Thursday, July 31, 2008

Night of Baysat and Mairaj of Prophet Muhammad

Night of 27th Rajab marks the anniversary of the Baysat of our beloved Prophet Mohammad(sawaw). Baysat is the event of formal declaration of prophet-hood by Prophet Mohammad(sawaw). It is also the night of Mairaj which is the ascension of Prophet Mohammad(sawaw) to heavens. A separate newsletter will be sent on that topic later. The current newsletter is intended to inform about the special aamal of this important and virtuous night.It seems appropriate to mention at this stage that the Ahl-e-Tashiyyuh (Shias) believe that the Prophet(sawaw) is the first and foremost creation of Allah(swt) and He is the Prophet ever since his creation. The arrival of Wahi at the age of 40 is only a mark where Allah(swt) decided that Prophet Mohammad(sawaw) should declare the message of Allah(swt) openly and start the process of inviting people to salvation.Special aamal of Shab-o-roz-e-Baysat (night and day of BAYSAT) Special aamal have been prescribed by Masoomeen(a.s.) for this night which is the night between the 26th and 27th of Rajab. The aamal are as follows:1. Take bath towards the start of the evening of 27th. (end of the day of 26th)2. Observe fast on the day of 27th – It is one of the 4 most recommended fasts in the whole Islamic year and according to a saying of Imam Mahammad Taqi(a.s.), its reward is equivalent to fasting of 60 years.3. Recite salawat in abundance – Allahumma Salle ala Mohammadin wa aal-e-Mohammad.4. Recite Ziaraat of Prophet Mohammad(sawaw) and Imam Ali(a.s.). Both these ziaraat are available here http://www.ziaraat.com/ziasum.php.5. Perform 12 Rakaat prayers during the night of 27th near mid-night in sets of 2 rakaat each. In each rakaat recite Sura-Hamd and then recite either Sura Mohammad, Sura Naas or Suar Yaseen (according to different traditions in different books).6. After completing all the 12 rakaat, keep sitting in the same position and recite 7 times each - Sura Fatiha, - Sura Ikhlas, - Sura Nass, - Sura Kafiroon, - Sura Falaq, - Sura Qadr and - Ayatul Kursi (until - hum feeha khalidoon)7. After these suras recite the following dua:ALHAMDO LILLA-HIL LAZI LAM YAT-TAKHIZ SAHIBATAWOON WA LA WALADAN WA LAM YAKUL-LAHU SHAREEKUN FIL MULKI WA LAM YAKUL LAHU WALIYUM MINAZ-ZULLI WA KAB-BIRHU TAKBEERA. ALLAHUMMA INNI AS-ALUKA BE-MOAQIDI IZZIKA ALA ARKAANI ARSHEKA WA MUNTAHAR RAHMATI MIN KITABIKA WA BE-ISMIKAL AAZAMAL AAZAMAL AAZAMI WA ZIKRIKAL AALAL AALA WA BI-KALIMATIKAT TAM-MATI KUL-LIHA AN TU-SALLI ALA MUHAMMADIWOON WA AALE MUHAMMAD WA AN TAF-AL BI MA ANTA AHLUHU8. In addition to the above, another lengthy dua is also prescribed in the Mafatih-ul-Jinaan (Keys of the Heaven). The dua begins with:ALLAHUMMA INNI AS-ALOKA BIT-TAJALLI AL-AZAMIMafateehul Jinnan can be found in the online books section at: http://www.rizvia.com/findbook.asp?Escritor=All&Tema=Duas%2FZiaraat&orderby=titulo&idioma=All&srchwhat=All&submit=+Display+Books.9. Then go to sajdah and recite the following 100 times:ALHAMDU LILLHIL LAZI HADANA LI MARIFATEHIWA KHASAN-NA BI WILAYATIHIWA WAF-FAQNA LI TA-ATIHISHUKRAN SHUKRAN10. Raise your head fro Sajdah and recite:ALLAHUMMA INNI QASADTUKA BI-HAJATI WA TAMADTU ALAIKA BI MAS-ALATIWA TAWAJ-JAHTU ILAIKA BI-AAIM-MATI WA SADATIALLAHUMMAN FAANA BI HUBBIHIMWA AWRIDNA MORIDIHIMWAR ZUQNA MURAFAQATAHUMWA ADKHILNAL JANNATA FEE ZUMRATIHIMBE REHMATIKA YA AR-HAMAR RAHIMEENSpecial aamal of roz-e-Baysat (day of BAYSAT) 27th Rajab day aamal are also the same as above.In addition, the following dua is to be recited:ALLAAHUMMA INNEE AS—ALUKA YAA MAN AQARRA LAHOO BIL U'BOODIYYAIL KULLU MAA'—BOOD YAA MAN YAH'MADUHOO KULLU MAH'MOOD YAA MAN YAFZA—U'ILAYHI KULLU MAJHOOD YAA MAN YAT'LABU I'NDAHOO KULLU MAQS'OOD YAA MAN SAAA—ILUHOO GHAYRU MARDOUD YAA MAN BAABUHOOA'N SU—AALIHEE GHAYRU MASDOOD YAA MAN HUWA GHAYRU MAWS'OOFIN WA LAA MAH'DOOD YAA MAN A'TAA—UHOO GHAYRU MAMNOO—I'NWA LAA MANKOODYAA MAN HUWA LIMAN DA-`AHU LAYSA BI—BA—E'EDIN WA HUWA NIA MAL MAQS'OOD YAA MAN RAJAAA—U I'BAADIHEE BIH'ABLIHEE MASHDOOD YAA MAN SHIBHUHOO WA MITHLUHOO GHAYRU MAWJOODYAA MAN LAYSA BI—WAALIDIN WA LAA MAWLOOD YAA MAN KARAMUHOO WA FAZ'LUHOO LAYSA BI—MAA'—DOOD YAA MAN H'AWZ"U BIRRIHEE LIL ANAAMI MAWROOD YAA MAN LAA YOOS'AFU BIQIYAAMIN WA LAA QU—O'OD YAA MAN LAA TAJREE A'LAYHI H'ARAKATUN WA LAA JAMOOD YAA ALLAAHU YAA RAH'MAANU YAA RAH'EEMU YAA WADOOD YAA RAH'IMASHSHAYKHIL KABEERI YAA–QOOB YAA GHAFERAZ D'AMBE DA'WOODYAA MAN LAA YUKHLIFUL WAA—DA WA YAA'—FUWA A'NIL MAW—O'OD YAA MAN RIZQUHOO WA SITRUHOO LIL—A'AS'EENA MAMDOOD YA MAN HUWA MALJAA—U KULLI MUQS'AN MAT'ROOD YAA MAN DAANA LAHOO JAMEE—U'KHALQIHEE BIS SUJOOD YAA MAN LAYSA A'N NAYLIHEE WAJOODIHEE AH'ADUN MAS'DOOD YAA MAL LAA YAH'EEFU FEE H'UKMIHEE WA YAH'LUMU A'NIZ'Z'AALIMIL A'NOOD IRH'AM U'BAYDAN KHAAT'I—AN LAM YOOFI BIL—U'HOOD INNAKA FA—A'ALUL LIMAA TUREED YAA BAARRU YAA WADOODU S'ALLI A'LAA MUH'AMMADIN KHAYRI MAB—O'OTHIN DA-A'A ILLA KHAYRI MAA'—BOOD WA A'LAA AALIHIT' T'AYYIBEENAT' T'AAHIREENA ALIL KARAMI WALJOOD WAF—A'L BINAA MAA ANTA AHLUHOO YAA ARH'AMAR' RAAH'IMEEN YAA AKRAMAL KARAMEENRecite the following 7 times each:LA ILAHA IL ALLAHU WAL-LAHU AKBARWA SUBHANALLAHIWA LAHOWLA WA LA QUWWATA ILLA BILLAHALLAHU ALLAHU RABBI LA USHRIK BIHI SHAI-ANMay Allah(swt) grant all of us the opportunity to avail ourselves of this great night and the courage to perform these special aamal.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Holy Quran and Religion in the Last Era

Islam is the religion chosen by Allah. The Holy Quran is the book revealed by Allah which will continue to guide those who fear Him and those that guard against evil till the Day of Judgment. The Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (s.a.w.a.) - the last and final prophet was sent by Allah with the station of messengership for the propagation of Islam. Allah appointed twelve protectors; one followed by another, and granted them authority and raised them to the distinguished position of Imamat after the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) for the protection of Islam and His Book. He granted a long life to the twelfth Imam (a.t.f.s.) and concealed him through occultation, thus completing His Proof upon the people. He also promised that at an appointed hour He would cause the last Imam (a.t.f.s.) to reappear and through him, fill the earth with justice and equality just as it would be rife with injustice and inequality. Leaving aside absurd arguments, in the light of reasoning and the narrations, is there any Muslim who can deny these truthful statements and reject them? Does he have an option but to accept these statements from the depth of his heart? Allah, in His infinite Wisdom, established all facilities for the protection of the religion of Islam and clearly illuminated the path of guidance for the entire humanity. The seed of Islam, with its inherent strength, softened the barren land; strengthened its roots; and spread across the world. Meccans and Medinites from the centre of Arabia, Syrians, Iranians, Afghans, Turks and Africans - in fact humanity from all around the world arose with the flag of Islam thereby establishing it as the second largest religion in the world. Here we raise a thought provoking question - Is the Islam we know today the same Islam which spread throughout the world by virtue of its peace-loving principles and lofty teachings? Is the spirit of Islam, whose protection was promised by Allah intact in our times or has it been weakened? To answer these questions, I would like to quote a tradition from Saheeh Muslim, 'Surely Islam was deprived at its inception, then it will return to its deprived state. Then glad tidings for the deprived ones!' (Saheeh-e-Muslim, vol. 1, pg. 90) If we take a fair and impartial view of the 1,400 years of Islamic history, firstly, by casting away our prejudices, we see that from the 73 sects of Islam, only one which adheres to the 12 Imams (a.s.) corresponds to the above tradition. When we speak of deprivation in the early stages of Islam, we refer to Imam Husain (a.s.) - that venerable personality who was the beloved of the Holy Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.a.). He was raised with great effort love and care by his mother the honorable lady Hazrat Fatema Zahra (s.a.); and despite these merits was mercilessly martyred on the planes of Karbala after three painful days of hunger and thirst. The hands of thousands of Muslims were colored with his blood. The family of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was paraded through the markets of Kufa and Syria and imprisoned unjustly. We mourn this very deprivation of Islam in its early stages. Yet, we are certain of the survival of Islam and its perpetuity. We are well aware that there will come a time when religion will be treated as something of little value; when the Quran will be kept at a high place, but only to seek blessing and not for its teachings. When we realize this, we lament for the one who recited the verse of Surah Kahf while his head was raised on the lance. When this was the state of degeneration in Islam at its origin, can one truly comprehend and grasp the situation during its last days when the entire world will be rife with injustice and inequality? The following tradition of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) echoes this sentiment, 'Religion will be belittled and the world (materialism) will be glorified.' (Ilzamun Nasib, pg. 181) One can neither claim that this is the last era, nor that the last era is far away on the horizon. However when we pay attention to the current helplessness of religion, we find that these times are a reflection of those traditions which have been enumerated in this regard. Ayatollah Murtuza Mutahhari (r.a.) while describing these times writes, "If the fragrant and sweet tasting fruit of reappearance (zuhoor) is yet to ripen, then the blistering heat of the sun must increase in future and the condition of religion and opposition to the Holy Quran will be more severe." There is a rich treasure trove of traditions which detail the conditions of the last era, pertaining to society, culture and attitude of the people. These traditions are narrated from the infallible Imams (a.s.). The occurrence of these conditions point towards the early reappearance of the hidden Imam (a.s.). Here, we shall discuss some of the traditions from the holy infallibles (a.s.) that highlight the sorry state of religion and the Holy Quran which is so apparent today. 'Physically the people will gather at one place but their hearts will differ with each other. Religion will be stuck on the tongues of each one of them.' (Nahjul Fasaha, Ilzamun Nasib, pg. 181) 'A time will come upon the people of my Ummat when the Quran will not exist except as an object of decoration; Islam will remain, through only in name. The people will be Muslims, but from among all people, they will be farthest from Islam.' (Muntakhabul Asar, pg. 427; Behaarul Anwaar, vol. 52, pg. 195) 'In that era, prayers will be wasted; lusts will be followed and people will incline towards carnal desires.' (Ilzamun Nasib, pg. 182) Our times are a fairly accurate reflection of the above traditions. A majority subscribes to the views of that group whose members disregard the limits of Islam and it efforts; follow un-Islamic codes of ethics in their daily lives; who claim that namaz is merely a ritual and who sacrifice everything in the relentless pursuit of worldly desires. There are but a few families who despite their wealth and worldly status hold the teachings of the Quran close to their heart. At this juncture, we are reminded of the following tradition: 'Strangers in this world are of 4 types: 1. The Quran which is in the heart of the oppressors. 2. The Mosque, which is in a locality of those who do not pray namaz. 3. The Book in a house where there is none to read it. 4. A righteous person amongst an evil people. 1. Our Mosques and holy places today are the targets of bombs and explosives by the very people who claim that the teachings of the Quran are close to their hearts. And despite this, they consider such horrendous acts to be permissible. They are deaf to the pleas of orphans and women who are widowed for no fault of theirs and are amused by their cries of anguish. Indeed, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) spoke the truth that the Quran is poor in the heart of the oppressors. 2. A study of our cities, villages and localities will establish that there are places where a sizable population exists but where the Mosques moan the lack of worshippers. 3. The Quran resides in houses that are devoid of any inclination to recite it. Even when there is recitation, there is little or no reflection. 4. The presence of a pious individual in the midst of impious and immoral people is another tragedy of this era. 'A time will come upon the people of my nation when the patient will remain firm upon their principles. For them it will be as (difficult as) clutching a lighted flame in the palm of their hands.' (Nahjul Fasaha, vol. 2, pg. 645, Ghaibate Nomani, pg. 173) 'The kings will travel to Mecca for the sake of enjoyment and politics during Hajj; the wealthy for business and the destitute for the sake of begging.' (Ilzamun Nasib, pg. 174, Muntakhabul Asar, pg. 429) 'When the signs of amusement appear in the Haramain and those acts which are not loved by Allah occur there and if these take place without an opposition - no steps will be taken to prevent such actions and no person will step forward to prevent such unsuitable and unbefitting deeds, (then consider such a time to be the last era).' (Bayaan az Rozgaar-e-Rehaee pg. 796) In this regard there is a remarkable and astonishing tradition which prophecies the recitation of the Holy Quran in a melodious and singing tune during the last era. After reading this tradition we feel that truly the times we live in are the days of the last era. 'The Holy Quran will be recited in a melodious or singing tune and while reciting it, no signs of the fear of Allah will appear in the recitor.' (Bashaaratul Islam, pg. 26) There are few traditions which mirror the apathy of our present times as closely as the one narrated above. Today it is customary to recite the Holy Quran in a melodious tune. There are no signs of fear of Allah apparent in the recitor of Quran, nor is any effect of the Allah's Majesty or His Recognition created in the hearts of the listeners. There is no increase in knowledge for any group, and for those who do not understand the Arabic language, they only hear 'Allah', 'Allah'. Truly, it is incumbent upon all recitors of the Quran that they pay attention to these traditions and prevent the people from going astray. 'The Qaim (a.t.f.s.) will not appear till the time when religion will be in given in the hands of children, the rights of Allah will be trampled upon and Quran will be recited in a singing tune.' (Ilzamun Nasib, pg. 178) In the above tradition as well, our attention is drawn towards the fact that people will turn away from the rights of Allah and that Quran will be recited in a singing fashion. In the last era, the people for whom the Quran was revealed as a source of guidance will deny the innumerable bounties and mercies of Allah and will not fulfill the rights of Allah in this regard. Yet, there are a few servants of Allah who are pious and obedient to His Command, and who thank Him profusely for the bounties. These individuals are willing to sacrifice their health, wealth and loved ones for the sake of fulfilling their duty towards the last Imam (a.t.f.s.). The reappearance of the 12th Imam (a.t.f.s.) is due in the last era when the following signs are evident: 'People will openly deny Allah; namaz will be recited at its last time (towards the time of Qaza) and parents will be abused (by their children).' (Basharatul Islam, pg. 75) We live in times where it is common to abuse parents. Our prayers are recited towards its last time - especially the namaz of Zohr and Asr which is more often than not recited as the sun is setting. Often the mother is calling out to her children to 'recite namaz quickly for its time is passing away!' However we should consider this as fortunate for there are many homes in which the folks find it difficult to even recite the weekly Friday prayers! 'Soon a time will come upon you after me when nothing will be more concealed than the truth and nothing will be more evident than falsehood. Nothing will be more common than lying about Allah and His Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Nothing will be cheaper (in the markets) than the recitation of the Quran correctly and nothing will be more expensive than the fallacious exegesis of the Quran and baseless explanations. Nothing will be considered as unworthy as goodness and nothing will be considered as worthy as evil.' (Yanabiul Mawaddah, vol. 3, pg. 104, tradition 203) How true are the prophecies of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) about the last era! Dear readers, it is the mercy of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) - the most loved of Allah - who warned us of the events in the last era. Indeed satanic inclinations are so widespread that we are already witnessing these prophecies. Goodness is present in our society but in name only. May Allah for the sake of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) continue to guide us and grant us the opportunity (taufeeq) to remain on the right path. It is for this reason that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) of Islam said, 'And you will see that the people are united in forsaking Amr bil Ma'roof (calling towards righteousness) and Nahi anil Munkar (preventing evil); and in their devoutness towards it.' (Behaarul Anwaar, vol. 52, pg. 259) Indeed the prophecies mentioned in the traditions about the last era are unfolding before our eyes. In another tradition, it is reported, 'When oppression and corruption will be rampant in the world, evil will be manifest, people will be called to it and stopped from the evil. Murders will increase and people will regard killing as insignificant..' (Behaarul Anwaar, vol. 52, pg. 193) Our daily lives and the conditions around us are testimony to the words of the tradition about the last era. '(A time will come) when people will consider lying to be permissible; they will be a slave to their carnal desires; will maintain relations with those who are having no relation with religion and slander will be common. Liars will be considered truthful and the corrupt will be considered trustworthy. Witnesses will give testimony without knowing the fact, on mere recommendation. People will provide false witness without being aware of the event. In such circumstances, fires will burn everywhere!' Indeed the world has become a smaller place with the advent of television and the Internet. News now filters to us by the minute and we are able to access information on almost everything around the world. The consequence of this is that humanity is now a lot more aware than in the past. These eyes can see everything - is it not true that globally lies are clothed in the garb of truth? Isn't our society and culture being developed by those who have no contact with religion? Aren't our courts of law, whether they be small or big rampant with corruption and false evidences? Isn't murder and slaying common in our society? Aren't fires being lit everywhere by the explosions of bombs and explosives? And this will continue. Maybe we will reach a stage when fires will rage everywhere and no drop of water will be available to us from the skies. At that stage, the earth will turn barren and the cycle of environment will stop turning. And at that stage, it is certain that we will hear the footsteps of the beloved of Janabe Fatema (s.a.) - the twelfth Imam (a.t.f.s.)! His advent will enliven the lifeless environment and make it joyful. Every corner of this world will turn fragrant and the clouds of falsehood will vanish. The world will glow with the radiance of truth. The promise of Allah will be fulfilled. He will definitely complete his favor upon those who have been suppressed upon this earth. And He will nominate them as the inheritors of the earth. Imam Baqir (a.s.) was asked who is referred to in the following verse, 'And We desire to bestow a favour upon those who were deemed weak in the land, and to make them the Imams and to make them the heirs.' (Surah Qasas, verse 5) He (a.s.) replied, 'This verse refers to the 313 companions of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) who will function as his aides and assist him (a.t.f.s.) in governing the entire world.' Ameerul Momineen Ali (a.s.) spoke about the evils which would plague the last era at a time when ordinary people would not have been able to even imagine such events. He said, 'There will come a time when people will advance in temptations according to their convenience (or mood). The believers will be very few in number. The religious and diligent ones will soon disappear from our midst.' Indeed Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) has highlighted a point that is so relevant in our times. Today, people act according to their convenience and mood. They don't act because Islam demands it. For instance, we know that piety and abstinence (from evil) are the cornerstones of Islamic ethics and there is a lot of reward on adopting these principles, but we don't have the will to act on them because we don't feel the mood to do it! Acting on Islamic precepts, awareness of our responsibilities, reflection on Quran are all very dear to us, but acting on them is selective. We will adhere to them only when we feel like it! At the end we have another tradition to highlight the falling standards of our times. 'Namaz will be squandered, the skies will be spread out for man (like the earth) and at that time, the year will be like the month, the month will be like the week, the week will be like the day and the day will be like the hour.' There can be little debate on the importance of namaz and how we belittle it. The skies have got a lot more accessible to man. Man has hoisted his flag on the moon. He flies frequently in planes and rockets and reaches in hours where he took months to reach. Another important aspect highlighted by the tradition is the fast and furious pace of life in the last era. From infancy to childhood to adulthood to old age - a man's life is over even before he realizes it. There is hardly any time to reflect and take account of deeds. Consequently man is not able to repent for his deeds. His life is but amusement and sport. When his eyes open, its too late. Today Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.), who is the master of the era, is beckoning us. He is calling out to us. We must respond to his invitation. Truly, when our Master advances by a step towards us, he actually approaches us by ten steps. That is why it is important that we honor religion and the Holy Quran, and abide by the traditions. Only in this way, can we hope to earn the pleasure of our Master and make ourselves eligible for his companionship.

Prominent Characteristics and merits of the Imam of the time

By: Allama Baqir Sharif al-QarashiTranslated by: Sayyid Athar Husain S.H. Rizvi The predominant characteristics and personal traits of His Eminence, Mahdi (a.s) are the same as that of his honorable ancestors and forefathers, the Holy Imams (a.s). Those great personages were the centers of mercy and torchbearers of effulgence of guidance on the earth, as the Almighty had sent them for the guidance of His creatures, they were created from effulgence, and appointed as guides and callers to Himself. Some of the important merits of the Holy Imam Mahdi (a.s) are as follows: Encompassing knowledge of the Imam of the time It is an established fact that His Eminence, wou[1] Muhajjud Dawat, Pg. 84-86 [2] Formula: There is no God, except Allah and make them attain the best of their hope for Your victory wa ballighhum daraka ma ya'malunahu min nasrika وَبَلِّغْهُمْ دَرَكَ مَا يَأمَلُونَهُ مِنْ نَصْرِكَ and save them against the influence of those who have determined to contravene You wakfuf `anhum ba'sa man nasaba alkhilafa `alayka وَاكْفُفْ عَنْهُمْ بَأْسَ مَنْ نَصَبَ الْخِلاَفَ عَلَيْكَ and those who have rebelled to stand against You by committing whatever violates You wa tamarrada biman`ika `ala rukubi mukhalafatika وَتَمَرَّدَ بِمَنْعِكَ عَلَى رُكُوبِ مُخَالَفَتِكَ and those who have used Your aid to weaken Your authority wasta`ana birifdika `ala falli haddika وَاسْتَعَانَ بِرِفْدِكَ عَلَى فَلِّ حَدِّكَ and those who have aimed at plotting conspiracies against You wa qasada likaydika bika وَقَصَدَ لِكَيْدِكَ بِكَ and You have treated them with Your forbearance so that You shall seize them openly wa awsa`tahu hilman lita'khudhahu `ala jahratin وَأوْسَعْتَهُ حِلْماً لِتَأْخُذَهُ عَلَى جَهْرَةٍ and You shall eliminate them abruptly. wa tasta'silahu `ala ghirratin وَتَسْتَأْصِلَهُ عَلَى غِرَّةٍ Verily, You have said, and all that which You say is but the utter truth: fa'innaka alllahumma qulta wa qawluka alhaqqu: فَإنَّكَ اللَّهُمَّ قُلْتَ وَقَوْلُكَ الْحَقُّ: "…until when the earth puts on its golden raiment and it becomes garnished, (hatta idha akhadhati al-ardu zukhrufaha wazzayyanat (حَتَّى إذَا أَخَذَتِ الأَرْضُ زُخْرُفَهَا وَازَّيَّنَتْ and its people think that they have power over it, wa ¨anna ahluha annahum qadiruna `alayha وَظَنَّ أَهْلُهَا أنَّهُمْ قَادِرُونَ عَلَيْهَ Our command comes to it, by night or by day, ataha amruna laylan aw naharan أتَاهَا أَمْرُنَا لَيْلاً أوْ نَهَار so We render it as reaped seed; produce, as though it had not been in existence yesterday; faja`alnaha hasidan ka'an lam taghna bil-amsi فَجَعَلْنَاهَا حَصِيداً كَأَنْ لَمْ تَغْنَ بِالأَمْسِ thus do We make clear the communications for a people who reflect. (10/24)" kadhalika nufassilu al-ayati liqawmin yatafakkaruna) كَذَلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ) You have also said: "Then, when they displeased Us, We inflicted a retribution on them. (43/55)" wa qulta: (falamma asafuna intaqamna minhum) وَقُلْتَ: (فَلَمَّا آسَفُونَا انْتَقَمْنَا مِنْهُمْ) Verily, the deadline in our view has come to its end wa inna alghayata `indana qad tanahat وَإنَّ الْغَايَةَ عِنْدَنَا قَدْ تَنَاهَتْ and we are furious for Your wrath wa inna lighadabika ghadibuna وَإنَّا لِغَضَبِكَ غَاضِبُونَ and we are determined to support the right wa inna `ala nasri alhaqqi muta`asibuna وَإنَّا عَلَى نَصْرِ الْحَقِّ مُتَعَاصِبُونَ and we are eager for engaging ourselves in this affair of You wa ila wurudi amrika mushtaquna وَإلَى وُرُودِ أمْرِكَ مُشْتَاقُونَ and we are waiting for the fulfillment of Your promise wa li'injazi wa`dika murtaqibuna وَلإنْجَازِ وَعْدِكَ مُرْتَقِبُونَ and we are expecting the befalling of Your threat concerning Your enemies. wa lihululi wa`idika bi'a`da'ika mutawaqqi`una وَلِحُلُولِ وَعِيدِكَ بِأَعْدَائِكَ مُتَوَقِّعُونَ O Allah: (please) then permit that and open the ways for him (to appear) allahumma fa'dhan bidhalika waftah turuqatihi اَللَّهُمَّ فَأْذَنْ بِذَلِكَ وَافْتَحْ طُرُقَاتِهِ and make easy his advent and pave the way for him wa sahhil khurujahu wa wattI' masalikahu وَسَهِّلْ خُرُوجَهُ وَوَطِّئْ مَسَالِكَهُ and decide his courses to start and aid his followers and supporters washra` shara'i`ahu wa ayyid junudahu wa a`wanahu وَاشْرَعْ شَرَائِعَهُ وَأَيِّدْ جُنُودَهُ وَأَعْوَانَهُ and begin with inflicting Your power over the oppressors wa badir ba'saka alqawma al¨¨alimina وَبَادِرْ بَأْسَكَ الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ and unsheathe the sword of Your retribution over Your stubborn enemies wastu sayfa naqimatika `ala a`da'ika almu`anidina وَاسْطُ سَيْفَ نَقِمَتِكَ عَلَى أعْدَائِكَ الْمُعَانِدِينَ and take the revenge. Verily, You are All-magnanimous, All-generous. wa khudh bilththa'ri innaka jawadun karimun وَخُذْ بِالثَّأْرِ إنَّكَ جَوَادٌ كَرِيمٌ. In this blessed supplication, His Eminence has clearly explained that he is very eager for his reappearance and extremely keen to enliven the religion and practice of his grandfather, the chief of the prophets and to take revenge from the enemies of Islam and monotheism. He is very keen and desirous to reappear as soon as possible. Valor of the Imam of the time His Eminence, Mahdi (a.s) is the bravest and the most valiant of all the people. In strength, power, courage and daring, he is like his great grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (a.s), because His Eminence, with all his capacity uprooted the powers of polytheism and destroyed roots of ignorance and oppression and announced the rights and honor of human beings. The Prophet of Islam rose against the leaders of oppression and enemies of Islam who intended to destroy and humiliate the lofty religion of God and destroyed their leaders and dispersed their supporters and bestowed honor and majesty to the word of Allah on the earth. In the same way, his great grandson and caliph, the Promised Imam, will also perform the same function. He would make the oppressors and rebels taste their misdeeds. And with firm determination, bereft of sloth, reinfuse greatness and honor to Islam without in any way surrendering to any sort of difficult matter and painful circumstances due to weakness and lack of attitude. Steadfastness of the Imam of the time in rightfulness His Eminence, the Awaited Imam is among the most steadfast defenders of truth and his defense and help for the oppressed and tortured one is more than that of anyone else. No kind of criticism hinders him from the deliverance of truth and its establishment. The forefather and elders of His Eminence supported truth and displayed steadfastness in the face of falsehood and presented their sacrifice for social justice among the people. His Eminence, the Mahdi (a.s) also possesses the same quality. When the world shall be illuminated by the reappearance of the Qaim of the Progeny of Muhammad and humanity would become fortunate by the advent of His Eminence, His Eminence would enliven all aspects of truth and destroy every kind of fraud, cheating and oppression. Generosity of the Imam of the time His Eminence, the Awaited Imam is the most generous and charitable among all the people. Narrators of traditions are unanimous that during the time of his government, His Eminence would distribute bounties and sustenance of God among all the poor people in such a way that not a single poor and needy person would remain on the face of the earth; so much so, that a person who desires to pay his Zakat to the eligible one would not be able to find a single recipient of alms. Some of these types of traditions are presented below:[1] a. Abu Saeed Khudri has narrated from the Prophet of Islam, in the events of His Eminence, Mahdi (a.s) that he said, "A man comes to him and says, 'O Mahdi! Give me! Give me!' His Eminence fills his utensil to the extent of what he could lift." b. Ibne Asakir has quoted from the Messenger of Allah (a.s) that he said, "In the last age there would be a caliph who would pile up wealth."[2] ld be the most knowledgeable and possess proficiency in all the sciences because he is the heir of his grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (a.s) and he is the custodian of the treasure of prophetic wisdom. He is having encompassing knowledge about the religious law and the various aspects of the Shariah of his grandfather, the chief of the prophets. It is one of the comprehensive sciences of the Awaited Imam. The Purified Imams have mentioned the high intellectual level of Imam Mahdi (a.s) in their sayings issued long before he was born in this world. 1. His Eminence, Amirul Momineen (a.s) says with regard to the virtues of Imam Mahdi (a.s), “He shall be most refuge-giving and the one having most knowledge and the one who does the most ‘Sile Raham’ (doing good to relatives).”[1] [1] Ghaybah, Nomani 2. Harth Ibne Mughaira Nazari says, “I inquired from His Eminence, Aba Abdillah Husain Bin Ali (a.s), ‘From what would the Mahdi be recognizeda’ He replied, ‘By recognizing the permissible and the prohibited and by the fact that people would be needful of him while he would not be needful of them.’”[1] 3. His Eminence, Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s) said, “His matter, that is, Kingdom would be from the youngest and the most handsome of us (the Progeny of Muhammad). The Almighty Allah would give him knowledge in inheritance and not leave him on his own (rather He is his helper and supporter).”[2] 4. His Eminence, Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s) said, “Knowledge of Almighty Allah, the Mighty and Sublime and the Sunnah (practice) of the Messenger of Allah (a.s) grows luxuriantly in the heart of our Mahdi in the best form. Any of you that survives and sees it should say when you see him: ‘Peace be upon you (all) of Ahle Bayt of Mercy and Prophethood and the mines of knowledge and the location of messengership.’”[3] Under the discussion of his excellent knowledge and accomplishments of His Eminence it is narrated that when he would reappear, he will discuss and prove his points with the Jews on the basis of Torah as a result of which a majority of them would accept Islam.[4] His Eminence, Mahdi (a.s) during the minor occultation, was the sole point of reference and the greatest center of the final decision. Therefore the special deputies used to convey the questions of the people to the Holy Imam and obtain their replies. Such questions in large numbers are recorded in books [1] Iqdud Durar [2] Iqdud Durar, Pg. 109 [3] Kamaluddin [4] Bihar, etc of jurisprudence and traditions and they serve as references for the Islamic jurisprudents in deriving their verdicts. It is better to reiterate here that Shaykh Saduq (a.r.) had collected many replies bearing the signature of the Holy Imam. Piety of the Imam of the time The character and hearts of the Imams of Ahle Bayt (a.s) in all aspects of thoughts and actions (among them is piety in the world and giving up of material pleasures and joys) are same for all of them. It is not possible to pick out a single instance from them but that it would be found to be piety in the world and the renunciation of material things. His Eminence, Amirul Momineen (a.s), the gate of the city of knowledge of the Messenger of Allah (a.s) in fact, divorced the world thrice so that it did not remain worthy of reconciliation. His pure and chaste descendents have also been bestowed with this exalted quality. Many traditions regarding the piety of Imam Mahdi (a.s) are recorded in history. Some of them are presented below: a. Muammar Ibne Khuld has narrated from Imam Reza (a.s) the he said, “The dress and food of the Qaim of the Progeny of Muhammad shall be coarse and dry.”[1] b. Abu Basir has quoted that Imam Sadiq (a.s) said, “Do not be in haste of the advent and reappearance of the Imam of the time. By Allah, his dress shall be coarse and his food, barley bread, thick and dense.”[2] c. Ali Ibne Hamzah and Wahab have narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s) that he proclaimed regarding His Eminence, the Awaited Imam, “His dress is coarse and thick and his food is hard and rigid.”[3] [1] Ghaybah, Nomani [2] Ghaybah, Nomani [3] Ghaybah, Nomani It is an established fact that this method is found in all aspects of the life of His Eminence. If he had not possessed such mannerism, the Almighty Allah would not have selected him for the greatest reformative movement, from all the personalities of the earth. Then he it is, who would make the earth abound with justice and equity, as it would be completely fraught with injustice and oppression, and he would save humanity from arrogance and pride of oppressors. He would distribute divine wealth and goodness between deprived and needy people. Patience of Imam of the Time One of the prominent characteristics and spiritual excellence of His Eminence is patience and forbearance. His Eminence is encountering more severe problems and calamities than faced by all the infallible Imams. During his prolonged life he has experienced many bitter incidents and great tragedies, which has made the Islamic world black and broken its limbs and the Muslim community with these pieces, is subjugated under the yoke of disbelievers and tyrants and struggling in that position. Such types of different oppressions have become common in the world of Islam and the divine rules and laws have been rendered useless. The wealth of the Muslims has been plundered and they interfere in all the decisions of the Muslim nation and they force their own view upon them. All these calamities and corruptions are being wrought under the very eyes of His Eminence and he, being the father of the broken-up community, is very much pained by it. He has indeed resorted to patience and forbearance and entrusted everything to the Almighty. And this is so because He is the One, Who has everything in His power, and He is the true Ruler on His creatures, and there is no kind of any command or opinion for anyone else. Worship of the Imam of the time It is beyond any doubt that the worship of His Eminence, Mahdi (a.s) is also like the worship of his respected forefathers, the Purified Imams (a.s). All the Imams had devoted their whole lives to the Almighty Allah. They have deeply imbibed the love and regard of Allah in the depths of their hearts. Their complete beings are surrounded by the love of Almighty. That is why they fasted most of the days and prayed during the better part of the night, extolling and praising the Lord. Yes, the method of worship of the Awaited Imam is also same. Therefore, the tradition scholars have recorded some of his supplications in the ritual prayers or otherwise, that point out the extreme piety and attachment of the Holy Imam with his Lord and his aloofness from everything else. Some of them we present below: Supplications of the Imam of the time in the Qunut of Ritual Prayers His Eminence, the Master of the Age, recites the following supplication in the Qunut of his ritual prayers. The actual supplication is as follows: O Allah: the Master of the Kingdom allahumma malika almulki اَللَّهُمَّ مَالِكَ الْمُلْكِ You give the kingdom to whomsoever You please tu´tiy almulka man tasha'u تُؤتِي الْمُلْكَ مَنْ تَشَاءُ and take away the kingdom from whomsoever You please wa tanzi`u almulka mimman tasha'u وَتَنْزِعُ الْمُلْكَ مِمَّنْ تَشَاءُ and You exalt whom You please wa tu`izzu man tasha'u وَتُعِزُّ مَنْ تَشَاءُ and You abase whom You please wa tudhillu man tasha'u وَتُذِلُّ مَنْ تَشَاءُ in Your hand is the good; biyadika alkhayru بِيَدِكَ الْخَيْرُ surety, You have power over all things innaka `ala kulli shay'in qadirun إنَّكَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ O the All-glorious; O the All-magnanimous ya majidu ya jawadu يَا مَاجِدُ يَا جَوَادُ O the Lord of Majesty and Honor ya dha aljalali wal-ikrami يَا ذَا الْجَلاَلِ وَالإكْرَامِ O the Lord of the great might ya dha albatshi alshshadidi يَا ذَا الْبَطْشِ الشَّدِيدِ O He Who does whatever He wills ya fa`-`alun lima yuridu يَا فَعَّالٌ لِمَا يُرِيدُ O the Lord of power; O the Strong ya dha alquwwati almatinu يَا ذَا الْقُوَّةِ الْمَتِينُ O the All-affectionate; O the All-merciful ya ra´ufu ya rahimu يَا رَؤُوفُ يَا رَحِيمُ O the Living when there was no other one living ya hayyu hina la hayyu يَا حَيُّ حِينَ لاَ حَيُّ I beseech You by Your Name, the stored, the concealed as'aluka bismika almakhzuni almaknuni أسْأَلُكَ بِاسْمِكَ الْمَخْزُونِ الْمَكْنُونِ the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting alhayyi alqayyumi الْحَيِّ الْقَيُّومِ Whom You have taken up in the Unseen Knowledge with You alladhi ista'tharta bihi fi `ilmi alghaybi `indaka الَّذِي اسْتَأْثَرْتَ بِهِ فِي عِلْمِ الْغَيْبِ عِنْدَكَ and none of Your creatures has ever known about wa lam yattali` `alayhi ahadun min khalqika وَلَمْ يَطَّلِعْ عَلَيْهِ أحَدٌ مِنْ خَلْقِكَ and I beseech You by Your Name through which You shape Your creatures as You like wa as'aluka bismika alladhi tusawwiru bihi khalqaka fi alarhami kayfa tasha'u وَأسْأَلُكَ بِاسْمِكَ الَّذِي تُصَوِّرُ بِهِ خَلْقَكَ فِي الأَرْحَامِ كَيْفَ تَشَاءُ and through which You deliver them their sustenance in the layers of murk from between the veins and the bones wa bihi tasuqu ilayhim arzaqahum fi atbaqi al¨¨ulumati min bayni al`uruqi wal`i¨ami وَبِهِ تَسُوقُ إلَيْهِمْ أرْزَاقَهُمْ فِي أطْبَاقِ الظُّلُمَاتِ مِنْ بَيْنِ الْعُرُوقِ وَالْعِظَامِ and I beseech You by Your Name through which You united the hearts of Your friends wa as'aluka bismika alladhi allafta bihi bayna qulubi awliya'ika وَأسْأَلُكَ بِاسْمِكَ الَّذِي ألَّفْتَ بِهِ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِ أوْلِيَائِكَ and You united between ice and fire wa allafta bayna alththalji walnnari وَألَّفْتَ بَيْنَ الثَّلْجِ وَالنَّارِ neither fire melts ice la hadha yudhibu hadha لاَ هَذَا يُذِيبُ هَذَ nor ice extinguishes fire wa la hadha yutfi'u hadha وَلا هَذَا يُطْفِئُ هَذَا. and I beseech You by Your Name through which You generated the flavor of water wa as'aluka bismika alladhi kawwanta bihi ta`ma almiyahi وَأسْأَلُكَ بِاسْمِكَ الَّذِي كَوَّنْتَ بِهِ طَعْمَ الْمِيَاهِ and I beseech You by Your Name through which You made water flow in the roots of plants between the layers of the earth wa as'aluka bismika alladhi ajrayta bihi alma'a fi `uruqi alnnabati bayna atbaqi alththara وَأسْأَلُكَ بِاسْمِكَ الَّذِي أجْرَيْتَ بِهِ الْمَاءَ فِي عُرُوقِ النَّبَاتِ بَيْنَ أطْبَاقِ الثَّرَ and You made water reach the roots of the trees from hard rocks wa suqta alma'a ila `uruqi al-ashjari bayna alssakhrati alssamma'i وَسُقْتَ الْمَاءَ إلَى عُرُوقِ الأشْجَارِ بَيْنَ الصَّخْرَةِ الصَّمَّاءِ and I beseech You by Your Name through which You created the flavor and colors of fruits wa as'aluka bismika alladhi kawwanta bihi ta`ma alththimari wa alwanaha وَأسْأَلُكَ بِاسْمِكَ الَّذِي كَوَّنْتَ بِهِ طَعْمَ الثِّمَارِ وَألْوَانَهَ and I beseech You by Your Name through which You begin the creation and then reproduce it wa as'aluka bismika alladhi bihi tubdi wa tu`idu وَأسْأَلُكَ بِاسْمِكَ الَّذِي بِهِ تُبْدِي وَتُعِيدُ and I beseech You by Your Name; the Single, the One wa as'aluka bismika alfardi alwahidi وَأسْأَلُكَ بِاسْمِكَ الْفَرْدِ الْوَاحِدِ the Unique in singleness walmutafarridi bilwahdaniyyati وَالْمُتَفَرِّدِ بِالْوَحْدَانِيَّةِ the Single in Eternity almutawahhidi bilssamadaniyyati الْمُتَوَحِّدِ بِالصَّمَدَانِيَّةِ and I beseech You by Your Name through which You burst water in hard rocks wa as'aluka bismika alladhi fajjarta bihi alma'a fi alssakhrati alssamma'i وَأسْأَلُكَ بِاسْمِكَ الَّذِي فَجَّرْتَ بِهِ الْمَاءَ فِي الصَّخْرَةِ الصَّمَّاءِ and You drove it from whence You willed wa suqtahu min haythu shi'ta وَسُقْتَهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ شِئْتَ and I beseech You by Your Name through which You created the creatures wa as'aluka bismika alladhi khalaqta bihi khalqaka وَأسْأَلُكَ بِاسْمِكَ الَّذِي خَلَقْتَ بِهِ خَلْقَكَ and You provided them as You will and however You will warazaqtahum kayfa shi'ta wakayfa tasha'u وَرَزَقْتَهُمْ كَيْفَ شِئْتَ وَكَيْفَ تَشَاءُ O He Who is never changed by days and nights ya man la tughayyiruhu al-ayyamu wallayali يَا مَنْ لاَ تُغَيِّرُهُ الأيَّامُ وَاللَّيَالِي I pray You with the prayer of Noah when he called at You ad`uka bima da`aka bihi nuhun hina nadaka أدْعُوكَ بِمَا دَعَاكَ بِهِ نُوحٌ حِينَ نَادَاكَ So, You saved him as well as those who were with him and You destroyed his people fa-anjaytahu waman ma`ahu wa ahlakta qawmahu فَأنْجَيْتَهُ وَمَنْ مَعَهُ وَأهْلَكْتَ قَوْمَهُ and I pray You with the prayer of Abraham, Your intimate friend, when he called at You, wa ad`uka bima da`aka bihi ibrahimu khaliluka hina nadaka وَأدْعُوكَ بِمَا دَعَاكَ بِهِ إبْرَاهِيمُ خَلِيلُكَ حِينَ نَادَاكَ So, You saved him and made fire comfort and peace on him fa-anjaytahu wa ja`alta alnnara `alayhi bardan wa salaman فَأنْجَيْتَهُ وَجَعَلْتَ النَّارَ عَلَيْهِ بَرْداً وَسَلاَم and I pray You with the prayer of Moses, the spoken by You, when he called at You wa ad`uka bima da`aka bihi musa kalimuka hina nadaka وَأدْعُوكَ بِمَا دَعَاكَ بِهِ مُوسَى كَلِيمُكَ حِينَ نَادَاكَ So, You split asunder the sea for him and saved him as well as the children of Israel fafalaqta lahu albahra fa-anjaytahu wa bani isra'ila فَفَلَقْتَ لَهُ الْبَحْرَ فَأنْجَيْتَهُ وَبَنِي إسْرَائِيلَ and You sank the Pharaoh and his people in the river wa aghraqta fir`awna wa qawmahu fi alyammi وَأغْرَقْتَ فِرْعَوْنَ وَقَوْمَهُ فِي الْيَمِّ and I pray You with the prayer of Jesus, Your Spirit, when he called at You wa ad`uka bima da`aka bihi `isa ruhuka hina nadaka وَأدْعُوكَ بِمَا دَعَاكَ بِهِ عِيسَى رُوحُكَ حِينَ نَادَاكَ So, You saved him against Your enemies and You elevated him towards You fanajjaytahu min a`da'ika wa ilayka rafa`tahu فَنَجَّيْتَهُ مِنْ أعْدَائِكَ وَإلَيْكَ رَفَعْتَهُ and I pray You with the prayer of Your most-dear, choice, and Prophet wa ad`uka bima da`aka bihi habibuka wa safiyyuka wa nabiyyuka وَأدْعُوكَ بِمَا دَعَاكَ بِهِ حَبِيبُكَ وَصَفِيُّكَ وَنَبِيُّكَ Muhammad, peace be upon him and his Household muhammadun salla allahu `alayhi wa alihi مُحَمَّدٌ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ So, You responded to him and saved him from the Allied Parties fastajabta lahu wa mina al-ahzabi najjaytahu فَاسْتَجَبْتَ لَهُ وَمِنَ الأحْزَابِ نَجَّيْتَهُ and You supported him against Your enemies wa `ala a`da'ika nasartahu وَعَلَى أعْدَائِكَ نَصَرْتَهُ and I beseech You by Your Name that You answer the prayer of whoever beseeches You by it wa as'aluka bismika alladhi idha du`ita bihi ajabta وَأسْأَلُكَ بِاسْمِكَ الَّذِي إذَا دُعِيتَ بِهِ أجَبْتَ O He Who owns creatures and all affairs ya man lahu alkhalqu wal-amru يَا مَنْ لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالأَمْرُ and He Whose knowledge encompasses all things ya man ahata bikulli shay'in `ilman يَا مَنْ أحَاطَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عِلْم O He Who records the number of all things ya man ahsa kulla shay'in `adadan يَا مَنْ أحْصَى كُلَّ شَيْءٍ عَدَد O He Who is never changed by days and nights ya man la tughayyiruhu al-ayyamu wal-layali يَا مَنْ لاَ تُغَيِّرُهُ الأَيَّامُ وَاللَّيَالِي and He Whom is not confused by sounds wa la tatashabahu `alayhi al-aswatu وَلاَ تَتَشَابَهُ عَلَيْهِ الأَصْوَاتُ and He Whom is not unaware of languages wa la takhfa `alayhi allughatu وَلاَ تَخْفَى عَلَيْهِ اللُّغَاتُ and He Whom is not annoyed by the insistence of the earnest pleaders wa la yubrimuhu ilhahu almulihhina وَلاَ يُبْرِمُهُ إلْحَاحُ الْمُلِحِّينَ I beseech You to send blessings upon Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad as'aluka an tusalliya `ala muhammadin wa ali muhammadin أسْأَلُكَ أنْ تُصَلِّيَ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ the choicest of all your creatures khiyaratika min khalqika خِيَرَتِكَ مِنْ خَلْقِكَ So, (please do) bless them with the most favorable of Your blessings fasalli `alayhim bi-afdali salawatika فَصَلِّ عَلَيْهِمْ بِأَفْضَلِ صَلَوَاتِكَ and also bless all Your Prophets and Messengers wa salli `ala jami`i alnnabiyyina walmursalina وَصَلِّ عَلَى جَمِيعِ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالْمُرْسَلِينَ Who have conveyed true guidance from You alladhina ballaghu `anka alhuda الَّذِينَ بَلَّغُوا عَنْكَ الْهُدَى and bound themselves with covenants of obedience to You wa `aqadu laka almawathiqa biltta`ati وَعَقَدُوا لَكَ الْمَوَاثِيقَ بِالطَّاعَةِ and bless Your righteous servants wa salli `ala `ibadika alssalihina وَصَلِّ عَلَى عِبَادِكَ الصَّالِحِينَ O He Who never breaks his promise ya man la yukhlifu almi`ada يَا مَنْ لاَ يُخْلِفُ الْمِيعَادَ (Please do) fulfill Your promise to me anjiz li ma wa`adtani أنْجِزْ لِي مَا وَعَدْتَنِي and bring together my companions and confer upon them with patience wajma` li ashabi wa sabbirhum وَاجْمَعْ لِي أصْحَابِي وَصَبِّرْهُمْ and give me victory against Your enemies and the enemies of Your Messenger wansurni `ala a`da'ika wa a`da'i rasulika وَانْصُرْنِي عَلَى أعْدَائِكَ وَأعْدَاءِ رَسُولِكَ and do not disappoint my prayers wa la tukhayyib du`a'i وَلاَ تُخَيِّبْ دُعَائِي for I am verily Your servant and the son of Your bondwoman fa inni `abduka wabnu amatika فَإنِّي عَبْدُكَ وَابْنُ أَمَتِكَ and I am prisoner at You asirun bayna yadayka أسِيرٌ بَيْنَ يَدَيْكَ My Master! It is You Who have endowed me this position sayyidi anta alladhi mananta `alayya bihadha almuqami سَيِّدِي أنْتَ الَّذِي مَنَنْتَ عَلَيَّ بِهَذَا الْمُقَامِ and You have conferred upon me with it from among many of Your creatures wa tafaddalta bihi `alayya duna kathirin min khalqika وَتَفَضَّلْتَ بِهِ عَلَيَّ دُونَ كَثِيرٍ مِنْ خَلْقِكَ I beseech You to send blessings upon Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad as'aluka an tusalliya `ala muhammadin wa ali muhammadin أسْأَلُكَ أنْ تُصَلِّيَ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ and to fulfill Your promise to me wa an tunjiza li ma wa`adtani وَأنْ تُنْجِزَ لِي مَا وَعَدْتَنِي Verily, You are the true Honest innaka anta alssadiqu إنَّكَ أنْتَ الصَّادِقُ and You never break Your promise wa la tukhlifu almi`ada وَلاَ تُخْلِفُ الْمِيعَادَ and You have power over all things.[1] wa anta `ala kulli shay'in qadirun وَأنْتَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ. This blessed supplication mentions the unimaginable power of the Lord Creator Who has brought everything into existence. He is the One Who bestows existence and is the originator of all creatures. In the same way the supplication also proves that His Eminence, begs to the Almighty for help and success over the enemies of Allah and the prophets. And also desires that his helpers should be gathered so that the religion may be enlivened and bestow exaltation of the Kalimah.[2] Another Supplication of the Imam of the time His Eminence, Mahdi (a.s) recites the following blessed supplication in some of his prayers: O Allah: Bless Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad allahumma salli `ala muhammadin wa ali muhammadin اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ and honor Your friends by fulfilling Your promise (to them) wa akrim awliya'aka bi-injazi wa`dika وَأكْرِمْ أوْلِيَائَكَ بِإنْجَازِ وَعْدِكَ [1] Muhajjud Dawat, Pg. 84-86 [2] Formula: There is no God, except Allah and make them attain the best of their hope for Your victory wa ballighhum daraka ma ya'malunahu min nasrika وَبَلِّغْهُمْ دَرَكَ مَا يَأمَلُونَهُ مِنْ نَصْرِكَ and save them against the influence of those who have determined to contravene You wakfuf `anhum ba'sa man nasaba alkhilafa `alayka وَاكْفُفْ عَنْهُمْ بَأْسَ مَنْ نَصَبَ الْخِلاَفَ عَلَيْكَ and those who have rebelled to stand against You by committing whatever violates You wa tamarrada biman`ika `ala rukubi mukhalafatika وَتَمَرَّدَ بِمَنْعِكَ عَلَى رُكُوبِ مُخَالَفَتِكَ and those who have used Your aid to weaken Your authority wasta`ana birifdika `ala falli haddika وَاسْتَعَانَ بِرِفْدِكَ عَلَى فَلِّ حَدِّكَ and those who have aimed at plotting conspiracies against You wa qasada likaydika bika وَقَصَدَ لِكَيْدِكَ بِكَ and You have treated them with Your forbearance so that You shall seize them openly wa awsa`tahu hilman lita'khudhahu `ala jahratin وَأوْسَعْتَهُ حِلْماً لِتَأْخُذَهُ عَلَى جَهْرَةٍ and You shall eliminate them abruptly. wa tasta'silahu `ala ghirratin وَتَسْتَأْصِلَهُ عَلَى غِرَّةٍ Verily, You have said, and all that which You say is but the utter truth: fa'innaka alllahumma qulta wa qawluka alhaqqu: فَإنَّكَ اللَّهُمَّ قُلْتَ وَقَوْلُكَ الْحَقُّ: "…until when the earth puts on its golden raiment and it becomes garnished, (hatta idha akhadhati al-ardu zukhrufaha wazzayyanat (حَتَّى إذَا أَخَذَتِ الأَرْضُ زُخْرُفَهَا وَازَّيَّنَتْ and its people think that they have power over it, wa ¨anna ahluha annahum qadiruna `alayha وَظَنَّ أَهْلُهَا أنَّهُمْ قَادِرُونَ عَلَيْهَ Our command comes to it, by night or by day, ataha amruna laylan aw naharan أتَاهَا أَمْرُنَا لَيْلاً أوْ نَهَار so We render it as reaped seed; produce, as though it had not been in existence yesterday; faja`alnaha hasidan ka'an lam taghna bil-amsi فَجَعَلْنَاهَا حَصِيداً كَأَنْ لَمْ تَغْنَ بِالأَمْسِ thus do We make clear the communications for a people who reflect. (10/24)" kadhalika nufassilu al-ayati liqawmin yatafakkaruna) كَذَلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ) You have also said: "Then, when they displeased Us, We inflicted a retribution on them. (43/55)" wa qulta: (falamma asafuna intaqamna minhum) وَقُلْتَ: (فَلَمَّا آسَفُونَا انْتَقَمْنَا مِنْهُمْ) Verily, the deadline in our view has come to its end wa inna alghayata `indana qad tanahat وَإنَّ الْغَايَةَ عِنْدَنَا قَدْ تَنَاهَتْ and we are furious for Your wrath wa inna lighadabika ghadibuna وَإنَّا لِغَضَبِكَ غَاضِبُونَ and we are determined to support the right wa inna `ala nasri alhaqqi muta`asibuna وَإنَّا عَلَى نَصْرِ الْحَقِّ مُتَعَاصِبُونَ and we are eager for engaging ourselves in this affair of You wa ila wurudi amrika mushtaquna وَإلَى وُرُودِ أمْرِكَ مُشْتَاقُونَ and we are waiting for the fulfillment of Your promise wa li'injazi wa`dika murtaqibuna وَلإنْجَازِ وَعْدِكَ مُرْتَقِبُونَ and we are expecting the befalling of Your threat concerning Your enemies. wa lihululi wa`idika bi'a`da'ika mutawaqqi`una وَلِحُلُولِ وَعِيدِكَ بِأَعْدَائِكَ مُتَوَقِّعُونَ O Allah: (please) then permit that and open the ways for him (to appear) allahumma fa'dhan bidhalika waftah turuqatihi اَللَّهُمَّ فَأْذَنْ بِذَلِكَ وَافْتَحْ طُرُقَاتِهِ and make easy his advent and pave the way for him wa sahhil khurujahu wa wattI' masalikahu وَسَهِّلْ خُرُوجَهُ وَوَطِّئْ مَسَالِكَهُ and decide his courses to start and aid his followers and supporters washra` shara'i`ahu wa ayyid junudahu wa a`wanahu وَاشْرَعْ شَرَائِعَهُ وَأَيِّدْ جُنُودَهُ وَأَعْوَانَهُ and begin with inflicting Your power over the oppressors wa badir ba'saka alqawma al¨¨alimina وَبَادِرْ بَأْسَكَ الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ and unsheathe the sword of Your retribution over Your stubborn enemies wastu sayfa naqimatika `ala a`da'ika almu`anidina وَاسْطُ سَيْفَ نَقِمَتِكَ عَلَى أعْدَائِكَ الْمُعَانِدِينَ and take the revenge. Verily, You are All-magnanimous, All-generous. wa khudh bilththa'ri innaka jawadun karimun وَخُذْ بِالثَّأْرِ إنَّكَ جَوَادٌ كَرِيمٌ. In this blessed supplication, His Eminence has clearly explained that he is very eager for his reappearance and extremely keen to enliven the religion and practice of his grandfather, the chief of the prophets and to take revenge from the enemies of Islam and monotheism. He is very keen and desirous to reappear as soon as possible. Valor of the Imam of the time His Eminence, Mahdi (a.s) is the bravest and the most valiant of all the people. In strength, power, courage and daring, he is like his great grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (a.s), because His Eminence, with all his capacity uprooted the powers of polytheism and destroyed roots of ignorance and oppression and announced the rights and honor of human beings. The Prophet of Islam rose against the leaders of oppression and enemies of Islam who intended to destroy and humiliate the lofty religion of God and destroyed their leaders and dispersed their supporters and bestowed honor and majesty to the word of Allah on the earth. In the same way, his great grandson and caliph, the Promised Imam, will also perform the same function. He would make the oppressors and rebels taste their misdeeds. And with firm determination, bereft of sloth, reinfuse greatness and honor to Islam without in any way surrendering to any sort of difficult matter and painful circumstances due to weakness and lack of attitude. Steadfastness of the Imam of the time in rightfulness His Eminence, the Awaited Imam is among the most steadfast defenders of truth and his defense and help for the oppressed and tortured one is more than that of anyone else. No kind of criticism hinders him from the deliverance of truth and its establishment. The forefather and elders of His Eminence supported truth and displayed steadfastness in the face of falsehood and presented their sacrifice for social justice among the people. His Eminence, the Mahdi (a.s) also possesses the same quality. When the world shall be illuminated by the reappearance of the Qaim of the Progeny of Muhammad and humanity would become fortunate by the advent of His Eminence, His Eminence would enliven all aspects of truth and destroy every kind of fraud, cheating and oppression. Generosity of the Imam of the time His Eminence, the Awaited Imam is the most generous and charitable among all the people. Narrators of traditions are unanimous that during the time of his government, His Eminence would distribute bounties and sustenance of God among all the poor people in such a way that not a single poor and needy person would remain on the face of the earth; so much so, that a person who desires to pay his Zakat to the eligible one would not be able to find a single recipient of alms. Some of these types of traditions are presented below:[1] a. Abu Saeed Khudri has narrated from the Prophet of Islam, in the events of His Eminence, Mahdi (a.s) that he said, "A man comes to him and says, 'O Mahdi! Give me! Give me!' His Eminence fills his utensil to the extent of what he could lift." b. Ibne Asakir has quoted from the Messenger of Allah (a.s) that he said, "In the last age there would be a caliph who would pile up wealth."[2] [1] Yanabiul Mawaddah, Pg 431 [2] Tarikh, Ibne Asakir, 1/186 c. Jabir has narrated that he was in the company of His Eminence, Abu Ja'far Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s) when a person came to him and addressing the Imam said, "Please accept these 500 dirhams, that is the Zakat of my wealth, and spend it in a suitable way." His Eminence, Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s) said, "Search for them yourself in your neighbors, orphans, the needy and brothers-in-faith and distribute it among them. And it is the time when our Qaim would rise so that he could distribute it in equitable way and establish justice among the creatures of God, according to their good or evil. One who obeys him has obeyed Allah and one who disobeys him has disobeyed Allah. Since he guides in a secret and subtle manner, he is called 'the Mahdi.'" His Eminence will bring out the Torah and other books from a cave in Antioch and command the people of Torah by Torah and people of Injeel with Injeel and people of Zabur with Zabur and people of Quran with Quran. All the wealth of the earth that is on its surface and below its surface would be gathered with him. Then he would say, 'O People! Come towards that for which you had severed relations and spilled blood on the earth and committed things prohibited by God.' Then he would give so much wealth to them as had never been given.[1] And other traditions that prove that His Eminence is a sea of mercy and generosity are those that mention that His Eminence would deal with the people with kindness and favors and save them from the yokes of hunger and deprivation and spread peace, comfort and needlessness among them.

Waiting for RAJ'AT

The literal meaning of raj'at is to return.In the Qur'an Allah says:"And on that day We shall raise a witness out of every nation...."Suratun Nahl 16:84 This indicates a day other than the day of Qiyama. According to Imam Ja'fer As-Sadiq (A.S.); after the dhuhur of Imam Muhammad Al-Mahdi (A.S.) the era of raj'at will come. Some of the Prophets and all the Aimma will be raised with selected people from their times. Imam Ja'fer As-Sadiq (A.S.) has further said that Imam Mahdi (A.S.) will take revenge against the assassins of the other Aimma who will be raised as well. When the term of life of Imam Muhammad Al-Mahdi (A.S.) is ordained to end, he will hand over his ring to Imam Husayn (A.S.) who will conduct the burial of Imam Mahdi (A.S.). The Prophet (S.A.W.) has said:"He/she who does not believe in Raj'at is not of us."

Is Death painful?

For this we must first understand the aspect of punishment (adhab). Punishment for sins is in seven stages. Before we look at them it is necessary to know that adhab is not revenge of Allah, nor does Allah enjoy punishing mankind. It is a form of cleansing and curing just like a doctor who cures his patients. The cure may entail the need of pain - injections, operations.......and is not the result of the doctor being cruel to the patient but rather being merciful and kind. Similarly, adhab cleans a person so he/she may be able to enter the pure destination of the pleasure of Allah (Janna). The seven stages of punishment are i) In this world ii) When death comes iii) The squeeze of the grave iv) Barzakh v) Day of Judgement vi) The bridge of sirat (From mahshar to Janna over Jahannam) vii) Jahannam The Punishment therefore is on a graded basis. If ones sins have been answered for in this world and tawba done then Imam Ja'fer As-Sadiq (A.S.) says that death is like a fragrant breeze. However, if the sins have not been cleansed then death is painful. Imam Ja'fer As-Sadiq (A.S.) says: "Whatever a mu'min suffers at the time of death, it is for the purpose of cleansing him/her from sins so that he would come into the hereafter pure and unblemished deserving the eternal reward of Allah without any obstacle between him/her and the reward."After burial, and when those who have buried the dead person have gone away, two angels visit the grave. One is Munkar and the other Nakeer. The soul re-enters the body and they ask questions on belief:Who is your Lord? What is your religion? What is your book? What is your qibla? Who is your Prophet? Who are your Aimma? This questioning is the composition of talqeen which is recited at the time of burial. Talqeen (which means to teach) should be recited daily at bed time so one is in a constant state of preparation for answering Munkar and Nakeer.Imam Ja'fer As-Sadiq (A.S.) has said:"Who so ever is subjected to the questioning in the grave, is also squeezed in the grave"*For some it will be like the embrace of two friends but for those whose sins have still not been cleansed by death, it is severe. *Be it a grave in water, earth or where ever, for it is the abode of the soul.

BARZAKH

wa min waraaihim barzakhu ilaa yawmi yubathoon"...And before them is barzakh (a barrier) till the day of Qiyama. Suratul Mu'minun 23:100 Barzakh is the period of time in the grave from burial upto the day of Qiyama. Life in barzakh is characterised by the liberation of the nafs from the fetters of the body. The nafs is also no longer harassed by passion and instinct. There is no question of time or space in barzakh just as in dreams, thus the horizon of a human being's vision is vastly enlarged. Everything can be imagined in a single instant. The nafs of he/she who is virtuous is no longer constricted in the cage of the world and will delight in roaming freely through the infinite. However, to the mu'mineen whose sins have not been cleansed by death, and by the squeeze in the grave,Our 6th Imam has said: "We will intercede for you on the day of Qiyama, but by Allah, I am worried about you for the period when you will be in barzakh." The nafs is on a different realm after death, yet it does not completely sever it's relationship with the body which it used as it's vehicle for it's destiny. It is reported in Vol 3 of Al-Kafi that a companion of Imam Ali (A.S) was once with the Imam at the cemetery of Waadi us Salaam. He said:"Imam stood in the cemetery as though he was addressing a gathering. I remained standing with Imam until I became tired and sat down. When I got tired of sitting I stood up again and remained standing until I got tired again and sat down once more. Finally, I stood up and said to Imam - I fear for you, seeing you stand for so long, please rest a little!" Imam replied: "O Habba! I am standing here talking to the mu'mineen!" Habba asked: "Do they have conversations with each other?" Imam replied: "Yes! Once the veil is lifted you will see them gathered in circles talking to each other.""Are you speaking of their bodies or their arwaah?"Imam replied: "Their arwaah" It is reported in Al Mahaasin that Abu Baseer - a companion of our 6th Imam says that there was a discussion on the arwaah of righteous mu'mineen in the presence of Imam Ja'fer As-Sadiq (A.S.). Imam said;"The arwaah of mu'mineen meet each other....they talk to each other and recognise each other, when you see someone there, you will say. 'This is so and so." Those in barzakh can also establish contact with those in the world. In Vol 1 of Al-Kaafi it is reported that Imam Ja'fer As-Sadiq (A.S.) has said: "...Amongst the believers (who have died) are those for whom Friday is a day of visiting, and there are also those the balance of whose deeds permits them to see them."In the same volume it is reported that someone asked Imam Ali (A.S.) whether the dead were allowed to visit their relatives. Imam confirmed that they were and the questioner asked - when and how often? Imam replied: "Every week, every month, or every year depending on their spiritual rank and capacity." Those in barzakh can be divided into 4 groups: 1. The true mu'mineen. Perfect in faith and with taqwa in their actions. Any mistakes or sins were cleansed by worldly troubles and/or the pangs of death. They are therefore at peace in Barzakh eagerly awaiting qiyama. 2. The confirmed unbelievers and hypocrites whose reward for good deeds has been recompensed in the world and/or ease at death. They also, if required, are further recompensed by ease in barzakh. However, they do not wish for the day of qiyama. 3. Those who are neither of the above two groups. Children, those afflicted with lunacy and those who were so far away from the message of Islam that they do not know of the word of Allah. They will be in a state of slumber, their fate to be decided by Allah on the day of Qiyama. 4. The final group is those of mu'mineen whose sins were not cleansed by worldly troubles, the pangs of death and the squeeze of the grave. For these, barzakh will be a place of punishment.

MISBAH-AL-HEDAYAH

Ayatullah Sayed Muhammad Ali Musawi Bahbahaani (r.a..).Translator Dr Shabeeb Rizvi TWENTY-NINTH TRADITION The commentary of the word of Allah, the High: اللهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ مَثَلُ نُورِهِ كَمِشْكَاةٍ فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ الْمِصْبَاحُ فِي زُجَاجَةٍ الزُّجَاجَةُ كَأَنَّهَا كَوْكَبٌ دُرِّيٌّ يُوقَدُ مِن شَجَرَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ زَيْتُونِةٍ لاَ شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلاَ غَرْبِيَّةٍ يَكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِيءُ وَلَوْ لَمْ تَمْسَسْهُ نَارٌ نُّورٌ عَلَى نُورٍ يَهْدِي اللهُ لِنُورِهِ مَن يَشَآء وَيَضْرِبُ اللهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ وَاللهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ. “Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth; a likeness of His light is as a niche in which is a lamp, the lamp is in a glass, (and) the glass is as it were a brightly shining star, lit from a blessed olive-tree, neither eastern nor western, the oil whereof almost gives light though fire touch it not — light upon light — Allah guides to His light whom He pleases, and Allah sets forth parables for men, and Allah is Cognizant of all things.”[1] In Ghaayah al-Maraam: Ibn al-Maghaazeli al-Shaafei in his book ‘al-Manaaqeb’ narrates directly from Ali Ibn Ja’far (a.s.) who says, ‘I asked Abul Hasan (a.s.) about the verse, ‘…as a niche in which is a lamp…’. He (a.s.) replied, ‘Niche refers to Fatemah (s.a.) and lamp implies al-Hasan (a.s.) and al-Husain (a.s.). ‘…(and) the glass is as it were a brightly shining star…’ He (a.s.) explained, ‘Fatemah (s.a.) was a brightly shining star amongst the women of the worlds.’ ‘…lit from a blessed olive-tree…’ refers to Ibraheem (a.s.) ‘…neither eastern nor western…’ he (a.s.) was neither a Jew nor a Christian ‘…the oil whereof almost gives light…’ knowledge was almost emanating from him (a.s.) ‘…though fire touch it not – light upon light…’ from it was Imam after Imam ‘…Allah guides to His light whom He pleases…’ Allah guides to our mastership whosoever He pleases.’[2] This was from the Sunni source. As for our sources, it is narrated from Jaaber from our master Imam Abu Ja’far (a.s.) who said, ‘Surely the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) placed the knowledge that was with him (s.a.w.a.) with the successor (a.s.). And this is the saying of Allah – Mighty and Glorified be He – ‘Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth. A likeness of His light …’ says, ‘I am the Guide of the heavens and the earth like the knowledge which I have given to him. He is my light by which he receives guidance. Like the niche in which is the lamp. The niche is the heart of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) and the lamp is the light in which is the knowledge. And His saying, ‘…the lamp is in a glass…’ He says, ‘Verily I intend to capture you (your soul), so place what is with you with your successor just as the lamp is placed in the glass. ‘…as it were a brightly shining star…’ Then inform them of the superiority of the successor. ‘…lit from a blessed olive-tree…’ The root of the blessed tree is (Prophet) Ibraheem (a.s.) and it is the saying of Allah – Mighty and Majestic be He – ‘…The mercy of Allah and His blessings are on you, O people of the house, surely He is Praised, Glorious’[3] and it is the saying of Allah – Mighty and Majestic be He – ‘Surely Allah chose Adam and Nuh and the descendants of Ibrahim and the descendants of Imran above the nations. Offspring one of the other; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing’[4] ‘…neither eastern nor western…’ He says, ‘He was neither a Jew that you pray facing the West nor a Christian that you pray facing the East. You are on the ideology of Ibraheem (a.s.) while Allah – Mighty and Majestic be He – says, ‘Ibraheem was not a Jew nor a Christian but he was (an) upright (man), a Muslim, and he was not one of the polytheists.’[5] And His saying, ‘…the oil whereof almost gives light though fire touch it not — light upon light — Allah guides to His light whom He pleases…’ He says, ‘The likeness of your children those who are begotten by you is the likeness of the oil extracted from olive.’ ‘…the oil whereof almost gives light though fire touch it not — light upon light — Allah guides to His light whom He pleases…’ He says, ‘Soon they will talk like Prophethood even if it has not descended upon them.’[6] In another narration from Eesaa Ibn Raashid again from our master Abu Ja’far (a.s.) concerning the saying of Allah – Mighty and Majestic be He – ‘…as a niche in which is a lamp…’ Niche refers to the light of knowledge in the heart of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.); ‘…the lamp is in a glass…’ Glass implies the heart of Ali (a.s.), the knowledge of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) came to him (a.s.); ‘…(and) the glass is as it were a brightly shining star, lit from a blessed olive-tree,…’ The light of knowledge; ‘…neither eastern nor western,…’ neither Jew nor Christian; ‘…the oil whereof almost gives light though fire touch it not…’ Soon the knower from the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) will speak with knowledge before he is asked; ‘…— light upon light…’ That is, an Imam supported with the light of knowledge and wisdom following an Imam from Prophet Adam (a.s.) till the Hour is established.’[7] In yet another tradition, from Jaaber from our master Imam al-Baqer (a.s.) concerning the saying of Allah – Mighty and Majestic be He - ‘Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth. A likeness of His light …’ refers to Muhammad (s.a.w.a.); ‘…in it is the lamp…’ refers to knowledge; ‘…the lamp is in a glass…’ glass implies Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and the knowledge of the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.a.) is with him.’[8] In another narration, our master Imam Reza (a.s.) says, ‘Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth…’ means He is the guide for the people of the heaven and the people of the earth.[9] In another tradition, Jaaber recounts, “I entered the Mosque of Kufah while Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) was writing with his fingers and smiling. I asked him, ‘O Ameerul Momineen! What is it that makes you smile?’ He (a.s.) replied, ‘I wonder at the one who recites this verse but does not recognise it as it ought to be recognised.’ I asked, ‘Which verse, O Ameerul Momineen?’ He (a.s.) informed, ‘The saying of Allah – the High “Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth; a likeness of His light is as a niche…’ Niche is Muhammad (s.a.w.a.); ‘…in which is a lamp,…’ I am the lamp; ‘…the lamp is in a glass,…’ Glass is al-Hasan and al-Husain; ‘…(and) the glass is as it were a brightly shining star,…’ It is Ali Ibn al-Husain; ‘…lit from a blessed tree,…’ is Muhammad Ibn Ali; ‘…olive…’ is Ja’far Ibn Muhammad; ‘…neither eastern…’ is Moosa Ibn Ja’far; ‘…nor western,…’ is Ali Ibn Moosa al-Raza; ‘…the oil whereof almost gives light…’ is Muhammad Ibn Ali; ‘…though fire touch it not…’ is Ali Ibn Muhammad; ‘…light upon light…’ is al-Hasan Ibn Ali; ‘…Allah guides to His light whom He pleases…’ is al-Qaem al-Mahdi (a.t.f.s.). ‘…and Allah sets forth parables for men, and Allah is Cognizant of all things.’[10] Since you are acquainted with the traditions of this chapter, then know that the explanation of the matter over here and application of the noble verse in accordance with the traditions as per the literal laws depends on a few premises. That is, the implication of light over here is spiritual light which is for knowledge and guidance and not physical light i.e. the light of the sun, the moon, the stars, etc. These premises are as follows: a) The likeness of the niche in which is the lamp and the lamp in which is the glass and the likeness of the glass to a bright shining star and its description that it is lit from a blessed olive tree till the end of the verse, is not found in the light of the sun, the moon, the stars and similar physical lights, as is apparent. b) A hidden thing is likened to a thing that is manifest and not vice-versa. The furtiveness of the likened thing to which it is likened is either from the aspect of the likened thing being an intellectual or spiritual matter and the thing to which it is likened being essentially sensory which can be felt, or from the aspect of the thing to which it is likened being the stronger of the two in case of them both being equal in their being sensory or spiritual. While, the matter over here is exactly the opposite because the light of the sun, the moon and the stars besides being sensory and physical, is also stronger than the light of the lamp in the niche. Thus, it is quite obvious. c) The saying of Allah – the High, ‘…He guides to His light whomsoever He wishes…’ while the guidance towards the sensory lights like the brightness of the sun, the moon and the stars is common for all creatures, regardless of them being guided by Allah or not. The one who is distinguished with divine guidance (in this verse) refers to the guidance towards the light of Allah in His earth and in His sky, His proof upon His servants and His caliph amongst His creatures. d) His saying, “In houses which Allah has permitted to be exalted and that His name may be remembered in them;…” is related to His saying, ‘The likeness of His light…’ i.e. surely this light which ‘…as a niche in which is a lamp…’ exists in the houses bearing the aforementioned descriptions. It is known that the brightness of the sun, the moon and the stars is not related to the houses bearing the above mentioned qualities, regardless of houses implying mosques as has been interpreted by some commentators[11] or the houses of the Prophets (a.s.) as has been established by the traditions of both the sects. It has been narrated by al-Hasan (a.s.), Abi al-Aaleyah and Zahhaak that the meaning of ‘Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth…’ is that Allah is the One Who lights up the heavens and the earth and the implication of the sun, the moon and the stars is wrong.[12] There can be no justification for such an interpretation because the light of the sun, the moon and the stars is not manifest except in the earth and the immediate atmosphere surrounding it has reflective effect upon the earth. Then it is obvious from what we have explained that there is no scope for interpreting “Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth…” in the noble verse except what is in harmony with the traditions that He is the Guide of the heavens and the earth. Explanation: Surely, light is like all the realities of the contingent world and therefore, it cannot be applied as the reality of Allah – the High. Allah is Pure and Transcendent from what the unjust believe – a great transcendent. Therefore, to use it for Allah – the High – is only in the metaphorical sense of the presence of its effect through Allah – the High – and the non-permissibility of its opposite (i.e. darkness or deviation) being available in Him. Just as the presence of the attributes of perfection for Him is in this very meaning and the apparent effect of light is the manifestation of things through it. Hence, the manifestation of things through it can be either sensory or spiritual. But it has already become clear for you that the former application (i.e. sensory and physical) is not in consonance with the subsequent part of the verse. As a result, only the latter aspect i.e. the spiritual aspect can be applied and it is the removal of the darkness of ignorance through the light of knowledge and guidance. When this is proved, it becomes clear that attributing light to the heavens and the earth is not valid except its implication for its inhabitants. For, knowledge and guidance is not related to the heavens and the earth themselves. So, the usage of the term ‘heavens’ is only in the meaning of the non-limitation of the scope of guidance, limiting it to one individual to the exclusion of the other, as the usage of the plural is generally popular in common parlance. Like the saying of Allah – the High “And inquire in the town in which we were and the caravan with which we proceeded…”[13] in which the plural is not used as permissible in the word due to the attachment of the subject, as they think. It is only permissible on account of the context in which it is used, as we have proved in its place. From what we have explained, it has become clear that the interpretation of “Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth…” that He has adorned the sky with the angels and the earth with the Prophets (a.s.) and the scholars – as has been attributed to Obayy Ibn Ka’b[14] – is improper, except that it returns to what we had explained. For, although adornment is from the effect of light, but it is not from the aspect of its manifestation. So, the perfect interpretation is what is in the traditions that is, the guide for the people of the heaven, and guide for the inhabitants of the earth. Since, guidance of Allah – the High – for the people of earth is not without a medium; hence it is necessary for the guide between Allah – the High – and the creatures. As for the saying of the Majestic: “…a likeness of His light…” that is, the guide selected by Allah – the High – is the only guide for them. It is possible that the separation between the sky and the earth is by using the plural noun for the former and the singular noun for the second denotes this very meaning and it is the presence of the medium in guidance between Him – the High – and the people of the earth and its absence with regards to the people of the skies since the guidance of the inhabitants of the earth is through His caliphs while the guidance of the residents of the skies is vide inspiration or whatever is proper for them as per their position. In any case, the term ‘light’ is attributed to Allah – the High – in the phrase ‘the likeness of His light’ is other than the light that was used as the predicate earlier since it is not permissible to attribute the predicate to its subject. Therefore, the reference over here is to the guide attributed to Him – the High – who is appointed as a medium between Him and His creatures and is the cause of their guidance. So, the likeness is cited for him and not for Allah – the High. Moreover, the likeness is only for the similarity of His caliph amongst His creatures i.e. an appropriate subject befitting him and the aim of the similarity is the explanation of the position of His caliph and the non-severance of the rope of Caliphate of what is commensurate with the world of senses so that the creatures can relate to the perception of his position through the application of the comprehended one upon the sensed one. When you have understood this, then it has become clear for you that to interpret ‘the likeness of His light’ as faith in the hearts of the believers and their obedience for Allah – the High – is improper. For, faith and obedience are the consequences of guidance and not its cause, besides the fact that the similarity with a niche in which is the lamp till the end of the verse is not at all in harmony with such an interpretation. It is also necessary that the likened thing is the cause of guidance and the medium for the removal of darkness; thus, the thing which is likened is merely the cause for the guidance and not its consequence. Explanation: The aim of the likened thing is the explanation of the cause of providing light and brightness to the one who seeks light through it because the niche is lit through the lamp regardless of the fact that what is intended by niche, be it the niche of the louver or the lantern or the pole which has a cord in it, as is apparent. The conclusion is that the niche entails lights through which people seeks brightness, not from the aspect of its seeking brightness through the lamp. Hence, there is no scope to liken faith in the heart of a believer or the obedience of Allah in his heart to a niche in which is a lamp because the heart of a believer is illuminated only after faith and guidance and it does not become a cause to seek light from other than it. As for the narration of Obayy Ibn Ka’b who used to recite ‘the likeness of His light’ as the one who has believed in Him[15], then it is not contrary to what we have explained because Allah’s Caliph amongst His creatures is the light of Allah in the sense that he has been appointed from His side, a guide for the creatures and the light of the believers as a medium through whom they receive guidance. Therefore, it is correct to attribute it to Him – the High – and to the believers from both the above aspects. From what we have explained, it has become clear that the interpretation of ‘the likeness of His light’ as the Quran in the heart[16] is also improper and incorrect, apart from its non-compatibility with the saying of Allah – the High - ‘…lit from a blessed olive tree,…’ because only our Prophet (s.a.w.a.), our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and the infallible Imams (a.s.) from his progeny are those lit from the tree of Prophet Ibraheem – the friend of Allah (a.s.), and not the Quran. It is also not in harmony with the saying of Allah – the High – ‘Allah guides to His light to whomsoever He pleases…’ because the usage of the alphabet لام is compatible only when the receipt of guidance towards Him is intended, like the Caliph of Allah – the High – in His servants, where it implies His mastership and receipt of guidance to His recognition in belief. But as for the Quran, it does not have such a position and is merely a cause for the guidance. So, the appropriate term for him is ‘Allah guides through His light to whomsoever He pleases…’. As for its interpretation as proofs that establish His Monotheism and His Justice which in their manifestation are like light – as has been done by those who indulge in whimsical interpretation[17] - then it is the most incorrect and inappropriate of all interpretations since besides its incompatibility with the numerous reasons mentioned by us, it is also not in harmony with the saying of Allah – the High - “In houses which Allah has permitted to be exalted and that His name may be remembered in them;…”. Therefore, nothing remains except what has been interpreted in the traditions of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) that the implication of the phrase ‘the likeness of His light’ is the Caliph of Allah amongst His creatures, who is the light of Allah in His earth. The phrase ‘niche in which is the lamp’ is compatible with the Seal of the Prophets (s.a.w.a.), in whom is the lamp of prophethood. The word ‘glass’ is applicable for the Chief of the Successors, our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) in whom the knowledge of the Seal of the Prophets (s.a.w.a.) was manifest and radiant. His (a.s.) position vis-à-vis the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was like the gate to the city; hence, none enters the city but through its gate. He (a.s..) is the bright star lit from the tree of Prophet Ibraheem – the friend of Allah (a.s.), a tree which is auspicious and blessed. The oil extracted from the blessed olive tree is applicable for his (a.s.) infallible descendants (a.s.), those who are light after light and the earth cannot be devoid of them till the Day of Judgment. As for the application of each phrase of the noble verse for each of the Imams (a.s.) – as has come in the tradition of Jaaber from our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) – then perhaps it is from the esoteric interpretations of the verse. The teacher of our teachers al-Allamah[18] - in his enlightening article[19] has applied the phrases of the verse upon the Imams (a.s.) as has come in the tradition in a very beautiful and subtle way. Whoever desires to study may refer to it. As for the application of the phrase ‘niche in which is the lamp’ for the chief of the womenfolk of the worlds Fatemah Zahra (s.a.) – as has come in the tradition of Ali Ibn Ja’far (a.s.) from Sunni sources[20] and in some of the traditions narrated from our sources[21] - seems doubtful. Perhaps, it can be justified if their has not been any mistake committed by the narrator. In any case, it is manifest from the noble verse that Allah – the High – has not left alone His servants, has not forsaken His earth without a controller and has not delegated the affair of Mastership and Imamate in the hands of the people. Rather, He has appointed in His earth lights, one light followed by another light, pure, infallible, guides, guided (by Allah) without a trace of darkness or uncleanness in them. Verily, the usage of the word ‘His light’ for them (a.s.) and the way He has described them (a.s.) clearly establishes their infallibility and purity. For, had they not been infallible and pure, presence of the darkness of disobedience, the filth of ignorance, forgetfulness and negligence could have been a distinct possibility in them and they would not have been pure in their resplendence. Moreover, Allah – the High – has described them with the completeness of resplendence, a description not applicable on anyone except our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and the infallible Imams (a.s.) from his progeny because none from the Ummah have claimed documentary evidence for the infallibility of the three caliphs or others from the Ummah. All praise if for Allah, Who illuminated our hearts and guided us to His light and guidance would not have been possible for us had Allah not guided us. Blessings of Allah be on Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) and his pure progeny (a.s.). [1] Surah Noor (24): Verses 35. [2] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 315; Manaaqeb of Ibn al-Maghaazeli, p. 317. [3] Surah Hud (11): Verse 73. [4] Surah Aale Imraan (3): Verses 33-34 [5] Surah Aale Imraan (3): Verse 67 [6] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 315 narrating from al-Kaafi, vol. 8, p. 380 [7] Ghaayah al-Maraam, pp. 315-316 narrating from al-Saduq (r.a.). [8] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 316 narrating from al-Saduq (r.a.). [9] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 315 narrating from al-Kaafi, vol. 1, p. 115 [10] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 317. [11] Majma’ al-Bayaan, vol. 7, p. 144 [12] Majma’ al-Bayaan, vol. 7, p. 144 [13] Surah Yusuf (12): Verse 82 [14] Majma’ al-Bayaan, vol. 7, p. 142 [15] Majma’ al-Bayaan, vol. 7, p. 142 [16] Majma’ al-Bayaan, vol. 7, p. 142 [17] Majma’ al-Bayaan, vol. 7, p. 143 [18] Referring to al-Shaikh al-Hadi al-Tehrani (r.a.) [19] It has been printed along with its translation. [20] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 315; Manaaqeb of Ibn Maghaazeli, p. 317 [21] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 316

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Truth of Parachinaar

Press Release of Canadian Shia Muslims Organization email- canadianshiamuslimsorganization@yahoo.com Killings of Shias in Parchinar by Talibans We want to bring it to the attention of your esteemedorganization that Pakistani government is showingcriminal negligence towards its own citizens of Shiasect living in northern territories of the country.The horrendous acts of brutality carried on by Talibanand their likes in Parachinar are of course purelysatanic, but inaction and silence of the authoritiessuggest that the government is accomplice and abettorof Talibans in this incident.The conflict is not only between Talibans and Shias,Talibans are brutally killing moderate Sunnis also.This recent horrific incident in Parachinar hascrossed all the limits where Shia civilians were notonly murdered but were brutally decapitated andmutilated. Not only that Pakistani government completely failedto prevent this incident (and such incidents), theyhave shown complete disinterest post this inhumanemassacre. Social organizations, with their scarceresources and limited access are now stepping-up toalleviate some of the miseries of affected families.The major obstacle that impedes relief efforts is thatthe entire area is under siege by Talibans. We wonderwhat is the motivation of the government that, on theone hand, sends its forces to bombs innocent marriagefunctions in suspicion of terrorist activities, and onthe other hand, shamelessly turns its blind eye to thesatanic dance of Talibans around Parachinar.It was Shias who were massacred in the Parachinarincident, but any keen observer of the incidents ofnorthern areas of Pakistan shall be able to see whatpolitical games are being played at the cost of livesof innocent civilians. It is the same game that isbeing played in Iraq, and to some extent in Lebanonand in rest of the Muslim world. All efforts are beingmade to promote sectarian strife and bring Sunnies andShias in battlegrounds against each other. The chaosthus created will help justify invasion of ‘foreignpeacekeeping forces’.At the time of when Musharraf was in the driving seatand was towing US line without questioning, theconflict was between visibly Taliban and anti-Talibanforces. Extra-judicial killings of Taliban and theirlikes (Lal Masjid), along with indiscriminate bombingof villages in the northern areas was a deplorableroutine. Now that a democratically elected governmenthas taken reins in its hands the conflict hasbroadened. Now we see an added dimension whereby USforces have invaded Pakistani territories and killedPakistani armed forces personnel – perhaps to subduenew political leadership to submission.We condemn deplorable apathy of Pakistani governmenttowards its own citizen. We condemn unholy nexus ofsubdued Pakistani government and aggressor USgovernment which is only working towards creatingsocial chaos and instability in the Muslim world topromote / protect their economic interests. We request you to intervene and admonish Pakistanigovernment action this and such mass killings andprevent another Darfour in the making.