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First Imam Hazrat Ali a.s. (Hz. Ali ibn. Abi Talib a.s.) -I

First Imam Hazrat Ali a.s. (Hz. Ali ibn. Abi Talib a.s.) Introduction

            Name :      Ali
            Titile     al-Murtaza
            Epithet    Abu al-Hasan
            Father     Abu Talib bin Abd al-Muttalib
            Mother:    Fatima binte Asad, bin Hasbim
            Date of Birth:     Rajah 13, 23 BH (May 25, 600 AD)
            Place of Birth:     Inside the Holy Ka'ba in Makkah
            Progeny from Fatima binte Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam (pbuh)
            Two sons: al-Hasan and al-Husain
             Two daughters: Zainab and Umm Kulsum
           From Khawla binte Ja'far bin Qays al-Hanafta
             One son: Muhammad
            From Umm al-Banin binte Hizam bin Khalid bin Darim
             Four sons: al-Abbas, Ja'far, Uthman, Abd Allah
             From Umm Habib binte Rabia
              One set of twins: Umar and girl Ruqayya
            He had many other children from other wives
           Date of Death: Ramadhan 21, 40 AH (January 27, 661 AD)
                                      He lived to an age of 61 years
            Place of Death: In the main mosque in Najaf, near Kufa in Iraq
            Place of Burial: Ghouri in the town of Najaf in Iraq

First Imam Hazrat Ali a.s. (Hz. Ali ibn. Abi Talib a.s.) ---Life --(1st part)

The birth of Imam Ali took place under unique circumstances inside the holy Ka'ba.  It is considered unique because no prophet or saint has ever been bom in a holy sanctuary.  Fatima binte Asad, the expectant mother of Ali was praying outside the Ka'ba when she suddenly felt the labor pains.  Just then the wall of the holy sanctuary opened.  As she stepped in, the wall closed behind her.  Shortly after that she gave birth to her baby.  When they came out, Muhammad took the newborn in his arms and named him Ali.  The infant looked at his face and smiled.

Muhammad nurtured Ali in his childhood, and the child fully assimilated the habits and the qualities of the Prophet.  When he grew up, Ali accompanied Muhammad wherever he went, and followed him like his shadow.  This early association blossomed in his devout love for the Prophet whom he emulated in every manner, and assisted him in the delivery of the Message at every step.  The association between the two was not accidental.  Muhammad himself was born in the Shabe Abi Talib (the house of Abu Talib just out side Makkah) and was raised and nurtured by Ali's parents, Abu Talib and Fatima binte Asad.  Abu Talib took special care of his nephew Muhammad, and protected him against all odds as long as he lived.

Ali came into focus as a young lad of about I I years when he became known as one the first to witness Muhammad as Allah's Messenger.  The other person to acknowledge the Prophetic mission of Muhammad was his wife Khadija.

Now that Muhammad was commanded by Allah to proclaim his Prophet-hood and invite his kinsmen to Islam, he asked Ali to act as his messenger.  Ali called on the elders of Quraish to extend the Prophet's invitation.  He and his father arranged a feast known as dhil-Asheera.  The Prophet delivered the Message, asking them to forsake the idols and worship Allah alone.  In the face of great hostilities, when he asked if any one would help him in his work, none other than Ali stood up and declared his unconditional and unfettered support of the Prophetic Mission.

The Quraish of Makkah unleashed their torment to the early believers, but the Prophet continued to convey the Message undaunted by the insults and the harsh treatment of the Makkans.  All protected and defended the Prophet at every opportunity despite his young age.  Along with handful of the early believers, Ali endured the harsh economic and social blockade of his parent's house by the arrogant Quraish when the Prophet refused to abandon his mission.

On the night of Hijra, when the enemies of the Prophet were lying in wait for him, he willingly and gratefully undertook the hazardous task of sleeping in the bed of the Prophet so that the Messenger of Islam would not be hurt.  It helped the Prophet escape the assassins in the darkness of the night.  Allah recognized this service of Ali in the Qur'an: “And there is the type of man who gives his life to earn the pleasure of Allah; and Allah is full of kindness to (His) devotees." 11: 207

First Imam Hazrat Ali a.s. (Hz. Ali ibn. Abi Talib a.s.) ---Life --(2nd part)

After the departure of the Prophet for Madinah, Ali acted on behalf of the Prophet and returned to the Makkans the valuables that they had placed with the Prophet for safe keeping. 

When the Prophet arrived in Madinah, he initiated the foundation of a cohesive society in the form of Brotherhood in Islam.  He assigned one Muhajir (migrant) from Makkah as a brother unto one resident Ansar (helper) in Madinah.  Since Ali was delayed in Makkah carrying out the duties entrusted to him by the Prophet, he was unable to participate in the newly formed brotherhood.  On his arrival in Madinah, when Ali asked the Prophet who would be his 'brother' according to the new rule, the Prophet told him: "You and I are brothers in this world and the Hereafter.  " 

The idolaters of Makkah could not bear the escape of a handful of Muslims from under their noses.  They wanted to kill the Prophet as well as his followers.  In the second year of al-Hijra (the Islamic calendar year) they came out in Badr, in the outskirts of Madinaf4 well equipped with arms, eight hundred and fifty strong on foot, and one hundred on horseback.  They were almost three times larger in number than the poorl3f equipped and hastily raised 'army' of just three hundred and fourteen. Muslims defenders (80 Muhajirs and 234 Ansars).  Of these, only seventy were on camels and only two were on horseback!  This was the first of the several confrontations the early Muslims had to face against the pagans in defense of their faith and property.  The soldiery of Ali was unknown and untested until this first battle.  With a resounding victory for Islam seventy of the bravest Quraish were slain and forty-five were taken prisoners of war.  Ali emerged as the undisputed hero for the Muslims.  He alone was responsible for almost one half of the carnage of the pagans in that battle.  There was no family in Makkah that was not affected by Ali's sword in the Battle of Badr.  Ali was to be looked upon as a deterrent and a formidable force in the future.  He was not only the 'brother' of the new Prophet but also his fighting hand.  The Prophet hardly ever used his sword himself Pleased with his unparalleled bravery as well as chivalry, the Prophet declared All openly as Asadullah (the Lion of Allah), and Yadullah (the Hands of Allah).

The Battle of Badr had far reaching consequences for Ali.  Whereas this son of Abu Talib intimidated the pagans of Makkah, some among the believers carried grudges and jealousy, even animosity against him.  The nascent faith had not yet cleansed their hearts of the old bias they had carried against the man who had, with his sword, cut down their kinsmen, even their closest relatives, their fathers, uncles, sons and husbands.  This hostility, which they were unable to express during the life of the Prophet, for fear of annoying Allah's Messenger, showed up immediately after his death.  The history, in the years to come, was to witness how the anti-Ali faction came out of the hole, succeeded in isolating the 'brother of the Prophet’ from the affairs of the Islamic State for 25 years.  Even in his own Caliphate, the same group rose in rebellion with one pretext or another, and finally plotting to end his life with a sword.  In the years that followed, the might and valor of Ali in the service of Islam was to be avenged by his adversaries in killing his sons, his grandsons and kinsmen in the battle of Karbala in an effort to get even with Ali, the Lion of Allah. 

After the battle of Badr, the Prophet gave his only daughter Fatima in marriage to the virtuous Hashimite hero of Islam.  Together they had two sons, Hasan and Husain, who succeeded as Imams after him, and they laid down their lives upholding and defending the values of Islam. 

In later years, Ali continued to be the victorious champion of Islam while others had failed in some of the most threatening battles the Prophet had to undertake in defense. of Islam, the Muslims and the nascent Islamic State that was emerging in Yathrib.  As a consequence, Ali received many valedictory titlcs from the Prophet, and wide acclaim among the believers.  Only a few of these are briefly narrated below. 

The enemies of lslam did not wait long to avenge their shameful defeat at Badr.  The following year, they came back at Uhod under the command of Abu Sufyan, the chief of the Makkan infidels.  They laid their siege right at the outskirts of Madinah with three times the force they had mustered previously at Badr.  This time they were determined to exterminate Islam by killing the Prophet and his followers.  Here again the Muslims were outnumbered three to one and poorly supplied.  However, All and Hamza raged havoc in the ranks of the infidels, and Ali felled each of the seven standard bearers of the Makkan pagans successively.  Together with the valiant believers, the enemy was routed and scattered in all directions.  The battlefield resounded with the voice "There is none victorious other than Ali and there is no equal to the sword Zulfiqar."