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Khalifa Ali bin Abu Talib - Judgements of Ali

Dispute about a child

Once a dispute arose between two women about the possession of a child. Each woman claimed to be the mother of the child. No proof could be adduced from either side, but each woman insisted emphatically that the child belonged to her. In the absence of any satisfactory evidence, Ali was unable to decide to whom the child actually belonged. Exasperated addressing the women, Ali said that there is no satisfactory evidence had been produced and as both the women insisted on the motherhood of the child, he had no option but decide that the child be cut in two parts, and thus the child be divided among them. Hearing this decision, one of the women burst into tears and said, "My Lord, do not kill the child. You may very well award it to the other woman". Thereupon Ali declared that she was indeed the mother of the child, and delivered the child to her.

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