The honourable Prophet, peace be upon him, said what means, the Muslims should be keen to abide by his straight and correct path, and the path of the righteously guided caliphs after him.
The best of the companions are the first four caliphs: Abu Bakr, ^Umar, ^Uthman, and ^Aliyy, may Allah raise their ranks. Altogether, their caliphates lasted around 30 years.
Our focus here is on our master ^Aliyy the son of Abi Talib the son of ^Abdil-Muttalib the son of Hashim, and his mother was Fatimah the daughter of Asad. He was the paternal uncle of the Prophet peace be upon him. He was born 10 years prior to the Prophet receiving the revelation. He was raised in the house of the Prophet; peace be upon him and was the first among children to embrace Islam. He was nicknamed Haydarah and the Prophet peace be upon him nicknamed him Abu Turab.
When the Prophet peace be upon him migrated from Makkah to Madinah, he ordered ^Aliyy to spend the night in his bed for three days so that he can return the items kept with the prophet peace be upon for safekeeping to their owners. After doing so, our master ^Aliyy migrated from Makkah to Madinah walking.
He attended all the battles with the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم except the battle of Tabuk. The Prophet peace be upon him chose him to be his son in law and gave him his daughter Fatimah Az-zahra’ in marriage and handed him the banner in the battle of Khaybar. He was among the bravest companions, and the most knowledgeable in judiciary matters. He was extremely knowledgeable, very detached from worldly matters, and never prostrated to an idol, رضي الله عنه.
It suffices him as a merit that he is among those who will be forgiven as mentioned by the hadith of the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم. It is also narrated that the Prophet said what means on the day of Khaybar “I will give this banner to a man who loves Allah and His messenger, and Allah will grant him victory”. ^Umar the son of Al-Khattab said, “I did not love to have the leadership except on that day, so I lunged for it hoping to be named for it”. The Prophet peace be upon him called ^Aliyy ibn Abi Talib and handed the banner to him and said, “Go forth and don’t look backwards, until Allah grants you victory”.
Our master ^Aliyy had an exceptional strength. It is narrated from Abi Rafi^ that he said “we went out with ^Aliyy when the Prophet peace be upon him sent him with his banner and when he approached the fortress, the people inhabiting it came out and he fought them. A Jewish man struck him, and he threw his shield from his hand and grabbed a door at the fortress and used it as a shield and it remained in his hand while he is fighting until Allah granted him victory then he threw it away out of his hand when he finished fighting. I tried with seven other people to flip that door, to turn it over but we were not able to.
Master ^Aliyy was Wise
Our master ^Aliyy may Allah raise his rank said many words of wisdom and guidance, among them he said, “What I fear for you the most is following what the self-desires and having long hope. As for following one’s desire, it blinds you from the truth and as for having long hope then that causes you to forget the hereafter”.
He also said, “This life is ending and the hereafter is approaching and each one of them has seekers, so be among the seekers of the hereafter and don’t be among the seekers of this life because today (this life) is a time of work and tomorrow (the hereafter) is a time of judgement for your deeds”.
Our master ^Aliyy was granted allegiance as the caliphate in the month of Dhil Hijjah in the year 35 after Hijrah and his caliphate extended for four years and nine months. During that period, he was inflicted with many enemies. He fought three battles, the battle of Al-Jamal against those who went back on their pledge, the battle of Siffin against Mu^awiyah, and the battle of Nahrawan against the Khawarij.
He was preparing to go towards the land of ash-Sham to bring it back under the authority of the caliphate when ^Abdur-Rahman ibn Muljim was waiting to attack our master ^Aliyy when he was on his way to pray the dawn prayer; Ibn Muljim attacked him and hit him with a poisoned sword in his forehead. The death ^Aliyy ibn Abi Talib may Allah raise his rank, took place during the month of Ramadan in the 40th year and he was 63 years old.
Fellow Muslims, love those who are accepted by Allah and His Messenger and honour those who have been granted a high status by Allah. Let the love of the companions remain rooted in your heart, especially the four guided caliphs who were righteous implementers of the rules of the religion, Abu Bakr, ^Umar, ^Uthman, and ^Aliyy may Allah raise their ranks, and benefit us by them. O Allah, grant us piety and make those who govern us among the pious implementers of our honourable religion.