One day Bahlool went to Haroun, who was drunk. He said to Bahlool, “Was Ali ibn Abi Talib greater than the Messenger of Allah's uncle Abbas' son or was Abdullah ibn Abbas greater than Ali?”
“As long as you won't kill me, I will speak the truth.”
“You are safe.”
Bahlool said, “Hazrat Ali is greater than all Muslims after Hazrat Mohammad Mustafa because he is a brave young man who is a real faithful. All the good deeds are found in him. He didn't show the slightest slowness in obeying Islam's and Allah's orders. Word by word, he has obeyed Allah's commands. He had such perfect and unchanging faith, that, not only did he think his, but his children's, lives nothing. In all the wars and battles he was always ahead of the advanced guard of the army. No one has ever seen him leave the enemy; so, he was once asked if he ever thought about his life during battles--Allah forbid--'It is possible that someone might attack you from behind and take your life.'
“Hazrat Ali said, 'My fight is for the sake of Allah's religion. In it I have no thought for benefit or of greed and personal desire. My life is in Allah's hands. If I die, then it is with Allah's will, and I will die in Allah's way. What good is greater than this, and I will enjoy it that I will be killed in Allah's way and be amongst the Godly Believers and those who are on the Right and True Path.'
“Even when Hazrat Ali was the Amir and Khalifa of Muslims, he did not love luxury. He spent his entire time working for the Muslims and worshipping Allah. He never took one dinar unnecessarily from the Public Treasury. Once his brother Aqeel, who had a family, requested Hazrat Ali to give him more than his share and right from the Public Treasury. Hazrat Ali denied Aqeel's request. He told all of his officials not to oppress the people. All his affairs were decided with justice and equity. The officer who committed the least bit of oppression or tyranny was removed from office after being harshly questioned by Hazrat Ali. He did not even forgive his close friends the punishment they deserved.
“Once when Ibn Abbas was the commander of Basra, he spent some money from the Public Treasury for some personal work. Hazrat Ali asked for that cost back and warned him about that deed. He gave Ibn Abbas a date by which to return the amount, but he could not. Hazrat Ali ordered him to come to Kufa. Ibn Abbas knew that Hazrat Ali was not such a Khalifa who would overlook his mistake, so he fled to Makkah and went and sat in Allah's house because he knew he would be safe there.”
Haroun Rashid became ashamed from listening to this, so he wanted to hurt Bahlool and cause him heartache, so he asked, “Why was such a great and respectful person killed?”
“Many of those on the Right Path have been killed and thousands of Messengers and good, pious slaves of Allah continue to fight in His way.”
“Tell me the details of Ali's death.”
“According to Hazrat Imam Zain-ul-Abedin, when Abdur Rahman ibn Muljim decided to kill Hazrat Ali, he brought another person with him. That accursed man fell into a deep sleep and so did Ibn Muljim. When Amirul Momineen entered the Mosque, he awakened the sleepers for Salat (prayer). When he stood for Salat (prayer), then went to Sajdah, the accursed Ibn Muljim attacked his head with a sword. That stroke fell on the place where Amr ibn Abd Wudd had previously wounded the Imam with a stroke at the Battle of Khandaq. From this stroke his head was wounded to the eyebrows, and since the accursed person had soaked the sword in poison, Ali said farewell to the world after three days. He addressed his sons, 'For Allah's friends, the companionship of Prophets and Vicegerents is better than this terminating world. If I die from this wound, then only give my murderer one stroke because he only gave me one stroke of the sword. Don't cut his body into pieces.' After saying this, he was unconscious for a while. When he awoke, he said, 'I saw the Apostle of Allah who ordered me to leave. He said that tomorrow I will be by him.' He said this and died. Then the sky's color changed and the earth started shaking. The sound of Tasbih and righteousness came from the sky to the people's ears, and everyone knew that this was the voice of angels.
“About this, a poet has excellently said,
'Tonight the infidels raised the flag of oppression and tyranny.
From this defeat (martyrdom of Ali), they destroyed Islam's
From this one stroke that was given to the Father of Believers,
it is like the home of faith was ruined. All the dwellers
of Heaven took off the crown of respect and threw it on
the earth from sorrow of Ali.
To the people of the world, running water became bitter.
Perhaps the prison of oppression and tyranny has become
absorbed with safety.
By killing the son-in-law of Taha (the Apostle of Allah), the
oppressors have struck and arrow of sorrow into the
heart and body of Ya-Seen (the Apostle of Allah).
'From this grief and misery the dwellers of Paradise became
Because of Qatama the infidels struck the sword of enmity on
Imam Ali's forehead.
The oppressors didn't just cut Hazrat Ali's head into two pieces,
they also cut Allah's hand (Yadullah, meaning Ali).
When the enemy's sword fell upon the Imam's forehead, the
moon and the sun also received the wound of grief.
The attack wounded the forehead of the King of Faith, Ali.
It was as if the miracle of Shaq-ul-Qamar again came to the
world; Ali's forehead was cut into two pieces the way
that the Apostle of Allah's finger sliced the moon into
“The voice of Zainab's and Umme Kulsum's crying was heard; and Hasan and Husain threw their Imamahs (turbans) on the ground because of their sorrow.”