Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (A.S) was born on 13th of Rajab of the 30th year of Elephant (A.D) Prophet of Allah was then 30 year old, his mother Fatma binte Asad, father Abi Talib ibn Abdul Muttalib both of the clans of Hashim.

Imam Ali was born inside the Kaaba in Makkah, Masoodi, the herodotous of the Arabs, writes on page 76 of Volume II of his book, Murooj-udh-Dahab (Golden Meadows), that one of the greatest distinction that Ali (A.S.) enjoyed was that he was born in the House of Allah.

Among the modern Historians, Abbas Mahmood al Akkad of Egypt writes in his book Al-'Abqarriet al-Imam Ali, (Cairo,1970), that Ali ibn Abu Talib was born inside the Kaaba. Another contemporary historian, Mahmood Saeed al-Tantawi, of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, Arab Republic of Egypt, writes on page 186 of his book, Min Fada-il al Ashrat al-Mubashireen bil Janna (1976) observes :

"May God has mercy upon Ali ibn Abu Talib. He was born in Kaaba. He witnessed the rise of Islam; he witnessed the Dawa of Mohammad, and he was a witness of the Wahi (Revelation of Al-Quran al Majid). He immediately accepted Islam even though he was still a child, and he fought all his life so that the Word of Allah would  be supreme"

"It was a custom of the Arabs that when a child was born, he was placed at the feet of the tribal idol or idols, thus symbolically  “dedicating“ him to the pagan diety. All Arab children were “dedicated” to the idols except Ali ibn Abu Talib (A.S.). When other Arab children were born, some idolator came to greet them and to take them in his arm. But when Ali ibn Abu Talib (A.S.) was born, Mohammad (SAW), the future messenger of God, came into the precincts of the Kaaba to greet him. He took the infant  into his arms, and dedicated him into the service of Allah. The future Prophet must have known that infant in his arms was some day going to be nemesis of all idolates and of their gods and godesses. When Ali (A.S.) grew up, he extirpated idolatory and ploytheism from Arabia with his sword. Birth is Kaaba was one out of many distinctions that God bestowed upon Ali (A.S.) . Another distinction that he enjoyed was that he never adored the idols. This again makes him unique since all Arabs worshipped idols for years and years before they abjured idolatory and accepted Islam. It is for this reason that he is called  “he whose face was honoured by Allah”. His face was indeed honoured by Allah as it was the only face that never bowed before any idol”. Syed Asghar Ali Razwy; pp.32-33.

When Ali (A.S.)  was five years old, Mohammad (SAW) adopted him, and from that moment they never to depart with each other.

Mohammad (SAW) and Khadijah (p.b.u.h) adopted Ali (A.S.) adopted Ali (A.S.)  after the death of their own sons. Ali (A.S) thus filled a void in their lives. But Mohammad (SAW), the future Prophet, also had another reason for adopting Ali (A.S). He picked him to bring up, to educate him, and to groom him for the great detiny that awaited him in the times to come. Dr. Taha Hussain of Egypt says that the Messenger of God himself became Ali's guide, teacher and instructor, and this is one more distinction that he enjoys, and which no one else shares with him Ali (A.S). Razwy Ibid. pp. 33-34.

“Similarly, it may be said that of all the friends and companions of Mohammad (SAW), the Prophet of  Islam,  Ali (A.S.) is the only one who grew up in the full light of history. There is no part of his life, whether it is his infancy, childhood, youth, manhood, or maturity, that is hidden from the spotlight of history. He was the cynosure of all eyes from his birth to his death. On the other hand, the rest of companions of the Prophet come to the attention of the students of history only after they accepted Islam,  and little, if any thing, is known about them until then". Ibid. p. 34


It is related from Ja'far b.Sulayman al-Dabi, on the authority of al-Mullaa b. Ziyad, who said :

'Abd al-Rehman b. Muljam, may God curse him, came to the Commander of the faithfull, peace be upon him, to ask to be provided with a horse.
"O Commander of the faithfull", he said, "provide me with a horse". The Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, turned toward him and then said to him "You are Abd al-Rehman, b. Muljam al-Muradi?"
"Yes", he replied.
"Ghazwan," called (the Commander of the faithful, "provide him with roan."

The man came with a roan horse and Ibn Muljam, may God curse him, mounted it  and took it reins. When he had gone away, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him said :

I want his friendship and he wants my death. The one who makes excuses to you on one of your bosom friends from (the tribe) Murad.

(Ismail b. Ziyad reported, on the authority of Umm Musa, a woman servant of Ali, peace be on him, and the wet-nurse of his daughter, peace be on her, who told me:)

'Ali, little time is left for me to be with you"
"Why is that father"? she asked?
"I have seen the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, in my sleep," he replied. "He was rubbing the dust from my face and saying: 'O' Ali, do not be concerned, ‘you have accomplished what you had to do'. Kitab-al Irshad pp.7,8,9.

When death was close to the Commander of the faithful he said to al-Hasan and al-Hussain, peace be on them "When I die, you two put me on my bier. Then take me out and carry (me) in the back of the bier. You two will protect the front of it. Thus bring me to al-Ghariyyayn. You will see a white rock shining with light .Dig there and you will find a shield and bury me at it" Kitab-al Irshad, opp.cit  p. 15.


On the authority of Afif b. Qays who narrated; "I was sitting with al-Abbas b. Abd-al Muttalib, may God be pleased with him, in Mecca, before the affairs of the Prophet became known to the public. A man came and looked toward the sky where the sun hovered above. He turned in the direction of the Ka'ba and stood to pray. Then a youth came and stood at his right and a woman came and stood behind them both. The man bowed, and the youth and the woman bowed. The man raised his hands and the youth and woman raised their hands. Then he prostrated and they both prostrated.

"Abbas!" I exclaimed, "it is fantastic affair!"

"Indeed, it is a fantastic affair" replied al-Abbas. "Do you know who that man is? He is Muhammad  b. Abd Allah b. Abd al Muttalib, my cousin. Do you know who that youth is?  He is  Ali b. Abi Talib, my cousin. Do you know who that woman is? She is Khadija, daughter of Khuwaylid. This cousin of mine (i.e.Muhammad) has told me  that his lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. Who has ordered him to carry out this religion (din) which he is practicing No, by God,  except these three."

The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, said : "The angels bless me and Ali for seventy years, because (for a time) only Ali and I raised testimony to heaven that there is no God but God and Muhammad is the Apostle of God". Abu Sukhayla has narrated : "I and Ammar went on the pilgrimage. We stopped at the house of Abu Dharr, may God be pleased with him, and stayed with him for three days. When the time of our departure was at hand, I said to him : “Abu Dharr, we consider that nothing except confusion has come over the people. What is your view?”.

 “Cleave to the book and Ali  b. Abi Talib.” he replied, “then bear witness to the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, who said “Ali was the first to believe in me and will be the first to shake my hand in greetings on the Day of Ressurection. He is the greatest testifier of the truth (siddiq) and discerner of truth and falsehood. He is the chief of the believers and money is the chief cause of wrong-doing” (Kitabul Irshad). Ibid. pp. 18-19.


On the authority of  Ibn'Abbas, it is narrated : The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, said : "Ali b. Abi Talib is the most learned of my community and the most capable of giving legal decisions after me in (matters upon) which (men) differ." Ibid p. 20

Abu Sai'd al Khudri said : "I heard the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, say: "I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate. Therefore whoever wants knowledge should learn it from Ali, peace be upon him".

On the authority of Abd Allah b. Masud it is narrated : The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, summoned  Ali and went apart with him. When he returned to us, we asked him : What covenant (ahd) did he make with you"? He replied : "He (the Prophet) taught me a thousand doors of knowledge  and he opened from each (of these) doors a thousand (more doors)". Ibid. p. 21


It is reported on the authority of Says b.Abi Harun who said : I went to Abu Sa id al-Kudri and asked him whether he had witnessed (the battle of Badr. He said.) On that day (the battle of Badr) I heard the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, speak to Fatima, peace be upon her, when she came to him weeping and saying "O Opostle of God, the women of Quraysh are reviling me because of the poverty of Ali, peace be upon him"

"Are not you satisfied that I have married you to first Muslim and the most knowledgeable “?  the Prophet God bless him and his family, asked her. "Indeed, God , the Most High, looked most thoroughly over the people of earth and chose your father from them and made him Prophet. Then he looked over them second time  and chose your (present) husband (ba'l) and made him a trustee of authority (wasi). God inspired me to marry you to him. Didn't you know, Fatima, that through God's kindness to you,  your husband is the greatest of men in clemency, the most knowledgeable of men and first of them in Islam".

Fatima laughed and rejoiced. Then the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, continued : "Fatima,' Ali has eight molar teeth. No one before and after him will have the like. He is my brother in the world and the here after. No one else of the people has that (rank). Fatima, the mistress of the women of heaven, is his wife. The grandsons of mercy, my grand sons, will be his sons. Ibid pp 22-23.

On the authority of 'Abd Allah b. al-Abbas it is quoted :

We, (the members) of the House (ahl al-bayat) have seven qualities none of which the (rest of the ) people have;

From us (came) the Porphet , God bless him and his family.

From us came the trustee of authority (wasi), the best of this community after him ( i.e. the Propet) Ali. Abi Talib, peace be upon him.

From us came Humza, the Lion of God and his Apostle, and the lord of martyrs.

From us came Jafar b. Abi Talib, who is adorned by two wings with which he flies in heaven wherever he wishes;

From us (came) the two grandsons of this community, the two lords of the youth of paradise, al Hasan and al-Hussain;

From us came the (one who will undertake the imamat for the rest of time) Qaim of the family of Muhammad, by which God graced His Prophet;

From us (came) the one who was given (final) victory (al-mansoor). Ibid p. 23


On the authority of Zirr b. Hubaysh, it is reported as saying : "I saw the Commander of the faithfull, 'Ali b.Abitalib, on the pulpit and I heard him say" By him Who spilit the seed and brought the soul into being, the Prophet made a promise ('ahd) : 'Only believers will love you and only hypocrites will hate you! On the authority of al-Harith al Hamadani, Ali (S.A.) is reported one day he came and went on the pulpit. He praised and glorified God. Then he said : "A decree which God, the most High, decreed by the tongue of Prophet, may God bless him and his family,was that only believers will love me and only and only hypcrites will hate me. Whoever forges lie is lost". Ibid pp-24-25.


His qualities are so many and famous, well authenticated and reported by traditions, the chain of authority is avoided and some extracts are derived from Kitab al Irshad referred earlier.

(a)  Among these is the account that Prophet (S.A.W.) gathered his own family members and tribal kin together at the beginning of his mission for Islam. He showed them the faith and sought their help against the people of unbelief and enmity, and guaranteed for them, if they did that, favor and honor in this world and a reward in heaven. None of them answered him except the Commander of the fiathful, Ali  b. Abi Talib (A.S.). Because of that he granted him the achievement of brotherhood (with himself), the office of helping him, of being his nominated trustee, his inheritor, and his successor, and announced that his going to heaven is inevitable. Ibid. p. 29-30

(b)  Prophet, may God bless him and his family, ordered the emigration after the council of Quraysh had decided to kill him and he,peace be on him,would not have been to defeat their plans by leaving Makka. For he, peace be upon him, wanted to keep his departure secret and keep the reports about him hidden from them so that he could carry out his departure in safety from them. He  told this news to the Commander of the faithful who kept it secret and slept on his bed .The Commander of the faithful, peace be on him dedicated his life to God, the exalted, devouted it to God, the Exalted, in obedience and exchanged it for His Prophet, the blessings and peace of God be on him and his family.

(c)  The Commander of the Faithful fulfilled the Prophet's (S.A.W.) Obligations in Mecca.

(d).  The prophet, may God bless him and his family, sent Khalid b. Walid to Banu Jadhima to summon them to Islam and he did not send him to make war (on them). He disobeyed his order, renounced his treaty, rebelled against his religion and killed people who had embrassed Islam. He betrayed their protected status when they were people who had accepted the faith. The Commande  of the Faithful was sent to undo the unjust, to conciliate the people and to draw out their hatred and compensate them for their lives  and material. The Commander of the faithful did justice to them.

(e)  He kept the mission of conquest of Macca as secret, and intercepted the messenger of Quraysh, a lady, who was carrying the information regarding

movement of of army of Islam. The lady first lied to al Zubayr b. Awwam who believed her denial of carrying any letter but when the Commander of the faithful, drew his sword and threatened her to kill, she took off her veil and took letter from her. The Commander of the faithful took and and showed to the Prophet, may God bless him and his family.

(f)  The Prophet, may God bless him and his family, gave the standard to Sa'd b. Ubada on the day of the conquest of Macca and ordered him to carry it in front of him into Mecca. Sa'd took it and began to declare : "Today is the day of slaughter, the day of capturing (any) daughter".

"Haven't you heard what Sa'd b. Ubada is saying"? some of the people asked the Prophet, may God bless him and his family. "We are afraid that today will (simply mean) to him, attacking Quraysh. "The Apostle of  God, may God bless him and his family ordered the Commander of the faithful to take standard from Ubada and to enter with it.

(g)  Another fact which is agreed by historians (biographers ahl-al sira) is that the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, sent Khalid b. Walid to the people  of Yemen to call them to Islam. He stayed with the people for six months, including a group of Muslims, calling them (to Islam) but not one of them responded. That depressed the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family.He summoned the Commander of the faithful, peace be upon him, and ordered him to send back Khalid and those who were with him. However, he told him that if anyone of those who had been with Khalid wanted to stay, he should let him. [Al-Bara reported :]  I was one of those who followed him. When we came to the first people among the Yemeni's and the news reached the people (generally), they  gathered before him. Ali b.Abi Talib, peace be on him, prayed the dawn prayer with us, then advanced in front of us. He praised and glorified God. Then he read the letter of the Apostle of God. The whole of  Hamdan became Muslim in one day.

(h)  The exalted rank of carrying the standard is considered highly (in  such a disarray) as could not be hidden from those with discrement. Then the standard was given to another man after that. However, he was put to flight in the same way as the first man had been before. In that there was fear for Islam and its position after two men (carrying its standard) had not been succeeded in capturing the Fort of Qumuss (Khaiber). That troubled the Apostle of God, peace be upon him and his family, and made public the disobedience to him and bad attitude towards him. So he said in a public announcement "Tomorrow, I shall give the standard to no  one but to the hero of attack who never flees, who loves God and the Apostle, and whom God and the Apostle love. Allah will give us the victory through him.

He, peace be upon him, went to the battle field accepted the challenge of Marhab the great Jew fighter killed him in one go and conquered the fort of Qumuss.

( i)   Lastly he delivered the documents of renunciation which the the Prophet, may God bless him and his family gave to Abu Bakr (R.U.) so that he could abrogate the alliance with the polytheists through it. When he had traveled far away, Gabriel, peace be on him descended to the Prophet, may God bless him and his family. He told him : "God recites His greetings to you and says to you that the act of renunciation should not be performed for you except by yourself or a man (related) to you. He did it and asked Ali Ibn.Abi Talib (A.S.) to follow Abu Bakr (R.U.), get the documents and deliver the document by himself. [EXTRACTED FROM KITAB Al IRSHAD (SHAIKH MUFEED, Translated by, I.K. Howard, pp.29-43.”




Record of the battles carry with them chronicles of his bravery, courage  and chivalry. Even his  enemies sang songs of his valor and gallantry.

Every one of these battles was an outcome of very grave circumstances and conditions, and combinations of very serious events and very harmful forces against the safety of Muslims and Islam. There were many such encounters but only a selected few have been reproduced here.

The First  of these battles was Badr. It took place in the month of Ramdhan of the 2nd year of  Hijrah. Muslims were not prepared for a battle and could ill afford to fight against superior forces. But Medina was being invaded and necessarily the Holy Prophet (A.S.) was forced to defend himself and his followers. He decided to leave Makka and fight out the battle in a open field. He had only 313 Muslims who were not adequately armed for a battle, victory of Muslims the Holy Quran says  : 'INDEED THERE WAS A SIGN FOR YOU IN THE TWO HOSTS (WHICH) MET TOGETHER  IN ENCOUNTER; ONE  PARTY FIGHTING IN THE WAY OF ALLAH AND THE OTHER UNBELIEVING,WHOM THEY SAW TWICE AS MANY AS THEMSELVES WITH THE SIGHT OF EYE;AND ALLAH IS LESSON IN  IT FOR THOSE WHO HAVE SIGHT"  Al-Quran (4-12)



The Second most important battles was that of Ohud. Quraysh and their leader Abu Sufyan were smarting under the defeat of Badr and had sworn to retaliate. The idolaters were burning for revenge. Thus they mobilized an army of 3000 infantry and 2000 cavalry. The Holy Prophet (A.S.) could muster only 700 Muslims to face this horde. They faced each other in the battle of Uhd.The battle took place on 11th Shawwal 3 A.H, (a year after the battle of Badr).The command of Muslim Army was divided betwen Ali (A.S.) and Hamza (peace be upon him) and Abu Sufyan appointed Khalid ibne Walid Akramn Ibn Abu Jehal and Omer Ibne Aass as the three Commanders to command the right and left wing and the center respectively.

The first encounter took place between Ali (A.S) and Talha ibn Talha.This encounter carries with it  an incident of marvelous cavalry by Ali (A.S). Talha suffered defeat at the hands of Ali (A.S) and died. He was the flag bearer of Quraysh's army His death brought his four sons and one grand son to face Ali (A.S) and each one of them was killed by and other flag bearers followed them and were in turn killed by Ali (A.S.), then a general encounter took place in which Ali (A.S) and Hamza carried the day and Muslims came out victorious" But the eagerness for spoils threw the ranks of Muslim Army into disorder, Ali (A.S) tried to keep them in order but it was not to be. Khalid ibne Waleed attacked them from the rear (where the Holy prophet posted some archers to defend any advance of the enemy, they left their place for the war booty) flank, he wounded the Holy Prophet (S.A.W), with a Javelin; and also stoned him, face of the prophet was also wounded and he had fallen down from the horse. Khalid ibne waleed started shouting with a loud voice' the lying prophet is slain' upon which without stopping to ascertain the followers of Islam fled panicky stricken" (Davenport). The wounded prophet was left in the battlefield with only Ali (A.S), Hamza and Abu Dajana and Zakwan to defend him. These brave warriors fought fiercely and during this encounter Hamza was killed, by a Javeline, Zakwan and Abu Dujana  seriously wounded and Ali (A.S) was left alone in the battlefield. He had received 16 wounds but he searched and found the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) lying wounded and surrounded by enemies under command of Khalid who were trying to kill him, he fought against these six men, killed two of them and scattered the rest: he bodily lifted the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) and carried him to a mount; he kept on attacking the rallying armies of the enemy; and kept on shouting" the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) is alive and calling Muslims to come back.Those Muslims who had not fled very far came back saw the wounded prophet, saw his daughter, Fatima, (who had come out of Medina hearing the rumor of her fathers death) attending him, they took heart and gathered  again under the command of Ali (A.S.) and started fighting again and victory was gained. The most peculiar aspect was the greed of Muslim warriors had converted a hard earned victory into ignominious defeat and Ali (A.S.) had reconverted this defeat into a glorious victory THE HOLY QURAN SAYS : "AND CERTAINLY ALLAH MAKE GOOD TO YOU HIS PROMISE, WHEN YOU SLEW THEM BY HIS PERMISSlON, UNTILL YOU BECAME WEAK HEARTED AND DISPUTED ABOUT THE AFFAIRS AND DISOBEYED AFTER HE HAD SHOWN YOU THAT WHICH YOU LOVED; OF YOU WERE SOME WHO DESIRED THE HEREAFTER,THEN HE TURNED YOU AWAY FROM THEM  THAT HE MIGHT TRY YOU;AND HE HAS CERTAINLY PARDONED YOU AND  ALLAH IS GRACIOUS'. Al Quran (4-151)


He thus once again saved the day,saved the face of the fleeing Muslims and the most important of all he saved  was the life of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) but without Ali (A.S.) the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) would have been killed (Nehjul Balagha, Translated by Ali Reza, Introduction by Syed Mohammad Askari Jafery, Islamic FoundationPress, Mallipuram, Kerala, India. Pp. 25-26.

The THIRD encounter of Muslims with Quraysh is called the battle of Clans (Ahzab) or battle of the Moat or ditch (Khandaq. It is so called because many clans of Arabs were persuaded by Abu Sufyan to help him to annihilate Islam and the Muslims and because when these forces invaded Madina, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) was obliged to dig a moat or ditch around his army. This battle also proves that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) was forced to take up arms in defence of his followers and his mission. It took place on the 23rd Zeeqad in the year  5 A.H.

Abu Sufyan while retreating from Ohd had promised that he will come back again to avenge defeat. He mobilized the clans of Bani Nazeer, Bani Ghuftan, Bani Saleem and Bani Kinana and Bani Khariza. He was very sure of his success relying on the fame of Omer ibne Abd-e-Wood, who was as famous in Arabic as Rustom in Persia.

They marched upon Madina, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) could barely muster 2000 Muslims to face the army. For nearly a month the armies stood facing each other and one day Omer ibne Abde-wood jumped the moat and faced the Muslim Army, challenging them for an encounter. He was accompanied by Akrama-ibne-Abu Jehl, Abdullah-ibne-Mogheera, Zarar-ibne-Khattab, Nofil-ibne Abdullah and others. His bravery, his valor and courage was so well known in Arabia that none of the Muslims except Ali dared to face him. The assemblage of famous warrior tribes and presence of Umer ibne-Abd-wood as their commander had made the Muslims so nervous that even the Quran says that  "Their eyes were petrified and their hearts were beating violently and they were thinking of running away". Thrice Omer-ibne-Abde-Woodth challenged them to out and every time none but Ali (A.S.) stood up and asked the permission of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) to face him. Twice the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)  refused him permission, but in the end he allowed him, saying that "Today faith in embodiment is facing embodied infidelity" then he raised his hands in prayers and beseeched God, saying "Lord! I am sending Ali (A.S.) alone in the battle field, do not allow me to be  left alone, you are the best companion and the best Guardian". Muslims were so certain of Ali (A.S.) being killed by Omer that some of them came forward to have a look at his face. The encounter ended in Ali's (A.S.) success and Omer's death, after Omer he faced Abdullah Ibne Mugheera and Nofil Ibne Abdullah and killed both of them. Thus a victory was won without any Muslim, except Ali (A.S.), coming out of the ranks. In the encounter with Omer and the defeat and death of this great warrior Ali (A.S.) again exhibited such a chivalrous attitude that the sister of Omer composed a poem in praise of the man who faced her brother .In it she said "If anyone else then Ali (A.S.) had killed her brother, she would have wept over the infamy her life long, but not now". Thus Ali (A.S.) brought an end to the hostilities of Quraysh in three encounters of Badr, Ohad, and Khandaq.Nahjul Balagha Opp. cit pp 26-27

The Fourth encounter was with Jews named as the Conquest of Khyber. Khyber is a township 90 miles north of Madina, situated on a volcanic tract.. Long before the time of Prophet of Islam, valley of Khyber and other valleys in its north and south, were colonized by the Jews. These Jews were not only the best farmers of the country, they were also leaders in industry and business, and they enjoyed a monopoly of the armament industry. The Jews of Khyber also heard about the Treaty of Hudaybia and its terms. Just the Quraysh in Makka and Ummer bin al-Khattab (R.U.) and some other "hawks" among the Muslims in Madina has interpreted the treaty as the "surrender of the Muslims, so also did the Jews of Khyber considered it a symptom of the incipient decline of the power of the State of Medina. Banking on this theory of 'decline' they began to instigate the Arab tribes between Khyber and Medina to attack the Muslims. On one occasion, the son of Abu Dharr el Ghaffari was grazing the camels of the Prophet (S.A.W.) when the Ghatafan struck. They killed him, and captured his mother who was with him,and they drove with them the herd of camels. The Muslims, however, were able, just in time to overtake the marauders and to rescue the wife of Abu Dharr el-Ghaffari.

Mohammad (S.A.W.) decided to put an end to these gratuitous provocations. He thought that it would not be prudent to wait untill the Jews and their allies laid another siege to Medina and that it would be better to forestall them. He therefore, ordered the Muslims to mobilize, and to march to Khyber. In September  628 A.D. the Phophet (S.A.W.) left Medina with 1600 soldiers. Some Muslim Women also accompanied the army to work as nurses and to give first aid to the wounded and the sick.

Khyber had eight fortresses, the strongest and most famous was al-Qumus. The captain of its garrison was a famous champion called Marhab. He had, under his command the best fighting men of Khyber. "The compaign of Khyber was one of the greatest. The masses of Jews living in Khyber were the strongest, the richest, and the best equipped for war of all people of Arabia "Muhammad Husayn Haykal; The life of Mohammad, Cairo, 1935.

The Muslims, however, were able to capture all the fortresses of Khyber except Al Qamus which proved impregnable. Mohammad (S.A.W.) sent Abu Bakr (R.U.) on one occasion, and Ummar (R.U.) on another, with hand picked warriors. Both made the attempt and both failed, some other captains also tried to capture the fortress but they also failed. These repeated failures began to undermine the morale of the army.

Mohammad (S.A.W.) realized that something dramatic had to be done to restore the wilting morale of the Muslims. And when one more attempt to capture al-Qamus had also aborted, his mind was made up and he declared : "Tomorrow I shall give the banner of  Islam to hero who loves God and His Apostle, and God and His Apostle love him. He is one who attacks the enemy but does not run, and he will conquer Khyber".

On the following morning, the companions gathered in front of the tent of the Prophet (S.A.W.). Each of them was decked out in martial array, and was vying with others in looking the most impressive figure. The Messenger of God (S.A.W.) came out and ignored all and only posed one question "Where is Ali". Ali (A.S.) was at this time in his tent. He knew that if he was the "beloved of God and His Apostle", then he, and no one else would capture the fortress of al-Qamus. The Prophet (S.A.W.) sent for him.

When Ali (A.S.) came, the Prophet solemnly placed the banner of Islam in his hand. He invoked God's blessings upon him, prayed for his victory. The young hero then advanced towards the most formidable fortress in all Arabia where the bravest of the Hebrew warriors were awaiting him. He fought against them all, overcame them, and planted the banner of Islam on its main tower. When the conquerer returned to the camp, the Messenger of God (S.A.W.) greeted him with smiles, kisses and embraces, and prayed to God to bestow His best rewards upon His lion. "The conquest of Khyber is a landmark in the history of Islam as it is the beginning of the Islamic state and empire. A. A.Rizwy op.cit. pp-152-157, for further details see the same book, Nahjul Balagha, op. cit  pp 28-29, Kitabul Irshad, pp 83-88