Imam Ali (AS): A guide to right at all times

SHAFAQNA - Allah says in His Glorious Book:“Allah only wishes to remove uncleanness from you Members of the Household and to purify you”.

“Your only supporters and protectors are Allah, his Apostle, and the faithful: those who attend to their prayers pay their alms-tax, while kneeling down in worship.”

“But there are others who would give away their lives in order to find favor with Allah. Allah is compassionate to His servants.”

Ali (a.s.) is one of symbols of the Members of the Household whom Allah has purified. When we recall in our minds all the events in the life of the Commander of the Faithful, we would certainly better understand the meaning of the second Ayah we cited above. For Ali’s life was dedicated to the love of Allah and the sole aim of earning His pleasure and getting closer to Him. Even his relationship with Muhammad was part of his love to God and the Message.

We also recall what the third Ayah had recorded:that great moment in time when Ali was praying and a man came asking for charity, he gave him some money while he was kneeling in prayer. His prayer did not prevent him from doing another act of worship, since both acts serve the cause of worshipping God.

We also recall when Ali and Fatima (a.s.) vowed to fast if their sons AL-Hassan and Al-Hussein get cured from their illness, but when breakfast time came a poor man. An orphan and a captive came asking for food. They give them all what they have and left nothing to break their fast with.

Allah honored them by revealing these Ayahs: “Who though they hold it dear, give sustenance to the poor man, the orphan, and the captive, (saying): We feed you for Allah’s sake only we seek of you neither recompense nor thanks: for we fear from Him a day of anguish and of woe”.

This is the secret of Ali, Fatima and their children. They loved God obeyed Him and called the people to believe in Him.

Because Ali lived with God and His Message as a soldier for both, and as a leader after the prophet’s death, Allah the revealed to His Messenger on his return from the farewell pilgrimage that you ought to convey what has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you don’t you would not have conveyed His message. Muhammad by that time had conveyed all what Allah has revealed to him except the part about Ali’s imamate. Thus, the Messenger (p.) stood up and gave a speech saying: O people, Am I not the leader who have more say on you than you have on yourselves. When they all agreed the Messenger raised Ali’s hand and said: “Whoever believes that I am his leader then Ali is his leader.O’ God, side with those who side with him and be the enemy of those who are hostile to him…”

The Messenger (p.) used to tell the people about the traits of Ali and why he is qualified to assume the leadership. He said:

“I am the city of Knowledge and Ali is its gate”. ”Right is with Ali and Ali is with the Right”. “Ali and the Quran will always be together until they come to in heaven”.

When Muhammad did not take Ali with him to fight the tribe of Tabouk, Ali (a.s.) asked why, because it was not the custom of the Prophet to leave Ali behind. The Messenger (p.) told him: “Are not 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.

Ali (a.s.) was born on the 13th of Rajab which will fall next Monday. His birth also was unique, because he was born in the Kaa’ba, as his mother Fatima bint Assad was doing Tawaf there when she gave birth to him.

The first thing he saw in this life was the House of Allah, and then his whole life was a journey to Allah and on God’s path. He was also martyred in a house of Allah. As he was dying with blood all over him and with all around him in a state of panic and confusion, he said with the calmness of someone going to meet his God: In the name of Allah and on the religion of His Messenger (p.). I have won by the Lord of Kaa’ba”.

Ali (a.s.) was brought up and educated by the Messenger (p.) who used to live in the house of AbiTalib, Ali’s father, who took care of him after the death of his grandfather, Abdilmutalib. Ali’s father always supported his nephew although he used to keep his faith a secret, so as to maintain a neutral posture that would enable him to protect the Prophet no matter how much he had to endure. When Quriash offered to give the Prophet (p.) a kingdom, a huge sum of money and wed him to the most beautiful woman they can find, Abu Talib heard form Muhammad the answer he had excepted: If they put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left hands provided I leave my mission I would not until Allah grants it success or until I die for its cause”. Abdilmutalib expected such an answer because he knew that his nephew was above all worldly gains, and he did all he could to protect Muhammad from the harm of the unbelievers.

Ali’s mother was Fatima bint Assad, who raised the Messenger (p.), and treated him better than she treated her own children. In gratitude, the Messenger used to say: “She was my mother after my mother.” She was also a faithful believer whom when she died the Prophet covered her with his shirt, went down into her tomb and buried her himself.

Although Abu Talib had a lot of children, the Messenger (p.) chose to raise Ali (a.s.) and take him in his care. The Imam describes his childhood with the Prophet(p) as follows:

“You know how close I was to the Messenger… He put me in his lap and hugged me, and made me sleep in his bed, touch his body and smell his beautiful smell. He used to chew the food and give it me to eat. He never found me tell any lie or do a wrong deed… I was always with him, following him as a baby camel following its mother. He used to teach me everyday one of his good norms of ethics and ask me to abide by it. He used to go each year to the cave of Hiraa where I was the only one who could see him. The first house of Islam was that of Muhammad Khadija and me. I used to see the light of the Message and the revelation and smell the smell of Prophethood”.

He was the first to pray with the Prophet, and he was the only one of the Messenger’s companions who did not bow or kneel to any idol. Because he used to live with the Messenger (p.) the spirit of Islam before Muhammad was told to commence his mission. He continued to accompany the Messenger (p.), day and night, after the Message was started. He slept in his place when the Messenger (p.) went to Medina, and he stayed in Mecca to return the trusts the Prophet (p.) was entrusted with. When he joined the Prophet in Medina, he owed him his daughter, Fatima, who was very dear to her father’s heart. Some of the Imams of Ahl el-Beit say: If it were not for Ali there would have been no equal to Fatima”.

When certain complications made him loose his legitimate position, he did not cause strife to demand what was rightfully his, instead he felt that he bore the responsibility of keeping the Muslims’ unity. Thus, he turned to give advice to the Muslim rulers, and the stand he took at that time became famous: “I will keep the peace as long as the affairs of Muslims are not wronged and the wrong is limited to me only.”

Let us listen to one of his companions, Darar bin Ghamrah, describing him to Muawiah upon the insistence of the latter:

He was of broad horizons, great strength, his say was the decisive one, his ruling was always just, and he is the one who said: the strong among you is weak in my eyes until I take the right of others from him ,and the weak is strong in my eyes until I return his right to him. If he talked about a certain matter you would feel that the rivers of knowledge spring from him… He does not like this world and feels lonely in it, but he loves the night and feels at ease with its loneliness. He used to cry a lot and he used to be always thinking and talking to himself. He liked rough clothes, and simple food. He used to sit among us like anyone of us….”

Talking about the Imam could never end. He lived for Islam and was always with Allah. He used to say to the people around him: My concerns are different than yours. You want me for yourselves and I want you for God “Ali was the man of Islam and the Imam of Islam. If you want to be with him you have to be with Allah, His Messenger and Islam. We have to be reborn with the birth of Imam Ali (a.s.), Our minds ought to be reborn by the right and our hearts by belief and our life by justice.

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