Daily O

A brief history of Hazrat Ali - the first male to embrace Islam

His instructions on keeping the army happy, selecting a chief justice are kept in the United Nations as an example.

On Friday, the 13th of Rajab (the seventh month of the Islamic calendar) - which falls on March 31 this year - a momentous event took place.

According to Shia beliefs and as confirmed by some Sunni texts, Fatima binte Asad, wife of Abu Talib, was heavily pregnant and had come to the Holy Kaaba to circumbulate it when she felt labour pains. Suddenly, the wall of the Holy Kaaba cracked open and she entered inside; there she gave birth to a baby boy. To this day, the followers of Ali swear that they can see the crack though it has been filled up since, and they try and touch the wall's surface during Hajj and Umrah.

I, too, have often done the same, despite the objections of the guards posted there, who feel it is biddat (innovation).

It is said that once Fatima Binte Asad had entered the Kaaba, the walls were sealed again and it was only on the third

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