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Friday Khutbah – Stanmore – 29th November 2013 – 24th Muharram 1435 – Summary

In: General, Lecture Summaries

 

These supplications of Imam Zayn al-Ábideen (A) help us understand the spiritual and inner dimension of Islam and our relationship with Allah (swt).

Three lines from Du’a Makarim Al-Akhlaq :

I should like to quote briefly three lines from Du’a Makarimul Akhlaaq,  Du’a No. 20 in SahifahAl-Kamilah. This is one of the most beautiful dua’s which we normally recite on the 23rd night of the month of Ramadhan.  It is a du’a about the noble moral traits and those acts which are pleasing to Allah (swt). Imam supplicates,

(Allahumma salli ‘alaa Muhammadin wa aalihi ; wakfini maa yashghalunil ihtimamu bihi.)

‘’O Allah, bless Muhammad and his household ; Keep me Occupied with those things which in your estimation are important.

 ‘’Wast’amilni bima tas-aluni ghadan ‘anhu’’
‘And employ me in that about which You will ask me tomorrow.’

‘’Wastafrigh ayyami feema khalaqtani lahu’’
‘’and let me pass my days in that for which You have created me.’’

Let us expound on these three verses. 
‘wakfini maa yashghalunil ihtimamu bihi’

Keep me occupied with what is important to me, that is, something useful that I put some effort into cultivating. For example when you grow a plant you have to take great care in nourishing it by watering it and making sure that it is trimmed and receives enough sunlight. This is ‘ihtimam’, anything that blossoms after putting in efforts and attention.   

In other words the Imam is advising us to keep ourselves occupied in doing those things which earn the pleasure and ‘ridha’ satisfaction of Allah (swt).  Our constant and continued struggle in life must be for the sake of earning satisfaction of none other than Allah (swt). 

Anyone who has only one concern, one desire in life and that is, to do anything and everything sincerely for the sake of Allah (swt), Allah (swt) will fill his heart and make him so contented and independent that he will no longer need to seek any help, comfort or confidence from anyone except Allah (swt). This is achieved by those people who have resolved in their life that their only direction is to Allah (swt).

Then Imam says,

‘’wasta’milni bimaa tasaluni ghadan ‘anhu’
‘’Employ me in that about which You will ask me tomorrow’’.

What does it mean about that which we will be asked tomorrow? According to our ‘ulama’ we will be asked about two things only, about things that we have done and those things which we have failed to do. We will be asked about what we did in all these years of our life that Allah (swt) has given us. Did we serve God’s creation?  Did we help the poor and the needy? As Shias, what have we made of the Book of Allah and the ‘seerah’ and the ‘sunnah’ of the Prophet and the A’imma (A)?  Have they had any effect on our life?  How have we treated our parents, our wives, our children and our fellow human beings? 

These dua’s are a journey of exploration, a journey of self-analysis, a journey which involves transformation, a journey of our life, of where we came from and where we are heading to, what steps must we take in order to arrive at the destination required by Allah (swt), a journey which ultimately ends with success and salvation.  

‘’Wastafrigh ayyami feema khalaqtani lahu’’
‘’and let me pass my days in that for which You have created me.’’

That is, let every day of my life be a testimony that I have fulfilled the purpose of my existence in this universe which is to serve none other than Allah(swt) as Allah says, ‘wa maa khalaqtul jinna wal insa illah liya’budoon.’  ‘I have not created jinn and men except that they may worship me, they may serve Me.’(Surah Az-Zaariyaat – 51:56).

Let us see what Imam Redha (A) says about worship ‘ibaadah’. He says,

‘’Laysatil ‘ibaadatu kathrata-s-siyami was-salaati’’
‘’Worship is not about fasting or praying much’’

‘’wa innamal ‘ibaadatu kathratu-t-tafakkuri fi amrillah’’
‘’Rather worship is to reflect much on the affairs related to Allah(swt)’’

(Tuhaf al-‘uqool, p. 442).

What is important is to reflect upon the purpose of our existence which is to fulfil the commands of Allah(swt) according to the Holy Qur’an and the teachings of Ahlul Bayt (A). 

In Surah Al-Imran, Surah No. 3 Ayah No. 191. In this Ayah, Allah (swt) describes those people who have understood and fulfilled the purpose of their existence. 

‘’allazina yazkurunllaha qiyaman wa qu ‘oodan wa ‘alaa junubihim wa yatafakkaruna fi khalqi-s-samaawati wal ardhi’’
‘’Those who remember Allah standing and sitting and lying on their sides and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth.’’

These people think deeply about the creation of the heavens and earth and so understand the purpose of their creation on this earth. They do not pass their time in useless pursuits and vain pastimes. And they say,

‘Rabbana maa khalqta haaza baatilan subhanaka faqina ‘azabannaar’
‘’Our Lord!  You have not created all this in vain.  Glory be to You; save us then from the chastisement of the Fire.’’

These are the people who with tears in their eyes call on their Lord with ‘’tadharruan wa khufyah’’ humility and in private (7:55) saying, ‘’You have not created this universe for no reason.  

Allah (swt) is calling upon us to live a meaningful life filled with good deeds.   Otherwise, we are ‘mayyitoon’ we are spiritually dead.  We are just carrying on in life that has no meaning and no purpose.

Imam Ali (A) put all his thought and attention to none other than Allah (swt). He said,

‘’maa ra aytu shay-an illa ra aytu-Llaha qablahu, wa ma’hu wa ba’adahu’’
‘’I never saw a thing but saw Allah before it, with it and after it.’’

Let us pray to Allah (swt) to grant us ‘tawfiq’ to understand the purpose of our creation and carry out the commands of Allah (swt) and let us end with a prayer of our Prophet(saw)

‘’Ilahi laa takilni ila nafsi tarfata ‘aynin abadan’’
‘’My God!  Do not ever leave me by myself even for a moment’’

(Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 86, p.9)

Muallim Murtaza Bandali

 

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