(part 1 of 2): The early years
Ali “Ibn” (son of) Abu Talib was the younger cousin of the Prophet Muhammad. This child, who admired his older cousin very much, grew up to be a noble fighter for Islam, a knowing judge, a remarkable clarifier of the Quran and righteous leader of the Muslim nation.
Ali was born in Mecca around 600 AD. His father was Abu Talib, the uncle and loyal supporter of the Prophet Muhammad.
When Ali was a small child, there was a severe famine in the area, food was scarce and many families were unable to care for and cloth their children. Muhammad, who was not yet a prophet, offered to feed and care for his little cousin. Therefore Ali grew up with Muhammad and his first wife Khadija. Ali admired his older cousin and followed his example. As he grew older, Ali began to imitate Muhammad’s noble manner. 
When Ali was about 10 years old, Muhammad received the first revelations of the Holy Quran from God Almighty. Ali was there when the Prophet Muhammad, God’s blessings and peace be upon him, revealed to his family that he had been called to be the Messenger of God. Ali is reported to have seen Muhammad and Khadija praying to God, and he asked them about what he had seen. As soon as the Prophet Muhammad explained the message of Islam to his young cousin, Ali accepted it as the truth.
Before he accepted Islam, however, he thought deeply about what his father’s reaction would be. The next morning, Ali testified that there is no god worth worshiping except Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger. Ali is honored to be the first child to adopt Islam.
Some scholars of Islam believe that Ali was older than ten when he accepted Islam, so we read in various texts that Ali was the first adolescent to adopt Islam. However, Ali’s age is not so important, what matters is that he was a bright and clever young man, eager to learn and eager to worship God in the right way. Many scholars emphasize that Ali was one of many young men and women around Prophet Muhammad who have never been involved in the idolatrous rituals of pre-Islamic Arabs. Ali had never prostrated himself to anything or anyone but God.
Ali spent his childhood with Fatima, the youngest daughter of Muhammad and Khadija. A few years later, when the Muslim community emigrated from Mecca to Medina, Ali went to the Prophet Muhammad and asked for the hand of Fatima.
Ali was worried, however, because he was very poor and had nothing of value to give Fatima as a bride gift. The Prophet Muhammad reminded him that he had a shield that he could sell. Ali was selling the Uthman ibn Affan sign and was about to get excitedly going back to the Prophet when Uthman stopped him and returned his sign as a wedding gift for Ali and Fatima.
Fatima and Ali are believed to have been between 15 and 19 years old when the prophet himself performed their wedding ceremony.
The boy who had followed his older cousin like a shadow has become a noble, young fighter. When God revealed the verse, “And warn your closest relatives, oh Muhammad” (Quran 26: 214), the Prophet Muhammad invited all his relatives to eat; after they had eaten, he turned to her and asked who of his family would help him in the way of God? No one had the courage to answer except a boy who was only a little older than ten. This boy was Ali, and he stood upright in laughter and ridicule, expressing his desire to be with the Prophet Muhammad whatever was needed. In the difficult times ahead, Ali remained steadfast and repeatedly showed his courage and love for God and His Messenger.
When the unbelievers planned to kill the Prophet Muhammad, it became necessary for him and Abu Bakr to leave Mecca in the dark. As they walked out into the dark desert night, it was teenager Ali who slept in Muhammad’s bed and knew that killers could come every minute to try to kill him. Ali survived the night and the days ahead, returning things entrusted to Prophet Muhammad to their rightful owners. The Prophet Muhammad considered his young cousin the bravest, most trustworthy and most pious of his companions. A short time later, Ali joined his beloved cousin in Medina.
The Prophet Muhammad cared for his young cousin so much, he called him with many tender and loving names. The name that Ali most valued was Abu Turab (father of dust). Once, when Ali was sleeping in the courtyard of the mosque, his back was covered with dust. The Prophet Muhammad approached him, pulled him to his feet and patted the dust off his back, laughing and calling him Abu Turab. The Prophet Muhammad also called Ali Haidarah (the lion). The shadow of the Prophet Muhammad grew to be a respected fighter for Islam.
 Based on the work of Ibn Kathir, biographies of the right-wing Khalifas.
(part 2 of 2): From fighter to Khalif
Ali was the fourth right-wing Khalif.  He followed in the footsteps of Muhammad, Abu Bakrs, Umars and Uthmans and ruled the Muslim Empire from 656 to 661 AD according to God’s law. Ali was the young cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad. He spent his childhood imitating the noble character of his beloved cousin and his youth learning the details of Islam. Ali grew up to be a noble fighter, physically strong and confident, but with a humble heart, filled with love for God and His Messenger Muhammad. Muslims commemorate Ali for his bravery, honesty, generous and friendly behavior towards others and for his unshakable devotion to Islam.
After emigrating to Medina, Ali married Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad. The young couple lived a simple and ascetic life because Ali did not care about material wealth, he preferred to please God and achieve eternal bliss in the next life. They had no servants and no slaves. Ali scooped and carried water and Fatima grinded the grain until her hands became rough and painful. Once the young couple came to Prophet Muhammad and asked for a servant, and he refused to accept that he could not give them such luxury when hungry poor people filled the mosque.
The same evening the Prophet visited Muhammad Ali and Fatima at home. He sat on the edge of the bed and taught her words of God’s memory. He assured them that God’s memory would be better for them than a servant or slave to make their work easier. Ali never forgot the advice he received that night, later reporting that no night has passed without reciting these words before going to bed. Ali and his family did everything possible to please God, often they were hungry themselves and gave all their food to people who were poorer than them. Ali’s generosity knew no bounds, he treated everyone with respect and kindness.
Scholar Imam Ahmad described Ali as one of the most virtuous companions of Prophet Muhammad, and Ali was known as his most staunch believer. Ali deservedly became a strong fighter and distinguished himself in the crucial first battle against the infidel men of Mecca, known as the Battle of Badr. The young „lion“ took part in all the battles fought in the early days of Islam with the exception of one. Authentic accounts say that the Prophet Muhammad gave his young cousin great honor at the Battle of Khaybar.
The Prophet Muhammad told his companions: “Tomorrow I will give the standard (flag) to a man who really loves God and His Messenger and is also loved by God and His Messenger, he does not flee from the battlefield and God becomes victory through him bring about. ” The Prophet’s companions pondered the night who would be given the flag. Umar ibn al-Khattab is believed to have said that this was the only time he longed for the tour, but Ali deserves that honor.
After Uthman Ibn Affan was murdered in the service of the Muslim community, Ali was selected as the fourth of the right-wing Khalifas. Many Muslims were keen that Ali should take the lead, but Ali was concerned that the seeds of rebellion had already been sown among the faithful. He hesitated until some of the closest companions of the Prophet Muhammad urged him to promise their support. The events surrounding Uthman’s murder started a time for the Muslim community known as the „time of trouble“. Ali began and ended his Khalifat in times of trial and tribulation, but he remained true to his beliefs and ruled in the manner of a child who had learned his norms and values at the feet of the Prophet Muhammad.
Ali was a deeply religious man; he was devoted to Islam and, in his daily life and position as a leader, endeavored to abide by the Quran and the authentic traditions of the Prophet Muhammad. War broke out among the Muslims and Ali found himself in a situation in which he was trying to lead a community plagued by rebellion and fighting. During this period of civil war and struggle, Ali was always aware of the great task ahead of him. He was responsible for the people of the Muslim community.
At this point it must be clearly noted that Ali and Uthman were brothers in Islam, both of whom submitted to God, His Messenger Muhammad and the religion of Islam. Both ruled the Muslim nation with humble hearts, severity, and piety.
Ali was murdered with a poisoned sword. The assassin who beat Ali while praying in the mosque put an end to his life. Abu Bakr, Umar Ibn al-Khattab, Uthman Ibn Affan and Ali Ibn Abu Talib were men of noble stature and high morality, they governed with the Qur’an and the lessons that the Prophet Muhammad had taught them.
 Khalif – leader of the Muslim nation.