Thursday, December 30, 2010

Crisis we face today

First of all thank you very much for being so encouraging about my efforts so far. I take this opportunity to present my views, thoughts and hence the perspective of the crisis which are facing as Muslims today.

Today, definitely our religion is the most hated one in this world and being a Muslim it hurts more and we feel sorry for the fellow Muslim who has to go through all this now. Having said that I would also like to add here that most of the problems which we face are self-invited as we have never bothered to look deep into our religion and understand the philosophy well.

This humiliation is because the religion which we received through the presence of holy prophet is not the religion which is being followed everywhere. There is a huge gap between what was given and what the ummah has taken. We never bother to read the holy Quran and ponder upon the ayahs. In order to understand the philosophy in fact most of the Muslims, and for that matter, even the educated Muslims are dependent on Maulvis and clerics.

Muslims today want to follow the religion to perfection, but because of lack of guidance they don’t have the understanding. This I believe is the root cause of terrorism, as clerics or a maulvis can easily make them their prey and misguide the youth through distorting and misrepresenting the verses of Quran, the way it happened at Hotel Taj in Mumbai, where the terrorist was a young boy of 17. This does not mean that one should not read it and ponder upon the ayahs. In fact I feel that if we strive on our own and try to read and ponder upon the ayahs we can develop the understanding and guide youth of the Muslim world. That would be a great service.

Yes, we claim that we love the holy prophet, but our actions speak otherwise. We have chosen the wrong leaders who misguide ummah and that makes things even worst. If we compare ourselves with the rest of the world, we would find that Muslims, no matter in which part of the world, want to practice their religion well. That is our faith and I think it should be that way. But in the process if we are misguided, then even if we don’t wish we could do more harm than good. In such a case a good religious awakening is the need of the hour.

The word Jihad has been used in Quran for 44 times, and it means striving but which is always misunderstood and misrepresented. The best example of Jihad was given by the household of holy prophet when Imam Husain (A. S) was martyred in Karbala. It gives the lesson of patience, love and compassion. In his army there were Hindu Brahmins (Ref:“The Vision of India”, Historian Sisir Kumar Mitra, P 183) and even Christian who lost their lives protecting the religion. This gives the message of humanity and universal brotherhood. But again nobody knows this and the worst part is that Muslims have reduced Karbala as a political war.

How I hope that Muslims understand what Jihad means by reading more about Karbala and that way many would be saved from getting astray.

Our holy prophet (pbuh) has said that for the sake of education go as far as China if needed. He also said that he is the city of knowledge and Ali is the gate. Thus he has shown the importance of gaining knowledge but the saddest part of our religion is the people have forgotten this and Talibans have got all the power to destroy schools which imparts knowledge to girls. Yes, Talibans are the problem, if we educate the youth in understanding what the holy prophet (pbuh) and Ali (pbuh) has said we may create some difference here.

The household of prophet (pbuh) is the knowledge centre so if we follow their teachings we can make our world a much better place and hereafter would also be good. Yes I agree that want for a good hereafter in isolation without working for a successful and meaningful world is a wishful thinking. If we understand the religion from the right source we can do well for our both the worlds.

The problems which the Muslim world is facing today like Feudalism, Child abuse, atrocities towards girls and more, were prevalent in Arab world in the pre-Islamic era; In fact the religion was revealed to fight this menace out of the society. We feel really sorry that we have not imbibed the true teachings of religion i.e. Quran and Sunnah and we are merely claiming that we love prophet (pbuh). If we really love him things would change in the Muslim world.

The problem of corruption and bad governance is prevalent everywhere in Muslim world. And it is an irony that a UN Secretary had shown us, the Muslim world, how the good governance can be conducted by citing Hazrat Ali (A.S) words. Mr. Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary has said ‘The words of Ali Ibn Abi Talib, “O Malik! The people are either brothers in religion or your equal in creation” must be adhered to by organizations and it is a statement that all humanity must embrace.’

In fact UN Legal committee members voted that the order of Hazrat Ali (A.S) to Malik al Ashtar (Ref: NahjulBalagha, letter 53) should be considered as one of the sources of International Law.

My idea of this series of articles is to bring in-front, with logical reasoning and authentic hadiths, the true meaning of the book. I know that people might agree might not agree with whatever I am saying. But if I am able to inspire them to start pondering over the teachings and ayahs; I think a good awakening can be created. I feel that Islam cannot be removed from the heart of a Muslim and hence it is important for him to understand the religious philosophy well, failing which we might prove Mr.George Bernard Shaw right as he has famously said “Islam is the best religion but the Muslims are its worst followers.”

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


It requires just one good spell of rains to change the otherwise pale and dull environment into a lush green one. One is motivated to go for a long drive and enjoy the beauty around.

On one such day I decided to take a drive along the nearby highway and enjoy the scenic beauty. I found many agriculture fields full of greenery but I also found certain fields which were not as green as the others. There were also some non yielding patches of land.

In a discussion with an agriculturist friend of mine I learnt that there are 3 categories of land.
• A fertile land has the ability to cultivate crops on its own. It just requires water to harvest the crop.
• A semi-fertile land needs soil treatment based on the characteristics of the soil along with water and once it is treated it can become fertile.
• A non-fertile land is full of rocks and sand and whatever treatment you do on it, it would not yield any harvest.

This explains that though the same amount of rain was received; the land behaved differently based on its own ability.

We have received the philosophy of Islam through the holy presence of Rasool (SAW) and The Holy Quran. The same message was conveyed to all but still based on personal abilities each one has a different understanding and a different level of faith. Like a fertile land whether we have the ability to harvest the crop of faith within us needs to be understood? We would thus refer the holy book in this regard.
Let me refer the following ayahs from the holy Quran:

•“Aur tum teen giroh ho jaaoge. Pas daayein taraf waale kya kehne daayein taraf walon ke. Aur baayein taraf waale phoot gaye naseeb unke baayein taraf waalon ke. Aur aage badhne waale wo to aage hi badhne waale hain.” – (Surah-e- Waaqia, ayah 7-8-9-10)

“(And you shall be three sorts. Then (as to) the companions of the right hand; how happy are the companions of the right hand! And (as to) the companions of the left hand; how wretched are the companions of the left hand! And the foremost are the foremost.)”

The above ayah divides people into 3 different categories based on their level of faith; the companions of the right hand, the companions of the left hand and the foremost. The ayah further says that the companions of the right hand would remain happy while the foremost are the people who would remain ahead of everybody else. They are ahead in faith and conduct. They have a fertile heart which nurtures the harvest of faith.

With reference to the above ayah, Allama Ibn-e-Marduiya has quoted a tradition from Ibn-e-Abbas and according to it ‘the foremost’ are Yousha bin Nuon, Momin Aal-e-Yaseen and Ali Ibn-e-Abu Talib (A.S) and amongst them Ali (A.S) is the best. (Ref: Durr-e-Mansoor, Vol 6, P 154).

Imam Fakhruddin Razi has mentioned a similar tradition in his Tafseer-e-Kabeer that mentions Mawla Ali as the best amongst ‘the foremost’. And that is why Rasool (SAW) has often referred to Mawla Ali (A.S) as Kull-e-Imaan (Complete in faith).

In order to understand the faith and conduct of Mawla Ali, let us look at the battle of Ohad. On the 7th of Shawwal 3 A.H, Rasool (SAW) reached Ohad. Here, the Meccan forces were ready to advance for the battle. The ring wing of the cavalry was led by Khalid bin Walid. In the fierce battle around nine or ten standard bearers were slain by Mawal Ali (A.S)’s sword.

Mawla Ali (A.S) along with Muslim champions like Abu Dajana’ Mos’ab b. Omeir and Sahel b. Honeif then broke the ranks of the enemy and gained their camp. This made the enemies flee. But the eagerness of Muslims for spoil turned the tide of victory. The archers deserted the post and thus gave Khalid bin Walid ample opportunity to strike back. In this attack Mos’ab b Omeir, the champion warrior, who bore great resemblance to Mohammed (SAW) fell dead. Taking advantage of this Ibn-e-Soraqa proclaimed aloud that Mohammed (SAW) was slain. Most of the Muslims including many of the companions of Rasool (SAW) took to flight and deserted him.

In the following ayah from Surah-e-Aal-e-Imran, Allah (SWT) has mentioned the flight of Muslims from the battlefield of Ohad.

“(Musalmanon tum) uss waqt ko yaad karke sharmao jab tum (badhawaas) bhaage pahad per chale jaate the. Pas (choonke) Rasool (SAW) ko tum ne (aazurda) kiya Khuda ne bhi tum ko (iss) ranj ki sazaa main (shikast ka) ranj diya taaki jab kabhi tumhari koi cheez haath se jaati rahe ya koi musibat pade to tum ranj na karo aur sabr karna sikho aur jo kuch tum karte ho Khuda uss se khabardaar hai.” – (Surah-e-Aal-e-Imran, ayah 153)

“(Remember, as you were rushing up (the hill) without turning back to look, though the Prophet was calling you from the rear, He requited you with anguish for an anguish that you do not fret for missed opportunity and what befell you, for God is aware of all that you do.)”

This ayah clearly addresses to those people who deserted Rasool (SAW) and fled from the battlefield. It was Mawla Ali (A.S) alone who stood with him and helped him. Rasool (SAW) then inquired as to why did he not flee with others, to which Ali replied that he belonged to the prophet (pbuh) and had no business with others and he being a believer would not like to turn a disbeliever or an infidel by resorting to flight.

Again in the following ayah The Quran says:

“Aur Yeh (ittefaqi shikast issliye thi) taaki Khuda sacche imaandaron ko zaahiri muslamanon se alag dekhle aur tum main se baaz ko darja-e-shahadat per faayaz kare aur Khuda (hukm-e-Rasool (SAW) se) sartaabi karne walon ko dost nahin rakhta. Aur ye (bhi manzoor tha) ke sacche imaandaron ko (saabit kadmi ki wajah se) nira khara alag karle aur naafarmaanon (bhaagne walon) ka matiya mait kar de.” – (Surah-e-Aal-e-Imran, ayah 140-141)

“(And that Allah may know those who believe and take witnesses from among you; and Allah does not love the unjust. And that He may purge those who believe and deprive the unbelievers of blessings)”

Here, in the above ayah Allah (SWT) has clarified that the defeat of the battle of Ohad was to differentiate between a believer from a non-believer. By remaining steadfast on the battlefield, Mawla Ali (A.S) remained a believer during the testing time and proved that he is Kull-e-Imaan in a true sense which Quran testifies.

Mawla Ali (A.S)’s steadfastness, courage and commitment to Rasool (SAW) was appreciated by Allah (SWT) as in this very battlefield ‘Zulfiqaar’, the sword was sent down for Mawla Ali (A.S). The holy Quran refers to this in the following manner:

“Aur Hum hi ne lohe ko naazil kiya jis ke zariye se sakht ladai aur logon ke bahot se nafa ki baatein hain aur taake Khuda dekh le ke be dekhe bhaale Khuda aur usske Rasoolon ki kaun madad karta hai, beshak Khuda bahot zabardast Ghalib hai.” – (Surah-e-Hadid, ayah 25)

“(And We sent down Iron, in which is (material for) mighty war, as well as many benefits for mankind, that Allah may test who it is that will help, Unseen, Him and His messengers: For Allah is Full of Strength, Exalted in Might (and able to enforce His Will).”

The above ayah refers to a specific Iron which was sent down. In the battlefield of Ohad, Gabriel, the angel brought down the sword ‘Zulfiqar’ and presented it to Mawla Ali (A.S) by saying: ‘La fataah illa Ali La Saif illa Zulfiqar.’ (Zulfiqar is the only effective sword and Ali the unique champion). Allah (SWT) thus gave Ali (A.S) the sword and made him the leader of His army.

In order to validate the above result let me quote the following ayahs from Surah-e-Maida:

“Ae Imaandaro tumhare malik sarparast to buss yehi hain Khuda aur uss ka Rasool (SAW) aur woh momineen jo pabandi se namaz adaa karte hai aur haalat-e-ruku main zakat dete hai. Aur jisne Khuda aur Rasool (SAW) aur unhi Imaadaro ko apna sarparast banaya to Khuda ke lashkar main aagaya aur issme shak nahin ke Khuda hi ka lashkar ghalib rehta hai.” – (Surah-e-Maida, ayah 55-56)

“(Verily your leader is only Allah and His messenger and those who believe; those who establish worship and pay the poor-rate while they bow down in ruku. And whoever takes Allah and His apostle and those who believe for a guardian, then surely the party of Allah are they that shall be triumphant.)”

Here, the believer who pays the poor-rate while bowing down in ruku is Mawla Ali. The ayah is referring to the incident where he gave his ring to a beggar while bowing down in the ‘ruku’. (Ref: Imam Nasai in Saheeh-e-Nasai, Aljam’a Bain-ul-Sihah-ul-Sittah, Sa’labi).

Thus it is clear that the leader of believers is none but Mawla Ali (A.S) as seen on various occasions. And it was Mawla Ali (A.S) alone for whom Allah (SWT) sent down the sword and appointed him as Amir-ul-Momineen.

Are there any more references of Mawla Ali’s faith and commitment apart from the holy wars in the Holy Quran? Let us see the following ayah for this purpose:

•“Aur logon main se Khuda ke bande kuch aise hain jo Khuda ki (khushnudi) haasil karne ki gharaz se apni jaan tak bech daalte hain aur Khuda aise bandon per bada hi shafqat wala hai.” – (Surah-e- Baqra, ayah 207)

“(And among men is he who sells himself to seek the pleasure of Allah; and Allah is Affectionate to the servants.)”

The above ayah mentions the event of Hijrat when Mawla Ali (A.S) slept on the bed of Rasool (SAW) during the night. The situation was dangerous and Rasool (SAW) had planned to go to Yasreb. He asked Mawla Ali (A.S) if he would sleep on his bed covering himself with his cloak.

Unlike any other person who would have been concerned about his own safety, Mawla Ali (A.S) inquired if this act would insure the safety of Rasool (SAW)’s life. When Rasool (SAW) answered in the positive Mawla Ali (A.S) thanked Allah and slept on the bed of the holy prophet (pbuh) covering himself with his cloak. Thus he was ready to sacrifice his life for the sake of Rasool (SAW) and hence he sold his soul to Allah (SWT).

Imam Husain (A.S), son of Mawla Ali (A.S) was praying for forgiveness of Umah of Rasool (SAW) rather than safety of his own household even as he offered his last ‘sajda’ on the day of Ashura. We have seen in the holy Quran that Allah (SWT) promised safety to His prophets and their households from atrocities; thus Nuh (A.S) prayed to Allah (SWT) to save his son and Yaqub (A.S) constantly prayed for the safety of Yusuf (A.S), but here Imam Husain (A.S) had submitted himself to the Will of Allah in a manner that surpassed the manner of the prophets.

Thus Mawla Ali and his household displayed a different level of faith and willingness to submit themselves to Allah’s Will.

It was 18th Zil Hajj, 10 A.H at Ghadir-e-Khum, the point on the journey from which the various pilgrims would disperse to their respective destinations, after performing his last pilgrimage Rasool (SAW) called all the pilgrims for one huge assemblage here. He instructed Salman (R.A) and other companions to make a pulpit of rocks and he then sat on the ‘mimber’ thus created. In front of this gathering he declared Mawla Ali (A.S) as his successor and announced “Man Kunto Mawla fa hazaa Ali un-Mawla”. (Ref: Sahih Tirmizi, V2, P298, Bukhari, V5, Book 59).

At this point Allah sent down the following ayah:

•“Aaj Maine tumhare din ko kaamil kardiya aur tum per apni ne’mat poori kardi aur tumhare iss Deen-e-Islam ko pasand kiya.” – (Surah-e-Maida, ayah 3)

“(This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.)

It has been mentioned by compilers that this ayah was revealed after the announcement of “Man Kunto Mawla” at Ghadir-e-Khum. (Ref: Durr-e-Mansoor, Jalalluddin Suyuti, V3, P 19, Tarikh by Khatib al Baghdadi, V8 P 290, 596, Yanabi-al-Mawaddah from Abu Hureira by Al-Qudoozi Al-Hanafi).

This was the revelation of commencement of Imamate in the house of Ahl-ul-bait. Thus it can be inferred that by acknowledging Mawla Ali (A.S) as the successor of Rasool (SAW) and our Imam, our religion is perfected failing which we are at a risk of getting an imperfect religion.

If we see the life of Mawla Ali (A. S) during Rasool (SAW)’s time we would find that Allah (SWT) did test him on various occasions be it holy wars or Rasool (SAW)’s bed on the night of Hijrat. After proving to the world his steadfastness and submission to Divine Will, Allah sent down the sword, made him the ‘Commander of Faithfuls’ and ‘Imam-e-Muttaqeen’ and perfected the religion on these acknowledgments.

It seems then that Allah (SWT) has made it mandatory for the Umah of Rasool (SAW) to acknowledge the status and stature of Mawla Ali to be a true-believer. Let us see the following ayahs for confirmation on the above inference:

•“To Jab farishte un ki jaan nikalenge uss waqt un ka kya haal hoga ke unke chehron per aur unki pusht per maarte jayenge. Ye iss sabab se ke jin cheezon se Khuda na khush hai uss ki to yeh log pairvi karte hai aur jis main Khuda ki khushi hai uss se bezar hain to Khuda ne bhi un ki karastaniyon ko akaarat kar diya” – (Surah-e-Mohammad, ayah 27-28)

“(So how (dreadful) will it be when the angels remove their souls, striking at their faces and their backs! This is because they followed the matter which displeases Allah, and they disliked what pleases Him – He therefore squandered away all their deeds.)”

Here, the above ayah is mentioning the state of a specific group of people on their death-bed. It would be a dreadful death for them as the angels would remove their souls by striking at their faces and backs, a rather scary and unfortunate thing.

The subsequent ayah further clarifies that since they disobeyed Allah by following whatever was disliked by Him and did not follow what pleased Him; they were meted with such a treatment.

While commenting on the above ayah Ibn-e-Marduiya and Ibn-e-Asaker have quoted a tradition from Abu Saeed Khudri that ‘Munafikeen’ would be recognized by their animosity for Mawla Ali (A.S). Also, Ibn-e-Masood has quoted a tradition that during the time of holy prophet (pbuh), we would identify a ‘Munafik’ due to his hatred for Mawla Ali (A.S). (Ref: Durr-e-Mansoor, vol 6, P 66).

Thus it is the dreadful state of ‘Munafik’ on his death-bed which above ayah mentions. He gets the treatment for his hatred and disloyalty to Mawla Ali, which displeases Allah. Their hearts are like the non-fertile land from which a crop of faith cannot be nurtured.

Let us see one more ayah related to death in Quran:

•“Yeh woh log hain jinki roohain farishte iss haalat main qabz karte hain ke woh (najaasat-e- kufr se) paak-o-pakizah hote hai to farishte unse (nihayat tapaak se) kehte hai salaam-un-alay kum jo naikiya duniya main tum karte the uss ke sile main Jannat main (be-takalluf) chale jao.” – (Surah-e-Nahl, ayah 32)

“(When the angels receive the souls of those who are blameless they will say: "Peace on you. Enter Paradise as recompense for what you did.)”

Now, when we contemplate on the above ayah, we would understand that there are the groups of people who are blameless and who would get the reward of Paradise on their death-bed. There is no long wait till the Day of Judgment for them to enter the comforts of Paradise and thus they are successful in true sense.

The ayah also mentions that they are rewarded for whatever they did in this world. That means that whatever they did Allah has liked and appreciated it. In the previous ayah from Surah-e-Mohammed we found out that It is hatred for Mawla Ali (A.S) that Allah dislikes the most. That means that Love for Mawla Ali (A.S) is the quality He likes the most.

That is why the holy Prophet (pbuh) has said this for Love for Mawla Ali (A.S):

•As per the order of God, I give these tidings that your friends will be rewarded in Heaven and your enemies are doomed for Hell.” - (Ref: Yanabi-al-Mowaddat (Bombay Edition, P 107)

 Thus Hub-e-Ali (Love for Mawla Ali) is the doctrine to be successful on the death-bed and get rewarded by the limitless bounties of Paradise then and there while animosity against Amir-ul-Momineen results in painful death and gloom of Hell.

Just as the semi-fertile land needs an appropriate treatment so that it becomes fertile, there is a section of people if well-guided, can have the fertile hearts which can nurture faith. Let us see few ayahs in this connection.

•“Tum kya achhe giroh ho ke logon ki hidayat ke waaste paida kiye gaye ho. Tum logon ko achhe kaam ka to hukm karte ho aur buray kaamon se rokte ho aur Khuda per Imaan rakhte ho aur agar ahl-e-kitab bhi isi tarah imaan laate to unke haq main bahot achha hota un main se kuch to imaandar hai aur aksar badkaar”. – ( Surah-e-Aale Imran, ayah 110)

“(You are the best of the nations raised up for (the benefit of) men; you enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong and believe in Allah; and if the followers of the Book had believed it would have been better for them; of them (some) are believers and most of them are transgressors.)”

The above ayah is addressed to the best of the people, who are born to guide the mankind and help it differentiate between right and wrong. Ibn-e-Abi Hakim has quoted Hazrat Abu Ja’far that this group of people are Ahl-ul-bait of Rasool (SAW). (Ref: Tafseer-e-Suyuti, Vol 2, P 64)

Thus it is Ahl-ul-bait who can guide the mankind. Now let us see one more ayah from Surah-e-Tur:

•“Aur jin logon ne imaan qubool kiya aur unki aulaad ne bhi imaan main unka saath diya to Hum unki aulaad ko bhi unke darje tak pahoncha denge aur Hum unki kaarguzariyon main se kuch bhi kam na karenge, har shakhs apne a’maal ke badle main girvi hai.” –( Surah-e-Tur, ayah 21)

“(And those who accepted faith, and whose descendants followed them with faithWe have joined their descendants with them, and have not reduced anything for them from their deeds; every soul is trapped in its own deeds.)”

The above ayah says that the faithful descendants of faithful forefathers would join them and thus Allah (SWT) shall increase their stature and rank in that sense.

We just saw that Ahl-ul-bait are the best people created to guide mankind. Later on their descendants (Saiyeds) in form of Pirs and Sufis successfully carried the mission of spreading the perfect religion.

And by doing this they increased their rank and stature in Allah’s court. The religion is perfected by way of acknowledging the leadership of Mawla Ali and hence these Sufi saints propagated Hubb-e-Ali (Love for Mawla) and induced Mawla Ali’s love in the hearts of their followers and strengthen their faiths.

So while Mawla Ali is ‘Mushkil Kusha’ Hazrat Khwaja Moinnuddin Chisti (R.A) is ‘Gharib Nawaz’. Again Mawla Ali (A.S) is ‘Kull-e-Imaan’ then Hazrat Hasan Kabir-ud-din (R.A) is ‘Kufra-Shikan’. Lastly, while Rasool (SAW) is ‘Habib-e-Khuda’, Hazrat Nizam-ud-din Auliya (R.A) is ‘Mehboob-e-Ilahi’.

I would like to end my article with the famous ‘Munajaat’ by great Sufi Lal Shahbaaz Qalandar displaying his love for Mawla Ali (A.S):

•Haiderium Qalandaram Mastam Banda-e-Murtuza Ali Hastam
Peshwa-e-Tamaam Rindaanam Ke Sag-e-koo-e-Sher-e-Yazdaanam

( I am Haideri (a follower of Haider), I am a Qalandar and I am intoxicated (with inspiration).I am a servant of Ali Murtaza (aka Ali ibn Abi Talib)
I am leader of all saints, Because I am a dog of the lane of "Allah's Lion" (referring to Ali Murtaza))

O Our Lord! We have found the perfect religion and doctrine of salvation. Give us enough strength so that we hold onto this tightly as it is a great favour which You have bestowed on us. And include us in Your successful servants.” Aamin.

Friday, October 22, 2010


When we look around and contemplate on various incidences that occur in our daily life we can understand the philosophy of Islam in a much better way. That is why perhaps Islam is also known as ‘Deen-e-Fitrat’. Allah (SWT) has instructed us in Quran itself to ponder upon and contemplate on various ayahs so that we might get a better understanding of the purpose of life; mere recitation of Quran may not be so beneficial in that sense.

A few days back, on one of the online news portals, I came across the news regarding the ceremony which Mr. Ratan Tata, the TATA Group Chairman organized in memory of the employees who died fighting the terrorists on the dreaded 26/11 attack on Taj hotel, which is owned by the Group.

The ceremony was organized on the first anniversary of the attack and there were more than 1000 guests who had assembled for a multi-faith prayer meeting in the hotel. They were witness to an emotionally choked Tata talk about the attack. The Chairman of Tata group also unveiled a 12-foot high memorial, engraved with names of employees and guests killed by terrorists in the three-day long siege on the iconic hotel.

When the Taj was attacked it was the brave employees of the hotel, who under the leadership of Mr. Karambir Kang – the general manager, took up the mission of rescuing the guests. Mr. Kang was busy saving guests on the ground floor, even as his own wife and two children were trapped in fire—and later found dead—in their top-floor room.

Needless to say that his dedication and commitment for his duty won him several awards like Forbes: Person of the year 2009 and Corporate Citizen of the year award. And above all he won over many hearts.

 If we discuss the gesture of Mr. Tata with people irrespective of their religion or social status we might get a feedback that whatever Mr. Tata did was an acknowledgment by the Head of the organization to his dedicated employees for sacrificing themselves in saving the hotel. And the memorial is the remembrance for their selfless sacrifice.

The biggest terrorist attack which Islam faced was during the reign of Bani Umayyad when Yazid was the ruler. It was great sacrifice of Imam Husain (A.S) which saved Islam. As a memorial to this great sacrifice a procession of Tazia is carried out across the World and people mourn and cry and show their love for the great sacrifice of household of the great Imam on the day of Ashura the 10th Moharram.

In this article in the light of various ayahs we would try to understand the Jihad-e-Karbala. Holy Quran is a complete book which guides us through and helps us in understanding the great sacrifice.

When Yazid came to power he started demanding the oath of allegiance (bay’ah) from everyone using unfair and forceful means. During those days it was a well-known practice in the Arab world to pay allegiance in important matters like rulership and authority.

Yazid was fully aware of the stature and place of Imam Husain (A.S) in Khilafat and in order to give credibility to his ideology he desperately wanted allegiance of Imam Husain (A.S) and sent him the messages in this connection. Acknowledging Yazid’s authority by the Prophet’s [PBUH] grandson at this point would have meant confirmation of his evil deeds and Khilafat. For Yazid, Imam Husain’s (A.S) seal of approval was thus the one most needed.

At this point let us see the following ayah from Surah-e-Mohammed and contemplate on that:
•“Ae Imandaro agar tum Khuda ke deen ki madad karoge to Woh bhi tumhari madad karega aur tumhain saabit qadam rakhega.” - (Surah-e-Mohammed, ayah 7)

“(O you who believe! if you help (the cause of) Allah, He will help you and make firm your feet.)”

The ayah says that whoever would help the cause of Allah, he would be helped by Allah (SWT) in return and He would make firm his feet. Now let us relate this with Karbala and see it in this perspective.

Imam Husain (A.S) in Karbala remained firm on his feet and did not pay allegiance to Yazid. It was a battle of the truth against the falsehood, righteousness against evil and justice against corruption. He stood in scorching heat of Karbala along with his companions. He was devoid of water and food but determined. His loved ones, including his six month old son Ali Asghar, were martyred but it did not deter him and he remained steadfast. His love for the religion and Allah (SWT) gave him the strength to bear the atrocities.

The importance of this Jihad-e-Karbala has been mentioned in various books by prominent compilers. Abul Hasan Ali bin Husain Mas’oodi in his Muroojuz Zahab wa ma’adinul Jawahir reported,

•“Whoever accepted the slavery of Yazid by swearing fealty at his hands was spared, otherwise he was subjugated. Thus the meaning of allegiance to Yazid was not merely the acceptance of a new caliph, but it meant to sell one’s Religion and faith in slavery to a tyrant.”

Imam Husain (A.S) was the custodian of Allah’s religion and how could he allow this to happen? One of those who fought the battle of Karbala against him says:

•“I have never seen a person bereaved of his sons, menfolk and his companions more Lion-hearted than him.” (Ref: Ibne Aseer, Tareekh Kamil)

This speaks a lot about his firmness and steadfastness during the battle of Karbala and thus his willingness to help and serve Islam and Allah’s cause.

Let us again refer the holy Quran and try to find-out few more ayah in this connection:

•“Jin logon ne Khuda ki raah main apne des chhode phir shaheed kiye gaye ya mar gaye Khuda unhain zaroor umda rozi (aakherat main) ataa farmaega.” – (Surah-e-Al Hajj, ayah 58)

“(Those who leave their homes in the cause of Allah, and are then slain or die,- On them will Allah bestow verily a goodly Provision: Truly Allah is He Who bestows the best provision.)”

Imam Husain (A.S) had left Medina, his home, for the cause of Allah and had come to Karbala. He had 72 companions for this noble cause along with him including children and women of his household. On the fateful Friday, the 10th of Moharram 61H, he was brutally martyred alongwith his companions. The women and children were made captives.

When we contemplate on the above ayah, it seems that it is indicating the battle of Karbala and the sacrifice of Imam Husain (A.S). Here, Allah (SWT) has promised that He would bestow His limitless grace and provisions on all of them who were martyred in Karbala along with Imam Husain (A.s). So when Allah (SWT) Himself remembers and acknowledges the great sacrifice, I am sure He would expect the same from us. Why would not we remember the great sacrifice every year then?

Whenever there are atrocities afflicted upon people we love we tend to cry that is a psychological process, a natural instinct. And Islam is also known as ‘Deen-e-Fitrat’, so crying for Imam Husain (A.S) is natural and very much as per the tenet of Islam. But still let us try to find out whether there is any mention of mourning and crying in Quran?

Let us see the following ayah from Surah-e-Yusuf:

•“Aur Yaqub (A.S) ne un logon ki taraf se mooh pher liya aur rokar kehne lage haai afsos Yusuf (A.S) per aur isqadr roye ke aankhein un ki sadme se safed ho gayee wo to bade ranj ke zaabit the.” – (Surah-e-Yusuf, ayah 84)

“(He turned away from them and cried: "Alas for Yusuf!" And his eyes turned white with grief which he bore in silence.)”

Here, in the above ayah Quran says that Yaqub (A.S) cried a lot as he was missing his son Yusuf (A.S), and he cried to such an extent that his eyes turned white and he lost his eyesight.

It is thus allowed in Quran to cry for someone you love and remember. All the Saiyeds are descendants of Imam Husain (A.S), it was their household which was attacked in Karbala, so when they cry they remember the grief and sorrow of their forefather Imam Husain (A.S) and pay tribute to him. Rest of the Muslim world shows its gratitude to the household of Imam Husain (A.S) for their great sacrifice in saving Islam by crying and mourning during the month of Moharram.

Now again going back to the above ayah let us see how did Yaqub (A.S) get back his eyesight? For this I would like to quote the following ayah again from Surah-e-Yusuf:

•“Yeh mera kurta le jaao aur usko abbajaan ke chehre per daal dena ke woh phir beena ho jaaenge (dekhne lagenge) aur tum apne sab ladke baalon ko lekar mere paas chale aao.” – (Surah-e-Yusuf, ayah 93)

“(Take this my shirt and cast it on my father's face, he will (again) be able to see, and come to me with all your families.)”

In the above ayah Yusuf (A.S) instructs his brothers to take his shirt with them and to cast it on Yaqub (A.S)’s face so that he would get back his eyesight. There is no doctor or a hakim to cure Yaqub (A.S)’s blindness, it was just a shirt, which because of its association with Yusuf (A.S) got the power to heal the blindness.

This clarifies why most of our desires are fulfilled on Tazias during Moharram. It gets the power of desire fulfillment because of its association with Imam Husain (A.S).

Apart from the above example of Yaqub (A.S), is there any other example in Quran which mentions crying and mourning? Let us see the following ayah from Surah-e-Dukhaan:

•“To unlogon per aasmaan wa zameen ko bhi rona na aayaa aur na unhain mohlat hi di gayee.” – (Surah-e-Dukhaan, ayah 29)

“(The sky nor the earth cried for them, nor were they given respite.)”

The above ayah refers to the army of Pharaoh when it was doomed and got drowned in Nile river. The ayah explains that though they were destroyed neither sky nor the earth cried for them as such was their conduct. It can be inferred from this that since Quran is mentioning about sky and earth’s crying, sometime in the history of mankind it must have happened or it might happen later on. So when did this happen?

It is mentioned in the tafseer of this ayah in Sahih-e-Muslim that when Hussain (A.S) was martyred on his martyrdom even sky shed tears and cried and its crying was to turn red in colour. (Ref: Sahih-e-Muslim)

A similar tradition has been mentioned by Allama Ibn-e-Hajar in Sawaiqe Mohraika that much before the incident of Karbala took place, once Imam Ali (A.S) was passing by Karbala when he reached near the place of grave of Imam Husain (A.S), he said “This is the same place where our camels must rest and we can keep our belongings here. This is the place where our blood would be shed. Few people from the Ahl-ul-bait of Rasool (SAW) would be martyred here and on them sky would shed tears and even the earth would cry.” (Ref: Sawaiq-e-Mohraika, Ibn-e-Hajar)

Imam Ali Zain-ul-Abedin (A.S) says that:

•Every Momin, whose eyes shed tears upon the killing of Husain ibn' Ali (A.S) and his companions, such that the tears roll down his cheeks, God shall accommodate him in the elevated rooms of paradise. (Ref: Yanaabe'al Mawaddah, p. 419)

 So when sky and earth can cry why can’t we? Thus crying is to showcase our solidarity and commitment for Islam and its preachings, as it was Imam Husain (A.S)’s sacrifice that saved it.

Now let us move further and find out what Quran has to say about this great sacrifice and its importance? The following ayah from Surah-e-Sa’afat says:

•“Us main shak nahin ke ye yaqeeni bada sakht aur sarihi imtihaan tha aur Hum ne Ismaeel ka fidya ek zibhe azeem (badi qurbani) qaraar diya. Aur Hum ne unka achha churcha baad ke aanewalon main baaki rakkha hai ” – (Surah-e-Sa’afat, ayah 106-107-108)

“(Most surely this is a manifest trial. And We ransomed him with a Feat sacrifice. And We perpetuated (praise) to him among the later generations)”

Allah (SWT) tried the willingness of Ibrahim (A.S) for sacrificing his son Ismail (A.S) in His path and once He was convinced He postponed it and exchanged it with a much greater sacrifice (Zibhe Azeem) for a later generation.

This great sacrifice which is mentioned in the above ayah and which was postponed for later generation is the sacrifice of Imam Husain (A.S) and his household at the battlefield of Karbala. (Ref: Merajjunnabuwat, P 35)

If Imam Husain (A.S) has given such a great sacrifice for the cause of Allah that Quran testifies, then as a Head of both the worlds, what has Allah (SWT) promised to Imam Husain (A.S)?

In the following ayah from Surah-e-Fateh, Allah (SWT) promises:

•“Aur jisne us baat ko jis ka us ne Khuda se ahad kiya hai pura kiya to us ko anqareeb hi ajr-e-azeem ataa farmaega.” – (Surah-e-Fateh, ayah 10)

(“Those who fulfill their promise to God will receive a great reward.)”

By not accepting allegiance to Yazid and in the process sacrificing himself and his entire household, Imam Husain (A.S) kept his promise to Allah (SWT) in the best possible manner. And Allah (SWT) has hence blessed him and his household with the great reward for their deeds. Now when we love Imam Husain (A.S) we are amongst the people who fulfill their promises to Allah (SWT), as by loving him we have rejected Yazid and his ideology, and hence Allah blesses us with a great reward.

Even in today’s modern world people do remember this great sacrifice. Is there any indication of this in Quran? Let us find out:

•“Aur Hum ne un ka zikr khair baad ke aane walon main baaqi rakkha ke har taraf se Aal-e-Yaseen per salaam hi salaam hai” – (Surah-e-Sa’afat, ayah 129-130)

“(And We perpetuated to him (praise) among the later generations. Peace be unto the Aal-e-Yaseen.)”

Allah (SWT) sends His salams and salutations to “Aal-e-Yaseen” and promises that their deeds would be remembered by the later generations; it means that till the time the world lasts whatever ‘Aal-e-Yaseen’ has done would be praised and remembered.

Ibn-e-Abi Haatim and Ibn-e-Marduiya have quoted Ibn-e-Abbas that Aal-e-Yaasin in the above ayah refers to Aal-e-Mohammed (SAW) i.e. household of Mawla Ali (A.S) and Imam Husain (A.S) (Ref: Durr-e-Mansoor, vol 5, P 286)

Thus we find many people of this modern world from different faith and religion still remembering Imam Husain (A.S) and take inspiration from his great sacrifice. It is Allah’s promise and it is bound to remain so till this world lasts.

Prominent people from various walks of life and different parts of the World have paid their tribute to Imam Husain in the following words:

•“Imam Husayn uprooted despotism forever till the Day of Resurrection. He watered the dry garden of freedom with the surging wave of his blood, and indeed he awakened the sleeping Muslim nation. Husayn weltered in blood and dust for the sake of truth. Verily he, therefore, became the bed-rock (foundation) of the Muslim creed; la ilaha illa Allah (There is no god but Allah).”—Sir Muhammad Iqbal

•“In a distant age and climate, the tragic scene of the death of Husain will awaken the sympathy of the coldest reader.”—Edward Gibbon

•“I learned from Hussain how to be wronged and be a winner.” —Mahatma Gandhi

Before I end my article, it is worth mentioning here an interesting history of the day of Ashura the 10th Moharram, the day Imam Husain (A.S) was martyred:

•It is mentioned in Sahih-e-Muslim that Ashura is a day of great historical significance as on this day Adam (A.S)’s repentance was accepted by Allah (SWT); Nuh (A.S) and his companions were saved in the ark; Allah extinguished the fire in which Ibrahim (A.S) was thrown by Nimrod. On 10th of Moharram Ayub (A.S) got relief from his illness; Musa (A.S) got the Commandments. Yusuf (A.S) got re-united with his father Yaqub (A.S). Yunus (A.S) was taken out from the belly of the fish. On this day Nile river was divided and Pharaoh along with his army drowned. Isa (A.S) was raised to the sky and Sulaiman (A.S)’s kingdom was restored. (Ref: Sahih-e-Muslim)

From above we can understand the importance of this day as Allah (SWT) chose this day to grant relief to his chosen prophets from their individual atrocities.

So while Allah (SWT) helped His prophets on this day, it was Imam Husain (A.S) who came forward to help Islam; Allah (SWT)’s religion to relieve it from the clutches of Yazid and thus resurrected the religion and gave it a new life.

Allama Iqbal, a prominent urdu poet who is also known as ‘Shayar-e-MashriK’ praises the contribution of the sword of Mawla Ali (A.S) and the sajda of Imam Husain (A.S) in restoring Islam in following words:

“Islam ke daaman main bas iss ke siwa kya hai, Ek Sajda-e-Shabbiri Ek Zarb-e-Yadullahi.

”We are lovers of Imam Husain (A.S) who helped Your religion, so O our Lord! Bestow Your limitless grace on all of us and spare us from every grief or sorrow other than the sorrow of Imam Husain (A.s) and his household. Aamin”

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hearty Mart at Juhapura

Juhapura, a Muslim dominated area lies on the western outskirts of Ahmedabad near Sarkhej in Gujarat. It is situated along the National Highway 8A that goes towards Saurashtra and Kutch. Previously it used to be known as Jivapura and also as Sankalitnagar.

In order to rehabilitate the 1972 flood victims, a colony of 2,248 homes was developed; this was known as Sankalitnagar and around this colony then Juhapura developed. It was a small suburb with a small population until the early '90s. And as late as 1992, a large number of Hindus mainly from Dalit, Bhoi and Thakore communities lived here.

Most of the Hindus moved out of Juhapura after the communal violence that broke out post the Babri Masjid demolition in the year 1992. Jeevan Bhoi was one of those who lived in Juhapura till 1992. "After that it was frightening to live there," he says. "Many of my Muslim friends assured me that nothing would happen, but as I could not be at home for most part of the day, it worried me about my family's safety," he adds.

Again, the communal riots of Gujarat in 1992-93 and especially after the 2002 communal riots, large numbers of Muslims migrated to Juhapura from Hindu-dominated areas of Ahmedabad for a safe-haven. For a decade of 1992-2002, Juhapura largely remained an area which was considered as riot prone and downtrodden. It was deprived of basic amenities and though it became a pre-dominantly Muslim ghetto it was avoided by effluent Muslims.

Post 2002 communal riots even the effluent Muslims shifted their base and moved to Juhapura. This changed the social dynamics of the area and it started getting all the due attention from various corners. This migration of Muslims with deep pocket caused a construction and housing boom in the area with housing prices skyrocketing.
With a booming real estate the area promised development but still it remained devoid of basic amenities like a proper organized retail outlet which can provide convenience of purchase to the residents. Adanis had opened their supermarkets across Ahmedabad but for an obvious reason avoided Juhapura.

It was in this gap we found a huge opportunity to start an organized food-grocery store in the area in early 2004. Vishala Circle was the fastest developing area within Juhapura, as it was not cramped unlike other parts of the area and we could speculate a good growth of the area in near future.

With the vision of bringing convenience to the locality, we started Hearty Mart in February 2004. It was modeled as an ideal neighbourhood store and positioned as ‘Sabse Khass Ghar ke Paas’. As it was a store which was equipped to cater to all their basic needs. A store which was positioned as a convenience store and wanted to establish itself as a one-stop-solution for the daily needs of groceries, cosmetics, food grains etc. Thus was destined to bridge the gap between demand of daily needs and the options of supplies available.

It is said that one problem leads to another; even we faced certain problems which we could never speculate while we were deciding to open our shop here. The negativity attached with the area made the business operation really difficult. We realized that it was not at all conducive for a smooth operation as the vendors and suppliers were reluctant to support us and give merchandise on credit. In order to win their trust we organized get-together with them to break the ice and also paid them with advance cheques and even in cash till the time we had not win them over.
Even the residents were reluctant to purchase and we found meager footfalls in the first year. The problem was that:

• Most of them had migrated from other areas and they preferred to go back to the retailers from their old area to purchase. There was no shop patronage for Hearty Mart.
• There was lots of skepticism and suspicion on the future of Hearty Mart since they were well aware about the area and its image.

The immediate remedy of the above situation was to work in such a manner that they start patronizing the shop. As a strategy we undertook the following measures:

• We launched schemes like free-gifts and discounts on purchase of more than Rs. 1000/-.
• On completion of 100 days, a packet of 500 gms sugar with a personalized letter was sent to all the prominent customers. This was unique to the area.
• We started taking their specific orders for specific merchandise even when there was no demand for the overall product category. This made the customers felt special.
• Introduced loyalty cards and home-delivery. Again it was new to the area as there was no proper organized player who could provide them with such promotional offers.

Our faith in business and our efforts helped us gain their confidence. We slowly found that more and more residents became our patrons and it was their support which helped us in the most testing initial phase of the business. The footfalls started increasing day in and day out and we got the steady customer base.

The success of Hearty Mart at Juhapura broke the myth that the area was not conducive for business and no business can flourish here. Many entrepreneurs after closely watching the success started entering the area with their businesses and some of them are really successful. The development of the area post Hearty Mart is as follows:

• Hearty Mart is a prominent landmark of Sarkhej-Juhapura road.

• A good organized neighbourhood store in the area promises a convenient abode for the residents. Presence of Hearty Mart at Elecon Tower, ensured that all the flats of the 10 floor high-rise building were sold at a premium; which the builder could not sell before as people were reluctant to purchase an apartment in a high rise after the earthquake.

• Though now across India Subhiksha has closed down; it was success of Hearty Mart that encouraged Subhikhsha to set-up its shop in Juhapura. First national brand to open its shop here.

• A Private bus-stop has developed just before Hearty Mart.

• Lots of media coverage of Hearty Mart brand has perhaps inspired a leading Mumbai based non-veg restaurant to open its outlet here.

• Axis bank has opened its ATM in the premises of Hearty Mart. We have rented them 100 square feet for the ATM as a shop-in-shop concept. This has been accepted well by our customers as it adds to their convenience.

• Radhe Developer has announced 3 BHK premium apartment scheme ‘Imperial Heights’ bank opposite Hearty Mart. It would be having all the modern facilities for the lifestyle seeking residents. Again a unique residential scheme for the area which no-body would have thought of before.

Today almost 4 lacs Muslim live in Juhapura and that is why perhaps it has been termed as the largest Muslim neighbourhood in Gujarat. Contrary to its image of being crime-ridden and riot-prone it has been a preferred area off-late by Muslim professionals, artists, government officers of IAS and IPS ranks and businessmen. It is needless to say that they have contributed in the development of the area in their own special way.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


I took up a job with a media company to start my professional career after I had finished my management studies. During my first interaction with my seniors I was assigned a specific target to achieve in the span of one year.

My manager informed me that if I successfully achieve my targets in that year, I would get the confirmation in the organization and may get good appraisal.

This made me really work hard and I almost achieved my targets. I was happy and satisfied by my achievements and was pretty sure of getting a good appraisal.

At the end of the year I was called to the head-office for review and appraisal. In my review meeting with the directors I presented my working and the results I had achieved. After my presentation the directors told me that though I had almost achieved the targets I did not work the way they had wanted me to work. Somehow they were not convinced with my working style as they felt that I did not follow their work-philosophy in executing my job.

My performance did not get the due appraisal and all my efforts were wasted. Had I known exactly what the management wanted from me I would have definitely worked in that direction and this way my efforts would not have gone to drains.

This world is a place where we have been sent to perform our duties. On the Day of Judgment, Allah (SWT) would appraise our worldly performance and we would be duly rewarded then. So it is important for us to know what Allah (SWT) expects from us? Whether the duties which we are currently performing are enough and as per His wish? Because if we fail to understand whatever Allah (SWT) is expecting from us then all the good deeds and duties which we have performed may not be useful to us on that day.

Let us then begin our research with the following ayah from Surah-e-Baqra:

“Neki kuch yehi thodi hai ke namaz main apne mooh purab ya paschhim ki taraf kar lo balke neki to uski hai jo Khuda aur roze aakherat aur farishton aur Khuda ki kitabon aur paighambaron per imaan laye aur uski ulfat main apna maal karabatdaron aur yatimon aur mohtajon aur pardesiyon aur maangnewalon aur laundi ghulam (ke gulu khalasi) main sarf kare aur pabandi se namaz padhe aur zakaat deta rahe aur jab koi aehed kiya to apne qawl ke poore hain aur fiqr-o-faaqa wa ranj-o-sakhti aur ghutan ke waqt saabit qadam rahe, yehi log parhezgar hai .” – (Surah-e-Baqra, ayah 177)

“(Virtue is not in this that ye turn your faces toward the east and west, but virtue is of him who believeth in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Book and the prophets: and giveth of his substance, for love of Him unto kindred and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for redeeming necks, and establisheth prayer and giveth the poor-rate and is of the performers of their covenant when they have covenanted; and is of the patient in adversity and affliction and in time or violence these are they who are proven true, and these they are God-fearing.)”

In the above ayah Allah (SWT) has given us the clear definition of good virtues. If we follow them we would be considered virtuous by Him. But to be a virtuous person is the only thing which He expects from us?

Now we will see the ayah from Surah-e-Furqaan:

•“Aur un logon ne duniya main jo kuch nek kaam kiye hai Hum un ki taraf tawwajjo kareinge to Hum us ko goya udti hui khaak bana kar barbaad kar denge.” – (Surah-e-Furqaan, ayah 23)

“(We shall call their deeds into Our presence and scatter them into the air as dust (turn them devoid of all virtue).”

Here, Allah (SWT) promises that He is surely going to destroy the good deeds of certain people and turn them devoid of all virtues. It means Allah (SWT) is looking for something much beyond the good virtues as indicated in the ayah of Surah-e-Baqra.

So if we want to be considered amongst the successful at the Day of Judgment and wish that all our good deeds like our prayers and charity get accepted and are meaningful in the court of Allah (SWT); we need to find that “Precise thing” which He is looking for in us.

Let us again turn to the Quran for this. In the following ayah from Surah-e-Fussilat, Allah (SWT) says:

•“Ae Rasool (SAW) tum kehdo ke imaandaro ke liye to yeh Quran az sartapaa hidayat aur har marz ki shifa hai aur jo log imaan nahin rakhte unke kaanon ke haq main giraani aur behrapan hai aur wo Quran un ke haq main nabinaee ka sabab hai.” – (Surah-e-Fussilat, ayah 44)

“(Say: "It is a Guide and a Healing to those who believe; and for those who believe not, there is a deafness in their ears, and it is blindness in their (eyes))”.

Allah (SWT) says that the same Quran which is a guide and a healing for a believer; is a deafness and blindness for a non-believer. Now, we know that whoever believes in Allah (SWT) is a believer and whoever does not believe in Him, he is a non-believer. But if a person is a non-believer of Allah then why would he recite Quran? And if he is not reciting Quran then why did Allah (SWT) say in the above ayah that Quran is deafness and blindness for a non-believer. This means that Allah (SWT) is referring to those people who though believe in Him and recite Quran but still are considered as non-believers. So who are those unfortunate ones?

Rasool (SAW) in the following hadith says:

“Ali is with the Quran and the Quran is with Ali, and these two will never be separated from each other until they reach me at the Hauz-e-Kausar!” (Ref: Jam’a Sagheer, p 56, Kanz-al-Ummal p 30, Izalut-ul-Khifa Maqsad 2, p 279)

Mawla Ali and Quran are inseparable and thus in the light of this and our pondering upon the above-mentioned ayah, it can be inferred that if somebody separates Mawla Ali (A.S) from Quran, he is a non-believer as per Allah (SWT) and thus Quran would no-longer guide him and instead he could be misguided as he would fail to understand Quran in the right perspective. Thus love for Mawla Ali (A.S) is a parameter which would separate a believer from a non-believer and it is a doctrine to understand Quran.

In this regard let us focus on one more ayah:

“Aur us waqt Rasool (SAW) bargaahe Khuda wandi main arz karenge ke ‘Ae mere Parvardigar meri qaum ne to Quran ko bekaar bana diya’.” – (Surah-e-Furqaan, ayah 30)

“(The Prophet will say: "O my Lord, my people had fettered the Qur'an.")”

There are many great Islamic scholars who have translated the holy book in various languages, it seems that they have really contributed to propagate Quranic knowledge and philosophy, so why would Rasool (SAW) say that his people have fettered the Quran, when we find many great scholars who have learnt Quran by heart and can discuss the ayahs at length with their listeners?

We have got Quran through the holy presence of Rasool (SAW), it was revealed in the form of ‘wahi’ to him on different occasions. He is then the best judge to decide whether we are doing justice with the book or not. And I am sure he must have given us clear instructions which if we follow, we would do justice to our Quranic recitation and be well-guided.

The following hadith of Rasool (SAW) instructs us in this direction. This is also known as Hadith-e-Saqlain, where Saqlain stands for two weighty things:

•“I will soon be called away and will have to depart from you, but I leave amongst you two weighty things; the book of the High and Mighty Allah and my progeny. The Book of Allah is like a rope which extends from the heavens to the earth, and my progeny are the people of my house (Ahl-ul-bait). The Subtle and Aware (Allah) tells me that the two shall never part from each other until they come to me at the Pool. So, take care how you treat them after me.”

This is a very prominent hadith whose reference can be found in different books of Islamic scholars. It is well-recorded by Imam Ahmed (Ibn-e-Hambal) from the tradition related by Abu Sa’eed-al-Khudri in (Musnad, Ahmed Ibn-e-Hambal, Part 3, P 26.) and also recorded by Ibn-e-Abi Shaiba, Abu Ya’li and Ibn-e-S’ad from Abu Saeed (Kanz-ul-Ummal, Part 1, P 47).

The same tradition is also mentioned in the books of prominent Islamic historians and commentators. (Ref: Tirmizi, 5:328, Nisai 96:79, Ibn Atiyyah 1:34, Ibn-e-Hajar P 89)

When we focus on above ayah, we understand that it is Allah’s wish that the Quran and Rasool (SAW)’s progeny would never part. And if somebody tries to separate them, then he is working against the Will of Allah (SWT) and might incur Allah’s wrath.

The progeny of Rasool (SAW), which is in fact the household of Mawla Ali (A.S) is as important as Quran in our lives and if we wish that Quran be a guide and a healing we need to recite it in the light of their love.

The important result which can be derived here is that however impressive a Quranic interpreter and a scholar we come across, unless he has the understanding of the status of progeny of Rasool (SAW) he can never guide anybody as he has not followed Rasool (SAW)’s instructions. His learning Quran by heart would not yield him any benefit as he has disobeyed Allah’s Wish. And if we get impressed by such an orator of Quran and follow him we are taking a big risk as we might get misguided by him.

It was the sacrifice and hard-work of our holy Prophet (SAW) which brought us from the darkness of illiteracy to the light of Islamic philosophy. He guided us and thus he has maximum right on our lives after Allah (SWT). That is the reason Allah (SWT) in the following ayah asks Rasool (SAW) to seek the compensation of his efforts in the following manner:

•“Ae Rasool (SAW) un logon se tum kehdo ke main iss tabligh-e-risaalat per tum se kuch mazdoori to maangta nahin hoon magar tamanna ye hai ke jo chaahe apne Parvardigar tak pahonch ne ki raah pakad le.” – (Surah-e-Furqaan, ayah 57)

“(Say: "No reward do I ask of you for it but this: that each one who will may take a (straight) Path to his Lord.")”

If we really wish to show our gratitude to Rasool (SAW) we should take a straight Path that reaches Allah. That is what Allah wants and that is the wish of Rasool (SAW) as well. At the starting of the article we saw the ayah where Allah (SWT) has defined the good virtues and He expects us to have them, but again we saw in one of the ayahs He said that He would discard the good deeds of certain people. The inference we can take from this is that along with good virtues we should be on the straight path that reaches Him. And once we travel this path we are sure that our good deeds would be accepted by Him and it would make Him happy. So how should we locate this path? Is there any indication in Quran for this?
Let us see one more ayah which is much similar to the above one and it would help us find the way:

•“Ae Rasool (SAW) tum kehdo ke main apni tableegh-e-risalat ka apne karabatdaron ki mohabbat ke siwa tumse koi sila nahin maangta” – (Surah-e-Shura, aayat – 23)

“(‘Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives’)

While the ayah of Surah-e-Shura has explained us what Allah (SWT) and Rasool (SAW) want from us, the above ayah of Surah-e-Furqaan clearly indicates how we can be on the Straight Path that reaches Him; it is in the love for Rasool (SAW)’s relative. If we love them, we would remain on the straight path. So let us see who are they?

When the above ayah was revealed somebody asked Rasool (SAW) that who are they, whose love has been made mandatory on us? To which he replied it is Ali (A.S), Fatema (A.S), their children Hasan (A.S) and Husain (A.S). (Ref: Tafseer-e-Kishaf, Allama Zamkhashri, Vol 3, P 67)

Sa’labi, Zamakhshari, Suyuti and Baidhavi have recorded that the above ayah was revealed to make the love of household of Mawla Ali (A.S) mandatory on the Muslim world. Even prominent Islamic authorities like Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmed Ibn Hambal and others have recorded traditions to this effect by quoting Ibn-e-Abbas.

In order to further substantiate our above inference, let me quote here Rasool (SAW)’s hadith:

•“No one shall be able to move from his place of reckoning on the Day of Judgment until he has stated four things: how he spent his life and his wealth, and where he got it from --- and he shall also be asked about the love of the Ahl-ul-bait.

This tradition has been recorded by Tabrani from Ibn-e-Abbas and from him Allama Suyuti and Nabahani in their Ehya-ul-Maiyyit and Arba’een and many other Ullema have also recorded it.

Logically it seems now that apart from good deeds like prayers and charity, Allah (SWT) would definitely ask us about our commitment and love for Ahl-ul-bait. This is Sirat-e-Mustakim, the straight path which reaches Him and if somebody found faltering with that, his good deeds may not give him any benefits.

Let us now focus on the following ayah in this connection:

•“To tumhare paas jo wahi bheji gayee hai tum uuse mazboot pakde raho iss main shak nahin ke tum sidhee raah per ho.” – (Surah-e-Zukhruf, ayah 43)

“(Therefore hold fast to that which has been revealed to you; surely you are on the right path.)”

If we focus on the above ayah it seems that there was a specific message which Rasool (SAW) was asked to hold fast. Here, the message which Rasool (SAW) was asked to hold tightly and convey was of the ‘wilaya’ of Mawla Ali (A.S). That is the right path as mentioned in the above ayah. (Ref: Manaqib – Ibn-e-Maghaazali, Faqeea, Sha’fei).

That is the reason Rasool (SAW) has said about Mawla Ali (A.S) that:

•“Ali, had I not been afraid that the Muslims would start regarding you as Christians regard Christ, I would have said things about you which would have made the Muslims venerate you and to consider the dust of your feet as something worth venerating; but it will suffice to say that you are from me and I am from you; you will inherit me and I will inherit you; you are to me what Aaron was unto Moses; you will fight for my causes, you will be nearest to me on the day of Judgment; you will be next to me on the fountain of Kausar; enmity against you is enmity against me; a war against you is a war against me; your friendship is my friendship; to be at peace with you is to be at peace with me; your flesh is my flesh; your blood is my blood; who will obey you will obey me; truth is on your tongue, in your heart and in your mind. You are a door to me. As per the order of God, I give these tidings that your friends will be rewarded in Heaven and your enemies are doomed for Hell.” - (Ref: Yanabi-al-Mowaddat (Bombay Edition, P 107)

Allah (SWT) has granted a cult status to Mawla Ali (A.S) and He has promised glad tidings to the people who be-friend him and his household and they would be rewarded in Heaven and his enemies would be punished in Hell. It is thus love of Ahl-ul-bait that Allah (SWT) wants his people to have to be successful.

When we see around we find that nothing holds us back from offering regular namaz, paying zakat, going for Hajj and performing rozas. Everyone from us at the end wants to be successful and be a chosen servant of Allah (SWT), but when it comes to recognizing the status of Ahl-ul-bait and loving them we tend to hold ourselves back. Why is it so? When so much has been promised by Allah (SWT) and Rasool (SAW) to us in this regards, why we are so reluctant?

Let us see the Quran again for the answer:

•““Khuda ne farmaya ke yehi raah sidhi hai ke mujh tak pahonchti hai. Jo mere mukhlis bande hai un per tujhe kissi tarah ki hukumat na hogi magar haan gumraahon main se jo teri pairvi kare usper tera zor chal jaaega aur haan ye bhi yaad rahe ke un sab ke waste aakhri wada buss Jahannum hai.” – (Surah-e-Hijr, ayah 41-43)

(“Lord said: This is a right way with Me: Surely. as regards My servants, you have no authority, over them except those who follow you of the deviators. And surely Hell is the promised place of them all”)

The above ayah is the reply which Allah (SWT) gave to Satan, when he said that he would lure mankind to deviate from the right path. Allah (SWT) confirms to Satan that people who tread the right path would never deviate and Satan would not have any authority over them. When we contemplate on the above ayah further we can infer that it is Satan’s duty now not to allow us to reach the straight path. He thus works full-time to hold us back from reaching the Sirat-e-Mustakim; that is to have love for Ahl-ul-bait.

Before I end my article, let me quote a famous couplet from a qawwali:

“Basad talash na kuch wus’atay nazar se mila. Nishane manzil-e-maqsood raahbar se mila.
Ali mile to mile Khana-e-Khuda se hamein, Khuda ko dhundha to wo bhi Ali ke ghar se mila.”

We all are amongst the fortunate ones who understand the status and importance of Ahl-ul-bait and love them immensely. This love is a great honour which Allah (SWT) has bestowed on us so let us pray to Him that “O Our Lord! Do keep us steadfast on Sirat-e-Mustakim and give us enough strength to overpower Satan and bestow Your limitless grace, mercy and glad tidings on us in this world and hereafter. Aamin.”

Thursday, September 23, 2010


When I had moved to my new house I was happy to find a beautiful garden at the backyard. But soon I realized that its maintenance was a tough task; it needed proper attention and care. Because of heavy seasonal rains there were weeds everywhere and there was a need for a good mowing so that it gains its original form.

Since I had to go out of town for a vacation, I hired an expert gardener who can look after my garden and take appropriate care of it. After few days when I returned from my vacation I could not believe my eyes. He had changed the look of my garden completely.

It was lush green with lawns which were cut proportionately and plants were full of beautiful flowers. His expert nurturing enhanced the beauty of an otherwise messy garden.

I appreciated his efforts and congratulated him on his work. I decided to permanently appoint him as my gardener as his work was trustworthy. From that day onwards even if I decided to do something in my garden I would invariably take his advice.

 Allah (SWT) has created this world and decorated it with the philosophy of Islam. Through Quran and the last Prophet (SAW) this philosophy was well accomplished. Let us then try to find out the people who nurtured and beautified it for us?

Let us start with the following ayah:

•“Wo waqt yaad karo jab Khuda farmaaega ke ae Mariam (A.S) ke bête Isa (A.S) Hum ne jo ehsaanat tum per aur tumhari maa per kiye unhain yaad karo.” – (Surah-e-Maida, ayah 110)

“(Then will Allah say: "O Jesus the son of Mary! Recount My favour to thee and to thy mother.)”

In the above ayah Allah (SWT) is asking Isa (A.S) to remember His limitless grace which He bestowed over him and his mother Mariam (A.S) and be thankful to Him. On various occasions in the Quran He insist His messengers and the mankind in general to remain thankful for His limitless favours which He bestowed on us.

Now in the following ayah from Surah-e-Dahr Allah says:

“Yeh log hai jo nazarein puri karte hain aur us din se jis ki sakhti har taraf pheli hogi darte hai aur uski mohabbat main mohtaaj aur yateem aur aseer ko khana khilaate hai aur kehte hai ke hum to tum ko khaalis Khuda ke liye khilaate hai hum na to tum se badle ke khwaastgaar hai aur na shukar guzaari ke.” – (Surah-e-Dahr (Insaan), ayah 7-8-9)

“(They fulfill vows and fear a day the evil of which shall be spreading far and wide. And they give food out of love for Him to the poor and the orphan and the captive: We only feed you for Allah's sake; we desire from you neither reward nor thanks.)”

This is the shining example of conduct of charity which Allah wishes the mankind to follow. Their gesture has personified whatever was instructed by Allah in this case.
Zamakhshari has quoted Ibn-e-Abbas in his book Al-Kashaf that this verses were revealed highlighting the charity given by Mawla Ali (A.S), Fatema (A.S), Hassan(A.S) and Husain (A.S). Once Hassan (A.S) and Husain (A.S) were ill, the Prophet (SAW) along-with his companions visited them and suggested to Mawla Ali to make a vow to Allah. Therefore, Imam Ali together with Fatima (A.S) and their servant Fedhdhah vowed to Allah that they would fast for three days if He would relieve Hassan (A.S) and Husain (A.S.).

So when Hassan (A.S) and Husain (A.S) got cured they all fasted. On the first day a needy man approached during the time of breaking the fast. The holy family gave away whatever they had to him and spent the night with nothing to eat except water. They fasted the second day, and again at sunset, when they were waiting for their food, an orphan asked them for help and they again preferred him over themselves. The third evening a captive (prisoner of war) asked them for help and they repeated their preference for the needy above themselves.

This selfless act was noticed by Allah, so let us see what did they get in return from the most Beneficent, The most generous? Let us see the following ayah from the same Surah:

•“Un ke upar sabz kareeb aur itlas ki poshaak hogi aur unhain chaandi ke kangan pehnaye jaaenge aur un ka Parvardigaar unhain nihayat paakizah sharaab pilaega ye yaqeeni tumhare liye hoga tumhari (kaarguzaariyon ke) sile main aur tumhari koshish qaabile shukar guzaari hai.” – (Surah-e-Dahr (Insaan), ayah 21-22)

“(Upon them shall be garments of fine green silk and thick silk interwoven with gold, and they shall be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord shall make them drink a pure drink. It will be said to them, “This is your reward – indeed your efforts have been appreciated.)”

At this time, Gabriel descended and said: ‘Take this chapter Muhammad (SAW); Allah surely congratulates you for having this family.’ It is worthy to state that the Good ones mentioned here are Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Hussain; who deserve Paradise because of their act of feeding the needy, the orphan, and the captive. (Ref:Tafseer-e-Kishaf, Vol 3, P 239)

Thus while in case of Isa (A.S) Allah instructed him to remember His bounties and be thankful to Him. In the case of family of Mawla Ali (A.S) Allah acknowledges their selfless effort of charity, appreciates and thank them and rewards them with paradise. This shows the rank of this holy family with respect to Allah.

This is not the only occasion where Allah remembers them. Let us see two more ayahs in this connection:

•“Iss main shak nahin ke Khuda aur uske farishte paighambar (aur unki aal) per durood bhejte hai to ae imaandaro tum bhi durood bhejte raho aur baraabar salaam karte raho”. – (Surah-e-Ahzaab, ayah 56)

“(Surely Allah and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who believe! call for (Divine) blessings on him and salute him with a (becoming) salutation.)”

When this verse was revealed, someone asked Rasool (SAW) in what words should the believers recite ‘Salawat’ or ‘Durood’ i.e. the salutation to him. He said. “O Lord! Bestow Thy mercy and grace upon Mohammed (SAW) and the Progeny of Mohammed (SAW) as Thou didst bestow Thy mercy and blessings upon Ibrahim and the progeny of Ibrahim, verily Thou art the Most Praised and the Most Gracious one.” – (Ref: Saheeh Bukhari Chp. 19, P 305 & Chp 26 P 5, Jam’a Tirmizee P 66 & P 395, Sunan Ibn-e-Majah P 65, Sunan Nisaee Vol 1, P 189)

•“Aur Hum ne un ka zikr khair baad ke aane walon main baaqi rakkha ke har taraf se Aal-e-Yaseen per salaam hi salaam hai” – (Surah-e-Sa’afat, ayah 129-130)

“(And We perpetuated to him (praise) among the later generations. Peace be unto the Aal-e-Yaseen.)”

Ibn-e-Abi Haatim and Ibn-e-Marduiya have quoted Ibn-e-Abbas that Aal-e-Yaasin in the above ayah refers to Aal-e-Mohammed (SAW) (Ref: Durr-e-Mansoor, vol 5, P 286)

Fakhruddin Razi writes that the Ahl-ul-bait are at par with the Holy Prophet (SAW) in salutation for Allah said, “Peace be unto thee, O Prophet” and He also said, “Peace be unto the Aal-e-Yaseen.”

So Allah does remember them and His angels join Him in sending their salutations to Mohammed wa Aale Mohammed (SAW).

Even Rasool (SAW) whenever used to come to Mawla Ali (A.S)’s house, he would hold the door and say ‘Assalam-alaykum Yaa Ahl-ul-bait”. (Ref: Durr-e-Mansoor, Mulla Jalaluddin Suyuti, Vol 5, Page 198-199)

 It means that Allah, His messenger and His angels together send their greetings and salutation to the family of Mawla Ali (A.S) for their selfless love and sacrifice for the cause of Islam and Allah.

There is no greater sacrifice than the sacrifice of Imam Husain (A.S) in Karbala. Karbala is important to all of us as here Imam Husain (A.S) by sacrificing his children, brothers, relatives and friends displayed his commitment for the divine cause. Before Jihad-e-Karbala we never knew the level of commitment required to acquire Allah’s pleasure. Imam Husain (A.S) has set the benchmark and given us the parameter in this regard.

Ramzan is the holiest month in Muslim calendar. We all fast in this month and show our commitment towards Allah and expect his bounties and grace in return. Allah has promised to purify us if we do as He has instructed. While fasting there are no restrictions in saheri and iftaari, we can have grand breakfast for saheri and lavish iftaari when we break the fast. The duration is normally around 14-15 hours at a stretch. In these hours we fight all the temptations and expect that Allah would reward us.

Now let us see what happened in Karbala, Imam Husain (A.S) and his holy household was without food and water for more than 72 hours at a stretch. There was no saheri and no iftaari for them. We fast in the comfort of our houses, still Allah is happy with us. While Imam Husain (A.S) was without food and water along with his little children way away from his house. He was surrounded by enemies who were after his blood, again there was no security of his children. But still he remained committed and fought with all temptations to seek Allah’s pleasure.

We just saw in Surah-e-Dahr how Allah appreciated the sacrifice of house-hold of Mawla Ali when they gave charity. It seems logical that Allah would have appreciated the grand sacrifice of Imam Husain (A.S) and his household in Karbala.

In order to substantiate this let us see the following ayah and I am sure it will give us logical perspective on the above discussion:

•“Us main shak nahin ke ye yaqeeni bada sakht aur sarihi imtihaan tha aur Hum ne Ismaeel ka fidya ek zibhe azeem (badi qurbani) qaraar diya. Aur Hum ne unka achha churcha baad ke aanewalon main baaki rakkha hai ” – (Surah-e-Sa’afat, ayah 106-107-108

“(Most surely this is a manifest trial. And We ransomed him with a Feat sacrifice. And We perpetuated (praise) to him among the later generations)”

This ayah refers to the incident where Ibrahim (A.S), following the instructions of Allah, was ready to sacrifice his son Ismaeel (A.S). Allah liked his willingness and He then exchanged it with a greater sacrifice (Zibhe Azeem). Most of the Islamic commentators have unanimously said that this great sacrifice which Allah is referring in the above ayah is sacrifice of Imam Husain (A.S) and his household at the battle field of Karbala. (Ref: Merajjunnabuwat, P 35)

There was only one sacrifice which Ibrahim (A.S) had to perform while in Karbala Imam Husain (A.S) saw martyrdoms of 6 months old Ali Asghar (A.S), 18 years old Ali Akbar (A.S), his nephews, brothers and friends. Thus for this reason Allah (SWT) considers the sacrifice of Imam Husain (A.S) as Zibhe Azeem (Great Sacrifice).

Referring to this famous Urdu poet Allah Iqbal has said:
• Gharib-o-sâda- o-rangi'n hay dâstân-e-Haram. Nihâyat iski Husayn ibtida hay Ismâil

(He says that event of construction of Kaaba is very simple and interesting, it started with the sacrifice of Ismail (A.S) but it was not completed and it was postponed for later generation when Imam Husain (A.S) sacrificed his life and preserved the dignity of Holy Kaaba)

Some of the prominent Islamic scholars have recorded the importance of Karbala and the message it gave to Muslim world.

•Salami records: “I paid a visit to the Prophet’s wife Umme Salma and saw her crying with grief. When I asked her what made her weep, she said, ‘I just dreamt that the Prophet had come with his beard and head covered with dust. When I asked him what made him so full of grief, he told me that he had just returned after seeing his Husain butchered.’” (Ref: Jam’a Tirmizee P 466, Mishkat Vol 8, P 139, Mustadrak Vol 4. P 19)

Even some Non-Muslim scholars have given their opinion on the grand sacrifice:

•“Of that gallant band, male and female knew that the enemy forces around were implacable, and were not only ready to fight, but to kill. Denied even water for the children, they remained parched under the burning sun and scorching sands, yet not one faltered for a moment. Husain marched with his little company, not to glory, not to power of wealth, but to a supreme sacrifice, and every member bravely faced the greatest odds without flinching.” – Dr. K. Sheldrake

•“The best lesson which we get from the tragedy of Cerebella is that Husain and his companions were rigid believers in God. They illustrated that the numerical superiority does not count when it comes to the truth and the falsehood. The victory of Husain, despite his minority, marvels me!” – Thomas Carlyle

•“In a distant age and climate, the tragic scene of the death of Husain will awaken the sympathy of the coldest reader.” – Edward Gibbon

•“A reminder of that blood-stained field of Karbala, where the grandson of the Apostle of God fell, at length, tortured by thirst, and surround by the bodies of his murdered kinsmen, has been at anytime since then, sufficient to evoke, even in the most lukewarm and the heedless, the deepest emotion, the most frantic grief, and an exaltation of spirit before which pain, danger, and death shrink to unconsidered trifles.” - Browne’s History of Persia

So while Mawla Ali sought pleasure of Allah by sleeping on the bed of Rasool (SAW), Imam Husain (A.S) on the battlefield of Karbala won the trust of Allah and got His permission in return. As Allah says in the following ayah:

•“Aur Jis shakhs ke liye wo ijaazat ata farmaye uske siva kissi ki sifarish us ki bargaah main kaam na aayegi.”- (Surah-e-Saba, ayah 23)

"(No intercession can avail in His Presence, except for those for whom He has granted permission)”

Our above claim is substantiated, as we find that in the month of Moharram and otherwise it is because of Imam Husain’s intercession the people irrespective of their religion get their desires fulfilled.

Let me then conclude by mentioning Khwaja Gharib Nawaz’s immortal verses on the status of Imam Husain (A.S):

•Shah ast Husain, Badshah ast Husain – (King is Husain, Emperor is Husain)
Deen ast Husain, Deen Panah ast Husain - (Faith is Husain, Guardian of faith is Husain)
Sardad na daad dast dar dast-e-Yazeed – (Offered is Head, against his hand to Yazid)
Haqqa key binaey La ilaah ast Husain. - (Indeed Husain is the foundation of La ilaha)

By displaying impeccable example it is Imam Husain (A.S) and household of Mawla Ali (A.S), who gave meaning to Islamic philosophy. They are the duly appointed guardian of the religion. Their conduct and sacrifice has beautified it further. So let us pray to Our Lord to keep us loyal to them and His divine mission, so that we can be considered amongst His trusted servants. Aamin.”

Monday, September 6, 2010

My Quotes

"Definition of success is a myth which changes from person to person and hence aiming for it is misleading; rather always aim for satisfaction in whatever work you undertake and you will find your success at that point."

‎"There is one knowledge source and there can be various interpretations. A person who interprets the gained knowledge as near to as its original source has gained knowledge in the true sense".

"The seed of success lies in foundation of trust. Trust your employees and they would develop your enterprise. Trust your friends and they would help you when chips are down. Above all trust God and you would always remain happy and optimistic."

"Be yourself because you are unique.."

"Childhood is Enthusiasm. Youth is Energy. Middle age is Experience. Old age is Enlightenment. If at any given point of your life, you are able to bring all these 4 Es, together that would surely be your Peak of success."

"Backed with the mission of all round development, the journey of an entrepreneur is much more enjoyable. It is much more meaningful."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Amr e Ilahi

In my recent business trip I was accompanied by one of my partners with whom I like to discuss spirituality along with business. During the discussion we were talking about various creations of Almighty and their importance in our lives.

He was all praise for solar system and the way it operates. The same Sunlight which brightens our days, when reflected through Moon, illuminates our nights. Sun is the original source of light while Moon becomes the interim source.

The other interesting observation which came out of discussion was that our eyes are not strong enough to bear the Sunlight directly. If we try to look at the Sun for long, it may damage our eyes. While the same Sunlight, when reflected through Moon at night, sooths our eyes.

We tend to gaze at the Moon for a while and admire its beauty. It is the Moon alone which has the quality of soothing the Sunlight, other reflecting sources like mirror or even water don’t have this ability and seeing the reflection of Sun through them can be damaging.

 So Moon has the ability and the character to reflect the Sunlight in the manner that suits us and again it is the interim source of Sunlight which illuminates the dark nights when Sun is invisible.

It is Allah, who has created everything but He has kept Himself invisible from us. He is the ultimate source. As He says in Quran on various occasions that all His creations are His signs, it means that there must be an interim source for bestowing His bounties on us.

So let us try to reach this interim source and thank our Lord for creating it. For the purpose we will focus on few of the ayahs of Quran and try to reach the conclusion.

In the following ayah from Surah-e-Fatir, Allah says:

•“Phir Hum ne apne bandon main se khaas un ko Quran ka waaris banaya jinhain (ahl samjh kar) muntakhab kiya kyunke bandon main se kuch to naafarmaani kar ke apni jaan per sitam dhaate hai aur kuch unmain se neki-badi ke darmiyaan hai aur un main se kuch log Khuda ke ikhtayaar se nekiyon main auron se goya sabqat le gaye hai, yehi intekhaab wa sabqat to Khuda ka bada fazal hai.” – (Surah-e-Fatir, ayah 32)

“(Then We have given the Book for inheritance to such of Our Servants as We have chosen: but there are among them some who wrong their own souls; some who follow a middle course; and some who are by Allah’s leave, foremost in good deeds; that is the highest Grace)”

Here Allah (SWT) testifies the character of the inheritor of Allah’s wisdom. He is the chosen servant of Allah and foremost in good deeds. Allah (SWT) found him suitable to make him the source of divine knowledge. So who is he?

Rasool (SAW) in the following hadith has revealed this great inheritor by saying:

•“The Holy Quran has outward and inward meanings and Ali Ibne Abi Talib has the knowledge of both. (Ref: Hilyatul Awaliya, Abu Nu’aym, vol 1 P 65)

And Mawla Ali confirms about his own divine knowledge:

•““Ask me about the Book of Allah, because there is no ayah but that I know whether it was revealed at night or in daytime, on the plain or in the mountain.” (Ref: History of Khailfa who took the right way, Jalaluddin Suyuti, P 194)

Even prominent historians of Muslim world have quoted Mawla Ali as saying "‘Salooni’: ask me whatever you wish before I am no more among you”. (Ref: Sawaiq-e-Mohriqa, Ibn-e-Hajar).

In this connection let us see one more ayah:
•“To agar tum log khud nahin jaante ho to ahl-e-zikr se pooch kar dekho.” – (Surah-e-Anbiya, ayah 7)

“(Ask the rememberancers (ahl-e-zikr), if you do not know)”.

Imam Sa’labi reports from Jabir Ibn-e-Abdullah Ansari in his Tafseer that when this ayah was revealed, Mawla Ali (A.S) said, “We are the rememberancers (ahl-e-zikr)”.

 From the above it makes sense if we say that Mawla Ali was chosen above others to inherit the divine knowledge. He had the ability and the character to distribute the knowledge the way Allah wanted. Thus he is the interim source of Allah’s knowledge and wisdom.

Now, let us see the following ayah from Surah-e-Yaasin:

•“Hum hi yaqeenan murdon ko zinda karte hai aur jo kuch wo log pehle kar chuke hai unko aur unki achhi ya boori baaqi maanda nishaaniyon ko likhte jaate hai aur Hum ne har cheez ko ek sareeh wa roshan peshwa main gher diya hai.” – (Surah-e-Yaasin, ayah 12)

“(Surely We give life to the dead, and We write down what they have sent before and their footprints, and We have recorded everything in Imam-e-Mubeen)”

In the above ayah Allah (SWT) says that all the good and bad deeds of mankind is recorded in “Imam-e-Mubeen”. It means that at the day of Judgement, Allah (SWT) would refer this Imam-e-Mubeen when finally He would take the accounts.

As per one tradition, when this ayah was revealed, Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umar were standing beside Rasool (SAW). Both of them asked whether Imam-e-Mubeen was ‘Tauret’? Rasool (SAW) said ‘No’ they then asked whether it was ‘Injeel’ to which he again said ‘No’, they further asked whether it was ‘Quran’ he again replied in negative. At this time Mawla Ali (A.S) appeared from the front, he said pointing towards Imam Ali that he is “Imam-e-Mubeen.” (Ref: Durr-e-Mansoor, Vol 5 P 261, Jalaluddin Suyuti, Ubaid bin Hamid bin Jureira, Ibn-e-Abi Hakim)

Thus Mawla Ali would be having the records of all good and bad deeds of mankind. That is why Rasool (SAW) has said that:

•“Ali is the divine proof from his Almighty and I am witness on it.” (Ref: Tarikh Ibn-e-Asakir, vol 43 P 220, Kareeb Minal lafaz fi Yanabe-ul-mowaddat, vol 1 P 293)

•"O Ali, you are the divider of heaven and hell"
(Ref: Sawaiq-e-Mohraika, P 126, Yanabe-ul-mowaddat, vol 1 P 163)

 This means that Mawla Ali would be the chosen representative from Allah’s side on the day of Judgement. This makes him an interim source of Allah’s justice.

Let us find further proof on the above topic through focusing on few more ayahs:

•“Khuda ko chhod kar jin ki parastish karte hain unko sabko ikattha karo phir unhain Jahannum ki raah dekhao aur haan zara unhain thehrao to un se kuch poochna hai.” – (Surah-e-Sa’affat, ayah 23-24)

“(Gather together those who were unjust and their associates, and what they used to worship besides Allah, and lead them to the Way to the (Fierce) Fire! “But stop them, for they must be asked.)”

In the above ayah, while the wrongdoers would be headed towards Hell, Allah would ask them to stop for further questioning. That means this question is equally important as per Allah. So what is that Allah would ask?

As per the tradition given by Ibn-e-Abbas of Abu Saeed Khudri, Rasool (SAW) has said that on the day of Judgement people would be questioned about wilaya of Ali Ibne Abi Talib and love for him. (Ref: Sawaiqe Mohraiqa, Allama Ibn-e-Hajar)

And Rasool (SAW) has also said that:

•“Followers of Ali would surely succeed” – (Ref: Yanabe-ul-mowaddat, vol 2 P 312, Kareeb Minal lafaz fi tazkirtul khawaas, P 56)

 There is no salvation without acknowledging Mawla Ali’s wilaya. His love is the interim source of Allah’s salvation.

Before we proceed further with our discussion, let us first see the relationship of Ibrahim (A.S) and Rasool (SAW) vis-à-vis Allah.

Ibrahim (A.S) is called as “Khalil-ullah” meaning “Friend of the Almighty Allah”. A friend is somebody who is faithful to you and he is your well-wisher. I will consider somebody as my friend who listens to me and be my help. Ibrahim (A.S) was so faithful to Allah’s Will that Allah considered him as His friend.

Now let us see the following ayah:

•“Aur raat ke khaas hisse main namaz-e-tahajjud padha karo ye sunnat tumhari khaas fazilat hai. Qareeb hai ke Qayamat ke din Khuda tumko maqam-e-Mehmood tak pahonchae”. – (Surah-e-Bani Israel, ayah 79)

“(And during a part of the night, pray Tahajjud beyond what is incumbent on you; may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam-e-Mahmuda (a station of praise and glory i.e. the highest degree in Paradise!)”.

In the above ayah, Allah (SWT) promises Rasool (SAW) to raise him to Maqam-e-Mahmud. That is why he is called “Habib-e-Khuda” or “Habib-ullah”. Habib means somebody who is loved and adored. Rasool (SAW) was adored by Allah. Now, when you adore somebody you want to do something for him and make him happy. Allah (SWT) changed the Qibla from Baitul Mukkaddas to Kaaba just because it was Rasool (SAW)’s wish. Ref: [(Surah-e-Baqra, ayah 144, We have established this in my previous article ‘Proof of Divinity”)]

So while Ibrahim (A.S) was faithful to Allah’s Will. Rasool (SAW)’s will was Allah’s Will.

With this in mind let us see the following ayah:

•“Aur logon main se Khuda ke bande kuch aise hai jo Khuda ki (khushnudi) haasil karne ki gharaz se apni jaan tak bech daalte hai aur Khuda aise bandon per bada hi shafkat wala hai.” – (Surah-e- Baqra, ayah 207)

“(And among men is he who sells himself to seek the pleasure of Allah; and Allah is Affectionate to the servants.)”

If we look at the above ayah, it mentions a chosen servant of Allah, who sells himself. Now, in any business transaction there should be two entities for a sale to happen: one is a buyer and other is a seller. From the above we know that there is one seller who is ready to sell his soul to seek Allah’s pleasure, that means in this case the buyer is Allah who has purchased the soul and has given His pleasure in return. The important result from this point onwards is that the above-mentioned soul is now Allah’s soul.

This ayah was revealed in the praise of Mawla Ali (A.S) when he slept on the bed of Rasool (SAW) during the night of Hijrat. Rasool (SAW) informed Mawla Ali (A.S) about the dangerous situation and his plans to move to Yasreb. He asked Mawla Ali (A.S) if he would sleep on his bed covering himself with his cloak. Mawla Ali asked "If I sleep in your place, in your bed, will your life be saved?". “Yes” was the reply of Rasool (SAW). Ali (A.S.) thanked Allah and slept in the bed of the Rasool (SAW) covering himself with the cloak.

Let us see some references in this connection:

• Imam Ghizali in his Tareekhe Khamees writes that the above ayah of Surah-e-Baqra was revealed mentioning this sacrifice of Mawla Ali (A.S).

• In Mustadrak by Imam Hakim, Volume 3 Page 4, it is related from Ibn-e-Abbas, “Lo!” Ali was the man who sold his soul; the incident of his wrapping himself in the Holy Prophet’s cloak on the fateful night of the flight to Medina is not unknown.”

• On the same page of the same book, Imam Hakim related from Imam Zain-ul-Abedeen (A.S), “The first man in Islam who sold his soul to attain the pleasure of Allah was Ali, when he slept on Holy Prophet’s bed on the night of his escape from Mecca.”

It was Mawla Ali’s commitment for the cause of Rasool (SAW) and his love for Holy Prophet which encouraged him to risk his life. His faithfulness towards “Habib-ullah” was so liked by Allah that He became the purchaser of Mawla Ali’s soul. Thus Mawla Ali became ‘Nafs-ullah” meaning Allah’s soul. So now Mawla Ali’s will is actually Allah’s will.

That is why Rasool (SAW) has said that:

•“Amongst men it is Ali who knows Allah the best.” – (Ref: Selections from Kanz-ul-Ummal, Bahamash Al Masnad, Vol 5 P 32)

Allah has purchased Ali’s soul and He has not only shared His name ‘Ali’ with Mawla Ali (A.S), but also rented His house (Kaaba) for him to take birth. Thus Mawla Ali is the interim source of Allah’s Will.

In his Khutba: Mareifet-e-Nooraniyat, which he addressed to Hazrat Salman Farsi and Hazrat Abu Dhur Ghafari, Mawla Ali has said:

•“O Salmán! O Jandáb! Verily, Allah has made me His Trustee over His creation and His Vicegerent on His earth, in His territories, and over His servants. Allah has given me what no artist can depict and no man of understanding can truly comprehend. One who knows me in this manner, becomes a momin.”

Here I would like to end my article with famous urdu couplet written by Hazrat Amir Khusro (r.a.):

“Jo Kaabe main ho payda aur Shahadat paae masjid main, Khuda ke ghar ka maalik wo bashar yun bhi hai aur yun bhi.”

 Mawla Ali (A.S) is thus the interim source of Allah’s limitless bounties. So My Lord! Please increase my love and affection for your everlasting source of bounties and bestow your grace and blessings on me in this world and hereafter. Aamin