Some Traditions on the Virtues of Imam ‘Ali (as)

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

It is narrated that:

The Messenger of Allah (S) said: "He who wants to see Noah (as) in his determination, Adam (as) in his knowledge, Abraham (as) in his clemency, Moses (as) in his intelligence and Jesus (as) in his religious devotion should look at ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib (as)."

Sunni references:

• Sahih al-Bayhaqi

• Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, as quoted in

• Sharh Ibn Abil Hadid, v2, p449

• Tafsir al-Kabir, by Fakhruddin al-Razi, under the commentary of the Verse of Imprecation (Mubahilah), v2 p288. He wrote this tradition has been accepted as all genuine.

• Ibn Batah has recorded it as a tradition related by Ibn Abbas as is stated in the book "Fat’h al-Mulk al-’Ali bi Sihah Hadith-e-Bab-e-Madinat al-Ilm", p34, by Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Siddeeq al-Hasani al-Maghribi.

• Among those who have admitted that Imam ‘Ali (as) is the store house of the secrets of all the Prophets is the Chief of Gnostics, Muhyiddin al-Arabi, from whom al-Arif al-Sha’rani has copied it in his al-Yawaqeet wa al-Jawahir (p172, topic 32).

It is also narrated that:

The Prophet (S) said: "There is amongst you a person who will fight for the interpretation of the Qur’an just as I fought for its revelation.”The people around him raised their heads and cast inquisitive glances at the Prophet (S) and at one another. Abu Bakr and Umar were there. Abu Bakr inquired if he was that person and the Prophet (S) replied in the negative. Then Umar inquired if he was that person and the Prophet (S), replied "No. He is the one who is repairing my shoes (i.e., ‘Ali)."

Abu Said Khudri said: Then we went to ‘Ali and conveyed the good news to him. He did not even raise his head and remained as busy as he was, as if he had already heard it from the Messenger of Allah (S)."

Sunni references:

• al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v3, p122, who said this tradition is genuine based on the criteria of al-Bukhari and Muslim.

• al-Dhahabi, also records it in his Talkhis al-Mustadrak and admitted that it is genuine according to the standard of the two Shaikhs.

• Khasa’is, by al-Nisa’i, p40

• Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v3, pp 32-33

• Kanz al-Ummal, by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, v6, p155

• Majma’ al-Zawa’id, by al-Haythami, v9, p133

Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and al-Hakim recorded with authentic document from Abu Said al-Khudri, that the Apostle of God said to ‘Ali: "Verily you will do battle for (implementation of) the Qur’an, as you has done for its revelation."

Sunni reference: Tarikh al-Khulafaa, by Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, p173

al-Hakim recorded that Anas Ibn Malik narrated that the Holy Prophet said to ‘Ali:

“You shall inform my nation about the truth and what they dispute after me":

Sunni reference:

• al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v3, p112, who wrote this is an authentic Hadith according to the stipulation of the two Shaikhs (al-Bukhari and Muslim). (This would mean that the chain of narrators are considered to be authentic as stipulated by Bukhari and Muslim)

The First Muslim

It is an undisputed fact that Imam ‘Ali was the first man to embrace Islam after the Holy Prophet (S). Below are some of the references

Ibn Abi Shaybah and Ibn Asakir recorded on the authority of Salim Ibn Abi Jaad that he said: I asked of Muhammad Ibn Hanifah, "was Abu Bakr the first of the people to adopt Islam?”He replied: "No".

And Ibn Asakir on a reliable ascription from Muhammad Ibn Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas, that he said to his father Sa’d: "was Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq the first of you in embracing the faith?”He said: "No, for there were more than five people in faith before him"

Ibn Kathir says: "it is clear that Muhammad’s family believed before every other - his wife Khadija, his freedman Zaid and the Wife of Zaid Umm Ayman and ‘Ali and Warakah."

Sunni reference:

• Tarikh al-Khulafaa, by Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, p33 (History of the Caliphs translated by Major Barrett)

It is also narrated that

Anas Ibn Malik said: "The Messenger was commissioned on Monday and ‘Ali believed in him on Tuesday."

Sunni reference: al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v3, p112

al-Hakim also narrated that:

Salman al-Farsi said that the Messenger of God said: "The first one of you to drink from the Basin on the Day of Judgment is your first Muslim, ‘Ali, the son of Abu Talib."

Sunni reference: al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v3, p112

Ibn Hisham recorded that:

‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib was the first male to believe in the Messenger of God and that he prayed with him while he was only ten years old.

Sunni reference: Biography of the Prophet, by Ibn Hisham, v1, p245

The famous Sunni Historian, al-Tabari also wrote:

The first three to offer prayers were Muhammad (S) , Khadija and ‘Ali (as).

Sunni reference: History al-Tabari, v2, p65

Also Khateeb al-Baghdadi, in his book quotes Imam ‘Ali that:

‘Ali said: "I was the first one to accept Islam at the hands of the Holy Prophet."

• Tarikh, by al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi, v4, p333