Friday, June 25, 2010

The Path to Salvation

As the saying goes “All is well that ends well”. I have observed that most of the time whenever somebody suggests a book or a film to me, I invariably ask him about the ending. I would read only that book or see only that film which has a happy ending.

Films and books are work of fiction, they may not have any bearing on the real life; even then we are concerned with the happy ending. So if we are so concerned about a fictional thing, we need to think whether we are concerned about real life as well? Are we doing enough to ensure that our ending is happier?

We work hard to become a doctor, or an engineer or a professional so that we earn status and dignity and bring happiness to our lives. In this world we are fully empowered to decide and act . But what happens after that? What happens after we leave this world? How do we ensure that our life hereafter is happy where we have to live forever? When do we work to improve our life after death?

So, it means that in this very life, since we have the power to act and decide; Allah (SWT) must have suggested us ways to make our life happier and blissful after death. Let us then strive to find the path to salvation. Allah (SWT) has promised that if we take one step in His direction, He will take ten steps. So let me start my steps and Insha’Allah at the end, we will find Him.

Allah (SWT) has spoken to us through Quran. So let us reflect on few of His holy ayahs and this will surely guide us to the path of salvation.
In the following ayah from Surah-e-Baqra, Allah (SWT) has spoken about resurrection:

•“Aur Khuda bahot jald hisab lene wala hai….., aur Khuda se darte raho aur yaqeen jano ke ek din tum sab ke sab uski taraf qabr se uthaye jaoge..” – (Surah-e-Baqra, ayah 202-203)

The ayah says that Allah (SWT) is surely going to check the accounts. Again the ayah further says that we all will have to gather in front of Him after resurrection. But the following ayah from Surah-e-Anam says:

•“Us ko aankhein dekh nahin sakti na duniya main na aakherat main aur Woh logo ki nazaron ko khoob dekhta hai aur Woh bada bareekbeen wakifkaar hai..” – ( Surah-e-Anam, ayah 103)

This may confuse us, as we feel that if He is not to be seen then why has He said that we all will have to be gathered in front of Him? Both the above ayahs are true and that is our faith. This leads us to think that Allah (SWT) must have appointed His representatives who will conduct the justice on His behalf.

These representatives must be as divine, as just, as pious and as capable as Allah (SWT) wants them to be. Who are they then?

In the Surah-e-Qaaf, Quran says:
•“Aur har nafas iss shaan se aayega ke ek haankne wala aur ek gawah us ke saath saath hoga” - (Surah-e-Qaaf, ayah 19-20-21)

•“Aur haankne wale aur gawah ko hukm hoga ke tum donon har munkir sar kash ko jahannum main daal do…” (Surah-e-Qaaf, ayah 24)

The above ayah refers to Rasool (SAW) and Mawla Ali (A.S) as the two who would throw the evil doers into the hell fire. (Ref: Masnad Ahmed bin Hambal)

That must be the reason, Rasool (SAW) has said about Mawla Ali (A.S) that:
•“Ali Jannat aur Dozakh ka taqseem karne wala hai”. (Ref: Sawaiq-e-Mohriqa, P 126, Yana Be-ul Mawwadat, vol 1, P 163)

 Allah (SWT) is not to be seen in this world; neither will we ever see him in the next world. Allah (SWT) has chosen Rasool (SAW) and Mawla Ali (A.S) as the judges on the Day of Judgment who would punish the sinners and reward the momins. They are as divine, as just, and as pious and as capable as Allah (SWT) wants them to be, after all they will be deciding on behalf of Allah (SWT). So when Allah says that we all will have to be gathered in front of Him, logically it seems we will be gathered in front of Rasool (SAW) and Mawla Ali (A.S) and thus if we remain faithful to them we can have a happy ending to our lives.

Let us take few more steps in this direction. Quran says regarding Adam (A.S)’s birth in the following ayahs:

•“Aur Ae Rasool (SAW) woh waqt yaad karo jab tumhare Parvardigar ne farishton se kaha ke main ek aadmi ko khamir di hui mitti se jo sukhkar khan khan bol ne lage paida karne wala hoon.”

•“To jis waqt main usko har tarah se doorast kar chukoon aur usmain apni taraf se rooh phoonk doon to sab ke sab uske saamne sajde main gir padna…” - (Surah-e-Hijr, ayah, 28, 29)

Allah (SWT) created Adam (A.S), perfected him and then made him His khalifa and ordered the angels to bow down in ‘sajda’ to him. Thus he was above angels in stature. We also know that eventually Satan did manage to lure Adam (A.S) to disobey Allah (SAW). How is this possible? I often think that since Allah (SWT) had perfected Adam (A.S), then Adam (A.S) had all the power and strength to overpower satanic temptations. How could he be lured by Satan? And if he was lured then it must be Allah’s Will. So why did Allah(SWT) allow this to happen? Since the entire mankind was to come into existence through Adam (A.S)’s lineage, Allah (SWT), it seems wanted to set a precedent for mankind through this incident. So what is it that Allah wants us to find? Let us now reflect on the following ayah:

•““Phir Aadam ne apne Parvardigar se (Mazerat ke chand alfaaz sikhe), pus Khuda ne un alfaaz ki barkat se Aadam ki tauba qubool kar li beshak Wo bada maaf karne wala Maherbaan hai”. (Surah-e-Baqra, ayah 37)

Allah (SWT) taught Adam (A.S) some words seeking forgiveness, and through these words he was forgiven. It is now clear why Allah had allowed Adam (A.S) to get lured by Satan, after perfecting him. This is the precedence Allah wanted to set, that whenever we go astray or we do get lured by satanic temptations, it is through these holy words that Allah would forgive us.The commentators and Islamic scholars have agreed that these holy words (mentioned in the above ayah) through which Adam (A.S) was forgiven are the names of Panjetan Paak i.e. Mohammed (SAW), Ali (A.S), Fatema (S.A), Hassan (A.S) and Husain (A.S). (Ref: Durr-e-Mansur, Suyuti, vol 1 P 16). Again Allah (SWT) has said in the following ayah of Quran:

•““Ae Imaandaro Khuda se daro jitna Us se darne ka haq hai aur tum (deen) Islam ke siwa kisi aur deen per hargiz na marna aur tum sab milkar Khuda ki rassi mazbooti se thame raho…” – (Surah-e-Aale Imran, ayah 102 )

Allah (SWT) wants us to hold His rope tightly so that we remain steadfast on his faith and Imam Ja’far-as-Sadiq (A.S) has said that the rope of Allah are we Ahl-ul-bait of Mohammed (SAW). (Ref: Imam Sa’labi, Tafseer-e-Kabeer, Sawaiq-e-Mohriqa, Chapter 11, Part 1, Imam Abu Bakr – Rishfat-us-Saadi).

 We are on the right direction as Allah has shown us His rope - it is Ahl-ul-bait, so if we love them and hold them tightly we can reach Allah. In case if we falter and may get deviated from the straight path, the holy words; names of Panjetan Paak (Mohammed (SAW), Ali (A.S), Fatema (S.A), Hassan (A.S) and Husain (A.S)) will bring us forgiveness for our misdeeds just as Adam (A.S) was given forgiveness.

We know that Allah (SWT) wanted to punish the people who had disobeyed Nooh (A.S) and hence He had ordered Nooh (A.S) to prepare an Ark which would save him and his near and dear ones from the worst natural calamity of flood, which Allah had sent. Nooh (A.S) ordered everybody to embark the ark, but his son disobeyed saying that the mountains would save him. Nooh (A.S), then prayed to Allah (SWT) to save his son, to which Allah replied in the following manner:

•“Khuda ne farmaya ae Nooh (A.S) tum ye kya keh rahe ho hargiz woh tumhare ahel main shaamil nahin, beshak woh badchalan hai.” - (Surah-e-Hud, ayah 46) “

Nooh (A.S) was the Nabi of his time and it was mandatory that his command be respected and followed. His own son disobeyed him and hence he was drowned and he died.

Now, let us see who were saved then:

•“Aur Hum ne Nooh (A.S) ko aur kashti walon ko najaat di aur us kashti ko tamam aalam ke liye ek nishani qarar di.” – (Surah-e-Anqaboot, ayah 15)

The people who responded to the call of their Nabi (Nooh (A.S)) and embarked the Ark were saved by the wrath of Allah (SWT).

Rasool (SAW) is Khatemun Nabiyeen and he is Sardar-e-Ambiya and it is mandatory for us to follow his instructions and be obedient to him. He has said that:

•“Behold my Ahl-ul-Bait are like the Ark of Noah; whoever embarked it was saved and whoever turned away from it was destroyed.” (Ref: Mustadrak by Imam Hakim, vol 3, P. 151)

• He has also said that “Whoever wishes to live and die like me, and to abide in the Garden of Eden after death should acknowledge Ali as his patron and follow the Ahl-ul-bait after me, for they are my Ahl-ul-bait and they have been created out of the same substance as myself, and endowed with the same knowledge and understanding.” (Ref: Tabrani in Mu’jum-ul-Kabeer, Shafe’I in his Musnad reproduce the tradition from Ibn-e-Abbas, Kanz-ul-Ummal, Vol 6, P 217, Masnad Ahmed Ibn-e-Hambal)

The way people were saved from the fury of flood when they had followed Nooh (A.S) and embarked his Ark, we will be saved from all kind of fury and calamities if we respond to Rasool (SAW)’s call and embark the ark of Ahl-ul-bait and consider Mawla Ali as our patron and guide. That is the path to salvation.

 We have reached where Allah (SWT) wanted us to reach. Rasool (SAW) and Mawla Ali (A.S) are the appointed judges on the day of judgment and hence being faithful to them is being faithful to Allah (SWT). Obeying them is obeying Allah (SWT) and that will give us salvation. Mohammed (SAW) wa Aale Mohammed (SAW) are that rope of Allah that keeps us steadfast on the path of salvation. It is their holy names through which Allah (SWT) forgives our sins and misdeeds. Mohammed (SAW) wa Aale Mohammed (SAW) are that everlasting Ark, if we embark it we will be saved. We will get salvation. We will have a fairytale ending of “Living happily ever after”. Let Allah (SWT) then gives us enough strength to hold His rope and embark the Ark of Ahl-ul-bait till we live. Aamin.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ali Mushkilkusha

When we observe life we understand that if there is one thing, there is always another thing to overpower that. For example if there is a hard cardboard which I want to cut with great precision ,I would require a sharp-edged cutter to do that. If I try without the cutter, I may hurt my fingers and may not be able to cut the board with precision. So the cutter has the ability to cut the board perfectly. It can overpower hard cardboard.

There are many such examples in our day to day life which compel us to think in this direction. I was listening to a radio station recently, and in the programme the discussion was on ‘safety tips’ in case of fire while working in a kitchen. The announcer advised the listeners to keep a bucket full of sand in the kitchen as a safety measure in case of accidental fire. During the emergency it can be emptied on the fire and fire will get extinguished immediately. The sand has the ability to overpower the menace of fire. Allah (SWT) has thus created a solution to every problem.

Now, when I generally ask someone about his life, most of the time I would get the answer that life is difficult and full of problems. So let us first find out why life is so difficult? What is the reason behind all problems and hardships which we face? And what is the solution available to all our problems?

In Quran, we are fortunate to have a best guide that can lead us to a better life. So I believe Quran can throw better light on the above issue. Hence, let us search Quran for the reason and May Allah (SWT) make our search successful.

Let us see the following Ayahs from (Surah-e-Hijr, Ayah 39-43):
“Satan ne kaha Ae mere Parvardigar chunke Tu ne mujhe raaste se alag kiya main bhi unke liye duniya main (saazo saaman) ko umda kar dikhaoonga aur un sabko zaroor behkaoonga magar un main se tere nire khare khaas bande ki wo mere behka ne main na aayenge.

“Khuda ne farmaya ke yehi raah sidhi hai ke mujh tak pahonchti hai. Jo mere mukhlees 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.”

Further in the Ayah from Surah-e-Airaf, Allah elaborates on Satan:
…Wo aur uska kunba zaroor tumhain iss tarah dekhta rehta hai tum unhain nahin dekhne paate. Hum ne shaitaan no ko unhi logo ka rafeeq qaraar diya hai jo imaan nahin rakhe….”– (Surah-e-Airaf, Ayah, 27)

 It is clear that the moment we get astray and start following satan our problems start. And if satan has got such a power, how can we fight him? We might feel that how can Allah (SWT) expect us to fight someone who is unseen? How can we be saved from satanic menace?

Since Allah (SWT) has created a solution to every problem, He must have created the solution to fight satan as well. Again Quran will guide us to the right solution. So let us search the Quran further.

Let us focus on the following Quranic Ayahs for this:
•(In Surah-e-Taha Musa (A.S) prays to Allah (SWT))
“Aur mere kunbe walon main se mere bhai Haroon (A.S) ko mera wazir bana de uske zariye se meri pusht mazboot kar de aur mere kaam main usko mera sharik bana na hum dono milkar kasrat se Teri tasbih karein aur kasrat se Teri yaad karein Tu to hamari halat dekh hi raha hai. Farmaya Ae Musa (a.s) tumhari sab darkhwastain manzoor ki gayee.” – (Surah-e-Taha, Ayah 29-36)

So Musa (A.S) prayed to Allah (SWT) to make Haroon (A.S) his successor and help. It was Allah’s help which Musa (A.S) was seeking vide his brother Haroon (A.S). And Allah (SWT) granted all that which Musa (A.S) prayed for.

•(In Surah-e-Airaf, Ayah 142, Musa (A.S) instructs Haroon (A.S))
“Aur Musa (A.S) ne apne bhai Haroon (A.S) se kaha ke tum meri quam main mere jaanashin raho aur unki islaah karna aur fasaad karne walon ke tariqe per na chalna.”

• (In Surah-e-Maryam, Ayah 53, Allah (SWT) says this for Musa (A.S))
“Aur Hum ne unhain apni khaas meharbaani se unke bhai Haroon (A.S) ko unka wazir bana kar inaayat farmaya.”

It seems logical from above that It was not only Musa (A.S)’s wish but even Allah (SWT) wished that Haroon (A.S) be the successor of Musa (A.S). Haroon (A.S) was a great help to Musa (A.S) and he was an appointed guide for Musa (A.S)’s quam (community).

If we relate this with Islamic history we will find that in every holy war fought during the time of Rasool (SAW), Mawla Ali remained steadfast and firm in the battle field. Almost all the commentators who have mentioned wars like Badr, Ohad, Khandaq, Khyber and many more vouch for his commitment and faithfulness towards Rasool (SAW) and Islam.

And that is the reason Rasool (SAW) has said about Mawla Ali that:
“Ali, you are to me as Haroon (A.S) was to Musa (A.S)
(Ref: Jalalu'd-Din Suyuti in Ta'rikhu'l-Khulafa, page 65; Abu Abdullah Bukhari in his Sahih, Volume III, the Book of Ghazawa, Qazwa Tabuk, p. 54, and in his book Bida'u'l-Khalq, p. 180; Muslim bin Hajjaj in his Sahih, vol II, p 236-7, Sawa'iq Muhriqa, P-30,34 and more)

“Ali is your guide and all of you are to come to me at the Hauz-e-Kausar… (Ref: Kanz-ul-Ummal Vol2, p. 350)

 So as Haroon (A.S) was a great help to Musa (A.S) so was Mawla Ali to Rasool (SAW). If Haroon (A.S) was the successor of Musa (A.S) appointed by him and Allah (SWT), Mawla Ali was the successor of Rasool (SAW) appointed by him and Allah. If Haroon (A.S) was a guide for Musa (A.S)’s quam Mawla Ali is a guide for Umah-e-Rasool (SAW). Hence call for “Ya Ali Madad” is seeking refuge under a duly appointed guide to safeguard ourselves from ‘satanic misguidance’.

Let us move further in Quran and see whether we can find more proof to above claim. For this purpose let us contemplate on the following Ayahs from Surah-e-Maida:
“Ae Imaandaro tumhare malik sarparast to buss yehi hai Khuda aur uss ka Rasool (SAW) aur wo momineen jo pabandi se namaz adaa karte hai aur haalat-e-ruku main zakat dete hai…” – (Surah-e-Maida, Ayah 55)

All the commentators and researchers are unanimous in their opinion that this refers to Mawla Ali when 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)

So Allah (SWT) with this ayah appoints Mawla Ali, alongwith Himself and Rasool (SAW) as leader & guide to the Muslim world. Allah further says in the subsequent ayah…

“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 56)

 Life is getting simpler now, accepting Mawla Ali as our ‘malik’ and ‘sarparast’ along with Allah (SWT) and Rasool (SAW) we are amongst the army of Allah which is never defeated. And once in His army our every step is a “Jihad” in Allah’s path. Even when we follow our day to day routine it is a Jihad. Hence call for “Ya Ali Madad” is to be a soldier in Allah’s army which is the greatest honour ever. And no satan can ever create problems for us then.

Now our life is secured as we are in Allah’s army but what happens when we leave this world? We will focus on the following ayahs and contemplate on them:

•“Aur jo log Khuda ki Raah main mare gaye unhain kabhi murda na kehna, balki wo log zinda hai magar tum unki zindagi ki haqeeqat ka kuch bhi shaoor nahin rakhte.” – (Surah-e-Baqra, ayah 154)

•“Aur jo log Khuda ki Raah main shaheed kiye gaye hai unhain hargiz murda na samjhna balki wo log jeete jaagte maujood hai, apne Parvardigar ki taraf se tarah tarah ki rozi paate hai.” – (Surah-e-Aale Imran, ayah 169)

From the ayahs of Surah-e-Maida, which we discussed in above section, we understood that accepting Mawla Ali as our leader along with Allah (SWT) and Rasool (SAW), we are part of Allah’s army till the time we are alive and our every step then is in His path. While the above two ayahs say that if a person dies in Allah’s path he is shaheed, he is alive. I believe that is why Mawla Ali has said this in Nah-jul-balagha that:

“Aur jo log Khuda aur us ke Rasool (SAW) aur unki Ahl-ul-bait ke haq ko pehchante hue bister per bhi dum tode wo shaheed marta hai..”
-( Nah-jul-Balagha, Khutba, 188)

 Call for “Ya Ali Madad” gives us entry in Allah’s army till we live. Our life is a jihad in Allah’s path and when we leave this world we are shaheed.

In the beginning of this article we had seen the ayahs from Surah-e-Taha, where Musa (A.S) has prayed for Haroon (A.S), now let us see what are Rasool (SAW)’s prayers for Mawla Ali and his ‘mohib’:

“O our Lord! Love those who love Ali, despise those who will despise Ali; support those who will support Ali, reject those who will reject Ali.” -- (These words were spoken by Rasool (SAW) after the declaration at Ghadir-e-Khum)

He also prayed : “ O Allah! Befriend that one who befriends Ali and be inimical to that who bears ill-will to Ali”- (Ref: Kanzul Ummal Vol 2. P 350)

And Allah (SWT) has said this in Quran:
Us din yeh (gunehgaar) log sifaarish per bhi qadir naa honge magar haan jis shakhs ne Khuda se sifaarish ka iqraar le liya ho.” – (Surah-e-Maryam, ayah 87)

The above ayah mentions that during the day of judgment, along with gunehgaar there will be certain people who have taken promise from Allah (SWT) and their ‘sifaarish’ will be accepted. Now most of the commentators have written that the word ‘ Iqraar le liya’ or ‘taken promise’ is the promise of loving and following Imams. (Ref: Tafseer Dhur Mansoor, Vol 4, Sawaiq-e-Mohriqa and many more)

We just saw in the above hadees, that Rasool (SAW) prayed to Allah to befriend those who befriend Ali and Allah (SWT) has mentioned in the above ayah that those who have taken promise will be able to seek favours (sifaarish) from Him. Seeking favours is to love and be a friend of Imam. And Imamate started with Mawla Ali. He is Imam-e-Muttaqin. He is Ameer-ul-momineen. Thus loving him gives us privilege to seek favours from Allah (SWT). What an honour!

 Our research has been successful. Quran has given the final verdict. A bucket full of love for ‘Abu Turab’ (Mawla Ali) will save us from the ‘fire’ of Satan. He is the solution to all satanic problems. If we love and accept him as our Mawla and leader from the bottom of the heart, we are guided. We are in the Allah (SWT)’s invincible army, our life is a ‘jihad’ and we die as martyr even if we die on a bed. We become Allah’s friend who can seek favours and whose ’sifaarish’ will be accepted by Him. That is why he is “Mushkil Kusha”. So why not we all together say “YA ALI MADAD”!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Straight Path: Quran and Ahl-ul-Bait

“When I walk ahead in the journey of life, I want to enjoy the true meaning of life and understand it well. I want to lead a life which is successful. Which is meaningful. But do I have enough understanding? Can I claim that I know how should I conduct well?

Allah (SWT) has given me the answer, He has given me the Holy Quran, which if follow I will live life the way He wants. But again the question may arise whether I have enough of intelligence and knowledge to understand whatever is being instructed? How do I know whatever interpretation I do is right or not? Who is going to certify my understanding?”

With these thoughts in my mind, I went everywhere. I met many a learned people. They had their own explanation but they failed to convince me.

This summer vacation in order to have some fun-time, we all had decided to go to a wildlife sanctuary. Little did I know that this trip would be a real eye opener for me. The idea was to spend some quality time amidst nature and it would be a recreation trip for the children as well. During the visit, we hired a guide who could take us around the sanctuary and help us with our trip. This guide had been with the sanctuary for many years and he knew the place inside-out.

His experience and knowledge helped us in seeing the rarest of rare species and wild animals. And the best part was that he could sense their presence even when the animals were almost half a mile away in a bush. I was amazed, as it was difficult for me to see them even through the binoculars and he was guiding me through his naked eyes. I was impressed by his knowledge and understanding. This he could do because of his thorough understanding of the area. He was the ultimate authority of the sanctuary. I realized the importance of a true guide.

I would also like to share my college days experience. I was a physics student and understanding ‘quantum physics’ was really tough for me. The reference books were in English language and my command over the language is fairly good, yet I could not understand the subject well. Understanding of the English language was not enough to understand the book and the book alone was not enough for me to understand the subject. The need was then to have ‘an expert’, who can be my guide. I found a professor who was willing to help me with the subject and following his guidance I could clear my graduation. I thanked the college authorities for appointing him to help me.

The important lesson I learnt from the above examples is that not necessarily a person who has fairly good command over Arabic language can understand Quran well. He can be well versed with Arabic language but he may not have the understanding of “philosophy of Islamic teachings”.

Now I wanted to have a right guide who is an expert on the ‘Islamic teachings”, duly appointed by Almighty Allah (SWT); the Supreme Authority. I desperately started seeking a true guide and Allah (SWT) answered my prayers in the following aayat.

“Yeh wo Kitab hai jis ka Kitab-e-Khuda hone main kuch bhi shak nahin. Yeh Muttaqi ke liye hidayat hai.”

- (Surah-e-Baqra, Aayat 2)

Allah says that Quran will guide you only if you are “Muttaqi” momin. We may think then there has to be some parameter, some measure to be one. I always wanted to be guided and hence I will claim I am a Muttaqi Momin but then there has to be some proof of my claim.

Mawla Ali (AS) has given an answer to this:
“Hum Ahl-ul-bait ke saath “Muttaqi” momin ke alaava koi dosti nahin rakhta aur badbakht munafiq ke alaawa hamse koi dushmani nahin rakhta. – (Ref, Zakhair ul-ukba).

So if we have love for Ahl-ul-bait, we are Muttaqi Momin and when we become Muttaqi Momin, the Quran is our guide and “Rehnuma”. Their love is the measure and a proof of being a Muttaqi Momin.Allah (SWT) has further said to Rasool (SAW):

“Aur Ae Rasool (SAW) kafir log kehte hai ke tum paighambar nahin ho to tum un se kehdo ke mere aur tumhare darmiyan meri risalat ki gawahi ke waste Khuda aur wo shakhs jis ko aasmani kitab ka ilm hai kafi hai.” – (Surah-e-Raad, aayat 43)

The person who has been given “Knowledge” of holy book is definitely Mawla Ali (Ref: Tafseer-e-Suyuti, Vol 4, P 69, Ahteyaj-e-Tabresi, Tafseer-e-Ayashi).

Also we know that Rasool (SAW) has said “Main ilm ka shaher hoon aur Ali uska dawaza hai” (Ref: Tarikh-ul-Khulafa by Jalaluddin Suyuti, Mustadrak by Al-Hakim, Durr-e-Mansur, Ibn-e-Hajar’s Sawaiq-e-Mohriqa, P 122, P 73 older edition)

 Allah (SWT) has made them ‘The experts’ on His religion and given them ‘entire knowledge’ that is why when we love them we get access to their knowledge and we understand Quran and we are rightly guided.

Now let us see what place “Ahl-ul-bait” hold with reference to Almighty Allah (SWT).

The following aayat will help us understand this better:
“Ae Paighambar ki Ahl-ul-bait Khuda to buss yeh chahta hai ke tum ko har tarah ki burai se door rakkhe aur itna paak rakkhe jitna paak rakhne ka haq hai” - (Surah-e-Ahzab, Aayat 33)Most of the commentators have unanimously agreed that this aayat is revealed to showcase the ‘piety’ and purity of Ahl-ul-bait (Ref: Tafseer Dhur Mansoor, Mulla Jalaluddin Suyuti, Vol 5, P 198-199).

It is also referred as “Aayat-e-Tatheer”. And Hadees-e-Kisa is the tafseer of this aayat given by Jabir Ibn Abdullah Ansari which mentions that it is revealed in honour of Panjetan (A.S).

Allah (SWT) has showcased their piety in many occasions.

• It was ordered by Allah (SWT) to Rasool (SAW) that all the doors of houses which were opening in the courtyard of Masjid-e-Nabwi should be closed except the house of Ali (A.S) & Fatema (A.S). They were allowed to enter the masjid at any time in any given situation. They were always pious to get the entry. (Ref: Major Jarret’s Suyuti’s His., P 175)

We have understood the importance of their love in understanding Quran now let us see their standing vis-à-vis Namaz. Namaz for a muslim is meraj. It is the highest form of prayer which every muslim should offer 5 times a day. It is mandatory to recite Surah-e-Fateha (Surah-e-Hamd) in the beginning of the namaz. If we don’t, we cannot offer the namaz.

In this light let us see the following aayat from the above mentioned Surah:

“Humain siddha raasta dikha, un logo ka raasta jin per tune inaam farmaya…” – (Surah-e-Fateha aayat 4-5)

It has been quoted by famous commentators that the above aayat mentions the path chosen by Ahl-ul-bait. (Ref: Sa’labi writes in his tafseer e tradition from Abu Hureira that “straight path” means the path of Mohammed (SAW) and the children of Mohammed and also confirmed by Waki Ibn-e-Jarrah in his commentary).
Again the namaz is incomplete without offering “durood” on Mohammed wa Aale Mohammed. Let me quote here the famous words of Imam Shafe’i:

“O Ahl-ul-Bait of Allah’s Messenger, your love is a duty imposed upon us in the Holy Quran. It is enough among your great privileges that whoever does not bless you, his prayer is void.” - (Ref: Ibn-e-Hajar’s Sawaiq-e-Mohriqa, P 88, Nabahani’s Sharaf-ul-Mo’abbad; Imam Abu Bakr Shahabuddeen’s Rishfat-us-Saadi)

Namaz the highest form of prayer is incomplete without Surah-e-Fateha and “durood” on Mohammed wa aale Mohammed. Such is their nearness to Allah (SWT) that Zikr-e-Khuda (Namaz) is incomplete without Zikr-e-Ahl-ul-bait (Durood).

Love for Ahl-ul-bait makes us Muttaqi, we understand Quran and our prayers are accepted by Almighty Allah.

Allah (SWT) has made their love mandatory for every muslim in the following aayat:
“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)

By consensus of opinions of various writers, commentators, compilers the above-mentioned aayat refers to the Prophet’s own kith and kin and not of the mass of the Prophet’s followers. Here “al qurba” refers to Ali (A.S) & Fatema (A.S) and their children. (Ref: Sa’labi, Suyuti, Baidhavi, Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmed ibn Hambal, Allama Zamkhashri Vol 3, P 68).

In the Muslim world there is some difference of opinion, as many of the scholars believe that here karabatdaron (al qurba) means relatives of muslims, but above references and few of the christain scholars who translated Quran say that it is love of relatives of Prophet (pbuh) which Allah (SWT) has indicated in the above aayat. I am mentioning few of the translations:

• George Sale: “Say, ‘I ask not of you, for this my preaching, any reward, except the love of my relations.”
• J.M.Rodwell: “Say, ‘For this I ask no wage of you save the love of my kin”.
• E.H.Palmer: “Say, ‘I do not ask for it a hire-only the love of my kinsfolk.”

With the above reasoning we understand that without the love for Ahl-ul-bait, neither can we understand Quran nor will our namaz be complete. That is why Allah (SWT) has made their love compulsory on us.

Allah (SWT) has definitely bestowed His limitless grace on Ahl-ul-bait. And such is the greatness of Ahl-ul-bait that Allah (SWT) has made them His authority over the Muslim world.

We will understand this in the light of the following aayat : (Surah-e-Nisa, aayat 59)
“O ye who believe! Obey God and obey the Apostle and those vested with authority from among you”

The above aayat was revealed to establish the authority of Mohammed wa aale Mohammed as per the tradition of Jabir Ibn Abdullah Ansari (Ref: Rowzatul Ahbab page 134-135, Vol II).

Further Rasool (SAW) has said that: “Main tumhare darmiyan do giranqadra cheezein chhode ja raha hun in dono main har ek dusre se barhkar hai: Allah ki kitab aur meri itrat, dekho tum mere baad in ke saath kya sulooq karte ho. Ye dono ek dusre se juda nahin honge yahan tak ke Hauz-e-Kausar per mujhse mulaqat karenge.”
(Ref: Sahih Muslim, part 7, Kitab fada'il al¬ Sahabah [Maktabat wa Matba`at Muhammad `Ali Subayh wa Awladuhu: Cairo] pp. 122-123, Mustadrak, 3:109, al-Muslim, 15:180, Masnad, 4:367)

This is also called ‘Hadees-e-Saqlain’, where saqlain means weighty or heavy things. This tradition was spoken by Rasool (SAW) on four major occasions, such as at Arafat (Tirmizi, 5:328), at Ghadir Khum (Nisai, 96:79), at Prophet's Mosque in Medina (Ibn Atiyyah, 1:34) and in Prophet's chamber during his last illness (Ibn Hajar, p. 89). This showcases the importance of this message in the eyes of Rasool (SAW).

This also establishes “Mohammed wa aale Mohammed” as an authority on the religion. So if Quran is Noor, Mohammed wa aale Mohammed are also Noor. If Quran is ‘flawless’ Mohammed wa aale Mohammed are ‘infallible’. If Quran is ‘ILM” Mohammed wa aale Mohammed are ‘Aalim’ If Quran is holy, Mohammed wa aale Mohammed are ‘pious’ and ‘purest of all’. No other creation of Allah (SWT) is as pious and as great as them.

Quran ‘mentions’, Ahl-ul-bait ‘ delivers’. Quran mentions Jihad and namaz, Imam Husain (A.S) in karbala displayed how should we conduct in Jihad and what is the importance of namaz. Quran mentions “tawakkal” and Mawla Ali displayed that on ‘Shab-e-Hijrat’ by sleeping amidst the enemies on Rasool (SAW)’ bed. Quran ‘instructs’ and orders while Ahl-ul-bait are ‘example’ we need to follow to understand Quran.

So if we read Quran in isolation, we are not “Muttaqi” and hence we fail to understand Quran. Also without love of Ahl-ul-bait our prayers are not accepted. The result is we don’t reach the true-path and we may risk getting astray. But if we follow them we understand Quran, our prayers are accepted and we are always on the straight path which leads to salvation.

Is this the only reward we expect from them? No, not at all. Allah (SWT) has made them our leader and He has placed limitless bounties on us if we love them and do whatever Rasool (SAW) has told us. As per the words of Rasool (SAW) :

“Whoever dies for the love of Aal-e-Mohammed shall be a martyr; and behold, whoever dies for the love of Aal-e-Mohammed shall die as one whose sins have been forgiven.” He has further added that “And behold that whoever die for the love of Aal-e-Mohammed, Allah shall make his grave the visiting place of the Angels of mercy”. (Ref: Zamakhshari in his Tafseer, Imam Sa’labi in Tafseer-e-Kabeer)

Finally I got all the answers to my initial thoughts. I have found the true-path now. I know now how to understand Quran and whom to follow. I pray to my Lord that keep me steadfast on the straight path so that I understand Quran, my prayers are accepted by Thee and I get the certificate of salvation and under the able guidance of Aal-e-Mohammed I am successful. And my life is meaningful. Aamin.