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Don’t go Imam Ali (A)

In: Ahlul-Bayt

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The courtyard geese circled ’round, trying to keep him from going. The door latched onto his belt, as if it too were stopping him. It was fate. Imam Ali was completely aware of what would happen in the next few hours; he went willingly.

What you are about to read is the recounting of how Imam Ali, the first Imam, Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) true successor and son-in-law, was assassinated and reached the position of martyrdom.

Imam Ali went to Koofa Mosque to lead the Morning Prayer, 40 years after the Prophet left Mecca. Some people were sleeping in the mosque when he arrived. He woke them one by one, gently, so they would not miss his last congregational prayer. For this would be the last time the walls of the mosque would hear Ali’s voice calling to Allah. This would be the last time Imam Ali would lead salat for a people who did not appreciate him. It would be his last appearance among the people who did not see the gemstone they held in their hands.

One of the people he woke that morning was Abd-al-Rahman Ibn Muljam. He knew what Ibn Muljam had come to do. Imam Ali knew that the beautiful Qatam, the daughter of al-Akhdar of Taym, wanted the death of Ali ibn Abi Talib for her dowry.

Imam Ali had killed her father and brother in battle; ever since, she had been possessed with attaining revenge. Ibn Muljam was blinded by her love and had promised that he would commit the ultimate crime for her.

This was known by the great Imam when he woke Ibn Muljam.

Why did Ibn Muljam not kill Imam Ali right there and then you may ask? Imam Ali would not avenge anything before the actual crime was committed. Did he even doubt for a second that Ibn Muljam would do such a thing? There was no question; yet Imam Ali did not interfere with what was to be. He allowed his destiny to follow its course.

The time came to pray. Ibn Muljam stood in the line of prayer. Was he going to pray? No, he was going to murder the symbol of true prayer. And so he did while Imam Ali was on his knees with his hands on the ground, his forehead touching the floor, in the state of prostration. He struck his poisoned sword upon the precious head of Amir al Mumenin, the Commander of the faithful.

The world shattered. The sea became turbulent. The sky became ominous. The doors of the mosque openend and closed continually. A black wind blew and made the world dark and gloomy.

Gabriel cried out: “By God, the pillars of guidance have collapsed, the stars of knowledge of all the prophets are no longer lit, the signs of piety have disappeared. The ropes to God [orwat-ul-wothgha] are unraveled. All because Prophet Mohammad’s cousin, Ali the Morteza (peace be upon them both) has been martyred by the cruelest man ever.”

Imam Ali was too good for this world. He belonged to a much higher place. He belonged with God and His prophet. Life on earth was a prison for him, martyrdom was his salvation.

After he was stricken by the cruelest man who had ever lived, what do you presume he called out? ‘Fozto wa rab-el-kaba!’- ‘I have attained victory, by God of the Kaba!’

How could anyone ask for a better way to die? In prostration before Allah, while fasting, during the month of God, Ramadan. For Imam Ali, praying was the most glorious action possible, and in such a divine place such as the Koofa Mosque! The act of martyrdom is the highest way for one to peacefully offer their life to Allah. He had it all; throughout his life, and even in his death.

Imam Ali’s death meant victory for him and nothing but loss for us. This deed was not carried out haphazardly; this was a plot against Islamic leadership, against justice, and all that is true. This is not the tale of the assassination of one man, but of an ummah, an entire society, of all those who have ever longed for peace and justice.

When Ibn Muljam was brought before the recipient of his blow, Imam Ali (PBUH) said: “A life for a life. If I die, kill him as he killed me. If I live, I will consider his judgment (how he will be punished).

The unfazed murderer was taken from his presence. People wanted to tear his flesh with their teeth as if they were wild beasts. They cried out: “Oh enemy of God, what have you done? You have destroyed the community of Muhammad (PBUH), may God bless him and his family. You have killed the best of all people.”

Imam Ali (PBUH) suffered from his wound for three days, and returned to his Creator on the 21st day of the holy month of Ramadan. During those three days, he entrusted his son, Imam Hasan (PBUH) with the Imamate of guiding the nation ideologically and politically.

He spent his last days as he did his life, remembering and praising Allah, and leading others away from evil and toward what was right. He expounded the divine message with his last breath.

His advice was not only for his family, but for all mankind. “I advise you to fear Allah, and not to run after [the pleasure of] the world, even if it may run after you. Do not grieve for anything which has been denied you. Say the truth and act for [Allah’s] reward. Be an enemy of the oppressor, and be a helper of the oppressed.

He advised us to maintain good relations among ourselves, to have a good attitude and be well-mannered. He reminded us to care for orphans, financially and morally. He advised us to respect our neighbors, for this was the Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) teaching.

Imam Ali mentioned the Holy Quran and its importance. He warned us that no one should excel Muslims in following the tenets of the Quran and advised us about the pillar of Islam, prayer, and many other important matters.

We mourn the death of this wondrous man. We curse his murderer in disgust. We pray that we become more like Imam Ali every day. We hope that he we can measure up to his standard; because his standard is Allah’s standard. We realize that all that happened occurred close to over 1,300 years ago but in our hearts we still cry out: Imam Ali, don’t go!

Reference:

Don’t go Imam Ali!  (Sun, 21 Sep 2008 19:09:16 GMT) By F. Mardi courtesy of Press TV.

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