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