Ali Ibn Abi Talib

Ali Ibn Abi Talib

Up until the death of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) – Part 1

Names and Titles

His full name and linage is Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘Abd Manaf) ibn Abdul Muttalib , Who was called Shaybah al-Hamd ibn Hasihm ibn Abd Qusayy ibn Kilab ibn Lu’ayy ibn Ghalib ibn Fihr ibn Malik ibn an-Nadr ibn Kinanah ibn khuzaymah ibn Madrakah ibn Ilyas ibn Mudar ibn Nizar ibn Ma’d ibn Adnan. He was the paternal cousin of the Prophet Muhammad and shared a grandfather with him in ‘Abdul Muttalib ibn Hashim. His father was Abu Talib, the full brother of Abdullah, the father of the Prophet Muhammad. His kunyah was Abu al-Hassan, after his oldest son al-Hassan, who was the son of his wife Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad. Later he was given the title Amir al-Mu’mineen, when he became the Calipha.

His Birth

Before Islam, he was known as Abu ‘Amr. When Ruqayyah, daughter of Allah’s Messenger, bore him a son, ‘Uthman named him ‘Abdullah. Thus he became known as Abu Abdullah and has also been known as such by the Muslims.

Physical Characteristics of Ali

Ibn Abdul-Barr said: The best description that I have seen of Ali is that he was of average height, if not on the short side, with wide black eyes, a handsome face like the moon it is full, a large belly, broad shoulders, large hands and a thick strong neck. He was bald, with no hair on his head except at the back, his beard was large and thick.


Ali Accepting Islam

He grew up in the household of the Prophet Muhammad, and he was the first to become Muslim from early childhood. Once, Ali saw the Prophet Muhammad and Khadija praying. So, Ali asked about the prayer, then the Prophet informed him about Islam. He was informed about the oneness of Allah and that all other deities/idols were false gods that need to be rejected. Ali sought to consult his father Abu Talib but the Prophet Muhammad instructed him not to, it was too early to reveal Islam to the public, the next morning Ali came to the Prophet and declared his faith.



Ali and his knowledge of the Sunnah

Ali Ibn Abi Talib was the most knowledgeable of the Companions of his time about the Sunnah. It was narrated that Ali was mentioned in the presence of Aisha, and she said: He is the most knowledgeable of the Sunnah among those who are left.

Ali and his contributions to the battles

Ali participated in all the battles, he was a very brave man, a lion on the battle field. His presence scared many of the pagans and he was able to strike down many pagans in every battle, a true warrior.

The marriage of ‘Ali to Fatimah

The Prophet Muhmmad gave the hand of Fatimah, the dauther of Khadija to Ali in 2AH, after the battle of badr. And she bore him al-Hasan, al-Husayn and Umm Kulthoom. She died six months after the death of the Prophet Muhammad.

The Hadith of the cloak and what is meant by Ahl al-Bayt

The famous hadith of the cloak which was narrated by the mother of the believers A’ishah, in which she said: “The Prophet Muhammad went out one morning wearing a striped cloak of black camel hair. He wrapped Ali, Fatimah, al-Hassan and al-Husayn in it, then he said

Allah wishes only to remove ar-Rijis (evil deeds and sins) from you, O members of the family (of the Prophet), and to purify you with a complete purification.” [1]

This narration is very significant, as it nullifies the claim that the Companions concealed the virtues of Ali, because Aishah here is clearly speaking about the virtues of Ali, and this is a refutation for those who claim Aishah hated Ali.

This verse in Surah Al-Ahzab is addressing all the wives of the Prophet Muhammad, as it starts with them and ends with them.

O Prophet! Say to your wives: “If you desire the life of this world……..” [2]

These seven verses are addressing the wives of the Prophet Muhammad directly, and Allah praises them, then mentions the fact that Allah wants the family of the Prophet to be purified (free from sins), so the family of the Prophet clearly includes Ali, Fatimah, al-Hassan, al-Hussein and the wives of the Prophet. Purification is mentioned in the masculine because when masculine and feminine are mentioned together, the masculine predominates.


Ali and the battle of the Trench, Khaybar and Hunain

In this battle in the year 5 AH, Ali fought bravely and defeated a senior leader of the unbelievers called Amr Ibn Wudd. In the battle of Khaybar, Ali defeated the great Jewish commander Marhab. When the Muslim army was seen to be struggling to conquer the fortress twice, the Prophet offered the command and standard to Ali. The fortress fell to the onslaught of the Muslims and victory was attained. Finally, Ali was seen standing firm alongside the Prophet Muhammad in the battle of Hunain.


Ali during the Prophet Muhammad’s life

There was a group of companions known as the scribes of the Qur’an, they would write down revelation and in Mecca some of those were Ali Ibn Abi Talib, UthamnIbn Affan, Abu Bakr as –Sideq, Umar ibn al khattab, zubayr ibn ubady allah. And in Madina they were, Abu ayyoub al-ansari, Ubayy ibn ka’ab, Za’d ibn thabbit and Handalaya bin ar-Rabe’y.

Ali played a great role in spreading Islam to Yemen, Arabia and many other places. He was instructed to write down the treaty of Hudabiyah, the peace treaty between the Prophet Muhammad and the Qur’aish. He took care of the business he inherited from his father and his wealth grew. He was a well respected man in the society.


The death of the Prophet and Ali

After the death of the Propeht, Ali was one of those who wahed him, along with al-Fadl ibn al-Abbas and Usamah ibn Zayd. Ali said:

I washed the Messenger of Allah, and I checked to see what is usually seen in one who is deceased, but I did not see anything: he looked good in life and in death.”

[1] Al-Ahzab 33:33

[2] Al-Ahazab 33: 28-34

Read more

The Destiny of Humanity – Part 2

The Destiny of Humanity – Part 2

The Destiny of Humanity – Part 2 In the opening verses of the second chapter of the Qur’an, Surah Al Baqrah, Allah divides mankind into three types believers, disbelievers and hypocrites. After detailing each one’s traits and characteristics Allah invites all of mankind to worship him, the creator of the heavens and the earth. Then […]

Allah’s Challenge to Mankind

Allah’s Challenge to Mankind

Allah’s Challenge to Mankind One of the greatest miracles of the Holy Qur’an is its inimitability, this outstanding challenge to mankind has stood strong for over 1400 years. In the time of the Prophet Muhammad his enemies accused him of many things ranging from being called a mad man, magician to a poet.  None of […]

Family matter – Part 2

Family matter – Part 2

Family Matters The family is a part of the Islamic social order. The society that Islam wants to establish is a society based on social justice, liberating people from the worship of man to the freedom and liberation to worship their one true god. The Islamic society is based around the human nature, it works […]