There is no doubt among us that after our dear Prophet Mohammad (PBUH&HP), our twelve Imams (AS) are the most important figures of our religion. On that account, today we want to get to know more about our first imam and the first male convert of the religion birth matter and conditions.
The faithless say, ‘You have not been sent [by Allah].’ Say, ‘Allah suffices as a witness between me and you, and he who possesses the knowledge of the Book’
The Holy Quran (13:43)
And among the people is he who sells his soul seeking the pleasure of Allah, and Allah is most kind to [His] servants
The Holy Quran (2:207)
If the two of you repent to Allah... for your hearts have certainly swerved, and if you back each other against him, then [know that] Allah is indeed his guardian, and his supporters are Gabriel, the righteous among the faithful and, thereafter, the angels...
The Holy Quran (66:4)
If we seek the true meaning of these three verses above of our holy book, they all seek Ali (AS) as their primary target and guide us to some aspects of his life. our dear imam has been implicitly described by The Quran many times that shows us His great importance in our religion.
No one can fully describe the contributions of Imam Ali (AS) to his religion and the people and if anyone dares to do so, he can merely show a drop of the sea. That said we are about to speak about the first question that may occur to our mind: how was our first Imam born?
Thirty years after the “year of the elephant” (*) occurrence, in the 13th of Rajab (March 8), when Prophet Mohammad (PBUH&HP) was 30 years old, 10 years before our dear The Prophet (PBUH&HP) received the first revelation from the angel Gabriel and 23 years before the great migration of Muslims from Mecca to Medina.
At this time, our dear imam's pregnant mother (Fatima Daughter of Asad) was praying at Kaaba. She felt an immense amount of delivery pain that she fled to Kaaba from that pain. Suddenly the wall of Kaaba has moved apart and given shelter to her for 3 whole days. After these days, she came out of Kaaba with her dear son, our first imam, Ali b. Abi Talib (AS). Imam’s delivery was a great honor that happened to no one And after yet; walls moving apart, mother’s presence in the holy site of Islam, and the unique birth in Kaaba were all the signs of the greatness of son of Kaaba.
Fatima Daughter of Asad was the second woman that converted to Islam (after Prophet’s wife, Khadija” SA”). She had the honor of taking care of the Prophet (PBUH&HP) from the age of eight until his youth in her (Abu-Talib) house. Their relation was as much close that Prophet (PBUH&HP) called she “mother” So we can see the early strings of Prophet (PBUH&HP) calling Imam Ali (AS) his brother.
1.Sheikh Mofid (died in 413th AH): our first imam, Ali b. Abi Talib (AS) was born on Friday the 13th of Rajab and thirty years after the year of the elephant in Mecca. No one ever has been born in Kaaba before and after him. His delivery was the great honor that God granted him to show his dignity over other men of his age.
2. Allamah Al-Hilli (died in 726th AH): Imam Ali (PBUH) was born on Friday the 13th of Rajab and thirty years after the occurrence of the year of the elephant. No one before and after him, was born in Kaaba at that time, The Prophet (PBUH&HP) was thirty years old.
Many of the Sunni scholars Believe that Imam’s birth routine was in Kaaba and some of them even think this matter exclusively was only for the Imam.
We will name some of them briefly and look at their point of view:
1. Al-Hakim al-Nishapuri (died in 658th lunar year): a lot of Consecutive narrations have pointed that Fatima bt. Asad have delivered Ali b. Abi Talib in the Kaaba.
2. Sibt ibn al-Jawzi Hanafi (died in 654th lunar year): It has been narrated that when Fatima bt. Asad was pregnant and doing tawaf around the Kaaba, she sensed an immense delivery pain that she fled to Kaaba from the pain; when suddenly Kaaba’s door got opened to her so she went into the Kaaba and gave birth to his child.
Syed Ismail Himayari (who died in 173th AH) was one of the greatest poets of Arabic literature. He wrote a poem about this unique birth:
His mother gave birth to him in God’s safe site; God’s house and masque was his birthplace
He was pure and noble; her mother, her child, and her birthplace too
In one of the darkest nights, he appeared with lunar purity
No child other than Amine’s child is honored like him
- Kitab al-Kafi (first Volume – page 452)
- Kitab al-Irshad (first Volume – page 5)
- I'lam al-Wara bi A'lam al-Huda (first Volume – page 306)
- Bihar al-Anwar (35th Volume – page 182)
- Description of Nahj al-Balagha (first Volume – page 6)
- Manaqib Ale Abi Talib (third Volume – page 307)
- Rawżat al-Vaeezin (page 81)
* In that year, Kaaba invaded by faithless king Abraha and his great elephant army and ironically saved by Allah himself with an army of birds carrying small stones by their pecks that penetrate the elephant's body and skull and all of them got killed, and Kaaba was saved.
Each fruit of the tree you have planted will be appreciated by a reward from Allah.
Kanz al-Amaal, vol.12, p.341.
What is learned during youth, like an engraving on a stone, will never be forgotten.
Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 1, p. 222.
Heaven lies beneath the feet of mothers.
Mizan al-Hikmah, hadith no. 22691.
Respecting a Muslim elderly is like showing respect to Allah.
Usul al-Kafi, vol.2, p.165.
The elderly are the sources of mercy and divine blessing.
Nahj al-fasaha, p.222.
The most generous among you is the one who spreads what he has learned among people.
Mizan al-Hikmah, hadith no. 13825.
The faithful are tied in kindness and affection together like members of a body, one’s pain and hardship affect the others.
Bihar al-Anwar, vol.58, p.150
The one who gets married has completed half of his/her religion.
Kanz al-Amaal, hadith no.44403.
Indeed, I have been sent to revive the virtues and good morals.
Bihar al-Anwar, vol.16, p.286.
Playfulness during childhood will elevate one in wisdom in his/her adulthood.
Nahj al-Fasaha, p.564, Hadith no. 1940.
The kindest, most amiable, generous, patient, and just among you is the closest to me in manner.
Usul al-Kafi, vol.2, p.240-241.
Be childlike with children.
Man la Yahduruhu al-faqih, vol.3, p.483.
Love children and be kind to them and keep your promises to them since they only know you as their providers.
Usul al-Kafi, vol.6, p.49.
Allah’s love and praise be upon the one who helps his/her children by doing good to them, caring for, and educating them.
Mustadrak al-Wasaiil, vol.15, p.169.
There are five activities that I won’t leave off till I’m alive so that they would become part of my tradition. [One of them] is greeting children.
Makarem al-Akhlaq, vol.1, p.251.
Being like your father is one of the best blessings of Allah to you.
Bihar al-Anwar, vol.71, p.84.
The kind look of a child to his/her parents is as praying in Allah’s regard.
Tuhaf al-Uqul, p.46.
The best among you is the one who treats his family best, and I am better than all of you for my family.
Nahj-al fesaha, p.472, Hadith no. 1520.
Whenever Allah desires the best for a family, He raises their awareness about the religion. The younger ones respect the elders, they observe moderation in their expenses, and they would know about their faults to make them right.
Nahj-al Fasaha, p.181, Hadith no. 147
Whoever delights his/her parents, has delighted Allah and the one who displeases them has displeased Allah.
Ali ibn Abd-al-Malik al-Hindi, Kanz al-Ummal, vol.16, p.470.
Whomever I am his/her leader (Mawla), then Ali is his/her leader (Mawla).
Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol.4, p.370.
Women are held dearer in Allah’s regard than men, and Allah will highly reward any man who brings joy to his Mahram women.
Usul al-Kafi, vol.6, p.7.
Martyrdom of Imam Hussain (AS) has ignited the hearts of believers with a pain that will never be subsided.
Jami al-Ahadith al-Shia, vol 12., p.556.
When Allah wants to pour His blessings upon you, He endows you with a Good Friend.
Nahj al-Fasaha, p.776.
When Allah chooses to favor someone, He makes him the source of satisfying other people's needs.
Fatima is of my flesh, who is the light of my eyes and the warmth of my heart.
al-Shaykh al-Saduq, Al-Amali, p.486.
If a Muslim plants a tree or any plant and a human, bird, or any other animals use it, Allah counts it as an act of charity.”
Mustadrak al-Wasaiil, vol.13, p.460.
Lying would negatively influence your livelihood.
Nahj al-Fasaha, p.373, Hadith no. 1087.
On the Day of Judgment, those who were most honest in their words, steadfast in their promises and kindest in their manners, will be the closest ones to me.
Al-Shaykh al-Tusi, Al-Amali, p.229.
Praying has seventy parts, the most important and biggest of which is lawful (Halal) earning.
Mustadrak al-Wasaiil, vol.13, p.12.
The most praised deeds in Allah’s regard is performing prayers (Salat) on their due time.
Kanz al-Amal, vol. 7, Hadith 18897.
The most desired companion is like a perfumer; his/her perfume would reach you, even if he/she didn't give you anything.
Kanz al-Amal, vol.9, Hadith 24676.
Eating less results in a healthier body and a more tender heart while overeating makes one sick and hard-hearted.
Mizan al-Hikmah, Hadith 579.
The words of “I love you,” said by a man to his wife, will forever be engraved upon the woman’s heart.
Wassail al-Shia, vol. 14, p.10.
36. Causing Harm
Causing harm to yourself and others is forbidden in Islam.
Usul al-Kafi, vol.5, p.292.
There are two blessings to which no one gives thanks: security and health.
The most grateful person is the one who thanks people most.
Nahj al-Fasaha, Hadith no. 312.
United Nations General Assembly in the 18th article of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance.”
Also in the 19th article of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights freedom of expression is defined as follows: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” 
In this text, I would like to explore this article and find out to what extent it is right or wrong according to the Islamic viewpoint toward freedom of thought and freedom of expression.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights puts freedom of thought and freedom of belief alongside each other. While there is a major difference between these two.
Murtaza Mutahhari emphasizes the difference between “thought” and “belief”. He argues that “thought is a potential caused by having intellect” and because every human being has intellect, and the potential to think about different issues, thus they think and “discover some truths about universe according to their talent”.  While he states that “belief might be based on human’s interest towards something” or “it might be based on following other people’s opinion”. But the true belief is “based on thinking”. He believes that most of the people shape their belief based on worldly interests. And there should be thoughtful people among them to guide them in their way of thinking and choices .
So, in his definition of thought and belief, he points out the mistake of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He concludes that people should have freedom of thought. Yet, about freedom of belief, unlike liberalism, Mutahhari states that “freedom is not the ultimate political goal to be respected under any condition”.
The main goal of freedom as he declares is to “reach perfection”. And if one’s belief is against his path towards perfection, then his belief needs an evolution, and should not be left alone to carry on his path towards adversity. 
There are more than 300 verses in the Quran that encourage people to think, such as: “Indeed We have sent it down as an Arabic Quran so that you may exercise your reason.” (12: 2), “[This is] a blessed Book that We have sent down to you, so that they may contemplate its signs, and that those who possess intellect may take admonition.” (38: 29), “Do they not contemplate the Quran, or are there locks on the hearts?” (47: 24).
Freedom of thought is also mentioned in the Quran in choosing the path of life where Allah says: “There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong.” (2: 256)
This verse clearly shows the importance of freedom of thought in the eyes of God, and the freedom to choose a religion. It is noteworthy that the Quran gives specific guidelines for finding the truth and recognizing wrong and right. As it is stated in the same verse; “So whoever disbelieves in idolatrous and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it.” (2: 256)
Also, Allah introduces His best servants in the Quran as those who listen to different types of opinions without any prejudice, and then follow the opinion that is closest to the righteous way: “…So give good news to My servants, who listen to the word [of Allah] and follow the best [interpretation] of it. They are the ones whom Allah has guided, and it is they who possess intellect.” (39: 17-18)
When Allah encourages people to find their religion based on intellectual thinking, he keeps reminding them at different points about what is beneficial and what is harmful to human growth.
As stated above freedom of thought is encouraged in Islam as long as it does not lead people and society toward diversity. “The objective of speech and expression according to Islam is to build up love, tolerance, social harmony, and understanding among members in order to ensure a peaceful coexistence.” 
So, freedom of thought is permitted in Islam as long as it does not harm the society. There is a fundamental rule in Islam, to which other rulings must not be contrary. A Muslim should neither be harmed nor should he harm anyone else. When thoughts are harmful to people in the society, Islam limits freedom of expressing the thoughts that may create social disorder.
So far we discussed that The Quran invites people to think and choose their religion and belief accordingly freely. There is no force in choosing religion. Yet, freedom of belief and expression is not completely allowed according to that fundamental rule of Islam.
That is, a Muslim should not be harmed and nor harm others. Sometimes, one may not have enough information about a particular issue and as a result is not able to form an educated opinion or belief. Hence, if someone wants to express his/ her opinions that have no scientific or logical foundations, and may bring about doubt in ordinary people’s beliefs, Islam would stand against it and will not allow its expansion. 
- Human rights
- Mutahhari, Murtaza, About Islamic republic, p. 92-3
- Mutahhari, Murtaza, About Islamic republic, p. 97
- Rostami, Mohammad. Andisheh Sadegh, vol. 6
- Bhat AM (2014) Freedom Of Expression From Islamic Perspective. Journal of Media and Communication Studies 6: 69-77.
- Kassem AS (2012) The Concept of Freedom in the Quran. American International Journal of Contemporary Research 2, p. 165-173.