Death came too soon, I was yet to repent,
My sins now unwashed remain with me till the end.
Time was spent on meaningless acts,
Worship ignored, a blind eye turned to the facts.
Days would go by without a thought,
That time was running out and my breaths were now numbered.
But I carried on, and indulged in life,
Forgetting my purpose, my aim in life.
I was being watched yet acted so selfishly,
I talked with disrespect and walked about aimlessly.
I feared very little and felt proud to be a Muslim,
But my actions were very different from the teachings of our religion.
Then one day He showed me His sign,
He took away my breath; it was now the end of the line.
I lay there helpless and watched in silence,
As all those around me screamed and wept.
I thought for a moment, what a bizarre scene,
But then realised I was no longer alive to intervene.
I wanted freedom, to be let loose to move,
But the wings of the flighty dove had now been removed.
I sunk so low as to feel my chest burdened,
With the weight of a thousand stones bearing on my soul now hardened.
In an instance life had swiftly come and gone,
Not once did I stop to think about what I’d done.
All that neglect, I had caused so much pain,
But any prayers and pleas were now in vain.
As I lay still, my cries would be unheard,
Like the boy who cried wolf to the disbelieving shepherd.
As folk sat weeping my journey had already begun,
Into the unseen, to darkness and beyond.
If only I had listened, had adhered and refrained,
This journey would have been to a place more serene.
Death came too soon, I was yet to repent,
The AhlulBayt Islamic Mission (AIM) has been informed of an alarming incident that took place on the evening of Tuesday 14th August 2012 at an event organised by ‘Khodam Al Mohsen ibn Ali’ in which his Eminence, the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei was cursed in a lecture.
AIM condemns all groups and individuals who indulge in cursing and doing takfir of our great scholars and religious authorities; and calls on everyone to undertake the utmost of discipline and vigilance in these testing times.
AIM is confident in the conscious spirit of our community to uproot such evil and believe that it is today everyones responsibility to silence this rhetoric that is sowing division amongst Muslims.
Wa Min Allah Al-Tawfiq.
AhlulBayt Islamic Mission (AIM)
15th August 2012 / 26th Ramadhan 1433
A young man had been to Wednesday Night Class of Quranic Studies. The Muslim (Scholar) had shared about listening to Allah and obeying Allah through intuition.
The young man couldn’t help but wonder, ‘Does Allah still speak to people through intuition?’
After Lessons, he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message. Several different ones talked about how Allah had led them in different ways and that at the end you’ll know it was Allah (SWT) Who has directed you.
It was about ten o’clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray, ‘Allah…If you still speak
to people, speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to obey.‘
As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought to stop and buy a gallon of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, ‘Allah is that you?’ He didn’t get a reply and started on toward home. But again, the thought, buy a gallon of milk came into his head. ‘Okay, Allah, in case that is you, I will buy the milk.’ It didn’t seem like too hard a test of obedience. He could always use the milk. He stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started off toward home.
As he passed Seventh Street, he again felt the urge, ‘Turn Down that street.’ This is crazy he thought, and drove on past the intersection. Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street. At the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh. Half jokingly, he said out loud, ‘Okay, Allah, I will.’
He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb and looked around. He was in a semi-commercial area of town. It wasn’t the best but it wasn’t the worst of neighbourhoods either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark like the people were already in bed.
Again, he sensed something, ‘Go and give the milk to the people in the house across the street.’ The young man looked at the house. It was dark and it looked like the people were either gone or they were already asleep. He started to open the door and then sat back in the car seat. ‘Allah, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them up, they are going to be mad and I will look stupid.’ Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk.
Finally, he opened the door, ‘Okay Allah (SWT), if this is you, I will go to the door and I will give them the milk. If you want me to look
like a crazy person, okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that will count for something, but if they don’t answer right away, I am out of here.‘
He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise inside. A man’s voice yelled out, ‘Who is it? What do you want?’ Then the door opened before the young man could get away.
The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He looked like he just got out of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn’t seem too happy to have some stranger standing on his doorstep. ‘What is it?’
The young man thrust out the gallon of milk, ‘Here, I brought this to you.’ The man took the milk and rushed down a hallway. Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen. The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming down his face. The man began speaking and half crying, ‘We were just praying. We had some big bills this month and we ran out of money. We didn’t have any milk for our baby. I was just praying and asking Allah (SWT) to show me how to get some milk.’
His wife in the kitchen yelled out, ‘I ask him to send an Angel with some milk. Are you an Angel?’
The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him and put in the man’s hand. He turned and walked back toward his car and the tears were streaming down his face. He knew that Allah (SWT) still answers prayers.
Here is a list of 15 things that can make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – we cling on to them instead of letting them all go, depriving ourselves to be stress free and happy. Embrace change by:
1. GIVE UP YOUR NEED TO ALWAYS BE RIGHT-
There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?
2. GIVE UP YOUR NEED FOR CONTROL-
Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.
“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu
3. GIVE UP ON BLAME-
Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.
4. GIVE UP YOUR SELF-DEFEATING SELF-TALK-
Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.
“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle
5. GIVE UP YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS-
About what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!
“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle
6. GIVE UP COMPLAINING-
Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, many things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.
7. GIVE UP THE LUXURY OF CRITICISM-
Give up your need to criticise things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.
8. GIVE UP YOUR NEED TO IMPRESS OTHERS-
Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take off all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.
9. GIVE UP YOUR RESISTANCE TO CHANGE-
Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” Joseph Campbell
10. GIVE UP LABELS-
Stop labelling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer
11. GIVE UP ON YOUR FEARS-
Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
12. GIVE UP YOUR EXCUSES-
Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.
13. GIVE UP THE PAST-
I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.
14. GIVE UP ATTACHMENT-
This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another, attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.
15. GIVE UP LIVING YOUR LIFE TO OTHER PEOPLE’S EXPECTATIONS-
Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves. You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.
As usual, the lover of the Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them) made his way to the palm tree near Amr ibn Hurayth’s house. With tender care, he watered the tree and made sure it was still healthy and strong. After praying under the sparse shade of the towering trunk and long leaves, these words escaped his lips: “May God bless you, for I have been created for you, and you have been created for me.” (Sharh of Ibn Abi Hadid)
This was the routine of Maytham al-Tammar, the freed slave of Imam Ali (peace be upon him). The humble fruit seller was one from among the circle of the Imam’s close companions, and he constantly uttered the praise of the Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon him). Eventually, he gained the status of being a carrier of knowledge taught to him by the Imam, and he propagated those teachings to others.
Imam Ali once predicted to his dear companion: “O Maytham, know that after my death, you will be arrested and hung from the gallows. On the second day, your beard will be reddened with the blood of your nose and your mouth, and on the third day, you will be pierced with a spear, and you will go to the presence of your Lord. The place where this will occur is near the house of Amr ibn Hurayth, and you will be the tenth person to die in that way, the only difference being that the scaffold from which you will hang will be shorter than the others. I will show you the tree from which it will be fashioned.” (Ibid.)
From the moment the Imam showed Maytham the specific tree, Maytham grew attached to it and looked forward to his martyrdom. For him, the tree symbolized the day that he would get closer to his Lord, so he yearned for that day and didn’t care for the sparkle of this materialistic world. Often, we get caught up in our everyday lives that we barely give a thought to the reality of our impermanence. If we were told the exact situation of our death, we could react in two ways: either try to live for this world in the time we have left, without a care for the teachings of Islam, or – like Maytham – we could try to live for the next world by being the best Shia of Ali that we can be.
In another account, after having been told that he will die from hanging one day, the first words that came from Maytham’s were, “O my Master! Will I die the death of a Muslim?” (Kitab al-Fazael) Maytham’s first concern was not how long he had left, where he would die, who would hang him, if it would be painful, or if there was any way out of it. All that mattered to him was whether or not his loyalty to the Almighty will still be firm when he will return to his Lord.
Like us, Maytham was a fallible human being – yet his mindset was so focused on getting closer to Allah. We need to re-adjust our focus to getting closer to Allah, so that we too can be like the strongest lovers of our Ahlul Bayt who guide us towards Him. When having to decide at a crossroads between the Right and the Wrong, we shouldn’t be intimidated by the whispers of Shaytan and his soldiers – we have to keep our focus. Death could come at any moment, and we definitely want to go as the followers of Allah’s beloved ones.
Whatever difficulties we may face, remembering Maytham’s dire situation helps to put things in perspective. When Ibn Ziyad came into power, he arrested the staunch supporter of the Ahlul Bayt, and after an exchange of words, Ibn Ziyad wanted to know about Imam Ali’s prediction about Maytham’s death. By the end of the description, an infuriated Ibn Ziyad vowed to disprove the Imam’s prediction. Yet Maytham’s supply of courage was not depleted – he said: “How can you do the opposite when, by Allah, Imam Ali had heard it from the Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny), while he had heard it from Jibra’il, who in turn heard it from the Almighty. How can you oppose them? And I even know the place in Kufa where I shall be hanged, and I shall be the first in Islam to be bridled.” (Nafasul Mahmum) Ibn Ziyad imprisoned Maytham, keeping him there until approximately two weeks before Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) reached Iraq.
Truly, whatever troubles we face, they are not likely to be as dangerous as that of Maytham’s. In the court of a drunken tyrant, he stood up for what he believed in and didn’t shy away from showing the strength of his love for the Prophet’s Family – so why should we compromise our beliefs just because of what others might think of us? Why feel embarrassed at claiming to be the followers of Imam Ali? If we are his followers, then we have the responsibility to uphold his name and the reputation that goes with it.
The brilliance of Maytham’s faith doesn’t fade after having replied to Ibn Ziyad’s foolish talk; rather, Maytham went on to give us more inspiration in his love for the Ahlul Bayt. While he was hanging from the very tree that he had tended during his life, he attracted crowds of people with his words of praise for the Pure Infallibles! The soldiers of Ibn Ziyad informed him that Maytham was about to start a revolution in Kufa with his brilliant oratory in praise of the Ahlul Bayt! An alarmed Ibn Ziyad ordered Maytham’s mouth to be muzzled, and two days later, a spear was thrust into his body by the soldiers of Ibn Ziyad. On the 23rd of Dhil Hajj, in the year 60 AH, Maytham’s soul was reunited with his beloved master Ali. Thereafter, other fruit sellers took down Maytham’s body and performed the proper burial rites.
When it comes to being a true lover of the Ahlul Bayt, Maytham is a timeless example for us. Without hesitation, without apology, without embarrassment, Maytham uttered the virtues of the Pure Household wherever he was. They are the ones who take us closer to Allah, and He is the ultimate goal – so how can we shy away from loving them?
In reference to another kind of tree – a beautiful, ever-lasting tree – Prophet Muhammad once said: “The parable of Ali is like a tree, in which I am the root, Ali is the branch, Hasan and Hussain are the fruits, and the Shia are the leaves.” (Lisan al-Mizan) This tree – the tree of the guardianship of Ahlul Bayt – is what takes us closer to Allah, so we have to strive to keep it full of lush leaves. In order to be among the leaves blossoming from this flourishing tree, we need to live and die like Maytham: with the love of the Ahlul Bayt in our hearts and on our lips.
He sends down water from the clouds, then valleys flow (with water) according to their measure, and the torrent bears along the swelling foam, and from what they melt in the fire for making ornaments or apparatus arises a similar scum; thus does Allah compare truth and falsehood; then as for the scum, it passes away as a worthless thing, and as for that which profits people, it stays on the earth, thus does Allah set forth parables. (13:17)
This fascinating verse of the Holy Qur’an is full of meaning and depth. The example that Allah gives in this verse is that of the rain which falls on the earth. Different parts of the earth accept it according to their capacity. The water then flows along, with foam forming on top. This foam is similar to the scum produced when metal is melted. Allah likens the foam and the scum to falsehood, while the water that remains and is beneficial to human beings is likened to truth.
Pondering over this verse reveals many hidden meanings. Through this parable Almighty Allah wants us to realise the difference between truth and falsehood. Using an example that everyone can see, the Almighty points out simple facts that we often overlook and ignore. How many of us have seen the foam forming over water, and dismissed it as just worthless dirt! To us nature is to be seen and enjoyed, and perhaps seen as a proof of the existence of a Creator. But in this verse Allah asks us to go beyond that. He wants us to derive insights from observing the foam and scum produced in nature.
One teacher of the Holy Qur’an described his fascination with this verse in a lesson saying that he actually went out once when it was raining, and observed as the water fell on the earth. He followed the path of the water as it flowed, and watched as the foam began to swell. He had never observed the phenomena with such thoughtful eyes before. He saw the foam rise and gush forward, but saw it settle down as the water flowed to flatter surfaces. Eventually the foam disappeared and the water calmed down. Such, he realised, was the transient nature of falsehood.
Commentators of the Holy Qur’an have given many points when talking about this verse. Some of these points are summarised below:
The rain falls equally on the surfaces of the earth, but the acceptance and absorption by the ground depends on the ground quality. Some soil will absorb enough water for growth, and the water turns it into a fertile place. Other types of soil will not have the capacity to absorb much, and will remain barren. Such is the example of Divine revelation and the human heart. The wisdom and guidance from the Almighty comes for everyone, but each human being accepts and derives benefit from it according to his capacity.
Truth and falsehood are sometimes difficult to distinguish. Often, falsehood is disguised as a form of truth, and has many advocates who will vouch for it. This point is especially true in today’s modern world, where truth and falsehood in moral and ethical issues are often indistinguishable. In the verse above, the Almighty gives us the following signs to identify truth and falsehood:
a) Truth is always useful and beneficial. Like the flowing water that is a source of life, truth gives life and spirit to everything it comes into contact with. Falsehood on the other hand, is useless and superfluous. The foam on top of the water does not quench any thirst, nor cause any greenery to grow. It has no benefit for the human being.
b) Falsehood is always on top, making a lot of noise and movement. It invites attention and seems large, but like the foam is empty inside. Truth is humble, quiet, and content to stay at the bottom. It has weight and value, and does not need to attract attention to be worthy. Imam Ali (a) says: Truth is heavy and wholesome, while falsehood is light and bitter.
c) Truth is strong and always depends on itself. It is often used as a support. Imam Ali (a) says: Truth is the strongest support. Falsehood depends on others to exist. It tries to disguise itself in the dress of truth, and use it to support itself.
Truth will always overcome falsehood, even if it takes some time. Those who have neither patience nor wisdom to know that this will eventually be the outcome are deceived by falsehood. Wise people however, are content to wait. They know that truth will ultimately emerge the winner. Almighty Allah says in Surat al-Anbiya: Nay! We cast the truth against the falsehood, so that it breaks its head, and lo! It vanishes. (21:18). The foam may be strong for a while, but will eventually disappear.
When the water calms down and enters a flat area, the foam subsides and soon disappears. Clear and pure water then becomes visible. When human beings become tranquil and are ready to see the truth, the falsehood on top of the truth subsides and disappears. Truth, in all its purity, is then recognised and accepted.
The above verse of the Holy Qur’an is a beautiful example of how human beings can learn much from nature. It is an eye-opener, reminding us to walk on earth with eyes and ears open for understanding. It is a great loss if we pass by such wonderful lessons of nature, seeing them but not really understanding them. That is why the Almighty reminds us often in the Holy Qur’an to ponder over creation; Surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alteration of the night and the day, there are signs for a people who understand. (3:190)
Ayatullah Nasir Makarim Shirazi (ed.), Tafsire Namune
Agha Muhsin Qara’ati Kashani, Tafsire Noor
Muhammad al-Ray Shahree, Mizanul Hikmah
The Academy for learning Islam
Reflections: Issue # 16 April 2012
2 Rakaat Namaz
It is reported that on the first night or first day one should offer 2 rakaat namaz. In the first rakaat, after al-hamd recite soora al fath and in the 2nd rakaat recite any soora after al-hamd. Allah will protect him from all calamities in the coming year.
It is recommended to have relations with spouse, and bath in running water. It is recommended to put 30 handfuls of water on ones head as it will be real purification for the next year and will protect the performer from Scabies and other diseases throughout the next year.
It is sunnat to recite Ziarat-e-Imam Husain on the first night and also on Nights of 15th and 29th. It carries great Sawab (reward). Sins are removed from the reciter and Allah will grant sawab of Haj & Umra.
**Dua Jaushane Kabeer
Very important to recite on the 1st of Holy Ramadhan.
In one of the battles Rasulullah (S.A.W.) perceived his armour to be heavy. Jibrail came and said: “O’ Muhammad! Your Rabb conveys his greetings to you and has said to take this coat of armour (Jawshan in Arabic) and to recite it as this is a protection for you and your Ummah.”
It has been narrated from Imam Husayn (A.S.) that:”My father advised to me that I should memorize and protect this dua and write it on the Kafan (burial shroud) and that I should teach it to my family members and he highly encouraged me to read this dua as it contains 1,000 names of Allah…..”
Niyyat for the Whole Month
One should have intention for fasts for the whole month also one should make intention each night and a fresh Niyyat should be made as follows. “I do intend to observe fast for the month of Ramadhan (tomorrow) being obligatory for the sake of nearness of All_h (wajib qurbatan ilallah)
General Rites of the Month
The general rites to be advisably done in each month are as follows:
First: It is recommended to say the famous supplicatory prayers at the sight of the new moon. The most preferable of these is the supplication No. 43 of Sahifae Sajjadiyyah, which has been mentioned within the rites at the beginning of Holy Ramadhan.
Second: It is recommended to recite Surah al Fateha seven times in order to escape eye ache.
Third: It is recommended to have some cheese, for it has been narrated that one who usually eats some cheese at the beginning of each month will have almost all his requests answered.
Fourth: At the first night of each month, it is recommended to offer a two unit prayer with Surah al Fateha and Surah An’aam(No. 6). One may then pray Almighty Allah to save him from any terror or pain and to make him live throughout that month peacefully and safely.
Fifth: Pray Salaat Ruyati Hilal – Salaat upon seeing new moon