'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

Monday, 25 October 2010

The Spiritual Dimension of Marriage

The phenomenon of birth is quite unique within the Islamic Cosmos. Birth in general is the beginning of new life with many opportunities; however, within Islam, it brings about many realities with it and also for it: realities through which 'the newly evolved creation' benefits, but also, all those who are at its reach will fully utilize its presence and also 'just' due to its presence. In order to understand this meta-physical principle of birth, let us state a few examples. The birth of a moon brings the new month as well as the benefits within it – for instance, the month of Sha'ban, is regarded as the month of the Prophet and forgiveness of sins, and within it hearts the blessed night of the 15th of Sha'ban. This all begins with the beginning or birth of the month. The birth of the new day unfolds with it many opportunities for all, and furthermore the necessity of it for the ecosystem through which the natural balance remains. This brings about many supplications with it, providing the servant to supplicate in a special fashion and with greater closeness. In like manner, the birth of the prayer time has a special influx of angels upon the earth which result in a Harakah within all the jabaruti, malakuti, and mulki plain.

The birth of a child guarantees the acceptance of supplications for the mother. Furthermore, giving birth raises her status to the term Khaliq, and she reaches the ultimate proximity to God in due process. This birth guarantees her sins being forgiven due to this procedure, and the pure and immaculate newborn's witnessing benefits the whole clan and also all those who glimpse upon him. The child's cries are considered as Tasbih and Dhikr, and taking care of it is considered Ibadah.

The birth of the relationship "marriage" has the same unique realities packed within it. Let us analyze on the basis of the Qur'an and Hadith. The Qur'an says: "We have near us treasures, and from it we sent on this earth a limited amount." Everything that manifest here is from that treasure near God, and when that is being reflected or sent, it brings about an opening in the heavens, and that whole plane becomes the stage of nearness which guarantees the acceptance of Du'a as mentioned by our Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny), "When a marriage contract is being recited, the doors of heaven are opened and it is the time of the acceptance of du'a." This indicates the whole "time and space" is raised in proximity, which brings about that effect of acceptance of du'a. Furthermore, this is indeed a Me'raj in itself of not only the wedded couple but of those who witness it. The traditions have left no doubt that "marriage" is a transformation to a higher level of humanity or an ascension of two individuals getting married. Indeed, this is why we see the Prophet stating that the prayers of a married person are multiplied 70 times than the unmarried. It shows that a bachelor needs 70 extra prayers to attain that nearness to God vis-à-vis a married person.

A poet says, "When you look at yourself in the mirror, that is you and not you. Similarly, the creation is God but not God." The value of a mirror or the space, stage is only due to the reflection of the Divine (Truth) and also in what capacity it reflects. Marriage is considered as a sign of God, and every sign must reflect the Divine. Furthermore the sign is of no value without that which it is indicating: "...Love and mercy, and indeed it is a sign from God."

The ability of the sign reflecting God depends upon its capacity, whether it be of the heart (space) or of horizon. Within the formation of a "marriage", many of God's signs are manifested. For example, the core principle of Tawhid (Oneness) is understood in the sense that marriage allows the Divine reflection of Unity in multiplicity, and due to this, it is through this great sign which becomes the source of Khaliqiyyah of God. The complexity of the sign dictates the greatness of the sign or the value of it. What we mean by complexity is that it contains within it many of the Divine principles and even the opposites. For instance, God is Merciful, but at the same time, the Avenger. Marriage outwardly is "multiplicity", but inwardly it is "unity". As the very meta-physical principle of "Unity within multiplicity" – "Wherever you turn, there is the face of God" – all these verses point in the direction of that reality. When it becomes such a great sign, then it results in being regarded as an "institution" through which people graduate or develop piety.
Monday, 19 July 2010 14:32 Shaikh Abbas Mirza

Monday, 11 October 2010

6 guidelines on Akhlaq

Hammad b. `Authman narrated, 
‘I was in the presence of Abu Abdillah [al-Sadiq] (a), when a man said to him,
‘May Allah make you well, you mentioned that Ali b. Abi Talib (a) would wear rough clothes, wear a shirt that was worth four dirhams, and other things like that. But we see you are wearing good clothes!’
[He said], ‘The Imam replied to him,
‘Ali b. Abi Talib (a) wore that in a time in which it would not be disapproved, and if he would wear those clothes today he would be defamed for it. Therefore, the best clothing of every time is the clothing of the people [of that time]. However, when our al-Qa’im [the awaited saviour Imam al-Mahd?, may Allah hasten his appearance] reappears he will be wearing the clothes of Ali (a) and will follow his way of life.’
[al-Kafi, v. 6, p. 444, no. 15]

Imam al-Hasan (a) said,
‘There are twelve things that every Muslim should know about the table [manners]; four are mandatory, four are recommended, and four are general manners. The mandatory are: knowledge [of the food], to be content with it, mentioning the name of Allah [before it], and offering thanks to Him [afterwards].
The recommended acts are: ablution before eating, sitting on one’s left side, eating with three fingers, and licking the fingers [after the meal].
And the general manners are: eating from the closest spot to you, taking small bites, chewing well, and rarely looking at people’s faces [while eating].’
[Wasael al-Shi`aah , v. 16, p. 539, no. 1]

The Prophet (s) said, 'Gabriel continuously advises me about brushing teeth, that I really thought he would lay it down as an obligation.’
[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 76, p. 126, no. 2]

Imam al-Sadiq (a) said, ‘Three things cause weight gain and three others cause weight loss.As for those that cause weight gainexcessive use of the bathhouse, smelling sweet fragrance and wearing soft clothing. And as for those that cause weight loss, they are: eating too many eggs, fish and unripe dates.’[al-Khisal, p. 155, no. 194]

Imam al-Kazim (AS) said,
‘Man should not leave one day without perfuming himself, and if he is not able to do that, then he should perfume himself every other day, and if he cannot do that, then he should do so every Friday without fail.’
[al-Kafi, v. 6, no. 4]

Imam al-Sadiq (AS) was asked how to determine the most rightful person to lead the congregation, to which he replied,
‘Verily the Prophet (SAWA) said, ‘The person who recites the Qur’an the best [i.e. with correct pronunciation] should lead them, and if they all recite similarly, then the one who migrated [from Makkah to Medina] the earliest, and if they all migrated around the same time, then the oldest from among them, and if they are all the same age, then the most knowledgeable from among them with regards to the prophetic practice and the laws of jurisprudence. No one from among you should lead a man in prayer in his own home, nor a man of authority within the sphere of his authority.’
[al-Kafi, v. 3, p. 376, no. 5]