The life of Imam Ali (PBUH) is filled with immense examples of high virtue and deep educational lessons for the human life. While it impossible to truly comprehend his character, it is possible to learn from and understand certain corners of his divine life.
Amir al-Mu’menin (PBUH) is flawless example in living simple. He made a living through his daily work to manage his personal life. He would carry heavy water containers for those unable to do so, plant trees, and he would get paid for watering the gardens of other people.
Amir al-Mu’menin (PBUH) was exceptionally humble. He would help his spouse in home chores, make his own flour by hand, repair his own shoes, and much more. Once, when the Prophet of Allah (PBUH&HP) came to the house of Lady Fatimah (PBUH), he found both Lady Fatimah and Amir al-Mu’menin (PBUH) cleaning lentils for their meal. The Prophet of Allah was moved, saying “There is no man who helps his wife at home, except that Allah (SWT) bestows upon him good deeds by the count of the hairs on his body (implying infinite blessings), as though he had been spending an entire year fasting during the days and praying throughout each night.”
Those who got to know Amir al-Mu’menin (PBUH) would come to discover that Imam Ali (PBUH) was far from any proudness and arrogance. He lived a simple life just like the rest of society, but one that matched more to those on the lower end of economy. Suwaid Ibn Qaflah narrates, “I went to visit Amir al-Mu’menin (PBUH) on a day after where everyone had pledged their allegiance to him to rule the Muslim Ummah. I found him sitting on a carpet made of palm leaves. There were no other carpets in his house. I made a polite request saying, ‘O Commander of the Faithful, the treasury of all Muslims is in your control; please purchase a carpet for the house; I see that there is no carpet in the house other than a palm mat’.”
Amir al-Mu’menin (PBUH) replied: “O Suwaid! He who is traveling, and is in a temporary inn to depart shortly does not invest in tools and equipment for the inn. We will be departing this world very soon to be in our everlasting homes in the hereafter. Why should we buy expensive carpets for here?”
Moreover, Amir al-Mu’menin (PBUH) was extremely careful about the Bayt ul Mal (treasury of the Muslim Umma) and spending from it. During the cold weather, he would cover himself with a towel from his personal belongings, and even when he was shivering from the cold he would not spend from the treasury for his personal comfort. He would even go as far as selling his war Armor to make up for part of his family’s financial needs.
During his rule over the Muslims, taking care of the poor and the unprivileged were amongst his first priorities. Not only did he order his men to oversee the matter, but he would also act personally to carry out the matter. Imam Ali (PBUH) would carry bread and dates for the poor on his own shoulder and deliver them personally. His companions would say: “O Amir al-Mu’menin (PBUH) allow us to carry this load…” and Imam Ali (PBUH) would reply, “The leader of a nation is more deserving to carry the load.”
These are glimpses into the life of a divine man, for who everyone from friends to foes are stunned at his moral acts and virtues.
(Selection taken from “Modeled Virtues of Imam Ali (PBUH)” by Muhammad Dashti)
The Roshd Website offers condolences to all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon 21st of the Month of Ramadan, the anniversary of the martyrdom of the symbol of justice and courage, the father of the nation and the commander of the believers,
Amir al-Mu’minin, Ali ibn Abi Talib (PBUH), and commemorates the Nights of Qadr.