Imam Ali (ra) was the cousin of Rasul Allah (saw) and married his (saw) daughter Fatima (ra). They had two sons, Hassan and Hussein, and two daughters Zainab and Umm Kulthum, a third son, Mohsin, died during childhood. May Allah (swt) be pleased with them all. He (ra) was the fourth Caliph of Islam in the Sunni tradition and the first Imam of the Shi’a tradition. There is so much that can be said about Hazrat Ali, that I will leave it to one wonderful story about his mathematical genius and his kind way of settling problems.
A person was about to die, and before dying he wrote his Will which went as follows:
“I have 17 Camels, and I have three sons. Divide my Camels in such a way that my eldest son gets half of them, the second one gets 1/3rd of the total and my youngest son gets 1/9th of the total number of Camels.”
After his death when the relatives read his will they got extremely perplexed and said to each other that how can we divide 17 camels like this.
So after a long hard thought they decided that there was only one man in Arabia who could help them: “Imam Ali (AS).”
So they all came to the door of Imam Ali (AS) and put forward their problem.
Imam Ali (AS) said, “Ok, I will divide the camels as per the man’s will.”
Imam Ali (AS) said, “I will lend one of my camels to the total which makes it 18 (17+1=18), now lets divide as per his will.”
The eldest son gets 1/2 of 18 = 9
The second one gets 1/3 of 18 = 6
The youngest gets 1/9 of 18 = 2
Now the total number of camels = 17 (9+6+2=17)
Then Imam Ali (AS) said, “Now I will take my Camel back.”
On the 19th of Ramadan, while worshipping in the Great Mosque of Kufa, Ali was attacked by the Khawarij Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam. Ali ordered his sons not to attack the Kharijites, instead stipulating that if he survived, ibn Muljam would be pardoned whereas if he died, ibn Muljam should be given only one equal hit (regardless of whether or not he dies from the hit).
The wound Ali received by ibn Muljam’s poison-coated sword while prostrating in the Fajr prayer resulted in his death in Kufa a few days later on 28 February 661 (21 Ramadan 40 A.H). Thus, Hasan fulfilled Qisas and gave equal punishment to ibn Muljam upon Ali’s death.
According to Al-Shaykh Al-Mufid, Ali did not want his grave to be desecrated by his enemies and consequently asked his friends and family to bury him secretly. This secret gravesite was revealed later during the Abbasid caliphate by Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq, his descendant and the sixth Shia Imam. Most Shi’as accept that Ali is buried at the Tomb of Imam Ali in the Imam Ali Mosque at what is now the city of Najaf, which grew around the mosque and shrine called Masjid Ali.
However another story, usually maintained by some Afghans, notes that his body was taken and buried in the Afghan city of Mazar-E-Sharif at the famous Blue Mosque or Rawze-e-Sharif.