Jealousy against Ahlul-bayt (as)

After the death of Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha (as), Mamun, the abbaside caliph was under constant criticism by his subjects who blamed him for Imam (as)’s death. In order to keep the situation calm and regain the confidence of his people, Mamun invited Imam Muhammad ibn Ali al-Taqi (as) to baghdad. He also sent some people to escort the Imam (as) so as to show the people that he accorded high respect to the Ahlul-Bayt (as). At that time, the age of the Imam (as) was barely 7 to 9 years.

 

When the Imam (as) arrived in baghdad and prior to his meeting with Mamun, he was once among the children of his age playing on the road when suddenly they all saw Mamun approaching. They quickly dispersed from the place and hid themselves except for Imam al-Taqi (as). Mamun asked him, “Why haven’t you run away like everybody else?” Imam (as) replied, “The path is not narrow that it would become wider by me moving away from it, nor have I committed any crime that I should run away from you. And I don’t think that you are the sort who would punish an innocent person!”

 

Seeing the handsome and illuminated face of the young boy and listening to his bold reply, Mamun was wonderstruck. So he asked, “What is your name?” The young boy replied, “Muhammad” “Whose son are you?” asked Mamun. “I am the son of Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha (as)” replied the young boy. When Mamun heard this, he praised the 8th Imam (as) and went away.

 

After this brief encounter, Mamun proceeded to the forest. There, he released his eagle which flew and came back with a live fish in its beak. Mamun was surprised by this. As he was returning to his palace, Mamun passed by the same spot where he had met Imam al-Taqi (as) earlier on. He noticed that the boy was still there. Addressing him, Mamun asked, “O MUhammad! tell me what do I have in my hand?”

 

The Imam (as) replied, “Allah (SWT) has created many vast oceans from which clouds are formed. When clouds are forming, they absorb small live fishes which are sought by the eagles of the kings who then use them to test the Imams of their time”. Hearing this, Mamun admitted, “There is no doubt that you are the son of Ali ibn Musa (as), for such miracles are only possible by his son”. (Ahsan al-Maqaal)

 

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The Imams from the progeny of the Holy Prophet (saww) did not possess apparent kingdoms and never ruled or behaved like other kings but they were always in enviable position because of their God given status. Even the kings and the rulers were jealous of them.

 

“Or do they envy the people for what Allah has given them of His grace? But indeed We gave Ibrahim’s children the book and the wisdom and We gave them a great kingdom”. (4:54)

 

It was the house of Prophet Ibrahim (as) which was promised leadership in religion and greatness as a nation. “The children of Ibrahim” in this verse refers to the offspring of his son Ismail (as) who are the Holy Prophet (saww) and his holy progeny who were given the book, the wisdom and a great kingdom.

 

Imam Ja’ffar al-Sadiq (as) was asked about the above verse as to who this people are on whom others are jealous and he (as) replied, “We are those upon whom our enemies are jealous of”. (Tafseer-e-Namoona)

 

JEALOUSY:

 

Hasad which means “jealousy” is a very dangerous spiritual disease. A Jealous is he who will always wish and also work with evil schemes to eliminate the bounties from others regardless of whether he for himself, gets those bounties or not. In the words of Ameer al-Mumineen (as), “A jealous is he who considers the disappearance of bounties from those he is jealous about, as a bounty for himself”. (Ghurar al-Hikam)

 

Such a person invites several problems for himself. Some of them are:-

 

He is never happy in this life. He is always burning within himself and he is continuously in grief.

 

Imam Ali (as) has said, “I have never seen an oppressor who resembles an oppressed other than one who is jealous”. (Tuhaf al-’Uqool)

 

In another tradition, the Imam (as) has said, “It is sufficient for you to know that one who is jealous about you is grieving during your happiness”. (Bihar)

 

Jealousy has an adverse effect on one’s physical health.

 

It has been proved today certain psycological elements have negative implications upon a person’s physical health too. For instance, a person who is under dire stress may become prone to diseases such as diabetes or even heart problems.

 

Imam Ali (as) says, “The health of the body is from less of jealousy (in man)”. (Tafseer-e-Namoona)

 

In another tradition, he (as) says, “I am surprised about the negligence of jealous people regarding the well being of their bodies”. (Tafseer-e-Namoona)

 

Jealousy can become the cause of destruction in the hereafter.

 

Jealousy is so dangerous that if it is not controlled, it can lead one to disbelief in Allah (SWT) and self-destruction in the hereafter.

 

Abu Laylah was a chief justice in the court of Mu’tasim, the abbaside caliph. One day, he came to his friend Zarqa in state of extreme anger and when asked the purpose of anger, Abu Laylah said, {O Zarqa! Today I was put to a very big test in which I failed. A thief whose crime was established, was presented before Mu’tasim. So Mu’tasim asked, ‘Quran says that I should cut the hands of this thief. You tell me from which part shall his hand be cut-off’. I said, ‘ Quran states tha chop-off the hand of a thief and in the verse of wudhoo, it is mentioned that wash your hands till your elbow. So from elbow downwards is considered as hand therefore cut his hand from his elbow’.

 

Mu’tasim then asked other learned people in his court for their opinion. Someone said, ‘In the verse of Tayammum, hand has been mentioned till the wrist so cut the thief’s hand from his wrist’. After a lot of discussion and debate, Mu’tasim then put the same question to the Imam of the shia’hs, Muhammad ibn Ali, who happened to be present at the time. At first, he refused to comment but when Mu’tasim insisted, he said, “You will only cut-off the fingers of the thief because Quran says: The places of prostration are for Allah meaning parts of the body placed on the ground during Sajda. Since the thief is also a Muslim who offers prayers, he will need his palms during Sajda. So you have to leave that and cut only his fingers”.

 

O Zarqa! Mu’tasim was so pleased with this answer that he praised the Imam of the Shia’hs and we felt discredited. O Zarqa! I am aware that whoever harms this young man will burn in the hell-fire but I will not rest till I have taken my revenge against him} Having said this, Zarqa returned to Mu’tasim to provoke him against the Imam (as). He said to him, “What have you done? People as it is believe in him as the true Imam and do not believe in you. Why did you give preference over us? Now you have confirmed to the people through your action that indeed he is on truth and you are on falsehood”. Mu’tasim was so effected by this, that shortly after this incident, he poisoned the Imam (as).

(Bikhre Moti)

 

Imam Muhammad al-Taqi (as) passed away in Dhul-Qa’dah 220 AH.

 

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Mulla Mujaheedali Sheriff

Justice & Equity: Principle of Ali (as)

Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (as)’s only AIM OF LIFE was to earn the eternal pleasure of Allah (SWT) in everything that he (as) said and did in this life. And in order to achive this aim, he (as) adopted such strong principles which either strongly attracted people towards him or strongly repelled them. One of his principle was having firm belief and faith in Allah (SWT) and basing his entire life upon the teachings and guidance from the Holy Quran.

The other principle of Imam Ali (as) was that of ‘Adl meaning: Justice & Equity. Belief in Allah (SWT) and being Just, were infact the primary mission of the Holy Prophet (saww). Quran says:

“..and say (O Muhammad!) I believe in whatsoever Allah has sent down of the book; and I am commanded to do justice between you”. (42:15)

Studying the life of Ali (as), we will observe that his whole life revolved around belief in God and doing Justice.

Justice as part of Ali (as)’s life

There are numerous incidents from the life of Imam Ali (as) which we have read and heard from others. We must carefully analyze those incidents to see the core message. Justice had become such an integral part of Ali (as)’s life that whatever he said and did, ‘Adl was projected from it. Study the following incident:

A man with his son entered Imam Ali (as)’s house as his guests. The Imam (as) made them sit respectfully in an honourable place and he took his seat opposite them. It was time for meals, and the food was served. After they finished eating, Qanbar, the well-known servant of Imam (as), brought a towel, a basin and an ewer for washing the guests hand. Imam (as) took everything from Qanbar and went near to wash the guests hands. The guest drew his back his hands and said, “It is not possible that I stretch my hands so that you wash them”. After a lot of persuation, when the Imam (as) put his guest under an oath, he eventually complied to his request. When Ali (as) finished washing his guests hands, he (as) turned to his son Muhammad al-Hanafiyyah and said, “Now you wash his son’s hands. As I am your father, I washed the father’s hand. If his father was not here and only his son was our guest, I would have washed his hands myself. But Allah (SWT) loves to see that when a father and a son are present in one place, father enjoys a priviledge and a priority”. (Bihar al-Anwar)

Justice even against his own interests

How many of us in this life would resort to Justice even if it was against ourselves? Imam Ali (as) says, “One who exhibits fairness on his part, Allah (SWT) shall increase him in glory”. (Jame’ al-Sadaat)

When it came to justice, Ali (as) never bothered about himself. Shu’bi narrates the following incident which occured during the khilafah of Imam Ali (as). He says,

I once entered the vast open ground of Kufa. I witnessed that Ali (as) was standing besides two containers which were filled with gold and silver coins. A huge crowd had gathered around him. Ali (as) had a whip in his hand for preventing the people from hampering the distribution of money. The Imam (as) began distributing the money until nothing remained for himself and returned home empty-handed.

I returned home and said to my father: “I witnessed a very strange act today but I failed to comprehend if this person’s action was good or bad because he never retained anything for himself”. When asked about the person, I said, “Ameerul-Mumineen” and told him everything that had transpired. Upon hearing Ali (as)’s fairness, my father began to cry and said, “My son! You have witnessed the most excellent person from amongst the people”.

Ali (as)’s Justice with the people

After the death of the Holy Prophet (saw), the Justice of Imam Ali (as) was very popular. Even the three caliphs resorted to him in numerous cases.

During the days of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, a woman was arrested and presented before him. People said, “O Khalifa! This woman has committed adultery. She has delivered a child after only a period of six months pregnancy”. ‘Umar ordered the woman to be stoned to death. As people were taking her towards the location for punishment, she kept on pleading that she was innocent but no one would listen to her. Finally someone informed Imam Ali (as) about the situation and he (as) came to ‘Umar and asked, “Why have you ordered this woman to be stoned to death?” ‘Umar replied, “For adultery! She has given birth to a child after a period of six month’s pregnancy and we all know the pregnancy period is of nine months”. Imam (as) said, “This is not true! It is possible for a woman to give birth after six months pregnancy. This child belongs to her husband”. When asked for Quranic evidence, Imam (as) said, “Allah (SWT) says at one place: And the mothers should suckle their children for two years (2:233) and in another place He (SWT) says: And the bearing of him and the weaning of him is thirty months (46:15) If the period of weaning which is two years (24 months) is subtracted from thirty months (which is overall period of bearing & weaning), there remains only six months. This proves that pregnany period can be of six months.

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Mulla Mujaheedali Sheriff

Jealousy against Ahlul-bayt (as)

After the death of Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha (as), Mamun, the abbaside caliph was under constant criticism by his subjects who blamed him for Imam (as)’s death. In order to keep the situation calm and regain the confidence of his people, Mamun invited Imam Muhammad ibn Ali al-Taqi (as) to baghdad. He also sent some people to escort the Imam (as) so as to show the people that he accorded high respect to the Ahlul-Bayt (as). At that time, the age of the Imam (as) was barely 7 to 9 years.

 

When the Imam (as) arrived in baghdad and prior to his meeting with Mamun, he was once among the children of his age playing on the road when suddenly they all saw Mamun approaching. They quickly dispersed from the place and hid themselves except for Imam al-Taqi (as). Mamun asked him, “Why haven’t you run away like everybody else?” Imam (as) replied, “The path is not narrow that it would become wider by me moving away from it, nor have I committed any crime that I should run away from you. And I don’t think that you are the sort who would punish an innocent person!”

 

Seeing the handsome and illuminated face of the young boy and listening to his bold reply, Mamun was wonderstruck. So he asked, “What is your name?” The young boy replied, “Muhammad” “Whose son are you?” asked Mamun. “I am the son of Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha (as)” replied the young boy. When Mamun heard this, he praised the 8th Imam (as) and went away.

 

After this brief encounter, Mamun proceeded to the forest. There, he released his eagle which flew and came back with a live fish in its beak. Mamun was surprised by this. As he was returning to his palace, Mamun passed by the same spot where he had met Imam al-Taqi (as) earlier on. He noticed that the boy was still there. Addressing him, Mamun asked, “O MUhammad! tell me what do I have in my hand?”

 

The Imam (as) replied, “Allah (SWT) has created many vast oceans from which clouds are formed. When clouds are forming, they absorb small live fishes which are sought by the eagles of the kings who then use them to test the Imams of their time”. Hearing this, Mamun admitted, “There is no doubt that you are the son of Ali ibn Musa (as), for such miracles are only possible by his son”. (Ahsan al-Maqaal)

 

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The Imams from the progeny of the Holy Prophet (saww) did not possess apparent kingdoms and never ruled or behaved like other kings but they were always in enviable position because of their God given status. Even the kings and the rulers were jealous of them.

 

“Or do they envy the people for what Allah has given them of His grace? But indeed We gave Ibrahim’s children the book and the wisdom and We gave them a great kingdom”. (4:54)

 

 

Al-Tasleem (Submission) PROPHET IBRAHIM (AS)’S PRAYER:

Al-Tasleem (Submission) PROPHET IBRAHIM (AS)’S PRAYER:

 

There once lived a king who was very fond of jewels and gems. It is said that it was his hobby to collect as many jewels and gems as possible until a time came by that he had gathered so many of them that he had to build a strong room in his castle as a depository of those jewels.

The depository had one door with two locks: inner and outer. There were two separate keys for them which only the king used to carry. Once every week, the king would enter that room, lock himself from inside and spend a long time in it admiring his collection. This would make him extremely happy.

One day, it so happened that the king entered his depository and sat inside for a very long time. When it was time for him to come out, he realised that he had forgotten the key which would open the door from inside. He was trapped. He tried calling out for help but the room was made in such a way that nobody could hear him. As a result, he suffocated and died in it. Few days later, some ministers began to worry. They asked each other as to where the king had disappeared to but nobody could answer. Finally, it occurred to one of them to check in the depository. When the room was forced open, they saw their king lay dead on his jewels.

(Bikhre Moti)

The moral of this story is simple. Allah (SWT) has given us all two keys. One for this world and the other for Hereafter. Unfortunately most of us become so fond of this world that we forget to preserve the key for Hereafter. As a result, we die as losers.

 

PROPHET IBRAHIM (AS)’S PRAYER:

Prophet Ibrahim (as) is the champion of Monotheism. He (as) is one of the favourite prophets of Allah (SWT) who has been praised in several places in the Holy Quran.

The Holy Quran states some of the prayers made by this great Prophet. One of them is:

“Praise be to Allah who has given me Ismail and Is-haq inspite of my old age, verily my Lord hears the prayer. O my Lord! Make me keep up prayer and from my offspring (too). O Lord! Accept my prayer”. (14:39-40)

In other words he (as) has asked Allah (SWT) to keep him and his offspring firm on the path which leads one to Him. Elsewhere, Allah (SWT) is mentioning another similar prayer which both Prophet Ibrahim (as) and his son Prophet Ismail (as) had made.

“Our Lord! Make us both Muslims (submissive to You) and of our progeny a nation submissive to You…” (2:128)

We should also pray the same and work hard to keep ourselves and our offspring on the right path which leads to Allah (SWT).

AL-TASLEEM (SUBMISSION TO GOD):

What does “Submission to Allah (SWT)” mean?

This is a very wide subject and can be looked at from different perspectives. One such perspective is “to be submissive to what He (SWT) has decreed for us”.

Imam al-Sadiq (as) has said, “The servant (of Allah) is in between three things: Trials, Destiny and Bounty. During trials from Allah, he must exercise endurance, and in what has been decreed for him by Allah, he must be submissive to Him, and for the bounty from Allah, he must express his gratitude (to Him)”. (Bihar al-Anwaar)

Somebody asked Imam al-Sadiq (as), “By what can a Mu’min (believer) know that he is a Mu’min?” Imam (as) replied, “By being submissive to Allah and expressing pleasure in whatever has reached him of happiness and annoyance”. (Bihar al-Anwaar)

COMMON COMPLAIN:

In today’s world, we see many people have abandoned Allah (SWT) and are engrossed in all sorts of vices and material pleasures. Those who strive to follow Sharia’h many at times feel left out and also feel disappointed. It is common to hear them complain: “Because of Islam, we feel left out in the society in which we are residing”. Or “We cannot enjoy life freely as other nations do”. Such people feel that Islam has imprisoned them. Note the following three points:

  1. If we have, out of our own free will, chosen to follow Islam, then to be true Muslims, we will have to submit ourselves to the will of God. The Holy Prophet (saww) has said, “Islam is submission” (Meezan al-Hikmah) which means we shall be required to sacrifice any such pleasure of the world which Allah (SWT) has forbidden. The Holy Prophet (saww) said, “This world is a prison for a believer and a paradise for a non-believer” (Makarim al-Akhlaaq)

  1. People who enjoy all the pleasures, appear so, because we only see them from the surface. In reality, their enjoyment is a signal of distress that they are discontented. This indeed is a real imprisonment. They are captives of their desires. They are captives of material things. They seek happiness and peace of heart in worldly things. Allah (SWT) says that contentment and peace of heart is acquired by His remembrance. “Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find peace”. (13:28)

  1. Those who submit to Allah (SWT) and are ever pleased with whatever He has decreed for them can never be losers. For them are great rewards in the hereafter if they believe. Quran says: “But you prefer the life of this world, and though the hereafter is better and abiding. Verily this is in the earlier scriptures. The scriptures of Ibrahim and Musa”. (87:16-19)

 

Mulla Mujaheedali Sheriff

 

Al-Hijrah (Migration in the cause of Allah)

“And those who migrate in the way of Allah and are then slain or die, Allah will most certainly provide them with a goodly sustenance. And verily Allah is the best of Providers”. (22:58)

TAFSEER:

According to Tafseer-e-Namoona: When Muslims migrated from Makkah to Madinah, some died of natural death and some were slain. Seeing this, a group of Muslims began to claim that people who were slain had acquired martyrdom and distinction in the sight of Allah (SWT) whereas those who died of natural causes, had achieved nothing. This claim caused lot of distress to many Muslims who had left behind in Makkah everything they owned and possessed, and had migrated to Madina with the Holy Prophet (saww) to secure their faith and freely practice Islam. This verse was revealed as a consolation for them and also made them equal in rewards with those killed in the cause of Allah (SWT).

Qurtubi states in his tafseer: The most important thing is to die in the cause of Allah (SWT). It is regardless whether one is killed on the battlefront or dies on his bed. Whoever dies while obeying the commands of Allah is a SHAHEED.

REAL HIJRAH:

Al-Hijrah or migration basically means to leave one place and travel to settle in another place for greener pastures, or better prospects and opportunities. However, the Hijrah which has been exclusively praised in the Holy Quran and Hadeeth is known as al-Hijrah fee sabeelillah meaning “to migrate in the cause of Allah (SWT)”.

“Verily those who believed, and those who migrated and strove hard in the way of Allah, these (are they) who rightly hope for the mercy of Allah…” (2:218)

“Those who believed and migrated and strived hard in Allah’s way with their possessions and lives, are much higher in rank with Allah; They are those who are successful”. (9:20)

KINDS OF HIJRAH:

FROM KUFR TO ISLAM: One who was a Kafir, or a Mushrik and later on accepted and entered into the fold of Islam, is said to have migrated from Kufr to Islam.

Imam al-Baqir (a.s) has said, “One who enters into Islam willingly is a Muhajir (one who has migrated to Islam)”. (Bihar al-Anwaar)

FROM SINS TO PIETY: One who leads a sinful way of life and later on wakes up from the deep slumber of heedlessness and corrects himself, this act of correction is also considered as migration to Allah (SWT).

“And all the abominations, then migrate (from them)” (74:5) meaning “keep away from them”.

The Holy Prophet (saww) once told a woman by the name of Umm Anas, “Migrate from sins, for it is the best (form of) migration”. (Kanzul-‘Ummaal)

MIGRATING FOR THE SAKE OF TRUTH WHILST SACRIFICING EVERYTHING INCLUDING ONE’S LIFE: This is regarded as a greatest form of Hijrah and Jihad (Struggle), and only those who are true believers yearn for this in order to attain Martydom.

Harithah bin Malik was a young man in the days of the Holy Prophet (saww). One day after offering fajr prayer in congregation, the eyes of the Holy Prophet (saww) fell upon this youth. He saw that Harithah’s face was pale, his body was thin and weak and his eyes appeared to have sunk into their sockets. So he (saww) asked, “What state are you in?” Harithah said, “I find myself a true believer”. When asked to produce the truth behind his claim, Harithah said, “O Prophet of Allah! I have become disenchanted with the world. I stay awake whole night in worship and see myself enduring thirst by observing fasts during the day. It is as if I see the throne of Allah and the scenario of reckoning. Inmates of paradise are meeting each other and I hear the shrieks of the inmates of hell”. The Holy Prophet (saww) said, “This is a person whose heart Allah has illuminated”. Harithah then asked the prophet to pray to Allah to grant him martyrdom which the prophet did. A few days later, the Holy Prophet (saww) despatched an army for battle and Harithah was included in it. During the battle, Harithah killed nine infidels and eventually got killed thereby attaining Martydom. (al-Kaafi)

 

Mulla Mujaheedali Sheriff