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An Iranian clergyman prays before a ceremony for the martyrdom of the Shiites' first Imam (Imam Ali), cousin of the Prophet Mohammed at the Imam Khomeini Grand Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan in Tehran, Iran on September 19, 2008. Imam Ali was killed by Ebne Moljam Moradi. (UPI Photo/Mohammad Kheirkhah)
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Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (Arabic: علي بن أﺑﻲ طالب; Transliteration: ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib, 13th Rajab, 24 BH–21st Ramaḍān, 40 AH; approximately October 23, 598 or 600 or March 17, 599 or 600–January 27, 661) was the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, who ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661. Sunni Muslims consider Ali the fourth and final of the Rashidun (rightly guided Caliphs), while Shi'a Muslims regard Ali as the first Imam and consider him and his descendants the rightful successors to Muhammad, all of which are members of the Ahl al-Bayt, the household of Muhammad. This disagreement split the Muslim community into the Sunni and Shi'a branches.

Most records indicate that during Muhammad's time, Ali was the only person born in the Kaaba sanctuary in Mecca, the holiest place in Islam. His father was Abu Talib ibn Abd al-Muttalib and his mother was Fatima bint Asad but he was raised in the household of Muhammad, who himself was raised by Abu Talib, Muhammad's uncle. When Muhammad reported receiving a divine revelation, Ali was among the first to accept his message, dedicating his life to the cause of Islam.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Imam Ali."