Imam Mahdi

Short Biography of Imam Ali AS

 Imam Ali AS, the successor of Prophet Muhammad PBUH and the first Imam of Shiites, was born inside Ka’aba (in Mecca) on 13th of Rajab 30 years after Prophet’s birth (in the year of the Elephant). His father was Abu Talib, the uncle of Prophet Muhammad and his mother had been Fatemeh, daughter of Asad. Imam Ali and Prophet Muhammad were cousins, who both grew up in Abu-Talib and Fatemeh-bint-Asad’s house, since Prophet's parents and grandparent died when he was still a child. Imam Ali AS later on said about Prophet Muhammad PBUH: “He took care of me when I had been a small child, he hugged me and let me sleep in his own room. I got used to his scent. I followed him everywhere like a calf after its mother camel. Every day I learned from his behavior ethics. Every year he took refuge in Hera Mount to pray and I was the only one with him, seeing him.”

  Thirteen years passed till Prophet Muhammad PBUH was missioned by God by the verse No. 214 of Al-Sho’arah (The Poets) Chapter to reveal his prophecy: “And warn your nearest relatives!”

  Ali AS then quotes: “Prophet Muhammad PBUH called me and said, “Ali God has ordered me to reveal God’s message to my relatives. Prepare some food and invite my relatives so that I may talk to them and send them God’s message.” I did as he had said. Then he said to his relatives: “God the Almighty has ordered me to invite you towards him. So which one of you will help me in my prophecy, and would like to be my brother, my successor and my representative among you?”

  Everybody remained silent.

  Ali AS then continued: “Only I, who had been youngest in age replied: “O God’s Prophet, I will help you and be your company.” Then prophet said: “Indeed this person is my successor, representative and brother, listen to him, and obey him.””

  Therefore, Imam Ali As is the first Muslim in the history of Islam. Other historians have also registered that he had accepted Islam even before prophet had revealed God’s message in this ceremony.

  After Islam was publicly preached, Quraysh started tormenting and bothering Prophet Muhammad and Muslims till they were made to migrate from Mecca. Abu Talib, Imam Ali’s father, had been the most important supporter of Prophet Muhammad during this period.

  After Prophet’s migration to Medina, Ali AS also accompanied him and married Hazrat Fatemeh AS in the second year of Hijri. A year later their first son, Imam Hassan was born. With this shift in the Islamic province from Mecca to Medina, many wars happened between Muslims and the infidels. The war of Badr happened 18 months after Hijrat. Afterwards, Uhud, Khandaq, Kheybar, Tabouk, etc. wars happened against Muslims. Imam Ali AS attended all these wars except Tabouk, during which he was ordered by the prophet himself to remain in Medina and take care of his progeny and the city, and defended Muslims. He killed 21 of the infidels in Badr Battle, including the grandparent of Mu’avieh, his uncle, and his brother. He also killed 9 of the infidels in Uhud Battle. Ali AS himself got more than 70 wounds on his body, but protected Prophet Muhammad and prevented any harms to him after Muslims betrayed them and retreated the battle field. Gabriel described him afterwards as: “There is no sword like Zolfaqar (Ali’s sword), and no chivalrous man like Ali.”

  In Khandaq Battle, he killed the Arab Champion, Amr-ibn-Abdovad, and caused fear and terror among the infidels’ league. Prophet Mohammad describes the strike on Amr as: “the strike of Ali on the Battle of Khandaq is superior to the worship of my whole Ummah till the Day of Judgement.”

  On the Battle of Kheybar when Omar and Abu Bakr were unable to succeed in breaking through the gates of the Jewish fortresses, Prophet Muhammad declared: “Tomorrow I will send to the field, the man who loves his prophet and God, and God and His prophet love him also.” Everybody was curious to know who that man would be. Then Prophet Muhammad summoned Ali AS while he had pain in his eyes. Prophet Muhammad Kissed his eyes and Ali AS was healed instantly, and sent him to the battle field, and Muslims finally succeeded with his chivalry.

  The climax of Ali AS’s life happened in the 10th year of Hijri, on 18th of Dhul Hijja (16th March 632), in Prophet’s last pilgrimage to Mecca. God revealed this verse to the Prophet and ordered him to inform everyone about this verse: “O Messenger, share what has been revealed to you from your God, and if you do not do such, you have not fulfilled your prophecy, and God will protect you from the people, and God will not help the infidels.” (Chapter 5, Verse 67)

  When Prophet Muhammad PBUH received this message, he commanded the pilgrims to stop and everybody reunited at Qadir. After saying prayers, prophet gave a lengthy speech. He then held and raised Ali’s hand and said, “Anybody for whom I had been a master and custodian, Ali is the master and the custodian. God loves anyone who loves him, and curses anyone who is his enemy.” Muslims pledged allegiance to Imam Ali AS, including Omar-bin-Khattab who came forward and said: “Congratulations O Ali. Today you have become my master and the master of all those who believe.”

Then God revealed the “completion” verse to prophet: “Today I completed for you your religion and bestowed upon you my blessings, and demanded that your religion be Islam.” (Chapter 5, Verse 3). 70 days later Prophet Muhammad PBUH died. Imam Ali AS was busy burying him; meanwhile, a group of Muslims including Omar and Abu Bakr took advantage of the situation and gathered in a place called Saghife Bani Sa’edeh and chose a caliph from among themselves to replace Prophet’s Godly-assigned successor Ali as. After lots of struggle, they chose Abu Bakr and those present pledged allegiance to him.

  Later on Imam Ali AS and his true followers refused to pledge allegiance with the new caliph. Abu Bakr ordered Omar to go to Ali AS and his disciples and to fight them if they did not cooperate. Omar took a torch of fire to their house and threatened that if they do not come out to affirm Abu Bakr’s caliphate, he would burn down the house. And Omar did as he had said, and burned the door. Omar then sent one of his servants, Ghonfoz, to enter the house and bring out Ali AS with force, Ghonfoz kicked at the firing door to open it, but Hazrat Fatemeh AS who had rushed towards the door, to prevent intrusion and also to remind the infidels of his father’s will, was pressed against the wall by his kick. As a result, her six-month baby she was pregnant with died, and she was badly injured. Ali AS did not fight back on that day, because if he did, the few number of true muslims left would also be killed, and true Islam would get into the danger of getting perished. He did not pledge allegiance, but his only friend and support, Fatemeh AS also died a few days later (some historians have registered 75 and some 90 days after prophet’s death).

  In the next 25 years, three people became caliphs: Abu Bakr, Omar, and Osman. Meanwhile, Ali AS did not rise against them, but preached true Islam and recompensated for the caliphs' mistakes regarding Islam and its rules, and prevented the diminish of the true Islam. He collected the whole Quran and preserved Islam and its tradition. His guidance resulted in Omar and Abu Bakr’s confessions that they would perish if it hadn’t been for Ali AS.

  In Osman’s time, the caliphate’s tyranny and self-indulgence led to a revolt against the caliph. People besieged Osman’s house in the year 35 hijri, and killed him. People then rushed towards Ali AS’s house and requested that he became the next caliph.

  Ali AS describes the incident as: “People suddenly rushed towards me from every direction, standing back to back, like hyena’s mane, pushing forward in a way that Hassan and Hussein harmed and my feet were trampled upon, and my gown torn down. They surrounded me like flocks of sheep… I swear to the God that sprouted the seed, and created humans, if it weren’t for the multitude of this population, and the minority of my friends, and the promise I had pledged to God, to help the oppressed and to resist against the infidels, I would definitely leave the saddles of power and caliphate on its own neck, and leave this thirsty people aside. Indeed your world is more inferior and worthless to me than the saliva of a goat.”

  After Ali AS was forced to accept caliphate, and people again pledged allegiance to him, he changed the rulers of different cities. Talheh and Zobeyr thought they would be among the new rulers, but when they were given no position in the new caliphate, disappointed, they rushed to Mecca, where Aisha, one of Prophet’s wives and the enemy of Prophet’s progeny lived. The three of them (Talhe, Zobeyr, Aisha) gathered an army and started Jamal Battle against Imam Ali AS. In this battle Ali AS won and orderd Aisha to go back to Medina, and he himself went to Kufa.

  About a year after Jamal Battle, the Battle of Seffeyn or Siffin started. The head of the infidels who started this war had been Mo’aviyeh. He had not pledged allegiance to Ali AS from the very beginning, and had expected to be the new caliph after Osman’s death, but the unexpected interference of people and their request to make Ali AS the new caliph, had messed up Mo’aviyeh’s plans for power. Mo’aviyeh who had been one of the participants in Osman’s murder, now started pretending that Osman had been murdered by Ali and that Ali AS should pay back for this murder, pretending to be the only heir who had cared about Osman’s death and rights.

  He had been the ruler of Sham in Syria and publicized negatively against Imam Ali AS to the extent that citizens of Sham thought Ali AS was not a Muslim and did not even say prayers (read Namaz). The Seffeyn war against Imam Ali AS took place in Seffeyn and lasted 4 months. Mo’aviyeh was almost defeated, but he played a trick and deceived Muslims: he ordered his troop to put all Qurans on top of their spears and to shout that we are the league of Quran, and Quran should judge among us. Ali AS who knew the deceit replied back that “I am the talking Quran”, and that the enemy was lying that they believed in Quran. Finally the simple minded Muslims were cheated by the hypocrites or Khavarej and all united against Ali AS that we should have a judging committee. This committee included Amr-ibn-Aas (Mo’aviyeh’s representative) and Abu Musa Ash’ari (representative of Muslims from Imam Ali’s troops, but not affirmed by Imam Ali AS himself). Abu Musa who himself was one of those feeble–minded Muslims was tricked by Amr, when he suggested that we should dismiss both Mo’aviyeh and Ali from power, and let the Muslims choose their own leader themselves. Abu Musa, easily tricked, pronounced to the present muslims that, “I dethrone Ali AS,” but Amr, in his own turn, pronounced that, “I hereby declare that Mo’aviyeh is your new caliph and king.”

  The same Khavarej who set up and flamed Seffeyn war, fled Kufa and settled in a village called Hura in the vicinity of Kufa. They disrespected Ali AS and murdered his friends and disciples. About 2 years later, in the year 39 of Hijri, they started Nahrawan Battle against Ali AS and all were killed in that war, except 10 of them. Afterwards three of those who survived the war plotted against Ali AS. They promised that each one of them should murder one person: Ali AS, Mo’aviyeh and Amr-ibn-Aas. Only ibn-Moljam who had taken the responsibility of murdering Imam Ali AS succeeded. He – God’s curse be on him – murdered Imam Ali AS in the dawn of 19th of Ramadhan, while Imam Ali was saying morning prayers (namaz) in Kufa Mosque, by striking his poisonous sword on Imam Ali’s head. Imam Ali AS said immediately, “I swear to the God of Kaaba that I am relieved now.” Imam Ali AS rested in peace two days later in the dawn of 21st of Ramadhan.

  Nahj-ol-Balaghe is the book remaining containing Imam Ali’s speeches, sermons and quotations.

For more information on the life of Imam Ali AS, please refer to my other website.

Prophet Muhammad SAWA:
Ali is from my essence and I am from his.

Prophet Muhammad SAWA:
The relation of Ali to me is like the head to the body.

Prophet Muhammad SAWA:
Ali is the best of humans. Anyone who denies this is an infidel.

Prophet Muhammad SAWA:
Ali is the best among those God has created.

Prophet Muhammad SAWA to Ali AS:
Anybody who harms you, has harmed me, and anyone who harms me, has harmed God, and anybody who harms God is indeed cursed.

Prophet Muhammad SAWA:
If the jungles are made into pens, and the seas are turned into ink, and the genes start counting, and the humans start writing, they would not be able to register all of Ali’s virtues.

Prophet Muhammad SAWA:
Indeed God has set infinite virtues in Ali. Those who remind others of his virtues, while believing them, God will purify them of their sins. And those who write down his virtues, angels will ask forgiveness for them constantly, till that written piece exists. And those who listen to one of his virtues, God will forgive the sins they have committed with their ears; and those who look upon a piece about his virtues, God will forgive those sins they have committed with their eyes.

Prophet Muhammad SAWA:
Friendship with Ali AS is equal to the belief in God; and enmity with him, is equal to infidelity.

Prophet Muhammad SAWA:
Only the true believer will love you, and the imposter will be your enemy.

Prophet Muhammad SAWA:
O Ali, you amongst people are like the chapter Tohid in Quran; anybody who reads it once is as if he has read one third of Quran; and anybody who reads it twice, is as if he has read two third of Quran; and anybody who reads it three times is as if he has read the whole Quran. You resemble this chapter in that, anybody who loves you with his heart has comprehended one third of faith in God; he who loves you with his heart and confesses it with his tongue, has comprehended two third of faith in God; and he who loves you with heart and confesses it with his tongue and helps you with his body has comprehended the whole faith in God. I swear to the God that has chosen me as His prophet, if the inhabitants of the earth loved you to the same extent that the inhabitants of heavens love you, God would torment no one in hell.

The province of Ali-bin-AbuTalib is my strong fortress; anybody who enters it is safe from my torment.

Prophet Muhammad SAWA:
When I ascended the heavens in Meraj Night, all the previous prophets were gathered. I sat among them. An angel told me: “God tells you to ask them “What had been the reason for sending them as prophets?”.” Prophet says, “I asked them, why were you sent as prophets?” and they replied: “we were sent to affirm you and Ali-bin-AbuTaleb’s province.”

Prophet Muhammad SAWA:
Every Prophet has a successor and an heir. Indeed my heir and successor is Ali-bin-AbuTaleb.

Prophet Muhammad SAWA:
Ali is with Quran and Quran is with Ali. They do not separate until they reach me in the Hereafter by the Kowthar.

Prophet Muhammad SAWA:
Anybody who departs from Ali, has departed from me; and anybody who has departed from me, has departed from God.

Prophet Muhammad SAWA:
I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate. Anybody who seeks knowledge, shall enter from its gate.

Prophet Muhammad SAWA:
the most knowledgeable of my people is Ali.

Imam Ali AS:
there is no verse in Quran that I have not asked Prophet Muhammad SAWA to teach me its meaning and interpretation.

Imam Mohammad Baqer AS said:
“I swear to God that Ali AS ate and lived like normal human beings, and ruled for five years, but he did not put a block on a block for himself (did not build anything for his own) and did not increase his property or leave any inheritance. He gave in alms wheat bread and meat but ate himself barley and vinegar.”

Imam Ali AS:
“O God, I did not worship You out of fear or tempted by Your promise of bounty; but because you deserved to be worshipped!”

Imam Hossein AS:
“If I would have hundreds of children, I would like to name them all Ali.”

Prophet Muhammad SAWA:
“Thinking about Ali AS is the same as praying.”

Prophet Muhammad SAWA:
“Adorn your meetings with talking about Ali.”


Tabuk Battle

The Battle of Tabuk (Arabic: غَزوَة تَبوك) is the final Ghazwa of the Prophet (PBUH). It took place During Rajab and Sha'ban of the 9/630 in the region of Tabuk. As the Prophet (PBUH) was heading toward Tabuk to fight Romans, some of the companions, specifically Munafiqun (hypocrites), refused to join the army or tried to weaken the morale of the army. Before the expedition, the Prophet (PBUH) appointed Imam Ali (AS) as his successor in Medina in his absence. After a short tarriance of few days, the army of Islam came back to Medina from Tabuk without any actual confrontation with Romans. Some verses were revealed about Munafiqun exposing them and their secret intentions and plans.


Uhud Battle

The Battle of Uhud (Arabic:غزوة اُحُد) was a famous Ghazwa of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) against the polytheists of Mecca in 3/625. Quraysh marched out toward Medina, as they desired to avenge their losses in the battle of Badr while Abu Sufyan was the commander of the army. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and senior members of Ansar and Muhajirun planned to fight against Quraysh within Medina and never left the city; on the other hand young Muslims and also Hamza b. Abd al-Muttalib, Prophet's uncle, were willing to fight outside the city. Finally Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) decided to accept the wishes of the latter. At first, Muslims defeated Meccans, but a part of Muslim archers having Abd Allah b. Jubayr as their commander on Mount Aynayn on the left flank of Uhud, left their assigned posts and faced a surprise attack from Meccans which led to defeat of Muslims. They faced a serious defeat with approximately 70 martyred Muslims including Hamza b. Abd al-Muttalib who got mutilated, even Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was badly injured on his face and his tooth.


Badr Battle

The Battle of Badr is the first and most important battle between the Muslims and the blasphemers of Quraysh during the early history of Islam. It has been mentioned in the Qur'an. The Qur'an has explained it with special attention in surahs such as Anfal and Al-'Imran. Although the Muslims were limited in men and resources, but with the heavenly guidance they received and their courage, especially Ali (AS) and Hamza Sayyid al-Shuhada', the war resulted in the decisive victory of Muslims.


Khandaq Battle

The Battle of Khandaq (Arabic: غزوة الخندق, Battle of the Trench) or The Battle of ʿAḥzāb (Arabic: غزوة الأحزاب, Battle of the Confederates) took place in the fifth year of Hijra/627. It initially broke out by the stratagem of Banu Nadir tribe. Quraysh tribe became united with all its allies including Kafir (unbeliever) 'Arab tribes in order to eradicate Islam. The number of their soldiers was 10,000, yet Muslim army was only 3,000 soldiers. Banu Qurayzah tribe had promised to be impartial in case of war; nevertheless, they violated the contract and became confederate with the unbelievers. To take up arms against the unbelievers, Muslims dug trench around Medina, an idea from Salman al-Farsi. The war terminated by Muslim's victory and the unbeliever army had to withdraw.

During the battle, Amr b. 'Abd Wad, eminent for his great valor and bravery, proceeded the trench along with some other warriors, and threw down the challenge that who would dare to fight with him. Muslims remained silently, while they were overwhelmed with panic. Ultimately, Imam Ali (AS) volunteered and went for the challenge with the Prophet's consent. He succeeded to take Amr's life. This had such a huge positive impact on Muslim's spirit that led to them triumphing over the enemy. "Ali's stroke was superior to any gene's or human's worship", said Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).


Jamal Battle

The Battle of Jamal (Arabic: معرکة الجمل, lit. Battle of the Camel) took place between Nakithun (Oath-breakers) and army of Imam Ali (AS) in 36/656. This battle started by Aisha (Prophet Muhammad's widow), Talha and Zubayr in a region near Basra; which ended with victory of Imam Ali's forces over Nakithun. Although Talha and Zubayr have taken oath of allegiance (Bay'a) to Imam Ali (AS) as the fourth caliph of Muslims, after some time they both traveled Medina in order to perform Hajj pilgrimage, where they broke their oath and planned to fight against Imam Ali (AS). As a result, this battle is also known as the battle of Nakithun; oath-breakers. Nakithun claimed to avenge the death of 'Uthman b. 'Affan, the third caliph of Muslims. The battle of Jamal (camel) is regarded as the first civil war of Muslims which started significant differences among Muslims.


Nahrawan Battle

Battle of Nahrawan (Arabic:معركة النهروان) was among the battles during the caliphate of Imam Ali (AS) which happened after the battle of Siffin and following the event of Hakamiyya [judgment] in Safar of 38/658-659. On one side of the battle was a group of people known as Mariqun or Khawarij. In this battle, Khawarij were conquered by the army of Imam Ali (AS). It is said that less than ten soldiers from Khawarij could run away unharmed. Among them, 'Abd al-Rahman b. Muljim al-Muradi, the murderer of Imam Ali (AS).