Wednesday, March 23, 2011


As an advertising executive I was required to go to Delhi quite often for some or the other official work. During one of such trips to Delhi, one day after I was through with my work, I decided to go sightseeing and have a look at its various prominent places. I requested my Delhi based colleague to be my guide in this little expedition.

It was an interesting journey as we saw the places of historical prominence about which I had read in my school days or had seen in films. My friend also took me to a place called Raisina Hills where I saw a beautiful building which was a real architectural masterpiece. My friend told me that it was Rashtrapati Bhavan and obviously only Head of the State – The President could stay there. When I asked whether there is any way we could go inside, he told me that for that we should be either a close associate or a relative of the President only then we would be allowed to be in. He further added to my knowledge by saying that it took 4 years of planning and 19 years of construction to get this building completed. During the British period it was palace of the Viceroy of India and later it got converted into Rashtrapati Bhavan after independence.

What struck me beside the grandeur of the building was that in the most prominent building like Rashtrapati Bhavan only the country’s most important people like the President can stay.

In order to take the advantage of the goodwill which companies generate after years of hard work and commitment they insist on mentioning the company’s name prominently in every communication of new product launch.

Thus if Tata’s launch a new product their advertisements would mention without fail as “From the House of Tatas”. This small caption is good enough to convince their loyal customers that the new product has the same quality and goodness for which the company stands for.

 In the light of the above two examples let us try to understand the prominence of Ka’aba – The House of Allah and Mawla Ali (A.S) – The Imam-ul-Muttaqeen in our lives through this article.

But before we start let us look at few of ayahs relating to Ibrahim (A.S) as his time was of utmost prominence in the history of establishment of Islam. As the following ayah says:

• “(Ae Rasool (SAW)) kehdo ke Khuda ne sach farmaya to ab tum Millat-e-Ibrahim (A.S) ki pairvi karo jo baatil se katraake chalte the aur mushrikeen se na the.” – (Surah-e-Aale Imran, ayah 95)

“(Say: Allah has spoken the truth, therefore follow the religion of Ibrahim, the upright one; and he was not one of the polytheists.)”

In the above ayah Allah (SWT) instructs the holy Prophet (SAW) to propagate the religion of Ibrahim (A.S) since that was the foundation of Islam. So whoever was following this religion prior to the revelation of Islam was not a polytheist and in fact he was steadfast on the straight path.

Further Allah (SWT) says in the following ayah:

• “Aur kaun hai jo Ibrahim (A.S) ke tariqe se nafrat kare magar jo apne ko ahmaq banaye.” – (Surah-e-Baqra, ayah 130)

“(No one turns away from Abraham's Tradition except one who makes a fool of himself.)”

And thus it can inferred that Allah (SWT) liked those who follow the tradition and creed of Ibrahim (A.S) and He terms those people as fools who reject the faith and tradition.

Again let us see the following ayah referring to Ibrahim (A.S) and his descendants:

• “Beshak Khuda ne Aadam (A.S) aur Nooh (A.S) aur Aale Ibrahim (A.S) aur Aale Imran (A.S) ko saare jahan se barguzida kiya hai ba’az ki aulad ko ba’az se aur Khuda sab ki sunta aur sab kuch jaanta hai.” – (Surah-e-Aale Imran, ayah 33-34)

“(Surely Allah chose Adam and Nuh and the descendants of Ibrahim and the descendants of Imran above the nations)

The descendants of Ibrahim (A.S) who followed the faith and tradition of Ibrahim (A.S) prior to Islam where surely on the right path and as per the above ayah they were amongst the chosen ones by Allah (SWT).

This background is necessary for us to understand few points which I intend to discuss later on. This would help us find out certain answers pertaining to our faith.

It was Ibrahim (A.S) who raised the walls of Ka’aba centuries before Islam was revealed. And for this Allah (SWT) says:

• “Aur (wo waqt yaad dilao) jab Ibrahim (A.S) aur Ismail (A.S) Khana-e-Ka’aba ki buniyaadein buland kar rahe the (aur dua) maangte jaate the ke Ae hamare Parwardigaar hamari (yeh khidmat) qubool kar beshak tuhi (dua ka) sunne wala aur (uss ka) jaanne wala hai.” – (Surah-e-Baqra, ayah 127)

“(And remember Abraham and Isma'il raised the foundations of the House (With this prayer): "Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us: For Thou art the All-Hearing, the All-knowing.)”

The above ayah mentions the commitment and sincere prayers of Ibrahim (A.S) and Ismail (A.S) towards the development of Ka’aba. And Allah (SWT) accepted their efforts, as the below mention ayahs confirm this:

•“Baaz ahmaq log ye keh baithenge ki Muslamaan jis Qible Baitul Mukkadas ki taraf pehle se sajda karte the usse dusre qible ki taraf mudjaane ka kya baais hua. Ae Rasool (SAW) tum un ke jawab main kaho purab pachchim sab Khuda ka hai jise chahta hai sidhe raaste ki taraf hidayat karta hai.” – (Surah-e-Baqra, ayah 142)

“(The fools among the people will say: What has turned them from their Qiblah which they had? Say: The East and the West belong only to Allah; He guides whom He likes to the right path.)”

Though East and West belong only to Allah, He still changed the Qiblah from Baitul Muqqadas to Ka’aba; thus by doing so Allah (SWT) accepted their efforts and listened to their prayers. Allah (SWT) further instructs the Holy Prophet (SAW) regarding Ka’aba in following words:

• “Aur (Ae Rasool (SAW)) tum jahan se jao (yahan tak ke Makka se to bhi) tum namaz main apna mooh Masjid-e-Haram ki taraf kar liya karo aur (Ae Rasool (SAW)) tum jahan kahi hua karo to namaz main apna mooh ussi Ka’aba ki taraf kar liya karo (baar baar hukm dene ka ek faayda ye hai taaki logon ka ilzaam tum per na aane paaye magar unn main se jo log nahaq hatdharmi karte hai wo to zaroor ilzaam denge) to tum log unn se daro nahin aur sirf Mujh se daro aur (doosra fayda ye hai) taaki tum per Apni ne’matein poori kar doon.” – (Surah-e-Baqra, ayah 150)

“(And (Mohammed (SAW)) from whatsoever place you come forth, turn your face towards the Sacred Mosque; and wherever you are turn your faces towards it, so that people shall have no accusation against you, except such of them as are unjust; so do not fear them, and fear Me, that I may complete My favour on you and that you may walk on the right course)”

The above ayah clearly indicates that only Ka’aba is the Qiblah and during our prayers we need to face the direction of Ka’aba otherwise our prayers are void. All the mosques are made as a copy of Ka’ba, and they should be made in such a manner that they are facing Ka’aba so that prayers could be offered in them.

Further when we contemplate on the words of Allah (SWT) in the above ayah, He says if we all start facing the Ka’ba during our prayers He might complete His favours on us. It means He starts bestowing His favours when we start facing the Ka’aba in our prayers.

Let us now see one more ayah pertaining to Ka’aba:

•“Logon (ki ibadat) ke waaste jo ghar sab se pehle banaya gaya woh to yaqeenan yahi (Ka’aba) hai jo Mecca main hai badi (khair wa barkat) wala aur sare jahan ke logon ka rehnuma” – (Surah-e-Ale Imran, ayah 96)

“(Indeed the first house that was appointed as a place of worship for mankind, is the one at Mecca (the Holy Ka’aba), blessed and a guidance to the whole world)

Ka’aba was the first house that was appointed as a place of worship for people and it is of course guidance to the whole world of believers. There are many questions which come to our mind then:

• Why did Allah (SWT) take so long to appoint it as Qiblah?
• If Ka’aba is guidance why did Allah (SWT) not declare it as Qiblah straightaway and waited till Islam was revealed?
Was Allah (SWT) waiting for some specific event to take place?

In order to answer these questions let us go to back to the time of Ibrahim (A.S) and contemplate on the following ayah:

•"Ae Rasool (S.A.W) Bani Israel ko woh waqt bhi yaad dilao jab Ibrahim (A.S) ko unke Parvardigar ne chand baton main aazmaya aur unhone pura kar diya to Khuda ne farmaya Main tumko logon ka Imam banane wala hoon. Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S) ne arz ki aur meri aulad main se. Farmaya haan magar mere ahad per zaalimon main se koi shakhs faaez nahin ho sakta." – (Surah-e-Baqra, ayah 124)

(“And when his Lord tried Ibrahim with certain commands, he fulfilled them. He said: Surely I will make you an Imam of men. Ibrahim said: And of my offspring? My covenant does not include the unjust, said He.”)

The above ayah is referring to the incidence of the sacrifice of Ismail (A.S) which Ibrahim (A.S) had to fulfill. Thus it was a great trial which when Ibrahim (A.S) fulfilled he became Imam. He then wished that there should be Imams from his progeny as well. And Allah (SWT) promised to fulfill his wish provided they should not be unjust.

The results which we can derive from the above ayah are:
a) The Imams would have to undergo great trials in their lives.
b) They would be just and pure in their conduct and would be surely from the lineage of Ibrahim (A.S) only.

So if we wish to recognize and identify our Imams, we need to see their lives in the light of above ayah and we would surely find them.

The way Allah (SWT) fulfilled prayers of Ibrahim (A.S) by making Ka’aba as Qibla, let us see now how Allah (SWT) fulfills his wish to have Imams in his lineage.
For this we would see the following ayah:

•“Ae Rasool jo hukm tumhare Parvardigar ki taraf se tum per naazil kiya gaya hai pahoncha do. Aur agar tum ne aisa nahin kiya to samjhlo tum ne Us ka koi paigham hi nahin pahonchaya aur tum daro nahin Khuda tum ko logon ke shar se mahfooz rakhe gaa aur Khuda hargiz kafiron ki qaum ko manzil e maqsood tak nahin pahonchata.” – (Surah-e-Maida, ayah 67)

(“O Apostle! deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message, and Allah will protect you from the people; surely Allah will not guide the unbelieving people.”)

The above ayah was revealed in Ghadeer-e-Khum when the holy prophet (pbuh) was returning to Medina after offering his last Hajj (Ref: Tafseer al Kabir by Fakhr al Din Mohammed ibn Umar al razi (1357/1938), Umdatul Qari fi Sharh Sahih al Bukhari - by Al Ayni, Tafsir al Nisaboori, v6 P194)

After the revelation of this ayah the holy prophet (pbuh) called all the pilgrims for one huge assemblage here. He instructed Salman (R.A) and other companions to make a pulpit of rocks and he then sat on the ‘mimber’ thus created. In front of this gathering he declared Mawla Ali (A.S) as his successor and announced “Man Kunto Mawla fa hazaa Ali un-Mawla”. (Ref: Sahih Tirmizi, V2, P298, Bukhari, V5, Book 59).

Thus this way Allah (SWT) fulfilled the wish of Ibrahim (A.S) and first Imam from his lineage was announced.

In order to further substantiate this order of Imamate, Allah (SWT) has given His clear instructions to Umah-e-Muslema in the following ayah:

• “Ae Imaandaro tumhare malik sarparast to buss yehi hai Khuda aur uss ka Rasool (SAW) aur wo momineen jo pabandi se namaz adaa karte hai aur haalat-e-ruku main zakat dete hai…” – (Surah-e-Maida, Ayah 55)

“(Verily your leader is only Allah and His messenger and those who believe; those who establish worship and pay the poor-rate while they bow down in prayer.)”

Apart from Allah (SWT) the Greatest and the Holy Prophet (SAW), there is one more leader of Muslims. He is the one who pays the poor-rate while bowing down in ruku. And this leader and Imam is Mawla Ali who gave his ring to a beggar while bowing down in ruku. (Ref: Imam Nasai in Saheeh-e-Nasai, Aljam’a Bain-ul-Sihah-ul-Sittah, Sa’labi)

Ibrahim (A.S) prayed for Ka’aba and it became Qibla, he wished to have Imams in his lineage and Mawla Ali (A.S) and rest of 11 Imams were born in his lineage. Is there any other association between Ka’aba and Mawla Ali (A.S) apart from the prayers of Ibrahim (A.S)? Can we draw parallels between Ka’aba and Mawla Ali (A.S)?

The biggest association of Mawla Ali (A.S) with Ka’aba is his birth.
It was Friday 13th of Rajab 30 Amulfeel, Hazrat Fatima binte Asad (A. S), the wife of Hazrat Abu Talib (A.S) entered the precincts of the Kaaba, she then touched herself with its wall and prayed in the following words which are recorded in all prominent books of Islamic history: “O Allah, I firmly believe in you, your prophets and your books. I bear testimony to my ancestor Ibrahim (A.S)’s prophethood. I beseech you through this house of yours, its constructor and the child who is in my womb, make this problem very easy for me.” All of a sudden the wall of the Ka’aba opened up and she, as if by some unseen force went inside the Ka’aba and the wall closed. Ali (A.S) the youngest son of Abu Talib was born inside the Holy Ka’aba. She stayed inside for three days.

(Ref: Muhammad ibn Talha el-Shafei in Matalib-us-saool, page 11, Hakim in Mustadrak, page 483, Vol. III, El-Umari in Sharh Ainia, page 15, Halabi in Sira, page 165, Vol. I, Sibt ibn al-Jauzi in Tadhkera Khawasil Ummah, page 7, Ibn Sabbagh Maleki in Fusoolul Mohimma, page 14, Muhammad bin Yousuf Shafei in Kifayet al-Talib, page 261, Shablanji in Nurul Absar, page 76, Ibn Zahra in Ghiyathul Ikhtisar, page 97, Edvi in Nafhatul Qudsia, page 41, Mohaddith-e-Dehlvi in ‘Izalatul Kholafa’)

This was much before Islam was revealed. It shows that she followed the religion of Ibrahim (A.S) and thus was on the right path.

Fatima binte Asad (A.S) was daughter of Hazrat Asad bin Hashim and grand-daughter of Hazrat Hashim bin Abd Manaf, who was the leader of Quraysh and the keeper of Ka’aba. Hazrat Abu Talib (A.S) was also from the Bani Hashim clan, they both followed the religion of Prophet Ibrahim (A.S) and believed and acted accordingly.

Thus they were descendants of Ibrahim (A.S) following the religion and creed of the Prophet Ibrahim (A.S) and in the light of the ayahs from Surah-e-Aale Imran (Ayah no. 33-34) they were from amongst the chosen ones of Allah (SWT).

Nobody after Fatima binte Asad (A.S) ever entered Ka’aba for giving birth to a child and nobody else was born in Ka’aba except Mawla Ali (A.S
), this was much before Ka’aba became Qibla and hence it seems that Allah (SWT) waited till Mawla Ali’s birth and here He united both the prayer and wish of Ibrahim (A.S) by giving birth to first Imam in Ka’aba and then making Ka’aba as Qibla for Muslims.

In the introductory section we saw that the companies endorse their new product by mentioning their names along with the product name in order to convince the customers about the goodness and quality of their new product. Similarly Imamate was new to Islam after Apostleship. Thus Allah (SWT) has endorsed the Imamate by making it emerge from Ka’aba – The House of Allah. Also the way Quran is witness to the Apostleship of Rasool (SAW), the Ka’aba which bears the birth marks of Mawla Ali (A.S) at the ‘Rukne Yamani’ corner of its wall till date, has thus became witness to Imamate of Mawla Ali (A.S).

Maulana Rume in his Mathnawi has documented Mawla Ali (A.S) association with Ka’aba in the following words. He writes:

• "'O’ one who travels to Najaf to visit the tomb of Ali must know the fact that the pearl of the Kaaba lies there to give us security because of our intense love for him.”

When the holy prophet (pbuh) did the announcement of Man Kunto Mawla at Ghadeer-e-Khum the following ayah was revealed:

•“Aaj Maine tumhare din ko kaamil kardiya aur tum per apni ne’mat poori kardi aur tumhare iss Deen-e-Islam ko pasand kiya.” – (Surah-e-Maida, ayah 3)

“(This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.)

(Ref: Durr-e-Mansoor, Jalalluddin Suyuti, V3, P 19, Tarikh by Khatib al Baghdadi, V8 P 290, 596, Yanabi-al-Mawaddah from Abu Hureira by Al-Qudoozi Al-Hanafi).

On acceptance of Hazrat Ali (A.S) as Mawla and leader, the religion is perfected and Allah (SWT) completes His favours. While when we bow to Ka’aba our prayers are perfected and Allah (SWT) starts bestowing his favours as per ayah from Surah-e-Baqra (Ayah no. 150), which has been mentioned in the beginning of this article. Thus in order to have complete favours we need to pray by bowing down to Ka’aba with love for Mawla Ali (A.S) in our hearts.

Again we have seen in the ayah from Surah-e-Aale Imran (Ayah no. 96) Ka’aba is the guidance for believers of the whole world.
Now let us see the following ayah:

•“(Ae Rasool (SAW)) tum to sirf khauf e Khuda se daraane wale ho, aur har qaum ke liye ek hidayat kar ne wala hai.” – (Surah-e-Ra’ad, ayah 7)

"(O Prophet, surely, you are a warner and for every people there is a guide)".

Sa`labi writes in his tafseer on the authority of Abdullah ibn Abbas that when this verse was revealed, the Prophet said that through Ali (AS), Muslims will be guided. It has also been recorded by various authentic sources in other prominent books (Ref: Durr-e-Mansoor, Mulla Jalaluddin Suyuti, Vol 4 Page 45, Ibn-e-Asakir)

And the holy prophet (pbuh) has said about Mawla Ali (A.S):
“Ali is your guide and all of you are to come to me at the Hauz-e-Kausar…” (Ref: Kanz-ul-Ummal Vol2, p. 350)

And because of these parallels of Mawla Ali (A.S) with Ka’aba the holy prophet (pbuh) has also said to Mawla Ali (A.S) that:

“Ali, the pride of your place is like that of House of Allah. People of themselves go to House of Allah; the House of Allah does not go after the people. So when I am no more, if these people of themselves, elect you as their Caliph, do become their Caliph. If they don’t approach you, never go to them so long as they themselves do not come up to you.(Ref: Usd-ul-Ghaba Vol 4 P 31, Kunooz-ul-Haqaique P 173)

With this beautiful couplet of Mirza Ghalib let us conclude the article:

“Ghalib nadeem-e-dost se aati hai boo-e-dost
Mashghool-e-Haqq hoon, bandagi-e-Bu Turab mein!

 And may Allah accept our efforts and bless us, so let us pray to Allah in the words of Ibrahim (A.S): “Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us: For Thou art the All-Hearing, the All-knowing.” Aamin