Monday, May 23, 2011

Rope of Allah

Have you ever observed how various products that serve our daily needs come to us from the factory - their point of origin?

The manufacturer appoints a distributor, who in turn further carries the products to different retailers and from these retail points we get access to those products which we need on a regular basis. In management terminology it is called Supply Chain or a Value Chain.

We can thus say that these products exchange various hands; which are in fact appointed by the manufacturer, before we receive them.

Again, in any organization, the review for a promotion of a subordinate is done by his immediate senior. The senior sends his views to his senior for further approval and this chain reaches the final authority who in turn confirms the promotion.

These are value chains that connect the consumer to the originator or the subordinate to the ultimate authority. The value chain works wonderfully in the business world. So let us try to find out which is that value chain which works wonderfully in Islamic world?

Allah (SWT) is such that no vision can ever grasp Him. He is Omnipresent but we cannot see Him. So if ever we want to reach Him what should we do?

Let us start with few ayahs which talks about Allah – The Originator.

• “(Ae Rasool (SAW)) jab Mere bande Mera haal tumse poochein to (kehdo ki) Main unke paas hi hoon aur jab Mujh se koi dua maangta hai to Main har dua karne waalon ki dua (sunn leta hoon aur jo munasib ho to) qubool karta hoon pas unhain chahiye ke Mera kehna maanein aur Mujh per imaan laayein taake woh hidayat paajaeein.” - (Surah-e-Baqra, ayah 186)

“(And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way)”
The above ayah says that Allah is always with us and when we call Him He responds to our prayers. He promises that if we remain His believers we will always be on the right path.

Then He further says in the following two ayahs:

•“Aur jo kuch aasman main hai aur jo kuch zameen main hai (gharz sabhi) khaas Khuda ka hai aur Khuda to karsaazi ke liye kafi hai.” – (Surah-e-Nisa, ayah 132)

“(And whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is Allah's, and Allah is sufficient as a Guardian.)

Everything belongs to Him, He is the creator of all and He is the sufficient Guardian for all of us.

•“Aur dosti ke liye bas Khuda kafi hai aur himayat ke waaste bhi Khuda hi kaafi hai.” – (Surah-e-Nisa, ayah 45)

“(Allah is enough for a protector, and Allah is enough for a Helper.)”

Thus we can say that He is the Guardian, He is the Protector and He is the Helper. There is no one but Him and we should seek whatever we want always from Him.

Then He endorses the apostleship of the holy Prophet (SAW) in the following words:

•“Aur (ae Rasool (SAW)) Hum ne tum ko logon ke paas Paighamber bana ke bheja hai aur (uske liye) Khuda ki gawahi kaafi hai.” – (Surah-e-Nisa, ayah 79)

“(And We have sent thee as a messenger to (instruct) mankind. And enough is Allah for a witness.)”

It is Allah (SWT) who sent the holy Prophet (SAW) to this world as His chosen Apostle. And He further says that He is enough as a witness for this and He does not require any other witness in this regard.

He is always ready to bestow His mercy over us and hence He says:

•“Aur Khuda se maghferat ki dua ma’ango Khuda bada bakshne wala Maherbaan hai.” – (Surah-e-Muzammil, ayah 20)

“(And ask forgiveness of Allah; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful)”.

He definitely forgives those who seek forgiveness from Him. Yes, He is the most Merciful and Ever forgiving.

 From the various ayahs which we saw, we can infer that Allah (SWT) is always with us, He listens to our prayers and guides us to the right path if we remain steadfast in our belief in Him, carry our matters to Him and seek help only from Him. He forgives our misconduct and sins if we seek forgiveness from Him; as He is the only Creator and Originator of everything.

So if He is the only Creator and the Originator of everything and always ready to forgive us, why do we see so many problems everywhere? Why does not He forgive all of us? Has he created any rule which is to be followed if we seek His forgiveness and Mercy? Let us see the following ayah and contemplate:

•“Aur (Rasool (SAW)) jab unn logon ne (nafarmani karke) apni jaanon per zulm kiya tha agar tumhare paas chale aate aur Khuda se maafi maangte aur Rasool (SAW) (tum) bhi unnki maghferat chahte to beshak wo log Khuda ko badaa tauba qubool karne wala Meharbaan paate.” – (Surah-e-Nisa, ayah 64)

“(If they had come to you after wronging themselves and asked forgiveness of God, and you had also asked forgiveness for them, they would surely have found God forgiving and merciful.)”

The people would find Allah (SWT) as the Most Merciful and Ever Forgiving, if they come to the holy Prophet (SAW) and seek Forgiveness from Allah (SWT). But this is not enough as the ayah further says that Allah (SWT) would only forgive those for whom apart from their prayers the holy Prophet (SAW) also prays. Thus Rasool (SAW) is the appointed authority for Allah’s Mercy.

And that is why Allah (SWT) has said in the following ayah about the holy Prophet (SAW):

•“"Aur Ae Rasool (SAW) Hum ne tum ko tamam alamon ke liye rehmat hi karke bheja hai". – (Surah-e-Ambiya, ayah 107)

(“And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds.”)

Thus Allah (SWT) is the Originator of Mercy and the holy Prophet (SAW) has been appointed for that purpose. So seeking mercy from the holy Prophet (SAW) is to seek mercy from Allah (SWT) Himself.

In Surah-e-Nisa, ayah 45, Allah (SWT) has said that Allah is enough for a Protector and Helper, while in the following ayah He says:

•“(Ae Rasool (SAW)) unn logon se kehdo ke agar tum Khuda ko dost rakhte ho to meri pairvi karo ki Khuda (bhi) tum ko dost rakhega aur tum ko tumhare gunaah bakhsh dega aur Khuda bada Bakhsh ne waala Meharbaan hai.” - (Surah-e-Aale Imran, ayah 31)

“(Say: "If you love God then follow me that God may love you and forgive your faults; for God is forgiving and kind.")”

Thus He has given clear instructions that if somebody wishes that Allah (SWT) loves him and protects him, he needs to follow the holy Prophet (SAW). Without this Allah (SWT) may not love anybody and neither will He protect anyone.

Allah (SWT) is the sufficient Guardian for all of us as He has said this in Surah-e-Nisa, ayah 132. But again He says in the following two ayahs from Surah-e-Maeda:

•“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-Maeda, 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.)”

•“Aur jisne Khuda aur Rasool (SAW) aur unhi Imaadaro ko apna sarparast banaya to Khuda ke lashkar main aagaya aur issme shak nahin ke Khuda hi ka lashkar ghalib rehta hai.” – (Surah-e-Maeda, Ayah 56)

(And whoever takes Allah and His apostle and those who believe for a guardian, then surely the party of Allah are they that shall be triumphant.)”

Here by mentioning a specific incident of paying the poor-rate while in ruku, Allah (SWT) has indicated that apart from Allah Himself and the holy Prophet (SAW) there is one more leader and guardian for us and if we wish to be the triumphant party of Allah we need to be under the guardianship of him. Without considering him as our guardian we can never be Allah’s party.

It was Mawla Ali (A.S), who gave his ring to a beggar while bowing down in the ruku which above ayahs have mentioned. (Ref: Imam Nasai in Saheeh-e-Nasai, Aljam’a Bain-ul-Sihah-ul-Sittah, Sa’labi).

Allah is the Ultimate Guardian and He has appointed Mawla Ali (A.S) for His Guardianship. Thus Mawla Ali (A.S) is appointed Guardian for all of us. Hence seeking help from Mawla Ali (A.S) is to seek help from Allah Himself.

As per Surah-e-Nisa, ayah 79, Allah (SWT) has confirmed that He Himself is enough a witness for the apostleship of the holy Prophet (SAW) but again He says in the following ayah:

•“Aur Ae Rasool (SAW) kafir log kehte hai ke tum paighambar nahin ho to tum un se kehdo ke mere aur tumhare darmiyan meri risalat ki gawahi ke waaste Khuda aur wo shakhs jis ko aasmani kitab ka ilm hai kafi hai.” – (Surah-e-Ra’ad, Ayah 43)

(“Yet those who are disbelievers say: "You are not the apostle sent (by God)." Tell them: "God is sufficient as witness between me and you, and he who has knowledge of the Book."”)

Allah (SWT) is the Ultimate witness of the holy Prophet (SAW)’s Apostleship and He has further appointed one more witness for all of us.

The chosen witness which the above ayah has referred is Mawla Ali (A.S). It was he who had the knowledge of the holy book. (Ref: Tafseer-e-Suyuti, Vol 4, P 69, Ahteyaj-e-Tabresi, Tafseer-e-Ayashi).

Thus in order to understand the greatness of the apostleship of the holy Prophet (SAW); we need to see towards the life of Mawla Ali, the rightly chosen witness by Allah (SWT). As whatever he has said and done is as per Allah (SWT) and the holy Prophet (SAW). And that is why he is the chosen guardian and the leader of Ummah.

We have seen up till now what are the ways of Allah (SWT) to bestow His Grace and Mercy on us. Let us see what should be our way to reach Him and become eligible for His Grace.

In this connection let us see few ayahs that would take us to the logical inference. We will see ayah from Surah-e-Saba first:

•“(Ae Rasool (SAW)) tum (yeh bhi) kehdo ki (tableegh-e-risalat ka) main tumse koi badla nahin maangta wo tumhain hi mubarak ho, mera badla to bas Allah ke zimme hai aur Wo har cheez se khoob waqif hai.” – (Surah-e-Saba, ayah 47)

Say: “The reward I ask is for yourself. My reward is due from none but Allah; and He is witness over everything.”

It was the hardwork and persistence of our beloved Prophet (SAW) which brought us to the light of guidance from the darkness of misguidance. Still in the above ayah Allah (SWT) has asked the holy Prophet (SAW) to inform us that he is not seeking any reward for his messengership from us. It will be Allah (SWT) who would reward him the way he should be rewarded. That means whatever he is asking is for our own good. If we follow whatever he has asked we would be rewarded.

In the following ayah Allah (SWT) has further clarified:

•“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.")”

We would be duly rewarded by Allah (SWT) if we take the straight Path which reaches Him. We don’t see Him so how can we ever reach Him?

The following ayah has shown us the way to Him:

•“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’)”

The love for the household of the Prophet (SAW) is the Straight Path that reaches Allah (SWT). By contemplating on the above mentioned 3 ayahs we can infer that in the love for them the great reward from Allah (SWT) has been concealed. So if we wish to be rewarded by Allah’s Mercy, Forgiveness and Grace we need to love them.

As per the holy Prophet (SAW) his near relatives mentioned in the above ayah are 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)

Even prominent Islamic researchers like 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. The similar tradition from Ibn-e-Abbas has also been recorded in Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmed Ibn Hambal and others.

Thus Allah (SWT) says this about the Straight Path in the following ayah:

"Aur (Ae Rasool (SAW)) yeh tumhare Parvardigar ka banaya hua seedhaa raasta hai ibrat haasil karne walon ke waaste Hum ne apne aayaat ko tafsilan bayaan kar diye hai. Uunke waaste uunke Parvardigar ke yahaan aman wa chaen ka ghar (bahisht) hai aur duniya main jo kaarguzariyan unhone ki thi usski aewaz Khuda uunka sarparast hoga.” – (Surah-e-An’am, ayah 126-127)

“(This is the straight path of your Lord. Distinct have We made Our signs for those who reflect. For them is an abode of peace with their Lord. He will be their defender as reward for what they did.)

The above ayah confirms our inference that if we remain on the Straight Path, we would be rewarded and find Allah (SWT) as our Guardian and Defender. We would thus be honoured for remaining on the straight path. And we can remain so by loving the household of our beloved Prophet (SAW).

And since their love is the Straight Path to Allah (SWT) He says that:

•““Ae Imaandaro Khuda se daro jitna Us se darne ka haq hai aur tum (deen) Islam ke siwa kisi aur deen per hargiz na marna aur tum sab milkar Khuda ki rassi mazbooti se thame raho…” – (Surah-e-Aale Imran, ayah 102 )

(“O ye who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam. And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves…)”

Here Allah (SWT) has instructed us to remain a believer and not to die except in a state of Islam. But who can ensure that, devil – the satan is always looking to pounce on us. How can we save ourselves from him? To this Allah (SWT) has instructed us to hold fast His rope which would ensure that we remain on the Straight Path.

It has been recorded by Salabi, Ibn-e-Hajar and others that Imam Jafar-e-Sadiq (A.S) has mentioned that Rope of Allah are we the Ahl ul bait of the holy Prophet (SAW). (Ref: Imam Sa’labi, Tafseer-e-Kabeer, Sawaiq-e-Mohriqa, Chapter 11, Part 1, Imam Abu Bakr – Rishfat-us-Saadi)

So if we wish to remain a believer forever and succeed we need to hold on to them since they are the rope of Allah. And here I would like to thus mention a beautiful couplet in this regard:

Lee kham satun utfi beha. Har al wa baa al hatema.”
(For me there are five with the help of whom, I extinguish the fire of the most lasting calamity.)

Al Mustufa (SAW) wal Murtuza (A.S) wab na homa wal Fatema (S.A).
(Al Mustafa (SAW), Al Murtuza (A.S), their two sons and Fatema (S.A))”

 Let me mention here the extract from Dua-e-Kumail and pray for all of us – “O Allah, assign unto me a place in Thy Presence with the best of Thy servants whose place is nearest to Thee, for verily that position cannot be attained except through Thy Favour.” Aamin.

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