In the name of Allah
The All Compassionate, the All Merciful
1 Dhul-Hijja 1443 (1 July 2022)
Islamic Universal Association
20 Penzance Place, Holland Park
London, W11 4 PG
Jihad An-Nafs – Part 88
Purification of the heart – Part 30
Further to my earlier discussions on purification of the heart from the aspect of the Holy Quran and Islamic traditions, I quote below an extract from Imam Ali (a.s)’s letter 31 to his son Imam Hasan (a.s) from the Nahjul Balagha, which relates to this subject matter.
“I advise you to fear Allah. O my child! Abide by His commands, fill your heart with remembrance of Him and cling to Him in hope. No connection is more reliable than the connection between you and Allah provided you take hold of it. Enliven your heart with preaching, kill temptations with it, energize it with firm belief, enlighten it with wisdom, humiliate it by remembering death and make it believe in mortality. Let it see the misfortunate of this world and fear the authority of the time and the severity of some changes during the nights and days. Place before it the events of past people, recall what befell those who were before you and walk among their cities and see the ruins, remember what they did and from what they have gone away and where they have gone and stayed. You will find that they departed from (their) friends and remain in loneliness. Shortly, you too will be like one of them. Therefore, plan for your place of stay and do not sell your next life with this world.”
Imam Ali (s.a) wrote the letter to his Imam Hasan (a.s) when he had encamped at Al-Hadirin on his way back from Siffin. The foregoing extract contains ten advices, which we will discuss at length during our next session. To be continued
Anniversary of the Martyrdom Imam Baqir (a,s)
According to a famous tradition, the 7th of Dhul-Hajja is the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Mohammad Baqir (a.s.), and I hereby offer my condolences to Imam Mahdi (a.j.f.) and to the followers of the Ahlul Bait.
The Imam was born during the month of Rajab, 57 Hijri in Medina and in 114 Hijri, when he was 57 year old; he was martyred by poisoning by Ibrahim ibne Walid, under the instruction of Hisham ibne Abdul-Malik, the Umayyad ruler. He was buried in Jannatul Baqi alongside the graves of Imam Hasan (a.s.) and his father, Imam Zainul Abedin (a.s.). His father was Ali ibne Al-Hussain (a.s.) and his mother, Fatima, was the daughter of Imam Hasan (a.s.). He was the only Imam who was the direct descendant of the Holy Prophet (s.a.) from both his maternal and paternal side. He grew up under the enlightening care of his father for 35 years and in 95 Hijri, after his father’s martyrdom, he took over the reins of Imamate, which lasted for 19 years. His Imamate coincided with reigns of Walid ibne Abdul-Malik, Sulaiman ibne Abdul-Malik, Umar ibne Abdul-Aziz, Yazid ibne Abdul-Malik and Hisham ibne Abdul-Malik who terrorized and oppressed his subjects and his policy of persecution and torment led to many revolts. He also persecuted the students of the Imam, but those unjust measures did not prevent the increase in Islamic awakening and religious awareness among people.
According to an authentic Hadith the Holy Prophet (s.a.) advised his companion, Jabir ibne Abdullah Ansari: “O Jabir, you will have a long life, and you will meet the fifth in line of my descendants, whose name will be the same as mine. He will walk like me and he will be the fifth Imam of the time. When you meet him, convey my greetings to him.” As predicted by the Holy Prophet (s.a.), Jabir had a long life and had become blind in his old age, but he devoutly waited to meet the fifth Imam. Every morning he would come out of his house, sit by the roadside and wait for the sound of his footsteps. One day while he was waiting in the street, he heard someone walking towards him; the sound of footsteps reminded him of the Holy Prophet (s.a.). Jabir stood up, stopped the man and asked his name. The Imam told him that he was Mohammad son of Ali ibne Al-Hussain (a.s.). Jabir immediately realised that he was the fifth Imam and kissed his hand and conveyed the message of the Holy Prophet (s.a.). The Imam prayed for Allah (s.w.t)’s eternal blessings to be bestowed upon his great grandfather and on Jabir as well.
The Imam pursued an indirect method of opposing the ruling political system. He did this through teaching people to know their roles and duties in their current circumstances. He followed the process of enjoining righteousness and forbidding evil through spreading accurate political concepts, but he did not express his views concerning the military revolts against the ruling system because he knew that these revolts would not succeed in bringing about change. He also laid the foundation of the educational and research assemblies and paved the way for the establishment of the Islamic university, which reached its peak during the life of his son, Imam Sadeq (a.s.) as the Bani Ummayads were absorbed in their own affairs and were engaged in constant skirmishes against the Bani Abbasides. Many of his contemporaries and prominent scholars from different schools of thought had written about his scholarly status. The Imam clearly imparted to the people that members of the Ahlul Bait were the true source of knowledge and guidance; his advice has been reported in the Manaqib V:4 P:206: “We are nearest to Allah and a part of His blessings and the main link between Him and His creatures. His creation started with us and will end with us. We are the source and leaders of guidance and the powerful light in darkness. We carry the banner of Islam in this world; whoever follows us will be successful and whoever turns away from us will be annihilated for we are the leaders of prosperity and the straight path of Allah. We are Allah’s blessing on His servants, the source of prophethood and the pillar of religion.The angels are constantly visiting our houses for we are the light of guidance and the bridge to heaven and hell beckons those who turn away from us. Allah will not punish our followers because they are from us.”