Friday, December 17, 2010

Dear Imam (as)

Bismillah Arahman Araheem

Dear Imam (as)

Asalaam Alaaykum

I am very sorry for all the horrible things that people have done to you and your ancestors. You remain true to God in all ways and those who align themselves against God align themselves against you.

I know you are on the right, but I also know that I am sinful, unrepentant, lazy, loving the world too much, and more sorry and consumed over my own minor troubles or pleasures of this life than what I should really be sorry and consumed or joyful over.

Even so, I hope to be counted as your ally while I have not earned it. I do not find myself as close to you as I should be, given what I know and believe about your status. I do not have any merit to approach you, however I still wish to offer condolence for the sacrifice of all at Karbala and all before and since.

I do not even like to think about those events due to their ugliness. Other people think and cry and reform themselves, and I just do not want to face the sadness and ramifications of the fall of mankind in such acts against godly people. How can I feel sad enough - it seems impossible -and I push it away because I find it hard to bear.

May peace be upon you and all of your allies at all times and in all places.

Fi Amanillah

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Spring of Quran

(Originally written last year for

In the month of Ramadan, Muslims the world over devote more time to reciting Qur'an. The Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) said, "Everything has a springtime, and the springtime of the Qur'an is the month of Ramadan," and "Whoever recites a verse from the Qur'an (in the month of Ramadan) will receive a similar reward as the one who recites the entire Qur'an in other months." Perhaps in zealousness for reward, or from misunderstanding of the saying about reciting the Qur'an, often during this month and even at all times, many Muslims have sadly adopted a practice of hastened recitation without understanding.

One example is the form of Taraweeh prayers in many Sunni communities today – the community is so focused on achieving a certain quantity of recitation in their prayers, one-thirtieth each evening, that they may be tempted to rush through the recitation without any reflection or understanding. The origins of dividing the Qur'an into 30 parts and reciting one part each night in the month of Ramadan is in some writings attributed to Uthman for the purpose of use in the taraweeh prayers. The goal of reciting the whole Qur'an in the month of Ramadan is admirable, but not at the expense of quality over quantity.

The purposes of Qur'an might be described as to remove rust from our hearts, to guide us, to purify us, and to educate us. While there is reward in reciting the Qur'an even without understanding, the true benefit of such a recitation is extremely limited and completely leaves aside the benefits of the Holy Book as a reformer and guider for one's soul.

"A book We have sent down to you, blessed, that men possessed of mind may ponder its signs and so remember." (38:29)

"What, do they not ponder the Qur'an? Or is it that there are locks upon their hearts?" (47:24)

Qur'an recitation should really be slow, contemplative, and reflective. A person hearing, reading, or reciting the Qur'an should be engaged with the text: they should have an emotional response and a rational response to its words, not just a response to the voice of the reciter. The Fourth Imam (peace be upon him), "The Qur'anic verses are treasures of knowledge, and whenever a treasure is opened, you have to see what lies therein. Ponder over the verses of the Qur'an, and learn from them, for they are the best of lessons."

The aim of the many deeds we perform in the month of Ramadan is not reward as much as it is reform or purification. In the springtime of the Qur'an, it should be flowering in our hearts, in order to bear fruit. This cannot be accomplished if the meanings of the words never enter our hearts and minds in the first place, nor if the meanings are not allowed to linger with us, occupying our attention beyond a few passing moments. Understanding the Qur'an can be achieved by reading through translation if needed, reading slowly, and in as small a quantity as necessary to allow the time for processing, responding, and applying what one has read. One verse of Qur'an in translation that is understood and taken to heart and used to reform a person may be of more value than a lifetime of chanting the sacred Arabic text but knowing it only as sound.

Most mosque functions rightly begin with recitation of Qur'an, but sadly, we often find that for many of the reciters and listeners, it is only a beautiful noise and an honored ritual. It is a shell of Qur'an that falls like dried leaves rather than taking root in the hearts. Perhaps if there are people in the audience who do not understand the Qur'anic Arabic, a recitation of Qur'an should never be concluded without a translation, so that understanding might bless the hearts of the congregants. Indeed, perhaps the aforementioned saying of the Prophet – "Whoever recites a verse from the Qur'an (in the month of Ramadan) will receive a similar reward as the one who recites the entire Qur'an in other months." – was really meant to make us focus on each verse more slowly and more contemplatively in this month, not to recite more for more's sake. If that means that fewer verses are recited as a result, then so be it. If that means that the whole Qur'an is not read in the month of Ramadan, but only a portion, there is no sin in that. Is it not better for a community of believers to come together and reflect on the Qur'an than to merely parrot it?

I'm not an expert when it comes to Qur'an reciters, but here is my favorite Surah Yaseen recitation - with transliteration and translation.

Monday, July 26, 2010

areeza 15 shaban

'Aritha - send a letter to Imam Zaman (as)

From History Behind Masjid Jamarkan Along with Selected Supplications, translated by Saleem Bhimji:

[Writing letters ('Aritha) to the Imam (as) is one of the best ways for us to keep in contact with him. We are able to express our feelings to him and if we hvae any difficulties or problems, then we can ask him for help.

In his book, Muntaha al-Amal, the Late Muhaddith Qummi relates from Allamah Majlisi that, 'Whoever has any wish, should write the following Dua down on paper and write his wishes. It should then be placed in the metal enclosure around the grave of an Imam (as), or sealed, wrapepd in mud and thrown in to a river, well, or pond. In this way, it will reach Sahib al Asr wa al-Zaman (as), and he will be obliged to answer one's requests.] Maybe he can get it electronically, too, Allah swt knows.

From Morals and Ethics:

[Ariza can be written to Imam-e-Zaman as.gif whenever you feel a need or you are into a problem. No matter how big is your problem Imam-e-Zamana is the Imam of our time & HE is a Hujjat from Allah (s.w.t). Allah has granted him the power & because of his exsistence this entire universe is in to exsistence

You can write in any Language or your own too.

Our belief is that Imam as knows about all our affairs and is always ready to help us. He is aware of our action & he helps us even if we don’t ask or seek His (a.t.f.s) help.
“We are never neglectful of your guardianship nor are we ever unmindful of your remembrance”. (Behaarul Anwar, V. 53, pg. 176)

But if we write Ariza to Imam as then or belief comes to our action.

After writing the Ariza you can put the same it to Well, or in the earth or you can put in to to zari (grave) of any Imam (a.s) which are in IRAQ/IRAN/Medina.

We Should inculcate the habit to write to Imam as whenever we are in difficulty rather than approaching someone who doesn’t has the power on any thing. Rather than writing a letter to a Minister or President we should write to our Master who has the control of our all affairs.

It always goes to Allah (swt). But unlike us, Imam as are infallibles and they hold a MUCH greater position in front of Allah (swt) and if we ask them to put forth our request in front of Allah (swt), if we go through them then Allah (swt) is going to accept our prayers faster. As has being said many times, tawassul is not wajib. You can pray directly too.

Your basic intention should be to ask the Imam to intercede on your behalf Inshallah Imam as will heed your call.]
Translation of Dua-e-Ariza

I have written to you O my master, may His mercy and blessing be on you, seeking a favour from you.

I have complained to you for what has happened to me seeking solutions firstly from Allah

and then from you for a matter that has obsessed me.

I am helpless in combating the problem and for that I have resorted to seeking help from Allah and from you.

Knowing the status you have with Allah.

I am confident that you will help me get the solutions to my problems swiftly and that you will intercede on my behalf.

I am helpless and moreover I am sinful:

so help O master and present this problem to Allah and I pray to Him that He will solve this quickly

and grant me victory and success in finding the solution to my problems.

(Write your personal wishes and problems in the provided space - you can write with dots and dashes if you fear someone may read it that you do not wish to see it)


I am not able to carry or bear with it. Although I am responsible for the increase of my sins and

ignorant about my responsibilities (Wajibaats), from Allah which are given to me.

So help me O my master. Peace be upon you during this time of problems and sorrow.

I present my prayers to Allah before I compensate and before my enemies engulfs me. For you have shown me your blessings.

So I pray to Allah for great salvation and near victory with calmness from all fears,

for Allah is most high and does what he wants. Allah is sufficient for me from the beginning and in my hopes.

Whatever Allah wishes there is neither strength nor any power except in Allah the High, the Great.

*When dropping the Ariza in the sea, we normally recite the following,

addressing Husayn bin Rawh, the 3rd Na’ib of the 12th Imam:

“O Husayn bin Rawh, Salamun Alykum.

I bear witness that you died in the path of Allah and (hence), you are alive and are sustained by Allah.

I am addressing you in your life which you lead with Allah – this is my note and wishes to the master of the Era,

the 12th Imam (AS), so please hand it over to him for you are indeed trustworthy”.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Passing of Sayyed Fadlullah

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un (انّا للہ و انّا الیه راجعون)

Sayyed Fadlullah influenced me in a few profound ways; of all the maraje', I felt a human connection with him. He is the only marja' that I'd ever seen in person; when I went for hajj in 1999 he was also there and I saw him in a meeting room near where our group was staying. He made arrangements to meet with people from the group to answer questions, etc., - he made efforts to be accessible to all. Also, a few of his writings touched me personally. He wrote a short biography of Fatima (as) called The Infallible Fatima (as) - A Role Model for Men and Women that remains the best work about her I've ever seen in English. I also have his World of Our Youth which contains questions and answers in a wonderful readable, mild, informative style. He was a true champion among the elite for the causes of women in particular, and his rulings were found by many women to be easier on a practical level and liberating from traditions that may be more cultural than religious in nature. What I liked about his fatawa is that he explained his reasoning in many cases - very simply and clearly, especially when he differed from the more traditional views, such as on moon sighting for the start of an Islamic month, or rulings about following a marja, and so on - and those explanations always meant a lot to me because they gave me room to reflect, ponder, absorb, and understand. I think those explanations helped to provide the human connection and addressed the need for appealing to reason. Through his website he and his appointees answered questions in a timely manner compared to many others. His Friday khutbas were regularly sent out in e-mail and on his website and he always had good messages and did a lot for the cause of unity worldwide, not only among Muslims but also particularly between Christians and Muslims. He often took strong political stances compared to some other scholars, perhaps due to his position in Lebanon instead of certain other locations where he might have been more restricted - but he also was far removed from hard line absolutist us-them world views, in the true moderate Shia tradition. His death is a great loss.

Obituary of His Eminence, the Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
"To Allah we belong, and to Him we shall return"

"And among men is he who sells himself to seek the pleasure of Allah; and Allah is Affectionate to the servants." (02:207).

"If a 'alim dies, there will be a rift in Islam that nothing, whatsoever, could fill."

At a time we are in most need for him, this great man has died, leaving in the hearts of those who love him a grief that has incorporated all the tragedies of history.

The leader, father, Religious Authority, renovator, guide and human being has left us.

He left with the prayers and the remembrance of Allah on his lips and the nation's causes in his heart.

Finally, his heart has stopped after 75 years that were spent in the struggle for the cause of Allah, as well as in jurisprudence, renewal, opening up on and committing to the cause of the nation and confronting all the powers of arrogance and tyranny…

He left, after a lifetime of embracing the cause of Islam, as a thought a movement, a methodology and a commitment in all the fields of life. He left saying, as he has frequently expressed: "These are my only wishes. I have never had any personal wishes. I lived all my life and strived to be a servant of Allah, His Messenger (p.) and his Household (a.s.), as well as Islam and Muslims."

His most essential advice for the Muslims before his demise was to preserve Islam the Islamic nation and its unity, for he believed that the arrogance would not be defeated unless the Muslim unite and support one another.

He was, with his illuminating mind and radiant soul, a reference, a guide and an advisor to all the aware Islamic movements in the Arab and Islamic worlds that were inspired by his thought and methodology.

His Islamic integrity and originality lead him to institute a school of dialogue with the other on the basis that truth is the child of dialogue.

He opened up on all people and he embodied dialogue in his movement, thought and entire life away from any slogans that lack any realistic content.

He experienced Islam in complete awareness of the responsibility that ought to be shouldered and the line of justice that ought to be followed. He was the mastermind who launched the resistance movements, which inspired from his thought the spirit of confrontation, opposition and steadfastness and were able to achieve big accomplishments and victories in Lebanon and Palestine and any position of Jihad [struggle]…

His main concerns and top priorities were always the big issues of the Arabs and Muslims, knowing that Palestine was his biggest concern since his early age and until his last breath, for he has always said: "I shall not rest until the Zionist entity falls."

His Eminence was a distinguished mark in the movement of the religious authority institution towards being concerned with the nation's pains and ambitions… Actually, this institution guided the people to the light away from backwardness, and shouldered the responsibility, side by side with the people, of building the future and confronted all forms of exaggeration, myth, and Takfir, guided by the path of the Messenger of Allah (p.) and his pure Household (a.s.).

Armed with piety and righteousness, Sayyed Fadlullah stood against the strifes amongst Muslims, for he rejected that they undermine their existence as a result of narrow sectarian fanatic acts. He also called on the nation's aware religious scholars and people to fear Allah when dealing with issues pertaining to people's lives, considering that whosoever knits seditions amongst Muslims aiming to rip apart the unity of Muslims and their word is a traitor to Allah and His Messenger, even if he fasts and prays…

He always strived to make sure that the relations between Muslims and Christians be based on "common terms" and understanding over the mutual issues, and he called for developing the relations between them on the basis of moral and humanitarian conceptions that take part in elevating man's status at all levels, and the value of justice in the face of all forms of oppression.

Actually, he adopted the Quran as a basis for his activist and missionary methodology and jurisprudential and activist movement, for he regarded the Quran as the book of life that could only be really understood by the activist and innovative people…

The Sayyed was known for his modesty, humanitarianism, and supreme missionary morals. His heart encompassed those who loved him and those who did not love him as well, and he used to advise all people to: "Love each other, for love is what authenticates and enables one to be creative and productive… Join us in love away from personal, regional, partisan and sectarian considerations… Let us all meet and gather under Allah's shadow instead of disagreeing in His name…" This can only mean that his pure heart held no grudges or spites towards anyone, for it is he who always repeated: "Life cannot bear spite, for spite is death and love is life…"

Moreover, he believed in the role of the institutions which he considered to be the primary and most essential civilized pillar for the rise of every nation and society… Thus, he established minarets and buildings for knowledge and care, which represented a sanctuary and shelter for the orphan and the needy, and an oasis of ambitions and high hopes for the physically-disabled, and a lighthouse for the learned towards the wide and open horizons, and a haven of security and safety for the sick and the elderly…

O Sayyed, you true master! Your house was and will remain the destination of the seekers of knowledge and whosoever is in need, for the call of "love" towards people, all the people, was your everlasting call.

The poor and the downtrodden were the closest to your heart, and you saw in the youth an aspiring hope, provided that they arm themselves with culture and knowledge…

The heart that filled the entire world with activist Islam, and missionary awareness and humanity that endlessly poured love and good until the last breath… this heart has rested in peace…

O Dear Sayyed, your pure body has rested whilst aspiring to achieve all hopes and ambitions at the level of constructing the present and future of the nation…

You left us having undermined all the conspiracies, threats, distortion campaigns and assassination attempts, be they physical or moral… you left after you surpassed all that and preserved the all-purity of your mind, heart and soul…

O Abu Ali, you left, yet your blessed name will remain curved in the conscience, heart and mind of the nation. O Sayyed, you left, yet you will remain present and vibrant by your thought and methodology in the life of our present and the future generations…

The Sayyed's body has gone, but his soul thought and line will stay with us. The nation whom he loved and made every effort to serve, will continue the march of awareness that he has set out its line throughout his life.

Dear brothers! As we offer our condolences to the entire nation upon the death of this great academic and religious scholar and this great missionary pioneer and struggler. We vow and promise Allah, and we vow and promise you, your Eminence, that we shall proceed with the march that you established its foundations and that we will execute your will that calls us to defend the nation, uphold its unity and maintain the humanitarianism of the Message.

"O soul that art at rest!Return to your Lord, well-pleased (with him), well-pleasing (Him),so enter among My servants,and enter into My garden." (89-27:30).
04/07/2010 A.D 22/07/1431 H