Ali ibn abi Talib

Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (Arabic: علي بن أبي طالب, Transliteration: ʿAlī ibn Abī ṬālibArabic pronunciation: [ʕæliː ibn ʔæbiː t̪ˤæːlib]; 13th Rajab, 24 BH – 21stRamaḍān, 40 AH; approximately October 23, 598 or 600 or March 17, 599 – January 27, 661) was the cousin and son-in-law of Islamic prophet Muhammad, ruling over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661. A son of Abu Talib, Ali was also the first male convert to Islam. Ali is considered the fourth and final of the Rashidun (rightly guided Caliphs).

His father was Abu Talib and his mother was Fatima bint Asad, but he was raised in the household of Muhammad, who himself was raised by Abu Talib, Muhammad’s uncle, and Ali’s father. When Muhammad reported receiving a divine revelation, Ali was the first male to accept his message, dedicating his life to the cause of Islam.

Ali migrated to Medina shortly after Muhammad did. Once there Muhammad told Ali that God had ordered Muhammad to give his daughter, Fatimah, to Ali in marriage. For the ten years that Muhammad led the community in Medina, Ali was extremely active in his service, leading parties of warriors in battles, and carrying messages and orders. Ali took part in the early caravan raids from Mecca and later in almost all the battles fought by the nascent Muslim community.

Ali was appointed Caliph by the Companions of Muhammad (the Sahaba) in Medina after the assassination of the third caliph, Uthman (Usman) ibn Affan. He encountered defiance and civil war during his reign. In 661, Ali was attacked one morning while worshipping in the mosque of Kufa, and died a few days later.

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. Ali retains his stature as an authority on Quranic exegesis, Islamic jurisprudence and religious thought.


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