…make peace between them… (49:9)
Today is Friday. Islam orders that Muslims must observe it as a holiday. They should take their hands off routine jobs once in a week. Woe unto a Muslim who even on Friday runs after his worldly affairs. One week is sufficient. Reach your religion also on one day. Do universal service. Follow the commands of your religion fully.
Listen to God’s commands about the lawful and unlawful and remember them. It is said that on Friday, come to the Mosque, offer prayer, not solitarily but in congregation. Before the said two units prayer, a qualified and pious, God-fearing speaker should draw the Muslims’ attention towards God, towards the Oneness of God and guide them to correct beliefs. Also he should pay attention to their weekly affairs and political needs. Unfortunately, the Shias are deprived of this benefit of Friday prayer and so also are the Sunnis. What they offer is not the real Friday prayer. What is the most important in the Friday prayer is that the spiritual orator, during his two sermons should correct the belief of Muslims in Allah’s oneness, should awaken the sleeping souls of the audience who were negligent for a week.
They must come to masjid on Friday collectively when the preacher must teach them that this world is not everything, why so much worry and anxiety for the material worldly needs? There are real and permanent things after death. You should have provision for the life after death also.
Amirul Momineen once, saw in the market of Basra how much engrossed people were in business and trade, and in swearing for the same. He wept over this condition of Muslims and told them: During the day you remain engaged in buying, selling and swearing for earning worldly benefits and during nights you sleep (not sitting in front of the television but fast asleep like a corpse). Then when do you work for your Hereafter? When do you strive and busy yourselves to prepare yourselves for your eternal life after death? This world is for not more than fifty or sixty years. Be careful and concerned for the life in which a day equals fifty thousand years.
A man heard Ali’s words and said, “O Ali! We are fully engrossed in our lives. It is essential for us to earn our livelihood.” The gist of Ali’s talk is that he said: There is no conflict between the earning of provision in this world and in making a provision for the Hereafter and if you say, ‘I am greedy’ then I say you are not helpless.1
I do not say that you should not earn a livelihood, but do it within limits. Do not be greedy. Think of the Hereafter also. Do not drown yourself in worldly affairs to such an extent that your behavior with God suffers. If you have a chance for doing a good deed, do it. Join someone’s funeral, visit an ailing person, help a believer by fulfilling his need, repay loan of an indebted person. Do all the good deeds. But if you say that ‘I want to earn more and more greedily’ then I must say you are not helpless.
One picks up a piece of bread from his dining mat and before eating says: Praise be to Allah (I am grateful to God). O Allah! What a bounty You have granted me. You gave protection and safety to me. You saved me. Woe unto the unfortunate fellow who puts wine bottles on his dining table. It is unlawful to place wine on a dining table. Even if one does not drink it, it is prohibited to sit over there. Eating from that table is unlawful as it is like putting a bottle of dirty urine along with nice food articles. You must thank God. Woe unto the ungrateful fellow! Who has created this wheat bread? Who has made arrangements whereby it reached you?
The cloud, the wind, the sun, the moon and the sky are functioning continuously so that you may get bread and may not eat it negligently. Everything is obeying God’s commands for your sake. It is not justice on your part to disobey Him. (Persian couplets)
Not only you disobey; curse on you because you also indulged in sinning. You are sinning on your dining table. Before putting any morsel in mouth say: In the name of Allah. Then say: Praise be to Allah. What I mean is to be thankful to God. Muslims must be advised to remain awake from one Friday to another by remaining constantly grateful to God. It should not be so that, seeing any difficulty or undesired thing, you may forget all the bounties of the Lord. The Shariah has prohibited uttering a single word when the Friday preacher is delivering the sermon. All must be in a state of full attentiveness. The Imam says that prayers are answered in this hour.2 The hour when the preacher calls the attention of people towards God and the audience is listening attentively.
All religious jurisprudents agree as regards Friday sermon and its manner that one of its conditions is to recommend piety; that is observance of God’s commands and the accountability of people on the Day of Judgment. The speaker should explain to people that they never make anyone an equal of God. You may say: Muslims are not polytheists, but what about hidden polytheism? Every Muslim who obeys the orders and inclinations of his selfish desires against divine rules is falling in polytheism. It is not piety. Do not serve your own lust, desire and passion. Observe God’s commands.
One of the boundaries of piety, which most Muslims have disregarded and due to which they go backward despite a forward march in every age, is maintaining piety both while having affinity and while entertaining dislike of each other. Our God, our Lord, our Master, our Sustainer, our Nourisher has told us that the relation between you is your religion.
﴿إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ﴾
“The believers are but brethren, therefore make peace between your brethren… (49:10)”
Everyone who says: “There is no god except Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah’, of course with confirmation of Guardianship of Ahle Bait and Hereafter, be he in the east or west, both of you are brothers of one another. Be sympathetic to one another. Be friendly and loving for one another both in the affairs of this world and the Hereafter. A believer with regard to a believer is like a building. Have you observed a building? How every part of the mansion supports another whereby the whole structure is protected soundly.
It is essential that Muslims must be united and their hearts harmonious from religious aspect and angel of faith. As regards enmity or ill feeling, do not consider anyone your enemy except the one who is an enemy of God and His Prophet.
﴿لا تَتَّخِذُوا عَدُوِّي وَعَدُوَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَاءَ﴾
“Do not take My enemy and your enemy for friends.”3
Consider such fellow your enemy. This is the order of God, His Qur’an and common sense, but Muslims today are behaving in total contradiction to it. My friend is he who is liked by me, who acts, as I like. He is my friend who deals with me, who gives me profit or benefit. Everyone is acting according to his heart’s inclination even if the other person is a transgressor or even a disbeliever. One has enmity towards one who does not behave as per his inclination even if he is a perfectly faithful person in his behavior.
That one did not accord respect, he did not make a deal with him, he did not give a loan and he did not behave according to one’s liking so he regards him as his enemy. This is totally against the religious commands. Even if he behaved against your liking, but since he is a believer, is a friend (Shia) of Ali, he offers prayers; you should regard him as your friend even though he made you suffer such and such loss or did not extend you such and such benefit. In short, do not make personal interest your criterion. Make God’s pleasure your measure or balance. Enmity with a Muslim is unlawful. You should not be displeased with a Muslims who does not follow prevalent rites and rituals. You should be displeased on seeing a sin.
You should feel bad if males and females mix freely in a marriage ceremony. These decorated women along with these youths! What a great sin!! If possible, weep over it instead of applauding such foolishness. First, why did they not invite me? The animus must be against sins, not due to your own personal inclination. In the chapter regarding hatred, it is written in the book Qalbe Saleem, that it is a must for Muslims to ascertain the difficulties of other Muslims and to do their duty. Your hatred based on what is against your inclination, rites and rituals etc is unlawful. It is against piety. Anyone who became angry in this way has breached the Islamic law. It is unlawful and prohibited.
It is mentioned in Usul al-Kafi that if two Muslims become angry at one another and if this anger extends for three days both go out of the edifice of Islam. We see and hear that some do not talk with one another for a week, a mouth, are angry at each other and do not visit one another; even do not look at one another. This is against piety. It is unlawful.
It is ordered in the beginning of Surah Anfal: Observe piety, make peace among yourselves. How many times have you committed this sin of giving up the reconciliation duty? Have you ever repented from this sin? Firstly, to be angry for personal desire and inclination is unlawful and thereafter it is also compulsory to bring about reconciliation between others.
Have we given up reconciliation? Fire should not be inflamed between two fellows who are angry at one another. One conveys the word of this to that and the word of that to this. If a man and his wife have quarreled, since you, who are the head of the family or anyone who is belonging to this family, after knowing this, it is your or his duty to make reconciliation between the couple. He should not say: I am not concerned and also: What I have to do! The Holy Qur’an commands: Observe piety, make peace among yourselves. This is a clear command. At another place the Qur’an orders: Make peace between your brothers. The two persons who quarreled have done wrong and committed a sin. You do not do another sin. Bring reconciliation between the two.
In the night of 21st Ramadhan, your master Ali as a part of his will to his sons, said: My will to you two of my sons (Hasan and Husain) and to every Shia and every Faithful believer till the Day of Judgment is piety. Do not follow your heart’s inclination beyond a limit. Do not become angry to much extent on the basis of desire. Observe God’s commands. Look at God. Let bygone be bygone for God’s sake. Then said, “Make peace between people. I have myself heard my cousin, the last Prophet Muhammad Mustafa say, ‘Reconciliation between people is more virtuous than all prayers and fasts.’”
If you see that there is ill will between a woman and her husband or between two friends you see that there is reconciliation between them. It is higher than offering prayer. It is narrated that the Holy Prophet said, “After obligatory deeds, no deed is higher than making peace between people.” Any amount of money can be used to do this duty. If necessary, even tell an untrue thing. Spend your money. Arrange feasts. Invite guests. These are the best worship acts for you. A lie spoken for the sake of removing enmity in such circumstances will be recorded as truth in the sight of God. Give importance to mutual reconciliation, especially between a man and his wife.
It is mentioned in Biharul Anwar that in a day of extremely hot summer before noon our Sayyid and Chief, Ali bin Abi Talib came out of his house. Shadows of walls were decreasing and the sun was burning hot. The Imam was perspiring profusely. One of his companions who passed by him asked, “O Amirul Momineen! This is time for rest. Please return home and recline in shade. How is it that you have come out in such a hot sun and are sitting on a street?” He replied to the effect, “I have come out with a hope that perhaps I may help an oppressed person. If there is any dispute, I may settle it.” At that time a woman came weeping and complaining and said, “O Ali! Please provide justice to me.” Ali asked, “What happened?”
The lady replied, “My husband has beaten me and has driven me out of the house and he has also sworn not to readmit me. I have no place other than my husband’s house.” Hearing this, Ali got up at once and asked, “Where is your house.” As shown by her it was quite far away from town. I do not recollect. It may be some miles away. The Imam went ahead and the woman behind him in this hot air at noon. Amirul Momineen did not stop until they reached that house. He called the man. It is a detailed narration. Finally the Imam made the lady enter her house and ordered the husband to behave with love, kindness and affection peacefully.
You too should, to the best of your ability, make such reconciliation.
The holy month of Ramadhan is full of so many bounties, especially during the nights of Qadr (19th, 21st and 23rd). There are three kinds of people who do not get benefit in it: First, a drunkard who does not repent, secondly, one who has been disowned and cursed by his parents. Let us hope no Muslim is among them. Who is the unfortunate one who is disowned by his parents? Yes, it is narrated that there can be a man who behaved nicely with his parents while they were alive and pleased with him. But after their death, one can become disobedient. T
hey asked the Imam, “How can it be so?” The Imam replied, “Because, after their death, he never remembers them. So they also weep on this account.” So think of those unfortunate ones. The prayers, which were due to them, perform those prayers. Fast for the fasts, which they missed to observe, or employ someone to perform them. If they were indebted, pay off their debts… Thereafter, do not forget them in the matter of charity. At least, pray for them saying: O Allah! Forgive my parents and me and be merciful on them. Qur’an commands so: O Allah! Forgive my parents and me and be merciful on them. Just as they brought me up when I was small.
The third group, which is deprived of the bounties of Ramadhan, is of those who keep and maintain hatred in their hearts for Muslims. So anyone who has any ill will for his relatives or non-relatives must drive that hatred from his heart. Also give gifts to him and ask pardon so that God may make good your losses.
He said, “From the two who quarreled the one who went ahead for making reconciliation will enter Paradise first.” Moreover, if you come to know about conflict between two persons, make peace between them even by spending money generously.4
Abu Hanifah Saiqul Hajj (not the well-known Abu Hanifah) says, “There was enmity and ill will between me and my son-in-law. It came into public in the market or Kufa.” It was on account of the inheritance of his daughter. The information reached Imam Ja’far bin Muhammad as-Sadiq. He said, “What is the matter? Please come to me.” He took us to his (Imam’s) house. The Imam asked, “How much are your claims?” Finally, he advised us to make peace, settling the matter on payment of four hundred dirhams. Then Mufaddal himself went inside the house and brought four hundred dirhams and handed the amount to me saying, “Please kiss one another and make peace.” An agreement of reconciliation was then written accordingly.
(If you want to make reconciliation, then if the trouble is due to money, or material wealth, open your purse and spend your money for this precious deed. This expense is in the path of and for the pleasure of God.)
Then Mufaddal said, “This money which I gave to you for making peace between you was not my own. It belonged to the Imam. The Imam had told me that this money must be used for reconciliation between Shias.”5
O those who long for the advent of the Imam Mahdi know that his work is improvement and reconciliation. If you are telling the truth that you like reconciliation and improvement then why do you not work for it? When Imam Mahdi arrives, he would arrive for world peace. Then all will become pious.
Everyone who is for peace and piety waits for such time. If a man is not for peace and piety, even if he recites Dua Nudba it is of no use. You say: Where is that heavenly reformer who will remove these discord, differences? But what about yourself? Why do you not drive away disputes? Why do you not make peace with your own wife, brother and friend? What is going on in courts? Somebody says that in courts many cases belong to family disputes. Many wives have complaints against their husbands and many husbands against their wives. Why a woman goes to make complaint against her husband in public? Where are the people of yesterday? We remember them saying that the woman arrives in a black veil and goes out in a white shroud. Women of olden days used to protect the honor of their husbands, they did not make public issue of their private differences.
Someone said: It is written in a newspaper that in the said family court a lady had written in her claim demanding divorce that, “My husband bought a car for me. But the number on it was out of fashion. I ask for a new automobile but he says he does not have it. I do not want such a husband.”
It is must for one to move towards sound morals and then only say: O Lord! Where is the Master who comes to enact peace for all everywhere so that all may live like brothers, wherever one looks there be only love and affinity. The time of the appearance of Hujjattibnul Hasan (Imam Mahdi) makes minds flourish, increases faith and causes piety to spread, that is, lust and greed will go away with the wind.
It is necessary to have the taste of life in the time of Imam of the time. If you want a life worth living, it is life in his era. Otherwise, this life is nothing but barbarity. What kind of a life is this that people are ready to commit suicides as there is nothing like kindness and faithfulness in life?
I saw in a newspaper sometime back that in some of the countries, those who reach an advanced age, their condition becomes, be they males or females, pitiable because, others including their children and relatives have no sympathy for them. So they establish government homes, like poor houses, called Homes for the Old. Whoever becomes old and is out of work, he or she is transferred to such houses.
They do have children and wealth but no one cares for them. Yet, if there is an iota of comfort, it is in Islamic countries due to the blessings of Islamic teachings. But they (evil forces) want that this should also be removed from the society and that the foul smell of selfishness should spread among you also. But I hope that things will improve so that there may be preparedness for the arrival of Master of the Age and the world reformer may be aided.
How do you become an assistant of the Imam of the time? Should you take up guns and grenades? No, it is not so. Helping Master of the Age is in reform and wisdom, peace and improvement. Improvement of self and of others, rising higher and higher if one has wife and children.
﴿وَلَقَدْ كَتَبْنَا فِي الزَّبُورِ مِن بَعْدِ الذِّكْرِ أَنَّ الأَرْضَ يَرِثُهَا عِبَادِيَ الصَّالِحُونَ﴾
“And certainly We wrote in the Book after the reminder that (as for) the land, My righteous servants shall inherit it.”6
Pious people are the helpers of the Master of the Age (Wali Asr). They are the righteous servants (Ibaadiyas swaalihoon) of God, not of passions and desires. They are not corrupt. Corruption means selfishness, greed and lust. The coercion, which they inflict upon one another, is corruption or mischief, which ends in bloodshed and corruption in the land of God.
﴿وَاذْكُرُوا إِذْ جَعَلَكُمْ خُلَفَاءَ مِنْ بَعْدِ عَادٍ وَبَوَّأَكُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ تَتَّخِذُونَ مِنْ سُهُولِهَا قُصُورًا وَتَنْحِتُونَ الْجِبَالَ بُيُوتًا فَاذْكُرُوا آلاءَ اللَّهِ وَلا تَعْثَوْا فِي الأَرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ﴾
“And remember when He made you successors after Ad and settled you in the land- you make mansions on its plains and hew out houses in the mountains- remember therefore Allah’s benefits and do not act corruptly in the land, making mischief.”7
So this peace making is in remembering God. Remember Him so that you may become competent for it. Let it never be so that when you hear a word from someone about someone else, you repeat and relate it and thus fan the fire of enmity. The good of both this world and the Hereafter are in peace and reconciliation. Likewise the destruction of the life and Hereafter is in lust and greed.
It is mentioned in Surah Shams after the oath taking that:
﴿قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَنْ زَكَّاهَا. وَقَدْ خَابَ مَنْ دَسَّاهَا﴾
“He will indeed be successful who purifies it. And he will indeed fail who corrupts it.”8
Meaning: Succeeded the one who cleansed his heart and deprived oneself who destroyed it. Let aside your heart. Just see how God deals with you. If you know the tastefulness of leaving aside selfishness, you will not say that selfishness has any good in it.
If you trample upon your desires your honor also increases. Do not say: It is repulsive. It is not so. Satan puts doubts in your heart. He does not spare you.
God is Mighty. So whoever works for God is also strong.
﴿وَلِلَّهِ الْعِزَّةُ وَلِرَسُولِهِ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ﴾
“…and to Allah belongs the might and to His Apostle and to the believers…”9
Whenever one turns towards God, he approaches his honor, respect and good luck. But when he is caught in the net of desires and passions he is in meanness, adversity, downfall and misfortune. The meaning of this will become clearer with a Qur’anic story.
There were two contradictory dreams. Think over the dream of Yusuf and that of his aunt. Yusuf saw in his dream that eleven bright stars along with the sun and the moon fell in prostration before him.
﴿إِنِّي رَأَيْتُ أَحَدَ عَشَرَ كَوْكَبًا وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ رَأَيْتُهُمْ لِي سَاجِدِينَ﴾
“Surely, I saw eleven stars and the sun and the moon- I saw them making obeisance to me.”10
At that very hour his aunt saw in her dream that eleven brutal wolves attacked Yusuf and torn him into pieces. What is the meaning of these two dreams or visions? Undoubtedly, the eleven fierce animals who tore Yusuf into pieces were the eleven brothers of Yusuf who attacked him in the forest with knives, and finally threw him in a well and went away.
Yusuf himself saw eleven shining stars bowing down before him. They were the same eleven brothers of his, once in the form of wolves and once in the form of radiant stars. That form of a wolf was their state of sinning. Even if you are the son of a Prophet, if you commit a sin, you are a filthy wolf. Your angel-like form has become ugly, dreadful and dark. But if you repent and say: ‘O my God have mercy on me, I seek forgiveness of Allah,’ and reform yourself, sought pardon of the one whom you did injustice, you become a shining star. These eleven brothers who sinned turned into wolves but after some years, when they repented and felt ashamed and came to Yusuf in a state of embarrassment and asked forgiveness from him, Yusuf also said to them:
﴿لا تَثْرِيبَ عَلَيْكُمْ الْيَوْمَ﴾
“(There shall be) no reproof against you this day…”11
Now the same eleven wolves fell down on earth all together, regained their angel-like form and became eleven shining stars.
Do take the benefit of repentance or seeking forgiveness. Do not let yourselves go to the grave in your present sinful state. Repentance is the door of mercy or turning towards the truth that changes you. Darkness turn into light, black spots become bright. Fire turns to flowers. If you go to the grave in a sinful state, there is a volcano for you in your grave. If you go with repentance there is mercy and kindness.
Yusuf is a prophet and a son of a prophet. Divine quality is in his nature. One of the attributes of God is to accept apology. So he accepted the apology of his brothers. God also accepts and forgives. You also come. Seek pardon and be sure that He will forgive you. Say: O Lord! I was unwise and negligent; I was accosted by passions and lusts.
You are absolute Merciful, O Lord! Those who love the Merciful Lord turn to Him and those dislike Him turn away from Him