Holy Month of Ramadan is the month of the Noble Qur’an and the Qur’an is our source of moral and ethical conduct and it is our guide to sacrifice and closeness and nearness to ALLAH Azziz-ul-Hakim. And we cannot celebrate, reflect and believe in the holy Qur’an without celebrating, reflecting and loving the Ahlul-Bayt (a-s). For the Holy Qur’an and the Ahlul-Bayt (a-s) is one of the same. The Holy Prophet (saww) said: “I am leaving for you a thing which if you will keep hold of, you will never go astray after me and those two things which are greater and higher than one another. One of them is the Book of ALLAH which is a rope drawn from earth up to the sky and another one is my progeny who are my Ahlul-Bayt (a-s). These two will never separate from one another until they arrive to me on the Hauz of Kauthar. So just think how you will act for me on their matter”. (Zaid bin Arqam – Sahih Tirmidhi).
But first let’s look at man’s faculty of love and how it is an essential tool to bring man closer to ALLAH (swt).
THE AHLUL-BAYT (A-S):
ALLAH (swt) created the Prophet Muhammad (saww) from the most special of lights, in the creation of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saww); ALLAH (swt) did not allow any of his angels to participate in the creation, for ALLAH (swt) wanted all living things to know the high importance of the creation of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saww). Amongst all the creatures created, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saww) was the very first and all else was created for and around this great creation, ALLAH (swt) chose to send Prophet Muhammad (saww) as a mercy to all mankind after a long line of Prophets and Messengers (a-s). This was as a proof to all mankind of the importance of the seal of the Prophets; Prophet Muhammad (saww). ALLAH (swt) chose to introduce this, the most special of creations as; the last Prophet with the final Message of salvation for all mankind. Also a pure and infallible line of Holy Imams would be created as his progeny and would be the guides and protectors of all humankind until the Day of Resurrection, 11 of them would be introduced to this life through the Divine command of the Marriage between Imam Ali (a-s) (the most saintly of men behind the Holy Prophet (saww) and Sayeeda Fatimah Az-Zahra (s-a) the Mistress of all women. ALLAH (swt) gave a unique and special attention when creating each and every one of them. Their souls were created from the purist of lights from a place that only ALLAH (swt) knows about. They, the Prophet Muhammad (saww), his daughter Fatimah Az-Zahra (s-a) and Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a-s), their sons Imam Hasan (a-s) and Imam Hussayn (a-s) and 9 from the progeny of Imam Hussayn (a-s) would be known as the Ahlul-Bayt (a-s), for they are those who have the highest of positions near ALLAH (swt). We understand by all these proofs that to follow the Ahlul-Bayt (a-s) is to be on the Straight and pure Path; ALLAH (swt) says about the Ahlul-Bayt (a-s): “ALLAH intendeth but to keep off from you (every kind of) uncleanness, O’ye the people of the house (Ahlul-Bayt) and purify you (with) a thorough purification”. (The Holy Qur’an 33-Al-Ahzab-33).
Also we find the following command to love the Ahlul-Bayt (a-s) in the Holy Qur’an: “Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my nearest relatives”. (Qur’an 42-23)
They are those who are born and blessed with all the great knowledge and secrets of the holy Qur’an. Proper administration of mankind can only be achieved through them, they are in fact our ropes to salvation, our ropes to freedom, our ropes to Paradise and our ropes to ALLAH (swt). In the Holy Qur’an we are commanded to follow their way; “O you who believe! Obey ALLAH and obey the apostle and those in authority from amongst you”. (Holy Qur’an 4-An-Nisa 59).
Our Holy Prophet Muhammad (saww) taught us the importance to follow his Ahlul-Bayt (a-s), in order not to get lost and drift away from the Straight Path and towards Hell Fire.
It says in the Holy Qur’an about Prophet Muhammad (saww): “Your companion does not err, nor does he go astray; nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed”. (The Noble Qur’an 53-2 to 4)
The messenger of ALLAH (swt) said: “The likeness of my Ahlul-Bayt amongst my Ummah (followers) is similar to Noah’s Ark. Those who embarked on it were rescued and those who rejected it perished….” (Bihar-Ul-Anwar, vol. 27 p. 113).
“By ALLAH (swt) faith cannot enter the heart of anyone if he does not love my nearest relatives for the sake of ALLAH (swt) and for the sake of the nearest relatives”. (Durre Manthoor and Zakhairul Uqba, Ihya-il Mayyit be Fazaile Ahle-Bayt, hadith 4 Shaykh Jalaluddin Suyuti).
“The stars are the safety for the inhabitants of the sky and my Ahlul-Bayt is the safety for my Ummah”. (Quazi Shustari in Ahqaaqul Haq, vol. 9, pg. 297, Ihya-il Mayyit be Fazaile Ahle Bayt, hadith 21 Shaykh Jalaluddin Suyuti).
If we, as the true followers of Islam and the true believers in ALLAH (swt) and Tawheed (Monotheism) love the Ahlul-Bayt (a-s) so much, it is because we believe, without any doubts, that the Ahlul-Bayt (a-s) are the only living guides for the Holy Qur’an. We cannot think of the Ahlul-Bayt (a-s) and not think of the Holy Qur’an and we cannot think of the Holy Qur’an without thinking of the Ahlul-Bayt (a-s), not only in their words but also because of their immaculate behaviour. Even their worst enemies cannot succeed in slandering them, even when they tried so hard and invested all of their lives in this most evil purpose.
When we make Du’aa on the Holiest night of Lalitul-Qadr, we are naturally overcome with visions and thoughts of the great glow of piety, infallibility and pureness of their faces and we get overwhelmingly emotional when we reflect on their sacrifice. We understand that through the commands of the Holy Qur’an to love and follow them, through the Divine guidance and revelation in the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (saww) to hold to them for safety and by the great sacrifices in the way of ALLAH (swt) and the pure lives they lived, that not following such chosen guides would be a great and destructive error.
MORE PROOFS OF THE SPECIAL STATUS OF THE AHLUL-BAYT (A-S):
As well as all the Qur’anic ayahs and all the Hadiths about the special status of the Ahlul-Bayt (a-s) and the vital importance to love them and follow them; we also have learnt by our Holy Prophet (saww) that they all have special positions and stations in the Hereafter, which confirms that they are most certainly not ordinary people. For example:
“I am the master of the first and the last, and you, O Ali, are the master of the creation after me. I am just like you and you are just like me.” (Bihar V.12 p.360 H.17, Ghayatol Maram p.450h.14 and 610 h17, Khawarazmi in Manaqeb p.31 and in Maqtal V.1 p.39, Misbah Al-Anwar p.61).
“I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate”. (Hussayn p.100)
The Prophet Muhammad (saww) said: “As for my daughter Fatimah, she is the mistress of all women; from the beginning of history until the end. She is part of me; she is the light of my eye and the fruit of my heart. Fatimah is my spirit which I hold in me; she is a human huri. Whenever she keeps up prayers in her Mehrab before her LORD, her light illuminates the angels in the Heaven just as a star shines to mankind on Earth. So ALLAH, Exalted is HIS name, says to the angels: ‘My angels, look at my servant, Fatimah, who is the mistress of all my female servants, keeping up prayers before ME. Her limbs shake from fear of ME and she worships ME wholeheartedly. Bear witness that I have safeguarded her Shiites (followers) from Hellfire…’” (Bihar Al-Anwar vol.10)
The Prophet Muhammad (saww) said: “Hasan and Hussayn are the two masters of the youth of Paradise; Hasan and Hussayn are Divinely commissioned Imams, standing or sitting”. (Hussayn p.50)
The Prophet Muhammad (saww) said: “Hussayn minni wa ana min-al-Hussayn” (Hussayn is of me and I am of Hussayn). (Hussayn p.45)
Also we find in history that the Imams (a-s) had special events and remarkable behaviour traits that differentiated them from all other people for example if we look at some of the events in Imam Ali (a-s) life:
1- He was born in the Kaba.
2- He was the first to offer prayers after the Prophet (saww).
3- Ali was the only one (except the Holy Prophet (saww)) who ALLAH (swt) inspired with divine secretes.
4- He was the first to compile and codify the Holy Qur’an.
5- Ali was given the title of brother by the Holy Prophet (saww) both before and after Hijrat in Mecca and in Madina.
6- Ali was the only one named to by the Holy Prophet (saww) to perform Ghusul on his body after his death.
7- He was the only warrior to stand at his post in all the battles and he never turned away.
8- Imam Ali (a-s) door was left open along with the Prophets (saww) when all doors were ordered shut on the Masjid.
9- The holy Prophet said to Ali: you are to me as Haroon is to Nabi Musa, except after me there will be no more Prophets.
10- Through Divine decree Imam Ali (a-s) was married to the mistress of all the women; the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (saww); Fatimah Az-Zahra (s-a).
11- At Ghadir-Khum Imam Ali (a-s) was announced as the successor of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saww). The Prophet (saww) said: “Man Kuntu Maulahu fi hatha Ali-yun Maulahu”.
THE AHLUL-BAYTS CONNECTION WITH MAN’S PROGRESS TOWARDS ALLAH (SWT):
What does all of this extraordinarily Divine news mean to mankind? How can loving the Ahlul-Bayt (a-s) improve man’s position with ALLAH (swt)?
Simple, since we understand without doubt that Prophet Muhammad (saww) and his Ahlul-Bayt (a-s) have such a divine position and are an authority over all mankind, it is then very obvious that by following their lead and teachings we will most certainly benefit. For as we said the Prophet and Imams are the living proofs of the Holy Qur’an, they are exactly these teachings in there pure, perfect and infallible way.
This is why, as I said when I started this discourse that I based these Holy Month of Ramadan speeches on the theme of: Good moral and ethical behaviour and self sacrifice in the way of ALLAH (swt) and to follow and love the Ahlul-Bayt (a-s) sincerely and wholeheartedly is perhaps the most important key to attaining human perfection, purifying of the heart and achieving eternal happiness and bliss. For truly the Ahlul-Bayt (a-s) are our ropes to Paradise.
To give what I would like to call a popular example, let us say that ALLAH (swt) is our destination, all of our efforts are to achieve our destination. Therefore we need a vehicle in order to arrive at this destination; our vehicle is the Holy Qur’an. So we know our destination and we now have the perfect vehicle to attain this destination, however, our vehicle has no fuel and without fuel we are going nowhere. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (saww) and his Ahlul-Bayt (a-s) are our fuel; they are the perfect source of energy to move our vehicle in order to arrive at our destination. In other words only through the Ahlul-Bayt (a-s) can we properly understand the Noble Qur’an and with this knowledge we learn from them, we can achieve eternal happiness in Paradise. In other words, only through our love for the Ahlul-Bayt (a-s) and their teachings can we ever expect solace and felicity. For only through them can we learn good moral and ethical behavior and how to sacrifice our idle desires in order to reach perfection and to purify our hearts, for ALLAH (swt) will only accept us if our hearts are pure.
This is why our every day struggle on the path of ALLAH (swt) is the great Jihad, our everyday sacrifices and our steadfastness is the true struggle, not only a temporary effort. Our duty as Muslims is to follow our Imam; Imam Al-Mahdi (a-s) and to struggle and to educate ourselves in order to reach our final destination in peace and true happiness. We must always remember this important duty put upon us in our everyday lives, we must never forget or turn away from this Divine command to follow the Ahlul-Bayt (a-s), for they are the Siratul-Mustaqim.
In fact all of the lives of these great infallibles are full of such miracles, therefore we cannot deny them. They truly are all living examples of what Islam truly is. Their sacrifices were great and they lived only for the Path of ALLAH (swt), they are the only pure examples of human perfection and they are our only guides to achieving human perfection and closeness and nearness to ALLAH (swt). Imam Ali in his declaration tells us this when the cursed Ibn Muljam had strike the holy head of Imam Ali (a-s) with a poisonous sword. The blood from the head of Imam Ali (a-s) poured down onto his beard making it red; Imam Ali (a-s) raised his hands and said: “By the lord of the Kaba, I have succeeded!” His words and his claim were a warning and lesson to all mankind that his life was truly a complete worship and dedication to ALLAH Azizul-Hakim.
As this most Holy and blessed occasion nears its ending, we must not forget even after this most special Holy Month of Ramadan, that our moral and ethical conduct is our only way to the straight path to ALLAH (swt). And the only straight path is to follow the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and the Ahlul-Bayt (a-s) for they are one of the same and they are our only salvation.
Brother Ali Ja’afary.