Reflections Majlis 8

9th Muharram al-Haram

Al-Dai al-Ajal al-Fatimi Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS began Maulana al-Imam al-Hasan’s AS majlis with a short anecdote involving ostrich eggs and camels. A Bedouin on hajj once ate some wild ostrich eggs while in ihraam (state of ritual consecration for a haji), which is prohibited by shariat. As a consequence of this violation, he was required to make recompense but was unaware of what his penalty was. He came to the Nabi Mohammed’s SAW masjid, who had since passed, and asked someone there. Unable to answer, he advised him to wait a few minutes until Maulana Ali bin Abi Talib SA arrived for he would be able to solve his predicament. When Maulana Ali SA arrived at the masjid, the Bedouin repeated his question. Amirul Mumineen AS did not answer either and instead instructed him to pose his question to the young Imam Hasan AS who was by his side. Frustrated, the Bedouin exclaimed, ‘What is the issue with the companions of Mohammed SAW; why do they keep passing me on from one person to the next?’ Amirul Mumineen SA insisted that he ask Imam Hasan AS, so the Bedouin asked him his question regarding the penalty for his transgression. 

Imam AS told him to have a male camel mate with female camels according to the number of eggs he had taken. Any camels born out of the mating should be brought to hajj the following year and sacrificed. Satisfied, the Bedouin set out to return home, but before he could depart he came across the first person he had asked, who enquired about the solution. Having heard the answer, he coaxed the Bedouin to go back to Hasan Imam AS and ask him, ‘Do you not know that some pregnancies are miscarried?’ Upon conveying what he was told to, Imam Hasan AS realised that this was not the Bedouin’s own question but someone else’s. Hasan Imam AS responded without hesitation by stating, ‘Tell the one who told you to come here and ask me this: does he not know that eggs fail to develop?’ Upon hearing his young son’s perceptive response, Amirul Mumineen AS kissed his forehead and quoted the ayat shareefa, ‘They are descendants of one another.’

Maulatona Fatema’s AS  two shahzadas are the kings of the youth of heaven and the mere mention of their names makes our hearts glow. 

A Bedouin came to Rasul Allah SAW one day and presented him a fawn he had captured and wished to give as a gift to Imam Hasan AS and Imam Husain AS. As Imam Hasan AS was with him when the hunter came, Rasul Allah SAW  gave the fawn to him. As he left with the animal he was met by Imam Husain AS  and he asked his brother where he had got it from? Husain came to Rasul Allah SAW and said, ‘Won’t you give me one, too?’ But Rasul Allah SAW could only try and placate him, as there had only been one fawn. His consolations to no avail, it was clear that Imam Husain AS would soon come to tears, when there was a commotion from outside the masjid. A mother gazelle had come with her other child followed by a wolf. The gazelle entered his presence and said to Rasul Allah SAW, ‘I had two children, and one was taken by a hunter, while I escaped with my other. Then I heard a voice which told me to swiftly reach Rasul Allah SAW because Husain is about to cry.’ 

I heard the heavens tell me to, ‘Hurry, before the tears fall upon Imam Husain’s AS cheeks! If he were to weep then all of the angels would weep. Hurry, else the wolf will eat your child. So, I came as fast as I could.’

Rasul Allah SAW prayed for the gazelle, and Husain AS joyfully carried back the fowl to Maulatona Fatema SAW and she too was overjoyed. The narrative shows us that even if one comes to Awliya Allah AS in tears, they return laughing with the blessings of this world and of the Hereafter. 

Syedna TUS narrated the oft-cited zikr of Ziyad al-Awsad and the love-filled gaze with which Imam AS looked at him, declaring three times that ‘deen (religion) is naught but love.’ Afterwards, Syedna TUS addressed every Mumin, Mumina and child saying, ‘You have travelled from afar, enduring hardship and toil along the way, so that you may come and join the majalis of Syed al-Shuhada AS, then rest assured that Imam al-Zaman AS is looking at you as he declares thrice ‘Deen is naught but love!’

Rasul Allah SAW stated, ‘I am astonished at the one who howls in laughter, yet does not know whether he has pleased  Allah Taʿala or displeased him. 

There are a number of benefits attributed to laughter. Imam Ahmed al-Mastur AS has explained that laughing and crying are both unique to humankind. Until his death, an individual can choose to cry or laugh. The Quran Majeed states: 

It is He who makes [one] laugh and cry

We can better understand the meanings of this aayat shareefa with the help of Amirul Mumineen’s AS following abyaat mubaraka:

You were the one who, when his mother gave birth to him, was crying and the people around you were laughing.

Now act for yourself in such a way that when they cry on the day of your death, you are laughing and happy. 

Syedna Abu Yaʿqub al-Sijistani RA established the parameters of what it means to be human: a human is one who laughs. Sometimes his laughter pleases Allah Taʿala and sometimes, it causes Him displeasure. Therefore, a Mumin should have ‘knowledge’ of when laughter is meritorious and when it is frowned upon. 

Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS explained the subtle differences in the various Arabic words for laughter and smiling. Tabassum means to smile, either with teeth showing or not. If the smile is accompanied by the sound of laughter, then that is dahk (ضَحْك).  

Emphasising the need for a Mumin to always be jovial and explaining the etiquette of laughter, Syedna al-Mifdaal TUS referenced an incident with Sulayman Nabi AS from the Quran Majeed. Sulayman Nabi AS and his forces once chanced upon a colony of ants. As they approached, one ant instructed all the others to quickly enter their dwellings lest Sulayman and his forces unknowingly trample them. Upon hearing this, Sulayman Nabi AS smiled and laughed. 

And (Sulayman Nabi AS) smiled, laughing at her speech…

Mufaddal Maula TUS remarked that despite being a king of such stature, Sulayman Nabi AS listened to the tiny ant and smiled in response to its concern. What every Mumin should learn from this, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS told us, is that they should listen to those who are smaller than them and value what they have to say too. They should further cultivate a graceful nature and when met with instances that cause joy, they should express their joy through measured laughter. 

When a Mumin does laugh, Amirul Mumineen AS states that he should do so without raising his voice. When someone raises their voice loudly in laughter, it is referred to in Arabic as qahqaha, a characteristic that is unbecoming for Mumineen. 

Demonstrating his sensitivity to all issues that affect Mumineen, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS explained that light-hearted humour is different to scorn or mockery because the intention is not to insult someone or to hurt their feelings. That said, when jesting, it’s important to know who can take it in their stride, and who might be offended. He also said that it is unacceptable to ask someone who is easily offended to lighten up; if they are uncomfortable, the onus is upon us to ensure that their feelings are not hurt. 

The use of humour to lighten the mood is a valuable skill and many individuals have used it to great effect, Maulana TUS said. He gave the example of Maulana Salman al-Farsi RH. He encountered Rasul Allah SAW once while he was suffering from conjunctivitis. Despite the prescription to avoid eating dates while suffering from conjunctivitis, he was clearly enjoying a date. Rasul Allah SAW questioned this, to which Salman’s response was that since it was his left eye that was infected, he was eating the dates with the right side of his mouth! Rasul Allah SAW smiled with laughter. 

In another instance an elderly woman asked Rasul Allah SAW to pray for her to enter Jannat. Rasul Allah SAW replied that the old could not enter heaven which brought the woman to tears. Rasul Allah SAW then told her that the old would not enter heaven because they would be made young again before doing so.

The Quran Majeed describes the young women of Jannat as ʿurab (pl. arubat), i.e. laughing, cheerful women. Mufaddal Maula TUS enjoined the women of the congregation to laugh and smile for their spouses and then told their husbands to reciprocate! 

When Maulana Ali AS had ascended to the roof of the Kaʿba with the help of Rasul Allah SAW, he stated that he had never felt loftiness as he did at the moment. He was so elevated, if there was a connector between the skies and the earth, he could have joined them. Having cast off the idols, Maulana Ali AS jumped from the roof and landed safely. This made him laugh. When asked why he was smiling he replied, ‘I jumped from such a height, but did not injure myself.’ Rasul Allah SAW explained that this was because you landed on the wings of Jibraeel. Mufaddal Maula TUS revealed the reason behind Maulana Ali’s SA laughter:  Following Rasul Allah’s SAW directives ensured that he remained unhurt. When Rasul Allah SAW saw him smiling, he prayed, ‘May Allah always keep your face beaming.’

The Duat Mutlaqeen RA have received a part of this duʿa mubarak, for their countenances are always radiantly smiling, alleviating the suffering of others. Mumineen flock to their daʿi seeking consolation and reassurance from all that troubles them, whether it be related to their home, their business or their health.The daʿi shoulders the plight of all Mumineen, yet his smile never wanes. 

As Mumineen converge in the presence of Duat Mutlaqeen RA, they experience immense joy and happiness. On the one hand, touched by the innate happiness radiating from their faces, Mumineen shed tears of joy. Yet on the other hand, they perceive the signs of grief that Duat have for Imam Husain AS and are moved to shed tears of anguish and sorrow. 

Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS prayed for Mumineen:

May Allah Taʿala always keep you happy. Always stay happy. Your happiness is joined with the happiness of Duat RA and Aimmat AS. If you are happy — then we are happy.

Today, when you see your children crying for Husain it must give you so much happiness. The Duat, seeing you, are very pleased. Syedna Taher Saifuddin is very pleased. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin is very pleased that his followers are so dedicated to matam and engrossed in Imam Husain’s buka!

Your parents are joyous. Those that are with us and those that have passed away. Your mothers are happy seeing you weep and cry. Your fathers are happy – watching how well his son is crying! May Allah Taʿala always keep you happy!

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