On p. 160 in Muhammad al-Tijani’s book, Then I was Guided, he appears to infer that the following Qur’anic quotation refers to Imam Ali (A.S). Maulana Maududi’s commentary however explains that this refers to Saul – Talut. This is obvious, as the incident took place hundreds of years before Imam Ali (A.S) was born.

And their Prophet said to them, ‘Most surely Allah has raised Talut to be king’.
They responded, ‘How can he hold kingship over us when we have a greater right to that
than he has, and he has not been blessed with abundant wealth?’ Then their Prophet said, ‘Allah has indeed granted him both stature as well as abundant knowledge. And He has chosen him over you for Allah grants His Kingdom to whomever He pleases, He is The Omniscient, The All Knowing.’
Qur’an 2:247
Please advise me which of these two opinions is valid.

In the Holy Qur’an Allah tells us that Samuel had to inform the Isra’ilites that Talut had
been elevated to kingship over them. In doing so he outlined two qualities that Allah had decreed fundamental for such a position.
a. Stature – which is to say impressive gravitas as well as physical presence.
b. Abundant knowledge – which indicates intelligence, rationality and knowledge in addition to wisdom.

Muhammad al-Tijani uses this ayah to draw out and illustrate these fundamental qualities, which were possessed by Imam Ali (A.S) and no other companion. He is referring to those qualities, rather than to the people mentioned in that ayah.