It is YOU…

One day all the employees reached the office and they saw a big advice on the door on which it was written:
‘Yesterday the person who has been hindering your growth in this company passed away. We invite you to join the funeral in the room that has been prepared in the gym’.
In the beginning, they all got sad for the death of one of their colleagues, but after a while they started getting curious to know who was that man who hindered the growth of his colleagues and the company itself.
The more people reached the coffin, the more the excitement heated up. Everyone thought: ‘Who is this guy who was hindering my progress? Well, at least he died!’.
One by one the thrilled employees got closer to the coffin, and when they looked inside it they suddenly became speechless. They stood nearby the coffin, shocked and in silence, as if someone had touched the deepest part of their soul.

There was a mirror inside the coffin: everyone who looked inside it could see himself.
There was also a sign next to the mirror that said:

‘There is only one person who is capable to set limits to your growth: it is YOU.
You are the only person who can revolutionize your life. You are the only person who can influence your happiness, your realization and your success. You are the only person who can help yourself.

Your life does not change when your boss changes, when your friends change, when your parents change, when your partner changes, when your company changes. Your life changes when YOU change, when you go beyond your limiting beliefs, when you realize that you are the only one responsible for your life.

‘The most important relationship you can have is the one you have with yourself’

Examine yourself, watch yourself. Don’t be afraid of difficulties, impossibilities and losses: be a winner, build yourself and your reality.
It’s the way you face Life that makes the difference.

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Justice of Ali ib Abu Talib

Once a plaintiff lodged a complaint before Umar ibn al-Khattab, the Caliph of those days. Both parties of litigation should appear before the court and lay their complaints.

The one against whom the complaint was lodged was Imam `Ali (a.s). Convoking both parties, Umar went and sat down on the seat of judgment. According to the Islamic law, both parties ought to station next to each other and the principle of equality before the Tribunal should be respected.

Accordingly, the Caliph called out the plaintiff by name and beckoned him to stand up in a peculiar place before the judge. Then he turned to `Ali and said, “O Abu’l-Hasan! Place yourself next to your plaintiff.”

On hearing these words, `Ali became apparently angry.” The caliph said, “O `Ali, you do not want to stand next to your adversary.”

`Ali said, “No, that is not the reason for my anger;  the reason is that you have not entirely respected the norms of justice, for you called me respectfully by my nickname Abu’l-Hasan but you called the other person by his ordinary name.”

Umar hugged the Imam and kissed him between the eyes saying, “May my father be your ransom! Allah guided us with your mediation and brought us out of darkness into light through you.”

Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah: 65/17.

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Fu¤ayl ibn al-Ja`d reports: The main reason the Arabs did not support Imam `Ali was the wealth. He never preferred an Arab to a non-Arab or an aristocrat to an ordinary man. He never compromised with the chiefs of tribes nor with the kings. That is why the people abandoned `Ali and joined Mu`awiyah. `Ali complained to Malik Ashtar of his companions, failure to support him and the escape of some of them to Mu`awiyah. Malik Ashtar too would say, “O Amir al-Mu’minin! Some people cannot tolerate your justice, for they are the people of the world! May Allah pave the way for your justice, oppress your enemies, disperse them, foil their plan and break their unity against you: Surely He is Aware of what they do.”

In response, `Ali said, “As for our just acts, Allah says:

مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلِنَفْسِهِ وَمَنْ أَسَاءَ فَعَلَيْهَا وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِّلْعَبِيدِ (46)

Whoever does good, it is for his own soul, and whoever does evil, it is against it; and your Lord is not in the least unjust to the servants. (41: 46)

As for your opinion that justice is hard for them hence they abandoned us, Allah knows that they did not leave us for any injustice. They left us for worldly riches, a world which they will leave and on the Judgment Day. They will be questioned whether they fought for the world or Allah! As for saying that we do not give away to them from the public fund, we cannot give them more than what they deserve. Allah says:

كَم مِّن فِئَةٍ قَلِيلَةٍ غَلَبَتْ فِئَةً كَثِيرَةً بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ وَاللّهُ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ (249)

How often has a small party vanquished numerous hosts by Allah’s permission, and Allah is with the patient. (2:249).

Allah commissioned Muhammad as a prophet with a small number of people around him but they increased in number and honored them while they were humiliated before. If Allah wills, He will support us, remove our problems and sorrows. I approve of your union which pleases Allah. You are the most benevolent and trustworthy of them with me, Allah willing.”

Ref: Al-Gharat: 46/1.

Forgiving the Enemies

When the Holy Prophet conquered Mecca with his strong army of twelve thousand soldiers, he treated people so kindly that they all were surprised. No one could believe that a victor could treat the defeated party in this way.

People of Mecca had gathered in the Sacred Mosque to see the leader of Muslims and Islam come out of Ka`bah and judge those who committed all kinds of persecution against him for thirteen years. However, after breaking the idols, the Holy Prophet came out of Ka`bah addressing the people of Mecca as such,

“O people! You were bad kinsmen and neighbors for me. You expelled me from my hometown and fought against me in an unmanly way. You did not spare any attempt to persecute me, my friends and my companions. You killed my uncle, Hamzah. You fought against Allah’s Messenger so I have the right to avenge myself on you. Based on this right, your men must be killed, your wives and children must be taken captive, your property must be seized by the conquerors, and your houses must be demolished. But I leave the judgment to you.

What do you think?”

 Suhayl ibn `Amr, representing his people, said, “We speak good and think good. You are an honorable brother and an honorable nephew who has power over us.”

These words impressed the tenderhearted Prophet in such a way that his eyes were filled with tears. People of Mecca started weeping. Then the Holy Prophet said, “I do the same thing as my brother Joseph did. There is no sin upon you today. May Allah forgive you; He is the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.”

Al-Kafi: 225/4, H 3.

‘Ali (a.s.) and the Discourteous Trader

Imam ‘Ali (a.s.), during his Caliphate (Ruler-ship), would often undertake tours to survey the markets and advise and guide the traders there. 

One day, while passing through the date market, he noticed that a small girl was weeping. Imam asked her the reasonfor her tears at which she explained: “My master had given me a dirham to purchase some dates. I purchased them from this trader here, but when I returnedhome, my master did not approve of them. Now I wish to return them but the trader refuses to take them back.” 

Imam ‘Ali (a.s.), turned to the trader and said to him, “This child is a slave-girl and has no authority of her own. Take back the dates and return her money to her.” The trader stepped forward and, in full view of the other traders and onlookers, struck the Imam (a.s.) on the chest in an attempt to shove him away from the front of his shop. 

The people who were witnessing the incident, rushed forward and said to the man:“What do you think you are doing?

This is ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.)!” 

The trader’s face went pale as he stood flabbergasted. He immediately took the dates from the girl and handed back the money to her. 

Then, turning to the Imam (a.s.), he implored, “O’ Amirul Mu’mineen! Be pleased with me and forgive me.”

The Imam (a.s.) replied, “I shall only be pleased with you when you change your behaviour for the better and pay close attention to morals and courtesy.”  

Daastaan-ha Wa Pand-ha, vol. 1, pg. 46; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 9, pg. 519. 

Bohlool Meets Shaykh Junayd

Shaykh Junayd Baghdadi went for a walk out of Baghdad. His students followed him. The Shaykh asked how Bohlool was. They answered, “He is a crazy person, what do you need from him?”

“Bring him to me because I have a need for him.”

The students searched for Bohlool and found him in the desert. They took Shaykh Junayd to him. When Shaykh Junayd went near Bohlool, he saw Bohlool in a state of perturbation with a brick under his head. The Shaykh greeted him.

Bohlool answered and asked, “Who are you?” 

 “I am Junayd Baghdadi.”

Bahlool asked, “Are you Abul Qasim?” “Yes!” replied

the ShaykBahlool asked again “Are you Shaykh Baghdadi who gives people spiritual instructions?” “Yes!”

Then Bahlool asked “Do you even know how to eat?”

Yes “I say Bismillah (In the Name of Allah). I eat from in front of me, I take small bites, put them in the right side of my mouth, and slowly chew. I don’t stare at others’ bites. I remember Allah while eating. For whatever morsel I eat, I say Alhamdolillah (Praise be to Allah). I wash my hands before and after eating.”

Bohlool stood up, shook his garment on the Shaykh, and said, “You want to be the spiritual teacher of the world but you don’t even know how to eat.” Saying this, he walked away.

The Shaykh’s students said, “O Shaykh! He is a crazy person.” Shaykh’s replied, “He is such a lunatic who is intelligent in his work. Listen to the correct statements from him.” Saying this he went after Bohlool, saying, “I have a need for Bohlool.” When Bohlool reached a deserted building he sat down. Junayd came near him.

Bohlool asked, “Who are you?”

“Shaykh Baghdadi who doesn’t even know how to eat.”

“You don’t know how to eat, but do you know how to talk?” “Yes.”

“How do you talk?”

 “I talk in moderation and to the point. I don’t speak unoccasionally or too much. I speak so the listeners can understand. I call the world’s people towards Allah and the Prophet. I don’t talk so much that the people would get bored. I care about the deepness of inner and outer knowledge.” Then he described whatever was connected with manners and etiquette.” Bahlool said, Forget about eating, you don’t know how to talk either.”

He stood up, shook his garment on the Shaykh and walked away.The students said, “O Shaykh!  You saw, he is a crazy person. What do you expect from a lunatic!” Shaykh, “I have a need for him. You do not know.” Again he went after Bohlool until he reached him.

Bohlool asked, “What do you want from me?  You who don’t know the manners of eating and speaking, do you know how to sleep?” “Yes, I know.” 

“How do you sleep?”

“When I am finished with Namaz-e-Isha and reciting supplications, I don my sleepwear.” Then he described the manners of sleeping which were transmitted to him by the learned people of religion.”I understand that you do not know how to sleep either.” He wanted to get up, but Junayd caught hold of his garment and said, “O Bohlool! I don’t know; so for the sake of Allah teach me.”

Bahlul said You claimed knowledge and said you knew so I was avoiding you. Now that you confessed your lack of knowledge I will teach you. Know that whatever you described is secondary.

The truth behind eating meals is that you eat lawful morsels. If you eat forbidden food likewise, with one hundred manners, it won’t benefit you, but will be the reason for blackening the heart.” “May Allah grant you great reward.”

Bohlool continued, “The heart must be pure, and have good intentions before you begin to talk. And your conversation must be to please Allah. If it is for any worldly or useless work, then however you express yourself, it will become a calamity for you. That is why silence and quietude would be best.

Whatever you said about sleeping is also of secondary importance.”The truth of it is that your heart should be free of enmity, jealousy, and hate. Your heart should not be greedy for this world or its wealth, and remember Allah when going to sleep.” Junayd kissed Bohlool’s hand and prayed for him. The students who saw this incident, and had thought that Bohlool was crazy, forgot their actions and started a new life.

Moral: The lesson is that if someone doesn’t know something, then he shouldn’t be ashamed of learning it; like Shaykh Junayd learned the ways and manners of eating, talking, and sleeping. 

I can’t see Allah with my eyes!

Once there was a farmer who was a very good man. He

worked hard on his farm and prayed salaa (namaz) on time

every day.

One day he saw a sick man lying on the roadside. He helped

him up and took him home to look after him.

The next morning when the farmer woke up to pray salaa

he woke up his guest who said he did not want to pray.

The man said that he could not see Allah so how could he

pray to One whom he could not see. The farmer did not say

anything.

The next day the man was feeling better and wanted to go

home. The farmer walked with him across the fields.

Suddenly they saw footprints. The man told the farmer

that they were the footprints of a tiger.

“I don’t believe that ! ” said the farmer . “I can’t see a

tiger here !”

The man looked surprised and said “Are these footprints

not enough to tell you that a tiger was here?”

The farmer said, “Dear brother! When you saw the

footprints you believed that a tiger had passed here; so

are not the moon, the sun, the flowers, and the trees

enough to make you believe that there must be One who

made them?”

The man thought for a while and said, “You are right ! We

cannot see Allah with our eyes but we can understand from

the things he has made that He exists.”

Small & Big Sins

Two men came to Imam Ja’fer As-Sadiq (A.S.) and said

that they would like to do Tawba (ask for forgiveness and

put right) for their sins.

The first man said that he had done a lot of small sins

whilst the second said that he had committed two big sins.

Imam told the first man to pick one small pebble for each

small sin that he had committed.

He told the second man to bring a large boulder for each of

his big sins.

After a while both men came back to Imam having brought

what they were asked to bring.

Imam now asked both of them to put back every stone in

it’s place.

The man with the two large boulders found it difficult to

carry them back in their original place but eventually he

managed.

The man with the many small pebbles could not remember

where he had picked all of them so he could not put them

all back in their original place.

It is very difficult to do Tawba for the sins which seem

small because we forget and take them for granted.

Imam Ali (A.S.) has said:

“The biggest sin is that which the doer considers the

smallest.”

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