In the name of Allah
The All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful
15th Jamadial-Thani 1445 (29th 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 7
Further to last week’s discussion I quote below the second part of Imam Ali (a.s.)’s Sermon 153 from the Nahjul Balagha wherein he exhorts us to send provisions for our afterlife:
“O my listener! Be cured from your intoxication, wake up from your slumber, decrease your hasty activities and ponder over what has come to you through the Holy Prophet, the Ummi which is inevitable and inescapable. You should turn away from him who opposes him and leaves him and leaves whatever he has adopted for himself. Put off your vanity, drop your haughtiness and recall your grave because your way passes over it. You will be dealt with as you deal with others, you will reap what you sow, and what you send today will meet you tomorrow. So provide for your future and send (some good acts) for your day of reckoning. Fear, fear, O listener! Act, act, O careless one! “None can inform you like the One who is aware” (Ayah 14 of Surah Fatir).”
- This world is an illusion, yet we love and desire all the glamour, riches and comfort it contains and no matter how much treasure we acquire, we are not content and always wish for more. The Holy Prophet (s.a.) has said: “Nothing will suffice the belly of the children of Adam, except for dirt (meaning death).” Once we depart from this world we will truly realize the shallowness of all the glitz and glamour surrounding it and that is why the Imam warns us not to be infatuated with this fleeting world.
- If we want happiness and true fulfilment of life, we should reflect upon what was revealed to the Holy Prophet (s.a.) and strictly adhere to the principles of Islam and obey Allah (s.w.t.) without any reservations whatsoever.
- Pride and arrogance are destroyers of faith; it deeply cuts into our spirituality and can damage feelings of well-being and happiness of others as well. It is our duty to treat everyone with the same feeling of respect we expect from others. After all, we all are only servants of Allah (s.w.t.) and therefore have no right to harbor feelings of pride or arrogance.
- Death is among the very few certainties of this world, and in its remembrance, we come to reflect on how we should use our time on earth. It teaches us that amassing wealth and status is ultimately useless. Instead, we should focus on worshipping Allah (s.w.t.) and performing good deeds. These are the actions that will bring us enduring benefits that will last beyond the grave and bring us success on the Day of Judgement.
- Hereafter requires prior preparation and hence we need to strive for the eternal life that awaits us. It can either be a life of bliss or a life of misery. We need to have the right balance of living in this world and working for the next by taking time out of our daily schedule to worship our Lord so that when we depart from this world we would have sent provisions that would benefit us in the next world. Ayah 110 of Surah Al-Baqarah provides: “And whatever good you send forth for your souls, you shall find its reward with Allah; verily Allah sees what you”
The life of Fatima (a.s.) – Part 5
The most tragic event of Fatima (as)’s life was the demise of her father. She, however, died 75 to 95 days after his death. Although she missed him dearly, it was shown that even in this short period of her life she continued to glorify Allah (s.w.t) and spent generously in His exalted path. She has been a model for our daily lives, fighting injustice and oppression and standing on the side of truth. Her work was extremely informative. She finally left this world with the happy knowledge of meeting her father.
The following calamitous events occurred after the death of the Holy Prophet (s.a.) which saddened Fatima (a.s.) greatly:
- History tells us how she was oppressed and hurt, after the death of the Holy Prophet (s.a.) by the tyranny of the ruler and his government who were seekers of power and they wanted Islam only for their own worldly benefits.
- On numerous occasions the Holy Prophet (s.a.) had assigned her husband, Ali ibne Abi Taleb (a.s.) as his successor. Despite his instructions, Ali (a.s.) was oppressed and his rightful place was usurped. According to Imam Sadeq (a.s.) as the Holy Prophet (s.a.) was being buried, so were his words about Imam Ali (a.s.)’s role and leadership in governing the Islamic Nation.
- The government confiscated Fatima (a.s.)’s land at Fadak. She heard the forged narration which contradicted the verses of the Holy Quran in order to prevent her from receiving her inheritance.
- Fatima (a.s.) did not even have the freedom to cry for the loss of her father. Ali (a.s.) was dragged to the mosque to pay allegiance to the Caliph. Also their house was set on fire. The house of the family of the Holy Prophet (s.a.), which was elevated by Allah (s.w.t.), was dishonored: “The lamp is lit in houses which Allah has permitted to be elevated, and His name is mentioned therein; His Glory is praised therein in the mornings and in the evening” (Ayah 36, Surah An-Nur).
- Fatima died after losing her unborn child and being injured by infidels.