Ali

ibn Abi Talib A.S.
By Dr Izzat Husain
izzathusain@gmail.com

His Name: Ali His Designation: 1st Imam Kunniyat: Haider, Almurtuza, His title’s: Wasiullah, Yadullah, wajhullah, Asadullah, Imam , Amirul momineen, Abul- HasanAbulHasanain ,Abus- sibtain Abu- turaab. Fateh Khaiber, Shah-e –Mardan, His father’s name: Abi Talib His mother’s name: Fatima, the daughter of Asad. His wife: Butool the Fatima daughter of our last Prophet Mohammad SAW. His birth day: Friday, the thirteenth of rajab month. His birth place: Born in the house of Allah “Kaba”. His birth year13th Rajab, 24 BH–21st Ramaḍhan 40 AH; approximately October 23, 598 or 600, Ten Years before the declaration of prophet hood of our last Prophet Mohammad SAW. Martyred on: Thursday – 21st of Ramadan month 14th Hijri the 28th January 661 AD at Masjid-E Kufa he was sixty-three years old. His death reason: He was killed by poisoned sword of Ibn-e- muljim during his prayer in Sajda on 19th Ramadan. Buried at: Najaf Al- Ashraf (Iraq). Major work(s): Supplications of Ali, Saheefa-e-Ali, Way of Eloquence

Book on him: Peak of Eloquence Nahjul Balagha (A collection of his sermons, letters & sayings) Alī ibn Abi Talib, was the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet while Shia Muslims regard Ali as the first Imam and Muhammad SAW and ruled

over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661. Sunni Muslims consider Ali the fourth and final Caliph, descendants of the rightful successors to Muhammad SAW All sources, Muhammad SAW and members of the Ahl- al-Bayt, the household of

state that, Ali was the only person who born in the Kaaba. His father was Abi Talib ibn Abd alMuttalib and his mother was Fatima bint Asad, but he was raised in the household of Muhammad SAW who himself was raised by Abu Talib, Muhammad SAW's uncle. When Muhammad SAW reported receiving a divine revelation, Ali was the first male who accepts his message of Islam. Birth and childhood Ali's father Abu Talib ibn ‘Abdul-Muttalib was the custodian of the Kaaba and a chief of the Bani Hashim, an important branch of the powerful Quraysh tribe. He was also an uncle of of Ibrahim, Ali was born inside the Kaaba in the city of Mecca, where he stayed with his mother for three days. According to a tradition, Muhammad SAW was the first person whom Ali saw as he took the newborn in his hands. Muhammad SAW named him Ali. When Muhammad SAW was orphaned and later lost his grandfather Abdul Muttalib, Ali's father took Muhammad SAW. Ali's mother, Fatima bint Asad, also belonged to Bani Hashim, making Ali a descendant of Ismail, the son

him into his house. Ali was born two or three years after Muhammad SAW married with Khadijah bint-eKhuwaylid. When Ali was five or six years old Muhammad SAW took Ali into his home to raise him. Ali was never an idol worshipper like the people of Mecca. Ali was known to have broken idols. After declaration of Islam Muhammad SAW invited people to Islam publicly .According to al-Tabari, Ibn Athir and Abu al-Fida, Muhammad SAW announced at invitational events that whoever assisted him in his invitation would become his brother, trustee and successor. Only Ali, who was thirteen years old, stepped forward to help him. This invitation was repeated three times, but Ali was the only person who answered Muhammad SAW Upon Ali's constant and only answer to his call, was his brother, inheritor and vice-regent and people must obey him. Migration to Medina In 622 AD, the year of Muhammad SAW’s migration to Medina, Ali risked his life by sleeping in Muhammad SAW declared that Ali

Muhammad SAW’s bed to impersonate him and prevent from an assassination plot, so that Muhammad SAW could getaway in safety. This night is called Laylat al-Mabit. According to some hadith, a verse was revealed about Ali concerning his sacrifice on the night of Hijra which says, "And among men is he who sells his nafs (self) in exchange for the pleasure of Allah.

Ali survived the plot, but risked his life again by staying in Mecca to carry out Muhammad SAW for safekeeping. Ali then went to Medina with his family. In Medina During Muhammad SAW's era Ali was 22 or 23 years old when he migrated to Medina. When

Muhammad SAW's

instructions: to restore to their owners all the goods and properties that had been entrusted to

Muhammad SAW was creating bonds

of brotherhood among his companions, he selected Ali as his brother. For the ten years that Muhammad SAW led the community in Medina, Ali was extremely active in his service as his secretary and deputy, serving in his armies, the bearer of his banner in every battle, leading parties of warriors on raids, and carrying messages and orders. As one of Muhammad SAW’s lieutenants, and later his son-inlaw, Ali was a person of authority and standing in the Muslim community. Family & life In 623, marriage. Muhammad SAW told Ali that God ordered him to give his daughter Fatimah Zahra to Ali in Muhammad SAW said to Fatimah: "I have married you to the dearest of my family to me. Muhammad SAW frequently and he declared them as his Ahl al-Bayt in

This family is glorified by events such as Mubahala.

Ali had four children born to Fatimah, the only child of

Muhammad SAW to have progeny. Their two

sons (Hasan and Husain) were cited by Muhammad SAW to be his own sons, honored numerous times in his lifetime and titled "the leaders of the youth of Jannah" (Heaven, the hereafter.) The life of Ali was a simple life of hardship and deprivation. Throughout life, Ali remained poor because he did not set great story by material wealth. To relieve their extreme poverty, Ali worked as a drawer and carrier of water. According to a famous Hadith, one day, Ali said to his wife: I have ground blistered in my hands, for I have drawn water until I have pains in my chest. According to another hadith, one day as they were fasting and a beggar came by asking for food, so they gave him their dry bread. The next day of fasting, an orphan came by and they gave him that days meal. The third day a prisoner of war knocked their door asking for food,(Due to this incident a verse in Surat al dahar was sent down about them)"For their love of Allah they fed a beggar an orphan and a prisoner of war. Their marriage lasted until Fatimah's death ten years later. Although polygamy was permitted, Ali did not marry another woman while Fatimah was alive, and his marriage to her possesses a special spiritual significance for all Muslims because it is seen as the marriage between two great figures surrounding Muhammad SAW. After Fatimah's death, Ali married other wives and fathered many children.

In battles With the exception of the Battle of Tabouk, Ali took part in all battles and expeditions fought for Islam. As well as being the standard-bearer in those battles, Ali led parties of warriors on raids into enemy lands. Battle of Badr Ali first distinguished himself as a warrior in 624 at the Battle of Badr. He defeated the Umayyad champion Walid ibn Utba as well as many other Meccan soldiers. According to Muslim traditions Ali killed between twenty and thirty-five enemies in battle, most agreeing with twenty-seven. Battle of Uhud Ali was prominent at the Battle of Uhud, as well as many other battles where he wielded a bifurcated sword known as Zulfiqar He had the special role of protecting when most of the Muslim army fled from the battle of Uhud and it was said "There is no brave youth except Ali and there is no sword which renders service except Zulfiqar. Battle of Khaybar He was commander of the Muslim army in the Battle of Khaybar Following this battle Mohammad gave Ali the name Asadullah, which in Arabic means "Lion of Allah" or "Lion of God". Ali also defended Muhammad SAW in the Battle of Hunayn in 630. After the prophet He also fought Battle of Jamal & Battle of Siffin for the protection of Islam. Missions for Islam Muhammad SAW designated Ali as one of the scribes who would write down the text of the Qur'an, which had been revealed to Muhammad SAW during the previous two decades. As Islam began to Muhammad SAW and the Quraysh in 628. Ali spread throughout Arabia, Ali helped establish the new Islamic order. He was instructed to write down the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, the peace treaty between was so reliable and trustworthy that the orders. In 630, Ali recited to a large gathering of pilgrims in Mecca a portion of the Qur'an that declared Muhammad SAW and the Islamic community were no longer bound by agreements made earlier with Arab polytheists. During the Conquest of Mecca in 630, Muhammad SAW asked Ali to guarantee that the conquest would be bloodless. He ordered Ali to break all the idols worshipped by the local tribes Bani Aus, Bani Kharaj, Bani Umayya, and those in the Kaaba to purify it after its defilement by the polytheism of the pre-Islamic era. Ali was sent to Yemen one year later to spread the teachings of Islam. He was also charged with settling several disputes and putting down the uprisings of various tribes. Muhammad SAW asked him to carry the messages and declare

The Mubahela (conversation) According to hadith collections, in 631 an Arab Christian envoy from Najran (currently in northern Yemen and partly in Saudi Arabia) came to Muhammad SAW to argue which of the two parties erred in its doctrine concerning Jesus. After likening Jesus' miraculous birth to Adam's creation, Muhammad called them to mubahala (conversation), where each party should bring their knowledgeable men, women and children, and ask God to curse the lying party and their followers. Muhammad SAW to prove to them that he is a prophet, brought his daughter Fatimah, Ali ibn Abi Talib and his grandchildren Hasan and Husayn.He went to the Christians and said this is my family (Ahlay Bait) and covered himself and his family with a cloak According to sources, when one of the Christian monks saw their faces, he advised his companions to withdraw from Mubahala for the sake of their lives and families. Thus the Christian monks vanished from the Mubahala place. Ghadir Khumm As Muhammad SAW was returning from his last pilgrimage in 632, he made statements about Ali that

are interpreted very differently by Sunnis and Shias. He halted the caravan at Ghadir Khumm, gathered the returning pilgrims for communal prayer and began to address them,, O people, I am a human being. I am about to receive a message from my Lord and I, in response to Allah's call, (would bid good-bye to you), but I am leaving among you two weighty things: the one being the Book of Allah(Qur'an) in which there is right guidance and light, so hold fast to the Book of Allah and adhere to it. He exhorted (us) (to hold fast) to the Book of Allah and then said: The second are my family (Ahlay Bait) I remind you (of your duties) to my family (Ahlay Bait). This quote is confirmed by both Shia and Sunni, but they interpret the quote differently. For whom ever I am a Maula of, and then Ali is his Maula. Succession to Muhammad SAW After uniting the Arabian tribes into a single Muslim religious polity in the last years of his life, Muhammad SAW’s death in 632 signaled disagreements over who would succeed him as leader of the Muslim community. While Ali and the rest of Muhammad SAW’s close family were washing his body for burial, at a gathering attended by a small group of Muslims at Saqifah, a close companion of Muhammad SAW named Abu Bakr was nominated for the leadership of the community. Others added their support and Abu Bakr was made the first caliph. The choice of Abu Bakr disputed by some of the Muhammad’s companions, who held that Ali had been designated his successor by himself. Muhammad SAW

Later When Fatimah and Ali sought aid from the Companions in the matter of his right to the caliphate, they answered, O daughter of the Messenger of God! We have given our allegiance to Abu Bakr. If Ali had come to us before this, we would certainly not have abandoned him. Ali said, 'Was it fitting that we should wrangle over the caliphate even before the Prophet was buried?' Following his election to the caliphate, Abu Bakr and Umar with a few other companions headed to Fatimah's house to take the prophet's house because they considered that females don't inherit from their father. Then, it is alleged that Umar threatened to set the house on fire unless they came out and swore allegiance with Abu Bakr. Then Umar set the house on fire and pushed the burnt door on Fatimah. Two to three months after her father’s death Fatimah herself died. As Ali was readying her body for burial he felt her broken ribs (done when she was wounded by Umar and those who tried to take her house) and started crying. At night Ali took her body for burial. This contentious issue caused Muslims to later split into two groups, Sunni and Shi'a. Sunnis assert that even though Muhammad SAW never appointed a successor, Abu Bakr was elected first caliph by the Muhammad SAW’s rightful Muslim community. The Sunnis recognize the first four caliphs as

successors. Shi'as believe that Muhammad SAW explicitly named Ali as his successor at Ghadir Khumm and Muslim leadership belonged to him which had been determined by divine order. By Allah the son of Abu Quhafah (Abu Bakr) dressed himself with it (the caliphate) and he certainly knew that my position in relation to it was the same as the position of the axis in relation to the hand-mill...I put a curtain against the caliphate and kept myself detached from it... I watched the plundering of my inheritance till the first one went his way but handed over the Caliphate to Ibn al-Khattab after himself Than third caliph in 656 Usman Ibne khattab. Another part of Ali's life started in 632 after death of Muhammad SAW and lasted until assassination

third caliph in 656. During these years, Ali neither took part in any battle or nor did he assume any executive position. He withdrew from political affairs, especially after the death of his wife, Fatima Zahra. He used his time to serve his family and worked as a farmer. Ali dug a lot of wells and planted gardens near Medina and endowed them for public use. These wells are known today as Abar Ali ("Ali's wells"). Six months after, the death of Muhammad SAW Ali compiled a complete version of the

Qur'an, mus'haf. (Quran is commonly called a "Mushaf" today, perhaps referring to its "collection" after it was dispersed. Quran is a Mushaf (book), but any Mushaf (book) is not necessarily the Quran). Ali was appointed Caliph by the Companions of Muhammad SAW (the Sahaba) in Medina after the

assassination of the third caliph, Usman ibn Affan. He faces non-cooperation by kharji and civil

war during his reign. In 661, Ali was attacked one morning while worshipping in the mosque of Kufa and died 2 days later. In Muslim world, Ali is respected for his courage, knowledge, belief, honesty, unbending devotion to Islam, deep loyalty to Muhammad SAW, equal treatment of all Muslims and generosity in forgiving his defeated enemies, and therefore is central to mystical traditions in Islam such as Sufism. Ali retains his stature as an authority on Qur’an exegesis, Islamic jurisprudence and religious thought. Ali holds a high position in all true Muslim sectors which trace their lineage through him to influence has been important throughout Islamic world. Ali is respected not only as a warrior and leader, but as a writer and religious authority. Numerous range of disciplines from theology and exegesis to calligraphy and numerology, from law and mysticism to Arabic grammar and Rhetoric regarded as having been first adumbrated by Ali. According to Hadith Muhammad SAW told about him "I'm the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate. Ali was also a great scholar of Arabic literature and pioneered in the field of Arabic grammar and rhetoric. Numerous short sayings of Ali have become part of general Islamic culture and are quoted as aphorisms and proverbs in daily life. , Peak of Eloquence (Nahj al-Balagha) is an extract of Ali's quotations from a literal viewpoint. Muhammad SAW Ali’s

Views of non Muslims about Ali A.S.
Person Quote

Edward Gibbon (British 18th century historian)

The zeal and virtue of Ali were never outstripped by any recent proselyte. He united the qualifications of a poet, a soldier, and a saint; his wisdom still breathes in a collection of moral and religious sayings; and every antagonist,in the combats of the tongue or of the sword, was subdued by his eloquence and valour. From the first hour of his mission to the last rites of his funeral, the apostle was never forsaken by a generous friend, whom he delighted to name his brother, his vicegerent, and the faithful Aaron of a second Moses.[137]

Washington Irving (American author and essayist)

He was of the noblest branch of the noble race of Koreish. He possessed the three qualities most prized by Arabs: courage, eloquence, and munificence. His intrepid spirit had gained him from the prophet the appellation of The Lion of God, specimens of his eloquence remain in some verses and sayings preserved among the Arabs; and his munificence was manifested in sharing among others, every Friday, what remained in the treasury. Of his magnanimity, we have given repeated instances; his noble scorn of everything false and mean, and the absence in his conduct of everything like selfish intrigue.

Thomas Carlyle(Scottish historian, critic, and sociological writer)

As for this young Ali, one cannot but like him. A noble-minded creature, as he shows himself, now and always afterwards; full of affection, of fiery daring. Something chivalrous in him; brave as a lion; yet with a grace, a truth and affection worthy of Christian knighthood

Sir William Muir(Scottish scholar and statesman)

Endowed with a clear intellect, warm in affection, and confiding in friendship, he was from the boyhood devoted heart and soul to the Prophet. Simple, quiet, and un ambitious, when in after days he obtained the rule of half of the Moslem world, it was rather thrust upon him than sought

Dr. Henry Stubbe(Classicist, polemicist, physician, and philosopher)

He had a contempt of the world, its glory and pomp, he feared God much, gave many alms, was just in all his actions, humble and affable; of an exceeding quick wit and of an ingenuity that was not common, he was exceedingly learned, not in those sciences that terminate in speculations but those which extend to practice

Simon Ockley (British Orientalist and Professor of Arabic at the University of Cambridge)

One thing particularly deserving to be noticed is that his mother was delivered of him at Mecca, in the very temple itself; which never happened to anyone else.

The poet Khalil Gibran said of him: "In my view, Alī was the first Arab to have contact with and converse with the universal soul. He died a martyr of his greatness; he died while prayer was between his two lips. SOME SAYINGS OF IMAM ALI (A.S.) 1. During civil disturbance adopt such an attitude that people do not attach any importance to you they neither burden you with complicated affairs, nor try to derive any advantage out of you. 2. He who is greedy is disgraced; he who discloses his hardship will always be humiliated; he who has no control over his tongue will often have to face discomfort. 3. Avarice is disgrace; cowardice is a defect; poverty often disables an intelligent man from arguing his case; a poor man is a stranger in his own town; misfortune and helplessness are calamities; patience is a kind of bravery; to sever attachments with the wicked world is the greatest wealth; piety is the best weapon of defense. 4. Submission to Allah's Will is the best companion; wisdom is the noblest heritage; theoretical and practical knowledge are the best signs of distinction; deep thinking will present the clearest picture of every problem. 5. The mind of a wise man is the safest custody of secrets; cheerfulness is the key to friendship; patience and forbearance will conceal many defects. 6. A conceited and self-admiring person is disliked by others; charity and alms are the best remedy for ailments and calamities; one has to account in the next world for the deeds that he has done in this world. 7. Man is a wonderful creature; he sees through the layers of fat (eyes), hears through a bone (ears) and speaks through a lump of flesh (tongue). 8. When this world favors somebody, it lends him the attributes, and surpassing merits of others and when it turns its face away from him it snatches away even his own excellences and fame. 9. Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company. 10. If you overpower your enemy, then pardon him by way of thankfulness to Allah, for being able to subdue him. By Dr Izzat Husain
izzathusain@gmail.com

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