Imam Ali’s Genealogy


Imam Ali’s Family

Beyond doubt, kinship with the Messenger of Allah is both a unique privilege and superiority over others. Hence, God considers the honor of kinship with the Holy Prophet (s.a) as part of the honor of nearest relations when we read in the Holy Qur’an: “and warn your nearest relations” (26:214).

 Elsewhere, God says: “and most surely it is a reminder for you and your people” (43:44). It is for this reason that God Almighty has prohibited giving charity to them due to their honor and dignity. Hence, the closer a person is to the Messenger of Allah, the more honorable and dignified he or she is.

Imam `Ali (a.s) has said: We are a family beyond comparison.

Abu-`Uthman Jahiz who was an ardent enemy of Imam `Ali says: `Ali was truthful in what he said! How can we compare anyone with this family when the Messenger of Allah, two purified persons, `Ali and Fatimah, their two sons, Hasan and Husayn, two martyrs of Islam, Hamzah and Ja`far who flies in paradise with two wings, the great chief of Hijaz, `Abd al-Muttalib, the provider of water to the Hajj pilgrims, `Abbas, the wise man of Batha' and Najdah, Abu-Taib are from this family in which all the merits and virtues are gathered. Ansar are their helpers and Muhajir are those who immigrated towards them. Accepter is one who has accepted them and Faruq, that is, the distinguisher between justice and injustice is among them. True disciples are their disciples and if Dhu’l-Shahadatayn (the man of double testimony) was honored with this title, it is because his testimony is about them.

A proof of their dignity is that the Messenger of Allah said: Verily, I am leaving among you two valuable things. You will not go astray after me as long as you adhere to them. One is greater than the other. They are the Book of Allah, which is a rope stretched from the heavens to the earth, and my Household. They will never separate from one another until they come to me at the Pond.

 Verily, if the household of the Holy Prophet (s.a) was like other people, `Umar would not ask `Ali to be his father-in-law to obtain the honor of kinship. `Umar reported the Holy Prophet (s.a) as saying: Every relation through blood or marriage on the Day of Judgment will be cut off except relation with me, which will never be cut off. These were good traits of all members of the Holy Prophet’s household. Nevertheless, Imam `Ali (a.s) has special privileges for the blessed days of his life and his excellent qualities the description of which requires voluminous books to cover. 

Imam `Ali is a man of noble birth, supreme position, abundant knowledge, wonderful rhetoric, eloquent speech, and broadmindedness. Based on this, his morality is an example of his pure and genuine character. `Ali’s personality testifies to the former honors of his family. This is `Ali’s description by an enemy let alone by his devotee in whose veins the love for `Ali runs.

Imam `Ali’s dignified mother was Fatimah bint Asad ibn Hashim ibn `Abd-Manaf, a lady who undertook to rear the Messenger of Allah in his childhood, fondling him on her lap. She was among the first women who believed in Allah and His messenger and immigrated to Medina with the Holy Prophet (s.a).

The day this lady passed away, the Messenger of Allah personally undertook to perform her funeral rites, shrouding her in his own garment and when the digging of grave was knee-deep, removed the earth from the grave, lay down in the grave for moments and said: O Lord, who are living forever, you make the living die and the dead to become alive, through Your messenger, Muhammad and the messengers before me, forgive my mother, Fatimah bint Asad, instill the profession of faith into her ear and widen her grave, for you are the Most Merciful. 

At this time, the Holy Prophet (s.a) instilled the right words in her ear, repeatedly saying: Your son, your son! Not Ja`far or `Aqil! Those attending the funeral service said: O Messenger of Allah! What you did for `Ali’s mother, Fatimah, you did not for others. You shrouded her in your own garment, lay down in her grave before burial, and instilled into her ear, you said: Your son, your son; Not Ja`far or `Aqil. What is the meaning of all this? The Messenger of Allah said: One of the days I was speaking about how people were naked and bare-footed when they will be on the Resurrection Day. 

Hearing this, Fatimah bint Asad became very sad, saying: woe to the humiliation of that day! I promised her that I would shroud her in my own garment so that she would not come to the Resurrection Day naked. I lay down in her grave to make her safe from tightness of grave. The reason I said: Your son, your son, Not Ja`far or `Aqil, was that the examining angels entered her grave, asking her: Who is your Lord? She said: God Almighty is my Lord. She was asked: Who is your prophet. She said: Muhammad. She was asked: Who is your Imam? She kept silent, not knowing what to answer. I said to her: Your son, your son, meaning that your Imam and leader is your son, `Ali, not `Aqil or Ja`far.

Imam `Ali was the first Hashemite of two Hashemite lineage. He was born a Hashemite, both on the mother and father sides.

Imam `Ali’s dignified father was Abu-Talib, `Abd-Manaf ibn `Abd al-Muttalib Known as Shaybat al-Hamd, literally meaning a model of thanksgiving or the thanksgiving old man.

`Ali and the Holy Prophet’s lineage gather together in `Abd al-Muttalib, the son of Hashim ibn `Abd-Manaf, the son of Qasi ibn Kilab ibn Murrah ibn Ka`b ibn Lu’ay ibn Ghalib ibn Fihr ibn Malik ibn Nadr ibn Kinanah ibn Khuzaymah ibn Mudrikah ibn Ilyas ibn Mudar ibn Nizar ibn Ma`d ibn `Andan ibn Mubdi` ibn Mani` ibn Adad ibn Ka`b ibn Yashjub ibn Ya`rub ibn Humaysa` ibn Qaydar ibn Isma`il ibn Ibrahim, the Friend of God.

`Ali was the Holy Prophet’s full blood cousin on both sides. His uncles were `Abbas, Hamzah ibn `Abd al-Muttalib, his brothers, `Aqil and Ja`far, his sons, Hasan and Husayn, and his wife, lady Fatimah, the princess of the world women. Due to Allah’s Grace, Imam `Ali has been honored by God Almighty with all the excellent qualities of this family. These blessings are tied to all members of the Holy Prophet’s household.

Imam Ali's family tree

Ali bin Abi Talib bin Abdul al-Muttalib bin Hashim – Amr – bin Abd Munaf ibn Qusai bin Kelab bin Mura bin Ka'ab bin Luay bin Ghalib bin Fahr bin Malik bin al-Nadhar bin Kenana bin Khuzaymah bin Midreka ben al-Elias bin Mudar bin Nizar bin Maad bin Adnan bin Adbn or Dbn Nahor ben Yaood ben Yaarub bin Yashij bin Thabit bin Ismail (peace be upon him) bin Ibrahim (peace be upon him) ben Tark bin Makhor bin Sarug bin Arawa'e bin Falegh bin Abir bin Shalikh bin Arfakhshd bin Sam Ben Noah (peace be upon him) bin Lemke bin Metushelekh bin Enoch bin Barad bin Mehlayel bin Ma'sov bin Enosh bin Seth (peace be upon him) bin Adam, the father of humans (peace be upon him). It was narrated as Adnan bin Added bin Nam bin Yashjob bin Yaarob bin Alhumaysa' bin Sanua bin Japheth bin Keedar bin Ismail bin Ibrahim bin Tarekh bin  Nahor bin Arawa'e bin Asroh bin Faleh bin Shalikh Ben Arfakhshd bin Sam bin Noah, bin Metushlekh bin Akhnon bin Mehlayel Ben Qenan bin Anoush bin Sheeff bin Adam (peace be upon him) and there are many narrations about that because of the long period or some have more than one name. It is enough for Imam Ali that his fathers and ancestors are Prophet's parents (May Allah bless him and his household).

Abu Talib and his seen miracles                 

 Because he is one of the custodians of Allah and he is the father of Imam Ali, therefore; Allah gave him some miracles to enhance his faith.    

Abu Hassan Kotbeddin al-Rwandani in his book – al-Kheraij and al-Jera'eh – narrated from Fatima bint Asad that she said: When Abdul Muttalib died, Abu Talib took the prophet (peace be upon him and his household) due to his father's will. At that time, I was serving him. There were palm trees in the garden of our house and that was the time of dates.  Every day, I with my house's cleaner used to collect some dates for him, but one day, I and my house's cleaner forgot to collect dates for him. The prophet Mohammad was sleeping and the children entered the garden and collected all the fallen dates and left. I pretended to be sleeping feeling shy of the prophet. When the prophet Mohammad woke up from his sleeping, he went to the garden, but found nothing to eat. He made sign to the palm tree and said: O, tree, I am hungry. I saw the palm tree bend and the prophet at the dates until he felt satiety and the palm tree went back to its position. I felt vey surprise for that. Abu Talib was absent at that time. When he arrived, I rushed to him and informed him about everything and he said: Mohammad will be prophet and you will give birth to his minister. Later, I gave birth to Imam Ali as he said.

Al - Saduq narrated from Abu Talib (peace be upon him) said that Abdul Muttalib said: Whilst I was sleeping in Kaaba. I saw a dream that frightened me. I went to fortuneteller of Quraysh and I was dressing Jubbah of silk. When the fortuneteller looked at me and saw that there is change in my face, she sat down and at that time, I was the master of my people and said: why did the master of Arab disturbed? Is there anything wrong? I said: Yes, I saw, when I was sleeping in Kaaba as if a tree planted on my back and reached to sky and covered the east and west. I saw that the light of the tree is stronger than the light of sun in about seventy times. The Arab and Persian were bowing to it. Every day, the tree becomes more beauty and greatness and there were some people of Quraysh trying to cut it. Whenever, they got close to it, a young man with very handsome face wearing best clothes was stopping them, break their backs, and pluck out their eyes. I raised my hand to have one of its branches; the young man shouted: wait, you have no share in this tree. I said: who may have the shares and the tree is from me? He said: the share is for those who had clung to it and would return to it. I woke up frightened. When I finished my dream, I noticed that the fortuneteller disturbed and she said: if you are right, a man from your spine will own the east and west. I relieved from her speech. Abu Talib used to say this dream, the prophet was sent to Arab nation, and the tree was the prophet. ([1])

The Faith of Abu Talib (peace be upon him)

There is nothing wrong that we deal with the faith Abu Talib (peace be upon him) and his ratification of the great prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him and his family) to protect him. Abu Talib has declared his faith in several positions as will come, and he acted in a way that saves the prophet's Mohammad (peace be upon him) life and continue his message despite hostility of idolaters and their plotting against him.

Abu Talib was feeling worry about his niece, the prophet Mohammad, and Abu Talib was defending, supporting and driving back harm from the prophet to deliver the message of Alalh. The unbelievers were abstaining from hurting the prophet because of the protection of Abu Talib. Abu Talib was the master of Arab after the death of Abdul Muttalib. Therefore, his commands were applied because they claim that Abu Talib is unbeliever and they are on the same sect and religion. If they were knowing that Abu Talib was Muslin; they would fight and hurt him as they did with the prophet.

There is no doubt that this concealment was according to the commands of the prophet. The unbelievers thought that Abu Talib defends the prophet because of the family relationship.

Bin Saeed narrated from Abdul Allah bin Tha'alab bin Sagheer al-Othri that at the death of Abu Talib, he collected his relatives and said to them: (you will be on right if you listened to Mohammad and obeyed his commands, follow him, you will be guided)([2]).
  Abu Taleb has noted the prophethood of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his household) before he was sent and he mentioned that in the speeches by the sermon when the prophet married Khadija (May Allah bless them), he said in his speech:

(Praise be to Allah, who made us of Abraham's descendants Ismail, origin of Maad, part of Madhar … and make our home place for pilgrimage, safe sacred place. Allah made us rulers on people. This is my nephew Mohammed bin Abdullah, he is the best in comparison with any man in honor and a noble. In addition, he is, By Allah, has great future).([3])

This was before beginning of his mission (may Allah bless him) in fifteen years... you can see how Abu Talib – from the prophet – expected all the best before the beginning of his mission and thing occurred as Abu Talib said. That is one of the strongest evidence of the faith of Abu Talib and his believing in the prophet when Allah sent him.

Al - Bukhari narrated from Aqil ibn Abi Talib: (that Quraysh said to Abi Talib: your niece had hurt us. Abu Talib said to the prophet: those are your relatives claim that you are hurting them. The prophet said: if you put the sun in my right hand and the moon in the left to leave this matter, I shall not leave it until Allah enables it or I die for it. Then, the prophet shed tears. Abu Talib said: O my nephew, say what you like. I swear that I shall not let you down and Abu Talib said to Quraysh: my nephew never lied.([4]) 

Abu Talib denied the lying from the prophet in the presence of Quraysh, who came to complain to him and think about the words of Abu Talib: (They claimed that you hurt them) that he did not say that the prophet hurts them, but to make hurt as their claim, and they claim that this is from the prophet and not from Allah. Abu Talib said: if there was any hurt as you claim, then the prophet may stop that. But when the prophet said that is from Allah and not from himself, Abu Talib believed him by himself, he believed him and said: (my nephew never lied).

Abu Talib narrated many Hadeeths and words from the prophet that indicate the faith of Abu Talib. One of Hadeeths that was narrated by al-Khatib al-Baghdadi from Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, from his father, Mohammad al-Baqir, from his father Zaine El Abidine, from his father, Imam Hussein from his father Ali bin Abi Talib that he said: I heard Abu Talib said: (Mohammad, my nephew, said to me and he is honest said, told him what is your mission. The prophet said: taking care of relatives on the maternal side, performing prayer and pay the Zakat)([5]).

Al-Khatib narrated from Abu Rafi the slave of Umm Hani Bint Abi Talib that he heard Abu Talib said: (Mohammed, my nephew, said that Allah commanded me to take care of relatives on the maternal side and worship Allah only and no one else. And said Mohammed is honest and faithful) ([6]).

He also said: I heard my nephew say: (thank Allah, you will be provided with the means of subsistence) ([7]).

Ibn Saad, Al-Khatib and Ibn Asakir narrated from Amr ibn Saeed that Abu Talib said: (I was in Thi al-Majaz with my nephew and felt thirsty. I asked him some water and I know that he has no water. The prophet came down and hit the earth and water was appeared. The prophet said to me: O, uncle, you can drink now)([8]).

Barzanchi said: If he was not monotheist, Allah would not give him the water that spring of the prophet of Allah, which is better than the water of al-Kawthar and Zamzam.

Al-Barzanchi also said: no one can see such miracle and do not believe and the evidences for the faith of Abu Talib became too many.

Is it possible to Abu Talib to know the right path is in following the prophet and orders his followers to leave it?!

Al – Hafidh Hajar narrated in Hajar al-Esaba that when Imam Ali (peace be upon him) converted to Islam, Abu Talib said to him: (be with your cousin) ([9]).

Also, Imran ibn Husayn narrated that Abu Talib said to his son Ja'afar: (cover your cousin and Ja'afar prayed with the Prophet of Allah and Imam Ali prayed too) ([10]).

  Barzanchi said: Abu Talib was believing in the religion of the prophet. Otherwise, he does not permit his sons to pray with the prophet because the enmity of religion is the strongest enmity.

All the above mention is proof that Abu Talib was faithful.


[1] - Amali al-Sedok, p. 158.

[2] - Asna al-Matalib fi Najat Abu Talib, p. 12. 

[3] - Asna al-Matalib fi Najat Abu Talib, p. 12 – 13.

[4] - Asna al-Matalib fi Najat Abu Talib, p. 13.

[5]  - Asna al-Matalib fi Najat Abu Talib, p. 14.

[6] - Asna al-Matalib fi Najat Abu Talib, p. 15.

[7] - Asna al-Matalib fi Najat Abu Talib, p. 15.

[8] - Asna al-Matalib fi Najat Abu Talib, p. 15.

[9] - Asna al-Matalib fi Najat Abu Talib, p. 17.

[10]  - Asna al-Matalib fi Najat Abu Talib, p. 17.