In His Name, the Most High
Below is a summary of a brief lecture I gave at the local community mosque.
Ramadan – If you look at the daily duas of Ramadan in Mafatih, the first dua talks about protection from laziness etc, and the 29th dua (last dua), talks about the believers request for infallibility!
دعاء اليوم الاوّل :اَللّـهُمَّ اجْعَلْ صِيامي فيهِ صِيامَ الصّائِمينَ، وَقِيامي فيهِ قيامَ الْقائِمينَ، وَنَبِّهْني فيهِ عَنْ نَوْمَةِ الْغافِلينَ، وَهَبْ لى جُرْمي فيهِ يا اِلـهَ الْعالَمينَ، وَاعْفُ عَنّي يا عافِياً عَنْ الُْمجْرِمينَ
اليوم التّاسع والعشرين :اَللّـهُمَّ غَشِّني فيهِ بِالرَّحْمَةِ، وَارْزُقْني فيهِ التَّوْفيقَ وَالْعِصْمَةَ، وَطَهِّرْ قَلْبي مِنْ غَياهِبِ التُّهْمَةِ، يا رَحيماً بِعِبادِهِ الْمُؤْمِنينَ
What does that mean? It means the believer is in a state of motion, and continues perfection towards an intended goal.
يَا أَيُّهَا الْإِنسَانُ إِنَّكَ كَادِحٌ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ كَدْحًا فَمُلَاقِيهِ
‘O mankind, indeed you are laboring toward your Lord with [great] exertion and will meet it.’ (Inshiqaq:6)
قَالَ مَنْ أَنصَارِي إِلَى اللَّـهِ
‘“Who are my supporters for [the cause of] Allah?” (Al Imran:52)
إِلَيْهِ يَصْعَدُ الْكَلِمُ الطَّيِّبُ وَالْعَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ يَرْفَعُهُ
‘To Him ascends the good word, and righteous deeds raises it.’ (Fatir:10)
And that goal is to reach ‘Yaqeen’. Since in the Quran it says:
وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ
‘And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me. .’
And if you combine this with the verse (remember the Quran explains itself by itself),
وَاعْبُدْ رَبَّكَ حَتَّىٰ يَأْتِيَكَ الْيَقِينُ
‘And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty ’, you see that our goal is to worship God until we reach certainty.
But the type of worship here, does it mean praying, fasting, giving zakat and enjoining good and forbidding evil? No! There’s a condition for all of the acts of worship to have any effect on the human being, and to elevate him towards nearness and perfection.
And this condition is that his knowledge is perfected, since in the Quran it says: Yunus:9 – Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – their Lord will guide them because of their faith.– believers are described as those who have faith and do good deeds. Faith = theoretical tawheed; good deeds = practical tawheed.
This is specific to those who want to journey towards Allah and be near to Him in this world and the next. And this special relationship has the effect that Allah guides them through their faith:
Al Ra’ad:27 and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him]– their faith guides by God’s will towards Him, and everytime a believer is guided towards truth or the straight path, they are but tools and stages ending on the last day towards Him.
AlNajm:42 And that to your Lord is the finality – so it’s their faith only that leads to further guidance and truth and an increase in one’s spiritual station. Since it’s a person’s faith that elevates a believer towards the stations of nearness (qurb), whereas the good deeds only act as a support and helper to lift this knowledge.
Almujadilah:11 Allah will raise those who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge, by degrees. – no mention of good deeds
Clearest indication of this divine truth is: Fatir:10 – ‘To Him ascends the good word, and the good deed elevates it..’
In what kind of state of mind/spirit should we be in the time of occultation?
Amongst those who sin and cause fitnah, there are those who claim to love the Holy Prophet. There isn’t one who doesn’t claim to love him, but what kind of love is that? Without following his sunnah and emulating his character, there is no use for this love. The same applies to our love to Imam Mahdi.
Quran: ‘ if you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you.’
There are those who pretend they love,but they don’t really, they imagine (lazy student). There are those who sometimes love (sometimes studies sometimes doesn’t). We want a continuous love. How do we get to the point of continuous love?
This Imam is special, he is alive, he sees our majalis, he attends Hajj, (we see him but we don’t recognize him as Imam), and on the day of judgement will end up under the banner of Imam of their time; ‘’the closest to my banner are those who love me the most’’; he carries our worries; be sure that the Imam worries about your problems and calamites more than yourself.
So, how do we reach continuous love? 3 meems (we might not realize this in this world):
- Al Musanakha: usually love comes between close characters. (Eg of marriage with bad character woman. It’s better not to waste your time with her.)
If you want divine love, mahdawy love, muhammadan love, you must be at the same character as the Imam, (iswa hassanah); the more you become like him, the stronger the bond and the relationship. (Prophet was a slave, then became a prophet)
Those who sleep all night, are not like the Imam. Al maqam al mahmod. Those who don’t pray in the mosque on Friday, those who don’t make ziyarah, etc.
All the time, look at the dearest acts for the Imam, and do them.
- Al Mu’azara: the Imam has needs, in the form of needs of the mu’mineen. Helping the mu’mineen of this world, is like you are an intermediary of the Imam.
- Al Muthakara: continuous remembrance. Perfecting our salat, praying at night, etc. zakat for Imam, doing qurban for Imam. Naming our kids Muhammad and Mahdi.
If you want to know if someone is a mahdawy, check his remembrance of Imam on Friday afternoon. Dua zamaan al ghaybah. There’s a segment solves a lot of issues: ‘’make our hearts smooth towards your waliy al amr’’, ya Allah make our hearts in the hands of the Imam.
It is better to be a follower of his sunnah and not meet him, then waiting for a moment to meet him and not be following his sunnah.
In our daily prayers, we should remember him and request his re-appearance. Remember that he is praying the daily prayers as well, and in the most perfect sense. On time, perfect wudhu, perfect preparation, perfect recitation, etc. we should try to reach this level.
When trying to reach a good level of concentration and presence of heart during prayer, is to imagine you are praying in front of the Ka’bah, or maqam Ibrahim. There is no harm to imagine you are praying behind the Imam of your time, if this will perfect your salat.
The Imam’s prayer is raised to Allah first, because it is the most perfect out of all existent beings on this earth, therefore try to perfect your salat so that it’s next in line as it ascends. The closer your salat is to that of your Imam, the closer it is as it ascends.
Those who claim to be followers of the Imam, wake up at night when he wakes up, to pray salat al layl. When you do, pray for his re-appearance, and he might be praying for you as well. If you have a problem to do with this world or with some bad character traits or bad habits, he will pray for your success to overcome your difficulties.
There are instances where people have changed 360deg overnight. This could be a sign of such prayers.
Those who claim to be lovers of the Imam, should feel his pain towards the muslim communities. They should be aware what is going on, who is struggling, who is a good mu’min and spend time with him, who is a bad mu’min and try to bring him to the path. You’ll never know, one of those you are helping could be a waly of Allah, and that would be the greatest award. The faraj of this mu’min came through your hands and the prayers of the Imam. What bigger honour is there? And now imagine helping someone before he even asks (or without his knowing), what greatness exists more than this?
In ziyarat al Yaseen we read – ‘peace be upon you, oh the one who reads the book of Allah, and are his translator…’. Another character of the Imam is his close relationship to the Quran. You know that the Imams are the talking Quran, and the Quran is the silent Imams. They together are one rope of Allah towards Him.
Someone who doesn’t get pleasure out of the Quran, has something wrong with his heart. His heart is diseased. There’s something missing from his faith. When you feel sick, you go to the doctor, and he tells you what’s wrong and how to treat your illness. If you want to know the state of your heart, then test it against it’s attachment to the Quran.
Reading the Quran is part of his defining characteristics, and he is its translator and explainer. We spend years and years studying and learning different weird and wonderful subjects and specialisations, sometimes really irrelevant, sometimes we travel to the farthest countries, spending vast amounts of money on tuition fees, accommodation, travel, etc. Yet how much time do we give the Quran? Would we put the same effort to this divine book? The book where Allah says: ‘I have manifest Myself in this book’ (for those who have the eyes to see.
Here we have an Imam who’s whole life revolves around the Quran, and where are we from this? We don’t know even know the meaning of Surah Al Kawthar! What is al Kawthar? Why did He say ‘Inna’? Why did he say ‘a’taynakeh’, and not wahabna? What is the relation of prayer to al kawthar?
We are so poor in relation to the Quran. Why don’t we specialize in the Quran? What’s stopping us from doing a course, even it’s just for a year?
The Imam is in continuous remembrance, where are we from that? Allah remembers us every single moment, we should work towards the same state. Every instant we are given the blessing of breath, let’s not be ungrateful by using this breath in haram. When we’re working we don’t remember salat, but when it comes to salat, all we do is remember work and worldly matters. Why don’t we try to take revenge on our thoughts by refusing to think about work during prayers?
The condition for continuous remembrance is Love. Where are we from this love? How do you know you love someone? When all you do is think about that person.
There was one man who lost the will to live due to his eagerness to see the Imam. He was told to be saved from this desperate state to do something day and night. He was told to remember Imam Hussein and to cry over him and his family. If you want special attention from the Imam, don’t wait for Muharram, or to go to Karbala, or even Thursday night. Who doesn’t pray on Ashura? Even Hindus and non-muslims remember Karbala and cry over Imam Hussein. If you want to stand out from the crowd, and if you want to the Imam to remember you and your worries to Allah, then remember Imam Hussein. If you want to stand out, remember him on your wedding night, or any other happy occasion.
Lastly, I want you to know that the Imam is hurting. He is seeing things that really hurt him. The conflict, the fitnah, the in-fighting. He says in one of his letters that if our hearts were beating as one heart, he would re-appear in an instant.