"Can he who was dead, to whom We gave life, and a light whereby he can walk amongst men, be like him who is in the depths of darkness, from which he can never come out?" — Holy Qur'an 6:122
Candle Posts :: Motivational Gems for Higher Spiritual Enlightenment
:: Candle Post #116 :: Enlightening Wisdoms of Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) ::
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
Ya Ali Madad. On the occasion of Idd-e-Navroz please accept our heartfelt felicitations! May Mowla grant peace, prosperity, happiness, barakat, higher spiritual enlightenment, spiritual & luminous tayid (help) and empowerment to you, your family, your Jamat and the worldwide Jamat in the New Year. Ameen.
The Idd-e-Navroz card developed by Al-Waez Amiraly Amlani is a strong reminder for the need of balance between the physical, spiritual and intellectual components of our existence. Obviously, the search for Light (Noor), the highest form of Intellect, should be our top priority. May you be blessed with success in all components of your existence. Ameen.
I purchased yet another version of the book, 'Peak of Eloquence Nahjul-Balagha' by Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib with commentary by Martyr Ayatollah Murtada Mutahhari from the literature desk. It is edited by Yasin T. Al-Jibouri and is the seventh U.S. Edition published in 2009. The LCC # is 2005900698 and the ISBN is: Casebound 978-1-879402-35-5. It is published by Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an, Inc., Elmhurst, NY.
I started reading the selections from the sayings and sermons of Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) and have found some new gems which provide great insights on the following topics:
I hope these sayings will enable us to practise our faith with a greater conviction.
Part 1: Wisdoms of Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) on Spiritual Leadership
"326. Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (a.s.) said: I am the ya'sub (leader) of the believers, while wealth is the leader of the wicked." (p.898)
Let us learn about the historical context of the above saying from the following footnote:
"Footnote 272. We have already explained the meaning of word "ya'sub" in the footnote of saying No. 262-1 and pointed that this title was given to Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (a.s.) by the Holy Prophet himself. We have quoted some of his different statements on this subject. Here we quote one of the traditions in which the word appears. It is narrated by Abu Layla al-Ghifari, Abu Dharr, Salman, Ibn Abbas and Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman. It states that the Holy Prophet used to say: "Soon after my death, there will be discord. When it occurs, uphold Ali ibn Abu Talib since he will be the first person to see me and the first to shake hands with me on the Day of Judgement. He is the greatest man of the truth (as-siddiq al-akbar), and he is the one who discriminates between right and wrong (faruq) from among this ummah, and he is the ya'sub (leader) of the believers while wealth is the ya'sub of the hypocrites." (pp.898-9)
The above concept is incorporated in the phrase 'Aliyyun Ameerul-mu'mineen' (Ali - the master of believers) which appears in the third paragraph of the second part of our Holy Dua. Indeed, our present and living Imam, Noor Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini (a.s.), is our spiritual master because through the act of Bay'at (The Oath of Allegiance) each one of us has a permanent spiritual bond with our Holy Imam. Our Holy Imam is concerned with the spiritual advancement as well as improvement of the quality of life of all his murids globally.
Part 2: Wisdoms of Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) on Infusion of Iman (Faith)
"266-5. A tradition of Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (a.s.) says: Faith produces a "Alumazah" in the heart. As faith develops, "Alumazah" also increases." (p.882)
Sayyid ar-Radi says: "Alumazah" is a white spot, or something like that. On that analogy, if a horse has a white spot on its lower lip, it is called "farusun al-mazu", that is a white-spotted horse." " (p.882)
In one of his firmans, Noor Mowlana Sultan Muhammad Shah has taught us that "Faith is Light" ('Iman Noor chhe'; Source: Ruhani Raaz Gujrati firman book, p. 59; Jamnagar, 4th April 1900). This is the reason that I am categorically stating that a mu'min is a person who has enlightened his faith with the Noor of Imamat. In the Ismaili Tariqah, we go to the Imam of the time for iman (faith). In this context, please reflect on the first Dua which the Holy Imam bestowed upon the global Jamat in his Golden Jubilee Irshad: "I pray for the strength of the faith of every murid". I think that this act is consistent with the meaning of the sixth Divine Name Al-Mu'min: The infuser of faith. The Holy Imam infuses the Light of faith into a mu'min.
Faith is infused into the heart, thus our first beloved Imam, Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) says that the infusion of faith produces a white spot in the heart. This white spot keeps on expanding through ardent practice of faith. In the Ismaili Tariqah, a mu'min is a murid who has enlightened his faith with the Noor of Imamat.
In one of his firmans, Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam has wished that none of his beloved spiritual children should have black hearts. In another firman, Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam has also said that each one of us should carry light, faith, humility and happiness in our hearts. Through the above saying of Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) and the teaching of our beloved Holy Imams, we now have a greater clarity of the mechanism of the infusion of faith and light into our hearts. Al-Hamdulillah!
Part 3: Wisdoms of Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) on Educating One's Own Self Before Educating Others & Control of Speech
"73. Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (a.s.) said: Whoever places himself as a leader of people should commence with educating his own self before educating others, and his teaching should be by his own conduct before teaching by the tongue. The person who teaches and instructs his own self is more entitled to esteem that whoever teaches and instructs others." (p.843)
"81. Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (a.s.) said: The worth of every man is in his attainments." (p.846)
Footnote 247. The real value of a person is his knowledge (and perfection of attainment). His worth and status will be in accordance with the status of knowledge and attainment which he holds. Eyes that are conscious of real values do not look at the face, features, tallness of stature, size or worldly pomp and status. Rather, they look at the attainments of a person and assess his worth according to these attainments. The conclusion is that man should strive to acquire distinction and be admonished. The worth of every person is according to the extent of his knowledge.
In this context, I would like to present an excerpt from the Usul-e-Din (The Principles of Faith) firman made by Noor Mowlana Sultan Muhammad Shah (a.s.) in Dar-es-Salaam on September 29, 1899:
"Hazrat Ali has said, "He who knows himself knows God." Wherever I turn my eyes, I see the Spirit as my Friend. When you look around, you merely see the external form. All that you see are hands, legs, face, eyes, etc. You fail to see the Spirit behind it. You must constantly strive to see the Spirit. Your aim should always be to reach the Spirit, not merely to obtain a feeling of pleasure through Ibadat."
In the eyes of our Holy Imams, the real value of each person is not only material. As they see the spirit in each one of us, they also assess all the dimensions of our soul and intellect by just looking at us. Everything is measured in terms of light because the highest form of intellect and iman is Light (Noor). Please study the firman excerpt because the Holy Imam is compelling us to recognize our real self and see the Spirit everywhere. This is a true measure of attainment as described by Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.).
"71. Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (a.s.) said: As intelligence increases, speech decreases." (p.843)
Footnote 242. Being talkative is an indication of a diffused thinking, while diffusion of thought is the result of the unripeness of wisdom. When wisdom attains perfection and understanding ripens, one's mind and thoughs are balanced. Wisdom acquires power and control over the tongue. As over other parts of the body, the tongue does not need any thinking or anything outside the dictates of wisdom. Obviously, uttering after thinking is short and free from extras. As man's intelligence increases, his speech decreases and he does not speak save at the opportune moment.
I would like to add my comments to the above saying and footnote. Wisdom (hikmat) is crystallized and highly refined knowledge. It is a like a gem which reflects light in many dimensions. In ordinary circumstances, thought and speech are used to express knowledge which has been gathered within oneself. However, when one is infused with the light of wisdom, then speech is bound by the dictates of this lofty wisdom. Thus, the speech is precise, concise, and to the point because it is completely controlled by wisdom. Thus, as intelligence increases, wisdom also increases and speech decreases and goes to the focal point of the discussion immediately.
Part 4: Wisdoms of Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) on Characteristics of a Mu'min
"343. Describing a believer, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (a.s.) said: A believer has a cheerful face, a sorrowful heart, a very broad chest (very generous), and a very humble heart. He hates high status and dislikes fame. His grief is long, his courage is far-reaching, his silence is much, and his time is occupied. He is grateful, enduring, buried in his thoughts, sparing in his friendship (with others), of bright demeanor and of a soft temperament. He is stronger than stone but more humble than a slave." (p.903)
In our history books, we have great examples of Pirs and Dais who exhibited these traits. Here is an excerpt from Qasida number 12 (p. 104) from the book 'Mount of Knowledge, Sword of Eloquence' by Mohammad Adra in which Al-Mu'ayyad fi'l-Din al-Shirazi has described his attainments:
The pen has provided me with good fortune,
and the days have resolved to render assistance.
By the guidance of my faith, I have now become
aware of matters neglected by other people.
My form is a body but its essence is an angel,
by whom there are great events on the way.
My heart is illumined by the Light of my Lord,
while darkness shrouds the hearts of other people.
My speech is refined and my deeds protected
in a sanctuary that cannot be accosted by a critic.
Since my greed has died, my resolve has come
alive and free, (and) my tongue is a sharp sword.
Satisfaction of soul and wealth in religion are
my provisions; therefore, death is harmless to me.
If people are in fear of the pain of death
and feel its bitterness, it has become sweet for me.
Let us reflect on the above Qasida. Al-Mu'ayyad fi'l-Din al-Shirazi was a great mu'min and eloquent Dai. In verse 4, he clearly says that his heart is illumined by the Light of the Imam. In verse 3, he says that although he has a physical form, his attainment is angelic. The angelic strength within him makes his speech a sharp sword because it is being driven by the Light of wisdom. Through his spiritual and luminous attainments, he is a satisfied and fully surrendered soul and he is not even afraid of death. This excerpt of the Qasida synthesizes all the above content of this posting.
Part 5: Wisdoms of Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) on How to Protect One's Belief
"146. Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (a.s.) said: Protect your belief by charity; guard your wealth by paying Allah's share thereof; and ward off the waves of calamity by praying." (p.859)
Here Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) gives us a formula which I interpret as follows. Submit the charity of time and knowledge, and material resources; submit dasond fully, sincerely, and with happiness in your heart; and pray regularly, individually and/or in congregation. Perform dhikr silently, loudly, individually or in congregation; and perform bandagi with a luminous word, at a luminous time in a luminous place or in your personal space. Follow the Tariqah practices with deep knowledge and attention so that you may be blessed with the maximum benefit of your efforts.
There is voluminous knowledge on the above matters which can be accessed through the 'Foundation of Faith' link on the SalmanSpiritual.com website.
Part 6: Wisdoms of Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) on Contentment
"44. Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (a.s.) said the following: Blessed is the person who kept in mind the next life, acted so as to be able to render his account, remained content with what sufficed him and remained pleased with Allah." (p.839)
"146. Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (a.s.) said: Contentment is a wealth that does not diminish." (p.841)
My comments on the above saying are as follows: The contentment described in the above mentioned sayings are deeply rooted to the state of the soul. Here are four ayats which describe the state of a contented soul. Only those who achieve the state of the contented soul experience the eternal wealth of contentment.
Let us first read the following ayats (89:27-30) from the Holy Qur'an and the attached footnotes from S. V. Mir Ahmed Ali translation, p.1855:
(It will be said unto some)*: "O' tranquilled soul at (complete) rest!"
"Return** thou unto thy Lord! Well-pleased (with Him), (and) His being well-pleased with thee!"
"Thus*** enter thou amidst My Servants"****
"And enter thou into My Garden (of Eternal bliss)!"
*The human soul passes through states or stages. The stage in which the soul seeks the fulfillment of his lower desires crossing the limits prescribed by God's laws is called 'Ammura' (12:53) and the soul which reproaches against the rebellious intentions is called 'La wama' (75:2). And the soul which has conquered all desires and surrendered itself to the Lord is called 'Mutmainnah', the satisfied one, i.e., at rest in peace and perfect harmony with the Divine will, triumphed over every kind of passion, sorrow, pain, disappointment, for the sake of any enjoyment of this life getting totally mindful of pleasing the Lord and none else. This is the highest stage of the spiritual progress the human soul in this world achieves, must strive for.
**God's devotee—Once, one becomes God's devotee—he gets in him the Divine attributes reflected and the one who reaches this stage of spiritual development, he gets mindful only of the Lord and not of anybody or anything else, and he does not aspire for any enjoyment even in heaven, except the pleasure of the Lord. This is the stage in which the Holy Prophet and his Ahl-ul-Bait were.
***God's heaven—is God's pleasure, i.e., the soul is admitted to God's pleasure—thereafter divinity gets reflected in it.
****Those exclusively submitted themselves to God's service, unmindful of anything else besides them and His pleasure.
Generally, when we perform congregational prayers; individual prayers; sincere and unconditional service without remuneration; charity of time, knowledge and material resources; and a myriad of other good acts, we feel a sense of contentment. However, at many times, our contentment and peace are quickly disturbed by voluminous material activities. Thus, it is a struggle to be at peace and in a state of contentment. However, those who nurture their soul and progress on the path of spirituality and luminosity achieve a state of contentment which is a wealth that cannot be diminished! This is a blessing to the souls which have completely surrendered themselves to the will and pleasure of the Lord!
Finally, I would like to add one more ayat (51.56) from the Holy Qur'an and the attached footnotes from S. V. Mir Ahmed Ali translation, pp.1567-8:
"And created* not I, the Jinn and the humans, but that they may worship** (Me)"
*See 38.27, 67:2, 21:16, The Sixth Holy Imam Jafar ibne Muhammad As-Sadiq said that "God did not create man but to know, who with proper knowledge, automatically surrenders himself to Him-and without knowledge the adoration could never, in the true sense of it, be an adoration." Besides the actual meaning of adoration, it is the not the performance of any rituals or only the few prescribed formal prayers recited by the mouth but the actual surrender of the ego in an individual, disciplining it, to act in consonance with the expressed will of the Lord, through abiding with His prescribed law. The whole life-activity of the individual should be nothing but the filfillment of the will of the Lord. It is best given in verse 6:163, "Say my prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death (all) are for the Lord of the Worlds."
This is the object of creation in the Holy Book, to act according to the will and Command, the most perfect form of it, is the absolute submission to His will, i.e., Islam. Therefore of the creatures, whoever is better in manifesting His will and His command in his life, will be closer to the object of the creation, hence nearer to Him. Therefore the more perfect in obedience will be nearer the Creator. Hence the closer to Him will be more perfect in the order of creation. (AP)
**To live in the submission to the Lord.
During my 49-day prayers and a couple of other intense sessions, I always ended my prayers in prostration in which I supplicated that the duas be sent to 7 groups. The sixth item in the list was:
"For the whole creation because it is full of Allah's signs demonstrating its submission to the Will of Allah. Let us pray that this understanding creates energy within ourselves so that we may also submit to the Will of Allah."
The above knowledge has now provided a greater clarity to this dua. Al-Hamdulillah!
Part 7: Wisdoms of Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) on the Power of Salwat
"371. Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (a.s.) said: If you have a need from Allah, the Glorified One, then begin by seeking Allah's blessing on His Messenger, may Allah bless him and his descendants, then ask your need, because Allah is too generous to accept one (seeking His blessings on His Messenger) of the two requests made to Him while denying the other." (p.908)
The recitation of angelic salwat tasbi with knowledge, understanding and ardent love leads purification of the soul, spiritual upliftment and enlightenment. It is one of the best ways to demonstrate ardent love to our beloved NOOR Mowlana Hazar Imam. Click here to download a PDF document entitled "Angelic Salwat and Conditions for Harnessing its Full Potential" (14 Questions and Answers).
Let us offer gratitude to the present and living Holy Imam and recite a bouquet of salwats to strengthen our knowledge (ilm) and faith (iman). May NOOR Mowlana increase our conviction to become true Ismaili Muslims! Real Audio and mp3 sound tracks are available for your convenience.
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (1)
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (2)
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (3)
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (4)
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (5)
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (6)
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (7)
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (8)
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (9)
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (10)
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (11)
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (12)
Al-hamdu lillahi rabbil 'alamin.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds!
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),
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
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