By: Mir M.Hosseini
Ali, the cousin of Prophet Mohammad was born in Mecca on Friday, Oct, 11, 599. This date is 23 years before the beginning of the Islamic Hijri calendar which is based on the time Prophet Mohammad migrated from Mecca to Medina. Imam Ali was a ward of Mohammad and saved him from an assassination plot. He fought alongside Prophet Mohammad.
After Mohammad passed away, supporters of Imam Ali claimed that he was chosen as prophet's successor. Since influential tribal leaders claimed that Mohammad did not name any successor, a controversy began. Imam Ali chose to stay silent to preserve unity among Muslims. While Islam was spreading fast among nations of the world, the power and wealth which was pouring into Bedouin Arab communities created an imperial branch of Islam that Imam Ali opposed to. Abu-Bakr was the first caliph to succeed Mohammad. Meanwhile Imam Ali advocated living a simple life and not cutting ties from ordinary people. However those who once fought against Prophet Mohammad crept in and created their network. Omar and Osman were appointed the second and third caliph with the excuse that Ali was too young. After Osman's death, Ali became the fourth caliph. But his rule did not last long and he was assassinated on Jan, 29, 661. He was a very strong man, though a strike of sword that cut through his skull took his life two days later on the eve of Jan, 31st.
In his deathbed, he asked his followers to treat his assassin well, thus giving his last precious lessons that became fundamentals of the Shiite faith