Sunday, August 1, 2010

Light of Guidance

It is raining heavily right now and I am sitting in my room working on a laptop. It is dark outside and I have switched on the lights as it is difficult for me to work in the given condition. I realized how dependent my eyes were on the lights.

Yesterday evening I saw a gentleman walking on the road with a torch in his hand; the light was guiding him through the roads and helping him avoid potholes which the rains would have created.

Our dependence on the light goes back to many years. We have used one form of light or the other to illuminate our lives and remove the darkness. Today we have a long-lasting source of light at our disposal, thanks to the great work done by Thomas Edison in 1879. With the invention of electricity our lives have changed forever. We have a continues source of light with us now. This light strengthens our vision. Removes darkness from our lives.

Our eyes have the ability to recognize and see things but not in darkness. We are dependent on some external source of light to support and strengthen our vision. This external source of light can be a bulb, a torch or a tube light. Again we wish to have a most powerful source of light so that we can see things clearly. In certain cases if a torch is not giving us enough light we would replace it as fast as we can to have better vision.

In order to see the physical objects we are dependent on our eyes. And when we want to feel spirituality we are dependent on our faith. Allah is never to be seen physically but we can see Him through our faith. Whatever Allah has created are His signs and we see His creatures and feel His presence. Our faith is thus our spiritual eye; we see and feel Divine presence through our faith. The way eyesight weakens in darkness, at times our faith may weaken in the atrocities and hardships.

Let us then try to find that most powerful source of spiritual light that strengthens our faith and gives us the best vision.

In the following ayah from Surah-e-Ash Shura Allah (SWT) says:
•“Aur isi tarah Humne Apne Hukm ki rooh (Quran) tumhari taraf ‘wahi’ ke zariye se bheji to tum na kitab hi ko jaante the ke kya hai aur na imaan ko magar iss Quran ko ek Noor banaya hai ke isse Hum Apne bandon main se jiski chahte hai hidayat karte hai aur iss main shak nahin ke tum ae Rasool (SAW) sidha hi raasta dikhaate ho”. – (Surah-e-Ash Shura, ayah 52)

Two important lessons we learn from the above ayah is that Quran is definitely Allah’s light (Noor) and Rasool (SAW) would always lead us to the straight path. Quran will guide us when we take the path shown by Rasool (SAW).
Further, the below mentioned ayah says:

•“Phir Allah per aur us ke Rasool (SAW) per aur us Noor per jis ko Hum ne naazil kiya hai Imaan lao. Aur Allah jo kuch tum karte ho us se agaah hai. – (Surah-e-Tughaban, ayah 8)

In the above ayah, Allah (SWT) refers to a specific light (Noor) that He has sent down along with Rasool (SAW) and orders us to believe this light (Noor). When we see and contemplate on both the above mentioned ayahs we would understand that the ‘Noor’ mentioned in the ayah of Tughaban is different from the ‘Noor’ mentioned in the ayah of Ash Shura, as in the ayah of Ash Shura Allah (SWT) has said that Quran has been revealed to Rasool (SAW) in the form of a ‘Wahi’.

We will get further clarification on the ‘Noor’ if we focus on what Rasool (SAW) has said:
•"I myself, and Ali were one light in the Hands of Allah fourteen thousand years (14,000) before He created Adam (as). When Allah created Adam (as) He divided that Light into two parts, one part is me and one part Ali."

In another narration he has said:

•"He created me and Ali from the same light". (Ref: Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Fadail, volume 2, p 663, Tradition #1130, from Abdur-Razzak, from Mu'amar, from al-Zuhri, from Khalid ibn Mu'dan, from Zadan, from Salman al-Farsi, Mizan Al-Ei'tidal, by al-Dhahabi, v1, p235, al-Riyadh al-Nadhirah, by al-Muhib al-Tabari, v2, p164, v3, p154, History of Ibn Asakir)

Thus along with Quran, Rasool (SAW) and Mawla Ali are the ‘light’ and that is why Rasool (SAW) has further told us:

•“Ali is with the Quran and the Quran is with Ali, and these two will never be separated from each other until they reach me at the Hauz-e-Kausar !” (Ref: Jam’a Sagheer, p 56, Kanz-al-Ummal p 30, Izalut-ul-Khifa Maqsad 2, p 279)

So now it is established that Allah is Noor, Quran is Noor, Rasool (SAW) is Noor and Mawla Ali is Noor. Mawla Ali is that ‘Light’ of guidance which was sent down along with Rasool (SAW) and we have to follow him, to remain on the straight path and be guided.

In order to further authentic our above result, let me quote few more ayahs and contemplate on it:

In the Surah-e-Noor, Allah (SWT) has defined His own ‘Light’:
“Khuda to saare aasman wa zameen ka Noor hai, uske Noor ki misaal aisi hai jaise ek taak (sina) hai jismain ek roshan charaagh ho aur charaagh ek shishe ki qandeel main ho aur qandeel apni goya ek jagmagata hua roshan sitara wo charaagh zaitun ke aise Mubarak darakht (ke tael) se roshan kiya jaae jo na purab ki taraf ho aur na paschim ki taraf balke bicho-bich maidan main uska tael aisa shafaaf ho ke agar che aag uuse chuae bhi nahin taahum aisa ma’lum ho ke aap hi aap roshan ho jaeega gharaz ek Noor naihin balke Noor Ala Noor (Noor ki Noor per joat pad rahi hai) Khuda apne Noor ki taraf jise chahta hai hidayat karta hai aur Khuda logo ke samajhane ke waste mislain bayaan karta hai aur Khuda to har cheez se khoob waqif hai. – (Surah-e-Noor, ayah 35)

Hasan al-Basri, Abdul Hasan Maghazil and Shafe’I have mentioned that here “Niche” (taak) means Janab-e-Fatima (A.S), “the lamp (Roshan Charagh)” means Hasan (A.S) and Husain (A.S), ‘‘Blessed Tree (Mubarak Darakht)” means Prophet Ibrahim (A.S). “Light upon Light (Noor Ala Noor)” alludes to one Imam succeeding another and “Khuda apne Noor ki taraf jise chahta hai hidayat karta hai” means the love for descendants of Mawla Ali and Fatema (A.S).

So Janab-e-Fatima (A.S) is Noor, Hasan (A.S) and Husain (A.S) are Noor and rest of the Imams from Husain (A.S)’s lineage are Noor. That means Mohammed wa Aale Mohammed are Allah’s Noor which descended on this earth through the holy lineage of Ibrahim (A.S). If we wish to see Allah’s Noor then, we need to see them. They are everlasting source of Allah’s Divine Light.

Allah has made them carriers of His Noor and thus revealed Himself through them and that is the reason in Surah-e-Ahzab, ayah 33 (Ayah-e-Tatheer, which I had mentioned in my earlier article The Straight Path: Quran and Ahl-ul-bait along with all references) Allah has promised Ahl-ul-bait of Mohammed (SAW) to keep them pious and pure always.

Further in the subsequent ayah Allah says about their house:
“Wo Qandeel un gharon main roshan hai jinki nisbat Khuda ne hukm diya hai ke unki taa’zim kijaae aur unmain Uska naam liya jaae jin main subah wa sham wo log Uski tasbih kiya karte hai.” – (Surah-e-Noor, ayah 36)

In fact being the most pious and purest of Allah’s all creations their house is better than other houses which Allah has allowed to be exalted and His name shall be recited thereon.

Sala’bi has quoted Anas Ibn-e-Malik and Buraida, that when Rasool (SAW) recited this verse, Hazrat Abu Bakr stood up and asked pointing towards the house of Ali (A.S) and Fatema (A.S), whether that house was included in the house referred to? Rasool (SAW) replied saying “Yes, and it is better than other houses to which this refers.” (Ref: Durr-e-Mansur, Vol 5, P 50)

Rasool (SAW) has thus said about Aale Mohammed (SAW)
•“Do not go ahead of them lest ye perish; nor lag behind them, lest ye perish also. And do not teach them for they know more than you.” (Ref: Tabrani as part of Hadees-e-Saqlain, Ibn-e-Hajar Sawaiq-e-Mohraika, vol 24, Chapter 37)

Now when Allah (SWT) has chosen them and given them authority and made them His Noor, would there be a section of people not liking this? Allah has said:

“Yeh log chahte hai ke apne mooh se phoonk maar kar Khuda ke Noor ko bhuja dain aur Khuda iske siva kuch maanta hi nahin ke Apne Noor ko pura hi kar ke rahe” – (Surah-e-Tawba, ayah 32)

Every Imam in his life endured lots of atrocities and hardships and all of them were martyred except the 12th Imam who is alive in occultation. We know how in Karbala Imam Husain (A.S) sacrificed his family, friends and children and saved the religion and thus saved Allah’s Noor. He was martyred but his mission is still alive in our hearts and as promised by Allah in the above ayah, it will remain so.

Now again let us see the following ayahs from Surah-e-Noor where Allah has shown His appreciation for their prayers:

“Aise log jin ko Khuda ke zikr aur namaz padhne aur zakaat ada karne se na to tijaarat hi ghaafil kar sakti hai na kharid-o-farokht ka ma’amla kyonke wo log us din se darte hai jis main khauf ke mare dil aur aankhein ulat jaeengi Uski ibadat isliye karte hai taake Khuda unhain unke aa’maal ka behtar se behtar badlaa ataa farmaye aur apne fazal-o-karam se kuch aur zyada bhi de aur Khuda to jise chahta hai be-hisaab rozi deta hai.” - (Surah-e-Noor, ayah 37-38)

Prayers of Imam Husain (A.S) on the battle field of Karbala are good enough proof of above ayah. And thus Allah has shown His great appreciation for them and their conduct and prayers.

Such was their perfection and greatness that prominent Islamic scholars have said:
•“Whatever did the Progeny of Mohammad (SAW), they did it in the best way” – (Ref: Saheeh Muslim Vol 1 P 266)

Being a Muslim we all believe in the Day of Judgment. The day would be as long as 1000 years as per Quran. And Quran does mentions about its severity. On that day will this source of Allah’s light be our guide? What does Quran have to say? Let us see:

•“Us din kisi ki sifarish kaam na aayegi magar jis ko Khuda ne ijazat di ho aur us ka bolna pasand kare.” – (Surah-e- Taha, ayah 109)

The above ayah says that no kind of intercession will work except for those who have the permission and whose words are liked and appreciated by Allah (SWT).

In the light of above ayah and our reasoning on the topic we can say that Mohammed wa Aale Mohammed are definitely the right intercession as they are Allah’s Noor, their prayers are appreciated and liked by Allah and their house is the most exalted amongst the houses where Allah’s name is recited.

That is the reason Rasool (SAW) has promised us, the lovers of Ahl-ul-bait that:
•“Acknowledgment of Aal-e-Mohammed (the children of Mohammed (SAW)) means salvation from the Fire, and love of them is a passport for crossing the Bridge of Sirat and obedience to them is a protection from Divine Wrath.” ( Ref: “Shifa” by Qazi Ayaz, Part 2, Pg 40)

Now that we have found this everlasting source of Allah’s Noor, let us all pray to our Lord that may He keep us enlightened through this Divine light in this world and hereafter. Aamin

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