On the love of Imam Ali (a.s.)

SHAFAQNA - Allah says in His Glorious Book And there is the type of man who gives his life to earn the pleasure of Allah; and Allah is full of kindness to (His) devotees}[2:207], and Only Allah is your Vali and His Messenger and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay the poor-rate while they bow.

Tomorrow we will celebrate the birth anniversary of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali bin AbiTalib, whom Allah has honored by making it take place in Kabaa’ where one before him or after him was born. This birth is very symbolic, since it indicates that the entire life of this man will be in the House of Allah, and in every place Islam Allah wanted him be in the establish Islam’s dignity and power.

Ali (a.s.) was not of those who loved wars but his reasonability towards Islam was so big that he responded to all calls whenever Islam was in danger and needed support.

That is why Ali’s (a.s.) struggle was a prayer to God, just as his guiding and teaching people, as well as his incredible patience were, since prayers is any action that one does with the intention of nearing to Allah is a prayer.

We also know that Ali was raised by the Messenger, since Ali’s (a.s.) father had a lot of children and could not afford to support all of them. Thus he lived with the Messenger(p.) who used to take him to Hira’ where the Prophet(p.) used to contemplate and where Allah assigned one of the greatest angels to educate him, Islamically and spiritually which Ali also lived. He says: you knew how close I was to the Prophet (p.), who used to hug me, make me sleep in his bed, and even chew the food for me. He then adds that he used to follow the Prophet (p.) like a baby camel following his mother. Thus the character and personality of the Messenger(p.) were imprinted in Ali (a.s.), for the Prophet(p.) used to teach him something new in knowledge and morals every day, and ask him to learn it and abide by it.

Such a bringing up made Ali (a.s.) think and act like an adult. Thus when Allah sent the Messenger(p.) with the Message, he called on Ali to embrace Islam, while Ali was ten years old.

And when Ali agreed, it was because he lived the meaning of Islam in his heart and mind.

It was not the Islam of a child as some try to envisage. It was the Islam of one of a big mind that was educated and raised by the Messenger.

It is said that when Ali declared his Islam, he was told that children ask their parents before taking such a decision and he told them: “God did not consult my father before creating me”. He continued to live in the Messenger’s house, and the Messenger (p.) used to recite each Ayah that he received. He also used to hear Jibril when he came to the Prophet(p.) who told him: You see what I see and hear what I hear, but you are not a prophet.

The Imam also said: “Nobody performed prayers before me, except the Messenger.” He used to pray behind him with Khadija praying behind them. Once his father saw him praying behind the Messenger and he asked his son Jaafar to pray next to him.

This indicates that Abu Talib was a Muslim, but like the believer of Al-Pharaoh, he concealed his belief to protect the Messenger.

Ali (a.s.) lived with the Messenger(p.) and learnt his knowledge. The Prophet says: I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate”, and Ali says: The Messenger taught me one thousands fields of knowledge of each a thousand doors are opened to me.

And the Messenger used to believe, having followed up all of Ali’s actions and sayings that Ali (a.s.) embodies the right in his behavior, relations, peace, war and in everything he says. He has sold himself to God, as the Ayah that was revealed when he slept in the Messenger’s bed to enable Muhammad to immigrate states: And there is the type of man who gives his life to earn the pleasure of Allah; and Allah is full of kindness to (His) devotees.

Ali fought with Muhammad all the wars that the latter was forced to fight. He was the hero of all these wars, although he did not learn how to fight or took a training course.

It was his commitment to Islam and his dedication and courage that enabled him to fight like the best of trained fighters. That is why when he fought the war of Badr and killed half of the unbelievers on his own that were killed in that battles. Jibril said: “There is no hero but Ali and no sword except Zulfikar”.

That is how we know why the Messenger talked about Ali (a.s.) like no other companion, although they were older than Ali. He says: The right is with Ali and Ali is with the Right”. Ali and the Quran will always be together until they come to Heaven”. Aren’t you satisfied to be with respect to me like Haroon was to Moses”, a partner in everything with the exception of not being a prophet. The Prophet was not being emotional, since all what he says in being revealed to him.

Ali (a.s.) was the person who has all knowledge, belief, dedication and Islam. In the battle of Ahzab, when Amr bin Abdwud was challenging the Muslims to fight him the Prophet asked: Who will fight Amr? And I guarantee that God will put him in heaven. He repeated the question three times and each time only Ali (a.s.) said “I will”. Deciding reluctantly to send him, the holy Prophet then recited this verse from The Holy Koran out loud: My Lord, do not leave me without an heir, and You are the best inheritor.”

And then when Ali (a.s.) went out to fight Amr, the Messenger(p.) said:“Faith in its entirety has gone to fight non-belief in its entirety.”

And when Ali (a.s.) killed him, the Messenger(p.) said:“The strike of Ali (a.s.) is equal to the worshiping of all humans and jinn put together.”

It was he who preserved the worship and religion of Muslims, because the unbelievers were seeking to end all Islam. And that is why the words of Muhammad were the words of revelation.

And when Muhammad was about to die, he gathered the people who were accompanying him in his farewell Pilgrimage and asked them: Do I not have more right over the believers than that they have over themselves? And God says: The Prophet has a greater claim on the faithful than they have on themselves

The People cried and answered: “Yes, O’ Messenger of God”

He then held up the hand of ‘Ali and said: “For whomever I am his Leader (mawla), ‘Ali is his Leader (mawla).” O’ God, love those who love him, and be hostile to those who are hostile to him.” This means that he appointed Ali as a ruler for he wanted him to preserve Islam after his death, as he preserved it under his leadership.

After the death of Prophet (p.), Ali was denied his right, but despite of what he had to endure, he felt that he should support Islam whether a caliph or not. He gave advice to those who came before him and said: I would keep peaceful so long as the affairs of Muslims are secured and the only injustice that has taken place has befallen on me only

This was Ali’s agenda to assure that Muslims will not grow weak. He said in his speech to the people of Egypt: “I was shocked when I heard the people pledging legality to AbiBakr. But when I heard that there were people who wish to destroy Islam, I was afraid that if I do not support Islam even if I were denied my rights, there will be a catastrophe that is far greater than assuming the post of ruling, which is something very trivial that will last for a few days and then disappear like clouds, I had to act until the falsehood was defeated”.

And we saw him continuing his march of supporting Islam. And then when he became a caliph, they put barriers on his road. Describing this stage he said: “When I took up the reins of government one party broke away and another turned disobedient while the rest began acting wrongfully as if they had not heard the word of Allah saying: “That abode in the hereafter, We assign it for those who intend not to exult themselves in the earth, nor (to make) mischief (therein); and the end is (best) for the pious ones”.

Yes, by Allah, they had heard it and understood it but the world appeared glittering in their eyes and its embellishments seduced them. Behold, by Him who split the grain (to grow) and created living beings, if people had not come to me and supporters had not exhausted the argument and if there had been no pledge of Allah with the learned to the effect that they should not acquiesce in the gluttony of the oppressor and the hunger of the oppressed I would have cast the rope of Caliphate on its own shoulders, and would have given the last one the same treatment as to the first one. Then you would have seen that in my view this world of yours is no better than the sneezing of a goat.

One of his companions, Darrar bin Hamza Ad-Dabbabi, describes him to Muawiyah after he was martyred: By God, one night I saw him standing in his place of worship when the dark night had engulfed everything; tears were rolling down on his face and beard; he was restless like a snake-bitten person and was weeping like a bereaved man.”

“It seems as if even now I am hearing his voice as he was addressing the world: ‘O World, thou is coming towards me and want to lure me? Go deceive someone else. Thy time is not come. I have divorced thee thrice after when there is no return. Thy pleasure is valueless and thy importance insignificant. Alas! The provision is too little; the journey too long and there is no companion”.

It is said that Muawiyah cried when he heard that.

Ali has lived with Allah, The Most Exalted, dedicating his life to Him. Even when he was hit by Ibn Malgam he said:“In the name of Allah, the most Exalted… and on the religion of the Messenger of Allah, the most Exalted. I swear by the Lord of Al-Kaaba that I have won”.

It was as if he was going over all his life and deciding that this is the end Allah is pleased with.

Allah loved Ali like he loved no one after the Messenger. That is why Muhammad describes him at Khaibar: “I will give the banner tomorrow to a man who loves Allah and His Messenger and who is loved by Allah and His Messenger. A man who attacks and never backs away…”

That is why we love Ali all that love and declare our support for his Imamate and rule. We are still learning from him since he is still among us in everything he said and did.

By: Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra)

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