Extremists have exaggerated in their belief about Ali. Did the said extraordinary event take place due to the greatness of the spirit of Ali?

Q: His Eminence, Amirul Momineen (a.s.) had, during the war with Khawarij, given drinking water to his army both at the higher area and the lower area of a well simultaneously. Because of this extraordinary happening, extremists have exaggerated in their belief about Ali (a.s.). Did the said extraordinary event take place due to the greatness of the spirit of Ali (a.s.)? Kindly explain this matter convincingly.

A: It is true that often Amirul Momineen (a.s.) used to be present at several places at one and the same time. These occurrences are reported in many traditions and therefore agreed upon. For example, the army of the infidels had split into eighteen parts and Ali (a.s.) was hitting them with his sword at the end of every section during the Battle of Khyber.

Likewise during the Battle of Siffeen, the army of Kutaibah had 25000 men and Ali (a.s.) had fought with them single-handed and defeated them and those who had fled had told Muawiyah: 'Wherever we looked, we saw Ali hitting us with his sword and spear. ‘There are several such reports about Ali being visible at several places simultaneously. As regards this condition of the holy Imam several causes have been mentioned. In one of them, Allamah Majlisi has in Biharul Anwar mentioned that in every such instance the body of Ali (a.s.) was not his physical but facsimile body. A facsimile is one which is very fine and looks exactly like the physical body, without any difference in appearance. It is like the body of angel or jinn.

Souls or spirits are like that in the world of Purgatory (Barzakh). By the power granted to them by Almighty Allah, the bosom friends of Allah are able to appear in their facsimile bodies at several places at a time and to do whatever they want at every place.

The late Haji Noori has also given other reasons at the end of his Darus Salam. Those who like may refer to it.

Sayyid Abdul Husayn Dastghaib