Imam Ali ben Abi-Talib is the first Imam for Shiite Muslims. He was born on 13 Rajab 23 BH (≈17 March 599) in the holy city of Mecca. His father, Abo Talib, is the Prophet Muhammad’s uncle and his mother is Fatima bintAsad. His teknonymic (Kunya)is Abo Al-Hasan and his title is Amir Al-Mo’minen (the Commander of the Believers).
As his father Abo Talib had many children, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon him and his Family) sponsored Imam Ali and raised him. In this vein, Imam Ali is the first believer in the Prophecy of Muhammad (PBUH) alongside Khadija, Prophet’s wife; hence he embraced Islam at 10 years old.
Since his childhood, Imam Ali was the ultimate supporter of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his proselytization for Islam. Thus, he dedicated his life for Islam and he was the courageous fighter who did not retreat in any battle under any circumstances.
Imam Ali married Lady Fatima, Prophet’s Mohammad daughter, on 1 Zulhijja 2 AH (≈25 May 624), and they had four children: Imam Al-Hasan, Imam Al-Hussein, Lady Zeinab, and Lady Umm Kulthum.
The Shiite Muslims consider Imam Ali is the legal successor (Caliph) appointed by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on 18 Zulhijja 10 AH (≈16 March 632) shortly before he passed away.
After the assassination of the third Caliph Othman ben A‘ffan on 18 Zulhijja32 AH (≈16 March 656), Imam Ali was called by then Muslims and Prophet’s Companions to be their ruler. As a result, Imam Ali has become a Caliph and ruled the then Muslims fair and square, and took the city of Kufa in Iraq the capital of his Islamic government.
Imam Ali was assassinated in Kufa’s Masjid on 17 Ramadan 40 Ah (≈23 January 661) and as a result, he was martyred on 21 Ramadan 40 AH (≈27 January 661) and he was buried in the city of Najaf in Iraq where a shrine has been raised.