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Imam Ali’s knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah

In this article we will showcase that it is agreed upon by all Muslims that Imam Ali عليه السلام has the greatest knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah after the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله

قال علي عليه السلام: […] ما في كتاب الله عز و جل آية إلا و أنا أعرف تفسيرها و في أي مكان نزلت من سهل أو جبل و في أي وقت نزلت من ليل أو نهار و أن هاهنا لعلما جما و أشار إلى صدره و لكن طلابه يسيرة و عن قليل يندمون لو قد يفقدوني

Ameer al Mumineen Ali b. Abi Talib عليه السلام said: […] “There is not an ayah in the Book of Allāh عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ except that I know its tafsīr, and in whichever place it was revealed, on a plain or a mountain, and in whatever time it was revealed, in the night or the day.’ – Pointing to his chest – ‘here there is abundant knowledge, but the seekers of it are few, and from the few they will regret when they lose me.

‘Illal al-Shara’i, vol 1, pg 40

Sunni sources

Ibn Kathir

Ibn Kathir quotes the following report with an authentic chain in his tafsir:

قال شعبة بن الحجاج ، عن سِمَاك ، عن خالد بن عَرْعَرَة أنه سمع عليا وشعبة أيضًا ، عن القاسم بن أبي بزَّة ، عن أبي الطُّفَيْل ، سمع عليًا. وثبت أيضًا من غير وجه ، عن أمير المؤمنين علي بن أبي طالب : أنه صعد منبر الكوفة فقال : لا تسألوني عن آية في كتاب الله ، ولا عن سنة عن رسول الله ، إلا أنبأتكم بذلك.

Shu’bah b. al-Hajjaj, from Simak, from Khalid b. ‘Ar’arah that he heard ‘Ali; and Shu’bah again narrated from al-Qasim b. Abi Barrah from Abu al-Tufayl that he heard ‘Ali; and it is also authentically transmitted through other chains, that Amir al-Muminin ‘Ali b. Abi Talib climbed the pulpit of Kufah and said, “You will not ask me about any verse in the Book of Allah, or about any Sunnah from the Messenger of Allah, except that I will inform you about that.”

Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‘Adhim by Ibn Kathir, Surah Adh-Dhariat, vol. 7, p. 413

Now a question to ponder on:
Who else to be the successor of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله but the one with the most complete knowledge?

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