Ali ibn Abi Talib (Arabic: عَلِي ابْن أَبِي طَالِب, 15 September 601 – 29 January 661) was the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, the last prophet of Islam. He ruled as the fourth caliph from 656 to 661, but is regarded as the rightful immediate successor to Muhammad as an Imam by Shia Muslims.
Born to Abu Talib and Fatimah bint Asad, Ali was born inside the sacred sanctuary of the Kaaba in Mecca, the holiest place in Islam. Ali was the first male who accepted Islam, and, according to some authors, the first Muslim. Ali protected Muhammad from an early age and took part in almost all the battles fought by the nascent Muslim community. After migrating to Medina, he married Muhammad's daughter Fatimah. He was appointed caliph by Muhammad's companions in 656, after Caliph Uthman ibn Affan was assassinated. Ali's reign saw civil wars and in 661, he was attacked and assassinated by a Kharijite while praying in the Great Mosque of Kufa, being martyred two days later.
Ali is important to both Shias and Sunnis, politically and spiritually. The numerous biographical sources about Ali are often biased according to sectarian lines, but they agree that he was a pious Muslim, devoted to the cause of Islam and a just ruler in accordance with the Qur'an and the Sunnah. While Sunnis consider Ali the fourth and final of the Rashidun (rightly guided) caliphs, Shia Muslims regard Ali as the first Imam after Muhammad due to their interpretation of the events at Ghadir Khumm. Shia Muslims also believe that Ali and the other Shia Imams (all of whom are from the Ahl al-Bayt, Muhammad's household) are the rightful successors to Muhammad. Ali has also received recognition from a variety of non-Muslim organizations, such as the United Nations and the World Organization for Human Rights, for his governance and social justice.
|Ali ibn Abi Talib|
Arabic calligraphy of the name of Ali
|4th Caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate |
|Predecessor||Uthman ibn Affan|
|Successor||Hasan ibn Ali|
|1st Imam of Shia Islam|
(Twelver, Zaydi, and Nizari Ismaili view)
|Successor||Hasan ibn Ali (2nd Imam)|
|Asās/Wāsih of Shia Islam |
(Musta'li Ismaili view)
|Successor||Hasan ibn Ali (1st Imam)|
|Born||15 September 601 (13 Rajab 21 BH in the ancient Arabic calendar)|
Inside Ka'bah, Mecca, Hijaz, Arabian Peninsula
|Died||29 January 661 (21 Ramadan AH 40)|
Kufa, Mesopotamia, Rashidun Caliphate killer Abdur Rahman ibne Muljim
|Tribe||Quraysh (Banu Hashim)|
|Father||Abu Talib ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib|
|Mother||Fatimah bint Asad|
|Religion||Hanif (as of 610)/Islam|
ʿAlī bin Abī Ṭālib
ʿAlī bin Abī Ṭālib by Hakob Hovnatanyan (c. 19th century)
|Sunnism: Rightly-Guided Caliph|
Shiism: First Imam
All Islam: Ahl al-Bayt, Ṣaḥābī, Martyr; Commander of the Faithful, One Promised Paradise, The Door to the City of Knowledge, One whom God Favored, The Great News, Leader of the God-conscious, Lion of God, Brave-heart, Leader of the Knights of God, Father of the Dust, King of the Saints, Leader of the Saints
|Venerated in||All Islam (Salafis honor rather than venerate him).|
|Major shrine||Imam Ali Mosque, Najaf, Iraq|
Ali's father, Abu Talib, was the custodian of the Ka'bah and a sheikh of Banu Hashim, an important branch of the powerful Quraysh tribe. He was also an uncle of Muhammad, and had raised Muhammad after Abdul Muttalib (Abu Talib's father and Muhammad's grandfather) died. Ali's mother, Fatima bint Asad, also belonged to Banu Hashim, making Ali a descendant of Ismā'īl (Ishmael) the son of Ibrāhīm (Abraham). Many sources, especially Shi'i ones, attest that Ali was born inside the Kaaba in the city of Mecca, where he stayed with his mother for three days. His mother reportedly felt the beginning of her labour pain while visiting the Ka'ba and entered it where her son was born. Some Shia sources contain miraculous descriptions of the entrance of Ali's mother into Ka'ba. Ali's birth in the Ka'ba is regarded as a unique event proving his "high spiritual station" among Shia, while Sunni scholars consider it a great, if not unique, distinction.
According to a tradition, Muhammad was the first person whom Ali saw as he took the newborn in his hands. Muhammad named him Ali, meaning "the exalted one". Muhammad had a close relationship with Ali's parents. When Muhammad was orphaned and later lost his grandfather Abdul Muttalib, Ali's father took him into his house. Ali was born two or three years after Muhammad married Khadijah bint Khuwaylid. When Ali was five years old, Muhammad took Ali into his home to raise him. Some historians say that this was because there was a famine in Mecca at the time and that Ali's father had a large family to support; however, others point out that feeding Ali would not have been a burden on his father, as Ali was five years old at the time and, despite the famine, Ali's father, who was financially well-off, was known for giving food to strangers if they were hungry. While it is not disputed that Muhammad raised Ali, it was not due to any financial stress that Ali's father was going through.
Ali had been living with Muhammad and Muhammad's wife Khadija since he was five years old. When Ali was nine, Muhammad announced himself as the Prophet of Islam, and Ali became the first male to accept Islam. He was the second person, after Khadija, to accept Islam. According to Sayed Ali Asgher Razwy in A Restatement of the History of Islam & Muslims, "Ali and [the] Qur'an 'grew up' together as 'twins' in the house of Muhammad Mustafa and Khadija-tul-Kubra."
The second period of Ali's life began in 610 when he declared Islam at the age of 9, and ended with the Hijra of Muhammad to Medina in 622. When Muhammad reported that he had received a divine revelation, Ali, then only about nine years old, believed him and professed to Islam. Ali became the first male to embrace Islam. Shia doctrine asserts that in keeping with Ali's divine mission, he accepted Islam before he took part in any old Meccan traditional religion rites, regarded by Muslims as polytheistic (see shirk) or paganistic. Hence the Shia say of Ali that his face is honoured, as it was never sullied by prostrations before idols. The Sunnis also use the honorific Karam Allahu Wajhahu, which means "God's Favour upon his Face." The reason his acceptance is often not called a conversion is because he was never an idol worshipper like the people of Mecca. He was known to have broken idols in the mould of Abraham and asked people why they worshipped something they made themselves. Ali's grandfather, along with some members of the Bani Hashim clan, were Hanifs, or followers of a monotheistic belief system prior to the emergence of Islam in Mecca.
Muhammad invited people to Islam in secret for three years before he started inviting them publicly. In the fourth year of his preaching, when Muhammad was commanded to invite his close relatives to come to Islam, he gathered the Banu Hashim clan in a ceremony. At the banquet, he was about to invite them to Islam when Abu Lahab interrupted him, after which everyone left the banquet. The Prophet ordered Ali to invite the 40 people again. The second time, Muhammad announced Islam to them and invited them to join. He said to them:
I offer thanks to Allah for His mercies. I praise Allah, and I seek His guidance. I believe in Him and I put my trust in Him. I bear witness that there is no god except Allah; He has no partners; and I am His messenger. Allah has commanded me to invite you to His religion by saying: And warn thy nearest kinsfolk. I, therefore, warn you, and call upon you to testify that there is no god but Allah, and that I am His messenger. O ye sons of Abdul Muttalib, no one ever came to you before with anything better than what I have brought to you. By accepting it, your welfare will be assured in this world and in the Hereafter. Who among you will support me in carrying out this momentous duty? Who will share the burden of this work with me? Who will respond to my call? Who will become my vicegerent, my deputy and my wazir?
Ali was the only one to answer Muhammad's call. Muhammad told him to sit down, saying, "Wait! Perhaps someone older than you might respond to my call." Muhammad then asked the members of Banu Hashim a second time. Once again, Ali was the only one to respond, and again, Muhammad told him to wait. Muhammad then asked the members of Banu Hashim a third time; Ali was still the only volunteer. This time, Ali's offer was accepted by Muhammad. Muhammad "drew [Ali] close, pressed him to his heart, and said to the assembly: 'This is my wazir, my successor and my vicegerent. Listen to him and obey his commands.'" In another narration, when Muhammad accepted Ali's eager offer, Muhammad "threw up his arms around the generous youth, and pressed him to his bosom" and said, "Behold my brother, my vizir, my vicegerent...Let all listen to his words, and obey him." Upon hearing this, the sons of Abd al-Muttalib departed from the feast, mocking Muhammad's words, as they scoffed at Abu Talib ibn Abd al-Muttalib, "He has ordered you to listen and obey your son!".:17 In Tarikh ut-Tabari and as-Seerat ul Halabiyya, it has been recorded that Abu Talib asks his son Ali, "What is this belief you are following?" to which Ali replies, "Father, I have believed in Allah and His Messenger, and have given credence to him, kept to him, and followed him."
In 622, the year of Muhammad's migration to Yathrib (now Medina), Ali risked his life by sleeping in Muhammad's bed to impersonate him and thwart an assassination plot on Muhammad so that Muhammad could escape in safety. This night is called Laylat al-Mabit. According to some ahadith, a verse was revealed about Ali concerning his sacrifice on the night of Hijra which says "And among men is he who sells his nafs (self) in exchange for the pleasure of Allah."
Ali survived the plot, but risked his life again by staying in Mecca to carry out Muhammad's instructions: to restore to their owners all the goods and properties that had been entrusted to Muhammad for safekeeping. Ali then went to Medina with Fatimah bint Asad (his mother), Fatimah bint Muhammad (Muhammad's daughter), and two other women.
Ali was 22 or 23 years old when he migrated to Medina. When Muhammad was creating bonds of brotherhood among his companions, he selected Ali as his brother, claiming that "Ali and I belong to the same tree, while people belong to different trees." For the ten years that Muhammad led the community in Medina, Ali was extremely active in his service as his secretary and deputy, serving in his armies, the bearer of his banner in every battle, leading parties of warriors on raids, and carrying messages and orders. As one of Muhammad's lieutenants, and later his son-in-law, Ali was a person of authority and standing in the Muslim community.
In 623, Muhammad told Ali that God ordered him to give his daughter Fatimah Zahra to Ali in marriage. Muhammad said to Fatimah: "I have married you to the dearest of my family to me." This family is glorified by Muhammad frequently and he declared them as his Ahl al-Bayt in events such as Mubahala and hadith like the Hadith of the Event of the Cloak. They were also glorified in the Qur'an in several cases such as "the verse of purification".
Ali had four children born to Fatimah, the only child of Muhammad to have surviving progeny. Their two sons, Hasan and Husain, were cited by Muhammad to be his own sons, honoured numerous times in his lifetime and titled "the leaders of the youth of Jannah (Heaven)." Ali and Fatimah also had a third son, Muhsin; however, he died as a result of a miscarriage when Ali and Fatimah were attacked after Muhammad's death. Fatimah died shortly after the attack as well.
At the beginning they were extremely poor. Ali would often help Fatimah with the household affairs. According to some sources, Ali performed the work outside the house and Fatimah performed the work inside the house, a setup that Muhammad had determined. When the economic situations of the Muslims became better, Fatimah gained some maids but treated them like her family and performed the house duties with them.
Their marriage lasted until Fatimah's death ten years later and was said to be full of love and friendliness. Ali is reported to have said about Fatimah, "By Allah, I did never anger her or force her to do something (unwillingly) until Allah took her to the better world. She also did never anger me nor did she disobey me in anything at all. When I looked at her, my griefs and sorrows were relieved." Although polygamy was permitted, Ali did not marry another woman while Fatimah was alive, and his marriage to her possesses a special spiritual significance for all Muslims because it is seen as the marriage between two great figures surrounding Muhammad.
After Fatimah's death, Ali remarried and had several other children. Among his wives after Fatimah was Umamah bint Zainab; Fatimah had told Ali to marry her after her death, as Fatimah knew that Umamah loved and would take good care of their children.
With the exception of the Battle of Tabouk, Ali took part in all battles and expeditions fought for Islam. As well as being the standard-bearer in those battles, Ali led parties of warriors on raids into enemy lands.
Ali first distinguished himself as a warrior in 624 at the Battle of Badr. The battle began with Ali defeating the Meccan champion Walid ibn Utba; one historian described Ali's opening victory at the battle as "the signal of the triumph of Islam." Ali also defeated many other Meccan soldiers in the battle. According to Muslim traditions Ali killed between twenty and thirty-five enemies in battle, most agreeing with twenty-seven; while all the other Muslims combined killed another twenty-seven.
Ali was prominent at the Battle of Uhud, as well as many other battles where he wielded a bifurcated sword known as Zulfiqar. He had the special role of protecting Muhammad when most of the Muslim army fled from the battle of Uhud and it was said "There is no brave youth except Ali and there is no sword which renders service except Zulfiqar." He was commander of the Muslim army in the Battle of the Trench where he defeated the legendary Arab warrior, Amr ibn Abd al-Wud. Muhammad made Ali commander at this battle, claiming that "I will hand the standard to a man who loves Allah and His Messenger and is loved by Allah and His Messenger. He will come back with conquest." Following this battle Muhammad gave Ali the name Asadullāh (which means "Lion of God") and reportedly praised him, saying "Ali's strike on Amr ibn Abd al-Wud is greater than the worship of both mankind and jinn until the Day of Judgement." Ali also defended Muhammad in the Battle of Hunayn in 630.
Muhammad designated 'Ali as one of the scribes who would write down the text of the Quran, which had been revealed to Muhammad during the previous two decades. As Islam began to spread throughout Arabia, Ali helped establish the new Islamic order. He was instructed to write down the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, the peace treaty between Muhammad and the Quraysh in 628. Ali was so reliable and trustworthy that Muhammad asked him to carry the messages and declare the orders. In 630, Ali recited to a large gathering of pilgrims in Mecca a portion of the Quran that declared Muhammad and the Islamic community were no longer bound by agreements made earlier with Arab polytheists. During the Conquest of Mecca in 630, Muhammad asked Ali to guarantee that the conquest would be bloodless. He ordered Ali to break all the idols worshipped by the Banu Aus, Banu Khazraj, Tayy, and those in the Ka'bah to purify it after its defilement by the polytheism of old times. Ali was sent to Yemen one year later to spread the teachings of Islam. He was also charged with settling several disputes and putting down the uprisings of various tribes.
According to hadith collections, in 631, an Arab Christian envoy from Najran (currently in northern Yemen and partly in Saudi Arabia) came to Muhammad to argue which of the two parties erred in its doctrine concerning 'Isa (Jesus). After likening Jesus' miraculous birth to Adam's creation, Muhammad called them to mubahala (conversation), where each party should bring their knowledgeable men, women and children, and ask God to curse the lying party and their followers. Muhammad, to prove to them that he was a prophet, brought his daughter Fatimah, 'Ali and his grandchildren Hasan and Husayn. He went to the Christians and said "this is my family" and covered himself and his family with a cloak. According to Muslim sources, when one of the Christian monks saw their faces, he advised his companions to withdraw from Mubahala for the sake of their lives and families. Thus the Christian monks vanished from the Mubahala place. According to Allameh Tabatabaei's Tafsir al-Mizan, the word "Our selves" in this verse refers to Muhammad and Ali. Then he narrates that Imam Ali al-Rida, eighth Shia Imam, in discussion with Al-Ma'mun, Abbasid caliph, referred to this verse to prove the superiority of Muhammad's progeny over the rest of the Muslim community, and considered it the proof for Ali's right for caliphate due to God having made Ali like the self of Muhammad.
As Muhammad was returning from his last pilgrimage in 632, he made statements about Ali that are interpreted very differently by Sunnis and Shias. He halted the caravan at Ghadir Khumm, gathered the returning pilgrims for communal prayer and began to address them.
According to Encyclopedia of Islam:
Taking Ali by the hand, he asked of his faithful followers whether he, Muhammad, was not closer (awlā) to the Believers than they were to themselves; the crowd cried out: "It is so, O Apostle of God!"; he then declared: "He of whom I am the mawla, of him Ali is also the mawla (man kuntu mawlāhu fa-ʿAlī mawlāhu)".
Shias regard these statements as constituting the designation of Ali as the successor of Muhammad and as the first Imam; by contrast, Sunnis take them only as an expression of close spiritual relationship between Muhammad and Ali, and of his wish that Ali, as his cousin and son-in-law, inherit his family responsibilities upon his death, but not necessarily a designation of political authority.   Many Sufis also interpret the episode as the transfer of Muhammad's spiritual power and authority to Ali, whom they regard as the wali par excellence.
Another part of Ali's life started in 632, after the death of Muhammad and lasted until the assassination of 'Uthman ibn 'Affan, the third caliph in 656. During those 24 years, Ali neither took part in any battle or conquest, nor did he assume any executive position. He withdrew from political affairs, especially after the death of his wife, Fatimah Zahra. He used his time to serve his family and worked as a farmer. Ali dug a lot of wells and planted gardens near Medina and endowed them for public use. These wells are known today as Abar Ali ("Ali's wells").
Ali compiled a complete version of the Quran, mus'haf, six months after the death of Muhammad. The volume was completed and carried by camel to show to other people of Medina. The order of this mus'haf differed from that which was gathered later during the Uthmanic era. This book was rejected by several people when he showed it to them. Despite this, Ali made no resistance against standardised mus'haf.
After uniting the Arabian tribes into a single Muslim religious polity in the last years of his life, Muhammad's death in 632 signalled disagreement over who would succeed him as leader of the Muslim community. While Ali and the rest of Muhammad's close family were washing his body for burial, at a gathering attended by a small group of Muslims at Saqifah, a close companion of Muhammad named Abu Bakr was nominated for the leadership of the community. Others added their support and Abu Bakr was made the first caliph. The choice of Abu Bakr was disputed by some of Muhammad's companions, who held that Ali had been designated his successor by Muhammad himself.
Later when Fatimah and Ali sought aid from the Companions in the matter of his right to the caliphate, they answered 'O daughter of the Messenger of God! We have given our allegiance to Abu Bakr. If Ali had come to us before this, we would certainly not have abandoned him'. Ali said, 'Was it fitting that we should wrangle over the caliphate even before the Prophet was buried?'
Following his election to the caliphate, Abu Bakr and Umar with a few other companions headed to Fatimah's house to force Ali and his supporters who had gathered there to give their allegiance to Abu Bakr. Then, it is alleged that Umar threatened to set the house on fire unless they came out and swore allegiance to Abu Bakr. Fatimah, in support of her husband, started a commotion and threatened to "uncover her hair", at which Abu Bakr relented and withdrew. Ali is reported to have repeatedly said that had there been forty men with him he would have resisted. Ali did not actively assert his own right because he did not want to throw the nascent Muslim community into strife. Other sources say that Ali accepted the selection of Umar as caliph and even gave one of his daughters, Umm Kulthūm, to him in marriage.
This contentious issue caused Muslims to later split into two groups, Sunni and Shia. Sunnis assert that even though Muhammad never appointed a successor, Abu Bakr was elected first caliph by the Muslim community. The Sunnis recognise the first four caliphs as Muhammad's rightful successors. Shias believe that Muhammad explicitly named Ali as his successor at Ghadir Khumm and Muslim leadership belonged to him which had been determined by divine order.
According to Wilferd Madelung, Ali himself was firmly convinced of his legitimacy for caliphate based on his close kinship with Muhammad, his intimate association and his knowledge of Islam and his merits in serving its cause. He told Abu Bakr that his delay in pledging allegiance (bay'ah) as caliph was based on his belief of his own prior title. Ali did not change his mind when he finally pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr and then to Umar and to Uthman but had done so for the sake of the unity of Islam, at a time when it was clear that the Muslims had turned away from him. Ali also believed that he could fulfill his role of Imam'ate without this fighting.
At the beginning of Abu Bakr's caliphate, there was a controversy about Muhammad's endowment to his daughter, especially Fadak, between Fatimah and Ali on one side and Abu Bakr on the other side. Fatimah asked Abu Bakr to turn over their property, the lands of Fadak and Khaybar. But Abu Bakr refused and told her that prophets did not have any legacy and that Fadak belonged to the Muslim community. Abu Bakr said to her, "Allah's Apostle said, we do not have heirs, whatever we leave is Sadaqa." Together with Umm Ayman, Ali testified to the fact that Muhammad granted it to Fatimah Zahra, when Abu Bakr requested her to summon witnesses for her claim. Fatimah became angry and stopped speaking to Abu Bakr, and continued assuming that attitude until she died. 
'Aishah also said that "When Allah's Apostle died, his wives intended to send 'Uthman to Abu Bakr asking him for their share of the inheritance." Then 'Aisha said to them, "Didn't Allah's Apostle say, 'Our (Apostles') property is not to be inherited, and whatever we leave is to be spent in charity?'".
According to some sources, 'Ali did not give his oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr until some time after the death of his wife, Fatimah in the year 633. 'Ali participated in the funeral of Abu Bakr.
He pledged allegiance to the second caliph 'Umar ibn Khattab and helped him as a trusted advisor. 'Umar particularly relied upon Ali as the chief judge of Medina. He also advised Umar to set Hijra as the beginning of the Islamic calendar. 'Umar used 'Ali's suggestions in political issues as well as religious ones.
'Ali was one of the electoral council to choose the third caliph which was appointed by 'Umar. Although 'Ali was one of the two major candidates, the council's arrangement was against him. Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas and Abdur Rahman bin Awf, who were cousins, were naturally inclined to support Uthman, who was Abdur Rahman's brother-in-law. In addition, Umar gave the casting vote to Abdur Rahman. Abdur Rahman offered the caliphate to Ali on the condition that he should rule in accordance with the Quran, the example set by Muhammad, and the precedents established by the first two caliphs. Ali rejected the third condition while Uthman accepted it. According to Ibn Abi al-Hadid's Comments on the Peak of Eloquence Ali insisted on his prominence there, but most of the electors supported Uthman and Ali was reluctantly urged to accept him.
'Uthman ibn 'Affan expressed generosity toward his kin, Banu Abd-Shams, who seemed to dominate him, and his supposed arrogant mistreatment toward several of the earliest companions such as Abu Dharr al-Ghifari, Abd-Allah ibn Mas'ud and Ammar ibn Yasir provoked outrage among some groups of people. Dissatisfaction and resistance openly arose since 650–651 throughout most of the empire. The dissatisfaction with his rule and the governments appointed by him was not restricted to the provinces outside Arabia. When Uthman's kin, especially Marwan, gained control over him, the noble companions, including most of the members of elector council, turned against him or at least withdrew their support, putting pressure on the caliph to mend his ways and reduce the influence of his assertive kin.
At this time, 'Ali had acted as a restraining influence on Uthman without directly opposing him. On several occasions Ali disagreed with Uthman in the application of the Hudud; he had publicly shown sympathy for Abu Dharr al-Ghifari and had spoken strongly in the defence of Ammar ibn Yasir. He conveyed to Uthman the criticisms of other Companions and acted on Uthman's behalf as negotiator with the provincial opposition who had come to Medina; because of this some mistrust between Ali and Uthman's family seems to have arisen. Finally, he tried to mitigate the severity of the siege by his insistence that Uthman should be allowed water.
There is controversy among historians about the relationship between Ali and Uthman. Although pledging allegiance to Uthman, Ali disagreed with some of his policies. In particular, he clashed with Uthman on the question of religious law. He insisted that religious punishment had to be done in several cases such as Ubayd Allah ibn Umar and Walid ibn Uqba. In 650 during pilgrimage, he confronted Uthman with reproaches for his change of the prayer ritual. When Uthman declared that he would take whatever he needed from the fey', Ali exclaimed that in that case the caliph would be prevented by force. Ali endeavoured to protect companions from maltreatment by the caliph such as Ibn Mas'ud. Therefore, some historians consider Ali one of the leading members of Uthman's opposition, if not the main one. But Wilferd Madelung rejects their judgment due to the fact that Ali did not have the Quraysh's support to be elected as a caliph. According to him, there is even no evidence that Ali had close relations with rebels who supported his caliphate or directed their actions.  Some other sources say Ali had acted as a restraining influence on Uthman without directly opposing him. However, Madelung narrates Marwan told Zayn al-Abidin, the grandson of Ali, that
No one [among the Islamic nobility] was more temperate toward our master than your master.
'Ali was caliph between 656 and 661, during one of the most turbulent periods in Muslim history, which also coincided with the First Fitnah. Since the conflicts in which Ali was involved were perpetuated in polemical sectarian historiography, biographical material is often biased. But the sources agree that he was a profoundly religious man, devoted to the cause of Islam and the rule of justice in accordance with the Qur'an and the Sunnah; he engaged in war against erring Muslims as a matter of religious duty. The sources abound in notices on his austerity, rigorous observance of religious duties, and detachment from worldly goods. Thus some authors have pointed out that he lacked political skill and flexibility.
Uthman's assassination meant that rebels had to select a new caliph. This met with difficulties since the rebels were divided into several groups comprising the Muhajirun, Ansar, Egyptians, Kufans and Basrites. There were three candidates: Ali, Talhah and Al-Zubayr. First the rebels approached Ali, requesting him to accept being the fourth caliph. Some of Muhammad's companions tried to persuade Ali to accept the office, but he turned down the offer, suggesting to be a counsellor instead of a chief. Talhah, Zubayr and other companions also refused the rebels' offer of the caliphate. Therefore, the rebels warned the inhabitants of Medina to select a caliph within one day, or they would apply drastic action. In order to resolve the deadlock, the Muslims gathered in the Prophet's Mosque on 18 June 656, to appoint the caliph. Initially, 'Ali refused to accept it, simply because his most vigorous supporters were rebels. However, when some notable companions of Muhammad, in addition to the residents of Medina, urged him to accept the offer, he finally agreed. According to Abu Mekhnaf's narration, Talhah was the first prominent companion who gave his pledge to 'Ali, but other narrations claimed otherwise, stating they were forced to give their pledge. Also, Talhah and Az-Zubayr later claimed they supported him reluctantly. Regardless, Ali refuted these claims, insisting they recognised him as caliph voluntarily. Wilferd Madelung believes that force did not urge people to give their pledge and they pledged publicly in the mosque. While the overwhelming majority of Medina's population as well as many of the rebels gave their pledge, some important figures or tribes did not do so. The Umayyads, kinsmen of Uthman, fled to the Levant, or remained in their houses, later refusing 'Ali's legitimacy. Sa'ad ibn Abi Waqqas was absent and 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar abstained from offering his allegiance, but both of them assured 'Ali that they would not act against him.
Ali thus inherited the Rashidun caliphate – which extended from Egypt in the west to the Iranian highlands in the east—while the situation in the Hejaz and the other provinces on the eve of his election was unsettled. Soon after Ali became caliph, he dismissed provincial governors who had been appointed by Uthman, replacing them with trusted aides. He acted against the counsel of Mughira ibn Shu'ba and Ibn 'Abbas, who had advised him to proceed with his governing cautiously. Madelung says Ali was deeply convinced of his right and his religious mission, unwilling to compromise his principles for the sake of political expediency, and ready to fight against overwhelming odds. Muawiyah I, the kinsman of Uthman and governor of the Levant, refused to submit to Ali's orders; he was the only governor to do so.
When he was appointed caliph, Ali stated to the citizens of Medina that Muslim polity had come to be plagued by dissension and discord; he desired to purge Islam of any evil. He advised the populace to behave as true Muslims, warning that he would tolerate no sedition and those who were found guilty of subversive activities would be dealt with harshly.
A'ishah, Talhah, Al-Zubayr and the Umayyads, especially Muawiyah I and Marwan I, wanted 'Ali to punish the rioters who had killed Uthman. They encamped close to Basra. The talks lasted for many days and the subsequent heated exchange and protests during the parley turned from words to blows, leading to loss of life on both sides. In the confusion the Battle of the Camel started in 656, where Ali emerged victorious. Some historians believe that they used this issue to seek their political ambitions because they found Ali's caliphate against their own benefit. The rebels maintained that Uthman had been justly killed, for not governing according to Quran and Sunnah, hence no vengeance was to be invoked.
Some say the caliphate was a gift of the rebels and Ali did not have enough force to control or punish them, while others say Ali accepted the rebels' argument or at least did not consider Uthman a just ruler. Ali himself writes in his famous work, Nahj al-Balagha, that he was blamed by the Umayyads for the assassination of Uthman.
The Umayyads knowledge of me did not restrain them from accusing me, nor did my precedence in accepting Islam keep these ignorant people from blaming me. Allah's admonitions are more eloquent than my tongue. I am the contester against those who break away from Faith and the opposer of those who entertain doubts. Uncertainties should be placed before Qur'an, the Book of Allah (for clarification). Certainly, people will be recompensed according to what they have in their hearts. – Nahj al-Balagha: Sermon 75
Under such circumstances, a schism took place which led to the first civil war in Muslim history. Some Muslims, known as Uthmanis, considered Uthman a rightful and just caliph till the end, who had been unlawfully killed. Some others, who are known as party of Ali, believed Uthman had fallen into error, he had forfeited the caliphate and been lawfully executed for his refusal to mend his ways or step down; thus Ali was the just and true Imam and his opponents are infidels. This was not the position of Ali himself. This civil war created permanent divisions within the Muslim community regarding who had the legitimate right to occupy the caliphate.
The First Fitna, 656–661, followed the assassination of Uthman, continued during the caliphate of Ali, and was ended by Muawiyah's assumption of the caliphate. This civil war (often called the Fitna) is regretted as the end of the early unity of the Islamic ummah (nation).
Ali appointed 'Abd Allah ibn al'-Abbas governor of Basra and moved his capital to Kufa, the Muslim garrison city in Iraq. Following the Roman-Persian Wars and the Byzantine–Sasanian wars that lasted for hundreds of years, there were deep rooted differences between Iraq, formally under the Persian Sassanid Empire and Syria formally under the Byzantine Empire. The Iraqis wanted the capital of the newly established Islamic State to be in Kufa so as to bring revenues into their area and oppose Syria. They convinced Ali to come to Kufa and establish the capital in Kufa, in Iraq.
Later Muawiyah I, the governor of Levant and the cousin of Uthman, refused Ali's demands for allegiance. Ali opened negotiations hoping to regain his allegiance, but Muawiyah insisted on Levant autonomy under his rule. Muawiyah replied by mobilising his Levantine supporters and refusing to pay homage to Ali on the pretext that his contingent had not participated in his election. Ali then moved his armies north and the two armies encamped themselves at Siffin for more than one hundred days, most of the time being spent in negotiations. Although Ali exchanged several letters with Muawiyah, he was unable to dismiss the latter, nor persuade him to pledge allegiance. Skirmishes between the parties led to the Battle of Siffin in 657.
After a week of combat was followed by a violent battle known as laylat al-harir (the night of clamour), Muawiyah's army was on the point of being routed when Amr ibn al-Aas advised Muawiyah to have his soldiers hoist mus'haf (either parchments inscribed with verses of the Quran, or complete copies of it) on their spearheads in order to cause disagreement and confusion in Ali's army. Ali saw through the stratagem, but only a minority wanted to pursue the fight. The two armies finally agreed to settle the matter of who should be caliph by arbitration. The refusal of the largest bloc in Ali's army to fight was the decisive factor in his acceptance of the arbitration. The question as to whether the arbiter would represent Ali or the Kufans caused a further split in Ali's army. Ash'ath ibn Qays and some others rejected Ali's nominees, 'Abd Allah ibn 'Abbas and Malik al-Ashtar, and insisted on Abu Musa Ash'ari, for his neutrality. Finally, Ali was urged to accept Abu Musa. Amr ibn al-As was appointed by Muawiyah as an arbitrator. Seven months later the two arbitrators met at Adhruh about 10 miles north west of Maan in Jordan in February 658. Amr ibn al-As convinced Abu Musa Ash'ari that both Ali and Muawiyah should step down and a new caliph be elected. Ali and his supporters were stunned by the decision which had lowered the caliph to the status of the rebellious Muawiyah. Ali was therefore outwitted by Muawiyah and Amr ibn al-As. When the arbitrators assembled at Daumet-ul-Jandal, a series of daily meetings were arranged for them to discuss the matters in hand. When the time arrived for taking a decision about the caliphate, Amr bin al-A'as convinced Abu Musa al-Ashari into entertaining the opinion that they should deprive both Ali and Muawiya of the caliphate, and give to the Muslims the right to elect the caliph. Abu Musa al-Ashari also decided to act accordingly. According to Poonawala, it seems that the arbiters and other eminent persons, with the exclusion of Ali's representatives, met in January 659 to discuss the selection of the new caliph. Amr supported Muawiyah, while Abu Musa preferred his son-in-law, Abdullah ibn Umar, but the latter refused to stand for election in default of unanimity. Abu Musa then proposed, and Amr agreed, to depose both Ali and Muawiyah and submit the selection of the new caliph to a Shura. In the public declaration that followed Abu Musa observed his part of the agreement, but Amr declared Ali deposed and confirmed Muawiya as caliph.
Ali refused to accept the verdict of him stepping down and for an election to be held and found himself technically in breach of his pledge to abide by the arbitration. 'Ali protested, stating that it was contrary to the Qur'an and the Sunnah and hence not binding. Then he tried to organise a new army, but only the Ansar, the remnants of the Qurra led by Malik Ashtar, and a few of their clansmen remained loyal. This put Ali in a weak position even amongst his own supporters. The arbitration resulted in the dissolution of 'Ali's coalition, and some have opined that this was Muawiyah's intention.
The most vociferous opponents in Ali's camp were the very same people who had forced Ali into the ceasefire. They broke away from Ali's force, rallying under the slogan "arbitration belongs to God alone." This group came to be known as the Kharijites ("those who leave"). They considered everyone to be their enemy. In 659 Ali's forces and the Kharijites met in the Battle of Nahrawan. The Qurra then became known as the Kharijites. The Kharijites then started killing Ali's supporters and other Muslims. They considered anyone who was not part of their group as an unbeliever. Although 'Ali won the battle by a huge margin, the constant conflict had begun to affect his standing. While dealing with the Iraqis, 'Ali found it hard to build a disciplined army and effective state institutions. He also spent a lot of time fighting the Kharijites. As a result, 'Ali found it hard to expand the state on its eastern front.
At about the same time, unrest was brewing in Egypt. The governor of Egypt, Qais, was recalled, and Ali had him replaced with Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr (the brother of Aisha and the son of Islam's first caliph Abu Bakr). Muawiyah allowed 'Amr ibn al-'As to conquer Egypt and 'Amr did so successfully. Amr had first taken Egypt eighteen years earlier from the Romans but had been dismissed by Uthman. Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr had no popular support in Egypt and managed to get together 2000 men but they dispersed without a fight.
In the following years, Muawiyah's army occupied many cities of Iraq, which Ali's governors could not prevent, and people did not support him to fight with them. Muawiyah overpowered Egypt, Hijaz, Yemen and other areas. In the last year of Ali's caliphate, the mood in Kufa and Basra changed in his favour as the people became disillusioned with Muawiyah's reign and policies. However, the people's attitude toward Ali differed deeply. Just a small minority of them believed that Ali was the best Muslim after Muhammad and the only one entitled to rule them, while the majority supported him due to their distrust and opposition to Muawiyah.
Ali is said to have vowed and forewarned of an uncompromising campaign against financial corruption and unfair privileges in the ranks of the caliphate after he was pressed by the public to succeed the caliphate following the death of Uthman. Shias argue that his determination in pushing these reforms despite their unpopularity with the elite have been the cause of hostilities from the rich and the privileged former companions of the Prophet. In a famous letter to one of his governors, Malik al-Ashtar, he articulates his pro-poor, anti-elitist approach:
Remember that displeasure and disapproval of common men, have-nots and depressed persons more than overbalances the approval of important persons and displeasure of a few big will be excused by the Lord if the general public and masses of your subjects are happy with you. The common men, the poor, apparently less important sections of your subjects are the pillars of Islam….be more friendly with them and secure their confidence and sympathy.
'Ali recovered the land granted by 'Uthman and swore to recover anything that elites had acquired before his election. Ali opposed the centralisation of capital control over provincial revenues, favouring an equal distribution of taxes and booty amongst the Muslim citizens; he distributed the entire revenue of the treasury among them. 'Ali refrained from nepotism, including with his brother 'Aqeel ibn Abu Talib. This was an indication to Muslims of his policy of offering equality to Muslims who served Islam in its early years and to the Muslims who played a role in the later conquests.
Ali succeeded in forming a broad coalition, especially after the Battle of the Camel. His policy of equal distribution of taxes and booty gained the support of Muhammad's companions, especially the Ansar who were subordinated by the Quraysh leadership after Muhammad, the traditional tribal leaders, and the Qurra or Qur'anic reciters that sought pious Islamic leadership. The successful formation of this diverse coalition seems to be due to Ali's charismatic character. This diverse coalition became known as Shi'a Ali, meaning "party" or "faction of Ali". However, according to Shia, as well as non-Shia reports, the majority of those who supported 'Ali after his election as caliph, were shia politically, not religiously. Although at this time there were many who were counted as political Shia, few of them believed Ali's religious leadership.
His policies and ideas of governing are manifested in the letter he sent to Malik al-Ashtar after appointing him governor of Egypt. This instruction, which has historically been viewed as the ideal constitution for Islamic governance alongside the Constitution of Medina, involved detailed description of duties and rights of the ruler and various functionaries of the state and the main classes of society at that time. Ali wrote in his instructions to Malik al-Ashtar:
Infuse your heart with mercy, love and kindness for your subjects. Be not in face of them a voracious animal, counting them as easy prey, for they are of two kinds: either they are your brothers in faith or in creation. Error catches them unaware, deficiencies overcome them, (evil deeds) are committed by them intentionally and by mistake. So grant them your pardon and your forgiveness to the same extent that you hope God will grant you His pardon and His forgiveness. For you are above them, and he who appointed you is above you, and God is above him who appointed you. God has sought from you the fulfillment of their requirements and He is trying you with them.
Since the majority of 'Ali's subjects were nomads and peasants, he was concerned with agriculture. He instructed to Malik to give more attention to development of the land than to the collection of the tax, because tax can only be obtained by the development of the land and whoever demands tax without developing the land ruins the country and destroys the people.
On 19 Ramadan AH 40, which would correspond to 26 January 661, while praying in the Great Mosque of Kufa, Ali was attacked by the Kharijite Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam. He was wounded by ibn Muljam's poison-coated sword while prostrating in the Fajr prayer. 'Ali ordered his sons not to attack the Kharijites, instead stipulating that if he survived, ibn Muljam would be pardoned whereas if he died, ibn Muljam should be given only one equal hit (regardless of whether or not he died from the hit). 'Ali died two days later on 29 January 661 (21 Ramadan AH 40). Al-Hasan fulfilled Qisas and gave equal punishment to ibn Muljam upon Ali's death.
After Ali's death, Kufi Muslims pledged allegiance to his eldest son Hasan without dispute, as Ali on many occasions had declared that just People of the House of Muhammad were entitled to rule the Muslim community. At this time, Muawiyah held both the Levant and Egypt and, as commander of the largest force in the Muslim Empire, had declared himself caliph and marched his army into Iraq, the seat of Hasan's caliphate.
War ensued during which Muawiyah gradually subverted the generals and commanders of Hasan's army with large sums of money and deceiving promises until the army rebelled against him. Finally, Hasan was forced to make peace and to yield the caliphate to Muawiyah. In this way Muawiyah captured the Islamic caliphate and tuned it to a secular kingdom (Sultanate). Umayyad caliphate later became a centralised monarchy by Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan.
Umayyads placed the severest pressure upon Ali's family and his Shia, in every way possible. Regular public cursing of Imam Ali in the congregational prayers remained a vital institution which was not abolished until 60 years later by Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz. 
Umayyad highhandedness, misrule and repression were gradually to turn the minority of Ali's admirers into a majority. In the memory of later generations Ali became the ideal Commander of the Faithful. In face of the fake Umayyad claim to legitimate sovereignty in Islam as God's Vice-regents on earth, and in view of Umayyad treachery, arbitrary and divisive government, and vindictive retribution, they came to appreciate his [Ali's] honesty, his unbending devotion to the reign of Islam, his deep personal loyalties, his equal treatment of all his supporters, and his generosity in forgiving his defeated enemies.
Ibn Abi'l-Hadid narrates the following about the Umayyad treatment towards Ali and his followers:
"Everybody knows that when the Umayyads held the reins of the Islamic world, they spared no single effort for extinguishing the light of Ali and inventing ﬂaws against him. Moreover, they issued the decisions of cursing him openly from the mimbars of their mosques and sentenced to death anyone who would mention any of his incalculable merits. They also prevented people from reporting any narration that might refer to any of his accolades. Finally, they even prevented people from calling their newborns by his name.":6
According to Al-Shaykh Al-Mufid, Ali did not want his grave to be desecrated by his enemies and consequently asked his friends and family to bury him secretly. This secret gravesite was revealed later during the Abbasid caliphate by Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, his descendant and the sixth Shia Imam. Most Shias accept that Ali is buried at the Tomb of Imam Ali in the Imam Ali Mosque at what is now the city of Najaf, which grew around the mosque and shrine called Masjid Ali.
Ali is respected not only as a warrior and leader, but as a writer and religious authority. A numerous range of disciplines from theology and exegesis to calligraphy and numerology, from law and mysticism to Arabic grammar and rhetoric are regarded as having been first adumbrated by Ali.
According to a hadith which is narrated by Shia and Sufis, Muhammad told about him "I'm the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate ..." Muslims regard Ali as a major authority on Islam. According to the Shia, Ali himself gave this testimony:
Not a single verse of the Quran descended upon (was revealed to) the Messenger of God which he did not proceed to dictate to me and make me recite. I would write it with my own hand, and he would instruct me as to its tafsir (the literal explanation) and the ta'wil (the spiritual exegesis), the nasikh (the verse which abrogates) and the mansukh (the abrogated verse), the muhkam and the mutashabih (the fixed and the ambiguous), the particular and the general ...
It has been narrated that when Abbas was a baby, Ali placed him on his lap, kissed his hands and began to weep. He foretold the tragedy of Abbas and the inevitable fate of his hands which caused his wife, Umm ul-Banin, to also weep. However, he goes on to describe Abbas's future position and great status with God, and this relieves her.
According to Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Ali is credited with having established Islamic theology, and his quotations contain the first rational proofs among Muslims of the Unity of God. Ibn Abi al-Hadid has quoted
As for theosophy and dealing with matters of divinity, it was not an Arab art. Nothing of the sort had been circulated among their distinguished figures or those of lower ranks. This art was the exclusive preserve of Greece, whose sages were its only expounders. The first one among Arabs to deal with it was Ali.
In later Islamic philosophy, especially in the teachings of Mulla Sadra and his followers, like Allameh Tabatabaei, Ali's sayings and sermons were increasingly regarded as central sources of metaphysical knowledge, or divine philosophy. Members of Sadra's school regard Ali as the supreme metaphysician of Islam. According to Henry Corbin, the Nahj al-Balagha may be regarded as one of the most important sources of doctrines professed by Shia thinkers, especially after 1500. Its influence can be sensed in the logical co-ordination of terms, the deduction of correct conclusions, and the creation of certain technical terms in Arabic which entered the literary and philosophical language independently of the translation into Arabic of Greek texts.
In addition, some hidden or occult sciences such as jafr, Islamic numerology, and the science of the symbolic significance of the letters of the Arabic alphabet, are said to have been established by Ali through his having studied the texts of al-Jafr and al-Jamia.
Ali was also a great scholar of Arabic literature and pioneered in the field of Arabic grammar and rhetoric. Numerous short sayings of Ali have become part of general Islamic culture and are quoted as aphorisms and proverbs in daily life. They have also become the basis of literary works or have been integrated into poetic verse in many languages. Already in the 8th century, literary authorities such as 'Abd al-Hamid ibn Yahya al-'Amiri pointed to the unparalleled eloquence of Ali's sermons and sayings, as did al-Jahiz in the following century. Even staffs in the Divan of Umayyad recited Ali's sermons to improve their eloquence. The most famous selection of Ali's utterances and writings has been gathered in a book called Nahj al-Balagha (Peak of Eloquence) by a 10th-century Shia scholar, Al-Sharif al-Radi, who selected them for their singular rhetorical beauty.
Of note among sermons quoted in the book, is the undotted sermon as well as the sermon without Aleph. According to narrations, some companions of Muhammad had gathered somewhere discussing the role of letters in speaking. They concluded that Aleph had the greatest contribution in speaking and that dotted letters were also important. Meanwhile, Ali read two long impromptu sermons, one without using Aleph letter and the other without dotted letters, containing deep and eloquent concepts, according to Langroudi, a Shia author. George Jordac, a Christian author, said that sermons without Aleph and dot had to be regarded as literary masterpiece.
Ali is revered for the deep sympathy and support he shown for the poor and orphans, and the egalitarian policies he pursued during his caliphate with aim of achieving social justice. He is quoted as saying:
If God grants wealth and prosperity to any person, he should show kindness to his deserving kith and kin, should provide for the poor, should come the assistance of those are oppressed with calamities, misfortunes and reverses, should help the poor and have-nots and should assist honest people to liquidate their loans...
It is narrated in Kitab al-Kafi that Amir al-Mu'minin Ali ibn Abi Talib was presented with honey and figs from locations near Baghdad. Upon receiving the gifts, he ordered his officers to bring the orphans so that they can lick the honey from the containers while he distributed the rest himself among the people.
The compilation of sermons, lectures and quotations attributed to Ali are compiled in the form of several books.
Ali initially married Fatimah, who was his most beloved wife. After she died, he got married again. He had four children with Fatimah, Hasan ibn Ali, Husayn ibn Ali, Zaynab bint Ali and Umm Kulthum bint Ali. His other well-known sons were al-Abbas ibn Ali, born to Fatima binte Hizam (Um al-Banin), and Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah. Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah was Ali's son from another wife from Hanifa clan of central Arabia named Khawlah bint Ja'far. After Fatima's death, Ali married Khawla bint Ja'far of the Bani Hanifa tribe.
Hasan, born in 625, was the second Shia Imam and he also occupied the outward function of caliph for about six months. In the year AH 50 he was poisoned and killed by a member of his own household who, as has been accounted by historians, had been motivated by Mu'awiyah.
Husayn, born in 626, was the third Shia Imam. He lived under severe conditions of suppression and persecution by Mu'awiyah. On the tenth day of Muharram, of the year 680, he lined up before the army of the caliph with his small band of followers and nearly all of them were killed in the Battle of Karbala. The anniversary of his death is called the Day of Ashura and it is a day of mourning and religious observance for Shia Muslims. In this battle some of Ali's other sons were killed. Al-Tabari has mentioned their names in his history: Al-Abbas ibn Ali, the holder of Husayn's standard, Ja'far, Abdallah and Uthman, the four sons born to Fatima binte Hizam; Muhammad and Abu Bakr. The death of the last one is doubtful.
His daughter Zaynab—who was in Karbala—was captured by Yazid's army and later played a great role in revealing what happened to Husayn and his followers.
Ali's descendants by Fatimah are known as sharifs, sayeds or sayyids. These are honorific titles in Arabic, sharif meaning 'noble' and sayed or sayyid meaning 'lord' or 'sir'. As Muhammad's only descendants, they are respected by both Sunni and Shia.
Except for Muhammad, there is no one in Islamic history about whom as much has been written in Islamic languages as Ali. In Muslim culture, Ali is respected for his courage, knowledge, belief, honesty, unbending devotion to Islam, deep loyalty to Muhammad, equal treatment of all Muslims and generosity in forgiving his defeated enemies, and therefore is central to mystical traditions in Islam such as Sufism. Ali retains his stature as an authority on Quranic exegesis, Islamic jurisprudence and religious thought. Ali holds a high position in almost all Sufi orders which trace their lineage through him to Muhammad. Ali's influence has been important throughout Islamic history. Sunni and Shia scholars agree that The Verse of Wilayah was narrated in honour of Ali, but there are differing interpretations of wilayah and the Imamate. The Sunni scholars believe that the verse is about Ali but does not recognise him as an Imam while, in the Shia Muslim view, Ali had been chosen by God as successor of Muhammad.
There are many verses interpreted by Shi'a scholars as referring to Ali or other Shi'a Imams. Responding to this question that why the names of the Imams are not mentioned in Quran expressly Muhammad al-Baqir answers (in a Twelver hadith):[a] "Allah revealed Salat to his Prophet but never said of three or four Rakats, revealed Zakat but did not mention to its details, revealed Hajj but did not count its Tawaf and the Prophet interpreted their details. Allah revealed this verse and Prophet said this verse is about Ali, Hasan, Husayn and the other twelve Imams." According to Ali, one quarter of Qur'anic verses are stating the station of Imams. Momen has listed many of these verses in his An Introduction to Shi'i Islam. However, there are few verses that some Sunni commentators interpret as referring to Ali, among which are The verse of Wilayah (Quran, 5:55) that Sunni and Shiite scholars[b] believe refers to the incident where Ali gave his ring to a beggar who asked for alms while performing ritual prayers in the mosque. The verse of Mawadda (Quran, 42:23) is another verse which Shiite scholars, along with Sunni ones like Al-Baydawi and Al-Zamakhshari and Fakhr ad-Din ar-Razi, believe that the phrase Kinship refers to Ali, Fatimah and their sons, Hasan and Husayn.
The verse of purification (Quran, 33:33) is also among the verses both Sunni and Shiite conjoined the name of Ali with it along with some other names.[c] The aforementioned verse of Mubahala, and also the verse 2:269 in which Ali is honoured with unique wisdom by both Shiite and Sunni commentators are other verses of this kind.
The Shia regard Ali as the most important figure after Muhammad and he represents a complex, legendary figure in their memory. He is a paragon of virtues, such as courage, magnanimity, sincerity, straightforwardness, eloquence and profound knowledge. Ali was righteous but suffered injustice, he was authoritative but also compassionate and humble, vigorous but also patient, learned but also man of labor. According to Shia, Muhammad suggested on various occasions during his lifetime that Ali should be the leader of Muslims after his death. This is supported by numerous hadiths which have been narrated by Shias, including Hadith of the pond of Khumm, Hadith of the two weighty things, Hadith of the pen and paper, Hadith of the Cloak, Hadith of position, Hadith of the invitation of the close families, and Hadith of the Twelve Successors (for Twelver Shi'ites).
Ja'far al-Sadiq narrates in hadith that whatever virtue found in Muhammad was found in Ali, turning away from his guidance would be akin to turning away from Allah and his Prophet. Ali himself narrates that he is the gateway and supervisor to reach Allah.
According to this view, Ali as the successor of Muhammad not only ruled over the community in justice, but also interpreted the Sharia Law and its esoteric meaning. Hence he was regarded as being free from error and sin (infallible), and appointed by God by divine decree (nass) through Muhammad. It is believed in Twelver and Ismaili Shīa Islam that 'aql, divine wisdom, was the source of the souls of the Prophets and Imams and gave them esoteric knowledge called ḥikmah and that their sufferings were a means of divine grace to their devotees. Although the Imam was not the recipient of a divine revelation, he had a close relationship with God, through which God guides him, and the Imam in turn guides the people. His words and deeds are a guide and model for the community to follow; as a result it is a source of sharia law.
Shi'ite pilgrims usually go to Mashad Ali in Najaf for Ziyarat, pray there and read "Ziyarat Amin Allah" or other Ziyaratnamehs. Under the Safavid Empire, his grave became the focus of much devoted attention, exemplified in the pilgrimage made by Shah Ismail I to Najaf and Karbala.
Sunnis view Ali as the fourth caliph. Ali is also known as one of the greatest warrior champions of Islam. Examples include taking on the Quraish champion at the Battle of the Trench when nobody else dared. After multiple failed attempts of breaking the fort in the Battle of Khaybar, Ali was summoned, miraculously healed and conquered the fort.
"What can we say about a person whose partisans have had to hide his merits because of fear, and enemies have hidden his merits out of envy? Nevertheless between these two, his merits that have become widely known are too numerous to be counted.":6
Almost all Sufi orders trace their lineage to Muhammad through Ali, an exception being Naqshbandi, who go through Abu Bakr. Even in this order, there is Ja'far al-Sadiq, the great great grandson of Ali. Sufis believe that Ali inherited from Muhammad the saintly power wilayah that makes the spiritual journey to God possible.
Sufis recite Manqabat Ali in the praise of Ali.
'Ali is known by various titles, some given due to his personal qualities and others due to events in his life:
Ali is recorded in some traditions as having forbidden those who sought to worship him in his own lifetime.
Some groups such as the Alawites are claimed to believe that Ali was God incarnate. They are described as ghulat (Arabic: غُلَاة, "exaggerators") by the majority of Islamic scholars. These groups have, according to traditionalist Muslims, left Islam due to their exaggeration of a human being's praiseworthy traits.
In Ali-Illahism, a syncretic religion centres on the belief that there have been successive incarnations of their Deity throughout history, and reserves particular reverence for 'Ali, the son-in-law of Muhammad, who is considered one such incarnation.
The primary sources for scholarship on the life of Ali are the Qur'an and ahadith, as well as other texts of early Islamic history. The extensive secondary sources include, in addition to works by Sunni and Shī'a Muslims, writings by Christian Arabs, Hindus, and other non-Muslims from the Middle East and Asia and a few works by modern western scholars. However, many of the early Islamic sources are coloured to some extent by a positive or negative bias towards Ali.
There had been a common tendency among the earlier western scholars against these narrations and reports gathered in later periods due to their tendency towards later Sunni and Shī'a partisan positions; such scholars regarding them as later fabrications. This leads them to regard certain reported events as inauthentic or irrelevant. Leone Caetani considered the attribution of historical reports to Ibn Abbas and Aisha as mostly fictitious while proffering accounts reported without isnad by the early compilers of history like Ibn Ishaq. Wilferd Madelung has rejected the stance of indiscriminately dismissing everything not included in "early sources" and in this approach tendentiousness alone is no evidence for late origin. According to him, Caetani's approach is inconsistent. Madelung and some later historians do not reject the narrations which have been compiled in later periods and try to judge them in the context of history and on the basis of their compatibility with the events and figures.
Until the rise of the Abbasid Caliphate, few books were written and most of the reports had been oral. The most notable work previous to this period is The Book of Sulaym ibn Qays, written by Sulaym ibn Qays, a companion of Ali who lived before the Abbasid. When paper was introduced to Muslim society, numerous monographs were written between 750 and 950. According to Robinson, at least twenty-one separate monographs have been composed on the Battle of Siffin. Abi Mikhnaf is one of the most renowned writers of this period who tried to gather all of the reports. 9th and 10th century historians collected, selected and arranged the available narrations. However, most of these monographs do not exist any more except for a few which have been used in later works such as History of the Prophets and Kings by Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (d.923).
Shia of Iraq actively participated in writing monographs but most of those works have been lost. On the other hand, in the 8th and 9th century Ali's descendants such as Muhammad al Baqir and Jafar as Sadiq narrated his quotations and reports which have been gathered in Shia hadith books. The later Shia works written after the 10th century are about biographies of The Fourteen Infallibles and Twelve Imams. The earliest surviving work and one of the most important works in this field is Kitab al-Irshad by Shaykh Mufid (d. 1022). The author has dedicated the first part of his book to a detailed account of Ali. There are also some books known as Manāqib which describe Ali's character from a religious viewpoint. Such works also constitute a kind of historiography.
Fatimah's (s.a.) death resulted from being pierced by the sword which claimed (the unborn) Mohsin's life. The perpetrator of this crime was Qunfuz, who was acting on his master – Umar's explicit command
They attacked Fatimah's (s.a.) house. They crushed the Chief of All Women behind the door so violently that it resulted in the miscarriage of Mohsin.
Imam Ali (a.s.) often helped Fatimah (s.a.) in the house affairs.
The life of Imam Ali (a.s.) and Fatimah (s.a.) was full of love and friendliness.
Fatima Zehra (sa) said: "May Allah (SWT) reward you with the best of goodness. Cousin, firstly I ask you to marry anybody you like after my death, but you must marry my niece Umamah; surely she will be to my children as I was. Besides, men cannot do without women. She loves my children and Hussain is very much attached to her. Let Fizza remain with you even after her marriage, if she so desires, she was more than a mere servant to me. I loved her like my daughter." Fatima Zehra (sa) then added: "I ask you not to let anyone who did injustice to me to witness my funeral, for they certainly are enemies of mine, and the enemy of Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (saw). Also don't give them the chance to pray over me, nor to any of their followers. I want you to wash me at night, put the shroud on me, perform the prayer upon my body, and bury me at night when eyes are rested and sight is put to sleep. And after my burial, sit beside my grave and recite Noble Qur'an for me."
of the Ahl al-Bayt
chief of Banu Hashim since 653
Clan of the Banu QuraishBorn: 15 September 601 Died: 29 January 661
|Shia Islam titles|
| 1st Imam of Twelver, Zaydi, Sevener and Nizari Ismaili;
Asās/Wāsih of Musta'li Ismaili
Hasan ibn Ali
Husayn ibn Ali (Nizari view)
|Sunni Islam titles|
Uthman ibn Affan
| Caliph of Islam
4th Rashidun Caliph
Hasan ibn Ali
Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei (Persian: سید علی حسینی خامنهای, pronounced [ʔæˈliː hoseiˈniː χɒːmeneˈʔiː] (listen); born 17 July 1939) is a marja and the second and current Supreme Leader of Iran, in office since 1989. He was previously President of Iran from 1981 to 1989. Khamenei is the second-longest serving head of state in the Middle East (after Oman's Sultan Qaboos), as well as the second-longest serving Iranian leader of the last century, after Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.According to his official website, Khamenei was arrested six times before being sent into exile for three years during Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's reign. He was the target of an attempted assassination in June 1981 that paralysed his right arm.Khamenei was one of Iran's leaders during the Iran–Iraq War in the 1980s, and developed close ties with the now powerful Revolutionary Guards which he controls, and whose commanders are elected and dismissed by him. The Revolutionary Guards have been used to suppress opposition to him. Khamenei then went to serve as the third President of Iran from 1981 to 1989, while becoming a close ally of the first Supreme Leader, Ruhollah Khomeini. Eventually, after Khomeini had a disagreement with the then heir apparent Hussein Ali Montazeri, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani claimed that Khomeini had chosen Khamenei as his successor while the Assembly of Experts deliberated to elect the next Supreme Leader. After Khomeini's death, Khameini was elected by the Assembly of Experts as the new Supreme Leader on 4 June 1989, at the age of 49. He has been head of the servants of Astan Quds Razavi since 14 April 1979.Today, as Supreme Leader, Khamenei is the head of state of Iran and the commander-in-chief of its armed forces. For this reason, he is considered the most powerful political authority in the country. As Supreme Leader, Khamenei can issue decrees and make the final decisions on the main policies of the government in many fields such as economy, the environment, foreign policy, and national planning in Iran. According to Karim Sadjadpour, Khamenei has either direct or indirect control over the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, as well as the military and media. All candidates for the Assembly of Experts, the Presidency and the Majlis (Parliament) are vetted by the Guardian Council, whose members are selected directly or indirectly by the Supreme Leader of Iran. There have been also instances when the Guardian Council reversed its ban on particular people after being ordered to do so by Khamenei.There have been major protests during Khamenei's reign, including the 1994 Qazvin Protests, the 1999 Iranian student protests, the 2009 Iranian presidential election protests the 2011–12 Iranian protests, and the 2017–18 Iranian protests. Journalists, bloggers, and other individuals have been put on trial in Iran for the charge of insulting Supreme Leader Khamenei, often in conjunction with blasphemy charges. Their sentences have included lashing and jail time, and some of them have died in custody. Regarding the nuclear program of Iran, Ali Khamenei had issued a fatwa in 2003 saying that the production, stockpiling, and use of all kinds of weapons of mass destruction is forbidden.Avicenna
Avicenna (; also Ibn Sīnā or Abu Ali Sina; Persian: ابن سینا; c. 980 – June 1037) was a Persian polymath who is regarded as one of the most significant physicians, astronomers, thinkers and writers of the Islamic Golden Age. He has been described as the father of early modern medicine. Of the 450 works he is known to have written, around 240 have survived, including 150 on philosophy and 40 on medicine.His most famous works are The Book of Healing, a philosophical and scientific encyclopedia, and The Canon of Medicine, a medical encyclopedia which became a standard medical text at many medieval universities and remained in use as late as 1650. In 1973, Avicenna's Canon Of Medicine was reprinted in New York.Besides philosophy and medicine, Avicenna's corpus includes writings on astronomy, alchemy, geography and geology, psychology, Islamic theology, logic, mathematics, physics and works of poetry.Full House
Full House is an American television sitcom created by Jeff Franklin for ABC. The show chronicles the events of widowed father Danny Tanner who enlists his brother-in-law Jesse Katsopolis and best friend Joey Gladstone to help raise his three daughters, oldest D.J., middle child Stephanie and youngest Michelle in his San Francisco home. It aired from September 22, 1987 to May 23, 1995, broadcasting eight seasons and 192 episodes.
While never a critical favorite, the series was consistently in the Nielsen Top 30 (from 1988 onward) and gained even more popularity in syndicated reruns and also aired internationally. It has also had tie-in merchandise marketed, such as a series of paperback books. A sequel series, Fuller House, premiered on Netflix on February 26, 2016.George Foreman
George Edward Foreman (born January 10, 1949) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1969 to 1977, and from 1987 to 1997. Nicknamed "Big George", he is a two-time world heavyweight champion and an Olympic gold medalist. Outside the sport he is an ordained minister, author, and entrepreneur.
After a troubled childhood Foreman took up amateur boxing and won a gold medal in the heavyweight division at the 1968 Summer Olympics. Having turned professional the next year, he won the world heavyweight title with a second-round knockout of then-undefeated Joe Frazier in 1973. Two successful title defenses were made before Foreman's first professional loss to Muhammad Ali in "The Rumble in the Jungle" in 1974. Unable to secure another title opportunity, Foreman retired after a loss to Jimmy Young in 1977.
Following what he referred to as a religious epiphany, Foreman became an ordained Christian minister. Ten years later he announced a comeback and, in 1994 at age 45, he regained a portion of the heavyweight championship by knocking out 27-year-old Michael Moorer to win the unified WBA, IBF, and lineal titles. Foreman remains the oldest world heavyweight champion in history, and the second oldest in any weight class after Bernard Hopkins (at light heavyweight). He retired in 1997 at the age of 48, with a final record of 76 wins (68 knockouts) and 5 losses.
Foreman has been inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame and International Boxing Hall of Fame. The International Boxing Research Organization rates Foreman as the eighth greatest heavyweight of all time. In 2002, he was named one of the 25 greatest fighters of the past 80 years by The Ring magazine. The Ring ranked him as the ninth greatest puncher of all time. He was a ringside analyst for HBO's boxing coverage for twelve years until 2004. Outside boxing, he is a successful entrepreneur and known for his promotion of the George Foreman Grill, which has sold more than 100 million units worldwide. In 1999, he sold the naming rights to the grill for $138 million.Green Book (film)
Green Book is a 2018 American biographical comedy-drama film directed by Peter Farrelly. Set in 1962, the film is inspired by the true story of a tour of the Deep South by African American classical and jazz pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) and Italian American bouncer Frank "Tony Lip" Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen) who served as Shirley's driver and bodyguard. The film was written by Farrelly, Brian Hayes Currie and Vallelonga's son, Nick Vallelonga, based on interviews with his father and Shirley, as well as letters his father wrote to his mother. The film is named after The Negro Motorist Green Book, a mid-20th century guidebook for African-American travelers written by Victor Hugo Green.
Green Book had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2018, where it won the People's Choice Award. It was then theatrically released in the United States on November 16, 2018, by Universal Pictures, and has grossed $294 million worldwide. The film received positive reviews from critics, with Mortensen's and Ali's performances being lauded, although it drew some criticism for its depiction of both race and Shirley.
Green Book won the National Board of Review award for the best film of 2018, and was also chosen as one of the top 10 films of the year by the American Film Institute. The film received numerous accolades and nominations, and at the 91st Academy Awards won Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali. The film also won the Producers Guild of America Award for Best Theatrical Motion Picture and the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, while Ali won the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and BAFTA awards for Best Supporting Actor.Hasan ibn Ali
Al-Ḥasan ibn Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (Arabic: الحسن ابن علي ابن أبي طالب, 624–670 CE), commonly known as Hasan or Hassan, was the eldest son of Ali and Muhammad's daughter Fatimah, and was the older brother of Husayn. Muslims respect him as a grandson of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. Among Shia Muslims, Hasan is revered as the second Imam. Hasan claimed the caliphate after his father's death, but abdicated after six or seven months to Muawiyah I, the founder of the Umayyad dynasty to end the First Fitna. Al-Hasan was known for donating to the poor, his kindness to the poor and bondmen, and for his knowledge, tolerance and bravery. For the rest of his life, Hasan lived in Medina, until he died at the age of 45 and was buried in the Jannat al-Baqi cemetery in Medina. His wife, Ja'da bint al-Ash'at, is commonly accused of having poisoned him.Husayn ibn Ali
Al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī ibn Abi Talib (Arabic: ٱلْحُسَيْن ابْن عَلِي ابْن أَبِي طَالِب; 10 October 625 – 10 October 680; also transliterated as Husayn ibn Ali, Husain, Hussain and Hussein) was a grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and a son of Ali ibn Abi Talib (the first Shia Imam and the fourth Rashid caliph of Sunni Islam) and Muhammad's daughter Fatimah. He is an important figure in Islam as he was a member of the Bayt (Household) of Muhammad and the Ahl al-Kisā' (People of the Cloak), as well as the third Shia Imam.
Prior to his death, the Umayyad ruler Muawiya appointed his son Yazid as his successor in a clear violation of the Hasan-Muawiya treaty. When Muawiya died in 680 CE, Yazid demanded that Husain pledge allegiance to him. Husain refused to pledge allegiance to Yazid, even though it meant sacrificing his life. As a consequence, he left Medina, his hometown, to take refuge in Mecca in AH 60. There, the people of Kufah sent letters to him, asking his help and pledging their allegiance to him. So he traveled towards Kufah; however, at a place near it known as Karbala, his caravan was intercepted by Yazid's army. He was killed and beheaded in the Battle of Karbala on 10 October 680 (the 10th of Muharram in 61 AH) by Yazid, along with most of his family and companions, including Husayn's six month old son, Ali al-Asghar, with the women and children taken as prisoners. Anger at Husayn's death was turned into a rallying cry that helped undermine the Umayyad caliphate's legitimacy, and ultimately its overthrow by the Abbasid Revolution.Husayn is highly regarded by Shia Muslims for refusing to pledge allegiance to Yazid, the Umayyad caliph, because he considered the rule of the Umayyads unjust. The annual memorial for him and his children, family and companions occurs during Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, and the day he was martyred is known as Ashura (the tenth day of Muharram, a day of mourning for Shi'i Muslims). Husayn's actions at Karbala fueled later Shia movements,
and the martyrdom of Husayn was decisive in shaping Islamic and Shia history. The timing of the Imam's life and martyrdom were crucial as they were in one of the most challenging periods of the seventh century. During this time, Umayyad oppression was rampant, and the stand of Husain and his followers took became a symbol of resistance inspiring future uprisings against oppressors and injustice. Throughout history, many notable personalities, such as Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi, have cited Husain's stand against oppression as an example for their own fights against injustice.Imam
Imam (; Arabic: إمام imām; plural: أئمة aʼimmah) is an Islamic leadership position.
It is most commonly used as the title of a worship leader of a mosque and Muslim community among Sunni Muslims. In this context, imams may lead Islamic worship services, serve as community leaders, and provide religious guidance.
For Shi'a Muslims, the imam has a more central meaning and role in Islam through the concept of imamah; the term is only applicable to those members of Ahl al-Bayt, the house of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, designated as infallibles.Joe Frazier
Joseph William Frazier (January 12, 1944 – November 7, 2011), nicknamed "Smokin' Joe", was an American professional boxer who competed from 1965 to 1981. He reigned as the undisputed heavyweight champion from 1970 to 1973, and as an amateur won a gold medal at the 1964 Summer Olympics. Frazier was known for his sheer strength, durability, formidable punching power, and relentless pressure fighting style.
Frazier emerged as the top contender in the late 1960s, defeating opponents that included Jerry Quarry, Oscar Bonavena, Buster Mathis, Eddie Machen, Doug Jones, George Chuvalo, and Jimmy Ellis en route to becoming undisputed heavyweight champion in 1970, and followed up by defeating Muhammad Ali by unanimous decision in the highly anticipated Fight of the Century in 1971. Two years later, Frazier lost his title when he was defeated by George Foreman. He fought on, beating Joe Bugner, losing a rematch to Ali and beating Quarry and Ellis again.
Frazier's last world title challenge came in 1975, but he was beaten by Ali in their brutal rubber match, the Thrilla in Manila. He retired in 1976 following a second loss to Foreman. He made a comeback in 1981, fighting just once before retiring. The International Boxing Research Organization rates Frazier among the ten greatest heavyweights of all time. The Ring magazine named him Fighter of the Year in 1967, 1970 and 1971, while the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) named him Fighter of the Year in 1969, 1971 and 1975. In 1999, The Ring magazine ranked him the eighth greatest heavyweight. BoxRec ranks him as the 18th greatest heavyweight of all time. He is an inductee of both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame.
Frazier's style was often compared to that of Henry Armstrong and occasionally Rocky Marciano, dependent on bobbing, weaving and relentless pressure to wear down his opponents. His best known punch was a powerful left hook, which accounted for most of his knockouts. In his career he lost to only two fighters, both former Olympic and world heavyweight champions: twice to Muhammad Ali, and twice to George Foreman.
After retiring, Frazier made cameo appearances in several Hollywood movies, and two episodes of The Simpsons. His son Marvis became a boxer—trained by Frazier himself—but was unable to match his father's success. His daughter Jackie Frazier-Lyde also boxed professionally. Frazier continued to train fighters in his gym in Philadelphia. His attitude towards Ali in later life was largely characterized by bitterness and contempt, interspersed with brief reconciliations.
Frazier was diagnosed with liver cancer in late September 2011 and admitted to hospice care. He died of complications from the disease on November 7, 2011.Mahershala Ali
Mahershalalhashbaz Ali (né Gilmore; born February 16, 1974), known professionally as Mahershala Ali (), is an American actor. Ali began his career as a regular on television series before his breakthrough role as Richard Tyler in the science fiction series The 4400 (2004–2007). His first major film release was in the David Fincher-directed fantasy The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008). He gained wider attention for his supporting role in the Netflix political thriller series House of Cards (2013–2019). He featured as Boggs in the final two films of The Hunger Games film series and as Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes in the Netflix superhero series Marvel's Luke Cage (2016).
For playing a drug dealer in the drama film Moonlight (2016), Ali won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, becoming the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar for acting. He won a second Academy Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor for portraying Don Shirley in the comedy-drama Green Book (2018). This made him the first African American actor to win two Academy Awards in the same category.Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali (; born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.; January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016) was an American professional boxer, activist, and philanthropist. He is nicknamed "The Greatest" and is widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures of the 20th century and as one of the greatest boxers of all time.
Ali was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky and began training as an amateur boxer at age 12. At 18, he won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1960 Summer Olympics, and turned professional later that year. He converted to Islam after 1961, and eventually took the name Muhammad Ali. He won the world heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston in a major upset at age 22 in 1964.
In 1966, Ali refused to be drafted into the military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to the Vietnam War. He was arrested, found guilty of draft evasion, and stripped of his boxing titles. He appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction in 1971, but he had not fought for nearly four years and lost a period of peak performance as an athlete. His actions as a conscientious objector to the war made him an icon for the larger counterculture generation, and he was a high-profile figure of racial pride for African Americans during the civil rights movement.Ali was one of the leading heavyweight boxers of the 20th century, and he remains the only three-time lineal champion of that division. His records were unbeaten for 35 years of beating 21 boxers for the world heavyweight title and winning 14 unified title bouts. Ali thrived in the spotlight at a time when most fighters let their managers do the talking, and he was often provocative and outlandish. He was known for trash-talking, and often free-styled with rhyme schemes and spoken word poetry, anticipating elements of rap and hip hop music.Ali is the only boxer to be named The Ring magazine Fighter of the Year six times. He has been ranked the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time due to his involvement in several historic boxing matches and feuds, and as the greatest athlete of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated, the Sports Personality of the Century by the BBC, and the third greatest athlete of the 20th century by ESPN SportsCentury.Outside the ring, Ali attained success as a musician, where he received two Grammy nominations. He also featured as an actor and writer, releasing two autobiographies. Ali retired from boxing in 1981 and focused on religion and charity. In 1984, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's syndrome, which some reports attribute to boxing-related injuries, though he and his physician disputed this. He made limited public appearances as his condition worsened, and he was cared for by his family until his death on June 3, 2016.Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Muhammad Ali Jinnah (born Mahomedali Jinnahbhai; 25 December 1876 – 11 September 1948) was a lawyer, politician and the founder of Pakistan. Jinnah served as the leader of the All-India Muslim League from 1913 until Pakistan's independence on 14 August 1947, and then as Pakistan's first Governor-General until his death. He is revered in Pakistan as Quaid-i-Azam ("Great Leader") and Baba-i-Qaum, "Father of the Nation"). His birthday is considered a national holiday in Pakistan.Born at Wazir Mansion in Karachi, Jinnah was trained as a barrister at Lincoln's Inn in London. Upon his return to British India, he enrolled at the Bombay High Court, and took an interest in national politics, which eventually replaced his legal practice. Jinnah rose to prominence in the Indian National Congress in the first two decades of the 20th century. In these early years of his political career, Jinnah advocated Hindu–Muslim unity, helping to shape the 1916 Lucknow Pact between the Congress and the All-India Muslim League, in which Jinnah had also become prominent. Jinnah became a key leader in the All India Home Rule League, and proposed a fourteen-point constitutional reform plan to safeguard the political rights of Muslims. In 1920, however, Jinnah resigned from the Congress when it agreed to follow a campaign of satyagraha, which he regarded as political anarchy.
By 1940, Jinnah had come to believe that Muslims of the Indian subcontinent should have their own state. In that year, the Muslim League, led by Jinnah, passed the Lahore Resolution, demanding a separate nation. During the Second World War, the League gained strength while leaders of the Congress were imprisoned, and in the elections held shortly after the war, it won most of the seats reserved for Muslims. Ultimately, the Congress and the Muslim League could not reach a power-sharing formula for the subcontinent to be united as a single state, leading all parties to agree to the independence of a predominantly Hindu India, and for a Muslim-majority state of Pakistan.
As the first Governor-General of Pakistan, Jinnah worked to establish the new nation's government and policies, and to aid the millions of Muslim migrants who had emigrated from the new nation of India to Pakistan after independence, personally supervising the establishment of refugee camps. Jinnah died at age 71 in September 1948, just over a year after Pakistan gained independence from the United Kingdom. He left a deep and respected legacy in Pakistan. Innumerable streets, roads and localities in the world are named after Jinnah. Several universities and public buildings in Pakistan bear Jinnah's name. According to his biographer, Stanley Wolpert, he remains Pakistan's greatest leader.Muhammad Ali of Egypt
Muhammad Ali Pasha al-Mas'ud ibn Agha (Ottoman Turkish: محمد علی پاشا المسعود بن آغا; Arabic: محمد علي باشا / ALA-LC: Muḥammad ‘Alī Bāshā; Albanian: Mehmet Ali Pasha; Turkish: Kavalalı Mehmet Ali Paşa; 4 March 1769 – 2 August 1849) was an Ottoman Albanian commander who rose to the rank of Pasha, and became Wāli, and self-declared Khedive of Egypt and Sudan with the Ottomans' temporary approval. Though not a modern nationalist, he is regarded as the founder of modern Egypt because of the dramatic reforms in the military, economic and cultural spheres that he instituted. He also ruled Levantine territories outside Egypt. The dynasty that he established would rule Lower Egypt, Upper Egypt and Sudan until the 1952 coup d'état led by Muhammad Naguib and Gamal Abdel Nasser.Mustafa Ali (wrestler)
Adeel Alam (born March 28, 1986) is an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name Mustafa Ali. He is currently signed to WWE, in its SmackDown brand. Ali initially performed on the company's 205 Live brand before joining SmackDown in December 2018. Prior to joining WWE, he wrestled on the American independent circuit from 2003 to 2016.Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (Urdu/Punjabi: نصرت فتح علی خان), born Anjum Pervaiz Ali Khan (13 October 1948 – 16 August 1997), was a Pakistani vocalist and musician, primarily a singer of Qawwali, a form of Sufi Islamic devotional music. Widely considered one of the greatest voices ever recorded, he possessed an extraordinary range of vocal abilities and could perform at a high level of intensity for several hours. Extending the 600-year old Qawwali tradition of his family, Khan is widely credited with introducing Qawwali music to international audiences. He is popularly known as "Shahenshah-e-Qawwali", meaning "The Emperor of Qawwali".Born in Faisalabad, Khan had his first public performance at the age of 16, at his father's chelum. He became the head of the family qawwali party in 1971. He was signed by Oriental Star Agencies, Birmingham, England in the early 1980s. Khan went on to release movie scores and albums in Europe, India, Japan, Pakistan and the U.S. He engaged in collaborations and experiments with Western artists, becoming a well-known world music artist. He toured extensively, performing in over 40 countries. In addition to popularising Qawwali music, he also had a big impact on contemporary South Asian popular music, including Pakistani pop, Indi-pop and Bollywood music.Sacha Baron Cohen
Sacha Noam Baron Cohen (born 13 October 1971) is an English actor, comedian, screenwriter, and film producer. He is known for creating and portraying many fictional satirical characters, including Ali G, Borat Sagdiyev, Brüno, Admiral General Aladeen, Erran Morad, and multiple others. Like his idol Peter Sellers, he adopts a variety of accents and guises for his characters and rarely appears out of character.In most of his routines, Baron Cohen's characters interact with unsuspecting people, documentary style, who do not realise they are being set up for comic situations and self-revealing ridicule. His other work includes voicing King Julien XIII in the Madagascar film series (2005–2012) and appearing in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Hugo (2011) and Les Misérables (2012). He made a cameo as a BBC News Anchor in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013). In 2016, he played an English football hooligan brother of an MI6 spy in the comedy film Grimsby, and co-starred as Time in the fantasy sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass. In 2018, Baron Cohen created and starred in Who Is America? for Showtime, his first television project since Da Ali G Show.
Baron Cohen was named Best Newcomer at the 1999 British Comedy Awards for The 11 O'Clock Show, and since then, he has received two BAFTA Awards for Da Ali G Show, several Emmy nominations, a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and a Golden Globe for Best Actor for his work in the feature film Borat. After the release of Borat, Baron Cohen stated that because the public had become too familiar with the characters, he would retire Borat and Ali G. Similarly, after the release of Brüno, Baron Cohen stated he would also retire the title character. At the 2012 British Comedy Awards, he received the Outstanding Achievement Award, accepting the award while reprising his Ali G character. In 2013, he received the BAFTA Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy.Saif Ali Khan
Saif Ali Khan (pronounced [ˈsɛːf əˈli ˈxaːn]; born Sajid Ali Khan on 16 August 1970) is an Indian film actor and producer. The son of actress Sharmila Tagore and cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, Khan made his acting debut in Yash Chopra's unsuccessful drama Parampara (1993), but achieved success with his roles in the romantic drama Yeh Dillagi and the action film Main Khiladi Tu Anari (both 1994). Khan's career prospect declined through much of the 1990s, and his biggest commercial success of the decade came with the ensemble drama Hum Saath-Saath Hain (1999). He rose to prominence with roles in two ensemble comedy-dramas—Dil Chahta Hai (2001) and Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003).
The 2004 romantic comedy Hum Tum proved to be Khan's first success in which he played the sole male lead, earning him the National Film Award for Best Actor, and starring roles in the drama Parineeta and the romantic comedy Salaam Namaste (both 2005) established him as a leading actor in Bollywood. He earned wide critical praise for his portrayal of a manipulative businessman in the 2004 thriller Ek Hasina Thi, an apprentice in the 2006 English film Being Cyrus, a character based on William Shakespeare's antagonist Iago in the 2006 crime film Omkara, and a terrorist in the 2009 thriller Kurbaan. Khan's greatest commercial success came with the 2008 thriller Race and its 2013 sequel, the 2009 romance Love Aaj Kal, and the 2012 romantic comedy Cocktail. He followed it by starring in a series of films that under-performed at the box office, but received praise in 2018 for playing a troubled policeman in the Netflix thriller series Sacred Games.
Khan is the recipient of several accolades, including a National Film Award and six Filmfare Awards, and received the Padma Shri, the fourth highest Indian civilian award, in 2010. He has been noted for his performances in a range of film genres—from crime dramas to thrillers and occasional romances—and his film roles have been credited with contributing to a change in the concept of a Hindi film hero. Khan was married to his first wife, Amrita Singh, for thirteen years, after which he married the actress Kareena Kapoor. He has three children—two with Singh and one with Kapoor. In addition to film acting, Khan is a frequent television presenter, stage show performer and the owner of the production company Illuminati Films.Shia Islam
Shia (; Arabic: شيعة Shīʿah, from Shīʿatu ʿAlī, "adherents of Ali"), also transliterated Shiah and Shiʿah, is a branch of Islam which holds that the Islamic prophet Muhammad designated Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor and the Imam (leader) after him, most notably at the event of Ghadir Khumm, but was prevented from the caliphate as a result of the incident at Saqifah. This view primarily contrasts with that of Sunni Islam, whose adherents believe that Muhammad did not appoint a successor and consider Abu Bakr, who they claim was appointed Caliph through a Shura, i.e. community consensus in Saqifa, to be the first rightful Caliph after the Prophet.Unlike the first three Rashidun caliphs, Ali was from the same clan as Muhammad, Banu Hashim as well as being the prophet's cousin and being the first male to become Muslim.Adherents of Shia Islam are called Shias of Ali, Shias or the Shi'a as a collective or Shi'i or Shi'ite individually. Shia Islam is the second largest branch of Islam: as of the late 2000s, Shia Muslims constituted 10-15%. Twelver Shia (Ithnā'ashariyyah) is the largest branch of Shia Islam, with 2012 estimates saying that 85% of Shias were Twelvers.
Shia Islam is based on the Quran and the message of Muhammad attested in hadith, and on hadith taught by their Imams. Shia consider Ali to have been divinely appointed as the successor to Muhammad, and as the first Imam. The Shia also extend this Imammah doctrine to Muhammad's family, the Ahl al-Bayt ("the people/family of the House"), and some individuals among his descendants, known as Imams, who they believe possess special spiritual and political authority over the community, infallibility and other divinely ordained traits. Although there are many Shia subsects, modern Shia Islam has been divided into three main groupings: Twelvers, Ismailis and Zaidis, with Twelver Shia being the largest and most influential group among Shia.Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (Urdu: ذوالفقار علی بھٹو) (5 January 1928 – 4 April 1979) was a Pakistani politician who served as the 9th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1973 to 1977, and prior to that as the 4th President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973. He was also the founder of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and served as its chairman until his execution in 1979.Educated at Berkeley and Oxford, Bhutto trained as a barrister at Lincoln's Inn. He entered politics as one of President Iskander Mirza's cabinet members, before being assigned several ministries during President Ayub Khan's military rule from 1958. Appointed Foreign Minister in 1963, Bhutto was a proponent of Operation Gibraltar in Kashmir, leading to war with India in 1965. After the Tashkent Agreement ended hostilities, Bhutto fell out with Ayub and was sacked from government. He founded the PPP in 1967, contesting general elections held by President Yahya Khan in 1970. While the Awami League won a majority of seats overall, the PPP won a majority of seats in West Pakistan; the two parties were unable to agree on a new constitution in particular on the issue of Six Point Movement which many in West Pakistan saw as a way to break up the country. Subsequent uprisings led to the secession of Bangladesh, and Pakistan losing the war against Bangladesh-allied India in 1971. Bhutto was handed over the presidency in December 1971 and emergency rule was imposed. When Bhutto set about rebuilding Pakistan, he stated his intention was to "rebuild confidence and rebuild hope for the future".By July 1972, Bhutto had recovered 43,600 prisoners of war and 5,000 square miles of Indian-held territory after signing the Simla Agreement. He strengthened ties with China and Saudi Arabia, recognised Bangladesh, and hosted the second Organisation of the Islamic Conference in Lahore in 1974. Domestically, Bhutto's reign saw parliament unanimously approve a new constitution in 1973, upon which he appointed Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry President and switched to the newly empowered office of Prime Minister. He also played an integral role in initiating the country's nuclear programme. However, Bhutto's nationalisation of much of Pakistan's fledgling industries, healthcare, and educational institutions led to economic stagnation. After dissolving provincial feudal governments in Balochistan was met with unrest, Bhutto also ordered an army operation in the province in 1973, causing thousands of civilian casualties.Despite civil disorder, the PPP won parliamentary elections in 1977 by a wide margin. However, the opposition alleged widespread vote rigging, and violence escalated across the country. On 5 July that same year, Bhutto was deposed by his appointed army chief General Zia-ul-Haq in a military coup before being controversially tried and executed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 1979 for authorising the murder of a political opponent. While Bhutto remains a contentious figure in Pakistan's history, his party, the PPP, remains among Pakistan's largest, his daughter Benazir Bhutto was twice elected Prime Minister, and his son-in-law and Benazir's husband, Asif Ali Zardari, served as President.
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