In the name of Allah
The All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful
1st Jamadial-Thani 1445 (15th December 2023)
Islamic Universal Association
20 Penzance Place, Holland Park
London, W11 4 PG
Imam Ali (a.s.)’s advice in the Nahjal-Balagha – Part 5
The salient features of Imam Ali (a.s.)’s Sermon 161 from the Nahjul Balagha, which I had quoted last week are as follows:
- The aim behind Imam Ali (a.s.)’s advice in his Sermon is to encourage people to acquire piety by fearing Allah (s.w.t) and obeying Him.
- Piety is a key to righteousness which can be obtained by obeying Allah (s.w.t) and by refraining from His prohibitions. It is like a formidable fortress which protects man from the devastating attacks of internal enemies i.e. the unlawful selfish whims and passions and Satanic whispers. It is thebest provisions for the Hereafter and greatest means for achieving salvation.
- A righteous and pious individual dominates over frivolous passions of this world and considers the world and its problems as transient and short lived, while he considers the hereafter as the real and permanent abode. He rests his trusts on the absolute Power of Allah (s.w.t.), treats hardships and difficulties of this world as insignificant and temporary and totally surrenders to Allah (s.w.t.)’s Divine Will.
- Allah (s.w.t.) has revealed the Holy Quran and has also sent His messenger to show man the right way. Those who pursue the path which He has set out will be greatly rewarded in heaven, and on the contrary the disbelievers and evildoers will face severe chastisement in hell.
- The pursuit of wealth, power and pleasure is a distraction from the ultimate goal of serving Allah (s.w.t.). That is why we should not become infatuated with this world and all it trimmings and should detach ourselves from material possessions, worldly desires and excessive indulgence in worldly pleasures.
- Death is a harsh reality; everyone will experience it in order to enter into the world of the hereafter. It is a natural process; so, let not death lead one to despair rather let it be a means of inspiration to connect with Allah (s.w.t.) and to plant the seeds for the hereafter and prepare necessary provisions for the journey. To be continued
Life of Fatima (a.s.) – Part 3
Further to last week’s discussion, I would like to add that Fatima (a.s) was the Holy Prophet (s.a.)’s only daughter. Her mother, Khadija, had two other daughters from her earlier marriages. When the Holy Prophet (s.a.) married Khadija, both her daughters came with her to live in the house of the Holy Prophet (s.a.). The Holy Prophet (s.a.) regarded Fatima (a.s.) as an angel in human form; she was an inseparable part of him. He would be overwhelmed with joy whenever he would set eyes on her. She has several titles; it has been reported in Bahjatul Qalb Al-Mustafa on page 147 that Imam Jafar Sadeq (a.s.) has said:
“My great grandmother, Fatima, has nine titles which have been chosen by Allah, namely, Fatima As-Siddiqah, Al-Mubarakah, Ai-Tahira, Az-Zakiyah, Ar-Raziyah, Al-Marziyah, Al-Muhadatha and Az-Zahra.”
Fatima (a.s.)’s childhood was intensively troubled, being the early days of Islam. She witnessed the sufferings and the increasing pressure imposed by the disbelievers on her father, but she, with her mother, was always at his side to help him specially in the Valley of Abu Talib (She’eb Abi Talib), where the Holy Prophet (s.a.) along with Abu Talib and other members of Bani Hashim and Bani Al-Muttalib were forced to withdraw from Mecca for 3 years and live there in a painful boycott. This was very rigorous and traumatic for them and for many months they lived in misery, yet the Holy Prophet (s.a.) never ceased inviting the non-Muslims to Islam.
However, on the 26th of Rajab, in the 10th year of Besat (the Holy Prophet’s mission) Abu Talib, the Holy Prophet (s.a.)’s uncle, died and 5 or 35 days later, Khadija died as well. Fatima (a.s.) was only 5 years old at the time and it brought great sadness to both her father and herself. She was with her father in Mecca for 3 years after the death of her mother and despite her pain and suffering she looked after him so devoutly that he used to call her “Umme Abiha” i.e, the mother of her father. This was the hardest time for the family because with the demise of Abu Talib, who was the protector of the Holy Prophet (s.a.), the hostility of the Quraish became the severest then. She saw and dressed the wounds sustained by her father due to the stones thrown on him by the disbelievers. To be continued