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ʿAli ibn Abi Talib
Commander of the Faithful (Amir al-Mu'minin)
Mohammad adil rais-Caliph Ali's empire 661.PNG
Caliph Ali's empire in 661, light green shows Ali's claim but not controlled.
Reign 656–661[1]
Full name Ali ibn Abi Talib
Titles Father of Hasan (Arabic: Abu Al-Hasan)
Father of Dust/Soil (Arabic: Abu Turab)
Murtada ("One Who Is Chosen and Contented")
Lion of God (Arabic: Asad-ullah)
Lion (Arabic: Haydar)[1]
First ʿAlī
Born October 23, 598(598-10-23)[2],March 17, 599(599-03-17) or March 17, 600(600-03-17)[1]
Birthplace Kaba, Mecca[1]
Died January 28, 661 (aged 62)
Place of death Kufa[1]
Buried Imam Ali Mosque, Najaf, Iraq
Predecessor Muhammad as Shia Imam/Uthman Ibn Affan as Caliph
Successor Hasan[3]/Muawiya I
Wives Fatimah[1]
Fatima bint Hizam al-Qilabiyya ("Ummu l-Banin")
Offspring Hasan
Husayn
Zaynab
(See:Descendants of Ali ibn Abi Talib )
Father Abu Talib
Mother Fatima bint Asad

Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (Arabic: علي بن أﺑﻲ طالبTransliteration: ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib, [ʕaliː ibn ʔæbiː t̪ˤɑːlib]; 13th Rajab, 24 BH–21st Ramaḍān, 40 AH; approximately October 23, 598 or 600[2] or March 17, 599 – January 27, 661[4]) was the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661. Sunni Muslims consider Ali the fourth and final of the Rashidun (rightly guided Caliphs), while Shi'a Muslims regard Ali as the first Imam and consider him and his descendants the rightful successors to Muhammad, all of which are members of the Ahl al-Bayt, the household of Muhammad. This disagreement split the Muslim community into the Sunni and Shi'a branches.[1]

Most records do indicate that during Muhammad's time, Ali was the only person born in the Kaaba sanctuary in Mecca, the holiest place in Islam.[5] His father was Abu Talib ibn Abd al-Muttalib and his mother was Fatima bint Asad[1] but he was raised in the household of Muhammad, who himself was raised by Abu Talib, Muhammad's uncle. When Muhammad reported receiving a divine revelation, Ali was among the first to accept his message, dedicating his life to the cause of Islam.[4][6][7][8]

Ali migrated to Medina shortly after Muhammad. There Muhammad told Ali that he had been ordered by God to give his daughter, Fatimah, to Ali in marriage.[1] For the ten years that Muhammad led the community in Medina, Ali was extremely active in his service, leading parties of warriors on battles, and carrying messages and orders. Ali took part in the early raids against caravans from Mecca and later in almost all the battles fought by the early Muslim community.

Ali was appointed caliph by Muhammad's companions in Medina after the assassination of the third caliph, Uthman ibn Affan.[9] He encountered defiance and civil war during his reign. In 661, Ali was attacked while praying in the mosque of Kufa, dying a few days later.[10]

In Muslim culture, Ali is respected for his courage, knowledge, belief, honesty, unbending devotion to Islam, deep loyalty to Muhammad, 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'anic exegesis, Islamic jurisprudence and religious thought.[11] Ali holds a high position in almost all Sufi orders which trace their lineage through him to Muhammad. Ali's influence has thus continued throughout Islamic history.[1]

Contents

In Mecca

A series of articles on

Ali callig.gif
Imam of Islam
Ali


Life
Family tree · Descendants · Succession to Muhammad · Birthplace · Timeline of Ali's life · First Fitna · Hadith of the pond of Khumm


Legacy
Nahj al-Balagha · Qalam-e-Mowla · Zulfiqar · Imam Ali Mosque


Perspectives
Ali the Warrior · Ali caliphate · The Fourteen Infallibles · The Twelve Imams · Ali in Quran · Sunni · Shi'a

Birth and childhood

Ambigram depicting Muhammad (right) and Ali (left) written in a single word. The 180 degree inverted form shows both words.

Ali's father Abu Talib ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib was the custodian of the Kaaba and a sheikh of the Banu Hashim, an important branch of the powerful Quraysh tribe. He was also an uncle of Muhammad. Ali's mother Fatima bint Asad also belonged to Banu Hashim, making Ali a descendant of Ishmael, the son of Ibrahim or Abraham.[12]

Many sources, including all Shi'a records, attest that during Mohammad's time Ali was the only person born inside the Kaaba in the city of Mecca, where he stayed with his mother for three days. However, some sources contend that he was born beside the Kaaba rather than inside it. According to a tradition, Muhammad was the first person whom Ali saw as he took the newborn in his hands. Muhammad named him Ali, meaning "the exalted one".[1][13]

Muhammad had a close relationship with Ali's parents. When Muhammad was orphaned and later lost his grandfather Abdul Muttalib, Ali's father took him into his house.[1] Ali was born two or three years after Muhammad married Khadijah bint Khuwaylid.[14] When Ali was five or six years old, a famine occurred in and around Mecca, affecting the economic conditions of Ali's father, who had a large family to support. Muhammad took Ali into his home to raise him.[1][6][15]

Acceptance of Islam

The second period of Ali's life begins in 610 when he declared Islam at age 10 and ends with the Hijra of Muhammad to Medina in 622.[1] When Muhammad reported that he had received a divine revelation, Ali, then only about ten years old, believed him and professed to Islam.[1][4][6][7] According to Ibn Ishaq and some other authorities, Ali was the first male to embrace Islam. Tabari adds other traditions making the similar claim of being the first Muslim in relation to Zayd or Abu Bakr.[16] Some historians and scholars believe Ali's conversion is not worthy enough to consider him the first male Muslim because he was a child at the time.[17]

Shi'a doctrine asserts that in keeping with Ali's divine mission, he accepted Islam before he took part in any pre-Islamic Meccan traditional religion rites, regarded by Muslims as polytheistic (see shirk) or paganistic. Hence the Shi'a say of Ali that his face is honored — that is, it was never sullied by prostrations before idols.[6] The Sunnis also use the honorific Karam Allahu Wajhahu, which means "God's Favor upon his Face."

The reason his acceptance is often not called a conversion, is because he was never an idol worshiper like the people of Mecca. He was known to have broken idols in the mold of Abraham and asked people why they worshiped something they made themselves. Ali's grandfather, it is acknowledged without controversy, along with some members of the Banu Hashim clan, were Hanifs, followers of a monotheistic belief system, prior to the coming of Islam.

After declaration of Islam

For three years Muhammad invited people to Islam in secret, then he started inviting publicly. When, according to the Quran, he was commanded to invite his closer relatives to come to Islam[18] he gathered the Banu Hashim clan in a ceremony.

According to al-Tabari, Ibn Athir and Abu al-Fida, Muhammad announced at invitational events that whoever assisted him in his invitation would become his brother, trustee and successor. Only Ali, who was thirteen or fourteen years old, stepped forward to help him. This invitation was repeated three times, but Ali was the only person who answered Muhammad. Upon Ali's constant and only answer to his call, Muhammad declared that Ali was his brother, inheritor and vice-regent and people must obey him. Most of the adults present were uncles of Ali and Muhammad, and Abu Lahab laughed at them and declared to Abu Talib that he must bow down to his own son, as Ali was now his Emir[19] This event is known as the Hadith of Warning.

During the persecution of Muslims and boycott of the Banu Hashim in Mecca, Ali stood firmly in support of Muhammad.[20]

Migration to Medina

In 622, the year of Muhammad's migration to Yathrib (now Medina), Ali risked his life by sleeping in Muhammad's bed to impersonate him and thwart an assassination plot so that Muhammad could escape in safety.[1][6][21] 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"[22][23]

Ali survived the plot, but risked his life again by staying in Mecca to carry out Muhammad's instructions: to restore to their owners all the goods and properties that had been entrusted to Muhammad for safekeeping. Ali then went to Medina with his mother, Muhammad's daughter Fatimah and two other women.[4][6]

In Medina

During Muhammad's era

Ali was 22 or 23 years old when he migrated to Medina. When Muhammad was creating bonds of brotherhood among his companions (sahaba) he selected Ali as his brother.[4][6][24] For the ten years that Muhammad 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. [25] As one of Muhammad's lieutenants, and later his son-in-law, Ali was a person of authority and standing in the Muslim community.

Family life

A Syrian devotional icon of Ali, dated to 1989.

In 623, Muhammad told Ali that God ordered him to give his daughter Fatimah Zahra to Ali in marriage.[1] Muhammad said to Fatimah: "I have married you to the dearest of my family to me."[26] This family is glorified by Muhammad frequently and he declared them as his Ahl al-Bayt in events such as Mubahala and hadith like the Hadith of the Event of the Cloak. They were also glorified in the Qur'an in several cases such as "the verse of purification".[27],[28]

Ali had four children born to Fatimah, the only child of Muhammad to have progeny. Their two sons (Hasan and Husain) were cited by Muhammad to be his own sons, honored numerous times in his lifetime and titled "the leaders of the youth of Jannah" (Heaven, the hereafter.)[29][30]

Theirs was a simple life of hardship and deprivation. Throughout their life together, Ali remained poor because he did not set great store by material wealth.To relieve their extreme poverty, Ali worked as a drawer and carrier of water and she as a grinder of corn. Often there was no food in her house. According to a famous Hadith, one day she said to Ali: "I have ground until my hands are blistered." and Ali answered "I have drawn water until I have pains in my chest."[31][32]

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. After Fatimah's death, Ali married other wives and fathered many children.[1]

In battles

Arabic calligraphy which means "There is no brave youth except Ali and there is no sword which renders service except Zulfiqar."

With the exception of the Battle of Tabouk, Ali took part in all battles and expeditions fought for Islam.[6] As well as being the standard-bearer in those battles, Ali led parties of warriors on raids into enemy lands.

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.[33]

Ali was prominent at the Battle of Uhud, as well as many other battles where he wielded a bifurcated sword known as Zulfiqar.[34] He had the special role of protecting Muhammad when most of the Muslim army fled from the battle of Uhud[1] and it was said "There is no brave youth except Ali and there is no sword which renders service except Zulfiqar."[35] He was commander of the Muslim army in the Battle of Khaybar.[36] Following this battle Mohammad gave Ali the name Asadullah, which in Arabic means "Lion of Allah" or "Lion of God". Ali also defended Muhammad in the Battle of Hunayn in 630.[1]

Missions for Islam

Muhammad designated Ali as one of the scribes who would write down the text of the Qur'an, which had been revealed to Muhammad during the previous two decades. As Islam began to spread throughout Arabia, Ali helped establish the new Islamic order. He was instructed to write down the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, the peace treaty between Muhammad and the Quraysh in 628. Ali was so reliable and trustworthy that Muhammad asked him to carry the messages and declare the orders. In 630, Ali recited to a large gathering of pilgrims in Mecca a portion of the Qur'an that declared Muhammad and the Islamic community were no longer bound by agreements made earlier with Arab polytheists. During the Conquest of Mecca in 630, Muhammad asked Ali to guarantee that the conquest would be bloodless. He ordered Ali to break all the idols worshipped by the Banu Aus, Banu Khazraj, Tayy, 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.[1][4]

The incident of Mubahala

According to hadith collections, in 631 an Arab Christian envoy from Najran (currently in northern Yemen and partly in Saudi Arabia) came to Muhammad to argue which of the two parties erred in its doctrine concerning Jesus. After likening Jesus' miraculous birth to Adam's creation[37], Muhammad called them to mubahala (cursing), where each party should ask God to destroy the lying party and their families.[38] Muhammad, to prove to them that he is a prophet, brought his daughter Fatimah and his surviving grandchildren Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali, and Ali ibn Abi Talib and came back to the Christians but 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. Allameh Tabatabaei explains in Tafsir al-Mizan that the word "Our selves" in this verse [38] refers to Muhammad and Ali. Then he narrates Imam Ali al-Rida, eighth Shia Imam, in discussion with Al-Ma'mun, Abbasid caliph, referred to this verse to prove the superiority of Muhammad's progeny over the rest of the Muslim community, and considered it the proof for Ali's right for caliphate due to Allah made Ali like the self of Muhammad.[39]

Verse of Tathir (purification)

In another event when the verse of purification was revealed Muhammad was sitting in his house. He covered his daughter Fatima, cousin Ali, grandsons Hasan ibn Ali, Husayn ibn Ali and himself with his cloak and said O' Allah these are my Ahl al-Bayt (family), purify them from najasat (impurity). This is also known as Hadith of the Event of the Cloak. Sunnis and Shia both believe that Ahl al-Bayt (family of Muhammad) were glorified in the Qur'an in several cases such as "the verse of purification".[40],[41] [42]

Ghadir Khumm

As Muhammad was returning from his last pilgrimage in 632, he made statements about Ali that are interpreted very differently by Sunnis and Shias.[1] He halted the caravan at Ghadir Khumm, gathered the returning pilgrims for communal prayer and began to address them[43]:

The Investiture of Ali, at Ghadir Khumm (MS Arab 161, fol. 162r, AD 1309/8 Ilkhanid manuscript illustration).

"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 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 the members of my household I remind you (of your duties) to the members of my family.[44]."

This quote is confirmed by both Shi’a and Sunni, but they interpret the quote differently.[45]

Some Sunni and Shi'a sources report that then he called Ali ibn Abi Talib to his sides, took his hand and raised it up declaring[46]

"For whoever I am a Mawla of, then Ali is his Mawla[47]."

The Shia's regard these statements as constituting the investiture of Ali as the successor of Muhammad and as the first Imam; by contrast, the Sunnis take them only as an expression of Muhammad's closeness to Ali and of his wish that Ali, as his cousin and son-in-law, inherit his family responsibilities upon his death. [48] Many Sufis also interpret the episode as the transfer of Muhammad's spiritual power and authority to Ali, whom they regard as the wali par excellence.[1][49]

On the basis of this hadith, Ali later insisted on his religious authority superior to that of Abu Bakr and Umar.[50]

Succession to Muhammad

Original - Eighteenth century mirror writing in Ottoman calligraphy. Depicts the phrase 'Ali is the vicegerent of God' in both directions.

A series of articles on

Muhammad callig.gif
Prophet of Islam
Muhammad


Life
Companions · Family tree · In Mecca · In Medina · Conquest of Mecca · The Farewell Sermon · Succession


Career
Diplomatic career · Family · Wives · Military career


Succession
Farewell Pilgrimage · Pen and paper · Saqifah · General bay'ah


Interactions with
Slaves · Jews · Christians


Perspectives
Muslim (Poetic and Mawlid) · Medieval Christian · Historicity · Criticism · Depictions

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Part of a series on
Sunni Islam

Sunni.PNG

أهل السنة والجماعة‎


Beliefs

Monotheism
Prophethood & Messengership
Holy BooksAngels
Judgement DayPredestination


Pillars

Declaration of FaithPrayer
CharityFastingPilgrimage


Rightly Guided Caliphs

Abu BakrUmar ibn al-Khattab
Uthman ibn AffanAli ibn Abi Talib


Schools of Law (Shariah)

HanafiShafi`iMalikiHanbaliAhl-e-Hadith


Schools of Theology

AthariMaturidiAsh'ari


Hadith Collections

Sahih BukhariSahih Muslim
Al-Sunan al-Sughra
Sunan Abu Dawood
Sunan al-Tirmidhi
Sunan ibn MajaAl-Muwatta
Sunan al-Darami

After uniting the Arabian tribes into a single Muslim religious polity in the last years of his life, Muhammad's death in 632 signalled disagreement over who would succeed him as leader of the Muslim community.[51] While Ali and the rest of Muhammad'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 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 Muhammad himself.[8][52]

Following his election to the caliphate, Abu Bakr and Umar with a few other companions headed to Fatimah's house to obtain homage from Ali and his supporters who had gathered there. Then, it is alleged that Umar threatened to set the house on fire unless they came out and swore allegiance with Abu Bakr.[53] Then Umar set the house on fire and pushed the burnt door on Fatima. Some sources say upon seeing them, Ali came out with his sword drawn but was put in chains by Umar and their companions.[citation needed] Fatimah, in support of her husband, started a commotion and threatened to "uncover her hair", at which Abu Bakr relented and withdrew.[54] Ali is reported to have repeatedly said that had there been forty men with him he would have resisted.[53] When Abu Bakr's selection to the caliphate was presented as a fait accompli, Ali withheld his oaths of allegiance until after the death of Fatimah. Ali did not actively assert his own right because he did not want to throw the nascent Muslim community into strife.[4]

This contentious issue led Muslims to later split into two groups, Sunni and Shi'a. Sunnis assert that even though Muhammad never appointed a successor, Abu Bakr was elected first caliph by the Muslim community. The Sunnis recognize the first four caliphs as Muhammad's rightful successors. Shi'as believe that Muhammad explicitly named Ali as his successor at Ghadir Khumm and Muslim leadership belonged to him which had been determined by divine order.[8][55]

The two groups also disagree on Ali's attitude towards Abu Bakr, and the two caliphs who succeeded him: Umar and Uthman Ibn Affan. Sunnis tend to stress Ali's acceptance and support of their rule, while the Shi'a claim that he distanced himself from them, and that he was being kept from fulfilling the religious duty that Muhammad had assigned to him. Sunnis maintain that if Ali was the rightful successor as ordained by God Himself, then it would have been his duty as leader of the Muslim nation to make war with these people (Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman) until Ali established the decree. Shias contend that Ali did not fight Abu Bakr, Umar or Uthman, because firstly he did not have the military strength and if he decided to, it would have caused a civil war amongst the Muslims.[56] Ali also believed that he could fulfil his role of Imam'ate without this fighting .[57]

Ali himself was firmly convinced of his legitimacy for caliphate based on his close kinship with Muhammad, his intimate association and his knowledge of Islam and his merits in serving its cause. He told Abu Bakr that his delay in pledging allegiance (bay'ah) as caliph was based on his belief of his own prior title. Ali did not change his mind when he finally pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr and then to Umar and to Uthman but had done so for the sake of the unity of Islam, at a time when it was clear that the Muslims had turned away from him.[8][58]

According to historical reports, Ali maintained his right to the caliphate and said:

"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.[59]

Inheritance

After Muhammad died his daughter, Fatimah, asked Abu Bakr to turn over their property, the lands of Fadak and Khaybar but he refused and told her that prophets didn't have any legacy and Fadak belonged to the Muslim community. Abu Bakr said to her, "Allah's Apostle said, we do not have heirs, whatever we leave is Sadaqa." Ali together with Umm Ayman testified to the fact that Muhammad granted it to Fatimah Zahra, when Abu Bakr requested Fatima to summon witnesses for her claim. Fatimah became angry and stopped speaking to Abu Bakr, and continued assuming that attitude until she died.[60]

After Fatima's death Ali again claimed her inheritance during Umar's era, but was denied with the same argument. Umar, the caliph who succeeded Abu Bakr, did restore the estates in Medina to ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib and Ali, as representatives of Muhammad's clan, the Banu Hashim. The properties in Khaybar and Fadak were retained as state property.[61]

Life after Muhammad

Another part of Ali's life started in 632 after death of Muhammad and lasted until assassination of Uthman Ibn Affan, the third caliph in 656. During these years, Ali neither took part in any battle or conquest.[4] 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 gardens near Medina and endowed them for public use. These wells are known today as Abar Ali ("Ali's wells").[62] He also made gardens for his family and descendants.[citation needed]

Ali compiled a complete version of the Qur'an, mus'haf.[63] six months after the death of Muhammad. The volume was completed and carried by camel to show to other people of Medina. The order of this mus'haf differed from that which was gathered later during the Uthmanic era. This book was rejected by several people when he showed it to them. Despite this, Ali made no resistance against standardized mus'haf.[64]

Ali and the Rashidun Caliphs

Ali did not give his oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr until some time after the death of his wife, Fatimah.[4] Ali participated in the funeral of Abu Bakr but did not participate in the Ridda Wars.[65]

He pledged allegiance to the second caliph Umar ibn Khattab and helped him as a trusted advisor. Caliph Umar particularly relied upon Ali as the Chief Judge of Medina. He also advised Umar to set Hijra as the beginning of the Islamic calendar. Umar used Ali's suggestions in political issues as well as religious ones.[66]

Ali was one of the electoral council to choose the third caliph which was appointed by Umar. Although Ali was one of the two major candidates, but the council's arrangement was against him. Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas and Abdur Rahman bin Awf who were cousins, were naturally inclined to support Uthman, who was Abdur Rahman's brother-in-law. In addition, Umar gave the casting vote to Abdur Rahman. Abdur Rahman offered the caliphate to Ali on the condition that he should rule in accordance with the Quran, the example set by Muhammad, and the precedents established by the first two caliphs. Ali rejected the third condition while Uthman accepted it. According to Ibn Abi al-Hadid's Comments on the Peak of Eloquence Ali insisted on his prominence there, but most of the electors supported Uthman and Ali was reluctantly urged to accept him.[67]

Siege of Uthman

Uthman Ibn Affan, expressed generosity toward his kin, Banu Abd-Shams, who seemed to dominate him and his supposed arrogant mistreatment toward several of the earliest companions such as Abu Dharr al-Ghifari, Abd-Allah ibn Mas'ud and Ammar ibn Yasir provoked outrage among some groups of people. Dissatisfaction and resistance openly arose since 650-651 throughout most of the empire.[68] The dissatisfaction with his rule and the governments appointed by him was not restricted to the provinces outside Arabia.[69] When Uthman's kin, especially Marwan, gained control over him, the noble companions including most of the the members of elector council, turned against him or at least withdrew their support putting pressure on the caliph to mend his ways and reduce the influence of his assertive kin.[70]

At this time, Ali had acted as a restraining influence on Uthman without directly opposing him. On several occasions Ali disagreed with Uthman in the application of the Hudud; he had publicly shown sympathy for Abu Dharr al-Ghifari and had spoken strongly in the defense of Ammar ibn Yasir. He conveyed to Uthman the criticisms of other Companions and acted on Uthman's behalf as negotiator with the provincial opposition who had come to Medina; because of this some mistrust between Ali and Uthman's family seems to have arisen. Finally he tried to mitigate the severity of the siege by his insistence that Uthman should be allowed water.[4]

There is controversy among historians about the relationship between Ali and Uthman. Although pledging allegiance to Uthman, Ali disagreed with some of his policies. In particular, he clashed with Uthman on the question of religious law. He insisted that religious punishment had to done in several cases such as Ubayd Allah ibn Umar and Walid ibn Uqba. In 650 during pilgrimage, he confronted Uthman with reproaches for his change of the prayer ritual. When Uthman declared that he would take whatever he needed from the fey', Ali exclaimed that in that case the caliph would be prevented by force. Ali endeavored to protect companions from maltreatment by the caliph such as Ibn Mas'ud.[71] Therefore, some historians consider Ali one the leading members of Uthman's opposition, if not the main one. Because he could clearly be expected to be the prime beneficiary of the overthrow of Uthman. But Madelung rejects their judgment due to the fact that Ali did not have the Quraysh's support to be elected as a caliph. According to him, there is even no evidence that Ali had close relations with rebels who supported his caliphate or directed their actions. [72] Some other sources says Ali had acted as a restraining influence on Uthman without directly opposing him.[4] However Madelung narrates Marwan told Zayn al-Abidin, the grandson of Ali, that

No one [among the Islamic nobility] was more temperate toward our master than your master.[73]

Caliphate

Domains of Rashidun empire under four caliphs. The divided phase relates to Ali caliphate.      Strongholds of Rashidun Caliphate      Vassal states of Rashidun Caliphate      Region under the control of Muawiyah I during civil war 656-661      Region under the control of Amr ibn al-As During civil war 658-661

Election as Caliph

Ali was caliph between 656 and 661, during one of the more turbulent periods in Muslim history, which also coincided with the First Fitna.

Uthman's assassination meant that rebels had to select a new caliph. This met with difficulties since the rebels were divided into several groups comprising the Muhajirun, Ansar, Egyptians, Kufans and Basntes. There were three candidates: Ali, Talhah and al-Zubayr. First the rebels approached Ali, requesting him to accept being the caliph. Some of Muhammad's companions tried to persuade Ali in accepting the office,[59][74][75] but he turned down the offer, suggesting to be a counselor instead of a chief.[76]

Talhah, Zubayr and other companions also refused the rebels' offer of the caliphate. Therefore, the rebels warned the inhabitants of Medina to select a caliph within one day, or they would apply drastic action. In order to resolve the deadlock, the Muslims gathered in the Mosque of the Prophet on June 18, 656 to appoint the caliph. Initially Ali refused to accept simply because his most vigorous supporters were rebels. However, when some notable companions of Muhammad, in addition to the residents of Medina urged him to accept the offer, he finally agreed. According to Abu Mekhnaf's narration, Talhah was the first prominent companion who gave his pledge to Ali, but other narrations claimed otherwise, stating they were forced to give their pledge. Also, Talhah and Zubayr later claimed they supported him reluctantly. Regardless, Ali refuted these claims, insisting they recognized him as caliph voluntarily. Wilferd Madelung believes that force did not urge people to give their pledge and they pledged publicly in the mosque.[77][78]

While the overwhelming majority of Madina's population as well as many of the rebels gave their pledge, some important figures or tribes did not do so. The Umayyads, kinsmen of Uthman, fled to the Levant or remained in their houses, later refusing Ali's legitimacy. Sa‘ad ibn Abi Waqqas was absent and Abdullah ibn Umar abstained from offering his allegiance, but both of them assured Ali that they would not act against him.[77][78]

Reign as Caliph

Since the conflicts in which Ali was involved were perpetuated in polemical sectarian historiography, biographical material is often biased. But the sources agree that he was a profoundly religious man, devoted to the cause of Islam and the rule of justice in accordance with the Quran and the Sunna; he engaged in war against erring Muslims as a matter of religious duty. The sources abound in notices on his austerity, rigorous observance of religious duties, and detachment from worldly goods. Thus some authors have pointed out that he lacked political skill and flexibility.[4]

Ali inherited the Rashidun Caliphate—which extended from Egypt in the west to the Iranian highlands in the east—while the situation in the Hejaz and the other provinces on the eve of his election was unsettled. Soon after Ali became caliph, he dismissed provincial governors who had been appointed by Uthman, replacing them with trusted aides. He acted against the counsel of Mughira ibn Shu'ba and Ibn Abbas, who had advised him to proceed his governing cautiously. Madelung says Ali was deeply convinced of his right and his religious mission, unwilling to compromise his principles for the sake of political expediency, and ready to fight against overwhelming odds.[79] Muawiyah I, the kinsman of Uthman and governor of the Levant refused to submit to Ali's orders; he was the only governor to do so.[4]

When he was appointed caliph, Ali stated to the citizens of Medina that Muslim polity had come to be plagued by dissension and discord; he desired to purge Islam of any evil. He advised the populace to behave as true Muslims, warning that he would tolerate no sedition and those who were found guilty of subversive activities would be dealt with harshly.[80] Ali recovered the land granted by Uthman and swore to recover anything that elites had acquired before his election. Ali opposed the centralization of capital control over provincial revenues, favoring an equal distribution of taxes and booty amongst the Muslim citizens; He distributed the entire revenue of the treasury among them. Ali refrained from nepotism, including with his brother Aqeel ibn Abi Talib. This was an indication to Muslims of his policy of offering equality to Muslims who served Islam in its early years and to the Muslims who played a role in the later conquests.[4][81]

Ali succeeded in forming a broad coalition especially after the Battle of Bassorah. His policy of equal distribution of taxes and booty gained the support of Muhammad's companions especially the Ansar who were subordinated by the Quraysh leadership after Muhammad, the traditional tribal leaders, and the Qurra or Qur'an reciters that sought pious Islamic leadership. The successful formation of this diverse coalition seems to be due to Ali's charismatic character.[4][82] This diverse coalition became known as Shi'a Ali, meaning "party" or "faction of Ali". However according to Shia, as well as non-Shia reports, the majority of those who supported Ali after his election as caliph, were shia politically, not religiously. Although at this time there were many who counted as political Shia, few of them believed Ali's religious leadership.[83]

First Fitna

A'isha, Talhah, Al-Zubayr and Umayyad especially Muawiyah I wanted to take revenge for Uthman's death and punish the rioters who had killed him. They attacked Ali for not punishing the rebels and murderers of Uthman. However some historians believe that they use this issue to seek their political ambitions because they found Ali's caliphate against their own benefit. On the other hand, the rebels maintained that Uthman had been justly killed, for not governing according to Quran and Sunnah, hence no vengeance was to be invoked.[4][6][84] Historians disagrees on Ali's position. Some say the caliphate was a gift of the rebels and Ali did not have enough force to control or punish them[80], while others say Ali accepted rebels argument or at least didn't consider Uthman just ruler.[85]

Under such circumstances, a schism took place which led to the first civil war in Muslim history. Some Muslims, known as Uthmanis, considered Uthman a rightful and just Imam (Islamic leader) till the end, who had been unlawfully killed. Thus his position was in abeyance until he had been avenged and a new caliph elected. In their view Ali was the Imam of error leading a party of infidels. Some others, who knows as party of Ali, believed Uthman had fallen into error, he had forfeited the caliphate and been lawfully executed for his refusal to mend his way or step down, thus Ali was the just and true Imam and his opponents are infidels. This civil war created permanent divisions within the Muslim community regarding who had the legitimate right to occupy the caliphate.[86]

The First Fitna, 656–661, followed the assassination of Uthman, continued during the caliphate of Ali, and was ended by Muawiyah's assumption of the caliphate. This civil war (often called the Fitna) is regretted as the end of the early unity of the Islamic ummah (nation). Ali was first opposed by a faction led by Talhah, Al-Zubayr and Muhammad's wife, Aisha bint Abu Bakr. This group, known as "disobedients" (Nakithin) by their enemies, gathered in Mecca then moved to Basra with the expectation of finding the necessary forces and resources to mobilize people of Iraq. The rebels occupied Basra, killing many people. They refused Ali's offer of obedience and pledge of allegiance. The two sides met at the Battle of Bassorah (Battle of the Camel) in 656, where Ali emerged victorious.[87]

Ali appointed Ibn Abbas governor of Basra and moved his capital to Kufa, the Muslim garrison city in Iraq. Kufa was in the middle of Islamic land and had strategic position.[88]

Later he was challenged by Muawiyah I, the governor of Levant and the cousin of Uthman, who refused Ali's demands for allegiance and called for revenge for Uthman. Ali opened negotiations hoping to regain his allegiance, but Muawiyah insisted on Levant autonomy under his rule. Muawiyah replied by mobilizing his Levantine supporters and refusing to pay homage to Ali on the pretext that his contingent had not participated in his election. The two armies encamped themselves at Siffin for more than one hundred days, most of the time being spent in negotiations. Although, Ali exchanged several letters with Muawiyah, he was unable to dismiss the latter, nor persuade him to pledge allegiance. Skirmishes between the parties led to the Battle of Siffin in 657. After a week of combat was followed by a violent battle known as laylat al-harir (the night of clamor), Muawiyah's army were on the point of being routed when Amr ibn al-Aas advised Muawiyah to have his soldiers hoist mus'haf (either parchments inscribed with verses of the Qur'an, or complete copies of it) on their spearheads in order to cause disagreement and confusion in Ali's army.[4][89] Ali saw through the stratagem, but only a minority wanted to pursue the fight.[8]

The two armies finally agreed to settle the matter of who should be Caliph by arbitration. The refusal of the largest bloc in Ali's army to fight was the decisive factor in his acceptance of the arbitration. The question as to whether the arbiter would represent Ali or the Kufans caused a further split in Ali's army. Ash'ath ibn Qays and some others rejected Ali's nominees, 'Abd Allah ibn 'Abbas and Malik al-Ashtar, and insisted on Abu Musa Ash'ari, who was opposed by Ali, since he had earlier prevented people from supporting him. Finally, Ali was urged to accept Abu Musa. Some of Ali's supporters, later were known as Kharijites (schismatics), opposed arbitration and rebelled and Ali had to fight with them in the Battle of Nahrawan. The arbitration resulted in the dissolution of Ali's coalition and some have opined that this was Muawiyah's intention.[4][90]

In the following years Muawiyah's army invaded and plundered cities of Iraq, which Ali's governors could not prevent and people did not support him to fight with them. Muawiyah overpowered Egypt, Hijaz, Yemen and other areas.[91] In the last year of Ali's caliphate, the mood in Kufa and Basra changed in his favor as Muawiyah's vicious conduct of the war revealed the nature of his reign. However the people's attitude toward Ali was deeply differed. Just a small minority of them believed that Ali was the best Muslim after Muhammad and the only one entitled to rule them, while the majority supported him due to their distrust and opposition to Muawiyah.[92]

Policies

What shows Ali's policies and ideas of governing is his instruction to Malik al-Ashtar, when appointed by him as governor of Egypt. This instruction which is considered by many Muslims and even non-Muslims as the ideal constitution for Islamic governance involved detailed description of duties and rights of the ruler and various functionaries of the state and the main classes of society at that time.[93][94]

Ali wrote in his instruction to Malik al-Ashtar:

Infuse your heart with mercy, love and kindness for your subjects. Be not in face of them a voracious animal, counting them as easy prey, for they are of two kinds:either they are your brothers in religion or your equals in creation. Error catches them unaware, deficiencies overcome them, (evil deeds) are committed by them intentionally and by mistake. So grant them your pardon and your forgiveness to the same extent that you hope God will grant you His pardon and His forgiveness. For you are above them, and he who appointed you is above you, and God is above him who appointed you. God has sought from you the fulfillment of their requirements and He is trying you with them.[95]

Since the majority of Ali's subjects were nomads and peasants, he was concerned with agriculture. He instructed to Malik to give more attention to development of the land than to the collection of the tax, because tax can only be obtained by the development of the land and whoever demands tax without developing the land ruins the country and destroys the people.[96]

Death

On the 19th of Ramadan, while Ali was praying in the mosque of Kufa, a Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam, a Kharijite, assassinated him with a stroke of his poison-coated sword. Ali, wounded by the poisonous sword, lived for two days before dying in Kufa on the 21st of Ramadan in 661.[97]

Ali ordered his sons not to attack the Kharijites, even though a single member of the group of Kharijites killed him. Ali said to his son, Imam Hasan that if he lives on he will forgive Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam and free him, however, in the event of his death, ibn Muljim should get one equal hit and not more regardless if he dies from the hit or not, just as Ali himself received one hit from Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam.[98] Thus,Imam Hasan fulfilled Qisas and gave equal hurt as Ali got to ibn Muljam.[92]

Burial

Rawze-e-Sharif, the Blue Mosque, in Mazari Sharif, Afghanistan - Where a minority of Muslims believe Ali ibn Abi Talib is buried

According to Al-Shaykh Al-Mufid, Ali did not want his grave to be desecrated by his enemies and consequently asked his friends and family to bury him secretly. This secret gravesite was revealed later during the Abbasid caliphate by Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, his descendant and the sixth Shia Imam.[99] Most Shi'as accept that Ali is buried at the Tomb of Imam Ali in the Imam Ali Mosque at what is now the city of Najaf, which grew around the mosque and shrine called Masjid Ali.[100][101]

However another story, usually maintained by some Afghans, notes that his body was taken and buried in the Afghan city of Mazar-E-Sharif at the famous Blue Mosque or Rawze-e-Sharif.[102]

Aftermath

After Ali's death, Kufi Muslims pledged allegiance to his eldest son Hasan without dispute, as Ali on many occasions had declared that just Ahl al-Bayt of Muhammad were entitled to rule the Muslim community.[103] At this time, Muawiyah held both Levant and Egypt and, as commander of the largest force in the Muslim Empire, had declared himself caliph and marched his army into Iraq, the seat of Hasan's caliphate.

This mosque in an-Najaf, Iraq, is widely considered by Shias to be the final burial place of Ali.

War ensued during which Muawiyah gradually subverted the generals and commanders of Hasan's army with large sums of money and deceiving promises until the army rebelled against him. Finally, Hasan was forced to make peace and to yield the caliphate to Muawiyah. In this way Muawiyah captured the Islamic caliphate and in every way possible placed the severest pressure upon Ali's family and his Shi'a. Regular public cursing of Imam Ali in the congregational prayers remained a vital institution which was not abolished until 60 years later by Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz. Muawiyah also established the Umayyad caliphate which was a centralized monarchy. [104]

Madelung writes:

Umayyad highhandedness, misrule and repression were gradually to turn the minority of Ali's admirers into a majority. In the memory of later generations Ali became the ideal Commander of the Faithful. In face of the fake Umayyad claim to legitimate sovereignty in Islam as God's Vice-regents on earth, and in view of Umayyad treachery, arbitrary and divisive government, and vindictive retribution, they came to appreciate his [Ali's] honesty, his unbending devotion to the reign of Islam, his deep personal loyalties, his equal treatment of all his supporters, and his generosity in forgiving his defeated enemies.[11]

Knowledge

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.[101]

Shia and Sufis believe that Muhammad told about him "I'm the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate..."[101][105][106][107] Muslims regard Ali as a major authority on Islam. Ali himself gives this testimony:

Not a single verse of the Qur'an descended upon (was revealed to) the Messenger of God which he did not proceed to dictate to me and make me recite. I would write it with my own hand, and he would instruct me as to its tafsir (the literal explanation) and the ta'wil (the spiritual exegesis), the nasikh (the verse which abrogates) and the mansukh (the abrogated verse), the muhkam and the mutashabih (the fixed and the ambiguous), the particular and the general...[108]

According to Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Ali is credited with having established Islamic theology and his quotations contain the first rational proofs among Muslims of the unity of God.[109] Ibn Abi al-Hadid has quoted

As for theosophy and dealing with matters of divinity, it was not an Arab art. Nothing of the sort had been circulated among their distinguished figures or those of lower ranks. This art was the exclusive preserve of Greece whose sages were its only expounders. The first one among Arabs to deal with it was Ali.[110]

In later Islamic philosophy, especially in the teachings of Mulla Sadra and his followers, like Allameh Tabatabaei, Ali's sayings and sermons were increasingly regarded as central sources of metaphysical knowledge, or divine philosophy. Members of Sadra's school regard Ali as the supreme metaphysician of Islam.[1]; According to Henry Corbin, the Nahj al-Balagha may be regarded as one of the most important sources of doctrines professed by Shia thinkers especially after 1500AD. Its influence can be sensed in the logical co-ordination of terms, the deduction of correct conclusions, and the creation of certain technical terms in Arabic which entered the literary and philosophical language independently of the translation into Arabic of Greek texts.[111]

Ali was also a great scholar of Arabic literature and pioneered in the field of grammar and rhetoric. His speeches, sermons and letters served for generations afterward as models of literary expression.[citation needed]Numerous short sayings of Ali have become part of general Islamic culture and are quoted as aphorisms and proverbs in daily life. They have also become the basis of literary works or have been integrated into poetic verse in many languages. Already in the 8th century, literary authorities such as 'Abd al-Hamid ibn Yahya al-'Amiri pointed to the unparalleled eloquence of Ali's sermons and sayings, as did al-Jahiz in the following century.[1] Even staffs in the Divan of Umayyad recited Ali's sermons to improve their eloquence.[112] Of course, Peak of Eloquence (Nahj al-Balagha) is an extract of Ali's quotations from a literal viewpoint as its compiler mentioned in the preface. While there are many other quotations, prayers (Du'as), sermons and letters in other literal, historic and religious books.[113]

In addition, some hidden or occult sciences such as jafr,Islamic numerology, the science of the symbolic significance of the letters of the Arabic alphabet, are said to have been established by Ali[1] through his having studied the texts of al-Jafr and al-Jamia.

Works

The compilation of sermons, lectures and quotations attributed to Ali are compiled in the form of several books.

  • Nahj al-Balagha (Way of Eloquence) contains eloquent sermons, letters and quotations attributed to Ali which is compiled by ash-Sharif ar-Radi(d. 1015). Despite ongoing questions about the authenticity of the text, recent scholarship suggests that most of the material in it can in fact be attributed to Ali.[101] This book has a prominent position in Arabic literature. It is also considered an important intellectual, political and religious work in Islam.[1][114][115] Masadir Nahj al-Balagha wa asaniduh written by al-Sayyid ‘Abd al-Zahra' al-Husayni al-Khatib introduces some of these sources.[116] Also Nahj al-sa'adah fi mustadrak Nahj al-balaghah by Muhammad Baqir al-Mahmudi represents all of Ali's extant speeches, sermons, decrees, epistles, prayers, and sayings have been collected. It includes the Nahj al-balagha and other discourses which were not incorporated by ash-Sharif ar-Radi or were not available to him. Apparently, except for some of the aphorisms, the original sources of all the contents of the Nahj al-balagha have been determined.[114] There are several Comments on the Peak of Eloquence by Sunnis and Shias such as Comments of Ibn Abi al-Hadid and comments of Muhammad Abduh.
  • Supplications (Du'a), translated by William Chittick[117]
  • Ghurar al-Hikam wa Durar al-Kalim (Exalted aphorisms and Pearls of Speech) which is compiled by Abd al-Wahid Amidi(d. 1116) consists of over ten thounsads short sayings of Ali [118]
  • Nuzhat al-Absar va Mahasin al-Asar, Ali's sermons which has compiled by Ali ibn Muhammad Tabari Mamtiri[119]
  • Divan-i Ali ibn Abi Talib (poems which are attributed to Ali ibn Abi Talib)[4][120]

Descendants

Ali had several wives, Fatimah being the most beloved. He had four children by Fatimah, Hasan ibn Ali, Husayn ibn Ali, Zaynab bint Ali[1] and Umm Kulthum bint Ali. His other well-known sons were al-Abbas ibn Ali born to Fatima binte Hizam (Um al-Banin) and Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah.[121]

Hasan, born in 625 AD, was the second Shia Imam and he also occupied the outward function of caliph for about six months. In the year 50 A.H., he was poisoned and killed by a member of his own household who, as has been accounted by historians, had been motivated by Mu'awiyah.[122]

Husayn, born in 626 AD, was the third Shia Imam. He lived under severe conditions of suppression and persecution by Mu'awiyah. On the tenth day of Muharram, of the year 680, he lined up before the army of caliph with his small band of follower and nearly all of them were killed in the Battle of Karbala. The anniversary of his death is called the Day of Ashura and it is a day of mourning and religious observance for Shi'a Muslims.[123] In this battle some of Ali's other sons were killed. Al-Tabari has mentioned their names in his history. Al-Abbas, the holder of Husayn's standard, Ja'far, Abdallah and Uthman, the four sons born to Fatima binte Hizam. Muhammad and Abu Bakr. The death of the last one is doubtful.[124] Some historians have added the names of Ali's others sons who were killed in Karbala, including Ibrahim, Umar and Abdallah ibn al-Asqar.[125][126]

His daughter Zaynab—who was in Karbala—was captured by Yazid's army and later played a great role in revealing what happened to Husayn and his followers.[127]

Ali's descendants by Fatimah are known as sharifs, sayeds or sayyids. These are honorific titles in Arabic, sharif meaning 'noble' and sayed or sayyid meaning 'lord' or 'sir'. As Muhammad's only descendants, they are respected by both Sunni and Shi'a, though the Shi'as place much more emphasis and value on the distinction.[1]

Views

Muslim views

Except for Muhammad, there is no one in Islamic history about whom as much has been written in Islamic languages as Ali.[1] Ali is revered and honored by all Muslims. Having been one of the first Muslims and foremost Ulema (Islamic scholars), he was extremely knowledgeable in matters of religious belief and Islamic jurisprudence, as well as in the history of the Muslim community. He was known for his bravery and courage. Muslims honor Muhammad, Ali, and other pious Muslims and add pious interjections after their names.[citation needed]

Shi'a

The Shi'a regard Ali as the most important figure after Muhammad. According to them, Muhammad suggested on various occasions during his lifetime that Ali should be the leader of Muslims after his demise. This is supported by numerous Hadith, including Hadith of the pond of Khumm, Hadith of the two weighty things, Hadith of the pen and paper, Hadith of the invitation of the close families, and Hadith of the Twelve Successors. In particular, the Hadith of the Cloak is often quoted to illustrate Muhammad's feeling towards Ali and his family:

One morning Muhammad went out wearing a striped cloak of black camel's hair when along came Hasan b. 'Ali. He wrapped him under it, then came Husain and he wrapped him under it along with the other one (Hasan). Then came Fatima and he took her under it, then came 'Ali and he also took him under it and then said: God only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O People of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying.

Sahih Muslim, Book 031, Number 5955

According to this view, Ali as the successor of Muhammad not only ruled over the community in justice, but also interpreted the Sharia Law and its esoteric meaning. Hence he was regarded as being free from error and sin (infallible), and appointed by God by divine decree (nass) through Muhammad.[128] Ali is known as "perfect man" (al-insan al-kamil) similar to Muhammad according to Shia viewpoint.[129]

Shia pilgrims usually go to Mashad Ali in Najaf for Ziyarat, pray there and read "Ziyarat Amin Allah"[130] or other Ziyaratnames.[131] Under the Safavid Empire, his grave became the focus of much devoted attention, exemplified in the pilgrimage made by Shah Ismail I to Najaf and Karbala.[8]

According to the Ghurabiyya Shia, Ali was supposed to have solely had the position of Muhammad (i.e. the prophethood and messengership). However, the angel Gabriel mistakenly went to Muhammad instead of Ali.

Sunni

Contemporary Sunni Muslims generally regard Ali with respect as one of the Ahl al-Bayt and the last of the Rashidun caliphs and view him as one of the most influential and respected figures in Islam. Historically, however, he was ritually cursed in mosques by the Ummayyads[citation needed] until the practice was abolished by Umar ibn Abdul Aziz during the Umayyad caliphate.[citation needed] Also, he is one of the Al-Asharatu Mubashsharun, which is the promised Ten to be in heaven.

Sufi

Almost all Sufi orders trace their lineage to Muhammad through Ali, an exception being Naqshbandi, who go through Abu Bakr. Even in this order, there is Ja'far al-Sadiq, the great great grandson of Ali. Sufis, whether Sunni or Shi'ite, believe that Ali inherited from Muhammad the saintly power wilayah that makes the spiritual journey to God possible.[1] Imam Ali represents the essence of the teachings of the School of Islamic Sufism.[citation needed]

Sufis recite Manqabat Ali in the praise of Ali (Maula Ali), after Hamd and Naat in their Qawwali.[citation needed]

As a deity

Some groups (such as the Alawis) believe that Ali is a deity in his own right or he was God incarnate. They are described as ghulat (Ar: غُلاة) "exaggerators" by the vast majority of Islamic scholars. These groups have, in traditional Islamic thought, left Islam due to their exaggeration of a human being's praiseworthy traits. Ali is recorded in some traditions as having forbidden those who sought to worship him in his own lifetime.[132]

Non-Muslim views

The English historian Edward Gibbon stated: "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."[133]. Scottish Orientalist William Muir declared that Ali was "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 unambitious, when in after days he obtained the rule of half of the Moslem world, it was rather thrust upon him than sought." [134] However others, such as Herni Lammens[135], have held a negative view of Ali.

The poet Khalil Gibran said of him: "In my view, ʿAlī 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. The Arabs did not realise his value until appeared among their Persian neighbors some who knew the difference between gems and gravels[136][137]."

Historiography of his life

The primary sources for scholarship on the life of Ali are the Qur'an and the Hadith, as well as other texts of early Islamic history. The extensive secondary sources include, in addition to works by Sunni and Shī‘a Muslims, writings by Christian Arabs, Hindus, and other non-Muslims from the Middle East and Asia and a few works by modern Western scholars. However, many of the early Islamic sources are colored to some extent by a positive or negative bias towards Ali.[1]

There had been a common tendency among the earlier western scholars against these narrations and reports gathered in later periods due to their tendency towards later Sunni and Shī‘a partisan positions; such scholars regarding them as later fabrications. This leads them to regard certain reported events as inauthentic or irrelevant. Leone Caetani considered the attribution of historical reports to Ibn Abbas and Aisha as mostly fictitious while proffering accounts reported without isnad by the early compilers of history like Ibn Ishaq. Wilferd Madelung has rejected the stance of indiscriminately dismissing everything not included in "early sources" and in this approach tendentious alone is no evidence for late origin. According to him, Caetani's approach is inconsistent. Madelung and some later historians do not reject the narrations which have been complied in later periods and try to judge them in the context of history and on the basis of their compatibility with the events and figures [138]

Until the rise of the Abbasid Caliphate, few books were written and most of the reports had been oral. The most notable work previous to this period is The Book of Sulaym ibn Qays, written by Sulaym ibn Qays, a companion of Ali who lived before the Abbasid.[139] When paper was introduced to Muslim society, numerous monographs were written between 750 and 950 AD. According to Robinson, at least twenty-one separate monographs have been composed on the Battle of Siffin. Abi Mikhnaf is one of the most renowned writers of this period who tried to gather all of the reports. 9th and 10th century historians collected, selected and arranged the available narrations. However, most of these monographs do not exist anymore except for a few which have been used in later works such as History of the Prophets and Kings by Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (d.932).[140]

Shi'a of Iraq actively participated in writing monographs but most of those works have been lost. On the other hand, in the 8th and 9th century Ali's descendants such as Muhammad al Baqir and Jafar as Sadiq narrated his quotations and reports which have been gathered in Shia hadith books. The later Shia works written after the 10th century AD are about biographies of The Fourteen Infallibles and Twelve Imams. The earliest surviving work and one of the most important works in this field is Kitab al-Irshad by Shaykh Mufid (d. 1022). The author has dedicated the first part of his book to a detailed account of Ali. There are also some books known as Manāqib which describe Ali's character from a religious viewpoint. Such works also constitute a kind of historiography.[141]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. "Ali". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.. http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9005712/Ali. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  2. ^ a b Ahmed 2005, p. 234
  3. ^ Madelung 1997, p. 311
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Ali ibn Abitalib". Encyclopædia Iranica. http://www.iranica.com/newsite/articles/v1f8/v1f8a043.html. Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  5. ^ Encyclopaedia of the Holy Prophet and Companions
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Tabatabaei 1979, p. 191
  7. ^ a b Ashraf 2005, p. 14
  8. ^ a b c d e f Diana, Steigerwald. "Ali ibn Abi Talib". Encyclopaedia of Islam and the Muslim world; vol.1. MacMillan. ISBN 0028656040. 
  9. ^ See:
  10. ^ See:
  11. ^ a b Madelung 1997, p. 309 and 310
  12. ^ Ashraf 2005, p. 5
  13. ^ See:
  14. ^ Ashraf 2005, p. 6 and 7
  15. ^ Ashraf 2005, p. 7
  16. ^ Watt 1953, p. xii
  17. ^ Watt 1953, p. 86
  18. ^ Qur'an 26:214
  19. ^ See:
  20. ^ Ashraf 2005, p. 16-26
  21. ^ Ashraf 2005, p. 28 and 29
  22. ^ Qur'an 2:207
  23. ^ Tabatabaei, Sayyid Mohammad Hosayn. "Tafsir al-Mizan, Volume 3: Surah Baqarah, Verses 204-207". almizan.org. http://www.almizan.org/Tafseer/Volume3/Baqarah50.asp. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  24. ^ Ashraf 2005, p. 30-32
  25. ^ See:
  26. ^ Singh 2003, p. 175
  27. ^ Qur'an 33:33
  28. ^ Madelung 1997, p. 14 and 15
  29. ^ See:
  30. ^ "Hasan ibn Ali". Encyclopædia Iranica. http://www.iranica.com/newsite/index.isc?Article=http://www.iranica.com/newsite/articles/v12f1/v12f1024.html. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  31. ^ Sahih Muslim 31:5955
  32. ^ Singh 2003, p. 176
  33. ^ See:
  34. ^ Khatab, Amal (May 1, 1996). Battles of Badr and Uhud. Ta-Ha Publishers. ISBN 1-897940-39-4. 
  35. ^ Ibn Al Atheer, In his Biography, vol 2 p 107 "لا فتی الا علي لا سيف الا ذوالفقار"
  36. ^ See:
  37. ^ Qur'an 3:59
  38. ^ a b Qur'an 3:61
  39. ^ Tabatabaei, Sayyid Mohammad Hosayn. "Tafsir al-Mizan, v.6, Al Imran, verses 61-63". almizan.org. http://www.almizan.org/Tafseer/Volume6/6Imran2.asp. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  40. ^ Qur'an 33:33
  41. ^ Madelung 1997, p. 14 and 15
  42. ^ See:
    • Sahih Muslim, Chapter of virtues of companions, section of virtues of Ali, 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia, Arabic version, v4, p1871, the end of tradition #32
    • Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, p654
    • Madelung 1997, p. 15 and 16
  43. ^ Dakake 2008, p. 34 - 39
  44. ^ See:
    • Dakake 2008, p. 39 and 40
    • Sahih Muslim 031.5920 The Book Pertaining to the Merits of the Companions (Allah Be Pleased With Them) of the Holy Prophet (May Peace Be Upon Him) (Kitab Al-Fada'il Al-Sahabah)
  45. ^ Dakake 2008, p. 39 and 40
  46. ^ Dakake 2008, p. 34-37
  47. ^ See:
    • Dakake 2008, p. 34 and 35
    • Ibn Taymiyyah, Minhaaj as-Sunnah 7/319
    "من كنت مولاه فهذا علي مولاه"
  48. ^ See:
  49. ^ Dakake 2008, p. 33-35
  50. ^ Madelung 1997, p. 253
  51. ^ Lapidus 2002, p. 31 and 32
  52. ^ See:
  53. ^ a b Madelung 1997, p. 43
  54. ^ "Fatima", Encyclopedia of Islam. Brill Online.
  55. ^ "Sunnite". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.. http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9070378/Sunnite. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  56. ^ Sahih Bukhari 5.57.50
  57. ^ Chirri 1982
  58. ^ See:
  59. ^ a b
  60. ^ See:
  61. ^
  62. ^ History of Mecca, Medina and all other Ziyarats
  63. ^ Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (2007). "Qur'an". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-68890/Quran. Retrieved 2007-11-04. 
  64. ^ See:
    • Tabatabaei 1987, p. chapter 5
    • Observations on Early Qur'an Manuscripts in San'a
    • The Qur'an as Text, ed. Wild, Brill, 1996 ISBN 90-04-10344-9
  65. ^ See:
  66. ^ See
  67. ^ See:
  68. ^ Madelung 1997, p. 87 and 88
  69. ^ Madelung 1997, p. 90
  70. ^ Madelung 1997, p. 92-107
  71. ^ Madelung 1997, p. 109 and 110
  72. ^ See:
  73. ^ Madelung 1997, p. 334
  74. ^ Ashraf 2005, p. 119
  75. ^ Madelung 1997, p. 141-143
  76. ^ Hamidullah 1988, p. 126
  77. ^ a b Ashraf 2005, p. 119 and 120
  78. ^ a b Madelung 1997, p. 141-145
  79. ^ Madelung 1997, p. 148 and 149
  80. ^ a b Ashraf 2005, p. 121
  81. ^ See:
  82. ^ Shaban 1971, p. 72
  83. ^ Momen 1985, p. 63
  84. ^ See:
  85. ^ Lewis 1991, p. 214
  86. ^ See:
  87. ^ See:
  88. ^ 'Ali
  89. ^ See:
  90. ^ See:
  91. ^ Madelung 1997, p. 267-269 and 293-307
  92. ^ a b Madelung 1997, p. 309
  93. ^ Shah-Kazemi 2007, p. 81
  94. ^ United Nations Development Program, Arab human development report, (2002), p. 107
  95. ^ Nasr, Dabashi & Nasr 1989, p. 75
  96. ^ Lambton 1991, p. xix and xx
  97. ^ Tabatabaei 1979, p. 192
  98. ^ Kelsay 1993, p. 92
  99. ^ Al-Shaykh Al-Mufid 1986
  100. ^ Redha 1999
  101. ^ a b c d Shah-Kazemi, Reza (2006). "'Ali ibn Abi Talib". Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0415966914. , Pages 36 and 37
  102. ^ Balkh and Mazar-e-Sharif
  103. ^ Madelung 1997, p. 313 and 314
  104. ^ See:
  105. ^ Momen 1985, p. 14
  106. ^ School of Islamic Sufism
  107. ^ World of Tasawwuf
  108. ^ Corbin 1993, p. 46
  109. ^ Nasr 2006, p. 120
  110. ^ Nasr, Dabashi & Nasr 1996, p. 136
  111. ^ Corbin 1993, p. 35
  112. ^ "حفظت سبعين خطبة من خطب الاصلع ففاضت ثم فاضت ) ويعني بالاصلع أمير المؤمنين عليا عليه السلام"مقدمة في مصادر نهج البلاغة
  113. ^ See:
  114. ^ a b Mutahhari, 1997 The Glimpses of Nahj al Balaghah Part I - Introduction
  115. ^ Shah-Kazemi 2007, p. 3
  116. ^ Quarterly Journal of Islamic Thought and Culture, Vol. VII, No. 1 issue of Al-Tawhid
  117. ^ Ali ibn Abi Talib (1990). Supplications (Du'a). Muhammadi Trust. pp. 42. ISBN 0950698644. 
  118. ^ Shah-Kazemi 2007, p. 4
  119. ^ پیدا شدن مجموعه نفیس کلمات امام علی(ع) در واتیكان : «نزهه الأبصار و محاسن الآثار» عنوان کتابی است از ابوالحسن علی بن محمد بن مهدی طبری مامطیری، که دربر دارنده کلمات مولای متقیان امام علی‌بن‌ابیطالب (ع) است و پیشینه ای بیش از نهج‌البلاغه شریف رضی (ره) دارد
  120. ^ Collection of Ali's poems (I Arabic)
  121. ^ Stearns & Langer 2001, p. 1178
  122. ^ Tabatabaei 1979, p. 194
  123. ^ Tabatabaei 1979, p. 196 - 201
  124. ^ Al-Tabari 1990, p. vol.XIX pp. 178-179
  125. ^ The Sanctified Household
  126. ^ List of Martyrs of Karbala by Khansari "فرزندان اميراالمؤمنين(ع): 1-ابوبكربن علي(شهادت او مشكوك است). 2-جعفربن علي. 3-عباس بن علي(ابولفضل) 4-عبدالله بن علي. 5-عبدالله بن علي العباس بن علي. 6-عبدالله بن الاصغر. 7-عثمان بن علي. 8-عمر بن علي. 9-محمد الاصغر بن علي. 10-محمدبن العباس بن علي."
  127. ^ "Zaynab Bint ʿAlĪ". Encyclopedia of Religion. Gale Group. 2004. http://www.bookrags.com/research/zaynab-bint-al-eorl-14/. Retrieved 2008-04-10. 
  128. ^ Nasr, Shi'ite Islam, preface, p. 10
  129. ^ Motahhari, Perfect man, Chapter 1
  130. ^ Trust, p. 695
  131. ^ Trust, p. 681
  132. ^ See:
  133. ^ The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, London, 1911, (originally published 1776-88) volume 5, pp. 381-2
  134. ^ The Life of Mahomet, London, 1877, p. 250
  135. ^ Henri Lammens, Fatima and the Daughters of Muhammad, Rome and Paris: Scripta Pontificii Instituti Biblici, 1912. Translation by Ibn Warraq.
  136. ^ Morteza Motahhari, Islam and Religious Pluralism
  137. ^ George Jordac, the Voice of Human Justice
  138. ^ Madelung 1997, p. xi, 19 and 20
  139. ^ See:
  140. ^ Robinson 2003, p. 28 and 34
  141. ^ Jafarian, Rasul; Translated by Delārām Furādī, Publisher:Message of Thaqalayn

References

  • Ahmed, M. Mukarram (2005). Encyclopaedia of Islam. Anmol Publications PVT. LTD.. ISBN 8126123397. 
  • Al-Shaykh Al-Mufid (1986). Kitab Al-Irshad: The Book of Guidance into the Lives of the Twelve Imams. Routledge Kegan & Paul. ISBN 0710301510. 
  • Al-Tabari, Muhammad ibn Jarir (1990). History of the Prophets and Kings, translation and commentary issued by R. Stephen Humphreys. SUNY Press. ISBN 0791401545.  (volume XV.)
  • Ashraf, Shahid (2005). Encyclopedia of Holy Prophet and Companions. Anmol Publications PVT. LTD.. ISBN 8126119403. 
  • Chirri, Mohammad (1982). The Brother of the Prophet Mohammad. Islamic Center of America, Detroit, Michigan. Alibris. ISBN 978-0942778007. 
  • Corbin, Henry (1993) [1964]. History of Islamic Philosophy. London: Kegan Paul International in association with Islamic Publications for The Institute of Ismaili Studies. ISBN 0710304161.  Translated by Liadain Sherrard, Philip Sherrard.
  • Dakake, Maria Massi (2008). The Charismatic Community: Shi'ite Identity in Early Islam. SUNY Press. ISBN 0791470334. 
  • Halm, Halm (2004). Shi'ism. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 0748618880. 
  • Hamidullah, Muhammad (1988). The Prophet's Establishing a State and His Succession. University of California. ISBN 9698016228. 
  • Holt, P.M.; Lambton, Ann K.S.; Lewis, Bernard, eds (1970). Cambridge History of Islam. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521291356. 
  • Kelsay, Jhon (1993). Islam and War: A Study in Comparative Ethics. Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 0664253024. 
  • Lambton, Ann K. S. (1991). Landlord and Peasant in Persia. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 1850432937. 
  • Lawson, Todd, ed (2005). Reason and Inspiration in Islam: Theology, Philosophy and Mysticism in Muslim Thought. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 1850434700. 
  • Lapidus, Ira (2002). A History of Islamic Societies (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521779333. 
  • Lewis, Bernard (1991). The Political Language of Islam. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226476936. 
  • Madelung, Wilferd (1997). The Succession to Muhammad: A Study of the Early Caliphate. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521646960. 
  • Merrick, James L. (2005). The Life and Religion of Mohammed as Contained in the Sheeah Traditions. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 1417955368. 
  • Momen, Moojan (1985). An Introduction to Shi‘i Islam: The History and Doctrines of Twelver Shi'ism. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300035314. 
  • Nasr, Seyyed Hossein; Dabashi, Hamid; Nasr, Vali (1989). Expectation of the Millennium. Suny press. ISBN 088706843X. 
  • Nasr, Seyyed Hossein; Leaman, Oliver (1996). History of Islamic Philosophy. Routledge. ISBN 0415131596. 
  • Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (2006). Islamic Philosophy from Its Origin to the Present. SUNY Press. ISBN 0791467996. 
  • Peters, F. E. (2003). The Monotheists: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Conflict and Competition. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691114617. 
  • Qazwini, Muhammad Kazim; Ordoni, Abu Muhammad (1992). Fatima the Gracious. Ansariyan Publications. OCLC 61565460. 
  • Redha, Mohammad (1999). Imam Ali Ibn Abi Taleb (Imam Ali the Fourth Caliph, 1/1 Volume). Dar Al Kotob Al ilmiyah. ISBN 2-7451-2532-X. 
  • Robinson, Chase F. (2003). Islamic Historiography. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521629365. 
  • Shaban, Muḥammad ʻAbd al-Ḥayy (1971). Islamic History. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521291313. 
  • Shah-Kazemi, Reza (2007). Justice and Remembrance: Introducing the Spirituality of Imam Ali. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 1845115260. 
  • Singh, N.K. (2003). Prophet Muhammad and His Companions. Global Vision Publishing Ho. ISBN 9788187746461. 
  • Stearns, Peter N.; Langer, William Leonard (2001). The Encyclopedia of World History: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern. Houghton Mifflin Books. ISBN 0395652375. 
  • Tabatabaei, Sayyid Mohammad Hosayn (1979). Shi'ite Islam. Suny press. ISBN 0-87395-272-3. | Translated by Seyyed Hossein Nasr.
  • Tabatabaei, Sayyid Mohammad Hosayn (1987). The Qur'an in Islam: Its Impact and Influence on the Life of Muslims. Zahra. ISBN 0710302657. http://al-islam.org/quraninislam/index.htm. 
  • Watt, William Montgomery (1953). Muhammad at Mecca. Oxford University Press. 
  • Zeitlin, Irving M. (2007). The Historical Muhammad. Polity. ISBN 0745639984. 

Further reading

Original sources

Secondary sources

Books
  • Abdul Rauf, Muhammad; Seyyed Hossein Nasr (1996). Imam 'Ali ibn Abi Talib: The First Intellectual Muslim Thinker. Al Saadawi Publications. ISBN 1881963497. 
  • Al-Tabari, Muhammad ibn Jarir (1987 to 1996). History of the Prophets and Kings, translation and commentary issued in multiple volumes. SUNY Press.  volumes 6-17 are relevant.
  • Motahhari, Murtaza (1981). Polarization Around the Character of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib. World Organization for Islamic Services, Tehran. http://www.alseraj.net/maktaba/kotob/english/FourteenInfallibles/Polarization/polarization/. 
  • Cleary, Thomas (1996). Living and Dying with Grace: Counsels of Hadrat Ali. Shambhala Publications, Incorporated. ISBN 1570622116. 
  • Corn, Patricia (2005). Medieval Islamic Political Thought. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 0748621946. 
  • Gordagh, George (1956). Ali, The Voice of Human Justice. ISBN 0-941724-24-7. (in Arabic)
  • Khatab, Amal (1996). Battles of Badr and Uhud. Ta-Ha Publishers. ISBN 1-897940-39-4. 
  • Kattani, Sulayman (1983). Imam 'Ali: Source of Light, Wisdom and Might, translation by I.K.A. Howard. Muhammadi Trust of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. ISBN 0950698660. 
  • Lakhani, M. Ali.; Reza Shah-Kazemi and Leonard Lewisohn (2007). The Sacred Foundations of Justice in Islam: The Teachings of Ali Ibn Abi Talib, Contributor Dr Seyyed Hossein Nasr. World Wisdom, Inc. ISBN 1933316268. 
  • Motahhari, Morteza (1997). Glimpses of the Nahj Al-Balaghah, translated by Ali Quli Qara'i. Islamic Culture and Relations Organizati. ISBN 978-9644720710. 
Encyclopedia
  • Encyclopaedia of Islam Online. Brill. 2004. E-ISSN 1573-3912. 
  • Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.. 
  • Martin, Richard C.. Encyclopaedia of Islam and the Muslim world; vol.1. MacMillan. ISBN 0028656040. 
  • Encyclopædia Iranica. Center for Iranian Studies, Columbia University. ISBN 1568590504. 
  • Meri, Josef W.; Jere L. Bacharach (2006). Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0415966914. 
  • Jones, Lindsay (2004). Encyclopedia of Religion. Gale Group. ISBN 9780028657332. 

External links

Some of his most famous sermons and letters
Shī‘a biography
Sunni biography
Ali
of the Ahl al-Bayt
Panjetan.jpg
chief of Banu Hashim since 653
Clan of the Banu Quraish
Born: October 23 598 Died: February 28 661
Shī‘a Islam titles
Preceded by
Muhammad
seal of prophecy — last prophet
1st Imam of Shi'a Islam
632–661
Succeeded by
Hasan ibn Ali
Disputed by Nizari
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Uthman
4th Rashidun Caliph of Sunni Islam
656–661
Succeeded by
Hasan ibn Ali




Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

When wisdom reaches the acme of perfection it, will suppress the vicious instincts and injurious desires.
"Imam Ali" directs here. Follow the link for the film with the same name.

Ali bin Abu-Talib (Arabic: علي بن أبي طالب) (c. 600 - 661) was the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, as well as being the first Shī‘ah Imām and fourth Sunni Caliph. Ali was revered for his knowledge and wisdom, and also for his eloquence as an orator and a poet.

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It has been suggested that Nahj al-Balagha be merged into this article or section. (Discuss)
See also: Nahj al-Balagha

Contents

Sourced

  • The best companion and helper is admirable morals.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.77, p.149
  • There are so many highly esteemed ones who became miserable and humiliated just because of their bad temper and morals; and humble people who have attained eminence and the highest honors because of good temper and morals.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.71, p.396
  • The weakest man is the one who is able to correct his moral defects, but doesn't take action.
    • Husayn al-Nuri al-Tabarsi, Mustadrak al-Wasā'il, vol.11, p.324
  • He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare, while he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere.
    • As quoted in "Considerations By the Way" in Conduct of Life by Ralph Waldo Emerson
    • Variant translation: Believe me, a thousand friends suffice thee not; In a single enemy thou hast more than enough.
  • Two things cause people to be destroyed: fear of poverty and seeking superiority through pride.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.72, p.39

The way of governance

Nahj ul Balagha Letter 53.
  • These are the orders issued by the creature of Allah, Ali, the son Abu Taalib (a) to Maalik, the son of Ashtar when he appointed Maalik as the Governor of Egypt to collect Zakat there, to combat the enemies of Islam and Egypt, to work for the welfare of its people and to look after its prosperity.
  • Do not feel ashamed to forgive and forget. Do not hurry over punishments and do not be pleased and do not be proud of your power to punish. Do not get angry and lose your temper quickly over the mistakes and failures of those over whom you rule. On the contrary, be patient and sympathetic with them. Anger and desire of vengeance are not going to be of much help to you in your administration. Never say to yourself, "I am their Lord, their ruler and all in all over them and that I must be obeyed submissively and humbly" because such a thought will unbalance your mind, will make you vain and arrogant, will weaken your faith in religion and will make you seek support of any power other than that of Allah . If you ever feel any pride or vanity on account of your sway and rule over your subjects then think of the supreme sway and rule of the Lord over the Universe, the extent of His creations, the supremacy of His Might and Glory, His Power to do things which you cannot even dream of doing and His control over you which is more dominating than that which you can ever achieve over anything around you. Such thoughts will cure your mental weakness, will keep you away from vanity and rebellion (against Allah), will reduce your arrogance and haughtiness and will take you back to the sanity which you had foolishly deserted... Try carefully to realize that a ruler can create goodwill in the minds of his subjects and can make them faithful and sincere to him only when he is kind and considerate to them, when he reduces their troubles, when he does not oppress them and when he never asks for things which are beyond their power. These are the principles which you should keep in mind and act upon."

Regarding Knowledge & Wisdom

General

  • There is no capital more useful than intellect and wisdom, and there is no indigence more injurious than ignorance and unawareness.
    • Ibn Shu’ba al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-'Uqul, p.198
    • Variant translation: There is no wealth like knowledge, no poverty like ignorance.
  • There is no knowledge and science like pondering and thought; and there is no prosperity and advancement like knowledge and science.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.1, p.179
  • Associating with the wise and the knowledgeable people adds to the prestige of a person.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.78, p.6
  • An alert and learned man will take advice from any event.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.1, p.160

Religious

  • When wisdom reaches the acme of perfection it, will suppress the vicious instincts and injurious desires.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.78, p.6
  • To whatever extent a person's knowledge increases, his attention will be turned more towards his soul.
    • Husayn al-Nuri al-Tabarsi, Mustadrak al-Wasā'il, vol.11, p.323

Regarding the Qur'an

  • Recitation of the Qur'an without contemplation and thought is futile.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.92, p.211
  • Reciter and listener of the Qur'an are alike in prize and reward.
    • Husayn al-Nuri al-Tabarsi, Mustadrak al-Wasā'il, vol.4, p.261
  • Understanding the knowledge and wisdom of the Qur'an is by far, higher than memorizing.
    • Muhammad Kulayni, Usūl al-Kāfī, vol.4, p.418
  • The one from among the Muslims who recites the Qur'an but in the end finds his way to hell, is considerd to be among those that have taken the word of God in jest.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.92, p.182

Unsourced

  • Walk with your sickness,it wont walk you.
  • Debating an ignorant tires me.
  • You (humans) think that you are insignificant, while there is a great universe contained in you.
  • If poverty was a man, I would have slain him.
  • A poor man is like a foreigner in his own country.
  • Do not be too hard, lest you be broken; do not be too soft, lest you be squeezed.
  • A man's measure is his will.
  • Mutilate not even a rabid dog.
  • A wise man's bosom is the safe of his secrets.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • If someone's deeds lower his position, his pedigree cannot elevate it.
  • A virtuous person is better than virtue and a vicious person is worse than vice.
  • Seek help from those who were satiated and then hungry, not from those who were hungry and then satiated.
  • Only He who has the power to punish can pardon.
  • Patience is of two kinds: patience over what pains you, and patience against what you covet.
  • Contentment is the capital which will never diminish.
  • Value of each man depends upon the art and skill which he has attained.
  • Do not share the knowledge with which you have been blessed with everyone in general, as you do with some people in particular; and know that there are some men in whom Allah, may He be glorified, has placed hidden secrets, which they are forbidden to reveal. Remember the reply of the righteous slave to Moses when he said to him: 'May I follow you so that you can teach me what you know about what is right?' He replied: 'Surely you will not be able to be patient with me. How can you be patient about something which you do not understand?'.
  • Endurance is composed of four attributes: eagerness, fear, piety and anticipation (of death). So whoever is eager for Paradise will ignore temptations; whoever fears the fire of Hell will abstain from sins; whoever practises piety will easily bear the difficulties of life and whoever anticipates death will hasten towards good deeds.
  • Conviction has also four aspects to guard oneself against infatuations of sin; to search for explanation of truth through knowledge; to gain lessons from instructive things and to follow the precedent of the past people, Because whoever wants to guard himself against vices and sins will have to search for the true causes of infatuation and the true ways of combating them out and to find those true ways one has to search them with the help of knowledge, whoever gets fully acquainted with various branches of knowledge will take lessons from life and whoever tries to take lessons from life is actually engaged in the study of the causes of rise and fall of previous civilizations.
  • Justice also has four aspects depth of understanding, profoundeness of knowledge, fairness of judgement and dearness of mind; because whoever tries his best to under- stand a problem will have to study it, whoever has the practice of studying the subject he is to deal with, will develop a clear mind and will always come to correct decisions, whoever tries to achieve all this will have to develop ample patience and forbearance and whoever has done this has done justice to the cause of religion and has led a life of good repute and fame.
  • Jihad is divided into four branches: to persuade people to be obedient to Allah; to prohibit them from sin and vice; to struggle (in the cause of Allah) sincerely and firmly on all occasions and to detest the vicious. Whoever persuades people to obey the orders of Allah provides strength to the believers; whoever dissuades them from vices and sins humiliates the unbelievers; whoever struggles on all occasions discharges all his obligations and whoever detests the vicious only for the sake of Allah, then Allah will take revenge on his enemies and will be pleased with Him on the Day of Judgement.
  • How honorable is knowledge, that the one who does not have it, says he does. How dishonorable is ignorance, that the one who has it says he does not.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 defence.
  • Submission to God'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.
  • 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.
  • Surely the likeness of this world is that of a snake: it is soft to touch, and deadly poisonous. The ignorant child is distracted by it, and the one with understanding and intellect is cautious of it. So turn away from what fascinates you in it, for how little of it stays with you.
  • 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.
  • If you overpower your enemy, then pardon him by way of thankfulness to God, for being able to subdue him.
  • Unfortunate is he who cannot gain a few sincere friends during his life and more unfortunate is the one who has gained them and then lost them (through his deeds).
  • When some 'blessings come to you, do not drive them away through thanklessness.
  • He who is deserted by friends and relatives will often find help and sympathy from strangers.
  • Every person who is tempted to go astray does not deserve punishment.
  • Our affairs are attached to the destiny decreed by God, even our best plans may lead us to destruction.
  • There is a tradition of the Holy Prophet, "With the help of hair-dye turn old age into youth so that you do not resemble the Jews." When Imam Ali was asked to comment on this tradition, he said that in the early stage of Islam there were very few Muslims. The Holy Prophet advised them to look young and energetic and not to adopt the fashion of the Jews (priest) having long, white flowing beards. But the Muslims were not in minority then, theirs was a strong and powerful State, they could take up any style they liked.
  • For those who refused to side with any party, Imam Ali or his enemies, Imam Ali said: They have forsaken religion and are of no use to infidelity also.
  • One who rushes madly after inordinate desire runs the risk of encountering destruction and death.
  • Overlook and forgive the weaknesses of the generous people because if they fall down, God will help them.
  • Failures are often the results of timidity and fears; disappointments are the results of bashfulness; hours of leisure pass away like summer-clouds, therefore, do not waste opportunity of doing good.
  • If the right usurped from us is given back to us we shall take it, otherwise we shall go on claiming it.
  • If someone's deeds lower his position, his pedigree cannot elevate it.
  • To render relief to the distressed and to help the oppressed make amends for great sins.
  • O son of Adam, when you see that your Lord, the Glorified, bestows His Favors on you while you disobey Him, you should fear Him (take warning that His Wrath may not turn those very blessings into misfortunes).
  • Often your utterances and expressions of your face leak out the secrets of your hidden thoughts.
  • When you get ill do not get nervous about it and try as much as possible to be hopeful.
  • The best form of devotion to the service of God is not to make a show of it.
  • When you have to depart from this world and have to meet death (eventually), then why wish delay? (i.e., why feel nervous about death?)
  • Take warning! He has not exposed so many of your sinful activities that it appears as if He has forgiven you (it may be that He has given you time to repent).
  • When Imam Ali was asked about Faith in Religion, he replied that the structure of faith is supported by four pillars endurance, conviction, justice and jihad.
Endurance is composed of four attributes: eagerness, fear, piety and anticipation (of death). so whoever is eager for Paradise will ignore temptations; whoever fears the fire of Hell will abstain from sins; whoever practices piety will easily bear the difficulties of life and whoever anticipates death will hasten towards good deeds.
Conviction has also four aspects to guard oneself against infatuations of sin; to search for explanation of truth through knowledge; to gain lessons from instructive things and to follow the precedent of the past people, because whoever wants to guard himself against vices and sins will have to search for the true causes of infatuation and the true ways of combating them out and to find those true ways one has to search them with the help of knowledge, whoever gets fully acquainted with various branches of knowledge will take lessons from life and whoever tries to take lessons from life is actually engaged in the study of the causes of rise and fall of previous civilizations .
Justice also has four aspects depth of understanding, profoundness of knowledge, fairness of judgment and dearness of mind; because whoever tries his best to under- stand a problem will have to study it, whoever has the practice of studying the subject he is to deal with, will develop a clear mind and will always come to correct decisions, whoever tries to achieve all this will have to develop ample patience and forbearance and whoever does this has done justice to the cause of religion and has led a life of good repute and fame.
Jihad is divided into four branches: to persuade people to be obedient to God; to prohibit them from sin and vice; to struggle (in the cause of God) sincerely and firmly on all occasions and to detest the vicious. Whoever persuades people to obey the orders of God provides strength to the believers; whoever dissuades them from vices and sins humiliates the unbelievers; whoever struggles on all occasions discharges all his obligations and whoever detests the vicious only for the sake of God, then God will take revenge on his enemies and will be pleased with Him on the Day of Judgment.
  • There are four causes of infidelity and loss of belief in God: hankering after whims, a passion to dispute every argument, deviation from truth; and dissension, because whoever hankers after whims does not incline towards truth; whoever keeps on disputing every argument on account of his ignorance, will always remain blind to truth, whoever deviates from truth because of ignorance, will always take good for evil and evil for good and he will always remain intoxicated with misguidance. And whoever makes a breach (with God and His Messenger) his path becomes difficult, his affairs will become complicated and his way to salvation will be uncertain.

Similarly, doubt has also four aspects absurd reason- ing; fear; vacillation and hesitation; and unreasonable surrender to infidelity, because one who has accustomed himself to unreasonable and absurd discussions will never see the Light of Truth and will always live in the darkness of ignorance. One who is afraid to face facts (of life, death and the life after death) will always turn away from ultimate reality, one who allows doubts and uncertainties to vacillate him will always be under the control of Satan and one who surrenders himself to infidelity accepts damnation in both the worlds.

  • A virtuous person is better then virtue and a vicious person is worse than vice.
  • Be generous but not extravagant, be frugal but not miserly.
  • The best kind of wealth is to give up inordinate desires.
  • One who says unpleasant things about others, will himself quickly become a target of their scandal.
  • One who hopes inordinately, impairs his deeds.
  • When Imam Ali, marching at the head of his army towards Syria, reached Ambar, the landlords of the place came out to meet him in zeal of their love, faithfulness and respect, no sooner had they seen Imam Ali they got down from their horses and started running in front of him. Imam Ali asked the reason of their strange actions. They replied that it was their custom to show their love and respect in that way. Imam Ali replied: "By God, by your action you do no good whatsoever to your rulers but you tire yourself and put yourself in toils in this world and in trouble in the next. How unfortunate is that exertion, which brings harm here and in the Hereafter and how useful is that ease which keeps you in comfort in this world and away from the Hell in the next.
  • Imam Ali once said to his son Imam Hasan, My son, learn four things from me and through them you will learn four more. If you keep them in mind your actions will not bring any harm to you: The greatest wealth is Wisdom; the greatest poverty is stupidity; the worst unsociableness is that of vanity and self-glorification; and the best nobility of descent exhibits itself in politeness and in refinement of manner. The next four things, my son, are: "Do not make friendship with a fool because when he will try to do you good he will do you harm; do not make a miser your friend because he will run away from you at the time of your dire need; do not be friendly with a vicious and wicked person because he will sell you and your friendship at the cheapest price and do not make friend of a liar because like a mirage he will make you visualize very near the things which lie at a great distance and will make you see at the great distance the things which are near to you".
  • Recommended prayers cannot attain the pleasures of God for you when obligatory prayers are left unattended.
  • A wise man first thinks and then speaks and a fool speaks first and then thinks.
  • A fool's mind is at the mercy of his tongue and a wise man's tongue is under the control of his mind.
  • One of the companions of Imam fell ill. Imam Ali called upon him and thus advised him: "Be thankful to God. He has made this illness a thing to atone your sins because a disease in itself has nothing to bring reward to anyone, it merely expiates one's sins and so far as reward is concerned, one has to earn it with his good words and good deeds. The Almighty Lord grants Paradise to his creatures on account of their piety and noble thoughts".
  • May God Bless Khabbab bin Aratt. He embraced Islam of his own freewill and immigrated (from Makkah) cheerfully. He lived a contented life. He bowed happily before the Will of God and he led the life of a mujahid.
  • Blessed is the man who always kept the life after death in his view, who remembered the Day of Judgment through all his deeds, who led a contented life and who was happy with the lot that God had destined for him.
  • If I cut a faithful Muslim into pieces to make him hate me, he will not turn into my enemy and if I give all the wealth of this world to a hypocrite to make him my friend he will not befriend me. It is so because the Holy Prophet has said: " O Ali! No faithful Muslim will ever be your enemy and no hypocrite will ever be your friend. "
  • The sin which makes you sad and repentant is more liked by God than the good deed which turns you arrogant.
  • Value of a man depends upon his courage; his veracity depends upon his self-respect and his chastity depends upon his sense of honor.
  • Success is the result of foresight and resolution, foresight depends upon deep thinking and planning and the most important factor of planning is to keep your secrets to yourself.
  • Be afraid of a gentleman when he is hungry, and of a mean person when his stomach is full.
  • Hearts of people are like wild beasts. They attach themselves to those who love and train them.
  • So long as fortune is favouring you, your defects will remain covered.
  • Only he who has the power to punish can pardon.
  • Generosity is to help a deserving person without his request, and if you help him after his request, then it is either out of self-respect or to avoid rebuke.
  • There is no greater wealth than wisdom, no greater poverty than ignorance; no greater heritage than culture and no greater support than consultation.
  • Patience is of two kinds: patience over what pains you, and patience against what you covet.
  • Wealth converts a strange land into homeland and poverty turns a native place into a strange land.
  • Contentment is the capital which will never diminish.
  • Wealth is the fountain head of passions.
  • Whoever warns you against sins and vices is like the one who gives you good tidings.
  • Tongue is a beast, if it is let loose, it devours.
  • If you are greeted then return the greetings more warmly. If you are favoured, then repay the obligation manifold; but he who takes the initiative will always excel in merit.
  • The source of success of a claimant is the mediator.
  • He who has one-hundred friends has no friends to lose, he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere.
  • People in this world are like travelers whose journey is going on though they are asleep. ( Life's journey is going on though men may not feel it ).
  • Lack of friends means, stranger in one's own country.
  • Not to have a thing is less humiliating than to beg it.
  • Do not feel ashamed if the amount of charity is small because to refuse the needy is an act of greater shame.
  • To refrain from unlawful and impious source of pleasures is an ornament to the poor and to be thankful for the riches granted is the adornment of wealth.
  • If you cannot get things as much as you desire than be contented with what you have.
  • An ignorant person will always overdo a thing or neglect it totally.
  • The wiser a man is, the less talkative will he be.
  • Time wears out bodies, renews hopes, brings death nearer and takes away aspirations. Whoever gets anything from the world lives in anxiety for holding it and whoever loses anything passes his days grieving over the loss.
  • Whoever wants to be a leader should educate himself before educating others. Before preaching to others he should first practice himself. Whoever educates himself and improves his own morals is superior to the man who tries to teach and train others.
  • Every breath you take is a step towards death.
  • Anything which can be counted is finite and will come to an end.
  • If matters get mixed up then scrutinize the cause and you will know what the effects will be.
  • Zirar bin Zamra Zibabi, known as Zirar Suda'i, was a companion of Imam Ali. When, after the martyrdom of Imam Ali, he went to Damascus, Muawiya called him and asked him to say something about Imam Ali. Zirar, knowing that Muawiya hated Imam Ali intensely tried to avoid this topic, but Muawiya forced him to speak. Thereupon, Zirar said: "O Amir, I had often seen Imam Ali in the depth of nights, when people were either sleeping or engrossed in amusements, he would be standing in the niche of the Masjid, with tears in his eyes and he would beseech God to help him maintain a pious, a virtuous and a noble character and to forsake the world. He would then address the world, saying 'O vicious world! Be away from me, why do you come in front of me like this ? Do you want to allure me ? God forbid that I should be allured and tempted by you and your pleasures. It is not possible. Go and try your allurements on somebody else. I do not desire to own you and do not want to have you. I have forsaken you thrice. It is like divorcing a woman thrice after which act she cannot be taken back as a wife. The life of pleasures that you offer is of a very little duration. There is no real importance in what you offer, the desire of holding you is an insult and a humiliation to sober minds. Sad is the plight of those who want to acquire you. They do not provide for the Hereafter. They have to pass through a long journey over a very difficult road towards a sat destination'. Zirar says that when he stopped, there were tears in the eyes of Muawiya who said, 'May peace of God be upon Abul Hasan Ali bin Abi Talib, he was undoubtedly like that. Now tell me, Zirar! How do you feel his separa- tion?' Zirar replied, "My sorrow and grief is like that of woman whose only child has been murdered in her lap". With this remark Zirar walked out of the court of Muawiya and left the city.
  • After the Battle of Siffin, somebody asked Imam Ali whether they had been destined to fight against the Syrians. Imam Ali replied if by destiny you mean a compulsion (physical or otherwise) through which we are forced (by nature) to do a thing then it is not so. Had it been an obligation of that kind there would have been no question of reward for doing it and punishment for not doing it (when you are physically forced to do a thing, like breathing, sleeping, eating, drinking etc. then there can be no reward for doing it and no retribution for not doing it. In such cases nature forces you to do a thing and you cannot but do it), then the promised blessings and punishments in life after death will have no meaning. The Merciful Lord has given his creatures (human beings) complete freedom to do as they like, and then prohibited them from certain actions and warned them of the consequences of such actions (His Wrath and His Punishments). These orders of God carry in them the least trouble and lead us towards the most convenient ways of life and the rewards which He has promised for good deeds are many times more than the actions actually deserve. He sees people disobeying Him and tolerates them not because He can be overruled or be compelled to accept human supremacy over Him. He did not send His prophets to amuse Himself or provide amuse- ment for them. He did not reveal His orders without any genuine reason nor has He created the galaxies and the earth without any purpose. The Universe without plan, purpose and program is the idea of infidels and the pagans, sorry will be their plight in the leaping fires of Hell. Hearing this the man asked Imam Ali, "Then what kind of destiny was it that we had?" Imam Ali replied: "It was an order of God to do it like the order He has given in His Holy Book: You are destined by God to worship none but Him, here 'destined' means 'ordered' it does not mean physical compulsion".
  • Acquire wisdom and truth from whomever you can because even an apostate can have them but unless they are passed over to a faithful Muslim and become part of wisdom and truth that he possesses, they have a confused existence in the minds of apostates.
  • Knowledge and wisdom are really the privilege of a faithful Muslim. If you have lost them, get them back even though you may have to get them from the apostates.
  • Value of each man depends upon the art and skill which he has attained.
  • I want to teach you five of those things which deserve your greatest anxiety to acquire them: Have hope only in God. Be afraid of nothing but sins. If you do not know a thing never feel ashamed to admit ignorance. If you do not know a thing never hesitate or feel ashamed to learn it. Acquire patience and endurance because their relation with true faith is that of a head to a body, a body is of no use without a head, similarly true faith can be of no use without attributes of resignation, endurance and patience.
  • A man hypocritically started praising Imam Ali, though he had no faith in him and Imam Ali hearing these praises from him said "I am less than what you tell about me but more than what you think about me".
  • Those who have come alive out of a blood-bath live longer and have more children.
  • One who imagines himself to be all-knowing will surely suffer on account of his ignorance.
  • I appreciate an old man's cautious opinion more than the valor of a young man.
  • I wonder at a man who loses hope of salvation when the door of repentance is open for him.
  • Imam Muhammad Baqir says that Imam Ali once said: "There were two things in this world which softened the Wrath of God and prevented its descent upon man: One has been taken away from you; hold the other stead- fastly. The one which has been taken away from men is the Holy Prophet and the one which is still left with them and which they must hold steadfastly is repentance and atonement for sins because God at one place in the Holy Book addressed the Holy Prophet and said God would not punish them while you were among them nor while they were asking for forgiveness. (Surah Anfal, 8 : 33)
  • Whoever keeps in order his affairs with God (follows His orders sincerely), God will also put his affairs with men in order. Whoever makes arrangement for his salvation, God will arrange his worldly affairs; whoever is a preacher for himself, God will also protect him.
  • He is the wisest and the most knowing man who advises people not to lose hope and faith in the Mercy of God and not to be too sure and over-confident of immunity from His Wrath and Punishment.
  • Like your body your mind also gets tired so refresh it by wise sayings.
  • That knowledge which remains only on your tongue is very superficial. The intrinsic value of knowledge is that you act upon it.
  • Take care and do not pray to the Lord, saying, "Lord! I pray to You to protect and guard me from temptations and trials", for there is none who is not tempted and tried. But beseech Him to guard you against such temptation as may lead you towards wickedness and sins because God says in His Holy Book, Know that your wealth and children are temptations. (Surah al-Anfal, 8: 28) it means God tried people through wealth and children so that it may be tested as to who is content with what he gets honestly and who is thankful to God for the position he is placed in with regard to his children. Though God knows them better than even they know themselves, yet those trials and tests are for the purpose of their realizing and knowing those deeds which merit reward or which deserve punishment. There are some people who love to have male children and hate daughters and there are some who simply crave for wealth and hate poverty.
  • Imam Ali was asked the meaning of being well-off or well-provided for. Imam Ali replied, "Your welfare does not lie in your having enormous wealth and numerous children but it rests in your being highly educated and forbearing and in your being proud of your obedience to God. If you do a good deed then thank God for it and if you commit a sin then repent and atone for it. In this world there is a real welfare for two kinds of people, one is the person who, when commits a sin, atones for it and the other is anxious to do good as much as possible.
  • Importance of the deeds that you have done with fear of God cannot be minimized and how can the deeds which are acceptable to God be considered unimportant.
  • "Nearest to the prophets are those persons who have to those prophets and obey them". Saying this, Imam Ali cited a passage from the Holy Qur'an 'Best liked by Abraham and nearest to him were the people who obeyed him'. He further said, "That the present times are the times of our Holy Prophet and his faithful followers. The best friend of our Holy Prophet is he who, though not related to him, obeys the orders of God and his greatest enemy is the man who though related to him, disobeys God '.
  • Imam Ali was told of a Kharijite that he got up in the night to pray and recite the Holy Book. Imam Ali said, "To sleep with having sincere faith in religion and God is better than to pray with wavering faith".
  • Whenever a tradition of the Holy Prophet is related to you, scrutinize it, do not be satisfied with mere verbatim repetition of the same because there are many people who repeat the words containing knowledge but only few ponder over them and try to fully grasp the meaning they convey.
  • Imam Ali heard somebody reciting the passage of the Holy Qur'an we belong to God and our return is towards Him, Imam Ali said, "How true it is ! Our declaring that we belong to God indicates that we accept Him as our Master, Owner and Lord. And when we say that our return is towards God indicates that we accept our mortality".
  • Some people praised Imam Ali on his face. He replied, "God knows me very well and I also know myself more than you. Please, Lord ! make me better than what they imagine me to be and please excuse those Weaknesses of mine which they are not aware of".
  • To secure for you fame, credit as well as blessings, the help that you give to men in need, should possess the following attributes: whatever its extent, it should be considered by you as trifling so that it may be granted a high status; it should be given secretly, God will manifest it; and it must be given immediately so that it becomes pleasant.
  • Your society will pass through a period when cunning and crafty intriguers will be favoured by status, when profligates will be considered as well-bred, well-behaved and elegant elites of the society, when just and honest persons will be considered as weaklings, when charity will be considered as a loss to wealth and property, when support and help to each other will be considered as favour and benevolence and when prayers and worship to God will be taken up for the sake of show to gain popularity and higher status, at such times regimes will be run under the advice of women and the youngsters will be the rulers and counselors of the State.
  • Imam Ali's garment was very old with patches on it. When somebody drew his attention towards it, he replied, " Such dresses, when worn by men of status make them submissive to God and kind-hearted towards others and the faithful Muslims can conveniently follow the example ". Vicious pleasures of this world and salvation are like two enemies or two roads running in opposite directions or towards opposite poles, one to the North and the other to the South. Whoever likes to gain the pleasures and pomps of this world will hate austerity in life which is necessary to gain salvation. Reverse will be the attitude of a man desirous of achieving Eternal Bliss. One has to adopt either of the two ways of life, and as they both cannot be brought together, a man has to choose one of them.
  • Nawf bin Fizala Bakali, the famous scholar of the early Islamic days says that one night he was with Imam Ali. In the middle of the night, Imam Ali got up from his bed, looked for sometime at the stars and inquired of Nawf whether he was awake. Nawf said: "I got from my bed replying, "Yes, Amirul Mo'minin (Commander of the Faithful) ! I am awake".

Imam Ali said Nawf ! Those are the fortunate people who adopt piety as the principle of their lives and are fully attentive to their welfare for the Hereafter. They accept bare earth as the most comfortable bed and water as the most pleasant drink. They adopt the Holy Qur'an and prayers as their guide and protector and like Prophet Jesus Christ (Isa) they forsake the world and its vicious pleasure.

Nawf ! Prophet David (Daud) once got up at such an hour in the night and said this was the hour when prayers of everyone who prayed were accepted except of those who forcibly collected revenues or who were scandal- mongers or were persons in the police force of a despotic regime or were musicians".

  • Those who give up religion to better their lot in life seldom succeed. The Wrath of God makes them go through more calamities and losses than the gains they gather for themselves.
  • There are many educated people who have ruined their future on account of their ignorance of religion. Their knowledge did not prove of any avail to them.
  • More wonderful than man himself is that part of his body which is connected with his trunk with muscles. It is his brain (mind). Look what good and bad tendencies arise from it. On the one hand it holds treasures of know- ledge and wisdom and on the other it is found to harbour very ugly desires. If a man sees even a tiny gleam of success, then greed forces him to humiliate himself. If he gives way to avarice, then inordinate desires ruin him, if he is disappointed, then despondency almost kills him. If he is excited, then he loses temper and gets angry. If he is pleased, then he gives up precaution. Sudden fear makes him dull and nervous, and he is unable to think and find a way out of the situation. During the times of peace and prosperity he becomes careless and unmindful of the future. If he acquires wealth, then he becomes haughty and arrogant. If he is plunged in distress, then his agitation, impatience and nervousness disgrace him. If he is overtaken by poverty, then he finds himself in a very sad plight, hunger makes him weak, and over-feeding harms him equally. In short every kind of loss and gain makes his mind unbalanced.
  • We, Ahlul Bayt (chosen descendants of the Holy Prophet), hold such central and balancing position in religion that those who are deficient in understanding and acting upon its principles, will have to come to us for reformation, and those who are overdoing it have got to learn moderation from us.
  • A Divine rule can be established only by a man, who, where justice and equity are required, neither feels deficient nor weak and who is not greedy and avaricious.
  • Sohayl bin Hunayf Ansari was a favourite companion of Imam Ali. At the time of Imam Ali's return from Siffin, he died at Kufa of the wounds sustained in the battle. His death left Imam Ali very sad and he said: "Even if a mountain loves me it will be crushed into bits". (it means people are tested with my love, and to prove it they have to pass through loss and calamities).
  • Anyone who loves us Ahlul Bayt must be ready to face a life of austerity.
  • No wealth is more useful than intelligence and wisdom; no solitude is more horrible than when people avoid you on account of your vanity and conceit or when you wrongly consider yourself above everybody to confide and consult; no eminence is more exalting than piety; no companion can prove more useful than politeness; no heritage is better than culture; no leader is superior to Divine Guidance; no deal is more profitable than good deeds; no profit is greater than Divine Reward; no abstinence is better than to restrain one's mind from doubts (about religion); no virtue is better than refraining from prohibited deeds; no knowledge is superior to deep thinking and prudence; no worship or prayers are more sacred than fulfillment of obligations and duties, no religious faith is loftier than feeling ashamed of doing wrong and bearing calamities patiently; no eminence is greater than to adopt humbleness; no exaltation is superior to knowledge; nothing is more respectable than forgiveness and forbear- ance; no support and defense are stronger than consultation.
  • When a community is composed of honest, sober and virtuous people, your forming a bad opinion about anyone of its members, when nothing wicked has been seen of him, is a great injustice to him. On the contrary in a corrupt society to form good opinion of anyone of them and to trust him is to harm yourself.
  • When somebody asked Imam Ali as to how he was getting on, he replied: "What do you want to know about a person whose life is leading him towards ultimate death, whose health is the first stage towards illness and whom society has forced out of his retreat".
  • There are many persons whom constant grants of His Bounties turn them wicked and fit for His punishment and there are many more who have become vain and self- deceptive because the Merciful God has not exposed their weaknesses and vices to the world and the people speak highly about them. All this is an opportunity. No trial of the Lord is more severe than the time He allows (in which either you may repent or get deeper into vices).
  • Two kinds of people will be damned on my account Those who form exaggerated opinion about me and those who under-estimate me because they hate me.
  • To lose or to waste an opportunity will result in grief and sorrow.
  • 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.
  • When asked about Quraysh, Imam Ali replied that amongst them Bani Mukhzum are like sweet scented flower of Quraysh; their men are good to talk to and their women prove very good wives; Bani Abdush Shams are very intelligent and very prudent but we (of Bani Hashim) are very generous and very brave to face death. Bani Abdush Shams are more in numbers, ugly and intriguers but Bani Hashim are beautiful, good speakers and orators and very faithful as friends.
  • What a difference is there between a deed whose pleasure passes away leaving behind it the pangs of pain and punishment and the deed whose oppressive harshness comes to an end leaving behind Divine rewards !
  • Imam Ali was following a funeral and as it was passing along a road, somebody laughed loudly ( a sign of discourtesy and lack of manner ). Hearing this laugh, Imam Ali remarked, " Some of us feel that death is meant for everybody except themselves or it is destined to others and not to themselves or those whom we see dying around us are only travelers going on a journey and will come back to us. It is a sad sight to see that in one moment we commit them to earth and in the next we take hold of the things left by them as if we are going to remain permanently in this world after them. The fact is that we forget sensible advice given to us and become victim of every calamity.
  • Blessings are for the man who humbles himself before God, whose sources of income are honest, whose inten- tions are always honorable, whose character is noble, whose habits are sober, who gives away in the cause and in the Name of God, the wealth which is lying surplus with him, who controls his tongue from vicious and useless talk, who abstains from oppression, who faithfully follows the traditions of the Holy Prophet and who keeps himself away from innovation in religion.
  • Jealousy in woman is unpardonable but in man it is a sign of his faith in religion (because Islam has permitted polygamy and prohibited polyandry).
  • I define Islam for you in a way that nobody dared do it before me. Islam means obedience to God, obedience to God means having sincere faith in Him, such a faith means to believe in His Power, belief in His Power means recognizing and accepting His Majesty, acceptance of His Majesty means fulfilling the obligations laid down by Him and fulfillment of obligations means actions (Therefore, Islam does not mean mere faith, but faith plus deeds).
  • I wonder at the mentality of a miser, fearing poverty he takes to stinginess and thus hastily pushes himself headlong into a state of want and destitution, he madly desires plenty and ease, but throws it away without understanding. In this world he, of his own free will, leads the life of a beggar and in the next world he will have to submit an account like the rich.
I wonder at the arrogance of a haughty and vain person. Yesterday he was only a drop of semen and tomorrow he will turn into a corpse. I wonder at the man who observes the Universe created by God and doubts His Being and Existence. I wonder at the man who sees people dying around him and yet he has forgotten his end. I wonder at the man who understands the marvel of genesis of creation and refuses to accept that he will be brought back to life again. I wonder at the man who takes great pains to decorate and to make comfortable this mortal habitat and totally forgets his permanent abode.
  • Whoever is not diligent in his work, will suffer; who- ever has no share of God in his wealth and in his life then there is no place for him in His Realm.
  • Be very cautious of cold in the beginning of winter and welcome it at the close of the season because cold season effects your bodies exactly as it effects the trees; in the early season its severity makes them shrivel and shed their leaves and at the end it helps them to revive.
  • If you understand God's Majesty, then you will not attach any importance to the creatures.
  • While returning from Siffin, Imam Ali passed along the cemetery of Kufa. Addressing the graves he said: "O you, who are lying in horrible and deserted houses. O you, who are shut up in the dark graves, who are alone in their abodes, strangers to the places assigned to them; you have gone ahead and preceded us, while we are also following your steps and shall shortly join you. Do you know what has happened aver you? Your houses and property was taken up by others, your widows have remarried, this is what we can tell you of this world. Can you give us some news about things around you?" Saying this, Imam Ali turned to his companions and said, "If they are permitted to speak they will inform you that the best provision for the next world is piety and virtue".
  • Imam Ali heard someone abusing and blaming the world and said to him, "O you, who are blaming the world, who have been allured and enticed by it, and have been tempted by its false pretenses. You allowed yourself to be enamored of, to be captivated by it and then you accuse and blame it. Have you any reason or right to accuse it and to call it a sinner and seducer? Or is the world not justified in calling you a wicked knave and a sinning hypocrite? When did it make you lose your intelli- gence and reasoning? And how did it cheat you or snake false pretenses to you? Did it conceal from you the fact of the ultimate end of everything that it holds, the fact of the sway of death, decay and destruction in its domain? Did it keep you in the dark about the fate of your fore- fathers and their final abode under the earth? Did it keep the resting-place of your mothers a secret from you? Do you not know that they have returned to dust? Many a time you must have attended the sick persons and many of them you must have seen beyond the scope of medicine. Neither the science of healing nor could your nursing and attendance nor your prayers and weeping prolonged the span of their lives, and they died. You were anxious for them, you procured the best medical aid, you gathered famous physicians and provided best - medicines for them. Death could not be held back and life could not be pro- longed. In this drama and in this tragedy did the world not present you with a lesson and a moral?

Certainly, this world is a house of truth for those who look into it carefully, an abode of peace and rest for those who understand its ways and moods and it is the best working ground for those who want to procure rewards for life in the Hereafter. It is a place of acquiring knowledge and wisdom for those who want to acquire them, a place of worship for the friends of God and for Angels. It is the place where prophets received revelations of God. It is the place for virtuous people and saints to do good deeds and to be assigned with rewards for the same. Only in this world they could trade with God's Favors and Blessings and only while living here they could barter their good deeds with His Blessings and Rewards. Where else could all this be done? Who are you to abuse the world when it has openly declared its mortality and mortality of everything connected with it, when it has given everyone of its inha- bitants to understand that all of them are to face death, when through its ways it has given them all an idea of calamities they have to face here, and through the sight of its temporary and fading pleasures it has given them glimpses of eternal pleasures of Paradise and suggested them to wish and work for the same. If you study it properly you will find that simply to warn and frighten you of the consequences of evil deeds and to persuade you towards good actions, every night it raises new hopes of peace and prosperity in you and every morning it places new anxieties and new worries before you. Those who passed such lives are ashamed of and repent the time so passed abuse this world. But there are people who will praise this world on the Day of Judgment that it reminded them of the Hereafter and they took advantage of these reminders. It informed them of the effects of good deeds and they made correct use of the information it advised them and they were benefited by its advice".

  • An Angel announces daily: "Birth of more human beings means so many more will die, collection of more wealth means of much more will be destroyed, erection of more buildings means so many more ruins will come".
  • This world is not a permanent place, it is a passage, a road on which you are passing. There are two kinds of people here: One is the kind of those who have sold their souls for eternal damnation, the other is of those who have purchased their souls and freed them from damnation.
  • A friend cannot be considered a friend unless he is tested on three occasions: in time of need, behind your back and after your death.
  • Anyone who has been granted four attributes will not be deprived of their (four) effects; one who prays to God and implores to Him will not be deprived of granting of his prayers; one who repents for his thoughts and deeds will not be refused acceptance of the repentance; one who has atoned for his sins will not be debarred from salvation and one who thanks God for the Blessings and Bounties will not be denied the increase in them.

The truth of these facts is attested by the Holy Qur'an As far as prayers are concerned He says Pray to Me and I shall accept your prayers. About repentance He says: Whoever has done a bad deed or has indulged in sin and then repents and asks for His forgiveness will find God most Forgiving and Merciful. About being thankful He says if you are thankful for what you are given, I shall increase My Bounties and Blessings. About atonement of sin He says God accepts the repentance of those who have ignorantly committed vice and then soon repent for it, God accepts such repentance's, He is Wise and Omniscient.

  • Daily prayers are the best medium through which one can Seek the nearness to God. Hajj is Jihad (Holy War) for every weak person. For everything that you own there is Zakat, and Zakat of your body is fasting. The Jihad of a woman is to afford pleasant company to her husband.
  • If you want to pray to God for better means of subsistence, then first give something in charity
  • When someone is sure of the returns, then he shows generosity.
  • Aid (from God) is in proportion to the trouble.
  • He who practices moderation and frugality will never be threatened with poverty.
  • One of the conveniences in life is to have less children.
  • Loving one another is half of wisdom.
  • Grief is half of old age.
  • Grant of patience (from God) is in proportion to the extent of calamity you are passing through. If you exhibit fretfulness, irritation, and despair in calamities, then your patience and your exertions are wasted.
  • Many persons get nothing out of their fasts but hunger and thirst, many more get nothing out of their night prayers but exertions and sleepless nights. Wise and sagacious persons are praiseworthy even if they do not fast and sleep during the nights.
  • Defend your faith (in God) with the help of charity. Protect your wealth with the aid of Zakat. Let the prayers guard you from calamities and disasters.
  • Kumayl bin Ziyad Nakha'i says that once Imam Ali put his hand in his hand and took me to the grave-yard. When he passed through it and left the city behind, he heaved a sigh and said "Kumayl, these hearts are containers of the secrets of knowledge and wisdom and the best container is the one which can hold the most and what it holds, it can preserve and protect in the best way. Therefore, remember carefully what I am telling you. Remember that there are three kinds of people: one kind is of those learned people who are highly versed in the ethics of truth and philosophy of religion, second is the kind of those who are acquiring the above knowledge and the third is that class of people who are uneducated. They follow every pretender and accept every slogan, they have neither acquired any knowledge nor have they secured any support of firm and rational convictions. Remember, Kumayl, knowledge is better than wealth because it protects you while you have to guard wealth. It decreases if you keep on spending it but the more you make use of knowledge the more it increases. What you get through wealth dis- appears as soon as wealth disappears but what you achieve through knowledge will remain even after you.

O Kumayl ! Knowledge is power and it can command obedience. A man of knowledge during his lifetime can make people obey and follow him and he is praised and venerated after his death. Remember that knowledge is a ruler and wealth is its subject.

O Kumayl ! Those who amass wealth, though alive, are dead to realities of life, and those who achieve know- ledge, will remain alive through their knowledge and wisdom even after their death, though their faces may disappear from the community of living beings, yet their ideas, the knowledge which they had left behind and their memory, will remain in the minds of people".

Kumayl says that after this brief dissertation, Imam Ali pointed towards his chest and said, "Look Kumayl! Here I hold stores and treasures of knowledge. I wish I could find somebody to share it with me. Yes, I found a few, but one of them, though quite intelligent, was untrustworthy, he would sell his salvation to get hold of the world and its pleasures, he would make religion a pretence to grasp worldly power and wealth, he would make this Blessing of God (knowledge) serve him to get supremacy and control over friends of God and he would through knowledge exploit and suppress other human beings. The other person was such that he apparently obeyed truth and knowledge, yet his mind had not achieved the true light of religion, at the slightest ambiguity or doubt he would get suspicious of truth, mistrust religion and would rush towards skepticism. So neither of them was capable of acquiring the superior knowledge that I can impart. Besides these two I find some other person One of them is a slave of self and greedy for inordinate desires, which can easily drag him away from the path of religion, the other is an avaricious, grasping and acquisitive miser who will risk his life to grasp and hold wealth, none of these two will be of any use to religion or man, both of them resemble beasts having appetite for food. If sensible trustees of knowledge and wisdom totally disappear from human society then both knowledge and wisdom will suffer severely, may bring harm to humanity and may even die out. But this earth will never be without those persons who will prove the universality of truth as disclosed by God, they may be well-known persons, openly and fearlessly declaring the things revealed to them or they may, under fear of harm, injury or deaths hide themselves from the public gaze and may carry on their mission privately so that the reasons proving the reality of truth as preached by religion and as demonstrated by His Prophet may not totally disappear. How many are they and where could they be found? I swear by God that they are very few in number but their worth and their ranks before God are very high. Through them God preserves His Guidance so that they, while departing, may hand over these truths to persons like themselves. The knowledge which they have acquired has made them see the realities and visualize the truth and has instilled into them the spirit of faith and trust. The duties which were decreed as hard and unbearable by them. They feel happy in the company and association of things which frighten the ignorant and uneducated. They live in this world like everybody else but their souls soar to the heights of Divine Eminence. They are media of God on this earth and they invite people towards Him. How I love to meet them O Kumayl ! I have told you all that I have to say, you can go back to your place whenever you like".

  • A man can be valued through his sayings.
  • One who does not realize his own value is condemned to utter failure. (Every kind of complex, superiority or inferiority is harmful to man).
  • Somebody requested Imam Ali to advise him how to lead a useful and sober life. Imam Ali thereupon advised him thus: "Do not be among those people who want to gain good returns without working hard for them, who have long hopes and keep on postponing repentance and penance, who talk like pious persons but run after vicious pleasures. Do not be among those who are not satisfied if they get more in life and are not content if their lot in life's pleasures is less (they are never satisfied), who never thank God for what they get and keep on constantly demanding increase in what is left with them; who advise others to such good deeds that they themselves refrain from; who appreciate good people but do not follow their ways of life; who hate bad and vicious people but follow their ways of life; who, on account of their excessive sins hate death but do not give up the sinful ways of life; who, if fallen ill, repent their ways of life and on regaining their health fearlessly readopt the same frivolous ways; who get despondent and lose all hopes, but on gaining health, become arrogant and careless; who, if faced with misfor- tunes, dangers or afflictions, turn to God and keep on beseeching Him for relief and when relieved or favoured with comfort and ease they are deceived by the comfortable conditions they found themselves in and forget God and forsake prayers; whose minds are allured by day dreams and forlorn hopes and who abhor to face realities of life; who fear for others the enormous repercussions of vices and sins but for their own deeds expect very high rewards or very light disciplinary actions. Riches make such people arrogant, rebellious and wicked, and poverty makes them despondent and lethargic. If they have to work, they work lazily and if they put up a demand they do it stubbornly.

Under the influence of inordinate cravings, they commit sins in quick succession and keep on postponing repentance. Calamities and adversities make them give up the distinguished characteristics of Muslims (patience, hope in future and work for improvement of circumstances). They advise people with narration's of events and facts but do not take any lesson from them. They are good at preachings but bad at practice, therefore they always talk of lofty deeds but their actions belie their words. They are keen to acquire temporal pleasures but are careless and slow to achieve permanent (Divine) benefits. They think good for themselves the things which are actually injurious to them and regard harmful the things which really benefit them. They are afraid of death but waste their time and do not resort to good deeds before death overtakes them. The vices which they regard as enormous sins for others, they consider as minor shortcomings for themselves. Similarly, they attach great importance to their obedience to the orders of God and belittle similar actions in others. Therefore, they often criticize others and speak very highly of their own deeds. They are happy to spend their time in society of rich persons, wasting it in luxuries and vices but are averse to employing for useful purposes in company of the poor and pious people: They are quick and free to pass verdicts against others but they never pass a verdict against their own vicious deeds. They force others to obey them but they never obey God. They collect their dues carefully but never pay the dues they owe. They are not afraid of God but fear powerful men".

  • Everyone has an end, it may be pleasant or sorrowful.
  • Everyone, who is born, has to die and once dead he is as good as having not come into existence.
  • One, who adopts patience, will never be deprived of success though it may take a long time to reach him.
  • One who assents or subsribes to the actions of a group or a party is as good as having committed the deed himself. A man who joins a sinful deed makes himself responsible for two-fold punishments, one for doing the deed and the other for assenting and subscribing to it.
  • Accept promises of only those persons who can stead- fastly-adhere to their pledges.
  • You are ordained to recognize the Imams (the right successors of the Holy Prophet) and to obey them.
  • You have been shown, if you only care to see; you have been advised if you care to take advantage of advice; you have been told if you care to listen to good counsels.
  • Admonish your brother (comrade) by good deeds and kind regards, and ward off his evil by favouring him.
  • One, who enters the places of evil repute has no right to complain against a man who speaks ill of him.
  • One, who acquires power cannot avoid favouritism.
  • One, who is willful and conceited will suffer losses and calamities and one who seeks advice can secure advan- tages of many counsels.
  • One, who guards his secrets has complete control over his affairs.
  • Poverty is the worst form of death.
  • One, who serves a person from whom he gets no reci- procal performance of duties, in fact, worships him.
  • One should not obey anyone against the commands of God.
  • Do not blame a man who delays in securing what are his just rights but blame lies on him who grasps the rights which do not belong to him.
  • Conceit is a barrier to progress and improvement.
  • Death is near and our mutual company is short.
  • There is enough light for one who wants to see.
  • It is wiser to abstain then to repent.
  • Often inordinate desire to secure a single gain acts as a hindrance for the quest of many profitable pursuits.
  • People often hate those things which they do not know or cannot understand.
  • One, who seeks advice learns to realize his mistakes.
  • One who struggles for the cause of God secures victory over His enemies.
  • When you feel afraid or nervous to do a thing then do it because the real harm which you may thus receive is less poignant than its expectation and fear.
  • Your supremacy over others is in proportion to the extent of your knowledge and wisdom.
  • The best way to punish an evil-doer is to reward handsomely a good person for his good deeds.
  • If you want to remove evil from the minds of others then first give up evil intentions yourself.
  • Obstinacy will prevent you from a correct decision.
  • Greed is permanent slavery.
  • Deficiency will result in shame and sorrow but caution and foresight will bring peace and security.
  • To keep silent when you can say something wise and useful is as bad as keeping on propagating foolish and unwise thoughts.
  • If two opposite theories are propagated one will be wrong.
  • When truth was revealed to me I never doubted it.
  • I never lied and the things revealed to me were not false I never misled anybody nor was I misled.
  • One, who starts tyranny, will repent soon.
  • Death is never very far.
  • One who forsakes truth earns eternal damnation.
  • One who cannot benefit by patience will die in grief.
  • In this world, man is a target of death, an easy prey to calamities, here every morsel and every draught is liable to choke one, here one never receives a favour until he loses another instead, here every additional day in one's life is a day reduced from the total span of his existence, when death is the natural outcome of life, how can we expect immortality?
  • O son of Adam, if you have collected anything in excess of your actual need, you will act only as its trustee for someone else to use it.
  • Hearts have the tendency of likes and dislikes and are liable to be energetic and lethargic, therefore, make them work when they are energetic because if hearts are forced (to do a thing) they will be blinded.
  • When I feel angry with a person how and when should I satisfy my anger, whether at a time when I am not in a position to retaliate and people may advise me to bear patiently or when I have power to punish and I forgive.
  • Minds get tired like bodies. When you feel that your; mind is tired, then invigorate it with sober advice.
  • If you find that somebody is not grateful for all that you have done for him, then do not get disappointed because often you will find that someone else feels under your obligation though you have done nothing for him and thus your good deeds will be compensated, and God will reward you for your goodness.
  • The first fruit of forbearance is that people will sympathize with you and they will go against the man who offended you arrogantly.
  • One who takes account of his shortcomings will always gain by it; one who is unmindful of them will always suffer. One who is afraid of the Day of Judgment, is safe from the Wrath of God. One who takes lessons from the events of life, gets vision, one who acquires vision becomes wise and one who attains wisdom achieves knowledge.
  • Bear sorrows and calamities patiently, otherwise you will never be happy.
  • One who comes into power often oppresses.
  • Adversities often bring good qualities to the front.
  • If a friend envies you, then he is not a true friend.
  • Avarice dulls the faculties of judgment and wisdom.
  • Oppression and tyranny are the worse companions for the Hereafter.
  • The best deed of a great man is to forgive and forget.
  • Be a child of your times!
  • Silence will create respect and dignity; justice and fairplay will bring more friends; benevolence and charity will enhance prestige and position; courtesy will draw benevolence; service of mankind will secure leadership and good words will overcome powerful enemies.
  • A greedy man will always find himself in the shackles of humility.
  • There are people who worship God to gain His Favors, this is the worship of traders; while there are some who worship Him to keep themselves free from His Wrath, this is the worship of slaves; a few who obey Him out' of their sense of gratitude and obligations, this is the worship of free and noble men.
  • Inability is a disaster; patience is bravery; abstinence is a treasure, self-restraint is a shield; and the best companion is submission to Divine Will.
  • Socialize with people in such a manner that when you die, they should weep for you, and as long as you live, they should long for your company.
  • Have love for your friend up to a limit for it is possible he may turn into your enemy some day; and hate your enemy up to a limit for it is possible he may turn into your friend some day.

See also

External links

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Wikipedia

See also ali, and ALI

Contents

English

Alternative spellings

  • Aly

Pronunciation

Proper noun

Singular
Ali

Plural
-

Ali

  1. A male given name, derived from the Arabic root `-l-y which means "paramount".
  2. The Muslim caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib, the rejection and assassination of whom, led to the schism between Sunni and Shiite branches. Arabic:(علي بن ابي طالب)
  3. A Muslim surname
  4. A diminutive of the female given names Alison, Alyson, Allyson or Allison, also spelled Allie.

Translations

References

  • (given name etymology) archived Wikipedia article, a March 2005 version

See also

  • Wikipedia list of people by name (section containing "Ali")

Anagrams


Dutch

Proper noun

Ali

  1. A male given name of Arabic origin, equivalent to Ali.

Finnish

Etymology

Cognate to English Ali as a Muslim name. Also a rare diminutive form of Finnish Aleksanteri.

Proper noun

Ali

  1. A male given name.

Declension


Turkish

Proper noun

Ali

  1. A male given name.

Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Syed Irtifaq Ali article)

From Wikispecies

(1930- )

Professor Emeritus Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010
(Redirected to Ali (c599-661) article)

From Familypedia

Ali ibn Abu Talib http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_tree_of_Ali

Ali
Commander of the Faithful (Arabic: Amir al-Mu'minin)
caption
This mosque near Al Najaf, Iraq, is believed by Shias to house the tombstone of Ali
Reign 656661[1]
Full name ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib
Titles Father of Hasan(Arabic: Abu Al-Hasan)
Father of Dust/Soil (Arabic: Abu Turab)
Murtada(“One Who Is Chosen and Contented”)
Lion of God (Arabic: Asad-ullah)
Lion(Arabic: Heydar) [1]<small/>
Born March 17, 599(599-03-17) [2] or March 17, 600(600-03-17)[1]
Mecca[1][2]
Died February 28, 661 (age 61)
Kufa[1][2]
Buried Imam Ali Mosque, Najaf, Iraq
Predecessor Uthman
Successor Muawiyah I
Wife/wives Fatimah[1]
Issue Hassan
Husayn
(See:Descendants of Ali ibn Abi Talib )<small/>
Royal House Ahl al-Bayt
Banu Hashim
Father Abu Talib
Mother Fatima bint Asad


Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib) (Arabic: علي بن أﺑﻲ طالب) (Thirteenth of Rajab, 24 BH – Twenty-first of Ramadan, 40 AH) (approximately: March 17 599[2] or 600[1] - February 28 661)[2] was the cousin, son-in-law and one of the Ahl al-Bayt of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Shi'a Muslims glorify him as the first Imam and consider him and and his descendants as the rightful successors to Muhammad who are the only legitimate religious and political leaders of the Muslim community and Sunni Muslims revere him as the fourth and final Rightly Guided Caliph, reigning from 656 to 661. This disagreement resulted in the only major split in Islam, into the Sunni and Shi'ite branches.[1] [3]

Ali was born in Mecca. His father was Abu Talib ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib and his mother was Fatima bint Asad [1] but he was raised in the household of Muhammad. When Muhammad reported that he had received a divine revelation, Ali, then only about ten years old, believed him and professed Islam. He was the first male to accept Islam.[4][5] Ali stood firmly in support of Muhammad during the years of persecution of Muslims in Mecca. [6]

Ali migrated to Medina shortly after Muhammad. There Muhammad told Ali that he had been ordered by God to give his daughter, Fatimah, to Ali in marriage.[1] For the ten years that Muhammad led the community in Medina, Ali was extremely active in his service, leading parties of warriors on raids, and carrying messages and orders. With the exception of Tabuk, Ali took part in all the battles fought for Islam during this time.

After the assassination of the third Caliph, Uthman Ibn Affan, the Companions of Muhammad in Medina selected Ali to be the new Caliph. [7] He encountered defiance and civil war (First Fitna) during his reign. Finally while Ali was praying in the mosque of Kufa, a Khawarij assassinated him with a strike of a poison-coated sword. Ali died on the 21st of Ramadan in the city of Kufa in 661 CE. [8]

Muslims greatly respect Ali for his knowledge, belief, honesty, his unbending devotion to Islam, his deep loyalty to Muhammad, his equal treatment of all Muslims and his generosity in forgiving his defeated enemies. In addition, Ali retains his stature as the foremost authority on the Tafsir (Quranic exegesis), Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and religious thought.[9][3] Ali also holds a high position in almost all Sufi Muslim orders which trace their lineage to Muhammad through him.[1] In this way, his influence continued throughout Islamic history.

The compilation of sermonsو, lectures and quotations attributed to Ali are compiled in the form of several books. "Nahj al-Balagha" is the most famous one of them. This book is considered by historians and scholars as an important literary work in Islam.[10][11]

Contents

Ali in Mecca

Birth and childhood

Part of a series on
Islam:

Ali

The Shia Imam

The Rashidun Caliph


  • Family Ali
  • Descendants
  • Ahl al-Bayt
  • Timeline of Ali's life

  • The Fourteen Infallibles
  • Hadith of the Event of the Cloak
  • Hadith of Mubahela
  • Hadith of the two weighty things
  • Succession to Muhammad
  • Hadith of the pond of Khumm

  • Nahj al-Balagha
  • Birthplace
  • Zulfiqar
  • Ali the Warrior
  • First Fitna

Views:

  • Sunni
  • Shi'a
  • non-Muslim
Muhammad and Ali, written in a single word - in its 180 degree inverted form, shows both the words. This is called an ambigram.
Main articles: Family tree of Ali and Birthplace of Ali ibn Abi Talib

Ali's father, Abu Talib ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, was custodian of Kaaba and a Sheikh of Banu Hashim, an important branch of the powerful tribe of the Quraysh, and an uncle to the young Muhammad. His mother was Fatima binte Asad who was also from Banu Hashim; and this was a great honor for Ali that both of his parents belonged to Banu Hashim in Arab culture. Also he was one of descendants of Ismael the son of Ibrahim. [12]

Muhammad had close relationship with them. When Muhammad was orphaned and then lost his grandfather Shaiba ibn Hashim (Abdul Muttalib), Abu Talib ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib took Muhammad into his house. [1] Later Muhammad set out and married Khadijah bint Khuwaylid. Ali was born two or three years later.[13]

Ali was born in Mecca, inside the Kaaba as Shia believe or beside it, where he stayed with his mother for three days. His father was Abu Talib ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib and Muhammad was the first person whom Ali saw. Muhammad took the newborn in his hands and named him Ali, meaning "exalted one".[1] [14]

When Ali was five or six years old, as a result of famine in and around Mecca, Muhammad requested to become his guardian.[4][15][1]

Conversion to Islam

Main article: Identity of first male Muslim

The second period of 'Ali's life, lasting slightly more than a decade, begins in 610, when Muhammad received the first of his revelations, and ends with the Hijra (withdrawal) of Muhammad to Medina in 622.[1] When Muhammad reported that he had received a divine revelation, Ali, then only about nine years old, believed him and professed to Islam. Ali was the first male to enter Islam. [1][4][16] Some historians and scholars believe Ali's conversion isn't worthy enough to consider as the first male due to the fact that he was child at that time. [17]

The Shi'a believe that in keeping with Ali's divine mission, he converted to Islam before he had ever taken part in any of the rites of the pre-Islamic Meccan traditional religion, which Muslims regard as polytheism (see shirk) or paganism. Hence the Shi'a say of Ali that his face is honored - that is, it was never sullied by prostrations before idols.[4]

After conversion to Islam

Part of a series on</br> Islam


Beliefs

Allah · Oneness of God
Muhammad · Prophets of Islam

Practices

Profession of Faith · Prayer
Fasting · Charity · Pilgrimage

History & Leaders

Timeline of Muslim history
Ahl al-Bayt · Sahaba
Rashidun Caliphs · Shi'a Imams

Texts & Laws

Qur'an · Sunnah · Hadith
Fiqh · Sharia
Kalam · Tasawwuf (Sufism)

Major branches

Sunni · Shi'a

Culture & Society

Academics · Animals · Art
Calendar · Children · Demographics
Festivals · Mosques · Philosophy
Politics · Science · Women

Islam & other religions

Christianity · Jainism
Judaism · Sikhism

See also

Criticism of Islam · Islamophobia
Glossary of Islamic terms

Islam Portal

Until three years Muhammad invited people to Islam in secret. Then he started inviting people publicly. When according to Quran he was commanded to invite his closer relatives to come to Islam[18], gathered Banu Hashim in a ceremony and told them clearly that whoever would be the first to accept his invitation would become his successor and inheritor. Ali who had 13 or 14 years old at that time was the one who step forth and embrace Islam. This invitation repeated for three times but only Ali answer to Muhammad. Muhammad accepted Ali's submission to the faith and thus fulfilled his promise. Others laughed at them and dispersed. [19] This event is known as Hadith Yawm Al-Dar or Yawm Al-Enzar among Muslim historians and scholars.

Then Muhammad made a public declaration and the struggle between Muslims and pagans started. As the ranks of Muhammad's followers swelled, he became a threat to the local tribes and the rulers of the city. Muhammad’s denunciation of the Meccan traditional religion was especially offensive to his own tribe, the Quraysh, as they were the guardians of the Ka'aba. So they persecuted Muslims. According to the tradition, the leaders of Makhzum and Abd Shams, two important clans of Quraysh, declared a public boycott against the clan of Banu Hashim, their commercial rival in order to put pressure on the clan. At this time, Muhammad arranged for some of his followers to emigrate to Ethiopia. The boycott lasted for three years. Ali stood firmly in support of Muhammad during the years of persecution of Muslims and boycott of Banu Hashim in Mecca.[20]

Migration to Medina

See also: Hijra (Islam)

In 622 CE, the year of Muhammad's migration to Yathrib (now Medina), Ali risked his life by sleeping in Muhammad's bed to impersonate him and thwart an assassination plot, so that Muhammad could escape in safety.[1][4][21] This night is called "Laylat Al-mabit". According to some hadith a verse was revealed about Ali concerning his sacrifice on the night of hijrah which says "And among men is he who sells his NAFS (self) in exchange for the pleasure of Allah"[22] [23]

Ali survived the plot, but risked his life again by staying in Mecca to carry out Muhammad's instructions: to restore to their owners all the goods and properties that had been entrusted to Muhammad for safekeeping. Then he went to Medina with Fatima binte Asad (his mother), Fatimah (the daughter of Muhammad), and two other women. [4]

Ali in Medina

During Muhammad's era

See also: Muhammad in Medina and Ali the Warrior

Ali was 22 or 23 years old when he migrated to Medina. When Muhammad was creating bonds of brotherhood among his Sahaba (companions) he selected Ali as his brother.[24][4][25]

For the ten years that Muhammad led the community in Medina, Ali was extremely active in his service, serving in his armies, the bearer of his banner in every battle, leading parties of warriors on raids, and carrying messages and orders. [26] As one of Muhammad’s lieutenants, and later his son-in-law, Ali was a person of authority and standing in the Muslim community.

Family life

See also: Ahl al-Bayt

In 623 the second year after Hijra, Muhammad told Ali that he had been ordered by God to give his daughter Fatimah to Ali in marriage.[1] Muhammad said to Fatima: "I have married you to the dearest of my family to me."[25] This family is glorified by Muhammad frequently and he declared them as his Ahl al-Bayt in events such as Mubahala and hadith like Hadith of the Event of the Cloak. They were also glorified in Quran in several cases such as "the verse of purification".[27][28] Ali had four children born to Fatimah. It was only through Fatimah that the progeny of Muhammad was perpetuated.(See Ali#descendants) In fact, so far as material comforts were concerned, it was a life of hardship and deprivation. Throughout their life together, Ali remained poor because he did not set great store by material wealth. Fatimah was the only one of her sisters who was not married to a wealthy man. To relieve their extreme poverty, Ali worked as a drawer and carrier of water and she as a grinder of corn. Even often there was no food in her house. One day she said to Ali: "I have ground until my hands are blistered." and Ali answered "I have drawn water until I have pains in my chest," [25][29]

Their marriage took about ten years and ended when Fatima died. Although polygyny 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 the greatest saintly figures surrounding Muhammad. After Fatimah's death, Ali married other wives and fathered many other children.[1]

Ali in the Battles

Main article: Ali the Warrior

With the exception of the Battle of Tabouk, Ali took part in all the battles and expeditions fought for Islam.[4]

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. Al Seerah of Ibn Hisham narrates how he killed 20 of the pagans[30] and Al Maghazi put the number at 22.[31]

Scene of Battle of Badr from the film The Message: The Muslim army sends out its champions including Ali. Zulfiqar is in the foreground.

Ali was also prominent at the Battle of Uhud, as well as many other battles where he wielded a bifurcated sword known as Zulfiqar.[32] He was the standard-bearer in every battle that he partook in. He also led parties of warriors on raids into enemy lands, and was an ambassador. At the beginning Ali killed Talhah Ibn Abu Talhah and then his brother Abu Saad ibn Abu Talhah, the bearers of the banner of the pagans.[33] Ali ibn al-Athir, Abu Rafi, and Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari reported that Ali, alone, destroyed all the standard bearers.[34], The death of the bearers of the banner heightened the morale of the Muslims and shook the hearts of the pagans and when the army of Islam was defeated and most of the Muslims had fled Ali was one of the few Muslims who defended Muhammad. According to Ibn Atheer, "The Prophet became the object of the attack of various units of the army of Quraish from all sides. Ali attacked, in compliance with Muhammad's orders, every unit that made an attack upon him and dispersed them or killed some of them, and this thing took place a number of times in Uhud"[35] and it was said "La fata illa Ali, La saifa illa Zulfiqar" (There is no brave man except Ali and there is no sword which renders service except Zulfiqar)."[36]

Zulfiqar, a fictional representation of the sword of Ali.

Teacher of Islam and Carrier of the messages and orders

Ali was so reliable and trustworthy that prophet asked him to carry the massages and declare the orders. In 630 he recited to a large gathering of pilgrims in Mecca a portion of the Qur'an that declared that Muhammad and the Islamic community were no longer bound by agreements made earlier with Arab polytheists. One year later 'Ali was sent to Yemen to spread the teachings of Islam.[1]

The Incident of Mubahala

Main articles: Mubahala and Hadith of Mubahela
See also: Ahl al-Bayt

According to hadith collections, it is narrated that during the 9th - 10th year after hijra an Arab Christian envoy from Najran (currently in northern Yemen and partly in Saudi Arabia) came to Muhammad to argue which of the two parties erred in its doctrine concerning Jesus [37]. After likening Jesus' miraculous birth to Adam's creation [38], Muhammad called them to Mubahala(Cursing), where each party should ask God to destroy the lying party and their families. Muhammad, to prove to them that he is a prophet, brought his daughter Fatimah and his surviving grandchildren, Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali, and Ali ibn Abi Talib and came back to the Christians and said this is my family (Ahl al-Bayt) and covered himself and his family with a cloak.[39] The Christian envoy, the traditions add, declined to take part in Mubahala and chose instead to pay tribute.

Ghadir Khumm

Main articles: Hadith of the pond of Khumm and Hadith of the two weighty things

There is another quote from Muhammad about the rightness of Ali ibn Abi Talib to succeed him which is:

"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 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 the members of my household I remind you (of your duties) to the members of my family.[40]."

This quote is confirmed by both Shi’a and Sunni everywhere, but Sunni and Shi'a take different meanings of the quote.

Also some of Sunni and all of Shi'a resources report that Muhammad then proclaimed:

"For whoever I am a Mawla of, then 'Ali is his Mawla[41][42]."

This statement is seen by Sunnis as a recommendation of Ali's good qualities and a refutation to prevailing rumors about him[43], although Shia see it as a confirmation of Ali's succession to Muhammad and Imamah[44]

On the basis of this hadith Ali later insisted on his religious authority superior to that of Abu Bakr and Umar.[45]

Succession to Muhammad

Part of a series on
Shī‘a Islam


Branches

Twelver · Ismaili · Zaidi

People of the House

Muhammad
Ali ibn Abu Talib
Fatima Zahra
Hasan • Husayn

Beliefs & Practices

Succession of Ali
Imamate of the Family
Sahaba • The Four Companions
View of the Qur'an
Ghadir Khumm • Karbala
Mourning of Muharram
Light of Aql

See Also

History of Shia Islam

See also: Succession to Muhammad, saqifah, and Rashidun

Muhammad united the tribes of Arabia into a singular Arab Muslim religious polity at the last years of his life. With Muhammad's death in 632, disagreement broke out over who would succeed him as leader of the Muslim community. While Ali, his cousin and son-in-law, and the rest of Muhammad's close family were washing his body for burial, at a gathering attended by a small group of Muslims at Saqifah, Umar (Umar ibn al-Khattab), a prominent companion of Muhammad, nominated Abu Bakr, who was Muhammad's father in-law and collaborator. Others added their support and Abu Bakr was made the first caliph. This choice was disputed by some of Muhammad's companions, who held that Ali had been designated his successor.[46][47]

Ali himself was firmly convinced of his legitimacy for caliphate based on his close kinship with Muhammad, his intimate association and his knowledge of Islam and his merits in serving its cause. He told Abu Bakr that his delay in pledging allegiance(bay'ah) as caliph is based on his belief of his own prior title. He had not changed his mind when he finally gave his pledge to Abu Bakr and then to Umar and to Uthman but had done so for the sake of the unity of Islam, at at time when it was clear that the Muslims had turned away from him.[48][49]

According to Nahj al-Balagha Ali believed that the caliphate was his right and told:

"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.[50]

According to Sunni accounts, Muhammad died without having appointed a successor, and with a need for leadership, they gathered and voted for the position of caliph. Shi'a accounts differ by asserting that Muhammad had designated Ali as his successor on a number of occasions, including on his death bed. Ali had many friends, followers and supporters who believed that he should have succeeded Muhammad. This did not create an immediate division, however, because Ali did not fight against the elected caliphs.[51]

The succession to Muhammad is an extremely contentious issue. Muslims ultimately divided into two branches based on their political attitude towards this issue, which forms the primary theological barrier between the two major divisions of Muslims: Sunni and Shi'a, with the latter following Ali as the successor to Muhammad. The two groups also disagree on Ali's attitude towards Abu Bakr, and the two caliphs who succeeded him: Umar (or `Umar ibn al-Khattāb) and Uthman Ibn Affan or (‘Uthmān ibn ‘Affān). Sunnis tend to stress Ali's acceptance and support of their rule, while the Shi'a claims that he distanced himself from them, and that he was being kept from fulfilling the religious duty that Muhammad had appointed to him. The Sunni Muslims say that if Ali was the rightful successor as ordained by God Himself, then it would have been his duty as the leader of the Muslim nation to make war with these people (Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman) until Ali established the decree. The Shia claim, however, that Ali did not fight Abu Bakr, Umar or Uthman, because firstly he did not have the military strength and if he decided to, it would have caused a civil war amongst the Muslims, which was still a nascent community throughout the Arab world.[52]

Inheritance

Main article: Fadak

After Muhammad had died his daughter, Fatimah, asked Abu Bakr to deliver her lands of Fadak and Khaybar but he refused and told her that prophets didn't have any legacy and Fadak belonged to the Muslim community.[53] The new caliph argued that Muhammad's considerable landed property had been held by Muhammad in trust for the community, and was rightfully the property of the state, despite Ali's rejoinder that Muhammad's revelations included accounts of prophetic inheritance (Qur'an 27:16, 21:89). Fatimah became angry and stopped speaking to Abu Bakr, and continued assuming that attitude till she died.[54] After Fatima's death Ali again claimed her inheritance, but was denied with the same argument.

However, Umar, the caliph who succeeded Abu Bakr, did restore the estates in Medina to `Abbas ibn `Abd al-Muttalib and Ali, as representatives of Muhammad's clan, the Banu Hashim. The properties in Khaybar and Fadak were retained as state property (Madelung 1997 p. 62). Shi'a sources regard this as another instance of the persecution of Muhammad's lineage, the Ahl al-Bayt, at the hands of the caliphs they regard as usurpers.

Ali wrote about it to Uthman ibn Hunaif:

Verily, under the sky we had only Fadak as our personal property but we were deprived of it, it tempted them, they took it by force and we had to bear the wrench patiently and cheerfully, the best judge is the Lord Almighty.[55]

Ali's life after the death of Muhammad

Another part of Ali's life started in 632 after death of Muhammad and lasted until assassination of Uthman Ibn Affan, the third caliph in 656. During these years Ali didn't take part in any battle or conquest. He also didn't assumes any executive position. He had a few participation a politic affairs especially after death of his wife, Fatima Zahra. He spent his time for his family and worked as a farmer. He dug a lot of wells and gardens beside Medina and endowed for public usage. These well are known as "Abar Ali"(Ali's wells) today.[56] He also made some gardens for his family and descendants.

Ali and the Rashidun

See also: Rashidun, The election of Uthman, and Siege of Uthman

Ali did not give his oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr until some time after the death of his wife, Fatimah. Ali participated in the funeral of Abu Bakr but did not participate in the Ridda Wars.[57]

He pledged allegiance to the second caliph Umar ibn Khattab and helped him as a trusted advisor. Caliph Umar particularly relied upon Ali as the Chief Judge of Medina and as his deputy when he traveled outside of Medina.[58]

Umar used Ali's suggestions in political issues as well as religious ones. When he asked Ali if he should personally participate in the battlefields of Persia and the Byzantine lands, Ali advised him not to do so.[59]

Ali was one of the electoral council to choose the third caliph and one of the two major candidates but most of the electors supported Uthman and Ali was reluctantly urged to accept him.[60] According to Nahj al-Balagha Ali told them:

You have certainly known that I am the most rightful of all others for the Caliphate. By Allah, so long as the affairs of Muslims remain intact and there is no oppression in it save on myself I shall keep quiet seeking reward for it (from Allah) and keeping aloof from its attractions and allurements for which you aspire.[61]

There is controversy among historians about the relationship between Ali and Uthman Ibn Affan,the third Caliphs. Although Ali pledged allegiance to him but Ali disagreed with some of his policies. Therefore some of the historians like the writers of The Cambridge History of Islam consider Ali as one the leading members of Uthman's opposition. Madelung says Ali didn't support Uthamn when rebels besieged its palace.[62] On the other hand Ali himself said in numerous cases that he had done whatever he had been able to defend him but he didn't agree with Uthman's policies.[63]

In the beginning of rebellion people demanded that the exiled be returned to their homes, the deprived be provided sustenance, the men of strength and integrity be appointed as governors, and so on.[64] They requested Ali to speak to Uthman on their behalf and to admonish him for their sake. Ali told Uthamn "The people are behind me and they have made me an ambassador between you and themselves." He forewarned Uthman that he should have changed his manner immediately unless he would be killed. Ali told "I swear to you by Allah that you should not be that Imam of the people who will be killed because it has been said that, "An Imam of this people will be killed after which killing and fighting will be made open for them till the Day of Judgment, and he will confuse their matters and spread troubles over them. As a result, they will not discern truth from wrong."[65] Duo to Ali's mediation and Uthman's commitment rebellion settled down but it had risen again. Finally the choices offered by the rebels amounted to abdication of Uthman and selection of another caliph.[66] While the situation became hard and dangerous Ali told Ibn Abbas "By Allah, I continued protecting him till I feared lest I become a sinner."[67] Later Ali said he had neither helped him nor tried to kill. According to his viewpoint Uthman appropriated (wealth) and did it badly. Rebels protested against it and committed excess therein.[68]

Caliphate

A silver dirham from the reign of Imam Ali

Election of Ali as a Caliph

This is the last part of Ali's life. He was the caliph between 656 and 661 CE which was one the hardest situation in Muslim history and coincided with the First Fitna.

After the assassination of the third Caliph, Uthman Ibn Affan, rebels had to select a new Caliph. But this selection encountered with some difficulties. The rebels were divided into three groups comprising Egyptians, Kufans and Basntes. There were three candidates Ali, Talhah and Al-Zubayr. First they referred to Ali and asked him to accept caliphate. Also some Companions of Muhammad tried to persuade him to accept the office.[48][69] But he refused and answered:

Leave me and seek some one else. We are facing a matter which has (several) faces and colors, which neither hearts can stand nor intelligence can accept. Clouds are hovering over the sky, and faces are not discernible. You should know that if I respond to you I would lead you as I know and would not care about whatever one may say or abuse. If you leave me then I am the same as you are. It is possible I would listen to and obey whomever you make in charge of your affairs. I am better for you as a counselor than as chief.[70]

Then rebels offered caliphate to Talhah and Al-Zubayr and some other companions but they refused it too. Therefore they threatened that, unless the people of Medina choose a caliph within one day, they would be forced to take some drastic action. In order to resolve the deadlock all of the Muslims gathered in Mosque of Prophet in 18 June 656CE. (19th Dhu al-Hijjah 35AH.) to chose the caliph. Ali refused to accept caliphate by the fact that the people who pressed him hardest were the rebels, and he therefore declined at first. When the notable companions of Muhammad as well as people who live in Medina urged him, however, he finally agreed. According to Abu Mekhnaf narration Talhah was the first prominent companion who gave his pledge but the other narrations claim they didn't do so or even somebody force them to do so. However he and Al-Zubayr later claimed they did so reluctantly. But Ali refused this claim and say they do so voluntarily. Mudelong believe that force didn't use to urge people to give their pledge and they pledge in public in the mosque. While overwhelming majority of people who lived in Medina as well as rebels gave their pledge, some major figures didn't do so. Umayyads, kins of Uthman, escaped to Levant or remained in their houses and later refused Ali's legitimacy. Sa`ad ibn Abi Waqqas were absent and Abdullah ibn Umar abstained from offering his allegiance but both of them assured Ali that they wouldn't do anything against Ali. [3][71] Another prominent figure who was in Mecca at that time and later opposed Ali, was A'isha, Muhammad's widow.

Reign as a Caliph

At the beginning Ali told people that Muslim polity had come to be plagued by dissension and discord and he want to purge Islam of all evil from which it had come to suffer. Then warned all concerned that he would tolerate no sedition and all found guilty of subversive activities would be dealt with harshly. He advised people to behave as true Muslims. [72]

But he soon found that he was helpless and the prisoner of the people who didn't obey him. The caliphate had come to him as the gift of the rebels and he didn't have enough force to control or punish them. [73] When some people asked Ali to punish who killed Uthamn, Ali answered that "How do I have the power for it while those who assaulted him are in the height of their power. They have superiority over us, not we over them. "[74] Furthermore A'isha, Talhah, Al-Zubayr and Muawiyah I accused him for murder of Uthman and arose civil war, while Ali believe all of them were more deserve to be responsible for it. [75]

Soon thereafter Ali became caliph, Ali dismissed provincial governors who were appointed by Uthman, and replaced them with trusted aides. All the governors excepting Muawiya I, the governor of Levant submitted to his orders. The capital of the province of Levant, Damascus, was held by Mu‘āwīyah ibn Abī Sufyān, the governor of Syria and a kinsman of Uthman, Ali's slain predecessor. Ali then transferred his capital from Medina to Kufa, the Muslim garrison city in what is now Iraq. Kufa was in the middle of Islamic land and had strategic position.[76][3]

Ali resumed the land which had been granted by Uthman and sweared to resumed whatever some elites had taken before him. He opposed the centralization of capital control over provincial revenues and favored an equal distribution of taxes and booty among the Muslims. When asked him to pay more money to elites he said "Do you command me that I should seek support by oppressing those over whom I have been placed? By Allah, I won't do so as long as the world goes on, and as long as one star leads another in the sky. Even if it were my property, I would have distributed it equally among them, then why not when the property is that of Allah." [77]

Ali believe that people and governors have rights over each other and God created these rights so as to equate with one another. The greatest of these rights that Allah has made obligatory is the right of the ruler over the ruled and the right of the ruled over the ruler. If the ruled fulfill the rights of the ruler and the ruler fulfills their rights, then right attains the position of honor among them, the ways of religion become established, signs of justice become fixed and the sunnah gains currency. He wrote directions for his officials which clearly show what form of regime he wanted to introduce. It was not to be a regime whose officers had an upper hand and were fattened on public money. It was to be a regime where the governed and the tax-payers were at premium. It was their convenience for which the State was to function. It was a welfare-state working solely for the welfare of the people living under its rule, a regime where the rich cannot get richer while the poor are made poorer; a regime where canons of religion hold the balance between the governed and the ruler. He asked people not to speak with him as they spoke with cruel governors and be honest with him. [78]

Ali had decisive beliefs that he shouldn't start the war with other Muslims but when the enemy started it his army wouldn't retreat unless they wanted to attack again. He ordered his soldiers not to kill who would become injured, or not be able to defend himself, or escape from the battlefield and injuries and wanted his warriors not to injure women. [79]

First Fitna

See also: First Fitna
The Battle of Siffin, illustration from a 19th century manuscript by Muhammad Rafi Bazil. There are Persian poems on the above and bottom of the picture.

The First Fitna, 656–661 CE, followed the assassination of the caliph Uthman Ibn Affan, continued during the caliphate of Ali, and was ended, on the whole, by Muawiyah I's assumption of the caliphate. This civil war is often called the Fitna, and regretted as the end of the early unity of the Islamic ummah (nation). Ali was first opposed by a faction led by Talhah, Al-Zubayr and the Muhammad's wife, Aisha bint Abu Bakr. When Ali asked them for obedience and a pledge of allegiance, they refused. The two parties met at the Battle of Bassorah (Battle of the Camel) in 656, where Ali emerged victorious. Later he was challenged by Mu‘āwīyah ibn Abī Sufyān's the ruler of Levant and cousin of Uthman who refused Ali's demands for allegiance and called for revenge for Uthman. The two armies encamped themselves at Siffin for more than one hundred days. Although, Ali exchanged several letters with Muawiyah, he was unable to dismiss the latter, nor persuade him to pledge allegiance. Skirmishes between the parties led to the Battle of Siffin in 657. Finally they intended to use arbitration to choose the caliph. On the other hand some of Ali's supporters, later were known as Kharijites opposed this decision and rebelled. Ali had to fight with them in Battle of Nahrawan.Ali declared he has removed Fitna "So now, praise and eulogy be to Allah, O' people, I have put out the eye of fitna. No one except me advanced towards it when its gloom was swelling and its madness was intense." But foresaw the worst fitna which would be the fitna of Umayyad and forewarned people that it "would come to you like evil eyed fear and pre-Islamic fragments, wherein there would be no minaret of guidance nor any sign (of salvation) to be seen." [80]

Army of Muawiyah I invaded cities and occupied them or plunder people. But Ali's governors couldn't prevent them and people didn't support him to fight with them. Muawiyah overpowered Egypt, Yemen and some other areas.[81]

This civil war created permanent divisions within the Muslim community and Muslims were divided over who had the legitimate right to occupy the caliphate. [82]

Death

On the nineteenth of Ramadan, while Ali was praying in the mosque of Kufa, the vigilante Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam assassinated Ali with a strike of his poison-coated sword. Ali, injured with the wound from the poisonous sword, lived for two days and died on the 21st of Ramadan in the city of Kufa in 661 CE.[83]

In these two days he dictated his will to his household "My advice to you is that you should not consider anyone as a co-worker of the Lord, be firm in your belief that there is One and only One Allah. Do not waste the knowledge given to you by the Muhammad and do not give up and destroy his Sunnah (traditions). Keep these two pillars of Islam (monotheism and Sunnah of the Muhammad) aloft. If you act according to my advice then you cannot be blamed for damaging or destroying the religion." [84]

Burial

Many Shi'a believe that Ali didn’t want his grave to be desecrated by his enemies and because of that he asked his friends and family members to bury him secretly. This secret gravesite is supposed to have been revealed later during the Abbasid caliphate by Ja'far al-Sadiq, the sixth Shia Imam.[85] Most Shi'as accept that Ali was buried at the Tomb of Imam Ali in the Imam Ali Mosque at what is now the city of Najaf, which grew around the mosque and shrine called Masjid Ali.[86]

Rawze-e-Sharif, the Blue Mosque, in Mazari Sharif, Afghanistan - Where a minority of Shi'as believe Ali ibn Abi Talib is buried
  • Yet another story, usually maintained by Afghans, notes that his body was taken and buried in the Afghan city of Mazari Sharif at the famous Blue Mosque or Rawze-e-Sharif.[87]

Aftermath

Upon the death of Ali ibn Abi Talib in Kufa a new caliph should be chosen. As Ali declared in many occasions that just Ahl Al-Bayt of Muhammad were entitled to rule the Muslim community the choices restricted to Hasan and his brother Husayn. Thus Kufi Muslims pledge allegiance(bay'ah) to his eldest son Hasan without dispute.[88]

At this time Muawiyah held both Levant and Egypt and, as commander of the largest force in the Muslim Empire, had the declared himself caliph and marched his army into Iraq, the seat of Hasan's caliphate. War ensued during which Muawiyah gradually subverted the generals and commanders of Hasan's army with large sums of money and deceiving promises until the army rebelled against him. Finally, the Hasan was forced to make peace and to yield the caliphate to Muawiyah. In this way Mu'awiyah captured the Islamic caliphate and in every way possible placed the severest pressure upon Ali's family and his Shi'a. Muawiyah also established Umayyad caliphate which was a centralized monarchy.[89] [3]

Madelung writes:

In face of the fake Umayyad claim to legitimate sovereignty in Islam as God's Vicegerents on earth, and in view of Umayyad treachery, arbitrary and divisive government, and vindictive retribution, they came to appreciate his [Ali's] honesty, his unbending devotion to the reign of Islam, his deep personal loyalties, his equal treatment of all his supporters, and his generosity in forgiving his defeated enemies.[90]

Descendants

Main article: Descendants of Ali ibn Abi Talib

Ali had several wives and Fatimah, daughter of Muhammad, was the most beloved one. He had four children born to Fatimah comprising Hasan ibn Ali, Husayn ibn Ali, Zaynab bint Ali[1] and Umm Kulthum bint Ali. His other famous sons were Al-Abbas ibn Ali born to Fatima binte Hizam (Um Al-Banin) and Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah.

Hasan ibn Ali, born in 625, was the second Shia Imam and he also occupied the outward function of caliph for about six months. During that time Mu'awiayh marched his army into Iraq, the seat of Imam Hasan's caliphate. War ensued during which Mu'awiyah gradually subverted the generals and commanders of Hasan's army with large sums of money and deceiving promises until the army rebelled against Hasan. Finally, he was forced to make peace and to yield the caliphate to Mu'awiyah, provided it would again return to Imam Hasan after Mu'awiyah's death. In the year 50 A.H. he was poisoned and martyred by one of his own household who, as has been accounted by historians, had been motivated by Mu'awiyah.[91]

Husayn ibn Ali, born in 626, was the third Shia Imam. Husayn lived under the most difficult outward conditions of suppression and persecution by Mu'awiyah. After the death of Mu'awiyah, his son, Yazid I, captured the caliphate and wanted the Bay'ah (allegiance) of Husayn ibn Ali. Yazid was openly going against the teachings of Islam in public and changing the sunnah of Muhammad. Husayn was determined not to give his allegiance to Yazid and knew full well that he would be killed as death was inevitable in the face of the military power of the Umayyads. On the tenth day of Muharram of the year 680 the he lined up before the army of caliph with his small band of follower and finally almost all of them were killed in Battle of Karbala. The anniversary of his death is called the Day of Ashura and it is a day of mourning and religious observance for Shi'a Muslims.[92] In this battle some of Ali's other sons were killed, including the four sons born to Fatima binte Hizam among whom was Al-Abbas ibn Ali, famous due to his pure love of Husayn ibn Ali, the holder of Husayn's standard.[93]

His daughter Zaynab bint Ali who was in Karbala was captured by Yazid's army and later played a great role in revealing what had happened to Husayn ibn Ali and his followers. Her sermons in Kufa provoked the people into avenging Hussein's martyrdom. She also delivered a furious sermon in the court of the caliph that made his authority and despotic rule feel undermined.[94]

Ali's descendants by Fatimah are known as sharifs, syeds or sayyids. These are honorific titles in Arabic, sharif meaning 'noble' and sayed/sayid meaning 'lord' or 'sir'. As Muhammad's only descendants, they are respected by both Sunni and Shi'a, though the Shi'as place much more emphasis and value on the distinction.[1]

The Idrisid and Fatimid dynasties are descended from Ali and many Muslim notables claim to be descendents of Muhammad via his daughter Fatimah and Imam Ali. The late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and Ali Khamenei, supreme leaders of Iran, Muammar al-Gaddafi president of Libya, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali president of Tunis, The Hashemite royal families of Jordan and Iraq, the Alaouite royal family of Morocco, the Husseini family of Lebanon, and the Aga Khans of the Ismaili community claim direct descent from Muhammad through Ali and Fatimah.

Descendents of Ali with documented family trees (about 42 generations of an unbroken chain of descent) are often identified by their family trees leading to one of the 12 Shi'a Imams, most notably Imam Musa al-Kazim, Imam Ali al-Rida, and Imam Ali al-Hadi. Most syeds tend to cross-reference their own particular family trees with those of others in order to maintain accuracy and to weed out impostors.

Legacy

See also: Nahj al-Balagha
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Ali is respected not only as a warrior and leader, but as a writer and religious authority. All Shia and many Sunnis believe that Muhammad told about him "I'm the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate..." [95] Ali told people about himself "Ask me before you miss me."[96] Muslims consider him as a foremost authority on the Tafsir (Quranic exegesis), Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and religious thought. Ali was also a great scholar of Arabic literature and pioneered in the field of grammar and rhetoric. His speeches, sermons and letters served for generations afterward as models of literary expression. [3] He also has a high rank position in almost all Sufi orders which trace their lineage to Muhammad through him.[1] Therefor various groups of Muslims have attempted to collect his quotations , narrate his life and recite his sermons. Historians have paid attention to his government, religious scholars tried to learn his knowledge and the men of literate collected his speeches. Sunnis have narrated many hadith trough him from Muhammad in their authentic books. Shias have narrated his quotations in specific books such as "Ghorar Alhakam". In the 7th century Sulaym ibn Qays and `Abd Allah ibn `Abbas narrated his speeches and manners as well as the events which had happened in his life in their works. In the 8th century his descendants such as Muhammad al Baqir and Jafar as Sadiq narrated his quotations which had learnt from their fathers. Some historians such as Abu Mikhnaf narrated the story of major events of Ali's life in his books like Kitab al Jamal, Kitab al-gharat and so on. Even who works in the Divan of Umayyad recited Ali's sermons to improve their eloquence.[97] Of course Peak of Eloquence(Nahj al-Balagha) is an extract of Ali's quotations from literal viewpoint as its compiler mentioned in its preface. While there are many other quotations, prays(Du'as), sermons and letters in other literal, historic and religious books.[98]

In later Islamic philosophy, especially in the teachings of Mulla Sadra and his followers like Allameh Tabatabaei Ali's sayings and sermons were increasingly regarded as central sources of metaphysical knowledge, or divine philosophy. Members of Sadra's school regard Ali as the supreme metaphysician of Islam.[1]

Works related to Ali

  • Nahj al-Balagha(Peak of Eloquence) contains eloquent sermons, letters and quotations attributed to Ali which is compiled by ash-Sharif ar-Radi. This book has a prominent position i Arabic literature. "Masadir Nahj al-Balagha wa asaniduh" written by "al-Sayyid `Abd al-Zahra' al-Husayni al-Khatib" introduces some of these sources.[99] Also "Nahj al-sa'adah fi mustadrak Nahj al-balaghah" by "Muhammad Baqir al-Mahmudi" represents all of 'Ali's extant speeches, sermons, decrees, epistles, prayers, and sayings have been collected. It includes the Nahj al-balaghah and other discourses which were not incorporated by ash-Sharif ar-Radi or were not available to him. Apparently, except for some of the aphorisms, the original sources of all the contents of the Nahj al-balaghah have been determined.[100] Ther are several Comments on the Peak of Eloquence such as Comments of Ibn Abu al-Hadid and comments of Muhammad Abduh.
  • Divan-i Ali ibn Abi Talib (poems of Ali ibn Abi Talib)[101]
  • Nuzhat al-Absar va Mahasin al_Asar, Ali's sermons which has compiled by Ali ibn Muhammad Tabari Mamtiri[102]

Views

Muslim view

19th century Iranian painting depicting Imam Ali.

Except for Muhammad, there is no one in Islamic history about whom as much has been written in Islamic languages as 'Ali. [1] Ali is revered and honored by all Muslims. Having been one of the first Muslims and foremost Ulema (Islamic scholars), he was extremely knowledgeable in matters of religious belief and Islamic jurisprudence, as well as in the history of the Muslim community. He was known for his bravery and courage. Muslims honor Muhammad, Ali, and other pious Muslims and add pious interjections after their names.

Shia Muslim view of Ali

Main article: Shi'a view of Ali

The Shias regards Ali as the most important figure after Muhammad. According to them Muhammad in his life time suggested on various occasions, that Ali would be the leader of Muslims after his demise like Hadith of the pond of Khumm, Hadith of the two weighty things, Hadith of the pen and paper, Hadith of the Twelve Successors and so on.

According to this view, Ali as the successor of Muhammad not only rules over the community in justice but also interprets the Sharia Law and its esoteric meaning. Hence he was free from error and sin (infallible) and he was appointed by God by divine decree (nass) through Muhammad.[103] Ali is known as "perfect man"(Al-insan al-kamil) similar to Muhammad according to Shia viewpoint.[104]

Shia pilgrims usually go to Mashad Ali in Najaf for Ziyarat, pray there and read "Ziyarat Amin Allah"[105] or other Ziyaratnames.[106]

Sunni Muslim view of Ali

Main article: Sunni view of Ali

The Sunni Muslims regard Ali as one of the Ahl al-Bayt and the last of the Rashidun and one of the most influential and respected figures in Islam. Ali is held with the utmost respect along with the Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman Ibn Affan. [3]

Sufi Muslim view of Ali

Almost all Sufi orders trace their lineage to Muhammad through Ali, an exception being Naqshbandi, who go through Abu Bakr. Even in this order, there is Ja'far al-Sadiq, the great great grandson of Ali. Sufis, whether Sunni or Shi'ite, believe that 'Ali inherited from the Prophet the saintly power wilayah that makes the spiritual journey to God possible.[1] Imam Ali represents the essence of the teachings of the School of Islamic Sufism.

Sufis have glorified Ali in their works[107]. For example Rumi says in Masnavi:

The man spat in Ali's pure face of every saint and prophet far and wide The prostrates itself before this face... [108]

Sufis recite Manqabat Ali in the praise of Ali (Maula Ali), after Hamd and Naat in their Qawwali.

Non-Muslim view

Main article: Non-Muslim view of Ali

Some of the prominent non-Muslim Islamic scholars and politicians like Edward Gibbon[109], Thomas Carlyle[110] and Kofi Annan[111] praised Ali while a few of them, like Lammens[112], have held a negative view of Ali.

Some Islamic Scholars do not accept hadiths collected in later periods, and only study the early collections of narrations. This leads them to regard certain reported events as inauthentic or irrelevant. Wilferd Madelung has rejected the stance of indiscriminately dismissing everything not included in "early sources". [113]</blockquote>

UN Legal Committee, member states voted that the order of Ali to Malik al-Ashtar (Nahj Al-Balagha letter 53) should be considered as one of the sources of International Law. The United Nations urged the Arab nations to use that letter as a model. [114] The UNDP in its 2002 Arab Human Development listed six sayings of Imam Ali about the importance of knowledge and establishment of ideal governance.[115]

Muslim veneration of Ali

The picture of Malik al-Ashtar(left) and Muawiyah I(right) in the Imam Ali Series which was shown in Iran TV in 1990s.

Ali has high position in the mind of Muslims and they made a lot of pictures, poems and myths about him. For example "Ali Guyam, Ali Juyam" (I call Ali, I seek Ali) is a famous rhyme in Iran.

His birthday is celebrated on 13th of Rajab by Muslims all over the world and is a special occasion for Shia Muslims to remember their first Imam who was born in the House of Allah/Kaaba. His death is remembered and mourned from the 19 to 21st of Ramadan which is the anniversary of his assassination and martyrdom.

At the Ali Masjid in Pakistan is a huge boulder which carries the marks of a hand believed to be that of Hadrat (Hazrat) Ali.

Many Muslims (mostly Shia) and some non-muslims (like Hindus in Uttar Pradesh, India) say "Ya Ali Madad" or "Ya Ali", to seek help from Ali in times of difficulty or to seek strength in manual and strenous work, getting relief from pain, etc. This is frowned upon by Sunni Muslims, as it means invoking Ali as if he is God or equal to God.

Ali as deity

Main article: Ghulat

Several groups of people has recognized Ali as deity. They are known as 'Nusairi' They're described as Ghulat (exaggerators) by Muslims. These groups have gone too far in ascribing divinity to a person, to the (forbidden) point of associating them with God. Almost all of the Muslims don't consider them as Muslim. They were forbidden to practice their own formed religion by Ali himself who commanded them to stop worshiping him as a God and only to follow to teachings of Allah and Muhammad.

Hstoriography of Ali's life

The primary sources for scholarship on the life of 'Ali are the Qur'an and the Hadith, as well as other texts of early Islamic history. The extensive secondary sources include, in addition to works by Sunni and Shia Muslims, writings by Christian Arabs, Hindus, and other non-Muslims from the Middle East and Asia and a few works by modern Western scholars. However, many of the early Islamic sources are coloured to some extent by a bias, whether positive or negative, toward 'Ali. [1]

See also

  • Historiography of early Islam
  • List of Muslim reports
  • Succession to Muhammad
  • Rashidun
  • Imamah (Shia doctrine)
  • Family tree of Ali
  • Imam Ali Mosque
  • Shia Islam
  • Ismaili
  • Fatimid
  • Banu Hashim
  • Alawism
  • Alevi
  • Wali
  • Ahl al-Bayt
  • Nahj al-Balagha
  • Zulfiqar
  • Non-Muslim view of Ali

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa "Ali". Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Retrieved on 2007-10-12Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Shaheed Foundation
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Sunni view of Ali
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Tabatabae (1979) page 191
  5. ^ Ashraf, (2005) p.14
  6. ^ Ashraf, (2005) p.16
  7. ^ See:
    • Ashraf, (2005) pp. 119-120
    • Madelung, (1997) pp. 141-145
  8. ^ See:
    • Lapidus (2002), p.47
    • Holt (1977a), p.70 - 72
    • Tabatabaei (1979), p.50 - 57 and 192
  9. ^ Madelung (1997), 309-310
  10. ^ Sources of Nahj al Balaghah
  11. ^ Mutahhari, 1997 [1]
  12. ^ Ashraf, (2005) p.5
  13. ^ Ashraf, (2005) pp.6-7
  14. ^ See also:
  15. ^ *Ashraf, (2005) p.7
  16. ^ Ashraf, (2005) p.14
  17. ^ Watt 1953, p. 86
  18. ^ Qur'an 26:214
  19. ^ See:
    • Tabatabae, (1979) p.39
    • Ashraf, (2005) p.15
  20. ^ See:
    • Ashraf, (2005) pp.16-26
    • Holt, (1977), p.36
    • Francis, (2003) p.96
  21. ^ Ashraf, (2005) pp.28-29
  22. ^ Qur'an 2:207
  23. ^ Tabatabae, Tafsir Al-Mizan
  24. ^ Ashraf, (2005) pp.30-32
  25. ^ a b c Fatima Bint Muhammad
  26. ^ See:
    • Al Hakim, al Mustadrak, vol 3 p 111
    • Ashraf, 2005
  27. ^ Qur'an 33:33
  28. ^ Madelung, 1997, pp. 14 and 15
  29. ^ Sahih Muslim Book 031, Number 5955
  30. ^ Abdul Malik Ibn Husham, Al Seerah Al Nabaweyah (Biography of the Prophet), Published by Mustafa Al Babi Al Halabi, Egypt, 1955 A.D, Part 2 page. 708-713
  31. ^ Waghedi, Al Maghazi (The Invasions) published by Oxford Printing. Part 1 page. 152
  32. ^ Khatab, Amal (May 1, 1996). Battles of Badr and Uhud. Ta-Ha Publishers. ISBN 1-897940-39-4. 
  33. ^ The Battle of Uhud
  34. ^ Ali ibn al-Athir, The Complete History (Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh), vol 3 p 107
  35. ^ Reasons for the battle of Uhud
  36. ^ Ibn Al Atheer, In his Biography, vol 2 p 107
  37. ^ Qur'an 3:61
  38. ^ Qur'an 3:59
  39. ^ See:
    • Sahih Muslim, Chapter of virtues of companions, section of virtues of Ali, 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia, Arabic version, v4, p1871, the end of tradition #32
    • Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, p654
    • Madelung, 1997, pp. 15 and 16
  40. ^ Sahih Muslim 031.5920 The Book Pertaining to the Merits of the Companions (Allah Be Pleased With Them) of the Holy Prophet (May Peace Be Upon Him) (Kitab Al-Fada'il Al-Sahabah)
  41. ^ Ibn Taymiyyah, Minhaaj as-Sunnah 7/319
  42. ^ Event of Ghadir Khumm
  43. ^ allaahuakbar.net
  44. ^ Tabatabae (1979), page 40
  45. ^ Madelong, 1997 p.253
  46. ^ Chirri, Mohamad (1982). The Brother of the Prophet Mohammad. Islamic Center of America, Detroit, MI. Alibris ID 8126171834. 
  47. ^ See:
    • Holt (1977a), p.57
    • Lapidus (2002), p.32
    • Madelung (1996), p.38-43
    • Tabatabaei (1979), p.39–50
  48. ^ a b Nahj Al-Balagha Sermon 3
  49. ^ Madelung (1996), p.141 See also:
    • Nahj Al-Balagha,
    3, 5, 66, 143, 171 and 216
    • Ashraf (2005), 99 and 100
  50. ^ "أما والله لقد تقمصها ابن أبي قحافة وإنه ليعلم أن محلي منها محل القطب من الرحى ... فسدلت دونها ثوبا وطويت عنها كشحا... أرى تراثي نهبا، حتى مضى الأول لسبيله فأدلى بها إلى ابن الخطاب بعد ...(في بعض من النسخ كتب فلان بدل ابن أبي قحافة و ابن الخطاب)ز Nahj al-Balagha, Sermon 3
  51. ^ Chirri, Mohamad (1982). The Brother of the Prophet Mohammad. Islamic Center of America, Detroit, MI. Alibris ID 8126171834. 
  52. ^ Sahih Bukhari 5.57.50
  53. ^ *Sahih Bukhari 4:53:325
  54. ^ See: 19:4352]
    • Madelung 50 and 51
  55. ^ بَلَى! كَانَتْ في أَيْدِينَا فَدَكٌ مِنْ كلِّ مَا أَظَلَّتْهُ السَّماءُ، فَشَحَّتْ عَلَيْهَا نُفُوسُ قَوْم، وَسَخَتْ عَنْهَا نُفُوسُ آخَرِينَ، وَنِعْمَ الْحَكَمُ اللهُ.Nahj al-Balagha, Letter 45
  56. ^ History of Mecca, Medina and all other Ziyarats
  57. ^ See:Ashraf (2005), p. 100 and 101 See also: 19:4352]
  58. ^ http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Articles/companion/37_ali_bin_talib.htm
  59. ^ See:
  60. ^ Madelung 1997 p. 70 - 72
  61. ^ لَقَدْ عَلِمْتُمْ أَنَّي أَحَقُّ بِهَا مِنْ غَيْرِي، وَوَاللهِ لاَُسْلِمَنَّ مَاسَلِمَتْ أُمُورُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ، وَلَمْ يَكُنْ فِيهِا جَوْرٌ إِلاَّ عَلَيَّ خَاصَّةً، الِْتمَاساً لاَِجْرِ ذلِكَ وَفَضْلِهِ، وَزُهْداً فِيَما تَنافَسْتُمُوهُ مِنْ زُخْرُفِهِ وَزِبْرِجِهSermon 73
  62. ^ See:
    • Holt, (1977) pp. 67 and 68
    • Madelung, (1997) p. 134
  63. ^ See:
  64. ^ * Madelung, (1997) p. 129
  65. ^ وَ إِنِّي أَنْشُدُكَ اَللَّهَ أَنْ تَكُونَ إِمَامَ هَذِهِ اَلْأُمَّةِ اَلْمَقْتُولَ فَإِنَّهُ كَانَ يُقَالُ يُقْتَلُ فِي هَذِهِ اَلْأُمَّةِ إِمَامٌ يَفْتَحُ عَلَيْهَا اَلْقَتْلَ وَ اَلْقِتَالَ إِلَى يَوْمِ اَلْقِيَامَةِ وَ يَلْبِسُ أُمُورَهَا عَلَيْهَا وَ يَبُثُّ اَلْفِتَنَ فِيهَا فَلاَ يُبْصِرُونَ اَلْحَقَّ مِنَ اَلْبَاطِلِ Sermon 163
  66. ^ * Madelung, (1997) p. 130
  67. ^ وَ اَللَّهِ لَقَدْ دَفَعْتُ عَنْهُ حَتَّى خَشِيتُ أَنْ أَكُونَ آثِماً Sermon 238
  68. ^ See:
  69. ^ See:
    • Ashraf, (2005) p. 119
    • Madelung, (1997) pp. 141-143
  70. ^ دَعُونِي وَ اِلْتَمِسُوا غَيْرِي فَإِنَّا مُسْتَقْبِلُونَ أَمْراً لَهُ وُجُوهٌ وَ أَلْوَانٌ لاَ تَقُومُ لَهُ اَلْقُلُوبُ وَ لاَ تَثْبُتُ عَلَيْهِ اَلْعُقُولُ وَ إِنَّ اَلْآفَاقَ قَدْ أَغَامَتْ وَ اَلْمَحَجَّةَ قَدْ تَنَكَّرَتْ وَ اِعْلَمُوا أَنِّي إِنْ أَجَبْتُكُمْ رَكِبْتُ بِكُمْ مَا أَعْلَمُ وَ لَمْ أُصْغِ إِلَى قَوْلِ اَلْقَائِلِ وَ عَتْبِ اَلْعَاتِبِ وَ إِنْ تَرَكْتُمُونِي فَأَنَا كَأَحَدِكُمْ وَ لَعَلِّي أَسْمَعُكُمْ وَ أَطْوَعُكُمْ لِمَنْ وَلَّيْتُمُوهُ أَمْرَكُمْ وَ أَنَا لَكُمْ وَزِيراً خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ مِنِّي أَمِيراً Sermon 91
  71. ^ See: See also:
  72. ^ Ashraf, (2005) p. 121
  73. ^ Ashraf, (2005) p. 121
  74. ^ وَلكِنْ كَيْفَ لي بِقُوَّة وَالْقَوْمُ الْـمُجْلبُونَ عَلَى حَدِّ شَوْكَتِهِمْ، يَمْلِكُونَنَا وَلاَ نَمْلِكُهُمْ Nahj Al-Balagha, sermon 167
  75. ^ See: Nahj Al-Balagha Sermon 22, 136, Letter 37
  76. ^ 'Ali
  77. ^ See: لمّا عوتب على تصييره الناس أسوة في العطاء من غير تفضيل إلى السابقات والشرف، قال: أَتَأْمُرُونِّي أَنْ أَطْلُبَ النَّصْرَ بِالْجَوْرِ فِيمَنْ وُلِّيتُ عَلَيْهِ! وَاللهِ لاَ أَطُورُ بِهِ مَا سَمَرَ سَميرٌ، وَمَا أَمَّ نَجْمٌ فِي السَّمَاءِ نَجْماً! لَوْ كَانَ الْمَالُ لي لَسَوَّيْتُ بَيْنَهُمْ، فَكَيْفَ وَإِنَّمَا الْمَالُ مَالُ اللهِ لَهُمْ.
  78. ^ Nahj al-Balaghah Sermon 215 Letter 25, 26, 27, 40, 41, 43,
  79. ^ Nahj al-Balaghah Letter 14
  80. ^ See:
    • أَمَّا بَعْد، أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ فَإِنِّي فَقَأْتُ عَيْنَ الْفِتْنَةِ، وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لِيَجْتَرِىءَ عَلَيْهَا أَحَدٌ غَيْرِي بَعْدَ أَنْ مَاجَ غَيْهَبُهَا، وَاشْتَدَّ كَلَبُهَا... أَلاَ وَإِنَّ أَخْوَفَ الْفِتَنِ عِنْدِي عَلَيْكُمْ فَتْنَةُ بَنِي اُمَيَّةَ، فإِنَّهَا فِتْنَةٌ عَمْيَاءُ مُظْلِمَةٌ: عَمَّتْ خُطَّتُهَا، وَخَصَّتْ بَلِيَّتُهَا، وَأَصَابَ الْبَلاَءُ مَنْ أَبْصَرَ فِيهَا، وَأَخْطَأَ الْبَلاَءُ مَنْ عَمِيَ عَنْهَا.
    وَايْمُ اللهِ لَتَجِدُنَّ بَنِي أُمَيَّةَ لَكُمْ أَرْبَابَ سُوْء بَعْدِي، كَالنَّابِ الضَّرُوسِ: تَعْذِمُ بِفِيهَا، وَتَخْبِطُ بِيَدِهَا، وتَزْبِنُ بِرِجْلِهَا، وَتَمْنَعُ دَرَّهَا، لاَ يَزَالُونَ بِكُمْ حَتَّى لاَ يَتْرُكُوا مَنْكُمْ إِلاَّ نَافِعاً لَهُمْ، أَوْ غَيْرَ ضَائِر بِهِمْ، وَلاَ يَزَالُ بَلاَؤُهُمْ حَتَّى لاَ يَكُونَ انْتِصَارُ أَحَدِكُمْ مِنْهُمْ إِلاَّ مثل انْتِصَارِ الْعَبْدِ مِنْ رَبِّهِ، وَالصَّاحِبِ مِنْ مُسْتَصْحِبِهِ، تَرِدُ عَلَيْكُمْ فِتْنَتُهُمْ شَوْهَاءَ مَخْشَيَّةً، وَقِطَعاً جَاهِلِيَّةً، لَيْسَ فِيهَا مَنَارُ هُدىً، وَلاَ عَلَمٌ يُرَی Sermon 92
    • Lapidus (2002), p.47
    • Holt (1977a), p.70 - 72
    • Tabatabaei (1979), p.50 - 57
    See also:
  81. ^ See: Nahj Al-Balagha Nahj Al-Balagha Sermon 25, 27, 29, 39
    • Al-gharat(Plunders) which has written by Abi Mikhnaf is a detailed report about these raid
  82. ^ See:
    • Lapidus (2002), p.47
    • Holt (1977a), p.72
    • Tabatabaei (1979), p.57
  83. ^ Tabatabae (1979), page 192
  84. ^ وَصِيَّتِي لَكُمْ: أَنْ لاَ تُشْرِكُوا بِاللهِ شَيْئاً، وَمُحَمَّدٌ(صلى الله عليه وآله) فَلاَ تُضَيِّعُوا سُنَّتَهُ، أَقِيمُوا هذَيْنِ الْعَمُودَينِ، وَخَلاَ كُمْ ذَمٌّ Nahj Al-Balaghah Letter 23
  85. ^ Majlesi, V.97, p. 246-251
  86. ^ Redha, Mohammad; Mohammad Agha (1999). Imam Ali Ibn Abi Taleb (Imam Ali the Fourth Caliph, 1/1 Volume). Dar Al Kotob Al ilmiyah. ISBN 2-7451-2532-X. 
  87. ^ Balkh and Mazar-e-Sharif
  88. ^ Madlong, (1997) p. 313 - 314
  89. ^
    • Lapidus (2002), p.47
    • Holt (1977a), p.72
    • Tabatabaei (1979), p.195
  90. ^ Madelung (1997), 309-310
  91. ^ Tabatabae (1979), page 194
  92. ^ Tabatabae (1979), page 196 - 201
  93. ^ See:
    • Lohouf (Arabic: اللهوف), by Sayyid ibn Tawoos (Arabic: سید ابن طاووس)., Tradition No. 174 and 175
    • list of Martyrs of Karbala
  94. ^ See:
  95. ^ «قال رسول الله: انا مدینة العلم و علی بابها فمن اراد المدینة فلیأت الباب» See:
    • «حدیث متواتر عن النبی نقله العامة و الخاصة»
    شیخ آغابزرگ تهرانی، تاریخ حصر الاجتهاد، تحقیق محمد علی انصاری، قم، موسسة الامام المهدی، 1401 ه‍ ، ص 53.* 10. حاكم نیشابوری، المستدرك علی الصحیحین، تحقیق دكتر یوسف مرعشلی، بیروت، دار المعرفه، 1406ه‍ ، ج 3، ص 126.
    • «رواه احمد‌‌ من ثمانیة طرق و ابراهیم الثقفی من سبعة الطرق و ابن‌بطه من ستة طرق و القاضی الجعانی من خمسة طرق و ابن‌شاهین من اربعة طرق و الخطیب التاریخی من ثلاثة طرق و یحیی بن معین من طریقین و قد رواه السمعانی و القاضی الماوردی و ابو‌منصور السکری و ابو‌الصلت الهروی و عبدالرزاق و شریک عن ابن‌عباس و مجاهد و جابر»
    ابن‌ شهر‌ آشوب، مناقب آل ابی‌ طالب، تحقیق گروهی از اساتید نجف، مطبعه الحیدریه، 1376 ه‍ ، ج 11، ص 314.
  96. ^ "سلوني قبل ان تفقدوني" See: * Nahj Al-Balagha Sermon Sermon 92 and 188
  97. ^ "حفظت سبعين خطبة من خطب الاصلع ففاضت ثم فاضت ) ويعني بالاصلع أمير المؤمنين عليا عليه السلام"مقدمة في مصادر نهج البلاغة
  98. ^ See:
  99. ^ Quarterly Journal of Islamic Thought and Culture, Vol. VII, No. 1 issue of Al-Tawhid
  100. ^ Mutahhari, 1997 [3]
  101. ^ Collection of Ali's poems(I Arabic)
  102. ^ پیدا شدن مجموعه نفیس کلمات امام علی(ع) در واتیكان
  103. ^ Nasr, Shi'ite Islam, preface, p. 10
  104. ^ Motahhari, Perfect man, Chapter 1
  105. ^ Trust, p. 695
  106. ^ Trust, p. 681
  107. ^ See:
    • Attar in The Conference of the Birds[4]
    • Sanai [5]
  108. ^ "و خدو انداخت در روی علی افتخار هر نبی و هر ولی آن خدو زد بر رخی که روی ماه سجده آرد پیش او در سجده‌گاه" ُSee:Rumi, 2004, p.227
  109. ^ The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, London, 1911, (originally published 1776-88) volume 5, pp. 381-2]
  110. ^ May 8, 1840
  111. ^ The United Nation and Imam Ali’s Constitution
  112. ^ Henri Lammens, Fatima and the Daughters of Muhammad, Rome and paris: Scripta Pontificii Instituti Biblici, 1912. Translation by Ibn Warraq.
  113. ^ Madelong, (1997) p.xi
  114. ^ The United Nation and Imam Ali’s Constitution
  115. ^ Arab human development report 2002 pp. 82 and 107

References

Books
  • Al-Bukhari, Muhammad. Sahih Bukhari, Book 4, 5, 8. 
  • Ali ibn Abi Talib. Nahj al-Balagha(Peak of Eloquence), compiled by ash-Sharif ar-Radi. 
  • Ali ibn al-Athir. In his Biography, vol 2. 
  • Ali ibn al-Athir. The Complete History (Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh), vol 3. 
  • Al-Waqidi. Al-maghazi(The Invasions) Part 1. Oxford Printing. 
  • Ashraf, Shahid (2005). Encyclopedia of Holy Prophet and Companions. Anmol Publications PVT. LTD.. ISBN 8126119403. 
  • Chirri, Mohammad (1982). The Brother of the Prophet Mohammad. Islamic Center of America, Detroit, MI. Alibris. ISBN 8126171834. 
  • Holt, P. M.; Bernard Lewis (1977). Cambridge History of Islam, Vol. 1. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521291364. 
  • Ibn Hisham, Abdul Malik (1955). Al Seerah Al Nabaweyah (Biography of the Prophet). Mustafa Al Babi Al Halabi(Egypt). (In Arabic)
  • Ibn Taymiyyah, Taqi ad-Din Ahmad. Minhaj as-Sunnah an-Nabawiyyah. (In Arabic)
  • Khatab, Amal (1996). Battles of Badr and Uhud. Ta-Ha Publishers. ISBN ISBN 1-897940-39-4. 
  • Lapidus, Ira (2002). A History of Islamic Societies, 2nd, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521779333. 
  • Madelung, Wilferd (1997). The Succession to Muhammad: A Study of the Early Caliphate. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521646960. 
  • Majlisi, Mohammad Baqer. Bihar al-Anwar V.97. (In Arabic)
  • Motahhari, Morteza. Ensane Kamel (Perfect Man), translated by Aladdin Pazargadi, edited by Shah Tariq Kamal. Foreign Department Of Bonyad Be'that. 
  • Motahhari, Morteza (1997). Glimpses of the Nahj Al-Balaghah, translated by Ali Quli Qara'i. Islamic Culture and Relations Organizati. 978-9644720710. 
  • Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj. Sahih Muslim, Book 19, 31. 
  • Peters, F. E. (2003). The Monotheists: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Conflict and Competition. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691114617. 
  • Redha, Mohammad; Mohammad Agha (1999). Imam Ali Ibn Abi Taleb (Imam Ali the Fourth Caliph, 1/1 Volume). Dar Al Kotob Al ilmiyah. ISBN 2-7451-2532-X. 
  • Rumi, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad (2004). The Masnavi, Book One , translated by Jawid A. Mojaddedi. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0192804383. 
  • Sayyid ibn Tawoos. Lohouf (Arabic: اللهوف). h. (in Arabic and Persian)
  • Tabatabae, Sayyid Mohammad Hosayn; Seyyed Hossein Nasr (translator) (1979). Shi'ite Islam. Suny press. ISBN 0-87395-272-3. 
  • Tabatabae, Sayyid Mohammad Hosayn. Tafsir al-Mizan. 
  • Qommi, Abbas; PearMahumed Ebrahim Trust (translator). The Prayer's AlManac, English version of Mafatih al-Jinan. 
  • Watt, William Montgomery (1953). Muhammad at Mecca. Oxford University Press. 
Encyclopedia
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.. 

For further reading

  • Al-Tabari, Muhammad ibn Jarir (1987 to 1996). History of the Prophets and Kings , translation and commentary issued in multiple volumes. SUNY Press.  volumes 6-17 are relevant.
  • Armstrong, Karen (1993). Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet. San Francisco: Harper. ISBN 0-06-250886-5. 
  • Gordagh, George (1956). Ali, The Voice of Human Justice. ISBN 0-941724-24-7. (in Arabic)
  • Ibn Ishaq (2002). The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0196360331. 
  • Ibn Qutaybah. Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa. (In Arabic)
  • Ibn Sa'd al-Baghdadi (1997). The Book of the Major Classes (scattered volumes of English translation as issued by Kitab Bhavan). Ta-Ha Publishers, London. 
  • Motahhari, Murtaza (1981). Polarization Around the Character of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib. World Organization for Islamic Services, Tehran. 

[6]

  • Rizvi , Sa'id Akhtar (1956). Imamate: The Vicegerency of the Prophet. 
  • Watt, William Montgomery (1956). Muhammad at Medina. Oxford University Press. 

External links

Some of the Ali's most famous sermons and letters

Sunni biography

Shi'a biography

Ali (c599-661)
Banu Hashim
Cadet branch of the Banu Quraish
Born: March 17 599 Died: February 28 661
Shī‘a Islam titlesImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
Preceded by
Muhammad
Imam
632661
Succeeded by
Hasan ibn Ali
Disputed by Nizari
Sunni Islam titlesImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
Preceded by
Uthman
Rashidun Caliph
656661
Succeeded by
Muawiyah I
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Simple English

Ali
File:Meshed ali usnavy (PD).jpg
This mosque near An Najaf, Iraq, is believed by Shias to house the tombstone of Ali
Reign 656 – 661
Full name ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib
Titles Amir al-Mu'minin
Born March 17, 599
Birthplace Mecca
Died February 28, 661
Place of death Kufa
Buried Imam Ali Mosque, Najaf, Iraq
Predecessor Prophet Mohammed
Successor Hasan ibn Ali
Wife Fatimah
Offspring Hassan
Husayn
Royal House Ahl al-Bayt
Banu Hashim
Father Abu Talib
Mother Fatima bint Asad

Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib) (علي بن أﺑﻲ طالب)‎ (Approximately: March 17, 599 - February 28, 661)[1] was an early Islamic leader. He was the fourth Sunni caliph and the first Shia imam.

Contents

Other websites

Sunni biography

Shi'a biography

References








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