Story No. 278 – Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) – The Champion of Islam
Amir al-Muminin, Imam Ali (as) was the son of Hazrat Abu Talib, the Shaykh of the Banu Hashim. Hazrat Abu Talib was the uncle and guardian of Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and the person who had brought Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) to his house and raised him like his own son. After Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) was chosen for his prophetic mission, Hazrat Abu Talib continued to support him and repelled from him the evil that came from the infidels among the Arabs and especially the Quraysh.
In Madinah, Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) was forced to defend himself and his followers, and was thus forced to face many battles. At each and every battle, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) was the hero. And it was he who fought single-handedly with famous warriors of Arabia, defeated the enemies and brought victory to Islam.
Imam Ali (as) was present in all the wars in which Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) participated, except the battle of Tabuk when he was ordered to stay in Madinah in place of Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw). He did not retreat in any battle nor did he turn his face away from any enemy. He never disobeyed Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), so that Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) said:
“Ali is never separated from the Truth or the Truth from Ali.”
Records of these battles carry with them chronicles of his bravery, courage and chivalry. Even the enemies sang songs of his valour and gallantry. Everyone of these battles was an outcome of very grave circumstances and conditions, and combination of very serious events and dangerous forces against the safety of the Muslims and Islam. There were many such encounters, where the events had far-reaching effects. In each of them, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) alone broke through evil combinations and carried the Muslims and Islam to a position of safety, eminence and power.
The courage of Imam Ali (as) was proverbial. In all the wars in which he participated during the lifetime of Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), and also afterward, he never displayed fear or anxiety. Although in many battles such as those of Uhud, Hunayn, Khaybar and Khandaq the aides to Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and the Muslim army trembled in fear or dispersed and fled, he never turned his back to the enemy. Never did a warrior or soldier engage Imam Ali (as) in battle and come out of it alive. Yet, with full chivalry he would never slay a weak enemy nor pursue those who fled. He would not engage in surprise attacks or in turning streams of water upon the enemy. It has been definitively established historically that in the Battle of Khaybar in the attack against the fort he reached the ring of the door and with sudden motion tore off the door and cast it away.
Also on the day when Makkah was conquered, Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) ordered the idols to be broken. The idol “Hubal” was the largest idol in Makkah, a giant stone statue placed on the top of Holy Ka’bah. Following the command of Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), Imam Ali (as) placed his feet on Holy Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) shoulders, climbed to the top of Holy Ka’bah, pulled “Hubal” from its place and cast it down.
Amir al-Muminin, Imam Ali (as) was very close to Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), and the closeness was changed to a permanent relationship when he married his most beloved daughter, Fatimah Zahra (sa) to Imam Ali (as).
Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) also had the distinguished honor that the progeny of Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) continued through Imam Ali’s sons from Fatimah Zahra (sa) namely Imam Hasan and Imam Hussein (as). The two children were the most beloved of Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw).