In the name of Allah
The All Compassionate, the All Merciful
19th Safar1444 (16th September 2022)
Islamic Universal Association
20 Penzance Place, Holland Park
London, W11 4 PG
Jihad An-Nafs – Part 97
Purification of the heart-Part 39
We should seek Allah (s.w.t.)’s guidance and take refuge in Him from the evil within ourselves and from the evil of our deeds. Those who are guided by Allah (s.w.t) will never deviate from the straight path whereas those who stray will never find the way of Allah (s.w.t.). Moreover, in order to be on the straight and narrow and purify our hearts, we should reflect on the stories of the old and learn lessons from their fate, as provided in several verses in the Holy Quran and traditions.
People from past generations can be divided into two groups; the messengers and their followers and the disbelievers. The believers attained victory, success, domination and glory whilst the constant transgression of the disbelievers led to destruction. Allah (s.w.t.) sent prophets after prophets but there were always a large number of people who ridiculed His signs. Whenever the transgression of a generation exceeded, Allah (s.w.t) destroyed them all because of their iniquities except a few whom he pleased. When punishment was meted out to these sinners their last utterance was: “Indeed we did wrong!” In the end they did cry for mercy but it was too late for them to be saved. Relevant Ayahs from the Holy Quran are provided hereinafter:
Ayahs 11-14 of Surah Al-Ma’ida: “O you who believe! Remember God’s bounties on you when some people were determined to stretch forth their hands against you, but He withheld their hands from you. So fear God and upon God alone let the faithful rely
Certainly God took a covenant from the children of Israel, and We raised from among them twelve chieftains, and God said: “Verily I am with you if you keep up prayer and pay zakat and believe in My messengers and support them, and lend God a good loan, I will certainly wipe out your sins from you and admit you into gardens beneath which rivers flow; but whosoever disbelieves after this, from among you, he shall certainly have missed the right path.”
But for the breaking of their covenant, We cursed them, and made their hearts grow hard. They shift the words (of the Scripture) from their proper places and have forgotten a part of what they were admonished with; nor will you cease to be informed of deceit from among them, except for a few of them; so forgive them, and overlook; Verily, God loves the beneficent.
Of those also who say: “We are Nazarenes”, We took their covenant too, but they have forgotten a portion of what they were admonished with; therefore We stirred up among them enmity and hatred until the Day of Resurrection and soon will God inform them of what they were doing.”
Arba’een of Imam Hussain (a.s.)
I hereby express my deepest condolence to Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.) and to the followers of the Ahlul Bait on the occasion of the anniversary of Arba’een, the fortieth day of Imam Hussain (a.s.)’s martyrdom and that of his dear relatives and companions.
The day of Arba’een marks an important turning point in the movement of Karbala; it is as important as the day of Ashura for many reasons. It was on that day the surviving members of the Ahlul Bait reached Karbala and visited the grave of Imam Hussain (a.s.) and the loyal members of his family and friends who gave their lives for the cause of Islam. Moreover, the occasion of Arba’een reminds the faithful of the core message behind Imam Hussain (a.s.)’s martyrdom, that is, to establish justice and fight injustice, no matter what; a message that strongly influenced subsequent Shiite uprisings against the tyranny of the Umayyad and the Abbasid rule. As we complete the forty days of the remembrance of our dear Imam, we must re-assert our pledge of obedience and loyalty to him.
According to Imam Hasan Al-Askari (a.s.) a true Shiite conducts the following acts: 1.Performs daily 51 rakat prayers (17 wajib rakats and 34 mustahab rakats). 2. Recites Ziyarat Arba’een of Imam Hussain (a.s) on the day of Arba’een. 3. Wears a ring on his right index finger 4. Prostrates on earth (mohar) in the name of Allah (s.w.t).5.Recites loudly Bismillah Ar-Rahman Nir-Rahim during prayers.
Imam, Sadeq (a.s.) has stated in a special prayer that on the day of Arba’een Imam Hussain (a.s.) and his faithful companions sacrificed their lives to initiate declarations of freedom for the people who were in search of independence and justice. I hereby invite you to pay attention to the following declaration by the Imam in Ziyarat Arba’een:
O Lord, I declare that Hussain is your friend and your friend’s son. He has been elected by You and Your friends. He was honored to die a martyr and had the privilege to defend Your religion. You have given him and his household a special elevated position and You have assigned him as successor to your messengers and as Your executor and an exemplar to Your servants on earth.
He invited people to pursue Islam in order to attain an honorable life. He gave them his advice and generously sacrificed his and his companions’ lives to save the Muslim Ummah from anguish and desolation…”
Thereafter Imam Sadeq (a.s.) described the greatness of his great grandfather, Imam Hussain (a.s.), who was chosen by Allah (s.w.t.) to lead the people. Muslims should be inspired by his non-violent resistance to the tyranny of Yazid. Although the Umayyads had spread corruption and breached Islamic laws, Imam Hussain (a.s.)’s firm faith was never shaken and he enjoined what is right and forbade what is prohibited. His sacrifice is the example of the path of righteousness. He kept Islam alive or else in this world there would be no one left to take its name.
Thus, as we commemorate Arba’een we hope and pray that Imam Hussain (a.s.)’s remembrance brings about a transformation in us by which we can continue to follow his path and carry on his message of upholding justice with true faith and a strong sense of sacrifice!