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Part 27

﴿إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَرْتَابُوا، وَجَاهَدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ، أُوْلَئِكَ هُمْ الصَّادِقُونَ. قُلْ أَتُعَلِّمُونَ اللَّهَ بِدِينِكُمْ؟ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ، وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ﴾

“The believers are only those who believe in Allah and His Apostle then they doubt not and struggle hard with their wealth and their lives in the way of Allah; they are the truthful ones. Say: Do you apprise Allah of your religion, and Allah knows what is in the heavens and what is in the earth; and Allah is Cognizant of all things. (49:15-16)”

Sit at the bank of a river and observe the passing of life

Amirul Momineen says, “How fast the hours finish days and nights?” (Morning, noon, midday, afternoon and night). Again another day. Days and nights pass so swiftly. How fast! The days complete a month. How fast indeed? (Sometime ago they were saying: it is the first of the holy month of Ramadhan. Today they are saying: This is the last Friday of the month of Ramadhan). Days are completing the months so speedily and months finishing the years so fast and years also are equally speedily and ending our dear life spans. Just sit on the bank of a river and look at the passing of life. What night is it today? Today is Friday eve, the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadhan. One day we had said: It is the first Friday. Today we are saying it is the last. A day will also come which will be the last Friday eve of our life. As today is also the last Friday of the holy month let us all keep death before our eyes.
“How fast are the hours of the day, how fast are the days in the month, how fast are the months in the years and how fast the years in a life.”1

Gifts for the dead on Friday eve

A story is quoted in Sabzwari’s Masabihul Qulub from a pious person who said: In the graveyard of Yazd, during a Friday eve, I saw in my dream the conditions of the dead in their graves (their Barzakh lives). Every dead one had received a gift and they were pleased with various gifts of eatables, drinks and costly robes suitable for them. But, among them, one person was seen gloomy and empty-handed. I became sorry to see his condition. So I went to him and asked, “What is your condition? Who are you and why nothing has reached you?” He replied, “These souls which you are seeing are from Yazd. Today is Friday eve.

The living relatives have made charities so all these persons are happy. I am an helpless alien. I am not from Yazd. I am from such and such city. A few years ago, my family and I were passing through this area, I fell ill en route, died and was buried here. I had no children. My wife spent my belongings and after sometime, took another husband. After marriage, she has forgotten me totally.” I told him, “If I can do anything for you, I am here at your service.”

He gave me directions and said, “Her husband is in such and such market of ironsmiths, at such and such shop and his house is at such and such place.” (The dead are more or less aware of the condition of the living and know about them).

After rising up, this gentleman goes to the indicated place and finds out the house of the wife of that dead man. She asks from behind the door, “Who is it?” Then he asks, “Is this the house of such and such ironsmith.” She replies, “Yes.” He asks, “Has the owner of this house married the wife of a dead person named so and so.” As he mentioned the name of the deceased who was not known here to anyone, except the woman. She asked, “How did you know the name of this person who is dead? Yes, I was his wife and she tells him what had happened after his death.” That man explains, “Last night which was Friday eve I saw this helpless man empty handed and gloomy among all other happy dead persons.

He gave me your whereabouts. So I have come here to convey to you the complaint of your ex-husband as to why you do not remember him now?” When I told her this, she wept and said, “He says the truth. In fact, I have forgotten him. Ever since I took another husband, I have not donated anything (for his benefit in the other world). Please help me in this matter.” I said, “I am at your service.” She took off a golden chain from her neck and handing it over to me said, “Please sell this and utilize its proceeds in whatever charity you may think fit for the benefit of my late husband.” I took that necklace, went to the market and sold it. From its sale proceeds I fed some hungry people and clothed some poor. Next week, on Friday eve, I saw that this dead person is, in his Barzakh life, happier than all other dead around him; that his gifts and presents are higher than those of others. When he saw me, he prayed for me and said, “May Allah grant you a good reward. I had to feel inferior among all here but now through your mediation, I am happier than before.”

What I want to convey is that do not forget the dead on Friday eve so that God Almighty may reward your late parents on this Friday eve.

Sign of Faith

The summary of the past discussion is that Islam consists of two witnesses by the tongue but Faith is to believe from the depth of heart and to understand by mind and to have both hope from and fear of Almighty Allah. The result of Islam is purity of body, legality of marriage, inheritance and safety of life and property. But the everlasting fruits of the Hereafter are related to Faith. Now, has the faith any signs? So, let us see, after a life long claim of being Muslim, have we Faith or not and whether, at the time of our death, we will have Faith with us or not?

Hear the sign of Faith in the next verse: Those who have truly believed in Allah and then never doubted and participated in Jihad with their wealth and their lives in the path of God, are they who tell the truth (about their faith). A true believer and a righteous God-loving believer is he whose heart, first of all should have known Allah, he must have developed humility before Almighty Allah, his Lord to such an extent that, when someone says: Fear God, he should at once become attentive. When he is told: This is God’s command he must instantly accept it. “I believe in Allah and His Messenger.” When he is told: The Prophet has ordered this, he at once bows his head as he has filled his heart with Faith and he does not say by tongue alone. Only oral utterance is Islam. “We have believed with our hearts.”2

O Allah! A group has uttered the two witnesses (Shahadatain) by their tongue so that they may be protected and benefit by the fruits of Islam and may get what they desire. O Allah! We have believed both by the tongue and the heart so that You may forgive and overlook our sins and let us taste the fruits of Faith from You and by You. O Allah! Please our hope is also You – O God! When we say, “There is no god except Allah,” our hearts are well aware of Your Oneness (Tawheed) and Faith in You. Our heart also know Muhammad when we say, “I witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

A believer has no uncertainty in his belief

﴿إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَرْتَابُوا ﴾

“The believers are only those who believe in Allah and His Apostle then they doubt not…”

Meaning: Then they have no doubt, hesitation or uncertainty. So long as there is only Islam, doubt and hesitation does not leave man. When Faith takes hold of the heart, peace and tranquility arrives. Then doubts, hesitations and uncertainties have no place. But if, Faith has not yet been established in the heart his condition becomes such that if one tells him: Stop doing this deed as it is against the wish of God, he, very fearlessly utters: Who has come from there (other world after death) to bring such news! This very thing is doubt. It means: I do not believe in the Hereafter where there will be questions and answers. Who has been there? Now, who is more knowledgeable than Muhammad? Is his knowledge less? Is the knowledge of Ali bin Abi Talib less? (This is ruthlessness, faithlessness). Once we are dead will we become alive again?

﴿أَئِذَا مِتْنَا وَكُنَّا تُرَابًا وَعِظَامًا أَئِنَّا لَمَبْعُوثُونَ﴾

“What! When we die and have become dust and bones, shall we then indeed be raised?”3

How can it happen?

﴿هَيْهَاتَ هَيْهَاتَ لِمَا تُوعَدُونَ﴾

“Far, far is that which you are threatened with.”4

Will the rotten bones become alive again?
Or another one says: When we go to the graves no voice comes out nor any news. There is a rotten and broken body. How can it be taste bounties or suffer chastisement? Such a fellow does not know what soul is? Such hesitation is due to the fact that Faith has not arrived. If there is faith it is always accompanied by security and tranquility.

﴿الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَلَمْ يَلْبِسُوا إِيمَانَهُمْ بِظُلْمٍ أُوْلَئِكَ لَهُمْ الأَمْنُ وَهُمْ مُهْتَدُونَ﴾

“Those who believe and do not mix up their faith with iniquity, those are they who shall have the security and they are those who go aright.”5

In brief, it is said that if there is Faith without any doubt, if there is Faith, which protects the heart firmly in his beliefs then there is never a chance for disobeying God’s Commands.

Illiterate but with an enlightened heart

Here is a village farmer. When an educated scholar asked him, “Tell me how many principles of religion are there?” He said, “Five, the first being Oneness of God (Tawheed).” He was asked, “What does Oneness of God (Tawheed) means?” He replied, “It is that there is Only One God. There are not two gods. This whole universe has Only One Creator: “There is no god except Allah.” The learned man wanted to fool the villager. So he asked him, “What is the proof? On what ground do you say so?” The villager retorted, “Do you want a proof of God’s Oneness? What do you mean by proof?” The learned man asked, “If someone says no, then what will be your reply?” He retorted, “By my life, I will hit a shovel, which is in my hand on his head to make it two.”

How many philosophers are there and how many arguments do they bring forth! But there is nothing like Faith. No doubt. No hesitation of any kind. No place for anything contrary to it.

One of the great scholars was busy writing a book. His daughter asked him, “What book are you writing?” The scholar replied, “I intend to write a book showing proofs of the beginning and the end. I will quote evidences to prove that there is Allah and that there also is Hereafter (Life after death).” The daughter whose heart had the Noor or Light said, “There can be doubt in anything. But can there ever be any doubt about God and the Hereafter!”

﴿قَالَتْ رُسُلُهُمْ أَفِي اللَّهِ شَكٌّ؟ فَاطِرِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ﴾

“Their apostles said: Is there doubt about Allah, the Maker of the heavens and the earth?”6

How certain she is in this matter. What a total and perfect certainty. The certainty is like that of a man who knows that, after some hours, the sun will set, should have a certainty that after death there must be questioning. It is the first rising of the world of requital. So a believer has no doubt at all about it. So long as there is a doubt in your mind, you do not know what is Faith. If you want to study this subject of doubt and uncertainty in detail it is discussed at length in the book Qalbe Saleem (The Perfect Heart). O Lord! You Yourself give us true and lasting Faith.

According to a narration, the Holy Prophet, in his daily supplications used to pray seeking refuge of God against every kind of doubt, polytheism and show off and lending ear to hearsay.

Threw away impure food articles but did not sell them

﴿وَجَاهَدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ﴾

“…And struggle hard with their wealth and their lives in the way of Allah…”

There is nothing like faith (Iman) until and unless you part with your money.
In Shiraz, there was a man having little money. He was cooking soup or porridge and selling it to make out a living. May Allah shower His Mercy on him. It is noted that once, after cooking porridge, at the time of selling it he saw droppings of rats in it, might have been in sugar. Now the eatable had become impure.

What to do? This servant of God, did not mind and threw away all of it. He did not sell it to anyone. He parted with his money. Why? Dealing in an impurity is unlawful in Islam. It is prohibited for a Muslim to eat it. It is no joke that a man overlooks his self and parts with his wealth in the path of God, for God’s sake. You cannot succeed unless you part with your wealth and money. It is a trial.

One who has Faith parts with and sacrifices even his life. He will not part with even a penny unless he has hope from God. If he sacrifices his life, God gives him salvation. Salvation depends on the condition of Faith. The place of Faith is man’s heart. The sign of faith is also in the heart.

﴿وَجَاهَدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ﴾

“…and struggle hard with their wealth and their lives in the way of Allah…”

It is a struggle, which demands wealth and life. If you find that you are such and are able to part with everything for God then make a prostration of thanksgiving to Him. Say: Thanks to You, O God! There is Faith in my heart, which can make me sacrifice my life also. The one who, in front of God, thinks that he is something and who believes in ‘My honor’, ‘my family, ‘my name’ and ‘my fame’ is the fellow who tries to make himself higher than God.

﴿وَأَنْ لا تَعْلُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ﴾

“And that do not exalt yourselves against Allah…”7

What a pride, what an ego, where is Faith in such a heart!

Destruction for the wealthy except those who spend

In Saduq’s Tawheed, there is a detailed tradition, which is indeed worth reading and pondering over deeply. I am telling you a sentence from it. Abu Dharr said: The last Prophet Muhammad said, “All the wealthy persons of my nation are in destruction except those who spend their money freely in all the four directions as charity.”

Permanently, from any side a good cause comes to their notice, they at once, without any hesitation, stinginess or shirking, start spending their money freely in charity and donations. If such a wealthy does not spend in charity for God’s pleasure, then his final abode is well-known. The money he kept unspent will bring him nothing except fire, repentance and wretchedness both in this worldly life and in the Hereafter.

﴿وَالَّذِينَ يَكْنِزُونَ الذَّهَبَ وَالْفِضَّةَ وَلا يُنفِقُونَهَا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَبَشِّرْهُمْ بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ. يَوْمَ يُحْمَى عَلَيْهَا فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ فَتُكْوَى بِهَا جِبَاهُهُمْ وَجُنُوبُهُمْ وَظُهُورُهُمْ، هَذَا مَا كَنَزْتُمْ لأَنفُسِكُمْ فَذُوقُوا مَا كُنتُمْ تَكْنِزُونَ﴾

“…And (as for) those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it in Allah’s way, announce to them a painful chastisement, On the day when it shall be heated in the fire of hell, then their foreheads and their sides and their backs shall be branded with it; this is what you hoarded up for yourselves, therefore taste what you hoarded.”8

You saw what did the rich person and the donkey do? One carried cruelty and the other gold. (Persian couplet)

﴿أُوْلَئِكَ هُمْ الصَّادِقُونَ﴾

“…they are the truthful ones. (49:15)”

That is, those are the ones who tell the truth. They are such who believed in Allah and His Messenger and then entertained nothing like doubt or hesitation and strived with their lives, riches and wealth in the path of God. Yes, they are the true believers. They are telling the truth. They are who will get salvation, not those who express religiousness only by their tongue.

External show and hypocrisy before God!

﴿قُلْ أَتُعَلِّمُونَ اللَّهَ بِدِينِكُمْ؟﴾

“Say: Do you apprise Allah of your religion… (49:16)”

Do you want to show your religiousness to God? You say: We are Muslim, we are pious, we offer prayer regularly in congregation? For whom do you say this? For God or for people? If it is for God, then God knows everything. He is not in need of your saying: Do you intend to remind God? Whereas God knows everything in the skies and on the earth. God has full knowledge of everything. If you also want to tell people, then your Faith is for people and you have nothing before God. The prayers you offered are for the people. You did not offer anything in the service of God. Why are you fooling or deceiving yourself, O Liar?

Muslims do not oblige Allah

Worse than this:

﴿يَمُنُّونَ عَلَيْكَ أَنْ أَسْلَمُوا﴾

“They think that they lay you under an obligation by becoming Muslims. (49:17)”

The same Bani Asad who uttered such words of obligation. They said: O Muhammad! Others became Muslims only by themselves but we have come to you with our wives and children and became Muslim. If others have accepted Islam after fighting, we did not fight but have ourselves willingly become believers. We offer prayer. Please give us our full share from the Zakat money.

The Holy Qur’an says: The Islam, which is with these people has no value. Arriving recently they show their obligation to Muhammad. What is the motive behind your Islam? Is it religion? No, this is the faith, which has wealth behind its intention. You come morning and evening to offer prayers in the leadership of Muhammad. This is no Faith, which expresses obligation (telling him that you have obliged or favored him) and also say that ‘We pray behind you’. He (God) says: (O Muhammad)! Tell them: Do not oblige me with your Islam. If you have earned Faith, that too is from God, not from yourselves. So for that too, you have no right to show any favor: But it is God’s favor on you that He guided you towards Faith.

Here is an example for you: To make you understand that if one is lucky to become a Muslim, he cannot put obligation on God and His Messenger. Rather he is under obligation of both God and His Prophet.

Does a patient oblige his kind physician!

There is a kind and a loving doctor who also is wealthy. He announces: If any patient comes to me, I will treat him free of charge. He may go away after healing. A patient went to him. The doctor too deals with him in a pleasing manner. Then the patient tells the doctor: O Doctor! I have come for your sake. And he begins to show that he has obliged this physician who treated him gratis and without any greed for money. He heals him. He gives medicine to him free. Now, really, you are under the obligation of this doctor. But you are telling him that he is under your obligation! You are telling him that you have arrived to his hospital saying: “You may treat me. I did not want that anyone else should treat me. So, I came to you.”

God has obliged you

If you are fortunate to get Faith, it is granted by God. He has treated your ignorance. Now you tell him: O God! I heard your Word and put faith in You. Who reminded you of it? The benefits of prayer, fasting and Faith are only for your good. Allah has obliged you. It is He Who relieved you of this illness of ignorance and cured you. For each and every good deed a man does, he is under obligation of Only One God right from the original Faith upto every religious deed. One who climbs up a pulpit and gives sermons has no right to cast a favor. Who are you to be able to guide anyone to the right path? Only if God wishes does He create effect in your speech.

﴿إِنَّكَ لا تَهْدِي مَنْ أَحْبَبْتَ وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ﴾

“Surely, you cannot guide whom you love, but Allah guides whom He pleases, and He knows best the followers of the right way.”9

He is the molder of hearts. This matter does not concern you. Or there is one who spends million from his wealth for a good cause, but whose wealth is it really? O millionaire! What did you have fifty years back? Where was your first residence? A few square inches in the belly of your mother. You also know what your food was? Thereafter, out of all these impurities, you came out naked. No house, no life, when you were both hungry and thirsty. Thereafter it is Allah who gradually granted you the wealth, which you now possess.

﴿لِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ﴾

“Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is Allah’s…”10

The globe of the earth and whatever is there on it, is the property of Only One God. It is He Who has lent it to you.
Another thing: It is only Allah who gives you the opportunity to do a good deed and turns your heart towards good. Otherwise where you are and where is good! Where and how a deal with God! We are too small to say “May Allah bless” even once. Praise on pulpit, writing in a newspaper, giving a radio talk. How much wealth do you part with? How at all can you make a deal with God whereby you may get a reward after your death? It requires a lot of effort to make God mould his mind. You, by yourself cannot do it.

Therefore, if you have done a good deed, thank God in prostration and say: If I was left to myself, I would not have been able to make a deal with God selflessly and honestly. It is God Who inclined your heart and gave you good thoughts. Do not show your obligation or favor to the needy who extended his hand to you for help. Never imagine that you have done a great deed.

Charity of Husain, an example for others

An Arab had to make a big payment by way of blood money, which amounted to a thousand gold coins at least. He asked people, who was the most generous gentleman in Medina? They said, “Husain.” He went to Husain and said, “O My Master! I am in such and such trouble. They have directed me to you.” Husain also, first asked him some questions, which will take a long time if I relate to you. It was understood that he was not a nomad. He was an intelligent person, faithful and knowledgeable. He (Husain) said, “Come with me.”

Then Husain took him to his house. Husain had four thousand gold coins, which he hid in his coat. He did not open the door but gave them to that man from a little opening in such a manner that the latter may not see him and feel ashamed. Husain said, “Please accept these four thousand Dinars and excuse me, this is all that I have.” He seeks excuse (You give a few Toomans in God’s path keeping your head high!!). The Arab was surprised with all this. So he asked, “O my Master! You gave me so much money but have not opened your door, why?” Husain said, “So that you may not feel ashamed, by looking at me. I have protected your self-respect. I hid myself from you.” This is because he does not consider the wealth as his own and does not consider himself as a doer of a good deed.

He considers this wealth as the wealth of God. He considers himself a servant of God. He also considers this good sense also from God and knows that God has done a favor to him. One who gives something to someone and then shows his favor has made his spending void or invalid.

﴿ثُمَّ لا يُتْبِعُونَ مَا أَنفَقُوا مَنًّا وَلا أَذًى﴾

“Then, do not follow up what they have spent with reproach or injury…”11

Not giving is better than such giving. The Arab began to weep. Husain heard his weeping from behind the wall. He asked, “Why are you weeping? Is what I gave you less? I told you that I do not have more than this.” The Arab replied, “No sir, my weeping is not for this. My weeping is because of my thought as to how such a generous hand will ever go under dust?” Then he recited a couplet, which was thereafter inscribed on the tomb of Imam Husain. This is its subject matter:
O dear Husain! One who comes to you is never disappointed. Your door is always opened for anyone who approaches your house.

We also say: O Master Husain! An indebted Arab took your shelter. You gave him refuge and paid up his debt. You untied his knot. You freed him from imprisonment. We also, O Master, are now imprisoned in sins. We are in the prison of our lust and greed. O Husain! We request you to pray for us this night so that God may make us of those who are freed. O Husain! Whoever wants anything from you is never sent away disappointed. We also, tonight, appeal you to kindly request Almighty Allah so that He may forgive us and be kind to us. We make this request also in favor of our parents. O Husain! We have an aspiration. This is the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadhan. Let a decree declaring freedom for us all be issued. If the curtain is rolled up, truth will become manifest. All of us do realize that, in fact, we are all needy and penniless. Of course, not in the sense of Dirhams and Dinar coins. We are empty of good and righteous deeds; that is sincere deeds. Deeds, which will be useful tomorrow on the Judgment Day. O Husain! One tear for you washes out sins in such a way that no sign of them remains. Please look at us. This Arab wept at the thought of Husain’s hand being buried under ground. Alas, if the Arab had learnt of the oppression on Husain

  • 1. Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 187
  • 2. Dua Abu Hamzah Thumali
  • 3. Surah Waqiah 56:47
  • 4. Surah Mominoon 23:36
  • 5. Surah Anam 6:82
  • 6. Surah Ibrahim 14:10
  • 7. Surah Dukhan 44:19
  • 8. Surah Tawbah 9:34-35
  • 9. Surah Qasas 28:56
  • 10. Surah Baqarah 2:284
  • 11. Surah Baqarah 2:262

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