Hawzah News Agency (Tehran, Iran) – Here are some excerpts from Ayatollah Khamenei’s remarks about Imam Ali (as) and his life:
"Let me make a point about the commemoration of this great birth anniversary. There is no disagreement among Muslims, no matter which sect they follow, regarding the characteristics of Imam Ali (as) - the brilliance and prominence of his pure faith, the heavy burden of jihad that he shouldered from early Islam to the end of his life, the unique justice he administered which keeps attracting Muslims and non-Muslims alike, his unique, pure worship and supplication, and the other prominent features that he enjoyed.
The Commander of the Faithful (as) is a personality whose greatness, characteristics, and high status in Islam are not debated among Muslims. Therefore, we can confidently claim that the Commander of the Faithful (as) can serve as the common point among all sects of Islam. In all eras and at all times, all the sects of Islam - except for a small group of Nawasib who are not considered among Muslim sects - consider the Commander of the Faithful (as) as having a high and prominent status, as is described in the religious texts of the Shia and the Sunni. Therefore, the Commander of the Faithful (as) is the commonality among all sects of Islam, and he can serve as the point of departure for unity among Muslims.
That is exactly what the world of Islam requires today. The enemies of Islam who are in fact the proponents of no Islamic sect support one particular sect in favor of another sect one day and decide to support yet another sect the next day. They are seeking to create splits among Muslims. And in such an era which is characterized by lack of unity among Muslims, the Commander of the Faithful (as) can serve as the symbol of this unity. He can serve as a common point which all Muslims recognize. No particular group of Muslims can claim that the commander of the Faithful (as) belongs to them."
Public Address on the Occasion of Imam Ali's (as) Birth Anniversary; July 16, 2008.
"The Commander of the Faithful (as) belongs to all of humanity. He does not only belong to Shia Muslims and Muslims in general. All of humanity is humble and respectful before the greatness and beautiful aspects of Ali ibn Abi Talib (as), except for those people who do not know him. Therefore, you can see that the panegyrists of the Commander of the Faithful (as) are not only Muslims. A Christian also praises the Commander of the Faithful (as). It is not only Shia Muslims who praise him. As well as Shia Muslims, the community of Sunni Muslims in all parts of the world of Islam speaks more enthusiastically about the Commander of the Faithful (as) than about other great personalities of the early Islamic era. Why? What is the reason? The reason is the greatness of this Imam, the kind of greatness which some people tried to deny throughout the life of that great personality and during several centuries after his demise. But they failed. The brightness of the sun cannot be denied because it is the sun and it naturally shines and gives warmth and light. Can this be denied?
What are the characteristics that the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) is known for? What is this greatness that Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) showed? Where is this greatness? What are the dimensions of this greatness? This is one of the issues which no human being except for an infallible person can claim to understand because it has deep and unknown dimensions and it is like an ocean. In an ocean, we can see storms, waves, water and astonishing creatures, but only the person who has managed to reach the depth of the ocean can understand it. No one has managed to understand the depth of the ocean-like character of the Commander of the Faithful (as), except for those who had access to sources of divine knowledge and who benefited from divine blessings. What we see is only the surface of things."
Leader's Speech on Birthday Anniversary of Imam Ali (as); July 28, 2007.