Ali: a model of Islamic values
The versatile personality of Hazrat Ali (A.S.) is broader and multi-faceted in all its aspects and parts. He possessed both a deep and far-reaching mind, and tender and overflowing affections. Brought up and tutored under the affectionate guidance and care of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), Hazrat Ali had a keen vision and a passionate love for truth. He was an embodiment of the noblest human characteristics combined with Divine gifts.
He kept alive the cardinal principles of the revolution that Islam had ushered in and cherished the values which it had sought to establish. His piety, his love of Allah, his sincerity and fortitude in following religion were unmatched. He was a perfect model and universal exemplar who guided and illuminated the entire gamut of human behaviour by his comprehensive examples of goodness and virtuous deeds.
Hazrat Ali possessed universally acknowledged and Divinely gifted spiritual personality. He was an embodiment of all that stands for virtue and goodness. The lifetime mission of the Imam (A.S.) was protection and preservation of the pristine values of Islamic faith which the Holy Prophet (PBUH) had infused in his followers.
Hazrat Ali was a true, staunch and devout follower of Islam and stands out distinctly in his understanding of the Holy Quran and the significance of the concept and practice of Din-i-Muhammadi. Amongst countless virtues that he possessed, he had a deep knowledge and insight of religious, moral, social and even mathematical matters. His words and deeds bore stamps of nobility, sagacity and courage of convictions. In several phases of his life he displayed exemplary strength of body and mind which was due to his firm belief in religion and his abiding faith in truth and justice.
Hazrat Ali led his life strictly in accordance with the teachings and tenets of Islam revealed to the world as a perfect code of life and a guide to the man's steps towards the path of obedience to the Will of Allah. He once asked the Holy Prophet as to what was his Sunnah. The Prophet said: "Remembrance of God is my friend; Reason is the root of my faith; Love is my foundation; Enthusiasm is my horse; Knowledge of God is my capital; Firmness is my treasure; Sorrow is my companion; Science is my weapon; Patience is my Mantle; Contentment is my booty; Poverty is my pride; Devotion is my art; Conviction is my power; Truth is my redeemer; Obedience is my sufficiency; Struggle is my manner and my pleasure is in my prayer."
From his childhood right up to his martyrdom on 21st of Ramazan 40 A.H., the entire life pattern of Amirul Momineen Hazrat Ali (A.S) was based on the above attributes. His personality is very prominent on account of his transcending and high qualities. While in worship at night, he cut himself off from everything else, and during the day he was active among the people with all his kindness and altruism, advices, counsels and wise words.
Hazrat Ali Ibn-i-Abi Talib loved truth and justice. He was a man of mild and forbearing character, wise in counsel and bold in war. Be it the night of the Prophet's migration from Makkah to Madina or the battles of Badr, Uhud, Khandaq , Khyber and Hunayn, he demonstrated unparalleled devotion and self-sacrifice, courage and bravery in keeping aloft the Divine standard and the Banner of Truth.
The first principle of Islamic polity is that the Apostle and the Amir both are subject to God's commandments and cannot change or modify the law of God. After the passing away of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) from the earthly scene, Hazrat Ali set an outstanding example of a person who never deviated from the standard laid down by the Prophet. He ruled in accordance with the method of the Holy Prophet and enforced Islamic laws and regulations in the same manner in which the Holy Prophet had done it.
In running the affairs of the state he believed in the administration of justice and fair play. He set an unprecedented example of good governance in his letter to Malik Ashtar, the governor of Egypt. In his letter he highlighted the golden rules of successful administration in these words: "Your richest treasure is the good deed; never take a coward, miser or inexperienced as your counsel; in case of difference of opinion among you, turn to the Book of God and the traditions of the Prophet; exercise great care in revenue administration to ensure the prosperity of those who pay the revenue to the state; prevent traders from hoarding; fear God when dealing with the problems of the poor; spend best of your time in communion with God; do justice squarely regardless of the fact one is a relation or not; and lastly, perform everything in its proper time."
Hazrat Ali practised what he preached. The annals of history bear out that during his caliphate he directed all internal and external affairs of the state strictly on the pattern enunciated in his letter to the governor of Egypt.
By his wisdom and knowledge, Hazrat Ali (A.S.) established the veracity of the famous tradition of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) which says: "I am the City of Knowledge and Ali is its Gate." Hazrat Ali not only proved himself to be the Gate of the Knowledge of the Holy Prophet, but also proved it in a practical way. (Today is the death anniversary of Hazrat Ali (A.S.)