Let’s continue with the summary of our 4th Imam Ali (R.A). Please bear the little pain to read regardless of the length. Please don’t miss reading this as it contains lots of beautiful lessons.
BismilLaahir Rahmaanir Raheem.
After the Prophet S.A.W returned from the farewell pilgrimage and particularly having heard the Prophet S.A.W address the Muslims in Mina of the perfect and complete religion that is Islam, imam Ali guessed that the Prophet S.A.W was soon to pass away.
When the Prophet’s S.A.W condition worsened, Al-Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib held imam Ali by the hand and said: “In three days you, by Allah, will be ruled (by somebody else). And by Allah, I feel that Allah’s Messenger S.A.W will die from this ailment of his, for I know how the faces of the off-spring of Abdul Muttalib look at the time of their death. So let us go to Allah’s Messenger S.A.W and ask him who will take over the caliphate. If it is given to us, we will know it, and if it is given to somebody else, we will request him to tell the new ruler to take care of us.” imam Ali said, “By Allah, if we asked Allah’s Messenger for it (the Caliphate) and he refused to give it to us, the people will never give it to us after that. And by Allah, I will not ask Allah’s Messenger for it.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
EXAMPLES OF HIS MORAL CHARACTER OF JUSTICE.
Imam Ali was known to possess an acute sense of justice for whatever he received in the treasury, he would distribute equitably without favour to family. Even when in battle and having overpowered his foes, imam Ali did not ill-treat them. Once when he was about to cut off the head of his victim in battle, the desperate man spat on his face. Imam Ali spared his life and released him, saying that if he had killed the man then, his motive will not remain purely for the cause of Allah but due to personal anger. Allahu Akbar. That’s eemaan to the highest level isn’t it? After that imam Ali ran away from the man that he had just overpowered, afraid that he would be influenced by his personal anger and act upon it. Upon seeing this, the man who was about to be killed by Ali’s hands, took the shahadah and embraced Islam. Allahu Akbar. Our actions alone does daawah than our speech.
In another incident, imam Ali’s shield went missing after the battle of Siffin. He found it with a Christian man and it was instantly recognized by many because of its distinctive decorations and markings. Imam Ali, who was already Caliph at the time, took the man to the judge as per the Islamic ruling instead of simply confiscating the shield. The judge asked the Christian man to respond to the allegation of the Amir al Mukminin (the Governor of the Muslims). The Christian claimed that the shield was his, but also that Amir Al Mukminin was not a liar. To this, imam Ali replied that the judge had no right to refer to him as the “Amir al Mukminin” when he was appearing before the judge as a normal citizen. Allahu Akbar. He went on to say that the Christian man was in the right because he, imam Ali had no evidence with him. The judge ruled in favour of the Christian, who took the shield and left. A few steps later, he came back, and he said “I bear witness what I saw now is the justice of Messengers and Prophets. And the Amir Al Mukminin went to the judge to take his rights from me! I bear witness there is no one worthy of worship except Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad S.A.W is the Messenger of Allah.” After embracing Islam, the man admitted, “The shield is yours. I followed the army, and in a certain time I took it from you.” Later on, people bore witness this man became one of the noble characters and died as a soldier of Islam at the Al Nahrawan battle. Allahu Akbar.
Imagine how desperate the ummah is for such justice and fairness today! Look at his humbleness and humility in dealing with the average man, or even the one who stole from him. Most leaders would bypass normal judicial procedures to claim their rights, and many of them are motivated by their personal emotions instead of fear of Allah.
Once Umar complained to the Prophet S.A.W that imam Ali never gave him salam (Islamic greetings) when they met. The Prophet S.A.W summoned imam Ali and asked him to explain his actions. Imam Ali said that he had heard the Prophet S.A.W saying that whoever initiates a greeting to his brother in Islam first, will be given a palace in jannah (a high reward), and he wanted that reward to be bestowed upon Umar. Allahu Akbar. This was why every time he met Umar, he delayed his greeting, so that Umar would initiate the greeting and be rewarded for it.
In another incident, imam Ali entered the house and gave his greetings to his wife, Fatimah may Allah be pleased with her, the most beloved daughter of the Prophet S.A.W. She had a pain in her stomach, and requested imam Ali to take the few dirhams she had to buy some pomegranates for her. Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib obliged and purchased a pomegranate from the market. On the way home, a poor man in the street waved to him, saying “Ya Ali, I’m a very poor man. Do you know what I want? I want a pomegranate.” Without any hesitation imam Ali immediately gave the poor man the pomegranate, explaining that he had bought it for his wife but gave it to the poor man instead for the sake of Allah. The poor man offered to take half the pomegranate only, but Ali refused and instead went home empty handed. He explained the incident to Fatimah when he got home. Immediately, she replied, “Best, what you did. It is better that you give it to the poor person.” Some time later, there was a knock on the door. It was Salman Al Farisi bearing a tray of nine pomegranates in his hand. He said that a man had come to the Prophet S.A.W, asking him to give the pomegranates to imam Ali. Imam Ali enquired whether this was all that the Prophet S.A.W gave him. Salman Al Farisi revealed that there was a tenth pomegranate which he had purposely concealed! After a while, Ali enquired with the Prophet S.A.W what actually transpired. Rasulullah S.A.W replied that the poor man was Angel Jibreel AS, who, in the form of a man, came to check Ali’s eeman. After imam Ali passed the test, Allah sent down the ten pomegranates for the obedience and sacrifice of imam Ali and his wife for the path of Allah – for Allah rewards tenfold for every good deed performed. Allahu Akbar.
How much the Companions loved each other to the point that they wanted not only to give to each other in the dunia, but also the preference to give each other the reward and high status in jannah. Look at the ultimate generosity, kindness and love for each other. Where is our eeman compared to theirs, our relationship with each other, and our priority in life?
HIS CALIPHATE RULE
Following the death of imam Uthman may Allah be pleased with him, the senior companions insisted that Ali ibn Abi Talib take over as leader of the Islamic State. At the insistence of Az-Zubair and Talhah, he accepted the position as the Fourth Right Guided Caliph.
The following is from his inaugural speech:
“I advise you O slaves of Allah to fear Allah, for god-fearing is the best advice Allah’s slaves might give to one another. It is also the closest deed to His pleasure, and the most yielding of the best results in His sight. No doubt, you are ordered to fear Allah and you have been created to be faithful.
So you should beware of Allah as the Almighty has warned you of Himself. Indeed, He has warned you of a strong violence if you do not comply to his order. Furthermore, you should fear Allah so much. You should do the good deeds without the intention of showing off or gaining good reputation. Whoever does the good deeds for anything other than for the sake of Allah, surely Allah would make him suffer from the evil consequences of what he has done. Whoever does good deeds sincerely for the sake of Allah, certainly Allah would be his supporter and He would give him the goodness of his intention.
You should fear of Allah’s punishment, for He has never created you vainly nor has He left anything of your affairs to no purpose. He made you, learnt your secrets, recorded your deeds, and then decreed your terms. So let not the world deceive you with its vain hopes, for no doubt, it is to beguile its people, and how haughty he is, who is deceived by it. The hereafter is the abode of eternal stay.”
What an unusual first speech for a Caliph. It is more a speech of a devout man rather than a Caliph. He was only concerned about living piously for the sake of Allah and to have those around him also live pious lives.
Upon ascension to the Caliphate, Ali ibn Abi Talib inherited the turmoil which began with the killing of Imam Uthman. Details of this can be found in historical accounts, but suffice to say, Ali refused to seek revenge on Uthman’s killer in order to avoid bloodshed of the ummah. This gave rise to several civil battles. Thus all efforts to spread Islam were unfortunately channeled towards resolving these troubles with the situation within the state being tumultuous to say the least.
IMAM ALI’S DEATH
One night, one of the conspirators, Abdur-Rahman bin Muljim came into the mosque in Kufar and hid in it, aware that imam Ali would be offering his fajr prayers in the morning. As he began to pray, Abdur-Rahman came forward and stabbed him several times with a dagger, penetrating on the brain through the scar of an old wound.
After he was found lying wounded on the prayer mat, imam Ali said to his son: “Treat the man kindly and give him food and water. If I die, his life is left to justice, and he shall be slain for the deed he had done; but do not mutilate him, for that was forbidden by the Prophet S.A.W.”
From the miracle of prophethood was that the Prophet S.A.W described to him the way Ali’s martyrdom would occur. Ammar bin Yasir reported that the Prophet SAW said to Ali” “The most wretched of men are two: the people of Thamud who killed the camel and the one who would strike you over here (i.e. on the head) until your beard is wet with your blood.”
On Friday, 20 Ramadan, 40 Hijri, imam Ali passed away. He was sixty-three. Ali had always asked Allah that he die as a martyr for the cause of Islam and Allah accepted his prayers.
May Allah bestow His mercy on imam Ali for his full dedication to the welfare of Islam and the Muslims. Aameen.