Know Your Imams | Author: Murtaza Sikander

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Know Your Imams | Author: Murtaza Sikander

Postby abuali » 22 Oct 2006, 23:54

This forum is dedicated to discussions related to the 'Know Your Imams' section of each issue. This section shall be the responsibility of Murtaza.

Murtaza: Please put forward your ideas and topics for next two issues and anything else that you want to share in relation to the 'Know Your Imams' section.
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KNOW YOUR IMAMS

Postby murtaza » 11 Nov 2006, 01:12

SALAAMUN ALAYKUM,

On this section, am planning to put brief bioghraphies , Ethical points ,debates and other teachings of our holy Imams on different topics.

I welcome any further ideas from the members,

Wasalaam.
! MURTAZA !
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AZADARI OF IMAM HUSSAIN (AS)

Postby murtaza » 21 Feb 2007, 03:20

AZADARI OF IMAM HUSSAIN (AS).
Azadari - a mourning ritual for the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (as).
The world witnessed that in spite of having used unlimited material means, Yazid failed miserably to vanquish Hussein (as), neither could yazidism take away the magnificent remembrance of Hussein (as) from the hearts, nor could it erase the sanctified mention from the tongues.
History testifies that from the time of yazid till date in every period and century an organized propaganda is unleashed so that people do not continue to remember Hussein (as).
Just to cite an example:
Imam Ghazzali said, that “to mention the martyrdoms of Hazrat Hassan (r) and Hazrat Hussein (r) is forbidden as the martyrdom of hazrat Hussein (r) inflames malice against the companions of the prophet” (Ref: Ibn Hajar Makki in “sawaiq muhriqa”)
Such people who instigate these ideas and issue such fatwas deliberately suppress the truth.
For these people Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quraan:
“they desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will not consent save to perfect His light, though the unbelievers are averse” (Sura tawbah, 9:32)

And that is the reason we see day by day the name of Hussein (as) continues to become more and more illuminated, and the devotion towards him appeals to people of all faiths and communities.
For sometime the communal riots had silenced the flames of opposition to Azadari, but recent reports suggest this spark is again ignited and blown to demolish the structure of Islamic unity.
Now vested interest have started calling the custom of Azadari to be a religion innovation and hence labeling it haraam.
The method nowdays used by these oppositions is to attack youths by providing wrong information and accusing the concept of Azadari to such an extent, that the one who is not aware of their intention and lack knowledge on this matter often becomes their target.
These opponents beguile the masses by saying that weeping, alam, majlis all are haraam as there is no proof in Quraan & Hadith for these. In short totally condemn Azadari.
Therefore for the benefit of our readers especially the youths who are target to these attacks;
we provide proofs from Quraan and Hadith that these actions are not at all haraam nor any innovation but are all allowed in Islamic shariah and was practiced and preached in one way or the other during the time of prophets (S).

To establish the remembrance of the immortal tragedy of kerbala and to express ones grief and sorrow on this tragic event is what is called Azadari.
Allah (swt) through the religious law made us committed to always remember His proximate ones and keep their feats in our view. In our daily prayers we utter at least 10 times:
“guide us on the right path. The path of those on whom you have bestowed favors” (fatiha, 1:6, 7).
The point worth noting is that until we do not honor and respect the feats of the proximate servants of God and do not keep their sacrifice on our views the actual purport of the above invocation cannot be realized.
We ask was not Hussein (as) among the proximate ones of the Almighty? Was he not on the right path? Was he not among whom favors of Almighty bestowed? Was he not among the purified ones,(quraan,33 :33) ? Was his way of life not like his grandfather the messenger of Allah (swt) ?
The answer to the above questions is certainly, he was.
If Hussein (as) possessed such qualities to be among the ‘bestowed of favours’ from Allah (swt), then what is wrong ,if we in our majalises honour them and remember their great sacrifice?

Let us glance at a great pillar of Islam i.e. Hajj. We see the rituals of hajj from beginning till end we have the complete episode of P. Ibrahim and P.Ismail (a) sketched. The practice of sae’e between mt.Safa and mt. Marwa, it’s a reminder of lady Hajrah (as) had ran between two hills with infant Ismail (as) in search of water, holy Quraan calls these two small hillocks as ‘Signs of Allah’ ; Zamzam, a water spring erupted at the command of Almighty to quench the thirst of Ismail ; and On 10th of zilhajj to perform sacrifice at mina is also an important duty in hajj, reminding us of prophet Ibrahim (as) had tried to sacrifice Ismail (as) with his own hands in the path of God, while a ram came in place of Ismail (as),however, the Quraan has kept the memory of this sacrifice alive and called all the animals of sacrifice as signs of Allah. “ … and whoever respects the signs of Allah, this surely is (the outcome) of the piety of hearts” (hajj, 22:32)
These events prove that it is one of the ancient practices of the Almighty Allah to keep the memory of the past events alive and it is His continuing preference, provided the condition is that those events should be connected to His selected servants.
We again ask was not Hussein (as) among the proximate ones of the Almighty? When incomplete sacrifice of Ismail (as) can be so dear to Allah (swt) , then would He not like the rememberance of great sacrifice? Were his events not extremely significant? Yes it is! The event of kerbala is greatly important and from ethical point is full of lessons.
Coming a step further on morning and weeping for Imam Hussein (as) particularly, I present the comments of an outstanding sunni scholar, Imam of Ahl'ul Sunnah, Shaikh 'Abdul Qadir Jilani, in his famous book, "Ghanyatul Talibeen", page 430; comments: " 70,000 angels came to the grave of Husayn bin Ali after his martyrdom and they wept for him and will keep weeping unto the Day of Judgment."

here, we have a narration to show that the Holy Prophet (saw) himself had mourned for his grandson.
Apart from shia scholars even the sunni scholars have narrated this incident, like “Allamah Ibn Hajar Makki, which he has quoted on the authority of Shobi and also Musnad of Ahmad Ibn Hambal:
Amir al-mu’minin (as) said: one day I came to the holy Prophet (saw) and saw tears in his eyes. I asked, ‘Has someone angered you?’ why are these tears in your eyes?’ The Holy Prophet (saw) said, “a little while ago Jibraeel told me that Hussein shall be slain at the banks of Euphrates. Jibraeel asked me if I would like to get the soil of that place so that I can smell it,. I said, ‘Yes’. Thus Jibraeel extended his hands and then gave me a handful of soil, due to which tears flow from my eyes.”
This tradition informs us that weeping for Imam Hussein (as) is not only permissible; rather it is sunnah (practice) of the Messenger of Allah (saw) and according to:
sura hashr, 59:7 “…..whatever the apostle gives you, accept it…..” It is obligatory for us to emulate it.
This incident also contains the point worth noting that in spite of the fact that the Holy Prophet (saw) loved Hussein (as) to an indescribable degree and Hussein himself was present before the eyes of the Holy Prophet (saw) and he (the prophet) was also given the news of the martyrdom but in order to create more intensity in the emotion of grief he felt it necessary that he sends for the soil of the place of Hussein’s martyrdom and smell it. The sentence: Jibraeel extended his hands and then gave me a handful of soil, due to which tears flow from my eyes,” tells us that if we also keep before us the water skin, the standard (alam), the taaboot, ta’ziyah, tauq, zanjeer, cradle and arrow in order to increase our emotions of grief it would exactly be according to the verse of the Quraan: “….you have in the Apostle of Allah an excellent exemplar….” (surah Ahzab, 33:21)
And it would be a perfect emulation of the practice of the Messenger of Allah (swt).

Further more to provide more proof on the showing of importance of making taaziya, alam and tab oot, we further have a traditional report as follows:
On page 868 of Majma ul Bahrain, the Shi'a author relies on a Sunni reference:
A companion told messenger of Allah (saw) that he has vowed to kiss the threshold of paradise and the Hourul Ein. The Holy Prophet (saw) told him: Go and kiss the feet of your mother and the forehead of your father. He asked what he should do if his parents were not alive anymore? He was told to kiss their grave. Again he asked what he should do if he didn’t know where their grave was? The Messenger of Allah (saw) told him to, “draw two lines and consider one as the grave of the mother and the other as the grave of the father and kiss them, and do not break your vow.”
This tradition is itself so detailed and self- explanatory that it clarifies that there is nothing wrong in making images of the graves of ones parents. The rank of Imam Husayn (as) is no doubt, higher than ones parents. Then why is there objection to making image of Imam Husayn (as)'s grave?

We read in Sawaiqh-e-Muhriqa, page 679 - 680 Dhikr Imam Ali Raza:
When Imam Ali Raza (as) came to Khurasan and reached Nishapur, Abu Dhara Razi and Muhammad bin Muslim Tusi came to welcome him along with other scholars and people. People were in such a condition that some were screaming, some were crying, some were throwing dust on their heads and some were kissing the hoofs of the horse.

Dear readers we do not worship the images that are made in Muharam, only Allah all Mighty is worthy of worship. The purpose of these symbols is to portray the picture of Karbala and bring back to our minds the things that happened there. Kissing and paying respect to them is actually showing love and respect to Ahlul Bayt (as) just as people kissed the hooves of Imam Raza (as) to demonstrate their love and respect for the Imam (as).

It is written in book Akseer-ul-Abadaat, page 263:
" Hadhrath Ali told Malik-e-Ashtar that I have a Standard, which I never took out before. And it was the first Standard of Rasool Allah (saw) and he told me that a time will come when you will fight with rebels. Then Ali (as) took out that Standard, which became old. When people saw the Standard of Rasool (s), they started weeping in loud voice. And all those who found the way till Standard, they kissed it."
This reference depicts people weeping and kissing standard in front of Mawla Ali (as). This proves that it is allowed in Sharia to weep and kiss a Standard.
Similarly, there is only order to kiss Hajar-e-Aswaad. But you will see thousands of people touching and kissing the walls of Holy Kaaba. Do all of them become Mushriks for their love and respect?
Replica is only to make people remember the incidents clear, which happened in history. And their respect is a sign of love only.
At last a brief comments and proofs about matam ;
We are often asked to prove our mourning rituals from the Qur'an such as chest beating etc. We ask these oppositions of Azadari to cite us any verse containing the words Matam, Latmiyah (blood letting) wherein Allah (swt) has declared such practices to be Haraam. No where in the Holy Qur'an has Matam been classified as Haraam. On the contrary, the stories of Prophets include examples of their mourning. As such, the permissibility of Matam is there in Qur'an but not its prohibition.
In the Holy Quraan we read:
Surah adh-Dhaariyaat that Hadrath Sara (as) struck her face when she was told that she would conceive a baby.

"Then came forward his wife in grief, she smote her face and said (what! I) An old barren woman?"Quran 51:29
The slapping of Prophet Ibraheem (as)'s wife Sara is proven from the Qur'an. The Qur'an tells us to adhere to the ways of the people of Ibraheem (as), so if the Shi'a beat themselves whilst mourning for Imam Husayn (as) such acts are lawful.

The most explicit proof of self-inflicted injury comes from Owais al-Qarni the great Muslim Sahabi, praised by both Shi'a and Sunni erudite. He had an immense love for the Holy Prophet (s). When the news reached him in Yemen that two teeth of the Holy Prophet (s) were broken in the battle of Ohad, he extracted all his teeth. When the Holy Prophet (s) got the news in Medina that Owais had struck down all his teeth, he (s) exclaimed, "Indeed Owais is our devoted friend". This event can be found written in 'Seerate Halbia' vol II, page 295.

The renowned Sunni Scholar Shiekh Farid al Din Attaar in 'Tadhkhirathul Awliya' Urdu translation page 17 and 18 writes:

"Hadhrath Uways Qarni (ra) said to Hadhrath Umar Khattab (ra): 'If you were true in friendship than why on the day when the holy teeth of the Prophet (s) were broken didn't you break your teeth in companionship? Because, it is a condition of companionship.' Then he showed his teeth all of which were broken and said 'I broke all of my teeth without seeing you (O Prophet) and in the state of Ghaybah in your companionship. I had broken one tooth but couldn't get satisfaction so kept on breaking them one by one until I had broken them all '".

Had the breaking of teeth by Uways Qarni (ra) been in opposition to Shariah, Hadrath Umar would certainly have pointed it out at the time or at least commented and answered the accusation by Uways Qarni (ra) of his less than perfect companionship. The silence of Umar proves that he didn't deem the act of breaking one's teeth as done by Uways Qarni (ra) as opposed to Shariah but considered it an act of sincerity and also a proof of friendship.

We should point out that breaking one's teeth is a thousand times more painful than the beating of one's chest for a few hours. It is more extreme than chest beating with chains or knives (Zanjeer) because those who have suffered from tooth ache will understand the immense pain that circulates in the mouth and head. Compare the removal of a tooth to the forced removal of a full set of teeth without the benefit of modern day anesthetics and instruments. The pain must have been unbearable. This was clearly an act of great courage.
It is quite clear that holding mourning of Imam Husayn (as) by means of Matam (chest beating) or Zanjeer (blood letting) is to give physical expression of sympathy for Imam Husayn (as). It expresses nothing but love and loyalty for the Ahl'ul bayt (as).
We can bring plenty of proofs for the concept of Azadari , but for now I coclude with the words of the Holy Prophet (s) to his beloved daughter Hadhrath Fatima (as):

The women of my Nation shall mourn the calamities of women of my Ahl - e - Bait and the men of my Nation shall cry on the misfortunes and miseries of men of my Ahl - e - Bait. This they shall do generation after generation, remembering the trials and tribulations of my Ahl - e - Bait and on the Day of Judgment, O my Daughter ! You shall intercede on behalf of these women while I shall do so on behalf of the men. Whosoever weeps and cries for Husayn (as), we shall take them by their hand and lead them into the Garden of Paradise.Bihar al Anwaar, Vol.10, Page 167

This Hadeeth of the Holy Prophet (s) guarantees Paradise to all men and women who are the Azadaar of his Holy Progeny (as).

Thus faith in his Prophethood dictates, that Azadari on the calamities and hardships of his Ahl - e - Bait (as) should be performed with all sincerity of faith and religious zeal so as to stand with a clear conscious and full confidence in front of the Holy Prophet (s) on the Day of Reckoning and thus expect salvation through his intercession and thereby gain entry into Paradise for Eternal Bliss.

We have presented several proofs and hope that we have proven our case beyond doubt.

Be it clear to one and all, that we, The Shi'as, do Matam because we are Muhammad' s (s) Ummah. So if we turn our faces from performing Azadari of his Holy Progeny (as) today, then The most Beloved of Allah's Creation, Muhammad Mustafa (s) will also turn his face away from us on the Day of Accounts!

May Allah Bestow His Choicest Blessings upon His Most Beloved Prophet & his Holy Progeny (s) and May He Damn the Tyrants with His Choicest Punishment & Chastisement and Throw them in Hell forever.
! MURTAZA !
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Postby Muhammad Mahdi » 12 Mar 2007, 18:13

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The educated man has the right to manipulate the ignorant, if the ignorance of the of the ignorant is due to his own ignorance.
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Re: Know Your Imams | Author: Murtaza Sikander

Postby murtaza » 28 Apr 2008, 18:10

TAWASSUL .

The lexical meaning of Tawassul is 'nearness' or a 'means' through which to reach a certain goal.
(Ref: Lisan al-'Arab, Asas al-Balaghah and Tartib al-Qamus al-Muhit for meaning of wasala).
Tthe definition of Wasila is ‘a means of approach’.
Generally, when we refer to Tawassul it is a process of asking of certain need from Allah (swt) not directly, but through a Wasila (means of approach), so that the request is rapidly granted.

NB : Reader should keep in mind the meaning and application of two underlined words above, as are used throughout the article.

Tawassul to beloved ones of Allah (swt) is a matter which is in vogue amongst the Muslims of the world and from the day Islamic Shariat was conveyed through the holy prophet its legality was also declared by way of Islamic traditions.

It was only in 8th Century A.H. that Tawassul was rejected by Ibn-Taimiyyah and two centuries later by Mohammed bin Abd-Wahhab- the founders of Wahabbism. (Ref: Wahabbism by Aytt. Ja’far Subhani)

It should be clear that when we use the ‘means of approach’ or when one seeks for Tawassul from a great personality it does NOT mean even for a single moment, that, we are worshiping that ‘means’ or that the request which is being presented to the ‘mean’ (personality) is granted by the said personality independently. But in actual fact all is granted by the supreme power of Allah (Swt).

According to Shia Ithna Asheri belief, we mostly take Ahlulbayt as ‘means’ i.e. Wasila towards seeking nearness to Allah (swt), since they are the beloved ones to Him.
The Shia Ithna Asheri believe that Ahlulbayt are totally dependent to Allah (swt), and as they are the most beloved and near ones to Allah (swt), the request which is presented through them to Allah (swt) are being granted rapidly.

Therefore beseeching them for help or asking Allah (swt) through them in their life time as well as after their death is nothing forbidden as some ignorant people (esp. Wahhabi’s) claim, instead its a very great way for asking for the fulfilment of our legitimate needs as confirmed from the Quraan and Traditions of the Holy Prophet and Aimmahs.
Concerning asking help from the ‘Prophets and Imams’ during their lafe time is though objected; but not to that extent like the objection of seeking help after their death, as they claim death is end and there is no connection with the living human beings.

Contrary to their claim the Quraan and Ahadith as well, bear witness to the fact that Death is not the end of a person’s life, nor does the connection with living beings is totally cut off after his death, but in fact dead can hear when addressed more clearly than before. The death is but a window for a new life.

Communication with the world of souls.
In this case it is necessary to mention some Quraanic verses and Ahadith which shows that even communicating with dead is possible. Since the dead can hear everything that one speaks.

1.) In Sura Al-Baqarah 2:154 (Even in Sura Ale-Imran 3:169 conveys the similar message)
“And do not speak of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead; nay, (they are) alive, but you do not perceive”

Comments:
These Verses in clear terms says that those slain in the way of Allah (swt) are not dead but alive. And they enjoy special blessings from Allah (swt). Hence when we address them they can hear us as they are alive. Now let us further look to other people who had died in other different ways.



2.) Prophet Salih (as) speaks with the souls of his people;
“So they slew the she –camel and revolted against their lord’s commandment, and they said: O Salih! Bring us what you threatened us with, if you are one of the apostles. Then the earthquake overtook them, so they became motionless bodies in their abode. Then he turned away from them and said; O my people, I did certainly deliver to you the message of my Lord, and I gave you good advice, but you do not love those who give good advice”. (Sura A’araf: 77-79).

Comments:
Pay careful attention to the contents of these three ayats. The first ayat shows that when they were alive they demanded the punishment of Allah (swt).
The second ayat shows that the divine punishment overtook and destroyed each one of them.
The third ayat shows that Prophet Salih (as) spoke to them after their death and destruction and said “I presented you the divine message but you disliked someone giving you advice.”

There are yet many verses in this regard; mentioning them all here would make the article too long. Therefore let us see the part of Ahadith;
There are many traditions to show the link with the world of souls. Let us observe few of them;

NB: For the benefit of the reader, apart from Shia sources, references from some Sunni outstanding Scholars of Ahadith have also been quoted..

3.) Abu Dawood in his ‘Sunan’ narrates from the holy prophet (saw) who said: “There is no one who sends greetings upon me but that Allah makes his greetings reach me and I answer his greetings”

Shaykh Mansur Ali Nasif, Al Taj al-jamil li al – ‘usul fi Ahadith al-Rasul’ reports that Holy prophet said: “…send greetings upon me, for your greetings reaches me…”

Comments:
The above traditions clearly confirms that our prayers do reach the Holy Prophet (s) when we send our greetings to him, and that is why it is highly recommended to send salawat before and after asking for Dua, so that Dua reaches him with greetings .


4.) The people who oppose the relation with the world of souls probably do not observe the verses which are talking about the matter of respect of the Holy Prophet in his life time and also after his death.

At the time of burial of Imam Hassan Bin Ali (as), when a section of people had made uproar, Imam Husayn bin Ali (as), immediately recited the following verse in order to silence them.

“O you who believe! Do not raise you voices above the voice of the prophet, and do not speak loud to him” (Hujurat: 2)

Comments:
The above ahadith and verses clearly indicates the relation with the world of souls; and as it is clear that Quraan is the word of Allah (swt) and a living challenge hence the words of Quraan are applicable in every era till the of Judgement.
And for that reason when Al-Husayn (as) recited the verse, nobody, not even the Ummayads said anything or object that it was for holy prophet’s life time only.

It will be sufficed to quote the famous hadith which has been recorded by renowed Hufaz & Muhadithun that the Holy prophet (s) has said: “Anyone who visits the house of Allah and then visits my grave is like one who has visited me during my lifetime.” (Ref. Taqi-al Din al Subki in his Shifa-al-saqam).

Tawassul to Awliya Allah, ahlulbayt and prophets:
Before mentioning Verses and Ahadith regarding Tawassul toward the prophets and Ahlulbayt, it would be best to first mention Quranic verses that legitimize Tawassul:
“Allah is He besides Whom there is no god, the Ever living, the Self-subsisting by Whom all subsist; slumber does not overtake Him nor sleep; whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His; who is he that can intercede with Him but by His permission?...” (2:255) “Surely your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six periods, and He is firm in power, regulating the affair, there is no intercessor except after His permission;…” (10:3)

Notice the words but and except in the above mentioned verses. These verses do not condemn the presence of an intercessor; they just put a condition for the fact of intercession. So far we are establishing the fact that intercession is not something condemned in Islam, rather it is something accepted highly by Islam.

Let us observe how Tawassul is presented by Quraan and Ahadith, as well as examine the clear Verses and Tafsir (commentary) of Holy Quraan on some ayats (verses) in support of Tawassul done by Holy Prophet (s) and Ahlulbayt (s).

QURAAN AND TRADITIONS:
1.) The Brother of Prophet Yusuf (as) asked their father to pray for their forgiveness.
An example of seeking forgiveness can be seen in the Holy Quran, Chapter of Yusuf, where the brothers of Prophet Yusuf (as) were ashamed of the act they had done, so they went to their father and said,
“They said: O our father! Ask forgiveness of our faults for us, surely we were sinners, He said: I will ask for you forgiveness from my Lord; surely He is the Forgiving, the Merciful”.

Comments:
When we tell our clergy to pray for us, we know in our hearts that the clergy cannot do anything unless Allah (swt) wants for it to happen, but we believe since he is a man of worship and spends more of his time in the way of Allah, his prayer might get accepted faster. This ideology again takes us back to Allah (swt). One may feel too ashamed of one’s bad actions to turn towards Allah (swt) for forgiveness. To make the forgiveness accepted and a bit quicker he brings with him someone who is dearer to Allah (swt) through his actions and intentions. The above is an example from the Holy Quraan. The brothers of prophet Yusuf (a) could have asked directly from Allah (swt), but as they were so much ashamed of their bad action that needed a Wasila through whom if they ask him to pray to Allah (swt) for forgiveness on their behalf, they will be forgiven, and hence we find they approached a Godly man, a Prophet, Yakub (s) who was their father as well, and asked him, as we read above.
Therefore Quraan gives a lesson to be learnt and followed.

2.) Verse in Chapter Nisaa, becomes more specific about the act of Tawassul. In Chapter Nisaa, Allah explains:
“And We did not send any messenger but that he should be obeyed by Allah's permission; and had they, when they were unjust to themselves, come to you and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Messenger had (also) asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful ”.

Comments:
Here it has been made clear that the presence of the Prophet of Allah (swt) has been a way for the people to use as a means of approach in asking forgiveness.
-The verse is clear that had those who had sinned come to prophet and had prophet asked forgiveness for them, then Allah (swt) would have forgiven them.

- We can also conclude that since Quraan is a living miracle and its words are till the day of Judgement, therefore in connection to the above verse, and as the other verse says “And do not speak of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead; nay, (they are) alive,…” (2:154). the Holy Prophet (s) is still a means of approach (Wasila) for us and we can request him to ask forgiveness on our behalf to Almighty God.

3.) In Musnad of Ahmad it is reported that;
A blind man approached the holy prophet (s) and said “Request Allah to cure me” the Holy prophet replied, “If you with so I will pray for you but be patient for that is much better.” The blind man asked the Holy prophet to pray for him. The Holy prophet ordered him to take proper Wuzu and than recite two Rakaats of Salat and this Dua: “O Lord! I request from thee; I pay attention to the through (the channel) of your prophet Muhammad, your blessed prophet. O Muhammad, I turn to my lord for the fulfilment of my need through you so that my need is answered. O lord accept his intercession for me…”

Comments:
If we observe only this hadith which has been widely reported, we can see that the blind man is seeking a mean of approach through the Holy Prophet, who is actually teaching him a way of Tawassul toward Allah (swt). The Holy Prophet (s) taught him to consider the blessed Prophet (i.e. Holy Prophet (s)) as a channel and to seek Tawassul from him and ask God to fulfil his wish. This matter can easily be understood from the following sentences - “O Lord, I ask Thee and turn towards Thee through the channel of your prophet”.

If Tawassul was idolatory (shirk), or if there were any suspicion of idolatry in it, the Prophet (s) would not have taught it to the blind man when the latter asked him to supplicate Allah for him, though in fact he did teach him to make "Tawassul" to Allah through him.
More over by ‘Prophet’ is meant Prophet himself and not the ‘Dua’ of the Prophet. To imagine that it means the dua of the Prophet is deficient of any reason; as the sentence shows that the blind man is referring to Holy prophet(s) himself and not his dua.


4.) In the case of Adam (a) after being sent to earth by Allah (swt), Adam (a) in the light of the words which were manifested from God, repented, as Quraan says;

“Then Adam received (some) words ( كَلِمَاتٍ ) from his Lord, so He turned to him mercifully. Surely he is oft-returning (to mercy), the merciful” (2:37)

Regarding the interpretations of words ( كَلِمَاتٍ ) which has come down in this verse, commentators & traditionalists, by relying on traditions are having the following views:-

Traditions like one reported in Tafsir Kashful Bayan of Imam Thalabi a commentary on verse 2:37, Sai’d bin Jabir reported from Ibn Abbas who said,: “The holy prophet (s) was asked about the words which the prophet Adam (a) had learned and which led to the acceptance of his repentance, the Holy prophet said; He invoked Allah in the names of Muhammad, Ali, Fatima, Hassan, Hussein. So Allah accepted his repentance and forgave him”

Comments:
Observing what the Quraan says in (2:37) “That Adam received (some) ‘words’ from his Lord, so He tuned to him mercifully, surely He is Oft-returning, the merciful”.

In making Tafsir of Quraan by Quraan we see that in the Holy Quran the word كَلِمَاتٍ is referring to the Holy personalities; Therefore Adam received names of Holy personalities.

Quraan proves that, Observe:-
->> “That Allah gives you the goods news of Yahya verifying a Word ( كَلِمَاتٍ ) from Allah”, (Ale-Imran: 39)
Here “word”( كَلِمَاتٍ ) is applied to Yahya (the prophet).

->> “O Maryam, Surely Allah gives you the good news with a Word ( كَلِمَاتٍ ) from Him (of one) whose name is messiah, Isa son of Maryam” (Ale Imran : 45).

->> “The Messiah, Isa son of Maryam is only an Apostle of Allah and His Words” ( كَلِمَاتٍ ) (Nisa: 171).

In the last, two verses Word ( كَلِمَاتٍ ) is applied to Isa bin Maryam (the prophet).

considering that, word ( كَلِمَاتٍ ) has come in the verse under our discussion (2:37), we can conclude that by word ( كَلِمَاتٍ ) is meant the noble personalities to whom “Tawassul is sought.

Who are these noble personalities ??
As quoted earlier and Other traditions also like in Majmaul Bayan reports the similar thing that Tawassul of Adam was sought by taking the names of Muhammad, Ali, Fatema, Hassan, and Hussein (as).

By this it is obvious that Tawassul of Adam (s) to the Ahlulbayt was a clear matter, and in fact Allah (swt) pardoned Adam (s) when he asked in this way.

It is also clear that seeking Tawwasul is by no means ‘shirk’ as claimed by some ignorant people, for if it was shirk then instead of God to forgive Adam (s), He would have doubled his punishment on him, as he now is associating a partner to God, But contrary to that Allah (swt) forgives Adam, which clearly indicates that his (Adam (a)’s) actions was a Pure worship to Allah (swt).
Therefore there is nothing wrong in seeking ‘Tawassul’ through the Holy prophet and Ahlulbayt (s).

5.) Prophet Musa (as) and Prophet Muhammad (s) both prayed for helpers to ease their burdens.
Right from the beginning of his mission Musa (as) prayed as follows:
Musa said: O Allah! “Assign me a Vizier from my family, (that is) my brother Haroon. Add to my strength through him, and make him share my task: that we may celebrate thy praise without stint... (Allah) said: We granted your requests, O Musa” (The Qur?an 20:29-36).

Now here Musa (as) is asking for help, not from Allah (swt) alone but from his brother as well. He is NOT turning to Allah (swt) exclusively for help he is asking help from another human as well, is this an act of shirk???

Interestingly Suyuti in his commentary of the above verse sites the following tradition:

When this verse descended, The Prophet (s) was on a mountain, straight after it’s descent, The Prophet (s) prayed to Allah, Oh Allah! Through my brother Ali, ease the burden on my back, and Allah accepted his prayer.
( Tafsir Durre Manthur, by Jaladin Suyuti, Vol 4 p 295 )

Comments:
Why is Rasulullah (s) not asking Allah (swt) for help? Would the Wahabbi’s not assert that calling on others for help is Shirk? Yet here Rasulullah (s) is asking Allah (swt) that Ali (as) be made his helper. This being the case is it not Sunnah to seek help from Imam Ali (as)??, Whose words should we deem to be more important, those of all Wahabbi’s or those of Rasulullah (s)???

6.) Tabarani narrates in his ‘Awsat’ and also Nabahani in his ‘Arbaeen’, and many others, that the Holy prophets (s) is quoted to have said, “my Ahlulbayt are like the Gate of Repentance of the children of Israel, Whoever entered there in was forgiven.”

Comments:
The story of gate of Repentance is given in Quran (2:57-58).
This traditions of the Holy prophet can be explained by quoting the following well known tradition that the Holy prophet (s) has said : “I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate, he who seeks knowledge should come through the gate” (Ref: Mustadarak of Hakim).
Here the Holy prophet clearly indicates that whoever wants to seek knowledge and wants to come into contact with the divinely endowed wisdom of the Holy Prophet, he should come to Ali (as) first, get familiar with Ali not only by building up close attachment with him but also by paying homage to him with expression of reverence.
Therefore ‘ come through the gate’ is of course through Ali, where as in the hadith under discussion the holy prophet recommends that whoever wants to be forgiven should approach my Ahlulbayt as they are the gate of Repentance. It is clearly indicating Tawassul towards Ahlulbayt that through them Allah (swt) will forgive our sins.


- In addition to it quoting another hadith as narrated by a Sunni Scholar Ibn Hajar Makki in his book ‘Sawaeq’ that the holy prophet (s) has said:
“Ali bin Abi Talib is the door of forgiveness, he who entered the door is faithful and he who gets out of it is infidel”

Hence we find that the holy prophet here clearly names Ali (as) as a door of forgiveness and Summons the believers to enter this way for forgiveness.
Further more it is narrated in Behaarul Anwaar that the holy prophet (s) has said: “Love of Ali (as) consumes the sins like fire consumes wood”
Therefore we can conclude on these traditions that Ahlulbayt are the way for forgiveness of our sins , hence whoever wants forgiveness should ask through Ahlulbayt.

7.) Prophet Sulayman (as) sought the help of the jinn and not Allah (swt).
“He said: O chiefs! Which of you can bring to me her throne before they come to me in submission?One audacious among the jinn said: I will bring it to you before you rise up from your place; and most surely I am strong (and) trusty for it. One who had the knowledge of the Book said: I will bring it to you in the twinkling of an eye. Then when he saw it settled beside him, he said: This is of the grace of my Lord that He may try me whether I am grateful or ungrateful; and whoever is grateful, he is grateful only for his own soul, and whoever is ungrateful, then surely my Lord is Self-sufficient, Honoured”. (an Naml,27:38-40).

Comments:
So here we learn:
->>Prophet Sulayman (as) asked for the throne of Bilkis to be brought to him.
->> He (as) did not pray to Allah (swt) he asked for the help from his supporters
->>A Servant with partial knowledge of the Book was able to bring the throne within the twinkling of an eye.

Now clearly a Prophet (as) has more power than an ordinary being and yet he asked for help from one of his companions, if seeking the help from other than Allah (swt) is shirk, then why did Prophet Sulayman (as) seek the help from an inferior subject??? Is that an act of shirk???

Now, if a Prophet (as) can seek the assistance of an individual with a partial knowledge of the Book why can’t we seek help from Rasulullah (s) who had full knowledge and was the talking Quraan, or from Maula Ali (as) who had a complete knowledge of the Book??

In this regards we have the testimony of the great Sahaba Ibn Mas'ud said:
"The Holy Quran has outward and inward meanings, and Ali Ibn Abi Talib has the knowledge of both." (Hilyatul Awliyaa, by Abu Nu'aym, v1, p65)

In addition contemplate these words of Imam Ali (as):
“Ask me about the Book of Allah, because there is no Ayah but that I know whether it was revealed at night or in daytime, on the plain or in the mountain”
(History of the Khalifa’s who took the right way by Jalaladeen Suyuti, English translation by Abdassamad Clarke, p 194)

8.) A tradition which is narrated and as well confirmed its authenticity by al-Tabarani in his Mujam, Al-Hakim and others says:-
When Fatima, daughter of Asad passed away and the holy prophet(s) was informed about her death he came and sat besides her and said. ‘O my mother after my mother, May God have mercy upon you’. Then he asked Usama, Abu Ayyub, Umar Ibn Al-Khattab and a black slave to prepare one grave.
When the grave was ready, the Holy Prophets (s) made a niche in the side of the grave and buried her with his own hands and then recited this Dua;
“O Allah the one who gives life and death, the one who is all living and never dies, have mercy on Fatima the daughter of Asad, and make her abode vast by the right of your prophet and the prophets who came before me”.

Comments:
In the above tradition the Holy Prophet(s) is making a Tawassul by the Right of himself and by the rights of previous prophets for Hazrat Fatima bint Asad (as),
There is no doubt that the Dua of the holy prophet can never be wrong or unaccepted. Hence if the prophet(s) can make a Tawassul through the rights of himself and the rights of other prophets, then what is wrong if we take his teachings and ask Allah through his (the prophet’s (s)) right???.

9.) Quraan: “O you who believe! Be careful of (your duty to) Allah and seek means of nearness to Him” (Maida: 35).

The Sunni Ulemas as well, like Ibn Abil Hadid Mutazali says in Sharhe-Nahjul balagha that Bibi. Fatema (as) referred to the meaning of this verse in the presence of Muhaajirs and Ansaars while delivering her address in connection with the usurpation of her estate of fadak in these words:

“I praise Allah for whose dignity and light, the residents of the skies and the Earth seek Means of approach towards Him. Among his creation we are the means of approach”.

Comments:
I would ask the Wahabbi who deem that Tawassul is shirk, What about when Allah HIMSELF is advising us to seek means of approach?? Is He suggesting us to do Shirk ???

The above verse clearly indicates that one should seek means of approach to Allah (swt), and in knowing who the means of approach are, we have to see the Tafrsir (commentary) of the verse. Therefore Who can make a better commentary than the Holy Prophet and his household, in whose house the Quraan was revealed.
And we observe that B. Fatema (as) the daughter of the holy prophet (s) whose (and her family) purity has been confirmed by Quraan: “Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying” (33:33), is commenting on the verse and saying that the Ahlulbayt are the Means of approach. Hence there is no doubt then,to seek through Ahlulbayt to Allah (swt).
In fact Tawwasul is established by holy Quraan.

10.) Logically, if we examine the daily basis of our lives we can observe that in our day to day life we also use a ‘means of approach’. Like when we ask somebody to pray for us, that is also a Tawassul that we tell somebody to pray for us.

We can see the beggars alongside road and begging from the people who pass them, does that indicate that those beggars consider the peoples as partners to God ??, Why don’t they ask directly to God?? , Or do they consider peoples as an Independent Sustainers??
Definitely NOT! The people are means for them to get sustenance from Allah (swt). The Only and Original giver and Sustainer is Allah (swt).
How can those who say that Tawassul is haraam Judge the above situation ???

Even Allah (swt) Himself in bringing the message of Islam to us did not inspire everybody not did he make everybody prophets. But He brought the message of Islam to us through the means of his Prophets and establishing it through Aimmahs (s) . Therefore the best way to approach Allah (swt) is the same way, i.e. to approach Him through prophets and Aimmahs (s).

Despite the existence of this clear verse Fear Allah and find a Wasila to him (5:35), the Wahabbi sect view the concept of Wasila as Shirk (Polytheism) and Bida (Innovation) and adopt an assertion that only Allah (swt) can be a Wasila. Our question to such people is this:
‘If the means of approach is only directly through Allah (swt) then why did he send 124,000 Prophets on the earth??’
After all the belief of some of Ahl'ul Sunnah is that God has a face, He has hands, feet, a thigh which will be in hell on the Day of Judgement! If this being the case then why didn’t Allah (swt) appear himself and call the people to worship him??

The reality is Wahabbis. and their likes have failed to apply logic and to what Wasila means. Wasila is a means of approach a means by which you can achieve your objective. Wasila governs every aspect of you life. When your car has broken down, your toolbox acts as a Wasila to repairing the defect. When you are unwell your wasila is the doctor, when your roof is leaking your wasila is a builder. A wasila covers every aspect of your daily life. With this common sense approach in mind, Shiites believe such that they go to the doctor because Allah wants them to work for gaining results, but they tell Allah, the doctor is merely but a tool (a wasila) and the true healer is Allah (swt). Thus they say, ‘Oh Allah we are putting the effort to make ourselves better, You are the true healer and so You heal us’. Now if we take wasila’s in every day life then why are the Wahhabi’s and their likes are taking issue ?.
If the Shi’a use the Imams as wasila when supplicating to Allah (swt), When asking Allah (swt) for help through them, as a means of forgiveness for the sins turning towards Ahlulbayt, is also because the Prophet (saws) said: “My Ahlulbayt are like the Gate of repentance for the children of Israel whoever entered therein was forgiven”.
(Tabrani, al Aswat hadith number 18 ).

Shiites know quite clearly, that if they are using the prophet and his progeny as a "Tawassul", it is Allah (SWT) that agrees for an act to happen or not. However, the presence of Wasila can speed up the process. In Sura Al-Anfal of the Quran, when the prophet (PBUH) was faced with the allegations of the Kuffar regarding this , it was revealed:

"But Allah would not chastise them while you are in their midst, nor will Allah punish them while they seek forgiveness." (8:33)
Ibn Hajar al-Makki a sunni scholar says in his Sawa-iq al Muhriqah that this verse refers to the merits and excellence of the Ahlul Bayt.
(Ibn Hajar, Sawa-iq al Muhriqah, chapter 11, in the commentary of verse 33 of Sura 8.)

Basically it is understood that the Kuffar deserve punishment, but their punishment is held back because of the presence of the prophet. The presence of Prophet Muhammad (s) amongst the people was a blessing from Allah for the people, whether they were Muslims, or not. Just as Allah (swt) has said in Quran about the Prophet (s), - "And we sent you not but as a mercy unto the worlds" (21:107).

NB: Here one can go on to provide numerous tradition which clearly indicate the permissible of Tawassul and approaching Allah (swt) through Wasila of Prophets and Aimmahs (s). I have ended here for the part of Quraan and Ahadith so as not to make this article too long, as those mentioned is sufficient to prove our point.

Conclusion:
Hence the concept of Tawassul is clear from all points of views, I request the reader to be careful from the wrong ideas which the Wahhabi’s and their likes present, just because they don’t want to accept the truth or to bring down the position of the Prophet (s) and Ahlulbayt (s)

Thus we conclude that intercession toward the prophet and his household in no way introduces polytheism, for it is an order from Allah through the holy Quraan to “seek means of approach”. In the course of this discussion, it has been made clear that the fact of Tawwasul is a recommended practise.
Last edited by murtaza on 30 Apr 2008, 08:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Know Your Imams | Author: Murtaza Sikander

Postby abuali » 28 Apr 2008, 22:16

Word count: 6762

The article will take at least 14 pages

Could you perhaps summarize it to no more than 2000 words?

Or if that will defeat the purpose than change it into a series
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Re: Know Your Imams | Author: Murtaza Sikander

Postby murtaza » 30 Apr 2008, 08:31

salaams,
hasin,
i have edited the article. i hope now its fine.
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Re: Know Your Imams | Author: Murtaza Sikander

Postby abuali » 30 Apr 2008, 10:14

Alaykum Salaam

Thanks Murtaza

Word count: 5134

Muhammad, should we turn it into a series?
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Re: Know Your Imams | Author: Murtaza Sikander

Postby Muhammad Mahdi » 30 Apr 2008, 14:59

thank you murtaza for writing.

Hasin, 5000 words= 10 pages if we make a series it will take 5 years to finish.
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Re: Know Your Imams | Author: Murtaza Sikander

Postby abuali » 30 Apr 2008, 21:40

With graphics and pictures it will be more than 10 pages.

Would people be able to read it in totality at one go?

Advantage of a series: People look forward to the next issue

Disadvantage: Have to wait months for the next issue

(I am thinking a series in two issues)

What do you think Murtaza? What about others?
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Re: Know Your Imams | Author: Murtaza Sikander

Postby Muhammad Mahdi » 30 Apr 2008, 22:21

How about having 5 pages in the mag and having a link to ask for the rest of the article?
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Re: Know Your Imams | Author: Murtaza Sikander

Postby abuali » 01 May 2008, 01:10

a decent idea!
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Re: Know Your Imams | Author: Murtaza Sikander

Postby abuali » 04 May 2008, 12:31

The following can also be used under this section to make us aware about some of the qualities of Imam Ali (AS)

Word count: 1114

Sources: Will have to be looked up. I had compiled this a long time back!
___________________________________
Dividing Inheritance
Imam Ali (AS) was endowed with a quick, sharp, incisive, mathematical mind. Here are a few interesting stories in which Imam Ali's mathematical brilliance revealed itself.
What is a wife's share?
Imam Ali (AS) was once interrupted while he was delivering a sermon from the pulpit by someone who asked him how to distribute the inheritance of someone who had died leaving a wife, his parents and two daughters. The Imam instantly answered: "The wife's share becomes one ninth."
How?
This answer is in fact the result of a long analysis with a number of steps. Ordinarily, we have to decide on the original share of each of these heirs, in the following way:
The wife takes one eighth, in view of the presence of an inheriting child. [Holy Quran 4:12]
The deceased's father and mother take one sixth each. [Holy Quran 4:11]
The two daughters take two thirds of the inheritance. [Holy Quran 4:11]
So the total will be: 1/8 + 1/6 + 1/6 + 2/3 = 3/24 + 4/24 + 4/24 + 16/24 = 27/24
This means the share becomes less than 1/8 in view of the increase of the total of the shares which are so fixed and prescribed. So the one eighth, the original share due to the wife out of twenty-four total shares, has become three shares out of a total of twenty-seven, which is one ninth.
Imam Ali's mind went through this complex mathematical process in a second!


Whole Number and not a Fraction
One Day a Jewish person came to Imam Ali (AS), thinking that since Imam Ali thinks he is too smart, I'll ask him such a tough question that he won't be able to answer it and I'll have the chance to embarrass him in front of all the Arabs.
He asked "Imam Ali, tell me a number, that if we divide it by any number from 1-10 the answer will always come in the form of a whole number and not as a fraction."
Imam Ali (AS) looked back at him and said, "Take the number of days in a year and multiply it with the number of days in a week and you will have your answer."
The Jewish person got astonished but as he was a polytheist (Mushrik), he still didn't believe Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (AS) He calculated the answer Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (AS) gave him.
To his amazement he came across the following results: The number of Days in a Year = 360 (in Arab) The Number of Days in a Week = 7 The product of the two numbers = 2520
Now...
2520 ÷ 1 = 2520
2520 ÷ 2 = 1260
2520 ÷ 3 = 840
2520 ÷ 4 = 630
2520 ÷ 5 = 504
2520 ÷ 6 = 420
2520 ÷ 7 = 360
2520 ÷ 8 = 315
2520 ÷ 9 = 280
2520 ÷ 10= 252


Dividing 17 Camels
A person was about to die, and before dying he wrote his Will which went as follows: "I have 17 Camels, and I have three sons. Divide my Camels in such a way that my eldest son gets half of them, the second one gets 1/3rd of the total and my youngest son gets 1/9th of the total number of Camels."
After his death when the relatives read his will they got extremely perplexed and said to each other that how can we divide 17 camels like this.
So after a long hard thought they decided that there was only one man in Arabia who could help them: "Imam Ali (AS)."
So they all came to the door of Imam Ali (AS) and put forward their problem.
Imam Ali (AS) said, "Ok, I will divide the camels as per the man's will."
Imam Ali (AS) said, "I will lend one of my camels to the total which makes it 18 (17+1=18), now lets divide as per his will."
The eldest son gets 1/2 of 18 = 9
The second one gets 1/3 of 18 = 6
The youngest gets 1/9 of 18 = 2
Now the total number of camels = 17 (9+6+2=17)
Then Imam Ali (AS) said, "Now I will take my Camel back."


The Five Loaves of Bread
Zarr Bin Hobeish relates this story: Two travelers sat together on the way to their destination to have a meal. One had five loaves of bread. The other had three. A third traveler was passing by and at the request of the two joined in the meal.
The travelers cut each of the loaf of bread in three equal parts. Each of the travelers ate eight broken pieces of the loaf.
At the time of leaving the third traveler took out eight dirhams and gave to the first two men who had offered him the meal, and went away. On receiving the money the two travelers started quarrelling as to who should have how much of the money.
The five-loaf-man demanded five dirhams. The three-loaf-man insisted on dividing the money in two equal parts.
The dispute was brought to Imam Ali (AS) (the Caliph of the time in Arabia) to be decided.
Imam Ali (AS) requested the three-loaf-man to accept three dirhams, because five-loaf-man has been more than fair to you. The three-loaf-man refused and said that he would take only four dirhams.
At this Imam Ali (AS) replied, "You can have only one dirham." You had eight loaves between yourselves. Each loaf was broken in three parts. Therefore, you had 24 equal parts. Your three loaves made nine parts out of which you have eaten eight portions, leaving just one to the third traveler. Your friend had five loaves which divided into three made fifteen pieces.
He ate eight pieces and gave seven pieces to the guest. As such the guest shared one part from your loaves and seven from those of your friend. So you should get one dirham and your friend should receive seven dirhams.


Imam Ali's Answering Difficult Questions
One day another Jewish person came to Imam Ali (AS). He was planning to ask Imam Ali (AS) such a question, which would take Imam Ali (AS) a long time to answer and because of that his Maghrib Prayers would be delayed.
He asked, "Imam Ali you say you know everything in the world, then tell me which animals lay eggs and which animals give birth to their young ones."
Imam Ali (AS) looked back at him smiled and said, "The animals who have their 'EARS' outside their body give birth to their young ones and the animals who have their 'EARS' inside their body lay eggs."
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Re: Know Your Imams | Author: Murtaza Sikander

Postby abuali » 04 May 2008, 12:40

Another excellent article I came across would also be a good read.

We have to decide in which issue to use it

Word count: 2013

______________________

History of the Shrine of
Imam Husayn B. Ali B. Abi Talib, Peace Be Upon Them

________________________________________

i have not put the full article here because it has been arranged well in MS Word which cannot appear properly here. Will email the article to you Muhammad
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Re: Know Your Imams | Author: Murtaza Sikander

Postby Muhammad Mahdi » 04 May 2008, 21:41

All or some part of this article has been circulating for some time, so it will not be something new in the mag.
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