Monday, November 8, 2010

Hazrat Ali Biography


Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (A.S) was born on 13th of Rajab of the 30th year of Elephant (A.D) Prophet of Allah was then 30 year old, his mother Fatma binte Asad, father Abi Talib ibn Abdul Muttalib both of the clans of Hashim. Imam Ali was born inside the Kaaba in Makkah,Masoodi, the herodotous of the Arabs, writes on page 76 of Volume II of his book, Murooj-udh-Dahab (Golden Meadows), that one of the greatest distinction that Ali (A.S.) enjoyed was that he was born in the House of Allah. Among the modern Historians, Abbas Mahmood al Akkad of Egypt writes in his book Al-'Abqarriet al-Imam Ali, (Cairo,1970), that Ali ibn Abu Talib was born inside the Kaaba. Another contemporary historian, Mahmood Saeed al-Tantawi, of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, Arab Republic of Egypt, writes on page 186 of his book, Min Fada-il al Ashrat al-Mubashireen bil Janna (1976) observes : "May God has mercy upon Ali ibn Abu Talib. He was born in Kaaba. He witnessed the rise of Islam; he witnessed the Dawa of Mohammad, and he was a witness of the Wahi (Revelation of Al-Quran al Majid). He immediately accepted Islam even though he was still a child, and he fought all his life so that the Word of Allah would  be supreme" "It was a custom of the Arabs that when a child was born, he was placed at the feet of the tribal idol or idols, thus symbolically  “dedicating“ him to the pagan diety. All Arab children were “dedicatedâ€‌ to the idols except Ali ibn Abu Talib (A.S.). When other Arab children were born, some idolator came to greet them and to take them in his arm. But when Ali ibn Abu Talib (A.S.) was born, Mohammad (SAW), the future messenger of God, came into the precincts of the Kaaba to greet him. He took the infant  into his arms, and dedicated him into the service of Allah. The future Prophet must have known that infant in his arms was some day going to be nemesis of all idolates and of their gods and godesses. When Ali (A.S.) grew up, he extirpated idolatory and ploytheism from Arabia with his sword. Birth is Kaaba was one out of many distinctions that God bestowed upon Ali (A.S.) . Another distinction that he enjoyed was that he never adored the idols. This again makes him unique since all Arabs worshipped idols for years and years before they abjured idolatory and accepted Islam. It is for this reason that he is called  “he whose face was honoured by Allahâ€‌. His face was indeed honoured by Allah as it was the only face that never bowed before any idolâ€‌. Syed Asghar Ali Razwy; pp.32-33. When Ali (A.S.)  was five years old, Mohammad (SAW) adopted him, and from that moment they never to depart with each other. Mohammad (SAW) and Khadijah (p.b.u.h) adopted Ali (A.S.) adopted Ali (A.S.)  after the death of their own sons. Ali (A.S) thus filled a void in their lives. But Mohammad (SAW), the future Prophet, also had another reason for adopting Ali (A.S). He picked him to bring up, to educate him, and to groom him for the great detiny that awaited him in the times to come. Dr. Taha Hussain of Egypt says that the Messenger of God himself became Ali's guide, teacher and instructor, and this is one more distinction that he enjoys, and which no one else shares with him Ali (A.S). Razwy Ibid. pp. 33-34. “Similarly, it may be said that of all the friends and companions of Mohammad (SAW), the Prophet of  Islam,  Ali (A.S.) is the only one who grew up in the full light of history. There is no part of his life, whether it is his infancy, childhood, youth, manhood, or maturity, that is hidden from the spotlight of history. He was the cynosure of all eyes from his birth to his death. On the other hand, the rest of companions of the Prophet come to the attention of the students of history only after they accepted Islam,  and little, if any thing, is known about them until then". Ibid. p. 34


It is related from Ja'far b.Sulayman al-Dabi, on the authority of al-Mullaa b. Ziyad, who said : 'Abd al-Rehman b. Muljam, may God curse him, came to the Commander of the faithfull, peace be upon him, to ask to be provided with a horse.
"O Commander of the faithfull", he said, "provide me with a horse". The Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, turned toward him and then said to him "You are Abd al-Rehman, b. Muljam al-Muradi?"
"Yes", he replied.
"Ghazwan," called (the Commander of the faithful, "provide him with roan." The man came with a roan horse and Ibn Muljam, may God curse him, mounted it  and took it reins. When he had gone away, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him said : I want his friendship and he wants my death. The one who makes excuses to you on one of your bosom friends from (the tribe) Murad. (Ismail b. Ziyad reported, on the authority of Umm Musa, a woman servant of Ali, peace be on him, and the wet-nurse of his daughter, peace be on her, who told me:) 'Ali, little time is left for me to be with you"
"Why is that father"? she asked?
"I have seen the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, in my sleep," he replied. "He was rubbing the dust from my face and saying: 'O' Ali, do not be concerned, â€کyou have accomplished what you had to do'. Kitab-al Irshad pp.7,8,9. When death was close to the Commander of the faithful he said to al-Hasan and al-Hussain, peace be on them "When I die, you two put me on my bier. Then take me out and carry (me) in the back of the bier. You two will protect the front of it. Thus bring me to al-Ghariyyayn. You will see a white rock shining with light .Dig there and you will find a shield and bury me at it" Kitab-al Irshad, opp.cit  p. 15.


On the authority of Afif b. Qays who narrated; "I was sitting with al-Abbas b. Abd-al Muttalib, may God be pleased with him, in Mecca, before the affairs of the Prophet became known to the public. A man came and looked toward the sky where the sun hovered above. He turned in the direction of the Ka'ba and stood to pray. Then a youth came and stood at his right and a woman came and stood behind them both. The man bowed, and the youth and the woman bowed. The man raised his hands and the youth and woman raised their hands. Then he prostrated and they both prostrated. "Abbas!" I exclaimed, "it is fantastic affair!" "Indeed, it is a fantastic affair" replied al-Abbas. "Do you know who that man is? He is Muhammad  b. Abd Allah b. Abd al Muttalib, my cousin. Do you know who that youth is?  He is  Ali b. Abi Talib, my cousin. Do you know who that woman is? She is Khadija, daughter of Khuwaylid. This cousin of mine (i.e.Muhammad) has told me  that his lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. Who has ordered him to carry out this religion (din) which he is practicing No, by God,  except these three." The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, said : "The angels bless me and Ali for seventy years, because (for a time) only Ali and I raised testimony to heaven that there is no God but God and Muhammad is the Apostle of God". Abu Sukhayla has narrated : "I and Ammar went on the pilgrimage. We stopped at the house of Abu Dharr, may God be pleased with him, and stayed with him for three days. When the time of our departure was at hand, I said to him : “Abu Dharr, we consider that nothing except confusion has come over the people. What is your view?â€‌.  â€œCleave to the book and Ali  b. Abi Talib.â€‌ he replied, “then bear witness to the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, who said “Ali was the first to believe in me and will be the first to shake my hand in greetings on the Day of Ressurection. He is the greatest testifier of the truth (siddiq) and discerner of truth and falsehood. He is the chief of the believers and money is the chief cause of wrong-doingâ€‌ (Kitabul Irshad). Ibid. pp. 18-19.


On the authority of  Ibn'Abbas, it is narrated : The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, said : "Ali b. Abi Talib is the most learned of my community and the most capable of giving legal decisions after me in (matters upon) which (men) differ." Ibid p. 20 Abu Sai'd al Khudri said : "I heard the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, say: "I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate. Therefore whoever wants knowledge should learn it from Ali, peace be upon him". On the authority of Abd Allah b. Masud it is narrated : The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, summoned  Ali and went apart with him. When he returned to us, we asked him : What covenant (ahd) did he make with you"? He replied : "He (the Prophet) taught me a thousand doors of knowledge  and he opened from each (of these) doors a thousand (more doors)". Ibid. p. 21


It is reported on the authority of Says b.Abi Harun who said : I went to Abu Sa id al-Kudri and asked him whether he had witnessed (the battle of Badr. He said.) On that day (the battle of Badr) I heard the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, speak to Fatima, peace be upon her, when she came to him weeping and saying "O Opostle of God, the women of Quraysh are reviling me because of the poverty of Ali, peace be upon him" "Are not you satisfied that I have married you to first Muslim and the most knowledgeable “?  the Prophet God bless him and his family, asked her. "Indeed, God , the Most High, looked most thoroughly over the people of earth and chose your father from them and made him Prophet. Then he looked over them second time  and chose your (present) husband (ba'l) and made him a trustee of authority (wasi). God inspired me to marry you to him. Didn't you know, Fatima, that through God's kindness to you,  your husband is the greatest of men in clemency, the most knowledgeable of men and first of them in Islam". Fatima laughed and rejoiced. Then the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, continued : "Fatima,' Ali has eight molar teeth. No one before and after him will have the like. He is my brother in the world and the here after. No one else of the people has that (rank). Fatima, the mistress of the women of heaven, is his wife. The grandsons of mercy, my grand sons, will be his sons. Ibid pp 22-23. On the authority of 'Abd Allah b. al-Abbas it is quoted : We, (the members) of the House (ahl al-bayat) have seven qualities none of which the (rest of the ) people have; From us (came) the Porphet , God bless him and his family. From us came the trustee of authority (wasi), the best of this community after him ( i.e. the Propet) Ali. Abi Talib, peace be upon him. From us came Humza, the Lion of God and his Apostle, and the lord of martyrs. From us came Jafar b. Abi Talib, who is adorned by two wings with which he flies in heaven wherever he wishes; From us (came) the two grandsons of this community, the two lords of the youth of paradise, al Hasan and al-Hussain; From us came the (one who will undertake the imamat for the rest of time) Qaim of the family of Muhammad, by which God graced His Prophet; From us (came) the one who was given (final) victory (al-mansoor). Ibid p. 23


On the authority of Zirr b. Hubaysh, it is reported as saying : "I saw the Commander of the faithfull, 'Ali b.Abitalib, on the pulpit and I heard him say" By him Who spilit the seed and brought the soul into being, the Prophet made a promise ('ahd) : 'Only believers will love you and only hypocrites will hate you! On the authority of al-Harith al Hamadani, Ali (S.A.) is reported one day he came and went on the pulpit. He praised and glorified God. Then he said : "A decree which God, the most High, decreed by the tongue of Prophet, may God bless him and his family,was that only believers will love me and only and only hypcrites will hate me. Whoever forges lie is lost". Ibid pp-24-25.


His qualities are so many and famous, well authenticated and reported by traditions, the chain of authority is avoided and some extracts are derived from Kitab al Irshad referred earlier. (a)  Among these is the account that Prophet (S.A.W.) gathered his own family members and tribal kin together at the beginning of his mission for Islam. He showed them the faith and sought their help against the people of unbelief and enmity, and guaranteed for them, if they did that, favor and honor in this world and a reward in heaven. None of them answered him except the Commander of the fiathful, Ali  b. Abi Talib (A.S.). Because of that he granted him the achievement of brotherhood (with himself), the office of helping him, of being his nominated trustee, his inheritor, and his successor, and announced that his going to heaven is inevitable. Ibid. p. 29-30 (b)  Prophet, may God bless him and his family, ordered the emigration after the council of Quraysh had decided to kill him and he,peace be on him,would not have been to defeat their plans by leaving Makka. For he, peace be upon him, wanted to keep his departure secret and keep the reports about him hidden from them so that he could carry out his departure in safety from them. He  told this news to the Commander of the faithful who kept it secret and slept on his bed .The Commander of the faithful, peace be on him dedicated his life to God, the exalted, devouted it to God, the Exalted, in obedience and exchanged it for His Prophet, the blessings and peace of God be on him and his family. (c)  The Commander of the Faithful fulfilled the Prophet's (S.A.W.) Obligations in Mecca. (d).  The prophet, may God bless him and his family, sent Khalid b. Walid to Banu Jadhima to summon them to Islam and he did not send him to make war (on them). He disobeyed his order, renounced his treaty, rebelled against his religion and killed people who had embrassed Islam. He betrayed their protected status when they were people who had accepted the faith. The Commande  of the Faithful was sent to undo the unjust, to conciliate the people and to draw out their hatred and compensate them for their lives  and material. The Commander of the faithful did justice to them. (e)  He kept the mission of conquest of Macca as secret, and intercepted the messenger of Quraysh, a lady, who was carrying the information regarding movement of of army of Islam. The lady first lied to al Zubayr b. Awwam who believed her denial of carrying any letter but when the Commander of the faithful, drew his sword and threatened her to kill, she took off her veil and took letter from her. The Commander of the faithful took and and showed to the Prophet, may God bless him and his family. (f)  The Prophet, may God bless him and his family, gave the standard to Sa'd b. Ubada on the day of the conquest of Macca and ordered him to carry it in front of him into Mecca. Sa'd took it and began to declare : "Today is the day of slaughter, the day of capturing (any) daughter". "Haven't you heard what Sa'd b. Ubada is saying"? some of the people asked the Prophet, may God bless him and his family. "We are afraid that today will (simply mean) to him, attacking Quraysh. "The Apostle of  God, may God bless him and his family ordered the Commander of the faithful to take standard from Ubada and to enter with it. (g)  Another fact which is agreed by historians (biographers ahl-al sira) is that the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, sent Khalid b. Walid to the people  of Yemen to call them to Islam. He stayed with the people for six months, including a group of Muslims, calling them (to Islam) but not one of them responded. That depressed the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family.He summoned the Commander of the faithful, peace be upon him, and ordered him to send back Khalid and those who were with him. However, he told him that if anyone of those who had been with Khalid wanted to stay, he should let him. [Al-Bara reported :]  I was one of those who followed him. When we came to the first people among the Yemeni's and the news reached the people (generally), they  gathered before him. Ali b.Abi Talib, peace be on him, prayed the dawn prayer with us, then advanced in front of us. He praised and glorified God. Then he read the letter of the Apostle of God. The whole of  Hamdan became Muslim in one day. (h)  The exalted rank of carrying the standard is considered highly (in  such a disarray) as could not be hidden from those with discrement. Then the standard was given to another man after that. However, he was put to flight in the same way as the first man had been before. In that there was fear for Islam and its position after two men (carrying its standard) had not been succeeded in capturing the Fort of Qumuss (Khaiber). That troubled the Apostle of God, peace be upon him and his family, and made public the disobedience to him and bad attitude towards him. So he said in a public announcement "Tomorrow, I shall give the standard to no  one but to the hero of attack who never flees, who loves God and the Apostle, and whom God and the Apostle love. Allah will give us the victory through him. He, peace be upon him, went to the battle field accepted the challenge of Marhab the great Jew fighter killed him in one go and conquered the fort of Qumuss. ( i)   Lastly he delivered the documents of renunciation which the the Prophet, may God bless him and his family gave to Abu Bakr (R.U.) so that he could abrogate the alliance with the polytheists through it. When he had traveled far away, Gabriel, peace be on him descended to the Prophet, may God bless him and his family. He told him : "God recites His greetings to you and says to you that the act of renunciation should not be performed for you except by yourself or a man (related) to you. He did it and asked Ali Ibn.Abi Talib (A.S.) to follow Abu Bakr (R.U.), get the documents and deliver the document by himself. [EXTRACTED FROM KITAB Al IRSHAD (SHAIKH MUFEED, Translated by, I.K. Howard, pp.29-43.â€‌ MARRIAGE OF ALI  -  SEE SECTION’ NOBLE DAUGHTERS.


Record of the battles carry with them chronicles of his bravery, courage  and chivalry. Even his  enemies sang songs of his valor and gallantry. Every one of these battles was an outcome of very grave circumstances and conditions, and combinations of very serious events and very harmful forces against the safety of Muslims and Islam. There were many such encounters but only a selected few have been reproduced here. The First  of these battles was Badr. It took place in the month of Ramdhan of the 2nd year of  Hijrah. Muslims were not prepared for a battle and could ill afford to fight against superior forces. But Medina was being invaded and necessarily the Holy Prophet (A.S.) was forced to defend himself and his followers. He decided to leave Makka and fight out the battle in a open field. He had only 313 Muslims who were not adequately armed for a battle, victory of Muslims the Holy Quran says  : 'INDEED THERE WAS A SIGN FOR YOU IN THE TWO HOSTS (WHICH) MET TOGETHER  IN ENCOUNTER; ONE  PARTY FIGHTING IN THE WAY OF ALLAH AND THE OTHER UNBELIEVING,WHOM THEY SAW TWICE AS MANY AS THEMSELVES WITH THE SIGHT OF EYE;AND ALLAH IS LESSON IN  IT FOR THOSE WHO HAVE SIGHT"  Al-Quran (4-12)  'AND ALLAH DID CERTAINLY ASSIST YOU AT BADR WHEN YOU WERE WEAK,BE CAREFUL OF (YOUR DUTY TO) ALLAH THEN,  THAT YOU MAY GIVE THANKS". (Al-Quran) (4-122) WHEN YOU SAID TO THE BELIEVERS:DOES IT NOT SUFFICE YOU THAT YOUR LORD SHOULD ASSIST YOU WITH  THREE THOUSAND ANGELS?" Al-Quran (4-123) The Second most important battles was that of Ohud. Quraysh and their leader Abu Sufyan were smarting under the defeat of Badr and had sworn to retaliate. The idolaters were burning for revenge. Thus they mobilized an army of 3000 infantry and 2000 cavalry. The Holy Prophet (A.S.) could muster only 700 Muslims to face this horde. They faced each other in the battle of Uhd.The battle took place on 11th Shawwal 3 A.H, (a year after the battle of Badr).The command of Muslim Army was divided betwen Ali (A.S.) and Hamza (peace be upon him) and Abu Sufyan appointed Khalid ibne Walid Akramn Ibn Abu Jehal and Omer Ibne Aass as the three Commanders to command the right and left wing and the center respectively. The first encounter took place between Ali (A.S) and Talha ibn Talha.This encounter carries with it  an incident of marvelous cavalry by Ali (A.S). Talha suffered defeat at the hands of Ali (A.S) and died. He was the flag bearer of Quraysh's army His death brought his four sons and one grand son to face Ali (A.S) and each one of them was killed by and other flag bearers followed them and were in turn killed by Ali (A.S.), then a general encounter took place in which Ali (A.S) and Hamza carried the day and Muslims came out victorious" But the eagerness for spoils threw the ranks of Muslim Army into disorder, Ali (A.S) tried to keep them in order but it was not to be. Khalid ibne Waleed attacked them from the rear (where the Holy prophet posted some archers to defend any advance of the enemy, they left their place for the war booty) flank, he wounded the Holy Prophet (S.A.W), with a Javelin; and also stoned him, face of the prophet was also wounded and he had fallen down from the horse. Khalid ibne waleed started shouting with a loud voice' the lying prophet is slain' upon which without stopping to ascertain the followers of Islam fled panicky stricken" (Davenport). The wounded prophet was left in the battlefield with only Ali (A.S), Hamza and Abu Dajana and Zakwan to defend him. These brave warriors fought fiercely and during this encounter Hamza was killed, by a Javeline, Zakwan and Abu Dujana  seriously wounded and Ali (A.S) was left alone in the battlefield. He had received 16 wounds but he searched and found the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) lying wounded and surrounded by enemies under command of Khalid who were trying to kill him, he fought against these six men, killed two of them and scattered the rest: he bodily lifted the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) and carried him to a mount; he kept on attacking the rallying armies of the enemy; and kept on shouting" the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) is alive and calling Muslims to come back.Those Muslims who had not fled very far came back saw the wounded prophet, saw his daughter, Fatima, (who had come out of Medina hearing the rumor of her fathers death) attending him, they took heart and gathered  again under the command of Ali (A.S.) and started fighting again and victory was gained. The most peculiar aspect was the greed of Muslim warriors had converted a hard earned victory into ignominious defeat and Ali (A.S.) had reconverted this defeat into a glorious victory THE HOLY QURAN SAYS : "AND CERTAINLY ALLAH MAKE GOOD TO YOU HIS PROMISE, WHEN YOU SLEW THEM BY HIS PERMISSlON, UNTILL YOU BECAME WEAK HEARTED AND DISPUTED ABOUT THE AFFAIRS AND DISOBEYED AFTER HE HAD SHOWN YOU THAT WHICH YOU LOVED; OF YOU WERE SOME WHO DESIRED THE HEREAFTER,THEN HE TURNED YOU AWAY FROM THEM  THAT HE MIGHT TRY YOU;AND HE HAS CERTAINLY PARDONED YOU AND  ALLAH IS GRACIOUS'. Al Quran (4-151) WHEN YOU RAN OF PRECIPITATELY AND DID NOT WAIT FOR ANY ONE,AND THE OPOSTLE WAS CALLING YOU FROM REAR, SO HE GAVE YOU ANOTHER SORROW INSTEAD OF (your)  SORROW SO THAT YOU MIGHT NOT GRIEVE AT WHAT HAD ESCAPED YOU, NOR (AT) WHAT BEFELLYOU;AND ALLAH IS AWARE OF WHAT YOU DO". Al Quran (4-152) He thus once again saved the day,saved the face of the fleeing Muslims and the most important of all he saved  was the life of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) but without Ali (A.S.) the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) would have been killed (Nehjul Balagha, Translated by Ali Reza, Introduction by Syed Mohammad Askari Jafery, Islamic FoundationPress, Mallipuram, Kerala, India. Pp. 25-26. The THIRD encounter of Muslims with Quraysh is called the battle of Clans (Ahzab) or battle of the Moat or ditch (Khandaq. It is so called because many clans of Arabs were persuaded by Abu Sufyan to help him to annihilate Islam and the Muslims and because when these forces invaded Madina, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) was obliged to dig a moat or ditch around his army. This battle also proves that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) was forced to take up arms in defence of his followers and his mission. It took place on the 23rd Zeeqad in the year  5 A.H. Abu Sufyan while retreating from Ohd had promised that he will come back again to avenge defeat. He mobilized the clans of Bani Nazeer, Bani Ghuftan, Bani Saleem and Bani Kinana and Bani Khariza. He was very sure of his success relying on the fame of Omer ibne Abd-e-Wood, who was as famous in Arabic as Rustom in Persia. They marched upon Madina, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) could barely muster 2000 Muslims to face the army. For nearly a month the armies stood facing each other and one day Omer ibne Abde-wood jumped the moat and faced the Muslim Army, challenging them for an encounter. He was accompanied by Akrama-ibne-Abu Jehl, Abdullah-ibne-Mogheera, Zarar-ibne-Khattab, Nofil-ibne Abdullah and others. His bravery, his valor and courage was so well known in Arabia that none of the Muslims except Ali dared to face him. The assemblage of famous warrior tribes and presence of Umer ibne-Abd-wood as their commander had made the Muslims so nervous that even the Quran says that  "Their eyes were petrified and their hearts were beating violently and they were thinking of running away". Thrice Omer-ibne-Abde-Woodth challenged them to out and every time none but Ali (A.S.) stood up and asked the permission of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) to face him. Twice the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)  refused him permission, but in the end he allowed him, saying that "Today faith in embodiment is facing embodied infidelity" then he raised his hands in prayers and beseeched God, saying "Lord! I am sending Ali (A.S.) alone in the battle field, do not allow me to be  left alone, you are the best companion and the best Guardian". Muslims were so certain of Ali (A.S.) being killed by Omer that some of them came forward to have a look at his face. The encounter ended in Ali's (A.S.) success and Omer's death, after Omer he faced Abdullah Ibne Mugheera and Nofil Ibne Abdullah and killed both of them. Thus a victory was won without any Muslim, except Ali (A.S.), coming out of the ranks. In the encounter with Omer and the defeat and death of this great warrior Ali (A.S.) again exhibited such a chivalrous attitude that the sister of Omer composed a poem in praise of the man who faced her brother .In it she said "If anyone else then Ali (A.S.) had killed her brother, she would have wept over the infamy her life long, but not now". Thus Ali (A.S.) brought an end to the hostilities of Quraysh in three encounters of Badr, Ohad, and Khandaq.Nahjul Balagha Opp. cit pp 26-27 The Fourth encounter was with Jews named as the Conquest of Khyber. Khyber is a township 90 miles north of Madina, situated on a volcanic tract.. Long before the time of Prophet of Islam, valley of Khyber and other valleys in its north and south, were colonized by the Jews. These Jews were not only the best farmers of the country, they were also leaders in industry and business, and they enjoyed a monopoly of the armament industry. The Jews of Khyber also heard about the Treaty of Hudaybia and its terms. Just the Quraysh in Makka and Ummer bin al-Khattab (R.U.) and some other "hawks" among the Muslims in Madina has interpreted the treaty as the "surrender of the Muslims, so also did the Jews of Khyber considered it a symptom of the incipient decline of the power of the State of Medina. Banking on this theory of 'decline' they began to instigate the Arab tribes between Khyber and Medina to attack the Muslims. On one occasion, the son of Abu Dharr el Ghaffari was grazing the camels of the Prophet (S.A.W.) when the Ghatafan struck. They killed him, and captured his mother who was with him,and they drove with them the herd of camels. The Muslims, however, were able, just in time to overtake the marauders and to rescue the wife of Abu Dharr el-Ghaffari. Mohammad (S.A.W.) decided to put an end to these gratuitous provocations. He thought that it would not be prudent to wait untill the Jews and their allies laid another siege to Medina and that it would be better to forestall them. He therefore, ordered the Muslims to mobilize, and to march to Khyber. In September  628 A.D. the Phophet (S.A.W.) left Medina with 1600 soldiers. Some Muslim Women also accompanied the army to work as nurses and to give first aid to the wounded and the sick. Khyber had eight fortresses, the strongest and most famous was al-Qumus. The captain of its garrison was a famous champion called Marhab. He had, under his command the best fighting men of Khyber. "The compaign of Khyber was one of the greatest. The masses of Jews living in Khyber were the strongest, the richest, and the best equipped for war of all people of Arabia "Muhammad Husayn Haykal; The life of Mohammad, Cairo, 1935. The Muslims, however, were able to capture all the fortresses of Khyber except Al Qamus which proved impregnable. Mohammad (S.A.W.) sent Abu Bakr (R.U.) on one occasion, and Ummar (R.U.) on another, with hand picked warriors. Both made the attempt and both failed, some other captains also tried to capture the fortress but they also failed. These repeated failures began to undermine the morale of the army. Mohammad (S.A.W.) realized that something dramatic had to be done to restore the wilting morale of the Muslims. And when one more attempt to capture al-Qamus had also aborted, his mind was made up and he declared : "Tomorrow I shall give the banner of  Islam to hero who loves God and His Apostle, and God and His Apostle love him. He is one who attacks the enemy but does not run, and he will conquer Khyber". On the following morning, the companions gathered in front of the tent of the Prophet (S.A.W.). Each of them was decked out in martial array, and was vying with others in looking the most impressive figure. The Messenger of God (S.A.W.) came out and ignored all and only posed one question "Where is Ali". Ali (A.S.) was at this time in his tent. He knew that if he was the "beloved of God and His Apostle", then he, and no one else would capture the fortress of al-Qamus. The Prophet (S.A.W.) sent for him. When Ali (A.S.) came, the Prophet solemnly placed the banner of Islam in his hand. He invoked God's blessings upon him, prayed for his victory. The young hero then advanced towards the most formidable fortress in all Arabia where the bravest of the Hebrew warriors were awaiting him. He fought against them all, overcame them, and planted the banner of Islam on its main tower. When the conquerer returned to the camp, the Messenger of God (S.A.W.) greeted him with smiles, kisses and embraces, and prayed to God to bestow His best rewards upon His lion. "The conquest of Khyber is a landmark in the history of Islam as it is the beginning of the Islamic state and empire. A. A.Rizwy op.cit. pp-152-157, for further details see the same book, Nahjul Balagha, op. cit  pp 28-29, Kitabul Irshad, pp 83-88

Imam Ali's final advice

For a lover, every word of his beloved is beloved too. He desires that his beloved will ask of him, and that by providing it, the lover will become worthy of his love. The lover awaits to hear his beloved’s will, and is ready to give the gift of his life to fulfil it.
Every word of a beloved is important for a lover, but those which the beloved says as he leaves for a journey, these words become more significant and echo in the lover’s mind and heart for the whole period of their separation.
If the beloved is departing for his final journey from the world, the lover clings to these last words for his entire life. And if the lover was separated from his beloved in his final moments, he will ask each and every person about the final dying words of his beloved.
For a Mumin, who could be more beloved than the Commander of the Faithful Ali ibne Abi Talib (a.s), whose love opens up the paths for the love of God and the love of the Final Prophet (s.a.w)? It is the words and the guidance of our first Imam that leads us towards Allah and His messenger.
In the Holy month of Ramadhan, the month of the Quran, our beloved Ali, lies fatally wounded by a poisoned blade and is about to depart from this world forever. Let us ask, what did he say in his dying moments? What were his last wishes, what was his final will? What did our beloved ask of us?
Imam left his last requests through his beloved sons, the leaders of the youths of paradise, for his believers to hear after him. May God bless Sayyed Razi, who gathered for us these valuable words in Nahjul Balagha, the Peak of Eloquence.
Imam Ali prostrated to his Lord and in this state of complete submission, is wounded by Ibne Muljim and knows he is a guest in the world for but a few days. After this, Imam leaves for us three final wills, which Sayyed Razi presents to us as Sermon 147 and letters 23 and 47.
These are the words of that great leader of humanity who announced in that fatal sajdah, “By the Lord of the Kaaba, I have been successful.” These words are the pearls of his experience and the summary of his life.
Here we will briefly discuss what Imam says in letter number 47, the most detailed of the three wills. Imam Ali is principally addressing Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain in this letter. The following is a list of the advice Imam gives:

1. “I advise you to fear Allah.”
Taqwa (fear of Allah/piety) is one of the central concepts of Nahjul Balagha. Imam has said in saying no. 403, “Fear of Allah is the chief trait of human character.” In sermon 196 Imam says, “Certainly fear of Allah is the medicine for your hearts, sight for the blindness of your soul, cure for the ailments of your bodies, rectifier for the evils in your heart, purifier for the pollution of your minds, light for the darkness of your eyes, consolation for the fears of your hearts, brightness for the gloom of your ignorance...lamp for your graves, shelter for the day of fear.” Imam has mentioned 110 qualities of one who is pious and fears Allah in sermon 191. The Holy Quran mentions qualities of righteous and pious people in Ayah 177 of Surah Baqarah. When we ask the holy Prophet about Taqwa and the path to it, he says, “Imam Ali is the Leader of the Pious, so follow him and you too will become pious.” Let us finish with a quote of Imam Ali from Ghurar-ul-Hikam, “The one who has control over his desires is the pious one.”
2. “Do not go after the world even though it may run after you.”
Imam Ali has warned us to safeguard ourselves against the enticement of the world again and again. Sometimes he weeps, “O world, O world, get away from me! I have divorced you thrice and now there is no return for you.” (Saying no. 77) Sometimes he unveils the reality of the world for us and says, “The example of the world is like a serpent, soft in touch but full of venom.” Imam says of the world, “It deceives, it destroys and it passes away.” Imam says in sermon 97, “I advise you to keep away from this unfaithful world which will shortly leave you even though you may not wish it to depart. It is a world which will make your bodies frail and old, even though they yearn to stay young.” O lovers of Ali, beware of this world which your beloved has warned you of, let not its trivialities lead you away from the path of Ali.
3. “Do not be sorry for anything of the world that you have been
Imam elaborates in letter 22: “Sometimes a man rejoices at his securing for himself a thing which was there was no chance of his missing at all, and gets displeased at missing out on a thing which was never destined for him at all. Your pleasure should be about what you secure in respect of your next life and your grief should be for what you miss for that world. Do not be too pleased on what you secure from this world nor become sorrowful for what you have been denied from it. You worry should be about what is to come after death”. This life is finite; we know it will never last, so why grieve over its loss? Instead we should secure pleasures for the life that is eternal. This world and this life was never ours to gain or lose. It was lent to us by Allah and is His possession, so it is His right to take back whatever He wills whenever He wills.
Whenever Prophet Sulayman gained something in this world he would say: This is a test from Allah to see whether this blessing causes me to thank him and become closer to him, or forsake him.(Surah 27, Ayat 40) This is the way of the believers. If they are bestowed with a blessing, they treat it as a possession of Allah, and if calamities befall them they bear them as a test of Allah, and like Hazrat Ayoub (21:83), at times of difficulty say: “O Allah you are the Merciful and the Beneficent.”
4. “Speak for the truth.”
Imam Ali’s life was for the truth and thus he was rewarded by the Holy Prophet with these words, “Ali is with the truth and the truth is with Ali.” This lover of truth thus leaves this advice for his sons in his will; stay with the right and speak the truth, love the truth and hate falsehood. When Hazrat Abuzar was being exiled to Rabza where he would breathe his last, Imam Ali went to see him to say farewell with his sons. He gave this last piece of advice to the truthful companion of the Prophet: “O Abuzar, you expressed anger in the name of Allah therefore have hope in Him for whom you became angry…only the right and the truth should attract you whilst wrongfulness should detract you.” (Sermon 128) To speak the truth in the midst of falsehood is very difficult and one has to suffer for it. But where to say the truth is the most difficult, is often the most important, and holds the most reward. Thus we should speak the truth even if it goes against us.
5. “Act to gain reward from Allah, and for the Hereafter.”
This call of every Prophet is narrated in the Quran: “What I am doing is for Allah only and my reward lies with Him only.” Imam also desires that our every act should be for Allah and thus we will be rewarded by Allah. If our tongues speak a word, it should be for sawab and Allah’s pleasure. If our hand rises it should be Allah’s pleasure, and if our feet take a step it should be for Allah’s pleasure. If we hold the hope of reward from Allah, then out actions will be purely for Allah, rather than pretence and hypocrisy. If our actions are for the Hereafter, their effects will be for eternity. Imam Ali says: “What a difference there is between two kinds of actions – an act who pleasure passes away but its ill consequence remains and the act whose hardship passes away but its reward stays.” (Saying 120)
6. “Be an enemy of the oppressors and helper of the oppressed”.
The Quran has announced the importance of condemning oppression many times, and has told us that the tyrant and the oppressor will be ruined in both the world and the Hereafter. The Quran curses the oppressors time and time again.  Here Imam has not just condemned oppression, but has emphasised this telling us to be an ardent enemy of the oppressors and devoted helper of the oppressed. There is no condition of race or religion, tribe or position here, wherever you see oppression oppose it with all your being. If someone is deprived of their rights they are oppressed and if anyone sees and is content they become equal to an oppressor. Imam Jaffer Sadiq says: “The one who oppresses , the one who helps an oppressor and the one who sees and is content are equally tyrants and oppressors in the eyes of Allah.
Then Imam said “I advise you and all my children and members of my family and everyone whom my writing reaches to:
7. “Fear Allah.”
This repetition of Imam itself is an indicator of the importance of fearing Allah, which is mentioned above. Imam says, “O servants of Allah, I advise you to have fear of Allah which is the provision for the next world and with it is your return… O servants of Allah certainly fear of Allah has saved the lovers of Allah from unlawful acts and gave His dread to their hearts till their nights are passed in wakefulness and their noons in thirst.” (Sermon 112) Imam says about the people of the grave: “If they were allowed to speak they would inform you that the best provision is fear of Allah.” Imam says: “There is no distinction higher than Islam, no honour more honourable than fear of Allah.”
8. “Keep your affairs in order.”
The Arabic word used for order here is ‘nizam’. The thread through the beads of a tasbih is called nizam. The Imam asks us to keep our affairs in order like the beads of a tasbih, never scattering them or mixing their sequence. Every aspect of life requires order and organisation, whether they are personal or social issues, individual or community problems, financial or spiritual issues. Every person must keep their affairs in order. It is with this order that nations progress and the mind of a person finds peace and satisfaction. Imam thus says to keep our affairs in such an order, so that each person, mother or father, sister or brother, son or daughter, husband or wife, knows their place. Each act has its own time, morning or evening. Imam tells us that the Quran is the perfect way of keeping order, ‘a regulation for whatever situation faces you.’ Sermon 156.
9. “Maintain good relations among yourselves for I have heard your grandfather (s.a.w) saying that “Improvement of mutual differences is better then general prayers and fasting.”
Imam places great worth on good relation at this point in the will, and stresses this with a quote of the Prophet declaring it to be greater then general prayers and fasts.
Relations among individuals, with family , with the community, with Mumineen come under this advice. If one has a good relationship in all these aspects, it is possible to unite and walk on the path towards Allah together.
These good relations can be brought about with love for others, and regarding others as equals. They can be brought about by acting to relieve the pain of others rather then to increase their pain and sorrows. Imam Ali says: “The root of all difficulties and adversity is to love oneself.” Thus good relations come about by showing love for Allah and his people rather then for oneself.
10. “Keep Allah in view in the matter of orphans. So do not allow them to starve and they should not be ruined in your presence.”
Wounded Ali, who once wandered the streets of Kufa in the darkness of the night with food for orphans on his back, has not forgotten them on his deathbed. He tells us to be the support of these who have none. Those from whom you cannot gain, from whom you have no hope, become their hope. It should not be that an orphan sometimes has enough, sometimes too little and you remain a silent witness. You should act first before they need to ask from you. Looking after the orphans is an Islamic and humanitarian duty. It is a well known characteristic of this family for whom the Ayah was revealed, “Regardless of their own needs they feed out of love the poor, the orphans and the prisoner.” (76:8) Imam spent his entire life in the upbringing of orphans and advises his sons and us to do the same.
11. “Keep Allah in view in the matter of your neighbours, because they were the subject of the Prophet’s advice. He went on advising in their favour till we thought he would allow them a share in inheritance.”
Neighbours are part of tranquillity of life. Do not just think of yourself, take care of those around you. Islam has counted the surrounding 40 houses as neighbours. The Prophet says: “There are three types of neighbours. The first has one right, the second has two rights and the third has three. The first is that neighbour who may be an unbeliever but is still your neighbour. The second is that neighbour who is your neighbour and a Muslim. The third is that neighbour who is a Muslim and a relative.” Thus Islam teaches us to observe the rights of our neighbours, even if they are Kafirs.
12. “Keep Allah in view in the matter of Quran. No one should excel you in acting upon it.”
Quran is the law of shariah and the orders of Allah. The Quran contains the rules for how a person should live their life, and Imam Ali desires that his followers should live every aspect of their lives in accordance with the Quran. Imam says in Sermon 181: “Quran orders as well as refrains, remains silent and also speaks. It is the plea of Allah before His creation. He has taken from them a pledge to act upon it. He has perfected it and completed through it His religion.” Imam gives this advice to his followers, and then praises those who implement it. Imam weeps: “Where is Ammar? Where are my brothers who recited the Quran and strengthened it, thought over their obligation and fulfilled it?”
Imam Ali says regarding the Quran in Sermon 196: “Allah has made it  quencher of the thirst of the learned, bloom for the heart of religious scholars, cure after which there is no ailment, light after which there is no darkness.”
In this world, mankind strives to race ahead of others in wealth and worldly matters. Imam says your striving should be to excel all others in acting on the Quran. God forbid that we forget the value of the Quran, neglect its words, and become a cause for Imam Ali’s sorrow. Imam weeps: “ A time will come when the Quran and the Ahlul bayt will be exiled and expelled with none to offer them shelter. Nothing would be left with them of the Quran except its name, and they will know nothing save its writing.”
13. “Keep Allah in view in the matter of prayer, because it is the pillar of your religion.”
The pillar which upholds the religion of Tawheed, Nabuwwat and Wilayat is namaz. Imam has delivered a detailed sermon (Sermon 197) on the importance of namaz in which he says: “Pledge yourself with prayer and remain steady on it; offer prayers as much has possible and seek nearness of Allah through it, because it is an obligation on the believers.” In Nahjul Balagha, there are certain things which Imam treats as a source of pride, and one of these is namaz. Imam says in Sermon 129: “None except the Prophet preceded me in namaz.”
14. Keep Allah in view in the matter of Allah’s house. Do not forsake it so long as you live, because if it is abandoned you wont be spared.
Hajj is the greatest symbol of Islamic unity. This gathering is a source of honour and respect for Muslims. Imam Ali discusses this is Sermon 1: “Allah has made obligatory upon you the pilgrimage to His sacred house, which is the turning point for the people, who go to it as animals or pigeons flock to spring water. Allah the glorious made it a sign of their supplication before his greatness and their acknowledgement of His Dignity”.
Imam says in sermon 108: “The performance of Hajj of the House of Allah and Umra banish poverty and wash away sins”.
15. “Keep Allah in view in the matter of Jihad with the help of your property, life and tongue in the way of Allah”
Imam Ali, the Great Warrior of Allah says in Sermon 108: “Jihad, fighting in His cause, is the highest peak of Islam.”
The word Jihad comes from Juhd, to struggle or to strive, i.e. it is to struggle to bring yourself and others close to Allah rather than to shed blood and massacre. Imam talks of 3 types of Jihad here, to strive with regards to property, with regards to life and with regards to the spoken word.
mam says in Sermon 27: “Jihad is one of the doors of Paradise which Allah has opened for His greatest friends.” In saying 248, Imam says: “Allah has laid down Jihad for the honour of Islam.”
16. “You should strive for regard for kinship and spending for others.”
Imam stresses the value of remaining together and talks of spending wealth. Thus spending of ones property is a way of strengthening relations with others. Islam has told us many ways by which we can strengthen bonds with people, greet each other well, give gifts, visit the ill….
17. “Avoid turning away from one another and severing mutual relations.”
Above, Imam has twice stressed the need for good relations, but here he has stressed the need to avoid breaking relations. Imam says in letter 31: “Your brother should not be more firm in his disregard of kinship than you in paying regard to it and you should exceed in doing good to him.” Imam says: “The greatest achievement of your character is that the enmity of your brother against you does not overcome the consideration and friendship you hold for him.”
The Holy Prophet has said, “If two Mumineen hold enmity of each other for more than three days, they both are expelled from Islam, and the first to step towards friendship will be the first to step into Jannat.”
Imam Jaffer Sadiq often prayed for that person who reconciles two Mumineen who have turned away from each other, and becomes a cause of friendship between them. Allah too has condemned those who cut relations and He says: “And those who break the covenant made with Allah after it is pledged and cut asunder what Allah has commanded to be joined and made mischief in the land, theirs should be the curse and theirs should be the evil abode.” (13:25)
18. “Do not give up bidding for good and forbidding from evil lest the wrongdoers get positions over you and then your prayers will not be granted.”
The Quran has emphasized this point and has encouraged it in many ways. Allah says: “And there should be amongst you a group who call mankind to virtue and enjoin good and forbid evil and these are they who shall be successful.” (3:104) The Quran quotes the words of Luqman to his son: “O my son, establish prayer, enjoin good, forbid evil, and bear with patience what befalls you. Verily these are acts of steadfastness.” (31:17) Imam Ali has discussed this topic many times. He says: “Commanding for the good and refraining from the evil are two characteristics of Allah, the Glorified. They do not bring death near, nor do they lessen the livelihood.” Imam elaborates in Sermon 190: “Allah did not curse the past ages except because they had abandoned asking others to do good acts and stopping them from bad acts. In fact Allah cursed the foolish for committing sins and the wise because they give up refraining others from evils.” 
At the start of this will, Imam tells us how to perfect others, and at the end how to improve others.  Imam tells us not to think that by safeguarding yourself from evil and doing good, we have fulfilled our obligation. No, we must spread this message and correct wrong around us. Imam tells us two harms if we do not fulfil this obligation of amr bil maroof and nahi anil munkar. Firstly those on the wrong path will hold positions over us, and secondly our duas will not be granted.
After these words of advice, our compassionate Imam says: “O sons of Abdul Muttalib, you should not shed the blood of Muslims with the slogan ‘Amirul Mumineen has been killed.’ Beware, do not kill on account of me except my killer. Wait till I die with his existing stroke. Then strike him one stroke for his strike, and do not dismember the limbs of the man, for I have heard the Prophet of Allah saying: “Avoid cutting limbs even though it may be a rabid dog.” Our Imam is he who is showing consideration even for his killer. Until the end Imam valued justice and fairness even for his murderer.
These are the words of our Beloved Imam, Commander of the Faithful in his last days. Let us endeavour to follow his advice, and thus win his love, for the lovers of Ali are surely successful in this life and in the hereafter.
Last Updated on Monday, 18 January 2010 13:00

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