Thursday, September 23, 2010


When I had moved to my new house I was happy to find a beautiful garden at the backyard. But soon I realized that its maintenance was a tough task; it needed proper attention and care. Because of heavy seasonal rains there were weeds everywhere and there was a need for a good mowing so that it gains its original form.

Since I had to go out of town for a vacation, I hired an expert gardener who can look after my garden and take appropriate care of it. After few days when I returned from my vacation I could not believe my eyes. He had changed the look of my garden completely.

It was lush green with lawns which were cut proportionately and plants were full of beautiful flowers. His expert nurturing enhanced the beauty of an otherwise messy garden.

I appreciated his efforts and congratulated him on his work. I decided to permanently appoint him as my gardener as his work was trustworthy. From that day onwards even if I decided to do something in my garden I would invariably take his advice.

 Allah (SWT) has created this world and decorated it with the philosophy of Islam. Through Quran and the last Prophet (SAW) this philosophy was well accomplished. Let us then try to find out the people who nurtured and beautified it for us?

Let us start with the following ayah:

•“Wo waqt yaad karo jab Khuda farmaaega ke ae Mariam (A.S) ke bête Isa (A.S) Hum ne jo ehsaanat tum per aur tumhari maa per kiye unhain yaad karo.” – (Surah-e-Maida, ayah 110)

“(Then will Allah say: "O Jesus the son of Mary! Recount My favour to thee and to thy mother.)”

In the above ayah Allah (SWT) is asking Isa (A.S) to remember His limitless grace which He bestowed over him and his mother Mariam (A.S) and be thankful to Him. On various occasions in the Quran He insist His messengers and the mankind in general to remain thankful for His limitless favours which He bestowed on us.

Now in the following ayah from Surah-e-Dahr Allah says:

“Yeh log hai jo nazarein puri karte hain aur us din se jis ki sakhti har taraf pheli hogi darte hai aur uski mohabbat main mohtaaj aur yateem aur aseer ko khana khilaate hai aur kehte hai ke hum to tum ko khaalis Khuda ke liye khilaate hai hum na to tum se badle ke khwaastgaar hai aur na shukar guzaari ke.” – (Surah-e-Dahr (Insaan), ayah 7-8-9)

“(They fulfill vows and fear a day the evil of which shall be spreading far and wide. And they give food out of love for Him to the poor and the orphan and the captive: We only feed you for Allah's sake; we desire from you neither reward nor thanks.)”

This is the shining example of conduct of charity which Allah wishes the mankind to follow. Their gesture has personified whatever was instructed by Allah in this case.
Zamakhshari has quoted Ibn-e-Abbas in his book Al-Kashaf that this verses were revealed highlighting the charity given by Mawla Ali (A.S), Fatema (A.S), Hassan(A.S) and Husain (A.S). Once Hassan (A.S) and Husain (A.S) were ill, the Prophet (SAW) along-with his companions visited them and suggested to Mawla Ali to make a vow to Allah. Therefore, Imam Ali together with Fatima (A.S) and their servant Fedhdhah vowed to Allah that they would fast for three days if He would relieve Hassan (A.S) and Husain (A.S.).

So when Hassan (A.S) and Husain (A.S) got cured they all fasted. On the first day a needy man approached during the time of breaking the fast. The holy family gave away whatever they had to him and spent the night with nothing to eat except water. They fasted the second day, and again at sunset, when they were waiting for their food, an orphan asked them for help and they again preferred him over themselves. The third evening a captive (prisoner of war) asked them for help and they repeated their preference for the needy above themselves.

This selfless act was noticed by Allah, so let us see what did they get in return from the most Beneficent, The most generous? Let us see the following ayah from the same Surah:

•“Un ke upar sabz kareeb aur itlas ki poshaak hogi aur unhain chaandi ke kangan pehnaye jaaenge aur un ka Parvardigaar unhain nihayat paakizah sharaab pilaega ye yaqeeni tumhare liye hoga tumhari (kaarguzaariyon ke) sile main aur tumhari koshish qaabile shukar guzaari hai.” – (Surah-e-Dahr (Insaan), ayah 21-22)

“(Upon them shall be garments of fine green silk and thick silk interwoven with gold, and they shall be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord shall make them drink a pure drink. It will be said to them, “This is your reward – indeed your efforts have been appreciated.)”

At this time, Gabriel descended and said: ‘Take this chapter Muhammad (SAW); Allah surely congratulates you for having this family.’ It is worthy to state that the Good ones mentioned here are Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Hussain; who deserve Paradise because of their act of feeding the needy, the orphan, and the captive. (Ref:Tafseer-e-Kishaf, Vol 3, P 239)

Thus while in case of Isa (A.S) Allah instructed him to remember His bounties and be thankful to Him. In the case of family of Mawla Ali (A.S) Allah acknowledges their selfless effort of charity, appreciates and thank them and rewards them with paradise. This shows the rank of this holy family with respect to Allah.

This is not the only occasion where Allah remembers them. Let us see two more ayahs in this connection:

•“Iss main shak nahin ke Khuda aur uske farishte paighambar (aur unki aal) per durood bhejte hai to ae imaandaro tum bhi durood bhejte raho aur baraabar salaam karte raho”. – (Surah-e-Ahzaab, ayah 56)

“(Surely Allah and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who believe! call for (Divine) blessings on him and salute him with a (becoming) salutation.)”

When this verse was revealed, someone asked Rasool (SAW) in what words should the believers recite ‘Salawat’ or ‘Durood’ i.e. the salutation to him. He said. “O Lord! Bestow Thy mercy and grace upon Mohammed (SAW) and the Progeny of Mohammed (SAW) as Thou didst bestow Thy mercy and blessings upon Ibrahim and the progeny of Ibrahim, verily Thou art the Most Praised and the Most Gracious one.” – (Ref: Saheeh Bukhari Chp. 19, P 305 & Chp 26 P 5, Jam’a Tirmizee P 66 & P 395, Sunan Ibn-e-Majah P 65, Sunan Nisaee Vol 1, P 189)

•“Aur Hum ne un ka zikr khair baad ke aane walon main baaqi rakkha ke har taraf se Aal-e-Yaseen per salaam hi salaam hai” – (Surah-e-Sa’afat, ayah 129-130)

“(And We perpetuated to him (praise) among the later generations. Peace be unto the Aal-e-Yaseen.)”

Ibn-e-Abi Haatim and Ibn-e-Marduiya have quoted Ibn-e-Abbas that Aal-e-Yaasin in the above ayah refers to Aal-e-Mohammed (SAW) (Ref: Durr-e-Mansoor, vol 5, P 286)

Fakhruddin Razi writes that the Ahl-ul-bait are at par with the Holy Prophet (SAW) in salutation for Allah said, “Peace be unto thee, O Prophet” and He also said, “Peace be unto the Aal-e-Yaseen.”

So Allah does remember them and His angels join Him in sending their salutations to Mohammed wa Aale Mohammed (SAW).

Even Rasool (SAW) whenever used to come to Mawla Ali (A.S)’s house, he would hold the door and say ‘Assalam-alaykum Yaa Ahl-ul-bait”. (Ref: Durr-e-Mansoor, Mulla Jalaluddin Suyuti, Vol 5, Page 198-199)

 It means that Allah, His messenger and His angels together send their greetings and salutation to the family of Mawla Ali (A.S) for their selfless love and sacrifice for the cause of Islam and Allah.

There is no greater sacrifice than the sacrifice of Imam Husain (A.S) in Karbala. Karbala is important to all of us as here Imam Husain (A.S) by sacrificing his children, brothers, relatives and friends displayed his commitment for the divine cause. Before Jihad-e-Karbala we never knew the level of commitment required to acquire Allah’s pleasure. Imam Husain (A.S) has set the benchmark and given us the parameter in this regard.

Ramzan is the holiest month in Muslim calendar. We all fast in this month and show our commitment towards Allah and expect his bounties and grace in return. Allah has promised to purify us if we do as He has instructed. While fasting there are no restrictions in saheri and iftaari, we can have grand breakfast for saheri and lavish iftaari when we break the fast. The duration is normally around 14-15 hours at a stretch. In these hours we fight all the temptations and expect that Allah would reward us.

Now let us see what happened in Karbala, Imam Husain (A.S) and his holy household was without food and water for more than 72 hours at a stretch. There was no saheri and no iftaari for them. We fast in the comfort of our houses, still Allah is happy with us. While Imam Husain (A.S) was without food and water along with his little children way away from his house. He was surrounded by enemies who were after his blood, again there was no security of his children. But still he remained committed and fought with all temptations to seek Allah’s pleasure.

We just saw in Surah-e-Dahr how Allah appreciated the sacrifice of house-hold of Mawla Ali when they gave charity. It seems logical that Allah would have appreciated the grand sacrifice of Imam Husain (A.S) and his household in Karbala.

In order to substantiate this let us see the following ayah and I am sure it will give us logical perspective on the above discussion:

•“Us main shak nahin ke ye yaqeeni bada sakht aur sarihi imtihaan tha aur Hum ne Ismaeel ka fidya ek zibhe azeem (badi qurbani) qaraar diya. Aur Hum ne unka achha churcha baad ke aanewalon main baaki rakkha hai ” – (Surah-e-Sa’afat, ayah 106-107-108

“(Most surely this is a manifest trial. And We ransomed him with a Feat sacrifice. And We perpetuated (praise) to him among the later generations)”

This ayah refers to the incident where Ibrahim (A.S), following the instructions of Allah, was ready to sacrifice his son Ismaeel (A.S). Allah liked his willingness and He then exchanged it with a greater sacrifice (Zibhe Azeem). Most of the Islamic commentators have unanimously said that this great sacrifice which Allah is referring in the above ayah is sacrifice of Imam Husain (A.S) and his household at the battle field of Karbala. (Ref: Merajjunnabuwat, P 35)

There was only one sacrifice which Ibrahim (A.S) had to perform while in Karbala Imam Husain (A.S) saw martyrdoms of 6 months old Ali Asghar (A.S), 18 years old Ali Akbar (A.S), his nephews, brothers and friends. Thus for this reason Allah (SWT) considers the sacrifice of Imam Husain (A.S) as Zibhe Azeem (Great Sacrifice).

Referring to this famous Urdu poet Allah Iqbal has said:
• Gharib-o-sâda- o-rangi'n hay dâstân-e-Haram. Nihâyat iski Husayn ibtida hay Ismâil

(He says that event of construction of Kaaba is very simple and interesting, it started with the sacrifice of Ismail (A.S) but it was not completed and it was postponed for later generation when Imam Husain (A.S) sacrificed his life and preserved the dignity of Holy Kaaba)

Some of the prominent Islamic scholars have recorded the importance of Karbala and the message it gave to Muslim world.

•Salami records: “I paid a visit to the Prophet’s wife Umme Salma and saw her crying with grief. When I asked her what made her weep, she said, ‘I just dreamt that the Prophet had come with his beard and head covered with dust. When I asked him what made him so full of grief, he told me that he had just returned after seeing his Husain butchered.’” (Ref: Jam’a Tirmizee P 466, Mishkat Vol 8, P 139, Mustadrak Vol 4. P 19)

Even some Non-Muslim scholars have given their opinion on the grand sacrifice:

•“Of that gallant band, male and female knew that the enemy forces around were implacable, and were not only ready to fight, but to kill. Denied even water for the children, they remained parched under the burning sun and scorching sands, yet not one faltered for a moment. Husain marched with his little company, not to glory, not to power of wealth, but to a supreme sacrifice, and every member bravely faced the greatest odds without flinching.” – Dr. K. Sheldrake

•“The best lesson which we get from the tragedy of Cerebella is that Husain and his companions were rigid believers in God. They illustrated that the numerical superiority does not count when it comes to the truth and the falsehood. The victory of Husain, despite his minority, marvels me!” – Thomas Carlyle

•“In a distant age and climate, the tragic scene of the death of Husain will awaken the sympathy of the coldest reader.” – Edward Gibbon

•“A reminder of that blood-stained field of Karbala, where the grandson of the Apostle of God fell, at length, tortured by thirst, and surround by the bodies of his murdered kinsmen, has been at anytime since then, sufficient to evoke, even in the most lukewarm and the heedless, the deepest emotion, the most frantic grief, and an exaltation of spirit before which pain, danger, and death shrink to unconsidered trifles.” - Browne’s History of Persia

So while Mawla Ali sought pleasure of Allah by sleeping on the bed of Rasool (SAW), Imam Husain (A.S) on the battlefield of Karbala won the trust of Allah and got His permission in return. As Allah says in the following ayah:

•“Aur Jis shakhs ke liye wo ijaazat ata farmaye uske siva kissi ki sifarish us ki bargaah main kaam na aayegi.”- (Surah-e-Saba, ayah 23)

"(No intercession can avail in His Presence, except for those for whom He has granted permission)”

Our above claim is substantiated, as we find that in the month of Moharram and otherwise it is because of Imam Husain’s intercession the people irrespective of their religion get their desires fulfilled.

Let me then conclude by mentioning Khwaja Gharib Nawaz’s immortal verses on the status of Imam Husain (A.S):

•Shah ast Husain, Badshah ast Husain – (King is Husain, Emperor is Husain)
Deen ast Husain, Deen Panah ast Husain - (Faith is Husain, Guardian of faith is Husain)
Sardad na daad dast dar dast-e-Yazeed – (Offered is Head, against his hand to Yazid)
Haqqa key binaey La ilaah ast Husain. - (Indeed Husain is the foundation of La ilaha)

By displaying impeccable example it is Imam Husain (A.S) and household of Mawla Ali (A.S), who gave meaning to Islamic philosophy. They are the duly appointed guardian of the religion. Their conduct and sacrifice has beautified it further. So let us pray to Our Lord to keep us loyal to them and His divine mission, so that we can be considered amongst His trusted servants. Aamin.”

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