عَنْ عَائِشَةَ قَالَتْ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ ﷺ ذِكْرُ عَلِيِّ بْنِ اَبِي طَالِبٍ عِبَادَةٌ
Ayesha reports that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) said,
“Remembrance of Ali Ibn Abi Talib (peace be upon him) is worship.”
1) The word ‘remembrance’ is used in its absolute meaning. One can remember his teachings about beliefs, his miracles, his merits, his excellences, his worship, his character, his morals, his etiquette, his bravery, the afflictions that he encountered, etc.
2) This remembrance can be done through books, speeches, poems, elegies, etc.
3) Worship obviously implies the worship of Allah the Almighty because Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (peace be upon him) is the greatest sign of Allah the Almighty upon His creatures after the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his holy progeny). When looking at ordinary creations like sun, moon, stars, camels, etc. has been recommended and considered worship, none but a diehard bigot and intransigent extremist will doubt that remembering Ali (peace be upon him) is Allah’s worship.
4) This tradition applies for all the fourteen infallible guides (peace be upon him). That is, the remembrance of any one of them is divine worship because they are all divine proofs.
5) Question: Ayesha was known to dislike Ali (peace be upon him) as mentioned by him (peace be upon him) in Nahj al-Balaaghah and as is known through several of her actions recorded in traditions and history. Then, why has she narrated traditions in favor of him (peace be upon him)?
Answer: a) Allah is Kind and Merciful to His servants. He will never allow the truth to be destroyed. Hence, He has made such provisions wherein the evidence of truth will be all around, even in the utterances of the opponents.
b) After the martyrdom of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny), Ayesha had a love-hate relationship with the Bani Umayyah. When she had good relations with them, she related traditions against the Ahle Bait (peace be upon them) to please them but when their relationship soured, she spoke in favor of the Ahle Bait (peace be upon them) to prove to the Bani Umayyah that the real successors of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) were Ali Ibn Abi Talib (peace be upon him) and his sons (peace be upon him).
1. Meah Manqebah, p. 136, Manqebah No. 68
2. Al-Seraat al-Mustaqeem, vol. 1, p. 209, Section 17
3. Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 26, p. 229, H. 9, Chapter 1