﴿وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ صَبَرُوا حَتَّى تَخْرُجَ إِلَيْهِمْ لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ﴾
And if they wait patiently until you come out to them, it would certainly be better for them, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (49:5)
In this Holy verse, it is necessary to remember two points. It was mentioned yesterday also but since it is important, for emphasis, here is another mention: Had these nomadic Arabs (not made such reckless noise in haste without discipline and), showed respect (and) remained silent and had they submitted their say when the Holy Prophet, of his own, came out (of his room) such respect and patience, instead of the said indiscipline would have been better for them. These orders are for showing respect to the Holy Prophet.
The Muslims must consider Muhammad greater and higher than themselves. Should give respect and honor to him so much so that they should never raise their voice higher than his voice in his gatherings. They must never take themselves ahead of him. These orders are only for their own good.
Is Muhammad a seeker of pomp, rank, fame and name etc.? Curse of God on him who has such a bad opinion about the Holy Prophet. A Prophet and an Imam has to have twenty virtues one of which is that he should have no love for material things. If one has even an iota of worldly love he can never attain messengership. Messenger means one who draws people towards the Hereafter. One, who has worldly love, draws people towards materialism.
In Dua Nudba you recite: “And after You took promise from them to renounce all the stages of this despicable world, and its superficial attractions and allurements. Then they accepted the promise.”
The very first condition for the Messengers and for their legatees is piety in the world. If they give importance to the world, if they look at the pleasures, position and status in the world and to kingdom and rule, then their reach is low. It is possible that a doctor gives medicine to others but he himself is sick. The Messenger and the Imams are spiritual doctors (physician of soul). They want to relieve people from the love for world and to draw them towards love of Allah. What I mean to convey is that all these orders are for Muslims themselves.
If you cared for the respect of Muhammad it is only for your benefit. Your reward increases thereby. Your knowledge of God and Truth multiplies. Your Faith becomes stronger. When you utter the holy name of Muhammad and send Salawat on him, never imagine that Muhammad has any need of it. It is only for you. O believers! Come shoulder to shoulder with angels. As the angels get closer to Allah through Salawat on Muhammad, you too may obtain nearness to God. As many times you send Salawat on Muhammad your sins drop down in that proportion. Your distance from God decreases and you get closer to Him. For example, the Prophet says that if you send Salawat once to me I send ten Salawats to him. All the Commandments of Islam are like this.
قُلْ لا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا إِلاّ الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبَى﴾
“Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives…”1
What is the reward or recompense of messengership? Friendship and affection for the progeny of the Holy Prophet. This matter stands till Resurrection. Is it for the benefit of the Sayyids? Is it for personal benefit that it may be draw an allegation against the Holy Prophet? No, it is never so. Rather it is for the benefit of only Muslims so that through the bounty of the friendship with the Sayyids and the progeny of the Holy Prophet they may attain nearness to the King of the world of existence, Muhammad and the Progeny of Muhammad. Muhammad has control over the entire world.
The cause of creation and the aim of its end is Muhammad. The accountability on the Day of Judgment is with Muhammad. Paradise and Hell are in the control of Muhammad. At that time we would want to have the help and intercession of Muhammad but then we refrain from helping his progeny! Affection for the relatives of Muhammad is for our own good. (Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives).
What we are saying is that you must befriend the progeny of the Prophet not just to maintain respect for him and honoring his children for any personal desire. The recompense, which is asked from you, is affection for the Prophet’s relatives and it is only for you. If you befriended a Sayyid and gave him honor and respect for the sake of his grandfather then, to that extent, you have got nearness to the king of the world of existence. Otherwise you may respect him or you may not, as you like. The Sayyid is a Sayyid and so also the master. It makes no difference for his mastership. He is the prince. But you get nearness to him through respect for him.
The ignorant says, “Why God should need our prayer and fast?” It is you who needs it. You require it for yourself. The Prayer, which you offer is service to your own self. You made yourself remember God. Thus you rose high up from an animal- like state. You fetched yourself out of the full time engagement of merely eating, drinking, passion, anger, ignorance and darkness. An animal has no sign of humanity or civility.
You kept fasts for a month of Ramadhan and made yourself nearer to the otherworldly angels. You came to the Mosque and lined up like angels saying ‘God is the greatest’ (Allaho Akbar) collectively. Is this a little progress? Fasting gave you upliftment, which is for your own benefit. God says: It is good for you. This fasting strengthens spirit. It makes the Faith perfect. It shows you the path of approaching God. It is only due to it that you distanced yourselves from animality and took yourself nearer to Allah. You prayed at dawns. How delicious is it to approach God after midnight.
Those who are fast asleep after filling up their bellies to brim cannot have any idea of this advancement. The real delight is the delight of the one who fasts. When you remember God like this and at this time, its sweetness can only be experienced – not described. Fasting makes you one of the patient ones. You enter the group of God’s people. Otherwise you would have remained a two-footed animal.
Those who do not fast without any valid reason are harming only themselves. They have degraded their own selves spiritually by showing and announcing that I am so weak that I cannot control my stomach. This is the manifestation of meanness. I am unable to hold myself for a few hours from desires and passions. Likewise, those who fast show that I have strength and power to hold myself for sixteen hours.
This is spiritualism. This is gaining power. It is said that the Zakat money, which you give to the poor, though apparently, your money reaches a poor person, but in fact, you have given a very big gift to yourself. Apparently the money goes away from you but what is the reality? There comes a light (Noor). You give one coin and, as a reward, you receive a thousand times Noor (Radiance) which brightens your heart. Your rank rises up spiritually.
One who spends money in the path of God extinguishes a burning fire and one who become a miser, fans the fire. It is recommended that the hand of the needy (whom you donate something) should be kissed. When its reason was asked Imam Sadiq said, “Have you not read in the Holy Qur’an: God accepts the charities? It is as if the hand of God receives it. What is higher than this? What God accepts is bountiful.2
The hand of the one who asks is worth kissing. Your own hand is also worth kissing. If you show miserliness and if you do not give anything in the path of God then indeed that hand is worth amputing. When you become a miser you fan fire for your own self. Whatever you give drives away the fire from you; it is a barrier between him and hell-fire.
Moreover, it generates a perfect virtue. Until a man becomes kind he cannot approach the real needless ones. Do you wish to face the source of generosity, that is, Ali bin Abi Talib, taking with you your miserliness? Strange! How can you get nearness to Ali when you are a miser? These charities take you nearer to Ali and so their benefit reaches only you. Whatever you gave, you gave for yourself. You have uplifted your own existence. In this way you can be nearer to the Most Generous One, the Lord of the worlds. Until you have not inculcated generosity in yourself, how can you, tomorrow, benefit from Divine Mercy? It is not possible for man to reach the source of virtues unless and until he inculcates in him those high virtues. A miser is far away from Paradise, away from God, and away from the Progeny of Muhammad.
O Muslims! Appreciate the Divine Commands and responsibilities. Whatever is there in it, it is only for your benefit. Whatever is made unlawful for you, it is banned so that you may not be harmed; that you may not be at a loss. Otherwise, in the words of the poet:
Even if the whole world becomes denier, His greatness will not be affected.
For example, the God Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an: Be patient, Allah is with the patient ones. So it is for you that God has said: I will give you the reward; I will recompense. He further says: And if you are patient it is better for you. Firstly, it is good for your body. When you resort to this patience you get tranquility. Impatience brings you nervous and restlessness making you ill. From the otherworldly view also you lose its benefit. But if you are patient you will get a healthy body and heart with a good life and you are given the promise of Paradise in the Hereafter. After death, Paradise is the property of the patient ones. Every deed there has a measure and weight but, for patience, there is no measure. Reward of patience is immeasurable, limitless. Patience is the remedy for your illness. If you will show patience, you will get limitless reward from God.
For making patience easy, look at those who are in a more difficult situation than you are in. Everyone who is in a calamity will find another one in a worse condition. Look at him and say: Thanks God. For example, you are living in a rented house. Then look at the one who does not have any money even for paying rent. Do not look at the one who has both a bungalow and a garden. Never look at the richer in worldly matters.
Always look at the one who is in a more difficult position than you so that you can be patient. You will benefit. This was a marginal comment. The first sentence has ended. The summary of its first meaning is that all the difficulties are from the Lord of the worlds. It is His mercy towards His servants, which results in a good end and keeps one from greater harms. It is not to put one in trouble by caring for others – God forbid. It can never be so that Muslims should be put to trouble for the sake of Muhammad.
Islamic laws concerning the rights of an individual towards the society are bilateral, that is, one’s right over other and the other’s right over one. No preference is given to a particular side. In the social rights also there is bilateral consideration. This Holy verse, on one hand, tells the Muslims: Be respectful, give honor to Muhammad. Considering Muhammad great is obligatory for you. If you not do so your deeds will go in vain.
So much so that even your voice must never be louder than his. On the other hands, it says to Muhammad: Be humble to the faithful who follow you. As We have told your followers to observe your respect and honor you, you too must be modest to them. If a poor mans comes to you and says, “O Muhammad! I want you to do this for me, then do it.” The Holy Prophet went with the needy, attended funerals and visited the ill etc.
﴿وَإِذَا جَاءَكَ الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِآيَاتِنَا فَقُلْ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ كَتَبَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ الرَّحْمَةَ أَنَّهُ مَنْ عَمِلَ مِنْكُمْ سُوءًا بِجَهَالَةٍ ثُمَّ تَابَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ وَأَصْلَحَ فَأَنَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ﴾
“And when those who believe in Our communications come to you, say: Peace be on you, your Lord has ordained mercy on Himself, (so) that if anyone of you does evil in ignorance, then turns after that and acts aright, then He is Forgiving, Merciful.”3
When this verse was revealed to the Holy Prophet, he became very happy. It says: When these Faithful come to you, hurry up and say Salamun Alaikum to them before they salute you and give them good tiding of God’s mercy.4 Say: O those who accepted and responded to the call of Muhammad! Your God has made it a must for Him to be kind to the followers of Muhammad. He has bound Himself to be merciful to the followers of Muhammad and to pardon anyone of them who sins unwarily, accepting his repentance.
It is mentioned in the commentary that once the Holy Prophet came to Mosque. Some of his companions were so poor that they did not have cloth enough to cover themselves properly. When they sat near him they joined their thighs, putting a piece of cloth on their knees to cover their two legs. The Holy Prophet arrived, sat in their midst touching his knees with those of the poor men and said: Thanks to God who has recommended me to salute my followers. I have been commanded by God to respect to you.
Let me make further clarification of the bilateral position of rights. It is recommended that you should befriend the Sayyids, honor them, do good to them and give gifts to them. You have heard this very often. But it is not a one-sided affair because it is also recommended to the Sayyids that they should, for the good of the people, show humility to them like their ancestor (the Holy Prophet) and not to boast that I am a Sayyid, I am the son of the master, I am the prince. Just as Muslims have to give respect to the Holy Prophet it is also a must for him (the Prophet) to show humility to people. The Sayyid should also realize that as the community befriends you for the sake of Muhammad you too should appreciate that they are the ones who follow the religion of your ancestor.
How much do you love the religion of your grandfather? You must love and befriend them so that they follow the religion of your grandfather more sincerely. Keep aside personal benefits and interests just as they put aside their personal interests regarding you. You also should reciprocate and befriend all.
It is mentioned in the third volume of Biharul Anwar that the last Prophet Muhammad, during his last fatal illness, said from the pulpit to Bani Abdul Muttalib, “O family and tribesmen of Muhammad! As the lineage of each and every Sayyid reaches Hashim, the grandfather of Muhammad you must be aware. Let it not be so that tomorrow, on the Day of Judgment, my nation may come with (good) deeds and you come without deeds. In that case, you will not benefit from me at all.
Merely claiming that I am a son of Muhammad does not count. I am telling you something higher. The Holy Prophet told his daughter Fatima to audit her deeds, “O Fatima! Do good and do not be proud. Go on doing good and prepare for the journey to the other world and do not say that I am a daughter of Muhammad.”
Then he said from the pulpit, “After my passing away no one must maintain false ambitions and wishful thinking. By God Who made me His Messenger, none can ever get salvation except through good deeds and mercy of Allah.” It means if you think that you will go to Paradise without Prayer, Fast, Charity and all obligatory deeds, it is a mere wishful thinking. He said, “Even though I am Muhammad, if I commit a sin I will fall.” Do not think that as Muhammad is Muhammad; since he is a chief of the religion, he is an exception and that it is not wrong if he sins.
Now if a Sayyid says: Since I am a Sayyid I will not go to hell. Some ignorant says that Sayyids do not go to hell; they go to Zamahreer. Now where is Zamahreer? It, in your imagination, is a good place! It is mentioned in a narration that in the Hereafter, there is a part, which is contrary to hell from the viewpoint of coolness. It means that hell is very hot and Zamahreer is extremely cool. The difference is that whoever, God forbid, goes to Zamahreer wishes that he be taken to hell. Is, in your opinion, Zamahreer a nice place? There is no distinction between a Sayyid and a Shaykh, common man and noble man, scholar and ignorant, student and teacher.
Sayyids should, more than others, be careful and they must always refrain from every sin. If a Sayyid sins his punishment is twofold. It is mentioned in Wafi that if the sons of the Prophet worship the reward is double and if they commit a sin then also the punishment is double for them, one for sinning and another for degrading the honor of his holy lineage. O woman! If you move out without an Islamic dress you have insulted your ancestor, and you say I am a Sayyid lady! Tomorrow, in the Hereafter you will get two chastisements, one the punishment for this offence and another for dishonoring Fatima.
Being a Sayyid lady, do you realize what have you done? You have insulted your religion, as people will say: This is a Sayyid and an Alid woman. Why the progeny of the Prophet should act like this? The internal enemy is indeed very dangerous. Children become foes and hence get double punishment. Rather, the Sayyids should be in the front line of the righteous people so that others may follow them. The progeny of the Prophet are entitled to be the first and foremost in doing good deeds. Sayyid ladies should come forward and act according to the Shariah of Muhammad and in the matter of modesty, chastity and honor follow their grandmother, Zahra so that other women may get lessons from them. This is enough for now, let us go ahead.
We have said earlier that in the holy code of conduct or Shariah of Islam, while making laws, attention has been paid towards bilateral relations (rights and duties) even in the matter of husband and wife. It is said: “Men are the maintainers of women.” It is obligatory for women to obey their husbands in conjugal affairs so much so that if the wife goes asleep while her husband is angry with her, angels continue to curse her so long as the husband is angry. Her prayer is not acceptable nor her other deeds. She cannot keep unobligatory fasts without the husband’s permission. Recommended charities and similar other good deeds must also be done with the permission of the husband, and after ascertaining what he wants.
As against this, the Holy Qur’an and traditions have also fixed responsibilities and duties upon men regarding their wives. Besides food, clothing and shelter, other serious responsibilities too are on the husbands.
Once people insisted upon a man to take a wife. He did not agree and began to weep much. They said, “Why should you weep? If you do not want a wife, just say so? He replied, “What made me weep is another thing. I have not yet taken a wife. I must first carry my own load to destination to make myself worthy of Paradise. If I take a wife then it will be upon me to save that lady also from hell. I am myself yet not fortunate enough to pass through the Sirat Bridge how shall I make my wife worthy of Paradise!” Everyone who takes a wife takes upon himself a huge responsibility as the Holy Qur’an says: O men! Save yourself and your family from hellfire.
You cannot talk only about yourself. If you have a wife, it is obligatory for you to hold her hand to take her away from hell as you are the head of the family. Another responsibility imposed by Qur’an is to live nicely with her. Whatever excessive faultfinding, you are doing with your wives is all against the Shariat of Islam. The load of responsibilities on man is indeed heavy.
Woe unto those who resort to unfair fault finding with their wives, who behave badly with their women and even, God forbid, beat them. Man has no right to beat his wife. On the other side, it is said reciprocally that O woman! You must obey your husband. Likewise man is also told: You have no right to issue orders to her as you wish. You cannot ask her as to why did you not sweep the room. Islam tells the woman: O women! Your jihad in the path of God is to serve your husbands nicely. Your jihad is your good housekeeping, husband caring. Make yourself pure, clean and beautiful. As far as you can, adorn yourself for your husband, serve him and nourish his children. Give your milk (breastfeeding) to your children and know that with every drop of the milk sucked by your child from your breast you earn the reward of freeing a slave.
Islam tells the men: You have no right to compel your wives to breastfeed your child: Feeding and clothing of the child is a responsibility of the father. You have no right to command her if she demands compensation for breastfeeding your child. She has a right to it. Nourishment of a child is a father’s duty. But Islam also tells mothers: You also, for the sake of God, without having an eye on money, lovingly and thanking God for granting you a baby, feed it, breastfeed your own child.
It is also recommended to men: Caring for the women is among the bequests of the holy Imams. It is also a part of the will made by Amirul Momineen. A woman is weaker. Man must control himself. He should not become angry towards her. He must be considerate and sympathetic towards his wife and he should be tolerant. If the wife loses her temper and begins to make an uproar, you must keep cool. Do not say what she says. If you repeat what she says the matter will worsen. This is against your responsibility. You have to forgive your wife as her might is less. Man must be different from woman in their behavior.
May God be pleased with this honorable man. There is a humorous story about him. I relate this so that men must remember it and dispel the restlessness of the women in a light way. Once, in the house of the said gentleman, there was some dispute. It rose so much that the woman cursed his husband saying, “O God! Make him missing among men.” When her husband heard this he retorted, “I am happier among women.” What the woman meant was: Be dead. The husband returned her word saying: I feel better among women. This single word made all laugh and the quarrel came to end.
Among the rights of the father is that the child must honor and obey the father. The father is also recommended to be kind towards the little ones. They are told: Do not do anything that may put the child to trouble. Parents have the responsibility to nourish them, train them and fulfill their needs; and even to marry them off. The rights of parents over their children are in no way lesser than the rights of children over their parents. Just as a right of the wife over her husband is not lighter than his right over her.
Both sides must fulfill their responsibilities and duties. If one does not do so one will have to answer before God Almighty. Beware of the Day of Judgment when those whose rights were trampled upon will gather around the responsible persons. All will be told (by God): Get back your rights and establish justice by removal of injustices. Imam Sajjad yearns in Dua Abu Hamzah: On the Day of Judgment, who will release me from the hands of the claimants of rights! The Holy Qur’an says: The Day when man will flee from his brother and mother and father and wife and sons.
On the Day of Judgment, a man will run away from his wife. O Muslims! Judgment Day is such when father runs away from his child and child from his parents. Why? For what are they fleeing? Because of the rights upon them. On seeing his father, the child will run away fearing that he will catch hold of him saying: Do you remember how many rights of mine you trampled upon in the world. A wife will run away from her husband fearing that he will claim his rights which she did not take care off. But fleeing is impossible. This is the first stage. The second stage will bring blowings of the bugle. This is the beginning of the Grand Gathering (Mahshar) when people will run away from those whose rights had been trampled upon. The next stage has been mentioned in other verses of Qur’an