Ali ibn Abi Talib

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Ali ibn Abi Talib
Born 601
Mecca
Died 661
Kufa
Occupation 4th Caliph
Term 656-661
Predecessor Uthmaan
Successor Mu'awiyah
Spouse Fatimah bint Muhammad
Umamah bint Zainab
Umma al-Banin
Leila bint Masoud
Asma bint Umays
Khawlah bint Ja'afar
al-Sahba' bint Rabi'ah
Children al-Hasan
al-Husayn
Zaynab
Umm Kulthum
Muhsin
Muhammad
Abbas
Ruqaya
Abdullah
Hilal
'Awn
Parents Abu Talib ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib (father)
Fatimah bint Asad (mother)
Muhammad ibn Abdullah (cousin)

Ali ibn Abi Talib (عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب) was Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, and was the fourth of the "four rightly guided caliphs". The Shia, emphasizing his status as a member of the prophet's family or "household" (ahl al-bayt), consider him the first Imam and rightful successor to Muhammad.

The First Fitna (civil war)

Ali was one of the first of Muhammad's contemporaries to accept Islam, had great repute amongst Muhammad's followers, but was ultimately assassinated by a group called the Kharijites during the civil war that erupted upon his ascension to the seat of the caliph. This group of Kharijites were not from among Ali's primary opposition as a caliph (this being Mu'awiyah's supporters), but were rather defectors who had once sided with Ali against Mu'awiyah.

Hadiths and traditions descriptive of and attributed to Ali are among the most contested between Sunni and Shi'ite sources, as both had and continue to have political and theological stake in the matter.

Ali's view on the Ahl al-Bayt

Ibrahim al-Taimi reported on the authority of his father: 'Ali b. Abu Talib (Allah be pleased with him) addressed us and said: He who thinks that we (the members of the Prophet's family) read anything else besides the Book of Allah and this Sahifa (and he said that Sahifa was tied to the scabbard of the sword) tells a lie. (This Sahifa) contains (problems) pertaining to the ages of the camels and (the recompense) of the injuries, and it also records the words of the Prophet (ﷺ): Medina is a sacred territory from 'Ayr to Thaur (it is most probably Uhud). He who innovates (an act or practice) or gives protection to an innovator, there is a curse of Allah and that of His angels and that of the whole humanity upon him. Allah will not accept from him (as a recompense) any obligatory act or supererogatory act, and the responsibility of the Muslims is a joint responsibility; even the lowest in rank can undertake the responsibility (on behalf of others), and he who claims anyone else as his father besides his own father or makes one his ally other than the one (who freed him), there is a curse of Allah. that of His angels and that of the whole of mankind upon him. Allah will not accept the obligatory act of the supererogatery act (as a recompense) from him.

Sharia rulings of Ali

Narrated 'Ikrimah: That Ali burnt some people who apostasized from Islam. This news reached Ibn 'Abbas, so he (Ibn 'Abbas) said: "If it were me I would have killed them according to the statement of Messenger of Allah. The Messenger of Allah said: 'Whoever changes his religion then kill him.' And I would not have burned them because the Messenger of Allah said: 'Do not punish with the punishment of Allah.' So this reached 'Ali, and he said: "Ibn 'Abbas has told the truth." (Sahih)
It was narrated from Anas that: 'Ali came to some people of Az-Zutt, who worshipped idols, and burned them. Ibn 'Abbas said: "But the Messenger of Allah [SAW] said: 'Whoever changes his religion, kill him.'" (Sahih)

Jihad Sermon

Beware! I called you (insistently) to fight these people night and day, secretly and openly and exhorted you to attack them before they attacked you, because by Allah, no people have been attacked in the hearts of their houses but they suffered disgrace; but you put it off to others and forsook it till destruction befell you and your cities were occupied.

Battle of Nahrawan

When Amir al-mu'minin showed his intention to fight the Kharijites, he was told that they had crossed the bridge of Nahrawan and gone over to the other side. Amir al-mu'minin said: "Their falling place is on this side of the river. By Allah, not even ten of them will survive while from your side not even ten will be killed."