Ali ibn Abi Ṭalib, son of Abu Talib played a very prominent role in the renewal of Islamic History. Imam Ali was the infallible representative of Allah who has never gone against the will of Allah in his entire life. He was born on 13th Rajab, 24 BH in the Kaaba sanctuary in Mecca, the holiest place in Islam considered as gods house. He was the cousin and son-in-law of Islamic prophet Muhammad and the first male convert to Islam.
The Shia Muslims regard Ali as the first Imam and consider him and his descendants as the rightful successors to Prophet Muhammad, and as the members of the Ahl al Bayt, the household of Muhammad. This was the major disagreement that led to the split the Ummah (Muslim community) into the Sunni and Shia branches.
It is the Imam Ali's dedication towards the religion of Islam that made him establish justice and oppose all forms of oppression. He did not discriminate between the social classes. He was often seen roaming on the streets of Kufa like a common man. In fact, many times, the people who interacted with him did not even recognize him. He helped and protected many poor and orphans without disclosing his identity to them. He believed in simplicity and was against the exhibition of his deeds and nobleness. He was the part of his people.
Imam Ali fought three tiresome battles during this short life time establishing a golden era in the Islamic History, one that extended the legacy of the Prophet's era. Imam Ali's government has set the example in terms of ruling and leadership, and it deserves to be studied and understood. He always supported Prophet and was his true companion. One incident when he proved his loyalty towards the messenger of Allah by sleeping on the Prophet bed when the infidels had surrounded the house of the Prophet and were determined to invade the house at the end of the night and kill him. Meanwhile prophet migrated to Medina where later he also joined him along with his family. In Medina Ali was constantly in the company of the Prophet in private and in public and supported him in all his work towards the Islam. Imam Ali was present in all the wars in which the Prophet participated, except the battle of Tabuk when he was ordered to stay in Medina in place of the Prophet. He did not retreat in any battle nor did he turn his face away from any enemy.
Under Divine instruction, Prophet gave Fatimah his beloved daughter from Khadijah in marriage to Imam Ali though others vainly tried for her hand. He is best example of true companion, a brother and the best supporter to Prophet Muhammad in Islamic History. His death also was a big tragedy in Islamic History, as he was struck with a poisoned sword by Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam while offering his prayers in the mosque of Kufa on 19th Ramadan.
Imam Ali is respected for his courage, knowledge, belief, honesty, unbending devotion to Islam, deep loyalty to Muhammad, equal treatment of all Muslims and generosity in forgiving his defeated enemies. There are many stories in Islamic History of 'Ali's kindness to the lowly, compassion for the needy and the poor, and generosity and munificence toward those in misery and poverty. Imam Ali spent all that he earned to help the poor and the needy, and he himself lived in the strictest and simplest manner. He can be an example to learn from for the mankind for years ever.
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