Heartiest felicitations to you all on one of the most blessed days of the year. Today is the 13th of Rajab, on which God Almighty’s symbolic House in Mecca, the holy Ka’ba, came alive, as if a spirit was infused into it. It is the day when the most sanctified place on Planet Earth became the site of birth – the one and only instance in history – of a person who was God’s most exalted creation after Prophet Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny). To be more precise, today we are celebrating the birthday of the Commander of the Faithful, the Leader of the Pious, the Symbol of Justice, the Epitome of Valour, the Model of Magnanimity, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (PBUH) – the divinely-designated vicegerent of the Seal of Messengers, Prophet Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny). Following is an exclusive feature in this regard:
“Allah collected from hard, soft, sweet and sour earth, clay which He dripped in water till it got pure, and kneaded it with moisture till it became gluey. From it He carved an image with curves, joints, limbs and segments. He solidified it till it dried up for a fixed time and a known duration. Then He blew into it out of His Spirit whereupon it took the pattern of a human being with mind that governs him, intelligence which he makes use of, limbs that serve him, organs that change his position, sagacity that differentiates between truth and untruth, tastes and smells, colours and species. He is a mixture of clays of different colours, cohesive materials, divergent contradictories and differing properties like heat, cold, softness and hardness, grief and joy.”
What you read is a vividly detailed description of the finest form of creation by God Almighty, that is, Adam the Father of the human race. Yet this is not a passage from God’s Final Revelation – the holy Qur’an – or from any other previously revealed heavenly scripture. Then whose words are these that draw for us the perfect picture of the creation of Adam by the One and Only Creator? A good question indeed, since we are on the threshold of the 13th of Rajab, the day the Holy Ka’ba – built by Adam when he was sent on Earth and rebuilt in antiquity by Prophet Abraham (peace upon them) – came alive with the birth in the sancta sanctorum of one of the greatest sons of Adam, exactly 1459 lunar years ago.
After recounting how Iblis the genie was cast out as the Satan from the assembly of the angels, for disobeying God’s command to prostrate to Adam, the person who has given such a remarkable description of the First Man’s creation and the purpose of creation, informs us in one of his famous sermons in the book Nahj al-Balagha:
“Thereafter, Allah made Adam (AS) dwell in a house where He made his life pleasant and his stay safe, and He cautioned him of Iblis and his enmity. Then his enemy (Iblis) envied his abiding in Paradise… So he changed his conviction into wavering and determination into weakness. He thus converted his happiness into fear and his prestige into shame. Then Allah offered to Adam (AS) the chance to repent, taught him words of His Mercy, promised him return to His Paradise and sent him down to the place of trial and procreation of progeny.”
The passages that we recited to you are self-explanatory. We are then informed of the choosing of prophets from the progeny of Adam for the guidance of human societies towards God, Truth, Salvation, and Paradise, because “Allah never allowed His creation to remain without a Prophet deputized by Him, or a book sent down from Him or a binding argument…In this way ages passed by and times rolled on… till Allah deputized Muhammad (SAWA) as His (Last) Prophet in fulfillment of His promise.”
We are then told that Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), while departing from the mortal world, left behind God’s Final Revelation, the Holy Qur’an, along with his Immaculate Ahl al-Bayt, as beacons of guidance for human societies, and popularly known as the Thaqalayn or Two Priceless Things.
The identity of the person, who enlightens our minds with such a vast ocean of facts, should now be crystal clear to us, because no one else was born in the Holy Ka’ba except Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS). As the cousin, son-in-law, and divinely-designated vicegerent of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), he was indeed the prime source for the mission of the Seal of Messengers, as well as the accounts of the Prophets of the past, including the reasons for the casting out of Iblis as Satan, and Adam’s erring that brought him down to Earth. But, how come, he so vividly describes Adam’s creation from different forms of clay to the amazement of scholars and scientists alike, as if he was an eyewitness to the whole process of evolution?
It is here that the famous hadith of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) comes to our rescue, when he says: “I was the Prophet when Adam was in the state of water and clay.” The Prophet also said: “I and Ali are created of the same Light.” Another hadith says the Light of Ali was created thousands of cosmic years before Adam’s creation. Now it should be clear that Prophet Mohammad and Imam Ali (peace upon them) were not ordinary humans like the rest of mankind, although they were descendants of Adam. They were in fact beings of celestial light that God Almighty created before creating the universe. Here, it will be repetitive to go into details of the miraculous parting of the walls of the Ka’ba and their closing moments later on the 13th of Rajab, to permit Fatema bint Asad (SA) of the monotheist Hashemite clan to enter its hallowed precincts, as she implored the Lord Most High to ease her pangs of delivery. The Arab pagans who had polluted the Primordial House of Monotheism with idols were flabbergasted. They tried to break the door with crowbars but the locks and the wooden beams held steadfast.
Three days later the Arab idolaters were again stupefied when the same miracle occurred at the Ka’ba as its walls parted and closed to allow Fatema bint Asad (SA) to step out with a radiant boy in her arms. To the further bewilderment of the heathen Arabs, a calm and unperturbed Abu Taleb stood at hand to smilingly greet his virtuous wife. Along with him was his nephew, the son of Abdullah, his deceased brother, who gently stepped forward to take into his arms his infant cousin. It was then that the baby boy opened his eyes.
As the eyes of the two cousins caught each other there were smiles of acquaintance on both the faces as if the two were meeting after a period of separation. The sight was indeed dazzling as Light mirrored Light. The infant moved his lips and seemed to be expressing voiceless words when the elder cousin whispered something in his tender ears. Here is a famous saying from Prophet Mohammad (SAWA):
“O Ali! Allah has created me and you from His Light. He created Adam and put that light into Adam. This light reached Abdul-Muttalib and then it split; so I was in Abdullah and you were in Abu Taleb. Nubuwwah (Prophethood) does not befit anyone other than me, while Wilayah (vicegerency) does not befit anyone other than you. Whoever denies your vicegerency denies my prophethood, and whoever denies my prophethood Allah will throw him down on his nose into the Fire…”
These words are ample proof of the peerless position of Imam Ali (AS). No wonder, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) had said: “I and Ali are the fathers of this ummah”
This does not mean biological fathers, but means spiritual fathers, since without faith in these two enlightened personalities, a person neither be considered Muslim or the one who has completely submitted to God, nor could be considered Momin, or the one who has attained true and perfect belief.
This is the reason, the Islamic Republic of Iran, ever year celebrates the birthday of Imam Ali (AS) as “Father’s Day”, in order to make its citizens better fathers for the proper grooming of children as per the guidelines of the Prophet and the Infallible Imams.
Here we present you a tribute in verse to Imam Ali by Iranian poetess Zia os-Sadaat Khakpour:
Rajab is the month in which God introduced
The world with the Noor of Imam Ali,
His mother was delivered of him in the holy Ka'ba,
In the Most Holiest Sanctuary never born anyone else,
Mohammad said: "I am the Last of the Prophets
"After me my successors shall be Twelve,
"The first of them “Ali”, the last is “al-Mahdi,"
The Aaron of a second Moses, “Ali”
The orator, the warrior, the eloquence is his wisdom
Ali, whose judgment and courage is virtue and prudence,
His magnanimity vanquished all enemies
His justice earned eternity
Bring every soul to appreciate his personality.
One cannot but like him, “Ali”
The noble-minded creature, now and always
Brave as a lion, yet with a grace
Full of affection, fiery daring, and noblest,
Ali devoted heart and soul to the Prophet
From boyhood to the end of the time,
Simple, quiet, and picture of faith is Ali
Wise in counsel, confiding in friendship
In him united a poet, a soldier, and a saint
His wisdom still breathes in a collection of morals
From the first hour of his mission to the last rites of his funeral
Mohammad was never forsaken by a generous friend,
Whom he delighted to name his brother, his vicegerent,
And the faithful Aaron of a second Moses,
Rajab is the month in which God introduced
The world with the Noor of Imam Ali