Salman Farsi (r) narrates, “Once a few hypocrites were speaking ill of Amirul Momineen (a). As they were speaking, Iblis passed by them. When he heard them speaking badly against Amirul Momineen (a), he stopped to listen.
The hypocrites asked him, “Who are you?”
Iblis replied, “I am Ibne Marra.”
The people asked him if he was listening to their discussion.
Iblis said, “Curses be upon you! You are speaking ill of Amirul Momineen Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a) who is your Maula (master).”
The hypocrites replied, “What proof do you have the he is our Maula (master)”
Iblis replied, “O ignorant ones! Are you unaware of the words of your own Prophet? Whomsoever I am his Maula Ali (a) is his Maula and He (the Prophet) then prayed “O My Lord! Be a friend to those who are friends with Ali (a). Be an enemy to those who are the enemies of Ali (a). Help those who help Ali (a). Leave those who leave Ali (a).”
So the hypocrites asked Iblis, “Are you also a Shia (follower) of Ali (a)?”
Iblis replied, “I am not a Shia of Ali (a). However I love Him. But I am a partner in the wealth and offspring of those who hate Him.”
Hypocrites asked Iblis to tell them whatever knowledge he possessed regarding the attributes of Ali (a).
Iblis said, “O group of hypocrites! I prayed to Allah more than 12,000 years while I was living amongst the Jinns. When Allah destroyed the Jinns, I complained to Allah of my loneliness. So Allah took me up into the heavens. I prayed to Allah for 12,000 years more while I was living in the heavens. I prayed to Allah in the gatherings with all of the other angels. Once while we were busy in the worship of Allah, a Noor passed in front of us. Upon seeing this Noor, all of the angels fell into Sajdah and read the Tasbih of Saboohun Quddus. I was so surprised. I asked Allah, “O my Lord! Was this Noor of a high ranking angel or of some messenger or prophet?”
A voice from Allah came and said, “Neither is it the Noor of a high ranking angel nor that of any messenger or prophet.”
This is the Noor of the essence of Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a).1
1 Amali, Shaykh Saduq, Pg. 284, Tr. 6; Ilalush Sharai, Pg. 143, Tr. 9; Biharul Anwar, Vol. 39, Pg. 162, Tr. 1.