Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Sometimes you may be deceived by your property and your bodily health into supposing that you will last forever. 
Sometimes you are deceived by your long life, your children and your friends into thinking that you will be saved by them. 
Sometimes you are deceived by your beauty and the circumstances of your birth, which bring you your hopes and desires so easily that you think that you are truthful and successful in achieving your goal. 

Sometimes you are deceived by the regret you show people for your shortcoming in worship, but Allah knows the opposite of that is in your heart. 
Sometimes you make yourself worship in a spirit of reluctance; but Allah desires sincerity. 
Sometimes you imagine that you are calling on Allah when you are calling on another. 
Sometimes you imagine that you are giving good counsel to people, while your real desire is that they bow to you. 
Sometimes you blame yourself when you are really praising yourself.

Know that you will only emerge from the darkness of delusion and desire by sincerely turning in repentance to Almighty Allah, and to whatever you know about Him, and to recognize the faults in your self which are not consistent with your intellect and knowledge, and which the faith, the law and the customary practices of the Holy Prophet and the Imams of guidance do not tolerate.

If you are content with your present condition, there is no one more wretched than you in knowledge and action, nor anyone with a more wasted life. 

You will inherit grief on the Day of Resurrection.

~Imam Sadiq (as)

Friday, May 4, 2012

How Do We Forget This?

Imam al Sadiq (as) narrates that Allah (swt) says:

“By My glory, My sublimity, My majesty and My ascension upon My throne; I shall cut-off, by despair, the hope of anyone who places their hope in other than Me. I shall clothe him with the garb of degradation in front of people; I shall avert him away from My proximity; I shall distance him from ever joining Me. Does he place expectations in other than Me during hardships whilst (full control of) the hardships are in My hands? Does he hope in other than Me and contemplate knocking the door of others whilst I hold the keys to the doors when they are locked? And My door is open to whosoever may implore me. Who is it that has had hope in Me in his misfortunes and I have let him down?! Who is it that has expected from Me in adversity and I have severed his hope in Me? I have preserved the hopes of my slaves but they are not satisfied with my preservation. I have filled My heavens with those who do not tire from glorifying Me; and have commanded them not to shut the doors between Me and My servants, but they (My servants) do not have confidence in My words. Does he (My slave) not know that, when a misfortune from among My misfortunes strikes him, none but Me has the ability to relieve it, except by My permission. So why is it that I see him unmindful of Me?! I granted him, by My generosity, that which he did not even request, then I snatched it away from him; yet he does not ask Me to return it, rather he asks those other than Myself! Does he reckon that, despite Me granting initially before being asked, I would not respond to the one who begs Me after being asked? Am I such a miser that My slave has deemed Me to be miserly? Do generosity and open-handedness not behove Me? Are pardon and mercy not in My hands? Am I not suitable for hopes? Who aside from Me can break them? Do those who hope not then fear in placing hopes in those other than Me?
Had all the inhabitants of My heavens and the inhabitants of My earth, all wished together; and had I granted them all fully in accordance with their hopes – My kingdom would not have decreased even to the amount of one grain. How can a kingdom diminish whilst I am its curator? Alas, what an ill-fate for those who despair in My mercy; and what misery for he who disobeys Me and does not fear Me’”.

Friday, March 30, 2012


There is a wide range of elements that make up the correct form of relation with Allah. Some of these have been mentioned in detail in the verses of the Qur’an, the traditions and supplications.

Some of these elements are: hope in Allah (raja’), fear of Him (khawf), pleading before Him (tadarru’), humility toward Him (khushu’), lowliness before Him (tadhallul), love of him (hubb), yearning for Him (shawq), intimacy with Him (uns), returning to Him (inabah), dedication to Him (tabattul), pleading for His forgiveness (istighfar), seeking protection from Him (isti’adhah), beseeching His mercy (istirham), total absorption in Allah (inqta’), extolling Him (tamjid), praising Him (hamd), craving for Him (raghbah), obedience to Him (ta’ah), His servanthood (‘ubudiyyah), His remembrance (dhikr), neediness to Him (faqr), and holding fast to Him (i‘tisam).

Imam ‘Ali bin al-Husayn Zayn al-’Abidin (‘a) says in a supplication, “O Allah, I ask You to fill my heart with love of You, awe of You, belief in You, faith in You, fear of You, and yearning toward You.”

Monday, March 5, 2012

It Doesn't Matter What People Say/Think

One day a group of people gathered at the house of Imam Ridha (as).Yunus Ibn Abd al-Rahman who happened to be a very trusted companion of the Imam was among them. While everyone was busy talking, another group of people from Basra asked for permission to enter the house. 
Imam told Yunus, “Enter that room; show no reaction at all and stay there until I asked you to come out.” Then Imam Ridha (as) granted permission for the new group to enter. Once entered the room, they started to talk behind the back of Yunus. Meanwhile Imam (as) was looking at the ground; he didn’t say anything and showed no reaction until they said farewell and left the house. Then Imam asked Yunus to come out of the room.

Yunus entered while his face was full of sorrow and his eyes were in tears. He said, “My master! I have only defended my beliefs and religion while my own friends are thinking about me like that.”

Imam Ridha (as) passionately said, “O Yunus! Do not be sad; it does not matter what people think. Such things said by other people do not matter at all. When your Imam is satisfied with you, there is nothing to worry or be sad about.”

The Imam added then, ''O Yunus! Always try to talk to people to the extent of their capacity of hearing. Do not talk about divine topics if it might be beyond their understanding. O Yunus! When you have a gem in your hand andpeople say that you have a dirty rock in your hand, how does it affect the gem in your hand? And if they say you have gem in your hand while you are holding a rock, how does this help you? How can their words affect your belief? How does it benefit or harm you in anyways?''

Yunus was calmed down by Imam’s words and said, “No, their words do not matter to me anymore.”

Then Imam Ridha (as) told him, “So if you understand the truth and you can see the right path and your Imam is satisfied from you, then the thoughts and words of the people should not affect your beliefs and way of thinking; people can say whatever they wish.”

(Selection from “Rijal Kashshi”, p.487, No. 924)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

4 Types of People

Imam Ali (as) said to Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari:
O' Jabir!  The mainstay of religion and world are four persons:
1. The scholar who acts on his knowledge,
2. The ignorant who does not feel ashamed of learning,
3. The generous who is not niggardly in his favours and
4. The destitute who does not sell his next life for his worldly benefits.

Consequently, when the scholar would waste his knowledge, the ignorant would feel shame in learning;  
And when the generous would be niggardly with his favours, the destitute would sell his next life for the worldly benefits.

O' Jabir!  If favours of Allah abound on a person, the people's needs towards him also abound.  
Therefore he who fulfils for Allah all that is obligatory on him in this regard, would be sending them for his everlasting life while he who does not fulfill those obligations, would be exposing them to decay and destruction.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


A journalist once interviewed a terminally ill woman and tried to ask her in the most delicate manner: "What is it like to wake up each morning knowing that you are dying?"
She replied: "What is it like to wake up every morning and pretend you are not?"

Fact is, death is often the last thing on our minds when we wake up, or go about the rest of our day. A person cannot truly realise that death surrounds them, and awaits them at every corner and still live a life of disobedience. 

A reminder to myself first, and to everyone else who reads this: Death is real, and imminent. Until then, we must take every opportunity to perfect our taqwa to the highest degree. An interesting categorisation of the types of taqwa I came across recently from Allamah Majlisi says that there are four types of Taqwa:

Wara at'ta'beeri - abstaining from the prohibited things.
Wara as-saaliheen - abstaining from doubtful things so as to avoid committing haraam acts.
Wara al-muttaqin - abstaining from permissible things so that one is absolutely protected from haraam; and
Wara as-saadiqeen - avoiding everything that is not religious so that precious time is not wasted in useless acts, even though there may be no risk of committing a sin.

May Allah inspire us towards perfect and complete taqwa - immunity from all sin and time wastage.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Knowledge and Ignorance

In reply to some one who posed Imam Ali (as) a difficult question, Imam Ali (as) said : 'Ask in order to understand, and do not ask in order to find fault, for surely the ignorant man who wants to learn resembles a man of knowledge, and surely a man of knowledge who wants to be difficult resembles an ignorant man who wants to find fault. '