Monday, May 27, 2019
Imam Ali ibn Musa (as): An Exemplary Life for All! PDF Print E-mail
Written by freezak   
Wednesday, 18 July 2018 18:30

By Yusuf Abdullah
In the name of Allah who states “There is, in their stories, instruction for men endued with understanding. It is not an invented tale, but confirmation of what went before it, a detailed exposition of all things and a guide and mercy to any such as believe” Q12:111 

May the everlasting peace and blessings of Allah be upon His noble servant, our master Muhammad (S) and his purified progeny.
The sacred months of Zulqaada, Zulhajj and Muharram are sacred and very eventful. Ten days of honour refer to the interval observed between the birthday of Imam Ali al-Ridha (AS), the eighth Imam of the Ahlul-bait and his sister Sayyida Fatima, who were born on the 1st and 11th days of Zulqaadah respectively. Imamate is a an aspect of our faith linked to prophethood as the Imams carried on the duties of the prophets. As clearly indicated by the famous tradition of twelve successors, they were heirs of the great prophet that propagate his mission to the end of time. Although other Muslims view the doctrine from a different angle, it is an integral aspect of faith. The Astana Quds or Ridhawy shrine colourfully commemorate the event extolling the lessons in the blessed lives of the Imam and his sister at Masshad. Simultaneously, the event is impressively observed by the Islamic Movement where the blessed flag of his mausoleum honourably sent to Shaikh el-Zakzaky would be hoisted in a well attended ceremony. Same event is observed by lovers of Ahlul-bait (AS) across the world. We may take a glance at their blessed lives:
Sayyidah Fatimah Ma'sumah was the sister of Imam Ali al-Ridha (AS), from the purified descendents of the noble prophet. She was born in Medina in 789 CE. Of her sterling qualities were piety, modesty, knowledge and humility. After her brother's imposed migration to Tus, she left Medina in order to meet him. In the course of her journey, she fell ill in Saveh, a city near Qom from which she passed away, 17 days later. She was accorded famous funeral and buried where her shrine stands today. Her tomb witnessed various developments to its present position after capacity expansion when it was decorated with mosaic tiles and gold plated in 1803 with final restoration in 2005. The shrine comprises of courtyards and the four walled Grand mosque built in 1964. Dated back to the tenth century, the seminary was one of the most historic spiritual centres in Islam. Generally speaking, the city drastically developed as a result of the great lady receiving millions of visitors from all nooks and crannies of the world. The role of the city in the Imam Khomeini-led Islamic revolution cannot be overemphasized especially with Feyziyyah school in its vicinity, where the Imam taught and received support to ultimate success. The seminary's role in educational pursuit is paramount in theology, jurisprudence and mysticism to mention just but few.
The imamate, which is somehow a continuation of prophetic mission, is one of the fundamentals of Islam. It is the leadership which Allah is pleased with after that of the messengers, and in the same way Imam is such a leader. He is not a prophet but his successor. And the rationale behind the glance at his blessed life is to highlight the lessons therein for believers to emulate!
Of the memorable and commemorated event in the sacred month of Zulqaadah was the birth of the eighth Imam of the Ahlul-bait, Imam Ali al-Ridha, son of Imam Musa al-Kazim and Najmah, nicknamed Ummu-banin (AS). The Imam was popularly addressed as al-Ridha, which means the well pleased with or the generally accepted. Bukhari and Muslim have narrated that the messenger of Allah has said: “I shall be succeeded by twelve religious leaders, all of whom shall be of Qurayshite origin”. In another narration he said all of them shall be from Banu Hashim.
Although there are variations as to the actual date of his birthday, most reliably Thursday, 11th Zulqaadah, 148 after hegira was preferred, in Medina. The Imam was brought up under the spiritual guidance of his father, Imam Musa al-Kazim for over three decades. In addition to exceptional insight and unique brilliance, he was exclusively trained morally and educationally. Thus, he lived embodiment of all sterling qualities rarely possessed by man. For his gifted virtues, he faced great enmity and hostility from the ruling class who assassinated his father before his eyes. However before martyrdom of his father, he was declared as his successor in the presence of prominent religious personalities. Thus, his imamate was never questioned or confused. The major challenge, then was proper interpretation of the noble Qur’an under unfavorable atmosphere. Beside mass imprisonment, many of his followers were afflicted with untold hardships. Ibn Athir al-Jaza’iri narrated that Imam al-Ridha was undoubtedly the greatest sage, saint and scholar of the second
The above incident clearly demonstrates his unique popularity and the love and respect Muslims accorded him. Al-Ma’mun could not help holding the Imam in great esteem because of his piety, wisdom, knowledge and personality. He therefore decided to nominate the Imam as the rightful heir to the throne, only for the fulfillment of his sinister desires being scared of the Imam’s capacity! It was believed that Ma’mun - the Abbasid caliph fed the Imam poisoned grapes which led to his martyrdom on the 17th Safar, 203 AH at the age of 55 leaving behind 5 sons and a daughter and was buried in Mashhad - Iran. Allah states “And do not speak of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead; nay they are alive but you do not perceive” Q2:154
The Imam was assassinated for refusal to join the oppressive regime, thereby attaining the great position of martyrdom like his predecessors. Allah says “Deem not that Allah is heedless of what the iniquitous do; He is only deferring them to a day when eyes shall stare” Q14:42. Ever since, tens of millions visit his tomb and seminary in the second largest city in across the world. They pray for Allah’s mercy and blessings for him and a befitting recompense for those involved in the atrocity against him and the blessed family of the noble messenger. With regards to the descendents of the noble prophet, Imam Ali said: the descendents of the prophet are his confidants, the shelter of his commands, the trustees of his knowledge, the stronghold of the Qur’an and the mountains of his faith. None of the followers of Muhammad can be compared with the descendents of the prophet. The recipients’ cannot be equal to the bestowers of blessings. ”O people let it be known to you that we are the descendents of the holy prophet. Angels come to us. We are the fountains of learning. We are the spring of wisdom and knowledge of Allah. He who is our friend and helper deserves the mercy of Allah, and he who is our enemy, waits for the punishment of Allah. They speak lies against us and do injustice to us. Allah elevated our position and he has made them inferior to us. He has opened the eyes of the people through us".
This year's event would be marked by the Islamic Movement in Abuja next Wednesday along with our counterparts across the world. Similarly, the historic Quds massacre of 2014, where three undergraduate sons of Sheikh el-Zakzaky were murdered along with 31 others in broad day light would be commemorated.
While urging the Muslim Umma to diligently study the lives of these great Muslim personalities with a view to emulating them, I pray for better health to the oppressed Shaikh, el-Zakzaky, wife and other detainees reiterating the need for their unconditional release.
Wassalamu alaikum.