Lecture by Br. Khalil Jaffer on Proving of the existence of the Real World and the Veil of Heedlessness (ghitaa al-ghafla). The Mechanics behind the Scene. How the Real World functions.
'A'udhu bil-Lahi min al-Shaytan al-rajim. Bismil-Lah, al-Rahman, al-Rahim. Al-hamdulil-Lahi Rabbi 'l-alameen, bari' al-khalaa'iqi ajma'een. Wa as-salat wa as-salam 'ala asharafi al-Anbiya'i wa al-Mursalin, Sayyidina, wa Nabiyyina, wa habibi qulubina, wa tabibi nufusina, wa shafi'i dhunubina, Abil Qasim Muhammad. [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]. Thumma as-salatu wa assalam 'ala aali baytihi, at-tayyibin, at-taharin, al-madhlumin. Wa la'anatu Allahi al a'da'ihim ajma'in min yawmi 'adawatihim ila yawm id-deen. Amma ba'd, faqad qal Allahu tabaraka wa taa'la fi kitabih. Bismillahi, al-Rahman, al-Rahim. Wa ma hadhihi al-hayat ud-dunya illa lahwun wa la'ib wa inna ad-dar al-akhirata lahiya al-hayawan law kanu ya'lamun.(29:64). Salawat ‘ala Muhammad [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad].
This is the first in a series of five majlises InshaAllah that we have entitled Glimpses of the Real World. The verse of the Qur'an that I have had the honour of reciting before you right now is from Surat-ul 'Ankabut which is Chapter 29 of the Qur'an verse 64. Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala tells us "Wa ma hadhihi al-hayat ud-dunya illa lahwun wa la'ib" (29:64) - and what is the life of this world except a pass-time and a game? What is the life of this world except an idle pass-time and a play? "inna ad-dar al-akhirata lahiya al-hayawan", but the home that is in the hereafter, that is real life, "law kanu ya'lamun, if only they knew." Salawat 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad. [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad].
When you look at the verse with a little more attention, you see that based on how Allah ends the verse, there is an expression of regret and remorse. "Law kanu ya'lamun" - if only they knew. We normally express this sort of remorse or regret when something is right beneath our feet but we do not see it. When something is right besides us, but we do not see it. For example, if I was standing on the ground and just below my feet there was a pot of gold, you would say if only he knew, if only he knew. "inna ad-dar al-akhirata ", the home that is in the Hereafter, that is real life, "lahiya al-hayawan", "law kanu ya'lamun", if only they knew.
From this we understand that what Allah is trying to tell us, that the life that is actually the real life, is right within your grasp and not beyond your reach, but you do not see it. And that is why you will see that the Qur'an again and again refers to this world as a world of illusion. There are some ahadith that also point in this direction, but if we do not understand what we mean by saying this world is a world of illusion, then it could mislead us.
For example, the famous hadith of Amir Al-Mu'minin, salawat Allahi wa as-salamu alayh Amir Al-Mu'minin, salawatullahi wa salamahu 'alayh [Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad], where he says "Al-nasu niyamun, idha maatu intabahu - people are asleep, when they die they wake up." Another very similar saying you will find in Nahjul Balagha, when you look at the last part of Nahjul Balagha where the sayings are. If you look at saying number 64, you will see that he says, "The people of this world are like travellers who are being carried while they're asleep."
So some Muslim thinkers have come up with the idea that the whole experience of life is actually an illusion, that nothing is really happening, that because everything is on the basis of predestination, whatever we experience is simply a figment of Allah's imagination. Na'udhu bil-Lah. And they produce these traditions and these ayats of Qur'an to say that this is all a dream, it is an illusion, you are asleep. One day you will wake up and realise that nothing ever happened.
Because there are ayaats of Qur'an that say that, on that day, they will feel as if they had lived for only half a day or even less (23:113). Or they will feel as if they existed for only one hour or even less. So what is it that we mean from the perspective of the Ahlul Bayt, alayhum as-salam, when we say that this life is an illusion, what do we mean? What we mean is that the real world is actually present with us right now, we exist in that real world, but there is a veil that distorts and hides this real world from us, either because the five senses of the human being are limited and therefore they cannot perceive it, or because of other reasons that we shall discuss InshaAllah in the nights to come, that this veil is dropped between us and the real world. And we shall refer to this veil as the veil of heedlessness, "Ghitaa' al-Ghafla".
So this is just setting the initial understanding, that when we say this world is an illusion, because in the next five nights InshaAllah, I will repeatedly say that this world that you think is real is not real, and the real world is something else. So whenever I say this world is not real, I do not mean it is something you are imagining, it does not really exist. What I mean is there is more to than what meets the eye, but there is a veil that stops us from seeing that real world.
Now having understood this, we move on. We bring in another ayat of Qur'an to show that there is a real world that is much more alive than what we think. We think we are alive and when people die, we say they are dead. But as we shall see, it is actually we who are dead. Those who die are the ones who become alive. Surah Bani Israel or Surat ul-Israa', chapter 17, verse 44: "Tusabbihu lahu as-samaawat ul-sab'u wa al-ardh wa man fi hinna"(17:44), the seven heavens glorify Allah and the earth and whatever is contained in them, "wa in min shay'in illa yusabbihu bi hamdih wa laakin la tafqahuna tasbihahum"(17:44), and there is not a thing in it, in this seven heavens and in this earth, there is not a thing in it but that it glorifies Allah and praises Him but you do not understand their tasbih. "Wa in min shay'in", there is not a thing "illa yusabbihu bi hamdih" it glorifies Allah "wa laakin la tafqahuna tasbihahum", you do not understand this tasbih. You think it is dead. It is not dead. It is alive.
And if we bring this realisation to our minds, and this is the point that I will be trying to convince you for the next five nights, that if we change our lives so that we go through life with this idea that everything around me is alive, then we will be more conscious of our surroundings, of our environment, and it will change how we behave in society. It will change how we behave as human beings. Supposing you lift a pebble and from the pebble, you hear "Subhana Allah, subhana Allah, subhana Allah". How will you treat that pebble? Will you pluck a leaf from a tree if that leaf is doing tasbih of Allah?
And then verse 45 after it: "Wa idha qara'ta al-Qur'ana ja'alna baynaka wa bayna alladhina la yu'minuna bil aakhirati hijaaban mastura"(17:45) , and when you recite the Qur'an, then we place a veil between you and those who do not believe in the Hereafter, a hidden veil. Allah does not say when you recite the Qur'an, I place a veil between you and the kaafireen, or between you and the mushrikeen, or between you and the munafiqeen. He says I place a veil between you and those who do not believe in the real world. So there is a veil, and when one recites the Qur'an as it deserves to be recited, then that veil is lifted, and when one moves away from the Qur'an then one is behind the same veil as the one who does not believe in the hereafter.
The difference, of course, between the atheist and the monotheist is that even though both may not be able to see the real world and both may be veiled from the real world, the atheist argues that if I can not see it, smell it, touch it, sense it with my five senses, then it doesn't exist. Whereas the believer says the primary attribute of being a believer is to believe in the unseen. Even the Qur'an cannot guide you if you do not believe that there is a world that is unseen.
"Dhalika al-kitab la rayba fih, huddan li il-muttaqeen" (2:2), this Qur'an is a book, there is no doubt in it, a guide for the pious. "Alladheena yu'minuna bi il-ghayb"(2:3), those who believe in the unseen. So belief in the unseen is primary. And unless one is willing to accept that there is a lot around me that is unseen, one cannot move beyond that. "Wa in min shay'in illa yusabbihu bi hamdih wa laakin la tafqahuna tasbihahum"(17:44). Now when you keep this in mind that everything is doing tasbih, now you open the Qur'an page after page and you will see everything around you is alive, you just don't see it.
The Qur'an says the thunder is alive, the lightning is alive, when you hear thunder and lightning it is doing tasbih of Allah. The hadith says that when a person goes out to seek knowledge, religious knowledge, then the fish in the oceans and the wild beasts in the forest, they do istighfar for that person. This is the animals. From hadith, we are told the days and the nights are alive. Every single day and every single night is alive, when you get up in the morning, the day speaks to you, each one of you individually. The day says to you "Anna yawmun jadeed wa anna 'alayka shaheed", I am a new day and I shall be a witness over you. Therefore, be careful of what you do in me today because I shall testify for you or against you. "Wa lan taraani ba'da hadhal yawm abada," and you will never see me again after this.
Then there is a footnote to that, a commentary to that to explain that hadith, with another hadith that says on the day of judgment, Allah will resurrect every single day that has passed in this world in the form of a human being. The Mondays will come forward as human beings, the Tuesdays will come forward as human beings, the Wednesdays will come. And ahead of all them will be Yawm ul-Jumu'ah, the Fridays will walk in front like a bridegroom, "ka al-'aroos" they will walk. And then the days will stand between heaven and hell. And as people pass on the siraat, they will say, he did this on me, he did this in me, this this is what I saw on this in me.
So hadith has a completely different picture. Everything that you think is non tangible, non real, hadith says it is real. The days are real, the nights are real. The heavens are alive. In Surah Maryam if you look at the last verse, it says, So the heavens did not weep over them nor were they given any respite. That means the heavens can weep. The earth is alive. When you walk on the Earth, it says, Oh son of Adam, Oh daughter of Adam, do not walk with me on pride. You will come into my embrace one day. When you take your dad to the cemetery, all the spots of the earth where nobody has been buried, they call out and say, Bring him if he is a believer. They pray to Allah 'Oh Allah, let him be buried where I am. Let me hold this body in my embrace'. And if he is an enemy of God and an inmate of hellfire, then every sport of Earth calls out 'Oh Allah let him not be buried where I am.'
And that is why Rasul Allah, salla Allahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam [Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad], he said 'If you want to lead a virtuous life, then always live your life as if those two angels that are with you,, are two men walking on either side of you day and night.' Like "rajulayn as-salihayn", two righteous, pious, virtuous men, they are with you all the time. Be conscious of that fact all the time and you will be ashamed to sin'. Supposing this was a reality for us, then our behaviour would be different, because we would say if there are 100 people in this room, there are actually 300 people in this room, because besides every one of you, there are two. Now, when you leave your home, how would you leave from your home if they were two pious people with you? How would you sit in the car? How would you come out of your car? How would you walk into the mosque? How would you go back to your family? How would you eat? How would you behave at work if there were two pious people constantly walking with you and they are looking at your face all the time? What is he looking at, what is he listening to? This is a reality.
Then again, we are told in hadith that when a person is punished in the grave except for Insan and Jinn, all the other creation of Allah can hear that 'adhaab. That is why sometimes if you keep an animal near a cemetery, you will see it will bolt and dart away from the grave, because it hears that 'adhaab. So again and again, when you look at Qur'an and Hadith, there is a reality and a world around us that we are blind to, that is the real world. "Law kanu ya'lamoon".
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir,[Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad], he says 'If you take a pebble from a mosque, make sure you either bring the pebble back to the mosque or deposit it in another mosque, because that pebble is doing tasbih of Allah.' If you take a pebble from a mosque, return it to the mosque, or put it in another mosque because that pebble is doing tasbih of Allah. It is Allah's mercy that He hides the tasbih of certain things from us. Otherwise, we would not even be able to live a decent life. How would we wash the dirt off our body with water if the water was doing tasbih?
So there is a different world around us that we need to awaken to. That is why the famous Sufi, Mawlana Rumi, in one of his poetry, in his Mathnawi when he writes about this, he talks about how the world is alive. Then he concludes by saying: if you move away from this material world, you will hear an uproar of life in the universe. The whole world is alive, so much alive that you will realise how dead you are. Because in the real world, the staff of Musa becomes a serpent. In the real world, the ocean is alive, so when Musa commands it, it splits and becomes two walls of water. In the real world, when Dawood, alayhi as-salam, begins to sing the praise of his Lord, the mountains move from side to side and they do tasbih with him. This is Qur'an, not even hadith. The mountains are alive. In the real world, when Dawood holds iron, it turns into wax in his hands. Because as we shall see in the later nights, that a lot that you see in this world is actually the opposite in the hereafter.
In the real world Sulayman talks to Hudhud, in the real world Sulayman talks to ants. This is the real world. When the veil is lifted, it is very normal, it is not a miracle. In the real world, the winds are alive. They carry Sulayman with his throne and his whole entourage. If you look at the heavens, you see the king on his palace with his army moving in mid air. This is the real world, not the world that you see. In the real world fire turns into a bed of roses for Ibrahim. In the real world, with the Habib of Allah points to the moon and tells it to split, it is alive, so it splits.
In the real world when Rasul Allah lifts pebbles in his hands, the pebbles begin to do tasbih. So the pebbles are still doing tasbih today. What is missing is the hand of Al-Mustafa, if his hand was here, Salawat 'ala Muhammad wa aali [Allahuma salli 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad]. In the real world, the trees are alive. When the Prophet leans on a pillar, the pillar enjoys the presence of the Prophet. What is that pillar of Hanana in Masjid An-Nabawi, you know about it. The Prophet moved away from it and the pillar began missing the Prophet, it began crying.
So you do not even have to limit yourself to the ahadith of the Shi'a scholars, look at the Shi'a hadith, Sunni hadith, you will see the whole world is alive. It is a different world altogether. In the real world, the months are alive. If you look at Sahifa As-Sajjadiyya in the widaa' of the month of Ramadhan, Imam Zayn Al-Abidin, 'alayhi as-salam, when he bids farewell to the month of Ramadhan [Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad], he says 'As-salamu alayka ya shahru Allahil Al-Akbar, peace be on you Oh mighty month of Allah. As-salamu alayka wa 'ala Laylat ul-Qadr, allati hiya khayrun min alfi shahr, peace be on you Oh Ramadhan and on that night of Qadr which is better than a thousand months. As-salamu alayka ma ahrasana bil amsi 'alayk wa ma ashaddu shawqana ghadan ileyk. Peace be on you Oh month of Ramadhan, how much we feel the pain of losing you and how much we yearn and long to see you again.'
So he is talking about these things, he is not just personifying them, he is telling us that these things are real. Everything is real. And that is why when you go to hadith, you will see that when you talk about the hereafter, which is the real world, which is present even now, but you do not see it, everything is alive. The Mizan is alive. The Mizan, on which your deeds are weighed, it has a tongue, and when the deeds are placed, it speaks, where this person belongs. The Sirat is alive. The heaven, the paradise, Jannah is alive. The fire of Hell is alive, it says "hal min mazeed, hal min mazeed, are there any more, are there any more?" That is also in Qur'an, not even in hadith.
The fruits in heaven are alive, they talk. The throne on which the believers sit in paradise that is alive as well. Everything in this world is alive. The only difference is that we live in a dimension where there is a veil, and that time bound dimension stops us from seeing this real world. Salawat 'ala Muhammad wa aali [Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad].
In Surat ul-Ahzab which is Chapter 33 of the Qur'an, verse 72 Allah says, "Inna 'aradhna al-amanata 'ala as-samawati wa al-ardhi wa al-jibal"(33:72), we offered this trust to be Our representatives, to the heavens and to the earth and to the mountains, "fa abayna an yahmillnaha wa ashfaqna minha wa hamalaha al-insaan innahu kana dhalooman jahoola (33:72), and they refused to take this trust because they were afraid that they will not be able to fulfil it, but Insan agreed to take this trust, most surely he is unjust and ignorant."
So Allah is saying that this trust that We have given you by making you Our representative do not think you are the only one who could have done this. We offered it to the heavens. We offered it to the earth. We offered it to the mountains, but they refused. That means they are alive. But you do not see.
In the battle of Badr, after the battle was over and some of the chiefs of the Quraysh were killed, including the father in law of Abu Sufiyan and brother in law and so on. The Prophet of Islam said bring their bodies. There was a well in which they were going to throw the bodies. Once the bodies were brought, he started talking to them. He is talking to what? He is talking to the dead bodies. Have you found what your Lord promised you to be true? Do you now see what I was telling you? He is talking to the dead body. So we are told that the caliph Umar al Khattab was near the Prophet. He said to him, "Ya Rasul Allah, at tukhaatib ul-mawta', are you talking to the dead people? Are they able to listen to you? They have perished. How is it that you are talking to people who are dead?"
He says to him, "Sah, ya Ibn al-Khattab", be quiet son of Khattab, "fa waAllah lasta bi asma'a minhum", you do not hear me any better than they do, they hear me even better than you. You think they are dead, they hear me even better than you do, "wa laysa baynahum wa bayna al-'adhab 'ala yadi al-malaaika illa an adbar minhum", there is nothing now between them and the punishment and the 'adhab that is in the hands of the angels, except that the angels are waiting for me to move away. So what is it that the Prophet is seeing? He is seeing the angels standing with 'adhab waiting. He is talking to them. They don't understand it.
The same thing happens again, much later on, in the Battle of Jamal. This time, it is Amir Al-Mu'minin, 'alayhi as-salam. And after the battle [Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad], he walks around the battlefield and then he first finds the body of Ka'ab. Ka'ab was a judge, he was a Qadhi in Basra. He was appointed a judge by the Caliph Umar and then the Caliph Uthman. And when the battle of Jamal took place, he stood up against Amir Al-Mu'minin and he gave his fatwa that you should fight against Ali, and his sons as well were killed in Jamal. So he was a high ranking personality in the battle of Jamal, besides Talha and Zubair and Aisha, the wife of the Prophet.
So Imam Ali goes to the body of Ka'ab. He tells his companions, make him sit. It is a corpse. They take the dead body, they make it sit. Then Amir Al-Mu'minin speaks to him. "Ya Ka'ab, qad wajadttu ma wa'adanni rabbi, I have found what my lord promised me, hal wajadtta ma wa'ada rabbuk? have you found what your Lord promised you?" In other words, Amir Al-Mu'minin, 'alayhi as-salam is telling the people around them that you have to die before you see the real world. I see the real world even before I die. That is why "qad wajadttu ma wa'adanni rabbi, I have seen already what my Lord has promised me. Have you seen what your Lord has promised you?" Then he walks around again and finds the body of Talha. Make him sit. They make Talha sit. It is a dead body. They make the dead body sit. He talks to Talha, "Oh Talha, I have found what my lord promised me. Have you found what your Lord promised you?"
So we understand then when we look at these examples, after examples, after examples, that it appears to us as if this is the real world, but there is a whole dimension to this universe that we are blind to. And one of our objectives in these lectures is to try and understand that if we accept that there is an unseen world, because that is a primary requirement of one who believes, and if we have sufficient evidence from the Qur'an and the hadith that everything around us is alive, then how should that change us and affect how we lead our lives?
And how should that influence us? Should we live our lives on the basis of what is limiting and what only our five senses can experience? Or should we live our lives like people who truly believe that there is a whole real world that is veiled from us? "Wa inna al-dar il akhira", that is your home, the abode in the hereafter, "la hiya al-hayawan", that is real life, "law kanu ya'lamoon", if only they knew. And that is the point that we want to go through over the nights to come InshaAllah.
So when we talk about miracles and mu'jizah, what we begin to realise that when a Prophet or when an Imam is performing a miracle, they are not really doing something that is impossible. All they are doing is lifting the veil momentarily from us. And if we learn to lift this veil, then what appears to be miraculous no longer appears to be miraculous anymore.
For example, when Rasul Allah, salla Allahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam [Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad], when he takes pebbles in his hands and they begin to do tasbih of Allah, he is not making those pebbles do tasbih, those pebbles are already doing tasbih. Even today when you step out, they are doing tasbih. He is lifting the veil momentarily from the eyes of people and from the ears of people so that they see the real world. That is the mu'jiza. The mu'jiza is his ability to temporarily strip the veil from your ears and eyes.
When an Imam points his fingers in front of his companion and says 'Look between my fingers' and the companion looks and he sees that instead of people doing tawaf of the Kaaba, there are pigs and apes doing tawaaf. The Imam is not changing them into pigs and apes. They are pigs and apes. But you do not see that because of the veil, you think they are human. All the Imam is doing is he is lifting the veil. The mu'jiza is in the fact that he is lifting the veil, not that he is changing them. They have changed themselves. So the miracle is in the lifting of the veil.
And that is why when you read the ahadith of how the world will change after the Dhuhoor, InshaAllah, of Imam Sahib az-Zaman, 'ajal Allahu ta'ala farajahu Ash-Sharif [Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad], you see that we are told people will begin to practice telepathy. They will communicate just by reading people's thoughts. Bringing the dead back to life will become very common. People will be brought back to life from the dead very, very frequently, it will be a common thing. He will teach them the secrets of life and death. People will traverse into the outer regions of space. Space travel will become very common. This is all in hadith. That he will complete the intellect of Insan and take the human species to a new level of evolution, not physical, but intellectual and spiritual.
And the Qur'an points to this as well. In Surat Al-Rahman: "Ya ma'shara al-jinni wa al-ins, inni astata'tum an tanfudhu min aqtaari as-samawati wa al-ardh, fanfudhu la tanfudhuna illa bi sultan" (55:33), Oh Community of Insan and Jinn, if you are able to penetrate the outer regions of the heavens, then do so, but you will not be able to do so except with an authority, except with a Sultan". That Sultan is Imam Sahib az-Zaman [Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad]. "La tanfudhuna illa bi sultan", so when the Sultan himself appears, he will show you how easy it is. And that is why you see that from the appearance of the Imam who is establishing a utopian state in the world to raj'at, to Yawm ul-Qiyama, there is a natural sequence and transition where he opens up the portals of the heavens and this world logically and very obviously and understandably, transitions into the Day of Judgment and into the Hereafter.
There are no surprises. Because in bringing human beings to a state of enlightenment and in taking human beings to the next level, he is not changing human beings from who they are. All he is doing is lifting the veil completely. He is teaching human beings how to become so conscious that they now perceive beyond their five senses. And in taking human beings to this level of enlightenment where there is no Ghita' Al-Ghafla, where there is no veil of heedlessness, human beings become perfect. And then nothing is surprising. Today, if somebody is brought back from the dead back to life, it becomes a miracle. At that point, it is no longer a miracle.
So I want to simply stop here for today and I want to just establish this as a baseline. That in order for us to understand everything else that we will discuss from tomorrow night onwards, InshaAllah, that what is the relationship between our actions and what happens in the real world? What is the relationship between what we see of ourselves physically with this limited vision and what the real world looks like and what we look like in the real world? What are the things that cause this veil to become thicker and more dense, and what are the things that lift this veil? And how should this knowledge then help us change how we lead our lives? And we will InshaAllah take this logically step by step in the coming nights, InshaAllah. If you can recite a salawaat 'ala Muhammad wa aale Muhammad.[Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad].
As you know these nights that we are going through that we call the 'Ashra Zainabiyya, these are the nights in which we mourn for the Ahlul Bayt, 'alayhum as-salam, but in particular we mourn for the womenfolk and the ladies of the Ahlul Bayt. In the first ten, twelve nights of Muharram, we cry for the men, for Aba Abdillah and the Shuhada of Karbala, and then in these nights we remember and pay our respects to the women.
And last night, we commemorated the wafaat of the little daughter of Imam Husayn, Janabe Sakina, and she in some books is also [....] Ruqqayyah is most likely where the little daughter of Imam Husayn is buried. So in more likelihood her name was Ruqqayyah. You will see that in the proximity of where the haram of Ruqqayyah is to the palace of Yazid and the bazaar, it makes more sense that the prison was there rather than the maqbara where we have the shrine of Sakinah. So Imam Husayn had an older daughter as well who was called Sakinah. And Ruqqayyah was also sometimes lovingly called Sukaina as the little Sakinah. But within our culture and within the ash'aar and in the masa'ib and in the nauhas that we have compiled in our Indo-Pak and Urdu speaking community, she has come to be known as Sakinah.
When you look at the tragedy of Karbala, one of the things that is heart wrenching but beautiful is that you can see the whole incident of Karbala from the eyes of different people again and again and again. You could talk about Karbala and narrate the whole incident of Ashura from the eyes of Imam Husayn 'alayhi as-salam. But then you could describe the whole day again from the eyes of Janabe Zaynab 'alayha as-salam. You could then describe the whole day again from the eyes of Abbas 'alayhi as-salam. And I want to use one or two nights to talk about the whole tragedy of Karbala from the eyes of Sakinah 'alayha as-salam, from this little girl's eyes and how she saw the whole incident.
You see, it is one thing to dash the hopes and to break the morale of an adult. And it is quite another thing to dash the hopes of a little girl. When a child is very young, a three, four year old, they see things in a very different perspective, and so their hopes are raised to a much higher level. They have a lot more expectations from human beings because they have had less experiences of people being cruel to them. And there are a couple of things that Sakinah 'alayha as-salam had a lot of hope in, and inshaAllah, I will talk about some of the different things tomorrow night or the day after. But tonight I want to talk about one of them and then InshaAllah talk about another thing that Sakinah 'alayha as-salam had a lot of hope in tomorrow and so on.
One of the things as a little girl that she could not fathom and understand was why somebody would deny her water. This idea that somebody would say to her, you cannot have water, was hard to comprehend for the little girl. Because in the adab of human beings, the way Allah created us, we cannot sustain ourselves without water. Water is a primary need for all human beings. If you look at the planet as well, you will see whatever human beings established, cities and towns, they always find where there is water, they stayed there. Because water is life. Water is what we need to survive.
And so while it may be embarrassing and ashaming to ask somebody for food, it is never embarrassing to ask somebody for water. You see, Imam Husayn 'alayhi as-salam, does not feel ashamed to say the enemies, "Can you not give? Is there no father amongst you who can give a few drops to my Asghar?" Imam Husayn is not ashamed to say Shimr that "When you slaughter an animal, you give them some water. I am the grandson of the Prophet, can you not give me some water?"
And so when we look at it from this perspective, we see that Sakinah 'alayha as-salam had a very different perspective. And one of her hopes was that water was something that should have been within her reach. And in the early stages of the tragedy, we see that she wants water for herself. But as time progresses, she is looking for the same water, but now for others. And time and time again, the cruelty of the whole incident is that time and time again, her hopes are dashed. We see the very first time that she is thirsty, the very first time she is in the khayma, and she hears all the other little children within the khayma [tent] crying "Al-Atash! Al-Atash! Thirst is killing us! Thirst is killing us!".
She has this hope that if there is anyone who can bring water, it is my Uncle Abbas. There is no way my chacha Abbas will not get water from me. And so we see she goes out with her mashk to Abbas and says to her Uncle Ammu Abbas, "Is there no way you can bring some water for your Sakina? Sakinah is very thirsty." And when Abbas leaves to go and get water, the approach that this little girl has, you see her hopes being raised once more. She brings all the little children outside. She brings them all with their little pitchers. Now, you do not have to worry. Water is definitely going to come now. My Uncle Abbas has gone to get water. There is no way that we will not get water now. But there is only one condition I ask from you. That when my Uncle Abbas brings water, first we will give it to Asghar, because Asghar is the youngest and he has not had any water."
Abbas goes to the Furat, he does not come back. The hopes of the girl is dashed. Once again, her hopes are raised. When is this hope raised again? When Husayn takes Asghar and says "I am going to get water for Asghar." Again Sakinah's hopes are raised. Perhaps now there will be water for Asghar. Again Husayn comes back. You will see that when Husayn comes back from the battlefield and says "Inna lil-Lah wa inna ilayhi raji'oon", Sakinah is the first one to run out of the khayma and say, "Baba, did they give any water to Asghar?" Husayn opens his 'aba and shows her what has happened to Asghar. Again her hopes are dashed once more.
Again, the girl's hope is raised again. This time Husayn goes to the battle. Husayn does not come back. Zuljanah comes back. The first thing that Sakinah does is she puts her hands on the horse's head. "Zuljanah, did they give any water to my Baba?" Again there is no water for Sakinah. Sakinah is waiting for this water again and again. She does not know why Abbas is not coming back. She does not know why her father Husayn has not come back.
We are told when the qafila leaves Karbala and they head towards Kufa and Sham, they stop at one point in the desert, when it is a very hot day. Sakinah comes to her brother Sajjad and says, "Can I go and ask for some water?" Imam Sajjad says to Sakinah, "You can ask for water, but they did not give water to your Asghar. I do not think they will give water to you. Oh Sakinah, this is the same water you had taken and run to the battlefield to say, where is Asghar, he has not had any water."
Sakinah goes and asks for water. Shimr says to Sakinah, "Daughter of Husayn, do you want some water?" Sakina says, "Yes, I want some water." Shimr says "Sakinah before I give water to you, I must feed all the soldiers here, they must all get some water. You have to walk with me on the hot sands while I give water to the soldiers." Sakinah's hopes are raised. Once again the little girl thinks she will get water. Shimr gives water to every soldier. Every soldier drinks water. Sakinah is following Shimr, waiting for water. Once the water has been given to all the soldiers, again Sakina's hopes are raised. Again I will get water.
Shimr says "Sakinah, now the horses have to be given water before you get water." Again Sakinah is waiting for water. But water is not being given to the daughter of Husayn. The horses are now given water, one by one. Sakinah is waiting for water. There is still no water for Sakinah. When the horses have been given now she asked for water. Now Shimr takes the water and spills it on the hot sands of Karbala. "Daughter of Husayn. I did not give a drop to your father. Why will I give you?" Bus azaadaro ajrakum 'ala Allah! This is the misery of Sakina. She lives in this hope and her hopes keep getting dashed.
Mir Anees captures this in a few verses. He says "Jab piyaas lagti roke chacha ko pukarti. Dukhte jo kaan shahe huda ko pukarti. Aata na jab koi to khuda ko pukarti, jeene se tang ho ke qadha pukarti, keti thi na chacha naa imam-e-ummam rahe, rulwane ko 'adu rahe rulwane ko hum rahe".
'Ala la'natu Allahi 'ala al qawmi ad-dhalimeen. Wa sa ya'lamu alladheena dhalamu ayya munqalibin yan qaliboon. Ilahi, bi haqqi Muhammad, wa Anta al-Mahmood, wa bi haqqi Ali, wa Anta al-A'alaa, wa bi haqqi Fatimah, wa Anta Fatir us-samaawati wa al-ardh, wa bi haqqi al-Hasan, wa Anta al-Muhsin, wa bihaqqi al-Husayn, wa Anta qadeem ul-ihsaan, wa bil tis'atil ma'soomeen min dhurriyat al-Husayn, ya Allahu, ya Allahu, ya Allahu, ya Allahu, ya Allahu, ya Allah. Oh Allah bi haqqi Muhammad wa aali Muhammad, we ask You to accept our gathering here this night.
Oh Allah, bi haqqi Muhammad wa aali Muhammad, we ask You for maghfirah for our marhumeen and for shifaa' for those who are ill, oh Allah we ask You to hasten the re-appearance of our Imam. Rabbana taqabbal minnha, innaka Anta As-Samee'u, al-'Aleem.