BIOGRAPHY OF IMAM ALI IBN ABI TALIB (Translation of Sirat Amir Al-Mu Minin)

BIOGRAPHY OF IMAM ALI IBN ABI TALIB  (Translation of Sirat Amir Al-Mu Minin)0%

BIOGRAPHY OF IMAM ALI IBN ABI TALIB  (Translation of Sirat Amir Al-Mu Minin) Author:
Translator: Sayyid Tahir Bilgrami
Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum
Category: Imam Ali

BIOGRAPHY OF IMAM ALI IBN ABI TALIB  (Translation of Sirat Amir Al-Mu Minin)

This book is corrected and edited by Al-Hassanain (p) Institue for Islamic Heritage and Thought

Author: MUFTI JAFFER HUSSAIN
Translator: Sayyid Tahir Bilgrami
Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum
Category: visits: 13275
Download: 1396

Comments:

BIOGRAPHY OF IMAM ALI IBN ABI TALIB (Translation of Sirat Amir Al-Mu Minin)
search inside book
  • Start
  • Previous
  • 112 /
  • Next
  • End
  •  
  • Download HTML
  • Download Word
  • Download PDF
  • visits: 13275 / Download: 1396
Size Size Size
BIOGRAPHY OF IMAM ALI IBN ABI TALIB  (Translation of Sirat Amir Al-Mu Minin)

BIOGRAPHY OF IMAM ALI IBN ABI TALIB (Translation of Sirat Amir Al-Mu Minin)

Author:
Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum
English

This book is corrected and edited by Al-Hassanain (p) Institue for Islamic Heritage and Thought

BIOGRAPHY OF IMAM ALI IBN ABI TALIB

(Translation of Sirat Amir Al-Mu Minin)

BY: MUFTI JAFFER HUSSAIN

TRANSLATED BY: SAYED TAHIR BILGRAMI

Ansariyan Publications

www.alhassanain.org/english

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. FOREWORD 6

2. BIRTHPLACE & ORIGIN 9

3. FAMILY & PEDIGREE 15

Adnan ibne udd 17

Ma’ad ibne Adnan 17

Nazar ibne Ma’ad 18

Mudar ibne Nazar 18

Ilyas ibne Mudar 19

Mudarka ibne Ilyas 20

Khazima ibne Mudarka 20

Kanana ibne Khazima 21

Nazar ibne Kanana 21

Malik ibne Nazar 22

Fahr ibne Malik 22

Ghalib ibne Fahr 23

Lavi ibne Ghalib 23

Kaab ibne Lavi 23

Mara ibne Kaab 24

Kalab ibne Mara 24

Qasi ibne Kalab 24

Abd Munaaf ibne Qasi 28

Hashim Ibne Abd Munaaf 28

Abd al Mutallib ibne Hashim 32

4. ABU TALIB IBN E ABD AL MUTALLIB 48

5. FATIMA BINTE ASAD 84

6. THE FELICITOUS BIRTH 87

7. NAME, APPELATION & FILIAL APPPELATION (Kunyat) 90

8. APPEARANCE, BEARING &LOOKS 92

9. HABITS & TEMPERAMENT 94

10. HIS SARTORIAL HABITS 96

11. FOOD HABITS 98

12. CHILDHOOD 101

13. EDUCATION & UPBRINGING 103

14. THE FIRST TO ACCEPT THE FAITH OF ISLAM 106

15. THE FEAST OF ASHIRA 113

16. HELP & ASSISTANCE TO THE PROPHET COMMENCES 116

17. THE QUREISH BOYCOTT 117

18. MIGRATION TO MADINA 121

19. THE EVENT OF BROTHERHOOD-MUWAQAAT 127

20. THE MATRIMONY 129

21. THE SONS OF THE PROPHET 132

22. ABOUT ABU JAHL’S DAUGHTER 135

23. WIVES & CHILDREN 138

Hazrat Fatima Zehra (a.s.): 138

Imama binte Abil Aas: 138

Umm al Banin binte Hazam Kalabia: 138

Laila binte Masood Darmia: 138

Asma binte Umais Khasamia: 138

Qaula binte jafar Hanafia: 139

Umm Shoaib Maqzoomia: 139

Maqbat binte Umra al Qais : 139

24. CONSTRUCTION OF THE MOSQUE & SEALING OF THE DOORS 140

25. THE PROPHET (s.a.)’S EXPEDITIONS (THE GHAZWAAT) 144

26. THE EXPEDITION OF BADR 147

27. THE EXPEDITION OF OHOD 159

28. THE EXPEDITION OF BANI NAZEER 174

29. THE EXPEDITION OF AHZAB 177

30. THE EXPEDITION OF BANI QARIZA 187

31. THE TRUCE OF HUDAIBIAH 190

32. THE CAMPAIGN OF KHAIBAR 200

33. THE LAND OF FADAK 208

34. THE CONQUEST OF MAKKA 210

35. PURIFICATION OF THE KAABA 217

36. THE DAY OF GHAMIZA 219

37. THE EXPEDITION OF HUNAIN 222

38. THE SEIGE OF TAEF 227

39. DISTRIBUTION OF THE BOOTY 230

40. PROPAGATION OF ISLAM IN YEMEN 232

41. THE EMIRATE OF YEMEN 233

42. SARIYA WADI AL RAMAL 234

43. SARIYA BANI TAY 236

44. GHAZWA E TABOOK 238

45. PROPAGATION OF SURAT AL BARA-AT 243

46. THE CALL FOR MUBAHILA OR IMPRECATION 245

47. SARIA BANI ZABEED 249

48. THE HAJJAT AL WIDA 251

49. GHADEER E KHUM 254

50. JAISH E OSSAMA - THE CONTINGENT OF OSSAMA IBN E ZAID 259

51. LEADING THE CONGREGATION 264

52. THE CALAMITY OF QIRTAAS 271

53. THE PROPHET (S.A.)’S LAST JOURNEY 275

54. COMPLIANCE WITH THE WILL 277

55. DENYING THE PROPHET (S.A)’S DEATH 279

56. AN OVERVIEW OF THE EVENTS OF SAQIFA 283

57. BAI –AT AND USE OF COERCION 291

58. AMEER AL MOMINEEN’S DISCREET SILENCE 295

59. ABOUT THE LAND OF FADAK 298

60. THE MISCHIEF OF APOSTACY 306

61. ISTEKHLAF OR NOMINATION OF THE SECOND CALIPH 312

62. SHURA OR THE COMMITTEE 314

63. THE BAI-AT OF HAZRAT AMEER AL MOMINEEN (A.S.) 323

64. AMEER AL MOMINEEN (A.S.)’S STYLE OF GOVERNANCE 328

65. THE NORMS FOR SELECTION OF THE FUNCTIONARIES 331

66. ACCOUNTABILITY OF THE FUNCTIONARIES 333

67. THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE 335

68. PROTECTION OF BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS 338

THE RIGHT TO LIVE: 338

THE RIGHT OF THOUGHT: 339

THE RIGHT OF ACTION 340

RIGHT OF RACIAL EQUALITY 341

69. THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM 343

70. DISTRIBUTION FROM THE BAYT AL MAAL 349

71. THE SYSTEM OF ZAKAT 353

72. THE SYSTEM OF TRIBUTE 355

73. THE SYSTEM OF JIZIYA 357

74. CITIZENSHIP 358

75. MONITORING THE TRADING COMMUNITY 362

76. KINDNESS ON WIDOWS, ORPHANS & THE POOR 365

77. TREATMENT OF THE CAPTIVES 368

78. TREATMENT OF THE DIMMIES 369

79. THE TRUSTS & THE PROJECTS FOR PEOPLE’S WELFARE 370

80. UNREST &ITS CAUSES 372

81. DISMISSAL OF FUNCTIONARIES & REASONS THEREOF 375

82. MUAWIYA IBNE ABI SUFIAN 379

83. UMRO IBNE AAS 385

84. ABD ALLAH IBNE SAAD 387

85. WALID IBNE UQBA 390

86. SAEED IBNE AAS 392

87. QASAS FOR OTHMAN’S BLOOD 395

88. THE BATTLE OF JAMAL 398

89. TRANSFER OF THE CAPITAL 433

90. APPOINTMENT OF THE FUNCTIONARIES OF THE STATE 436

QAIS IBNE SAAD 436

SAHL IBNE HANIF ANSARI 438

MALIK IBNE HARIT ASHTAR 439

ABD ALLAH IBNE ABBAS 440

MOHAMMED IBNE ABU BAKR 440

ABU AYOOB ANSARI 440

MAKHNAF IBNE SALEEM AZDI 441

QARDA IBNE KAAB ANSARI 441

FATAM IBNE ABBAS 441

YAZEED IBNE QAIS ARHABI 441

KUMAIL IBNE ZIYAD NAQA-EE 442

RUBIAH IBNE KHAITAM ASADI 442

OMER IBNE ABI SALAMA 442

NOMAN IBNE AJLAAN 443

OTHMAN IBNE HANEEF ANSARI 443

SAEED IBNE MASOOD THAQAFI 443

OBAID ALLAH IBNE ABBAS 443

HISSAN IBNE HISSAN BAKRI 443

91. INVASION OF ZOHAK IBNE QAIS 444

92. DISMISSAL OF QAIS IBNE SAAD 445

93. THE BATTLE OF SIFFIN 449

94. THE AGREEMENT FOR ARBITRATION 499

95. THE REACTION OF KHAWARIJ AGAINST ARBITRATION 502

96. A LOOK AT THE KHAWARIJ 510

97. THE VERDICT OF THE REFEREES 513

98. THE BATTLE OF NAHRWAN 519

99. THE BATTLES OF THE KHAWARIJ 530

100. THE DEFEAT OF EGYPT 536

101. IBNE AAMIR IN BASRA 541

102. THE AGGRESSIVE ATTACKS OF THE SYRIANS 547

103. THE ATROCITIES OF BASAR BIN ARTAT 553

104. THE MARTYRDOM 560

105. THE BURIAL 566

106. SOME IMPRESSIONS 568

107. THE END OF IBNE MULJIM AND HIS COHORTS 569

108. SETTLEMENT IN NAJAF 570

109. CONSTRUCTION OF THE MAUSOLEUM OF HAZRAT ALI (A.S) 572

1. FOREWORD

Bismilla hir Rehman ir Raheem

Al hamdu lillahi wa kafa was-salato ala Mohammadin wa aalehil lazeena astafa

Ameer-al-Momineen, Ali ibne Abi Talib (a.s.), is a great and peerless personality whose qualities have been recognized by friends and foes alike. None could ever deny his sterling qualities. He was born in a distinguished family of the tribe of Qureish. He had the singular distinction of taking birth in the holy precincts of the Kaaba. He first opened his eyes in this world to see the radiant visage of the Prophet (s.a.). He grew and received upbringing under the tutelage of the Prophet (s.a.). Imam Ali (a.s.) followed the footsteps of his mentor and cousin from his very childhood. He was always with the Prophet (s.a.) like a shadow and derived felicity from the company. Imam Ali (a.s) accomplished the various stages of upbringing and training under the fond and watchful eyes of the Prophet (s.a.) His head and heart absorbed the actions and the exemplary character of the Prophet (s.a.).The purity of thoughts and excellence of upbringing elevated Imam Ali (a.s.) to such heights that the moon and the stars appear to be at lower elevations!

This is a common belief, and true to a certain extent, that the environment plays a major role in shaping the nature and thoughts of persons. But, in this world there have been august personalities who were not at all affected by the popular beliefs and superstitions. The thinking of these persons has always been different and their actions far apart from those of the populace. Ali ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) has been one such noble personality who, rather than falling in line with the mundane thoughts and habits of the people, left his mark on their thoughts and actions. With his vision, power of comprehension and Allah’s help he was able to draw a line between right and wrong and, therefore, laid the foundation of a new and unique culture and thought process. Instead of treading the beaten track, he left his own footprints for others to follow. Therefore, in that idolatrous period in the history of Arabia, he never bowed his head to anyone other than the Creator, Allah! He kept his radiant forehead safe from bowing to myriad idols installed in the Kaaba those days. Imam Ali (a.s)’s thoughts and actions were always in tune with those of the Prophet (s.a). It was the result of this unity of thoughts that no sooner the Prophet (s.a.) proclaimed his Message, Hazrat Ali (a.s.) accepted it and gave the proof of his adherence to the Truth by being the first person to join the Prophet (s.a.) in the prayers.

In his early days Imam Ali (a.s.) dedicated himself to the task of propagating Islam as a universal movement. He became a pillar of support for the Prophet (s.a.) to confront and fight against the enemies of the Cause. At the Feast of Ashira when the Qureish were dumbfounded at the Prophet (s.a.)'s Declaration, Imam Ali (a.s.) faced their piercing eyes and stood firmly to witness the Prophet-hood of Mohammed (s.a.). He publicly declared his support to the Prophet (s.a.) and remained steadfast in his resolve till the end. History bears witness to the fact that when the infidel Qureish exceeded all bonds of decency in torturing and ridiculing the Prophet (s.a.) and his followers, they had to take shelter in a cave. Imam Ali (a.s.) braved all these hardships and never left the side of the Prophet (s.a.) for a moment. He faced untold hardships but remained firm in his resolve. He was scared neither of the hardships nor the blatant threats of the enemies. He bore the difficulties with absolute equanimity. During the days in Medina, when the different tribes in Arabia kept aside their long drawn differences and joined together to confront and harm the Prophet (s.a.) and his Cause, Imam Ali (a.s.) stood firm as a wall of steel in the battlefield to vanquish and chase them away. He laid to dust the false pride of the infidels of Qureish, who in the end capitulated to lay down arms and hypocritically professed allegiance to the New Creed!

The atmosphere was not congenial for Imam Ali (a.s.) after the closing of the eyes of the Prophet (s.a.), the greed for power and pelf turned the Khilafat-e-Ilahiya into worldly rule. These circumstances forced him into self-imposed isolation. But whenever the greater interests of Islam were at stake, he came out of his seclusion and gave invaluable advice to the“powers-that-be” in times of important expeditions and economic or religious matters. During these years of seclusion Imam Ali (a.s.) busied himself in study of Islamic tenets and thoughts. He always preferred collective rights over individual desires. When at the ripe old age of fifty eight he ascended to the worldly Khilafat, he found the State in a turmoil. With the plunder of the foreign lands there was excess of wealth in the Nation that had changed the very nature of the Arabs for the worst. Instead of the proverbial simplicity, the life style of Arabs turned towards pomp and show of wealth. Although it was not an easy task to mend the fences, Imam Ali (a.s.) faced the intrigue of the adversaries to protect Islam and it’s moral values.

His services in this direction were selfless and his observations are a treasure- house in the annals of Islamic History. In the battle field and in the halls of debate he represented the cause of Islam with absolute valor and success. Whether it was the Feast of Ashira or it was the presentation of the Verse of Bara-at to the infidels of Mecca; whether it was the Capture of Mecca, Purification of the Kaaba, the expedition of Khandaq or that of Khaibar; Imam Ali (a.s.)’s services to the cause have a unique distinction enjoyed by none else in the comity of the Prophet (a.s)’s companions. His efforts are rated the highest in the protection, welfare, propagation and development of the Faith of Islam.

If his contribution is separated from the History of Islam, the history will appear wanting in content. His achievements are a dominant part of the annals of Islamic History. Although in every epoch efforts were made by his adversaries to put curtains of darkness over his achievement, and the establishments of those days were hand in glove with such historians, their enmity and hatred could not succeed in hiding Imam Ali (a.s)’s great contributions, and he continues to shine on the horizon of Islam like the brightest of stars!

Ameer-al-Mimineen (a.s), on the one hand patronized learning and knowledge to take the caravan of humanity forward and on the other he himself set brightest examples of virtuous action that became a beacon of guidance for the populace. It is necessary that people follow and emulate his way of life. They should draw light from his thoughts and beliefs. The norms of action should be devised on his teachings and actions. The society must be built on the foundation of unshakable principles. Then only the individual and collective lives will be compatible with the requirements of the Faith and will achieve the moral heights.

With this aim impressions of the life and achievements of Imam Ali (a.s) are being described in this work. Attempt has neither been made to make a colorful presentation nor to exaggerate any facts. We have abstained from the slightest element of bias in this work and all the facts are presented in the light of authentic historical references. They are arranged in such a way that chronologically the presentation has the interest of a biographical work. If any references have been made to the events of difference and controversy in the narrative, we have limited them to mere quotation of the source material without going into a discussion over the matter. We do pray to Allah that this work dispels the clouds of bias and helps people to understand the great personality. Wa ma taufiqi illa billa wa behistaeen!

2. BIRTHPLACE & ORIGIN

Arabia is situated in the south west of the Continent of Asia. It is the biggest peninsula in the world. In the north it has Syria, in the west is the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, in the south flow the azure blue waters of the Indian Ocean. The coastal area of the Red Sea is a barren desert. Away from the coast there are dry mountains, desert dunes and sandy stretches merging into the horizon. This desert land is called the Hedjaz. This area has no agriculture whatsoever nor are there any means of irrigation for crops to grow. If there is any rain, the water runs away into the valleys of the barren mountains or it gets accumulated in the low lying ditches. For miles and miles there will be no trace of water in the desert. In such a parched area where there are vast stretches of desert land and barren mountains, the likelihood of commercial activity and habitation are naturally sparse. However on the periphery of Kaaba the Amalaqa used to live a nomadic life. These nomads had no permanent habitation and the search for sustenance and water used to take them from place to place in the desert. Wherever they found some water and greenery, they would set their camps. When the water and the pasture for their animals were exhausted, they would move in search for new source of water.

In the Batha Valley of this vast desert habitation started with the progeny of Porphet Ibrahim (a.s.). Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) was born in Babylon 1081 years after the Deluge of Noah (a.s.). He lost his father during his early childhood and was brought up by his uncle who was known as Adaar. Adaar means the chief keeper of the temple. This word was later changed to Azar. Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) had his upbringing in an environment where idols were carved and worshipped. They also used to worship the sun, moon and the stars. The statue of the ruler of the time used to be revered and worshipped. In such depraved surroundings, Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) never had any wish for idol worship. To the contrary, he was against idol worship from his very childhood. He was very critical of the ways of his people and always invited them to worship one and only God. However, the people never paid any heed to his preaching. They continued thinking that all their affairs were controlled by their lifeless idols! When Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) felt that his people were incorrigibly adamant in their false beliefs, he thought of giving them a proof of the abject helplessness of the idols. For this he waited for an opportune moment. The opportunity came when the inhabitants assembled in the wilderness for celebration of a festival and there was not a single soul in the town. He headed for the temple and broke the biggest idol and many smaller ones. He left the hatchet used for breaking the idols near the neck of the biggest idol. When the people returned to the town, they found that the temple was in utter disarray and the pieces of the broken idols scattered all around. They looked at each other in disbelief and then said that this would be the doing of Ibrahim (a.s.) who always talked against the idols. They called Ibrahim (a.s.) aside and asked him if he had caused the damage? He replied:

This is the doing of their biggest idol. If they have the power of speech, do ask them!

When the people heard Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) say the impossible thing, they said,“O Ibrahim (a.s.)! Have the idols ever spoken?” He replied,“How could those who cannot even speak and defend themselves be of any help to anyone. You consider them your gods and bow to them!” The belief of the idolatrous people was that the idols bring the rains, they help in growing the crops, and give them the means of sustenance and protect them against calamities. Now they found the very idols helplessly shattered. They brooded over the matter and then presented Ibrahim (a.s.) at the court of Nimrod. He asked Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s),” How you dared to harm the idols? Pride has gone so much to your head that you have challenged my divine authority! “Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) replied, “What are your idols? They are the handiwork of human sculptors. They are weaker than the weakest creatures! Then how do you expect me to accept you as a god when you have no authority over your own life and death!“Nimrod was furious hearing these words from Hazrat Ibrahim ( a.s.). His own uncle threatened Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s) to crush him with the stones. Nimrod ordered Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) to be burnt on a pyre. For this purpose a big pyre was lighted. When the flames rose high, Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) was thrown into the fire. Not a single hair of his was burnt. It was as if the pyre was a blooming garden. Seeing this miracle, Nimrod was dumb-founded! But his flame of revenge was not extinguished. He ordered Hazrat Ibrahim’s assets to be confiscated and exiled him from the kingdom. When Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) heard this decree, he said, “You have no right to confiscate my animals and belongings!” Nimrod said,“You have acquired these things living in my realm!” Hazrat Ibrahim rejoined,“Then, return to me the years that I have spent living in your city and take my belongings!” Nimrod had no reply for this argument. He ordered that his belongings may not be confiscated but he must be banished forthwith.

Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) left Babylon along with his spouse Hazrat Sarah and nephew Hazrat Lot (a.s.)). Passing through Halb and Damascus this small group reached Palestine which, in those days, was called Kan-aan. In Palestine his abode was eleven miles away from Jerusalem. The locality is known as Hebron. Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) stayed here for sometime and then proceeded to Egypt to preach the people about the Unity of Allah. When the king of Egypt, Raqyoon, saw the pretty Hazrat Sarah, evil intentions passed through his mind. When he stretched his hand towards her, it instantly got paralyzed. Raqyoon repented his action and begged for Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.)’s pardon. He gave valuable gifts to the group and also presented a slave girl, Hajra, to Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.). This girl later on became the consort of Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.). The historian Tabari writes that Hazrat Hajra was the daughter of Alwan ibne Sanan, the Pharoh of Egypt. Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) returned to Hebron to make it his permanent place of residence. He prayed to Allah to give him off springs that could help him advance his Mission. His prayers were answered and, at the age of eighty-six, he was blessed with his first son Ismail (a.s.) through Hazrat Hajra. After sometime Hazrat Sarah too gave birth to Hazrat Ishaq (a.s).

When Hazrat Sarah presented a son to Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) she insisted that he should move away Hajra and Ismail (a.s.) from Hebron. Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) agreed and traveled with Hazrat Hajra and Hazrat Ismail (a.s.). With Divine Guidance they reached a desolate place in the wilderness of Hedjaz. Although the place was devoid of any human presence, Allah had earmarked it for the location of the Umm-al-Qura - The Fountainhood of Habitations. Therefore, with the hands of Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.), the foundation of habitation at the Holy Place was laid. He left Hazrat Ismail (a.s.) and Hazrat Hajra there. Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) had made a promise to Hazrat Sara, while departing from Hebron, that he would settle Hajra and Ismail (a.s.) at a safe place and return to her. Therefore he left them in the trust of Allah and started on his return journey with a heavy heart that he was leaving behind his beloved son and the faithful wife. When he reached the Mount Kada at some distance, he glanced back at Hajra and Ismail (a.s) and prayed to Allah:

Rabbana inni askanta man zurriati bawaad ghaira zi zara inda baitak al mahram Rabbana leyaqeemus salata faj-al afidat min al naas tahwi ilaihim warzaqhum min al qaraat la-allahum yashkuroon

O Sustainer! Near Your Holy Abode, where nothing grows, I have settled my progeny. O Our Provider! When my progeny establish Prayer, turn the hearts of people towards them and bestow them with sustenance of fruits that they are grateful to You..

Although Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) had faith in Allah’s Beneficence, this prayer gave satisfaction to his heart. He then took the way back to Hebron. Hazrat Hajra made a canopy of the sheet of cloth and sat under it with little Ismail (a.s.). Although it was quiet all around, the courageous lady was not scared at all. She had absolute trust in Allah. She had with her only one pitcher of water that was exhausted in a day or two. Now she worried about water. As the sun progressed on its journey, the intensity of thirst increased. She became restless looking at the parched face of the baby. She started searching for water in the environs. She climbed over the peaks of Safa and Marwa and made seven trips between the two peaks. When she came back totally exhausted, Hazrat Hajra noticed water oozing from the pebbles of sand. She removed the pebbles and stones from the spot and a spring of sweet and cool water spurted out. Hazrat Hajra’s happiness knew no bounds. She uttered,“Zam-Zam!” This word in the Hebrew language means,“Stay put!” This, thus has become the name of the spring. Hazrat Hajra quenched the thirst of her baby and herself with the cool water and then erected a parapet around the place with stones gathered from the surroundings so that it served as a cistern for the water. Looking at the water, birds started hovering around the place. In no time there were signs of life in the desolate wilderness.

At that time a caravan of Bani Jarham of Yemen passed that way,.going to Syria. When they noticed groups of birds in the horizon of the valley, they were surprised. They wondered what the birds had to do in the desolate, waterless desert. When the caravan descended from the heights of the mountain, they noticed a lady sitting with her bowed head and having a baby on her lap. Nearby they saw a spring of water. Finding the spring there, they asked the permission of Hazrat Hajra if they could settle down in the neighborhood. Hazrat Hajra was agreeable to their inhabiting the area, but she told them that without the consent of Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) she had no authority to give such a permission to them. She asked them to wait till Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) came back and made a decision about their request. When Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) arrived there, as promised, Hazrat Hajra obtained his consent and allowed Bani Jarham to make a settlement there. Thus a small colony of shacks was the first community of inhabitants there.

Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.), with Allah’s Wish, commenced construction of Khana-e-Kaaba in that wilderness. Hazrat Ismail (a.s.) helped his father in this work. He carried stones on his shoulders to the site and Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) sorted out the stones to erect the walls of the structure. Thus the team of father and son accomplished the construction of the Kaaba. It was the result of their sincerity and dedication that very soon Kaaba got the status of the most revered place of pilgrimage in the entire Arabian Peninsula. People started heading for the Kaaba from all directions. The population of the place thus increased by leaps and bounds. It became a bustling habitation in the heart of Peninsular Arabia and became known by the name of Bakka. This is its original name and Zaboor too refers to the place as Bakka. In the Holy Quran too, it is termed as Bakka when the Book mentions about the event of its construction:

Un awwal bayt waza lilnaas lil-lazi ba Bakkat mubaraka wa hudal lil aalameen

The First House that was made for the people is in Bakka which is felicitous (place) and a source of inspiration for the worlds.

The other name of Bakka which is in vogue is Makka al Mukarrama. Zohak says that the ‘baa’ of Bakka has been replaced with ‘maa’. He says that both are the names of the same place. Some traditions mention that the place where the Kaaba is located is Bakka and the habitation around it is Makka. There are several versions about the naming of the place but those that have been authenticated by the Infallible Ahl-al-Bayt are that the word Bakka has its root in the word ‘Buka’ that means lamentation. The reason for giving this name to the place is that whenever the Arabs from all over assembled there, they lamented and wailed loudly. Therefore Imam Jafar-e-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:

Sameet Makka Bakkat la-aan an naas kaanu yatabakoon fiha

- Alal al Sharaeh

- Makka has been named Bakka that people used to assemble there and do lamenting and wailing

- Mujahid too had a similar opinion. He says:

- Innama samyat Bakkat la-aan an naas yatabaakoon feehal rijaal wan nisa

- --Durr e Mantoor Vol 2, Page 52

- Makka was termed as Bakka because men and women used to assemble there and wail

- And also Makka is derived from the word ‘Mak-aa’ that means shouting and whistling. Therefore Imam Reza (a.s.) says:

- Sameet Makka Makka la an annaas kanu yamkoon beha- Amal al-Sharaeh

- Makka is called Makka because people there shout and cry:

This shouting and wailing too was considered as a sort of worship by the people there. Therefore Allah says in the Holy Quran:

Wa maa kana salatahum indal bayt al amkaa wa tasdeeh

Near the Kaaba their worship was whistling and clapping of hands

In the Holy Quran the city of Makka is also mentioned as Umm-al-Qura. The real meaning of the word Umm is origin or foundation. One reason for terming Makka as Umm al Qura is that a spate of human population originated from here and spread far and wide in the world. Therefore, when Hazrat Ismail (a.s.) married the daughter of Mazaz ibne Umro, the chief of the tribe of Bani Jarham, his progeny prospered and spread soon into Tihama, Najd and Hedjaz and as far as Palestine and Yemen. They also established settlements in other parts of the world. This holy land, besides being the foundation of human settlements also is the center for the Faith and Guidance of the humankind. On this very land the First House of Allah was constructed. The Message of Islam too was first given from these environs. The call for Tawheed (The Unity of Allah) was given from here and the foundation for the Last and Ultimate Faith of Allah has been laid here. The Revelation of the Holy Quran too commenced in Makka. The Prophet of Islam was born here and his radiance spread far and wide. It is here that Hazrat Ali ibne Abi Talib was born in the Holy precincts of the Kaaba. In Makka he spent his years from childhood to early youth.

It is a fact that different places in the world have effect on the life in consonance with the geographic location and the climate. Therefore, what thrives in one place, generally doesn’t in another clime. Similarly, the land in the same area has stretches that have different types of soil. Therefore, when something is grown on a fertile soil, it thrives. If the same crop is on an infertile piece of land, it will wither. The plants growing on soft soils are generally weak. The shrubs growing on rocky soils are hardy. The reason for this is that the roots of the plants growing on desert soils have to penetrate deep to draw the moisture from there. Therefore Nature has provided these plants the strength to contend with the harsh environment. Ameer-al-Momineen (a.s.) has also made an observation about such desert soils:

Alawan al shajarat al abrriaaslab awad awal rawaeh khazrat araq jalood wal nabataat al badawiah qawi wa qaud wa abta khamooda- Nahj al Balagha

Remember the timber of the trees in the wilderness is strong and the bark of fresh and fleshy plants is weak and puny. The wood from the trees growing in the wild burns well and the fire lasts longer.

Similarly the soil, the climate and the environment of a place have marked effect on the mental and physical built of the people there. The place of birth influences the character and habits of the people there. When there is a change of environment from the wilderness to urban conglomerates, then they slowly mould themselves towards adoption of the new ways.

If we take stock of the inhabitants of the hot desert lands, we find that they are more frugal, chivalrous and hard working than those living in more comfortable and salubrious climes. In the deserts people have to contend with harsh situations. Therefore, they have the capability to face these difficulties.

Hazrat Ameer al Momineen (a.s.) had the faculty of physical strength and equanimity of nature endowed by Allah in abundant measure. Even on human consideration too, the harsh desert environment too was responsible for his great faculty of resilience.