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Hilal Kids English

Hazrat Ali (RA)

May 2024

Hazrat Ali ibn Abi Talib (RA) was a man of extraordinary genius. He was the first cousin and closest of Companions of the Prophet (PBUH). His name “Ali” and his titles “Haider”, “Asadullah” and “Murtaza” are synonymous to the highest degree of bravery, chivalry, piousness and wisdom. The Prophet (PBUH) also gave him the nickname of “Abu Turab”. 
    Hazrat Ali (RA) was acknowledged as the most knowledgeable man. He had the honour of having won the title of “Baab-ul-Ilm” (the Gateway to Knowledge). According to a Hadith, the Prophet (PBUH) said: “I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate. Whoever desires to enter the city should enter from the gate.” (Sahih al-Tirmidhi)
    Hazrat Ali (RA) also had the honour of being Prophet’s son-in-law, the husband of Prophet’s most beloved daughter Hazrat Fatima tu Zahra (RA). Both Ali and Fatima were the revered parents of Imam Hassan (RA) and Imam Hussain (RA). Hazrat Ali (RA) is also known as the “Conqueror of Khyber”. He became the Fourth Caliph of Islam, who took over the reins of Caliphate due to the passing away of Third Caliph Hazrat Usman bin Affan (RA), in 656 AD. 



Early Life
Hazrat Ali (RA) was born in Makkah in year 600 AD, on 13th of Rajab. His father Abu Talib was the immediate uncle of the Prophet of Islam (PBUH). His mother’s name was Fatima bint Asad. Abu Talib became the guardian of his nephew, Muhammad, after the death of Prophet’s grandfather; his father Abdullah had died before his birth. So, Ali from childhood became his close associate. However, the most beloved relation of Ali (RA) was that of younger brother to Muhammad (PBUH). He groomed Ali as his mentor. He depended much upon Ali that when he had to migrate to Madina, he asked Ali to remain at his place so that the people’s belongings could be returned safely, which they had deposited with Muhammad, considering him Sadiq and Amin.
Embracing Islam
Ali was 10 years old when Muhammad ibn Abdullah was bestowed by Almighty with Prophethood. Ali was the first amongst children and second amongst Prophet’s relatives, after Hazrat Khadija (RA), to accept Islam. Such a trust in the Prophet led Ali to the most blessed life he lived. He grew up watching the most pious man on earth (PBUH), and the most dedicated Companions (RA), which played a pivotal role in enriching his personality inside out. 
    He got initial understanding of the Oneness of God, developed steadfastness in faith, exercised righteous conscience, trust and piety in Prophet’s mentorship. His unflinching loyalty made him distinguished from others. He never missed his Quran class, which used to be held in the ‘House of Arqam’. His knowledge of Quran clearly reflected from his character. He emerged as the strongest man, an upright leader, and a valiant warrior who would finish the enemy in a single blow. Yet he was fairly forgiving.
Migration to Madina and Marriage to the Prophet’s Daughter
In 622, the Prophet (PBUH), along with Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) and Zaid bin Haris (RA) secretly left for Madina. Secretly because the infidels of Makkah were plotting to assassinate the Prophet (PBUH). So, he asked Ali to take his place and sleep in his bed. When the plotters entered the Prophet’s house with drawn daggers, they were deeply surprised to find Ali, who had risked his own life for Muhammad (PBUH). Ali whom the plotters spared left Makkah sometime later, along with Hazrat Khadija (RA), and joined the Prophet in Madina. He was 22 at the time of migration. Shortly after his arrival in Madina, the Prophet told Ali that he (the Prophet) had been ordered by God to give his daughter Fatima’s hand to Ali in marriage. So, it was solemnized. Hazrat Fatima (RA) gave birth to five children including Hazrat Zainab (RA), and Hazrat Hassan and Hussain (RA). 
Important Assignments
Hazrat Ali (RA), during the Madina period, was given several important assignments. He virtually became a spokesman of the Prophet (PBUH). He acted as Prophet’s chief secretary. He wrote down the Treaty of Hudaybiya, in 628. He recited from Quran to a large gathering of pilgrims in Makkah. In Prophet’s command, he ensured that the Conquest of Makkah, in 630, was bloodless. He was sent to Yemen to spread the message of Islam. He was designated as one of the scribes who wrote down the text of Quran. His role in establishing the written version of Quran is the most important of his contributions.
The Strongest Warrior
Hazrat Ali (RA) was deeply involved in matters of defence. He took part in almost all battles (ghazwas), except the Prophet-led expedition to Tabuk because he was left behind in charge of Madina. Ali was commander at the battles of Fadak (628) and al-Yaman (632). He had the special role of protecting the Prophet at the battles of Uhud in 625 and Hunain in 630. The Prophet (PBUH) awarded him his own sword called “Al-Zulfiqar” during the Battle of Uhud (625). 
    The accounts of Hazrat Ali’s strength and courage made him an epitome of chivalry. In the Battle of Khyber, in 629, he torn off the gate of fort and used it as a shield. At Khyber’s conquest, the Prophet stated: “There is no chivalrous person but Ali. There is no sword but Al-Zulfiqar.” The hallmark of his personality was patience and no anger, ultimate justice and maximum fair play. During a battle duel, Ali (RA) knocked down his much stronger opponent. When Ali was about to kill him, the infidel spat in his face. Ali must have got angry, but he calmly alighted from his chest, and spared the enemy from killing. Hardly able to believe, the infidel asked: “O’ the gracious one, why have you spared me?” To this, Ali replied: “Your property and your life have become sacrosanct to me… Just a few moments ago, I had overcome you in duel, knocked you to the ground and was on the point of slaying you. But when you spat in my face, my selfish anger was aroused against you. If I had killed you, I would have slain you not for God’s sake but for my own selfish reason; they would then have called me not a champion or valiant, but a murderer and a coward.” This impressed the enemy so much that he embraced Islam there and then. 
    Ali’s golden words loudly speak of his wisdom: “Anger is a fire kindled, he who restrains anger extinguishes the fire; he who gives vent to it, is the first to be consumed by it.” Hazrat Ali (RA) was so brave that he never pursued a fleeing enemy. To him, jihad is first an internal struggle against one’s self, and not just about conquering infidels. He was rightly called the “Lion of God”.
Advisor to the Caliphs
After the passing away of Prophet (PBUH) in 622, Hazrat Ali continued to play his role of chief secretary, deputy, advisor or minister during the Caliphates of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (RA), Hazrat Umar Farooq (RA) and Hazrat Usman Ghani (RA). They honoured Hazrat Ali’s advices and criticism based on his experience in governance. They revered his great insight of Islamic knowledge, jurisprudence and social justice. He solved problems with wisdom.
The Fourth Caliph
In 656, Hazrat Ali (RA) became Amirul Momineen as the Fourth Caliph of Islam, after the assassination of Hazrat Usman (RA). Though, his caliphate was characterized by strict justice, yet most of his time was spent on clearing the mess created by dissidence. He distributed treasury funds equally, and showed zero tolerance to corruption. He pardoned enemies in victory and barred troops from disturbing civilians, killing the wounded or those who fled, from entering homes without permission, from looting and harming women. He had to fight many internal battles ignited by enemy-backed mutineers. Following success in Battle of Nahrawan, he could not continue campaign in Syria. 
Assassination
The great chivalric, Hazrat Ali (RA) was cowardly attacked when he was leading the morning prayers, at the Great Mosque of Kufa, on January 28, 661 i.e. 19th of Ramadan 40 AH. He couldn’t survive the poisonous head wound, thus breathed his last two days later. 21st of Ramadan is observed as his death anniversary with utmost reverence. His tenure as Caliph lasted for 5 years. He was 63 years old at the time of demise. His shrine was built in Najaf, which is now one of the most visited places on earth.
The Rich Legacy
Despite being the most courageous, magnanimous and upright man, Hazrat Ali (RA) led a simple life, solved difficult problems in simple ways, upheld justice, encouraged equality, and stood out for love, peace and brotherhood. He looked after the distressed and roamed to keep a check and balance on market prices.
    His fame ranged from the battlefield to the world of knowledge. A popular text known as ‘Nahjul Balagha’ carries his sermons and letters, which speak of his eloquence and wisdom. “Ask me, ask me, before I am not amongst you” used to be his public, which shows that he had such a grip on affairs that he never left a question unanswered. Sir Edward Gibbon, the 18th century English historian recognized him for unifying “…the qualifications of a poet, a soldier, and a saint; his wisdom still breathes in a collection of moral and religious sayings.” Washington Irving, the 19th century American writer, wrote: “He possessed the three qualities most prized by the Arabs: courage, eloquence and munificence.” 
    His letter to Maalik Ashtar, the governor of Egypt, is recognized as the best evidence of his wisdom, vision and eloquence. This document remains to be a rich source of guidance for the governance of a state for all times to come. Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan said: “this letter offers rich guidance to protect non-Muslims and Muslims alike. “Remember Maalik that among your subjects there are two kinds of people; those who have the same religion as yours; and those who have other religions than yours and yet they are human beings like you,” wrote Hazrat Ali (RA) in his powerful words.
Famous Quotes of Hazrat Ali (RA) – An Inspiration for Young Minds
Here are some of his precious quotes which are a motivation and guideline for us all:
•    Honesty saves you even if you fear it.
•    The pious is not the one who has pious company, but the one who is pious when alone. 
•    Never argue with a stubborn person in a gathering.
•    Know, then speak.
•    No mirror can reflect a picture of a human as best as his attitude and way of speaking do. 
•    Conquer your lustful desires, and your wisdom will be perfected.
•    Be like honey bee; anything it touches is clean, anything it drops is sweet, and the branch it sits upon does not break.
•    Through patience great things are accomplished.
•    Nobility is a matter of good intellect and good conduct, not of lineage and descent.
•    If anyone thinks well of you, then make his opinion true.
•    A conceited and self-admiring person is disliked by others.
•    Keep away from the friendship of a liar. Surely, he will show you as near what is far from you, and will show as far what is near you. 
•    Truth might be bitter, but its outcome is sweet. Falsehood appears to be sweet, but it is poisonous in its essence.
•    Be obscure and do not attempt to be famous. Do not elevate yourself in order to be remembered. Learn and conceal, find safety in silence, you will please the righteous people and you will outrage the wicked. 
•    Life consists of two days, one for you and one against you. So, when it’s for you, don’t be proud or reckless, and when it’s against you, be patient, for both days are test for you.
•    If a friend envies you, then he is not a true friend.
•    The mind of a wise man is the safest custody of secrets; cheerfulness is the key to friendship; patience and forbearance will conceal many defects.
•    Where there is haste, there must be mistakes.
•    Among men, only two are fortunate: the one with a loyal friend and the one whose mother prays for him.
•    Aim to live in this world without allowing the world to live inside you because when a boat sits on water it sails perfectly, but when water enters inside the boat, it sinks. 
•    The disease of the heart is worse than the disease of the body.
    No wealth is like education and no poverty like ignorance.
•    Speak only when your words are more beautiful than the silence.
•    For surely knowledge belongs to whoever knows and then acts accordingly, so that his action corresponds to his knowledge. There will be a people who will carry knowledge around with them, but it will not pass beyond their shoulders.
•    Practice makes knowledge perfect. What you hide in your heart, appears in your eyes. The ignorant man does not understand the learned for he has never been learned himself. This entire world is not worth a single tear.
•    If a person teaches me one single word, he has made me his servant for a lifetime. 

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