ʿAshara Mubaraka 1442 H
Majlis 2: 3rd Muharram al-Haraam
Al-Dai al-Ajal al-Fatimi Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA clearly stated that one cannot call towards Allah Taʿala without His permission. Likewise, one cannot intercede on behalf of anyone before Allah, without His permission.
The Quran Majeed explicitly mentions:
And he (Rasul Allah SAW) calls towards Allah Taʿala, with His permission. (33:46)
Who is it that can intercede before Him except with His permission? (2:255)
Allah Taʿala granted Rasul Allah SAW razaaʾ, permission, to call towards Him, by virtue of which the Aimmat Tahereen AS and in their seclusion, the Duʿat Mutlaqeen RA continue to do so. In every day and age, there is a Maula who assimilates the divine grace that flows from the heavens and ensures that it reaches the souls of Mumineen, due to which they attain an eternal existence. This is the ultimate aim of Creation.
Awliya Allah AS have given us abode in the madina (city) of Dawat, which is the madina of Rasul Allah SAW. Syedna Burhanuddin RA added that:
You have gathered here in your thousands. Though your circumstances may vary and you may have come from various cities and countries, however, you all reside in one city. Your passports may differ, but here your passport is one, that of love and devotion.
Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA quoted the Arabic saying:
There is no surprise in how those who perished, perished. What is worthy of amazement, however, is how did those who attained salvation do so?
In such times when the Creator’s existence is being denied, the tenets of faith ridiculed and its bearers belittled, remaining steadfast upon the path of guidance and attaining salvation is indeed worthy of wonder.
Al-Dai al-Ajal al-Fatimi Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA narrated the pre-eminence of Friday and the importance of salawaat upon Nabi Mohammed SAW and Aale Mohammed AS.
Rasul Allah SAW states that four persons are absolved of all their past sins and are to recommence their deeds anew:
- The sick when he regains his health; Imam Ali Zain al-Abideen AS penned a duʿa mubarak to be recited during times of illness. In it he mentions that illnesses lead to the absolvement of sins. Rasul Allah SAW declared, ‘A day’s fever is atonement for a year’s sins.’ Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA counseled Mumineen to pray and repent in times of illness, and offer gratitude for the forgiveness of sins.
Once, when visiting an aged man who had fallen ill, Rasul Allah SAW revealed to him that a fever is a divine process of purification. The old man, however, did not embrace Rasul Allah’s SAW words of wisdom and encouragement. Instead of offering gratitude and beseeching Rasul Allah SAW for his duʿa mubarak so that Allah Taʿala might forgive him of his sins and aid in his recovery, the man contradicted and questioned the Nabi SAW and said, ‘Rather a fever weighs heavily upon an old man until it leads him into his grave’. Upon hearing this Rasul Allah SAW replied, ‘So be it with you’.
- When an non-believer embraces Islam.
- When a pilgrim completes his hajj.
- When one returns from Friday prayers with humility and fairness.
Rasul Allah SAW instructed his umma to multiply their salawaat upon him on Friday. Why? Because Friday’s importance is such that deeds carried out on this day are rewarded with manifold thawaab. He then added, ‘Do not treat me like a horseman’s cup’. Syedna al-Qadi al-Nuʿman RA explains that a traveller requires various items and equipment which he carries upon his mount. One such item is a cup which is used to drink from or to carry out wudu. Once he has finished, the rider pours away the remaining water and wedges or forces the cup into his belongings wherever there is enough space. The analogy given in the hadeeth shareef conveys to Mumineen that they should not remember Rasul Allah SAW and his descendants as a final resort or as a fleeting, last-minute ritual, but actively and consistently as an integral part of their lives.
Whilst offering duʿa, salawaat should be recited throughout: the beginning, middle and end. It should not simply be left for the end. Throughout his adeeyat mubaraka (pl. dua mubarak), Imam Ali Zain al-Abideen AS prays salawaat upon Rasul Allah SAW and Aale Mohammed AS.
Syednal al-Muqaddas RA then explained that salawaat means to connect or to link. Allah Taʿala has instructed Mumineen to pray salawaat in the Quran:
Indeed, Allah and his angels pray salawaat upon the Prophet. O Mumineen pray salawaat and salam upon him.
At first glance, it seems as if the instructions in this aayat shareefa and the format of salawaat contradict one another. The Almighty directs us to pray salawaat, yet in our reply, we beseech Him to pray salawaat instead. Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA explained that our insistence that Allah Taʿala pray salawaat is an affirmation of the continuity and succession of the Imamat in the Nabi’s SAW descendants. This lofy act of connection, i.e. silat and hence salawaat, is reserved for Allah alone, and by reciting the salawaat in the manner that we do, we implore Him to continue carrying out this silat and connection.
Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA illustrated how the word tahjeer (تهجير) is used in describing the act of coming for Friday namaz. He explained that if the time for namaz was 1 pm, then one should be at the masjid by 11 am. There is great reward in awaiting one namaz after another. Likewise, arriving at the waʿaz venue well before it begins in anticipation of its start, should not be seen as a waste of time for the one who does so receives divine reward. Syedna al-Muqaddas RA then mentioned the great reward found in reciting Sura Aale ʿImraan and Sura al-Kahf on Fridays.
Imam Husain AS, the second of the first septet of imams, is like the second prophet, Nuh AS, with parallels drawn between the events that took place in both their eras. Imam Husain AS is the safeena, Nuh’s AS ark and, like it, Imam Husain’s AS safeena survived the Flood and could not be sunk. Imam Ali Zain al-Abideen’s AS presence ensured that the unbreakable succession of Allah’s awliyaa continued. Despite the mountain-like waves that struck Imam Husain AS, his Ahlebayt AS and Ashaab in Karbala, the Ark of Salvation did not sink nor stray from its course, arriving surely and securely at the shores of jannat. Elegy composers would often express in their marthiyas that Imam Husain’s AS ark sank in Karbala. Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA directed composers to refrain from uttering such sentiment.
Even as each shaheed was struck down, Imam Husain AS remained serene, praying the aayat shareefa:
Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah; of them are those who have completed their vow and some still wait, but they are not changed. (33:23)
Imam Husain’s AS Ark ultimately found its apobaterion (place of descent) upon Mount Judee (Judae): Imam Zain al-Abideen AS in whose descendents the succession of the Imams and their divine knowledge continues. That this Ark would be faced by mountainous waves is of no surprise, or even that it would be thrown about, but it rides out these storms in every time and place.
In 1917 AD a storm was brewed by malcontents against the Dawat. On 9th Shawwal, Badri Mahal and its environs were packed with Mumineen who were enraged by their actions to the extent that movement of traffic came to a stop. A critical moment had come before Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA. At this decisive juncture, one of the faithful exclaimed that if Syedna al-Muqaddas RA failed to act, the ship of Dawat would sink. Maulana without hesitation responded, ‘Do not speak thus, the mainsail might be damaged but the ship will never sink.’ Another individual demanded to know what Maulana al-Muqaddas RA would say and Maulana, somewhat displeased by the question, retorted that he would say whatever Imam al-Zaman AS inspired him to say.
Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA spoke of the great respect and honour accorded to Syedna Saifuddin RA during his 22-day visit to Misr. It was said to him that Egypt was an important layover to Europe and many dignitaries who pass through are given state receptions. Yet those are often for show, while their respect and reception of Syedna RA was sincere for he had won over their hearts. A renowned Egyptian poet wrote in honour of Syedna al-Muqaddas RA:
Lift the veil from your forehead, for I see Imam Muʿizz and his radiance in your countenance.
Mumineen were once again bestowed with the bounty of listening to al-Dai al-Ajal al-Fatimi Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin’s TUS heart-rending nawh zikr. Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS declared that there were but 72 against hordes numbering thousands, all of whom were filled with resentment and grudges, which they took out in hideous ways. Pious bodies were trampled beneath the hooves of horses, spiked repeatedly by spears and slashed again and again with swords, then pulled apart and cut to pieces the way a butcher would do to a lamb. The enemies tore apart these blessed bodies like wild animals that rend the flesh of their prey and scatter their limbs. And amongst them is the Imam of the umma, Husain AS. He is seated against a date palm, afflicted with wound upon wound until he had not the strength left even to lift his hand, to turn his neck or to raise his legs. After a momentary respite in their attack, they rained arrows upon him from all sides. Sinaan came with a spear and drove it into Imam’s jism mubarak and twisted it until it pierced his back. And then the wretched Shimr came. The time for the sajda neared yet where would Imam Husain AS find the requisite strength? Alas, the Panjatan AS came to his side: Mohammed, Ali, Fatema, Hasan! Together, they said to their beloved Husain AS, ‘Give the sajda! Give the sajda!’ And in that sajda he prayed for Mumineen.
May Allah Taʿala grant al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS a long life in pristine health till the Day of Qiyamat. May we continue to offer gratitude for the enormous bounties he has bestowed upon us in these blessed days and strive to ensure that Imam Husain’s zikr remains our lifelong pursuit, our eternal devotion, and our unceasing conviction.