This book sets the scene for a compelling story of an Imam who earned Prophet Muhammad’s complete trust and exclusive attention from an early age. Eloquent in speech, gallant in battle and wise in counsel—that is Ali b. Abi Talib, the highly praised by the Quran and the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family). Admired by Eastern and Western thinkers like Thomas Carlyle who described the Imam as, ‘a noble-minded creature as he shows himself, now and always afterwards; full of affection, of fiery daring. Something chivalrous in him: brave as a lion; yet with a grace, a truth and affection worthy of Christian knighthood.
Touching on one of the gravest issues of our time—terrorism—this book can prove exceedingly useful to readers of all faiths, particularly Muslims, who may understand from Ali himself the true meaning of jihad as a way to defend peace and develop societies; not an excuse to promote fear, ignorance and destruction.
In the classical tapestry of this book, we will also introduce Ali’s views on matters of love, remembrance, justice, freedom and knowledge, which truly reflect the prophetic character of this grand figure. The intention is to paint an evocative portrait of Ali as one of history’s most charismatic personalities. Each chapter is replete with drama, history and words of wisdom from Ali, extracted from his sermons and letters in the famous book, Peak of Eloquence or Nahj al-Balagha. The majority of hadiths have been carefully selected from mainstream scholars such as Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Tirmidhi and many others who did not necessarily share the same faith as Ali’s, yet appreciated his passion for humanity.
M. K. Zeineddine is a writer with keen interest in the sublime teachings of Prophet Muhammad and his People of the House (ahl al-bayt). Given his extensive research, the author is of the strong opinion that Islam is a religion of peace, love and tolerance despite what has been unjustly campaigned against it throughout the centuries. The remarkable virtues of ahl al-bayt, with Ali b. Abi Talib being a prominent figure, stand a clear proof of that.