September 16

Hajj Spirituality At Its Best

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?

Shibli: Yes



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?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: Yes



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?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: Yes



Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): When you entered the Miqat, did you make the intention of entering as a visitor?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: Yes



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?

Shibli: No



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)?

Shibli: No



Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): You have neither entered Haram nor seen the Kaaba nor prayed.

Shibli: No



Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Did you go round the house and did you touch the Rukn and did you make Saee?

Shibli: Yes



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?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: Yes



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?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: Yes



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?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: Yes



Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Did you have the intention that you were between hope and fear?

Shibli: No



Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): You did not run between Safa and Marwa.

Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Did you go out to Mina?

Shibli: Yes



Imam Zaynul Abidin (as): Did you have the intention that every Muslim was safe from your tongue, your heart and you?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: Yes



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?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: Yes



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?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: Yes



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?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: No



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.

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: No



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?

Shibli: No



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.



Reference: http://www.qul.org.au/islamic-occasions/hajj-the-pilgrimage/1200-conversation-between-imam-zain-ul-abideen-and-shibli

February 3

The Greatest Role Model

By:  Huda Jawad

rawla_202How can we describe a personality so great that history has not been able to contain it? What of the presence that has survived limitless attempts to demean its greatness? How does one pay due respect to the Mercy of Mankind and its greatest teacher? Indeed, as the season of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) unfolds, many Muslims find themselves seeking the best method we can honour our beloved Prophet.

This is where the immense contradiction the Muslim world faces today manifests itself. The Prophet Muhammad was a man of gentleness, and yet, Muslims continue to suffer from harshness towards themselves and others. The Prophet was a man of forgiveness, and yet we hold grudges and seek revenge. The Prophet was a man of the hereafter, and yet we are individuals concerned with this world. Above all, the Prophet Muhammad is the most outstanding exemplar of a man of God, and yet we are surrounded with men of materialism.

The character of the Prophet Muhammad is the standard by which we should all conduct ourselves. But although we have recognized his greatness and perfection, we have yet to implement his examples and teachings into ourselves. Indeed, the Holy Qur’an mentions the status of the Prophet Muhammad before Muslims: "Certainly a Messenger has come to you from among yourselves; grievous to him is your falling into distress, excessively solicitous respecting you; to the believers is he most kind and merciful." (9:128)

It now becomes apparent that the beauty of Islam is found in its teachings being practical and implementable. God did not just list commandments for us to follow and laws to obey. Instead, He blessed mankind with the most esteemed leaders and teachers who practically implemented every single one of those commandments and laws.

Forgiveness
The Prophet forgave and showed patience towards the shortcomings of others. It is well-known that even those who mistreated the Prophet were visited by him during their illnesses or times of grief, including the woman who tormented the Prophet every day on his way to prayer. He said, "Forgiving is the best of all deeds. Pardoning is incumbent upon you, for verily pardoning [others] only increases the servant’s honour, so pardon each others’ faults, and God will grant you honour." (al-Kafi)

Meaningful and Kind Speech
The Prophet Muhammad was the first to greet others. The Prophet of Islam spoke in short, meaningful sentences and never disrupted the speech of others. The gatherings in which the Prophet was present were dignified, with a clear level of modesty, dignity, truthfulness, and pleasantness. He advises us "Say a good (word) to derive benefit, and avoid speaking evil words to be safe."

Sublime Morals
The Prophet said, "The first thing that shall be put in the Scales (on the Day of Judgment) are good morals." The morals and ethics of the Prophet were recognized by God in the Qur’an: "And truly you (Muhammad) possess great morals." (52:4) It is through the exalted morals of the Prophets that God was able to lead otherwise ruined and corrupt societies towards the ark of salvation. Consider then the impact of our morals and behaviour on ourselves, our communities, and our social spheres.

Attaining Honour Through Humility
When attending gatherings or entering a room, the Prophet did not seek out a specific place to sit and instead sat anywhere. The Prophet Muhammad held the status of prophecy and divine leadership, and yet his humility and modesty in dealing with the people and his way of life were so simple and gentle that when he was among the people and a newcomer wanted to speak to him, he would need to inquire and ask, "Which one of you is the Prophet?" During journeys and trips, the Prophet would do work just like everyone else, including collecting firewood. He declared, "I do not like to be treated as if I were privileged, because God does not like any of His creatures to consider himself privileged or to be treated as if he were privileged over others."

He also reminds us, "Humility adds nothing to God’s servants but dignity. Be humble, therefore, and God will grant you dignity." The Prophet also said, "There are four distinguishing marks of the humble ones: they pay constant attention to Allah in private and in public, they carry out good works, they contemplate about the Day of Resurrection, and they engage in intimate supplication with God."

Respect: A Sign of a Muslim
The Prophet respected everyone, regardless of their social class, profession, religion, or race. He was patient, loving, and peaceful with everyone he met, and through his great conduct Islam spread throughout Arabia. Our Prophet stayed away from things that lacked value and listened attentively to the speech of others.

A Perfect Exemplar
The perfection of the Prophet Muhammad cannot be expressed by the writer, poet, historian, scholar, or observer. Instead, we must turn to the most perfect divine book, the Holy Qur’an to understand the superiority and status of the Prophet Muhammad: "Certainly you have in the Messenger of God an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in God and the latter day and remembers Allah much." (33:21)