'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, 29 December 2011

The 'Ahl al-Islam' in Ziyarat 'Ashura

Are WE part of the Ahl al-Islam?
Sh Muhammad Khalfan

The genitive construction Ahl al-Islam denotes ‘those who are intimate and attached to Islam’. The literal meaning of the word ahl according to some lexicographers is uns (intimacy) coupled with specific relationship and attachment (Al-Mustafawi, Al-Tahqiq fi Kalimat al-Qur'an al-Karim, v.1, p.169). The word Ahl al-Bayt refers to the people of a house, because they are intimate, attached, and have a specific relationship to the house.

Therefore when we say that the loss and calamity is great on all the Ahl al-Islam we mean that all those who really have intimacy, attachment and relationship with Islam suffer with great loss and calamity. This is where we must try to analyze ourselves and see whether we are from the Ahl al-Islam or not.

The main reason why the Ahl al-Islam must express sorrow is that Imam al-Husayn (A) is the epitome of Islam. Naturally therefore, all the lovers of Islam would tangibly feel sorrowful when any kind of calamity befalls him.

In one of his counsels to his contemporary, Imam al-Baqir (A) describing the Ahl al-Bayt (A), says: 'And we are the places of the Divine Message, and we are the Religion...' (Al-Daylami, Irshad al-Qulub, v.2, p.418)

And in another tradition, Imam al-Sadiq (A) informs his companion Dawud: 'O Dawud, we are the prayer (al-Salat) in the Book of Allah, the Invincible and Exalted, and we are the poor rate (zakat), and we are the fast (al-Siyam), and we are the pilgrimage (al-Hajj) and we are the sacred month (al-shahr al-Haram) and we are the sacred city (al-balad al-Haram) and we are the Ka'ba of Allah and we are the qibla of Allah...' ('Allama Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, v.24, p.303)

These traditions inform us that the Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt (A) were epitomes of religion. Therefore love for religion in the true sense is love for them, and vice versa.

Sh Muhammad Khalfan; The Sacred Effusion

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