Mourning on Dead & Martyrs from Ahle Sunnah

I didn’t wanted to have a  debate on this blog as some people have raised a question on Mourning on Imam Husein (a.s) then it was necessary to reply and make other readers also aware of the truth. I have quoted & highlighted just few traditions from Ahle Sunna, there are numerous such tradition which proves on Mourning & remembrance on Imam Husein (a.s) as a sunna because of his High position and greatest sacrifice for saving the ISLAM. Imam Husein (a.s) hold such a high position in the eyes of humanity that even the non believers remembers his sacrifice every year….Inshallah if God wills will post more references related to this.

To remember the Martyrs is not only the Sunnah of Prophet(s) but also the practice of Sahaba

When read in Al Bidayah wa al Nihaya, Volume 4 page 45, published Beirut:
It is narrated by Abu Hurariah(r) that the Prophet(s) used to visit the graves of martyrs every year. When He(s) would reach the entrance of the mountain, He(s) would say (to the martyrs): ‘Asalam alailekum Bima Sabartum’. This means ‘peace be on you due to your patience and you have reached a pleasant place due to this.’ Then after Prophet(s), Abu Bakar also used to come (every year), and after him Umar used to do the same and then Usman also did the same”After this narration the word ‘every year’ is recorded in the narrations of Waqidi.

The Shi’a accordingly commemorate the memory of martyrs of Kerbala every year. The Prophet (s) and his companions would visit the graves of Uhud’s martyrs every year. Similarly we like to go to the tomb of Imam Husayn (as) every year in Muharam.If one cannot implement this practise by practically visiting Kerbala every Muharam there is no grounds to abandon it altogether, we seek to do as much as we can to remember our ill-treated Imam. So we commemorate the day with processions, conferences, and mourning to show our love and faith, though we cannot go to the tomb every year.

Mourning from History & it’s repeatation

1. Mourning by Adam (as) and Hawa (as) for their slain son.
“The Father and Mother of humanity wept for their son Habeel for so long that their tears turned into a stream”. [Tareekh Yaqoobi, volume 1, page 3]

2. It is said that Prophet Yaqoob (a.s.) wept so much for his son Yusuf (a.s.) that the pupils of his eyes became white.
“And he turned away from them, and said: O my sorrow for Yusuf! And his eyes become white on account of the grief,” (Surah Yusuf 12:84)

3.Unanimously all Muslim agree that the Holy Prophet (s) named the year in which Khadija (as) and Abu Talib (as) died as “Aam al Huzn” i.e. The Year of Grief’.

What other reason could there be for naming a whole year as ‘Aam al Huzn’, other than the Prophet(s) dedicating it to commemorate the loss of his uncle and beloved wife? Is this act of the Prophet(s) a Sunnah or not? We the Shi’a mourn our Imam (as) for ten days, Rasulullah (s) mourned for an entire year. Even after the passage of a year Rasulullah (s) never got over this grief, and this was known to Ayesha who wanted him (s) to abandon his remembrance of his dead wife.

We read in Saheeh al Bukharee Hadeeth: 5.166 this narration from Ayesha:

“I did not feel jealous of any of the wives of the Prophet as much as I did of Khadija though I did not see her, but the Prophet used to mention her very often, and whenever he slaughtered a sheep, he would cut its parts and send them to the women friends of Khadija. When I sometimes said to him, “(You treat Khadija in such a way) as if there is no woman on earth except Khadija,” he would say, “Khadija was such-and-such, and from her I had children”.

The testimony of Ahl’ul Sunnah’s from H.Aysha is clear evidence that the Prophet (s) never got over grieving his wife and it is obvious that the Dhikr of Khadija (as) would also have taken place in presence of receptive ears. The process of Dhikr between a speaker and listener is called a congregation (Majalis). We likewise commemorate the deaths of Khadija (as) and Abu Talib (as) and the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (as).If Muslims have no issue with celebrating nights such as the Miraaj of our Prophet (s) then there is no reason to abandon the remembrance of calamities because both grief and happiness are important in life.

4. H.Umar said: ‘whenever I venture out at sunrise I remember the death of my brother Zaid bin Khattab [al Bidaya wa al Nihaya, Volume 6 page 370].

Look at the words of your Master Umar who remembered the death of his brother throughout his life. so what it the harm in remembering the death of Holy prophet (s.a) or his grandson Imam Husein (a)

5. We read in the Sunni text Gham – e – Husayn, Page 7 the following words of this Sufi Saint: The ten days of Muharam are for we Muslims, days of mourning and grief. To lament on the slaughtered Imam is certainly following in the Holy Prophet’s (a) footsteps. I consider weeping and lamenting on Imam Husayn (as) and making others too cry & weep an act of great reward. I do not wish to talk or remember anything other than the Tragedy of Imam Husayn (as) during these ten days of Muharam. All the Saints and holy men and Sufi personalities in Hindustan have always openly expressed grief and sorrow and cried and wept profusely on the Day of Ashura. Maulana Shah Muhammad Suleiman Hanafi Qadri Chishti, the residing Saint of Phulwari Shareef also commemorated this grief & sorrow.
If expressing grief and sorrow, weeping for Imam Husayn (as) and making others do the same were Haraam, then all the Sufi Saints and holy men of Hindustan would not have perpetually practiced this sorrow during their

6. “Imam al Harmain” whose actual name was Abdal Malik having Ziauddin as his title, according to Allamah Shibli Naumani was considered as a supreme scholar of his era and many renowned ulema were his students which included Imam Ghazali. Imam Ghazali while mentioning the mourning over his death writes in his authority work ‘Kunjeena Hidayaath’ the Urdu translation of Kameela Sa’aadth page 3 “The Imam of Haramain died in 478 Hijri. At that time all the market stalls in Nishapur were closed and the pulpit in the Jami Mosque was broken, his students that numbered almost 400 destroyed their books and pens and mourned him for a whole year.”

We appeal to justice. These are the people, who have a historical enmity with writing materials, but we have no idea why the pulpit was destroyed. Did these esteemed students (who were themselves scholars) have no knowledge of the verses on patience

7. Shah Abdul Aziz Muhadith Dehlavi while explaining the philosophy of Martyrdom writes in the preface of his Book ‘Sirr al Shahdatain’: “The martyrdom of Imam Husayn (as) is in reality the martyrdom of his grandfather Muhammad Mustafa (s)” We therefore infer from this that mourning of the leader of the martyrs, Husayn (as) is mourning (Azadari) of his grandfather the Seal of Prophets, the most beloved of Allah’s creation, Muhammad Mustafa (s).

8. In Uswa – e – Sufia Uzzaam, Page 9 that : Sheikh al Islam Maqdoom Ala’ al Haq Pindavi (ra) used to mourn for all ten days of Muharam and would say: “How could one achieve sainthood when he does not mourn and weep on the family of the Holy Prophet (s) and perform Azadari for these pure personalities? One who doesn’t have a heart of stone.” 

Thus a Sunni saint has himself declared that he who does not perform Azadari cannot be a saint (wali) and he who abstains from such mourning, is stone – hearted.

9. When we read about Owais al-Qarni the great Muslim Sahabi, praised by both Shi’a and Sunni erudite.

He had an immense love for the Holy Prophet (s). When the news reached him in Yemen that two teeth of the Holy Prophet (s) were brokenin the battle of Ohad, he extracted all his teeth. When the Holy Prophet (s) got the news in Medina that Owais had struck down all his teeth, he (s) exclaimed, “Indeed Owais is our devoted friend”. This event can be found written in [Seerate Halbia’ vol II, page 295.]
The renowned Sunni Scholar Shiekh Farid al Din Attaar in ‘Tadhkhirah tul Awliya’ Urdu translation page 17 and 18 writes:
” Uways Qarni (ra) said to Umar Khattab (ra): ‘If you were true in friendship than why on the day when the holy teeth of the Prophet (s) were broken didn’t you break your teeth in companionship? Because, it is a condition of companionship.’ Then he showed his teeth all of which were broken and said ‘I broke all of my teeth without seeing you (O Prophet) and in the state of Ghaybah in your companionship. I had
broken one tooth but couldn’t get satisfaction so kept on breaking them one by one until I had broken them all ‘”.

Had the breaking of teeth by Uways Qarni (ra) been in opposition to Shariah,

Umar would certainly have pointed it out at the time or at least commented and answered the accusation by Uways Qarni (ra) of his less than perfect companionship. The silence of Umar proves that he didn’t deem the act of breaking one’s teeth as done by Uways Qarni (ra) as opposed to Shariah but considered it an act of sincerity and also a proof of friendship

Secondly even Holy prophet (s) did not condemn this act but was happy with this extreme form of self harm and said “Indeed Owais is our devoted friend”  so this proves that self harming in love of Holy prophet (s) was the sign of ectreme Love which isnot bidat nor prohibited.  

Weeping on death of Holy prophet (s)

Ibn Abbas cried and even Bhukari in his Sahih mentions this incident as a “Calamity of Thursday”

Narrated by Said bin Jubair
That he heard Ibn ‘Abbas saying, “thursday! And you know not what thursday is? After that Ibn ‘Abbas wept till the stones on the ground were soaked with his tears. On that I asked Ibn ‘Abbas, “What is (about) thursday?” He said, “When the condition (i.e. health) of Allah’s Apostle deteriorated, he said, ‘Bring me a bone of scapula, so that I may write something for you after which you will never go astray.’The people differed in their opinions although it was improper to differ in front of a prophet, They said, ‘What is wrong with him? Do you think he is delirious? Ask him (to understand). The Prophet replied, ‘Leave me as I am in a better state than what you are asking me to do.’ Then the Prophet ordered them to do three things saying, ‘Turn out all the pagans from the Arabian Peninsula, show respect to all foreign delegates by giving them gifts as I used to do.’ ” The sub-narrator added, “The third order was something beneficial which either Ibn ‘Abbas did not mention or he mentioned but I forgot.’

[SAHIH BUKHARI, Eng Volume 4, Book 53, Number 393 ]

H.Abu Bakr wept on death of Holy prophet (s)
Narrated by H.’Aisha
Abu Bakr came from his house at As-Sunh on a horse. He dismounted and entered the Mosque, but did not speak to the people till he entered upon ‘Aisha and went straight to Allah’s Apostle who was covered with Hibra cloth (i.e. a kind of Yemenite cloth). He then uncovered the Prophet’s face and bowed over him and kissed him and wept, saying, “Let my father and mother be sacrificed for you. [SAHIH BUKHARI, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 733

All people wept on death of Holy prophet (s)

Narrated by H.’Aisha
(the wife of the Prophet) Allah’s Apostle died while Abu Bakr was at a place called As-Sunah (Al-‘Aliya) ‘Umar stood up and said, “By Allah! Allah’s Apostle is not dead!” ‘Umar (later on) said, “By Allah! Nothing occurred to my mind except that.” He said, “Verily! Allah will resurrect him and he will cut the hands and legs of some men.” Then Abu Bakr came and uncovered the face of Allah’s Apostle, kissed him and said, “Let my mother and father be sacrificed for you, (O Allah’s Apostle), you are good in life and in death. By Allah in Whose Hands my life is, Allah will never make you taste death twice.” Then he went out and said, “O oath-taker! Don’t be hasty.” When Abu Bakr spoke, ‘Umar sat down. Abu Bakr praised and glorified Allah and said, No doubt! Whoever worshipped Muhammad, then Muhammad is dead, but whoever worshipped Allah, then Allah is Alive and shall never die.” Then he recited Allah’s Statement.: “(O Muhammad) Verily you will die, and they also will die.” (39.30) He also recited: “Muhammad is no more than an Apostle; and indeed many Apostles have passed away, before him, If he dies Or is killed, will you then Turn back on your heels? And he who turns back On his heels, not the least Harm will he do to Allah And Allah will give reward to those Who are grateful.” (3.144) The people wept loudly….. [SAHIH BUKHARI,Volume 5, Book 57, Number 19]

MORE ABOUT WEEPING FOR DEATH FROM AHLE SUNNAH

Holy Prophet(s) wept on the death of his son Ibrahim 
Narrated by Anas bin Malik
We went with Allah’s Apostle (p.b.u.h) to the blacksmith Abu Saif, and he was the husband of the wet-nurse of Ibrahim (the son of the Prophet). Allah’s Apostle took Ibrahim and kissed him and smelled him and later we entered Abu Saif’s house and at that time Ibrahim was in his last breaths, and the eyes of Allah’s Apostle (p.b.u.h) started shedding tears. ‘Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf said, “O Allah’s Apostle, even you are weeping!” He said, “O Ibn ‘Auf, this is mercy.” Then he wept more and said, “The eyes are shedding tears and the heart is grieved, and we will not say except what pleases our Lord, O Ibrahim ! Indeed we are grieved by your separation.” [SAHIH BUKHARI, Volume 2, Book 23, Number 39]

Holy Prophet(s) wept on the death of  son of one of his daughters 

Narrated by Usama
A son of one of the daughters of the Prophet was dying, so she sent a person to call the Prophet. He sent (her a message), “What ever Allah takes is for Him, and whatever He gives is for Him, and everything has a limited fixed term (in this world) so she should be patient and hope for Allah’s reward.” She then sent for him again, swearing that he should come. Allah’s Apostle got up, and so did Mu’adh bin Jabal, Ubai bin Ka’b and ‘Ubada bin As-Samit. When he entered (the house), they gave the child to Allah’s Apostle while its breath was disturbed in his chest. (The sub-narrator said: I think he said, “…as if it was a water skin.”) Allah’s Apostle started weeping whereupon Sa’d bin ‘Ubada said, “Do you weep?” The Prophet said, “Allah is merciful only to those of His slaves who are merciful (to others).”  [SAHIH BUKHARI, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 540]

Holy Prophet(s) wept on the death of Zaid, Jafar & Abdullah bin Rawaha

Narrated by Anas bin Malik
The Prophet said, “Zaid took over the flag and was martyred. Then it was taken by Jafar who was martyred as well. Then ‘Abdullah bin Rawaha took the flag but he too was martyred and at that time the eyes of Allah’s Apostle were full of tears. Then Khalid bin Al-Walid took the flag without being nominated as a chief (before hand) and was blessed with victory.” [SAHIH BUKHARI Volume 2, Book 23, Number 338]

Narrated by Anas bin Malik
Allah’s Apostle delivered a sermon and said, “Zaid received the flag and was martyred, then Ja’far took it and was martyred, then ‘Abdullah bin Rawaha took it and was martyred, and then Khalid bin Al-Walid took it without being appointed, and Allah gave him victory.” The Prophet added, “I am not pleased (or they will not be pleased) that they should remain (alive) with us,” while his eyes were shedding tears. [SAHIH BUKHARI Volume 4, Book 52, Number 29]

Holy Prophet(s) wept on the death of Sad bin ‘Ubada 

Narrated by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar
Sad bin ‘Ubada became sick and the Prophet along with ‘Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf, Sad bin Abi Waqqas and ‘Abdullah bin Masud visited him to enquire about his health. When he came to him, he found him surrounded by his household and he asked, “Has he died?” They said, “No, O Allah’s Apostle.” The Prophet wept and when the people saw the weeping of Allah’s Apostle (p.b.u.h) they all wept. He said, “Will you listen? Allah does not punish for shedding tears, nor for the grief of the heart but he punishes or bestows His Mercy because of this, He pointed to his tongue .” and added, “The deceased is punished for the wailing of his relatives over him.” ‘Umar used to beat with a stick and throw stones and put dust over the faces (of those who used to wail over the dead). [SAHIH BUKHARI Volume 2, Book 23, Number 391]

The tradition of Umar and his son as explained by H.Ayesha
Narrated by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Ubaidullah bin Abi Mulaika
……Ibn Abbas added, “When ‘Umar died I told all this to Aisha and she said, ‘May Allah be merciful to Umar. By Allah, Allah’s Apostle did not say that a believer is punished by the weeping of his relatives. But he said, Allah increases the punishment of a non-believer because of the weeping of his relatives.” Aisha further added, “The Quran is sufficient for you (to clear up this point) as Allah has stated: ‘No burdened soul will bear another’s burden.’ ” (35.18). Ibn Abbas then said, “Only Allah makes one laugh or cry.” Ibn Umar did not say anything after that  [SAHIH BUKHARI Eng Volume 2, Book 23, Number 375] & [Sahih Muslim. Chap. 9, Tradition No.25]

Zainab binte Jahash the wife of Prophet (s.a.w.s.) narrates:
One day the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s) was in my house and Husain (a.s.) was also there. For some moments I forgot about him. He entered into the Prophet’s room. I tried to pick him up but the Messenger of Allah restrained me. Then he stood up to perform the prayers while holding Husain (a.s.) in his arms. When he went into ruku (bending in genuflection) or sajdah (prostration) he put down Husain (a.s.) and again took him in his arms when he stood up. Then he sat down and wept. When he finished his prayers I said, “O Messenger of Allah! Today I have seen you do something that I had never seen before.”
He said, “Jibraeel came to me and informed me that this Husain (a.s.) will be killed by my ummat (people).” (Mustadrakul Sahihain, 4:398)
He then showed me the soil of the place of his martyrdom. He gave me (a handful of) red dust.”

It is human’s nature that a person weep or grief on him, whom he loves very much. No one weeps on an unknown person or enemy. It is not BIDDAD to weep, because weeping is in human’s nature and it is gifted by ALLAH, so He never prohibit such a thing which He has kept in our nature. As ALLAH says in Holy Quran, “And that is He (Allah) it is Who makes (Men) laugh and makes (them) weep”. (Chp-53 : Verse-43)

Now you can judge by this few tradition with YOUR SELVES,
1) Whether Weeping is in human’s nature and its attachment is with the heart or not?
2) If someone is put to death by torture, whom we love, then, will we weep in his respect or not?
3) If such a tragedy falls on the day of Eid, or any death occurs in our family, shall we celebrate that day as a Eid?
4) If Prophet Muhammad (P.) can weep on Hazrat Husain (p), Why can’t we?
5) Is it suitable to celebrate Marriage, Birthday or any other function in the month of Muharram?
6) Do we celebrate or do we attend such happy occasions when there is a death of our beloved? where as Imam Husein (a) was the beloved of Holy prophet (s)
7) Whether grieving for martyr is Biddad or Sunnah of Holy Prophet (P.)?  Whether a day of Ashura is a day of Sorrow or Happiness?

Other links:

Morality of Imam Husayn (a.s.)

Imam Husayn (a.s) is reported as saying:

“I am sure that Allah’s Messenger believed that the best deed after prayer was to make a believer happy provided there is no sin involved.”

The Most Generous Man!

A Bedouin arrived in Medinaasking for the most generous man living there. They guided him to Imam Husayn. The Bedouin entered the mosque and found Imam Husayn praying. He stood in front of the Imam, reciting a poem with the following content, “Whoever knocks at the door of your house will not be desperate. You are the paragon of generosity. You are a haven. Your father put the unbelieving rebels to death. Were it not for your sake, our life would be a hell.” Imam Husayn saluted the Bedouin, saying to Qanbar, “Is there any of Hijaz holdings left?” He said, “Yes, about four thousand Dinars.” The Imam said, “Bring it here, for he is more deserving of it than us.” Then, he took his cloak off his shoulders, wrapped the money in it and gave it to him, reciting a poem with the following content, “Take this holding from me and accept my apology. Know that I would like to be kind to you. If the reins of the rule were in our hands you would be showered with generosity; but the vicissitudes displace the affairs and presently we can give away only a little.” The Arab took the holding from the Imam while his eyes were full of tears. The Imam said, “What I have given to you is a little.” The Arab answered, “The reason I am crying is that I wonder how the earth will eat this giving hand.”[1]

What A Sorrow!

Imam Husayn (a.s) went to visit Usamah ibn Zayd who had fallen sick. Usamah kept on saying, “What a sorrow!” The Imam asked, “Dear brother! What is sorrow for?” He said, “I owe sixty thousand Dirhams.” The Imam said, “I promise to pay it.” He said, “I am afraid that I will die before my debt is paid.” Imam Husayn said, “I will pay it before your death.” He did so.[2]

Helping The Needy

In the events of Karbala’, they found a scar on the shoulder of Imam Husayn. When Imam Zayn al-`Abidin was asked about it, he said, “This is a sign left of the heavy leather bag replete with what the widows, orphans and the poor needed, which my father carried on his shoulders.”[3]

Honoring A Teacher

`Abd al-Rahman al-Salami taught Surah al-Fatihah to one of Imam Husayn’s sons. When the child recited before the Imam, he gave the teacher a thousand Dinars as well as gifts. They objected to the Imam’s act, but he said, “What I have given to him cannot make up for what he has done.”[4]

Seek My Pleasure

There was an argument between Imam Husayn and his brother, Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah. In a letter to Imam Husayn, Muhammad wrote, “Dear brother! `Ali is my and your father. In this relation neither I am superior to you nor are you superior to me. Your mother is the daughter of the Holy Prophet. Should my mother possess all the gold of the world, she cannot be equal to your mother in terms of virtues. When you read the letter, come to me and seek my pleasure, for you are more deserving of good deeds than me. May peace and blessing of Allah be upon you.” After reading the letter, Imam Husayn went to his brother and there was no argument between them any more.[5]

Liberality

On the day of `Ashura’ (the tenth Muharram), Imam Husayn was told to submit to the rule of Yazid and pledge allegiance to him. The Imam replied:

وَاللهِ لأ أعْطِيكُمْ بِيَدِي إعْطَاءَ الذَّلِيلِ وَلا أفِرُّ فَرَارَ الْعَبِيدِ.

By Allah! I will not put my hand in your hand like the abased people nor will I escape from the battlefield like slaves.

Raising his voice, the Imam added:

عِبَادَ اللهِ، إنِّي عُذْتُ بِرَبِّي وَرَبِّكُمْ مِنْ كُلِّ مُتَكَبِّرٍ لأ يُؤْمِنُ بِيَوْمِ الْحِسَابِ.

O servants of Allah! I seek refuge to my Lord and Your Lord from every arrogant person who does not believe in the Day of Reckoning.[6]

Better Greeting

Anas reports: I was in the presence of Imam Husayn when his slave-girl entered the room presenting a bunch of basil as greeting. The Imam said, “You are free in the way of Allah!” I said to the Imam, “She presented an inexpensive bunch of basil to you and you set her free!” The Imam said, “Allah has taught us courtesy as such when He has said:

وَإِذَا حُيِّيْتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّواْ بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَا أَوْ رُدُّوهَا

And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet with a better greeting than it or return it, surely Allah takes account of all things. (4:86)

Therefore, in this case, a better greeting was to set her free.”

Man’s Value

An Arab came to the presence of Imam Husayn saying, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! I have undertaken to pay blood money but I cannot afford it. I said to myself: I will ask it from the most generous man and I don’t find anyone more generous than Ahl al-Bayt.” The Imam said, “O Arab brother! I will ask you three questions. Should you answer one of them, I will give you a third of what you need. If you answer the second question, I will give you two-thirds of it and finally if you answer all the three questions, I will give to you all you need.” The Arab said, “Will you—man of knowledge and honor—ask questions from such a person as me?” The Imam said, “Yes, I heard my grandfather saying: everyone’s value is to the extent of his knowledge.” The Arab said, “All right, ask me your questions. I will answer if I can. Even if I can’t answer your questions, I will learn them from you.” The Imam asked, “What is the best deed?” The Arab said, “Belief in Allah.” The Imam asked, “What is salvation?” The Arab said, “Trust in Allah.” The Imam asked, “What is an ornament for men?” The Arab said, “Knowledge accompanied with forbearance.” The Imam said, “What if there were no forbearance?” The Arab said, “A wealth accompanied by generosity.” The Imam said, “What if there was no generosity?” The Arab said, “Indigence accompanied by patience.” The Imam said, “What if there was no patience?” The Arab said, “A thunderbolt coming down from heaven to burn such a person who deserves it.” The Imam smiled, gave him a purse of one thousand Dinars as well as his ring with a gem worth two hundred Dirhams saying, “O Arab! Give the one thousand Dinars to your creditors and leave the ring for living expenditures.” The Arab took them reading the holy verse,

اللّهُ أَعْلَمُ حَيْثُ يَجْعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُ

Allah best knows where He places His message. (6:124)[7]


[1] Al-Manaqib: 66/4.
[2] Al-Manaqib: 65/4.
[3] Al-Manaqib: 66/4.
[4] Al-Manaqib: 66/4.
[5] Al-Manaqib: 66/4.
[6] Al-Manaqib: 66/4.
[7] Jami` al-Akhbar: 137, Chapter: 96.

Honoring A Nobleman

Hatam al-Ta’i was a noble, generous, and kind Arab. He would make food of a camel every day to feed people. He was doing this whole heartedly and with devotion. Nevertheless, he died before the advent of Islam. After Hatam, his son `Adi succeeded him; he was as generous as his father. It is said that one day a man asked him for one hundred Dirhams. `Adi said, “By Allah, this is nothing, ask for more!” When a poet eulogized him, `Adi said, “Wait for me to give you a reward before you read the eulogy.”

In the 9th A.H., the Holy Prophet sent a group headed by Imam `Ali to Tay Tribe to invite them to Islam but they fought them and were defeated. Most of theTay people were taken captives along with considerable booty. `Adi, Christian by faith, escaped toSyria, leaving his sister, Safanah  among the captives. Before the Holy Prophet, she stood up and said, “O Allah’s Messenger! My father passed away; my guardian who is my brother has escaped to Syria; be gracious to me.” The Holy Prophet ordered to give here new dress and send here respectfully to Syria.

Seeing this, `Adi was surprised. When his sister told him about the Holy Prophet’s gracious behavior, `Adi asked for an advisable act. The sister said, “You would better go to him, for it would be a source of pride for you to believe him, should he be a prophet and it would be an honor for you should he be a king.” `Adi moved quickly, went to the mosque and introduced himself to the Holy Prophet who invited him to his house.

On the way home, an old woman came to the Holy Prophet and held him standing for a long time speaking of her needs. The Holy Prophet too was patiently listening to her! `Adi said to himself, “This is not the attitude of the kings to speak with the needy in this manner.” When they reached home, the Holy Prophet made `Adi sit on the mattress while he himself sat on the earth facing him. `Adi said, “It is not good for me to sit on this mattress when you sit on the earth.”

The Holy Prophet said, “You are our guest!” Then the Holy Prophet said, “Perhaps you look at the actual poverty and indigence of Muslims and our numerous enemies that you do not accept Islam. But this situation will not last long.” Hearing this, `Adi willingly embraced Islam, defended Ahl al-Bayt after Allah’s Messenger and remained steadfast until the end of his life. He fought along with Imam `Ali in the battles of Camel, Siffin and Nahrawan for the sake of Allah. In the Battle of Jamal (Camel), he lost one eye and three of his sons were martyred in the front of justice against injustice

18 reasons why Muslim Fasts?

Every year the month of Ramadan comes and goes; every year we fast, yet without proper appreciation of the potentials of character building that the fasts hold for us. We find ourselves as spiritually backwards after the fast are over as when the month began. In fact our lack of knowledge of the real objectives of fasts often tends to produce an adverse effect in us, for, as is well known, the best of medicines could have ill effects if not taken in accordance with the physician’s directives and instructions. Thus it is, that the fast tends to make many of us irritable and quick tempered (expecting, as we do, VIP treatment from others, especially our subordinates and family members because of our fast) while the fast was in fact meant to mellow us into exhibiting the finer tracts of human character as illustrated by our Imams. Imam Sajjad (pbuh) would record the lapses of his servants during the month of Ramadan, without telling them anything at the time. As the month would draw to its close, he would gather the servants before him and apprise them of their mistakes, forgiving them at the same time and beseeching the Lord to forgive him, even as he had forgiven them. The holy Imam, infallible (Masoom) that he was, only sought by this practical demonstration to draw attention of his followers to the fact that they would be accountable to God for their actions and should they desire His forgiveness, they would have to forgive their subordinates as well. This practical lesson taught by the Imam ought to be rigorously pursued during the month of Ramadan by the followers of the Imam. As in this case, so in other spheres of life, our attitude to fasts ought indeed to be radically changed. We ought to welcome fasts as a practical means of reforming ourselves rather than nearly consider them as an inevitable religious bondage, eagerly waiting to free ourselves there from at the month end to resume our ways of old again. Besides of course being a means to acquiring the pleasure of God, for which all acts of devotion are basically meant, fasting could be used as a stepping stone to build up the various traits of character in accordance with the clear injunctions of the Qur’an itself that fasts have been prescribed with a view to developing piety in man. In the hurry and bustle of the present day life, man often finds himself ill-equipped to battle through life’s odds if he is not equipped with the proper attitude to face the various problems. While we find ourselves frustrated or look to other directions in such difficulties, we have most unfortunately overlooked the character building force that the fasts provide us every year. Ramadan is a month of fasting and prayers for the Muslims. The fast consists of total abstinence from food and drink from dawn to dusk. There is however, a greater significance to fasts than mere abstinence from eating and drinking. The real objective of fasts is to inculcate in man the spirit of abstinence from sins, and cultivation of virtue. Thus the Qur’an declares that the fasts have been prescribed with a view to developing piety in man. How are the many facets of piety sought to be cultivated through fasts? This article tries to list as concisely as possible; the various benefits the fasts would confer upon Muslims.

01. The most important consideration in undertaking a fast, as in any act of devotion, is to seek nearness to God, and seek His pleasure and Forgiveness. This itself generates a spirit of piety in man.

02. Creating the conditions of hunger and thirst for oneself, simply in obedience to the Divine order, measures the faith of man in God and helps strengthen it by putting it to a severe test.

03. Fasting enhances through creation of artificial non-availability, the value of the bounties of God which man often takes for granted. This inculcates in man a spirit of gratitude and consequent devotion to God. Nothing else can bring home to a man the worth of God’s bounties than a glass of water and a square meal after a day long fast. This also reminds man that the real joy in enjoying God’s bounties lies in moderation and restraint and not in over indulging.

04. Fasting makes us deeply conscious of the pangs of hunger and discomfort suffered by the less fortunate among our brethren. They have to put up with difficult conditions all through their lives. It thus kindles in man a spirit of sacrifice leading to change towards his suffering brethren.

05. Fasting gives man an unfailing training in endurance, a spirit of acceptance. This could well prepare him to put up with the unchangeable situations in life in the same spirit of resignation as cultivated during the fasts.

06. Fasting develops courage, fortitude, and a fighting spirit in man to surmount the heavy odds in life with a cool and tranquil mind. It sharpens his power of concentration to overcome obstacles through a vigorous exercise all throughout the month, leading to a steeling of his will power and resolve that could help him in challenging situations in life. It is seen than many an undesirable habit which is difficult to give up, is more easily given up during the days of fasting.

07. Fasting teaches man reliance on God, and confidence in Him. Just as the vigorous state of fasting for a whole month is undertaken with His assistance, bitter situations in life could also be surmounted with His help.

08. Fasting develops a spirit of patience in man, with the realization that the days of fasting, though seemingly unending, do have a successful and happy end. Thus is life. All bitter situations pass, and come to an end.

09. Fasting is meant to conquer anger and develop self-control in man. The vigorous effort required to put up with hunger and thirst can well be extended to conquer other infirmities of human character that lead man into error and sin.

10. Fasting inculcates a spirit of tolerance in man to face unpleasant conditions and situations without making his fellow beings the victim of his wrath. Many people, when facing discomfort and deprivation, become irritable and annoyed. This anger is then vented on those around them. Fasting helps a man become more tolerant despite his own discomfort.

11. Fasting mellows a man and enhances his character, giving a jolt to the human instincts of pride, haughtiness, jealousy and ambition. Fasting softens his character, and clears his heart and mind of many negative emotions.

12. Fasting exposes the weakness of man in the event of his being deprived of two basic bounties of God; food and drink. It infuses into him a spirit of weakness and submission, generating humility and prayer in an otherwise arrogant being.

 13. Fasting breathes the spirit of forgiveness in man towards others, as he seeks God’s forgiveness through fasts and prayers

14. Fasting gives lessons in punctuality. Man has to adhere to a strict schedule of time in the observance of the fast.

15. Fasting could affect the economy of the individual as he is less wasteful on food and meals.

16. Fasting demands a rigid sense of discipline, mental, spiritual and physical. This forms characteristics which are an essential ingredient to success in life.

17. Fasting creates spiritual reformation in man, infusing him with a spirit of enthusiasm and zest to change and become a better human being in the eyes of God. This is an excellent opportunity, given to believers each year, to change themselves and consequently their destinies.

18. On the physical side, fasting cleanses the human system of the accumulated impurities of uninterrupted eating throughout the year. It prepares the body to face diseases or conditions of scarcity. The rigid abstinence of a fast regulates man’s health, sharpens his intellect and enhances the qualities of his heart. Fasting is thus a bounty in itself, encompassing within itself many bounties. It instills a spirit of reformation in man, creating a wide awakening in him to fulfill his duties towards God and man, and towards himself.

(Adapted from an article by Marhum Ahmed Sheriff Dewji, published in the Light Magazine)

CHOOSING A WIFE – II

Once there was a very handsome, pious, well educated young man, whose parents emphasised for him to get married. they had seen so many marriage proposals, and he had turned them all down. The parents thought it was becoming a little ridiculous or suspected that he may have someone else in mind.

However every time the parents left the girls house, the young man would always say “she’s not the one!”
The young man only wanted a girl who was religious and practicing, however one evening his mother arranged for him, to meet a girl, who was religious, and practicing.

On that evening, the young man, and girl, were left to talk, and ask each other questions. (As one would expect).
The young man, being a gentleman that he was allowed, the lady to ask first.
The young girl asked the young man so many questions, she asked about his life, his education, his friends, his family, his habits, his hobbies, his lifestyle, his enjoyment, his pastime, his experiences, his shoe size..

The young man replied to all of her questions, without tiring, and politely, with a smile the young girl took up nearly all of the time, over an hour, and felt bad, and asked the young man do you have any questions?

The young man said, it’s ok. I only have 3 questions…

The young girl thought, wow, only 3 questions okay, shoot.

The young man’s first question was, Who do you love the most in the world, someone who’s love nothing would ever overcome?

She said, this is an easy question; my mother, he smiled second question, he asked, you said that you read a lot of qur’an, could you tell me which surahs you know the meaning of?

Hearing this she went red and embarrassed and said, I do not know the meaning of any yet, but I am hoping to soon insha’allah I’ve just been a bit busy.the third question the young man asked, was I have been approached for my hand in marriage, by girls that are a lot more prettier than you, why should I marry you?

Hearing this the young girl was outraged, she stormed off to her parents with fury, and said I do not want to marry this man he is insulting my beauty, and intelligence. And the young man and his parents, were once again, left without an agreement of marriage.

This time, the young mans parents were really angry, and said what did you do to anger that girl, the family were so nice, and pleasant, and they were religious like you wanted. What did you ask the girl?? Tell us!

The young man said, firstly I asked her, who do you love the most? she said, her mother,

The parents said so, what is wrong with that??

The young man said, “no one, is Muslim, until he loves Allah, and his messenger (saw) more than anyone else in the world”

If a woman loves Allah and the Prophet (pbuh) and his progeny more than anyone, she will love me and respect me, and stay faithful to me, because of that love, and fear for Allah (swt). and we can share this love, because this love is greater than lust for beauty.

The young man said, then I asked, you read a lot of qur’an, can you tell me the meaning of any surah?

And she said no, because I haven’t had time yet. so I thought of that hadith “ALL humans, are dead except for those who have knowledge” She has lived 20 years and not found ANY time, to seek knowledge, why would I marry a woman, who does not know her rights, and responsibilities, and what will she teach my children, except how to be negligent, because the woman IS the madrasa (school) and the best of teachers. And a woman who has no time for Allah, will not have time for her husband.

The third question I asked her was, that a lot of girls, more prettier than her, had approached me for marriage, why should I choose you?

That is why she stormed off, getting angry. The young man’s parents said that is a horrible thing to say, whywould you do such a thing, we are going back there to apologise. The young man said I said this on purpose, to test whether she could control her anger.

The Prophet (saw) said “do not get angry, do not get angry, do not get angry” when asked how to become pious; because anger is from Satan.

If a woman cannot control her anger with a stranger she has just met,do you think she will be able to control it with her husband??

So, the moral of this story is, a marriage is based on:
*knowledge, not looks,
*practice, not preaching,
*Forgiveness, not anger,
*spiritual love, not lust.
*and compromise

One should look for a person who
1) Has love for Allah (swt) and the messenger (saw) and his family (a.s)
2) Has knowledge of the deen, and can act upon it.
3) can control their anger
4) and willing to compromise.
And it goes both ways, so women seeking a man, should look for the same things.
Insha’allah, may Allah make every marriage a success, and let us create Love for Allah and his messenger(saw) and his family (a.s) so that Allah can bless us, and create love in our lives.
There is no better structure founded in Islam other than marriage. – The Prophet of Islam (SAW)

Gunnah (Sin) for Sale

Sale sale sale …. Complete Gunnah package available for very reasonable price for yourself and all family members. Don’t miss the chance as you’ll not even realize that you have increase your Gunnah account immensely.

These days are associated with Ahlebait (a.s.) and considered to be very holy months, most of the people prefer to arrange wedding functions during these three months (Jamad us Sani, Rajab and Shaban). Usually this is done because of our close association with Ahlebait (a.s.), we celebrate our happiness when they are happy and when they are in grief we also turn into sadness, although this is a very excellent way to demonstrate our love, respect and association with them but one should understand that when anything, any event or any function is done in their name it obviously means that organizers should take extra care and the gathering should be very pure as it is done in the name of “Lords of Purity”.

BUT

Whenever you feel like your Gunnah account has reduced and you are feeling uncomfortable because of that, just don’t worry … Go and attend a wedding function of so called “Moderate Family”, you’ll find a complete Gunnah package and those 2-3 hours per function is enough to increase your account. And if the function is of your close relative/friend, then just be prepared for some extra ordinary packages like buy one get many free and special discounts upto 100%.

The story starts with the wedding week when you are invited to join a Mehendi function; as soon as you step out from your home the counter will start or maybe it was started the day when you accepted that invitation and started preparation for it. Hmmmmmmmm, nicely dressed, you reached the invited place, you’ll be greeted with some cool music playing in ultra loud voice and you’ll be seeing some females with proper “western” Hijab greeting your ladies, no need to mention that you are in a mix gathering as there was no other choice for organizers cause the Mehendi function has to be mix gathering as it is sunnat-e-Iblees.

Your account has start increasing but there is much more to come so remain excited, now you have two choices (don’t worry both of them will earn you equal Gunnah), either participate in the “Dhoolki and/or Dandiya” performed by girls and boys or remain seated and enjoy the show. Young children must be enjoying the dance and remember DO NOT scold them when they repeat this action at home with their siblings and cousins because you are the one to encourage and develop this notion in them. For most of the children this won’t be a new thing as STAR PLUS has already taught them all these gestures.

And now comes the most disgraceful part of the ceremony, music is on its peak and family members are going to perform Imam Zamin ceremony, with the voice of “Salwat” which will ofcourse muddle up with the music sound, the groom wears Imam Zamin of “YA ALI” and bride wears of “YA FATIMA” and with that Imam Zamin tied on the hand, groom starts shaking hands and taking “Musafa” with Na-Mehram women like Chachi, Bhabbi, Sali etc. etc., still with the “YA ALI” Imam Zamin on the arm, bride’s sisters and cousins do the “ANGHOTA PAKRAI” rasm. This is when girls from bride’s side hold the thumb of groom and demand for certain gift, I am not against the tradition but holding hands without any barrier is what makes it Haram.

Do I need to mention that you can easily convert this Gunnah into “Gunnah-e-Jaria” by just letting the movie maker to shoot your uncovered head in his camera? You can easily earn Gunnah for many years in this way, as the movie will be circulated around the community very regularly. In some cases ultra moderate family will upload it on youtube or some other website of this kind letting the whole world to enjoy the ceremony and without your permission you’ll be seen without Hijab by many Na-Mehrams.

When there are thousands of people hungry and living in worst conditions, and majority of them can be found in our own country (Pakistan), it is a mandatory tradition to waste huge amount of food when you know that Allah gave you the meal before this meal and you’ll surely take proper meal after this one then too who cares, one person will collect food for two people and will waste it without a single thought. People use to behave like if this is the first and the last meal in their life time.

Anyways much more can be highlighted on this issue but you can imagine how rich you are at the end of these functions.

Why? Why are we like this, when each of us know that this is not correct then too we do same every time. Why we don’t have courage to reject invitations for such functions where we are dam sure that it will be full of unlawful things? Why don’t we discourage these traditions?

Just because we don’t want the relative/friend to feel bad if we reject the invitation, then what about Allah and Ahlebait (a.s.)? Are the friends superior to Ahlebait (a.s.) that we are giving preference to their displeasure on Ahlebait’s (a.s) displeasure?

I admit that I am also same as all others but I want to change, are you ready to change?

Ask yourself!

Source: http://khojashia.blogspot.com/2009/06/gunnah-for-sale.html

10 Principles for Peaceful Life

  1.  Do Not Interfere In Others’ Business Unless Asked: Most of us create our own problems by interfering too often in others’ affairs. We do so because somehow we have convinced ourselves that our way is the best way, our logic is the perfect logic and those who do not conform to our thinking must be criticized and steered to the right direction, i.e. our direction. This thinking denies the existence of individuality and consequently undermines the Intelligence and Creativity that is only attributed to Allah. Allah has created each one of us in a unique way. No two human beings can think or act in exactly the same way. All men or women act the way they do because Allah has made each one of us different, with different personalities. Be patient with one another, and mind your own business and you will keep your peace. 
  2.  Forgive And Forget: This is the most powerful aid to peace of mind, but also challenging to achieve. We often develop ill feelings inside our heart for the person who insult us or harm us. We nurture grievances resulting in loss of sleep, development of stomach ulcers, and high blood pressure. We further aggravate stress in ourselves by remembering, and reminding ourselves of the very persons that caused us harm. Get over this bad habit. Life is too short to waste in such trifles. Forgive, forget, and march on. Love flourishes in giving and forgiving.
  3.  Do Not Crave For Recognition: This world is full of selfish people. They seldom praise anybody without selfish motives. They may praise you today because you are in power, but no sooner than you are powerless; they will forget your achievement and will start finding faults in you. Why do you wish to kill yourself in striving for their recognition? Do your duties ethically and sincerely, and only seek the pleasure of Allah through Salah and Ibadah.
  4. Do Not Be Jealous: We all have experienced how jealousy can disturb our peace of mind. You know that you work harder than your colleagues in the office, but sometimes they get promotions; you do not. You started a business several years ago, but you are not as successful as your neighbour whose business is only a one year old. There are several examples like these in everyday life. Should you be jealous? No. Remember, a person’s life is shaped by their destiny, which becomes their reality. If you are destined to be rich, nothing in the world can stop you. And if you are destined to be poor, then no matter what you do, you will only be what you are destined to be. Nothing will be gained by blaming others for your misfortune. Jealousy will not get you anywhere; it will only take away your peace of mind.
  5. Change Yourself: If you try to change the environment single-handedly, the chances are you will fail. Instead, change yourself to suit your environment. As you do this, even the environment, which has been unfriendly to you, will mysteriously change and seem congenial and harmonious.
  6. Endure What Cannot Be Cured: Every day we face numerous inconveniences, ailments, irritations, and accidents that are beyond our control. If we cannot control them or change them, we must learn to put up with these things. We must learn to endure them cheerfully. Believe in yourself and you will gain in terms of patience, inner strength and will power.
  7. Do Not Bite Off More Than You Can Chew: We often tend to take more responsibilities than we are capable of. This is done to satisfy our ego. Know your limitations. Why take on additional loads that may create more worries? You cannot gain peace of mind by expanding your external activities. Reduce your material engagements and spend time in prayer, and introspection. It will prevent you from thinking of matters that upset you. An uncluttered mind is a peaceful mind.
  8. Make Regular Dhikr: Dhikr, the remembrance of Allah, calms the mind and gets rid of disturbing thoughts. Try it yourself. If you do tasbih, dhikr, whenever you are free, your mind will be at peace during the day. Your mind will not be easily disturbed as it was before. You may think that this will interfere with your daily work. On the contrary, this will increase your efficiency and you will be able to produce better results in less time.
  9. Never Leave The Mind Vacant: An empty mind is the devil’s workshop. Keep your mind occupied in something positive, something worthwhile and negative thoughts will not plague your mind. Actively follow a hobby, something that holds your interest. You must decide what you value more: money or peace of mind. Your hobby, like social work or religious work, may not always earn you more money, but you will have a sense of fulfillment and achievement. Even when you are resting physically, occupy yourself in healthy reading or mental chanting of God’s name.
  10. Do Not Procrastinate And Never Regret: Do not waste time in protracted wondering, “Should I or shouldn’t I?” You can never plan enough because you can never fully anticipate all future happenings. Value your time and do the things that need to be done now. It does not matter if you fail the first time, so long as you don’t leave it for tomorrow. You can learn from your mistakes and succeed the next time. Sitting back and worrying will lead to nothing. DO NOT REGRET. Whatever happened was destined to happen. Why cry over spilt milk?

Guidance on One’s Conduct in Life

Masoom (a.s.)’s Guidance on One’s Conduct in Life
 
It was narrated to me by Ahmed bin Hassan Qatan, who referred from Hassan bin Ali Sakari, who from Jafar bin Mohammed bin Ammara, who from his father that:
Imam Jafar-e-Sadiq (a.s) said people generally desire for four luxuries in this temporary World: to become rich, to achieve comfort in life, to minimise grief and hardship and to be respected by others:

Wealth and triumph is hidden in the treasure of countenance, but if someone is seeking it through accumulation of wealth then it is impossible;
Comfort and ease is in the keeping your liabilities to minimum but if someone tries to gain comfort and peace of mind through excessive commitments then it is impossible;
Minimum grief and hardship is achieved through indulging in minimum hobbies and engagements but if someone is seeking them through excessive involvements than it is impossible.
Respect is in the service and obedience of one’s Lord (swt) but if someone is trying to obtain it through serving and keeping others happy then it is impossible for him to succeed

 
It is written in ‘Tafseer-e-Imam Hassan Askari (a.s)’ that Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s) told, Mohammed bin Muslim Shahab Zahri visited Imam Zain-ul-Abadeen (a.s) in a state of grief and very low morale. Mola (a.s) asked why are you so depressed and anxious? He replied, O! Son of Rasool Allah (saww), I am engulfed in sadness and fears due to those who are jealous of my wealth and prosperity; I always get contrary to what I expect from them even from those whom I have extended many favours. Imama.s. replied you should keep your tongue in your control, this will enable you to win them back. Zahri replied, I always communicate with them in a favourable way. Imam (a.s) replied it can never be so! It can never be so! Beware, do not be proud of your statements and never talk in those terms, which do not appeal to them. Although you may have complete justification for your statements, but you can never be certain that you are able to clarify your unpleasant comments.
 
Imam (a.s.) later said, O Zahri! Listen, whoever does not fully comprehend a matter, he easily makes mistakes. O Zahri! It is obligatory upon you to regard all Muslims [1] as  part of your family and give an elder the status of your father; younger as your son and those who the same age as you, the rank of your brothers. Then think again if you would like to be unkind to any one of them, or would wish bad luck for him or would be pleased if his hidden sins are revealed or he be insulted? But if Iblis Maloun (the cursed one!) puts illusion in your mind that your are superior than a fellow Muslim, then you should carefully analyse the situation and if that person is older than you, then you should consider that he has carried out more good deeds and adhered to ‘Aman’ [2] prior to you; if that person is younger than you then regard him more blessed as you have committed more sins as compared with him and therefore he is better than you; if that person is the same age as you, then make yourself believe that you are sure about your sins which you have committed but you can only doubt about that fellow’s wrongdoings and how could you reject what you see clearly in comparison to the vague? (so he is better than you).
 
And if you see others are giving you respect and bowing down to you then consider this privilege is only extended to you by their kindness and you do not have these qualities. When you realise that people are cruel to you and are annoyed with you then take it as a result of your misbehaviour. When you adopt this kind of attitude then Allahswt. will make your life easier and comfortable, and increase number of your friends and reduce your enemies, and you will be pleased with the polite and kind conduct of others and will not complain on their misconduct.
 
Be aware! In people’s opinion, a more respectful person is that from whom they benefit and gain favours and he does not lean on them and never expects something in return and does not turns to them for help. After this person, people respect that who believes in self-reliance, even though he is not self-sufficient. This likeness is due to the fact that general public is fond of riches, and they would respect that person who does not pose any threat in regard to their most loved entity (wealth), Indeed they will respect and praise that person. However, people would consider a person most honourable person who does not complete with them in earnings but rather in small or large amounts, keeps on contributing to them from his own pocket.
 
[1] True Muslim who believes in 14 Masomeena.s.
[2] Admitting Mola Ali a.s. ‘s wilayat as compulsory in all aspects of deen

Debate With Abil Awja

Abil Awja first of all had a narrow-minded nature; secondly the company of Hasan Basri had further spoilt his belief, therefore doubts and conjectures used to fill his mind all the time. In addition to being an atheist, this fellow was also brash and foul-tongued. One day he came to Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s) and said, “I don’t understand how long the Hajj pilgrims would continue to trample the land of Mecca and how long would they continue to worship these stones and rocks? How long would they continue to run around it like runaway camels? Are these not actions of ignorant and stupid people? As you are the Imam of the Muslims and the son of the founder of Islam, give me a satisfactory reply.”

Imam (a.s) said, “O man! You have not reflected on the actual matter. The Ka’ba is the protected sanctuary through which the Almighty Allah tests His slaves, because this House is associated with Him. Therefore it is emphasized to respect and visit it. It is appointed as the place of worship for prophets and the direction of prayers of religious people. This house is the channel of His mercy and the medium of salvation. He created this house two thousand years before the creation of the world. The dignity of our slavehood is only that we follow each and every command of Allah and let the purpose for which the Ka’ba is created, be fulfilled.”

Awja said, “I am sorry to say that you have associated this house to such a personality whose existence, I refuse to believe. How can one believe in the existence of something, which is unseen? And till one does not believe, there is no question of obeying His commands.”

Imam (a.s) said, “You do not use your intellect. He is present and seeing everywhere and at every moment; and is nearer to you than your jugular vein. He listens to what we say and sees us and He knows the secrets of our hearts.”

He said, “First prove His existence. If he is on the earth, he went to the heavens and if he is on the heavens, how did he come to the earth?” Imam (a.s) said, “He is not confined in space, that another place should be empty of Him, or some place should surround Him. If He had been confined to a place what difference would have remained between Him and the creatures?

Awja asked, “But how does this prove that He is the Creator of all things?” Imam (a.s) replied, “Does such an obvious fact require a proof? I ask only you, who has created you?” “No one has created me,” replied he. Imam said, “Is it possible for a created thing to come into being without a maker?” When Awja heard this he became worried and changing tracks said, “Okay, let it be. Tell me what is the use of things like Day of Judgment, accounting, Paradise and Hell etc. of which you are a believer? After death, a man is mixed with the dust and all these things are mere assumptions. Imam (a.s) said, “Even if it is assumed that you are right, there is no fear for us after death and if your belief is wrong there is no scope for your salvation, while we are risk-free in both the cases. Now you tell me, which of us is better?”

Hearing this, he bowed down his head and after remaining silent for sometime said, “I accept your statement, but tell me, the Quran says, ‘When the skins of the inmates of Hell are burnt down, they would be given fresh skins.’ Can you explain that the skins that had committed the sins are burnt once, what is the fault of the new skins?” Imam (a.s) said, “They would be the same old skins, only their forms would be changed again. Like a brick is powdered and mixed with water and put in a die for making another brick. The same would be the case of the skins of the people of Hell.” He said, “Further, you tell me why different people die due to different diseases? What is the problem if all were to die due to the same disease?” Imam (a.s) said, “If it had been so, people would have remained fearless of death till the appearance of this disease and Allah does not like that anyone should be fearless of death.”

Although Sufyan Thawri had gained much knowledge from Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s), he was against the Imam and he wanted to project his own image. One day Imam (a.s) was sitting in the Masjid, wearing a dress of thin white cotton. Seeing this dress Sufyan told his colleagues, “I will go and embarrass this Imam of the Rafidis(A derogatory term for Shias).” Saying this he came to Imam (a.s) and said, “Was your exalted and respected grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (S) also wearing these kinds of expensive clothes?”

Imam (a.s) said, “There is no restriction on wearing these types of clothes. In the time of the Prophet the poorest of the Muslims were leading a very frugal life, therefore the Prophet never used to wear expensive clothes, lest they may feel disheartened. Since the situation is not the same now, there is no harm in wearing these clothes. I have worn this dress only for the thankfulness of Allah, otherwise below this, see, I am wearing thick woolen clothes.” After this Imam (a.s) raised the skirt of Sufyan’s dress and said, “See, you have worn a coarse dress outside, to show off, while below you have donned soft and expensive apparels, so that your body remains in comfort. On the other hand these thick fibers prick into my body and it is painful to it. You have seen my exterior but did not inspect your interior.” Sufyan returned in embarrassment. His students said, “If he had embarrassed you, we would also not remain without taking revenge from him.” So they came to Imam (a.s) and said, “Are piety and asceticism worthless in your opinion?”

Imam: What do you mean by this?

Students: We mean to say that if you had valued piety you would not have worn such a good quality dress.

Imam: Is it prohibited?

Students: No, it is not so. But the Almighty Allah has praised those companions of the Messenger of Allah (S), who used to prefer others to their own selves.

…and prefer (them) before themselves though poverty may afflict them, (Surah Hashr 59:9)

And at another place He says:

And they give food out of love for Him to the poor and the orphan and the captive. (Surah Dahr 76:8)

Imam: Both these verses were revealed in the honor of us, Ahl ul-Bayt, and they denote our condition. Since you people do not know the abrogating and the abrogated verses of Quran, you are wandering in misguidance. Remember, the people regarding whom these verses were revealed were allowed and permitted to do so and it was rewarding and recompensing; but after this the Almighty Allah had mercy on the condition of the believers and abrogated this command so that their families were not put to inconvenience. At that time even if one had a single loaf of bread, one gave it in the way of Allah and did not think of ones young child or aged parents. Since this command was fatal to such people it was abrogated. That is why the Messenger of Allah (S) said, “One who has five grains, or five dirhams or five loaves of bread and he intends to spend them, then it is necessary for him to give one to his parents, one to his family, one to his needy relatives, one to his poor neighbors and the last one in charity on the way of Allah. This fifth position is lower and less rewarding than the previous four.”

Thus an Ansar (Helper) had five slaves and slave girls. Besides these he did not own anything. At the time of his death he freed all of them and did not leave anything for his young children. When the Holy Prophet (S) heard of their condition, he said, “He has left them to solicit alms. He has done a bad thing. If I had known of this before I would not have allowed him to be buried in the Muslim cemetery.

The Almighty Allah has praised those who are not spendthrifts and who practice frugality. The Holy Prophet (S) said, “There are some people in my community whose supplications are not accepted. First of all, those who criticize and curse their parents. Secondly one who lends something without taking anything in writing, or keeping a witness; and when the lender does not repay he begins to curse him. Thirdly, one who criticizes and curses his wife, though Allah has given him the option to divorce her. Fourthly, one who sits at home and does not go out in search of livelihood and who asks Allah for lawful sustenance. So Allah asks this man, “have I not given you limbs to work and have I not opened channels of obtaining livelihood for you?” Fifthly, one who is bestowed a great wealth by Allah and he squanders it all and becomes a pauper. Then he prays to Allah for sustenance. Allah replies to him, “Did I not give you extensive wealth, then why did you squander it away?”

One day the Holy Prophet (S) received gold and he gave it away in charity before the next morning. After this a beggar came seeking alms. The Prophet had nothing to give him. Since he was extremely softhearted he could not bear to see a beggar going away dejected and he was very sorrowful about it. The Almighty Allah revealed the verse,

And do not make your hand to be shackled to your neck nor stretch it forth to the utmost (limit) of its stretching forth, lest you should (afterwards) sit down blamed, stripped off. (Surah Bani Israel 17:29)

Thus all these verses and traditions abrogate the actions that you have mentioned. Let alone this, even Abu Bakr, whom you call ‘Siddiq’, has proved by his actions that your opinion is wrong. Even though Allah ahs permitted making a will for a third of ones property, he willed a fourth of his property. If he had considered one-third better he would have made a bequest of that much amount. Rather if the donation of all of ones wealth had been better the Almighty would never have limited it to one-third.

Salman Farsi used to take out his yearly expenses from his share of war booty despite his ascetic nature and his contentment with little or nothing. The balance he used to give away in charity. Once someone objected to this that even though he were pious and God-fearing he did thus. “Are you certain of remaining alive for a year that you collect provision for this period?” He asked, “Even though you are my friend, why do you not hope I would live for a year? Why do you prefer the thought of my death to that of my survival? When a person has assured rations for a year he concentrates fully on the matters of the world and the Hereafter and a bankrupt man is always tense. He is not able to perform any worldly task or a deed for the Hereafter in the proper way.”

See the life of Hazrat Abu Zar Ghiffari; that inspite of his inclination towards frugality and seclusion, he never reconciled to destitution. He had reared some camels and goats and through them he maintained his family and served his guests. He helped the needy among his neighbors and acquaintances.

See these are the people regarding whose piety and fear of God there is no doubt, but they also lived in a way that they were never penniless by giving everything away in charity, as you people think. Mostly, this explanation of mine would have comforted you and if it is not so, I can explain further.” They said, “Please explain further.” Imam (a.s) said, “The Almighty Allah had made it obligatory for the believers to fight Jihad against people ten times their number, then He had mercy on them and reduced this number; that is Jihad is to be done against twice ones numbers. This command abrogated the previous one.

See, if a woman appeals to religious judge that her husband does not provide her bread and the Qazi compels him to provide her food and he says, “I am a pious person and I have no worldly possessions, how can I pay for it?” Now if the Qazi does not accept his excuse, then, whether in your opinion is this Qazi unjust or just?”

If you say he is unjust then he would not be qualified to remain a judge and if you say that he is just, then this command would be against your opinion.

If, as per your belief the entire world becomes ascetic and no one cares for any worldly thing, then who would accept charity, which is made so much rewarding by Allah? And how could the rich people produce the recipients of alms? The problem is that you have not understood the book of Allah and the practice (Sunnah) of the Prophet. You have neither understood its reality nor learnt about its abrogated and abrogating ones. Neither have you learnt about His commands and prohibitions. You don’t even know that Sulaiman, being a prophet of Allah asked for a kingdom that no one had ever acquired. Allah accepted his prayer and bestowed him such a kingdom. No one objected to him. In the same way his respected father, Prophet Dawood (a.s) was also a King. Prophet Yusuf (a.s) was the Aziz of Egypt. Dhurqarnain was a beloved servant of God. Allah also gave him the rulership of east and west. Thus, O people! Fear Allah and follow His commands and prohibitions. Ask those who know about that which you don’t know. The ignorant are always of lesser status than the people of knowledge.”

Piety Of Imam Hasan & Husain (a.s)

Thrice, Imam Hasan (a.s) gave up all his wealth in charity and twice he gave away half his wealth. Like his father, he also spent his life with the bare necessities. But his food spread was very wide. He used to have different kinds of dishes prepared for the guests, but himself ate only barley bread with vinegar or salt. His cloak was patched in many places. The narrator says, “One day I came to Imam Hasan (a.s) during his rule and found him sitting on a tattered sack. Seeing me, he had a sheet spread over it. I saw that it was patched at many places and it was of a very coarse material. I said, ‘O Amir’ul-Mu’minin, you are sitting on a sack. How is it possible for me to step on this blessed sheet?’ He said, ‘O Abu Salih, take a seat.’ I sat down following the command of Imam (a.s) then said, ‘O Son of the Messenger of Allah, you are the ruler, is there not even as much share in the kingdom that you can purchase a sheet for personal use?’ Hearing this, the Imam became angry and said, ‘Abu Salih, we Ahl ul-Bayt were not created for a comfortable life. We are created to provide comfort to others and to safeguard their rights. This sheet fulfills all my needs that an expensive one would do. Then what is the need for me to purchase a new sheet? O Abu Salih, would it not be better if I spend the same money on the poor and deprived people?’ Hearing this I said, ‘Amir’ul-Mu’minin, you are right. The fact is that, except for the Ahl ul-Bayt no one deserves this position.’”

 Piety Of Imam Husain (a.s)

Imam Husain (a.s) also spent a simple and austere life like his father and maternal grandfather. He was never fond of expensive clothes or tasty foods. He used to give away all that he received to the poor and destitute. One day received an amount from the public treasury. He kept it before himself waiting for needy people to arrive so that he can distribute it among them. Someone said, “O Son of the Messenger, your cloak is patched at many places, why don’t you take some money from this amount and buy a new cloak?” He said, “This is sufficient for me.” Very often people sent him gifts and presents, but he gave them all away to the orphans, the widows and poor people.

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