86 Facts About Ali

1.

Ali helped Muhammad emigrate on the night of Laylat al-Mabit, by sleeping in his place.

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2.

Ali defeated the first group in the Battle of the Camel; but in the end, the Battle of Siffin with Mu'awiya was militarily ineffective, and led to an arbitration which ended politically against him.

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3.

Ali was eventually killed in the mosque of Kufa by the sword of one of the Kharijites, Ibn Muljam Moradi, and was buried outside the city of Kufa.

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4.

Ali was Muhammad's uncle and raised him after his parents died.

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5.

Ali's mother, Fatimah bint Asad, belonged to the Banu Hashim; it is said that this made Ali a descendant of Ishmael, the firstborn son of Abraham.

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6.

Ali was one of the first believers, either the second or the third, a point of contention among Shia and Sunni Muslims.

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7.

None is said to have responded, except Ali, who was thirteen years old at the time, according to Momen.

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8.

In 622, which later marked the beginning of the Islamic calendar, Muhammad was informed of an assassination plot by the Meccan elites and it was Ali who is said to have slept in Muhammad's bed instead of him in order to frustrate the assassins' plan and facilitate Muhammad's safe escape to Yathrib.

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9.

Ali was 22 or 23 at the time, according to Nasr and Afsaruddin.

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10.

Ali designated Ali as one of the scribes tasked with committing the Qur'an to writing.

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11.

In 628, Ali wrote down the terms of the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, the peace treaty between Muhammad and the Quraysh.

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12.

In 630, following the revelation of the at-Tawbah, Muhammad sent Abu Bakr to Mecca to give an ultimatum to disbelievers but then dispatched Ali to take over this responsibility after the intervention of Gabriel, according to Shia and some Sunni accounts.

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13.

In 631, Ali was sent to Yemen to spread the teachings of Islam.

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14.

At the request of Muhammad, Ali is said to have ensured that the Conquest of Mecca was bloodless and later rid Kaaba of its idols.

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15.

Ali accompanied Muhammad in nearly all of his military expeditions except the Battle of Tabuk, during which he was left behind in charge of Medina.

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16.

Ali commanded the expeditions to Fadak and Yemen in the absence of Muhammad.

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17.

Ali vigorously defended Muhammad in the difficult Battle of Uhud and the Battle of Hunayn.

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18.

Together with Zubayr, Ali is said to have overseen the killing of the Banu Qurayza men for treachery in 5 AH, though the historicity of this incident has been disputed.

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19.

Ali halted the caravan at Ghadir Khumm and addressed the pilgrims after the congregational prayer.

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20.

Some six months after Muhammad's death, Ali pledged his allegiance to Abu Bakr when his wife, Fatima, died.

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21.

In particular, Shia and some early Sunni sources allege a final and more violent raid to secure Ali's oath, led by Umar, in which Fatima suffered injuries that shortly led to her miscarriage and death.

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22.

Al-Tabari writes that Ali held the lieutenancy of Madina during Umar's expedition to Syria and Palestine.

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23.

Ali returned Muhammad's estates in Medina to Ali and Muhammad's uncle, Abbas, though Fadak and Khayber remained as state property under Umar's control.

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24.

Ali was critical of Uthman's rule, alongside other senior companions, such as Talha.

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25.

Ali opposed Uthman for changing the prayer ritual, and for declaring that he would take whatever he needed from the money.

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26.

Ali frequently acted as a mediator between the rebels and Uthman during the uprising.

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27.

Al-Tabari writes that Ali attempted to detach himself from the besiegers of Uthman's residence as soon as circumstances allowed him.

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28.

Later, Ali said that any pledge should be made publicly in the mosque.

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29.

Since the majority of Ali's subjects were nomads and peasants, he was concerned with agriculture.

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30.

Ali's supporters expelled him from Kufa, and joined 6 to 12 thousand people to Ali's army.

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31.

Aisha was not harmed; Ali treated her with respect and sent her to Medina under his care.

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32.

Ali spared Aisha's army and released them after taking allegiance.

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33.

Ali prevented his troops from seizing their property as spoils of war, prevented women and children from being enslaved, which led the extremists of his corps to accuse him of apostasy.

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34.

Ali managed to persuade Zubair to leave the battle by reminding him of Muhammad's words about himself.

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35.

Ali entered Basra and distributed the money he found in the treasury equally among his supporters.

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36.

Immediately after Battle of the Camel, Ali turned to the Levant, where Mu'awiya was the governor.

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37.

Ali wrote a letter to him but he delayed responding, During which he prepared for battle with Ali.

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38.

Ali then moved his armies north and the two sides encamped at Siffin for more than one hundred days, most of the time being spent in negotiations which was on vain.

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39.

Ali warned his troops that Mu'awiya and Amr were not men of religion and Qur'an and that it was a deception, but many of could not refuse the call to the Qur'an, some of them even threatened Ali that if he continued the war, they would hand him over to the enemy.

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40.

Ali was forced to accept a ceasefire and consequently the arbitration of the Qur'an, according which each side were to "choose a representative to arbitrate the conflict in accordance with the Book of God".

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41.

Hence, the very same people who had forced Ali into the ceasefire, broke away from him, and became known as the KharijitesThey asserted that according to Qur'an, the rebel, should be fought and overcome; and since there is such an explicit verdict in Qur'an, leaving the case to judgment of human was a sin.

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42.

Ali made a visit to the camp and managed to reconcile with them.

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43.

Ali refused to accept this state of affairs and found himself technically in breach of his pledge to abide by the arbitration.

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44.

Ali protested that it was contrary to the Qur'an and the Sunnah and hence not binding.

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45.

Ali asked Kharigites to hand over the killers, but they asserted that they killed together; and that it was permissible to shed the blood of Ali's followers.

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46.

Ali then handed over the flag of amnesty to Abu Ayyub al-Ansari and announced that whoever goes to that flag, and whoever leaves Nahrawan, and has not committed a murder, is safe.

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47.

Finally, Ali waited for the Kharijites to start the battle, and then attacked the remnants of their army with an army of about fourteen thousand men.

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48.

Between 7 and 13 members of Ali's army were killed, while almost all Kharijites who drew their swords were killed and wounded.

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49.

Ali was faced with armed uprisings by the remnants of the Kharijites, as well as opposition in eastern provinces.

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50.

However, as the extent of the rampage by Muawiya's forces became known to the public, it appears that Ali finally found sufficient support for a renewed offensive against Muawiya, set to commence in late winter 661.

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51.

Ali was assassinated at the age of 62 or 63 by a Kharijite, ibn Muljam, who wanted revenge for the Battle of Nahrawan.

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52.

Ali had fourteen sons and nineteen daughters from nine wives and several concubines, among them Hasan, Husayn and Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah played a historical role, and only five of them left descendants.

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53.

Ali had four children from Muhammad's youngest daughter, Fatima: Hasan, Husayn, Zaynab and Umm Kulthum.

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54.

Ali's other well-known sons were Abbas, born to Umm al-Banin, and Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah, from a freed slave girl named Khawla al-Hanafiyya.

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55.

Ali rebelled against Mu'awiya's son, Yazid, in 680 AD and was killed in the battle of Karbala with his companions.

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56.

Ali's dynasty considered the leadership of the Muslims to be limited to the Ahl al-Bayt and carried out several uprisings against rulers at different times.

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57.

Later, Ali's family revolted against the Abbasids, the most important of which were the uprising of Shahid Fakh and the uprising of Muhammad al-Nafs al-Zakiyya.

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58.

Mus'haf of Ali is said to be a copy of the Qur'an compiled by Ali, as one of the first scribes of the revelations.

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59.

Shia sources write that, after Muhammad's death, Ali offered this codex for official use but was turned down.

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60.

Ali was one of the main reciters of the Qur'an, and a recitation of him has survived, which, according to some scholars, is the same as the recitation of Hafs that has long been the standard version of the Qur'an.

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61.

Kitab Ali is often linked to al-Jafr, which, in Shia belief, is said to contain esoteric teachings for Muhammad's household, dictated to Ali by Muhammad.

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62.

Kitab al-Diyat on Islamic law, attributed to Ali, contains instructions for calculating financial compensation for victims and is quoted in its entirety in Man La Yahduruhu al-Faqih, among others.

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63.

Ali is the first transmitter of several hundred hadiths, attributed to Muhammad, which have been compiled in different works under the title of Musnad Ali, often as part of larger collections of hadith, such as Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, a canonical Sunni source.

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64.

In person, according to Veccia Vaglieri, Ali is represented as bald, heavy built, short-legged, with broad shoulders, a hairy body, a long white beard, and affected by eye inflammation.

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65.

Shia accounts about the appearance of Ali are markedly different from Veccia Vaglieri's description and are said to better match his reputation as a capable warrior.

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66.

Ali [Ali] was amongst us as one of us, of gentle disposition, intense humility, leading with a light touch, even though we were in awe of him with the kind of awe that a bound prisoner has before one who holds a sword over his head.

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67.

Accounts about Ali are sometimes tendentious, Veccia Vaglieri asserts, because the conflicts in which he was involved were perpetuated for centuries in polemical sectarian writings.

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68.

However, neither Lammens nor Caetani, according to Veccia Vaglieri, took into consideration Ali's widely reported asceticism and piety, and their impact on his policies.

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69.

Veccia Vaglieri notes that Ali fought against those whom he perceived as erring Muslims as a matter of duty, in order to uphold Islam.

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70.

In victory, Ali was said to have been magnanimous, risking the protests of some of his supporters to prevent the enslavement of women and children.

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71.

Ali showed his grief, wept for the dead, and even prayed over his enemies.

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72.

Tabatabai similarly writes that the rule of Ali was based more on righteousness than political opportunism, as evidenced by his insistence on removing those governors whom he viewed as corrupt, including Mu'awiya.

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73.

Ali retains his stature as an authority on Qur'anic exegesis and Islamic jurisprudence, and is regarded as a founding figure for Arabic rhetoric and grammar.

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74.

Ali has been credited with establishing the authentic style of Qur'anic recitation, and is said to have heavily influenced the first generation of Qur'anic commentators.

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75.

Ali is central to mystical traditions within Islam, such as Sufism, and fulfills a high political and spiritual role in Shia and Sunni schools of thought.

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76.

In Muslim culture, Madelung writes, Ali is respected for his courage, honesty, unbending devotion to Islam, magnanimity, and equal treatment of all Muslims.

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77.

Ali is remembered, according to Jones, as a model of uncorrupted socio-political and religious righteousness.

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78.

Esposito further suggests that Ali still remains an archetype for political activism against social injustice.

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79.

Ali is remembered as a gifted orator though Veccia Vaglieri does not extend this praise to the poems attributed to Ali.

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80.

Ali is credited by some, such as Nasr and Shah-Kazemi, as the founder of Islamic theology, and his words are said to contain the first rational proofs among Muslims of the Unity of God.

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81.

In Shia Islam, Ali is considered the first Imam and the belief in his rightful succession to Muhammad is an article of faith among Shia Muslims, who accept the superiority of Ali over the rest of companions and his designation by Muhammad as successor.

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82.

Unlike Muhammad Ali was not the recipient of a divine revelation, though he is believed to have been guided by divine inspiration in Shia theology.

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83.

Ali is the spiritual head of some Sufi movements and nearly all Sufi orders trace their lineage to Muhammad through him, an exception being Naqshbandis, who reach Muhammad through Abu Bakr.

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84.

In Sufism, Ali is regarded as the founder of Jafr, the occult science of the symbolic significance of the Arabic alphabet letters.

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85.

The primary sources for scholarship on the life of Ali are the Qur'an and hadiths, as well as other texts of early Islamic history.

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86.

Since the character of Ali is of religious, political, jurisprudential, and spiritual importance to Muslims, his life has been analyzed and interpreted in various ways.

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