Apr 26, 2012

The Remarkable Life of Ali ibn Abi Talib - Part 1

By Ruby


You are my brother in this world and the next” (at-Tirmidhi, 6084)

Name and Family 
Ali ibn Abi Talib, one of the closest companions of the Prophet Muhammad Sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam , is a renowned figures of Islam. His dedication and contribution to Islam and the Message of Allah cannot be denied. Ali RadiAllahu anhu led an incredible life of bravery, strength, steadfastness and piety. Due to his familiarity and nearness to the Prophet Sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam, Ali’s life serves as an example for Muslims to study and benefit from, no matter what time period one lives in.

To begin with, one should come to know the family and lineage of this Sahabi. Ali was the son of Abu Talib, who was the son of Abdul Muttalib. Thus, this made him the direct cousin of the Prophet Sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam. Abu Talib had some financial difficulties and a large household to support around the time his son, Ali, was a young boy. Due to this problem, the Prophet Sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam and his wife, Khadijah RadiAllahu Anha, took Ali into their home to ease the burden on the Prophet’s uncle. Ali grew up with the Prophet’s children, and became as near to him as they were.

By living alongside the Prophet Sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam, Ali was able to witness first-hand the sayings, actions, and manner of Rasulullah Sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam. He learned from the Prophet Sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam’s thoughtful insights as well as his daily life activities. Ali was a blessed child to have been so close to our beloved Prophet Sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam, and he did not allow such an opportunity go to waste. He was an intelligent and intellectual boy, able to understand the truth of Islam when the time came. Due to his nearness, Ali RadiAllahu anhu became a close confidant of the Prophet Sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam, an honor not given to many of his time.

Acceptance of Islam
Ali was present when the Prophet Sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam first began receiving revelation. Different reports state Ali’s age as either ten or thirteen at this time, but the point here is that he was only a boy. He was just a child when he noticed Khadijah and the Prophet Sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam praying. Curious, Ali enquired as to what they were doing. Rasulullah Sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam invited Ali to join them in worshipping Allah, the Exalted, but the young child wanted to ask his own father for advice. Yet the Prophet Sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam had not made the message public. And so, the decision fell upon the boy’s shoulders.

In today’s times, we consider young children to be innocent, needing to be sheltered from any tough decisions or choices. When we look at the Sahabi, the people around the time of the Prophet SalAllahu aleyhi wasallam, we see how mature and responsible even the children were. Simply looking at Ali’s example shows us that he was a unique person, even as a child. He took on the decision to join the Prophet Sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam on his own. He realized the truth, and this was all that mattered to him. It was not about what others would say to him, but rather, about how he would be held responsible in front of Allah SWT.

The day after the invitation to Islam was offered, young Ali went up to the Prophet Sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam. In his profound words, he said to him, "When Allah created me He did not consult my father, so why should I consult my father in order to serve Allah?”. Declaring this sincere and reflective question, Ali RadiAllahu anhu became the first boy to become Muslim. Ali’s wisdom in understanding the purpose of life is so incredible here, because as we will come to know, even grown men of his time rejected the message which Prophet Muhammad Sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam brought forth. Knowing that life’s purpose is to obey and worship Allah, since He is our Creator, made perfect sense to this young child. As Ali would come to witness, most of the adults around him, including his own family members, could not accept the notion of worshipping Allah alone.

Da’wah to Relatives
Soon after, the Prophet Sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam was given command to spread Islam to his nearest relatives. Forty of the family members were invited to a feast at the Prophet’s house, though the blessed Prophet only had a leg of mutton and a cup of milk to offer them. Ali brought forth the food when the family had gathered. Rasulullah Sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam advised them to eat in the name of Allah, and miraculously, the food was enough to fill every stomach and was still left over. Ali is reported to have said, “I could see no change in the quantity of the food, except that it had been stirred by men’s hands.”

Before the Prophet Sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam could speak, one of the uncles (Abu Lahab) suddenly claimed they had all been put under a spell. Everyone left, feeling frightened. The next day, the Prophet Sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam invited his family once more. This time, he declared his message, asking for anyone to become his brother and successor. No one, except Ali RA, responded, saying, “O Prophet of Allah, I will be your helper in this.” The relatives only laughed, seeing that Ali was only a thirteen year old boy! Little did they see that this intelligent and wise young man would die years later, as a ruler of the vast Muslim Empire. It was clear from the beginning that Ali had a fine understanding of the revelation, the message of the Allah, which would come to transform millions of people’s hearts throughout history and beyond.

….To be Continued!

Source: Those Promised Paradise, by Noura Durkee

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Beautiful article.  I'm anticipating the rest of the article.

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