Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
Ya Ali Madad. The 58th anniversary of our beloved NOOR Mowlânâ Shâh Karim Al-Hussaini's (a.s.) accession to the masnat of Imamat will be celebrated on July 11, 2015. As Laylat al-Qadr (The Night of Power and Majesty), the 23rd night of Holy Ramadan, will commence on the Thursday evening, July 9, 2015, we would like to extend our heartfelt felicitations to global Jamat for these auspicious occasions.
May Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam grant peace, prosperity, happiness, barakat, higher spiritual enlightenment, spiritual & luminous tayid (help) and empowerment to you, your family & Jamat, and the worldwide Jamat. Ameen.
The PDF version of this post can be downloaded from the SalmanSpiritual.Com website. A mp3 audio file with a track titled 'Noore Karim Plus 21 Tabsis' mp3 file can be downloaded from audio.salmanspiritual.com
Let us first reflect upon the card which was prepared by the (late) Alwaez Rai Amiraly Amlani which was first published in 2003:
Table of Contents
- From Whom Should We Seek Help? (Exoteric Answer)
- From Whom Should We Seek Help? (Esoteric Answer)
- Example from the Fourth Part of our Holy Dua
- Second Example from the Sixth Part of our Holy Dua
- The Combination of 'Noore Karim' with Tasbis Derived from 99 Beautiful Names of Allah
The fifth ayat of Surah Fatiha is 'Iyyaaka Na'budu wa Iyyaaka Nasta'een' which means 'Thee alone we worship and Thee alone we seek for help'. In this article, let us explore concept of seeking for help which is described in the second half of the above-mentioned ayat.
Part 1: From Whom Should We Seek Help? (Exoteric Answer)
I found a great answer to this question from the book titled 'Spiritual Quest—Reflections on Qur'anic Prayer According to the Teachings of Imam 'Ali' by Reza Shah-Kazemi, Occasional Papers 3, IIS, London (2011):
"'From Thee alone we seek help.' Does this part of the verse imply that the seeking of help from the Prophets, the Imams and the saints is a form of shirk, an 'association' of other beings with the divinity, from whom, alone, all help is to be sought? Not at all. Again, there is an exoteric and an esoteric way of responding to this question. Exoterically, one need only refer to the words of the verse 4:64 to see that God not only permits but encourages the believers to seek the Prophet's prayers of forgiveness for them:
'...If only, when they has wronged themselves, they had come to thee, and pleaded for forgiveness from God, and had the Messenger pleaded for forgiveness on their behalf, they would indeed have found God to be clement and merciful.' (Holy Qur'an 4:64)
God responds mercifully not only to our own prayers of forgiveness, but also to those of the Prophet on our behalf; therefore seeking the Prophet's 'help' is not an infringement of the principle of seeking 'help' from God alone, but is rather an aspect or specific application of this very principle. This is because God Himself has established various means by which He is to be approached, given His utter transcendence: 'seek unto Him a means of recourse (wasila)' (5:35). The Qur'an itself, together will all previous Revelations, the Prophet Muhammad, together with all previous Prophets, the Imams and the saints of Islam and indeed all religions—these are so many 'means' by which God can be approached, if the intention is indeed to resort to the means for the sake of the end, rather than be idolatrously fixated on the means as an end in itself. Then the prerogatives of tawhid are satisfied and one's seeking the help from these means is fully justified. The famous 'Throne Verse' (ayat al-kursi) establishes the legitimacy on intercession—both as regards to this world and the next:
'God—there is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His Throne encompasseth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime and the Tremendous' (Holy Qur'an 2:255)." (pp.33-34)
Part 2: From Whom Should We Seek Help? (Esoteric Answer)
The esoteric answer is also presented by Reza Shah-Kazemi as follows:
"Esoterically, while the above reasoning will be confirmed, it will be reinforced by a perspective stemming from the vision of tawhid which is an ontological (wujudi) and not only theological (uluhi). From this ontological point of view, as noted above, at verses 1-3 of the Fatiha, there is nothing in being but God; what appears as 'other than God' is a mazhar, a locus of manifestation of God and nothing else. When assistance is sought from the Prophets, the Imams and the saints, one is seeking assistance from them as so many manifestations of God, so many mazahir, or loci, of the zuhur (manifestations) of al-Zahir, the Outwardly Manifest. Therefore, the means as well as the end is divine: it is not a question of seeking human means for the sake of attaining a divine need, for one sees through a human form to the divine substance of the mazhar. This is the radical mode of tawhid, a more penetrating application of the principle: from Thee alone we seek help. It also manifests metaphysical fidelity to the principle of divine ubiquity: 'Wherever ye turn, there is the Face of God' (2:115). It is this Face which is sought, both as regards to the means and the end, when one seeks any kind of help from any kind of being: 'Every single good thing (ni'ma) you have is [a grace] from God (16:53)." (p.34)
Part 3: Example from the Fourth Part of Our Holy Dua
Let us look at the transliteration and translation of the second paragraph of fourth part of our Holy Dua from the Holy Dua book published by ITREB, Canada:
(Raising hands in invocation)
Allahum-maghfir lana zunoobana, werzuqna, werhamna, bi haqqi rusulikal muqar-rabeen wa a'immatikal mutah-hareen, wa bi haqqi Mawlana wa Imamina Shah Karimil Hussaini
Allahumma Laka Sujoodi wa Ta-'ati
(Raising hands in innovocation)
O Allah, forgive us our sins, and give us our bread, and have mercy upon us, in the name of Your closest Messengers, and Your Holy Imams and in the name of our Lord and our Imam, Shah Karim Al-Hussaini.
O Allah to You is my prostration and obedience
It is possible to recite a simple supplication and go into prostration by just saying: 'Allahum-maghfir lana zunoobana, werzuqna, werhamna, Allahumma Laka Sujoodi wa Ta-'ati' which would mean 'O Allah, forgive us our sins, and give us our bread, and have mercy upon us. O Allah to You is my prostration and obedience'. This is perfectly acceptable but we would be asking everything based only on our strength of supplication.
However, when we recite the supplication and invoke in the names of Allah's closest Messengers and Allah's Holy Imams and the name of our Lord and our Imam, Shah Karim Al-Hussaini, the strength of our supplication increases tremendously. Here we are applying the principle of divine ubiquity: 'Wherever ye turn, there is the Face of God' (2:115) as described by Reza Shah-Kazemi in section 2 of this article. These Holy personalities were the bearers of Light (Noor) and are the channels through which the Divine Light (Noor) flows.
Since the Light (Noor) of Allah, the Holy Prophets, the Holy Imams and Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam is just one Light, we are seeking everything from Allah with the immense help of the Holy Prophets, Holy Imams and the present Imam, Noor Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam. Thus, the prayer in the fourth part of the Holy Dua is unique because it also calls upon the Light of Prophets and the Light of Imamat from the time of Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) to Noor Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini (a.s.), the present and living Imam.
In the above context, let us read an excerpt from Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam's address to both Houses of the Parliament of Canada in the House of Commons Chamber, Ottawa on 27 February 2014, in which he articulated the Ismaili Imamat and his position as follows:
"The Ismaili Imamat is a supra-national entity, representing the succession of Imams since the time of the Prophet. But let me clarify something more about the history of that role, in both the Sunni and Shia interpretations of the Muslim faith. The Sunni position is that the Prophet nominated no successor, and that spiritual-moral authority belongs to those who are learned in matters of religious law. As a result, there are many Sunni imams in a given time and place. But others believed that the Prophet had designated his cousin and son-in-law, Ali, as his successor. From that early division, a host of further distinctions grew up — but the question of rightful leadership remains central. In time, the Shia were also sub-divided over this question, so that today the Ismailis are the only Shia community who, throughout history, have been led by a living, hereditary Imam in direct descent from the Prophet." Source: Speech of His Highness The Aga Khan
Part 4: Second Example from the Sixth Part of our Holy Dua
In the sixth part of Holy Dua, we first recite Surah Ikhlas and supplicate to Allah in the name of Panj Tan Pak, the 48 Holy Imams and the 49th present living Imam. The key supplication is 'O Allah, have mercy upon us and forgive us our sins. Verily, You are Omnipotent. And All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds'.
The text and translation of the sixth part after the recitation of Surah Ikhlas is as follow:
|Allahumma Bi Haqqi ||O Allah, in the name of|
|Muhammadinil-Mustafa ||Muhammad - the Chosen|
|wa 'Aliyyinil-Murtaza ||and Aly - the Favorite|
|wa Fatimataz-Zahra ||and Fatima - the Radiant|
|wal Hasani wal Husayn ||and (Hazrat) Hasan, and (Imam) Husayn|
|Allahumma Bi Haqqi ||O Allah, in the name of|
|01 ||Mawlana 'Aly ||25 ||Mawlana Jalaliddeen Hasan|
|02 ||Mawlanal Husayn ||26 ||Mawlana 'Alaiddeen Muhammad|
|03 ||Mawlana Zainil 'Abideen||27 ||Mawlana Rukniddeen Khairi Shah|
|04 ||Mawlana Muhammadinil Baqir ||28 ||Mawlana Shamsiddeen Muhammad|
|05 ||Mawlana Ja'farinis Sadiq ||29 ||Mawlana Qasim Shah|
|06 ||Mawlana Isma'il ||30 || Mawlana Islam Shah|
|07 ||Mawlana Muhammad-Ibni Isma'il ||31 || Mawlana Muhammad-bini Islam Shah|
|08 ||Mawlana Wafi Ahmad ||32 || Mawlanal Mustansiribillah|
|09 ||Mawlana Taqi Muhammad ||33 || Mawlana 'Abdis-Salaam|
|10 ||Mawlana Raziyiddeen 'Abdillah ||34 || Mawlana Ghareeb Meerza|
|11 ||Mawlana Muhammadinil Mahdi ||35 || Mawlana Abizzar 'Aly|
|12 ||Mawlanal Qaim ||36 ||Mawlana Murad Meerza|
|13 ||Mawlanal Mansoor ||37 ||Mawlana Zilfiqar 'Aly|
|14 ||Mawlanal Mu'izz ||38 ||Mawlana Nooriddeen 'Aly|
|15 ||Mawlanal 'Aziz ||39 ||Mawlana Khalilillahi 'Aly|
|16 ||Mawlanal Hakim Bi Amrillah ||40 ||Mawlana Nizar|
|17 ||Mawlanaz Zahir ||41 ||Mawlanas Sayyid 'Aly|
|18 ||Mawlanal Mustansiribillah ||42 ||Mawlana Hasan 'Aly|
|19 ||Mawlana Nizar ||43 ||Mawlana Qasim 'Aly|
|20 ||Mawlanal Hadi ||44 ||Mawlana Abyl-Hasan 'Aly|
|21 ||Mawlanal Muhtadi ||45 ||Mawlana Khalilillahi 'Aly|
|22 ||Mawlanal Qahir ||46 ||Mawlana Shah Hasan 'Aly|
|23 ||Mawlana 'Ala-Zikrihis-Salaam ||47 || Mawlana 'Aly Shah|
|24 ||Mawlana A'Ala-Muhammad ||48 || Mawlana Sultan Muhammad Shah|
(Raising hands in invocation)
|Wa Bi Haqqi ||And in the name of|
|Mawlana wa Imaminal, Hazril Maujood ||Our Lord and our present living Imam|
|Shah Karimil Hussaini ||Shah Karim al-Hussaini|
|Rhamna waghfir lana ||have mercy upon us and forgive us (our sins)|
|In-naka 'ala kulli shai'in Qadir ||Verily, You are the Omnipotent|
|wal-hamdu lillahi Rabbil 'aalmeen ||And all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds|
(while joining hands)
|"Shah-Jo-Didar" ||"May you be blessed with the Holy Didar of our Lord." |
|Allahumma Laka Sujoodi wa Ta-'ati ||O Allah to You is my prostration and obedience|
From the above, it is clear that we are specifically taking the names of Panj Tan Pak, the 48 Holy Imams and the 49th present and living Imam for harnessing help and seeking barakat of Allah through the channel of Light of the Panj Tan Pak and the Light of Imamat. Thus, the prayer in the sixth part of the Holy Dua is also unique because it also calls upon the Light of Panj Tan Pak and the Light of Imamat from the time of Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) to Noor Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini (a.s.), the present and living Imam. We are indeed blessed to say this prayer!
Part 5: The Combination of 'Noore Karim' with Tasbis Derived from 99 Beautiful Names of Allah
Our Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) has encouraged all Muslims to recite 99 Beautiful Names of Allah. Each Divine name has its own luminosity, power, blessing and tayid (spiritual help) for believers. The names can also be recited as tasbis, e.g., a Beautiful Name such as 'Al-Malik' can be recited as 'Ya Malik' in a tasbi form.
Earlier in this article, we learned that God Himself has established various means by which He is to be approached, as described in the following ayat: 'seek unto Him a means of recourse (wasila)' (5:35). In the Ismaili Tariqah, the centrality of the present and living Imam is of paramount importance. The role of the present and living Imam is defined in article F of the Preamble of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslim constitution as follows:
Historically and in accordance with Ismaili tradition, the Imam of the time is concerned with spiritual advancement as well as the improvement of the quality of life of his murids. The Imam's Ta'lim lights the murid's path to spiritual enlightenment and vision. In temporal matters, the Imam guides the murids, and motivates them to develop their potential.
In the firman made on December 13, 1964 in Karachi, Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam said that 'his Noor has indicated to you where and in which direction you must turn, so as to obtain spiritual and material satisfaction'. I have taken this firman to my heart and am now doing dhikrs which call on the Noor directly because in my heart, Noor Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini (a.s.) is the pillar of Light and is represented by the words 'Noore Karim' in the dhikrs. I firmly hold on to this luminous pillar in my dhikr of selected tasbis from the 99 Beautiful Names as shown in the table below. Laylat al-Qadr Mubarak!
Download Noore Karim plus 21 Tasbis sound track in mp3 format (4.44 minutes; 6.52 MB)
|No. ||Tasbis Derived from the Beautiful Names of Allah ||Beautiful |
|Meaning of the Beautiful Name|
|01 ||Noore Karim, Ya Ghafuur || |
|The Great Forgiver|
|02 ||Noore Karim, Ya Ghaffar || |
|The Great Forgiver|
|03 ||Noore Karim, Ya 'Afuw || |
|The Supreme Pardoner|
|04 ||Noore Karim, Ya Tawwab || |
|The Ever-Acceptor of Repentance|
|05 ||Noore Karim, Ya Rahmaan || |
|06 ||Noore Karim, Ya Rahim || |
|07 ||Noore Karim, Ya Salaam || |
|The Embodiment of Peace|
|08 ||Noore Karim, Ya Sabuur || |
|The Extensively Enduring One|
|09 ||Noore Karim, Ya Ash-Shakur || |
|The Acknowledging One|
|10 ||Noore Karim, Ya Wadud || |
|The Loving One|
|11 ||Noore Karim, Ya Ahad || |
|The Sole One|
|12 ||Noore Karim, Ya Samad || |
|The Supreme Provider|
|13 ||Noore Karim, Ya Ghani || |
|The Self Sufficient One|
|14 ||Noore Karim, Ya Mughni || |
|The Bestower of Sufficiency|
|15 ||Noore Karim, Ya Razzaq || |
|The Total Provider|
|16 ||Noore Karim, Ya Wahaab || |
|The Supreme Bestower|
|17 ||Noore Karim, Ya Ali || |
|The Sublime One|
|18 ||Noore Karim, Ya Rabb || |
|Lord, Sustainer, Cherisher, Nourisher|
|19 ||Noore Karim, Ya Khaaliq || |
|20 ||Noore Karim, Ya Baari || |
|21 ||Noore Karim, Ya Musawwir || |
|The Flawless Shaper|
*Rabb is not one of the 99 Beautiful Names of Allah, but is used extensively in Dhikrs
I would like to present a brief explanation which led to the selection of above tasbis. The first four tasbis (Ya Ghafuur, Ya Ghaffar, Ya 'Afuw and Ya Tawwab) are for forgiveness of sins. The next two (Ya Rahmaan, Ya Rahim) are for seeking mercy. These appear in the beginning because the themes for forgiveness and mercy are encountered in numerous places in the Holy Qur'an.
The Ya Salaam, Ya Sabuur, and Ya Ash-Shakur tasbis are for developing positive traits which are extremely important in our personal search for higher spiritual enlightenment. These traits also generate humility, devotion and stamina.
The Ya Wadud tasbi (number 10) is used to call up the Beloved. In the initial stages of path of love, there is a lover, the Beloved and the path, i.e., there is duality. However, when Beloved engulfs and absorbs the lover, then the lover, the Beloved and the Path become a single entity. Our goal is to grow into unity through the immense love of the Beloved. Our Holy Imam has told us that he loves all of us more than we can ever love him, therefore it is important to increase our love for his Noor.
The Ya Ahad tasbi (number 11) shows that Allah is above all else because He is Unique. Thus, this tasbi emphasizes the cardinal principle of Tawhid in Islam.
The Ya Samad tasbi (number 12) reminds us that Allah is Absolute and the Supreme Provider. The whole creation looks to Allah for support. The Ya Ghani tasbi (number 13) is related to Ya Samad tasbi. Allah is the Self Sufficient One. The Ya Mughni tasbi (number 14) is used to ask for material and spiritual sufficiency because Allah is the Bestower of Sufficiency. The Ya Razzaq tasbi (number 15) is for asking for material and spiritual sustenance. The Ya Wahaab tasbi (number 16) generates blessings which are bestowed even without asking for them. The Ya Ali tasbi (number 17) is for invoking the Sublime or the Most High. The Ya Wahaab and the Ya Ali tasbis are part of four tasbis which are recited every morning after the recitation of the morning Dua.
The Ya Rabb tasbi (number 18) is not one of the 99 Beautiful Names of Allah, but is used extensively in dhikrs because it calls upon the Lord which is the Sustainer, Cherisher, and Nourisher of everything.
The path of spiritual progress and development involves: (1) the creation of human beings; (2) the evolution of human beings through the faith, knowledge, ibadat, and good deeds; and (3) re-creation of human beings into perfect beings. These three functions of Allah are represented by the Ya Khaaliq, the Ya Baari and the Ya Musawwir tasbis (Numbers 19. 20, and 21).
Part 6: Links:
- Download to the PDF version of Candle Posting 129 :: Insights into 'From Thee Alone We Seek Help' ::
- Download Noore Karim plus 21 Tasbis sound track in mp3 format (4.44 minutes; 6.52 MB)
- Download to the PDF version of Candle Posting 127 :: What is unique about the Ismaili Imamat? ::
- Welcoming Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam to our Spiritual Houses
- Higher Spiritual Enlightenment Indicators
- Resources for Holy Ramadan, Lail-tul Qadr & Idd-ul Fitr
- Haqqiqati Fasting and the True Spirit of Fasting ::
Teachings of Imam NOOR Mowlana Shah Mustansir bi'l-laah II (a.s.) &
NOOR Mowlana Shah Sultan Muhammad Shah (a.s.)
- True and Sincere Repentance :: Teaching of NOOR Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.)
- MP3 and Real Streaming Audio Files on Audio.SalmanSpiritual.com
Ya Ali, Ya NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam, create Sunshine in our hearts, light in our foreheads, and bless us all with the inner vision of the Truth!
Ya Ali, Ya NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam, grant the global Jamat luminous (noorani) and spiritual (ruhani) tayid (help) to advance materially, spiritually and intellectually. Ameen.
Haizinda — Qayampaya
(Our Present Imam is Living and His NOOR is Eternal)
The lit candle represents the Light of Imamat. Let us actualize this Light into our spiritual hearts, heads, & consciences so that we may also be able to submit spiritual & luminous nazranas in the Diamond Jubilee.