Ashara Mubaraka 1443 H
Majlis 4: 5th Muharram al-Haram
In the opening address, al-Dai al-Ajal al-Fatimi Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS recited the following āya sharīfa:
Whoever brings forth a ḥasana (meritorious deed), he will receive that which is better than it and will be safe from the fear of that day [Day of Judgement]
Ḥasana, Syedna TUS explained, is the muḥabbat of Wali Allah AS. A Mumin’s muḥabbat for Wali Allah AS is a meritorious act. Better than his muḥabbat, however, is Wali Allah’s AS muḥabbat for him, for his muḥabbat is ten-fold greater (a reference to the Quranic verse 6:160 ‘Whoever comes with a good deed will be rewarded tenfold’). Muḥabbat is your capital, and with it you can purchase the tenfold muḥabbat of Wali Allah AS, thereby securing safety and protection from the dread of Judgement Day.
Today’s kalām mubārak pertained to the relationship between seeking protection and refraining from sin. Amirul Mumineen AS states:
I sought peace and protection and found it in abandoning sin.
Peace and safety is essential for man to enjoy a meaningful life. In another instance, Maulana Ali AS states:
A life of well-being and comfort is when peace prevails
Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS observed that when peace and security prevail, man is able to fulfil his needs as well as attend to the needs of his family, society and country. A great deal of effort is expended to ensure the preservation of peace, with a number of organizations having been established for this very purpose.
What is true peace and protection, Maula TUS asked. It is when man is able to lead a life of comfort, unaffected by the upheavals taking place around him. It is like staying in a fort, with full conviction that, regardless of what takes place outside its walls, one will remain safe inside. Even if assailants breach the fort’s walls, the structure of the fort is such that those inside will remain safe.
Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS then gave examples highlighting the ineffectiveness of the promises of protection of this world. A most relevant example of vaccines was provided. Vaccines are developed in order to protect mankind from illness. However, although they may help build immunity and provide protection against existing viruses, there is always a fear that new viruses or variants may emerge, ultimately rendering the vaccine ineffective. Whatever means of protection are developed in this world, their perennial shortcoming is that they are unable to fully guarantee protection in all instances.
The only means of protection that is fully guaranteed is refraining from sin. The more one distances himself from sin the stronger his protection from worldly upheavals, since there is a direct correlation between the trials and tribulations one faces and the sins he or she has committed. Maulana Ali AS states, ‘One should never fear anything but his sins.’ Maula TUS highlighted the unique relation between fear of difficulties and fear of sins by stating that, ‘If one wishes to be free of the fear of misfortune, then he should fear committing sin.’ Imam Jafar al-Sadiq AS states that illness, loss of livelihood and persecution at the hands of a despot are the consequences of sins.
Refraining from sin altogether is naturally a form of protection, but Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS explained that repenting from the sins one has committed also offers similar benefits. He quoted a verse by Maulana Ali AS which highlights both these methods:
‘Repentance is obligatory upon people, however, abandoning sin altogether is far more obligatory.’
However, repentance or istighfār is not easily achieved. Maulana Ali AS overheard someone uttering the words astagfirullah in order to seek forgiveness. Amirul Mumineen AS asked him whether he truly knew the implications of his statement of repentance. He explained that the rank of istighfār was reserved for those who were of an elevated station (ʿilliyīn). Clarifying what istighfār truly entails, Maulana Ali AS highlighted its six aspects:
- Expressing remorse for one’s previous transgressions.
- Resolving to refrain from committing past misdeeds again.
- Fulfilling one’s duty and obligation towards others so that one may depart from this world pure and virtuous.
- Performing all the obligatory ordinances of the sharia diligently.
- Shedding tears in order to purify and dissolve flesh from the body that was gained illicitly.
- To experience exhaustion and pain in carrying out acts of obedience just as one had experienced sweet pleasure when indulging in vice.
Sharia was established with the intention of protecting man from sins as well as providing him with the means for repentance if he were to commit them. Praying namaz keeps one away from sin and at the same time functions as a means of forgiveness for the sins one has committed. However, both virtues are only for those who profess the muḥabbat of the bearer of the sharia.
Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS explained that there are three ways through which one can shun sin:
- Firstly, to refrain from committing sin altogether.
- Secondly, if one has sinned, then to quickly seek ‘sincere repentance’.
- The third is in between the previous two. When one intends to commit a sin but then desists from carrying it out. Rasul Allah SAW states, ‘The one who intends to commit a sin but then refrains from it will be rewarded with a ḥasana’.
Hudat Kiram AS established societies which provided an atmosphere for the development of ʾīmāni values. Prior to the zuhur of Imam Mehdi bi Allah AS, Dai Abi Abdullah fostered an ideal society in North Africa among the Kutama tribe in present day Algeria. In one of his letters sent across North Africa, he writes: ‘I pray that Allah enables me to cultivate equity and promote justice to such an extent that a wolf and a sheep may drink from one watering place’. Using this analogy he alludes towards the nature of men and indicates that a just society would only be established when meek men like sheep remain safe and protected from wolf-like aggressors. He then adds, ‘may travellers and caravans travel without a guard or an escort from Egypt to the farthest outposts of the Maghrib (present day Morocco).’
The tireless efforts of Dai Abi Abdullah bore fruit and a just society came to be. Merchants would travel with their belongings and wealth, passing alone or in twos, through the mountains, deserts and isolated places. They would spend the night wherever they happened to be and go wherever they wished to go, as if they were in their own house or in their market. They would spend the night in safety and wake up safe the next morning. Similarly, if an animal wandered away from its flock or if a riding animal along with its saddle and reins roamed in the open country or in populated regions, among men, women and children, not one of them would turn their attention to it. No one would attempt to take it or even desire to possess it. The animals would remain there for days and nights on end until their owner came for them. Likewise, if an object was seen or found unattended, people would let it remain there until its rightful owner returned to claim it.
Following the seclusion of the Imam, Duat Mutlaqeen RA in Yemen and India established moḥallas for Mumineen to reside in and provide them with a safe environment that protected and shielded them from sin. Over forty years ago, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA developed a moḥalla in Langata, Nairobi. Penned in his own handwriting, he named it Saifee Park. Mufaddal Maula TUS described Saifee Park as being unique, and that Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah within it, held even greater distinction. Syedna TUS went on to list a number of moḥallas that Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA had established across the world. He prayed that more moḥallas were formed globally, but particularly in India, where he remarked the majority of the community resides. He also prayed for the speedy completion of the SBUT redevelopment project, and that all obstacles in its path were resolutely overcome. Finally, Syedna TUS prayed for the swift construction of the historic Saifee Masjid in Mumbai and that we are able to witness the day when Ashara Mubaraka is held within its precincts.
Amirul Mumineen AS states:
One form of protection is to make disobedience impossible.
Syedna TUS explained that Duat Mutlaqeen RA are the bearers of ʿismat, infallibility, and those who adhere to them receive the blessings of their protections. He narrated how Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA convened Multaqa Fatimi ʿIlmi and nurtured the minds of Mumineen in such a manner that they are beyond such thoughts of disobedience. He bestowed them with Libas al-Anwar, which prevents a Mumin from going to places where one may commit acts of transgression. Likewise, by initiating Faid al-Mawaid al-Burhaniyya, Syedna RA made it difficult for haram ingredients and contents to make their way to a Mumin’s home. Finally, by establishing the movement to memorize the Holy Quran, which involves playing the Quran aloud and reciting it to other family members, Syedna RA has prevented other impious sounds from entering the confines of their homes.
Expanding upon this, Syedna Saifuddin RA related that Imam Jafar us Sadiq AS states, ‘Ghināʾ is the most evil of all which Allah has created’. Imam AS then added that the heirs of those who listen to ghinā, which Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS explained as songs and gānā, will be inflicted with poverty and nifāq. Imam AS also added that the house in which ghināʾ is played will not remain safe from hardships, the prayers of its members will go unheard and angels will refuse to enter it. Syedna TUS then stated that the severity of this should be stressed upon the younger generation. It should not be the case that one cannot fall asleep at night without listening to ghināʾ.
Continuing his discussion on the sounds that reverberate in our homes, Syedna TUS remarked that for a considerable amount of time now, the entire world has been plunged into difficulty and fear due to the pandemic. To protect themselves during this period of uncertainty, Mumineen were engaged in various forms of worship, the most superior of which was listening to the voices of Duat Mutlaqeen AS. The sound of their voices in our homes effectively ensured that they were distanced from sin, and subsequently, the hardship that was found everywhere else.
Yet another meaning of abandoning sin, as Syedna al-Minām TUS elaborated, is to never go against the directives of Awliya Allah AS. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq AS recounted an incident where a man who was about to embark upon a journey, came to Imam Mohammed al-Baqir AS to ask for his leave. Imam Baqir AS informed him that when his respected father, Imam Ali Zain al-Abidin AS intended to travel, he would purchase Allah’s protection by offering ṣadaqa. When he returned from the trip in safety, he would once again offer ṣadaqa in Allah’s gratitude. The man took his leave but did not heed his word. He travelled without offering ṣadaqa and perished during his journey. Baqir Imam AS was told of the man’s fate and he declared that the man was offered counsel but refused to accept it and therefore suffered such a fate.
Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS recounted the counsels which Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA imparted to the Mumineen of Nairobi some of which are summarized below. Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA urged Mumineen to prepare themselves for the khidmat of Dawat because only if prepared would they be able to serve with strength and determination. When one is equipped with a strong mindset, then he or she can persevere. The moment one’s resolve and confidence weaken, they convince themselves that they can longer go forward.
Adversaries strive to break our resolve, Syedna RA cautioned. Satan’s habit is to keep charting new ways to approach and influence people. It is narrated that if Satan were to keep his original form, nobody would let him near, which is why he keeps adopting different forms to beguile people. It should always be our practise to recite aʿūzu bi Allah (I seek refuge in Allah from Satan) before we begin to recite the Quran Majīd. He then prayed to Allah to protect Mumineen from the machinations of Satan and inspire them to tread upon Sirāt Mustaqīm (The Straight Path). In one sense, by virtue of his upright form, man is already on Sirāt Mustaqīm, all that he needs to do is walk on the path of guidance which is manifested in the Dawat. Those who engage in the tafsīr of the Quran say that the Sirāt Mustaqīm is a bridge between janna and jahannam. It is sharper than the edge of a sword and narrower than the width of a hair. One must traverse this bridge in order to reach janna, but if one falters ever so slightly, he falls into jahannam. Syedna RA then exclaimed that if this were the case, then it would make sense for people to learn how to walk a tightrope, for only those with this skill would be able to walk on Sirāt Mustaqīm. These people did not understand the intended meaning…
Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS then continued the narration of Syedna Taher Saifuddin’s RA account of his trip to East Africa. Syedna RA engaged in a meeting with 20-25 Mumineen in Tanga who were members of a certain committee. He reminded them that they were the descendants of those Mumineen from Jamnagar and Bhavnagar whom Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin RA had taken in for eleven months during the period of famine in the region. They therefore owed their lives to Syedna Abdeali Saufddin RA. Hearing this, the Mumineen began to weep and confessed that they were hitherto unaware that Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin RA had shown such benevolence to their forebears. He then exhorted Mumineen to always remember the beneficence of the Duat who treated them with the affection like that of a father for his child. Even if they failed to acknowledge them or were unaware of them, the Duat’s beneficences were without limit.
Syedna RA then recounted that during his visit, many Muminaat would come to his presence to seek counsel. He solved many of their problems and intently listened to them despite it being difficult for him to do so. He remarked to his sons, the Mumineen, that his daughters were closer to his heart and that he continually worried about their well-being. In one instance, Syenda RA met with a Mumina whom he referred to with affection as his daughter. Before her departure to Europe, Syedna RA interacted with her and left such a profound and lasting impression on her that she wrote to him after some time informing him that she had given a speech during the mīlād festivities. She was well educated and remarked in her speech that the one meeting she had with Syedna RA made such an impact on her that she could never forget his radiant countenance. Having said so, she began to weep. Those who were present during her speech were amazed at the deep influence Syedna RA had on his followers.
He then reflected on how his departure from all the places he visited in Africa left Mumineen heartbroken and longing for his return. Whenever he would preside over the farewell majlis, Mumineen would weep uncontrollably. Men and women, young and old would then follow him to the airport, tears still flowing from their eyes. At the airport in Degos, a woman cried so much that she fainted. Syedna RA called her and consoled her saying, ‘My dear daughter, do not weep; may Allah reunite us soon.’
Syedna RA officiated many nikahs during his trip. Some were surrounded by difficult circumstances. The daughter of a man who had caused Syedna RA much trouble and grief in Mombasa, came to him asking him to find her a husband as her parents were unwilling to do anything for her. Syedna RA instructed her to meet him in Tanga as he had already made preparations to leave Mombasa. She came to Tanga and Syedna RA called her father to Tanga as well, for his daughter’s nikah. The father came but feared for Syedna’s RA anger towards him. Syedna RA paid him no heed for he knew that the daughter was not to blame for the father’s transgressions. He could never refuse to help the daughter on account of her father’s misdoings and so officaited her nikah.
He mentioned that wherever he went, Mumineen as well as other people thronged to see him. Throughout his trip, everything would fall into place and even the most difficult arrangements would be eased. Even when he visited a town for a matter of four hours, provisions for an aeroplane would materialise despite the initial difficulty.
When Imam Husain AS departed from Medina towards Kufa, his daughter, Maulatona Fatema al-Sughra was ill and could not travel. Imam Husain AS promised her that once she had recovered, he would send Maulana Ali Akbar AS to retrieve her. Naturally, she was worried how her family would make the long journey to Kufa. She awaited Maulana Ali Akbar’s AS return and after a long period without any news, sent a messenger to Kufa to inquire into her beloved father’s whereabouts and condition.
On his way to Kufa, the messenger encountered Imam Husain AS in the heat of battle who asked the messenger where he was going, to which he replied: “Kufa”. Hearing this, Imam Husain AS inquired, “What takes you to Kufa?” Unaware that he was speaking to Imam Husain AS, he responds: “Imam Husain’s daughter has sent me to bring back news of her family. She is worried about their well-being.” When Imam Husain AS heard the messenger’s response, he began to weep incessantly.
Puzzled, the messenger asked, “Does Fatema al-Sughra have any relation to you? Is that why you weep?” Here, Syedna TUS brought to our attention that the messenger would have known Imam Husain AS and would have easily recognized him, but the aftermath of battle and the loss of his loved ones had left him unrecognizable.
Imam Husain AS informed the messenger that Fatema al-Sughra was his daughter and he was indeed Husain. The messenger was unable to believe that he was all alone and that his sons, brother, nephews and companions had all been martyred in battle. The messenger asked to be taken to the camp to convey Maulatona Fatema Sughra’s salaam.
Imam Husain AS introduces the messenger to the ḥaram and informs them that the messenger has come to convey Maulatuna Fatema al-Sughra’s salaam. Upon hearing her name, the entire ḥaram erupted in tears. The messenger then informed them that Maulatuna Fatema al-Sughra is ill, is concerned for everyone and awaits their return.
The messenger then asks to be taken to Maulana Ali Akbar’s AS body. When they approach his spear-struck slain body, Imam Husain AS cries out to his son: “O’ Ali Akbar, awake to return the salaam of your beloved sister, Fatema al-Sughra!” Finally, Imam Husain AS instructs the messenger to return back to Maulatona Fatema al-Sughra and says, “Inform her that her father is drenched in blood.” Imam AS bade the messenger farewell and set out to seek shahādat.
May Allah Taʿālā grant Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin a long life in everlasting health and happiness until the Day of Qiyāmat.
Ashara Mubaraka 1443 H
Global Recording Relay
5th Muharram al-Haram
In the first excerpt of archive recordings al-Da’i al-Ajal Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA states that Friday is the day of Mohammed, Rasul Allah SAW. Maulana RA told us how Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA would give the day of Friday and the time of 2.51 pm for opening a new business, after namaz had finished.
Friday is a day of praying multiple ṣalawāt upon Nabi Mohammed SAW and Aale Mohammed AS and those who do so have the honour that their ṣalawāt is replied to by the angel seated by the qabr of Rasul Allah SAW – that angel being the Dai Mutlaq. On this day it is very desirable to apply scent which Rasul Allah SAW was extremely fond of. He applied kasturi so liberally that, in his elder years, his white beard would show signs of its colour.
From the bayān mubārak of Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA we learned of the number that has the quality of being ‘daair’, circles back on itself; the number five. This means that 5, no matter how many times it is multiplied, will give a number ending in 5. 5 x 5 = 25, 25 x 5 = 125, and so on. Maulana related this to a Mumin who will remain a Mumin no matter where they may be; in this world or in the next.
Maulana al-Muqaddas RA spoke of three qualities which ruin a man when united: idleness, youth and wealth. He also related the teaching to take advantage of five things before the onset of five. Of youth before old age, of health before illness, of wealth before austerity, of time on your hands before becoming occupied, and of life before death.