In the name of Allah
The All Compassionate, the All Merciful
29th Safar 1445 (15th September 2023)
Islamic Universal Association
20 Penzance Place, Holland Park
London, W11 4 PG
Jihad An-Nafs – Part 149
Purification of the heart-Part 91
The Holy Prophet (s.a.) was known for his humility, modesty and generosity and he continuously encouraged his followers to help others, calling upon them to support their families, neighbors, communities and the wider Ummah. To get close to Allah (s.w.t), one should look towards him as a guide and a role model. He helped the people as follows:
- He fed the poor
- He gave water to the needy.The best form of charity is to give someone water to drink.
- He helped orphans and encouraged his Ummah to do the same.
- He took care of widows and said: “The person who assists and takes care of a widow is striving in the path of Allah…”
I quote below some of his advice as provided in Safinat Al-Bihar V: 1 P:585:
- “Give sadaqah in the morning to enjoy a good and successful day.”
- “Who so ever enjoins someone to does good will have the same reward as the doer of good.”
- “Allah is pleased with those who help the poor and the needy.”
- “Whoever goes a distance to help the poor on behalf of someone else has earned the same reward as the one who gives ”
- “No needy person should be turned away empty handed. Even a date would suffice and please Allah.”
- “If a poor person approaches you and explains his situation, listen to him without interruptions.”
- When the Holy Prophet (s.a.) was told that everyone is not in a position to give sadaqah, he explained that it can be done in different ways as sadaqah does not only mean financial support, but it can be any act of kindness. Such as: 1.Smile to your brother. 2. Remove stones, thorns, etc. from paths. 3. Guide a lost traveler. 4. Visit the sick. 5. Enjoin people to do well. 6. Forbid evil. To be continued
Mmartyrdom anniversary of Imam Ali ibne Musa Al-Reza (a.s.)
According to a tradition Imam Reza (a.s) was born on 11 Dhil Qadah, 148 Hijri in the city of Medina and he was martyred in the city of Tus (Mashad), Iran, on the last day of Safar, 203 Hijri and was buried there. His father was Musa ibne Ja’far (a.s.) and his mother was Ummul Banin or Najmah. His name was Ali, his nickname was Abul Hasan, and his titles were Ridha, Sabir, Razi, Wafi, Zaki, and Wali. His most famous title was Ridha. The period of his Imamate lasted for 20 years. He was brought up and instructed by his father for 31 years, until his father was taken to Baghdad to suffer the hardship of imprisonment for 4 years until his death. He was 35 years old then and the responsibilities of the Imamate devolved on him. The prominent theologian, Al-Shaykh Al-Mufid, reported:“After Musa ibne Ja’far, his son Ali ibne Musa Al-Ridha’ became the Imam, because he was superior to his brothers and relatives. His knowledge, tolerance and piety were evident to everyone.”
Imam Reza (a.s.) was the great figure of guidance during his time and a model of modesty, reverential fear, piety, clemency, and ethics. He was famous for his outstanding merits and talents and dominated the minds of religious scholars for generations. He devoted his entire life in exalting the position of Muslims and guided the perplexed and the aberrant to the truth. The famous poet, Ibrahïm ibne Abbas, paid tribute to the Imam as follows: “I have never seen nor heard anyone as knowledgeable, meritorious and virtuous as Abul Hasan Al-Reza. He never turned away from anyone nor did he reject the needy; he did not interrupt or stretch out his leg before an audience or laughed loudly, rather, his laughter was merely a smile. He never abused his slaves, servants or attendants and in fact invited them to sit and eat with him. He spent his nights in prayer and recitation of the Holy Quran and barely slept. He was extremely generous and gave charity especially at night, when he could not be seen or recognised by anyone.” (Manaqib ibne Shahr Ashoob, volume 4, page 360)
There was nothing more endearing about him than his display of compassion to the poor and the indigent. He did not give charity to buy their affection or for show; rather, he gave alms generously to get nearer to his Creator. Historians have narrated numerous examples of his generosity. I quote below a few traditions narrated in Volume 4 of Manaqib on pages 361 and 362.
- A man begged Imam Reza (a.s.) to give him money according to the extent of his kindness. The Imam (as) replied: “I cannot afford that.” So the man said: “Then give me according to mine”, whereupon the Imam ordered his attendant to give him 200 drachmas. The reason why Imam Reza (as) abstained from giving the man according to the extent of his kindness is simply because he did not have as much as he would have liked to give.
- It has been narrated by Yasa ibne Hamzeh that one day a man approached the Imam and said, “I am one of your followers and I love the Ahlul Bait. I am now returning from a pilgrimage to Mecca and I am penniless and have no money to return home. If you think it proper, please give me enough money to enable me to return home. After reaching home, I will give the exact sum of money to the poor on your behalf in the name of Allah. I am not poor; it is only during my travels I have become insolvent as I have spent more than necessary.” The Imam got up and went inside the house. He then called the man to the door, extended his hand from behind the curtain and handed him 200 drachmas, and said: “Take your travel expenses, and may this bring you the blessings of Allah. There is no need to give the equivalent amount of money to the poor but if you feel you must, then you may give it to the orphans and the widows of your town.” After the man took the money and left, the Imam came out from behind the curtain and resumed his seat. People asked him: “Why did you not allow the man to see you while you were giving him the money? “The Imam replied: “I did not want to see the shame of supplication on his face. Have you not heard the Prophet’s advice that to perform benevolence covertly is equivalent to performing 70 hajj and those who openly commit evil deeds will face severe consequences whereas those who secretly perform evil acts will be pardoned…’”
- When the Imam was residing in the city of Khorasan, he distributed his entire wealth to the poor and the deprived on the Day of Arafeh. Sahl ibne Fazl criticised him for this and remarked: “Surely, this is a loss!” The Imam corrected him and said: “On the contrary, I am now wealthier than ever. Do not consider trading my wealth for Allah’s rewards and pleasure as a loss.”