'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

Friday, 30 July 2010

‘Your Lord has no donkey?’

[Reason and Reward]
Usul al-Kafi, book of reason and ignorance, pg 28

‘Ali ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdillah al-Ibrah narrates from ibn Is'haq al-Ahmar from Muhammad ibn Sulayman al-Daylami from his father, who said :
I told Abu ‘Abdillah [a], ‘Such and such a person is praiseworthy for his devotion and religious practice.’
The Imam inquired, ‘How is his reason?’
I replied, ‘I know nothing about his reason.’
Upon this, the Imam explained,
‘The Divine reward is in relation to one's reason.

There was a person from Bani Israil who used to worship God devotedly in an island full of lush green and clear water. An angel happened to watch that person, and asked God, ‘Kindly show me the rewards meant for that person.’
When the angel was shown the rewards by God, they appeared to be very little to him. Upon this God suggested to him to go and stay with that person (for some time).
The angel appeared before that man in human guise. The man asked the angel, ‘Who are you?’ The angel replied, ‘I am also one of the devotees of God and I have heard about this place and your worship in it. Therefore, I have come to you so that I can also pray to Almighty God with you.’
So the angel stayed with him for a day. When it was morning, the angel remarked, ‘This is a pleasant place; no place could be better than this for worshipping God.’
Then the devotee-replied, ‘There is only one defect in this place.’
The angel asked what it was and the man replied, ‘My Lord has no animal. If He had a donkey, we could pasture it in this place, for the grass is going waste.’

The angel remarked, ‘Your Lord has no donkey?’
The man further said, ‘If He (Allah) had a donkey such a quality of grass would not be wasted.’
Then Almighty God revealed to the angel, ‘My rewards are in relation to a person's reason.’"

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

The great 'Aarif with his family

Blessed am I that I have such a wife
Siddiqa Mustafavi (Imam Khomeini’s daughter) narrates:

Imam was very attached to his wife and had special respect for her, so much so that he placed his wife on one side, and his children on the other.
I remember that once Imam’s wife had gone on a journey, and Imam was missing her very much. 
When he would frown, we would jokingly say to him:  ‘When Khanom is here, Imam laughs, and when she is not here, Imam is upset and frowns.’
In short, however much we teased Imam, he would not stop frowning. 
Finally I said: ‘Blessed is Khanom that you like her so much.’ 
He said: ‘Blessed am I that I have such a wife.  No one else has sacrificed as much in life as she has.  If you too would be like Khanom, your husband would also like you this much.’

period of 60 years...did not even reach for food (on the dinner table) before his wife
Imam had extraordinary respect for his wife.

For example, I am not lying if I say that in the period of 60 years of living together, he did not even reach for food (on the dinner table) before his wife, nor did he have even the smallest expectation from her. 
I can even say that in the period of 60 years of living together, at no time did he even ask for a glass of water, but would always get it himself. 
If he was in such a position that he could not, he would say:  ‘Is the water not here?’  He would never say: ‘Get up and bring me water.’ 
He behaved this way not only with his wife but also with all of us who were his daughters. If he ever wanted water we would all enthusiastically run to get it, but he never wanted us to bring and give him a glass of water in his hand.
During the difficult last days of his life, each time he would open his eyes, if he was capable of speaking, he would ask:
‘How is Khanom?’  We would reply: ‘She is good.

Shall we tell her to come to you?’  He would answer: ‘No, her back is hurting.  Let her rest.’

Paa be Paye Aaftaab, Vol 1, Pg. 92
Translate by Abbas & Shaheen Merali

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

It does not matter what people think...(Imam Reza [a])

Do you really think like this? I was not expecting that from you…
These are sentences that we may have heard them in our social conversations. Perhaps we have been in a situation in which, we had every reason and argument to be sure of a decision we had made earlier. But when presented for others, we had to face their opposition and pressured about that decision. How should be our reaction in such situation? What is a good response? When others say something that bothers us dramatically, how can we reach the state of calmness?

One day a group of people gathered at the house of Imam Reza (PBUH). Yunus Ibn Abd al-Rahman who happened to be a very trusted companion of the Imam was among them. While everyone was busy talking, another group of people from Basra asked for permission to enter the house.
Imam told Yunus, “Enter that room; show no reaction at all and stay there until I asked you to come out.” Then Imam Reza (PBUH) granted permission for the new group to enter. Once entered the room, they started to talk behind the back of Yunus. Meanwhile Imam Reza (PBUH) was looking at the ground; he didn’t say anything and showed no reaction until they said farewell and left the house. Then Imam asked Yunus to come out of the room.
Yunus entered while his face was full of sorrow and his eyes were in tears. He said, “My master! I have only defended my beliefs and religion while my own friends are thinking about me like that.”
Imam Reza (PBUH) passionately said, “O Yunus! Do not be sad; it does not matter what people think. Such things said by other people do not matter at all. When your Imam is satisfied with you, there is nothing to worry or be sad about.”
The Imam added then, ''O Yunus! Always try to talk to people to the extent of their capacity of hearing. Do not talk about divine topics if it might be beyond their understanding. O Yunus! When you have a gem in your hand and people say that you have a dirty rock in your hand, how does it affect the gem in your hand? And if they say you have gem in your hand while you are holding a rock, how does this help you? How can their words affect your belief? How does it benefit or harm you in anyways?''
Yunus was calmed down by Imam’s words and said, “No, their words do not matter to me anymore.”
Then Imam Reza (PBUH) told him, “So if you understand the truth and you can see the right path and your Imam is satisfied from you, then the thoughts and words of the people should not affect your beliefs and way of thinking; people can say whatever they wish.”
(Selection from “Rijal Kashshi”, p.487, No. 924)