Monday, February 28, 2011
Worship Allah and join none with Him (in worship); and
do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, Al-Masakin (the poor),
the neighbor who is near of kin, the neighbor who is
a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer
(you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess.
(Noble Qur'an, 4:36)
Sayyed Jawad Ameli, a great Mujtahid, was having his dinner
when someone knocked at his door. A servant from his master,
Ayatullah Sayyed Mehdi Bahrul Uloom, appeared and said:
"Your master has sent for you to come immediately. He has
just sat down for his dinner but refuses to eat until he sees you."
There was no time to lose. Sayyed Jawad Ameli left his dinner
and rushed to Ayatullah Sayyed Mehdi Bahrul Uloom's residence.
Just as he entered, the master looked disapprovingly at him
and said: "Sayyed Jawad! You have no fear of Allah! Don't you
feel ashamed in front of Allah?"
This came as a shock to him, as he could not remember doing
anything to incur the wrath of his master. Sayyed Jawad Ameli
said: "My master may guide me where I have failed."
Ayatullah Sayyed Mehdi Bahrul Uloom replied: "It is now a week
that your neighbor and his family are without wheat and rice.
He was trying to buy some dates from a shop on credit but
the shopkeeper refused to grant him any more credit.
He returned home empty-handed and the family is without
a morsel of food."
Sayyed Jawad Ameli was taken by surprise. "By Allah", he said,
"I have no knowledge about this." That is why I am displeased
all the more.
How can you be unaware of your own neighbor? Seven days of
difficulties have passed and you tell me you do not know about it.
Well, If you had known and ignored him despite your knowledge,
then you would not even he a Muslim,"
Ayatullah Sayyed Mehdi Bahrul Uloom adjoined. Then he instructed
him to take all the dishes of food before him to his neighbor.
"Sit with him to eat, so that he does not feel ashamed. And
take this sum for his future ration. Place it under his pillow or
carpet so that he is not humiliated, and inform me when
this work is completed, for not until then shall I eat."
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
"There are Three categories of neighbours. First: one who has
Three rights upon you. This is the one who is a Muslim neighbour
and also a relative. Second: One who has two rights.
A Muslim neighbour and third: The Kafir neighbour who has only
the rights of a neighbour."
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Noble Qur'an tells us that all of mankind is descended
from one couple, Adam and Eve. Thus we are
all brothers and sisters, and our differences in languages
and colors are but a mercy that we might know one another.
Language and race should never be a reason for
discriminating against people.
A Muslim should maintain good relations with his relatives,
but he should not unjustly favor them over others. Further,
a Muslim must be good to his neighbors, no matter their
religion. But the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught us that
a "neighbor" is not just the one next door but includes all
those up to forty houses in all directions - effectively
a whole neighborhood.
An Ansar (emigrant) came to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and
said that he has recently purchased a house in a particular area
and that his nearest person was such that he had no hope of
any goodness from him and that he felt unsafe from his mischief.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) told
Imam Ali (as), Salman Al-Farsi,Abu Zar Ghaffari and
Miqdad ibn Aswad to go to the Mosque and announce:
"He is not a believer whose neighbour is unsafe from his mischief."
They announced it thrice and then to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
pointed towards forty doors to his right and forty to the left
indicating that forty houses in every direction constitute ones
neighbourhood. One is obliged to observe their rights.
This concern for our neighbors can take many forms. It means to
ensure that our neighbors have the basic necessities, for a Muslim
should not eat if his or her neighbor is going hungry. It means that
Muslims should wish for their neighbors what they wish for themselves.
It means sharing their happiness and sorrow. Further, it means to
not spy on them and respect their privacy, to not gossip about them,
to not harm them in any way, and to keep common use areas -
such as apartment building entrances, streets and sidewalks - clean.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was told
of a woman who prayed during night and fasted a lot during day and
gave alms generously, but whose neighbors complained of her
abusive tongue. He said that she would be in Hellfire.
When Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was
told of another woman who did not do all those extra acts of
worship other than just compulsory (Wajib) but whose neighbors
were happy with her, he said that she would be in Paradise.
Thus we see the importance of being good to our neighbors,
both in actions and words.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) on the rights
of the neighbour, said: "It is to help him if he asks your help,
to lend him if he asks to borrow from you, to satisfy his needs
if he becomes poor, to console him if he is visited by an affliction,
to congratulate him if is met with good fortune, to visit him
if he becomes ill, to attend his funeral if he dies, not to make
your house higher than his without his consent lest you deny him
the breeze, to offer him fruit when you buy some or to take it
to your home secretly if you do not do that, nor to send out
your children with it so as not to upset his children, nor to
bother him by the tempting smell of your food unless you send
him some." The Scale of Wisdom, P.234/235 no.1308
Imam Ali (as) says: A person is either your brother in faith, or
your equal in humanity.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
As King Parveez and Queen Shireen were sitting in
their palace one day, a fisherman who was selling
beautiful fish was brought in front of them.
King Parveez decided to buy a fish and gave the
fisherman 4000 dirham for it. The fisherman was
overjoyed. He thanked King Parveez and left.
Queen Shireen turned to her husband in anger and
scolded him for paying so much for a fish.
King Parveez let her have her say but said that
the fish was purchased and that there was nothing
that could be done about it.
However, the Queen Shireen was adamant and
insisted that the fisherman be brought back.
"We will ask the fisherman about the gender of the fish,"
she said. "If he answers that it is female, we will say that
we wanted a male fish and if his response is that it is male,
we will say that we wanted a female fish! Either way,
we will be able to return the fish and have our money back."
So the poor fisherman was called back and was asked
the question. Fortunately, he was clever enough not to
be caught out. Fisherman replied, "This fish is unique in
the sense that it is neutral i.e., it's neither male nor female."
King Parveez was so impressed by the ingenuity of the man
that he ordered a further 4000 dirham to be paid to him.
The fisherman thanked the King Parveez again but as he
was about to leave with the heavy bag of money, one of
the coins fell onto the floor. The fisherman immediately
bent down to look for the coin. Queen Shireen was
already upset that the fisherman had been given 8000 dirham.
"Look how miserly this man is!" the Queen Shireen exclaimed.
"One coin has fallen out of his bag full of money and he
searches for it instead of leaving it for some other poor
servant to find."
The fisherman heard this remark and said, "O Queen,
it is not out of miserliness that I search for the coin but
rather because it had the picture of generous King Parveez
on it. I would not tolerate anyone to cause dishonour to
the King Parveez by treading on the coin."
King Parveez was so flattered with this response that he
immediately called for another 4000 dirham to be given to
the fisherman. When Queen Shireen saw all this, she thought
it was better to hold her tongue and let the fisherman go
with the 12000 dirham before the King decided to increase
the amount again.
Lessons from Life: Speech is an Art. If one knows what,
when and how to talk then such a person will be successful
Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has said, "The beauty of man
is in the clarity of his tongue."
Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (as) has said, "Your tongue is
the translator of your intellect."
Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (as) has said, "The most foolish person
is one, who considers himself the wisest!"
Imam Hossein (as) has said, "Wisdom of a human being will
attain the highest level only by following the truth."
Imam Jafar Sadegh (as) has said, "A wise man will not be
bitten twice by the same snake in a hole!"
Imam Jafar Sadegh (as) has said, "The most knowledgeable
person is one who runs away from ignorant people."
Imam Musa Kazem (as) has said, "The sleep of a wise man
is far better than vigilance of a fool during the night."
Imam Musa Kazem (as) has said, "Human being has not
been given anything higher than wisdom and intellect."
In other words, a person's intellect and wisdom is
recognized through his speech.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Allah (SWT) has said in the Noble Qur'an: "I have
not created the jinn and humankind for any other
purpose except that they should worship Me."
(Noble Qur'an 51:56)
It is clear from the above verse of Noble Qur'an that
the purpose of our birth and of our life is no other
than that of the worship of Allah (SWT). There are
many acts of worship (Ibadah, Ibadat) in Islam, and
Salah is one of the most important obligatory acts.
Salah (Salat, Namaz) is the ritual prayer practiced by
Muslims in supplication to Allah (SWT). The term is
commonly used to refer to the five daily prayers,
which are compulsory upon all mature Muslims.
Salah (Salat, Namaz) is considered the most important
act of worship (Ibadah, Ibadat) in Islam and its importance
is such that under very few circumstances it can be omitted.
Salah (Salat, Namaz) strengthens the foundations of our faith.
It prepares a person to live the life of goodness and
obedience to Allah (SWT), and it builds courage and
determination. Every time we perform Salah, we renew
our commitments to Allah (SWT) and we rid ourselves
from worldly pressures five times a day.
According to a Hadith a companion of Holy Prophet Mohammad
(pbuh) came to him one day and asked him "What is the thing
that Allah (SWT) loves most?" Holy Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)
replied "The thing that Allah (SWT) loves most is when his
people pray Salah on time."
Salah (Salat, Namaz) is a practical sign of obedience to
the commands of Allah (SWT). Its importance has been
emphasized about 500 times in the Noble Qur'an.
Once Holy Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) shook a dry branch
of a tree so that all of the leaves of the branch fell off
than the Holy Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said "The sins of
those who pray Salah, drop off as the leaves of this branch
Before Salah, we make Wudu. Wudu (Ablution) is a unique
way of cleansing certain parts of our body so we are clean
before bowing down to the one who created us,
who created the universe the one and only Allah (SWT).
The Holy Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) once asked his
companions "Tell me if there was a river at the door step
of one of you in which you washed five times a day
would any of your dirt remain?"
When Holy Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) received the reply
that none of it would remain he then said "That is like
the five times Salah, with which Allah (SWT) wipes out sin.
The last thing that Holy Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) emphasized
at his deathbed was Salah. He also said the first thing we will
have to answer about on the day of judgement is Salah.
While in Salah one communicates with Allah (SWT) and
experiences his presence. That's why a Hadith says:
Salah is the Meraj of a Momin(Namaz is called as Meraj-ul-Momineen).
The Holy Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) also said "The key to Heaven
is Salah. The key to Salah is Purification."
"Namaz is a pillar of Religion. If Namaz is accepted all other deeds
are accepted. If Namaz is rejected then all other Deeds
(Holy Prophet Mohammad (pbuh))
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Almighty Allah (SWT) made Prophet Solomon / Sulaiman (as)
King of a vast kingdom, which included His entire creation.
The Jinn and men obeyed his will and even the birds adhered
to his commands, to the extent of using their wings to provide
shelter for him. He was also given many other powers such as
being able to talk to animals and control the wind so that it
could carry him wherever he wished to go.
Prophet Solomon (as) was blessed with an extraordinary power
of perception and intelligence.
It is narrated that one day, a man entered the court of
Prophet Solomon (as), looked around at all the people and
went out again. When the court adjourned, one of the people
present approached Prophet Sulaiman (as) and asked him
whether he knew this strange man.
"The person you saw was the angel of death (Izrael)" replied
Prophet Solomon (as). The man was taken aback and
"Why was he staring at me as though he wanted to take
my soul?" he asked.
"What do you want me to do?" enquired Prophet Sulaiman (as).
"O Solomon!" exclaimed the man. "You have power over the wind.
Command it to transport me to the land of Hind (India)."
As the man was a believer, Prophet Solomon (as) agreed and
granted his wish. A few days later, Prophet Solomon (as) saw
the angel of death again. He asked him why he had been staring
at the man so intently on that particular day.
"O Solomon!" replied the angel of death. "Allah (SWT) commanded
me to take the soul of that man on the soil of Hind. When I saw
him sitting in your court, I could not understand how I could
carry out Allah's order. Nevertheless, as it was a divine command,
I left for Hind and fortunately found the man there. I took his soul
as Allah (SWT) had commanded."
There is nothing more certain than death. It is a reality,
which nobody can escape from. Allah (SWT), the Almighty says:
"Wherever you may be, death shall overtake you, even if you
were in fortified towers". Noble Qur'an (4:78)
Imam Ali (as) said: Any breath that a man breathes is a
step towards death.
Imam Ali (as) said: You are the game that death hunts.
If you stand still it will seize (catch) you. If you ran (flee) away
it will overtake you.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
A man from a respectable background came to Balkh
which is situated in the south of Iran, accompanied by
his wife and daughters. Shortly after their arrival
the man fell ill and later died, leaving his wife and daughters.
Without his support they became poor and suffered.
So fearing the mockery of enemies, she fled Balkh with her
daughters to Samarkand.
On the day she arrived the weather was very cold, so she left
her daughters in a mosque and went out in search of food.
She passed by two groups of people. One was gathered around
a Muslim who was the Sheikh and the other group around
a Zoroastrian (Majusi) who was the security officer of the city.
She first went to the Muslim Sheikh and described her situation
saying, "I am a woman of a respectable family, with daughters
whom I have left in the local mosque and I have come in
search of food." He asked her, "Bring me proof that you are
from a respectable family." She replied, "I am a stranger in
this town and therefore do not know anyone to testify for me.
" She departed from him brokenhearted. She then went to
the Zoroastrian and explained her situation to him, telling him
about her noble background and her orphaned daughters
who were, waiting her return in the local mosque.
She also mentioned to him how the Muslim Sheikh had treated her.
The Zoroastrian stood up and sent some womenfolk to bring her
daughters and took all of them to his house. There he showered
them with honour and generosity. He fed them fine food and
clothed them in rich garments.
That night the Muslim Sheikh saw in a dream the Day of Resurrection
and the banners were unfurled around Holy Prophet Muhammad
(Peace be Upon him). Ahead of him, was a green palace made of
emeralds, its balconies of pearls and rubies and domes of pearls and corals.
He asked Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon him),
"Messenger of Allah, for whom is this palace?"
Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon him) replied, "For a Muslim."
The Muslim Sheikh replied, "I am a Muslim!"
Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon him) said, "Prove to me
that you are a Muslim?" At that, the Muslim Sheikh was dumbstruck.
Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon him) then said,
"You asked a woman to produce proof of her respectability and
therefore my question to you is, can you produce proof that
you are a Muslim?" At this point the Muslim Sheikh felt remorse
about his treatment towards the woman and her orphaned daughters.
In the morning, he immediately set out to find the woman. He learnt
she was staying with the Zoroastrian and so called for him. When
the Zoroastrian arrived, the Muslim Sheikh requested that he sends
the woman and her daughters to him. The Zoroastrian replied,
"Under no circumstance! I have received great blessings from her."
The Muslim Sheikh said, "Take a thousand dinars from me and
bring them to me." Zoroastrian shouted, "Impossible! The one who
showed you the palace in your dream has made it (the palace) for me.
Are you surprised because I am not a Muslim? By Allah (SWT),
I did not sleep last night, before I and my family accepted Islam at that
noble woman's hand and I dreamt something similar to what you dreamt;
Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon him) asked me,
"Is that noble woman and her daughters with you?" I replied:
"Yes, Messenger of Allah." Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon him)
said, "This palace is for you and your family. Allah (SWT) created you
a believer in eternity." At that the Muslim Sheikh remained
sorrowful and grieved for the missed opportunity of earning
a lofty position in Paradise, due to his neglect of the widowed woman
and her daughters.
Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon him) has said,
"The one who strives on behalf of the widow and the needy is like a warrior
in the path of Allah". (Bukhari and Muslim) May Allah guide us to
what is right for indeed, He is Generous, the most Kind, and the most Merciful!
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Apart from her role as a wife, the Muslim woman has
a very important role as mother. The status and value
attached to parents in the Muslim world is very high.
A woman becomes complete when she becomes a mother.
Enjoying her power of creativity and grade of superiority
over man, she experiences those precious feelings and senses,
which nature gives only to woman. There is no doubt that
as a mother, she is superior to man and is the nucleus of her family!
Noble Qur'an says:
"And your Lord has commanded that you shall not serve (any) but Him,
and goodness to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age
with you, say not to them (so much as) "Ugh" nor chide them, and
speak to them a generous word. And make yourself submissively
gentle to them with compassion, and say: O my Lord! Have compassion
on them, as they brought me up (when I was) little.
" Noble Qur'an (17:23-24)
Again Noble Qur'an says:
And We have enjoined man in respect of his parents - his mother bears
him with faintings upon faintings and his weaning takes two years -
saying: Be grateful to Me and to both your parents; to Me is the
eventual coming. And if they contend with you that you should
associate with Me what you have no knowledge of, do not obey them,
and keep company with them in this world kindly, and follow
the way of him who turns to Me, then to Me is your return,
then will I inform you of what you did.
Noble Qur'an (31:14-15)
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Rasulullah (saw) said: When a man dies and his relatives are
busy in funeral, there stands an extremely handsome man
by his head. When the dead body is shrouded, that man gets
in between the shroud and the chest of the deceased.
When after the burial, the people return home, two angels,
Munkar and Nakeer, come in the grave and try to separate
this handsome man so that they may be able to interrogate
the dead man in privacy about his faith. But the handsome man says,
He is my companion, he is my friend. I will not leave him alone
in any case. If you are appointed for interrogation, do your job.
I cannot leave him until I get him admitted into Paradise.
Thereafter he turns to his dead companion and says,
I am the Noble Qur'an, which you used to read, sometimes
in a loud voice and sometimes in a low voice. Do not worry.
After the interrogation of Munkar and Nakeer,
you will have no grief.
When the interrogation is over, the handsome man arranges
for him from Al-Mala'ul A'laa (the angels in Heaven) silk
bedding filled with musk.
Also Rasulullah (saw) said: "On the Day of Judgement,
before Allah (SWT), no other intercessor will have a greater
status than the Noble Qur'an, neither a Prophet nor an angel."