Ali (PBUH), the Unique Emir

Ali (PBUH), the Unique Emir

Amir al-Mu’minin (the commander of the faithful), Ali ibn Abi Talib’s (PBUH) characteristics are so many to be contained in a detailed book, so we choose and represent twelve of them; hoping that Shias and his followers exalt themselves and be thankful to the Generous Lord because of having such an inimitable master.

  1. a) Collecting the reward of all believers’ deeds

The reward of visiting Imam Ali (PBUH) during his life time and after his demise, is more than visiting other Imams. Because he, as the father and the first heir, is the other Imams’ instructor; hence, he who goes on a pilgrimage to his Shrine will collect rewards of other Imams and their Shias’ deeds.

Imam Sadiq (PBUH) said to a person who hadn’t gone to Amir al-Mu’minin’s (PBUH) shrine: “You did a bad thing.  I wouldn’t look at you if you were not our Shia. Why didn’t you visit the person whom God and His angels, Prophets and believers visit?”

That person told: “May my soul be ransomed for you, I wasn’t aware of that.” Then the Imam said:

“Be aware that Amir al-Mu’minin (PBUH) is far superior to other Imams for Allah and the rewards of their deeds are considered for him. While other Imams gain superiority for their own deeds.” [1]

  1. b) Awareness of the past and present religions’ news

Although Ahl-al Bayt are knowledgeable and erudite, this utterance was never heard from anyone but Imam Ali (PBUH): “Saluni”-ask me. [2]

It is quoted that Imam Ali (PBUH) that he said: “If a throne [of governance and judgment] is placed for me to sit there and judge people, I can judge among the followers of the Torah according to the Torah, among the followers of the Bible according to the Bible, among the followers of Zabur according to the Zabur, and among the followers of Furqan (the other name of The Quran) according to the Quran.

By Allah! I know that every single verse that has been revealed during night or day, at desert or mountain, on land or sea, has been revealed on which day and at what time and about whom. There is not a man from Quraysh but his place in fire or light is specified in the Book [and I know it].” [3]

  1. c) Radd al-Shams (returning of the Sun)

Radd al-Shams is a rare and supernatural event, that only has happened to Amir al-Mu’minin Ali (PBUH) and it means that the sun moved backward in its direction.

This event happened to Imam Ali (PBUH) twice. Once when the Prophet (PBUH) was alive and once during Imam Ali’s (PBUH) voyage to Babel after the demise of the Prophet (PBUH).

The first time Prophet’s (PBUH) head was on Imam Ali’s (PBUH) lap while the Prophet (PBUH) was receiving revelation and Imam Ali (PBUH) hadn’t said his afternoon prayer till the sun set. Prophet (PBUH) said: “O Lord, Ali (PBUH) was obeying Allah and His Messenger, return the sun to its pervious place for the sake of Ali (PBUH) (so that he can say his afternoon prayer).” The narrator says: “I saw the sun rose after it had set.” [4]

The second time Imam Ali (PBUH) and his companions were on a voyage to Babel and they were crossing the Euphrates River while the sun set. Then by Amir al-Mu’minin’s (PBUH) prayer, the sun returned to its position in the sky at noon with a tremendous sound and the Imam and his companions said their prayers and then it returned to the previous position. [5]

  1. d) Birth in the Kaaba

Imam Sadiq (PBUH) quotes from his holy fathers: “‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib (Imam Ali’s (PBUH) uncle) and Nufel ibn Qa’anab were sitting in front of the Kaaba while Fatima bint Assad came and stood there and her pains of childbirth started and she prayed.

They say: “We saw the Kaaba crack from behind and Fatima entered there. And disappeared from our sights. The door was closed too. Then the cracks came together and stuck. We went to open the door so that women could get inside, but we failed. We understood it was done by God. Fatima stayed inside the Kaaba for three days and people kept talking about her everywhere. After three days, the same place cracked and Fatima came out. And Ali (PBUH) were in her arms. And she said: ‘I was eating heavenly fruits in these three days.’” [6]

  1. e) Being named as Amir al-Mu’minin

Zeyd ibn Jahm Helali says: I heard Imam Sadiq (PBUH) say:

“When the Wilaya (Succession) of Ali (PBUH) was revealed the Prophet (PBUH) asked his companions to greet Ali (PBUH) by the title of “Amir al-Mu’minin”. ‘Oh Zeyd! Of several affirmations Allah made to both of them (Abu-Bakr and Omar) on that day was that Prophet (PBUH) told them’: “Get up and greet Ali by the title “Amir al-Mu’minin”.” They said: “O, Messenger of Allah, is this order coming from Allah or His Messenger?”

Prophet (PBUH) said: “From Allah and His Messenger.” Then the Glorious God revealed this verse: “Fulfill the Covenant of Allah when ye have entered into it, and break not your oaths after ye have confirmed them; indeed ye have made Allah your surety; for Allah knoweth all that ye do.” [7]

Someone asked Imam Sadiq (PBUH): “Should we use Amir al-Mu’minin to refer to Imam Mahdi (PBUH)? He said: “No. Allah named Ali Ibn Abi Talib (PBUH) Amir al-Mu’minin, and no one was named with this title before him, and no one will name himself with this title after him  no one does such a thing but only pagans.” [8]

  1. f) Considering the love of God and Amir al-Mu’minin the same

The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Wilaya of Ali Ibn Abi Talib is the wilaya of Allah, and his friendship is the friendship of Allah, and his obedience is an obligatory act from Allah, and his friends are the friends of Allah, and his enemies are the enemies of Allah, fighting with him is like fighting against Allah, and making peace with him is like making peace with the Glorious Allah.” [9]

  1. g) Special quotes about Imam Ali (PBUH)

Special and exclusive quotes by the Prophet like the Hadith of Al-Manzila (“You are to me like Aaron to Moses, except that there will be no prophet after me.”) and the gate of knowledge (I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate.) have been revealed only about Imam Ali (PBUH).

  1. h) Imam Ali (PBUH) is the first person who believed in Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

All Shia and Sunni narrators have consensus that the first male person who believed in Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is Imam Ali (PBUH). (For further study see: “Ali (PBUH) the first Muslim”).

  1. i) The only person who slept in Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) bed.

The incident of Imam Ali (PBUH) sleeping in Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) bed on the night of his migration to Medina, is an event about which historians have no doubts. While polytheists could have actually killed Imam Ali (PBUH) on that night. As far as history tells, polytheists beat Imam Ali (PBUH) severely because they thought Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was sleeping in the bed and he was agonizing in pain. [10]

(see: “The man who sold himself to God”)

  1. j) The one whose sword value is superior to the creatures’ worships

Imam Ali (PBUH), who led Muslims to victory at the Battle of Khandaq (trench) with his courage, was honored by a quote from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): “Ali’s stroke at the day of Khandaq was superior to Thaqalayn’s (genies and humans’) worship.” [11]

Also in the battle of Uhud, while Imam Ali (PBUH) was moving in front of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and protecting him, all heard Gabriel’s voice from the sky: “There is no hero like Ali and there is no sword like Dhu’l-Fiqar” [12]

  1. k) No one overpowered Imam Ali (PBUH)

Al-Shaykh Al-Mufid says: “Ali (PBUH) had many fights and confronted warriors of Arab and their grandees and they struggled and used any tricks, hoping to overcome him. Yet he never fled from the enemies and never left the battle and never gave up and wasn’t afraid of anyone, though others sometimes prevailed over their enemies and sometimes were defeated, and they sometimes attacked and sometimes fled from their enemies. Because Ali’s (PBUH) behavior was as mentioned, his act was one of the miraculous and marvelous things exclusive to him and a reason for his Imamate and leadership and the reason why he should be followed and why he is chosen from among other people.” [13]

  1. l) Being raised in the house of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and becoming his son-in-law

It is written in “Tarikh Al-Yaqubi”:

When Ali ibn Abi Talib (PBUH) brought Lady Fatima (PBUH)- Prophet’s (PBUH) daughter- to Medina, he hadn’t been married with her and two months after the migration, the Prophet (PBUH) married Lady Fatima (PBUH) to him. [14]

Obviously, Lady Fatima (PBUH) had many suitors. When Abu-Bakr and Omar approached Prophet (PBUH) for her hand in marriage, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said he was waiting for Divine Justice. [15] When Imam Ali (PBUH) asked Prophet (PBUH) to marry Lady Fatima (PBUH), the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) accepted and when some people objected this decision, he said: “I didn’t marry Fatima to Ali, but Allah married her to him.” [16]

I just mentioned a vignette of the myriad of expatiations

Try to understand the whole details from my brief description yourself …


  1. Kamil al-Ziyarat, Ibn Qulawayh, p.110
  2. Amir al-Mu’minin Ali’s (PBUH) well-known utterance that he has said it in several cases: “Ask me before you lose me”. Usul al kafi, Koleini, vol. 1, p. 603
  3. Shawāhid al-tanzīl li qawaid al-tafḍīl, Al-Haskani, p. 145
  4. Al-Tara’if, Ibn Tawus, p. 228
  5. Al-Irshad, Mufid, Mohammad bin Mohammad. p. 335
  6. Al-Kharaij wal-Jaraih, Qutb al-Din Rawandi, p. 145
  7. Usul al Kafi, vol. 2, pp. 52-53
  8. Usul al Kafi, vol. 2, p. 409
  9. Al-Amali, ibn Babawayh, p. 32
  10. Shawāhid al-tanzīl li qawaid al-tafḍīl, Al-Haskani, p. 57
  11. Iqbāl al-aʿmāl, Ibn Tawus, p. 467
  12. Rawda al-Kafi, Koleini, vol. 1, p. 159
  13. Al-Irshad, Mufid, p. 298
  14. Tarikh Al-Yaqubi, ibn Wadih, vol. 2, p. 41
  15. At-Tabaqât al-Kobra, Muḥammad ibn Sa’d, vol. 8, p. 11
  16. Tarikh Al-Yaqubi, ibn Wadih, vol. 2, p. 41


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