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Ali ibn Abi Talib (Arabic علي بن أﺑﻲ طالب ) (ca. Oct 23, 596/ Mar 17, 599/ Mar 17, 600 - Jan 28, 661)was the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) who ruled over the Rashidun caliphate from 656 to 661. Sunnis consider Ali the fourth and final Khalifa' Rashidun (Righty guided caliphs) while Shias regard Ali as the first Imam and consider him and his descendants the rightful successor to Muhammad, all of which are members of the Ahl al-Bayt, the household of Prophet. This disagreement split the Muslim community into the Sunni and Shi'a branches.

In Muslim culture, Ali is respected for his courage, knowledge, belief, honesty, unbending devotion to Islam, deep loyalty to Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), equal treatment of all Muslims and generosity in forgiving his defeated enemies, and therefore is central to mystical traditions in Islam such as Sufism. Ali retains his stature as an authority on Qur'anic exegesis, Islamic jurisprudence and religious thought. Ali holds a high position in almost all Sufi orders which trace their lineage through him to Muhammad. Ali's influence has thus continued throughout Islamic history.

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