Imam ÝAlÐ: Raised in the Lap of the Prophet (Ò) Himself
Why was Imam ÝAlÐ (Ýa) raised in the house of the Prophet (Ò) during the period of his childhood?
Imam ÝAlÐ (Ýa), at the sensitive young age when character and spirituality is more easily shaped and formed, was constantly in the house of the Prophet (Ò) and under the influence of his training and education. Islamic historians have written:
“One year, a great famine overtook Mecca. At that time, AbÙ ÓÁlib, who was the uncle of the Prophet (Ò), had a very large family and this caused him to have very heavy expenses. The Prophet (Ò) approached another of his uncles, who was named ÝAbbÁs (one of the very wealthy individuals of the tribe of HÁshim) and suggested that each of them take one of AbÙ ÓÁlib’s children to their home and care for them as their own, in order that his financial burden be lessened. ÝAbbÁs agreed to this and they both went to AbÙ ÓÁlib and presented their idea to him. AbÙ ÓÁlib also agreed to their proposal and they each took one of his sons under their care. ÝAbbÁs took JaÝfar and the Prophet (Ò) took ÝAlÐ (Ýa). ÝAlÐ (Ýa) was at the Prophet’s (Ò) house until the time when he was commissioned with prophethood.When this took place, ÝAlÐ (Ýa) confirmed his Prophethood (Ò) and followed him. The Prophet (Ò), after s e l e c ting ÝAlÐ (Ýa) to bring to his home, declared: “I s e l e c ted the same one whom God had s e l e c ted for me.”
Prophet MuÎammad (Ò), after the passing of ÝAbd al-MuÔÔalib, had lived at the house of his uncle AbÙ ÓÁlib and he had been raised under his guardianship and loving care. By taking one of AbÙ ÓÁlib’s children under his wing, he wished to help compensate for the efforts and hardships that AbÙ ÓÁlib and his wife FÁÔimah bint Asad had undergone in raising him.
During his time as caliph, Imam ÝAlÐ (Ýa) mentioned his education and training under the Prophet (Ò) in his sermon of ‘QÁÒiÝah’. He said: “You (companions of the Prophet (Ò)) are aware of my closeness with the Prophet of God (Ò) and the special position which I had with him. You know that when I was a young child, he would embrace me in his arms, and would hold me tightly to his chest, and would lay me to sleep on his own bed in such a way that I would feel him close next to me and I would smell his sweet perfume, and he would feed me with his own hands.
In the same way that a child follows his mother, I would follow him wherever he went, and each day he would enlighten me with one of his ethical and moral virtues. After teaching me, he would command me to act upon that which I had learned.” 
 Refer to the sources below: Ibn AthÐr, Al-KÁmil fÐ al-tÁrÐkh, Beirut, DÁr ÑÁdir, 1399 HijrÐ QamarÐ, vol. 2, p. 58; Ibn HishÁm, ÝAbd al-Malik, Al-SÐrÁ al-nabÙwÐyah, researched by MuÒÔafÁ al-SaqÁÞ, IbrÁhÐm al-AbyÁrÐ, ÝAbd al-ÍafÐÛ ShalbÐ, Cairo, Maktabah al-MuÒÔafÁ al-BÁbÐ al-ÍalabÐ (Published by Maktabah al-Ñadr Tehran), 1355 HijrÐ QamarÐ, vol. 1, p. 262; ÓabarÐ, MuÎammad ibn JarÐr, TÁrÐkh al-umam wa al-mulÙk, Beirut, DÁr al-QÁmÙs al-ÍadÐth, (BÐ TÁ), vol. 1, p. 213; Ibn AbÐ al-ÍadÐd, Commentary on the Nahj al-BalÁghah, Researched by MuÎammad AbÙ al-FaÃl IbrÁhÐm, al-ÓabÝat al-ÞØlÁ, Cairo, DÁr AÎyÁÞ al-Kutub al-ÝArabÐya, 1378 HijrÐ QamarÐ, vol. 13, p. 119.
 AbÙ al-Faraj IÒfahÁnÐ, MaqÁtil al-ÔÁlibÐn, Najaf Ashraf, ManshÙrÁt al-Maktabah al-ÍaÐdÁrÐa, (BÐ TÁ), p. 15.
 Nahj al-BalÁghah, ÑubÎÐ ÑÁlih, Sermon 192.
و قد علمتم موضعي من رسول الله بالقرابة القريبة والمنؤلة الخصيصة وضعني في حجره و انا ولد يَضُمّني إلي صدره، و يكْنُوُفي في فراشه، و يُمِسّني جسده، يُشِمُّني عرفه، و كان يمضغ الشئ ثم يُلقمُنيه... و لقد كنت اتبعه اتباع الفصيل أثراممّه يرفع في كل يوم من اخلاقه علما يأمرني بالإقتداءبه.
 Taken from the text: SÐrah PÐshvayÁn, MahdÐ PÐshvÁÐ, MuÞasasah ImÁm ÑÁdiq (Ýa), Qum, 1390 HijrÐ ShamsÐ, 23rd Edition, p. 26.
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