“When Ali (as) was born, his mother Fatima Bint Asad named him after her father, Asad. Abu Talib did not agree with her and said: “O Fatima! Let us go to the Qubais hills, and invoke Allah (some reporters say that he said they should go to the Masjidu’l-Haram). He may tell us the name of this child.”

It was night when they reached the Abu Qubais hills (or the Masjidu’l-Haram) and began their invocations. Abu Talib prayed: “O Creator of this dark night and bright moon, let us know Your will regarding this child’s name.”

At that time a voice came from the sky. When Abu Talib raised his head, he saw a tablet like a green jewel, with four lines written on it. He took the tablet and clasped it to his chest. When he read it, he found these verses written on it: “I have conferred a special honor on you both by giving you a pure, distinguished son. He has been given the name ‘Ali’ from the side of Allah. It is derived from ‘Ali’ (The Exalted).”

Ganji Shafi’i writes in Kifayatu’t-Talib that a voice came in reply to the verses of Abu Talib reciting these two couplets: “O people of the exalted Prophet’s House! I have distinguished you with a pure child. Verily, he has been named ‘Ali’ from the side of Allah Almighty. This name is derived from Allah’s own Name, Al-Ali.”

Abu Talib was immensely pleased and fell down in prostration before Allah. As a token of thanksgiving
for this great event, he sacrificed ten camels. He hung the tablet in the Masjidu’l-Haram. The Bani Hashim used to take pride in it before the Quraish. The tablet remained hanging there until it disappeared in the time of war between Abdullah Ibn Zubair and Hajjaj.”

The book Peshawar Nights uses the following sources- Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani Faqih Shafi’i, in his Mawaddatu’l-Qurba, Mawadda VIII, from the report of Abbas Ibn Abdu’l-Muttalib, which Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi also quotes in his Yanabiu’l-Mawadda, chapter 56, and Muhammad Bin Yusuf Ganji Shafi’i in his Kifayatu’t-Talib)

Imam Ali’s (as) birthplace was the Kabah

Imam Ali's (as) birthplace was the Kabah

Another indication of Ali’s special merit was his birthplace. No one else, from Adam down through all
the prophets, possessed such a distinction. Of all human beings, he alone was born in the sacred precinct
of the Ka’ba. At the time of the birth of the Prophet Jesus his illustrious mother was forced to leave the
Holy House. A voice said to her: “O Mary! Leave the Baitu’l-Muqaddas, since it is the place of worship
and not of childbirth.”
But when the time of Ali’s birth approached, his mother, Fatima Bint Asad, was asked to enter the Ka’ba.
And this was not an accidental affair as if a woman was in the mosque and suddenly she was delivered
of a child. She was expressly called to enter the Ka’ba, the door of which was locked. Some uninformed
people think that Fatima Bint Asad was in the Holy Mosque when she felt labor pains, could not go out,
and gave birth to the child. The fact was otherwise. It was the month of Fatima Bint Asad’s confinement.
She went to the Masjidu’l-Haram, where she felt labor pains. She prayed to Allah in the precinct of the
Ka’ba, saying: “O Allah! I pray to you in the name of your honor and awe, to put me at my ease in this
labor.” Suddenly, the wall of the Ka’ba, which was locked, opened.
Another report says that a voice was heard saying: “O Fatima! Enter the House.” Fatima went into the
House of Allah in front of a crowd of people who were sitting round that place and the wall returned to
its original condition. The people were greatly astonished. Abbas was also there. When he saw what had
happened, he immediately told Abu Talib because he had the key to the door. He instantly came there
and tried his best to unlock the door, but the door did not open. For three days Fatima Bint Asad
remained inside the Ka’ba, apparently without sustenance of any kind. This unusual event was the talk of
the town. At last, on the third day, the passage through which she had entered again opened, and Fatima
came out. The people saw that she had in her hands a lovely child. Both sects (Shias and Sunnis) agree
that no one else had ever been given such distinction.
Hakim in his Mustadrak and Nuru’d-din Bin Sabbagh Maliki in his Fusulu’l- Muhimma, Fasl I, p.14, say:
“No one before Ali was born in the Ka’ba. This was a distinction given to Ali in order to enhance his
honor, rank, and dignity.”

Peshawar Nights by Sultanu’l-Wa’izin Shirazi