Ali (a.s.) is with the truth and the truth is with Ali (a.s.) – Lessons for Muslims

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In the famous tradition ‘Ali is with the truth and the truth is with Ali’, there is a clear and decisive argument against every point of dispute among the Muslims. We only have to see where Ameerul Momineen Ali b. AbiTalib (a.s.) stands on the issue and we immediately know the truth. There is no need to engage in endless debates because the tradition clearly says that Ali (a.s.) is with the truth and the Noble Quran.


1. Caliphate
2. Fadak
3. Battles with the wives and companions
4. False reports maligning Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.)

So if Muslims want to know the truth about the most burning issues in the Islamic community like caliphate, Fadak and the three wars of Jamal, Siffeen and Nahrawan, they should see on whose side was Ali (a.s.) on.

Back to Top1. Caliphate

Some Muslims argue that Ali (a.s.) did not stake his claim to caliphate either because he was not suitable for the position or for the purpose of unity in the nation (ettihad). They claim that if he was on truth, he would or should have forwarded his claim.

This argument is absurd because when he was already appointed as the Master (Mawla) of all Muslim men and women just a couple of months before the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) martyrdom, in Ghadeer, there was no need to advance an argument / claim to supplement the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) declaration. It is like Prophet Adam (a.s.) inviting Iblis to prostrate when Allah the Almighty has already issued a clear command. Nobody argues that Prophet Adam (a.s.) should have independently called Iblis to prostrate.

After the Ghadeer declaration and clear traditions like ‘Ali is with the truth…’ it was not necessary for Ali (a.s.) to invite the Muslims towards his right.  Although he did invite them, this was in the nature of reminders and to complete all arguments against the people so that on the Day of Judgment they would not have any argument against him.

History is witness that Ali (a.s.) has advanced the tradition of ‘Ali is with the truth…’ to stake his claim on caliphate.

Umar’s death manifested one of his more notorious innovations in the form of Shura (committee) compromising of Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) and pretenders like Talha, Zubair, Saad b. Abi Waqqaas, Abdul Rahman b. Auf and the Bani Umayyah representative Usman b. Affaan.

In this committee, in the presence of all its members, Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) challenged:

اَنشَدکُمُ اللہ! اَتَعلَمُونَ اَنَّ رَسُولَ اللہِ قَالَ: اَلحَقُّ مَعَ عَلِیٍّ وَ عَلِیٌّ مَعَ الحَقِّ یَدُورُ الحَقَّ مَعَ عَلِیٍّ کَیفَمَا دَارَ

“I implore you for the sake of Allah! Do all of you not know that the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said – The truth is with Ali and Ali is with the truth; the truth turns with Ali however he turns?

All of them acknowledged that they heard the same from the Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

  • Manaaqib al-Khaarazmi p. 217

Back to Top2. Fadak

History has witnessed that there was a raging dispute after the demise of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), on the subject of inheritance, between Hazrat Fatima Zahra (s.a.) the beloved daughter of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and Abu Bakr who usurped the caliphate of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

Despite her own position as a paragon of truthfulness, purity and Islam itself, Hazrat Fatima Zahra (s.a.) was asked to advance witnesses in support of her claim on Fadak as if she was a liar (Allah forbid).

This was unjust in itself, but more unwarranted than this was the fact that when she advanced Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) as witness, his witness was summarily rejected on the pretext that he was her husband and therefore an interested party. When there was a clear tradition of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that Ali is with the truth…, there is no justification on earth to reject his witness even if the entire world contradicts him. (Refer Kashf al-Yaqeen p. 161 of Allamah Hilli (r.a.) for detailed tradition)

Back to Top3. Battles with the wives and companions

Among the allegations against Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) is that he engaged in three civil wars dividing the nation and killing many Muslims in the process.

This allegation is ridiculous and reeks of hostility towards Ali (a.s.). It is absurd to suggest this on two counts.

First – those who fought against Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) namely the wives and companions should be condemned for taking up arms against Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.), the caliph of the time.

Books of Ahle Tasannun are filled with reports warning the Muslims against disobeying the caliph. Let alone the caliph of the nation, traditions strictly forbid Muslims against even preceding in defiance an Imam of congregational prayers.

Muslims who disobey the caliph are not even Muslims regardless of whether they are wives or companions as these and other traditions establish:

  • Ibn Abbas narrated on the authority of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.) – Whosoever finds something in his ruler that he disapproves of, he should bear it patiently, for one who moves a span’s length from the jama’aat (Muslim society) and dies, dies the death of paganism. (Sahih-e-Bukhari)
  • In another narration the words used are, “he has removed the nook of Islam from his neck” (Musnad-e-Ahmad), meaning he has discarded his allegiance of Islam.

Hence, it is atrocious to blame Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.); in fact the blame lies with the wives and companions.  When Muslims cannot rebel against an unjust Imam, where is the question of revolting against an Imam who was justice personified!

Second –When the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.)has explicitly mentioned that ‘Ali is with the truth…’and there is no similar and unanimous report in favour of the wives and companions, it means the wives and companions have no choice but to align themselves with Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.), instead of rebelling against him. This tradition proves the certain falsehood of every Muslim who challenges the authority of Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.).

In fact even Ayesha admits to it as proved by this report:

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَامِرٍ قَالَ: سَمِعْتُ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ بُدَيْلٍ الْخُزَاعِيَّ يَقُولُ لِعَائِشَةَ: أَنْشُدُكَ اللَّهَ أَ لَمْ نَسْمَعْكَ تَقُولِينَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ص يَقُولُ-: «عَلِيٌّ مَعَ الْحَقِّ وَ الْحَقُّ مَعَ عَلِيٍّ لَنْ يَفْتَرِقَا حَتَّى يَرِدَا عَلَيَّ الْحَوْضَ؟» قَالَتْ: بَلَى قَالَ لَهَا: فَلِمَ ذَلِكَ؟ قَالَتْ: دَعُونِي وَ اللَّهِ لَوَدِدْتُ أَنَّهُمْ تَفَانَوْا جَمِيعاً.

Abdullah b. Budail al-Khozaaee said to Ayesha – I implore you for the sake of Allah! Didn’t we hear you say – I (Ayesha) heard the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.a.) saying – Ali is with the truth and the truth is with Ali, the two will never separate until they meet me at the Pond. She said – Yes. He said to her – Then why this (battle of Jamal)? She said – Leave me alone, by Allah, I wish that they destroy each other.

  • Al Jamal wa al-Nusrah li Sayyid al-Itrah fi Harb al-Basrah p. 433 by Shaikh al-Mufeed (r.a.)

Clearly Ayesha as also Talha and Zubair initiated the battle of Jamal knowing fully well the position of Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) and their own treachery with respect to him (a.s.). Then how can Muslims still consider her as Ummul Momineen and a symbol of Islam? Is fighting the embodiment of truth a sign of Islam and killing tens of thousands of ‘Muslim sons’ a sign of motherhood?

And after admitting to the position of Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) as truth personified and her own guilt in initiating Jamal, she had the audacity to blame Allah for the battle.

Her tactic of placing the blame for her crimes on Allah encouraged other Muslims to follow her lead as we see Umar b. Saad, Ubaidullah b. Ziyaad and Yazid b. Muawiyah (may Allah curse them all) likewise blaming Allah for their crime of killing Imam Husain (a.s.).

Is Ammar greater than Ali b. AbiTalib (a.s.)?

In the battle of Siffeen against Muawiyah, the Muslims were more concerned about Ammar based on just one report – albeit a reliable one – that Ammar would be killed by a rebellious group. Muawiyah and Amr-e-Aas put all their resources together to deflect the blame for killing Ammar and even went to the extent of branding Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) as the rebel (Allah forbid) responsible for killing Ammar! Till date, Muslims have no way to hide from the fact that Ammar was killed by Muawiyah’s group of rebels.

This is highly ironical since Muslims should be more worried about Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) rather than Ammar! Given the clear report of Ali (a.s.) being with the truth, Muawiyah was on falsehood even if he had not killed Ammar or even if there was no report in favour of Ammar. While Muawiyah’s falsehood is already established for killing Ammar, fighting Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) is an even bigger crime based on the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) tradition that ‘Ali is with the truth…’.

This is sufficient for Muawiyah’s annihilation and disgrace. But he still finds supporters in this age who defend his crimes at all cost as if he was even above the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and hence traditions like – ‘Ali is with the truth…’ do not apply to him.

Back to Top4. False reports maligning Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.)

Obviously when a person is embellished with such virtues he will invite the jealousy and envy of others. When the opponents and adversaries saw Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) described in superlatives by Allah the High and His Pure Prophet (s.a.w.a.), they got busy in forging traditions to malign his character. Some of these lies include:

  • Ali (a.s.) wanted to marry Abu Jahl’s maid upsetting Fatima Zahra (s.a.) in the process
  • Consuming alcohol – Salafis claim that the verse – O you who believe! Do not go near prayer when you are intoxicated (Surah Nisa (4): 43) was revealed for Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) – [We seek refuge in Allah]
  • The Kharijis were the truthful ones and Ibn Muljim (may Allah curse him) was one of Allah’s best slaves (Minhaaj al-Sunnah of Ibn Taymiyyah)

These and other reports are circulated by the Nasibis to try defame Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.).

First and foremost the reports are fabricated and Muslim scholars including those from the Ahle Tasannun in defence of Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) have coined detailed replies rubbishing the reports.

Second – even on the impossible assumption that these reports are true, they do not succeed in tarnishing the personality of Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.).

In harmony with Allah’s desire to perfect His Light even if the polytheists are averse (Surah Saff (61): Verse 8) and the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) foreknowledge about the nation’s attempt to malign Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.), the tradition ‘Ali is with the truth…’ ends with the prayer of infallibility:

اَللّہُمَّ اَدرِ الحَقَّ مَعَہٗ حَیثُ دَارَ

O Allah turn the truth with him wherever he turns.’

  • Tafseer al-Kabir, vol. 1 p. 205
  • Manaaqib al-Khaarazmi, p. 217
  • Al-Mo’jam al-Awsat vol. 5 p. 455 tradition 4,877
  • Al-Mustradrak alaa al-Sahihain, vol. 3 p. 134 tradition 4,628
  • Al-Jaame al-Saheeh of Tirmidhi, vol. 5 p. 592 tradition 3,724

This prayer has effectively sealed all doors to malign Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) regardless of whether the reports are true or not. The truth is subject to Ali (a.s.) and is defined by him (a.s.) and whatever Ali (a.s.) does or says becomes the truth. For, the truth has been ordered to change with Ali (a.s.) and assume truthfulness based on what Ali (a.s.) does. Ali (a.s.) does not have to change his behaviour or actions to conform to the truth.

So, even if these so-called mistakes and errors are attributed to Ali (a.s.), they no longer remain errors once Ali (a.s.) has performed them. The errors transform into truth itself by virtue of the fact that Ali (a.s.) has performed these actions.

Those who dismiss this as an exaggeration (ghuluv) of the Shias must reflect on the following verse of the Majestic Quran:

Except him who repents and believes and does a good deed; so these are they of whom Allah changes the evil deeds to good ones; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.’ (Surah Furqan (25): Verse 70)

In conclusion, Muslims have no way other than to accept Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) as the axis around which truth revolves. All lies and false propaganda about him must be cast aside based on this and anyone who lends his ear to such lies has disobeyed Allah and His Prophet (s.a.w.a.) by rejecting the truth and siding with falsehood!

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