Amirul Momineen Imam Ali (A.S.)

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Tuesday, 31 August 2010


Imam_Ali_5The Life of the Commander of the Faithful

Ali b. Abu Talib(A.S.)

Imam Ali b.Abu Talib(A.S.) the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, the first of the Imams of the belicvers, of the rulers (wali) of the Muslims and of God's (appointed) successors in religion after the Apostle of God, the truthful one and the trusted one, Muhammad b. Abd
Father: Abu Talib bin Abdul Muttalib bin Hashim.

Mother: Fatimah bint Asad bin Hashim bin Abd Munaf.

Kunniyat (Patronymic): Abul Hasan and Husayn, Abu Turab

Laqab (Title): Al-Wasi, Amir al-Mu'minin

Birth: He was born in the Ka'ba, in thirty 'Am al-Fil (the year of the elephant).

Martyrdom: He was martyred by the Khwariji named Abd al-Rahman ibn Muljam at Kufa during the month of Ramadhan in the fortieth year of Hijrah and is buried in Najaf on the outskirts of Kufa.

His Birth:

He was born in the Sacred House (i.e. the Kaba) in Mecca on Friday, the thirteenth day of the month of Rajab, thirty years after the Year of the Elephant (c.570). Nobody before or after him has ever been born in the House of God, the Most High. (It was a mark) of him being honoured by God, the Most High, may His name be exalted, and of his position being dignified in its greatness.

Imam Ali's(A.S.) Mother:

His mother was Fatima, daughter of Asad b. Hashim b. Abd Manaf, may God be pleased with her. She was like a mother to the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, and he (the Apostle) was brought up under her care.

He was grateful for her kindness and she was among the first to believe in him and she emigrated with him in the group of the emigrants.

When she died, the Prophet shrouded her with his own shirt in order to protect her from the insects of the earth, and he laid her to rest in her grave in order that, through that, she might be protected from (the crushing pressure of) the narrow space within the grave.

He dictated to her her last words (which were) the statement of the authority (wilaya) of her son, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, so that at the examination after burial, she would be able to reply with those words. He singled her out with this great favour because of her position with God, may He be magnified and exalted, and with him, peace be on hinn. The report of that is well known.

Imam Ali's(A.S.) Nobility:

The Commander of the faithful, Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be on him, and his brothers were among the leading members of the second generation of descendants of Hashim. In this way he gained two marks of nobility, through his growing up under the care and education of the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family. He was the first of the family of the House and of the Companions to believe in God and His Apostle. He was the first male whom the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, summoned to Islam and who answered. He never ceased to support the religion and to strive against the polytheists. He constantly defended the faith and fought against those who supported deviation (from the truth) and despotism. He spread the teachings of the sunna (the practice of thc Prophet) and the Qur'an, judged with justice and enjoined (people) to do good.

Imam Ali(A.S.):"The Greatest Guardian of Islam"

He was with the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, twenty-three years after the (coming) of the (prophetic) mission. Of these, thirteen years were in Mecca before thc migration when he shared with him all the persecutions and bore most of his hardships. Then there were ten years in Medina after thc emigration when he defended him against the polytheists and strove with him against the unbelievers.

He protected him with his own life from the enemies of religion until the time God, the Exalted, took (the Prophet) to His heaven, raised him to the highest place in heaven and bestowed His blessings and peace on him and his family. On that day the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, was thirty-three years of age.

On the day of the demise of the Holy Prophet, may God bless him and his family, the community differed over his Imamate. His Shia who were all the Banu Hashim, Salman, Ammar, Abu Dharr, al-Miqdad, Khuzayma b. Thabit - the man who is known as the possessor of two testimonies - Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, Jabir b. Abd Allah al-Ansari Abu Said al-Khudri and people like them among the important emigrants and Ansar, (all these) maintained that he was the successor (khalifa) after the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, and the Imam. (They did this) because of his outstanding merit (fadl) above all mankind, through the fact that there were gathered in him the qualities of outstanding merit, judgement and perfection, such as him being the first of the community to enter the faith, his superiority over them in knowledge of the laws, his precedence over them in fighting (jihad) and the distinction which set him apart from them in the extent of his piety, asceticism and righteousness.

Imam Ali(A.S.):"The Successor of the Holy Prophet of Islam(S.A.W.)"

Furthermore he had been specially singled out by the Prophet from among (all) his relations because of (the qualities) which no other relation, apart from him, shared with the Holy Prophet(S.A.W.) and because of the nomination (nass) of his authority (wilaya) by God, may God be magnified and exalted, in the Qur'an where He, may His name be exalted, says:

Your authority (wali) is God and His Apostle and those believers who perfrom the prayer and pay alms (zakat) while they are bowing (in prayer). [ V 55 ]

It is known that no one except him paid alms while bowing (in prayer).

It has been established in language that wali means "the most appropriate for authority" (awla), without there being any opposition (to this definition). If the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, was, by the stipulation of the Qur'an, more appropriate for authority among the people than themselves because of his being their wali according to the textual nomination (nass) in the Clear Explanation (i.e. the Qur'an, tibyan), it was obviously necessary for all of them to obey him, just as obedience to God, the Most High, and obedience to His Apostle, peace be on him and his family, was required because of the information about their authority (wilaya) over creatures which is given in this verse with clear proof.

(Another reason for their support for the Commander of the faithful was) because of what the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, said on the day (of the assembly) at his house. He had especially gathered the Banu Abd al-Muttalib there in order to make the (following) solemn pledge:

Whoever helps me in this matter will be my brother, my testamentary trustee (wasi) my helper (wazir), my heir and my successor after me.

Then the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, stood up before him among all the gathering of them, and on that day he was the youngest of them, and he said:

O Apostle of God, I will help you.

Then the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, said:

Sit down, you are my brother, my trustee, my helper, my inheritor and successor after me.

This is a clear statement about the succession (after the Prophet).

The Day of Ghadir Khumm

In addition, there is also what (the Prophet), peace be on him and his family, said on the day of Ghadir Khumm. The community had gathered to listen to the sermon (in which he asked):

Am I not more appropriate for authority (awla) over you than yourselves?

Yes, they answered.

Then he spoke to them in an ordered manner without any interruption in his speech:

Whomsoever I am the authority over (mawla), Ali is also the authority over.

Thus he (the Prophet) required for him (Ali), through laying down obedience to him and his authority (over them), the same authority as he had over them, and which he made them acknowledge and which they did not deny. This is clear (evidence) of the nomination (nass) of him for the Imamate and for succession to his position.

Furthermore there is (the Prophet's), peace be on him and his family, statement to him at the time of setting out to Tabuk:

You are in the same position with respect to me as Aaron (Harun) was to Moses (Musa) except that there is no prophet after me.

Thus he required him (to have) the office of helping (i.e. administering) and to be characterised by love and outstanding merit over everyone. (He also required) his deputising for him both during his life and after his death. The Qur'an gives evidence for all that coming to Aaron (Harun) from Moses, peace be on them, when God, may He be magnified and exalted, said in giving a report of what Moses, peace be on him, said:

Make Aaron, my brotherly a helper for me from my family. Give me support through him and make him participate in my affair so that we may glorify You much and we may remember You frequently in that You have been a watcher over us. [ XX 29-35]

God, the Most Exalted said:

Your request is granted Moses. [ XX 36 ]

This (verse) confirmed that Aaron had a share with Moses in prophecy, and in helping in delivering the message and his support was strengthened through him by his aid. (Moses) also told him of deputising for him (when he said):

Deputise for me among my people. Act for (their) benefit and do not follow the path of the corrupters. [ VII 142 ]

This confirms his succession by the precise statement of revelation. Therefore when the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, gave all the ranks which Aaron had from Moscs to the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, in the same extent, except for prophecy, (all such things) were required of him as helping the Apostle, giving him support, outstanding merit and love, because these qualities were definitely required by that. Then by the clear statement there is his deputising for him during his life and "after the prophethood" which (gives evidence of his succession) by specification of the exception, (of Prophethood) when he excludes him from it by mentioning "after".

The Imamate of the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, was for thirty years after the Prophet, may God bless him and his family. For twenty-four years and six months of these he was prevented from administering the laws (of the office) (and had to) exercise precautionary dissimulation (taqiyya) and withdrawal.

For five years and six months of these, he was troubled by wars against the hypocrites, those who broke their pledges, the unjust and those who deviated (from the religion) and he was plagued by the seditions of those who had gone astray. In the same way the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, had been prevented from (administering) the laws (of his office) through fear and through being spied upon, and through being a fugitive and through being exiled, so that he had no power to fight the unbelievers and no means of defending the believers. Then he emigrated and for ten years after the emigration he remained making war on the unbelievers and being troubled by the hypocrites until the time that God, may His name be exalted, took him unto Himself and made him dwell in the gardens of Paradise.

The Martyrdom

The martyrdom of the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him occurred before dawn of Friday, the twenty-first of the month of Ramadan, in the year 40 A.H. He was a victim of the sword. Ibn Muljam al-Muradi, may God curse him, killed him at the mosque of Kufa, which he had come out to in order to wake the people for the dawn prayer on the night of the nineteenth of the month of Ramadan.

He had been lying in wait for him from the beginning of the night. When he (the Commander of the faithful) passed by him while the latter was hiding his design by feigning sleep amid a group of people who were asleep, he (Ibn Muljam) sprang out and struck him on the top of his head with his sword which was poisoned. He lingered through the day of the nineteenth and the night and day of the twentieth and the first third of the night of the twenty-first. Then he, peace be on him, died a martyr and met his Lord, Most High, as one who has been wronged. He, peace be on him, knew of that before its time and he told the people of it before its time.

His two sons, al- Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be on them, performed (the tasks) of washing him and shrouding him according to his bequest. Then they carried him to al-Ghari at Najaf in Kufa and they buried him there. They removed the traces of the place of his burial according to his bequest which was made about that to hath of them by him, because of what he, peace be on him, knew about the regime of the Umayyads (which would come) after him, and their hostile attitude towards him.

(For he knew) the evil action and abuse to which they would be led by their wicked intentions if they had been able to know that (place). His grave, peace be on him, remained hidden until al-Sadiq Jafar b. Muhammad, peace be on them, pointed it out during the Abbasid regime. For he visited it when he came to visit Abu Ja'far (al-Mansur) while the latter was in al-Hira. Then the Shi'a knew of it and they began from that time to make visitation to his (grave), peace be on him and on his pure offspring.

On the day of his martyrdom Imam Ali(A.S.) was 63 years of age.

The Last Will of Imam Ali(A.S.)

Imam Ali's (A.S.) last will to his sons Imam Hasan (A.S.) and Imam Hussain (A.S.) after the attempt on his life by a stab from Ibn Muljam:

My advice to you is to be conscious of Allah and steadfast in your religion. Do not yearn for the world, and do not be seduced by it. Do not resent anything you have missed in it. Proclaim the truth; work for the next world. Oppose the oppressor and support the oppressed.

I advise you, and all my children, my relatives, and whosoever receives this message, to be conscious of Allah, to remove your differences, and to strengthen your ties. I heard your grandfather, peace be upon him, say: "Reconciliation of your differences is more worthy than all prayers and all fasting."

Fear Allah in matters concerning orphans. Attend to their nutrition and do not forget their interests in the middle of yours.

Fear Allah in your relations with your neighbors. Your Prophet often recommended them to you, so much so that we thought he would give them a share in inheritance.

Remain attached to the Quran. Nobody should surpass you in being intent on it, or more sincere in implementing it.

Fear Allah in relation to your prayers. It is the pillar of your religion.

Fear Allah in relation to His House; do not abandon it as long as you live. It you should do that you would abandon your dignity.

Persist in jihad in the cause of Allah, with your money, your souls, and your tongue.

Maintain communication and exchange of opinion among yourselves. Beware of disunity and enmity. Do not desist from promoting good deeds and cautioning against bad ones. Should you do that,the worst among you would be your leaders, and you will call upon Allah without response.

O Children of Abdul Mattaleb! Do not shed the blood of Muslims under the banner: The Imam has been assassinated! Only the assassin should be condemned to death.

If I die of this stab of his, kill him with one similar stroke. Do not mutilate him! I have heard the Prophet, peace be upon him, say: "Mutilate not even a rabid dog."

Imam Ali (as) First in many Fields

1).He was the only man to be born in the Kabah (The house of God)

2).He was the first to offer homage to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)

3).He was the first to offer prayers after the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)

4).He was the first to offer his services for Jihad.

5).He was the first to receive religious instructions from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)

6).He was the first to compile and codify the Holy Quran

7).He was the first to be styled as "brother" by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) and on every occasion

8).He was the first to give burial to the Prophet (S.A.W.)

9).He was the first to offer to sleep in the Prophet's (S.A.W.) bed on the night of his emigration to Medina

10).He was the first to be appointed commander in all those battles in which the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) did not participate personally

11).The honor of the propagation of the Quranic Sura, "al Bara'at" fell to Imam Ali's (as) lot

12).He was the only man to be titled as the "Second Aaron" by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)

13).The honor of owning a house which opened into the courtyard of the Prophet's (S.A.W.) mosque was reserved for Imam Ali (A.S.) alone

14).He was the first to have the honor of being nominated by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) as his succesor, testator and vice regent.

... and many many more

Imam Ali(A.S.) and the Ancient Prophets

1).God gave Adam the knowledge of His names, while Ali(A.S.) held the entire knowledge of the Book of Allah.

2).Adam was married with Eve in the Garden of Paradise, while God married Imam Ali (A.S.) with Fatima (A.S.) in heaven

3).God styled Noah as a "Grateful Creature" and he was called the Second Adam, while Imam Ali (A.S.) was styled as "Abu'l Ummah"

4).God made Abraham the "Imam" or the "Leaders of men", while Imam Ali (A.S.) was the Imam of all creation, men and Jinnis

5).Moses was brought up in the house of Pharoah, while Imam Ali (A.S.) was brought up in the house of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)

6).Moses threw his rod which became a serpent, whereas Imam Ali (as), while still in the cradle, cleaved the snake into two

7).Moses name has been mentioned 230 times in the Quran, while Imam Ali's (as) has been referred to in 300 places in the Quran

... and many many more

History of the Holy Shrine of Imam Ali(A.S.)

The visit of Prophet Abraham and Isaac and Abraham's prediction and desire to buy the Valley of Peace.

Those who have visited Najaf will remember vividly that to the north and east of the town there are acres of graves and myriads of domes of various colours and at various stages of disrepair. Whoever goes to Najaf will follow a road that approaches the town by a winding course through this vast cemetery.

The Prophet Abraham had come to this place along with Isaac; there had been many earthquakes in the vicinity, but while Abraham remained there, there were no tremors. On the night, however, when Abraham and Isaac went to a different village, and sure enough Najaf was visited with another earthquake. When they returned, the people were most eager for them to make Najaf their permanent dwelling-place. Abraham agreed to do so on condition that they would sell him the valley behind the village for cultivation. Isaac protested and said that this land was neither fit for farming nor grazing, but Abraham insisted and assured him that the time would come when there would be a tomb there with a shrine, at which seventy thousand people would gain absolutely undisputed entrance to Paradise, and be able also to intercede for many others.1

The valley that Abraham wanted to buy is called the Valley of Peace (Wadiu's-Salaam), and it is related on the authority of the fourth Imam, that Ali(A.S.) once said that this ValIey of Peace is part of Heaven and that there is not a single one of the believers in the world, whether he dies in the east or west, but his soul will come to this Paradise to rest.2 "As there is nothing hidden in this world from my eyes," Ali went on to say, "I see all the believers seated - here in groups and talking with one another."

How Najaf was given its name is explained in the tradition. At first there was a mountain there, and when one of the sons of Noah refused to enter the Ark, he said that he would sit on this mountain until he would see where the water would come. A revelation came therefore to the mountain, "Do you undertake to protect this son of mine from punishment?" And all at once the mountain fell. to pieces and the son of Noah was drowned. In place of the mountain a large river appeared, but after a few years the river dried up, and the place was called Nay-Jaff, meaning, "the dried river."3

And so as per the prediction of Abraham, Imam Ali(A.S.) was buried here.

Imam Ali(A.S.) is absent today from our midst only physically. His soul even to this day is the greatest spiritual resort everyone who seeks the help of God through his medium. Thousands and thousands of people call out to him in their difficulties, and the word "Ya Ali Madad", automatically comes to them. A famous prayer known as "NADEY ALI" (Call Ali) is recited wherever abound the lovers of Ali.

The Mausoleum

"The Mausoleum itself of Hazrat Ali at Najaf, is breathtaking. There is one large central dome which stands out of a square-shaped ornate structure at the two sides of which are two minarets. The predominant colour of'the exterior is gold, bright shining gold and the entire exterior of the mausoleum is inlaid with a mosaic pattern of light powder blue, white marble, gold again with an occasional splash of Middle East rust."

So says D. F. Karaka after his visit to Najaf, and further adds, "I have sat and wondered at the marbled splendour of our Taj Mahal, the tomb which Shah Jahan built for his Empress Mumtaz Mahal, but despite its beauty, the Taj appears insipid in comparison with this splash of colour at Najaf. The tomb surpassed anything I have seen in gorgeous splendour. All the great kings of the world put together could not have a tomb as magnificent as this, for this is the tribute which kings and peasants have built together to enshrine the mortal remains of the great Ali."

Countless number of people from all over the world flock to his tomb day after day to pay their respects and to offer salutations and to pray to Allah seeking his intercession. And those who cannot afford to go there personally, are constantly praying to Allah to help them to visit the shrine of their Maula Ali, and when somebody goes on a pilgrimage to Najaf, they request him to offer salutations on their behalf, and to pray to God - for some particular favour - and to seek Imam Ali's intercession.

The deer hunting incident of Harun al-Rashid

"During the reigns of the Umayyad Caliphs his blessed resting-place could not be disclosed, and so it was also under the Abbasids until the reign of Harun al-Rashid. But in the year 175 A.H. (791 A.D.), Harun happened to go hunting in these parts, and the deer he was chasing took refuge on a small piece of raised ground.

However much he asked his hunting dogs to capture the quarry, they refused to go near this spot. He urged his horse to this place, and the horse too refused to budge; and on this, awe took possession of the Caliph's heart, and he immediately started to make inquiries of the people of the neighbourhood, and they acquainted him with the fact that this was the grave of Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib(A.S.), the cousin and son-in-law of the Holy Prophet. Harun ordered a tomb to be erected over the grave, and people soon began to settle down in its vicinity."4

Footnotes:

1. Majlisi op. cit. page 108.

2. Mailisi op. cit. Page 111.

3. Majlisi op. cit. page 111.

4. The Shrine of Ali at Najaf from "The Shi'ite Religion" by Dwight M. Donaldson.


">  Allah, the seal of the Prophets, blessings on him and his pure family.

Imam Ali(A.S.) the brother of the Apostle of God and his paternal cousin, and his helper (wazir) in his affair, his son-in- law (being married) to his daughter, Fatima the chaste,the leader of the women of the universe.

(The full name of) the Commander of the faithful is

Ali b. Abi Talib b. Abd al Muttalib b. Hashim b. Abd Manaf.

(He was) the Lord of the testamentary trustees of authority (wasiyyin), the best of blessing and peace be on him.

His kunya was Abu al-Hasan.

Father: Abu Talib bin Abdul Muttalib bin Hashim.

Mother: Fatimah bint Asad bin Hashim bin Abd Munaf.

Kunniyat (Patronymic): Abul Hasan and Husayn, Abu Turab

Laqab (Title): Al-Wasi, Amir al-Mu'minin

Birth: He was born in the Ka'ba, in thirty 'Am al-Fil (the year of the elephant).

Martyrdom: He was martyred by the Khwariji named Abd al-Rahman ibn Muljam at Kufa during the month of Ramadhan in the fortieth year of Hijrah and is buried in Najaf on the outskirts of Kufa.

His Birth:

He was born in the Sacred House (i.e. the Kaba) in Mecca on Friday, the thirteenth day of the month of Rajab, thirty years after the Year of the Elephant (c.570). Nobody before or after him has ever been born in the House of God, the Most High. (It was a mark) of him being honoured by God, the Most High, may His name be exalted, and of his position being dignified in its greatness.

Imam Ali's(A.S.) Mother:

His mother was Fatima, daughter of Asad b. Hashim b. Abd Manaf, may God be pleased with her. She was like a mother to the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, and he (the Apostle) was brought up under her care.

He was grateful for her kindness and she was among the first to believe in him and she emigrated with him in the group of the emigrants.

When she died, the Prophet shrouded her with his own shirt in order to protect her from the insects of the earth, and he laid her to rest in her grave in order that, through that, she might be protected from (the crushing pressure of) the narrow space within the grave.

He dictated to her her last words (which were) the statement of the authority (wilaya) of her son, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, so that at the examination after burial, she would be able to reply with those words. He singled her out with this great favour because of her position with God, may He be magnified and exalted, and with him, peace be on hinn. The report of that is well known.

Imam Ali's(A.S.) Nobility:

The Commander of the faithful, Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be on him, and his brothers were among the leading members of the second generation of descendants of Hashim. In this way he gained two marks of nobility, through his growing up under the care and education of the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family. He was the first of the family of the House and of the Companions to believe in God and His Apostle. He was the first male whom the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, summoned to Islam and who answered. He never ceased to support the religion and to strive against the polytheists. He constantly defended the faith and fought against those who supported deviation (from the truth) and despotism. He spread the teachings of the sunna (the practice of thc Prophet) and the Qur'an, judged with justice and enjoined (people) to do good.

Imam Ali(A.S.):"The Greatest Guardian of Islam"

He was with the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, twenty-three years after the (coming) of the (prophetic) mission. Of these, thirteen years were in Mecca before thc migration when he shared with him all the persecutions and bore most of his hardships. Then there were ten years in Medina after thc emigration when he defended him against the polytheists and strove with him against the unbelievers.

He protected him with his own life from the enemies of religion until the time God, the Exalted, took (the Prophet) to His heaven, raised him to the highest place in heaven and bestowed His blessings and peace on him and his family. On that day the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, was thirty-three years of age.

On the day of the demise of the Holy Prophet, may God bless him and his family, the community differed over his Imamate. His Shia who were all the Banu Hashim, Salman, Ammar, Abu Dharr, al-Miqdad, Khuzayma b. Thabit - the man who is known as the possessor of two testimonies - Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, Jabir b. Abd Allah al-Ansari Abu Said al-Khudri and people like them among the important emigrants and Ansar, (all these) maintained that he was the successor (khalifa) after the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, and the Imam. (They did this) because of his outstanding merit (fadl) above all mankind, through the fact that there were gathered in him the qualities of outstanding merit, judgement and perfection, such as him being the first of the community to enter the faith, his superiority over them in knowledge of the laws, his precedence over them in fighting (jihad) and the distinction which set him apart from them in the extent of his piety, asceticism and righteousness.

Imam Ali(A.S.):"The Successor of the Holy Prophet of Islam(S.A.W.)"

Furthermore he had been specially singled out by the Prophet from among (all) his relations because of (the qualities) which no other relation, apart from him, shared with the Holy Prophet(S.A.W.) and because of the nomination (nass) of his authority (wilaya) by God, may God be magnified and exalted, in the Qur'an where He, may His name be exalted, says:

Your authority (wali) is God and His Apostle and those believers who perfrom the prayer and pay alms (zakat) while they are bowing (in prayer). [ V 55 ]

It is known that no one except him paid alms while bowing (in prayer).

It has been established in language that wali means "the most appropriate for authority" (awla), without there being any opposition (to this definition). If the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, was, by the stipulation of the Qur'an, more appropriate for authority among the people than themselves because of his being their wali according to the textual nomination (nass) in the Clear Explanation (i.e. the Qur'an, tibyan), it was obviously necessary for all of them to obey him, just as obedience to God, the Most High, and obedience to His Apostle, peace be on him and his family, was required because of the information about their authority (wilaya) over creatures which is given in this verse with clear proof.

(Another reason for their support for the Commander of the faithful was) because of what the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, said on the day (of the assembly) at his house. He had especially gathered the Banu Abd al-Muttalib there in order to make the (following) solemn pledge:

Whoever helps me in this matter will be my brother, my testamentary trustee (wasi) my helper (wazir), my heir and my successor after me.

Then the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, stood up before him among all the gathering of them, and on that day he was the youngest of them, and he said:

O Apostle of God, I will help you.

Then the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, said:

Sit down, you are my brother, my trustee, my helper, my inheritor and successor after me.

This is a clear statement about the succession (after the Prophet).

The Day of Ghadir Khumm

In addition, there is also what (the Prophet), peace be on him and his family, said on the day of Ghadir Khumm. The community had gathered to listen to the sermon (in which he asked):

Am I not more appropriate for authority (awla) over you than yourselves?

Yes, they answered.

Then he spoke to them in an ordered manner without any interruption in his speech:

Whomsoever I am the authority over (mawla), Ali is also the authority over.

Thus he (the Prophet) required for him (Ali), through laying down obedience to him and his authority (over them), the same authority as he had over them, and which he made them acknowledge and which they did not deny. This is clear (evidence) of the nomination (nass) of him for the Imamate and for succession to his position.

Furthermore there is (the Prophet's), peace be on him and his family, statement to him at the time of setting out to Tabuk:

You are in the same position with respect to me as Aaron (Harun) was to Moses (Musa) except that there is no prophet after me.

Thus he required him (to have) the office of helping (i.e. administering) and to be characterised by love and outstanding merit over everyone. (He also required) his deputising for him both during his life and after his death. The Qur'an gives evidence for all that coming to Aaron (Harun) from Moses, peace be on them, when God, may He be magnified and exalted, said in giving a report of what Moses, peace be on him, said:

Make Aaron, my brotherly a helper for me from my family. Give me support through him and make him participate in my affair so that we may glorify You much and we may remember You frequently in that You have been a watcher over us. [ XX 29-35]

God, the Most Exalted said:

Your request is granted Moses. [ XX 36 ]

This (verse) confirmed that Aaron had a share with Moses in prophecy, and in helping in delivering the message and his support was strengthened through him by his aid. (Moses) also told him of deputising for him (when he said):

Deputise for me among my people. Act for (their) benefit and do not follow the path of the corrupters. [ VII 142 ]

This confirms his succession by the precise statement of revelation. Therefore when the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, gave all the ranks which Aaron had from Moscs to the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, in the same extent, except for prophecy, (all such things) were required of him as helping the Apostle, giving him support, outstanding merit and love, because these qualities were definitely required by that. Then by the clear statement there is his deputising for him during his life and "after the prophethood" which (gives evidence of his succession) by specification of the exception, (of Prophethood) when he excludes him from it by mentioning "after".

The Imamate of the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, was for thirty years after the Prophet, may God bless him and his family. For twenty-four years and six months of these he was prevented from administering the laws (of the office) (and had to) exercise precautionary dissimulation (taqiyya) and withdrawal.

For five years and six months of these, he was troubled by wars against the hypocrites, those who broke their pledges, the unjust and those who deviated (from the religion) and he was plagued by the seditions of those who had gone astray. In the same way the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, had been prevented from (administering) the laws (of his office) through fear and through being spied upon, and through being a fugitive and through being exiled, so that he had no power to fight the unbelievers and no means of defending the believers. Then he emigrated and for ten years after the emigration he remained making war on the unbelievers and being troubled by the hypocrites until the time that God, may His name be exalted, took him unto Himself and made him dwell in the gardens of Paradise.

The Martyrdom

The martyrdom of the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him occurred before dawn of Friday, the twenty-first of the month of Ramadan, in the year 40 A.H. He was a victim of the sword. Ibn Muljam al-Muradi, may God curse him, killed him at the mosque of Kufa, which he had come out to in order to wake the people for the dawn prayer on the night of the nineteenth of the month of Ramadan.

He had been lying in wait for him from the beginning of the night. When he (the Commander of the faithful) passed by him while the latter was hiding his design by feigning sleep amid a group of people who were asleep, he (Ibn Muljam) sprang out and struck him on the top of his head with his sword which was poisoned. He lingered through the day of the nineteenth and the night and day of the twentieth and the first third of the night of the twenty-first. Then he, peace be on him, died a martyr and met his Lord, Most High, as one who has been wronged. He, peace be on him, knew of that before its time and he told the people of it before its time.

His two sons, al- Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be on them, performed (the tasks) of washing him and shrouding him according to his bequest. Then they carried him to al-Ghari at Najaf in Kufa and they buried him there. They removed the traces of the place of his burial according to his bequest which was made about that to hath of them by him, because of what he, peace be on him, knew about the regime of the Umayyads (which would come) after him, and their hostile attitude towards him.

(For he knew) the evil action and abuse to which they would be led by their wicked intentions if they had been able to know that (place). His grave, peace be on him, remained hidden until al-Sadiq Jafar b. Muhammad, peace be on them, pointed it out during the Abbasid regime. For he visited it when he came to visit Abu Ja'far (al-Mansur) while the latter was in al-Hira. Then the Shi'a knew of it and they began from that time to make visitation to his (grave), peace be on him and on his pure offspring.

On the day of his martyrdom Imam Ali(A.S.) was 63 years of age.

The Last Will of Imam Ali(A.S.)

Imam Ali's (A.S.) last will to his sons Imam Hasan (A.S.) and Imam Hussain (A.S.) after the attempt on his life by a stab from Ibn Muljam:

My advice to you is to be conscious of Allah and steadfast in your religion. Do not yearn for the world, and do not be seduced by it. Do not resent anything you have missed in it. Proclaim the truth; work for the next world. Oppose the oppressor and support the oppressed.

I advise you, and all my children, my relatives, and whosoever receives this message, to be conscious of Allah, to remove your differences, and to strengthen your ties. I heard your grandfather, peace be upon him, say: "Reconciliation of your differences is more worthy than all prayers and all fasting."

Fear Allah in matters concerning orphans. Attend to their nutrition and do not forget their interests in the middle of yours.

Fear Allah in your relations with your neighbors. Your Prophet often recommended them to you, so much so that we thought he would give them a share in inheritance.

Remain attached to the Quran. Nobody should surpass you in being intent on it, or more sincere in implementing it.

Fear Allah in relation to your prayers. It is the pillar of your religion.

Fear Allah in relation to His House; do not abandon it as long as you live. It you should do that you would abandon your dignity.

Persist in jihad in the cause of Allah, with your money, your souls, and your tongue.

Maintain communication and exchange of opinion among yourselves. Beware of disunity and enmity. Do not desist from promoting good deeds and cautioning against bad ones. Should you do that,the worst among you would be your leaders, and you will call upon Allah without response.

O Children of Abdul Mattaleb! Do not shed the blood of Muslims under the banner: The Imam has been assassinated! Only the assassin should be condemned to death.

If I die of this stab of his, kill him with one similar stroke. Do not mutilate him! I have heard the Prophet, peace be upon him, say: "Mutilate not even a rabid dog."

Imam Ali (as) First in many Fields

1).He was the only man to be born in the Kabah (The house of God)

2).He was the first to offer homage to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)

3).He was the first to offer prayers after the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)

4).He was the first to offer his services for Jihad.

5).He was the first to receive religious instructions from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)

6).He was the first to compile and codify the Holy Quran

7).He was the first to be styled as "brother" by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) and on every occasion

8).He was the first to give burial to the Prophet (S.A.W.)

9).He was the first to offer to sleep in the Prophet's (S.A.W.) bed on the night of his emigration to Medina

10).He was the first to be appointed commander in all those battles in which the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) did not participate personally

11).The honor of the propagation of the Quranic Sura, "al Bara'at" fell to Imam Ali's (as) lot

12).He was the only man to be titled as the "Second Aaron" by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)

13).The honor of owning a house which opened into the courtyard of the Prophet's (S.A.W.) mosque was reserved for Imam Ali (A.S.) alone

14).He was the first to have the honor of being nominated by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) as his succesor, testator and vice regent.

... and many many more

Imam Ali(A.S.) and the Ancient Prophets

1).God gave Adam the knowledge of His names, while Ali(A.S.) held the entire knowledge of the Book of Allah.

2).Adam was married with Eve in the Garden of Paradise, while God married Imam Ali (A.S.) with Fatima (A.S.) in heaven

3).God styled Noah as a "Grateful Creature" and he was called the Second Adam, while Imam Ali (A.S.) was styled as "Abu'l Ummah"

4).God made Abraham the "Imam" or the "Leaders of men", while Imam Ali (A.S.) was the Imam of all creation, men and Jinnis

5).Moses was brought up in the house of Pharoah, while Imam Ali (A.S.) was brought up in the house of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)

6).Moses threw his rod which became a serpent, whereas Imam Ali (as), while still in the cradle, cleaved the snake into two

7).Moses name has been mentioned 230 times in the Quran, while Imam Ali's (as) has been referred to in 300 places in the Quran

... and many many more

History of the Holy Shrine of Imam Ali(A.S.)

The visit of Prophet Abraham and Isaac and Abraham's prediction and desire to buy the Valley of Peace.

Those who have visited Najaf will remember vividly that to the north and east of the town there are acres of graves and myriads of domes of various colours and at various stages of disrepair. Whoever goes to Najaf will follow a road that approaches the town by a winding course through this vast cemetery.

The Prophet Abraham had come to this place along with Isaac; there had been many earthquakes in the vicinity, but while Abraham remained there, there were no tremors. On the night, however, when Abraham and Isaac went to a different village, and sure enough Najaf was visited with another earthquake. When they returned, the people were most eager for them to make Najaf their permanent dwelling-place. Abraham agreed to do so on condition that they would sell him the valley behind the village for cultivation. Isaac protested and said that this land was neither fit for farming nor grazing, but Abraham insisted and assured him that the time would come when there would be a tomb there with a shrine, at which seventy thousand people would gain absolutely undisputed entrance to Paradise, and be able also to intercede for many others.1

The valley that Abraham wanted to buy is called the Valley of Peace (Wadiu's-Salaam), and it is related on the authority of the fourth Imam, that Ali(A.S.) once said that this ValIey of Peace is part of Heaven and that there is not a single one of the believers in the world, whether he dies in the east or west, but his soul will come to this Paradise to rest.2 "As there is nothing hidden in this world from my eyes," Ali went on to say, "I see all the believers seated - here in groups and talking with one another."

How Najaf was given its name is explained in the tradition. At first there was a mountain there, and when one of the sons of Noah refused to enter the Ark, he said that he would sit on this mountain until he would see where the water would come. A revelation came therefore to the mountain, "Do you undertake to protect this son of mine from punishment?" And all at once the mountain fell. to pieces and the son of Noah was drowned. In place of the mountain a large river appeared, but after a few years the river dried up, and the place was called Nay-Jaff, meaning, "the dried river."3

And so as per the prediction of Abraham, Imam Ali(A.S.) was buried here.

Imam Ali(A.S.) is absent today from our midst only physically. His soul even to this day is the greatest spiritual resort everyone who seeks the help of God through his medium. Thousands and thousands of people call out to him in their difficulties, and the word "Ya Ali Madad", automatically comes to them. A famous prayer known as "NADEY ALI" (Call Ali) is recited wherever abound the lovers of Ali.

The Mausoleum

"The Mausoleum itself of Hazrat Ali at Najaf, is breathtaking. There is one large central dome which stands out of a square-shaped ornate structure at the two sides of which are two minarets. The predominant colour of'the exterior is gold, bright shining gold and the entire exterior of the mausoleum is inlaid with a mosaic pattern of light powder blue, white marble, gold again with an occasional splash of Middle East rust."

So says D. F. Karaka after his visit to Najaf, and further adds, "I have sat and wondered at the marbled splendour of our Taj Mahal, the tomb which Shah Jahan built for his Empress Mumtaz Mahal, but despite its beauty, the Taj appears insipid in comparison with this splash of colour at Najaf. The tomb surpassed anything I have seen in gorgeous splendour. All the great kings of the world put together could not have a tomb as magnificent as this, for this is the tribute which kings and peasants have built together to enshrine the mortal remains of the great Ali."

Countless number of people from all over the world flock to his tomb day after day to pay their respects and to offer salutations and to pray to Allah seeking his intercession. And those who cannot afford to go there personally, are constantly praying to Allah to help them to visit the shrine of their Maula Ali, and when somebody goes on a pilgrimage to Najaf, they request him to offer salutations on their behalf, and to pray to God - for some particular favour - and to seek Imam Ali's intercession.

The deer hunting incident of Harun al-Rashid

"During the reigns of the Umayyad Caliphs his blessed resting-place could not be disclosed, and so it was also under the Abbasids until the reign of Harun al-Rashid. But in the year 175 A.H. (791 A.D.), Harun happened to go hunting in these parts, and the deer he was chasing took refuge on a small piece of raised ground.

However much he asked his hunting dogs to capture the quarry, they refused to go near this spot. He urged his horse to this place, and the horse too refused to budge; and on this, awe took possession of the Caliph's heart, and he immediately started to make inquiries of the people of the neighbourhood, and they acquainted him with the fact that this was the grave of Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib(A.S.), the cousin and son-in-law of the Holy Prophet. Harun ordered a tomb to be erected over the grave, and people soon began to settle down in its vicinity."4

Footnotes:

1. Majlisi op. cit. page 108.

2. Mailisi op. cit. Page 111.

3. Majlisi op. cit. page 111.

4. The Shrine of Ali at Najaf from "The Shi'ite Religion" by Dwight M. Donaldson.


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