Ali ibn Abi Talib (Thirteenth of Rajab, 24 BH - Twenty-first of Ramadan, 40 AH) (Approximately: March 17, 599 - February 28, 661) was an early Islamic leader, the first Shi'a Imam, and the fourth Sunni Caliph. Although he had limited political influence during his lifetime, he had vast influence on the developments of events during the time of the early Muslims as a military leader, close companion, cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad. Later, his stature as a foremost authority on the Quran, Islamic jurisprudence and religious thought continues to influence Islamic history. He is arguably among the most influential individuals in the history of Islam, being considered second only to Muhammad in divine guidance by Shi'a Muslims and revered by the Sunni Muslims as the last of the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs and as a foremost authority in Quranic exegesis and Islamic jurisprudence..
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