In the name of Allah

The All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful

29 Dhil-Qadah 1445 (7 June 2024)

Islamic Universal Association

20 Penzance Place, Holland Park

London, W11 4 PG



Imam Ali (a.s)s advice in the Nahjal-Balagha – Part 31


Imam Ali (a.s) in his Sermon 114, which I quoted last week highlights the importance of piety (Taqwa) and today I would like to discuss its importance.


Taqwa (Piety)


Taqwa essentially means “awareness of God” or “piety,” and sometimes it has been translated as “fear of God,” In order to develop taqwa, one should remember Allah (s.w.t) often, worship Him, repent, remember death and work to increase good deeds whilst refraining from sins and transgressions. The sole criteria for appraising the true value and worth of individuals are through taqwa. According to Imam Ali (a.s) believers are God-fearing and they attain abundant good through good deeds and their love for Allah (s.w.t).

 “O creatures of Allah! Certainly fear of Allah has saved the lovers of Allah from unlawful deeds whereby their nights are passed in wakefulness and their days are spent in thirst to please Allah. So they achieve comfort through trouble and attain abundant good through thirst. They regard death to be near and therefore they hasten towards (good) actions. They reject worldly desires and so they keep death in their sight.”


Taqwa is best provision for the Day of Resurrection


In order to fear Allah (s.w.t) we should frequently remember death so that we can prepare well for the journey to our permanent abode with the best of what we have and take necessary provisions for it. Taqwa is the greatest means of salvation and the best provision for our journey. Provisions are gained by obedience and lost by disobedience. Sins are the greatest cause for losing provisions.


World of destruction, tribulation, changes and lessons


This world is a place of destruction and its end is precise; it is filled with tribulations and its wounds are incurable. The healthy is afflicted with death, illness and misery and their desires are never fulfilled. There are lessons to be learnt from changing circumstances when a believer on the Day of Resurrection will be enviable while the wealthy maybe in a state of despair. Death will end desires and fortunes. The Imam says:

“As for its changes, you see a pitiable man becoming enviable and an enviable man becoming pitiable. This is because wealth has gone and misfortune has overtaken him. As for its lessons, a man reaches near (realization of) his desires when suddenly with his death neither the desires are achieved nor the desirer is spared.”   To be continued


Second Sermon


Martyrdom of Imam Jawad (a.s.)


According to some famous narrations the end of Dhul-Qadah marks the martyrdom anniversary of our ninth Imam, Muhammad ibne Ali Al-Jawad (a.s), and I express my condolences to Imam Mahdi (a.t.f) and to my brethren in faith.


It has been reported that Imam Jawad (a.s) was born in Medina on the 15th or 19th of Ramadan, 195 Hijri, whilst according to another report he was born on the 10th of Rajab, in the same year. He was martyred by poisoning, at the age of 25, towards the end of Dhil-Qadah, 220 Hijir, in Baghdad at the instigation of the ruler, Mutasim. He was buried beside the grave of his grandfather, Imam Musa Kazim (a.s), within the precincts of Kazimain Mosque, in Iraq.


He was merely 9 years old when his father was martyred and due to his tender age transferring leadership to him led to many debates and arguments as some people, from among the followers of Ahlul Bait, doubted his eligibility to become an Imam at such a young age. It has been reported by Kulaini, in his book Kafi that the Mutawalli of the Holy Kaaba questioned him for several days and he finally accepted him as the Imam of the time after he was fully satisfied. The period of his Imamate lasted for 17 years which coincided with the oppressive reigns of the Abbasid rulers, Mamum and Mutasim. The Imam came from Medina to Baghdad in 220 Hijri on the 28th of Muharram as he was summoned by Mutasim, who constantly monitored him.


The story of Mamun’s first meeting with the Imam is very interesting. It has been reported in Bihar Al-Anwar that Mamun and his entourage was passing through the street, on the way to their hunting expedition, where Imam Jawad (a.s) was standing and watching other children play; he was about 9 years old at the time. On seeing the caliph, the children ran inside with the exception of the Imam. Mamun stopped his carriage and asked him: “Young man, why did you not run away like the other children?” Imam Jawad (a.s) replied calmly: “For two reasons; I have not committed a crime, nor am I blocking your path. Why should I run away or be afraid? Mamun was surprised at this mature response. He asked him who he was and having learnt that he was the son of Ali Reza (a.s), praised him and moved on.


Later, when Mamum was heading back to the city, he found the children playing at the same spot. They ran away again, save the Imam. Mamun stopped his carriage, hid the fish in his palm that his hawk had caught, and asked the Imam if he knew what was in his palm. Imam Jawad (a.s) replied:

Allah created the cloud between the earth and the sky and tiny fishes in the river. The hawk sometimes brings these to their masters, who hide them in their fist and ask a member of the Ahlul Bait, what they are hiding.” Hearing this, Mamum said: “Truly, you are the worthy son of Ali Reza.He was so impressed that he took the young Imam with him to Baghdad, and kept him in a house next to the royal palace.




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