In the name of Allah
The All Compassionate, the All Merciful
13th Rabial-Awwal 1445 (29th September 2023)
Islamic Universal Association
20 Penzance Place, Holland Park
London, W11 4PG
Jihad An-Nafs – Part 151
Purification of the heart-Part 93
Imam Ali (a.s.) acquired great wealth, but he lived a very humble and modest life. He was known for his charity as he was for his piety. Whenever he received his share of the booty, he immediately distributed it amongst the poor and destitute, until nothing remained for him or his family. I quote below some of his advice on charity, from the Nahjul Balagha (Sayings 7, 137, 146 and 259 and an extract from Sermon 110):
“Charity is an effective cure, and the actions of people in their present life will be before their eyes in the next life.”
“Seek livelihood by giving alms.”
“Protect your belief by charity; guard your wealth by paying Allah’s share; and ward off the waves of calamity by praying.”
“When you fall into destitution, trade with Allah through charity.”
“Giving alms secretly covers shortcomings, giving it openly protects against a bad death and extending benefits to people saves one from position of disgrace.”
“Do not feel ashamed if the amount of charity is small because to reject the needy is an act of greater shame.”
- Alms-giving is an effective medicine
- Our Book of deeds will be presented to us in the hereafter.
- If we want to pray to Allah (s.w.t.) for better means of subsistence, we should first give charity.
- We should protect our wealth and cure our illnesses with charity.
- We should defend our faith in Allah (s.w.t.) with the help of charity,protect our wealth with the aid of zakat and let our prayers guard us from calamities and disasters.
- To give alms secretly concealsour weaknesses, to give it openly protects us against catastrophes and misfortunes and helping others saves us from dishonor and degradation.
Birth anniversary of the Holy Prophet (s.a.)
The 17th of Rabiul-Awwal marks the birth anniversaries of the Holy Prophet (s.a.) and our sixth Imam, Jafar As-Sadeq (a.s.) and I congratulate Imam Mahdi (a.j.f.) and the Muslim Ummah for these auspicious occasions.
Allah (s.w.t.) sent messengers to every nation and community, calling its people to worship Him alone. These messengers were truthful, virtuous, trustworthy and rightly guided servants, who strove hard to guide their people to the right path and conveyed Allah (s.w.t.)’s message to them in full, without concealing, omitting or adding anything to it. Each of them promoted the Shariah of the previous prophet. Some of them brought scriptures while others did not bring any books. Sometimes there were more than one prophet in a single town or city, who fulfilled the duties of prophethood. However, the Holy Prophet (s.a.) was undoubtedly the leader of all the prophets as he brought the final revelation and completed the religion of Allah (s.w.t.). The flow of his divine message which continued for twenty-three years proclaimed the Unity of God and demolished the edifice of superstition, ignorance and disbelief and set up a noble conception of life and devotion to one God. More than 1400 years have passed since the time of his appointment, yet his core message of salvation, his motto of the oneness of God, his weapon of nobility, his path of light, his program of guidance and his invitation to unity are still valid.
He was born on the 17th of Rabiul-Awwal in the year 570 of the Gregorian calendar on Friday at dawn in the holy city of Mecca. His emergence has been mentioned in the Torah and the Evangel. Although, the ‘first to be created was his light’, the Holy Quran does not deny the revelations that came before it; rather it testifies to their truthfulness and completes them. When speaking about the prophets that came before him, the Holy Prophet (s.a.) has said,
“I am the prayer of my ancestor, Ibrahim and the glad tidings of Isa. My position and that of the other prophets is like the following parable: A man builds a perfect and beautiful house but leaves one brick missing from a corner of the house. People come and gaze at the house. Noticing the missing brick they say:“Will a brick not be put in this niche?” Now, I am that brick and the last of the prophets.”
There are several Ayahs in the Holy Quran and in the Islamic traditions that highlight the following:
- Characteristics of the messengers of Allah (s.w.t.)
- Aim of the prophets’ mission.
- Reflection of people’s attitude; those who deny or accept the invitation of the messengers.
- Following the messengers is beneficial in this world and in the hereafter.
- Allah (s.w.t.)’s promises a reward to those who accept His invitation and cautions those who deny His revelation.
- Messengers have been duly supported by Allah (s.w.t.).
- Those who decline to accept the messengers will face dire consequences.
- The core message is the same but the mission may differ due to time and circumstances.
- Islam is a perfect and comprehensive religion which was revealed by Allah (s.w.t.) to the Holy Prophet (s.a.).