It is recorded from Imam al-Baqir that one day ‘Ali entered the mosque. Suddenly a young man approached him weeping. He was surrounded by a big mob of people who were consoling him.
Imam asked him the reason of weeping. He said, “Qadi Shuraih has decided my case in such a way that I cannot comprehend. These people had taken my father along with them in a journey. Now they have returned but have not brought my father back. When I asked, they said he has died. When I asked what happened to all of his goods. They say he did not leave any goods. I took them to Qadi Shuraih. He asked them questions on oath and released them.
Though, O Amir al-Mu’minin! I know that my father had taken a lot of merchandise with him.” ‘Ali said, “Come let us go back to Qadi Shuraih.” ‘Ali asked the Qadi, “How did you decide this case?” He replied, “This youth claimed that his father had joined these people in a journey and had carried goods; that his father did not return and these people did not bring any of his goods; that they say his father did not leave any goods behind him. I asked the youth whether he had any witness. He replied in the negative so I inquired from these people on oath. ‘Ali said, “It is regretful that you decide such cases in this way! By Allah! I will decide this dispute in such a way that none except Dawud had decided.’”
Then he asked Qambar to bring the sundews of the army. When they arrived, the Emir called everyone of the caravan men and then told them, “Perhaps you imagine that I do not know what you did to his father. It would be very unwise if I could not understand even this thing.” Then he ordered everyone of them to stand separately behind each one of the mosque pillars. Then he covered their faces with their clothes so that they might not be able to see one another. Then he called his writer ‘Abdullah bin Rafi’. He came with pen and paper and Imam sat as a judge. People gathered around him.
Then he instructed, “When I say Allahu Akbar bring here one of them. Likewise, he first called one of them and made him sit before him. Removed the cloth from his face and asked ‘Abdullah bin Rafi’ to write down what he uttered. Then he began questioning that man, “When did you leave your homes?” Was this man’s father with you then? He replied, “On such and such day.” He asked, “What was that month?” He gave the name of the month. Then he asked, “Where did you arrive thereafter?” He said at such and such place. He asked, “In whose house did you stay?” He said, “In the house of such and such man.” Then he asked what illness struck him (the complainant’s father)? He said such and such illness. He asked, “For how many days did he remain ill?” He said, “So many days.” He put similar questions and then asked on what day he died? On what day he was given a bath? Who gave him the bath, who wrapped him in coffin cloth? What kind of coffin was it? Who offered the prayers for the dead? In which grave was he buried. Then Imam cried Allahu Akbar. All those present also cried in unison “Allahu Akbar.”
Hearing this slogan the companions of that (interrogated) man thought that their fellow traveler has confessed to the crime of killing the complainant’s father and that was why all in court repeated the slogan “Allahu Akbar.” Then, according to the instructions of the Imam, the face of the interrogated person was again covered and he was sent to his place behind a pillar.
Thereafter another person was made to sit in front of him. Amir al-Mu’minin told him, “You had thought that I do not know what you people had done.” He said, “O Amir al-Mu’minin! Though I was one of the groups I did not agree with the plot of murdering him and confessed to the crime.” Likewise, all of them were called one by one and all made confessions to the crime. At last, he called the first person again and then he also confessed and revealed that all of them had joined hands to murder the plaintiff’s father and had usurped him property. Thus, the Imam proved the case of the complainant.
Qadi Shuraih said, “O Maula! Kindly also enlighten us how Dawud had decided the case?” The Amir al-Mu’minin said, “One day Dawud was passing by when he saw some boys playing together. They were calling one of them by the name “Maat ud Deen” (meaning religion is dead). Dawud called that boy to him and asked him, “Who gave this name to you?” He replied, “My mother.” Dawud took that boy to his mother and asked her, “Who gave such name to your son?” She replied, “His father.” asked, “How and why?” The woman said, “This boy’s father had once gone on a journey with a group of people. At that time, this boy was in my womb (unborn until then). That group came back home but this body’s father was not with them. When I asked his whereabouts to that group they said, he is dead. I asked what happened to his property and goods. They said he did not leave any wealth. I asked them whether he had made any wasiyyah (will)? They said, ‘Yes, he had said that: I have a wife who is pregnant. Tell her she should name the newborn (boy or girl) “Maat ad Deen.”’ So I did accordingly.”
Dawud asked her whether she knew that group and whether they were alive? The woman replied, “Yes, all of them are alive and I know all of them. asked her to accompany him for showing them.” Then Dawud went to the house of each and everyone of them along with that widow, called all of them and decided the case as you have seen now. All of the guilty confessed to their crime of murder and robbery. Then Dawud asked that woman to name the boy “Aash ad Deen” (meaning the religion is revived).