One individual who has been one of the leading figures in Islam and who serves as a role model for Muslims to this date, is Ali ibn Talib (RA). His life and actions inspire Muslims and Non-Muslims alike, throughout the world. Allah (SWT) Himself has deemed Ali as one of the ten blessed companions who will enter Jannah in the Hereafter- such is the rank and honor of Ali (RA) in Islam.

He was born to Abu Talib, the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) uncle, in Mecca around 600 A.D. Abu Talib belonged to the Banu Hashim tribe and was the custodian of Allah’s (SWT) house i.e. the Kabah. After the death of the prophet’s (PBUH) parents and grandparents, Abu Talib took him in and raised him as his own- hence, Ali (RA) grew up under the Prophet’s (PBUH) supervision and love and harbored a deep bond with the messenger of Allah (SWT). He was not only the cousin of the Messenger of Allah (SWT) but also came to be his son-in-law when he married Fatimah, the Prophet’s (PBUH) beloved daughter.

Ali (RA) was the youngest child to enter the fold of Islam and publicly announced his belief in the word of Allah (SWT), at the tender age of 10, when the Holy Prophet (PBUH) attained divine revelation. His iron courage and valor became apparent in the very early stages of his life.

For example, during the migration from Mecca to Madina, it was Ali (RA) who stayed back and slept in the Prophet’s (PBUH) bed during that night when the Prophet (PBUH) and Abu Bakar (RA) had to leave for Mecca. He was also entrusted by the Prophet (PBUH) to return some people’s belongings, which were in the Prophet’s possession. Ali (RA) risked his life and took on the task without hesitation- such was his fearlessness and loyalty to the Prophet (PBUH).

Known for his great bravery, valor, and swordsmanship on the battlefield- Ali (RA) participated in almost all the battles fought against the unbelievers during his time. Consequently, the Prophet (PBUH) bestowed him with the title of “Asadullah”- the lion of Allah (SWT), which spoke volumes about the services provided by Ali (RA) in the name of Islam along with his unbelievable power, character and strong resolve in the battlefield.

In 35 A.H, Ali (RA) became the fourth Caliph of Islam. His reign was permeated with immense challenges and disputes. Upon the assassination of Usman (RA), the third Caliph of Islam, the community had broken out in protest and rebellion and Ali (RA) received great opposition from various fronts. One of the main decision taken by Ali (RA) was the abolishment of the current line of governors- which he believed to be corrupt- who had been appointed by Usman (RA). The Syrian governor, Muawaiya, went against Ali’s (RA) demands in order to avenge Usman’s (RA) death by pursuing his killers. They eventually ended up taking arms against one another in the Battle of Siffin, where Ali’s (RA) forces were defeating Muawaiya’s but Muawaiya called for an arbitration to which Ali (RA) agreed.

Just as the previous two Caliphs had met their Creator, Ali (RA), too, followed suit. A rebellious group known as the Kharijites, assassinated him. He was stabbed with a poisonous sword while he was offering his prayers. Two days later, Ali (RA) passed away on 20th of Ramadan, in 40 A.H.

Ali (RA) is, without a doubt, a role model for each and every one of us. He was a man of great intellect, wisdom and strong character. His actions and his sayings are famous not just among Muslims but echo in the furthest corners of this world. His grasp over the book of Allah (SWT) and its teachings was remarkable. The companions looked up to him and often went to him for advice on matters of the state and matters of the heart as well. His understanding of this world, its purpose and the human experience was astounding- his documented sermons, letters, and sayings are followed by the world to this day and serve as a great source of inspiration.

His love for the Prophet (PBUH) was unmatched. He lived his life in accordance with the rules laid out by Prophet (PBUH) and dedicated everything in the way of Allah (SWT) and his message. We should strive to follow in his footsteps and tirelessly work towards achieving his level of faith and righteousness, for Ali (RA) was a great man- not only for the Islamic realm but for all of the humanity.