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Khalifa Ali bin Abu Talib - Years of childhood

Life in the desert

No detailed account of the early years of the childhood of Ali is available, and where the source books are silent the story has been reconstructed on the basis of the laws of plausibility and probability. It was a custom of the Quraish of Makkah that they entrusted their new born sons to the care of foster parents belonging to the tribes of the desert, and it was in the open air of the desert that the young sons of the Quraish were bred during the first few years of their childhood. We know that the Holy Prophet spent the first five years of his childhood with his foster parents in the desert. We do not know who the foster parents of Ali were. Ali had a strong constitution, and after the Holy Prophet, he was the most eloquent person among the Quraish. This provides evidence to the effect that like the Holy Prophet, Ali spent the first few years of his childhood in the desert. It appears that the necessary arrangements in this behalf were made by the Holy Prophet, and he paid for the maintenance of Ali in the desert.

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