In the name of Allah
The All Compassionate, the All Merciful
6th Rabial-Awwal 1445 (22nd September 2023)
Islamic Universal Association
20 Penzance Place, Holland Park
London, W11 4 PG
Jihad An-Nafs – Part 150
Purification of the heart-Part 92
When Imam Ali (a.s.) had encamped at Al-Hadirin on his way back from Siffin, he addressed a letter to his son, Imam Hasan (a.s.), which is produced under Letter 31 in the Nahjul Balagha. The letter contains advice on almost every aspect of life in the form of a will; I quote below an extract from it on sadaqah:
“Know that in front of you lies a long and winding road of severe hardship and you cannot avoid it. Take your supplies and provisions, but keep your burden light. Do not load your back beyond your strength lest its weight becomes arduous for you. Whenever you come across a needy person, who can carry for you your provision to hand it back to you on the Day of Judgement when you will need it, then accept him as a good opportunity and get him to carry your load for you. Put in that provision as much-as you are able to, for it is likely that if you may need him later, you may not get hold of him. If a person is willing to borrow from you during the days of your affluence to pay it back to you at the time of your need, then make use of this opportunity too.
Know that in front of you lies an impassable valley wherein the light-burdened man will be in a better condition than the heavy-burdened one, and the sluggish one would be in a worse condition than the expeditious and diligent ones. Your terminating point at the other end of this passage will necessarily be either paradise or hell. Therefore, reconnoitre for yourself before alighting, and prepare for the place before your arrival, because after death there can be no preparation nor can you return to this world.”
- The purpose of this life is the hereafter; we are here to prepare for the next world, where we will face Allah (s.w.t.)’s reckoning.
- We should therefore pass the time here as a traveler, who will soon leave this unhealthy and uncongenial place, and hopefully proceed towards fertile, congenial lands having abundant provisions of all comfort and pleasure.
- The journey to the next world is long and arduous and we should travel light but ensure we have sufficient supplies and provisions.
- All we give in charities and our good deeds are like loans which will be returned to us in the hereafter and hence we should ensure we have such supplies for after death we can neither provide for ourselves nor return to this world.
- When we are wealthy and powerful, we should make use of our wealth and power in such a way that we will get all that back on the Day of Judgment.
- Being poor and helpless enables us to travel speedily to our final abode as we are of light weight
- We should study the lives of past people and meditate over what they did when they were alive; where, when and how they were and are now. Each one is now in a solitary abode, alone and unattended and we will also be like them. To be continued
Hijrat of the Holy Prophet (s.a.)
After 13 years of his mission in Mecca, the Holy Prophet (s.a.) left his home and migrated to Medina which is known as Hijrat and it is a very significant event in Islamic history.
This migration was carried out on account of a conspiracy by the leaders of Quraish to murder the Holy Prophet (s.a.) and to obliterate the truth and the laws against tyranny, oppression and injustice which the Holy Prophet (s.a.) was in the process of establishing. Their plan was, however, unsuccessful as Allah (s.w.t.) had informed the Holy Prophet (s.a.) about their plan to kill him and ordered him to leave Mecca and for Ali (a.s.) to sleep on his bed. Ayah 30 of Surah Al-Anfaal was revealed clearly indicating that the plots of the enemies of Islam and/or the disbelievers to kill or imprison the Holy Prophet (s.a.) would be foiled by Allah (s.w.t):
And when the disbelievers plotted against you (O Mohammad) to imprison you, or slay you, or drive you away, they devised plans and God too had a plan; God is the Best of planners.”
It has been reported in the book, Manaqib V: 1 P: 183, that the Holy Prophet (s.a.) informed Ali (a.s.) about the dangerous situation and his plan to migrate to Medina forthwith as instructed by Allah (s.w.t) and asked him if he would sleep on his bed and carry out some errands for him and accept the danger to his life. Ali (a.s.) replied with a counter question,“If I sleep on your bed, will your life be saved?” The Holy Prophet (a.s.) said that Allah (s.w.t.) had promised him a safe journey to Medina. Ali (a.s.) was pleased to hear this and he thanked Allah (s.w.t.) and immediately prostrated on earth. This was the first sajdah of appreciation (shukr) that was performed by man. Ali (a.s) knew that the enemies of Islam wanted to murder the Holy Prophet (s.a) and if he slept in his bed, his life would be at risk and yet he did not hesitate to do so and to protect the Holy Prophet (s.a). As narrated by Ibne Abbas his sacrifice was so sincere that during the Holy Prophet (s.a.)’s journey to Medina, Ayah 207 of Surah Al-Baqarah was revealed referring to the devotion of Imam Ali (a.s.):
“Among men is he who trades his life for the pleasure of God and verily God is affectionate to his faithful servants.”
It has also been reported in the Manaqib that the Holy Prophet (s.a) advised Ali (a.s): “Allah (s.w.t) tests the faith of the believers but the messenger is tested to a far greater degree. Since you are from me and I am from you, we will tried together, so be patient.” Ali (a.s.) replied: “May my life be ransomed for you and your mission?” Hence, while the Holy Prophet (s.a.) left his house for Mecca under Allah (s.w.t.)’s protection, Ali (a.s.) slept peacefully on his bed despite the swords of the enemies being flashed around him. Moreover, it has been reported that Gabriel descended to visit Ali (a.s.) that night with Mekael and expressed his admiration and exclaimed: “O Ali! You are in a very good position because Allah and his angels are proud of you.”