Category: Holidays » Islamic holidays
21 Ramadan, Ali bin Abu Talib died due to injuries he sustained by a sword.
Ali ibn Abi Talib (13 Rajab, 21 BH – 21 Ramadan, 40 AH; 15 September 601 – 29 January 661) was the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, ruling over the Islamic caliphate from 656 to 661. Born to Abu Talib and Fatima bint Asad, Ali was the only person born in the sacred sanctuary of the Kaaba in Mecca, the holiest place in Islam, as many sources, especially Shia ones say. Ali was the first young male who accepted Islam. After migrating to Medina, he married Muhammad's daughter Fatimah.
Ali took part in the early caravan raids from Mecca and later in almost all the battles fought by the nascent Muslim community. He was appointed caliph by Muhammad's Companions (Sahaba) in 656, after caliph Uthman ibn Affan was assassinated. Ali's reign saw civil unrest and in 661, he was attacked and assassinated by a Kharijite while praying in the Great Mosque of Kufa, dying two days later.
Ali is important to various Sunni and Shia denominations politically, legislatively and spiritually. The numerous biographical sources about Ali are often biased due to sectarianism, but they agree that he was a pious Muslim, devoted to the cause of Islam and a just ruler in accordance with the Qur'an and the Sunnah. While Sunnis consider Ali the fourth and final of the Rashidun (rightly guided) caliphs, Shias regard Ali as the first Imam after Muhammad due to their interpretation of the events at Ghadir Khumm.
Shias also believe that Ali and the other Shia Imams (all of whom are members of the Ahl al-Bayt, Muhammad's household) are the rightful successors to Muhammad. This disagreement split the Ummah (Muslim community) into the Sunni and Shi'i branches.
Except for Muhammad, there is no one in Islamic history about whom as much has been written in Islamic languages as Ali. In Muslim culture, Ali is respected for his courage, knowledge, belief, honesty, unbending devotion to Islam, deep loyalty to Muhammad, equal treatment of all Muslims and generosity in forgiving his defeated enemies, and therefore is central to mystical traditions in Islam such as Sufism. Ali retains his stature as an authority on Quranic exegesis, Islamic jurisprudence and religious thought. Ali holds a high position in almost all Sufi orders which trace their lineage through him to Muhammad.
Ali's influence has been important throughout Islamic history. Sunni and Shia scholars agree that the verse of Wilayah was narrated in honour of Ali, but there are differing interpretations of wilayah and the Imamate. The Sunni scholars believe that the verse is about Ali but does not recognise him as an Imam while, in the Shia Muslim view, Ali had been chosen by God as successor of Muhammad.
On 19 Ramadan 40 AH, which would correspond to 27 January AD 661, while praying in the Great Mosque of Kufa, Ali was attacked by the Kharijite Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam. He was wounded by ibn Muljam's poison-coated sword while prostrating in the Fajr prayer. Ali ordered his sons not to attack the Kharijites, instead stipulating that if he survived, ibn Muljam would be pardoned whereas if he died, ibn Muljam should be given only one equal hit (regardless of whether or not he died from the hit). Ali died two days later on 29 January AD 661 (21 Ramadan 40 A.H). Hasan fulfilled Qisas and gave equal punishment to ibn Muljam upon Ali's death.
According to Al-Shaykh Al-Mufid, Ali did not want his grave to be desecrated by his enemies and consequently asked his friends and family to bury him secretly. This secret gravesite was revealed later during the Abbasid caliphate by Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, his descendant and the sixth Shia Imam. Most Shias accept that Ali is buried at the Tomb of Imam Ali in the Imam Ali Mosque at what is now the city of Najaf, which grew around the mosque and shrine called Masjid Ali. However another story, usually maintained by some Afghans, notes that his body was taken and buried in the Afghan city of Mazar-E-Sharif at the famous Blue Mosque or Rawze-e-Sharif.
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