Reflections Majlis 1

2nd Muharram al-Haram

Al-Dai al-Ajal al-Fatimi Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS commenced the first waʿz mubarak of ʿAshara Mubaraka by highlighting the characteristics and traits that make Mumineen unique, particularly their muhabbat of Mawali Kiraam AS and the noor and radiance they receive in turn. He then explained that Mumineen cannot stray from the love of their Mawali Kiraam AS. This inability to break free from love is actually what gives them true freedom.

Allah Taʿala has vouchsafed salvation and success for those Mumineen who humble themselves in their prayers as He states in the Quran Majeed:

‘Successful indeed are those believers who are humble in their prayers.’

Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS elucidated that the remembrance of Imam Husain AS cultivates humility within the hearts of Mumineen. Through their lamentations, their matam, their shedding of tears, their passionate cries of “Ya Husain,” and their unwavering focus on his remembrance, Mumineen attain humility. It is this humility that leads them to salvation and ultimate success in all endeavours.

In his inaugural address to Mumineen, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS made reference to Amirul Mumineen’s AS statement following the demise of Rasul Allah SAW; ‘Rejoice! For Rasul Allah departed this world content with you.’ Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS emphatically reiterated Amirul Mumineen’s AS statement, assuring Mumineen that indeed Rasul Allah SAW was happy with them. 

The land of Sind has long been associated with the banners of victory and triumph. In 1353 H, al-Dai al-Ajal al-Fatimi Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA held the Ashara Mubaraka majalis in Karachi. The previous year, Syedna al-Muqaddas RA had been honoured with a Fath-e-Mubeen, a clear and prominent victory; his appointment of his mansoos al-Dai al-Ajal al-Fatimi Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA. He had also won against his adversaries in court in a matter that same year prior to Ashara Mubaraka. Similarly, al-Dai al-Ajal al-Fatimi Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA was blessed with the Fath-e-Mubeen of the inaugurations of the Fatimi masjids of al-Lulua, al-Jamiʿ al-Juyushi, and al-Jamiʿ al-Aqmar, along with the dhareeh mubarak of Maulatona Ruqaiyah AS in al-Qahira (Cairo) in 1416 H. The very next year, indicating yet again the association of the land of Sind with triumph, he held the Ashara Mubaraka majalis in Taheri Masjid, Karachi. Keeping to the traditions of his forefathers, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS announced that he, too, was holding the Ashara Mubaraka majalis in Karachi this year after having been blessed last year with a Fath-e-Mubeen in the Mumbai high court, and subsequently honoured with the inauguration of the dhareeh mubarak of Maulatona Zainab AS in al-Qahira. The year 1398 H also saw Ashara Mubaraka in Karachi in close proximity with the inauguration of the dhareeh mubarak of Maulatona Zainab AS when Syedna Burhanuddin RA travelled from Karachi to al-Qahira for this purpose. 

Mufaddal Maula TUS then elaborated how each Maula is unique, and Mumineen by virtue of their devotion and love for these mawali, are unique as well. Expanding on all the various ways in which Mumineen distinguish themselves, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS mentioned some of the following: their decorum and conduct, their desire to feed others, their vigilance against food wastage, their adherence to sharia, their refrain from fraudulent business practices, their beneficence towards Allah Taʿala’s Creation and their memorisation of the Quran Majeed. Above all, Mumineen are unmatched in their devotion to Imam Husain AS. They show this through closing their businesses, diligently attending majalis, and offering heartfelt lamentations and tears.

Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS first discussed the concept of being unparalleled, expressed in Arabic as ‘bila amthaal‘ (without equal). He then introduced this year’s theme, which centres on the related word ‘amthaal’ (examples or analogies). In the Quran Majeed, the word amthaal features 11 times and is often used to introduce examples or analogies that serve as parables. Mufaddal Maula TUS remarked that 11 also happens to be the number of annual Ashara Mubaraka majalis he has held, and was thus befitting as a choice for the central topic for this year’s majalis. Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS explained that he had selected various Hadith Sharif in which Rasul Allah SAW employed examples, metaphors, and analogies to illustrate lofty concepts as the foundation of his sermons this year.

Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS went on to explain the potency of examples and analogies in conveying ideas. He noted how animals are often used metaphorically: a lion to represent courage, or a rabbit for cowardice. He then highlighted how analogies can make complex concepts more accessible. The Quran Majeed exemplifies this approach, using tangible objects to illustrate spiritual concepts. For instance, it describes the rewards of heaven through vivid analogies of gardens, fruits, rivers, and tranquillity.

Demonstrating how Rasul Allah SAW employed a physical example in order to illustrate a spiritual concept, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS recalled a narrative when the following verse from the Quran Majeed was revealed to Rasul Allah SAW

“And hold fast altogether to the rope of Allah and do not leave it.”

A bedouin, or aaraabi, asked about the rope mentioned in the Quran Majeed, as he could not see one hanging from the sky. It happened that Maulana Ali AS was passing by, and pointing to him, Rasul Allah SAW declared that it was Maulana Ali AS himself who was the rope. Immediately, the bedouin went to Maulana Ali AS, grasped him, and declared, “O’ Allah, bear witness that I have clung to Your rope!” Rasul Allah SAW then proclaimed that anyone wishing to see a person of jannat should look upon this aaraabi.

Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS expanded upon this Quranic analogy of salvation: just as someone drowning physically might be saved by grasping a rope flung from a boat, one drowning in the worldly sea can be saved by clinging to a spiritual rope. This rope, he emphasised, is Maulana Ali AS. Syedna highlighted how Rasul Allah’s SAW explanation made this complex concept understandable even to an ordinary man. Syedna TUS added that al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA, the 49th dai, would repeatedly say, ‘We are those who have held firm to the rope of Allah; those that say it has been severed (munqatiʿ), are themselves severed! 

Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS went on to cite Rasul Allah’s SAW hadith sharif:

“The analogy of a Mumin and of faith [and muhabbat] is like that of a horse that roams within the limits of its tether, and returns to where it has been tethered.” 

A Mumin in his faith is like a horse tethered to a hook or hitching post. The perimeter of the arena in which he roams is determined by the length of his rope, ensuring that he always returns to where he is tethered. This rope is an analogy of his love for his Maula. However far he may roam, he will always remain tethered by his love to his Maula, never straying from him, and always finding his way back. 

In illustrating the connection of loyalty that is exemplified in the analogy of the tethered horse above, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS referenced how Maulana Ali Akbar AS was ‘one of the valiant horses of Imam Husain’s AS cavalry’ and thus embodied the notion of tethered loyalty. When Imam Husain AS refused to grant him permission to proceed to battle, saying that he bore resemblance to Rasul Allah SAW, Ali Akbar’s AS acuity and perceptiveness, like that of an intelligent and understanding steed, led him to seek intercession from the very Rasul Allah SAW that Imam Husain AS had mentioned and thus gained his blessing. 

Like the tethered horse that can roam far, Maulana Ali Akbar AS had managed to ride deep into the enemies’ ranks, yet in every moment, all he could think about was Imam Husain AS. Seeking to reign him to their side, the Yazidi oppressors cited his kinship with Yazeed; Maulana Ali Akbar’s AS maternal grandmother was the sister of Yazeed. In heroic defiance of their tactics, Ali Akbar AS cried out, “I am Ali ibn al-Husain ibn Ali!” If they were alluding to his relationship with Yazeed, then his bond with Rasul Allah SAW through Imam Husain AS, was far stronger and more secure!

Wracked by thirst, Ali Akbar AS turned to his father, crying, “Thirst! Thirst!” His thirst quenched and having set out in battle again, he now lay mortally wounded in his father’s arms, by a spear to his chest. Imam Husain AS asked him what he could see and Ali Akbar AS replied that he could see Rasul Allah SAW, Amirul Mumineen AS, Maulatona Fatema AS, Imam Hasan AS – and Imam Husain AS was right there in front of him. 

In both respects – in his seeking of water and those final moments, Ali Akbar AS returned to his tether, his centre, his love of his Maula AS. Just as he remained tethered to his Maula AS in life, he returned to him in his last moments, fastening himself to him for what lay beyond. His final act was testament to the way in which Maula TUS ensures that a Mumin remains secure and tethered to him in life and in the hereafter, assuring him that he will be reunited with him. 

Despite residing in the far flung corners of the globe, Mumineen remain tethered to Wali Allah AS. Nevertheless, imaan represents a broad strata and, alluding to the multi-level nature of imaan, Rasul Allah SAW states: 

“The example of the strong believer is like a date palm, while the example of the weak believer is like a blade of grass.”

Rasul Allah SAW likened the strong Mumin to a date palm—steadfast in all seasons, firmly rooted even in soft soil. Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS explained that such a believer remains unshaken in faith, even when buffeted by the winds of adversity.

In contrast, Rasul Allah SAW compared the frail Mumin to wispy grass, swaying with the slightest breeze. However, Mufaddal Maula TUS emphasised a crucial point in this prophetic metaphor: despite its oscillations, the grass is never uprooted. Similarly, while a Mumin may falter under life’s pressures and even sin, the core muhabbat within ensures his or her eventual return to faith and the seeking of forgiveness. This notion is further reinforced by Imam Jafar al-Sadiq’s AS statement: A Mumin stands on two feet; if one slips, the other remains firm until he stands tall again.

To further elucidate the date palm and grass analogy, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS recounted a narration from the writings of Syedi Hasan bin Nooh Bharuchi QR.

One day, as Rasul Allah SAW sat with his companions, an ansaari approached him with a complaint. The ansaari — a term for those who aided Rasul Allah SAW during his emigration from Makkah to Madina — explained his issue: His neighbour, also an ansaari, owned a date palm that was encroaching on his property walls. The man requested his neighbour to sell him the tree, thereby preventing any potential future harm, however, the neighbour declined his offer. 

Rasul Allah SAW summoned the owner of the date palm and proposed a trade: if he would give his date palm to his neighbour, Rasul Allah SAW would guarantee him a date palm in jannat. The man still declined, saying, “O’ Rasul Allah! My need for a date palm is in this world,” disregarding Rasul Allah’s SAW promise. Observing this exchange was an ansaari named Abu Dhadah. This was the same Abu Dhadah in whose orchard Imams Hasan and Husain AS had once slept, on a night when Rasul Allah SAW had been anxious about their whereabouts. 

Upon overhearing the exchange, Abu Dhadah approached Rasul Allah SAW, asking if he too would be guaranteed a tree in jannat if he were to buy the problematic tree from the ansaari and give it to his neighbour. Rasul Allah SAW confirmed this promise. Abu Dhadah then addressed the tree owner, inquiring about his knowledge of Abu Dhadah’s renowned orchard on the outskirts of Madina. The man acknowledged the orchard’s reputation, describing its unparalleled status in Madina with over 600 palms, its own well, surrounding walls, and highly desirable fruit. Abu Dhadah then offered to exchange his entire orchard for the single palm tree causing the dispute.

The man’s elation at his fortune was evident as Rasul Allah SAW and his companions observed the unfolding conversation. Abu Dhadah, now the owner of the date palm, generously gifted it to his neighbour. Rasul Allah SAW then addressed Abu Dhadah, assuring him that his sacrifice of the entire orchard would be rewarded with numerous orchards in paradise, each bearing palms of abundant fruit and vast shade.

Upon returning home, Abu Dhadah informed his wife of their decision to empty their orchard and house, having sold them. His wife, trusting her husband’s business acumen, anticipated that he would inform her of a handsome profit. Upon learning that the exchange was for countless date palms in jannat, each with a shadow that is traversed only after a 100 year journey, she rejoiced at the extraordinary transaction.

The neighbour, wavering in faith like a blade of grass, yielded to worldly temptations, contrasting sharply with the unwavering devotion of Abu Dhadah. While the neighbour, swayed by fortune, failed to align with Rasul Allah’s SAW wishes, Abu Dhadah, recognising the weak Mumin’s oversight, resolved to uphold the Nabi Mohammed’s SAW will. Demonstrating an unwavering faith akin to the steadfastness of a date palm, he exchanged an entire grove for a single tree, ensuring the Nabi’s SAW desire was fulfilled.

Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS related this incident to something al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Husamuddin RA would often say: To the one who holds dominion over your body and soul, to whom you surrender life and possessions: if your life must be forfeit, so be it; if your wealth must be forgone, so be it. The only thing that can never be forfeit or sacrificed, is his will and command. 

Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS then proclaimed, “O’ Mumineen! Mumineen of Pakistan and all their guests! You have earned the prayers and duas of the Duʿat: Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA and Syedna Mohammed Burhanudin RA. How you have benefitted from their duas, how you have prospered in their khidmat, how you have upheld their commands! May you have many date palms in this life and the hereafter! I see before me the fruits [of these efforts], the dates they have born. I taste the sweetness of these dates!

In referencing further analogies mentioned by Rasul Allah SAW, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS quoted the following Hadith Sharif

“The example of a Mumin is that of a honeybee; it consumes nothing and produces nothing except that which is tayyib – pure or unadulterated.”

Having compared a Mumin to النخلة (the date-palm) in one Hadith Sharif, Rasul Allah SAW here compares a Mumin to النحلة (a honeybee) a difference of just one letter or one dot,  underscoring the parallels in both examples. Rasul Allah SAW used the word ‘tayyib’ – pure or unadulterated and the word ‘الا’ which means ‘except’. A honeybee consumes nothing except that which is pure and gives out nothing except that which is equally pure which is honey.  Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS then extrapolated that the way of life of Mumineen who pledge themselves to Imam al-Tayyib AS is likewise defined; both their ‘input’ and ‘output’ are pure. 

Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS then proceeded to highlight three angles from which the twin meaning of this Hadith Sharif (consuming and producing nothing except that which is pure) can be applied to a Mumin: 

Firstly, from a consumption point of view, a Mumin eats only that which is pure and clean. Wherever a Mumin may go, in adhering to the canons of sharia, and being mindful of his health, he is conscious of what he eats, taking care to check the ingredients that make up each item of food. 

Now, by consuming only pure and wholesome foods, he acquires vitality and strength. In turn, he expends his good health in fulfilling the wishes of Wali Allah, thereby producing only that which is tayyib

Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS issued a prompt to recite the ayat kareema which mentions the honeybee, in which Allah TA states: 

Addressing the honeybee, Allah Taʿala states, “And then eat from all fruits, and then go forth on the paths of your Lord with humility; [so that] a drink of various colours comes forth from your bellies, wherein lies shifa for people. Verily in this, there is a sign for those that ponder.

Similarly, a Mumin obtains pure sustenance from all types of food and fruits, enabling him to refrain from seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and touching all that is haraam, and abstain from acts which are impure and impermissible. Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS pointedly noted that it is only through consuming pure and halaal nourishment, that Allah Taʿala’s ibaadat (worship) is possible. If one were to avoid being mindful of what they were consuming, inadvertently ingesting something which is haraam, it is quite possible that as a consequence, they would not be able to perform the obligatory rites of ʿibaadat and their endeavours to seek proximity with Wali Allah would be negatively impacted. 

Secondly, this Hadith Sharif applies to a Mumin’s livelihood. He earns his material well-being through pure and honest means. Just like the honeybee that embarks on different paths to acquire its nectar, a Mumin traverses the globe in his pursuit of wealth. Despite the many different routes and ways through which wealth can be acquired, a Mumin only pursues those avenues that are pure, ethical and halal. Never does he resort to dishonest, unethical and immoral methods of earning. 

Just as his means of acquiring wealth are pure and just, he does not utilise his earnings except in the pure and permissible pursuit of pleasure. He allocates his resources to performing virtuous deeds, fulfilling his religious dues, and assisting others. Rasul Allah SAW explained that if you wish to know a man, then look to where he spends his money, for haraam [wealth] will only be utilised in haram.

Hence, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS explained, that if the means of acquiring wealth are haram but it is being used in halal, then it is purely eye-service. And if, despite being acquired through halal avenues, it is being utilised for haram, then one must ascertain where exactly he is erring in his acquisition of wealth. 

Thirdly, this Hadith Sharif guides a Mumin towards the right path of acquiring knowledge: it must be pure and uncontaminated, like the knowledge of Mawali Kiraam AS. Just as pure water becomes tainted when stored in a vessel used for alcohol, so too can knowledge be corrupted by its source.

Maulana al-Minʿaam TUS cautions us about the abundance of learning institutes, emphasising the importance of discerning the type of knowledge they offer. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA compares knowledge to water: while ocean water is suitable for ritual ablution, it is harmful if ingested. Similarly, a Mumin should only seek knowledge that strengthens their faith, discarding anything detrimental, such as Darwin’s theory. By acquiring knowledge from a uniquely Islamic perspective, a Mumin ensures its purity and benefits their faith.

In turn, through the pure and uncorrupted knowledge that he has acquired, a Mumin is able to benefit all of Creation, utilising his education for the benefit of all those around him and avoiding conflict and disharmony. 

Whilst reciting the ibarat al-nawh, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS encouraged Mumineen to wail and lament, adding that doing so would be a source of comfort and solace to Rasul Allah SAW and to all the Aimmat Tahireen AS. Following the battle of Uhud, in which Maulana Hamza AS was slain, when Rasul Allah SAW returned to Madina, his heart heavy with the grief of Maulana Hamza’s AS loss, he heard the sound of wailing women and children emanating from the households of many of the people of Madina. Hearing this, Rasul Allah SAW was heartbroken and began to weep. He exclaimed that while the ansaar were being lamented and wept upon in their homes, there was nobody weeping on the death of Hamza AS. In order to bring comfort and solace to Rasul Allah SAW, a group of women gathered to lament the martyrdom of Maulana Hamza AS. Syedna TUS then asked the congregation to consider that if Rasul Allah SAW was beset with grief when he found that nobody wept for Maulana Hamza AS, his beloved uncle, how much deeper his sorrow and disappointment would be if he learnt that there are those who do not weep upon his beloved grandson Imam Husain AS and the atrocities that befell him at Karbala. 

Before the final retelling of Imam Husain’s AS shahadat, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS related that during his final moments, Imam Husain AS made his way to the shores of the Euphrates so that his steed could have a drink of water. Seeing this, one of the assailants aimed an arrow at Imam Husain’s AS blessed mouth and the resultant wound gushed forth with blood. Sinan bin Anas came close to Imam Husain AS and thrust his spear into his chest with such force that it penetrated his body and re-emerged from his back. Sinan then withdrew the spear causing Imam Husain AS to lay front-face on the ground. Seeing this, a group of assailants rushed towards him, inflicting upon him one wound after another. Imam Husain’s AS steed wept uncontrollably beside his raʾs  mubarak prompting him to extend a gentle hand towards it, and whisper words of comfort. In that instant, a Kindi man took hold of Imam Husain’s AS raʾs mubarak and began to slap him with his hands, eventually ripping his pagri from his head. 

May Allah Taʿala grant Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS a long life in pristine health till the Day of Qiyamat.