Friday, January 6, 2012

Kullo na Mohammed

The world recently saw the passing away of legendary Steve Jobs - the father of digital revolution. At the helm of Apple computers he created innovative products that revolutionized the way we listen to songs, music and much more. 

He had a very interesting association with Apple computers. He started this company in his parents’ garage along-with couple of friends in the year 1976. In 1985 Jobs was asked to resign from the company and thus left Apple computers. Without him the company could not do anything worthwhile and he was called back as advisor in 1996; made  interim CEO in 1997 and eventually CEO of the company in 2000. He straight away justified his re-joining the company by revolutionizing the music industry with innovative products like iMac, iTunes, iPod, iPhone, iPad and even company’s Apple Retail Stores. Thus he perfected the company and made it one of the most successful companies of the modern day during his lifetime.

Now, when he is no more the biggest challenge Apple faces is whether it can grow at the same pace as it used to under Steve’s leadership.

**Point to ponder is that Apple Computers needed Steve Jobs for its growth and perfection. Hence Steve jobs himself or only another worthy leader and inheritor of his skills, vision and character can guarantee its future growth, in absence of which some skeptics doubt the very survival of the company amidst the stiff competition that it faces. 

True, an inspirational leader can make a difference to any organization and lead it to perfection. Islam is the greatest religion and like a great organization has spread across various continents. In this article let us try to find out those leaders under whose able leadership the religion has grown and remained perfect

So let us first see how the religion got perfected:
  • "Aaj Maine tumhare deen 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.)
 The above ayah was revealed after the announcement of “Man Kunto Mawla ho fa hazaa Ali un Mawla….” by the holy Prophet (SAW) after returning from his last pilgrimage at Ghadir-e-Khum. (Ref: Tafseer Ibn Katheer, volume 2, page 14, published in Egypt, Tafseer Durr e Mansoor, Vol 2, P 259, Egypt). 

The holy Prophet (SAW) gave us tauheed and Kalema and after he announced the leadership of Mawla Ali (A.S) the religion got perfected. Thus to have a perfect religion we need to understand the Apostleship of the holy Prophet (SAW) along with the leadership and Imamat of Mawla Ali (A.S)

Now almost 1400 years after them who would guarantee that the faith which we follow is perfect? Thus after the era of Mawla Ali (A.S) in every subsequent era the Islamic world was in need of an able representative and inheritor of his skills, knowledge and character to guide the Ummah to perfection of faith. This makes it important for the Ummah to find and recognize these successors and follow them. 

**But before we proceed with it let us first confirm whether the Quran quotes any incidences that prove the inheritance of Prophets? For this purpose we will see the following ayahs:
  • Aur (ilm, hikmat, jaedaad sab mein) Suleman Dawood ke waaris hue aur kaha ki logo hum ko (Khuda ke fazal se) parindon ki boli bhi sikhayee gayee hai aur (duniya ki) har cheez ataa ki gayee hai iss main shak nahin ki yeh yaqini (Khuda ka) sarihi fazal wa karam hai.” – (Surah-e-An Namal, ayah 16)
  • “(And Sulaiman was Dawood's heir, and he said: O men! we have been taught the language of birds, and we have been given all things; most surely this is manifest grace.)”
  • Pus Tu mujhko Apni bargaah se ek janashin farzand ataa farma jo meri aur Yaqub ki nasal ki miraas ka malik ho ae mere Parwardigar aur ussko Apna pasandida banda bana.” – (Surah-e-Maryam, ayah 5-6)
  • “(Therefore grant me from Thyself an heir, Who should inherit me and inherit from the children of Yaqoub, and make him, my Lord, one in whom Thou art well pleased.)”
The above ayahs prove that Prophets do have inheritors of their knowledge, character, property and whatever Allah (SWT) has bestowed upon them. Inheritor of the legacy of Dawood (A.S) was his son Suleman (A.S), while Zakariya (A.S) prayed to have an heir who inherits him and the legacy of his forefathers.

**It seems logical to conclude then that the inheritors of the legacy of the holy Prophet (SAW) and Mawla Ali (A.S) should be their children. But what is the legacy of the holy Prophet (SAW) and Mawla Ali (A.S) as per Quran?:
  • “Aur Ae Rasool (SAW) Quran se pehle na to tum koi kitab hi padhte the aur na apne haath se tum likha karte the aisa hota to ye jhoothe zaroor tumhari nabuwwat main shak karte.” – (Surah-e-Ankabut, ayah 48)
  •  “(You were neither reading any book before this, nor did you write one down with your hand. If you had done so, the followers of falsehood would have had cause to doubt it.)”
Before Quran was revealed the world neither saw the holy Prophet (SAW) write anything nor read any book. That means his knowledge was the divine knowledge of Quran which was given to him. And how did he get this knowledge?
  • “(Aur Ae Rasool (SAW)) beshak yeh (Quran) saari Khudai ke paalne wale (Khuda) ka utara hua hai jise Rooh al amin (Jibraeel (A.S)) saaf Arabi zabaan main lekar tumhare dil per naazil hue hain taake tum bhi aur paighambaron ki tarah logon ko azab e Khuda se darao.” – (Surah-e-Shaura, ayah 192-195)
  • “(And indeed this Qur’an has been sent down by the Lord Of The Creation.  The Trustworthy Spirit (Jibraeel (A.S)) brought it down. Upon your heart, for you to convey warning. In plain Arabic language.)
This Divine Knowledge was brought down upon the heart of the holy Prophet (SAW) by Jibraeel (A.S). This is how Allah (SWT)’s knowledge was delivered to the holy Prophet (SAW). Allah thus was a teacher and our beloved Prophet (SAW) was His worthy student. As Allah (SWT) further says in the following ayahs: 

  • “Qasam hai sitare ki jis waqt ke woh utra. Tumhara rafeeq na bhatak gaya hai aur na behka hai. Aur wo khwahishe nafasani  se kuch nahin kehta. Jo kuch woh kehta hai woh nahin hai magar Wahi hai jo uski taraf bheji jaati hai. Usko badi quwwaton waale aur badi aqal waale ne taalim kiya.”  - (Surah-e-Najam, ayah,1-5 )
  • (“I swear by the star when it goes down.  Your companion does not err, nor does he go astray;  Nor does he speak out of desire.  It is naught but revelation that is revealed, The Lord of Mighty Power has taught him”)
Allah (SWT) granted His Divine Knowledge to the holy Prophet (SAW) and he became the first inheritor of it. Hence this Divine Knowledge is the legacy of the holy Prophet (SAW).

Apart from this Allah (SWT) also granted the following to the holy Prophet (SAW) as a part of His legacy: 
  • " Aur Ae Rasool (SAW) Hum ne tum ko tamam alamon ke liye rehmat hi karke bheja hai". – (Surah-e-Ambiya, ayah 107)
  • (“And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds.”)
 Hence the legacy of the holy Prophet (SAW) included Allah’s Mercy along with His Divine Knowledge.

 The holy Prophet (SAW) passed this Divine Legacy then to his successor and brother Mawla Ali (A.S) in the following manner:
  • The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:"O Ali! You are the owner of my stream (Al-Hawd), the holder of my banner, my beloved, my custodian, the inheritor of my knowledge, my successor and the holder of the prophets' inheritances before me. You are the guardian of Allah in His land, the argument of Allah for His creations, the basis of faith and the pillar of Islam. You are the Light in darkness, the guiding light and the raised flag for the people of this world. O Ali! He who follows you shall be saved and who leaves you shall be doomed. You are the apparent path and the right way (Al-Sirat). You are the leader of those who shine with light and the King of believers. You are the master of those who I am a master of; I am the master of every believer (men and women). Only those of pure births love you and only those of births of adultery detest you.” Then he further added that: “Not once did my Lord raise me to the sky and speak to me without telling me:" O Mohammad, send my greetings (Peace) to Ali and inform him that he is the Imam of my saints and the Light of the obedient ones. Congratulations for this virtue of yours , O Ali! ""
(Ref: Amali Al-Sadouq p.382, Al-Bihar vol.38 p.100, Ghayat Al-Maram vol.3 p.78, Bisharat Al-Mostafa p.95, Al-Bihar vol.40 p.53, Yanabe'a Al-Mawadda vol.1 p.39) 
Thus firstly the holy Prophet (SAW) and then Mawla Ali (A.S) inherited Allah’s Divine Legacy. The way in which Suleman (A.S) inherited the legacy of Dawood (A.S) and Yahya (A.S) of Zakariya (A.S), the Divine Legacy of the holy Prophet (SAW) and Mawla Ali (A.S) should have been inherited by their children after them.
**Let us now see what Quran has to say about the children of the holy Prophet (SAW):
  • “Ae Rasool (SAW) Hum ne tum ko Kausar ataa kiya, to tum apne Parvardigar ki namaz padha karo aur qurbani diya karo beshak tumhara dushman be-aulad rahega.” – (Surah-al Kausar, ayah 1-3)
  • “(Surely We have given you Kausar, Therefore pray to your Lord and make a sacrifice.  Surely your enemy is the one who shall be without posterity)

Most of the Islamic scholars while mentioning the above ayahs have explained that the word ‘Kausar’ refers to Janabe Fatema (S.A), as it was through her that the lineage of the holy Prophet (SAW) proceeded.  

While commenting on the time of revelation of above Surah-al-Kausar, the scholars have explained that an infidel denounced the Prophet (SAW) when one of his children died and said that he (pbuh) is now without offspring, therefore when he dies his name will die with him. In order to negate them and give assurance to the holy Propet (SAW) Allah (SWT) revealed this Surah. It is as if to tell the holy Prophet (SAW) that his descendants would remain even after all other lineages are ended.

In Majma’ al Bayan, Tabarsi has commented on the Surah in the following manner:

·         “It was said that Kausar means abundant benevolence, it has also been said that it means the multiplicity of a given person; and the descendants of Fatema (S.A) have enormously multiplied in a way that they will exist until the Day of Resurrection. 

Even the prominent scholar like Fakhruddin Razi has quoted comments of some scholars while referring to the Surah al Kausar. According to him some scholars have commented in the following manner:
  • “Since this chapter was revealed to refute the claim of an infidel who attempted to denounce the Prophet (SAW) for not having sons, it becomes clear that the meaning given here is that Allah (SWT) gave the Prophet (SAW) offspring, which will be everlasting. We must keep in mind that numerous massacres have been committed against Ahl-ul-bait (A.S), yet still the world is full of them; while the Umayyads have vanished save a few who are worthless. Besides this, prominent scholars have descended from Fatema (S.A)’s sons such as Al-Baqir (A.S), Al-Sadiq (A.S), Al-Kazim (A.S), Al-Reza (A.S), Al Nafs Al-Zakyyah and others.”
Thus from the above explanation we can infer that it is Allah (SWT)’s Will that the lineage of Fatema (S.A) and Mawla Ali (A.S) be the lineage of the holy Prophet (SAW). This makes the Imams – the children of Mawla Ali (A.S), as the true inheritor of this Divine Legacy of the holy Prophet (SAW). This inference can be further proved by the following ayah: 

  • “Phir jab tumhare paas ilm (Quran) aa chuuka us ke baad bhi agar tum se koi (Nasrani) Isa (a.s) ke baare main hujjat kare to kaho ki achha maidaan main aao Hum apne beton ko bulaaen tum apne beton ko, Hum apni aurton ko bulaaen tum apni aurton ko, Hum apni jaanon ko bulaaen tum apni jaanon ko, uske baad Hum sab milkar Khuda ki baargaah main gid gidaaen aur jhooton per Khuda ki la’anat karein..” – (Surah-e-Aale-Imran, ayah 61)
  • “(…If any one disputes in this matter with thee, now after (full) knowledge hath come to thee say: “Come! Let us gather together, - our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves. Then let us earnestly pray and invoke the curse of God on those who lie.)”
When the Christians of Najran contested the Prophethood of holy Prophet (SAW), Allah (SWT) instructed the holy Prophet (SAW) to call both the parties to the event for a ‘Mubahela. 

As instructed in the verse, each party was to bring their women, their sons and themselves. While the Christians brought a great delegation of learned scholars, the holy Prophet (SAW) summoned Hasan (A.S) and Hussain (A.S) in place of his sons. Janabe Fatema (A.S) represented women of his house and Mawla Ali (A.S) represented part of his soul. Both the parties then were needed to pray and invoke curse of Allah on the liars.

This event further substantiates our inference of Imams being children of the holy Prophet (SAW). We will see few more references of prominent scholars in this regard now:

·         Khawarazmi in Manaqib, p 229 has narrated the declaration of the holy Prophet (SAW) in the following words: “Surely Allah made every Prophet’s progeny proceed from his own loins and made my progeny proceed from Ali’s loins.”

(Ref: This narration was also reported by the following writers: Muhib Ad-Din-Tabari in Dhakhaer al-Uqbi, Hamueeni in Faraed As-Semtain, Dhahabi in Mizan al-Etedal, Ibn Hajar in al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqa p.74, Mirza Hindi in Muntakhab Kanz al-Umal, Zarqani in Sharh Mawahib Ladonyyah, and Qandouzi in Yanabi’ al-Mawaddah p.138.)

·         Nisaee also mentioned in Khasaes Amir Al-Momineen on the authority of Mohammed Ibn Usama Ibn Zaid that his father said that the holy Prophet (SAW) has said: “As for you Ali, you are my son-in-law and the father of my offspring; you are from me and I am from you.”

**Thus Hasan (A.S) and Hussain (A.S) inherited their Divine Legacy and after them it was inherited by Imams from the lineage of Hussain (A.S).

By contemplating on various ayahs we were able to establish that the true inheritors of legacy of the holy Prophet (SAW) and Mawla Ali (A.S) are their children. Our inference was backed by Quranic evidences, logic and few references; let us now further establish the fact by contemplating on the following ayah which directly supports our inference. As the ayah says:

  • “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.)”
In the above ayah Allah (SWT) promises to unite the descendants, who have accepted faith and followed the path taken by their believer forefathers with them.  In the light of the above ayah it means that they will hold the same divine position as their forefathers and will be considered similar.

In Karbala, Imam Hussain (A.S) sacrificed his entire family for the sake of Islam and thus helped the cause of holy Prophet (SAW). It is because of this that the holy Prophet (SAW) had said for Imam Hussain (A.S):

·         "I am from Hussain and Hussain is from me" (Ref: Sahih Tirmizi, vol 6, P 307, Kanzul Ammal, vol 4, P 221,  Masnad Ahmed, vol 4 P 972)

In the battlefield of Karbala Imam Hussain (A.S) was ably supported by his son Imam Zainul Abedin (A.S) during this Jihad and after his martyrdom Imam Zainul Abedin (A.S) took over the mantle of this divine cause. This lineage continued till the 12th and the last Imam Mohammed Mehdi (A.S) who has inherited this legacy and is currently in occultation. When the occultation ends following the Divine Orders, he will hold similar authority as his preceding Imams and the holy Prophet (SAW) and hence Mawla Ali (A.S) has said that:
  •  The first one of us is Mohammed, the last one of us is Mohammed, the middle one of us is Mohammed and all of us are Mohammed. So do not differentiate between us. If we will be doing a matter, Allah Wills it and if we dislike it Allah dislikes it. The Wayl (deepest layer of Hell) and all its torment is for those who reject our virtues, private matters and what Allah has given us, because whoever rejects anything Allah gave us has rejected Allah’s might and will within us.”  (Ref: Bihar ul Anwar, vol 26, p 1, Mashareeq Anwarul Yaqeen, p 255, Ilzan al Nasib, vol 1 P 32)
In his beautiful work “Stairway to Heaven”, Yousuf N Lalljee, the author has mentioned the following hadith of the holy Prophet (SAW), where he had said that:

  • “I am the Prince of Apostles, Ali is the Prince of Successors; after me there will be 12 successors, the last shall be Al-Mahdi.”
In the same section Lalljee has quoted the holy Prophet (SAW) mentioning the position of Imams succeeding him in the following manner: 

  • “Awwalona Mohammed – The First of us is Mohammed 
            Ausatona Mohammed – The Middle of us is Mohammed

Aakhirona Mohammed – The Last one of us is Mohammed

Kullona MohammedEveryone of us is Mohammed
(Ref: Stairway to Heaven, Yousuf.N.Lalljee, December 1975, Bombay Edition, Page 79-80)

**With the above references and in the light of ayahs which we contemplated in this article, we need to understand the rights of 12 Imams - the true successors of the Divine Legacy of the holy Prophet (SAW). By knowing them and understanding their position we guarantee perfection of faith and remain true believers till we live. And later, about our queries to the happenings after death the Quran replies: 

  • "Uss din ko yaad karo jab Hum tamam logon ko unke Imamon ke saath bulayenge, to jiska naama-e-aamaal un ke dahine haath main diya jayega to woh log khush khush apna naama-e-aamaal padhne lagenge aur un per resha barabar zulm nahin kiya jayega.” – (Surah-e-Bani Israel, ayah 71)
  • "(One day We shall call together all human beings with their Imams: those who are given their record in their right hand will read it (with pleasure), and they will not be dealt with unjustly in the least.)"

**The above ayah clarifies that if we have followed true Imams we will get the naama-e-aamaal (record of our deeds) under their leadership in our right hands guaranteeing salvation. But in case if we have followed wrong Imams, we have faltered in our faiths in this world and salvation cannot be guaranteed. Hence recognizing the true Imams and understanding their position is important for us to have a perfect faith which is a certificate for salvation.