Nov 21, 2012

The Remarkable Life of Ali ibn Abi Talib - Part 3

By Ruby

Part I | Part II


Previously, it has been discussed how Ali radiAllahu anhu, the cousin of the beloved Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, accepted Islam as a child and grew up to be one of the strongest young men in the history of the Muslims. Last time, I had talked about his marriage to Fatima radiAllahu anha  daughter of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. This time, I will discuss Ali’s life as a warrior and his bravery, both during the time of the Prophet and afterwards.

As a Warrior
In the battles that took place during his time, it would be the norm for a warrior from each opposing side to challenge each other. Ali radiAllahu anhu  whenever he would challenge another warrior, would always emerge victorious. He is well known because of his double-edged sword, which was distinct among the battlegrounds. (Fun fact- in the film “The Message”, Ali radiAllahu anhu is portrayed by this double-edged sword!)

In the Battle of Uhud, when many Muslims left their posts on the mountain to flee, Ali radiAllahu anhu was one of the few who stayed back to defend the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. He also carried water to wash the Prophet’s wounds in that battle.

In another battle, called the Battle of the Trench, the Muslims, as advised by Salman al-Farisi (a companion of the Prophet), dug a trench on one side of Madinah. The enemy could not pass the trench because it was too deep and too wide. When a few of the fighters did manage to jump over a narrow area, it was Ali radiAllahu anhu who challenged the men to a fight. With the power and strength he was blessed with, Ali radiAllahu anhu kept the Muslims safe.

When the Muslims went to fight at a Jewish settlement called Khaybar, they knew it was to be a difficult and time worthy fight. These Jews of Khaybar had stone fortresses to protect themselves and it was difficult for the Muslims to get through.

After a few days, the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam announced he would appoint one man to lead them to victory, and he would give that warrior the flag. Of course, many of the companions wanted the flag, but it was Ali radiAllahu anhu who was chosen. As is known in the famous story, Ali radiAllahu anhu's eye had some trouble, but with the Prophet’s own saliva, it was cured.

Closeness to the Prophet
During the time of the “Farewell Pilgrimage”, Ali radiAllahu anhu was fighting with troops in Yemen. He left his army, commanded by another commander, and hurried to Mecca to perform the pilgrimage with the Prophet. After the pilgrimage, Ali found that his army had defeated the enemy and were wearing new clothes and had the spoils of war with them. Their intention was to look their best to enter Mecca. However, Ali radiAllahu anhu became angry due to the fact that these clothing did not belong to them and ordered the army to return everything.

The soldiers became upset and went to complain to the Prophet sal Allahu alayhhi wa sallam. The Prophet, instead of siding with the soldiers, claimed, “Am I not nearer to the believers that their own selves? Whom I am nearest to, Ali is nearest to”. He then proceeded to make dua for Ali radiAllahu anhu  “O Allah, be the friend of him who is his friend, and the foe of him who is his foe” (Noura Durkee).

When the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam left Ali radiAllahu anhu in charge of the family in Medina, while he went to a big campaign (called campaign of Tabuk), there was a rumor that the Prophet did not want Ali radiAllahu anhu around anymore. Hurt and saddened, Ali radiAllahu anhu chased after the Prophet. However, the beloved Prophet told Ali radiAllahu anhu these were lies, and said to him, “Aren’t you content, O Ali, that you should be to me as Harun was to Musa, except that after me there is no prophet? (Noura Durkee).

After the Death of the Prophet
As is known, Ali radiAllahu anhu accepted Islam early in his childhood. Therefore, by the time the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam passed away, Ali was a young man with his life ahead of him. He was one of the people to wash the Prophet’s body, and was not present when Abu Bakr was chosen as Khalifah (Caliph).

Still, he played a role as a wise counselor to all the Khalifas who came before him: Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman. When Uthman was assassinated, the position of Khalif went to Ali radiAllahu anhu though he did not ask for it. His position as a leader gave him much trouble and stress because the people had become uneasy, and tension brewed amongst them.

Some Muslims wanted to avenge Uthman’s death, while Muawiyah (son of Abu Sufyan) wanted to have independent power. Yet still Ali radiAllahu anhu had to check on the conditions of the people, deal with everyday problems, and be an Imam. In the end, there erupted a civil war between the Muslims. Ali radiAllahu anhu eventually came to a treaty with Muawiyah in which some land was given to him, while the rest of the Islamic Empire was under Ali’s control.

In the end of his life, a group called the Kharijites had emerged, who held responsibility for Ali’s death. He was murdered with a poisoned sword, because the Kharijites claimed the leaders were straying from the Qur’an. Upon his deathbed, he advised his sons to live with unity and not strive for this world. After all, it is in his own words that he describes,

“Do for this world as if you were going to live forever and for the next as if you were going to die tomorrow”.

May Allah subhaana wa taala be pleased with Ali radiAllahu anhu  the wise, skilled, and brave companion and cousin of the Prophet salAllahu aleyhi wasallam.

Source: Those Promised Paradise - Noura Durkee

I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)


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