Ali ibn Abi Talib

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Ali ibn Abi Talib (Arabic: علي بن أبي طالب‎, translit. ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib) was the son of 'Abd Manaf ibn 'Abdul-Muttalib[1] and the paternal cousin of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) as well as sharing a paternal grandfather in Abdul-Muttalib ibn Hashim.

Names and Lineage

His fullname was 'Ali ibn Abi Talib ibn Abdul-Muttalib ibn Hashim ibn Abd Manaf ibn Qusayy ibn Kilab ibn Lu'ayy ibh Ghalib ibn Fihr ibn Malik ibn an-Nadr ibn Kinanah ibn Khuzaymah ibn Madrakah ibn Iiyas ibn Mudar ibn Nizar ibn Ma'd ibn 'Adnan.[2]

Abu Talib was not present at the time of 'Ali's birth so he was given the name Asad (lion) by his mother in honour of his maternal grandfather Asad ibn Hashim.[3] Ali refers to his original name on the Day of Khaybar when he said, "I am the one whose mother name him Haydarah (Haidar) like a lion of the jungle, frightful to behold."[4]

He was known by the kunya Abu al-Hasan, Abu Turab (given to him by the Prophet (ﷺ)), Abu al-Hasan wal-Husayn, Abu al-Qasim al-Hashimi and Abu as Sibtayn.


It is believed that Ali was the first of Banu Hashim to be born inside the Ka'bah.[5][6] As for Ali's date of birth the strongest opinion is 10 years prior to prophethood which is the view of Ibn ishaq[7][8], At-Tabari[9], Ibn Hajar[10], Al-Fakihi[11], Ali Muhammad Sallabi[12][13], and Al-Baqir Muhammad ibn Ali[14]. Al-Baqir held a second opinion that it might be possible that Ali was 5 years old at the time of prophethood.[15] Al-Hasan al-Basri held the view that Ali was born 15 or 16 years prior to prophethood.[16]

Early Life

Prior to the advent of Prophethood, Abu Talib struggled due to the financial challenges of raising a large family. To help alleviate the burden on Abu Talib, the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and Ali's paternal uncle Al-Abbas each offered to take one of Abu Talibs sons.[17][18][19] Ali went with the Prophet (ﷺ) and his brother Jafar ibn Abu Talib went with their uncle Al-Abbas. Living in the household of Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) placed Ali in the forefront of the early muslims in terms of his acceptance of Islam, a matter he kept secret from all including his father, his uncles and his community.[20] Growing up in the household of the Prophet (ﷺ) strengthened their family ties and gave Ali the opportunity to acquire precise and detailed knowledge of Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) which he would often describe.[21][22]


  1. Ali ibn Abi Talib by Dr. 'Ali Muhammad as-Sallābi, Volume 1, p. 51
  2. At-Tabaqat al-Kubra 3/19; Sifat as-Safwah, 1/208; al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah, 7/333; al-Isbah, 1/507; al-Istee'ab, 1/1089; al-Muntazam, 5/66; al-Mu'jam by at-Tabarani, 1/50
  3. al-Khattabi: Ghareeb al-Hadeeth, 2/170; 'Abdul-Haeed ibn 'Ali Nasr Faqeehi: Khilafat 'Ali ib Abi Talib
  4. Ar-Riyadh an-nmadrah fi Manaqib al-'Asharah, p.617
  5. al-Hakim said the reports are mutawatir; reported by so many that it is not possible for so many to have agreed on falsehood.
  6. al-Mustadrak 'ala as-Saheehayn, 3/483, without any chain of narration
  7. As-Seerah An-Nabawiyyah, Vol.1, pg.262, without any chain of narration
  8. As-Seerah An-Nabawiyyah by Abu Shuhbah, Vol.1 pg.286
  9. The Noble Life of the Prophet by Dr. Ali' Muhammad As-Sallabi, pg.154
  10. al-Isabah, 2/501, biography of 'Ali
  11. al-Fakihi: the author of Akhbar Makkah, annotated buy 'Abdul-Malik ibn Duhaysh
  12. 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib by Dr. Ali Muhammad Sallabi Vol.1, Ch. 1, pg. 53
  13. Fath al-Bari, 7/174; al-Isabah, 2/507
  14. At-Tabarani: al-Mu'jam al-Kabeer, 1/53, no. 165, with a reliable chain of narration
  15. Op. cit., 1/53, no. 166; its chain of narration is reliable as far as Muhammad al-Baqir, as he narrated it as a mural report
  16. At-Tabarani: al-Mu'jam al-Kabeer, 1/54, no. 163, with a mursal chain of narration
  17. Ali ibn Abi Talib by Dr. Ali Muhammad Sallabi, vol.1, Ch.1 Section 2.1 Accepting Islam, pg.67-68
  18. The Noble Life of the Prophet by Dr. Ali Muhammad Sallabi Vol.1, pg.154
  19. As-Seerah An-Nabawiyyah, Vol.1, pg.246
  20. Ali ibn Abi Talib by Dr. Ali Muhammad Sallabi, vol.1, Ch.1 Section 2.3 Between Ali and Abu Talib, pg.69-70
  21. Ali ibn Abi Talib by Dr. Ali Muhammad Salabi vol.1, pg.124
  22. Al-Murtada pg.39-43