Imam Ali (pbuh) was born inside the house of Kaba. His father was Abu Talib and his mother was Fatimah the daughter of Asad.
Imam Ali (peace be upon him) was the first child in the family of Bani Hashim whose both parents were children of Hashim. His father was Abu Talib the son of Abdul Muttalib and his mother was Fatimah the daughter of Asad. Magnanimity, generosity, courage and so many other virtues are characteristics of Bani Hashim. Moreover, each of these virtues at its highest degree exists in his holiness Imam Ali’s. Fatimah, the daughter of Asad went to the holy mosque in Mecca when she felt labour pain and came close to the wall of Kaba. The south east wall of Kaba cracked and Fatimah entered the Kaba; the wall closed again. She was the guest of God for three days in the holiest place in the universe and there, she gave birth to her child. Three days after, thirty years past the year of the Elephant, Fatimah, the daughter of Asad, came out of the same cleavage in wall which opened again and said: I heard a message from the unseen to call him Ali.
Imam Ali stayed with his parents. Since it was God’s will for him to gain more perfection, therefore, the honored Prophet from the beginning of his birth took care of his indirect education. An unusual famine occurred in Mecca and Abu Talib the uncle of the Prophet, having many children, faced a heavy living expense. The honored Prophet with the consultation of his uncle Abbass, came to agreement that each one of them take one of the children of Abu Talib with him as to make a relief for Abu Talib. Therefore, the Prophet took Ali to his house. In this way, Imam Ali was always accompanying the Prophet even when the Prophet would leave to town and go to the mountain and desert.
One of the virtues of Imam Ali is that he is the first one to believe in the Prophet. After the revelation of God, the selection of his holiness the Prophet Mohammad for Prophethood and the three years of secret preaching, finally, the messenger of revelation arrived and the order for public preaching was given. At this juncture, Imam Ali was the only enforcer of the Prophet’s plans in his divine propagation; and was the only companion and sympathetic to his holiness in the invitation arranged to acquaint his relatives to Islam and to call them to the religion of God. In this invitation, the Prophet asked the people present: “Who is among you to help me in this way so to be my brother, successor and representative among you.” Only Imam Ali answered: “O, Prophet of God, I will support you in this way.” After three times repeating the question and hearing the same answer, the Prophet said: “O, my relatives; Know that Ali is my brother, successor and Caliph after me among you.”
Of the other glories of Imam Ali is his perfect courage in sleeping in the Prophet’s bed, therefore, nullifying the plot of the idol-worshipers to kill the Prophet and preparing the ground for the Prophet’s migration. After the migration of Imam Ali and the Prophet to Medina, Imam Ali did huge self-sacrifice and endangering in the field of struggle. His presence in 26 battles of the 27 battles of the Prophet and participation in different expeditions are of the glories and virtues of his holiness. Moreover, he wrote and recorded the revelation (Quran), organized many of the historical and political documents, and wrote propagation and invitation letters. He is considered one of the writers of the revelation and memorizers of the Quran.
When the Prophet issued the decree of Muslim brotherhood, concluded the contract of brotherhood with Imam Ali and said to him: “You are my brother in this world and in the hereafter, swearing by the God who has appointed me with the truth. I choose you as my brother, a brotherhood that is to the extent of both worlds.” Imam Ali the son-in-law of the honored Prophet. There was no body other than Imam Ali competent (appropriate) for Fatimah Zahra, the daughter of the Prophet.
In the last Year of his holiness the Prophet’s life, after finishing the rituals of pilgrimage and when returning in a place called the Ghadir Khom pond, he ordered to stop, because the revelation commanded the Prophet to complete his message. After the noon prayer the Prophet said: “O, people, it is soon that I answer the call of God and go from among you. What do you think about me?” People said: “We witness that you have propagated the religion of God.” The Prophet said: “Don’t you witness that there is no God but the one God and Mohammad is his slave and messenger?” People said: “Yes, we witness.” Then the Prophet raised the hand of Imam Ali and said: “O, people, whoever I am his master and leader, Ali is his master and leader.” He repeated this sentence three times. Then the people congratulated this selection to Imam Ali and swore allegiance to him.
After the death of the honored Prophet because of special conditions that arose, Imam Ali with draw from the scene of the society and choose silence. He neither participated in any struggle nor spoke officially in the society. He put the sword in the sheath and engaged with individual duties and educating the individuals. What Imam Ali did in this period included: Interpretation of the Quran, solving religious problems; Responding to questions of scholars from other religions and other towns; Expressing the rule for many of the new events which didn’t occur previously in Islam; Solving the problems when the caliphate system faced dead ends in political matters and some other problems; Educating and raising a group who have pure conscience and prepared soles for spiritual journey; and, Working to secure the life of many of the poor and disabled to the extent that he would establish gardens and extract aqueducts and then would give them as endowments in the way of God.
In the period of the caliphate of Imam Ali, three wars occurred as Seffin, Jamal and Nahrawan which had specific consequences. After the war of Nahrawan and the suppression of the Khawarij, some of the Kharijities among whom was Iin Moljam got together and considered the circumstances of that time the blood-sheds and civil wars and remembered Nahrawan and finally reached to this conclusion that the reason for this blood-shed and brothers killing are Imam Ali, Moawiah and Amr Aass and if these three one removed the Muslims will know there duties therefore, they concluded the treaty that each one of them he responsible for killing one of the three.
Ibn Moljam undertook killing Imam Ali and on the nineteenth night of the month of Ramadan stayed in the mosque of Kufa. While Imam Ali was in prostration, Ibn Moljam hit him with the sword on his forehead and blood from his holiness head streamed in the altar and blood dyed his honored beard. In this condition his holiness said: I swear by the God of Kaba that I became blessed.
Even at his last moment, Imam Ali was thinking of the welfare and happiness of people and advised his children, relatives and all the Muslims saying: “I advise you to piety and to organize your deeds and always think of causing reconciliation among the Muslims. Don’t forget the orphans and regard the rights of the neighbors. Make Quran the practical program for yourself. Respect (honor) praying because it is the pillar of your religion.”
Imam Ali attained martyrdom on the 21st of the month of Ramadan and was buried in the honored land of Najaf. His shrine became the tryst for the lovers of the truth and reality.