Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Amr e Ilahi

In my recent business trip I was accompanied by one of my partners with whom I like to discuss spirituality along with business. During the discussion we were talking about various creations of Almighty and their importance in our lives.

He was all praise for solar system and the way it operates. The same Sunlight which brightens our days, when reflected through Moon, illuminates our nights. Sun is the original source of light while Moon becomes the interim source.

The other interesting observation which came out of discussion was that our eyes are not strong enough to bear the Sunlight directly. If we try to look at the Sun for long, it may damage our eyes. While the same Sunlight, when reflected through Moon at night, sooths our eyes.

We tend to gaze at the Moon for a while and admire its beauty. It is the Moon alone which has the quality of soothing the Sunlight, other reflecting sources like mirror or even water don’t have this ability and seeing the reflection of Sun through them can be damaging.

 So Moon has the ability and the character to reflect the Sunlight in the manner that suits us and again it is the interim source of Sunlight which illuminates the dark nights when Sun is invisible.

It is Allah, who has created everything but He has kept Himself invisible from us. He is the ultimate source. As He says in Quran on various occasions that all His creations are His signs, it means that there must be an interim source for bestowing His bounties on us.

So let us try to reach this interim source and thank our Lord for creating it. For the purpose we will focus on few of the ayahs of Quran and try to reach the conclusion.

In the following ayah from Surah-e-Fatir, Allah says:

•“Phir Hum ne apne bandon main se khaas un ko Quran ka waaris banaya jinhain (ahl samjh kar) muntakhab kiya kyunke bandon main se kuch to naafarmaani kar ke apni jaan per sitam dhaate hai aur kuch unmain se neki-badi ke darmiyaan hai aur un main se kuch log Khuda ke ikhtayaar se nekiyon main auron se goya sabqat le gaye hai, yehi intekhaab wa sabqat to Khuda ka bada fazal hai.” – (Surah-e-Fatir, ayah 32)

“(Then We have given the Book for inheritance to such of Our Servants as We have chosen: but there are among them some who wrong their own souls; some who follow a middle course; and some who are by Allah’s leave, foremost in good deeds; that is the highest Grace)”

Here Allah (SWT) testifies the character of the inheritor of Allah’s wisdom. He is the chosen servant of Allah and foremost in good deeds. Allah (SWT) found him suitable to make him the source of divine knowledge. So who is he?

Rasool (SAW) in the following hadith has revealed this great inheritor by saying:

•“The Holy Quran has outward and inward meanings and Ali Ibne Abi Talib has the knowledge of both. (Ref: Hilyatul Awaliya, Abu Nu’aym, vol 1 P 65)

And Mawla Ali confirms about his own divine knowledge:

•““Ask me about the Book of Allah, because there is no ayah but that I know whether it was revealed at night or in daytime, on the plain or in the mountain.” (Ref: History of Khailfa who took the right way, Jalaluddin Suyuti, P 194)

Even prominent historians of Muslim world have quoted Mawla Ali as saying "‘Salooni’: ask me whatever you wish before I am no more among you”. (Ref: Sawaiq-e-Mohriqa, Ibn-e-Hajar).

In this connection let us see one more ayah:
•“To agar tum log khud nahin jaante ho to ahl-e-zikr se pooch kar dekho.” – (Surah-e-Anbiya, ayah 7)

“(Ask the rememberancers (ahl-e-zikr), if you do not know)”.

Imam Sa’labi reports from Jabir Ibn-e-Abdullah Ansari in his Tafseer that when this ayah was revealed, Mawla Ali (A.S) said, “We are the rememberancers (ahl-e-zikr)”.

 From the above it makes sense if we say that Mawla Ali was chosen above others to inherit the divine knowledge. He had the ability and the character to distribute the knowledge the way Allah wanted. Thus he is the interim source of Allah’s knowledge and wisdom.

Now, let us see the following ayah from Surah-e-Yaasin:

•“Hum hi yaqeenan murdon ko zinda karte hai aur jo kuch wo log pehle kar chuke hai unko aur unki achhi ya boori baaqi maanda nishaaniyon ko likhte jaate hai aur Hum ne har cheez ko ek sareeh wa roshan peshwa main gher diya hai.” – (Surah-e-Yaasin, ayah 12)

“(Surely We give life to the dead, and We write down what they have sent before and their footprints, and We have recorded everything in Imam-e-Mubeen)”

In the above ayah Allah (SWT) says that all the good and bad deeds of mankind is recorded in “Imam-e-Mubeen”. It means that at the day of Judgement, Allah (SWT) would refer this Imam-e-Mubeen when finally He would take the accounts.

As per one tradition, when this ayah was revealed, Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umar were standing beside Rasool (SAW). Both of them asked whether Imam-e-Mubeen was ‘Tauret’? Rasool (SAW) said ‘No’ they then asked whether it was ‘Injeel’ to which he again said ‘No’, they further asked whether it was ‘Quran’ he again replied in negative. At this time Mawla Ali (A.S) appeared from the front, he said pointing towards Imam Ali that he is “Imam-e-Mubeen.” (Ref: Durr-e-Mansoor, Vol 5 P 261, Jalaluddin Suyuti, Ubaid bin Hamid bin Jureira, Ibn-e-Abi Hakim)

Thus Mawla Ali would be having the records of all good and bad deeds of mankind. That is why Rasool (SAW) has said that:

•“Ali is the divine proof from his Almighty and I am witness on it.” (Ref: Tarikh Ibn-e-Asakir, vol 43 P 220, Kareeb Minal lafaz fi Yanabe-ul-mowaddat, vol 1 P 293)

•"O Ali, you are the divider of heaven and hell"
(Ref: Sawaiq-e-Mohraika, P 126, Yanabe-ul-mowaddat, vol 1 P 163)

 This means that Mawla Ali would be the chosen representative from Allah’s side on the day of Judgement. This makes him an interim source of Allah’s justice.

Let us find further proof on the above topic through focusing on few more ayahs:

•“Khuda ko chhod kar jin ki parastish karte hain unko sabko ikattha karo phir unhain Jahannum ki raah dekhao aur haan zara unhain thehrao to un se kuch poochna hai.” – (Surah-e-Sa’affat, ayah 23-24)

“(Gather together those who were unjust and their associates, and what they used to worship besides Allah, and lead them to the Way to the (Fierce) Fire! “But stop them, for they must be asked.)”

In the above ayah, while the wrongdoers would be headed towards Hell, Allah would ask them to stop for further questioning. That means this question is equally important as per Allah. So what is that Allah would ask?

As per the tradition given by Ibn-e-Abbas of Abu Saeed Khudri, Rasool (SAW) has said that on the day of Judgement people would be questioned about wilaya of Ali Ibne Abi Talib and love for him. (Ref: Sawaiqe Mohraiqa, Allama Ibn-e-Hajar)

And Rasool (SAW) has also said that:

•“Followers of Ali would surely succeed” – (Ref: Yanabe-ul-mowaddat, vol 2 P 312, Kareeb Minal lafaz fi tazkirtul khawaas, P 56)

 There is no salvation without acknowledging Mawla Ali’s wilaya. His love is the interim source of Allah’s salvation.

Before we proceed further with our discussion, let us first see the relationship of Ibrahim (A.S) and Rasool (SAW) vis-à-vis Allah.

Ibrahim (A.S) is called as “Khalil-ullah” meaning “Friend of the Almighty Allah”. A friend is somebody who is faithful to you and he is your well-wisher. I will consider somebody as my friend who listens to me and be my help. Ibrahim (A.S) was so faithful to Allah’s Will that Allah considered him as His friend.

Now let us see the following ayah:

•“Aur raat ke khaas hisse main namaz-e-tahajjud padha karo ye sunnat tumhari khaas fazilat hai. Qareeb hai ke Qayamat ke din Khuda tumko maqam-e-Mehmood tak pahonchae”. – (Surah-e-Bani Israel, ayah 79)

“(And during a part of the night, pray Tahajjud beyond what is incumbent on you; may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam-e-Mahmuda (a station of praise and glory i.e. the highest degree in Paradise!)”.

In the above ayah, Allah (SWT) promises Rasool (SAW) to raise him to Maqam-e-Mahmud. That is why he is called “Habib-e-Khuda” or “Habib-ullah”. Habib means somebody who is loved and adored. Rasool (SAW) was adored by Allah. Now, when you adore somebody you want to do something for him and make him happy. Allah (SWT) changed the Qibla from Baitul Mukkaddas to Kaaba just because it was Rasool (SAW)’s wish. Ref: [(Surah-e-Baqra, ayah 144, We have established this in my previous article ‘Proof of Divinity”)]

So while Ibrahim (A.S) was faithful to Allah’s Will. Rasool (SAW)’s will was Allah’s Will.

With this in mind let us see the following ayah:

•“Aur logon main se Khuda ke bande kuch aise hai jo Khuda ki (khushnudi) haasil karne ki gharaz se apni jaan tak bech daalte hai aur Khuda aise bandon per bada hi shafkat wala hai.” – (Surah-e- Baqra, ayah 207)

“(And among men is he who sells himself to seek the pleasure of Allah; and Allah is Affectionate to the servants.)”

If we look at the above ayah, it mentions a chosen servant of Allah, who sells himself. Now, in any business transaction there should be two entities for a sale to happen: one is a buyer and other is a seller. From the above we know that there is one seller who is ready to sell his soul to seek Allah’s pleasure, that means in this case the buyer is Allah who has purchased the soul and has given His pleasure in return. The important result from this point onwards is that the above-mentioned soul is now Allah’s soul.

This ayah was revealed in the praise of Mawla Ali (A.S) when he slept on the bed of Rasool (SAW) during the night of Hijrat. Rasool (SAW) informed Mawla Ali (A.S) about the dangerous situation and his plans to move to Yasreb. He asked Mawla Ali (A.S) if he would sleep on his bed covering himself with his cloak. Mawla Ali asked "If I sleep in your place, in your bed, will your life be saved?". “Yes” was the reply of Rasool (SAW). Ali (A.S.) thanked Allah and slept in the bed of the Rasool (SAW) covering himself with the cloak.

Let us see some references in this connection:

• Imam Ghizali in his Tareekhe Khamees writes that the above ayah of Surah-e-Baqra was revealed mentioning this sacrifice of Mawla Ali (A.S).

• In Mustadrak by Imam Hakim, Volume 3 Page 4, it is related from Ibn-e-Abbas, “Lo!” Ali was the man who sold his soul; the incident of his wrapping himself in the Holy Prophet’s cloak on the fateful night of the flight to Medina is not unknown.”

• On the same page of the same book, Imam Hakim related from Imam Zain-ul-Abedeen (A.S), “The first man in Islam who sold his soul to attain the pleasure of Allah was Ali, when he slept on Holy Prophet’s bed on the night of his escape from Mecca.”

It was Mawla Ali’s commitment for the cause of Rasool (SAW) and his love for Holy Prophet which encouraged him to risk his life. His faithfulness towards “Habib-ullah” was so liked by Allah that He became the purchaser of Mawla Ali’s soul. Thus Mawla Ali became ‘Nafs-ullah” meaning Allah’s soul. So now Mawla Ali’s will is actually Allah’s will.

That is why Rasool (SAW) has said that:

•“Amongst men it is Ali who knows Allah the best.” – (Ref: Selections from Kanz-ul-Ummal, Bahamash Al Masnad, Vol 5 P 32)

Allah has purchased Ali’s soul and He has not only shared His name ‘Ali’ with Mawla Ali (A.S), but also rented His house (Kaaba) for him to take birth. Thus Mawla Ali is the interim source of Allah’s Will.

In his Khutba: Mareifet-e-Nooraniyat, which he addressed to Hazrat Salman Farsi and Hazrat Abu Dhur Ghafari, Mawla Ali has said:

•“O Salmán! O Jandáb! Verily, Allah has made me His Trustee over His creation and His Vicegerent on His earth, in His territories, and over His servants. Allah has given me what no artist can depict and no man of understanding can truly comprehend. One who knows me in this manner, becomes a momin.”

Here I would like to end my article with famous urdu couplet written by Hazrat Amir Khusro (r.a.):

“Jo Kaabe main ho payda aur Shahadat paae masjid main, Khuda ke ghar ka maalik wo bashar yun bhi hai aur yun bhi.”

 Mawla Ali (A.S) is thus the interim source of Allah’s limitless bounties. So My Lord! Please increase my love and affection for your everlasting source of bounties and bestow your grace and blessings on me in this world and hereafter. Aamin

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