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HOME 15/shaban/1432 (16/7/2011)
Sheikh Zakzaky’s Address on Nisf Sha’aban
After normal salutation and congratulatory message on the birthday of Leader of Humanity, Imam Mahdi(AJ), Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sayyed Ibraheem Zakzaky gave a brief presentation on the significance and virtues of the 15th day of Sha’aban (Nisf Sha’aban).
Day of Nisf Sha’aban
The 15th of Sha’aban coincides with birthday of Imamul Asr Waz-Zaman, Imam Mahdi(AJ) who was born at Samarra 255AH. Even before his auspicious birth, Nisf Sha’aban is very well known to many people of past nations for its virtues. Many of the Jamhur, i.e. Sunni Scholars, say it’s the day Qaddara is written; it’s the day angels take record of deeds to heaven and new book of files is opened to record the deeds of creatures for the upcoming year.
However, exclusively to Ahlul Bayt(AS), the day has added merit and value with the birth of Imam of the Age, Mahdi(AJ). It was reported from Imam Sadiq(AS) that, “the night of Nisf Sha’aban is equivalent to the Night of Power(Lailatul Qadr)..”
Birth of Imam of the Age
The birth of Imam Mahdi(AJ) was unknown to majority of Muslims as a result of evil machination of Abbasid Rulers who used religion as a disguise to manipulate and rule people. Knowledge on the birth and existence of Imam Mahdi as Leader of the Age is incumbent upon Muslims. His existence as Leader is among the 3 questions the angels will ask every soul in the grave. During the lifetime of the Holy Prophet Imam Ali (AS) was the Wasiy (Successor of the Holy Prophet). When Fatimah Bnt Assad, mother of Imam Ali (AS), was buried the Prophet prayed at her grave and he was heard saying: “Your son Ali”. The Holy Prophet later told his companions that, she was being asked about the Imam, Leadership (Imamate) after the Prophet, and he tipped her on what to answer; Ali the Imam at the time of the Prophet. There are reports that the water of Zam-Zam do increase in volume and quantity in the night of Nisf Sha’aban, and some people are ransomed to attain salvation in this night; those who visit Imam Husain (AS) in this night particular are forgiven their sins, for It is the night of countless blessings.
The birth of Imam Mahdi (AF) was a miraculous. Secret security agents were attached to his father, Imam Hasan Askariy (AS) by the Abbasid Ruler, to prevent his birth. No sign of pregnancy was seen in Imam Mahdi’s mother, Narjis(AS), and despite all the scrutiny and critical close up on the family, she delivered the Holy baby (Imam Mahdi) close to fajr(dawn) of the 15th of Sha’aban. Instantly after his birth, he was reported to have uttered the Kalimatus Shahada (The Testimony), and also attested to the Imamate of the previous Imams before him; he mentioned them by name, up to his father, Imam Hassan (AS) and then himself.
TITLES OF THE IMAM
Imam Mahdi (AF) has many titles, among them are:
-The seal of Ausiya
-The One who will take vengeance
-The Last Imam
-Imam of the Time
-Al-Mahdi, meaning The Guide
The title Al-Mahdi is more popular, because he will guide humanity toward the End of Time. He will even guide the Jews and Christians, as he will produce before them the original Gospel and the Torah. He has exclusive qualities not possessed by even saints and Prophets before him. This is because, the previous Prophets lived under Rulers of their time, but Imam Mahdi (AF) will have absolute authority over everyone and everything, all will surrender to his command. He is also known as Qa’eem for his honesty and trust.
Al-Muntazar is another title for the Imam, as his followers are always waiting for his re-appearance. Gaibah (occultation) was also experienced by previous prophets, but in different ways and manners. However, the Gaibah of the Imam is the longest.
Imam Mahdi(AF)’s character is synonymous with that of the Prophet(SAWA). His pleasing youthful look is awesome.
OCCULTATION OF THE IMAM
His birth as well as his occultation was exclusively known to family members and few selected disciples, due to spies attached to the house for close monitoring. After the birth of the Mahdi (AJ), his father Imam Hassan introduced him to selected followers as his successor, when he realized that the Abbasid rulers were intent on killing him, having satisfied that there was no sign of any male child from him. They eventually killed Imam Askariy (AS), yet this did not stop his followers going about with their normal activities. The rulers then got suspicious and later realized that, the Shiites got instructions from an Imam they claimed to have. This made the rulers to go into intensive search to uncover the hidden Imam the Shiites claimed to have been in contact with.
This intensive search led to the occultation of the Imam in which he reached his followers through his representatives ( Nawaibs), they were four in number:
1. Abil Husain Uthman bn Sa’eed. Abil Husain. He was a food vendor, served as an intermediary between Imam Hasan Al-Askary (AS) and his followers. He was privileged by his occupation to have access to the Imam in the army barrack where he was detained, carrying messages between the Imam and his followers. On the matrydom of Imam Al-Askary (AJ), he continued with his successor, Imam Mahdi (AJ).
2. Abu Ja’far Muhammad Bn Uthman bn Saeed. He was the son to the first representative of Imam Mahdi. He wrote many books.
3. Abil Qasim Husaini bn Ruh an-Nahbati was also appointed by presenting a written testimony of his appointment by the Imam of the Age (Tauqeeq)
4. Abul Hasan Muhammad As-Sumari
THINGS TO DO WHILE WAITING FOR IMAM MAHDI(AF)
Eleven (11) activities are recommended while waiting for the re-emergence of Imam Mahdi(AJ)
1. 1. Recitation of the Supplication of Nudbah which is found is books like Mafatihul Jinan
2. 2. Ziyara of Imam of the Age every Friday
3. 3. Recitation of the prayer: “Ya’Allah, ya Rahaman, Ya Rahim Ya MuqallabilQulub, Thabbit Qalbi Ala dinika”(O’Allah the Beneficent the Merciful , Oh He Who controls the hearts, establish my heart firmly on your religion)
4. 4. Showing reverence and respect when the name of the Imam is mentioned (eg standing up as a mark of respect).
5. 5. Intercession through the Imam-AF (tawassul) during tense situations or in difficulties
6. 6. Giving out charity.
7. 7. The Supplication of “Allahumma Arrifni nafsaka fa innaka illam ta’arifni nafsaka, lam a’arif RasulaKa, Allahumma Arrfini RasulaKa fa innaKa inlam ta’arrifni rasulaKa lam a’arif HujjataKa, Allahuma Arrifni HujjataKa, fa'innaKa illam ta’arifni HujjataKa dalaltu an deeniy”
8. 8. Attending, organising or observing special occasions to commemorate events in respect of the Holy Infallible Imams such as Ashura gathering, Meelads of A’immah.
9. 9. Sending rewards of deeds to the Imam
11. Reminding people all the time about his re-appearance (AF).
MORE ON NISF SHA’ABAN
The 15th of Shaban also coincides with demise of the fourth representative of the Imam. Again this is my 60th anniversary on earth. I don’t know whether this is an event to celebrate or otherwise, as 60 years is a point in one’s lifetime in which a person cannot be excused. Whoever reaches 60 years has no excuse before Allah on his deeds and activities, as he was given long life and opportunity to correct or turn events in his life for the better.
Despite all the unsuccessful attempts to kill me, by God’s favour I lived up to 60 years. This shows that the killers are late, what they are scared of has already been established; it has even blossomed and produced fruits. If what we are doing is wrong, then one is obliged to do the right thing instead. If calling to way of God is wrong, then let another person do the right thing.
As for those who say the Movement has metamorphosed from struggle to Shi’a Movement, then we ask them what is that thing we used to do before and stopped doing them now?!!. To us, we are progressing, this is progress and development. Our case is like that of person living in rented apartment and later built his own house. Understanding the School of Ahlul Bayt (AS) is a welcome development, understanding the true teaching of the Prophet (SAWA) is a great development.
Where are those who left us with the notion that, they wanted to establish Sunnah, where is the Sunnah and where are people?! What we found is a good development, and we are still on the solid foundation. It is known fact that a policy may change with the principle intact.
The progress made so far by this Movement is an undeniable fact by everyone. We started the Da’awah and the struggle, for those toed the path afterwards, let them know that they have predecessors, from whom they borrowed a leaf. Calling people to go back to the Qur’an is not a new thing that is introduced now, we taught it long ago and it is still on. Likewise if someone says the path of Ahlul Bayt(AS) is the right path and people should adhere to it, he should know that is not a new thing, we started it. The same thing goes with Hijab and exclusive schools for women.
Whoever finds himself on the path of Islam should know that, this is a favour from Allah, as God can bestow religious dedication and divine mercies to only servants He dearly loves, while He gives wealth to all.