A glimpse into the family life of Sayyiduna ‘Ali کَرَّمَ اللّٰەُ وَجْھَـهُ الْکَرِیْم

Ameer-ul-Mu`mineen Sayyiduna ‘Ali Bin Abu Talib کَرَّمَ اللّٰەُ وَجْھَـهُ الْکَرِیْم, the fourth Caliph, was born after 30 years of ‘Aam-ul-Feel’ (the year of the elephant) and 10 years before the declaration of Prophethood of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. (Tareekh Ibn ‘Asakir, vol. 41, pp. 361)

Sayyiduna ‘Ali کَرَّمَ اللّٰەُ وَجْھَـهُ الْکَرِیْم was the youngest of four brothers. Amongst siblings, Sayyiduna ‘Aqeel, Sayyiduna Ja’far, Sayyidah Umm-e-Haani and Sayyidah Jumanah رَضِیَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُم embraced Islam. (Subul-ul-Huda war-Rishad, vol. 11, pp. 88; Riyad-un-Nadarah, vol. 2, pp. 104; Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaq, vol. 7, pp. 134, Hadees 12700)

Upbringing, title and Kunyah

Sayyiduna ‘Ali رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ grew up under the affection and care of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم; he رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ found himself in the blessed company of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and saw the majestic beauty of the Holy Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم since his childhood. He رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ just listened to the blessed talks of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and learnt good habits. He رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ always kept himself protected from the filth of idols. It is for the reason he رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ was blessed with the title of ‘کَرَّمَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی وَجْھَـه’. (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 28, pp. 436) ‘Abul Hasan’ and ‘Abu Turab’ are the Kunyah of Sayyiduna ‘Ali رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ.

Blessed Nikah (marriage)

The blessed Nikah (marriage) of Sayyiduna ‘Ali رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ and Sayyidah Fatimah رَضِیَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا was performed in the month of Safar or Rajab or Ramadan in the second year of Hijrah. (Ithaf-us-Saa`il lil-Manaawi, pp. 2)

Residence and dowry

Blessed dowry of Sayyidah Fatimah رَضِیَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا comprised a chador, a pillow stuffed with ‘date tree bark’, a bowl, two earthen jars and two hand mills. (Musnad Ahmad, vol. 1, pp. 223, Hadees 819; Al-Mu’jam-ul-Kabeer, vol. 24, pp. 137, Hadees 365)

Residence of Sayyiduna ‘Ali رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ for Sayyidah Fatimah رَضِیَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا was away from the blessed house of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم; so, Sayyiduna Haarisah Bin Noman رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ offered his house to Sayyiduna ‘Ali رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ and Sayyidah Fatimah رَضِیَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا, which was near to the blessed house of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. (Tabqat Ibn Sa’d, vol. 8, pp. 19; summarised)

During the first three days, these blessed personalities spent their days in ‘observing Siyam’, and ‘performing the acts of worship’ during the nights. (Raud-ul-Faaiq, pp. 278)

Responsibility of household chores

Sayyidah Fatimah رَضِیَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا would carry out household chores (for example grinding mill, sweeping floor, cooking, etc.), whereas Sayyiduna ‘Ali رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ would perform outdoor activities like making the camel drink water, go out to buy groceries, etc. (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, vol. 8, pp. 157, Hadees 14)

Serving and taking care of mother

Sayyidah Fatimah رَضِیَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا also served and took care of the blessed mother of Sayyiduna ‘Ali رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ.  Sayyiduna ‘Ali رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ said to his mother, ‘Fatimah Zahra [رَضِیَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا] will make you free from the responsibility of the household chores.’ (Al-Isaabah, vol. 8, pp. 269; summarised)

One bed

Sayyiduna ‘Ali کَرَّمَ اللّٰەُ وَجْھَـهُ الْکَرِیْم and Sayyidah Fatimah رَضِیَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا had only one bed, which was also made of ram’s skin, it was used for taking rest during the night and also used for the purpose of serving fodder to the camel in the morning. They had no servant in the house. (Tabqat Ibn Sa’d, vol. 8, pp. 18)

Deep affection for the family

One day the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم visited the blessed house of Sayyiduna ‘Ali رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ. He صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم asked [Sayyidah Fatimah رَضِیَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا], ‘Where are my children (i.e., Hasan and Hussain)?’ Sayyidah Fatimah رَضِیَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا humbly said: When we woke up in the morning today, we had nothing to eat. Children’s father took them out saying, ‘If they remain in the house, they would weep in front of you and you have nothing to give them for eating. So he has gone to so and so Jew’. The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم went there and saw that both the children were playing with a clay flask; some leftover dates were lying there in front of them. The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, ‘Ali! Take the children to home before it gets sunny and hot.’ Sayyiduna ‘Ali رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ humbly said, ‘O Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم! We have not had even a single piece of grain at home since morning. If you sit for a while, I will collect some leftover dates for Fatimah.’ Having listened to this, the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم sat there. Sayyiduna ‘Ali رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ collected some dates and wrapped them in a piece of cloth. (Al-Mu’jam-ul-Kabeer, vol. 22, pp. 422, Hadees 1040)

A vow regarding children’s good health

Once the blessed Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُمَا fell ill. Sayyiduna ‘Ali رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ and Sayyidah Fatimah رَضِیَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا made a vow to observe three Siyam for their recovery. Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ granted children recovery and thereafter when it was the time to fulfil their vow, they observed Siyam. Sayyiduna ‘Ali رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ brought some kilograms of barley from a Jew. Sayyidah Fatimah رَضِیَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا prepared ‘barley Rotis’ all three days but on the first day a Miskeen (a destitute person) came [asking for food] at Iftar time, on the second day an orphan came and on the third day a prisoner came; so all these Rotis were given away to these people and the family drank merely water and observed Sawm for the next day. (Khaza`in-ul-‘Irfan, part 29, Ad-Dahr, Taht-al-Ayah: 8, pp. 1073; summarised)

Eid day

Once, on Eid-ul-Adha, some guests came to Ameer-ul-Mu`mineen, Sayyiduna ‘Ali کَرَّمَ اللّٰەُ وَجْھَـهُ الْکَرِیْم, he رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ presented Khazeerah [خزیرہ] (a kind of food prepared with flour and meat). Having seen this, they humbly said, ‘May Allah Almighty bless you. Please serve us with duck.’ Upon this, Sayyiduna ‘Ali رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ said that the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has said, ‘Only two utensils are Halal for Caliph from the Maal [treasure] of Allah Almighty, one is for ‘Khalifah and his family’ for eating purpose and the second is for placing before people.’ (Musnad Ahmad, vol. 1, pp. 169, Hadees 578)

Acting upon the will

Sayyidah Fatimah’s sister ‘Sayyidah Zainab رَضِیَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا’ had a daughter named ‘Sayyidah Umamah رَضِیَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا’; Sayyidah Fatimah رَضِیَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا made a will requesting Sayyiduna ‘Ali رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ to perform Nikah with Umamah after her demise. So, Sayyiduna ‘Ali رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ acted upon the will and performed Nikah with her. (Zurqaani ‘alal Mawahib, vol. 2, pp. 358)

Hospitability

Sayyiduna ‘Ali رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ performed Nikah with Umm-ul-Baneen Bint Haazim رَضِیَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا and stayed with her till 7 days. When some women came to meet the blessed wife of Sayyiduna ‘Ali رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ on the 7th day, he رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ gave dirham to his slave and said, ‘Buy grapes for the guests.’ (Ibn Abid Dunya, vol. 4, pp. 127, Raqm 281)

Justice amongst the blessed wives

Sayyiduna ‘Ali رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ used to distribute things amongst his two wives in this way that when he would spend a day with his first wife, he رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ would buy meat for a half dirham for her and when he رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ would spend a day with his second wife, he would buy meat for her for half dirham. (Az-Zuhd li Ahmad, pp. 157, Raqm 696)

Nikah and children

Sayyiduna ‘Ali رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ was not allowed to perform the second Nikah in the lifetime of Sayyidah Fatimah رَضِیَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا but he رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ performed many Nikahs one after another after the blessed demise of Sayyidah Fatimah رَضِیَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا. Sayyiduna ‘Ali رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ had 14 sons and 18 daughters. Sayyidah Fatimah رَضِیَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا gave birth to Imam Hasan, Imam Hussain, Sayyiduna Mohsin, Sayyidah Zainab and Sayyidah Umm-e-Kulsoom رَضِیَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُم. Sayyiduna Mohsin passed away in his childhood. (Riyad-un-Nadarah, vol. 2, pp. 239)

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