How Ali Ibn Abi Talib’s birth (a.s.) is superior to all others?
Tags: Ahle Sunnah, History, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), Holy Quran, Imam Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.), Sahaabah, Sunnah
Muslims attempt to prove the rule of the pseudo-caliphs with the most spurious, irrational and fabricated reports. Thus, they want to go one up on the selection of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) by Allah the All-Knowing and His Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.).
While we do not wish to delve in the various arguments raised by the defendants of the pseudo-caliphs, we wish to highlight just one virtue among Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib’s (a.s.) innumerable virtues i.e. his birth in the Holy Ka’bah, which is enough to brush aside all other ‘so-called virtues’ of the pseudo-caliphs akin to the fierce wind sent forth by Allah the Almighty to brush aside the transgressors of Prophet Hud’s (a.s.) nation.
Birth is the best and foremost evidence of excellence
All the ridiculous arguments advanced in support of the usurpers of caliphate like consensus of the nation fall by the wayside once you consider that this merely shows approval of a few Muslims and lacks the endorsement of Allah the High and His Prophet (s.a.w.a.).
It is possible that the nation arrives at a consensus on a particular matter which is disliked by Allah and His Prophet (s.a.w.a.). For instance, all the Muslims fled the battlefields of Ohad and Hunain but no one claims such a ‘consensus’ as an excellence for the fleeing Muslims, which incidentally also included the pseudo-caliphs. On the other hand, many Muslims were all out for engaging in battle in Hudaibiyyah, but Allah and His Prophet (s.a.w.a.) preferred peace, which ultimately led to an open victory (Surah Fath (48): Verse 1). Again, the Muslims faltered in their ‘consensus’.
When the consensus of Muslims was so misguided in matters of war and peace, how can they be certain in the matter of Imamate/Caliphate, the most important issue confronting the nation and the one which is responsible for their salvation in the Hereafter?
If at all superiority is claimed, it should be over a topic that ends all discussion and is clear as daylight for the Muslims. One way to claim excellence for someone is in the matter of birth, since its location cannot be manipulated by usurping and people know it beforehand while discussing the person’s merits; unlike other virtues where we must take help of false consensus, lies and dishonest witnesses and risk going against the choice of Allah and His Prophet (s.a.w.a.).
In matters of birth, Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) ranks higher than not just the pseudo-caliphs but all mankind.
By consensus of both sects, the unique nature of Ali Ibn Abi Talib’s (a.s.) is an acknowledged fact.
Ali Ibn Abi Talib’s (a.s.) birth in the Ahl Tasannun
Ahle Tasannun (or Sunnis as they are erroneously called) have documented Ali Ibn Talib’s (a.s.) birth varyingly in their books.
It is reported by consecutive chains of narrators (tawaatur) that Fatima bint Asad (s.a.) gave birth to Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) in the center of the Ka’bah.
(Al-Mustadrak alaa al-Sahihain, vol. 3 p. 483)
None was born in the Holy Ka’bah until then (and none was born after that day).
(Noor al-Absaar, p. 69 from Ibn Sabbaagh al-Maaliki)
Not only was Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) born in the Ka’bah, he is even likened to the Ka’bah by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.):
‘O Ali! You enjoy the status of the Ka’bah.’
(Kunuz al-Haqaeq fi Hadis-e-Khair al-Khalaaeq, p. 188 from Al-Dailami)
‘You enjoy the status of the Ka’bah; people go to it and it does not go to the people.’ (Usud al-Ghaabah fi Marifah al-Saḥaabah, vol. 4 p. 31)
These traditions also show why Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) never hankered for the consensus or approval of the Muslims because being the Ka’bah, he (a.s.) did not need their consent and endorsement. On the contrary, the Muslims needed his approval. Ali Ibn Abi Talib’s (a.s.) effort in visiting the Muslims’ houses after Abu Bakr’s appointment is also in the nature of reminders and invitation towards his own status as the Ka’bah, much like Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) who invited the Muslims towards the Ka’bah (Surah Hajj (22): Verse 27).
Ali Ibn Abi Talib’s (a.s.) birth according to the Shias
Shaikh Toosi (a.r.) the great Shia traditionalist has recorded the birth of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) in the following manner:
Abbas Ibn Abdul Muttalib and Yazid Ibn Qa’nab were seated amidst a group from the Bani Hashim and a group from the worshippers of Uzza in front of the Holy Ka’bah.
Sayyeda Fatima bint Asad Ibn Hashim (s.a.), the venerated mother of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) came while she (s.a.) was nine months (pregnant) and expecting to give birth to Ameerul Momineen (a.s.); rather it was the day of the completion (of her pregnancy).
They observed that she (s.a.) stopped in front of the Holy Ka’bah while she (s.a.) underwent labor pains, turned towards the sky and said,
“O my Lord! Surely, I am a believer unto You and what the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has brought from Your side. (I believe) in all the Messengers from your Messengers, and in all the (divinely) revealed books. Surely, I testify to the words of (my ancestor) Ibrahim, the friend of Allah (a.s.). Surely, he built Your Ancient House. I beseech you by the right of this House and the one who built it. (I beseech you by the right of) this child, the one who is in my womb, who speaks to me and comforts me through his speech. I am certain that he (a.s.) is one of Your signs and Your proofs, that (O Allah) make my delivery easy for me.”
Abbas Ibn Abdul Muttalib and Yazid Ibn Qa’anab say that when Sayyeda Fatima bint Asad spoke with these words of the supplication, we saw the Holy Ka’bah split from its back and Sayyeda Fatima entered through the crevice and vanished from our sight and the split closed behind her with the permission of Allah. We tried to open the door (of the Holy Ka’bah) to send some of our women to (aid) her (s.a.) but the door did not open. Then we realized that this is a matter from the matters of Allah.
Sayyedah Fatimah (bint Asad) (s.a.) remained in the House (of Allah) for three days. During this period, the people of Makkah discussed this matter continuously; the women discussing it inside their homes.
After three days, the Holy Ka’bah split again from the place where she (s.a.) had entered and Sayyeda Fatima (bint Asad) (s.a.) stepped out with Imam Ali (a.s.) on her hands. Then she (s.a.) said:
O people! Surely, Allah the Majestic has chosen me from among His creation and granted me excellence over the chosen ladies of the past before me. Surely, Allah chose Aasiyah bint Muzahim (s.a.) while she (s.a.) worshipped Allah secretly in a place where Allah did not like that He should be worshipped there except out of compulsion. Surely, He eased and facilitated the birth of Prophet Isa (a.s.) for Maryam bint Imran (s.a.); she (s.a.) shook a dry date palm tree in a desert of the earth and then it rained “fresh ripe dates”upon her (s.a.).
Whereas Allah chose me and granted me excellence over both of them and over all of the ladies of the universe who have passed before me because I gave birth in His Ancient House and I remained there for three days and ate from the fruits of Paradise and its sustenance.
When I intended to leave and my son was on my hands, a caller called out to me and said,
O Fatima! Name him Ali (the High) because I am Ali al-Aalaa (the Highest). Verily, I created him from My Power, My Grandeur and My Justice, and I derived his name from My Name. I inculcated in him My Morals and I handed over to him My Affairs. I made him steadfast in the depths of My Knowledge and He shall be the first to recite the Azan on top of My House. He shall break the idols and shall throw them on their faces. He shall praise me and testify to My Unity (La ilaaha illa Allah) and he is the Imam after My beloved, My Prophet and My chosen among My creation, Muhammad My Prophet (s.a.w.a.). He is his (s.a.w.a.) successor. Paradise is for the one who loves him (a.s.) and helps him, and Hell is for the one who disobeys him (a.s.) and abandons him and disregards his right.”
When Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) saw Abu Talib (a.s.), he became happy and said, “Peace be upon you O Father, and His Mercy and His Blessings.”
Thereafter, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) arrived and at his (s.a.w.a.) arrival, Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) shook himself and had a smile on his face and said: “Peace be upon you O Prophet of Allah and His Mercy and His Blessings.”
Then he (a.s.) cleared his throat by the permission of Allah and said,
“In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
Successful indeed are the believers, those who are humble in their prayers”
till the end of the verse.
At this Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) exclaimed, “Indeed they are successful because of you.” Then, he (a.s.) recited the remaining verses till His words,
“Surely they are the inheritors, those who shall inherit the Garden of Paradise and shall abide in it eternally”
He (s.a.w.a.) added,
“I swear by Allah then that you are their Commander; you command them from your knowledge and they obey you. By Allah! You are their Proof and through you, they shall be guided.”
- Al-Amaali of Shaikh-e-Toosi (a.r.), p. 706
In another narration, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) mentions the birth of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) in the following manner:
… Jibraeel (a.s.) descended towards me at the time of the birth of my cousin and said:
“O Muhammad! Your Lord sends salutations upon you and informs you:
Now, you may make your Messengership known and may announce the Revelation (which has been revealed to you) and may unveil your Prophethood because you have been helped by Allah through your brother and your Vizier and your Caliph after you. The one who shall strengthen your back and through him, your remembrance shall become widespread, is Ali, your brother and your cousin; go to him and welcome him with your right hand. Surely, he is from the people of the right hand and his followers are the ones with shining foreheads.”
I went and I found my foster mother surrounded by women and entire tribes had gathered around her. Jibraeel (a.s.) formed a curtain between me and the ladies. When it was (set up), I welcomed him (a.s.).
I acted in the manner that Jibraeel (a.s.) had conveyed and stretched my right hand towards his mother. When Ali (a.s.) came on my arms, he placed his right hand on his ear and gave the Azaan. He (a.s.) testified to the religion of Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) and he (a.s.) testified to the Oneness of Allah and My Prophethood. He (a.s.) bent towards me and said, “Peace be upon you O Prophet of Allah!”
I said to him, “Recite, O my brother!”
Then I swear by the one in whose Hands is my life, he began with the books which Allah had revealed to Prophet Adam (a.s.) and through them his son (Sheeth) had been appointed. Then he recited it from its beginning till its end to the extent that had Prophet Adam (a.s.) been present he would have testified that surely he (i.e. Ameerul Momineen (a.s.)) had memorized it better than himself. Thereafter, he recited the books of Prophet Nooh (a.s.) followed by the books of Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) and the Old Testament, to the extent that had Prophet Moosa (a.s.) been present he would surely have testified that he (a.s.) had memorized it better than himself. Then, he recited the New Testament (of Prophet Isa (a.s.)) to the extent that had Prophet Isa (a.s.) been present, he would have testified that surely he (a.s.) had memorized it better than himself. Finally, he (a.s.) recited the Holy Quran which Allah had sent down upon me from its beginning till its end. He (a.s.) addressed me and I addressed him like how the Prophets (a.s.) would address each other. After this, he (a.s.) returned to the condition of his infancy…
- Al-Fazaail by Ibn Shaazaan al-Qummi (r.a.), p. 126
After such excellence for Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) as underscored by
- birth in the Ka’bah,
- Allah the High granting him a name from His Own Name,
- divine tidings for him and his Shias,
- reciting the testimony of Islam even before the advent of Islam,
- reciting the Holy Quran verses even before its apparent revelation,
- reciting all the previous scriptures better than the recipient Prophets (a.s.) themselves,
- Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) boundless joy on his birth
- and Allah’s instruction to him (s.a.w.a.) to openly claim prophethood now that Ali (a.s.) was born and so on,
we still have Muslims who are confused in the matter of Imamate!! Surely, this is a strange thing!!
And we haven’t even begun discussing his (a.s.) other virtues.
After all this, if Muslims still choose to ignore the untold excellences and merits of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) and remain adamant on selecting worthless individuals only on self-proclaimed consensus, then nothing can be done about it. But at least they should not condemn the Shias for acknowledging Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) and his sons (a.s.) as their leaders based on irrefutable evidence from books of both sects.
 Surah Maryam (19):25
 Surah Mominoon (23):Verses 1-2
 Surah Mominoon (23):Verses 10-11