In the name of Allah

The All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful

6th Shabaan 1445 (16th February 2024)

Islamic Universal Association

20 Penzance Place, Holland Park

London, W11 4 PG



Imam Ali (a.s.)’s advice in the Nahjal-Balagha – Part 14

I quote below Sermon 82 of Imam Ali (a.s.) from the Nahjul Balagha wherein he describes the world we live in:

“In what way shall I describe this world which begins with grief and ends in destruction? The lawful actions performed here have to be accounted for, while for the forbidden ones there is punishment. Whoever is rich here faces mischief and whoever is poor gets grief. One who hankers after it does not get it. If one keeps away from it then it advances towards him. If one sees through it, it would bestow him sight, but if one has his eye on it then it would blind him.”


Valuable points

  • The sentence that this world begins with grief and ends in destruction contains the same truth that the Holy Quran has presented in Ayah 4 of Surah Al-Balad: “Indeed We have created man (to dwell) amidst hardship.”
  • When man first steps into this world he can neither speak nor provide for himself. Only his suppressed sobs and flowing tears express his needs and translate his grief and sorrow. Then he enters the stage of learning and instruction and at every step he faces admonition and abuse, but he should endeavor to take useful lessons.
  • When he is relieved of this period of subjugation he finds himself surrounded by the worries of family life, livelihood and ailments until old age approaches him with the tidings of helplessness and weakness. Eventually he bids farewell to this world with mortification and grief in his heart.
  • Lawful actions and deeds have to be accounted for on the Day of Reckoning and forbidden acts face punishment, as a result even joy produce bitterness. If one has plenty of wealth he is in a whirlpool of worries and he loses his peace of mind. But if there is want and poverty, he cries for wealth.
  • There is no limit of desire for one who hankers after this world. If his wish is fulfilled, the desire for fulfilment of another wish crops up. If one runs after this world then it will run away from him but if he tries to run away from it then it will follow him. In other words, if one breaks the clutches of greed and avarice, he gets the pleasures of this world and he does not remain deprived of it.
  • One who studies this world in depth and takes lessons from it and through its variations and alterations acquires knowledge about Allah (s.w.t)’s Might and Sustaining Power, he will be bestowed with sight. On the other hand, one who is lost in this flamboyant world will be confined in darkness and that is why Allah (s.w.t.) has forbidden man to view the world thus: “And do not strain your eyes unto that which We have provided (different) parties the splendor of the life of this world, so that We may try them in it; for the provision of thy Lord is better and more abiding.” (Ayah 131, Surah Taha) To be continued.



Second Sermon

Virtues of the month of Shabaan

Today is the first Friday of the holy month of Shabaan, the month of the Holy Prophet (s.a.) and I would like to offer my felicitations to Imam Zamana (a.s.) and to the Muslims on its arrival. My talk during this month will highlight its special merits as well as the Islamic events that transpired in Shabaan.

Shabaan is a month of hope and optimism and a chance for forgiveness and enlightenment. It is one of the most revered months and Muslims all over the world give great importance to it. It has been reported in Bihar Al-Anwar V: 97 P: 68 that the Holy Prophet has said: “Shabaan is a month dedicated to me and Ramadan is the month of Allah which is the spring for the needy.” He also advised his Ummah to use this opportunity to gain benefit by fasting. Moreover, many supplications and deeds have been recommended during this month.

The important Islamic event that happened in this month:

  1. Imam Hussain (a.s.) was born on the 3rd of Shabaan, 4 Hijri, in Medina.
  2. Abbas ibne Ali (a.s.) was born in Medina on the 4thof Shabaan, 26 Hijri. He was the commander-in-chief of Imam Hussain (a.s.)’s army in Karbala.
  3. Ali ibne Al-Hussain (a.s.) was born on the 5th of Shabaan, 38 Hijri, in Medina.
  4. Ali Akbar ibne Hussain (a.s.) was born on the 11th of Shabaan, 33 Hijri, in Medina.
  5. Imam Mahdi (a.j.f.) was born on the 15th of Shabaan, 255 Hijri in Samara, Iraq. He will re-emerge after a period of long occultation and fill the world with hope and justice and put an end to worldwide disorder and ignorance.

I would also like to discuss the significance of fasting during this month in light of the following traditions:

  1. Whenever the Holy Prophet (s.a.) sighted the moon of Shabaan he would address a gathering: “I am your Messenger; this month has been assigned to me by Allah and there are blessings for those who follow me by fasting during this month.”
  2. The Holy Prophet (s.a.) would fast during this month and he would advise as follows: Whoever fasts even for a day during the month of Shabaan I will intercede for him on the Day of Resurrection. If he fasts for two days, his sins will be forgiven and if he fasts for three days, all his sins will be wiped out and his account of deeds will start afresh.” (Bihar Al-Anwar V:97 P:68)

In view of the foregoing traditions, the following should be noted:

  • Shabaan is the month of the Holy Prophet (s.a.) and Muslims should revere him by following into his footsteps.
  • Fasting in Shabaan is so valuable that one will reap its reward be it even for a day. The benefit of fasting is not only attained in one’s eternal life, but even in this material world, for the person who fast will be showered with blessings from Allah (s.w.t.) and his sustenance will increase substantially.

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