It is the 21st of Ramadan, the day of great difficulty and mourning for the Ahl-e-Bait (a.s.) and their followers. The day when our beloved Imam (a.s.) finally succumbed to the fatal injury that he received on the 19th Ramadan in Masjid-e-Koofa.
Imam Ali (a.s.) was surrounded by his male family members and his faithful followers since the 19th. The doctors announced that the effect of the poison has reached such a stage that it is not possible for him to survive now. Hearing this, Imam Ali (a.s.) who already knew of this situation, asked his faithful followers to leave him. His followers were weeping and were deeply saddened by this order but then Imam Ali (a.s.) told them that they cannot stay since his daughters were eager to be with him in these last moments. Hearing this the faithful followers left with tears in their eyes and with a heavy heart. Imam (a.s.) asked his sons to make sure that his followers were so much away from the house that they would not hear the cries and voices of his daughters.
It was at this time that Imam Ali (a.s.) gave his detailed last will and instructions to his family. He pronounced Imam Hassan (a.s.) as his successor in Imamate and the head of the family. Then he called all his children and started giving their hands one by one in the hands of Imam
Hassan (a.s.) saying: "I give you in the protection of my son Hassan (a.s.)"
When all the children were handed in the protection of Imam Hassan (a.s.), only Hadrat Abbas (a.s.) was left and he was standing in a corner. At this stage, his holy mother - Bibi Umm-ul-Bannen (a.s.) - with permission of Imam Ali (a.s.) asked: "why have you spared my son Abbas from being given in the protection of Imam Hassan (a.s.)?". Imam Ali (a.s.) called Hadrat Abbas (a.s.) and said: "I have saved him for a very special occasion" and then he called Imam Hussein (a.s.) and giving the Imam's hand in the hand of Hadrat Abbas (a.s.), addressed him saying: "Abbas, I give Hussein in your protection. Take good care of him and don't leave him until he wishes so, and remember this is a great responsibility which you would realize when you will be in Karbala and all the companions of Hussein will be martyred and his little children will be crying and asking for water from a thirst of three days of intense heat".
He then called Imam Hussein (a.s.) and said: "My son when you will be left alone in Karbala and the time of your martyrdom will arrive, I ask you to fulfill one wish of mine - Ask your sister Zeinab to raise her sleeves and then kiss her arms." Imam Hussein (a.s.) asked in astonishment as to why did you wish for this. Imam Ali (a.s.) said: "My son after you are martyred, the army of Yazid (mal'oon) will enter the tents and will snatch away the hijabs of my daughters and will make Zeinab (s.a.) and other ladies prisoners and her hands will be tied with a tight rope." Hearing this Imam Hussein (a.s.) burst into tears and that was the time when Imam Ali (a.s.) breathed his last leaving his family and followers mourning for him.
ala l'anat ullahe ala qaum-za-zalimeen. May allah (swt) curse the cruel tribe which committed atrocities on the Ahl-e-Bait (a.s.) and their followers.
Inna Lillah-e-wa Inna ilehe Rajeoon - We have come from HIM and we have to return to HIM.
Burial of Imam Ali (A.S.)
Imam Ali (a.s.) instructed his children that when he is martyred, they should lift his coffin from behind only since the front will be lifted by his most faithful angels and they will guide you to my burial place which will be ready when you reach there. That is exactly what happened. The funeral was arranged in the night time and was attended only by the family members and closed and trusted companions of Imam Ali (a.s.).
The front of his coffin was lifted by unseen creatures and they guided his coffin to the place in Najaf-e-Ashraf where a grave was ready and Imam Ali (s.a) was buried there. Imam Hassan (a.s.) recited his funeral prayers.
Due to the situation in those days, only the closest and trusted companions of Imam Ali (a.s.) and his family members knew about the funeral and the exact burial place. The next day, there were lots of speculations among the Koofans about the place of burial of Imam Ali (a.s.) but no one knew the exact place. After the Ummayad rule came to an end, during the reign of Abul Abbas al-Saffah, Imam Jafer Sadiq (a.s.) arrived in Najaf and identified the grave of Imam Ali (a.s.) for the first time to his companions such as Abu Basser, Abdullah ibn-e-Talha, Mualli ibn-e-Khanis, Yunis ibn-e-Tibyan and Zarara. Likewise, other Imams (a.s.) during their imamate identified the same place to their followers and that is how it came to be know to general masses. Famous Ulema of Ahlul Sunnah such as ibn-e-Aseer and ibn-e-Abil Hadeed also recognize the same place in Najaf as the burial place of Imam Ali (a.s.).