'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, 28 March 2011

Spiritual combat of the Perfect

Some wise words from the guidance of Allamah Tabatabai

It has been noticed that many aspirants from among the “perfect men” (kummalin) fail in the battle against the carnal soul and do not reach the station of perfection even after years of ascetic practices (riyadat) and spiritual combat. 

The reason for their failure is that the roots of certain traits survive in their hearts, while they imagine that they have completely wiped them out. Consequently, when they face God’s trial and are confronted with temptations of the carnal soul and its effects, those roots suddenly bloom and grow, and finally defeat the wayfarer.

Success in overcoming the carnal soul and its forces is contingent upon Divine solicitude and special Grace of the Lord of lords (Rabb alarbab); for it is not possible to traverse this stage without His special grace and assistance.

It has been reported that one day some pupils found the late Sayyid Bahr al-Ulum, may God be pleased with him, smiling and in a joyous mood. When they asked him about the reason for his happiness, he replied: “After twenty-five years of spiritual combat, now when I look into my soul I realize that my deeds are no longer ostentatious (riya), and that I have at last succeeded in purifying my deeds.” One must reflect deeply on this statement.

It should be reiterated that from the beginning of wayfaring and spiritual journeying up to its final stage, the traveler must observe all precepts of the glorious Shariah, and must not violate an iota of the exoteric aspects of Divine Law. 

Hence, should you come across a person who claims to be a spiritual traveler but who does not observe all rituals and duties set by the Shariah, or is not committed to piety and abstention from sin, or deviates even slightly from the straight path of the true Shariah; be aware that such a person is a hypocrite (munafiq), unless it is proved that he commits unintended errors or is forgetful.
Risala-yi Lubb al-Lubab dar Sayr wa Suluk-i Ulu’l Albab; by Sayyid Muhammad Husain Husaini Tehrani From the Teachings of Allamah Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai

Friday, 18 March 2011

The utmost form of being grateful to Him (swt), from a great marriage

The late Mulla Muhammad Taqi Majlesi, who was a wise jurisprudent and an outstanding scholar, had three learned sons and four noble daughters. His first daughter was named Amineh Beigom. Her marriage to the commentator of the twelve-volume book Usul-al-Kafi, Mulla Salih Mazandarani, was a divine, amazing and pleasant one. 

Mulla Salih Mazandarani who is a renowned Shiite scholar had an adventurous life, which is briefly described here. His father, Mulla Ahmad, was so poor that he could not provide for his son's living expenses. 

Muhammad, who was then a young adult, went to Isfahan to study in one of the schools there. The school had an endowed property. The income was used to pay some money to each student based on his rank. Muhammad who had just started studying received very little which was insufficient for his daily needs. He suffered so much that he had to study at night under the light of one of the school's lamps. 

However, he was so studious that he overcame all deprivations and difficulties and attained a high scholarly status. He managed to attend Mulla Muhammad Taqi Allameh Majlesi's class. A short time later he surpassed all other students and received his wise professor's special attention. 

The author of Mirat al-Ahwal wrote: Mulla Salih who was then a young scholar was considering choosing a spouse to marry. Allameh Majlesi became informed of that and one day after his class asked Salih if he would permit him to find him a spouse. He lowered his head and after a moment said yes. Allameh Majlesi got up and went home. He called his learned daughter Amineh Beigom, who had mastered all the sciences perfectly. He said to her: My dear daughter. I have found you a spouse who is extremely poor, but absolutely wise, pious and mature. But it is up to you to decide. The holy noble learned daughter shyly said: "Dear father, being poor is not a defect for men." Thus she expressed her approval of this marriage. At a felicitous hour they held the marriage ceremony and prepared the bride for the groom. 

On the wedding night, the groom unveiled her face and found her very beautiful. He went to a corner and started praising God and studying. He ran into a difficult academic issue which he was unable to resolve. Amineh Beigom realized the problem. When he left home the next day, she wrote the answer in full detail and put it in its place. When the man came home that night and saw that his unresolved issue was solved by that knowledgeable woman, he thanked God by placing his forehead on the ground, and prayed all night long.

Thus three days passed. When Allameh Majlesi was informed, he told him: "If this wife is not suitable for you, let me know. I will get you another one."

Mullah Salih replied: "No, that is not the issue. I keep away from her because no matter how much I praise God for this blessing that He has bestowed on me, I cannot be grateful enough."

When Allameh Majlesi heard his answer, he said: "Confessing that one cannot be grateful enough to God is itself the utmost form of being grateful to Him."
[Ayatollah Boroojerdy's Biography, Davani, p.79] 

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Deeds that earn the pleasure of Allah, His Prophet (s), of 'Ali (as) and the Imams (as)

For lovers, the only lecturer is the beauty of the Beloved:
their only book and lecture is the Face.
Outwardly they are silent,
but their penetrating remembrance rises
to the high throne of their Friend.
Their only lesson is enthusiasm, whirling, and trembling,
not the precise points of law.
Rumi [Mathnawi III: 3847-3849]

An inhabitant of the city of Rey, narrates:

One of the scribes of Yahya Ibn Khaalid was appointed as governor of Rey.  I had some taxes to pay and feared that the new governor would extract it from me, for in such a case, I would face very difficult times.  Some of my friends informed me that he was a follower of the holy Imams (a.s.), but I was fearful that if it was not so, he would not hesitate to put me behind bars.

With the intention of performing Hajj, I presented myself in the presence of Imam Musa Kadhim (a.s.) and informed him of my predicament.  The Imam (a.s.) wrote a letter to the governor, the contents of which were as follows:

In the name of God, the Most Beneficent, the Most Compassionate.  Do know that beneath the A’rsh (Throne) of God, there exists a shade of Mercy into which none shall enter except he who exhibits goodness and kindness towards his brother-in-faith, liberates him from his sorrow and endeavours to make him happy.  Behold!  The bearer of this letter is one of your brethren. Wassalaam.

After returning from Hajj, one night I proceeded to the governor’s house and asked the sentry to tell the governor that a person had brought a message from Imam Kadhim (a.s.).

As soon as he was informed, the governor rushed out towards the door in sheer delight.  He was barefooted and took me into his arms, repeatedly kissing my forehead and inquiring after the Imam’s well being.

Having gone through the Imam’s (a.s.) letter, he gave me half of all the money and clothes he possessed, and as for the things which could not be divided, he gave me the monetary equivalent of half its value, asking me after each distribution:

“Have I made you happy?”

I would reply, “By God!  You have pleased me greatly.”

He took out his register and erasing all the debts written across my name, handed me a letter which contained an order, exempting me from all taxes.

I took his leave and said to myself, “This person has been immensely kind to me and there is no way I can repay his munificence.  Let me go for Hajj again and pray for him there and also inform the Imam (a.s.) of his generosity and kindness.”

That year I started out for Makkah and presenting myself before the Imam (a.s.), informed him of what had transpired.  As I narrated the events, I observed that his face continually brightened up with delight and so I inquired:

“Have his deeds pleased you?”

He said, “By Allah!  His deeds have truly pleased me and he has (also) pleased God, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and Amirul Mu'mineen (a.s.).”
[Pand-e-Taareekh, vol. 2, pg. 47; Bihaar al-Anwaar vol. 11, ‘The Biography Of Imam Kadhim (peace be upon him)’.]