Name : Ali(a.s.) – the 1st Holy Imam
Title : Ameer al-Momineen, Haider-e-Karrar, Sher-e-Khuda, Mushkil Kusha
Agnomen : Abu Turab, al-Murtaza
Father : Hazrat Abu Talib(a.s.)
Mother : Bibi Fatima bint-e-Asad(a.s.)
Birth : Inside Khana-e-Kaaba in Makkah on 13th Rajab (600 A.D.)
Martyred : In Masjid-e-Kufa in Iraq on 21st Ramzan 40 A.H. (661 AD)
Cause of Death/Buried : Hit by an attack during prayers and buried in Najaf-e-Ashraf (Iraq)
Manner of birth: Imam Ali (a.s.) is the first child in the family of Bani-Hashem whose both selfs are children of Hashem. His father Hazrat Abu-Taleb(a.s.) is the son of Hazrat Abdul-Mottaleb(a.s.) the son of Hashem bin Abd-Manaf and his mother is Bibi Fatemah bint-e-Asad(a.s.) who is the son of Hashem bin abd-manaf. The Hashemi family in the tribe of Qoraish is well-known (famous) for its moral virtues and high (supreme) humanistic characteristics among the Arab tribes. Magnanimity, generosity, courage and so many other virtues are characteristics of Bani-hashem. Moreover, each of these virtues at its highest degree exist in Imam Ali’s (a.s.) existence. Bibi Fatemah bint-e-Asad(a.s.) went to the holy Kaaba when in labour pain and came close to the wall of Kaaba and said “O God, I have firm faith in you, the Prophets and the books sent by you and also the speech of my grand father the builder of this house . O God, in consideration to the respect of the one who built this house and for the sake of the child in my womb make the birth of this child easy”. An instant later, in front of the eyes of Hazrat Abbass bin Abdul-Mottaleb(a.s.) and Hazrat Yazeed bin Taaf(r.a.) the south east wall of Kaaba cracked and Bibi Fatemah(a.s.) entered the Kaaba; the wall closed again. She was the guest of Allah(swt) for three days in the holiest place in the universe and there she gave birth to her child – Imam Ali(a.s.). Three days after the thirteenth of Rajab, thirty years passed the year of the Elephat; Bibi Fatemah bint-e-Asad, came out of the same cleavage in wall which opened again and said: “I heared a message from the unsean to call him Ali”.
Period of childhood: The Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) stayed with his parents. Since it was Allah’s(swt) will for him to gain more perfection, therefore, the honoured Prophet(pbuh&hf) from the beginning of his birth took care of his indirect education. Untill an unsual famine occurred in Mecca. Hazrat Abu-Taleb(a.s.) the uncle of the Prophet(pbuh&hf) having many children faced a heavy living expense. The honoured Prophet (pbuh&hf) with the consultation of his uncle Hazrat Abbas(a.s.), came to agreement that each one of them take one of the children of Hazrat Abu-Taleb(a.s.) with him as to make a relief for Hazrat Abu-Taleb(a.s.). Therefore Hazrat Abbas(a.s.) took Jaffar and the Prophet(pbuh&hf) took Imam Ali(a.s.) to his house. In this way the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) was completely besides the Prophet(pbuh&hf).
Imam Ali(a.s.) was always accompanying the Prophet(pbuh&hf) even when the Prophet(pbuh&hf) would leave the town and go to the mountain and desert.
Appointment of the Prophet(pbuh&hf) and the Holy Imam Ali (a.s.):
One of the virtues of the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) is that he is the first one to testify the Prophethood of Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf). Ibn Abeel Al-Hadeed says related to this : Know that among the great , big and scholastic theologians of the Mutazilites there is no dispute that Ali bin Abee-Taleb is the first person to believe in Islam; and to support the messenger of God.
The Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) the first supporter to the honoured Prophet(pbuh&hf) :
After the revelation of Allah(swt), the selection of the Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf) for prophethood and the three years of secret preaching, finally, the messenger of revelation arrived and the order for public preaching was given.
At this juncture, the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) was the only testifier of the Prophet(pbuh&hf); And was the only companion and sympathetic to his holiness in the invitation arranged to acquainte his relatives to Islam and to call them to the religion of Allah(swt). In this invitation the Prophet(pbuh&hf) asked the people present: “who is among you to help me in this way so to be my brother, successor and representative among you”. Only Imam Ali(a.s.) answered : “O Prophet of Allah, I will support you in this way”. The Prophet(pbuh&hf) after three times repeating the question and hearing the same answer said : O my relatives; Know that Ali(a.s.) is my brother , successor and Caliph after me among you. Of the other glories of the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) is his perfect courage in sleeping in the Prophet’s (pbuh&hf) bed , therefore, nullifing the plot of the idol- worshipers to kill the Prophet(pbuh&hf); And , furthermore, prepared the ground for the Prophet’s (pbuh&hf) migration. After the migration of his the Prophet(pbuh&hf) and Imam Ali(a.s.) to Madina, we explain two examples of the virtues of Imam Ali (a.s.):
1- Sacrifice and endangering in the field of struggle His presence in 26 battles of the 27 battles of the prophet (p) and participation in different expeditions are of the glories and virtues of his holiness.
2- Registering (keeping) and writing the revelation [the Holy Quran]: Writing the revelation, organizing (arranging) many of the historical and political documents and writing propagational and invitation letters, both in Makkah and Madina, And for this reason he is considered one of the writers of the revelation and memorizers of the Quran.
It was in this period that the Prophet(pbuh&hf) issued the decree of Muslim brotherhood, concluded the contract of brotherhood with the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) and said to him: “You are my brother in this world and in the here after, swearing by Allah who has appointed me with the truth. I choose you as my brother, a brotherhood that is to the extent of both worlds”. The Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) the son-in-law of the Prophet(pbuh&hf):
The pond of Khom :
In the last Year of the Prophet’s (pbuh&hf) life, after finishing the rituals of piligrammage and when returning in a place called the Khom pond close to Johfa , he ordered to stop, because the revelation commanded the Prophet(pbuh&hf) to complete his message. After the noon prayer the Prophet(pbuh&hf) went up the (mimbar) pulpit of the camels’ saddles and said: “O people, it is soon that I answer the call of Allah and go from among you. what do you think about me”. People said: “we witness that you have propagated the religion of Allah”. Prophet(pbuh&hf) said:” Don’t you witness that there is no God but the one God and Mohammad is his slave and messenger”. People said:”Yes, we witness”. Then the Prophet(pbuh&hf) raised the hand of the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) and said: “O People! among the believers who is more worthy than them selves. People said : “God and his prophet know better”. Then the Prophet(pbuh&hf) said:” O People, Allah is my master, I am your master and of whomever I am the master and leader, Ali is his master and leader as well. And repeated this sentence three times. then the people congratulated this selection to the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) and swore allegience to him.
The Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) after the death of the honoured Prophet(pbuh&hf) :
After the death of the honoured Prophet(pbuh&hf) because of special conditions that had arised, the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) withdrew from the scene of the society and choose silence; He neither participated in any struggle nor spoke officially in the society . He put the sword in the sheath and engaged with individual duties and educating the individuals.
Activities of the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) in this period were briefly as follows :
1- Interpretation of the Quran, solving religious problems and decreeing the rule of incidents that didn’t have a resemblance along the 23 Years of the Prophet’s (pbuh&hf) life.
2- Answering to questions of scholars from other religions and other towns.
3- Expressing the rule for many of the new events which didn’t occur previously in Islam.
4- Solving the problems when the caliphate system faced dead ends in political matters and some other problems.
5- Educating and raising a group who had pure conscience and prepared soul for spiritual journey.
6- Work and strife to secure the life of many of the poor and disabled to the extent that he would establish gardends and extract aqueducts and then would give them as endowments in the way of Allah(swt).
Period of the caliphate of the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.)
In the time of his aliphate many wars occurred as Siffin, Jamal and Nahrawan which had specific consequences. After the war of Nahrawan and the suppression of the Kharijites, some of the Kharijities among whom was Abdul-Rahman bin Moljam Moradi and Barak bin Abdulla Tameemi and Amr bin Bakr-tameemi in one of the nights got together and considered the ciruimstances of that time the blood-sheds and civil wars and remembered Nahrawan and their deads and finally reached to this conclusion that the reason for this blood-shed and brothers killing are the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.). Ibn Moljam undertook killing the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) and on the ninetheenth night of the month of Ramadan accompanied with some stayed in the mosque of Kufa. That night the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) was a guest of his doughter’s and was aware of the morning accident. When he mentioned this subject to his daughter, Umm-e-Kulsoom said: Tomorrow send Joada to the mosque. The Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) said: It is not possible to escape the Godly decree, then he fastened his belt and while humming these two verses he went to the mosque. Fasten your back firmly for death Because death will meet you and when death comes to you don’t fear or scream While the Holy Imam Ali (a.s.) was in prostation, Ibn Moljam hit him with the sword on his forehead and blood from his holiness head streamed in the altar and blood dyed his honoured beard. In this condition his holiness said: I swear by the Allah of Kaaba that I was successful. Then related verse 55 from soora Taha:
From it we created you and into it we shall send you back and from it we raise you a second time.
The Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) was at his last moment of his life still thinking of the welfare and happiness of the peoples adviced his chidlren relatives and all the Muslims saying : I advice you of piety and to organize your deeds and always think of causing reconciliation among the Muslims. Don’t forget the orphans, regard the rights of the neighbours. Make Quran the practical programme for yourself. Respect (honour) praying because it is the pillar of your religion. The Holy Imam Ali (a.s.) attained martyrdom on the 21 st of the month of Ramadan and was burried in Najaf in Iraq. His shrine became the tryst for the lovers of the truth and reality.