'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

Sunday, 26 December 2010

The Virtuous Companion for the Ultimate life

Imam al-Sadiq (AS) said, 'Verily the one who enjoys the best standards of living is he who is satisfied with what Allah has apportioned for him.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 3397]

Imam al-Sadiq (AS) said, 'Satan's strongest forces are [mobilized through] women and anger.’ [Tuhaf al-`Uqoul, no. 363]

Imam al-Sadiq (AS) said, ‘Three things spoil one’s lifestyle an oppressive ruler, a bad neighbour, and a loathsome wife.’[Tuhaf al-`Uqoul, no. 320]

Imam al-Sadiq (AS) said, ‘There are five things which if one where to lose just one of them it would render his life incomplete, his intellect short-lived, and his heart preoccupied. The first of these is health of the body; the second is security; the third is ample sustenance; the fourth is a compatible companion. [The narrator says], ‘I asked, ‘What is a compatible companion’ to which he replied, ‘The virtuous wife, the virtuous son and the virtuous friend. And the fifth one, which sums up these four things, is mild-temperedness.’ [al-Khisal, p. 284, no. 34]

Imam al-Hasan (AS) said, 'He who trusts whatever Allah has chosen for him to be good, will never wish to be in any situation other than what Allah has chosen for him to be in.’ [Bihar al-Anwar, v. 78, p. 106, no. 6]

Imam Ali (AS) said, ‘The man with the most comfortable lifestyle is he whom Allah, Glory be to Him, has granted contentment and to whom he has given a virtuous wife.’ [Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 3295]

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Worshippers of the night of 'Ashura

Sayyid Radi al-Din bin Tawus al-Hasani (may Allah elevate his noble spirit) in his well-known maqtal, al-Luhuf ala Qatla al-Tufuf narrates:
‘Al-Husayn and his companions were awake the whole night [of ‘Ashura] and their environment resembled an area permeated with the sound of the humming of bees. [In other words all of them were busy in the remembrance of Allah and the sound of their whisperings permeated the entire environment.] Some were in the state of ruku’, others in the state of sujud, some standing and others sitting...'

And al-Qazwini narrates from the History of al-A’tham al-Kafi:
'Surely that night neither al-Husayn nor anyone of his companions and supporters slept until morning.'

Worship is undoubtedly a merit when it is not reduced to mere actions and recitals. The companions of al-Husayn (a) were men who worshipped Almighty Allah out of awareness and knowledge. Their appellations such as ahibba’Allah (Divine lovers), ushshaaq (intense lovers) and kushifa lahum al-ghita (the curtains were unveiled for them), all demonstrate their knowledge and deep insight. This is because such qualities are essential corollaries of knowledge, without which they carry no meaning. It is such kind of worship that is natural and praiseworthy.

Expression of utter humility near the Absolute Perfect Being can only come about naturally after one realizes whom he is infront of. Such realization is in stages. Sometimes one has conceptual knowledge about the Creator and thus he maintains a degree of humility in prayer, but that cannot be compared to one who has presential knowledge of Allah.

It is such knowledge about which Imam Ali (a) talks in a conversation with a rabbi:
Abu al-Hasan al-Mawsali narrates from Abi Abdillah [al-Sadiq (a)] who said:
A rabbi came to Amir al-Mu’minin (a), and said: ‘Ya Amir al-Mu’minin, did you see your Lord when you worshipped Him?' Imam (a) said: ‘Woe unto you! Eyes do not comprehend Him in their ocular vision, but hearts see Him through the realities of conviction.'
[Al-’Àmili, al-Fusul al-Muhimma fi Usul al-A’imma, v.1, p.180]

The Holy Quran says:
'Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those with him are firm of heart against the unbelievers, compassionate among themselves; you will see them bowing down, prostrating themselves, seeking grace from Allah and pleasure; their marks are in their faces because of the effect of prostration; that is their description in the Tawrat and their description in the Injeel; like as seed-produce that puts forth its sprout, then strengthens it, so it becomes stout and stands firmly on its stem, delighting the sowers that He may enrage the unbelievers on account of them; Allah has promised those among them who believe and do good, forgiveness and a great reward.' (48:29)

Reflections on Ziyarat 'Ashura of Sayyid al-Shuhada al-Husayn b. 'Ali, by Shaykh Muhammad M Khalfan, p 192

Sunday, 5 December 2010

The 1st day of Muharram

Muhammad ibn Ali Majiluwayh - may God be pleased with him -narrated that Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashem quoted on the authority of his father, on the authority of al-Rayyan ibn Shabeeb,

“I went to see Al-Reza (s) on the first day of the (Arabic) month of Muharram.

The Imam (s) said, ‘O Ibn Shabeeb! Are you fasting?’

I answered, ‘No.’

The Imam (s) said, ‘Today is the day on which Zakariya prayed to his Lord - the Honorable the Exalted, ‘There did Zakariya pray to his Lord, saying, ‘O my Lord! Grant unto me from Thee a progeny that is pure: for Thou art He that heareth prayer!’’ [529 - Qur’an, 3:38]
And God fulfilled his prayer and ordered the angels to call Zakariya ‘While he was standing in prayer in the chamber, the angels called unto him, ‘(Allah) doth give thee glad tidings of Yahya, witnessing the truth of a Word from Allah, and (be besides) noble, chaste, and a Prophet, of the (goodly) company of the righteous.’’
[530 - Qur’an, 3:39]

Therefore, just as God fulfilled the prayers of Zakariya, the Honorable the Exalted God will fulfill the prayers of whoever fasts on this day, and asks God for something.’

The Imam (s) then added, ‘O Ibn Shabeeb! Muharram is the month in which the people of the Age of Ignorance had forbidden committing any oppression and fighting in. However, this nation did not recognize the honor of this month or the honor of their own Prophet (s).

In this month, they killed the Prophet’s offspring, they enslaved the women, and took their belongings as booty. God will never forgive them.

O Ibn Shabeeb! If you wish to cry, then cry for Al-Hussein ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib (s) who was slaughtered like a sheep, and was killed along with the members of his household.

Eighteen people were martyred along with Al-Hussein (s) who had no equal on Earth.

The seven heavens and the Earths mourned for his martyrdom.

Four thousand angels descended to the Earth to assist him (Imam Hussein) (s). However, Al-Hussein (s) was destined to be martyred. They will remain at his shrine with wrinkled hair until the Riser (Imam al-Mahdi) (s) rises. Then they will be among those who will assist him (s). Their slogan will be Ya li tharat Al-Hussein (Revenge for Al-Hussein’s blood!)

O Ibn Shabeeb! My father narrated that his father (s) quoted on the authority of his grandfather (s) that when they murdered my grandfather Al-Hussein (s), the heavens cried (dark) red blood and dirt.

O Ibn Shabeeb! If you cry for Al-Hussein (s) in such a way that tears flow down your cheeks, then God will forgive all the sins that you have committed whether they be minor or major, whether they be a few instances or a lot.
O Ibn Shabeeb! If you would like to meet the Honorable the Exalted God without having any sins then go to visit (the Shrine of) Al-Hussein (s).
O Ibn Shabeeb! If you would like to accompany the Prophet (s) in the rooms of Paradise, then damn the murderers of Al-Hussein (s).
O Ibn Shabeeb! If you would like to be rewarded just as those who were martyred along with Al-Hussein ibn Ali (s), whenever you remember Al-Hussein (s) say,
‘I wish I was with them and could achieve the great prosperity.’
يا لَيْتَنِي كُنْتُ مَعَهُمْ فَأَفُوزَ فَوْزاً عَظِيماً

O Ibn Shabeeb! If you would like to be in the same high ranks in Paradise with us, then be sad when we are sad and be happy when we are happy, and I advise you to have us since the Honorable the Exalted God will resurrect whoever even likes a rock with that same rock on the Resurrection Day.””

Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha (a) , Part 1, Chapter 28: No. 53