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IMAM ALI (AS): MY IMAM, OUR MASTER
By Muhammad Hayatuddeen
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the best of all creatures and on his pure and infallible progeny, the manifestations of the Beauty and Glory of the Most Exalted Being, treasurers of the secrets of the Holy Qur’an which displayed the Oneness of Allah and His Beautiful Names, those known and unknown. May the damnation of Allah be up on the enemies (‘the vicious tree’) of our Noblest Prophet Muhammad and his family from the beginning to the end of times.
All praises belongs to the Most Exalted Being for letting us witness yet another month, the month of Rajab, the month of my Imam, our Master. It was in a month like this that You blessed the entire world by sending to it and to us a personality whose worth is known only to You and Your Noblest Prophet.
All praises belongs to the Most Exalted Being Who had granted us the best of all creatures and made my Imam, our Master, his brother, his Wasi and the husband of the best of all women through whom we were honored with Imams of guidance without whom the creation of all that was created would never have been.
All praises belongs to the Most Exalted Being Who had granted our Prophet and our Imams the knowledge of what was and what was be and commissioned them to teach all that He had created how to attest to His unity, glorify Him, praise Him, venerate and worship Him.
All praises belongs to the Most Exalted Being Who had made our Prophet, our Imams the interceders of all those who sought His blessings, bounties, guidance, pardon and protection.
All praises belongs to the Most Exalted Being Who had declared among others, concerning our Prophet and our Imams thus:
“It is Allah’s wish to remove all blemishes from you, O Ahlal Bayt, and purify you with a perfect purification’. (33:33)
‘Say, I ask no reward from you for it except the love of my kinsfolk. And whosoever doeth a good deed we add unto it a greater good for him. Lo Allah is forgiving, Responsive’ (42:23)
‘Hold fast to the Rope of Allah, all of you together and do not diverge… (3:103)
‘Lo, this is My straight path, so follow it and do not follow other ways or else you will diverge from His ways’ (6:153)
‘whoever opposes the Prophet after the guidance has been made manifest unto him and follow any path other than the path of the believers, We will turn him towards that unto which he himself has turned, and We will expose him to Hell and a bad journey it will be.’ (4:115)
‘O you who believe, obey Allah and obey His Messenger and those who are supreme in authority amongst you’ (4:59)
….No one knows its interpretation except Allah and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge, who say: we believe in it – it is all from our Lord... (3:7)
We Praise and Extol You our God for it was in respect of our Imams that Your Noblest Prophet said among other things:
“O you people, I leave amongst you two things which if you will follow, you will never go astray after, and they are the Book of Allah and my Ahl-al-Bayt”
“I will soon be called away and will have to depart from you, but I leave among you Two Weighty Things, the Book of the High and Mighty Allah and my descendants. The Book of Allah is like a rope which extends from the heavens to the earth, and my descendants are people of my house (Ahl-al-Bayt). The Subtle and Aware tells me that the two shall never part company until they come to me at the pool. So take care how you treat them after me”
“Behold! My Ahl-al-Bayt are like the Ark of Noah; whoever embarked in it was saved, and whoever turned away from it was destroyed”
“There will be twelve Imams after me. O Ali! You are the first of them and the last of them will be the Qa’im (firmly established) to whom Allah, the Mighty and Glorious, will grant victory over the east and west of the earth”
All praises belongs to the Most Exalted Being for it was in respect of my Imam, our Master that the best of all creation declared:
‘Ali and I have been created out of the same Nur. This Nur has been engaged in worshipping God on the right side of His throne for fourteen thousand years before the birth of Adam. After his birth, this Nur was transferred from the same parents, all of whom were immaculate, until finally it was deposited in the back of Abd Al-Muttalib, whence it was divided in two; half of it went to my father Abdallah of whom I was born and the other half went to Abu Talib of whom Ali wan born’
All praises belongs to the Most Exalted Being Who had decreed that only my Imam, our Master was ever to be born in the holiest of all places, in Ka’aba. My Imam who had never for once worshiped an idol and whose parents were free from the pollution of polytheism.
All praises belongs to the Most Exalted Being Who had declared on the night of Hijrah, to His closest angels Gabriel and Michel that “I have created brotherhood between My vicegerent Ali and My Prophet Muhammad. Ali has offered to sacrifice his life for the sake of the Prophet’s life, now both of you are ordered to go to the earth and save him from the enemy’s evil designs.”
All praises belongs to the Most Exalted Being Who had also revealed on this night, concerning my Imam, our Master “And there is the type of man who gives his life to earn the pleasure of God; and Allah is full of kindness to (His) servants” (2:207)
All praises belongs to the Most Exalted Being for giving us an Imam whose willingness to sacrifice his life before the drawn swords of the enemies, at that tender age, in order to earn the pleasure of Allah and His Prophet on the night of Hijrah, was truly an act of supreme sacrifice that the angels, despite their proximity to that Most Exalted Being, were unwilling to do for each other.
All praises belongs to the Most Exalted Being for giving us an Imam who was the champion in Badar, Uhud, Khandaq, Khaibar, Hunnai, Jammal, and at Siffin.
All praises belongs to the Most Exalted Being Who had given us an Imam who had subdued permanently the most dangerous enemies of Islam and our Noblest Prophet. For in the battle of Badar our Imam eliminated Al-Walid ibn Utba, brother of Hind wife of Abu Sufyan and the mother of Mu’awiya father of Yazid; Shaiba ibn Rabi’a, uncle of Hind; Al-As ibn Said ibn Al- As Al-Amawi; Nawfal ibn Khuwailid ibn Asad; Mas;ud ibn Al-Mughira, who was the father of Khalid ibn Walid; Abu Al-Qais ibn Al-Al-Fakah; Abdallah ibn Al-Mundhir; Al-As ibn Munya ibn Al-Hajjaj; Hanzala and Abu Umar sons of Abu Sufyan; Abu Ubaid ibn Al-Haruth; and Aqil ibn Nawfal. Included in this list were five close relatives of Muawiya father of Yazid the killer of Imam Hussain (AS)
All praises belongs to the Most Exalted Being Who had given us an Imam, our Master who had killed all the standards bearers of Quraish in the battle of Uhud. An Imam who when asked by the Prophet, in the same battle, ‘why did you not take to flight and join your comrades?’ declared; ‘should I become a Kafir after having once accepted Iman? I will follow you everywhere”
All praises belongs to the Most Exalted Being for giving us an Imam whose deeds on the day of Uhud was loudly appreciated by Angel Gabriel who declared ‘there is no courageous youth like Ali and no sword like his Dhu Al-Fiqar’
All praises belongs to the Most Exalted Being Who had given us an Imam that had the courage to confront Amr ibn Abd Wudd, whose strength was thought to be equivalent to a thousand soldiers, on the day of Khandaq.
We are proud that on this day, the Noblest Prophet declared that one blow of my Imam was worth more than the worship of all created beings from that day till eternity. We are proud that our Imam, after defeating Amr did not take his dress and armor as was the practice. An act that left many amassed.
We are proud that it was only in respect of our Imam that the Noblest Prophet declared on the day of Khaibar; ‘By God, tomorrow I will hand over the flag to a man who loves God and His Prophet and whom God and His Prophet love; he is very brave, he never flees the battle field, and will take it forcibly’
It was only in respect of my Imam, our Master that the Noblest Prophet declared: ‘verily, Allah made me superior to all the Prophets, chose me for excellence, and made for me a successor, my cousin, Ali. Through him, He strengthened my shoulders, just as the shoulders of Moses were strengthened by Aaron. He (Ali) is my vicegerent and assistant. If there were a Prophet after me, it would have been Ali, but there will be no Prophet after me.’
The Noblest Prophet said in respect of my Imam: O Ali, you are the bearer of my knowledge, my Wali and friend, my successor, the heir of my knowledge and my Caliph. You are the trustee of the heritage of all the proceeding prophets. You are the confidant of Allah on this earth and Allah’s proof for the whole of creation. You are a pillar of Iman (faith) and guardian of Islam. You are a lamp in darkness, a light of guidance and for the people of the whole world you are a raised standard. O Ali! he who follows you is delivered; he who disobeys you will perish; you are the luminous way and a straight path; you are the leader of pure men and the head of believers; to whosoever I am master (maula), you are also his master and I am the master of every believer (man or woman). Only he is your friend who is born of lawful wedlock. Allah did not transport me to the heavens to speak to me without telling me, ‘O Muhammad! Convey My salutation to Ali and tell him that he is the Imam of My friends and the light of worshippers’ congratulations to you O Ali, on this marvelous excellence.
It was in respect of my Imam, our master that the Noblest Prophet said to his adorable daughter, leader of all women, mother of leaders of the youth of paradise and the Imam of guidance: “O Fatimah (AS) do you not know that we are the Ahl al-Bayt for whom Allah has preferred the hereafter to this world, and that Allah, the Bestower of Blessings and the Most High, cast a glance over the inhabitants of the earth and chose me out of all creatures. Then He cast a second glance and chose your husband and inspired me to give you to him in marriage and take him as my friend and to appoint him as my minister and successor over my followers. So, you father is the best of all the Prophets and your husband the best of all the executors of will…”
It was in respect of my Imam, our Master that the Noblest Prophet said to that venerable lady Umm Salim; ‘O Umm Salim! The flesh of Ali is from my flesh and his blood is from my blood and he holds the same position to me as Aaron held in relation to Moses’.
He (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him and his posterity) also told Ammar Ibn Yasir “O Ammar! When you find Ali walking on one path and the people walking on a different track, then follow Ali and leave the people. Ali will never lead you to destruction and will never misguide you”
“O son of Sumrah! When ambitions are at variance and opinions in conflict then you ought to follow Ali Ibn Abu Talib for he is the Imam (leader) of my followers and my successor over them”
It was in honor of my Imam, our Master that the Noblest Prophet declared:
“O son of Mas’ud! Ali Ibn Abu Talib is your Imam after me and my successor over you”
“O Umm Salmah! Listen to me and be a witness. This Ali Ibn Abu Talib is executor of my will and my Khalifah after me; he is the fulfiller of my promises and the remover of the hypocrites from my pool of Kawthar”
“O you Ansar! Let me tell you one thing. If you will rigidly follow it you will never go astray. Here is Ali. Love him as you love me and be respectful to him as you are respectful to me. What I have told you is certainly the commandment of Allah, the Mighty and Glorious, which Gabriel has conveyed to me”
‘This is the guide of the righteous and the slayer of the profligate. He who helps him is victorious and he who abandons him is forsaken”
“Ali Ibn Abu Talib is the door of forgiveness. He who enters the door is faithful and he who goes out of it is an infidel”
“O Ali! He who separated himself from me separated himself from Allah, and he who separated from you separated himself from me”
“O Ali you are the executor of my will, the father of my children and my successor over my nation in my life time and after my death. Your command is my command and your prohibition is my prohibition”
“O Ali you are my brother and I am your brother. I have been selected for prophethood and you have been chosen for Imamate. Divine commandments are revealed to me and you have to interpret them. And you are the father of this nation. O Ali you are the executor of my will and my successor, my vizier, my heir, and the father of my children”
“O Ali! You are my brother and I am your brother and you are the executor of my will (heir) and my Khalifah and the Imam of my nation after me. May Allah love him who loves you and be hostile to him who is hostile to you”.
“O Ali! Whoever has your love in his heart while he traversed the Bridge of Siraat, if one of his feet faltered, his other foot would stabilize his progress till the moment Allah gave him entrance to Heaven”
“I advise all those who believe in my prophethood and confirm my message to obey Ali Ibn Abu Talib, for he who obeys him obeys me and he who obeys me obeys Allah, and he who loves him loves me and he who loves me loves Allah and he who hates him hates me and he who hates me hates Allah, the Mighty, and Glorious”
“You will repay my debts, convey my messages to the people and will show them the right path when there will be dissension among them after me”
“Ali is the door of my knowledge, and after me he will explain to my followers what has been sent with me. Love for him is faith and hatred towards him is hypocrisy”
All praises belongs to the Most Exalted Being for giving us an Imam who did NOT say “O people, I have taken into my hands the rein of your affairs. But I am not better than you. Therefore, if I stray from the right path, you should set me straight. You should know that sometimes the devil takes possession of me, so if you ever see me beside myself with anger, you should avoid me”.
Rather, my Imam, our Master declared that: I am the dispeller of darkness; I am the straight path. I am the depositary of knowledge; I am the heir to the knowledge given to the Prophets; I am the Faruq-Al A’zam, I am Saqi-Al-kawthar; I am the guardian of the knowledge of the Qur’an; I am the conqueror of the brave; I am the bearer of the flag of the Prophet; I am the slayer of the of the heathens; I am who never stooped so low as to worship the idols; I am the conqueror of the battles of Badar and Hunain; I am the sword of God; I am the conqueror of the confederates at the battle of ditch; I am the expositor of the Realities; I have opened the treasures of knowledge; I am to Muhammad as Harun was to Musa; I am the keeper of the secrets of Nubuwa; I am the chosen one of God; with me the sea of knowledge is surging”
We are proud and honored that only my Imam, our Master can categorically say:
“Through us you got the light when were in darkness and reached the heights; and through us you obtained guidance towards light in the dark night”
“On account of the sincerity and purity of my heart, I have been given eyes which see the truth. And with those eyes I watch and guided you. I have take you out of the desert of darkness and sinfulness, and brought you onto the straight path. You had gathered at the place where there was no guide for you. You were digging wells but could not get water”
“I swear by Allah that if a carpet is spread and I sit on it, verily, I will instruct the followers of the Torah, according to the Torah. I will instruct the followers of the Gospel according to the Gospel, until both the Torah and the Gospels are made to speak and bear witness to the following: Ali has spoken the truth and the verdict that he has given is according to what has been revealed in us…”
“Ask me about what you do not understand before I die. I swear by Allah who split the grain and created man that if you ask about any verse of the Holy Book of Allah, I will tell you about it- when it was revealed, during the day or at night, at a halting place or on the way, on the plain or in the hills, about whom it was revealed, a believer or against a hypocrite; what Allah meant by it, and whether the verse is general or particular”
“Ask me about what you do not understand before I die. I swear by my Lord that there is not a green field, or a desert land or a group of people who misguide a hundred men or guide a hundred men, but I know them. I know better than anyone else those who lead the people or incite them to evil until the Day of Judgment”
“I could load seventy camels with commentary on the surah of al-Fatiha (of the Holy Qur’an).”
When the treacherous and disgraceful drama at the Saqifa was conclude, Abu Sufyan, father of Muawiyya and leader of the major wars against the Prophet went to pledge his allegiance to my Imam with the promise that he will fill Medina with army against anybody that opposed my Imam. My Imam immediately recognized the treachery of Abu Sufyan and rebuked him thus:
“O people! Steer clear through the waves of mischief by boats of deliverance, turn away from the path of dissension and put off the crowns of pride. Prosperous is one who rises with the wings (when he has power) or else he remains peaceful and others enjoy ease. It (the aspiration for Caliphate) is like a morsel that would suffocate the person who swallows it. One who plucks fruits before ripening is like the one who cultivates in another’s field.
If speak out they would call me greedy towards power but if I keep quite they would say I was afraid of death. It is a pity that after all the ups and downs (I have been through). By Allah the son of Abu Talib is more familiar with death than an infant with the breast of its mother. I have hidden knowledge; if I disclose it you will start trembling like ropes in deep wells”.
“Oh world! Deceive somebody else instead of me. Do you fold me in your arms and are you fond of me? This can’t be. I have given you three divorces, after which union is not possible. Your time is short lived, the fear you bring is great, and your pleasure is very insulting. May Allah save us from the paucity of means of traveling, the remoteness of the destination, and the perils of the way”.
We are proud and honored that it was because of my Imam, our Master and our Imams that JAFRE-JAMI’A was revealed by the Most Exalted Being. It is a Book that contains what was and what would be. And none knows it’s secretes and can read it except my Imam and our Imams.
We are proud and honored that it was only in honor of my Imam and our Imams that Angel Gabriel brought a sealed book to the best of all creatures and said to him: “All those present there with you except your Wasi (successor) should leave so that I may give you the KITABE-WASIYYA ( the book of the last testament)
We are proud and honored that NAHJU’L-BALAGHA (Peak of eloquence) - a book whose worth is only known by Allah, His Prophet and the Holy Imams is authored by my Imam, our Master.
We are proud and honored that even the greatest enemy of my Imam proudly declared when scolding his subject thus: “You have uttered a very bad thing. You have rejected the man whom the Holy Prophet himself trained and to whom he said: You have the same relation to me as Aaron had to Moses, except that there shall be no prophet after me”
It was only is respect of my Imam, our Master that his murderer declared: “you are the true guide, free from all faults and doubts. You are generous and kind and are the son of those lion-hearted and gallant ancestors who were so distinguished in bravery from the very beginning. O, successor of the Prophet! Allah has given you this rank and bestowed upon you that virtue and greatness present in the Holy Qur’an”
However, my Imam advised this murderer thus: “I advise you to love me open-heartedly, though I know you are one of my enemies”
Ibn Muljim protested to my Imam thus: “Perhaps you hear my name and you dislike my name”
My Imam declared with certainty thus: “No it is not so; I know without the least doubt that you are a murderer and before long you will stain my white beard with the blood of my head”
Ibn Muljim said to my Imam, ‘if it is so, you may have me killed’
We are proud that our Imam and Master was not a ruler of world nor was he a king who would have his enemies both real and imagined killed on slightest suspicious. Even when his companions insisted that Ibn Muljim should be killed my Imam declared firmly.
“It can never be. My religion does not allow retaliation before the commission of the sin. I know for certain that you are my murderer, but religious orders concern manifest acts. Since you have not committed an unjust action, I cannot inflict any penalty on you”
May the damnation of the Most Exalted Being, His Noblest Prophet, and the Imams of guidance, His Angels, Prophets, martyrs and those who knew and weep be upon Ibn Muljim and those who laid the foundation for the murder of my Imam and our Master.
May the blessings of Allah be upon the best of all creatures and his holy and infallible family.