Know Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (a.s.)
(cousin & son in-law of the
He was born inside the Ka'ba (evidence) , on 13 Rajab in
30 'Am al-Fil (the year of the elephant) &
was struck by a sword in the Kufa Mosque & was martyred
on 21st Ramadhan 40 AH and is buried in Najaf on the
outskirts of Kufa.Iraq
Life of Imam Ali(as) |
The Voice of Human Justice-George Jordache
An unparallel book of Sermons & Letters by Imam Ali(as)
Sample letter to Malik
Ashtar also quoted by UN for Middle east good governance
Alavia - A beautiful collection of some supplications by Imam Ali(as)
On the 13th of the month of Rajab, twenty-three years before the migration of
the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) a child was born in the family of Abu Talib, the light
of whom kindled the whole World. Kunaab Mecci narrates about his birth:
"We and Abbas (Ibne Abdul Mutalib) were sitting together when suddenly we
saw Fatima bint-e-Asad moving towards the Kaabah in the condition having
delivery pain and saying "Oh God I have faith in you and the Prophet (
i.e., Abraham) who by your command laid the foundation of this house. O God! I
swear you by the same Prophet (P.B.U.H.) and swear you by the child in my womb
make this birth comfortable and easy for me."
This was the time when all of us saw with our own eyes that the wall of Kaabah
broke apart and Fatima bint-e-Asad entered into the Kaabah. Then the wall
We ran terrified and trembling to our houses to send our women into the Kaabah
for the help and assistance of Fatima. We did our best but the door did not
open. This event surprised all the people of Mecca.
The women of Mecca were anxiously counting moments to meet Fatima till the
time she came out of the Kaabah along with a beautiful baby, saying, "God
has chosen me from among the ladies of Mecca and He made me His guest in His
house and gave me meals and fruits of the heaven to eat.
The ladies who were surrounding her in the form of a circle and escorting her
to her home asked her, "What name have you given to this child?"
She said: "When I was in the Kaabah, I heard a hidden voice call,"
Name this child "ALI".
Yes! We are talking about Ali (A.S.) the pious man whose childhood and infancy
period lasted in such a pure and chaste way that he himself stated in Nahjul
Balaghah, "The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) used to pick me in his lap and embrace
me and chew the food and put it into my mouth.
Ali Ibne Abi Talib describes this enlightening period of his age as under: The
Prophet (P.B.U.H.) used to go the Cave of Hira but nobody except he (P.B.U.H.)
and I did know about it. At the time when the religion of Islam had not yet
reached the homes, he ( P.B.U.H.) and his wife Khatija were the only Muslims.
I was the next person to them who saw the light of revelation and prophet hood
and smelled the fragrance of the Prophet hood.
When the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) of Islam was ordered by God to invite his family
members to embrace Islam Ali ( A.S.) according to the advice of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.)
invited forty persons of the Prophet's family at his home. Although the food
was quite little but all of them ate fully well. After the meal was over the
Prophet (P.B.U.H .) spoke to those present saying, "Oh the sons of Abdul
Mutalib, God has ordered me to invite you to embrace Islam and get you
introduced to it."
Whosoever, having believed in my Prophet hood, promises to help and assist me
shall be my brother, deputy and successor and my caliph.
He repeated this sentence thrice but no one except "Ali (A.S.)" gave
a positive response. As many time as the Prophet ( P.B.U.H.) addressed the
persons present, nobody except Ali (A.S.) answered. Ali (A.S.) was rising
again and again to his feet and promising help to him and announcing his
Imam's Miraculous birth inside the Kaaba
More Photos of Rukn Yamani
This is the very reason why the Prophet ( P.B.U.H.) said: "This Ali, is
my brother and successor listen and lend ears to what he says and obey his
orders." When Ali (A.S.) entered from his early youth into the phase of
puberty, the part of age when all the human energies and powers are strong and
firm, even in this part of the life he remained closely associated to the
Prophet ( P.B.U.H.) like a flying moth which moves around the Candle. He
defended Islam and the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) with his strong, energetic arms.
When the enemy besieged and surrounded the Muslims in the battle of Hunain and
they abandoned and left behind the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) running away for their
lives, it was only and only Ali (A.S.) who defended and saved the Prophet (P.B.U.H
.) and made the enemies retreat and take to their heals.
Ali (A.S.) killed Marhab the chief of army of Jews in the Khyber battle, whose
power and bravery was making everybody tremble but Ali (A.S.) cut him into two
and pulled apart the gate of the Khyber fort which used to be opened and
closed by twenty men together. Ali ( A.S.) used it as a bridge over the trench
for the Islamic army to cross over to the Khyber fort. Many such events are
the specimens and evidences about the faith, and spirit of self-sacrifice and
devotion of Ali (A.S.).
Self-Sacrifice and Devotion
There is no doubt to it that every body loves his soul and very rarely gets
ready to sacrifice it for another person but because of the fact that Ali (A.S.)
loved the soul of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) even more than his own one, he got
prepared to lay his life for him.
The event takes shape like this. When the polytheists saw that they are in
danger, they jointly made a firm determination to take the Prophet ( P.B.U.H.)
by surprise and martyr him. So all of them gathered in "Dar un Nadva"
and choose one person from each family so that every tribe gets involved in
getting Mohammad (P.B.U.H.) killed and then no one could take the revenge of
The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) had come to know about this conspiracy through
revelation. God ordered him (P.B.U.H.) to migrate from Mecca in the darkness
of the night. The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) needed someone, prepared to sacrifice his
life and must be a trustworthy secret holder.
Hence, there was no one else except Ali (A.S.) in whom he confided, and told
him "God has informed me that the infidels will break through the house
to kill me so today you sleep on my bed." Ali (A.S.) smilingly accepted
Then the time came when the darkness of the night covered everything and Ali (A.S.)
was sleeping on the Prophet's (P.B.U.H.) bed calmly and peacefully and the
Prophet ( P.B.U.H.) came out of his house and started proceeding towards the
Cave of Saur. The infidels besieged the house and got prepared with their
swords and spears to attack it. The sooner they were instructed to make it,
they break through the house rushing with naked swords. But when they found
Ali ( A.S.) laying on the bed of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) they immediately moved
out of the house desperate and astonished, and sent a few horsemen to search
the Prophet (P.B.U.H.). But not very long afterwards they too returned
defeated and hopeless.
Ali (A.S.) and Holy War
Islam is the religion of peace and tranquility and does not like killing,
plundering, and bloodshed. But if some one kills another without any reason
then Islam has strong punishment to deal with him.
Of course, if an enemy attacks the Muslims then by the standards of wits,
common sense, and religious law, self defense which as a form of Jehad becomes
essential and indispensable.
All the battles of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) in which Ali (A.S.) fought armed and
truthfully were defensive battles.
Ali (A.S.) was such a brave, faithful, holy warrior who never got frustrated
and upset and tired of the fighting and battles. He was afraid of no one
except God. He used to say "By God if I see that on one side is the truth
and on the other side all the rest of the people I, without caring and paying
heed to those reproaching me, will fight all alone with my sword, on the way
and path of the right, against them.
Ali's (A.S.) way or Training
The city of Kufa was the capital of the Islamic Government. People from all
over the World used to gather at that point to get the benefit of knowledge
and learning from that great Islamic University.
One of those days two men came across each other in the vicinity of the city
one of them was Ali (A.S.) and the other was a Christian who did not recognize
him. The Christian man was moving towards the suburban area of Kufa, where as,
Ali ( A.S.) was on his way to kufa.
They mutually agreed to accompany each other for a while, talking to each
other, so that they do not get tired.
They reached a point where two ways split out, so that each one wanted to move
on one of those two different roads. The Christian bade Farwell and went on
his way but he observed that his Muslim companion, whose way was on the
opposite side, was moving towards him. So he stopped and questioned him,
"Don't you want to go to kufa?"
Ali (A.S.) said, "Yes". The Christian man said, "Then why are
you coming towards this direction?"
Ali (A.S.) replied, "I wish to accompany you to a certain length of
distance because the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) said, "when two persons are
together on a way (journey companions) they get a right over each other."
"Now that you have got a right upon me, I go along with you up to a
certain distance so that I must pay you (discharge) that light of yours in
this world. Then I will part off on my own way." The Christian man was
much pleased and moved by this humanly attitude and conduct and he liked his
talk and said, "It is befitting that I should also embrace Islam which
has such a culture and students."
His amazement and astonishment was only too enhanced when he discovered that
his travel companion is Ali (A.S.), the ruler of Islam. So he immediately
accepted and embraced Islam at his hand.
Self-preservation of Ali ( A.S.)
When human being is in the normal and natural condition, he can better be the
master of his wits and control himself and take distance and move away from
the sins and bad acts and get himself aside from them. But when the flames of
anger, rage or jealousy are lit, then it is only with difficulty that man
could think and keep in view fact and God. Therefore, most of the crimes are
committed at times when man looses his normal natural condition.
But, Ali (A.S.) who was a self made and sublime person his approach and
behavior was different than that of the others. He, in all the conditions,
kept his attention focused and concentrated on God and took distance from
anything which did not have the approval of God, whether he was at home or in
the battle field, both in joy or anger.
We would better have a glance upon his behavior and conduct in the battlefield
to prove our point. In the battle of "the trench" all the people of
Medinah dug up a great trench on the sides of the city and filled it up with
water to block the enemy's way. Amer bin Abduwad, the famous and gallant Arab
warrior among the enemy army, was challenged the Muslims to send him a match
for the fight. Nobody among the Muslims plucked the courage to give him a
response and came out to face him. On this occasion Ali (A.S.) came out taking
stable and strong steps to face him with a heart full of faith. He said,
"Oh Amro do not boast off too much about your bravery and man-hood. The
one who has the power and energy to fight you is standing before you".
Amro viewed him and said: "You would better turn back I do not like to
kill you because I was a friend of your father."
Ali (A.S.) replied: "By God, I like killing you."
Amro got angry and climbed down from the horse and quickly attacked Ali (A.S.)
with his sword but the sword did strongly strike Ali's (A.S.) shield and so it
was not effective. Then Ali (A.S.) by blowing a strike of his sword made him
fall to the earth and climbed upon his chest to kill him. But Amro, out of his
rage and anger spitted at Ali's ( A.S.) face. Suddenly Ali (A.S.) came down
from his chest and started walking on the ground. Then he came again towards
him. Amro enquired him, "what is the meaning of it that firstly you
struck me an effective blow and then let me go free?"
Ali (A.S.) said, "Oh Amro I use my sword for God and not myself? At the
time when I saw you fall to the ground and climbed your chest, you spit at my
face and made me angry. Had I killed you in such condition I would had no
reward to my credit because I was angry. Therefore, I got up from your chest
and started walking so that my anger and hot temper is cooled down and
subsided and I may do my job purely for God."
The bravery, ferocity, self-preservation and control of Ali had a very deep
effect over the Arab champion. And attracted the attention and eyes of both
the friends and foes to such an extent that the friends raised the slogan of
Takbeer (Allaho Akbar) from the depth of their heart and the enemies hearts
were filled up with tenor and harassment, so far so, that it ended upon the
defeat of the enemy. This is the sole reason why his deed was decisive and
fate making such as the Prophet said about it. "The job that Ali (A.S.)
did on the day of the Khandak (battle of trench) and the sword strike by him
(against the enemy) is more precious to God then the collective prayers of the
mankind and jins together.
Ali's (A.S.) Mercy and Compassion
We learnt about the bravery and dauntlessness of Ali (A.S.) in the battlefield
but we should not omit this point that if a man is brave, ferocious, and
dauntless but he does not possess the qualities of mercy and generosity then
that bravery and gallantry has no value. The bravery of Ali ( A.S.), when he
stepped into the battlefield, was such that he did care and was attentive to
the injured, thirsty and hungry ones. He would attack an aggressive enemy and
kill him but when he came across an injured thirsty and hungry enemy he would
save him from thirst and hunger and if he was injured then he would extend his
He did fiercely fight the enemy but never killed him while he was in a thirsty
or hungry condition and he never destroyed and dismantled the houses of the
enemy. Because he considered all these acts as against the norms of nobility
and generosity. This is the reason, why having taken the river water from the
control of the Muawiyah's forces in the sifeen battle he ordered his warriors
to let the water free for all and sundry and do not resist against the army
men of Muawiyah if they wanted to use the water.
The army men of Ali (A.S.) objected and said "the enemy having taken the
water's control in their hand had stopped us from using it. So that they
wanted us to submit to them through this way. We would better do the same to
Ali (A.S.) replied, "No we will fight the enemy manly and we consider
this act against the human nobility and generosity. If we do the same what
they did then what would be the difference between them and us? Beware, works
are for God and we should not take steps against His wish and will."
Ali (A.S.) Conduct during his ruler ship
1. Siding with the masses
Ali (A.S.), with all the difficulties that he had to face, used to personally
attend the affairs and works. He would get himself informed about the problems
of the people. He did not drive away his enemies due to personal enmities. So
far so that he used to give them their rights from the bait-ul-mal (Islamic
treasury). Moreover, he did not give any privileges to his friends due to
their friendship. He continuously used to order his officials and workers to
have a conduct of justice with the people and if he observed any misdeed or
misconduct of his subordinates and workers he did not spare them. So when one
of the ladies known as Sooda approached him for justice, he was then offering
his prayers. He shortened his prayer and smilingly greeted her and asked,
"What is it that you want?"
With tears rolling on her face, Sooda complained about the tax officer and his
He, in the same standing condition of his prayers, wept and said: "Oh God
be a witness that I have not ordered them to commit excesses and aggressions
against your slaves."
He at once picked up a skin piece and jotted down the dismissal order of his
official and gave it to Sooda to take it to him as soon as possible.
Another day he received the information that son of Hunaif (the Governor of
Basra) made himself present on a very colorful, richly provisioned dinner
table of one of the nobles and notables and possibly the blood thirsty and
cruel chance seekers and opportunists may make the most of his political
station and position.
He got seriously annoyed and reprimanded him for this act of his and wrote him
a letter saying. "I have heard that you joined a richly provisioned
(colorful) dinner table which the poor were not allowed to join. Be aware!
That I am your Imam, leader and chief if I wish and am inclined to it I can
lay hand and provide myself with the best food but I will not do such a thing
because it is possible that there might be some hungry people in the nooks and
corners of my country who go to sleep with empty stomachs. I have contented
myself with a simple dress and small quantity of food, which is bread and
dates, from this world of yours. Although you can not do this, which I
practice but try it that your way and path is not segregated from that of
He, through this letter, gave him a good advice and exhortation and reminded
him about his duty. Imam Ali (A.S.) lived his life with such a justice and
equity that when Muawiyah a staunch and extreme enemy of Ali ( A.S.) met one
of his companions "Addi-bin-Hatim" and asked him, "How did you
find Ali (A.S.) during his reign and rule?"
He replied, "The oppressive and coercive ones did not have the courage of
oppression during his reign and the weak ones always took benefit from his
justice and never allowed disappointment find its way towards them. So that he
repeatedly used to say, "Is it right and just that people consider and
think I am their leader and Imam but I do not share their difficulties and
Still again, we read in the history that one day the governors accompanied by
his old friend Ibn-e-Abbas came to see him.
They saw their leader repairing and mending his shoes. Ali (A.S.) turned his
face towards them and said, "What do you think is the price of this
shoe?" They replied, "It value is not much. It cann't be more than a
He said, "By Lord this post that I have got, if I could not make use of
it in connection with the salvation and safety of the poor, have not and
arresting and stopping the cruelties or restoration of the right and truth,
then for me it's value would be lesser than this shoe."
2. Canceling the distinctions and Privileges
The moment people took oath of an allegiance at his hand and accepted his
caliphate he climbed the pulpit and tribune and addressed them, "By God
till the time I possess even one single palm date tree in Medinah. I will not
take anything from the bait-ul-mal (Islamic treasury).
His brother Aqeel stood up and said, "Do you take me equal to a black
skinned living in Medinah?"
He said, "Oh brother sit down, you do not have any superiority over that
black man except through faith and piety."
One summer night his brother Aqeel invited him to dinner at his house so that
he may attract the attention of his brother towards himself and he increases
his monthly stipend.
He said, "Oh brother from where did you procure and provide this
He replied "For a few days, I and my wife spent lesser amount of money
thus saved the surplus money to invite you to dinner."
He said, "From tomorrow onwards I would issue an order that your monthly
salary may be curtailed and decreased to the equal of the amount that you
saved because, you can, as per your own confession, spend lesser than
Aqeel was very much perturbed and annoyed and he started shouting appealingly.
Ali (A.S.) picked up a piece of iron lying near him heated it up (on a nearby
lamp) and took it near his hand.
Aqeel cried, "Oh I am burnt."
Ali (A.S.) said, "What a surprise that you are so much afraid and cry of
a fire which is provided by me alone. How are you prepared to get me burnt in
the fire of God's anger? These are the money and property of the people and I
am the trustee and custodian of them."
Again, we observe that a group of the officials objected up on him and said,
"Had you given a larger contribution and portion to the rebellious and
the governors, you could run and manage the newly established Islamic
government in a better way. Then, you might have ruled with authority and
Imam Ali (A.S.) replied, "What a surprise you want me to lay the
foundations of my government, which is formed in the name of Islam, upon the
pillars of excess and injustice? By God, I will definitely never do such a
Moreover, had the Muslim's money and property been my own property I would not
have done this thing still less all of it belongs to the people and I am not
more than a trustee.
3. Attending the Complaints
Ali (A.S.) during his ruler ship personally attented to the complaints. During
the hot days of summer, when all the people rested at their homes, he sat by
the shadow of a wall, so that if someone had a complaint he might reach him
and tell him about it.
One of the hot scorching summer days, when he was perspiring sitting besides
and leaning at the wall. A woman who was depressed and disturbed came and
said, "My husband has committed excess and ousted me from the house in
this hot weather. I wish you to attend to my problem."
Ali (A.S.) hung his head down and said, "Oh lady the weather is hot, and
can you possibly wait till it becomes better. Then I will accompany you and
attend to your matter. The woman said, "I am afraid that the temper and
anger of my husband may shoot up even higher. It is better that you do the
needful right away.
Ali (A.S.) said, "very well, you walk on and I follow you." Ali (A.S.),
along with the lady, came to the door of the young man and called him out of
the house. He did not recognize Ali (A.S.) and knew that his wife has called
this man to her help.
Ali (A.S.) said, "This woman says you turned her out of the house. I have
come to advise you that you should have the fear of God and be kind, nice and
do good to your wife. The self-loving, egotist giving an insulting reply to
Ali (A.S.) said, "This matter is not your concern. I would do whatever I
please. Now, when she has brought you along with her I shall burn her with
Ali (A.S.) was angry and annoyed at this response of the man and shouted
objecting. Thereafter, he laid his hand on his sword to punish the youth. When
people heard the loud voice of the Imam, they rushed out of their houses. As
their eyes met Ali ( A.S.), they respectfully came close to him and saluted
and greeted him. The rude and impolite youth knew that he was facing Ali (A.S.).
So he got embarrassed, loosing his wits fell down to the ground and started
making excuses and apologizes and said, "I will accept whatever you say
and hereafter I shall respect my wife and not annoy her."
Ali (A.S.) said, "I hope you will do the same." Then he addressed
the woman saying, "return to your home, I hope that you would also he a
good wife to your husband."
The Ghadeer Affair
The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) set out for the pilgrimage of God's house with a large
Caravan in the 10th Hijra, so that the people may perform their Hajj rituals
with great fervor, in dignified and magnificent way, b