed and do not become close to Riba’. Maintain proper measurement and balance. You must not reduce people’s things and you must not spread corruption in the land.’ He (the Imam) would walk in all of market-places of al-Kufah and then return to meet people.”

Sanad: A number of our people have narrated from Sahl ibn Ziyad and Ahmad ibn Muhammad from and Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father all from ibn Mahbub from ‘Amr ibn abu al-Miqdam from Jabir, who has said the above hadith

Source: al-Kafi, Volume 5, Chapter 86, Hadith #3 (See First Image below); Tahdheeb al-Ahkaam, Sh. al-Toosi, Volume 7, Page 6, Hadith #17; Wasaa’il al-Shia, Volume 17, Page 383

Grading: Sh. Haadi al-Najafi said it is Sahih/Authentic [Mawsu’atu Ahadith Ahlulbayt, Volume 12, Page 342 (See Second Image below)]

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We also find it al-Amali of Sh. al-Mufeed:

Abu Ja’far, Muhammad b. Ali al-Baqir, peace be upon them both, who said: Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be upon him, was among you in Kufa and he used to come out early in the morning from his residence, visiting each market of Kufa, one after another, with a whip on his shoulder. It had two strips and was thus called al-Sabibah. He said: He (i.e. Ali) would stand in every market and say: “You must seek goodness (from Allah) and conclude a transaction with ease, stay close to buyers, dress up with forbearance, stay away from swearing, lying and injustice. Exercise fairness with the oppressed and do not become close to Riba’. Maintain proper measurement and balance. You must not reduce people’s things and you must not spread corruption in the land.” He said: Thus he (i.e. Ali) toured all the markets of Kufa and then returned to his place for listening to the common people. He said: When the market people saw him approaching them, exclaiming: “O People!, they would stop their dealings, listen to him carefully and regard him respectfully till he finished.” Then they would respond: “With all readiness, we obey you O, Amirul Mo’mineen.”

Sanad: With the first chain of narration from Ali b. Mahzyar, from al-Hasan b. Mahboob, from Amru b. Abi al-Miqdam (from Jabir), who said the above hadith

Source: al-Amaali al-Mufeed, Assembly 23, Hadith #31 (See Image below)

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In another long hadith in al-Kafi, we see that Imam Ali (as) would patrol the markets with a shurtatu ’l-khamīs, a sort of elite forces. They were group from the companions of Amīr al-mu’minīn who pledged to fight with him to the death and not to give up till victory was obtained. It consisted of five or six thousand men, and was formed after the battle of Nahrawān. One of their commanders was Qays ibn Sa‘d ibn ‘Ubādah al-Ansārī. They disbanded after the assassination of Amīr al-mu’minīn and the truce arranged by the Imām al-Hasan, peace be upon them both. (See al-Kishshī, pp. 5 — 6,103,110; al-Ikhtisās, p.2.)

‘‘I saw Amīr al-mu’minīn, peace be upon him, among [some of] the shurtatu ’l-khamīs, he had a two-striped whip with which he was tapping/striking [some] fishmongers selling al-jarri, al-marmahī and az-zimmar (eel, moray and angler and so forth), saying to them: ‘O sellers of metamorphosed Israelites and the army of the descendents of Marwan, do not sell (inedible fishes).’ … [the hadith continues]

Sanad: Ali ibn Muhammad has narrated from abu Ali Muhammad ibn ’Isma‘il ibn Musa ibn Ja’far from Ahmad ibn al-Qasim al-‘Ijli from Ahmad ibn Yahya, also known as Kurd, from Muhammad ibn Khudahi from ‘Abd Allah ibn Ayyub from ‘Abd Allah ibn Hashim from ‘Abd al-Karim ibn ‘Amr al-Khath‘ami from Hababa al-Walibiyyah who has said the above hadith

Source: al-Kafi, Volume 1, Chapter 138, Hadith #3 (See Image below)

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