Tuesday, June 21, 2016

SUPERIORITY OF FAITH IN ALLAH, DAY OF JUDGMENT, AND STRIVING IN THE WAY OF ALLAH

Surah at-Taubah Ayah 19 says: “Do you make giving of water to the pilgrims and the maintenance of the Sacred Mosque equal to someone who believes in Allah and The Last Day, and strives in the way of Allah? They are not equal with Allah, and Allah does not guide the unjust people.”

One day, the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.)’s uncle Abbas, and Shayba, the custodian of the Sacred Mosque (Ka’bah), were boasting to each other.  Abbas boasted of his job which was supplying water to the pilgrims of the Sacred House, and Shaybah boasted of being the custodian of Ka’bah. Imam Ali (a.s.) said that he gloried in the fact that they embraced Islam with the help of his struggle and his sword. Abbas was annoyed and complained of Imam Ali (a.s.) to the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.). Consequently this Ayah was revealed. Naturally, faith and the struggle in the way of Allah were superior to the services done in the Age of Idolatry which did not bring them spiritual enhancement. Therefore, a deed not accompanied by faith is hollow, like a mirage or a body without soul.
The message was further strengthened by the next Ayah 20: “Those believed and emigrated, and strove in Allah’s way with their properties and selves, have a greater rank with Allah, and these they are triumphant.”
This Ayah clearly emphasize that the triumphant people are those who had believe and faith, migrated from Makkah to Madinah and strove in the way of Allah by their properties and their selves. And their rank is greater.
Allah compensates their triumph in the next Ayah 21: “Their Lord gives them the good news of Mercy from Himself and (His) Good Pleasure and of Gardens wherein for them are lasting bounties.”

These traditions have been reported, with minor adjustments, in many books of our Sunni brothers like:
Tafseer-e-Tabri, Tha’labi, Ashab Nuzool-e-Wahidi, Tafseer-e-Khazan Baghdadi, Mua’lim al-Tanzil by Allama Baghvi, Manaqib ibne Maghazili, Ja’ma-al-Usul by Ibne Kathir, Tafsir Allama Fakhr-ud-Din Razi (Refer Ah’qaq-ul-Haq volume 3 pages 122 to 127)


Sources

The Glorious Qur'an (English Translation) by Ayatullah Agha H.M.M. Pooya Yazdi
The Glorious Qur'an (Urdu Translation) by Maulana Sayyid Farman Ali
Enlightening Commentary, Light, Holy Qur'an 

Monday, June 20, 2016

THE FEAST OF ZUL-ASHEERAH (DAWAT-E-ZUL'ASHEERAH)

During the 4th year of Be’sat (The year of Proclamation of Prophet hood), the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) was ordered by Allah (s.w.t.) to preach Islam to his near relatives and admonish them. Suarh al-Shu’ara Ayah 214: “Warn your close relative.” refers to it.
The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) asked young Imam Ali (a.s.), who was about 12 years old, to prepare meals and invite the sons and grandsons of Hazrat Abdul Muttalib. About 40 members of the Abdul Muttalib clan attended the feast but before the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) could address, Abu Lahab broke the gathering. The next day, another invitation was extended, meals served and the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) addressed the gathering as follows:
                “O Sons of Abdul Muttalib, Almighty Allah (s.w.t.) has assigned me to warn you of the                  painful torments of the wrongdoers and give you the good news of the rewards to His                  pious believers. Become Muslims and follow me to achieve salvation. I swear by                            Almighty Allah (s.w.t.) that among all Arabs I do not know anyone who has brought                     his people anything better than what I have brought you. I have brought you                                 prosperity and salvation both in this world and in the hereafter. The Gracious Allah                    (s.w.t.) has commanded me to call you all to worship Him. Now which one of you is                      willing to help me with the task? Anybody who announces his readiness to help me to                  bear this burden will be my brother, my successor, and the executor of my will,                              as Aaron (Harun) was unto Moses (Musa).”
The gathering was mute with astonishment. No one ventured to accept the offer. Only Imam Ali (a.s.) stood up and declared his allegiance and full support for the mission of Islam. The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) asked him to sit down. He (s.a.w.a.s.) repeated the offer three times but no one except Imam Ali (a.s.) replied to support him. The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) locking hid hands around this generous and courageous youth declared: “Behold my brother, my Vazir (successor) and the executor of my will among you. Listen to him and Obey him.”
The famous writer, Thomas Carlyle, the author of Heroes and Hero Worship said: “They laughed, but these two proved to the world that there was nothing laughable and they had the wisdom and courage to make their mission a success.  Young Ali had such a personality as he could be liked, loved and venerated by everybody. He was the man of excellent character, loving and lovable, so intensely brave  that if anything stood against his bravery it was consumed as if by fire, yet he was so gentle and kind that he represented the model of a Christian Knight.”
This was first and the greatest service done for Islam! What would have happened if Imam Ali did not offer his support?
It is worth-noting here to compare the word “burden” used here and also in Suarh al-Nashrah: “(Muhammad), did We not comfort your heart, relieve you of the “burden” which had been a heavy weight upon your back (by creating Ali ibne ibi Talib to help you against your atrocious enemies) and grant you an exalted reputation?
The Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s.) kept his promise to help the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) and protected Islam and Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) throughout his life and practically demonstrated that he lived for Islam and was Martyred for Islam.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

THE INFALLIBLE IMAM HASAN AL-MUJTABA (A.S.)

Imam Hasan (a.s.) was born on Ramazan 15, 3AH. The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) gave the new born this name. He was growing under the guidance of his grandfather, the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) and the most blessed parents on earth i.e. Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali (a.s.) and the Lady of Paradise Sayyida Fatima Zahra (s.a.). As a boy, whenever he went to the Mosque, the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) would pick him up and let him sit beside him. Imam Hasan (a.s.) would come home and narrate the wordings of the revelation (wahi) ; the Qur’anic surahs he heard from his grand father to his mother. Sayyida Fatima (s.a.) told Imam Ali (a.s.) about this. The Imam wanted to hear how Imam Hasan describes the revelations. One day Imam Ali (a.s.) came early and stood behind a curtain. When the young Imam Hasan (a.s.) came, started to recite the Ayahs of the Glorious Qur’an, he hesitated and said that apparently some elder person was watching him; hence Imam Ali (a.s.) came out and kissed his beloved son.
On the occasion of one of the Eids, both Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn were very young. They both said to their mother that next day was the Eid; children of Madinah will wear new dresses, and inquired about their dress. Sayyida Fatima (s.a.) consoled them that their dresses were being brought by the tailor. Immediately, she prayed namaz and sought Allah’s help. Presently there was a knock on the door. When asked who was there? Jibra’eel (or Rizwan of Paradise) replied, “I am the tailor of Hasnain and have brought the dresses.” Green dress was for Imam Hasan, as he would be martyred by poison and red dress for Imam Husayn as he would be martyred by swords at Karbala. Similarly, the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) became a camel for Hasnain on the Eid day.
The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) died when Imam Hasan (a.s.) was 8 years old. Imam Hasan (AS) spent the next 25 years with his illustrious father Imam Ali (a.s.).
This was the period in which the Muslim army conquered many lands. His father and every member of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) did not participate in these expeditions. Imam Ali (a.s.) and his family formed a Trust and whatever their share of prosperity was provided, they all put into this Trust. The funds were used to help the needy.
The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) said, “Hasan and Husayn are the chiefs of the youth of Paradise.” Imam Hasan (a.s.) was included in Qur’anic Ayahs of Tatheer and Mubahela.
There are numerous traditions of the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) in praise of Imam Hasan (a.s.).
Bani Umayyad very cunningly accepted Islam by lips not from heart, utilized the general amnesty granted by the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) after the Conquest of Makkah and slowly poisoned the Muslims society. They mercilessly misused the Muslim’s wealth to consolidate their illegitimate power, made false promises to the influential tribal and military chiefs to accomplish their evil designs. Whoever did not accept their unlawful acts were silenced by their swords. They used these tactics against the legitimate khilafat of Imam Ali (a.s.) and repeated the same tactics against his sons; Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Husayn (a.s.). This is evident from the change in Muslim society which was culminated within 50 years of the demise of the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.). Imam Ali (a.s.) was deprived of his rightful position, next Imam Hasan was isolated and by conspiracy of Moawiya, was poisoned by his own wife, Ja’dah binte Ash’as, and lastly, Imam Husayn (a.s.) and his family and friends were mercilessly slaughtered at Karbala depriving them of food and water for three days. The grand daughters of the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) were made prisoners, snatched their head covers, made to travel on camels without seats from Karbala to Kufa and then to Demascus.
When the conditions deteriorated, Imam Hasan offered to abdicate the khilafat. Moawiya send a blank paper to Imam Hasan (a.s.) and asked him to write any condition he liked!
Moawiya knew in his heart that he was not going to comply a single term of the treaty!
Imam Hasan laid down the following conditions:
  1. That Moawiya should rule strictly according to Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.).
  2. That Moawiya should not appoint or nominate any one to the khilafat after him but that the choice should be left to the Muslims.
  3. That the people should be left in peace, wherever they are in the land of Allah.
  4. That the persecution of the companions of Imam Ali (a.s.) should be stopped immediately.
  5. That the cursing of Imam Ali (a.s.) from the pulpit should also stop immediately!
  6. That no harm should be done secretly or openly against Imam Hasan (a.s.) or Imam Husayn (a.s.).
Shortly after the treaty was signed, Moawiya spoke to the people at a place al-Nukhiala and said, “By God, I have not fought against you to make you pray or fast. I fought so that I may have power over you. That treaty is now under my foot. And from now on I will not fulfill any terms of the treaty”
Moawiya agreed with the wife of Imam Hasan (a.s.), Ju’ada binte Ashas, that if she poisoned Imam Hasan (a.s.), he will give her hundred thousand dirham and marry her to Yazid. She poisoned the Imam but he stayed alive for forty days and was martyred in Safar 50 AH.
Moawiya sent the promised dinars but did not marry her to Yazid saying that if she could be unfaithful to the grandson of the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) she will be unfaithful to Yazid also.
Imam Husayn (a.s.) prepared the body of his brother for burial and proceeded towards his grandfather’s grave but the enemies showered arrows on the body. He was buried in Jannat-ul-Baqi near his mother’s grave.
There is a famous saying of Imam Hasan, “In regard to the world act as if you are going to live for ever. With respect to the Hereafter, act as if you were going to die tomorrow.”
The Imam (a.s.) was asked numerous questions; “What is forbearance?” He replied, “Restraining one’s anger and controlling one’s self.” “What is righteousness?” He replied, “Replacing the bad with the good.” “What is honor?” He replied, “Being kind to one’s relatives and shouldering people’s burdens of sins.” “What is succor?” He replied, “Defending the neighbor, patience in the war, and advance during adversities.” “What is glory?” He replied, “Giving while being in debt and forgiving others their offenses.” “What is manliness?” He replied, “Holding on to the faith, keeping one’s self-respect, being merciful, being kind, giving back people’s trusts, and ingratiating oneself to the people.” “What is the distance between right and the falsehood?” Imam replied, “Four fingers. What you see with your own eyes is the right. You may hear a lot of falsehood with your ears.” Once a Syrian man saw Imam Hasan and started to curse his father Imam Ali (a.s.) When the man finished his curses, Imam Hasan (a.s.) said, “O old man, I think you are a stranger. Let me know if you need any thing, I will provide you.” The man felt ashamed, broke into tears and fell on his feet.
Imam Hasan’s hospitality was famous in Madinah. His dinner table was very vast. Different types of tasty foods would be provided for the people but Imam Hasan (a.s.) himself would not eat from it. His food was like his father Imam Ali (a.s.); barley bread and salt.
Imam Hasan had performed 25 Hajj on foot.

            

Saturday, June 18, 2016

REASONS FOR THE NON-ACCEPTANCE OF THE PRAYERS (D'UA)

It is mentioned in “Safina-tul-Behar” volume 1 pages 448 and 449 that a man asked the Infallible Commander of the
Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s.), “Despite the fact that Allah says in Suarh al-Ghafir Ayah 60 says: “Your Lord has said, “Pray to
 Me for I shall answer your prayers.”   When we supplicate, our prayers are not accepted by Allah.”
Imam Ali (a.s.) said:
“You have acquired cognizance of Allah but do not fulfill what is due to Him, hence your knowledge did not benefit
you.
You have accepted the faith but oppose the Sunnah of the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.).
You read His Book (Glorious Qur’an) but do not follow and act upon the Commandments.
You say that you are scared of Allah’s punishment but act against His Commandments and are disobedient.
You say that you are desirous of Paradise but your acts take you away from Paradise.
You consume Allah’s countless bounties but do not give thanksgivings to Him.
Allah (s.w.t.) warned you from Shaitan and ordered you to treat him as your enemy but practically you are his friend
You scrutinize the faults of others but conveniently disregard and forget your own flaws.”
Allah’s promise to grant the supplications of the supplicants is not absolute but conditional; you fulfill your part of the
pledges and covenants In the light of such behavior, how can you expect that your prayers be accepted by Allah (s.w.t.)
when you yourselves have closed the doors of acceptance of your prayers.
Acquire piety, make efforts, perform hard work and amend your behavior, and practice “Amre bil
Maroof and Nahi anil Munkar so that your prayers may be accepted.
One of the sayings of Imam Ali (a.s) in Nahj-ul-Balagha reads as “A man praying without any actions is like sending an
arrow without a bowstring.”
Similarly, the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) said: “One, who desires his supplications answered, should purify his food

and earnings.”

Friday, June 17, 2016

NEARNESS OF ALLAH (S.W.T.) TO THE HUMAN BENIGS

Allah (s.w.t.) is the Creator of human beings. He knows man more than the man himself. There are 99 Beautiful Names of Allah (s.w.t.) called “Asma’ul Husna”. A few names are Al-Aleem (The Knower), Al-Khabeer (The All Aware), Al-Baseer, Al-Khaliq (The Creator). Surah al-Qaf Ayah 16 says: “We swear that We have created the human being and We know what his soul whispers to him. We are closer to him than even his jugular vein.” Allah the Creator has created this universe and hence knows each and every creature He has created more than the creatures would know themselves. The knowledge of the creatures about themselves depends upon the consciousness and intellect endowed by the Creator. He knows the latent feelings and thoughts of every individual. As stated in the Ayah, the jugular veins run from the head to the heart and from heart back to the head. These veins are the life blood of human being and Allah is closer to the man than his very important veins carrying the life-blood from heart to other parts of the body.
Similarly, in Surah al-Wa’qiah Ayah 83 to 85 says: “Why can you not help a soul dying right before your eyes? We are closer to him than you, but you cannot see.” It clearly shows the weakness of the dying person who does not have control over his limbs and parts of the body. Further, that life and death is completely in Allah’s control.
Further, His nearness to human being is also mentioned in Surah al-Saba Ayah 50 saying: “If I go astray it will only be against my own soul, but if I receive guidance, it will be through my Lord’s revelations. He is All-Hearing and Omnipresent.”
Surah al-Baqarah Ayah 186 says: “(Muhammad), if any of My servants ask you about Me, (tell them that the Lord says) “I certainly am near; I answer the prayers of those who pray. Allow My servants to ask Me for an answer to their call and believe in Me so that perhaps they may know the right direction.”
Surahal-Hud Ayah 61 says: “To Thumud We sent their brother Saleh, who told them, “My people, worship Allah; He is your only Lord. It is He who has created you from the earth and has settled you therein. Seek forgiveness from Him and turn to Him in repentance. My Lord is certainly close to everyone and He hears all prayers.”
The Gateway of Knowledge, the “Self” of the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) the Infallible Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali (a.s.) had discussed the Attributes of Allah in many sermons in the Nahjul Balagha”. In sermon #186, the Imam had discussed the Unity of Allah. Some of the extracts are reproduced below:
                “Imaginations cannot reach Him. Understanding cannot think of Him so as to give                      Him shape. Senses do not perceive Him so as to feel Him. Hands cannot touch Him. He                is not inside things or outside them. He listens but not through holes of the ears or the                 organs of hearing. He remembers but does not memorize. He says but does not utter                     words. He has power over everything in the earth by virtue of His Sublimity and                           Dignity. Stillness and motion do not exist in Him.”

Sources used:
The Glorious Qur’an (English translation) by Ahmed Ali and Ayatullah Agha H.M.M.Pooya
The Glorious Qur’an (Urdu translation) by Maulana Farman Ali

Nahj –ul-Balagha,  the Collections of Sermons of the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali (a.s.)

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A COMMENTARY ON DU'A-E-IFTITAH

Du’a-e-Iftitah is recited in the nights of the Holy month of Ramazaan. It was taught by our Present Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.). This Du’a reminds us that both faith and action is necessary to be true believer. This Du’a is an explanation of “Roots of Islam” It is a reminder to plan our lives for future.
Du’a-e-Iftitah may be divided in two parts viz. Man’s relationship with his Creator and the Divine Leaders.
Man’s relationship with the Creator:
It starts with the Praise of Allah. It places the supplicant between hope and fear, which is the ideal attitude. Allah is the Most Merciful but He is severe in punishment. He has no son or partner and has full control over creation. Allah is generous and controls limitless treasures of everything and His doors are open for soliciting those treasures. All the supplications are accepted by Him unless there is a valid reason best known to Him. But man is normally ungrateful , greedy and impatient. If his supplications are not promptly answered, he turns away dejected. Allah is “Samad” and has no needs of any kind. It is man who needs to go to Him. Out of Mercy and love, Allah invites and encourages man to come.
Salutations on the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) and his Pure Progeny (a.s.):

Blessings and Salawaat are sent to the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) and AhlulBayt (a.s.) acknowledging that He (s.a.w.a.s.) is also a human who needs Mercy and Blessings from Allah. It also strengthens his remembrance and inspirations to follow into his foot-steps. Subsequently, his Progeny is remembered and prayed for as they are the true leaders of Muslim Ummah Divinely appointed by Allah. Their love is the corner-stone of the Shii Islam. Allah’s earth was never devoid of Guidance from Him as promised by Allah at the beginning of life on this earth when Prophet Adam and his wife Eve (Hawwa) were sent on earth as stated in Surah al-Baqarah Ayah 38: “We ordered them all to move out of the garden and told them that when our Guidance would come to them, those who follow it would have neither fear nor grief.” The twelfth Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.) is the leader and Guide of our time who will fill the earth with truth and justice. The last part of Du’a-e-Iftitah talks about his re-appearance on earth, preparing believers for the anticipated establishment of rule of Allah on earth. It is an awareness of our responsibilities during the “Great Occultation”

Sunday, June 5, 2016

SURAH AL-ZILZAL (THE EARTHQUAKE)

Surah Al-Zilzal (The Earthquake) is the 99th Surah of the Glorious Qur’an, the Last Message of the Creator to His creatures. This Surah surround three topics viz. preliminary signs of the Day of Judgment, earth as a witness to man’s deeds, and the two groups of people; good and evil, who will receive the fruits of their actions.
The Infallible Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) said: “Be never tired of reciting this Surah, because anyone who recites this Surah in optional prayer will never be involved in an earthquake and die in it and also will be safe from getting hit by a lightening or any calamity.

                                                 In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
                “When the earth shall shake by a terrible quake and it throws out its burden, the man will say, “What is happening to it. On that day the earth will declare all (the activities of the human being) which have taken place on it, having been inspired by your Lord. On that day, people will come out of their graves in different groups to see (the results of) their deeds. Whoever has done an atom’s weight of good will see it, and whoever has done an atom’s weight of evil will also see it.”

These Ayahs refer to the violent effects of destruction the earth will suffer on the Day of Judgment. Tamim bin Hatim says: “Once we went to Basra and while we were about to camp, an earth quake was felt. We were all panicky but Ali (a.s.) got down from his camel and placing his hand on the ground addressing the earth, said, ‘What has happened to you?’ The tremor stopped.”
The Infallible Lady of Paradise Sayyida Fatima Zahra (s.a.) reports that once in Madina an earthquake was felt and the people got panicky and rushed to( caliph) Abu Bakr and(caliph) Omar who escorted all the people and came to the door of (Imam) Ali and (Imam) Ali came out with perfect peace of mind and took all the people outside Madinah and sitting on a mound and said to them: “You are panicking at this quaking of the earth, what will you do when it will quake before the Day of Judgment?” Saying this (Imam) Ali placed his hands on the ground and addressing the earth, said, “What has happened to you?” The quaking stopped and the shaking of the houses of Madinah suddenly ceased. Then (Imam) Ali turned towards the people and said: “Do you wonder at this? I am the one to whom the earth will speak on the Day of Judgment.”
The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) is reported to have said: “Save yourselves from calamities by always being clean with ablutions. Save yourselves by always being regular in your prayers. Beware of your good and evil deeds on earth, for it will disclose everything on the Day of Judgment.”
The Infallible Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s.) said: “Say your prayers at different points in the mosque, because on the Day of Judgment every part will bear witness for the one who had prayed thereon.”
The man is warned of the strictness with which he will be dealt with in the accounting of his deeds. Even the smallest deed, good or evil, will not escape the accounting and will be duly recompensed, and no one will be able to bear the burden of the other.
There is a tradition that once a man came in the presence of the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) and asked him to share his divine knowledge, the Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) sent him to one of his followers to teach him the Glorious Qur’an. He taught the man Surah al-Zilzal. The man was ready to leave saying that the last Ayahs were sufficient for him. The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) said: “Let him go he became a scholar.” It is clear that when a man knows that his smallest deeds will be counted and he has to account for it, hence he will be careful not to commit any sin.

Sources:    The Glorious Qur’an (English translation) by Ayatollah Agha H.M.M. Pooya Yazdi
                  The Glorious Qur’an (Urdu translation) by Maulana Sayyid Farman Ali

                   Enlightening Commentary Light of Holy Qur’an volume 20