Son of Abu Talib (Prophets Uncle)
The First Imam
Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib

Rank: First Imam
Name: Imam Ali
Nicknames: Amirul Mo’mineen {Commander of the Faithful}, Abul Hassan {Father of Imam Hassan},Al-Murtadha.
Father: Abu Talib
Mother: Fatema Bint-e-Asad
Date of Birth: 600 A.D.
Place of Birth: Inside the Ka’ba (House of God) in Mecca (Saudi Arabia)
Date of Death: 661 A.D.
Lived: 61 years
Place of Death: The Mosque of Kufa (Iraq)
Cause of Death: Hit on the Head with a Poisoned Sword while Prostrating / (Sajdah) in Prayer.
Burial: The City of Al-Najaf (Iraq)

Imam Ali (upon him be peace) was the son of Abu Talib, the Shaykh of the Banu Hashim. Abu Talib was the uncle and guardian of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (sawas) and the person who had took the Prophet to his house and raised him like his own son. After the Prophet Mohammad (sawas) was chosen for his prophetic mission, Abu Talib continued to support him.

Imam Ali was born (ten years) before the start of the prophetic mission of Prophet Mohammad, he is the first and only man to be born inside the Ka’ba (in Mecca) – {His Birth was a miracle – as the walls of the Ka’ba opened up for his mother who was in labour and walking towards Mecca praying, then she went inside and the walls closed behind her – a hidden voice told her to name the child ‘Ali}

When Ali was 6 years old, as a result of bad environment in and around Mecca, he was asked by the Prophet to leave his father’s house and come to the Prophet Mohammad’s House. Imam Ali was put directly under the guardianship and custody of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (sawas).

A few years later, when the Prophet Mohammad (sawas) was given the Divine gift of prophecy and for the first time received the Divine revelation in the cave of Hira’, after Prophet Mohammad left the cave to return to town and to his (own house) he met Imam Ali on the way. He told him what had happened and Ali accepted the new faith.

In gatherings when the Holy Prophet (sawas) had brought his relatives together and invited them to accept his religion, he said the first person to accept his call would be his vicegerent and inheritor and deputy. The only person to rise from his place and accept the faith was Ali and the Prophet Mohammad (sawas) accepted his Promise of faith. Therefore Ali was the first man in Islam to accept the faith and is the first among the followers of the Prophet (sawas) to have never worshipped other than the One God.

Ali was always in the company of the Prophet (sawas) until the Prophet (sawas) migrated from Mecca to Medina. On the night of the migration to Medina (hijrah) when the infidels had surrounded the house of the Prophet (sawas) and were determined to invade the house at the end of the night and cut him to pieces while he was in bed, Ali slept in place of the Prophet (sawas) while the Prophet (sawas) left the house and set out for Medina. After the departure of the Prophet (sawas), according to his wish Ali gave back to the people the trusts and charges that they had left with the Prophet (sawas). Then Ali went to Medina with his mother (sawas), and two other women.

In Medina also Ali was constantly in the company of the Prophet (sawas) in private and in public. The Prophet (sawas) gave Fatimah, his beloved daughter from Khadijah, to Ali as his wife and when the Prophet (sawas) was creating bonds of brotherhood among his companions he selected Ali as his brother.

Ali was present in all the wars in which the Prophet (sawas) participated, except the battle of Tabuk when he was ordered to stay in Medina in place of the Prophet (sawas). He did not retreat in any battle nor did he turn his face away from any enemy. He never disobeyed the Prophet (sawas), the Prophet Mohammad (sawas) said, “Ali is never separated from the Truth nor the Truth from Ali.” The Declaration of the Prophet wanting Imam Ali and stressing that Ali is his successor has been repeated many times, one famous example is the Last Pilgrimage of the Prophet (See Below)

The last pilgrimage of Prophet Mohammad to Mecca which is known in history as ‘Hajjat-ul-Wida’. This took place on the 18th of Zil-Hajj, in 632 AC, 3 months before he died (peace be upon him), when the Prophet and his followers were returning from his last pilgrimage. Prophet Muhammad announced that he had received an important revelation from Allah, and made a halt at the pond called Ghadir Khumm. A make-shift was erected from saddles, sticks and camel skins and as soon as all the pilgrims were gathered, he then revealed the Ayah-e Gadhir Khumm in the Quran. (see below)

“O Messenger (Prophet), deliver to the people what has been revealed to you from your Lord and if you do not do so then you will not have delivered His message and Allah will protect you from the people. For God does not guide those who reject Faith.”

This verse teaches that whatever Muhammad was instructed by God to “deliver” at this point was clearly significant because God warned that if it were not to have been delivered, then it would have been as though Muhammad had delivered nothing at all; even after all his years of Prophet hood and despite all his efforts up to this point to establish Islam. Furthermore, it teaches that God’s words, “and Allah will protect you from the people…” was revealed, because Muhammad had anticipated that there would be objections to whatever was to be “delivered” to the people. This is What Prophet Mohammad had to Deliver:

“O people! I am a human being. I am about to receive a messenger (the angel of death) 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 (Quran) 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.”

In Ghadir, according to all sources, the prophet said: “O’ people, who, among people, has greater awla over the believers than themselves?” They said: “God and His Messenger are knowledgeable.” He said: “Certainly, God is my mawla, and I am the mawla of the believers, and I have greater awla on the believers than themselves, so for whoever I am his mawla, Ali is his mawla.”

According to numerous Shia Islamic Scholars, the event at Ghadir Khumm is a credible one which has been narrated by about 110 companions of Muhammad. The debate lies in the definition attributed by either side to the term mawla adopted in the Prophetic tradition which means ruler or nasi.

After the Farwell hajj, when people started to disperse on their way home, Muhammad ordered those that dispersed a head to come back and assemble I place near an Oasis called Ghadir Khumm.

When they where assembled, over 100 000 Muslims, ordered a high place to be built for him and went on top it and started to deliver a long sermon. At the end of it, the Prophet Mohammad asked the people:

Does Allah have higher authority (awla) over a believer than themselves?

They Responded positively to his question. Then he asked:

“Am I the authority (awla) whom you obey?” Asked Prophet Mohammad,

They answered, “We obey your directions.” he then took Ali’s hand and said:

“For whomsoever I am the Mawla (, this Ali is his Mawla too.

“Man kuntu Mawla, Fahaza Alion Mawla.

“O Allah! Love (wali ) those who love him (walaah) and be an enemy to those who are inimical to him.

allahummu wali man walaah wa `adi man `adaah

(« من کنت مولاه فهذا علي مولاه اللهم وال من والاه و عاد من عاداه »)

After that, People came in line and shook Ali’s hand. Omar said:

“Congratulations, O Ali! You have become the mawla (Leader) of every single believer. {Commander of the Faithful}”

On the day of the death of the Prophet (sawas), Ali was thirty-three years old. Although he was foremost in religious virtues and the most outstanding among the companions of the Prophet (sawas), he was pushed aside from the caliphate on the claim that he was too young and that he had many enemies among the people because of the blood of the polytheists he had spilled in the wars fought alongside the Prophet (sawas). Therefore Ali was almost completely cut off from public affairs. He retreated to his house where he began to train competent individuals in the Divine sciences and in this way he passed the twenty-five years of the caliphate of the first three caliphs who succeeded the Prophet (sawas). When the third caliph was killed, people gave their allegiance to Imam Ali and he was chosen as caliph / Imam.

During his caliphate of nearly four years and nine months, Ali followed the way of the Prophet (sawas) and gave his caliphate the form of a spiritual movement and renewal and began many different types of reforms. Naturally, these reforms were against the interests of certain parties that sought their own benefit. As a result, a group of the companions (foremost among whom were Talhah and Zubayr, who also gained the support of A’ishah, and especially Mu’awiyah) made a pretext of the death of the third caliph to raise their heads in opposition and began to revolt and rebel against Ali.

In order to quell the civil strife and sedition, Ali fought a war near Basra, known as the “Battle of the Camel,” against Talhah and Zubayr in which Ummul Mu’mineen A’ishah, was also involved. He fought another war against Mu’awiyah on the border of Iraq and Syria which lasted for a year and a half and is famous as the “Battle of Siffin.” He also fought against the Khawarij at Nahrawan, in a battle known as the “Battle of Nahrawan.” Therefore, most of the days of Ali’s caliphate were spent in overcoming internal opposition. Finally, in the morning of the 19th of Ramadan in the year 40 A.H., while praying in the mosque of Kufa, he was wounded by one of the Khawarij and died as a martyr during the night of the 21st of Ramadan.

According to the testimony of friend and foe alike, Ali had no shortcomings from the point of view of human perfection. And in the Islamic virtues he was a perfect example of the upbringing and training given by the Prophet (sawas). The discussions that have taken place concerning his personality and the books written on this subject by Shia, Sunnis and members of other religions, as well as the simply curious outside any distinct religious bodies, are hardly equalled in the case of any other personality in history.

In science and knowledge Ali was the most learned of the companions of the Prophet (sawas), and of Muslims in general. In his learned discourses he was the first in Islam to open the door for logical demonstration and proof and to discuss the “divine sciences” or metaphysics (ma’arif-i ilahlyah). He spoke concerning the esoteric aspect of the Quran and devised Arabic grammar in order to preserve the Quran’s form of expression, He was the most eloquent Arab in speech.

The courage of Ali was proverbial. In all the wars in which he participated during the lifetime of the Prophet (sawas), and also afterward, he never displayed fear or anxiety. Although in many battles such as those of Uhud, Hunayn, Khaybar and Khandaq the aides to the Prophet (sawas) and the Muslim army trembled in fear or dispersed and fled, he never turned his back to the enemy. Never did a warrior or soldier engage Ali in battle and come out of it alive. Yet, with full chivalry he would never slay a weak enemy nor pursue those who fled. He would not engage in surprise attacks or in turning streams of water upon the enemy. It has been definitively established historically that in the Battle of Khaybar in the attack against the fort he reached the ring of the door and with sudden motion tore off the door and cast it away. Also on the day when Mecca was conquered the Prophet (sawas) ordered the idols to be broken. The idol “Hubal” was the largest idol in Mecca, a giant stone statue placed on the top of the Ka’ba. Following the command of the Prophet (sawas), Ali placed his feet on the Prophet (peace be upon him) shoulders, climbed to the top of the Ka’ba, pulled “Hubal” from its place and cast it down.

Ali was also without equal in religious asceticism and the worship of God. In answer to some who had complained of Ali’s anger toward them, the Prophet (sawas) said, “Do not reproach Ali for he is in a state of Divine ecstasy and bewilderment.

” Abu Darda”, one of the companions, one day saw the body of Ali in one of the palm plantations of Medina laying on the ground as stiff as wood. He went to Ali’s house to inform his noble wife, the daughter of the Prophet (sawas), and to express his condolences. The daughter of the Prophet (sawas) said, “My cousin (Ali) has not died. Rather, in fear of God he has fainted. This condition overcomes him often.” There are many stories told of Ali’s kindness to the lowly, compassion for the needy and the poor, and generosity and munificence toward those in misery and poverty. Ali spent all that he earned to help the poor and the needy, and himself lived in the strictest and simplest manner. Ali loved agriculture and spent much of his time digging wells, planting trees and cultivating fields. But all the fields that he cultivated or wells that he built he gave in endowment (waqf) to the poor. His endowments, known as the “alms of Ali,” had the noteworthy income of twenty-four thousand gold dinars toward the end of his life.