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Newsletter for May 2016
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IMAM ALI (AS)
THE BRAVEST MAN IN HISTORY
Bravery is defined as the ability to stand up for what is right in different situations. Physical bravery involves acting in spite of possible harm to one’s body. Moral bravery involves acting in a way that enhances what one believes to be good in spite of social disapproval and possible back lash.
As a youth, Imam Ali (AS) was strongly built, strong arms, wide chest, and a very strong brave and shining face. Children of his age and even older to him were frightened of him and whenever they tried to mock the Prophet (P), they always ran away when they saw Imam Ali (AS) standing by for protection.
After the death of Abu Talib (AS), the Quraish became more hostile and all the tribes joined together and decided to kill the Prophet (P). One night they surrounded the Prophet (P) ‘s house. Allah informed the Prophet (P) about the possible attempt on his life. The Prophet (P) informed Imam Ali about the plot and asked him to sleep on his bed.
Prophet (P)‘s bed that night was the most dangerous place to be when death was certain. Imam Ali (AS) only enquired that if he slept on his bed his life will be saved. The Prophet (P) replied in affirmative. Imam Ali (AS) gladly slept on his bed. Forty representatives of different tribes were guarding the house with naked swords. Next morning when the swordsmen entered the house and found Imam Ali (AS) sleeping in the bed who was not afraid. When they asked Imam Ali (AS) as to where was the Prophet (P)
He replied “Did you leave him in my custody?” Imam Ali (AS) did not tell any lie even at such a delicate situation.
Imam Ali (AS)’ life in Madina with the Prophet (P) for the next ten years was the most busy in defending Islam. Imam Ali (AS) was the standard bearer of the Flag of Islam in all such battles and his bravery became legendry. Opposite characteristics had gathered in Imam Ali (AS)’s personality. He was the bravest man in history. Brave men are always hard headed, cruel, and eager to shed blood. On the contrary, Imam Ali (AS) was kind, responsive, sympathetic and warm-hearted. Imam Ali (AS)’ bravery and piety both became legendry. Battles of Ohud, Badr, Khandaq and Khyber were fought in the defense of Islam and victory was always attained by virtue of Imam Ali (AS).
In 5 AH, all the defeated tribes hatched a plan to attack Madina and started advancing with a force of 10,000. When the Prophet (P) became aware of it, with the advice of Salman Farsi, he ordered a trench 5 yards wide and 5 yards deep be dug around the city for safety. At one place the trench was less than 5 yards hence Amr bin Abde Wudd jumped across the trench and struck his spear on the ground. The Prophet(P) said angrily “ who can finish off this dog”. There was complete silence. Umer said that he was a very strong man and used to fight with a baby camel as a shield. Imam Ali(AS) offered to fight. The Prophet reminded him that he was Amr bin Abde Wudd to which Imam Ali (AS) replied that he was also Ali Ibne Abi Talib. The Prophet (P) then wrapped his turban and gave Zulfiqar and prayed for his safety. Imam Ali (AS) invited him towards Islam which he refused. Then he advised him to return and persuade his people to lift siege which was also denied. Then Imam Ali(AS) asked him to dismount from the horse to which he agreed.
The fight began and at one point Amr attacked his helmet and his head was injured. At the opportune moment Imam Ali (AS) attacked him and killed him. On return to the Prophet, he said “Each blow of Ali on the day of Battle of Khandaq is better than all the worship acts of Jinn and men till the Day of Judgment”
Battle of Khyber was the climax of all these battles, when Imam Ali (AS)’s victory brought prosperity to the Muslims. Muslim army surrounded the fortress of Khyber for 20 days. One day the gate was opened and Merhab appeared leading a column of army. The Prophet (P) sent a detachment under Abu Baker but the Muslims were repulsed. Next day he sent another detachment under Umer but that too failed. The Prophet (P) said “Tomorrow I will give the banner to one who loves Allah and the Prophet (P) and whom Allah and the Prophet love. He will not flee nor return till Allah by him conquers the foe” Next day he inquired where Imam Ali (AS) was. Imam Ali (AS) was suffering from sore eyes. He applied his saliva on Imam Ali (AS)’s eyes and he was cured instantly. Imam Ali (AS) confronted Merhab. Merhab recited this Rajaz “I am Merhab, I dive into my weapons and attack in a daring way”. Imam Ali (AS) said “I am one whose mother has named him Haider. I step into battle field like a ferocious lion”. Imam Ali (AS)’s Zulfiqar cut through his stone helmet and the body and he was killed. His companions fled inside the fortress and closed it. Aided by Divine power, Imam Ali (AS) seized the outer ring of the gate and shook it so violently that the whole fortress trembled. The gate broke away and Imam Ali (AS) used it as a shield. Later, he held it as a bridge on the moat on which all Muslims crossed it. It is reported that the gate was so heavy that seventy persons could not lift it.
After the victory of Makka, many non believers entered the folds of Islam. Some of the Makkans became Muslim for fear of their lives. Others joined the ranks of Islam for greed that Islam was now victorious, so if they joined in, good life would be theirs for free. Very few of them truly understood Islam. Test of the faith of all came immediately at the Battle of Hunain. An army of 20,000 assembled for this encounter. A flood of arches from three directions came on a Muslim army of 15,000. Muslims started running away without resistance. Only ten people stood the ground out of which eight were Bani Hashim. Once again it fell to the lot of Imam Ali (AS). He left six of them to protect the Prophet (P) and took two of them to stop the onslaught of the army. He killed the commander of enemy army and killed thirty others. The enemy lost heart and started to retreat. This gave some heart to the fleeing Muslims who started to come back.
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