Last Friday, we introduced our methodology of discussion and looked at verses on how the Prophet (s) reacted to being rejected, and felt when great trials befell his community. Today’s discussion on the Prophetic personality and mission will be to reflect on how the Prophet (s) treated his own community and expected his followers to treat each other. This is because one of the greatest challlenges of community unity and direction is our attitudes towards each other and the way in which we respond when difficulties arrive; how we see and treat fellow Muslims has a particular place in the Qur’an, as seen in the verses above. To read the full sermon, click here, and to watch it on Youtube, click here [pending]. For last week’s Friday reflections, click here.
These two verses discuss one aspect of the Prophet’s personality and the methodology of his mission: his undying concern for the community, regardless of how harshly they rejected him. How the Prophet (S) was from ‘amongst yourselves’ – how he understands your conditions and your life; how he experiences what you experience. ‘…It is grievous to him what you suffer’ – he suffers when you do, in the same way a parent does.
The reason why Islam spread so fast and wide in its earliest days were because the early companions like Salman and Zurarah were Prophet-like in their behaviour. Today we have many challenges, where people have great ignorance toward Islam and Muslims. We too must become prophet-like in our care and efforts toward them; and when attacks happen on the Muslim community we too must feel that suffering of others upon our own selves like the Prophet Muhammad (s) did for his community. This would better help us to understand his own character and the way in which he (s) articulated his mission.Â
To read the full Khutbah, click here. To see the video, click here.
In Sura Alaq from verses 6-7, Allah says mankind has exceeded all limits, thinking they are self sufficient.
The problem with insan today is that we have never been so genius and ignorant at the same time. We are darker and deeper into the fire of hell. People cross paths but they aren’t parallel e.g. people commit indecent acts then give charity. But, in the Akhir zaman, hak and batil are mixed. God should be at the centre of your life and you should intend to follow him.
The Prophet (saw) converted the intention of rich and poor and brought all their hearts together. He brought the black, the white, ansar and muhajir under the banner of Allah. He showed that in Islam, there is no class warfare, Islam doesn’t differentiate between people. We are all equal and united under obedience to Allah, his Messenger(saw) and the Ahlulbayt(as). Having a PhD doesn’t mean you can’t still be jahil.
There are two possible ways to look at the world. We can rip a piece of paper and throw into pieces and let it be scattered. We can think of that as our history. Or we can think of all those pieces and but believe that where they land is determined by God and there is a meaning in each and every piece of paper and what spot it falls in.
Our Kids are raised in this way. They are taught to think that the paper scattered on the ground is meaningless.
We should raise kids in Islamic way so then they can’t say that they were misguided. Why do we blame our righteous maraja?
We should be self critical. Why blame others when we only have to look into our heart.
The intellect is a spiritual organ referring to the cognition of spiritual reality. In hadis e kudsi, Allah says by intellect he will punish and reward.
In Renaissance times, the human form became the centre of attention, not the soul. The people’s connection to the kingdom of God was lost. A new form existed which was to be fully free, be free of religion. Therefore intellect disobeyed from the one who created and inspired it. They reduced the world to random selection, no more recourse to the divine. They had No meaning in the universe or cosmos and tried to remove the divine centre of world and replace Him with promethian humans. What happened to such a world? It was hit with modernity and postmodernism. In Sura Anam, Allah says if you obey most if the people in this earth you will be led astray from the path of God, to those who follow nothing but their suspicions, and all they are doing is guessing.
At the Night of Ashura, Imam Hussain (as) says, I praise Allah in both difficulty and ease, and for giving us the prophet and teaching us the Qur’an and placing us in Islam, and giving us ears, eyes and hearts, so make us from those who are thankful to our Lord.
Islam has an ecosystem. We should be careful what we let in. Our soul and family also have an ecosystems. We should know what we let in and inject into it and protect it from what is wrong. When the intellect and soul is exposed to the Aimmah (as), it shines brightly.
How do we arrive at happiness? Allah says in sura Hud, a day will come where no one shall speak except by Allah’s permission. And there will be the miserable one and the one who will be happy. Our happiness and sadness will be a manifestation of our selves on the day of judgement. Our reality and truest nature is unveiled.
In our secular lives, happiness relies on our ability to choose what we want, even if it is of no benefit to us. Islam has determined this differently. The awliyah of Allah have told us that we have a human nature to choose the right path, to be able serve the purpose of our existence. We have to make the right choice, and submit to the one who created our nature. We should understand which choices are best to nourish and develop our nature.
The Qur’an says that on the day of judgement, everyone will come with their deeds hanging around their necks, and their book of deeds will be open for them to read out, with their souls as a witness. You may be happy in this world, but it is just an illusion if you didn’t take the divine guidance.
If success is determined through material things, it will come at a cost in the hereafter. What is Tawfeeq? Actions which are in line with the irada of Allah. Who are the losers in the Qur’an? In sura Kahf, Allah says, Shall we now inform you about the worst losers? All their hard work in this dunya is completely misguided and misplaced. And They think they are doing something good in this world. These are those who reject the signs of God.
This describes those who rejected the risala of the Prophet (saw). All their actions are null and void as they didn’t have the prophet with them.
They didn’t reject the prophet because they didn’t believe him but because they didn’t want to change themselves and their lives. On the day of judgement they will have nothing to present to Allah. The prophet says there will be a man who in this world was large, but on the day of judgement, he will come weighing less than the wing of a fly.
In sura Ale Imran Allah says, and God’s promise has come true. You were winning in the battle of Uhud, until you failed. Stay on the mountain, and don’t shake. But some of you chased after dunya, and amongst you some wanted the akhira.
Why did these people fail? They showed disobedience towards Allah, were causing disputes about things which they have no knowledge about in regards to Allah and aimmah, and were chasing after this world. We have to think about the akhira in all decisions we make.
A hadith from Imam Sajjad (as) says, the one who holds steadfast to our path in the times of ghaibat is given the reward of a thousand shaheed who fought in Badr and Uhud.
The Youth should be in state of tawba and seeking knowledge. Education is truly meant to fill is with the wonder of our existence, to nourish us. A sinner who begins to show concern for his soul and repents is like a dirty surface which when scrubbed it shines. Imam Ali ibn abi Talib says in a dua, my Lord it’s as if I’m standing in fornt of you, if you forgive me, who is the one to forgive but you, but if the end of my life is approaching and what I have done is not enough, I have decided to take everything in my heart and confess it to you. My Lord you never stopped showing me goodness in my life. Please do not cut this goodness off from me when I die. How can I be despondent of your beautiful glance when I die, because you only showed me the beauty in my life. Subhanallah. If you love Allah repent to him, no matter what you have done, his door of repentance is always open.
In Sura mulk, Allah connects intelligence with the hereafter. Allama Tabatabai has said that often people are regretful over their beliefs, but it’s too late. They didn’t listen to what the prophets taught them.
When trying to raise a community, they should understand that life will end and the hereafter will remain. In the end, we will return to God and be judged by him.
Why doesn’t the fact that people don’t have any faith have an affect on us? Because our lives are devoid of the faith that is permeated by the belief of Allah in all that we do. In Imam Hussain’s (as) journey from Madina to Karbala, he constantly supplicated to Allah and was in His remembrance even on the battlefield. Belief in God should be a prism that we see the world through.
We should be wary of the colonisation and shackling of the mind. Even for little children, the indoctrination of their minds through t.v. shows and other such methods is seen. We should be wary of what our kids watch.
The Bible talks about exorbitant usury. Jesus (pbuh) condemns those who allow usury. He was known as a kind and patient man but such was the act of usury that the bible says be flipped over tables in the temple due to this. The bible also says that if one of your brethren becomes poor, let him live with you, and do not charge him for food. If a person commits these acts, they cannot be buried as a Christian meaning that they would go to hell in the hereafter. Showing how much usury is disliked in the bible. So why is it still present in our society?
We need to look at the core problems when diagnosing why people don’t believe. Imam Ali (as) says that nothing is more virtous in its worship of god than our intellect. The intellect is the seat of the soul. The Qur’an reminds us to do introspection of our selves.
In terms of our creation, there are two ways of looking at it. We can do what we want by saying for example, it’s my body so I can decide what to do even if it is not correct. Or, we can think that we have a soul, a purpose that we were created for, and we owe God for our existence. We have a moral accountability. The moral choice is determined by the one who gave us this existence.
As we increase in wealth, we put more trust in material causes. It is Harder for the rich to get into heaven as they have more to be accountable for, unless they leave something for betterment of humanity.
What are our cultural references today? Look at the best selling novel, dispicably showing where our culture is. The dignity has been removed from human culture. This is a barometer of where humans are today. We ask Allah to protect us from this.
If you are on the path of Allah and his messenger, and you love the Aimmah, seek help from Allah. It protects your heart, your mind and your physical body. Your enemies won’t try to kill you, rather take your faith from your hearts, and place hopelessness in your hearts.
When Fitna arrives, it presents itself in the image of a beautiful lady, and youth run towards it. When they know what is, they are engulfed in its fire. In the Qur’an, Allah says that he allows satanic Fitna to be thrown, landing into the hearts of those who are sick. Who are these people? Those whose hearts have a pre-existing condition. Firstly their hearts are ill. Secondly their hearts are hard- they can’t cry in front of Allah. It can come from ignorance, from sin etc. Doubt in Allah’s existence, causes sickness of the heart, along with those who don’t take religion seriously.
Satan enters the heart through music and entertainment. Certain sounds cause certain emotions. Plato explained why many types of songs needed to be banned in Greece. He said that it weakens the man, causing the heart and soul to change. Pythagoras discussed the power of music and how specific numbers relate sounds of specific instruments changing the heart, causing profound effects and leading them down a path they didn’t know of.
How do you protect yourselves from whispers of Satan and satanic people? Allah says to prophet Musa, “When you call upon me in a state of fear, love and khusu, beseeching Allah, it is one of the ways to cut Shaitan.”
Music is a toxic mix between imagination and reality. Al-Farabi the philosopher has said that based on the notes played, it can make you cry or Laugh. Rumi warned that the flute seduces the body into the soul. Our Aimmah have said that the one who listens and partakes in music, the seed of hypocrisy enters their heart, and their heart drinks it.
Demons today have tools that they have never had before.ÂÂ Imam Zainul Abideen (A) says in Sahifa Sajjadiya, “O Allah save me and my family from every satanic temptation.” When the voice is softened or fluctuates in particular way it activates certain parts of ourselves.ÂÂ Imam Sadiq (A) has said that there isn’t a Mu’min except that he has 2 ears in his cavity: one for satanic verses, one for angelic. Allah assists the Mu’min with an angel. We can choose to go to satanic or angelic direction. What we listen to, look at, and touch, affects this direction.
Abu Fath al-Karajiki, student of Sheikh Mufid, says in his book how satanic jinn implant ideas in us. The jinn can manipulate itself in different ways until it lands on the ear lobe of the person, hanging and casting Hamazaat into the heart planting words concepts and images so the person can’t differentiate between their own thoughts and those of the devil, even entering in their sleep. We ask Allah to protect us from this. An important point to mention is that the prophet has said that those who miss “Fadhila time” intentionally, Satan has already begun working on their hearts. We have to follow Allah’s ways to keep our hearts successful.
Some believe that consciousness and thought are simply chemical, physical and biological processes. For saints and godly people, it is a proof of the fingerprint of the unseen within us.Â
In current times, people say that we believe in something but not religion. It doesn’t play a meaningful role in their lives either socially, politically or in the family. Satan has promised God that he will certainly misguide and place a sense of false security in you that you will wake up tomorrow, not thinking of it as a God granted gift. People say they will become better when they retire. But their souls have memberships elsewhere. Shaitan will make them deface and pervert the creation of God. The one who takes Shaitan as his guide instead of Allah has a great loss.
In terms of jinns, there are good and bad jinns. Imam Hussain (as) in Dua Arafat thanks Allah for protecting him from unseen evils. Parents have responsibility for physical and spiritual wellbeing of children, and when they can’t defend their own soul, their parents should know the ayat to protect them in their cradles. How are we to protect ourselves from these evils? The Prophet (saw) said there are two types of Satan, jinn and ins. Satanic jinns can be warded away by saying that there is no power or force except all the most high. For the satanic humans, recite a Salawat on prophet and his family. Salawat forgives sins, awards thawaab and wards of demonic humans. Imam Hussain prayed to Allah to protect him from evils of humans and jinns.
One of the Differences between us and our Imams is that our minds can be corrupted by demonic humans and jinn, affecting our mind and body. Aimmahs mind and aql can never be affected. Evil acts committed shows that you have joined the party of Satan. Our Journey in this world is from our birth to death. If we don’t take care to protect ourselves and our soul from dangers which we don’t see, we only have ourselves to blame as the Ahlulbayt have given us what we need to stay safe. Shaheed Mutahhari said that people don’t have belief in the Ghaib. Belief in the divine book, Allah and other unseen forces are not accepted, showing our belief is low.
We should remember that just because you have knowledge, it doesn’t mean that you have belief. We have to remember Allah. The depressed state of the world today is due to hizbishaytan. All the crazy people are part of this. People like Daesh, Satan shall order them to deface the creation of God. For e.g. the atomic bomb in which humans cause destruction by themselves. The believing human being should be caretakers of the earth.
Research shows that Exposure to certain violence and indecent images affect the brain when done repeatedly. Their brains get altered and this could even effect their DNA, passing on to children. All this technology has alienated us more than liberated, destroying our minds. People who create such content want to destroy the fabric of our families. This is all due to human beings turning away from their fitra. In Sura Rum, Allah says that Fasaad has come to this world due to what human beings have done with their own two hands on the land and in the sea. Human beings will have to taste what they have done with their actions and perhaps then they may turn back.
The Human mind cannot be reduced to just physics. Imam Hussain (as) says that when we look at the canopy of the universe and are in a state of wonder, the awareness and consciousness of this state comes from the absolute being which is Allah (swt)
When we realise this, we ask ourselves is that it? No. We want to know Why? how? where? And that’s when God alerts us to obey him and live a life in harmony. And with His Will, you unlock what all of this means through the messengers and books sent by Allah (swt). Those who revolt against this are doing so against themselves, opresssing themselves by going against their nature. They become counter-natural.
Imam Hussain (as) has given us an insight into the meaning of life here once and in many other ways.
Continuing with our series revolving around seeking spirituality within the blessed month of rajab, there lies an important day ahead of us – the 27th day of rajab known as the day of mab’ath and the day of me’raj. This is a day of great historical, ideological and spiritual importance.
From the aspect of spirituality, it is narrated on authority of Imam al sadiq (s): “the one who fasts the 27th day of rajab, Allah (swt) shall reward him with the equivalent of fasting for seventy years”
Furthermore, the eve of the 27th of rajab is a night surrounded with divine mercy. It is narrated by imam abu Jafar al Jawad (s) that the one who performs the following acts of worship before midnight on the eve of the 27th of rajab shall have all his haajat fulfilled:
1. Recite 12 rakaat salaat – in each rakaat after al hamd recite any short Surah you like
2. Upon completion, recite each of the following 7times each:
Surah al fateha
Surah al nas
Surah al falaq
Surah al ikhlas
Surah al kafirun
Surah al qadr
3. Recite the following dua:
Al hamdulillahi-ladhi lam yattakhidh walada wa lam yakun lahu shareekun fil mulk WA lam yakun lahu waliyun minal dhulli WA kabbirhu takbeerah
Allahumma inni as’aluka bi ma’aqidi izzika ala arkaani arshik WA muntaha-rahmati min kitabik WA bi ismikal A’adham al A’adham al A’adham WA dhikrikal a’ala al a’ala al a’ala WA bikalimatikal taammah
Un tusalli ala muhammadin wa aalihi WA an taf’ala beey ma anta ahluh
All praise belongs to Allah, Who has not taken a son and does not have a partner in the Dominion, nor does He have a helper out of weakness; and magnify Him with a worthy magnification (Holy Qur’an 17:111). O Allah, I ask You by: the juncture of Your might over the pillars of Your Throne, and the ultimate Mercy from Your book. And [I ask You] by Your name – the great, the majestic, the splendid. And [I ask You] by Your remembrance – the elevated, the sublime, the exalted; and by Your complete and perfect words, that You bless Muhammad and his family and do for me, what You are worthy of.
The 15th night of shaban is a night of great spiritual importance – a night 2nd to laylatul qadr Apart from all the supplications and prayers that are recommended,two acts of worship stand out and should be granted due importance:
1. Performing the ziyarah of Imam al Husayn (s) such that imam al sajjad (s) states: “the one who would like to shake hands with 124,000 prophets should visit the grave of my father Abi Abdullah (s) for indeed, the prophets seek permission to visit his grave” (kamil al ziyarat)
2. As this night is crowned with the birth of the awaited saviour of mankind – Imam al Mahdi (aj), we need to reflect and ponder over how we can strengthen our relationship with Him (aj) and our responsibilities towards Him (aj)
Let us contemplate over the following tradition narrated by Imam al Husayn (s) and see how applicable it is to us in this day and age:
“…the final Mahdi (aj) is the ninth Imam from my lineage. He shall revive life on Earth after its death and shall make the true path prevalent even though the mushrikeen will want otherwise. He shall have a long occultation in which many nations shall become apostates (abandon the teachings of Ahlul Bayt) while some will remain steadfast, and those who manage to remain steadfast shall undergo trials and tribulations…”
We pray to the Almighty (swt) to forgive us our sins on this great night and to hasten the reappearance of the Awaited Saviour (aj) and grant us with guidance & perseverance during the occultation