Martyrdom of Imam Ali

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The Imam (a.s) spent the nights of 19th and 20th of Ramadan in great pain. When two thirds of the twenty-first night was gone, the condition of the Imam (a.s) became very precarious and droplets of the sweat of death appeared on his forehead. He recited the shahadah and breathed his last! The one who spent his life doing jihad against the forces of evil, ultimately died at the hands of the evil Ibn Muljim!
Murder is a serious crime, but the consequences of the murder depend on the status of the victim and similarly the punishment too varies from case to case. An ordinary person’s killing is a crime and the killing of a believer is a bigger crime and according to the Nass of the Qur’an the punishment for the perpetrator of the crime is perpetual burning in the Hellfire. Then killing of Amir al-Mu’minin (a.s) was a great calamity and the killer qualified for Allah’s curse and perpetual retribution! This was the killing of the person who used to spend his nights in supplication to Allah! The killer neither considered the sanctity of the Mosque nor thought that he did the heinous act when the Imam (a.s) was in his prostration. One sad aspect of this tragedy is that when this happened, the Imam (a.s) had already mobilized a big contingent of troops and was to leave for Syria soon to fight with the forces of evil. It is quite possible if there was a conspiracy behind the assassination. When a tributary could be used to poison Malik al-Ashtar and Ju`dah bint al-Ash`ath too is used to poison Imam al-Hasan (a.s), it is quite probable that the same forces of evil might have used Ibn Muljim to commit this heinous crime. The person, Ibn Muljim, was the most villainous character. The Prophet (a.s) had compared the assassin of `Ali (a.s) to those who killed the she-camel of Prophet Salih. Therefore, Ja`far ibn Samarah says:

The prophet (a.s) said to `Ali (a.s), “Amongst the bygone people, the most callous was that who killed the she-camel of Prophet Salih.”
The prophet (a.s) was asked by `Ali (a.s), “Who is the most callous in the latter days?”
He said, “Allah, and His Prophet know that he is your assassin.

If the killer of the she-camel of Prophet Salih deserved Hellfire, then how could the killer of `Ali (a.s) escape Hellfire, when both had extinguished the miracles of the prophets and erased the verses of Allah! After this, there is no weight in Ibn Hazm saying that this killing was the result of (error of interpretation). One cannot lighten the sin of the person and term him deserving of Allah’s Forgiveness and Blessings!

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