Life – An Exalted Destiny – Aga Khan III

Life - An Exalted Destiny - Aga Khan III Life is a great and noble calling; not a mean and grovelling thing to be shuffled through as best as we can, but a lofty and exalted destiny.

Imam Hazrat Ali the Great!

Prophet Muhammad giving Fatima in marriage to Ali - Siyer-Nabi, Amaana.orgImam Hazrat Ali from “An Introduction to Shi’i Islam” by Moojan Momen

Born inside the Holy Kaaba in Mecca on Friday the 13th Rajab, 30 Amulfeel, (year of the Elephant) 11th October 599 A.D. His father was Hazrat Abu Talib, his mother was Bibi Fatima Binte Asad, his wife was Bibi Fatima Binte Muhammad az-Zahra (SA) and he was the father of Imam Hassan (AS), Imam Hussein (AS), Bibi Zaynab (AS), Bibi Kulthum (AS) and Hazrat Muhsin(AS).

As we all know, Hazrat Ali (a.s.) was the first male Muslim convert (Hazrat Khatija being the first female believer) and he took up the responsibility to propagate the Holy Message delivered to our beloved Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) at a tender age. He was only twelve when Prophet Muhammad asked who would come to his help with this work at a family gathering at Abd-al Muttalib’s (their grandfather) house. Hazrat Ali (a.s.) was the only one who stood up and declared his allegiance and offered full support for Prophet Muhammad’s (s.a.s.) mission. The Prophet blessed Imam Ali (a.s.) and said, “From now on you are my helper, my Wazir and the Khalif after me on earth.”

There were many other historical incidences where Hazrat Ali was always at the Prophet’s side working to forward the cause of Allah. This meant not only educating the new Muslims about the fresh revelations but also defending the believers from the opposition to this new faith. Prophet Muhammad came to rely on Hazrat Ali’s help as his chief commander of his army and with the help of his two-horned sword named Zulfiqar (which means 2-pronged), Hazrat Ali defeated many an army.

At the battle at the Fort of Khyber, Hazrat Ali had stayed behind, and when the Muslims were losing hopelessly, Prophet Muhammad called for the help of Hazrat Ali in his prayer to Allah. Ya Ali Bilutfika Adrikani! O Ali, come to my help by Thy Favor! Hazrat Ali came riding and to the rescue of his team; he held the door of the fort across the moat, miraculously, with one arm, until all the Muslims had crossed over. This resulted in victory for the Muslims. Songs and Qawalis about this victory abound in the Muslim world even today and here is a selection for your enjoyment.

“Hazrat Ali was never defeated in a war or a combat throughout his life. His physical strength was beyond human comprehension. He removed from the hinges the strong doors of the Khyber fort with a single jolt of his hand. Later, seven strong men with Abu Ra’fe’, the famous strongman, could not lift even an inch from the ground one of the corners of the door. When asked about his wonderful display of strength, in removing the doors, Hazrat Ali replied that it was his divine power.” (Sayyidul Ausiya, p. 65)

“Ali, Son of Abu Talib, Son-in-Law and first cousin of Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him), father of Imam Hasan and the greatest Martyr Imam Husain, the Lion of God, Gateway of Knowledge, the mightiest of mighty; does not need an introduction, He was at the same time master of the Pen and Sword — a rare combination. Even today in the battle fields the Cry of “Ya Ali !” resounds, invoking his help. Sportsmen, Wrestlers and Athletes, taking part in manly games, chant the Slogan of “Ya Ali !” for their victory. On the other hand, the pious devoted entirely to the service of God, almost all of them trace the spiritual lineage from Ali and believe him to be the Fountain Head of all Knowledge.” – S.M.A. Rizvi

“Ali is absent today from our midst only physically. His soul even to this day is the greatest spiritual resort to everyone who seeks the help of God through his medium. Thousands and thousands of people call out to him in their difficulties, and the word “Ya Ali Madad”, automatically comes to them. A famous prayer known as “NADEY ALI” (Call Ali) is recited wherever abound the lovers of Ali.” – Majlisi

“Here the garrison came out in great force, and on that day every attack made by the Muslims was repulsed. “Tomorrow,” said the Prophet, “will I give the standard unto a man whom God and His messenger love. God will give us the victory by his hands; he is not one who turneth back in flight.”

“In his previous campaigns the Prophet had used relatively small flags as standards, but to Khaybar he had brought a great black standard made from a cloak of A’isha’s. They called it ‘the Eagle’, and this he now gave to Ali.” – Martin Lings in his book: “Muhammad – his life based on the earliest sources”

“Ali was one of the most courageous and able men in the Muslim army. He was appointed the standard-bearer at the battles of both Badr and Khaybar. At Khaybar (A.H. 7) the following tradition is related by several Sunni and Shi’i histories. This is the version found in a Sunni collection of Traditions, the Sahih of Muslim:

‘The Apostle of God said on the day of Khaybar: “I shall certainly give this banner to a man who loves God and His Apostle and through whom God will give victory.” Umar ibn al-Khattab said: “I never wished for a leadership except on that day.” And he also said: “And so I leapt up towards it hoping to claim it as a right.” And the Apostle of God summoned Ali, the son of Abu Talib, and gave it to him and said “Go! And do not turn aside until God gives you victory.”

“When the Prophet left to go on his longest expedition, to Tabuk, Ali was left in charge at Medina. According to some accounts, Ali felt insulted to be left with the women and children while, according to others, rumours spread that Ali had been left behind because it was feared he would bring misfortune to the expedition. In any case, Ali went to the Prophet voicing his discontent at being left behind. It was at this time, according to numerous Sunni and Shi’i Traditionists, that the famous Hadith of Manzilat Harun (position of Aaron) was revealed. According to this Tradition, Muhammad said to Ali: ” Are you not content to be with respect to me as Aaron was to Moses, except that after me there shall be no other Prophet.” The implication was that Ali was to be Muhammad’s chief assistant in his lifetime and his successor after him.”

Source: Moojan Momen’s “An introduction to Shi’i Islam” published by Yale University Press

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Quran, 13:28

ألا بِذِكْرِ اللهِ تَطمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

“Verily! In the remembrance of Allah do hearts find contentment.” - Quran, 13:28

Prophet Muhammad

Prophet Muhammad:

‘Ali is ‘as my own soul’ (ka-nafsi).

He said to ‘Ali, ‘You are from me and I am from you (anta minni wa ana minka).’

‘Truly, ‘Ali is from me and I am from him (inna ‘Ali minni wa ana minhu), and he is the wali (patron/spiritual master) of every believer after me.’

Hazrat Ali

12. When some blessings come to you, do not drive them away through thanklessness.

13. He who is deserted by friends and relatives will often find help and sympathy from strangers.

Imam Ali Sayings

Imam Jaffer Sadiq

لاَ يَكُونُ شَيْءٌ فِي اْلاَرْضِ وَلا فِي السَّمَاءِ إِلاَّ بِهذِهِ الْخِصَالِ السَّبْعِ: بِمَشيئَةٍ وَ إِرادَةٍ وَقَدَرٍ وَقَضَاءٍ وَ إِذْنٍ وَكِتابٍ وَأَجَلٍ. فَمَنْ زَعَمَ أَنَّهُ يَقْدِرُ عَلى نَقْضٍ وَاحِدَةٍ، فَقَدْ كَفَرَ.

“Nothing occurs in this earth and in the heaven except with the following seven stages: Will, intention, destiny, decree, permission, book and implementation. Then whoever thinks that he can reduce any of these stages, then indeed he has disbelieved.”

- Imam Jaffer Sadiq, Usul al Kafi, vol. 1, p. 149

Rumi on Ramadan

The month of fasting has come, the emperor’s banner has arrived; withhold your hand from food, the spirit’s table has arrived. The soul has escaped from separation and bound nature’s hands; the heart of error is defeated, the army of faith has arrived. Fasting is our sacrifice, it is the life of our soul; let us sacrifice all our body, since the soul has arrived as guest. Fortitude is as a sweet cloud, wisdom rains from it, because it was in such a month of fortitude that the Koran arrived. …Wash your hands and your mouth, neither eat nor speak; seek that speech and that morsel which has come to the silent ones.

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"Looking around this colorful gathering, I recall helping in the choice of the Aga Khan University's regalia. Our research into Islamic traditions of academic dress revealed that an academic's rank determined the height of his hat. The higher the rank, the taller the hat. The senior most professors therefore appeared taller than their students even when sitting down. I have just learnt that my friend Neil Rudenstein, the President of Harvard has given instructions that all Harvard hats are to be heightened by at least a foot. This has caused havoc in the Ivy League which is now debating resolution MAHH96, standing for Maximum Allowable Hat Height. My academic standing and that of President Gregorian, should be evident from the hats that we are presently wearing!"

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