Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Trueway to Faith

While working with a mobile company I was required to meet a top official of a textile company and present him with the details of the product.

Being an outsider, it was a difficult task as I was not aware of the way to meet such a high profile person. After mustering lots of courage I went to meet him.

At the front office, the manager came to my rescue and directed me to the Executive Assistant of the official. He said that this is the right way of reaching him. I was glad and thanked him.

Later on following the advice of the front office manager, I was successful in talking to the Executive Assistant and eventually met the top official and closed the deal.

 Since the top officials are not accessible directly it is the front office from where we get the relevant information about the organization and its close association helps us in getting the right direction to reach the top management.

This, I think has a great resemblance with the way Islam spread in the subcontinent, let us see how?

As per the ayah of Surah-e-Baqra ‘There is no compulsion in Religion’ (Ayatul Kursi, Surah-e-Baqra, ayah, 256). It means that Islam can never spread through force, tact, guile or violence.

Again let us see Allah (SWT)’s instructions to Rasool (SAW) in this regard:
“Ae Rasool (SAW) tum logon ko apne Parvardigar ki raah per hikmat aur achhi achhi nasihat ke zariye se bulao aur bahas-o-mubahasa karo bhi to aise tariqe se jo logon ke nazdik sab se achha ho. Iss main shak nahin ke jo log Khuda ki raah per se bhatak gaye unko tumhara Parvardigar khoob jaanta hai aur hidayat yafta logon se bhi khoob waqif hai.” – (Surah-e-Nahl, ayah 125)

In the light of the above ayah, it can be said that Islam can spread only through logical reasoning and affectionate arguments.

Now, if we want to put forward our arguments in day to day life, we know that beyond a certain point we tend to lose patience and we end up in a heated discussion with the person who opposes us or we do not want to carry forward the argument any more.

It means the above task was not an easy one, and after Rasool (SAW) there must have been some chosen ones who helped in his mission.

In the following ayah, Allah (SWT) says:
“Aur tum main se ek giroh aise logon ka bhi to hona chahiye jo logon ko neki ki taraf bulaye aur achhe kaam ka hukm de aur boore kamon se roke aur aise hi log aakherat main apni dili muradein payenge.” – (Surah-e-Aale Imran, ayah 104)

Here Allah wishes to have a specific group of people who can help in spreading the message of righteousness.

Again, in the following ayah of Surah-e-Aale Imran, Allah (SWT) says:
“Tum kya achhe giroh ho ke logon ki hidayat ke waaste paida kiye gaye ho. Tum logon ko achhe kaam ka to hukm karte ho aur boore kaamon se rokte ho aur Khuda per Imaan rakhte ho aur agar ahl-e-kitab bhi isi tarah imaan laate to unke haq main bahot achha hota un main se kuch to imaandar hai aur aksar badkaar”. – ( Surah-e-Aale Imran, ayah 110)

While in the previous ayah, Allah wished to have a group of people who can spread the right message, here, in the above ayah He has actually addressed them. They are born to preach and spread the message of Islam. They are thus the authority of spreading Islam and bring people towards Imaan.

Ibn-e-Abi Hakim has quoted Hazrat Abu Ja’far that these group of people are Ahl-ul-bait of Rasool (SAW). (Ref: Tafseer-e-Suyuti, Vol 2, P 64)

And Rasool (SAW) has said that:
•“In the love for my Ahl-ul-bait lies the foundation of Islam” (Ref: Selections from Kanz-ul-Ummal, P 94).

 Ahl-ul-bait of Rasool (SAW) i.e. Mohammed wa Aale Mohammed are the authority for preaching the religion. They put forward arguments with logic and reasoning the way Allah wanted them to do.

Now when we see the Islamic history, we find that Mohammed wa Aale Mohammed carried out the holy task of preaching Islam only in Arab countries, we may wonder then that how did Islam spread in the subcontinent with 1/3rd of the world’s Muslim population here.

It leads us to think that the people who were responsible for preaching Islam in Indian sub-continent must have been associated with the authority i.e. Ahl-ul-bait of Rasool (SAW).

In the following ayah Quran says about the true preachers of Islam:
“Aur Hamari makhluqat se kuch log aise bhi hai jo din-e-haq ki hidayat karte hai aur haq hi haq insaf bhi karte hai.” – (Surah-e-Airaf, ayah 181)

While in Nah-jul-balagha Mawla Ali has thrown some light on these trustees of religion and the true preachers.
Let us see the excerpt of Imam Ali’s speech to Kumayl ibn Ziyad al-Nakha’i:

•“If sensible trustees of knowledge and wisdom totally disappear from human society then both knowledge and wisdom will suffer severely, may bring harm to humanity and may even die out. But this earth will never be without those persons who will prove the universality of truth as disclosed by Allah, they may be well-known persons, openly and fearlessly declaring the things revealed to them or they may, under fear of harm, injury or deaths hide themselves from the public gaze and may carry on their mission privately so that the reasons proving the reality of truth as preached by religion and as demonstrated by His Prophet may not totally disappear.”

Then he furthers says to Kumayl that:

•“By God, these (true Knowers) are the fewest in number, but the greatest of all in their rank with God! Through them God preserves His Evidences and His Illuminating-manifestations, so that these (Knowers) may entrust them to their (true) peers and sow them in the Hearts of those like them. Through (those Knowers) Knowing penetrates to the inner reality of true Insight (haqīqat al-basīra). They are in touch with the Spirit of Certainty (rūh al-yaqīn). They make clear what the lovers of comfort had obscured. They are at home with what distresses the ignorant. And their bodies keep company with this world, while their spirits are connected to the Loftiest Station.Those are the ones who are (truly) God’s Stewards on the earth, who are calling (the people) to His Religion. Oh, how I long to see them!” – (Ref: Nah-jul-balagha, saying 146)

As per Mawla Ali (A.S) this earth will never be without these chosen trustees. When we love Mawla Ali we are in Allah’s army (Ref: Surah-e-Maida, ayah 55-56, I have already mentioned this in my article “Ali Mushkil Kusha” with relevant references), and if Mawla Ali longs for someone’s company, what would be his stature? I believe he should be at a highly placed rank among Allah’s army.

Love for Ahl-ul-bait is the foundation of Islam. Islam is Allah’s wisdom and knowledge that means when these True Knowers and Trustees laid the foundation of Islam they actually laid the foundation of love for Ahl-ul-bait amongst their followers. They directed the people who approached them to Ahl-ul-bait and gave them the true way of reaching faith.

Most of the Pir Auliya who came to Indian subcontinent to preach Islam, have written eulogies and munajaat’s in praise of Ahl-ul-bait. Work of great Sufi saints like Hazrat Shams Tabrez (RA), Hazrat Hasan Kabir-ud-din (RA), Hazrat Khwaja Moinnudin Chisti (RA), Hazrat Khwaja Qutub Bakhtiar Kaki (RA) speak volumes about their dedication and love for Mohammed wa Aale Mohammed. Though centuries apart, it was this love which became a guiding force for them to preach religion.

Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chisti (RA) has written “Shah ast Husain, Badshah ast Husain..” in praise of Imam Husain’s martyrdom. And I would like to mention few stanzas of his other munajaat. With this Munajaat he has shown his followers how to pray for salvation:

“Ya Rab Ba Haqq-e-Sayyede Konene Mustafa Ke ou Shafe-e-Ma-asio Ke ou ma’ambe Ata.”
(O my Lord for the sake of Mustafa the chief of the two worlds, who is the intercessor of sinners and source of bounties).

“Ya Rab Ba Haqq-e-Shah-e-Najaf anke amadah Dar shane ou Tabarako, Yaseen wa Hal Ataa.”
(O Almighty God, for the sake of Shah-e-Najaf (Ali) about him God revealed Tabarak, Yaseen and Hal Ataa).

In the last stanza he seeks his salavation:

Daarad Moin ummeed dar aandam ze lutfe Khud Bakhsi wuraa ba shah e shahidan e Karbala.”
(Moin hopes that the Almighty God will forgive him on that day; the day of Resurrection for the sake of the Monarch of the martyrs of Karbala).

We find similar munajaat written by Khwaja Qutub Bakhtiar Kaki (RA) as well. This association of theirs with Ahl-ul-bait directed their followers to the right path and made them successful.

Allah (SWT) says in the following ayah:

“Aur wo jo sacch ko lekar aaya aur jis ne uski tasdiq ki Khuda se darne waale wohi to hai. Un ke liye un ke Parvardigar ke paas jo jo kuch woh chahenge maujood hai, neko karon ka badla yahi to hai” – (Surah-e-Zumar, ayah 33-34)

Their efforts got appreciated by Allah and people got their desires fulfilled at their shrines. That is how Khwaja Moinnudin Chisti (RA) came to be known as ‘Gharib Nawaz’; Hazrat Hasan Kabir-ud-din (RA) came to be known as ‘Kufr Shikan’ and Nizammuddin Auliya as ‘Mehboob-e-Ilahi’.

Again in following ayah of Surah-e-Baqra Allah promises:

“Pus tum Hamari yaad rakho to Main bhi tumhara zikr (khair) kiya karunga aur Mera shukriya ada karte aur nashukri na karo.” – (Surah-e-Baqra, ayah 152)

It was they who laid the foundation of Islam in Indian subcontinent and spread Allah’s message. And Allah has rewarded them immensely; as promised in the above ayah, as we see millions of people from across the world, irrespective of their religion and faith throng to their tombs and shrines during Urs and otherwise to pay respect and homage to these Sufi saints and seek their blessings.

 Sufi Saints and Pir Auliya are the trustees of knowledge and Islamic wisdom. It is through them that Islam got propagated in Indian subcontinent. They have sown the seeds of love for Ahl-ul-bait amongst their followers and laid the foundation of Islam. I pray to my Lord to keep me in the companionship of these trustees of knowledge and wisdom so that my devotion and love for Ahl-ul-bait increases manifolds and may I remain steadfast on Your path. Aamin

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