Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu – Fostered in the Home of Nubuwwah; Husband of the Pure Queen

Sayyidina ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan Dhu al Nurayn – The Bashful, Tolerant, and a Noble Son-in-Law
April 29, 2020
Section Two: The Stance of the Sahabah regarding the Fitnah
May 8, 2020

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Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu

Fostered in the Home of Nubuwwah; Husband of the Pure Queen

 

He is Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu, a man who persevered through various conditions and underwent many difficulties. In every field he left distinct impressions, and his stamp and influence. You will find him in battle to be a lofty hero, in dialogue to be a stupefying orator, and in judicial matters to be sturdy and just. In the mornings, he would be remembering Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala and fasting, and in the darkness of night he would be worshipping Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala. May Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala be pleased with him and make him happy.

 

Name and Lineage

He is `Ali ibn Abi Talib `Abd Manaf ibn `Abd al-Muttalib Shaybah ibn Hashim `Amr ibn `Abd Manaf Mughirah ibn Qusayy Zayd; Abu al-Hasan; al-Hashimi. He is the cousin of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and his son-in-law. He is from the early Muhajirin. He participated in Badr, Uhud, and all the other battles. He was sworn in as khalifah after Sayyiduna `Uthman ibn `Affan radiya Llahu `anhu was martyred.[1]

His mother is Fatimah bint Asad ibn Hashim ibn `Abd Manaf ibn Qusayy.[2]

Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu is the cousin of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and his lineage meets with Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam in their first forefather, `Abd al-Muttalib, and from the side of his mother, he meets with Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam at his forefather Hashim ibn `Abd Manaf. Abu Talib and Fatimah, his wife, are paternal first cousins. Hashim ibn `Abd Manaf is the grandfather of both of them. This illustrates the strong family connection between Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu and Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.

 

Birth

Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu is the first Hashimi to assume khilafah.[3] He was born on the 13th of Rajab 23 years before hijrah. It appears in al-Isabah that he was born 10 years before nubuwwah, according to the correct report.[4]

 

Agnomen

Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu is known with a few agnomens, the most famous of them:

Abu al-Hasan: attributed to his eldest son Sayyiduna Hasan ibn `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu from Sayyidah Fatimah al-Zahra’ radiya Llahu `anha.[5]

Abu al-Sibtayn: the purport of al-sibtayn (grandsons) is Hasan and Husayn radiya Llahu `anhuma.[6]

He is also known as Abu Turab. This is an agnomen Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam coined for him. Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu loved it and loved being called by it.

The origin of this agnomen as reported by al-Bukhari through his chain from Sahl ibn Sa`d radiya Llahu `anhu is as follows:

 

جاء رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم بيت فاطمة فلم يجد عليا في البيت فقال أين ابن عمك قالت كان بيني و بينه شيء فغاضبني فخرج فلم يقل عندي فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لإنسان انظر أين هو فجاء فقال يا رسول الله هو في المسجد راقد فجاء رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و هو مضطجع قد سقط رداؤه عن شقه و أصابه تراب فجعل رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يمسحه عنه و يقول قم أبا تراب قم أبا تراب

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam came to Fatimah’s house and did not find `Ali at home so he asked, “Where is your cousin?”

She replied, “We had an argument and he got angry with me. So he did not rest here.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam told someone, “Find out where he is.” The person returned and said, “O Messenger of Allah, he is sleeping in the Masjid.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam came to him. He was lying down; his shawl had fallen off his side and dust had covered it. Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam started to wipe the dust off him and said, “Stand up, Abu Turab! Stand up, Abu Turab (one covered in sand).”[7]

 

This agnomen was beloved to his heart and he loved being addressed by it. Sahl ibn Sa`d’s report reported by Muslim is evidence to this:

 

ما كان لعلي اسم أحب إليه من أبي التراب و إن كان ليفرح إذا دعي بها

`Ali did not have a name more beloved to him than Abu al-Turab. He would become elated when being addressed by it.[8]

 

Title

Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu is recognised by a few titles, the most famous of which are: Amir al-Mu’minin and the Fourth of the Rightly Guided Khulafa’.[9]

 

Physical Appearance

Ibn Sa`d reports in al-Tabaqat through his chain from Razam ibn Sa`d al-Dabbi who says:

 

سمعت أبي ينعت عليا قال كان رجلا فوق الربعة ضخم المنكبين طويل اللحية و إن شئت قلت إذا نظرت إليه هو آدم و إن تبينته من قريب قلت أن يكون أسمر أدنى من أن يكون آدم

I heard my father describing `Ali. He said, “He was a man of average height. He had large shoulders with a long beard. If you looked at him, you could say that he was brown. However, at a closer look, you would say that he was wheat-coloured, far from being brown.”[10]

 

Ibn Sa`d also reports via his chain from Ishaq ibn `Abd Allah ibn Abi Farwah who says:

 

سألت أبا جعفر محمد بن علي قلت ما كانت صفة علي قال رجل آدم شديد الأدمة ثقيل العينين عظيمهما ذو بطن أصلع إلى القصر أقرب

I asked Abu Ja`far Muhammad ibn `Ali saying, “What was `Ali’s physical description?”

He explained, “He was a man with a brown complexion. Large eyed. With a large belly. Bald. Medium in height, closer to short.”[11]

 

Glance at his Household (Wives and Children)

Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu got married more than once. However, he did not have a second wife while being married to Rasulullah’s salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam daughter. Meaning that Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu did not marry another woman while married to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu `anha until she passed on six months after Rasulullah’s salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam demise. He remained with Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu `anha and nursed her and cared for her until she passed away. The upcoming lines will give a brief glance at his wives, and children from each wife.

  1. Fatimah bint al-Rasul salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. The Queen of the Women of the world. She gave birth to Hasan, H It is said: Muhassin. It is also said that he died in infancy. She gave birth to his daughters Zaynab al-Kubra and Umm Kulthum al-Kubra, whom Sayyiduna `Umar radiya Llahu `anhu married.
  2. Umm al-Banin bint al-Haram: She mothered `Abbas, Ja`far, `Abd Allah, and `Uthma These were martyred along with their brother Husayn at Karbala’. None of them left issue besides `Abbas.
  3. Layla bint Mas`ud ibn Khalid ibn Malik from the Banu Tamim: She mothered `Ubayd Allah and Abu Hisham ibn al-Kalbi says that they were martyred at Karbala’.
  4. Asma’ bint `Umays al-Khath`amiyyah: She mothered Yahya and Muhammad al-As This is al-Kalbi’s view. Al-Waqidi on the other hand says that she mothered Yahya and `Awn. Al-Waqidi believes that Muhammad al-Asghar was from an Umm Walad.
  5. Umm Habibah bint Zam`ah ibn Bahr ibn al-`Abd ibn `Alqamah: She was an Umm Walad from the captives that Khalid had captured from the Banu Taghlib when he attacked `Ayn al-Tamr. She gave birth to `Umar and Ruqayyah. `Umar lived to the age of 85.
  6. Umm Sa`id bint `Urwah ibn Mas`ud ibn Mughith ibn Malik al-Thaqafi: She mothered Umm al-Hasan and Ramlah al-Kubra.
  7. The daughter of Imra’ al-Qays ibn `Adi ibn Aws al-Kalbiyyah: She gave birth to a girl who would go with `Ali to the Masjid when she was little. She was asked, “Who are your maternal uncles?” “Woof woof!” would be her reply, with reference to the Banu Kalb means dog in Arabic.
  8. Umamah bint Abi al-`As ibn al-Rabi` ibn `Abd Shams ibn `Abd Manaf ibn Qus Her mother is Sayyidah Zaynab bint Rasulillah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. She is the very girl Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam would carry while performing salah. He would carry her in the standing posture and place her down when prostrating. She gave birth to Muhammad al-Awsat.
  9. Khawlah bint Ja`far ibn Qays from the Banu Hani Khalid radiya Llahu `anhu took her captive in the days of al-Siddiq radiya Llahu `anhu, in the war of apostasy against the Banu Hanifah. She fell into the hands of `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu. She gave birth to Muhammad, known as Ibn al-Hanafiyyah. There are some who claim Imamah and infallibility for him. He was among the leaders of the Muslims. However, he is not infallible.

Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu had a number of other offspring from various Ummahat Awlad. He passed away leaving behind 4 wives and 19 concubines.

Among his children whose mother’s names are unknown are: Umm Hani’, Maymunah, Zaynab al-Sughra, Ramlah al-Kubra, Umm Kulthum al-Sughra, Fatimah, Umamah, Khadijah, Umm al-Kiram, Umm Ja`far, Umm Salamah, and Jamanah.[12]

We will attempt, with the will of Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala, to throw some light in these pages on the personality of Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu so we may glimpse into the greatness, heroism, and characteristics of righteousness that he possessed. Those aspects which earned him a position in the Ten Promised Jannah. May Allah be pleased with them all.

 

Sayyiduna `Ali: foster son in the home of nubuwwah

If we claim that Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu was fostered in the home of nubuwwah, we will not be diverting from the truth, nor will we be missing reality. This is due to the fact that Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu was fostered in the home of the Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and he learnt brilliant virtues and praiseworthy characteristics from him.

In the shadow of the master of the former and later generations, Muhammad salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, he took his first breaths. There he found, in Muhammad salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, the compassion of fatherhood, the character of Nubuwwah, and the features of the righteous. He sensed that his destiny had led him to ample goodness, a fate not destined for every individual, which led him to spread it in all directions.[13]

Ibn Ishaq says:

 

كان أول ذكر آمن برسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و صلى معه و صدقه بما جاءه من عند الله علي بن أبي طالب وهو يومئذ ابن عشر سنين و كان مما أنعم الله به على علي بن أبي طالب عليه السلام أنه كان في حجر رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قبل الإسلام

The first male to believe in Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and pray with him, and attest to what he brought from Allah was `Ali ibn Abi Talib. He was 10 years old at the time. One of the favours Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala had favoured `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu with was that he was nurtured in the care of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam before Islam.[14]

 

The incident behind this in short is that Abu Talib had a large family and he was not well off. Add to this that Makkah was afflicted with severe deprivation which negatively impacted them especially their needy class, who Abu Talib was part of. Thus, he was afflicted with ruggedness of life and shortage of sustenance.

Al-Tabari speaks of the inception of Rasulullah’s salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam fostering of Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu. He reports via his sanad from Mujahid ibn Jabr Abu al-Hajjaj:

 

كان من نعمة الله على علي بن أبي طالب و ما صنع الله له و أراده به من الخير أن قريشا أصابتهم أزمة شديدة و كان أبو طالب ذا عيال كثير فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم للعباس عمه و كان من أيسر بني هاشم يا عباس إن أخاك أبا طالب كثير العيال و قد أصاب الناس ما ترى من هذه الأزمة فانطلق بنا فلنخفف عنه من عياله آخذ من بنيه رجلا و تأخذ من بنيه رجلا فنكفهما عنه قال العباس نعم فانطلقا حتى أتيا أبا طالب فقالا إنا نريد أن نخفف عنك من عيالك حتى ينكشف عن الناس ما هم فيه فقال لهما أبو طالب إذا تركتما لي عقيلا فاصنعا ما شئتما فأخذ رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم عليا فضمه إليه و أخذ العباس جعفرا فضمه إليه فلم يزل علي بن أبي طالب مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم حتى بعثه الله نبيا فاتبعه علي فآمن به و صدقه و لم يزل جعفر عند العباس حتى أسلم و استغنى عنه

One of the many favours of Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala upon `Ali ibn Abi Talib and what Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala arranged for him and the goodness Allah intended for him, is that the Quraysh were afflicted with a severe famine. At the same time, Abu Talib had many dependents. Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam thus told `Abbas, his uncle, who was one of the most prosperous of the Banu Hashim, “O `Abbas, your brother Abu Talib has a large family and you are aware of the famine that people have been afflicted with. Let us go to him and lessen his burden. I will take one of his sons and you will take one of his sons, and we will care for them on his behalf.” `Abbas agreed.

They approached Abu Talib and proposed, “We intend relieving you of some of your dependants until people are relieved of their predicament.”

Abu Talib said to them, “If you leave `Aqil for me, then you may do as you please.”

Subsequently, Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam took `Ali and `Abbas took Ja`far into their respective families. `Ali ibn Abi Talib remained with Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam until Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala appointed him a Nabi. `Ali followed him, believed in him, and attested to his truthfulness. Ja`far, on the other hand, remained by `Abbas until he embraced Islam and became independent of him.[15]

 

Islam

Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu recognised Islam early on. Probably what urged him to this is being nurtured in the house of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.

Ibn Ishaq says:

 

ثم إن علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه جاء بعد ذلك بيوم و هما يصليان فقال علي يا محمد ما هذا قال دين الله الذي اصطفى لنفسه و بعث به رسله فأدعوك إلى الله وحده لا شريك له و إلى عبادته و أن تكفر باللات و العزى فقال علي هذا أمر لم أسمع به قبل اليوم فلست بقاض أمرا حتى أحدث به أبا طالب فكره رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم أن يفشي عليه سره قبل أن يستعلن أمره فقال له يا علي إذا لم تسلم فاكتم فمكث علي تلك الليلة ثم إن الله أوقع في قلب علي الإسلام فأصبح غاديا إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم حتى جاءه فقال ماذا عرضت علي يا محمد فقال له رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم تشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له و تكفر باللات و العزى و تبرأ من الأنداد ففعل علي و أسلم و مكث يأتيه على خوف من أبي طالب و كتم علي إسلامه و لم يظهره و أسلم ابن حارثة يعنى زيدا فمكثا قريبا من شهر يختلف علي إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و كان مما أنعم الله به على علي أنه كان في حجر رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قبل الإسلام

`Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu then came in one day after this, while they (Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and Khadijah) were performing salah. `Ali said, “O Muhammad, what is this?”

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam explained, “This is the din of Allah which Allah selected for Himself and sent His Messengers with. I thus invite you to Allah, He is alone with no partner and, to His worship; and to belie Lat and `Uzza.”

`Ali said, “This is a colossal matter which I never heard of before today. Hence, I am not going to reach a decision until I speak to Abu Talib about it.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam disliked his secret being exposed before openly announcing his mission, so he said to him, “O `Ali, if you do not embrace Islam, then conceal the matter.”

`Ali spent that night contemplating. Thereafter, Allah placed the truth of Islam in his heart. Next morning, he walked to Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. He reached him and said, “What did you present to me, O Muhammad?”

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam expounded, “You should testify that there is no deity besides Allah. He is alone with no partner. And you should reject Lat and `Uzza and dissociate from idols.”

`Ali complied and embraced Islam. He stopped coming to him out of fear for Abu Talib. He concealed his Islam and did not publicise it.

Ibn Harithah, i.e. Zayd, embraced Islam. They stayed like this for approximately a month. `Ali would visit Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam often. One of the favours Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala bestowed upon `Ali was that he was in the care of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam before Islam.[16]

 

The scholars have differed in pinpointing the first man to embrace Islam. Was it `Ali or Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhuma? We discussed this point when speaking on the life of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr al-Siddiq radiya Llahu `anhu and we said: Some scholars have steered clear from this difference by reconciling as follows: Sayyiduna Abu Bakr al-Siddiq radiya Llahu `anhu is the first man to embrace Islam, Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu is the first child, and Sayyiduna Khadijah radiya Llahu `anha is the first woman.

Ibn `Abd al-Barr reconciles in a different manner, besides the two opinions above. He says that Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu was the first to embrace Islam with the Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam while Sayyiduna Abu Bakr al-Siddiq radiya Llahu `anhu was the first to announce his Islam.[17]

Whichever way you look at it, what matters is that Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu was among the first Muslims who believed and attested to [the truthfulness and Nubuwwah] of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.

 

`Ali ibn Abi Talib: Rank and Status

Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu assumed a lofty status. As Abu Nu`aym mentions:

 

محب المشهود و محبوب المعبود و رأس المخاطبات و مستنبط الإشارات راية المهتدين و نور المطيعين و ولي المتقين و إمام العادلين أقدمهم إجابة و إيمانا و أقومهم قضية و إيقانا و أعظمهم حلما و أوفرهم علما قدوة المتقين زينة العارفين المنبئ عن حقائق التوحيد المشير إلى لوامع علم التفريد صاحب القلب العقول و اللسان السؤول و الأذن الواعي و العهد الوافي فقاء عيون الفتن و وقي من فنون المحن فدفع الناكثين و وضع القاسطين و دمغ المارقين الأخيشن في دين الله الممسوس في ذات الله

Lover of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, beloved to the Worshipped, head of the addresses, referred to by the indications, flag of the guided, light of the obedient, friend of the muttaqin [God-fearing], leader of the just. The one who enjoys precedence in answering [the call] and believing, the first of them in judgement and conviction, the greatest of them in tolerance, the most knowledgeable. Chief of the muttaqin, beauty of those who recognise Allah. Informer of the realities of tawhid, indicator to the subtleties of psychology. A man of a sensible heart, an inquisitive tongue, a receptive ear, and a fulfilled covenant. Gouging out the eyes of turmoil, and saved from the various difficulties. He thus repelled the breachers, humbled the arrogant and branded the rebellious. The most fearful in the din of Allah, palpable in the Being of Allah.[18]

 

No one will deny Sayyiduna `Ali’s radiya Llahu `anhu high rank in Islam except a person who turns his back to the truth and denies reality and opposes emphatic authentic texts.

Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu is a man of high status and lofty rank in Islam. All the Muslims of former and latter times, over the passing of ages and generations, have attested to this. No one strayed from this except one whose statement is not considered, and consensus is not broken by his like.

This lofty rank and status is restricted to the authentic texts. No consideration is given to extremist quotations of which the scholars have criticised the chain of narration, the text, or the inference.

Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu has many specialities. He is the son-in-law of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, the father of the two grandsons, the first khalifah from the Banu Hashim, one of the Ten Promised Jannah, one of the six whom Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam was pleased with when he passed away, one of the Rightly Guided Khulafa’, one of the few devout scholars, renowned courageous men, acclaimed ascetics, and one of the forerunners to Islam. He never ever prostrated to an idol. He slept the night on Rasulullah’s salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam bed, protecting him with his own life. Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam left him behind in Makkah to return the trusts which were by him. He would carry the flag of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam during the wars and advance with it into the enemy lines. He participated in all the major battles and acted outstandingly. He was present at the Battle of Uhud and he pledged allegiance upon death. He was one of the most daring men. He never duelled a person without defeating him. He followed the pattern of Abu Bakr and `Umar radiya Llahu `anhuma when he took hold of the reigns of khilafah in distribution and treating all equally. When wealth would come to him, he would leave some of it and distribute it [at a later stage]. He would sweep the Bayt al-Mal and pray therein. He would say, “O world, deceive someone other than me.” He never gave authority to anyone besides men of trust.[19]

Ibn `Abbas radiya Llahu `anhuma says:

 

لعلي أربع خصال ليست لأحد غيره هو أول عربي و عجمي صلى مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و هو الذي كان لواؤه معه في كل زحف و هو الذي صبر معه يوم فر عنه غيره و هو الذي غسله و أدخله قبره

`Ali has four characteristics which no one else has.

    1. He is the first of the Arabs and non-Arabs to pray with Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.
    2. He held Rasulullah’s salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam flag in every battle.
    3. He remained resolute alongside Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam the day many fled from him.
    4. He washed him and lowered him into his grave.[20]

 

Sufficient virtue in Sayyiduna `Ali’s radiya Llahu `anhu favour is Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam statement on the Day of Ghadir Khumm, which came after some people complained about him to Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and rebuked him for some matters which transpired in the land of Yemen after Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam sent him there to invite towards Islam. And his opinion was the correct opinion.

As Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam reached Ghadir Khumm, a place between Makkah and Madinah, he addressed the people and said among other things:

 

من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه

Whoever’s friend I am, `Ali is his friend.[21]

 

Ibn `Asakir reports from Harith ibn Tha`labah who says that he heard Sayyiduna Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu `anhu saying:

 

لقد كانت لعلي خصال لأن تكون لي واحدة منها أحب إلي من الدنيا و ما فيها غزا رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم تبوكا فقال له علي تخلفني فقال يا ابن أبي طالب أما ترضى أن تكون مني بمنزلة هارون من موسى فلأن تكون هذه لي أحب إلي من الدنيا و ما فيها و أخرج الناس من المسجد و ترك عليا فيه فقال له علي يحل له ما ما يحل[22] و قال له يوم غدير خم من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه و أرسل أبا بكر ببراءة فأرسل عليا على أثره فأخذ منه براءة فقرأها على أهل مكة فلأن تكون لي واحدة منهن أحب إلى من الدنيا و ما فيها

`Ali had many specialities, had I possessed only one of them, it would be more beloved to me that the world and what it contains. Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam headed off to Tabuk. `Ali submitted, “You are leaving me behind?” Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “O son of Abu Talib, are you not pleased that you hold the position to me like Harun to Musa. If I had obtained this virtue, it would be more pleasing to me that the world and what it contains.

He sent everyone out of the Masjid and left `Ali inside and then said, “Permissible for him is what is permissible for me.”

He said to him on the Day of Ghadir Khumm, “He whose friend I am, `Ali is his friend.”

He sent Abu Bakr with Surah al-Bara’ah. Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam sent `Ali after him and he took it to recite to the people of Makkah. Having any one of these virtues to my name is more pleasing to me than the world and what it contains.”[23]

 

Worthy of clarification here is that this remarkable position and lofty rank which Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu acquired should not be over-exaggerated and taken out of its proper context and purport with corrupt interpretation or weak indication. He has a high rank and an amazing position, and no Muslim’s heart is devoid of his love, and their sequence in virtue is their sequence in khilafah.

 

Noble Glad Tidings from the Noble Nabi to a Noble Sahabi

Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu is one of the ten whom Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam promised Jannah. Sufficient virtue in his favour is that he is the first child to embrace Islam and that he remained attached to Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam his entire life and that he is considered truly the first to sacrifice and ransom his life in Islam when he slept on the bed of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam during the hijrah. Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam assuring him that no evil will befall him will not negatively affect this heroism of his. Despite this, he remains courageous. At the time, he was a young boy and the enemies of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam were outside waiting for a decisive opportunity to strike, with their swords ready in their hands. His mere sleeping in this time at this age is fearlessness par excellence.

Ahmad and al-Tirmidhi report from Sayyiduna `Abd al-Rahman ibn `Awf radiya Llahu `anhu who reports:

 

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم أبو بكر في الجنة و عمر في الجنة و عثمان في الجنة و علي في الجنة و طلحة في الجنة و الزبير في الجنة و عبد الرحمن بن عوف في الجنة و سعد في الجنة و سعيد في الجنة و أبو عبيدة بن الجراح في الجنة

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam stated: “Abu Bakr is in Jannah. `Umar is in Jannah. `Uthman is in Jannah. `Ali is in Jannah. Talhah is in Jannah. Zubayr is in Jannah. `Abd al-Rahman ibn `Awf is in Jannah. Sa`d is in Jannah. Sa`id is in Jannah. Abu `Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah is in Jannah.”[24]

 

`Ali ibn Abi Talib Loves Allah and His Messenger

We just mentioned above Rasulullah’s salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam guarantee of Jannah for Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu. These glad tidings did not come from nowhere. It was the fruitful product and the blessings of the sincerity of Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu, his love for his din and his Rasul salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.

Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu was attached to Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam from a young age and he loved Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam dearly, love that had permeated his bones and flesh and competed with the blood in his veins.

Owing to his deep love for Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, he yearned to emulate him in every aspect. This was the condition of all the Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum. He would repair and stitch his sandals with an awl, out of love and emulation of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.

Ibn Abi Shaybah reports in his Musannaf through his chain from Sayyiduna Abu Sa`id al-Khudri radiya Llahu `anhu who says:

 

كنا جلوسا في المسجد فخرج رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فجلس إلينا و لكأن على رءوسنا الطير لا يتكلم أحد منا فقال إن منكم رجلا يقاتل الناس على تأويل القرآن كما قوتلتم على تنزيله فقام أبو بكر فقال أنا هو يا رسول الله قال لا فقام عمر فقال أنا هو يا رسول الله قال لا و لكنه خاصف النعل في الحجرة قال فخرج علينا علي و معه نعل رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يصلح منها

We were seated in the Masjid. Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam came out and sat by us. It was as if there were birds on our heads; none of us spoke. Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “There is a man from you who will fight people on the interpretation of the Qur’an, as you were fought on its revelation.”

Abu Bakr stood up and asked, “Am I that person, O Messenger of Allah?”

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam replied in the negative.

`Umar stood and asked, “Am I that person, O Messenger of Allah?”

“No,” replied Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, “However, he is mending the sandal in the room.”

Just then, `Ali came out to us holding Rasulullah’s salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam sandal, which he was fixing.[25]

 

During the wars and battles, Sayyiduna `Ali’s radiya Llahu `anhu gaze was fixed on Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, protecting him and guarding him and fighting in front of him so that no one could get to Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. The day that Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam was wounded in the Battle of Uhud, Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu leaned over him and washed his wound.

Al-Bukhari reports through his chain from Abu Hazim that he heard Sahl ibn Sa`d explaining after he was asked about Rasulullah’s salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam wound:

 

أما والله إني لأعرف من كان يغسل جرح رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم  و من كان يسكب الماء و بما دووي قال كانت فاطمة عليها السلام بنت رسول الله تغسله و علي بن أبي طالب يسكب الماء بالمجن فلما رأت فاطمة أن الماء لا يزيد الدم إلا كثرة أخذت قطعة من حصير فأحرقتها و ألصقتها فاستمسك الدم و كسرت رباعيته يومئذ و جرح وجهه و كسرت البيض على رأسه

Hearken, by Allah! I am aware of the person who washed Rasulullah’s salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam wound and the one who poured water and with which he was treated.

Sahl ibn Sa`d explained:

Fatimah radiya Llahu `anha, the daughter of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, was washing the wound while `Ali ibn Abi Talib poured water from the shield. When Fatimah realised that the water is only increasing the flow of blood, she took a piece of reed mat and burnt it and applied the ashes to the wound and this discontinued the blood flow. His premolar was broken on that day, his face was injured, and the helmet on his head broke.[26]

 

Ibn `Asakir and al-Bayhaqi in al-Kubra report from Sayyiduna Ibn `Abbas radiya Llahu `anhuma:

 

أصاب نبي الله صلى الله عليه و سلم خصاصة فبلغ ذلك عليا رضي الله عنه فخرج يلتمس عملا ليصيب منه شيئا يبعث به إلى نبي الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فأتى بستانا لرجل من اليهود فاستقى له سبعة عشر دلوا كل دلو بتمرة فخيره اليهودي من تمره سبع عشرة تمرة عجوة فجاء بها إلى نبي الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فقال من أين هذا يا أبا الحسن قال بلغني ما بك من الخصاصة يا نبي الله فخرجت ألتمس عملا لأصيب لك طعاما قال فحملك على هذا حب الله و رسوله قال علي نعم يا نبي الله فقال نبي الله صلى الله عليه و سلم والله ما من عبد يحب الله و رسوله إلا الفقر أسرع إليه من جرية السيل على وجهه من أحب الله و رسوله فليعد تحفافا و إنما يعني الصبر

The Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam was afflicted with hunger. `Ali learnt of this so he went out looking for work to earn something which he might send to the Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. He came to a garden of a Jewish man and brought for him 17 buckets of water, each bucket in return for a date. The Jew gave him the choice to select 17 `ajwah dates from his heap. `Ali brought them to the Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam asked, “Where did you get this, O Abu al-Hasan?”

He said, “I was afflicted with the same hunger as yourself, O Nabi of Allah, so I went out looking for work so that I may earn some food for you.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam enquired, “So love for Allah and His Messenger made you do this.”

“Yes, O Prophet of Allah” `Ali replied.

The Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam affirmed, “There is no servant who loves Allah and His Messenger except that poverty comes faster to him than flood water flowing in its direction. Whoever loves Allah and His Messenger should prepare patience.”[27]

 

Likewise, Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam loved him and kept him close. Why not, when he is Rasulullah’s salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam cousin and one of the first fruits of his invitation? Rasulullah’s salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam marrying his daughter to Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu is one of the fruits of this love. He is also the scribe of the treaty of Hudaybiyyah. Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam would hand him the flag in many of the battles.

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam himself testified to this love and he publicised and revealed this to the Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum when he said, as reported by al-Bukhari through his chain from Sahl ibn Sa`d radiya Llahu `anhu who reports:

 

أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و آله و سلم قال يوم خيبر لأعطين الراية غدا رجلا يفتح على يديه يحب الله و رسوله و يحبه الله و رسوله فبات الناس ليلتهم أيهم يعطى فغدوا كلهم يرجوه فقال أين علي فقيل يشتكي عينيه فبصق في عينيه و دعا له فبرأ كأن لم يكن به وجع فأعطاه فقال أقاتلهم حتى يكونوا مثلنا فقال انفذ على رسلك حتى تنزل بساحتهم ثم ادعهم إلى الإسلام و أخبرهم ما يجب عليهم فو الله لأن يهدي الله بك رجلا خير لك من أن يكون لك حمر النعم

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said on the Day of Khaybar, “I will most certainly hand over the flag tomorrow to a man upon whose hands triumph will be given. He loves Allah and His Messenger and is loved by Allah and His Messenger.”

People spend their night wondering which of them would get it. They woke the next morning, all of them desiring it.

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam asked, “Where is `Ali?”

It was said to him, “His eyes are sore.” Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam applied saliva to his eyes and prayed for him owing to which he was cured in such a way as if he had no pain in the first place.

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam then handed it over to him. `Ali asked, “Should I fight them until they become like us?”

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “Proceed stealthily until you reach their fort yard. Thereafter invite them to Islam and inform them of what is binding upon them. By Allah, if Allah guides one man through you, it is better for you that having red camels.”[28]

 

`Ali sacrifices himself from the first Squadron of Troops

Courage was entrenched in the heart of Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu from his earliest youth. He was familiar with it and it was comfortable with him. He held its reigns and it bowed to him. Hence, you will find him valiant, daring, relentless, and persistent.

Undoubtedly, the first glimpses of his bravery was his sleeping on the bed of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam knowing fully well that Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam was the target of the Mushrikin. In fact, he was convinced that they were at the door and had sharpened their swords and were after his blood.

His bravery is not diminished by the fact that Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam reassured and comforted him that no harm will befall him and they will not kill him. His sleep alone at this early time of his life and in this situation when the Mushrikin are surrounding the house of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, waiting for an opportunity to strike… this is the definition of bravery.

Let us ask, who in the world today has the capability of remaining resolute in this situation at that tender age? This is courage, sacrifice, and putting life at risk; nothing less.

The Mushrikin of Quraysh decided their matter and reached unanimity that they will kill Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. They then split up with this consensus in mind.

Jibril came to Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and said to him:

 

لا تبت هذه الليلة على فراشك الذي كنت تبيت عليه قال فما كانت عتمة من الليل اجتمعوا على بابه يرصدونه حتى ينام فيثبون عليه فلما رأى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم مكانهم قال لعلي بن أبي طالب نم على فراشي و تسج ببردي هذا الحضرمي الأخضر فنم فيه فإنه لن يخلص إليك شيء تكرهه منهم و كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ينام في برده ذلك إذا نام

“Do not sleep tonight on the bed you are accustomed to sleeping on.”

In the darkness of night, they (the Quraysh villains) gathered by his door waiting for him to sleep so they may pounce on him. When Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam saw them, he said to `Ali ibn Abi Talib, “Sleep on my bed and wrap this green Hadrami shawl around yourself. Sleep in my bed and be rest assured that nothing horrible will happen to you.” Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam would sleep in this garment every night.[29]

 

Al-Bayhaqi reports in al-Dala’il:

 

و مكث رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم بعد الحج بقية ذي الحجة و المحرم و صفر ثم إن مشركي قريش اجتمعوا أن يقتلوه أو يخرجوه حين ظنوا أنه خارج و علموا أن الله عز و جل قد جعل له مأوى و منعة و لأصحابه وبلغهم إسلام من أسلم و رأوا من يخرج إليهم من المهاجرين فأجمعوا أن يقتلوا رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم أو يثبتوه فقال الله عز و جل وَإِذْ يَمْكُرُ بِكَ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا لِيُثْبِتُوْكَ أَوْ يَقْتُلُوْكَ أَوْ يُخْرِجُوْكَ وَيَمْكُرُوْنَ وَيَمْكُرُ اللَّهُ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِيْنَ و بلغه صلى الله عليه و سلم في ذلك اليوم الذي أتى فيه أبا بكر أنهم مبيتوه إذا أمسى على فراشه فخرج رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و أبو بكر في جوف الليل قبل الغار غار ثور وهو الغار الذي ذكر الله عز و جل في الكتاب و عمد علي بن أبي طالب فرقد على فراش رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يواري عنه و باتت قريش يختلفون و يأتمرون أيهم يجثم على صاحب الفراش فيوثقه فكان ذلك أمرهم حتى أصبحوا فإذا هم بعلي بن أبي طالب فسألوه عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فأخبرهم أن لا علم له به فعلموا عند ذلك أنه قد خرج فارا منهم فركبوا في كل وجه يطلبونه

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam stayed after the Hajj season for the remainder of Dhu al-Hijjah, Muharram and Safar. Thereafter, the Mushrikin of Quraysh united to either kill him or exile him when they thought that he is going to leave, and had learnt that Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala had prepared a sanctuary and power for him and his Companions. Moreover, the Islam of those who embraced the faith reached them, and they saw the Muhajirin leaving towards the people of Madinah. They thus reached consensus to kill Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam or jail him. Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala says: And [remember, O Muhammad], when those who disbelieved plotted against you to restrain you or kill you or evict you [from Makkah]. But they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners.[30]

On that day on which he went to Abu Bakr, he received intelligence that they are going to attack him at night when he sleeps on his bed. Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam thus fled with Abu Bakr in the darkness of night towards the Cave of Thawr. It is the same cave mentioned by Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala in the Book. `Ali ibn Abi Talib with determination slept on the bed of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, covering for him. The Quraysh spent their night arguing and debating as to which of them will pounce on the man sleeping on the bed and tie him up. They remained in this predicament until morning, only to find `Ali ibn Abi Talib on the bed. They questioned him about the whereabouts of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. He told them that he has no knowledge of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. It was at that time they realised that he escaped, bolting away from them. Men on horses went in every direction in search of him.[31]

 

Ahmad mentions the hadith of Sayyiduna Ibn `Abbas radiya Llahu `anhuma with a hasan isnad regarding this statement of Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala:

 

وَإِذْ يَمْكُرُ بِكَ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا قال تشاورت قريش  ليلة بمكة فقال بعضهم إذا أصبح فأثبتوه بالوثاق يريدون النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم و قال بعضهم بل اقتلوه و قال بعضهم بل أخرجوه فأطلع الله نبيه على ذلك فبات علي على فراش النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم تلك الليلة و خرج النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم حتى لحق بالغار و بات المشركون يحرسون عليا يحسبونه النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم يعني ينتظرونه حتى يقوم  فيفعلون به ما اتفقوا عليه فلما أصبحوا و رأوا عليا رد الله مكرهم فقالوا أين صاحبك هذا قال لا أدري فاقتصوا أثره فلما بلغوا الجبل اختلط عليهم فصعدوا الجبل فمروا بالغارفرأوا على بابه نسج العنكبوت فقالوا لو دخل ههنا لم يكن نسج العنكبوت على بابه فمكث فيه ثلاث ليال

And [remember, O Muhammad], when those who disbelieved plotted against you.[32]

He explains: The Quraysh consulted one night in Makkah. Some said, “Tomorrow morning, lock him up in chains i.e. referring to the Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.” Other said, “Rather kill him.” Other said, “Exile him instead.”

Allah made His Messenger aware of this so `Ali slept on Rasulullah’s salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam bed on that night. Meanwhile, Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam left and reached the cave. The Mushrikin spent the night checking on `Ali, thinking him to be the Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. They waited in ambush so that when he wakes up, they will carry out their nasty agenda which they agreed upon. Next morning when they saw `Ali―Allah had vanquished their plans―they asked, “Where is your companion?”

“I do not know,” replied `Ali.

They quickly followed his footsteps. When they reached the mountain, they were confused. Nonetheless, they climbed the mountain and passed by the cave and saw a spider’s web on the mouth of the cave. They said, “Had someone entered here, the spider’s web would not be spun over the mouth.” Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam remained there for 3 nights.[33]

 

Al-Hakim reports in al-Mustadrak through his chain from `Amr ibn Maymun from Sayyiduna Ibn `Abbas radiya Llahu `anhuma:

 

شرى علي نفسه و لبس ثوب النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم ثم نام مكانه و كان المشركون يرمون رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و قد كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ألبسه بردة و كانت قريش تريد  أن تقتل النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فجعلوا يرمون عليا و يرونه النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم و قد لبس بردة و جعل علي رضي الله عنه يتضور فإذا هو علي فقالوا إنك للئيم إنك لتتضور و كان صاحبك لا يتضور و لقد استنكرنا منك هذا

`Ali sold his life and wore the garment of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and then slept in his place. The Mushrikin identified Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam as their target. Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam had made `Ali wear his shawl. The Quraysh wanted to kill the Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. They fixed their gazes on `Ali, thinking him to be Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam for he wore the latter’s garment. `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu began to writhe, and they realised it was him. They said, “You are ignoble. You writhe, your companion would not writhe. We found this action of yours odd.”[34]

 

Why should he not be on this honourable pedestal of sacrifice and ransom when he was nurtured in the lap of Nubuwwah, in his infancy, childhood, and teens and he obtained from Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam something that very few obtained from him. Owing to this, his virtues are plenty to the extent that the author of al-Isti`ab declared:

و فضائله لا يحيط بها كتاب

His virtues cannot be contained in a book.[35]

 

`Ali in the Fields of Uproar and the Arenas of Defying Death

Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu is renowned for his skill with the sword, his lofty courage, and his daring on the battlefield. This is a fact which everyone attested to, the far and near, the distant and close, and the foe and friend. Every time, his sword served a support and backing for the Muslims in challenging and troubling times. When the battles became severe, and the bodies collided, and hands and necks spread out high, when blood mixed with blood, voices exploded, perseverance boosted, and sighs ascended; at such a time, you would find Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu moving right and left, advancing and receding, fighting and withholding until Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala sent down divine assistance.

This quality is the key to the personality of Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu. Bravery and heroism was a natural instinct of his with which he was created. It was one of the etiquette of the Hashimi family in which he was nurtured and nourished. It is not reported about him ever behaving cowardly or fleeing from a challenging battle except to deceive and hoodwink the enemy.

Have a look at him in the Battle of Badr carrying the banner of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.[36] We see him on this day attacking and assaulting. He fulfils the command of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and participates in the duel. He faced Walid ibn `Utbah, and never gave him a chance until he left him slain.[37] The Muslims shouted the takbir which resounded in the horizons of the sky and send shivers through the hearts of the Mushrikin.

Pay attention to him on the Day of Uhud. We witness him plunging into adversities and difficulties without shyness or fear. He uprooted the roots of the Mushrikin with his sword. No one could deter him and no one could stand in his way.

Ibn Kathir says:

 

و شهد علي أحدا و كان على الميمنة و معه الراية بعده مصعب بن عمير و على الميسرة المنذر بن عمرو الأنصاري و حمزة بن عبد المطلب على القلب و على الرجالة الزبير بن العوام و قيل المقداد بن الأسود و قد قاتل علي يوم أحد قتالا شديدا و قتل خلقا كثيرا من المشركين و غسل عن وجه النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم الدم الذي كان أصابه من الجراح حين شج في وجهه و كسرت رباعيته

`Ali participated in Uhud. He was in charge of the right flank and he had the flag. Behind him was Mus`ab ibn `Umayr. Mundhir ibn `Amr al-Ansari was in charge of the left flank. Hamzah ibn `Abd al-Muttalib was in charge of the heart of the army. Zubayr ibn al-`Awwam or Miqdad ibn al-Aswad was chief of the infantry. `Ali had fought ferociously on the Day of Uhud and killed a large number of Mushrikin. He washed the blood off the face of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam which had flowed from his injuries after his face was cut and his premolar tooth was broken.[38]

 

On the Day of the Trench in the Battle of al-Ahzab (Confederates), the day on which the Mushrikin joined forces with all their might and fury and all their weapons and armour, intending to uproot the call to the oneness of Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala; Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu along with the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam came out and stood as a barrier between them and accomplishing their corrupt intentions, with the help of Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala.

Ibn Kathir says:

و شهد أي علي يوم الخندق فقتل يومئذ فارس العرب و أحد شجعانهم المشاهير عمرو بن عبد ود العامري

`Ali participated in the Battle of Khandaq and killed the knight of the Arabs and one of their acclaimed heroes, `Amr ibn `Abd Wudd al-`Amiri on that day.[39]

 

The incident behind this is as follows:

 

أن فوارس من قريش فيهم عمرو بن عبد ود و عكرمة بن أبي جهل و ضرار بن الخطاب و هبيرة بن أبي وهب تلبسوا للقتال و خرجوا على خيولهم حتى مروا بمنازل بني كنانة فقالوا تهيئوا للحرب يا بني كنانة فستعلمون من الفرسان اليوم ثم أقبلوا تعنق بهم خيلهم حتى وقفوا على الخندق فقالوا والله إن هذه لمكيدة ما كانت العرب تكيدها ثم تيمموا مكانا من الخندق ضيقا فضربوا خيولهم فاقتحمت فجالت في سبخة بين الخندق و سلع و خرج علي في نفر من المسلمين حتى أخذ عليهم الثغرة التي منها اقتحموا فأقبلت الفوارس تعنق نحوهم و كان عمرو بن عبد ود فارس قريش و كان قد قاتل يوم بدر حتى ارتث و أثبتته الجراحة فلم يشهد أحدا فلما كان يوم الخندق خرج معلما ليرى مشهده فلما وقف هو و خيله قال له علي يا عمرو قد كنت تعاهد الله لقريش ألا يدعوك رجل إلى خلتين إلا قبلت منه إحداهما فقال عمرو أجل فقال له علي فإني أدعوك إلى الله و إلى رسوله و إلى الإسلام قال لا حاجة لي في ذلك فقال فإني أدعوك إلى النزال فقال له يا اين أخي لم فوالله ما أحب أن أقتلك قال علي و لكني والله أحب أن أقتلك فحمي عمرو فاقتحم عن فرسه فعقره ثم أقبل فجاء إلى علي فتنازلا و تجاولا فقتله علي

Some cavalry of the Quraysh among whom were `Amr ibn `Abd Wudd, `Ikrimah ibn Abi Jahl, Dirar ibn al-Khattab, and Hubayrah ibn Abi Wahb dressed up to fight. They proceeded on their horses until they passed the houses of the Banu Kinanah and said, “Prepare for war, O Banu Kinanah. You will come to know soon who the warriors of today are.” They then advanced with their horses sprinting until they reached the edge of the trench. They said, “By Allah, this is a scheme unknown to the Arabs.” They then pinpointed a part of the trench that was narrow. Thereafter they raced their horses and the horses leaped and landed into a salt marsh between the trench and Sila`.

Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu left with few Muslims and faced them at the gap they had jumped over. The warriors raced in their direction. `Amr ibn `Abd Wudd was the knight of the Quraysh. He had fought on the Day of Badr until he was debilitated and the wounds had incapacitated him. He thus never participated in Uhud. On the Day of Khandaq, he left as an instructor to show his station.

As he paused with his horse, `Ali said to him, “O `Amr, you had taken a covenant with Allah for Quraysh that no person will present you with two proposals except that you accept one of them.”

“Yes,” `Amr replied.

`Ali said to him, “I invite you to Allah and His Messenger and to Islam.”

`Amr replied, “I do not have any need for that.”

`Ali said, “So then I invite you to dismount.”

`Amr said, “O my nephew! Why? By Allah, I do not want to kill you.”

“But, by Allah, I wish to kill you,” shouted `Ali.

`Amr became furious and leaped off his horse and hamstrung it. He then charged at `Ali. They had a good challenge and fight, and at the end, `Ali killed him.[40]

 

In the Battle of Khaybar, Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu had formidable tasks and forceful encounters. One of them is narrated by al-Bukhari via his chain from Sayyiduna Sahl ibn Sa`d radiya Llahu `anhu that Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam announced:

 

لأعطين الراية غدا رجلا يفتح الله على يديه قال فبات الناس يدوكون ليلتهم أيهم يعطاها فلما أصبح الناس غدوا على رسول الله كلهم يرجو أن يعطاها فقال أين علي ابن أبي طالب فقالوا يشتكي من عينيه يا رسول الله قال فأرسلوا إليه فأتوني به فلما جاء بصق في عينيه و دعا له فبرأ حتى كأن لم يكن به وجع فأعطاه الراية فقال علي يا رسول الله أقاتلهم حتى يكونوا مثلنا فقال انفذ على رسلك حتى تنزل بساحتهم ثم ادعهم إلى الإسلام و أخبرهم ما يجب عليهم من حق الله فيه فوالله لأن يهدي الله بك رجلا واحدا خير لك من أن يكون لك حمر النعم

“I will most certainly hand over the flag tomorrow to a man upon whose hands victory will be given by Allah.”

People spent their night chatting which of them would receive it. When the people woke up the next morning, they went to Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and all desired receiving it.

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam asked, “Where is `Ali ibn Abi Talib?”

It was said to him, “His eyes are sore, O Messenger of Allah.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “Send him a message and bring him to me.”

As he arrived, Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam applied saliva to his eyes and prayed for him owing to which he was cured in such a way as if he had no pain in the first place. Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam then handed the flag over to him. `Ali asked, “O Messenger of Allah, should I fight them until they become like us?”

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “Proceed stealthily until you reach their fort yard. Thereafter invite them to Islam and inform them of the rights of Allah binding upon them. By Allah, if Allah guides one man through you, it is better for you that having red camels.”[41]

 

In this battle, Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu killed Marhab, the hero and knight of the Jews. Muslim narrates in his Sahih via his sanad:

 

و خرج مرحب فقال قد علمت خيبر أني مرحب شاكي السلاح بطل مجرب إذ الحروب أقبلت تلهب فقال علي أنا الذي سمتني أمي حيدرة كليث غابات كريه المنظرة أوفيهم بالصاع كيل السندرة قال فضرب رأس مرحب فقتله ثم كان الفتح على يديه

Marhab came out and shouted, “Khaybar knows that I am Marhab. A fully armed, experienced, hero. When war spurts its flames.”

`Ali answered, “I am the one who my mother named Lion. Like a lion of the forests with a terror striking countenance. I give my opponents the measure of sandarah in exchange for a sa` (I counter their attack with one much more fierce).”

He then struck the head of Marhab and killed him. Thereafter, victory was attained upon his hands.[42]

 

Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu participated in other battles besides these. He never stayed behind any battle except the Battle of Tabuk by the command of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam who placed him in charge of Madinah.

Muslim narrated in his Sahih through his sanad from Sayyiduna Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu `anhu:

 

خلف رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم علي بن أبي طالب في عزوة تبوك فقال يا رسول الله تخلفني في النساء و الصبيان فقال أما ترضى أن تكون مني بمنزلة هارون من موسى غير أنه لا نبي بعدي

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam left `Ali ibn Abi Talib behind in the Battle of Tabuk. He submitted, “O Messenger of Allah, are you leaving me with the women and children?”

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam comforted him, “Are you not pleased that you are to me, like the position of Harun to Musa, save that there is no nabi after me?”[43]

 

Here we are not attempting to present glimpses into all the battles of Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu. That is something which this small treatise cannot encompass. What has been mentioned above serves as sufficient proof and the best evidence for Sayyiduna `Ali’s radiya Llahu `anhu bravery and courage in battle. This is considered truly a magnificent sign of the signs of the personality of Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu. The man was a warrior, courageous, advancing, an expert in warfare. Very seldom will you find an equal to him. He would say about himself in front of his companions and no one would reject his statement:

 

ما بارزني أحد إلا أنصفت منه

No one duelled me, except that I defeated him.[44]

 

May Allah be pleased with him and make him happy.

 

Honourable Marriage and Noble in Laws

Yes, the most significant and noble stop we can make while discussing Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu is his marriage to Sayyidah Fatimah bint Rasulillah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. This is an important intermission for it deals with Rasulullah’s salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam daughter, Umm Abiha (mother of her father) Fatimah radiya Llahu `anha, who is a piece of Rasulullah’s salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam heart, regarding whom Sayyidah `A’ishah radiya Llahu `anha attested:

 

ما رأيت أحدا أشبه سمتا و دلا و هديا برسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم في قيامها و قعودها من فاطمة بنت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و و سلم قالت و كانت أذا دخلت على النبي صلى الله عليه و و سلم قام إليها فقبلها و أجلسها في مجلسه و كان النبي صلى الله عليه و و سلم إذا دخل عليها قامت من مجلسها فقبلته و أجلسته في مجلسها

I have not seen anyone who resembled Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam more in his ways, mannerisms and etiquettes―the way he stood and sat―than Fatimah the daughter of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.”

She continues, “When she would visit Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, he would stand up, kiss her, and seat her in his seat. And when Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam would visit her, she would stand up from her seat, kiss him, and seat him in her seat.[45]

 

When this is the rank of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu `anha, then who from the senior Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum and influential Muslims would not love to have the nobility of marrying her and the success of being linked to her father. Owing to this, the eyes of some went in this direction and they thought to themselves of presenting themselves to her father and proposing for her hand in marriage. As al-Tabarani narrates, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr and Sayyiduna `Umar ibn al-Khattab radiya Llahu `anhuma took the bold step, each of them proposing for her hand in marriage. However, Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam excused himself from answering by remaining silent to their request. They realised that Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam was awaiting Allah’s subhanahu wa ta `ala command regarding her.

 

فقال أبو بكر لعمر انطلق بنا إلى علي حتى نأمره أن يطلب مثل الذي طلبنا قال علي فأتياني و أنا في سبيل فقالا بنت عمك تخطب فنبهاني لأمر فقمت أجر ردائي طرف على عاتقي و طرف آخر في الأرض حتى أتيت النبي صلى الله عليه

Abu Bakr thus said to `Umar, “Let us go to `Ali and instruct him to propose what we proposed.”

`Ali says: They approached me while I was on a road and said, “Your cousin is receiving proposals.”

They made me aware of something. I thus stood up, dragging my shawl, with one end on my shoulder and one end on the floor until I resorted to the presence of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.[46]

 

Sayyiduna `Ali’s radiya Llahu `anhu footsteps led him to his cousin Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam to inform him of something in his heart, which he had been concealing all this while; his inclination to marry Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu `anha.

Al-Bayhaqi reports via his sanad from Mujahid that Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu describes:

 

لقد خطبت فاطمة بنت النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فقالت لي مولاة لي هل علمت أن فاطمة تخطب قلت لا أو نعم قالت فاخطبها إليه قال قلت و هل عندي شيء أخطبها عليه قال فوالله ما زالت ترجيني حتى دخلت عليه و كنا نجله و نعظمه فلما جلست بين يديه ألجمت حتى ما استطعت الكلام قال هل لك من حاجة فسكت فقالها ثلاث مرات قال لعلك جئت تخطب فاطمة قلت نعم يا رسول الله قال هل عندك من شيء تستحلها به قال قلت لا والله يا رسول الله قال فما فعلت بالدرع التي كنت سلحتكها قال علي والله إنها لدرع حطمية ما ثمنها إلا أربعمائة درهم قال اذهب فقد زوجتكها و ابعث بها إليها فاستحلها به

Fatimah bint Rasulillah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam was proposed to. My slave girl said to me, “Do you know that Fatimah is receiving proposals?”

I replied, “No or yes.”

She suggested, “Send a proposal for her.”

I said, “Do I possess anything upon which I may propose to her?”

He then continues: By Allah, She continued persuading me with hope until I entered his presence. We would revere him and honour him. As I sat before him, I was dumbstruck and could not utter a word.

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam asked, “Do you need something?”

I kept quiet.

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam repeated his question thrice. Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “Probably you came to propose for Fatimah.”

“Yes, O Messenger of Allah,” I replied.

He asked, “Do you own anything with which you may make her permissible for you [referring to dowry]?”

“No by Allah, O Messenger of Allah,” I replied.

He asked, “What did you do with the armour I gifted you.”

`Ali said, “By Allah, it is a hatmiyyah[47] armour which is only worth 400 silver coins.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “Go, for I have married her to you. Send the armour to her (as dowry) making her permissible for you.”[48]

 

Ahmad narrates via his sanad from Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu:

 

أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لما زوجه فاطمة بعث معه بخميلة و وسادة من آدم حشوها ليف و رحيين و سقاء و جرتين

When Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam got him married to Fatimah, he sent with him a velvet garment, a leather pillow stuffed with palm fibres, two grinders, a water skin, and two jars.[49]

 

Al-Tabarani narrates in al-Mu`jam that Sayyidah Asma’ bint `Umays radiya Llahu `anha reported:

 

لما أهديت فاطمة إلى علي بن أبي طالب لم نجد في بيته إلا رملا مبسوطا و وسادة حشوها وجرة و كوز فأرسل النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم إلى علي لا تحدثن حديثا أو قال لا تقربن أهلك حتى آتيك فجاء النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فقال أثم أخي فقالت أم أيمن و هو أم أسامة بن زيد و كانت حبشية و كانت امرأة صالحة يا رسول الله هذا أخوك و زوجته ابنتك و كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم آخا بين أصحابه و آخا بين علي و نفسه قال إن ذلك يكون يا أم أيمن قالت فدعا النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم بإناء فيه ماء فقال فيه ما شاء الله أن يقول ثم مسح به صدر علي و وجهه ثم دعا فاطمة فقامت إليه تعثر في مرطها من الحياء فنضح عليها من ذلك و قال لها ما شاء الله أن يقول ثم قال لها إني لم آلك أن أنكحتك أحب أهلي إلي ثم رأى سوادا من وراء الستر أو من وراء الباب فقال من هذا قالت أسماء قال أسماء ابنة عميس قالت نعم يا رسول الله قال جئت كرامة لرسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم مع ابنته قالت نعم إن الفتاة ليلة يبني بها لا بد من امرأة تكون قريبا منها إن عرضت لها حاجة أفضت بذلك إليها قالت فدعا لي بدعاء فإنه لأوثق عملي عندي ثم قال لعلي دونك أهلك ثم خرج فولى قالت فما زال يدعو لهما حتى توارى في حجره

When Fatimah was escorted to the home of `Ali ibn Abi Talib, we did not find in his house except sand as a carpet, a stuffed pillow, a jar, and a small clay jug. The Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam sent a message to `Ali, “Do not speak anything to her or do not go near your wife until I come to you.”

The Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam came and asked, “Is my brother here?”

Umm Ayman―the mother of Usamah ibn Zayd; an Abyssinian woman; and a righteous woman―said in astonishment, “O Messenger of Allah, he is your brother and his wife is your daughter?” The Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam had contracted brotherhood between his Companions and he contracted brotherhood between `Ali and himself.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “This may happen, O Umm Ayman.”

She continues: Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam called for a utensil filled with water. He recited into it what Allah desired he recite. He then rubbed `Ali’s chest and face with it. He then called for Fatimah. She stood up to go towards him and slipped on her cloak out of bashfulness. Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam sprinkled over her some of this water and told her whatever Allah desired he say. He then said to her, “I did not look after you except to wed you to the most beloved family member of mines.”

He then saw a shadow from behind the veil or behind the door so he asked, “Who is it?”

“Asma’,” came the reply.

“Asma’ bint `Umays?”

“Yes, O Messenger of Allah.”

He said, “Have you come to honour Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam with his daughter.”

She said, “Yes. The first night the marriage of a young girl is consummated, it is necessary for a woman to be close to her so in case she needs anything, she can relate it to her.”

She says: Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam supplicated for me. It is one of the most cherished deeds according to me.

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam then said to `Ali, “You may take your wife.”

He then left on his way. He continued supplicating for them until he was hidden away in his room.”[50]

 

It is obvious that Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam would not marry his daughter except to a man he loves and has status in his eyes. This does not mean that Sayyiduna Abu Bakr al-Siddiq and Sayyiduna `Umar al-Faruq radiya Llahu `anhuma did not have a high rank and virtue. However, marriage is subject to many special prerequisites. One of them is age and in this Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu was closer to Fatimah radiya Llahu `anha than them. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr al-Siddiq and Sayyiduna `Umar al-Faruq radiya Llahu `anhuma enjoyed the nobility of being linked to Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam through Sayyidah `A’ishah radiya Llahu `anha and Sayyidah Hafsah radiya Llahu `anha.

The author of Bihar al-Anwar narrates to us a report which highlights the extent of love the Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum cherished for the Ahl al-Bayt of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and the degree of their happiness and celebration over Sayyiduna `Ali’s marriage to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu `anhuma. Al-Majlisi reports:

 

أن عليا لما خطب فاطمة أقبل عليه رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و قال له يا أبا الحسن انطلق الآن فبع درعك و أتني بثمنه حتى أهيئ لك و لابنتي فاطمة ما يصلحكما قال علي فانطلقت فبعته بأربعمائة درهم سود هجرية من عثمان بن عفان فلما قبضت الدراهم منه و قبض الدرع مني قال يا أبا الحسن ألست أولى بالدرع منك و أنت أولى بالدراهم مني فقلت بلى قال فإن الدرع هدية مني إليك فأخذت الدرع و الدراهم و أقبلت إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فطرحت الدرع و الدراهم بين يديه و أخبرته بما كان من أمر عثمان فدعا له بخير و قبض رسول الله قبضة من الدراهم و دعا بأبي بكر فدفعها إليه و قال يا أبا بكر اشتر بهذه الدراهم لابنتي ما يصلح لها في بيتها و بعث معه سلمان و بلال ليعيناه على حمل ما يشتريه قال أبو بكر و كانت الدراهم التي أعطانيها ثلاثة و ستين درهما فانطلقت و اشتريت فراشا من خيش مصر محشوا بالصوف و نطعا من أدم و وسادة من أدم حشوها من ليف النخل و عباءة خيبرية و قربة للماء و كيزانا و جرارا و مطهرة للماء و ستر صوف رقيقا و حملناه جميعا حتى وضعناه بين يدي رسول الله فما نظر إليه بكى و جرت دموعه ثم رفع رأسه إلى السماء و قال اللهم بارك لقوم جل آنيتهم الخزف قال علي و دفع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم باقي ثمن الدرع إلى أم سلمة فقال اتركي هذه الدراهم عندك و مكثت بعد ذلك شهرا لا أعاود رسول الله في أمر فاطمة بشيء استحياء من رسول الله غير أني كنت إذا خلوت برسول الله يقول لي يا أبا الحسن ما أحسن زوجتك و أجملها و أبشر يا أبا الحسن فقد زوجتك سيدة نساء العالمين

When `Ali proposed to Fatimah, Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam approached him and said, “O Abu al-Hasan. Go now and sell your armour and bring me the money so that I may prepare for you and for my daughter Fatimah what is appropriate for you.”

`Ali continues: So I went and sold it for 400 black dirhams to `Uthman ibn `Affan. After I took possession of the dirhams and he took possession of the armour from me, he said, “O Abu al-Hasan! Am I not more worthy of the armour than you and are you not more worthy of the dirhams than me?”

I replied in the affirmative.

He then said, “The armour is a gift to you from me.”

So I took the dirhams and the armour and went straight to Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. I placed them in front of him and informed him of `Uthman’s conduct. He supplicated in his favour.

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam took a handful of dirhams and called Abu Bakr and handed them over to him saying, “O Abu Bakr, purchase with these dirhams for my daughter what is suitable for her in her home.” He sent Salman and Bilal with him to help him carry what he bought.

Abu Bakr says, “The dirhams which he gave me were 63 in total. I went and bought an Egyptian canvas bedspread stuffed with wool, a leather cushion, a leather pillow stuffed with palm fibres, a sheet from Khaybar, a leather bag for water, few small bowls, clay pots, a utensil to store water used for cleaning, and a fine garment of wool. We carried these and placed them before Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. As soon as he set eyes on it, he cried and his tears flowed. He then lifted his head to the sky and prayed, ‘O Allah, bless the nation whose sum total of utensils are earthenware.’”

`Ali says: Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam gave the rest of the money acquired from the armour to Umm Salamah saying, “Keep these dirhams with you.”

I remained for one month after this, without going to Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam regarding anything of Fatimah, out of shyness for Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. Yes, when I would be alone with Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, he would say to me, “O Abu al-Hasan, what a magnificent and beautiful wife you have! Rejoice O Abu al-Hasan, for I married to you the Queen of the Women of the universe.”[51]

 

Al-Nasa’i narrated from Ibn Buraydah from his father:

 

أن نفرا من الأنصار قالوا لعلي عندك فاطمة فدخل على النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فسلم عليه فقال ما حاجة ابن أبي طالب قال ذكرت فاطمة بنت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال مرحبا و أهلا لم يزده عليها فخرج إلى الرهط من الأنصار ينتظرونه فقالوا ما وراءك قال ما أدري غير أنه قال لي مرحبا و أهلا قالوا يكفيك من رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إحداهما قد أعطاك الأهل و أعطاك الرحب فلما كان بعد ذلك بعدما زوجه قال يا علي إنه لا بد للعرس من وليمة قال سعد عندي كبش و جمع له رهط من الأنصار آصعا من ذرة فلما كان ليلة البناء قال يا علي لا تحدث شيئا حتى تلقاني فدعا النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم بماء فتوضأ منه ثم أفرغه على علي فقال اللهم بارك فيهما و بارك عليهما و بارك لهما في شبلهما

A group of Ansar said to `Ali, “You should marry Fatimah.”

He went to Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and greeted him. Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam asked, “What is the need of the son of Abu Talib?”

`Ali said, “I thought of Fatimah bint Rasulillah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “Welcome, feel at home,” nothing else.

`Ali went out to the group of Ansar who were waiting for him. They asked him, “What is behind you?”

“I do not know besides that he told me marhaban wa ahlan,” `Ali answered.

They said, “Adequate for you from Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam is one of the two. He gave you his family and he gave you room.”

Sometime after this, after Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam wed him to his daughter, he said, “O `Ali, a marriage needs to have a walimah.”

Sa`d said, “I have a ram.” And some members of the Ansar collected a few sa` of grain.

On the first night of marriage, Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “O `Ali, do not say anything until you meet me.” The Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam called for water. He performed ablution with some of it and poured the rest on `Ali and prayed, “O Allah blessed them, surround them with blessings, and bless them in their progeny.”[52]

 

In this manner, this blessed marriage was solemnised. Senior Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum participated in it, either by attending, by their joy, or by contributing financially out of love for Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and the Ahl al-Bayt. This is a piece of magnificent evidence of the love between the Sahabah and Ahl al-Bayt radiya Llahu `anhum and the pure souls elated in their bodies. You will only find them to be mutual fans, enjoying proximity, related through kinship or marriage. May Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala have mercy on them all.

 

`Ali: Asceticism despite Prosperity

He who studies the biography of Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu and witnesses all the phases and successive occurrences will be overwhelmed with surprise and astonishment when he sees an excellent example of asceticism from the world and self-restraint for its possessions and glamour. Examples of asceticism in the life of Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu are plenty to the extent that if we claim that all the stances and situations of his life are worthy of being examples of asceticism, we will not be far from the truth.

If we take a casual look at the life of Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu with Sayyidah Fatimah al-Zahra’ radiya Llahu `anha, we will observe a simple humble life, overwhelmed by the difficulties and sacrifice. The total sum of their wealth included a velvet garment, a leather pillow stuffed with palm fibres, two grinders, a water skin, and two jars. Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu would carry water on his back. His wife Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu `anha would grind flour with her own hands. Their life was a life of exertion, labour, and struggle.

Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu narrates to us one of the snippets of his life with Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu `anha and says, as reported by Ahmad through his sanad:

 

إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لما زوجه فاطمة بعث معه بخميلة و وسادة من آدم حشوها ليف و رحاءين و سقاء و جرتين فقال علي لفاطمة ذات يوم والله لقد سنوت حتى لقد اشتكيت صدري قال و قد جاء الله أباك بسبي فاذهبي فاستخدميه فقالت و أنا والله قد طحنت حتى مجلت يداي فأتت النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فقال ما جاء بك أي بنية قالت جئت لأسلم عليك و استحيت أن تسأله و رجعت فقال ما فعلت قالت استحييت أن أسأله فأتيناه جميعا فقال علي رضي الله عنه يا رسول الله والله لقد سنوت حتى اشتكيت صدري و قال فاطمة رضي الله عنها قد طحنت حتى مجلت يداي و قد جاءك الله بسبي و سعة فأخدمنا فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم والله لا أعطيكما و أدع أهل الصفة تطوى بطونهم لا أجد ما أنفق عليهم و لكني أبيعهم و أنفق عليهم أثمانهم فرجعا فأتاهما النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم و قد دخلا في قطيفتهما إذا غطت رؤوسهما تكشف أقدامهما و إذا غطيا أقدامهما تكشف رؤوسهما فثارا فقال مكانكما ثم قال ألا أخبركما بخير مما سألتماني قالا بلى فقال كلمات علمنيهن جبريل عليه السلام فقال تسبحان في دبر كل صلاة عشرا و تحمدان عشرا و تكبران عشرا و إذا أويتما إلى فراشكما فسبحا ثلاثا و ثلاثين و احمدا ثلاثا و ثلاثين و كبرا أربعا و ثلاثين قال فوالله ما تركتهن منذ علمنيهن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم

After Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam wed Fatimah to him, he sent a velvet garment, a leather pillow stuffed with palm fibres, two grinders, a waterskin, and two jars. `Ali said to Fatimah one day, “By Allah, I have drawn so much water that my chest is paining.”

He continued, “Allah has sent captives to your father. So go and ask him for a servant.”

She said, “I am also struggling, by Allah. I have ground [wheat] to the extent that my hands have developed calluses.”

She thus approached the Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. He asked, “What brings you here, O my daughter?”

She replied, “I came to greet you.” She was ashamed to ask him and so she went back.

`Ali asked, “What did you do?”

She replied, “I felt shy to ask him.”

Thus, we both went to him. `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu said, “O Messenger of Allah, by Allah, I have drawn water until my chest pains.”

Fatimah radiya Llahu `anha said, “I have grinded until my hands have developed calluses. Allah has brought captives to you and given you prosperity so kindly give us a servant.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “By Allah, I will not give you and leave the people of Suffah with their bellies folding [out of hunger] without having anything I may spend on them. I will sell the captives, however, and spend the money on the people of Suffah.”

Thus they returned. The Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam came to them after they had entered under their velvet covering, which if their heads were covered, their feet would be exposed and if they covered their feet, their heads would be uncovered. They jumped up but Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam told them to stay at their places. He then said, “Should I not inform you of something better than what you asked of me?”

“Definitely,” they replied.

He elucidated, “Words which Jibril `alayh al-Salam taught me. He said, ‘glorify Allah 10 times after every salah, praise him ten times, and announce His greatness ten times. When you go to bed, then recite Subhan Allah 33 times, Alhamdu lillah 33 times, and Allahu Akbar 34 times.’”

`Ali comments, “By Allah, I never missed them since Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam taught them to me.”[53]

 

This aspect of asceticism remained attached to Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu even after he became khalifah. It is not reported about him that he changed from his habit.

Yahya ibn Ma`in said from `Ali ibn al-Ja`d from Hasan ibn Salih who said:

 

تذاكروا الزهاد عند عمر بن عبد العزيز فقال قائلون فلان و قال قائلون فلان فقال عمر بن عبد العزيز أزهد الناس في الدنيا علي بن أبي طالب

They spoke about ascetics in the presence of `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz. Some mentioned the name of this person while others mentioned the name of that person. `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz remarked, “The most ascetic person in the world is `Ali ibn Abi Talib.”[54]

 

Abu Nu`aym reports in al-Hilyah through his chain from Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu:

 

جاءه ابن النباج فقال يا أمير المؤمنين امتلأ بيت مال المسلمين من صفراء و بيضاء فقال الله أكبر فقام متوكئا على ابن النباج حتى قام على بيت مال المسلمين فقال هذا جناي  خياره فيه و كل جان يده إلى فيه يا ابن النباج علي بأشياع الكوفة قال فنودي في الناس فأعطى جميع ما في بيت مال المسلمين و هو يقول يا صفراء و يا بيضاء غري غيري ها و ها حتى ما بقي منه دينار و لا درهم ثم أمره بنضحه و صلى فيه ركعتين

Ibn al-Nabbaj came to him and said, “O Amir al-Mu’minin, the treasury of the Muslims is filled with gold and silver.”

He shouted, “Allah is the Greatest!”

He stood up with support from Ibn al-Nabbaj until he stood at the treasury of the Muslims. He then remarked, “This is my harvest and it’s His choice. Every harvester has his hands to his mouth. O Ibn al-Nabbaj, bring me the people of Kufah.”

An announcement was made among the people [and they came]. He gave away all the wealth of the Muslim treasury while saying, “O gold and silver, deceive someone else.” He gave until not a single gold coin or silver coin remained. He ordered it be sprinkled with water. He then performed two rak`at therein.[55]

 

Al-Baladhuri reports through his chain:

 

أنه لما فرغ علي بن أبي طالب من أهل الجمل أتى الكوفة فدخل بيت مالها فأضرط به كناية عن عدم اعتنائه بما كان فيه ثم قال يا مال غري غيري ثم قسمه بيننا ثم جاءت ابنة للحسن أو للحسين فتناولت منه شيئا فسعى وراءها ففك يدها و نزعه منها قال فقلنا يا أمير المؤمنين إن لها فيه حقا قال إذا أخذ أبوها حقه فليعطها ما شاء فلما فرغ من قسمته قسم بيننا حبالا جاءت من البحرين فأبينا قبضها فأكرهنا عليها فخرجت كتانا جيدا فتنافسنا فيها فبلغت دراهم ثم عمد إلى بيت المال فكسحه و نضحه بالماء ثم صلى فيه ركعتين ثم توسد رداءه و قال ينبغي لبيت مال المسلمين أن لا يأتي عليه يوم أو جمعة إلا كان هكذا ليس فيه شيء قد أخذ كل ذي حق حقه

After `Ali ibn Abi Talib was complete with the participants of Jamal, he came to Kufah and entered its treasury. He was not bothered with its contents. He then said, “O wealth, deceive someone other than me.” He then distributed it among us. A daughter of Hasan or Husayn came and took something from it. He rushed behind her, opened her hand, and took it from her.

We said, “O Amir al-Mu’minin, she has a right to it.”

He said, “When her father takes his right, he may give her how much ever he likes.”

After distribution was complete, he divided among us threads that had come from Bahrain. We did not want to take it but he forced us. It turned out to be exquisite linen so we contested over it. It was worth few dirhams. He then went to the treasury and swept it then sprinkled water over the floor. He performed two rak`at therein and then used his shawl as a pillow and laid down on it. He commented, “It is deserving for the Muslim treasury that no day or week passes over it except that it is in this condition, without anything in it. Everyone has taken his right.”[56]

 

It appears in al-Hilyah from Harun ibn `Antarah from his father who says:

 

دخلت على علي بن أبي طالب بالخورنق و هو يرعد تحت سمل قطيفة أي قطيفة بالية قديمة فقلت يا أمير المؤمنين إن الله قد جعل لك و لأهل بيتك في هذا المال و أنت تصنع بنفسك ما تصنع فقال والله ما أرزأكم من مالكم شيئا و إنها لقطيفتي التي خرجت بها من منزلي أو قال من المدينة

I entered the presence of `Ali ibn Abi Talib in Khawranq[57]. He was shivering [due to extreme cold] under a worn out velvet garment. I said, “O Amir al-Mu’minin, Allah has given you and your family a share from this wealth and you are treating yourself in this way.”

He said, “By Allah, I have not deprived you of anything of your wealth. This is my velvet garment with which I left my house or Madinah.”[58]

 

It appears in al-Isti`ab that `Abd al-Razzaq mentions―from al-Thawri―from Abu Hayyan al-Taymi―from his father who said:

 

رأيت علي بن أبي طالب على المنبر يقول من يشتري مني سيفي هذا فلو كان عندي ثمن إزار ما بعته فقام إليه رجل فقال نسلفك ثمن إزار قال عبد الرزاق و كانت بيده الدنيا كلها إلا ما كان من الشام

I saw `Ali ibn Abi Talib announcing on the pulpit, “Who will buy this sword of mines from me. Had I possessed money for a trouser, I would not have sold it.”

A person stood up and said, “We will give you money for a trouser.”

`Abd al-Razzaq comments, “And he had the entire world besides Sham under his control.”[59]

 

Waki` reports from `Ali ibn Salih from `Ata’ who says:

رأيت على علي قميص كرابيس غير غسيل

I saw `Ali wearing a cotton[60] throbe, which was not washed.

 

Ibn Abi al-Hudhayl says:

رأيت على علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه قميصا رازيا إذا أرخى كمه بلغ أطراف أصابعه و إذا أطلقه صار إلي الرسغ

I saw `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu wearing a loose throbe. When he let his sleeve loose, it reached his fingertips and when he pulled it, it reached up to his wrists[61].[62]

 

Ibn Sa`d narrates through his chain from `Ata’ Abu Muhammad:

 

رأيت عليا خرج من الباب الصغير فصلى ركعتين حين ارتفعت الشمس و عليه قميص كرابيس كسكري فوق الكعبين و كماه إلى الأصابع و أصل الأصابع غير مغسول

I saw `Ali exiting from a small door. He performed two rak`at when the sun rose high. He was wearing a cotton kaskari throbe, above his ankles. His sleeves reached till his fingers. The edge of the garment was not washed.[63]

 

Al-Dhahabi reports in his Tarikh―Abu Hayyan al-Taymi said―Majma` narrated to me:

 

أن عليا كان يكنس بيت المال ثم يصلي فيه رجاء أن يشهد له أنه لم يحبس فيه المال عن المسلمين و قال أبو عمرو بن العلاء عن أبيه قال خطب علي فقال أيها الناس والله الذي لا إله إلا هو ما رزأت من مالكم قليلا و لا كثيرا إلا هذه القارورة و أخرج قارورة فيها طيب ثم قال أهداها إلي دهقان و قال ابن لهيعة ثنا عبد الله بن هبيرة عن عبد الله بن زرير الغافقي قال دخلت على علي يوم الأضحى فقرب إلينا خزيرة فقلت لو قربت إلينا من هذا الإوز فإن الله قد أكثر الخير قال إني سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يقول لا يحل للخليفة من مال الله إلا قصعتان قصعة يأكلها هو و أهله و قصعة يضعها بين يدي الناس

`Ali would sweep the treasury and then perform salah therein hoping that it will testify for him that he never withheld money in it from the Muslims.

Abu `Amr ibn al-`Ala’ relates―from his father who says: `Ali delivered a sermon and said, “O people, by Allah besides whom there is no deity, I did not reserve from your wealth, neither little nor lot except this glass bottle.” He took out a glass bottle which contained perfume. He then said, “Dihqan gifted it to me.”

Ibn Lahi`ah narrates―`Abd Allah ibn Hubayrah narrated to us―from `Abd Allah ibn Zurayr al-Ghafiqi who said: I went to `Ali on the Day of Adha. He presented broth to us. I said, “If only you would have prepared a goose for us for Allah has multiplied wealth.”

`Ali said, “Indeed I heard Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam saying, ‘Only two plates from the wealth of Allah are permissible for the khalifah, a plate from which he and his family eat and a plate which he places before people.’”[64]

 

Ibn al-Athir reports―from Muhammad ibn Ka`b al-Qurzi who says that he heard `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu declaring:

 

لقد رأيتني و إني لأربط الحجر على بطني من الجوع و إن صدقتي لتبلغ اليوم أربعة آلاف دينار

I remember the time I would tie a stone to my stomach out of hunger. Today, my zakah reaches 4000 gold coins.[65]

 

Abu Nu`aym reports in al-Hilyah that Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu said:

 

الدنيا جيفة فمن أرادها فليصبر على مخالطة الكلاب

The world is carrion. Whoever desires it, should prepare to mingle with dogs.[66]

 

All these texts attest to Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib’s radiya Llahu `anhu asceticism and self-denial over worldly possessions and adornments and his heart being devoid of desiring and having high hopes for the same. This is also one of the aspects that placed him in the ranks of the Ten Promised Jannah. It is obvious that Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala will not give glad tidings of Jannah via revelation to His Messenger to a person whose heart and mind is filled with the world and who has been occupied by the present life over the Hereafter, and the transitory over the everlasting.

 

Sayyiduna `Ali’s Humility in Greatness

Just as Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu was renowned by his disinclination from the world and aversion for its pleasures, he is also renowned for extreme humility in front of the elderly and young.

Abu al-Qasim al-Baghawi says―my grandfather narrated to me―`Ali ibn Hashim narrated to us―from Salih, the cloth merchant―from his grandmother who says:

 

رأيت عليا اشترى تمرا بدرهم فحمله في ملحفته فقال رجل يا أمير المؤمنين ألا نحمله عنك فقال أبو العيال أحق بحمله

I saw `Ali purchasing dates in lieu of a silver coin. He then carried it in a wrap. A man suggested, “O Amir al-Mu’minin, allow me to carry it for you.”

`Ali replied, “The father of a family is more responsible to carry it.”[67]

 

Abu Hashim reports from Zadhan:

 

كان علي يمشي في الأسواق وحده و هو خليفة يرشد الضال و يعين الضعيف و يمر بالبياع و البقال فيفتح عليه القرآن و يقرأ تِلْكَ الدَّارُ الْآخِرَةُ نَجْعَلُهَا لِلَّذِيْنَ لَا يُرِيْدُوْنَ عُلُوًّا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فَسَادًا ثم يقول نزلت هذه الآية في أهل العدل و التواضع من الولاة و أهل القدرة من سائر الناس

`Ali would walk in the market places all alone while he was khalifah, guiding the lost and assisting the weak. He would pass by the merchants and grocers. The Qur’an would come to his mind and he would recite: That home of the Hereafter We assign to those who do not desire exaltedness upon the earth or corruption.[68] He would then say, “This verse was revealed regarding people of justice and humility from the governors and those who hold power from all of mankind.”[69]

 

`Ubadah ibn Ziyad reports―from Salih ibn Abi al-Aswad―from someone:

 

أنه رأى عليا قد ركب حمارا و دلى رجليه إلى موضع واحد ثم قال أنا الذي أهنت الدنيا

He saw `Ali mounting a donkey and dangling his legs from one side commenting, “I am the person who despised the world.”[70]

 

Hisham ibn Hassan states:

بينا نحن عند الحسن البصري إذ أقبل رجل من الأزارقة فقال يا أبا سعيد ما تقول في علي بن أبي طالب قال فاحمرت وجنتا الحسن و قال رحم الله عليا إن عليا كان سهما لله صائبا في أعدائه و كان في محلة العلم أشرفها و أقربها إلى

رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و كان رهباني هذه الأمة لم يكن لمال الله بالسروقة و لا في أمر الله بالنومة أعطى القرآن عزائمه و عمله و علمه فكان منه في رياض مونقة و أعلام بينة ذاك علي بن أبي طالب يا لكع

While we were in the company of Hasan al-Basri, a person came from the Azariqah[71] and asked, “O Abu Sa`id, what do you say about `Ali ibn Abi Talib?”

Hasan’s cheeks became red and he declared, “May Allah shower mercy upon `Ali. Certainly, `Ali was an arrow of Allah, hitting the mark of His enemies. He was on a station of knowledge, the most noble and close to Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. He was the devout scholar of this ummah. He never filched from the wealth of Allah, nor displayed laxity in the commands of Allah. He gave Qur’an his determinations coupled with his practice and knowledge. He was in lush gardens and clear signs of it. That is `Ali ibn Abi Talib, O foolish man!”[72]

 

By this humbleness Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu had set a beautiful example for the leaders, governors, and men of position. Practically, he who humbles himself for Allah’s subhanahu wa ta `ala pleasure, is raised by Allah. Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu was humble, as humility demanded. The result of this is that Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala elevated his rank and guaranteed him Jannah. Thus, may Allah be pleased with him.

 

Sayyiduna `Ali: Jurist of the first cavalcade

Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu is certainly regarded as one of the best jurists among the learned Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum. He is acclaimed for his extensive knowledge, deep understanding, and brilliant mind. Why should this not be the case, when he was nurtured in the home of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and he remained closely attached to Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, to learn from him the verdicts of din and rulings of halal and haram. Coupled with his close attachment to Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, he enjoyed an attentive heart, brilliant mind, and extensive understanding.

He himself affirms as reported by Ibn Sa`d:

 

والله ما نزلت آية إلا و قد علمت فيما نزلت و أين نزلت و على من نزلت إن ربي وهب لي قلبا عقولا و لسانا طلقا

By Allah, no verse was revealed except that I know why it was revealed, when it was revealed, and upon whom it was revealed. My Rabb has indeed blessed me with an intelligent heart and eloquent tongue.[73]

 

The report of al-Baladhuri has the words:

إن ربي وهب لي قلبا عقولا و لسانا سؤولا

My Rabb has indeed blessed me with an intelligent heart and inquisitive tongue.[74]

 

Despite his vast knowledge, when he did not know something, he was not shy to say: I do not know.

Al-Dhahabi reports from `Ata’ ibn al-Sa’ib―from Abu al-Bukhtari―from `Ali who said:

 

و أبردها على الكبد إذا سئلت عما لا أعلم أن أقول الله أعلم

The most freshening thing for the liver, is when I am asked about something I do not know, for me to declare: Allah knows best![75]

 

He would encourage his disciples to search for knowledge without shyness. Ibn Abi Shaybah reports via his sanad from `Amr ibn Qays―from Abu Ishaq who reports that―`Ali said:

 

الكلمات لو رحلتم المطي فيهن لأنضيتموهن قبل أن تدركوا مثلهن لا يرج عبد إلا ربه و لا يخف إلا ذنبه ولا يستحيي من لا يعلم أن يتعلم و لا يستحيي عالم إذا سئل عما لا يعلم أن يقول الله أعمل و اعلموا أن منزلة الصبر من الإيمان كمنزلة الرأس من الجسد فإذا ذهب الرأس ذهب الجسد و إذا ذهب الصبر ذهب الإيمان

Advices: if you stride conveyances in their light, you will exhaust them before finding their like. A bondsman should only place his hope in his Rabb and should only fear his sin. One who does not know should not be ashamed of learning. A scholar when asked about something he does not know should not feel ashamed to say Allah knows best. Remember that the position of patience in iman is like the position of the head in the body. When the head is no more, the body cannot function. Similarly, when patience is missing, iman is lost.[76]

 

He was shy to ask Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam about the ruling of a person who releases pre-seminal fluid, since he was married to Rasulullah’s salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam daughter. However, he did not leave the question unverified and requested someone else to ask Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.

Al-Bukhari reports through his sanad―from Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah―from Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu who said:

 

كنت رجلا مذاء فأمرت المقداد أن يسأل النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فسأله فقال فيه الوضوء

I was a person who released much pre-seminal fluid. So I instructed Miqdad to ask the Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam about it. He asked him to which he replied, “One has to perform ablution.”[77]

 

The narration of Sahih Muslim clarifies that the reason Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu was shy to ask Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam about it was due to the Prophet’s salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam daughter being in his wedlock.

Muslim reports in his Sahih through his sanad from Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah from Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu:

 

كنت رجلا مذاء و كنت أستحيي أن أسأل النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم لمكان ابنته فأمرت المقداد بن الأسود فسأله فقال يغسل ذكره و يتوضأ

I was a man who had plenty pre-seminal fluid. I was shy to ask the Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam due to my marriage to his daughter. So I requested Miqdad ibn al-Aswad and he asked. Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam replied, “He should wash his private part and perform wudu’.”[78]

 

The knowledge and understanding of Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu is an aspect acknowledged by the Sahabah and Ummahat al-Mu’minin radiya Llahu `anhum. Here you have the pure Sayyidah `A’ishah radiya Llahu `anha acknowledging, as reported by Ahmad in his Musnad through his chain from Miqdam ibn Shurayh—from his father:

 

سألت عائشة رضي الله عنها فقلت أخبريني برجل من أصحاب النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم أسأله عن المسح على الخفين فقالت ائت عليا رضي الله عنه فسله فإنه كان يلزم النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قال فأتيت عليا رضي الله عنه فسألته فقال أمرنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم بالمسح على خفافنا إذا سافرنا

I asked `A’ishah radiya Llahu `anha, “Direct me to one of the male Companions of the Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam who I might ask about passing wet hands over leather socks.”

She said, “Go to `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu and ask him because he remained closely attached to the Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.” Accordingly, I approached `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu and asked him.

He explained, “Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam commanded us to pass wet fingers over our leather socks while travelling.”[79]

 

Sayyidah `A’ishah radiya Llahu `anha also attested:

أما إنه أعلم الناس بالسنة

Hearken! He is the most knowledgeable of all people of the Sunnah.[80]

 

And then you have Sayyiduna `Abd Allah ibn `Abbas radiya Llahu `anhu confirming:

 

إذا أتانا الثبت عن علي لم نعدل به

When a reliable informant brought us `Ali’s reports, we never equated it to anything else.[81]

 

Ibn `Abd al-Barr reports that Sayyiduna Mu`awiyah radiya Llahu `anhu would write down predicaments he was faced with so that he might enquire about them from Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu. When news of the latter’s martyrdom reached him, he commented:

 

ذهب الفقه و العلم بموت ابن أبي طالب فقال له أخوه عتبة لا يسمع هذا منك أهل الشام فقال له دعني عنك

Understanding and knowledge has disappeared with the death of Ibn Abi Talib.

His brother `Utbah said to him, “The residents of Sham should not hear this from you.”

He said, “Spare me your disapproval.”[82]

 

This is not all. Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu would want his disciples and followers to ask him and learn from him. This was not arrogance or pride. Nay, rather he was eager that they acquire what he had acquired and learnt from Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.

Ibn Sa`d reports through his chain from Abu al-Tufayl:

 

قال علي سلوني عن كتاب الله فإنه ليس من آية و قد عرفت بليل نزلت أم بنهار في سهل أم في جبل

`Ali announced, “Ask me about the Book of Allah. There is no verse except that I am aware whether it was revealed at night or during the day, in the plains or in the mountains.”[83]

 

Sayyiduna `Ali’s radiya Llahu `anhu bequest to Kumayl ibn Ziyad al-Nakha`i. Kumayl narrates:

 

أخذ بيدي أمير المؤمنين علي بن أبي طالب بالكوفة فخرجنا حتى انتهينا إلى الجبان فلما أصحر تنفس صعداء ثم قال لي يا كميل بن زياد إن هذه القلوب أوعية و خيرها أوعاها العلم احفظ عني ما أقول لك الناس ثلاثة عالم رباني و متعلم على سبيل نجاة و همج رعاع أتباع كل ناعق يميلون مع كل ريح لم يستضيئوا بنور العلم و لم يلجؤوا إلى ركن وثيق يا كميل بن زياد العلم خير من المال العلم يحرسك و أنت تحرس المال المال ينقصه النفقة و العلم يزكو على الإنفاق يا كميل بن زياد محبة العالم دين يدان تكسبه الطاعة في حياته و جميل الأحدوثة بعد وفاته و منفعة المال تزول بزواله العلم حاكم و المال محكوم عليه يا كميل مات خزان المال و هم أحياء و العلماء باقون ما بقي الدهر أعيانهم مفقودة و أمثالهم في القلوب موجودة

Amir al-Mu’minin `Ali ibn Abi Talib caught hold of my hand in Kufah. We left until we reached the cemetery. As he reached the desert, he took a deep sigh and then said to me, “O Kumayl ibn Ziyad, these hearts are vessels and the best of them are the best carriers of knowledge. Memorise what I am telling you. People are of three types. A devout scholar. A learner on the path of salvation. And riffraff hooligans, who follow every shout and sway with every wind. They are neither enlightened with the light of knowledge nor do they take sanctuary to a reliable pillar.

O Kumayl ibn Ziyad! Knowledge is superior to wealth. Knowledge protects you while you have to safeguard wealth. Wealth is diminished by expenditure while knowledge increases the more you spend. O Kumayl ibn Ziyad, love for a scholar is din being practiced. It earns him obedience in his life and praise after his death. The benefit of wealth disappears when it is no more. Knowledge governs while wealth is governed.

O Kumayl. The treasurers of wealth have died while they are alive, whereas the scholars remain until time remains. Their bodies may be absent but their example is present in hearts.[84]

 

Examples of his Knowledge and Fiqh

It comes in Sunan of Sa`id ibn Mansur―from Yahya ibn Abi Kathir who says:

 

قضى علي رضي الله عنه في امرأة عذراء تزوجها شيخ كبير فحملت فزعم الشيخ أنه لم يجامعها و سئلت هل افتضك قالت لا فأمر النساء أن ينظرن إليها فزعمن أنها عذراء فقال إن للمرأة سمين سم الحيض و سم البول فلعل الرجل كان ينزل في قبلها في سم المحيض فحملت فسأل الرجل فقال كنت أنزل الماء في قبلها فقيل للشيخ إنما لم تزل و أن الحمل لك و لك ولده

`Ali radiya Llahu `anhu passed judgement on a virgin girl who was married by an old man and she fell pregnant. The old man was determined that he did not have intercourse with her. She was asked, “Did he deflower you?”

“No,” she replied.

`Ali ordered the women to have a look at her and they determined that she was virgin.

`Ali said, “A woman has two openings, one for hayd and one for urine. Probably, the man ejaculated in her vulva and she fell pregnant.

The man was asked and he said, “I would ejaculate in her vulva.”

The old man was told, “She is still virgin, but you have impregnated her, hence the baby is yours.”[85]

 

It appears in Musnad Ahmad from Hanash from Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu:

 

قال بعثني رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إلى اليمن فانتهينا إلى قوم قد بنوا زبية للأسد فبينا هم كذلك يتدافعون إذ سقط رجل فتعلق بآخر ثم تعلق رجل بآخر حتى صاروا فيها أربعة فجرحهم الأسد فانتدب له رجل بحربة فقتله و ماتوا من جراحتهم كلهم فقاموا أولياء الأول إلى أولياء الآخر فأخرجوا السلاح ليقتتلوا فأتاهم علي رضي الله عنه على تفيئة ذلك فقال تريدون أن تقاتلوا و رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم حي إني أقضي بينكم قضاء إن رضيتم فهو القضاء و إلا حجز بعضكم عن بعض حتى تأتوا النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فيكون هو الذي يقضي بينكم فمن عدا بعد ذلك فلا حق له اجمعوا من قبائل الذين حضروا البئر ربع الدية و ثلث الدية و نصف الدية و الدية كاملة فللأول الربع لأنه هلك من فوقه و للثاني ثلث الدية و للثالث نصف الدية فأبوا أن يرضوا فأتوا النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم و هو عند مقام إبراهيم فقصوا عليه القصة فقال أنا أقضي بينكم و احتبى فقال رجل من القوم إن عليا قضى فينا فقصوا عليه القصة فأجازه رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam sent me to Yemen. I reached a nation who had built a lion pit.[86] While they were pushing one another, a man fell in. He held on to another who held on to a third until 4 of them ended up in the pit. The lion wounded them all. A man then charged at the lion with a spear and killed it. The wounds proved fatal for all the injured.

Consequently, the family of the first approached the family of the second. They took out weapons to fight. `Ali came to them at the right time and shouted, “Do you want to fight while Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam is alive? I will pass judgement between you. If you are happy, then judgement will be final. And if not, then you will be restrained from each other until you go to Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and he will decide between you. Whoever transgresses after this will have no right. Gather from the tribes of those who were present at the pit a quarter diyah (blood money), a third of it, a half of it, and a full diyah. The first person will get quarter since he died from falling from the top. The second will get a third. The third will get half.” They refused to consent so they came to Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam while he was by Maqam Ibrahim and related the incident to him. Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “I will decide your matter,” and he sat in a crouched positon. A man from the people said, “`Ali has already passed judgement,” and they related his judgement. Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam approved of it.[87]

 

These were few glimpses and evidences of the vast understanding and knowledge of Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu. Such knowledge that led to the senior Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum not passing a verdict until consulting with him. In fact, they appointed him as judge on their behalf.

Why will they not be pleased with him as judge when Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam was happy with this positon of his? In fact, Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam supplicated for him and gave him the glad tidings of a steadfast heart and rightly guided tongue.

Ahmad narrated through his chain from Abu al-Bakhtari―from Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu:

 

بعثني رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إلى اليمن و أنا حديث السن قال قلت تبعثني إلى قوم يكون بينهم أحداث و لا علم لي بالقضاء قال إن الله سيهدي لسانك و يثبت قلبك قال فما شككت في قضاء بين اثنين بعد

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam dispatched me towards Yemen while I was still young. I submitted, “You are sending me to a people who will face situations and I have no knowledge of decisions.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “Certainly, Allah will guide your tongue and fortify your heart.”

`Ali remarks, “I never doubted a ruling between two after this.[88]

 

Ahmad supplements in another narration:

 

أن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم وضع يده على صدري و قال اللهم ثبت لسانه و اهد قلبه يا علي إذا جلس إليك الخصمان فلا تقض بينهما حتى تسمع من الآخر كما سمعت من الأول فإنك إذا فعلت ذلك تبين لك القضاء قال فما اختلف علي قضاء بعد أو ما أشكل علي قضاء بعد

The Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam placed his hand on my chest and prayed, “O Allah, fortify his tongue and guide his heart.” He advised, “O `Ali, when two opponents sit before you, then do not pass judgement between them until you listen to the second party just as you listened to the first. If you practice upon this, the correct judgement will be clear before you.” He said, “Judgement did not become obscure for me after that.”[89]

 

Proficient Leadership in Challenging Times

Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu took over the reins of khilafah in one of the darkest periods of Islamic history, after the great catastrophe which left a permanent scar on the body of the Islamic state, the effects of which are felt till today. He assumed leadership after the martyrdom of the third khalifah Sayyiduna `Uthman ibn `Affan radiya Llahu `anhu. This took place in Dhu al-Hijjah 35 A.H. He remained khalifah for 5 years. It is said: 5 years less a month. The pledge of allegiance of khilafah was given to him in the masjid of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.[90]

During the khilafah of Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu, many momentous events took place which could have drowned the ummah.

In his khilafah, the Battle of Jamal took place; the flames of which were lit and fanned by the Saba’is. Thereafter, the Battle of Siffin occurred between the army of Sayyiduna `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu and the army of Sayyiduna Mu`awiyah radiya Llahu `anhu. In this battle, the incident of the Arbitration ensued. The Khawarij emerged and they were battled at Nahrawan after Sayyiduna `Abd Allah ibn `Abbas radiya Llahu `anhum had convinced a large group of them to return.

 

Demise of `Ali ibn Abi Talib

The khalifah and life of Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu ended with his martyrdom on the hands of the Khariji `Abd al-Rahman ibn Muljam al-Muradi, may Allah place a collar of fire around his neck on the Day of Qiyamah. Sayyiduna `Ali’s radiya Llahu `anhu demise took place on Saturday night, when 11 days of Ramadan remained, 40 A.H.

Muhammad ibn Sa`d narrated, through his chain, the incident of Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib’s radiya Llahu `anhu assassination.

 

انتدب ثلاثة نفر من الخوارج عبد الرحمن بن ملجم المرادي و البرك بن عبد الله التميمي و عمر بن بكير التميمي فاجتمعوا بمكة و تعاهدوا و تعاقدوا ليقتلن هؤلاء الثلاثة علي بن أبي طالب و معاوية و عمرو بن العاص و يريحوا العباد منهم فقال ابن ملجم أنا لكم بعلي و قال البرك أنا لكم بمعاوية و قال عمرو بن بكير أنا أكفيكم عمرو بن العاص فتعاهدوا على ذلك و تعاقدوا عليه و تواثقوا أن لا ينكص منهم رجل عن صاحبه الذي سمى له و يتوجه له حتى يقتله أو يموت دونه فاتعدوا بينهم ليلة سبع عشرة من رمضان ثم توجه كل رجل منهم إلى المصر الذي فيه صاحبه فقدم عبد الرحمن بن ملجم الكوفة فلقى أصحابه من الخوارج فكاتمهم ما يريد و كان يزورهم و يزورونه فزار يوما نفرا من بني تيم الرباب فرأى امرأة منهم يقال لها قطام بنت سخبة بن عدي بن عامر بن عوف بن ثعلبة بن سعد بن ذهل بن تيم الرباب و كان علي رضي الله عنه قتل أباها و أخاها بالنهروان فأعجبته فخطبها فقالت لا أتزوجك حتى تسنى لي فقال ألا تسأليني شيئا إلا أعطيتك فقالت ثلاثة آلاف و قتل علي بن أبي طالب فقال والله ما جاء بي إلى هذا المصر إلا قتل علي و قد أعطيتك ما سألت و لقى ابن ملجم شبيب بن بجرة الأشجعي فأعلمه ما يريد و دعاه إلى أن يكون معه فأجابه إلى ذلك و ظل ابن ملجم تلك الليلة التي عزم فيها أن يقتل عليا في صبيحتها يناجي الأشعث بن قيس الكندي في مسجده حتى يطلع الفجر فقال له الأشعث فضحك الصبح فقال ابن ملجم و شبيب بن بجرة فأخذا أسيافهما ثم جاءا حتى جلسا مقابل السدة التي يخرج منها علي قال الحسن بن علي فأتيته سحيرا فجلست إليه فقال إني بت الليلة أوقظ أهلي فملكتني عيناي و أنا جالس فسنح لي رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فقلت يا رسول الله ما لقيت من أمتك من الأود و اللدد فقال لي ادع الله عليهم فقلت الله أبدلني بهم خيرا منهم و أبدلهم بي شرا لهم مني و دخل ابن التياح المؤذن على ذلك فقال الصلاة فقام يمشي ابن التياح بين يديه و أنا خلفه فلما خرج من الباب نادى أيها الناس فاعترضه الرجلان فقال بعض من حضر ذلك بريق السيف و سمعت قائلا يقول لله الحكم يا علي لا لك ثم رأيت سيفا ثانيا فضربا جميعا فأما سيف ابن ملجم فأصاب جبهته إلى قرنه و وصل إلى دماغه و أما سيف شبيب فوقع في الطاق فسمع علي يقول لا يفوتنكم الرجل و شد الناس عليهما من كل جانب فأما شبيب فأفلت و أخذ ابن ملجم فأدخل على علي رضي الله عنه فقال أطيبوا طعامه و ألينوا فراشه فإن أعش فأنا ولي دمي عفو أو قصاص و إن أمت فألحقوه بي أخاصمه عند رب العالمين فقالت أم كلثوم بنت علي يا عدو الله قتلت أمير المؤمنين قال ما قتلت إلا أباك قالت والله إني لأرجو أن لا يكون على أمير المؤمنين بأس قال فلم تبكين إذا ثم قال والله لقد سممته شهرا يعني سيفه فإن أخلفني أبعده الله و أسحقه و بعث الأشعث بن قيس ابنه قيس بن الأشعث صبيحة ضرب علي فقال أي بني انظر كيف أصبح أمير المؤمنين فذهب فنظر إليه ثم رجع فقال رأيت عينيه داخلتين في رأسه فقال الأشعث عيني دميغ ورب الكعبة قال و مكث علي رضي الله عنه يوم الجمعة و يوم السبت و بقي ليلة الأحد لإحدى عشرة بقيت من شهر رمضان من سنة أربعين و توفي رضوان الله عليه و غسله الحسن و الحسين و عبد الله بن جعفر و كفن في ثلاثة أثواب ليس فيها قميص

Three men of the Khawarij planned viz.  `Abd al-Rahman ibn Muljam al-Muradi, Bark ibn `Abd Allah al-Tamimi, and `Umar ibn Bukayr al-Tamimi. They gathered in Makkah and mutually pledged and vouched that they will definitely kill these three men `Ali ibn Abi Talib, Mu`awiyah, and `Amr ibn al-`As and relieve the servants from them.

Ibn Muljam said, “I will handle `Ali for you.”

Bark said, “I will take care of Mu`awiyah.”

`Amr ibn Bukayr said, “I will sort out `Amr ibn al-`As.”

They vowed and swore upon this and undertook a covenant that none of them will withdraw from his target which he named and he will pursue him until he kills him or dies in the process. They identified 17th Ramadan as their time of assault. Each of them then set off to the city where his target lived.

`Abd al-Rahman ibn Muljam arrived in Kufah and met his Khawarij cronies and secretly revealed to them his plan. He would visit them and they would visit him. One day, he visited a group of the Banu Taym al-Rabab. He saw a woman from them known as Qitam bint Sakhbah ibn `Adi ibn `Amir ibn `Awf ibn Tha`labah ibn Sa`d ibn Dhahl ibn Taym al-Rabab. `Ali had killed her father and brother at Nahrawan. He was captivated by her so he proposed to her.

She said, “I will not marry you until you give a pledge.”

He said, “Whatever you ask of me, I will provide.”

She said, “3000 and murdering `Ali ibn Abi Talib.”

He said, “By Allah, nothing else has brought me to this city except `Ali’s assassination. I will provide what you ask for.”

Ibn Muljam met Shabib ibn Bajarah al-Ashja`i and informed him of his plan and asked him to join. Shabib agreed. On the night that he determined to kill `Ali, Ibn Muljam starting speaking in secret with Ash`ath ibn Qays al-Kindi in his Masjid until dawn. Ash`ath said to him, “Dawn has come upon you.” Ibn Muljam and Shabib ibn Bajarah got ready and took their swords. They then came and sat in front of the exit[91] from which `Ali would depart.

Hasan ibn `Ali says: I came to `Ali early in the morning and sat with him. He said, “I spent the night waking up my family [i.e. I was restless]. I fell asleep while sitting. Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam came in my dream so I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, the amount of complaints and violent quarrels I have faced from your ummah.’ He said to me, ‘Curse them.’ I said, ‘O Allah, give me better than them and give them worse than me.’”

Ibn al-Tayyah the Mu’adhin entered just then and said, “Salah.” Ibn al-Tayyah began walking ahead of him while I was behind him. As he exited the door, he shouted, “O people, salah, salah!” He would do this every day. He would exit with his stick with which he would wake up the people.

The two men obstructed his way. Some of those who were present yelled, “That is the glitter of a sword.” I heard someone saying, “The command is for Allah, not for you, O `Ali.” Then I saw a second sword and both swords struck him. Ibn Muljam’s sword struck him on his forehead to his crown and reached his brain. The sword of Shabib jammed in the niche in the wall. `Ali was heard saying, “Do not let the traitor escape.” People surrounded them from every side. Shabib slipped away and Ibn Muljam was apprehended. He was brought to `Ali who said, “Give him good food and a comfortable bed. If I live, I am the decider of my blood, either I will pardon or punish. And if I die, then execute him, I will challenge him in front of the Rabb of the worlds.”

Umm Kulthum bint `Ali said, “O enemy of Allah, you killed Amir al-Mu’minin.”

He said, “I only killed your father.”

She said, “By Allah, I hope that there will be no detriment to Amir al-Mu’minin.”

He asked, “Then why are you crying?”

Ibn Muljam then said, “By Allah, I poisoned it for a month, i.e. his sword. If it lets me down, may Allah curse and annihilate it.”

Meanwhile, Ash`ath ibn Qays sent his son Qays ibn al-Ash`ath on the morning `Ali was struck. He said, “O my son, see how Amir al-Mu’minin is doing this morning.”

The son came and looked at him and then returned. He said, “I saw his eyes deep in his head.”

Ash`ath said, “Eyes of a man whose on the throes of death, by the Rabb of the Ka`bah.” `Ali remained alive for Friday, Saturday, and Saturday night, with 11 days left of the month of Ramadan, 40 A.H. Then he passed away, Allah’s pleasure be upon him. Hasan, Husayn, and `Abd Allah ibn Ja`far washed him and he was clad in three sheets without any throbe.[92]

 

This was how the life of Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu terminated after living for din. What a magnificent life and what great sacrifices Sayyiduna `Ali bin Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu made with a pleased soul, eager for the pleasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala anticipating His reward and Jannah until what he anticipated was affirmed by Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam who guaranteed him being from the inhabitants of Jannah.

This was a brief glance through the life of the illustrious Sahabi and the fourth khalifah Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu. We have shed light upon the most evident points of his personality, especially those characteristics which earned him a rank among the Ten Promised Jannah.

 

Sayyiduna `Ali’s Relationship with the Three Khulafa’ before him

The relationship Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu enjoyed with the three preceding Khulafa’ was one of mutual love and compassion. Satisfactory is that Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhu named his sons Abu Bakr, `Umar, and `Uthman. This is the finest proof for the mutual love that existed. Him marrying off his daughter Umm Kulthum to Sayyiduna `Umar ibn al-Khattab radiya Llahu `anhu, is an excellent example of this relationship, because marital relations is a bond akin to the bonds of blood. Whoever wants to know more, should refer to the sections on Sayyiduna Abu Bakr al-Siddiq’s, Sayyiduna `Umar’s, and Sayyidah `Uthman’s radiya Llahu `anhum relationship with the Ahl al-Bayt.

And if anyone is desirous of further satisfaction, he is encouraged to consult the publications of Mabarrat al-Al wa al-Ashab which are satisfactory and adequate.[93]

 

NEXT⇒ Sayyidina Abu ‘Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah – The Trustworthy Individual of the Ummah and from the Influential Personalities


[1] Tarikh Madinat Dimashq, vol. 42 pg. 3.

[2] Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 19.

[3] Usd al-Ghabah, vol. 4 pg. 16.

[4] Al-Isabah, vol. 4 pg. 464.

[5] Usd al-Ghabah, vol. 4 pg. 16.

[6] Usd al-Ghabah, vol. 4 pg. 16.

[7] Sahih al-Bukhari, chapters on the Masajid, chapter on men sleeping in the masjid, Hadith: 430.

[8] Sahih Muslim, book on the virtues of the Companions, chapter on the merits of `Ali, Hadith: 6382.

[9] Al-Bidayah wa Al-Nihayah, vol. 7 pg. 223.

[10] Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 26 – 27; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 42, pg. 24.

[11] Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 27.

[12] Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 20 and onwards.

[13] `Abd al-Halim `Uways: `Ali ibn Abi Talib al-Khalifah al-Muftara `alayh, pg. 10.

[14] Al-Mustadrak, recognition of Sahabah, Hadith: 6463; Tarikh al-Tabari; al-Bidayah wa Al-Nihayah, vol. 3 pg. 34.

[15] Tarikh al-Tabari, vol. 2 pg. 57 – 58.

[16] Al-Bidayah wa Al-Nihayah, vol. 3 pg. 34.

[17] Al-Isti`ab, vol. 3 pg. 1092.

[18] Hilyat al-Awliya’, vol. 1 pg. 61, 62.

[19] Usd al-Ghabah, vol. 4 pg. 16; Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad, vol. 11 pg. 288.

[20] Al-Isti`ab, vol. 3 pg. 1090.

[21] Jami` al-Tirmidhi, book on virtues, chapter on the merits of `Ali, Hadith: 3713. Abu `Isa says, “This hadith is hasan sahih.” Al-Albani classified it sahih. Musnad Ahmad, hadith of Buraydah al-Aslami, Hadith: 22995. Shu`ayb al-Arna’ut said, “Its isnad is sahih according to the standards of al-Bukhari and Muslim. Al-Nasa’i: al-Sunan al-Kubra, book on virtues, chapter on the merits of `Ali ibn Abi Talib, Hadith: 8144.

[22] It appears like this in the reference.

[23] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 42 pg. 119, 120.

[24] Musnad Ahmad, Hadith: 1675. Shu`ayb al-Arna’ut comments, “Its isnad is strong on the standards of Muslim.” Jami` al-Tirmidhi, book on virtues, the virtues of `Abd al-Rahman ibn `Awf, Hadith: 3747. Al-Albani classified it sahih. Al-Nasa’i: al-Sunan al-Kubra, Hadith: 8194; Sahih Ibn Hibban, book on his informing of the virtues of the Sahabah, Hadith: 7002.

[25] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, virtues of `Ali ibn Abi Talib, vol. 6 pg. 367, Hadith: 32082; Musnad Ahmad, Musnad Abi Sa`id al-Khudri, vol. 3 pg. 82, Hadith: 11790. Shu`ayb al-Arna’ut classified the hadith as sahih. Sahih Ibn Hibban, chapter on Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam informing about the virtues of the Sahabah, chapter on mention of `Ali ibn Abi Talib fighting over the interpretation of the Qur’an, Hadith: 6937. Shu`ayb al-Arna’ut says, “His isnad is sahih and meets the standards of Muslim. Majma` al-Zawa’id, vol. 9 pg. 33, Hadith: 14763. Al-Haythami says, “Ahmad narrates it and his narrators are the narrators of al-Sahih besides Fatr ibn Khalifah who is reliable.”

[26] Sahih al-Bukhari, book on expeditions, chapter on Rasulullah’s salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam wound on the Day of Uhud, Hadith: 3847.

[27] Al-Sunan al-Kubra, book on service, chapter on the permissibility of providing a service, Hadith: 11429.

[28] Sahih al-Bukhari, book on Jihad, chapter on the virtue upon whose hands someone accepts Islam, Hadith: 3009.

[29] Ibn Kathir: al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 229.

[30] Surah al-Anfal: 30.

[31] Dala’il al-Nubuwwah, chapter on the mushrikin scheming against Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, vol. 2 pg. 332, Hadith: 725; Majma` al-Zawa’id, chapter on the hijrah to Madinah, vol. 6 pg. 17, Hadith: 9902. Al-Haythami says, “Al-Tabarani narrates it mursal. Ibn Lahi`ah is present in the sanad and he has been critiqued but his hadith is hasan. Fath al-Bari, vol. 7 pg. 184.

[32] Surah al-Anfal: 30.

[33] Fath al-Bari, vol. 7 pg. 184, 185. Majma` al-Zawa’id, vol. 6 pg. 392, Hadith: 11028. Hafiz al-Haythami said, “Ahmad and al-Tabarani narrated it. `Uthman ibn `Amr al-Jazari appears in the isnad and has been labelled reliable by Ibn Hibban while others regard him as da`if. The remaining narrators are the narrators of al-Sahih.” Musnad Ahmad, Musnad `Abd Allah ibn al-`Abbas, vol. 1 pg. 348, Hadith: 3251. Shu`ayb al-Arna’ut says, “His isnad is da`if. `Uthman al-Jazari – Ahmad says that he narrates munkar ahadith. They think that his book got lost. Ibn Abi Hatim says: I asked my father about him and he replied, ‘I do not know who narrated from him besides Ma`mar and al-Nu`man. Al-Haythami made an error and Ahmad Shakir and Habib al-Rahman followed and thought him to be `Uthman ibn `Amr ibn al-Saj al-Jazari whose biography appears in al-Tahdhib. Ibn Kathir says in his Tarikh, ‘This isnad is hasan and it is one of the best reports on the incident of the spider’s web over the mouth of the cave.’”

[34] Al-Mustadrak, book on hijrah, Hadith: 4263. Al-Hakim says, “The hadith has a sahih isnad but they have not documented it. Abu Dawud al-Tayalisi and others narrated it form Abu `Awanah with some additional words.” Al-Dhahabi adds a footnote to it in al-Talkhis labelling it sahih.

[35] Al-Isti`ab, vol. 3 pg. 1113.

[36] Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 23.

[37] Ibn Hibban: al-Thiqat, vol. 1 pg. 167; Usd al-Ghabah, vol. 3 pg. 357.

[38] Al-Bidayah wa Al-Nihayah, vol. 7 pg. 251.

[39] Al-Bidayah wa Al-Nihayah, vol. 7 pg. 251.

[40] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 42 pg. 78.

[41] Sahih al-Bukhari, book on the virtues of the Sahabah, chapter on the merits of `Ali, Hadith: 3498.

[42] Sahih Muslim, book on jihad and expeditions, chapter on battle of Dhu Qarad, Hadith: 4779

[43] Sahih Muslim, book on the virtues of the Sahabah, chapter on the merits of `Ali, Hadith: 31.

[44] Fath al-Bari, vol. 7 pg. 129.

[45] Sunan al-Tirmidhi, book on virtues, chapter on the virtue of Fatimah bint Muhammad salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, Hadith: 3872. Shaykh al-Albani declared it sahih. Sunan Abi Dawud, chapter on the reports on standing, Hadith: 5219. Shaykh al-Albani declared it sahih.

[46] Al-Mu`jam al-Kabir, speaking on the marriage of Fatimah, Hadith: 1021.

[47] Al-dir` al-hatmiyyah: attribution to its weaver or maker. Al-Hatim is the name of a place. (Al-Raghib al-Asfahani: Mufradat Gharib al-Qur’an, pg. 123.)

[48] Al-Bayhaqi: al-Sunan al-Kubra, book on dowry, chapter on moderation in dowry being preferred, Hadith: 14740.

[49] Musnad Ahmad, Musnad `Ali ibn Abi Talib, Hadith: 819. Shu`ayb al-Arna’ut comments, “Its isnad is strong.”

[50] Al-Mu`jam al-Kabir, vol. 24 pg. 137, Hadith: 365; Musannaf `Abd al-Razzaq, book on battles, chapter on Fatimah’s marriage, Hadith: 9781; Majma` al-Zawa’id, vol. 9 pg. 147, Hadith: 15216. Al-Haythami said, “Al-Tabarani narrates it and his narrators are the narrators of al-Sahih.”

[51] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 43 pg. 130; Abu al-Hasan al-Marandi: Majma` al-Nurayn, pg. 56 – 58.

[52] Al-Nasa’i: al-Sunan al-Kubra, book on marriage, chapter on what the boy should say when proposing for a girl and how he should be answered, Hadith: 10088.

[53] Musnad Ahmad, Musnad `Ali ibn Abi Talib, vol. 1 pg. 106, Hadith: 838. Shu`ayb al-Arna’ut labelled the isnad hasan.

[54] Al-Bidayah wa Al-Nihayah, vol. 8 pg. 6.

[55] Hilyat al-Awliya’, vol. 1 pg. 81.

[56] Ansab al-Ashraf, pg. 131, 132.

[57] Al-Khawranq: a place in Kufah. (Mu`jam al-Buldan, vol. 2 pg. 401.)

[58] Hilyat al-Awliya’, vol. 1 pg. 82.

[59] Al-Isti`ab, vol. 3 pg. 114; Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, book on asceticism, chapter on the statement of `Ali ibn Abi Talib, Hadith: 34510, without the addition of `Abd al-Razzaq.

[60] Al-karabis: a Persian word referring to a garment made of cotton. (Lisan al-`Arab, vol. 6 pg. 195.)

[61] Al-rusgh: the joint between the hand and forearm (wrist). (Al-Nihayah, vol. 2 pg. 227.)

[62] Al-Isti`ab, vol. 3 pg. 114, 115.

[63] Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 30.

[64] Tarikh al-Islam, vol. 3 pg. 643, 644.

[65] Usd al-Ghabah, vol. 4 pg. 23.

[66] Hilyat al-Awliya’, vol. 8 pg. 238, Usd al-Ghabah, vol. 4 pg. 23.

[67] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 42 pg. 489.

[68] Surah al-Qasas: 83.

[69] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 42 pg. 489.

[70] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 42 pg. 489; Tarikh al-Islam, vol. 3 pg. 645.

[71] Al-Azariqah: a sect of the Khawarij.

[72] Al-Bidayah wa Al-Nihayah, vol. 8 pg. 6.

[73] Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, vol. 2 pg. 338.

[74] Ansab al-Ashraf, pg. 99.

[75] Tarikh al-Islam, vol. 3 pg. 645.

[76] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, vol. 7 pg. 101, Hadith: 34504.

[77] Sahih al-Bukhari, book on knowledge, chapter on who feels shy and requests someone else to ask, Hadith: 132.

[78] Sahih Muslim, book on hayd, chapter on madhi, Hadith: 17.

[79] Musnad Ahmad, Musnad `Ali ibn Abi Talib, vol. 1 pg. 117, Hadith: 949. Shu`ayb al-Arna’ut classifies it as sahih li ghayrihi.

[80] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 42 pg. 408.

[81] Al-Mizzi: Tahdhib al-Kamal, vol. 20 pg. 486.

[82] Al-Isti`ab, vol. 3 pg. 1108; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 33 pg. 172, Narration: 451.

[83] Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, vol. 2 pg. 338.

[84] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 50 pg. 251, 252.

[85] Sunan Sa`id ibn Mansur, chapter on a woman who is accused of adultery only to be found a virgin, Hadith: 2125; al-Mufid: al-Irshad, vol. 1 pg. 211; al-Hurr al-`Amili: Wasa’il al-Shi`ah, vol. 21 pg. 379, Narration: 27351.

[86] Al-zubyah: It actually refers to an elevated place. It is however a contranym. So it may mean a raised platform and it may mean a pit wherein a hunter conceals himself. Zubyat al-asad: a pit dug for a lion. It is only dug on an elevated spot of earth so that the flood water does not reach it. (Lisan al-`Arab, vol. 14 pg. 353.)

[87] Musnad Ahmad, Musnad `Ali ibn Abi Talib, vol. 1 pg. 77, Hadith: 573; al-Bayhaqi: al-Sunan al-Kubra, chapter on the narrations that a well is overlooked and a mine is overlooked; al-Bidayah wa Al-Nihayah, vol. 5 pg. 124; Majma` al-Zawa’id, vol. 6 pg. 313, Hadith: 10724. Al-Haythami adds a footnote, “Ahmad narrated it and Hanash is one reporter. Abu Dawud has regarded him reliable but he has some weakness. The rest of the narrators and the narrators of al-Sahih.”

[88] Musnad Ahmad, Musnad `Ali ibn Abi Talib, vol. 1 pg. 83, Hadith: 636. Shu`ayb al-Arna’ut says, “Sahih. His narrators are reliable the narrators of al-Bukhari and Muslim.” Al-Nasa’i: al-Sunan al-Kubra, chapter on Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam statement to `Ali: Allah will guide your tongue and fortify your heart, Hadith: 8417

[89] Musnad Ahmad, Musnad `Ali ibn Abi Talib, vol. 1 pg. 111, Hadith: 882. Shu`ayb al-Arna’ut classified it as hasan li ghayrihi. Al-Nasa’i: al-Sunan al-Kubra, vol. 5 pg. 117, Hadith: 8420.

[90] Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad, vol. 11 pg. 289.

[91] Al-suddah: originally, it refers to a shelter over the door of a house or something a person exits from a walled area like a window. Some of them say al-suddah refers to a door itself. (Ibn Salam: Gharib al-Hadith, vol. 1 pg. 51.)

[92] Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 36; Usd al-Ghabah, vol. 4 pg. 36 – 38.

[93] Publications of Mabarrat al-Al wa al-Ashab: al-Asma’ wa al-Musaharat bayn Al al-Bayt wa al-Sahabah; al-Thana’ al-Mutabadil bayn Al al-Bayt wa al-Sahabah; Shaykh `Ali al-Tamimi: Kitab al-Al wa al-Sahabah Mahabba wa Qarabah. [The first two publications have been translated into English with the following titles, Asma’ wa Musaharat – Names and Marital Relations Between the Ahl al-Bayt and Sahabah and al-Thana’ al-Mutabadil – Reciprocatory praise between the Ahl al-Bayt and Sahabah; and can be downloaded from www.mahajjah.com]

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