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Khalifa Ali bin Abu Talib - Ward of the Holy Prophet

Biographical study

Ali became the ward of the Holy Prophet at the age of five. No account is available from the source books about the life of Ali during this period. As Ali came to be attached to the Holy Prophet during this period, we can derive help from the life of the Holy Prophet in order to undertake a biographical study of Ali. There are three turning points in the life of the Holy Prophet. The first turning point was his marriage with Khadija in 596 C E. when he was twenty-five years old. The second turning point was the call to prophethood in 611 C.E. when he was forty years old. The third turning point was the migration to Yathrib in 622 C E. when he was fifty-one years old. The life of the Holy Prophet is thus divisible into four periods. The first period of 25 years extends from 571 to 596 C. E the second period of 15 years extends from 596 to 611 C.E. The third period of 11 years extends from 611 to 622 C.E. The fourth and the last period covering ten years extends from 622 to 632 C.E. We have sufficient details about the third and fourth periods. A few details are available about the first period, but there are practically no details in any source book pertaining to the period from 596 to 611. These were the formative years preliminary to the call to prophethood, and in order to get a complete picture of the life of the Holy Prophet we will have to reconstruct the life story of the Holy Prophet during this period on the basis of further research. The law of plausibility and probability will also have to be pressed into service to set the narrative in proper perspective. As Ali became the ward of the Holy Prophet, during this period we cannot reproduce an account of the life of Ali during this period from any source book. We will have to undertake an exercise in the reconstruction of the biography of Ali during this period.

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