A Few Questions to Hazrat Wali-e-Asr (a.s.)

A Few Questions to Hazrat Wali-e-Asr (a.s.)

imAdmittedly the title seems to suggest that the person (who has posed the questions to Imam a.s.) actually had the distinction of meeting Imam-e-Zaman (a.s.). Hence we would like to clarify at the outset that we have not actually met Imam-e-Zaman (a.s.). However, it is said that letters and messages are “half a meeting”. Because, through letters a person ‘converses’ with the addressee. Thus the style of writing a letter is very different from that of writing an essay or a book.

On the commands of Allah, Hazrat Wali-e-Asr (a.s.) is in occultation right from the commencement of his Imamat. Hence as opposed to his forefathers (a.s.), Imam’s meetings with his Shias have been few and far between. By and large, the problems of the people have been presented before his esteemed self in the form of letters and “Areeza” (“Areeza” is a letter of requests written by the Shias to the Imam of their time). And Imam (a.s.) too has reciprocated in a similar manner. The letters of Imam-e-Zaman (a.s.) are terminologically called as “Tawqee”. These Tawqees have been assimilated in several books. Hazrat Ayatullah Syed Hasan Shirazi (may Allah purify his soul) has compiled these letters in a book by the name of “Kalemat-ul-Imam al-Mahdi”. This single book contains all the letters of Imam (a.s.) which are found in different books. Originally the book was written in Arabic. Dr. Syed Hasan Sabzawari has translated this book into Persian by the same name. The answers to the questions mentioned below, have been given by Imam (a.s.) himself. These replies have been compiled from various letters that were sent to him (a.s.) in the course of his Ghaibat. To that extent the letters of Imam (a.s.) constitute “half a meeting” with him, and the same is being presented in your service. We pray to Allah that this endeavor is accepted by our pure Imam (a.s.) We look forward to that day when we can present to you an interview conducted by personally meeting Imam (a.s.). Inshallah.

Q.1. Where do you live in these days of your occultation?

Ans : Presently, we are living away from the settlements of the oppressors. Till such time that the reins of the worldly governments are in the hands of oppressors and tyrants, Allah has willed for us and for our Shias that I should live away from the people. However, we are cognizant of all your actions.

pg. 190

“At this point we are dwelling amidst some remote mountains. The place is surrounded by gardens. I am staying here because of the unbelievers. But very soon I will move to the plains that are not very far from the society. ”

pg. 196-198

Q.2. What is the reason for the Shias being involved in so many calamities and afflictions?

Ans : One of the reasons is that the Shias are perpetrating those actions which the people of the past avoided. These Shias have forgotten the covenant of Allah and have violated it.

pg. 19

“And had our guardianship and protection not been there, then calamities would have surrounded you from all sides and destroyed you.”

pg. 19

(This connotes that Imam (a.s.) nullifies most of the calamities with his existence. Else the plight of the Shias would have been most pitiable.)

Q.3. In these last days, what is the best mode of keeping one’s self safe from evils and corruption?

Ans : Piety and abstinence. I pledge for the salvation of the one who does not desire any rank or position in any acts of evil and corruption. (pg. 190). The believer who possesses the fear of Allah and is prompt in returning the people their dues, will be secure from the evils of the time. And the one who acts miserly in disseminating the bounties of Allah to the people, will be from among the losers on the Day of Judgement.

pg. 198-200

Q.4. What are our responsibilities in your occultation?

Ans : Perform those actions which bring you closer to our love and affection and refrain from all those actions that become the cause of our displeasure and dissatisfaction.

pg. 192

Q.5. How is it possible to meet you?

Ans : If our Shias (may Allah grant them the taufeeq of obedience) had been united in fulfilling the pledge, then certainly there would have been no delay in our meeting and they would have been graced with this opportunity several times. However, their actions are most unbecoming of Shias, and have kept them away from us.

pg. 200

Q.6. How can we disgrace and humiliate Shaitan?

Ans : Reciting namaz on the dot of time at its very outset (Awwal-e-Waqt) is a cause of disgrace for Shaitan.

pg. 202

Q.7. Can a person utilize for his personal use a thing which has been endowed (Waqf) for you?

Ans : If the thing has been handed over to us then the person has no right over it – whether he needs that thing or not.

pg. 202

Q.8. What do you have to say about those people who use your things for their own personal benefits?

Ans : To use someone’s belongings without his permission is prohibited. Hence the one who considers our money as permissible and usurps, has actually filling his stomach with fire and will surely be thrown in Hell.

pg. 206, 342, 344

Q.9. Can we recite namaz before a drawing or fire?

Ans : If the person is not from the children of idol worshippers or fire worshippers then he can recite namaz.

pg. 204

Q.10. Which chapter (surah) is recommended for recitation in namaz?

Ans : One who does not recite the chapter of Qadr (surahe “Inna anzalna”) in his namaz then his namaz is not accepted. And the one who does not recite the chapter of Tauheed (surahe “Qulho wallah”) in his namaz, then his namaz is not pure.

Q.11. But traditions also speak about the rewards of reciting other surahs. For instance, it has been reported from traditions that the one who recites surahe “Homazah” will get the reward equal to this world?

Ans : There can be no disputing that he will get the reward which is mentioned in the traditions (for reciting surahe “Homazah”). But if a person forsakes any surah and recites Surahe Qadr and Surahe Tauheed, then not only will he get the reward of reciting these two Surahs but will also get the reward of the Surah which he has left (in order to recite these two Surahs). Of course he can recite any other Surah that he wishes, but then he will have abandoned something that carries a lot of reward.

pg. 214-216

Q.12. Can we eat and drink or do business with a person who earns through illegal means?

Ans : If the person has some other source of livelihood also, then it is not prohibited to eat and drink or do business with him. But if he has no other source of livelihood save his illegal income, then it is prohibited to interact with such a person.

pg. 226

Q.13. How can a person focus his attention towards Allah before starting his namaz?

Ans : It is recommended (mustahab) to recite the following in order to concentrate during namaz

æóÌøóåúÊõ

æóÌúåöíó áöáøóÐöí ÝóØóÑó ÇáÓøóãæÇÊö æó ÇáÃóÑúÖó ÍóäöíÝÇð ãõÓúáöãÇð Úóáì ãöáøóÉö ÅöÈúÑÇåöíãó æó Ïöíäö ãõÍóãøóÏò æó åõÏì ÃóãöíÑö ÇáúãõÄúãöäöíäó. æóãóÇ ÃóäóÇ ãöäó ÇáúãõÔúÑößöíäó. Åöäøó ÕóáÇóÊöí æó äõÓõßöí æó ãóÍúíóÇíó æó ãóãóÇÊöí áöáøåö ÑóÈøö ÇáúÚóÇáóãöíäó. áÇó ÔóÑöíßó áóåõ. æó ÈöÐáößó ÃóãöÑúÊõ. æó ÇóäóÇ ãöäó ÇáúãõÓúáöãöíäó. Çóááøåõãøó ÇÌúÚóáúäöí ãöäó ÇáúãõÓúáöãöíäó. ÇóÚõæúÐõ ÈöÇááåö ÇáÓøóãöíúÚö ÇáúÚóáöíúãö ãöäó ÇáÔøóíúØóÇäö ÇáÑøóÌöíúãö.

Then he should say “Bismillah hir Rahman nir Raheem” and start his prayers.

pg. 230

Q.14. What is the order regarding the performance of “Sajdah-e-Shukr” after completing a wajib namaz?

Ans : The “Sajdah-e-Shukr” is among the highly recommended acts and is very much emphasized. Just as an obligatory (wajib) act is superior to a recommended (mustahhab) act, in much the same way, the “Sajdah-e-Shukr” which is performed after a obligatory namaz is superior to the one which is performed after a recommended namaz.

pg. 232-234

Q.15. Will the believers give birth to children in Paradise?

Ans : In paradise, neither will the women become pregnant nor will they have their menstrual cycles. In fact only those things will be available that will be a source of comfort for the eyes and the heart.

pg. 240

Q.16. Can we keep Khak-e-Shifa (soil of Karbala) in the grave?

Ans : Yes it can be kept in the grave. And by the command of Allah, the threads of the shroud get mixed with the soil.

pg. 244

Q.17. Can a rosary (Tasbeeh) be made of Khak-e-Shifa?

Ans : There is no adornment for a Tasbeeh more excellent than Khak-e-Shifa. Among the virtues of a tasbeeh made of Khak-e-Shifa is that often a person is lost in his thoughts and just turns the beads of the tasbeeh in his hands, yet he will get the complete reward of reciting that tasbeeh.

pg. 244

Q.18. Can we prostrate on Khak-e-Shifa?

Ans : It is permitted to prostrate on Khak-e-Shifa. In fact, it is a source of distinction.

pg. 244

Q.19. Can we touch our face on the graves of Imams(a.s.)?

Ans : Yes, you can touch your face to the grave.

pg. 246

Q.20. What do you have to say about those people who exaggerate the position of Ahle Bait (a.s.) and ascribe them with Divinity (Godhood)?

Ans : I and all my ancestors, right from Adam (a.s.) till Muhammad Mustafa (s.a.w.a) are the servants of Allah. Actually, we are aggrieved by those Shias who are ignorant and whose faith is not even equal to the wing of a mosquito. We detach ourselves from all those people who associate us with Allah.

pg. 264-266

Q.21. What do you have to say about people like Shalmagani, Sharaee, Nomairee and Abu Khatab who had falsely claimed the status of being your special deputies?

Ans : We announce our disapproval of them and we distance ourselves from such people and also from their followers. We also send our curse on them.

pg. 282

Q.22. What will be the condition of the world and the Muslims before your reappearance?

Ans : Before our reappearance, the hearts of the people will become hard and the world will be full of injustice and inequality.

pg. 284

Q.23. Have you appointed anyone as your special deputy in Ghaibat-e-Kubra?

Ans : Before the rising of Sufyani and before the hearing of the voice from the sky, anyone who claims that he can meet me (at will) is a liar and a malicious person. (There is no special representative in Ghaibat-e-Kubra)

pg. 284

Q.24. Will those Sayyeds (descendants of the Prophet s.a.w.a. who deny your Imamat get salvation?

Ans : Allah does not have any exclusive relation with anyone ( i.e. no one is special in front of Allah). If someone denies our Imamat then he is not from us. His example is like the example of Hazrat Nuh (a.s.)’s son.

pg. 286

Q.25. Is the time of your reappearance decided? And does anyone have information about it?

Ans : (The time of my) reappearance is in the hands of Allah. And anyone who claims otherwise is a liar.

pg. 288

Q.26. As you do not have a special representative in the major occultation, then who should we resort to for redressal of our religious problems?

Ans : You must refer (your questions) to the narrators of our traditions. We have appointed them as our proof (Hujjat) upon you.

pg. 288

Q.27. What is the reason for your occultation?

Ans : Allah mentions in the Quran

“Do not ask those things about which if your are told, you will not like it”. (Surah Maidah, Verse 101)

pg. 290

Q.28. When will your occultation end and will you reappear?

Ans : Do not inquire about those things that will not benefit you. And don’t ask questions about matters that are not your responsibility.

pg. 290

Q.29. Is it necessary to pay khums? And is there some particular way in which it should be paid?

Ans : We accept your wealth only with this intention that you should be purified. Otherwise, whatever Allah has bestowed on us is far superior than what He has given you.

pg. 286

Q.30. Can the people derive benefit from you while you are in occultation?

Ans : The people can derive benefit from me in my occultation just as they derive benefit from the sun when it is concealed behind the clouds.

pg. 290

Q.31. What are the characteristics and the status of Allah’s guides?

Ans : Allah has protected them from all kinds of sins and purified them from all kinds of defects and has made them clean from all sorts of vices. He has appointed them as the treasurers of His knowledge and the custodians of His wisdom. He has made them the focal point of His secrets and has strengthened them with proofs. If all this had not been there then every person would have claimed (this position) and it would not have been possible to discern truth from falsehood. And knowledge would not be distinct from ignorance.

pg. 296

Q.32. What is the reason for the sending of Prophets (a.s.) and Imams (a.s.)?

Ans : Allah has sent the Prophets (a.s.) and Imams (a.s.) so that they should command the people towards His obedience and refrain them from rebelliousness, and inform the people about Allah and about the tenets of His religion.

pg. 294

Q.33. How should we test and disgrace those people who falsely claim the status of Imamat?

Ans : Ask them about the Quran and the practical tenets (Ahkaam). Inquire from them about the laws governing namaz. You yourself will be able to gauge their authenticity.

pg. 298

Q.34. At any point of time can the earth ever remain devoid of the Proof of Allah (Hujjat)?

Ans : The earth can never remain devoid of the “Hujjat” of Allah – whether he is apparent and manifest or concealed and hidden.

pg. 314

Q.35. Who is the Imam after Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.)?

Ans : Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) has appointed that person as his successor and vicegerent whom Allah has kept in occultation. (i.e. he only is your Imam)

pg. 314

Q.36. Are the Imams(a.s.) the creators as well as the sustainers (of the people)?

Ans : Imams (a.s.) pray to Allah and He creates and gives sustenance because of their supplications. Allah accepts their invocations and exalts their rank and status.

pg. 228 – 330

Q.37. Till when can a person pray for a son?

Ans : A person should pray for a son till the fourth month of pregnancy.

pg. 386, 598

Q.38. Can a person take your name in general public meetings or gatherings?

Ans : If you publicise our name, they (the enemies) will make it widespread. If you tell them about our place they will try to reach there.

pg. 440

The one who takes our name in an assembly is accursed.

pg. 442

(Please note, Hazrat, Hujjat, Wali-e-Asr, Baqiyatullah, Imam-e-Zamana, Mahdi etc. are the titles of Imam (a.s.) and not his name).

Q.39. What is the status and position of the narrators of traditions?

Ans : Have you not read the saying of Allah in which He says,

“And We made between them and the towns which We had blessed , other towns which can be easily seen …” (Surah Saba, Verse 17)

I swear by Allah, we are those towns, which Allah has blessed, and you are the towns that are apparent.

pg. 444

Q.40. To whom does Allah give guidance?

Ans : The one who desires guidance gets it from Allah. The one who endeavors for it, is bestowed with it.

pg. 544

Q.41. Is it proper to search for you?

Ans : The one who struggles and strives too much for searching me will (in fact) direct the enemies towards me. And the one who guides the enemies towards me has endangered my life. And the one who puts my life in danger is a polytheist.

pg. 548

Q.42. What are the responsibilities of the scholars (Ulema) towards the people?

Ans : They should meet the people with humility, and fulfill the needs of the people. They should be accessible. We will help them in this regard.

pg. 564

Q.43. Can we give preference to the needs of the relatives before the needs of others?

Ans : Imam Moosa ibn Jafar (a.s.) says “If the relatives are in want then Allah does not (even) accept your sadqah”

pg. 252

Q.44. But what if we have already made the intention of helping someone else?

Ans : Distribute the money among both the parties so that you get the maximum reward.

pg. 252

Indeed, we await that day when we can directly converse with Imam-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.), illuminate our eyes and souls by his luminous light.

Waseela ..(Tawassul) of Imam Mahdi (a.s.)

http://www.alqaim.info/unity/wp-content/uploads/2007/07/masoomsbannergif.jpg

 

Seeking Mediation (Tawassul) of Imam Mahdi (a.s.)

To seek a mediator implies to gain proximity to an individual in order to achieve one’s objective through the mediator’s recommendation and arbitration. Arabic litterateurs define mediation (tawassul) as

‘When he sought proximity with him through his actions, he aspired to gain his mediation.’(Lisanul Arab vol. 11, pg. 724)

Mediation in the light of Quran and traditions

Allah declares in the Quran ‘O you who believe! Be (careful of your duty to) Allah and seek nearness to Him and strive hard in His way that you may succeed.’

(Surah Maidah, Verse 35)

Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) in exposition of this verse narrates ‘Acquire proximity with Allah through the Imam.’

(Tafsire Qummi, vol. 1 pg. 168)

Janabe Fatema Zahra (s.a.) proclaims in her sermon, ‘Glorify Allah, whose majesty and supremacy command glorification and veneration. And it has been made mandatory upon the residents of the heavens and the earth to seek a mediator towards Allah, and we Ahle Bait (a.s.) are the mediators appointed by Allah upon His creatures.’

(Sharhe Nahjul Balagha, vol. 2, pg. 211, by Ibne Abil Hadid)

Thus Quran and traditions alike, exhort the Muslims to secure some arbitrator in order to gain proximity with Allah, and achieve eternal deliverance.

Why seek mediation of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.)?

Any Shia is bound to think, ‘What is the rationale for us to seek mediation of our Imam?’

There are several facets to this question.

1. The mandate of Quran and traditions

Quran proclaims

‘O you who believe! Be patient and excel in patience and maintain contact, and be careful of your duty towards Allah, that you may be successful.’

(Surah Ale Imran, Verse 199)

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) by way of elucidation of the above verse narrates,

‘Maintain a special affinity with your Imam.’

(Noorus Saqalain, vol. 1 pg. 426)

Every Shia must maintain close ties with the Imam of his era. When weighed from the aspect of Arabic grammar, the word ‘Raabetu’ which implies co-operation and mutual consent, i.e. if a Shia maintains proximity with the Imam of his time, then Inshallah, the Imam will also reciprocate that feeling of affinity and consanguinity. Inshallah, Imam’s grace and clemency on us will multiply. To observe this bidding of Imam Sadiq (a.s.) is crucial, and we must spare no effort to secure that feeling of affiliation and proximity with our Imam (a.s.) in order to gain Our Imam’s (a.s.) special attention.

2. The status of Imam Mahdi (a.s.)

Traditions accredit Imam (a.s.) with an august and majestic standing. In Dua Nudbah we recite, ‘Imam (a.s.) is that door of Allah’s mercy that we have to access so as to reach Allah.’ He is a path towards Allah’s satisfaction and grace. He possesses powers of intercession vis-a-vis the Almighty. He is among the Names of Allah, through which we have been commanded to seek mediation and arbitration. As the Quran declares,

‘And Allah’s are the best names, therefore call on Him thereby.’

(Surah Araaf, Verse 180)

An exegesis of this verse reveals a tradition from the Aimmah (a.s.), viz., ‘By Allah! We are the best names (asmaae husnaa) through which Allah has commanded the Muslims to invoke Him.’

(Mikyalul Makarim, vol. 1 pg. 271)

Imam always responds to pleas of help and succor, as has been elucidated in his Ziaarat. He never rebuffs the distressed and frightened. Indeed he is the means for the redemption of sins. He alone is the defender of the weak and oppressed. And this is the purport of the following statement of Ziarate Jameaa,

‘One who has associated himself with you has triumphed, and the one who has sought asylum with you is protected.’

3. Observe this practice of turning to their chief in moments of anguish or when there is a fear of strike from the enemies. In fact this has also been the custom of the believers, who in times of distress and difficulties have left their affairs completely in the hands of their Imam (a.s.), and have sought redressal from him alone. As a matter of fact, among the responsibilities of Imam (a.s.), is that he provides refuge to the hapless and a retreat to the outcast. And in this regard it is observed that it a subject of any King is in distress and is confronted with a calamity or affliction then rationale suggests he should approach his leader, ruler, provided of course, the latter is virtuous and capable. Otherwise, then he will be the subject of intense criticism and censure. And likewise, if in our moments of indigence and grief, we turn to someone other than our Imam for assistance, then we have forsaken one of the crucial obligations enjoined by Allah upon the Muslims and run the risk of incurring His wrath. That crucial obligation has been expounded in

‘Then disperse abroad and in the land and seek of Allah’s grace.’

(Surah Jumaa, Verse 10)

By way of elucidation of the above verse Jabir b. Abdullah (r.a.) narrates from Masoomeen (a.s.), ‘The grace of Allah mentioned in the ayat alludes to the Imams (a.s.).

(Mikyaalul Makaarim vol. 2, pg. 273)

Besides, in the Quran, Allah commands us to enter a house only through its door. Likewise, Allah has designated an Imam in every era, through which the Muslims are commanded to ‘enter’ into Allah’s grace and mercy. And the fact that the Imam (a.s.) of this era is in occultation does not in any way diminish his mediation and arbitration prowess vis-à-vis Allah; for an Imam is Allah’s emissary on this earth, and to that extent there is no difference between an apparent Imam and a hidden one. Imam (a.s.) is aware of everything that goes around as he himself proclaims,

‘Certainly, we with our knowledge are cognizant of all your affairs and your dealings are never concealed from us.’

(Behaarul Anwaar, vol. 53, pg. 175)

In another tradition Imam (a.s.) asserts,

‘We are never neglectful of your guardianship nor are we ever unmindful of your remembrance.’

(Behaarul Anwaar, vol. 53, pg. 176)

And no mountain, bulwark or curtain can ever act as an impediment for Imam (a.s.). In this regard, Sayyed Ibne Taoos has recorded a tradition in his book, ‘Kashful Muhajjah’. ‘A companion of Imam Ali Raza (a.s.) narrates, I wrote a letter to Imam (a.s.). In the letter I mentioned about a person who wanted to offer his demands to Imam (a.s.); those demands that he sought from his God. Imam Raza (a.s.) replied that if he has any requirement, tell him to simply move his lips, and the response (from my side) shall reach him.’

(Mikyal Makaarim, vol. 2, pg. 273)

In ‘Al-Kafi’, there is a lengthy tradition narrated by Imam Raza (a.s.), about the elevated station of an Imam. An excerpt of this important narration has been brought below so as to appreciate, although to a very limited extent, the compassionate nature of Imam. Imam Raza (a.s.) pronounces,

‘Imam is a confidant, an aide, a sympathetic father, an affectionate brother, and a caring mother who nurtures her infant.”

(Al-Kafi vol. 1, pg. 200)

The above tradition provides us with a glimpse, albeit a fleeting one, of the immense love and affection Imam (a.s.) has for his Shias. Our affliction and grief disturbs him even more than it disturbs us. He treasures us more than our own parents. His love and regard for us exceeds that of the father. For any father is confronted with certain limitations which he just can not breach. For instance, a man’s love for his son maybe boundless. In his intense endearment and attachment he may be willing to dispense all his wealth, even if it is a few million rupees. However, there is a limit to his wealth and riches. And this limitation does not permit that father to expend any more wealth, even though he wants to. This is also the case for other comforts that the father maybe prepared to furnish, but can not due to his obvious limitations. However, these limitations do not impede Imam (a.s.). Imam (a.s.) is Allah’s emissary on the earth. He is the Caliph designated by Allah over His creation, he is the Master of the age and exercises complete control over the universe, with Allah’s permission. Man’s intellect fails to comprehend the powers of the Imam (a.s.). As a matter of fact there is a separate chapter in Usule Kafi titled, ‘The earth is only for Imam’. There is one tradition in this chapter, wherein Imam Sadiq (a.s.) recounts to one of his companions,

Do you not know that the world and the hereafter, are both, for the Imam’

(Usule Kafi, Kitabul Hujjat, vol. 1, pg. 48)

Now that we are enlightened with the supreme authority of our Imam, it only follows that we advance our demands and needs in front of him, knowing that he will fulfill our needs. He is a sympathetic father for his Shias, and the father always experiences a great deal of gratification in resolving his son’s difficulties.

Ways of seeking mediation with Imam (a.s.)

1. Dua (Supplication)

Indeed, there is no paucity of means to invoke and beseech Imam (a.s.). In this regard, the role of supplications cannot be over stressed. One supplication in particular has been reported in Mikyal Makarim, vol. 2, pg. 271;

O Allah! I ask You for the sake of Your representative and Your Proof, Master of Time, that You help me through him in all my affairs. And Protect me through him from the difficulties of every torturer, dissident and rebel. (Please) help me through him for my efforts are exhausted. And Protect me from every enemy, grief, sorrow, debt, my children and all my family members, my brothers and my close ones, whose deeds do harm unto me. Aamin, Lord of the Worlds.

(Behaarul Anwaar, vol. 94, pg. 34)

2. Repeated invocation for assistance

An important invocation has been recorded in ‘Mafatihul Jinnan’, page 108 (Urdu edition).

An invocation is crucial, since it is through entreaties alone, that the afflicted beseeches his master. This invocation in particular, has some exceptional benefits for the Shias. Muhaddise Noori in his celebrated work, ‘Najmus Saqib’, chapter 10 (concluding part), comments that within hours of reciting this invocation, his demands were miraculously fulfilled. Besides, there are numerous other instances wherein Shias have experienced immediate and untold results from its recitation.

3. Making a written presentation of one’s needs to Imam (a.s.)

This is a very simple and forthright medium of submitting one’s demands to Imam (a.s.). Here, a Shia notes down his demands and aspirations and sends it to Imam (a.s.). In India, this practice is especially conspicuous on 15th Shabaan. On this day, the day of birth of our Imam (a.s.), Shias very enthusiastically list their demands on a piece of paper and cast the letters in the sea. However, should this practice be observed only on 15th Shabaan? Do we need our Imam’s assistance only on the occasion of his birth? Or is it that a single occasion in a year is sufficient for advancing all our requirements, so that for the rest of the year we discern no need for Imam? God forbid, that is not the case! We must regularly write down our needs that we seek from Imam (a.s.). Surely we can devote some time at least once a week or fortnight to jot down our problems and our state of condition for Imam (a.s.) and then cast the letter in the sea or embed it in the earth. This is indeed very easy and requires minimal effort. However, neglect and preoccupation with the world has made us neglect this very important medium of mediation and arbitration with Imam (a.s.). And is it necessary that we write to Imam (a.s.) only in moments of distress, and never otherwise? Are we so self-centered that we can not even send a salutation (salaam) upon our Imam, without being confronted by some difficulty or problem?

cand4. Conversation with Imam (a.s.)

This is another very facile mode of communicating with Imam (a.s.). Whenever a Shia finds himself alone, regardless of the time, he can converse with Imam (a.s.), first by sending his salutations upon Imam and then by narrating his plight and condition. Nothing can be simpler than this. Inshallah, even Imam (a.s.) will heed that Shia’s narration and will pray for him. And every Shia must converse with his Imam at least once a day. For although Imam (a.s.) is aware of our state and condition, recounting to Imam (a.s.) our problems and dilemmas has its own appeal.

Sayyed’s Ibne Taoos’ testament to his son exhorting him to seek mediation from Imam Mahdi (a.s.). Sayyed exhorted his son in his will thus, ‘O my son Muhammad! Allah, the Almighty conferred His favor and benefit upon me through your birth. I found myself completely incapable and powerless in front of Allah and could never glorify Him fittingly for this favor. And out of gratitude for this bounty, and on Allah’s commands, I beseeched Imam (a.s.) on your behalf and sought your servitude in Imam’s service. And after that, the misfortunes that afflicted you were also resolved through his mediation and grace. I was graced by Imam (a.s.) in my dreams on several occasions, and he has alleviated my impoverishment with his bounties and favors. His benefaction upon you is too excessive for me to ever adequately express. That is why your love, affection, spirit of sacrifice and devotion for Imam (a.s.) should also be abundant. The extent of your attachment and disposition towards him (a.s.) should please Allah, and gladden the hearts of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his progeny (a.s.). O my son! Always give preference to Imam’s wishes over your own. Pray for (the well-being of) Imam (a.s.) before you commence praying for yourself. Inculcate in yourself the practice of initiating all your works with ‘sadaqah’ for (the security of) Imam (a.s.), before you remove ‘sadaqah’ for yourself or for your loved ones. If you wish, to faithfully observe his rights, and draw his (a.s.) concern and regard towards yourself, always favour his self over your own. Beseech Imam (a.s.) with unwavering intensity and humility every Tuesday and Thursday, and seek your demands from him. And while seeking your needs from Imam (a.s.), send your salutations upon him and recite the following Ziarat

(This Ziarat has been mentioned earlier.) Then recite the below mentioned verse

‘O chief? Distress has afflicted us and our family and we have brought scanty money, so give us full measure and be charitable to us; surely Allah rewards the charitable.’

(Surah Yusuf, Verse 88)

This was a confession of intense regret and remorse expressed by the brothers of Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.) to their father (Hazrat Yaqoob ) and their brother. Hazrat Yusuf and Hazrat Yaqoob (peace be on both) displayed ample clemency and compassion, and forgave their sins. O our Master! Even if we have disobeyed Allah and distressed your ancestors (a.s.), please forgive us because O our Chief and Guardian, certainly you exceed Yusuf (a.s.) in his clemency, forbearance and compassion. Therefore please deal with us in a manner akin to Hazrat Yusuf’s treatment vis-a-vis his brothers, while surely we are most undeserving of such leniency.

(Barnaameh Sa’adat, page 147, by Sayyed Ibne Taoos)

Innumerable instances of Imam’s aid and succour

Books abound with incidents wherein aid and relief provided by Imam (a.s.) bears ample testimony to Imam’s concern and anxiety for his Shias. There are several books wherein such heartening incidents are reported viz., Behaarul Anwaar, Najmus Saqib, Trysts with Imam (a.s.), Jannatul Mawa, Riyazul Ulama, Minhajus Salah, Al Kalamut Tayyeb, Isbatul Huda, etc. Among those favored with Imam’s grace and presence and blessed with the opportunity to delight with a glance at his countenance were Bahrul Uloom, Aga Zainul Abedeen Salmee, Maulana Muhammad Hussain Qazveeni, Allama Muhammad Taqi Majlisi, Allamah Hilli, Sheikh Hurre Ameli, Sheikh Mufeed, Shaykh Hasan Iraqi, Muqaddase Ardabali, Ali Ibne. Mahziyar, Ismail Harqali, among others. As matter of fact every Shia is included in this list, because there exists not a single believer but Imam (a.s.) graces him with a benevolent glance, although most of us are neglectful of this fact. This is all the more perceptible in instances wherein we find ourselves engulfed in calamities with a vice like hold over us, leaving us disturbed, robbing us of our sleep. Then after a just few token entreaties and supplications we find ourselves alleviated in a flash. It seems almost unbelievable. The reason behind this sudden relief is Imam’s benevolence and grace. Imam (a.s.) is never one to seek accolades and adulation, which is why he (a.s.) accomplishes his task and leaves in a hurry, knowing he (a.s.), he has a million other Shias to help. There is an incident involving a person who had lost his way. Imam (a.s.) came to his aid and directed him towards the right path. That person requested Imam (a.s.) to come with him to his house. Imam (a.s.) declined and replied that there were thousands of Shias who were entreating him at that very moment. He had to rush to their rescue just as he had rushed to his. (Mulakate Imam (a.s.) page 289) At least one point becomes crystal clear from the above-mentioned incident – Imam (a.s.) is perpetually engaged in providing relief and comfort to his Shias.

Therefore, a Shia must always seek mediation with Imam (a.s.). There is no prescribed time and place for this mediation. The only conditions for it are sincerity, penitence, pure ethics and a firm conviction. Constant arbitration with Imam (a.s.), revives the individual’s wilayat and faith. This is because he is incessantly aware of Imam’s satisfaction and pleasure and takes steps to please Imam (a.s.) and avoids deeds that vex him (a.s.). This boosts his faith and wilayat manifold. The Shia in his quest for proximity with Imam (a.s.) bares his innermost feelings to Imam (a.s.) and constantly seeks redressal for his problems. This is a source of constant reassurance to the Shia and keeps him insulated from all frustrations and disappointments. His salvation in the world and the hereafter is assured. These are primarily the reasons why every Shia must repeatedly seek mediation from Imam (a.s.).

Finally, the following statements from Duae Tawassul relating to Imam (a.s.) are noteworthy. (This is a Dua that has been reported on the authority of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.)) We should endeavor to reiterate these words with sincerity and earnestness. Inshallah.

‘O Inheritor of Hasan, Successor, Proof! O awaited Qaim, Mahdi! O son of God’s Messenger! O proof of God over His creatures! O our Lord and Master! We turn to thee, ask thy intercession, and seek access through thee to God. We place before thee our needs. O thou who has standing with God! Intercede for us with God!’

www.alqaem.org

www.alqaim.info

The Condition of Shias before Reappearance

The Condition of Shias before Reappearance

mjOur Master, the Chief of the Believers, Imam Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) says: “The world is a prison for the believers and heaven for the disbelievers.”

The Holy Infallibles (a.s.), in their traditions and narration, have often condemned love for this material world. They (a.s.) have warned the believers, time and again with words like “the heart which is filled with the love for this world can never attain the love for the hereafter.” The reason being that man is so fascinated by looking at the adornments of this world that he forgets his True Creator, his objective and purpose of life. Therefore Imam Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) says: “One who is engrossed in this world, Long hopes have indeed deceived him, Remember death will be sudden, And grave is the real chest for (human) deeds.”

But man continues to tread the path on account of his ignorance and wrong doings. He keeps on committing sins conveniently forgetting that he has to face Allah. A believer on the other hand, in order to save himself from these delusions controls his desires, suppresses his basic in­stincts and strives not to let the material world deviate him from his goal, bearing in the pro­cess unlimited difficul­ties and calamities. Therefore, the life of a believer has been com­pared to a prison. These facts stand applicable to all ages and eras. But as for the last days or the last time (i.e. the period before the re­appearance of Imam Mahdi [a.s.]) there has always been a special mention. This is the time when injustice and tyranny will reach its pinnacle. As it has been narrated from reliable tradition, “like the world will be filled with injustice and tyranny.” This will be the time, when none will be safe from its troubles and mischief.” (Surah Anfaal, Verse 25)

In this period of tumult, the conditions of the believers will change from bad to worse. Our rightly guided Imams (a.s.) have fore­warned us about this time, its conditions and how one should act in it to be safe.

Come let us study the traditions which have mentioned the conditions of Shias in these times.

First Condition: Detest and Enmity

The narrator states that I heard Imam Ali (a.s.) saying: “What will be your condition when you will neither be with any Imam to guide you nor any other visible lender. In this condition, you (O Shias) will show enmity towards each other.”

(Kitab al-Ghaibah, Shaikh Tusi, pg. 207)

Second Condition:  Disputes

During this time, the disputes will reach a magnitude that even the Shias and the be­lievers will not be spared. Ameerul Momineen Ali (a.s.) told Malik bin Zumrah : “O Malik bin Zumrah! What will be your condition when there would be terrible contro­versies among our Shias,” saying this Imam (a.s.) interlaced the fingers of both his hands to show how the Shias would be involved in disputes.

The reality is such that it can be said that the Shias have begun to like controversies. Sometimes it seems that people eagerly await a topic to create a controversy and consequently confusion. The gravity of this un-soundness is such that people even fight and dispute in a serious matter like the mourning of Imam Husain (a.s.). Some people seem to have adopted the profession of creating di­visions taking pleasure to see the believers fight amongst themselves, in total contrast to the Divine Command:

“And hold firmly to the rope of Allah (love of Ahlul Bait (a.s.)) together and do not be divided (amongst yourself).”

(Surah Ale  Imram, Verse  153)

It is these disputes that have delayed the reappearance of the light of the Universe, our Imam (a.s.). As he (a.t.f.s.) has said in the Tawqee (communication) to Sheikh Mufeed

(r.a.), “Had your hearts been united and had you lived in unison, our meeting with you would not have been delayed.”

Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) said: “By Allah, the One in whose absolute control is my life, you will not see Shias except that some of them will spit on the face of others and some will be called liars.”

The significant point is that Imam Ali (a.s.) is swearing by Allah, sufficient enough to express the seriousness of the matter. If we see the condition of Shia society today, we find the prophecies of Imam (a.s.) being actualized. We accuse some people of not attending majlis in our Imambaras and Aashoor Khaanas and in retaliation, do not go to their majlis. Sometimes the matters stoop to the level of hurling abuses. Whereas the Almighty Allah says in a Hadith-e-Qudsi, “Whoever insults a believer, it is as if he has declared war against Me.” Patience, forbearance, self control and ignoring minor mistakes – all these qualities are confined only to the books. Maturity of character is rarely found. It is incumbent upon every believer to prevent any one who is trying to stir up trouble or create a controversy between two Shias or two groups. Otherwise, we will be answerable to Imam-e-Zamana (a.s.). We must remember that when the accursed Satan meets failures at all front, he resorts to stirring disputes and controversies.

Third Condition: Hardening of the hearts

One of the special characteristics of the human heart is that it keeps transforming and changing from one condition to another. In fact, heart is known as “Qalb” in Arabic, due to this very reason. Due to the prolonged occultation of Imam-e-Zamana (a.s.), many Shias will despair of reappearance. This hopelessness and despair will lead to the hardening of their hearts. Firstly, let us try to understand what “hardening of heart” means. It refers to that condition when the heart refuses to accept reality and the person remains adamant in his stand. So much so that he even denies a reality which is more clear than the bright sun. Thus, in the last era, the people will begin to deny the pure existence of Imam-e-Zamana (a.s.). Now let us see what sins cause the hardening of hearts. Excessive sins, love of this world, forgetting death and not remem­bering it, uttering and listening to useless talks (words) like music, etc., trying to please some wealthy people, leaving worship, being en­grossed in the accumulation of wealth and property, stinginess, severing off the ties of relationship, break­ing promises, etc. are some sins which re­sult in the hardening of hearts.

On the other hand, those people who remain immune from the hardening of hearts during the period of occultation will be given a place adjacent to the abode of die Holy Infallibles (a.s.) in paradise.

Fourth condition:  Helplessness

Ibne Uqba has quoted Imam Ali (a.s.), who said, O Shias! I see that you are busy in search of grass like camels, but are unable to find. it.”

(Ghaibat-e-Nomani, pg. 192, Tradition. 3)

The time of occultation is a period of gloom and despair. The condition of Shias will be such that they will be running helter-skelter, sometimes to the West and at other times to the East. They will hasten towards water only to find it to be a mirage. After being utterly bereft of hope, they will realize that nothing can save them and solve all their difficulties except their Master’s (Imam (a.s.)) reappearance. The Shias will call with a sinking heart,

“Hasten! Hasten! O my Master! Master of the Age!”

Therefore, we find the traditions exhorting the people, “Pray more for the reappearance, for in it is your salvation.”

Fifth Condition: Under the Yoke of Oppression

The Almighty Allah has mentioned in the Holy Quran, “And We desired to bestow a favor upon those -who were deemed weak in the land, and make them the Imams, and make them the heirs.”

(Surah Qasas, Verse 5)

This verse shows that in the last era, the Shias will be under the yoke of oppression; they shall be rendered helpless. The atrocities committed upon them will shatter them. But they will not discard their faith. The entire world will try to debase and deride them. Neither they will be respected nor be given any preference. On the other hand, the evil will be preferred and honored in the society. They will be more popular and famous. The Shias will be surrounded by the jaws of injustice from every side.

Akrama bin Saase says that I heard Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) say: “These Shias will not achieve freedom till their condition is like the goats before a hungry and ferocious lion unable to decide whom to attack. Neither shall they have any superiority nor would they have any refuge from their helplessness. There will be clamor to surround them and oppress them to the maxi­mum possible extent. Being treated like orphans and destitute, they will be so oppressed that they will scream, O Allah! It is unbearable!” Then the Almighty will solve all their prob­lems through His Proof.

Under such circumstances those people who remain steadfast in their religion will be few. We can remain safe from such corruption and turmoil and achieve success in these tests and trials. We must recite Dua-e-Ghareeq (Prayer of the Drowning), also known as Dua-e-Hareeq (Prayer of the Burning), during or after the prayers. The Dua begins with the phrase, “O Allah! O Beneficent! O Merciful! O the One Who transforms the hearts! Make my heart steadfast upon your religion!” Aameen.

 

A Gathering Adorned with the remembrance of Imam-e-Asr (a.s.)

12 imam

A Gathering Adorned with the remembrance of

Imam-e-Asr (a.s.)

Allah, the Blessed and the High says in the Holy Quran:

‘O you who believe! Be patient and excel in patience and remain steadfast and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, that you may be successful.’

(Surah Aale Imran, Verse 200)

In the interpretation of the above verse, Hafiz Qunduzi Hanafi, the famous scholar of the Ahle Sunnah, narrates a tradition from Imam Baqir (a.s.) in his book ‘Yanabiul Mawwadah’ pp. 5-6,

“Be patient in complying with the obligatory acts and remain steadfast against the cruelties and oppression of enemies and establish contact with your Imam, Imam Mahdi al-Muntazar (the Awaited One)’.

A similar exegesis is also narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.), which is mentioned in various books like ‘Ma’anil Akhbaar’, ‘Tafseer-e-Ayyaashi’, ‘Usul-e-Kafi’, etc. Imam Saadiq (a.s.) says:

‘Be patient concerning your religion and be patient against your enemy and establish contact with your Imam’.

(Tafseer al-Meezan, by Allamah Tabatabai, pg. 201)

There is no doubt that Allah, the Blessed and the High desires that His creatures on the earth should be in touch with His Proof and their Imam in every moment of their life. History is a witness to the fact that in the past, people failed to establish contact with Imam of their time. As a result, they could not acquire his recognition and consequently, refused to accept the caliphate of Hazrat Ali (a.s.), threw arrows on the bier of Imam Hasan (a.s.) and brutally killed Imam Husain (a.s.) in Karbala.

Each and every Imam (a.s.) was tortured and oppressed. The light of guidance did not reach the hearts of the people. As time went by, the situation turned for the worse. Today Muslims are living in a situation where there is no recognition of Imam and the true Islam. In fact, in the name of religion and justice, irreligiousness, injustice and oppression is widespread in Islamic society. Islam, which had come to enliven the people, has itself become lifeless. Imam Reza (a.s.) says in this regard:

‘May Allah bless the one who enlivens our affairs.”

The narrator inquired, ‘How are your affairs enlivened?’ Imam (a.s.) replied,

“By learning our traditions and teaching them to the people.”

Thus, according to the above quote of Imam Reza (a.s.), Islam can be enlivened only through the acquisition of knowledge as subscribed by the Ahle Bait (a.s.) and acting upon it. For this, it is essential that one remains steadfast on his religion and maintains contact and relations with the Imam of his time and at the same time, prepare the ground for others to acquire the same knowledge.

Moreover, Islam cannot be enlivened unless one does not teach the knowledge of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) to others and the same cannot be achieved till one obeys the aforementioned verse of Quran by being steadfast in maintaining contact with the Imam (a.s.). The aim behind the above injunction is that no doubt, there is widespread unawareness concerning Islam in the society but there exists even more ignorance regarding the Imam of the time who is alive and active. Therefore, it is obligatory upon us to hold such gatherings. There are various ways and means to enliven Islam through such congregations, a few of which are mentioned hereunder:

1) The recognition of the real divine proof is gained.

2) Such congregations are by themselves, worship of Allah. This fact has been testified by none other than the great Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) himself when he (s.a.w.a.) declared,

“Remembrance of Ali (a.s.) is worship.”

(Jaame’ al-Sagheer, p. 16; Kunooz al-Haqaaeq, p. 120; Khair al-Bareeyyah, p. 51).

Today, Imam Mahdi (a.s.) enjoys the same divine position and status that Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) enjoyed during his time. Thus, the remembrance of the former too is divine worship.

3) The love for their Imam (a.s.) will increase in the hearts of the people when their knowledge about him (a.s.) will be augmented. When they realize that the world exists because of him (a.s.), and that they themselves exist due to his existence. This dawn of this reality on the people will itself make people proximate to their Imam (a.s.) and their love, affection and respect for him (a.s.) will increase manifold.

4) The very mention of this holy persona will make the people near to goodness and piety.

5) The aim of the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) messengership is this very act. He (s.a.w.a.) declares,

“I have been raised so that I may complete the nobility of morality.”

6) People will be trained for the obedience of Imam (a.s.). The efforts of such gatherings to prevent the occurrence of situations that led to the battles of Jamal and Siffeen. The attention of the people will be particularly drawn to the fact that Imam-e-Zaman (a.s.) should not face that situation which Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba (a.s.) had to encounter.

7) As Imam-e-Zaman (a.s.) is Allah’s sign, people attending such congregations will learn to respect the signs of the Almighty.

8) Through such gatherings, people will get the taufeeq (grace) to pray for the early reappearance of Imam-e-Zaman (a.s.), a desire explicitly expressed by the Imam (a.s.) himself,

“And pray more for (my) early reappearance, for in it only is your salvation.”

(Muntakhabul Asar, pg. 348)

9) The possibility of an early reappearance will increase just as Allah had brought early respite for the Bani Israel from the clutches of the oppressive Firaon, due to their excessive pleadings and supplications.

10) People will always be attentive towards the fact that they should be ready to sacrifice all that they have of their lives and their wealth for the sake of their Imam (a.s.) at any given time.

11) Through Imam (a.s.), people will gain the recognition of Allah, which is the main aim behind creation.

12) Such gatherings will lead to the recognition of the Imam (a.s.) by its participants. Therefore, even if they die before the reappearance, their death will not be one of ignorance, as announced by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.),

“One who dies without recognizing the Imam of his time, has died the death of ignorance.”

(Behaarul Anwaar, vol. 51, pg. 38)

Apart from enlivening Islam, such gatherings and meetings are also beneficial for the believers. Following are some of the benefits for the participants:

1) There is a tradition the gist of which is as follows: Certainly a scholar who teaches people religion and invites them towards their Imam, is better and superior than seventy thousand worshippers.

(Mikyaal al-Makaarim, vol. 2, pg. 389)

2) Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says,

“One who recites even one eulogy in the praise of his Imam in such gatherings, Allah will construct one house for him in paradise.”

(Wasaael al-Shiah, vol. 1, pg. 467; Mikyaal al-Makaarem, vol. 2, pg. 243)

In another tradition Imam Sadeq (a.s.) says,

“None recites a poem in our glorification but that he is praised and glorified by the mighty angel Rooh al-Qodos himself.”

3) As such gatherings are a medium for the preparation of the reappearance of Imam-e-Zaman (a.s.), Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says,

“It is necessary that each one of you should prepare for the reappearance of his Imam (a.s.) even if it is with one arrow. If one even intends for the same, Allah increases his age.”

(Mikyaal al-Makaarem, vol. 2, pg. 583)

Come, in this 15th Sha’baan, let all of us act on the following injunction of Allah’s Book,

“Then compete with each other in goodness.”

This is a very critical command. The life of Islam depends on it. All of us should strive to outdo each other in our performance in such gatherings as these are embellished with the remembrance of our beloved Imam-e-Zaman (a.s.). By this insignificant service, may be, we can help him in the achievement of his lofty aim.

wassalam

Remembering Imam (a.s.) – An important responsibility

Remembering Imam (a.s.) – An important responsibility

valiOur responsibilities during the major occultation (Ghaibat) of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) have been dealt with in great detail in the book, ‘Mikyalul Makarem Fi Favaidid Dua lil Qaem’ (a.t.f.s.) by Ayatullah Mohammad Taqi Musawi Isfahani (r.a.). He has highlighted the responsibilities in the second volume of the book.

Just by looking at the responsibilities outlined in the book it should be clear to the reader that fulfilling these duties is beneficial to us and forsaking them is detrimental to our interests. We realize that executing these responsibilities is proof of our love and attachment for Imam (a.t.f.s.). Performance of action is an important indication of strength of faith. Moreover, it makes one successful in this world and the hereafter. We will discuss one important responsibility, which is fairly easy to observe and very beneficial. The duty is remembering Imam (a.t.f.s.) and reminding others about him (a.t.f.s.). This responsibility can be accomplished individually as well as socially.

lae

The first step in fulfilling this duty is to increase our love towards Ahle Bait (a.s.). Books are laden with traditions regarding the love of Ahle Bait (a.s.). Here, we will outline three traditions dealing with the topic.

(1)        Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) says:

‘Surely for every act of worship, there is another superior to it and the love of us – Ahle Bait – is the most superior act of worship.’

(Behaarul Anwaar, vol. 27, pg. 91, trad. 148)

We are thankful to Allah that we were born in a family where the love of Ahle Bait (a.s.) was continuously infused in our hearts, just as food and water was constantly fed into our bodies.

(2)        The standard for perfect faith and glad tidings on the Day of Judgment is the love of Imam Zamana (a.t.f.s.). The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) declared:

‘(If one wishes) to have perfect faith and desires that his Islam is best, then he should love Hujjat – Sahebuz Zamana Al Muntazar (Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.)). Whoever loves them (Imams (a.s.)) and accepts their mastership, then I take guarantee from Allah, the High, for Paradise.’

(Behaarul Anwar, vol. 36, pg. 296)

Dear readers, the only way to increase the love of Ahle Bait (a.s.) is their remembrance. An important benefit of this remembrance is that we will be safe from the assaults of Shaitan. A great scholar used to explain to his students that Shaitan is smarter than we are. He has promised Allah that he will deviate the progeny of Adam (a.s.). To achieve his aim he employs various tactics to deviate us. The easiest and the most successful way to save ourselves from his deceit is put the shield of remembrance of Ahle Bait (a.s.) between ourselves and Shaitan. We find a similar concept in traditions as explained by the scholar to his students. Shaitan stays away from those who are busy in the remembrance of Ahle Bait (a.s.).

(3)        Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said to his famous companion, Dawood bin Sarhan:

‘O Dawood, give my salutations to my Shias and convey my message to them that when two persons meet and discuss our traditions then Allah’s mercy is on both of them. The third between them is an angel who seeks forgiveness for them. No two persons meet and discuss about us but Allah prides Himself on this fact among His angels. (I order you) whenever you meet keep yourself busy in our remembrance. This remembrance enlivens our affairs. The best people after us are those who narrate our traditions and invite people towards them.’

(Behaarul Anwaar, vol. 1, pg. 200)

Dear readers, Imam (a.s.) in this brief tradition, has conveyed some important points:

1)                  

Whenever two persons discuss the traditions of the Holy Infallibles (a.s.), the third entity among them is an angel and not Shaitan.

2)                   The angel seeks forgiveness for all persons participating in the discussion. It is quite possible that our repentance is not accepted by Allah, but the supplications of angels are always accepted.

3)                   The holy Infallible Imam (a.s.) is constantly praying for Allah’s mercy for all these persons who discuss the traditions.

4)                   Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) has ordered us to gather and discuss traditions of the Ahle Bait (a.s.).

5)                   When their traditions are discussed, the affairs of the holy Infallibles (a.s.) are enlivened.

6)                   Allah, the Almighty, prides over such gatherings.

7)                   Such people will be enumerated among the best people.

An Arab poet who was intensely attached to Imam Zamana (a.t.f.s.) has recited the following couplet:

‘Allah knows that I don’t remember (you)

How do I remember you when I don’t forget you.’

(Mikyalul Makarem Fi Favaidid Dua Lil Qaem, vol. 2, pg. 308)

The above couplets are an example of the tradition of Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) when a person asked him whether the twelfth Imam (a.s.) will be unseen? Imam (a.s.) replied:

‘Yes, physically he will be unseen but his remembrance will not be absent from the hearts of the believers and he is the twelfth one from us.’

(Kamaluddin Wa Tamamun Nemah, chap. 34, trad. No. 6)

May our lives be sacrificed for Babul Hawaij – Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.). Most of his life was spent in worshipping Allah in the dreadful and uncomfortable prison of the Abbasides. In the above tradition, he emphasizes the importance of remembering our last Imam (a.t.f.s.) at all times.

In another incident we learn the significance of remembering Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.). Once an old person from Syria came to Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.). He saluted Imam (a.s.), kissed his hand and started crying. Imam (a.s.) consoled him and asked him the reason for crying. He said: O master! After the incident of Karbala, every day I have been anticipating that maybe today or tomorrow, this week or the next week, this month or the next month, this year or the next year, an individual from the progeny of Imam Husain (a.s.) will rise and avenge his blood. But I do not see any sign of this (rising) in you.’ After hearing this, Imam (a.s.) cried even more than the old man and said: O old man, I am not that individual (who is to rise) but he is the last from us, Hujjat bin Hasan Askari (a.t.f.s.). As you have his love in your heart and you await him, even if you die before his reappearance he will raise you from your grave.

(Muntahal Aamaal, Shaykh Abbas-e-Qummi (r.a.))

O lovers of the oppressed Imam (a.s.)! O aggrieved ones for Imam Husain (a.s.) – the beloved of the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) daughter (s.a.)! Is it possible that we be negligent of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) heir and abandon his remembrance from our hearts and gatherings?

Remember, if we are the true lovers of Imam (a.t.f.s.), then we should remember the avenger of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) blood just like that old Syrian who came in Imam Sadiq’s (a.s.) presence. Like him we must also cry and beseech Allah for Imam’s (a.t.f.s.) earliest reappearance. We should know that the one who is fully aware of the incident of Karbala and of the oppression inflicted upon Janabe Zahra (s.a.) remembers his Shias by saying:

‘Surely we are never negligent of your affairs nor do we forget your remembrance.’

After witnessing such affection on Imam’s (a.t.f.s.) part, does it behove us that we remember him (a.t.f.s.) only on 15th Shabaan?

According to reliable traditions, our deeds are presented to Imam (a.t.f.s.) twice a week. When he (a.t.f.s.) glances at our bad deeds he (a.t.f.s.) cries intensely and supplicates to Allah that their (Shias) hearts are filled with the love of my ancestors (a.s.), therefore forgive their sins.

Dear readers, let us resolve that from today, we will perform certain recommended acts to remember Imam (a.t.f.s.) and through it, we will save ourselves from the attacks of Shaitan. With this we will include ourselves amongst those people for whom the angels seek forgiveness and Allah prides over them. In this manner we will be under Allah’s perpetual mercy and will be included among the true lovers of Imam Husain (a.s.) and not be the cause of Imam’s (a.t.f.s.) sorrow and grief.

1)         To recite Dua-e-Ahad after every morning prayer. It is narrated from Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) that one who recites Dua-e-Ahad for forty mornings, then Inshallah, he will be included among the companions and helpers of Imam (a.t.f.s.) at the time of his (a.t.f.s.) reappearance. If he dies before Imam’s (a.t.f.s.) reappearance, he (a.t.f.s.) will raise him from his grave. We remember Imam (a.t.f.s.) in this Dua with these beautiful words:

‘They (enemies) perceive your reappearance as distant but we consider it as near.’

‘O my Allah, if death comes between me and him (Imam (a.t.f.s.)), which you have decreed as a certainty for your servants, then raise me from my grave, enshrouded, my sword uncovered, wielding a naked spear answering to the call of the caller in cities as well as deserts!’

This supplication can be found in Mafateehul Jinaan (without translation) pg. 542, published by Haidari Kutub Khana, Mafateehul Jinaan (with translation) pg. 988, published by Tanzeemul Makatib, Beharul Anwaar, vol. 102, pg. 112

2)         Every Friday morning to organize an assembly for Dua-e-Nudba in the house and/or in the locality. Nudba means intense wailing. In this supplication, the lovers of Imam Husain (a.s.) in the condition of waiting asks:

‘Where is the one who will take the revenge of the blood of the martyrs of Karbala?’

‘I wish I had known where you are living!’

‘May my life be sacrificed for you, you are the desire of every believing man and woman who has remembered you and sympathised with you.’

This supplication can also be found in Mafateehul Jinaan (without translation) pg. 536, published by Haidari Kutub Khana, Mafateehul Jinaan (with translation) pg. 974, published by Tanzeemul Makatib

3)         To organize gatherings and assemblies (majaalis) wherein Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) is remembered.  Enliven the hearts of your children and believers. It is narrated in traditions that hearts are enlivened with the remembrance of Imam (a.t.f.s.) and sins are forgiven. The hearts will remain alive on that Day when all other hearts will be dead. For more details, refer Behaarul Anwaar, vol. 1, pg. 200.

4)         Read and narrate the incidents of people who have met Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) so that the desire and love of meeting Imam (a.t.f.s.) is revived in the hearts. A lover of Imam (a.t.f.s.) has stated beautifully:

‘We desire to see you but this journey is not possible. If we are unable to reach you, then you only come to us.’

5)         As it is commanded in the last verse of Surah Aal-e-Imran, ‘And be in contact’  Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) says

‘Be in contact with your Imam, the Awaited One’.  Day and night whenever you get the time be in contact with your Imam (a.t.f.s.).

‘And be in contact’  in occultation means to always remember Imam (a.t.f.s.), to seek mediation (tawaasul) through him (a.t.f.s.) and to seek solution of all our problems through him (a.t.f.s.) only.

6)         Shaikh Abu Amr has narrated ‘Dua-e-Ghaibat’ from Imam (a.s.). This supplication should be recited on Friday. Sheikh Abbas-e-Qummi (r.a.) has narrated in his book, ‘Muntahal Aamaal’ that even if no recommended action is performed on Friday then at least one should read this supplication and should never abandon it as it is prayed to have perfect belief in Imam (a.t.f.s.) in the period of occultation.

This supplication can be found in Mafateehul Jinaan (without translation) pg. 588, published by Haidari Kutub Khana.

7)         Before performing any action we must think whether Imam (a.t.f.s.) will be pleased with it or not?

O Allah, by the right of Hazrat Zahra (s.a.) fill our hearts with the love of Imam (a.t.f.s.) and give us the taufeeq to remember him (a.t.f.s.) and make others remember him (a.t.f.s.).

8)         In the month of Muharram or even otherwise, whenever we cry for the martyrs of Karbala and the prisoners of Ahle Bait (a.s.), we should offer our condolences to the one who will avenge the blood of Imam Husain (a.s.) and we should pray for his earliest reappearance.

9)         We must celebrate the birthday of Imam (a.t.f.s.) on 15th Shabaan in such a way that people inquire about the occasion. Apart from reciting verses in praise of Imam (a.t.f.s.), we should organize other programmes so that people can increase their recognition (marefat) of Imam (a.t.f.s.) and attain proximity towards him (a.t.f.s.).