Amir al-Mu’minin, Ali (PBUH), says, “As I was sitting on the ground, I fell asleep and saw Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) in my dream. I told him that I have seen so much bitterness and animosity from his followers. The Prophet said, ‘Curse them.” (1)
And now Ali wants to curse that people; what is he going to say? How would he take revenge on these people for their bad actions toward him? He asked Allah (SWT) to give him better people than the ones he ruled during the past years and to give them a bad ruler instead of him. (2) That means, “O Allah, hasten in the death of Ali.”
During the holy month of Ramadan of that year, Amir al-Mu’minin (PBUH) was continuously pointing out his martyrdom. (3) His companions used to say, “He was giving us the news of his death with his words, but we did not understand.”(4) In his last days, he visited each of his children for breaking the fast. However, he never ate more than three mouthfuls. One of his children asked why he ate so little. Imam Ali (PBUH) said, “The order of Allah will soon come, and I want my stomach to be empty. I have less than two nights to live.”(5)
At the night of his martyrdom, he was invited to his daughter’s (Umm al-Kolthum’s) house. He again ate three mouthfuls and started to pray. He often looked at the sky and watched the movement of stars. In that night he said, “I swear to Allah, I neither lie and nor has the person who gave me the news (the Prophet); this is the night which I was promised my martyrdom.”(6)
This was the promise Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) had given him. Ali (PBUH) narrated that, “Once the Prophet recited a sermon about the greatness of the month of Ramadan and started to cry in the end. I asked him about the reason. Prophet replied, ‘For the destiny that awaits you in this month; it seems that I see you praying and the worst of all people jumps up and hits you in the head with his sword and your blood covers your beard red.”(7)
That horrible night was eventually over, and Ali (PBUH) moved toward the mosque before the dawn. He entered the mosque, started his prayer. As he was performing Sajdah (8), Ibn Muljam hit Ali (PBUH) in the head with a poisoned sword. Accidentally the sword was hit where Amr Ibn Abdiwad’s sword had already landed in the battle of Khandaq. (9) Ali’s (PBUH) head was split to his forehead.
Indeed, at this moment Ali’s (PBUH) bloody ascent started from prostration. Amir al-Mu’minin’s (PBUH) blood covered his surrounding area, and his beard was colored red. In this moment Ali (PBUH) said, “I have triumphed by the Lord of Ka’ba.” And then he recited this verse, “From it (the earth) We created you and into it We shall send you back and from it will We raise you a second time” (The Holy Quran, 20:55)
The people arrested Ibn Muljam and imprisoned him. Hassan and Hussain (PBUT) placed the Imam on a mat and carried him home. The people brought some milk for the Imam, as this was the common drug for sick people. He drank a little amount of milk and said, “Give your prisoner some of this milk and do not bother him.”
After the incident, the physicians of Kufa came to visit Imam Ali (PBUH). The most experienced doctor said, “Ali, prepare yourself for the last will because the injury has reached your brain, and we cannot heal it.” Hence, Imam Ali (PBUH) asked for a paper and ink to write his last will to his sons Hassan and Hussain (PBUT). (10)
At the end of this will, Imam Ali (PBUH) became unconscious, and once he regained his conscious, he opened his eyes and said, “O Hassan! I have a few words with you. Tonight is the last night of my life. Once I die, wash and perform my burial with your own hands. Supervise my burial ceremony; perform Salat al-Mayyit over by my body; and bury me in the darkness of night secretly far from the city of Kufa, so that no one will find where I am buried.”
Two days after the strike by the sword of Ibn Muljam, Imam Ali (PBUH) bid farewell to the world at the age of 63. He was martyred on the Friday night of the twenty-first of Ramadan in the year 40 A.H. Mourning men and women crowded the Imam’s house, and the city of Kufa shook from this uproar, just as it had the day Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) passed away.
Imam Hassan (PBUH) washed the soulless body of Amir al-Mu’minin (PBUH), prayed the Salat al-Mayyit, and buried his father in a city called “Ghuray”, present day Najaf. His holy shrine was hidden until the era of Imam Reza (PBUH), for the fear existed that the Khawarij and the clan of the Umayyad would offend and attack it.
And this way the bright flame of existence of a man, who was born in the Ka’ba and martyred in the Mosque, went out. He was a man that after Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) the world did not witness anyone equal to him.
(Selection taken from “Furooq Wilayat” by Ayatullah Ja’far Subhani (with minor changes))
On behalf of Roshd website, we would like to offer our condolences to all Muslims upon the 21st of the Holy Ramadan, the martyrdom anniversary of the kind father of believers, Amir al-Mu’minin (PBUH).
On this great occasion, the Night of Qadr, one might ask whether the coincidence of the martyrdom of Imam Ali (PBUH) and the nights of Qadr was by accident. Is there a relationship between the Imam and the Night of Qadr? Which night is the night of Qadr? What is the importance of this night? What happens on this night? In order to find answers to these questions, you might refer to article entitled “The Night of Qadr”.
1. Although the mercy and compassion of the Great Prophet is pervasive, when some people transgress and exceed the limits, they deprive themselves of mercy and leave no space other than chastisement. In such cases cursing is a rational act. In the history of the previous prophets, we may see instances where despite their patience and kindness, they had no choice other than cursing.
2. Nahj al-Balaghah, sermon 69
3. He once said, “The month of Ramadan has come, and it is the master of all months. In this month a big change will occur in the government. Be aware that in this year you will perform Hajj (without a leader), and the sign is that I will not be amongst you.”
4. Irshad by Sheikh Mufid, vol. 1, p. 14 – Raudah al-Wa’edhin, vol. 1, p. 135
5. Irshad by Sheikh Mufid, vol. 1, p. 14 – Raudah al-Wa’edhin, vol. 1, p. 135 – Kashf al-Ghummah, vol. 1, p. 434
6. Raudah al-Wa’edhin, vol. 1, p. 136
7. Uyun Akhbar al-Reza, vol. 1, p. 297
8. Imam Reza (PBUH) narrates from his great grandfather Imam Sajjad (PBUH), “Ibn Muljam struck the sword upon Imam Ali’s (PBUH) head while he was in prostration.” (Amaali by Sheikh Toosi, p. 365)
9. Kashf al-Ghummah, vol. 1, p. 437
10. This narration, although addressing Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain (PBUT), is for all human kind until the end of time. On the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Ali (PBUH), if you are willing to take a look at some phrases of his last will, you may click here.