In the name of Allah
The All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful
10th Jamadial-Awwal 1445 (24th November 2023)
Islamic Universal Association
20 Penzance Place, Holland Park
London, W11 4 PG
Imam Ali (a.s.)’s advice in the Nahjal-Balagha – Part 2
After the Holy Prophet (s.a.)’s demise, when Abu Sufyan learnt that people had paid allegiance to Abu Bakr as Caliph, he accompanied by Abbas ibne Abdal-Muttalib approached Imam Ali (a.s.) and insisted that he should secure his right of Caliphate and said: “Let me pay allegiance to you and if anyone rises in opposition, I will fill the streets of Medina with strong and formidable troops.” However, Ali (a.s.) rejected his proposal and advised the people as follows:
“O’ People steer clear from the waves of mischief by turning away from the path of dissension and undue conceit. Prosperous is one who rises when he has power or he remains peaceful while others enjoy ease. The aspiration for Caliphate is like turbid water or like a morsel that would suffocate the person who swallows it. One who plucks fruits before ripening is like one who cultivates them in another field. If I speak out they would consider me greedy for power but if I keep quiet they would say I am afraid of death. It is a pity that after all the ups and downs I have been through. By Allah, the son of Abu Talib is more familiar with death than an infant with the breast of its mother. I have hidden knowledge, if I disclose it you will start trembling like ropes in deep wells.”
- At Mecca the Holy Prophet (s.a.) suffered several precarious situations, but he was not prepared to clash or struggle by abandoning patience and endurance, as he realized that if war had taken place Islam’s growth would be impaired. Similarly, Ali (a.s.), refrained from exhibiting his power because he realized that rising against the enemy without helpers and supporters would become a source of revolt and defeat instead of success and victory.
- He likened the desire for Caliphate to turbid water or a morsel suffocating the throat. Even if people forcibly snatch the morsel, it will get stuck in their throat and they will be unable to swallow it. In other words, they would not be in a position to manage it as is apparent from the blunders they had committed regarding Islamic injunctions.
- Those who pluck the unripe fruits of Caliphate are like people who cultivate on another land but they are unable to guard or water it and hence they cannot achieve anything.
- If he speaks out, people will consider him greedy and if he is silent, they will think he is afraid of death. He is, however, familiar with death to such an extent that even an infant is not as familiar with the breast of its mother. The reason for his silence is the knowledge that the Holy Prophet (s.a.) had imparted to him. If he divulged it, people would have been perplexed and bewildered.
- People would soon know the reason for his inaction, and perceive the destruction that would be caused by people who would appear on the scene under the banner of Islam. His silence is thus not without reason. To be continued.
Fatima Az-Zahra (a.s.)
According to a reliable tradition, Fatima (a.s.) was martyred on the 13th of Jamadial-Awwal and I offer my condolences to Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.) and the followers of the Ahlul Bait.
There is a different narration about the date of Fatima (a.s.)’s birth and martyrdom and before I talk about her infallible personality, I would like to draw your attention to the following two traditions which have been reported in Bahjatul-Qalb Al-Mustafa P: 142:
- Habib Al-Sajastani narrated from Imam Baqer (a,s.): “Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad, was born in the fifth year of the Holy Prophet’s mission (Besat) and she was martyred when she was 18 years and 75 days.”
- Abu Basir narrated from Imam Sadeq (a.s.): “Fatima was born on the 20th day of Jamadial-Thani, in Mecca, when the Holy Prophet was 45 years old. She lived in Mecca for 8 years and in Medina for 10 years and she was martyred 75 days after the death of her father.”
The following facts can be established in view of the foregoing traditions:
- Fatima (a.s.) was born on the 20th of Jamadial-Thani in Mecca.
- She was born in the 5th year of Besat (divine prophecy).
- The Holy Prophet (s.a.) was 45 years old when she was born.
- She resided in Mecca for 8 years.
- She was a resident of Medina for 10 year and 75 days.
- She was martyred at the age of 18 year and 75 days.
- She was martyred 75 days after her father’s death.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.) considered her part and parcel of his life. It has been reported that on one occasion he advised Salman Farsi as follows: “Whoever loves Fatima will be with me in heaven and whoever is her enemy will be in hell. O’ Salman! Friendship with Fatima is advantageous in hundred places; it eases one during death, in the grave, on resurrection day, when crossing the Bridge of Sirat and during reckoning. She is a piece of my heart, whoever pleases her, pleases me and whoever pleases me, pleases Allah. Whoever offends her, offends me and whoever offends me, offends Allah. Whoever displeases her displeases me, and whoever displeases me displeases Allah. Woe to those who oppress her and her husband and woe to those who oppress her followers.”
In another hadith the Holy Prophet (s.a.) has said: “O’ Fatima, whoever incurs your wrath, incurs the wrath of Allah.”
It has also been narrated that Imam Ali (a.s.) had advised: “Allah gets angry when Fatima is offended and He is pleased when she is happy and content.”