Birth Date:[edit | edit source]
3th Rajab, 22 or 16 BH/September 20, 601
Death Date:[edit | edit source]
21st Ramazan, 40 AH/January 27, 661
Sisters:[edit | edit source]
• fakhitah binte Abu Talib • Jumanah binte Abu Talib
Brothers:[edit | edit source]
- Jafir ibn Abi Talib
- Aqeel ibn Abi Talib
- Talib ibn Abu Talib
Life:[edit | edit source]
Ali's father Abu Talib was the custodian of the Ka`bah and a sheikh of the Bani 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 Isma`il Ishmael, the son of Ibrahim (Abraham). Many sources, especially Shi`i ones, attest that `Ali was born inside the Kaaba in the city of Mecca, where he stayed with his mother for three days. 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". 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. Ali was born two or three years after Muhammad married Khadijah bint Khuwaylid. 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.
Ali was 22 or 23 years old when he migrated to Medina. When Muhammad was creating bonds of brotherhood among his companions, he selected Ali(as) as his brother.
In Battles:[edit | edit source]
With the exception of the Battle of Tabouk, Ali took part in all battles and expeditions fought for Islam. 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.
Ali was prominent at the Battle of Uhud, as well as many other battles where he wielded a bifurcated sword known as Zulfiqar. He had the special role of protecting Muhammad(SAWW) when most of the Muslim army fled from the battle of Uhud and it was said "There is no brave youth except Ali and there is no sword which renders service except Zulfiqar." He was commander of the Muslim army in the Battle of Khaybar.Following this battle Mohammad gave Ali the name Asadullah, which in Arabic means "Lion of Allah". Ali also defended Muhammad in the Battle of Hunayn in 630.
The incident of Mubahala:[edit | edit source]
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, Muhammad called them to mubahala (conversation), where each party should bring their knowledgeable men, women and children, and ask God to curse the lying party and their followers. Muhammad, to prove to them that he was a prophet, brought his daughter Fatimah, Ali and his grandchildren Hasan and Husayn. He went to the Christians and said "this is my family" and covered himself and his family with a cloak. According to Muslim sources, 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 refers to Muhammad and Ali. Then he narrates that 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 having made Ali like the self of Muhammad.
Ghadir Khumm[edit | edit source]
Main articles: Hadith of the pond of Khumm and Hadith of the two weighty thingsThe Investiture of Ali, at Ghadir Khumm (MS Arab 161, fol. 162r, AD 1309/8 Ilkhanid manuscript illustration).As Muhammad was returning from his last pilgrimage in 632, he made statements about Ali that are interpreted very differently by Sunnis and Shias. He halted the caravan at Ghadir Khumm, gathered the returning pilgrims for communal prayer and began to address them:
According to Encyclopedia of Islam: Taking Ali by the hand, he asked of his faithful followers whether he, Muhammad, was not closer (awlā) to the Believers than they were to themselves; the crowd cried out: “It is so, O Apostle of God!”; he then declared: “He of whom I am the mawla, of him Ali is also the mawla (man kuntu mawlāhu fa-ʿAlī mawlāhu)”. Shia's regard these statements as constituting the designation of Ali as the successor of Muhammad and as the first Imam; by contrast, Sunnis take them only as an expression of close spiritual relationship between Muhammad and Ali, and of his wish that Ali, as his cousin and son-in-law, inherit his family responsibilities upon his death, but not necessarily a designation of political authority. 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. On the basis of this hadith, Shia say that Ali later insisted that his religious authority was superior to that of Abu bakr and Umar.
Later when Fatimah(as) and Ali(as) sought aid from the Companions in the matter of his right to the caliphate, they answered 'O daughter of the Messenger of God! We have given our allegiance to Abu Bakr. If Ali(as) had come to us before this, we would certainly not have abandoned him'. Ali said, 'Was it fitting that we should wrangle over the caliphate even before the Prophet was buried?'
Death[edit | edit source]
On the 19th of Ramadan, while praying in the Great Mosque of Kufa, Ali(as) was attacked by the Lanati Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam. He was wounded by ibn Muljam's poison-coated sword while prostrating in the Fajr prayer. Ali ordered his sons not to attack the Kharijites, instead stipulating that if he survived, ibn Muljam would be pardoned whereas if he died, ibn Muljam should be given only one equal hit (regardless of whether or not he died from the hit).
Ali died a few days later on January 31, 661 (21 Ramadan 40 A.H). Hasan fulfilled Qisas and gave equal punishment to ibn Muljam upon Ali's death.