Hazrat Ali A.S — Haider -e-Karrar —
A personality who will never be needed any kind of introduction, he is the son of Hazrat Abu Talib , got the most precious birth inside KHANA -E- KABBAH on 13th Rajab 600 A.D Nobody before or after him has ever been born in the House of God, the Most High. (It was a mark) of him being honored by God, His mother was Fatima, daughter of Asad b. Hashim b. Abd Manaf, may God be pleased with her….
The responsibility for bringing him up devolved directly on Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa s.a. who devoted all his time and attention towards nurturing him with utmost love and affection, instilling in him both knowledge and noble morals. It was owing to his inherent merit and capabilities coupled with the privilege of being brought up by the exalted personality of a guardian like the Prophet s.a.
Ali a.s. was ten years old when Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa was formally called upon to convey the divine message. This is called Besat.
The Prophet s.a. had embarked upon a mission which was against the trend of the times, the prevailing environment, the practice of the entire city and of his own people and tribe. No one was prepared to extend a helping hand and cooperate with him. It was Ali a.s. alone who was foremost in testifying the claim of the Prophet s.a. and in reposing full faith in his mission. The other personality was that of Hazrat Khadijatul Kubra who acquired the honour of precedence in embracing Islam among the women.
After some time Abu Talib left this world. The demise of his loving uncle broke the Prophet s.a.’s heart. He made up his mind to migrate to Madinah. Thereupon the enemies unanimously decided to surround the house of the Prophet s.a. at night and finally kill him. The Prophet s.a. coming to know of it, called his cousin Ali a.s. and told him about it saying, “My life can be saved if you sleep on my bed tonight covered with my mantle while I leave Makkah incognito.” Had it been some body else this news would have terrified him. But Ali a.s. expressed his gratitude to God that the life of the Prophet s.a. will be saved through him. He was happy for being required to stake his life for that of the holy Prophet s.a. Accordingly at night the Prophet s.a. left Makkah for Madinah and Ali ibne Abi Talib slept on his bed. All around the house blood thirsty enemies with drawn swords and spears were just waiting for the break of dawn to break into the house and kill the Prophet s.a. In the mean time Ali a.s. was resting peacefully and quietly on the bed and did not at all think of the lurking danger to his life. The enemies discovered in the morning that the person resting on the bed was Ali a.s. and not Muhammad . They pressurized Ali a.s. to disclose the whereabouts of the Prophet s.a. but Ali a.s. with a brave countenance firmly refused to oblige. Consequently, the Prophet s.a.starting from Makkah could traverse quite a long distance without any trouble or hindrance.
The first thing that the Prophet s.a. did on his arrival in Madinah was to solemnize the marriage of his only daughter, Fatima Zahra with Ali a.s.. The Prophet s.a. deeply loved his daughter and had so much respect for her that whenever she came to him he used to stand up in reverence. Every body wanted to have the honour of marrying this venerable daughter of the Prophet s.a. One or two of them even mustered enough courage to request him for her hand in marriage. But the Prophet s.a. refused to entertain their wishes saying that the marriage of Fatima could not be solemnized without divine decree. It was in the first year of Hijrah when the Prophet s.a. chose Ali a.s. for this honour. The wedding rites were performed with utmost simplicity. The daughter of the Prophet s.a. of God, the monarch of this world and the world hereafter was married without any dowry from the Prophet s.a. . It was the amount of her Mahar (dower) offered by Ali a.s. from which some household articles were purchased and given to Fatima. It comprised some utensils of clay, pillows made out of the bark of date tree— a leather bedding, a spinning wheel, a grinding stone and a Mashk (leather bag for carrying water)— and that was all. For the payment of Mahar Ali a.s. sold his coat of mail (Zirah). The amount thus obtained did not value above one hundred and seventeen Tolas (about 1.36kg) of silver. In this way an example was set for the Muslims for all time to avoid lavish expenditure on such occasions.
In addition to this, he was ever ready to perform every work entrusted to him by the Prophet s.a.. He was so devoted to the Prophet s.a. that very often he was seen stitching the Prophet s.a.’s slippers, Ali a.s. considered this as an honour for himself. It was due to the distinguished attributes and services rendered by Hazrat Ali a.s. that the Prophet s.a. had great respect for him and used to publicize his qualities both by his words and deeds. Sometimes he used to say: “Ali is from me and I am from Ali .” On another occasion he said: “I am the city of knowledge and Ali a.s. is its gate.”
At another time he said:
“Ali a.s. is the best arbitrator amongst you,” and that “ Ali a.s. is to me what Aaron was to Moses.” Further “Ali a.s. has the same relation with me as the soul has with the body or the head has with the body.” Also, “Ali a.s. is the most beloved of God and His Prophet”
For twenty-five years after the Prophet s.a.’s demise Ali a.s. led a life of seclusion. In 35 A.H. the Muslims offered the office of Islamic Caliph to Ali a.s. . At first he refused, but when the insistence on part of the Muslims increased, he accepted it on the condition that he would rule strictly in accordance with the precepts laid down in the Quran and the Sunnah (practice) of the Prophet s.a.s without favour and partiality towards any body.
In spite of being the supreme authority of Islam he did not mind sitting at shops and selling dates. He wore patched clothes, sat in the company of poor people on ground and partook food with them. The proceeds of the Baitul Mal (public treasury) were distributed equally amongst the deserving. Once his real brother Aqeel wanted a larger share from the Baltul Mal than other Muslims, his request was turned down with the observation:
“If this were my personal property your request might have been considered favourably. But since it belongs to all the Muslims I have no right to give to any of my relatives a share larger than others.”
Alas, this protagonist of peace, equality and Islamic values could not escape the malicious designs of the worldly people. In the morning of 19 of the month of Ramazan 40 A.H.while offering prayers in the mosque he was fatally wounded by a sword dipped in poison. His mercifulness, kindness and regard for equality of all human beings was such that when his assassin was brought before him with a pale face and tears rolling down his eyes, he was touched with compassion even for him and addressing his two sons. Imam Hasan and Imam Husain said: “He is your prisoner. Do not treat him harshly. Give him the food that you yourself eat. If I recover, it will be upto me to punish him or to forgive him. But if I do not survive and you decide to avenge his crime, then strike him with sword only once as he had struck me once and in no case his hands or legs or any other part of his body should be cut off as it is against the teachings of Islam.” Ali a.s. spent two restless days on his sick bed in extreme pain and distress. Eventually the poison spread all over the body and he breathed his last on 21 of Ramazan at the time of morning prayer. Hasan a.s. and Husain a.s. performed the funeral rites and that prince of humanity was buried at Najaf at the back of the city of Kufa.