Irfan And Articles of Faith

Salaamun Alaykum wa Rahmatullah. Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim. All praises are Allah's, Lord of the Worlds and may His peace and blessings be upon our master, the Holy Prophet Muhammad and his pure, immaculate Ahlhul Bayt. [Allahuma salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad].

So this is the last of the series of talks. I want to thank everyone for their very warm environment that they have led to every night. And I'm very grateful for their patience. I'd like to thank the committee for inviting me here. And also I would like to thank Sayed Mahdi Elahi and his respected family for the hospitality has shown for the last few nights.

We were speaking about Sufism, Irfan, and we had gone through some of the practical dimensions of it. And today, InshaAllah, we'll cover a few of the Sufi perspectives in relation to the articles of faith, in relation to Aqaid. Because the perspective they have in relation to the articles of faith is slightly different to that which the theologians have.

One of the prime differences is that with some of the perspectives that the theologians have in relation to different articles of faith, they are putting religion on credit. Everything will happen one day. Death, Barzakh, heaven, hell, the questioning of the angels, siraat, the coming of the Mahdi, raj'aat, all these things will happen one day. Whereas as we shall see InshaAllah tonight with the Sufis and Urafah, they want to teach religion in a manner that all these articles of faith are accessible right now in this world, moment to moment. Be it death, be it Barzakh, be it the questioning of the angels, be it the Salah and so on and so forth. So I'll go through them one by one InshaAllah, and we'll see how far we can go with this.

First is the concept of death. Is it something only for the aged or are the practical implications involved with death for us today, irrespective of our age? Do we see this as something happening after 80, 90 or 100 years? Or is dying of spiritual value even for someone at 20, 30 or 40 years of age? We have to see what the difference between spiritual and physical death is. In one domain, death is something that will happen. In one domain, we have to die moment after moment. What's the difference here? But before I go into that difference, let's just a few words on death itself.

There are two types of death that we have in Islam. One is a natural death and one is a forced death, where death is forced upon you. In the natural death, what happens is that the soul becomes independent from the body, from the physical body. Why does the soul become independent from the physical body? Because the soul has reached perfection and the soul can no longer acquire more perfection with this physical body and therefore it leaves it. It disassociates with it and that we call natural death.

It becomes perfect. It reaches a degree of perfection that it no longer can acquire more perfection with this physical body. It leaves it and that we call natural death. Now, this applies to the believers and to the non-believers. With the believers, it's when they reach perfection in virtue and they can no longer perform more virtue with this physical body, the soul leaves. The soul becomes independent from the physical body now. It leaves this physical realm. It still has a body, but now the body is in the realm of Barzakh, it's a Barzakhy body. The body's the same but it's a different realm.

Whereas with the non-believers, they also acquire perfection, but not in virtue, in vice rather. They commit such evil and they reach a level of perfection of evil that they can no longer perform more evil or more vice with this physical body and they become independent from the physical body. They die a natural death. So the process applies to both. I'm going to support all these with traditions later. So that's one difference.

However with forced death, that's something else now. That's forced death is what happens to me and you usually. Forced death can be divided into two, where we force death upon ourselves or others force death upon us. In relation to the latter is like being martyred for example, where someone's killed us. We've become martyred. They did something to our bodies that the soul could no longer, the bodies can no longer you know, bear the soul. And that's what happened with the Imams and with most of the Ma'sumeen.

Ma'sumeen in the broader sense, in relation to the 14 infallibles, they all were martyred. 'Laysa minna illa maqtulun ow masmum.' Imam Al-Sadiq alayhim assalaam said. 'We, the 14 Ma'sumeen, we were either all, we were either all killed or poisoned.' If they weren't killed, if they weren't poisoned, they would have lived forever. The concept of immortality is theoretically possible in Islam. But since we have traditions and verses of the Qur'an saying there's going to be a physical resurrection one day, everyone will die in that aspect, we say ok, otherwise physical immortality is possible, theoretically.

But then there's a forced death which we forced death upon ourselves. That is because of our sins and our lifestyle. And this applies to the believers, not to the non-believers. The non-believers they have forced death when they, when their lifestyle forces them to die. The non-believers sin, that won't decrease their life expectancy. But with the believers, it's sins which can lower their life expectancy and their lifestyle. They smoke or eat in such a manner that will lead to their death eventually. In the same way that some actions can prolong one's life, some actions can lower one's life. But in any case, that's forced death. Just wanted to clarify the different types of death that come into a tradition later InshaAllah.

Now, what some people look at death as something physical alone. It will happen after 80, 90, 100 years. But the Urafah, they see death as something spiritual. That should happen day after day. 'Mutu qablah anta mutu.' 'Die' the Holy Prophet said 'A spiritual death before you undergo the physical death.' See both types of death. The two deaths here are different, they have to be different otherwise it wouldn't make any sense. Die a physical death before you die a physical death. Die a spiritual death before you undergo that physical death at 80, 90, 100 years of age whilst you're young and competent, dies spiritually. Death meaning that transition from one realm to a higher realm. We want to see beyond. "A'indahu 'ilm ul-ghaib fa huwa yara" (53:35). Does he see the knowledge of the unseen? Does he, is the knowledge of the unseen before him so that he sees? We want to see because that kind of seeing elevates the soul.

However, "Man kaana fi hadhi a'ma fa huwa fi 'l-akhirah a'maa" (17:72). However if you never see, if you're going to be blind in this world and only see like what animals see, with a physical eye and never die and ascend and see some truths, everyone to their own capacity, well you are going to be blind in the hereafter. You have the take on death. Look at the difference between it. How one is something which is what just happened one day, but one is soul elevating.

Then Islam brings another tradition from one of the Imams, a code: "An-nauwmu akhu al-mawt". Sleep is the brother of death. Now this sleep, is it referring to, that the way the animals also sleep, that biological sleep? What is it that sleep has in common with death? The answer is Mi'raj, ascending. But with sleep it's easier because with sleeping we automatically detach from the worldly life, and we ascend. Be you Muslim or non-Muslim.

Islam has given a number of instructions before sleeping to prepare you for the Mi'raj in your sleep. "An-nauwmu akhu al-mawt", the brother of death. Here that death is the spiritual death. This is an opportunity Allah has given to us to experience what's beyond, to see the truths. Detachment from the worldly life leads you to ascend. Some people do it through sleep, some people whilst awake can detach themselves from the worldly life. Some people, when they were children, may have been abused in some way or form. They were so burdened, they become detached from the worldly life. Then they see things.

Some people may undergo hypnosis detached from the world life, they see things. In the past and the future. Some people may take hallucinatory drugs. They become detached from the world life, they see things. It's all the same mechanism. But the most safe way of detaching from the worldly life is through the Sharia and then the Tariqah. If you do it because you were abused or through other means, it's exposed to risk. You may abuse it. But if you acquire that detachment from the worldly life through the Sharia and the Tariqah, you're safe. People will be safe. You won't abuse people. You've detached how you should detach from the worldly life.

Then we come to Barzakh. What's Barzakh? Either are we going to say it's something which happens after death, putting religion on credit again, which is something we want to see or is Barzakh existing right now? Well, the answer is Barzakh exists right now because the human being is an extended creature with an earthly dimension to immaterial dimensions. You, I, man, the essence of man, is an extended creature, is multi-dimensional. One dimension is this physical dimension we have, in this physical realm. With every realm, we have a body on a par with that realm. They're all dimensions of the soul. Barzakh is a dimension of the soul, Barzakh is a dimension of you.

And then when you die, when you die, you automatically become detached from the worldly life again. You enter Barzakh. And there, there's you, the I, and there's also a body but it's not physical this time. It's the same body which was in this world which was physical, but now it's Barzakh, it's a mithali body, it's semi-immaterial. And for most people that happens after death. But we want to acquire it whilst in this world "A'indahu 'ilm ul-ghaib fa huwa yara" (53:35). We want to see beyond, not just be blind for 80, 90 years.

Barzakh is to be acquired right now. Barzakh is in our hands, action to action, we're building that dimension of the soul, that infinite dimension of the soul, which is a dimension of you. My Barzakh is different to yours, different to yours, different to yours, we're creating our Barzakh moment to moment in this world. That when we die, those actions that we incorporated within our souls become embodied in semi immaterial truths. Those actions, they build your Barzakh. If they were good actions, your Barzakh is good. If they were bad actions, it'll be bad.

After Barzakh, there is more material realms, heaven and hell. Differences in Barzakh, it's a very general, it's a transitory phase to heaven and hell, where your actions in general are monitored, your general actions will be embodied. How did you do Salah in general? Fasting in general? And so on and so forth. Whereas in Qiyamah now, since it's more refined, more immaterial, how did you do X Salah on Y day with the Z clothing? In A place, in B, with B person and so on and so forth. Becomes very exact, precise.

But perhaps there is a transitory phase. So we become familiar with that more immaterial refined realm, which is also a dimension of the soul. 'Ad-Duniya mazra'at ul-akhirah,' it's all to be acquired here. Don't put your hopes too high for after death. Elevation of the soul after death, that's a very, very long process. It's not that easy like we can elevate in this world. Everything has to acquired here for us to take there.

That's not to say those who have passed away can't elevate. It's a very, very lengthy process. In order to elevate, we need the physical body to do Salah, to do fasting. There's no physical matter in Barzakh. So what does elevation of Barzakh mean? Elevation of the soul in barazkh? Because there's no physical body there. So how is the soul elevating? Albeit at a very slow pace.

Those who have passed away amongst our friends and family, may Allah enlighten all their souls, what's their condition like? Well it's how their actions were in this world. Can they elevate? Yes, it's still possible. How? Because they don't have a physical body, but they have some dependency on the physical world. They have children. They have righteous legacies. 'Baakiyaatus saalihaat,' As long as there are children who are righteous and who pray for their parents for example. The hospital which they helped, the masjid which they helped. As long as they remain and they had their, and they had the affinity towards their righteous legacies. And the children who were praying and so on and so forth. There is some form of elevation. It's not dramatic, though.

Then in Barzakh, the traditions speak of iron rods which are piercing the body in Barzakh or the milk that you drank when you were an infant will be sucked from your brain. No one says Barzakh is physical. So what are these iron rods then? See, you rest assured, if you open the grave now, if you go to any cemetery, the corpse is there. There's no iron rods, there's no scorpions, there's no snakes. There's no milk being sucked out. There's no talking going on. These are important. We have to, you can't interpret these traditions physically. But since we're so drowned in the physical world, we interpret many traditions physically

And then some Muslims even say 'Yadu Allah,' yes, God has a hand, it's a physical hand. It's not like our physical hand, but there is a hand. But even among some sects, some people of other denominations, even you see that Barzakh, heaven, hell, they keep on interpreting it physically. It's difficult. One has to be careful. Allama Tabatabai called this kind of interpreting 'Tafsir bi 'l-ra'i.

Barzakh, everyone says, it's immaterial, semi immaterial. There's no physical matter, but there are bodies like in your dreams. There's no physical matter in your dreams, but you eat, you drink, there are bodies there. Now sometimes dreams are a construct of your brain, your brain are producing them. That's not of any value. You were so occupied in the worldly life that when you sleep, then you see your brain just playing around with all these pictures that, because you were so occupied in this world.

But those who detach themselves during the day and fill their hearts with Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, from action to action. They went to work, they ate, they had children, played with children, they had wives, they did everything, they watched television and so on and so. But it was all done Allah fully. These people are detached from the worldly life, even though they're occupied and they do all things. But there was no affinity to the worldly life. It was all done Allah fully.

These people, they will acquire access to their Barzakhi soul. It's not just a construct of the brain anymore, it's beyond that. And they can benefit. Then we come to the concept of questioning of angels. What are angels? Here Sheikh Tusi was one of the very strong scholars of the earlier centuries, he said Iblis was an angel, was a malak. Now some people suddenly attacked him and said, but the Qur'an says "Kaana min al-jinn" (18:50). Iblis was one of the jinns. Don't you think Sheikh Tusi of all people would have seen that verse?

You see, you have to, when you hear scholars saying things, strong scholars, not like people like me, but very important significant scholars speak, just listen, stop criticizing, stop questioning. Listen, silence is important. It's through silence that you will be inspired. You'll receive inspiration through silence. But those who are always mentally occupied, they keep on, you know, speaking or doing this, doing that. There's no rest. It's difficult for these people to grow.

When scholars say, these high scholars say something, just listen to what they have to say and things will come and fall into place. So why is Iblis, one of the Mala'ika here? And see what the literal definition of Mala'ika is. What does, what's the literal root of the word Mala'ika? Instead of automatically going to the technical definition of Mala'ika, which are angels, when you go to the literal root, lughatan, you see it comes from ulukah, power. There then, whatever has power, Insaan, jinn or an angel becomes part of the Mala'ika.

So these are things that we have to investigate more. That's one perspective. I'm not saying this is it. But what are angels? This has to be understood. Then when angels speak with a physical voices, were they, were they non-physical voices? When Jibra'il would speak to the Holy Messenger, if we were there, we wouldn't be able to hear. So it can't be the physical ear, hearing the voice of Jibra'il. "Fatamaththala laha basharan sawiyyan" (19:17). Archangel Gabriel appeared 'laha,' in unity with Lady Maryam as a well proportioned human being. If we were there we wouldn't have seen anything.

She ascended to immaterial realms, received Allah's knowledge, her soul converted that knowledge to pictures. One was Jibra'il as a well proportioned human being, speaking. I can dream. If I dream, the person beside me would be seeing what I'm dreaming because the dream is a product of my soul. Lady Maryam was awake and she had these visions whilst awake and she would see, but not with the physical eye, with the same eye that we see in our dreams. But she was awake. Detachment from the worldly life, communication through Allah will result, through angels.

So what form does this questioning take when we speak of the questioning of the angels? What is this questioning? They speak of two angels Nakir and Munkar. 'Man Rabbuk? Man Deenuk?' Who is your Lord? What's your religion? And so on and so forth. If a million people were to die at the same time, they would all see Nakir and Munkar. So they can't be physical then because if they were physical then they all, they would be different to one another, they can't be the same piece of immaterial realities, semi-immaterial realities. The shape the size, but there's no physical matter.

This questioning of the angels, those angels also are an embodiment of your actions. There's no physical voice asking you anything. Now Sheikh Mufid has said this and also Fayz Kashani. Fayz Kashani has spoken this way, 'Inna al-munkara ibaratun.' Munkar, that angel that we call Munkar, who will question, is defined as "'ibaratun" and "jumlatil a'maalin munkara" is defined as the collective sum of your munkar actions. The Angel Munkar, who will question you, is a collective sum of your vice, your evil actions. 'Allati fa'ala al-insan fi 'd-dunya.' Those actions, those vicious actions, those evil actions that Insan, man, did in this world. 'Ad-dunya mazra'atu al-akhirah.' Then he says "Fatamaththalat fi 'l-akhirah bi suratin munasabatin laha". Laha again here.

It is then those actions will appear as visions or apparitions on a par with those actions. They will appear in unity with that person. If you would sting people, hurt people, it will appear as snakes. If you steal you will see mice in your dreams. When you see mice, when you see snakes, it's you. It's a dimension of yourself you're seeing. Different animals. The shark is coming towards you or this or that. It's all a dimension of you, nothing outside you. What have you been doing during the day? And some people say good things. It all depends on your actions, and then it will "Fatamaththalat fi 'l-akhirah bi suratin munasabah" - to appear on a par with what those actions were.

And that's the pressure of the grave. The pressure of the grave isn't a physical squeezing of the corpse, be rest assured. Go and open all the graves, the corpse is there. Nothing is squeezed, physically. But if the 'I' is in association with a snake, predators, all these things, the 'I' is going to suffer. Joy and pain or attributes of the 'I', not of the body. The 'I', the essence of what we are, the spirit is suffering.

Because now the spirit, the body, which is in association with the spirit, is now a predator, not one or two, no. How much have you acted evilly? That's going to be horrible. You can't even bear it. In our sleep, when a shark attacks, we wake up or if a wolf attacks, we wake up or if a dog attacks, we wake up. There's no waking up there. In the same way that pain is much worse in the semi-immaterial realm than in the physical realm, joy is much better. It's much more perfect in the semi-immaterial realm than in the physical realm.

Then we speak about the Siraat, the bridge. Is it the physical bridge? Is it the same bridge for all? Some people say it's a bridge. They say it's physical and we'll see it one day. But the Urafa have a different outlook on this again. They don't see the bridge as outside the soul, it's within you. You are the bridge. "Ya aiyuha alladheena amanu 'alaykum anfusakum" (5:105). Observe your souls, you who have faith. Observe your souls, be careful, observe it. Go on the straight path. "La yadurrukum man dalla idha tadaytum" (5:105). One who strays can't hurt you if you are guided. If you are guided. "Alaykum anfusakum." Observe your souls. If you are guided, no one can hurt you. The Siraat is within. In Chapter 5 verse 105, in Al-Mizaan, Allama Tabatabai refers to this verse.

Now, there's one tradition I want to go through which covers most of the points we've mentioned. I think most of you have heard this tradition and if you've heard it from me, I apologize for repeating this again. If you haven't, there may be some dimensions you haven't paid attention to. 'Innahu kana qa'idan ma'a ashabihi fi 'l-masjid.' The Holy Prophet was sitting in the mosque one day with his companions. 'Fa samee'u, haddatan adhema.' Then the companions or they all, they heard a loud mighty sound. 'Fa artaa'u.' They all got scared. 'Fa qala at-ta'rifuna ma haadhihi al-hadda?' The Holy Prophet said 'Do you know what this sound was?'

Already from the terminology here, the terms used, you can hint that it's not a physical sound here. 'Do you know what that sound was? The Holy Prophet said to the companions. 'Qalu' Allah wa Rasuluhu a'lam. Allah knows, His Messenger knows.' They had no idea. It wasn't something they've heard before. It wasn't a physical sound. 'Qala,' the Holy Prophet said, 'Hijrun - it was a stone.' 'Ulghiyah min a'la jahannam mundhu sabaa'eena sana. It was a stone thrown from the top of hell 70 years ago.' 'Wa al-'ana wasala illa qariha.' Right now it's reached its bottom. Now is this hell something physical that they can go and see the stone? Of course not.

'Fa qala min usulihi ila qariha wa sukutihi feeha hadhihi al-hadda.' This sound was it's going down and reaching the bottom of hell. Then the tradition continues - 'Fama faragha min qalamihi.' Just as the words of the Holy Prophet had come to an end, 'Illahu wa suraahu fi darim munafiq min al-munafiqeen.' At the same time, there were cries of lamentations heard from the house of one of the hypocrites, nonbelievers. That martyr, that hypocrite had died.

'Wa qana umruhu saba'eena sana.' Actually his life was of 70 years of age. 'Fa qala,' the Holy Messenger said, 'Allahu Akbar. Fa alimat al Ulamah us-sahabah.' The Ulamah, Ulamah isn't the plural of Aalim, the plural of Aalim is Aalimun or Aalimeen and we have these words in Qur'an. Ulamah is the plural of 'Aleem and you don't have to be a seminary student to be 'Aleem, anyone can be 'Aleem, and not all seminary student are 'Aleem. And some non-seminary students are 'Aleem. But Ulamah, they're 'Aleem, they have gnosis of the truth, gnosis with a G. Those who were amongst the Ulamah of the Companions, they knew. They acknowledged that: 'anna hadha al-hajara huwa dhalika al-munafiq.' That the stone was the munafiq, the stone was the hypocrite. I'll explain this in a minute. 'Wa annahu mundhu khalaqahu Allah Ta'ala.' And since Allah created him from birth. 'Yahwi fi jahannam,' he was in hell. These have to be explained. I'll come to all of them in a minute.

Since creation he was in hell. 'Wa balagha umruhu.' All this hell can't be something physical because we know where he was from birth. 'Wa balagha umruhu sabaa'eena sana.' And his age reached seventy years. 'Fa lamma mata hassana fi qarawa, and he died when he reached the bottom of hell. Now let's go through these points, it's important here. When he reached the bottom, he died. Remember that classification of death when the soul has reached perfection in vice and no longer can acquire more perfection in vice, the soul will disassociate with the body. And one will die. Here, he reached the bottom. His bottom was reached. He died. He couldn't perform more perfection in vice, in evil.

'Ta jussumu a'maal,' embodiment of one's actions. Remember: "hadha al-hajara huwa dhalika al-munafiq". The munafiq was the stone, the stone was the munafiq. Embodiment of one's actions. Just like a stone that never evolves, the lack of that spiritual evolution of the soul of the munafiq. All his life he never evolved spiritually. He will be embodied as a stone after death. Even before death, but he doesn't see it, but after death, he'll see it and that's going to be painful.

Why was the munafiq always in hell since he was created by Allah? The Nafsul Ammarah, the soul that commands one to evil. The soul is one but depending on it's status quo, it's given different names. Sometimes it's called Ammarah bi 's-sou,' Lawwamah, Mutma'innah, and so on and so forth. It's one soul though. We don't have three souls. Depending on it's status quo, Allah has given different names to it.

At four months gestation in the mother's womb, when the 'I' arises, the spirit, the Nafsul Ammarah rises too. And until puberty, with children, that Nafsul Ammarah, that soul which commands them to do, you know, bad things when they're children. Sometimes we have it in English. Say 'Oh you little devil,' for example, 'You did that.' Until puberty it's harmless, even if they sin, it's harmless to them. They're all in hell, but that's harmless for them. But after puberty, if they continue their ways, it won't be harmless. It'll be harmful if they act against the Shariah.

This munafiq, ok like me and you, was residing in hell, but then a harmless hell, nothing serious. But after puberty, where we follow the Shariah, this munafiq continued, he was always in hell, alleit that initial help not being harmful. And finally, if we were there, we may not have heard that sound. That sound was an apparition. It wasn't heard with the physical ear. And here, the Holy Prophet allowed them to hear this with his Wilayatu al-Taqwini, his providential authority that he had over the cosmos in order for them to take a lesson.

OK, going back to the Aqaid, different articles of faith. Next is heaven and hell. Where is it? Is it a place? Is it physical or not? Can it be acquired before physical death? As I said, the man is an extended creature with an earthly dimension to immaterial dimensions. Heaven and hell, dimensions of the soul. It's not outside you. It's a dimension of you. You're creating your heaven and hell from action to action right now.

Don't look at it being outside you, a place where it's physical and the red monster waiting to whip you or burn you. Why should they whip you or burn you? And then you see the child, for example, asks, 'Why should there be such a devil with horns and everything whipping us, burning us?' You say 'Because God wants so. You did bad actions, God punished you.'

It's nothing to do with Allah. What kind of a God is that? There's no reason why God should punish anyone. Look at the reasons why man punishes man. None of those qualify in relation to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala. He doesn't get angry. It's not for educational purposes because that's the end of the road.

There's no reason why He should punish, rather, you've punished yourself. Tajassumu al-a'mal - embodiment of one's actions.

You polluted the soul by not praying, by drinking alcohol, by being bad to your neighbours, by being bad to your parents, by swearing. You're polluting yourself. You take drugs, you're polluting the soul. You drink alcohol, you're polluting the soul. Life is like a film. You're the director of this film. At the end, you're going to see the quality of this film.

But you're the director. Action to action, in this world, you're building your heaven or hell. It's a dimension of you and you'll see it. But there's no one waiting to burn you. And then you say, 'So why? Why are you burning me?' 'Because we want you to go to heaven afterwards. Cleanse you.' ' Well, I don't want to go to heaven, so stop the burning.' Whereas if you do all these things, it's a dimension of yourself you've built. You can't be separate from it. If you remember Chapter three, verse thirty-one,  "Tawaddu law anna baynahaa wa baynahu" (3:30). I can't remember exactly. "Amadan ba'eeda." If only there was a distance between me and those evil actions, that impossible if. You can't, you can't be separate from yourselves. You are your actions.

There are two stories here, I mentioned them. Once Amir ul-Mu'minin was returning from one of the wars with his companions, he saw a skull on the side of the road. He told one of his companions to bring the skull and he brought it. It's in Amir ul-Mu'minin 's hands now. He said 'Who are you to the skull?' The skull was physical in the hands of Amir ul-Mu'minin . And they all heard a sound, a reply, and the skull wasn't speaking. It wasn't even moving. But they all heard the person who used to have that skull when they were alive, who is now in hell. He said 'I am one of the Kings of Persia and for me to come into power, I had to do this action, that action. Kill this many people, do that many things. And right now I am being burned and bitten by scorpions and this and that. Right now, moment to moment.

See heaven and hell exist right now. Whenever we die, Barzakh starts for you. Then you go to heaven or hell, depending on your actions. But it exists right now. It's not as if one day it will happen. That one day is a physical resurrection. Yes, one day events will happen in relation to the Earth, it won't get destroyed, but the events "Wa idha al-bihaaru fujjirat" (82:3), and so on and so forth. When the seas merge and so on. Yes, this is a reality and it has a lot of important meanings, we don't have the time here. I've spoken about it elsewhere. But spiritual resurrection, spiritual qiyamah starts after death. Many people are in hell right now. They're in heaven right now, somewhere in their Barazakhs right now.

In another tradition, this is in Usul al-Kafi or in Rosaatul Kafi rather, sorry. Here, one of the earlier Prophets, in those days, there were no dreams, according to this tradition. There was no dreams and the Prophet would come and speak about heaven and hell to the people. So they take lesson from heaven and hell and they wouldn't listen. Then Allah allowed them to start this process of dreaming. And then when it first started, they went to the Prophet and said we explained the dreams, we saw these things, it wasn't physical and so on and so forth, during our sleep. And the Prophet said this is heaven and hell. In Arabic, we are referring to that immaterial reality, rather than it being something, a physical place.

It's a different set of laws governing heaven and hell than the laws of nature governing this physical realm. It's different. It's a Yawm al-Akhir, it's another realm. It's another manifestation. But since we're drowned in this physical realm, it's interpreted like that. Although it doesn't matter. Many theologians accept that. It's some, heaven and hell will be physical and if you believe that, there's nothing wrong, it's ok. I'm just giving the Sufi perspective here. I'm not saying this is right or that's wrong, but it has connotations. It has its differences. It's important and oh it is important to understand. You need to believe in it. If you just believe in something without understanding nothing, if you understand nothing and say I believe in that kind of hell, that's not going to be of any use to you. Aqaid has to be understood for the soul to elevate.

Then we come to the Mi'raj. Now some people speak of it, angels coming, physical angel coming and knocking on the door and calling the Holy Messenger 'Come, let's go on this donkey and let's go up.' Physically, as if going up physically has any value. Those who go up with Apollo, for example, do they become Holy People? Any value going up? Does history ever record the Holy Prophet having a donkey called Buraq? See, these things we keep on interpreting them physically.

Now, from Masjid al-Haram to Masjid al-Aqsa, it's ok if we say it was a physical experience. There's no impediment because it's rationally possible. But when the Holy Prophet is traveling through the heavens, a journey of the soul, realms which the matter doesn't even exist, there's no physical reality there. Journeying into the heavens now, there's no insistence upon the fact that that had to be physical too. There was a physical tree right at the top of the heavens. Although some of the Urafah also accept even the horizontal Mi'raj from Masjid al-Haram to Masjid al-Aqsa, they don't accept that either.

Then the, all the Prophets came and prayed behind the Holy Prophet. If you look at that, if you take that to be a physical reality, Allama Tabatabai says. But they've passed away, referring to the fact that if they were to come the physical form, it will be reincarnation that you're seeing. You see, this is the problem though. Many things in Aqaid, if you don't endeavour to understand and just say because he said so, that other. You'll be believing in reincarnation if you don't be careful without knowing it.

Although we don't have time to go into reincarnation, but these things, I have spoken about it here, I'm just referring to them. Chapter 43, verse 45: "Was'al man arsalna min qablika mir Rusulina" (43:45). To the Holy Prophet in relation to the Mi'raj, 'Ask those that we have sent before you amongst the Messengers.' Ask but they have all passed away. Who is he asking? Allama Tabatabai says 'Yes, the Prophet did see all the Messengers, but they were all Barzakhi visions.' They were all 'Tamathulatun Barzakhiyah'. All of them.

There were no physical reality there. What does that mean? Look at the other traditions. Opens the code to open the meaning of other traditions: 'Anna dharu ila waji' Ali Ibadaatun - Seeing the face of Ali is Ibadaat.' Or the munafaqeen would see Ali every day. Was that Ibadaat? And was only limited when the physical Ali, alayhi as-salaam, was alive? Or can we see Amir ul-Mu'minin today? "Fatamaththala laha basharan sawiyya" (19:17). In the same way Lady Maryam saw Archangel Gabriel, product of the soul, product of her spiritual ascension. She saw Archangel himself. Amir ul-Mu'minin is higher than Archangel Gabriel. His spirit is freer. We can see them too. Here then Mahdawiyat becomes different. Some people limit Mahdawiya - 'One day it will happen.' Where it may take hundred thousand years from now. No, there's no impediment to that. All these playing of the signs, it's a mockery of religion.

Every fifty years the same signs are used. Oh, we're looking at the Syria, what's happening in Syria now? That they say Sayed Hassan Nasrullah is this, Ayatollah Khamenei is that. It's playing with religion. Imam, in one of his works said he may come in a hundred, his coming is definite. It's a physical coming. It may come in a hundred thousand years time. He has this in one of his works. A hundred thousand years time. Are we just going to lie in waiting? We are going to die in seventy years. So what does Intidhaar mean?

How are you going to await? These are meanings we have to understand. No, we also believe we can see the Mahdi, not necessarily the physical Mahdi. That's of no benefit if we were to see the physical Mahdi. If you're a thief, you're going to remain a thief on seeing the physical Mahdi. You want to see the tamaththulat. We want to see the Mahdi, we want to see Amir ul-Mu'minin as a result, a product of the soul, as a result of our Mi'raj. Whilst awake.

Not with the physical eye though. These things have to be explored. See all, I'm only saying these for you to appreciate. And the younger you are, the better. That there are many deep layers in religion. It's not a straightforward thing. It's multi-dimensional and there are many other things one can say but for Tawhid, we have to, I don't want too on it, it's ok.

It's attributed to Plato. Afflatun that he said. 'Laa yakunu muwahiddun muwahhida - the monotheist won't be a true monotheist until 'Malam yakul alfa siddiq innahu zindeeq - until a thousand friends of his don't say he's a kafir.' A monotheist won't be a true monotheist. The monotheist sees Barzakh as this something. The friends say 'Oh he is a kafir.' He sees heaven and hell a s something else, they say 'Oh he is a kafir. He sees Tawhid in another way, say 'Oh he is a kafir.' They keep on, they don't understand, so they call him a kafir, until a thousand friends call him a kafir. And that was attributed to Plato. It's authenticity, we don't know, but Imam Sajjad, alayhi as-salam, attributed to him is this. 'Inni la aktumu min 'ilmi jawahira - verily, I conceal the substance of my knowledge. He's concealing it. 'Kayla yara al-haqqa dhu jahlin fa yufattituna - so that the ignorant don't become aware of it, because if they do become aware, aware of it, yufattituna, they'll cut me into pieces.'

You see. 'Wa qatta qaddama feeha dhaa Abu Hasan - this was the case with Abul Hasan Amir ul-Mu'minin. Ila al-Husayni wa wassa qablahu al-Hasanah - how we instructed Imams Hasan and Husayn to act in such a way. Wa rubba jawhar 'ilmin law abuhu bih - there's so much 'ilm, that were I to disclose it, La qeelali anta mim maya'budu al-wadhana, it would be said to me that you're amongst those who worship idols.'

The ignorance you see. Where ignorance can take you. 'Wa la istahalla rijalun Muslimuna dami -Muslims would deem the spilling of my blood as legitimate.' If I were to tell them the layers of knowledge Imam Sajjad has. 'Yarawna aqbaha ma ya'tunahu hasana - they would regard the most ugliest of actions proper when it comes to me,' Imam Sajjad.

In another tradition from Alhul Bayt, 'Inna li 'l-Qur'ana dhahran wa batnan. The Quran has an outer dimension, it has an inner dimension. Wali batnihi batna - and every inner dimension has a further inner dimension, Ila sabati abdun. Keep on continuing the same, seven times over. In some traditions, it says 70 times over. In some traditions, seventy thousand, there's no end to Allah's knowledge.

So I just wanted to explain these points because I think it's important. Remember the letter at the beginning, the first day, that Imam said 'This is the way to introduce Islam to the West.' InshaAllah, you have a better idea of what Imam was trying to convey, InshaAllah. Ok, a few words of musibat and then we'll end InshaAllah. We have abundant references in the Shia traditions and in the Sunni traditions, that they're so abundant that it leads to one's certainty.

Now, this today I want to go through five or six different Sunni authoritative references highlighting the things that happened after the demise of the Holy Prophet. Malik, who is one of the heads of the four schools of jurisprudence in the Sunni world, he has a book called Muwattah and in Hadith number five four five, it's narrated that, 'Anna Rasul Allah tawaffiya yawma al-ithnain.' The Holy Messenger died on a Monday. So the 28th of Safar that year was a Monday. 'Wa ad-duffina yawma thulatha. The Holy Messenger was buried on the Tuesday. 'Wa salla an-nas alayhi afdhadhan.' And people prayed there at the grave separately, furadah, according to him.

I want to go day after day, just analyze the events. Only a few companions were present in Saqifah and they gave, those who were present gave allegiance to Abu Bakr. On the same day, now this is on the 28th of Safar in Sahih Bukhari, Ayesha is narrated as having said 'La qad khawwafah Umaru an-nas.' Umar scared the people in Saqifah. 'Wa inna feehim la nifaqah.' The people were afflicted with nifaq as a result of that. So they went and gave allegiance quickly.

In the history of Tabariyyan, Ibn Athir on the same day, 28th of Safar, they say 'Fabaya'ahu Umar, wabaya'ahu an-nas.' Umar gave allegiance to Abu Bakr and the people gave allegiance to Abu Bakr. 'Wa qalati l-Ansar, that the Ansar said,' those who became friends with the Medinans in Medina, when the Holy Prophet made the migration to Medina. They said, 'Oh ba'zu 'l-Ansar - Oh some of the Ansar said.' 'La nubayyia'u illa Aliya - we're not going to pay allegiance save to Ali.'

And then it was decided to get, on the 28th of Safar in Saqifah, it was decided then to get Ali's allegiance so the rest will follow peacefully. On the 29th of Safar, Tuesday, now this was the day of the burial. There were no traces of Abu Bakr and Umar at the burial. Two references. One is early third century after Hijrah. Ibn Abi Shaybah, he narrates from Ibn Numir, who narrates from Hisham Ibn Urwah, from his father, who said 'Anna Aba Bakr wa Umar lam yash-hada daffnan an-Nabi - Abu Bakr and Umar were not present at the burial of the Prophet.' 'Qana fi 'l-Ansar - they were with the Ansar.' They had this other agenda that they had to achieve. 'Fa ad-duffina qabla ayyarjah - and the Prophet was buried before they returned.' That's in hadith number thirty seven thousand and forty six.

Ibn Hambal, one of the heads of the Schools of Jurisprudence in his musnad, he narrates from Ayesha as having said, 'Ma alimna bi 'd-daffni Rasuli Allah hatta sami'tu, sawta al-masaahi min akhiri 'l-laylil arbi'aa.' We had no knowledge of the burial of the Holy Prophet until I heard the noises of the spades on the eve of Wednesday, meaning that Tuesday night. Also on the Tuesday, what happened was Abu Bakr was taken to the mosque, officially recognized as the Khalifa, and those who don't pay allegiance were politically threatened. On Wednesday, the 30th of Safar, some reports say it was the first direct threat to Ali's house, which was realized on the 30th of Safar. There were many direct threats, comings and goings to the residence of Ali. But the first, according to many scholars, was on the 30th of Safar. Before that Ali, alayhi as-salam, Lady Fatimah, alayha as-salam, on the 28th and 29th would make these night rounds, going to people's houses, doing amr bil ma'ruf, reminding people of their rights.

Ibn Qutibah, who I recited from last night, also who died in the third century, he describes these night rounds in his book, Al-Imamah Wa As-Siyasah. And he says this, 'Wa kharaja Aliyyun karrama Allahu wajha.' Ali left, may his face be dignified. We explained that last night what that meant. 'Yahmilu Fatimah bint Rasuli Allah 'ala da'bbatin laylan.' Ali left, sitting Fatimah on a four legged creature and the two of them left at night. Where? 'Fi majaalisi al-Ansar - to the houses of the Ansar. Tas alluhum an-nusra - requesting their assistance and help. Fa kanu yaghurun.'

So Amir ul-Mu'minin alayhi as-salam, Lady Fatimah alayha as-salam, they're making these night rounds, reminding people of what the Prophet said, who should be the wali after him. He says these to the people and then 'Fa kanu yaghulun.' The people replied, 'Ya bint Rasuli Allah, oh Daughter of the Holy Prophet.' Now Amir ul-Mu'minin was there, Lady Fatimah was there, but they adressed Lady Fatimah, alayha as-salam. See, she was a divine figure. She looked like the Prophet, she would talk like the Prophet. Amir ul-Mu'minin was there but they addressed the Holy Lady.

'Ya bint Rasuli Allah.' This is Ibn Qutaybah saying this. 'Qad matat bay'atunaa li hadha al-rajul.' Our allegiance to that man, referring to Abu Bakr, has past now, its over, we've done it. This is on the 30th of Safar or after the 28th, rather. 'Wa law anna zawjaki wa abna amnaki sabagh ilayna qabla Abu Bakr ma adalnaa bih.' If your husband, referring to Amir ul-Mu'minin, if your cousin, the paternal uncle's son, if your husband, if your cousin had come to us before Abu Bakr had come, we wouldn't have reverted to Abu Bakr. Now look how Amir ul-Mu'minin was feeling in front of Lady Fatimah. These people speaking in such a manner.

'Faya qulu Ali, karram Allahu wajha.' Then Ali had to defend himself. Ali looked upon Lady Fatimah with high esteem. Ali said, "Afa kuntu ada'u Rasul Allah fi baytih? - Should I have abandoned the corpse of the Prophet in his house? 'Lam adfanhu? - Should I not have buried him? 'Wa akhruju unazi un-nas sultanah - and rather debate with the people concerning power and authority? Fa qalat Fatimah.' Lady Fatimah put Ali's mind at rest. She said 'Ma sana'a Abu 'l-Hasan illaa ma kana yanbaghi lah.' That which he did, that which came from Amir ul-Mu'minin, was befitting for Amir ul-Mu'minin, he did the right thing. However, 'Wa laqad sana'u maa lil-Lah haseebuhum wa ta'alibuhum.' They too did something in which Allah will suffice, vis-a-vis, their being summoned one day.

In another tradition also from Ibn Abi Shaybah, who died in the year 235, hadith number 37,045 'Annahu heena abuyyi'a li Abi Bakr ba'da Rasuli Allah.' When Abu Bakr was being given allegiance to after the Holy Messenger, 'Kaana Aliyyun wa Zubayr yadkhuluna 'ala Fatimah wa yushawiroonaha.' These are Sunni references. You have to be blind not to appreciate the status of Lady Fatimah. When he was given allegiance to Abu Bakr, Ali and Zubayr entered the presence of Lady Fatimah and consulted with her, you see.

'Wa yartaji'oona fi amrihim.' Then they returned doing their own matters, which was trying to guide people on the right path, reminding them where Wilayah is. 'Fabalagha dhaalika Umar.' Umar got to know of this. 'Faja'a ila Fatimah' and went to Fatimah. 'Fa qala' Umar said 'Ya bint Rasuli Allah - O Daughter of the Messenger of Allah.' 'Wal-Laahi, I swear by Allah, ma min al-khalq ahabbu ilayya min abeek.' There's no creation more loving to me than your father, Umar said. 'Wa ma min ahadin ahabbu ilaynaa ba'da abeek mink - and for us there's no one more loving after the Holy Prophet that you.'

'Wa aymul-Llah - I swear by Allah.' 'Ma dhalika bimaani'ee in ijtama'a ha'ulaa innafaru indaki an amu Rabbihim anyuhraqa 'alayhimu 'l-bayt.' But this will not act as an impediment for me that when those people, Ali and Zubayr, come to you again and assemble there, it won't act as an impediment for me to order the burning of the house upon you all.

'Falamma kharaja Umar ja'uha.' When Umar left, those two, Amir ul-Mu'minin and Zubayr, maybe others, they came. 'Fa qalat' Lady Fatimah said, 'Ta'lamuna' Do you know that 'Anna Umara qad ja'ani.' Umar came to me. 'Wa qad halafa bi-Llah.' He swore by Allah. 'Lain 'udtum,' if you were to return here and assemble here, 'layughriqanna 'alaykumu 'l-bab.' He most certainly will burn down the door. 'Wa aymul-Llah - I swear by Allah.' 'La yumdhiyanna ma halafa 'alayh - he will execute that which he swears by.'

Baladhuri, who died in the year 279, an authoritative Mu'tazalite Sunni, his books are very authoritative. In the book Ansabu al-Ashraaf, he said, 'Inna Aba Bakr, arsala ila Ali yureedu 'l-bay'ah.' Abu Bakr sent someone to Ali, he wanted allegiance. 'Fa lam yubaa'yih.' Ali didn't give allegiance. 'Faja'a Umar wa ma'ahu fateelatun.' Umar came accompanied with a burning fire. 'Fata laghtathu Fatimah ala al-bab.' He encountered Fatimah at the door. 'Fa qalaat Fatimah ya Ibna al-Khataab! Aturaqa muharriqan alayya babi.' 'I see, Oh Umar, I see that you want to burn me on this door. You want to burn this door with me here.' 'Qala,' Sunni reference. Umar said 'Na'am - yes. Wa dhalika aqwaa feema jaa'abihi abuk.' This action will indeed strengthen your father's religion.

Another scholar, Shahristani, in Al-Milal Wa al-Nihal, narrates from Nadhaam, early sixth century. He says 'Inna Umar, dharaba batna Fatimah yawma al-bay'ah.' Umar hit the stomach of Fatimah on the day of allegiance. 'Hatta alghatil janin min batna,' until the foetus was aborted in the womb. 'Wa qana yaseehu,' Umar cried out loud. 'Ahriqu daraha bi man feeha.' Burn the house down with those in it. 'Wa ma qana fi 'd-dar,' the historian says, 'No one was in the house.' 'Ghayru, except, Aliyin wa Fatimah, wa al-Hasan wa al-Husayn.'

And finally, Dhahabi's teacher by the name of Juwayni, very, very extreme Sunnis, what they've said against the Alhul Bayt. But even in their sources, look what they've said here. This was written in the early 8th century. Here, he recalls the Prophet's foretelling what was to happen to Fatimah alayha as-salam. Now, this is now a tradition from the Holy Prophet that Juwayni is saying. So the Prophet said 'Wa inni lama ra'ituha.' Whenever I see Fatimah alayha as-salam, 'Dhakartuma yusna'u biha ba'di.' I recall that which is to occur to her after me. 'Ka anni biha - it's as if I'm seeing it,' the Prophet is saying. During the time of the Prophet, it's as if I'm seeing it. 'Wa qad dhakhala adh-dhul fi baytiha.' Wretchedness, it's as if I'm seeing it.

Wretchedness will enter the house. 'Wa antuhiqat hulmatuha' - her sanctity will be smashed'. 'Wa qusiqah haqquha' -her rights will be usurped. 'Wa muni'at insuha' - her inheritance will be suppressed.' 'Wa qusirat jambuha' - her side will be broken.' 'Wa asqatat janinaha' - her foetus will be aborted.' 'Wa hiyyat hunadi,' the Prophet is saying 'As if I'm seeing it and she will cry out loud. Ya Muhammadah! Fala tujaab?' But she won't be answered. 'Fa takuna awwala man talhiquni min Ahli Bayti' - she will be the first of my Alhul Bayt who will join me. 'Wa taqdima alay' - she will join me in a state of mahzunatan - grief. 'Maqlubatan' - opressed, 'maqmumatan' - saddened and 'maqtulatan' - martyred.'

'Alaa la'natu Alllahi ala al-qawmi adh-dhaalimeen. Wa salla-Llahu 'aala Muhammad, wa 'aala at-taahirin.'

A few du'as to end. Oh Allah! We're all sinners. Forgive us our sins. Strengthen us against all satanic temptations. Guide us on the right path. Enlighten the souls of our friends and family who have passed away. Hasten the advent of the 12th Imam, our Saviour of mankind. Help all oppressed people against the oppressors, strengthen the Muslims against the forces of global arrogance. Bi an-Nabi wa 'alahi as-salawaat. [Allahuma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'Aali Muhammad].