It is common knowledge from reports of both sects that Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) was born in the Holy Kaaba.
The even more amazing virtue Imam (a.s.) enjoys is in his likeness with the blessed House of Allah as evidenced by these reports:
- Ali (a.s.) is visited by people but does not visit them
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) declared:
(O Ali) You enjoy the status of the Kaaba, it is visited by the people, it does not visit the people.
- Osod al-Ghaabah fi Marifat al-Saḥaabah vol 4 pg 31
According to such reports Ali (a.s.) being like the Kaaba, did not have to approach the Muslims for allegiance after the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) martyrdom, rather the Muslims were to visit Ali (a.s.) for allegiance.
Years later when the Muslims realized their mistake and approached Ali (a.s.) for allegiance, he (a.s.) accepted it.
- Looking at Ali (a.s.) is worship and visiting him is an obligation
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) informed:
The likeness of Ali (a.s.) in this nation is with the veiled Kaaba –
- looking at which is worship and
- visiting which is an obligation
- Al-Mustarshid p 387
- Al-Manaqib v 3 p 202
- Al-Umdah p 302
- Behaar al-Anwaar v 38 p 199, v 40 p 43
In this report is the reply to those who claim that visiting graves (ziyarat) is prohibited because it is apostasy (shirk). Their other objection is that the dead once he is buried inside the earth is lifeless like the earth / stone and cannot hear the visitor, hence the visitation is pointless.
The similarity of Ali (a.s.) with the Kaaba answers all such objections. If Ziyarat is pointless why do the Muslims visit the Kaaba? And if the earth / stone is lifeless and cannot hear then what is the point in visiting the Kaaba, which is nothing but a monument made from earth / stone?
Ali (a.s.) enjoys such a high rank that he cannot be compared to mortals, rather he is compared to the Kaaba. Nothing like this is recorded for any other companion. This makes him (a.s.) a worthier candidate for Caliphate / Imamat and the companions erred by appointing others in his place. That is even if one were to ignore the incident of Ghadeer and the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) instruction for the Muslims regarding Ali (a.s.).