Friday, August 10, 2012

Remembering Hazrat Ali

Shrine of Hazrat Ali in Najaf
On 19 Ramazan, 40 AH, the Kharijite Ibn Muljam sneaked a poison-coated sword into the grand mosque of Kufa, where the caliph Ali was supposed to lead the morning prayers. The assassin stood in the first row when the caliph led the prayers, and struck him on the head when he went down in prostration.

The attacker was caught, bound in ropes and brought before him. Suffering from the pain of a fatal wound in his forehead, Ali was still quick to notice that the ropes were so tight that they were cutting into the flesh of his assassin. He ordered the knots to be loosened, and the assassin be treated humanely. 

He also ordered that in the case of his death, only the assassin should be punished and no harm must come to the culprit's family. Of course, if Ali survived, the attacker was going to be pardoned because Ali did not believe in personal revenge.

Ali passed out three days later. Ramazan 21 is the anniversary of his martyrdom. Translation of the famous verses of Iqbal about Hazrat Ali are being shared on this occasion (the original are in Persian):

ALI is the first Muslim and the King of men,
In Love's eyes Ali is the treasure of the Faith.
Devotion to his family inspires me with life
So that I am as a shining pearl.
Like the narcissus, I am enraptured with gazing:
Like perfume, I am straying though his pleasure garden.
If holy water gushes from my earth, he is the source;
If wine pours from my grapes, he is the cause.
I am dust, but his sun hath made me as a mirror:
Song can be seen in my breast.
From Ali's face the Prophet drew many a fair omen,
By his majesty the true religion is glorified
His commandments are the strength of Islam:
All things pay allegiance to his House.
The Apostle of God gave him the name Bu Turab;
God in the Koran called him "the Hand of Allah."
Every one that is acquainted with Life's mysteries
Knows what is the inner meaning of the names of Ali.


  1. We are very fortunate to know about Ali.He was conscious enough to tell the people to loosen the rope on the culprit and also not to punish his family.These are the true traits of religious people and we are indeed privileged enough to know about them.
    Iqbal's verses were thoughtful and educational for us mortals.
    Thank you for the translation.

  2. Greetings,

    Thank you so much for this write-up, on this date, about this matchless, noble Examplar of Life.

    This is beautiful.

    All good wishes,


  3. Thank you for this post. in this age of extremism, this was very satisfying.

  4. excellent and moving... specially last stanza.