Sunday, December 4, 2016

HAZRAT BU ALI SHAH QALANDAR (R.A.)

His name was Shaikh Sharafudeen but generally known as “Bu Ali Shah Qalandar” His lineage goes back to one of the four schools of fiqh of Muslims; imam Abu Hanifa. He was born in Panipat, India in 600 A.H. Other reports say that he was born in Ganja, Azerbaijan, former Russian federation.
He was Sufi scholar and as the fact is that all Sufi connections culminate to the Commander of the Faithful, the Chief of Sufis, the Gateway of Knowledge, Imam Ali ibne Abi Talib (a.s.).
He is reported to be praying and meditating a lot; even he used to stand in water for several days. It is said that one day he was meditating, he heard a voice saying, “Sharafudeen, we granted your prayer, say, what do you want?” He replied, “I need none save you.” It is reported that a saint picked him up from water and put him on the soil. It is reported that the saint was the Chief of Sufis, Imam Ali (a.s.) himself. From that day on he was called “Bu Ali Shah Qalandar”
There is another legend that the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) visited him in his dream and asked him for his wish. The Qalandar requested for the vilayat to which he (s.a.w.a.s.) replied that Imam Ali was the last Vali. The Qalandar asked for at least the fragrance of Imam Ali (a.s.) which was granted. Hence, from that time he was called “Bu (Fragrance) Ali Qalandar”
It is reported that he received spiritual training from the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s.)
He stayed in Panipat, India and spread Islam. The Rajputs living around were the main beneficiaries of his efforts.

He wrote his famous couplet as under:

                                                  Hayderium, Qalandaram, Mustam
                                                  Banda-e-Murtaza Ali Hastum
                                                  Peshwa-e-Tamam Rindan Num
                                                  Kay Sage-Kuo-e-Sher-e-Yazdan Num

Meaning
                                                  I am Hayderi (a follower of Haider, Imam Ali), I am a Qalandar, and I am                                                     intoxicated (with inspiration)
                                                  I am a devote of Murtaza Ali (Imam Ali)
                                                  I am a leader of all Saints
                                                  Because I am a dog of the lane of Allah's Lion (Imam Ali)

One of the hundreds of names of Imam Ali (a.s.) was “Asadullah” Lion of Allah

He died on Ramazan 17, 724 A.H. His tomb is in Panipat, India.


Sources used :

Qalandaria.blogspot.com, Noormahal.in/bu ali shah qalandar, auliasworld.com



Thursday, December 1, 2016

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NOBLE MESSENGER (S.A.W.A.S.)

It is difficult to circumvent the characteristics of the person who received the last Message of Allah to whom Allah praises by saying, “Wa Innaka La Ala Khuluqin Azeem” “You have attained a great moral standard”(68:05)
Wa Ma Arsalnaka Illah Rahmatan LilA'alameen” “(Muhammad), We have sent for no other reason but to be a mercy for mankind.” (21:107)
The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) while still a young boy, did not like to sit idle and wanted to share responsibilities while living with Hazrat Abu Talib (a.s.) and he shepherd his sheep. He encouraged Muslims to work and said, “ Worship consists of seventy parts, the best of which consists of which is to earn a livelihood by lawful means. The supplication of one who sits at home and who asks Allah for provision without working is not answered.” When praying he always said, “O Allah! I take refuge in you from idleness, laziness.”
While working for Sayyida Khadija (s.a.) on trading trips, he always observed justice and equity and avoided telling lies and fraud.
He became well-known for his truthfulness and honesty. They called him al-Sadiq (the truthful) and al-Amin (the trustworthy). During his prophetic mission, the Quraysh opposed him but still entrusted him with his goods. On the night of Migration to Madina, he ordered Imam Ali (a.s.) to stay in Makkah to return the things people had entrusted him to the owners.
He was very much concerned about the rights of poor and oppressed people and strive hard to reinstate their rights.
He was completely against slavery, by his mature reason and sound conscience that all human beings are alike in the fundamental nature and talents, but could not change the thousand year old custom. He advised the masters and the slaves to regard one another as brothers. He began convincing them that they were all from the same race and were created from clay! He said, “Whites have no natural privilege over blacks. Slaves are your brother. You should feed them of what you eat, dress them of what you dress. Do not ask them to do things beyond their capacity and help them do things. All your men and all your women are servants of Allah, and He is the True Master of all.” Later on, he paved the way for freeing of the slaves by giving different incentives of granting them a reward.
He was interested in cleanliness of body and clothes from his childhood. He was fond of perfume. He possessed excellent manners and social behavior. He was careful to greet every one first, even the slaves and the children. While being addressed, he did not interrupt the speaker and treated his associates in such a manner that the associate would go away thinking himself to be the dearest person to the Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.). He did not speak unnecessarily, spoke slowly and clearly and never used bad language.
He was a perfect model of modesty and shyness. He never got annoyed at anyone's behavior but on occasions, but annoyance might appear on his face. He never used to complain or object. He frequently visited the sick and participated in funeral processions. He did not allow anyone to speak against anyone else except for pleading for justice.
He always overlooked the maltreatment and disrespect shown towards him. He did not hold grudge against anyone and never sought to take revenge. He readily pardoned any mistreatment of his sacred person, but he did not disregard those who violated the limits of the divine law.
He judged the people's actions on the following statement, “Actions are judged according to intentions and everyone will be recompensed according to what he intends.”

Sources used:

The Glorious Qur'an, A Glimpse of the Character Traits of the Holy Prophet by Sayyid Abul Fadl


Friday, November 25, 2016

VICE GERENCY OF IMAM ALI (A.S.)

Surah al-Ta'ha Ayah 24 to Ayah 32 states, Rabishrah Sadri wa Yassir le AmriWahlul Uqdata min Lisani Yafqahu Qauli Wajalli Vaziran min Ahli Haruna Akhi Ashdud behi Azri wa Ashrikhu fi Amri kai Nusabbehaka Kasiran wa Nazkuruka KasiranInnaka kunta bina Basira” “Go to Pharaoh! verily' he has transgressed (the bounds). Musa (a.s.) said, “My Lord! Expand me my breast! And make easy for me my task, and loose a knot from my tongue, (that) they may understand my saying, and appoint for me an assistant from my family, Harun, my brother; strengthen my back by him, and associate him (with me) in my affair.”

Surah Inshirah Ayah 1 to Ayah 8 states, “Alam Nashrahlaka Sadrakwa Wazana Anka Wizrak Allazi Anqaza Zahrak wa Rafa'ana laka Zikrak Fa Inna Ma'al Usre Yusra Inna Ma'al Usre Yusra Fa iza Faraghta Fansab Wa ila R.abbeka Farghab”“(Muhammad), Did We not comfort your heart, relieve you of the burden which have been a heavy weight upon your back (by creating Ali ibne Abu Talib to help you against your atrocious enemies), and grant you an exalted reputation. After every difficulty there is relief. Certainly, after every difficulty comes relief. When you are free (from your farewell pilgrimage), appoint (your successor) and commit yourself to be in the presence of your Lord.”
It is mentioned in many Sunni and Shia books of traditions, specially Allama Suyuti in Tafsir Dure Mansur and Allama Tibrisi in Majma-ul-Bayan, that the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.), “O Allah! I also pray as my brother Musa prayed that expand my breast, make easy my tasks, appoint a vicegerent from my family, Ali and strengthen my back by him......”
It is said that in response to his prayer Ayah 55 of Surah al-Ma'idah was revealed stating, “Only Allah, His Messenger, and the true believers who are steadfast in prayer and pay alms, while they bow down during prayer, are your guardians.” The Ayah clearly speaks of the excellence of Imam Ali (a.s.). Moreover, the position of Imam Ali (a.s) had already been established on the occasion of “Dawat-e-Zul'Asirah” when the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) proclaimed Imam Ali (a.s.) his assistant, Vizier, and the Kali or the Heir (Atari, Ibne Athir, Abul Fida, and the others)
Allama Bahrani in his book “Ghayat-ul-Maram” narrates from 100 traditions by Sunni writers and by 70 traditions by Shia traditions that the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) addressing Imam Ali (a.s.) said, “Are you not happy that you are related to me like Harun was related to Musa except that there will not be any prophet after me?”
To make any fundamental changes in any social order requires physical and spiritual preparedness, supreme thoughts, oratory, Divine Guidance, and trust worthy and brave assistant.

The similarities and commonalities between the above two Ayahs are as under:
  1. Expansion of breast: Prophet Musa requested for the expansion but Allah, without request from the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.), expanded his breast. The Arabic word “Sharh Sadr” means “Great soul, supreme thoughts, strong intellect, and Divine Assistance”
  2. Removal of 'burden' and appointment of assistant: In Surah Ta'ha, Prophet Musa asked for an assistant,his brother Ha'run to strengthen his back and share his assignment. In Surah Inshirah, Allah is reminding the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) that He had removed the burden of spreading and protecting Islam by appointing Imam Ali as 'Vizier' or vicegerent. Prophet Musa asked for a vicegerent as Prophet Harun, while Imam Ali was appointed by Allah.

Sources used:

The Glorious Qur'an Translation (Urdu) – Tafsir-e-Namoona by Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi
The Glorious Qur'an Translation (English) by Ahmed Ali & Ayatollah H.M.M. Pooya Yazdi


Friday, November 18, 2016

HAZRAT DA'TA GANJ BAKHSH (R.A.)

Hazrat Da'ta Ganjbakhsh was born in 5th A.H. in Hajvir which is now in Afghanistan. He was a great Persian Sufi scholar, writer and poet. He significantly contributed to the spread of Islam in South Asia.
He was a Hasani and Husayni Sayyid. After the Massacre at Karbala by Yazid (l.a.), his forefathers migrated to the Ghazni which is the modern day Afghanistan.
After completing his basic education, he traveled extensively for forty years to acquire knowledge and pay homage to saints. He visited Persia, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Tabaristan, Kerman, Khorasan, and Syria among other cities.
He had compiled a book in Persian called “Kashf-al-Mahjoob”; it means “Revelation of Mystery”It is held in high esteem as the first important treatise on Sufism. The book was translated in other languages. A.R.Nicholson had translated it into English.
He was ordered by his spiritual leader to go to Lahore, Pakistan, and preach Islam. He migrated to Lahore and settled there for the rest of his life. He had constructed a monastery and a mosque. While the mosque was under construction, the ulemas of the city raised huge cries that the mosque was not exactly facing towards “Ka'ba”. When the mosque was completed, he invited the ulama, Sufis, saints and leading citizens and they all came and offered prayer behind him. After the prayer, he addressed the gathering and said, “People have expressed doubts about the alignment of the mosque. I request you to close your eyes and meditate and then decide whether it is correct or not.” Thereafter he meditated and the curtains were removed from the eyes of the people. All of them saw that the sacred Ka'ba was before their eyes and the mosque direction was correctly aligned.
Hazrat Da'ta Ganjbakhsh passed away on Rabi-al-Awwal 20, 465 A.H. and was buried in the same facility where he lived in Lahore.
The great saint of Ajmer, India, Khwaja Moin-ad-Din Chishty (r.a.) visited his grave side and meditated for 40 days at the altar of his grave. He expressed his love and gratitude in the following couplets:
Ganj Bakhsh-e-Faiz-e-Alam, Mazhar-e-Nur-e-Khuda
Na'qissan Ra Pir-e-Kamil, Kaamilaan Ra Rahnuma
The giver of bounties, the benefactor of the world, (and) manifestation of the light of God
To the imperfect, a perfect spiritual guide, and to the perfect, a guide.
In his book, Kash-al-Mahjoob”, he says, “One who knows the meaning and reality of a thing, they call him Arif', and the one who knows merely the verbal expression and keeps it in his memory without keeping the spiritual reality, they call him 'Alim'”
Sayings of Hazrat Da'ta Ganj Bakhsh (r.a.):
Out of 112 sayings as stated in the article, some of them are reproduced here under:
Implore God to deliver you from the wickedness of your soul.
Whosoever refrains his soul from lust, verily Paradise shall be his abode.
Knowledge without action is no knowledge.
It is the inward glow that makes the Sufi, not the religious dress.
Our religion takes the middle course between the free will and the predestination.
Whoever bows his head with humility, like servant, God will exalt his state in both the worlds.
Lust is our shackle, and sin is our chain.
Men are ever looking to the Ka'ba, and God is ever looking to the heart.
When a man is satisfied with the God's decrees, it is a sign that God is satisfied with him.
Hunger sharpens the intelligence and improves the mind and health.
The fruit of hunger is the contemplation of God.

Sources used: WIKIPEDIA, Ali Hujwiri (Data GanjBakhsh).Sufiwiki, Madni.org/data


Monday, November 14, 2016

LIFE OF BU ALI SINA

Bu Ali Sina was born in the year 370 A.H. at Bukhara and died in the year 428 A.H. at Hamadan, Iran. He was given the title of “Master of Learning and Erudition”. He was a great physician, philosopher, mathematician and chemist. Even in child hood, he had tremendous memory and the capabilities of observing and understanding. In Europe and the West, he was known as “Avicenna”.He had an exceptional eye-sight as he could see a horse rider from 14 miles! He had written a book on the treatment of ailments called “Al-Qanoon” consisting of about 120,000 sentences. To save his life, he had to leave his city in haste and the book was left behind. At the new place, people wanted to read his book. He asked for two copyists and reproduced those 120,000 sentences from his excellent memory. Later, when the original book was retrieved and compared to the new book, it was observed that it was exactly the same!
Bu Ali Sina had exceptional memory. While he was still a young man, he was staying with his father. His father was transferred to Bukhara and the governor of Bukhara fell seriously ill. All top physicians of the town tried to treat him but failed. Bu Ali Sina offered to treat the governor and he was cured by his treatment. The governor was very pleased and wanted to reward him. Bu Ali Sina wanted the access to his library which was accepted. In those days books were in the form of manuscripts and required very careful handling. Accidentally the library caught fire and all the books were burnt out. Bu Ali Sina offered to dictate the contents of all the books but some of his enemies blamed him for the fire and the opportunity was denied to him.
He had to move from city to city as Mahmud Ghaznavi was a staunch enemy of Shias of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.)
Though his family was Isma'ili but he did not subscribe to their faith. He converted to the Shia faith and as soon as he adopted the path of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), he left every social evil, distributed his wealth to the poor and became a true follower of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and a practicing Shia.

Two persons saw the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) in their dreams. Shaikh Mujaddadeen Baghdadi, a Sunni scholar saw the Messenger of Allah in his dream and asked about Bu Ali Sina, before his convertion to Shia faith. The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) said that Bu Ali Sina was seeking Allah without accessing him (Prophet) hence he will go to Hell.
Shaikh Baha'i in his “Kashkool” narrates that a faithful used to pass by the grave of Bu Ali Sina in Hamadan and used to pray for the dead buried in the graveyard but did not pray for Bu Ali Sina thinking that he was not on the “Right Path” Once, the man saw the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) in his dream and Bu Ali Sina was sitting near the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.). On inquiry, as to how Bu Ali Sina was close to him, he (s.a.w.a.s.) replied, “O Person! Despite your ignorance you know that the faith of the persons following only the Six Imams is not right. Then how is it possible that the erudite, learned Bu Ali Sina would not recognize the “True Faith”?”
Mahmud Ghaznavi also learned that he was also a follower of Ahlu Bayt (a.s.). But Bu Ali Sina was the least worried and was ready to sacrifice his life for the love of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).
While in Isfahan, Bu Ali Sina witnessed that a small child of 4 years asking an iron-smith for some embers of burning coal for his mother. When the iron-smith asked if he had any container to carry the hot burning coal, the child picked up some sand and carried the red hot coal. Bu Ali Sina was impressed by his intelligence and made him his disciple. His name was Bahman Yar.

There is a law of nature that when a person thinks that he is perfect in his skills, it shatters him and his pride is dashed on the ground. Once prophet Musa had such a thought and he was sent to Hazrat Khizr to experience what the knowledge was. Similar thoughts came in Bu Ali Sina's mind. But he heard that there was a physician in that small town who would tell what the patients had eaten by putting his hand on the pulse of the patient. He was curious to visit him. He went to that physician and sat the whole day with him. In the evening he inquired of the physician about the secret. He replied that the people in the town were very clumsy. Whenever they ate, they spilled the particles of the food on their clothes and with his keen observation in most cases, he would be able tell as to what they had eaten!

Sources: Islamic-Laws.com, Lectures of Maulana Sadiq Hasan, muslimphilosophy.com


Friday, November 11, 2016

WHO ARE THE TRUTHFUL ONES

Surah al-Taubah Ayah 119 states, “Believers, have fear of Allah and always be friend with the truthful Ones.” In the world, it is noticed that opposite and contrast exist in things like day and night, hot and cold, truthful and liars etc. Allah has given examples of truthfulness in the Glorious Qur'an as detailed below:
Surah al-Imran Ayah 61 states, “If any one disputes after knowledge has come to you, say, let us summon our sons and you summon your sons, and we summon our women and you summon your women, and we summon our selves and you summon your selves and then let us invoke and lay the curse of Allah on the liars.”
After the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) brought Imam Ali (a.s.), Sayyida Fatima Zahra (s.a.), Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Husayn (a.s.) in the field to Curse the “Liars”, the priests of Najran declined to go ahead with Mubahela thereby accepting that the “Panjetan” were truthful. Consequently, whoever confronts these truthful ones in future cannot be truthful!
Surah al-Hujurat Ayah 15 which states, “The believers are those who believe in Allah and His Messenger, who did not change their belief into doubt, and who strive hard for the cause of Allah with their properties and righteousness persons. They are the truthful ones.”

Surah al-Hashr Ayah 8 states, “The poor immigrants who were deprived of their homes and property, who seek favors and pleasures from Allah, and who help Him and his Messenger will also have a share in the said property. These people are the truthful ones.”

Surah al-Baqarah Ayah 177 which says, “It is not righteous that you turn your faces towards the East and the West, righteousness is rather one who believes in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Book, and apostles, and gives his wealth out love for Him to the kindred and the orphans and the poor and the wayfarer and the needy and for those in And established prayer ; And those who fulfill their promise when they make a promise and the patient ones in distress and affliction and in the time of war these are they who are Truthful and these they who are pious.”
All the traits of the righteous ones in this Ayah are distinctly found in the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) and the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali (a.s.). The Muslim world as a whole knows and acknowledge that Imam Ali (a.s.) had earned the title of Mazharul Aja'ib i.e. the Manifestation of Wonders.
The Ayah starts with the direction to have fear of Allah and become “Muttaqi”. Imam Ali (a.s.) is the Commander of the faithful or “Imam -al-Muttaqeen”

Saleem bin Qays narrates in Tafsir Burhan volume 2 page 170, “Can you swear on Allah and know that when the Ayah 119 of Surah al-Tauba was revealed, then Salman inquired from the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) if this Ayah addressed favoring a common man, to which he (s.a.w.a.s.) replied, “It was addressed to all believers but the word “Truthful Ones” is specifically reserved for my brother Ali and his pure vicegerents (Imams) till the Day of Judgment.”
It is clear that the truthful ones must be infallible as Allah will never order the believers to be with fallible committing sins and errors!
Moreover, the Ayah confirms that as long as Islam and the Glorious Qur'an is present in the world, there must be an Infallible Truthful Imam present either visible or invisible like Imam Mahdi (a.s.).

Sources used:
The Glorious Qur'an (English translation) by Ayatollah Agha H.M.M. Pooya Yazdi
The Glorious Qur'an – Tfsir-e-Namoona (Urdu Translation) by Ayatollah Nasir Makrem Shirazi


Saturday, November 5, 2016

SAYINGS OF THE KING OF MARTYRS IMAM HUSAYN (A.S.)

Wisdom never attains perfection except by following the truth (obeying the commandments of Allah).
One who loves you prevents you from all evils, while your enemy persuades you to commit wrong or evil.
Act in this world like a person who knows that you will definitely be rewarded for good deeds and punished for sins and crimes.
One who annoys God to please people, God leaves him to the people.
Some people worship God coveting His rewards. This is the worship of merchants. Some people worship God fearing His punishments. This is worship of slaves. Some people worship God thanking His Blessings. This is the worship of free superior persons.
What is poverty? Imam replied, “Avarice and despair.”
What is richness? Imam replied, “To be happy with what suffices you and to have few desires.”
One who accepts your gifts has really helped you in attaining generosity.
One who removes troubles from a believer, God expels troubles from him in this world and in the Hereafter.
Do not seek help from any person except the one who is religious, or generous, or of noble parentage.
Compete for virtuous deeds and hasten to seize opportunities for good deeds.
The most forgiving person is the one who forgives in spite of his ability to punish.
If you hear someone back-biting the people, try to be unfamiliar to him.
Do not speak about your brother (in faith) behind his back except what you like to be spoken about you behind your back.
Salaam has seventy virtues, sixty nine of which are for the one who is first to greet.
Do not allow any one to enter or to speak to you if he does not greet you.
A miser behaves miserly even in greeting salaam to others.
What has he obtained who lost You O' God? And what has he lost who found You?
People are slave of this world and their religion is just like saliva or taste on the tongue. They revolve around religion as long as their material needs are well provided; but when they face difficulties, tests and trials, very few people prove to be stead-fast.
A person came to Imam Husayn (a.s.) and said, “I am a sinner and can not control myself. Please bless me with your admonition to me.”The Imam replied, “Don't eat any food created by God and commit whatever sin you like. Get out of God's realm (universe) and commit what ever sin you like. Find a place where God cannot see you and commit what ever sin you like. When the Angel of Death comes to withdraw soul from your body, make him flee from you and commit what ever sin you like.”
Beware of oppressing a person , who finds no one to revenge against you except God, the Mighty and Majestic.
No one should feel secured on the Day of Resurrection except those who feared God in this world. (Biharul Anwar volume 44 page 192)
One who reveals your faults to you like a mirror is your true friend, and one who flatters you and covers up your fault is your enemy. (Biaharul Anwar volume 78 page 128)
Associating with corrupt people makes you subject to suspicion. Hastiness is foolishness .The most generous person is the one who offers help to those who do not expect him to help. Tolerance is man's ornament, keeping promises is a sign of nobility, and bonding with others is a grace. (Biharul Anwar volume 78 p. 121-122)
Never trust any body except those who fear God. (Balagat-ul-Husayn page 292)
A person asked, “How can we know God?”Imam replied, “By knowing and obeying the Imam of your time.”
(Biharul Anwar volume 5 page 312”

Source used: imamreza.net, sibtayn.com