‘Wa Anhaar min ´Asal Musaffa’
-And Rivers of Pure Honey-
In the previous waaz mubarak, al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS reminded us of our identity and our return to the pure and serene world we left. Return to such a pure state requires us to purify ourselves with the rivers of jannat. Four types of rivers flow in jannat, one of water that is ever fresh, another of milk that never spoils, one of wine that does not intoxicate and another of honey that is pure and clear.
In a waaz mubarak delivered in Surat in 1354 H, Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA related the fourth type of river: ‘Rivers of Pure Honey’ to al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA. Pure honey is that whose colour, fragrance and taste is unadulterated. Everything about Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA was pure and sweet. His very name, Mohammed, is such that one yearns to continuously hear it and say it. His words, his bayaan, his every action, every glance, all were sweet and pure. His very being was sweetness personified for Mumineen. Over his 50 years he caused many a rivers of pure honey to flow: Faid al-Mawaa’id al-Burhaaniyah, Qardan Hasanaa, Jamea Saifiyah, madrasas, the construction of masjids, gathering Mumineen for Ashara Mubarakah and finally, his incessant flows of tears in remembrance of Imam Husain AS.
It is with this purity that Duat Mutlaqeen persevered so that Mumineen gather for the zikr of Imam Husain AS. In 1299 H, on the 4th of Moharrum al-Haraam, al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Abdulqadir Najmuddin RA wrote a letter to his respected son Hasan bhaisaheb Zakiuddin mentioning that Mumineen are no doubt attending the Asharah majaalis and that niyaaz must be taking place. He asked that a report be sent indicating who was attending and who was not. In another letter, Syedna Najmuddin RA stated that we are a trading community and when the business season draws near we leave aside all our commitments and focus solely on product acquisition for which capital is required. The season before us is the one for acquiring jannat and the capital with which we will acquire it is our tears.
Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS spoke at length on the nature of honeybees, their reverence for the queen bee as well as the queen bee’s care for them. In the manner in which a bee consumes the nectar of various flowering plants, Maula encouraged Mumineen to advance in their respective fields, be it medicine, architecture, engineering, law, computer science etc. He counseled them to become experts in their fields with the ultimate aim of benefiting mankind and seeking the enhancement and development of Allah’s lands. The honey bee, however, only sets out on its mission of collecting nectar after having made their homes in the hills and the trees as mentioned in the aayat sharifah:
‘And thy Lord taught the bee to build its home in the mountains, on trees and in human habitats’
Similarly he stressed, one should first build one’s home, the home of his beliefs and faith, and with Maula’s raza mubarak and humility set out to acquire the best of what is on offer. Only then will the efforts of his labour be sweet. Otherwise, he may lose sight of his identity and purpose in seeking knowledge, and ultimately lose the mohabbat he has for Maula. Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS established the importance of this identity by recalling the khidmat of Syedi Hasan bin Nuh who offered to spend his all his wealth and being in the khidmat of Syedna Mohammed Ezzuddin RA and in protecting his forts, to the extent of stating that ‘if I fail to do so I am not Hasan bin Nuh’. Syedi Hasan made it clear that his identity is not derived from his wealth and business, but it is from Maula, his mohabbat and his khidmat.
Honey is the essence of the essence. Bees draw nectar, which is an essence, and produce honey which in turn is its essence. Maula mentioned that sidr honey from Wadi Do´an is renowned for being the purest in the world, while Scottish, Scandinavian and Greek honey, too, are known for their purity. He listed the numerous benefits of honey and directed Mumineen to consume 3, 5 or 7 black cumin seeds with honey. Honey as a word is as sweet as the substance it names. Maula commented that in Europe and here in America, more so than elsewhere, a person addresses someone who he holds dear as ‘honey’.
In contrast to the honeybee, his noble labours of love, his sublimely crafted home and his production of highly valued honey, is the wasp. He makes his home out of earth, has a deep-seated hatred for the honeybee and for all its efforts in imitating it, produces nothing. It is this simile that illustrates the stark contrast between the Dai Mutlaq and all those who lay claim to this august office. Over the course of history claimants have risen and perished. Suleiman laid claim to this post ‘without any evidence’. Similarly, Ali bin Ibrahim challenged the 29th Dai Mutlaq Syedna Abdultyeb Zakiuddin RA. Though he initially pledged his allegiance to Syedna Zakiuddin RA, he subsequently proclaimed himself as dai. Soon after he repented for his sins but his enlightenment did not last long, and he returned to erroneous cause.
The waaz mubarak embodied all the hallmarks of honey, sweetness throughout, a purity of thought and love, pervasive, soothing and caring words for a Mumin’s life in this world and the next. It was a call back to the unadulterated virtues of nature, with at one point Maula speaking of the qualities of organic foods and mentioning that some Mumineen may be trading in organic produce.
The purity of honey alludes to the purity of faith, and as can be true of all medicine, its effectiveness has much to do with the person’s belief in the cure. When Imam Mohammed al-Baqir AS explained the curative properties of honey and cumin seeds, he was challenged by someone who claimed to have experimented with it but found that it did not benefit him. Imam responded, ‘this will only benefit those who have mohabbat for Rasulullah’.
The most profound moment, replete with endearment and love, came as Maula TUS narrated Imam Husain’s AS shahaadat. his sajdah and duaa’ mubarak was shifaa’ for mankind, and eased their ascension to the realm of safaa’ (purity). ‘Feehe Shifaun linnaas, feehe shifaaun linnaas’ – as the Quran says for honey – “in it is a cure for man, in it is a cure for man!” While narrating the shahaadat, Maula TUS remembered Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA, the river of pure honey and the bearer of shifaa’ for those who have mohabbat for him, his predecessors and for his successor Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS with absolute purity of heart.
May Allah Taala grant our Maula TUS, whose sweet words will resonate in every pure heart, a long life till the Day of Qiyaamat.