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>>Sahabah (Companions of Muhammad S)
Ali ibn Abu Talib R

‘Ali R was the son of Abu Talib ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib and Fatimah bint Asad. They belonged to prominent families of the powerful Banu (Family of) Hashim of the Quraysh tribe.

Abu Talib ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib, an uncle of the Messenger of Allah Muhammad S, was a man of limited means despite of his leadership position among the Quraysh of Makkah because of his custodianship of the Ka’bah. He had a large family to feed, but he and his wife lovingly raised the Messenger of Allah Muhammad S, from the age of eight years.

‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R was approximately thirty years younger to the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S.

When ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R was about four or five years of age, the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S, took him in his personal care to provide financial relief to his beloved uncle, Abu Talib ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib.

‘Ali ibn Abu Talib had the special privilege of spending his childhood in the company of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S.

When Muhammad S became the last Messenger of Allah, ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R was a child of about 10 years of age. He immediately accepted Islam. ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R was the first boy to Accept Islam. The first person to accept Islam was Khadijah bint Khuwaylid R, the wife of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S. The first slave to accept Islam was Zayd ibn Harithah R, the personal attendant of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S.

Abu Bakr R was the first adult male to accept Islam.
‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R and Zayd ibn Harithah R used to offer prayer with the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S and his wife Khadijah bint Khuwaylid R from the very beginning of Islam.


Abu Talib ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib once noticed his son offering prayer with the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S. He encouraged him to support the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S in his new mission.

When ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R was about 14 years of age, the Messenger invited his kinsmen over a feast. This incident is known as Da’wat Dhul-‘Ashirah in Islamic history. The purpose of the feast was to give the message of Islam to his kinsmen. The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S asked ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R to make arrangement for the feast. About forty people from the Banu (Family of) Hashim clan of the Quraysh tribe participated in the feast.

After the feast was over, the Messenger of Allah Muhammad S put before them the new faith. No one supported the Messenger besides ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R.

‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R spent 12 years of hardship and persecution with the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S in Makkah.

The Quraysh of Makkah were annoyed when the Messenger of Allah Muhammad S began inviting people to Islam. They saw it as a threat to their political, spiritual and economic leadership of the Arabian Peninsula. The Quraysh tried to pressurize the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S through his uncle Abu Talib ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib. Those efforts did not yield any results, and the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S continued on the path, that Allah (God) had deputed him for, the Quraysh became aggressive. They began ridiculing, harassing and physically torturing the newly converted Muslims and the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S. When these harsh measures also failed, the Quraysh took the extreme step and decided to boycott the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S from Makkah. Showing solidarity with the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S, entire Banu (Family of) Hashim, one of the most powerful clans of the Quraysh tribe, decided to side with him and suffered a total boycott for three years.

Young ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R remained steadfast throughout this period of hardship.

To solve the problem permanently, the Quraysh of Makkah decided to assassinate the Messenger of Allah Muhammad S.

The assassins were waiting outside the house of the Messenger of Allah Muhammad S, but he was more concerned about returning the valuable that people had given him for safekeeping. He explained the details to ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R before embarking on the historic Hijrah (Migration).

The assassins waited for him to come out of his house. Leaving ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R in his bed, the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S left his house when Allah (God) made his assassins to sleep.

‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R realized that his life was in grave danger, but he willingly did that to facilitate the migration of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S. ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R returned all the deposits to their respective owners, and later joined the Messenger of Allah Muhammad S.

After arriving in Madinah, the Messenger of Allah Muhammad S made a bond of brotherhood between Muhajirun (Migrant Muslims) and Ansar (Helpers – Muslims from Madinah). Each Mahajir (Migrant Muslim) was made brother to an Ansar (Helper – Muslim from Madinah). However, ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R was left alone. Being a little disturbed, ‘Ali enquired the Messenger of Allah Muhammad S about himself. The Messenger of Allah Muhammad S made him his own brother.

In the year 2H (Hijrah) (623 CE), the Messenger of Allah Muhammad S married his youngest daughter, Fatimah R to ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R. The Messenger of Allah Muhammad S asked ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R whether he had the bridal gift. ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R said he had one horse and one armor. The Messenger of Allah Muhammad S advised ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R to sell his armor to pay for the bridal gift. The Messenger married ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R with Fatimah R. Initially ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R continued to live with the Messenger of Allah Muhammad S for a few months after his marriage, before the couple shifted to a separate house.

The Messenger of Allah Muhammad S gave a cot, a sheet, two grinding stones, and a water container to Fatimah R as her wedding gift. These things remained with her throughout her life.

‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R gave a Walimah (Wedding Feast) in which he offered dates, barley bread, cheese and a gravy to the guests.

Fatimah R and ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R had five children Hasan R, Husayn R, Muhsin R, Zaynab R and Umm Kulthum R. Muhsin R died in his infancy.

‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R participated in almost all the battles of Islam as a valiant fighter and defender of faith.

In the battle of Badr, which was the first major Islamic battle, ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R killed ‘Utbah ibn Rabi’ah and Shaybah ibn Rabi’ah, two prominet enemies of Islam in a pre-war duel. ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R got one armor, one sword and one camel as Mal Ghanimah (War Trophies).

In the battle of Uhud, ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R bravely defended the Messenger of Allah Muhammad S along with several other Sahabah (Companions) when the later was injured.

In the year 5 H (Hijrah), the Messenger of Allah Muhammad S sent ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R with a contingent of 100 Sahabah (Companions) to fight against a trouble makig tribe Banu Sa’d . ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R fought valiantly and returned victoriously.

In the year 6 H (Hijrah), at Hudaybiyah, the Messenger of Allah Muhammad S asked ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R to write the text of the treaty with the Quraysh. The Quraysh of Makkah disputed over the signatures, Muhammad – the Messenger of Allah, saying that they do not recognize Muhammad S as the Messenger of Allah. In order to resolve the dispute, the Messenger of Allah Muhammad S asked ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R to remove the signatures, but ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R refused to remove the epithet by his hand. The Messenger of Allah Muhammad S himself rubbed it out and instructed to write Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah in place of the Messenger of Allah.

In the year7 H (Hijrah), ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R helped conquer the fort of Khayber.

In the year 8 H (Hijrah), when the Muslim army was marching towards Makkah, ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R arrested a woman spy who was carrying a secret letter of Hatib ibn Abi Balta’ah, and presented her before the Messenger.

After the victory of Makkah in the year 8 H (Hijrah), ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R broke the idols installed inside the Ka’bah.

‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R did not participate in the battle of Tabuk, because the Messenger of Allah Muhammad S had left him as his deputy in Madinah.

In the year 9 H (Hijrah), the Messenger of Allah Muhammad S deputed Abu Bakr R as the Amir Hajj (Leader for Pilgrimage to the Ka’bah). Soon after, the initial verses of Surah (Chapter) At-Taubah (The Repentance) were revealed. The Messenger of Allah Muhammad S sent ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R with the newly revealed Ayat (Verses) for their propagation at the Hajj (Pilgrimage to the Ka’bah) at Makkah. These Ayat (Verses) prohibited non-Muslims to participate in Hajj (Pilgrimage to the Ka’bah) from then onward.

In 10 H (Hijrah), the Messenger sent ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R to Yaman (Yemen) for the propagation of Islam. As a result, most tribes of the region accepted Islam. ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R returned to Makkah and joined the Messenger of Allah Muhammad S who was going for his first and final pilgrimage. That Hajj (Pilgrimage to the Ka’bah) of the year 10 H (Hijrah) is known as the farewell Hajj (Pilgrimage to the Ka’bah) of the Messenger of Allah Muhammad S.

‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R wholeheartedly co-operated with all his predecessors. When a revolt broke out against Islam soon after the demise of the Messenger of Allah Muhammad S; Abu Bakr R, the first Khalifah (Caliph) of Muslims, deputed ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R, Zubayr ibn Al ‘Awwam R and Talhah ibn ‘Ubaydullah R to curb the revolt.

‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R had friendly relations with all his predecessors as Khalifah (Caliph) of Muslims. ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R and ‘Umar ibn Khattab R, the second Khalifah (Caliph) of Muslims had mutual admiration for each other. As a result, ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R married his youngest daughter, Umm Kulthum R to ‘Umar ibn Khattab R.

‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R also named one of his sons from Ummul Banin R, ‘Uthman; and another son from Laylah R, Abu Bakr.

When ‘Umar ibn Khattab R became the second Khalifah (Caliph) of Muslims, he deputed ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R as Qadi (Judge) of Madinah. On several occasions, ‘Umar ibn Khattab R also appointed him as his deputy, when he traveled out of Madinah

‘Umar ibn Khattab R was seriously wounded when he was leading the Fajr Salah (Morning Prayers) by a Persian slave Abu Lu" Lu. During his sickness, he appointed a six-member committee (Shura) for the selection of his successor. ‘Umar ibn Khattab R appointed his son, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar R as a mediator who was supposed to cast his vote in case of a tie.

When Shura proceedings began, four persons withdrew from the candidature for the Khilafah (Caliphate) and only ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R and ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan R were left in the field. ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf R made consultations for three days with senior Sahabah (Companions of Muhammad S). The consensus was clear and as a result, ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan R was selected as the third Khilafah (Caliphate).

‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R was the first to pay allegiance to ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan R.

After ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan R’s selection as the third Khalifah (Caliph), ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R continued to support him in the same way as he did to his predecessors. He provided valuable pieces of advice to ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan R.

When people revolted against ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan R, ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R tried his best to convince the rebels to backout. He even succeeded to drive them out of Madinah. But they re-entered and besieged the house of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan R.

‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R sent his sons, Hasan R and Husayn R to protect ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan R. But the rebels managed to enter the house of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan R, from the rear and killed him mercilessly.

‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R agreed to tame the rebels on condition that he would rule according to his own judgement. Everyone agreed. Everyone took Ba’ayt (Allegiance) with him the following day.

When the process of allegiance completed, two prominent Sahabah (Companions of Muhammad S), Talhah ibn ‘Ubaydullah R and Zubayr ibn Al ‘Awwam R, leading a group of other companions approached ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R and insisted upon him to take revenge of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan R’s blood. ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R tried to convince them that the time was not ripe for such an action.

The two prominent Sahabah (Companions of Muhammad S), Talhah ibn ‘Ubaydullah R and Zubayr ibn Al ‘Awwam R met the Messenger of Allah’s wodows, A"ishah bint Abu Bakr R and Hafsah bint ‘Umar R. They told A"ishah bint Abu Bakr R to take revenge of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan R’s blood.

Some time later, when Talhah ibn ‘Ubaydullah R decided to go to Basrah, A"ishah bint Abu Bakr R, too, accompanied with him. Hafsah bint ‘Umar R also wanted to accompany them but her brother, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar R stopped her.

A"ishah bint Abu Bakr R publicly announced that she was departing to Basrah to take revenge of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan R’s blood, and those who agree with her should join forces with her. A number of people responded to her call. A"ishah bint Abu Bakr R had 3000 men with her.

When A"ishah bint Abu Bakr R’s party reached near Basrah, an emissary of ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R named ‘Uthman ibn Hanif asked them about the purpose of their journey in such a large armed group.

‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R also reached Basrah and sent another emissary to A"ishah bint Abu Bakr R with an offer to discuss the situation to find a solution. They two discussed the situation and as a result, an understanding was reached between A"ishah bint Abu Bakr R, Talhah ibn ‘Ubaydullah R and Zubayr ibn Al ‘Awwam R that there should be no war and ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R was to be accepted as an undisputed leader.

But at the same time those who had actually murdered ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan R realized the danger to their life. They did not let the two parties come to term. As a result, war became inevitable.

With the death of the two prominent Sahabah (Companions of Muhammad S) Talhah ibn ‘Ubaydullah R and Zubayr ibn Al ‘Awwam R in the war, the morale of A"ishah bint Abu Bakr R’s camp dampened. Thousands of Muslims including many Sahabah (Companions of Muhammad S) had died from both sides, fighting each other.

‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R ordered A"ishah bint Abu Bakr R’s brother, Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr R, to take his sister safely to Madinah.

‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R sent a letter to Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan R through Jarir ibn ‘Abdullah asking him to pay allegiance to him. Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan R replied that first ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R should punish the murderers of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan R. It was not possible for ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R to punish the murderers of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan R until the situation comes under total control. But the people did not realize the gravity of the situation. They wanted an immediate action against the murderers of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan R. As a result, the situation went out of control.

Their armies met at Siffin on the bank of river Euphrates between Raqqah and Bali. The battle began in May 657 A.D. ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R offered to fight a personal duel with Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan R to decide the issue, but he refused. The fighting continued for several days. A section of ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R’s army laid aside their arms, and said: "Let the Qur-an decide." ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R tried to convince his army that it was just a device to reverse the defeat, but no one heeded. Over 10,000 men of ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R’s army laid down their arms and walked out of the battlefield. ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R reluctantly agreed for a truce.

‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R and Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan R exchanged several letters, and after long correspondence, in 40 H (Hijrah), both parties agreed on a truce. It was decided that Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan R would rule from Sham (Syria) and ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R would rule from ‘Iraq and they would not engage in war against each other.

‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R was fatally wounded by Ibn Muljim, while he was offering Fajr Salah (Morning Pprayers) in the mosque of Kufah. He succumbed to his injuries on the 21st of Ramadan of 40 H (Hijrah) (24th January, 661 CE).

Ali ibn Abu Talib R’s Wives and Children

‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R did not marry any other woman so long as Fatimah R was alive. But after Fatimah R’s death, ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib R married several other women and had many children from them.

‘Ali
ibn Abu Talib R had married nine times and had 31 children from those marriages. He had 14 sons and 17 daughters. Some of these are;

  • Fatimha R bint Muhammad S. Sons – Hasan R, Husain R, Muhsin R, daughters – Zaynab R, Umm Kulthum R.
  • Khawlah bint Ja’far Hanafiah R, son - Muhammad (Better known as Muhammad Ibn Hanafiah)
  • Ummul Banin bint Hazzam R, sons - ‘Abbas, ‘Uthman, Ja’far and ‘Abdullah
  • Umm Habib bint Rabi’ah, son - ‘Umar, daughter - Ruqqayyah.
  • Layla bint Mas’ud Darmia R, sons - Abu Bakr and ‘Ubaydullah
  • Asma" bint Khashmiah R, sons – Muhammad Al-Asghar, Yahya, Awn
  • Umm Sa’id bint ‘Urwah Thaqafi, daughters Ummal Hasan and Ramalah
Introduction
'Ashrah Mubashshrah
  Talhah bin 'Ubaydullah R
  Sai'd bin Zayd R
  Zubayr bin Al 'Awwam R
  Abu Bakr R
  Sa'd bin Abu Waqqas R
  'Abdur Rahman bin 'Auf R
  'Umar bin Khattab R
  'Ali ibn Abu Talib R
  'Uthman ibn 'Affan R
Fadl bin 'Abbas R
'Abdullah bin Khattab R
Fatimah bint Harith R
Sa'ib bin Maz'un R
Sa'd bin 'Abd Qays R
Sa'id bin Zayd bin 'Amr R
Habbar bin Sufyan R
'Abdullah (Abu Salamah) R
Nu'aym bin 'Abdullah R
Fras bin Nadr R
Zayd bin Harithah R
Abu Hurayrah R
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