Description

Alî ibn Abî Ṭâlib - Al-Murtaza (Chosen One)
Amir Al-Mu'mineen (Commander of the Faithful)
Bab-e-Madinatul-ilm -("The door to the city of Knowledge")
Abu Turab - ("Father of the Soil")
Murtadha - ("One Who Is Chosen and Contented")
Asadullah - ("Lion of God")
Haydar - ("Braveheart")

Ali ibn Abi Talib (/ˈɑːli, ɑːˈliː/; Arabic: علي بن أبي طالب, translit.: ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib, Arabic pronunciation: [ʕæliː ibn ʔæbiː t̪ˤæːlib]; 13th Rajab, 22 or 16 BH – 21st Ramaḍān, 40 AH; September 20, 601 or July 17, 607 or 600 – January 27, 661) was the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, ruling over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661. A son of Abu Talib, Ali was also the first young male who accepted Islam. Sunnis consider Ali the fourth and final of the Rashidun (rightly guided Caliphs), while Shias regard Ali as the first Imam after Muhammad, and consider him and his descendants the rightful successors to Muhammad, all of whom are members of the Ahl al-Bayt, the household of Muhammad. This disagreement split the Ummah (Muslim community) into the Sunni and Shi`i branches.

Many sources, especially Shia ones, record that Ali was the only person born in the sacred sanctuary of the Kaaba in Mecca, the holiest place in Islam. His father was Abu Talib and his mother was Fatima bint Asad, but he was raised in the household of Muhammad, who himself was raised by Abu Talib, Muhammad's uncle and Ali's father. When Muhammad reported receiving a divine revelation, Ali was the first male to accept his message and first to convert to Islam at the age of 12, dedicating his life to the cause of Islam.

Ali migrated to Medina shortly after Muhammad did. Once there Muhammad told Ali that God had ordered Muhammad to give his daughter, Fatimah, to Ali in marriage. For the ten years that Muhammad led the community in Medina, Ali was extremely active in his service, leading parties of warriors in battles, and carrying messages and orders. Ali took part in the early caravan raids from Mecca and later in almost all the battles fought by the nascent Muslim community. Ali was appointed Caliph by the Companions of Muhammad (the Sahaba) in Medina after the assassination of the third caliph, `Uthman ibn Affan. He encountered defiance and civil war during his reign. In 661, Ali was attacked one morning while praying in the Great Masjid of Al-Kufah, and died two days later.

In Muslim culture, Ali is respected for his courage, knowledge, belief, honesty, unbending devotion to Islam, deep loyalty to Muhammad, equal treatment of all Muslims and generosity in forgiving his defeated enemies, and therefore is central to mystical traditions in Islam such as Sufism. Ali retains his stature as an authority on Quranic exegesis, Islamic jurisprudence and religious thought. Ali holds a high position in almost all Sufi orders which trace their lineage through him to Muhammad. Ali's influence has been important throughout Islamic history.

`Ali ibn Abi Talib `Abd Manaf ibn `Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim ibn `Abd Manaf, Abu al-Hasan al-Qurashi al-Hashimi (d. 40), Amîr al-Mu’minîn, the first male believer in Islam, the Prophet’s standard-bearer in battle, the Door of the City of Knowledge, the most judicious of the Companions, and the "Possessor of a wise heart and enquiring tongue." The Prophet nicknamed him Abu Turâb or Father of Dust. His mother was Fatima bint Asad, whom the Prophet called his own mother and at whose grave he made a remarkable intercession. He accepted Islam when he was eight, or nine, or fourteen, depending on the narrations, but it is established from Ibn `Abbas that he was the first male Muslim after the Prophet, Khadija being the first Muslim. He was killed at age fifty-eight. From him narrated Abu Bakr, `Umar, his sons al-Hasan and al-Husayn, Ibn `Abbas, `Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, and countless others.

`Ali was a skilled and fearless fighter, and the Prophet gave him his standard to carry on the day of Badr and in subsequent battles. At the same time he was the repository of Prophetic wisdom among the Companions. The latter, when asked about difficult legal rulings, deferred to others the responsibility of answering, while `Ali, alone among them, used to say: "Ask me." `Umar said: "I seek refuge in Allah from a problem which Abu al-Hasan cannot solve." Similarly `A’isha said: "He is the most knowledgeable about the Sunna among those who remain," and Ibn `Abbas: "If a trustworthy source tells us of a fatwa by `Ali, we do not seek any further concerning it." Sulayman al-Ahmusi narrated from his father that `Ali said: "By Allah! No verse was ever revealed except I knew the reason for which it was revealed and in what place and concerning whom. Verily my Lord has bestowed upon me a wise heart and a speaking tongue." At the same time `Ali humbly declared: "What cools my liver most, if I am asked something I know not, is to say: ‘Allah knows best’."

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