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Swords History

Zulfiqar Scimitar

Friday, 29 July 2016

Zulfiqar is the ancient sword of the Islamic leader Ali.  Ali was the cousin and son-in-law of the prophet Muhammad.  He ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661.  By some historical accounts, Muhammad gave Zulfiqar to Ali at the Battle of Uhud.  Muhammad admired Ali’s power and strength on the battlefield and wanted to present him with the cherished weapon.  The sword is a symbol of the Islamic faith and is admired by millions of people.

Zulfiqar is a scimitar, which refers to a West Asian or South Asian sword with a curved blade.  It is said that Ali used the sword at the Battle of the Trench, which is a famoussiege attempt on the city of Medina.  During the battle, Muhammad, Ali, and other Muslim defenders built trenches to protect Medina against the much larger confederate cavalry.

Zulfiqar

The Sword

A few conflicting images of the famous scimitar sword exist.  Some of them describe the weapon as having two parallel blades, emphasizing its mystical abilities and speed, while others portray Zulfiqar as a more traditionally-shaped scimitar.  Some historical drawings depict the sword with a split, V-shaped blade.  According to the Twelver Shia, the weapon survives today and is kept in the possession of Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi.  The weapon is part of the famous collection called al-Jafr.

Al-Jafr is a mystical Shia hol1y book.  It is composed of two skin boxes that contain the most important artifacts from the time of Muhammad and Ali.  The collection has been passed down over the generations, with each new Imam receiving it from his dying predecessor.  The contents of Al-Jafr are quite impressive, but they are not made available for public viewing.  One section of the book describes the Islamicrules, directives and matters surrounding wars, including a bag that contains the armor and weapons of Muhammad.  Zulfiqar is said to sit among the priceless artifacts.