Waʿaz Mubarak 8

9th Moharram al-Haraam, 1439 – Reflections

Normally, ‘ninth’ in Arabic is tāsiʿ, however, for the ninth of Moharram, a ‘waw’ for emphasis is added considering the added significance of the day, making tāsiʿtāsuʿ. It is, as Maulana al-Min’aamTUS stated, Imam Husain’s AS last day for tomorrow is Aashuraa.

In the series of mawaa’iz mubaraka themed upon the syllabus of Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah, today’s waʿaz mubarak was on Exact Sciences, which are taught in Aljamea throughout the 11 years a student remains in the institute.

Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS quoted an aayat shareefah in which we are told that there are ‘in the wonders of the universe and the changing of the nights and the days’ ‘ signs for the people of intelligence: those that remember Allah whether standing, seated or laying upon their sides’. ‘Our Lord has not created all this frivolously, Thy art transcendent o’ Lord, save us from the fire. (3:190-1)’

Knowledge of our surroundings, our fellow creatures and the universe at large is incumbent upon us. In this context Rasulullah SAW has declared, by his own all-encompassing knowledge, who and what are the ‘monarchs’ and so he tells us; the eagle is the king of birds, the bull is king of quadrupeds while the lion is king of wild animals. Israfeel is the monarch of angels, Juma’ the monarch of the days of the week, Ramadhan monarch of months, he himself the monarch of the prophets and Maulana Ali AS monarch of their legatees (awsiyaaʾ). Maulana Ali AS declared, “Ask me of anything below the throne [of Allah], before I am lost to you.” His shahzadas are Imam Hasan and Husain AS, monarchs of the youth of paradise who can bring us to the pinnacles of all knowledge.

The manner in which they grant redemption is seen in the story of Fitris (فطرس), the angel who erred and had his power of flight taken from him. It was restored when he crawled slowly from the land where he had fallen to the newborn Imam Husain AS and respectfully grazed his wings upon his jism mubarak (body). Thus, by virtue of Imam Husain AS, he returned again to the heavens. This same Imam Husain AS granted seven children to the man who was destined to have none. Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS went on to declare that merely taking Imam Husain’s AS name is enough to make one feel as if they are floating above the ground.

The various fields of knowledge are a means of making life more comfortable and of eliminating difficulties. While fields such as medical science and technology both seek these aims what they cannot achieve is releasing mankind from the shackles of this world into the Hereafter.

The shahaadat of Imam Husain AS ensured the continued existence of all things. This includes all that has been so far discovered, all that is yet to be discovered and all those things that are beyond discovery. Leprosy is a disease, for example, that was once untreatable and is now possible to cure. Yet the barakat of Imam Husain AS cured this ailment centuries ago when no such cure existed. This was illustrated by a heart-rending narrative about a bird from Karbala that had gone to the dust covered jism mubarak of Imam Husain AS and soaked itself in Imam’s AS blessed blood. From there it went to a distant tree on the outskirts of Madina where a young Jewish girl afflicted by leprosy, paralysis and blindness was kept by her father. The father would stay with her but on that particular day he had to go into the city and was unable to return until the following morning. The little girl, restless and unable to sleep, heard the bird’s grieving voice and crawled towards to it. Beneath the tree a drop of Imam Husain’s sacred blood fell upon her eyes and instantly her sight was restored. Another drop fell and her paralysis was gone and with one more drop her leprosy was cured. When her father arrived, he saw a little girl but not his own daughter. Failing to recognize her, he asked the girl if she had seen a little blind girl, paralyzed and afflicted by leprosy. Delightfully the girl replied that she was in fact the daughter he was looking for. Astonished the man asked her how this had come to be and she told him about the bird. Together they went to the tree and the man asked the bird to speak by the will of Allah as to what the secret of this miracle was. The bird, in its own way, explained how it had come to reach Karbala and become soaked in Imam Husain’s AS sacred blood.

No matter how far science advances, what it will not be able to do is bring the dead back to life. Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS referenced an incident where a lady who had not declared her will and testament was brought back to life. Maulana TUS told us that by the remembrance of Husain Imam AS we can live a pure life and expect a virtuous death.

The world and its knowledge are like a tree – a simile which Rasulullah SAW uses to describe the Panjatan Paak AS. The tree grows through the joining of Maulana Ali AS and Maulatona Fatema AS bringing forth the fruit that is Imam Hasan AS, Imam Husain AS and Aimmat Tahereen AS. The leaves of this tree are their followers. Maulana TUS explained that a person specializing in botany would be able to instantly recognize the depth of this comparison, appreciating it to its fullest. If someone were to desecrate the fruit of a tree it would harm the whole tree, not just the fruit. Similarly, the assailants of Imam Husain AS did not just violate him but all the parts of the tree — Rasulullah SAW, Maulana Ali AS, Maulatona Fatema AS and Hasan Imam AS.

When he was three years old Imam Husain AS was walking through the streets of Madina one evening and a Jewish man named Saleh snatched him and hid him in his house. As time elapsed and there was no sign of him, Maulatena Fatema AS became very concerned and sent Imam Hasan AS to find him. Imam Hasan AS came to know from a deer that Saleh had taken Husain Imam AS. He went to the man’s house where he knocked on the door and demanded the return of Husain AS else the wrath of Panjatan Paak AS would fall upon him. Saleh opened the door and as he witnessed Imam Hasan’s AS eloquence and came to know of the lofty glories of Panjatan AS he pledged his oath and entered Islam. He then returned with Imam Husain AS to Maulatena Fatema AS and begged forgiveness, which she gave him but told him that he must also go to Maulana Ali AS. Again forgiven, he was then sent to Rasulullah SAW and there he was also told that he was forgiven but must also beseech Allah’s forgiveness. This he sought by prayer and intercession and was granted. This seemingly minor act of taking Imam Husain AS and hiding him required him to seek forgiveness from Allah and Panjatan, so what of the brutal foes of Karbala and their abominations against him? Will they ever be forgiven?

While establishing the outlook of the Fatimi faith towards other faiths, Imam Ahmad al-Mastur AS stated: It befits our brethren to not bear animosity towards any knowledge, hold prejudice against any text nor despise any faith, for our faith and knowledge encompass all. In elaborating Imam’s AS statement regarding prejudice, Maulana al-Min’aam TUS counselled Mumineen to not hold prejudice to any faith, particularly in these days of Imam Husain AS when various communities commemorate his shahaadat. Maulana TUS explained that the ceremonies, rites and processions they carry out, they do so in the love of Husain Imam AS and therefore must be respected. Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS appreciated the services Mumineen khidmat guzars offer to these other communities, such as providing water and medical services. Maula TUS also recalled an incident in Surat where Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA was observing a taziya procession in Surat as it passed by on the streets below. Moula RA then gave instructions to contribute to the taziya with a donation as it is seen as a sign of support and respect. An expression of Imam Husain’s AS love, even if in a form different than our own, must be respected. That is the importance of Imam Husain AS and the profound blessings inherent in his zikr.

Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS referenced a hadeeth shareef of the Nabi Mohammed SAW which he cited to illustrate that the purpose of knowing any type of knowledge is to grow in one’s ma’refat (understanding) of Panjatan AS, Aimmat AS and Duʿat. While explaining the lofty stature of Ahle Bayt AS Rasulullah SAW said, “Our superiority over all other people is like the superiority of violet oil over all other oils and ointments.” Maula TUS then went on to list the various characteristics of violet oil, such as its effectiveness against inflammation and headaches and its pleasant fragrance. The love of the Ahle Bayt AS benefits a Mumin’s body in this world by providing healing and care, and his or her soul in the next. As violet oil reduces bodily inflammation, the love of the Ahle Bayt AS rids the soul of its own burdensome inflammation: the physical body that it is imprisoned in enabling the soul to return to its heavenly origins. As an example of the healing and barakat found in the love of the Ahle Bayt AS, its potency as a spiritual ointment, Syedna Saifuddin TUS narrated an incident involving Imam Hasan AS.

In a journey to Makkah al-Mukarrama by foot, Imam Hasan’s AS aqdaam mubaraka (feet) became swollen by the miles of walking. A servant who accompanied the Imam AS suggested that Imam use his mount for the remainder of the trip but Imam declined his suggestion. Instead, Imam AS told him to shortly expect a man of African descent approaching them who will have the ointment needed to treat inflammation. He told his servant to purchase the ointment from him. The servant responded saying there were no markets nearby, suggesting that the chances of them actually meeting this man with the ointment were slim. Imam AS reassured his servant and surely enough a short while later the individual described by ImamAS appeared. The servant met the stranger and, as Imam AS had instructed, he sought from the stranger an oil to be used for inflammation. As soon as the stranger heard this question he asked for whom the oil was required, sensing the presence of the Imam AS. The oil merchant pleaded with the servant, insisting that he be shown the saheb who requires this oil so that he may blessed with his deedar and qadambosi. He assured the servant that not just oil, but all his wealth was at the Imam’s AS disposal. Although told not to, the servant revealed Imam’s AS identity and led the oil merchant to him.

Upon seeing Imam AS, the stranger, who was a Mumin, became overcome by joy. He submitted that he was a Mumin, one whose heart was brimming with the love of the Ahle Bayt AS. He then went on to present an araz to the Imam AS, as is a Mumin’s habit when in the presence of his Maula, saying that his wife was due to deliver a child. He asked Imam AS for his du’a mubarak that the child be a healthy, baby boy, one who is born and remains in the faith. Imam AS congratulated the Mumin, saying that Allah Ta’ala had granted him a boy, one who would remain in the fold of the Shi’a faith. The man was overjoyed upon hearing this and he then made his way home to find a baby boy just as Imam AS had said. However, after staying a short while, he told his wife that he must return to Imam Hasan AS. Upon returning, the Mumin merchant fell to the feet of the Imam AS, and alternated between kissing Imam’s aqdam mubaraka one instance, and applying the oil the other.

Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS explained that this man’s knowledge of oils increased his understanding and ma’refat of Imam Hasan AS. He knew which oil was required for the ailment described to him which led him to the realization that Imam’s du’a mubarak was the most potent and pre-eminent of ointments for all matters of deen and dunya.

In another hadeeth shareef referenced by Maulana al-Min’aam TUS, Rasulullah SAW directs Mumineen to consider the presence of his Ahle Bayt AS in their midst the same way the head is to the body, and the eyes are to the head. The body cannot function without the head, as the head cannot function without the eyes. Syedna Saifuddin TUS analyzed this hadeeth shareef stating that it embodies multiple disciplines of science including biology, human physiology and various fields of ophthalmology. The Ahle Bayt AS should be our source of perception and guidance. Often one’s own sight may falter. However, if our sight is linked to the sight of the Ahle Bayt AS, we can never go wrong. Explaining the superiority of the Ahle Bayt’s AS perception over our own, Maula TUS gave the example of a pond. If a glass of water is removed from the pond, visually there is no perceptible difference, however, logic tells us that there is now less water than before. Ours is the vision of physical perception while theirs is of intellectual and spiritual percipience.

Another example of the inaccuracy and uncertainty associated with sight other than that of the Ahle Bayt AS can be witnessed in the matter of the hilaal (moon) sighting. The world over there is confusion, whereas by making the Ahle Bayt’s AS sight our own, our roza, our ghinti (the number of rozas we do) and our eid are all protected.

The Ahle Bayt AS and Ashaab Kiraam AS of Maulana al-Imam al-Husain AS embody this notion of sight. Their perception was only that of Rasulullah SAW and his shahzada which is why when Imam Husain AS insisted they abandon him on the eve of Ashura, they responded by asking how they would show their faces to Rasulullah SAW on the Day of Qiyaamat. They saw as he would. Husain Imam AS was the head to their body which is why they received the great honour of sacrificing their heads for him.

Syedna Saifuddin TUS assured us that if we prioritized and placed the zikr and remembrance of Imam Husain AS in the place of our heads and eyes, we would be able to perceive the right path in the most difficult of circumstances. May Allah Taʿala grace us with such perception and on the Day of Ashura that is now upon us, may we perceive our Maula as he truly is: the embodiment of Imam Husain AS. May Allah Ta’ala grant Husain Imam’s AS dai a long life in health and happiness and continue to reveal to us his great maqaam in the zikr of Imam Husain AS.