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Imam Ali (AS) was always with the Prophet (SAWA) and he witnessed how some persons led by Umar refused to obey the order of the Prophet (SAWA). Imam Ali (AS) knew their evil intentions when they openly opposed the Prophet (SAWA). The prophetic order to bring writing marerial was not to Imam Ali (AS) but to other companions. The Prophet (SAWA) wanted to write his last will appointing Imam Ali as his successor, and that was the reason of the refusal of Umar and his group to obey the Prophet (SAWA). If he brought it, they will simply deny it and deny the Prophet's other orders and turn against Islam to achieve their evil plans to grasp the government. They have already said about the Prophet (SAWA): the (man) is speaking nonsense إن الرجل ليهجر.

Imam Ali (AS) was always trying to protect Islam and Muslims and never let them fight or leave Islam.

Wassalam.

Taraweeh is a Bid'ah created in the year 14 after Hijra by Umar ibn Khttab. Umar himself called it Bid'ah ( Saheeh Bukhari; Hadeeth number1871 and Saheeh Muslim ; Hadeeth number 1219 , and Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal ; Hadeeth number 22944, and a Sunan Abi Dawood; 1143, and al-Mowatta'bby Malik ibn Ana's; 243, and Sunan al-Tirmithi ; 403, Sunan al-Kubba by al-Bayhaqi ; V.7, P. 62 and Saheeh ibn Hibban , V.6, P. 186 and many other Sunni books of Hadeeth).

imam Ali (AS) was always against every Bid'ah. He had clearly refused this practice and condemned it. When he had the government in his hand, he prevented people from Taraweeh and told them that no congregational prayer in Islam but the obligatory prayers but many of them said: It is Sunnah of Umar and we won't leave a Sunnah of Umar.( Al-Kafi 8:58).

Wassalam.

Many the battles that were fought during the expansion of the Arab-Muslim empires after the time of the Prophet (S) were the same sort of battles that any other empire or state engages in to look after its political, financial or economic interests, although it is true that, as a side effect, it contributed to the spread of Islam by establishing a ruling class who was Muslim. So, from that angle, there is nothing special about them to make them jihad fi sabil Allah.

However, if someone was fighting in defence or for other selfless reasons, this could be considered jihad, just as it would be considered jihad fi sabil Allah today if I risked my life to defend someone who is under attack. 

Perhaps for that reason, there is a dua in al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyah where Imam Zayn al-Abidin (A) prays for the soldiers on the frontier who are defending the Muslim state against enemies. 

Also, even in times of jihad with the Prophet (S), whether or not fighting was counted as jihad was according to intention. For instance, some people might have gone to war for glory or financial gain, and so this is not the same thing as risking their lives or enduring battle solely for the sake of Allah. 

Imam Ali (AS) never took part in any matter of the governments of Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman. He did not attend any Juma or Jama'ah with them (Al-Thahabi in Siyar A'laam al- Nubalaa' 9/284.

Valid Jihad must be led or permitted by the Prophet (SAWA) or his real successors.

Wassalam.