As for this young
Ali, one cannot but like him. A
noble-minded creature, as he shows himself, now and always afterwards; full of
affection, of fiery daring. Something
chivalrous in him: brave as lion; yet with a grace, a truth and affection worthy
of Christian knighthood.
Page 77 Editions 1968)
book is a translation of the sermons, letters, orders and some of the sayings of
Hazrath Ali (A.S.) as compiled by Syed Razi and named 'Nahjul Balagha'.
sermons and preaching’s of Hazrath Ali (A.S.) were so highly valued and venerated
in the Islamic world that within a century of his death they were taught and
read as the last word on the Philosophy of mono-theism, as the best lectures for
character building, as exalted sources of inspiration, as very persuasive
sermons towards piety, as guiding beacons towards truth and justice, as
marvelous eulogies of the Holy prophet (A.S.) and the Holy Quran, as convincing
discourses on the spiritual values of Islam, as awe inspiring discussions about
the attributes of God. as master-piece of literature, and as models of the art
to the famous book of biographies Rejal-e-Kabeer, the first person to collect
these sermons in a book form was Zaid Ibne Wahab Jehny, who died in 90 A.H. and
who was regarded as a narrator of Ahaadees (Traditions).
Thus within thirty years of Hazrath Ali's death and during the first
century of Hijrath his sermons, letters, sayings, Ahadees etc. were collected
quoted and preserved.
the dawn of 2nd Century Ibne Wahab's example was followed by (1) the famous
calligraphist of the early Abbasites regime, Abdul Hameed-bin-Yahyah (132 A.H.),
(2) and then Ibne-ul-Moqquffa (142 A.H.) took up this work of compilation.
Jahiz-e-Oosmanee says Ibn-ul-Moqquffa had very carefully studied these
sermons and used to say that he had saturated himself from the Fountains head of
knowledge and wisdom and was daily getting fresh inspirations from these sermons
(3) Ibne-Nadeem in his biographies "The Fahirst" says that Hushsham
Ibne Saaeb-e-Kalbee (146 A.H.) had also collected these sermons (Fahrist-e-Ibne-Nadeem,
section VII page 25 1).
century after century Muslim scholars, theologians, historians and mohaddiseen
were citing these sermons, quoting them, discussing the meanings of the words
and phrases used by Hazrath Ali (A.S.), and referring them when they needed an
authority on theology, ethics, the teaching of the Holy prophet (A.S.) and the
Holy Quran or on literature and rhetoric’s.
the third century five famous men took up this work.
Abu Oosman Omero-ibn-Bahr-ul-Jahiz, who died in 255 A.14. (868 A.D.),
quoted many sermons in his book Al-bayan-wo-Tabyan.
Ibne-Quateeba-e-Daynoori, who died in 276 A.H., in his books O' Yoon-ul-Akhbar
and Ghareeb-ul-Hadees quoted many sermons and discussed meanings of many words
and phrases used by Hazrath Ali (A.S.).
Ibne Wazeh-e-Yaquoobee, who died in 278 A.H., cited many sermons and
saying of Hazrath Ali (A.S.) in his history.
Abu Haneefa-e-Daynoori (280 A.H.) in his history Akhbar-e-Tawal quoted
many sermons and sayings.
Almobard (286 A.H.) in his book Kitab-ul-Mobard collected many sermons and
The famous historian lbne Jurair-e-Tabaree who died in 3lOA.H. quoted
some of these sermons in his Tareekh-e-Kabeer.
Abu Mohammed Hussan-Ibne-Ali-Ibne-Shoba-e-Halbee (320 A.H.) had collected
some sermons in his book "Thohfath-ul-Oquool".
This book was later printed in Persia.
following writers have also extensively quoted the sermons and sayings of
Hazrath Ali in their respective books.
Ibne-Wareed (321 A.H.) in his book Almoojthabnee.
Ibne-Abd Rabbahoo (328 A.H.) in Aqud-ul-Fareed.
Siquathul Islam Koolaynee (329 A.H.) in Kaafee.
Ali Ibne Mohammed Ibne Abdullah-e-Madance (335 A.H.) collected
sermons,letters and sayings of Hazrath in his book.
Yaqooth-e-Hameveene mentions of this book in Mojam-ul-Addiba page 313
The Historian Massodee (346 A.H.), in Morravj-ul-Zahab, has quoted some
of the letters and sermons of Hazrath.
Abul Farj Ispahanee (356 A.H.) in Aaghanee,
Abu Ali Quali (356 A.H.) in Nawadir, and
Shaikh Sadook (381 A.H.) in Kitab-ul-Taoheed, have extensively quoted
these sermons, letters and sayings.
Shaikh Moofeed (413 A.H.) in Irshad has quoted many sermons, Ahaadees
(traditions) sayings and letters of Hazrath.
Syed Razi (420 A.H.) compiled the book Nahjul Balagha.
Shaikh-ul-Taa'ye'fa Abu Jaffer Mohammed ibne-Hussan-e-Toosee (460 A.H.)
was a contemporary of Syed Razi and had collected some of these sermons etc.,
long before Syed took up his work.
Razi could compile in Nahjul Balagha does not contain all the sermons letters
and sayings of Hazrath Ali (A.S.). Masoodi (346 A.H.) in his famous history
Morravejul-Zahab (Vol. 11 page 33 printed at Cairo) says that only sermons of
Hazrath Ali, which have been preserved by various people, number more than four
hundred and eighty. These were
extempore orations, people have copied them one from another and have compiled
them in book forms; they have cited them and have quoted passages from them in
out of these four hundred and eighty sermons some were lost and Syed Razi could
lay hand on only about 245 sermons, besides them he collected about 75 letters
and more than 200 sayings. Almost
everyone of the sermons, letters and sayings collected in Nahjul Balagha is to
be found in books of Authors who died long before Syed Razi was born, while some
are found in works of such authors who, though his comp temporaries, yet were
older to him and had written their books before Nahjul Balagha was compiled.
In the Index No. 2:A,B and C, I have given a list of the names of these
authors, books and the number of sermons, etc. found in those books.
If I quote
all of what has been said by the Muslim and the Christian Arab scholars,
Theologians, Philosophers and Historians in praises of these sermons, sayings
and Letters it will cover a volume as big as this book, therefore I shall
briefly quote only a few of them.
Abu Sa'adath Mubarak Majdud din-Ibne-Aseer Jazaree (606 A.H.) is
recognized even today only as a narrator of Ahaadees (tradition) but also as a
lexicologist of great eminence. His
book "Nehaya", is a study of the history and meanings of the difficult
words of Holy Quran and the traditions. In
this book he has at great length discussed many words, phrases and the
sentences of Hazrath Ali's sermons from the book Nahjul Balagha.
He says that so far as comprehensiveness is concerned Ali's words come
not only to the Quran.
Allama Shaikh KamaIludin-Ibne-Mohammed-Ibne-Talha-e-Shafayee (who died in 652 A.H.) in his famous book "Mothaleb-ul-Soaol" writes:-
attribute of Hazrath Ali (A.S.)was his eloquence and rhetoric’s.
He was such an Imam in these arts that none can aspire to rise up to the
level of the dust of his shoes. One
who has studied Nahjul Balagha can form some idea of his supreme eminence in
Allama Abu Harnid Abdul Hameed-Ibne-Hibathulah, known as Ibne-Abil
Hadeed-e-Moathazalee, who died in 655 A.H., and who has written a really great
commentary on these sermons says:
His speeches, letters and sayings are so supremely eminent that they are
above the sayings of man and below only to the words of God.
None can surpass it but the Holy Quran.
At another place he says that "His (Hazrath Ali) sayings are miracle
of the Holy prophet (A.S.). His prophecies show that his knowledge was
Thafthazanee(791A.H.)in"Sharah-e-Maquasid"saysthat "Ali had
supreme command over language, over ethics and over tenets of religion, at the
same time he was a great orator, his sermons compiled in Nahjul Balagha bear witness
to these facts."
Allama Alauddin Quoshiee (875 A.H.) in Sharah-e-Thujreed says that
"The book Nahjul Balagha that is the sermons and sayings contained therein
prove that none can surpass it on these lines but the Holy Quran.
Mufthi of Egypt, Shaikh Mohammed Abdahoo (1323 A.H.) has written a
commentary on the book Nahjul Balagha. He
was among those modern thinkers, who made the modern world realize the beauties
of the teaching of Islam. His
introduction on his own commentary of Nahjul Balagha deserves careful study.
this introduction he says that everyone who fully understands Arabic language
must agree that the sermons and sayings of Hazrath (A.S.) are not only to the
words of God and the Holy prophet (A.S.). Ali's words are so full of meanings
and they convey such great ideas that this book Nahjul Balagha should be very
carefully studied, referred and quoted by students as well as teachers.
This professor of Arabic literature and philosophy persuaded the
Universities of Cairo and Beirut to include the book Nahjul Balagha in their
courses for advance studies of literature and philosophy.
The famous author and orator Shaikh Mustafa Ghala' Aenee of Beirut, who
is considered as an authority on commentaries (Tafseer) of the Quran and also on
Arabic literature in his book, 'Areej-ul-Zahr' in chapter, "The styles of
can write better than Ali except the Holy prophet (A.S.) and God.
Those who want to study eminent standards of literature should study the
book Nahjul Balagha. It contains
such depth of knowledge and such wonderful advices on the subjects of ethics and
religion that its constant study will make a man wise, pious and noble minded
and will train him to be an orator of great standing".
Ustad Mohammed Mohiuddin, professor of the Arabic language, Alazhar
University of Cairo says that the Nahjul Balagha is a collection of the works of
Hazrath Ali. It is compiled by Syed
Razi. It contains such examples of
chaste language, noble eloquence and superior wisdom that none but Ali can
produce such a work because next to the Holy prophet (A.S.), he was the greatest
orator, the greatest authority on language and literature and the greatest
source of wisdom of the religion (Islam). He
was such a philosopher that from his words flow streams of knowledge and wisdom.
Ustad Abdul Wahab Hamodha, an authority on Arabic literature and the
"traditions", and a professor of the Fuwad I University of Cairo, in
1951 writes, "The Book Nahjul Balagha contains all that great scholars,
professor of ethics, philosophers, scientists, authorities on religions and
politicians can say or write. The
wonderful force of advices and the superfine way of presenting arguments and the
depth of vision prove that it is the work of a super mind like that of Ali.
10. Abdul Maseeh-al-Anthakee the Christian editor of the Egyptian Magazine "Alamran" in his famous book "Sharah-e-Quasa'ed-e-Alwiya" writes "It cannot be denied that Ali was the Imam of speakers and orators, and he was the teacher and the leader of writers and philosophers. There is truth in this assertion that his sayings are superior to that of any man and are inferior only to the sayings of God the Almighty,. He undoubtedly was the man from writers, speakers, philosophers, theologians and poets have drawn inspirations, have improved their styles and have mastered their arts. The compilation of his work is named Nahjul Balagha, which should be read often.
I1. Fuwad Afram Al Basthanee, professor of Arabic literature in the Quadese Eusuf College of Beirut, is a Roman Catholic Christian. He has compiled a book containing selections from the works of philosophers, scientists, theologians and essayists. He starts this book with the following words, "I want to start this work of mine with the selections from the book Nahjul Balagha. It is a work of the greatest thinker of the world Imam Ali-Ibne-Abu-Talib.
The famous Christian moralist, author and poet, Polos Salamah in his famous
book "Awal-lay-Mulhamah-e-Arabia" (printed at Alnaseer Press of
Beirut) says, "The famous book Nahjul Balagha is the work which makes one
realize the great mind of Ali Ibne Abu Talib.
No book can surpass it but the Quran.
In it you will find pearls of knowledge strung in beautiful chains,
flowers of language making ones mind fragrant with sweet and pleasing smell of
heroism and nobility, and streams of chaste language sweeter and cooler than the
famous stream of the Kauser flowing constantly and refreshing minds of
Ali (A.S.) the lord of the faithful was the first cousin of the Holy prophet (A.S.).
His father. Abu Talib, and the
father of the Holy prophet (A.S.), Abdullah, were sons of Abdul Muttalib, and
children of the same mother, Fatima, the daughter of Asad son of the famous
Hashim. Thus his (Hazrath Ali)
parents were cousins. His
genealogical table is as follows. (Refer index No. 1)
Ali (A.S.) was born on the 13th Rajah 30 (Aam-ul-Feel) about 610 A.D. i.e. 23
years before Hijrath of the Holy prophet (A.S.). Historians say that he was born
in the precincts of Kaaba. In this
connection please refer the following books: 1. Imam Hakim in Mustadrik 2.
Masoodi, in Murravaj-ul-Zaheb page 125, 3. Izaluthul Khifa2nd subject page
251, and 4. Allama Aloosee in Sharah-e-Aeneiya.
the time of his birth his father and his cousin, Mohamed, the Holy prophet (A.S.),
were out of Mecca, his mother gave him the names of Asad and Hyder; when his
father returned he called him Zaid. But
when the Holy prophet (A.S.) came back to the city he took his young cousin in
his change and gave him the same of Ali, saying that it was the name decreed for
him by God.
Imam Noodi the commentator of Bookhari.
Ibn-ul-Arabi in his book Yoowakheeth.
Sabth Ibne-Joazee in his book Taskara-e-Khawas-ul-Aa'imma.
Ali has called himself Ali and Hyder.
various Kunniaths the most famous were Abdul Hussan, Abus Sibtain, and Abu Turab.
(Refer Note below)
Alquabs were, Murtaza (the choosen one), Amir-ul-Momineen (the Commander of the
faithful), Imam-ul-Muttaqueen (the leader of the pious and God fearing persons).
historian and biographist Allama Ali Ibne Mohammed in his book Asadul Ohaba Fee
Tameez-e-Sahaba (book IV page 398) says that he was a man of middle height with
very black and very big and piercing eyes, very handsome cast of face, very
clear and fair complexion, broad shoulders, powerful arms, vast chest, strong
and roughened hands, a long mascular neck, a broad forehead and he had few
hairs on the top of his head.
- Names derived on account of some relation or some connection.
It is an Arab system that respectable people are addressed with their
Kunniath and not with their names.
Hakim in his Mustadrek (book III), Kamil Ibne Aseer in his Tareekh-eKhamees,
Ibne Abdul Bar in his Iste-ab (book II page 486) and Allama Tubranee in his
Reeyaz-ul-Nazara (book 11 pages 202 and 218) agree with the above description.
Tabranee further says that he used to walk with very light tread and
was very agile in his movements, had a very smiling face, very pleasing
manner, a jovial temperament, very kind disposition and very courteous behavior.
He would never lose his temper.
was born three years before the marriage of the Holy prophet (A.S.) with Hazrath
Khadeeja (A.S.). Soon after his birth the Holy prophet (A.S.) took him under his
holy care and Ali was like a son unto him.
He used to live with the prophet, used to sleep with him, was fed by him,
washed and dressed by him, and even carried by him on a sling whenever he would
go out. The historian Masoodee in Isbath-e-Waseeyeth (page 1 19) says
that when the Holy prophet (A.S.) married Khadeeja, she adopted this child as
her son. Hazrath Ali, himself, has
described his childhood in Khutba-e-Quasaya; saying that I was still a new born
baby when the prophet took me from my parents.
I used to cling to him, he would made me sleep in his bed, pressing my
body against his and making me smell his fragrance and felt its warmth; he
used to feed me, and (when I grew a little older) he never found me uttering a
lie or feigning a deceit. To me he
was like a guiding star and I used to carefully follow his actions and deeds.
I was attached to him like a young camel attached to its mother.
He used to place before me high values of morality, and used to advise me
to follow them; every year he would spend some days at the grotto of the Hera
mountain. And I used to be with
him, I was his only companion then and none else could meet him at Hera, there I
used to see the light of revelation, and used to smell the fragrance of apostle
hood. Once the Holy prophet (A.S.)
told me that "Ali, you have attained a very eminent place. You see what I see and you hear what I hear".
Na'eem in his book Hulyatul Awliya, (book I page, 67) and Imam Seeyootee in his
Tafseer-e-Duray Munsoor say that once Holy prophet (A.S.) told Hazrath Ali
"O Ali! God hath ordered me to
keep you near me. You are to me
like an ear that retain everything, because your are the retaining ears that the
Holy book (Quran) has praised.
The Holy Prophet(A.S.) and Hazrath Ali how they loved each other
Ibne Abil Hadeed-e-Moatazalee, the commentator of Nahjul Balagha, cites
Abdullah Ibne Abbas, saying "Once I asked my father 'Sir, my cousin Mohammed
had many sons, all of whom died in babyhood, which of them he loved the most'?
He replied 'Ali Ibne Abu Talib'. I
said "Sir I was enquiring about his sons" He replied "The Holy
prophet (A.S.) loved Ali more than all of his sons.
When Ali was a child I never saw him separated from Mohammed for half an
hour, unless Mohammed went out of the house for some work.
I never saw a father love his son so much as the Holy Prophet (A.S.)
loved Ali, and I never saw a son so obedient, so attached and so loving to his
father as Ali was to Mohammed.
The same author cites the companion of the Holy prophet (A.S.),
Joobair-IbneMoth'um-Ibne- Addi-Ibne-Naufil, saying that once his father
addressed him and some young men of his family "have you noticed the child
Ali loving, venerating and obeying that young man, Mohammed, instead of his own
father, what an intensity of love and veneration.
I swear by our gods, the Lath and the Uzza, that instead of having so
many off springs of Naufil around me I had a son like Ali.
(iii) Allama Thirmizee (Jama-e-Thirmizee-Vol.
I page 38, Mishkauth Vol. II
page 8 and Musnad-e-Imam Ahmed Vol. I
page 146), quotes the Holy prophet (A.S.) saying, "O Ali, I wish to achieve
every such thing for you that I desire to acquire myself and I want to keep you
away from all those things whose contact I abhor".
Allama Thabranee (in his Oasuth) and Imam Hakim (in his Sahee) say that
whenever the Holy prophet (A.S.) was in anger nobody dare addressed him but Ali.
Ibne Abil Hadeed (commentary of Nahjul Balagha Vol.
III page 25 1) once again quotes the uncle of Holy prophet (A.S.), Abbas
saying that they (Holy prophet and Ali) loved each other irritancy.
The prophet was so fond of Ali that once when Ali was a young boy he sent
him out on some errand and the child took long time to return, he started
getting worried and anxious and in the end he prayed to God "Please Lord do
not let me die unless I behold Ali once again" (This incident is also
quoted by Thirmizee).
Ali started acting as the bodyguard of the Holy prophet (A.S.) even when
he was just a boy of 13 or 14 years. The
young men of Quraish under instigation of their parents used to stone the Holy
prophet (A.S.). Ali took up the work of acting as his defender, he fell upon
those young men, broke the nose of one, teeth of the other, pulled the ears of
the third and threw down the fourth. He
often fought against those who were older than him, was often himself hurt, but
he never forsook the self imposed duty. After
some days he jot the nick name of Quazeem (the breaker of thrower) and nobody
dared throw anything at Holy prophet (A.S.) when AB was with him and he would
not allow the Holy prophet (A.S.) to go out of the house alone (Aayan Vol.
III page 280).
himself as a sacrifice at the night of Hijrath (migration) and his subsequent
behavior in all the battles are enough proofs of the intensity of Ali's love to
the Holy prophet (A.S.)
Zaidan (George Gordan) who died recently was a famous Christian historian,
linguist, philosopher and poet of the modern Egypt.
Arabic was his mother tongue, but he was so well versed in English,
French, Germany, Persian and Latin that he used to contribute to historical and
philosophical Magazines of France, Germany and England.
About Hazrath Ali he says:
can praise to the extent that he (Ali) deserves.
So many instances of his piety and fear of God are cited that one starts
loving and venerating him. He was a
true, strict and scrupulous follower of Islam.
His words and deeds bore stamps of nobility, sagacity and courage of
conviction. He was a great man
having his own independent views about life and its problems.
He never deceived, misled, or betrayed anybody.
In various phases and periods of his life he exhibited marvelous strength
of body and mind which were due to his true faith in religion and in his sincere
belief in truth and justice. He
never had servant and never allowed his slaves to work hard.
Often he would carry his household goods himself and if anybody offered
to relieve him of the weight he would refuse.
The famous Egyptian philosopher and Professor of Islamic of Alazhar University,
Allama Mohammed Mustafa Beck Najeeb in his equally famous book "Hima'ethul
Islam" says: "What can be said about this Imam?
It is very difficult to fully explain his attributes and qualities.
It is enough to realize that the Holy prophet (A.S.) had named him the
gateway of knowledge and wisdom. He
was the most learned person, the most brave man and the most eloquent speaker
and orator. His piety, his love of
God, his sincerity and fortitude in following religion were of such high order
that none could aspire try reach him. He
was the greatest politician because he hated diplomacy and loved truth and
justice, his was the policy as taught by God.
On account of his sagacity and through knowledge of human mind he always
arrived at correct conclusion and never changed his opinions. His was the best judgment, and had he no fear of God he would
have been the greatest diplomat amongst the Arabs. He is loved by all, and everyone has a place for him in his
heart. He was a man of such
surpassing and preeminent attributes and such transcending and peerless
qualities that many learned men got perplexed about him and imagined him to be
an incarnation of God. Several men
amongst Jews and Christians love him and such philosophers who came to know of
his teachings bow down before his incomparable vast knowledge.
Roman kings would have his pictures in. their palaces and great warriors
would engrave his name on their swords". (Hima'athul Islam, part 1, page
Another philosopher and historian of Egypt Ustad (professor) Mohammed @l
Hatha, pays his tributes in the following words: His life is a agglomeration of
pleasing incidents, bloody encounters and sad episodes.
His personality is very prominent on account of his transcending and
high qualities. Each aspect of his
life is so lofty and glorious that a study of one phase would make you feel that
it was the best phase of his character and the most beautiful picture of his
personality, while contemplation of any other phase will enchant you more and
you win come to the conclusion that no human-being can attain that height, and a
third aspect will fascinate you equally and you will realize that before you is
a personality of such great eminence that you cannot fully appreciate its
greatness and you will feel that Ali was an Imam (Leader) in battlefield, was
an Imam (Leader) in politics, was an Imam (Leader) in religion, and also an imam
in ethics, in philosophy, in literature, in learning and wisdom.
It is not difficult for God to create such a person (a review on the
character of Ali by Ustad (Professor) Mohanned Kamil Hatha Page 40)
The historian John J. Pool (author of the life of H.M. Queen Victoria) in
his book Studies in Mohammedanism says:
This prince was a man of mild and forbearing character, wise in counsel
and bold in war. Mohammed had given
him the surname of "the Lion of God".
Ali and his sons Hassan and Hussain were truly noblemen-men of
righteousness man of a brave, a humble, and a forgiving spirit.
Their lives deserve to be commemorated; for there was a peculiar pathos
about them (their lives) which were not spent selfishly or in vain.
As Mathew Arnold (Essays in Criticism) says "the sufferers of
Karbala had aloft to the eyes of millions the lesson so loved by the sufferer
of Calvary (Representation of Crucification):- "Learn of Me for I am meek
and lowly in heart, and Ye shall find rest unto your souls".
He further says that Ali was the first Caliph to protect and encourage
national literature. This prince
was a scholar himself and many of his wise saying and proverbs are published
in a book. It is a remarkable work
and deserves to be more widely read in the West".
Ibne-abil-Hadeed, the Mothazati commentator of Nahjul Balagha, says that:
Hazrath Ali had a
personality in which opposite characteristics had so gathered that it was
difficult to believe a human mind could manifest such a combination.
He was the bravest man that history could cite and such brave persons are
always hardhearted, cruel, and eager for bloodshed.
On the contrary Ali was kind, sympathetic, responsive and warm-hearted
person, qualities quite contradictory to the other phase of his character and
more suited to pious and God fearing persons.
He was very pious
and God fearing person and often pious and religious persons avoid society and
do not care to mix with men of sins and men of wrath, similarly warriors,
kings and dictators are usually arrogant and haughty, they consider it below
themselves to mix with poor, lowly and humble persons.
But Ali was different. He
was friend to all. As a matter of
fact he had a tender spot in his heart for poor and humble, and for orphans and
cripples. To them he always was a
kind friend, a sympathetic, guide and a fellow sufferer; he was meek unto them
but haughty and arrogant against famous warriors and generals, so many of whom
he had killed in hand to hand combats. He
was always kind but strict with wayward persons, sympathetically teaching then
the ways of God. He always smiled
and passed happy and witty rejoinders, it was difficult to overcome him in
debates or repartees, his rejoinders and retorts always bore high mark of
culture, education and knowledge.
was a scion of a very illustrious, rich and noble clan, as well as son-in-law
and great favorite of the Holy prophet (A.S.), at the same time he was the
greatest warrior and marshal of his time, yet inspire of his riches he ate,
dressed and lived like a poor person to him wealth was for the use of other
needy persons, not for himself and his family.
Change of times and change of circumstances did not bring any change in
his bearing, mien, or character. Even
when he ascended the throne of Arabia and was acclaimed as the Caliph, he was
the same Ali as they had found him to be during the previous regimes.
Once in the society of Abdullah, son of Imam Malik-ibne-Humbel a discussion
took place about Ali and his caliphate, Abdullah brought the discussion to an
end saying that the caliphate did not bring any honor or glory to Ali, but it
was itself honored and glorified by Ali and it received the status actually due
want to add one more point to the points discussed by Ibne-abil-Hadeed.
World cannot quote an example other than that of Ali a first class
warrior and a marshal who is also a philosopher, a moralist and a great teacher
of religious principles and theology. A
study of his life shows that his sword was the only help that Islam received
during its early days of struggle and its wars of self-defense.
For Islam he was the first line of defense, the second line of defense
and the last line of defense. Who
was with him in the battles of Bader, Ohad, Khundaque, Khyber and Hunain?
This is one aspect of his life. While
the other phase of his character is portrayed by his sermons, orders, letters
and sayings. What high values of
morality they teach, what ethics they preach, what intricate problems of
Unitarianism they elucidate, how rich they are in philosophy; how they try to
train us to be kind, good, benevolent and God fearing rulers, and faithful,
sincere and law abiding subjects; how they persuade us to be warriors who can
fight only for God, truth and justice, and not mercenaries murdering and
plundering for wealth and riches; and how they instruct us to be teachers who
can teach nothing injurious and harmful to mankind.
Was there any such combination before and will there ever be?
To Oelsner (the famous French Orientals and author of 'Les Effects de La
Religion de Mohammed') Ali was beau ideal of chivalry; and personification of
gallantry, bravery and generosity.
says:” Pure, gentle and learned without fear and without reproach, he set the
world the noblest example of chivalrous grandeur of character.
His spirit was a pure reflection of that of Mohammed, it overshadowed
the Islamic world and formed the animating genius of succeeding ages".
Osborne, in Islam under the
Arabs' says:-that Ali had been advised by several of his counselors to defer
the dismissal of the corrupt governors previously appointed until he himself
was sure against all enemies. The
Bayard of Islam, the hero without fear and without reproach, refused to be
guilty of any duplicity or compromise with in-justice.
This uncompromisingly noble attitude cost him his state and his life; but
such was Ali, he never valued anything above justice and truth.
Gibbon, in "The History
of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Vol.
V)" says that .... the zeal and virtues of Ali were never out
stripped by any recent proselyte. He
united the qualification of a poet, a soldier and a saint.
His wisdom still breathes in a collection of moral and religious saying;
and every antagonist in the combats of tongue or of sword was subdued by his
eloquence and velour. From the
first hour of mission to the last rites of his funeral, the apostle was never
forsaken by this generous friend, whom he delighted to name his brother, his
vice generent and the faithful Aaron of second Moses.
Masoodi, the famous historian of Islam says that:-"If the glorious
name of being the first Muslims, a comrade of the prophet in exile, his faithful
companion in the struggle for the faith, his intimate associate in life, and his
kinsman, if a true knowledge of the spirit of his teachings and of the Book, if
self-abnegation and practice of justice, if honesty, purity, and love of truth
and if knowledge of law and science constitute a claim to pre-eminence, then all
must regard Ali as the foremost Muslim. We
shall search in vain to find, either among his predecessor (save the Holy
prophet, (A.S), or among his successor, those virtues with which God had endowed
has been declared by all the historians of Islam, Ali from his babyhood was
adopted and looked
after by the Holy Prophet (A.S.). Therefore naturally his religious tendencies
from his childhood were those of the Holy prophet (A.S.). The question as to
when he embraced Islam is out of consideration.
He was Muslim from the very beginning.
His religion was the religion of the Holy prophet (A.S.). At the age of
5th, 7th, I Oth, 12th, and 14th year he was following the religion which the
Holy prophet (A.S.) had at his 35th, 37th, 40th, 42nd, and 44th year of his
life; (the difference between the respective ages of the Holy prophet (A.S.) and
Ali was about 30 years). If the
Holy prophet (A.S.) at any period of his life was a non-Muslim, then Ali at that
period was also a non-Muslim. This
is the logic of facts. Imamul
Kabeer Nooruddin Ali-ibneIbrahim-e-Shafayee in his book Seerath-e-Halebeya
says "Ali was like a son unto the Holy prophet (A.S.) therefore his
religion from the very beginning was the religion followed by the Holy prophet
(A.S.)". The famous historian Masoodi says that "The general census
of opinion amongst the Muslims historians and theologians is that Ali was never
a non-Muslim and never prayed before idols, therefore the question of his embracing
Islam does not and cannot arise".
I 1. His Wife,
Children and Home Life.
Ali was married to Hazrath Fatima, the only daughter of the Holy prophet (A.S.)
from Hazrath Khadija. He had been
betrothed to her several days before the expedition to Bader.
But the marriage was celebrated three months later, Hazrath Ali being in
his 21st year and Hazrath Fatima in 15th year of her life (The spirit of Islam).
It was very happy marriage. The
transcendental distinctiveness of their respective characters blended so well
with each other that they never quarreled and complained of one another and led
a happy and contended life. Each
one of them was rich in his own rights; Fatima was the only heir of one of the
richest women of Arabia, Khadija, and had inherited many orchards and gardens in
Mecca and Medina, besides that she was the daughter of the head of a rich clan
and a king of a fast growing kingdom. was a marshal who had very handsome shares
from the spoils of wars. Yet all
that they owned went to the poor, cripples and orphans, and they themselves
often starved. Their only luxury in
life was prayers, and the company of each other and their children; and they
willingly shared the sorrows and suffering of poor.
They were given a slave girl, Fizza, but the Holy prophet (A.S.) had made
arrangement that every alternate day was the off day of Fizza and her mistress
would do all the household work. Even
when Hazrath Fatima was ill on Fizza's off day, Fizza would not be allowed to
attend to the duties, but Hazrath Ali would work; and the hero of Bader, Ohad,
Khandaque, Khyber and Hunain was seen grinding oats, lighting the oven,
preparing the bread and looking after the children. Sulman says "What a household, the only daughter of the
Holy prophet (A.S.) and wife of his vicegenerent leading the life of a poor
Tabourer. If they had spent
one-tenth of what they were distributing daily they would have led a life of
ease and comfort". From
Hazrath Ali the Lady of Light (Fatima) had four children and the fifth (Mohsin)
was a still birth. The causes of
this mishap and also that of her death are very sad and pathetic incidents of
their lives. The names of these
four children were Hassan, Hussain, Zainab (wife of Abdullah Ibne-Jafar) and
Umm-e-Kulsoom (wife of Obaidullah Ibne-Jafer).
During the life time of Hazrath Fatima (A.S.) Hazrath Ali did not marry
another woman. After her death he
married Yamama and at her death another lady, having the name of Hanafia, from
whom he had a son, Mohammed-e-Hanafia and after her death he married again, thus
he had many children some of whom had unaparalleled place in the history of
mankind, e.g. Hassan, Husain (the hero of Karbala), Zainab (the defender of true
Islam in Koofa and Damascus). Abbas
(the commander of Hussain's army in Karbala) and Mohammed Hanafla, the hero of
Ali Amids this Friends and Foes and Amongst Rich and Poor.
have cited below a few cases which go to show what type of man was 'Ali-ibne-Abu-Talib'.
He was, as Pool says "Truly a noble man, a man of righteousness, and
a man of brave, humble and forgiving spirit", and as Oelsner says
"Pure, gentle and learned without fear and without reproach, setting the
noblest example of character to the world".
Out of hundreds and hundreds of cases to select I find it rather
difficult which to choose and which not to choose. I have selected a few according to the standard of my
knowledge and visualization.
Ali's behavior with his foes:
Talha-Ibne-Abi Talha was not only a bitter enemy of Islam, but was
personal enemy of the Holy prophet (A.S.) and Ali.
His exertions to harm these two and their mission is a legion. In the battle of Ohad he was the fiag-bearer of the army of
Quraish. Ali faced him and in a
hand to hand encounter dealt him such a severe blow that he reeled and fell
down. Ali left him like that and
walked away from him. Many Muslim
warriors ran up to Ali and advised him to finish Talha, saying that he was
Ali's worst enemy, Ali replied "enemy or no enemy he cannot defend himself
now, and I cannot strike a man who is not in a position to defend himself. If he survives he is welcome to live as long as his life
In the battle of "Jamal" in the thick of the encounter his
slave Quamber brought some sweet syrup saying, "my lord the sun is very hot
and you have been constantly fighting, have a glass of this cold drink to
refresh yourself". He looked
around himself and replied "shall I refresh myself when hundreds of people
around me are lying wounded and dying of thirst and wounds?
Instead of bringing sweet syrup for me take a few men with you and give
each of these wounded persons a cool drink". Quamber re-plied "my lord, they are all our
enemies". He said, "they
may be but they are human beings and attend to them".
In the battle of "Siffeen" Moavia reached the river Eupharates
before the army of Hazrath, and took position of the river.
When Hazrath's army reached there he was informed that they would not be
allowed a drop of water from the river. Hazrath
sent a messenger to Moavia saying that this action was against the canons of
humanity and orders of Islam. Moavia's
reply was that "a war is a war and therein one cannot accept principles
of humanity and doctrines of Islam. My
sole aim is to kill AU and to demoralize his army and this stoppage of water
will bring about these results easily and quickly".
Hazrath ordered Imam Hussain to attack and get back the river.
The attack took place and riverside position was captured.
It was then Moavia's turn to beseech permission to get water from the
river. His messengers arrived and
Ali told them to take as much water as they like and as often as they require.
When his officers told him that those were the very people who had
refused water to them, should they be allowed a free run of the river?
He replied "they are human-beings and though have acted inhumanly
yet I cannot follow their example and cannot refuse a man food and drink because
he happens to be my worst enemy".
It was the battle of Nahrwan and he himself was righting like any other
ordinary soldier. During this
battle a man came to face him and in the encounter lost his sword. He realized his hopeless plight of standing before Ali
without any weapon in hand. Ali's
hand was raised for a blow when he saw the antagonist trembling with fear he
lowered his hand slowly and said "run away friend you are not in a position
to defend yourself". This
attitude made the man bold and he said, "Ali why do not you kill me it
would have made one enemy less for you".
Ali replied, "I cannot strike a man, who cannot defend himself.
You were begging for your life and it was spared".
The opponent got bolder and said, "I am told that you have never
refused a beggar. Now I beg you of
your sword, will you grant it to me?" Ali handed him over the sword.
Taking possession of the sword he said "now Ali who is going to
defend you against me and save you from my killing blow".
He replied "Of course God, He will defend me if He so wills.
He has appointed my death to be my guarding angel none can harm before it
is due and none can save me when it arrives".
Nobility of thought and action effected the foe and he kissed the bridle
of Ali's horse and said "O lord, you are a great man indeed.
You cannot only forsake the life of your enemy in a battlefield but also
you can grant him your sword. May I
have the honor to act as your body-guard and to fight for you"?
He replied "friend. Fight for truth and justice and do not fight for
(5) During 39 and
4OA.H. Moavia organized bands of murderers and brigands to enter border towns
and to carry on loot, plunder, arson and rape.
Kumafl was at that time the governor of Hayeth.
He asked Hazrath's permission to organize similar bands and carry plunder
in the province of Circiea which was under the control of Moavia.
Hazrath Ali replied to him "I never expected such a suggestion from
a man like you. It is more noble
and more moral to guard your people and province than to plunder others.
They might be our enemies but they are human beings.
They consist of civil population comprising of women and children how can
one kill, loot and plunder them. No,
never even dream of such a venture."
It was the month of Ramzan, the month of fasting.
It was the time of the morning prayers; the mosque was full of Muslims.
Ali was kneeling before God and when he raised his head a terrible blow
fell upon it giving a very deep cut . . There was a great disturbance and
commotion in the mosque. The
murderer started running. The
Muslims followed, caught and bound him in ropes and brought him before Ali who
was on the prayer carpet drenched in blood and was reclining upon his sons.
He knew the blow was fatal and he could not survive it but when the
murderer was brought before him, he saw that the rope which had bound him was so
tightly bound that it was cutting into his flesh. He turned towards those Muslims and said.
"You should not be so cruel with your fellow being slacken his
ropes, do not you see that they are cutting into his flesh and he is in
was Ali. History of Islam is full
of the incidents of his chivalrous and merciful behavior against his enemies.
Let us see what the history says about his behavior with his friends and
Abdullah, son of his brother Jafer, was his favorite nephew, whom he had
brought up since the death of Jafer and to whom he had given his most favorite
daughter, Zainub, into marriage. This
Abdullah once came to him requesting for an advance installment of his share
from Baitul Mal. Ali refused and
when the young am persisted he said "no my son, not a day before all the
others and not a pie more".
Aquil, his elder brother was financially in a very unhappy condition, he
asked for something more than his share and before the time was due. Hazrath refused, saying that he could not resort to
dishonesty. Aquil must wait till
the time of distribution, and must bear the sufferings patiently.
He had cited this incident in one of his sermons.
Ibne Haneef was his trusted disciple and a faithful follower.
He was governor of a province and was once invited to a function which
was followed by sumptuous dinner. When
Hazrath hear of this he wrote him a very severe letter, criticizing his action
and saying that "you went to a dinner where only rich people were invited
and poor were scornfully excluded". This
letter can be seen in Nahjul Balagha.
amongst his servants and slaves.
had two slaves Quamber and Saeed: After his death Quamber related that he very
seldom had the occasion to serve his master.
Hazrath used to do his work for himself, used to wash his own
clothing’s, used even to patch them whenever needed. He would draw water from the well for his daily use.
He would give them good food and decent dresses, and would himself eat
and dress like a very poor man. Let
alone whipping or beating he never even got angry with us.
He never used a cane even on his horse, camel or mule.
These animals apparently understood his mood and desire and would trot
and walk as he wished them to do. His
often-used phrase with them was 'go easy child' continuing Quamber said
"Once and only once he got annoyed with me.
It was the occasion when I showed him the money that I had hoarded.
It was from my share of income given to me like others from the Muslim
treasury and the gifts I had received from the members of his family.
I had no immediate use of it and had collected the amount. It was not much, being barely 100-dirhams.
When I showed him the amount he looked annoyed and what pained me more he
looked very sad. I enquired as to why he was so sad, he said "Quamber, if
you had no use of this money, were there not people around you who were in need
of it, some of them might have been starving and some ill and infirm, could you
not have helped them. I never
thought that you could be so heartless and cruel, and could love wealth for
the sake of wealth. Quamber I am
afraid you are not trying to acquire much from Islam, try more seriously and
sincerely. Take these coins out of
my house." I took them out and distributed them amongst the beggars in the
says, it was a very hot days, Hazrath was writing some letters, he wanted to
send me to call some of his officers, he called me, once, twice and thrice and
each time I purposely kept silent and did not reply.
He got up to go himself and saw me sitting not very far away from him.
He asked me as to why I did not respond to his call, I replied,
"Sir, I want to find out when and how you get angry".
A smile played on his lips and he replied, 'you cannot rouse my anger
with such childlike tricks', then he set me free and kept on supporting me till
Ali amongst his subjects:-
Obaidullah-ibne-Abbas, as governor, ill-treated the Bani Tameem clan. They
complained to Hazrath. He wrote to
Ibne-Abbas, "you should not behave like a beast with your subjects.
They are respectable people and should be treated respectfully.
You are representing me and your treatment is considered as that of mine.
Your first consideration should be the welfare of those over whom you
rule and then to treat them with due respect and consideration".
Once a group of non-Mulish subjects waited on Hazrath complaining, that
Abbdullah-ibne-Abbas always treated them with contempt and scorn.
They were agriculturists and agricultural labor.
It had then become a practice that non-Muslims were usually treated
scornfully. Hazrath wrote to
Abdullah "Agricultural population of you province complain about your
harsh, contemptuous and cruel treatment. Their
complaints require careful consideration.
I feel that they deserve better treatment than what was met out to them,
give them a change to approach you and meet them kindly and politely.
They may be heathens, and polytheists but (being our subjects and human
beings they do not deserve to be driven from us and to be treated harshly and
Hazrath Ali was passing through 'Ambaz, with his army.
The rich men of the province, as was the custom of those times, came out
to greet him. They offered the best
Persian horses as presents, and requested his permission to act as hosts to his
army. He met them very courteously,
but very politely refused to accept the gifts and the invitation, saying
"you have paid your taxes, to receive anything more from you, even when you
offer it voluntarily and willingly, is a crime against the state".
But when they persisted and pressed their request, he ordered that the
horses could be accepted against their taxes, and so far as the feast was
concerned it must be paid out of the war expenses.
In the Magazine 'AlHukam' Vol. Il No.47 of l9O6, there appeared an
article saying that the Russians in 1905 found an order of Hazrath Ali, in his
own handwriting, which was in Koofi script.
This was found in a monastery of Ardabail, chief town of Azer Baijaan.
This letter was an amnesty deed to the monastery and the Christians of
Ardabail. Translation of this
deed appeared in the Russian newspapers and thence it was translated in the
Turkish papers and in the Arabic Magazines of Cairo and Beirut, and lots of
commentating articles on the spirit of toleration and the treatment of conquered
by Islam were written by the Russians and Arab Christians.
Apparently from the Magazine Hablul Mateen it was translated by the Al
this deed Hazrath says that as a caliph and a ruler, he promises safety and security
of life, property, honor, social status and religious freedom -of Armanian Christians.
This order should be obeyed by his officers and by his successors. The Christians should not be maltreated or looked down
because they are non-Muslims. So
long as they do not try to betray and injure the cause of the state or Islam
they should not be molested and should be allowed to practice their religion
and trades freely and openly. Islam
teaches us to carry a message of peace with us and improve the status of society
wherever we go and the best way to achieve this is to create amity, friendliness
and concord between human beings; therefore, Muslims should try to develop
friendship of these people and should never resort to wrong use of power, force
and arrogance. They should not be
over-taxed, should not be humiliated and should not be forced out of their
homes, lands and trades. Their
priests should be treated with due respects, their monasteries should be
protected, they should be allowed to carry on their lectures, teachings and
preaching’s as usual and their religious ceremonies should not be prohibited.
If they want@ to build their places of worship then fallow and ownerless
lands should be allotted to them. One,
who disobeys this order is going against the orders of God and the Holy prophet
(A.S.) and will deserve His Wrath.
Haris-ibne-Shohafl, one of the governors of the provinces, was in Koofa,
once he was riding through the city and saw Hazrath Ali also riding.
He got down from his horse to accompany Hazrath on foot.
Hazrath stopped his horse and said.
"It ill becomes a man to lower himself before anybody but his God,
please get upon your horse, even had you not been an officer of the state I
would not have allowed you to lower yourself like this, the sight of such
humiliation of man before man never pleases me. It is the worst form of tyranny,
which can be practiced.
There is a letter of Hazrath, which is actually a system of rules and
regulations for the administration of a benign government and a code for higher
values of morality, it is included in Nahjul Balagha and is referred so often by
historians of Europe and Philosophers of Arabia, and even by Justice Kayani in
his presidential address in Karachi Bar on April 16, 1960 that it now needs no
introduction. In this letter there
are orders, which show that he wanted his officers to remember that the people
over whom they rule are the trust entrusted to them by God and should be treated
Ali amongst the poor.--
had a very soft corner in his heart for old, weak, infirm, disabled and poor,
and children were always his favorites.
It was the hottest day of the season, he had finished his noon-prayers in
the mosque and was passing through the bazaar, and he saw a young slave-girl
piteously weeping on the road. He
asked her the reason. She said that
her master had given her some money to get dates from the bazaar; her master
did not like the dates, which she brought,, he wanted them to be returned and
get back the money. The
fruit-seller refused to take them back, her master was beating her for the money
and fruiterer had also caned her for going to him over and over again.
She did not know what to do and whom to approach for help.
Hazrath accompanied her to the fruiterer to advise him to take back the
dates. He was a new comer to Koofa
and did not recognize Hazrath and was rude to him, some passerby intervened and
told him who Hazrath was. He jumped
from his shop and begged of Hazrath to excuse him and said that he would give
back the money immediately to her. Hazrath
replied that it was really mean of him to treat honest suggestion disdainfully
and haughtily and to cow down before power and might so abjectly and
humiliatingly. The owner of the
slave-girl had also heard the news of this incident and ran to meet Hazrath to
apologize for the trouble caused by the slave-girl.
Hazrath told him, "you have no mercy for a person who is under your
power and cannot forgive her mistake, have you a right to expect Mercy and
Forgiveness from the Lord. You
people have acquired nothing from Islam but its name".
One day he saw an old woman carrying a heavy load of firewood, which she
could ill-afford to lift, she was tottering under the weight.
Hazrath relieved her of her weight carried it to her hamlet and on her
request lighted her oven for her and gave her some money also. She
did not know who Hazrath was and was thanking him for his kindness when a
neighbor entered the hamlet, recognized Hazrath and told her, who he was, only
then she realized that who had served her like an obedient servant was the caliph
and the king.
Only after his death the world came to know that he had provided a
shelter for a leper in an advanced stage of the disease.
The shelter was outside the town, he used to go there daily, dress his
wounds, feed him with his own hands (because the leper had lost his hands), wash
him, put his bed in order and carry him out of the shelter for little time, so
that he may get fresh air. Accidentally
relatives and friends of Hazrath came across this shelter and found a leper in
it, learned his history and told him Hazrath was murdered and they had just then
buried him. The news so affected
the poor cripple that he died on the spot.
Ali (A.S.) always ate such kind of food and dressed in such a way that even
the poorest can
afford better than that. It was not
because he was poor but it was because he wanted to lead the life of the poorest
person and spend all that could thus be spared on poor.
I have noted below certain cases quoted by the historians, these
incidents are of the time when he was the ruler and king of the entire Muslim
Empire except Syria:-
Imam Ahmed Ibne Humbal in his 'Masnad' cited Sowaeda-Ibne-Ghafla' saying
"One day I went to see Ali (A.S.) in the Government House (Darul Imarah).
It was the time of breakfast and before him there was a cup of milk and
some barley bread. The bread was
dry, stale, hard and did not contain any butter, or oil.
It could not be easily broken into pieces.
Hazrath was exerting himself to break it and to soften it.
I turned towards his slave, Fizza and said 'Fizza! have you no pity
upon your old master and why cannot you give him softer bread and add some
butter or oil to it'? She replied
why should I pity him when he never pities himself.
He has given strict orders that nothing is to be added to his bread and
even chaff and husks are not to be separated from the flour. We, ourselves, eat much better food than this, though ' we
are his slaves'. Hearing this I
told him 0 Lord, have pity on yourself, look at your age, your responsibilities,
your hard work and your food. He
replied 'O Sowaeda, you have no idea what the Holy prophet (A.S.) used to eat.
He never ate full stomach for three consecutive days."
Allama Kamal-ud-din Mohammed-Ibne-Talha-e-Shafeyee in his book
Matalib-ul-Soul quotes Abdullah Ibne Zurare saying "I went to see Hazrath
Ali (A.S.) on an Eid day. He asked
me to join in his breakfast. I
agreed. A very poor kind of food
was served before us. I told him, 0
Lord, you are such a rich man, a caliph and a king.
I was expecting that game would be served before us but what do I see?
Hazrath replied 'Ibne-Zurare, you have heard of mighty kings who have
lead life of luxury. Let me be a
ruler leading the life of a poor and humble person-a humble Tabourer'.
Millanee in his book "Seerath" and lman Ahmed in his Musnad
quote the famous 'Tabayee' Ibne Abee-Rafay, who says that he went to Hazrath on
an Eid day and while he was sitting there a bag was brought before Hazrath, he
thought that it might contain jewels, Hazrath opened the bag, it contained dried
pieces of bread, which he softened with water.
Ibne Abee Rafay asked him as to the reason of sealing such a king of
food, which even a beggar, would not care to steal. Hazrath smiled and said "I keep it sealed because my
children try to substitute softer bread, containing oil or butter in it".
Ibne Abee Rafay said, "Has God prohibited you to eat better kind of
food? He replied "No, but I
want to eat the kind of food which the poorest of this realm can afford at
least once a day. I shall improve
it after I have improved their standards of life.
I want to live, feel and suffer like them".
Iman Ahmed in his book "Almunaaquib" and Ibne Aseer in his
history quote Haroon Ibne Anzaa saying that he accompanied his father (Anzaa) to
the "Khorenique" castle to meet Hazrath Ali, those were winter days,
and the winter was very severe, he found Hazrath in a very thin cotton garment,
and the cold wind was making him shiver. Anzaa
asked him "O Commander of faithful! God has reserved a share for you and your family from Baithul
Mal (Muslim Treasury) why do you not make use of it".
He replied "O Anzaa! I
do not want anything from your treasury, this is the dress I have brought with
me from Madina".
Imam Ahmed quotes Zaid Ibne Wahab saying that once Hazrath came out of
his house and there were patches sewn
to his dress. Ibne Noaja, who was a
an enemy and yet was allowed to lead a
peaceful and comfortable life by Hazrath at
Hazrath on the very poor and coarse kind of dress put on by him.
He replied "Let go, what have you to find objection in my dress,
it is the kind which our masses can afford, why can you not think of their lives
and dresses, I shall improve my standard after I have succeeded in improving
theirs. I shall continue to live
like them. Such kind of dress makes
one feel humble and meek and give up vanity, haughtiness and arrogance."
Ali-ul-Muthaquee in his books Kunz-ul-Ammaal and Tabaree in Reyaz-ulNazarah
quote Omer Ibne Quais saying that once he asked Hazrath as to the reason of his
having patches in his dress, he replied "O Omer, such type of dress makes
you soft hearted, vanishes vanity from your mind and it is the kind which poor
Muslims can conveniently afford."
Shaik-ul-Islam Imam Abu Omer Eusuf Ibne Abdul Burr in his book Al
Istheeaab quotes Hussan Ibne Jermoze saying that his father once saw Hazrath
coming out of Koofa mosque in a shirt made of jute cloth and around him were
people so well dressed that compared to him they looked like princes, he was
advising them as to how understand religion.
Imam Ahmed quotes Abu Nozia, the ready-made cloth merchant of Koofa
saying that Hazrath purchased two shirts from his shop, one was of superior
quality, which he handed over to his slave Quamber to put on and the other which
was of a rough cloth, very coarse and cheap, he reserved it for himself.
His services to Islam and the
Holy Prophet (A.S.)
The first occasion on which Ali offered his services to the cause of
Islam was when the Holy Prophet (A.S.) was first ordered by God to preach Islam
three years the Holy prophet (A.S.) was preaching Islam under absolute secrecy,
at the end of the third year (i.e. the fourth year after 'Baysuth', in 45 Aamul
Feel) he received orders to preach his near relations and to admonish them.
"The Holy Prophet (A.S.) directed Ali to prepare an entertainment
and to invite the sons and grandsons of Abdul Muttalib.
This was done and about forty of them came, but Abu Lahab, made the
company break up before Mohammed (A.S.) had an opportunity to speak.
Next day a second invitation was issued and when they came and the frugal
meal was served the Holy prophet (A.S.) rose and declared his sacred character,
offered the treasures of time and of eternity to whomsoever should become his
disciples, and concluded by demanding, who among you will aid me to bear this
burden, who will be my Lieutenant, and Vazir, as Aron was unto Moses? The assembly remained mute with astonishment, not one
venturing to accept the offered perilous office, until Ali, Mohammed's cousin,
stood up and exclaimed 'O prophet'! I
will, though I am indeed the youngest of these present, the most rheum of them
as to the eyes and the slenderest of them as to the legs; 1, 0 prophet, will be
thy Vazir over them'. On which
throwing his arms around the generous and courageous youth, and pressing him to
his bosom, Mohammed (A.S.) declared; "Behold my brother and my Vazir and
obey him". (John Davenport "An apology for Mohammed and Quran").
historians are of opinion that it was a momentous declaration at a momentous
occasion. The first and the
greatest service done to the cause of Islam.
If the appeal of the Holy prophet (A.S.) was then left unanswered the
propagation of Islam would have been nabbed in the bud.
Carlyle is of the opinion that though all the people gathered there,
were not enemies of the Holy prophet (A.S.) ye most of them were dead against
this religion and some were quite uninterested.
To thereof the whole thing (and adult person preaching a new religion and
a young courageous youth offering his services vehemently) looked like a big
farce. They laughed at both of them
and dispersed advising Ali's father to obey his youngest son from that day
onward. But these two people (Holy
prophet, A.S., and Hazrath Ali) proved to the world that there was nothing laughable
in their declaration and they had wisdom and courage enough to make their
mission a success. He further says
that young Ali had really such a personality as could be liked, loved and
venerated by everybody. He was the
man of excellent character loving and lovable, so intensely brave that if
anything stood against his bravery it was consumed as if by fire, yet he was so
gentle and kind that he represented the model of a Christian Knight.
As was said this
was really the first and the greatest service of Islam.
From this day to the last day of his life, Hazrath Ali sincerely, bravely
and nobly acted as the defender of the faith.
The second great occasion was when the Holy prophet (A.S.) was forced to
leave Mecca, making somebody stay in his place in such a way that his enemies
would believe that he was still in his house and thus he might safely go away in
the darkness of the night. This
departure to Medina is called Hijrath and the Muslim era is named after this
event. It took place during the
month of September 662 A.D. Thursday the 26th Safar (thirteen years after the
Holy prophet, A.S., started preaching Islam).
People of Medina were favorably inclined towards Islam and some had
embraced this religion and had promised every kind of support to the Holy
Prophet (A.S.). Many Muslims had left for Medina and were handsomely treated by
Ansars of Medina. Quraish realizing
that Islam was gaining a good support and a firm holds at Medina and those who
had fled from Mecca were being happily settled there, decided to strike at the
root cause. Their hatred of the
Holy prophet (A.S.) was so intense that nothing would satisfy them but his
death. They gathered at Noodva and
decided that a few people from each clan of Quraish would jointly attack the
Holy prophet (A.S.) and strike him with their swords at one and the same time.
Thus no individual of any single clan would be responsible of his death,
and Bani Hashim would not be able to kill any one person in return or to fight
against any single clan and as they were not strong enough to fight against all
the clans of Quraish at the same time they would be forced to be satisfied with
blood-money (Diyat). They further
decided to surround the house of the Holy prophet (A.S.) during the night so
that he may not go away and then to kill him next morning.
Thus forty men got ready and surrounded his house. God revealed to His apostle of the intrigue planned against
him and ordered him to leave Mecca the very same night. It was a serious and dangerous occasion.
He was ordered by God to go and to go in such a way that none of his
enemies might suspect his departure and, if possible, none of his friends might
know of it. The walls of his house were barely seven feet high and anyone
placing a stone and standing upon it could easily peep into the house.
He knew the house was surrounded. Whom
could he ask to sleep in his bed covering himself with his (Holy prophet's)
coverlet, such a person should not "pose his indent till the dawn (till
the prophet was safe and out of danger) and should be unarmed, so that he might
not rouse the suspicion of peeping enemies; he should thus be willing to bear
the brunt of the enemies' anger in the morning and be ready to be killed.
To whom but to Ali, could the Holy prophet (A.S.) turn at this most
dangerous moment. In details he
informed Ali of the whole plan and of the positive danger of taking his place
saying that the least could be expected of those enemies would be death without
torture. Ali asked, "If I take
your place and leave you alone to go through the gathered enemies will your life
be safe?" "Yes" replied the Holy prophet (A.S.). "God has
promised me a safe passage through them". Ali bowed his head before God as a sign of thanks giving.
He lied down on the bed of the Holy prophet (A.S.) and covered himself
with the prophet’s coverlet. During
the night many stones and arrows were aimed at him.
Stones hit him in the back and on the head and arrows embedded in his
legs but he did not even turn in his bed. In
the morning he was found out by the enemies only when one of them pulled the
coverlet. When they wanted to
attack him knowing that he was Ali not Mohammed (A.S.), only then he unsheathed
Medina the Holy prophet (A.S.) was forced to defend himself and his followers,
and was thus forced to fight many battles.
At each and every battle Ali was the hero.
And it was he who fought single-handed with famous warriors of Arabia,
defeated the enemies and brought a victory to Islam.
of these battles carry with them chronicles of his bravery, courage and
chivalry. Even the enemies sang
songs of his valour and gallantry.
one of these battles was an outcome of very grave circumstances and conditions,
and combination of very serious events and very harmful forces against the
safety of the Muslims and Islam. There
were many such encounters but I have briefly mentioned only five of those
instances where the events had far reaching effects.
In each of them Ali alone broke through evil combinations and carried the
Muslims and Islam to position of safety, eminence and power.
The first of these battles was Bader.
It took place in the month of Ramazan of the 2nd year of Hijrath. Muslims were not prepared for a battle and could ill-afford
to fight against superior forces. But
Medina was being invaded and necessarily the Holy prophet (A.S.) was forced to
defend himself and his followers. He
decided to leave Medina and fight out the battle in an open field.
He had only 313 Muslims who were not adequately armed for a battle, many
of them were nervous of an encounter, and were suffering from inferiority
complex. The Quraish had come with
an army of about 1000 warriors which fact had frightened the Muslims even more.
The battle took place and about 36 Quraish were killed by Ali; some of
them were very important persons and famous warriors of Quraish.
killed every one of those 36 antagonists in hand-to-hand combat, and most of
them were the persons who had surrounded the house of Holy prophet (A.S.) on the
night of Hijrath. During this encounter he was wounded, but by his bravery and
courage he brought home to Muslims that he would act as the first line of
defense for Islam, that they had no cause to suffer from inferiority complex and
that God would defend them against heavy odds.
Amongst Quraish there were two worst enemies of Islam, Abu Jehal and Abu
Sufyan; and in this battle Abu Jehal was killed. Ali was hero of this battle and brought the first victory to
Islam in armed encounters with its enemies.
The second most important battle was that of Ohad.
Quraish and their leader Abu Sufyan were smarting under the defeat of
Bader and had sworn to retaliate. The
idolaters were burning for revenge. They
made formidable preparations for another encounter and succeeded in obtaining
assistance of Thihama and Kinana tribes. Abu Sufyan's wife Kinda, mother of Moavia, took keen
interest in all arrangements and preparations.
She had written poems to excite Quraish against Islam and had organized a
band of women minstrels who accompanied the army of Quraish to the battlefield.
Thus they had mobilized an army of 3000 infantry and 2000 cavalry.
The Holy prophet (A.S.) could muster only 700 Muslims to face this horde.
They faced each other in the battlefield of Ohad.
The battle took place on the 11th Shawal 3 A.H. (a year after the battle
of Bader). The command of Muslim army was divided between Ali and Hamza
and Abu Sufyan had appointed Khalid Ibne Waleed, Akram Ibne Abu Jehal and Omer
Ibne Aass as the three commanders to command the right and left wing and the
first encounter took place between Ali and Talha Ibne Talha.
This encounter carries with it an incident of marvelous chivalry by Ali,
which I have narrated elsewhere. Talha
suffered defeat at the hands of Ali and died.
He was flag bearer of Quraish's army.
His death brought his four sons and one grandson to face Ali, and each
one of them was killed by him and other flag bearers followed them and were in
turn killed by Ali; then a general encounter took place in which Ali and Hamza
carried the day and Muslims came out victorious.
"But eagerness for spoils threw the ranks of Muslim army into
disorder, Ali however tried to keep them in order, but it was not to be.
Khalid Ibne Waleed immediately attacked them from the rear and the flank,
he wounded the Holy prophet (A.S.) with a Javelin; and had also stoned him, face
of the prophet was also wounded and he had fallen down from the horse.
Khalid Ibne Waleed started shouting with a loud voice 'the lying prophet
is slain' upon which without stopping to ascertain the followers of Islam fled
panic stricken" (Davenport). The
wounded prophet was left in the battlefield with only Ali, Hamza, Abu Dajana and
Zakwan to defend him. These brave
warriors fought fiercely and during this encounter Hamza was killed, Zakwan and
Abu Dajana lay seriously wounded and Ali was left alone in the battlefield. He had received 16 wounds but he searched and found the
Holy prophet (A.S.) lying wounded and surrounded by enemies under command of
Khalid who were trying to kill him; he fought against these six men, killed two
of them and scattered the rest; he bodily lifted the Holy prophet (A.S.) and
carried him to a mount; he kept on attacking the rallying armies of the enemy;
and kept on shouting that "the Holy prophet (A.S.) is alive and calling
Muslims to come back." Those Muslims who had not fled very far came back,
saw the wounded prophet, saw his daughter, Fatima (who had come out of Medina
hearing the rumor of her father's death) attending him, they took heart and
gathered again under the common of Ali and started fighting again, and victory
was gained. The most peculiar
aspect of this battle was that the greed of the Muslim warriors had converted
a hard earned victory into an ignominious defeat and Ali had reconverted this defeat
into a glorious victory. He thus
once again saved the day, saved the face of the fleeing Muslims and the most
important of all he saved was the life of the Holy prophet (A.S.), but without
Ali the Holy prophet would have been killed.
famous warriors of Arabia were killed by Ali in this battle of whom seventeen
were flag bearers of Quraish. The
Holy Prophet (A.S.) declared that the Angel Gabriel was loud in the praise of
Ali and had said "there is no braver youth than Ali and no better sword
than his Zulfiquar'. A detailed
account of this battle may be read in:-
Waquadi's history of Prophets
Shah Ismail Hamveenee's history 'Abul Fida'
The third momentous armed encounter of Muslims with Quraish is called the
of clans (Ahzab) or battle of the moat or ditch (Khundaque).
It is so called because many clans of Arabs were persuaded by Abu
Sufyan to help him to annihilate Islam and the Muslims and because when these
forces invaded Medina, the Holy prophet (A.S.) was obliged to dig a moat or
ditch around his army. This battle also proves that the Holy prophet (A.S.) was
forced to take up arms in defense of his followers and his mission.
It took place on the 23rd Zeequadh in the year 5 A.H.
defeat at Ohad was great blow to Quraish and their leader Abu Sufyan.
While retreating from Ohad he had promised that he will come back again
to avenge the defeat. He instigated the clans of Bani Nazeer, Bani Ghuthfan, Bani
Sleem and Bani Kinana and also succeeded in persuading Bani Khariza, who till
then had not sided with any party, to join their forces against Islam.
Abu Sufyan was very sure of his success.
He specially relied upon the fame of Omer Ibne Abd-e-Woodh, who was as
famous in Arabia as Rustam was in Persia. He
had gathered an army of about 9 to 10 thousand soldiers under command of this
marched upon Medina, the Holy prophet (A.S.) could barely muster 2000 Muslims to
face this army. For nearly a month
the armies stood facing each other and one day Omer jumped the moat and faced
the Muslim army, challenging them for an encounter.
He was accompanied by Akrama-Ibne-Abu Jehal, Abdullah-Ibne
Mogheera, Zarar-Ibne-Khattab, Nofil-Ibne-Abdullah and others. His bravery, his velour and courage were so well known in
Arabia that none of the Muslims except Ali dared face him. The assemblage of famous warrior tribes and the presence of
Omer Ibne Abd-e-Woodh as their commander had made the Muslims so nervous that
even the Quran says that "Their eyes were petrified and their hearts were
beating violently and they were thinking of running away." Thrice Omer-Ibne-Abd-e-Woodth
challenged them to out and every time none but Ali stood up and asked the
permission of the Holy prophet (A.S.) to face him.
Twice the Holy prophet (A.S.) refused him the permission, but in the end
he allowed him, saying that "Today faith in embodiment is facing embodied
infidelity" then he raised his hands in prayers and beseeched God, saying
"Lord! I am sending Ali alone
in the battle-field, do not allow me to be left alone, you are the best Companion
and the best Guardian". Muslims
were so certain of Ali being killed by Omer that some of them came forward to
have a last look at his face. The
encounter ended in Ali's success and Omer's death, after Omer he faced Abdullah-Ibne-Mogheera
and NofilIbne-Abdullah and killed them both.
Thus a victory was won without any Muslims, except Ali, coming out of
the ranks. In the encounter with
Omer and the defeat and death of this great warrior Ali again exhibited such a
chivalrous attitude that the sister of Omer composed a poem in praise of the man
who faced her brother, fought bravely against him and paid such a noble and
chivalrous tribute to his vanquished enemy. In
it she said, "If anyone else than Ali had killed her brother, she would
have wept over the infamy her life long, but not now".
The death of Omer had completely demoralized the various clans gathered
and they started leaving the army and going back to their countries.
Quraish went back to Mecca sad and dejected.
Ali brought an end to the hostilities of Quraish in three encounters of Bader,
Ohad and Khundaque. Their best
warriors were killed, their unity against Islam was crushed, their pride was
humiliated and their prestige before Arab clans lowered by him and by him alone.
further raised the status of Muslims among the haughty, merciless and warring
tribes of Arabia. In all these
three battles not more than sixty Muslims were killed, and he alone had killed
more than seventy enemies of Islam, every one of whom was the head of some clan
or a sub-clan, a warrior famous for his bravery or a deadly enemy of the Holy
prophet (A.S.) and Islam.
a detailed account of this battle following books may be consulted.
Shah Waiullah Dehlavi's Izabuth-ul-khifa.
Kamil Ibne Asi'r History Vol. 11
Seyoothee's Durray Munshoor.
In their struggle for existence Muslims had to face a very serious
opposition from Jews. In the
beginning they tried to help Quraish against Islam surreptitiously and then
openly. But when Ali broke through
the enmity of Quraish and when Holy prophet (A.S.) was forced to banish the Jews
from Medina, they decided to try their fate gains Islam with the help of Bani
Asad, Bani Kinana and Bani Ghathfan. Khyber
was the province, which they had occupied since the times of their banishment
from Palestine. It contained a few
fortresses; the biggest of them was called Qumoose, which was on a steep hill.
In these fortresses they started gathering in large-numbers and in the
end they raised an army of about 10 to 12 thousand warriors and were scheming to
march on Medina. Hearing this
serious news the Holy prophet (A.S.) decided to face them at Khyber only.
He marched at the head of an army of 3000 soldiers.
This battle took place in Moharrum of the year 7 A.H.
then was suffering from sour eyes and was left at Medina.
The Muslim army succeeded in defeating the Jews in minor skirmishes but
when they tried to capture the main fort of Qumoose they had to face a set back;
they could not succeed though they tried for days at a stretch.
The defeats sustained there, were sadly demoralizing the Muslim army.
Holy prophet (A.S.) had allowed every important person to command the
Muslim forces day by day, but each day the result was fresh defeat, fresh
demoralization, fresh boldness of Jews and daily increasing danger of some
more clans, emboldened by the weakness and defeats of Muslims, joining hands
with the Jews. There were still many such tribes who were deadly against
Islam and wanted to harm it, but Muslims victories at Bader, Ohad and Khundaque
had made them nervous. The news of
the defeats at Khyber were making them bold.
"The Jews of Khyber united by an ancient alliance with Beduin
horde of the Bani Ghatafan were incessantly working for the formation of a
powerful coalition against the Muslims, and the Holy prophet (A.S.) knew fully
well the power possessed by the desert races to injure Muslims (The Spirit of
Islam)". There was further
danger of Munafiqueen (hypocrites and double dealers) staging a revolt in
Medina. Prompt measures were needed
to avert these evils. Only a
victory could have saved the situation, which was getting more and more critical
day by day. The prophet was himself
ill and sadly felt the need of Ali at his side.
He knew that though ill yet Ali had, not left him alone and had followed
him; therefore ill or not ill Ali had to come to the succor of Muslims, Islam
and the Holy prophet (A.S.). When the news of the last disastrous repulse of the
Muslims were brought to him, the Holy prophet (A.S.) said, "Tomorrow I
shall give the command (the flag, an insignia of the command) of this army to a
man who is brave, who will keep on attacking, who will not run away from the
battle-field, who loves God and His prophet and is beloved by God and His
prophet and who will not come back to me without success." Next day Ali was
called from his bed and was handed over the command.
He took the fort by storm; killed Marhab, Anther, Murra, Harris and
four other chieftains of the Jew tribes in hand to hand combats, broke the door
of the fort single handed, carried his army inside the fort and within four
hours he flew the flag of the Holy prophet (A.S.) on the biggest fortress of
Arabia and thus once more saved Islam from a disastrous end.
news of success so pleased the Holy prophet (A.S.) that he, though ill, came out
to greet the victor, embraced him said "Ali had I not been afraid that
Muslims will start regarding you as Christians regard the Christ, I would have
said things about you which would have made the Muslims venerate you and to
consider the dust of your feet as something worth venerating; but it will
suffice to say that you are from me and I am from you; you will inherit me and I
will inherit you; you are unto me what Aron was unto Moses; you will fight for
my cause, you will be nearest to me on the day of Judgment; you will be next to
me on the fountain of Kauser; enmity against you is enmity against me; a war
against you is a war against me; your friendship is my friendship; to be at
peace with you is to be at peace with me; your flesh is my flesh; your blood is
my blood; who will obey you will obey me. Truth
is on your tongue, in your heart and in your mind.
You have as much faith in God as I have.
You are door to me. As per
orders of God I give you these tidings that your friends will be rewarded in the
Heaven and your enemies will be punished in the Hell.
further details of the above Hadith and the battle of Khyber, following books
may be consulted:-
Moarej-un-Naboovath Vol. IV page 216 Refer for
the Hadith quoted above.
Almanquibe of Akthab-e-Kharzami
Mulah Ali Hamdani's Unabee-ul-Moaduth
Ibne Hasham's Seerut page 187
Refer for details of the battle.
The victory which Ali brought to Islam in Khyber proved of great consequence
to its mission and its followers. It
gave such an importance and prestige over the infidels of the Quraish that they,
who till then had complete control and sway over Mecca and did not even allow
the Holy prophet (A.S.) and his followers to come for Hajj and Umra and had
forced them for the treaty of Hudaibia, were now obliged to surrender the city
to him and Mecca fell before the superior forces of Islam.
causes of the invasion and fall of Mecca are not to be discussed here; suffice
it to say that Abu Sufyan who had brought it all upon the heads of Quraish,
later leaving the country and countrymen to the devil started running after
every important person to secure his own and his family's freedom of life and
property from the Holy prophet (A.S.) and through the mediation of Abbas (uncle
of Holy prophet, A.S.) he received the pardon seeked for.
The behavior of the Holy prophet .(A.S.) against these murderers of
Muslims and the enemies of Islam was so merciful, benign and humane that he
pardoned every one of them, a clemency and kindness which was and shall ever
remain unparallel in the history of man kind.
But Mecca was taken over by the Muslims, the precincts of Kaaba were
cleared of all idols by the person of the Holy prophet (A.S.) and Ali, and it
ceased to exist as the center of infidelity and polytheism in Arabia.
fall of Mecca which took place in the Ramadan of 8 A.H.(January 630 A.D.) was
accompanied with serious repercussions. The
success of Islam since the Hijruth had brought many followers to its fold.
Those were of three types, some had seen the truth in its preaching and
had accepted it sincerely and faithfully, some were such that they wanted to
bask in the glory of a religion which was fast becoming a mighty temporal power
and they wished to make their worldly positions good through its influence and
had accepted it with those ulterior motives, while there were some whose
conversion was under false impression that unless they had accepted Islam their
lives and properties were not safe. The
fall of Mecca had very sad effect upon those two latter groups.
They were not expecting that Abu Sufyan and Quraish would succumb so
easily to the pressure of Muslim invasion.
Clearing of idols from the precincts of Kaaba and closing its doors to
the infidels was a sadder blow, it became more poignant when they found that
their age long enemy, the man whose velour and whose sword brought all these
victories to Islam and disastrous defeats to their side, that is, Ali was the
flag bearer a (commander) of the Holy prophet's (A.S.) forces on the occasion
of the fall of Mecca, and along with the Holy prophet (A.S.) he was the man who
cleared Kaaba of its idols. There
still were many polytheist clans in Arabia, to them Mecca was the center of
worship, amongst them there were two powerful beduin tribes; Bani Hawaazen and
Bani Saqueef. They now were
joined by Bani Nusser, Bani Saad, Bani Hushum and Bani Hilal. Those tribes
decided to stage a come back and were quietly promised help by the hypocrites.
The whole thing was arranged so quickly and so stealthily that by the
time the Muslims could come out of the sweet pleasure of success at Mecca there
was an army of 20,000 warriors at Tayef ready to face them.
The Holy prophet (A.S.) marched to Tayef at the head of an army of 15,000
Muslims. Some of them were freed
slaves of Muslims conquest of Mecca and many more were the hypocrites of the
types mentioned above, and there were few thousand of those Muslims who had
accompanied him from Medina.
hostile tribes decided to attack the Muslim army at a point of vantage at Husnain
and selected two prominences where they concealed their archers.
Muslims were very proud of their strength and were very sure of their
success, but their behavior during the encounter was shamelessly timorous and
cowardly. The Almighty Lord discussing their attitude in this battle
says "God came to your help on so many occasions, on the day of Human, your
vanity in the number of your soldiers and your arrogance did not prove of any
avail to you, you were badly defeated and could not find any place of shelter,
you started running away without shame" (section 9, Tauba).
encounter took place in the month of Shawwal 8, A.H. (January/February 630
A.D.). When the Muslim army marched towards the place where archers were concealed
the enemy opened the campaign with such a severe onslaught of their archery that
Muslim army could not stand it. The
assault was fierce and the confusion in the Muslim ranks made the archers bolder
and they came nearer and attacked from both the flaks and from the front.
Muslims could not stand the attack any longer. They started running without putting up any resistance and
did not care to leave even the Holy prophet (A.S.) alone (Sahee Bookhari).
first battalion to run in pell mell was the one in command of Khalid Ibne Waleed
(Rauzath-us-Safa, Vol. II, page 137, Tareekh-e-Ambia, Vol, 11 page 388).
He was accompanied by Bani Saleem and freshly converted Quraish of Mecca.
This was followed by such a disorderly and tumultuous flight of Muslims
that only ten persons out of an army of 15000 were left with the Holy prophet (A.S.).
Eight of them were Bani Hashim (Abbas and his two sons, Ali, Aqueel and three
other Cousins of the Holy prophet, A.S.).
was shouting the Muslims to come back, reminding them of oaths of allegiance
taken and promises made, but it was of no avail.
Those who had accepted Islam for wealth and power or under false fears
were not willing to risk their lives. They
ran as fast as they could. Many of
them who had carefully hidden their enmity of the rising power were happy at the
defeat, they gathered round Abu Sufyan, started congratulating him and saying
that "the magical circle of the lying prophet is broken".
They were praying for the come back of polytheism (Abul Fida, page
349,-Ruazath-us-Safa, page 136 Vol 11-Tareekh-e-Ambia, page 389 vol. 11).
again it fell to the lot of Ali to save the Holy prophet (A.S.) and the Islam.
Armies of Bani Hawaazen and Bani Saqueef under cover of their archers
were rushing down the hillock, and were getting ready for a fierce onslaught.
Ali divided the small band of faithful Muslims in three divisions; to
Abdullah-Ibne-Masood, Abbas-ibne Abdul Muttalib and his nephew Abu
Sufyan-Ibne-Harris, he assigned the duty of guarding the Holy prophet (A.S.),
to three others he ordered to guard the rear and he faced the onslaught with
only three warriors along with him. He
fought and fought, he was wounded, but he faced the commander of hostile army,
Abu Jerdal in a hand to hand combat and killed him with one stroke of sword; he
attacked the enemy's rank once again, bringing the number of those whom he had
slain on that day to forty. His
aides had a glorious "ample before them, they also fought bravely and
killed thirty more men.
day was saved, the commander of the enemy's army was killed, their ranks were
broken, they had no courage to face Ali and started retreating.
They sight of a powerful enemy under retreat, made the fleeing Muslims
bold and they came back after as victory was won for them.
detailed account of this encounter is to be found in:
Rauzath-us-Safa Vol 11, page 136.
Thareekh-e-Ambia Vol 11, page 388
Seeruth-e-Ibne Hushsham Vol 11 page 621
Vol V, Page 307
During the life time of Holy prophet (A.S.) Hazrath Ali was sent on many
occasions for propagation of Islam and on many missions of mercy and peace.
He carried out these duties to the satisfaction of the Holy prophet (A.S.)
and God. For instance in the words of 'The Spirit of Islam',
"The men of Khalid Ibne Walid, under the order of this newly converted
warrior killed Bani Jazima Beduin. The
news of this wanton blood-shed deeply grieved the prophet and he prayed 'O
Lord! I am innocent of what Khalid
has done'. He immediately
dispatched Hazrath Ali to make every possible preparation for the outrage
committed. Such mission was
congenial to Ali's nature and he executed it faithfully.
He made careful enquiries as to the number of persons killed, their
status, and the losses incurred by their families, and paid the 'Diyat'
strictly. When every loss was made
good he distributed the remainder of the money he had brought among the kinsman
of the victims and other members of the tribe, gladdening every heart by his
gentleness and benevolence, carrying with him the blessings of the whole people
he returned to the prophet who overwhelmed him with thanks and praises".
in 8 A. H. when other missions failed to bring the powerful Yamanee tribe of
Bani Hamdan to the folds of Islam, Ali was sent there.
Ibne Khaldoon says that on the first occasion he gathered the tribesmen
some of whom were very learned and spoke before them of the truths which Islam
preached. This sermon was so effective that some of those learned
persons immediately embraced Islam. This
was followed by long discussions with others, he made them realized the
rationality of the doctrines of Islam. The
discussions ended in the whole-hearted conversion of Bani Hamdan, who followed
their learned leaders. These news
so pleased the Holy prophet (A.S.) that he bowed down before God in thanks and
thrice said "Peace be to Bani Hamdan and to Ali".
Again in 10 A.H. his sermons and preaching’s proved so effective that
the whole province embraced Islam as one man.
Designation of Ali as Vice-Generent:
is generally supposed that the Holy prophet (A.S.) had not expressly designated
anyone as his successor in the spiritual and temporal government, but this
notion is framed on an incorrect apprehension of fact, for there is abundant
evidence that many a time the Prophet (A.S.) had openly indicated Ali for Vice
gerency (The Spirit of Islam page 292)
The first occasion was when he was ordered by God to openly and
unreservedly invite his kith and kin to Islam.
This occasion is called Dawath-e-Asheera (propagation of the religion
amongst the relatives). In the
words of Rev: Sale the Holy prophet (A.S.) said "God hath commanded me to
call you unto Him; who therefore, among you will be assisting to me herein and
become my brother and my vice generent? All
of them hesitating and declining the matter, Ali at length rose up, and
declared that he would be his assistant and threatened those who should oppose
him. Mohammed upon this embraced
Ali, with great demonstration of affection, and desired all those present to
hearken to and to obey him as his Deputy".
at this occasion of the introduction of Islam as a religion Hazrath Ali was declared
by the Holy prophet (A.S.) as his Deputy. The
value of Ali's support to the Holy prophet (A.S.) and his designation as a vice
generent at this stage is fairly well assessed by theologians, historians and
thinkers of the West and the East.
Thafseer-e-Tabari Vol. 19 page 68
Tafseer-e-Mo'allam-ul-Thunzeel page 663
Masnad Iman Ahmed Ibne Humbal Vol. I
Musthadrik Imam Hakim Vol. III
History of Tabari Vol. 11 page 216
of Kamil Vol. 11 page 26
History of Abul Fida Vol. I
The second occasion was at the time of Ali's conquest of Khyber.
The words opinion of the Holy prophet (A.S.) quite clearly, positively
and expressively give out his about Hazrath Ali and his desire to leave Hazrath
Ali as the guardian and the propagator of his mission.
He said "You are from me and I am from you, you will inherit me..
you are unto me what Aron was unto Moses... you will be nearest to me on the day
of Judgment and next to me on the fountain of Kauser, enmity against you is
enmity against me, a war against you is a war against me... you have as much
faith in God as I have. You are
door to me". (Refer page 26 The battle of Khyber) What more can one say?
Can there be anything more forceful, more eloquent, more pregnant with
clear indications and more categorical than the words which the Holy prophet (A.S.)
has used? Do they leave any shadow
of doubt? Has the Holy prophet (A.S.)
ever used such words for anybody else?
The third instance was the occasion of the invasion of Thabook. To understand the occasion and the cause of remarks of the
Holy prophet (A.S.) it is necessary to know the historical back-ground of the
incident. It was the summer of 9
A.H. and the Holy prophet (A.S.) had received the information that the Roman
King was mobilizing his forces to invade the Islamic State and many Arab tribes
were gathering round him. He
decided to face them in their own land and not to allow them the run of the
Muslim state so that they might not lay waste to the lands through which they
pass. The situation had become very
serious because there was famine in Hijaz, Taef and Yaman. The Hypocrites (the Munafeqeen) were carrying on intensive
propaganda campaign and trying to make the people believe that the famine was
the sign that God was angry with Muslims and wants to exterminate them with
the worst form of death (cannibalism). And
in case of a defeat against the Roman armies there was eminent danger of revolt.
It was imperative that the state should be left in the hands of a
faithful and powerful guardian otherwise there was every possibility of being
sandwiched between the two enemies. The
Holy prophet (A.S.) therefore decided that Hazrath Ali should act as a regent in
his place and the world might also realize that in the opinion of the Holy
prophet (A.S.) none could look after the temporal as well as spiritual welfare
of the. Muslims during his absence
but Ali. He called Ali and told him
that he would have to act as the last line of defense for him and Islam, saying
that "O Ali; nobody could look after this center of Muslim state but I or
you" (Imam Hakim in Musthadrik, Allama Ibne Abdul Bur in Istheeaab, Shah
Waliullah in Izalathul Khifa, Subth
Ibne Jauzee in Thuzakera-e Khavas-ul-Aaimma and Allama Ali Muttaquee in Kunzul
Ummal). Hazrath Ali's stay at
Madina disappointed the Munafequeen (hypocrites and double-dealers) and as they
constituted the majority of those left behind by the Holy prophet (A.S.) they
started a whispering campaign. It
was to the effect that the Holy prophet (A.S.) had lost faith in Hazrath Ali and
had therefore left him behind and that it was positively certain that the Holy
prophet (A.S.) was going to suffer a defeat.
Hazrath Ali naturally felt anxious for the Holy prophet (A.S.) and
annoyed at aspersions against him. He
left Medina immediately, met the Prophet at the place of Jerf and told him all
that was said at his back. Thereupon
the Holy prophet (A.S.) said "Ali! They are lying against you as they have
lied against me; they have called me an epileptic, a magician, a sorcerer and a
necromantic and have always styled me as a liar. I have appointed you as my vice generent and my caliph over
all which I have left behind. Are
you not satisfied to realize that you are unto me what Aron was unto Moses (Sahee
Bookhari Para 145 page 387 and para 18 page 89).
The fourth time was (in the words of the Spirit of Islam) "Notably
the occasion of the return journey from the performance of 'The Farewell
Pilgrimage', during a halt at a place called Khumm, he had convoked an assembly
of the people accompanying him, and used the words which could leave little
doubt as to his intention regarding a successor.
'Ali', said he, is to me what Aron was to Moses.
The Almighty God be a friend to his friends and a foe to his foes; help
those who help him and frustrate those who betray him" (The spirit of Islam
would be doing a great disservice to the cause of truth and to the history of
Islam if I do not sketch at least a bare outline of this incident.
Because more than fifty thousand people had gathered on that occasion
and many of them narrated all that took place there; among those narrators we
find such luminaries as Hazrath Abu-baker-eSiddique, Hazrath Omer-e-Farroq,
Hazrath Oosman-e-Ghani, Zubair Ibne Awam, Abdullah Ibne Omer, Abdultah Ibne
Abbas, Ummul Momaneen Bibi Aiyesha, Ummul Momaneen Bibi Umme Sulma, Abdullah
Ibne Massod and Hussan Ibne Sabith (The book Arjahul Mattalib cites 100 names of
the companions of the Holy prophet (A.S.). From these narrators about 153
historians, biographist collectors of the Holy prophet's traditions and authors
of Sehas, Mojums and Massaaneed from the Ist Century A.H. right up to 1300 A.H.,
have narrated the whole incident in details and have drawn practically the
same inference as the author of the Spirit of Islam.
The book Arjahul Mutalib again gives a list of them in chronological
order of 13 Centuries, from which I have quoted a few names at the end of this
section (page 32).
Holy prophet (A.S.) was returning from the "Farewell Pilgrimage" and
had reached the place Klumm, (which in the words of the famous historian and
geographic Ibne-Khallekhan is a valley lying between Mecca and Medina and in the
neighborhood of Tuhfa). It contains
a pond, Ghadir, near which the prophet pronounced his invocation.
This took place on the 18th of Zil Hijjah and the 18th of this month is
the anniversary of the Feast of Ghadir (Eid-ul-Ghadir)".
the Holy prophet (A.S.) suddenly made his camel stop and said that just then a
message of God was revealed unto him which must be immediately conveyed to the
Muslims. He dispatched messengers
towards those who had gone ahead and those who were following him leisurely to
come back or to hurry up and join him at once.
When all of them were gathered he performed the Noon-prayers in that
blazing hot summer sun. A pulpit was erected for him and from this eminence he
preached a sermon which is rightly considered as a masterpiece of Arabic
literature and a brief survey of what the Holy prophet (A.S.) had taught and
achieved for the Muslims. Then he
said that he had just then received the revelation, which said, "O apostle!
proclaim the whole of what which hath been sent down to thee from Thy Lord, for
it thou dost it not, it will be as if thou hast not at all performed the duty of
His prophet-hood. And God will
protect thee (thy mission) from evil men, verily God guided not the
unbelievers", and he was standing there to convey that message to the
Muslims and to perform the duty he was ordered to perform.
Continuing the sermon he said "O people! shortly I shall be called
(to the Heaven), and if I go back I shall have to give an account as to how I
have conveyed His Message to you and you (in your turn) will also be asked as to
how you have accepted and carried out my teachings.
Now tell me what you will say".
Thereupon all the gathering as one man declared "O apostle of God!
We testify and declare that you have conveyed the message of God in full
details, you have strived your utmost to guide us to the right path, and taught
us, to follow it, you were most kind to us and you never wished for us but our
good, may God repay you for all that" Thereupon he asked the gathering
"Do you not testify that there is no god but God, that Mohammed is His creature,
His servant and His apostle, that there is the Heaven and the Hell, that death
will overtake every one of you, that you will be brought back from your graves,
that the day of resurrection will surely dawn and human-beings will be
resurrected from their graves to account for their deeds".
The gathering declared, "We believe and testify all of this".
Hearing this declaration he said "I am leaving amongst you two most
important things worthy of obedience, the Quran and my progeny (descendants).
Take care how you treat them, they will not separate from each other till
they reach me on the Fouhtain of Kausur".
Then said he "The Almighty God is my Lord (Maula) and I am the Lord
of all Muslims and have more right and power on their lives than they
themselves; do you believe in this assertion of mine"?
They all in one voice replied "yes 0 apostle of God".
Thrice he asked the same question and thrice he received the same reply.
On this solemn affirmation he said "Hear and remember that to
whomever I am Lord or Maula Ali is the Lord and Maula to him.
He is to me what Aron was unto Moses.
The Almighty God be a friend to his friends and a foe to his foes, help
those who help him and frustrate those who betray him", while saying this
he raised Hazrath Ali so that the gathering may have a look at the man, who will
be Lord and Maula of those who believe the Holy prophet (A.S.) to be their Lord
and Maula. Thereupon the Holy
prophet (A.S.) received the revelation: "This day I have perfected your
religion for you and have filled up the measure of my bounties upon you and I am
pleased with Islam to be your religion".
performing this ceremony and receiving the above revelation the Holy prophet (A.S.)
came down the pulpit prostrated before God in prayers and ordered a tent to be
fixed. In this tent Hazrath Ali was
made to take his seat and people were ordered to pay homage to him and to
address him as Amir-ul-Momineen (Lord of the faithful).
The first person to congratulate and address him as such was Hazrath
Omer-e-Khuttab, saying "I congratulate you, 0 Ali'. Today
you have become my Maula (Lord) and Lord of every Muslim man and woman".
Musnad Iman Ahmed Ibne Humbal (Vol.
V page 281)
Iman Ghizaalee in Sir-ul-Aalemeen.
remarks of Iman Ghizaalee about this event and the inferences he has drawn are
instructive readings. If I have space at my disposal I shall add them as a separate
index otherwise Sir-ul-Aalemeen may be referred.
List of some out of
the famous 153 authors and books, which contain the above event:
(125 A. H.)
2. Mohammed Ibne
(I 52 A. H.)
3. Ibne Rahooya
4. Imam Ahmed Ibne
Humbal Musnad Vol. V, page 281 (243 A.H.)
Imam Hakim (Musthadrik)
Imam Ghizalee (Sir-ul-Aalemeen) (505
Subth Ibne Joazee
Abdul Huq Mohaddis Dahlavi (1052 A.H.)
Waliullah Mohaddis Dahlavi (1176A.H.)
A brief survey of Hazrath Ali's life from Hijarath to the death of the Holy
Prophet (A.S.) from I A.H. to 40 A.H.
the Holy prophet (A.S.) left his house at Mecca in the night and Ali was found
in his bed, the Quraish at first thought of killing him, but when they found him
ready to defend himself they gave up idea and dispersed in search of the Holy
as per orders of the Holy prophet (A.S.) stayed three days at Mecca and handed
back all the articles, which were entrusted to the Holy prophet (A.S.) for sale
custody, mostly by his enemies, secured their receipts and left the city in
was entrusted by the Holy prophet (A.S.) for safe transport of Holy prophet's
daughter Hazrath Fatima, daughter of Hamza, another Fatima, his own mother, a
third Fatima, and his aunt, that was the daughter of Abdul Muttalib, a fourth
Fatima. The Quraish wanted to
prevent the departure of these four ladies.
Eight prominent people came out to fight. Ali fought single handed with them. He killed Junah with a stroke of his sword and scattered the
rest and continued the journey. On
account of scarcity of mounts he had to travel on foot and thus he reached
Medina with bleeding feet. Awaiting
the arrival of Hazrath Ali the Holy prophet (A.S.) was staying at Qubba, two
miles away from Medina, when he reached Qubba,on the 12th of Rabiul Awwal
(probably the end of June) the Holy prophet (A.S.) embraced him, dressed his
bleeding feet and entered Medina along with him.
his migration to Medina the Holy prophet (A.S.) had created a bond of
brotherhood between the Muslims. He
had fraternized Hazrath Abobaker to Hazrath Omer, Hazrath Oosman to Abdul Rehman
Ibne Oaf, Hazrath Hamza to Zaid Ibne Haresa and Talha to Zaubair.
On that occasion he had fraternized Hazrath Ali to himself, saying,
"Oh Ali, you are my brother in this world as well as in the not," (Tharikh-eKhamees
Vol. I page 398).
Five months after his arrival at Medina he fraternized the Mohajirs (the Migrators) with the Ansars (the citizens of Medina). On that occasion again he called Ali and said "Oh Ali you are my brother in this world and hereafter". The historian Ibne Hashsham says "The Holy prophet (A.S.) caught the hand of Hazrath Ali and said 'he alone is my brother' thus the apostle of God, who was actually the leader of all the prophets as well as of all the pious men of the world and who had no parallel among human beings by fraternizing with Hazrath Ali, showed that Ali also had no parallel among mankind except the Holy prophet (A.S.)" (Seerath-e-Ibne Hashsham Vol. 11, Abul Fida Vol. I page 127, Musthadrik of Imam Hakim Vol. III and Fatehul Bari, commentary of Sahee Bokhari Vol. VII page 21 1).
the 2nd year of Hijrath Hazrath Ali's marriage took place with the Holy
prophet's daughter Fatima. Holy
prophet (A.S.) was receiving many offers for his daughter from very rich people
of Madina, from some of the Mohajirs and from chiefs of mighty clans of Arabia.
He had refused even to consider these offers and sometime felt annoyed at
them and at the end he closed the door by saying that he was awaiting the orders
of God. The book Asadul Ghaba Fee
Tameez-e-Sahaba, gives a detailed account of these offers and the way of refusal
by the Holy prophet (A.S.). Some of the Ansars suggested to Hazrath Ali to place
a proposal for himself before the Holy prophet (A.S.). Hazrath Ali went before
him feeling shy and modest. This
was the first time in his life that he talked reservedly to a man who was like a
father unto him and to whom he was like a dear son.
When the Holy prophet (A.S.) heard the proposal he was so pleased that he
smiled and said (it is a welcome and happy proposal) Tareekh-eKhamees Vol.
I page 407, Ibne Saad Vol. VIII
pages II and 12, and Asadul Ghaba).
Holy prophet (A.S.) took the consent of Hazrath Fatima for this proposal.
The marriage ceremony was very simple and without pomp and ostentation.
There was a Khutba from the Holy prophet (A.S.) in which he praised God
mentioning some of His attributes and citing verses of the Quran and concluding
with the remarks that he was ordered by God to give Harath Fatima into marriage
with Hazrath Ali. This was followed by a Khutba from Hazrath Ali, praising
God and the Holy prophet (A.S.) and desiring the gathering to witness his
marriage with Hazrath Fatima the daughter of Holy prophet (A.S.). After this
happy ceremony somebody reminded the Holy prophet (A.S.) of his late companion
in life the mother of Hazrath Fatima, Hazrath Khadija, and he said "Khadija!
where is Khadija, who can be like Khadija, she testified me when the world was
falsely accusing me as a liar, she relieved me of much of my weight, she was my
partner in my work and she helped me when others were creating obstruction in my
reaching Madina the Holy prophet (A.S.) stayed in the house of Kulsoom Ibne
Hadam for seven months and Hazrath Ali was staying with him.
When the Holy prophet (A.S.) finished the construction of mosque he built
houses for his wives around it and in the centre of them he built a house for
Hazrath Ali (Sahee Bokhari, para 14 page 387).
Following his example many of his companions except Hazrath Aboobaker
built their houses around the mosque. Hazrath
Aboobaker was staying in the locality of Banee.
Abde-Oaf where the marriages of both of his daughters took place and
later on he shifted to Sukh (Bokhari Vol. 1).
The doors of all the houses built around the mosque opened in the mosque.
One day the Holy prophet (A.S.) ordered that except the doors of his
houses and that of Ali all the other doors should be closed.
Some of the companions requested him to allow them to keep a small window
open. fie replied "No, not a pin hole, God so willed it" (Musnad-e-Imam
Ahmed, Musthadrik-e-Imam Hakim, Khasais-e-Nasaaee)
the year 2 A.H. battle of Bader took place (Refer Section 15 page 22)
the year 3 A.H. the first child to Hazrath Ali and Hazrath Fatima was born and
he was named Hassan (Imam Hassan) by the Holy prophet (A.S.).
the same year (3 A.H.) battle of Ohad took place (refer Section 15 page 22)
which was followed by despatch od expeditionary force to Hamaraul Asad under Hazrath
the year 4 A.H., Hazrath Ali and Hazrath Fatima had the second child Hussain
(Imam Hussain) who was also named by the Holy prophet (A.S.). In the same year a
battle took place with Bani Nazeer and Hazrath Ali brought it to a successful
end and Bani Nazeer were forced to vacate their fortress.
the year 5 A.H. three battles took place, battle with Banee Mustalaque, battle
of Khundaque (the moat) and battle with Banee Kanza.
In all three of them Ali was the commander of the army.
Most important of them was the battle of Khundaque which I have narated
in section 15 page 23).
the year 6 A.H. an expedition to Fadak was sent under the command of Hazrath Ali
and without a battle or skirmish he brought the whole province under control of
the Holy prophet (A.S.).
Ziquad of this year the Holy prophet (A.S.) along with fourteen hundred Muslims
left for Mecca with the intention of pilgrimage.
He had no desire to fight anybody and had left all the armaments at
Madina. When Quraish came to know
about this intending pilgrimage they refused to allow the Holy prophet (A.S.)
to enter Mecca. Khalid Ibne Waleed
came out with a force of well equipped two hundred cavalry men to obstruct the
Holy prophet (A.S.) and if necessary to fight over the issue.
At an oasis called Hudaibia the oponents faced each other.
A chieftain named Orwa from Quraish came out to discuss the situation
with the Holy prophet (A.S.) and instead of a battle a treaty was arranged, and
it was written by Hazrath Ali. The
last clause of the treaty was that the present intention of the pilgrimage
should be given up but next year the Holy prophet (A.S.) and Muslims can come
the year 7 A.H. two battles took place, the Khyber and the Wadiul Quara.
The more important of them was Khyber which I have accounted in section
15 page 25.
the same year the Holy prophet (A.S.) along with Muslims went to perform
it was very peaceful mission. The
Holy prophet (A.S.) and many of the Muslims had their wives and children with
them. The Umra was performed without any unpleasant incident
year 8 A.H. had some important events in its fold.
first of them as the fall of Mecca. The
terms of the treaty of Hudaibia were dishonoured by the Quraish.
Within two years of the Treaty they killed twenty persons of Banee
Khuzaa's clan without rhyme or reason. Representatives
of the clans came to the Holy prophet (A.S.) asking for his promised support, he
was annoyed at this flagrant dishonouring the treaty and said "I am not be
helped if I do not help them".
arrangement for the invasion of Mecca was being carried on by the Muslims, in
the meanwhile, Hatab, a companion of the Holy prophet (A.S.) who was with him in
the battle of Bader, wrote a letter to his family, informing them of the
intention of Muslims. This espionage, under orders of the Holy prophet (A.S.), was
detected by Hazrath Ali and he brought this letter to the Holy prophet (A.S.).
It was being sent through an Abyssinian slave girl. Hatab confessed his crime and was mercifully pardoned by the
Holy prophet (A.S.) (Bokhari).
When all the arrangements were ready, the army of invasion, numbering about ten thousand, marched towards Mecca. The command of the army this time was given to Saad-Ibne Abbada Ansari, with orders to enter Mecca as an advance party. Saad entering Mecca, said "Today is going to be a big day, a day of retaliation, a day when Mecca will be looted". Abbas, uncle of the Holy prophet (A.S.), hearing this came to the Holy prophet (A.S.) and said, "O apostle of God! Saad has very serious intention against Quraish. He may carry on a massacre". The Holy prophet (A.S.) called Hazrath Ali and said "O Ali! you go and take the command from Saad and do the needful. He would not be unhappy in handing over the command to you and to you alone". Hazrath Ali took over the command of the expedition and entered the city, declared perfect amity and peace and waited for the Holy prophet (A.S.). When Holy Prophet (A.S.) entered Mecca he went straight to Kaaba and started removing the idols placed there. Some of them were placed on a very high platform where his hands would not reach, he asked Ali to mount on his back and remove the idols. Ali obeyed the order, mounted on his back and was removing the idols when the Holy prophet (A.S.) asked "O Ali! how do you find yourself", Hazrath Ali replied, "O apostle of God! I find myself on such an eminent place that I feel as if my head is resting on the Empyrean of God the Almighty". Thereupon the Holy prophet (A.S.) replied "O Ali, how fortunate you are, doing the work of God and how fortunate I am that I am bearing your burden" (Musnad-e-Ismam Ahmed, Vol. I page 151).said. At the occasion, a poet presented an eulogium in praise of Hazrath Ali. In which he
am asked to praise Ali in verses,
recital of his praises will
a man from the Hell.
replied to them, how can I praise
A man whose attributes are so sublime
That men got confused over these attributes And started apotheosising
He has placed his foot at such an eminent
Place, that according to the Holy prophet (A.S.),
It is the place on which, on the night of
Merai, God Hath placed His hand of Grace and Mercy.
Hearing this eulogium the Holy prophet (A.S.) rewarded the poet
second important event was the massacre of Bani Jazima by Khalid Ibne Waleed
and reparation carried by Hazrath Ali under orders of the Holy prophet (A.S.)
(refer section 15 page 28).
Shawwal of this year saw the Muslims facing certain powerful tribes of Arabs on
the battle-field of Hunain. Ali
again secured a victory for them (Refer section 15 page 28).
Hunain was followed by an expedition to Thaef under command of Hazrath
Ali. Those who had run away from
Hunain had gathered there and wanted to measure their strength once again.
The commander of their army who was the chiefs of Bani Zaigham clan was
killed by Hazrath Ali, which broke the back of resistance and various parties of
hostile clans started dispersing. Seeing
this the Holy prophet (A.S.) raised the siege and brought the expedition to an
the same year Hazrath Ali was sent to Yaman on a missionary service, he carried
on this work so successfully and his speeches there proved so effective that the
tribe of Bani Hamdan embraced Islam as one man. (Refer section 15 page 29)
9th of the Hijrath has to relate four important incidents of Hazrath Ali's life:
first was the expedition to Zath-ul-Salasul.
Ali brought it to a successful end, defeated the clans gathered there to
invade Madina and brought the happy news to the Holy Prophet (A.S.). The Apostle
of God came out of Madina to welcome the warrior.
Ali was riding a horse at the head of his army, saw the Holy prophet (A.S.)
walking towards him and jumped from his horse.
The prophet told him "keep on riding, do not dismount, God and His
prophet are really pleased with your services and made him remount his horse
and he walked along with the horse (Refer Habreel-ul-Seer and
second event was the Holy prophet's expedition in person to Thabook, which I
have narrated in Section 16 page 30.
third important event in the life of Ali and in the history of Islam was the reading
of the Chapter (Sura) Barat before the infidels of Mecca.
This Sura declares that 1 God and his apostle in future will have nothing
to do with the infidels and polytheists. All
the treaties which existed tiff then are now annulled and cancelled.
No polytheist or infidel will in future be allowed to enter the city of
Mecca or the precints of Kaaba. Imam
Hakim in his Musthadrik Vol. III
page 32, Riaz-ul-Nazarah Vol. II,
page 203, Musnad-e-Imam Ahmed Ibne Humbal Vol.
I page 331, Asaba-F@e-Ma'arayfath-eSahaba Vol.
IV, page 270 and Izalath-ul-Khifa, Section 2, page 261 say that the Holy
prophet (A.S.) first ordered Hazrath Aboobaker to carry this Sura to Mecca and
to read it at the Kaaba, but immediately after him he sent Hazrath Ali to
replace Hazrath Aboobaker on the mission. When
Hazrath Aboobaker complained about this change, the Apostle of God replied
"I have done it under orders of God which came explicitly that either I
should perform this duty or somebody who is like me".
fourth event:-Najran was a city in the province of Yaman.
It was centre of the Christian Missionary activities in Southern Arabia.
The Holy prophet (A.S.) had written to the Chief Priest of the city to
realize the blessings of Islam. In
reply he wrote that he would like to personally discuss the teachings of this
new religion. His name was Haris.
He was invited and came with a retinue of fourteen Priests.
Thes Priests stayed at Madina as guests of the Holy prophet (A.S.).
Long discussion about monotheism versus trinity took place and it was realized
that these Priests were not open minded on the contrary were prejudiced against
Islam. The Almighty Lord ordered
the Holy prophet (A.S.) to explain to them that "Verily Jesus is as Adam in
the sight of God. He created him
out of dust. He then said unto him
'Be' and he was. This is the truth
from Thy Lord; be not therefore one of those who doubt; and whoever shall
dispute with thee after the knowledge which hath been given thee, say unto
them, come let us call together our sons and your sons, our women and your women
and ourselves and yourselves; then let us make imprecations and lay the curse of
God upon those who lie". (Sura Alay (Family of) Imran, Chap. 111).
According to Aamer Ibne Sa'ad and Ummul Momineen Bibi Aiyesha when the
above verses were revealed to the Apostle of God he called Ali, Fatima, Hussan
and Hussain and said "Lord this is my family and progeny (Ahlay Baith)"
(Refer Sahee Bukharee, Parts VII page 77, Sahee Muslim, Vol.
II page 278, Jama-e-Tirmizee Page 421, Misquath Vol.
VIII page 129).
Fukhuruddin Raazee (in Tufseer-e-Kabeer Vol. 11 page 701, printed in Egypt) says
that when the above verses were revealed the prophet of God covered himself
with a black coverlet, took in it Ali, Fatima, Hussan and Hussain and said
"Lord this is my progeny, my household and my family (Ahlay Baith).
Thereupon the Apostle of the Lord received the revelation "Verily
God desireth to remove from you every abomination of sin and evil, and you are
the household of the prophet, and to purify you by a perfect purification".
Tufseer Khshshaf Vol. 1, page 308 agress with Imam Fukhruddin-e-Raazee.
the glad news of the Divine Purification, Sanctification and Consecretion the
Holy prophet (A.S.) decided to take only these four persons along with him for
the ceremony of trial by imprecations as ordered by God; that is, Ali
representing the "selves" as mentioned in the above verses, Fatima
representing "women" Hassan and Hussain representing "sons".
Christian Priests were then informed of these orders of God and "They
agreed next morning to abide by the trial as a quick way of deciding which of
them were in the wrong. Mohammed (A.S.)
met them accordingly accompanied by his daughter Fatima, his son-in-law Ali and
his two grandsons Hussan and Hussain and desired them (the Christian Priests) to
wait till he had said his prayers. But
when they saw him kneel down their resolution failed them and they dared not
venture to curse him and his party, but agreed to sign a treaty and pay tribute
to him" (Rev. Sale)
people of the household (of Mohammad, A.S.), is the designation usually given to
Fatima, Ali and their children and descendants.
This is the name by which Ibne Khaldun invariably designates them, and
followers and disciples, Shias or adherents of the "People of the
House". Sanai (the famous Sufi
poet whom Maulana Room praises) represents the general feeling with which the
descendants of Mohammed (A.S.) were regarded in the following verses:-
the book of God and his family (Descendants) nothing has been left by Ahmed the
prophet, Memorial such as these can never be obtained till the day of
Judgment" (The Spirit of Islam page 313; note)
Vol. VI page 159 Tufseer-e-Kushshaf
Vol. I page 308, Ali Hamadani in
Mo'adduth-ul-Qurba, and Allama Ibne Hajr-e-Mukki in Sawa'eq-eMohrayqua, while
discussing this event and the verses referred above, have given their opinion
that the Holy prophet (A.S.), by translating the word "Selves" as
himself and Ali, the word "Women" as Fatima and the word
"Sons" as Hussan and Hussain have shown to the Muslim the estimation
in which these four persons are held by God and by himself, and that they and
they alone are his Ahlay Baith who deserve the Divine Purification,
Sanctification and Consecretion.
this year Ali was sent once again on a propagation mission to Yaman and thence
on an expedition against Amer-ibne-M'adee Kurb.
He performed both the duties successfully.
Imam Ahmed ibne-Hambal in his Masnad Vol.
V page 356, Imam Nisa'ee in Khasa'es and Allama Ibne Hajr-e-Mukki in
Sawa'eq-e-Mohrayqua Chap. 11, say that from the later expedition
Khalid-ibne-Waleed sent a letter containing complaints of Hazrath Ali to the
Holy prophet (A.S.). This letter was carried by Boraeda, a companion of the
Holy prophet (A.S.). On receipt of this letter the apostle of God was annoyed
and got angry and said "You are fabricating lies and ficticious complaints
againt Ali, he is from me and I am from him, he is your lord (Valee) after me.
Whoever annoys him actually annoys me and whoever forsakes him forsakes
me. He is made of the same material
that I am made of and I am made of the same material that Abraham is made of and
my status before God is superior to that of Abraham".
end of the 10th A.H. saw the Holy prophet (A.S.) performing the "Farewell
Pilgrimage" and while returning from there he for the last time designated
Hazrath Ali as his Vicegenerent. I have narrated this incident in Section 16 page 30).
year I I th A. H. was the saddest year of Hazrath Ali's life.
He lost two of his best friends. One
of whom he loved and venerated like a father, like a master and like the dearest
friend, the Holy prophet (A.S.) who died during the early months of the year.
His death was followed by the death od Hazrath Ali's dearest companion,
his wife, Fatima, the lady of the Light.
last year of Holy Prophet's life was spent at Madina. An envoy of his was killed by the Syrians and he had
ordered an expedition against the Byzantines under Osama Ibne Zaid and he had
ordered all his companions except Hazrath Ali join this expedition, and had
ordered the troops to be encamped outside the city (Tareekh-e-Tabaree,
Tareekh-e-Kamil Ibne Aseer. Tabaquath-e-Ibne-Sa'd
and Seerath-e-Halabia, Madarejul-Naboovath Vol.
II page 766). Though he was
ill yet inspite of his weakness he came out, arranged the flag (the Insignia of
the command) with his own hands and handed it over to Osama.
He felt that people were not willing to join this expedition, because of
the young age of Osama, he got annoyed and said "Curse of God be on those
who forsake the army of Osama". (Millal-o-Nahal of Allama Sharistanee and
of this illness was the poison which had been given to him and which had slowly
penetrated into his system and had now begun to show its effect, and it became
evident that he had not long to live. The
news of his approaching end led to the stoppage of the expedition (The Spirit of
Islam). At the last stage of
illness the Holy prophet (A.S.) was staying at the house of Ummul Momineen Bibi
Aiyesha. From there he came out for
the last time to lead the prayers. He was so weak that he was actually carried there by the sons
of Abbas-Ibne-Abdul Muttalib. He,
himself, led the prayers (Fath-ul-Bari. Sharahe
Sahee-e-Bukhari, Para 3 page 372).
exertion proved too much for the Apostle of the Lord and when he returned home
from the mosque he was fainted. His
condition was very serious at that time and fainting fit was of long duration.
His children and members of family, and his companions started weeping
and lamenting. He came out of the
swoon and looked at those tear sprinkled faces around him and said "Bring
pen, ink and paper so that I may write a will for you that will keep you on the
straight path". Some of his
companions wanted to offer the pen and paper while Hazrath Omer was of opinion
that he was talking insanely on account of the intensity of illness, they have
the Holy Quran with them which would suffice them.
This discussion took a serious turn and people started arguing in loud
voices. The Apostle of God got
annoyed at this and asked them to go away and to leave him alone. (Sahee-Bukhari
Para 12 page 126, Para 8 page 100, Para 23 page 384, Minhayul-Sunnath of
Allama Ibne Themia, Sharahe Sahee Muslim of Allama Noodi, give a detailed
account of this event).
was Sunday the 27th Safar, after the above incident the Apostle of God called
Ali and said "Ali you will be first to meet me on the,fountain of Kause@.
After me when hardship and reverses face you then do not lose patience
and When you find people running after worldly gains then you busy yourself in
the way of truth and God" (Roaz-ul-Ahlab Vol.
I page 559, Madarej-ul-Naboovath Vol. 11 pag 551) Next day, Monday the
28th of Safar, the Apostle of God passed away to the realm of His Grace,
Blessings and Majesty.
Last moment and the
last rights of Holy Prophet (A.S.)
Mohammed-Ibne-Sa'd in his famous book Thabaquath (Vol. 11, Section 2, pages 51
and 61) relates that during the caliphate of Hazrath Omer once the famous Jew
Ka'b-ul-Akbar (who later embraced Islam) asked of the caliph "Sire please
tell me what were the last words of the Holy prophet".
The caliph told him to ask Hazrath Ali abou it. Ka'b came to him and
asked him the same question. Hazrath
Ali replied "during the last moments of the Holy prophet (A.S.) his head
was resting on my shoulder and his words were Namaz, Namaz (prayers,
prayers)". Ka'b declared "verily last moments of prophets have
always been thus, they are ordained for it and they carry the message even with
their last breath". Then Ka'b
went to Hazrath Omer and asked him "Sire who performed the abolutions of
the body of the prophet after his death".
The caliph told him to ask Hazrath Ali about that also.
He again came to Hazrath Ali and repeated the question.
Hazrath Ali replied "The Apostle of God had willed that none but I
should perform those ablutions; because if any other person looked at his naked
body he would get blind. A curtain
was hanged and from the other side of the curtain Fazl-lbne-Abbas and Osaama,
blind-folded, were handling over water to me and I was performing the
facts, that Hazrath Ali was the only person to be with the Holy prophet (A.S.)
at his last moments and to have performed the last rights, are also borne out by
the books Thazkeray Khasul A'imma Chap. 11 page 16, Kunzul Ammal Vol.
IV page 55, Musthadrik of Imam Hakim Vol.
III page 139, Riaz-ul-Nazarah, printed in Egypt, page 80 and
Mo'jum-e-Kabeer of Thabranee.
the last ablutions and after shrouding the august of the Apostle of God as per
his will, first Hazrath Ali performed the 'Death prayers' alone and then parties
of Muslims came and offered death prayers without any leader (Imam).
Allama lbne Abdul Bar in Isthee'ab says that after Hazrath Ali offered
his 'Death prayers' alone then Bani Hashim offered the prayers, then Mohajirs
and then Ansars.
Burial of the Holy
the death prayers were said. Hazrath
Ali, Abbas, Fazl-Ibne-Abbas and Osaama-Ibne-Zaid got busy with the arrangements
of burial of the Apostle of God, and at the request of Ansars, Aos-ibne-Kholee
Ansari who was also a Baderee, was allowed to join them.
Osaama dug the grave in the house of Ummul Momineen Bibi Aiyesha.
Aos got into the grave and Hazrath Ali lifted the august body in hands
and lowered it into the grave. He
stayed in the grave for some time, he was weeping bitterly, Osaama says that
"I have never seen Ali weeping like that before or after this
occasion", and then he came out of the grave and lifting his hands said,
"Lord! he was Thy first creation, his apparent death is not a sign of his
mortality, he lifted the gloom prevailing before the creation started, he was
a proof of Thy Glory and Benevolence, he had come to us from the Realm of Thy
Love and Glory, and was our guide towards that Realm.
His soul was the Emblem of Thy Supreme Might, his body was the
master-piece of Thy Creation and his mind was Thy T reasure house".
Then he closed the grave (Irshad-e-Shaikh Mofeed).
Ali with Bani Hashim were busy with the last rites of the burial of the Apostle
of God, some Mohajirs and some Ansars gathered at 'Saqueefa' and decided that
Hazrath Aboobaker be the first caliph. Hazrath
Ali was asked to accede to this decision. He
refused. Abu Sufyan came to Madina
and went to Abbas (uncle of the Holy prophet (A.S.) and told him "these
people have taken away the caliphate from Bani Hashim.
You are uncle of the Apostle of God and oldest among the Quraish, you
have been kind to them also, they will accept your lead.
Let you and I swear allegiance to Ali.
If anybody opposes us we shall kill him".
They both came to Ali and Abu Sufyan told him "Ali, if you like I
shall overflow Madina with infantry and cavalry, accept our proposal, put out
your hand and let us swear the oath of allegiance".
Hearing this Ali replied "Abu Sufyan, I swear by God the Almighty
that you, through this proposal, want to create serious dissension amongst the
Muslims. You have always tried to
harm Islam, I do not need your sympathies and your help".
detail account of this event may be found in: -
Tabaree Vol. III pages 202
Tareekh-e-Khulafa page 45
Kunz-ul-Ammal Vol. III page
Ali realised that any serious dissension at this stage would harm the cause of
Islam considerably. He had before him the example of the Holy prophet (A.S.) and
treaty of Hudaibia and had been foretold by the Holy prophet (A.S.) of all that
would happen. Allama Ali-Ibne-Mohammed
(630 A.H.) in Asad-ul-Ghaba Fee Thameez-eSahaba (Vol.
IV page 3 1) says "The Holy prophet (A.S.) had told Hazrath Ali your
status is like that of Ka'aba. People
(Muslims) go to Ka'aba but that august house never approaches anybody.
Therefore after my death if people come to you and swear the oath of
allegiance you accept it and if they not come to you then you do not go to
Shaikh Abdul Haq Mohaddis Dehlavi in Madarej-ul-Naboovath (Vol.
II page 51 1) says that the Holy prophet had advised Hazrath Ali
"after me you will have to face extremes of suffering, do not get
disheartened and do not lose patience; and when you find people craving for and
trying their utmost to secure worldly power and wealth you mould your life for
Ali loved Islam as intensely as the Holy prophet (A.S.) had loved it, he could
not, therefore, for the sake of worldly kingdom endanger Islam.
He fully well knew that a civil war at that stage would give chances to
the Jew clans of Bani Nazir and Bani Khareza on one side and the Christian
tribes of Najran and Syria by the Byzantine armies on the other, and the
Munafiqueen (hypocrites) and fresh converts on the third to simply take
advantage of the situation. When
they would find the Muslims busy killing each other they would literarily cut
them to pieces and Islam would totally disappear as a messenger of peace.
He wanted the Arabs to remain in the fold of Islam even with the desires
of making their worldly position good, and wanted the enemies of Islam to realize
that Islam was powerful enough to defend itself even after the sad demise of the
Apostle of the Lord. Therefore, he
was willing to accept every wrong for the Islam and to retire to seclusion of
his house. The advice he gave to
his uncle Abbas is to be found in Nahjul Balagha wherein he told him not to join
to the famous Arab philosopher, mathematician and physician Ave Sena (Bu Ali
Sena) Hazrath Ali and Holy Quran were the two miracles of Mohammed (A.S.), the
Apostle of God. Life of Hazrath Ali at every stage was a mirror like
reflection of the life of the Holy prophet (A.S.). The days of Bader, Ohad,
Khyber, and Humain were not long passed and their hero still had the same
courage, valour, bravery and strenght with him, he could have jumped at the
proposal of Abu Sufyan. But had he
done so he would not have been Ali-ibne-Abu Talib, the man "who loved God
and His apostle and was loved by God and His apostle". (Me'araj-ul-Naboovath).
unfortunately, his feelings were not reciprocated.
Folowing books give an account of vey serious events which happened at
Hazrath Ali's refusal to accede to the decision of Saqueefa.
.Tabari Vol. III page 198
Aqd-ul-Fareed of Ibne Abd-e-Rubbabo, Vol. 11 page 179, printed in Egypt.
History of Abul Fida Vol. I
page 156 printed in Egypt.
Kitabul Imamuth-wo-Siyasuth of Allama Ibne Quateeba Vol. I page 20, printed in Egypt (this book gives a very detailed
Morravej-ul-Zahab Musoodee page 159
Millal-wo-Nahal of Shahristany Vol.
I page 25 printed in Bombay, India.
Al-Farooq of Shibli Naomani, printed in India
Ibne Abil Hadeed in commentary of Nahjul Balagha.
one could gather, from various accounts which these books have given, is a sad
and pathetic episode. It appears that though Hazrath Ali decided to retire to the
seclusion of his house and not to take any part in power politics yet his
house was burnt down on the head of his family, and either the burning door or a
hard hit from the hilt of a sword or a heavy push or all together broke the ribs
and hand of Hazrath Fatima (daughter of the Holy prophet (A.S.) and caused her
such a serious injury that the baby she was carrying was a still birth.
Allama Shahristany in Millal-wo-Nahal (Vol.
I page 25) says that there was nobody in the house but Ali, Fatima and
their children (who were between the ages of 4 to 8).
Apparently the assault was sudden and unexpected, nobody was ready for
it. The resulting confusion could be better imagined than
narrated. The lady of the house was
seriously hurt, and had fainted, the house was full of smoke, the children were
frightened. Ali was attending to
his wounded wife and suffocating children he was overpowered and dragged from
the house. Later Hazrath Fatima was
refused her heritage. The
physical injury and the mental shock laid her low and after a short illness she
passed away on the 14th of Jamadi-ul-Awwal, I I A.H. She was buried in the dead
of the night. Besides Bani Hashim
only following companions of the Holy prophet (A.S.) attended her funeral:-
Sulman, Abuzar, Ammar and Miqdad. Before
her death she had expressed her sufferings in a poem, a verse of which has come
down in the Arabic language as a proverb.
She says "so many sufferings have descended upon me that if they had
descended upon bright days they would have been turned into dark nights".
The account of the last day of her life clearly show what kind of a lady
was this daughter of the Holy prophet (A.S.). She told the household that she
was feeling better, the pain in her ribs and in her hand was not so severe and
that her fever had come down. Then
she started bathing the children, immediately Ali and Fizza came to her
assistance. She got those children
bathed, dressed and fed, then sen them away to her cousin.
Then she called Hazrath Ali to her side and said "Ali, my dear
husband, you know very well why I did all that. Please excuse my fussiness, they have suffered so much with
me and during my illness that I want to see them happy on the last day of my
life. Yes, Ali, you know also that
this is the last day of my life, I am happy and also I am sad.
Happy I am that my troubles will shortly be over and I shall meet my
father and sorry and I am to part with you.
Please, Ali, make a note of what I say and do as I wish you to do.
After me you may marry anybody you like but you must marry my cousin
Yamama, she loves my children ans Hussain is very much attached to her. Let Fizza remain with you even after her marriage, if she so
desires, she was more than a mere servant to me. I loved her life my daughter.
Ali, bury me in the night and do not let those who have been so cruel to
me attend my burial, let my death do not dishearten you, you have to serve Islam
and humanity for a long time to come. Let
not my sufferings embitter your life, promise me Ali".
Hazrath Ali said "yes Fatima I promise" "Ali", she
continued "I know how you love my children but be very careful of Hussain.
He loves me dearly and will miss me sadly, be a mother unto him.
Till my recent illness he used to sleep on my chest, he is already
missing it". Ali was caressing
the broken hand, his hot and big tears dropped on her hand.
She looked up and said "Do not weep Ali, I know with a rough outward
appearance what a tender heart you possess.
You have already borne too much and will have to bear more.
Farewell my lord, Farewell my dear husband, Farewell Ali.
Say Good-bye Fatima". Hearing
this she said "May the Merciful Lord help you to bear these sorrows and
sufferings patiently. Now let me be
alone with my God". Saying
this she turned towards her prayers carpet and prostrated before God.
When after a little time Hazrath Ali entered the room he found her still
in prostration but the soul had departed to join her Holy father in the Realm
of His Grace, Mercy and Might. She
died very young as Hazrath Ali says "A flower nibbed in the bud, it was
from Junnath (the Heaven) and it went to Junnath, but has left its fragrance in
12th A.H. to 24th A.H.
onward till 35 A.H. Hazrath Ali led a very retired life.
In the beginning he spent his days in compiling the Holy Quran in the
chronological order of chapters and verses as they were revealed to the Holy
prophet (A.S.), he presented this to Muslims, but when its acceptance was
refused, he advised his companions to accept this Holy Book as compiled
officially, saying that his compilation would not be seen by anybody, so that
there might not come into existence more than one version of the Quran and might
not create doubts about the authenticity of this august book.
Abu Sufyan found that Hazrath Ali was not paying attention to him he tried to
get in the good books of the government and his eldest son Yazid was appointed
as the governor of Syria and on his death his brother Moavia was appointed on
the same post.
the caliphate of Hazrath Aboobaker and more often during the time of Hazrath
Omer whenever Ali's advice was asked for, he, like a true Muslim, offered his
Bani Hashim were never given any or place of honour with the governement yet
Ali did not mind this indifference and whonever a serious problem arose and his
counsel was sought he cooperated whole heartedly.
Spirit of Islam says that "From the commencement of the Islamic preaching,
Hazrath Ali had "tended the utmost consideration and friendship to the
conquered. After the battle of
Quadesia, Ali used to devote his share of prize money to redemption of captives,
and repeatedly with his counsels and persuasive interference he induced Hazrath
Omer to lighten the burden of subjects and captives".
Hakim in Musthadrik and Kamil Ibne Aseer in his history say that till the year
17 A.H. no era was fixed by the Muslims to designate their years.
Some times Aam-ul-Feel (year of Abysinian invasion of Mecca) was
considered as the beginning of era at other times, the battle of Fujjar (a
pre-Islamic encounter between Arab clans), while with some year of repairs
carried on to Ka'aba was considered the year to mark the era.
When this confusion was brought to the notice of Hazrath Omer, he asked
the advice of Hazrath Ali, who told him to begin the Muslim era from the year
of the Hijrath (emigration of the Holy prophet, A.S.) to Medina.
went to Hazrath Omer, saying that a lot of jewels and valuable articles and
attachments are in Ka'abba if this could be converted into currency and be used
for arming the armies it would prove a very useful asset.
When Hazrath Ali's advice was s@ught he said "These articles were
there during the times of the Holy prophet (A.S.) but he did not touch them.
Though Muslims were poorer then than now, and though they were more in
need of arms and mounts then you are in need of, yet the Holy prophet (A.S.)
did not make use of these ornaments for such purposes.
It shows that the Apostle of God did not appreciate such appreciation.
You also do not do it". Hearing
this Hazrath Omer said "O Ali! had you not been here we would have suffered
a disgrace (Rabi-ul-Abrar of Allama Zamakhshari)
the occasion of the invasion of Rome when Hazrath Omer seeked his counsel as to
the advisability of heading the army as the Commander-in-Chief, he advised him
to be at the helm and to send some experienced general as a commander.
This advice is narrated in a sermon in Nahjul Balagha.
Similary at the time of invasion of Persia he counselled the caliph
Omer not to leave the capital and to send somebody else.
books Izalathul Khifa (subject II page 268 and 269), Riaz-e-Nuzarah Vol. 11
pages 194 to 197), Masnand-e-Imam Ahmed Vol.
II page 231 (Margin), Mustaderek Imam Hakim Vol.
I pages 438 to 460, Ishtheab-e-Allama Abdul Bar Vol. 11 474) and
Ahya-ul-Oloom of Imam Ghizali, cite several such cases where his counsel was
asked for and he sincerely gave his advice.
one case I want to relate which shows in what high esteem Ali held the value of
the knowledge acquired, collected and preserved by man in the fields of
philosophy, science, history, geography and ethics.
Following authors give a detailed account of the famous library of Iskunderia
Quazi Abdul Quasim Sa'd-ibne-Ahmed-e-Ondlese (462 A.H.) in Tabquathul-Omum.
Haji Khalifa Chulpee in Khushf-ul-Zonoon Vol.
I, preface, page 24, printed in Egypt.
The famous biographist Ibne Nadeem in Alfahrist page 334, printed in
The historian Jamal-ud-Din, know as, Ibn-ul-Quftee in Akhbar-ul-Olamawo-Akhbar-ul-Hukama,
pages 232 and 233 printed in Egypt and at Liepzieg (Germany).
Imam Hafiz-ud-din Mohammed-ibne-Mohammed-ibne-Shahal, know as Ibnul
Buzzaz-ul-Koormi (827 A.H.) in Kitab-ul-Imam-ul-A'zam Vol. 1, page 37, printed
at Hyderabad (Dn) India.
Allama Ahmed-ibne-Mustafa, know as, Tash-ul-Kubra Zada (962 A.H.) in
Miftah-ul-Sa'dath and Misbah-ul-Seyaduth Vol. 1, page 241, printed in Hyderabad
are unanimous in saying that there was a fairly large library at Iskundria in
Egypt. It contained between five to
seven thousand books on papyri, pal, leaves and parchments, a very large library
indeed when compared with the standard of literacy and education of those days.
contained books on chemistry, astronomy, irrigation, engineering, physics, philosophy
and on various religions etc.
Omer-ibne-Aas conquered Egypt, he enquired as to what was to be done with those
book. Orders were issued from the
Centre that "if these books are according to the Holy Quran (i.e. they say
the same things which this Holy book has said) then we do not need them and if
they say anything contrary to the Holy Quran then we not want them.
Therefore, in any case they ought to be burnt" (Akhbar-ul-Olama-wo-Akhbar
Hukama of Ibn-ul-Quftee pages 232 and 233) printed at Cairo and Leipzieg).
history of Mohammed-ibne-Abdahoo edited by Allama Rasheed Rada, Editor, Alminar,
Cairo, (Egypt) Vol. I page 535, the Tabquath-ul-Omum of Shahri Quazi Sa'ed
Ondelesee as well as Ayath-e-Biayuth of Mohsen-ul-Mulk say that when Hazrath Ali
heard the news of this, he tried to pursue them to refrain from issuing such
order. He told them "Those
books are treasures of knowledge and they cannot say anything against the Holy
Quran on the contrary the knowledge contained therein would act as commentaries
of this Holy Book and would assist and help in further explanations of the
knowledge as presented by the Holy prophet (A.S.). Knowledge is an asset for
human-beings and a birth right of man. It
should not be destroyed". Akhbar-ul-Olama
further states that his suggestion was not accepted and those books were
distributed among one thousand hot water-baths of Alexandria to be burnt as fire
11 A. H. to 33 A. H.
At his death Hazrath
Aboobaker nominated Hazrath Omer as his successor to the caliphate and Hazrath
Omer on his death had appointed a board of six members to select his
successor; the board consisted (1) Abdul Rehman ibne Oaf, (2) Sa'as ibne Abi
Waqquas (3) Hazraih Oosman-ibne-Aafan (4) Talha Ibne-Abdullah (5) Zubair ibneAwan
and (6) Hazrath Ali-ibne-Abu Talib. The
terms of reference for this council were:
If they unanimously select a person he will be designated as the caliph.
2. If there is no unanimity, then that person will be caliph for whom Abdul Reh-man ibne-Oaf and his party vote.
3. If any five of them agree on one man and the sixth disagrees then the dissenter should be immediately killed.
4. If any four of them agree on one man and then two disagree then two should be killed.
If there is equal division then the casting vote would be that of
Abdullah-ibne-Omer (his son). Abdul
Rehman-ibne-Oaf was cousin of Hazrath Oosman and husband of the aunt of
Sa'ad-ibne-Abi-Vaqquas and Zubair was son-in-law of Hazrath AbooBaker-e-Siddiq. Abdul Rehman-ibne-Oaf declared that he is not standing as a
candidate to the caliphate.
Kitabul Imamuth-wo-Siasuth of Mohammed ibne-Quatheeba-e-Daynoori (270 A.H.) page
26 and History of Ibne Khuladoon, second part pages 134 to 136, printed in
the council opinions were equally divided in favour of Hazrath Ali and Hazrath
Oosman. Abful Rehman-ibne-Oaf asked
Hazrath Ali 'If you are selected as a caliph do you promise that you will act
according to the Holy Quran and the traditions and orders of the Holy prophet (A.S.)
and according to the rulings and decisions of the previous two caliphs?"
Hazrath Ali replied "So far as the Holy Quran and the orders and traditions
of the Holy prophet (A.S.) are concerned I agree to abide by then and follow
then faithfully and sincerely, but so far as the rulings and decisions of the
previous two caliphs are concerned if these are according to the Holy Book and
the traditions of the Holy prophet (A.S.) who could dare refuse then and if they
are against the orders of God or the Holy prophet (A.S.) who would dare accept
and follow them. I refuse to bind
myself with those rulings and decisions. I
shall act according to my knowledge and my discretion".
Abdul Rehman asked the same question of Hazrath Oosman.
He agreed not only to act according to the Holy Quran and the traditions
of the Holy prophet (A.S.) but also implicitly follow the rulings and the
decisions of the previous two caliphs. Then
Abdul Rehman declared that Hazrath Oosman is selected as a caliph (Refer 1.
Tabari Vol. 5 pages 35 to 38 Vol. 16 page 590) 2. Ibne-Khaladoon page 134 to
136, 3. Abul Fida page 34, 4. Rozath-ul-Safa Vol. 2page 98).
Muharrum 24 A.H.
Syed Ameer Ali in his book "A short history of the Saracen, page 46, says
"that the choice of electorade fell upon Oosman, a member of the Ummaiyides
family (First Moharrum 24 A.H. the 7th November 644 A.D.) His election proved in
the end the ruin of Islam. He fell
at once under the influence of his clan. He
was guided entirely by his secretary and son-in-law Marwan, who had once been
expelled by the prophet for the breach of trust.
With his usual patriotism and devotion to the faith, Ali gave his
adhesion to Oosman as soon as he was elected.
Oosman displaced most of the lieutenants employed by Omer and appointed
in their stead incompetent and worthless members of his own family.
The weakness of the centre and the wickdness of the favourites was
creating a great ferment among the people.
Loud complaints of exaction and oppression by the governors began
pouring into the capital. Ali pleaded and expostulated several times with the caliph
the manner in which he allowed the government to fall into the hands of the
unworth favourites but Oosman under the influence of his evil genus Marwan paid
no heed to these counsels". Twice-Hazrath
Ali was asked to leave Madina and to go to a village near it and twice he was
called back to intervene between the ruler and the ruled, in few sermons in
Nahjul Balagha he has related these facts.
To continue the version of the short History of the Saracen "At last
a deputation from the provinces arrived in Madina to demand redress.
They were sent back with promises. On
their way home they intercepted a letter of Marwan, purporting to bear the seal
of the caliph, containing directions to the local governors to behead the
leaders of the deputation on their arrival at their destinations.
Furious at this treachery, they returned to Madina and demanded the
surrender of Marwan. And this
demand was enforced even by members of the house of Ummaiya (Masudi in
Moravej-ul-Zahab). The illfated Oosman met this demand with stern refusal.
Enraged at what they believed to be the complicity of the caliph, they
besieged him at his home" (A short history of the Saracen, pages 47 ans
details of the siege and the murder, Tharikh Khamese (Vol.
II pages 261 and 262) Tarikh Khulafa-e-Seyothee (page 108),
Moravej-ul-Zahab of Masudi and Riaz-ul-Nazarah (Vol.
II page 125), say that at this hour of peril, the Ummaiyides deserted
the old chief and some fled towards Syria and that Moavia though ordered by the
caliph did not come to his help, on the contrary the contingent which he sent to
Madina came under instructions to stop and stay at a place thirty miles away
from Madina and wait for further orders which never arrived until the caliph was
killed, and the contingent was called back.
But Hazrath Ali sent water and food to the caliph during the siege and
later as per his orders Hazrath Oosman was bravely defended by his sons and dependants,
and the insurgeants had great difficulty in making any impression on the defenders;
therefore on the 18th Zilhij 34 A.H. some of these besiegers scaled a wall of a
neighbour's house, entered the house of the caliph and killed him inside his
people who were furious against the caliph were:-
. Talha: He played an
important role in the siege and the stoppage of water.
He was commanding the group of the people who were bent upon killing
Hazrath Oosman and on that account Marwan killed him in the battle of Jamal. (Tabari
Vol. VI page 154, Kamil-ibne-Aseer
Vol. IV page 70, Ibne Khaldoon Vol.
11 page 397). And this very Talha
later came out as the avenger of murder of the caliph and carried on the
propaganda that Hazrath Ali was responsible for his murder. He
was'one of the chief instigators of the battle of Jamal.
He had insinuated people to kill Hazrath Oosman with the hope of
succeeding to the caliphate, and when he was frustrated in it he instigated a
revolt against Hazrath Ali (Refer Note to sermon 179 of Nahjul Balagha).
Zubair ibne Awan: He was enemy number one of the caliph (Mustudrik of i@am
Hakim Vol. III page 118,
Kitab-ul-Imamath wo Siyasuth Vol. VI
page 58, Moravej-ul-Zahab of Masudi Vol. 11 page II).
Later Zubair with motives like those of Talha staged a revolt against Ali
and was the prime mover for the battle of Jamal.
In the battle-field of Jamal when Hazrath Ali reminded him of the orders
given to him by the Holy prophet (A.S.) about Hazrath Ali, he left the
battle-field and was riding away to Madina when he was killed by Omer-ibne-Jerneoze,
who was neither in Hazrath Ali's army nor his companion.
Hazrath Ali felt sad at Zubair's death, and said "though he later
turned into a bitter enemy of mine yet in early days of Islam he was a good
defender of the cause of religion." (Refer Note to sermon 12).
Omer-ibne-Aas was the third bitter enemy of Hazrath Oosman.
Tabari gives a detailed account of the way he insulted the caliph in
the mosque, and says "That nobody was more pleased at the murder of Hazrath
Oosman than Omer-ibne-Aas". The
reason was that he had been deposed from the governorship of Egypt by the third
caliph. Later this Omer joined
Moavia as a claimant for retribution of the murder of Hazrath Oosman.
the events from the year II A.H. to 34 A.H. were moulding their course Hazrath
Ali took no part in the affairs of the statlr.
In the words of the history of Saracen "He was endeavouring in
Madina to give an intellectual turn to the newly developed energy of the
Saracenic race. In the public mosque at Madina he delivered weekly lectures
on philosophy, logic, history, explanation of the traditions of the Holy prophet
(A.S.) and the verses of the Holy Quran as well as on Muslim law and rhetorics.
Thus he formed the nucleus of the intellectual movement which displayed
itself in such great force in the later days".
Those lectures and sermons were compiled within forty years of his death
by Zaid Ibne Wahab-e-Jehny (Rijal-ul-Kabeer).
Many of them were lost, but some of them are preserved in Nahjul Balagha
to 40 A.H.
days after the death of caliph Oosman, by a unanimous election in which representatives
from Basra, Koofa, Egypt and Hijaz took part, Hazrath Ali was elected as a
caliph. This took place on the 24th
Zilhij 34 A.H.
Schroeder in "Mohammad's people", printed in England 1955, says
"Five days after the murder of caliph Oosman, the people fathered together
and decided: "We know no fitter man to be Imam than Ali but he will take
the burden of Immamatel. Answered some 'press him home till he consents'.
They all gathered al Ali's house with such eagerness that they were
pushing and crushing each other, they called Ali out, and said: 'If we go our
homes again without an Imam and a caliph such a strife will stir as will never
again be stilled, you will have to consent to be our Imam and caliph of God.
Ali replied 'small longings have I for this authority, yet the believers
must have a chief; and right gladly will I accept temporal authority of another
of Talha' 'Nay thou hast more right than I' said Talha.
One who stood by forced open Ali's palm and Talha swore oath of
allegiance to Ali. Zubair did the
like and from his house they brought Ali to the mosque and everybody once
again thronged round him to swear the oath of allegiance to him as their Imam
Spirit of Islam says "It might have been thought that all would submit
themselves before his glory; so fine and so grand.
But it was not to be, Zubair and Talha, who had hoped that the choice of
people might fall on either of them for caliphate balked in their ambitious
design and smarting under the refusal of the new caliph to bestow on then the
Governorship of Basra and Koofa, were the first to raise the standard of revolt.
They were assisted by Ummul Momineen Bibi Aiysha, who had taken a
decisive part in the former elections. She
was the life and soul of the insurrection and herself accompanied the insurgeant
troops to the field riding a camel. Ali
with his characteristic aversion to bloodshed sent his cousin Abdullah-ibne-Abbas
to adjure the insurgeants by every obligation of the faith to abandon the
arbitrament of war, but to no avail. Zubair
and Talha gave battle at a place called Khoraiba and were defeated and killed.
The battle is called the battle of Jamal (camel)- from Bibi Aiyesha's
presence in a litter on a camel, Bibi Aiyesha was taken prisoner, was treated
with courtesy and consideration and escorted with every marks of respect to
Madina. She was sent under escort
of her brother Mohammed-ibne-Abubaker".
Refer Asam-e-Koofi, page 147. Tabari
Vol. IV pages 548 to 565,
Roazath-ul-Safa Vol. 11, Tarikh-e-Zahbi pages 1-21. Abul Fida pages 518 to 520.
the battle when Ummul Momineen Bibi Aiyesha felt that though she had brought
about this insurgeance yet Hazrath Ali was treating her with utmost courtesy and
kindness she requested that her nephew Abdullah-ibne-Zubair, who had been
commander-in-chief of the rebel forces and was taken prisoner, to be forgiven
and freed. Hazrath Ali granted the
request. Marwan got nervous and
thought that two worst enemies of Hazrath Ali (Talha and Zubair) were killed,
one (Abdullah Ibne-Zubair) was excused and pardoned, the burden of vengeance
might fall upon him. He requested
Imam Hussan and Imam Hussain to plead for his cause, they requested for his
pardon and he was also pardoned (years aftewards the very same Marwan made his
archers shoot arrows on the dead body and bier of Imam Hassan and later he
persuaded the governor of Madina, though unsuccessfully, to immediately kill
Imam Hussain on his refusal to accept Yazid as the caliph).
Then an order for general amity, peace and forgiveness was issued,
every opponent was forgiven and every prisoner was released (Masud-e-Zahbi page
Ali's officers and commanders in this battle, besides his sons Imam Hassan,
Imam Hussain and Mohammed-e-Hanafia, were the following companions of the Holy
prophet (A.S.) 1) Abdull.Ah-ibne-Abbas, 2) Ammar-e-Yasir, 3) Abu Ayoob-eAnsari,
4) Hazima-ibne-Sabith (for whom the Holy prophet (A.S.) had said that his sole
testimony would be equal to the testimony of two witnesses)' 5)
Quais-ibne-Sa'ad-ibneAbbada, 6) Obaidullah-ibne-Abbas, 7) Mohammed-ibne-Aboobaker-e-Siddiq,
8) Hajribne-Addi-e-Kundi, 9) Addi-ibne-Hatim Thaaee.
victory gave Ali time to consolidate his kingdom in Hijaz, Iraq and Egypt.
And according to Masudi with the honesty of purpose which always
distinguished him, he disregarded all advices for temporising.
Several of his advisers counselled him to defer the dismissal of the
corrupt officers previously appointed until he was himself sure against all
enemies, but this hero without fear and without reproach refused to be guilty of
any duplicity or cornnromise with injustice and inequity.
Therefore, immediately after his accession he haci given orders for the
dismissal of corrupt and tyrannous governors, for the resumption of fiefs and
states which had been previously bestowed at public revenues loss among the
principle favourites of the rulers, and for the equal distribution of the
public revenues amongst the Arabs and non-Arabs, black and whites, masters and
slaves, heads of clan and paupers.
orders gave great offence to those who had enriched themselves under former
administrations, and his endeavours to remedy the evils, which had crept into
administration, raised against him host of enemies.
No sooner the rebellion of Talha and Zubair was supressed Moavia, an
unmayaide by descent, who had held the governorship of Syria from the time of
Hazrath Omer, raised the standard of revolt.
Sufyan, his son Moavia and his clan Bani Ummaiya had little sympathy and no
faith in Islam. Masudi, in
Murravej-ul-Zuhab Vol. VI, says
that when Abu Sufyan had grown old and blind, he was sitting in the mosque and
there were Hazrath Ali, Abdullah-ibne-Abbas and many other Muslims besides them.
The Moazzin (the man who calls for prayers) started Azan (the invitation
for prayers) and he reached the part 'I testify that Mohammed (A.S.) is the
prophet of God' Abu Sufyan said 'look at my cousin, meaning the Holy prophet (A.S.),
where he has placed his name'. Hazrath
Ali got annoyed and said that it was done by the order of God.
Tareekh (history) Khamees Vol. 11 page 97, printed in Egypt says that Abu
Sufyan advised Bani Ummaiya to treat the caliphate like a ball and to pass it on
from one to another of their clan and never let the ball out of their possession
because "I swear that there is neither punishment nor judgment, neither
the Heaven nor the Hell, and neither the Resurrection nor the day of
Reckoning". His son and his clan accepted his teachings, followed his
faith, adopted his advice and obeyed his orders.
the very beginning Moavia had made fools of Talha and Zubair.
According to Ibne Abil Hadeed when Moavia learnt that people had sworn
the oath of allegiance to Hazrath Ali, he wrote to Zubair that he had taken oath
of allegiance for him and for Talha as his successor.
The whole of Syria was ready to back them, and they should try to
overthrow Hazrath Ali's regime and accept the caliphate which was awaiting them
in Demascus (Refer Note to Sermon No. 12 of Nahjul Balagha).
Thus exciting these two old men he got Hazrath Ali busy with their
rebellion and secured time to make his government more powerful in Syria.
and Zubair by their rebellion had done a great service to his cause but they
were no more in the world to serve his purpose any longer, he therefore,
gathered around him Mogheera-ibne-Shoaba (who had originally tried to approach
Hazrath Ali but was repulsed by him), Marwan-ibne-Kahum, Waleed-ibne-Aquaba,
Abdullah-ibneOmer, Abu Huraya and Omer-ibne-Aas.
His best find was Omer-ibne-Aas. Though
Moavia had to pay a heavy price (governorship of Egypt and more that 10 Laes of
Dinars) to purchase the fidelity and faith of this Omer, yet the later events
proved that it was the best investment that Moavia had made in his life.
He also collected proofs that Ziad-ibne-Abihay was actually the son of
Abu Sufyan (born in sin) and not the son of a slave Obaid.
This change of fatherhood was officially (though shamelessly) proclaimed
and Zaid proudly became the natural brother of Moavia.
He proved himself to be a man without conscience, without remorse,
without faith in Islam and without any consideration of human rights, but a
very useful ally to Moavia. He was
Moavia's second best find. Histories
of Tabari, Roazath-ul-Safa, A'asum-e-Koofi, Moravejuz-ul-Zuhab, Abul Fida,
Kamil-ibne-Aseer may be referred for details of the above mentioned facts.
With these henchmen at his back Moavia staged a revolt against Hazrath
settling Chaldea and Mesopatenisce Hazrath Ali was forced to march towards Syria
to face Moavia's forces at a place called Siffeen.
The books noted above and Simon D. Aucklay in the History of the
Saracens give a detailed account of this battle which was long drawn one.
Vol. VI page 577, Roazath-ul-Safa
Vol. 11 page 425, Abul Fida page 425 narrate in details the orders issued by
Hazrath Ali to his officers and soldiers before the battle.
As these orders give a clear indication of the principles and methods
laid down by Hazrath Ali as to how Jehad (Holy Wars) should be carried on, I
have brieffy copied them here:
. Never begin a war
yourself, God does not like blood-shed, fight only in defence.
Never be first to attack your enemy, repulse his attacks, but do it
boldly, bravely and courageously.
While declaring yourself and your deeds (Rajuz, a custom amongst hand to
hand combatants) never waste your time, and instead of speaking about yourself
speak about God and the Holy prophet (A.S.)
Never follow and kill those who run away from the battle or an encounter,
life is dear to them, let them live as long as death permits them to live.
Never kill wounded persons who cannot defend themselves.
Never strip naked a dead man for his coat of arms or dress.
Never cut nose or ears of dead men to humiliate them.
Never take to loot and arson.
Never molest or outrage the modesty of a woman.
Never hurt a woman even if she swears at you or hurts you.
Never hurt a child.
Never hurt an old or an enfeebled person.
This battle started on the Ist Safar 38 A.H. and lasted for more than two
months. During this period about 18
encounters took place.
the beginning with his usual humanity Hazrath Ali endeavoured to bring about a
peaceful settlement. But Moavia was inflated with pride and wanted impossible conditions.
To avoid unnecessary shedding of blood, Hazrath Ali offered to end the
quarrel by personal combat, but Moavia realizing who and what Hazrath Ali was,
declined the challenge. Inspite of every exasperation Hazrath Ali commanded the
troops to await the enemy's attack, to spare the fugitives and to respect the
captives". During the encounters
once Omer-ibne-Aas and at other time Busr-ibne-Arath faced Hazrath Ali in the
battlefield. They did not, until
the encounter started realize that the warrior facing them was Hazrath Ali.
One blow was sufficient to send them down from their horses.
When they found no way of escaping his sword immediately each one of them
in his turn stripped himself naked and fell down turning their faces towards the
earth and backs towards the sky. Both
the armies laughed at those life-saving antics and somebody suggested Hazrath
Ali to kill these arch enemies of heir. In
the case of Omer-ibne-Aas he replied 'I cannot kill timid dogs, he has begged
for his life though in a shameless and humiliating manner, he said "I
cannot dirty my arms with the blood of such a cowardy and shameless
rebels were defeated in three successive battles and Moavia was ready to fly
from the field, when a trick of his accomplice Omer-ibne-Aas saved them from
destruction. He made his
mercenaries tear the Holy Quran into so many pagesland to tie those pages to
their lances and flags and shout for quarters.
When even such pages were not available mere rags were tied to the
lances. There were some persons in
the army of Hazrath Ali who were bribed by Moavia, for instance Ashas-ibne-Quais
etc. and as per orders of Omer-ibne-Aas they and their soldiers desisted from
the battle and forced other soldiers to desist from it.
They gathered around Hazrath Ali and called upon him to refer the dispute
to arbitration. Hazrath Ali saw
through the ruse practised by the rebels, and tried to make his soldiers
realize it, but the clamour of the army led him to consent to the course
granted. He then wanted Abdullah-ibne-Abbas to represent his side in
the arbitration, but again a part of the army, under instigation of Ashas demanded
that "a weak and old man, named Abu Moosa Ashari, who was also secretly
hostile to Hazrath Ali" (The History of the Saracen) be nominated as an
arbitrator from this side. There
was immediate danger of serious factions arising in his own army, which might
have developed in blood-shed, therefore Hazrath Ali acceded to the demand and
Abu Moosa was appointed as an arbitrator. Moavia
was represented by the astute and cunning Omer-ibne-Aas.
They both decided against Hazrath Ali, who deprived of the fruits of
victories by a section of his soldiers and faithless officers, retired in
disgust with a part of his army and faithful followers to Koofa.
the battle of Siffeen one of the famous companions of the Holy prophet (A.S.)
Ammar-e-Yasir and another great favourite of the Holy prophet Ovase-e-Qurrani,
fought for Hazrath Ali and were killed in the battle.
men who had been, with ulterior motives, most clamorous at Siffeen for the
reference to arbitration, when felt that their hopes could not be realised,
repudiated the arbitration and denounced it as sinful.
They openly mutinied against Hazrath Ali (therefore they were called
Kharijites). From Koofa they
withdrew to a place called Nahr-wan, which was on the border of the desert.
There they assumed threatening attitude, killed some officers of the
government and many respectable men as well as many women and children. They refused to hear reasonable advice, to join duty or to
return home. Their conduct at last
became so serious that Hazrath Ali was forced to attack them at Nahrwan, that
encounter is called the battle of Nahrwan.
The majority fell fighting, a few escaped to Bahrain and Ahsa, where they
formed the nucleus of a fanatical horde which later assumed various names and
adopted various guises.
Moosa had also retired to Madina where he subsequently received a handsome
yearly pension from the court of Moavia. (Refer Tabari, Abul Fida, Assum-e-Koofi,
Raozath-ul-Safa, Mooravej-ul-Zahab, Kamil-ibne-Aseer and the Short History of
the day of ascension to the rulership to the last day of his life Hazrath Ali
did not get a day's rest and peace. It
is a wonder, that facing the heavy odds that he had to encounter, how and when
he could get time to introduce reforms in the government; to lay out
fundamentals of grammar for Arabic language, to deliver sermons on theology, on
rethorics, on philosophy of religion, on wonders of creation and nature, and on
duties of man to God and man; to advise people in the most persuasive style,
to suppress the tendencies for innovation and schism, which had crept in the
minds of Muslims, or to introduce and to bring into effect principles of a
dealing with the revolt of Kharijites Hazrath Ali had to face the problem of
consolidating his control over Egypt. He
had sent Quais-Ibne-Sa'ad as a governor there, but had to call him back and to
send Mohammed-ibne-Aboobaker-e-Siddiq in his stead.
Unfortunately Mohammed though brave and sincere was no match to Moavia
and Omer-ibne-Aas. He was forced by
Moavia for a battle. He wrote to
Hazrath Ali who sent Malik-Ibne-Ashter for his help.
But Malik could not reach Egypt, he was on the way poisoned by a henchman
of Moavia and he died. (Tabari Vol IV page 521), Mohammed was informed of this
fact. That young man faced Omer-Ibne-Aas
alone, was defeated in the encounter, was killed, and by the orders of Moavia
his dead body was burnt and his ashes were strewn (Tabari Vol.
IV page 592). Hazrath Ali's
words at the news of death of Mohammed show he loved the youngman and how the
youth loved him. After him Hazrath
Ali had to send some experienced officer to Egypt. he therefore was busy with
that problem when Moavia organised bands of gorillas with orders for loot,
murder, arson and rape. These bands
were to attack, in the form of waves the provinces of Hijaz Basra, Ra'ay, Mosul
and Harath. Hazrath Ali organised
defences of these provinces defeated these bands and freed the country from
was very easy for Hazrath Ali to divert the minds of masses towards foreign invasion
and thus make them busy in murder and plunder.
It had always been done by rulers and is even today considered as the
best form of employing energies of a rising nation as well as the easiest way
to form Empire and to propogate religion. But
Hazrath Ali hated bloodshed, did not believe in Imperialism, and had no faith in
propagation of religion with sword in one hand and the Quran in the other.
He believed Islam to be a message of Peace and Love and wanted mankind to
be ruled on the basis of equity and justice.
Therefore after strengthening one province after another and fortifying
their defences he got busy in introducing reforms to create a benign temporal
state and never seriously thought of expanding his domain.
the time he got complete control over those problems and could organize an army
to liberate Syria and Egypt from the reign of terror which had held them in its
sway the fateful month of Ramzan 40 A.H. arrived.
was the 19th of the Ramazan, the month of fasting of that eventful year.
The time was that of morning prayers.
The place was the mosque of Koofa. Hazrath
Ali had arrived in the mosque long before the time of the prayers, had roused
those who were sleeping in the mosque. Amongst
them was Abdul Rehamn-ibne-Muljim-e-Muradi.
He was lying on his face and had hidden under his garment a sword, the
blade of which had been poisoned. Hazrath
Ali roused him, told him that it was an unhealthy way of sleeping, it hinders
free breathing, and also told him that he had hidden a sword in his garment
and an evil intention in his mind. Hazrath
Ali then called the Muslims to morning prayers and led the service.
It was the first part of the prayers and he was rising from the kneeling
posture when the sword of Abdul Rehman-ibne-Muljim descended on his head.
It was the same sword that Hazrath Ali had pointed out only half an hour
ago, it gave him a very deep cut. The
prayers were disturbed. Abdul
Rehman started running. People
went after him. Nobody was
attending the prayers. There was
confusion everywhere. But Hazrath
Ali finished his two prostrations and then reeled into the hands of his sons
Hussan and Hussain. The wound which
was bleeding profusely was attended to. His
blood drenched lips parted into thanks giving prayers and he said "Lord!
I thank Thee for rewarding me with martyrdom; how kind are Thee and how
Gracious. May Thy Mercy further
lead me to the Realm of Thy Grace and Benevolence".
Abdul Rehman was caught by Sasa-ibne-Sohan and was brougt before Hazrath
All. Hands of the murderer where
tied behind his back. Hazrath saw
that the ropes were cutting into the flesh of the murderer.
He forgot the wound of his dead, the blow which was to end his life and
to cut his career in its prime, he forhot that Abdul Rehman was murderer, all
that he saw was a humanbeing subjected to unhuman torture.
He ordered the Muslims to loosen the hands of Abdul Rehman and to treat
the man more humanly. The kindness touched the murderer and he started weeping.
A smile played on those lips and in faint voice he said "It is too
late to repent now, you have done your deed.
Was I a bad Imam or a unkind ruler?".
carried him to his house and when he saw the bright day he addressed it:-
you can bear testimony to the fact that during the life time of Ali you have
never, not even once, dawned and found him sleeping".
lived two days after this event and in that interval whenever he found time he
delivered a few sermons (sermon No. 152 is one of them).
In those sermons and with his dying breath he expressly ordered that no
harshness should be used towards his murderer, who should be executed, if the
heirs of Hazrath Ali so desire, with one blow, he should not be tortured before
death, his dead body should not be mutilated, members of his family should not
suffer on account of his crime and his property should not be conriscated.
He designated his son Imam Hussan (A.S.) as his Vicegenerent.
closed the last chapter of the history of a life which from beginning to its end
was full with noble deeds, pious thoughts and sublime words, and every hour of
which was a crowded hour of a glorious life.
"Had Ali been allowed to reign in peace" says Oeslner,
"his virtues, his firmness, and his ascendancy of character would have
perpetuated the basic principles of a good government and its simple
manners". The dagger of an
assassin destroyed the hope of Islam. "With
him", says Osborn, "perished the truest hearted and the best Muslim of
whom the Mohmedan history has preserved the remembrance".
"Seven Centuries before" says Justice Amir Ali, "this
wonderful man would have been apotheosised, and thirteen centuries later his
genious and talents, his virtues and his valour, would have exerted the
admiration of the civilised world. Chivalrous,
humane and forbearing to the verge of weakness, as a ruler he came before his
time. He was almost no match by his
uncompromising love of truth, his gentleness and his merciful nature to cope
with Ummaiyides treachery and falsehood" (The Spirit of Islam) Justice Amir
Ali further says "To quote the language of the modern French historian
"But for his assassination the Muslim world might have witnessed the
realisation of the prophet's teaching, in actual amalgamation of the first
principles of true philosophy into positive action. The same passionate devotion to knowledge and learning which
distinguished Mohammed (A.S.) breathed in every word of Ali.
With a literality of mind-for beyond the age in which he lived-was joined
a sincere devotion of spirit and earnestness of faith.
His sermons, his psalms, his litanies portray a devout uplooking
towards the source of All Good, and an unbounded faith in humanity".
to his will he was buried at Najaf a place about two miles from Koofa.
Ali, his character, his wisdom, his teaching, his services to Islam, his love of
mankind, his respect to duty, and adherence to piety, to truth and to justice,
more than eight thousands books have already been written.
They are in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu, English, Spanish, Italian,
German, French, Gujrati, Hindi, Telegu and Tamil, a sincere homage to the
sincerity of his faith in the greatness and nobility of character inherent in
man and in the possibility of human-beings developing these traits by good
thoughts and good deeds.
Hazrath Ali (A.S.) as a ruler and statesman
Hazrath Ali took charge of the state the condition of the country was in a
hopeless turmoil. All the most
important people and the companions of the Holy prophet (A.S.) had lost
sympathy with the government and were openly hostile to it.
Rank, favouritism and short-sighted greed of Marwan and his clan were
responsible for this chaos. People
were embolden to rise in arms against the mismanaged and malevolent rule.
Their uprising had succeeded. They
had lost every respect of the authority, and had no desire to see the ruling
junta back into power again. On the
other hand the members of the overthrown regime had sinister designs to gain
back the control which had benefited them for so long, while some influential
persons were hoping to gain caliphate for themselves.
three days after the murder of the caliph there was anarchy in the capital and
on the fifth day Hazrath Ali was unanimously elected.
He neither claimed nor contested for the temporal kingdom.
It was forced upon him. But
when he accepted it he openly declared his policy in his very first speech.
And that was to the effect that they had elected him as their temporal
ruler and so he would remain as long as they kept on obeying him.
But he had grave doubts about the sincerity of their desire, therefore,
he had originally twice refused to accept their request to act as their ruler;
but their hopeless plight and their repeated solicitations moved him to assent
to their entreaties; yet he was under no obligation to them for their election,
on the contrary he had done them a service by agreeing to rule over them.
He knew fully well the reasons of their persistent supplications for
his rulership, they had been very badly treated by the malevolent, cruel and
oppressive regime, the ruling class had insulted them and had always refused to
listen to their grievances and to come to their relief.
The masses had been kept under complete ignorance of the true teaching of
Islam and were made to feel that such ignorance was the best thing for them,
they had been made to concentrate on wordly benefits at the cost of religion and
piety, the result was a rule of brutal force of which they were tired and wanted
the kind of benign government which had been introduced by the Holy prophet (A.S.).
That desire had made them look for somebody who could reintroduce that type of
government; and they realized that he was the man in whom the Holy prophet (A.S.)
had confided and intrusted more than in anybody else, and that he had been the
Trustee to everyone of Holy prophet (A.S.) secrets, therefore they unanimously
elected him as their ruler.
they had not realized the responsibilites and obligations under which they had
brought themselves by making him their Amir (ruler).
He knew their weaknesses and also knew that they would lose their
confidence in him when they would find that he attached more importance to
general welfare than to personal good, when he would make them follow the path
laid down by the Holy prophet (A.S.), when with the introduction of equality and
equity he would make them accept the principles of brotherhood of man and
general amity towards their fellow-beings, and when he would try to lead them toward
selfless discharge of duties as laid down by God and the Holy prophet(A.S.), and
thus would make them a model subject of the kingdom of God, a model to be
adopted by those who desire peace and prosperity under a benign rule.
He was afraid that with introduction of such system of the government and
the society they would revolt against him, they would clamour for personal
benefits, and would Crave for vicious pleasure, but which would be made
impossible in his government. They
did not realize that by allowing them cheap and simple pleasure, by granting
them limited power and by keeping them in darkness of ignorance the rulers had
actually turned them into automata to work for them, kind of slaves without
vision, fore-sight and prospect of future life. He would try to make them follow the true path of religion of
their own free will, to develop the habit of simple living and high thinking and
to give up the desire of seeking undue favours and unjustifiable pleasures.
That was the kind of men that God wanted them to be and the Holy prophet
(A.S.) had tried to model them to. The
task had not been easy then, the lapse of a quarter century had made it even
more difficult, but he would try to achieve it. (Alkuffar of Maulana Riaz Ali).
shadow of hope was lurking in the minds of persons expecting wealth, prosperity
and governorship disappeared by this very first speech of Hazrath Ali.
They knew that they cannot "pect unholy and ungodly concession from
Ali-ibne-Abu Talib. Their
unreasonable claims on public wealth, their fiefs and their unjustifiable
holdings of public property will not renudn with them.
The result was three rebellions against Ali ibne-Abu Talib and a restless
period of rulership for about four year.
Reforms.- But AU with the sincerity of purpose tried to do what he had promised,
that is to raise the mental uplift of the masses: the first thing was the
consolidation of the state. This he
successfully carried out against very heavy odds.
The second thing was to create a Central Bureau where he distributed the
work of training the crude Arabs into educated and civilised being.
To Abul-Asswad-Velli, he dictated basic principles and rules of grammar
for the Arabic language with special instruction to concentrate on the syntax of
that language. Abdul Rehman Sulmee
was made to look after the art of reading the Quran correctly. Kumai-ibne-Ziyad was made responsible for the Mathematics,
Engineering and Astronomy. Omer-Ibne-Sulma
for Arabic language and literature (prose).
Abadaa-ibne-Samith for poetry and logic.
Abdullah-ibne-Abbas for principles of Administration and Rhetorics, and
he himself for philosophy of religion, ethics, commentary of the Holy Quran and
the traditions of the Holy prophet (A.S.). But actually he was hub of the whole
activity. Though every hour of his
glorious life was crowded yet he found time to teach his assistants, what, to
say, when and how to say it, what to teach, and when and how to teach it.
Long after his death every one of his above pupils proved a shining star
in the sky of Muslim civilization, they have been considered as Imams.
of New System of Government:
next subject which engaged his immediate attention was the improvement of
administration. To make due
arrangements for security of the state from external attacks, to preserve law
and order, to control corruption and bribery, to provide equality of
opportunities and equal distribution of public wealth among his subjects, to
appoint honest and pious officers, to chastise and remove from service dishonest
ones, to maintain a powerful army, to avoid enrollment of mere mercenaries in
it, to take care of trades and traders and treat non-Muslims with deserving
leniency and respect, were apparently the items of his programme which he
successfully carried out.
of Public Service Departments.
divided the state service into following sections:
Department: The department of the Public Finance was divided into two section:-
Collection section and
Section was sub divided into three heads and only three kinds of taxes were
to be collected by Hazrath Ali:-
Land Revenue: It was usually collected in coins of silver and gold or in
bullion. Officers to collect this
revenue were some times appointed by the centre, but Hazrath had also authorised
the governors to appoint such officers themselves.
Zakath (poor rate) and Sadaquath (poor fund); it weis usually collected
in kind or in live-stock. Officers
to collect this revenue were always appointed directly by Haz-rath and he took
great care to appoint honest and pious persons on these posts and to keep a
sharp look out on their activities and behaviour.
Jaziyah: a tax from non-Muslims in lieu of Zakath etc. and in return for
the security and amenities provided to them.
Collection of no other kind of tax, from non Muslims, was allowed by him.
survey was carried on by him wherever necessary.
Every tax-payer had the right to appeal and an appellate jurisdiction was
brought into force. Officers for this court of appeal were directly appointed by
was the first man to introduce the Budgetary system for collection of Revenues
and for its Expenditure. Every province had to present its budget direct to him for approval.
The incomes were divided into two heads; provincial and central.
Zakath and Sadaquath were items of the Central Revenues, Land Revenue and
Jaziya were Provincial Incomes.
schedule of rate for Land Revenue was fixed by him as under:-
1 1/2 Dirham per Jareeb
2. 2nd class fertile land
I Dirham per Jareeb
3. 3rd Grade land
1/2 Dirham per Jareeb
4. Vine yards, and Orchards and date palm groves
10 Dirhams per Jareeb
(Note I Jareeb = 2268 3/4 sq. yd.)
Sadaquath and Zakath were the taxes which only Muslims
had to pay. It was a tax
levied on personal income, landed property, hoarded bullion
and currency and on live stock, its rate was that which was fixed by
tenets of the Muslim Law.
was a personal tax, collected per head of a person irrespective of his income or
property. But such persons were
divided into classes. It was an annual tax. The
division of classes was as under:-
Ist class: Very rich persons and land-lords
48 Dirhams per head
2nd class: Middle class people
42 Dirhams per head
3rd class: Businessmen
42 Dirhams per head
4th class: General public 12
Dirhams per head
were positive orders that no Jaziya was to be collected from beggars, and
persons falling in following categories.
. Those who were above 50 years of age
Those who were below 20 years of age
All paralysed persons
All disabled persons
All blind persons
from the source of Zakath and Sadaquath was reserved for the following heads:
Administration of the Departments of Collection and Distribution.
Grants, Donations and aids to poor, have-nots, orphans, aged widows and
Honorarium to volunteers who fought for the state
Pensions to widows and orphans of soldiers and officers of the army
and to set free slaves from the bondage of slavery.
Reparation of government loans
Hajis whenever and wherever they were found stranded.
C to F were for the first time introduced by Hazrath Ali and so far as F was
concerned previously no king ever thought his kindom to be morally obliged to
pay back a loan taken from somebody.
Ali was the first man who declared that a ruier's share of income from the state
was equal to that of any commoner.
from Jaziya was car-marked for the following items of expenditure:-
Maintenance of army.
Construction and maintenance of Forts
Construction and maintenance of Roads and Bridges
Construction of Sarais (Rest houses)
Revenue was the provincial income to be spent on maintenance of courts, offices,
and other necessary items as per orders of the Centre.
Before I bring to an end the narration of his system of revenue
collection I must mention a remark passed by him in this respect to one of his
governors. He said "So far as
collection of land revenue is concerned you must always keep in view the welfare
of the tax-payer, which is of primary importance than the taxes themselves,
and as actual taxable capacity of people rests on fertility of land therefore
more attention should be paid to fertility of land and prosperity of the
subjects than to the collection of revenues.
of Public wealth was a subject on which Hazrath Ali spent much time and thought
and which in return caused him to lose many adherents and followers.
first reform that Hazrath Ali (A.S.) introduced was to reorganize the Treasury
and the Accounts department. Dishonest officers were removed from the service.
A system of accounting was introduced.
Oosman-ibne-Haneef was appointed as the Chief Treasury Officer.
The principle of equal distribution of public money was introduced. The system of weakly distribution was for the first time
adopted. Every Thursday was the
distribution day or pay day so that Muslims could spend their National Holiday
of Friday happily. Every Thursday
accounts were closed and every Saturday started with fresh books of accounts.
and equity were the key-notes of his policy of distribution of wealth.
At the Centre (Koofa) he often supervised the distribution himself and
after the work was over and accounts cleared he would sa,, prayers in the
Treasury and thank his Lord that he had performed his duty faithfully.
Shoobee says that as a young boy once he passed the Treasury at the time when
Hazrath Ali was supervising the distribution, he saw negro-slaves standing in
line with the Arab Shaikhs and getting equal shares, and within a short time the
heaps of silver and gold coins disappeard, the Treasury was cleared, Hazrath Ali
said the prayers and left the officie empty handed.
That day he had given his share to an old woman who complained that her
share was iot sufficing her (Kitab-e-Gharath).
one of his favourite and trusty companion, Oosman-ibne-Haneef, told him that by
introduction of the principle of Equal Distribution of wealth and bringing important
persons down to the level of commoners, by raising the status of Negroes, and
Persian to that of Arabs, by allotting shares to slaves equal to their masters,
by depriving the rich persons of their jagirs and by stopping special grants
apportioned to them according to their status, he had done more harm to himself
and his cause than good. Continuing
he said "Look my Lord, these are the reasons why influential and rich Arabs
are deserting you and are gathering around Moavia.
Of what use these poor persons, disabled people, aged widows and Negro
slaves are to you. How can they
help and serve you?" He replied "I cannot allow rich and influential
persons to exploit the society of this Muslim state and to run an inequitable
and unjust system of distribution of wealth and opportunities.
I cannot for a moment tolerate this.
This is public wealth, it comes from the masses it must go back to them.
The rich and powerful persons have not created any wealth, they have
merely sucked it from the masses and after paying the taxes, etc., what is
left to them is many times more than what they pay to the state and they are
welcome to retain it. Had all this
been private property I would have gladly distributed it in the same manner. So far as their desertion is concerned I am glad they have
deserted me. So far as the
usefulness or services of these disabled persons and have-nots is concerned,
remember that I am not helping them to secure their services, I fully well know
they are unable to serve me. I help
them because they cannot help themselves and they are as much human-beings as
you and 1. May God help me to do my duty as He wishes me to do". (Kitab-e-Gharath).
Army: Hazrath Ali was a bom soldier and had started his Military career at the age of fourteen, when he acted as a bodyguard to the Holy prophet (A.S.). Thence onward he was the only Military talent on whom the Holy prophet (A.S.) would rely and all arrangements for organization of defences and maintenance of an army of volunteers or soldiers were totally entrusted to him by the Holy prophet (A.S.). It was his ability and valour which brought such succes to Islam in its early stage against such enormous odds. Even Hazrath Omer was taking his advice on Military problems (Sirajul Mobeen, Almurtaza and Kitab-e-Gharath).
had not dimmed his valour or his ability to organize such an important section
of the state. At the age of sixty
in the battle-fields of Jamal, Siffeen and Nahrwan, he was as brave soldier, as
good leader and as keen Marshal as he was in the prime of his life, in the
battlefields of Bader, Ohad, Khundaq, Khaiber and Hunain.
his short period of rulership of about four years he organized this department
The first liability on the state exchequer was the army department.
Every governor of the province besides being chief finance officer of the
province was the commander of the army placed under him.
When officers could not be found to look after the military as well as
civil administration then the functions were divided.
Hazrath Ali did not
tolerate mere mercenaries but did not let services of volunteers go unpaid.
He hated murder and blood-shed and desired his soldiers to be soldiers in
the service of God and religion. His
strict orders to the army were, "always keep fear of God in your mind,
remember that you cannot afford to do without His Grace.
Remember that Islam is a mission of peace and love.
Keep the Holy prophet (A.S.) before you as a model of bravery, valour and
piety. Do not kill anybody unless
in self defence. Take care of your
mounts and your arms, they are your best guards. Work hard while you are at it and then devote some time to
rest and relaxation. Rest and
relaxion are as much necessary for you as hard work.
Do not let one overstep the time limit of the other.
Do not pursue those who run away from an encounter and do not kill
fleeing persons. Do not kill those
who beg for life and mercy. Do not kill civilians. Do
not pursue those who run away from an encounter and do not kill fleeing persons.
Do not for life and mercy. Do
not kill civilians. Do not outrage
modesty of women. Do not harm old
people and children. Do not accept
any gifts from the civil population of any place.
Do not billet your soldiers or officers in the houses of civilians. Do not forget to say your daily prayer. Fear God. Remember
that death will inevitably come to every one of you some time or other, even if
you are thousand of miles away from a battlefield; therefore be always ready to
face death." He did not appreciate heavily armed and clad soldiers.
He liked lighter swords, lighter bows and arrow, lighter coat of arms and
lighter chain of armours. He
preferred to have an agile and a mobile army.
I wish I had space at my disposal to translate parts from the books
Aihgarath, Siraj-ul-Mobeen, AlMurtaza and Kitab-e-Siffeen (as quoted by Ibne
Abil Hadeed). They have discussed and narrated at some lenght his system of
reorganizing the army, his principles of strategy and his tactics of war: how he
divided the army into six units, beginning from van guard (Muquadamath-ul-Jaish)
and ending it at the rear guards (Radah and Saqquah); how
he arranged to cover every
possibility of a retreat with the help of these units; how he subdivided the
cavalry into horse and camel units; and infantry into archers, swordsman and 'Mata'een'
(soldiers armed with short lances which they threw with precision, skill and
force); how he made the van guard responsible for scouting, pioneering and performing
duties of sapper and Miners; how he used to arrange the army in a battle-field;
how he never suffered a defeat in his life; how bold he was ; how he used to
fight without protecting his body with armour or shield; how he never delivered
more than one blow (mostly his one blow was sufficient to kill his opponent, if
not he would give the opponent chance to get up and run away) and how nobody
ever dared stand before him for his second blow.
To him war was a pious duty to be performed only for the pourpose of
defence. He often declared "A
Muslim's life is a battle-field, where he is seldom required to defend his
self or his cause and country at the point of sword, which is Jehad-eAsghar
(Holy war on a minor scale), however formidable be the forces he is to face,
while in every day of his life he is to fight against evil desires, vicious
cravings and inordinate wishes, which is Jehad-e-Akber (A holy war on a major
scale), take care and do not suffer a defeat in this battle; remember it is life
long struggle; a success here will be honoured with martyrdom, even if one dies
in his bed surrounded by his relatives". harm old people and children. Do not accept any gifts from the civil population of any
place. Do not billet your soldiers
or officers in the houses of civilians. Do
not forget to say your daily prayer. Fear
God. Remember that death will
inevitably come to every one of
you some time or other, even if you are thousand of miles away from a
battle-field; therefore be always ready to face death." He did not
appreciate heavily armed and clad soldiers.
He liked lighter swords, lighter bows and arrow, lighter coat of arms and
lighter chain of armours. He
preferred to have an agile and a mobile army.
I wish I had space at my disposal to translate parts from the books
Alhgarath, Siraj-ul-Mobeen, AlMurtaza and Kitab-e-Siffeen (as quoted by Ibne
Abil Hadeed). They have discussed and narrated at some lenght his system of
reorganizing the army, his principles of strategy and his tactics of war: how he
divided the army into six units, beginning from van guard (Muquadamath-ul-Jaish)
and er-ding it at the rear guards (Radah and Saqquah); how he arranged to cover
every possibility of a retreat with the help of these units; how he subdivided
the cavalry into horse and camel units; and infantry into archers, swordsman and
'Mata'een' (soldiers armed with short lances which they threw with precision,
skill and force); how he made the van guard responsible for scouting, pioneering
and performing duties of sapper and Ntiners; how he used to arrange the army
in a battle-field; how he never suffered a defeat in his life; how bold he was;
how he used to fight without protecting his body with armour or shield; how he
never delivered more than one blow (mostly his one blow was sufficient to kill
his opponent, if not he would give the opponent chance to get up and run away)
and how nobody ever dared stand before him for his second blow.
To him war was a pious duty to be performed only for the pourpose of
defence. He often declared "A
Muslim's life is a battle-field, where he is seldom required to defend his
self or his cause and country at the point of sword, which is Jehad-eAsghar
(Holy war on a minor scale), however formidable be the forces he is to face,
while in every day of his life he is to fight against evil desires, vicious
cravings and inordinate wishes, which is Jehad-e-Akber (A holy war on a major
scale), take care and do not suffer a defeat in this battle; remember it is life
long struggle; a success here will be honoured with martyrdom, even if one dies
in his bed surrounded by his relatives".
The principle of keeping independent of, and over and above the executive,
administrative and military sections of the state was the main factor of the reforms
introduced by him. He was very
particular about this. So much so
that historians narrate that he appeard before his Chief Justice (Qpazi Sharaih)
as a complainant and the Chief Justice wanted to give him a place of honour in
the court and to treat him like a king or caliph.
He reproached the judge for such a behaviour, saying that he was there as
a plaintif and not as a king or a caliph, and then he cheerfully accepted the
decision of the court against him. The
effect of upholding the prestige of the court of justice, and his adherance to
the principles of equality and equity were so impressive that the person,
against whom he had filed the case and had lost it, raA after him kissed the hem
of his garment and said "My Lord, teach me Islam, I am a Christian and I
want to be converted". "Why",
enquired Hazrath Ali... "Did any body forced you to do that?" "No
My Lord" he said, But your behaviour of treating even a non-Muslim subject
as your equal, the prestige you have granted to justice and fair play and your
abstination from use of power and authority made me feel that Islam is a great
religion. You are a ruler and a
caliph, you could have easily ordered me to be killed and my property looted,
and nobody dared ask reasons of your actions, but you took the case against me
to the court and cheerfully accepted the decision against you; I have never
heard of such a ruler before you. What
is more the thing that you claimed as yours is actually yours and not mine, but
I know the persons who could provide proof of this are out of Koofa, therefore,
I boldly said that it was mine and not yours.
That was a lie, and now I am ashamed to feel that I lied against such an
honourable person. You have heard
me. Will you notallow me to enter
the fold of Islam"? Hazrath
enquired, "Are you of your free-win entering our fold"?
"Yes", he replied "Under your regime I have nothing to
lose by remaining in my religion and no wordly benefit to gain by embracing
Islam and by confessing my guilty and sin".
code which he laid down for selection and enrolment of judges shows he took care
of even minute requirements of the post and position, it says:-
1. Only such persons should be selected who are well versed in
Muslim Law and know enough of the Holy Book and traditions of the Holy prophet (A.S.)
to decide according to the principles laid down therein, besides they must
knowledge of personal Laws of other religions followed in their provinces.
2. They must be men of some standing and status.
3. They must not lose temper or patience and treat litigants
harshly and insul-tingly. The
litigants must feel that their interests are well guarded and wen looked after,
and the doors of justice are always open for them.
4. If they feel that they have made a mistake they should not
obstinately stick to it, but try to undo the injustice done by them.
5. They should be able to probe deeply before them and to reach
6. They must be able to reach decisions quickly and must not
unnecessarily pro-long a case.
7. They must not accept recommendations and must not be
Their sames should be so fixed that they are not temped by bribes and
In audiences and levees of the governors they should be given seats of
Greedy and avarious persons, and those who are open to flattery and
cajolery should also be avoided.
The door of appeal to the public should not be closed.
The caliph should always hear appeals against the decisions of the
courts and should decide as per orders of God and the Holy prophet (A.S.).
Provincial Secretariat and Subordinate Offices
has laid down a code for the officers of the State which covers every aspect of
their duties and obligations. It is
embodied in the form of a letter (Letter No. 53, Nahjul Balagha) written to one
of his governors. Abdul
Maseeh-e-Antaki, the famous Christian Jurist, poet and Philosopher of Bairuth,
who died in the beginning of the 20th Century says that "it is by far a
superior and better code than the ones handed down by Mosses and Hamurabi.
It explains what a humane administration should be like and how it is to
be carried on and it justifies the claims of Muslims that Islam wants to introduce
a Godly administration of the people, by the people, and for the people and it
decrees that a ruler should not rule to please himself but to bring happiness to
the ruled, no religion before Islam tried to achieve this end.
Ali must be congratulated for having introduced these principles in his
government and for having written them down for posterity".
quote here just a few points to illustrate what Abdul Maseeh meant by saying
that it was a better code than the codes handed down by Mosses or Hamurabi.
You must create in your mind kindness and love for your subjects. Do not behave with them as if you are voracious and ravenous
beast and your success lies in tearing them up and devouring them.
Muslims and Non-muslims should be treated alike.
Muslims are your brothers and Non-muslims are human beings just like you.
Do not feel ashamed to forgive. Do
not hurry over punishments. Do not
quickly lose your temper over mistakes and failures of those over whom you rule.
Anger and desire of vengeance are not going to be of much use to you in
Do not allow favouritism and nepotism force you to violate your duties to
God and to man, and drive you towards tyranny and oppression.
While selecting officers take care that you do not select such people who
have served tyrannous and oppressive rulers and have been responsible for
atrocities and savage cruelties committed by the state.
Select honest and kind persons and from amongst them prefer those who
speak out bitter truth to you unreservedly without fear or favour.
Appointments in the first place must be on probation.
Keep your officers well paid so that they may not be tempted to
corruption or misappropriation.
Appoint confidential officers to secretly watch the activities of your
officers and staff and report to you about their behaviours.
Your secretaries should be cream of your civil, judicial or military
service. Choose the best amongst
them irrespective of age or period of service.
All letters or applications should be dealt with by the officers and
replies or orders about them should be drafted by them only, no subordinate must
be allowed to work as the eyes and minds of these officers.
Take your subject sin to your confidence and make them feel that you are
their well-wisher and friend.
Never break a promise or go against the terms of a treaty.
It is a sin against God.
You must take care of your traders but should never allow them to resort to
hoarding, black-marketing and profiteering.
Help handicraft, it reduces poverty and raises the standard of life.
Agriculturists are assets to the state and should be protected as an
Remember that your sacred duty is to look after the poor, disabled and
or-phans. Let not your officers
humiliate them, ill-treat them or oppress them.
Help them, protect them and let them approach you whenever they are in
need of your help.
Avoid bloodshed, do not kill anybody unless he deserves to be killed
according to the canons of Islam.
enters a garden laid out into beautiful flower-beds, artistically and aesthetically
arranged. Flowers in each bed have
been grown by persons who know the art and science of it.
The beauty of their colours and the delicacy of their forms and shade are
pleasing to the eyes, and their fragrance enchants the minds.
He knows that he has not the knowledge and capability to cultivate and
grow flowers like that and the public have no time to go through the
garden and enjoy the sights and fragrance of these beds at leisure.
He picks up a few flowers from each of these beds and arranges them in a
bouquet as a humble homage to the grandness and beauty of the garden.
this view in my mind's eyes I took up to write these chapters.
I have drawn freely from the following books "Al-Murtaza", Al-Kurrar,
Nufs-e-Rasool, The Spirit of the Islam, The Islam under Arabs, The preaching
of Islam, Quasais-e-Nisaaee, Ahtejaj Tabresee, Behar-ul-Anwar, Almanaquib,
Sharhay-ibne-Maisum, Sharhay Mirza Fathullah, Sharhay-ibne-Abil Hadeed and
am sure the selection is not the best, but it is the best that I can do and I am
sure it will provoke minds superior to mine for better efforts.
this last chapter I try to discuss the teachings of Hazrath in the field of
philosophy of religion.
Hazrath Ali and the Imams of his descent religion was a vital and positive force
of life. Their phylosophy never
sinks to that war of words without life and without earnestness which is main
feature of the schools under Ptolemies or the vicious circles created by
philosophers of the West and the East. Their
ardent love of knowledge, their devotion in evolution of human mind, their
sincere faith in God, and in His Mercy, Love and Kindness, and their looking
upwards for above the literalness of common interpretation of the law, show
the spirituality and expansiveness of their philosophy of religion, Hazrath Imam
Jafer-e-Sadiq (A.S.) defines knowledge "Enlightenment of heart is its
essence, Truth is its principal object, Inspiration is its guide, Reason is its
acceptor, God is its Inspirer, and the words of man are its utterers".
To them evolution of mind was the essence of life and religion was the
essence of the evolution of mind.
correctly Hazrath Ali taught us that a man without mind is not a man, and a mind
without religion is worst than the instinct of a beast, more harmful, more dangerous
and more carnivorous. Devotion
without understanding will not bring Blessing of God, it is useless.
attaches so much value to mind and its correct ways of grasping truth that he
says your first leader and guide is your mind.
At another place he says that nothing is more useful to man than his
intelligence, or there is nothing wealthier than wisdom, or there is no greater
bounty of the Lord than the intellect granted to you, or you can dispense with
everything but your mind and intelligence, or there is no better guide towards
truth than wisdom, or one hour of deep and sober meditation is better than a
life of prayers without understanding, or a wise man thinks first and speaks or
to intelligence and wisdom he taught us to attach importance to sincerity of
purpose in life. Once explaining a
certain verse to Abdullah-ibne-Abbas, he said "Ibne Abbas if you sincerely
and intelligently go in search of truth or religion and if you wander out of
the right path even then there is a reward for you.
There is sermon in Nahjul Balagha in which he says do not kill Kharijites
after me because to go in search of truth and to lose the true path is better
than to spend the entire span of ones life in pursuit of vicious pleasure and
natural and logical sequence of the above two attributes is to take count of
yourself, your knowledge, your thoughts, your intentions, your desires and your
deeds. He therefore advises us
"To weight your own souls before the time of weighing of your actions
arrives. Take count with yourself
before you are called upon to account for your conduct in this existence".
obtain favourable results of such weighing and taking count of oneself one must
have done good deeds. And so far as actions and rea@tions are concerned he wants us
to understand that human conduct is not fortious, one act is the result of
another, life, destiny and character mean connected series of incidents,
events and actions which are related to each other, as cause and effect by an
Ordained Law. Therefore, apply
yourself to good and pure actions, adhere to truth, follow the true path to
salvation, before death makes you leave this abode.
If you do not warn yourself and do not guide yourself none other can
direct you. The Lord has pointed
out to you the path of salvation and has warned you of the temptation of this
world. Abstain from foulness though
it may be fairseeming to your sight. Avoid
evil however pleasant, for you know not how far it takes you away from Him.
discourses in Nahjul Balagha about noble deeds are supreme reading.
His warnings against sinful life are very persuasive teachings.
He says "O Ye servants of the Lord! fulfil the duties that are
imposed on you for in their neglect there is abasement, your good work alone
will render easy the road to death and to the Heaven. Remember each sin increases the debt and makes the chain
heavier. The message of mercy has
come, the path of truth (Haq) is clear; obey the command that has been laid on
you; live in purity and work with nobility of purpose and ask God to help you in
your endeavours and to forgive your past trasgressions. Cultivate humility and forbearance, comfort yourself with
to sincere faith in the unity of God and the apostlehood of the Holy prophet (A.S.),
he lays great stress on piety. He
wants us to realize that ' piety is not a juicy morsel to be swallowed easily
nor it is a dip in river to clean all dirt and filth from the body.
Piety means actions and those actions in beginning may be sour, harsh,
and painful to perform. Piety means
to free oneself from vicious desires and wicked deeds.
This freedom cannot be obtained but by constant efforts and endeavours.
Such efforts are a continuous struggle and long drawn war against vicious
cravings of mind. No body can be
free from vices and sins unless he develops the capacity to abhore and hate
them. When once this capacity
develops then to adopt a pious and sober fife because a habit, a second nature.
Few things are forbidden to you and so many things are allowed that no
one is barred from normal relaxations, ease and comfort and from sober and
harmless pleasures and pursuits.
him asceticism was a sin against self. History
cites many instances where he admonished the persons who had given up their
homes and families. had severed every connection with society, had taken to a
mosque, and had been praying, fasting and reciting the Holy Book morning, noon
and night. He sent them back to
their homes and told them that their duties lie among their fellow beings, and
what they had taken to is not piety but fanatic asceticism which is not allowed
in I slim. He strongly reprobated
observance of asceticism and condemned the abandoniriciit of the affairs of
this life in fanatic pursuits of rictuals.
says that he who acts with piety gives rest to his soul; he who takes warning understands
the truth and he who understands it attains the perfect knowledge.
teachings do not convey any impression of predestination; on the contrary they
portray a soul animated with living faith in God and yet full of trust in human
development founded on individual exertion springing from human volition.
Somebody one day, asked him the meaning Quaza and Quader.
He replied Quaza means o@ence to commandments of God and avoidance of sin
and Quader means the ability to live a pious and Holy life, and to do that which
brings one nearer to God and to shun that which throws him away from His
Perfection. Say not that man is compelled, for that attribution is
tyranny to God, nor say that man has absolute discretion to decide what is right
and what is wrong, we are furthered by His Help and Grace in our endeavours, to
act righteously and we transgress because of our neglect of His Commands.
the meaning of the verse "There is no power nor help but from God" he
said "It means that I am not afraid of God's Anger, but I am afraid of His
Purity; nor have I power to observe His Commandments, but my strength is in His
assistance. God has placed us on earth to try each according to his
endowments". Explaining the
verse "We will try you to see who are strivers (after truth and purity) and
who are forbearing and patient, and we will test your actions and we will help
you by degrees to attain what you know not I" he says that these verses
prove the liberty of human volition. ExpWning
the verse 'God direm him whom He Chooses, and leads him astray whom He Chooses'
he says that "This does not mean that He compels men to evil or good deeds,
or that He either gives direction or refuses it according to His caprice, for
this would do away all responsability for human action; on the contrary it me=
that God points out the road to truth, and lets men choose as they will".
a sermon in Nahjul Balagha he says, "Tbe theory of compulsion,
predestination or predetermination of fate is a satanic insinuation and a
doctrine of faith amongst enemies of God. On the contrary God hath ordained man to obey His Commands
and hath given him freedom of will and action, he is at full liberty to obey His
Commands or to disobey. There is no
compulsion in accepting the religions preached by His apostles and no compulsion
to obey His Commands. Even His
Commands (like daily prayers, fasting, Zakath etc.) are not hard, harsh'and
unbearable and every leniency and case on account of age and health is granted
freedom of human will, based on the doctrine that man would be judged by the use
he had made of his reason, was inculcated in the teachings of the Holy prophet (A.S.),
along with an earnest belief in the Supreme Power ruling the universe.
Hazrath Ali gave this idea a more definite form and it grew into a
philosophy. In reply to a question
he says, "Perhaps you consider predestination to be necessary and the
particular decree to be irreversible; if it were so then would reward and
punishment be vain, and the promise and the threat would be of no account; and
surely blame would not have come from God for the sinner nor praise for the
righteous, nor would the righteous be more worhty of the reward of his good
deeds, nor the wicked be more deserving of the punishment of his sin than the
righteous. God hath ordained the
giving of choice to man and the putting of them in fear and He hath not laid
duties upon men by force nor sent his prophets as farce"; When asked
"What is predestination and particular decree which drove us".
He answered "The command of God, and therein His purpose.
Then hc repeated the verse "The Lord hath ordained (predestined)
that you worship none but Him and kindness to your parents."
of life is anothr point which Hazrath Ali wanted men to realize fully, sincerely
and rationally. He wants us to understand that death is a biological incident
of all forms of life and it is unavoidable, inevitable and sudden.
No body knows when and how he is going to cross his barrier.
Therefore it is foolish to imagine that it can be avoided, sinful self
deception to forget it, and idiotically timid to be afraid of it.
He says, "I am as fond of death as a baby is fond of his mother's
breast". The natural sequence
of the mortality of life is that everything connected with it and with this
world is mundane, has no lasting value. Therefore,
why concentrate on pleasure and take to vicious ways to acquire them, why not
try to improve your lot in the hereafter.
Ali's teachings are gospel of work. He
wants man to work, and to Work honestly, sincerely and deligently.
To work for the reward reserved in the Heaven.
He says, work, work, and do good work while you still have life, health
and opportunities. God ordains you
to work while there is still time of work.
Be thankful for the time and opportunities allotted to you and work for
the good of mankind and for your own good.
A life without work is a life without worth.
A mind without sober thoughts and a life without programme of honest work
is the most fertile soil for seeds of wikedness and vice.
Work with nobility of poupose is one of the forms of prayers.
His advice to his son was 'exert yourself to earn an honest living.
Worst form of folly is waste of opportunities.
Opportunities do not repeat themselves make use of each one of them when
it presents itself, but let piety guide you in all of your actions'.
guiding us to the problems of man in respect of self he leads us towards the
solution of problem pertaining to man versus man.
In a letter to Imam Hussan (A.S.). he says "My dear son, so far as
your behaviour with other human-beings is concerned let yourself' act as scales
to help you judge its goodness or wickedness.
Do unto others as you wish others to do unto you.
Whatever you dislike to happen to you spare others from such
happenings". At another place
he advises "do not make yourself slave of anybody.
God has created you a free man. Do
not sell away this freedom in return for anithing.
There is no real value or benefit that you derive by selling your honour,
conscience and self respect. Do
not run after him who tries to avoid you. Remember that to oppress a weak or helpless person is the
worst form of tyranny. Do good to
your brother when he is bent upon doing harm to you. Befriend him when he ignores you. Be generous to him if he is miserly to you.
Be kind to him if he is harsh and cruel to you.
But be very careful that you do not behave thus with undeserving, mean
and wicked persons.
Ali had a very soft corner in his noble heart for poor, disabled, aged and
orphans. To Malik he says, "I
want to caution you about the poor. Fear
God about your attitude towards them. Let
it be remembered that their welfare is the first charge on a state and on
So far as the
question of man and God is concerned Hazrath Ali teaches us to believe in a
God Who has created us, Who loves us, nourishes us, help us and is our well
wisher. He should be loved, adored
Throue. many of
his prayers Hazrath Ali has implanted in the minds of those who have faith in
God the highest devotional spirit. He
teaches us to love and adore him and to think of Him as "The Lord, the
Adorable, the Eternal, the Ever Existing, the Cherisher, the True Sovereign,
Whose Mercy and Grace overshadows the universe.
Who is the Master, the I-oving and Forgiving, Who bestows power and might
on whom He pleases. None can lower
him whom He exalted. Whose
beneficence is all persuading. Whose
Forgiveness and Mercy is all embracing. Who
is the Helper of the afflicted, the Reliever of all distressed, the Consoler of
the broken hearts. Who is present
everywhere to help His Creatures. Who
fulfils all needs, bestows all blessings. Who
is friend of poor and bereaved". At
another place he beseechs the Lord thus "Thou art my Fortress; a Castle for
all who seek Thy Protection and Help. The
Helper of pure and true the Refuge of the weak.
The Helper of those who seek Thy help.
Thank be to Thee 0 Lord, Whose Mercy extends to every sinner and who
provides for even those who deny Him"
is how he wants us to have faith in God, a Creator, a Nourisher, a Helper, a
Refuge, a Protection. One who loves
you and One to be loved, adored, venerated and worshipped.
other aspect of his teaching is that he has clearly and emphatically condemned
all anthropomorphic (to attribute human forms, qualities or personally to God)
and anthropopathic (ascription of human passion and affections to God)
conceptions of deity. He says
"God is not like any object that the human mind can conceive.
No attribute can be ascrived to Him which bore the least resemblance to
any quality of which human-being have perception from their knowledge of
material objects. The perfection of
piety consists in knowing God; the perfection of knowledge is the affirmation of
His Verity; and the perfection of verity is the acknowledgment of His Unity in
all sincerity; and the perfection of sincerity is to deny all attributes to the
Deity. He, who refers an attribute
to God believes the attributes to be God, and he who so believes an attribute to
be God, regards God as two or part of one.
He who asks where God is assimilates him with some object.
God is the Creator, not because He Himself is created. God is Existent not because he was non-existent.
He is with every object, not from resemblance or nearness.
He is outside everything not from separation or indifference towards His
creatures. He works and creates not
in the meaning of motions or actions. He
sees and hears but not with help of bodily organs or outside agencies.
He was seeing when there was nothing created to see.
He has no relation to matter, time and space, God is Omni-scent because
knowledge is His Essence, Loving because love is His Essence, Mighty because
Power is His Essence, Forgiveness because Forgiveness is His Essence, and not
because these are attributes apart from His Essence".
At another place he
says "O my Lord! Thou art the
Creator, I am the created; Thou art the Sovereign, I am only Thy servant; I am
the beseecher, Thou, my Lord art the Refuge.
Thou art the Forgiver, I am the sinner, Thou my Lord, art the Merciful,
All knowing, All loving; I am groping in the dark; I seek Thy knowledge and
Love. Bestow my Lord all Thy
Knowledge, Love and Mercy and let me approach Thee, my Lord.
Thou Livest in every heart and every soul.
Thy Knowledge is ingrained in every mind.
last compiler of the Sermons, Letters, Orders and Sayings of Hazrath Ali was
Syed Razi. His was the compilation
which came down to us in its entire form through ten centuries.
He named this compilation as Nahjul Balagha.
name was Abul Hussan Syed Mohammed Razi. Razi
was his nickname (Laqub). He was
born in Baghdad (during the year 359 A.H.) in a family famous all over the
country for their connections whit the state, for their patronage of art and
literature, and for their interest in history, philosophy and religion, it was
a time when Baghdad was viyng with Cairo and Cordova for superiority over arts,
science, philosophy and languages.
father Abu Ahmed Syed Hussain was appointed five times as Naqueeb or chief of
the members of the Family of Hazrath Ali (A.S.). His family was held in great regards
by Abbasite caliphs and Alay Abaweya Kings.
father was descendant of Hazrath Imam Moosi-e-Kazim (A.S.) being the great
grandson of the Imam. His mother
was the great grand daughter of Hazrath Imam Zain-ul-Abideen (A.S.). She was a
woman famous for her piety and her literary talents.
elder brother Syed Murtaza was great theologian and poet.
Syed Murtaza's work (poems) are still being published in Cairo and
Bairuth and form part of the course of Arabic literature in the universities of
those two cities. Syed Murtaza has
a great place among the Shia Theologians and is nick-named Alam-ul-Hudda
(standard or way mark of the true path of religion).
mother took keen interest in educating her two sons, Syed Murtaza and Syed Razi.
She personally took them both to the Shia Theologian and Mujthahed, Abu
Abdullah Shaikh Mofeed and requested him to educate these children under his
personal supervision and carc.
Razi under instructions of Shaikh Mofeed, received early education in Arabic
grammar, literature and lexicology from Hussan-ibne-Abdullah Sairfee.
There at the early stage of ten he was considered as a finished product
of that institution and a good poet. Thence
he joined educational institutions of Aby Ishaq-Ahmed-ibneMohammed-Tabaree,
Ali-ibne-Eesa Rubace, Oosman-ibne-Jinny and Aboobaker Mohammed-ibne-Moosa
Khawrzamil and with them he studied the Holy Book, the Traditions, Theology,
History of Religions, Philosophy and Literature. From early childhood his keen desire of acquiring knowledge
and concentrating on studies was no-ted and appreciated by every one of those
great scholars under whom he received his training.
As a matter of fact he was considered as a prodigy by many of them.
the age of twenty his merit was recognized and respected by all of them and even
Shaikh Mofeed regarded this youngman as his equal.
died young at the age of fortyfive or fortyseven years, but during this short period
he had written many books, his commentary of the Holy Quran is considered by the
historian Ibne-Khalakan as peerless, and his explanation of the traditions of
the Holy prophet (A.S.) is still respected as a great source of meaning of the
words used by the Holy Apostle of God.
the age of twentyone he was elected in place of his father as Naqueeb of the
Family of Abu Talib and was appointed by the state as Amir of Pilgrimage to
was a man of strong character, free will and independent views.
During his time the Abbasites caliphate of Baghdad was on war with the
Fatemite caliphate of Egypt, and had persuaded Sunni and Shia men of importance
to sign a Mahzur (public attestation) depicting Non-muslims tendencies and
activities of the Patemite caliphs. Even
the elder brother of Syed Razi and his father were forced to sign it, but Syed
Razi point blank refused to sign such a decree.
This brought him under the bad-books of the government, but he
cheerfully accepted the loos of political privilege and status.
Four times during his life he refused to accept financial aid from the
his early age he had come across sayings, sermons and letters of Hazrath Ali.
He had found them scattered in various books of philosophy, religion,
history, biography, literature and commentaries of the Holy Quran and the
Traditions of the Holy prophet (A.S.). He had also found that the collections of
Hazrath Ali's work as carried on by great scholars of the first four centuries,
on account of the unsettled political condiction of the centres of learning in
the peninsula, were lost. He
therefore decided to re-co@t them once again.
The desire became a passion with him.
He toured all over the peninsula to collect these sermons, sayings and
letters, gathered all the various books containing them and classified them into
sermons, letters and sayings. The
letters also included orders of Hazrath Ali to his officers and two of his
wills. In fact, the classification
was on the basis of what Hazrath Ali preached, what he wrote and what he said.
Some biographists say that for years he devoted eighteen hours a day
for this work. It was a labour of
love for him. His health was
failing yet he continued the work without abatement of intensity.
him this compilation was a sacred duty and he carried it out with the devotion
and diligence that it deserved. He
was particularly and sincerely careful not to add and not to substract a word
from the tests which he found. So
much so that if he found a sermon divided into many parts he did not join these
pieces into a continues whole but let them remain as two or three or four
disjointed parts. Such system of compilation annoyed the later commentators of
Nahjul Balagha, like Ibne Abil Hadeed and IbneMaisum, and they have in a way
complained about it. -Some times he found the middle part of a sermon missing,
he left the two remaining parts as two separate sermons.
he was collecting from a pile of books and manuscripts on various subjects and
he had come across those books at various periods of his work, naturally there
could not be any chronological order in his collection.
The sermons which are supposed to be delivered in Madina or in the
early period of Hazrath Ali's temporal rulership are found in the later part of
the book and sermons on the events of Siffeen and Nahrwan in early part.
Similarly the sermon which is considered as the last sermon of Hazrath
Ali preceeds many discourses which by their test may rightly be considered to
be delivered in Madina during the periods of the first and second caliphate.
At places we find that the Syed had copied the same sermon in different
places as quoted by different authors. All
these discrepancies jar upon the minds of the readers.
But they stand as iron clad irrefutable proof of the honest and sincere
desire of Syed Razi to present the thing as he found it and not to interfere
with it in any way however essential it might be.
historians and biographists are of the opinion that Syed Razi was helped in this
work by his elder brother Syed Murtaza. But
had this been a fact the noble minded Syed would have willingly mentioned it in
his preface, because he has tried to mention all the sources from which he found
these sermons etc.
Razi died in the month of Mohurram 404 A.H. at the age of 45 years.
Some biographists are of the opinion that the year of his death was 406
A.H., his age at the time of death was 47 years.
His elder brother Syed Murtaza and his teacher Shaikh Mofeed were so
grievously stricken that they could not lead the funeral service of that great
man and the service was led by the Prime Minister Abu Ghalib Fukhrul Mulk.
Razi has left about 40 books as his memorial, some of them are great works, they
consist of commentaries of the Holy Quran on religion and philosophy, yet his
masterpiece was the collection of the sermons, letters and sayings of Hazrath
soon as the noble Syed compiled this book (The Nahjul Balagha) his contemporaries
started writing commentaries on it, and this work of commenting on the text and
explanation of meanings of the words used by Hazrath Ali, and the historical
events mentioned therein is continued till today.
I am citing herein the names of some of the famous commentators of Nahjul
Imam Ahmed Ibne Mohammed-ul-Wayree (about 470 A.H.)
Abul Hassan Ali-ibne-Abul Qasim-ul-Ba'ehaquee (565 A.H.)
commentary is quoted by Moajum-ul-Adibba of Yaqooth-eHamveenee- Vol. 13, page
225,printed in Egypt.
Imam Fakhruddin Razi (606 A.H.) His commentary is quoted by:
Akhbar-ul-Hukama of Ibn-ul-Quftee page 192 printed in Egypt.
(ii) Oyoonul-Ambia of Ibn-e-Abi-Sabee'a page 25,
printed in Egypt.
Abdul Hameed Hibathullah Mohammed-ibne-Mohammed ibne-Abil
Hadeed-Moathazalee, (know as Ibne-Abil Hadeed 655 A.H.).
commentary is a world famous classic covering 17 volumes, printed hald-a-dozen
times in Cairo, Bairuth, Tehran and Isphehan.
Shaikh Kamal-ul-din Abdul Rehman Shaybenee (about 705 A.H.)
Allama Sad-ud-din Taftazenee (797 A.H.)
Quazi of Baghdad Shaikh Quewaam-ud-din.
Allama Shaikh Mohammed Abdahoo (1323 A.H.)
commentary has been printed very often and forms a part of the university
course in Cairo and Bairuth.
Ostad (Professor) Mohammed Hassan-ul-Nayer-ul-Mursafee of Egypt.
His commentary is printed in Dar-ul-Kutub Press Cairo (Egypt).
10. Ostad (Professor) Mohammed Mohiuddin Abdul Hameed, Professor of Lexicology of Alazhur University.
book was printed at Isthequamuth-e-Misr Press, Cairo.
1. Ostad (Professor) Shaikh Abdullah Allayelli-al-Bairoonee of Cairo
Allama Syed Ali-ibne-Nasir (about 450 A.H.). He was contemporary of Syed
was contemporary of Ibne-Abil-Hadeid. His
commentary is famous and is considered of immense value on problems of the
philosophy of Islam. He has not
devoted as much time towzrds literary and historical aspects of Nahjul Balagha
as Ibne-Abil-Hadeed. His book is
greatly valued by Shia theologians and philosophers.
named his commentary as "Anwar-ul-Fusah and Asrar-ul-Balagha.
commentary covers 20 volumes.
commentary is called Ba'dra-e-Najaria. It
has been printed often and very much liked in Persia.
Allama Syed Ma'jid-ibne-Mohammed Bahranee
was contemporary of Shaikh Bahayee and died in 1028 A.H. His commentary is
greatly valued by Shia theologians.
11. Mullah Fathulla Kashanee. He died in 997 A.H. He was a lexicologist, grammarian, mathematician, physicist, engineer and theologist. He had been to the court of Akber also, and was contemporary of the famous historian of Akber's court, Mullah Abdul Quadir Badayoonee. The Mullah speaks very highly of him in his book Muntakhab-ul-Tawareekh. He says Adil Khan, governor of Deccan, Khan-e-Khanan and Hakeem Abul Fatah of the court of Akber paid great respects to him and Akber also had great regards for him. His commentary is printed very often, and so far as translation of words used by Hazrath Ali in Persian is concerned it is the best book ever published.