Majlis 7

Imam Ali (A) Was Buried Secretly

O mourners of the Commander of the Faithful!

Why have we gathered here today? Today we have gathered to mourn that perfect personality who was buried secretly at night. This was done because the perfect personality i.e. Ali Ibn Abi Talib (A) had as many enemies as he had relatives and friends.

I have discussed this in detail in my book, Jaziba wa Dafia-e-Ali (A), that some people in this world have tremendous power in them. There are also some people who have boundless resistance power in them. The followers of those who have extraordinary power of attraction are so committed that they feel pride in sacrificing their lives for their leader.

Also, the enemies of such persons are bitterest, especially those who stay near him or his internal enemies. The enemies of Imam Ali (A) were of the same type. They veiled their faces with purity and stood up against Imam Ali (A). Khawarij were those who had faith, but were illiterate and extremely adamant.

Imam Ali (A) had himself confessed that these people had faith but were illiterate and foolish. Imam Ali (A) compared Khawarij with the hypocrites by saying: “Do not fight Khawarij after me because there is a difference between them and the followers of Mu’awiyah. These Khawarij seek truth but they are foolish. They have fallen prey to misunderstanding while the hypocrites know the truth but they want to go against it.”

Why was Imam Ali (A) buried secretly in the darkness of night in spite of having so many followers?1 It was because of the fear of Khawarij only because they used to say that Ali (A) is not a Muslim. Hence, there was a risk that these people might have dug up his grave in the darkness of night and exhumed his pure remains.

Towards the end of Imam Ja‘far Al-Sadiq’s (A) time i.e. approximately for a hundred years,2 why did no one except the holy Imams and some special companions knew the grave of Imam Ali (A)?

On the morning of the 21st Ramadan, Imam al-Hasan (A) prepared a bier and gave it to a group of people to take it to Medina so that the people think that Imam Ali (A) is buried in Medina.3

The children of Imam Ali (A) and his close Shias knew the location of his grave because they had buried him on the 21st eve of Ramadan. They used to go to the place for Ziarat, which was near Kufa.

When the Khawarij lost power during the time of Imam Ja‘far Al-Sadiq (A), the risk of any damage to the grave of Imam Ali (A) was eliminated. Eventually, Imam Ja‘far Al-Sadiq (A) ordered Safwan who is a narrator in the chain of narrators of Dua Alqamah to prepare a shade over the grave of Imam Ali (A) so that people could recognize it. After that, people came to know about the grave of Imam Ali (A) and it became a place of visitation for all.

Sasa’ah’s Elegy At Imam Ali’s (A) Grave

Only a handful of people had attended Imam Ali’s (A) funeral. Only his sons and a few close companions were present. One of his companions, Sasa’ah Ibn Sauhan4 who was a sincere friend was also present. He was an excellent speaker and orator.5 He had delivered a number of speeches during the time of Imam Ali (A).

All those gathered at the funeral of Imam Ali (A) were filled with sadness, grief and anger. Sasa’ah’s heart was full of remorse. He picked up a handful of sand from Imam Ali’s (A) grave and put it on his head.

He controlled his emotions and said: “Peace be upon you, O Commander of the Faithful! You led a successful life and passed away in a successful manner.”6 You were born in the holy Ka’ba and drank the potion of martyrdom in the house of Allah.

This concept is expressed beautifully by a poet in the following lines: “You were born in Ka’ba and got martyred in a mosque. I am proud of your beautiful start and beautiful end.”

O my master! You were so great and people were so base. By Allah, if people had followed the path shown by you, mercy would have rained on their heads and bounties would have flowed under their feet.7 They would have obtained material and abstract bounties. Alas, people did not care about you. They hurt your feelings in many ways instead of following your lofty principles. At last, they split your holy head into two and bathed you in mud and blood.8

وَسَيَعْلَمُ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا أَيَّ مُنْقَلَبٍ يَنْقَلِبُونَ

And they who act unjustly shall know to what final place of turning they shall turn back. ( 26:227).

  • 1. Bihar Al-Anwar,vol 42, pg,222.
  • 2. Imam Ali was martyred in 40 A.H, while Imam Ja’far Al-Sadiq’s (A) martyrdom took place in 148 A.H.
  • 3. Muntahai ul-Amaal, Vol. 1, Pg. 353.
  • 4. Muhaddith Shaykh Al-Abbas Qummi has written in the section of Amaal of Masjid Sahla that Masjid Zaid is one of the holiest mosques of Kufa. It is related to Zaid Ibn Sauhan. He was a senior companion of Imam Ali (A). He is included among devoted persons. He was martyred on the side of Imam Ali (A) in the battle of Jamal.

    There is a mosque called Masjid Sasa’ah near this mosque, which is related to his brother, Sasa’ah Ibn Sauhan. He was also a senior companion of the master of the faithful. He is included among those believers who had great recognition of Imam Ali (A). He was such an eloquent orator that Imam Ali (A) had given him the title of Khatib al- shahshah and had praised his oratory skills and eloquence.

    On the twenty-first night, when his coffin was taken to holy Najaf from Kufa, Sasa’ah was along with them. When Imam Ali (A) was buried, Sasa’ah took a handful of mud from the Imam’s grave and kept it on his head and said, “O master of faithful! May my parents be sacrificed for you.

    O Abul Hasan! May Allah’s blessings be upon you. Certainly, the place of your birth is pure. Your patience is strong and jihad is great. You got whatever you desired. Your trade was very profitable and returned to truth.”

    He spoke many such statements and cried a lot and made others cry. In fact, Majlis al-Aza was conducted at the grave of Imam Ali (A) in the darkness of this night. Sasa’ah was the speaker and listeners included Imam al-Hasan, Imam Husayn, Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyyah, His Eminence, Al-Abbas and other sons and great companions of Imam Ali (A). After this Majlis, he turned towards Imam al-Hasan, Imam Husayn and other sons of Imam Ali (A) and expressed his condolence. After that, everybody returned to Kufa.

  • 5. Jahiz has narrated from him in al-Bayan wa al-Tibiyyin.
  • 6. Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 42, Pg. 295; Muntahai ul-Amaal, Vol. 1, Pg. 352.
  • 7. Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 42, Pg. 296.
  • 8. Insan al-Kamil, Pg. 144-146.