"Praise be to Allah, Who hath created the heavens and the earth, and hath appointed darkness and light." — Holy Qur'an 6:1
2017 — The Year for Higher Spiritual Enlightenment
Diamond Jubilee Spark :: The Throne of Imamat is Continuous, Perpetual and Everlasting
Enlightenment Post No. 29 :: Knowledge & Prayers for Advancement
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
Ya Ali Madad! The launch of Diamond Jubilee year of Noor Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam (a.s.) is only three days away. To keep up with the momentum, here is another enlightenment post to increase our knowledge and enhance our yearning through Dhikr and Angelic Salwat. This enlightenment post has a dhikr supplication track. We are seeking help to come close to Mowla's light through the dhikr of 40 beads of 'Noore Ali Mushkil Kusha, Noore Ali, Hazar Imam'.
On the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee, the 60th anniversary of our beloved NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini's (a.s.) accession to the masnat of Imamat, please accept our heartfelt felicitations!
May Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam grant peace, prosperity, happiness, barakat, higher spiritual enlightenment, spiritual & luminous tayid (help) and empowerment to the global Jamat. Ameen.
The objective of this enlightenment post is explore the firman made by Noor Mowlana Sultan Muhammad Shah (a.s) in Surat on October 12, 1903:
"If you always read religious books, you will come to know that
the throne of Imamat is continuous, perpetual and everlasting."
In this post, I have explored the theology of the Imamat. I have used the teachings of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s.) to understand five unique dimensions of the Ismaili Imamat. This knowledge is most relevant to the homage and the renewal of baiyat ceremonies in which we will partake on the Diamond Jubilee Imamat Day. I have also presented knowledge on the topics of worship and faith from 'True Meaning of Religion (Risala Dar Haqiqat-i-Din)' by Pir Shihabu'd-din Shah Al-Husayni (r.a.). These topics cover the zaheri and batini aspects of our Tariqah practices. The final item to synthesize the post is the ginan of Pir Shams (r.a.), 'Hak tu, Pak tu'. This ginan was once sung in the presence of Noor Mowlana Sultan Muhammad Shah (a.s.) and the Holy Imam said that Pir Shams has revealed all my secrets in this ginan!
Arzina Lalani writes: 'In enunciating the theory or the principle of Imamat, al-Bâqir postulated certain prerequisites for it, including nass, 'ilm, nür and 'isma. Al-Bâqir, as noted, categorically maintained that, contrary to the belief of some groups, the imam had to be divinely appointed and that his appointment had to be clear and precise, i.e. by nass al-jalî (explicit designation). He had to be quite specific about his theory in case there were loopholes in it which might be exploited by those who were already claiming the imamat during his time, as well as by those who might claim it in future.
In order that his theory would have sufficient credence, al-Bâqir had to begin with the appointment of Ali, who had been designated expressly by the Prophet Muhammad. This, in his view, was done on several occasions culminating in the event of Ghadir Khumm. Al-Bâqir is reported to have said to Abû Hamza al-Thumâlî that the Prophet, before his death, was commanded by God to bequeath to Ali his knowledge, his faith and the Great Name (al-ism al-a'zam) that he had, as well as the legacy of knowledge and prophethood, so that the transmission of the divine heritage would be continued through the Prophet's progeny. This implies that this nass, which consisted of special knowledge, was meant exclusively for the offspring of the Prophet and thus was hereditary'. (pp.76-77)
The principle of nass (designation) (Article C) and the continuity of Imamat (Article G) are defined in the Preamble of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslim constitution as follows:
|(C)||Succession to Imamat is by way of Nass, it being the absolute prerogative of the Imam of the time to appoint his successor from amongst any of his male descendants whether they be sons or remoter issue.|
|(G)||Mowlana Hazar Imam Shah Karim al Hussaini, His Highness Prince Aga Khan, is direct lineal descent from the Holy Prophet (S.A.S) through Hazrat Mawlana Ali (A.S.) and Hazrat Bibi Fatima (A.S), is the Forty-Ninth Imam of the Ismaili Muslims.|
Please note how Noor Mowlana Sultan Muhammad Shah (a.s.) has described the continuity of the Imamat of Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) in the firman which is presented in the festival card in this post. I would also like to present a quote of Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam when he addressed 49 leaders on the occasion of the launch of the Silver Jubilee:
The above quote also shows that the principle of nass (designation) is a fundamental concept in the Ismaili theology.
Arzina Lalani writes: 'Besides the hereditary character of nass, another unique feature of al-Bâqir's nass embodied in itself exclusive authoritative knowledge ('ilm) for its recipient. This 'ilm had likewise to be traced to Ali, of whom the Prophet had said 'I am the city of knowledge and Ali its gate'. The Sunnis also acknowledge this tradition, although they do not necessarily agree with the Shi'i interpretation of it. According to al-Bâqir's traditions in al-Kulayni, God appointed Ali as a flag or signpost between Himself and His Creation and thus whoever acknowledges Ali is a believer, while whoever rejects him is an unbeliever. Again he adds that 'Ali is a door that God has opened; he who enters it is a believer and he who leaves it is an unbeliever.'
Al-Bâqir maintains that knowledge, which was granted to Adam, is never taken away; rather it is always inherited, passed on from generation to generation. 'Ali was the learned one of this community and a learned one from among us never perishes before leaving behind someone from his family, who inherits this knowledge from him or what God wills.' The imams, according to al-Bâqir, are the treasurers (khuzzân) of Allah in the heavens and on the earth; they do not guard gold and silver, but divine knowledge. Ali had inherited knowledge of all the awsiya' of the Prophets just as the Prophet, who had been endowed with the sum of knowledge available to all the preceding prophets, had imparted it to Ali, who, in turn bequeathed it to his descendants. Every Imam before death passes it on to his successor. This included both the zâhir (exoteric) and the bâtin (esoteric) sides of the Qur'an and indeed, in al-Bâqir's view, none but the awsiya' can claim to possess the whole Qur'an. Describing some aspects of the knowledge that is given to them and that is unfolded to them, al-Bâqir says that it includes the interpretation of the Qur'an and its legal judgments, as well as the knowledge of changing times and adversities.' (pp.78-79)
Arzina Lalani writes: 'Besides the bestowal of 'ilm, the clear or manifest delegation of authority also appears to involve the transmission of Nûr, light, for as we noted earlier, the imams are, according to al-Bâqir, the light of God (nûr Allah). When asked to comment on the Qur'anic verse 44:8— 'And believe in Allah and His Messenger and the nûr (light) that We have brought down' — al-Bâqir replied that 'nûr (light) is indeed the nûr of the imams from the Prophet's family; they, [i.e., the imams], were the light that God has brought down and they [in fact] are the light of God (nûr Allah) in the heavens and on earth. This spiritual light, which passes from generation to generation, is the symbol of that eternal knowledge ('ilm) which form part of the Prophet Muhammad's testament (wasiyya) to Ali and thereafter to the imams who followed him.' (pp.79-80)
Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam is the light of God (nûr Allah). It is through this Nûr that he guides all his murids. The principle of higher spiritual enlightenment and temporal guidance is defined in article (F) in the Preamble of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslim constitution and in his firman as follows:
|(F)||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.|
'For hundreds of years, my spiritual children have been guided by the Rope of Imamat. You have looked to the Imam of the Age for advice and help in all matters, and through your Imam's immense love and affection for his spiritual children, his Noor has indicated to you where and in which direction you must turn, so as to obtain spiritual and worldly satisfaction.'
—Karachi, December 13, 1964
Arzina Lalani writes: 'The nûr and 'ilm which the imam is meant to possess by the virtue of nass renders him ma'sûm, or protected from error and sin. As noted earlier, al-Bâqir has based this concept on his interpretation of the Qur'anic verse 33:33 [Verily, verily God intendeth but to keep off from you (every kind of) uncleanness O' ye the People of the House, and purify you (with) a thorough purification]*. The question to be asked here is whether the concept of infallibility or impeccability ('isma) applies only to religious matters, or whether it also covers actions flowing from human nature? Al-Qadi al-Nu'man does not specify whether the imam's impeccability extend to the religious realm only or includes human actions as well. Al-Kirmani does not offer an express view either, but implies a wider scope of infallibility when he says 'the souls of prophets and legatees and the imams are not similar to the soul of these lesser hudud (grades), who being inferior to them are not impeccable and are amenable (tastahil) to good and evil.'
The legal and political implications of this doctrine are clear. The imam has absolute power over the community and, since he is appointed by God and is infallible, the community who are not infallible can neither appoint him or elect him. Thus, there is no room for the principle of ijma' (consensus) in al-Bâqir's theory of the imamate.' (pp.82-83)
*Please read Enlightenment Post No. 5 titled 'Insights into the Verse of 'Tatheer' (Purification) (33:33)' for detailed information on this topic. This ayat is the basis of the fundamental doctrine of purity of the 'People of the House' in Shi'i Islam.
Arzina Lalani writes: 'Another aspect of the imamat which has come down to us from al-Bâqir's traditions is the concept of hujja (guarantor). In his view, from the time of Adam's death there has always been an imam to guide mankind towards Allah who is His guarantor (hujja) over His worshippers. The world, al-Bâqir maintains, cannot exist even for a moment without the imam who is the hujja of God. If the imam were to be taken away from the earth even for an hour, the earth would swallow up its inhabitants just as the sea swallows its people. 'We [the imams] are,' al-Bâqir says, 'the hujja (guarantor) of God and His Gate. We are the tongue as well as the face of God; we are the eyes of God [guarding] His creation and we are the responsible guardians (wulat al-amr) of God on earth.' Al-Bâqir adds that God is worshipped through the imams and it is through them that God is known and declared as One.
These qualities of the imam make him afdal al-nas, or the best among mankind. It was in this manner that al-Bâqir tried to establish his position as the imam, declaring himself to be the representative of God upon earth and the divinely-inspired interpreter of His words. His success in this respect can be mesured from two angles—firstly from the number of followers he was able to attract, and secondly from the success of his own son and successor al-Sâdiq who assimilated and elaborated his views. ' (p.83)
Pir Shihabu'd-din Shah Al-Husayni (r.a.) teaches: 'Worship by reason ('aql) consists in permanently being in the state of strong conviction (yakin), never permitting doubt to crawl in. The Lord (Mawla) said: 'Never permit yourselves to have a doubt (in religion); as soon as you permit one to arise, you become unbelievers (kafir), deprived of the mercy of God, because doubt is the feature of his enemies; so, let you always be firm in your religious opinion'.
Worship with the heart (dil) consists in always feeling great affection for the Five Members of the Prophet's Family (Panj tani ali 'aba), never abandoning love for the Mawla and his descendants, recognizing them in your hearts as leading lights,—they should be your (only) Truth. Whenever you feel love for Muhammad and his family, you have worshipped God in your heart.' (p.36)
Pir Shihabu'd-din Shah Al-Husayni (r.a.) teaches: 'Now you see that your every action, whether spiritual or ordinary (batini wa zahiri), is concerned with some special form of worship. But worship is nothing but knowledge, ma'rifat,—they are inseparable one from the other, nor can they be different. Thus the higher knowledge (ma'rifat) of your eye is to recognize the image of that human face in the pupil of your eye, which is that of one who guides you to the right path, knowing that he is exactly that person. He, the Guide, comes with all features of the ordinary man.
But with eyes alone cannot hold his image in the heart too,—the inner vision, of the heart, is different from the vision of the eye; what the heart sees is Luminousness (nuraniyyat). I cannot tell you more than this about its meaning.—this is a secret matter which you are unable to understand.
Thus, with the help of God, in labour and worship, in the struggle with your own evil impulses, with the spiritual knowledge kept alive in your heart, with certainty in reason, with study and the acquisition of a religious education, with the vision of the saints of God and of their example in the heart, by the discharge of your duties, you will attain a high degree of spiritual refinement, as it has been systematically explained. If you do all this, you may attain the degree which you seek. You have to seek it, and it depends upon Him not to leave you without a chance' (pp.38-39)
Let us first read about the spiritual and luminous attributes of Light of Eternal Ali from the following ginan:
|Hak tu paak tu(n) baadshah
Maherbaan bhi Ali tu(n)hi tu(n)
|You are the Truth (haqq), you are the Holy (paak), the King (baadshah)!
[Eternal] Ali! Indeed, you alone are the Benevolent (maherbaan)!
Rab tu Rahemaan tu(n)
Ali awwal aakhar kaazi tu(n)hi tu(n)
|You are the Lord (rabb)! You are merciful (rehmaan)!
[Eternal] Ali! Indeed, you alone are the first and final Judge (qaadi)
|Te(n) upaaya te(n) nipaaya
Sirjanhaar Ali tu(n)hi tu(n)
|You originated, and you brought forth!
[Eternal] Ali! Indeed, you alone are the Creator (sirjanhaar)!
|Jal thal mur mandarhaarna
Ali hukam tera bhi tu(n)hi tu(n)
|Maker of water and earth, the roots of Creation,
[Eternal] Ali! Indeed, yours alone is the [final] command (hukam)!
|Teri dostie bolya Pir Shams
Mei(n) banda tera Ali tu(n)hi tu(n)
|Pir Shams speaks out of your friendship;
[Eternal] Ali! Indeed! I am your devoted servant (bando)!
Ginan transliteration: Ginan-e-Sharif, Volume 1, p. 45, ITREB Canada
Ginan Translation: Kassam, Tazim R. 1995. Songs of Wisdom and Circles of Dance — Hymns of the Satpanth Ismaili Muslim Saint, Pir Shams. SUNY press. p. 263. (ISBN 0-7914-2592-4)
Please note the connection of the role of first and final Judge (qâdi) attributed to the Light of Eternal Ali in the ginan of Pir Shams (r.a.) and the saying of Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) "I am the eye of certainty and I am the death of the dead." from Rajab Bursi's writing. In many other places on the website, I have said that the Light of Allah, the Light of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.), the Light of Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.), the Light of the Holy Qu'ran, the Light of the Holy Imams (a.s.), the Light of the Pirs (r.a.), the Light of Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam (a.s.), and the Light of first category mumins (true believers) is one Light. Thus, as we believe that we are being guided by the Noor of Imamat in the Ismaili Tariqah, we have to yearn to recognize the Light of Noor Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam (a.s.) with our spiritual eye while we are still alive. Thus, at time of our death we will surely see the same Light in its most glorious form.
As we approach the launch of the Diamond Jubilee of Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam, may Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam fill all our spiritual hearts with his NOOR and nothing else! May we all be blessed with Zaheri-Noorani Didar and many, many Batini-Noorani Didars in our personal search for higher spiritual enlightenment through the Noor of Mowlana Hazar Imam. Ameen.
Dhikr Section: Supplication for help from Noore Ali, Mushkil Kusha
Through the dhikr of 40 beads of Noore Ali Mushkil Kusha, Noore Ali, Hazar Imam, we are seeking to come close to Mowla's light. Specifically, we are trying to do the following.
Let us perform the following dhikr with utmost humility and tenderness of the heart:
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
Noore Ali, Mushkil Khusha; Noore Ali, Hazar Imam
Light of Ali is the Remover of Calamities; Light of Ali is in Mowlana Hazar Imam
Al-hamdu lillahi rabbil 'alamin.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds!
Reaffirmation of Baiyat:
Let us also reaffirm our baiyat to our Holy Imam, NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam by reciting the Shahada from the second part of our Holy Dua:
"La ilaha illallah, Muhammadur-Rasoolullah, 'Aliyyun Amirul-Mu'mineen 'Aliyullah
Mowlana Shah Karim ul Hussaini, Al-Imamul Hazarul Maujood."
"There is no deity except Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, 'Ali - the master of believers - is from Allah. Our Lord Shah Karim Al-Hussaini is our present and living Imam"
Angelic Salwat Nazrana:
Let us now start presenting a nazrana of at least 101 salwats or continuous salwat for 3 to 5 minutes to our beloved NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam for the fulfillment of our noble wishes. May our beloved Mowla continually keep us on the Right Path. Ameen.
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad:
O Allah! Bestow Peace on and through Muhammad and his Descendants
Al-hamdu lillahi rabbil 'alamin.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds!
May NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam (a.s.) grant peace, prosperity, happiness, barakat, higher spiritual enlightenment, spiritual & luminous tayid (help) and empowerment to you, your family, your Jamat and the worldwide Jamat! Ameen.
Rakh Mowla je Noor te Yaqeen (Certainly, we trust in Mowla's Light only)
Haizinda — Qayampaya
(Our Present Imam is Living and His NOOR is Eternal)
Your spiritual brother,
Saturday, July 8, 2017
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