بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Monday, 26th June 2017

Articles

Imam Hasan Al-Askari [as]

The Shrine Imam Hassan Al-Askari

 

Birth 10th Rabi-ul Aakher 232 AH in Madina
Titles Al-Askari
Death 8th Rabi-ul Awwal 260 AH  Samarrah, Iraq

“Generosity has a limit, which when crossed becomes extravagance; caution has a limit which when crossed becomes cowardice; thriftiness has a limit, which when crossed becomes miserliness; courage has a limit, which when crossed becomes fool-hardiness. Let this moral lesson suffice: refrain from doing anything which you would disapprove of if done by someone else.”
(as quoted in A Brief History of The Fourteen Infallibles p. 155-157)

Samarra is a garrison town about 60 miles north of Baghdad. River Euphrates flows in the middle of the town, and because of the surrounding hills a cool breeze keeps the area cooler in comparison to Baghdad. The word ‘Asker’ in arabic is used for army. Our 11th Imam’s title became known as Askari, the one who lived all his life in a garrison town

There is another story related with this name by many historians. Once the Caliph called him in his palace and ordered his army to march past before him. The Caliph wanted to boast or to impress the Imam of his power or to dissuade the Imam from any thoughts of revolution against the Abbasid Caliphate. When the march past was over, Imam asked the Caliph to gaze between two of his fingers. What the Caliph saw was a huge army of lancers and swords men marching past, a much bigger crowd than the Caliphs army. He was astonished at this miracle and named him Askari, i.e. the man with a big army.

Imam Hasan al-Askari’s (AS) life from childhood to adulthood was spent in this house where his father Imam Ali an-Naqi (AS) was to remain under house arrest. But despite this close guard on the Imam, he conducted his duties as Imam from inside the house. He taught people Qur’an and instructed his followers the true teachings of Islam as taught by the Prophet of Islam and his Ahlulbayt. In fact Imam Hasan al-Askari (AS) wrote a complete Tafseer of the Qur’an which was mentioned by many scholars, historians and exegetes, including Kulaini and Saduq.

Imam Hasan al-Askari (AS) lived a short life, only 28 years and in this short life he had to endure great sufferings by the hands of the Abbasid caliphs. But in spite of all that suffering and confinement under house arrest in Samarrah, many students of Islam benefited from his God-gifted knowledge and later became scholars in their fields. He discussed with agnostics of that age many times about the existence of God and the reasons for the necessity of the Prophets and Imams and many atheists changed their minds and converted to Islam. One of those was Ishaq al-kindi who was writing a book about contradictions in Qur’an. Imam invited some of his students and taught them lessons from the Qur’an.

These students of Al-kindi confronted their teacher and rejected his arguments about the contradictions in the Holy Book. Al-Kindi realised that these arguments could not have come from the brains of these young students. He asked them about the secret of their extensive knowledge of the Qur’an. In the end they confessed that Imam Hasan al-Askari taught them. Kindi himself became the disciple of our Imam, burnt his own writings on atheism and later wrote many treatises on Islam.

In spite of the fact that the Imam had never given any cause for concern to the Caliphs of his time, their guilt in this matter was so great that they did not leave these pious personalities in peace. If they had no fear of their throne they were afraid of the excellence and knowledge of the Imams. In the case of Imam Hasan al-Askari (AS), the same type of jealousy led to the poisoning of the Imam to end this life of a saint whose only activity was to teach Qur’an as the Prophet and his Ahlulbayt taught before him. During the rule of Al-Mu’tamid poison was given to the Imam mixed in some fruit and he died on 8th Rabi-al-Awwal 260AH. He left only one son, whose name was Muhammad who was only five years old when his father died.

References:
Story of the Holy Ka’aba And its People; By S.M.R. Shabbar; published by Muhammadi Trust of Great Britain

SOURCE: ww.hujjat.org

Statement by The World Federation regarding Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr

The World Federation of KSIMC and its Regional Members stand together with rest of the world to mourn and condemn the execution Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a leading Shia Muslim cleric in Saudi Arabia. He was among 47 people executed by the authorities, some of whom were Shias. Sheikh al-Nimr was a sentenced to death in October 2014 after a deeply flawed trial.

Sheikh al-Nimr was sentenced by the Specialized Criminal Court in Saudi Arabia for “seeking ‘foreign meddling’ in Saudi Arabia, ‘disobeying’ its rulers and taking up arms against the security forces”, allegations which he vehemently denied and protested his innocence since his arrest by the Saudi Arabian authorities. Sheikh al-Nimr led peaceful protests and and all his activities were peaceful in nature, as confirmed by a number of human right groups.  The Guardian newspaper is quoted as “Crucially, according to his supporters, the cleric was careful to avoid calling for violence, his advocates insisting he eschewed all but peaceful opposition to the government. On one occasion, Nimr urged protestors to resist police bullets using only “the roar of the word”.

Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director Said Boumedouha said: “The death sentence against Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr is part of a campaign by the authorities in Saudi Arabia to crush all dissent, including those defending the rights of the Kingdom’s Shi’a Muslim community. 

Sheikh al-Nimr’s trial has been seriously flawed. Eyewitnesses, whose testimonies were the only evidence used against him, were not brought to court to testify. This violates the country’s own laws. The Sheikh was denied the most basic means to prepare for his defence and was not represented by legal counsel for some of the proceedings because the authorities did not inform his lawyer of some dates of the hearings.”   

We support and concur with the statement of Amnesty International in this regard. The intimidation of Muslims on any basis, let alone on sectarian grounds is unacceptable and is indeed in violation of international human rights laws. This ongoing oppression of individuals, which is a clear violation of human rights law, must not be tolerated by International Governments which claims to stand for justice.

We call upon the world leaders, the United Nations and the International Community to condemn the execution of Sheikh al-Nimr and hold to account the Saudi Arabian authorities for breaches of human rights violations and upholding the basic legal rights of it's citizens.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, in particular the family of Sheikh al-Nimr and the Muslim communities who supported his peaceful stance for human rights and democracy.

Bibi Masuma Qum [as]

Titles Masuma, Karimat Ahl al-Bayt, Tahira,
Birth 1st Dhul Qa’dah, 173 AH
Death 10th Rabi al-Thani 201 AH
Buried Qum, Iran
 
A lady from my children whose name will be Fatima, daughter of Musa, will die in Qum. On the Day of Judgement this lady will intercede for all my Shi’a to enter Heaven.” (Qadi Nurullah Shustari reporting from the 6th Imam)

The title of Masuma was given to this noble lady by her brother, Imam Ali Al-Ridha (A). It is worth noting that this title was awarded to her after her death and she was not referred to by this name during her life-time. This also nullifies the erroneous view that she died after her brother, Imam al-Ridha (A), on hearing the news of his death.


A question arises as to why she was given this title of “Masuma”? Was she infallible in the same sense as the 14 Ma’sumeen? Several scholars believe that some of the noble personalities from the household of the Holy Prophet (SAW), such as Lady Zainab (A), Hazrat Abbas (A) and Lady Fatima Masuma (AS), due to their proximity to the Ma’sumeen have acquired a high state of purity.

Infallibility has two meanings: infallible from error and infallible from sin. When speaking of the infallibility of the Ma’sumeen (A), both these meanings apply, but when speaking about special and noble people as those mentioned above, the latter meaning of infallible from sin is meant.

The title, Karima Ahl al-Bayt, means “Noble one of the family of the Prophet (SAW).” This title was given to her by either Imam al-Baqir (A) or Imam Sadiq (A) in a dream seen by Ayatollah Sayyid Mahmud Mar’ashi Najafi, the author of Mashjirat al-Alawiyin.

This noble man was very interested in finding the exact location of the burial place of Lady Fatima Zahra (A), and for this purpose he spend 40 days supplicating, so that he could be privileged with this information.

On the 40th night, after the completion of his prayers, he went to sleep and in his dream he saw himself present at the grave of either Imam al-Baqir (A) or Imam Sadiq (A) in Jannat al-Baqi in Madina. Imam (A) said to him:

“I advise you to go to the Karimat (Noble one) of the Ahl al-Bayt.”

He thought that by Karimat Ahl al-Bayt, Imam (A) was referring to Lady Fatima Zahra (A), and so he answered, “Yes, I have been supplicating for this very purpose, so that I may know the exact place of the holy grave of this noble personality, enabling me to perform her pilgrimage.”

The Imam (A) said, “I meant the holy grave of Lady Fatima Masuma (A) in Qum.” Then the Imam (A) added, “It is Allah’s desire that the location of the holy grave of Lady Fatima Zahra (A) be hidden from everyone.”

Therefore, the Imam (A) has placed the grave of Lady Fatima Masuma (A) in place of the grave of Lady Fatima Zahra (A), and so all the honour and grandeur that would have been accorded to the grave of Lady Fatima Zahra (A) should be given to the grave of Lady Fatima Masuma (A).

On waking from his dream, the late Mar’ashi made an intention to travel to Qum with his family, in order to perform the pilgrimage of Lady Fatima Masuma (A) and he carried out this intention without delay.

The late Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Shahab al-Din Mar’ashi Najafi, the son of the late Mar’ashi mentioned in the dream above, migrated to Iran in the year 1342 AH. He often cited that one of the reasons for his emigration to Iran was the dream of his father.

The late Grand Ayatollah entered the seminary in Qum in the year 1343 AH and here, he lived in the proximity of Lady Fatima Masuma (AS) until his death in 1411 AH. For over sixty years, he was the first person to perform the pilgrimage of this noble lady. He would wait outside her shrine for the doors to be opened.

In 200 AH, Ma’moon (the 7th Abbasid Caliph), demanded Imam Ali Al-Ridha’s (A) presence in Khurasan. The departure of Lady Fatima’s brother increased sorrow in her heart for it was not long ago that she was separated from her father, the 7th Imam (A).

After a difficult year of separation from her beloved brother, Lady Fatima Masuma (A) decided to go to Khurasan. She began the journey from Madina in the year 201 AH, accompanied by a caravan made up of some members of her household and friends of the Imam (A).

According to one narration, the Imam (A) wrote a letter to his sister, which he sent to her with one his servants, instructing him to hasten to Madina without stopping anywhere on the way.

After receiving the letter from her brother, Lady Fatima Masuma (A), immediately prepared herself for the journey to Khurasan via Saweh.

According to another tradition, the Imam (A) wrote a letter to all his family members, inviting them to come to Khurasan.

It is narrated that after the arrival of this letter, a group consisting of the sons and other family members of the Imam (A), and other Shi’a, numbering over 12000 people made their way to Khurasan.

We find in narration that two separate caravans headed towards Khurasan. One of these groups was the one that Lady Fatima Masuma (A) was in. It was comprised of 23 people, under the leadership of Harun ibn Musa ibn Ja’far.

The other group travelling to Khurasan consisted of about 12,000 people under the leadership of Ahmad ibn Musa ibn Ja’far.

These caravans reached a town called Saweh on their way. Here they were attacked by enemies of the family of the Holy Prophet (SAW).

Many were martyred, including Harun, and many others were wounded or taken as prisoners. A few managed to flee. A woman from the enemies put poison in the food of Lady Fatima Masuma (A) and she became ill.

When Lady Fatima Masuma (A) became ill at Saweh, she enquired from her companions, how far Qum was. She was told 10 farsakh (approx. 60km). She asked to be taken to Qum, which at the time was a centre of the Shi’a. Saweh, on the other hand was hostile towards the family of the Holy Prophet (SAW.)

It is believed that Lady Fatima Masuma (A) died on the 10th or the 12th of Rabi al-Thani and that she spent the last 16 or 17 days of her life in Qum.

Reference:
Lady Fatima Masuma (A) of Qum, author Masuma Jaffer, published by Jami’at al-Zahra

SOURCE: www.hujjat.org

Eid - e - Zehra [as]

hassan_abbayz-eid-e-zehra-sa

9th of Rabi al-Awwal is the day of Eid. It is our greatest Eid and the Eid of our followers.” (As narrated to Ahmad ibn Is-haq al-Qummi by Imam Muhammad al-Hadi (A)

With heavy hearts, we take this opportunity to bid farewell to the Martyrs of Karbala as the Ayyam-e-Aza come to an end. We will have to wait for another year to witness and experience maajlis, matam, Ashura, Arbaeen, mourning, and azadari at this scale. As we remove the black cloth from the walls, we salute the Martyrs of Karbala and declare that we are with you, we are with you, surely we are against your enemies. We will endeavour to perform your Ziyarat, and will endeavour to shed tears in your remembrance every Thursday night. Furthermore, we will strive to apply the principles you stood for in our daily lives; the foremost of which is dedication and loyalty to the Imam of the Time (A).

Ahmad ibn Is-haq al-Qummi was a great companion of Imam Hassan al-Askari (A). On the 9thRabi al-Awal, Muhammad Hamadani and Yahya Baghdadi came to visit him and were informed that Ahmad was busy performing Ghusl for that day. When they inquired what the Ghusl was about, they were told that Ahmad had heard from Imam Muhammad al-Hadi (A), who said: “9thof Rabee’ al-Awwal is the day of Eid. It is our greatest Eid and the Eid of our followers.”

After performing his Ghusl Ahmad ibn Is’haq said to the two visiting men: “I have performed Ghusl because today is the Eid of 9th Rabi al-Awwal. I visited Imam Hassan al-Askary (A) on this day and noticed that his ring was shinning. The people of his household wore new clothes and had applied perfume. When I asked the reason, Imam (A) said, ‘Today is 9th Rabee’ al-Awwal. It is the day of Eid for us and for our follower.”

Narrators of history suggest four historic events which mark the day of 9th Rabi ul-Awal as significant. Firstly, historians are of the opinion that the Holy Prophet (SAW) was born on the 9th Rabi al-Awal. There are two other opinions: 12th Rabi al-Awal and 17th Rabi al-Awal respectively. For the Shia’hs, the most popular narration is the one which states that the Holy Prophet (SAW) was born on the 17th Rabi al-Awal 570 AD.

Whatever the case, its date does not make a big difference. Ayatullah Ruhullah Musawwi al-Khumaini (RA) had declared the week between 9th and 17th Rabi al-Awal as Usboo’ al-Wahda meaning “the week of unity amongst Muslims.” Muslims all over the world are urged to get together and celebrate the birth of the Holy Prophet (SAW) for the whole week.

Secondly, it is noted that the Prophet of Islam himself was seen smiling and ‘celebrating’ on this day while in the presence of Imams Ali, Hassan and Hussain (A) and said, “It is on this day that Allah will destroy your enemies and the enemies of your grandfather and it is on this day when Allah will accept the actions of your Shi’a and those who love you. This is the day when the words of Allah came true where He said (in the Qur‘an): ‘So those are the houses fallen down because they were unjust.’ (27:52) And this is the day when the Pharaoh (Firawn) of the time of the Ahlul Bayt was destroyed ...”

Thirdly, 9th of Rabi al-Awal is also known as Eid-e-Zahra  meaning the festival of Fatima al-Zahra (A), because 3 to 4 years after the tragedy of Karbala, it was on this day that joy and happiness was restored in the family of Ahlul-Bayt (A). From the tragedy of Karbala in 61 A.H. till this day, the family members of the Holy Prophet (SAW) had continuously mourned and grieved the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (A).

Then Mukhtar bin ‘Ubaydullah al-Thaqafi, together with Ebrahim bin Malik al-Ashtar and others rose to avenge the blood of Imam al-Husayn (A). They arrested every killer of Karbala and executed them. Finally, Mukhtar arrested ‘Umar ibn Sa’d (commander-in-chief of Yazid’s army at Karbala) and ‘Ubaydullah ibn Ziyad (governor of Yazid in Kufa). He beheaded them and sent their heads to Imam Sajjad (A) in Medina. These two heads reached the Imam (A) on 9th Rabi al-Awal and on seeing them, Imam (A) went into prostration and said, “I thank Allah who kept me alive to this day so that I could see the heads of the tyrants who killed my father.” He then instructed the members of his family to remove the clothes of mourning, adorn themselves and celebrate the day with joy and happiness. 

Lastly, 9th Rabi al-Awal is the first day of the Imamate of our Living Imam, Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (ATF) – a day of rejoicing and celebration.

It is true that an Imam is an Imam from birth but every Imam assumed the official role of his Imamate after the death of the previous Imam. The reason why we celebrate, in particular, the Imamate of our Living Imam (ATF) is to perhaps remind ourselves of his presence and about our responsibilities towards him. Imam Hassan al-Askari (A) passed away on 8th Rabi al-Awal 260 A.H. and our 12th Imam (ATF) assumed his Imamate formally at a young age of 5 years on 9th Rabi al-Awal 260 A.H.

One of the ways which we can strive to be amongst the companions of our Imam is to follow the responsibilities which rest upon us, including the recitation of Dua al-Ahd (the Pledge) every morning in which we proclaim: “O’ Allah, truly I renew on the dawn of this day and all the days of the remainder of my life my pledge, covenant and allegiance to him, as my obligation, which I shall neither contravene, nor neglect … O’ Allah include me among his helpers, defenders, those fulfilling his wishes and commands, his defenders, the fore-runners to carry out his intentions and those to be martyred in his presence … O’ Allah: make him the refuge for Your oppressed servants; a helper for him who has no other helper besides You; the reviver of the commandments of Your book which have been neglected; the strengthener of the sciences in Your religion, and the traditions of Your Prophet. May Allah’s blessing be upon him and his progeny.”

Reference:
www.world-federation.org
www.al-mujtaba.com
www.almahdi.org.uk

SOURCE: www.hujjat.org

Shahadat of Bibi Sakina [as]

bibisakinaBibi Sakina was the youngest daughter of Imaam Husayn. She was a vivacious child, full of love and happiness. Everyone loved Sakina. She was also a very religious girl. She enjoyed reading the Holy Quraan and never missed her prayers. From the age of two she took great care to make sure that her head and face were properly covered when in public.

Sakina was Imaam Husayn's most beloved child. Our Imaam was often heard to say, “A house without Sakina would not be worth living in!” She always had a sweet and cheerful smile and a very friendly nature. Other children sought her company as much as the grown ups did. She was very generous and always shared whatever she had with others.

There was a special bond between Hazrat Abbas and Sakina. He loved her more than he did his own children. If Sakina requested for anything, Abbas would not rest until he satisfied her request. There was nothing that Abbas would not do to make Sakina happy.

During the journey from Madina to Mecca and then Mecca to Karbala’, Abbas was often seen riding up to the mehmil in which Sakina sat to make sure that she had everything she wanted. Sakina loved her uncle just as much. While in Madina she would, several times a day, visit the house in which Hazrat Abbas lived with his family and his mother, Ummul Baneen.

Like any other four-five year old when Sakina went to bed at night she wanted to spend some time with her father. Imaam Husayn would tell her stories of the prophets and of the battles fought by her grand-father Ali. She would rest her head on her father's chest and Husayn would not move from her until she fell asleep. When from the second of Muharram the armies of Yazid began to gather at Karbala’, Husayn said to his sister Zainab, “The time has come for you to get Sakina used to going to sleep without my being there!” Sakina would follow her father at night and Husayn had to gently take her to Zainab or Rubaab.

At Karbala’ when from the seventh Muharram water became scarce Sakina shared whatever little water she had with other children. When soon there was no water at all, the thirsty children would look at Sakina hopefully, and because she could not help them she would have tears in her eyes. Sakina's lips were parched with thirst.

On the Ashura day, she gave her Mashk to Hazrat Abbas. He went to get water for her. The children gathered round Sakina with their little cups, knowing that as soon as Hazrat Abbas brought any water, Sakina would first make sure that they had some before taking any herself. When Sakina saw Imaam Husayn bringing the blood drenched 'alam she knew that her uncle Abbas had been killed. From that day on Sakina never complained of thirst.

Then came the time when the earth shook and Sakina became an orphan! But even then she always thought of the others first. She would console her mother on the death of Ali Asghar and when she saw any other lady or child weeping Sakina would put her little arms around her.

Yes Sakina never again asked anyone for water. Bibi Zainab would persuade her to take a few sips, but she herself would never ask for water or complain of thirst!!!!

From the time when Imaam Husayn fell in the battle field, Sakina forgot to smile! Kufa saw her as a sombre little girl lost in thought. Quite often she would sit up at night. When asked if she wanted anything, she would say, “I just heard a baby cry? Is it Asghar? He must be calling out for me!”

Knowing that her weeping upset her mother, Sakina would cry silently and quickly wipe away her tears! In the prison in Shaam she would stare at the flock of birds flying to their nests at sunset and innocently ask Bibi Zainab, “Will Sakina be going home like those birds flying to their homes?”

Then one dreadful night Sakina went to bed on the cold floor of the prison. For a long time she stared into the darkness! The time for the morning prayers came. Sakina was still lying with her eyes wide open. Her mother called out: “Wake up, Sakina! Wake up, it is time for prayers, my child!” There was only the painful silence! Our fourth Imaam walked up to where Sakina lay. He put his hand on her forehead. It was cold! He put his hand near the mouth and the nose. Sakina had stopped breathing. In between sobs Imaam Zain ul 'Abideen said: “inna lil-Lahi wa inna ilay-hi raja’uun.”

How was Sakina buried? Zainab held the still child as Imaam Zain ul 'Abideen dug a grave in the cell. As the grave was being filled up after the burial the mother let out a scream! How could anyone console Bibi Rubaab? What could they say? They huddled around her, and the prison walls began to shake with the cry: “ya Sakina, ya madhloomah!!” Bibi Rubaab put her cheek on Sakina's grave and cried out: “Speak to me, Sakina! Only a word, my child! Speak to me!!”

SOUCRE : www.hujjat.org

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Upcoming Events

Mon Jun 26, 2017 @08:00 - 10:30PM
Eid Programme

Programme starts at 7.30am Dua Nudba and 8.00am Eid-Namaaz
Programme evening starts at 8.15pm Eid Dinner, Salaat and finish with Ziyarat (depending on moon sighting)
Venue:- Galleywood Heritage Centre, The Common, Off Magaretting Road, Galleywood, Essex, CM2 8TR