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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib

Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (13th Rajab, 24 BH–21st Ramaḍān, 40 AH; approximately October 23, 598 or 600 or March 17, 599 – January 27, 661) was the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661, and was the first male convert to Islam. Sunni Muslims consider Ali the fourth and final of the Rashidun (rightly guided Caliphs), while Shi'a Muslims regard Ali as the first Imam and consider him and his descendants the rightful successors to Muhammad, all of which are members of the Ahl al-Bayt, the household of Muhammad. This disagreement split the Ummah (Muslim community) into the Sunni and Shi'a branches.

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