Real protection can come only from the Force that is All-Pervading!
This work of Shahīd al-Mihraab Ayatullah Dastaghaib is presented under the title and style of “Isti’adha”.
As is very evident from the title, the subject of the presentation is about seeking Allah (S.w.T.)’s protection against the manoeuvrings of Satan. With his high learning and knowledge of the Verses of the Holy Book and the Traditions of the Infallibles of the Prophet’s Family, he has delivered as many as thirty-five lectures on the intricate subject. He has elucidated the five aspects of Isti’adha, namely piety or taqwa, Remembrance of Allah (S.w.T.) or Dhikr, resignation on the wishes of Allah (S.w.T.) or Tawakkul, honesty of purpose or Ikhlas and humility in supplication or Tadarrau.
The Ayatullah’s discourses on these topics are highly illuminating and interesting for those who peruse them. To support his arguments, the author referred to the Verses, Traditions and tales with great skill. He has presented the facts in a very lucid language that the readers of all intellectual levels understand what he has conveyed to them.
The fact that has to be recognized is that the Ayatullah was the people’s guide (Marja’ at-Taqlid) in his lifetime and therefore the world mourned him at the time of his martyrdom and thereafter too. The great works of the martyred Ayatullah are like the petals of a fragrant flower. These publications people have been buying for themselves and to gift to friends for deriving benefit from their reading.
The Martyr was himself a true practitioner of Isti’adha. Throughout his life he struggled against the baser instincts (nafs al-ammara) and to practice self- denial. This struggle of his was against the machinations of Satan. In this struggle he was victorious. Therefore he introduces Satan to his audiences in a very lucid and effective manner. He gives to the audience the ways of protecting themselves and seeking Allah (S.w.T.)’s Help to this end. The talks in this compendium are studded with thought provoking references. They are so interesting that the narrative retains the interest of the reader throughout the narrative and doesn’t tire them for a while! The interest increases as one makes progress with the reading!
I remember that once when an offset technician was photographing one of the Ayatullah’s books, he got engrossed in reading the contents. He has himself confessed that he was lost so much in reading the book that he forgot that the time for the closure of the studio that day had already come. Throughout the day he had not photographed even a page of the book! He said that on later days too, many a time he got engrossed in the contents of the book during the process of photographing it.
O Allah (S.w.T.)! Keep the Martyr’s spirit under the shadow of Your Munificence and also bless the spirit of his grandson with those of other martyrs!
Sayyid Muhammad Hashim Dastaghaib