The Causes of Martyrdom of Imam Ali (A.S.)

Salaam, and heartfelt condolences to you all on the tragic days of Ramadhan that we are passing through. These are the days when the Ummah of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) became orphan for the second time. The first time was the passing away of the Prophet in 11 AH, and this second tragic occasion befell in 40 AH, with the martyrdom of his divinely-designated heir,

the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS) in Kufa, Iraq on the 21st of the blessed fasting month. Let us first listen to ayah 23 of Surah al-Ahzaab, where the Almighty Creator says:
“Among the faithful are men who fulfill what they have pledged to Allah. Of them are some who have fulfilled their pledge, and of them are some who still wait and they have not changed in the least.”
As informed by the Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), who had foretold the martyrdom of his cousin, in the fasting month of Ramadhan, Imam Ali (AS) said: “This ayah was revealed in my honour, and that of my uncle Hamzah, and my cousin Ubaydah ibn al¬Hareth ibn Abd al¬Muttalib.”
He further said that the pledge to Allah for achieving martyrdom in defence of Islam and humanitarian values was attained by Ubaydah in the Battle of Badr and by Hamzah in the Battle of Ohad. The Imam then added: “As for myself, I am awaiting a most painful death, when this (pointing to his beard) shall be drenched from the blood of this (pointing to his head)… and have never changed the least.”
Alas, today, on the 20th of Ramadhan, we are on the eve of the anniversary of the tragic day on which Imam Ali (AS), the Commander of the Faithful, the Leader of the Pious, and the Emblem of Justice, left the mortal world. His glorious life came to its end as a result of the fatal blow that he received on his head two days earlier, while in the state of the Morning Prayer. The assassin was the accursed Ibn Muljam al-Moradi.
The question is: What did Imam Ali (AS) do to earn enmity? Who was his real enemy? Which agents did his archenemy procure against him? Why would anyone opt for the eternal fire of hell, to deprive him of his right, to spread lies against him, to harm him, or to take his life?
To find the answers to these questions, on the martyrdom anniversary of the first cousin, ward, son-in-law, and divinely-decreed vicegerent of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), we should zoom in on Mount Noor,near Mecca, where on the 27th of Rajab, a hardly ten-year lad is all attention to the voices coming in from Cave Hera. He hears his 40-year cousin – son of his long deceased uncle Abdullah – reciting the Revealed Words of the Lord Most High conveyed by Archangel Gabriel. Then from a distance comes the sound of moaning as if someone has lost everything and become despaired forever. Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) emerges from the cave as the Almighty’s Last and Greatest Messenger, and tells his cousin that the heavy sigh that echoed following the formal entrustment of the universal message of Islam to him, was that of Iblis the Satan, who has now become totally despaired of misleading the majority of the children of Adam. We find these statements of the Prophet and the Imam in the book Nahj al-Balagha as well as in works of our Sunni brethren.
Yet Iblis was not ready to give up his stratagems. He resolved to mobilize his hordes among the pagan Arabs against Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). When the Prophet assembled the Quraish to publicly announce his message of monotheism by openly testifying to the Oneness of God and received blank looks from the stupefied gathering, it was the testimony of the mission of Mohammad given by the young Ali that sowed the first seeds of satanic sentiments in the hearts of the Arabs against the pre-teen boy. They left the assembly mad with rage. They thought that if not for the son of Abu Taleb, the mission of the son of Abdullah would have died there and then. The Meccans used their sons to mock at and stone the Prophet, only to be frustrated by his young cousin, who warded off the boy-assailants. It is not difficult to visualize that most of these pagan boys returned to their homes with black eyes and broken limbs to complain to their infidel parents about the lad Ali. Satan, that Archenemy of Truth, now started working overtime to make the enmity of Imam Ali (AS) take roots in the hearts of the polytheist Arab tramps and their sinful sires. Their plots against the Prophet included the bid to assassinate him in Mecca. But the plot was aborted because of the young Ali’s sleeping that night on his cousin’s bed, so that the latter could safely leave Mecca – thus marking the Hijra or migration to Medina that started a new phase in the destiny of mankind. The Arab infidels, in league with the intransigent Israelites, now imposed wars upon the Prophet at Badr, Ohad, Khandaq, Hunayn and Khaybar – the last one was a wholly Israelite venture. However, thanks to the Zu’l-Feqar the flashing blade of Imam Ali (AS), all these plots were nipped in the bud.

The Causes of Martyrdom of Imam Ali (A.S.) Part 2

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