ʿalī Bin Abī Ṭālib’s Acceptance of Islam: Problematics of the Issue Between the Shīʿite and Sunni Sources (Published)
The issue of who was the first person to accept Islam after the Prophet and his wife Khadījah took a considerable interest and space among the historical and religious Moslems because of the blazing conflict between Sunna and Shīʿa. In the course of time, this issue, and due to the intensity of the two sides, turned into an issue that separated them, though the historical reliable sources of the two sides do not decide categorically to the advantage of either one. Ali’s acceptance of Islam preceded Abū Bakr’s in a very short time but Abū Bakr’s role in the early Daʿwah to Islam during the Meccan period was greater than Ali’s role, who was still a child. Ali’s issue is related to several aspects that are connected to the difference in the religious belief, political ambitions and historical attitudes between Sunna and Shīʿa. It is worthwhile mentioning that the Shīʿites employed the issue of Ali’s precedence to accepting Islam to achieve religious gains and justify their main political theory, which is based on the concept of Imāma.