Saturday, July 3, 2010

Imam as Witness

When I had just finished my management studies and was applying for a job in various companies, I was required to draft Curriculum Vitae (CV) which would contain my detailed information. This CV was divided mainly in two parts: Credentials and Reference.

My credentials would contain information regarding my work, my achievements and my professional degree while the reference would be the names of the prominent people I know in the industry who can vouch for me if required.

While facing one such interview, the prospective employer after looking at my credentials for some time started asking me about my reference. I had mentioned a very prominent name from within the industry as my reference and my interviewer was interested to know how do I know this gentleman?

The course of interview suddenly changed; from credentials it moved to my reference. The employer told me that if you are so close to the reference you gave, I don’t want to know anything else. If he is your reference you are as good as selected. He holds lots of goodwill in the industry and we are sure that he would never refer somebody less worthy.

 This made me thinking, the reference should be such that it holds value in the eyes of the interviewer; only then it will work. The other important point I learnt was that however good my credentials are if there is not a single authentic reference who can stand by me my credentials may not give me results. And I may fail to seek a good decent job.

We use references time and again in our day to day life without even realizing this. So, if this is so important in our worldly matters can this hold true in Allah’s court?

In Surah-e-Baqra Allah says that:
“Aur uss waqt ko yaad karo jab Hum ne farishton se kaha ke Aadam (A.S) ko sajda karo to sab ke sab jhuk gaye magar Shaitan ne inkaar kiya aur ghuroor main aagaya aur kafir ho gaya.” – (Surah-e-Baqra, ayah 34)

Since he refused to bow down to Aadam (A.S), he was kicked out of Heavens:

•‘Khuda ne farmaya tu bahisht se nikal jaa dur ho ja beshak tu mardood hai.’ – ( Surah-e-Hijr ayah, 34)

It is said that Satan was the most knowledgeable amongst the angels. His credentials made him ‘ustad’ of all the angels. There was not a single corner on the ‘arsh’ where he did not bow down in sajda to Allah. It means that he believed in Allah, hence was not a kafir by that sense.

We may feel that then why Allah (SWT) referred to him as kafir in the above ayah? He became kafir as he refused to accept the leadership of Aadam (A.S), the duly appointed khalifa of Allah (SWT). His great credentials were of no use to him and within few moments he lost everything. By refusing to bow down to Aadam (A.S), he rejected that very witness who could have vouched for him in Allah’s court.

 The result which can be derived from the above is that the credentials of namaz, roza, zakaat, and hajj may not hold any kind of importance if someone fails to recognize the duly appointed Imam by Allah (SWT). The way Satan was kicked out of Heavens, he too may not enter Paradise ever and all his credentials would be wasted. And as per Allah (SWT) such a person is kafir.

In the following ayah Quran says:

•‘Uss din ko yaad karo jab Hum tamam logon ko unke Imamon ke saath bulayenge, to jiska naama-e-aamaal un ke dahine haath main diya jayega to woh log khush khush apna naama-e-aamaal padhne lagege aur un per resha barabar zulm nahin kiya jayega.” – (Surah-e-Bani Israel, ayah 71)

Mawla Ali (A.S) has said that he has heard from Rasool (SAW) that every community will be called along with its Imam at the day of judgement. (Ref: Durr-e-Mansoor, vol 4, P 194). It means that our entire credentials aside, we will be asked to follow our Imams on that day. Thus it is important for us that whom we choose as our Imam?

In case of Aadam (A.S) it was easier as Allah (SWT) Himself ordered the angels to bow down to Aadam (A.S) and accept his authority. But in our case how would we know whether the Imam we are following is the duly appointed Imam by Allah (SWT)? I believe Quran should be referred again for this purpose. So let me quote few more ayahs in this connection.

•“Aur jis tarah tumhare qible ke bare main hidayat ki ussi tarah tum ko aadil banaya taake aur logon ke muqable main tum gawah bano aur Rasool (SAW) tumhare muqable main gawah bane….” – (Surah-e-Baqra, ayah 143)

The above ayah has been addressed to a few chosen people by Allah (SWT) who are duly appointed bearer of witness and on them Rasool (SAW) is witness. It will be their reference that will take us through in Allah’s court.

It has been recorded by Salim-bin-Qais that Mawla Ali (A.S) has mentioned that we are ‘Ummat-e-aadil” (Just people) and bearer of witness to the people. And Rasool (SAW) is our witness. (Ref: Shawahid Tanzil, Hakim Abul Qasim.

•‘ Aur jo haq jihad karne ka hai Khuda ki raah main jihad karo, Usi ne tumko barguzida kiya aur amur e deen main tum per kisi tarah ki sakhti nahin ki tumhare baap Ibrahim (A.S) ke mazhab ko tumhara mazhab bana diya hai. Usi Khuda ne tumhara pehle hi se musalman farmabardar bande naam rakkha aur iss Quran main bhi. To jihad karo taake Rasool (SAW) tumhare muqable main gawah bane aur tum pabandi se namaz padha karo, zakaat dete raho aur Khuda hi ke ahkaam ko mazboot pakdo wahi tumhara sarparast hai to kya achha sarparast hai aur kya achha madadgaar hai.” - (Surah-e-Al Hajj, ayah 78)

If we focus on above ayah we will find that it is one ayah which is being addressed to someone other than Rasool (SAW). As ayah says that “tumko barguzida kiya” that means he is a chosen one. He is also from the lineage of Ibrahim (A.S). He is ordered to take part in jihad the way it should be, so that Rasool (SAW) is his witness. So who is this chosen and faithful servant of Allah (SWT) who is to fight for Allah’s cause as per His order?

Abdur-Rahman bin Auf has quoted Hazrat Umar, according to him the above mentioned jihad will be at the time when Bani Umayya will be the rulers (Ref: Durr-e-Mansur, vol 4, P 371).

Now, from the lineage of Ibrahim (A.S) whoever has fought against Bani Umayya he is that chosen and faithful servant of Allah (SWT) whom the ayah is addressed to. The above ayah definitely refers to Jihad-e-Karbala and it is addressed to Imam Husain (A.S).

Jihad-e-Karbala was Allah (SWT)’s order and Imam Husain was chosen for that purpose. And Allah (SWT) appointed Rasool (SAW) as a witness to Imam Husain (A.S)’s jihad. So when we mourn and remember the atrocities afflicted upon Imam Husain (A.S) it is our way of saying that though centuries apart, we are with him and would have fought the evil had we been born in that era. This way we make our Imam as our witness and in turn Rasool (SAW) is our witness.

He conducted the jihad the way it should be and taught us the importance of sacrifice, faith, love and unity. He had also displayed the importance of namaz. So lessons from Karbala are also important to improve our credentials.

We have seen what Quran has to say about Imams now let us see few of the hadees of Rasool (SAW) on the subject:

•‘In every generation of my followers there are going to be just and righteous members of my Ahl-ul-bait to counteract the alterations and corruptions which the misguided people will try to make in my religion, to remove false allegations of the untruthful and to contradict the misinterpretations of the ignorant. Beware ! Your Imams (pontiffs) shall be your representatives before Allah. So, be careful whom you adopt as your representatives.” (Ref: Recorded by Mulla (Jami) in his Seerat and also by Ibn-e-Hajar in Sawaiq-e-Mohriqa, P. 90)

•‘Mine will be twelve Amirs. And all of them would come down from the Quraish.” (Ref: Recorded by Jabir Bin Samarah, Saheeh Bukhari, P 628, Saheeh Muslim vol. 2, 119)

So now we have found our Imams. They are from the house of Ahl-ul-bait. They are twelve in numbers and sons of Ali (A.S) and Husain (A.S). If we stick to them and follow them, we will be under their representation during the day of judgment. They will be our witness and our reference in Allah’s court. We improve our credentials by going to pilgrimage to Hajj and we strengthen our references when we go to pilgrimage to pay our homage and respect to Imams.

 Yes, finally we can conclude that references do work in Allah’s court, provided the references are of the duly appointed Imams. Here, we draft our own CV, while there Allah (SWT)’s authority will give us our Naama-e-aamal, so even if we try we will not be able to change that. Let us then pray to Allah (SWT) that when we receive our naama-e-aamal along with our credentials do mention the names of Your duly appointed Imams in our reference section, so that we are selected to enter the comfort of Paradise. Aamin.

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