Monday, October 29, 2012

The Dead Snake

Marhum Qadhi was a scholar of the highest calibre in Najaf in the last century. He taught akhlaq, aqaaid and 'irfan, and was also well versed in falsafah and fiqh. Many great scholars of the previous generation were his students. He had a special status and piety, which enabled him to perform many miraculous acts, some of which his students have described.  
One of the teachers at the Hawza in Najaf reports:
“I had heard much about the wondrous abilities of Marhum Qadhi, but I doubted whether the stories were actually true or not, until one day, when I met him outside the masjid of Kufa. I greeted him and we spoke together for a few moments. When we reached the entrance of the mosque of Kufa, (which was facing the open desert), we sat outside facing the qiblah in the shade of one of the walls of the mosque, for some rest, before we entering the mosque.
We began a discussion and Marhum Qadhi related some matters about the secrets and signs of Allah swt, the definition of tawhid, the importance of pondering deeply on this subject and the fact that this is the true and the only purpose of man's creation. The talk continued until the call for prayers came.
As he spoke, I thought to myself, “Truly, we are all confused and totally unaware of the actual reality of our creation. How shameful will it be if our lives end in this manner? What he says is so true, and if we do not take benefit from it, then woe to us!”
Suddenly, I saw a large snake come out of its lair and begin to slide next to the wall of the mosque, coming towards us. There were many snakes in that region, and people would often see them, but they did not usually attack anyone. However, this snake came right next to us, really frightening me. I noticed that immediately Marhum Qadhi pointed at it (the snake) and said, “mut, bi idhnillah” - i.e. “die, by the permission of Allah!” To my utter surprise, I saw that the snake immediately withered away and died. Then without even pausing for a moment, he concluded his comments and then we stood up to attend the prayers.
Marhum Qadhi recited his prayers in the mosque and then retired to a side room where he used to engage in worship. I also performed some a'mal, and then decided to return to Najaf. Before I left, a thought passed in my mind, “was the snake truly dead or had this man somehow tricked me, as some magicians do?” I decided to go and examine the snake to see if it was actually dead. I went out and saw that it was exactly in the same place, dead & dried up. I pushed it to check - it did not move. I became ashamed of my doubts and returned to the mosque to continue with prayers, but I could not concentrate.
Marhum Qadhi remained in his room for some time engrossed in his worship, and then came out and left the mosque. I also came out and we met again. As soon as he saw me, he turned to me and with a smile said, “Well sir, you tested me, you tested me!”

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Proof of Allah Wrote This


Many people have been graced with the opportunity to meet Imam (a.s.) in person. However, in this article we present only those anecdotes where this special favor of Imam (a.s.) has been conferred on the religious scholars and jurists.
During the time of Allamah Hilli, a Sunni scholar had written a book against the Shia faith. This scholar used quotes from his book in all his gatherings and succeeded in creating a dislike for Shiaism amongst the people. He never gave this book to anybody lest it might fall into the hands of the Shia scholars who would write its refutation.
Allamah Hilli began to attend the lectures of this scholar so that he could somehow lay his hands on that book. Gradually he began to call himself the author’s student and concealed his faith. After sometime, he developed a close affinity with his ‘teacher’. Taking advantage of this proximity, Allamah Hilli asked him for the book and pleaded to such an extent that he could not refuse. So he said, “Okay, I shall lend you this book but not for more than a night.” With not much to choose, he considered it an opportunity better than nothing. He wanted to copy as much as he could while the refutation could be written later. But when it was midnight , Allamah Hilli felt sleepy. At that very moment, a dignified personality entered his room and conversed with him for some time. The gentleman offered to copy the book while Allamah Hilli took some rest. The Allamah accepted this without protest and went to sleep. When he woke up, he found the gentleman missing. On seeing the book, he saw that the whole book had been copied and signed at the bottom, “The Proof of Allah wrote this.”
(Majaalisul Momineen, vol. 1, pg. 573, by Qazi Nurullah Shustari)

Friday, August 31, 2012

A Prisoner Unsurpassed in his Patience


A’li A’bid (A’li Ibn Hasan Al-Muthallath) was one of the children of Imam Hasan (a.s.) who had been imprisoned by Mansur Dawaaniqi and had died while still in prison.  A’li A’bid was unsurpassed in his patience, worship and remembrance of God.
When Mansur arrested the descendants of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and the children of Imam Hasan (a.s.), he placed them in a prison that was so dark that day could not be differentiated from night, except by means of the recitations and acts of worship of A'li A’abid. These acts were disciplined, orderly and continuous, and therefore made the others aware of the time for prayers.
One day, due to the hardships of captivity and the weight of his fetters, A'bdullah Ibn Hasan Al-Muthanna lost patience and in a state of great agitation, said to A'li A’abid:
“Do you not witness our misfortunes and adversities?  Do you not pray to God to grant us relief from this suffering of ours?”
A'li A’abid remained silent for a while after which he said, “O’ Uncle!  There exists for us a (lofty) rank in Paradise, which we can never achieve except by exhibiting patience over theseor even more severe adversities, and there exists for Mansur a dreadful place within Hell, which he shall never reach except by subjecting us to such persecution.  If we are patient, we shall soon find ourselves in ease and comfort, for death is not very far from us.  But if you desire, I shall pray for our deliverance, but in that case, Mansur shall not reach that stage of wretchedness, which has been ordained for him, within Hell.”
Hearing this, A'bdullah immediately said, “We shall be patient.”
Hardly three days had passed when, A'li A’abid passed away while in a state of prostration.  A'bdullah thought him to be asleep and said, “Wake up my nephew.”
As they attempted to move him, they found that he would not wake up and it was then they realized that he had died.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Judgement for the Drunk


It has been reported by Kulaini on the authority of Hazrat Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) that a case was decided by Hazrat Ali (k.u.w) in such a way that it was never decided before and that it was the first case after the demise of the Holy Prophet(S.A.).

“During the caliphate of Hazrat Abu Bakr a man was found drunk and brought before the Caliph. The Caliph asked him as to whether he had drunk wine. In reply the man admitted to have drunk.
The Caliph asked him: “Why did you drink when it has been prohibited in Islam?”
The man replied: “I am residing in the neighborhood of some people who are habitual drinkers. Although I am a Muslim, I have never heard that wine has been prohibited in Islam.” 
Hearing this Hazrat Abu Bakr looked at Hazrat Umar with a question mark in his eyes. Hazrat Umar said: “This is just one of the cases that no one else than Ali (a.s.) could decide.”
When the case was referred to Hazrat Ali (a.s.), he sent the man round in the city with some persons to ask the people as to whether anyone had recited to him the verse of the holy Quran whereby wine was totally prohibited. And when it was proved that none had done so, the man was released with a warning never to drink in future. 
(Also carried by Nasikhut Tawarikh, vol. 2, p. 731; Buharij, vo1. 9, p.483; Manaqib, vol. 2, p.178)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Abuzar: The Great Companion of the Prophet (s.a.)

The aged and great companion of the prophet died of hunger. He and the members of his family lived in extremely hard conditions and had to suffer unprecedented miseries. Their children also passed away due to lack of food.
It has been narrated that after the death of their children AbuZar and his wife grew very weak on account of hunger. One day AbuZar said to his wife: "Let us go upto that mound. It is possible that we may find some wild fruits there". They went upto the mound. Inclement winds were blowing and they could not find anything to eat. AbuZar began to faint. Although very cold wind was blowing but AbuZar was perspiring and wiped his sweat again and again. When his wife looked at him she realized that he was going to die. She began to weep. AbuZar asked her why she was weeping. She replied: "Why should I not weep? You are breathing your last on this barren land, and I don't have even a piece of cloth which maybe used as a shroud for you and me". Her words grieved AbuZar very very much. He said to her: "Go and stand by the side of the road. It is possible that you may meet a believer who may be passing that way". She replied: "Who will pass this way now? The caravan of the pilgrims has already passed and the road is deserted".
AbuZar recalled the words which the prophet had uttered about him. He said to his wife: "Go and see carefully. If you find someone coming you will be relieved of your worry. And if you don't find anyone you should cover my dead body and place it by the side of the road.
As and when you chance to meet the first rider tell him:"AbuZar the companion of the prophet has died. Now assist in bathing and shrouding him".
AbuZar's wife ascended the mound time and again but could not find any human being. After some time, however, she saw some riders at a distance and beckoned them by moving her cloth. They came up to her and said:
"O bondwoman of God! What is the matter?" She replied: "Here is a Muslim who is dying;please arrange for his bathing, shrouding and burial. God will recompense you fo this". They asked: "Who is the man?" She replied:
"His name is AbuZar Ghifari".
The men could not believe that such a distinguished companion of the prophet could die in the desert. They, therefore, asked her: "Who is this AbuZar? Is he the companion of the prophet?" She said "Yes". They said:"May our parents be his ransom! God has granted us a great honour". They then hurried to the place where AbuZar was lying. AbuZar was feeling the pangs of death.
He fixed his eyes on their faces for some time trying to recognise their faces, and then said: "By God I have not told a lie. By God if I had sufficient cloth for my and my wife's shroud I would certainly have been shrouded in that cloth. I ask you in the name of God that if anyone of you has been a ruler or a government employee or a messenger or a chief at any time he should not shroud me".
Those present were bewildered to hear these words because almost all of them had held these offices at one time or another. Suddenly a young man from amongst the Ansar stepped forward and said: "O uncle! I shall shroud you with this mantle which I had purchased with the money that I had earned through hard work. I will shroud you with this cloth whose thread was spun by my mother so that I might use it as Ehram (pilgrims garb)".
He said to the young man: "Shroud me with these pieces of cloth, for they are pure". Now he was happy and satisfied. Then he cast a glance at them again and passed away peacefully. Then the dark and thick clouds covered the sky. Strong and severe winds began to blow and the desert sand sprang up and darkened the atmosphere. It might be said that the desert of Rabazah got converted into a roaring ocean.
(Excerpt from The Voice of Human Justice)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Two Valuable Dirhams


One of the companions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.), by the name of Sa'd, was very poor and was regarded as one of the People of the Ledge[76].  He used to offer all his prayers behind the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.), who was greatly distressed by Sa’d’s poverty. One day, the Holy Prophet promised him that if he got some money, he would give it to Sa’d. Time passed but no money came to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) who became even more distressed at Sa’d’s situation. It was at this time that Jibraeel descended from the skies, bringing with him two dirhams.
He said to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.), “Allah has said: We are aware of your distress in connection with Sa’d’s poverty.  If you want him to emerge from this state, give him these two dirhams and ask him to engage himself in trade.”
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) took the two dirhams and set out of the house for the Dhuhr prayers when he found Sa’d waiting for him near one of the rooms of the mosque.
Turning to him, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) asked:
“Can you engage yourself in business?”
“By Allah!  I have no capital with which I can do business,” replied Sa’d.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) handed him the two dirhams and told him to start trading with this capital.
Sa’d took the money and after offering the Dhuhr and A’sr prayers set about to earn his livelihood.
God blessed him in such a way that whatever he purchased for a dirham, he would sell it for double the amount. Consequently, his financial state gradually improved.  This continued till he eventually purchased a shop near the mosque and began conducting his business from there.
As his business picked up, he began to become lax with respect to his acts of worship, even to the extent that when Bilal recited the adhaan he would not get ready for the prayers. Previously, he was ready well before adhaan was recited!
When the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) noticed Sa’d’s lateness for prayers, he said to him:
“Sa'd, this world has made you so busy that it has even weaned you away from your prayers.”
Sa’d replied, “What can I do?  If I leave my wealth unattended, it will go to waste and I will end up in loss.  From one person, I have to collect the money for the goods sold, while from another I have to take possession of the goods purchased.”
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was disturbed at Sa'd’s involvement with his wealth and his negligence with respect to his acts of worship.  At that moment, Jibraeel descended and said:
“Allah has said: ‘We possess knowledge of your distress.  Which of the two states do you prefer for Sa'd?”
The Holy Prophet indicated that the previous state was beneficial for Sa’d.
Jibraeel agreed, “Yes, love for the world causes man to become heedless of the hereafter.  Take back the two dirhams, which you had given to him previously.”
The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) approached Sa'd and asked him if he could return the two dirhams that he had given to him.
“If you desire, I shall even give you two hundred dirhams,” said Sa’d.
“No, just give me the two dirhams, which you had taken from me.”
Sa’d handed the money to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and within a short time, his financial situation turned a full circle and before long he found himself in his previous state.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Who is a Youth?


Imam Sadiq (a.s.) once asked the students and companions who had gathered around him:

“Who is a ‘youth?”

A person answered, “Someone who is young in age.”

The Imam (a.s.) said, “Despite the old age of the People of the Cave, on account of the faith which they possessed, God has referred to them as ‘youths’.  In verse 10 of the chapter al-Kahf, He says: When the youths sought refuge in the cave. 

He then continued, “Whoever believes in God and observes piety is a youth.”

Monday, July 2, 2012

Grant Me Martyrdom


One day, after offering the morning prayers in congregation, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) looked around the mosque and his eyes fell upon a youth, Harithah Ibn Maalik Ansaari, who sat with his head lowered in a state of drowsiness. His face was pale, his body thin and weak and his eyes appeared to have sunk into their sockets.  The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) approached Harithah and inquired:

“What state are you in?”

“I find myself as a true believer,” replied the youth. 

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) asked, “Everything possesses a truth; what is the truth behind what you claim?”

“O’ Prophet of Allah!  I have become disenchanted with the world,” he answered. “I stay awake (in worship) in the night, and endure thirst (by observing fasts) in the day.  It is as if I am witnessing the A’rsh (Throne) of God and the scenario of Reckoning, observing the inmates of Paradise meeting each other and hearing the shrieks of the inmates of hell.”

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) remarked, “This is a person, whose heart Allah has illuminated”.  Then, addressing Harithah, he continued, “You have acquired perception and insight, so remain steadfast”.

Harithah beseeched: “O’ Prophet of Allah!  Request Allah to grant me martyrdom while fighting alongside you!”

The Prophet prayed to Allah to grant martyrdom to Harithah. A few days later, he dispatched an army for battle and Harithah was included in it. During the battle, Harithah killed nine infidels before he himself was killed, being the tenth soldier from the Muslim force to taste the nectar of martyrdom.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Generosity of A'bdullah Ibn Ja'far


A'bdullah Ibn Ja’far, the husband of Hadhrat Zainab (a.s.) was a person whose generosity was unparalleled. Once, as he happened to pass by a palm-plantation, he noticed a slave working there. At that very moment, the slave’s food was brought and handed over to him.  As he was about to start his meal, a hungry dog came before him, wagging its tail.

The slave placed a portion of his food before the dog and the animal immediately ate it up.  The slave put some more food in front of the dog and before long it was eaten too.  This continued till he had given his entire food to the dog.

 A'bdullah, who had been witnessing the incident, asked the slave, “What is your daily ration of food?”

“The amount which you have just witnessed,” the slave answered.

“If that is the case, why then did you give the dog preference over yourself?” enquired A’bdullah.

“This dog had come from afar and was hungry and I did not deem it appropriate to drive him away in that state of hunger.”

“With what will you satiate yourself today?”

“I shall overcome my hunger by patience and steadfastness,” the slave explained.

A'bdullah, observing the slave’s selflessness and altruism, thought to himself that the slave was more generous than himself. By way of commendation and compensation for his altruism, A’bdullah purchased the slave and the plantation from the owner, freed the slave and finally gifted the entire plantation to him.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mua'wiyah Forcing to Abuse the Companion of the Holy Prophet (saw)


A’di, the son of the well-known Haatim Taai, was one of the sincere and loyal companions of Amirul Mu'mineen (a.s.).  From the year 10 A.H. when he accepted Islam, A’di had always remained in the service of the Imam (a.s.), and had fought alongside him in the battles of Jamal, Siffeen and Nahrawaan.  In the battle of Jamal he sustained an injury to one of his eyes as a result of which he lost his vision.

Once he came to Mua'wiyah for some purpose. Mua’wiyah asked him why he had not brought his sons with him.

“They were killed while fighting alongside Amirul Mu'mineen (a.s.),” he replied.

“Ali has not been just to you, for he sent your sons to be killed while he has kept his own sons alive!” said Mua’wiyah.

A’di retorted, “(On the contrary) I have not done justice to Ali for he has been killed, whereas I am still alive.  O’ Mua'wiyah! Our rage towards you still smoulders in our hearts.  Do know that (the pain of) having our throats slit or the agony of death is easier for us to bear than hearing bad comments about Ali (a.s.).”

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Free Person or a Slave


Once, Imam Kadhim (a.s.) was passing by the house of Bishr Haafi, when he heard the sound of dance and music coming from inside.

At that very moment a slave-girl came out of the house to throw some garbage.

“Is the owner of this house a free person or a slave?” the Imam (a.s.) asked her.

The slave-girl replied, “He is a free man.”

Hearing this, the Imam (a.s.) remarked, “You speak the truth, for had he been a slave, he would have feared his Master.” 

When the slave-girl came back inside the house, Bishr, who had been consuming wine, asked her what took her so long. As soon as the slave-girl related what had happened, Bishr immediately got up and ran bare-footed after the Imam (a.s.).  Once he had caught up with the Imam, he expressed shame and repentance over his acts, sought forgiveness and amended his wrongful ways.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Buhlool Refuses to Accept the Seat of Justice


Haroon Al-Rashid, the Abbasid Caliph, wished to appoint a judge in Baghdad.  After conferring with his courtiers, it was unanimously agreed that none, except Buhlool, possessed the right qualities for the post.

Buhlool was summoned and the post was offered to him. But Haroon declined to accept, saying that he was neither worthy of the post nor capable of undertaking the task. 
Haroon said, “All the inhabitants of Baghdad are of the opinion that none except you, is worthy of the post and you deny it!”

Buhlool explained:
“I am more aware of myself than any of you. Whatever I have stated is either true or false. If the reason I have given is true, then it would be improper of me to assume the office of judge when I am not capable. On the other hand, if I have lied to you, then a liar does not deserve to take this post.”

But Haroon insisted that Buhlool took up the responsibility. Buhlool requested that he be granted one night to reflect over the offer.  The next morning, Buhlool feigned insanity and placing a staff between his legs ran through the streets and markets of Baghdad, screaming:
“Make room for my horse and keep away lest it kicks you.”

As soon as the people noticed his antics, they commented that Buhlool had gone insane. When Haroon Al-Rashid was informed of this, he said:
“Buhlool has not become insane; rather he has saved his religion and has escaped our clutches.  He has enacted this in order to prevent himself from interfering in the affairs and the rights of the people.”


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I Cannot Pray for Them


Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.) narrates:
There was an old man from Bani Israel, who had two daughters. One of them was married to a farmer, while the other to a pottery-maker.  Once he decided to pay them a visit. 

He first visited the daughter who was the wife of the farmer and reaching her house, he inquired about her health.  
The daughter said: “Dear father, my husband has cultivated a large area of land and if it were to rain, we would be the most prosperous of the entire Bani Israel.”

Then, proceeding towards the house of the other daughter, whose husband was a potter, he inquired about her health.
The daughter said,  “Dear father, my husband has moulded pots in great quantity and if God were to withhold the rains till his pots dry up, we would be better off than the entire Bani Israel.”

As he departed from the house of his second daughter, he prayed:

“O’ God!  Act as You deem fit for, in this situation, I cannot pray for either of them.”

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lower Your Gaze



Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (a.s.) says:

"A young man from the Ansar met a woman is Madina. At that time, women used to wear a veil, so he looked at her while she was coming toward him. Men she passed by he continued looking after her until he entered one of the alleys. He continued looking as he passed along the alley until a bone on a wall slashed his face and the woman passed out of sight. Then, unexpectedly, he saw blood flowing over his clothes and chest. He said, 'I must go and inform the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) about the incident.' When the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) saw him in this condition he said, 'What happened?' When he informed the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) about the event in details, the angel Gabriel (a.s.) came down with this verse:

'Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Truly Allah is Cognizan of what they do.' Holy Qur'an (24:30).[28]

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Three Distressed Persons


The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) has related: 
“Three persons from the tribe of Bani Israel got together and started out on a journey.  On the way, clouds gathered above them and it started to pour with rain and so they sought shelter in a nearby cave.
Suddenly, a large boulder slipped and blocked the entrance to the cave, trapping the three inside and transforming the day into a dark night for them.  They had no other alternative except to turn to God for help.
“Let us use our sincere deeds as a means to obtain deliverance from this predicament,” suggested one of them. 
All the others agreed with the suggestion.


One of them said, “O’ Lord! You are aware that I have an extremely attractive cousin and that I was infatuated and obsessed with her.  One day, finding her alone, I took hold of her and wanted to satisfy my carnal desires, when she spoke out to me saying: O’ My cousin!Fear God and do not harm my chastity’. Hearing this, I crushed my lustful tendencies anddecided against the evil act.  O’ Lord!  If that deed of mine had been out of absolute sincerityand only for the purpose of acquiring Your pleasure, deliver us from grief and perdition.”  Suddenly they witnessed that the huge boulder had moved away a little, faintly brightening up the interior of the cave.


The second person spoke out,“O’ Lord! You know that I had a father and a mother, so old that their bodies had bent over due to their excessive age, and that I used to tend to them regularly.  One night, having brought them their food, I observed that both of them were   asleep.  I passed the entire night near them, the food in hand, without waking them up for fear of disturbing them.  O’ Lord!  If this deed of mine had been only for the sake of Your pleasure and happiness, open up a way for us and grant us salvation.” 
As he completed his speech, the group noticed that the boulder had moved aside a little more.


The third person supplicated, “O’ Knower of every hidden and manifest! You know Yourself that I had a worker who used to work for me.  When his term had reached its termination, I handed over to him his wages, but he was not pleased and desired more and, in a state of dissatisfaction and displeasure, he went away.  I used his wage to purchase a goat, which I looked after separately and very soon I had a flock in my possession.  After a period of time,the worker again approached me for his wage and I pointed towards the flock of sheep. Initially, he thought I was ridiculing him, but later, realizing my seriousness, took the entireflock and left.[30]  O’ Lord! If this act had been prompted by sincerity and had only been for Your pleasure, deliver us from this quandary.” 
At this point the entire boulder moved aside from the mouth of the cave and all three emerged from it, joyous and ecstatic, and continued their journey.[31]

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Brothers of Prophet Yusuf (a.s.)


Years after the incident when the brothers of Yusuf (a.s.) had deceptively taken him outside the city, beaten him and flung him into the well thereby forcing their father into perpetual weeping and anguish over his loss, the brothers heard that Yusuf had become the king of Misr. They and their father went to meet him.

The very first sentence which Yusuf uttered upon seeing them, was: And He was indeed kind to me when He took me out of the prison[ Holy Qur’an, ch. Yusuf (12), vs. 100 ]

Apparently, it was out of courtesy that Yusuf desisted from mentioning the troubles he had experienced; first being flung into the well, then his subsequent slavery and then unpleasant incidents, which he had to endure due to the acts of his brothers. He did not wish to revive those bitter memories, which would cause them to experience mortification and embarrassment.

 He then added, “It was Shaitan who incited my brothers to commit those inappropriate deeds towards me, hurling me into the well and separating me from my father; however, the Glorious God exhibited kindness towards me in that he made those very acts a means for granting eminence and reverence to our family!”

Attributing the unjust acts of his brothers to Shaytan and regarding him as the prime culprit for the crimes of his brothers, was another example of Yusuf’s (a.s.) magnanimity. He thus shielded them from embarrassment and left them with an opportunity to apologize for their deeds.

He said:
“There shall be no reproof against you, (from) this day. [Holy Qur’an, ch. Yusuf (12), vs. 92.]   You can rest assured with respect to me, for I have forgiven you and chosen to disregard all that has happened previously, and on behalf of God too, I can give you this good news and seek from Him that Allah may forgive you and He is the Most Merciful of the merciful. [ Holy Qur’an, ch. Yusuf (12), vs. 92. ]

“Surely he who guards (against evil) and is patient (is rewarded) [Holy Qur’an, ch. Yusuf (12), vs. 90]for surely Allah does not waste the reward of those who do good.” [Taareekh-e-Anbiya, pg. 334-347 ]

Friday, April 6, 2012

SILENT FUNERAL OF THE PROPHET'S DAUGHTER

In the darkness of the jet-black night, when eyes were asleep and voices were silent, a Heavenly procession left Ali's house while carrying the Messenger of Allah's daughter to her final abode.
This was on the night of the third (3rd) of Jamadi Al-Thani (the second), 11 A.H.
The heartbreaking procession moved towards an unknown location followed by a small number of devoted ones. They were Ali , Hasan, Husain, Zainab and Um Kulthum... Abu Dhar, Ammar, Miqdad, and Salman were following them. Where are the thousands who inhabited Medina?
One asks, and the answer came: Fatima (A.S) requested that they may not be present at her funeral! The family and their friends hurry to bury Fatima…then they rush back to their own homes so that no one would know where Fatima was buried!
At sunrise people gathered to participate in Fatima's funeral, but they were informed that the darling of Allah's Messenger (P.B.U.H.) had been secretly buried during the night.
Meanwhile, Ali (AS) made the shapes of four fresh graves in Baqi' so as to conceal the location where Fatima was buried. When the people entered the graveyard, they were confused as to which spot was actually Hazrat Fatima Zahra's grave; the people turned towards each other and with feelings of guilt said:
"Our Prophet (P.B.U.H.) has not left behind but one daughter, yet she has died and was buried without our participation in the funeral or the prayer rituals. We do not even realize the place where she has been buried!"
Noticing that a revolt might be ignited because of the emotional atmosphere this event created, the governing party announced:
"Select a group of Muslim women and ask them to dig these graves so that we may find Fatima and perform prayers on her."
Yes! They attempted to execute the plan, violating Fatima's will and causing Ali's (AS) attempts to hide the grave to lie vainly.
Have they forgotten Ali's sharp sword and his well-known courage!!
Did they really think that Ali would remain indifferent to their outrageous actions up to the point of letting them dig Fatima's grave?
Imam Ali (A.S) did not fight back after the Prophet's (PBUH) death because he considered the Muslim's unity and overall interests. Yet, this did not mean that he would ignore their villainous crimes against Fatima even after her death. In other words, Ali (A.S) was asked by the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) to have patience, but only to a certain extent; when Ali (P.B.U.H.) received the news of the about-to-be-executed plot, he put on his fighting gear and rushed towards Baqi'.
A man from among the people called out:
"This is Ali Ibn Abu Talib leveling his sword and saying:
'If anyone moves even a mere stone from these graves, I shall strike even the "back of the last follower of the unjust.”
People, who realized Ali's seriousness, took his threats with complete belief that he would do just as he said if anyone were to oppose him.
Yet, a man from the governing ones addressed Ali (A.S) by saying:
"What is the matter, Abu Al-Hasan? By Allah, we shall dig her grave out and perform prayers on her."
Ali (A.S) then grabbed the man by his clothes shook him and threw him to the ground and said;
“Son of the Sawada! I have abandoned my right to prevent people from forsaking their faith, but as regards Fatima’s grave, by Him in whose hand is my soul if you and your followers attempt to do anything to it, I will irrigate the ground with your blood!"
At this, Abu Bakr said;
'Abu Al-Hasan, I ask you by the right of Allah's Messenger and by Him who is above the Throne: leave him alone and we will not do anything, which you would not approve of.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Prophet Nuh (a.s.)

Hadhrat Nuh (a.s.) lived a very long and difficult life which resulted from his spending a lot of time among stout idol worshipers, attempting to rid them of their false beliefs.  However, in spite of this, he persevered and exhibited steadfastness, withstanding their tortures and troubles.

At times, the people would beat him up to such an extent that for three whole days he would be in a state of unconsciousness while blood continued to ooze out of his ears.  They would pick him up and throw him in a house but upon regaining consciousness, he would pray:

“O’ Lord!  Guide my people for they comprehend not!”

For approximately nine hundred and fifty years, he invited people towards God, but the people only increased in their rebellion and obstinacy. They would bring their children towards Nuh (a.s.), point him out to them and say:

“O’ Children! If you happen to remain alive after us, beware that you do not follow this insane person!”

Then, they would say to him,“O’ Nuh!  If you do not stop your speeches, you shall be stoned to death.  These people who follow you, are base and ignoble ones, who have listened to your talks and accepted your invitation without the slightest of reflection and deliberation.”

When Nuh (a.s.) spoke to them, they would insert their fingers into their ears and pull their clothes over their heads so that they would neither hear his words nor see his face.  The situation reached such an unbearable point that Nuh (a.s.) saw no alternative but to seek God’s help and so he supplicated:

“O’ Allah!  I am overpowered.  Assist me and grant me relief from them.” 
Taareekh-e-Anbiya, pg. 48-52.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Every Hijabi has a Story


Hajar Sakhi, a Rhodes College student from Nashville, was working at a fast-food restaurant in high school. One day, a customer looked at her wearing a uniform visor over her headscarf and started laughing. He left without ordering.
"My manager said, 'You're lucky we hire your kind,'" Sakhi said.


Irem Khan, a Rhodes student and White Station High grad, was with her mother at a gas station one day. They had just left a holiday celebration. As they were gassing up their Honda, a man next to them asked if the gas was running low because it was being used to burn more Qurans.
"He started laughing and began to make more snide remarks, indirectly at us, claiming that if those 'Maazlems' could do 9/11 to us, we could do whatever to them," Khan said.


Lettia Shaw, the daughter of an Alabama Baptist, was in her Cordova front yard when two guys driving by in a truck started shouting obscenities at her. "Until my husband stood up and they saw him, at which point they shut up," Shaw said.


Those were some of the stories told this week by Muslim women in Memphis who have chosen -- for personal and religious reasons -- to wear hijabs, or headscarves, in public.
The Hijabis, who spoke at separate events Monday evening at the University of Memphis and Tuesday evening at Rhodes College, say they are used to dirty looks and disdainful comments. But lately, they are feeling a bit more anxiety.


Last week, a Hijabi in California, a 32-year-old mother of five, died after being severely beaten in her home by a killer who left a note that reportedly said, "Go back to your own country. You're a terrorist."


Just about every Hijabi has heard the T-word and other forms of verbal abuse. All have felt threatened in some way. But the Hijabis who spoke this week about their experiences said they never have been physically attacked, or knew any Hijabis who had.


"Memphis is better than most places," said Noor Eltayech, a Cordova High grad who helped organize Tuesday's "Hijabi for a Day" event at Rhodes. "There's a lot more tolerance here. Most people here treat us with respect. But what happened in California has all of us more concerned."


Eltayech, Khan and Sakhi are the only Hijabis at Rhodes. On Tuesday, they were just three among dozens. More than 100 female students and professors at Rhodes wore hijabs on campus -- to raise awareness about why Muslim women choose to cover their heads, and as a show of interfaith tolerance and solidarity.


About 100 male students and faculty joined in by wearing brimless kufi caps.


"It's really hot," said Hannah Breckenridge, a sophomore and Baptist from Memphis who wore a hijab Tuesday for the second time in her life. The first time was two summers ago at an Interfaith Youth Core meeting in Atlanta, where a man spit on her as she was walking down the street.


"It was scary," said Breckenridge, who brought the "Hijab for a Day" idea to campus. "We're doing this because we want people to realize that behind every hijab is a real person."


Eltayech said some non-Muslim students initially opposed the event, saying they view the hijab as a symbol of male dominance and oppression. But Hijabis in Memphis say it's just the opposite.
"It's a woman's choice to cover or not," said Eltayech, whose parents are from Jordan and who decided to wear a scarf at age 13. She wore a hijab while playing soccer at Cordova High.


"No man has ever told me to cover my head. I chose to cover my head because of my faith and because I want people to see me for my brains, my intellect, and my behavior first, not my hair or my body."
The Quran advises women and men to dress modestly. Some Islamic scholars say modesty requires a woman to cover her entire body, including her hands with gloves and her face with a veil. Others say a woman can leave her face, hands and feet uncovered, and cover her head with a scarf. Still others just say a woman should not dress like a prostitute.


"We wear the hijab because God wants us to," said Shaw, a mother of five who talked about her Hijabi experiences at a program about Islam on Monday evening at the U of M.
"God loves women and has enjoined modesty through hijab in order to protect herself from harm, injury and mischief. She wears it knowing it gives her dignity, beauty and respect."


Not all Hijabi stories are scary.


"One day, I was at Wolfchase mall at the carousel, and a little girl about 3 or 4 was with her mother," Shaw said. "When she saw me, she turned around and asked her mom, 'Mommy, is that Jesus' mother?' "
Courtesy: http://www.commercialappeal.com

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Secret of a Slave


Sa’eed Ibn Musayyab narrates:
“One year, there was a severe famine and so the people gathered together to pray for the rains.  I looked around and my eyes fell upon a black slave, who had separated himself from the crowd and emerged on top of a small hill.  I advanced in his direction and when I came near him, I noticed that his lips were moving in prayer.  Hardly had he completed his prayers, when a cloud appeared in the sky.
Seeing the cloud, the black slave praised Allah and moved away. Very soon, rains lashed us so heavily that we thought we might perish.
I ran after the slave and observed that he entered the house of Imam Sajjad (a.s.).  I arrived before the Imam (a.s.) and said:
“O’ My Master!  In your house there is a black slave; oblige me by selling him to me.”
He (a.s.) replied, “O’ Sa’eed! Why should I not gift him to you, instead,”and ordered the head of his slaves to bring all the servants before me.  When they had assembled, I noticed that the black slave was not amongst them.
I said, “The one whom I desire, is not amongst them.”
The Imam (a.s.) said, “There remains no other slave except one.”
He then ordered him to be brought forth.  When the slave was brought before me, I saw that he was the very person whom I had sought and so I said, “He is the one I need.”
“O’ Slave!  Henceforth, Sa’eed is your master so go with him,” instructed the Imam (a.s.).
The slave turned to me and asked, “What prompted you to separate me from my master?”
I replied, “When I witnessed your prayers for the rains being accepted, I wished that I could own you.”
When he heard this, the slave stretched out his hands in supplication and, turning his face towards the skies, beseeched:
“O’ My Lord!  This was a secret between You and me.  Now that You have divulged it, grant me death and take me towards Yourself.”
The Imam (a.s.) and all those present, wept over the position of the slave, while I, shedding tears, came out of the house.  No sooner had I reached my own house, than the Imam’s (a.s.) messenger arrived and said, “Come along if you wish to takepart in the funeral procession of your companion.”
I returned to the Imam’s (a.s.) house along with the messenger only to find that the slave had passed away.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Three Bani Israeilis in a Cave


The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) has related: 
“Three persons from the tribe of Bani Israel got together and started out on a journey.  On the way, clouds gathered above them and it started to pour with rain and so they sought shelter in a nearby cave.
Suddenly, a large boulder slipped and blocked the entrance to the cave, trapping the three inside and transforming the day into a dark night for them.  They had no other alternative except to turn to God for help.
“Let us use our sincere deeds as a means to obtain deliverance from this predicament,” suggested one of them. 
All the others agreed with the suggestion.
One of them said, “O’ Lord! You are aware that I have an extremely attractive cousin and that I was infatuated and obsessed with her.  One day, finding her alone, I took hold of her and wanted to satisfy my carnal desires, when she spoke out to me saying: O’ My cousin!Fear God and do not harm my chastity’. Hearing this, I crushed my lustful tendencies and decided against the evil act.  O’ Lord!  If that deed of mine had been out of absolute sincerityand only for the purpose of acquiring Your pleasure, deliver us from grief and perdition.”  Suddenly they witnessed that the huge boulder had moved away a little, faintly brightening up the interior of the cave.
The second person spoke out,“O’ Lord! You know that I had a father and a mother, so old that their bodies had bent over due to their excessive age, and that I used to tend to them regularly.  One night, having brought them their food, I observed that both of them were   asleep.  I passed the entire night near them, the food in hand, without waking them up for fear of disturbing them.  O’ Lord!  If this deed of mine had been only for the sake of Your pleasure and happiness, open up a way for us and grant us salvation.” 
As he completed his speech, the group noticed that the boulder had moved aside a little more.
The third person supplicated, “O’ Knower of every hidden and manifest! You know Yourself that I had a worker who used to work for me.  When his term had reached its termination, I handed over to him his wages, but he was not pleased and desired more and, in a state of dissatisfaction and displeasure, he went away.  I used his wage to purchase a goat, which I looked after separately and very soon I had a flock in my possession.  After a period of time,the worker again approached me for his wage and I pointed towards the flock of sheep.Initially, he thought I was ridiculing him, but later, realizing my seriousness, took the entireflock and left. O’ Lord! If this act had been prompted by sincerity and had only been for Your pleasure, deliver us from this quandary.” 
At this point the entire boulder moved aside from the mouth of the cave and all three emerged from it, joyous and ecstatic, and continued their journey.
Namunah-e-Ma’arif, vol. 1, pg. 53; Farajun Ba’d al-Shiddah, pg. 23; Mahaasin-e-Barqi, vol. 2, pg. 253. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

"You are a Mujtahid! You are a Mujtahid! You are a Mujtahid!"

After the demise of Ayatullah al-Uzma Haaj Sheikh Muhammad Hasan Najafi (r.a.) (the author of al-Jawaahir) the people considered Sheikh Murtuza Ansari as the Marja-e-Taqleed (the most learned Mujtahid to be followed).  His books such as ar-Rasael and al-Makaseb, which are regarded as the prime religious texts at Islamic seminaries till this day.
Consequently, they requested him to compile his Tauzeeh al-Masail (book of Islamic Law). Upon this he said: "I refuse to accept this great position because Sayyidul Ulama (the chief of the learned), Ayatullah Mazandarani is yet amongst us. He is more learned than me and resides at Babel. Thus I cannot compile my own Tauzeeh al-Masail."
Sheikh Murtuza Ansari (r.a.) wrote a letter to Sayyid ul Ulama requesting him to come to Najaf al-Ashraf so that he may assume control and supervision of the Shia institutes of learning.
Sayyidul Ulama replied to Sheikh Ansari: "It is true that when I was at Najaf al-Ashraf, I used to be more knowledgeable in jurisprudence when I held debates with you. But I have settled down in Babel for quite some time. I do not participate in classes nor do I teach any more. I have also stopped all kinds of debates and discussions. Hence, I consider you more learned and eligible for this position and request you to accept the same."
Despite this communication, Sheikh Murtuza Ansari refused to accept the position of Marja-e-Taqleed and thought to himself, "If my Master, Hazrat Imam Wali-al-Asr gives me the permission and bestows favor upon me by appointing me to this post, I shall accept it."
One day Sheikh Ansari was delivering a lecture to his students. A stranger entered the gathering. He seemed to be of a noble and dignified lineage. The Sheikh welcomed him with respect. The stranger posed a question to Sheikh Ansari in the presence of his students,
"What is the order for a woman whose husband has transformed into any other form (Maskh)?" (Maskh is the transformation of a human being into a stone, plant or an animal. This type of punishment was prevalent in the age of Prophets prior to Holy Prophet [s.a.w.a.]).
Since this type of punishment has not been decreed for the people of this age, we do not find this problem in any of the books of Islamic Law.
Sheikh Ansari answered, "As this question is not mentioned in the books of jurisprudence, I am unable to reply."
"But suppose such an eventuality does occur, then what would be the duty of the woman whose husband has undergone transformation?" the stranger persisted.
At this Sheikh Ansari replied, "My opinion (Fatwa) is that a woman whose husband has turned into an animal should observe iddah of divorce and after this period, she can remarry. It is because her husband is still alive and has a soul intact. As for the woman whose husband has turned into a dead object, must observe the iddah of death (of husband). She can marry only after this iddah. This is due to the fact that her husband has turned into a dead thing and should be considered dead."
Upon hearing this gentleman said, "You are a Mujtahid! You are a Mujtahid! You are a Mujtahid!"
Then he got up and went out of the gathering. Sheikh Ansari realized that it was none but Hazrat Imam Wali-e-Asr (A.S.) and that he (A.S.) has given him his express permission to become Maraja-e-Taqleed. He told his students to search for this gentleman. The students rushed out, looked for him everywhere but without success. After this Sheikh Ansari agreed to compile his laws of Shariah so that people could follow him (i.e. do his Taqleed).
   He passed away in holy Najaf. 

Ref: (Ganjeena-e-Danishmandan, Vol. 8) 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Imam Husain’s (a.s.) Kindness to the Camel-Driver


Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said:
“A man was trailing a woman when she was busy circling the Ka’bah.  The woman was raising her hands in prayer when the man placed his hand upon her arm; at that moment God glued his hand to the women’s arm.
People thronged to witness this strange happening in such great numbers that all movement was hindered.  A person was sent to the Emir of Makkah to inform him of the incident.  He gathered all the scholars around him and together they tried to settle on a suitable resolution to the problem.  Many ordinary people also assembled, interested to know the sentence that would be pronounced for this crime.
As they all stood perplexed over the issue, the Emir finally said, “Is there anyone from the family of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) here?”
Those around him said, “Yes!  Husain Ibn 'A'li (a.s.) is here.”
That night, the Emir ordered the Imam (a.s.) to be brought before him.  He sought to know the ruling for this incident from the Imam (a.s.).
First, the Imam (a.s.) turned towards the Ka’bah and raised his hands.  He stood in this position for a while, after which he supplicated.  Then, approaching the man the Imam separated his glued hand from the arm of the woman by the power of his Imamate.
The Emir asked the Imam (a.s.), “O’ Husain (a.s.)!  Should I not punish him?”
“No,” replied the Imam (a.s.).

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Abu Ayyub Ansaari, the Host of Holy Prophet (PBUH)


Abu Ayyub Ansaari was one of the distinguished companions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).  When the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) migrated from Makkah to Madinah, all the tribes of Madinah requested him to stay with them, but he said:
“The place where I stay shall depend on where my camel sits down.”
When the procession reached a place near the houses of Bani Maalik Ibn Najjar, which later came to house the door of the Prophet’s mosque, the camel sat down to rest.  But a short while later it stood up again and began to walk, only to return and rest at the place where it had previously rested.
The people began approaching the Holy Prophet (s.a.w), and inviting him to be their guest.  Seeing this, Abu Ayyub immediately lifted the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.) saddlebag from the camel’s back and carried it into his own house.
When the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) noticed that the saddlebag was missing, he inquired, “What has happened to the saddle-bag?”
Those around him informed him that Abu Ayyub had taken it into his own house.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) remarked: “A person should alwaysaccompany his luggage,” and then proceeded into Abu Ayyub’s house and stayed there till the time when the houses around the mosque were constructed.
Initially, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was accommodated in a room on the ground floor, whereas Abu Ayyub occupied the top storey, but later, he requested:
“O’ Messenger of Allah!  It is unbecoming that you stay below, while we occupy the top storey; it would be more appropriate if you were to move to the top.”
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) agreed and asked for his things to be moved to the top.
Abu Ayyub was in the ranks of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and participated in battles like Badr and Uhud, fighting against the enemies of Islam and putting on a scintillating exhibition of valour and courage.
One night, on the way back home after victory in the battle of Khaibar, Abu Ayyub stayed awake the entire night, guarding the tent of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).
When morning dawned, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) inquired: “Who is out there?”
“It’s me, Abu Ayyub,” came the reply.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) twice said, “May Allah exhibit mercy upon you!”
Thus, Abu Ayyub, through the kindness he showed to the Prophet, both with his money and his soul, became the beneficiary of this supplication of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Nawroz, the Persian New Year


One Nawroz day, Mansur Dawaaniqi, the Abbasid Caliph who took over the caliphate after his brother Abu al-A’bbas Saffaah, ordered Imam Musa Kadhim (a.s.) to present himself in the gathering of the Eid of Nawroz.  This was so that the people could come and greet him and offer their gifts to him, which he should accept.
The Imam (a.s.) told Mansur, “Nawroz is the customary Eid of the Iranians and nothing has been said about it in Islam.”
To which Mansur replied, “This act is politically motivated and is intended to keep my soldiers happy.  I place you under the oath of the Great God that you accept my request and present yourself at that gathering.”
The Imam (a.s.) agreed and arrived at the assembly. The army generals, nobles and the common masses arrived in his august presence, greeted him, and presented their gifts to him.
In the meantime, Mansur had ordered one of his slaves to position himself near the Imam (a.s.) and maintain a record of the money and gifts presented to him.  The last person who had come to meet the Imam (a.s.) was an old man, who said to him:
“O’ Son of the Messenger of Allah!  I am an impoverished person and lack the money to present you with gifts, but my gift for you today are three verses of elegy, which my grandfather had composed for your grandfather, Husain Ibn A'li(a.s.).”
Having said this, he then recited the verses.عَجِبتُ لِمَصقُولٍ عَلاَكَ فرِندُهُ     يَوْم الْهياَجِ عَلاَکَ غُباَر
The Imam (a.s.) responded appreciatively, saying, “I have accepted your gift,” after which he prayed for the man.
Then, turning to the slave, he instructed, “Go to Mansur, inform him of these gifts and ask him what has to be done about them?”
The slave did as he was told and upon returning, said to the Imam (a.s.):
“The Caliph has said: I have given them to you (Imam Musa Kadhim) as gifts.  Spend them as you desire.”
The Imam (a.s.) told the old man, “Take these riches and gifts, for I am giving them all to you as gifts.”
Muntahal Aa’maal, vol. 2, pg. 187.