Wa’az Mubarak 2

3rd Moharram al-Haraam, 1439 – Reflections

History, as al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS explained in the second wa’az mubarak of Ashara Mubaraka 1439H, is the product of love and animosity. All of history is the outcome of either one of these two emotions. To illustrate this, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS provided various examples of well-known events from history. He spoke of Nabi Yusuf AS explaining that the events that transpired when he was taken from his father, as described in the Quran Majeed, were brought about by the animosity his brothers held for him. Similarly, the epic events of Nabi Musa’s AS early life and prophethood were borne out of Firʿawn’s (the pharaoh during Musa Nabi’s AS era) love of kingdom and animosity for Banu Israa’eel whilst his wife Aasiya’s love for Musa Nabi AS the newborn infant saved him from Firʿawn.

The events of Musa Nabi AS and Firʿawn, said Maulana TUS, are due to love and animosity. The love for wealth and material gain is a common element in many historical events. In this regard Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS made reference to an Urdu adage regarding three ze‘s (the Arabic letter ze) which are at the heart of almost all conflict: zar (material wealth), zan (women) and zameen (land).

Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS expanded upon this concept of history and its relation with love and hate explaining how calendars and dates too are linked to these emotions. The Year of the Elephant is so called because Abrahat, in his hatred of the Ka’ba, embarked upon a journey to destroy it with an army of elephants. As an example of love and its impact on calendars and history, Maulana al-Min’am TUS referenced the Gregorian calendar and its association with Nabi Eesa’s AS birth as well as the Hijri calendar and its connection to Nabi Mohammed’s SAW migration from Makka to Madina. People’s love and devotion to both Nabis led them to establishing calendars defined by key events from their lives.

Syedna Saifuddin TUS added yet another level of analysis to this discussion regarding the true essence of akhbaar when he mentioned that some events brought about as a demonstration of love also become history. As an example Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS described the failed bomb attack targeting Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA and Raudat Tahera in 1406. Enraged by this atrocity and as an expression of their deep love for Syedna al-Muqaddas, Mumineen in their thousands took to the streets of Mumbai walking in a procession from Raudat Tahera to Badri Mahal where Syedna RA graced those below from a window. Mufaddal Maula TUS described what he witnessed that day: a vivid portrayal of Burhanuddin Maula RA visibly moved by Mumineen’s mohabbat and devotion, his eyes brimming with tears. This love and the spontaneous acts it inspired came together as a historic event known as Yawm e Shukr e Guzari.

Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS also described the outpouring of love and devotion when the janaza mubaraka of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA made its way to Raudat Tahera. That day a Mumin with even a grain of love was there in person or in spirit and their places in history are forever enshrined. He spoke of the little Yemeni girl whose story has been eternalized in history. She ran alongside Syedna Burhanuddin’s RA vehicle in the mountains of Haraaz pleading inni wa Allahi uhibbuka ya maulaya. In all the examples cited by Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS above, love became the impetus to history. Those fortunate few honoured with the love of Awliyaa’ Allah AS are by virtue of this love forever associated with them and their tarikh — Fatimi tarikh.

Another important sub-topic Syedna Saifuddin TUS mentioned was the cyclical nature of history. In the series of phrases Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS used to address the gathering of Mumineen as followers of the Panjatan AS, specifically those that seek barakat from Maulatona Fatema’s AS pearls. The seven pearls that Maulatona Fatema AS divided equally and miraculously between her two shahzadas Imam Hasan AS and Imam Husain AS when they sought her judgement regarding their strength are well-known. Maulana TUS, however, further revealed that these pearls have the ability to show us what has happened in the past and foretell what is to take place in the future. In Arabic the names ‘Mohammed’ and ‘Ali’ together total seven letters as does ‘Hasan’ and ‘Husain’. Maulatona Fatema AS is the central pearl in this necklace of Panjatan – for it is through her that they all come together and it is from her that the succession of imams will continue, each inheriting her strength.

Although we have seen vast differences amongst peoples throughout history, no one disputes the number of the days of the week regardless of race, region or faith. The days, as Moula TUS continued, are named after celestial bodies, which are often referred to as pearls. Maulatona Fatema’s AS seven pearls, like the seven days of the week, allude to her shahzadas the Imams AS that will continue one septet after the next until the Day of Qiyaamat. To further highlight the link between stars and the days of the week, Maulana al-Min’aam TUS shared seven names of Saturday in different languages all referring to the planet Saturn.

‘That which has happened will come to pass again, that which was known shall be known once more and there is nothing new under the sun.’ These were the words of Nabi Dawood AS. Rasulullah SA states that successive peoples will follow the footsteps of their predecessors to the extent that if they were to enter the burrow of a uromastyx (commonly known as spiny-tailed lizards) you would follow them in. The uromastyx is a particularly dumb creature we were told, and the stupidity of people blindly following in their (misguided) predecessors’ footsteps was exemplified by the stupidity of trying to enter such a creature’s burrow — a possibility beyond human capacity.

The ineptitude of enemies was explained in the context of the battle of Khandaq. When Rasulullah SA called upon a volunteer to take on the daunting warrior Amr bin ʿAbd Wad, some commented why it was that Rasulullah SA did not go himself. Secretly they wished for his defeat and death but the comment itself was self-defeating if that was the aim. Had they instead suggested that another of the companions go then there would be one of two outcomes. Either they would have been slain and that would have been positive for their own leanings or they would have come back victorious in which case they could have taken the credit for the suggestion. The idea that Rasulullah SA would go himself as leader of the Muslimeen was never going to be entertained but what it led to instead was the sending of Maulana Ali AS, his vanquishing of the adversary and the subsequent outpour of goodwill from the Muslims for him.

The subject of al-akhbaar, history, is an integral element of the education at Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah and as such it is taught from the very first year to the last. Amongst the various texts taught in this subject are the works of Syedna al-Qadi al-Nu’man RA, which are of seminal importance. It is common in the study of Islamic history to speak of asnaad, or chains of authority, which historians claim lend veracity to a statement or incident. Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS compared such a mechanism for seeking historical truth to a game common amongst children referred to as Chinese Whispers in which a message is conveyed from one person to the next by whispering in their ear. When the circle is completed the final person’s words are compared to the original message and what was actually said is rarely what is ultimately conveyed.

To further explore this concept, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS narrated an incident that occurred in the period of Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq AS. Scores of scholars sought enlightenment from Imam AS and sat at his feet seeking knowledge. It so happened that one day a man from out of town arrived in Medina seeking hadeeth (authentic sayings of the Nabi Mohammed SA) when he saw a group of scholars enter the residence of Imam Sadiq AS carrying writing instruments. He followed them believing he too could benefit. Unfamiliar to the Imam AS, he asked the stranger as to why he had come once they were all seated. The man said that he wished to seek hadeeth. Imam AS asked the stranger if he knew who Imam AS was to which he responded in the negative. Imam AS then enquired as to whether he had recorded anything as a transmission from someone of authority. The stranger removed some writing from his sleeve and as an example of the statements he had collected declared that the consumption of alcohol was permissible as were extramarital affairs both on the supposed authority of Imam Sadiq AS. Imam AS asked the man if the person who had transmitted these particular statements to him from the alleged source was trustworthy. That man said absolutely. Imam AS asked him whether he knew who Imam SadiqAS was to which he said he did not.

“If Imam Sadiq AS were to deny ever making these statements,” the Imam said to him, “would you accept that they were false?”

“The individual who has conveyed these statements to me is trustworthy and I have already given judgements and fatwas accordingly. No, I would not believe Imam Sadiq AS“, said the stranger.

At that point, Imam AS told him to leave since those gathered were here for other work. After he left, Imam AS turned to his companions and explained that it was exactly because of individuals such as this man who spoke mistruths and attributed falsely to Aale Mohammed AS that they face hardship and difficulty.

In highlighting the historical similarities in Fatimi tarikh, Maulana TUS drew parallels between the martydoms of Imam Husain AS and al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Qutbuddin al-Shaheed RA. In his eulogy of Maulana Qutbuddin RA, Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA wrote that ‘this (shahaadat of Syedna Qutbuddin RA) resembles that [of Imam Husain AS]’. The final slaying of both the Imam and his Dai are by the unjust sword but the comparisons begin with the reason that compelled their sacrifice. Imam Husain AS stood against Yazid because he had seen him consuming wine. To pledge allegiance to him was akin to casting aside the faith of Islam for Muslims would see it as an acceptance of Yazid’s actions and the renunciation of Islam’s principles and precepts. Similarly, Syedna Qutbuddin RA was told to admit to being an apostate in order to save his life. Had he done so, they would have taken his life regardless and Dawat’s cause would be weakened to the extent that no adherents to the faith would exist today.

Today, history survives and remains relevant through al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS. We Mumineen are truly blessed, those of us here in Karachi as well as those across the world in every city and town where Imam Husain AS is being remembered, many of the names of which Maula TUS listed in the wa’az mubarak. We are forever, by virtue of our love for Imam Husain AS and his Dai TUS, a part of history, one that will provide spiritual radiance and enlightenment to generations of Mumineen to come. Our past is blessed, our present is prosperous, and we pray that, by the wasila of Allah’s Awliyaa’ AS, our future, anjaam, is one of salvation, deliverance and redemption. May Allah Ta’ala grant our beloved Maula a long life in happiness and health so long as day follows night, and night follows day.