Martyrdom of Imam Ali (a.s)
On the 19th of Ramadan month of the year 40 A.H, Imam Ali came to the mosque in Kufa for his morning prayers. Imam Ali (pbuh) gave the call for prayer (Azaan) and became engaged in leading the congregation. Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam pretending to pray, stood just behind Imam Ali (pbuh), and when Imam Ali (pbuh) was in a state of prostration, Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam dealt a heavy stroke with his sword, inflicting a deep wound on Imam Ali’s (pbuh) head.
The Holy Prophet (pbuh) had prophesied the assassination of Imam Ali (pbuh) and his issues. Regarding Imam Ali (pbuh) he (pbuh) had said, “O Ali! I see before my eyes thy beard dyed with the blood of thy forehead.”
They assassinated Imam Ali (pbuh) at his finest time – the hour of standing before Allah, the Exalted, during a prayer of submission, in the best of days, while fasting during the month of Ramadan;during the most glorious Islamic duties, while preparing to wage jihad, and in the highest and most pure divine places, the Mosque of Kufa.
May joy be to Amir al-Muminin Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (pbuh) and a blessed afterlife!
The crime of assassinating Imam Ali (pbuh) remains one of the most cruel, brutal and hideous, because it was not committed against one man, but against the whole rational Islamic leadership.
The history of mankind has witnessed many leaders over the ages. Many of these leaders achieved leadership through might or inheritance and some were chosen as leaders because of certain outstanding qualities that they possessed. Among the latter group there have also emerged some leaders whose works and contribution to humanity cannot be limited to any particular time or place; and their life-styles, their works and the sayings of such heroes continue to inspire and motivate people, generation after generation.
Amir al-Muminin, Ali ibn Abu Talib is a unique leader who stands out among all other leaders. Besides Shi”as who believe in his Imamate and Vilayat, many non-Muslims have praised his personality and unique qualities and made attempts to highlight certain aspects of the personality of this everlasting leader of ages and have written hundreds of books and research papers about him.
Imam Ali (A.S.) was brought up by the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and under his guardianship and was elevated to such a stage that it would be no exaggeration to say that he is Islam’s gift to the world of humanity.
Imam Ali’s (A.S.) life was not the repetition of other people”s lives, rather his life shed light on certain aspects of human life which had so far been undiscovered. He was born in Allah”s House (Ka'aba) and was martyred in Allah”s house (mosque) and his main principle throughout his life was winning Allah”s Satisfaction. Hence, one would not be wrong to say that any research on Imam Ali”s (A.S.) life and personality would highlight an aspect of his life that.
By assassinating Imam Ali (pbuh), they actually aimed at assassinating the message, the history, the culture and the nation of Muslims embodied in the person of Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (pbuh). In doing so, the Islamic nation lost its guide of progress, and at the most wondrous opportunity in its life after the Holy Prophet (pbuh).
Imam Ali (pbuh) suffered from his wound for three days, and He (pbuh) passed away on 21st of the month of Ramadan, at an age of 63 years.
During these three days, he (pbuh) entrusted his son, Imam Hassan (pbuh) with the Imamate of guiding the nation ideologically and socially. During those three days, as during all his life, he never ceased remembering Allah, praising Him, and accepting Him and His ordinance.
Likewise, he continued giving pieces of advice and directions leading to good, pointing to the right, defining the way to guidance, explaining the course for deliverance, calling for the observance of Allah’s ordinances, and warning against following one’s ill desires and set-backs from not carrying out the divine message.
Such was the heroic end of this great man! The loss to the Mission and the nation was the gravest after the loss of the Holy Prophet (pbuh).
The following is one piece of advice offered to his sons, Imam Hasan (pbuh) and Imam Hussain (pbuh), as well as to his people, the nation and coming generations:
“I advise you to fear Allah, and not to run after (the pleasure of) the world, even if it may run after you. Do not be sorry for anything from it which you have been denied. Say the truth and act for (Allah”s) reward. Be an enemy of the oppressor, and be a helper of the oppressed.”
“I advise you, my children, my household and all those who may receive my message, to fear Allah, to arrange your affairs well, to maintain good relations among yourselves, for I have heard your grandfather (pbuh) saying: “Good relations are better than prayer and fasting in general.”
“(Fear) Allah when handling matters of orphans. Do not let them starve, nor allow them to be lost as long as you are there.”
“(Fear) Allah in respect to your neighbors, for they were the trust of your Prophet (pbuh). He went on asking us to take care of them, so much that we thought he would make them heirs (of our heritage).”
“(Fear) Allah in respect to the Holy Quran, (take care that) no one may excel you in following its tenets.”
“(Fear) Allah in respect to prayer, as it is the pillar of your religion.”
“(Fear) Allah in respect to your Lord’s House (Kaaba), do not forsake it so long as you live, because if you do you will not be looked upon with respect.”
“(Fear) Allah in respect to Jihad, fight with your wealth, your lives and your tongues, in the way of Allah.”
“Have mutual liaison and give-and-take. Beware of turning your faces from, and of renouncing, one another. Do not abandon bidding good and forbidding evil, lest vicious people may overrule you, and then in such a case, your invocations will not be responded to (by Allah).”
Then he said: “O, Banu Abdul Muttalib, certainly I do not want you to wade through the blood of the Muslims, crying: Amir al-Muminin was murdered. You certainly kill for me no one but my killer.”
“Wait till I die by this stroke of him (Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam), then strike a single stroke against him, and do not disfigure his body, for I had heard the Holy Prophet (pbuh) saying: “Avoid mayhem even with a rabid dog.””
By the death of Imam Ali (pbuh) the nation lost:
A heroism that had become the song of the time;
A courageous history that has never dreamt of its like;
A wisdom no one can fathom, save Allah;
A purity, the like of which was only in the prophets;
An abstinence from the pleasures of life that could be attained only by the nearest to Allah;
An eloquence such as to be the echo of Book; and
A jurisprudence, and a thorough knowledge of the laws of religion, that made him the “gateway of the city” of the Prophet”s knowledge, and the authority to whom the Islamic nation referred in all its affairs.
Peace be upon Amir al-Muminin the day he was born, the day he was martyred on his altar, and the day he shall be raised alive.
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds.