Death of Father

Two weeks later, Qamar’s father passed away. Seyyid went to his house for condolences and then sat with him. He was the eldest son. His family was rich and had business, both inside the country and abroad. Two of his brothers were abroad, studying in universities. Qamar now lived with one sister and his mother. The whole family was very religious, humble in behavior and their life style was very moderate.

Qamar was a regular attendee of Seyyid’s lectures and was usually very quiet and sober in his manners. His life had changed after meeting Seyyid a few years ago. He would often recall how Seyyid surprised him and changed his way of thinking and his life…

When he met Seyyid for the first time, he was preparing for his bachelor’s degree’s final exam and somehow accidentally met one of Seyyid’s students, Mostafa. Mostafa took him to offer maghrib prayers and then unintendedly he attended Seyyid’s lecture on ‘spiritual pleasure.’ He was very much impressed by Seyyid’s words. After the lecture, he sat near Seyyid and asked a few questions on spiritual pleasure. Then, he asked Seyyid: ‘How can I feel spiritual pleasure?’ Seyyid saw a new book in his hands and asked about it. Qamar said that he had just bought this book and that it was the expensive latest edition and that he had a final exam after ten days. ‘I am among the top students of my class Seyyid and this book will help me get first position in final exams because I don’t think my classmates know about it.’ Seyyid smiled and very calmly asked Qamar to photocopy the book and give the original expensive book as a gift to a poor student of his class whom he thinks is able to compete with him in final exams. Qamar didn’t believe what he had heard and so he asked: ‘What did you say Seyyid?’ Seyyid smiled again and said: ‘Yes do it. Tell me what happens to you. And remember, don’t tell anyone about it.’ Qamar was in a state of shock and then said goodbye to Seyyid. Seyyid prayed for his success.

After his exams were over, Qamar came to Seyyid’s house one day at dhuhr and sat a bit away. Seyyid saw him and after prayers asked him to come closer. Then, Seyyid asked him about his exams. Qamar said that his performance was very good and he was waiting for results. Finally, Seyyid asked him softly: ‘Did you do it?’ Qamar replied: ‘Yes, Seyyid.’ ‘How do you feel?’ Seyyid asked him. ‘I cannot describe the joy, the feeling inside that made me as if I am free of all stresses; like total peace inside myself. It was a pleasure that I never had before and it never leaves me whenever I think of it. It is still there Seyyid.’ Then Seyyid asked him to pray two rak’at prayers to thank God for this opportunity. ‘Keep it up Qamar,’ said Seyyid.

All the students of Seyyid had one or more such shocking good experiences from Seyyid that changed their lives and made them very close to Seyyid. His noble style of teaching and training them was the reason and very often, these students would bring their friends and family members to Seyyid for guidance.

Every once in a while, Qamar would invite his close friends to his house for gatherings and playing games, share their good experiences, etc. He had passed his MBA shortly before his father died and was now applying for specialized diploma courses to strengthen his knowledge in marketing and other areas for managing his family business which he had inherited from his father.

All the friends were at his house on the 40th day after the death of his father and Seyyid gave a very inspiring lecture on bala’, or tribulations and hardships in one’s life. He explained that bala’ is a necessary ingredient of a believer’s life. He said: ‘God doesn’t test us by placing an exam paper in front of us, like we are tested in our school, college and university. God creates a scenario around us and tests us. The first thing one has to do is to be patient and the second thing is to have trust in God and then one should pray more and do one’s best in that situation. The beauty of God’s exam is that it is always according to one’s level of faith and ability and another characteristic is that He tests us with innovative ways next time – from something we love most, or from something we never thought of before. Everyone’s bala’ is according to the level of his faith, nearness to God and his ability.

Prophet Muhammad (swas) said that no prophet was tormented to his extent. Imam Ali (as) has praised God for tests with which He examines His servants every time with a new situation. There is a sermon in Nahjul Balagha that begins with the praise of God for His new ways of testing his servants,’ he continued. Seyyid ended his lecture with few advices about the importance of reading Holy Qur’an: ‘I advise young college and university students that they should read Holy Qur’an like their course book, not casually as most of the people read it in their daily life. A student should make habit of reading this divine course book daily. There is divine wisdom in each and every word of Qur’an.

One should ponder over the meaning of each and every word in it and find the reason as to why God has used in a particular ayah. Holy Qur’an is the ultimate book of science for every human being and its depth never ends. The more we ponder, the more we discover the hidden meanings in it.’ All those present listened quietly to Seyyid’s words of wisdom and appreciated his practical knowledge about life and interpretation of Islamic traditions.

After everyone left, Seyyid sat with Qamar and his family and advised them to be patient and to recite Qur’an and give sadaqa for his father and do good deeds in his name.