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:: Candle Post #134 :: Harnessing Good Things Here And In The Hereafter ::
Ya Ali Madad. The 59th anniversary of our beloved NOOR MowlÃ¢nÃ¢ ShÃ¢h Karim Al-Hussaini's (a.s.) accession to the masnat of Imamat will be celebrated on July 11, 2016. We would like to extend our heartfelt felicitations to global Jamat for this auspicious occasion. May Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam and the Noorani Family be blessed with peace, happiness, long life, excellent health and security. Ameen.
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 Tasbis' mp3 file can be downloaded from audio.salmanspiritual.com
Table of Contents:
Over the past 59 years, Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam has strengthened the Ismaili identity in context of the Islamic Ummah and has nurtured contact and communication between Jamats of different backgrounds and traditions across the world. Our beloved, present and living Imam is at the center of our Tariqah. As he is the bearer of the Light of Allah, it is his Noor which guides us in spiritual and material aspects of our lives. Al-hamdulillah, the Ismaili Muslims are blessed with the knowledge, wisdom and guidance of the Manifesting Imams since the time of Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.).
The Manifesting Imams are also the bearers of the Light of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) and Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) and are fortresses of the esoteric, i.e., inner and hidden, knowledge of the Holy Qur'an. This knowledge has been continually revealed and today, through the guidance of Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam, the concept of enlightenment has become the focal point for the Jamat from a spiritual point of view. This is not surprising because, in a way, the stage was set in the Platinum Jubilee message of Noor Mowlana Sultan Muhammad Shah (a.s.) which was published in the Platinum Jubilee Souvenir Issue:
"In these 70 years of my Imamat, man's material condition has totally changed. There has been immense increase in power over nature but, as we see, with strifes everywhere spiritual power has not increased.
It is my hope that my Spiritual Children, the Ismailis, will, by the example of their own higher enlightenment and helpful cooperative movements amongst themselves, set to the world an example of better fraternity and brotherhood which alone can free men from the fear and dangers of moral and mental discord which leads to disaster for all."
In this Candle Post, I have used two great resources: (1) The Holy Qur-'aan: Transliteration in Roman script by M. A. Haleem Eliasii with original Arabic text and English translation by Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall (Stockist: Iqbal Book Store, Karachi, Pakistan), and (2) The Holy Qur'an with English translation of the Arabic text and commentary of the version of the Holy Ahlul-Bait by S.V. Mir Ahmed Ali. The second edition of the book was published in 1995 by Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an, Inc., Elmhurst, NY.
For each ayat presented, I have used Eliasii's transliteration and Mir Ahmed Ali's translation and commentary. I conducted research on how we should live in this hectic, consuming, demanding materialistic world and becoming enlightened at the same time. Thus, we are looking at the guidance from the Holy Qur'an and see how this is being implemented in our lives through the continuous guidance of our Holy Imams, and our present and living Imam, Noor Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam (a.s.).
Part 2: Why should we pray for both the worlds?
In Idd Namaz, we recited Dua-e Qunut five times in the first raka'ah and four times in the second raka'ah. The first sentence of Dua-e Qunut is a portion of sura 2 ,ayat 201 of the Holy Quran:
|'Rabbanaa 'aatinaa fid-dunya hasanatanw-wa fil-'Aakhirati hasanatanw-wa qinaa 'azaaban-Naar' 227||'Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the hereafter and save us from the torment of the (Hell) fire.' (2:201) (p.135)|
Here is the commentary for this ayat:
227 'Those who pray for the present life only or only for the hereafter show that they feel themselves secure in the life for which they do not pray for, without the help of God. Hence the prayer of a true or a sincere believer must be for both the life here and also for the life hereafter.
The prayer for both the lives, enjoined upon the Muslims by the Holy Qur'an indicates that Islam wants a human soul to adopt the middle course [i.e., a balance] between materialism and asceticism or one sided spiritualism discarding the material life altogether.' (p.204)
Since 1973, Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam has emphasized the balance between Din and Duniya; the balance between body, soul and (higher) intellect (1994); and in the Golden Jubilee (2007), he raised the bar through the following prayer: "And I pray that you may live in peace with spiritual enlightenment to guide you."
The well being of the global Jamat is being enhanced under the banner of 'Quality of Life' in terms of activities in spheres of health, education, financial stability, and community welfare and development, i.e., duniya. These activities are augmented through Din by our participation in the spiritual and luminous spheres through activities such as prayers, bandagi (meditation), charity, volunteer service, the use of sound ethics, and concern for all because we are all created from a Single Soul.
Part 3: Is this world as important as the next world?
Let us first read the following ayat of the Holy Qur'an:
|'I-lamuu 'annamal-hayaa-tud-dunyaa la-'ibunw-wa lahwunw-wa ziinatun-wa tafaa-khurum-batnakum wa takaa-surun-fil-'amwaaliwal-'awlaad; Kamasali gaysin 'a'-jabal-kuffaara nabaatuhuu summa yahiiju fataraahu musfarran-summa yakuunu hutaamaa. Wa fil-'Aakhirati 'Azaabun-shadii-dunw-wa Magfiratum-minal-laahi wa Rizwaan. Wa mal-hayaatud-dunyaaa 'illaa mataa-ul-guruur?' 2515||'Know ye! that the life of this world is only a sport and play, a gaiety and a boasting and the lustful-vying in the multiplication of wealth and children, is like unto the rain therewith springeth up the vegetation, it pleaseth the husbandmen; then it is withered away, and thou seest it becometh yellow, then becometh it stubble crumbleth down; And in the hereafter is a severe chastisement and (also) forgiveness from God, and (His) pleasures; and naught is the life of this world but means of illusion.' (57:20) (p.1629)|
Here is a portion of commentary for this ayat:
2515 'There is in this verse the manifest truth about this world. People not only spend their life in it, but they mostly indulge in showing off and boasting and piling up riches in rivalry—See 6:32, 29:64, 47:36.
Note the divine mercy of the Lord constantly mentioning of His wrath and the punishment followed by His pleasure and pardon.
If the same world [i.e., duniya] is duly used–the Holy Prophet said:
"This world is the farm to cultivate for the hereafter."
"This world is a prison for the believers and a garden for the disbelievers."
Note the apt similitude given to the world to the crops, the rain, the cultivator and the ultimate disappointment. The wise ones, take things with real value and avail of them to their spiritual gain, more than the material profit. They gain knowledge of everything and select things which could afford them the nourishment they need in this life for their physical life, paving the way or facilitating their spiritual uplift. They know the end of everything is decay and vanishing, and the end of every enjoyment is fatigue and exhaustion, leading to disease and death.' (p.1630 & p.1632)
In his firman made in Nairobi, on March 30, 1945, Noor Mowlana Sultan Muhammad Shah (a.s.) contrasted the activities of Din and Duniya as follows:
'To achieve worldly prosperity is necessary but it is more essential to excel in spiritual progress. To attend to the worldly business is incumbent but the affairs of the next world are important than this. This should never be forgotten.'
(Precious Pearls No. 48, p.29)
In his firman made in Maputo on August 12, 1998, Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam has given guidance about creating wealth for the family versus creating wealth as a primary purpose as follows:
|'The new notions of free enterprise, of creating wealth, these are sound notions; but they should be followed within the ethic of our faith. It is important to look to the future and ask yourselves: what have I created for the future generations of my family? But it is also important to say, or to ask: why did I give my time and effort for this? Was it for the purpose of establishing a sound base for my family? Or was it with the objective of the accumulation of wealth - because that was the primary purpose - then, it is not keeping with the ethic of our faith.'|
In his firman made in Mumbai on November 27, 1973, Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam contrasted the activities of material life and spiritual life as follows:
|'I want you to remember that every time you look at a watch, every time you look at a clock, every time you see a hand move by one second or one minute, this means that you have one second or one minute less to fulfil this Farman. It is only the spiritual life which is eternal, not the material life.'|
How can a real believer get worldly affluence as well as paradise in the hereafter? In Pir Pandiyat-i Jawanmardi, Noor Mowlana Shah Mustansir bi'l-laah II (a.s.), our 32nd Holy Imam, teaches us about the necessary code of conduct:
|'The (real) believer is one who is always patient, pious, sincere and truthful, clean in his beliefs, and modest, whose heart is full of the fear of God, who is free from wrath and hatred, and is pure. In his every action he sees his Lord (Khudawand) present before him, always remembering God. Every slave of God who acts in this way will receive in this world splendour and affluence, and in the hereafter he will be in Paradise, in the presence of his Lord (Mawla-y-i khud), Murtada 'Ali.' (Page 7)|
Part 4: What should we do to meet our Lord?
|'Wasta-'iinuu bis-Sabri was-Salaah: wa 'innahaa lakabii-ratun 'illaa 'alal-Khaashi-'inn—' 56||'And seek ye help (from God) through patience and prayer; verily, it is a hard (task) indeed, save upon the humble,' (2:45) (p.47)|
|'Allaziina yazun-nuuna 'annahum-mulaaquu Rabbihim wa 'annahum 'ilayhi raaji-'uun.' 57||'Those who think that they will surely meet their Lord and that verily unto Him shall they return.' (2:46) (p.47)|
Here is the commentary for these ayats:
56 ''Wasta'yeeno' meaning 'Seek ye help' is an indefinite term which covers seeking help in matters temporal as well as spiritual as in 1:4 [Thee (alone) we worship and Thee (alone) we ask for help]:
'Bis-Sabr', i.e. with patience. It is a natural phenomena well known to every enlightened one that bodily mortification is to some extent necessary in disciplining the human ego accommodated in the physical framework, to lighten it by liberating it from the clutches of the desires and passions of the material world, otherwise it would have sunk its personal interest deep into it. This is essential to elevate it into the heights of the realms spiritual. A religion constituted of some mere formal rituals and the offering of the chanting or the recitation of some verbal prayers or charms without the demand on the individual for the practical control of animal self in him can hardly be worth anything. The truth endowed or the spiritual strength one gets by overcoming his selfish passions in him, is by itself a very vast subject to be dealt with in the brief notes meant to explain the particular aspects of the wordings of the verses here.'
'Was-Salat', and with prayers—what else can ever be imaginably more effective or successful than any individual in his helplessness approaching the All-merciful, Almighty through prayers for help.' (p.98)
57 The term 'leqa' ... i.e., meeting has been repeatedly used in the Holy Qur'an... 'Leqa' is to be interpreted as the state of realisation and not a physical vision. The first Holy Imam Ali ibne Abi-Taleb was asked: 'Have thou seen God, the Lord'? He replied: 'I worship not the God, Whom I see not.' Saying this Ali continued: 'He is not seen by the sight of the eyes but views Him in the heart with the realisation of the faith.' (p.98)
Faith has to be infused into the heart. This is the practical application of the sixth Divine Name of Allah, Al-Mumin, The Infuser of Faith. In his firman, Noor Mowlana Sultan Muhammad Shah (a.s.) has said 'Iman is a thing that one can get by pray for it (Iman); for that you have to go to Imam. There is not other way or short cut to it.' (Precious Pearls, No. 19, p. 16].
At its highest level, faith is or becomes light according to the following words of Noor Mowlana Sultan Muhammad Shah: 'Iman Noor chhe' (Source: Ruhani Raaz Gujrati firman book, p. 59). Thus, when faith infuses into the spiritual heart, it becomes light (Noor).
Also, please reflect deeply on Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam's wish that '... (at) all times you should carry in your hearts light, faith, humility and happiness.' (Karachi, December 13, 1964). Note the tight connection between enlightenment, faith, humility and happiness! Al-Hamdulillah!
Part 5: What are the rewards for true friends of God?
|'Alaaa 'inna 'Awli-yaaa-'allaahi laa khaw-fun 'alay-him wa laa hum yah-zanuun' 1027||'Be it known, verily, the friends of God, no fear shall be on them, nor do they grieve;' (10.62) (p.716)|
|'Allaziina 'aamanuu wa kaanuu yatta-quun:—' 1028||'Those who believe and guarded (themselves) against evil.' (10.63) (p.717)|
|'Lahumul-Bushraa fil-Hayaa-riddunyaa wa fil-'Aakhirah: laa tabdiila li-Kalimaatillaah. Zaalika huwal-Fawzul-'Aziim' 1028||'For them are glad tidings in the life in this world and in the hereafter; there is no changing the words of God; that is the great achievement' (10.64) (p.717)|
Here is the commentary for these ayats:
1027 'It is quite natural that those who have befriended themselves to the Lord will naturally get freed from every kind of fear or worry from any quarter whatsoever other than God.
The first Holy Imam Ali-ibne-Abi-Taleb said that those to whom this verse applies (i.e., those meant by 'Aulia Allah') are the Holy Imams and the those who faithfully follow them.
The Holy Prophet of God said the friends of God are those by seeing them, one should be automatically reminded of the Divine Attributes of God, and whose prayerfulness and godliness should infuse in others the same spirit of submission to the Lord. Again the Holy Prophet declared that the friends of God are those:—
1028 'Regarding the promise in the next verse, i.e., for those who believe and guard themselves against evil, the Holy Prophet said that the good news which the friends of God, i.e., the true believers are promised in this life are the good visions they would see in their sleep and the promise in the hereafter is that, when a believer gets into the agony of death before he breathes his last, the Holy Prophet and the Holy Imams appear to him and give him the glad tidings that whomsoever he loved in his life-time are ready to receive him and whatever he prayed for, is there already provided for him.' (p.726).
Part 6: How quickly are our deeds recorded?
|'Wa 'aqiimus-Salaata wa 'aatuz-Zakaah: wa maa tuqad-dimuu li-'anfusikum-mim khayrin-taji-duuhu 'indallaah: innaallah bimaa ta'-maluuna Basiir' 102||'Establish ye prayer and give ye the poor rate and whatever of good ye send forth before (you) for yourselves, that ye shall find with God; Verily God Seeth what all ye do.' (2:110) (p.81)|
Here is the commentary for this ayat:
|102 'This expression is often used in the Holy Qur'an, particularly while referring to sins. Such passages are in 87:40, 81:14 mean both the good as well as evil deeds go before us to God's judgment even before we ourselves do. They are evidences for or against us. The influence of our own deeds begin to operate before we even know of it. ... The eloquence of the Holy Qur'an in presenting this idea is quite obvious. It is a very effective warning to every conscientious member of the human family who is in the least mindful of his or her life after death, to be careful in the practical life in this world.' (p.140)|
Part 7: Who is the greatest guide for our return journey?
|'Yaaa-'ayyu-hallazina 'aamanutta-qullaaha wab-taguuu 'ilay-hil-wasiilata wa jaa-hiduu fii Sabiilihii la-'allakum tuflihuun 677||'O ye who believe! Fear God and seek ye an approach unto Him, and strive hard in His Way, that ye may be successful.' (5:35) (p.462)|
Here is the commentary for this ayat:
677 Waseelah', i.e., means of approach. To seek the pleasure of God by obeying His commands and abstaining from everything forbidden.
'Waseelah', i.e., means of approaching a personality of very high position or status, a king or a minister or the means to reach a high position or an unapproachable height which otherwise could not be accessible. In the case of reaching God or any position of divine excellence, there cannot be any doubt about the means for it, being the Holy Prophet and the Holy Imams. If God had willed He could have guided mankind by inspiring each one individually. But in His infinite wisdom, He had not deemed it desirable. He deputed His emissaries to express His will to His creation, through angels as intermediaries and sometimes directly addressing those chosen by Him. His will was revealed to His apostles and the chief of apostles being the Holy Prophet Muhammad, the chief 'Waseelah' or means to approach Him, can be none but the Holy Prophet and those whom God did commission to be his successors, the Holy Imams. The Holy Prophet had declared:—
"The likeness of my Ahlul-Bait (the Holy ones of the family) us like the Ark of Noah, whosoever got into it, is saved and whosoever stayed away from it, is drowned and lost." (Hadith)
Thus the 'Waseelah' or the means to reach God, is to faithfully follow the Holy Prophet and the Holy Imams who had always been on the right path for they are ones purified by God Himself (33:33) who are always guided by the revelation from God and the divinely inspired knowledge, who never in their lives yielded to falsehood—whose lives always been beacon lights of knowledge and the divine guidance for mankind.
It is not without justification and a purpose that the Holy Prophet seconded his parting caution to his followers saying:—
"I leave behind me two great things: The book of God (i.e., the Holy Qur'an) and my progeny, i.e., my Ahlul-Bait. If ye keep yourselves attached to these two, never, never will ye get astray. These two, i.e., (The Holy Qur'an and the Ahlul-Bait) will never be separated from each other until they meet me at the cistern of 'Kauthar'." (Pp.474-475)
Part 8: What are the fruits of performing bandagi (meditation)?
|'Wa minal-layti fatahajjad bihii naafilatal-lak: 'assaa 'any-yab-'asak Rabbuka Maqaaman-Mahmuudaa!' 1250||'And (in a part) of the night, forsake sleep for prayer, in addition to (what is incumbent on) thee; Maybe that exalteth thee thy Lord unto a position praised.' (17:79) (p.895)|
Here is the commentary for this ayat:
|1250 ''Tahajjud' or getting wakeful in the night. This prayer is to be offered after midnight but before dawn. This is not compulsory but very strongly recommended. The glorious position mentioned is the highest exaltation to which a mortal could rise. The Holy Prophet said that on the Day of Judgment he would be in the 'Maqame-Mahmood' (the position of great Praise and Glory) and from there he would seek intercession for the sinners and the Lord will grant whatever he would command. (p.906)|
|' 'Inna naashi-'atal-layli hiya 'ashaddu wat-'anw-wa 'aqwamu Qiilaa.' 2753||'Verily the rising at night when impression is intense and straightest in words.' (73:6) (p.1763)|
|'Wazkurisma Rabbika wa tabattal 'ilayhi tabtiilaa.' 2754||'And remember thou, the name of thy Lord, and devote thyself to Him with an exclusive devotion.' (73:8) (p.1763)|
Here is the commentary for these ayats:
2753 'Note how Islam wants man to avail the best time in the nature of day and night for concentration, meditation, supplication and for disciplining the soul to get into communion with the All-Divine. Night is the time when the world seeking the material profit in the earth gets practically all still, silent and when there is cessation of voices of the day time, which distract and even destroy contemplation, concentration and meditation. It is the best and most suitable time for a human soul to get mindful of its Creator Lord. Only those who get up at midnight and engage themselves in prayers would know the realisation of the communion with their Lord and how the soul gets tranquilled. (p.1764)
2754 'Tabattul': to cut away one's self and get communion exclusively with the Lord—The Holy Lady Fatima, the daughter of the Holy Prophet, is called 'Batool' for she used to turn to God in prayers, disconnecting herself from everything in the world, or for her life as as a whole being dedicated exclusively to God.' (p.1764)
Here is an excerpt of a firman which shows the connection between the soul and bandagi:
'I remind you once again that you must understand that each one of you has a soul and this soul is eternal: and it is the duty and responsibility of each one of you to remember that you have a soul. For this reason, it is necessary for each individual to attend Jamatkhana regularly and to be regular in your Bandagi and your prayers. In everyday life you must not forget—whether you have worries, troubles, tribulations or whether you are successful in life, whatever circumstances you may be placed in—that the most important aspect of your worldly life is your religion, your faith, your soul. I ask you whether you will be regular in your attendance in Jamatkhana?
(The Jamat answered: "Ameen, Khudavind")
I ask you another question: Which is your first responsibility in life?
(The Jamat answered: "Ibadat, Khudavind")
Then, if you know the answer and when I am not here physically, you should not forget this.'
—Mumbai, 8th November 1967
Part 9: Luminous dhikr of Light (Noor)
The aspect of Noor (Light) makes the Ismaili Imamat unique, therefore, 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) on the auspicious occasion of Imamat Day because it captures the fundamental concepts of Imamat succinctly:
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)
Noore Muhammad, Noore Ali; (2)
Noore Ali, Noore Karim; (3)
Noore Karim, Hazar Imam (4)
Noore Muhammad, Hazar Imam (5)
Noore Qur'an, Hazar Imam (6)
Noore Ali, Hazar Imam (7)
Noore Karim, Hazar Imam (8)
Al-hamdu lillahi rabbil 'alamin
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds!
I would like to conclude this Candle Post with the following message of Noor Mowlana Shah Sultan Muhammad Shah Al-Husayni (a.s.) to students in Mumbai in which he explained about the fundamental principle of our Holy faith:
|" ... While the material conditions of life change, the spiritual conditions which are not only limited to this life but go beyond, are based on one fundamental principle, namely search for enlightenment by the right spiritual contact with the light of your holy faith." (Precious Pearls No. 43)|
I pray to Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam to expand the spiritual hearts of all the members of the global Ismaili Jamat immensely and fill them with his Noor and nothing else! Ameen.
Imamat Day Mubarak!
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),
Sunday, July 10, 2016
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