Download PDF: [S] Stand for Justice even in the Court of a King

Malik Shah was the son of Sultan Alap Arsalan Saljuqi. He was born on the 18th of Muharram 419 A.H. (1068).


Abdul Malik was also called “Imaamul Haramain”, his appellation was “Zia’udeen” and his title was “Abul Mu’aali.” His name was also read in the Jumu’ah Khutbah in places such as Baghdad Shareef, the Haramain Shareefain and even in Baitul Muqaddas. Nishapur was his capital city.


Malik Shah also established classes in Madina Shareef. He issued Islamic Verdicts and it is in this place that he was given the title of “Imaamul Haramain.”


He gained the crown on the 10th of Rabi-ul- Awwal. He passed away in the 15th of Shawwal 488 A.H. (18th November 1092) when he was only 37 years old. It is said that the power and influence of the Saljuqi Dynasty also died with him.


Malik Shah’s special advisor was also a very famous politician and thinker, namely Nizaamul Mulk Tusi. Nizaamul Mulk was killed by a secret agent of Hasan bin Sabah. It is said that Imaamul Haramain was also a pillar of this gathering which was organized by Nizaamul Mulk.


When Nizaamul Mulk established a grand Madressa in Nishapur, Imamul Haramain was nominated as the Head lecturer. The name of the Madressa was Madressa Nizaamiyah. All the official religious verdicts and decisions of the country were issued by him. Nizaamul Mulk was also a prolific writer and considered as a very pious person. Nizaamul Mulk passed away in Nishapur in the month of Jamadi-ul-Akhir 478 A.H. (1058) and was buried in this city.


One day Malik Shah, being the head of government, decided that he would like to tour each city under his domain so he instructed all of his officers and soldiers of his intention. It was also the month of Ramadaan and he mentioned this to them in the last ten days of Ramadaan.


Malik Shah announced that as soon as Eid is complete, he would be leaving on this grand tour. However, on the evening of the 29th, Malik Shah announced to everyone that they should look for the new moon. However, the King himself did not do this, nor the other officers in his company. Everyone went according to what the King thought and everyone convinced themselves that the new moon had been seen. Hence, and announcement was made to the affect that the next day would be Eid.


However, when Imamul Haramain, Malik Shah, heard this, he made a person announce the following words publicly, “Abul Mu’aali announces that Ramadaan still continues tomorrow. Whoever wishes to practise upon my Fatwa, should keep fast tomorrow.”


Obviously this decision, which clearly went against the decision of the King, was something which the enemies of this great scholar used against him. They also informed the King that Imamul Haramain should be punished and that he had displayed no respect at all for the King. However, the King was not a unwise person. He mentioned that before anything could be done, it would be necessary to call Imamul Haramain to the Palace so that he could give his side of the story.


In those days, those appearing in the special quarters of the King had to use a special royal gown to enter or else they were not permitted to enter this area. However, when Imamul Haramain received the command to appear before the King, he was reading his Salaah. As soon as Imamul Haramain finished his Salaah, he travelled to the Palace without wearing any special robe. His enemies also decided to use this against him and informed the King that besides insulting the official decision of the King about Eid, Imamul Haramain had also entered the Royal Chambers with ordinary clothes. The Sultan was a bit disturbed by this, but allowed the great scholar to enter in ordinary clothes.


The first thing the Sultan asked him was about the issue of wearing ordinary clothes to enter the royal chambers. The great Imam replied, “The clothes that I am wearing is the same clothes I was wearing when I was reading my Salaah and since it is clothing which is permissible in Salaah and something which one is allowed to wear while standing in the Divine Court of Allah azza wajal, I cannot understand how it would be a problem to enter this court using the same clothing. Another reason is that the minute I received the royal call, I did not want to be included among those who disobey the authority of those in power, hence I came as fast as I could wearing whatever clothing I had on.”


The King asked, “If this is the status of obeying the command of those in power, what the reason was therefore, that you did not obey the decision on the moon?”


The great Imam replied, “Those laws which are dependent on those who are in power, it is our duty to obey them. As for those laws which are based on Islamic Law or Fatwa, these laws are to be first confirmed with me. The reason is that an answer given in the form of a Fatwa is equal in authority to something which is issued by the royal court.”


When the King heard this, his anger disappeared and he became very happy with this display of bravery. He then made a public announcement that his royal order was incorrect and the decision made by Imamul Haramain, who is the Head Islamic Judge, was the correct decision. (Nizaamul Mulk Tusi, 1/133).


In the present age, if the ‘Ulama stand up for the truth, even the government would have to listen to them and this is the only manner that justice and equality can be created in this world.