Acts at al-Kūfa

The Seat of Judgment and the Place of the Washtub

- views2 min read

The seat of judgment (dakkat al-qadā') was a shop-like structure inside Masjid al-Kūfa in which there was a bench that was used by Imām ʿAlī(a) for judging. Next to this place, there was a short column on which the following holy verse was written:

«إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ.»

“Surely, Allāh enjoins the doing of justice and the doing of good to others and the giving to the kindred, and He forbids indecency and evil and rebellion; He admonishes you that you may be mindful.”

The place of the washtub (Bayt al-Ṭashṭ) is the place where one of the miracles of Imām ʿAlī(a) was shown:

While an unmarried girl was swimming in a pool, a leech entered her body to settle in her womb. This leech fed on the blood of that girl and thus grew. Hence, the girl’s belly began to grow bigger and bigger that her brothers though that she was illegally pregnant. As they intended to kill their sister, they first provided the case before Imām ʿAlī(a) to decide about her. The Imām(a) ordered that a thick curtain be erected in one of the sides of the mosque (Masjid al-Kūfa) behind which the girl would sit. The Imām(a) then asked a famous midwife in al-Kūfa city to check the girl. The answer of the midwife came as follows: “O ʾAmīr al-Muʾminīn, this girl is pregnant. She carries a fetus in her womb.”

However, the Imām(a) ordered them to bring a washtub made of clay and he asked them to make that girl sit there. When the leech felt the stench of the clay, it sneaked out from where it had entered and it fell in the washtub. Thus, the innocence of the girl was proved.