Reflections: Majlis 6

Majlis 6: 7th Muharram al-Haraam

Al-Dai al-Ajal al-Fatimi Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin’s RA waʿz mubarak began with the bishaarat (glad tidings) given to Maulatona Fatema AS by Rasul Allah SAW of the birth of a son whom she was expecting towards the end of Rasul Allah’s SAW life. He directed her to name him ‘Muhsin’. However, even though he was brutally taken from her before he was born, Maulana RA addressed Mumineen as those who acknowledge her three shahzadas: Imam Hasan AS and Imam Husain AS as well as Muhsin AS and those who pray salawaat upon them all. The descendants of Imam Husain AS, the imams, are the muhsineen — those who act with virtue.

Maulatona Fatema’s AS marriage to Maulana Ali AS is the cause of forgiveness for their followers. By virtue of this divine marriage, each and every Mumin and Mumina has been issued a raqq (promissory note) attached to the heavenly Tree of Tooba, which guarantees the glad tidings of safety and protection from hellfire.

Maulatona Fatema’s AS shawl was given as a security – mortgage – for a loan taken from a Jewish man. He left it in a room within his home. At night when his wife went into the room she was amazed to find it filled with radiance. She called her husband who was also at a loss as to how and why this light shone. When they investigated further they came to know that it was coming from Maulatona Fatema’s AS shawl. They called their relatives to witness this phenomenon and eighty of them embraced Islam after beholding this sight. The guidance of her radiance continues in her descendants, the Aimmat Fatimiyyeen AS.

Al-Dai al-Ajal al-Fatimi Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA explained that Maulatona Fatema’s AS pre-eminence is due to her being the daughter of Rasul Allah SAW, the consort of Maulana Ali AS and the mother of Imam Hasan AS and Imam Husain AS as well as the Aimmat Tahereen AS.

Rasul Allah SAW stated that the fragrance of jannat emanates from Maulatona Fatema AS and that her birth took place after he had consumed an apple from jannat given to him by Jibraʾeel.

As Maulana Ali’s AS pious consort, Maulatona Fatema AS was the beauty of his house, his companion and the chest of his secrets. Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA added that every wife should safeguard her husband’s confidential matters. In continuing his description of the high stature of Maulatona Fatema AS, Syedna al-Muqaddas RA explained how Rasul Allah SAW refused the proposals of a number of potential suitors for Maulatona Fatema AS. A man renowned for his integrity approached Amirul Mumineen AS and told him that it seems that Rasul Allah SAW intends to betroth Maulatona Fatema AS to you, which is why he has refused all else. He urged Maulana Ali AS to ask Rasul Allah SAW for her hand in marriage. The first day Amirul Mumineen AS entered the presence of Rasul Allah SAW however, he left without broaching the matter. When his encourager enquired, he replied that a sense of shame prevented him from doing so. The person suggested that he make another attempt. The next day Amirul Mumineen AS went before Rasul Allah SAW where he remained for quite some time either conversing about other matters or remaining silent. Rasul Allah SAW too was keen for Amirul Mumineen’s AS union with Fatema AS. Prodding Amirul Mumineen AS into asking, he enquired ‘Is there anything else, seeing that you are still seated here?’ Maulana Ali AS continued to remain silent. Rasul Allah SAW then asked, ‘Have you come seeking Fatema’s hand in marriage?’ ‘Yes, if Rasul Allah SAW would grant such an honour; I am your companion as it is,’ he replied. Agreeing, Rasul Allah SAW informed him that Allah Taʿala had solemnised his marriage with Maulatona Fatema AS in jannat and that he would do so here on earth.

Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA narrated the events that led Rasul Allah SAW to bestow Maulatona Fatema AS with the Tasbeeh-e-Fatema, a tasbeeh that is more valuable than the world and all that is in it. Maulatona Fatema AS carried out this tasbeeh until she breathed her last. The Aimmat Tahereen AS and their Duat Mutlaqeen RA too carry out this tasbeeh. Syedna RA asked, ‘how long does it take?’ He then mentioned that there is great divine reward in this tasbeeh which many people neglect thinking, ‘how can there be so much thawaab in this tasbeeh?’

Syedna al-Muqaddas RA made it clear that not being aware of thawaab as well as ʿazaab is not acceptable for Mumineen. He highlighted the importance of this awareness by narrating an occasion where Rasul Allah SAW asked his companions to look for pieces of wood even though they were in open country where such wood was seemingly unavailable. Nevertheless, he directed them to undertake the effort to look, and slowly but surely they each came back with twigs, branches and offshoots until a large mound was formed before Rasul Allah SAW. He then revealed to them, ‘I asked you to undertake this exercise to show you that this is how merits and good deeds are accumulated, and likewise, so are sins.’ Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA then cautioned against belittling or neglecting a good deed and dismissing it as being insignificant.

Gather as much as you can for its thawaab is immense and it will become a treasure for you. Likewise, do not belittle sinful acts.

Some mislead themselves by thinking that they are already so sinful what is the harm in adding a few more. This way of thinking is wrong and dangerous. One sin after another will lead to a 1000 and then 2000. Syedna al-Muqaddas RA observed that many adopt a similar mindset when it comes to debt. They harbour the notion that they are in debt anyway, why not incur more. ‘No, reduce your debt, repay it slowly’, he said firmly. ‘One’s conscience should weigh down upon him.’

Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA informed us that angels turned the millstone in Maulatona Fatema’s AS home while Jibraʾeel regularly swept it clean. Today, the haveli of Maulatona Fatema AS stands, and its millstone is turned by the angel-like Duat Mutlaqeen RA. No one can see who is moving it.

Maulatona al-Hurra al-Malika RA saw in a dream that she was sweeping the palace of the Imam. Her mother-in-law, Maulatona Asma bt. Shihab RA foretold that, ‘I see that it is you who will ensure the sanctity of the Imam’s house.’ Today and throughout the ages, the Duat Mutalqeen AS have ensured that the house of the Dawat remains pristine. They protect these sacred precincts from impurities and if they manage to enter, they are immediately scoured clean. Such are their efforts.

Imam Zainul Abideen AS, he that frees others, how can it be that he is shackled and bound? If he willed it, he could walk away from any such restraints. Indeed he illustrated this when, in the time of the wretched ʿAbd al-Malik bin Marwaan, he was once again apprehended and imprisoned in Madina. Imam AS told Zuhri that on the third day he would not be found and it transpired so. Zuhri, the narrator of this incident states that he went to ʿAbdul al-Malik in Kufa and there he was told that, ‘On the day you were all looking for him, the Imam was here before me.’ Imam AS demanded an explanation for why he was being imprisoned. In awe of the Imam’s AS presence and frightened by Imam’s AS forceful, powerful demeanour, ʿAbdul al-Malik was unable to carry out the harm he had intended. Instead he offered the Imam to be his guest but Imam Zainul Abideen AS refused.

Whether in a period of difficulty and no temporal sovereignty, as with Imam Zainul Abideen AS, or at the height of empire and physical dominion, the awe and majesty instilled by the imams of Maulatona Fatema’s AS progeny remain supreme. This was illustrated with the detailed narration of the conquest of Misr. Imam Muʿizz AS sent his Commander-in-Chief, al-Qaid al-Jawhar QR to conquer the city that would eventually bear his name: al-Qahira al-Muʿizziyah. A number of preparations for the conquest were put in place well in advance of the army’s march and Imam Muʿizz AS spent hours with al-Qaid al-Jawhar QR personally giving instructions as to how he should approach Misr, what he should say to its inhabitants and what he should do once it was conquered. When the time came for him to set off, Imam AS decreed that in respect of al-Qaid al-Jawhar, not a single person, no matter of what rank, should remain mounted as he was bid farewell from the Imam’s prophetic presence. Only Imam AS and al-Qaid al-Jawhar QR remained mounted on their horses. Al-Qaid al-Jawhar QR dismounted to do qadambosi and was then given permission to proceed. As he made his way out into the horizon, the Imam AS continued to benevolently gaze at him in the distance, holding aloft his kerchief as a sign of his continued blessings and permission. Once more, al-Qaid al-Jawhar QR acknowledged the Imam AS by performing sajda upon his steed from a distance.

Upon reaching the city he sent word to the inhabitants that he was not there to subjugate them but to protect them from the Byzantininan threat and the clutches of other adversaries who were intent on enslaving them. He gave them an amnesty which was rejected by a small group intent on subterfuge, who then set about looting some of the 25,000 shops and businesses established in the city at that time. Al-Qaid al-Jawhar QR dispatched a division of only 400 men who went from street to street to reassure the proprietors of their safety and to guarantee that if any establishments were still pillaged, then al-Qaid al-Jawhar QR would be responsible for any and all losses. That relatively small cohort of soldiers ensured that the city reopened and stayed open.

Following the heart-rending account of how Maulatona Zainab AS observed the wretched Shimr on Imam Husain’s AS blessed chest hewing mercilessly at his hulqum mubarak, al-Dai al-Ajal al-Fatimi Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS related the shahaadat of Moulatona Fatema AS. Rasul Allah’s SAW demise had left her in a state of perpetual grief which was compounded by the usurpers’ attempts to take what rightfully belonged to Amirul Mumineen AS. With his permission she draped herself in a mantle and delivered a moving and compelling argument defending Amirul Mumineen’s AS rightful, divinely-ordained position as Rasul Allah’s SAW only heir and the Imam of the ummah after him. Her speech was so impactful that the foes feared a shift in the allegiance of Muslimeen towards Amirul Mumineen AS and so they came to his house threatening to burn it to the ground if the doors were not opened and he did not acquiesce to their demands. Maulatona Fatema AS, fearing the worst, opened the door with Amirul Mumineen’s AS permission and in a grotesque manifestation of malice, the foe kicked in the door, knowing full well that Fatema AS stood concealing herself behind it. The impact caused her to fall to the ground unconscious and she lost her beloved Muhsin AS with whom she was pregnant at the time.

As her final moments neared, Maulatona Fatema AS wet some lotus leaves with which to wash the heads of the young Imams, Imam Hasan AS and Imam Husain AS. She kneaded enough dough to last two days and washed their garments. Seeing this Amirul Mumineen AS inquired as to why she had gone to such trouble in her frail condition. She replied that her demise was near and she did not want her beloved children to be neglected once the Ahle Bayt were preoccupied with the grief of her passing. With her final breaths, Fatema AS beseeched Allah Taʿala to forgive the followers of her consort, Amirul Mumineen AS. When her ruh mubarak had finally risen to the heavens above, Imam Hasan AS and Imam Husain AS looked to Amirul Mumineen AS asking him with tears in their eyes, ‘Where has our beloved mother gone?’

In Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS, we see the barakaat of Maulatona Fatema’s AS tears which she collected for the emancipation of Mumineen from hellfire and we are reassured that come what may, there is a raqq with our name on it guaranteeing us a place in jannat because we adhere to the Fatimi Dai of our time. May Allah Taʿala grant al-Dai al-Ajal al-Fatimi Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS a long life in pristine health until the Day of Qiyamat.