The Early Life of Hazrat Ali-al-Murtaza (AS) – Problem-Solver for the Mankind and Protector of Islam

Hazrat Ali-al-Murtaza (AS) was the son of Hazrat Abu Talib (RA), the most beloved uncle of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) and the grand-son of Hazrat Abdul Muttalib (RA). He was thus the first cousin of the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam). Hazrat Ali (AS) appeared in 598 A.D. in the form of Noor (Light of Allah) within the building of Holy Kabah when his holy mother Hazrat Fatima Binte Asad (SA) and father Hazrat Abu Talib (RA) were doing Tawaf-e-Kabah (a kind of Ibadah). When the time of Hazrat Ali(AS)’s appearance came, his mother felt minor pain and suddenly Angel Jibreel-e-Ameen (AS) came and guided her to the holy building of Kabah whose walls had already cracked by the grace of Allah from one corner creating way into the building. She went into the Holy Kabah and after some minutes came out having a child on her holy hands whose body was shining like moon. She showed his son to her husband Hazrat Abu Talib (RA) who was very much glad with the blessings of Allah. Then they completed remaining rounds of Holy Kabah. During completing rounds of holy Kabah, they both were looking at the shining face of their son Hazrat Ali (AS) and their eyes were tearing with pleasure on the grant of this very special and very unique personality of the universe from Allah. They were again and again thanking Allah for His blessings. The thing that made them gloomy was that the son did not open his eyes nor did he take milk from his mother’s holy chest. Anyhow, after completing the remaining rounds of holy Kabah, they reached home. The sparks of shining body of Hazrat Ali (AS) attracted the people of Makkah who were coming to see this great personality and they were talking this is second personality in Hashim Family: first was Hazrat Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) whose body was shining like moon when he appeared and the second is Hazrat Ali (AS) whose body is shining. People of Makkah were very happy on this common pleasure. Still the child did not open his eyes nor did he take milk. After three days, Holy Prophet Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) with his holy wife Hazrat Khadija-tul-Kubra (SA) visited the house of Hazrat Abu Talib (RA) to see his cousin. As the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) entered the door, Hazrat Abu Talib (RA) uttered hurriedly, “O my beloved nephew, this child has not yet opened his eyes nor has he taken milk of his mother and we both are worried of his being blind. The Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) smiled and asked his uncle to hand the child over to him. As the child came in the holy hands of the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam), he immediately opened his beautiful eyes and saw Allah’s beloved Holy Prophet Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam). When the child showed her tongue to the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam), Hazrat Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) entered his holy tongue in the holy mouth of the child enabling him to suck the light of Allah and thorough knowledge of Allah’s mysteries covering the entire universe.

Hazrat Abu Talib (RA) named his son Zaid whereas his wife named her son as Asad (Haider) which means Lion, but the reality is that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) named the child as Ali (AS) which means elevated and sublime, on the instruction of Allah (Allah).

One day the child was lying in his cradle, a viper crawled near him, the child caught hold of it before it could bite. The grip of the child was so tight that the venomous reptile died on the spot. On this occasion the mother exclaimed, “Long live my brave son!”. From this day, she began to call her son “Haider”. Later in his life, Hazrat Ali (AS) was popularly known as Abu Turab and Abu-al-Hasan.

The tribe Banu Hashim in which both the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) and Hazrat Ali (AS) appeared, commanded great respect throughout Arabia. The honourable function of the custody of the sacred House of Allah (Kabah) was entrusted to this tribe. Hazrat Abu Talib (RA) owned a large area of land and other property inherited from his father Hazrat Abdul Muttalib (RA). However, the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) liked to raise the child Hazrat Ali (AS) in his holy home and before his holy eyes. In his childhood, the Holy Prophet of Allah (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) was raised by his uncle Hazrat Abu Talib (RA). Hazrat Ali (AS) was brave and courageous from his early age. He was very fond of wrestling. His arrow rarely missed its target. He was a skillful swords-man that none other was like him. The Arabs were generally illiterate but Hazrat Ali (AS) was able to read and write. Hazrat Ali (AS) was a renowned scholar that none other was. He had perfect command over words and could make eloquent and impressive speeches. The Arabs were mainly polytheists before the advent of Islam. They used to worship idols and deities made of wood and stone, but tribe Banu Hashim never worshiped idols because it is linked with the family of Hazrat Abaraham (AS) and Hazrat Ismaeel (AS) who also never worshipped idols. Hazrat Ali (AS) was a very pious and noble man. He disliked all evils which were prevailing in the society at that time. The Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) polished his personality with natural qualities. This training left indelible marks on his mind. It gave him a keen vision and a passionate love for the truth. Due to his close association with the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam), Hazrat Ali (AS) tried to become most perfect in every sphere of life and could easily make the distinction between the right and the wrong. He drank deep from the fountain of wisdom, piety and knowledge. He got inspiration and guidance direct from the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam). So when the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) invited the people of Banu Hashim to admit his Prophecy, the people of Banu Hashim needed proof, Hazrat Ali (AS) stood up and said, “I am the witness of the prophecy of Hazrat Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) that he is Allah’s True Messenger and that there is no god but Allah who is Creator of the entire universe. On this witness, everyone, except two or three, admitted the prophecy of the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) and became Muslims. The Holy Quran states that Allah is sufficient as the witness of His Messenger and he who possesses the knowledge of Allah’s Book i.e. Hazrat Ali (AS).

When the matter of marriage of Hazrat Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam)’s beloved daughter arose, Allah sent His Angel Jibreel-e-Ameen (AS) with the message that marriage of Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam)’s daughter Hazrat Syeda Fatima (SA) has been settled by Allah Himself with Hazrat Ali (AS) in Jannah and now Allah has stated that their relation as husband and wife be established by the Messenger through Nikah. All the more, Hazrat Ali (AS) is the one who offered prayer with Hazrat Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) and his wife Hazrat Khadija-tul-Kubra (SA) in their early life much before the announcement of prophecy of the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam). The Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) remarked: “Ali (AS) is my lieutenant and is my brother here in this world and in the Hereafter”.

When Quraish-e-Makkah plotted conspiracy against Hazrat Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam), Hazrat Ali (AS) played important role to save the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam). When Allah guided his Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) to migrate to Madina, Hazrat Ali (AS) slept on the bed of Hazrat Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) while the Quraish-e-Makkah were thinking that Hazrat Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) is sleeping and they would kill him. Although Quraish-e-Makkah called the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) True (Sadiq) and Honest (Ameen) yet they had become his enemies because of the reason that he had announced a new religion which was totally against the faith of Quraish-e-Makkah. The Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) handed over the charge of the trusts of Quraish-e-Makkah to Hazrat Ali (AS) with the advice to return them to the concerned, and migrated to Madina crossing through the mob of his enemies and none could notice him crossing through them. Soon after dusk the ruthless conspirators were posted in ambush around the house of Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) to fall upon him as he ventured out early in the morning. When it was about dawn, they got up. The knocked at his door violently and saw someone sleeping on his bed. Hazrat Ali (AS) gave them the impression that the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) was there and fostered the belief that their victim was in their hands. They hovered shamelessly over his bed with a hundred blades of unsheathed weapons. Soon Hazrat Ali (AS) the gallant cousin of the Messenger, got up. The conspirators recognized him and said, “Where is your companion?”. He replied, “I know not”. They lost their temper and arrested him. They kept Hazrat Ali (AS) imprisoned for some time and released him later, acting upon the suggestion of some sagacious men. Undoubtedly, it was a matter of risking his life. He did not care for his life in obedience to the command of his Master. It was a test case for his sincerity but he proved himself to be upto expectations. According to the command of the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam), Hazrat Ali (AS) returned all sorts of deposits to the concerned owners and immediately set out for Medina. He began to live in Madina and helped in the construction of the first Mosque there. He carried bricks and other material like a labourer. On this occasion, the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) said, “Whosoever builds a Mosque and bears this burden and whosoever avoids it because of dust and dirt, both of them cannot be equal”.

Hazrat Ali (AS)’s Participation in Holy Wars for the Sake of Religion – Islam

 Hazrat Ali (AS) had the opportunity of partaking in almost all the defensive battles in which he fared exceptionally well. He displayed heroism and valour unprecedented in the annals of Islam. He implanted fear and awe in the hearts of the infidels. The first battle in which he had the good fortune to display his courage was the  battle of Badr. He was the standard bearer of the valiant army numbering 313 soldiers who had resolved to sacrifice their lives for the cause of Islam and glorify the name of Allah. It was a custom in ancient times to commence the battle with single combat. On the field of Badr, three gallant warriors of the opponents challenged the soldiers of Allah. In response to that, Hazrat Ali (AS), Hazrat Hamza (RA) (his uncle) and Hazrat Ubaida (RA) stepped forward to meet their antagonists. They had the advice from the Messenger not to start first but invite them to Islam through a brief speech. When they did not pay any heed to the speech and took the sword, Hazrat Ali (AS) slashed his opponents Walid and Shaiba in the twinkling of an eye. Soon it assumed the form of a general battle when they say that single combat would not be suitable. Hazrat Ali (AS) wrought many heroic deeds. His naked sword flashed like lightening. It hovered over the heads of the infidels and slaughtered many of them. The arrogant infidels were astonished at his marvelous courage. They lost their hearts and took to their heels. The soldiers of Allah carried the day. It was the first golden victory of Islam. Hazrat Ali (AS) was awarded a camel, armour and a sword as a reward for his bravery.   

During the battle of Uhud, Mus’ab bin Umair, the standard bearer of Islam was killed by a sword of the infidels. Hazrat Ali (AS) took hold of the standard without any loss of time and rushed at the standard bearer of the enemies of Islam. He killed him on the spot. In another duel, Hazrat Ali (AS) had to face Amr ibn Abd Wudd, a seasoned warrior of Arabia that the enemies of Islam hired for cash reward. He was so strong and courageous that he was considered a match for a thousand soldiers. Hazrat Ali (AS) killed him without any difficulty. When the general battle ensued, the Muslim soldiers performed brave deeds. In the beginning, the infidels suffered a humiliating defeat but soon after the tables were turned against the Muslims due to their own fault. The infidels surrounded the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) and made a stormy attack. Hazrat Ali (AS) was the only soldier of Allah who guarded the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) tenaciously and fought dauntlessly against the enemy. The remaining Muslims soldiers rushed to the mountains to save themselves. The injuries received by the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) were washed and dressed by Hazrat Ali (AS) and Hazrat Syeda Fatima (SA). Hazrat Ali (AS) received seventeen wounds in this battle.   

The Jews of Khaibar were very strong and mischievous. They used to lose no chance to create a disturbance and damage the image of Islam. This compelled the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) to take necessary action against them, while Hazrat Ali (AS) was left behind in Madina to keep hold of the Islamic government. First of all, the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) gave command of a Muslim force to Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) to go and conquer Khaibar but he returned unsuccessful because the army of Khaibar used to fire from the holes of the walls. Then Hazrat Umar (RA) was sent with Muslim force but he could not subdue the Jews. Anyhow, the attempt to conquer Khaibar continued for 39 days and the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) tested 39 Sahaba Kiraam but none of them got victory. Then the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) declared: “Tomorrow, the standard will be in the hand of an intrepid fellow to whom flight is unknown. He will be a person who loves Allah and His Messenger and whom Allah and His Messenger love a lot. He will carry the day and capture the fort of Khaibar”. In the prayer of the next morning, the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) summoned Hazrat Ali (AS). The Holy Prophet (SAWAW) asked all companions  to keep watch all around and whoever gives him the news of the arrival of Hazrat Ali (AS) will be rewarded generously. Listening to this announcement, one of the companions Hazrat Salman Farsi (RA) mounted a little high mountain and started watching above in the sky. The companions condemned him as to why he is watching above in the sky and stated that Hazrat Ali (AS) would come through the earth roots. He replied, “It is  not my belief that the great personality of Hazrat Ali (AS) would come through the earth roots, he would surely come through the sky roots. The companions said, “Let this mad do whatever he wants” and they all started watching the earth roots. Hazrat Ali (AS)’s horse landed exactly on the mountain where Hazrat Salman Farsi (RA) was waiting for him. Hazrat Ali (AS) loved him by virtue of his nice belief about him, and asked what kind of reward the Messenger of Allah announced for giving him the news of my arrival. Hazrat Salman Farsi (RA) humbly stated, “O my Master! I don’t know nor do I need anything else except your blessings”. Hazrat Salman Farsi (RA) asked for permission to hasten to give the Messenger of Allah news about your arrival lest any other companion may not give the news and get the reward. In reply, Hazrat Ali (AS) said, “None other than you have seen me coming from the sky and you deserve for the reward. In short, Haarat Salman Farsi (RA) accompanied by Hazrat Ali (AS) reported the Messenger of Allah and asked for the next orders, while the other companions were still watching around the earth roots. The Messenger of Allah asked Hazrat Salman Farsi (RA) to announce loudly that Hazrat Ali (AS) has reached and they should come back. The Messenger of Allah was very much pleased on the arrival of Hazrat Ali (AS) and asked Hazrat Salman Farsi (RA) to demand the reward. He replied humbly, O my Master! I need nothing but your kindness and blessings”. However, the Messenger of Allah rewarded Hazrat Salman Farsi (RA) with some portion of knowledge of Allah’s hidden mysteries. When other companions saw that Hazrat Ali (AS) has really reached, they thought from which earth root he reached but could not understand.  

The Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) entrusted the standard to Hazrat Ali (AS) and armed him with his own sword celebrated under the title of “Zulfiqar”. Hazrat Ali (AS) went towards the fortress with the soldiers of Islam and stormed the fort. The door of the fort was very  weighty and bulky in size that 70 employees of the fort used to open and close it collectively. Hazrat Ali (AS) reached the door and broke it with one hand in such a way that his companions were wondering on his power. Al-Harith, the General of the enemy tried to repulse the attack but Hazrat Ali (AS) struck him down. His brother Marhab became purple with rage. He was a man of gigantic stature. He rushed at Hazrat Ali (AS) who made a counter attack upon his adversary. The giant fell in  a huddled heap with a thundering noise. The Jewish soldiers fled and resistence was swept away. The warriors of Islam captured the fortress. They offered prayers in its courtyard.   

At the time of the conquest of Mecca when the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) entered the city victoriously, he took the standard from Sa’d and handed it over to Hazrat Ali (AS). The first step that the Messenger of Allah took, was to shatter three hundred and sixty idols placed in the Kabah. He pierced the eyes of Hubal and said: “Truth has come and falsehood has vanished. Verily, falsehood is a fleeting thing”.  

Hazrat Ali (AS) smashed this statue into a thousand pieces. One of the statues was so lofty that it was not easily accessible to smash. The Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) asked Hazrat Ali (AS) to climb on his back to destroy that idol. Hazrat Ali (AS) stood upon the shoulders of his Master and had a novel experience regarding which he said, “while I was standing on the blessed shoulders of the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam), I felt myself lifted to the heavens”.  However, he struck the effigy. It fell to the ground and crumbled away in the dust.  

During the battle of Hunain, the Muslim army was unable to withstand the volley of arrows of the foe. Some of them shattered but Hazrat Ali (AS) faced the situation boldly. He put numerous opponents to death with his sword which worked miracles.  

He remained passive during the expedition of Tabuk because the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) directed him to do so by saying: “You stand to me in the same relation in which Haroon stood to Musa (AS) except that there is to be no Prophet after me”.  

In the Treaty of Hudaibiya, Hazrat Ali (AS) acted as the Scribe for writing the Treaty. He wrote Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) as  Messenger of Allah. The infidels objected to it. They wanted him to write Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) son of Abdullah (RA). The Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) consented to do so for the sake of peace but Hazrat Ali (AS) did not like to delete the words with his own hands. The reason was that as Holy Quran states: “Allah is sufficient as the witness of His Holy Prophet’s prophecy and he who has the knowledge of the Book” i.e. Hazrat Ali (AS). The Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam), however, deleted the words with his own hand. 

Dignity & Excellence of Hazrat Ali (AS) as a Preacher of Islam

 Hazrat Ali (AS) was not only a gallant warrior but also an orator of the first rank. His speech was always impressive and convincing. It had fascination for the polytheists also. They flocked round him and listened to the great Message of Islam from Hazrat Ali (AS)’s eloquent tongue and embraced Islam. He always strove hard to convert the infidels to Islam. He acquainted them with the true and noble spirit and golden principles of this great religion. Whenever the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) sent him to any country for the propagation of Islam, he succeeded with distinction that none other could do this job with great success. It was as a result of his efforts that the entire inhabitants of the Yemen accepted Islam and he won a good deal of respect and reverence. In the year 9 A.H., the first pilgrimage to Mecca was performed. By this time, Allah had prohibited the idolaters to enter the Kabah. It was quite necessary to communicate this commandment of Allah to the people who had gone for pilgrimage. Someone out of the companions spoke: If Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) were here he would go to Mecca to communicate this commandment. The Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) interrupted him immediately and stated that none other has this right but my Holy Family Members to communicate any commandment of Allah to the people. However, the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) appointed Hazrat Ali (AS) as his Deputy to discharge this mission. He rode on Qaswa, the camel of the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) and visited various places to convey this message. He accomplished this task within a short span of time. After this, he was instrumental in converting the tribes of Hamdan to Islam.   

During the Farewell Pilgrimage, he proceeded towards Mecca with the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) where the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam), on the revelation of Quranic Order, publicly and openly declared to the companions: “Whose Master I am, Ali (AS) is the master of him” and also prayed to Allah at that time: “O Allah, you love Ali (AS) and also love those who love Ali (AS) and help Ali (AS) and also help those who help Ali (AS). On the way back, Hazrat Ali (AS) also accompanied him when he returned and fell ill on the way. He looked after him constantly. When his Master breathed his last, Hazrat Ali (AS) with the assistance of his uncle Hazrat Abbas (RA) and Angle Jibreel-e-Ameen (AS), had the privilege of completing funeral arrangements for the  holy grave of the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam). The companions called Sahaba Kiraam, were at that time busy in deciding at Saqifa Bani Sada as to who would be the first Caliph, totally ingnoring Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam)’s declaration announced on the event of his pilgrimage i.e. “Whose Master I am, this Ali is the master of him”. This was the beginning of creating an atmosphere to disobey Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) and Allah, and paving a path for mischiefs in Islam. The path of mischiefs was later used by various hypocrites and miscreants against Hazrat Ali (AS) by waging wars and for hindering Hazrat Ali (AS) from rendering his services for the cause of True Religion – Islam which Almighty Allah sent through 124000 Messengers/Prophets for the best guidance of the mankind. But Hazrat Ali (AS), being a unique personality with unique and matchless qualities, faced all obstacles that came on his way and crushed them with sword. Even in such sensitive situations, Hazrat Ali (AS) also continued rendering services for the cause of Islam. 

The Achievements of Hazrat Ali (AS) after Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam)

It is an admitted fact that Hazrat Ali (AS) was one of the devoted companions of the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam). He was greatly shocked at the sad disappearance of the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam). No doubt, all other followers, companions and adherents also expressed heart-felt lamentations but it was an intolerable and irreparable loss for Hazrat Syeda Fatima (SA), the daughter of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam). He consoled her despite the fact that his own heart was torn. After the disappearance of his Master, he seldom stirred out of his house and devoted most of his time in arranging the chapters of the Holy Quran in chronological order. It was a  colossal service to the cause of Islam.  

Although the Holy Prophet (AS) had already appointed Hazrat Ali (AS) as his deputy by declaration at the time of his last pilgrimage but even then the companions established their Caliphate and the first Caliph became Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA). He before his demise transferred the caliphate to Hazrat Umar (RA) and he to Hazrat Usman (RA) before his murder.  

After the murder of the third Caliph Hazrat Usman (RA), anarchy prevailed throughout Madina. It was under the sway of the terrorists. The servile population was out of control and authority had vanished. Some of the companions of the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) had deserted Madina in the wake of the holocaust. Many citizens adopted an indifferent attitude towards the situation and felt quite helpless under the stress of prevailing circumstances. They preferred to remain indoors. The feelings of sorrow continued to distort every sensible person day and night. The supporters of the third Caliph had fled to Damascus with vows of vengeance. One of them had taken with him the pieces of the third Caliph’s wife Naila’s fingers, the blood stained shirt of the murdered third Caliph and the grey hair of his bear. These things were exhibited in the Mosque to instigate the public to action. The rioters urged Hazrat Ali (AS) to become Caliph but he declined to accept this offer and stated: “Whoever needs the chair of Caliph may occupy again and he has nothing to do with the chair of caliph”. At last Hazrat Ali (AS) yielded under the pressure of the threats of the regicides and entreaties of his friends. He did so to save Islam from ominous danger, utter confusion and disintegration. He shouldered this responsibility in the teeth of opposition. He took an oath to rule in accordance with the Book of Allah. Malik-e-Ashtar, Zubair and Talha were the first to acknowledge him as the Fourth Caliph of Islam. The mass of the insurgents paid homage to him and departed from Madina to go back to their respective provinces. Sa’d bn Abi-Waqqas, Abdullan bin Umar and some leading Ansars did not pledge loyalty to Hazrat Ali (AS) of their own accord. To pledge loyalty to the sitting Fourth Caliph was compulsory upon every person according to the prevalent Shariah. But these people totally denied.   No pressure was exerted on the adherents of the murdered Caliph to swear allegiance to Hazrat Ali (AS). Undoubtedly, Hazrat Ali (AS) was the most suitable person for this exalted office. The consensus of opinion was in his favour. No one ever raised an objection against his election on the basis of merit. Even Moavia had no quarrel with this personality. He considered him as the right man for the post of Caliphate, but his basic demand was that those who had assassinated Usman (RA) in cold blood, must be taken to task. Moavia continued to campaign his demand till the last moment.

The First Address of Hazrat Ali (AS)

 Hazrat Ali (AS) was an eloquent and fiery Orator. He delivered a forceful speech when he became Caliph. He said: “You spread my hand for taking the oath of allegiance but I withdrew it. You pulled my hand but I kept it under my control. You gathered around me in large numbers and began to push one another to reach me just as the thirsty camels gather near some stream and push one another. In that wild rush, the laces of my shoes were broken and the sheet fell off my shoulder, and the weak, old people were crushed. There was so much rejoicing on the occasion of this oath of allegiance to me that the young people enjoyed this huge gathering but the old people fell down on the way. The patients suffered much while coming to me and even girls removed their veils for the oath of allegiance”. “O People! You have taken the oath of allegiance to me after due consideration. I stand in need of your help only for Allah but some people want to help me for worldly gains. O People! Prefer me to yourselves. By Allah! I want to do full justice to the oppressed persons. I will bring the tyrants to book even if they oppose me. Beware! I will fight against two persons. The first person is he who claims the Caliphate in spite of the fact that he does not deserve it. The second is he who abstains from doing those things which are incumbent upon him to do. I advise you to fear Allah. This is the best piece of advice for you people. Its ultimate result will be very good. Remember that if you strictly observe the pillars of Islam, you shall not come to grief even if you lose your worldly possessions. Remember that if you lose your faith nothing of this world shall benefit you”.   

“Your first and past trails and distresses returned again today in the same way as they came when Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) became the Messenger of Allah. I take the oath of that Allah Who made Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) the true Prophet and say that certainly you shall be badly mixed with one another”. When the noble and the ignoble shall be mixed and it will be difficult to distinguish between them. “Certainly, you (Ahl-ul-Bait) shall be cut into pieces. You shall go up and down like boiling water in a kettle”. (This means the men of high status shall be replaced by the men of inferior character and position). 

“On the rise of Islam those who had lagged behind (Abu Sufyan’s descendants) shall take the place of those who had advanced (Ahl-ul-Bait). In this world, there are only two things – Truth and the Falsehood. If any worshipper (supporter) of falsehood becomes the ruler and has a majority of followers, there is nothing to grumble at (for it has always been so); and if the supporters of the Truth are limited, you need not be disappointed. I hope that Truth shall overcome Falsehood. My followers should not be afraid of the numerical superiority of the opponents who are the champions of the Falsehood. He who stands against the Truth perishes in the long run”. 

The Caliphate was not a bed of roses for Ali (AS). The entire country was passing through a serious crisis. There was no stable government and lawlessness reigned everywhere. The strong tribes were eager to plunder the rich and the weak. They hovered over the whole atmosphere like vultures waiting to pounce. Ali (AS) was well aware of his problems. He fully realized the importance of the cooperation of his people because he was unable to run the machinery of the government successfully without it. He was elected in a mood of hatred and destruction.

Demand of Retaliate Against the Murderers of Hazrat Usman (RA)

 The news of the murder of Hazrat Usman (RA) spread like wild fire. The people were deeply shocked at this cruel and dastardly act of the regicides. The demand for taking revenge had resounded in every nook and corner of the Empire. Talha, Zubair and some other distinguished companions requested the new Caliph to give a severe and admonitory punishment to the murderers of Hazrat Usman (RA). Ali (AS) procrastinated. He fully realized the political situation of Basra, Kufa and fustat and was reluctant to take prompt action against those who were responsible for the high treason and murder of Hazrat Usman (RA). He intended doing so after the restoration of peace and order. According to his opinion if he tried to take any step against the rebels during the period of disturbance, it would disrupt and undermine the Empire of Islam. Ali (AS) was in a quandary as to what to do. His keen sense of justice demanded drastic action against the defaulters, whereas his unstable footing forbade him to do so. His prudence demanded patience but some people urged him to take the culprits to task without any delay. Moreover, Usman (RA) was not put to death by a few individuals. This horrible crime was perpetrated by numerous miscreants. It was an uphill task to trace out the actual murderers and execute them. Naila the devoted wife of the aged Caliph Usman (RA) was the only witness to the murder. She was unable to recognize the murderers except Muhammad bin Abi Bakr who felt abashed and withdrew. As it was a difficult problem to solve, Ali (AS) decided to settle this matter at a more appropriate time and waited for an opportunity to lay hands upon the actual criminals of this ignoble offence.

Replacement of the Governors

Hazrat Ali (AS) hold the view that the discontent during the reign of the previous Caliphs was simply due to the misrule of the Governors. Some of them were corrupt and unscrupulous. They used to derive undue advantage of their position. In order to satisfy the insurgents and redress the grievances of the public, Hazrat Ali (AS) was prompt in replacing the Governors while the political sky was still cloudy. Some of his sincere companions like Mughira and Abdullah bn Abbas advised him to refrain from doing so, but Hazrat Ali (AS) had foreseen the future scenario of government. He dispatched his own nominees to replace the Governors appointed by Usman (RA). Usman bn Hanif was sent to Basra to replace Abdullah bn Amir; Qais bin Sa’d was appointed as the Governor of Egypt and Abdullah bn Sarah was dismissed. Amarah bn Shahab was designated as the Governor of Kufa in place of Abu Musa Ashari and Suhail bn Hanif was ordered to replace Moavia, the Governor of Syria. All the Governors complied with the orders of the Caliph with the exception of Moavia who rejected the orders to abdicate. He confronted the new Governor and stopped him on the border. He compelled him to retreat to Madina. When all attempts to dismiss Moavia failed, Hazrat Ali (AS) had no alternative but to declare war upon him. It must be remembered that the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) had already appointed Hazrat Ali (AS) as his Deputy after his disappearance and had conditioned the obedience of Hazrat Ali (AS) upon all Muslims and companions. It is easily understandable point for every one as to who are obeying orders of the Messenger of Allah to obey Hazrat Ali (AS).

The Beginning of Dissensions

 When Hazrat Ali (AS) decided to march against his chief rival Moavia, he got wind of new trouble, which was rapidly developing and which was initiated by some eminent companions like Zubair, Talha and Ayesha (RA), a wife of the Messenger of Allah. Hazrat Ali (AS) changed his plan to attack Syria and marched instead towards Basra which was under the occupation of the rebels. Hazrat Ali (AS) wished to avoid bloodshed at any cost because killing of Muslim brethren was too high a price to pay for restoring peace and tranquility in the Empire. The armies faced each other but none was desirous of starting the combat. Hazrat Ali (AS) stepped forward and opened negotiations with the opponents. Both the parties expressed sentiments of compromise and brotherhood. They dispersed for the night to think about solving their differences. Some mischief-mongers were deadly set against any amicable settlement of the dispute. They apprehended that they would be severely dealt with in case both the parties arrived at a compromise. They met secretly under the chairmanship of Al-Ashtar and hatched a conspiracy to wreck all chances of peace. They planned to launch an attack in the darkness of the night Some of the regicides were deputed to carry their evil designs into execution. They attacked the forces of Ayesha (RA) while they were enjoying a sound sleep. On seeing this, the people gathered under the banner of Islam to support the noble cause of the Mother of the Faithful (RA) who desired to take revenge for the murder of the pious Caliph Usman(RA). She wished to punish those who marred the sanctity of Madina which was the religious centre of Islam.

The Battle of Jamal

 This battle is the first battle in the history of Islam in which Muslims crossed swords with Muslims and shed the blood of innocent brethren. On one side was the army of Hazrat Ali (AS) that included a considerable number of regicides against Usman (RA) and on the other side were those who demanded retribution for the murder of the innocent deceased Caliph. Both the adversaries held each other in high esteem but the mischief-mongers sowed seeds of dissension in their hearts. They were so treacherous that they did not allow the rival groups to pacify. They tried to keep the Muslims involved in mutual fighting, so as to save their own skin. While negotiations for a peaceful settlement of the dispute were in progress, some miscreants made a surprise attack on one of the campus of Ayesha (RA) and terrible fighting ensued due to misunderstandings. Each side believed that the other had struck the foul blow. In fact Hazrat Ali (AS) hated bloodshed and endeavoured to hold back his supporters but of no avail. Ayesha (RA) tried to control the situation from the core of her heart but it was too late. It was very difficult to extinguish the flames of war which wrapped the whole land. The fighting was bitter because both sides were equally strong, courageous and resolute. They continued fighting furiously throughout the night. When the morning dawned, Ayesha (RA) had the Holy Quran hoisted by way of appeal to refrain from fighting but the regicides murdered the man who was holding the sacred Book of Allah in his hand. Hazrat Ali (AS) seeing the deteriorating situation, stepped forward into the battle field to remind  his companions of the ties of brotherhood. Their hearts melted due to their previous relations and they met one another with open arms. Zubair (RA) was convinced and agreed to give up fighting. He left the battlefield with the intention of proceeding towards Madina. He was shadowed by a few conspirators. They put him to death while he was prostrating in prayer. One of them chopped off his head and presented it before Hazrat Ali (AS) but he cursed them. Then Talha (RA) followed suit and decided to retire into an adjoining locality. He also breathed his last in Basra of the injury inflicted by an arrow. On this occasion, Hazrat Ali (AS) expressed his views in this way: “Talha died lonely in a foreign country. By Allah I did not like that the Quraish should be killed in the open field. Alas! The descendants of Abd Manaf treated me very cruelly, mercilessly and unjustly and the distinguished persons of Hijaz deserted me which was below their dignity. They came out of their houses and dragged the wife of the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) like a slave girl. They took here to Basra. Those two persons (Talha and Zubair) left their wives in their houses and brought out the wife of the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam). It was an undesirable act. They took her to an army of which every member had taken the oath of allegiance to me. They attacked my officials in Basra and surrounded the Bait-ul-Mal. They killed some people with cruelty and other with treachery”.  

After the death of Zubair and Talha (RA), the conflict raged around the camel on which Ayesha (RA) was riding. She was encouraging her followers who were fighting dauntlessly for the safety and honour of the “Mother of the Faithful (RA)”. Even Hazrat Ali (AS) was wonderstruck to see their heroic deeds. One after another they rushed to catch hold of the standard of Islam but they were cut down turn by turn. Both the armies were anxious to shed each other’s blood. The land had become crimson with the blood of the Believers and still there seemed no end to it. Hazrat Ali (AS) was very worried. He found no solution to the problem. The devotees of the Rider of the camel fought desparately. Hazrat Ali (AS) himself had great regard for her but some rogues did not hesitate in adopting rude behaviour towards her. After a good deal of consideration, it was decided to disable the camel to stop the terrible slaughter of human life. Hazrat Ali (AS) beckoned someone to put the scheme into practice. So the hind legs of the camel were cut off with a single stroke of sword. No sooner did the animal fall down with a loud shriek then the dreadful fighting came to an end. The brave and respectable wife of the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) was handled with great reverence and due regard. Hazrat Ali (AS) directed Muhammad bin Abi Bakr to look after his sister Ayesha (RA). Then Hazrat Ali (AS) also went near Ayesha (RA) and stated, “O Ayesha (RA)! Do you remember the Prophet of Allah (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) declared his wives as Mother of the Faithful and likewise you are also like my Mother”. Hazrat Ali (AS) asked Ayesha (RA) to remember holy sayings of the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) that Truth is with Ali (AS) and Ali (AS) is with Truth; Quran is with Ali (AS) and Ali (AS) is with Quran. He reiterated that the Messenger of Allah also said, “Who fights with Ali (AS), fights with me and with Allah”. Ayesha (RA) when  remembered these holy sayings of the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) started repenting on her act of confronting Hazrat Ali (AS) on the instigation of some conspirators.  Hazrat Ali (AS) issued strict instructions that the fugitives were not to be pursued. He ordered that the injured should neighter be trampled upon nor plundered. He commanded that the privacy of the houses should not be invaded in the absence of the male owners of the houses. Hazrat Ali (AS) accommodated the revered wife of his Master, Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) in the house of the Chief of Basra. After a short stay, she expressed her desire to proceed to Mecca to perform Umra (off-seasonal pilgrimage). Before her departure, Hazrat Ali (AS) tried to pacify her. He, in person, watched her leave and covered a considerable distance in the company as a mark of respect. Afterwards Ayesha (RA) made no further attempt to take active part in politics. She retired to Madina and acted as the fertile source of the traditions of the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam). It must remembered that Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) left no tradition for the women to wage any war. Therefore, Ayesha (RA) throughout her remaining life kept repenting on her act of fighting with Hazrat Ali (AS) just on the instigation of conspirators and miscreants.  

In the battle of Jamal both the armies wrought terrible havoc and destruction. The battlefield was covered with numerous dead bodies. After the performance of funeral prayers, the dead bodies were buried in trenches. The entire atmosphere of the country was gloomy and devastating. When Hazrat Ali (AS) saw the sword of Zubair (RA), he cursed the man who murdered him and remarked: “Many a time this sword has driven cure and sorrow from the brow of the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam)”.   Although it was, virtually, the victory of the insurgents who were supporters of Hazrat Ali (AS) yet he pardoned all those who participated in the battle. He declared a general amnesty for all those persons who belonged to Umayyad clan. It was the result of Hazrat Ali (AS)’s hesitancy to take drastic action against the murderers of Usman (RA). After gaining a remarkable victory over the opponents Hazrat Ali (AS) said: “These persons thundered and flashed much. Despite their boasting they proved themselves to be cowards whereas we never thundered till we had fought to our entire satisfaction. Our opponents prided much but in vain. They were badly defeated”. It must be remembered again that war of Jamal was imposed by some miscreants of Moavia to keep Hazrat Ali (AS) off-sight from Syria. These miscreants created an atmosphere of misunderstanding between Ayesha (RA) and Hazrat Ali (AS).   Since Hazrat Ali (AS) was put in trouble by some miscreants and hypocrites, he had  no other option but to shift the capital of his government to Kufa. Hazrat Ali (AS) calculated numerous advantages of shifting his capital to Kufa. The inhabitants of this city were the most ardent supporters of his cause. Kufa enjoyed a central position in the vast empire where Madina was situated far from the Eastern possessions of the Caliphate. Above all, the Bedouin populace of Madina was disorganized and excitable. Their unruly nature was not yet tamed. They frequently created obstacles in the way of Caliphs. Hazrat Ali (AS) appointed Abdullah ibn Abbas as the new Governor of Basra and decided to transfer the seat of Government to Kufa. The citizens of Kufa were flattered by the honour bestowed upon them and offered him grand places to raside in. Hazrat Ali (AS) was simple at heart. He hated the worldly splendour. He declined all such offers and pitched his tent to the open. He preferred to stay there as a humble servant of Allah. Here he was confronted by more problems. Ashtar, one  of the insurgents against Usman objected to the appointment of the nrew Governor and rose in revolt against him. He accused Hazrat Ali (AS) of favouritism and began to poison the ears of his followers. 

The Conflict between Hazrat Ali (AS) and Moavia

 Moavia had not taken the oath of allegiance to Hazrat Ali (AS) as Caliph. His authority was scorned in his province, Syria. A terrible engagement with Moavia loomed in that direction. The Governor of Syria, Moavia flatly refused to comply with the orders of Hazrat Ali (AS), opposing Quranic Orders and Traditions in  favour of Hazrat Ali (AS). It was a sort of open revolt. Hazrat Ali (AS) was reluctant to start hostilities against his rival lest it should defame the fair image of Islam. Before the adoption of strong measures, he wrote him a letter with these contents: “After praise to Allah and prayer for the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam), let it be known to you why I overlooked you and did not ask you to swear allegiance to me immediately. In short, Usman (RA) was killed. It is a long story and I have no time to explain the situation fully. But whatever has happened, has happened. It cannot be retrieved. Now you must swear allegiance to me and come to me with your companions”. 

In response to this letter, Moavia wrote: “Deliver unto us the assassins of Usman (RA) and the entire population of Syria will salute you. You, beyond all the doubts, are the most suitable person for the exalted office of the Caliph. The deceased Caliph has appointed me as Governor of Syria. The people of this province repose full confidence in me. They are not prepared to pay homage to you as their Caliph. I cannot go against the supporters of Usman (RA). I cannot betray the departed soul. I will never tender submission unless the murderers are traced out and severely punished”. The statement of Moavia is just like the statement of a thief, who thieves things  himself and then conditions upon the people to search his stolen things and get the thief to him. Actually, Moavia was himself involved in the murder of the third Caliph Usman (RA) and was conditioning upon Hazrat Ali (AS) to provide the assassins of  the deceased Caliph to him, then he will swear oath of allegiance of Hazrat Ali (AS). Marwan bin Hakam had close relations with Moavia who plotted the plan of murdering the third Caliph who had married Marwan’s sister Naila. 

As Hazrat Ali (AS) was in favour of the peaceful settlement of this dispute, he left no stone unturned to convince Moavia. He wrote him another letter with these contents: “After praise to Allah and prayer for the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam), let it be known to you that people are born in the world to do good deeds for the next world. This world is our examination place. We are created for trials and ordeals. And verily Allah has sent me against you. You accuse me of the murder of Usman (RA) which I never did with my own hands or tongue. I am not in any way connected with his murder. You have fabricated the story against me. You have been overcome by inordinate ambitions and foul temptations. You have started agitations against me for nothing. Be afraid of Allah lest some calamity should befall you. However, if fate decrees that I should confront you, I will not cease fighting against you unless the dispute is decided by Allah Who is the best Judge”. 

On receiving the letter Moavia consulted Amr who was the conqueror of Egypt and an astute adviser of the headstrong Governor of Syria. Both of them declined to submit and acknowledge him as their Caliph. They decided to face the consequences. Upon this, Hazrat Ali (AS) had no alternative but to proclaim an expedition against Moavia to establish his authority. At first the people adopted an indifferent attitude towards both of them. It seemed as if they did not like to take sides in the dispute. They, in particular, were slow to answer the call of Hazrat Ali (AS) but afterwards they were prevailed upon to support the beloved son-in-law of the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) in the hour of dire need. They rallied round the Caliph in large numbers. Hazrat Ali (AS), however, succeeded in mustering a huge force which consisted of about 65000 soldiers. He marched towards Syria along the Euphrates. On reaching the upper part of Iraq, he crossed the river and stepped to the territory of Syria. On the other hand, Moavia lost no time in marshalling his forces which outnumbered the other army. Both the armies stood face to face in the plain of Siffin. They indulged in a few skirmishes. When the month of Muharram in 657 A.D. commenced, the fight came to a standstill. It was a pertinent time for the peaceful settlement of the dispute which had proved a bone of contention between both the parties. Some peace-loving sincere companions attempted to abhor war but their efforts were not crowned with success. Hazrat Ali (AS) had the support of Muhammad bin Abi Bakr, one of the regicides. He appointed him as the Governor of Egypt and removed Qais from his office. Qsis got angry and withheld from his favour. He shook hands with Moavia and became one of his camp followers. This step of the Caliph in dismissing Qais materially strengthened the hand of Moavia whose authority rested on a firm basis. The coalition of Moavia, Amr and Qais made their position  most consistent. They had paramount influence on the ardent supporters of the innocent, Allah-fearing and pious Caliph Usman (RA) who was murdered in cold-blood by the favourites of Hazrat Ali (AS). On the other hand, the tempering attitude of Hazrat Ali (AS) towards the assassins complicated the situation and give birth to the sentiments of suspicion in the hearts of those who longed to take revenge for the murder of his predecessor.

The Battle of Siffin

 The two armies confronted each other for about three months. Many rounds of negotiations were held but they turned out to be fruitless. There was a great reluctance on both sides to commence hostilities. Most of the sincere soldiers were desirous of averting bloodshed but some miscreants who had penetrated deep into the armies of the rival factions, gradually assumed great influence. They were bent upon mischief and succeeded in their mission. They created unrest from time to time. Having tired of their intolerable and degrading behaviour, Hazrat Ali (AS) made up his mind to start a decisive battle. Before the commencement of the battle, Hazrat Ali (AS) issued the following instructions: “Do not take the initiative in opening hostilities against the enemy. If they start you must face them boldly. When they are defeated, do not put to sword any one of them. Do not harm any disabled person. Take care of women even if she abuses you because a woman is physically and mentally weak”. After this Hazrat Ali (AS) prayed: “O Allah! We look to Thee for help. Hidden enmity is exposed. People have become very jealous. We complain to Thee against our enemy. O Allah! Let truth prevail”. 

Soon after the battle commenced. In the beginning the army of Hazrat Ali (AS) was pressed hard but the soldiers, under the command of Malik-e-Ashtar, checked their advance and compelled them to retreat. On the first day the fighting was ferocious. Ammar bin Yasir was killed and the prophecy of the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) came out to be true. He had said that Ammar would be slain by a heretic and rebellious race while he would be fighting on the side of the righteous. His death condemned  the ranks against whom he fought and spread despair among the supporters of Moavia. The battle went on raging during the day. Towards evening the shades of night began to fall but darkness failed to set the combatants apart. The fight continued unabated throughout the night and caused great destruction on both sides. The clang of the armour and the clash of the swords were so loud that the cries of the wounded soldiers were inaudible. This night is known as the second “Night of clangour” (Laila-tul-Harir). None of the factions gained the upper hand. When the quivers of the soldiers were emptied, they began to fight hand to hand. There were many Quran Conners in Hazrat Ali (AS)’s army. They performed many heroic deeds. They continued to push attack with unflinching valour and persistence. Next day the fight went on as usual. When the third day of the battle dawned, both the armies were still fighting desperately. Neither was ready to give in. Many lives were destroyed with swords and arrows. The spears pierced into the hearts of the innocent soldiers. At last the forces of Moavia lost ground and begain to retreat in confusion. They trod upon each other like thirsty camels running in search of fountains and springs. Moavia was getting nervous and panicky. The feeling of defeat was sinking deep into his heart. He was preparing to take flight and inclined to a peaceful settlement. He consulted Amr ibn al’As as to what to do next. He worked out a scheme which saved Moavia from ignominy and the tables were turned upon Hazrat Ali (AS) who had almost won the battle. According to the planned stratagem, the Syrian army lifted the Holy Quran on the points of their lances and stepped forward as a sign that fighting should cease and the contention should be referred to the Holy Book for a decision. This was an open insult of the Holy Book of Allah by the soldiers of Moavia.  The stratagem succeeded perfectly. The spirit of momentum was slackened. Thousands of Quran Conners stopped fighting immediately. They urged Hazrat Ali (AS) to settle their dispute in accordance with the Law of Lord. Hazrat Ali (AS) expostulated with them and said: “O People! It is a clever device of evil men who are afraid of the expected defeat. They wish to divide and disunite you. They intend to create sedition and fractions among you. Turn your faces against them. Entertain no doubts and suspicions. Act upon the instructions issued by the man who guides you on the Right Path”.  

The fanatics paid no heed to him. They rose in  open mutiny and threatened the unfortunate  Caliph that they would desert him if he did not accept the judgement of the Book of Allah. Hazrat Ali (AS) put forth many arguments but of no avail. They replied, “We are called to the Book. We cannot decline it”. Seeing bitter opposition, Hazrat Ali (AS) yielded under the pressure. He sent a messenger to Moavia to find out how the Holy Quran would settle the issue. He proposed the appointment of two arbitrators, one from either side and their verdict on the authority of the Holy Quran, would be binding for both the parties. Moavia nominated Amr bn al’As to act as an arbitrator on his behalf and Hazrat Ali (AS) designated Abu Musa Ashari as his spokesman. After the appointment of arbitrators, Hazrat Ali (AS) left for Kufa and Moavia proceeded towards Syria. The Amir-ul-Momineen Hazrat Ali (AS) dispatched letters regarding the Battle of Siffin to the respected persons to apprise them of the actual situation. Some contents of the letter are: “What were the causes of the Battle of Siffin? It is quite evident that our and their (Syrian) religion is same. We do not want to claim our superiority over them. All of us are equal. The murder of Usman(RA) created this split but we had no hands in it. We exhorted them to sink our differences and put out the fire of sedition otherwise the troubles will become insurmountable. But they refused to accept my advice and proposed to decide all issues at the point of the sword. Unfortunately, we were involved in a horrible battle. When they found that they would be defeated, they suggested that the war should be stopped. We agreed to their proposal”.   

Some chiefs of the Kufite clans objected to the arbitration and turned against Hazrat Ali (AS). He tried to satisfy them but in vain. Soon a detachment of 12,000 soldiers deserted him. They tried to undermine the Caliphate of the fourth Caliph.

The Decision of the Arbitrators

Amr bin al’As, the representative of Moavia was highly dependable and had no match for his crafty (clever) manners. Abu Musa Ashari, the spokesman of Hazrat Ali (AS) was neutral and was not favourably inclined towards the Caliph. However, both the arbitrators met at Dumat al andal between Syria and Iraq. Each of them was accompanied by four hundred followers. Many notable personalities including Abdullah ibn Abbas, Abdullah bn Umar, Sa’d bn Abi Waqqas, Abdullah bin Zubair and Mughira (RA) also assembled there. With keen interest they watched the proceedings of the meeting which was to solve the burning question and decide the future of Islam. The umpires took an oath to judge righteously in the light of the teachings of the Holy Quran. After a good deal of deliberation they held a private conference. Amr read the mind of Abu Musa and came to the conclusion that the latter was inclined to depose Hazrat Ali (AS) from the Caliphate. During the conversation it was decided that Hazrat Ali (AS) and Moavia both should be excluded and another man should be elected as Caliph. The issue of the Governorship of Syria was not touched at all. Amr bin al’As asked Abu Musa Ashari to pronounce the judgement first. Accordingly, he stood up and declared: “O People! We have considered the matter well. At present peace and order is the crying need of humanity. In order to establish tranquility and concord, we see no other course but to depose Hazrat Ali (AS) and Moavia as candidates for the Caliphate. After that you shall elect a suitable man in their stead”.

After this announcement, he stepped aside and Amr bin al’As appeared on the scene. He played false and declared: “O People! You must have listened to the judgement of my worthy colleague. He has deposed Hazrat Ali (AS) but I confirm Moavia as Caliph to succeed. He is the heir of Usman (RA). He will take revenge of his blood with iron hands”.

The audience were thunder-struck. None had ever dreamt of such an unfair decision. The Syrians achieved a brilliant triumph. They congratulated Moavia on his success. The Iraqis expressed a deep sense of regret at the treachery of Amr bn al’As. A tumult rose among both the rival factions. In the heat of indignation Amr was handled roughly but he got out of the crowd due to the interference of some chiefs. Abu Musa escaped to the sanctuary of Mecca. This award could neither normalize the situation nor bridge the gulf of differences. When Hazrat Ali (AS) was informed of this decision, he was greatly shocked. He said: “The arbitrators had not kept their promise and had decided the case wrongly and unjustly. We, therefore, are justified in disregarding the decision of the arbitration”.

The award of arbitrators provided no solution for the knotty problem. The Empire remained in suspense. This resulted into the disintegration of the Caliphate. Moavia created an independent State based on Syria and Egypt. Whereas Hazrat Ali (AS) was involved in the clutches of traitors and mutinous soldiers. This decision embittered his relation with his own supporters.

The Revolt of the Khawarij (Dissenters)

Some strict puritans raised objections against the arbitration and separated themselves from the main army of Hazrat Ali (AS) at Harura. They maintained that arbitration by human beings was not acceptable at any cost. The issue of the Caliphate should be adjudged by Allah, the Just. It was against the tenets of faith to act otherwise. The arrogant dissenters called upon Hazrat Ali (AS) to confess his apostasy and feel penitence of what he had done. This sect mustered sufficient strength within a short span of time. They denounced Hazrat Ali (AS) and Moavia as infidels and revolted against them. They also held that there is absolutely no necessity for a Caliph, so they should either be killed or deposed. They quoted this verse of the Holy Quran “All authority possesses Allah”. So there should be no King. They had coined many fanatistic creeds and set up the centre of their movement at Nahrawan. Their ring leader was Abdullan bin Wahab. Gradually, they became so daring that they marched on Mada’in to make it their capital. The Govenror repulsed their projected attack. The revolt of the dissenters posted a grave danger to the solidarity of Islam. They were spreading anarchy and lawlessness in the Empire. They used to murder those men and women who were loyal to the Caliph Hazrat Ali (AS). This state of affairs demanded the immediate attention of the Amir-ul-Momineen.

The Battle of Nahrawan (37 A.H.)

When the situation grew intolerable, Hazrat Ali (AS) resolved to snub the defaulters. He summoned the dissenters to submit but they refused to obey him. Before declaring war upon them, he delivered this sermon: “Turn your heart to me. When the army of Moavia hoisted the Holy Quran on their lances, did you not advise me to stop fighting? Did you not tell me to give them protection because they belonged to the same religion? I told you not to be taken in by their treachery. I exhorted you to go on fighting boldly and patiently till the enemy was completely defeated. At that time you unanimously stressed upon me to stop fighting and agree to the appointment of arbitrators. Then we took a promise from the umpires not to deviate from the Holy Quran. They promised not to do so, but they did not abide by their promise. They left the truth deliberately but it was not my fault. Your false estimate has entangled you in this trap. Now you have revolted against me. I warn you to mend your ways otherwise some of you may lie dead in blood and dust in this valley”.

After this, he proclaimed amnesty to all those who would return to camp or keep away from the battle. The majority of the Khawarij with the exception of 1,800 men, took advantage of the declaration. Khirrit, an influential chief, was the leader of the band of dissenters. He preached lawlessness and incited the people against Hazrat (AS). It was an open challenge to the authority of the Caliph who had no alternative but to launch a campaign against the rebels. Thus the most fearful battle was fought and many notorious Khawarij leaders were killed in the Battle of Naharwan. They fought disparately but were utterly destroyed. This defeat, however, did not crush the opposition. The leaders of this movement spread diffusely in every nook and corner of the country and adopted under-hand methods to sow the seeds of division, suspicion, hatred and disobedience. Numerous simple hearted but sincere supporters of Hazrat Ali (AS) were victimized by them.

Hazrat Ali (AS)’s Helplessness

Although the Khawarij were apparently defeated yet this evil was not entirely rooted out. Their rebellious attitude left a deep impression on the minds of all the subjects. At the critical juncture, the people around the Caliph seemed to have lost that tremendous spirit which glorified Islam in the past. When Hazrat Ali (AS) expressed his intention of dealing with Moavia, his followers made lame excuses and were reluctant to invade Syria. They desired to take rest before the re-commencement of the battle. Gradually, they began to slip to Kufa. Hazrat Ali (AS) delivered stirring and eloquent sermons to prepare the inhabitants of Kufa for the compaign against Syria. All his exhortations and injunctions fell upon deaf ears. It was quite evident that the miscreants had succeeded in creating disunity in the army. Moreover, the circumstances in Egypt had come to such a pass that Hazrat Ali (AS) was obliged to give up the idea of leading an expedition to Syria. Thus he retraced his steps to Kufa from Nakhila where he encamped.

Egypt under the Sway of Moavia

Egypt, under the Governorship of Qais became a land of constant rebellions. As Qais was a sober and shrewd politician, he tried to settle all issues amicably. The citizens of Khartba were unwilling to acknowledge him as the representative of the Caliph of Islam. They demanded retribution for the murder of Usman. Qais did not suppress them with firm hands. He pardoned them on the condition that they would not disturb the peace again. Hazrat Ali (AS) began casting doubts on the faithfulness of Qais and removed him from the office of the Governor. He appointed Muhammad bn Abi Bakr in his stead. He was narrow-minded and strict. He was one of the distinguished regicides. He adopted a drastic policy of repression which added to the unpopularity of Hazrat Ali (AS). Soon afterwards he was replaced by Ashtar, a seasoned warrior but he was poisoned to death. Muhammad bin Abi Bakr was again reinstated. Moavia kept a keen eye on the whole developments. When he got an opportunity, he commissioned Amr bn al’As to capture Egypt. Amr conquered Egypt with the assistance of 6000 soldiers. Muhammad bin Abi Bakr could not face him and took to his heels. He was captured and put to the sword by Moavia who thought him to be one of the murderers of Usman (RA). It is stated that his corpse was ignominiously burnt in the skin of an ass. Ayesha (RA) was greatly shocked at her brother’s ill fate but she was quite helpless but she continued abusing Moavia on killing her brother in such a bad way. Thus Egypt was subjugatede and the loss of this fertile province was a severe blow to the Caliphate of Hazrat Ali (AS).

Hijaz and the Yemen Lost

After the conquest of Egypt, Moavia dispatched an army of 3000 soldiers to march on Hijaz. Hazrat Ali (AS) deputed Abu Ayyub to check the advance to the invaders. He was unable to withstand the invasion of the army led by Busr and fled to Kufa. Busr entered the city unopposed and threatened the notable personalities of the city with death if they declined to pledge loyalty to Moavia. Similarly, Mecca was also occupied by this army and the citizens were so horrified that most of them took the oath of allegiance under the stress of unavoidable circumstances. Busr next proceeded to the Yemen of which Abdullah ibn Abbas was the Governor. The army entered the city and captured it without resistance. They killed numerous adherents of Hazrat Ali (AS). The innocent children of Abdullah ibn Abbas fell into the hands of tyrants. They did not spare them and put them to the sword. Another army of Moavia under the command of Sufyan ibn Auf plundered Mad’in. Hazrat Ali (AS) appointed Ziyad to confront the forces of the enemy. He dispatched troops to the Yemen and Hijaz and re-established his authority there. During these disturbances Abdullah ibn Abbas got angry with the Caliph and deserted him. The heart of Hazrat Ali (AS)| was disgusted with the crowding troubles. He decided to abandon hostilities against Syria and conclude a treaty with Moavia. According to this treaty it was decided that Moavia would be recognized as the ruler of Syria and Egypt. Whereas the rest of the Empire would remain under Hazrat Ali (AS). After this compromise the troublesome clash was averted and both the parties tried to maintain peace by adopting a friendly attitude.

The Martyrdom of Hazrat Ali (AS)

The treaty of peace between Hazrat Ali (AS) and Moavia threw cold water on the burning plan of undermining the solidarity of Islam. The miscreants were extremely opposed to this unity because a stable Government would take them to task for their mischief. They held a secret meeting at Mecca and hatched a plan to do away with Hazrat Ali (AS), Moavia and Amr bn al’As, who were the chief characters in  the drama. Three extremists were deputed to put this evil design into practice on the same day and at the appointed time. Abdur Rahman bin Muljam was to slay Hazrat Ali (AS), Barak bin Abdullah was to murder Moavia and Amir bin Barak was to kill Amr bin al’As respectively. They solemnly resolved either to accomplish the task or perish on the spot. On the seventeenth of Ramadan 40 A.H., three dissenters made a murderous attack on their victims according to their prepared plan. Barak failed in this mission regarding the murder of Moavia. He made an attack on him and inflicted a slight would. The assailant was arrested and executed. Fortunately, Amr did not come to the mosque to conduct the prayers owing to illness and remained safe and sould Unfortunately, the venture of Abdur Rahman ibn Muljam proved successful. Early on a Friday morning when the dark of night was slowly dissipating, Hazrat Ali (AS) proceeded to the Mosque where Ibn Muljam had concealed himself. While Hazrat Ali (AS) was raising his head from prostration, he attacked him with his sharp sword which inflicted a fatal would on his fore-head. A lot of blood gushed forth from the injury and the beard of Hazrat Ali (AS) was thoroughly drenched. The murderer was caught red-handed and produced before the Caliph. The Caliph did not utter even a single word of condemnation and simply gave a parting advice: “Beware! Execute none but my murderer. Remember that if I die of his blow, kill him with only one blow. Do not cut off his limbs because it is against the teachings of the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam). In case I survive, I will deal with him as I think proper. As long as I am alive, he must not be tortured. He should be comfortably accommodated and well-fed. O People! Death is inevitably. Every one has to taste it. I advise you not to make any person an accomplice of Allah. Always follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam). Keep these two lamps bright. You shall be safe from sins if you illuminate your hearts and minds with them. Tomorrow you will find this body deprived of the soul. This moving body shall stop moving. This tongue shall not speak. My spoken words shall guide you in every walk of life. Now you will find my place vacant and then you shall know my worth. You shall miss me when another shall succeed to the Caliphate after me. Good-bye to all of  you”.

Gradually, his condition grew serious and the hope of his survival became dimmer. The dying Caliph constantly repeated these verses of the Holy Quran: “And whoso does good even equal to an atom’s weight, shall be judged accordingly; and whoso does evil even equal to an atom’s weight, shall be judged accordingly”.

The same evening his spirit departed in the contemplation of Allah. He was sixty-three at the time of death. Thus the lamp of learning was extinguished and the fountain of justice dried up. After his death, Ibn Muljam was committed to the flames. The conscience of the Muslims was extremely stirred to hear the news of his martyrdom. They were deprived of his instructions and guidance.

After the martyrdom of Hazrat Ali (AS), the curse of discord crept into the universal brotherhood of Islam and the Muslim solidarity was rent asunder by angry passions and the love of power. Many evils arose from the revolutionary instincts and lawlessness.

The Attributes of Hazrat Ali (AS)’s Holy Personality

Hazrat Ali (AS) was a short statured man. He was strong and stout. He wore a long beard. He had a smiling countenance. He was a distinguished personality of Islam. Hazrat Ali (AS) was endowed with versatile gifts and great intellectual qualities. It was a matter of rare distinction for him that he was born in the sacred precincts of the Kaba. He was extremely fortunate to have been brought up by the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam). He grew up in an atmosphere that helped him to imbibe many of the virtues of his Benefactor (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam). Hazrat Ali (AS) was his cousin and son-in-law. Since his childhood he was very intelligent, hard-working and sagacious. The excellence training which was imparted to him by the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) had left an indelible impression on his mind. He had learnt the Holy Quran direct from the Messenger of Allah (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) who awarded him the title of “The Gate of Knowledge”. He was a commentator of unique standing. He acted as one of the special scribes of the Messenger of Allah (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam), he had gained a vast knowledge regarding the revelations of the various verses and Chapters of the Holy Quran. He rendered valuable services to Islam in arranging these Chapters in the order of revelation during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr (RA). His services in connection with the preservation of the Traditions of the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) were highly creditable. He was well versed in Islamic Jurisprudence. He was a first class orator:

It is related by Ibn Babawe on the authority of Jaffer (RA), who said: “One day the companions of the Messenger of Allah (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) had gathered at a place. During the discussion it was pointed out that Alif is mostly used among all the alphabetical letters in Arabic and without it, it is quite impossible to speak out. On hearing this, Hazrat Ali (AS) delivered an extempore speech in which Alif was not utilized at all”.

Hazrat Ali (AS) was deeply religious. He never acted contrary to the teachings of the Holy Quran. One day on the field of battle, Hazrat Ali (AS) overpowered his sworn enemy. He mounted his chest and was about to put him to the sword. The infidel spat on his face. Hazrat Ali (AS) spared him at once and stepped aside. The Jew was wonder-struck and said, “Why have you spared me inspite of the fact that you have sound reasons to slay me more ruthlessly”? Hazrat Ali (AS) replied, “I owe no personal enmity against you. I determined to kill you for the sake of Allah. When you spat on my face, I changed my mind. How could I slay you to wreak my personal vengeance. It is strictly prohibited in my religion to kill others out of vindictiveness”. The jew was much impressed by the sublime teachings of Islam and the noble behaviour of its followers. He felt penitence and entered the fold of Islam. Hazrat Ali (AS) was a model of simplicity just like the other heroes of Islam. He wore clothes made of coarse cloth and ate ordinary food. He laboured hard to earn a livelihood for his family. There was no servant in his house. His beloved wife, Fatima (SA) used to grind corn with her own hands. The riches of the world and comforts of life had no fascination for him. As a Caliph when danger was knocking at his door, he stationed no body-guard at his residence for his safety.

Hazrat Ali (AS) never allowed any concession to h is kith and kin. He was very careful in utilizing public money. He adopted perfect equality in the distribution of the revenue among the needy and the destitute. Every one had equal status in his eyes. His decisions were just and impartial and no defaulter could escape the punishment awarded by him. Hazrat Umar (RA) appointed him as the Chief Justice during his Caliphate. He used to say that “Umar would be ruined if Ali (AS) were not present”. The statement of the second Caliph is based on an incident. In his era, two females gave birth to two kids in a house of maiden. One kid was male and the other female. The mother of male kid was unconscious while the mother of female kid was conscious. The mother of female kid took the male kid from his mother’s bed and laid her female kid in place. When the mother of male kid came into conscious, she saw a female kid laying on her bed. She started crying and stated that she had dreamed of son and she had the sure feelings of the birth of son. How it is possible that I have delivered a female kid. This dispute came before the second Caliph who demanded witness. The maiden appeared before him and stated that she was working at her home after both the ladies had delivered their kids and that she was unaware of the incident. Other family members of both the ladies were about to fight with on another on this dispute. Hazrat Umar (RA) immediately called Hazrat Ali (AS) and told the whole story. Hazrat Ali (AS) did not demand witnesses. He asked both the ladies to take two pots of one equal size and get their milk of their breasts into the pots in equal quantity. They went to another room and did so, and brought the pots before Hazrat Ali (AS). Hazrat Ali (AS) ordered to weigh both the pot and passed a very fair decision that pot of heavier weight belongs to the mother of male kid and little weight belongs to the mother of female kid. When the truth opened before vast majority of people, mother of female kid admitted that she replaced her female kid with male kid delivered by other lady. At that time, Hazrat Uman (RA) stated: “Umar would be ruined if Ali (AS) were not present”. As a Judge, Hazrat Ali (AS) had no equal. Even his opponents like Moavia highly priced his verdicts in connection with religious matters and used to get solutions from Hazrat Ali (AS) through correspondence. At this, Hazrat Ali (AS) used to say, “Our enemies are also getting benefits from us in religious matters”.

Hazrat Ali (AS) was very courageous and a dauntless soldiers of Allah. He won the title of “The Lion of Allah” due to his adventures of valour and bravery. His achievements in the propagation of Islam even in the teeth of opposition, are commendable. Whenever he was challenged to a duel, he invariably defeated his rival. He participated in the holy battles and won the admiration of all. The bravery which Hazrat Ali (AS) displayed in the battle of Uhad was well narrated by Umar (RA) in these sentences: “We were on the battlefield routing the enemy. Suddenly the force of the enemy made a stormy attack on us. It was then we saw the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) falling because he was unable to stand the onslaught. We took to our heels but Hazrat Ali (AS) stood firm. He did not budge an inch and stood guarding his Master. He was brandishing his sword and thus checked the advance of the enemy. He shouted at the top of his voice to protect the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) and not to desert him. He gave us fresh courage and turning back. We repulsed the enemy”. The impregnable fort of Khaibar fell due to his courage and skill. This conquest enhanced the prestige of the Muslims.

Hazrat Ali (AS) had no aspirations for the Caliphate. But when he was forced to shoulder these responsibilities, he tried his level best to justify his election. Although the country was in the grip of disruptions at that time, yet he did not lose heart and performed his duties earnestly and efficiently. He was sure to overcome all sorts of difficulties. He was honest and conscientious. He took strong measures to sweep out corruption and lawlessness from the Empire. He replaced all those officers and Governors whose conduct was undesirable. According to his opinion, Moavia had falled victim to temptations and had adopted the wrong path. He tried to dismiss him from the post of Governor. This bold step landed him in a dreadful clash with Moavia. He, however, managed to gain the victory in the battle of Siffin but he was deprived of the fruit of triumph of his sincerity and peace-loving nature.

Whenever he got the slightest opportunity to avert bloodshed and destruction, he restrained his hands and tried to pacify the opponents. He was kind and beneficient to his friends and treated his sworn enemies with generous forbearance. He forgave the Khawarij and the rebels of Persia when they felt penitence. The Parsians were much impressed and they remarked: “By Allah, this Arab reminds us of Nosherwan”.

Hazrat Ali (AS) was Allah-fearing in the real sense of the word. Sometimes tears welled up in his eyes wheever he happened to pass near the grave-yard. One of his friends, Kumail, related an incident which clearly manifested that he was of a highly sensitive nature. He says: “One day I accompanied Hazrat Ali (AS) to the grave-yard. He said, “ dwellers of the graves! You live among ruins in solitude. How are you passing your days in the other world? Do you remember your riches or not? Now let us have news about you”. Then he turned to me and said, “O Kumail! If they could speak they would have informed us that the best provision for the Hereafter is Taqwa. The grave is the storehouse of the deeds; but one realizes it only after his burial”. After this Hazrat Ali (AS) wept bitterly and lost consciousness. The imagination of the torment of hell shuddered his body.

Whenever Hazrat Ali (AS) stood up in Salat, humbling himself before his Creator, tears rolled down his cheeks to his beard and on to his breast. He would turn pale and quake at the time of the prayers. Somebody asked him the reason for this awe and he said: “It is the time to discharge that trust which Allah offered to the heavens, the earth and the hills but they shrank from bearing it but I h ave assumed it”.

Hazrat Ali (AS) was the true devotee of the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam). He had a deep love for his Master. Somebody questioned him: “How much affection have you for the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam)? He replied, “By Allah! To us the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) is dearer than our riches, our children and our mothers. His company is more cherishable than the cold water at the time of the severest thirst”.

There is no exaggeration in Hazrat Ali (AS)’s statement. As a matter of fact, he had gone to extremes of love for the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) to attain perfection of his faith.

On account of this deep love for the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) and good qualities of head and heart, Hazrat Ali (AS) was declared as his Successor by the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) as the first Imam at the time of Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam)’s last and the only pilgrimage. These are people who disobeyed the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) and took the control of Government on their own after the disappearance of the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam). As a result of their personal attempt to control the government on their own, such disturbances occurred that Hazrat Ali (AS) had to face.

The Holy Quran says in the honour of Hazrat Ali (AS): “Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) is the Messenger of Allah, and those with them are firm of heart against the infidels, but kind among themselves; you will see them bowing down, prostrating themselves, seeking grace and pleasure from Allah; their marks are in their faces because of the effect of prostration”.

Apparently, Hazrat Ali (AS) looked to be poor but he was able to do everything possible for the good of his and his family’s life. He led a life of austerity but he was generous at heart. Once he had to go without food for a few days. He laboured hard and thus got a meager remuneration. He cooked food to satisfy his hunger when a beggar came to his door and begged for alms. Hazrat Ali (AS) gave him all he had and himself began to bear the pangs of starvation. This happened three times. Allah was pleased at this deed of selflessness and revealed this verse in appreciation of Hazrat Ali (AS): “And they feed for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan and the captive”.

These verses of the Holy Quran also throw light on the outstanding status of Hazrat Ali (AS), stating: “In houses which Allah has permitted to be erected, and that His name may be remembered in them: they glorify Him therein in the mornings and evenings”.

Explaining these verse, Ibn Abbas writes that one day they were in the Mosque. After prayers one of the followers recited the above verse, whereupon the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) was asked which were the houses referred to by Allah in the verse. The Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) replied that the houses referred to in the verse were the houses of the Prophets gone-before and also that of Fatima (SA) and Ali (AS)”.

Some Traditions about Hazrat Ali (AS)


It is narrated by Ummul Momineen Hazrat Umm-e-Salma (RA) that the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) said, “Whoever abuses Ali abuses me”.


It is reported on the authority of Ibn Abbas, that the Messenger of Allah (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) ordered the doors of few houses opened to the Mosque to be shut except that of Hazrat Ali (AS).


Ummul Momineen Hazrat Umm-e-Salma (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) said, “No hypocrite loves Ali (AS) and no believer dislikes him”.


Hazrat Umm-e-Atiyya narrated that she heard the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) saying with his raised hands, “O Allah! Do not take away my life unless I see Ali”.


Hazrat Ali (AS) reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “I am the house of wisdom and Ali (AS) is its door. Whoso wishes to acquire wisdom, let him come by its door”.


Ibn Umar (RA) narrated that the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) said, “Ali (AS) is my brother in the world and in the Hereafter”.


Hubshi Ibn Junada reported that the Messenger of Allah (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) said, “Ali (AS) is from me and I am from Ali (AS)”.


Zaid ibn Arqam reported that the Messenger of Allah (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) said, “Ali (AS) is the friend of those of whom I am friend”.


It is narrated on the authority of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas that the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) said to Hazrat Ali (AS), “You are unto me as Aaron (Haroon) was unto Muses (Musa) except that there will be no Prophet after me”.


Jabir narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) called on Hazrat Ali (AS) on the Day of Ta’if and held a secret talk with him. The people said, “His secret talk with his cousin has been prolonged”. The Messenger of Allah (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) said, “I have not held any secret talk with him but Allah had a secret talk with him”.


Some Useful Unique Holy Sayings of Hazrat Ali (AS)

Hazrat Ali (AS) was one of the greatest heroes of Islam. He was not only a matchless warrior but was also a great scholar and a pious saint. He distinguished himself as an orator of a remarkable position and his golden proverbial sayings rank high in importance. These sayings serve the purpose of a torch-light for those who grope in the darkness.

The perfection of unity is that Allah should be taken as an absolutely pure and singular unit.


Do not do good deeds to make a show because Allah hates a hypocrite and leaves him to his own fate.


Glory is to be found in the remembrance of the Creator.


A person who is respected out of love and affection is much better than a rich man who leaves his property to his inheritor.


The world is like a serpent. Its bite is mortal.


Never abandon your kith and kin when they are in distress.


Three flaws make life disagreeable: jealously, bad character and vindictiveness.


Perseverance leads to victory.


Whoever is not of any utility to mankind, is to be counted among the dead.


Ignorance leads a man to ruin and destruction and guidance helps him in the achievement of success.


Books are the gardens of the scholars.


A disgraced person cannot check a tyrant from his oppression.


The realm of knowledge is boundless.


The world betrays those who love it.


Learn a lesson from the lives of your ancestors before posterity follows you.


Chastity is the strongest fortress of character.


Whosoever is conscious of the Day of Judgement, can never be faithless.


Those who do not spend, must not be counted as rich.


Avarice misguides a man and inordinate ambitious make a man forget the Hereafter.


The coward is deprived of all enjoyments of life.


Whosoever prays to Allah does not become proud.


One is rewarded or punished according to what one has done.


Allah is above the doubts and suspicions of the atheists.


Consult wise men in order to escape repentance.


The world is just like the shadow of a traveler which is seen spreading for a short while but which completely vanishes in the twinkling of an eye.


Hypocrites wear the robe of lies.


It is piety to refrain from all evils.


Do not flatter because it is not the sign of faith.


Those people who curb their passions, are obedient to Allah.


Mercy graces power.


Do not owe a grudge to others because it is a sharp sword.


Death laughs at aspirations.


The truthful man gets salvation but the liar falls into the well of humiliation.


Do not feel envious of other because envy spoils the faith like the fire which burns the wool.


Anger begins from stupidity and ends with repentance.


The enjoyments of this life are like a draught which a person enjoys for a short span of time and then throws it away.


Always show gratitude to your benefactor.


Do not rejoice at another’s fall; for you are unaware of what life has in store for you.


Do not lodge your complaints with a person who has no remedy.


The fruit of haste is stumbling.


Make haste in acquiring knowledge before the autumn prevails over the garden of learning and you are indulged in worldly pleasures and carnal desires.


Avoid the company of wicked. They are like the fire which burns all who approach it.


The world develops friendship with a man at dawn and becomes his enemy at dusk.


Put away vindictiveness if you wish to enjoy peace of mind.


Whosoever becomes arrogant, is disgraced.


Fear none but your sins.


Whomsoever hesitates to fight for the glorification of Allah, shall perish.


Self conceit poisons the mind.


One who leads a virtuous life, gets salvation.


Hatred among kinsmen is more painful than the stings of scorpions.


Do not disregard your minor sins because you are liable to be punished for them.


The worst friend is he who deserts you in misfortune.


Those who understand the grandeur of Allah do not speak high of them.


Do not look down upon even a weak enemy.


Do not boast of your blood and disregard yourself and the poor.


Happy is he whose wealth is earned by honest means.


Faith, virtues and learning go together.


Those who make a parade of poverty, degrade themselves.


Always remember the Day when actions will be judged.


Sobriety is the wealth of the poor.


The young should follow the aged and the old should adopt kind behaviour towards the young.


Avail of all opportunities because they never recur.


Blessed is the man who prostrates before his Creator.


Affliction is easily borne by one who is patient.


Obey the commandments of Allan and refrain from His prohibitions.


Whoever is aware of his errors, is tender of another’s fault.


Wage holy war against the devil with the weapon of meekness.


Give some of your wealth in charity and make provision for the next world.


It is heinous sin to admire the wicked.


Beg only from Allah Whose generosity is unlimited and from Whose door no one returns despondent.


Hatred is born of gusting.


Those who are greedy, are the slaves of their desires.


He who does not disdain the advice of others, is the wisest person.


Excellency depends upon knowledge.


If you advise a man publicly, you cast blame upon him.


One who lives alone, remains safe and sound.


Charity earns the admiration of all.


Never return evil for good because that is to obstruct benevolence.


The heart of a wise man is the box of his secrets.


Whoever plants the tree of nobility, gets the sweetest fruit.


When the world is in favour of any person, his shortcomings seem to be virtues; and when he is looked down upon, his virtues become defects.


Extravagance is the mother of indigence.


The atonement of great sins is to help the distressed.


No tyrant will breathe the odour of Paradize.


Be generous but do not be extravagant.


Shun the company of a fool because he intends to benefit you but really he harms you.


Wealth is decreased by expenditure but knowledge is increased by dissemination.


Hold consultation before taking any action.


The treasure of knowledge is never exhausted.


Whoever frightens you of any evil, tries to reform you.


Intelligence increases with teaching and experience.


Time disappoints people and brings them near death.


In order to avoid error, reflect before you utter a word.


Wisdom is the best property of a Muslim. Acquire it even from a hypocrite.


One of the signs of a stupid man is a frequent change of opinion.


To commit sins is a disease, to feel penitence is the medicine and to abstain from it is its cure.


The tongue has a sharper point than the arrow.


It is better to go to sleep with firm faith in Allah rather than to offer prayers in skepticism.


Avoid chattering because it bores one’s company.


Whomsoever flatters you, murders you.


It is perfidy to tell a lie.


To support the wrong cause is to suppress the right.


It is an act of ingratitude to deceive a person who confides in you.


Moderation is the way of safety.


Man is dignified due to his heart which is a piece of flesh.


The sword of Right never blunts.


Yielding to anger leads to shame.


Prudence watches when the negligence slumbers.


A thankless person generally forgets Allah when fortune smiles upon him.


Gentle words win man over to their side.


Pride hinders the path to progress and mars sublimity.


Politeness is an adornment of the highest quality.


Those who enjoy leisure are entrapped by misfortunes and troubles.


Make no promise,  you will be unable to fulfill.


Confession is the best savior.


Always master your fury because it is a raging fire which will burn you.


Love for riches spoils good qualities.


Those who never take pity on others will never be pitied.


Extreme poverty kills the conscience of human beings.


Success is the sweet fruit of patience.


Speech is like medicine. An appropriate dose of it is beneficial but an excess of it is injurious to health.


Health is the greatest of all belongings.


Experience is a very good teacher.


Cure your diseases by giving alms.


Safety lies in silence.


Modesty uplifts and pride degrades.


Contentment is a unique treasure.


The friendship of a food tortures the soul.


Piety is the crowning glory of man.


He is really wise whose actions testify his words.


Fortunate is he who conquers his passions.


Silence is the best reply to an idiot.


He who teaches me a letter, binds me with a fetter.


A sweet tongue begets many friends.


The friendship which lacks insincerity, is useless.


Virtues never perish.


Begging spoils the honour.


He who points out your mistakes, is your true adviser.


A smiling countenance puts out the fire of enmity.


Do not develop friendship with a liar.


Ostentation mars worship.


Serve your superiors, and your inferiors shall serve you.


Those who listen to back-biting, are not less than back-biters.


Courtesy is the best ornament of one’s character.


Seek the help of Allah to express a deep sense of gratitude to Him for the innumerable blessings which He has bestowed upon you.


Creation of Doubt between Hazrat Ali (AS) and Hazrat Fatima (SA) by Miscreants

Hazrat Ali (AS) was kind, considerate and solicitous. He was married to Hazrat Syeda Fatima (SA) as ordained by Allah. Abu Bakr Khawarzami states: “One day the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) came out of his house and his illustrious face was shining like the full moon. Abdur Rahman asked the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) the reasons for such happiness depicted on his holy face. He replied, “I am overjoyed because I have received from Allah very good news. Allah has betrothed my loving daughter Fatima (SA) to Hazrat Ali (AS).

This marriage proved to be very successful. Some people tried to make mischief between Hazrat Fatima (SA) and Hazrat Ali (AS) by spreading false rumours concerning their married life. Once a mischief-monger spread the news that Hazrat Ali (AS) intended to have another wife and had proposed the hand of Abu Jahal’s daughter. Hazrat Fatima (SA) refused to believe in it at first but the man who informed her, swore that it was a fact. At this Hazrat Fatima (SA) was much grieved. She proceeded towards the house of her father to apprise him of the whole matter. In her absence Hazrat Ali (AS) returned and betook him to the Mosque on finding that Hazrat Fatima (SA) was not present in the house. He offered his prayers and lay down to rest. When the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) heard about th is he went to the Mosque. The Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) went to him and said: “Ali, do you not know that Fatima (SA) is a part and parcel of my heart. He who displeases her, annoys me”.

Hazrat Ali (AS) replied in affirmative. Whereupon the Messenger of Allah (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) said, “Why have you proposed for the hand of Abu Jahal’s daughter?” Hazrat Ali (AS) was much surprised and swore that such a thought had ever entered his mind. He had great regard for his wife and would never marry another as long as she was alive. This reply fully satisfied the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) and his beloved daughter. Hazrat Ali (AS) tried his level best to provide all sorts of comforts to his wife. They undersent all trials and hardships together and shared joy and suffering unitedly. The husband and the wife were the embodiment of nobility. As they had grown up under the guidance of the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam), there was perfect harmony between them. On the death of Hazrat Fatima (SA) a man asked Hazrat Ali (AS): “How did you pass your life with Fatima (SA)?” He heaved a sign and said, “She was a gragrant flower of Heaven. By Allah she gave me no chance of complaint during  her life”.

Hazrat Ali (AS) had three sons and two daughters from Fatima (SA). Muhsin died in infancy. Hasan and Husain (SA) won eternal fame. The Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) loved them from the core of his heart. On many occasions he used to play with them and they found great delight in jumping on his back when he was busy in offering the prayers. Although Hazrat Ali (AS) was not well off, yet his children were not deprived of any necessity of life. They received the best treatment and every wish of theirs was considered. Hasan and Husain (AS) are the heads of the Sayyids dynasty. They commanded a good reputation for their piety and mildness. Hasan (AS) is responsible for narrating many Traditions collected by Ahmad in his Masjad. Husain (AS) was the Quran Conner and scholar of a remarkable position. Since both the youngsters passed their years of early childhood and adolescence under the fostering care of their grandfather, they became a personification of upright conduct and self-denial. Great love and tenderness was lavished on Hasan and Husain (AS) from the day of their birth until they reached manhood. But a grim fate awaited them in later life. Hasan (AS) was poisoned to death by one of his wives. Husain (AS) was martyred on the banks of the Euphrates (River). He expired thirsty, hungry and abandoned by most of his supporters. The tragic death of this illustrious martyr could not fail to move the heart of many sensitive human beings. He set a noble example of courage and deep religious faith. After the death of Fatima (SA), Hazrat Ali (AS) married again.