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Chapter 36: Invitation of the Prophet to His Kin

On the very first day when the Holy Prophet made his call public according to the Command of Allah and was commissioned by the revelation: Warn your near relatives (Surah Ash-Shuara, 26: 214) to invite them to the true religion of Islam he said to his near relatives time and again: "Do not deviate from the path of Allah relying on my relationship with you. You should understand it clearly that the matter is not in my hands and I cannot do you any good or save you from any loss contrary to the Divine law.

If you can gain something it is by the same method which has been specified by Allah, and if you sustain a loss it will be according to the same law, which has been prescribed by Him. None should imagine that the accounts will be nullified for the sake of Quraysh or Bani Hashim or Bani Abd Munaf or Bani Abdul Muttalib or my daughter Fatima or my aunt Safia and their misdeeds will be overlooked".

After the revelation of the aforesaid verse the Holy Prophet called Quraysh together and said: "O Quraysh! Save yourselves from the Fire of Hell, because your profit and loss is not in my hands" i.e. there is a law for profit and loss and reward and punishment. If you do good deeds you will benefit and gain spiritual reward, but if you do evil deeds you will sustain loss and will be awarded punishment.

O Bani Kab bin Lu'ee! Deliver yourselves from the Fire, for your profit and loss is not in my hands. O Bani Qusay! Deliver yourselves from the Fire, because I cannot provide you spiritual reward nor can I turn away punishment from you. 'O Bani Abd Munilf! You yourselves should procure means to save yourselves from Divine punishment, for I cannot do anything for you i.e. if you are pious you will go to Paradise but if you are polytheists you will go to Hell.

I have not been given a key to take my polytheist relatives to Paradise through a backdoor and I have also not been given an authority to exempt my friends and relatives from the responsibilities imposed upon them by Allah. O Bani Zohra bin Kilab! Deliver yourselves from Divine punishment.

O Bani Abdul Muttalib! You should act in such a way that Allah may not punish you, and you should know that I cannot help you in the matter. O Bani Murra bin Kab! O Bani Hashim! O Bani Abdush-Shams! Deliver yourselves from the torture on account of polytheism by worshipping Allah, for I cannot do anything for you in this regard.

O Abbas, (uncle of the Prophet)! You, too, should free yourself from Divine torture. O Safia, (aunt of Muhammad)! You too should think of your freedom and deliverance for I cannot do anything for you. Neither your profit in this world nor your share in the Hereafter is in my hands. So you must believe in Allah and say: "There is no deity but Allah".

O Fatima daughter of Muhammad! You must also endeavor to save yourself from Divine punishment because your father cannot help you in the matter and has no control over your gain and loss. Of course, you are my relatives and I shall discharge the duties which devolve on me on that account".

If relationship with the Holy Prophet cannot take the place of faith and pious deeds, and the daughter of the Holy Prophet must also follow the same path for her good future which it is necessary for other persons to follow, and not only for the daughter of the Holy Prophet but for the Holy Prophet himself, there should be no means to acquire Divine pleasure except faith and good deeds.

Then how can it be possible that after the martyrdom of Imam Husayn all these Qur'anic verses, reports, traditions and the sermons of Nahjul Balagha should be treated as of no consequence and some method other than faith and good deeds should be found to enter Paradise? Can it be so that before the tragedy of Karbala the Muslims were in need of truthfulness, honesty and uprightness and paying attention to articles of worship and religious duties and abstinence from telling lies, drinking wine, usury and acquisition of wealth by unlawful means, but now these things are not needed to that extent?

It is now possible that a man may get ahead of the murderers of Imam Husayn in the matter of cruelty but may at the same time be contented by sending greetings to the Imam and his magnanimous friends and may also be associated with the Imam and his friends on the Day of Judgment! The friends of Imam Husayn were an embodiment of greatness of soul, sincerity, faith and truthfulness.

It is by studying about the sacrifices performed by them that we understand the true meaning of support. The friends of Imam Husayn have explained to us the meanings of the words love, faith, support and self-sacrifice. Even the epic verses which they recited before the enemies on the day of Ashura reflect their personality and spiritual greatness so that one who says Ya Lay Tani Kuntu Ma'akum (I wish that I too had been with you and had been honored and exalted with you) should reflect a little and judge fairly whether this sentence of his will fall under the category of truth or falsehood, and whether he really wishes that he had been with Abis bin Abi Shabib Shakiri and had, at the time of stoning by the enemy, removed his coat of mail from his body, and his helmet from his head like him, whose body had been smashed with stones in support of truth! Or he wishes to have been their companion, because he has never pondered as to what grand sacrifices the companions of the Imam offered and what blows of the enemy they faced with firmness.

Consequently he utters things which are contrary to reality and perhaps hopes that his words will be treated to be at par with those of the companions of the Imam. The companions of the Imam had, however, reached such a stage of purity and faith that the light of conviction was reflected even in what they said to console the Imam.

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