ʿAli ibn Abi Talib

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Ali ibn Abi Talib
Ali b. Abi Talib.jpg
Native name
عَلِی ابْن أَبِی طَالِب
Born13 Rajab 21 BH (15 September 601)
Mecca, Hijaz, Arabia (present-day Saudi Arabia)
Died21 Ramadan AH 40- aged 59 (29 January 661)
Kufa, Mesopotamia, Rashidun Caliphate (present-day Iraq)
Resting placeImam Ali Mosque, Najaf, Iraq
Known forThe first Imam of Shi'a
Spouse(s)Fatimah, Umamah bint Zainab, Umm ul-Banin, Leila bint Masoud, Asma bint Umays, Khawlah bint Ja'far, Al Sahba' bint Rabi'ah
ChildrenAl-Hasan, Al-Hussain, Zaynab, Umm Kulthum, Muhsin, Muhammad al-awsat (Hilal), Abbas, Ruqayya, Abdullah
  • Abu Talib ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib (father)
  • Fatimah bint Asad (mother)
RelativesMuhammad b. Abd Allah (paternal cousin)

ʿAli ibn Abi Talib (c.597–660), was the cousin and son-in-law of the prophet Muhammad, the fourth caliph of the Sunni Muslims, and the first imam of all the Shi’is. ʿAli was ten or eleven years old when he embraced Islam and is considered to be the first Muslim after Khadija, Muhammad’s wife. He grew up in Muhammad’s household, and during the night of Muhammad’s emigration (the Hijrah) from Mecca to Medina in 622, he occupied the Prophet’s bed, facilitating the latter's escape. He then joined the Prophet after restoring to their owners the objects that Muhammad was holding in trust. Some months later he married Muhammad’s daughter Fatima; of their marriage were born two sons, Hasan and Hussain, and two daughters, Zaynab and Umm Kulthum, the latter two known for their roles in the Battle of Karbala. During the Prophet's lifetime, ʿAli participated in almost all the expeditions, except that of Tabuk, during which he had the command at Medina. ʿAli's bravery as the standard-bearer and sometimes as the commander in these expeditions has become legendary.

After Muhammad’s death in 632, a dispute arose between ʿAli and other associates of the Prophet on the question of succession. It was this dispute that divided the Muslims into two major factions: the Shi’a (partisans of ʿAli), those sympathetic to ʿAli's claim that he was appointed by the Prophet as his successor during his farewell pilgrimage; and the Sunni, those who denied ʿAli's claim and acknowledged the caliphate of Abu Bakr, ʿOmar, and ʿOthman in succession and placed ʿAli as the fourth caliph, following ʿOthman's assassination in 656.

The period of ʿAli's rule was marked with political crisis and civil strife. ʿAli had inherited events which he could not avoid as a caliph, and under the pressure of circumstances he had to submit to these events and the constraints of his partisans. In the month of Ramadan in 660, a member of the Khawarij (a sect that had seceded from ʿAli in the battle against the Umayyad governor of Syria, Muʿawiya, in 656) struck ʿAli a fatal blow with a sword while he was in prostration in the mosque of Kufa. ʿAli was buried in Najaf. His mausoleum was built there, and Najaf has become an important site for the Shi’i pilgrimage and a center for Twelver Shi’i learning.

Biography[edit | edit source]

ʿAli’s life falls into three distinct phases: 1. from his birth until the death of the Prophet in 11/632; 2. until the murder of ʿOthman in 35/656; 3. from his election to the caliphate to his death.

During the Life of the Prophet[edit | edit source]

When Muhammad was called by God to be a prophet, ʿAli, though only ten years old, became one of his first followers.[1] The night Muhammad fled from Mecca to Medina, ʿAli risked his life by sleeping in his bed; he also carried out the Prophet’s request to restore all the properties that had been entrusted to him as a merchant to their owners in Mecca. Only then did ʿAli leave for Medina; there he married Muhammad’s daughter Fatima.

ʿAli’s courage during the military expeditions became legendary. Along with Hamza, Abu Dojana, and Zobayr, he was renowned for his charges against the enemy; at Badr he is said to have killed more than one third of the enemy army single-handedly. He stood firm and stoutly defended the Prophet at Ohod and Honayn, while the Muslim victory at Khaybar, where he used a heavy iron door as a shield, is attributed to his valor.[2] He was one of Muhammad’s scribes and was chosen to lead several important missions. After the Hijra when the Prophet instituted brotherhood between the emigrants (Mohajerun) and the helpers (Ansar), he chose ʿAli as his own brother. The treaty of Hodaybia was written down by ʿAli. In 9/631 when Abu Bakr led the pilgrimage, ʿAli was delegated by the Prophet to proclaim the surat al-baraʾa (Quran 9) to the pilgrims assembled at Mena. He was chosen to destroy the idols worshiped by the Aws, Khazraj, and Tayy, and those in the Kaʿba.

According to the Shiʿites, the Prophet unequivocally nominated ʿAli as his successor at Ghadir khomm while returning from his “farewell pilgrimage” to Mecca.[3] The Sunnis reject this claim, maintaining that the Prophet died without naming a successor. All the early sources present the Medinan Muslim community behaving as if they had not learned about ʿAli’s alleged designation.

After the death of the Prophet[edit | edit source]

At the Prophet’s death the community split into groups contending for political succession. The Ansar were about to proclaim Saʿd b. ʿObada caliph, but this was not acceptable to the Mohajerun, who considered themselves closer to the Prophet in kinship. Among them was a group led by ʿAli and his supporters, i.e., Zobayr, Talha, ʿAbbas b. ʿAbd-al-Mottaleb, Meqdad, Salman Faresi, Abu Dharr Ghefari, and ʿAmmar b. Yaser, who viewed ʿAli as the Prophet’s legitimate heir. Muslim historians agree that a crisis was averted by three prominent Mohajerun: Abu Bakr, ʿOmar, and Abu ʿObayda, who rushed to the gathering of the Ansar and imposed Abu Bakr as caliph. Their success was facilitated by the jealousy between the Aws and the Khazraj, the two main tribal factions of the Ansar, and the inactivity of the Prophet’s kinsmen in promoting their own cause.[4] When Abu Bakr’s selection to the caliphate was presented as a fait accompli, ʿAli and the Hashimites withheld their oaths of allegiance until after the death of Fatima. ʿAli did not actively assert his own right because he did not want to throw the nascent Muslim community into strife.[5] He retired to a life in which religious works became his chief occupation; the first chronologically arranged version of the Quran is attributed to him, and his knowledge of the Quran and the Sunna aided the caliphs in various legal problems.[6] He did not participate in the wars of redda and conquest; his actions after becoming caliph seem to indicate that he did not approve of the policies of his predecessors. In contrast to ʿOmar he recommended that the entire revenue of the divan be distributed without keeping anything in reserve.[7]

During ‘Othman’s Caliphate[edit | edit source]

In the period preceding ʿAli’s caliphate ʿOthman was faced with problems arising from conflicts of interest between the traditional tribal and the new Islamic leadership.[8] The so-called qorraʾ, the original conquerors from minor clans, resented ʿOthman’s tightening of central control and felt that their interests were threatened by the growing influence of the traditional tribal leaders, who were newcomers to the provinces. This was the common cause of opposition in all provinces except Syria, which was kept free from uncontrolled immigration and was held in firm control by Muʿawiya, governor since 20/641. In mid-35/656 discontented provincial groups from Egypt, Kufa (led by Malek Ashtar), and Basra arrived in Medina.[9]

In Medina itself opposition came from three main groups. First, a number of prominent Mohajerun accused ʿOthman of nepotism and deviation from Islamic principles, e.g., the alteration of the number of rakʿas to be prayed at Mena and ʿArafat.[10] Shortly before his death, ʿAbd-al-Rahman b. ʿAwf is said to have declared that Othman had departed from his promise to adhere to the Quran, the Sunna, and the sirat al-Shaykhayn, and he requested that he should not be allowed to pray at his funeral.[11] ʿAbdallah b. Masʿud, who seems to have been dismissed from the Kufan treasury, ejected from the mosque, and beaten for criticizing ʿOthman, is reported to have made the same request.[12] Abu Dharr Ghefari, who was critical of ʿOthman and Muʿawiya, was exiled from Medina.[13] ʿAmmar b. Yaser was beaten for his criticism of ʿOthman.[14] The second group of Medinan opponents formed around Talha and became clearly distinguishable from the first only at the battle of the Camel. It included Zobayr and ʿAʾesha, who were opposed to Omayyad domination but favored the Qoraysh. Both Talha and Zobayr had enormous income from their estates, mainly in Iraq, and their opposition stemmed from the strengthening of Omayyad power.[15] Talha became vocal in his criticism of ʿOthman, used his influence on the people of Basra to encourage their opposition, and was active against ʿOthman at the time of the siege.[16] ʿAʾesha, who had also played her part in fomenting opposition, left for Mecca when ʿOthman was besieged, hoping that he would be killed and that Talha would become caliph.[17] The Ansar, who had lost their influence under ʿOthman, formed the third group. The appointment of Hareth b. Hakam as market overseer in Medina added insult to injury; they felt impotent in their own town.[18]

In the meantime, ʿAli had acted as a restraining influence on ʿOthman without directly opposing him. Making this point, Ebn Aʿtham states that ʿAli knew that ʿOthman would not dare to act against him.[19] On several occasions ʿAli disagreed with ʿOthman in the application of the hodud; he had publicly shown sympathy for Abu Dharr and had spoken strongly in the defense of ʿAmmar b. Yaser. He conveyed to ʿOthman the criticisms of other Companions and acted on ʿOthman’s behalf as negotiator with the provincial opposition who had come to Medina; because of this some mistrust between ʿAli and ʿOthman’s family seems to have arisen. He tried to mitigate the severity of the siege by his insistence that ʿOthman should be allowed water.

Caliphate[edit | edit source]

Following ʿOthman’s murder most of the Umayyads fled Medina, thus leaving the provincial opposition in control of the situation. The strongest groups were the Egyptians, the Ansar, and the prominent Mohajerun. They invited ʿAli to accept the caliphate; reluctant, he agreed only after long hesitation, probably several days after ʿOthman’s death. The sources suggest that before the murder of ʿOthman, the Basran opposition group at Medina considered Talha as its champion, while the Kufans supported Zobayr; later both groups supported ʿAli.[20] Thus, the situation in Hejaz and the provinces on the eve of ʿAli’s election was far from settled. His brief reign was beset by difficulties attributable to the state of affairs that he inherited. Moghira b. Shoʿba advised ʿAli against immediately removing all governors appointed by ʿOthman, especially Muʿawiya; ʿAbdallah b. ʿAbbas also counseled him to proceed slowly, but responding to the demands of his supporters, he replaced ʿOthman’s governors with his own, thereby setting off a series of reactions which culminated in the battles of the Camel and Siffin.[21]

The Battle of the Camel[edit | edit source]

Returning to Medina, ʿAʾesha learned that ʿOthman had been murdered and that ʿAli was caliph. She turned back to Mecca and actively participated in a campaign against him; her grudge against ʿAli stemmed from the incident of the slander against her (cf. Quran 24:10-20), when ʿAli had advised the Prophet to divorce her.[22] Meanwhile, the Umayyads who had fled from Medina gathered in Mecca; they were joined by the deposed governors of Basra and Yemen, who had brought with them money appropriated from the public treasury. Talha and Zobayr, already frustrated in their political ambitions, were further disappointed by ʿAli in their efforts to secure for themselves the governorships of Basra and Kufa. When they learned that their supporters had gathered in Mecca, they asked ʿAli’s permission to leave Medina on the pretext of making the ʿomra (lesser pilgrimage). They then broke with ʿAli, placing the responsibility for ʿOthman’s murder on him and demanding that he bring the murderers to trial; they were joined by the Umayyads, whose objectives, however, were different. Unable to muster much support in Hejaz, Talha and Zobayr decided to move to Basra with the expectation of finding the necessary forces and resources to mobilize Iraqi support. When ʿAli discovered this, he set out in pursuit but did not succeed in overtaking them. The rebels occupied Basra, killing many people. ʿAli raised support in Kufa and followed the conspirators to Iraq. After negotiations for a peaceful settlement failed, the rebels were defeated in the Battle of the Camel, so named because of ʿAʾesha’s presence at the center of the battle mounted on a camel.[23]

ʿAli entered Basra and divided the money found in the bayt al-mal (public treasury) equally among his supporters. This act may be taken as an indication of his policy to give equal value to the Muslims who served Islam in its early days and to the later Muslims who played a role in the conquests. He appointed ʿAbdallah b. ʿAbbas governor of Basra, and went to Kufa in order to gain support against Muʿawiya. He succeeded in forming a broad coalition which brought two more groups into his camp, the qorraʾ, who saw in him their last hope of regaining influence, and the traditional tribal leadership, attracted by his equal division of the booty. The successful formation of such a diverse coalition—comprised of men like ʿAmmar b. Yaser (Mohajer), Qays b. Saʿd b. ʿObada (Ansari), Malek Ashtar (qorraʾ group), and Ashʿathb. Qays Kendi (a former redda leader who had emerged as a tribal leader in Kufa)—seems to be due to ʿAli’s remarkable character.

The Battle of Siffin[edit | edit source]

ʿAli opened negotiations with Muʿawiya with the hope of regaining his allegiance. Muʿawiya insisted on Syrian autonomy under his own leadership, but ʿAli maintained that all the provinces should share equally in problems facing the Muslim community. Muʿawiya replied by mobilizing his Syrian supporters and refusing to pay homage to ʿAli on the pretext that his contingent had not participated in his election. Furthermore, as ʿOthman’s wali (near relative), he demanded the surrender of ʿOthman’s murderers. ʿAli rejected Muʿawiya’s demands, asserting that he was duly elected by the people, who had the right to exercise their judgment, and that ʿOthman had been killed because people were outraged at his arbitrary actions; hence they were not liable for punishment.[24]

Toward the end of 36/657 the two armies met on the plain of Siffin. The confrontation lasted three months, most of the time being spent in negotiations. Finally, a week of combat was followed by a violent battle known as laylat al-harir (the night of clamor); the Syrians were on the point of being routed when ʿAmr b. ʿAs advised Muʿawiya to have his soldiers hoist masahef (either parchments inscribed with verses of the Quran, or complete copies of it) on their spearheads in order to cause disagreement and confusion in ʿAli’s army. Aware of the divisions within the ranks of ʿAli’s camp, Muʿawiya exploited the situation. As the main purpose of raising the masahef was to bring about the cessation of hostilities, it is worth noting that the call for peace was addressed not to ʿAli but to the ahl al-ʿEraq (people of Iraq) who formed the bulk of ʿAli’s army, thereby isolating ʿAli from his followers by appealing to their regional interests. ʿAli saw through the stratagem, but only a minority was in favor of continued fighting; the most powerful tribal leader of Kufa, Ashʿath b. Qays Kendi, insisted on accepting Muʿawiya’s call, reportedly telling ʿAli that not a single man from his camp would fight for him if he did not accept the proposal for settlement.[25] This refusal of the largest bloc in his army to fight was the decisive factor in ʿAli’s acceptance of the arbitration. With the majority of the qorraʾ also favoring a settlement, ʿAli stopped the fighting and sent Ashʿath b. Qays to ascertain Muʿawiya’s intentions. Muʿawiya suggested that each side should choose an arbiter, who together would reach a decision based on the Quran; this decision would then be binding on both parties.

At this time Muʿawiya seems to have made no specific reference to his earlier insistence on vengeance for ʿOthman’s blood or return to shura. Most of the people in ʿAli’s camp, now satisfied, turned to the designation of the Hakam (arbiter) who would meet ʿAmr b. ʿAs, the Syrian representative. The question as to whether the arbiter would represent ʿAli or the Iraqis (mainly the Kufans) caused a further split in ʿAli’s army. Ashʿath b. Qays and the qorraʾ rejected ʿAli’s own nominees, ʿAbdallah b. ʿAbbas and Malek Ashtar, and insisted on Abu Musa Ashʿari, who was opposed by ʿAli, since he had earlier prevented people from supporting him. Abu Musa was favored by the qorraʾ because he had stood for provincial autonomy, while Ashʿath b. Qays hoped to prolong the deadlock between ʿAli and Muʿawiya in order to check ʿAli’s power and regain his own former influence. ʿAli finally accepted Abu Musa.

The drafting of the agreement proceeded only after ʿAli had agreed to be referred to by name and not as amir al-moʾmenin; Muʿawiya objected that if ʿAli were indeed caliph, he would not have fought him. The main terms of the agreement were: 1. The Quran was to decide between the two sides; 2. the task of the arbiters was to reach a binding agreement; 3. the arbiters would be guided by the Quran, but failing to find guidance they would resort to al-sonnat al-ʿadelat al-jameʿa ghayr al-mofarreqa.[26] With the drafting of this agreement, ʿAli’s coalition began to collapse. The question of having recourse to the Sunna seems to be the main cause of the reaction of the qorraʾ. They had agreed to the arbitration because it was a call for peace and application of the Quran; the terms of the agreement had not yet been settled and there was no indication that ʿAli would not be regarded as amir al-moʾmenin. More serious was that extending the authority of the arbiters beyond the Quran to the vague Sunna compromised the authority of the Quran; it was thus tantamount to tahkim al-rejal fi’l-din (or fi ketab Allah). Thus, they raised the cry la hokm ella lellah (the jurisdiction rests with Allah alone). By this time the Syrians claimed that the document was an agreement that the Quran should be consulted as to whether ʿOthman had been killed justly or unjustly, though the qorraʾ had no doubts that he had been killed justly. The raising of the question of ʿOthman’s murder by Muʿawiya at this critical stage should be viewed in conjunction with his earlier evasiveness on the issue. The whole affair looks like a skillfully organized attempt to destroy ʿAli’s coalition. The qorraʾ told ʿAli that if he did not repent of his acceptance of the arbitration, as they had done, they would declare themselves dissociated (baraʾa) from him. On the army’s return to Kufa some of the qorraʾ stopped at Haruraʾ, but ʿAli succeeded in reconciling them, probably by making concessions. Only after returning to Kufa did ʿAli make it clear that he would not infringe on the arbitration. At this time those who had protested against the arbitration seceded from ʿAli’s camp (hence known as khawarej) and gathered at Nahrawan.

The first meeting of the arbiters appears to have taken place at Dumat al-Jandal around Ramadan, 37/February, 658, as stipulated in the agreement. The conclusion was reached that the acts of which ʿOthman was accused were not arbitrary (ahdath), thus implying that he had been killed unjustly and that Muʿawiya had a right to claim vengeance. The verdict was not made public, but both parties came to know about it.[27] ʿAli protested, stating that it was contrary to the Quran and the Sunna and hence not binding. Then he tried to organize a new army, but only the Ansar, the remnants of the qorraʾ led by Malek Ashtar, and a few of their clansmen remained loyal. He left Kufa with his new army to engage Muʿawiya, but first turned to Nahrawan to deal with the dissidents. He tried to enlist their support by declaring that he would fight Muʿawiya, but they persisted in their demand that he first confesses his sin in accepting the arbitration; after promising quarter to those who would submit, ʿAli attacked.

It seems that the arbiters and other eminent persons, with the exclusion of ʿAli’s representatives, met at Adhruh in Shaʿban, 38/January, 659 to discuss the selection of the new caliph. ʿAmr b. ʿAs supported Muʿawiya, while Abu Musa preferred his son-in-law, ʿAbdallah b. ʿOmar, but the latter refused to stand for election in default of unanimity.[28] Abu Musa then proposed, and ʿAmr b. ʿAs agreed, to depose both ʿAli and Muʿawiya and submit the selection of the new caliph to a shura. In the public declaration that followed Abu Musa observed his part of the agreement, but ʿAmr b. ʿAs declared ʿAli deposed and confirmed Muʿawiya as caliph. Meanwhile, Muʿawiya had followed an aggressive course by making incursions into the heart of Iraq and Arabia. By the end of 39/660 ʿAli, who was regarded as caliph only by a diminishing number of partisans, lost control of Egypt and Hejaz.

Martyrdom[edit | edit source]

Early one morning while praying in a mosque at Kufa, he was struck with a poisoned sword by a Kharijite, ʿAbd-al-Rahman b. Moljam, intent on avenging the men slain at Nahrawan. Two days later, on 19 (or 21) Ramadan 40/27 January 661, ʿAli died at the age of sixty-three and was buried near Kufa. The burial was kept secret, but in the time of Harun al-Rashid his tomb was identified a few miles from Kufa and a sanctuary was established around which a town called Najaf grew up. Of his fourteen sons and nineteen daughters by nine wives and several concubines, Hasan, Hussain, and Muhammad b. Hanafīya are well known. ʿAli’s political discourses, sermons, letters, and sayings were collected by Sharif Razi in a book entitled Nahj al-balagha (“The road of eloquence”), well known in Arabic literature; the most famous of its commentators is Ebn Abi’l-Hadid [29]; a divan is also attributed to ʿAli.

Legacy for Shi’ism[edit | edit source]

The Shiʿites maintain that the Prophet designated ʿAli as his successor by God’s command; on reaching Ghadir Khomm from the “farewell pilgrimage,” the Prophet announced a congregational prayer. As the people gathered, he took ʿAli by the arm and made him stand next to him, and said: “O people, know that what Aaron was to Moses, ʿAli is to me, except that there shall be no prophet after me, and he is my wali to you after me. Therefore, he whose master (mawla) I am, ʿAli is his master.” Then he lifted ʿAli’s arm and said: “O God, be affectionate to him who is devoted to ʿAli, show enmity to him who is his enemy, give victory to him who helps ʿAli and forsake him who forsakes ʿAli. May the truth encompass ʿAli to the end of his life”.[30] This tradition, which is accepted by the Sunnis but interpreted differently by them, epitomizes the Shiʿite veneration of ʿAli and their doctrine of the imamate.

The imamate of ʿAli is a cardinal principle of Shiʿite faith. Through walaya (devotion to ʿAli and the Imams) true knowledge of Islam can be obtained. The first three caliphs had usurped ʿAli’s right and the majority of the early community deviated from the rightful Imam. According to a saying attributed to ʿAli himself, those who fought against him in the battle of the Camel were “breakers of allegiance” (naketun), those who opposed him in the battle of Siffin were “wrongdoers” (qaseṭun), and those who fought against him in the battle of Nahrawan (the Khawarej) were “deviators” (marequn). Only the Batriya among the early Zaydis upheld the imamate of Abu Bakr, ʿOmar, and ʿOthman, on the grounds that ʿAli did not oppose them. Considering him the most excellent man (fazel) after the Prophet, they permitted the imamate of the less excellent (mafzul). But from the 3rd/9th century onward the views of the Jarudiya, who rejected the imamate of the first three caliphs, prevailed among the Zaydis.

ʿAli, the wasi of the Prophet, was specially instructed and authorized by him on God’s command to assist him in his task. The Prophet brought the revelation (tanzil) and laid down the shariʿa, while ʿAli, the repository of the Prophet’s knowledge, provided its interpretation (taʾwil). During the Prophet’s lifetime ʿAli’s position was next to his and after him he succeeded him as the next most excellent man. He was divinely guided, infallible (maʿsum), purified from all defilement, and could not commit any sin, minor or major. He is the disposer of heaven and hell and the dispenser of drink (saqi) at the celestial pool of Kawthar. He will intercede with God on the Day of Judgment on behalf of his followers; he is the Guide for mankind, the Proof (hojja) of God’s existence to His creatures, and the Gate of His mercy. Salvation is reserved solely for those who declare their belief and devotion to him.[31]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. in al-Sirat al-nabawiya I, ed. M. Saqqa, Cairo, 1936, pp. 262-64, Ebn Hesham states that ʿAli was the first male to accept Islam; see also Tabari, Cairo2, II, pp. 309ff.; Ebn Saʿd, III/I, pp. 12ff.
  2. Ebn Hesham, al-Sira II, pp. 298, 365ff., III, pp. 77f., 306, 349-50; Waqedi, Ketab al-maghazi, ed. M. Jones, London, 1966, I, pp. 68-69, 76, 145-52, 225-26, 228, 240, 244, 255-56, 259, 307-09, II, pp. 470-71, 496, 653-57, III, pp. 900-02
  3. the earliest historian to report the Ghadir tradition seems to be Yaʿqubi, II, Najaf, 1964, p. 102; see also Masʿudi, Ethbat al-wasiya le-ʿAli, Najaf, 1955; Kolayni, al-Kafi I, Tehran, 1388/ 1968, pp. 292ff.; Qazi Noʿman, Daʿaʾem al-Eslam I, ed. Fyzee, Cairo, 1963, pp. 14ff.; Shaikh Mofid, al-Ershad, Najaf, 1962, pp. 91ff.; in al-Ghadir fi’l-ketab wa’l-sonna wa’l-adab, Tehran, 1372/1952-53, ʿAbd-al-Hussain Amini has listed all the available sources and references to Ghadir
  4. M. Shaban, Islamic History A.D. 600-750: A New Interpretation, Cambridge, 1971, pp. 16ff.; E. Shoufani, Al-Ridda and the Muslim Conquests of Arabia, Toronto, 1973, pp. 48ff.
  5. Menqari, Waqʿa Siffin, ed. ʿA. Harun, Cairo, 1382/1962, p. 91
  6. Balaḏori, Ansab I, ed. M. Hamidallah, Cairo, 1959, pp. 586-87; Yaʿqubi, II, pp. 125-26; Ebn Saʿd, II/2, pp. 100-02; Shaikh Mofid, al-Ershad, pp. 107ff.
  7. Balaḏori, Fotuh III, ed. S. Monajjed, Cairo, 1956, p. 549. Disagreement with policies of Abu Bakr and ʿOmar can be inferred from an evasive answer he gave to ʿAbd-al-Rahman b. ʿAwf at the shura when he was asked whether he would follow the Quran, the Sunna of the Prophet, and the sirat al-shaykhayn or the policies of Abu Bakr and ʿOmar; Tabari, IV, p. 233; Balaḏori, Ansab V, p. 22
  8. H. A. R. Gibb, “An Interpretation of Islamic History,” Studies on the Civilization of Islam, ed. Shaw and Polk, London, 1962, p. 7
  9. S. M. Yusof, “The Revolt against ʿOthman,” IC 27, 1953, pp. 1-7; Shaban, Islamic History, pp. 60ff.; M. Hinds, “The Murder of the Caliph ʿOthman,” IJMES 3, 1972, pp. 450-69
  10. Tabari, IV, p. 267
  11. Baladhori, Ansab V, p. 57; Ebn Aʿtham, al-Fotuh II, Hyderabad, 1968-75, p. 151
  12. Baladhori, Ansab V, pp. 36-37
  13. ibid., pp. 52-56; Masʿudi, Morūǰ II, ed. M. Mohyi-al-dīn, Cairo, 1964, pp. 348-51
  14. Baladhori, Ansāb V, pp. 48, 83; Ebn Aʿtham, al-Fotuh II, pp. 154-55
  15. Ebn Saʿd, III/1, pp. 77, 157
  16. Baladhori, Ansab V, p. 81; Ebn Aʿtham, al-Fotuh II, p. 229; Tabari, IV, pp. 379, 405
  17. Baladhori, Ansab V, p. 91; Tabari, IV, p. 407
  18. Baladhori, op. cit., V, p. 47
  19. al-Fotuh II, pp. 158, 164, 168, 184
  20. Tabari, IV, pp. 427ff.
  21. Tabari, IV, pp. 438ff.; Masʿudi, Moruj II, pp. 363-65
  22. Ebn Hesham, al-Sirat al-nabawiya III, pp. 313-14; Waqedi, Ketab al-maghazi II, p. 430; Ebn Saʿd, II/2, p. 29
  23. Ghalabi, Waqʿat al-jamal, ed. M. al Yasin, Baghdad, 1970
  24. Menqari, Waqʿat Siffin, pp. 29-32, 81-82, 86-91, 200-01
  25. Menqari, Waqʿat Siffin, p. 482; Yaʿqubi, Moruj II, p. 178
  26. see M. Hinds, “The Siffin arbitration agreement,” Journal of Semitic Studies 17, 1972, pp. 93-129
  27. L. Veccia Vaglieri, “Il conflitto ʿAli-Muʿawiya e la secessione khāregita riesaminati alla luce di fonti ibadite,” AIUON, 1952, pp. 1-94; idem, “ʿAli b. Abī Ṭālib,” EI2 I, p. 384
  28. Masʿudi, Moruj II, p. 408
  29. Sharḥ Nahj al-balagha, ed. M. Abu’l-Fazl, Cairo, 1965
  30. Kolayni, al-Kafi I, pp. 286ff.; Qazi Noʿman, Daʿaʾem al-Eslam I, pp. 14ff; see also Tabrizi, Meshkat al-masabih III, ed. M. Albani, Damascus, 1961-62, pp. 242-47
  31. Qazi Noʿman, Sharḥ al-akhbar MS; Ebn Babuya, Resalat al-eʿteqadat, tr. Fyzee, London, 1942; Helli, Sharh al-bab al-Hadi ʿashar, tr. Miller, London, 1958; Majlesi, Behar al-anwar, Tehran, 1376/1956, VII, pp. 326-40, VIII, pp. 16-63, XV, pp. 1ff., XXVII, pp. 1ff., XXXV-XLII, passim

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • Hussain, Ṭāhā. al-Fitnah al-kubrā (The Great Trial). Vol. 1, ʿUthman. Vol. 2, ʿAli wa-banūn (ʿAli and His Sons). Cairo, 1947–1956.
  • Lakhani, M. Ali, ed. The Sacred Foundations of Justice in Islam: The Teachings of ʿAli ibn Abi Talib. Bloomington, Ind., and North Vancouver, B.C., 2006.
  • Moojan, Momen. An Introduction to Shiʿi Islam: The History and Doctrines of Twelver Shiʿism. New Haven, Conn., 1987.
  • Shah-Kazemi, Reza. Justice and Remembrance: Introducing the Spirituality of Imam Ali. London, 2007.
  • Vaglieri, Laura Veccia. “ʿAli b. Abī Ṭālib.” In Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2d ed., vol. 1, pp. 381–386. Leiden, 1960–. Valuable revisionist outline of ʿAli's biography.
  • Ebn ʿAbd Rabbeh, al-ʿEqd al-farīd, ed. A. Amīn, Cairo, 1948-53, IV, pp. 310-61, V, pp. 90-102.
  • Jaʿfar b. Manṣūr Yaman, al-Šawāhed wa’l-bayān MS. Edrīs ʿEmād-al-dīn, ʿOyūn al-aḵbār II-III MS. Bharūčī, Ketāb al-azhār VI MS. Amīn, Aʿyān al-šīʿa, Beirut, 1960, III, pt. 1 and 2.
  • L. Caetani, Annali. E. Petersen, ʿAli and Muʿāwīya in Early Arabic Tradition, Copenhagen, 1964.
  • The following recent biographies are worth noting: Ṭ. Hussain, al-Fetnat al-kobrā, Cairo, 1954.
  • J. Jordāq, al-Emām ʿAli: Ṣawt al-ʿadālat al-ensānīya, Beirut, 1958.
  • ʿA. ʿAqqād, ʿAbqarīyat al-emām ʿAli, Cairo, 1961.
  • M. Ḵalīlī, Zendagānī-e hażrat-e ʿAli, Tehran, 1342 Š./1963.
  • ʿAbd-al-Fattāḥ, al-Emām ʿAli, Cairo, n.d.
  • ʿA. Ḵaṭīb, ʿAli b. Abī Taleb: Baqīyat al-nobūwa wa ḵātem al-ḵelāfa, Cairo, 1966.
  • Ḵ. M. Ḵāled, Fī reḥāb ʿAli, Cairo, 1980.
  • A. Oways and M. Āšūr, Rābeʿ al-rāšedīn ʿAli, Cairo, 1981.
  • M. Ḡorayb, Ḵelāfat ʿAli, Cairo, 1982.

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