'O God, carry us in the ships of Thy deliverance, give us to enjoy the pleasure of whispered prayer to Thee, make us drink at the pools of Thy love, let us taste the sweetness of Thy affection and nearness, allow us to struggle in Thee, preoccupy us with obeying Thee, and purify our intentions in devoting works to Thee, for we exist through Thee and belong to Thee, and we have no one to mediate with Thee but Thee!' Imam Sajjad ('A); Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya

Thursday, 20 May 2010

'Fatima' and the ism 'al-Fatiru'

Shaykh Muhammad Khalfan, The Sacred Effusion

In different traditions we are told that Allah derived the name Fatima (a) from His Name Faatir al-samawati wa al-ardh (6:79) (The Cleaver of the heavens and the earth). The name al-Fatiru comes from the word fatr which means to “cleave”. Here it means one who cleaves and breaks non-existence and brings about existence. In conclusion, as some scholars have written in their works, it means ‘The Originator’.

Observe the following traditions:
In a lengthy tradition, where the Ahl al-Kisa’ (a) were present, the Holy Prophet at one point addresses Hadhrat Fatima (a) saying:
...And He derived for you O Fatima a name from His Names, for He is al-Fatiru (the Originator), and you are Fatima. (Allama Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar v. 37, p. 47)

Almighty Allah in a conversation with prophet Adam (a) introduces the light of Fatima (a) as follows:
...and this is Fatima while I am the Fatir al-samawati wa al-ardh (Originator of the heavens and the earth), Fatimu a’da’i min Rahmati yawma fasli qada’i (the Severer of My enemies from My mercy on the day of My judgment), and Fatimu awliya’i ‘amma ya’tarihim wa yashinuhum (the Relinquisher of affliction and disgrace from those near to me). So I derived for her a name from My Name.

In a supplication taught by Angel Jibra’il (a) to Prophet Adam (a) we read as follows:
O praised one, I swear by the station of Muhammad, O Exalted One, I swear by the station of Ali, O Originator, I swear by the station of Fatima (a)... (Allama Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar v.44, p.245)

Readers must understand that this tradition does not speak simply of the method of derivation that we commonly know. Fatima (a) plays a fundamental role in the creation and origination of the heavens and the earth. She unites with the Muhammadan Light which is the first Divine Creation, from which proceeds every good.
Other traditions also indicate that they - the Ahl al-Bayt (a) - are the intermediaries (wasaa’it) between Allah and the creation. For example, in one of his brilliant messages, our 12th Holy Imam (a) is reported to have said:
We are the actions of our Lord, and the creation thereafter are our actions. (Allama Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar v.53, p. 178)

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Fatima (a) parallel to the Arsh of Allah

Amaali of Sh Sadouq 25

Jaabir Ibn Abdullah Ansari narrates from the Messenger of Allah (s) who said:
On the day of Judgment, my daughter Fatima (a) will enter on an embellished camel from the camels for Paradise. The bridle of the camel will be made of wet pearls, the legs will be made of green emeralds, the tail will be made of musk, and the eyes will be made of red corundum (corundum is a naturally occuring Aluminiun Oxide. After diamond, it is the hardest known natural substance. Its finer varieties are the gemstones ruby and sapphire).
There will be a dome of light on top of Fatima (a) which will be transparent.
Inside this dome will be Allah's forgiveness, and outside of it will be Allah's mercy.

There will be a crown of light on her head that has seventy corners. Each corner will be embedded with pearls and corundum, and it will shine like a bright star in the middle of the sky.
There will be seventy thousand angels to her right and seventy thousand angels to her left.
Jibraeel will be pulling the bridle of the camel and he will call with a very loud voice,
'Lower your heads until Fatima (a), the daughter of Muhammad (s), passes'

There will be not any Prophet, Messenger, truthful being, or martyr left who will not lower his head while Fatima (a) passes until she is parallel to the Throne of Allah.
Then Fatima (a) will throw herself form the camel and say to Allah,
'O my Lord and my Master! Judge between me and those who were unjust to me. Judge between me and those who killed my sons.'

Allah will reply to her,
'O My love and the daughter of My love! Ask Me anything and I will grant it, and intercede on behalf on anyone and it will accepted. I swear to My own Magnificence and Glory that no injustice of the unjust will pass by Me.'

She will say,
'O my Lord and my Master! I intercede on behalf of my progeny, my Shia, the Shia of my progeny, those who loved me and those who loved my progeny.'

So Allah will call,
'Where are the progeny of Fatima (a), her Shia, the Shia of her progeny, those who loved her and those who loved her progeny?'

They will stand up and will be surrounded by the angels of mercy.
Then Fatima (a) will lead them all to paradise.
The Prophet (s) said,
"When I long for the fragrance of Paradise I smell the neck of Fatima."
Muntakhab Kenz Al-Omal, v. 5, p. 97; Nur Al-Absar, p. 51; Manaqib Al-Imam Ali of Ibn Al-Maghazali, p. 360.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Basic meaning of dhikr

William Chittick

The basic meaning of the term dhikr can be brought out by answering three questions – what, why, and how.
What is to be remembered?
Why should it be remembered?
How can it be remembered?

The object of remembrance is God, whose reality is designated briefly by the first Shahadah, “There is no god but God,” and in more detail by the whole range of names and attributes mentioned in the Koran.
This object should be remembered because He has commanded human beings to remember Him and because ultimate happiness depends upon remembrance.
The object can be remembered by imitating the Prophet, who provides the model for right activity and right remembrance.

The Prophet calls dhikr the best act of worship.
Every word a person utters in this life will be counted against him or her in the next life, except bidding to honor (amr bi’l-ma’ruf), forbidding dishonor (nahy an al-munkar), and remembering God.
When someone complained about Islam’s many commands and prohibitions and asked for a single practice to which he could cling, the Prophet replied,
“Let your tongue stay moist with the remembrance of God.”

He reported that God says,
“I am with My servant when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I remember him in Myself, and if he remembers Me in an assembly, I remember him in an assembly better than his.”

Sunday, 2 May 2010

The most hopeful ayah in the book of Allah

Tafsir al-Ayyashi, by Muhammad b. Mas’ud al-Ayyashi, from Abu Hamza Thumali, vol 2, p.161

Once, Amir al-Mu'mineen Imam Ali (a) was sitting with some people and he asked them, "Which verse from the book of Allah gives you the most hope?"

Some of the people quoted:
إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاء وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللّهِ فَقَدِ افْتَرَى إِثْمًا عَظِيمًا
"Allah does not forgive shirk but he grants forgiveness for all but that (sin) to whomever he pleases" (Surat al-Nisa).
He (a) said, "That is good but it is not the one." [4:48]

Then others among them quoted,
قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
"Say, O' My servants who have committed excesses against themselves! Do not despair of the mercy of Allah! Surely Allah forgives all sins..." (Surat al-Zumur).
He (a) said, "That is good but it is not the one." [39:53]

Then others said that it is the aya:
وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللّهَ يَجِدِ اللّهَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا
"Whoever does an evil deed or is unjust to himself and then does istighfaar will find Allah to be Forgiving and Merciful" (Surat al-Nisa).
He (a) said, "That is good but it is not the one." [4:110]

Others said it is the aya:
وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُواْ أَنْفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُواْ اللّهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ لِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَمَن يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلاَّ اللّهُ وَلَمْ يُصِرُّواْ عَلَى مَا فَعَلُواْ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ
"(The pious are) those who, when they commit an evil act or are unjust to themselves, do dhikr of Allah and istighfaar for their sins. And who can forgive [literally: cover the stain of] sins except Allah?..." (Surat Aal-i-Imran)
but the Imam (a) again said, "That is good but it is not the one." [3:135]

The people then fell silent and the Imam (a) asked them, "What else, O' assembly of Muslims?" They said, "Wallaah, we have nothing else to say."

He (a) said, I heard my beloved, the Messenger of Allah, say: The most hopeful ayat in the book of Allah is
وَأَقِمِ الصَّلاَةَ طَرَفَيِ النَّهَارِ وَزُلَفًا مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّـيِّئَاتِ ذَلِكَ ذِكْرَى لِلذَّاكِرِينَ
"And establish the prayers (wa aqim al-salaata) at two parts of the day and in the first part of the night. Indeed good acts wipe away evil deeds. This is but a reminder to those who are mindful"
(Surat Hud, verse 114).