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The Path Of Salvation To Attain Peace Through Our Ethics And Manners

Dr. Farhat Fatima
Dr. S. Farhana Fatima Abedi
E-mail: Farhat_Fatima5@yahoo.com pharm.farhana@gmail.com

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This text portrays that human beings can attain peace if they follow the sayings of the Holy Quran and Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a) sincerely and become virtuous and truthful in their dealings and do not become felons, lawbreakers and oppressors.

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Abstract

Islam means ‘Voluntary submission to the will of Allah (s.w.t)’. One of the ninety-nine names of Allah (s.w.t) is “As-Salaam” or peace. Securing peace and tranquility was a major quest for Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his progeny. He left two weighty things (Hadith al-Thaqalayn) amongst us - The Holy Quran and his Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a).

If we follow both the Quran and Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a) then we will discover eternal peace and tranquility. Quran clearly states that Allah (s.w.t) has made many boons for our peace and the Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a) have shown us how to attain peace by our moral conduct and ethics in our transitory path of life. This article portrays that human beings can attain peace if they follow the sayings of Quran and Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a) sincerely and become virtuous and honest in their dealings and do not become wrongdoers, transgressors and persecutors.

Keywords
Ethics, Manners, Peace, Quran, Ahl Al-Bayt, Religion, Education

Prologue

Peace is such an important virtue without which existence could be very easily deemed impossible. Every stage of our lives asks for us to uphold and maintain peace. Islam very strongly emphasizes on Peace as a way of life and it takes its roots from “As-Salaam”, one of the many beautiful names of Allah (s.w.t) which means “The Peace”. The Islamic greeting “As-salaam Alaikum” or “Salaamun Alaikum” translates to “Peace be upon you” with its reply being “Wa Alaikum as salaam” translating to “And upon you be peace”. Those people who sincerely follow religious teachings of Holy Quran and the manners, traditions of Ahl Al-Bayt (Hadith al-Thaqalayn)1 will be at peace.

Peace As A Way Of Life According To Religious Books

Peace is the notion of harmonious security and liberty from antagonistic hostility. In a collective sense, peace is commonly a period in which there is no war or conflict and there is no fear of violence between individuals. All the Islamic religious texts very explicitly focus on maintaining and upholding peace. Few profound ones include “Risalat-Al Huquq” (The Treatise of Rights) where the 4th Shia Holy Imam Ali Ibn-al Husayn (‘a) goes to the extent of showing us the rights of sense organs such as the ears, eyes and tongue.

When such an in-depth explanation has been given about our bodily organs which we deem un-important, then by focusing on these the Imam (‘a) goes on to show, how even the most minor things can contribute to overall peace. “Islam views the individual in his total context, which means that it considers first his relationship with God, then his relationship with God’s creatures.”2 It is very important for an individual to follow God’s guidance based on his (Allah’s) mercy and attain Peace, Salvation and happiness for his own paramount interest.

There have been other beautiful, amazing and informative books to attain peace from our Imam (‘a)’s as well, such as “Nahjul Balagha” (The Peak of Eloquence). In Sermon number Eight, Maula Ali Ibn Abi Talib (‘a) draws a pen-picture of the brain and state of mind of Quraish and what Aali-Muhammad(‘a) have done to teach them Islam and improve their intellect. He {Maula Ali Ibn Abi Talib (‘a)} finishes the Sermon with an advice to accept religion sincerely.

The descendants of the Holy Prophet (S) guided us from the obscurity of ignorance and infidelity towards the splendors of knowledge and religion; they have raised the standard of our religion and culture for us. Maula Ali Ibn Abi Talib (‘a) says at the end of the Sermon that “what I am nervous about you is the fact that you do not realise that you are standing on the crossroads of religion and infidelity. Remember those who sincerely accept religion will never be disappointed.”3

Path To Peace And Salvation Through Quran

According to Holy Prophet (S) “I Leave Behind Me Amidst You Two Great Things, The Book of God (The Holy Quran) And My Ahl Al-Bayt. Should Ye Be Attached To These Two, Never, Never Shall Ye Get Astray After Me, For Verily These Two Will Never Be Separated From Each Other Until They Meet Me At ‘The Spring’ (Of Kauthar)4

The Holy Quran, Surah Al-Maidah states :
“For this reason, did we prescribe unto the children of Israel that he who slayeth any one (man), without (that being for) murder, or for mischief in the land, it shall be) as though he hath slain mankind as a whole...” (5: 32)5

This verse is of some extra-importance and has special value to the followers of Quran. A being who has killed an individual, it is as if he has killed the entire mankind/humanity. This verse is aimed at establishing peace on the earth. When the slaying of an ordinary soul without any justification for it is so grave, it can easily be imagined what the slaying of an Apostle of God or his deputy i.e., Imam would mean.

The merciless slaughter of the Holy Imam Husayn (‘a) and his seventy-two godly souls in the Battle of Karbala is like slaying mankind in its entirety. While assisting in saving such holy lives, is equal to saving mankind as a whole. This verse also explains that whoever tries to secure the life of a single person is equivalent in his attempt to secure the life of the human race as a whole, which the Apostles were sent for. Thus, we can say that the Holy Quran, the Holy Prophet (S) and His Holy Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a) Serve as the fountainheads of peace and inspiration and following them would be a source of peace and tranquility in our lives Insha’Allah.

Peace is a state of tranquility and non-violence. It is a state of friendship with self and the environment around you. Prophet Muhammad (S) actually was the Best, Greatest and last Apostle of God. He was a Spiritual Guide to us, a Judge, a Legislator, a King, an Administrator, a Military Commander, a Citizen, a Kind Husband, an Affectionate father, Guardian of Orphans and the poor, Protector of woman’s rights, a Philosopher, friend and companion. He was the one who was destined by Allah (s.w.t) to convey to mankind the All-truth about the divine Lord. He (S) worked for peace among people throughout His life. As stated above, He taught us to follow the ethics, manners and morals through Quran and him and his Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a).

In the Holy Quran, Allah (s.w.t) tells us that this world though full of his boons and bounties is truly a place of trials and hardships. In Surah Al-Inshirah (The Consolation)

Verily with (every) difficulty (there) is ease, Verily with (every) difficulty (there) is ease (94 5-6)6

The Whole life of Prophet Muhammad (S) was full of persecution, hardships, danger, toil and difficulties. The repeated statement here is to give emphasis to the promise and its assurance of the ultimate triumph of the cause even though in the earlier stages the situation was utterly hopeless and the survival of the Holy Prophet, the Muslims and the very name of the faith, Islam seemed to be an impossibility.

Thus Allah (s.w.t) states in the Holy Quran that the believers should not lose hope because after every hardship surely there is relief. We as true believers should never lose hope in Allah (s.w.t). Turn to him in the time of hardship with poignant supplications. Trust in the Almighty, Omnipotent Allah and believe everything happens according to His Majesty’s will and He (s.w.t) knows the best. Pray every day so that your life and the lives of your dear ones are filled with peace and tranquility.

Even the Bible emphasizes on Peace, as quoted below

a. (Galatians 5:22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, …7

b. (Hebrew s 12:14) Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness …8

c. (1 Peter 3:11) They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.9

Ethics, Manners And Morals Taught By Ahl Al-Bayt (‘A) To Attain Peace

The Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a) have taught us at every-step through their morals, manners and ethics the importance of family as a unit. In Hadith al-Kisa, Lady Fatimah Zahra narrates “One day, my father, the Messenger of God, entered my house.”10 The Messenger of Allah entered the home of his daughter and Son-In-Law, Hazrat Ali Ibn Abi Talib (‘a) with profound regard as family relations are highly valued in Islam and this important aspect the messenger of Allah has stated to us. This action of the Prophet Muhammad (S) portrays to us that elders should treat their younger family members with love and respect and visit their daughters and son’s-in-law home. He then greeted his daughter by saying peace be upon her. It is usually expected of the younger person to greet our elders but the Prophet (S)’s actions and manners show to us that when you enter a relative’s home you should greet them with sending peace on them and it is also mandatory for the other person to reply.

In the further lines of Hadith al-Kisa or Narration of the Cloak, we learn that Imam Hasan (‘a) then a child entered the house and sent his Salaam with respect to his mother. On which her eminence Bibi Fatima Zahra (s.a.) replies “Peace be upon you, O delight of my eye and fruit of my heart.”10 In similar manner she greets her younger son Imam Husayn (‘a). These pleasant words of Bibi Fatima Zahra (s.a.) portray to us that a mother should always show her affection towards her offspring. These actions of Bibi Fatima Zahra (s.a.) show to us that when parents show affection to a child his personality develops into a pleasant one and he/she treats others in the family and society with pleasantness and peace.

In the same manner we find Prophet Muhammad (S) in the Hadith al-Kisa speaks to his grandsons Hasnain (Both Hassan and Husayn) while giving permission to enter the cloak with respect and addresses them with their attributes. To Imam Hasan (‘a) he says: “Come in the cloak my child, ‘O the owner of my pond’”11 and to Imam Husayn (‘a) he says: “Come in the cloak my child, “O the intercessor of my Nation’”12 these endearments portray the love for the child and also their important status which both the Imams enjoy. We as the followers of Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a) should learn from our dear Prophet Muhammad (S) that in order to instill confidence and peace in our children, we should also make an effort to address and express the good and prominent characteristics of our children.

Imam Hassan Ibn Ali (‘a) was the elder grandson of Prophet Muhammad (S) and his family was celebrated for their strong values of fairness, harmony and charity. He was widely respected in and across the lands of Arabia and beyond for his knowledge, kindness and genuineness. Despite coming from a privileged backdrop and being an exceptional figure in the Islamic Empire, Imam Hasan Ibn Ali (‘a) never cared for his affluent standing and he would sit with the poor and the needy and help them out with their problems. His banquet is very popular till today where he used to feed people. “Imam Hasan (‘a) was the most hospitable person. His dinner cloth was very vast. The poor, the deprived, travelers and orphans dined on his food spread. He had the best possible food cooked for the guests, but he never partook anything from it. His diet consisted of that same barley bread and salt.”13 This action of Imam teaches us that we should be helpful and try to provide peace and ease to the poor and underprivileged people. We should also sit amongst them as Islam strongly teaches us these ethics and manners through our Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a)

The generosity of Imam Husayn Ibn Ali (‘a) is also well known. On the way to Kufa, when the Imam was at a place known as Sharaf, Imam Husayn (‘a) dismounted and instructed that the tents should be set up. After some time, they saw a band of soldiers coming towards them. Imam Husayn (‘a) said to his entourage, “Supply them with water and quench their thirst. Also provide water to their horses little by little.”14 Regardless of knowing that the vanguard of Yazid’s army; about 1,000 men led by their Commander Hurr Ibn Riahy who intercepted the Imam (‘a) on the way to Kufa were after his blood and wanted to kill him still Husayn Ibn Ali (‘a) quenched the thirst of Hurr Ibn Riahy and his soldiers, horses with water which he could have saved for his family. Such was the generosity of Imam Husayn Ibn Ali (‘a) Thus we the followers of Imam Husayn Ibn Ali should be generous in our dealings to the extent that we should even help our enemy in the time of need to uphold peace.

When Imam Husayn Ibn Ali (‘a) reached Karbala and he knew it was the place of his martyrdom as prophesized by his grandfather Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, Imam Husayn (‘a) sent his men to call the resident of the village inhabited by Banu Asad, who owned the lands of Nainawa and bought the land in 60,000 dirham’s and then returned it back to them and said “we will be martyred on this land hence when we are killed make our graves on this land and take care of our followers and lovers who will visit our graves.”15

Such was magnanimity of Imam Husayn Ibn Ali (‘a) that he did not even want anyone to be burdened for his place of grave. This teaches us as his followers we should always live in a place belonging to us or pay rent for the place we live. We should not do anything unlawfully and always we should be the harbingers of peace. And our manners should always be pleasant and sincere.

Conclusion

It is of paramount importance to maintain and uphold peace as it has been taught to us by Quran and Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a). Upholding Peace is so important that it is not only discussed in Islamic religious texts but also in the holy texts of various major religions in the world. Each individual in his own minor way can uphold peace through their manners Insha’Allah till the real harbinger of Peace and humanity, the 12th Holy Imam Mahdi (a.j.) reappears.

  • 1. Hadith Al-Thaqalayn https://www.al-islam.org/hadith-al-thaqalayn-a-study-of-its-tawatur/some...
  • 2. Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin Treatise of Rights (Risalat Al Huquq) https://www.al-islam.org/treatise-rights-risalat-al-huquq-imam-zain-ul-a...
  • 3. Trans. Jaffery Askari Peak of Eloquence (Nahjul Balagha) Sermons, Letters and Sayings of Imam Ali Sixth Edition (1979) Islamic Seminary pg. 116-117 Print
  • 4. The Holy Quran The Final Testament Trans. Agha Pooya Yazdi and S.V. Mir Ahmed Ali, Elmhurst, New York, Tahrike Tarsile Quran Inc. U.S. Fifth Edition 2005 (Introduction 5a) Print.
  • 5. The Holy Quran The Final Testament Trans. Agha Pooya Yazdi and S.V. Mir Ahmed Ali, Elmhurst, New York, Tahrike Tarsile Quran Inc. U.S. Fifth Edition 2005 (5:32) Print.
  • 6. The Holy Quran The Final Testament Trans. Agha Pooya Yazdi and S.V. Mir Ahmed Ali, Elmhurst, New York, Tahrike Tarsile Quran Inc. U.S. Fifth Edition 2005 (94:5-6) Print.
  • 7. Galatians 5:22
  • 8. Hebrews 12:14.
  • 9. 1 Peter 3:11.
  • 10. Hadith al-Kisa Trans. Maulana Farman Ali Wazaiful Abrar(1995) Taha Publishing Centre, Lucknow pg. 106-121 Print
  • 11. Hadith al-Kisa Trans. Maulana Farman Ali Wazaiful Abrar(1995) Taha Publishing Centre, Lucknow pg. 106-121 Print
  • 12. Hadith al-Kisa Trans. Maulana Farman Ali Wazaiful Abrar(1995) Taha Publishing Centre, Lucknow pg. 106-121 Print
  • 13. Hospitality of the Holy Imams (‘a) | Akhlaq al-A’imma, Morals & Manners of the Holy Imams | Al-Islam.org https://www.al-islam.org/akhlaq-al-aimma-morals-manners-holy-imams-maula... 29/01/2019 Web
  • 14. Mikhnaf, Abu Kitab Maqtal al-Husayn (2009) Jafari Propogation Centre pg.77 Print
  • 15. The Hidden Truth About Karbala https://www.al-islam.org/the-hidden-truth-about-karbala-ak-ahmed/chapter... 02/02/2019 Web