Towards the Inner Vision of the Truth


"A messenger reciting unto you the revelations of Allah made plain, that He may bring forth those who believe and do good works from darkness unto light." — Holy Qur'an 65:11


Candle Posts :: Motivational Gems for Higher Spiritual Enlightenment

:: Candle Post #112 :: The Mightiest Qibla of the Truth and the Noblest Ka'ba ::

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

Ya Ali Madad and Idd Mubarak. On the occasion of Idd-ul-Adha, may Allah grant material, spiritual and intellectual happiness to Muslims all over the world, and to all those who have submitted their wills to He Who is Above All Else. Ameen.


In this post, I would first like to present the esoteric principles of our faith, followed by esoteric meanings of the some symbols of pilgrimage and conclude with selected verses of a Qasida of Da'i al-Du'at (Chief Dai) Al-Mu'ayyad fi'l-Din al-Shirazi. I have taken excerpts and footnotes from the book entitled 'Mount of Knowledge, Sword of Eloquence' by Mohammad Adra (ISBN 978 1 84885 913 5), published in 2011 by I. B. Tauris in association with IIS.

Part 1: The Principle of Zahir (exoteric) and Batin (esoteric)

"The principle of zahir (exoteric) and batin (esoteric) is a fundamental principle of Ismaili thought. The zahir is the outer, literal expression of a sacred text or prescription and the batin its inner, spiritual meaning. The method of uncovering the batin is through ta'wil (lit. to take things back to their original state), that is symbolic hermeneutics. The Imams are held to be the authority on the esoteric meaning of the Qur'an, as maintained by al-Qadi al-Nu'man in Asas al-Ta'wil (pp. 31-32): 'God brings down on every single thing having an outer meaning and an inner one. He, to whom belongs glory and power, made the outer meaning the miracle of His Messenger, and the inner meaning the miracle of the Imams from among his family, which inner meaning is only found with them."
Source: 'Mount of Knowledge, Sword of Eloquence', p.42, n.51

Part 2: What is the Difference Between the 'Silent Book' and the 'Speaking Book'?

"Cf. al-Majalis (1:222): 'There are two kinds of books of Allah. On is the Silent Book which is gathered out of the alphabet and is between two covers; the other part is the Speaking Book, who is Allah's Messenger's Trustee. He interprets the meanings of the Silent Book, discloses its closed ideas and explains them. The common people say that the exalted Allah's speech, 'Ask the Ahl al-dhikr (people in possession of the Message) if you do not know' (Holy Qur'an 16:43), means that they are carriers of the Holy Qur'an and their learned who keep its meanings. If they accept this rank for their learned ones who have no relation or tie with Allah's Messenger except Islam, it is sufficient that Ali b. Abi Talib and the Imams of his issues be the people of the Qur'an. They are the Speaking Book who render the Silent book."
Source: 'Mount of Knowledge, Sword of Eloquence', p.67, n.102

Part 3: What Are The Attributes of the Prophets and the Imams?

"In Shi'i theology, the Prophets and Imams are conceived as possessing two distinct attributes: the human (nasut), which is subject to the temporality and exigencies of mortal life, and the divine (lahut), which endows them with spiritual authority and infallibility. For a discussion of this doctrine, see Henry Corbin, Cyclical Time and Ismaili Gnosis (London, 1983), pp. 112-116."
Source: 'Mount of Knowledge, Sword of Eloquence', p. 120, n.201

Part 4: Why is the Batin (esoteric) Concealed?

"Al-Mu'ayyad reports in Majalis (1:77) that when Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq was asked why it was necessary for the esoteric to be concealed in veils, he replied: 'It is necessary for grains to be in the covers of an ear and fruits to be in their covers, so that people of insight and vision may obtain them. By means of this, Allah, the Exalted, shows the ranks of the hardworking and lazy ones, the striving people in the way of Allah and those who hold back."
Source: 'Mount of Knowledge, Sword of Eloquence', p.43, n.53

Part 5: What is the Meaning of Al-Kawthar?

"A Prophetic tradition: 'Al-Kawthar is a stream of abundant excellence (in Paradise) belonging exclusively to me. Only the righteous believers will be allowed to drink from it (and) Ali will distribute water from it to them.' From that day onwards, Ali became known as Saqi al-Kawthar, i.e. the one who quenches the thirst of believers from the river of Kawthar. According to al-Qadi al-Nu'man (Asas al-Ta'wil, p. 16): 'The symbol of the river (of Kawthar) means esoteric knowledge."
Source: 'Mount of Knowledge, Sword of Eloquence', p.89, n.157

Part 6: How Does Reason Fit Into Shi'i Theology?

"The Mu'tazila school of theology was characterized chiefly by its defence of reason in determining religious beliefs. The movement was rejected by Sunnis who uphold the primacy of tradition, in contrast to the Shi'a who accord a high value to reason, but subordinate it to the authority of the Imams."
Source: 'Mount of Knowledge, Sword of Eloquence', p.88, n.153

Part 7: What is the Shi'i Doctrine of Hujja or 'Proof'?

"The Shi'i doctrine of hujja or 'Proof' is based on the notion that there is always present in every age a Prophet or Imam as the proof, evidence or guarantor of God on earth. A tradition attributed to Imam Muhammad al-Baqir says: 'We (the Imams) are the proof 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 responsible guardians of God on earth.' Muhammad b. Ya'qub al-Kulayni, al-Usul min al-Kafi (Tehran, 1388/1968), Vol. 1, p. 145, as cited in Arzina R. Lalani, Early Shi'i Thought: The Teachings of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (London, 2000), p.83. In Fatimid literature the term hujja was used both in its specific sense for the Imams, as well as for senior dignitaries of the da'wa in their roles as 'proofs' of the Imams."
Source: 'Mount of Knowledge, Sword of Eloquence', p.79, n.132

Part 8: What is the Ta'wil of Qibla?

"The qibla is the direction of the ka'ba in Mecca towards which Muslims turn in prayer. In Ismaili thought, the esoteric meaning of qibla is the Prophet and Imams in their function as intercessors of God. See al-Qadi al-Nu'man, Ta'wil al-da'a'im, ed. M. Hasan al-A'zami (Cairo, 1967-72, Vol. 1, p. 237."
Source: 'Mount of Knowledge, Sword of Eloquence', p.79, n.132

Part 9: What is the Ta'wil of Safa and Marwa?

"Qur'an 2: 158. Safa and the Marwa are two hillocks near Mecca famous for their association with the lives of the Prophets Abraham, Ishma'il and Muhammad. They also feature in the annual hajj ceremony when pilgrims run between the two hills seven times reciting the prescribed prayers, Al-Qadi al-Nu'man says in Asas al-ta'wil (p.117): 'Safa and Marwa are symbols of the Imam and his hujja (proof). The running between them represents obedience (to them)."
Source: 'Mount of Knowledge, Sword of Eloquence', p.44, n.55

Part 10: Who is the Mightiest qibla of Truth and the Noblest Ka'ba of the Living Ones?

Here is an excerpt from Da'i al-Du'at Al-Mu'ayyad fi'l-Din al-Shirazi's Qasida number 10 (p. 97-98)which has the answer to the above question:

I said to myself the Imam is our Imam
and so think of him more than the people.
So I directed my face toward him
and turned my back against a bygone time,
To seek him as a sacred object of recourse
because there is good luck in his abode.
Then he graciously gave me a signal
and revealed that which remains a secret.
May my life be sacrificed for him
who is the most honourable in his glory!
The lord whose grandfather (Muhammad)
the verse 'two bow lengths' (Qur'an 53: 8-9) was revealed.
Everyone who dies without uniting in
a relationship of faith and obedience to him
Will perish in the blazing fire even if he spent
all his life offering alms and prayers.
O the mightiest qibla of the Truth
and the noblest Ka'ba of the living ones!
If a pilgrimage is performed to a house of stone,
it is more fitting for it to be towards you.
May Allah bestow His blessings upon you,
as long as the sky irrigates the earth with rain!

In his Qasida, Da'i al-Du'at (Chief Dai) Al-Mu'ayyad turned his face towards the Imam of the time because he is the mightiest qibla of the Truth and the noblest Ka'ba of the living ones! Let us follow his teaching and be focused on luminous (noorani) teachings of Noor Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam (a.s.).

Part 11: How do the Prophet and Imams Guide the Believers?

I would like to add further evidence about the Light of Imamat this with a ta'wil of the Light of the heavens and the earth (Holy Qur'an 24:35) by Furat b. Furat al-Kufi who flourished in the late third (A.H.)/ninth (C.A.) century. He wrote his ta'wils based on the narrations of the Prophet and Shi'i Imams. This material is drawn from a book entitled, 'An Anthology of Qur'anic Commentaries. Volume 1: On the Nature of the Divine', edited by Feras Hamza and Sajjad Rizvi with Farhana Mayer. Oxford University Press in association with IIS, London (ISBN 978-0-19-960059-5):

"For Furat, the light verse must be interpreted with reference to the Prophet's immediate family, the ahl al-bayt. Just as Muhammad received prophetic inheritance from Abraham, so Ali b. Abi Talib, as the Prophet's trustee, inherited prophetic knowledge directly from him. The focus then turns to the imams, who are essential for salvation, and to the significance of light as an instrument by which they guide those that believe in them. The Imams are intermediaries in creation, since it is through them the divine favours are bestowed, and through enmity towards them that God's wrath is incurred." pp. 356-357

Part 12: How to Internalize the Above Gems of Wisdom?

The following dhikr is a powerful synthesis of the above gems of wisdom. Let us perform the luminous dhikr of Noore_Karim Hazar_Imam with utmost humility and tenderness of the heart (length 4 min 41 sec; 6.5 MB) and turn our faces to the Light of Holy Imam.
Download Noore_Karim Hazar_Imam sound track in mp3 format; or
Download Noore_Karim Hazar_Imam sound track in wma format.

The lyrics are given below:

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
Noore Muhammad, Noore Quran; (1)
[The Light of Muhammad and the Light of Qur'an (are one)]
Noore Muhammad, Noore Ali; (2)
[The Light of Muhammad and Light of Ali (are one)]
Noore Ali, Noore Karim; (3)
[The Light of Ali is the Light of Karim Shah (through the Chain of Imamat)]
Noore Karim, Hazar Imam (4)
[All the above Lights are One Light which is in Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam]
Noore Muhammad, Hazar Imam (5)
[Therefore, the Light of Muhammad is in Hazar Imam] <
Noore Qur'an, Hazar Imam (6)
[Also, the Light of the Holy Qur'an is in Hazar Imam]
Noore Ali, Hazar Imam (7)
[Also, the Light of Ali is in Hazar Imam]
Noore Karim, Hazar Imam (8)
[All the above Lights are One Light which is in Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam]
Al-hamdu lillahi rabbil 'alamin.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds!

Let us actualize Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam's the Golden Jubilee prayer: 'And I pray that you mave live in peace and with spiritual enlightenment to guide you'. Our goal is to become light borne and use the Power, Grace, Barakat and Peace of the Light of the Eternal Ali (a.s.) to create a better world for the whole humanity!

Idd Mubarak!

Part 13: Links:

  1. What Sacrifice Can We Offer on Idd-ul Adha?
  2. Idd-ul-Adha: The Greatest Sacrifice of Hazrat Ismail (a.s.)
    (Learn about the spiritual meaning of sacrifice)
  3. Idd-ul-Adha: The Inner Meaning of the Sacrifice of Hazrat Ismail (a.s.)
    (Learn more about the spiritual meaning of sacrifice)
  4. What is in the spiritual treasury of NOOR Mowlana Hazar Imam?
  5. Tawil of Selected Qur'anic Terms
  6. The Form and Essence of Sacrifice as decribed in Khutba of al-Mansur
  7. Tawil of Dua-e-Qunut (Dua-e-Qunut in an integral part of Idd Namaz)

Ardent Supplications:
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)

Rakh Mowla je Noor te Yaqeen (Certainly, we trust in Mowla's Light only),
Noorallah Juma
Sunday, October 28, 2012

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