Dhu al-Fiqar

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Dhu al-Fiqar, a fictional representation of the sword of Ali.
Dhu al-Fiqar with and without the shield. The Fatimid depiction of Ali's sword as carved on the Gates of Old Cairo, namely Bab al-Nasr.

Dhu al-Fiqar "bifurcated" (Arabic: ذو الفقارḌū al-Fiqār) is the sword of the Islamic leader Ali. In Arabic the name is commonly transliterated as Zulfiqar, Thulfeqar, Dhulfiqar, Zoulfikar, Zulfeqhar etc. "Zulfiqar" and its phonetic variations have been popular given names, as with former Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. This two-blade or bifurcated sword in Arabic is called: kilij.


According to the Twelver Shia, Dhu al-Fiqar is currently in the possession of Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi, as part of his collection called al-Jafr.[1]

Shia (Shiite) Muslims believe that when the Islamic prophet Muhammad was nearing death, he appointed his son-in-law Ali as his successor, and handed him his sword named Dhu al-Fiqar. Frequently, reproductions of this sword will have the following expression engraved upon it: "There is no hero like Ali, there is no sword like Dhu al-Fiqar' - "lā fata ʾilā ʿalī lā sayf ʾilā dhū l-fiqār" (لا فتى إلا علي لا سيف إلا ذو الفقار).

Recent usage[edit]

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, renamed the military order Portrait of the Commander of Faithful to Order of Zolfaghar.[2] During the Bosnian War, a Bosnian army's special unit was named "Zulfikar". In 2010, The Islamic Republic of Iran revealed the attack boat dubbed the Zolfaghar, likening it to the sword as an unstoppable weapon of its time. The Iranian Zulfiqar main battle tank is also named after the sword.


  1. ^ Islam, Misbah (30 June 2008). Decline of Muslim States and Societies. Xlibris Corporation. p. 333. ISBN 978-1-4363-1012-3. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Order Of Zolfaghar". Iran Collection. Retrieved 16 January 2013.