Khalifa Ali bin Talib

 

Ali was the son of Abu Talib, a prominent Quraish chief and custodian of the Holy Kaaba. Abu Talib was so called because he was the father of "Talib", the eldest brother of Ali. The real name of Abu Talib was Abd Manaf. He was however more popularly known by his surname than by his real name. Abu Talib was the son of Abdul Muttalib. Abdul Muttalib was also a surname, his real name being Shaybah. Abdul Muttalib was the son of Hashim. Hashim was a great man of the line, and his descendants came to be known as Hashimites.

The mother of Ali was Fatima. She was the daughter of Asad who was a son of Hashim. Fatima was a cousin of Abu Talib. Thus both the father and mother of Ali were Hashimites.

The Holy Prophet was the son to Abdullah who was the son of Abdul Muttalib. Abdullah and Abu Talib were real brothers. Abu Talib was thus the real paternal uncle of the Holy Prophet of Islam. Ali was the first cousin of the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet and Ali had a common grandfather Abdul Muttalib.

Abdul Muttalib was the son of Hashim who was the son of Abd Manaf who was the son of Qussay who was the son of Murrah, who was the son of Kaab, who was the son of Luayy, who was the son of Ghalib, who was the son of Fihr, who was the son of Malik who was the son of Nadr, who was the son of Kananah. Beyond Kananah the ancestry extended to Ismail, and Ibrahim, who flourished some 2500 years earlier.

The exact date of the birth of Ali is not known with any degree of certainty. According to traditions, Ali was born on the thirteenth of "Rajab" in the 28th year of the Elephant Era. The Elephant Era according to the annals of Arabia commenced when Abraha the Christian Viceroy of Yemen invaded Makkah with the intention of destroying the Kaaba, and shifting the centre of pilgrimage to Yemen. The invasion failed and the Christian army had to beat a retreat without achieving its object. That marked the retreat of Christianity from the heartland of Arabia and paved the way for the rise of Islam. The Holy Prophet of Islam was born in the Year of the Elephant. According to scholars the Year of the Elephant corresponds to the year 571 of the Christian era. On this basis, the year of the birth of Ali would have to be placed around 599 or 600 C.E. Anyhow Ali was at the junction of the two centuries, the sixth and the seventh.

Ali was born under unusual circumstances. On the thirteenth of the holy month of "Rajab", Fatima, the mother of Ali, visited the Kaaba for performing the pilgrimage. During the course of the pilgrimage while circumambulating the Kaaba, Fatima felt the pangs of childbirth. She retired to a secluded place in the precincts of the Holy Kaaba, and there Ali was born. Ali had thus the unique honour of being born in the House of God. This unparalleled honour has endowed Ali with a halo of sanctity, which has become the subject of many legends. A hundred years later, Zain-ul-Abidin a grandson of Ali (son of Husain) met as Arab woman at Najaf who told him that her grandmother had helped on the occasion of the birth of Ali. She narrated that according to the account of her grandmother, the child was beautiful, a smile played on his lips, it did not cry like other children, and its birth did not cause any pain to his mother.

No detailed account of the early years of the childhood of Ali is available.

As the Holy Prophet had arranged for the stay of Ali in the desert, it appears that on return from the desert, the young Ali was brought to the house of the Holy Prophet, and he arranged some function to mark the occasion which was attended by Abu Talib and his family, and other close relatives. The Holy Prophet had looked after the young Ali since his birth and he developed a great liking for him. It was against this background that the Holy Prophet requested Abu Talib that Ali be entrusted to his care, and be allowed to live with him as a member of his family. Abu Talib agreed as he felt that the Holy Prophet would look after Ali in a much better way than he could.

Ali became the ward of the Holy Prophet at the age of five. No account is available from the source books about the life of Ali during this period. As Ali came to be attached to the Holy Prophet during this period, we can derive help from the life of the Holy Prophet in order to undertake a biographical study of Ali. There are three turning points in the life of the Holy Prophet. The first turning point was his marriage with Khadija in 596 C E. when he was twenty-five years old. The second turning point was the call to prophethood in 611 C.E. when he was forty years old. The third turning point was the migration to Yathrib in 622 C E. when he was fifty-one years old. The life of the Holy Prophet is thus divisible into four periods. A few details are available about the first period, When Ali came to live with the Holy Prophet that was some time in the year 604 C.E. By this time eight years had passed since the marriage of the Holy Prophet and Khadija. At the time the Holy Prophet was thirty-three years and Khadija was forty-eight years old. During these eight years, Khadija had given birth to seven children. Out of these three were sons and four were daughters. All the three boys died during infancy. The girls survived. These were Zainab, Ruqayya, Umm Kulthum and Fatima. There were no more births thereafter. All the source books that have come down to us are silent as to the activities of the Holy Prophet during this period. We know that Khadija was a rich lady and when the record is silent about any business activity of the Holy Prophet that tends to create the impression that the Holy Prophet depended on the wealth of his wife. We can thus conclude that when Ali came to live with the Holy Prophet, he found in the house of the Holy Prophet, all the comforts that are found in the house of a rich man.As the Holy Prophet was rich, it is certain that on taking over the responsibility for the maintenance of Ali, the Holy Prophet made the best possible arrangement for his education. Later in life, Ali came to enjoy reputation for being the most learned man of his age in Arabia. This points to the fact that the Holy Prophet took particular care in educating Ali, Ali was a precocious child, at an early age he came to master knowledge which others could hardly understand.

The young Ali was most impressed with the personality and character of the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet was the paragon of virtues, and the personification of human perfection. The Holy Prophet, Abu Bakr, and some other friends often met at the house of the Holy Prophet. The young Ali listened attentively to such talks. From these talks the young Ali gathered that the Holy Prophet was in quest of a new order of things. Ali resolved in his young mind that in any adventure in the discovery of a new order of things, he would stand by the side of Muhammad (peace be on him). He came to know from Abu Talib how a Christian monk in Syria had prophesied many years ago that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was destined to be a prophet of God. He heard from Khadija that her dream signified that great destiny awaited Muhammad (peace be upon him),and that he was to be a great leader of men and the saviour of humanity. The young Ali anxiously longed to see that day when such dreams would be realized. He moved by a strong determination that as and when Muhammad (peace be upon him) was lifted to the status of prophethood he, as the ward of the Holy Prophet, Ali regarded the Holy Prophet not merely as a brother or a guardian, but as his guide and preceptor. Availing of the company of the Holy Prophet, the young Ali took pains to acquire most of the attributes, which were the distinguishing features of the character of the Holy Prophet. It was a result of this training received because of close association with the Holy Prophet that Ali in due course grew to be the alter ego of the Holy Prophet.

The year 611 C.E. was a turning point in the life of Ali for in this year he was converted to Islam. This was a turning point in the history of Islam. In fact it was a turning point in the history of mankind. It marked the end of the age of ignorance, and the dawn of a new era of enlightenment.

Muhammad (peace be on him) spent long hours in the cave absorbed in thought and meditation. When the stay in the cave extended long-time Ali brought food for Muhammad in the cave. Ali kept watch on the cave and patrolled the neighbourhood. When Ali came to know of the conversion of Khadija he hastened to offer his allegiance to the Holy Prophet. Ali was the first among the youth to be converted to Islam.

By this time Ali had come of age. He was well educated, highly intelligent, most enterprising and brave. When Abu Talib decided to espouse the cause of Muhammad (peace be on him), Ali most probably played an important part in prevailing upon Abu Talib to take the decision he did. We know that when the Holy Prophet migrated to Yathrib, he entrusted the responsibility for winding up the business in Makkah to Ali. In the accounts that have come down to us the Holy Prophet is shown as a good manager and businessman, but in the accounts of the post-prophethood period there is no account of any business activity on the part of the Prophet. It appears that when Ali came of age, the Holy Prophet entrusted the responsibility for running the business to Ali. It appears that during the period of the social boycott Ali continued to run the business of the holy Prophet (SAW). The boycott agreement merely restricted the sale or purchase by the Quraish; it did not and could not apply to business transactions elsewhere. It appears that Ali undertook business journeys during this period, and the necessary provisions procured from outside Makkah were duly supplied to the Banu Hashim in the glen.

The passing away of Abu Talib and Khadija created a great vacuum in the life of the Holy Prophet. He felt very lonely and disconsolate. His grief was so intense that the Muslims called the year "619 C. EL," the year of the deaths of Abu Talib and Khadija as the "Year of Sorrow. "

Ali shared this grief with the Holy Prophet. In heart-rending verses he mourned the deaths of Abu Talib and Khadija. He said: both my eyes weep, weep for that chief of the Bateha valley whose name was Abu Talib; and weep for that flower of womanhood whose name was Khadija. The woman first to accept Islam and first to pray. Both Abu Talib and Khadija were pure souls.

Ali arrived in Yathrib renamed as Madina-tun-Nabi or Madina in the honour of the Holy Prophet towards the close of September in the year 622 C.E. The Holy Prophet welcomed him to Madina, and appreciated his services for risking his life for him at Makkah in facing the fury of the Quraish. The Holy Prophet was glad to note that the task allotted to Ali at Makkah had been properly and satisfactorily done by him.

In 623 C.E. the Holy Prophet decided to build a mosque in Madina which was to be a prayer house as well as a community center. The Holy Prophet asked the Muslims to offer their services in labor as well as capital towards the construction of the mosque. Ali was the first person to offer his services as labourer. He shovelled the earth when the foundations were being laid and later carried on baskets of brick and mortar which he passed on to the masons. Ali composed some verses for the occasion, and he recited them as he worked as a labourer.

When the Holy Prophet migrated to Yathrib he left his family at Makkah. When the Muslims had settled in Yathrib (renamed Madina) the Holy Prophet and the other Muslims called their families to Madina. At the time of migration, Sauda an elderly lady was the only wife of the Holy Prophet whom he had married after the death of Khadija. About a year after his arrival in Madina, the Holy Prophet married Ayesha, a daughter of Abu Bakr.

By this time, Fatima, the youngest daughter of the Holy Prophet had come of marriageable age, and the Holy Prophet had to consider the question of her marriage. Abu Bakr waited on the Holy Prophet, and asked for the hand of Fatima. The Holy Prophet made no answer. Thereafter Umar asked for the hand of Fatima and the Holy Prophet maintained silence. In the Arabian society of the day, the disparity in the age of the bride and the bridegroom did not matter. The Holy Prophet married Khadija when he was twenty-five and she was forty, fifteen years older than him. Later the Holy Prophet, when over fifty, married Ayesha yet within her teens. When the Holy Prophet did not respond to the requests of Abu Bakr or Umar he was not bothered about the age question; his silence was due to the fact that he had to wait for the guidance of God which was wont to get in all matters of importance affecting his person.

After the Battle of Badr, Ali made his suit. The Holy Prophet told Ali that he would give his reply after consulting Fatima. The Holy Prophet consulted Fatima, and she maintained silence signifying her assent. In the meantime the Holy Prophet received the revelation that God approved of the marriage of Fatima with Ali. When Fatima the mother of Ali called on the Holy Prophet to press the suit on behalf of Ali, the Holy Prophet was pleased to announce his acceptance.

According to the accounts available in the source books, Ali had no money to meet the expenses of the marriage. He had to sell his armour to raise the necessary funds. Othman who enjoyed reputation for his wealth agreed to purchase the armour for five hundred dirhams. After the transaction had been completed, and the amount had been paid, Othman presented the armour to Ali as a marriage gift saying that it would be more useful for a warrior like Ali than for a trader like him. Ali was reluctant to accept the gift, but Othman prevailed to accept it in the name of God, for thereby it would serve the cause of Islam in fighting against its enemies. That made Ali accept the gift with many thanks. When Ali told of the transaction to the Holy Prophet, the Holy Prophet praised the conduct of Othman and prayed for him.

According to all accounts that have come down to us, the marriage of Ali and Fatima was an ideal marriage. It was a union of two great souls. Hafsa, a daughter of Umar and later a wife of the Holy Prophet wrote some verses highlighting the greatness of the pair. She said: Fatima is superior to womankind in the world; she is the lady whose face shines as the full moon; she is the bride whose groom excels all in Scholarship.

Undoubtedly the marriage of Ali and Fatima was an ideal marriage as the marriage was performed by the Holy Prophet in accordance with the will of God, it could not be anything but an ideal marriage. The economic aspect of the matter is that all writers of old are unanimous on the point that Ali was very poor. It is observed that often days passed without any fire being lit in their hearth. It is further observed that his bed sheet was so small, that if he covered his head, his legs remained uncovered, and if he covered his legs his head was exposed the account provides that Fatima had to work too hard. She did not have the wherewithal to wash her clothes which were blackened and soiled on account of dust and dirt. The shoulder on which she carried pitchers of water from the well was swollen, and the hands with which she worked the handmil1 to grind corn were often covered with blisters. There is a story that she requested the Holy Prophet to give her a maid slave to assist her, but he turned down the request. According to another story Ali hired himself as an ordinary manual labourer. Ali is said to be hot tempered while Fatima was cool-headed. It is related that one day Ali picked up a quarrel with Fatima, Fatima felt aggrieved and she went to the Holy Prophet to complain of the conduct of Ali. Ali followed her and hid himself behind a wall to listen what transpired between the Holy Prophet and Fatima. The Holy Prophet advised Fatima to have patience and submit to her husband. When Ali saw the Holy Prophet later, the Holy Prophet told him to be kind to his wife. Due to the wise counsels of the Holy Prophet, both Ali and Fatima succeeded in making adjustments which insured mutual happiness. Hasan, their first child was born in 625 C.E. and Husain, the second child was born in 626 C.E. The Holy Prophet had great love for Hasan and Husain and treated them as his own sons.

The Holy Prophet commissioned Ali to undertake operations against the tribes in the neighborhood of Taif who were feudatories to Taif. Ali began his operations by destroying the idols in the temples in the neighborhood of Taif. The principal god of the people was Al lat, and when Ali destroyed this idol, he was involved in a skirmish with the men of Banu Khusbam. Shahab, the leader of Banu Khusham and a formidable man enjoying reputation as a great warrior challenged Ali to a duel. Ali killed Shahab. With the murder of their leader Shahab and the destruction of their god Al lat, the men of Banu Khusham were unnerved. They laid down arms and accepted Islam. The other tribes in the neighborhood of Taif were similarly subdued and converted to Islam.

Fatima took the death of the Holy Prophet to heart, and she passed away in early 633 C E, barely six months after the passing away of the Holy Prophet. She was only twenty-nine years old at the time or her death. Her marriage lasted for a short period of eight or nine years only. During this period she gave birth to five children, three sons and two daughters. Her three sons were Hasan, Husain, and Mohsin. Mohsin died during infancy. Hasan was about seven years old while Husain was about six years old at the time of her death.Ali was much grieved at the death of Fatima. Her passing away so soon after the death of the Holy Prophet was a great blow for Ali. He felt disconsolate. He poured his grief in the following elegiac verses: "Afflicted as I feel with many a worldly disease. Verily, men in this world would suffer as long as they live in this vale of tears and sorrow. Verily, after the demise of the Holy Prophet, Fatima's loss has shown, that friends do not last forever.

The married life of Ali and Fatima did not extend beyond nine years. It was a happy union. Nevertheless there were differences between the pair occasionally. Once, after having quarrelled with Fatima, Ali went to the mosque, and lay on bare earth. That made the Holy Prophet call Ali by the appellation of Abu Turab, Father of the earth. At one time, Ali entertained the idea of marrying a daughter of Abu Jahl. Fatima complained to the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet felt annoyed, and while addressing the people in the mosque he said that verily Fatima was part and parcel of him. If Ali wanted to marry the daughter of Abu Jahl, it was open to him to do so, but he should divorce Fatima in the first instance for the daughter of the Prophet, and the daughter of Abu Jahl could not live under the same roof. Thereupon Ali dropped the idea of marrying the daughter of Abu Jahl. There were some temperamental differences between Ali and Fatima, and the Holy Prophet always controlled Fatima to fall in line with the wishes of her husband for after her father he was the best of men.

After the assassination of Othman, a state of anarchy came to prevail in the affairs of Madina. There was no government. The rebels let loose a reign of terror, and the peaceful citizens of Madina chose to remain indoors. One group favoured the election of Ali, another group favoured the election of Talha and yet another group favoured the election of Zubair. It appears that at this stage, the people of Madina themselves hat lost the initiative, and they were completely at the mercy of the rebels. Among the rebels themselves there was no outstanding leader whose opinion could prevail. Things were in a state of complete confusion. The Egyptians waited on Ali, and requested him to accept the office of the Caliph. He declined the offer and said that someone else should be elected as the Caliph. He assured them that whosoever was elected as the Caliph he would pay allegiance to him. Some prominent companions of the Holy Prophet also waited on Ali, and tried to persuade him to accept the office. Ali thanked them for their regard of him, but did not agree to accept the office. On the refusal of Ali, the rebels contacted Zubair and Talha, and offered them the caliphate. Like Ali, they also refused to accept the office. The rebels next approached the Ansars, and requested them to choose a Caliph from among themselves. They too refused the offer. They were of the opinion that in the presence of Ali, no one else deserved to be elected as the Caliph. The rebels waited on Ali again, and tried to persuade him to reconsider his decision. He maintained his previous decision and persisted in declining the offer. The rebels next approached Saad b Abi Waqas, Saeed b Zaid, and Abdullah b Umar to accept the caliphate. All of them refused to accept the office. There was now a complete deadlock in the matter of the election of the Caliph. The rebels thereupon gave the ultimatum that unless the people of Madina chose the Caliph within the next twenty-four hours they would be forced to take some drastic action. In order to resolve the deadlock, all the Muslims assembled in the Prophet's mosque. The people raised slogans in favour of Ali. The leader of the Egyptian rebels took the stage. He said they had risen against the caliphate of Othman because the administration had become loose, and the grievances of the people had piled up. He added that it was necessary that the Muslims should choose a new Caliph in succession to Othman, and the man they should choose for the office should be conspicuous for his learning, bravery, piety and nearness to the Holy Prophet. He observed that Ali was the only person who fulfilled these qualities. Thereafter he went to Ali, requested him to stretch his hand. When Ali stretched his hand the people rushed to offer allegiance to him. This process went on for several hours, and the people vociferously welcomed the election of Ali as the Caliph.

After the Battle of Siffin, Ali wrote a detailed testament in favour of his son Imam Hasan. It is a brilliant code of counsel, which provides guidance for every Muslim. The testament is found in Nahj-ul-Balagha, and its running translation is given hereunder: "Son, I enjoin on you that you should fear God. Follow His commandments. Enliven your heart with His remembrance. Hold fast to His rope. No relationship is stronger than the relation that exists between you and God."  

Ali defeated the Kharijites at the Battle of Nahrawan, but that was not the end of the Kharijites. Because of the reverse met at Nahrawan they became all the more fanatic. Those who survived the disaster of Nahrawan burnt with the desire to seek vengeance for the blood of their comrades who had fallen in the Battle of Nahrawan.  

According to their view all those who were fighting for power had committed sin and had ceased to be Muslims. Fanatics as they were, they had the conviction that they would be serving the cause of God, if they murdered all such persons who were the principal characters in the struggle for power. They singled out three men for such murder: Ali, Muawiyah and 'Amr b Al-A'as.  

The Kharijites in Makkah met at the Kaaba, and commissioned three young men to carry the plot of murder into effect. Abdur Rahman b Maljam al Sarimi was chosen to assassinate Ali at Kufa. Barq b Abdullah was entrusted with the task of murdering Muawiyah. Amr b Bakr was assigned the task of putting an end to 'Amr b Al-A as at Fustat. These young men whitened their swords with deadly poison. Thereafter they were required to proceed to the places assigned to them, and there wait till the seventeenth of the month of the Ramadan, when all the three assassins were to fall on their victims and kill them. On the appointed date, Barq b Abdullah attacked Muawiyah at Damascus while he was leading the Fajr prayers. The murderer was caught red handed. His feet and tongue were cut off in the first instance. He was thereafter subjected to other tortures, and ultimately put to death.  

The wound that Muawiyah received was not fatal. 

Abdur Rahman b Muljam al Sarimi, the designated assassin of Ali, reached Kufa well before the appointed date. Here he fell in love with a Kharijite girl Qataum by name. According to chronicles she was an outstanding beauty. She had a face as beautiful as the moon, and her flowing jet black tresses were most captivating. Her father and brother had been killed in the Battle of Nahrawan, and she was fired with the desire to avenge their death. She agreed to marry Abdur Rahman if he could present to her the head of Ali as her dower. As he was already committed to the assassination of Ali he readily accepted the condition laid down by his beloved. At the instance of Qataum, two more Kharijites joined with Abdur Rahman in the conspiracy to assassinate Ali. One of them was Werdan, who was related to Qataum. The other was Shaubib b Bijrah who belonged to the tribe of Anjah.  

On the Friday morning of the seventeenth day of the month of Ramadan, the three conspirators went to the main mosque of Kufa just before the break of dawn. Here they took up their position in the narrow passage leading to the prayer hall. A little later Ali came, the mosque when it was still dark and there was no one else in the mosque. When Ali stood to pray, Werdan struck at Ali, but missed his mark. Then Abdur Rahman struck Ali on the forehead with this poisoned sword which penetrated on the brain through the scar of an old wound. Thereafter the assassins fled from the mosque.  

When the faithful assembled in the mosque for prayers they found Ali lying wounded on the prayer mat. A hunt for the assassins was made. Werdan resisted being taken captive and was killed. Abdur Rahman was apprehended and taken into custody. The third conspirator escaped from Kufa. Abdur Rahman confessed his guilt. He said that he had struck his blow at Ali in the name of God for he considered that in seeking power, Ali had sinned and was guilty of killing thousands of innocent people. Ali cursed Abdur Rahman for his misguided views. He, however, instructed his men that the assassin should be kept in custody and should not be subjected to any hardship. He observed that if he recovered from the wound, he would himself decide what punishment should be awarded to him. If he died the assassin was to lose his life. He was, however, to be killed in one stroke, and was neither to be mutilated nor made to suffer languishing death.  

The wounds of Ali proved to be fatal. No antidote could be found to counter affect the poison that had penetrated into the body of Ali. The condition of Ali steadily deteriorated and he breathed his last on the 24th of January 661 C.E. From God he came and to God he returned.  

Ali was of medium height. He had a superb head with a face as noble as the man himself. His nose was straight, and his mouth was beautifully formed. His eyes were most commanding, being full of light and luster. There was a note of music in his voice. There was an aura of spirituality, and a strong personal magnetism about him. In his youth, he was handsome, and full of fiery vigor. In his latter age, he became corpulent and bulky. His gray hair of the head gave way to baldness. His beard, however, remained thick and luxuriant, and he often dyed it red. He was stout, genial, charitable, meditative, reserved-a man who towered high above the people around him because of his intellectual and spiritual attainments. Ali, the man was endowed with all qualities that make a man great. He is not only great, he is regarded as a superman, an ideal man. He was a paragon of virtue. He enjoyed fame for his piety, and religious devotions. He was embodiment of Islamic values. In his love of God and His Messenger, he was second to none. While praying to God, his absorption was so intense that he often lost consciousness. His mind was so pure that he could hold communion with God. He had learnt the Holy Quran by heart, and he could quote appropriate verses to suit every occasion. He was most truthful and honest. He most humble he was simple in his habits. He avoided display and luxury. He lived the life of an ascetic. Even when Caliph, he lived in an ordinary house. The doors of his house remained open for all at all times. He was most generous. He was most liberal in giving charity. He always came to the help of those who were distressed and involved in any difficulty. He looked after widows and orphans as if they were the members of his own household. He was a warrior, a General, and a man conspicuous for his bravery and valor. Indeed he was braver than any other man in history. He fought hundreds of duels in his lifetime, and in all such encounters his rivals were worsted. In the various battles he killed a record number of enemy. He was a skillful swordsman. His sword would never miss its mark. In the various battles that he fought he never turned his back. He was an embodiment of patience. In the Battle of Uhud he received so many wounds that the nurses were unable to dress such wounds. He bore the pain with great patience. The people around him misunderstood him, but he did not lose patience. He was most chivalrous, and forgiving.

The principal wife of Ali was Fatima, the favorite daughter of the Holy Prophet. During the lifetime of Fatima, Ali at one stage proposed to marry a daughter of Abu Jahl. When the Holy Prophet came to know of this proposal, he felt annoyed and declared that if Ali wanted to marry another wife, he should divorce Fatima in the first instance. Thereupon Ali abandoned the idea of marrying another wife. Fatima was the mother of three sons and two daughters. The sons were Hasan, Husain, and Mohsin. Mohsin died during childhood. The daughters were Zainab and Umm Kulthum.  

After the death of Fatima, Ali married a number of wives. These were:  

1.    Umm-ul-Bunian who was the daughter of Hazam b Khalid. Ali had five sons from her

2.    Khaula who was the daughter of Jafar Hanfiyah. She was the mother of a son

3.    Umm Habib who was a daughter of Rabiah She gave birth to a son and a daughter

4.    Asma who was the daughter of Umais. She was in the first instance married to Jafar, an elder brother of Ali. On the death of Jafar, Abu Bakr married her. After the death of Abu Bakr she married Ali. She had two sons from Ali.  

5.    Laila, who was the daughter of Masud. She was the mother of two sons

6.    Umama, who was a daughter of Abi Al Aa's, and Zainab, an elder sister of Fatima. Her son from Ali bore the name of Muhammad Aswat.  

7.    Umm Saeed who was a daughter of Urwa. She bore Ali two daughters  

8.    Muhyat was a daughter of the famous Arab poet Imra-ul-Qais. She gave birth to a daughter who died in infancy.  

Ali married nine wives in all including Fatima. The number of wives at a time, however, did not exceed four. He had a few slave girls of whom Humla and Umm Shuaib bore him 12 daughters. Ali was, in all, the father of fifteen sons and eighteen daughters 

 

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