In the name of Allah
The All Compassionate, the All Merciful
22 Safar 1445 (8 September 2023)
Islamic Universal Association
20 Penzance Place, Holland Park
London, W11 4 PG
Jihad An-Nafs – Part 148
Purification of the heart-Part 90
In Islamic terminology, the word Sadaqah means to voluntarily give charity out of the goodness of one’s heart. This is not an Islamic obligation, but rather a practice conducted to help those in need or the deprived. Sharing wealth with those less fortunate brings about a range of rewards and benefits. That is why today I would like to discuss this which is related to our main topic of Infaq or spending and moreover it has been emphasized several times in the Holy Quran and Islamic traditions. In this context, Ayah 177 of Surah Al-Baqarah provides: “Righteousness (Al-Birr) is not a matter of whether you turn your faces towards the East or the West; rather righteous is one who believes in God and the Last Day, in the Angels, the Book and the Prophet and gives his wealth out of love for Him to (his) kindred, the orphans, the needy, the wayfarer, the one who asks, and for those in slavery, and (who) establishes prayers and gives Zakat, fulfils the promise when one is made, patient in distress and affliction and in time of war, these are they who are truly righteous, and these are they who are the pious.”
- Faith cannot be restricted to turning our faces towards the West or the East when praying. These are directions in an absolute sense and thus cannot be turned into the very object of faith to the total exclusion of other injunctions of the Shariah. Faith in God, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets are the five principal articles of faith upon which Islam is based.
- Piety (birr) is obedience and devotion to Allah (s.w.t), which is well established in the hearts of believers; it leads one closer to Allah (s.w.t).
- Believers have been exhorted to obey Allah (s.w.t), to be just, to fulfil pledges, to observe treaties, to spend wealth in the way of Allah (s.w.t), etc.
- Laws, rules and regulations have also been laid down for the conduct of day-to-day life and for the solution of social, economic, political and international problems. In short, this verse comprehensively deals with the important principles of faith.
- This Ayah proves that financial obligations do not end at the simple payment of Zakat. There are occasions, other than those of paying Zakat, when spending out of one’s wealth becomes obligatory and necessary. For instance, spending on one’s needy parents and kin is necessary or there may be some needy person dying in poverty while Zakat has already been paid.
- To give wealth for the love of Allah (s.w.t) implies that one part with wealth even when one fears poverty or yearns for its benefits.
- According to the commentary Book of Majma Al-Bayan Imam Ali (a.s) possessed all the qualities specified in the Ayah, whereas some scholars are of the view that the messengers of Allah (s.w.t) were perfect role models and possessed these impeccable qualities. To be continued
Anniversary of the demise of the Holy Prophet (s.a)
The 28th of Safar marks the death anniversary of the Holy Prophet (s.a) and the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hassan (a.s). Moreover, the last day of Safar is the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Reza (a.s). Due to these sad events, I hereby convey my condolences to Imam Mahdi (a.t.f), and to the lovers of the Ahlul Bait. Today I will discuss the last days of the Holy Prophet (s.a)’s life.
There is no doubt that everything what the Holy Prophet (s.a) had said was full of wisdom, whether it was admonition, encouragement or advice, but he gave his nation special advice during his last days. He was extremely concerned about the future of Muslims for he knew that Imam Ali (a.s)’s nomination as his successor would not be acknowledged after his death. There were several incidents that occurred during the final days of his life, which have been reported in Manaqib V: 1 P: 234 as follows:
- The Holy Prophet (s.a) became ill on Saturday or Sunday during the month of Safar, 11 Hijri, which finally led to his death. With the support of Imam Ali (a.s) and accompanied by several of his companions, he visited Baqi cemetery where he beseeched Allah (s.w.t) to forgive the martyrs of Islam. Then he said: “O inhabitants of the graves! May the salutations of Allah be upon you! You are free from the calamities of this world. The trials that we are encountering are far more threatening and sinister than the darkest night and they are rapidly succeeding one after another, each one is worse than the one it succeeded. You are secure and safe from the ominous insurgence and unrelenting difficulties to be faced by the Muslim community.
Gabriel normally reveals to me the Holy Quran once every year, but this year he has revealed it to me twice. I cannot envisage any particular reason for this, other than the fact that my death is drawing near.”
- Thereafter, on Wednesday with a cloth tied round his head, he visited the mosque duly supported by Ali (a.s) on his right and his companion, Fazl ibne Abbas, on his left. He addressed the people who were gathering around him and he asked them: “It is time for me to leave you. If I have not fulfilled any of my promises, I would like to know, so that I can fulfil it now.” Someone from the gathering pointed out that he had promised to help him which remains unfilled. The Holy Prophet (s.a) ordered Fazl to help the person forthwith and he subsequently returned home.
- On Friday after his sermon, he asked the people if they wished to settle any claim or injury he might have inflicted on them, for Allah (s.w.t) hates an oppressor: “He whom I have lashed, I offer myself to him so that he may avenge me and he whom I have humiliated, I offer my honour.” At that time, someone from the congregation, named Sawadeh Ibn Qais, expressed his grievance against him. He said that when he had come out to greet the Holy Prophet (s.a) after he had returned from Taif, the Prophet (s.a) was on a camel and he accidentally struck him with a stick which was intended to alert the camel. The Holy Prophet (s.a) ordered Bilal to immediately fetch a stick from his daughter, Fatima (a.s)’s house and to hand it to Sawadeh. When the stick was handed to Sawadeh, he asked the Holy Prophet (s.a)’s permission to kiss him instead so that he would be saved from the fire of hell. The Holy Prophet (s.a) prayed for his salvation.
- Finally he declared to the people: “O, Muslims! Every apostle leaves behind him something valuable; similarly I am leaving behind two most valuable things, namely the Book of Allah and my progeny.” He then returned to Umme Salama’s house and prayed: “O’ Lord! Keep my nation safe from the fire of hell and lighten their reckoning on Resurrection Day.”