How Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) earned the title of Abu Turab
The enemies of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) used to mock him (a.s.) by referring him as Abu Turab. Perhaps calling Imam (a.s.) as dust (Turab) was their idea of getting back at him (a.s.) for possessing all possible virtues and depriving them of any status near Allah and the Prophet (s.a.w.a.).
Little did they know that even the title of Abu Turab was a source of excellence and nobility for Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and the Shias as this report indicates.
Abayah Ibn Rab’i narrates – I asked Ibn Abbas as to why the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) addressed Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) as Abu Turab?
He replied: Because he is the master of the earth and Allah’s proof upon its inhabitants after him (s.a.w.a.). Through Ali (a.s.) is its survival and due to him is its stability.
And indeed I heard the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) say: On the Day of Judgement when the disbeliever will count the rewards and see the station and nobility given by Allah to the Shias of Ali (a.s.) he will lament – If only I was dust, i.e. from the Shias of Ali and this is the meaning of word of Allah – ‘and the unbeliever shall say: O! Would that I were dust!’ (Surah Naba (78): 40)
Maani al-Akhbaar p 120
Elal al-Sharaae v 1 p 156
Bashaar al-Mustafa (s.a.w.a.) p 9
Al-Manaqib v 3 p 111
Tafseer al-Safi v 5 p 278
Al-Burhan v 5 p 572
Clearly, mocking away without knowing the facts can backfire as the enemies of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) realized the hard way.