In the name of Allah
The All Compassionate, the All Merciful
12th Rajab 1444 (3rd February 2023)
Islamic Universal Association
20 Penzance Place, Holland Park
London, W11 4 PG
Jihad An-Nafs – Part 117
Purification of the heart-Part 59
Further to my discussion on the Day of Reckoning, I quote below Surah At-Takathur, which gives us an indication about the questioning on that Day.
“In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Your vying engages you in exuberance,
Until you come to the graves,
Nay! Soon shall you come to know?
Nay! Soon shall you come to know!
That you shall surely see Hell!
Then you shall certainly see it with a vision of certitude.
Then you will be questioned on that Day about the bounties (you enjoyed).”
Worldly gains distract people from obedience to Allah (s.w.t.) and remembering the hereafter. Such distractions may be in the form of Takathur, which includes vying to increase worldly gains and benefits, pleasures and comforts, the passion for acquiring more means of power and authority, vying with others in these pursuits and boasting about their abundance. It pertains to anything that people seek for the gratification of their egos rather than for the sake of Allah (s.w.t).
In this context, Majma Al-Bayan has given an account of the two rival tribes, Bani Abd Manaf and Bani Sahm who vied in boasting with one another and prided themselves in increasing their wealth and position. On one occasion, they boasted that they had a greater number of nobles and leaders. After counting, it was found that the number among the Bani Abd Manaf was higher. However, Bani Sahm submitted that the deceased should also be included in the count because they had been part of the tribes. They therefore went to the cemetery and counted the dead and Bani Sahm emerged as the victor.
Man will be questioned about his blessings on earth; the hearing, and sight, and the heart will be called to account. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has explained that the bounties and blessings stated in Ayah 8 of the said Surah refer to the Ahlul Bait. It has been reported that Abu Hanifa, one of the Sunni scholars, asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.) about the implication of this Ayah. The Imam asked him what he understands by na’im (blessings), to which Abu Hanifa replied that it meant food and water. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) then said if Allah (s.w.t.) on the Day of Judgment would ask him about every sip of water and morsel of food he had taken on earth, he would be standing in His presence for a very long time. The Imam then explained that blessings here refer to the Ahlul Bait who has inculcated the concept of unity and brotherhood in Muslims and steered them towards Allah (s.w.t.)’s favored path, prior to that they indulged in hostilities and warfare against each other. Hence Allah (s.w.t.) will question them about their faith in Him, and their acceptance and obedience to the Holy Prophet (s.a.) and his Ahlul Bait, the Holy Imams, who are the greatest blessings on earth and the only authentic and the divinely commissioned interpreters of the Word of God.
(R: Majma Al-Bayan V: 10 P: 535).
Birth anniversary of Ali ibne Abi Talib (a.s.)
I wish to congratulate Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.) and my brethren in faith on the auspicious birth anniversary of Imam Ali (a.s.) on the 13th of Rajab, which will be celebrated throughout the Muslim world with great exuberance.
Imam Ali (a.s.) was born in 600 A.D within the holy precincts of Kaaba, 30 years after the Year of the Elephant (Aamul Feel). When his mother, Fatima binte Asad, experienced labor pains and walked towards the Holy Kaaba its wall miraculously split, and as she entered the sanctuary, the gap sealed itself behind her. Onlookers panicked and rushed to enter it, but they could not unlock the door. She emerged three days later, after the baby was born. The Holy Prophet (s.a.) was the first person besides Ali (a.s.)’s mother to hold the newborn in his arms, and when the baby opened his eyes, it was the face of the Holy Prophet (s.a.) that he saw first.
It was the great personality of Ali (a.s.) who, prior to all others, pledged faith to the Holy Prophet (s.a). He supported the cause of Islam at the earliest moment of his life. In fact, no sooner had he placed his feet on earth that he assisted the Holy Prophet (s.a) in the proclamation of the religion of truth. In addition to his pioneering role in Islam, he offered great sacrifices and fought for the victory of Islam since he was young and continued to fight deviationist trends inside Islam. From the beginning of his life he did not fear anyone, except Allah (s.w.t). He was Ali (a.s.), the brave who never retreated from the battlefield as affirmed by the Holy Prophet (s.a.): “Tomorrow, I will give the banner of Islam to a man who loves Allah and His Prophet and whom Allah and His Prophet love. This man attacks but never flees. He does not come back from a battle, until he achieves victory by Allah’s blessings.”
It cannot be denied that he was the most virtuous and the true successor of the Holy Prophet (s.a.) and it is not possible for anyone to fully grasp his impeccable characteristics. To understand him one needs to scale the skies and to accompany the Holy Prophet (s.a.) in his ascension. Abdul Hamid known as Ibne Abi Al-Hadid, the Sunni commentator of Nahjul-Balagha had narrated the following from a Sunni scholar: “If Ali wishes to record his virtues and all the eloquent Arabs help him in his endeavour, they would not be able to note down even one-tenth of the Holy Prophet’s voluminous narrations about him.” He then said: “I do not mean the very famous narrations of the Holy Prophet about Ali, such the Hadiths of Ghadeer Khum or Manzilat and the like of them.
Moreover, that Holy Prophet (s.a.) advised Ali (a.s.) as follows: “Allah has ornamented you with an ornament that He has never ornamented anyone like it. It is the ornament of believers and asceticism in this world. He has not created you to deceive the world nor has He created the world to deceive you. Moreover, He has made the poor your followers; you treat them with compassion and they accept you as their Imam.”