Among the numerous virtues of Ameerul Momineen – Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) is his precedence over others in offering prayers alongside the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).
Well-known Muslim scholars have recorded that Ali (a.s.) preceded all others in offering prayers.
Narrations of some leading Muslim scholars on the subject are recorded here:
- Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) declared –
I am the servant of Allah and the brother of His Prophet (s.a.w.a.), I am the Foremost Testifier, none shall claim this after me except a liar. I preceded others in prayers by seven years.
- Sunan of Ibn Maajah trad. 117
- Kanz al-Ummal trad. 32,939
- Also Mustadrak ala al-Sahihain v 3 p 111-112
- The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) informed –
Indeed the angels invoked blessings on me and on Ali for seven years, because over that period there was none praying along with me except Ali.
- Osod al-Ghaabah fi Marifah al-Saḥaabah v 4 p 18
- Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) declared:
O Allah, I do not know anyone from this nation apart from your Prphet (s.a.w.a.) who worshipped you before me.
And Ali (a.s.) said this thrice. Then he said:
I preceded others in offering prayers by seven years.
- Musnad Ahmed Ibn Hanbal trad 776
- Kanz al-Ummal trad. 36,400
- Zakhair al-Uqba p 60
- Majma al-Zawaid v 9 p 102
Evidence from the Quran
Even the Quran underscores Ali’s (a.s.) precedence in offering prayers alongside the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).
It is recorded on authority of Ibn Abbas regarding the Quranic verse:
وَ ارْكَعُوا مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ
‘…and bow down with those who bow down.’ (Surah Baqarah (2): 43)
It was revealed concerning the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and Ali (a.s.) specifically. The two of them (a.s.) were the foremost to pray and bow (in ruku).
- Kashf al-Yaqeen p 122
Ameerul Momineen’s (a.s.) superior claim to caliphate
Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) declared to Usman (Ibn Affan) – I am better than you and both of them (first and second claimants). I worshipped Allah before both of them as also after them.
- Al-Fusool al-Mukhtarah part 88 – Age of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) at the time of embracing Islam
It is surprising that notwithstanding his preceding others in offering prayers, others were given precedence over him in caliphate. This among his numerous other virtues, as also the formal declaration at Ghadir Khum by the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), should have made it abundantly clear to the Muslim nation that none deserved caliphate more than him (a.s.).