Sunday, May 23, 2010

THE WIVES AND MOTHERS OF THE TWELVE HOLY IMAMS‏

By Freda B. Stauffer Abstract: Little is known among average Muslims about the lives of the wives and mothers of the twelve Holy Imams. However, this research project reveals that there is a world of knowledge available which could enhance our understanding of who they were and where they came from. Introduction: The bloodline of the Prophet’s progeny, peace be upon him and his family, is truly an ocean into which many rivers flowed. Contrary to the popular notion, among some circles, that Shia are a kind of tribal entity, the origins of the twelve Imam’s wives and mothers proves otherwise. Their mixed bloodline proves the universality of their message and mission. There is documentation in certain collections of hadith which declares that the number of the Prophet’s successors is twelve. Shia, however, are the Muslims who are able to provide this list of twelve names. Shia are also able to provide some specific history about their wives and the mothers who gave birth to the Imams (May Allah bless them all). Twelve Imams in general, peace be upon them: It has been narrated that the list of twelve Imams’ names is written , along with the names of their mothers since before the demise of the Holy Prophet. This narration from the fourth Imam, Ali Zaynul Abideen, peace be upon him, makes that point clear: “We have found twelve names in the parchment and the tablet. Their Imāmate, the names of their fathers, and of their mothers have been written in the tablet,” replied the Imām, “and seven testamentary trustees will come out of the loins of my son Mohammed. Al-Mahdi will be one of them.”(1) This narration is profoundly enlightening in the context of any discussion about the wives and mothers of the twelve Imams. They were chosen, just as the Imams names were foretold, so were the names of their wives and mothers. Of course most of the Imams had multiple wives, however, one of each of their wives was included in their covenant. Our Sunni Brethren have narrations among their collections which state the number of caliphs was supposed to be twelve, and all of them were supposed to be from the tribe Quraysh. Narrated Jabir ibn Samurah: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: The religion will continue to be established till there are twelve caliphs over you, and the whole community will agree on each of them. I then heard from the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) some remarks which I could not understand. I asked my father: What is he saying: He said: all of them will belong to Quraysh.(2) Shia, however, are the Muslims who have a record of the twelve Imams from the first to the twelfth, along with some historical details about their wives and mothers. May Allah bless all of them. The first Imam, Ali, peace be upon him: Imam Ali was the first Imam, his relationship with Prophet Mohammed was like the relationship of Prophet Aaron with Prophet Moses. This hadith from one of Ahlul Sunnah’s collections says exactly that: Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) left 'Ali b. Abi Talib behind him (as he proceeded) to the expedition of Tabuk, whereupon he ('Ali) said: Allah's Messenger, are you leaving me behind amongst women and children? Thereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said: Aren't you satisfied with being unto me what Aaron was unto Moses but with this exception that there would be no prophet after me.(3) In other words, Imam Ali was everything to Prophet Mohammed that Prophet Aaron was to Prophet Moses, with the exception that he was not a prophet, while Aaron was. However, he was appointed by Allah to be Prophet Mohammed’s minister, helper, or aider, like Aaron was to Moses. This verse from the Qur‘an tells specifically what Aaron was to Moses, and therefore explains what Ali was to Mohammed: 025.035 YUSUFALI: (Before this,) We sent Moses The Book, and appointed his brother Aaron with him as minister; PICKTHAL: We verily gave Moses the Scripture and placed with him his brother Aaron as henchman. SHAKIR: And certainly We gave Musa the Book and We appointed with him his brother Haroun an aider.(4) There are many other verses and hadith which prove that Imam Ali was the first Islamic Caliph, however, this is not the primary subject of this article. Imam Ali’s Mother was Lady Fatima bint Asad, peace be upon her. She was from a family that practiced everything that Allah had previously revealed to the Prophets who came prior to Prophet Mohammed. Some people would call her a Jewish Christian, which is the nearest contemporary example of her religion prior to her acceptance of Islam. Her acceptance of Islam, however, does not seem to be so much like a conversion as a confirmation and an extension of what she already believed. Imam Ali’s father, “Abū-Talib has said, “Do not you know that we found Muhammad (a.s) a Prophet the same way as Mūsa (a.s) whose references are there in the Earlier Books.” This simply conveys that he and Imam Ali’s mother believed in The Jewish and Christian scriptures and Islam is a continuation of the religious history revealed by Allah. Lady Fatima Bint Asad was a Lady with very high moral values and she believed in the religion of prophet Ibrahim, pronounced Abraham in English. She was not from a family of idolaters and therefore her son, Imam Ali, came from this stock. She was also Prophet Mohammed’s foster mother after he was orphaned, and she was the second Lady to swear allegiance to him when he began preaching Islam to his closest relatives. When she passed away Prophet Mohammed cried and said that she had been the best of mothers.(5) Such is the first Great Lady who mothered both the Prophet of Islam and the first of the Imams. Imam Ali is the first example that the Imamate was dedicated not by birth, but by divine selection. In other words, Imamate was not passed from a father to his first born son, as the patriarchal regimes typically do. It was an arrangement which was established by divine appointment and therefore does not conform to such a system as patriarchy in which birth-order is more important than conduct. His wife, Lady Fatima az-Zahra, daughter of Prophet Mohammed, was his first wife and while she lived he did not marry any other women. After she passed away he married several other women from various tribes at different times and had children by some of them as well. Nevertheless, the covenant was with Lady Fatima az-Zahra, daughter of Prophet Mohammed. The bloodline of Prophet Mohammed passed through her, even though she is a woman, similar to the way the bloodline of Prophet Jesus passed through Lady Mary, who was a descendant of the bloodline of Prophet Isaac. Lady Fatima az-Zahra had two sons and two daughters who lived to maturity, her third son was miscarried.(6) Through her, Imam Ali became the father of two Imams, al-Hasan and al-Hussein, and the grandfather to the other nine Imams as well as grandfather to all of Prophet Mohammed’s progeny. So the two grandfathers of Prophet Mohammed’s progeny are the prophet Himself on the maternal side and Imam Ali on the paternal side. What an amazing and noble establishment of the family of Prophet Mohammed! Lady Fatima az-Zahra represented the women of Islam in so many ways. She was mentioned in so many hadith which are supported by Quranic verses. The most important one for this article being the hadith of purification. 'A'isha reported that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) went out one norning wearing a striped cloak of the black camel's hair that there came Hasan b. 'Ali. He wrapped hitn under it, then came Husain and he wrapped him under it along with the other one (Hasan). Then came Fatima and he took her under it, then came 'Ali and he also took him under it and then said: Allah only desires to take away any uncleanliness from you, O people of the household, and purify you (thorough purifying)(7) This hadith is one of many which shows her status in Islam as above the status of other believing women. It shows that she was spiritually purified at the same level as the male members of her family, her father, her sons, and her Husband, Imam Ali. It may be noticed that she was invited under the cloak even before her husband, Imam Ali. The latent symbolism of this event is that she was equal in purification to the men in the Holy Family. It also shows that none of Prophet Mohammed’s wives, or any other women, were included in this special purification. The following Quranic verse was revealed when this event occurred: 033.033 YUSUFALI: And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance; and establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity; and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless. PICKTHAL: And stay in your houses. Bedizen not yourselves with the bedizenment of the Time of Ignorance. Be regular in prayer, and pay the poor-due, and obey Allah and His messenger. Allah's wish is but to remove uncleanness far from you, O Folk of the Household, and cleanse you with a thorough cleansing. SHAKIR: And stay in your houses and do not display your finery like the displaying of the ignorance of yore; and keep up prayer, and pay the poor-rate, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying.(8) This verse is the supporting evidence that the event of the cloak was significant and meaningful to Islam in general, not just to the family of Prophet Mohammed. Since the remaining divinely appointed Imams and their divinely selected mothers were not born yet at the time of this event, the total number of Imams must be noticed somehow. No portion of the Quran is coincidental, and this verse’s reference number is no coincidence. It is 3 3: 3 3, which adds up to the number twelve. There are ever so many other events and narrations and Quranic verses which support the merits of the family of Prophet Mohammed. Nevertheless, that is another subject for another article. Lady Fatima az-Zahra and Lady Mary, Mother of Prophet Jesus, are the best examples in Islam which show the importance of the matrilineal contribution to Holy bloodlines. The second Imam, al-Hasan, peace be upon him: Based on the above discussion of matrilineal bloodlines, the following hadith from Ahlul Sunnah, helps to support the above evidence as well. It states that al-Mahdi will be a descendant of Imam Hasan. In fact, it was one of his daughters who married Imam al-Hussein’s son, and the fourth Imam, Ali Zainul Abideen, through whom the bloodline of the Imams converges so that the remaining Imams are actually descendants of both Imams, al-Hasan and al-Hussein. Narrated Ali ibn AbuTalib: AbuIshaq told that Ali looked at his son al-Hasan and said: This son of mine is a sayyid (chief) as named by the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him), and from his loins will come forth a man who will be called by the name of your Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and resemble him in conduct but not in appearance. He then mentioned the story about his filling the earth with justice.(9) This hadith says something very subtle at first, yet it glares out to a reader who is aware. It says that al-Mahdi will have the same name as Prophet Mohammed, and will be like him in conduct “but not in appearance.” This is an allusion to the fact that al-Mahdi, may Allah hasten his reappearance, will have a racially mixed background. However, al-Mahdi would resemble the Prophet in conduct! The Quranic verse which supports this narration is provided: 049.013 YUSUFALI: O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). PICKTHAL: O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware. SHAKIR: O you men! surely We have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other; surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty); surely Allah is Knowing, Aware.(10) Praise be to Allah, how enlightening this verse is! It was revealed for the pagan Arabs who were extremely prejudiced against non-Arabs. Nonetheless, it is still applicable to life as we know it today because many people are still very prejudiced against other nations and especially towards women coming to Islam through other religions. The bloodline of Prophet Mohammed is particularly enlightening to the subject of women from other religious backgrounds who accept Islam and marry Muslim men from various national backgrounds. Prophet Mohammed’s bloodline is racially mixed because the criteria for selecting the wives and mothers of the Imams was conduct, not national origin. While some of them did marry their cousins, Imam Ali and Lady Fatima were cousins, and Imam Ali Zaynul Abideen married his cousin, Lady Fatima daughter of al-Hasan, most of their wives and mothers, however, were not their cousins. The Imams’ cousins were divinely appointed to be their wives and mothers when they were the best in conduct, and the most suitable women available at the time, to be their wives and the mothers of the succeeding Imams. It should be mentioned that most of the Imams had multiple wives, but the covenant for reproducing the Holy Imams was always with a specific wife. Most of us already know that Imam al-Hasan’s mother was Lady Fatima, daughter of Prophet Mohammed. Her merits have been discussed previously and anyone who wishes to learn more about her may easily obtain material for more information about her history. Imam al-Hasan had approximately thirteen wives, but not all at the same time. His daughter, Lady Fatima daughter of al-Hasan also known as Umm Abd Allah became the wife of the fourth Imam, Ali Zaynul Abideen and mother of the fifth Imam, Mohammed al-Baqir. (11) The third Imam, al-Hussein, peace be upon him: Imam al-Hussein is also an example which negates the idea that the Imamate was decided on a birth-order basis which is passed from father to first-born. If that were the case, then Imamate would have fallen on Imam al-Hasan’s first-born son, for he had at least eight sons. Imamate, however, was decided by divine appointment. Imam al-Hussein was the second son of Lady Fatima, daughter of Prophet Mohammed. Some of her merits are previously discussed, in brief. His wife was Lady Shāhzanān, daughter of Yazdaghird, a Persian king from a long lineage of kings. Like most people in that time, Lady Shāhzanān had several titles, so not everyone knows her by the same name. She and her sisters had been captured in a war by one of the sons of the second false caliph, Umar. Apparently they were enslaved for several years, until they were rescued by the Imams. Lady Shāhzanān was allowed to choose which of the Muslim men she would like to marry and she chose Imam Hussein, because she believed in Islam and wanted to marry the highest ranking Islamic leader of her time. Even though Imam Ali was still alive and he was the one who rescued her from prison, he was already old and even Imam Hasan’s reign had not yet begun at this time, she chose Imam Hussein. This is because the choice had already been made by Allah, she wanted the one with whom her Holy covenant had already been established. Imam Hussein taught her the Islamic values so well that she no longer missed the high life she had led as a princess. She then gave birth to the fourth Imam, Ali Zaynul Abideen and she died while he was still a baby.(12) The fourth Imam, Ali Zainul Abideen, peace be upon him: As mentioned above, his mother, Lady Shāhzanān was a high-born Persian princess she was the seal of the Holy relationship between the Persians and the Arabs. Her child, Imam Ali Zaynul Abideen made the Arab - Persian relations strong. The fourth Imam was also able to lobby against prejudice towards children whose mothers were either non-Arab or freed slave women.(13) As a result of this divinely selected bloodline, all of the Imams who came after her, have a Persian grandmother. As stated before, the matrilineal contribution to Holy bloodlines is very important, evident by the examples of Lady Mary, mother of Prophet Jesus and Lady Fatima, daughter of Prophet Mohammed. Imam Ali Zaynul Abideen’s wife, Lady Fatima daughter of al-Hasan also known as Umm Abd Allah. Her merits are rather obvious. Since her father was an Imam and she was a daughter of Holy lineage, one would expect her to have the highest level of conduct. She had several sisters, for Imam al-Hasan had seven daughters, but the covenant was with her. This Holy daughter of the second Imam, al-Hasan became the mother of the fifth Imam, Mohammad al-Baqir. Therefore, through her, both Imam al-Hasan and Imam al-Hussein are the grandfathers of all the Imams who came after her.(14) The Fifth Imam, Mohammed al-Baqir, peace be upon him: His mother, Lady Fatima Bint al-Hasan also known as Umm Abd Allah was like many of the Arabs, men and women, she had a common name given at birth and after that she received another name which was like a title of respect. Furthermore, her father, Imam al-Hasan called her al-Siddiqa, which means ‘the truthful Lady.’ Such was the lap which trained the fifth Imam while he was a child; she was known as a truthful Lady by those who knew her.(15) Some historically significant Arabs, men and women, have quite a long list of titles. Therefore, some confusion is inevitable for modern researchers who are unaware of this practice. The mother of Imam al-Baqir is an example of this case, as are many of the other divinely covenanted wives and mothers. His wife, Umm Farwa, daughter of al-Qasim b. Mohammed b. Bakr was the first Sunni caliph, Abu Bakr’s great, great granddaughter. He had at least three other wives, but the covenant was with Umm Farwa’s first son.(16) The fact that the covenant for Imamate was on her son, Imam Ja’far. This placed him in a unique diplomatic position to create a stronger bond between Sunni scholars of that time, and the Ahlul Bayt. He was allowed enough freedom, by the King in his era, to establish a physical school in which he taught people about Islamic philosophy. This was a privilege that had not previously or afterwards been enjoyed by any Infallible Imam, since they were kept quite busy trying to negotiate with the tyrannical Kings of their times.(17) Most of these tyrants simply wanted to kill off Prophet Mohammed‘s bloodline mainly because Islam taught that the Kings’ lifestyles and political methods were incorrect. The Sixth Imam, Jaf’ar al-Sadiq, peace be upon him: His mother, Umm Farwa, a descendant of Abu Bakr, was surely worthy of her position as the mother of Imam al-Sadiq, because the covenant was with her. He did not deviate the tradition of marrying multiple women. The Lady with whom the covenant was fulfilled was Lady Hamida Khatun, who had been enslaved. Imam al-Sadiq married her so she could be a free woman. She became the mother of the seventh Imam, Musa al-Kadhim. Many of the Shia at the time believed that the Imamate would be transferred to Imam Al-Sadiq’s oldest son, Ismail, who’s mother was a granddaughter of the fourth Imam, however, he died while his father was still alive. Therefore most of those Shia who had expected Ismail to be their new leader after Imam al-Sadiq knew that it would be one of his brothers instead. Although there was another older brother as well, the Imamate passed over them both.(18) The seventh Imam, Musa Kadhim, peace be upon him: Imam al-Kadhim is another example of the fact that the covenant for Imamate did not travel along the bloodline from father to oldest son. He was not the first son of the sixth Imam, Ja‘far al-Sadiq, he had two older brothers who were not appointed. In fact, the covenant for Imamate is often easier to trace by which of their wives was the divinely selected mother of the Imam, than by the order in which he was born into the family. Imam Al-Kadhim’s mother’s origin is not completely clear, some historians believe she was a North African Berber, others believe she was Roman, however, it is clear that most historians agree she was a princess from a non-Arab family who had somehow fallen into the unfortunate position of slavery. When Imam al-Sadiq met her, his father had just purchased her from a slave market. She was very ashamed about her condition, when the Imam asked her what her name was, she said “Hamida.” He elevated her spirits by telling her “you are praiseworthy in this world and praised in the hereafter.” Imam al-Sadiq loved her so much, he respected her more than any of his other wives. He said about her: "Hamida is as purified from defilement as a gold ingot; the angels guarded her until she gave to me, and the Imam after me, a dignity from Allah." Imam al-Kadhim then became a lobbyist to encourage his followers to free and marry slave girls. Imam Musa motivated and urged his companions to marry female slaves, saying: "Marry female slaves, for they have cleverness and intellects many women do not have." This was a revolutionary process in the experience of the Arabs. Some Kings even had the audacity to criticize the Imams and their followers for condoning this practice.(19) Imam al-Kadhim’s mother Hamida had been a freed slave, and he perpetuated the practice of marrying freed slave women, in fact all of his wives were freed slaves. The Lady who gave birth to Imam al-Ridha, had several titles and no one is really sure which name was used the most, and it is not really important. The important thing is that her owners knew that she was destined to marry a special person and that she was to give birth to someone important. Her master reported: “It is fitting that this slave-girl should be with the best person on earth, for she will soon give birth to a son such as has not been born in the east or the west.” She loved Allah so much that when she gave birth to the eighth Imam, Ali al-Ridha, she asked for a wet nurse to help her with his feeding. She wanted to free more of her time to worship Allah. (20) She is reported by some historians to have been of Nubian origin, which is known as Ethiopia today.(21) She was one of the special Ladies who were chosen to prove that the Holy bloodline, as well as the general Muslim population ought to be decided by the piety, conduct, manners and ethics of an individual, rather than an economically, racially or nationally divided situation. The eighth Imam, Ali al-Ridha, peace be upon him: His divinely selected mother, then, was most likely Nubian. His wife with whom the covenant was written, was a slave wife from Nubia, the country we know as Ethiopia today. She was the blessed Lady who bore the ninth Imam, Mohammed Jawad al-Taqi. The fact that they had so many titles makes it difficult to narrow down the most popular names they answered to during their lives. Their names, however, are not as important as the fact that they were divinely appointed Ladies who blessed the family of Prophet Mohammed with matrilineal connections with Nubia. According to the histories of the women which are mentioned above, one of their special blessings was that the Holy Imams they bore became a source of strength between the Nubian and the Arab nations. The ninth Imam, Mohammed Jawad al-Taqi, peace be upon him: His respected mother was Nubian, and his own wife was a freed-slave wife. The history which is available about her in English is quite limited. She was delighted to be the mother of the tenth Imam and here is the brief amount of information which is readily available about her: “Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) bought this bondmaid and he himself educated her. She lived in the house of imamate with the Alawid women, the daughters of the messenger of Allah (a.s.), who were the example of honor, chastity, and purity. She was affected by their conducts and devoted herself to worship Allah. She spent her nights worshipping and reciting the Book of Allah.”(22) The tenth Imam, Imam Ali Hadi al-Naqi, peace be upon him: Therefore, his mother was a slave girl who was freed. Sadly, there is not a large amount of information available about her in English. The little that is available says that her most popular name was Saleel and that she was purified. “She was a bondmaid from an-Nawbah. It did not harm her that she was a bondmaid, for man in the view of Islam is exalted by his guidance, piety, and propriety, and he is degraded by deviation from the right path.”(23) So we know she was from an-Nawbah, which is now known as Yemen, and that she was one of the best Ladies, like all of their mothers. Perhaps there is more of her history stored on some dusty library shelf in Qum, Iran or Najaf, Iraq. Maybe it got lost in the shuffle of time and wars and attacks on the Holy family of Prophet Mohammed. Perhaps it was burned with some other precious Islamic history books which were burned by the enemies of Allah. It is hard to tell exactly why there is so little information available about some of the wives and mothers of the Holy Imams while so much is available about others. The eleventh Imam, Hasan al-Askari, peace be upon him: As stated above, Imam Hasan al-Askari’s mother, Lady Saleel, was from Yemen. She had been a slave and was freed by marrying his father, Imam Ali Hadi al-Naqi. His wife, Lady Narjis, was a Roman Princess, a descendent of Simon Peter, one of Jesus’ divinely appointed twelve apostles. Her lineage is traced back to Simon Peter by matrilineal connections, through her mother, and is traced back to Caesar, King of Rome through her father. She also had several titles, so she was not always called the same name in the history books.(24) She was the grand daughter of the Byzantine King of her time.(25) Byzantium we know, was an empire in what we now call Turkey. The history of Lady Narjis is one of the most profoundly moving histories for a person arriving at faith in Islam from a Christian background. Her father tried to marry her to her cousin, but due to divine intervention, the marriage did not become a reality. One night after this she saw a dream. She says, “In my dream I saw Janabe Isa (A.S.) appeared with his disciples and suddenly Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) appeared and light was emitting from his face and turning towards Janabe Isa (A.S.) sought my hand for his son Imam Hasan Askari (A.S.) and Janabe Isa (A.S.) in turn asked Shamoon,. who accepted it with great respect". She concealed her dream and did not relate it to even her father. After four days she again had the vision of Janabe Fatema Zahra (S.A..) and Janabe Maryam (A.S.)before whom she expresses her desire to have a glance of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.). Janabe Fatema (S.A.) explains to her that he could not come to her unless she becomes a real Muslim. She promptly embraces Islam and got the opportunity to see her husband. Praise be to Allah! This great Lady accepted Islam after she saw Prophet Jesus, his apostles and Prophet Mohammed in one dream and then she saw Lady Mary, mother of Jesus, and Lady Fatima, daughter of Prophet Mohammed in another dream! If this is not enough of a miracle to shake one’s soul, then what is? When she saw Imam al-Askari in a subsequent dream, he told her what to do to get to him. He told her that her grandfather was planning an attack against the Muslims and for her to disguise herself as one of her slave girls. She did this and was captured with the other slave girls and taken down the Euphrates to Iraq, where Imam al-Askari’s father purchased her from her handlers. She was married to Imam Al-Askari soon afterwards.(26) Not long after their marriage, she gave birth to the twelfth Imam, al-Mahdi. For a person coming to Islam from a Christian background her background is an earth-moving revelation. She is a kind of seal between the twelve divinely ordained apostles of Prophet Jesus and the twelve divinely appointed Imams of the Prophet Mohammed’s progeny. The covenant of God’s promises to humanity is completed through her. The twelfth Imam, al-Mahdi, May Allah hasten his return: Imam al-Mahdi was born in a time when the tyrants of the time were extremely oppressive towards the Ahlul Bayt. They went so far as to imprison his father throughout most of his reign in order to try to prevent him from producing a male offspring, because they knew he would be the succeeding Imam. However, no amount of oppression and tyranny can prevent God from accomplishing something He promised to accomplish. After he was born, his birth had to be kept a secret in order to protect him from the enemies of Islam, who were still on the warpath against the bloodline of the Holy family of Islam. He was five years old when he became Imam, because his father was poisoned at that time. When the tyrants and their friends and supporters found out about his existance, they did what was natural to them, they came after the child Imam and tried to kill him. Allah, however hid him from His enemies and kept him safe for some time. He returned once and was visible to humans for some time. Now we are waiting for the time when Allah will return him to us to restore justice after only oppression and tyranny is being experienced by the believers.(27) The fact that he was a hunted child is not a new phenomenon to religious history; Prophet Moses was hunted by the Pharaoh, but he was protected by Allah in a most peculiar way. The fact that he became a religious leader at the age of five is not unusual to religious history either, because Prophet Jesus left his mother to debate with Jewish scholars when he was still a child. The hadith below provides a nice finishing touch to this article: Narrated Umm Salamah, Ummul Mu'minin: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: The Mahdi will be of my family, of the descendants of Fatimah…(28) Conclusions: While this information may seem insignificant to some people, it is very useful knowledge to increase the faith of converts and intrigue potential converts. This history should not be forgotten, moreover, it should be repeated and preached from every mimbar in every country in order to keep the history alive. If we forget their history, how will we avoid falling into the bad habit of segregation based on skin-tone, nationality and economic status, which was practiced by the pagan Arabs and other non-Muslims? This history is so potent that it should play a very prominent role in Islamic propagation programs around the world. The Holy Imams spent their entire lives showing their followers how to act out the Quran with respect to racial segregation and nationalism versus the merits of faith, character and conduct. May Allah bless them all. All good in this article is from Allah, and please forgive me, kind reader, if I have made any mistakes. I seek only to learn more about Islam and share what I have learned. References: 1 The life of Imām Zayn al ‘Abidin (A.S.) by Bāqir Sharif al-Qarashi. pages 704-05. http://www.maaref-foundation.com/english/library/pro_ahl/imam04_sajjad/zayn_al_abidin/26.htm 2 Sunan Abudawud, Kitab al-Mahdi Book 36, Number 4266: http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/hadith/abudawud/036.sat.html 3 Sahih Muslim, The Book Pertaining to the Merits of the Companions, Book 031, Number 5914: http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/hadith/muslim/031.smt.html 4 Holy Quran 5 Biography of Imam Ali, page 87, 111-12 http://www.maaref-foundation.com/english/library/pro_ahl/imam0 1_ali/biography_of_imam_ali/003.htm 6 Biography of Imam Ali, page 173 http://www.maaref-foundation.com/english/library/pro_ahl/imam0 1_ali/biography_of_imam_ali/003.htm 7 Sahih Muslim, Chapter 9: THEE MERITS OF THE FAMILY OF THE PROPHET (MAY PEACE BE UPON HIM) Book 031, Number 5955: http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/hadith/muslim/031.smt.html 8 Holy Quran 9 Sunan Abudawud, Kitab al-Mahdi Book 36, Number 4276A: http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/hadith/abudawud/036.sat.html 10 Holy Quran 11 THE LIFE OF IMAM AL-HASAN AL-MUJTABA. Chapter XXV His Wives and Children. pages 705-09. By Baqir Shareef al-Qurashi. http://www.maaref-foundation.com/english/library/pro_ahl/imam02_hasan/the_life_of_imam_hasan/28.htm 12 The life of Imām Zayn al ‘Abidin (A.S.) by Bāqir Sharif al-Qarashi. pages 2-4. http://www.maaref-foundation.com/english/library/pro_ahl/imam04_sajjad/zayn_al_abidin/26.htm 13 The life of Imām Zayn al ‘Abidin (A.S.) by Bāqir Sharif al-Qarashi. Pages 6-11 . http://www.maaref-foundation.com/english/library/pro_ahl/imam04_sajjad/zayn_al_abidin/26.htm 14 Kitab al-Irshad, chapter Imam Hasan, pages 289-90 and the chapter on Imam Ali Zainul Abideen, pages 391-92. By Shaykh al-Mufid. Published by Tahrike Tarsile Quran, Inc. Distribution of Holy Quran, P.O. Box 1115, Elmhurst New York 11373. 1st Edition, 1981. Copyright, Mohammedi Trust. 15. The Life of Imam Muhammad ibn 'Ali al-Baqir, by Shaykh Ba`qir Sharï~~f al-Qarashi, Chapter 1, http://www.maaref-foundation.com/english/library/pro_ahl/imam05_baqir/imam_baqir/index.htm 16 Kitab al-Irshad, chapter Imam Mohammed B. Ali al-Baqir, pages 406-07 and the chapter on Imam Ali Zainul Abideen, pages 391-92. By Shaykh al-Mufid. Published by Tahrike Tarsile Quran, Inc. Distribution of Holy Quran, P.O. Box 1115, Elmhurst New York 11373. 1st Edition, 1981. Copyright, Mohammedi Trust. 17 IMAM AL-SADIQ, chapter: How did al-Sadiq become a school? Pages 152-54. By By: Shaykh Mohammed al-Husayn al-Muzaffar. http://www.maaref-foundation.com/english/library/pro_ahl/imam06_sadiq/imam_sadiq/index.htm 18 Kitab al-Irshad, . chapter, Mohammed Jaf’ar B. al-Sadiq, page 431-33. By Shaykh al-Mufid. Published by Tahrike Tarsile Quran, Inc. Distribution of Holy Quran, P.O. Box 1115, Elmhurst New York 11373. 1st Edition, 1981. Copyright, Mohammedi Trust. 19 THE LIFE OF IMAM MUSA BIN JA'FAR AL-KAZIM, chapter 1, His Birth and Childhood. By: Baqir Sharif al-Qarashi. Pages 53-55. http://www.maaref-foundation.com/english/library/pro_ahl/imam07_kadim/the_life_of_imam_musa_bin_jafar/index.htm 20 The life of Imām 'Ali Bin Mūsā al-Ridā , chapter His Birth and Upbringing, pages 60-62 by: Bāqir Sharif al-Qarashi. http://www.maaref-foundation.com/english/library/pro_ahl/imam08_rida/ali_bin_musa_al_rida/index.htm 21 Kerbala and Beyond, pages 193-94. By Yasin T. al-Jibouri. Ansariyan Publications NO. 22 Shohada Street, POB: 37185/187 Qum, Islamic Republic of Iran 22 The Life of Imam ALI bin Muhammad AL-HADI, pages 20-21. By: Baqir Shareef al-Qurashi. http://www.maaref-foundation.com/english/library/pro_ahl/imam10_hadi/the_life_of_imam_hadi/index.htm 23 THE LIFE OF IMAM AL-HASAN AL-ASKARI Study And Analysis. page 16. By: Baqir Shareef al-Qurashi. http://www.maaref-foundation.com/english/library/pro_ahl/imam11_askari/the_life_of_imam_askari/index.htm 24 THE LIFE OF IMAM AL-MAHDI Peace Be Upon Him, chapter, Manifestation of Light. Page 31. By: Allama Baqir Sharif al-Qarashi. http://www.maaref-foundation.com/english/library/pro_ahl/imam12_mahdi/the_life_of_imam_mahdi/index.htm 25 Kerbala and Beyond. page 300. By Yasin T. al-Jibouri. Ansariyan Publications NO. 22 Shohada Street, POB: 37185/187 Qum, Islamic Republic of Iran 26 Janab-e-Nargis Khatoon (A.S.), the Mother of Imam Mahdi (A.S.). http://www.imamreza.net/eng/imamreza.php?id=6519 . Date retrieved: April 25, 2010. 27 Kerbala and Beyond. page 308-11. By Yasin T. al-Jibouri. Ansariyan Publications NO. 22 Shohada Street, POB: 37185/187 Qum, Islamic Republic of Iran. 28 Sunan Abudawud, Kitab al-Mahdi, Book 36, Number 4271: http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/hadith/abudawud/036.sat.html

Quran and Islamic Ethics

Abstract: Quran divides Peoples into different categories, like two of them Mentioned in the Verse, “OUR LORD, GIVE US GOOD IN THIS WORLD, AND GOOD IN THE HEREAFTER, AND SAFEGUARD US FROM THE PUNISHMENT OF THE FIRE.’ They will have a good share from what they have earned. Allah is swift at reckoning. ( Surat al-Baqara, 200-202). The two categories which have been mentioned in the verse 200 to 202 of Sura ul Baqra, are two groups of people who have two different views about the “world”. One group will attain just the world talents and other ones will attain both, world and hereafter talents. The one who has no share in next world is the people of this world and they are inferior to the people of the next world because People of Hereafter have share in this world as well as next world also. It is also mentioned in verse 145 of Surat ul Aali Imaran that if you desire reward in this world Allah will reward you in this world or else you can received you rewards Hereafter from Allah. وَمَا كَانَ لِنَفْسٍ أَنْ تَمُوتَ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِ الله كِتَابًا مُّؤَجَّلاً وَمَن يُرِدْ ثَوَابَ الدُّنْيَا نُؤْتِهِ مِنْهَا وَمَن يُرِدْ ثَوَابَ الآخِرَةِ نُؤْتِهِ مِنْهَا وَسَنَجْزِي الشَّاكِرِينَ {145} [3:145] And a soul will not die but with the permission of Allah the term is fixed; and whoever desires the reward of this world, I shall give him of it, and whoever desires the reward of the hereafter I shall give him of it, and I will reward the grateful. Introduction: "Our lord! Give us good in this world, and good in the hereafter, and safeguard us from the punishment of the fire." ( Surat al-Baqara, 200-202) Every human beings motto in life should be [2:3] Believe in the unseen, and keep up prayer, and spend out of what We have given them. Two very often used terms in the Quran are Unseen (Ghayb) and Visible or Seen (Shahud). Strong belief in both of these phenomenons should be the basis of life. Our faith is absolutely based on the Unseen, that is, what is not visible through the ‘physical eye’. Through the establishment of the Recommended Prayers, we have to develop a belief in the Unseen, because it is only visible through the ‘eye of the heart’ (Baseerah). We have to accept that whatever material benefits we have are not our possessions absolutely, but a trust from the Absolute Master, and thus have to be shared with other creations. This develops selflessness and humbleness. One, who accepts that though we have not seen Allah (SWT) through ‘physical eyes’, but have accepted His Presence because of the abundant signs (Ayats) visible around us, will have no difficulty in believing in the Prophet-hood, Messenger-ship and Imamate. He will accept the presence of the angels, who bring Scriptures for guidance. And he will acknowledge that all this exercise of revelation and guidance cannot be futile, but has a set purpose behind it, which is to guide man towards the eternal life of hereafter. [16:30] To the righteous (when) it is said, "What is it that your Lord has revealed?" they say, "All that is good." To those who do good, there is good in this world, and the Home of the Hereafter is even better, and excellent indeed is the Home of the righteous! They strongly believe that this life is for tests and trials, and a true believer will have to face such in life. [29:59] Those, who persevere in patience, and put their trust, in their Lord and Cherisher! Such people have faith that this life is linked to the hereafter; what one sows here will be reaped in afterlife. They believe that all the Divine Beneficence is for the True Believers, therefore they pray [2:201] Our Lord! Grant us good in this world and good in the hereafter, and save us from the chastisement of the fire. But the ones with limited vision, who consider this life the ultimate all, strive only for the benefits of this existence. Their call is, [2:200] Our Lord! Give us in the world, and they shall have no resting place. They spend entire life working for material gains. They either have no time to bow down to their Lord and Master, or if they do, it is just a set of meaningless actions. They do not share their blessings with others, because their uncertainty makes them fear poverty. This weak faith is result of lack of far-sightedness. When man believes in the seen world (Shuhud) only, he confines his belief and thought process, because this world has limitations. It is time and space bound. About such people Quran says, [16:33] Allah was not unjust to them, but they were unjust to themselves. Man must never forget, [29:22] And you shall not escape in the earth nor in the heaven, and you have neither a protector nor a helper besides Allah. And also, [29:6] And whoever strives hard, he strives only for his own soul; most surely Allah is Self-sufficient, above (need of) the worlds. [2:130] And who forsakes the faith of Ibrahim, but he, who makes himself a fool, and most certainly, We chose him in this world, and in the hereafter, he is most surely among the righteous. Prophet Abraham (AS) is the Father of all Divine Faiths being practiced in the world today. Even though Judaism and Christianity are not in their original form now, but according to Islamic Belief they are considered People of the Book! Thus Abraham (AS) has been presented as role model for entire humanity, and he is a Muslim (Submissive) without doubt! Since Prophet Adam (AS), belief in Unity (Tawhid), Messenger-ship and Prophet-hood (Risalat and Nabuwat) and hereafter (Akhirah) have been the fundamentals of faith. If one is certain of One Allah (SWT) with His entire attributes, then he will believe that all messages originate from Him, whichever Prophet (AS) might spread them on the earth, and one will be sure that this entire chain of messages and moral training has some purpose, and that is its application in life, and one day man will reap the fruit of these practices in the afterlife. Divine Message is not an ideology; it is the Code of Life, the system which the Creator has created for His creation. The only safeguard against transgression is absolute certainty about this concept. One has to believe that Rab (Lord, Sustainer, Giver, Nurturer, Provider, Absolute Source) is One and Only Lord, and He is Adil (Just), He will sustain and bring up entire creation without any discrimination. Man only has to strive and work honestly, according to Divine Guidelines, and he will receive his share from the Divine Bounties. The problem arises when one starts believing that whatever one is receiving is one’s own, and only because of one’s efforts! It makes him forget that blessings are coming from Lord and Master, and are a form of test. That is why Islam has made Zakat (Poor dues) and Khums (One fifth of savings) compulsory, because they develop habit of sharing and discourages possessiveness and materialism. Besides this, optional donations and helping needy and indigent is highly praised, and is considered a guarantee against any misfortune. In other words man has to consider every blessing a gift from Allah (SWT), and be sure that the treasures which provided him with this, are abounding with much more, and will give him more, if he shares it with others. Lack of this surety makes one hoard. He even cheats when it comes to paying obligatory poor due. He spends entire life fearing poverty. It is a cycle. Allah (SWT) has made a system to keep riches in circulation. Through payment of mandatory dues money keeps circulating amongst different people. The entire society benefits from it. It helps eradicate class distinction. But disbelievers of the system, those who lack faith in Divinity, consider this world the end all. They live for present life only. Therefore, they spend entire time struggling to increase their bank balance. For them success is measured in material gains, because according to them true success is what is apparent in present existence. Materialism becomes their lord and master! So Allah (SWT) too provides them well in this world, in return for the few good deeds that they have performed in life! [11:15] whoever desires this world's life and its finery, We will pay them in full their deeds therein, and they shall not be made to suffer loss in respect of them. This is a reminder that what one receives in this world is coming from Allah (SWT); We will pay them in full! Strength of belief in this fact will help one strive for hereafter. It will bring balance in life. Imam Ali (AS) said, “Zuhd (Sanctimony) is not that you are not master of anything, true Zuhd (Sanctimony) is that nothing should be your master!” Present Life We see that the Qur’an asserts that the present life is but a minute part of the totality of existence. For God is able to transform His creations from one state of being to another (see Qur’an 41:39, 36:77–79). The belief in the life hereafter is grounded in the Quranic teaching that the world is a moral order, wherein every action of man, however insignificant, is accountable and must meet its reward or punishment (50:16–18, 36:12, 17:13–14, 13:9–11, 82:9–12). [I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me.] (Adh-Dhariyat 56:51) This verse summarizes to us the pure truth about creation. In this short transient life we are in a continuous state of worshipping God. All acts must be done with the intention of raising the word of God, giving power to His religion, and granting true happiness to His servants in both this life and the life to come. The following excerpt from Resurrection, Judgment, and the Hereafter by Sayyid Mujtaba Musavi Lari provides a fairly detailed explanation of the harms that are available to humanity in this life. It also shows some ways we can benefit in this life. The benefits are mainly a healthy balance between hope in Allah's mercy and forgiveness and Fear of His wrath and punishment. The harmful aspects of this life, according to this chapter, is relying solely on Allah's merciful attributes and therefore committing all kinds of terrible acts simply because one is too arrogant to fear Allah's punishment. The exemplars of religion have always emphasized the fear of God goes back in fact to men's fear of their own deeds. Not only is this fear not harmful; it is extremely beneficial in that it keeps man's deeds in balance and under control. Fear of the unpleasant consequences of sin induces caution in man and helps him to rein in his rebellious instincts; it makes him a disciplined and orderly being. If man were only to place his hope in the infinite mercy of God, with an unbridled optimism not balanced with fear, the result would be the transgression of all limits. The one whose heart is filled only with the hope of God's mercy will feel absolutely free to engage in any foolish and corrupt act he wishes; he will still hope for God's mercy and regard himself as worthy of God's forgiveness despite all the abominations he has committed. Such a person will never think of obeying God nor will he aspire to purity; his entire conduct will be suffused with corruption, but he will entertain hopes of a bright future. Since, then, the absence of fear of God leads to corruption and sinful behavior, religion prescribes that man should alternate between hope and fear: while hoping for God's infinite mercy and generosity, man should reflect carefully and soberly on the consequences of his deeds, fearing their possible outcome... ...The Commander of the Faithful, upon whom be peace, said: "Do not consider even the purest member of this community as safe from divine punishment, for the Qur'an tells us, `It is only those who stand to lose that feel safe against God's punishment.' Likewise, do not cause the most evil of men to despair of God's mercy and favor, for God says, `Only the unbelieving people despair of God's mercy ...'" (Kalimat-i Qisar, no. 227 Once Imam Musa b. Ja'far, upon whom be peace, said to Hisham b. Hakam: "No one possesses true faith unless he both fears and hopes. The fear and hope of such a one is grounded in knowledge and awareness." (Mustadrak al-Wasa'il, Vol. II, p. 290)2. World in view of Infallibles: The Holy Prophet [s] said that the disciples of Jesus [a] asked him with whom they should make friends, and he [a] replied: "With one whose presence reminds you of God, his speech increases your knowledge and his deed inspires you (to work righteously for) the next world."Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol. 1, p. 203 Amir ul Mu'mineen Ali [a] said: "No business should hinder you from being busy doing good for the coming world, hence, surely, the length of opportunity is a very short time."Ghurar-ul-Hikam, p. 335 Amir ul Mu'mineen Ali [a] said: "He who sells his next life for his present life in this world, loses both of them."Ghurar-ul-Hikam, p. 274. Monotheism in Worship, Fear from the Resurrection Day Imam Hassan Askari ( PBUH ) said: “There is no calamity which does not involve a blessing from Allah.” The issues of “Monotheism in Worship” in its best manner, and the “Fear from the Resurrection Day” are of the significant characteristics of the family of infallibility and purification, the Ahl al-Bait. One of the companions of Imam Hassan Askari (PBUH) narrates: ‘On one of the days during Imam Hassan Askari’s (PBUH) childhood, I noticed he was standing with children of his same age. The other children were busy playing, while the Imam ( PBUH ) was standing in a corner crying (this was the first time I had seen him). I thought that perhaps the reason for his sadness was because he did not have toys like the other children. I approached him, expressed my kindness, and said: “… I’ll buy you some good toys.” He looked at me with an angry face and said: “We are not created to play!” I was shocked by his words, such immense knowledge and such remarkable logic! … So I asked him: “What are we created for?” He said: “[We are created] to know [Allah ( SWT )] and worship [Him]” Amazed by his replies, I asked: “Where have you got that answer from?” He said: Allah ( SWT ) has said: " Did you then think that We had created you in vain, and that you would not be brought back to Us? I realized that his logic was based on wisdom and the Holy Quran. I was ashamed of what I had thought. Then, I said: “Why are you crying, while you are still a child and have not committed any sins?” His cry intensified, and he said:” “Whenever my mother wants to make fire with big pieces of firewood, she first puts some small pieces of wood on fire, and then uses them to flame the big pieces of wood. My worries are from being of those small pieces of firewood for the hellfire…” There, I understood that he is extremely distant from me. I departed from him while astonished. Later on, I came to know who that child was and to which family he belonged…” Imam Baqir (pbuh): Earning livelihood is a worship. The town of Medina was burning under the exhalation of the heat of the sun of Hejaz (Hijaz) and was thawing like the benumbed sleepers under the fire of the sky. The branches of the palms were not oscillating under any breeze and the trees were as weary men sleep-strucken while standing. The camels were sheltering themselves under some shade of the palm branches, exceeding the wall of gardens and were ruminating silently and motionlessly. In the town every being was crawling under a shade and nobody was seen in the palm gardens of the round about, except a rather nice man having a slightly corpulent body which was leaning on the shoulders of a young man, (perhaps his son), who was visiting his farm. He was perspiring from the heat. His eyes, which were half-closed because of the violent shining of the sun, were so attractive that they recalled the looking of the most beautiful gazelle. His nice feature was adorned with a pretty beard and mustache. But this handsome face was turning to purple under the sun and the drops of perspiration were pouring from his cheeks, like the drops of dew from a wild tulip. They were running from his face and dropping into his chest. At this moment another man was seen on the plain, which was advancing towards this point. His name was Mohummad Ibn Monkader. He was supposing himself to be a pious and anchorite, a hermit man far from Mormonism. He had a bowed down stature and a weary face. When he reached the corpulent body man who was perspiring under the glow of the sun, busy to supervise his farm, he wondered and said to himself: "See how the greed of the mammon blinds the eyes of wisdom. This man is melting like a candle under the sun. And he is not ready to stop to hurt himself for his avidity. It is better to go to him and to advise him. Perhaps he will be guided." When he came near, he knew the man and said: "Oh it's strange. This man is Mohummad Ibn Ali, Imam Baqir, and the leader of the Shia faith. Why this man is trying for worldly wealth?" He goes then nearer, stood and greeted the Imam Baqir (pbuh). Imam Baqir (pbuh), was busy with his work and was perspiring and panting. Imam Baqir (pbuh) replied to his greeting. The man halted a while and said: "Is it worthy for a great and pious man like you to come out of home in this hour of the day, to seek worldly wealth? And with this rather corpulent body you have to bear, of course, more pain." "If in this moment, (God forbids), your death comes, in what situation are you going to meet Alah (SWT)? No, it is not worthy for you, with this heat and this natural disposition, to be so concerned with mammon." Imam Baqir (pbuh) cleaned the perspiration off his forehead with the back of his hand, stopped the work and looked at him. "If my death in this very moment", said Imam Baqir (pbuh), "I will meet Allah (SWT) in a state of worship." You think that the worship is only to pray and to do religious ceremonies? I am living in the world and I have to earn my livelihood. If I do not work I will need the help of some men like you and I have to stretch my hands for begging. I should fear the coming of my death when I am sinning and disobeying my Allah (SWT). At this moment, when I am, working under the order of Allah (SWT), I am trying not to be a weight on the shoulders of my fellow beings. Mohummad Ibn Monkader, struck with shame, said nothing and continued his way, while he was humming with himself: "Wonderful. I was thinking that I can advise him, but this was myself to earn an advice." source: Islamicoccasion.com Goal of Life: We cannot assume a goal for God, and believe that He wishes to attain something by His acts. Such a supposition implies a shortcoming in the doer of an action, which may be true of creatures with a potential power, but not of the Creator; since it would mean that He intends to move towards perfection and secure something which He does not have. But sometimes by the goal of creation is meant the goal of the created action, not of the Creator. This would involve the movement of the created towards perfection, not the perfection of the Creator Himself. In this sense, if we think that the nature of creation has always been movement towards perfection, then there is a motive in creation... Sometimes it is said that the goal of human life is happiness in the sense that during the time one is alive, he should live comfortably and happily enjoy the blessings of Creation and nature, suffer less pain from either natural causes or from fellow- creatures. This is considered happiness. This means, then, getting maximum pleasure and minimum pain ... Thus the goal and ideal that Islam offers is God, and everything else is preparatory to it, and not of an independent and fundamental importance. In the verses where the Qur'an mentions perfect human beings, or speaks on their behalf, it says they have truly understood the goal of life and endeavored to attain it. It says for Ibrahim ("I have devoted my worship to Him who has created heaven and earth, and I am not a pagan." [The Qur'an, 6:80] This Sura, too, says: "My prayer, worship, life and death are for God, who is the Lord of the Universe . " [The Qur'an, 6:163]... Thus, in Islam everything revolves round the axis of God, including the goal in the mission of prophets and individuals' goal of life... Islam accepts worldly happiness within the practical constraints of monotheism, that is, to be wholly devoted to God. According to the Qur'an, man gains his happiness only from God, and it is He who fills all the gaps in his life, and satisfies him. The Qur'an says: "Those who have faith and their hearts are tranquil in thinking of God, know that all hearts find peace by remembering God ."[The Qur'an: 13:28 ] Only God brings repose to the anxious and inquisitive hearts of man. Other things are subsidiary and preliminary matters, not the final stage. The same is said of worship: "To remember God, pray." [The Qur'an: 20:14] Also, the following verse says: "Prayer checks wickedness and injustice, and remembering God is more important."[The Qur'an: 29:45] Islam thinks of man as created to worship God, to seek proximity to Him and to know Him, all of which give him power. But knowledge and power are not the ultimate goal, nor is self-purification.3 To say the same thing in just a few words, 'the real benefit of this life is worshipping Allah and neglecting Him is the most harmful to ourselves'. Describing true believers, Allah, the Exalted, has this to say, “Their sides draw away from (their) beds, they call upon their Lord in fear and in hope, and they spend (benevolently) out of what We have given them. So no soul knows what is hidden for them of that which will refresh the eyes; a reward for what they did”. (32/16,17). Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq said, “Have hope in Allah, the kind of hope that shall help you refrain from trespassing upon His bounds, and fear Allah, in such a manner that shall not make you give up on His mercy”. We are all leaving this world, sooner or later. This is whether we get what we want from it or not. Then, it is very important to leave it with our real mission accomplished! Our mission in relation to worshipping includes religious duties of praying, fasting, helping others, seeking knowledge in both religious and worldly affairs, working hard to construct the universe with industries and agriculture, getting married and raising children. Prophet Jesus (pbuh) has said: No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? (Matthew 6:24-25, New International Version ) Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. (Matthew 19:24, New International Version ) These verses show how Christianity as taught by Jesus was antithetical to material progress. Anyway unfortunately, this unbalanced relationship between this life and the life to come gave a heavier weight to the latter at the expense of the first in a way which not only neglected the basic human needs, but also worked to look down upon them as irrelevant and malicious desires. As a result of this disrespect for the demands of this transient phase of human life, a strong reaction of secularism rose in the 18th century, calling for separating God from human life, on the pretext that religion does not satisfy the vital human needs for constructing their lives on basis of science and free thinking. This reversed unbalance between the two dimensions of the human existence; namely the eternal and the transient, opened a gate of evils on the human race like that of imperialism, moral degeneration, and economic exploitation, which prevailed the world and failed in achieving this hedonistic end that people were after. Islam, however, strikes a balance between material progress and spiritual progress, as is obvious from this prayer from the Quran: [Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and defend us from the torment of the Fire!] (Al-Baqarah 2:201) فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُم مَّنَاسِكَكُمْ فَاذْكُرُواْ اللّهَ كَذِكْرِكُمْ آبَاءكُمْ أَوْ أَشَدَّ ذِكْرًا فَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَمَا لَهُ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلاَقٍ [2:200] And when ye have completed your devotions, then remember Allah as ye remember your fathers or with a more lively remembrance. But of mankind is he who saith: "Our Lord! Give unto us in the world," and he hath no portion in the Hereafter. وِمِنْهُم مَّن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ {201} [2:201] And of them (also) is he who saith: "Our Lord! Give unto us in the world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and guard us from the doom of Fire." أُولَـئِكَ لَهُمْ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا كَسَبُواْ وَاللّهُ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ [2:202] For them there is in store a goodly portion out of that which they have earned. Allah is swift at reckoning. In verse 200 ALLAH (swt) informing us that what should we do after completion of our devotions. He said remember your Lord at least as much you remember your ancestor but ALLAH (swt) deserve remembrance much better then you ancestors. But it is mankind who always goes for the apparent or visible thing, most of them don’t exactly believe in unseen as it should be. Whenever they do something in ALLAH’s way they ask their reward. Suppose if performing their prayer they ask something from ALLAH, likewise if they perform Hajj we ask something or the other from ALLAH (I am not saying that what they are is wrong). Here we can divide them into two groups, one of them are those who are always behind worldly things like wealth, children, name, fame etc. Second group of people are those that they consider these things have temporary pleasure that’s why they forsake them better one the next world that is hereafter. But there is one more group of people they consider that these things have no pleasure at all, they never worship creator for the created being. They ask ALLAH for ALLAH. They neither worship for this world nor for hereafter they worship ALLAH (swt) because He deserve to be worshiped and they are called Urafa. The first group is better than those people who does not pray to ALLAH, the second group is better than the first because they abandon worldly pleasure for life after death and the third group is better than previous groups because they worship the Lord of the world because he deserve to be worshiped. There is a tradition of Imam Ali (pbuh) in it he has taught us that:….. There are people who worship Allah to gain His Favors, this is the worship of traders; while there are some who worship Him to keep themselves free from His Wrath, this is the worship of slaves; a few who obey Him out of their sense of gratitude and obligations, this is the worship of free and noble men. Even if Allah had not warned of chastisement on those disobedient to Him, it would be obligatory by way of gratefulness for His favors that He should not be disobeyed. (O Allah!) I did not worship You for the fear of chastisement or for the desire towards heaven; rather, I worshiped You because I found You worthy of being worshipped. (Selected from A contemplation Through Nahj al-Balaghah, by Murtadha Mutahhari) Anyway everything created by Allah is for good. It is the Nafs of the human against which he should be very very careful. Because anything which we do good in this world for hereafter, could be ruined by slightest of error. I would like to quote an example from saying of Hazrat Abu Abd Allah (PBUH) as below; "The seekers of (sacred) knowledge are of three kinds, so recognize them by their specific qualities and characteristics. One kind of them seeks it for the sake of ignorance and dispute. Another kind seeks it for the sake of domination and deceit. Yet another kind seeks it for the sake of (improving) understanding and intellect. "The one who seeks it for ignorance and dispute's sake is injurious and quarrelsome. He contests opinions in the gatherings of men, speaking of knowledge and describing forbearance. He puts on the garb of humility, though he is devoid of piety. As a result God crushes his nose and severs his waist. "The one who seeks knowledge for domination and deception is an imposter and a sycophant. He is domineering with those who are his likes but is humble in front of the rich, whose sweetmeats he ingests while he demolishes his own faith. As a result God blinds his vision and wipes out his traces from the legacy of the learned. "As to him who seeks knowledge for the sake of understanding and intellection, he is grief-stricken and awake at nights. Having tied his cap with the loose end of his turban, he stands up in the dark of nights. He acts and is in trepidation. A caller overawed, engaged in his work, and acquainted with the people of his times, he is apprehensive of his most trusted brother. As a result of it God strengthens his supports and grants him amnesty on the Day of Resurrection." If we carefully look at the explanation in the hadith, there is fine line between good deed being good for hereafter and being worthless for hereafter. We all seek knowledge but it is the intention (niyyah) with which a deed is done is of prime importance.It is the niyyah (intention) which makes people fall in different groups with respect to 1) Worldly life and 2) Hereafter. As said in reply by our respectful teacher these two groups of people are further subdivided into further categories (QOUTE: worship for fear, worship for favor, worship for worthy of worship. In essence we should perform all deeds with choosing right intention and be very aware of Shaitan and Nafs as both are misleading without divine (from Allah) power and strength. Abu al-Hasan al Rida, may peace be upon him, said, `God has said, "O son of Adam, it is with My will that you are such a being that you will for yourself whatever you will, and it is with My power that you carry out the duties I have prescribed for you, and it is with My bounty that you found the strength to disobey Me. I made you hearing, seeing, and strong. Whatever good visits you is from God, and whatever evil strikes you is from your own self. That, because I have a greater right to your virtues than yourself, and you are worthier of your vices than Me. And hence I am not asked concerning what I do and they are asked (21:23 Obviously we can only do that if we always prefer hereafter over worldly life as stated by Imam Al Sadiq (PBUH) "One who passes his evenings and mornings in such a way that the world be his biggest concern, God ordains poverty between his two eyes and causes his affairs to become disjointed and dissipated, while he does not attain anything except what has been apportioned for him. And as for one who passes his evenings and mornings while his biggest concern and goal be the Hereafter, God puts contentment to his heart and gives a wholeness and unity to his affairs. The role of knowledge in Goal of life: The tradition of Hazrat Abu Abd Allah (pbuh) says: …. who seeks knowledge for the sake of understanding and intellection, he is grief-stricken and awake at nights… God strengthens his supports and grants him amnesty on the Day of Resurrection." It is a prayer that Allah s.w.t. has taught His prophet (PBUH&HF)” Say, O Lord ! Increase my knowledge! Knowledge is really an essential way to understand the nature of our enemies and how to combat them. The most important enemies in all human life are Nafsul_Amarah and Satan which invite us for preferring worldly life instead of hereafter. Allah swears by the nafs [here translated "soul" but better understood as "self"] saying [By the soul [nafs] and He Who proportioned it, and inspired it its wickedness and its righteousness; he has succeeded who purifies it, and he has failed who instills it (with corruption)]. (Ash-Shams: 7-9). Allah swears by the nafs, and this is an indication of the serious role that the nafs plays in the life of human. According to the verses, Allah has created the nafs and inspired it with what is right and what is wrong. This means that every nafs could know what is right and what is wrong. Every nafs could drive and lead man to the truth if it is good and purified. We are all exposed to tests from Allah that vary in their intensity and vary in the way each one of us reacts towards them. It is a continuous struggle for Allah has destined man to fight, both Satan and the desires of oneself (as Nafsul- Amarah). Which of Satan and the desires of oneself have more important roles in deviation him/her of straight path? And /Or it is not a comparable subject? Answer: [29:69] And (as for) those who strive hard for Us, We will most certainly guide them in Our ways; and Allah is most surely with the doers of good. I feel the above verse clearly answers the question. Human being is free to choose his path. Every human is born with Rasool-e-Batine (Innate Messenger), his conscience. Similarly he has the ego (Nafs), which if left unharnessed can become a tool in the hands of Satan. So everyone has the choice to either give in to his whims and wishes, his desires, or follow the guidance of conscience, which urges man towards the Right Path. Thus man has been commanded to recite at least ten times a day [1:6] Keep us on the right path, because this issue is ever present, and need to be addressed constantly! How could people be successful in Allah’s tests? Answer: The only way to be successful in Allah (SWT)’s tests is to live according to the commands of chapter Al-Asr (Epoch). [103:1-3] I swear by the time, Most surely man is in loss, Except those who believe and do good, and enjoin on each other truth, and enjoin on each other patience. We should never forget that time too is a trust (Amanat). We have to answer for every passing second of our life. The passage of time is an irreversible loss. Thus, only surety of success in life is to base our existence on the command given in the verse 3. It covers entire life of every human being! Also, the people could be successful in Allah’s tests by: 1. Knowing from the outset that “He will test human in various ways until the end of their lives” is a law of Allah and believing in that law is one of the most important pieces of information that can permit a believer to overcome that test. 2. Not doing this great error by this image that we do everything ourselves. 3. Trusting in Allah and calming in the face of difficulties. 4. For truly with hardship comes ease; truly with hardship comes ease . So when you have finished, work on, and make your Lord your goal! (Surat al-Inshirah, 5 5. Therefore Allah makes difficulties easier for those who truly believe. 6. This secret was revealed in the Qur’an that: But as for him who is stingy and self-satisfied, and denies the Good, We will pave his way to Difficulty. (Surat al-Layl, 8-10) 7. Knowing that the strength draws from Allah in the face of all difficulties and that all doors will be opened for a person when he submits to Allah is the only solution that can provide peace, comfort, happiness and blessings in this world and the Hereafter. Conclusions: Health, wealth, children, and a good spouse are recognized in Islam as life's best joys, the Qur'an also shows us deeper dimensions to our existence, within the context of an eternal — rather than a fleeting — life. It is our right to enjoy the pleasures and possessions of life within the boundaries of Allah's system, but without losing focus of the ultimate happiness in an eternal life. Pleasing Allah is the ultimate goal for us — Muslims. This is done by performing prescribed rituals as well as by obeying His rules in every aspect of our lives. So even smiling is considered charity (i.e. a form of worship) if done in respect to Allah's commands to be kind to others, so is helping the needy, being kind to animals, respecting parents, educating others, etc. We are even given insight that perhaps distress would come out of what we assumed brought people joy. Consequently, wealth and children are not just unconditional privileges to enjoy; they are trials that determine our final destination: And know that your possessions and your children are but a trial, and that it is Allah with whom lies your highest reward. (Al-Anfal 8:28) Let's always remember Allah's infinite wisdom: ”It may be that you dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good” (Al-Nisaa' 4:19) We all have a fair share of joy and trial. We are all tested and we will all be questioned, whether we were gifted or deprived. Our goal ought to be ending up on the winning side, Allah's side, knowing that His generous reward is undoubtedly beyond our expectations. O' Allah; guide us all to right intention for good deed. for the sake of love to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his noble Progeny. Ameen!

Imam Ali (a.s) and Candle

A candle burnt by his side, as he sat down meticulously recording all the revenue and the expenses of the treasury. Just then Talha and Zubair appeared. They aspired to some positions of authority in Ali’s (a.s.) rule and had come to strike a deal. If Ali (a.s.) gave them a place of distinction, they would in turn pledge their full support. Ali (a.s.) knew of this. Just as they sat down, Ali (a.s.) put out the candle and lit another one. Talha and Zubair exchanged a glance of surprise and then one of them said: “O Ali, we have come on some important business. But why did you extinguish the first candle?” Imam Ali (a.s.) replied: “That was a candle bought of Treasury funds. As long as I worked for the Treasury, I used it. Now you have come for some personal work, so I use the candle bought of my personal fund.” Talha and Zubair left him without saying another word

How Much You Know about Imam Hassan Askari (A.S.)

Imam Hassan Askari (A.S.) was a gracious personality and an unmatched exigest of Quran. More than a hundred well-known wise men remained continuously present in his assembly. During a period of sixteen years, when he lived in Iraq, the territories from Syria up to Madina, particularly Iran was under his influence. Imam's (A.S.) spiritual and knowledge's influence went to the extent that it overwhelmed the court of "Almotaz" and all the wise men busy in his government missionary got enamored enticed, and fascinated by Imam (A.S.). When Imam (A.S.) traveled to Iran and crossed over the Lawasan via Qum and Rai, the people captivated and fascinated by the school of Ahl al-Bayth (A.S.), gathered all around him and expressed their warm feelings and sentiments for him. He made a speech before the people of Lawasan and ordered them to build a mosque and declare it as their base. This command of Imam (A.S.) proved so effective that they got busy in building seventy mosques on a single day. One of the courtiers of Abbasade government named "Ahmed bin Khaqan", who was an enemy of the Prophet's family, said one day "I have not seen anybody in Samarra, among the Bani Hashim family, more pious, virtuous and chaste than Imam Hassan Askari (A.S.). If the caliphate goes out of the Bani Abbasade's hands then no one except "Hassan Askari (A.S.)" will be capable and fit for it. Then he said, "one day I was present with my father when Hassan Askari (A.S.) arrived there, although he was the enemy of the Prophet's family, yet he got up from his place, kissed his hand and made him seated upon his own place and sat before him like a pupil in front of a teacher and lent ears to his wards. Abu Yousuf Abu Yousuf says about the charity and generosity of Imam (A.S.), I got down and out, and could not support my children any longer. We were all hungry, sad and desperate. I went to the court of Abbasades many a times so that I may seek their help, for, I was related to them. But they were so very enticed and lost in their lives that they would not attend to my agony and painful heart. One day, I paid a visit to Imam Hassan Askari (A.S.) and described before him my implications. He had four hundred dinnars available with him and he gave all of them to me and said, "Go and get your family freed from distress." One day, he sent two thousand dinnars for "Ali bin Jaffar" so that he may distribute those among his afflicted and poor friends. He was in prison for six years and in-spite of all his difficulties, problems and pains he met the people with smiling face. Although the most wicked and evil character person were deputed in the prison to torture him, yet they were so enchanted and enticed by the piety and prayers of Imam (A.S.) that when the chief of the prison objected upon them saying "I have learnt that you have a fair dealing with Imam (A.S.)." They said, "He is a man, who is always busy offering secret prayers to his God and keeping fast at the day time and busy in offering the prayers at the night time. Whenever he looks at us our bodies tremble how is it, that you wish us to harm and torture this man?" Abdullah Khaqan Although Abdullah Khaqan the minister of Mutawakkil, was very proud and indifferent, yet whenever he would see the Imam (A.S.) he got up from his place, and while riding a horse he would get down from it. He said about Imam (AS.), "Imam Askari (A.S.) was a person who remained busy in his supplications and prayers to God at night, and in the days he would fast. He was so kind hearted that he even prayed to God for his enemies. Whenever a distressed, or afflicted came his way, he would give him whatever he had." Once the caliph handed him over to an ill natured wicked man named "Tahreer" to deal with him very strictly and tease and harm him. They, upon the behest of the caliph, threw him to the beasts so that they may tear and eat him up. All of the beasts gathered around him and rubbed and caressed their bodies against him. When the caliph saw this scene he freed him and put in efforts to honor him. There was a monastery in Samarra whose patron was considered to be one of the chieftains and holy men of the Christians and was respected by them. Once he visited Imam (A.S.) and embraced Islam. He was asked as to why he became a Muslim. He replied, "I observed those signs in this man (Imam) which were only passed by the Christ (A.S.). Imam's (A.S.) Wisdom Imam (A.S.) was like a roaring river of wisdom, which quenched the thirst of those thirsty for it. As per "Khawarzamis" statement eighteen thousand men, thirsty for knowledge, benefited from his assembly. The first one out of the Abbasade caliph Almotaz's court, who took an oath of allegiance for him was the famous Iranian genius and talented person named "Mohammad bin Masood Shirazi." It is narrated that such was his wisdom that even Kindi the teacher of "Abu Nasr Farabi" was defeated and failed in discussion with him, and burnt down his book which he had written against Islam. The Christian scholars had become so enticed and enchanted by his knowledge and wisdom that they called him the Christ. Once, when Imam (A.S.) faced the questions of those men who had come from different countries of the world for this purpose, he answered their question in their own various languages. All of them got amazed and surprised at it. Revealing of Imam (A.S.) A draught took shape in one of the years in Samarra. "Motamid" the Abbasade caliph ordered people to proceed to the desert and pray (for rain). People did go to the desert for three days consecutively but rain did not fall. The next day, the Christians along with their scholars went to offer prayer and it rained. This event, brought into effect a great zeal, fervor and excitement among the Muslim masses. The hearts of the Muslim got attracted towards the Christians. Motamid, the Abbasade caliph was very much perturbed, dismayed, and desperate over it. He sent a word for "Imam Askari (A.S.)" in the prison, and summoned him to his court and asked him about the solution to that problem. Imam Said, "Tell them to go to the desert tomorrow for the sake of rain. They did so and Imam (A.S.) followed them with a great mob of people, following him to disclose and unveil the fact out of this matter. The Christians raised their hands towards the sky and prayed to God for rain. Not very long had passed that a cloud appeared and it started raining. Imam (A.S.) ordered that the hand of one of the Christians, which was raised up, be held and whatever was concealed among his finger folds be taken out. They observed a black bone and took it out of his fingers. They presented that bone to Imam (A.S.). He wrapped it in a piece of cloth and then told him to pray after that, for rain to fall. As soon as the Christian raised his hands all the clouds scattered and the sun appeared shinning. All the people were surprised and astonished at it. The caliph asked Imam (A.S.) what was the secret of that affair. Imam (A.S.) replied, "This is a piece of bone of one of the Prophets of God which they have picked up from his grave." They swear to God and ask him for the sake of this bone. God grants their desire and prayer and makes the rainfall and whosoever will hold this bone the same thing will occur. After a test of it in the presence of people, what Imam (A.S.) said proved evidently correct and all of them praised the Imam (A.S.). The training method of Imam (A.S.) Abul Hassan who was one of the descendents of Imam Sadiq (A.S.) and lived in Qum was a bad character man. One day he happened to visit the house of "Ahmed bin lshaq Ashaari," who was the representative and delegate of Imam (A.S.), for some work. He asked for permission to see him, which was rejected by him due to his misdeeds. He returned back to his home and appeared to be very sad, uncomfortable, and agonized due to the disrespect being shown to him. In the same year, Ahmed bin Ishaq Ashaari went to Mecca and on his way back he visited the house of Imam Askari (A.S.). Imam (A.S.) did not welcome and give him permission to meet himself. After weeping and expressing grief (when he was permitted). He asked the Imam (A.S.) as to what was the reason of it. Imam (A.S.) said, "I gave the same treatment which you gave to our cousin." Then Imam (A.S.) said, "Although you are one of our Shias and helpers but this was a wrong thing that you did." He said, "Oh the son of Prophet (P.B.U.H.), I did that because he was a sinner and I wanted to reprimand and stop him from doing that bad work." He said, "This was not a correct thing to do." In Islam they do not do such a thing with those gone astray rather they are to be guided and led. When Ahmed returned to Qum, all the notables and dignitaries came to see him. Abul Hasan, the descendent of Imam Sadiq (A.S.), was also present among them. As soon as Ahmed saw him he got up from his seat and showed great respect to him and seated him upon his own place. Abul Hasan was surprised at his conduct and asked him to let him know about the reason of the difference of his conduct from that previously shown by him. Ahmed explained to him all that matter which he had come across. He (Abul Hasan) was so ashamed of himself that when he returned from that congregation to his home, he decided that he would abandon his bad activities and acquires piety. Thus he turned into one of the pious and chaste men. Imam's (A.S.) connection with the unseen World Although many amazing stories of Imam (A.S.) have been narrated in the books but we point to two of them as a specimen. 1. Jaffar Jurjani: says, "I went for Hajj and visited Imam Askari (A.S.) I had the money for Imam (A.S.), which his friends had sent to him. I wanted to ask the Imam (A.S.) to whom I might surrender that. When I visited him before my saying something he said, Handover the money, which you have with you, to my servant "Mubarrak". I handed the money over to him and told Imam (A.S.) that his friends in Gurgan conveyed their regards and salutation to him. He said, "God may bless them with reward." You will return to Gurgan and God will give you a son. Name him Sharif. He will become one of our friends and companions. God will give a son to Ibrahim, tell him to name him Ahmed, he also will be one of our friends. I bade farewell to Imam (A.S.) and returned back and what Imam (A.S.) had said, did take place. 2. Shablanji: Who is one of the Sunni scholars quotes Abu Hashim saying, he said, "I and four of the friends of Imam (A.S.) were in the prison." Imam (A.S.) visited us and we surrounded him and talked to him. There was a person among us who considered himself to be one of the descendent of Ali (A.S.). Imam Ali (A.S.) gave him a gesture to go out. When he went out Imam (A.S.) said, "This man tells a lie, he is not one of us, he is the spy of the caliph and has written and provided a report with respect to you, which he has concealed in his dress, to give it to him (caliph). We brought him and investigated and as Imam (A.S.) told us he had procured a report regarding us, which if he had given to the caliph, all of us would have been killed and slain by him. We tore off and destroyed the report and thereafter got careful and vigilant about ourselves. 3. Ibrahim: He says, "A news reached me and my brother that our father was lost and traveled to a far flung place. We proceeded together from Madina towards Iraq." I had decided to visit Imam Askari (A.S.) and request him to help us in finding my father. Because, only he was the one who could tell me the location of my father from the knowledge of Imamate. I traveled a long way till I reached his house. I waited there for a while so that someone comes out of the house and inform him about the reason, which brought me there. While I was busy and immersed in my own ideas and was pondering and contemplating about my future course, the door of the house suddenly opened and the servant of Imam (A.S.) came out and shouted, "which one of you is 'Ibrahim', who has come from Madina to see Imam (A.S.)." I rose up merrily and said, "Yes I am the one (you want) and have been waiting here from a certain time." He gave me a glance and then handed me over a sack saying Imam (A.S.) said, "This is a sack which contains your travel expenditure, take that and continue your journey and not very long from now, you will find your father." I took the sack happily and said to myself, "I did not see the Imam (A.S.) and did not inform him about my affair." How is it that he knew what was in my mind. I wanted to tell the servant to show me in to see Imam (A.S.) so that I question him about the location of my father. But suddenly I got aware that the servant had told me to continue my journey from the other direction. A potential and complicated unseen power was pushing me towards "Tabristan" and forcing me to travel to that destination. I, without being conscious, undertook my journey towards Tabristan. When I reached there I kept wondering for a certain time till I met my father. I rushed towards him and hugged him and was much happy to find him. I described all the matter to him. Both of us became await that Imam (A.S.) knew all the secrets of our interior. I was much more astonished when I observed that only one dirham out of the money which Imam (A.S.) sent for me as a travel expenditure was left over, exactly the amount necessary to get me to my destination. 4. Ismail: He says, "I was sitting on the way of Imam Hassan Askari (A.S.) so that I may detain him, while he passes that way, and ask him for help." Prior to that, I had hidden two hundred golden coins with me as a future provision for myself. Suddenly, when I was lost in my ideas, Imam Hassan Askari (A.S.) passed by me. I rushed after him, stopped him and told him about my poverty and misery and swear that I had nothing from the material sources. He was very much annoyed with my swearing. He told his servant to give me what was available with him. The servant put band in his pocket and brought out a sack of gold and gave it to me. Then Imam (A.S.) addressing me said, "We do not deprive anybody from our help but you took a false oath and made the God angry. You must never do that again and not deny the blessings of God in future and depend upon God and have hope from him, make use and benefit of the boon which. He has given to you. You have concealed two hundred golden coins in a corner so that it may be of use and benefit to you on your rainy day. But beware, you will not have an approach and lay your hands upon them, while you need them." The man says, Imam (A.S.) made me aware and conscious about my fault by his words. What he had said did occur. One day when I extremely needed those coins, I rushed towards the place I had buried them. But when I dug the place I was surprised to see that there was no sign of the coins. I came to know that my son got informed about them and did an ugly act by picking them up without my permission and running away. Exactly the way Imam (A.S.) said, that I would not lay my hand upon them at the time of need. There after, I decided to control myself and put a restraint upon my faults and be a chaste and pious person before God. Imam's (A.S.) letter to one of his friends Imam (A.S.) used to write letters to his friends and companions. One of the letters written to "Ali bin Babuya Qumi" who is one of the dignitaries and great Shia men. The translation of some parts of it says: After the praise, eulogy, panegyric of God I recommend to you, who is one of our friends, to be pious, forgive the fruits of people, and subdue your anger and look after your relatives and near ones and fulfill the needs of the distressed ones, have a clear and exact insight and perception about your religion, get to know, (be familiar to) your Quran, and be vigilant (alert and cautious) about your prayers and worshiping. Always practice upon my orders and make my Shias practice upon that. The Martyrdom of Imam (A.S.) Imam (A.S.) was four years of age, when he was exiled to Samarra along with his father. He was placed under the caliph's observation at a point, which was the center of the armed forces. Pertinent to the same, he became famous and known by the byname of Askar. Following the death of his father, the Abbasade caliph "Motamid" imprisoned him. The piety, and chastity of Imam (A.S.) attracted the attention of all the prisoners towards him, and made them all enticed and enchanted. The officials and agents of the caliph daily reported to the caliph as to his condition. Eventually, he was martyred on the 8th of Rabi ul Awwal 260 Hijrah and was buried at Samarra near the grave of his father. After his martyrdom his brother "Jaffar Kazzad", who was a gone astray man and was counted as one of the helpers of the caliph, stood up to offer the funeral prayer upon the body of Imam (A.S.). But all of a sudden, the son of the Imam (A.S.), who was a minor, came forward and pushed his uncle back and stood upon his uncle's place and offered the funeral prayer upon his father's body. Thereafter, the short absenteeism and occultation period started. Only a segment of special Shias could meet him. But following the activities of the Abbasade caliphs to search his hiding place, the long occultation and absenteeism period set in, so that no one could reach him. He will remain hidden from the sights till such day that the ground for his revolution is available.