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Khalifa Ali bin Abu Talib - Assessment of Ali by Eminent Muslims

Ata Mohyuddin

In his book, Ali the Superman, Dr. Ata Mohyuddin has assessed Ali in the following terms: "Ali has meant many different things to many generations, each of whom has found something to inspire it out of all the diverse wealth of his mind. During his lifetime he was thought of primarily as a warrior fighting at first in the battles of God, and later for a decade against schismatics. He was also respected for his knowledge and learning, and in later years many thought of him as a saint, but it was until after his death that the effect which he had exercised over the ethical life of his time began to be appreciated. He was the founder of a movement that aimed to rejuvenate the ethical life of the Muslims. The Arabs had begun to forsake the unity of Islam in favor of the tribal laws of the "Days of Ignorance". Ali had to fight against the disintegrating social forces that were everywhere around him and attempted almost single handed to restore the religious policy of Islam. That he succeeded as well as he did was due to moral earnestness of his own character, and to the colossa1 store of spiritual knowledge from which he drew his strength. In subsequent ages, his ethical pronouncements which fell largely on deaf ears during his lifetime were to have an invigorating effect on the Islam he served so well. The influence of Ali was to continue to make itself felt long after his death, and to recreate earnestness among the believers. It still makes itself felt today."

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