THE ORIGINATOR OF SUFISM (MYSTICISM)
Imam Ali is acclaimed as the Father of Sufism, and the Prince of Saints. Most Suft orders claim their descent from Imam Ali and emulate him in his phi ' losophy, gnosis and worship of Allah. Imam Ali held that men should be virtuous, as virtues purify the soul; and it is only the purified soul that can be the recipient of spiritual enlightenment. This is the doctrine of Inner Light, which sits in the core of the Sufi Ihought.
THE ORIGINATOR OF FIQ (ISLAMIC JURISPRUDENCE)
In the years prior to his own rule, Imam Ali was consulted by the preceding Caliphs in matters of Islamic law and judgements. It is said that even his archenemy Muawiyah acknowledged his superiority in knowledge, and had consulted him on an unusual case of inheritance that he was unable to solve.
During his own rule, Imam Ali used to address the Muslims after the congregational prayers, and expounded on the Word of Allah, and elaborated its meanings and implications with the Hadith and Sunna of the Prophet. He spoke on the purity of Faith and the Fidelity 'in the ritual practices of religion, on Worship and Submission to Allah, on Charity and Alms giving, on the Conduct of one!s individual life and one's interaction with the Society at large. With his letters to his governors, he gave specific instructions on how to deal with the Muslim and the non-Muslim subjects under their charge. All aspects of human fallibility were under his direct vision, and he explained to his sub ects how to deal with them. Thus, in the light of Qur'an and Hadith, as well as his own illustrious conduct of life, he laid down the foundations of Fiq (Islamic Jurisprudence). The reader is once again referred to larger biographical works on the Imam for details.