Fatimah's name in Islamic calligraphy
The location of Fatimah's house in Al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina, present-day Saudi Arabia

Born to the Islamic prophet Muhammad and Khadijah.

- Fatimah

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Khadija bint Khuwaylid

The first wife and first follower of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Calligraphic name of Khadija
Ancestors,Khadija bint Khuwaylid as
A fictive medal of Khadijah seen in Promptuarii iconum insigniorum - 1553
Mausoleum Khadija, Jannatul Mualla cemetery, in Mecca, before its destruction by Ibn Saud in the 1920s

In Islam, she is an important female figure as one of the four 'ladies of heaven', alongside her daughter Fatimah, Asiya, and Maryam.

Twelve Imams

The Twelve Imams (ٱلَأَئِمَّة ٱلْٱثْنَا عَشَر, al-ʾAʾimmah al-ʾIthnā ʿAšar;, Davâzdah Emâm) are the spiritual and political successors to the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Twelver branch of Shia Islam, including that of the Alawite and Alevi.

Calligraphic representation of the Twelve Imams along with the name of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Ali was the first of the Twelve Imams, and, in the Twelvers view, the rightful successor to Muhammad, followed by male descendants of Muhammad through his daughter Fatimah.


The Rashidun Caliphs (الخلفاء الراشدون, ), often simply called the Rashidun, are the first four caliphs (lit.: 'successors') who led the Muslim community following the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad: Abu Bakr ((r.

Calligraphic representation of Rashidun Caliphs
Islamic coin, time of the Rashidun. Imitation of Sasanid Empire ruler Khosrau II type. BYS (Bishapur) mint. Dated YE 25 = AH 36 (AD 656). Sasanian style bust imitating Khosrau II right; bismillah in margin/ Fire altar with ribbons and attendants; star and crescent flanking flames; date to left, mint name to right.

In Medina, Ali swore a pact of brotherhood with Muhammad and later took the hand of Muhammad's daughter, Fatimah, in marriage.

Shia Islam

Second-largest branch of Islam.

Kalema at Qibla of the Mosque of Ibn Tulun in Cairo, Egypt, displaying the phrase Ali-un-Waliullah (علي ولي الله: "ʿAlī is the Wali (custodian) of God")
ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib, cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, is credited as the first male convert to Islam.
Jamkaran Mosque in Qom, Iran is a popular pilgrimage site for Shīʿa Muslims. Local belief holds that the 12th Shīʿīte Imam—the promised Mahdi according to Twelvers—once appeared and offered prayers at Jamkaran.
Shīʿa Muslims gathered in prayer at the Shrine of Imam Ḥusayn in Karbala, Iraq
Islam by country
Map of the Muslim world's schools of jurisprudence.
Names of the 12 Imams (descendants of Imam ʿAlī) written in the calligraphic form of the name ʿAlī in علي
Calligraphic representation of the 12 Imams along with the name of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
Shāh Karim al-Husayni, known as the Aga Khan IV, is the 49th and current Imam of Nizārī Ismāʿīlīs.
Gold dinar of al-Ḥādī ila'l-Ḥaqq Yaḥyā, the first Zaydī Imam of Yemen, minted in 910–911 CE.
The Zaydī State of Yemen under the rule of Imam Al-Mutawakkil Ismāʿīl bin al-Qāsim (1644–1676)
The investiture of ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib at Ghadir Khumm (MS Arab 161, fol. 162r, 1308-1309 CE, Ilkhanid manuscript illustration)
Great Mosque of Kufa, site of ʿAlī's assassination (661 CE)
Ḍarīẖ over ʿAlī's qabr (grave), Sanctuary of Imām ʿAlī, Najaf (present-day Iraq)
Battle of Karbala, painting by the Isfahan-based Persian artist Abbas Al-Mousavi, Brooklyn Museum (between 1868 and 1933).
Zulfiqar with and without the shield. The Fatimid depiction of ʿAlī's sword is carved on the gates of Old Cairo, namely Bab al-Nasr (shown below). Two swords were captured from the temple of the pre-Islamic Arabian deity Manāt during the Raid of Sa'd ibn Zaid al-Ashhali. Muhammad gave them to ʿAlī, saying that one of them was "Zulfiqar", which became famously known as the sword of ʿAlī and a later symbol of Shīʿīsm.
Depiction of ʿAlī's sword and shield carved on the Bab al-Nasr gate wall in Cairo, Egypt
Sanctuary of Imam Reza in Mashhad, Iran, is a complex which contains the mausoleum of Imam Reza, the 8th Imam of Twelver Shīʿas.
Ghazan and his brother Öljaitü both were tolerant of sectarian differences within the boundaries of Islam, in contrast to the traditions of Genghis Khan.
The Fatimid Caliphate at its peak
Al Hakim Mosque, Islamic Cairo.
One of Shah Ismail I of Safavid dynasty first actions was the proclamation of the Twelver sect of Shia Islam to be the official religion of his newly formed state, causing sectarian tensions in the Middle East when he destroyed the tombs of Abū Ḥanīfa and the Sufi Abdul Qadir Gilani in 1508. In 1533, Ottomans, upon their conquest of Iraq, rebuilt various important Sunni shrines.
Shrine of Imam ʿAlī in Najaf, Iraq
The declaration of Shiism as the state religion of the Safavid dynasty in Persia.
Monument commemorating the Battle of Chaldiran, where more than 7000 Muslims of Shia and Sunni sects were killed in battle.
Battle of Chaldiran in 1514, was a major sectarian crisis in the Middle East.

Twelver and Ismāʿīlī Shīʿa Muslims also attribute the quality to Imams as well as to Fāṭimah, daughter of Muhammad, in contrast to the Zaydī Shīʿas, who don't attribute ismah to the Imams.

Imamate in Shia doctrine

Doctrine which asserts that certain individuals from the lineage of the Islamic prophet Muhammad are to be accepted as leaders and guides of the ummah after the death of Muhammad.

The name of Imam as it appears in Masjid Nabawi.
Note: Kaysani's Imām Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah is a descendant of Ali through Ali's wife Khawlah bint Ja'far

In the context of the Shi'a Muslim belief in spiritual leadership or Imamate, Zaydis believe that the leader of the Ummah or Muslim community must be Fatimids: descendants of Muhammad through his only surviving daughter Fatimah, whose sons were Hasan ibn ʻAlī and Husayn ibn ʻAlī.

Hasan ibn Ali

Hasan's name in Arabic calligraphy
A view of modern-day Kufa, the headquarters of Hasan, and its Great Mosque, where he gave his inaugural speech
Iranian Qajar dynasty tapestry, probably a Shia talisman, depicting Ali with Hasan and Husayn (Library of Congress)
Mystical 16th-century illustration of Ali's burial in Irk Bitig (The Book of Omens)
19-century painting of Ali (center), Hasan, Husayn, and two angels
Coin minted in present-day Iran in 30 AH (661-662 CE), during Hasan's caliphate; the Arabic phrase appears in the margin.
Islamic calligraphy of Ḥasan's name in Istanbul's Hagia Sophia mosque
The graves of Hasan (background left), his nephew and son-in-law Ali Zaynal-Abidin, grandson Muhammad al-Baqir, and great-grandson Ja'far al-Sadiq at al-Baqi in Medina
Husayn at the Bedside of the Dying Hasan, a folio from Fuzuli's Hadiqat al-Su'ada (Garden of the Blessed)
The tomb of Al-Baqi, which stood over the qabr (قَبْر, grave) of Hasan and was demolished in 1925
Early 19th-century Qajar Iran gouache illustration of Ali, Hasan and Husayn, the first three Shiite Imams

Hasan ibn Ali (حسن ابن علي; c. 625 – 2 April 670) was the eldest son of Ali and Fatima and a grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Husayn ibn Ali

Husayn's name in Arabic calligraphy
The calligraphy of the names of ahl al-kisa and two hadiths of Muhammad on the cloth, probably belonging to Iran or Central Asia
A shrine built at the location of Husayn's camp
Battle of Karbala, Iranian painting, oil on canvas, 19th century from the Tropenmuseum Amsterdam
The Battle of Karbala
Imam Husayn Shrine, where Husayn is buried, in the 21st century
Tilework inside Mu'awin ul-Mulk husayniyya, Kermanshah, Iran, depicting Ali Zayn al-Abidin, Zaynab and other prisoners being taken to Yazid's court
Aerial image of the shrine of Husayn ibn Ali, the shrine of Abbas ibn Ali and Bina al-Harmain
Mourning of Muharram in cities and villages of Iran
A majlis being held in a husayniyya
A zuljenah in a Muaharram procession
Niche for Husayn's head at the Umayyad mosque in Damascus
Cameleer telling people about the events he witnessed at Karbala

Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib (الحسين بن علي بن أبي طالب; c. 626 or 627 – 10 October 680), also known as Abu Abd Allah or Imam Husayn, was a grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and a son of Ali ibn Abi Talib and Muhammad's daughter Fatimah, and a younger brother of Hasan ibn Ali.


The fourth Rashidun caliph, reigning from 656 until his assassination in 661.

Calligraphic representation of Ali's name
The calligraphy of the names of ahl al-kisa and two hadiths of Muhammad on the cloth, probably belonging to Iran or Central Asia
Arabic calligraphy which means "There is no brave youth except Ali and there is no sword which renders service except Zulfiqar"
Zulfiqar with, and without the shield. The Fatimid depiction of Ali's sword as carved on the Gates of Old Islamic Cairo, namely Bab al-Nasr
Ali's Sword and shield carved on Bab al-Nasr gate wall, Cairo
The Investiture of Ali, at Ghadir Khumm (MS Arab 161, fol. 162r, 1307–8 Ilkhanid manuscript illustration)
Ambigram depicting Muhammad (right) and Ali (left) written in a single word. The 180-degree inverted form shows both words.
The election of Uthman, from Balami's Tarikhnama
Map of the First Fitna; green territory under Ali's control; pink territory under Mu'awiya's control.
Allegiance is given to Ali, electing him as caliph, following the murder of Uthman (from a 16th-century Turkish manuscript)
Coin minted under Ali's Caliphate in Bishapur, 36 AH/656CE
Aisha battling the fourth caliph Ali in the Battle of the Camel
Combat between the forces of Ali and Mu'awiya during the Battle of Siffin, from the Tarikhnama
The Nahrawan Canal ran parallel to the east bank of the Tigris.
Imam Ali Holy Shrine, Najaf, Iraq
Folio from an old Nahj al-Balagha
A manuscript of the Mushaf of Ali, a Qur'an that is believed to be written by Ali ibn Abi Talib. This page is the first verses of surah al-Buruj, 85:1–3.
18th century mirror writing in Ottoman calligraphy. Depicts the phrase 'Ali is the vicegerent of God' in both directions.
The name of Ali with Islamic calligraphy in Hagia Sophia, (present-day Turkey)

He was the son of Abu Talib and Fatimah bint Asad, the husband of Fatima, and the father of Hasan, Husayn, Zaynab, and Umm Kulthum.

Banu Hashim

One of the major clans of the Quraysh.

The purported flag of the Quraysh during the Battle of Siffin in 657

These descendants, and especially those tracing their lineage to Muhammad through his daughter Fatima, hold the traditional title of Sharīf (often synonymous to Sayyid).

Ahl al-Bayt

Ahl al-Bayt (أهل البيت, ) refers to the family of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, though the term also has been extended in Sunni Islam to apply to all descendants of the Banu Hashim, Muhammad's clan, and even all Muslims.

"Muhammad, the Messenger of God."
inscribed on the gates of the Prophet's Mosque in Medina

In Shia Islam, the term is limited to Muhammad, his cousin and son-in-law, Ali, his daughter, Fatima, and their two sons, Hasan, and Husayn.