Sufferings of Imam Ali
The instances of Imam Ali’s sufferings after the death of the Prophet (S):
First of all, do be aware that I was not accustomed to be so close to anyone but to the Messenger of Allah... He was the source of trust and tranquility for me, and he was the only one that I could feel myself close to him, for he had always been my guardian and tutor in my childhood. He always had me with him in those days. He always helped my family. He always relieved my sadness and loneliness. He used to provide my daily sustenance! When poverty attacked me, it was he who provided for my wife and children. However, these instances are nothing when compared to his assistance to me! These were my earthly needs. The Messenger of Allah (S) helped me a lot so that, step by step, I could finally achieve my knowledge of God.
It is obvious that the death of the Messenger of Allah (S) was a great calamity to me. A great calamity that was unbearable even for mountains! In that time, I saw that some members of my household were very restless, because that disaster was out of their capacity to bear.
They were desperate and impatient. They were not ready to hear or talk about anything else... But some of the family members of Abdul Muttalib asked them to be patient, and sympathized with my household in their weeping and mourning. At that time, I was very lonely and sad, but I had to persevere and be patient. I used to be silent and I obeyed the directions of the Prophet (S) left for me to execute them properly. In fact, it was I, who washed his holy body, enshrouded him, offered the prayer of death on him, and buried him at last...
From then on, I had to perform my daily prayers, never wore my aba anymore. I did that just when, until I completed the Book of Allah, and accomplished my pledges for that holy existence.
Be aware that none of these works did impede me from performing my obligations. I did not weep, nor did I moan, until I carried out the rights of Allah and his Prophet, and completed my sad mission. Know that for passing these stages in my life, I always remained patient. Is it not true?”
Everyone said, “Yes it is true, and you are truly the Commander of the Believers!”
The Jewish man cried a lot, and was sorry that he had not had the privilege to see the Prophet of Islam in person.
2-The Saqifa of Bani Sa’idah 1
The Prophet (S) always supported me during his lifetime. He used to introduce me as his successor. In the last time when he appeared to the public, before a massive number of Muslims he introduced me as “Amirul Mo’minin: the commander of the believers”, and he asked them to swear me their allegiance and to obey me thenceforth. He asked them to convey that important news to those who were absent on that fateful day.
People knew this fact well and knew that it was I, who had to explain the directions of the Messenger of Allah (S) to the others. I was the commander of his army in all the wars and journeys that we had accomplished together. Therefore, it was a faraway, ridiculous idea that some people wanted to start a fight against me concerning this matter. When the Prophet (S) was ill sometime before his departure to the better world, he directed me to prepare an army and join all the companions to this army under the leadership of Usama ibn Zeyd to fight the Romans.
The Prophet (S) did not want to see any disagreement between the two great tribes of al-Aus and al-Khazraj. He ordered that everybody should go to that war. However, everyone looked at me with anger and grudge, for in the past, I had killed their fathers, brothers, or other relatives in different wars.
Thus, the Prophet had dispatched some people from the Muhajireen, the Ansars, and those whose hearts were made to incline to Islam, but those who had remained near the couch of the Prophet (S) did not say anything, so as not to disturb the Prophet (S) and to prevent any disagreement and rebellion against the command of the Prophet (S).
In fact, the Prophet (S) was very serious about his directions concerning the Muslims to join Usama’s army and obey him loyally, so that nobody might stand against his will openly.
When the Prophet (S) passed away, some of the commanders in Usama’s army gave up their important positions and clearly disregarded the Prophet’s orders. Usama remained lonely and helpless among his soldiers.
All these disobediences and revolts were just for one reason; to return to Medina and break the allegiance that the Prophet (S) had took from them as to my position as the Commander of the Believers.
They gathered in the Saqifa of bani Sa’idah, but did not consult with any of the children of Abdul Muttalib, mor asked me the permission to take off their allegiance paid to me. On that day, I was preparing the Prophet’s holy body to be buried, because this thing was much more important than their plots to me.
Oh, my Jewish brother! After the death of the Prophet (S) - and no one, ever since, had filled his empty place in my heart- there came a great suffering for me… Their conspiracy against me was a very painful betrayal! However, I was patient and did not lose my endurance. Is it not true?”
Everyone said, “Yes, it is true, and you are truly the Commander of the Believers!”
The Jewish man felt a pain in his heart, when once again, he heard about the sufferings of Ameerol Mo’minin.
“After the death of the Prophet, Abu Bakr became the caliph instead of me. Every time he saw me, he used to ask for my forgiveness for his oppression against me, and he used to blame his friend Umar, for having usurped my right, and broken their covenant with me. For all these matters, he always asked for my forgiveness.
I said to myself that one day, his reign would terminate and I would gain my true right, for Allah had chosen me for this position. Another thing was that Islam was in his first days, and I did not want to add another discord to the already existing discords and did not want to fight those who had usurped my true right and position, and start a war among my Muslim brothers.
In those days, my faithful and true companions were those who had a good intention in their hearts and were benevolent for the sake of Allah and his Prophet’s satisfaction. They believed in the Holy Quran and they secretly invited me to take back my right from those who had usurped it. They were ready to sacrifice their lives for my right and keep their covenant, but I always invited them to be patient. I used to tell them: may Allah give back my lost right, without any destructive feud between the Muslims.
Others, on that chaotic period, were a group of people who believed strongly in Allah, the Prophet (S), the Holy Qur’an, and Islam, and covertly or openly, invited me to restore my true right. I found them to be true Muslims. They were ready to sacrifice their lives to prove their loyalty to me! But I always tried to make them be more patient. I thought that Allah would soon restore my unfairly usurped right without any fight.
On the other hand, after the death of the Prophet, many people fell into the trap of hesitation and they became greedy for the Caliphate. Each tribe wanted the new caliph to be from their own clan. One thing that was interesting was that they were against each other, but at the same time, they supported each other to keep ME away from the Caliphate! So when the first one (Abu Bakr) died, his friend Umar took over the responsibility of the Caliphate for himself and did exactly like the previous one, and did not give me back my true right.
Once again, the followers of Muhammad (peace be upon him) came to me and, - as you now know, some of them are already dead and some others are still alive - anyway these faithful people asked me to stand up against Umar, but I did not change my mind, and I kept my patience.
We were the family of the Messenger of Allah (S), but we lived in a house that had no roof and the doors were made of palm fronds. There was nothing on our mattress and no blanket to cover us in sleep…During prayers, we often had just one garment which was used by all the members of the family… How many days and nights we spent with hunger…!
Sometimes after a war, Allah the Almighty set aside some booty for us. Though the Messenger of Allah (S) knew of our hard condition, he gave our shares to affluent and rich men to make their hearts incline to Islam. I myself saw the sufferings of the Prophet (S) when he invited them to Islam, and I knew that I had a heavy responsibility to preserve the circle of Islam and not to break it in no way whatsoever!
On the other hand, if I did some kind of revengeful actions, and gathered some people to support me, I could gather some groups around me with no doubt and they would be ready to fight against our enemies, but that idea had two sides; perhaps some people might stop their support and would then join the opposite side, or some other people might be killed.
I knew that my deep affinity to the Prophet (peace be upon him) was like the kinship of Aaron to Moses, and I was really afraid that the punishment of Allah might befall on my people, like the punishment of Moses’ people when they disobeyed Aaron. So I thought it would be better if I drank from the cup of sorrow, held my breath, and kept my patience, so that Allah would achieve His Will. On that occasion, my recompense would be more, and maybe a kind of forbearance would be considered as privilege for my people, and I knew that the Command of Allah is a determined decree.
I had a solid background from the past and was closest to the Prophet (S) in family relationship, and as his successor. Beyond other things, the Prophet (S) on the day of "Ghadir Khom" had expressed his strong wish about my being his successor, according to the Will of Allah. He invited the people to pledge their allegiance to me as the Commander of the believers after his death, and it was impossible for people to have any bad thought against me in their minds.
Aye… when the Prophet (S) died, the government of the Islamic lands was in his own house, not in the hands of others or in their houses! And his progeny were definitely more deserving for the position of the “Caliphate” or other rights than the others, because Allah the Almighty had created us pure and innocent from the very beginning. Is it not true?"
Everyone said, “Yes, it is true, and you are truly the Commander of the Believers!”
The Jewish man’s heart was choked by emotions and was much paler than before.
“As you know, after Abu Bakr, the one who had robbed and wore the cloak of Caliphate instead of me, consulted always with me in everything and always listened to me as to the many complex matters that he had to deal with.
No one can remember a day when he (Umar) did not ask from me. So I thought that finally I would get my right. Therefore, when Umar died unexpectedly, it seemed he had not had enough time to choose his successor, and I thought that I would gain my right of the Caliphate at last, and could do many reforms among the Umma of the Prophet (S). However, the plot changed. Before his death, Umar had chosen six persons and I was the sixth among them. The strange thing was that I did not have an equal right as the others. He had not considered all of my backgrounds, sacrifices, hereditary right, my kinship to the Messenger of Allah (S) and my being his brother, cousin and son-in-law! He himself knew that well, and I was definitely much better and suitable in all these things, than the others.
His son Abdullah was the head of this assembly. If one of us was tired or wanted to exit from the assembly, he (Abdullah) had the right to kill us immediately.
And you, my Jewish brother, have no idea how hard it was for me to be patient in that time…!
They consulted for some days and believed that each of them was more suitable for this position (the Caliphate). I was always silent. If one of them had a question, I just talked about the past events and my numerous assistance to Islam.
Ridiculously enough, all of them remembered all of my achievements and efforts. I just reminded them of these things, because the Prophet (S) had taken their covenants for my becoming the rightful Caliph and had insisted on my position after him before them all.
However, the sweet taste of authority, earthly wishes and power closed their eyes to these truths. The most important thing was that they wanted to restore their prominence of the past (the pre-Islamic age), and so they usurped my right once again.
I reminded them of the Day of Resurrection, and I wanted to do anything to stop their wrong doings, but all of them pretended to show their acceptance in front of me, whereas in fact, they wanted to choose themselves for the Caliphate, and they did not know that I would not accept that. On the other hand, they knew that I would do exactly according to the Book of Allah and the Sunna of the Prophet (S) and that my successor would be chosen by the Will of Allah and not by me.
In that chaotic time, one of these men listened to his corrupted mind and chose Uthman, because he thought that in the near future, Uthman would appoint him in a high position; therefore, he persuaded the others to choose Uthman for this role… the one who was the least fit for that important position.
During the past, Uthman often had not participated in the wars (of Muslims), and everybody in the Arab peninsula believed that to participate in those wars was a distinct honor. Allah had bestowed many blessings on the Prophet (S) and his family, that Uthman had nothing to do with them… I am sure that the men, who had chosen him for this responsibility, regretted quickly what they had done only a few hours after their decision!
After a short time, the people who had appointed Uthman ibn Affan for the Caliphate, believed that he was a heretic. Uthman went to see some of his friends (from the Prophet’s companions) and begged them to forgive him.
He said he was ready to resign because he wanted to redress his immorality.
Oh, my Jewish friend, that problem was very difficult and greater than the other problems, and I was at the point of overflowing the measure of my patience…! It is hard to describe those days, but like past situations, I did nothing, but keep silence and be patient.
Yes, after a few hours of Uthman’s being chosen as the Caliph on that fatal day, the other members of the assembly came to see me. They wanted me to depose Uthman and assume this position. They swore before me to be under my command until their last breath, and support me until the day when Allah would return my true right to me.
Anyhow, my friend! Like the previous instances, and in relation with the former caliphs, I had no way but to remain silent, because I did not want to witness the death of my true friends and the true companions of our Prophet (S), whereas if I had called them to death, they would never have hesitated.
As you know well, death to me is like refreshing, cold water in a hot sunny day in the desert! Know that my uncle Hamza, my brother Ja’far and my cousin Ubaydah had made a covenant with Allah, and so my followers had died while keeping their promise. I was the only one who had remained alive, by the Will of Allah, that Allah had revealed this verse about us, (Of the believers are men who are true to the covenant which they made with Allah: so of them, is he who accomplished his vow, and of them is he who yet waits, and they have not changed in the least).2
Anyway, if I remained silent in front of ibn Affan and did nothing against him, I knew that his bad behavior and immorality would bring others to kill him too, and stop him from committing corruption… So, I cloistered myself and kept tolerant until that day I had predicted. I did not say anything against or for Uthman until he died.
Aye… They finally killed Uthman, and then they came to me trying to convince me to accept the responsibility of Caliphate (but they were not aware that on that critical situation, and in regard with that murder and knowing of their false intentions) I did not have any intention to accept the responsibility of the Caliphate. I knew that they just wanted to follow their desires, so they would not find the fulfillment of their desires in me. I mean the worldly desires and pleasures. However, they accepted me as their new Caliph anymore. But after a while, when Talha and Zobayr could not find their desires with me, they started to walk in a path opposite to mine and created seditions between the people against me. Is it not true?”
Every one said, “Yes it is true, O Commander of the Believers!”
The Jewish man could do nothing but cry.
Those who had pledged their allegiance to me with their freewill (Talha and Zobayr) when they did not achieve their goals to be the governors over two great cities in Iraq, they began conspiring with Aa’isha against me. Even though they knew that after the Prophet (S), the one who had to have the responsibility of protecting that woman was only me and nobody else.
However, these two men forced Aa’isha to sit on a camel and cover the desert until they reached Haw’ab. After the dogs of Haw’ab had barked at Aa’isha, the signs of repentance appeared finally on their faces. They had pledged allegiance to me before the death of the Prophet and also after his death, but what a wicked deed they committed against me!
They came to Bassora and were united with the people who had small hands, long beards, slothful beliefs, and false deeds; those who were sailors or desert dwellers (the Egyptians)… That woman (Aa’isha) had called them from their cities, and they showed their naked blades and then they fell into the deep sea of war.
On that occasion, I had to choose one of the two ways opened before me; either to let them go away, but this made them continue their false path, and they would never return to the right path again, or to stand against them, and this way created a bad ending for them, one that I had not wanted for them.
Therefore, before the battle began, I reminded them of everything and told them about the harsh and hard punishment of Allah. I ended my argument and proposed them a way to come to peace with me and acknowledge their mistakes. I asked that woman to go back to her house, and I wanted from the people around her not to break their allegiance to me, and that Allah would be witness to all this.
O Allah, be the Witness of my deeds on those days!I did everything. I even talked privately to their leaders to persuade them not to start a war, and Zobayr accepted my words. I repeated my intention to the others, but they just showed me their enmity and foolishness.
When they insisted on the war, I had no way but to ride on my horse and the result of their deeds was nothing but defeat and violent death…
Yes, I had no way but to fight them. However, at the end of the battle, I forgave them and did not kill any one of them. Before the war, I could not have forgiven them, because I knew that they would kill innocent people and try to spread dissension allover the country… And I also did not want to accept the authority of that woman, because in many ways, such as in giving testimony and inheritances, the rights of man and woman are different, and choosing a woman as a governor was a wrong act that old nations like the Romans, or those who had lived in the lands of the Queen of Sheba (Saba), had once done wrongfully.
On the other hand, I had to stand for a battle that I did not like, neither its beginning nor its ending! I just let that woman gather troops and do everything she could, to destroy my army in a short time. However, it was not I, who had started the war. I myself did many things to stop the war. I delayed the moment of the battle, negotiated in many ways, and sent many ambassadors. I also offered them many suggestions that they even did not think about, and I even forgave them. They just wanted the war and nothing else, and I had to fight with them. Then, I did according to the will of Allah, and Allah the Almighty was the Witness over me. Is it not true?”
Every one said, “Yes, it is true, O Commander of the Believers!”
The Jewish man began to cry then, and at the same time, he remembered the war that the wife of Moses had waged against Joshua (the successor of Moses), so he was deeply sad for Ali.
The sixth stage was the battle against Mo’awiyya, the son of Hind who was called “the eater of livers”, and finally to accept unwillingly the vote of the arbitrators. It was a battle with the one who was the enemy of Allah and His Prophet from the time of the Prophetic Mission until our victory in Mecca.
On that day of our triumph in Mecca against the polytheists, the Prophet (S) told me that Mo’awiyya and his father Abu Sofian had pledged allegiance to him three times.
In addition, the father of Mo’awiyya, Abu Sofian, at the beginning of the reign of Abu Bakr was the first one who saluted me with the epithet of “the Commander of the Believers”, and he used to tell me that I should go and ask for my usurped right. He also used to say he was always at my command.
So it was very strange to Mo’awiyya, when he saw that Allah had finally restored to me my usurped right. He was so very angry that he was not going to be the fourth caliph! He went to Amr ibn Aas and told him that he would make him the governor of Egypt if he supported him. By the way, even one dirham more than his own measure was unlawful, and it was illegal for the one who had the responsibility of the Treasury of Muslims to give him more than his share.
Anyway, Mo’awiyya, with his followers, went to different cities and killed all the people who were against him and freed the others, who accepted his rule. So Mo’awiyya, with his broken oath, was trying to set off rebellions in different places in our region. One day, the one-eyed man of Thaqif (Moghira ibn Sho’bah) came to me and said that we should appoint Mo’awiyya as the governor of the cities that Mo’awiyya had under his authority.
If I could have found a right excuse about that idea before our God, it would have been an interesting idea for my government and earthly wishes. But when I talked about that proposal with my closest companions and true followers, they also had the same opinion as mine, and they believed that I should not give him any authority whatsoever.
I truly hoped that a day would not come that Allah would see me in cooperation with the heretics and polytheists! Therefore, I sent a man from the tribe of Bajalah and at another time, another man from the tribe of Asha’irah to Mo’awiyya to complete my warnings to him. However, those two men preferred the earthly comfort that Mo’awiyya had offered to them and began serving him most humbly.
When I saw that Mo’awiyya had not respected the rights and commands of Allah, I went and consulted with those who had participated in the battle of Badr and in the Redhwan Homage whom Allah has been pleased with their deeds. I also consulted with true Muslims and all of them believed that we should fight Mo’awiyya and cut his hand from the authority of the Islamic State.
As you know my brother, after our final decision that was to war against Mo’awiyya, I once again sent some letters with many ambassadors to him. I thought that he might accept to walk in the right path and accept my Caliphate. However, on the other hand, he sent me many insulting letters, where he asked me to accept his insolent, offensive conditions that were against the commands of Allah, the Prophet (S), and the welfare of the Muslims nation (Umma).
One of his ridiculous conditions was that I should send him many of the closest companions of the Prophet (S), like Ammar ibn Yasir! I ask you: where can we find a man better than Ammar?! I swear by Allah the Almighty, that Ammar had always been close to the Messenger of Allah (S) and had always been beside Him.
Yes, Mo’awiyya in his foolish condition , wanted me to send many true companions of the Prophet (S) to him as a revengeful ransom for the blood of Uthman. And I swear by Allah, that none of these godly, faithful men had killed Uthman! Mo’awiyya and his tribe (the Bani Omayya) that Allah, in the holy Quran, has called them as “the cursed tree”, had in fact committed that crime…
So when he finally understood that I would never accept his conditions, he gathered many cruel, people around him; brutal companions and bad company, and gave them a lot of money and precious gifts so as to obey his commands with closed eyes.
In contrast with that, we invited them all to Islam and asked them to obey the directions of the Holy Quran! We talked about the severe punishment of Allah, but all that did not affect them whatsoever. So we fought against them and prayed Allah to grant us the final victory.
During that battle, we had the banner of the Prophet (S) with which Allah had always demolished the oppressive forces with it, whereas Mo’awiyya had the banner which had belonged to his father and which, in all wars, had been raised against the Messenger of Allah (S) and Islam.
Yes! Death was so near to Mo’awiyya, and he really did not know what to do to save his life. He just sat on his horse so as to run away from the battle, but at the last moment, his wicked friend, Amr ibn Aas, proposed to their soldiers that each one should raise a copy of the Holy Qur’an on their spears and claimed falsely that it should be done as the Qur’an had commanded!
Amr told Mo’awiyya that the son of Abu Talib and his followers were very wise and strong. He said, “Before the war, they wanted you to do according to the Holy Quran, but they did not receive any response from you. But if you do it now, they will accept your offer.”
When Mo’awiyya saw that he had no any way out, either in the war or for any escape, he ordered his army to raise the copies of the Qur’an on their spears, and he thought that the best thing was to claim that all should do exactly as the Holy Quran had said!
On that day, which was full of various incidents, all my soldiers accepted alas, the false invitation of Mo’awiyya and were deceived by his trick, except a small group of my true followers, who remained with me.
In fact, I insisted and told them repeatedly that it was only a trick by Mo’awiyya and Amr ibn Aas, and that they should not listen to their tricky claims. However, it was very odd that my own soldiers insisted on accepting their deception!
I myself heard that some of them said, “If Ali does not accept Mo’awiyya’s offer, we shall have a bad end, just like Uthman. So we are forced to make Ali submit to Mo’awiyya…”
Allah be my Witness that I tried my best to persuade them to listen to my orders and let me do what was the best, but they continually rejected my orders. They did not even give me a short break to think…
I swear by Allah that I did not fear anything, but I was afraid for the lives of my two sons Hassan and Hussein. I was afraid that no one from the Prophet’s progeny would remain alive, for they were the real treasures of his blood!
I was also afraid for the lives of Abdullah ibn Ja’far and Muhammad ibn Hanafiyya, for both of them were there because of me and they wanted to be always beside me.
Once again, I used my patience before their wrong choice. However, after we had put aside our arms, all of them began blaming me. They put aside the Holy Qur’an and suggested to choose either Mo’awiyya or me.
I myself never believed that such a thing would happen, and I did not want people to be against the Will of Allah. It was a very wicked action, but what did I have to do then ? From among my foolish men and Mo’awiyya, neither of them accepted anything else.
When I wanted to choose one of my relatives such as (Abdullah) ibn Abbas or a man who had enough knowledge of Allah, the religion, the Prophet (S), and me to negotiate, someone that I could trust in, someone like Malik Ashtar, the son of Hind (Mo’awiyya) did not accept it… alas!
Mo’awiyya was full of arrogance, so he did not accept my words. The reason behind his pride was the help that my foolish soldiers had given him unknowingly. Anyway, when I saw that it was an awful judgment against me and against Islam, I prayed to Allah and let them go away with their wrongdoings.
They chose Abu Musa Ash’ari, who had been lured with many gifts by Amr himself, and when every one heard about it, the man did not know how to hide his disgraceful actions. Is it not true?”
Every one said, “Yes, it is true, O Commander of the Believers!”
The moaning of the Jewish man made the people around look at him strangely. He had read in the Holy Books of Moses (a.s.) about the Martyrdom of the last successor of the last Prophet, so he knew that according to the prophesies, that day was near...
The Prophet (S) in the twenty-three years of his Mission, often told me that a day would come, when some of my companions, who fasted in the day and recited the Qur’an in the night Holy, would stand against me, and I would be in a war with them, because they would go out of the religion as an arrow penetrates and goes out of a game.
The Prophet (S) also told me that Thul Thodayyah would be with them, and that when I would defeat and kill them, I would fly to Paradise. We returned to Kufa and all of them, who had insisted on arbitration, then snubbed me and used to say, ‘Very well, we were wrong, but why you Imam Ali? Why an Emir and great commander should listen to his soldiers and assistances? An Emir like you should have done whatever he thought was right. He should not have feared death! Now that you listened to our ideas, so you are a heretic and the killing of a heretic is lawful and permissible!’
All of them united and left my army. They cried out loudly that there was no command but the command of Allah! Some of them went to Nokhaylah, and some others went to Haroura. A third group went to the riverside of Tigris. They wanted to go to the east as quickly as possible. Whenever they saw a Muslim before them, first they put him to trial, and if that Muslim had opinions like theirs, they would do nothing to him, but if he had an opposite thought, they would kill him with all his family right away.
At first, I started to invite the two first groups toward Allah and the Holy Qur’an, but they did not accept my invitation, and they just wanted to fight against me and nothing else mattered to them.
When I understood that their problem would never be solved except by the sword, I did what Allah willed. If I did not do that, they would have caused a great problem to Islam, but Allah had prepared a different destiny for them.
Then, I wrote a letter to the third group, and I sent many messengers who were all great and wise men from among my companions. However, that group like the two previous ones, ignored me and my messengers, and insisted on fighting us.
They continued to kill innocent Muslims who were against them. Therefore, I closed the way to the Tigris and once again, I sent many messengers to invite them to us. One day, I sent this man, and another day that man, but I had no way except to kill them.
Thus, O my Jewish brother, I killed all of their four thousand men, but only ten men from them remained alive. I searched among the dead and found the body of Thul Thodayyah, about whom the Prophet (S) had told me before. I showed his body to everyone. Is it not true?”
They all said, “Yes, it is true, O Commander of the Believers.”
At that moment, Imam Ali (a.s.) looked at the Jewish man’s face and said, “I talked about the fourteen instances, and now there remains just another event that will happen in the near future.”
When Imam Ali finished his words, all of his companions began crying. The Jewish man, while crying, said, “Please, tell us about the last one!” With the great sorrow that he felt inside him, he was not able to move from his place. Imam Ali (a.s.) touched his beard and said, “In the last event, this beard will be dyed by my own blood…”
When the masses of people heard Imam Ali’s word, they began to moan and cry, and their cries of sorrow spread everywhere in the mosque of Kufa.
It was the turn of the Jew to do as his promise and complete a allegiance and to realize his wish that was inside him for so many years. Yes! After the Imam finished his talk, the Jew went and kissed the holy hand of Imam Ali (a.s.) and embraced Islam. He lived in Kufa until the day when Imam Ali (a.s.) was killed by Abdurrahman ibn Moljam (Allah’s curse be on him) in the year 40 AH.
When the people arrested ibn Moljam, they delivered him to Imam Hassan ibn Ali (a.s.), where there were masses of people around him. The Jew came to that place, and while crying, he thought to himself that It was the hardest day in his life. He said to Imam Hassan (a.s.), “O son of Muhammad! Kill this man, and I hope that Allah will curse him with a terrible Punishment! In the Holy Books of Moses, I had read that the crime of this man is much greater than the sin of the son of Adam (Cain) who had murdered his brother Abel, and his sin is greater than the crime of the people of Aad who had killed the Camel of the Prophet Salih (a.s.)...!".
So what a lucky man the Jew was! He lived with his good deeds, while there were many Muslims who were Muslim only by name, but in their lives, they lived and behaved just like infidels and unlike what Allah and His Messenger (S) had wanted.
It has been mentioned in a tradition, that once a man from Bassora came to Imam Sajjad (a.s.) and asked him, “Why your grandfather (Imam Ali) killed the Muslims?” Imam Sajjad (a.s.) began to cry painfully, and then he wiped his tears with his hand and said, “O, you my Basri brother! I swear by Allah that Ali (a.s.) never killed a true Muslim or an innocent one! He fought against some people, who had the name of "Muslims" only upon themselves, but in their hearts, they were the enemies of Allah and the Muslims. When they found people like themselves, they united with them against true Muslims. The true companions and followers of the progeny of Muhammad know that the people of (the battle of) Jamal, Siffeen, and Nahrawan were cursed by the Messenger of Allah (S). So curse be on one who fabricates lies against Allah, and His Messenger!”
In Imam Ali’s speech to the Jew, he addressed as “Jewish brother”. The statement in Arabic is “Akhal Yahud” which means: “brother of the Jews” which may mean “O Jew!”
An old man stood up and said, “but your grandfather Ali ibn Abi Talib had said about them, “our "brothers" oppressed us!”
Imam Sajjad (a.s.) replied, “Did you not read this verse in the Qur’an where Allah says, (and to (the people of) Aad (we sent) their brother Hud)?[3 In this situation, the people of Aad are like the brothers that Imam Ali (a.s.) had talked about. We saw that Allah the Almighty had assisted the Prophet Hud (a.s.) and his followers, but demolished the people of Aad with a furious storm.”
Thus, it is not true to think that when Imam Ali (a.s.) said to the Jew: “my Jewish brother”, he meant that he was his brother in religion.
However, there is a point of view more reliable. It is that: Imam Ali (a.s.) had knowledge of every thing about the past, present, and the future. Thus, he knew very well that this Jewish man, later on, would embrace the religion of Islam. The interesting fact is that Imam Ali (a.s.) since the beginning of his discourse with the Jew, considered him his “brother in religion”, because he well knew that the Jew would soon become Muslim.
Alhamdolillahe Rabbel Alamin
Tehran, Ramadan 19th 1428
October 1st 2007
Mehr 9th 1386