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Ali Ibn Abi Talib (R A)

Ali ibn Abi Talib (R A) was Cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad(SAWS). In 656 he became the last of the "rightly guided" caliphs. The fourth of the caliphs or successors of Muhammad(SAWS) , was born in Mecca. His father, Abu Talib, was an uncle of the Prophet (SAWS) , and Ali himself was adopted by Muhammad(SAWS) and educated under his care.

While a boy, he distinguished himself by being one of the first to declare his adherence to the cause of Muhammad(SAWS). Some years afterwards he married the Prophet (SAWS) 's daughter Fatima Zahra. Ali (R A) proved himself to be a brave and faithful soldier, and when Muhammad(SAWS) died without a male heir, some thought Ali (R A) to have the best claim to succeed Muhammad(SAWS) . Not until 656, after the murder of Uthman, the third caliph.

Ali ibn Abi Talib ( Amîr al-Muminîn), the first male believer in Islam, the Prophet (SAWS) 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 (SAWS) nicknamed him Abu Turâb or Father of Dust. His mother was Fatima bint Asad, whom the Prophet (SAWS) 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 (SAWS) , Khadija(R Anha) 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 Allaah ibn al-Zubayr, and countless others(RadhiAllaahu Anhum):
Ali was a skilled and fearless fighter, and the Prophet (SAWS) gave him his standard to carry on the day of Badr and in subsequent battles. At the same time he was the repository of Prophet (SAWS) in 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 (R A) said: "I seek refuge in Allaah from a problem which Abu al-Hasan (R A) cannot solve." Similarly Aisha (R Anha) said: "He is the most knowledgeable about the Sunna among those who remain," and Ibn Abbas(R A) : "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 (R A) said: "By Allaah ! 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 (R A) humbly declared: "What cools my liver most, if I am asked something I know not, is to say: ‘Allaah knows best."

Imam Ahmad (R) said: "There is no Companion concerning whom are reported as many merits as Ali ibn Abi Talib." Following are some of the hadiths to that effect.

On the eve of the campaign of Khaybar, the Prophet (SAWS) said: "I shall give the standard to a man who loves Allaah and His Messenger, and whom Allaah loves and also His Messenger." Umar(R A) said: "I never liked to be entrusted leadership before that day." The next day the Prophet (SAWS) summoned Ali (R A) and gave him the flag.

Salama ibn Amr (R A) narrated that the day of Khaybar, the Prophet (SAWS) summoned Ali who came led by the hand, as he was suffering from inflammation of the eyes. The Prophet (SAWS) then blew on his eyes and gave him the flag. Another version states that Ibn Abi Layla told his father to ask Ali why he wore summer clothes in winter and winter clothes in summer. Ali said: "The day of Khaybar the Prophet (SAWS) summoned me when my eyes were sore. I said to him: ‘O Messenger of Allaah ! I have ophtalmia. He blew on my eyes and said: ‘O Allaah ! remove from him hot and cold. I never felt hot nor cold after that day."

The Prophet (SAWS) left Ali behind in the campaign of Tabuk. The latter said: "O Messenger of Allaah! Are you leaving me behind with the women and children?" The Prophet (SAWS) replied: "Are you not happy to stand next to me like Harun next to Musa, save that there is no Prophet (SAWS) after me?"

The Prophet (SAWS) said: "I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate." Another version states: "I am the house of wisdom and Ali is its gate."

When Allaah revealed the verse: "Come! We will summon our sons and your sons, and our women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves, then we will pray humbly and invoke the curse of Allaah upon those who lie" (3:61), the Prophet (SAWS) summoned Ali(R A) , Fatima(R Anha) , Hasan(R A) , and Husayn(R A) , and said: "O Allaah ! These are my Family."

The Prophet (SAWS) said: "Anyone whose protecting friend (mawla) I am, Ali is his protecting friend." Umar (R A) said: "Congratulations, O Ali! You have become the protecting friend of every single believer."

The Prophet (SAWS) said: "Ali is part of me and I am part of Ali! No-one conveys something on my behalf except I or he."

Some people complained to the Prophet (SAWS) about Ali, whereupon he stood and said: "Do not accuse Ali of anything! By Allaah, he is truly a little rough (laukhayshan) in Allaahs cause."

When the Prophet (SAWS) sent Ali (R A) to Yemen the latter said: "O Messenger of Allaah , you are sending me to people who are older than me so that I judge between them!" The Prophet (SAWS) said: "Go, for verily Allaah shall empower your tongue and guide your heart." Ali(R A) said: "After that I never felt doubt as to what judgment I should pass between two parties."

The Prophet (SAWS) said: "The most compassionate of my Community towards my Community is Abu Bakr; the staunchest in Allaah s Religion is Umar; the most truthful in his modesty is Uthman, and the best in judgment is Ali." Umar said: "Ali is the best in judgment among us, and Ubayy is the most proficient at the Quranic readings." Ibn Masud similarly said: "We used to say that the best in judgment among the people of Madina was Ali." It is a measure of al-Hasan al-Basris greatness that Ali once followed his recommendation in a judicial case.

Amr ibn Shas al-Aslami (R A) complained about Ali(R A) upon returning from Yemen where he had accompanied him. News of it reached the Prophet (SAWS) who said: "O Amr! By Allaah , you have done me harm." Amr (R A) said: "I seek refuge in Allaah from harming you, O Messenger of Allaah !" He said: "But you did. Whoever harms Ali harms me." The Prophet (SAWS) also used the terms "Whoever harms Ali (R A) has harmed me" about his uncle al-Abbas(R A) .

Umm Salama (R Anha) said to Abu Abd Allaah al-Jadali(R A) : "Is Allaah s Messenger (SAWS) being insulted among you?! [in Kufa]" He said: "Allaah forbid!" She said: "I heard Allaah s Messenger(SAWS) say: ‘Whoso insults Ali, insults me."

Ali (R A) said: "In truth the Prophet (SAWS) has made a covenant with me saying: ‘None loves you except a believer, and none hates you except a hypocrite." Abu Said al-Khudri subsequently said: "In truth we recognized the hypocrites by their hatred for Ali." Jabir said: "We did not know the hypocrites of this Community except by their hatred for Ali."

The innovations of those who bore excessive love and admiration for Ali appeared in his own lifetime and he himself fought them in word and deed. To those that claimed that the Prophet (SAWS) had appointed him as successor after him he said: "In truth, Allaah s Messenger did not appoint any successor" and: "The Prophet (SAWS) was taken from us, then Abu Bakr (R A) was made the successor, so he did as the Prophet (SAWS) had done and according to his path until Allaah took him from us; then Umar was made the successor, so he did as the Prophet (SAWS) had done and according to his path until Allaah took him from us." To those that claimed that he deserved th

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