From the 19th of Ramadan till the 21st we remember Ali ibn Abi Talib, the cousin of the Prophet (saws) as it was in these nights that he was struck whilst in the mosque prostrating to his Lord. Ali enjoys a very high status in the eyes of Allah. Firstly, his birth was a unique one. Ali was born in the Kaaba and the evidence for this is present even today. Those of you who have had the great honour of performing the Hajj pilgrimage will be aware of the mark in the corner of the Kaaba, which represents the birth place of Ali.
Secondly, Ali is one of the bravest men in the history of the Islam. On the night of Hijra, when the Quraysh had planned to kill our Prophet (saws) during the darkness of the night, it was Ali who slept in the bed of the Prophet at his request to impersonate him, buying the Prophet time to emigrate to Medina, and Ali did so without hesitation because he knew it ensured the Prophet’s safety and the continual propagation of Islam.
Thirdly and finally, in the Battle of Khayber, the enemy had built seven strong forts in Khayber to protect themselves from attack. Two of these seven forts were named Waith and Sulaalim and the Muslims saw that these forts were heavily guarded and as a result 10 days had passed and the Muslims found no success in conquering them despite their many attempts. The Prophet eventually decided to task Ali to win control of these forts for the Muslims. On that day, Ali faced the best warriors the opposition had at their disposal and beat them both. After the two one-on-one combats, Ali found himself outnumbered and the enemies thus succeeded in breaking his shield. In an extraordinary turn of events Ali ripped the gates of Khayber from its hinges and commenced to use it as a shield. Eventually all forts were at the hands of the Muslims, thanks to Ali. It’s worth noting that when Ali finally threw the shield away, a combination of TEN Muslims could not lift it, thus also confirming Ali as one of the strongest Muslims history has seen.
By no means is the above an exhausted list of the merits of Ali but hopefully this will give one an insight and understanding as to the greatness of the man and the reason why the Prophet likened him to what Harun was to Musa, with the only difference being there would be no Prophet after RasulAllah (as). Here we present a selection of 10 hadiths of Ali ibn Abi Talib, which illustrate another merit of Ali, his intelligence and wisdom:
1. On religion
“Learn your religion, do not inherit it”
2. On meeting people
“Meet people in such a manner that if you die they should weep for you and if you live they should long for you.”
3. On power
“When you gain power over your adversary pardon him by way of thanks for being able to overpower him.”
4. On brotherhood
“The most helpless of all men is he who cannot find a few brothers during his life, but still more helpless is he who finds such a brother but loses him.”
5. On atonement for sins
“Rendering relief to the grief-stricken and providing comfort in hardship are among the means of atonement for great sins.”
6. On the heart
“Whenever a person conceals a thing in his heart it manifests itself through unintentional words from his tongue and (in) the expressions of his face.”
7. On endurace
“Endurance has four aspects: eagerness, fear, abstention (from the world) and anticipation (of death). So, whoever is eager for Paradise will ignore the passions; whoever fears the Fire (of Hell) will refrain from prohibited acts; whoever abstains from the world takes hardships lightly; and whoever anticipates death will hasten towards good deeds.”
8. On good and evil
“The doer of good is better than the good itself, and the doer of evil is worse than the evil itself.”
9. On speaking ill of others
“If someone is quick in saying what they dislike about people, they speak about him that of which they have no knowledge.”
10. On the tongue
“The tongue of the wise man is behind his heart, and the heart of the fool is behind his tongue.”