In the name of Allah
The All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful
29th Jamadial-Thani 1445 (12th January 2024)
Islamic Universal Association
20 Penzance Place, Holland Park
London, W11 4 PG
Imam Ali (a.s.)’s advice in the Nahjal-Balagha – Part 9
Imam Ali (a.s.) was always very concerned about his followers and he would constantly advise them not to be enchanted with this fleeting life and to prepare for the unavoidable journey to the next world and to keep in mind the Day of Reckoning when everyone will appear before Allah (s.w.t.). His sermon 42 from the Nahjul Balagha is provided hereinafter, which focuses on this advice:
“O’ People! What I fear most about you are two things; acting according to desires and extending of hopes. Acting according to desires obstructs truth and extending of hopes makes one heedless about the next world. You should know that this world is moving rapidly and nothing will remain of it except the last particles like the dregs of an empty vessel. Beware, the next world is advancing, and both of them have sons i.e. followers. You should choose to become the sons of the next world and not sons of this world because on the Day of Judgement every son will cling to his mother. Today is the Day of action and there is no reckoning while tomorrow is the Day of Reckoning but there would be no opportunity for action.”
- Our desires are numerous and diverse and by obsessively pursuing them it would deviate us from the divine path. According to Ayah 26 of Surah Saad “…and do not follow vain desires lest it should lead you astray from the Way of Allah.”
- There is actually nothing wrong in craving for the splendors of this world. In fact, it is natural and the way that we have been created. The problem is, it begins to have a negative effect on us when we become consumed by it and the actual purpose of life goes unfulfilled.
- Excess hope is not based on reality; it is delusional and a guile of Satan. It distracts us from our ultimate goal, the hereafter, and prevents us from attending to its affairs.
- The world is rapidly moving to its ultimate destination and the cycle of worldly enjoyments would soon end. Nothing will remain on earth except residues and deposits like an empty vessel.
- Obliviousness of the hereafter drags us into the depths of the world, where we lose sight of what we are really here to do and why we are created.
Today we have the opportunity to perform righteous deeds whilst tomorrow, on the Day of Reckoning, we would lose the opportunity to do so. Thus it is necessary for us to be focused on the hereafter and purge ourselves of vain desires and excess hopes in order to be on the path of righteousness and of truth, so that the doors of compassion and benevolence will be open to us. To be continued.
The holy month of Rajab
The month of Rajab is approaching, one of the most sacred months in the Islamic calendar, and I hereby congratulate my Muslim brethren.
Rajab has special merits and virtues, and as provided in Bihar Al-Anwar there are many recommended prayers and deeds that should be done during this month:
- Fasting is one the most recommended acts; Imam Sadeq (a.s.) has narrated from the Holy Prophet (s.a.): “Indeed the month of Rajab is the month of Allah; it is such a great month that none of the other months are equal to it in virtue and greatness. War during this month is prohibited and whosoever fast for one day during this month will receive Allah’s blessings and one of the gates of hell will be closed for him.”
- It is highly recommended to seek Allah (s.w.t)’s forgiveness during this month Imam Sadeq (a.s.) has narrated from the Holy Prophet (s.a.): “The month of Rajab is the month of seeking forgiveness for my nation. O’ Muslims ask forgiveness and turn repentant to Allah as much as you can because mercy drops from the heavens like a gentle rain during this month. Allah is most forgiving and most beneficent.”
The following Islamic events occurred during the blessed month of Rajab:
- According to some traditions, the 1st of Rajab marks the birth anniversary of Imam Mohammad Baqer (a.s.), who was born in Medina on Friday, 57 Hijri.
- Imam Ali Al-Naqi (a.s.) was born on the 2nd or 5th of Rajab, 212 Hijri in Medina and was martyred by poisoning on the 3rd of Rajab, 254 Hijri, at the age of 42 in Samara.
- Imam Jawad (a.s.) was born on the 10th of Rajab, 195 Hijri in Medina.
- Imam Ali (a.s.) was born on the 13th of Rajab within the precincts of the Holy House of Allah (s.w.t) in Mecca, 12 years before the Holy Prophet (s.a.)’s mission and 30 years after Abraha marched towards Mecca intending to destroy the Kaaba during the year of the elephant (Aamul Feel).
- 15th of Rajab also coincides with the change in the direction of the Qibla from Masjid Al-Aqsa to Masjid Al-Haram in Mecca in 2 Hijri.
- 15th of Rajab is the death anniversary of Hazrat Zainab (a.s.) in 62 Hijri.
- 25th of Rajab is the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Musa ibne Jafar (a.s.), who was poisoned in Samara by Sandi ibne Shahik, under the order of Haroon Al-Rashid, the Abbasside ruler, in 183 Hijri.
- 26th of Rajab marks the death anniversary of Abu Talib, the father of Imam Ali (a.s.), in the 10th year of Besat.
- On the 27th of Rajab the Holy Prophet (s.a.) first embarked on his mission as the last divine messenger of Allah (s.w.t) in the cave of Hira near Mecca.
- On the 28th of Rajab, 60 Hijri, Imam Hussain (a.s.) and his entourage set out on their journey from Medina towards Karbala via Mecca.