Imam 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (علي, translit. ʿAlī, 15 September 601 – 29 January 661) was the cousin and the son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad (s). He is the first Imam of Shi'a Muslims and the fourth Rightly Guided Caliph of the Sunni Muslims. He was born on Rajab 13, 23 BH (March 17, 599 AD) inside the Holy Ka'ba in Mecca.
Thank you for your question. It is polytheism if the person sees Imam Ali (as) as an independent source of help from God.
May you always be successful
as salam alaikum
mere single reports from Musnad Ahmad cannot be validated according to Shia view. Also, according to the most accurate opinion any single report (khabar al-wahid) with no external evidences cannot be used to establish doctrinal principles or historical facts.
With prayers for your success.
Here is a good treatment of this question: http://www.askthesheikh.com/did-imam-ali-a-s-really-put-two-men-on-fire-because-they-claimed-he-was-god/
Sunni books mentioned that Imam Ali (AS) refused to give allegiance to Abu Bakr and Abu Bakr sent Umar with group of people to force Imam Ali on giving allegiance or burn his house on him and Fatima and Hasan and Husain.
(Tareekh Tabari (2: 443).
Mussannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah, (8:572)
Ansaab Al-Ashraaf by Balathori (1:586).
Al-Soyooti inMusnad Fatima , Page 36.
Ibn Qutaibah in Al-Imamah wal Siyasah (1:19) and (1:30).
Ibn Abd rabbih in Al-'iqd al-Fareed (1:78).
Ibn Abd al-Barr in Al-Estee'aab (3:975).
And many other Sunni books.
Those who claim that Imam Ali (AS)has given allegiance to Abu Bakr after six months need to prove their claim. There is no authentic narration but a narration from Aiysha Bint Abi Bakr claiming that. Everyone knows the stand of Aiysha against Imam Ali (AS).
We have in the books that after the demise of Lady Fatimah (AS), the Saqeefa people threatened to kill Imam Ali if he does not give allegiance and took from him an allegiance under threat. Obviously, even if this narration was right, such allegiance is invalid according to Islam because it was under threatening to kill him.
Imam Ali (AS) did not even pray with them in the Masjid nether Jumm'ah nor Jama'ah. (Siyar A'laam Al-Nubalaa' By Al-Dhahabi (9:284).
You can read Al-Irshad by Shaykh Al-Mufeed and many other books.
Imam Ali (AS) was very clear that his right as the real successor fo the Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) was taken away by Saqeefa people, but he will not fight against them because he did not want a harm to reach Islam and Muslims because of an internal war. (Shaqshaqaiyyah sermon, Nahjul Balaghah).
He did not take any part in the wrong acts of the state affairs because the state itself was not following the real teachings of the Prophet (SAWA). Nevertheless, Imam Ali (AS) was always to save the interest of Islam and Muslim even when he was suffering along with all Ahlul Bayt (AS). He sent his sincere followers (Shia of Ali) like Salman, Ammar, Abu Tharr, Miqdad, and others to take active part in the Muslim society in different parts including in expanding and new areas. Shia of Ali have played big rule in the expanding operations of the Muslim world then.
Al-Ash'ath Ibn Qays was appointed by Uthman Ibn Affan as a governor of Azerbaijan. Imam Ali (AS) kept him on his job but directed him to be pious and honest in dealing with the wealth which he receives. When Al-Ash'ath insisted on doing wrong and misusing the wealth of the Muslims, Imam Ali (AS) fired him.
Thousands of books were written on the life of Ameerul Momineen Ali ( AS). You can fix d many of them on www.aqaed.com or al-Islam.org or Shia search.org and many other sites.
The habit of folding ( crossing)
hands during Salaah came from non-Muslims (notably Zoroastrians) and wasn’t part of the Salaah of the Holy Prophet (sawa), nor during the government of Abu Baker. However, during the rule of Umer ibn Khattab, when Persia was concurred by Muslims, several prisoners of war were brought from Persia to Madina. They folded their hands in front of Umer, who asked them why they did so. They responded that it was their habit in front of respected people. Umer liked it and decided to keep it in the prayer. Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s) and many of the Sahaba refused this, because no one has the right to change or add or to omit anything from the Salaah, and the Prophet (sawa) had famously said, “Pray as you saw me praying.
Therefore Amir ul Mo’mineen (a.s), his followers (Ammar ibn Yasir, Salman al Farsi, Abu Dhar al Ghifari) and all of his other pious companions continued opening their hands while praying, exactly like the Prophet (s) used to.
In the Sunni school of thought, none of the four leading jurists (Abu Hanifa, Shafi’i, Malik ibn Anas, Ahmad ibn Hanbal) ever said that it was obligatory to fold hands during Salaah, because there was no evidence to support it. Imam Malik even said it was not good to fold hands, and all Malikis thus open their hands in Salaah. A famous Sunni ‘Aalim from Egypt, Sayyid Sabiq, wrote in his book Fiqh as Sunnah: “we do not have even a single authentic Hadith that the Prophet (s) ever folded his hands in the Salaah.
Numerous famous individuals from the Sunni school of thought such as Abdullah ibn Zubayr and Laith bin Saad didn’t fold their hands either. Folding hands in Salaah was therefore not part of Islam, it was brought to Muslims from non Muslims by Umer ibn Khattab.
It is important to remember that people have always had choices. That is the reason why we hold those accountable who committed misdeeds, because they chose to do so. They were not born to play the part of villains.
It is not as if God had determined that Fadak must be usurped and that someone must be created who will do so.
It is also not the case that God had determined that a wife of the Prophet (s) must fight Imam 'Ali (a) and so she was put out there in the world of creation to fulfil that role.
Think of it this way. It was entirely possible for the first caliph and his daughter not to commit the misdeeds that they did. So why ought they have been punished before they could even be tested with that choice?
Did not Abu Bakr have another child, and Ayesha a brother, who was the most devoted Shi'a of Imam 'Ali (a) and fought against his own sister in defence of Imam 'Ali?
He was not predestined to be the good person in a pre-planned drama, like some kind of an angelic robot. He also made choices in his life. And so we remember him with affection and praise.
I believe that the nature of knowledge given by God to the Prophet (s) and the Imams (a) must be understood with the above in mind.
Allah, The Glorious, tests the followers of the prophets to distinguish between the sincere from the insincere. Allah(SWT) made the Prophet Noah (AS) marry a woman who turned to be disobedient then from the people of hellfire, same was the wife of Prophet Lut (AS). Allah (SWT) aims to examine the faith of people who claim being followers of the Prophet (SAWA) as we read in Quran:
1. (Allah will not leave the believers in the state in which you are now until He distinguish the bad from the good). Sura Aal Imran, verse 179.
2. (In order that Allah may distinguish the bad persons from the good persons ) Sura Al-Anfaal, verse 37.
Having a disobedient wife among good wives and insincere companion among sincere companions makes the bad persons follow the bad, while sincere persons keep on following the Prophet (SAWA) and his successors.
Such drawings are not authentic at all and never reflect the real image of the Infallible Imams (AS). It is wrong to call it picture because picture reflects the real shape like a mirror or near to it. Such drawings are not pictures but just imaginations of the persons who drew it based on his knowledge and culture.
It might be accepted in some cultures to draw such imagination drawings of the Infallible Imams but in ,any other cultures it is not accepted and it might cause some persons feel disrespect for the Infallible.
It is wrong to claim that these drawings are real pictures of the Imam and such claim can amount to lying on the Imam.
Millions of Shia Muslims do not have such drawings as it is linked with a cultural factor existing only in some counties and not all Shia Muslims have the same culture in this regard. All Shia scholars say that it is wrong to claim that such drawings represent the real shape of the Imams.
Even Sunni Muslims have drawings of their leaders like Abu Bakr and Omar as you can see it in some museums in Turkey. It is a matter of culture and not a part of religion.