Articles http://english.irib.ir Tue, 12 Dec 2017 13:47:29 +0000 en-gb The Perennial Spring of Kowthar http://english.irib.ir/component/k2/item/154586-the-perennial-spring-of-kowthar http://english.irib.ir/component/k2/item/154586-the-perennial-spring-of-kowthar

By: Seyyed Ali Shahbaz --

"Indeed, We have granted you Kowthar…Indeed, it is your enemy who is without posterity." (holy Qur'an 108:1 & 3)

 

Today, the 20th of Jamadi al-Akher, is the day when God granted Kowthar or Perpetual Abundance to His Last and Greatest Prophet, in the form of a blessed daughter, whose offspring that have multiplied and spread all over the globe, ensures the continuity of the progeny of the Seal of Divine Messengers.

She is Fatema az-Zahra (SA), who was conceived of the Fruit of Paradise that God gave Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) to eat during his Me'raj (ascension) to the highest points in the ethereal heavens and back again to Planet Earth in the part of a single night.

It is thus clear that the Me'raj was a physical journey transcending time and space, and certainly not a dream or spiritual ecstasy experienced by the Prophet, as the weak of faith conjecture.

Unfortunately, there are some sceptics who also try to cast doubts on the reference to Hazrat Fatema (SA) in the opening Ayah of the above-mentioned Surah of the holy Qur'an, and instead like to restrict Kowthar to the spring in afterlife from which the faithful will quench their thirst.

It again shows the fickleness of faith of such persons, if not outright hypocrisy or disbelief. In view of wordings of the last Ayah of Surah al-Kowthar, the reference is clearly to the birth of the propitious daughter and continuation of abundance of progeny to keep alive forever the lineal descent of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), while persons like Aas bin Wa'el who prided on male issue and mocked at God's Messenger for absence of any son, would be long cut off from any issue.

No wonder, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the faithful throughout the world, mark the 20th of Jamadi al-Akher as Mother's Day and Women's Week in honour of the lady, who as the wife of Imam Ali (AS), the person whose merits are second only to the Prophet, gave birth to such exemplary sons as Imam Hasan (AS) and Imam Husain (AS) and equally virtuous daughters as Hazrat Zainab (SA) and Omm Kulthoum (SA), who played immortal roles in the history of humanity.

In other words, the Almighty has blessed Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) with infinite favours, both in this transient world where he was sent to salvage mankind, and in the Hereafter where his intercession guarantees a drink of the limpid waters of Kowthar and entry into the blissful peace of Paradise.

For his part, the "Mercy unto to the creation" made clear at every step that the virtues of his daughter, the Lady of Paradise – as Muslims unanimously hail her – are not restricted to the Day of Resurrection, but as the pivotal figure of the blessed group called Ahl al-Bayt by God in the holy Qur'an, cover all aspects of our life and faith.

"Indeed, Allah desires to keep away uncleanness from you Ahl al-Bayt, and preserve you thoroughly purified." – (33:33)

Time and space do not permit me to go into details of this Ayah at whose revelation the Prophet assembled under his cloak Hazrat Fatema (SA), Imam Ali (AS), Imam Hasan (AS) and Imam Husain (AS) – and no one else besides. The subsequent entry of this specific group – again no one else besides – on the field of the historic Mubahela with the Christians of Najran, confirm the fact that no other woman except the Prophet's daughter is mentioned in this particular Ayah.

To be more precise, it is Fatema (SA), the Perennial Kowthar that cleanses the faithful of any worldly blemishes and keeps alive their faith for the eventual journey to the Spring of Kowthar and to Paradise.

In view of these undeniable facts regarding the paragon-par-excellence of all feminine virtues, isn't it a blasphemous idea, if out of the lingering tribal prejudices of the Days of Jahiliyya, one were to associate with the Ahl al-Bayt, the Prophet's wives, who were neither born pure and clean of any worldly impurity, nor many of them remained unpolluted from the political crimes that plagued the ummah after the passing away of the Prophet?

Definitely, since God Almighty has used unambiguous words in Surah Tahrim to openly censure two of the Prophet's wives for their intrigues.

So, instead of depriving ourselves of the blessings of God by blindly following lies and conjecture, let us sincerely stick to the brilliant path of guidance blazed for mankind by Fatema (AS), her husband, her sons, and the Infallible Imams of her progeny, to ensure a virtuous life in this world and the blissful bounties of Kowthar in afterlife.

Courtesy – Kayhan Int’l, Iran English Language Newspaper

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Articles Tue, 24 May 2011 04:30:09 +0000
Whither the Unmarked Grave http://english.irib.ir/component/k2/item/154381-whither-the-unmarked-grave http://english.irib.ir/component/k2/item/154381-whither-the-unmarked-grave

By Seyyed Ali Shahbaz --

"Father! I remain bewildered and lonely; confused and lonesome. My voice is subdued. My back is broken. My life is disturbed…

Surely, after you, (God's) revelations, the place of Gabriel's descent and Michael's station have vanished. Father! Motives have changed and gates have been shut in my face."

"Father! I will forever be sorrowful until we are reunited… Father! We became after you among the oppressed. Father! People shun us after you, after we were glorified by your presence…"

"Father! How gloomy are your meeting places (without your presence)! How pained I am for you, until I soon join you! How bereaved is Abu'l-Hasan (Imam Ali), the father of your two (grand)sons Hasan and Husain; your beloved one; he whom you brought up as a youth, and made your brother as a man; the most beloved of your companions to you; Abu'l-Hasan, who was the first to migrate and help you."

The above passages are part of an elegy of a bereaved offspring for a departed father. As is clear from the wordings and the phrases, the one being mourned is not an ordinary person, but the Almighty's Last and Greatest Messenger to mankind.

It is also obvious that the one weeping for Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) and complaining to him about the calamities that befell his Ahl al-Bayt after his farewell to the mortal world is his only surviving child.

She is none other than Fatema az-Zahra (SA), who because of her profound care and concern for her widowed father following the death of her mother, Umm al-Momineen (Mother of all true believers), Khadija (SA) over a dozen years ago – after over 25 years of marital bliss with the Prophet – had earned the epithet of Umm Abiha (Mother of her own Father).

On God's command, the Prophet had shown his only surviving child the greatest respect, even standing to his feet on her arrival, and had often said in plain and simple Arabic without mincing words:

"Fatema is a part of me; whoever hurts her has hurt me; and whoever hurts me has hurt God."

Islamic history is at times a painful reading. No sooner had the Prophet's eyes closed forever, the persecution of his nearest and dearest ones started, in violation of God's commandment to Muslims that their love and affection for the Prophet's progeny is a token of their faith in Islam and a form gratitude to the efforts of the Prophet.

The Lady, whom God calls Kowsar (Blessed Spring of Perpetual Abundance) in the holy Qur'an, was oppressed by a group of companions of her father, because of their greed for the political power of the Islamic state that neither God had given them nor the Prophet had entrusted them.

No wonder, we find Fatema (SA) complaining at the graveside of her father, after her patrimony of Fadak had been seized, after the political rights of her husband had been usurped, after the blazing door had been flung in her face (pinning her to the wall), after her ribs had been broken, after the miscarriage she suffered as a result (Mohsen the first martyr of the Ahl al-Bayt), and after the dragging of her husband under threat of death for forced swearing of allegiance to the self-styled caliph.

Fatema (SA) was not lamenting her sufferings, or that of her husband and her children, although she knew by the Grace of God that the deviationist trend which had started at Saqifa Bani Sa'da while the Prophet was being laid to rest by his divinely-decreed vicegerent, Imam Ali (AS), will one day see the rise of the charlatan Yazid to the caliphate and the tragedy of Karbala, where her household would be slaughtered mercilessly by those masquerading as Muslims.

She was actually grief-stricken for the catastrophe befalling Islam, as had been the case with the messages of the past Prophets, for example, Moses and Jesus, whose teachings had been distorted into Judaism and Christianity.

As the spotlessly pure Pride of the Virgin Mary whose veiled presence at the field of Mubahela (holy Qur'an 3:61) had convinced the Christians of Najran of the truth of Islam, Fatema (SA) took the decisive decision of unmasking hypocrisy forever, when in her last will, she instructed her aggrieved husband:

"I ask you not to let anyone who did injustice to me to witness my funeral, for they certainly are enemies of mine, and the enemy of Allah's Messenger. Also don't give them the chance to pray over me, nor to any of their followers. Burry me at night when eyes are at rest and sight is put to sleep."

Imam Ali (AS) carried out the wishes of his beloved wife in the dead of night on the 3rd Jamadi al-Akher (95 days after the Prophet's passing away), at an unmarked and still unknown spot in Medina, so that the shadow of those that had displeased her, the Prophet and God, would never fall upon it, nor would any future blasphemers, such as the Wahhabis of our times, would be able to desecrate it.

It would not be out of context to refer here to an incident that has been widely quoted by even our Sunni brethren. When the morning after her burial the coup leaders tried to make a tumult by threatening to dig up the whole place in order to find the grave of Fatema (SA), the proverbial patience of Imam Ali (AS) almost snapped, as he grabbed the ringleader by his clothes, shook him and threw him to the ground, saying:

"Son of the Sawada! I have abandoned my right to prevent people from forsaking their faith, but as regards Fatema's grave, by Him in whose hand is my soul, if you and your followers attempt to do anything to it, I will irrigate the ground with your blood!"


(Courtesy -- Kayhan Int'l, Iran's English Language Daily)

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Articles Sat, 07 May 2011 16:53:49 +0000
Grief Refreshed http://english.irib.ir/component/k2/item/154090-grief-refreshed http://english.irib.ir/component/k2/item/154090-grief-refreshed

By: Seyyed Ali Shahbaz --

"O Allah! Send blessings on Fatema the Truthful, the Spotlessly Pure, the Dearest of the Most Dearest (Person) to You, Your Prophet… whom You chose, favoured and gave preference over all women of the universe."

 

The above phrase is part of the standard form of salutation – as is clear from its wordings – to the lady who is hailed as the noblest women of all time (Seyyedat-an-nisa al-alamin min al-awwalin wa'l-akherin).

Indeed, as Muslims of all denominations are unanimous, Fatemat-az-Zahra (SA) is the Pride of the Virgin Mary (SA).

According to the works of such outstanding scholars amongst our Sunni brethren (Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Tirmidhi, Hakim Nisabouri, Tabarani etc), she is the daughter at whose doorstep Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) used to salute every morning before the dawn prayers following revelation of the Verse of Purity (33:33) which vouchsafes the pristine purity of the Ahl al-Bayt.

The narrators also agree that whenever the Prophet used to leave Medina, Fatema (SA) was the last one he bade goodbye, and on return the first and foremost one to be greeted by him.

It is an indisputable fact that the Prophet used to stand to his feet whenever Fatema (SA) entered his presence. This was not the doting of a middle-aged father on his only surviving child, but the commandment of the Creator.

In this regard, Ayesha – one of the several wives the Prophet had married in the last ten years of his life in Medina out of social necessity, after the passing away in Mecca of his loyal wife of 25 long years, Fatema's (SA) mother Khadijat-al-Kubra (SA) – says: “Never have I seen any one resembling the Messenger of Allah (SAWA) in his way of standing and sitting more than Fatema – may Allah grant her more honour. When she came in to see him, he would rise to his feet, take her hand, kiss her and seat her where he was seated…”

In Sahih Bukhari, the Prophet is quoted as saying: “Fatema is a part of me, whoever hurts her has hurt me, and whoever hurts me has hurt God."

But why would anyone hurt such a paragon of virtue, whom God hails in the holy Qur'an as Kowsar or the Blessed Spring of Perpetual Abundance?

Weren't the companions of the Prophet aware of her prime position as the fulcrum of faith?

Hadn't they watched in amazement and admiration the veiled figure of the Immaculate Fatema (SA) accompany her father – along with her husband and two sons – to the memorable Mubahela with the Christians of Najran on revelation of ayah 61 or Surah Aal-e Imran, less than two years before the Prophet's departure from the world?

No one can deny these facts, but alas, no sooner did the Prophet pass away, things abruptly changed for his beloved daughter and her family. The political right of her husband, Imam Ali (AS) was usurped at Saqifa Bani Sa'dah by a group greedy for rule of the Islamic state. Next, her own rights were seized including the patrimony of the Orchard of Fadak which the Prophet had given her in his lifetime, and whose income she spent for the upkeep of the poor and the destitute.

Matters worsened by the day. In order to defend not just her own rights or the rights of inheritance of Muslim women, but also the divinely-decreed right of Imam Ali (AS), she delivered the memorable sermon in the court of the caliph and his clique – a flawlessly eloquent sermon that till this day continues to provide guidelines for Muslims concerning the fundamentals of faith, including Towhid, Adl, Ma'ad, and Wilaya (God-given authority of the Prophet's progeny).

Her words fell on deaf ears and failed to jolt the conscience of the neo-Muslims who had spent almost their entire life in idol-worship and all other abominable crimes and sins of the Days of Ignorance.

Next we see a roguish group of her father's companions storm her house with fire and crowbars, shouting that if she does not surrender her husband to them for forcible swearing of allegiance to the regime, her house would be burned down with the children inside. The chief culprit flung the door in her face, pinning Fatema (SA) to the wall, as a result of which she suffered miscarriage.

Soon the day came when the Apple of Paradise (Tuffahat-ul-Firdous, to quote the Prophet), left the world a martyr with broken ribs, leaving in profound grief Imam Ali (AS) and her four small orphans – sons, Imam Hasan (AS) and Imam Husain (AS), and daughters, Hazrat Zainab (SA) and Hazrat Omm Kulthoum (SA) – all of whom tread her path to offer great sacrifices including martyrdom for the cause of Islam in order to keep the genuine teachings of her father, Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) alive forever.

Here I quote another part of the ziyarah or standard form of salutation for Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA) that reads:

"O Allah! Call to account those who wronged her and made light of her rights, and wreak vengeance upon them who killed her children. O Allah! In the same manner as You chose her to be the Mother of the Imams of guidance, the Associate of the standard-bearer on the Day of judgment, and granted her the loftiest position in the highest heaven, so, send blessings on her and on her mother (Hazrat Khadija), blessings that brighten the face of her father, Muhammad (SAWA)."

 

 

(Courtesy – Kayhan Int'l, English Daily of Iran)

 

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Articles Sun, 17 Apr 2011 03:28:56 +0000