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the Message Continues ... 2/98


Newsletter for October 2009


Article 1 - Article 2 - Article 3 - Article 4 - Article 5 - Article 6 - Article 7 - Article 8 - Article 9 - Article 10 - Article 11 - Article 12


Amir al-Momineen Ali bin Abi Talib
-A Friday Sermon by  Syed Owais Jafery

No one is credited with as much praise for excellence in his attributes in the traditions of our beloved Prophet (s) as Sayyidina Ali Karam’Allah Waj’hu. He is recognized by history as one who had exemplary love, fond attachment, loyalty, and life long association with Prophet (s). His extra ordinary qualities, virtuous character, towering personality and the tough challenges he faced during and before he was sworn as Caliph of the Muslim Ummah made him deserve that praise. Volumes of traditions are full with compliments, which Prophet (s) showered upon him. He is also the narrator of 586 traditions. [Tarikh-ul-Khulafa p. 167]

Imaam Nasa’ee, the celebrated scholar of traditions has compiled a book of such traditions, from which I am sharing some with you today.

     1)    Hazrat Ali said that the Ummi (unschooled) Messenger (s) said: “By the One, Who makes a plant sprout out of the seed, and by the One, Who gave life to His creations “He only would love me (Ali), who will be a true Momin, and he only have a grudge against me, who will be a hypocrite.” [Sahi Muslim]. 

2)   When Prophet (s) marched with thirty thousand companions for the battle of Tabuk,the families and dependents of his companions were in Madinah. The Prophet (s) nominated Hazrat Ali to stay behind as his deputy.  Hazrat Ali, who was always eager to accompany the Prophet during all missions, submitted: “Yaa Rasul Allah, why are you leaving me as a care taker and custodian of women and children? Prophet (s) replied: “Yaa Ali, wouldn’t you like that your association with me be like that of   Haroon (Aron)  with  Musa (Moses) except that there wouldn’t be any prophet after me? [Bukhari & Muslim].     

     3)   On one occasion Prophet (s) said: “Ali is from me and I from Ali, and he is the Wali (master/guardian/helper) of every believer. [Tirmidhi]

4)     Hazrat Ali said: “Prophet (s) held the hands of his grandsons, Hazrat Hasan and Hazrat Hussain and said: “Whoever loves them and their parents will be with me in Paradise on the Day of Judgment.” [Tirmidhi]

5)    The fort of Khyber was so strongly fortified that none of the commanders sent with a group of believers was able to conquer,
despite repeated attacks spread over 39 days. Finally one evening, the Prophet (s) declared: “I will give the army flag tomorrow to him, who is Karrar (stead fast) and Ghayr-i farrar (does not fly from the battlefiled), and who  loves Allah and His Messenger and is loved by them, and Allah will bestow victory on his hand.” Everybody anxiously and curiously waited for the announcement, because everyone wanted to be honored by the coveted and singular title. Next morning Prophet (s) asked: “Where is Ali?” the companions submitted: “Yaa Rasul Allah,
he is afflicted with eye inflammation.” Sayyidina Ali came and Prophet (s) applied his blessed saliva on Hazrat Ali’s eyes, and he was cured from the ailment for good. Prophet (s) gave the flag in his hand. He is popularly called as Asad-ul-Allah (Lion of Allah) triumphantly crashed the fort door open and using part of it as shield dashed into the fort, shattered enemy’s defense and subdued the unyielding enemy to a total surrender and complete victory.   

The main attribute of Sayyidina Ali is that he drank from the very fountain source of all virtue, the Mercy to the worlds Prophet (s). He had no interest in the material world in spite of his remarkable access to it. He was intoxicated with the love of Allah and His Messenger. Once in the assembly of the pious caliph from among the Umayyads, Omar bin Abdul Aziz, a question was asked as to who was the most religiously devout person in the world? Sayyidina Abdul Aziz ’s comment was: “Ali is the top most devotee in the world.”

Zaid bin Wahab narrates that once Sayyidina Ali came out of his house with a sheet of cloth tied with a rag strip to his waist, and another coarse cloth of sheet covered his upper body. People asked as to how he could be comfortable in such a dress. They must have thought that it was below the dignity of Amir al-Momineen! He replied “I like it because it is far from show and pomp; is comforting in prayers and is the Sunnah of Prophet (s).”

Mujamma bin Sima’n al Taimi mentions in his famous book entitled “Al-Bidayah” that once Sayyidina Ali went to the market place and announced: “Who is willing to buy this sword from me? If I had four dirham to buy a loincloth (tehband), I wouldn’t have sold this sword.”

Once a cold sweet dish of “Faloodah” was presented to him, addressing the dish he said: “Thou smell good, thy color is beautiful and thy taste must be great, but I don’t want to make my “nafs” (the inner self) get used to what it is not used to.” [Al-Murtaza: p. 301-302. Maulana Abul Hasan Nadvi].

 Once while delivering a sermon, he said: “People, by Allah, as there in none worthy of worship but Him, I have not taken anything big and small from you; showing a small bottle of Itr (perfume) and added, a village folk had given it to me.” He then walked towards the Bait-ul-Maal (state treasury), deposited it there and then recited a couplet which said: “Successful is the person who eats a date daily from a small wooden container.” The simple couplet of poetry tells what Allah’s devotee needs for survival and the extent of asset he may need to possess.

Sayyidina Ali had the acumen, the quickness of insight and discernment, keenness of intellect, and an astute discriminating mind in all matters and especially in the matters Faith and jurisprudence. In many traditions Prophet (s) has praised Sayyidina Ali’s judiciousness and his ability to make the right decisions. Sayyidina Ali said: “Once Prophet (s) asked me to go to Yemen. I was still young and submitted to him: Yaa Rasul Allah you are sending me to a place where people will be having legal disputes and I have no experience in resolving them.” Prophet (s) replied: “Allah will enable you to say the right things and will give your heart contentment.” Hazrat Ali said that he never has any doubt about the righteousness in resolving disputes between the people. [Musnad Ahmad]

The second Caliph Umar used to seek refuge from Allah about solving complex issues, if Sayyidina Ali was not available. “Umar would have suffered a ruin (halaka), but the presence of Ali saved him” is his famous statement reported in Izalatul Khifa
Whenever the Caliph confronted a complex and intricate legal problem, he used to exclaim: “Is Abul Hasan not there to resolve it?”

During the battle of Jamal, Sayyidina Ali lost his shield. A non-Muslim found and sold it. Another person discovered it and recognized its real owner. The case went to the court. Hazrat Ali’s son Hazrat Hasan and his slave Shuraih Qambar stood as witnesses in Hazrat Ali’s favor. The judge told “Produce another witness because in the light of your own verdicts, a son cannot stand as a witness in favor of his father.” The judge decreed the non-Muslim as the legitimate owner of the shield, who in a shock declared: “Amir al-Momineen came in person to plead his case and accepted the verdict against him. By Allah, this shield belongs to him, and he is its rightful owner. It had fallen from the camel and I had picked it up.” This man recited the Kalimah and embraced Islam. Sayyidina Ali presented his shield to the person as a gift, who remained attached to Sayyidina Ali and was martyred in the battle of Siffeen. [Kanzul Ammal. Vol. 4 p. 6]

Sayyidina Ali was distinctly distinguished in morals and character. He had a very pleasant disposition. People who knew him closely and personally say: “He had the masculine grace, attraction and a smiling face; very affectionate to young and very respectful to his elders. He liked people who engaged children in fun and games. He said: “Father has a right on his son, and the son has a right on his father. It is father’s right that the son should always be obedient to his father unless asked to do the sinful. The son’s right on his father is that he should give a good name to his son, train him in good manners and teach him the Qur’an.” [Al-Murtaza. p.334]

Having complete mastery over Qur’an and the traditions of Prophet (s), he once said in his sermon: “Ask me any thing you want to ask about the Book of Allah. By Allah there is no verse in the Holy Qur’an about which I don’t know as to whether it was revealed during the night or the day, and if was revealed when Prophet (s) walked an even path or when he (s) was up on a mountain. [Izalat-ul-Khifah. p 268]

One of Hazrat Ali’s close companions, Zirar bin Zumrah, was asked by the Ummayyad ruler, Mu’awiah: “Tell me about Ali.” He sought excuse, but when Mu’awiah insisted, he replied: “Ali ibne Abi Talib was endowed with foresight. He had strong limbs. His teeth looked like sparkling pearls when he smiled.  He was frank, candid and honest in his conversation and dealings. He used to decide cases with utmost justice. He was a reservoir of knowledge. Indifferent to the world and its temptations, he loved the night and its darkness. Allah is a witness that he used to cry while awake in late night prayers. He used to wear coarse and rough clothes, eat a little dry and plain food. He used to respect the religious and the pious, loved the poor and the indigent. No one had the power to persuade him to be on the side of injustice and falsehood. A weak had faith in his justice and was never disappointed in his unrighteousness. I make Allah a witness that I had seen sights of his worship at the setting of the stars and darkening of the nights. I saw tears trickling down to his beard and he cried in extreme pain, saying: “O world! Why are thou vexing me, and expecting something from me. Allure and entice anyone else because thou wouldn’t get anything from me. Success given by thou is mean and base and thy dangers are big and terrible! Aah! I have but very little provision for the long journey I have, and its path is desolate and forlorn.” It is said that Zirar's fearless statement brought tears to the eyes of Mu’a’wiah, even though he had fought a battle of Siffin against Sayyidina Ali soon after he was sworn the Caliph of the Muslim Ummah.







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