Hazrat Ali (RA): Valiant martyr (II) — 22
Ten years in the company of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had kept him so close and inseparable that he was one with him in character, knowledge, self-sacrifice, forbearance, bravery, kindness, generosity, oratory and eloquence. From his very infancy, he prostrated himself before God along with the Holy Prophet, as he himself said “I was the first to pray to God along with the Holy Prophet”.
Hazrat Ali lived a simple life. He refused any luxury food and wore simple clothes thinking of the poor. He would sleep on the ground and even sit on the floor. He repaired his own clothes and shoes and even did manual labour. He spent nights in Salaah and would fast for three days in a row. Honesty, piety, justice and love of truth were the main marks of his character.
He was a very straight forward man who considered the “Khalifat” (Caliphate), as a great trust. His aim was to establish peace in the State, which should be the first aim of every good ruler in such a place where certain elements try to destroy the order. He was a model of simplicity and self-denial. He led a simple life from the cradle to the grave, and was a true representative of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). He had neither a servant nor a maid when Syeda Fatimah, the most beloved daughter of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was married to him. She would grind corn with her own hands. Purity of motives and selflessness were the keynote of his life. He was a wise counsellor, a true friend and a generous foe.
He did not have a desire for the Khilafat after Hazrat Usman’s (third Caliphate after the martyrdom) but when Hazrat Ali was selected, he tried his best to fulfill his responsibility. He was very honest and trustworthy. His trustworthiness can well be imagined from the fact that the Holy Prophet entrusted to him all the cash and other things, he was having his trust, at the time of migration to Medina so that Hazrat Ali would return them to them to the owners.
He did not leave his simplicity even though he was the Khalifah and the ruler of a vast state. Once a person named ‘Abdullah Ibn Zarir had an opportunity to take meal with him. The meal was very simple. ‘Abdullah asked, “O Amirul Mu’mineen, don’t you like the meat of birds?” Hazrat Ali replied, “The Khalifah has a right in Muslim (Public) property only to the extent sufficient for him and his family.”
The death of “the lion of God” occurred before dawn of Friday, the twenty-first of the month of Ramadan, in the year 40A.H. He was a victim of the sword. Ibn Muljam al-Muradi, killed him at the mosque of Kufa, which he had come out to in order to wake the people for the dawn prayer on the night of the nineteenth of the month of Ramadan. He had been lying in wait for him from the beginning of the night. When Hazrat Ali (R.A.) passed by him while the later was hiding his design by feigning sleep amid a group of people who were asleep, he (Ibn Muljam) sprang out and struck him on the top of his head with his sword, which was poisoned. He lingered through the day of the nineteenth and the night and day of the twentieth and the first third of the night of the twenty-first. Subsequently he died, as a martyr, and met his Lord.
He knew of that before its time and he told the people of it before its time. His two sons, Hazrat Hassan (R.A.) and Hazrat Hussain (R.A) performed the tasks of washing him and shrouding him according to his bequest. Then they carried him to Al Ghari at Najaf in Kufa and they buried him there.
Hazrat Ali (R.A.) was born in the House of Allah, the Kaaba, and martyred in the House of Allah, Masjid-e-Kufa. The Lion of Allah, the most brave and gentle Muslim after the Prophet (PBUH) himself began his glorious life with devotion to Allah and His Messenger and ended it in the service of Islam. “And do not speak of those who are slain in the Way of Allah as dead; nay they are alive, but you perceive not,” (Quran 2:154). —Concluded
—The writer is Chief Executive Officer of a financial institution.