By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi
Misconceptions & fabrications
The two personalities in history with the most fabrications, alterations and misconceptions against them are the Holy Prophet of Islam Mohammad (P.B.U.H) and his rightful successor Ali Ibn Abi Talib (P.B.U.H). As discussed in previous articles the notion of fabricating misconceptions and wrong information about the Prophet is rationally understood, as any tyrant that uses the name and slogan of Islam must do the following:
• Distort the image of Prophet Mohammad.
• Fabricate brutal and barbaric actions and decisions carried by the Prophet to legitimize crimes.
• Fabricate supressing and crushing freedom of expression must be linked to the Prophet’s tradition, by fabricating narrations and stories about him doing the same thing.
Therefore, witnessing the barbarism and brutality of today’s self-proclaimed Islamic states and terrorist organizations is linked to the distorted image of Prophet Mohammad, portrayed by tyrants of Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties. However, distorting the image of Imam Ali was another method for altering the image and reputation of Prophet Mohammad as well, since history states that Ali was raised, nurtured and taught solely by Prophet Mohammad. Ultimately, distorting the image of Ali Ibn Abi Talib would translates to failure for Prophet Mohammad as a care-taker, teacher and a father in-law.
In addition, to targeting the Prophet of Islam by taking aim at Imam Ali, tyrants and their aides have been able to accomplish many goals that vary from politically motivated to ideologically, socially, religiously and even military ones. Therefore, the hazy vision surrounding the personality of Imam Ali would never be worthy of assuming the post of Caliphate, or title of most knowledgeable man after the prophet and other attributes granted to Ali by the prophet himself. The hostility toward Ali Ibn Abi Talib, his household and followers is undeniable, where slaughtering, displacement and persecution was the usual end of them. Therefore, it would be beneficial to examine some of the most known and widespread misconceptions about Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (P.B.U.H) that are completely false and their falsehood can be proven by an overwhelming consensus in Islamic tradition.
The birth of Imam Ali (P.B.U.H)
According to unanimity of scholars, the birth of Imam Ali happened on the 13th day of Rajab (Lunar Calendar) on the year 601 AD. However, the miraculous fact about the birth of Imam Ali according to historians is the events surrounding the birth time, which includes the Ka’ba in the holy city of Mecca. Upon the time of Ali’s birth, once his mother (Fatima Bint Assad) began to have contractions, she approached the house of God (the Ka’ba) and ask for the aid of almighty. Witnesses’ testimonies indicate, the wall burst open and Fatima entered the house of God, then the wall came back together and anyone attempting to open the door failed to do so. Three days later, Fatima Bint Assad came out of the Ka’ba from the same split in the wall after it happened again, while carrying a child and that child was name Ali by his father Abi Talib.
Although during the Umayyad era, many of Ali’s attributes and well characters were denied, challenged and distorted, yet the consensus among Islamic scholars about the birth of Imam Ali inside the house of God is undeniable. Here are some of the most respected and known Sunni sources that affirm the news of Ali’s birth inside the Ka’ba.
• Al-Mustadrak Ala Al-Sahihain by: Al-Hakim Al-Nisaburi
• Kefayat Al-Athar by: Al-Kanji Al-Shafi’ie
• Al-Tafsir Al-Kabir by: Mohammad Al-Alusi
• Moruj Al-Thahab by: Al-Masoodi
• Tathkerat Khawas Al-Umma by: Sibt Ibn Al-Jozi
• Al-Manaqib by: Mohammad Saleh Al-Tirmidhi
Note: all of these famous Sunni scholars have affirmed the authenticity of any tradition that states Ali Ibn Abi Talib was born in the Ka’ba. There are tens of others sources, yet the mentioned sources in this article shall be sufficient.
The title: Commander of the Faithful
Among the most famous titles allocated to Imam Ali (P.B.U.H), one title is very special and outstanding more than others, yet it was the first one taken from him and used by every tyrant that ruled the Islamic Empire. The title is ‘Commander of the Faithful’. This title holds a great deal of importance, as it grants the bearer a religious legitimacy alongside his political authority. Although there are numerous narrations that indicate this title was solely granted to Imam Ali by the holy Prophet, yet as mentioned all Caliphs and self-proclaimed commanders of the Islamic Empire used this title and called themselves: Commander of the faithful. The legitimacy of this title for Imam Ali has been confirmed by several Shi’i and Sunni sources, where either by direct testimony this fact is stated, or by giving a clear indication the prophet identifies Ali as Commander of the Faithful.
• Kitab Al-Kafi by: Al-Kulayni (Shi’i source)
• Al-Amali by: Sheikh Al-Sadooq (Shi’i source)
• Al-Mustarshid by: Al-Tabari (Sunni source)
• Helyat Al-Awlia’a by: Al-Hafidh Al-Isfahani (Sunni source)
• Tarikh Ibn Asaker by: Ibn Asaker (Sunni source)
• Al-Mujam Al-Sagheer by: Al-Tabarani (Sunni source)
There are tens of other sources that affirm this notion and allocation of the title to Ali Ibn Abi Talib by the Holy Prophet.
To be continued.