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Khalifa Ali bin Abu Talib - Years of childhood

Induction of Ali as a member of the family of the Holy Prophet

As the Holy Prophet had arranged for the stay of Ali in the desert, it appears that on return from the desert, the young Ali was brought to the house of the Holy Prophet, and he arranged some function to mark the occasion which was attended by Abu Talib and his family, and other close relatives. The Holy Prophet had looked after the young Ali since his birth and he developed a great liking for him. It was against this background that the Holy Prophet requested Abu Talib that Ali be entrusted to his care, and be allowed to live with him as a member of his family. Abu Talib agreed as he felt that the Holy Prophet would look after Ali in a much better way than he could.

Most of the writers have expressed the view that the Holy Prophet took over the responsibility for the maintenance of Ali to provide financial relief to Abu Talib whose financial position had grown weak. It is difficult to accept this view. Abu Talib was a Quraish chief and he enjoyed reputation as such and commanded great influence. Like the other Quraish he undertook trading activities. There is no evidence to the effect that he was involved in any financial difficulty. Abu Talib had really any financial difficulty, the Holy Prophet who was in affluent circumstances could have supplemented the financial resources of Abu Talib by providing financial assistance as a son would help a father in old age. The truth of the matter is that Ali was entrusted to the Holy Prophet, not because of any financial considerations, but because the Holy Prophet had developed a liking for the child, and wanted to have him by his side. In entrusting Ali to the care of the Holy Prophet, Abu Talib did not part from Ali. Ali visited the house of his parents every day, and he was as much a member of the house of Abu Talib as that of the Holy Prophet. Indeed the house of the Holy Prophet was an extension of the house of Abu Talib, and the young Ali lived with the Holy Prophet as a younger brother would live with an elder brother without any break with the paternal house.

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