Thursday, September 30, 2010


I took up a job with a media company to start my professional career after I had finished my management studies. During my first interaction with my seniors I was assigned a specific target to achieve in the span of one year.

My manager informed me that if I successfully achieve my targets in that year, I would get the confirmation in the organization and may get good appraisal.

This made me really work hard and I almost achieved my targets. I was happy and satisfied by my achievements and was pretty sure of getting a good appraisal.

At the end of the year I was called to the head-office for review and appraisal. In my review meeting with the directors I presented my working and the results I had achieved. After my presentation the directors told me that though I had almost achieved the targets I did not work the way they had wanted me to work. Somehow they were not convinced with my working style as they felt that I did not follow their work-philosophy in executing my job.

My performance did not get the due appraisal and all my efforts were wasted. Had I known exactly what the management wanted from me I would have definitely worked in that direction and this way my efforts would not have gone to drains.

This world is a place where we have been sent to perform our duties. On the Day of Judgment, Allah (SWT) would appraise our worldly performance and we would be duly rewarded then. So it is important for us to know what Allah (SWT) expects from us? Whether the duties which we are currently performing are enough and as per His wish? Because if we fail to understand whatever Allah (SWT) is expecting from us then all the good deeds and duties which we have performed may not be useful to us on that day.

Let us then begin our research with the following ayah from Surah-e-Baqra:

“Neki kuch yehi thodi hai ke namaz main apne mooh purab ya paschhim ki taraf kar lo balke neki to uski hai jo Khuda aur roze aakherat aur farishton aur Khuda ki kitabon aur paighambaron per imaan laye aur uski ulfat main apna maal karabatdaron aur yatimon aur mohtajon aur pardesiyon aur maangnewalon aur laundi ghulam (ke gulu khalasi) main sarf kare aur pabandi se namaz padhe aur zakaat deta rahe aur jab koi aehed kiya to apne qawl ke poore hain aur fiqr-o-faaqa wa ranj-o-sakhti aur ghutan ke waqt saabit qadam rahe, yehi log parhezgar hai .” – (Surah-e-Baqra, ayah 177)

“(Virtue is not in this that ye turn your faces toward the east and west, but virtue is of him who believeth in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Book and the prophets: and giveth of his substance, for love of Him unto kindred and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for redeeming necks, and establisheth prayer and giveth the poor-rate and is of the performers of their covenant when they have covenanted; and is of the patient in adversity and affliction and in time or violence these are they who are proven true, and these they are God-fearing.)”

In the above ayah Allah (SWT) has given us the clear definition of good virtues. If we follow them we would be considered virtuous by Him. But to be a virtuous person is the only thing which He expects from us?

Now we will see the ayah from Surah-e-Furqaan:

•“Aur un logon ne duniya main jo kuch nek kaam kiye hai Hum un ki taraf tawwajjo kareinge to Hum us ko goya udti hui khaak bana kar barbaad kar denge.” – (Surah-e-Furqaan, ayah 23)

“(We shall call their deeds into Our presence and scatter them into the air as dust (turn them devoid of all virtue).”

Here, Allah (SWT) promises that He is surely going to destroy the good deeds of certain people and turn them devoid of all virtues. It means Allah (SWT) is looking for something much beyond the good virtues as indicated in the ayah of Surah-e-Baqra.

So if we want to be considered amongst the successful at the Day of Judgment and wish that all our good deeds like our prayers and charity get accepted and are meaningful in the court of Allah (SWT); we need to find that “Precise thing” which He is looking for in us.

Let us again turn to the Quran for this. In the following ayah from Surah-e-Fussilat, Allah (SWT) says:

•“Ae Rasool (SAW) tum kehdo ke imaandaro ke liye to yeh Quran az sartapaa hidayat aur har marz ki shifa hai aur jo log imaan nahin rakhte unke kaanon ke haq main giraani aur behrapan hai aur wo Quran un ke haq main nabinaee ka sabab hai.” – (Surah-e-Fussilat, ayah 44)

“(Say: "It is a Guide and a Healing to those who believe; and for those who believe not, there is a deafness in their ears, and it is blindness in their (eyes))”.

Allah (SWT) says that the same Quran which is a guide and a healing for a believer; is a deafness and blindness for a non-believer. Now, we know that whoever believes in Allah (SWT) is a believer and whoever does not believe in Him, he is a non-believer. But if a person is a non-believer of Allah then why would he recite Quran? And if he is not reciting Quran then why did Allah (SWT) say in the above ayah that Quran is deafness and blindness for a non-believer. This means that Allah (SWT) is referring to those people who though believe in Him and recite Quran but still are considered as non-believers. So who are those unfortunate ones?

Rasool (SAW) in the following hadith says:

“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)

Mawla Ali and Quran are inseparable and thus in the light of this and our pondering upon the above-mentioned ayah, it can be inferred that if somebody separates Mawla Ali (A.S) from Quran, he is a non-believer as per Allah (SWT) and thus Quran would no-longer guide him and instead he could be misguided as he would fail to understand Quran in the right perspective. Thus love for Mawla Ali (A.S) is a parameter which would separate a believer from a non-believer and it is a doctrine to understand Quran.

In this regard let us focus on one more ayah:

“Aur us waqt Rasool (SAW) bargaahe Khuda wandi main arz karenge ke ‘Ae mere Parvardigar meri qaum ne to Quran ko bekaar bana diya’.” – (Surah-e-Furqaan, ayah 30)

“(The Prophet will say: "O my Lord, my people had fettered the Qur'an.")”

There are many great Islamic scholars who have translated the holy book in various languages, it seems that they have really contributed to propagate Quranic knowledge and philosophy, so why would Rasool (SAW) say that his people have fettered the Quran, when we find many great scholars who have learnt Quran by heart and can discuss the ayahs at length with their listeners?

We have got Quran through the holy presence of Rasool (SAW), it was revealed in the form of ‘wahi’ to him on different occasions. He is then the best judge to decide whether we are doing justice with the book or not. And I am sure he must have given us clear instructions which if we follow, we would do justice to our Quranic recitation and be well-guided.

The following hadith of Rasool (SAW) instructs us in this direction. This is also known as Hadith-e-Saqlain, where Saqlain stands for two weighty things:

•“I will soon be called away and will have to depart from you, but I leave amongst you two weighty things; the book of the High and Mighty Allah and my progeny. The Book of Allah is like a rope which extends from the heavens to the earth, and my progeny are the people of my house (Ahl-ul-bait). The Subtle and Aware (Allah) tells me that the two shall never part from each other until they come to me at the Pool. So, take care how you treat them after me.”

This is a very prominent hadith whose reference can be found in different books of Islamic scholars. It is well-recorded by Imam Ahmed (Ibn-e-Hambal) from the tradition related by Abu Sa’eed-al-Khudri in (Musnad, Ahmed Ibn-e-Hambal, Part 3, P 26.) and also recorded by Ibn-e-Abi Shaiba, Abu Ya’li and Ibn-e-S’ad from Abu Saeed (Kanz-ul-Ummal, Part 1, P 47).

The same tradition is also mentioned in the books of prominent Islamic historians and commentators. (Ref: Tirmizi, 5:328, Nisai 96:79, Ibn Atiyyah 1:34, Ibn-e-Hajar P 89)

When we focus on above ayah, we understand that it is Allah’s wish that the Quran and Rasool (SAW)’s progeny would never part. And if somebody tries to separate them, then he is working against the Will of Allah (SWT) and might incur Allah’s wrath.

The progeny of Rasool (SAW), which is in fact the household of Mawla Ali (A.S) is as important as Quran in our lives and if we wish that Quran be a guide and a healing we need to recite it in the light of their love.

The important result which can be derived here is that however impressive a Quranic interpreter and a scholar we come across, unless he has the understanding of the status of progeny of Rasool (SAW) he can never guide anybody as he has not followed Rasool (SAW)’s instructions. His learning Quran by heart would not yield him any benefit as he has disobeyed Allah’s Wish. And if we get impressed by such an orator of Quran and follow him we are taking a big risk as we might get misguided by him.

It was the sacrifice and hard-work of our holy Prophet (SAW) which brought us from the darkness of illiteracy to the light of Islamic philosophy. He guided us and thus he has maximum right on our lives after Allah (SWT). That is the reason Allah (SWT) in the following ayah asks Rasool (SAW) to seek the compensation of his efforts in the following manner:

•“Ae Rasool (SAW) un logon se tum kehdo ke main iss tabligh-e-risaalat per tum se kuch mazdoori to maangta nahin hoon magar tamanna ye hai ke jo chaahe apne Parvardigar tak pahonch ne ki raah pakad le.” – (Surah-e-Furqaan, ayah 57)

“(Say: "No reward do I ask of you for it but this: that each one who will may take a (straight) Path to his Lord.")”

If we really wish to show our gratitude to Rasool (SAW) we should take a straight Path that reaches Allah. That is what Allah wants and that is the wish of Rasool (SAW) as well. At the starting of the article we saw the ayah where Allah (SWT) has defined the good virtues and He expects us to have them, but again we saw in one of the ayahs He said that He would discard the good deeds of certain people. The inference we can take from this is that along with good virtues we should be on the straight path that reaches Him. And once we travel this path we are sure that our good deeds would be accepted by Him and it would make Him happy. So how should we locate this path? Is there any indication in Quran for this?
Let us see one more ayah which is much similar to the above one and it would help us find the way:

•“Ae Rasool (SAW) tum kehdo ke main apni tableegh-e-risalat ka apne karabatdaron ki mohabbat ke siwa tumse koi sila nahin maangta” – (Surah-e-Shura, aayat – 23)

“(‘Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives’)

While the ayah of Surah-e-Shura has explained us what Allah (SWT) and Rasool (SAW) want from us, the above ayah of Surah-e-Furqaan clearly indicates how we can be on the Straight Path that reaches Him; it is in the love for Rasool (SAW)’s relative. If we love them, we would remain on the straight path. So let us see who are they?

When the above ayah was revealed somebody asked Rasool (SAW) that who are they, whose love has been made mandatory on us? To which he replied it is Ali (A.S), Fatema (A.S), their children Hasan (A.S) and Husain (A.S). (Ref: Tafseer-e-Kishaf, Allama Zamkhashri, Vol 3, P 67)

Sa’labi, Zamakhshari, Suyuti and Baidhavi have recorded that the above ayah was revealed to make the love of household of Mawla Ali (A.S) mandatory on the Muslim world. Even prominent Islamic authorities like Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmed Ibn Hambal and others have recorded traditions to this effect by quoting Ibn-e-Abbas.

In order to further substantiate our above inference, let me quote here Rasool (SAW)’s hadith:

•“No one shall be able to move from his place of reckoning on the Day of Judgment until he has stated four things: how he spent his life and his wealth, and where he got it from --- and he shall also be asked about the love of the Ahl-ul-bait.

This tradition has been recorded by Tabrani from Ibn-e-Abbas and from him Allama Suyuti and Nabahani in their Ehya-ul-Maiyyit and Arba’een and many other Ullema have also recorded it.

Logically it seems now that apart from good deeds like prayers and charity, Allah (SWT) would definitely ask us about our commitment and love for Ahl-ul-bait. This is Sirat-e-Mustakim, the straight path which reaches Him and if somebody found faltering with that, his good deeds may not give him any benefits.

Let us now focus on the following ayah in this connection:

•“To tumhare paas jo wahi bheji gayee hai tum uuse mazboot pakde raho iss main shak nahin ke tum sidhee raah per ho.” – (Surah-e-Zukhruf, ayah 43)

“(Therefore hold fast to that which has been revealed to you; surely you are on the right path.)”

If we focus on the above ayah it seems that there was a specific message which Rasool (SAW) was asked to hold fast. Here, the message which Rasool (SAW) was asked to hold tightly and convey was of the ‘wilaya’ of Mawla Ali (A.S). That is the right path as mentioned in the above ayah. (Ref: Manaqib – Ibn-e-Maghaazali, Faqeea, Sha’fei).

That is the reason Rasool (SAW) has said about Mawla Ali (A.S) that:

•“Ali, had I not been afraid that the Muslims would start regarding you as Christians regard Christ, I would have said things about you which would have made the Muslims venerate you and to consider the dust of your feet as something worth venerating; but it will suffice to say that you are from me and I am from you; you will inherit me and I will inherit you; you are to me what Aaron was unto Moses; you will fight for my causes, you will be nearest to me on the day of Judgment; you will be next to me on the fountain of Kausar; enmity against you is enmity against me; a war against you is a war against me; your friendship is my friendship; to be at peace with you is to be at peace with me; your flesh is my flesh; your blood is my blood; who will obey you will obey me; truth is on your tongue, in your heart and in your mind. You are a door to me. As per the order of God, I give these tidings that your friends will be rewarded in Heaven and your enemies are doomed for Hell.” - (Ref: Yanabi-al-Mowaddat (Bombay Edition, P 107)

Allah (SWT) has granted a cult status to Mawla Ali (A.S) and He has promised glad tidings to the people who be-friend him and his household and they would be rewarded in Heaven and his enemies would be punished in Hell. It is thus love of Ahl-ul-bait that Allah (SWT) wants his people to have to be successful.

When we see around we find that nothing holds us back from offering regular namaz, paying zakat, going for Hajj and performing rozas. Everyone from us at the end wants to be successful and be a chosen servant of Allah (SWT), but when it comes to recognizing the status of Ahl-ul-bait and loving them we tend to hold ourselves back. Why is it so? When so much has been promised by Allah (SWT) and Rasool (SAW) to us in this regards, why we are so reluctant?

Let us see the Quran again for the answer:

•““Khuda ne farmaya ke yehi raah sidhi hai ke mujh tak pahonchti hai. Jo mere mukhlis bande hai un per tujhe kissi tarah ki hukumat na hogi magar haan gumraahon main se jo teri pairvi kare usper tera zor chal jaaega aur haan ye bhi yaad rahe ke un sab ke waste aakhri wada buss Jahannum hai.” – (Surah-e-Hijr, ayah 41-43)

(“Lord said: This is a right way with Me: Surely. as regards My servants, you have no authority, over them except those who follow you of the deviators. And surely Hell is the promised place of them all”)

The above ayah is the reply which Allah (SWT) gave to Satan, when he said that he would lure mankind to deviate from the right path. Allah (SWT) confirms to Satan that people who tread the right path would never deviate and Satan would not have any authority over them. When we contemplate on the above ayah further we can infer that it is Satan’s duty now not to allow us to reach the straight path. He thus works full-time to hold us back from reaching the Sirat-e-Mustakim; that is to have love for Ahl-ul-bait.

Before I end my article, let me quote a famous couplet from a qawwali:

“Basad talash na kuch wus’atay nazar se mila. Nishane manzil-e-maqsood raahbar se mila.
Ali mile to mile Khana-e-Khuda se hamein, Khuda ko dhundha to wo bhi Ali ke ghar se mila.”

We all are amongst the fortunate ones who understand the status and importance of Ahl-ul-bait and love them immensely. This love is a great honour which Allah (SWT) has bestowed on us so let us pray to Him that “O Our Lord! Do keep us steadfast on Sirat-e-Mustakim and give us enough strength to overpower Satan and bestow Your limitless grace, mercy and glad tidings on us in this world and hereafter. Aamin.”

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