Imam Ali was assassinated in Kufa’s Masjid on 17 Ramadan 40 Ah (≈23 January 661) and as a result, he passed away on 21 Ramadan 40 AH (≈27 January 661).
Allah says in His Glorious Book, Quran: “There are those among people who give their lives to seek Allah’s pleasure. Allah is affectionate to His servants”.
Quranic exegesis explains that it is Imam Ali whom this verse talks about. Imam Ali ben Abi-Talib gave Islam all his life and has lived throughout in Allah’s houses. He is the only one born in Ka‘aba. His life was always associated with prayers with the Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him and His Family), he used to say: “O Allah, I was the first to hear the call and the first to answer.Nobody has performed prayers before me except Allah’s Messenger.” He was the first to pray with the Messenger when he was a child even before the Prophet was ordered to start his mission.
He used to live with Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and acquire all his morals and spirituality to the extent his personal traits became that of the Messenger.
He also used to be taught by the Prophet all fields of knowledge until he became the door of the city of knowledge, as the Prophet (PBUH) said: “I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its door”. He also never said anything that was not truthful, to the extent the Prophet (PBUH) gave him this medal: “Ali is with the truth and the truth is with Ali, it goes with him wherever he goes”. He was also the fighter who took part in all the Prophet’s battles and was a vital force in achieving victory in all of them. It is said that in the battle of Badr, Ali killed half of the unbelievers that were killed in this battle although he had not had any practice on how to use the sword.
In the battle of Al-Khandaq, the Prophet (PBUH) said when Ali went down to the arena to fight AmrbenWid Al-A‘meri: “Belief as a whole is going to fight unbelief in its entirety.”
Thus, Ali was the first among Muslims second only to the Messenger. Therefore it was his right to become the ruler after him. The Messenger himself declared that whoever believes that he has authority on; then Ali has the same authority on him too. Moreover, he was so purified that he did not commit any sins or wrong deeds. For Ali’s infallibility was not just an ordinary one, but rather one of the highest degree. Thus when we remember Imam Ali on the anniversary of his martyrdom, we remember this Islamic unique personality that has reached the highest level of perfection in moral behaviour, knowledge, spirituality and fighting for the cause of Allah.
As we are going to see, Imam Ali’s will that was dictated when he was in severe pain as a result of the fatal wound inflicted by the fanatic AbdulrahmanbenMalijam, was not a will of one he is giving his money or property to, but rather a will for all Muslims. He addressed his will to his two sons Al-Hassan and Al-Hussein (Peace Be Upon Them), because they would be left in change of Muslim affairs after him, but the will was also addressed to all his children as well as all who will read it.
Thus, whoever reads this will, bears the responsibility of executing it.
The will says:“I advise you to fear Allah and obey his commands, for this is the meaning of piety that leads to Heaven. Do not go after this vicious world thought it may try to entice you, do not seek it through it might seek you. One should not compromise his principles and his belief in anything in this world, and do not give force for anything which the world refuses you -for this world is not infinite, in it you gain some and you win some, you should not be all allured by its wins or frustrated and depressed by its losses, for the Hereafter is the world that lasts.
Let the eternal reward and Blessings of Allah be the prompting factors for all you say and do. Be an enemy of tyrants and oppressors, and be a friend and helper of those who are oppressed and tyrannized” regardless of who the oppressors and the oppressed are.
Then the Imam moves to the social aspect, the one relating to the welfare of the community and the nation as a whole.
“To you, to my other children and to all who acquire this: fear Allah and be pious, and be honest and fair when dealing with one another.Give each man his right, and be the organized society in which each man knows his role and position, and improve mutual relations because I have heard your grandfather, the Holy Prophet saying, “To remove mutual enmity, ill-feeling and hatred is better than recommended prayers and fasting”.
If everybody in the community leaves himself to be led by his desires, the nation will definitely fail in pursuing its causes. Enmity could devastate the society and harm Islam and Muslims. Fear Allah when the question of helpless orphans arises. You should never let them starve. So long as you are there to guard and protect them they should not be ruined or lost.