Ashara Mubaraka 1443 H
Majlis 7: 8th Muharram al-Haram
Illustrating Rasul Allah’s SAW exemplary demonstration of humility and taqwā, qualities that were the reason behind so many peoples’ acceptance of Islam, al-Dai al-Ajal al-Fatimi Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS related an instance originally narrated by Syedna Abdulqadir Najmuddin RA. He stated that two days after his Miraj, Rasul Allah SAW was making his way to the marketplace to tend to some matters. He saw a woman in tears, two children strapped to her back, struggling to walk. Rasul Allah SAW approached her and enquired as to why she was crying. She replied that she was the slave of a man who had sent her to the market to purchase certain goods for him. However, she was very ill and could not walk quickly, especially with the weight of her two children. She feared that if she would be late, her master would punish her. Rasul Allah SAW reassured her that he would walk with her back to the man’s house and intercede on her behalf. He then asked her to give him her children to carry and strapped them onto his back, swiftly walking towards the man’s house. The woman urged Rasul Allah SAW to slow down as she could not keep up with his swift gait. Rasul Allah SAW instructed her to take hold of the ends of his clothes for they would give her strength. In this manner, Rasul Allah SAW walked with the woman until they reached the man’s house. Rasul Allah SAW knocked on the door and when the man opened it and set eyes on Rasul Allah SAW he was taken aback. He stated that it was not Rasul Allah’s SAW custom to visit that part of town and seeing him there with a slave and her two children was unusual. Rasul Allah SAW told him that he had accompanied the woman to intercede on her behalf.
Hearing this, the man bade Rasul Allah SAW to be seated while he went inside to retrieve something. The man returned with a copy of the Torah and informed Rasul Allah SAW that even the Torah spoke his praise. It stated that proof of Mohammed Mustafa’s SAW prophethood is that on the second day following his Miraj he would come to the home of a Jewish person with the children of a slave woman strapped to his back to intercede on her behalf. The man embraced Islam and professed the shahada.
Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS then explained that despite Amirul Mumineen’s AS exalted stature, his humility was such that he considered himself a man like all other men. He illustrated this by narrating an instance where Amirul Mumineen AS purchased two garments and gave his servant the right to choose which one he preferred. He did so, Syedna TUS explained, because he considered the servant a man like himself and gave him preference because he knew that although he himself could have whatever he wished for, the servant could not.
Narrating another instance of Amirul Mumineens’s AS unparalleled humility and benevolence, Syedna TUS relayed an incident documented by Ibn Shahr Ashub, a renowned Shii writer who is considered a credible source even by Sunnis. He writes that in the heat of battle, Amirul Mumineen AS was asked by his opponent to gift him his sword. Hearing this, Amirul Mumineen AS instantly handed his sword over to the man. Astounded, the man inquired as to why he had done so in such a situation. Amirul Mumineen AS responded that when the man had outstretched his arm seeking his benevolence, integrity and magnanimity dictated that he should not turn the man away empty-handed. The man immediately fell to Amirul Mumineen’s AS feet and embraced Islam, stating that his actions were undoubtedly those of the one who belonged to the faith of Haqq (what is true and right).
The sixth kalām mubārak in the series of statements focusing on ‘seeking’ and ‘finding’ pertains to humility and modesty. Maulana Ali AS states:
I sought humility and found it in accepting al-Haqq.
Tawāḍuʿ (humility and modesty), Maula TUS explained, is to accept Haqq with one’s heart, with full conviction and confidence. It is to embrace it, even if it is bitter. It is to accept Haqq even at the risk of apparent loss or detriment. Allah Taʿālā states:
But no! By your Lord, they will never be true believers until they make you (Nabi Mohammed SAW) as the judge in their disputes and find no resistance within themselves against your decision and submit wholeheartedly.
This verse elucidates that an integral condition of faith is to accept the decisions of Wali Allah AS without reluctance or skepticism. One should not ‘oppose’ or ‘dispute’ them. Those who do not accept the directives of Wali Allah AS with their hearts, but only profess to do so and feign modestness cannot be considered humble. On the contrary, such people are in truth arrogant, concealing their hubris behind a thin veil of feigned humility. Syedna TUS then recited a verse of Syedi Abdeali Imaduddin QR in praise of the 45th al-Dai al-Mutlaq, Syedna Tayyib Zainuddin RA:
His humility and modesty before Allah exemplifies humility; some expressions of humility are in fact that of pride and conceit.
Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS gave an example to illustrate this. He stated that if Maula TUS has designated a certain place for an individual in the tartīb (majlis hierarchy), and someone insists on sitting behind, in a ‘lower’ position, then this sham display of humility is in fact an act of arrogance and pride. The refusal to sit in the position designated by Wali Allah AS is a denial of his authority and a dismissal of his decision. Not only must one accept Wali Allah’s AS verdict but it should be done without delay. Doing so is a true indication of humility.
That the acceptance of Haqq is a mark of humility, and this ultimately leads to raised stature, was illustrated by Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS through an example involving a man and his severed hand. Amirul Mumineen AS directed that a man’s hand be severed since a group of witnesses testified to his alleged transgressions. Upon leaving after receiving his punishment, the man met Abdullah bin Abbas who inquired after his hands. He said that they had been ordered cut by Amirul Mumineen AS to whom he was grateful since he had now been purified. Abdullah bin Abbas informed Maulana Ali AS of this encounter and the man’s words of gratitude and acceptance of Amirul Mumineen’s AS decree. Maulana Ali AS called the man and miraculously, rejoined his severed hand.
Syedna Saifuddin TUS then associated this incident with a blessed statement made by Rasul Allah SAW in which he informs us that in each person’s head there is a ḥakamat. This ḥakamat, i.e. a bit placed in a horse’s mouth, is held in the hands of an angel. Whenever a person is humble and modest, the angel raises him with the bit in his hands and says, ‘Rise! May Allah raise your standing’. However, if he exhibits pride, the angel will pull him down saying, ‘Go down! May Allah diminish you!’ Syedna TUS then explained that the aforementioned man accepted Amirul Mumineen’s AS decision to cut his hands as Haqq and by virtue of doing so, the angel raised his head. How? He expressed lofty notions of gratitude and gaining purity after losing his hands. The angel’s prayers were further substantiated when Amirul Mumineen AS reattached his hands.
Continuing his discussion on the acceptance of Haqq and the meanings of khuḍūʿ (humbleness), Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS described how one’s namaz is either in one of two conditions. If all the arkān and requisites of namaz are met and one remains humble throughout prayer by keeping his gaze fixed on the spot where he places his forehead, then his namaz, a light emitting from it, will ascend to the heavens and its doors will open. The namaz will declare, ‘You protected me; may Allah protect you.’
On the other hand, if the arkān are not fulfilled as required, the namaz will ascend but be held back by the closed doors of heaven. The namaz will have a darkness to it and it will say, ‘You squandered me; may Allah let you be squandered.’ His namaz will be rejected and thrown back at his face. Maula TUS reminded us that when we pray namaz we must ‘completely’ draw our attention to our Lord; there should be no thought other than of Him. If we are focused in our hearts, the rest of the body will follow suit.
As we must pay attention to our namaz, so must we pay complete attention to the Dai al-Haqq. We should focus our energies on upholding his directives and in doing so, our humility and khuḍūʿ will increase. This focus on Maula TUS will give us the strength and concentration to focus on all matters of importance in our lives. Our efforts will come to fruition; we will benefit others. Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS reminded us, ‘Focus is the key to productivity.’
Mufaddal Maula TUS expanded on the notion of focus through the examples of eyesight and photography. He explained that Allah Taʿālā has created the human eye so that it can focus on objects that are both far and near. The mind quickly switches focus between the two, not unlike a camera’s ‘autofocus’. He also said that some cameras offer us the ability to select the object we want to focus on while blurring the ‘surroundings’. Photographers use differing focal points of objects and blurred or bokeh backgrounds as a technique to create unique compositions. Maula TUS made an observation about drones (a number of which can be seen here in Nairobi); flying around like birds, from here to there.
Ultimately, Maula TUS linked this entire concept with focus in life. The ability to focus is a prized ability in a man. If one focuses on what needs to be focused on — he will find success (like a well-composed, correctly focused photograph). However, if he loses focus, then he will become preoccupied with issues that are of little relevance or significance (an out-of-focus subject).
In order to illustrate how one should focus on what is most important, in this case the instructions of the Dai, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS gave the example of Maulaya Adam QR and the Saqqāʾ (waterbearer). The dignitaries of Dawat in Yemen took umbrage with al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Idris Imaduddin’s RA placement of an Indian traveller above them in the tartīb. Whereas in India, Maulaya Adam QR did not hesitate for even a moment in bowing to the Saqqāʾ. He did not need to focus, because his focus was already on his Maula and his instructions. This focus, modesty and humility resulted in a raise of stature and standing: the transfer of the Dawat from Yemen to India and the prostration of Duat Mutlaqeen RA at the blessed grave of Maulaya Adam QR.
Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS elaborated how people of discernment should perceive Wali Allah’s AS pronouncements. He cited an occurrence, referencing Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA, in which Miyasaheb Tayyib bhai learnt of a decision by Syedna Abdullah Badruddin RA that he could not comprehend. He had a sensitive temperament and although he did not express it, he was unsettled for a few days. Seeing this, Sheikh Ali Mohammad informed Syedi Abdeali Mohyiddin QR of what had transpired and of Miyaaheb’s condition. Syedi Mohyiuddin QR had a good rapport with Miyasaheb and thus casually spoke to him at length. He then inquired as to the veracity of what he had been informed. Miyasaheb confirmed the incident and stated that Syedna RA was the lord and master, his will was above all else. To console him, Syedi Abdeali QR shared his own experience where he too failed to understand the wisdom in one of Syedna’s RA pronouncements. Syedna RA decreed on giving a Mumin in need 100 rupees instead of the 200 he had suggested. He wondered why Syedna RA had decided on a lesser amount even though it was only a matter of 100 rupees. In that instant, however, he remembered that Syedna RA was the lord and master. Syedi Mohyiddin QR had conveyed the Mumin’s plea to Syedna RA which was the extent of his ability and for which he would receive thawāb, but ultimately it was not in the Mumin’s destiny to receive more than he did. Thus it becomes a source of solace to always remember that whatever Syedna RA decrees is just and that the considerations that inform his decisions are not always known save for him. He is the mālik and Maula.
During the narration of Amirul Mumineen’s AS shahadat, Maulana mentioned that during his final Shahr Allah, Amirul Mumineen AS would visit the homes of his shahzādas and shahzadīs to grant them the thawāb of iftār. He was also aware that his wafāt was near.
Maulana TUS also related that one day Maulana Ali AS entered Rasul Allah’s SAW presence while he was engrossed in discussion with Jibraʾeel. Upon seeing Maulana Ali AS, Jibraʾeel arose, out of respect. Rasul Allah SAW asked him why he treated him with such deference, adding, ‘Jibraʾeel, you are an angel with great proximity to the Almighty’. Jibraʾeel replied:
No, Ali is closer and enjoys more precedence. He is my long-time ustad. Were it not for him, al-Rahman’s wrath would have been upon us all. Allah had asked us angels the Names and it was he who taught them to us. He is my ustad, my teacher.
Rasul Allah SAW replied, ‘Jibraʾeel, you speak the truth, “Allah knows best where to place His message (6:124)”.
May Allah Taʿālā grant Al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin a long life in everlasting health and happiness until the Day of Qiyāmat.