The Cry of Victory

فَقالَ عَلِيٌّ- عليه السَّلام: إذَاً وَاللهِ فُزنا وَ فازَ شِيعَتنُا وَ رَبِّ الكَعبَةِ .

`Ali, peace be upon him, commented, “Then, by Allah I swear it; we have won. So have our adherents. I swear it by the Lord of the Ka`bah.”

Upon hearing the Prophet’s response to his question regarding the reward and value of the gathering of the purified household under the cloak, Imam Ali (AS) is amazed but not surprised. He is elated and filled with joy not as much for himself but more so for his Shi’a, lovers, and supporters! He swears by Allah (SWT) and the Imam as an infallible being would not swear except for a very important matter. “We have won and so have our adherents!”

The Imam (AS) presents the conclusion of the event of the cloak regarding the gatherings where the devotees of AhlulBayt (AS) recite this tradition.

The key word here is “victory” and Imam Ali (AS) makes it a point to make a distinction between the two parties who have won. The first party are the Prophet and his AhlulBayt (AS) whom the Imam says "فزنا" (we won), and the second party are the Shi’a and devotees of the AhlulBayt (AS) whom the Imam testifies that "وفاز شيعتنا" (our Shi’as have won).

One can easily understand why the Prophet and his AhlulBayt (AS) achieve victory by virtue of their superior position and high rank such that Allah (SWT) created the whole universe out of love for them. Hence, it is not a surprise that they have won a great victory in this life and the hereafter.

But the amazing news of glad tidings that is presented to us is that the Shi’as and lovers of AhlulBayt (AS) will also be victorious! Surely, their victory is attributed to their devotion and association to the purified AhlulBayt (AS) whom Allah (SWT) have appointed as vicegerents on His earth.

Furthermore, the words which Imam Ali (AS) exclaimed in this event rings a bell and reminds us of a similar phrase which he uttered on the night he was struck by the most miserable person of his time, leading to his long awaited martyrdom. It was the call that resonated in the earth and heavens such that everyone in the city of Kufa heard his cry:

فزت ورب الكعبة

By the Lord of the Ka’ba, I have succeeded!

This memorable phrase burst out from his lips the day when Imam Ali (AS) was struck with the fatal blow by the assassin’s poison-soaked sword. An immortal phrase, it has continued to goad human conscience for almost the past fourteen centuries! It has made those with even a grain of intellect dumbstruck at the dynamism of the person who pronounced it in the early hours of the 19th of Ramadhan, 40 AH corresponding to the year 660 of the Christian calendar.

What was the success that Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS) felt at that moment? And why was he elated when all passages to life abruptly closed for him and he was about to enter the apparently unknown and uncharted realm of death? Only the ignorant would pose such a question concerning the man who says in one of his sermons: “The Son of Abu Talib is more enthusiastic for death than an infant for the mother’s breast.”

If we were to say that Imam Ali (AS) merely longed for death rather than the seemingly beautiful world of life and its transient pleasures, then we have missed the finer points of the delicate phrase he chose to express, when on being struck the deathblow he said: By the Lord of the Ka’ba I have succeeded!

The Imam of Pious (AS) was indeed thrilled at meeting the Almighty Creator in such a noble state after having accomplished all tasks entrusted to him and so he said in jubilation that unique statement and out of longing to meet his beloved Creator. From his birth till his martyrdom every single breath of his 63-year life was for God and for the promulgation of the universal laws of Islam.

In view of these undeniable facts, he serves as the everlasting barometer for the faithful in every age and era to discern truth from falsehood. No wonder the Prophet (SA) had remarked to his companion Ammar ibn Yasser: “O Ammar! If all people take one path and Ali takes another path, you follow the path of Ali, for he will lead you to salvation.”

With that same spirit of jubilation, Imam Ali (AS) uttered the words of victory after recognizing the immense blessings and significance which the Event of the Cloak carries. He cries out the statement of victory so that we and all people across time have our attentions lifted to this unique Tradition of the Cloak.

We are to mention and remember this event every opportunity we get in every gathering where the believers are congregated. All praise be to Allah for it is by His grace we find today that many of the gatherings where the programs of key celebrations of Islamic events and the birthdays of the infallible Imams (AS) commence with the recitation of Hadeeth Al Kisaa.

It is important to note here that Imam Ali (AS) could’ve only said “We won” (فزنا) without swearing by the Lord of the Ka’ba. After all, he is truthful without needing to swear and there is no question about the validity of whatever he says. However, Imam Ali (SA) still sought to begin his exclamatory statement by swearing “Wallahi” (By Allah) and ending it also by swearing by the Lord of the Ka’ba (ورب الكعبة).

Rarely do we find a statement where it is sandwiched with an expression of swear in the beginning and end. This is exactly the case here which conveys the point that what Imam Ali (AS) is about to say is extremely important and he is very serious about delivering it. Thus, there should not be any shred of doubt whatsoever in our minds regarding the accuracy and precision of the Imam’s words in regards to the reward and value of the Event of the Cloak.