Imam al-Husayn’s revolution was not only for changing a government, as noble an objective as it was. Had it been so, it would have been wrong to call it a revolution. Imam al-Husayn (ﻉ) advocated a drastic change in the social order, in the economic and political structure, and he enjoined the refining of the Islamic concepts from foreign ideas that had crept into them. In other words, Imam al-Husayn (ﻉ) wanted to change the life of the Muslims for all time to come in conformity with the established Islamic laws and principles.
In our time and age, there are many Yazids ruling our Muslim world. This is why when the Muslim women were raped in Bosnia, massacred in Chechnya, Kashmir, Palestine, or southern Lebanon, very, very few Muslims stir to action while the rest remain in their slumber, preferring to close their eyes rather than see the horrors of what happens to their brethren.
Yes, there are many Yazids throughout our Islamic world, but there is no Husayn to lead the revolution against them; so, the oppression and the inequity shall continue unabated, and the Muslims shall remain the underdogs of the world till they take Islam more seriously and defend its pristine tenets with all their might and means. Meanwhile, the suffering continues.., Inna Lillah wa Inna Ilayahi Raji'oon (We belong to Allah, and to Him shall we return).
It is sincerely hoped that the discreet reader has benefitted from this book, that it has brought him closer to His Maker, the One Who created him for one and only reason: to worship Him, and only Him. It is hoped that this book has brought him closer to Him, to His last Prophet (ﺹ), and to the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt (ﻉ) and distanced himself from all those who do not denounce the murderers of Imam Husayn (ﻉ), those who do not learn any lesson from his epic of heroism, who do not mourn his tragedy, who do not shed tears during the month of Muharram to commemorate this tragedy the like of which has never been recorded in history..., and unfortunately this description fits the majority of Muslims, for the majority is not always right. Seventy-two verses in the Holy Qur’an condemn the majority. Let this be a lesson for all of us. Might and numerical superiority do not necessarily have to be right. In most instances, they are not.
For sure, whoever bases his belief in the Almighty on solid foundations will be the winner in this life and in the life to come, and the most solid of all foundations is one built on knowledge and conviction, not on ignorance, nor on taking things for granted, nor on hiding the truth or distorting it. This address is directed specifically to new Muslim converts in the West in general and in the U.S. in particular, those who have been taught to glorify certain sahaba and to forget about everyone else, to study the first few years of the dawn of Islam, and to forget about the rest.
These converts should spare no time nor effort to study Islamic history and to find out who actually took Islam seriously and who did not, who shed the blood of innocent Muslims, including members of the Prophet’s family, the very best of all families in the entire history of mankind, and altered the Sunnah to serve his own ambition.
One authentic hadith says, “For everything there is a zakat, and the zakat of knowledge is its dissemination.” The reader who reads this book ought not keep what he/she has learned to himself/herself but share it with others, believers or non-believers. It will then enhance the conviction of the believers and plant the seed of iman in the hearts of the unbelievers. Who knows? Maybe one day that seed will grow.
It is the Almighty Who permits its growth, and He does so at the right time, the time which He chooses. Pass this book on to a relative or a friend. Translate it into another language. Let on-line computer services benefit from it. Make photocopies of some of its contents and distribute them to others. Write a dissertation or a thesis utilizing its text. Extract excerpts from it for inclusion in your newsletter or magazine, book or booklet. Or write one like it or better. All these options are yours; so, do not sit idle. Move to action, and let the Almighty use you as His tool for disseminating useful knowledge.
Do you, dear reader, think that you have a choice whether to disseminate the knowledge included in this book with others or not? If you think that you do, read the following statement of the great grandson of the Messenger of Allah (ﻉ), namely Imam Musa ibn Ja'far (ﻉ), who quotes his forefathers citing the Messenger of Allah (ﻉ) saying,
One who reneges from his oath of allegiance, or who promotes what misleads people, or who hides some knowledge with him, or who confines some wealth with him unjustly, or who knowingly aids an oppressor in committing oppression while being fully aware of his oppression, is outside the folds of Islam.
This tradition is recorded on p. 67, Vol. 2, of al-Majlisi’s Bihar al-Anwar. It clearly demonstrates that one who hides knowledge is on the same level with that who deliberately assists oppressors and tyrants. We, therefore, should spare no means to share what we know with others, with those who listen and who follow the best of what they listen to. Earn rewards by bringing the servants of Allah closer to their Creator Who made and sustained them, Who will try them and place them either in His Paradise or in His hell. If acts of worship are based on shallow conviction, they are as good as nothing. Strengthen your brethren’s conviction through this book. They will surely appreciate it and, above all, Allah, too, will.
If the reader appreciates the time and effort exerted in writing this book, I, the author, kindly request him/her to recite Srat al-Fatiha for the soul of my father, the late qari al-Hajj Tuma Abbas al-Jibouri who died in 1991 of diabetes and for the souls of all believing men and women, the living and the dead. If you do so, rest assured that your rewards will be with the Most Generous of all those who reward, with Allah Almighty Who appreciates even the smallest of good deeds. Why do I request the kind reader to recite Surat al-Fatiha for my parents?
Well, this is the least a son can do for his deceased father who worked very hard to raise him as a Muslim. My father was a qari of the Holy Qur’an who refused to read any other book besides the Qur’an as long as he lived, a man who never intentionally hurt anyone all his life. Not only will my father receive blessings when you recite Surat al-Fatiha for his soul, but you, too, dear reader, will get your rewards as well. How will you be rewarded? Well, read on! Here is a glimpse of what you will Insha-Allah receive:
On p. 88, Vol. 1, of Mujma' al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an, at-Tibrisi cites a tradition through a chain of narrator wherein the Prophet of Islam is quoted as saying, “Whoever recites Surat al-Fatiha will be rewarded as though he had read two thirds of the Holy Qur’an and will be (in addition to that) given rewards as though he gave charity to each and every believing man and woman.” Just imagine how generous the Almighty is! Ubayy ibn Kab is cited in the same reference saying, “I once recited Surat al-Fatiha in the presence of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his progeny, who said to me, I swear by the One Who controls my life, Allah never revealed any chapter in the Torah, the Gospel, the Psalms, or (even) in the Qur’an like it. It is the mother of the Book, and it is the seven oft-repeated verses. It is divided between Allah and His servant, and His servant will get whatever he asks Him for.’”
The Messenger of Allah (ﻉ) said once to Jabir ibn Abdullah al-Ansari, one of his greatest sahaba, may Allah be pleased with all his good sahaba, “O Jabir! Shall I teach you the merits of a Sura which Allah revealed in His Book?” Jabir said, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah! May both my parents be sacrificed for your sake! Please do!” The Messenger of Allah (ﻉ) taught him Srat al-Hamd, the “Mother of the Book,” then said to him, “Shall I tell you something about it?” “Yes, O Messenger of Allah,” Jabir responded, “may my father and mother be sacrificed for your sake!” The Messenger of Allah (ﻉ) said, “It cures everything except death.” Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq is quoted on the same page as saying, “Anyone who is not cured by the Book’s Fatiha cannot be cured by anything else.” Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (ﻉ) has said,
The Messenger of Allah (ﺹ) has said, “Allah, the Exalted One, the Sublime, said to me: (O Muhammad!) We have bestowed upon you seven oft-repeated verses and the Great Qur’an (verse 87 of Surat al-Hijr); so, express your appreciation for it by reciting the Book’s Fatia,’ thus comparing it to the entire Qur’an.” Surat al-Fatiha is the most precious of the treasures of the Arsh. Allah specifically chose Muhammad (ﺹ) to be honoured by it without having done so to any of His prophets with the exception of prophet Sulayman (Solomon) who was granted (only this verse) of it: Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim (verse 30 of Chapter 27, Surat an-Naml); don’t you see how He narrates about Balqees1 saying,
“O Chiefs (of Yemen’s tribes)! Surely an honourable letter has been delivered to me; it is from Solomon, and it is: In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful...” (27:29-30)?
So whoever recites it sincerely believing that he/she is following in the footsteps of Muhammad and his progeny, abiding by its injunctions, believing in its apparent as well as hidden meanings, Allah will give him for each of its letters a good deed better than all this world and everything in it of wealth and good things.
And whoever listens to someone reciting it will receive a third of the rewards the reciter receives; so, let each one of you accumulate of such available goodness, for it surely is a great gain. Do not let it pass you by, for then you will have a great sigh in your heart about it.”2
Rewards of reciting Surat al-Fatiha are also recorded on p. 132 of Thawab al-A’mal wa Iqab al-A’mal ثواب الأعمال و عقاب الأعمال cited above. Abu Abdullah Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq has said, “Whoever recites Surat al-Baqara and Surat al-Fatiha, they will both shade him like two clouds on the Day of Judgment. And if the reader wishes to read more about the merits of the Basmala (Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Raham), he is referred to pp. 70-71 of my book Fast of the Month of Ramadan: Philosophy and Ahkam published by Ansariyan (P.O. Box 37185/187, Qum, Islamic Republic of Iran). As for the merits of Surat al-Fatiha, I would like to quote for you here what is published on pp. 71-73 of the same book:
At-Tibrisi, in his exegesis Mujma'ul-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an, provides nine names for the first chapter of the Holy Qur’an, namely Surat al-Fatiha:
1) al-Fatiha الفاتحة, the one that opens, for it is like a gate: when opened, it leads one to the Book of Allah;
2) al-Hamd الحمد, the praise, for its verses are clearly praising the Almighty;
3) Ummul-Kitab أم الكتاب, the mother of the Book, for its status is superior to all other chapters of the Holy Qur’an, or like the war standard: it is always in the forefront;
4) as-Sab’ السبع, the seven verses, for it is comprised of seven verses and the only one whose verses are seven, and there is no room here to elaborate on the merits of the number 7 especially since most readers of this book are already aware of such merits;
5) al-Mathani المثاني, the oft-repeated Chapter, for no other Chapter of the Holy Qur’an is repeated as often as this one;
6) al-Kafiya الكافية, the chapter that suffices and that has no substitute; you simply cannot replace its recitation with that of any other chapter of the Holy Qur’an in the first two rek'ats of the prayers, whereas it can substitute others;
7) al-Asas الأساس, the basis or foundation or bed-rock, a connotation of its being the foundation upon which the Holy Qur’an stands just as the Basmala (“Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim”) is the foundation of the Fatiha;
8) ash-Shifa’ الشفاء, the healing, due to the fact that the Messenger of Allah (ﻉ) has said that the Fatiha heals from all ailments except death, and 9) as-Salat الصلاة, the prayers, or the basic requirement of the daily prayers, one without the recitation of which no prayer can be accepted. The Prophet has quoted the Almighty as saying, “The prayers have been divided between Me and My servant: one half for Me, and one for him;” so when one recites it and says, “Alhamdu lillahi Rabbil-alaman,” the Almighty says, “My servant has praised Me.” And when he says, “Arrahmanir-Raham,” the Almighty says, “My servant has lauded Me.” And when he says, “Maliki Yawmid-Dan,” Allah says, “My servant has exalted Me.” And when he says, “Iyyaka Nabudu wa iyyaka nastaan,” Allah will say, “This is a covenant between Me and My servant, and My servant shall be granted the fulfillment of his pleas.” Then if he finishes reciting the Fatiha to the end, Allah will again confirm His promise by saying, “This is for [the benefit of] My servant, and My servant will be granted the answer to his wishes.”
The Messenger of Allah (ﻉ) is quoted by Abu Ali al-Fadl ibn al-asan ibn al-Fadl at-Tibrisi, may Allah have mercy on his soul, saying that one who recites al-Fatia will be regarded by the Almighty as though he recited two-thirds of the Holy Qur’an and as though he gave by way of charity to each and every believing man and woman. “By the One in Whose hand my soul is,” the Prophet continues, “Allah Almighty did not reveal in the Torah, the Gospel, or the Psalms any chapter like it; it is the Mother of the Book and as-Sab' al-Mathani السبع المثاني (the oft-repeated seven verses), and it is divided between Allah and His servant, and His servant shall get whatever he asks; it is the best Sura in the Book of the most Exalted One, and it is a healing from every ailment except poison, which is death.”
He is also quoted by al-Kaf'ami as saying,
“He (Allah) bestowed it upon me as His blessing, making it equivalent to the Holy Qur’an, saying, And We have granted you as-Sab' al-Mathani and the Great Qur’an (Surat al-ijr, verse 87).’
It is the most precious among the treasures of the Arsh.” Indeed, Allah, the most Sublime, has chosen Muhammad (ﺹ) alone to be honoured by it without doing so to any other Prophet or Messenger of His with the exception of Solomon (Solomon) who was granted the Basmala. One who recites it, being fully convinced of his following in the footsteps of Muhammad (ﺹ) and his Progeny (ع), adhering to its injunctions, believing in its outward and inward meanings, will be granted by Allah for each of its letters a blessing better than what all there is in the world of wealth and good things, and whoever listens to someone reciting it will receive one third of the rewards due to its reciter.
There is no doubt that you, dear reader, know that it is very costly to print books, and philanthropists in the Muslim world are rare and endangered species. Once you find one, you will find out that he is willing to spend money on anything except on a book! This is very sad, very tragic, very shameful. Islam spread through a Book: the Holy Qur’an.
That was all the early generations of Muslims needed besides the presence of the Messenger of Allah. But times have changed; we do not have the presence of the Messenger of Allah in our midst to ask him whenever we need to know, and his Sunnah has suffered acutely of alteration, addition, deletion, custom-designing and tailoring to fit the needs of the powerful politicians of the times, so much so that it is now very hard to find the pristine truth among all the numerous different views and interpretations. This is why the reader has to spend more effort to get to know the truth; nobody is going to hand it to you on a golden platter. You have to work hard to acquire it. “Easy come, easy go.”
Yet readers who would like to earn a place in Paradise through their dissemination of Islamic knowledge, such as the knowledge included in this book, are very much needed and are advised in earnest to send their contributions to the Publisher of this book in order to help him print more copies of it and make them available to those who cannot afford to purchase them. Some readers erroneously surmise that book publishers are wealthy people who make a lot of money selling books, but, alas, this applies ONLY to non-Muslim publishers.
After all, Allah will judge our actions according to our intentions, and if you help promote a book seeking the Pleasure of Allah, rest assured that you will be richly rewarded. It remains to see how strong you are against the temptations of Satan who will try his best, and his worst, to dissuade you from doing so. He very well knows that nothing in the world stands between him and corrupting the minds of Muslims more than accurate knowledge about Allah and the men of Allah. May Allah Taala include us among the latter, Allahomma Aameen.
May Allah Ta’ala accept our humble effort; may He forgive our sins and shortcomings; may He take our hands and guide us to what He loves and prefers, Allahomma Aameen, Wassalamo Alaikom wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
- 1. Balqees Queen of Saba’ (Sheba) belonged to the Arab tribe of Himyar which for centuries has been residing in Yemen. Her people used to worship the sun and the moon and other stars, and some of the ruins of the temples she had built for them can still be seen in Saba’. Solomon (Sulayman), on the other hand, was headquartered in Jerusalem (Ur-o-Shalom, the city of peace, as it is called in Hebrew; the Arabs used to refer to it as Eilya). The place where Balqees met Sulayman, that is to say, his palace, had been built in the 10th century B.C. Reference to the grandeur of this palace exists in 27:44: its glass-covered floor was so smooth, Balqees thought she was in front of a lake. Damascus, a very ancient city not far from Jerusalem, had by then established a reputation for its glass industry. Damascus, in 940 B.C. (around the same period of time when Sulayman was ruling in Jerusalem) was the city capital of the Aramaeans, the nations that spoke Aramaic, mother-tongue of prophet Jesus Christ (ﻉ). This is why Syria used to be called Aram, the land of the Aramaens. Aramaic is still spoken in some part of Syria even today.
- 2. at-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 1, p. 88.