Chapter 6 : Imam Ali Bin Husain's Sermons, Supplications (duas) and Saying
As he have seen before, the politics of his times were so bad that Imam (A.S) could not openly preach Islam. If he did so, his enemies would get a chance of preventing him from doing so by putting him away in prison or even killing him. He could not therefore all the time preach as openly as his grandparents had done before him.
As an Imam appointed by Allah, he knew when to openly expose the enemies of Islam and when to preach Islam without openly naming the enemies. Whenever possible, he gave sermons in which he openly named the enemies of Islam and the wrongs that they did to the family of the Prophet, though such moments were rare. Otherwise, the Imam used the supplications (Duas) and sayings to teach proper Islam as opposed to Islam which was being preached by the oppressive government of Bani Umayyah.
The only chance that the Imam had to give an open sermon was in the court of Yezid. It was very important for him to do so because all along, the people of Syria were being told lies about the Prophet (S.A.W W) and his family, especially about Imam Ali (A.S), Hazrat Fatima (S.A), Imam Hassan (A.S) and Imam Husain (A.S). In the eyes of the Syrians, Muawiya and Yezid were the true representatives of the Prophet (S.A.W.W) and Imam Ali (A.S) and his children were the enemies of Islam.
As a matter of fact, Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) and the family of the of the Prophet were presented in the court of Yezid as those who had fought against Islam. It was very important for the Imam therefore to tell the Syrians what was the truth. That is to say that Muawiyyah and Yezid were the enemies of Islam and they had murdered the innocent members of the family of the Prophet (S.A.W W); and the Imam gave a very powerful sermon which you have already seen in chapter 2.
Notice that in this sermon, the Imam describes very openly high position of the Prophet (S.A.W W) his family and other relatives of the Prophet. He also proves that Yezid, his parents and his grandparents were truly the enemy of Islam. Although he never got another chance to give a sermon like this, this one sermon was enough to awaken the Syrians from the sleep of ignorance. This sermon will always be a guide to those Muslims who need to know truly how evil the Bani Umayyah were and how virtuous the Ahlul Bayt were.
The other sermon that the Imam gave was very short but very effective. We saw that in Chapter 2. This was given to the people of Medina on the day the Imam returned from the prison of Yezid. The people of Medina were not in darkness regarding the goodness of the family of the Prophet, the way the people of Syria were. It was not at this time necessary for the Imam to remind the people of Medina about the evils of Bani Umayyah; what the people of Medina needed to be told were two things.
First, they had to be made to know what Bani Umayyah did to Imam Husain (A.S). Secondly, they needed to be told of what was expected of them now that Imam Husain (A.S) had given his life. And the Imam did just that in this short address to them which you have already seen in Chapter 2.
Supplications ("Duas") are a kind of prayers to Allah. A person who reads a "Dua" is actually addressing Allah.
In the Qur'an itself Allah tells us of the "Duas" of several Prophets such as Nabi Nuh, Nabi Ibrahim and Nabi Musa. The Prophet taught his companion S several Duas. Imam Alitaught Kumayl Bin Ziyadthe DuaofNabi Khizrwhich came to be known as "Dua-e-Kumayl" and which is read every Thursday evening. Imam Husain's (A.S) Dua of the day of Arafat was introduced to you when .we were learning about the biography of Imam Husain (A.S). Imam Zaiunl Abidin (A.S) therefore was not the first person. to start this art of addressing Allah through a supplication.
What makes Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) so special is that: he made "Duas" on almost every important occasion in a Muslim's life and filled these Duas with knowledge of very branch of Islam. No Imam before him or after him has taught us as Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) did through Duas.
Most of the supplications of Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) today exist in a book called "Sahifa Sajjadiya" (The book of Sajjad) or "Sahifa Kamila" (A complete book) or ""Zabur-e-Ale Muhammad" (The psalms of the house of Muhammad). The Imam used to teach these Duas to his sons Imam Muhammad Baqir (A.S) and Zayd, the martyr These books remained in the family of Imam Zaiunul Abidin from generation to generation and has survived till today.
The "Sahifa" as we know it today is a collection of 54 Supplications, I 4 other supplications and 15 Munajat.
These "Duas" can be put into two groups: The Duas that can be read on any occasion (E.g. Supplication for ones Parents, Supplication in asking for Pardon) and those which are for special occasions (E.g. Supplications for day of Arafat, The day of Idd). These "Duas" are full ofknowledge on Islam. The subjects listed here are but a few examples of what is contained in these Duas:
How to address Allah Merits of the Prophet (S.A.W.W) and his family What are the main parts of Iman (Faith) What behavior is expected from Muslims
Through these Duas, the Imam taught the standards and principles for Muslims who would then be able to save themselves from "Corrupted Islam" that was being taught by the Bani Ummayya.
Whenever he got a chance, the Imam would advise his followers on how they were to lead their lives. These advises or sayings are in plenty. Over and above that, the Imam gave a lengthy advice on human rights. These today appear in a book form and is called RISALAT AL-HUQUQ (Or a treatise on rights). In this book, the Imam (A.S) gives examples of 51 different rights.
We shall reproduce here a few sayings of the Imam and few rights that the Imam (A.S) describes fully in his RISALAT AL-HUQUQ.
A SMALL SELECTION OF HIS SAYINGS:
1) Once, one of his companions complained to him that out of jealousy some people whom he had served very well were treating him badly. The Imam gave him some advice which was:
* Guard your tongue and do not speak about people whatever comes out of your mouth, otherwise you will turn your friends into your enemies.
* Avoid saying things which the minds of people are not prepared to accept.
* He who does not have wisdom will be ruined by the a smallest thing (Mistake).
* What harm will come to you if you take all Muslims to be your family and your relations? Consider your elders to be your parents, those younger than you as your children and those of your age as your brothers. If you do so who is going to harm or abuse you?
* Whenever a thought comes in your mind that you are better than any other person, then think along these lines : If the person is older than you then remind yourself that this person is better than you in matters of Islam because he has done more good deeds than you have. If the person is younger than you then remind yourself that this person is better than you because he has committed less sins than you have. If he is of your age than your argument should be : he is better than you in matters of Islam since you know of your own sins but not of his.
* If people show respect to you, think that this is because the people are very good not that you are good. If the people say bad things about you, think that something is really wrong with you. If you live in this way, life will become pleasant for you, you will make many friends and your enemies will be few.
(2) The Imam said, "Do not have relationship with, nor talk with nor give company to 5 types of people:
* The Liar: because they are like mirage : With their words they show things different from what they really are. What is near they make it look far and what is far they make it look near. In this way, they take you away from truth.
* The Greedy and the Sinner: because you cannot rely on their friendship; for a small piece of food or even less than that, they will sell you. * The Miser: because they will let you down when you need them most.
* The Fool: because even when they try to do you good, they will end you in difficulties.
* Those Who have cut relationship with their relatives, because Allah has cursed them in the Qur'an.
(3) Try to earn a high position in Paradise (Jannah).
Remember: Highest positions will be given to those who have been most useful to their brothers in faith and who have been most helpful to the needy. Remember: There are times when a person says but one good sentence and that brings him very near to Allah and brings his freedom on the Day of Judgement.
Never think that what you do for your brother in faith is unimportant because these are the things that will be of much use to you on a day when nothing else will be of any use.
(4) Drinking (Alcohol and other forbidden drinks) and Gambling are such sins that they destroy the power to stop committing other sins.
(5) (Speaking) Good words increase a person's wealth and sustenance (Rizk), prolong his life, make him to be loved by his wife and children and take him to paradise.
SELECTIONS FROM RISLAT-E-HUQUQ
* May Allah have mercy on you - know that Allah has rights against you. These rights surround you in all your movements, in your rest, in all your body parts and every thing that you use. Some of these rights are big others are small.
* The greatest right which is on you is from Allah Himself and this is the root of all other rights .... The greatest right of Allah on you is to worship Him without associating anything with Him. If you do that with purity of heart, He promises to give you sufficiently what you need here and in the next world ...
* The rights of your teacher on you are: You should look at him with honour, listen to him with full attention, sit facing him with respect and do not raise your voice in his presence. If someone asks him a question, you should not reply it but let the teacher do it. Do not speak to any one or talk bad things about others in front of him. You should hide his faults and speak of his good qualities. Keep away from his enemies and do not make enemies with his friends. If you do all these, angels will be your witness that you did what you were required to do and that you obtained knowledge from him for the pleasure of Allah only.
* The rights of your mother are: she carried you where no one carries anyone else; she fed you the fruit of her heart which no one gives to anyone else; she protected you with all parts of her body. She did not care if she remained hungry as long as you were fed; if she was thirsty as long as you drank; if she was naked as long you had clothes on, if she was in the sun so long as you were in shade. She lost her sleep for you, she protected you from cold and heat so that you should live. You will never be able to thank her unless if Allah helps you ....
* The right of your neighbour is that you should guard him (His belongings) when he is absent, respect him when he is present and help him when he is wronged. Do not do any shameful act to him. If you know of any bad things about him keep that secret. If you know he will accept your advice then give it to him. Do not leave him alone when he is in trouble. Help him out of his troubles, forgive him if he has wronged you and treat him generously.