Remembering Hazarat Ali
Religion is one of the most important parts of human being’s life. It regulates how we live our daily life. Whether a Hindu or Muslim or Buddhist or Sikh or Christian -- all religions have important part to play in one’s life. As like other religions, in the Muslim community there is a day when a very important personality is remembered and honoured, he is none other than the Hazarat Ali. He was a great man for whom all Muslims of the world have great respect and love. Annually an event is dedicated to this great man for his good deeds. He was the son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad and therefore he is looked upon with immense respect in one’s heart.
His birthday which is popular as Hazarat Ali’s birthday is celebrated across the country with great reverence and joy. It is a time for the followers of Hazarat Ali to come together to remember the man and spread the message of love and care. This special event is not only popular in the country but in all other countries where Muslim communities are present.
This particular day has a great significance in the lives of all the followers. For them it is the time when they celebrate the great qualities Hazarat Ali had such as the courage, belief, great knowledge and wisdom and most of all honesty. People are taught about the advantages of having these qualities in oneself by the religious teachers in various mosques and Madrassas. He was not only remembered by the rich and wealthy class but he is most remembered by the poor ones for Hazarat was known for his equal treatment to all the followers of the community. He didn’t believe in treating well to only those who does good to you. Therefore he is remembered for the generous thinking he had.
The birthday of Hazarat Ali is a day also of the celebration and all Muslim women engage in preparing amazing variety of traditional dishes and serve the entire family. All family members near and far come together to at least have a meal together in the name of this great Prophet. Houses are decorated with glittering lights and colourful flowers and thus make merry the entire day with friends and family. Relatives visit each other’s houses and offer their home made dishes as a mark of respect and care for each other. Mosques are beautifully decorated and huge feast are organised so that homeless can also come and enjoy a warm meal there. People engage in singing hymns of this great man and many charitable activities. This year in 2014 it is slated to be observed in the month of May on 13th day which is a Tuesday.
Hazarat Ali was the cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad and ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 AD to 661 AD. He was also known as Hadrat Ali and Ali Ibn Abi Talib. Sunni Muslims consider Ali, the fourth and final of the Rashidun (Rightly guided Caliphs), while Shia Muslims regard Ali as the first Iman and consider him and his descendants the rightful successors to Muhammad, all of which are members of the Ahl al-Bayt, the household of Muhammad. The disagreement split the Muslim community into the Sunni and Shia branches. In Muslim culture, Ali is respected for his courage, knowledge, belief, honesty, unbending devotion to Islam, deep loyalty to Muhammad, equal treatment of all Muslims and generosity in forgiving his defeated enemies and therefore is central to mystical traditions in Islam such as Sufism.
Ali retains his stature as an authority on Quranic exegesis, Islamic jurisprudence and religious though. Ali holds a high position in almost all Sufi orders which trace their lineage through him to Muhammad. Ali’s influence has thus continued throughout Islamic history. According to the commentators of the Holy Quran, there are numerous verses in Holy Quran which have implied references to Hadrat Ali. According to Shiah commentators there are as many as 300 verses in the Holy Quran which have an implied reference to Hardat Ali. According to the Sunni commentators this number is much smaller.
Hazarat Ali was considered to be born inside the Holy Kaaba in Mecca on Friday the 13the Rajab (approx 23 October 599 or 17 March, 599-27 January 661), 30 Amulfeel, (year of the Elephant) 11 October 599. His father was Hazarat Abu Talib, his mother was Bibi Fatima Binte Asad, his wife was Bibi Fatima Binte Muhammad and he was the father of Hazarat Hassan, Imam Hussein, Bibi Zaynab and Bibi Kulthum. The exact date of birth of Hazarat Ali is not known with any degree of certainty. According to traditions, Hazarat Ali was born on the 13the 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 Mecca with the intention of destroying the Babah and shifting the centre of pilgrimage to Yemen. The invasion failed, 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. On the basis of Prophet’s birth, the year of birth of Ali would have to be placed around 599 or 600.