Regarded as the first young man to ever convert to Islam, Hazrat Ali ibn Abu Talib (RA) is revered by Muslims as a man who fought for Islam in nearly all battles during Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) lifetime, earning the title ‘Lion of Allah.’ Hazrat Ali (RA) served Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in many ways, including scripting his letters and the revelations of the Holy Quran. He (RA) was the one who scripted the Hudaibiyya Treaty signed with the Pagans of Makkah.
Hazrat Ali (RA) was the first cousin of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), and the son of his beloved uncle Hazrat Abu Talib, who had brought up the orphan Mohammad (PBUH) like his own son. He protected the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and stood by him through thick and thin. Among children, Hazrat Ali (RA) was the first to embrace Islam, so he never worshipped the idols. It is due to this reason that we use a special prayer “Karm Allah Wajhu” (May Allah bless his face) for him. Haider was the title given to him by his mother – it means lion. His other title is Asadullah which means Lion of Allah. His patronymic names are Abul Hassan and Abu Turab. The former means ‘the father of Hassan’ (the name of his great eldest son) while the latter means ‘the father of soil’ – this title was given to him owing to his humble and down-to-earth approach. Zulfiqar is the name of his sword. He (RA) was about 30 years younger to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and was brought up under his direct supervision. He was also a son-in-law of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) as he married his beloved daughter Hazrat Fatima Al-Zahra (RA) who is also revered as the Leader of the Women of Paradise.
Services to the cause of Islam
1. At the time of migration, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) chose Hazrat Ali (RA) to sleep in his bed, and entrusted him the important task of handing over trusts of the people that were deposited with the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
2. After migration of Muslims to Madina when brotherhood was established between Migrants and the Ansar – Mawakhat-e-Madina – he (RA) was selected as the brother of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). At that moment, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said to him, “You are my brother in this world and in the hereafter.”
3. He (RA) was an important commander of Muslim army and he (RA) actively participated in all the battles that were fought during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
4. In 7 AH, the Muslims under the command of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) besieged the treacherous Jewish tribe at Khyber. The siege prolonged for many days and the Muslims could not subdue the fort. At that critical moment, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, “Tomorrow, I shall give banner of Muslim army to the person who loves Allah and His Messenger (PBUH) and who is loved by them.” Next day, this honour was conferred on Hazrat Ali (RA) who conquered that fort and also killed Marahab who was a very important leader of the Jews.
5. On the occasion of the battle of Tabook, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) appointed Hazrat Ali (RA) his deputy in Madina before embarking on the journey. On that occasion, Hazrat Ali (RA) said to the Holy Prophet (PBUH), “Do you want me to remain with women and children?” The Holy Prophet (PBUH) replied, “Do you not want to become to me as Haroon was to Musa. However, no messenger would come after me.”
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