Ali (A.S.) was born on the 13th of Rajab about 600 A.D. within the precincts of Kaaba at Mecca, the Capital of Hejaz, a peninsula on the Red Sea. Mecca was then also known as Bekka, Batha and Ummul Qura. This was the same place where Ibrahim had brought his son Ismail to sacrificing him in the name of Allah. Mecca was then three kilometers from east to west and one and a half kilometers from north to south. Its surface from the sea level was 330 meters high and was surrounded by mountains on four sides. Al-Quran has called Mecca an uncultivable land and the word Arab means desert. The birth of Ali (A.S.) took place three years after the marriage of the Prophet (S.A.W) with Khadija binte Khuwaylid. The Prophet (S.A.W) then was thirty years old. The name of Ali (A.S.)s mother was also Fatema daughter of Asad son of Hashim. Thus both his parents were cousins and belonged to the same clan of Hashim. Ali (A.S.) was the fourth son of Abu Talib (A.S.). The three others were Talib, Jafar and Aquil.
At the time of Ali (A.S.)s birth his father Abu Talib (A.S.) and Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W) were out of Mecca on a business tour. His mother wanted to call him Asad after her own father but later settled to call him Haider. His father wised to name him Zaid after his deceased brother, but the Prophet (S.A.W) gave him the name of Ali (A.S.) which the parents accepted.