Life of Ali bin Abu Talib r.a, the Lion of Allah and darling of Holy Prophet saws
Written by Ali Asghar Shah
Life of Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (a.s) the Lion of Allah
In the Name of Allah Most gracious and Most Merciful A Person who is raised up in the blessed house of the Prophet Muhammad saws and clings to the Blessed Prophet saws since his early childhood will definitely rise to become one of the most accomplished and distinguished person in the whole world.
Amirul Momineen Ali r.a was the son of Abu Talib, the uncle of the Prophet saws. Abu Talib had the honor of raising up the Prophet saws and Ali k.w had the honor of being raised up in the house of Nabi saws. Abu Talib was the brother of Abdullah r.a who was the Father of our Beloved Nabi saws. The Prophet saws was orphaned at a very young age and Allah choose the best people to raise our Beloved Nabi saws. Imam Ali k.w was the son of Abu Talib hence he was a very close cousin and Brother of Prophet saws himself. Abu Talib had many sons and among them were Talib, Aqeel, Jafar and Ali.
There was a time when Abu Talib was in financial crisis and to ease his hardship the Prophet saws on discussing with his other uncle Abbas ibn Abdul Muttalib stated that we shall raise and take care of the children of Abu Talib. Abu Talib on hearing this was very pleased and hence the Prophet saws took under his care Ali k.w and Abbas r.a took Jafar. Aqeel remained with Abu Talib and to the best of my knowledge Talib was raised also by Abu Talib or perhaps Abbas r.a.
I want to add that it is ascertained in the books of history that Abu Talib conducted the Nikah of Prophet saws with Hazrat Khadija r.a. Now a prophet is born a Prophet and it is only that the Wahy started descending upon the Prophet saws in his 40th year of his blessed life saws. So Ali a.s imbibed the best and most noble manners of the best creation of Allah.
Imam Ali k.w was born on 13th Rajab around either the 599 year or the 600th year according to the roman calendar. The Prophet saws was around 30 years old when Ali was born.
There are various reports on account of the birth of Imam Ali k.w. Shah Waliyullah mentions in his Izalatul Khifa his voluminious book that Imam Ali was born in the kaaba and this he backed by a report by Hakim Nishapuri in his Mustadrik which was authenticated by the great Muhaddith Hakim itself.
In Sahih Muslim the names of other persons is given for having been born in the Kaaba. However many awliyaa Allah believe Ali to be Maulood e Kaaba, Khwaja Moinuddin chisti r.a called Ali a.s Maulood e Kaaba and with many other reports to back this up it is also my belief that Ali a.s was born in the Kaaba on 13th Rajab. The first Person Imam Ali k.w saw when he opened his eyes was the Blessed Nabi Muhammad saws. The Mother of Imam Ali, whose name was Fatima Bint Asad gave him the name Asad and called him Hyder also. But the Prophet saws gave him a name which no one has ever had that name on earth and that was Ali. Amazing it is indeed that Names Ali, Hasan and Hussain were chosen specially for special persons.
Ali r.a was just less than 10 years old when he had the honor of being the first male muslim to follow the Message and the teachings of Prophet saws which he received from Allah. There are various reports on this matter as to who was the first to accept the call of the Prophet saws. The difference is because the First person whom the Prophet saws told about the wahy which he saws received from Allah through Gabriel a.s was Khadija kubra r.a. Now there are reports which also state that the Prophet saws many times took Ali who was a small boy then with him whenever he went for seclusion and prayers and reflection and mediation at the Mountain of Hira.
So it follows that Ali would have been the first person to accept the call of the Prophet saws. There is also a report that once Ali r.a saw the Prophet saws and Khadija offering prayers and he said what is this O Prophet saws then the Prophet saws gave him the dawah of Islam and he said I shall consult my Father first about it. After some time on the same moment after ssome reflection Ali k.w said Allah did not consult my Father before creating me so why should I consult him on accepting his call. Subhallanah!
Any first male muslim to follow the Message of the Prophet saws was Ali r.a. and Khadija followed by Ali r.a followed the Message and the Call of the Prophet saws and also Zaid bin Haritha who was a helper in the house whom the Prophet saws had raised and adopted. Abu Bakr Siddiq r.a was the first among the elders to have become a muslim and it is an undisputable fact that Abu Bakr r.a was among the earliest muslims aand was among the Muhajirun and the one of the closest Friend of the Prophet saws.
Ali ibn Abu Talib k.w had the honor of marrying the most beloved Daughter of the Prophet saws, Fatima Zahra r.a. The Prophet saws called her the leader of the women in paradise. The Prophet saws in a sahih hadith mentioned in Bukhari under fazail e Ahle bayt that Fatima is a part of me whosoever angers her angers me or whosoever hurts her hurts me and whosoever hurts me Hurts Allah. Now imagine the izah and pain caused to the blessed Fatima Zahra by the Yazeed Maloon on account of the Martydom of Imam Hussain a.s who is the grandson of the Prophet saws.
Ali k.w was the most bravest of all muslims next only to Prophet saws and was the strongest of all next to Prophet saws because it is an undeniable fact that the Prophet saws was the most bravest and the strongest and the best creation of Allah.
On the gazwa e Badr Imam Ali r.a. alone killed half of the total slain among the mushrikin of Makkah.
Ali r.a was very watchful and fierce, brave and he fought with such a bravery that the most brave of the braves could not hold their ground even for half a minute in front of Ali r.a. In the gazwah of Uhud Ali r.a displayed amazing prowess and bravery.
The accounts of the bravery of strength of Ali are soo numerous that separate books can be written on it. I shall mention two incidents.
One of Khyber and the other of Khandaq.
Khyber is called a place of forts of the jews perhaps of Bani Quraiza and Qainiqah and it was slightly far from Madinah but not that far. Here the jews had established their stronghold and their presence was a threat to the muslims as they were planning much evil in it against the muslims.
The muslims managed to besiege all the forsts in Khyber except one which was the major stronghold with Marhab in it who was known for his matchless strnght and bravery. No one among the companions r.a could manage to besiege this fort as the strategically and militarily the fort with its location and people in it and the shower of arrows were on the side of the jews.
The Prophet saws on hearing the turn of events stated that Tommorow I will give the flag to a man whom Allah and his Rasool love and who is loved by Allah and his Rasool saws. What an honor indeed!
Everyone was eager to be the flag bearer the next day and when tomorrow arrived the Prophet saws said Nade Ali which means Call Ali(In Arabic Naade Means call). The companions replied that Ali is having an eye trouble and hence could nto come and he was hence called for and soon the people saw a son riding a horse and dust was spreading about and here came Ali the lion of Allah and he complained of the eye trouble and the Prophet saws put some of his blessed salive on his eyes and Ali was cured rightaway and since then he never had an head ache and never an eye trouble.
So Ali r.a was given the flag and he lead the army of Muslims and they besieged the Fort of Khyber . Marhab came for a duel with Ali r.a. and he was dispatched to Hell in no time by Ali r.a.Marhab’s skull was crushed into two by the stroke of the Zulfiqar of Ali a.s. This incident is reported under the fazail e Ali k.w in Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan Trimidhi and many other authentic compilation of traditions.
The fort of the Khyber was big and heavy and Ali ibn Abu Talib while doing Jihaad against the jews of Khyber , his shield fell to the ground and Ali r.a. uprooted the big gate of the Fort of Khyber and kept on holding it as long as the battle waged and then threw it to the ground and then it is reported that 40 strong men could barely move it from the ground. Such was the strength and Quwwah of Ali which was due to his Allah’s given power and due to his strong faith and love for Allah and his Messenger saws.
On the battle of Ditch called Gazwaae Khandaq when the muslims on the advice of Salman Farsi R.anhuma planned to make a large ditch so that the enemies would have a hard time to fight and the waves of victory will be with the muslims on account of the strategic military advantage on the side of the muslims.
Among the mushrikin the enemies there was a man named Amr bin Abdwood who was known to be equivalent to 1000 horsemen he crossed the whole ditch with one jump on his horse. Now he challeneged the muslims for a duel as was the custom in Arabia. No one dared to go ahead as he was known for his bravery and power. He was huge and massive. Ali r.a was the one who rose at the each call of Amr but the Prophet saws made Ali sit down and said It is Amr. When Ali insisted the third time the Prophet saws himself gave the blessed turban to him and tied it on his own and tied the shield and the armour to Ali r.a. Then he prayed to Allah for the safety and victory of Ali and said Now the whole truth will fight against the complete Baatil.
The companions were seeing Ali and believing perhaps it is the last time they are seeing Ali. Ali at first gave the dawah of Islam to Amr but he denied and then the duel began with some flashes of sword , dust settled everywhere and then shout of Takbir was heard from Ali k.w and Amr was divided into two and in no time Ali brought down the Amr to the ground and dispactched him to hell.
Even at the time of the Khilafah of Ali r.a when he was 58-60 years old he was seen plunging into the battle field in the battled of Nahrwan, siffin and Jamal and wherever Ali went the people would be shaken as if a lion has attacked herds of sheep. With his zulfiqar he would pierce the enemy ranks like a lighting has flashed on them and from the deepest ranks of enemies would come out cutting, skulls and fleshes and This was the Brave Ali, the peerless Lion of Allah whom no one ever defeated in the battle and in front of whom no one even if it be many lashkar of enemies and Ali being alone could not stand their ground.
This is no exaggeration authentic record of history bears witness to the bravery, strength of Ali r.a. But O Brothers all of this was not for any personal fame and any personal motive of Ali but all of this was for the cause of Islam. At one instance There was a Mushrik who once was fighting with Ali and in no time he fell to the ground and Ali was about to dispatch him to hell but he spat on the blessed face of Ali. And instead of killing him then being more enraged obviously Ali withdrew from him and walked a few steps and waited for his anger for his personal end fade away and then he killed him. This is to state that Ali only fought so that the word of Allah is exalted.
He was not only the hero of the battle field but also the hero and the leader when it comes to generosity, piety, Ibadah, friendship, love and care for the orhpansa and the needy. In wisdom and judgement Ali k.w was one of the greatest of all and one of the most eloquent of the Arabs next to the Prophet saws.
All of this was due to the intellectual training of the Holy Prophet Muhammad saws himself. None of this would have been possible without the training of the Prophet saws. Ali r.a stated that when the matters became tense in the battle field we would cling to the Prophet saws and no one was more closer to the enemy than the Prophet saws himself.
It was the dua of the Prophet saws which he made for Ali r.a when Ali was being sent to Yemen to judge between the people of Yemen that Ali became the best Judge and the jurist of the ummah. To this note in the Khilafah of Sayyidina Umar Farooq r.a, Umar r.a stated that Had Ali not been there Umar would have been destroyed and also stated that the best judge amongst us is Ali.
The eloquent words, sayings and sermons of Ali r.a are such that a person goes into ecstatcy on listening to them. The Prophet saws said in a Hasan hadith which means it is a good chain of hadith that “ I am the City of Knowledge and Ali is its gate”.
The Prophet saws said that Ali is from me and I am from Ali and the narrator of this tradition is Sayyidina Umar ibn Khattab r.a and it is in many authentic hadith compilations such as Bukhari and also in Sunan Trimidhi.
It is narrated in Bukhari and Sahih Muslim on the authority od Saad ibn Abi Waqqas r.a that on the day of the departure of Tabuk when the Prophet saws made Ali his deputy in Medinah then some people teased Ali, I remind you these people who teased Ali were not the companions but Munafiqhs and they stated that Ali is kept with women and children and the Prophet saws is leaving with other men. Ali with tears in his blessed eyes wetn to the Mercy of Mankind and stated that people saw such and such and the Prophet saws said Ya Ali are you not pleased by this that you are unto me as Harun was unto Musa except that there is no Prophet after me.
When the Hijrat of the Muhajirun was complete and at Medinah the Prophet saws showing an example of Brotherly bond and brotherhood in Islam regardless of place or city of tribe made each Muhajirun a brother of an Ansaar. Now at the end Ali k.w was left alone without him being bonded with any Ansaar so the Prophet saws bonded Ali with himself saws and said that Ya Ali you are my brother in this world and in the hereafter.
After the Hajjatul Wida when the muslims were going to Medinah The Prophet saws encamped at a place called Khumm and there all the people were made to encamp and a special tent was made and a member and the Prophet saws gave a khutba and stated to all the people that “Of whomsoever I am his Maula this Ali( holding the hands of Ali r.a) is his Maula. O Allah love him who loves Ali and be a friend to him who hoilds Ali as his Friend. Oh Allah be an enemy of him who holds Ali as his enemy”.
Amirul Momineen Umar al Faruq r.a was the first person to congratulate Ali ibn Abu Talib a.s and he stated that Ya Ali not only have you beceom the maula of all muslims but indeed you have even become the Maula of Umar as well.
Here one thing is to be noted that before Hajjatul Wida Imam Ali k.w was on Yemen and due to certain judgements and verdicts of Imam Ali the people started getting a bit hostile towards Ali k.w within and few of them started spreading false runors on behalf of Ali a.s. When this was informed to the Prophet saws he became angry at this and to display the importance of Ali a.s and the importance of loving him, honoring him and holding him dearly the Prophet saws made the announcement of Man Kunto Maula Faahaza Aliyun Maula. The Ahle bayt a.s were the successors of the Prophet saws in his Maarifat, Spirutuality, Wisdom and Spiritual Leadership. This is why almost all of the Sufi orders reach to the Prophet saws through Ahle Bayt a.s. Without the Wilayat and spiritual help of Ahle Bayt no Wali would be a Wali.
Imam Ali k.w had the honor of giving the Final Rites to the Prophet saws as only a close relative of the Prophet saws could do that. When the Prophet saws sent Abu Bakr Siddiq r.a as the Amir of the Hajj Pilgrims and to recite Surah Baraat and made an announcement then Gibriel a.s came and informed the Prophet saws to send Ali a.s to recite the Surah Baraat instead of Abu Bakr r.a as only your close Family member can do that. So Ali r.a was sent and ofcourse Abu Bakr Siddiq r.a remained the Amir of the Hajj but the duty of reciting the Surah Baraat to the pilgrims was of Ali k.w.
Now the Prophet saws conveyed the Deen of Allah to us and completed the mission of his Nabuwwat and Allah held him too honorable to stay in this temporary world and took him nearer to himself near his Glory and to an esteemed Station. After the Wisaal of our Beloved Nabi saws the issue of choosing a Caliph first came among the Ansaars and they went ahead choosing one among them but on being informed Abu Bakr and Umar R.Anhuma intervened and saved the muslims from much fitnah and division and the Muhajirun and the Ansaar unanimously gave Bayah to Abu Bakr Siddiq r.a though he did not wish for the Khilafah himself.
Few members of Banu Hashim and including the household of the Prophet saws made a bit delay in giving Bayah. Ali r.a was informed of the decision at Bani Saiidah that Abu Bakr Siddiq r.a has been chosen a Caliph of the muslims and Ali r.a was a bit upset on the ground that such an important matter and we Ahle bayt were not consulted for it. However on the same moment Abu Sufiyan and Abbas ibn Abdul Muttalib came to Ali r.a and tld him to give his hand in Allegience and they will fill the streets of Medinah with the army for Ali r.a and will support his Khilafah. But Ali r.a strictly rebuked them Harshly and told them that he never would wish for division in the ummah and Ali is also heard as saying that Had the Prophet saws made a will for Khilafah that I were to be a Khalifah ater him then By Allah Ali ibn Abu Talib would never have allowed Abu Bakr r.a to sit on the seat of Khilafah as the head of the muslim state.
The next day or after some while Ali r.a went to Abu Bakr r.a and on seeing him Abu Bakr r.a said Ya Ali do you wish to break the rod of muslims by creating division. And Ali said No Ya Abu Bakr we do not say that you do not have a high merit as a companion of the Prophet saws but we thought that we being the Ahle bayt e Nabi saws were not informed of this matter. On hearing this Abu Bakr r.a cried with tears flowing he said that The Ahle Bayte Nabi saws is much more dearer to me than my own Ahle e Aayal. If one wishes to Love the Prophet saws then he ahs to do it by loving and honoring his Ahle bayt a.s and we should consider the Prophet saws to be from Ahle bayt. So Ali ibn Abu Talib r.a gave the Bayah to Abu Bakr Siddiq r.a and all the members of Banu Hashim gave the Bayah too and Ijmaa for the Khilafah of Abu Bakr r.a reached.
The Prophet saws said that my ummah will never unite on an error and it is impossible for the majority and rather all the companions to be united on an error. After the passing away of Bibi Fatima Zahra s.a Ali ibn Abu Talib a.s again reinforced his Bayah for Abu Bakr r.a. I do not wish to go into much details for I have already explained them before in my other notes and my other posts but those who are interested in them then for the there are many books on these subjects for example Sawaiq of Ibn Hajar Haythami r.a, Taufa Ithna Ashari of Shah Abdul Aziz Muhaddith Dehlwi r.a, Izalat ul Khifa of Shah Waliyullah ad Dihlawi r.a, Radde Rawafidh of Mujaddid Alf Thani Imam Rabbani r.a. And many more. I quoted the name of these books so that the people will not be influenced by those people who cast suspicion on the companions of the Prophet saws and try to twist the facts of History and promote their false propogandas.
Ali r.a honestly and earnestly gave advice and help to Abu Bakr Siddiq r.a whenever called for and he was among the most elite of the companions in the Shura of the Khulafa e Thalatha Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman r.anhuma. Abu Bakr r.a made lot of contributions for Islam and was himself following the Prophet saws in everything he did. The war of apostasy and many other battles for spreading the cause of Islam and the dawah was made in the Khilafah of Abu Bakr r.a After the passing away of Abu Bakr Umar r.a was made the next Caliph of Muslims and muslims agreed on Umar r.a. Ali k.w also gave bayah to Umar r.a without any hesitation and after Umar to Uthman R.anhuma. Fitnah started spreading like fire in the latter part of the Khilafah of Uthman r.a. Marwan was the main man behind it because of his acts and he wrote many fake letters with the seal of the Caliph r.a and to make the people put falsely the balme on the Caliph. Many new people came into the fold of Islam as the deen was spreading rapidly and among them were many who only turned muslims to create much division in the deen. They had a habit of derogating the early companions and till then no none every spoke ill of the early Salaf. A jewsih convert to Islam by the name of Abdullah ibn Saba in the name of Love for Ali ibn Abu Talib r.a made people believe in exaggerated things and he told some that Ali a.s was divine or that he was God.
Many people were led to this deception Ali r.a on hearing this had these people burnt. History testifies to these bare facts. Abdullah ibn Saba spread false stories about the companions and was the main man behind the assassination of Sayyidina Uthman r.a. The fact that Imam Ali k.w sent him two sons Imam Hasan and Hussain Alayhimasalaam to defend and protect the Besieged Caliph at his home is ample evidence to show that he loved the Caliph and wanted his Safety. Now some rebels managed to seep into the home of the Caliph from behind and they beaheaded the Caliph Uthman zin Norrain r.a in front of his Family members and the Caliph was reciting the Quran at the time and he was fasting that day and the Prophet saws said in a dream to Uthman that today the iftiyaari will be with us. Now sicne this Martydom of Sayyidina Uthman r.a the door of killings was open in the ummah .
The Muhajirun and the Ansaar all agreed on Imam Ali a.s to be the next Caliph for no one disagreed that at that time the best man in the ummah was Ali a.s. So Ali a.s became the Fourth Rightly Guided Caliph of the Muslim ummah and he had to face much fitnah and unfortunately the killers of Sayyidina Uthman r.a also joined the rank of Imam Ali r.a they were many but to bring them to justice Imam Ali a.s wanted stability to be achieved in his Khilafah and Imam Ali a.s got the governors changed to his choice in his Khilafah as the choice of Umar faruq r.a was on the people. Ali was very much like Umar in the discipline of the Deen and in inforcing the command of Allah but Ali had also to his merit in-law relationship with the Prophet saws and also the fact that Ali was a close cousin of the Prophet saws. Neverhteless Umar Faruq r.a with all his virues indeed stands as Most afzal in many of his distinct fazails and what peace was there in the khlafah of Umar r.a was never experienced after his Khilafah uptil today and the success and the spread of the deen and the unity amongst the muslims.
However the times changed and many of Ali a.s’s subjects were tabii’b whereas in the khilafah of the shaykhain r.a the subjects were mostly the Muhajirun and the Ansaar who were renouned for their taqwa. Times were tough and Ali a.s with his virtues at the time of his Khilafah had many enemies just because for Ali a.s justice was most important and Marwan managed to deceive Sayyidina Uthman r.a and did things of which Uthman r.a had no knowledge but Ali r.a would not hesitate in even dismissing Abdullah ibn Abbas r.a if he found any discrepancy in the accounting given by him of taxes of bayt ul maal. When in Shaam Ali r.a wanted Amir Muawiyah to step down from governership and sent a new governor to replace him Muawiyah refused to comply and did not recognize Ali a.s as the Caliph and he stated that only when the perpetrators of the siege on Sayyidina Uthman r.a would be punished then I shall give bnayah to Ali r.a. Amir Muawiyah made a mistake in his ijtihad and he was wrong in what he did and Ali a.s was on the right and Haqq was with Ali a.s When the Muhajirun and the Ansaar united in Ali a.s then Amir Muawiyah had no right to deny his Khilafah but since he too is a companion of the Prophet saws though not at all of the same rank as of Ali as Ali is the first male muslim and the first Muhajir and from Ahle bayt whereas Muawiyah became muslim at the fall of Makkah. So no comparison!
The fact still remains that since Amir Muawiyah though neither a Muhajir and neither an Ansaar is still a companion of the Prophet saws and on account of this virtue we do not curse or speak evil of him but we say that Ali was on the right and Muawiyah was wrong. Both made Ijtihad and Ali’s ijtihad obviously was Correct and Muawiyah’s was wrong. This is what Imam Ali himself said in one of his letters and one may find the same in Nahjul Balagha.
So the Ahle sunnah wal Jamaah is with Imam Ali a.s and Imam Shafi’I and Imam Abu Hanifa said that Whosoever fought against Ali a.s was a rebel.
Imam Ali a.s never called them Kafirs or never abused them those who took part against him in Siffin, jamal and in siffin once when he heard some of his companions abusing the shamis he rebuked them and stated he disliked them to abuse them. How far are the people who claim to love and follow Imam Ali and abuse people though they have nothing to do with Imam Ali a.s a true follower of Ali a.s would follow Ali in word and deed.
Imam Ali a.s had to even face a bigger problem that was to confront the army at Jamal where some people instigated Ummul Momineen Ayesha r.a to go and seek the qisaas for the murder of Hazrat Uthman r.a. Now again here Imam Ali said the namaz e Janazah of the killed both from his army and those of his opponents. Ummul Momineen Ayesha r.a repented of her misgivings and always wished good for Imam Ali a.s praised Ali a.s on various occasions and Imam Ali sent Ummul Momneen back to Medinah with respect and honor and even excorted the carvan to a long distance himself.
Here is Mother of the believers and here is Prince of the Believers and Wali of Momineens so muslims love and honor and respect both of them and state that Ali a.s was on right and the other party wrong but Ummul Momineen Ayesha r.a was tricked into this by the same people who joined the ranks of the people of jamal who had been behind the assassination of Uthman r.a and they wanted to save themselves by diverting the turn of events. She asked for Forgiveness and Both of them wished good to each other and there is no doubt that Ali was extremely sorrowful at the killings that ook place of the quraish at Jamal.
On hearing the news of the death of Talha and Aubair r.anhuma Ali a.s cried bitterly. People who cast a blame on these personalities have no idea the love Ali a.s had for them and they have no idea of what and how the events actually took place, some maulavis explot them for raising funds for themselves and run their owns shops. The Kharijites were a sect who broke off from the army of Imam Ali a.s on Siffin when Imam Ali a.s on their request agreed on arbiteration to take place and decide the matter of Khilafah between Ali a.s and Muawiyah by arbiteration. From Imam Ali ‘s side was Abu Musa Ashari r.a a great companion of the Prophet saws though some reports suggest that Ali wanted ibn Abbas to be arbiterator on his side and on the side of Muawiyah it was Amr ibn Al Aaas. However Amr managed to trick Abu Musa ashari and pronounced the arbiteration in favour of Muawiyah though this weas in clear terms a violation of the arbiterartion. Abu Musa Ashari r.a decided that let Abdullah ibn Umar r.a be a Caliph instead of Ali and Muawiyah R.Anhuma and this will save the muslims from much fitnah.
However how could the ummah agree on anyone instead of Ali a.s who was the best man at that time and no second thought for that. Abdulah ibn Umar r.a himself would never agree with it. Abdullah ibn Umar r.a did not take part in Siffin along with Saad ibn Abu Waqqas and even Usama ibn Zaid did nto take part in Jamal simply because they thought to be involved in this civl war was not right and to be aloof from it was best on the basis of a hadith that at the time of Fitnah the one sitting is better than the one standing. Nevertheless even though they with due respect made their ijtihad the right course was to support Imam Ali a.s and even Abdullah ibn Umar r.a regretted the most till the end of not having participated with Imam Ali a.s in the fight against the shamis.
No one can deny the fact that the companions all loved Ali a.s but the matters were tough and not easy as people would think today. The Kharijites who were an offshoot from the army of Imam Ali a.s at siffin used to interpret Quran to their own whims and fancies and started doing takfir of muslims on account of sins. They even made takfir on Imam Ali and Uthman r.anhuma and hosoever had love and support for Ali a.s they would kill them. Imam Ali a.s had a basharat by the Prophet saws that Ya Ali as I make war on account of the wahi of the Quran after me you will do jihad on account of the interpretation of the Quran al kerim.
There are many hadiths which state that the army fighting the kharijites would be the most virtuous and closest to the truth and indeed this fell without a doubt to the lot of Imam Ali a.s.
There is a hadith in Sahih Bukhari which states that the Prophet saws said while looking at Ammar ibn Yasir r.a that O Ammar a rebellious party will kill Ammar. Ammar would be calling them to paradise and they would be calling them to hell.
Now it is a historic fact that Ammar was fighting on the side of Imam Ali a.s and those who killed him were from the army of Amir Muawiyah. The Prophet saws said that O Allah let Haqq be with Ali wherever he turns . O brethren did I not quote the hadiths of Ghadir e Khum of Man kunto Maula Faahaza Aliyun Maula.
The kharijites had a notion that having a government is shirk and that whosoever commits gunahe kabira is a kafir and his blood becomes halal and that whosoever believes in arbiteration is a kafir and whosoever loves and honrs Ali is wrong and is to be killed.
So Ali r.a fought against them at nahrwan on account of their henoious crimes and they were defeated badly. Few of them wanted to take revenge for nahrwan and out of them Maloon Abdur rahman ibn Muljim came to Kufa to assassinate Imam Ali a.s and he had a poisioned sword with him and he also fell in love with a women known as quttam at kufa who wanted the Martydom of Imam Ali a.s as her dowry!!! Good heavens! What accursed person he was and how accursed was this women quttam.
May Allah judge her!
The great Faruq r.a was Martyered by a majoosi Abu lulu while Umar r.a was conduction Salah at Madinah and Uthman r.a was Martyder while he recited the Quran the day he was fasting and here the Lion of Allah Ali Murtaza the darling of the Prophet saws who went on the early morning of 19TH Ramazan before the fajr prayers to the Masjid e Kufa to awaken the people and he was reciting two rakahs of sunnah prayer and people had not started assembling then , ibn muljim was lying deceivingly in the mosque to wait for Ali a.s to come . The Hero of Badr, Uhud, Khyber, Hunain, Khandaq, the darling of the Messenger of Allah, the maula of all muslims was in the ruku of his second rakah perhaps when ibn muljim came and struck at the blessed head of Imam Ali a.s from behind!!. Blood started oozing out profusely Imam Ali a.s went to the sujood and made the two prostrations and then said the salaam! What a person Ali was Wallah. The great Ali the lion of Allah reeled on supporting his two sons Hasan and Hussain who were in their thirties then perhaps. Perhaps late 30s. So they carried Imam Ali a.s to his home on 19th of Ramazan. As soon as Imam Ali was hit the prayers in the mosque were disrupted. People rushed to chase ibn muljim and they caught him and tied him with ropes and brought to Imam Ali a.s. Imam Ali forgot at that moment that he was my killer and all he could see was that the ropes were tied tightly on his hands and it was hurting him and he told him Why did you do this what wrong did I do to you was I a bad Imam. Ibn Muljim cried on hearing this. But now of no avail Ibn Muljim.
Imam Ali a.s stated that as long as I live keep him in prison and give him food as well and only if I die or when id ie of these wounds then kill him with one stroke, do nto dismember his body for I heard the Prophet saws state that do nto dismember the body even if it be of a rabid dog. Do nto harm anyone else on my account. A pioneer of humanity was Ali a.s. Imam Ali a.s died a Martyr on 21 of Ramadhan. The following was the last will of Imam Ali a.s to him family and people around him;
“I declare in my will that except for Allah there is none who deserves to be worshipped. He is unique. He has no partner. Muhammad (peace be on him) is His Prophet and Messenger whom i.e. commissioned to give the people guidance through the religion Islam. Islam is the most perfect religion and it is destined to prevail over all other faiths. All our prayers, our sacrifices, our life, our death, our everything is for Allah. I require all my children and family members to fear Allah. I wish that all of you should die in Islam. Hold fast to the faith of Islam. Remain united, for according to the Holy Prophet unity in ranks is better than (Nawafil) prayers. Be kind to your relatives so that Allah may be kind to you. Remain steadfast in piety and resign yourself to the will of Allah. Never aspire to do anything which is beyond your reach. Be truthful always. Be kind to the orphans, and in their affairs fear Allah. Do not wait for their seeking your help. See that in your presence they should not be overcome by any care or anxiety. Be afraid of Allah in respect of the rights of your neighbors over you. The Holy Prophet always willed for the right of the neighbors indeed to such an extent that we were afraid lest the neighbors be declared as heirs.
Follow the Quran in letter and spirit, and see that nobody takes precedence over you in the matter of the observance of the injunctions of the Holy Quran. In the matter of prayers be very particular for it is the basic pillar of Islam. As long as you are alive do not miss your prayers. Undertake Jihad with your life and property. Fear Allah in the matter of Zakat for it extinguishes the wrath of Allah. Fear Allah in respect of your regard for the companions of the Holy Prophet for the Holy Prophet made particular mention of them in his will. Be afraid of Allah in the matter of the poor and the needy. Make them share your wealth. Your slaves have rights on you. Fulfil your obligations. Those who disparage your religion, do not be afraid of them. If they wish to harm you, Allah will be enough to protect you. Try to live in the world in a way which may help it become better. Stop the tyrant from his oppression. Act upon the commandments of Allah. Face the realities of life with courage and fortitude. Do not be ruffled by the obstacles that stand in your way. Help each other in the doing of good. Do not help those who rebel or do mischief. May Allah be merciful to all who belong to the House of the Holy Prophet! I entrust you to the protection of God”.
Imam Ali a.s was buried after his final rites by his sons and family members and his grave and its location was kept a secret and there are various narrations as to how the people came ot know of it. The members of the household of the Prophet saws knew it and it was and it is in Najaf ashraf where Imam Ali a.s is buried in Iraq. It is a place of pilgrimage for many people across the globe. For Ali a.s nothing was more important than acting on Islam and following the way of Prophet saws. His life was a mirror reflection of the ways of morals of Prophet saws. With the loss of Ali a.s the ummah was orphaned like it never was before.
No matter how many books we write we cannot do justice to the merits to the Ahle bayr e Nabi saws. Their love is obligatory for us and Allah has mentioned this in the Quran.
Let me state that it is mentioned in Sahih Muslim which is narrated by Bibi Ayesha r.a that the Prophet saws had his blessed cloak and he covered Fatima, Hasan, Hussain and Ali in it and recited the verse of Surah Ahzaah verse 33 that Allah only desires to remove all uncleanliness from you O Ahle bayt and to purify you through thorough purifying. And the Prophet saws said Ya Allah they are my ahle bayt. O brethren Tell me whom do you invoke blessings upon in durood Sharif we say O Allah bless the Prophet saws and his Aaal(Progeny) like you blessed Abrahim and his Progeny. On Ahle bayt the Sdqa is haram because it is from the dirt of the wealth.
It is related in Sahih Muslim that Imam Ali k.w said that the Prophet saws gave me a promise that Ya Ali only a Momin will love you and only a munafiqh will hate you.
Now I would like to give some words on the personality of Imam Ali a.s by the great scholars themselves,
Hazrat Abdullah b Masud r.a used to say that throughout Arabia there was not a more impartial judge than Ali. He also said that Ali was the founder of Arabic grammar.
Hazrat Abu Saeed Khudri r.a held that he could easily detect a hypocrite by his enmity toward Ali.
Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal r.a said: “Ali had numerous enemies, and all of them tried to find fault with him, but they searched in vain, and could not find any flaw in him. At long last they joined hands with Muawiyah, and declared war on Ali. When they failed to defeat him by fair means they took to treacherous and deceitful courses to defeat him.”
Ibn Athir the great biographist held: “Ali was the first caliph both of whose parents were pure Hashimites. He was so judicial minded that he could not put up with the dishonesty of his relative or friend. He was so much engrossed in piety that at the time of his marriage with Fatima, he did not possess anything save a camel skin on which he fed his camels in the day, and which he converted into a bed sheet at night. The Prophet in his table talk has not extolled any one of his companions as much as he has Ali. Surely, Ali never spoke a lie during his lifetime.”
Shah Wali Ullah r.a has observed: “Chivalry and strength of character, humanity and sincerity which are attributes of great men were represented in abundance by Ali. He is the father of Islamic learning, and his intellectual attainments were due to the ideal training of The Holy Prophet. He was a Hafiz, and a great authority on the Quran. He was the greatest Mujahid and jurist of his time, and one of the greatest of all times. He was one of the greatest orators of early Islam.”
In his poem “Asrar-i-Khudi”, Allama Iqbal has paid tribute to Ali in the following terms: Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet was a man of many qualities. He gave fresh vigor to Faith and brought honors to the community of the faithful. He developed self-disciplines and killed avarice. A person who knows and controls himself rules the world.
Below I have mentioned some of the saying of Imam Ali a.s
Fear God and you will have no cause to fear any one.
Resignation to the Will of God is the cure of the disease of the heart.
The word of God is the medicine of the heart.
Lead such a life, that, when you die, the people may mourn you, and while you are alive they long for your company.
The days of life pass away like clouds, so do good while you are alive.
Of all the follies the greatest is to love the world.
Opportunity is swift of flight but slow to return.
Pride, cowardice, and miserliness are bad for me but good for women.
The most happy is he to whom God has given a good wife.
He who knows himself knows God.
Do not soil your conscience for anything but heaven
The disease of the heart is worse than the disease of the body.
To fight against one’s desires is the greatest of all fights.
The strongest amongst you is he who subdues his self.
Wealth and greed are the roots of all evils.
Riches without faith are the greatest poverty.
A man’s worth depends upon the nobility of his aspirations.
Knowledge enlivens the soul.
The learned lives, although he dies.
The sum total of excellence is knowledge.
To respect the learned is to respect God.
Generosity hides shortcomings.
The wealth of a miser is as useless as a pebble.
Desire is one’s most inveterate enemy.
Those who walk on the surface of the earth shall one day be interred in it.
Every breath of man brings him nearer to death.
People are asleep as long as they are alive, they are awakened when they die.
Patience is the fruit of faith.
Virtue never dies.
A man’s glory from his virtue is greater than the glory of his pedigree.
No shelter is safer than piety.
A man’s behavior is the index of his mind.
Courtesy costs nothing but buys everything.
Clemency graces power.
Jealousy devours virtue as fire devours fuel
He that lends a listening ear to reproach is one of those that deserve reproach.
Forgiveness is she crown of greatness.
Carnal appetites are nets spread by the devil.
Every arrow does not hit the mark, nor every prayer granted.
Ostentatiousness spoils prayers.
Fear none but your sins.
He who praises you murders you.
A man who praises himself displays his deficiency of intellect.
Honor your parents and your sons will honor you.
A man is hid under his tongue.
The tongue of a wise man lies behind his heart.
The tongue pierces deeper than the spear.
He who purifies his heart from doubt is a believer.
The opinion of a wise man is an oracle.
To seek counsel is to go to the fountain of guidance.
Association with a fool is tyrannical to the soul.
God hastens the fall of tyrants.
Tyranny leads to moral cowardice.
A tyrant’s success is his moral defeat.
It is better to die than to beg.
When a man begs he loses his faith.
Hajj is the Jihad of every believer in faith.
A wise enemy is better than a foolish friend.
Silence is the best reply to a fool.
The best speech is one that is short and reasonable.
Speech is like a medicine, a small dose of which cures but an excess of which kills.
He that has no courage has no religion.
His grief is long whose hope is short.
Those who are interest to study the lives, judgements and sayings of Imam Ali in more detail and indeed volumes have been written about Imam Ali a.s by the scholars of Ahle Sunnah wal jamaah. So much that Imam Nissai r.a the great Muhaddith authored a book Khasais e Ali a.s and he was Martyred because he praised Imam Ali a.s in Sham which in his time was inhabited by the kharijites.
Imam Jalaluddin suyuti r.a has compiled a specialy book on the fazail of ahle bayt a.s. He has written the bipgraphy of Imam Ali a.s in detail in his book History of the Khulafa and the Caliphs which took the right way. Ibn Jarir Tabari r.a has also written volumes about Imam Ali. Ibn Athir, Ibn Kathir r.anhuma have written volumes on the life of Imam Ali a.s. Shah Waliyullah r.a has written beautifully on the khulafaa e rashideen in his iazalatul lhifa which is a four volume book in Persian. Syed Abu Hasan Ali Nadwi and Prof Masud ul hasan have compiled very detailed information on the life of Imam Ali a.s.
In all the books of hadith there is a separate chapter like in Sahih Bukhari, Muslim, Nisaai, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Abu Dawood on the fazaails of Imam Ali k.w. In Musnad of Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Mustadrak of Hakim, in durre manthur of Jalaluddin suyuti, in Tafseer of fakhruddin razi, Ibn Sunan darimi, in the hadith collections of ibn asakir, in books of Ghazzali, Shah waliyullah, shaykh abdul haqq muhaddith dehlwi, idn hajar asqalani, ibn hajar haythami scores of and loads of sayings, anecdotes and maxims and sermons of Imam Ali karamallahu wajhu is narrated.
This is a short write-up on the blessed life of Imam Ali (Allah be pleased with him). He was a pioneer of humanity, Father of Islamic learning, inheritor of the maarifat and Ruhaniyat of Prophet saws. He is the Imam ul Awliyaaa. He is from Ahle bayt, he is one of t he greatest companion and the closest companion of the Prophet saws. He has many fazails in which he alone is unique. His love is must for all of us.
Lastly I would like to state that Ali a.s had a good and cordial relationship with the rest of the conmpanions and specially Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman r.anhuma. Imam Ali r.a prayed Salah behind them for more than 25 years. Imam Ali married his daughter Umme kulthum to Sayyidina Umar Faru q r.a and it is proved even from Sahih bukhari and books of history. Imam Ali even named three of his sons as Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman and this is even mentioned in the Shiite books.
Yes there was a slight difference with respect to Khilafah in the heart of Imam Ali initially but this did never mean he did not recognize the merits of the Khulafaa and that difference was over with the passage of time. Ali r.a only had a difference of not having been consulted initially but this differences faded away very soon and with the life and conduct of the first three Caliph Ali even loved them more than ever. Ali r.a expressed his sorrow at the passing away of Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman so much that he even scolded his two sons Hasan and Hussain a.s to not being able to defend Sayyidina Uthman r.a.
Allah says to these companions in the Quran al kerim that Muhammad saws is the Messenger of Allah and those who are with him are merciful to each other and are stern against the Kuffar. Now with the various Ayate Karima in praise of the companions, of the Muhajirun and the Ansaar along with various Mutawatir authentic hadiths in praise of the Companions khusoosan the first Four Caliphs and the authentic hadiths of their basharat of being in paradise is an ample proof for the heretic among the people to believe in the high merits of these companions of the Prophet saws.
It is but obvious that Ali k.w with all his contributions was not alone in spreading the deen and fighting the Kuffar there were hundreds and thousands of the companions who fought with their life and wealth and suffered all for the cause of Islam. Abu Bakr, Umar accepted Islam at a time when muslims were less than handful agains the whole of Arabia against them. They preferred to be boycotted by the Quraish and that their properties were confiscated and that their relatives abandon them but they never parted from the Prophet saws and they spend all their wealth for the cause of Islam. They left their family members and their wealth all behind and performed Hijrah to Madinah for Prophet saws. They strove with their life and sweat and blood to bring the deen to us and only a heretic who is indeed astray will doubt about their high merit.
Imam Ali a.s is the Amiril Momineen and the Cousin and son in Law of the Prophet saws and the fourth rightly Guided Caliph. He is in the ayah of Muwaddatul Kurba, he is the soul of Prophet saws, the dearest to and the darling of the Holy Prophet saws. Loving Imam Ali is Iman and hating him is Kufr.
A rightly guided muslim is that person who combines in his heart the Love for the Ahle Bayt a.s and that of the companions and khusoosan in then Muhajirun and the Ansaar R.Anhuma Ajmaaeen. Also he respects and honrs them all for the sake of the high merit of the companionship of the Prophet saws. A lover would even kiss and keep the dust of the Blessed feet of the Prophet saws on his eyes what to say of them who fought for the cause of Islam and helped and strove with the Prophet saws in all the phases of his life.
O Allah send your choicest peace and blessings upon the Holy Prophet saws and upon his Pious Family Khusoosan Ali Murtaza, Hasan Mujtaba, Hussain Shahide Karbala and Fatima Zehra and upon all his companions.
Wasalamu Alaykum warahmatullahi Wabarakatahu
Ali Asghar Shah