Sajid al-Hindi created the topic: Ali’s justice to a Christian
DURING his caliphate, Ali Bin Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) saw some armor of his with a Christian. He decided to take the matter up legally, so he took the dispute to Shurayh (the judge).
Ali said, “This is my armor, and I have neither sold it nor given it away.” Shurayh said to the Christian, “What have you to say about what the Leader of the Believers claims?” The Christian replied, “It is my armor, although I do not regard the Leader of the Believers to be a liar.”
Shurayh then turned to Ali, “O Ameer Al-Mu’mineen, do you have any proof (of ownership)?” Ali laughed and said, “Shurayh is correct, I have no proof.” So Shurayh judged that the armor belonged to the Christian.
The Christian took it and began to walk away but then he returned. He said, “As for me, I testify that this is the judgment of the Prophets – the Leader of the Believers himself takes me to his judge and the judge rules against him! I bear witness that there is no deity deserving worship but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. By Allah, the armor is yours Ameer Al-Mu’mineen. I followed the army when you were on your way to the Battle of Siffîn and the armor came out of your equipment.” ‘Ali said, “If you have accepted Islam, then the armor is yours.”
– Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa Al-Nihayah, vol. 8 pg. 5.
source: Saudi Gazette web edition of Monday, 23 March 2009