The alchemists believed that there is a material called elixir which can transform one material into another. They looked for it for centuries, but could never find it. The Persian poets affirmed that the true elixir is love, and love is what can really change things. Without love the heart would not be a heart but a worthless thing.

One of the most distinguishing features of Shiism is that it is based on love. From the first day that the Prophet founded this school of thought, there have been whispers of love and affection. Therefore Shiism is the school of love and affection.

In the history of Islam we can witness unique examples of infatuation and love towards the Prophet. Moreover we see people around Imam Ali (PBUH) that adore him. Although Imam Ali (PBUH) punished the corrupt according to the Islamic laws, still some people loved him, and did not turn away from him. It was such a love that had an eternal attraction…

Ali (PBUH) has always been a double-sided personality. He has always had an attraction and also a repulsion. Among the companions of the Prophet, no one like Ali (PBUH) had such devoted friends. Also no one had sworn enemies like he did. But where lies the secret of his repulsion?

Obviously, any determined campaigner who strives for the realization of his goals would have bloodthirsty enemies. Such a person would be a good example for the verse “striving hard in the way of Allah and not fearing the reproach of any reproacher.” (1)

One instance of comprehensiveness of the character of Imam Ali (PBUH) is that he actively campaigned against different fake sects and deviations. At times he fought against ostentatious people, other times against deceitful demagogues or at times against ignorant hypocrites. Ali (PBUH) considered no one’s will against the will of God, and whatever he did was for the sake of Allah (SWT). Naturally such a trait creates enemies and annoys the lustful people.

At the same time, the attraction of Imam Ali (PBUH) was so great that many people of his own time appealed to him, and furthermore this appeal has spread through the time and has penetrated many hearts. The love for Imam Ali (PBUH) fills the hearts of people everywhere.

No one has yet discovered the secret of love, but it seems that there is something in the beloved that attracts the lover. Ali (PBUH) has many sincere devotees and he is adored by lovers. The question is: What is so special about Ali (PBUH) that such love is aroused in the hearts of his devotees?

History has seen many heroes, heroes of speech, heroes of science and philosophy, heroes who command power, heroes of warfare; however, they have all gradually been forgotten. However, this is not the case with Imam Ali (PBUH). Not only did the name of Ali (PBUH) not die after his martyrdom, but he also became more famous as time passed by. Obviously, the attraction toward him is different than all other types of attractions toward other so-called heroes found throughout the world.

Moreover, it is wrong to think that loving Ali (PBUH) is related to his moral virtues. It is true that he was a manifestation of the perfect man and human beings like the transcendent examples of humanity. But if Ali (PBUH) did posses virtues such as wisdom, humbleness, courtesy, justice, bravery, generosity, etc, not along with the divine color, he would not be as adored as he is.

Yes. Ali (PBUH) is loved by many, because he has an inseparable unity with the truth. Deep inside our hearts we have a connection to the truth, and as we find Ali (PBUH) to be the sign of God and the sign of truth, we begin to love him. In other words, the base of loving Ali (PBUH) is the connection of our souls to God, a connection which is eternally bestowed upon us in our primordial nature. Because our primordial nature is perpetual, love of Ali (PBUH) is eternal and perpetual as well. 

(Taken from the book “The Attraction and Repulsion of Ali (PBUH)”, by Scholar Murtada Mutahhari)

On behalf of Roshd website, we would like to offer our condolences to all Muslims upon the 21st of the Holy Month of Ramadan, the anniversary of martyrdom of the symbol of justice and bravery, the kind father of believers, Amir al-Mu’minin, Ali ibn Abi Taleb  (PBUH).


1. The Holy Quran, (5:54)

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