Who is Imam Ali? The ruler whose kindness and generosity are acknowledged by Muslims and non-Muslims

Who is Imam Ali? The ruler whose kindness and generosity are acknowledged by Muslims and non-Muslims

Who is the most powerful and most wronged ruler in history? Who was the one who coupled politics and morals? Which ruler never used even the slightest portion of state property for himself and would secretly give food for poor families at nights?
  • The most powerful, yet the most wronged ruler in history!

    Jun 4, 2018

    Three apparently contradictory features coexist in the Commander of the faithful (a.s.): Imam Ali (a.s.) is a strong, powerful, and a sovereign man, at the same time, he was wronged; moreover, and at the same time, he is was ultimately victorious during various events. If we want to acquire an accurate understanding of the power and strength of the Commander of the Faithful, we should look to the vast dominions of his government. The large territory which was under the management of the Commander of the Faithful extended as far as present-day Afghanistan to the Mediterranean Sea, and to Egypt. This vast territory was governed by the Commander of the Faithful, and he did so with complete power and solidity. His iron will, his courage, his military might as an art form, his eloquent tongue, and his appealing logic – the Commander of the Faithful's words and addresses, full of enthusiasm and full of wisdom, have provided instructive lessons for all humans to live by to this day – are signs of his strength. His robust physique, intellect, determination, management, and style of rhetoric were all indications of a strong and powerful individual. At the same time, this strong man was wronged. Signs of oppression against him could be witnessed in the behavior of his enemies and the envious. They could be witnessed in the unfair accusations that were leveled against him by the agents of his enemies, during his lifetime, and in the materialistic behavior of some of his companions – a number of his companions and comrades broke away from him because they pursued their materialistic desires. --These are hints of oppression against that great personality. The burdens that were exerted on him from various sides were so vast that this patient, ocean-like heart of a man was so tolerant that he is said to have complained into a well! He would open up into a well! These instances are all indications of the persecution faced by the Commander of the Faithful. After his demise and martyrdom, his enemies – who had seized the government – would insult him for many years at their podiums. They would insult him throughout that vast country; they would speak harshly of the Commander of the Faithful who was the embodiment of piety, justice, and fair-mindedness. Coincidently, when we take a general look at those events, we see in that prolonged battle, the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was the final victor. Today, notice where the Commander of the Faithful's name and personality stands in this vast human panorama and history. He stands at the peak, and there is no trace of his enemies. His Nahjul Balaghah is an instructive lesson for heightened individuals. His tradition is the most important and prominent tradition after that of the Holy Prophet of Islam (PBUH). His form of justice and his great personality were outstanding features in this day and age. His cause defeated that of his enemies: he was the final victor.

  • Two paradoxical features in Imam Ali (a.s.)

    Jun 4, 2018

    One criterion is that there were seemingly two conflicting sets of characteristics in the Commander of the Faithful: the first was steadfastness, resistance, and strictness; another was leniency, compassion, and clemency. These qualities existed in the Commander of the Faithful to their perfection. He was steadfast and strict in the face of every evasive course of action. In the face of oppression, oppressors, deviation from the path of God, transgression, and greed: the Commander of the Faithful would stand up against these matters with complete steadfastness and power; his resistance against those conditions is unprecedented, to this very day. He also behaved in a completely sensitive and delicate manner when it came to divine remembrance and dhikr; he behaved similarly towards the oppressed, underprivileged, and vulnerable classes of society.

2016
  • The greatest martyr of n the history of Islam and of mankind

    Jun 25, 2016

    This great personality is the greatest martyr not only in the history of Islam but also throughout the history of humanity. There is an epithet that has been used for Hazrat Aba-Abdullah al-Hussein, the Master of Martyrs: “Tharallah” -- which means someone whose blood is the money of God. This is what “Tharallah” means. His blood is valuable and the value of blood, from such dear personalities, is so heavy that only Allah the Exalted can repay them. The same epithet has been used for the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). You say in your prayers: “[Greetings be upon you] tharallah and you son of him who is tharallah.” The latter refers to the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.): he too enjoys the same greatness. These terms and epithets make it clear what magnificence this great martyr – who was martyred during the mihrab and martyred on the path of the truth, steadfastness, and resistance – enjoys.

2014
  • Imam Ali’s intriguing lifestyle as a ruler

    May 14, 2014

    The personal life and behavior of this great and powerful ruler with a vast and rich country at his disposal was like a poor person. He had only one set of clothes. His food was dry barley bread. He avoided all material pleasures in a way that he himself said to his companions, colleagues, and the politicians of his time, "I know that to adopt such a hard way of life is beyond you" [Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 45]. He said to them that they cannot live such a life and he was right. No one can do this. It is really astonishing that the Commander of the Faithful's (a.s.) life during his government was like this. His house was modest. His lifestyle was like a poor and needy person. This was while he engaged in all these great tasks. The same is true of his social behavior, his administration of justice and his resistance for the sake of observing divine obligations. Any mind is really astonished in the face of such greatness and such power. What kind of person was he? This is different from his spiritual positions. This is his political behavior. How did politicians and rulers throughout the world live? How did the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) live? This is another important chapter which has been unique until today and which will be unique forever. The Commander of the Faithful's (a.s.) piety, his personal behavior and his act of worship when he was powerful are unique.

  • The most selfless and most sacrificing figure for Islam and Muslims

    May 14, 2014

    The sacrifices that the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) made for Islam, for religion, for saving the Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) life, for preserving his religion and for the honor and greatness of the Islamic Ummah are jihadi acts and they are really beyond the capability of humanity. During his childhood, from the moment that he began to know the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) as his teacher, during the time he was raised by him, when he accepted Islam during his childhood, during the difficult thirteen-year era of his life in Makah, during the difficult event of migration to Madina, during the ten-year era of the Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) auspicious life in Madina and during all the wars, sacrifices and difficulties, this individual stood on the peak of sacrifice. He made the same sacrifices after the Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) demise. The patience of the Commander of the Faithful was a sacrifice. His measures were a sacrifice. His cooperation was a sacrifice. His acceptance of caliphate was a sacrifice. The measures that he adopted during his short era of caliphate were sacrifices one after the other. The book of the sacrifices that the Commander of the Faithful (peace and greetings be upon him) made is a long and voluminous book for any reader and it really astonishes one. It is astonishing to see that an individual can offer - with firm determination - his life, his reputation, his capability and his whole existence in the way of God. Understanding this is beyond me and people like me. This is another chapter of the Commander of the Faithful's (a.s.) life which forms many long books.

  • Shias, Sunnis and non-Muslims admit incapability in grasping Imam Ali’s spiritual status

    May 14, 2014

    One chapter is the spiritual positions of the Commander of the Faithful including his monotheistic understanding, his act of worship, his closeness to God and his purity. These are things whose depth and truth are really beyond our reach. All outstanding ulama - including Shia and Sunni ulama and even non-Muslim scholars - have said that they are not able to understand this part of the Commander of the Faithful's (a.s.) personality. This part of his life catches everyone's eyes with its loftiness and enlightenment. They cannot understand the different dimensions of his life. This is one part of his life. When Ibn Abi al-Hadid, a Sunni and Mu'tazili scholar, narrates one of the sermons of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) - which is about monotheism - in his commentary on Nahjul Balaghah, he says, "Ibrahim al-Khalil al-Rahman should be proud of having such a son". Many prophets emerged from Ibrahim's descendants. However, he says this only about the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). He says, "Ibrahim al-Khalil al-Rahman should say to this son of his, ‘You made certain statements in your monotheism sermon about the Arabs' follies. I could not make such statements about Nabts' [a Bani Israel tribe] follies and I could not illustrate the same truths as you did'". Notice that the narrator is a Sunni and Mu'tazili scholar. This is one part and one chapter of the Commander of the Faithful's (a.s.) life and it has many unknown dimensions. This part of his life is really a deep ocean.

2010
  • Non-Muslims astonished by Nahjulbalaghah of Imam Ali (a.s.)

    Jun 26, 2010

    It is necessary to read and learn from Nahjul Balaghah. Recently, many non-Muslim intellectuals have become familiar with Nahjul Balaghah. They have read the words of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). They have learned from the manifestations of wisdom in his words, and they have been astonished by the greatness of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) and his words. We should pay much more attention to Nahjul Balaghah. We should learn more from its teachings. We should benefit more from Imam Ali's (a.s.) sea of wisdom. Nahjul Balaghah clarified all aspects, and provides us with all the lessons that we need. Sunni scholars have made surprising comments about Nahjul Balaghah. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) does not just belong to Shia Muslims. All Muslims and all those who love Islam see Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) at the peak of scholarly, spiritual, moral, human and divine greatness.

  • According to the holy prophet of Islam, Imam Ali (a.s.) is the benchmark for recognizing the truth

    Jun 26, 2010

    The character of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was exceptional from birth to martyrdom. He was born inside the Ka'bah - which was unparalleled before his birth and remained unparalleled thereafter. And he was martyred while he was praying in the mosque. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) spent all the time between these two points in jihad, patience for the sake of God, acquiring knowledge and insight, and moving on the path of divine satisfaction. Early in his childhood, the hand of divine acumen gave Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) to the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was only six years old when the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) brought him to his own house from the house of Abi Talib. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was educated by the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.)... since his childhood. He announced his faith in the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) when he was a child. He prayed with the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). He engaged in jihad alongside the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). He made sacrifices for the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). During his lifetime, he tried his utmost to administer justice, promote the religion of God and protect Islam before and after the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) passed away. From the Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) perspective, the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) is the criterion for truth and justice. Shia and Sunni Muslims have quoted the Holy Prophet as saying, "Ali is with truth, and truth is with Ali. Truth revolves around him wherever he is." This was how the lifestyle of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was.

2009
  • Who is the best role model for the people and the rulers?

    Dec 6, 2009

    It is obvious to all Muslims and Muslim rulers that the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was a peak of perfection. His youth is a model for the youth of the Islamic Ummah. He was sincere and insightful. He could see the truth, and he was always seeking it. He used to defend the truth with all his soul. He used to step into dangerous arenas. He used to ignore the dangers on his path. He did not at all deviate from the appropriate path. He used to closely follow the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) all his life. He used to obediently follow the orders of God and those of the Prophet (s.w.a.). At the same time, he used to increase his knowledge on a daily basis. Every moment of his life, he used to base his actions on his knowledge. That was the youth of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). Similarly, when he was middle-aged and elderly, his life was full of difficult tests, and he patiently went through all of these tests. He always used to place the interests of Islam above everything else, even his own indisputable rights... Thus, he used to defend the interests of Islam with all his soul. And when people went to him and insisted that he should accept the leadership of their society, he stepped in with all his competence. He was not afraid of anything, and no criticisms could stop him. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was a perfect role model. Shia Muslims consider him to have this high position.

  • Imam Ali’s (a.s.) features as narrated by prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

    Dec 6, 2009

    Knowledge is one of the criteria. Regarding his knowledge, both Shia and Sunni narrations confirm that the Holy Prophet said, "I am the city of knowledge, and Ali is the gate to it." This is the best testimony to Imam Ali's knowledge. Regarding his jihad, Allah the Exalted said, "And there is the type of man who gives his life to earn the pleasure of Allah." [The Holy Quran, 2: 207] This Quranic verse describes the selflessness of the Commander of the Faithful. There are no other such revelations about other people in the Quran. Regarding his charitable activities, there is the ayah, "And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive." [The Holy Quran, 76: 8] This ayah is about the Commander of the Faithful and his family. "Your (real) friends are (no less than) Allah, His Messenger, and the (fellowship of) believers - those who establish regular prayers and regular charity, and they bow down humbly (in worship)." [The Holy Quran, 5: 55] Everyone says that this ayah is about Imam Ali (a.s.). He had each and every one of the qualifications specified in Islam - including knowledge, piety, charitable activities, selfless efforts, and jihad. Who would deny the fact that Imam Ali (a.s.) had these qualifications?

  • Imam Ali did not treat opponents and rebels the same way

    Sep 11, 2009

    Another characteristic of that great Imam (a.s.) was that he did not behave in the same way towards all of his opponents and enemies. He did not use the same method for all of them. He differentiated between different individuals and orientations. Ali (a.s.) stood firm against the faithless Khawarij. Of course, he stood up against their deviation, wrongdoings and reliance on the outward aspects of religion. He stood against Muawiyah as well. When they put the Holy Quran on their spears, the Commander of the Faithful said, "By Allah, this is a trick and deception. They do not believe in the Holy Quran". And when Khawarij confronted him with their reliance on the outward aspects of religion - they recited the Holy Quran in a plaintive and sad tone in front of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) - Hazrat stood up against them. That is to say, the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) stood up against those people who wanted to move forward on the basis of the outward aspects of religion and it did not matter to him whether he was confronting Muawiyah or Khawarij. Nonetheless, he did not behave towards them in the same way. He showed resistance, but in general, his method was to offer advice. This was the reason why he said, "Do not fight Khawarij after me because one who seeks right but does not find it, is not like one who seeks wrong and finds it". Those who are after truth, but who make a mistake on this path - such people are after the truth, but they make a mistake because of their ignorance and reliance on superficial things - are not like those who are after evil and who find it. Such people are not the same.

  • Imam Ali prohibited people from flattering and complementing him

    Sep 11, 2009

    Another characteristic of the political behavior of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was that he genuinely - not insincerely - asked the people to avoid flattering and sweet-talking him. He asked them to avoid behaving in an insincere way towards him. In the middle of one of the sermons of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) - which was one of his very articulate and astonishing sermons - someone stood up and began to praise and compliment him. He gave the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) plenty of praise because of his sermon and the things which he was saying. When this person finished praising, Hazrat turned to him and advised him - almost as much as this person spoke - to avoid speaking to the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) in this way. I am saying this on the basis of Nahjul Balaghah and the selected text of Sayyid Radhi. One of the sentences that he uttered in this sermon was: "Do not speak to me the way you speak to oppressive kings and rulers. Do not evade me as the people of passion are to be evaded". Some people avoid saying certain things to other people so that they do not make them annoyed and displeased. Imam Ali (a.s.) said that they should not show such considerations for him. "Do not meet me with flattery and do not think that I shall take it ill if a true thing is said to me" [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 216]. He said that people should not think Ali would be annoyed if they say a true thing to him. It was not the case that he found it hard to accept the truth. This is another characteristic of the political behavior of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.).

  • Imam Ali (a.s.) would never resort to atrocities in order to achieve victory

    Sep 11, 2009

    Another characteristic of the political behavior of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was that he did not resort to oppressing people, telling lies and carrying out oppressive measures. In the beginning of the Commander of the Faithful's (a.s.) caliphate, some people said to him that he should show some consideration for the influential personalities in society and that he should give them a larger share of public funds. They said, "Do not make them disobey you. Rather, you should attract their hearts". He said, "Do you command me to achieve victory with oppression. By Allah, I won't do so as long as the world goes on and as long as one star leads another in the sky" [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 126]. It was not possible for the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) to make friends by showing oppression and by adopting wrong and non-Islamic methods.

  • How did Imam Ali (a.s.) treat his enemies and opponents?

    Sep 11, 2009

    One of the characteristics of the political behavior of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was that he used to reason with his enemies and opponents. He even used to reason with Muawiyah in his correspondence with him. Although the enmity between Muawiyah and the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was fierce, Muawiyah used to write letters to the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) in which he used to insult him and say things which were not true. After Talha and Zubair pledged allegiance to the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.), they got out of Madina and went towards Makka with the excuse that they intended to go on a hajj pilgrimage. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was vigilant. From the beginning, he used to say that they do not intend to go on a hajj pilgrimage. They went and hatched certain plots. Of course, it is a long story why they did this. Hazrat said, "Both of you frown over a small matter and leave aside big ones" [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 204]. He said that they used a small matter as a tool to create discord, that they ignored many positive points and that they intended to show enmity and disobey his commands. Despite these things, the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) spoke in a humble way to them. He explained that he was not after creating enemies for himself. So, he showed tolerance. But when tolerance is not sufficient, there is room for Alavi decisiveness. For example, he showed his decisiveness towards the Khawarij in such a firm way that he himself said, "I tore out the eye of fitna" [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 92]. And no one else could do this except for Ali, as he himself said in Nahjul Balaghah.

  • One of Imam Ali’s political manners was tolerating the enemies as much as possible

    Sep 11, 2009

    On the issue of the political behavior of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) I should say that he used to tolerate his opponents and even his enemies as much as possible. Although it is true that he experienced three wars during his nearly five-year rule, he fought in these wars after he showed all kinds of tolerance. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was not a person to draw his sword without showing proper tolerance towards his opponents. Now, I want you to listen to a number of hadiths narrated by him. In the beginning of his caliphate, a number of people gathered around the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) and they insisted that he deal with some of his opponents. They firmly insisted that he should do this. In response, the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) advised them to be patient. One of the things that he said was, "One group will think as you do, but another will not think as you think, and there will be still another group who will be neither this way nor that way". There are some people who have the same opinion as you do and there are some people who believe something that you do not. There is another group of people who do not take sides at all. These people have a different opinion. "Therefore, you should be patient". He said that they should be patient so that he can carry out his responsibility with acumen. "Be patient until people quieten down and hearts settle in their places so that rights can be achieved for people easily". He said that they should allow him to establish people's rights in a calm and peaceful way. "But if I do not find another way, the last treatment, of course, will be branding with a hot iron" [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 168]. We should do our best to establish and achieve people's rights in a patient and kind way. If we realize that there is no other alternative, then we should "brand with a hot iron". This is a well-known Arabic saying. It means that the last alternative is behaving in a firm way. We should treat the wound with medicines and ointments as much as possible. We should use ointments in order to clean the wound. If it is not possible to do this, then the last treatment will be to heat it with a hot iron because there is no other way.

  • In Imam Ali's governance there was no room for deception, malicious deeds and intentions

    Sep 11, 2009

    One of the characteristics of his politics is that it was free of any deception and trickery. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) has narrated, "If it were not for piety, I would be able to use tricks better than all deceitful Arabs" [al-Kafi, Volume 8, page 22]. When comparing himself with Muawiyah, he says, "I swear to God that Muawiyah is not more clever than me" [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 200]. But what should Ali do? When he is committed to piety and morality, then his hands and his tongue are tied. This is the method of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). If one is not pious, his hands and his tongue are free and they can do and say whatever they want. If we are not pious, we can say things which are not true, we can engage in slandering, we can tell lies to people, we can break our promises, and we can become attached to the enemies of the straight path. When piety does not exist, this is the way we behave. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) said that he chose politics and piety together. This is why there was not any deception and dishonesty in the methods that he adopted.

  • Imam Ali's view of governance and politics

    Sep 11, 2009

    The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) describes his rule, during which three all-out wars were waged and thousands of soldiers were killed, in a way that it shows his contempt. You should take a look at Nahjul Balaghah in order to see what he has said in this regard. Once, when addressing ibn Abbas, he described it as something which is even less worthy than his old and patched up shoelaces. In another part of Nahjul Balaghah, he said, "Then you would have seen that in my view this world of yours is no better than the sneezing of a goat" [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 3]. What value does the sneezing of a goat have? It has no value. He says that this power and this rule is even of less worth and less significance than the sneezing of a goat. In the same sermon, he explains why he accepted government: "If people had not come to me and supporters had not exhausted the argument, [I would not have accepted caliphate]". He said that he accepted caliphate because the people insisted and pledged allegiance to him. He goes on to explain, "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". He says that Allah the Exalted has commanded scholars and knowledgeable personalities to avoid enduring the oppression of oppressors and the hunger of the oppressed. These were the things which drew the Commander of the Faithful towards caliphate. He showed resistance, and even fought against those who plotted against him and who went back on their pledge of allegiance. If it had not been for such things, caliphate would have been worthless to him.

  • Imam Ali proved politics and ethics can go together

    Sep 11, 2009

    The political behavior of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was not separate from his spiritual and moral behavior. The politics of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) interrelated with his spirituality and morality. In fact, his politics originated from his spirituality and morality. If one's politics originate from morality and feed from spirituality, then it will be a tool for the people who are faced with it, to achieve perfection and paradise. But if politics become separate from morality and spirituality, then it will be demagoguery. It will be a tool for gaining power at any price, for accumulating wealth and for furthering one's own interests. This kind of politics is like a pest.

  • The Commander of the Faithful is the source of unity among the World of Islam

    Jul 6, 2009

    The Islamic Ummah has suffered from injustice at all times. It has also suffered from disunity, discord, and conflicts. The world of Islam has always suffered from these bitter realities. The more you refer to the history of Islam - particularly the history of Islam in the recent centuries - the more clearly you perceive these realities. The world of Islam is in need of unity.The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) should be the focal point of unity in the world of Islam. The enemies of Islam are trying to foment discord among different Muslim groups by means of Imam Ali (a.s.) who is himself the source of unity among Muslims. These are facts that the Muslim world should be aware of.

  • The Commander of the Faithful is the perfect model of Islamic upbringing

    Jul 6, 2009

    The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) is a prominent example of Islamic teaching. He has both served as a soldier carrying out jihad and has been an Islamic ruler. Each of these periods is full of lessons for the Islamic Ummah. If we follow these lessons, we will move towards the path of righteousness and perfection. We have to gain these benefits from such occasions. We have to learn these lessons. In a hymn to Imam Ali (a.s.), it is written that the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) paid great attention to certain issues during his eventful life. Justice and unity were among the things he always paid great attention to. These are great lessons for us. Unity of the Islamic Ummah was of paramount importance to Imam Ali (a.s.). Administration of justice in the Islamic society was also important to the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). The fact that he always pursued justice is evident in all cases. He went through the toughest tests of his life - the difficulties and wars which were imposed on him - as a result of administering justice. He tolerated great hardships, such as the three wars he fought during his brief rule. This is because he always sought to administer justice. He always pursued justice decisively. He also gave up his own rights for the sake of God, Islam, and unity of Muslims and never engaged in any confrontation. He always held Islam, Muslims, the Islamic Ummah, and Islamic unity in high regard.

  • Narrations by Sunni scholars on Prophet Muhammad’s love for Imam Ali (a.s.)

    Jul 6, 2009

    The high position which Imam Ali holds before God is because of his selfless efforts and devotion... There are some points in the traditions cited by Sunni Muslims about the affection of the Holy Prophet for Imam Ali (a.s.). These points are worthy of contemplation for all Muslims. In Sunan al-Tirmidhi, which is one of the six major hadith collections of Sunni Muslims, Aisha - who is referred to as "Mother of the Faithful - is quoted as saying: "Among all humans, no one was dearer to the Commander of the Faithful than the Holy Prophet."In another tradition, Ahmad ibn Hanbal - who was the founder of the Hanbali school of fiqh - quotes Asma bint Umays as saying: "The Holy Prophet once prayed to God and said: "just as Moses asked You to appoint a vizier to help him with his duties, I also ask You to appoint Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) as my vizier and the one who helps me with my duties."

2008
  • Islam considers Imam Ali’s style of management as necessary for human prosperity

    Dec 17, 2008

    Islam's prescription for humanity is to follow the model of Imam Ali's (a.s.) government. Of course the Commander of the Faithful was himself a follower of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) in this regard. When he was asked about the degree of his piety, Imam Ali (a.s.) said that his piety was incomparable to the that of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). The Commander of the Faithful was the most prominent follower of the Prophet (s.w.a.) in making efforts for the sake of God, in patience, and in all other aspects. Only such a person can enjoy enough qualifications to rule an Islamic community. We must all consider this as a model, not just for our country, but for the entire world of Islam. This is an expectation. Such a great person - who is indifferent to worldly possessions - would always be prepared to lay down his life for the sake of righteousness and the truth. Such a person can save human communities. Carnal desires cannot overcome such a person. Personal interests cannot make such a person blind to critical issues.

  • Imam Ali’s key virtue was observing divine satisfaction and moving on the right path

    Dec 17, 2008

    Moving on the path of righteousness and attaching great importance to Allah's satisfaction were the primary features of Imam Ali's life, no matter how much hardship and selflessness were required to continue this life. That was the most important feature of Imam Ali's life. From his childhood to the moment he was martyred, the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) remained rock solid for the sake of Allah. He made wholehearted efforts and was never frustrated with his efforts for Allah. He tried to promote Islam when it was time to do so. He fought for Islam when it was time to fight. He was patient when patience was required. He assumed the leadership of his society when it was necessary for him to do so. During his life, he showed selflessness whenever required. The Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) of Islam appointed such a man as the ruler of the Islamic community. That is a lesson for the Islamic Ummah.

  • Nahj al-Balaghah: Imam Ali’s book

    Sep 19, 2008

    If you take look at Nahj al-Balagha, you will see that what the Commander of the Faithful has said about lack of interest in the world and piety is far more than all his statements concerning other things. The reason is what I just discussed. Otherwise the Commander of the Faithful was not the type of person to seclude himself from the world. On the contrary, he was one of the most active people when it came to improving the conditions of material life. Both before and after he came to power, he never showed any tendency to slack off. Why was that? It is well-known that when Imam Ali (a.s.) lived in Medina - before he was assigned caliph - he had created a garden with his own hands. He had channeled water to his garden. He had planted palm trees there. Paying attention to material life, the nature that God has created for man, managing the lives of the people, managing the people's financial affairs, and preparing the means for the economy to thrive are all positive measures which are among the duties of individual Muslims and Muslim officials. That is the way the Commander of the Faithful worked. But he was not at all dependant on material possessions. That was all part of Imam Ali's (a.s.) plan for moral education.

  • Nahj al-Balaghah: Imam Ali’s book

    Sep 19, 2008

    If you take look at Nahj al-Balagha, you will see that what the Commander of the Faithful has said about lack of interest in the world and piety is far more than all his statements concerning other things. The reason is what I just discussed. Otherwise, the Commander of the Faithful was not the type of person to seclude himself from the world. On the contrary, he was one of the most active people when it came to improving the conditions of material life. Both before and after he came to power, he never showed any tendency to slack off. Why was that? It is well-known that when Imam Ali (a.s.) lived in Medina - before he was assigned caliph - he had created a garden with his own hands. He had channeled water to his garden. He had planted palm trees there. Paying attention to material life, the nature that God has created for man, managing the lives of the people, managing the people's financial affairs, and preparing the means for the economy to thrive are all positive measures which are among the duties of individual Muslims and Muslim officials. That is the way the Commander of the Faithful worked. But he was not at all dependant on material possessions. That was all part of Imam Ali's (a.s.) plan for moral education.

  • One of Imam Ali’s constant tasks was committing to ethical training of the people

    Sep 19, 2008

    Moral education of the people of that country was one of the things that he paid constant attention to. All the aberrations that plague societies are rooted in moral issues. It is our moral principles that guide our behavior. Any case of misbehavior in any part of the world could be traced back to low moral standards. This fact led the Commander of the Faithful to refer to a more important reality - that all wrong and harmful acts are rooted in materialistic tendencies. So he said: "The world [materialistic tendencies] is the cause of all mistakes." These materialistic tendencies adversely affect our personal and social lives.

  • The importance of justice in Imam Ali’s lifestyle

    Jul 16, 2008

    Now we must pay attention to what the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) put high on his agenda in his life which is full of lessons and meanings for us. One is justice which could probably be claimed to be one of the most prominent points in his lifestyle. Being severe with oppressors, being sympathetic towards the oppressed, and helping the oppressed to claim their rights are characteristics that are clearly observed in many parts in the biography and words of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) as well as in his sermons in Nahj al-Balagha. Just pay attention to these meaningful remarks by the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.)... In Imam Ali's (a.s.) opinion, the world - in the sense of worldly possessions - is to be totally rejected and abandoned. Addressing the world, he said, "Go and deceive someone else!" He meant desires and material beauties of life could not deceive him, and therefore he told them to go away and find someone else to deceive. That was the slogan shouted by the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.).

  • The consensus among Islamic denominations on the magnificence of Imam Ali’s character

    Jul 16, 2008

    regarding the characteristics of Imam Ali (a.s.) - the brilliance and prominence of his pure faith, the heavy burden of jihad that he shouldered from early Islam to the end of his life, the unique justice he administered which keeps attracting Muslims and non-Muslims alike, his unique, pure worship and supplication, and the other prominent features that he enjoyed. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) is a personality whose greatness, characteristics, and high status in Islam are not debated among Muslims. Therefore, we can confidently claim that the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) can serve as the common point among all sects of Islam.

2007
  • Acting against the path of God infringes Imam Ali’s logic

    Jul 28, 2007

    The philosophy of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) is treading the path of God. A Shia Muslim is a person who follows the path of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). Now an individual may make a certain mistake or commit a certain sin. This is a different issue. This individual should repent of his sin. But the philosophy of the Commander of the Faithful does not at all allow us to pin our hopes on our relationship with the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) and minimize the seriousness of our deviation from the path of God. The significance of what the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) did lies in the fact that he did not forget about people's rights, justice and preserving the path of God just because of certain considerations.

  • Imam Ali (a.s.) did not back away from reinforcing justice even for a second

    Jul 28, 2007

    "That men may stand forth in justice" [The Holy Quran, 57: 25]. The prophets entered the arena for administering justice. They entered the arena for helping the people get close to God and enforcing divine rules among the people. This is the mission of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) as the executor of the Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) will and as the Islamic caliph. He did not retreat even for a second in treading this path. He was not negligent in moving forward. His old friends broke off their relationship with him. Those who had extravagant claims became unhappy and they separated from him. They waged wars against him in order to overthrow him. Those who used to praise him in the past turned into his mortal enemies. But the criticism of these people did not at all influence the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). "I am one of the people who are not intimidated by the criticism of faultfinders" [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 192]. He continued the path in a steadfast way until he was martyred. "He died by assassination in the mosque at Kufa, death occasioned by his own generous fairness". This is the character of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) and these are the outward qualities that we can see. See how amazing they are. How delicate, beautiful and astonishing his virtues are.

  • 25 years of sacrifice for the sake of the unity of Islamic Ummah and consistency of the Islamic society

    Jul 28, 2007

    When the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) passed away, the Commander of the Faithful thought that it was his right to be the caliph. And in order to do this, he took action, delivered speeches and invited the people to accept his caliphate. But, he withdrew when he saw that it was not possible and when he saw that if he entered the arena and continue to invite the people, the Muslim community would disintegrate. "Therefore, I exercised patience while there was a thorn in my eye and while sorrow had blocked the path of my throat" [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 3]. For twenty-five years, the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) did not say anything about his right - he regarded it as his absolute right - for the sake of the unity of the Islamic Ummah, the solidarity of the Islamic community and the maintenance of the Islamic government. Are these jokes? Are these things easy to do? These are the things which help an individual conquer the peaks of glory in human history. These are the things which turn an individual into the brightest sun - which never sets - in human history.

  • Imam Ali, a role model for all age groups

    Jul 28, 2007

    At all stages of life, he is our role model. Teenagers who are ten, twelve, thirteen years old can follow Ali (a.s.). They can make him their role model. Why? Because when he was ten,eleven years old, he was the first person to know and accept Islam and follow the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). The fact that a ten, eleven-year-old child discovered the truth, stood up for it and followed it as hard as he could, amid all those hostilities and denials, is very important. Young individuals who are twenty, twenty-two, twenty-five years old can also make the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) their role model. Why? Because when he was twenty-three years old - during the time when the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) migrated from Mecca to Medina - he undertook the heaviest responsibility during the great migration. The Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) entrusted the dearest members of his household to Ali (a.s.) so that he would bring them from Mecca to Medina. The Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) entrusted him with the duty of giving the people things which were held in trust, pay his debts, get the money which the people owed the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) and join him in Medina. And it was he who agreed to sleep on the Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) bed and face danger during the night when the enemies were supposed to break into the house and mutilate the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) with their swords. See how great that Imam (a.s.) was. This can become a model for us.

  • A character like an ocean

    Jul 28, 2007

    What are the characteristics that the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) is known for? What is this greatness that Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) showed? Where is this greatness? What are the dimensions of this greatness? This is one of the issues which no human being except for an infallible person can claim to understand because it has deep and unknown dimensions and it is like an ocean. In an ocean, we can see storms, waves, water and astonishing creatures, but only the person who has managed to reach the depth of the ocean can understand it. No one has managed to understand the depth of the ocean-like character of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.), except for those who had access to sources of divine knowledge and who benefited from divine blessings. What we see is only the surface of things. We can only see some signs. Besides, not all of us can see these signs. Not all of us can see the deep points in Nahjul Balaghah and in the sayings of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). Only great scholars and wise people with deep knowledge can understand these points. What we see in the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) are these things: his courage, his praying, his liberated outlook, his commitment to counseling the people to do good and advising them against evil, his jihad, his sacrifices and self-less efforts, his awareness of the developments of the time, his capability to know human beings, his mercy and kindness towards the weak, his fearlessness in the face of arrogant, oppressive and autocratic people, his persistence in administering justice among the people and his enmity towards oppression. These things are only the surface of this deep ocean. Nevertheless, you can see how complicated, astonishing and beautiful this surface is. Whom can we find to enjoy all these outstanding characteristics? The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) is like this. And it is not only Shia Muslims who say this.

  • Christians and non-Muslims, too, praise Imam Ali’s magnificence

    Jul 28, 2007

    The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) belongs to all of humanity. He does not only belong to Shia Muslims and Muslims in general. All of humanity is humble and respectful before the greatness and beautiful aspects of Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), except for those people who do not know him. Therefore, you can see that the panegyrists of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) are not only Muslims. A Christian also praises the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). It is not only Shia Muslims who praise him. As well as Shia Muslims, the community of Sunni Muslims in all parts of the world of Islam speaks more enthusiastically about the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) than about other great personalities of the early Islamic era. Why? What is the reason? The reason is the greatness of this Imam, the kind of greatness which some people tried to deny throughout the life of that great personality and during several centuries after his demise. But they failed. The brightness of the sun cannot be denied because it is the sun and it naturally shines and gives warmth and light. Can this be denied?

2006
  • Nahjulbalaghah of Imam Ali (a.s.), a lesson for the mankind

    Aug 8, 2006

    The Commander of the Faithful's (peace and greetings be upon him) Nahjul Balaghah is a lesson for all of humanity. This is only the outward aspect of the Commander of the Faithful's (peace and greetings be upon him) personality. Our short-sighted eyes can only see this aspect of his personality. His spiritual, holy and heavenly aspect is particular to saints and sidiqqin. It is they who can see this aspect of him. Our eyes do not have the ability to understand this aspect the way God's saints and close servants do.

  • Ali (a.s.) belongs to all Islamic denominations and even non-Muslims

    Aug 8, 2006

    Love of the Commander of the Faithful (peace and greetings be upon him) and showing respect to this great man in the history of humanity and Islam is neither particular to Shias nor to all other Muslims. Rather, it is something that all liberated people throughout the world share with one another. You can see that those personalities who are not Muslims show respect to this bright personality and this golden sun. They write books and compose poems about him. It is completely wrong if the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) becomes a tool for discord among Muslims. That great man was a personality whom all Muslims and all Islamic denominations love and dearly respect with all their hearts and souls.

2005
  • Piety, a major chapter in Imam Ali’s life

    Aug 19, 2005

    Piety is the eternal lesson that His Holiness Ali-ibn-Abitaleb (peace and greetings be upon him) taught to all human generations in words and in practice. Piety means constant watchfulness of one's words, deeds, thoughts and intentions... Thus, our worldly progress and welfare and also our salvation in the hereafter are all contingent on piety. This is the lesson taught to us by the Commander of the Faithful (peace and greetings be upon him).

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