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Ali: The superman

THE month of Rajab is one of the most blessed months of Islamic calendar. In this month, two major events of Islamic history took place: One was the celestial journey (Maraj) of holy prophet and the other was the birth of the fourth caliph of Islam Hazrat Ali. It was 13th of Rajab in the 28th year of Elephant era when Hazrat Fatima bint-e-Asad, the wife of Hazrat Abu Talib, entered the precincts of the holy Kaaba and prayed to Allah saying “O’ my protector ease my pain”. All of sudden, the wall of Kaaba opened up and she entered the Kaaba. It is there inside the holy Kaaba she delivered the baby boy named Hazrat Ali (A.S). Shah Waliaullah, the well-known Mohadis, by quoting the reference from Imam Hakim’s Mustadrik Part 3 page 483, authenticates the account of Ali’s birth inside the Holy Kaaba in his book “Izalatul Khulfa”. Another writer of the old school sibtel-Jauzi in his book “Tazkaratul Khawas ul Ummah”, at page 7 mentions the same fact that Ali was born inside the Kaaba.
Another point of Ali’s distinction was his proximate relationship with Holy Prophet (SAW). He remained in the company of Holy Prophet (SAW) since his childhood. He became ward of Holy Prophet and received his training under the loving care and guidance of the Holy Prophet. He was the apple of the eyes of Holy Prophet. Hazrat Ali himself described the prophet’s love for him in the following words: “I was still a new born baby, when the Holy Prophet took me from my parents. I used to cling to him and he used to feed me. To me he was like a guiding star and I used to follow his actions and deeds carefully. I was attached to him like a foal of camel attached to its mother. He used to place before me high values of morality, and used to advise me to follow them; every year, he would spend some days at the grotto of the mount Hira and I used to be with him. I was his only companion then and none else could meet him at Hira, there I used to see the light of revelation, and use to smell the fragrance of the prophethood. Once Holy Prophet (SAW) told me: Ali! You have attained a very imminent place. You see what I see and you hear what I hear.”(Nahjul Balagha sermon 190).
Moreover, when Holy Prophet invited the Hasmites to the true faith and asked them to aid him in his mission; Ali was the only person to respond to the call of Prophet. When holy prophet joined the Mahajirs and Ansars in fraternity in Madina; he allied himself in fraternity with Ali. Holy prophet married his most beloved daughter Fatima Zahra (A.S) to Ali. Ali is also admired for his unmatched bravery. He participated in all the wars of early Islam fought under the command of the Holy Prophet. In all the battles, Ali was the flag bearer of the forces of the Muslims. For his unusual bravery he won such titles as “Asad Allah,” the lion of God, or “Haidar e Karrar” the warrior whom nobody could match.
He also held remarkable distinction in the realm of knowledge and wisdom. He was the most learned man of his age. He was a living encyclopedia of knowledge and learning. After the Holy Prophet he was the most eloquent person of the age. Because of his knowledge and wisdom he is known as the “Second Solomon”. His wise sayings and aphorisms have attained the status of classical proverbs. He was the first person to write a grammar of the Arabic language. Among the early Muslims, he is the only person whose collections of writings have come down to us under the title of Nahj-ul-Balagha. He was a distinguished poet. He enjoys fame as the “Father of Rhetoric”. He was an authority on Mathematics. He was a master of the science of Physics. He had deep medical knowledge. After the Holy Prophet he is regarded as the greatest philosopher of Islam. He was a calligrapher and wrote in a beautiful hand.
Spiritually, he was also second to none. He was the first person to learn the Quran by heart. After the Holy Prophet (SAW), he was the chief judge among the early Muslims. He is regarded as the “Father of Fiqh”. He was the first revivalist among the Muslims. He interpreted the doctrines of Islam and systematized them. He is regarded as the “Father of Sufism”. All schools of Tasawwuff trace their origin to him. Inter alia, Due to his phenomenal contribution particularly for Islam and generally for whole humanity, he is held in high esteem by both Muslim and non-Muslim scholars. Shah Wali Ullah, a great Muslim scholar paid a glowing tribute to Hazrat Ali in the following words: “Chivalry and strength of character, humanity and sincerity which are attributes of great men were represented in abundance by Ali. He is the father of Islamic learning, and his intellectual attainments were due to the ideal training of The Holy Prophet. He was a Hafiz, and a great authority on the Holy Qur’an.
The non-Muslim western scholars also admired Hazrat Ali through their literature. Let me conclude by quoting a noted western scholar Thomas Carlyle, who in his book, Heroes and hero worship remembers Ali in the following words: “As for this young Ali, one cannot but like him. A noble minded creature, as he shows himself, now and always afterwards, full of affection, of fiery daring something chivalrous in him, brave as a lion, yet with a grace, a truth and affection worthy of Christian Knighthood. He died by assassination in the mosque at Kufa, death occasioned by his own generous fairness, confidence in the fairness of others, he said: “if the wound proved not unto death, they must pardon the assassin, but if it did, they must slay him straightaway, so that they two in the same hour might appear before God, and see which side of that quarrel was the just one.”