20.3 Ali's Wisdom
But with his cousin, Ali Ibn Abu Talib, whom he had brought up since he was a little boy, he went into deep and great matters and expected Ali to be able to answer his highly learned questions. Ali had the makings of a great scholar in him, and the Messenger saw to it that he became the greatest of the scholars of Islam.
One day Ali who was yet young in years was unable to answer one of the Messenger's difficult suppositions, for he consulted him about legislative and juridical matters. When he was unable to answer the Messenger then placed his hand over Ali's breast and prayed for him. From that day Ali was able to answer any question concerning Islam and was of deep and sound judgment.
After the Messenger passed away each of the three Khalifs who preceded Ali used to send for him whenever they had a difficult case. Both Abu Bakr and Umar made him their counselor. And Abu Bakr, the first Khalif who was one of the two wisest men in Quraysh used to say,
"I seek the aid of Allah against a question that Abu Al-Hassan (a reverential way of referring to Ali) would be unable to answer."