'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, 15 June 2012

The Mukhlasin and Mukhlisin

Shaykh Saleem Bhimji

There is a stark difference between two relatively similar terms: al-Mukhlasin and al-Mukhlisin – and even though there is only one vowel point which makes the pronunciation different, however that one difference radically changes the meaning of the words.

In his seminal work, Tafsire Namuneh, Ayatullah al-Uzma Shaykh Nasir Makarim Shirazi states that: It must be noted that the word “al-Mukhlas” is the passive participle (al-ism al-maf’ul) and is in the meaning of ‘one who has been made sincere’; while the word “al-Mukhliswhich is the active participle (al-ism al-fa’il) can be rendered as ‘one who is making himself sincere’. By carefully studying the verses of the Qur’an we clearly see that “al-Mukhlis” has been used more often than “al-Mukhlas” and [this word] is used in reference to a person who is at the first of many stages of perfection and on the path of self-building, for example in the verse of the Qur’an which states:

فَإِذَا رَكِبُوا فِي الْفُلْكِ دَعَوُا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ فَلَمَّا نَجَّاهُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ إِذَا هُمْ يُشْرِكُونَ
“When they board the ship, they invoke God putting exclusive faith in Him, but when He delivers them to land, behold, they ascribe partners [to Him.]” (Al-Ankabut (29) v. 65)

And also:
وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ حُنَفَاءَ وَيُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُوا الزَّكَاةَ ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ دِينُ الْقَيِّمَةِ
“Yet they were not commanded except to worship Allah, dedicating their faith to Him as men of pure faith, and to maintain the prayer, and pay the zakat. That is the upright religion.” (Al-Bayyinah (98), v. 5)

However the word “al-Mukhlas” is a higher station which one can only attain after traversing the station of the struggle with the self; and this is the level at which Satan loses all hope of using his influence or whisperings to misguide these individuals; and is that station in which Allah himself guards the person so that no impurity can touch him.

Therefore, the one who is initiating that ‘act of making one sincere’ is Allah Himself, and the one who is ‘receiving the status of being made sincere’ is the human being [who has been bestowed with this lofty status]; and in essence such a person has been granted a level of insurance from Allah.

Therefore we read:
قَالَ رَبِّ بِمَا أَغْوَيْتَنِي لَأُزَيِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ
إِلَّا عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ الْمُخْلَصِينَ
“He said, ‘My Lord! As You have consigned me [Satan] to perversity, I will surely glamorize [evil] for them on the earth, and I will surely pervert them, except Your exclusive servants among them.’” (Al-Hijr (15), v. 39-40)

Shaykh Saleem Bhimji

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Conversation with the Prophet about the Love of 'Ali

In his Isnad narrating from Hadhrat Salman (may God be pleased with him) that: 

Salmaan al-Farsi (May God be pleased with him) said: “We were sitting with the Messenger of Allah when a Bedouin entered. He stood up in front of us and said: “Assalamu Alaykum”. We replied him back. He then said: 

‘Which one of you is the Full Moon, and the Lantern of darkness; Mohammad the messenger of God, the learned king? Is he this radiant face?’ 
We said: ‘Yes’.

The Prophet (saww) said: ‘O Arab brother! Have a seat.’ 
He replied: ‘O Mohammad! I did believe in you before I met you and acknowledged you before I see you, except a matter narrated to me from you. The Prophet (saww) said: " And what is that"? The Bedouin said: You invited us to bear witness that there is no deity but Allah, and that Mohammad is the messenger of Allah. We then agreed. You then invited us to Salaat, Zakat, Fasting, and Hajj and we accepted those. You then were not satisfied with us until you invited us to obedience for your cousin; Ali bin Abi-Talib and his love. Did you make this compulsory on us or God from the heaven has made it compulsory?’ 

The Prophet (saww) said: ‘Rather, Allah made it compulsory for inhabitants of heavens and earth. When the man heard of that Prophetic statement said: I hear and obey for the sake of Allah O Messenger of God! as it is truly from our Lord. 

The Prophet (saww) then added: 
O Arab brother! I was given in Ali five qualities that even one of them is better than this world and what it contains. Do you not like me to inform you about them, O Arab brother?’ 
‘Yes O messenger of God’, the man replied. 

The Prophet (saww) then said: 
‘I was sitting on the day of the Battle of Badr and the war had just come to an end, that Gabriel (peace be on him) descended and said: ‘God the Exalted sends you al-Salam and says for you: ‘O Mohammad I swear in My Majesty that I do not reveal the love for Ali bin Abi-Talib save to those whom I love. Thus, whoever I love, I shall reveal to them Ali’s love, and whoever I hate I shall reveal to them their hatred for Ali.’ 

O Arab brother! Should I not inform you of the second one?’ 
‘Yes O messenger of Allah’, said the Arab. 

The Prophet (saww) said: 
‘I was sitting after I finished from the burial of my uncle Hamzeh (after the Battle of Ohod), that Gabriel descended and said: O Mohammad! Allah sends you al-Salam and says for you: “Indeed I made Salaat compulsory, but I excused the menstruating women, the insane and the children. I made fasting compulsory; yet I exempt a traveler from it. I made Hajj compulsory, but I excused an ill person. I made Zakat compulsory; yet exempt the poor from it. But I made the love for Ali ibn Abi-Talib compulsory on the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth, and did not give any excuse to anyone.” 

O Arab brother! Do you want me to tell you about the third one?’ 
‘Yes, indeed O messenger of God’, said the Arab. 

The Prophet (saww) said: 
‘God did not create anything unless He made a master in it. The eagle is the master of the birds. The bull is the master of beasts. The lion is the master of wild animals. Friday is the master of the days of the week. Ramadan is the master of the months. Israfil is the master of the angels. Adam is the master of the humans. I am the master of the Prophets and Ali is the master of successors. 

O Arab brother! Do you want me to inform you about the fourth one?’ 
‘Yes, please O messenger of God’, said the Arab man. 

The Prophet (saww) said: 
‘The love of Ali ibn Abi-Talib is a tree whose root is in Paradise and its branches are in this world. Whoever from my community clings into any of its branches, it will reach them to Paradise. The hatred of Ali ibn Abi-Talib is a tree that its root is in hell and its branches are in this world. Whoever clings into any of its branches will enter into hell.

O Arab brother! Should I not inform you of the fifth one?’ 
‘Yes of course, O messenger of God’, said the man. 

The Prophet (saww) then said: 
‘On the Day of Judgment, a pulpit will be placed for me on the right side of the Throne. Then another pulpit will be placed for Ibrahim (peace be upon him) adjacent to mine on the right side of the Throne. Then a bright high and dominating Chair will be brought known as the Chair of Honor. It will be placed for Ali between my pulpit and the pulpit of Ibrahim (peace be upon him). Then my eyes will have never seen a better friend between two bosom friends. 

O Arab! The love for Ali ibn Abi-Talib is true, then you shall love him. Indeed Allah will love those who love him and he is with me on the Day of Judgment. Ali and I are in the same part (of Paradise).’ 

Upon hearing that, the Arab man said: ‘I hear and obey Allah, his messenger and your cousin Ali ibn Abi-Talib.’” 

Bihar al-Anwar, vol.40 p.46