Zishaan Karim (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
I move along the month, gathering what I can, focusing on
Habit 1: Connect with The All Pure and deriving lessons from the profound words of Imam Sajjad (as). Having realized that all my benefits and denials are a part of His Divine Will, I continue to reflect and I come across
Let me not be oppressed
while You can repel it from me,
Let me not oppress (others)
while you have power to restrain me,
I ask Allah (swt) to protect me from oppression knowing that nothing can harm me until and unless He permits it. He has the Power to repel it if He Wills it. In the same way, I ask Him to restrain me from oppressing others in my heedlessness.
This is one level of comprehension. When I think further on the term dhulm, the concept is so wide. Is the Imam talking of physical harm that may be caused upon me or by me?
Abudharr al Ghifary was once asked by companions to quote from Holy Prophet (saww) and he said, (paraphrasing)
Do not oppress the one you love. And when asked to elaborate he said, You love yourselves the most. So do not oppress your selves with exposing your selves to sin and wrong.
Then both the above lines show a new dimension altogether. Let me not be oppressed by my desires, so much so that I end up disobeying You, because it is in Your Power to strengthen me to have a control over those carnal desires.
Let me not oppress others by influencing them to sin. For example, by alluring them to commit wrong, go to non-halal places, consume non-halal food, etc -perhaps a spouse, or by being extra loving and kind towards my offspring and not guiding them correctly.
For instance, if my demands are high, I have an impact on my spouse’s earning to meet my demands. When that earning turns to non-halal ways, I am equally accountable.
On the other side, if I keep considering my offspring to be too young to perform wajib acts like fajr salah and hijab, I will allow them to have their way and ultimately it is an unperceived oppression on their innocent souls! In the name of love, I oppress them! The lines continue…
Let me not be misguided,
while You are able to guide me,
These words are indeed awakening ones. Let me not be beguiled in love for other than You, O Allah! You are my Guide, and I seek guidance from You at all times, especially in moments of beguilement that will cause me to oppress myself and those round me. You are able to Guide me. I rely upon Your Guidance. The lines continue…
Let me not be poor
while with You is abundance (of provision)
and let me not be rebellious
while my existence is from You.
Let me not be poor…I wonder if her the Imam (as) is referring to material poverty? Maybe, maybe not.
(Paraphrasing an incident)
Once a man came to Imam Ali (as) and asked him to help him as he was poor. Imam (as), before assisting him, told him to never use those words as he is not poor. The man asked how? Imam Ali (as) asked him if he loved the Imam and he said ‘Yes”.
So, the Imam (As) asked him if he was ready to trade it for any material wealth and he said, “No”. Imam Ali (as) then told him that love for the Ahlul Bayt (as) is the biggest wealth.
Why? Love for Ahlul Bayt (as) gives us direction and guidance towards the one and only correct path to reach Allah (swt). So, when I use Imam Sajjad (as)’s words and say, ‘Let me not be poor,’
I am asking for the wealth of guidance so that O Allah, You, do not let me be rebellious against You. My existence is from You, and I want to spend my life in Your servitude.
In my endeavour to attain Habit 1 Connect with The All Pure, I am exerting efforts to;
1. Have clear intentions to have the best of actions
2. Be purposeful and content
3. Stay away from self-conceit and vanity
4. Expand capacity
5. Rely upon Him Alone
6. Not rebel against Allah (swt) and oppress my Self.
I want to spend my life in Your servitude. For that I journey towards adopting. Despite aspiring to do so, there are so many times that my garb makes me trip over and fall, as the Ameer (as) says in Dua Sabah, and release me from the foot-tangling of my robe,
The robe is mine, and I have decided to wear it. Yes, at so many a time, it gets tangled in my foot and makes me fall. I have no one but myself to blame for all those falls. In Your Infinite Mercy You allow me to stand up after every fall and so,
I come to (seek Your) Your forgiveness
I aim for Your pardon
I yearn for Your forbearance
and I have confidence in Your kindness.
I can only hope for You to make me cross though, having left my past behind, focusing on the future and desiring to reach You. However, there is no way I can reach You, The All Pure, with all the filth that I have gathered, and hence, I rely upon Your forgiveness, which I do not deserve at all.
The dua continues…
I have nothing with me to entitle me to Your forgiveness
nor is there anything in my actions
which would make me deserve Your pardon.
Knowing that I am desolate, I turn to You, with nothing to show You, or nothing that will speak for me so that I am pardoned.
When I err in the world, I can hire the best of advocates so I win my case in the court of law. Your court of law is so different, where You are the Judge and You are the Witness too. I am doomed. Even if it comes to me bearing witness for my own case, I have failed, for if I glance upon myself, it is like the Ameer (as) says in Dua Kumayl
So, in what was put into effect through me in that situation, I transgressed some of Your statutes And disobeyed some of Your commands. So, Yours is the argument against me in all of that. I have no argument in what Your destiny put into effect through me therein, nor in what Your decree and Your tribulation imposed upon me.
I consciously realize that I hold no arguments in the case against me and if You were to deal with me with Your Justice, indeed I am doomed! The dua continues…
I have nothing, after I judge myself
except Your grace,
so, bless Muhammad and his family,
and be gracious to me.
I admit that I have built a web around me that entangles me, and now I see no way out but through holding on to Your beloved ones, so that I learn from them.
I submit to You, and ask You to deal with me through Your Grace, so I can hope to reach You.
Have mercy on me O Allah, for even the words to communicate with You are a grace upon me through Your chosen ones. My hands are indeed empty.
Habit 1 Connect with The All Pure, I am exerting efforts to;
- Get cleansed through forgiveness