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The principal wife of Ali was Fatima, the favorite daughter of the Holy Prophet. During the lifetime of Fatima, Ali at one stage proposed to marry a daughter of Abu Jahl. When the Holy Prophet came to know of this proposal, he felt annoyed and declared that if Ali wanted to marry another wife, he should divorce Fatima in the first instance. Thereupon Ali abandoned the idea of marrying another wife. Fatima was the mother of three sons and two daughters. The sons were Hasan, Husain, and Mohsin. Mohsin died during childhood. The daughters were Zainab and Umm Kulthum.

After the death of Fatima, Ali married a number of wives. These were: Umm-ul-Bunian who was the daughter of Hazam b Khalid. Ali had five sons from her: Abdullah, Jafar, Abbas, Othman, and Umar. All of them except Abbas were martyred in the Battle of Karbala along with Husain. Khaula who was the daughter of Jafar Hanfiyah. She was the mother of a son known as Muhammad b HanSyah. Umm Habib who was a daughter of Rabiah She gave birth to a son Umar, and a daughter Ruqiya. Asma who was the daughter of Umais. She was in the first instance married to Jafar, an elder brother of Ali. On the death of Jafar, Abu Bakr married her. After the death of Abu Bakr she married Ali. She had two sons from Ali: Yahya and Muhammad Asghar. Laila, who was the daughter of Masud. She was the mother of two sons: Ubaidullah and Abu Bakr. Umama, who was a daughter of Abi Al Aa's, and Zainab, an elder sister of Fatima. Her son from Ali bore the name of Muhammad Aswat. Umm Saeed who was a daughter of Urwa. She bore Ali two daughters, namely: Umm-ul-Hasan and Rumla. Muhyat was a daughter of the famous Arab poet Imra-ul-Qais. She gave birth to a daughter who died in infancy.

Ali married nine wives in all including Fatima. The number of wives at a time, however, did not exceed four. He had a few slave girls of whom Humla and Umm Shuaib bore him 12 daughters: Nafisa, Zainab, Ruqiya, Umm-ul-Kaream, Humaira, Umm Salma, Sughra, Khadija, Umm Hani, Umm Kulthum Jamana and Maimuna. Ali was, in all, the father of fifteen sons and eighteen daughters.