In the name of Allah
The All Compassionate, the All Merciful
27 Dhil-Qadah 1444 (16 June 2023)
Islamic Universal Association
20 Penzance Place, Holland Park
London, W11 4 PG
Jihad An-Nafs – Part 136
Purification of the heart-Part 78
As explained last week, giving charity in the Way of Allah (s.w.t) is crucial for the well-being of the needy as well as the ultimate happiness of the wealthy. The Holy Prophet (s.a.) emphasized this principle repeatedly. By regularly giving charity we are investing in this life and the next. On the Day of Judgement, we will be held to account for every sin we have committed, major and minor. No matter how hard we try, we are only human and sinning is inevitable. That is why we need to give charity regularly to expiate our sins. The Holy Prophet (s.a) has said: “Charity extinguishes the sins like water extinguishes a fire.” The amount of charity we give can be as small as ‘half a date’, but if we give it with a sincere intention, it can still remove our sins and protect us from the fire. However, being kind to a person if one is not willing to help him or is unable to do so is better than to give charity followed by spiteful words. I quote below some relevant Ayahs:
Ayahs 263-267 of Surah Al-Baqarah:
“A kind word and a pardon is better than charity followed by injury, and God is self-Sufficient, Forbearing.
O you who believe! Do not make your charities worthless by your obligation and injury, like one who spends his wealth just to be noticed by men, while disbelieving in God and the last day. His comparison is like a smooth hard rock on which there is little soil; when rain heavily falls upon it, it leaves it a bare stone. They shall not be able to gain anything of what they have earned, and God does not guide the disbelieving people.
The similitude of those who spend their wealth seeking God’s pleasure and strengthening their souls is like garden on a hill. When rain heavily falls, it yields its fruit twofold, and if heavy rain does not fall upon it, then a gentle shower suffices. And God beholds whatever you do.
Would any of you like that there should be a garden for him of palms and vines, with streams flowing underneath, and all kinds of fruits for him therein, being stricken with old age, his offspring being weak, then a whirlwind strikes his garden with fire, setting it ablaze? Thus does God make His signs clear to you so that you may reflect?
O you who believe! Give in charity out of your good things which you have earned, and of that which We have produced for you from the earth, and do not aim at the bad things to spend thereof (in charity) while you yourselves will not accept it but look at it with disdain, and know that God is self-sufficient, praise-Worthy.” To be continued
Martyrdom of Imam Jawad (a.s.)
According to some famous narration the end of Dhil-Qadah marks the martyrdom anniversary of our ninth Imam, Jawad (a.s.), and I express my condolences to Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.) and to my brethren in faith.
It has been reported that Imam Jawad (a.s.) was born in Medina on the 15th or the 19th of Ramadan, 195 Hijri, whilst according to another report he was born on the 10th of Rajab, in the same year. He was martyred by poisoning, at the age of 25, towards the end of Dhil-Qadah, 220 Hijir, in Baghdad at the instigation of the ruler, Mutasim. He was buried beside the grave of his grandfather, Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.), within the precincts of Kazimain Mosque, in Iraq.
He was merely 9 years old when his father was martyred and due to his tender age transferring leadership to him led to many debates and arguments as some people, from among the followers of Ahlul Bait, doubted his eligibility to become an Imam at such a young age. It has been reported by Kulaini, in his book Kafi, that the Mutawalli of the Holy Kaaba questioned him for several days and he finally accepted him as the Imam of the time after he was fully satisfied. The period of his Imamate lasted for 17 years which coincided with the oppressive reigns of the Abbasid rulers, Mamum and Mutasim. The Imam came from Medina to Baghdad in 220 Hijri on the 28th of Muharram as he was summoned by Mutasim.
The story of Mamun’s first meeting with the Imam is very interesting. It has been reported in Bihar Al-Anwar that Mamun and his entourage was passing through the street, on the way to a hunting expedition, where Imam Jawad (a.s.) was standing and watching the other children play; he was about 9 years old at the time. On seeing the caliph, the children ran inside with the exception of the Imam. Mamun stopped his carriage and asked him: “Young man, why did you not run away like the other children?” Imam Jawad (a.s.) Replied calmly: “For two reasons; I have not committed a crime, nor am I blocking your path. Why should I run away or be afraid?” Mamun was surprised at this mature response. He asked him who he was and having learnt that he was the son of Ali Reza (a.s.), praised him and moved on.
Later, when he was heading back to the city, he found the children playing at the same spot. They ran away again, save the Imam. Mamun stopped his carriage, hid the fish in his palm, which his hawk had caught, and asked the Imam if he knew what was in his palm. Imam Jawad (a.s.) replied: “Allah created the cloud between the earth and the sky and tiny fishes in the river. The hawk sometimes brings these to their masters, who hide them in their fist and ask a member of the Ahlul Bait, what they are hiding.” Hearing this, Mamum said: “Truly, you are the worthy son of Imam Ali Al-Reza.” He was so impressed that he took the young Imam with him to Baghdad, and kept him in a house next to the royal palace.