Wonderful Tales from the Holy Quran II/IV

Wonderful Tales from the Holy Quran

(II/IV)

There are many Hikayat - fables, proverbs and anecdotes inHadees-e Qudsi. One Hadees-e Qudsi says: The Messenger of God Hazrat Mohammad SAWW said; Allah will say on the day of resurrection, O son of Adam! I fell ill and you visited Me not. He will say O Lord how should I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds. He will say did you not know my servant so and so had fallen ill and you visited him not. Did you not know that had you visited him you would have found Me with him. O son of Adam! I asked for food and you fed Me not. He will say O Lord and how should I feed you when you are the Lord of the worlds. He will say: Did you not know My servant so and so asked for food and you fed him not. Did you not know that had you fed him you would have found reward for it with Me for you. O son of Adam! I asked you to give Me to drink and you gave me not to drink. He will say, O Lord how should I give you to drink when you are the Lord of the worlds. He will say: My servant so and so asked you to give him to drink and you gave him not to drink. Had you given him to drink, you would have surely found Me with him.

It is in Hadees-s Qudsi that the Messenger of God Hazrat Mohammad Mustufa SAWW said (narrated by Abu Hurayra[1]):

A man sinned greatly against himself, (violating the injunctions of God and speaking blasphemy and sponsoring ill deeds) and when death came to him, he charged his sons and said; ‘When I have died, burn me then crush me and scatter my ashes into the sea, for by Allah, if my Lord takes possession of me, He will punish me in a manner in which He has punished no one [else]. So the sons did that to him; burnt him, crushed him and scattered him. Then God said to Earth produce what you have taken and there he was! And God said to him: What induced you to do what you did? He said it was being afraid of You and because of that He forgave him.

Itis in Hadees-e Qudsi, Allah said to brain:

“I have not created anything better than you. I will give everything to people only through you.”

Therefore, the brain became the ultimate power with man and there was no limit to brain’s capacity in thinking and raising questions and in achieving successes. The Iranian proverb is:

“O Allah if you gave a person brain, what did you not give him and if you did not give him brain, what it is you gave him.”

Without brain man is but a temporary asset. And the greatest Wali of the world, Hazrat Ali ibn Abi Talib AS has said; ‘women are Naaqisa-tay Uqool’ – they are of defect in intellect. This must be a blow to the pride of the women. However, this quote of the greatest of the Wali of God does not say that they had a defective brain; it means it is their emotion that does not allow their brain to do conclusive work. And for this God and Quran are not seen supporting them as intellectually driven Gnostics. There is the story of Bilqis - the Queen of Sheba (Saba), who submits to Hazrat Sulaiman AS (Solomon), Aayat 27: 20-44 and 30: 15-22. And there is the story of Zulekha and Hazrat Yusuf, where Zulekha subdues her intellect before the beauty of Yusuf, Aayat 12: 23-25. And there is the mother of Muawiya Ibn Abu Sufyan whose instinct turns wild and eats the heart of the martyr Ameer Hamza in the battle of Ahad, Aayet 3:155. And there is no story in Quran or in Hadees-e Qudsi that relates to women that they were raised to the level of a Nabi by God Rabbul Izzat – the Giver of all elations, and in extolment and purity not even one, vis-`a-vis the 124000 of the Nabis sent to the world, any woman stands out to have been honoured with that distinction. The only centrepiece of world attention and God cherished personage they have to show are:

1. Bibi Hajera - mother of Hazrat Ismail AS (She shows, untold instinct of the motherhood).

2. Bibi Aasiya - wife of Pharaoh (She saw a papyrus basket floating in the River Nile. It was Hazrat Moosa’s covenant floating, she brought out Hazrat Moosa AS and brought him up in her charge and God raised Bibi Aasia’s status for being the virtual mother of a Prophet).

3. Bibi Maryam - mother of Hazrat Eesa AS (She has been honoured by God for her virtuousness and her prayers).

4. Bibi Fatimah - mother of eleven Imams of the Aehlebaait (Whereof and for her virtue and purity, she earned the distinction to be declared by God; Sayyadatul Nisael Aalemeen – leader (Queen) of all the women of the worlds).

And the only consolation to the women of the world is that their leader is Fatimah Zehra SUA– Salam Ulla Alaiha – God’s salutation on her whose virtue sanctifies virtuous, and the women of the world have to be congratulated they have a personage in them that high that anyone of them if she came in her company became virtuous and she is that high that God’s interjections describe her divineness.

Jabir Ibn Abdullah Ansari states that the infallible Fatimah Zehra SUA, daughter of the Prophet SAWW stated this anecdote, called, Hadees-e Kissa. (An extremely abridged account of the Hadees-s Kissa is given here, but enough to convey the conversational style of the House of the Prophet SAWW). Bibi Fatimah SUA says:

‘One day the Prophet of Islam, my revered father (Hazrat Mohammad Mustufa SAWW) came to my house and said Assalam Alaiki - peace be on you O Fatimh, I said peace be on you also O father. On that he SAWW said, O Fatimah I feel weakness in my body. Hazrat Fatimah AS said to the revered him; I give you in God’s protection O Baba from the weakness. Aan-Hazrat - that revered him, said; O Fatimah! Do bring for me Kissa-e Yamani – the Yamani shroud and cover me. Hazrat Fatimah says I brought the Yamani Kissa (cloak) and I covered the revered him. And I was looking at the revered him that the face of his revered self became glowing and shining like the moon of the 14th. Hazrat Fatimah AS stated, then one moment had passed that my son Hasan came and said, my Salam - salutes on you O very revered mother, and said I, on you too my salute O coolness of my eyes and the fruit of my heart. So on that said Hasan to me, O dear mother I smell such fragrance about you that is the fragrance of my holy grandfather. Hazrat Fatimah SUA said, yes by the measure of all truth, your grandfather is resting under the Kissa (the blanket).

So on that Hasan’s attention was drawn towards the Kissa, and he submitted his respects thus: God’s blessings, on you O my dear Nana and O Messenger of Allah SAWW, do you permit me to enter in the Kissa and come near to you. Wa Alaika Assalam - blessings on you too O my son and owner of the Hauz-e Kausar[2] said the Prophet SAWW, I permit you, so Imam Hasan AS entered in the Kissa. And says Hazrat Fatimah AS, now only a moment had passed that my son Husain came and said Salam on you O very revered mother, so I replied Salam on you as well O my son, O coolness of my eyes and O fruit of my heart. So said my son Imam Husain AS, I smell such fragrance which is of my Nana .......... and then came Ali and they all put to me the same question and went to the Prophet and asked his permission and entered in that cloak.

Hazrat Fatimah SUA says her own attention then turned to the Kissa and she spoke; ‘my salutes on you O dear Baba, O Messenger of God do you permit me that I too enter in the Kissa near you.’ Said the Prophet of God, ‘yes, O my daughter and my piece of heart I permit you to enter in the Kissa.’ Hazrat Fatimah SUA says I entered in that Kissa, near to the revered him. Hazrat Fatimah SUA says when we all the Aehlebaait had entered in the Kissa, then my father – the Prophet of God held the two corners of the Kissa and raising his hands towards the sky said, O God these are my only Aehlebaait, whose flesh is my flesh and whose blood is my blood, thus O God on these and me you send blessings and Durood (salutations) and keep them pure as pure as is the right to do it. And then God said, O dwellers of sky on oath of My Honour and My Majesty, this sky, this earth spread out and the brilliance of moon shining, will not be created except in love of these five revered who are below this Kissa. Then Gibrael AS asked, O Sustainer who are below the Kissa. God replied: That is Fatimah Zehra, her father, her husband and two sons. Then Gibrael asked God, have I permission that I go to earth and enter in the Kissa and become the sixth person under the shroud. God said you have permission. Then Gibrael descended and presented his salute to the Prophet and said God salutes you and says nothing is created but in your love, and permits me to enter in the shroud. So do you permit me O Prophet of God to enter in the Kissa and the Prophet said I permit you. So Hazrat Gibrael entered in the Kissa.

So the purity and the honour of Bibi Fatimah Zehra has added to the purity, honour and the grandeur of the women through whom God introduces the holy Prophet and the Imams to Angel Gibrael, who though knew who they were in the Kissa, but wanted to have the pleasure of hearing it from God and God described it stating the importance of Bibi Fatimah. But in spite of these honours none of the women of the world, all the same were given a book of God, (only Bibi Fatimah was given knowledge of the future by Angel Gibrael which appears in her book Mus-haf Fatimah). The veracity of the Hadees-s Kissa is above all doubts and because of its virtues it has been continuously through the generations, recited in Shia proceedings and gathering to set the tempo of the proceeding.

The functional ability of the brain is at its highest when it is free from anguish, flakes of rust and taboo and when it can think and conclude rightly. It then produces remarkable men. Salman Farsi was a Zoroastrian from the nobility of the society of the time. He was a Muabbad[3] tending fire in an Aatish Kadah – a fire temple in Isfahan in the south of Iran. One day he was sent by his father to his estate to attend some matter. On the way to his father’s estate he saw the Christians in their Church were praying and he liked their prayer. He mentioned of it to his father who was a Dehqan – a village chief and he fearing that Salman might change his religion put him in fetters. But Salman Farsi broke the fetters and joined a Christian caravan, which was going to Syria and in search of truth went to Syria. He went to a Bishop and requested him to teach him his religion and from Syria he went to Mosul and as far as to Ameria near to Rome, at the demise of the Bishops guiding him. And there in Ameria when his mentor and guide was near to his death he asked him what I do, where I go. This ascetic and virtuous Bishop said, ‘go to the city where are the date trees, you will find the expectant Prophet there.’

Salman Farsi went to join a caravan which was going to Hijaz. The caravan people said they will help him to reach to Madina, but on the way they changed their mind and took him as slave and sold him in Medina. He was bought by a Medinan Jew, who put him to work in his date orchards. Salman Farsi worked there and waited for the time when he will see the Prophet from Makka comes to Medina. And when he came, Salman Farsi became a Muslim. The Prophet asked a Muslim to buy him from the Jew. He was bought and from thence he was a free man. He then rose to heights of faith higher than any of his contemporary companions of the Prophet and no one had a better Irfan - the gnosis of the Wali of God Hazrat Ali ibn Abi Talib AS than him. And near the Shias, Salman Farsi is the highest among the companions of the Prophet SAWW in the heights of faith[4]. Hazrat Ali has said about Salman Farsi, “Salman is a member of our family (one of the Aehlebaait), where can one find someone like Salman, who is wise Luqman.” This synonym used by Hazrat Ali, making Salman a simile of Luqman opens the chapter of Hazrat Luqman Hakim that who he was.

Hazrat Luqman Hakim AS was a Nabi. He was a campaigner to pre-analyze the likely consequences and apply wisdom and not sponsor random undertakings. And he was so wise that he was given the status of a Nabi by God and there is a whole Surah – Surah Luqman in Quran by his name. And in praise of him Aayet 31:12 of Surah Luqman says: “And verily we[*][5] bestowed wisdom upon Luqman............”. And because Quran vouches for his wisdom, Hazrat Luqman’s wisdom is tested and certified. Hazrat Luqman is said to have lived in this world for three thousand five hundred years. His descend five generations back traces its lineage to Prophet Hazrat Noah AS through his father Aus and grandfather Aud. Hazrat Luqman Hakim therefore lived before Prophet Moosa AS.

The Pind-o-Nasayah – the advice and the counsels of Hazrat Luqman AS are addressed to his son. Hazrat Luqman says to his son; “Obtain gnosis of God and know Him thoroughly.” The Pind-o-Nasayah of Hazrat Luqman are rated so high and are such essential nutrients to character building that they have been recommended to be remembered by the followers of the monotheistic religions, and some Ulema - the scholars say there are about three thousand five hundred counsels issued by Hazrat Luqman AS.

God in His mercy is kind to His creation and He SWT – Subhanahoo wa Tala – the Glorified and Exalted, according to the latest edict from Najaf-e Ashraf – the Shia centre of excellence, calls each child born a Muslim, and this is the greatest gift to all the faiths of the world. This is for inducing an involuntary undertaking in belief that each child born is innocent, and that this was an additional act to go through the need of baptizing and so each child has to listen to Hazrat Luqman as a Muslim.

Hazrat Luqman spoke to his son, reference; Safeenatul Behar volume 2, p. 528 by Allama Sheiks Abbas Qummi: “O son! Do not make effort to please people, you will never succeed. Do not pay attention to what people say instead always seek to please God.”

Hazrat Luqman wanted his son to remember this lesson. He had a donkey, so he asked his son to ride the donkey. The son obeyed and rode the donkey and Hazrat Luqman followed his son on foot. After they travelled some distance, they came across a group of people who saw son riding the donkey and father walking behind. One of them said, ‘What an impolite and bad boy! The old father is walking on foot and the young son is comfortably riding on the donkey. This is no manner to show respect to one’s father.’

The father and the son heard this criticism and the son came down from the donkey and Hazrat Luqman rode on the donkey. After a little while they came across another group of people, who on seeing the father riding the donkey, one of the elder of the group said, ‘Oh, you old man! This is not the way to bring up a son, you make him walk in the hot sun and you sit comfortably on the donkey.’

Hazrat Luqman paid attention to what the elder said and came down from the donkey and both father and son started walking on foot. The donkey walked in front and them behind it. They went a little distance that people saw them and said, ‘How foolish you are, you have a donkey and walk behind it why you don’t ride it.’

Hazrat Luqman and the son listened to what people said and they both rode on the donkey. They went a little further that a river came and some people were sitting beside the river. They saw Hazrat Luqman and son the two of them riding the donkey. One of them said when son and the father came to pass them, ‘It is very cruel and unkind of you two, to ride the poor donkey. The little animal is hardly able to pull your burden and you two together are riding it.’

So taking this advice Hazrat Luqman and son got down from the donkey. They travelled a little distance and then Hazrat Luqman affectionately said to his son, ‘You have heard what the people said. It must have assured you that whichever way you move; you are not able to please the people.’

He pointed at the water flowing in the river and said, ‘A person can build a wall across river. It will stop the flow of water, but it is not possible to shut the mouth of the people from criticism.’

Mathnawi is a form of poetry in couplets giving a story with no limit of verses. It was written in six volumes by Maulana Rumi 604 – 772 AH. These greatly read masterpieces of ethical and God recognition work are a treasure in ethics. Maulana Rumi was a Sufi, he called him Abdal: The Sufi endeavours to the accesses to knowledge and the Abdal was bestowed with it. The Maulana has written many inspirational books. His subject is ethics and Tasawwauf – the intellectual arraying with God reality and he creates a story out of intuition, sometimes from a Quranic Aayet and sometimes from inspirations descending on him and uses simile, metaphor and goes into metaphysics. And the central appeal of all of these is the recognition of God and entering into Godliness. And it is quite a spiritual experience to read his Mathnawi. The Maulana writes a story about Hazrat Luqman Hakim AS. In this reproduction here, extract has been taken from the translation ‘Mathnawi Manvi’ – Masnawi as it means, by Maulana Shah Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar:

Hazrat Luqman Hakim AS at one stage in his long life served as personal steward of a nobleman. The high principle and the noble character of Hazrat Luqman created such love and respect in the heart of the nobleman that he considered Hazrat Luqman - a beloved companion, and although he was master but in fact the master became slave of his employee. It then became the practice of the master that whenever he had something special to eat, he would first feed Hazrat Luqman and then eat the leftover from it. Hazrat Luqman would keep the love of his master in front of him and would eat moderately and send what was left over to the master.

When the melon season came, one day the master received a melon from somewhere. At that time Hazrat Luqman was not present in the house. So the master sent one of his slaves to go and look for Hazrat Luqman and call him. When Hazrat Luqman arrived, the master cut the melon in slices, and slice by slice he started giving them to Hazrat Luqman. Hazrat Luqman ate the slices and the master was pleased inside him for his love for Hazrat Luqman as he ate the slices and all the time Hazrat Luqman expressed thanks for the favours shown to him by the master. After feeding all the slices to Hazrat Luqman, when one slice was left, the master said, ‘let me eat this slice and see how sweet this melon is’. Saying this he put the slice in his mouth. And immediately as he ate it, such bitterness spread in his mouth reaching up to his throat that he became unconscious for the whole one hour. When he became conscious he questioned Hazrat Luqman, ‘O beloved one, how you so heartily ate those slices of melon, when just one slice of that melon’s bitterness made me unconscious?’

Hazrat Luqman replied: ‘Khwaja[6] Sahib from your hands I have received hundreds of gifts. The burden of thanks upon me is so great that my back is bent with its load. I felt ashamed that from that hand which had extended me such favours, if one day some distastefulness should come I should not accept it and turn away from it. Khwaja Sahib the pleasure of knowing that it was coming from your hand changed the bitterness of the slices to sweetness.’



Wassalam,

Afkar-e Shia (Shia Thought)

London

1.12.2011




[1] Any Hadees narrated by Abu Hurayra has to be taken with a pinch of salt; he has been censured for manufacturing Hadees.

[2] Kausar is the unending flow of river in paradise and Hauz is that confinement which is prepared for giving comfort by filling it with embers in winter and if it is water of Kausar, it is symbolic of something that is eternal.

[3] Mabad is the place for prayer; Mobed in Zoroastrian literature is word for someone tending fire in the zartashtgah.

[4] The Sunni world of Islam says Hazrat Abu Bakr; the first caliph of Islam is the highest in the status of faith and is next to the Prophet Hazrat Mohammad SAWW and higher than all the Nabis that passed. A questioner asked the renowned Sunni Aalim Hazrat Allama Tahirul Qadri, ‘what was the difference between the Namaz of Hazrat Ali and the Namaz of Hazrat Abu Bakr.’ Allama Tahirul Qadri replied, ‘If Hazrat Ali had stopped praying Namaz, he would have been declared ‘God’ and if Hazrat Abu Bakr had stopped praying Namaz he would have been declared Kafir- an infidel.’ There were claimants to say that this famous sentence was spoken by Sunni Aalim Maulana Kausar Niazi in the eighties.

[5] [*] This word ‘we’ has opened a new wisdom and a venue into secretive knowledge. When God uses ‘I’ in Quran, He SWT takes extreme pride in mentioning Him as ‘I’, for taking exclusive credit of something to Himself that He owns that credit exclusively by himself. But when He uses ‘we’ it means He shares execution in a particular task. The Shias allude these are Punjatan and the lineage of the Imams from Imam Ali to Imam Mahdi AS and indeed with them also are the Nabis of the past.

[6] Khwaja is a revered person. In old Turkey it was title of the Sayeds. It also means bread provider and one’s master. In Moghal Haram Sara - houses where wives and the legal serving ladies of the Moghals lived, the name Khwaja Sara was given to male servants whose reproductive organ was cut, and they attended the ladies in the Haram Sara.

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