Majlis 5: 6th Muharram al-Haraam
Today’s waʿz mubarak commenced with the bayan mubarak of al-Dai al-Ajal al-Fatimi Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA. In it, he referenced the following instructions conveyed by Allah Taʿala to Rasul Allah SAW in the Quran Majeed:
قُل إِنَّ صَلاتي وَنُسُكي وَمَحيايَ وَمَماتي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ العالَمينَ
Say, indeed my namaz, my worship, my life and my death, are all for Allah, the Lord of the world (6:162).
Syedna al-Muqaddas RA mentioned that the word nusuk (نسك) is an all-encompassing term. In the aayat shareefa that follows the one mentioned above, Rasul Allah SAW states that, ‘This is what I believe, how I act and what I have been directed to do.’ He then states that, ‘I am the first of Muslimeen.’ Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA pointed out that this is an honour for all of us that whenever our count is taken, our first is Rasul Allah SAW. Likewise, in each day and age, Imam al-Zaman AS is the first of Muslimeen and Mumineen, and during his seclusion this mantle is held by the Dai al-Zaman TUS.
In order to count,the number 1 is required; only if there is 1 can there be 2. Muslimeen can only be considered and counted as Muslimeen due to the presence of Rasul Allah SAW. Imam Ahmed al-Mastur AS explains in the Ikhwan al-Safaaʾ that the number one is both a number as well as the counter. He explains that 2 is two ones, while 3 is three ones. One is the number that counts.
Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA stated that just as the door is part of the house, so too the leaves are part of the tree. He also added that by mentioning Ahle Bait, Rasul Allah SAW included the Aimmat Tahereen AS and Duat Mutlaqeen AS with the Panjatan AS.
‘Mohammed’ is mentioned four times in the Quran, while ‘Ahmed’ features once. Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA then narrated in detail how Rasul Allah SAW accompanied Maulana Abu Talib AS to an individual named Buhaira the Monk. Buhaira noticed that as Rasul Allah SAW sat under a tree, its branches moved to shade him and when he left the shade of the tree, a cloud-like form shielded him from the sun. Throughout this narration, Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA pointed out the various procedures and protocols adhered to by those upholding the Dawat.
Al-Dai al-Ajal al-Fatimi Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin’s RA waʿz mubarak expounded on the number of times the name of Rasul Allah SAW appears in the Quran as previously mentioned by his respected father, Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA. These five instances coincide with the number of Arabic letters in his name, which can also be counted as four letters if the ‘meem’ with the shadda is not counted twice.
The number five also relates to the Panjatan SA of whom all were martyred. Rasul Allah SAW had taken a morsel from a goat that had been prepared for him at Khaybar. The goat cried out to him not to eat it as it had been poisoned. Although the morsel was cast out the poison would take hold. When his demise neared, Rasul Allah SAW declared that the effect of the poison ‘is now felt’. Maulana Ali AS was slain by the sword, Maulatona Fatema AS and Mohsin AS by the sword of cruelty and agony. Imam Hasan AS was poisoned and Imam Husain AS was slain in Karbala.
Nabi Mohammed SAW along with three imams allude to the four ayats mentioning ‘Mohammed’. They are Imam Mohammed al-Baqir (4th Imam), Imam Mohammed b. Imam Ismail (7th Imam) and Imam Mohammed al-Qaim (12th Imam) AS.
Of the Duat Mutlaqeen AS of Yemen, there are two with the names of ‘Mohammed’. The first was Syedna Mohammed b. Syedi Hatim RA, the 12th Dai Mutlaq and the second, Syedna Mohammed Ezzuddin RA, the 23rd Dai Mutlaq.
Syedna Mohammed Ezzuddin RA, the last Dai of Yemen, conferred nass upon Syedna Yusuf Najmuddin RA. On the day of Ghadire Khum, Syedna Yusuf Najmuddin RA, the 24th Dai Mutlaq, requested his father to distribute his wealth amongst his seven children. When he received his share, Syedna Yusuf RA announced that he will perform hajj. Upon hearing his intent, his father requested Syedna Yusuf RA to take him with him. After they had completed their hajj, Syedna Yusuf Najmuddin RA said that, “We must now travel to the presence of the Dai”. Syedna Yusuf RA and his father journeyed to Yemen, where the latter passed away. Upon laying eyes on Syedna Najmuddin RA, Syedna Mohammed Ezzuddin RA immediately knew that he was the awaited Yusuf.
The first ‘Mohammed’ of the Duat Mutlaqeen AS in Hind is the successor of Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin RA, Syedna Mohammed Ezzuddin RA. Syedna Saifuddin RA had conferred nass upon his brother Syedi Abdulqadir Hakimuddin QR, whose qabr mubarak is in Surat next to his own. He described his esteemed brother thus:
None has come to my ear, nor to my eye,
In zohd3 and taqwa (piety) the like of Abdulqadir.
Yet Syedi Abdulqadir Hakimddin QR passed away and miscreants began muttering, ‘The one he was so proud of is gone; who will be able to replace him now?’ Incensed, he let it be known to them that itlaaq: the office of the Dai and its matters were of no concern to them.
Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin RA prepared two individuals for the mantle of Dawat, Syedna Mohammed Ezzuddin RA (44th Dai Mutlaq) and Syedna Tayyeb Zainuddin RA (45th Dai Mutlaq). Syedna Saifuddin RA showed Syedna Ezzuddin RA how he should hold himself, perfected his gait to the extent of asking Syedna Ezzuddin RA to walk before him, and instructed him on how he would talk and interact with others. ‘Become exactly like I am’, he directed. The results of this personal instruction at the hands of his predecessor were made apparent when Syedna Ezzuddin RA walked behind Syedna Saifuddin’s RA janaza mubaraka as if it was Syedna Saifuddin RA walking himself.
The second Mohammed is Syedna Mohammed Badruddin RA, son of Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin RA. He was entrusted to Syedna Ezzuddin RA for tutelage and in doing so Syedna Saifuddin RA stated, ‘if he remains on the straight path and obedient then elevate him through the ranks; if not then give him these thousand rupees.’
The next ‘Mohammed’ of the Duat Mutlaqeen AS is the grandfather and namesake of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA. He has the unique status of being the seventh of the seventh septet: the 49th Dai Mutlaq.
Syedna Abdullah Badruddin RA, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin’s RA successor, would set out regularly in order to pay off the debts incurred by the Dawat. He would order a Victoria, a horse-drawn carriage, and visit Mumineen shops and businesses. By the time he returned, Syedna Burhanuddin RA would have had his meal as would other seniors. Syedna Badruddin RA would call for his plate and eat alone. This situation bothered his maternal uncle, who said to Syedna Badruddin, “The one for whom you toil so hard does not care to even wait for you!” Syedna Badruddin RA would simply smile. When Syedna Badruddin RA ascended to the lofty station of Dai Mutlaq, the same miyasaheb exclaimed, ‘He that served, is now served.’
Then Syedna Burhanuddin RA asked ‘who is the fourth ‘Mohammed’?’ He is the one whom we’ve witnessed for most of our lives and whose radiant countenance was before us on screens across the world: al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA.
Syedna Burhanuddin RA pointed out that names influence one’s outlook. In Urdu cultures it is common to find double barrelled names such as Khurshid Husain. Why ‘khurshid’, why not simply ‘Husain’, Maulana RA asked. Names should be those of our Awliya AS. Syedna Burhanuddin RA mentioned that he changed names that were not appropriate, especially at the time of nikah. Our culture and way of life is continuously under fire from various threats, often taking the garb of scientific progress, developments in fashion and pop culture or those who we associate with. In order to protect ourselves we are in a need of armour. Our armour is Imam Husain’s AS matam!
Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA recalled the moment when while proceeding towards a majlis, he expressed his intent of bestowing a title upon Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA. ‘Which title?’ he was asked. ‘Mansur al-Yaman’ he replied. Those who heard this were left astonished. From where did such a thought come? Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA then stated, ‘In all matters it is the radiance of Imam al-Zaman AS that shows the way.’ ‘Mansur al-Yaman is a fitting title’.
In his zikr of Imam Husain AS, Aqeeq al-Yaman, al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS described the tortures inflicted upon the Ahle Bayt as being ground between millstones. If one were to catch just a finger whilst feeding grain into a mill, the pain would be excruciating. The Ahle Bayt, however, were ground in the millstone of cruelty again and again and again. Even in the aftermath of the massacre at Karbala, the torture and torment did not cease. Maulana al-Imam Ali Zainul Abideen AS was given the lead of the Ahle Bayt’s grief-stricken caravan and every time he stopped or stumbled the enemy would jab at him with spears not allowing him even to remove the thorns from his feet. Were he to fall to the ground out of weakness and frailty, the caravan of camels would not be stopped and would soon be upon him.
The Almighty directed Malak al-Maut (the Angel of Death) to dress in his finest as He sent him to take Rasul Allah’s SAW soul. Taking the form of a Bedouin, he appeared at the door of Rasul Allah’s SAW residence and sought permission to enter. Maulatona Fatema AS replied that Rasul Allah SAW will not be able to grant you an audience. He asked permission once again. The third time he asked permission, Maulatona Fatema AS shuddered and the colour drained from her blessed face. Rasul Allah SAW asked her if she knew who had arrived? The Destroyer of Pleasures, the Disperser of Congregations: Malak al-Maut. Rasul Allah SAW then asked him, ‘Have you come as a visitor or as a possessor? ‘I have come to visit and take possession — if you permit me to do so’, was the reply.
May Allah Taʿala grant al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS a long life in pristine health until the Day of Qiyamat. May we continue to benefit from the Husaini fragrance that emanates from his radiant words and ease our suffering in this world and at the time of our departure to the Hereafter.