Abu Turab (Arabic: أبو تراب) or Father of Soil, is a title attributed to Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib, the fourth Caliph. According to narrations the title was given to Ali by Muhammad, when he found Ali sleeping while covered with soil.
Abu Turab means "Father of Soil". There is a verse in Quran that says,' Indeed, We have warned you of a near punishment on the Day when a man will observe what his hands have put forth and the disbeliever will say, "Oh, I wish that I were dust!" '
Some scholars has interpreted this verse by that tradition and also another tradition in which Muhammad has said, 'Ali and I are the father of this People[ i.e., Muslims ]' as the following,
- The narration is present in Sahih Muslim Vol. 1. Ali bin Abi Talib was sleeping in Masjid and was covered with dust, then Prophet called him by these words
- Chapter An-Naba' , Verses 40
- Sunni sources,1.Ruh al-Ma'ani by Alusi, vol. 22, pg. 31/ 2.Tarikh Damishq by Ibn 'Asakir, vol.49, pg. 309/ 3.Al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Quran by Al-Raghib al-Isfahani, pg. 7
Shia sources, 1. Al-Amali by Saduq, pg. 15/ 2.Ma'ani Al-Akhbar by Saduq, pg. 118