Live Like 'Ali the son of Abu Talib (A)

A short clip on how to live a life like Imam Ali, peace be upon him, who is none other than the protégé of his teacher and master and prophet, Muhammad, prayers of Allah be upon him and his family. 

La-Fatah illa Ali, la saif illa Dhulfiqar.

Last but not least, because there are literally millions of teachings of Amir ul-Mu'mineen (a.s), and if we were to sit and try to enumerate them, we would not have time in our life to grasp the profundity of the words of the commander. But he shows us after we are connected to Allah, once we have that connection to Allah strengthened, and then we've connected to our families, once that bond is solidified and our families are strong and stable. Then he says, look at your greater community. Look at your jamaat. If you want to call it that, look at your society and try to work at that level.

And he says in the beautiful tradition, which is sometimes referred to in English as the golden rule, you know, we have this rule "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." It's in the Bible, it is in all of the religious teachings. Imam Ali (a.s) takes it a step further, as he does with everything. And he says in terms of social connectivity, social resiliency, how to build a community, how to build a functional society, he says "love for others that what you love for yourself, "ahbi li ghayrik ma tuhibbu li nafsik." If you love for others, if you love for yourself something, want that for other people in society as well, and hate for others that what you hate for yourself.

Unfortunately, we in this generation, we live in the selfie generation. This word selfie didn't even exist five, ten years ago, right. Until cell phones had front facing cameras and people thought, well I have got to take a picture of myself. So we came up with this word called selfie. We didn't have this word, yes, you know, people ten years ago or you go to a dictionary from ten years ago, selfie wasn't even in our in our vocabulary. But we live in a selfie generation. It's about me, myself and I. I want to be in the picture. I want to be in the limelight. It's all about me. You know, I got to get what I got to get.

But Imam Ali (a.s) shows us love for others what you love for yourself. It's such a simple principle. And if you don't want something for yourself, he says don't want it for other people. He does not say love for Muslims what you love for yourself, love for the Shi'as, what you love for yourself, he says love for others. "ahbi li ghayrik", love for others, what you love for yourself. And then he says, do good to others just as you want them to do good to you, do good to others, just like you want them to be good to you. And do not oppress, do not be vicious to other people just like you don't want them to do the same thing to you.

It is such a simple formula. It is such a simple formula of life that had humanity listen to the teachings of Amir-ul-Mu'mineen (a.s), had he not been cut down short in his life at the age of 63, had his teachings been allowed to flourish, had the believers who claimed to be the Shi'as of today, had we put this teaching on a billboard in downtown and showed the world who Amir ul-Mu'mineen (a.s.) is, what true Islam is, that Islam is not what you see on Fox News or CNN or BBC. This is what Islam is. This Hadith in itself, this one saying on a billboard could change the perception of humanity about Islam, about the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), about our communities. And obviously not just putting it on a billboard, but for you and I to imbibe this hadith in our life, to really live by the teachings of Ali (a.s.).

You know, people have T-Shi'rts, live like Ali (a.s.) die like Husayn (a.s.). This should be a part of that live like Ali (a.s.) part of the T-shirt. Live this kind of a life where really you are looking not only at the self and the ego and what I want and that I got to get what I got to get before I leave this world. No, we have to look at others, look at others within our society, within our community, and live the teachings of Ali (a.s.).

Yes, we can all die like Husayn (a.s.). It's easy to die like Husayn (a.s.). To take a sword is not a problem. But who can live like Ali (a.s.)? Who can live the life of justice, of spirituality, of piety, of a father like Ali (a.s.), of a husband like Ali (a.s.), of a son like Ali (a.s.), of a grandson like Ali (a.s.).

And if we InshaAllah are able to live up to the ideals of Amir ul-Mu'mineen, if we are able to live up to the teachings of Ali (a.s.), then we have every right to call ourselves Shi'atu Ali (a.s.) And we have every right to ask and demand from Allah his shafa'at on the Day of Resurrection.