After the death of their father,
Muhammad and Ibrahim were put into prison.
Later, they escaped and walked hurriedly away
In one place they did not stay.
A kind lady who was fetching water
Saw them hiding behind a tree
Took them home and gave them food
“Don’t worry,” she said. “At the moment you are free.”
At night Muhammad saw his father in his dream
Next day, he cried bitterly with his brother, Ibrahim.
Harith, the kind lady’s husband, found the two innocent ones
Angrily and without any love killed them at once.
Captured by a beast, the older child said
Kill me first o man I can’t see my brother dead.
For I have always taken care of my brother
From the instructions given to me by my mother
With their last prayers performed at the River Furat
Martyred were the sons of Muslim Ibn Aqeel
Their small bodies floated away clutching one another
Straight to paradise they will go together.
by F. T. Jaffer
In Hajj Allah is calling you, it’s like death, as when the Angel of death comes, it is because Allah is calling you to Him.
When you are doing Ghusul, remember that one day you will be washed. You are washing yourself from your sins.
When you wear your ihram it’s like wearing your shroud.
In Tawaf you walk in the anticlockwise direction. Everything in the universe goes Anticlockwise, the solar system goes anticlockwise, the atoms go anticlockwise. The whole universes circulation is anticlockwise.
We are promising Allah, O God, my focal point is you, you are the centre of my life, I will always 7 days of my week for my whole life be around you, worshipping you. I will not deviate left or right I will always be in an orbit around your existence.
You then pray behind the footsteps of Prophet Ibrahim, what message do you get here? O God, Prophet Ibrahim sacrificed, he did not follow Shaitan, he did not let his ego come, so I will follow him, I will try to do my best to be your friend O God. I will try and pelt my ego with my intellectual stones, whenever anything comes I will sacrifice for your sake I will keep you above my ego.
When you are praying behind someone you are following that person you are listening to that person, so when we are praying behind Prophet Ibrahim’s footsteps that are engraved on the stone, it means we are following in HIS footsteps.
The walk between Safa and Marwa. When Prophet Ibrahim came with Hajar and Ismael, Prophet Ibrahim was order to leave by Allah. Ismael was thirsty, so Hajar started to look for water, she was walking from Mount Safa to Marwa, and again she was struggling just to take care of her child. After the 7th round at Marwa Allah brought forth a miracle – a spring of water started to gush and gush this was zam zam, which means ‘stop stop’. If Ismael hadn’t said stop stop they would drowned, when he said stop stop, the springs became slower. When water is present birds start to come, so the distant tribes saw the birds which meant water is there, so the tribes came and Makkah was established as a city. The next visit of Prophet Ibrahim, him and Ismael built the holy kaaba.
Arafat – the land of resurrection. On the Day of Judgement you will be accounted, and you will read your book. This is an opportunity to remember all the sins you have done in your life and ask forgiveness. On this day you can account yourself and seek forgiveness, but on the Day of Judgement you will be accounted but can’t ask for forgiveness, account yourself before you are accounted.
The Day of Arafat means Marifa, when you die you come into the realm of knowing Allah there is no material barrier. Whoever knows his soul will know his Lord. Contemplate.
In Muzdalifa there are no tents. There are no barriers.
When you pick your stones ask Allah to protect you from the biggest devil, which isn’t Iblis or Shaitan, it is our ego.
From Muzdalifa to Mina You see the light, you are back to the world and it is as if you are newly born. Just as a new born baby has their hair shaved, you shave your hair.
Just as you pelt the Shaitan with 7 stones, pelt your ego whenever it comes 7 days a week.
The are 3 Shaitans, the big one, medium one and small one. These places are where Shaitan came to Prophet Ibrahim, Hajar and Ismael trying to deceive them and they pelted Shaitan with stones.
So when Shaitan comes to us telling us not to obey Allah, take the stones of your will and pelt the ego and Shaitan and don’t let him distract you. The big pillar is like shirk. Rely on Allah not people. Medium Shaitan is like the sins of the rights of the people and the small Shaitan is like the Sins of yourselves. Make promises to Allah in Mina.
The sacrifice has a big meaning, imagine the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim. He waited for about 80 years to have a son, then he was blessed with Ismael. What a difficult test for Prophet Ibrahim, he waited 80 years for a Son, and he has to give his son back to Allah. Prophet Ibrahim controlled his desires, and said to Allah everything is for you.
When we go and sacrifice, whenever there is a conflict between Allah and your desires, Allah and your ego, Allah and your material entertainment, prefer Allah, prefer your salaat, prefer Fasting, prefer Allah in every single moment of your day and night.
There is another sacrifice which is the sacrifice of the holy Prophet with his grandson Imam Hussain. The Prophet knew before Imam Hussain was born what was going to happen in Kerbala, imagine the test of the Prophet. He told Imam Hussain about being martyred in Kerbala, he didn’t tell Imam Hussain not to go to Kerbala. Imam Hussain was be-headed there was no ram replaced there instead, the Holy Prophet and Lady Fatima and Imam Ali were all watching how difficult it was for them. Imam Hussain has to witness all his family being slaughtered in front of his eyes.
To appreciate the blood of Imam Hussain, avoid committing sins, avoid your ego, just remember did Imam Hussain give his life for us commit sins? Keep the values of Imam Hussain alive.
This is like the journey of the dead, you die when you go from Makkah to Arafat, you are basically in your grave. Then you are resurrected in Arafat the land of resurrection. After accounting and seeking forgiveness you come back to life as you have been given another opportunity of life.
An Ever Green Conversation of our 4th Imam, Imam Zaynul Abidin (A.S.), with his companion Shibli
When the Fourth Imam Zaynul Abidin (as) returned from Hajj, Shibli came to meet him. They engaged in the following conversation:
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Did you go for Hajj O Shibli?
Shibli: Yes O son of the Messenger of Allah.
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Did you stop at the Miqat (Miqat are the stations at which pilgrims on the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Makkah, put on ihram, the pilgrim’s garment) and put away the sewn clothes and perform the sacred bath?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): When you stopped at Miqat did you make the intention that you are taking off the clothes of disobedience and putting on the clothes of obedience?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): And when you had taken off your sewn clothes did you make the intention that you had taken off hypocrisy and entering dubious acts?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): And when you took the bath did you have the intention that you are washing yourself from all sins and errors?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): You did not stop at Miqat, nor did you take off sewn clothes nor did you perform the sacred bath.
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Did you cleanse yourself and put on Ihram and fulfil your covenant of Hajj?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): When you did this did you have the intention that you are cleaning yourself with the nurah of the sincere repentance to Almighty Allah the most high?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): When you put on the Ihram did you have the intention that you are forbidding yourself everything that Almighty Allah has forbidden?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): When you fulfilled the covenant of Hajj did you have the intention that you have nullified all other covenants with other than Allah?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): You did not cleanse yourself nor did you put on the Ihram nor did you fulfil the covenant of hajj.
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Did you enter the Miqat and pray the two Rakats of the Ihram and did you chant Talbiyah?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): When you entered the Miqat, did you make the intention of entering as a visitor?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): When you prayed the two Rakats did you make the intention that you are trying to get closer to Allah (SWT) with the best of acts from the prayers and the biggest of good deeds from the acts of worship?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): When you chanted the Talbiyah did you have the intention that you were talking to almighty Allah with all obedience and keeping quiet from all disobedience?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): You did not enter Miqat nor did you pray nor did you chant the Talbiyah.
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Did you enter the Haram and did you see the Kaaba and did you pray there?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): When you entered the Haram did you have the intention that you were prohibiting on yourself all backbiting of all the Muslims from the Nations of Islam?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): And when you reached Makka did you make the intention with your heart that you had come to Almighty Allah (SWT)?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): You have neither entered Haram nor seen the Kaaba nor prayed.
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Did you go round the house and did you touch the Rukn and did you make Saee?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): And when you did the Saee did you have the intention that you were running towards Almighty Allah and did Allah the knower of all secrets know this?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): You did not go round the house nor did you touch Rukn nor did you make Saee.
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Did you touch the Hajar al-Aswad (The Black Stone) and did you stand at the Maqam Ibrahim (Station of Abraham) and did you pray two Rakats on it?
Here the Imam Zaynul Abidin (as) gave a scream as if he was about to leave this world saying Ah! Ah! Whoever touches the black stone it is as if he has shaken hands with Almighty Allah (SWT). So Look O poor chap that you do not destroy the reward of something whose sacredness has been made very great and you do not spoil your Handshake by disobedience and by grasping evil like the sinners.
Then Imam Zaynul Abidin (as) asked: Did you have the intention when you were standing on Maqam Ibrahim (Station of Abraham) that you were are standing on every obedience and that you have put behind you all disobedience?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): When you prayed two Rakats there did you make the intention that you are praying the prayers of Ibrahim and that you are humiliating Shaitan with your prayers?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): You did not stand on Maqam Ibrahim (Station of Abraham) nor did you pray two Rakats on it.
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Did you look over the well of Zamzam and did you drink from its water?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Did you have the intention when you were looking over the well that you looking at obedience to Almighty Allah and closing your eyes from all disobedience?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): You did not look over it nor did you drink from its water.
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Did you run between Safa and Marwa and did you walk between it repeatedly?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Did you have the intention that you were between hope and fear?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): You did not run between Safa and Marwa.
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Did you go out to Mina?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Did you have the intention that every Muslim was safe from your tongue, your heart and you?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): You did not go out to Mina.
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Did you stay a short time at Arafa and did you climb Jabal al-Rahma and did you recognize the wadi of Namira and did to supplicate to Almighty Allah near al-Mil and al-Jamaraat?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Did you conceive by your stay in Arafa the gnosis (Irfan) of Almighty Allah (SWT) and the knowledge of good things and acts; and did you conceive that your book of deeds was in the hands of Allah and that Allah had full knowledge of your secrets and what is in your heart?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): And when you climbed the Jabal al-Rahma did you have the intention that Almighty Allah may have mercy on all believing men and all believing women and that He will help all Muslim men and women?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Did you have the intention at wadi of Namira that you would not enjoin good until you practice it yourself and you would not forbid evil until you leave it yourself?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): And when you stopped at al-Mil and al-Jamaraat did you have the intention that they were witnessing all your acts of worship and that they were guarding you together with guardian angels by the order of Almighty Allah?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Then you did not stay at Arafat nor did you go up the Mountain of Mercy nor did you recognize the wadi of Namirah nor did you supplicate to Almighty Allah.
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Did you pass between the two columns pray two Rakats before crossing; go to Muzdalifah pick up pebbles and cross the Mash’arul Haram?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): When you prayed the two Rakats, did you have the intention that you were praying the prayer of thanksgiving within the ten nights which removes every hardship and facilitates every ease?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): At the time of passing between the two columns without deviating to the right or the left did you have the intention that you would never deviate from the true religion to the right or the left neither with your heart, tongue nor with your limbs?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): When you walked through Muzdalifah and picked up the pebbles did you have the intention that you have plucked all acts of disobedience and ignorance and that you had affirmed knowledge and action?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Then when you walked in the Mash’arul Haram did you have the intention that you had embossed your heart with the identification of those who have Taqwa and fear of Almighty Allah the Most High?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Then you did not pass between the two columns nor did you pray the two Rakats, nor walked into Muzdalifah, nor picked up the pebbles nor walked in the Mash’arul Haram.
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Did you arrive at Mina, throw stones at the Jamarah and did you shave your head and slaughter the sacrifice and did you pray in Masjid al-Kheef and did you return to Makkah and perform the Tawaf of Ifadha (return) to Makkah?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): When you reached Mina and pelted the Jamarah did you have the intention that you have attained your goal and your Lord has fulfilled all your needs?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): And when you pelted the Jamarah did you have the intention that you had pelted your enemy Iblees and by completing this precious Hajj you had disobeyed him?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): And when you shaved your head did you have the intention that you had cleansed yourself from all filth and from all the injustice of the children of Adam and that you had purified yourself from sin just like a new born baby.
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): And when you slaughtered your hadiya did you have the intention that you are cutting the artery of greed by holding fast to the reality of piety and that you are following the tradition of Ibrahim (A.S.) when he was prepared to slighter his son, the fruit of his heart, through which he established the Sunna of gaining nearness to Almighty Allah for those who came after him?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): And when you returned to Makka and did the Tawaaf of Ifadha did you have the intention that you had come back with the Mercy of Almighty Allah to His obedience and that you had clasped His love that you had performed your duty to Him and had gained nearness to him?
Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Then you did not reach Mina nor did you pelt the Jamaraat nor did you shave your head nor did you slaughter the hadiya nor did you pray in the Masjid Al-Kheef nor did you return to Makkah and perform the Tawaaf of Ifadha. Go back because you have not performed Hajj!
Having heard all this Shibli started to cry because of what he had missed in his Hajj and he continued to learn the secrets of Hajj until he could perform the Hajj through knowledge and understanding.
￼1. For all grief and sorrow recite daily 100 times ‘’Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem, Laa Hawla Wala Quwwata illa Billaah.
2. For sustenance recite 100 times after every namaaz Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem, Astaghfirullaah wa As’aluhu min Fadlih.
3. If a sick person recites Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem 786 times for 7 days, Allaah will cure him.
4. If ’‘Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem’‘ recited on a sick person 100 times for 3 days they will be cured.
5. For an earache one should recite ’‘Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem” 40 times in the ear.
6. If a prisnor recites 786 times will get freedom.
￼7. If recited 1000 times for 40 mornings Allaah will remove the veils from the heart and will reveal to the reciter the secrets of the Universe.
8. If written 35 times and hung in the house, shayaateen and jinn will not enter that house, blessings will decend.
9. If written 35 times and hung in the shop, costumers will be attracted and one will gain profit in abundance.
10. The one who recites 21 times before sleeping will be protected from shaytaan , theft, calamities and sudden death.
11. Reciting 19 times after Fajr prayers will protect you from the fire of Hell.
An excerpt from AlMuraqaba by Ayatullah Mirza Jawad Agha Maliki Tabrizi
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
The most important thing of this month is the Night of Power (Lailatul Qadr) – the night which is superior, than a thousand months, one thousand months jihad, one thousand months reign, and the worship in it is superior than one thousand months of worship, (as has been narrated in the traditions). Yes! the Night of Power is a very precious and distinguished night, in accordance with the Qur’anic interpretation it is a very auspicious night; and as could be derived from the traditions, in this night the sustenance and age of servants, and the good and evil of their affairs are destined; the Holy Qur’an was descended in this night; also the angels are descended all over the earth, and when they pass through the gathering of believers, send salutations and praises upon them, and consider their prayers until the dawn.
“It has been narrated that during this night the prayers of all are accepted, and the prayer of no one remains unanswered except the following:
The one who has displeased and angered his parent and was declared disinherited or rebellious by them.
The one who has cut off his relationship with his kith and kin.
The one who possesses animosity and vengeance of a believer in his heart.
The one who consumes alcoholic drinks.”
In the book “Iqbal”, a tradition has been narrated from the Holy Prophet [s]:
“That Prophet Moses [a] in his prayer said: ‘O’ Allah! I desire Your nearness and union. ‘My nearness and union belong to someone who remains vigilant and awake during the Night of Power.’ Replied Allah. Prophet Moses [a] said: ‘O’ Allah! I want Your blessing and forgiveness.‘ ‘My blessing belongs to someone who is kind towards the destitute on the Night of Power.’ Replied Allah. Prophet Moses [a] said: ‘O’ Allah! I want to pass through the bridge of Serat on the road to Paradise safely.‘ ‘The safety in passing through the bridge of Serat belongs to someone who pays alms on the Night of Power,’ replied Allah. Prophet Moses [a] said: ‘O’ Allah! I want the trees and fruits of Paradise.‘ They belong to someone who does not forget to remember and praise Me on the Night of Power.’ Replied Allah. Prophet Moses [a] said: ‘O’ Allah! I wish to have your pleasure and consent.‘ My pleasure and consent belong to someone who offers two rak’ats of prayer during the Night of Power.’ Replied Allah.
In the same book of Iqbal it has been narrated from the Holy Prophet [s]:
“On the Night of Power the gates of Heaven are opened. There for every is no servant who offers prayer in this night, but Allah for every prostration stores a tree in the Paradise – the tree whose branches and shade is so vast that if a rider travels for one hundred years through its shade he would not be able to cross it; for every ra’kat would build a home for him in Paradise – the home decorated and built by pearls, topaz, and rubies; for every verse recited a crown from the crowns of Paradise; for every praise (tasbeeh) a bird from the birds of Paradise; for every sitting a rank from the ranks of Paradise; for every witnessing (tashahud) – a chamber from the chambers of Paradise, and for every salutation – a robe from the robes of Paradise would be bestowed upon him by Allah. And at the breaking of the dawn, companions – youthful and sympathetic, houris of Paradise – pure and decorated, servant obedient and well uniformed, horses – most obedient and swift, flowers, greenery, and good smells, running elegant fountain streams, and many other bounties which make the soul pleased and eyes to shine, would also be bestowed upon him by Allah.”
Beseeching Allah for Bestowing Readiness for the Night of Power (Lailatul Qadr)
Yes! the one who believes in the religion and respects Qur’anic verses and traditions of the sinless Imams [a], it would be desirable that he should make his best efforts and endeavours for celebrating this night. The efforts which are desirable and should be undertaken are, that during the whole year before the arrival of the Night of Power, he must repeatedly beseech Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted) to bestow upon him the divine grace (towfiq) to be vigilant during this night; bless him with most esteemed and dearest deeds; consider that night superior than one thousand months for him and may accept from him; make him His most favourite and nearest one during this night; bless him with His love, learning, nearness, union, pleasure, and consent together with health, happiness, and welfare; should be pleased with him in such a manner, that after this he would never be displeased with him; should make the prophets. Imams, and especially the Imam of the Age (may Allah hasten his appearance) pleased with him; and allocate him to live in Allah nearness accompanied by the impeccable ones, bestow upon him divine favour to succeed in establishing Allah’s obedience and consent, and make his ultimate end Allah’s countenance and pleasure.
Preparation For the Night of Power (Lailatul Qadr).
The other decent efforts for this night are that before its arrival, the prudent wayfarer should arrange for its preliminaries and necessities, e.g. for worshipping in this night a suitable place, dress, and perfume should be arranged in advance for engaging in private humming communications Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), as well as for communications with his masters, i.e. sinless Imams [a] he should arrange suitable themes and contents; for paying alms during this night should allocate some money, even for the invitation of guests and for payment of alms, he should plan in advance to select the most suitable guests and the genuinely poor people who really deserve financial support.
Let us imagine that if an emperor dispatches a special courier before someone, with compassion and mercy invites him for a special feast, gives him glad-tidings that if he appears in the royal feast with decency and decorum, rewards and magnificent gifts would be bestowed upon him, and the more respectfully he would behave in the assembly, the emperor too would increase his rewards and gifts in proportion with his behaviour. Undoubtedly, after receiving such a message this person would become excited and pleased, and in order to prepare himself would not leave any stone unturned, and during this period would mobilize all his resources and efforts to procure whatever is required for being present in such an assembly, so that finally, when that moment arrives, being fully decorated in a respectable and decent manner, he could present himself over there.
The invitation of an emperor is responded in the above manner but how about the invitation of Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), who is the King of all kings – the King of the Earth and the Heavens – has invited us for His feasts; in order to invite us has dispatched his favourite angels, pious prophets and sinless Imams as his couriers. He has assigned His angels to announce his invitation kindly and compassionately to us; has given us the glad-tidings of giving us permanent abode in Paradise in return for sincere worshipping during one single night (the Night of Power); has promised such bounties, which have not been seen by any eye, have not been heard by any ear, and have not been imagined through any human being’s mind, as well as has given us the glad-tiding of illumination, ecstasy, majesty, splendour, nearness, union, and countenance, for whose least comprehension and understanding, faculties of reason and thoughts find themselves astonished and helpless.
Are we among those who have prepared for this night and invitation, the way we ought to be, and must be, in order to attain the eternal blessing and salvation? Or are we among those negligent and idle ones, who do not achieve anything except loss and eternal doom? We must better know that the one who acts naively and lazily, and does not strive to take advantage of the magnificent generosities of this night, when in the Hereafter, would see that those who were zealous, committed, and vigilant during these nights what have they achieved, and what magnificence, splendour and glory have been bestowed upon them. But they would gain nothing except regret – the regret so great and painful that the Hell’s blazing fire and its torturous punishments would seem smaller as compared to their regret, and then together with the losers and eternally doomed ones, would cry loudly:
“Ah! Woe upon me! In that I neglected (my duty) towards Allah.” – Holy Qur’an (39:56)
But on that Day when the gates of repentance would have been closed, there would be nothing left for compensation of the damage, everyone would have seen the ultimate outcome of his deeds, and then feeling sorry and being regretful would not produce any gain. Therefore, we must take a look upon ourselves, and before falling into such regret and grief, must admonish ourselves for being so lazy, naive, and easy going. And before that we are called for accounting and are condemned into the state of wretchedness and destitution, for wasting our precious capital – the capital through which we could have accomplished most precious and greater gains we better put our self to scrutiny.
Selection of the Most Suitable Deeds
Other desirable efforts of this night are that with the nearing of these nights, one should increase his eagerness for receiving the promised bounties and blessings; should select worships and deeds which are more in harmony with his mood from the point of view of sincerity, heart’s presence, and internal purification; in this matter should seek help from Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), and the impeccable ones; and if he cannot diagnose himself what suits his mood properly, he should seek guidance from Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), through consultation (istekhara).
Meditation and Pondering
After recital of invocations and supplications one should also allocate some time for self-meditation and pondering, of course, this should be done at a time when he is free from whatever disturbs his thoughts like domination of sleep, over-eating, and pains of hunger etc.
Not to be Negligent from Allah
During these nights, one must strive his best to keep thinking about Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), all along the night, and should not forget Him during any part of the night even for the sake of recommended and justified deeds. Also while offering prayer and supplications he should not think about any other thing even though if they happen to be recommended things.
For example, during prayer (salaat), one should not think about recommended deeds like building of mosque, cleaning of mosque, and paying alms etc., because all these are indications of negligence; even during a part of the prayer (salaat), he should not think about the next portion of the prayer, e.g. in the state of standing, to think about the prostration is negligence. He must try to concentrate upon whatever act of the prayer he is performing and should not be negligent about whatever he is doing or reciting. In order to make this task easier, before performing different acts of prayer, e.g. recital or genuflexion (rukoo), first of all, he should think about them briefly and then should perform them. And in case while performing a certain act, negligence dominates over him, and if a verse or invocation is recited with negligence, he must repeat it again.
For example, when he wants to stand towards Mecca (Qiblah) for prayer (salaat) first of all, he should think briefly about the wisdom of standing towards Mecca, and then should turn his face in that direction; and when he wants to stand for the prayer, first of all, he should think about the meanings of standing, i.e., his standing is for truth and his resting upon his two feet is the indication of his hope (raj’a) and fear (khouf) about the acceptance of his worship. When he wants to recite the phrase:
“In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful.”
First of all, he should think about its meaning in brief, and then should recite it with his tongue, and similar is the case with other acts of the prayer.
Resorting (Tawassul) to Ahlul-Bait [a]
The one who wants to be vigilant in this manner throughout the night, must take refuge in the sinless (ma’sum) – the one to whom this night belongs – at the beginning of that night, should stretch his hands towards their generous threshold. With persistence, supplicating in a polite and soft manner, with words and content arousing their sympathies, should beseech them for bestowing upon him the grace of being vigilant during this night. Then he must surrender and hand over all his existence, reason, heart, self, virtues, deeds to them, and throughout the night, must be careful not to commit anything which is not in harmony with this surrender, because the one who succeeds in it, certainly would have achieved whatever he aspired for during this night.
Crying and Shedding Tears
For the prudent wayfarer who desires, that during these nights his fear, humility, tears, crying, anguish, and lamentation be increased as much as possible, one of the best method is that he should tie his hands around his neck; should pour dirt upon his head; should place his head against a wall; sometimes he should stand and sometimes he should cry; should imagine himself at the scene of Judgement Day; and the way sinners are rebuked with harshness, should rebuke himself accordingly; then he should look towards his right, imagining about the companions of the right hand (ashab al-yamin) and should think about their splendour, majesty, features, virtues, robes, and smells; then he should look towards the left, imagining about the companions of the left hand (ashab al-shumal) should regard himself among them, thinking about their torturous and painful condition with blackened faces, their swollen eyes, tied hands and feet, and burnt skins; the angels standing in readiness to execute Allah’s command to throw him together with them inside Hell; then he should imagine and be scared lest Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted) orders:
“Seize ye him, bind ye him, burn ye him in the blazing fire, and make him march in a chain whereof the length is seventy cubits.” – Holy Qur’an (69:30-32)
Then he should cry:
“O’ Thou are the most compassionate, and Thou Who are the shelter of unsheltered ones!”
And should cry:
“Where is Your vast blessing? Where is Your infinite forgiveness? Where are Your love and benevolence?”
Then he should cry, should remember His patience and kindness, should think about His infinite forgiveness and generosity, and if Satan wants to make him hopeless should tell him: ‘you, with all these sinning and transgressions can’t be hopeless about Allah’s blessing and forgiveness, which belongs especially to righteous ones and you are not among them.’ He shouldn’t pay attention to his words, don’t let his whispers effect his heart, turn his face from him, take refuge in Allah, (the Glorious, the Exalted), and should pay more attention to his prayer, hopes and needs, and in a hopeful manner should speak to Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted): it is far away from Your benevolence and magnanimity to turn Your face away from someone needy like me, and not to forgive a destitute and helpless one like me who has stretched his needy hands towards Your threshold, has resorted to Your most favourite ones, with tearful eyes, and heart and body trembling with fear.
Then becoming further hopeful, he should submit his wants before Him, and whatever spiritual exalted position and sublime ranks, like enlightenment, love, union, faith, and piety could enter in his mind, he must beg from Him. And should repeat the following text as much as possible:
“O’! Thou Who is capable of doing whatever he pleases, and except Thee there is none, who could do whatever he desires. O’! Thou are the One Whose great generosities and large bounties are not expansive at all. O’! Thou Whose donations do not decrease anything (from His treasures), and Whose not giving away does not increase anything.”
Then he should insists more about the same meanings and plead by saying:
“O’ my Lord! if I do not deserve to request whatever I have requested from You, but Your generosity and benevolence is such and deserve to bestow upon me the grant of my needs. O’ my Lord! Your recognition, which You Yourself have taught me encourages me, that I should desire my great needs from You, because, whatever You bestow upon Your servants and provide for them is not because they are worthy of them, and if there is such worthiness, even that worthiness is bestowed upon them by You, therefore, benevolence and welfare could not belong to anyone except You, and if such is the case, O’ Lord! That worthiness and decency, which You bestowed upon Your righteous servants, bestow upon me too, so that I could also achieve this worthiness, whereby my prayers could receive Your acceptance and my desires get fulfilled.
O’ Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted)! You are the one that whatever You do, no one can question You, and there is no one who could dare to raise a finger of criticism. Or could challenge You in Your Power and Reign, You are such that neither Your generosity have any limit and boundary, nor Your blessing have any end, therefore, O’ Lord bestow upon me worthiness in accordance of Your Power, and make me rich with Your generosity. O’ Thou are the most generous one among the generous ones! O’ Allah (the Glorious the Exalted)! If You want to punish me, instead, punish one of those who don’t believe in Your divinity and keep enmity towards Your friends. Come on and punish him, but as far as I am concerned, can I find anyone else except You to pardon me? O’ Lord! Would You deprive me from Your generosity ? Or there is no need for You to punish and take revenge but as far as I am concerned, I do need a lot of Your forgiveness and generosity.
O’ my Lord! Your enemy as well as my enemy, Satan desires that I become deprived from Your supplication and prayer and, thus, become pessimistic and hopeless from Your blessing and generosities, but I, because of Your grace have turned off my face from him, and trampled over whatever he desired. Therefore, help and support me over him, because in spite of his whispering I didn’t become hopeless and never turned off my face from You.
O’ Lord! With my little comprehension about Your blessing and forgiveness as well as Your being needless and omnipotent, I don’t believe that You will deprive from Your forgiveness and pardon, anyone of Your servants even the pagans except the enemies of your favourite ones who have oppressed your saints and tortured them but as regards to the punishment of others, if it was not the surrender and obedience to Your book and Your prophet’s words, I wouldn’t have believed; that regarding the punishment of unbelievers, you have stated in your book that they will be punished; from the point of view of my reason – the reason which you have bestowed upon me – in case you decided to punish them to fulfil Your warning against them, You are not helpless to do so.
But if You don’t act in accordance with Your warning, by not punishing them, then even in that case, there would not be the least interference in Your Exalted essence and perfection. O’ Lord! I presume so about the unbelievers, then how come shouldn’t be hopeful about the believers who have taken refuge in Thee, have put their trust in Your generosity, and desire Your union, even though they might have sinned and acted disobediently?
O’ my Lord! My Master! Sinning is from the servant and forgiveness is from the Master, especially, if the Master happens to be Exalted and beneficent like Thee. O’ my Lord! This is what I presume about Your generosity and kindness towards Your servants, during other months, days, and nights, and therefore, I am hopeful. But during the Holy Month of Ramadhan on the Night of Power, which You have created for the sake Your special generosities and blessings; have bestowed a special favour upon Your servants; have given glad-tidings of Your forgiveness and mercy to the sinners; have opened the gates of Your benevolence and magnanimity towards all; have spread the tablecloth of your forgiveness and blessing for all; can I say except that – You will reward everyone with pardon, forgiveness, love and blessing; would grant their wants; would accept their prayers; would reward their evils with goods, and their sins with good deeds; and would let Your greatness and magnanimity to surpass their limits – what else can I presume?
This is my optimistic presumption towards You, and that is my favourable opinion about Your kindness and magnanimity; You Yourself are knowledgeable, that Your great Prophet has given what glad-tidings for those, who have favourable opinion about you.”
The Day of Power (Qadr)
It should be understood that in accordance with the traditions both the night and day are interconnected, as far as their worth, value, esteem, and splendour are concerned, i.e. if the day is esteemed and honourable, the night of that day also possesses the same distinction and vice versa. Therefore, we must appreciate the importance of the Days of Power and like the Nights of Power, should celebrate them by sincerely performing worships and righteous deeds.
Taken from the book: Spiritual Journey of the Mystics
One of the most important dua to ask throughout the month of Ramadhan is to ask to be able to utilise the opportunity given during Laylatul Qadr to get divine grace. In Suratul Qadr, Allah considers the night to be better than a thousand months (approx 80 years). To be able to gain 80 years worth of grace is an awesome achievement.
It is recommended to recite Suratud Dukhan and Suratul Qadr every day from the beginning of the month until the 23rd of the month in preparation of Laylatul Qadr.
From ahadith we know that the affairs for every year, i.e., sustenance, provisions, age…. are assigned during Laylatul Qadr. Therefore to ponder and think of one’s aspirations and goals is the most important of preparations for the night.
Hadith from Hadith Qudsi
Prophet Musa (pbuh) once addressed Allah saying: “Lord! I desire to be near to You.”
Allah said “Whoever desires nearness to Me is one who remains awake during Laylatul Qadr (doing ibada).”
Prophet Musa (pbuh) said: “Lord! I wish to earn Your mercy.”
Allah replied “My mercy is granted to anyone who is merciful to the underprivileged during Laylatul Qadr.”
Prophet Musa (pbuh) said: “Lord! I wish to pass on the right path.”
Allah replied “This is granted to anyone who gives sadaqa during Laylatul Qadr.”
Prophet Musa (pbuh) said: “Lord! I wish to enjoy the trees and fruits of Janna!”
Allah replied “This is granted to anyone who praises Me during Laylatul Qadr.”
Prophet Musa (pbuh) said: “Lord! I wish to achieve salvation from the fire!”
Allah replied “This is granted to anyone who seeks forgiveness during Laylatul Qadr.”
Prophet Musa (pbuh) said: “Lord! I wish to achieve Your pleasure!”
Allah replied “I shall be pleased with anyone who prays two (mustahab) rak’ats salaa during Laylatul Qadr.”
“Allah has favoured Friday over all other days, the month of Ramadhan over all other months, and Laylatul Qadr over all other nights.” Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
This name was used for Laylatul Qadr because Allah determines what will happen for everyone in the entire next year. The “Qadr” in this sense means destiny. According to Al Qummi’s Tafsir, as explained on p. 432 of its second volume, such destiny includes life and death, sustenance, abundance of crops or famine and everything good or bad. This means that Allah determines in this night each and every event to occur during the next year to any and all of His creation.
Sulayman al- Marzawi asked Imam Ali Ar Ridha (pbuh) “Could you please tell us why Suratul Qadr was revealed?”
Imam replied: “O Sulayman! Laylatul Qadr is the night when Allah decrees what will take place from one year to another of life or death, good or evil, regarding sustenance and whatever He then decrees is sure destiny.”
“Whoever spends Laylatul Qadr in ibada to his/her Rabb will have all his/her sins forgiven even if they had numbered as many as the stars in the heavens, the weight of the mountains, or the measures of the seas.” Imam Muhammad Al Baqir (pbuh)
“The Holy Qur’an was revealed as a whole during the month of Ramadan at the Ancient House (the Ka’ba), then from there it was revealed along the span of (more than) twenty years.” Imam Sadiq (pbuh)
“The Books of Ibrahim (pbuh) were revealed on the first night of the month of Ramadan; the Torah was revealed on the sixth of the month of Ramadan; the Gospel (Injil) was revealed on the thirteenth of the month of Ramadan; the Psalms (Zabur) were revealed on the eighteenth of the month of Ramadan, and the Holy Qur’an was revealed on the twenty-fourth of the month of Ramadan.” Imam Sadiq (pbuh)
“During Laylatul Qadr, the angels, the spirit, and the trusted scribes all descend to the lower heavens and write down whatever Allah decrees that year, and if Allah wishes to advance something or postpone it or add thereto, He orders the angel to erase it and replace it with whatever He decrees.” Imam Sadiq (pbuh)
Ibn Abbas is quoted saying, “The Holy Qur’an was revealed as a whole from the Safeguarded Scroll from the heavens to the lower earth on Laylatul Qadr, then Jibrail used to reveal it unto Rasulullah (pbuh) gradually.”
Imam Baqir (pbuh), quoting Rasulullah (pbuh) has said that whoever spends Laylatul Qadr adoring his Lord will have all his sins forgiven even if they had numbered as many as the stars in the heavens, the weight of the mountains, or the measures of the seas.
Imam Baqir (pbuh) has said, “The 17th night of the month of Ramadan is when the two parties met, and the 19th is when the lists of the pilgrims is written down, and the 21st is when the successor to the Prophet passed away and Isa (pbuh) was raised to heaven and Musa (pbuh) passed away, whereas the 23rd is hoped to be Laylatul-Qadr.”
Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya quotes his father saying, “I was in the company of Imam Sadiq (pbuh) when Abu Baseer asked him, ‘Which night is the one when one is to plead to his Lord whatever he wishes to plead?’ Imam answered him by saying, ‘Either the twenty-first or the twenty-third.’ He then asked him: ‘What if I have no strength to observe both of them?’
Imam said, ‘How easy it is to observe them when compared to your pleas!”’
Imam Sadiq (pbuh) has also said: “The twenty-third night of the month of Ramadan is the one when every weighty matter is decided, when trials, tribulations, deaths, and means of sustenance and other matters are determined, and so will whatever Allah decrees to take place for the entire next year; so, congratulations to anyone who remains awake during it bowing, prostrating, contemplating upon his sins, weeping on their account, for if you do all of that, God willing, you Will never be disappointed.”
Then he added, “Allah will order an angel to call out during each and every day of the month of Ramadan conveying Allah’s message to them thus: ‘ Good news, O My servants, I have forgiven your past sins and permitted some of you to intercede on behalf of the rest on Lailatul-Qadr except those who break their fast with an intoxicant or those who bear grudge against another Muslim brother!’”
It is narrated that Allah wards off evil and sins and all types of trials on the 25th night from all His servants who fast and grants them light in their hearing and vision; Janna is decorated during Laylatul Qadr’s day and night.
Suggested things to do on Laylatul Qadr
· Make sure you are comfortable.
· Don’t eat too much for you will feel sleepy.
· Give sadaqa
· Concentrate on Allah today by focusing your thoughts on the importance of this night and how it is the unfortunate who are devoid of the blessings of this night. To keep your thoughts focused everytime they stray recite “Innaa lillahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji’un” “Indeed we are from Allah and towards Him is our return.” 2:156
· Make sure you are at peace with your relations especially your parents and blood ties. Ask their forgiveness for any wrong doing or hurt you may have caused them.
· Forgive those who have hurt you. Release yourself from their prison. Remember ‘The reward for goodness is only good”.
· Ponder over the translation of the duas so you can ‘connect’
· When reciting the names of the Ma’sumeen think about each of them, ‘connecting’ to them.
· Imagine yourself at the day of Judgement – cry and beseech Him for forgiveness and a fresh start. The Prophet (SAW) when asked what one should ask Allah for during these nights, said “Ask for your safety (here and in the hereafter)”.
DIVIDE THE NIGHT INTO 3 PARTS
1. The first part to gain knowledge. Listen to some lectures or read and make notes. Maybe the understanding of the suwer of ‘Ankabut and Room for Imam Ja’fer As Sadiq (AS) has told Abu Baseer that whoever reads these suwer on the 23rd night of the month of Ramadhan will certainly be among the residents of Janna without any exception, adding, “… and I do not fear that Allah will record a sin against me for giving such a status for these two suwer”
2. The 2nd part to be allocated for meditation. Ask yourself questions – Who am I? What do I wish to be? Where do I wish to go? How will I get there? Find time to talk to your Rabb and tell Him your insecurities, fears, aspirations……….. Ask the help of the Ma’sumeen to intercede (tawassul) and help……..Recite the duas/munajat from Saheefa Sajjadiyya to help focus.
3. The 3rd part to be allocated for Salatul Layl to connect with Salatul Fajr.
THE NIGHT OF POWER: A NIGHT BETTER THAN A THOUSAND MONTHS-1
Alhamdulillah, by the grace of the Almighty we once again have the chance to get our destinies written as it’s a night/nights where we can pray for the forthcoming year. But as all programmes need preparation, these nights need preparation too.
(from lectures given by Raziyabai Janmohammed & Nasreenbai Tejani in tadabbur classes and Sheikh Alidina’s lectures in the mosque).
When should you start preparing??
~Just after Maahe Ramadhan (for next year, inshallah)
We start by first asking ALLAH (SWT) to help us to worship Him (lots of “other” things are being worshipped today).
~Do all the “preparations” earlier so as not to regret later.
~Jibraeel was asked how were a momin’s wishes be fulfilled in this night? He replied that his halal wishes are fulfilled, his maghfirah getting accepted, but for those who “drink”, do “qat-e-rehmi” and those who do “fitna and fasaad”.
~A suitable state:
1. manzil (keeping in mind the great night)
2. maksad (get all the benefits of it – The guests of Allah-believers- get invitation to a DASTARKHAAN/table-laid full of ne’amats as gifts – but all depends on how we take it (rooh’s feast to get the best).
~ Hadith says do duas to beforehand to be able to stay alive for this night and also that we get tawfeek to grab these ne’amats and do istighfaar. We should be able to select good things and get closer to Allah s.w.t.– we should be eager to get them, and not just do the amals as rituals and also to make our Imame wakt happy).
~Be mentally prepared. Keep Allah s.w.t in front of you; our mind should be in amals; remove all bad thoughts by reciting constantly before amal nights: INNA LILLAAHI WA INNA ILAYIH RAAJIUN – so our duas should not be thrown back- have KHUSHU and KHUZU.
~Strive to do as much as you can even if you feel you can’t or don’t feel like doing.
~Get a proper place, preferably a masjid and comfortable clothes, for proper concentration (on the 23rd night we see pacheris going up and down).
~Get all the meanings to understand what is recited (alhamdulillah- the media room in providing that).
~Do everything with ma-arifa (like why we do this amal and why we recite that dua).
~Wait earnestly for this night to get your duas accepted
~This night should be divided into three parts, namely for ilm (gaining knowledge), meditation and salaah.
~To take full advantage, 6th Imam said, do ghusl twice, first part of the night, just before sunset and later part (ghusl is for the removal of the dirt gathered in our souls – ‘cleanliness is half imaan’). So with Jihad-e-nafs remove all inside impurity.
~ The Hole Prophet was asked, “ Which is the best dua to be recited in these nights?” He replied, “That dua which gives you Duniya and Akhiraah najaat/success”.
A NIGHT BETTER THAN A THOUSAND MONTHS………2
~ After the ghusl (of before maghrib), pray namaze maghribayn. Then pray 2 rakat prayer with 7 times sura e tawheed after sura e alhamd (this is to assure oursleves of how we are in need of our Lord).
~ 70 times astaghfaar (think of your 70 different sins or 10 sins each of 7 organs, like mouth,eyes,hands,etc, or even think about the ‘manzar’/state of qayamat – the Holy Prophet said thinking about all this with sure intention of not committing again, will make your istighfaar be accepted).
~LA’ANAH: this is a dua too, but when we send la’anah to the oppressors, we have to be careful that we are not in that category, if not directly, undirectly!! Keeping in mind the present oppressors, pray earnestly for the return of our Imam to end the oppression.
~As told by Agha Mirza, try to cry with repentence; keep your hands behind the neck, or keep sand/mud on your head, or remember your grave. Keep your head rubbing on the wall; stand a bit, sit a bit and think of hell’s manzar/state.
~Do the amaal of the Holy Quran – shafa’at from Quran and Ahlulbayt- we need masumeen for our shafa’at!!
~DUA: for hajj, for hujjah – The Proof (Imame Zamana – on whom the angels are descending with our amaals), for others first specially the oppressed around the world and those suffering from diseases as well as from natural and man-made disasters, for best life, for ilm, for the life hereafter, akhiraah, barzakh, etc.
~Recite Ziyarate waaritha (all prophets come down to our Imam; our amaals going to Imam, he being the ‘waarith’ of all the prophets’ ilm and struggle – so many lessons in this ziyarah).
~Ask Imame Zamana for shafa’at and maghfirah, and very humbly to take ALL OUR AMAALS AND DUAS to Alllah s.w.t.
~ Even the days following are auspicious and important; use them to perform good deeds and reciting other duas.
OUR DESTINY IS IN OUR HANDS; SO LETS THINK BEFORE WASTING AWAY THESE NIGHTS AND ASK ALLAH TO GRANT US THE TAWFEEK TO PERFORM THE AAMAALS WITH MA’ARIFA/UNDERSTANDING, AAMEEN.
Taking with him a group of jinn and people, Hadhrat Sulaiman (alyhis salaam) went to the sea. When he arrived at the seashore, he looked to the right, left and in all directions but did not see anything wonderful. Everything appeared normal. He then instructed an Ifreet to dive into the ocean, investigate and report back. (Ifreet is a designation for powerful and evil jinns. Such jinns were under the control of Nabi Sulaiman—alayhis salaam).
The Ifreet dived into the ocean. After a while he emerged and said: “O Nabi of Allah! Inspite of going down as far as I could, I did not reach the bottom nor did I see anything extraordinary.”
Sulaiman instructed another Ifreet to dive into the sea and report back with his findings. After some time he emerged and also stated his inability of discovering anything inspite of having gone down twice the depth of the first Ifreet.
Sulaiman (alayhi salaam) then instructed Aasif Bin Barkhiya who was a powerful and a pious jinn, to enter the sea. Aasif Bin Barkhya was the Prime Minister of Hadhrat Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) and he is mentioned in the Qur’aan Majeed. In an exceptionally short period of time, Aasif emerged from the ocean with a white-domed building, which had four doors. The doors were of a variety of precious stones. Inspite of all four doors being open, there was not a drop of water inside the structure. Although the doomed building was right at the bottom of the ocean at a depth, which both Ifreets could not reach, it was completely dry. When Hadhrat Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) looked inside, he was amazed to see an extremely handsome young man donning beautiful garments, engaged in Salaat. Hadhrat Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) entered and greeted the man. He asked the man:
“What delivered you into the depths of the ocean? The man narrated his story as follows:
“O Nabi of Allah! My father was lame in his legs and my mother was blind. I served them for seventy years. When my mother was about to die, she made the following dua: “O Allah! Increase the age of my son and grant him the taufeeq to spend his life in your ibaadat.” When my father was about to die, he made dua as follows: “O Allah! Take Your service from him in such a place to which no shaitaan can have access.”
After burying my father I was walking along this seashore when I saw this doomed structure. Its beauty enticed me inside. Immediately an angel arrived and delivered the building into the depths of the ocean.”
Hadhrat Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) asked: “In what age did you come here?” the man replied: “During the age of Nabi Ibraahim Khalilullaah.” When he calculated the years. Nabi Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) determined it to be 2000 years. Inspite of this long period, the man was young, handsome and there was not a strand of whiteness in his hair. Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) asked: “What do you eat in this ocean?” the man replied: “O Nabi Allah! Daily a green bird comes with something the size of a man’s head I eat of it and taste in it the deliciousness of all things on earth. My hunger and thirst are satisfied by eating of it. Heat, cold, drowsiness, tiredness, fear, etc., all are eliminated by eating of it. Hadhrat Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) said: “Do you wish to accompany us or be returned to your place?”
The man said: “Return me to my place.”
Hadhrat Sulaiman (alaylis salaam) ordered Aasif Bin Barkhiya to return the man with the domed structure to his place at the bottom of the ocean. Thus, was he returned to his abode. Turning to the gathering, Hadhrat Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) said:
“Look! How Allah has accepted the prayers of parents. May Allah have mercy on you. You refrain from fulfilling the rights of your parents. O Allah! Grant us the taufeeq to serve our parents.”
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.W.) has said that during the night of 15th Sha’baan, the Almighty takes decisions in the matters of
1). Sustenance, 2). Life and death and 3). Welfare of the people.
Next to the “Night of Qadr” the Night of 15th Sha’baan is the most auspicious night (also known as “Night of Bara’at”).
According to the Imam Muhammad bin Ali Al Baqir (a.s.) and Jaa’far bin Muhammad As Sadiq (a.s.), the Almighty Allah has promised to fulfil every legitimate desire put forward to Him tonight. During this night Allah (swt) bestows on HIS people from HIS bounty & forgives them out of HIS grace & generosity.
Of the blessings of this night is that, at the dawn of this night, was born the Leader of the Time Imam e Zamana (atfs) in Samarra -Iraq in the yr 255 AH . Almighty Allah has chosen this night for the Ahl al-Bayt a.s., in the same way as He has chosen the Qadr Night for our Prophet—peace be upon him and his Family.
Ahadith in the book IqbalulA‘mal – Hadhrat Jibreel visiting the Prophet (s.a.w.w.) said: "Therefore, stay awake this night in prayer and worship and encourage your Ummah to also keep awake this night in order to get closer to Allah swt. I have come to you while all the Angels in the Heavens are together with one another some are glorifying Allah, others are in Ruku‘, others are in the state of Sujud while others are busy in the Dhikr of Allah".
1). This is a night in which not a single person supplicates to Allah except that his prayers are accepted.
2). Nobody asks for a single thing on this night except that it will be given to him.
3). No one asks Allah for forgiveness except that his sins are wiped out.
4). No one turns in repentance to Allah except that He accepts their repentance.
5). Whoever is deprived of the goodness of this night has definitely been deprived of something great.
The first thing that Salik (the Wayfarer on the path towards Allah, Glorified and Exalted) must perform on this night is:
1). He must remove the material pleasures and enjoyments of this world from in front of his eyes (and from his heart) and
2). In order to make the most of this special Night he should ensure that all of his actions are performed properly,
3). He must think to himself that tonight is his last night on this Earth and thus possibly he will no longer have the opportunity to perform any more good deeds and
4). Tomorrow the Day of Judgment will take place.
Waiting for & Calling the Awaited leader
a) Waiting is not a passive situation. It requires efforts & actions to bring about changes on both personal & social fronts.
b) The Reappearance is also dependent upon the conditions of supporters & the society. The leader also awaits the availability of followers who will instantly obey w/o hesitation & questioning.
c) Allah (SWT) operates through a normal cause & effect conditions & miracles are not put into motion in many situations. Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change their own condition; Quran Ch 13 V11
d) History repeats itself & Quran is a book of guidance, hence narrates those episodes where there are learning values for humanity
e) Many recent events point to the fact that the reappearance is very close. Many Hadith also point out that, at the end of time it will be easier to hold burning coal in bare hands than to keep ones faith intact.
f) Reappearance will finally take place, with or without participation from us, the question each one of us has to answer is; what is our role & responsibility today in the scheme of things.
Two contrasting types of ‘Calling’ in Islamic History
a) Calling Imam Hussain (as) by the people of Kufa. The people were aware who is the just leader & even their hearts were for the Imam, YET when the time for support arrived they were not prepared for consequences & take personal losses. They did not sufficiently change themselves to be prepared for sacrifices required to follow him. They expected the Imam to come & change situation/solve problems rather than attempting/preparing for it first. They even welcomed the wrong leader in disguise, assuming him to be the Imam, due to lack of marefat.
b) Calling the Prophet (saws) by the people of Medina. The prophet received invitations from Medina, but accepted it only when there was sufficient evidence of the people having changed themselves sufficiently to bear the consequences of his arrival. History then proved how the people supported him in the mission.
Over Confidence. “ Its not us” -The danger of losing faith
Our present status is no guarantee that we will continue to be on the right path & not deviate at times of crucial tests. Even the love, recognition of the Ahlul bayt, piety & worship, may not be sufficient to ensure that we become his followers. There are 3 events given below which are vivid examples:
a) Azazeel: There was a cry in the skies that one of the pious worshippers would be one of the most cursed ones. All the creatures, at all stations were worried that it could be them & went to the creation, next higher in station, to seek his intercession by prayer. Only Azazeel was confident & prayed for all, except himself & as a result was the cursed Satan.!
b) Servant of Mamoon: She loved the Imam & Mamoon sent her to the Imams house for work. The conditions of Imams house were very different from Mamoon’s luxuries & the servant maid could not get used to the perceived difficulty of getting up for prayer each morning etc, which ultimately led her to seek to go away from the Imams servitude.
c) Balam e baoor: He had a high status & his duas were accepted instantly. He was asked to pray for victory against Prophet Musa (as), which he finally attempted, due to the riches offered to him.
We easily condemn the people mentioned in Sura Juma, who left the Prophet in prayer for entertainment & business deals. We need to apply it to ourselves first & check if we too have similar habits of giving priority to these matters over Islam.
We are required to continually recite “Ihdinis siratal Mustaqim” i.e. keep us on the right path, at least 17 times in a day, because there is a danger of deviating & being misled.
a) Our Homes should show preparedness to welcome the Imam. They should be Islamic homes devoid of all things/situations, which lead to sins.
If we are not prepared to give up sins; shaving beards, listening to haram music, not wearing hijab etc for Islam, we may not be able to follow the Imam on his reappearance.
Attention to Islamic education of our children is very important. In our pursuit of wealth and/or over emphasis on academics, the children’s upbringing (tarbiyat) suffers causing our children to deviate.
Hujr ibn hadi’s insistence of his son to be killed before himself & Khizr’s killing of a son, in Sura Khaf, explain to us very vividly that it is better for our children to die in Iman rather than to lose faith & suffer the punishments of the Hereafter
b) Imam Hussain (as) in his last address on 10th Muharrum addressed his opponents by saying that they were unable to recognize the right path due to the Haram rizq in their stomach.
We are very careful of eating food, which does not harm our body & read / know all ingredients. Similar care is required to check if the food we eat is purchased by halal earnings and Khums is paid. This has a great effect on the ability to recognize & follow the leader in his just cause. We need to ensure this to be ready to participate with the Imam
c) Zulqarnain required the affected community to participate in efforts, which he directed. He used modern technology of mixing metals, to create a barrier between Gog & Magog & the troubled community. Time & energy is/ will be required to be spent for the cause of Islam by the community & only providing money will not be sufficient as the verses of Sura kahf narrating this event explain. Acquisition of the latest Technology is also required for salvation, even when the leader reappears to help. But technology without the control of the conscience is disastrous to humanity.
d) Implementation of the complete Shariah in society will be the main objective on reappearance & people who have complete knowledge of Islamic rules will be required. We need to learn & know more of the Islamic Rules. Download some of these from www.islamic-laws.com. Ziarat Arbaeen describes the purpose of Imam Hussain (as) jihad as ‘taking people out of Ignorance’. Acquisition of Knowledge is therefore very important. We do our best, but each one of us has different capacities, yet must remain connected to the source i.e. Marjas rather than remain isolated containers of the limited knowledge we can gather.
We are warned, through a dream of Jabir, of a piece of cloth being torn in parts. The Prophet explained this dream that at the end of time, people will take only parts of Islam to suit themselves, which will benefit no one. This will also give a bad image to Islam like a torn cloth. We need to accept the whole of Islam with all its rules & not only the parts that suit us/ our method of thinking, irrespective of our ability to understand the complete reasons/logic for the rules.
e) Representatives for different regions who have the perfect morals will be required & we need to ensure we acquire those qualities & get rid of the various diseases of the soul like Backbiting, Envy etc
f) We need to go behind events taking place & analyse the depths, rather than take them at face value. This skill requires to be developed for correct analysis & recognition of the plans of the enemy.
Similarly we need to possess the skills to distinguish between the false/self-seeking & the true religious leaders. There will be intellectuals who will present a face of Islam devoid of Islam, in the name of modernity, with the use of Media. The real Ulemas/Maraje & Howzas will never alter Islam to suit the people‘s wishes. They have a known background of years of study, tutors/students etc
g) We need to be aware of the attacks on us & protect the 3 corner stones institutions of Shia Islam i.e. Azadari, Marjaiyyat & the Belief in our Imam.
Our enemy knows this & makes efforts to cause doubts. Our lack of knowledge & emotions are used for these matters in the following ways:
1) Azadari: The attacks are from 2 sources i.) Certain practices, which contradict Shari at i.e. Aspects, like women w/o hijab; Letting Salaat become qaza etc,is used by adversaries to mention that azadari itself is not ok as it results in these things. ii.) Use of so called ‘intellectual’ arguments to say, what is the need for Alam a wooden stick & Tazia & why beat chest etc. This is done to deviate us from practicing & keeping Azadari alive. Azadari is a source of spiritual strength.
2) Marjaiyat: i.) Doubts on the need for Taqleed in the name of "we only follow masoom" & Marjas are fallible humans in one corner of the world who are not aware of many matters on which rulings are required etc
(ii.) Creation of Conflict between followers of different Maraje.
3) False Mahdi’s introduced like creation of Bahai & Ahmadia & Wahabi isms. We must watch & evaluate any claims rather than rush to accept any claim of being mahdi even if he can demonstrate some miracle like acts (using technology probably).
h) Imam Ali’s has informed us of an allegiance (bayyatnama) that the twelfth imam will ask of his followers. This was written & saved by him in a casket for posterity, lists 25 matters, which are to be accepted/followed to be eligible to be amongst the followers of the Imam. Besides the usual things of Avoiding sins, they include; leading simple life protecting property/travellers, Amr bil maroof etc
i) Unity amongst Muslims & Shias We must try to eliminate differences & not give them prominence. Divisions & subdivisions are increasing by the day, which is a policy of our enemy. We should help in playing down conflicts & encourage reconciliation. This does not mean that we give up our Faith about wilayat & forget the atrocities. Mothers need to inform the children of history & public forums need not b used to accentuate differences
Sufyani (Sword- fear) & Dajjal (Material Benefits – Attractions)
Historically tyrants have used 2 methods to silence/mislead people; the sword to make them fearful & money to buy peoples loyalties. Sufyani & Dajjal are symbolic for these at the time of Imams return.
The sword has not been effective in eliminating the true believers, but apparent attractions & enticements have resulted in many deviations of true believers.
Keeping wants & desires in check will help in not getting carried away by material pleasures offered & the apparent “heaven” which will actually be Hell as shown by Dajjal.
Dajjal could be a symbolic of a system of government based only on material progress & NGO’s apparent beneficent aims having hidden agendas. Or it could be governments, individuals & even an entertainment system like Cable TV, which takes us away from HIS rules. One eyed in the sense that it will only consider material aspects, completely ignoring spirituality.
Recitation of Sura Kahf (Ch 18) especially on Fridays is a recommended way to protect oneself form Dajjal. Imam Hussein (as) recited this sura on the spear in Kufa & drew our attention to it. This sura is in exactly in the middle of the Quran & has several relevant messages in the 3 events narrated in it as a reply to the questioners. These are of Ashab e Kahf (Ikhlas), Musa / Khizr (Importance of knowledge & unconditional acceptance of the leader with knowledge without objections) & Zulqarnain (Technology use, but ‘after’ knowledge/fear of Allah)
Some Signs of Reappearance
At the time, which is close to, Reappearance there will be 4 sins by ‘Momins’ first by wrongly making them ‘halal’:
1) Interest, in the name of profit
2) Alcohol, in the name of medicine
3) Music, in the name of entertainment
4) Bribe, in the name of gift
There are other Haidth, which continue after the famous “ Antenna” Hadith, related to Salman E Farsi. It mentions about using a mirror like gadget for security (possibly CCtv ) & a gadget for visually communicating with people close & far (possibly the mobile gsm ) at the time of Reappearance.
Possible reasons for Delay in Reappearance – Duas not accepted for our salvation
Imam is in waiting & Imams dua is accepted by Allah swt
State of momins is that they are not prepared, ie involved in sins, not following Sharia. However their Iman / Faith is in tact. Sins can get forgiven & momins can achieve salvation despite all the problems they face in the material world.
After Reappearance, not following the Imam unconditionally, will mean a fault in beliefs (Iman) & hence it is possible many "momins" may lose their faith itself. & Hence lose salvation.
Our Imam is concerned for Momins & prefers to wait & give additional opportunity to Momins to reform themselves & be prepared. This delay does cause additional hardship to Momins & their lives/ property / honour is more & more in danger with the passing of time.
Insufficient followers who can Unconditionally obey Imam
There is a Story of Ayt Khoie’ s father who saw a house in Hilla which is a mosque/imambara/ house / shrine all in one. The background is that the resident of the house was a true follower of Imam & on a specific day Imam informed him to call all believers to his home. At this event, goats were used to spill blood from the terrace, which scared the believers into fleeing the place. This demonstrated that momins were not prepared to sacrifice for Imam, but were calling without preparation & commitment of unconditional adherence to his commands.
Sahl Khurasani once approached Imam Ja’ffar al-Sadiq (as) and complained: "Why is it that inspite of the truth being on your side, you do not stage an uprising? At present, there are 100,000 Shia’hs, who upon your orders, would immediately unsheathe their swords for battle". In order to give him a practical answer, the Imam (as) ordered the furnace to be lighted and then instructed Sahl to jump into the flames. Sahl was shocked and said: "O my Master! May God shower you with His grace and favours! Do not place me in the fire. I take back my words and request you to withdraw your instruction". After a while, Haroun Makki, a sincere companion of the Imam (as) entered and greeted. As soon as the Imam (as) saw him, he told him to take off his slippers and walk into the hot furnace. Without any question, Haroun complied. Imam (as) then turned towards Sahl and began inquiring about Khurasan as if nothing had happened. All this time, Sahl appeared uncomfortable and disturbed worrying about the plight of Haroun in the furnace. Finally the Imam (as) asked him to get up and to look inside the furnace. Sahl witnessed that Haroun was seated comfortably and unharmed in the fiery flames. Imam (as) asked, "How many such Shia’hs exist in Khurasan?" Sahl said, "By Allah! Not a single Shia’h like Haroun exists in Khurasan". Thereupon, the Imam (as) said, "I shall not stage an uprising when I do not have even five sincere companions. (And do remember) we are very well aware as to when we should stage an uprising". (Safeenatul-Bihar)
Perhaps this incident conveys why our 12th Imam (AJ) has still not come out of his concealment. It is easy for us to call on him but we must also ask ourselves how many of us are sincere in what we say? How many of us are prepared for his arrival? And how many of us lead a lifestyle, which is in conformity to his teachings?
Taking Time to recognize Imam
It is expected that there will be many false Mahdi’s who will appear before the true Mahdi (atfs). We presently observe many people who claim that Imam meets them regularly. These are all fraudsters. Current technology also makes it possible to show the apparent ‘miracles’ if someone does not have sufficient knowledge of science.
There is a wrong notion that we have to immediately rush to our Imam upon hearing a call. This is only true for those who can & will recognize that it’s the Imams call through own knowledge/deduction. Others need to wait & verify the claim especially thru the Maraje who have the means to guide us.
Salman e Farsi who had waited for 200 years for the Prophet to appear, took 3 consecutive weeks of action & meetings before confirming the Prophet hood with the signs he had.
One final method to recognize Imam will be thru the reappearance of Hazrat Isa (as) who should not have an identifiable birth date
Accepting ALL actions of Imam as full of wisdom
It is possible that the awaiters/callers would go against the Imam when he reappears. This could be because of 2 reasons;
a) Being unable to adopt lifestyle as required
b) Expecting a favourable status compared to others (esp. apparently non-believers/followers) & not receiving the same. A superiority complex.
This has happened before as Quran explains in Ch 2 V 89 :SHAKIR: And when there came to them a Book from Allah verifying that which they have, and a foretime they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieve, but when there came to them (Prophet) that which they did not recognize, they disbelieved in him; so Allah’s curse is on the unbelievers
Don’t Despair, Take Actions within your capacity & Duas too
Duas have a very important role but have to be accompanied by actions. Prophet Abraham’s wife Hagar undertook the ‘action’ of Saaee between Safa & Marwa & prayed to Allah swt & hence the prayer was answered in a way, that she asked for a cupful of water & got in return Zam Zam for all times !
We have to take the required action & leave the rest to HIS will. Allama Hilli commenced copying a very big book at dusk, though it was an impossible task to do it by dawn & return the book to its owner as required. His job was to start the work & with the Imams help the work was accomplished!
The opponents /enemy may appear very strong, & impossible to defeat, but this should not lead to despair. It should lead us to redouble our efforts instead with the resources at our disposal. There are examples in History where the impossible became a reality in a very short period of time. Eg Bilal would have been very happy at being able to practice Islam himself without prosecution, in Mecca, but could never have imagined that he would be reciting the Azan from top of the Kaaba within a few years!
Our Imam has also advised us to recite the following:
Ziarat Ashura at http://www.duas.org/ashura/z_ashura.htm
Salat Lail http://www.duas.org/tahajjud.htm
There are other duas relating to Imam like Nudba, Ahad etc & are at http://www.duas.org/imamezamana.htm and www.duas.org/Sahraz/imammehdihtml/indeximammehdi.htm
The reappearance will also be a continuation of the fight between evil & good. A continuation of the Kerbala episode;
It will require participation from all young old, men & women & children, just as Kerbala required all participants. It will not be sufficient to be observers, as was the case of say Khandaq or other wars at the time of the Prophet (saws).
Our Imam is in waiting for over 1170 years & has been perfectly worshipping the Almighty for these years. There are countless events of his meetings/assistance & presentation of our deeds to him. Each of us is required to act in our own way to hasten the reappearance.
May Allah swt keep us guided, hasten his reappearance & make us amongst his followers.