Friday, August 29, 2014

Ajr e Risalat

There is a rule of business transaction – if one avails any kind of service or buys a product he has to pay the value as demanded by the seller in exchange of the product/service he bought to be called a rightful owner of it. Failing, it would be considered as if he has wrongfully robbed the seller without paying him the dues. And the product/service which he has so availed could be taken back from him in such a case.

Is there a price which Allah (SWT) and our beloved Prophet (SAW) have attached for bestowing us with a message of Islam? Are offering regular prayers, performing Hajj and fasting in the month of Ramzan the only parameters we are expected to follow or is there something beyond this which is expected as a right value to be offered?

***Is it not then essential for us to introspect whether we are doing enough to be the rightful acquirers of Islam? Have we paid the Prophet (SAW) the dues for his efforts in bringing us the benevolence of Islam or are we the usurpers of Islam?

In the light of holy Quran let us begin our introspection with the following ayah from Surah-e-Aale Imran:

·        “Aur tum main se ek giroh aise logon ka bhi to hona chahiye jo logon ko neki ki taraf bulaye aur achhe kaam ka hukm de aur bure kamon se roke aur aise hi log aakherat main apni dili muradein payenge.” – (Surah-e-Aale Imran, ayah 104)

“(And from among you there should be a group who invite to good and enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong, and these it is that shall be successful.)”

Allah (SWT) addresses the Muslim World in the above ayah and Announces that from amongst them there should be a group who invite to good, enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong. And He (SWT) further informs that these people are the successful ones. Thus they are the true and rightful guide and following them would lead us to success. Now let us see the following ayah from Surah-e-Tawba:

·        Ae imandaro Khuda se daro aur sachhon ke saath ho jao.” – (Surah-e-Tawba, ayah 119)

“(O believers, do not stray from the path of God, and be with those who are truthful.)

Here Allah (SWT) has commanded the believers to enjoin the truthful ones. Contemplating on both the ayahs we might conclude that Allah (SWT) has created a group  of truthful people who are the true guides to Muslim Ummah. As commanded it is our religious duty to be with these truthful guides to succeed.

 ***Which then is this group of truthful guides? The answer surely lies within the Quran:

·        “Phir jab tumhare paas ilm (Quran) aa chuuka us ke baad bhi agar tum se koi (Nasrani) (Isa (a.s) ke baare main) hujjat kare to kaho ki achha maidaan main aao Hum apne beton ko bulaayen tum apne beton ko, Hum apni aurton ko bulaayen tum apni aurton ko, Hum apni jaanon ko bulaayen tum apni jaanon ko, uske baad Hum sab milkar Khuda ki baargaah main gid gidaayen aur jhooton per Khuda ki la’anat kare..” – (Surah-e-Aale-Imran, ayah 61)

“(…If any one disputes in this matter with thee, now after (full) knowledge hath come to thee say: “Come! Let us gather together, - our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves. Then let us earnestly pray and invoke the curse of God on those who lie.)”

As per the traditions mentioned by various historians the above verse was revealed when the Christains of Najran had challenged the Prophethood of the holy Prophet (SAW). The above ayah is a Divine Order to the holy Prophet (SAW) to call both the parties of Muslims and Christains for a ‘Mubahela. As instructed in the verse, each party was to bring their women, their sons and themselves. While the Christians brought a great delegation of learned scholars, the holy Prophet (SAW) summoned Hasan (as) and Hussain (as) in place of his sons. Fatema (sa) represented women of his house and Mawla Ali (A.S) represented part of his soul. Both the parties then were needed to pray and invoke curse of Allah on the liars.

The fact that the Christains backed out of ‘Mubahela’ proves that they were convinced that the Muslim delegation comprising of the family of the holy Prophet (SAW) – Imam Ali (as), Janabe Fatema (sa), Hassan (as) and Hussain (as) were the truthful ones.

Thus the above ayah and the incident of Mubahela is the Quranic evidence of the truthfulness of  Panjetan Paak (as).  

And the ayah from Surah-e-Baqra says:

·        “Aur jis tarah tumhare qible ke bare main hidayat ki ussi tarah tum ko aadil banaya taake aur logon ke muqable main tum gawah bano aur Rasool (SAW) tumhare muqable main gawah bane….” – (Surah-e-Baqra, ayah 143)

“(And thus We have made you a just nation that you may be the bearers of witness to the people and (that) the Apostle may be a bearer of witness to you)”
It has been recorded by Salim-bin-Qais that Mawla Ali (A.S) has mentioned that we are ‘Just Nation” (Ummat e Aadil) and bearer of witness to the people. And the Prophet (SAW) is the bearer of witness to us. (Ref: Shawahid Tanzil, Hakim Abul Qasim).

The ayah from Surah-e-Ambiya says:
·        “To agar tum log khud nahin jaante ho to ahl-e-zikr se pooch kar dekho.” – (Surah-e-Ambiya, ayah 7)

“(Ask the people of the remembrances (ahl-e-zikr), if you do not know)”

Sa’labi reports from the authority of Jabir Ibn-e-Abdullah Ansari in his tafseer that on revelation of this ayah Mawla Ali (as) said, “We are the rememberancers (ahl-e-zikr)”.

And our beloved Prophet (pbuh) has said about his holy Progeny:
·     “Do not go ahead of them lest ye perish; nor lag behind them, lest ye perish also. And do not teach them for they know more than you.” (Ref: Tabrani as part of Hadees-e-Saqlain, Ibn-e-Hajar Sawaiq-e-Mohraika, vol 24, Chapter 37)

***This section started with a discussion about the ayah of Mubahela which is a Quranic evidence of Panjetan Paak (as) being the truthful ones. Followed by the ayah no. 143 from Surah-e-Baqra which mentions the presence of a ‘Just Nation’ who are made as a witness to the people. Mawla Ali (as) has confirmed that this ‘Just Nation’ in the ayah are the Ahlulbait and they are the bearer of the witness to the People. Followed by the ayah no. 7 from Surah-e-Ambiya which says that if we don’t know we should refer to ‘Ahl e Zikr’ and according to Mawla Ali (as) Ahlulbait are Ahle Zikr. Lastly we saw a hadith of the holy Prophet (SAW) which instructs the believers to be alongside the Ahlulbait to be saved from peril and to accept that they are superior in knowledge. A clear connect in all this, leads us to the inference that Allah (SWT) appointed them as a guide over mankind and hence made them Just, Truthful and Knowledgable. 

Keeping in mind the ayah no.104 of Surah-e-Aale Imran, which we discussed earlier, in which Allah (SWT) has hinted that there should be a group of people who invite to good, enjoin what is the right and forbid the wrong, let us see the following ayah from the same Surah:

·        “Tum kya achhe giroh ho ke logon ki hidayat ke waaste paida kiye gaye ho. Tum logon ko achhe kaam ka to hukm karte ho aur bure kaamon se rokte ho aur Khuda per Imaan rakhte ho aur agar ahl-e-kitab bhi isi tarah imaan laate to unke haq main bahot achha hota un main se kuch to imaandar hain aur aksar badkaar”. – ( Surah-e-Aale Imran, ayah 110)

“(You are the best of the nations raised up for (the benefit of) men; you enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong and believe in Allah; and if the followers of the Book had believed it would have been better for them; of them (some) are believers and most of them are transgressors.)”

In the above ayah Allah (SWT) has addressed them directly and praised their virtues saying that they are the best nations raised to benefit the mankind. They enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong. Thus Allah (SWT) has identified these true guides for us in this ayah and has simpliefied our quest for finding them.

Explaining the above ayah Ibn-e-Abi Hakim has quoted Hazrat Abu Ja’far  stating that they are none other than the Ahl-ul-bait of the holy Prophet (SAW). (Ref: Tafseer-e-Suyuti, Vol 2, P 64)

This further proves that the creation of Ahlulbait is for the guidance of believers towards the  right path. Following them would lead towards goodness and abstinence from evil. Allah (SWT) has praised them as the best of the nations, this confirms that they are purified with a thorough purification (leaving no impurity or imperfection) and hence Allah (SWT) says in the following ayah:
Ae Paighambar ki Ahl-ul-bait Khuda to buss yeh chahta hai ke tum ko har tarah ki burai se door rakkhe aur itna paak rakkhe jitna paak rakhne ka haq hai  - (Surah-e-Ahzab, Ayah 33)
“(Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O Ahlulbait ! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying.)”

Most of the commentators have unanimously agreed that this verse is revealed to showcase the ‘piety’ and purity of Ahl-ul-bait (Ref: Tafseer Dhur Mansoor, Mulla Jalaluddin Suyuti, Vol 5, P 198-199).

***The crux of our contemplation is that Panjetan Paak (as) and the subsequent Imams (as) after them from the progeny of the holy Prophet (SAW) are the truthful guides, just nation, the most knowledgeble and the most purified of Allah’s creations. They have been created as an example for us to follow and learn from them. It is our religious duty to strive on the path shown by them and to be amongst their ardent followers.

Let us see Allah’s Commandment which endorses our above inference in the following ayah from Surah-e-Shura:

قُل لَّا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرً‌ا إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْ‌بَىٰ
“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, ayah 23)

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

As per the traditions mentioned by different commentators the love of the relatives of the holy Prophet (SAW) is love for Fatima (S.A), Ali (A.S) and their children Hassan (A.S) and Hussain (A.S). (Ref: Sa’labi, Suyuti, Baidhavi, Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmed ibn Hambal, Allama Zamkhashri Vol 3, P 68).

A similar tradition has been recorded by Sa’labi, Zamakhshari, Suyuti and Baidhavi in which it is mentioned that the above ayah was revealed so that it becomes clear to the Muslim world that the love of the household of Mawla Ali (as) is mandatory on them.  

Thus if one claims to love our Prophet (SAW) and wishes to be grateful to him, it will be obligatory on him to love the nearones of the holy Prophet (SAW) – the Ahlulbait. Failing which he will have failed to pay the value of the efforts of the holy Prophet (SAW) in bringing us the benevolence of Islam .

***This article opens with an example of a buyer paying the right value to the seller against the product or a service purchased. Taking this example further it can be said that if a person dies without paying his dues to the seller it is his heir who will be held answerable till the time the transaction is settled. Similarly if a person dies without paying his dues to the holy Prophet (SAW) would he remain indebted to Allah (SWT) till the day of judgement and would he be held answerable for not carrying out this religious duty of Ajr-e-Risalat? We will see the following ayah from Surah-e-Sa’affat:

·        “Khuda ko chhod kar jin ki parastish karte hain unko sabko ikattha karo phir unhain Jahannum ki raah dikhao 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.)”

Abu Saeed Khudri on the authority of Ibn-e-Abbas has quoted a tradition that the holy Prophet (SAW) has stated that on the day of Judgment people would be questioned about their faith in Wilaya of Ali Ibne Abi Talib (as) and their love for him. (Ref: Sawaiqe Mohraiqa P 503, Allama Ibn-e-Hajar, Riyadh al Nadira Volume 2 page 116, Mohib Tabari).

Shah Ismail Shaheed of the Deobandi Movement in his Mansab e Imamat says: “Imam has such authority in this world and the next that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) once said ‘Don’t I have more rights over the people than they have over themselves, to which the people replied in affirmative. The Prophet then said ‘Of whomsoever I am Mawla, Ali is his Mawla.’ And this is why Allah says in the Quran that on the Day of Judgment you will be summoned with your Imam and questioned (Surah-e-Sa’afat) and the Prophet said that we will be asked about the Wilayat of Ali.(Ref: Mansab-e-Imamat, Page 109-110, Shah Ismail Shaheed).
There is a prominent hadith of the holy Prophet (SAW) supporting the above references: 

·        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.
And before we finally conclude this article let us ponder upon the validity of our prayers in the absence of the love of the Ahlulbait. In case of Hajj a the debtor whose loan is due or will become due before he returns from Hajj cannot perform Hajj without the consent of his creditor so without repaying the debt of the holy Prophet (SAW) by way of loving the Ahlubait can we expect our Hajj getting accepted by Allah (SWT)?

On the acceptance of our Salat Ibn Hajar, (Al‑Sawaa'iq, Page 88) quotes the well‑known poem composed by Al‑Shafi'i (head of Shafi'i Madh'hab), and so does Suyooti, in his interpretation of Ayah of Tat'heer, as follows:

 يا آل بيت رسول الله حبكم           فرض من الله في القرآن أنزله
كفاكم من عظيم الشأن انكم           من لم يصلي عليكم لا صلاه له

Al‑Shafi'i says:

Oh loving you Ahlulbait is such
That it is a duty the Quran had established
Suffice it that so privileged your distinction is
That Salat becomes invalid if Salawaat is not invoked for you.

è As a final conclusion to our introspection we can say that we will be considered ungrateful wretches, not deserving to be called Muslims, if we do not adhere to the path of the Ahlulbait. Allah (SWT) has made it clear to us that loyality and love towards the Ahlulbait and acceptance of their leadership is the only way for our progress in this world and our salvation in the hereafter.