In the Milad al-Nabi SAW waʿaz mubarak we heard that Nabi Mohammed, Rasul Allah SAW, was created from divine radiance and all things were created from his radiance. Thus, Rasul Allah SAW was sent as a mercy to all: the entire family of creation. He taught all those who answered his call how to be virtuous towards everyone and everything.
At the beginning of today’s waʿaz mubarak, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS reminded us that the ʿAshara Mubaraka sermons had centered on the thirty counsels given by Maulana Ali AS to Imam Hasan AS. In a similar vein, during his return from the Battle of Siffeen, Maulana Ali AS wrote another set of counsels to Imam Hasan AS. Towards the end of these counsels he stated:
أكرم عشيرتك، فإنهم جناحك الذى به تطير، وأصلك الذى إليه تصير، ويدك التى بها تصول.
Venerate your family, for they are your wings by which you fly, your roots towards which you go and your hand by which you overcome [challenges].
Firstly, one’s true family is the community. Remaining with the community enables one to move forward and upward, spiritually as well as in worldly matters easily. Maulana TUS gave the example of obtaining visas for Ashara – the granting of which is often made easier by the fact that Mumineen are traveling for a community event.
Secondly, the roots that ensconce one in the community, the family, should also be firm like that of a palm and not like that of grass or else they would be quickly uprooted and thrown aside. In this instance, Maula TUS explained how during hajj the mishkat symbol allows one to easily identify the location of his group in an environment in which otherwise one may end up finding himself lost.
Thirdly, the hand should always remain extended, not held back. During the recent floods in Rampura, Mumineen came together and with the help of each other ensured that aid was provided to all those in need of it. Syedna TUS then added that if an individual distances himself from the community, the community only forgoes a hand. Whereas the individual who leaves the community loses out on the help and support of many hands, ultimately, to his detriment. Maula TUS then added that one should not hold his hand back: he should not cut ties over grudges bearing them to the extent of not attending celebrations – and even shunning funerals.
Appreciating the family-like cohesion of the Dawoodi Bohra community, Syedi Abdeali Imaduddin QR wrote that the distinction of Mumineen is in their adherence to the directives of their Dai. By abiding by his guidance they have earned the respect and praise of larger society. When one head of the community departs for his heavenly abode having appointed another in his place, the community immediately pledges their allegiance to him; they do not doubt him at all. Syedi ImaduddinQR then explains that Maulaya Abdullah QR arrived in Khambat from Yemen upon the instructions of Syedna Lamak RA from whom he had sought knowledge. Therefore, the roots of Maulaya Abdullah QR go back to Syedna Lamak RA, whose roots, in turn, are traced back to Syedna Muayyad al-Shirazi RA, who acquired knowledge from Maulana Salman al-Farisi RA. Maulana Ali AS said of Maulana Salman al-Farisi RA, “He has learned the first and last of knowledge and is an ocean that never ends.” The Dawoodi Bohra community traces back to Maulana Salman al-Farisi RA.
To exemplify the truth of ‘family’, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS, spoke at length of the virtues of Rasul Allah’s SAW noted companion, Maulana Salman al-Farisi RA for whom he said, “Salman is of us, the Ahl al-Bayt.”
Maulana Salman al-Farisi RA was not of Rasul Allah’s SA clan, nor even of the Arab, yet he assumed the highest and closest of positions, becoming part of his immediate family spiritually. Meanwhile the paternal uncle of Rasul Allah SA, Abu Lahab emerged a mortal enemy as evidenced when Rasul Allah SA called his ‘family’ of the Bani Abdul Muttalib together. Maulana Ali SA prepared a leg of lamb and a qadeh (approximately 7 litres) of milk and they all sated themselves and quenched their thirst in full with the food and drink left untouched. Yet Abu Lahab went away dismissing it as magic and dispersing all those who had gathered. The next day, Rasul Allah SA called them all once again and prepared the same with the same outcome. He then invited them to be his wasi – legatee. Not one responded, remaining silent until Maulana Ali SA spoke up and answered even though he was the youngest of all those present. As the rest of the forty members of the Quraysh clan left, Abu Lahab attempted to trivialize the matter and mock Maulana Abu Talib AS by saying he would now have to follow his own son.
Maulana Salman al-Farisi RA was an amir of Madaa’in with a stipend of 500,000 naqd which he spent entirely on aiding and providing for others while he himself had no home of his own, often being found sleeping beneath a tree or upon his own cloaks. He lived off the earnings of his own hand and was once found making something of palm leaves. This was what he desired for himself – to be needful of no-one. Addressing him one day Amirul Mumineen said,
“O’ Salsal, do even a little for a Mumin and in return there will be goodness in both this world and the next. O’ Salsal, whosoever forsakes their brother Mumin then he has forsaken Allah.”
Maulana Salman al-Farisi RA passed away in 35 H. Amirul Mumineen, Maulana Ali AS, journeyed from afar to be a part of his janaza mubaraka, exemplifying the honour and respect the community affords to its leaders. Similarly, 1400 years later, in 1435 H, the janaza mubaraka of a Maula RA to whom, like Maulana Salman RA, the Dawoodi Bohra community traced its roots to was attended by Mumineen who had travelled from far and wide, physically and spiritually.
Imam Mansour AS stated that prior to becoming imam his responsibility was for his direct family, but once he became imam, the entire community of followers became his family.
The Arabic word for family, ʿasheerat, also means one tenth and what this implies is that we are all part of a whole which needs to rejoin together, akin to the various limbs and organs that make up a body. In order to ensure this coming together, each part of the body is required to fulfil their part in the sajda. At this juncture, Syedna TUS gestured towards the centre of the Badri Mahal masjid and reminded us that it was here that Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA did sajda in Laylatul Qadr year after year and recited the dua: “سجد لك وجهي”
“My face, my ears, my eyes, my marrow, my bones, my sinews and all of me that the earth upholds; does sajda for You, o’ Allah, Lord of the world.”
May Allah Taʿala grant us the tawfiq to honour and venerate our asheerat, Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS, and grant him a long life and evergreen health until Qiyamat.