IMPORTANCE OF HOLY QURAN
Imam Ali ibn al-Husayn al-Sajjad (as) held the Holy Quran dearly to his heart. This is evident from his sayings and behaviour with regard to the Quran. For instance, Zuhri has reported having heard Imam al-Sajjad (as) saying:
“If the inhabitants of the East and the West all perish and I am left alone with only the Glorious Quran, I will not become victim of any desolation”. (Al-Kaafi)
What the Imam (as) implied was that even if the entire earth became empty and he (as) was left alone therein, he (as) would neither feel sad nor lonely for as long as he (as) had the Holy Quran with him. Quran contains the words of Allah (SWT) and whoever recites it shall feel as though Allah (SWT) is with him and conversing to him. Therefore, even if such a person is left alone at any place and in any situation – he will certainly not feel lonely.
Imam al-Sajjad (as) has also said,
“Befriend Quran and you will not have to worry about desolation of any kind”.
REFERRING TO QURAN FOR A NAME
Zayd was one of the sons of Imam al-Sajjad (as). This is the same son who became a great martyr in the cause of Islam. It is narrated that:
[One of the habits of Imam al-Sajjad (as) was that after performing Fajr (morning) prayer till sunrise, he (as) never talked to anyone. One day, after Fajr, Imam (as) was given the good news about the birth of a son in his house.
Imam (as) asked his companions, “What should I name him?” Everyone suggested some names. The Imam (as) then turned towards his servant and asked him to bring the Holy Quran. He (as) opened the Holy Quran and the first verse, which he (as) saw was:
“And Allah has graced those who strive (in His cause) over those who sit back with a great reward”. (4:95)
Imam (as) then closed the Holy Quran and opened it again. This time he (as) saw the following verse:
“Indeed Allah has bought from the faithful their souls and their possessions for Paradise to be theirs: They fight in the way of Allah, they slay and they are slain. A promise binding upon Him in the Torah and the Evangel and the Quran. And who is truer to his promise than Allah? So rejoice in the bargain you have made with Him, and that is the great success”. (9:111)
After seeing these two verses, Imam (as) said, “By Allah! This is Zayd”.
Zayd means ‘great achiever’ and Imam al-Sajjad (as) derived this name from the meanings of the aforementioned two verses.] (Bihar al-Anwaar)
HIS RECITATION OF THE HOLY QURAN
Imam al-Sajjad (as) used to recite the Holy Quran ‘Haqqa Tilaawatihi’ meaning ‘ the way Quran deserved to be recited’. One of the ethics of reciting the Holy Quran is with ‘Tarteel’.
“And recite the Quran in a measured tone”. (73:4)
This basically means to recite the Holy Quran correctly, using a beautiful tone during its recitation and responding to its verses.
Abu Hamza Thumali has reported that whenever Imam Ali ibn al-Husayn (as) recited the Holy Quran loudly, the members of his household would (all) come out to listen to him. (Quran-o-‘Itrat)
Imam Ja’ffar as-Sadiq (as) has said,
“Sayyid al-Sajideen (Imam al-Sajjad) had the most attractive and beautiful voice amongst people whilst reciting the Quran. Whenever he (as) recited the Quran loudly, people passing-by would stop on his doorstep to listen to him”. (Al-Kaafi)
PRACTICING THE QURAN
One day a close relative of Imam al-Sajjad (as) abused him in public. He spoke bad words to him and then left but the Imam (as) did not utter any word against him.
As soon as the man left, Imam (as) turned towards the people who were present there and had witnessed what had just transpired, and said, “Whatever this man said to me, you all heard it. I would now want you to accompany me to him so that you hear what I have to tell him”.
The people thought that Imam al-Sajjad (as) would seek revenge. But as they accompanied him towards the house of the man who had abused him, they heard the Imam (as) reciting the following verse:
“…And those who suppress their anger, and excuse (the faults of) the people and Allah loves the virtuous”. (3:134)
The people instantly realized that the Imam (as) was not in mood of seeking any revenge. When they all reached the house of the man, Imam (as) called him by his name and asked him to come out of his house, which he did. Then the Imam (as) said,
“Brother! Just now you spoke ill of me. If whatever you spoke is true then I seek forgiveness from Allah; and if whatever you spoke is untrue then I pray to Allah to forgive you”.
Hearing this, the man was extremely ashamed. He came forward and kissing the forehead of Imam al-Sajjad (as), said, “Forgive me O Son of the Prophet! Indeed whatever I spoke about you is not true”. (Quran-o-‘Itrat)
Abdullah Wafe’ani has reported that Imam Zaynul-‘Aabideen (as) used to give sugar and almonds in alms and charity. Once somebody asked him the reason for this, and the Imam (as) recited the following verse in reply:
“You will never attain piety until you spend out of what you hold dear…” (3:92)
This shows that the Imam (as) was very fond of the two items, which he (as) gave away in alms.
GUIDING OTHERS THROUGH QURAN
‘Ibaad Basri met Imam al-Sajjad (as) on the way to Makkah and said,
“O Ali Ibn al-Husayn! You have left the difficulties of Jihad and have taken up Hajj – an easy course of worship although in the Holy Quran, Allah (SWT) says: “Indeed Allah has bought from the faithful their souls and their possessions for Paradise to be theirs: They fight in the way of Allah, they slay and they are slain. A promise binding upon Him in the Torah and the Evangel and the Quran. And who is truer to his promise than Allah? So rejoice in the bargain you have made with Him, and that is the great success””. (9:111)
Hearing this verse, Imam (as) said, “You must recite the complete verse and not half”. Then the Imam (as) recited the remaining verse: “(The faithful are) penitent, devout, celebrators of Allah’s praise, wayfarers (or those who fast), who bow (and) prostrate (in prayer), bid what is right and forbid what is wrong, and keep Allah’s bounds – and give good news to the faithful”. (9:112)
The Imam (as) then added: “When we find the people with attributes described in the Holy Quran, then performance of Jihad will be better than Hajj”. (Al-Kaafi)
The following are some of the quotations from the sermons and sayings of Imam al-Sajjad (as) in which he (as) has given references to the Holy Quran:
“Beware, O people, of sins and acts of disobedience (to Allah) against which Allah has warned and exhorted in the truthful Book and the articulate rhetoric. When Shaytan urges you to enjoy the transitory passions and pleasures of this world, do not feel secured (in succumbing to him) from the retribution and punishment of Allah. Allah says: ‘When those who are Godwary are touched by insinuation of Satan, they remember (Allah) and, behold, they perceive’. (7:201) Take God-fearing as the slogan of your hearts and always remember that Allah promised you of the good rewarding and warned you against the painful anguish when you will be returned to Him. He, who fears something will certainly beware of it, and he who is beware of something will desert it…” (Tuhaf al-‘Uqool)
“By Allah I swear, examples were cited for you and a variety of evidences is shown to the heedful ones. O Believers! Join yourselves with the heedful ones. All power belongs to Allah. Abstain from the transitory pleasures of this world from which Allah has ordered you to abstain. He, the most truthful says: ‘The parable of the life of this world is that of water, which We send down from the sky. It mingles with the earth’s vegetation from which humans and cattle eat. When the earth puts on its luster and is adorned, and its inhabitants think they have power over it, Our edict comes to it, by night or day, whereat We turn it into a mown field, as if it did not flourish the day before. Thus do We elaborate the signs for a people who reflect’. (10:24)”. (Tuhaf al-‘Uqool)
Abdul-Malik bin Marwan, the oppressive Umayyad ruler came to know that Imam al-Sajjad (as) possessed the sword of the Holy Prophet (saww). He therefore sent some people to fetch it from him but the Imam (as) declined to give. Thereupon Abdul-Malik sent a threat letter to Imam (as) in which he stated: ‘I will deny you your share from the public treasury’. In response to this, Imam al-Sajjad (as) wrote: “Know that Allah has kept an outlet from all problems for those who are wary of Him and He has taken the responsibility of their sustenance. The Holy Quran states: ‘Indeed Allah does not like any ingrate traitor”. (22:38) Now let us wait and see who is who? (Godwary and traitor)”. (Manaqib Aali Abi Talib)
Shaykh Ali Karimi states that:
When the Imam (as) referred to Allah (SWT) keeping an outlet from all problems and providing sustenance to Godwary people, this is stated in the following verse: ‘…And whoever is wary of Allah, He shall make a way out for him, and provide for him from whence he does not reckon’.
(65:2) As for the verse he (as) quoted (to Marwan), the complete verse reads as follows: ‘Allah indeed defends those who have faith. Indeed Allah does not like any ingrate traitor’. (22:38) (Quran-o-‘Itrat)
It is reported that whenever Imam al-Sajjad (as) recited the verse: “If you enumerate Allah’s blessings, you will not be able to count them”. (14:34) He (as) said, “All praise be to Him who has not enabled anybody to acknowledge all His favours except through the acknowledgement of the failure to acknowledge them properly…” He (as) also said, “All praise be to Him who has regarded the acknowledgement of His favours as praise. All praise be to Him who has regarded the acknowledgement of the failure to thank Him properly as showing Him gratitude”.
By Mulla Mujaheedali Sheriff