Shia Culture I/IV

Prelude

These essays concern with the unity of all the different sects in Islam. The Muslims following different sects in Islam follow the same Book Quran and the same Haadi-ay Barhaq – the righteous guide, Mohammad Mustufa SAWW but follow a different set of fundamentals in religious beliefs, the majority of whom have not included the hard core of the faith, the Justice in their fundamentals. This is a serious deficiency in their faith content. They are following the Haadi-ay Barhaq, the Book of God but not giving weight to Adl- the justice. These essays will determine the direction into the unity of different sects in Islam, with reason used as arm’s rest and passion chastised and discarded; only stroked to intenseness when needed to help the reason.

The Book of God, the Holy Quran says in Aayet 2.208: O faithful you all once enter in Islam fully and do not follow in the footsteps of the Satan, he definitely, openly and secretly is your enemy.

The Haadi-ay Barhaq, Hazrat Mohammad Mustufa SAWW says: The Muslim Ummah is one body .........if one limb suffers the whole body responds...., Sahih Al Bukhari 224.

The Holy Quran recognises different tribes but not different sects and the nomenclature in the Sunni Islam of various Fiqhi groups of men is not approved by the Quran. He can only be a Muslim, not Hanafi, Shafii, Humbali, Malaki and others. But that logic cuts in favour of the Shia Muslims - they are Shias – friends of Ali and are not carrying any nomenclature and are not the offshoot of Islam but the hard core of the faith of Islam.

The intellect says, logic must be followed. But for that to happen; the intellect has to be free to exercise its power to follow logic. The intellect must be free from the hold of self created beliefs tampered and made existential by extraneous considerations not governed by the implicit standards set by Islam. Saying that Quran is enough for us[1] and that a Wasila – an interlocutor to help reach an imploration to God in its pleading to be granted with certain surety is forbidden[2] or that there is no infallible Imam - there is no Masoom Imam[3], and then the demonstrative behaviour depicting that even the Hadi-ay Barhaq can be overruled[4] or that the Prophet is like one of us; we the fallacious, are extraneous believes to Islam.

So where was morality and where to gone is the surrender and the submission to true Islam? Do the standards followed by the majority of the Ummah meet God’s set laws and whether morality and submission are as intended? What is the right belief, and what is its address? Is it not the recognition of the supremacy of the words of the Haadi - the Ahadees which in authenticity bear uniformity with the words of Quran?

The imperative for the misguided is to align him with the belief of the righteous, the Shias. The misguided is oppressed and he must shun the Fiqah that has failed him, which has produced only mediocre and bombers. Not one Khomeini, no Khamenei, not one Mohammad Ali Jinnah, no Ghalib, no Anis-o-Dabeer, not one Ibn Abu Sina, no Abu Musa Jabir Ibn Hayyan, and by and large though there has been a complete ripple less sea for them but not producing a great genius and there was a sea of gloom and evasiveness from truth on which they had been riding and sailing and have made no impressive contribution to glorification. If Mustufa Kamal Ataturk was there he too had to veer away from the Sunni Fiqah, even at the cost of being blamed of being secularist and if Professor Abdus Salam was the Noble Prize recipient in Theoretical Physics, he was not independent. I met Professor Dr Abdus Salam in 1965 at the Imperial College London and he took me to his room and showed me some papers and modestly said his colleague scientists’ (he took two names that I forget) contribution was immense. He praised either of them.

God approved and the enlightened faith of the Shias is the righteous faith. The basics governing the life of piety and the epistemological life in the end are justice and reasoning, and the oppressed have to search it out and merge and sink in the great sink – in the Shiaism and bickering flattened, and fairness, justice and absolute law made to prevail and evil put on the weary legs and slumped and slashed and made to fail. Let therefore large heartedness, learnedness be the bedrock and the evident failures due to bigotry overcome and broad road to truthfulness flash opened to start the march on as one united body of the Muslims. The Prophet of Islam has desired that through his Hadees-e Saqlain.

I am venturing writing this hub and venturing inviting all the sects of the Sunni Islam to shun their belief and join the Shia faith. The Shias in spite of their time and again and long persecution have preserved their faith because of their righteousness and their inherent spiritual strength. They have established powerful Hauza-e Ilmi in Najaf and Qum, and it does not take a genius to see the failures of all the other sects, due to the bitterness, the ignorance and the belligerence they have fostered.

This article on Shia Culture with its Urdu and Persian language translation titled Shia Tehzeeb will appear in book form shortly afterwards after this publication in the English language in the Hub Pages.

Wassalam

Sayed Athar Husain

Afkar-e Shia (Shia Thought)

London

13.8.2010


[1] Said by Hazrat Umar Ibn al Khattab

[2] Said by Abdul Wahab

[3] Said by Allama Tahirul Qadri

[4] The recorded behaviours of the close followers of Islam at the time of the death of the Prophet SAWW

Shia Culture Part I/IV

The Shia Asset

If any race and people have advanced the culture of love, recognition of the rights of others to practice their faith without interference, advanced affinity between people of different religions and enhanced a style of living to overcome dreariness in life; they are the Shiyan of Ali. The Shias are a great people. Aekhterah -the introductionin sophistications,adding new breadth to the meaning of life with harmless innovations making lanes for the original body form to go through it without it being a condominium and God Sharia still ruling and in place, not being drabbled and smeared with extraneous foul and it not changing its form and character was done by the Shias.

Assaum-li wa Ana A-ijzi Beh– The fast is for Me and I will personally give reward.

This Hadees is indicative of and intends to say; ‘except for Saum – the fast, in other matters there may be others who can reward.’ This derivation in meaning is based on the derivation of logical inferences. The authorities who can reward can be numerous and all may be of the same absoluteness in the level of the authorisation to reward. Also authorities may be of the graded level authority from which as such there was no problem in asking them for the reward of beneficences. There was no Shirk or the alluding of duality with God in this relationship between the approaching and the approached to intercede with God. And accordingly no violation of God’s injunctions was made. God may be asked also direct, or through a Wasila – the media or the promoter. But it was definitely advantageous, wise and preferable for the lesser being to use a Wasila. Therefore the repeated assertion of Zakir Naek the free Muballigh from Bombay that a Wasila cannot be used stands to naught.

Outside of Islam only the Nonconformist in the Christian world say, ‘everyman is his priest’, but this was a retaliation, they had a break from the Catholicism and the Church of England for reasons of central control by the churches, including in the realm of world affairs of wealth and pomp.

And the Shias are immediately thankful to God for giving them a set of twelve Imams. This was in contrast to all the sects in Islam who in their fundamental faith carry firm belief in the Messengership of the Prophet Mohammad Mustufa SAWW, but not in the twelve Imams who are the spiritual heir of the Prophet and strange only the Shias believe in that and none other in spite of divine ordains and their convincing spirituality of their supernatural power, over and above all other beings, as time and again evidences proved so. The latest casualty in detaching himself away from accepting their divine authority and their infallibleness – the Masoom status, was Allama Dr Tahirul Qadri. He has denied that the twelve Imams are Masoom or they had God ordains.

Ba Khuda Deevana Bashad Ba Mohammad Hoshyar.

The God’s orders he denies and in Mohammad’s orders he makes amendments.

The intellect cannot be perfect unless it follows righteousness and such precarious denials have put the Muslims at the crossroads, and why so when he can turn to the Ayat-e Tathir 33.33 of Quran, which vouches for the infallibility of the Aehlebaait. Only the Allama will need expertise in merited interpretation of the Aayet! Its evaluation and correlation with the background perpetuity of the piety of the Aehlebaait and that information will shed light on the infallibility of the Imams. The Shias must therefore patronise all other sects and spoon feed them the precepts of Islam taken from their Imams, whether the other sects accept it or not, but this aught must be done as duty by the Shias. They are duty bound to do it - a duty that was imparted to them by their Maula Ali.

Our respected Allama must realise, raising audacious objection is easy, but the nature of the philosopher is that he must have an intelligent prompter to excite the philosopher to let him surface his wisdom and it cast for the benefit of the listener through filtration. Plato must have an interlocutor, Phaedrus (he was not real presumably), but Mohammad SAWW must have the real Ali the Wali to question and perceive and convey. Then if Mohammad was born genius Ali has to be born genius and in every respect a match to Mohammad to put a question and where Mohammad cannot equip and transmit to the world the entailing lasting virtue due to the combination and the permutation of time, Ali must do that within his time and where the combination and the permutation of time does not allow him manifest the world with virtue in completion and its implementation was still due and required, his match and descendants with duality in matching Ali qualities must do it, and one of them must continue to live-on to do the transmission and the manifestation of the required and our Twelfth Imam AFS is present and living to manifest God virtue. And all these Imams from one to twelve are ordained to manifest God virtue and they are all Masoom by requirement. The Allama therefore better hold on to the evident belief, he has great responsibility upon his shoulders not to allow his innocent followers misled.

When the Aayet on secret counsel or Najwa, Aayet 58.12 descended, the injunction and command lasted for a limited period of ten days before it was withdrawn and it proved to be a test paper given to the candidates aspiring consultation - a test of the degree of their affinity with the Prophet SAWW. The condition of talk with him was set by the Aayet that they give Sadqa – the charity to assuage and then talk to the Prophet. None of the Muslims, rich or influential stood up to spend even a Dirham in Sadqa, save Ali Alaihissalam. This Wali of God, known Wali in generalities, and Wali-ay Aazam in his specialities for his intensive relations with God, whose status was higher than the preceding Prophets had just one Dinar in his possession. He had it turned into ten Dirham and ten times he gave Sadqa and spoke with the Prophet ten times. And this was the precedent set for the Shias to lead the Ummah and prompt them to take to the vogue set by God. And they have discharged this duty beautifully and exculpated them from the blame not to have done it.

They have not only a mosque to design, build and tend, there is Imam Baargah, the city Karbala for terminating there Juloos, the Shah Nasheen - the Royal Seats, whose style and order they arrange, where Alams dedicated to each Imam with Punjah as the emblem are installed, and small Tazias – the replicas of the shrines of the Imams, Zarih – the domed tomb, cradle and Taboot - sepulchre are placed on the Shah Nasheen. The Tazia was an artful piece of replica of bamboo frame on which coloured paper, mica pieces cut in geometrical patterns and of design of flower or cut to fit the arches were pasted, reminding of the shrines of the pious Imams and it was a professional work. Large sums of money were used in making these, before the start of Muharram in Ramnagar, Banaras State where cream of Shia lived in the State, holding high posts in the State.

Mirza Buddhan started the construction of the Tazia several months before Moharram, which was readied well in time and carried in the Moharram procession on the 10th of Moharram to Karbala and buried in the Karbala. A large high ceiling room was used for the construction of the Tazia. When the sections were ready and the final stages of the assembly came, the sections were taken out and assembled on the platform of the house that was at the front of the house and then it was covered with flowers and garlands. In the times the Nawabs ruled Awadh, one Nawab ordered a Tazia from England which was built with green glass and brass mouldings. It was shipped to India, and England can boast also to have had its contribution in the Tazia[1] erection.


[1] Knighton, W., The Private Life of an Eastern King, p. 235

The Zuljenah or the Duldul was the horse of Imam Husain Als. He was brought out in the Moharram processions. A domesticated broad backed horse or a sturdy foal was given a bath with perfumed water of Arq-e Kewrda, the Kewrda water or with Arq-e Gulab, the rose water. The horse’s body and its hooves were applied in spots Sahab which had a quality to give red blood like colour. A felt cover was put on the horse’s back covering his ribs, over which a shroud of white sheet carrying stains of simulated blood from Sahab was draped and then a net of rose flower was placed on it and Swords, Arrows and Shields on either side from the flanks to the shoulders of the horse were tugged and an ornamental umbrella was placed on the empty back of the horse and it girdled. The lions and croups were covered with arrows, and a plume was placed on the Duldul’s poll and a Kungan, a heavy bracelet made from an ornamented silver chain or gold plated stamped flowers were slipped under its root of tail whose ends rested on the back of the horse - now this was the full Duldul, dressed and shaped, bedecked with rose flower garlands. This was the degree of respect and honour due to it that was given to it.

It was the horse of Imam Husain Als in Karbala, which had stood by the Imam protecting him when he had fallen with wounds on the ground and he had only returned to the camp empty after slaying from his top several enemies of God and now that was how it was presented in the procession bedecked, and it carried that contextual honour for its loyalty to the Imam. And behind all that traditional heraldry to the horse was the gesture of thankfulness to the horse with which Shia heart was filled with. Such beauty of art and love was only admired and revered by the Shias, the Sunnis despised it and said if you looked at the Zuljenah, the Nikah or the solemn bind of the marriage between the wife and the husband was broken immediately and automatically and so they never looked at the Duldul, but it was a problem for them avoiding looking at it. And the Shia revered the horse. It was Zuljenah and he reminded them of his companionship with the Imam. And they welcomed the horse with the verse:

Jab Khali Ghorda Khaaimein Mein Aaya Imam Ka

Matha Lahoo Say Surkh Tha Oos KhushKhesal Ka

Pursa Woh Dey Raha Thha Aur Aansoo Bahata Thha

Zakhmoan Say Apnay Choor Thha Gham Say Nidhal Thha

When the empty horse of the Imam came to the camp

The forehead of those fine habits was red with blood

He was offering condolences and was shedding tears

He was full of wounds and laden with grief

The procession of Zuljenah is a common sight in Muharram in the cities of India and Pakistan. It is also taken out on the Manhattan streets in New York in the USA, only not so in London. The route of the Muharram procession in London is not so spectacular and the message the procession has to give is of righteousness. It as such needs supported for oppression condemned pronouncedly. The procession route should be allowed through the majestic Regent Street in London and all facilities should be provided by the Borough, so much so that the local councillors should participate in it officially. The carnivals cannot provide sobriety but the Moharram procession will. Shias have more mourning celebrations taken out than any other people and know more of the sangfroid since they have more in discipline to show than any other people.

The Moharram Juloos in my paternal home village Rala in Allahabad district was taken out on the 9th and the 10th of Moharram. I have seen my paternal grandfather Sayed Nazim Husain Marhoom wa Maghfoor, who was the Alam bearer would place the Alam on his lower teeth and stand it there and walk a few steps balancing the high Alam full 18 feet high, with its Pharera – the flag flying. My grandfather was a strongly built person and on the 10th of Moharram would be barefoot carrying the Alam, while the Nauha Khwan lyricizes the Nauha – the elegy and the Matamee Dasta – the chest beating team of formation; beat the chest with hand or with chain on bare bodies which carried small sharp blades of knives.

The Shias observe the days of the mourning, the Moharram with the deepest of the reverence and their dedication and then give the farewell to it. And observation of the Moharram mourning does not wear them, it in fact galvanises them and Moharram is the richest period of the Shia life. And when this season is over, they are most occupied in giving feasts, offering Nazar - presenting delicacies and rich food to the departed souls, especially to their Imams and the progenies of the Prophet SAWW, which are the sequels to the recitals of the Suray Fateha, together with other Surahs to the souls to be benefited by the Nazar. Then they fill Koondas – a word concealing a history behind it. Literally at least two large bowls of clay, presently porcelain and even steel bowls are filled with Tikya – the sweet fried thick round flour leavened wafers and presented as Nazar to the 6th Imam on the 22nd of Rajab and the Momeneen come from all over to taste it. The tradition was not serving full meal and only eating the Tikia, but now a day’s full lavish food with varieties is served all day running till the evening, and the house remains open all day till late at night for the groups of the Momeneen to come to finish the Nazar.

And then they present Haazri to Hazrat Abbas Als. No honour offered to the honoured and the revered brother of Imam Husain Als is enough near the Shias to whom they so love. Imam Husain Als gave the standard of Islam in Karbala to Hazrat Abbas Als and the Jalal - the sombre awe and the Wafa – the extreme faithfulness and the fidelity of Hazrat Abbas is not measurable, the syntax is unable to and is short of assimilating his purity and piety. He is the symbol and the luminary of the faithfulness and he represents Hashmi virtue and is titled with the synonym of Qamar-e Bani Hashim – the moon of the tribe Bani Hashim. Truly the Shias revere and love him, for a spectrum of his virtues, on is he is a son who was asked of from God by Hazrat Ali Als and he was God’s gift. And second he was the hope and the strength of the Aehlebaait Athaar and the third was his personal character and grace that has so richly endowed the Shias with virtue, besides making the story of Karbala of valour and of untold lessons in morality.

The name Hazrat Abbas carries that awe that the Shias are careful to take his name for the fear that the degree of honour that is due is not short in describing his honour and purity. From Rasool-e Khuda SAWW down to Ali and to Imam Hasan Als when the Standard of Islam was in their hands, there were Momin as well as Munafiq both under its banner, but once it came in the hand of Imam Husain Als there were only Momin under it and the Munafiq were filtered and Imam Husain Als gave that banner to Hazrat Abbas Als to lead the Momeneen under it in the battle of right against wrong in Karbala. And Hazrat Abbas Als gave it such a colour of distinction in Wafa - the fidelity that his name has become synonymous with Wafa. And the respect and love accorded by the Shias to this symbol of piety and reverence is immeasurable. He is their deputy Imam, and they lay out their hearts to meet the purity needed in the feast to this Naeb Imam on the 8th of Muharram.

Fine food, Taftan, Nan, Qorma, Pasandah, Kababs, Pulau, Zarda, Feerni, salad with Mooli, Pudina and Mashroob are offered in the Haazri. And no Najis, even a Kalama saying Muslim thought to be polluted with corrupt faith is invited in the Haazri. God says if you feed three hungry He will allocate three gardens in the heavens for you, but the hungry is not the consideration here, it is the purity full hungry that can eat this Haazri. And it is a wonderful feeling to know you are serving food to the people wherein there might be three hungry of creditable faith.

Within the parameters of the law of the Sharia if an innovative performance is contributory to the cultural uplift giving a style revelatory of the genius of the people, betraying their sophistication and revealing of their capacity to unearth secretive knowledge not assimilate-able by the general population but confirmative to progress and peace, it is the Shia who lay hand on it and grasp it for their utilization and for others. God and His Prophet have no inhibition on it and encourage it and not ordered its stoppage. And one of these was the celebration of the Naurose by the Shias. Naurose was celebrated in Persia but not Arabia and as the Persians entered in the tenets of Islam the tradition of celebrating the Naurose, since it did not clash with the edicts and the precepts of Islam was adopted, and allowed to be celebrated. And the day of the 21st of March was not without blessing and good omens and beneficences abounded then and they do not leave it dormant for its benefices to waste away unnoticed.

The Shias are the only people among the Muslims who celebrate Naurose with knowledge that on this day Hazrat Moosa triumphed on the magicians when he was commanded by God to throw his mace. It immediately turned into snake and gobbled up all the big and small snakes of the magicians and on this day Hazrat Ibrahim Als was thrown by the polytheist King Nero into the fire but the fire became a rose garden and Hazrat Ibrahim Als was safe.

And  this was the day of March 21, 632 AD  when the Prophet of Islam put the crown of the Caliphate on the head  of Hazrat Ali Als in Ghadeer-e Khum but he ascended the throne of the apparent Caliphate in July 656 AD, and on this day of the Naurose, Prophet Hazrat Ezqeel - Ezekiel Ibn Buza Als was asked by God to take water in his palm and sprinkle on the dead about whom he wondered if they will be alive and they were turned alive. Sura Baqra, Aayet 243 has a mention of this happening, and the elaboration by the Quran interpreters make mention of this happening.

Naurose is the first day of the spring equinox on the 21st of March, but the equinox also occurs on the 22nd of September. The new year of the Iranian Calendar begins on the 21st of March. The orbit of the earth round the sun crosses the celestial equator of the celestial sphere and at this point the centre of the sun is above and below the horizon for equal length of day and night time and the earth from the north to the south pole receives equal light on this day and the night and day are equal in length, since the sun can be observed to be vertically overhead, occurring around March 20/21 and September 22/23 each year. Because the earth’s axis is tilted at approximately 23.44 degrees from the orbital plane, as a consequence the northern hemisphere tips towards the sun, with the maximum at June 21/22 and the southern hemisphere having it on December 21/22. These are the two solstices when the sun is directly overhead at the equator with the maximum light and heat to the earth’s hemispheres.

Zoroastrians have celebrated vernal equinox as the New Year for three thousand years. And the Shias are their better partners in this celebration. This day is characterised with thanks giving. There is so much in thanksgiving - seven kinds of fruit and seven kinds of sweet meats are laid on the table and a bowl of water is placed in which a rose flower floats on the surface of water. The rose has the characteristic to turn at the exact time of the Tahweel when the sun crosses the terrestrial equator. There must be a rotational perception in nature to swing the rose to turn. At this moment prayers are fulfilled. The sweet and the fruits are for Nazar to Maula-ay Kaenat, Hazrat Ali Ibn Abi Talib Als which are offered with the recital of Sura-ay Alhumdo Lillah and Suray Qulho Allah Ho Ahad. Generally the Nazar is the discharge of an obligation made with a particular Imam for a certain fulfilment of a wish which was materialised through the grace of the Imam and the sanction from the Almighty God and the Nazar was offered to free the self of the obligation.

On the day of the Naurose, water is thrown on each other and in every nook and corner of the house for auspiciousness. This seizer is taken from the God’s advice to one of His Prophets, Izqeel Als. Hazrat Izqeel was going his way that he saw many dead lying on earth. The Prophet wondered and prayed to God for the dead, and God said take a quantity of water in the palm and sprinkle it on them. The prophet did that on each of the dead and the dead became alive. The bones were cladded with flesh and they became fresh and alive. The Aayet 2.243 of the Holy Quran says some number; four, nine or seventy thousand of men ran from their houses in fear of death, but death took over and they died. After a long time Hazrat Izqeel passed their way and he wondered at their state and asked of God SWT how they died. God commanded him to sprinkle water on them who will come to life. And this incident was vouchsafe that water can put life in the dead and the dried out and thus water was thrown on the Naurose. It was a source of enjoyment, as well as the Shias say; they are very alive to God’s traditions.

And they are a free soul, not in bondage to the tradition of the earlier day Taraweeh introduced by the Caliph Hazrat Umar Ibn Al Khattab with no authority for its imposition, but the innovation has been made the garland of the neck and universally seized to be ritualized by the Sunni Muslims, only the Shias turn these down and they have their ways. Usually in Ramzan the Shia Rozaydar, after the Maghrabaain prayers and afteropening the fasting, sit for the Majlis of Zikr, truly these are Dars or sermons in asession spreading over one month given by an Aalim or the learned from the Menmber. Aayetullah Aqeelul Gharvi in London at the Babulmurad Centre and Mosque and Imam Baargah discusses logic and philosophy of morality in these talks and sheds light on such subject as Aehkam – the degrees and the stages of the execution of command and at what stage they became binding. He talks of the formulation of command taking form in its existential stages through:

1. Hukm-e Shani in conception

2. Hukm-e Inshaee Published

3. Hukm-e Fighli For propagation

4. Hukm-e Munajjaz Reached to the ears

So unless the command has gone through, to the last stage and reached to the last intended recipient, he was exempt of any blame not to have carried out the command. So all links in the organisational hierarchy have to be perfect for the transfer of the command from the conception stage to its final arrival stage to the ears of the recipient and in this if the link of Ablagh – the media is dishonest, it can cripple the system and the organisation. In fact the Ablagh conveying the command cannot be independent and become hostile at its choosing under the plea of being a critic, if the case was that, it has no justification for its independency.

The Aayetullah to give impetus to Momin that he sharpens his apt love to literalism, reads on the 11th of Ramzan 2010 from the Menmber, beautiful verses of that outstanding poet Ghalib and takes the Momin to wade into the visionary and the subtlety of Moaddat – the cult of love in the directional faith to bring out the intenseness of love. He quotes the poet Ghalib:

Bahut Haai Pa- ya-aey Garday Rahay Husain Bulund

Baqadr-e Fahm Haai Gar Keemiya Kahein Oosko

Very high is the veracity of the dust of the path of Husain’s feet

It is responding to the level of understanding you may call it Alchemy

The injustice that Hazrat Umar Ibn Al Khattab did with the Muslims was in the misuse of his authority. He has put the yoke of burden on the necks of the Muslims. He is driving them on the road that was not the highway of Islam and done that whose sanction was not accorded by God and His Prophet, and though Hazrat Umar was carrying the authority equivalent to the Prophet SAWW as Caliph but he was not a fraction of a fraction authorized to do innovations in the religion, and that he did. He introduced Taraweeh the Nawafil in congregation form and introduced compulsory Assalato Khaairum Minunnaym in the call of the morning Azan and created gulf between Muslims and God severely condemned it in Surah Alanam Aayet No.159. ‘Islam is not for division’.

And the Shias are contented, they are neither innovators nor division makers - divisors in the religion and they send deliberate loud Salawats – the calling of God’s salutations on Mohammad SAWW and his progenies as God wants and they send it for its automatic boon on them as often as the occasion provides to show their reverences to them, and to extend their thankfulness to God for being what they are. And this was God’s Sunnat, who beckons men to send Durud on Mohammad SAWW as He and the Angels do and the Shias like to be in the company of God and the angels as often as possible by joining God and Angels in Durud. And this was for announcing of Mohammad and his progenies liveliness and their living presence in the world. They were, Shahid, Shaheed and living. The Durud was to show man’s loyalty and his acknowledgement of the gravid acts done by Hazrat Mohammad SAWW and the members of the House of Mohammad SAWW. And how not the Shias will honour and revere their Wali, Ali Ibn Abi Talib Als, and raise the slogan of Ya Ali and identifying them as of Ali, it was their identity, their greave and armour.

The Shias celebrate birthday of their present Imam, the Twelfth Imam AFS – Ajul Allaho Farjahoo Sharif, on the 15th of Shaban and send their allegiance to him on an application form through his Deputy Husain Bin Rooh along with two wishes which are granted by the Imam. They only have to find a site for throwing the Areeza[1]. Thesite is conceived, located and designed where there was running water of the river or an ocean was stretched across before them and it was clean, and water healthy to deposit the Areeza in the channels of the waves which acted as the conveyor for presenting it to the Imam.

They are the founders of the traditions to give celebrity feasts on a large scale and offer Nazar – the offering of celebrity food with sweet-meats or simply the sweet -meats to the souls of their Imams, on the occasion of their birthdays. And offer Fateha – the recital of the first Surah of Quran and subsequent Surahs as offer with subdued grievous hearts on the days of the martyrdom of the Imams and the relationship between the Shia and his Imam is a very personal and an intimate one. All the Imams of the Shias are martyrs and this was a singular cause to write elegies lamenting their martyrdom and saying eulogies for honouring them with verses to match to their high stations. They were the illuminates, lightening the path of life to salvation. The recital of the Dua-ay Kumail is the Shia way of life and they read prayers from the Saheefa-e Kaamila – Al-Sahifat Al- Sajjadia, whose words of psalms are second only in ranking to Quran in their efficacy to God. The Saheefa-e Kaamila forms the Duas of richness in appeal and address revealing to man of the God reality and of the man’s own station. Listen to the supplication No 45 from Saheefa-e Kamila:

O God,

O He who desires no repayment!

O He who shows no remorse at bestowal!

O He who rewards not His servant tit for tat!

O Yee, Thy kindness is a new beginning

Thy pardon gratuitous bounty

Thy punishment justice,

Thy decree a choice for the best!

Initially in the times of Hazrat Ali there were two kinds of Shias, Shias of Ali and Shias of Muawiya. The later with the power moving in their court after the death of Hazrat Ali Als, extinguished, sensing mental security, which by the weight of its follies was shaken after they martyred Imam Husain Als. People stood up against the Umvi rule and this opened the way for Bani Abbasid. But it was said the intensity of the Shias of Ali was the creation of one Jew turned Shia, Abdullah bin Saba, a native of Sana in Yemen. He became a travelling missionary and went from place to place informing of the divine right of inheritance of the Khilafat by Hazrat Ali Als and he was also explaining of such belief as the Raja – the doctrine of palingenesis and he regarded Abu Bakr, Umar and Usman as usurpers. But the divine right of the Aehlebaait to rule was the fundamental belief of the Shias and its basis was enumerated by Bibi Fatima SUA in her address at the court of Hazrat Abu Bakr. And truly it was vigorously pursued by Ibn Saba after 25 years.


[1] The tradition of throwing Areeza is a form of expression of faith by the Shias in the Twelfth Imam, present in this world to who request with three wishes are sent thrown in the running water of the river. Each application written on an application form and one of the wish written is that when the Imam appears, the applicant may be counted as his one faithful soldier.

The spiritual superiority, valour, administrative ability, literariness, family ascendency, patience and perseverance, piety and genetic purity, none of these qualities, neither the usurpers ibn Saba called them, nor any one of the Muslims in general could reach near to, in these qualities which Hazrat Ali Als possessed. And then the Prophet himself had told of the hereditary Imamat of the twelve Imams and had asked Jabir bin Abdulla Ansari RA to convey his salutation to the 5th Imam Mohammad Baqar Als when he was to meet him.

Then the Prophet on numerous occasions has declared about Ali Als that he was his deputy including the final declaration in Ghadeer-e Khum when he was returning after the Hajj along with the Muslims. The Prophet had said that Ali was like him - master of the Ummah. And then God declared of the Imams’ veracity through clear declaration in Aayat-e Tatheer 33.33 that all fallacies stayed away from them and they were therefore Masoom Minallah – innocent from God. And the Imams were a compulsive necessity of the Prophet SAWW and God in Aayet 2.272 says:

O Prophet your work is only to show the way not to get them to the objective ends.

But the function of the Imam is to get one to the objective goal and their necessity was a logical consequence of God’s design of goodness to prevail and hence their infallibility was vouchsafed in Aayet 33.33.

The only thing wrong with Abdullah Ibn Saba was he was a Shia of Hazrat Ali Als gone Nusayri. So intensely devoted to Hazrat Ali that he called out, ‘Anta Anta’ – you art Thou, i.e., you are God.

He was banished by Hazrat Ali Als and when the Nusayries persisted in saying that, one of them was burnt by Hazrat Ali as punishment to him. But simultaneous with the Nusayries calling Hazrat Ali ‘Anta Anta’, there were Khwarjis who called him ‘Kafir’ but Hazrat Ali Als spared them.

This was the grace and the greatness of the Wali Azam that no one could reach to the degree of his humbleness. The gnosis in the punishment was that the burnt was doing Shirk, that was the ultimate crime and he was burnt, the severest punishment and the other one was violating the personal right of Hazrat Al, he was spared (quote from Allama Talib Jauhari’s Majlis in Nishtar Park Karachi). But the Nusayries were persistent, and they stuck to their faith, such was their conviction in their faith. And the tradition of Allah is such that He SWT when His creation cannot live without a particular violation of His Shariat legitimises it and Aayet 2.187 stands to vouch for it. In 1922 the French created an independent Nusayri state and called it Alwi state, now this is the Syrian Alwi government that is under the extremist Shias – the Nusayries.

Wassalam,

Sayed Athar Husain

Afkar-e Shia (Shia Thought)

London.

13. 8. 2010


[1] Knighton, W., The Private Life of an Eastern King, p. 235

[2] The tradition of throwing Areeza is a form of expression of faith by the Shias in the Twelfth Imam, present in this world to who request with three wishes are sent thrown in the running water of the river. Each application written on an application form and one of the wish written is that when the Imam appears, the applicant may be counted as his one faithful soldier.

Comments 6 comments

davidseeger profile image

davidseeger 6 years ago from Bethany, OK

i started to read this hub in the hope of finding a Muslim who can provide a bridge for me to understand something of his faith. To give me a reason that there is a rationality to the relationship of Islam and other faiths. I sense that you have the qualitites that I was looking for. However, your hub must have been written for the understanding of other Muslim and not followers of other religions. There are so many references to things that only those who are intimately familiar with Islam can understand.

If you sometimes write a similar hub but without the obscure references I will be happy to read it.

Thanks you.


SayedAthar Husain profile image

SayedAthar Husain 6 years ago from London Author

Dear davidseeger,

I agree with you what you are saying, there would be obscurity in this Hub for the Non-Muslims as it addresses the Muslim sects. However if you will point out to me specific areas you would like elaborations, I shall be happy to do so.

But on your prompting I will include a paragraph in this Hub on intercessor and the Nonconformist. Please see fourth paragraph I have added now to the Hub.

Best wishes


ashritha 5 years ago

very nice... its very helpful for me..... because am very eager to know about shia culture and namazs and want to know many more interesting topics about shia....


SayedAthar Husain profile image

SayedAthar Husain 5 years ago from London Author

Dear Ashritha,

I most voiciferously say your interest is genuine and in the right direction. I will send you my book Shia Culture. It is due to come out of the press in next month or so. You have to tell where to send.

Best wishes.


Saiyeda 5 years ago

Dear sir

I enjoyed reading your hub.. very informative..

thanks for writting so much of detail ..in todays world even shia children are unaware of their righteous path.

I would like to read your book.. is it availabel in Pakistan ,Karachi?


SayedAthar Husain profile image

SayedAthar Husain 4 years ago from London Author

Sorry for replying so late - after 11 months. You can get some of my books from Mr Anwar Rasheed at 49 M, Block 6 PECHS Karachi.

Thank you for your comment. God bless you.

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