Reflections Majlis 5

6th Muharram al-Haram

Today we were blessed with the opportunity to hear the voices of al-Dai al-Ajal al-Fatimi Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA and al-Dai al-Ajal al-Fatimi Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA on this 6th day of Muharram in which we remember our Nabi Mohammed Rasul Allah SAW, who brought forth the deen of Islam. In his waʿz mubarak from 1392 H, Syedna Burhanuddin RA explained the interrelation of Imaan and Islam illustated by Maulana al-Imam al-Jaʿfar al-Sadiq AS when he drew two circles on the inside of his palm; the outer circle being Islam, the inner one being Imaan. 

Syedna Burhanuddin RA explained that Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA had elaborated on this concept with the analogy of a room,  accessible through a veranda. The room is Imaan and the veranda is Islam. Nabi Mohammed SAW said that he would spare the life and wealth of anyone who professes the shahada, adding that those who did so with ikhlaas (purity of intent) would enter Jannah. This distinction is the distinction between Imaan and Islam which Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA explained through the example of the room and veranda. Syedna Burhanuddin RA expanded on this concept by remarking that although some were brought to the veranda without choice, entering the room was only out of one’s own volition. The door was opened and those on the veranda had a peek at the tremendous divine bounties that lie within. Syedna Burhanuddin RA added that that was only the first room; there were a number of other rooms further in, that offered greater bounties and higher levels of knowledge. Taher Saifuddin Maula RA had also said that the room and veranda were situated within a ‘compound’ that referred to all humankind. Whether someone is standing in the room with us, on the veranda or in the compound around, we are nevertheless together and just as we keep our room clean so should we be committed to ensuring the sanctity of the compound it sits in. 

As an example, Syedna Burhanuddin RA recounted that Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA was one of the first to offer assistance to the efforts to reconstruct al-Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem when its custodians set out to raise funds for a much-needed restoration. Although major governments and organisations were to contribute significant amounts later, it was Syedna’s immediate offer of assistance that left a lasting impression. Syedna Taher Saifuddin’s RA name is listed among the many benefactors and by divine providence, under the portion of an aayat shareefa where the words, ‘min al-muʾmineen’ appear, the name of Maulana Taher Saifuddin RA appears. Maulana Burhanuddin RA declared that indeed Syedna Saifuddin RA was the true Mumin, the Mumin al-Mumin, as are all Duʿat Mutlaqeen AS

Al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA extolled the many virtues of Shariat Mohammediyah. He stated that even though past prophets had instituted shariats during their time, Rasul Allah’s SAW shariat is superior. Human beings require rules and regulations in order to be able to live in this world. Wild animals, like a lion for example, have no use for rules and regulations because they are free to roam the jungles where all their needs are met and where they live as they please. The best and most enduring laws are the ones that are a result of wahy (divine  revelation) and those who adhere to these laws are guaranteed everlasting life in the Hereafter.

Rasul Allah’s SAW shariat is replete with divine faid. His example is one of an accomplished physician who prescribes a very small dose yet its effects are potent and far reaching. Syedna RA counselled us to always adhere to the shariat pointing out that any act which is done within the confines of the shariat becomes an act of worship but when practised outside the shariat it becomes an affront against humanity. 

Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA spoke of Syedna Taher Saifuddin’s RA paternal care for Mumineen. He was a father to all and deeply cared for the welfare of Mumineen whom he considered his own children. On the one hand, he had a loving, affectionate, warm bearing towards Mumineen, while on the other, he exhibited a protective intensity that deterred all those who wished them harm. In Syedna Abdullah Badruddin’s RA era, Shaikh Ahmedali chronicled the phenomenal success of Syedna Taher Saifuddin’s RA efforts in Sidhpur, when he wrote that ‘he displayed the might of Zulfaqaar.’  

Entreating Mumineen to regularly offer alms, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA narrated the tale of Nabi Yaʿqub AS. Blessed with abundant wealth, Yaʿqub Nabi AS wanted for nothing. He and his family would feast on a goat that he would slaughter daily. One night, a nabi who had denounced the pleasures of the world and instead lived a life of austerity, passed by the house of Yaʿqub AS. This nabi would only seek out other prophets, or their children or other similar pious individuals to ask for food. The night in question there was substantial leftover food in Yaʿqub Nabi’s AS house. Although the mendicant nabi stood on Yaʿqub Nabi’s AS doorstep for a prolonged period calling out for someone to share some of their bounties, no one answered either to give him food or tell him to go away. Overcome by hunger, he fainted. After a while he came to and carried on his way. 

Allah Taʿala reprimanded Nabi Yaʿqub AS for his lack of response and action and forewarned of an impending calamity that would befall him. Nabi Yaʿqub AS turned to the prayer-niche imploring Allah for His forgiveness. In the morning, Nabi Yaʿqub’s AS sons sought permission to take Nabi Yusuf AS with them on their expedition. At that moment, Nabi Yaʿqub AS sensed that this was indeed the beginning of a misfortune that was to befall him. The trials and tribulations that followed are well documented in Surah Yusuf in the Quran Majeed. 

Syedna Burhanuddin RA quoted a famous verse composed by Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA in which he instructs Mumineen to sit at ease while embarked upon the vessel of Dawat, not adukra,  meaning in a position where one is neither seated nor standing, posed to ‘abandon ship’ at the first sign of trouble. Referencing several aayaat shareefa, Maulana Burhanuddin RA explained that an inescapable condition of being a Mumin and having faith is to be tested. The vessel of Dawat will encounter a number of waves, some of them like mountains, but it will never sink or falter from its course. It is upon us, those who have the honour of embarking upon it, to have faith and remain composed. The vessel was put to sea with the name of Allah, and it shall drop anchor on the shores of the Hereafter with Allah’s name as well. 

Maulana al-Muqaddas RA thereafter briefly narrated the histories of all the 5 prophets who precede Rasul Allah SAW. He related that after Ibrahim Nabi AS ascended the throne of prophethood, he travelled to Harran where the king divined through astral observations that his kingdom would soon fall. The king’s daughter Maulatona Sarrah AS, was well versed in religious knowledge and had resolved to only marry a man of her choosing — a man in whom she could see the signs of prophethood. She therefore ordered the construction of a large ceremonial hall where she invited all the local townspeople for a meal. Seated in a balcony, she observed from above all those who attended, her presence unbeknownst. The townspeople came and went but Sarrah AS did not find whom she was seeking and so she subsequently invited all the guests in Harran for a meal. Among the guests was Ibrahim Nabi AS and the moment Sarrah AS laid eyes on him and witnessed his mannerisms; the way he carried himself, the way he sat and the way he walked, she knew that she was in the presence of prophethood and as such had found her consort. She sent her maidservant to call Ibrahim Nabi AS and when he arrived she placed a crown upon his head. The king agreed to their marriage and Maulatona Sarrah AS and Ibrahim Nabi AS were married both physically and in spirit. 

Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA narrated the events of Amirul Mumineen’s AS auspicious, miraculous birth. Maulana Ali AS and Mohammed Rasul Allah SAW are one in this world and the hereafter and from the moment Maulana Ali AS was born he was at Rasul Allah’s SAW side. Maulana Ali AS was born inside the Kaʿbah and Rasul Allah SAW was the first who came to him because it was revealed to him that his wasi had been born. When he came, he was called inside and Amirul Mumineen AS was still in sajda. In this position the angels gave him to Mohammed SAW

From the celestial beginning to the Day of Judgement, they are together, Syedna al-Muqaddas RA explained. Nabi Mohammed SAW, while at the house of Maulana Abu Talib AS, called him ‘father’ and Maulana Ali’s AS respected mother, Maulatona Fatema bint Asad AS, mother. He would have Maulana Ali’s AS cradle placed near him, so that even as an infant, they could converse and listen to each other. Therefore, in the shahada we affirm both that Nabi Mohammed is Rasul Allah and that Maulana Ali is Allah’s wali; this is the complete shahada and is the way it has been inscribed on Baab al-Nasr in Qahira Muʿizziya (Cairo).

The fifth waʿz mubarak of Ashara Mubaraka is the day we recount the shahadat of Rasul Allah SAW and the heart-rending account of the distribution of the heavenly hanut. Rasul Allah SAW began by handing one portion of the hanut to Maulana Ali AS to be placed in his own grave. The second portion he gave to Maulatona Fatema AS while the third he gave to Maulana Ali AS for his sons to place in his grave. The last portion he handed to Imam Hasan AS and instructed that he ask his brother Imam Husain AS to place it in his grave. The portions were finished. Imam Husain AS stood at a distant crying and when Rasul Allah SAW asked why he wept he asked why it was that there was no hanut for him. ‘You gave to Hasan but not to me, you always kept us together, carried us aloft on your shoulders together. Why does Hasan have one but not I?’

Rasul Allah SAW replied that, ‘You will go to Karbala, be without food and water for three days and be slain. Your body will be left to lie without a shroud or burial. Hearing this, the entire Ahlebayt wept uncontrollably.

May Allah Taʿala grant our beloved Maula, Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS, a long life and good health until Qiyamat.