The Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) set out for the pilgrimage of God's house with a large Caravan in the 10th Hijra, so that the people may perform their Hajj rituals with great fervor, in dignified and magnificent way, because that was the last Hajj of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). The rituals were performed very well and the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) returned to Medinah along with his companions. On his way back, the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) was very anxious. His anxiety was about his followers and the Ummah (community of Believers or Muslims). He was uneasy and anxious about the events, which were to take place after his death. The actors and jugglers among the Ummah, were waiting for his death and had preplanned to deviate and de-track the Imamate and leadership from its course. He sees all the hypocrites who disguised as his friends; beat their heads and chests for him. But they have not committed any blunder, folly and wrong yet, so that he may publicly disgrace and dishonor them and prevent them (from doing what they intend). He on one side, views all the incidents of the history and on the other, he must perform the mission that God has handed him in connection with Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (AS), that duty and mission is the caliphate of Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (AS) that he must choose and select him as his successor and heir, and put an end to the ambitions of the chance seekers. Those who had nominated each one of themselves for the post of caliphate and had made propaganda among the people that the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) will choose us as his heirs and successors.
The call of the angel of revelation is reflecting in the heart and soul of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) as if still he is listening to what he said, "You have a great mission ahead, if you did not perform this job then you have not done the Prophetic duty and mission at all." You must know, that God will save you from the deceitfulness and tricks of the enemy.
Yes, the successor of the sun of Prophet hood should be the sun of wilayah (guardianship), possessing all the perfections, completeness and values of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). Who else could that be except Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (AS)? Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (AS), who was many times introduced by the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) with the words such as: "'Ali (AS) is the wisest of all my Ummah (community of Believers or Muslims).' 'I am the city of knowledge and wisdom and Ali is (like) its gate.' 'Whosoever desires to have access to my wisdom should learn it from Ali.'" This is the very reason that only Imam Ali (AS) can go up the cathedra (tribune) and say amid the people. "Oh people, ask me whatsoever you desire (Saluni), before a time comes that you loose me."
The Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) made up his mind and decided it to choose Imam Ali (AS) as his successor on the command and at behest of God, so that, he may complete and make the Islam perfect, as God had ordered him to do. The day of Ghadeer, became a day in the history when God gave the good news to the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and said, "Today is the day when I have made Islam to be a perfect (religion) and completed and finalized my blessings upon you (Muslims)." What a fruitful Hajj and a holy return. There were approximately one hundred and twenty thousand men accompanying the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).
All of them reached a place known as "Ghadeer-e-Khum" on the land of "Juhfa". The Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) ordered them to stop. All of them did stop at the behest of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). They were saying to themselves, "It appears that some vitally important problem has confronted us." It was just the same that they were thinking of.
They built a tribune with the camel saddles for the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), heralds were appointed amid the gathering to repeat and call out the words of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), so that, all the people may hear. He (pbuh) went atop the tribune while he was surrounded by his friends and said: "Oh people! I performed my Prophetic mission and did put in endeavor to the maximum of my energy that I possess. You should know that I leave two valuable (weighty) things among you after myself (after my death) so that these two will never at all get separated from each other.
1. The Holy Quran, the Book of God.
2. My Ahle Baith [People of the house, the Imam Ali (AS) Fatima (AS), Hassan (AS), Hussain (AS) and nine Imams from the descendents of Hussain (AS)].
Then, he took the hand of Ali (AS) and hoisted it like a flag, so that all of the people might see. Thereafter, he said, "I am the guardian (wali) of whosoever, (he should know that) Ali is also his guardian. Oh God! Be the friend of the friends of Ali and be the enemy of his enemies. Help those who help him and be the enemy of anyone who fights him. Yes, those who are present convey my words to those who are not present here. I hope they will lend ears and accept it."
How did Imam Ali (AS) get the Government?
The opportunists, who had embraced Islam for the sake of seeking power and made themselves, move along on the path of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), held confidential and secret meetings to oust the caliphate from the family of Bani Hashim. They were counting days to achieve their ends and to put into practical shape what they had planned to do, because they were aware that they are face to face with a person whose past services for Islam are not hidden and are clear to everybody. The Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) had made a plenty of recommendations about him and particularly invited all to swear in an oath of allegiance for him. After the death of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), all the plans were put into practice and materialized one after the other. So that Imam Ali (AS) became all alone, and did not have any alternative except remaining silent. For, he only thought of Islam and did not pay any attention towards his post and station. And had he drawn the sword then the only desire of his enemies would have taken practical shape, that is to say, no sign of Islam would have been left back.
The silence of Imam Ali (AS) and Fatima Zahra (AS) and the immoralities and irregularities of the previous power seekers, particularly the cruelties and excesses of the officials and agents of the Bani Ommayides dynasty, whose influence had gone up during the regime of third Caliph Usman, had made the people aware and all of them knew that the Islamic Caliphate had turned into the stage of political actors and stooges and what God and the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) had meant was quite different from those things.
Resultantly the displeasure and dissatisfaction of people reached it's climax and the spark of revolution was kindled in the hearts of the people, which erupted like a volcano, so that, no one had the means and power to resist and stand up to it. People attacked the house of Usman in the shape of a flood, showing camel like anger and grudge, a camel who throws foam out of its mouth due to anger. These out numbered and countless people, who made the attack, killed him.
People were so enraged and furious that they even did not pay any attention and notice to Imam Hassan (AS) and Imam Hussain (AS) who were sent by Imam Ali (AS) to prevent Usman from being slain. Imam Hassan (AS) was injured in this disturbance.
People rushed towards Imam Ali's (AS) house with blood dripping out of their swords and they were burning with fever and fervor of excitement and commotion. They insistently and requesting dragged him out and took the oath of allegiance and chose him as their leader and ruler.
Why Imam Ali's (AS) Government faced defeat?
Although Imam Ali (AS) had told the people, while they were taking the oath of allegiance, that, "I will act upon the right and will not sell my religion for anybody's world (wishing to gain material), and will not hand over the power to this person or that person without seeing reason. I will take into consideration their past activities and if I observe any violation and breach of law by my officials I will not spare them, I will dismiss them immediately. I will act decisively and peremptorinessly and will not have any fear of any reproaching and blaming. I will not give Baitul Mal's wealth to this and that person without reason though he may be my son.
But alas, the materialist and ease and comfort seekers did not welcome the right government of Imam Ali (AS). They abandoned and quit Imam Ali (AS) at the initial stage and created chaos, disorder and mutiny for him. Talha and Zubair, who were experienced men, went to Makkah and provoked Ayesha (RA) to rise up for the sake of taking vengeance of Usman's blood. They by taking benefit of the station of Ayesha (RA), who was the wife of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), gathered a large group around her. And, with a big army, they moved hastily towards Imam Ali (AS). They had told the illiterate people that Imam Ali (AS) was the murderer of Usman. As a result, they shed the blood of a group of Muslims and shifted its responsibility towards Imam Ali (AS). After this incident Muawiyah, that cunning fox, who was discharged by Imam Ali (AS) perceived a very good chance for his obstinacy and resistance. He rose against Imam Ali (AS) from Syria and declared war against him.
These battles were continuing, when a group named Khwarij came into existence among the army men of Imam Ali (AS). This was a group, which considered neither of Imam Ali (AS), nor Muawiyah, and Amro Aas suitable for ruler ship. They, under the slogan of "Rule is only for God," started a mutiny and adventure.
Finally, they martyred Imam Ali (AS) but they did not succeed in killing Muawiyah and Amro Aas. This is how Imam Ali's (AS) Government was defeated and sacrificed upon its own Justice (righteousness) meaning thereby, if Imam Ali (AS) had ruled cunningly treacherously like Muawiyah he would had never been killed.
Martyrdom of Imam Ali (AS):
After the battle of Neherwan was over, group of Khwarij daily held a meeting in Makkah and wept over their dead, those killed in Neherwan. One day, they told each other, "Sitting here and weeping is of no use. We should kill these three persons Imam Ali (AS), Muawiyah and Amro Aas, who destroyed the Islamic State and killed our brothers."
They invited three volunteers to perform these errands. Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam stood and said, "I will kill Imam Ali (AS)." Hajjaj bin Abdullah, under took killing Muawiyah and Amro bin Bakr Taimeemi said, "I will kill Amro Aas." The three of them made a commitment together that they would materialize their plan on the 19th of Ramadan. Then, each one of them moved towards the place of his mission, so that they reach there and wait for the date, which was fixed.
But alas, the other two did not succeed in achieving their end, whereas, Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam did succeed. Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam came to Kufa and contacted the enemies of Imam Ali (AS) and lived in their house till the 19th of Ramadan approached. One day Imam Ali (AS) came across him in the streets of Kufa. He wanted to hide himself. But Imam Ali (AS) said, "I know for what purpose you have come to Kufa."
As soon as Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam heard these words, he trembled and his legs could no more carry him. He said to Imam Ali (AS), "Oh Ali (AS) when it is so (that you know) release the orders of my being killed or put me in the prison or banish me off. Imam Ali (AS) had a look upon him and said, "Although I can put into practice each one of your suggestions, but Islam does not deem pre-crime punishment, fair. So I am obliged to let you go free. Perhaps you may repent upon your decision.
At last, on the 19th of Ramadan of the 40th Hijra the son of Muradi opened apart Imam Ali's (AS) head and the mountain of faith and piety tumbled and crumbled down making the world of Islam mournful.
After Imam Ali (AS) cried on the prayer place (when injured), "By the God of Kaabah I have succeeded." The haven's angel Jabriel shouted, "By God, the pillars of guidance are demolished. Imam Ali (AS) has been martyred."
People rushed out of their houses and arrested the killer of Imam Ali (AS) and handed him over to Imam Hassan (AS), and carried Imam Ali (AS) with a blood stained face to his house.
Imam Hassan (AS) imprisoned the killer and informed his father about it.
Imam Ali (AS) told his son, "Oh Son! This man who is my killer and he is your prisoner, look after his food and water and do not molest him. If I survive I know what to do with him and if I die then do not strike him but one blow."
Alas, Imam Ali (AS) did not survive for this Ummah (community of Believers or Muslims). He passed away on the 21st of Ramadan at the age of 63 years. His pure body was burried secretly at Najaf (Iraq). Birth of Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (AS) :