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had my children through her, but I was deprived of having them from others(wives)." *

The second blow he suffered in that Year of Grief was the sad demise of his uncle and guardian Abu Talib. After losing his grandfather Abdul-Muttalib at the tender age of eight, theProphet was raised up by his dear uncle Abu Talib and his wife Fatima bint Asad as their own child. A close bond existed between uncle and nephew, and as long as Abu Talib's towering presence loomed large in Mecca, the infidels could never think of doing bodily harm to the Pro- bet.

The passing away of Abu Talib was a deep shock, and emboldened Meccan Jahiliyya, who seeing a great obstacle removed from their way; ganged up for an attempt against the Prophet's life. The events of the Hijra are outside the scope of our book, and it suffices here to quote the nephew's saying on the uncle's demise:

"The Quraysh could not raise a hand against me until Abu Talib died."

But the greatest tragedy in fasting Ramadhan is the martyrdom of Imam Au ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), the Prophet's loyal cousin, husband of his dear daughter Fatima, and his valiant standard bearer who single-handedly won many a crucial battle. Imam Ali's (a.s.) peerless personality ranks second only to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), and books galore on his wise sayings, heroic deeds, praises and other excellent qualities.

On the 19th of Ramadhan, in the year 40 A.H., while leading the morning prayer at Masjid Kufa (Iraq), Amir-alMomineen Ali (a.s.) was struck on the head by the assassin's sword in the very act of prostration. The blow by AbdurRahman ibn Mulj i m the Khariji te (heretic) cut a deep wound and for three days the Commander of the Faithful passed in pain.


* Refer Musnad ,4hmal bin Hanbal Part 6. p. II 7. Sahih Bukhari. Part 2. p. 177 and also Part 4.p. 36. 195. !bn MajaBab aI-Ghira, Abwab an-Nikah. Parr 1. p. 315. Ibn Kathir m Tarikh Kamel vol. 3, p. 128. and various other sources. It means the cuntinuat ion of pro gem, because later in life he had son called Ibrahim through his Egrptian wife Man the Copt who died in infancy.

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