Wa’az Mubarak 1
2nd Moharram al-Haraam, 1439 – Reflections
In the first waʿaz mubarak of the 1439 Ashara Mubaraka, al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS addressed Mumineen as those who have reached the very heart of knowledge and its affiliated action. This is achieved by virtue of their remembrance of Imam Husain AS because all knowledge, and any action that it inspires, must have the ultimate aim of reaching the Hereafter if it is to be considered true knowledge.
Imam Husain’s AS noble horse had just such an understanding. Upon setting foot on the soil of Karbala it stopped, without instruction or prompting. Normally a horse ceases moving forward when it has been afflicted by an injury or because it has sensed danger ahead yet here there was no such impediment. Imam Husain AS rather than urging the horse to continue forwards instead directed his inquiry to people in the vicinity to ask the name of the spot where his steed had halted. In this way, Imam Husain AS validated the noble horse’s understanding and placed a seal of approval on its action. It was testament to his steed’s unique capacity for comprehension the like of which is not found in any ordinary horse.
At the beginning of the waʿaz mubarak, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS explained that lamenting upon Imam Husain AS and expressing grief for his tragedy by way of maatam, nawh and aweel is the purest of acts for it can only be done for the purpose of the hereafter; there can be no worldly purpose. Nabi Mohammed SAW has established the veracity of this statement when he stated that professing the Kalima al-shahadah, the quintessential declaration of faith for a Muslim, when done sincerely, i.e. with ikhlaas, means the one who professes it has entered heaven. Rasulullah SA distinguishes between the one who declares the Kalima sincerely and the one who does not, distinguishing also between the reward and results of such declarations: one merits heaven while the other only worldly protection. With regards to the grief of Imam Husain AS, Nabi Mohammed SAW states that the one who brings another to tears in his grief, or if unable to cry, expresses this grief through his facial expressions, will undoubtedly be rewarded jannat for his efforts. Here, unlike with the Kalima, the Prophet makes no qualification of sincerity indicating that grief and lament upon Imam Husain AS is always an act of sincerity and can never be just for show or eyeservice.
The city of Karachi, where this year’s mawaʿiz are taking place, is within a region historically known as Sind. Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS referenced a kalaam shareef of Amirul Mumineen AS in which he foretold that the culmination of the amr (cause) of Aale Mohammed AS would commence with the appearance of their banners emerging from the land of Sind. ‘Takhrojo min al-sind‘ are the Arabic words that refer to this ’emergence’ and they have a numerical value of 1438. In the final days of the year 1438, it was Imam al-Zaman’s AS ilhaam and instructions that Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS conduct the following year’s Ashara Mubaraka in Sind, an allusion to this auspicious emergence and culmination.
The year 1438 also saw the inauguration of the new Nairobi campus of Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah. In a separate illustration of numerical consonance, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS explained that al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA was the embodiment, or zaat, of Jamea. The phrase that represents this thought in Arabic, ‘zaat jamea saifyah’, equals 1385, the year Syedna Burhanuddin RA ascended the throne of Dawat. The extended phrase, bina zaat jamea saifiyah, or the construction of the zaat of Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah adds up to 1438 — the year the Nairobi campus was inaugurated. In keeping with the way Maulana has based the theme of each Ashara on Syedna Burhanuddin and expounding the statement, maari zaat jamea che, Syenda Saifuddin TUS will base each of his mawa’iz during Ashara Mubaraka on the syllabus and subjects taught at Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah, the very being of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA.
The first of this year’s mawa’iz was on the subject of fiqh or jurisprudence. As a subject, fiqh encompasses many disciplines. For example, the simple matter of water purity includes aspects of geography, physics and math. Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS quoted the aayat shareefah which declares that pure water is that which descends from the skies. The water is pure so long as it remains untarnished by impurity and is either in a natural body of running water or in a reservoir that has a volume of 64 cubic feet or greater. Anything less than this volume would leave the water susceptible to even the smallest impurity for it would be rendered impure and unusable for purposes of tahaarat. However, a body of water of 64 cubic feet or greater, is considered to be the same as any fluid body of water, a quality that Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS stated was supported by scientific understanding. This, too, was an allusion that the ahkaam of shari’at gharra are devised with the knowledge of both the spiritual and natural world. It is only when a perceivable change occurs in the water’s colour, smell or taste that it the water is rendered impure.
Syedna TUS went on to illustrate how all the pillars of the shari’at gharra – salah, zakah, hajj etc., involve calculation. In the salah this includes the number of raka’ats of prayers, their timings or even its direction. The nuances of miscalculating the direction of the qibla were explained in detail. Firstly, if in doubt about the direction then one must try to to ascertain a correct reading. If it comes to light during the course of the prayer that the direction is incorrect one should adjust during prayer unless the direction is totally opposite in which case the namaz has to be started anew. If in doubt between two directions one should pray to both and if in doubt of the general direction altogether, one should pray the same namaz in four directions.
Calculations are critically important. A single inch of miscalculation could send a rocket intended for the moon into outer space. For all their precision of calculations in this realm however man has fallen short of the formulae required to reach the Hereafter; these lie only with Awliya Allah AS. Those of us that wish to reach that realm have to have the understanding and action of walayat – dedicated love – for them. That single calculation of walaayat is sufficient to let us reach the Hereafter for, where we fall short in our knowledge and action, they will compensate and make up for it.
It behooves a Mumin to look for truth and to look for Allah in every field of study. It is telling that Maulana TUS has referenced mankind’s ultimate achievement of space exploration and the moon landing in particular both in his Birmingham address and again in this wa’az mubarak as a marker for where human knowledge finds its limit. It is a truly outstanding achievement but has to be seen in this greater perspective wherein the Hereafter still remains beyond us unless we take the guidance of the Awliya Allah AS.
The level to which we aspire and to which Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS actually today declared us having reached is that wherein the difficulties associated with faith and the Shariah are no longer seen as difficulties. The apogee of that self-discipline is embodied by Maulana Abbas AS who took the water vessel in his arm only to have it be severed by the enemy. Then, despite knowing full well that the other arm would also be targeted, Maulana Abbas AS took the vessel in his other arm. The level of his forbearance was also to be seen when he had reached the river to fill the vessel. Highlighting Maulana Abbas’ AS plight, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS explained that he displayed three levels of forbearance in this time of adversity. The first is to be in need of water but have none, the second is to be in sight of water but prevented from reaching it and the third and most difficult situation is to be in need of water, reach it and yet not take any.
Inspired by Imam Husain’s AS noble horse, Mumineen here and across the world have also stopped their temporal lives on this day, the 2nd of Moharram hoping and praying for their final redemption on the coming day of Aashura. May Allah Ta’ala grant our beloved Maula Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS a long life in perfect health and happiness until the Day of Qiyamat.