Saturday, November 27, 2010

Healing the Boil

Once boils came out on Abbaside Caliph, Mutawakkil’s body. His condition was so critical that no surgeon dared to put a knife on his wound. His mother made a vow that if her son recovered from the disease, she would hand over a good deal of properties to the Imam (AS).

Fath ibn Khaqan proposed that they send someone to the 10th Imam, Imam Hadi (AS) to ask him for a drug to heal the boil. They sent someone to the Imam (AS) and he came back with the following prescription: 

Soak dung in rose water and place it on the boil. It will definitely fall if Allah wishes.
Upon hearing this, some of those who were present by Mutawakkil’s side burst into laughter. But Fath ibn Khaqan told them: What will be the harm if we practiced what he said? They did what Imam (AS) had said. The boil burst and all the pus came out.
Mutawakkil’s mother sent 10,000 dinars to the Imam (AS) when her son Mutawakkil regained his health.

Reading Holy Qur'an in Spare Time

A Junior Youth reading Holy Qur'an
This story was sent by a reader sharing his personal (useful) experience. 

Since last night my young son has been unwell. When I got back from Work this evening I decided to take him to hospital despite my exhaustion.
There were many waiting; perhaps we will be delayed by more than an hour. I took my number and sat down in the waiting room. There were many faces, young and old, but all silent. Some brothers made use of the many booklets available in the waiting room.
Some of those waiting had their eyes closed, while others were looking around. Most were bored. Once in a while the long silence was broken by a nurse calling out a number. Happiness appears on the one whose turn it is, and he gets up quickly; then silence returns.
A young man grabbed my attention. He was reading a pocket-sized Qur`an continuously; not raising his head even once. At first I did not think much about him. However, after one hour of waiting my casual glances turned into a deep reflection about his lifestyle and how he utilizes his time. One hour of life wasted! Instead of making benefit of that hour, it was just a boring wait. Then the call for prayer was made. We went to prayer in the hospital's Masjid. I tried to pray close to the man who was reading the Qur'an earlier in the waiting room.
After the prayer I walked with him. I informed him of how impressed I was of him and how he tries to benefit from his time. He told me that most of our time is wasted without any benefit. These are days that go from our lives without being conscious of them or regretting their waste.. He said that he started carrying the pocket-sized Qur`an around when a friend encouraged him to make full use of his time. He told me that in the time other people waste he gets to read much more of the Qur`an than he gets to read either at home or in the masjid. Moreover, besides the reward of reading the Qur`an, this habit saves him from boredom and stress.
He added that he has now been waiting for one and a half hours. Then he asked, when will you find one and a half hours to read the Qur`an? I reflected; How much time do we waste? How many moments of our lives pass by, and yet we do not account for how they passed by? Indeed, how many months pass by and we do not read the Qur`an? I came to respect my companion, and I discovered that I am to stand for account and that time is not in my hand; so what am I waiting for?
My thoughts were interrupted by the nurse calling out my number; I went to the doctor. But I want to achieve something now. After I left the hospital I quickly went to the bookshop and bought a pocket-sized Qur`an. I decided to be mindful of how I spend the time. If this information is beneficial to you, then please do forward it to your friends and relatives.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wake up for Fajr Salaah

A man woke up early in the morning in order to perform the Fajr Prayer.
He got dressed, made his ablution and was on his way to the Masjid.
On his way to the Masjid, the man fell down and his clothes got dirty.
He got up, brushed himself off, and headed home.
He changed his clothes, made his ablution once again on his way to the Masjid.
On his way he fell again and at the same spot!
He, again, got up, brushed himself off and headed home.
Once again, he changed his clothes, made his ablution and was on his way to the Masjid.
On his way to the Masjid, he met a man holding a lamp.
He asked the man of his identity and the man replied 'I saw you fall twice on your way to the Masjid, so I brought a lamp so I can light your way.'
The first man thanked him profusely and the two where on their way to the Masjid.
Once at the Masjid, the first man asked the man with the lamp to come in and pray Fajr with him. The second man refused.
The first man asked him a couple more times and, again, the answer was the same.
The first man asked him why he did not wish to come in and pray.
The man replied: "I am Shaitaan"(devil/ evil). The man was shocked at this reply.
Shaitan went on to explain:
'I saw you on your way to the Masjid and it was I who made you fall. When you went home, cleaned yourself and went back on your way to the Masjid, Allah forgave all of your sins.
I made you fall a second time, and even that did not encourage you to stay home, but rather, you went back on your way to the Masjid.
Because of that, Allah forgave all the sins of the people of your household.
I was afraid if I made you fall one more time, then Allah will forgive the sins of the people of your village, so I made sure that you reached the Masjid safely..'
So do not let Shaitan benefit from his actions.
Do not put off a good that you intended to do as you never know how much reward
your might receive from the hardships you encounter while trying to achieve that good.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Powerful Story About Prayers

He remembered his grandmother's warning about praying on time: "My son, you shouldn't leave prayer to this late time". His grandmother's age was 70 but whenever she heard the Adhan, she got up like an arrow and performed Salah. He, however could never win over his ego to get up and pray. Whatever he did, his Salah was always the last to be offered and he prayed it quickly to get it in on time. Thinking of this, he got up and realized that there were only 15 minutes left before Salat-ul Isha. He quickly made Wudhu and performed Salat-ul Maghrib. While making Tasbih, he again remembered his grandmother and was embarrassed by how he had prayed. His grandmother prayed with such tranquility and peace. He began making Dua and went down to make Sajdah and stayed like that for a while. He had been at school all day and was tired, so tired. He awoke abruptly to the sound of noise and shouting. He was sweating profusely. He looked around. It was very crowded. Every direction he looked in was filled with people.

Some stood frozen looking around, some were running left and right and some were on their knees with their heads in their hands just waiting. Pure fear and apprehension filled him as he realized where he was.

His heart was about to burst. It was the Day of Judgement. When he was alive, he had heard many things about the questioning on the Day of Judgement, but that seemed so long ago. Could this be something his mind made up? No, the wait and the fear were so great that he could not have imagined this. The interrogation was still going on. He began moving frantically from people to people to ask if his name had been called. No one could answer him.

All of a sudden his name was called and the crowd split into two and made a passageway for him. Two people grabbed his arms and led him forward. He walked with unknowing eyes through the crowd. The angels brought him to the center and left him there. His head was bent down and his whole life was passing in front of his eyes like a movie. He opened his eyes but saw only another world. The people were all helping others. He saw his father running from one lecture to the other, spending his wealth in the way of Islam. His mother invited guests to their house and one table was being set while the other was being cleared. He pleaded his case, "I too was always on this path. I helped others. I spread the word of Allah. I performed my Salah. I fasted in the month of Ramadan. Whatever Allah ordered us to do, I did. Whatever he ordered us not to do, I did not."

He began to cry and think about how much he loved Allah. He knew that whatever he had done in life would be less than what Allah deserved and his only protector was Allah. He was sweating like never before and was shaking all over. His eyes were fixed on the scale, waiting for the final decision. At last, the decision was made. The two angels with sheets of paper in their hands, turned to the crowd. His legs felt like they
were going to collapse.

He closed his eyes as they began to read the names of those people who were to enter Jahannam. His name was read first. He fell on his knees and yelled that this couldn't be, "How could I go to Jahannam? I served others all my life, I spread the word of Allah to others". His eyes had become blurry and he was shaking with sweat. The two angels took him by the arms. As his feet dragged, they went through the crowd and advanced toward the blazing flames of Jahannam. He was yelling and wondered if there was any person who was going to help him. He was yelling of all the good deeds he had done, how he had helped his father, his fasts, prayers, the Qur'an that he read, he was asking if none of them would help him. The Jahannam angels continued to drag him. They had gotten closer to the Hellfire. He looked back and these were his last pleas. Had not Rasulullah [saw] said, "How clean would a person be who bathes in a river five times a day, so too does the Salah performed five times cleanse someone of their sins"?

He began yelling, "My prayers? my prayers? my prayers." The two angels did not stop, and they came to the edge of the abyss of Jahannam. The flames of the Fire were burning his face. He looked back one last time, but his eyes were dry of hope and he had nothing left in him. One of the angels pushed him in. He found himself in the air and falling towards the flames. He had just fallen five or six feet when a hand grabbed him by the arm and pulled him back. He lifted his head and saw an old man with a long white beard. He wiped some dust off himself and asked him, "Who are you?" The old man replied, "I am your prayers". "Why are you so late! I was almost in the Fire! You rescued me at the last minute before I fell in!!"

The old man smiled and shook his head, "You always performed me at the last minute, did you forget?" At that instant, he blinked and lifted his head from Sajdah. He was in a sweat. He listened to the voices coming from outside. He heard the adhan for Salat-ul Isha. He got up quickly and went to perform Wudhu.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hijab Reform in the Month of Ramadhan

Ramadan – the month of spiritual reform. It is the month that I finally decided to wear the hijab. My thoughts were full of worries about what would happen if I began to wear it; I would be recognized as a Muslim everywhere I go. Having grown up amongst non-Muslims whilst living in the west made me afraid to express my culture, because I felt I would not be accepted.
Throughout my school years I experienced different forms of discrimination and intolerance, much of it enforcing my fear to wear the hijab. Senior year came and a feeling of emptiness spread inside me. I thought maybe there was something worldly I was missing out on. I knew I was in need of a spiritual change, and that I must begin to wear the hijab, but I ignored it.
I relied on worldly matters to take the feelings of emptiness away. If only I had known of the Hadith of Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) in which he said, "This world is like seawater, the more you drink the more you get thirsty." And let us think, what is the effect of seawater on the one who drinks it? There are elements in it which cause insanity. Indeed, relying on worldly things to quench our thirst and solve our problems will cause us nothing but distress.
Throughout those days at school I knew I was committing sin, and I can even remember a moment where I could feel Allah watching me directly. My heart was saddened, but Shaytan told me to ignore it; he was trying to convince me that this world will provide me with all that I needed. Yet Imam Sadiq's words will always ring true - it will never be enough.
As senior year came to an end I felt as if I was awakening form my slumber; my eyes were finally opening, and regret for my actions consumed me. I began to repent to Allah asking Him to bring me back to His Mercy and Love. I gave up music, and this time seriously considered wearing the hijab. I wanted the emptiness to disappear and my thirst to be quenched.
It was in the month of Ramadan that Allah helped me gain the courage to wear it. He allowed me to meet some very encouraging sisters who impacted my life greatly. I began to observe hijab in the second week of Ramadan, and I knew instantly that this was what my heart had been yearning for.
The day I put it on, not a single person spoke against me for wearing it, and it was then that I realized all my fears were whispers of Shaytan. My friends did not question me, and instead I felt I had gained respect. I fell in love with my hijab.
But putting the hijab on was only the beginning. I soon realized it is not just a piece of cloth on my head, but a spiritual journey to the Almighty; I could feel my love of Allah increasing daily. He soon blessed me to go on Ziyarat to visit Lady Zainab (peace be upon her), and upon my return I found within myself a strong craving to gain Islamic knowledge. I began learning what I did not know, and things I once thought I knew.
Let us make this Ramadan one in which we abandon our sinful ways and ask Allah to help us gain nearness to Him in our hearts. To my sisters who are struggling to wear the hijab: if you sincerely ask Allah for help, while also making the effort to change, He will certainly help you in the best of ways. And to my brothers: do remember to lower your gaze.
This world is only temporary, while Love for Allah is eternal. Love for Him is the best of feelings and the highest form of love, for He wants nothing from us, but everything for us - so let us develop the God-consciousness in our hearts to practice all that He has made obligatory, and guard ourselves from all that He has made forbidden.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Nearness to God

Once Moosa (AS) asked Allah Ta'ala: O Allah ! You have granted me the honor and privilege of talking to you directly, Have you given this privilege to any otherperson? Allah Ta'ala replied, O!! Moosa during the last period I am going to send an ummat, who will be the Ummat of Mohammed (SAW) with dry lips, parched tongues, emaciated body with eyes sunken deep into their sockets, with livers dry and stomachs suffering the pangs of hunger- will call out to me (in dua) they will be much much closer to me than you O Moosa! while you speak to me there are 70000 veils between you and me but at the time of iftaar there will not be a single veil between me and the fasting Ummati of Mohammed (SAW) O!! Moosa I have taken upon myself the responsibility that at the time of iftaar I will never refuse the dua of a fasting person!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Reward on the Basis of Common Sense

Mohammed bin Suleiman Al-Dailami, through a reliable chain of narrators said, "I mentioned the devotion, religious acts and piety of a certain individual to Hazrat Imam Jaffer as-Sadiq A.S. The Imam asked, "What about his common sense?" I said, "I have no idea." The Imam said, "The rewards depends upon the degree of his common sense." Then the Imam A.S. exemplified this principle saying, "A descendent of Israeel used to worship Allah in an Island, verdant, full of greenery and blossoming trees and an abundant supply of pure and fresh water. One of the angels happened to pass that way and (being impressed by the sincerity of the devotion of the worshipper) prayed: "O my Lord! show me the reward destined for this servant of Thine." Allah, the Elevated One, showed him that (reward). The angel thought that the reward was less than what the worshipper deserved. Allah, the Elevated One, then inspired the angel to befriend him. The angel approached the worshipper in a human form. The worshipper asked, "Who are you?" He said, "I am also a devoted worshipper. I have been told about your worship and this place of yours in this area. Therefore I have come to you to worship Allah in your company." That day the angel remained with the worshipper. The following morning, the angel addressed the worshipper saying, "This place of yours is excellent and is most suitable for worship." The worshipper remarked, "There is, however, one drawback in this place." The angel asked, "And what is that?" He said, "Our Lord does not have any quadrupeds. If he had a donkey, I would have let him graze in this place because all this grass is just being wasted." The angel then asked him, "So your Lord does not possess a donkey?" He replied, "If he had a donkey, a verdant greenery would not have been wasted." Allah then revealed to the angel by means of inspiration, "I reward (My servants) on the basis of their common sense."

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Who was Bintul Huda?

Aminah Haidar Al-Sadr was born in the holy city of Kadhmain, Baghdad in 1937. Her father, a renowned religious leader, died when she was two years old. She enjoyed the loving care of her mother and two kind brothers, Sayyid Ismael and Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir Al-Sadr. Aminah Al-Sadr, known as Bint Al-Huda, did not attend any government school, but was well educated at the hands of her two scholar brothers, especially Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir, who recognized her bright talent. As a teenager, Bint Al-Huda was a voracious reader who always spent her pocket money on useful books and increasing her knowledge.
The first half of this century indicated that Western cultural values dominated the Arab and Muslim countries of the world. Secular systems spread deviation and corruption and branded Islam as reactionary and as a hindrance to progress.
At the age of 20, Bint Al-Huda began writing articles in Al-Adhwa magazine published by the religious ulema in the holy city of Najaf, Iraq. Her articles drew the attention of intellectuals in Najaf and became torches which illuminated the darkness for women. Her writings awakened a society which, like many societies in other Muslim countries, was being deviated under the pretexts of freedom and equality. Possessing keen insight, she felt the great damage that was being inflicted upon Islam through the deliberate corruption of women. Her simply-written stories tackled these wrong traditions and presented truly Islamic concepts concerning woman and her specific role in a healthy society.
It is a great pity and a serious setback that the Muslim women of the world lost this great woman writer so early. A major crime of the Iraqi Ba'thist regime was the tortured murder of this noble lady and her brother and religious scholar, Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir Al-Sadr (May Allah bless them both). The tyrannical, anti-Islamic regime of Saddam was well aware of their brave struggle for the sake of Islam and decided to finish them off. They were arrested in April, 1980, and killed in cold blood three days later
A brave woman who confronted tyrants and achieved martyrdom for the sake of Islam.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Benefits of reciting Ayatul Kursi

1. Holy prophet (PBUH) said: whoever recites the first 4 ayats of Surah-e-Baqarah (chapter: The cow), then Ayatul Kursi and then the last 3 ayats of Surah-e-Baqarah, will not be inflicted with any kind of difficulty in his wealth or himself, Satan will not come near him and he will not forget the Qur’an.
2. Holy Prophet (PBUH) said: Qur’an is a great word, and Surah-e-Baqarah is the leader of the Qur’an and Ayatul Kursi is the leader of Surah-e-Baqarah. In Ayatul Kursi there are 50 words and for each word there are 50 blessings and good in it.
3. One who recites Ayatul Kursi every morning will be in the protection, safety of Allah until the night.
4. If one ties this to ones wealth or children, they will be safe from Satan.
5. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) has said: These things increase ones memory: sweets, meat of an animal which is slaughtered in Islamic manner near the neck, Lentils, cold bread and recitation of Ayatul Kursi.
6. For those of our dear ones who have passed away, recitation of Ayatul Kursi and giving it as Hadiyeh to them, gives them light (noor) in the grave.
7. Frequent recitation makes ones own death easy.
8. When leaving home, if one recites it once, the Almighty has one group of Angels to come and protect you. If recited twice, 2 groups of Angels are assigned to do this. If recited 3 times Allah tells the Angels not to worry as the Almighty himself takes care of him.
9. The Holy Prophet has said: If one recites Ayatul Kursi before going to sleep, Allah will send an Angel to come and look after you and protect.
10. When one is alone in the house, recitation of Ayatul Kursi and asking Allah for help will make you remain calm and you will not fear.
11. The Holy Prophet has said: When leaving home, if one recites Ayatul Kursi, then Allah will send 70,000 Angels to do Istighfaar for him until he returns home, and upon his return Poverty will be removed from him.
12. If one recites this after performing Wudhoo, the 5th Imam Hazrat Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s) has said: Allah will give him a reward of 40 years of Ibadaat, and his position will be raised in the Heavens 40 times (levels).
13. One who recites it after every prayer, their salat will be accepted, and they will remain in the safety of the Almighty and He will protect them.
14. Allah told Prophet Musa (a.s): If one recites it after every salat, the Almighty will make his heart a thankful one (Shakireen) will give him a reward of the prophets, and his deeds will be like those of the truthful (Siddiqeen).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Drawbacks of a Palace

Many years ago there lived a King who built himself a huge and magnificent palace. No one had seen anything like it before. The turrets rose into the sky and many expensive materials were used in its construction. The King invited one and all to come and view his palace and left a guest book at the entrance for them to sign and leave comments in.

He took pleasure in reading the various praises that people visiting the palace had written for him in the book. However, he came across two comments that were not in keeping with the general feeling. These two comments were not in praise of the palace; on the contrary, they criticized it. The King was upset and summoned the authors of the comments. At first, neither of them was ready to explain his comment but, after the King assured them that their lives were not in danger, they disclosed the reasons.

"O King! There are two weaknesses in this palace. The first of these is that some day, the palace will turn into ruins, and the second one is that it does not have anything to ensure that its owner will not be separated from it one day. In a life of just a few days, why do we have to attach ourselves to such worldly, material things?"

Man will soon die and leave behind all his worldly possessions. What will accompany him the journey to the Hereafter are his noble deeds.

Imam Ali al Hadi (as) said: In the world, people are publicized by their property, wealth and asset, and in eternity they are known by their deeds and actions.

"Wealth and children are an adornment of the life of the world, but lasting righteous deeds are better with your Lord in reward and better in hope." Noble Qur'an, (18:46)

Wisdom therefore dictates that man should focus his attention to things that are imperishable and highly rewardable.

Imam Ali (as) said: The world is a passage lodging, and eternity is a place everlasting, yon should take advantage of the opportunity to save something from your passage lodging for the rest of your Journey.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nobility of Shaykh Saduq (a.r.)

In the year 1238 A.H. (1859 A.D.) Fath Ali - the king of Qajar - ordered the building of the shrine to be reconstructed. This resulted in a demonstration of nobility. The word spread around among the people, and it was finally approved of by the government officials and the king. The details of this event have been recorded by many authors - may God have mercy upon them. Among them we can mention ROWZA by Khansari, QISAS AL-ULAMA by Tonikaboni, TANQIH AL-MAQAL by Mamaghani, MONTAKHAB UL-TAWARIKH by Khorasani and TAVA'ED AR-RAZAVIEH by Qumi. This has been recorded in ROWZA by Khansari as follows: 'This event was a demonstration of the nobility of the Sheikh. It attracted the attention of many people, and was a source of guidance for many and a cause of happiness for many enlightened people.

There once appeared a rupture in the shrine of the noble Sheikh - that is located near Ray - due to a flood. When they investigated to find the degree of damage done in order to reconstruct it, they reached a room in which he was buried. Once they entered that room they found his body naked, with his private parts covered, and in perfect shape. His face was absolutely peaceful and they could still see the polish (khadhab) on his nails. The shroud with which his body was wrapped at the time he was buried had worn out, torn into shreds and fallen down on the dirt around his corpse. The news rapidly spread around in Tehran. When Fath Ali - the grandfather of Naser ad-Din - the king of Qajar heard about this around the year 1238 A.H. (1859 A.D.), he went there in person to investigate. He consulted with the government officials whom he trusted as to whether or not he should enter the tomb in person.

They did not recommend the king entering the tomb, as they thought this was not appropriate for his rule. Then a group of religious scholars and well-known people were sent into the tomb to check the issue. When the numerous people who had entered the tomb all testified to the truth of this issue, no doubt was left for the king.

Once he was certain about the truth of this issue, he ordered the cavity to be closed off, and the building of the shrine to be reconstructed, and decorated in the best possible fashion using mirror work. I have personally seen some of the people who were present there. Some of our religious professors who are of the noble scholars have also described this event. And peace be upon him the day he is born, and the day he dies, and the day he is resurrected.'


A Child Prodigy and an intelligent youth

There is an intellectual among our scholars who led a life of anonymity. His name was Muhammad bin Hasan bin Muhammad Isfahani, and he was known by the appellation of Fazil-e-Hindi. If he is called as a great personality it is not beyond reality because he was indeed a great personality but what is actually needed is to bring out his personality from the shadows of anonymity. This is so because he was not an ordinary scholar; he has to his credit great services in the field of knowledge.

This great personality was born in 1062 A.H. in Isfahan and since he had traveled to India (Hindustan) during his childhood he began to be addressed as Fazil-e-Hindi.

His father Tajuddin Hasan bin Muhammad Isfahani was among the great scholars of his time. He is the writer of the commentary of Baher-e-Mawaj.

Fazil-e-Hindi is not known to the general readers, not even among the scholars. But the religious jurisprudents and the great Shia intellectuals know him well. Al-Hajj Mirza Husain Noori narrates from his teacher Shaykh Iraqain that the writer of Jawahir has expressed great trust in the book of Kashful Atham. Till the time he did not have this book in front of him he never wrote any portion of Jawahir and he used to say, “But for Fazil-e-Hindi the science of religious jurisprudence would have become extinct in Iran.”

The great jurisprudent Shaykh Asadullah Shustari in his first book Maqabis presents Fazil-e-Hindi in such a way as if he is arguing about Imamate and the rights of Ali (a.s.) with the Ahle Sunnat. Thus in one of his commentaries he writes, “Among his writings is the book, Al-Manahij-ul-Sawiya which is the commentary of Rawdatul Hayya. I have seen some of its volumes.”

His book Salat is authoritative, lucid and brimming with benefits and research. It was completed in 1088 A.H., which shows that the author was only twenty-five at that time. This young man also experienced those days when the Afghans created great mischief and Isfahan was broken away from Iran. Those days he spent a very difficult life of grief and calamities. Fazil-e-Hindi has written around eighty books and he expired in 1137 A.H. The most well known of his book is Kashful Atham, which is the commentary on Allamah Hilli’s Qawaid. In the introduction of this book he has repeated the words of Fakhrul Muhaqqiqin that why people are surprised if some are endowed with knowledge at a young age. Allah gives to whom He pleases.

He says, “I myself was not even thirteen when I had studied all the prevalent sciences. I was not even eleven when I had started writing and compiling books. When I was fifteen I wrote Munyatul Harees Dar Sharh Talkhis. I was only eighteen when I used to lecture on Taftazani…-

Mustadrakul Wasail, Vol. 3, pg. 402

Monday, January 18, 2010

The beautiful State of Remembrance of Allah

‘Allama al-Tabataba’i while he was busy engaged in the remembrance of Allah in the Mosque of Kufa in ‘Iraq. His mentor in Gnosis (‘irfan), Ayatullah Sayyid ‘Ali Qadhi al-Tabataba’i warned him from paying any attention to whatever comes about while he is busy in his remembrance of Allah. ‘Allama is reported to have said that once while he was immersed in the remembrance of Allah (dhikr Allah) in the Mosque of Kufa, he suddenly saw a beautiful heavenly damsel (hour al-‘in) appear before him with a cup of heavenly wine. Observing the instructions of his mentor, he paid no attention to her. So she appeared to him from the other side and persistently requested ‘Allama to accept her offer, but the latter did not pay attention to her again. ‘Allama writes in his personal memoirs that due to his inattention, she was so frustrated that he can still remember her state. This scenario obviously was not in the present realm of al-dunya, for Houris are damsels of Paradise, and hence, do not have material existence. In reality ‘Allama, was visioning what was beyond this world. Analysts believe that what ‘Allama saw was perhaps the result of his own dhikr, which in our traditions can be the cause of the creation of such rewards.
What his mentor, however, said was very important and meaningful, because attending to the All Beloved is loftier than attending to the result of one’s own actions (hour al-‘in). Further more, it is due the remembrance of the Only Beloved, that makes a loving houri magnetized to ‘Allama al-Tabataba’i and frustrated when he pays no attention to her.
According to a beautiful dictum of a great saint, “Agar behisht shireen ast, behisht afreen shirintar ast’‘(If Paradise is sweet, the Creator of Paradise is even sweeter’).

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Imam Ali (a.s.): O seeker of knowledge! Numerous are the advantages of knowledge. The head of knowledge (if knowledge is personified as a human being) will be humility, its eyes will be immune from jealousy; its ears will be understanding (the truth and justice); its tongue will be truthfulness; its security lies in visiting the learned scholars; its ambitions will be to establish (universal) peace; its wisdom will be piety; salvation will be its final abode; its health will be its leader; faithfulness will be its mount; sweet talk will be its ammunition; its sword will be the acceptance of the Will and Pleasure of God; its bow (and arrow) will be sympathy and hospitality; its army will be its good manners; its treasures will be its refraining from sins; its sustenance will be its good manners; its meekness will be its beverage (to quench his thirst during his journey); its guide will be the Divine Guidance and its comrades will be the love of virtues.