Birthplace of Ali ibn Abi Talib

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Ali ibn Abi Talib (ca 599-661 CE) was a prominent figure in early Islamic history. He had been taken into his cousin Muhammad's household as a child, and was the first converts to Islam when he was only ten years old. Later, he married Muhammad's daughter Fatima Zahra and fathered Muhammad's two grandsons. He was one of Muhammad's trusted lieutenants.

Shia view[edit]

Shi'a and Alevi Muslims believe that Ali was the rightful successor to Muhammad, and the first of the Shi'a Imams whom the Shi'a believe to be the divinely ordained spiritual leaders of humankind.

Many sources, including all Shi'a ones, record that Ali was the first and only person born inside the Kaaba in the city of Mecca. The tradition states that Ali's mother was at the wall of the Kaaba when it parted, and she entered, to emerge three days later holding the infant Ali in her arms. Numerous sources contend that he was born beside the Kaaba, but not inside the area apparent upon entering through the door, as it was filled with idols. According to the tradition, Ali did not open his eyes until his cousin Muhammad approached. Muhammad took the baby in his hands, put his tongue inside Ali's mouth in an act representing the passing of knowledge, and when the baby sucked on the saliva of this man, he opened his eyes. This is why Muhammad was the first person whom Ali saw as a newborn. Muhammad asked Fatima Binte Asad if she had a name picked out for the child. She informed him that while she was inside, 'being cared for by the beings of heaven who assisted in the effortless delivery of the child', she was told by a majestic voice that this child has been named Ali, meaning "the exalted one".[1][2]

Sunni views[edit]

Most Sunni scholars accept the fact that Ali ibn Abi Talib was the only man in history born inside the Kaaba. Hakim ibn Hazm in his Mustadrak and Nuru'd-din Bin Sabbagh Maliki in his Fusulu'l- Muhimma, Fasl I, p. 14, say: "No one before Ali was born in the Ka'ba. This was a distinction given to Ali in order to enhance his honor, rank, and dignity."[3] But some Sunni scholars regard the Mustadrak as an unreliable hadith collection.[4]


  1. ^ Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. "Ali". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  2. ^ Ashraf (2005), p.6.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2] Archived November 24, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.

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