Know Your Imam: Ali ibn Abu Talib (the first Imam)

August 8, 2006

Shaykh al-Mufid (may Allah shower him with mercy) recorded that Abu Sa’id al-Khudri related that he heard the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him and his family peace) talking to Fatimah (peace be upon her), who had come to him that day crying and saying, “O Messenger of Allah, the women of the Quraysh have reproached me because of Ali’s poverty.’

He said, ‘Are you not content, O Fatimah, that I have married you to your husband when he was the first man to embrace Islam and the most knowledgeable of men? Allah has examined the people of the earth and chosen your father, and made him a prophet. He then examined the people again and chose from among them your husband and made him the appointed guardian. Allah then revealed to me that I should marry you to him. Do you not see it as Allah’s honor and respect for you that your husband is the kindest of men, the most knowledgeable and the first of them to submit to Islam?’

Fatimah then smiled and rejoiced at the good news.”

Al-Tabarani in al-Kabir and al-Bayhaqi in his Sunnah relate that the Messenger of Allah said of Ali, pointing to him with his hand, “This man was the first to believe in me and will be the first to take my hand on the Day of Resurrection; he is the greatest of friends and the most discriminating between truth and falsehood, and he is the Commander of the Faithful.”

Al-Tabarani in al-Kabir and al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak relate that the Messenger of Allah said, “I am the city of knowledge, and ‘Ali is the gate; so whoever desires knowledge should come to its gate.”

Ibn Majah, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nasa’i, Ibn Hanbal, and others relate that the Messenger of Allah said, at the time of the final pilgrimage, “Ali is from me and I am from ‘Ali. No one can discharge my duty instead of me expect ‘Ali.”

During the battle of Khaibar, the Messenger of Allah entrusted the standard to Abu Bakr to lead the army and bring back victory, but he encountered difficulty and returned unsuccessful. On the following day, he gave the standard to ‘Umar who also returned unsuccessful.

As a result, the Prophet called together his companions and announced, “By Allah, tomorrow I will give the standard to a person who loves Allah and His Messenger and who is loved by Allah and His Messenger, one who is constant in battle and does not flee the battlefield, one who will stand firm and will not return until victory is achieved.”

When morning came, they all hastened to Allah’s Messenger, hoping that he would choose one of them. He said to them, “Where is ‘Ali?”

They replied, “He is suffering from an eye ailment.”

The Prophet took some of his saliva and applied it to ‘Ali’s eyes, invoking blessings on him, and he was cured. Imam ‘Ali went forth in battle and achieved victory with the Muslim army.

The Commander of the Faithful, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib was born on the 13th of Rajab in the thirteenth year of the Elephant, in Makkah, inside of the sacred Ka’bah (an honor bestowed on none before him or after him). He served as the fourth caliph of the Islamic Ummah and left in his progeny the eleven Imams of Ahlul-bayt. He was martyred on the 21st of Ramadan and was buried in Najaf, Iraq.

One comment

  1. May I get Maola Ali’s portrait or Photograph. I love im so much…….

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