|Chapter XX: The Disafection Of The Kharijites|
The prospect of a truce between Ali and Moaviya did not please the Kharijites. For one thing, a strong and stable government would put an end to the plundering raids on which so many of them depended for enormous wealth and booty. At the same time the fanatically pious amongst them longed fervently for the restoration of God's kingdom on earth and believed that this could never be accomplished while Ali and- Moawiya remained alive. To the Kharijites, they were both ambitious tyrants who had usurped power and established ungodly kingdoms in defiance of the will of God.
A concerted plot
Some of the remaining Kharijites, after the battle of Nahrwan, had gone to Mecca, to find sanctuary in Kaaba, the house of God. Here they held frequent religiopolitical meetings in the holy sanctuary, devising plans to avenge their relatives who had fallen at Nahrwan. Here, too, they planned the assassination of Ali and Moawiya, adding a third name to the list of the ungodly that of Amr bin Aas. They feared that Amr bin Aas, the wily
umpire, might lay claim to the Caliphate for himself in the event of the death of Moawiya.
The three boldest of these Mcccan Kharijites, Abdur Rahman ibn Muljim al - Sarimi, Burk ibn Abdullah, and Amr bin Bakr volunteered to rid the world of the tyrants. Abdur Rahman agreed to kill Ali, Burk to kill Moawiya and Amr to kill Amr bin Aas, now Governor of Egypt.
The morning of Friday, the 19th of Ramazan, was fixed for the execution of the plot. The three assassins then poisoned their swords and swore to kill their enemies or perish in the holy deed. Then they separated, Abdur Rahman taking the road to Kiifa, Burk that to Damascus and Amr that to Egypt.
Abdur Rahman's proposal of marriage
Abdur Rahman arrived in Kufa and began making secret plans. Help came to him from an unexpected quarter, for he fell passionately in love with a woman who had a great hatred for Ali. This was the beauteous Qutaum, whose father and brother, according to one account and, whose uncle and husband, according to another, had been slain by Ali in the Battle of Nahrwan. Qutaum was outstandingly beautiful and was described by an Arab chronicler as possessing "a face which would be the just reward of the virtuous" and of "jet black tresses which fell on her cheek and resembled the ignominious record of a villain's guilt." Abdur Rahman was quite unable to resist such attractions and when he proposed a match, Qutaum declared herself willing to marry him on three condition. He was to give her three thousand dirhems in cash, a male and a female slave
and the head of Caliph Ali . Abdur Rahman had come to Kufa with the express purpose of killing Ali and he therefore found no difficulty in agreeing to her terms. Qutaum told him that he must attack Ali when he was least expecting it. "Should you escape alive", she continued, "you will have my hand and a happy domestic life with me; but should you perish in the assault, you will enjoy a better life in Heaven above than you would have done on earth with a poor soul like me."
In order to help her suitor, Qutaum asked a man of her tribe, Werdan, to join in the conspiracy,-and it was also through her persuasion that Shub'ibbin Bijrah of the tribe of Ashjah agreed to join in the plot. The three conspirators now anxiously waited for the arrival of the 19th of Ramazan-the day fixed for the ghastly murder.
Moawiya escapes with a wound
Having reached Damascus, Burk ibn Abdullah on the appointed day mingled with the worshippers at the morning service and stabbed Moawiya who, dressed in silken clothes was conducting it. It is said that the sword slipped and Moawiya was wounded in the loins. Burk was caught redhanded and when brought before Moawiya boasted that his associate Abdur Rahman, would by that time have killed Ali in Kufa. To this Moawiya replied, "Ali may have escaped in the same way as I." Moawiya then ordered his men to cut off the feet of his would be assassin and take out his tongue. Thereupon Burk was dragged out of his presence to be further tortured and put to a cruel and ignominious death.
Moawiya's wound did not prove fatal. His physician gave him two alternatives, one being cautery and the other to
drink a draught which would render him impotent. Moawiya chose the second, saying, "My two sons, Abdullah and Yezid, are enough for me and I do not require more." It was characteristic that after his recovery, he took elaborate precautions for his future safety. Part of the mosque was railed off and it was further guarded by soldiers with drawn swords, ever ready to defend him in an emergency. Moawiya was far too much in love with life ever again to run the risk of losing it. How different his attitude was from that of Ali will be seen later in this chapter.
Amr bin Aas escapes death
In Egypt Amr bin Bakr went to the mosque on the morning of the 19th Ramazan to assassinate Amr bin Aas. Luck favoured Amr bin Aas, who was prevented by an attack of colic from leading the divine service on that fatal day. In his stead his deputy, Kharja bin Huzafa was officiating. Amr bin Bakr, who had never seen either of them before and was unaware of the change, slew Kharja with one stroke of his sword. When asked later by Amr bin Aas what his motive for the murder had been, he replied, "O thou sinner, the stroke was not intended for any other than thyself." "But God", said the wily Governor, "thou shalt be slain." Amr bin Bakr was forthwith put to a cruel death.
Ali's nightly vigils in the mosque at Kufa
Of the three assassins, it was Abdur Rahman who had the easiest task. Ali, had long been accustomed to spend night after night alone in the mosque, in prayer and meditation. It was not unusual for him to kneel on his
prayer mat at sunset and there pass the whole night long in prayer until the dawn of the next day. This habit of his had occasioned alarm among his followers who were sincerely devoted to him. "Is it not sheer folly," they said, "to attend the mosque at night, unaccompanied and without escort, in the midst of so many enemies ? We who are loyal to him will take precautions for his safety which he himself neglects." A small group took it in turns to guard Ali, unknown to the Caliph himself. When eventually he was apprised of the existence of this volunteer guard he said to them, "Are you here to defend me from the decrees of heaven or against the hostilities of my enemies ?" "Lord", they replied, "who can defend you against the decrees of heaven! We guard you against the evil plans of your enemies and their treacherous designs. We are only here to see that no one injures or assails you." "Then" said Ali, "you must remember that the fate of even the most insignificant creature on this earth is controlled and supervised by God." With this, he dismissed the guard and forebade their nightly vigils.
CHAPTER XXI: THE DEATH OF ALI
Ali had prophesied his departure from this world several days before hand, and on the day of his martyrdom he mysteriously desired his sons Hasan and Husain to offer their morning prayers in the house and not to accompany him as they usually did to the mosque. When Ali was leaving his abode, observes S. Ockley in his famous work the History of the Saracens, the household birds began
making a great noise and when one of Ali's servants attempted to quieten them, Ali said, "Leave them alone, for their cries are only lamentations foreboding my death."
The fateful nineteenth of Ramazan
On the 19th of Ramazan Hazrat Ali came to the mosque in Kufa for his morning prayers. Ali gave the call for prayer and became engaged in leading the congregation. Abdur Rahman Muljim pretending to pray, stood just behind Ali, and when Ali was in a state of prostration, Abdur Rahman dealt a heavy stroke with his sword, inflicting a deep wound on Ali's head.
The Holy Prophet had prophesied the assassination of Ali and his issues. Regarding Ali he had said, "O Ali! I see before my eyes thy beard dyed with the blood of thy forehead."
His last moments
His blood-drenched lips parted into a thanksgiving prayer and he said, "Lord! I thank Thee for rewarding me with martyrdom; how kind art thou and how gracious. May thy mercy further lead me to the realm of Thy grace and benevolence." The murderer was caught and brought before him. When Hazrat Ali saw that the ropes with which his murderer was tied were cutting into his flesh, he forgot his own agony, and requested that he be untied and treated more humanely. Touched by these words the murderer started to weep. A smile played on Hazrat Ali's lips and in a faint voice he said, "It is too late to repent now, you have done your deed. Was I a bad Imam or an unkind Ruler?" He expressly ordered
that no harshness should be shown towards his murderer. He should not be tortured before his execution, his body should not be mutilated, and members of his family should not be made to suffer on account of his crime and his property should not be confiscated. Ali's justice was always tempered with mercy, even to the worst of his own enemies. Ali was taken home from the mosque, and lay mortally wounded, yet he was answering all questions put to him. His sons Hasan and Husain were given the last advice, and finally Ali told them that his coffin was to be lifted only from behind, as the front would of itself be automatically carried, and they would have to take the route guided by the coffin itself. At the place where the coffin would stop, they would find a grave already dug for him. Hazrat Ali also requested his sons that he should be buried secretly, because he feared that his enemies would desecrate his grave. The coffin stopped at Najaf which is about four miles from Kufa.
Ali's last testament
To his sons Ali spoke thus : "Remain steadfast in piety and resign yourself to the will of God. Never aspire to anything which is beyond your reach. Always be truthful and merciful towards the orphans. Help the poor and needy, and try to live in the world in a way which may help it to become better. Stop the tyrant from his oppressions. Assist the afflicted and act upon the commandments of God; and do not be put off by any obstacles. Lastly, ask you to bury me in some place which is unknown to the public. No less than 10,000 persons have I killed by my own hands on different occasions, and I do not wish their relatives to violate the sanctuary of my repose, and expose my corpse to indignity."
After this talk with Hasan and Husain, Ali addressed his third son, Muhammad ibn Hanfia, and said, "You have heard what I have told your other two brothers. I also want you to do the same. In particular, I command you to respect and obey your elder brothers. They have a right to claim your fealty. Always do whatever they command you. He entrusted all to the care of his eldest son Hasan, except Abbas. Then he heard Abbas, hardly twelve years old, sobbing. Hazrat Ali asked him to come near and gave his hand to his second son Husain, saying : "Husain, this child I am entrusting to your care. He will represent me on the day of your supreme sacrifice and will lay down his life in defending you and your dear ones."
And turning to Abbas, he said: "Abbas, my child, I know your unbounded. love for Husain. When that day comes, consider no sacrifice too great for Husain and his children."
Then, addressing the other members of his family, he continued, "O thou Hashimites! After I am gone, do not spill Muslim blood, and do not kill any one except my murderer."
Right until the end Ali continued to talk of the good of the Muslim community, to fulfil the commands embodied in the Holy Quran and to submit to the will of God. Repeatedly calling upon the name of God and constantly re-affirming the belief in the Unity of God and in the Divine Mission of the Holy Prophet. Ali was to survive the mortal wound for three days. Speech was finally silenced at the approach on the third day.
The pulpit in the mosque at Kufa
Ibn Jubayr says, "in the mosque at Kufa there is a pulpit which is surrounded by a circle of steps of sandalwood.
It is elevated above the court and is like a small mosque. This pulpit is a memorial to the Amir-ul-mumineen Ali ibn Abu Talib, and it was at this place that the miserable and accursed Abdur Rahman ibn Muljim struck him with a sword. People repeat a form of salutation here and pray and weep." 1
CHAPTER XXII: NAJAF
The visit of Prophet Abraham and Isaac and Abraham's
prediction and desire to buy the Valley of Peace.
Those who have visited Najaf will remember vividly that to the north and east of the town there are acres of graves and myriads of domes of various colours and in various stages of disrepair. Whoever goes to Najaf will follow a road that approaches the town by a winding course through this vast cemetery. The Prophet Abraham had come to this place along with Isaac; there had been many earthquakes in the vicinity, but while Abraham remained there, there were no tremors. On the night, however, when Abraham and Isaac went to a different village, and sure enough Najaf was visited with another earthquake. When they returned, the people were most eager for them to make Najaf their permanent dwelling-place. Abraham agreed to do so on condition that they would sell him the valley behind the village for cultivation. Isaac protested and said that this land was neither fit for farming nor grazing, but Abraham insisted and assured him that the time would come when there would be a tomb there with a
1 Travels of ibn Jubayr. Wright's Text, Gibb Memorial, Vol. V. page 211
shrine, at which seventy thousand people would gain absolutely undisputed entrance to Paradise, and be able also to intercede for many others. 1
The valley that Abraham wanted to buy is called the Valley of Peace (Wadiu's-Salaam), and it is related on the authority of the fourth Imam, that Ali once said that this Valley of Peace is part of Heaven and that there is not a single one of the believers in the world, whether he dies in the east or west, but his soul will come to this Paradise to rest. 2 "As there is nothing hidden in this world from my eyes," Ali went on to say, "I see all the believers seated here in groups and talking with one another."
How Najaf was given its name is explained in the tradition. At first there was a mountain there, and when one of the sons of Noah refused to enter the Ark, he said that he would sit on this mountain until he would see where the water would come. A revelation came therefore to the mountain, "Do you undertake to protect this son of mine from punishment?" And all at once the mountain fell to pieces and the son of Noah was drowned. In place of the mountain a large river appeared, but after a few years the river dried up, and the place was called NayJaff, meaning, "the dried river." 3
And so as per the prediction of Abraham, Hazrat Ali was buried here.
Ali is absent today from our midst only physically. His soul even to this day is the greatest spiritual resort for everyone who seeks the help of God through his medium. Thousands and thousands of people call out to him in
1 Majlisi op. cit. page 108
2 Majlisi op. cit. page 111
3 Majlisi op. cit. page 111
their difficulties, and the word "Ya Ali Madad" automatically comes to them. A famous prayer known as "NADEY ALI" (Call Ali) which is given on page iv is recited wherever abound the lovers of Ali.
"The Mausoleum itself of Hazrat Ali at Najaf, is breathtaking. There is one large central dome which stands out of a square-shaped ornate structure at the two sides of which are two minarets. The predominant colour of the exterior is gold, bright shining gold and the entire exterior of the mausoleum is inlaid with a mosaic pattern of light powder blue, white marble, gold again with an occasional splash of Middle East rust. "So says D. F. Karaka after his visit to Najaf, and further adds, "1 have sat and wondered at the marbled splendour of our Taj Mahal, the tomb which Shah Jahan built for his Empress Mumtaz Mahal, but despite its beauty, the Taj appears insipid in comparison with this splash of colour at Najaf. The tomb surpassed anything I have seen in gorgeous splendour. All the great kings of the world put together could not have a tomb as magnificent as this, for this is the tribute which kings and peasants have built together to enshrine the mortal remains of the great Ali."
Countless number of people from all over the world flock to his tomb day after day to pay their respects and to offer salutations and to pray to Allah seeking his intercession. And those who cannot afford to go there personally, are constantly praying to Allah to help them to visit the shrine of their Maula Ali, and when somebody goes on a pilgrimage to Najaf, they request him to offer salutations on
their behalf, and to pray to God-for some particular favour-and to seek Hazrat Ali's intercession.
May God in His infinite Mercy help us to follow the teachings of one regarding whom the Holy Prophet has said. "I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate."
Thus ended the last chapter of the history of a life which from the beginning to its end was replete with noble deeds, pious thoughts and sublime words, and every hour of which was a crowded hour of glorious life.
The Holy Quran says : "And do not speak of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead : nay, they are alive, but you do not perceive." (chapter II-Verse 154 ).
The deer hunting incident of Harun-ar-Rashid
"During the reigns of the Umayyad Caliphs his blessed resting-place could not be disclosed, and so it was also under the Abbasids until the reign of Harun-ar-Rashid. But in the year 175 A.H. (791 A.D.), Harun happened to go hunting in these parts, and the deer he was chasing took refuge on a small piece of raised ground. However much he asked his hunting dogs to capture the quarry, they refused to go near this spot. He urged his horse to this place, and the horse too refused to budge; and on this, awe took possession of the Caliph's heart, and he immediately started to make inquiries of the people of the neighbourhood, and they acquainted him with the fact that this was the grave of Hazrat Ali ibn Abu Talib, the cousin and son-in-law of the Holy Prophet. Harun ordered a tomb to be erected over the grave, and people soon began to settle down in its vicinity.'" 1
1 The Shrine of Ali at Najaf from "The shi'ite Religion by Dwight M. Donaldson
CHAPTER XXIII: THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE
PILGRIMAGE TO THE TOMB OF ALI
This is based on traditions from the other Imams. There is a saying attributed to the Imam Jafar-as-Sadiq, "whoever visits this tomb of his own free will and believing in the right of Ali-that he was the Imam to whom obedience was required and the true Caliph-for such a pilgrim the Most High will register very great merit." And when a visitor came in person to visit Imam Jafar-as-Sadiq and remarked that he had neglected to go to the tomb of Ali, the Imam rebuked him: "You have done badly, surely if it were not that you are one of our community, I would certainly not look towards you: Do you neglect to make the pilgrimage to the grave of one whom God and the angels visit, whom the prophets visit, and the believers visit?"
The pilgrim replied, "I did not know." The Imam continued, "Understand that the Amir-ul-Momineen is in the sight of God better than all the Imams, and to him belong the merit of the works of all the Imams, in addition to which he has the merit of his own works." 1
Salutations to Hazrat Ali Alaihis Salaam-1
Before making the visit to the Shrine, according to Imam Jafar-as-Sadiq, the pilgrim should first bathe and put on clean clothing and afterwards anoint himself with perfume. The formal prayer of salutation that is given by al-Kulaini 2, and which is very similar to that given by Ibn Babawaihi 3, begins as follows :
1 Majlisi, Tofatu'z-Za' Irin, p. 50
2 Kulaini, Kafi, Vol, II, p. 321
3 Ibn Babawaihi, Man la yanduru hu'i-Fakih p. 226
Peace be unto thee, 0 Friend of God; Peace be unto thee, 0 Proof of God;
Peace be unto thee, 0 Caliph of God; Peace be unto thee, 0 Support of Religion;
Peace be unto thee, 0 Heir of the Prophets;
Peace be unto thee, 0 Guardian of the Fire and Paradise;
Peace be unto thee, 0 Master of the Cudgel and the brand-iron;
Peace be unto thee, 0 Prince of the Believers.
I TESTIFY that thou art the Word of Piety, the Door of Guidance, the Firm Root, the Solid Mountain, and the Right Road.
I TESTIFY that thou art the Proof of God to His Creattion. His witness to His Servants, His Trustee for His Knowledge, a Repository of His Secrets, the place of His Wisdom, and a Brother of His Apostle and I TESTIFY that thou wert the First Choice of the Holy Prophet. May the favour of God be upon thee, 0 Prince of Believers, upon thy spirit, and upon thy body.
In his Manual for Pilgrims, Majlisi gives eight long prayers that are appropriate at the time of the pilgrimage to Najaf, 1 and most of these prayers are attributed to different Imams and have been handed down for centuries, and have been used over and over again by hundreds of thousands of trustful pilgrims who go to the Shrine of Ali at Najaf.
Another Salutation to Hazrat Ali Alaihis Salaam is given on the next page in Arabic.
1 Majlisi, op, cit, p, 58-92
Salutations to Hazrat Ali Alaihis Salaam - 2
As-Salaamo alaika aiyyo-hal wasee-yul barrut taqee.
As-Salaamo alaika aiyyo-han naba-ul-azeem.
As-Salaamo alaika aiyyo-has siddee-kur rasheed.
As-Salaamo alaika aiyyo-hal barrooz-zakee.
As-Salaamo alaika yaa waseeya Rasooley Rabbil Aalemeen.
As-Salaamo alaika yaa khay-a-ratallahey alal khalqey ajma-een.
Ash-hado annaka habeebullahey wa khas-satullahey wa khaley-satuh.
As-Salaarno alaika yaa walee-Allahey wa mauzey-aa seerreyhee wa aibata illmeyhee wa haazeyna wah-eehee bey abce anta wa oommee yaa Amir-al-Tvlomeeneena bey abee anta wa oommee yaa Hujjatallahey alal anaamey bey abee anta wa oommee yaa baabal maqaamey bey abee anta wa oommee.
ash-hado annaka qad ballagta anillahey wa an Rasoolleyhee sallallaaho alaihey wa aaleyhee maa hoommilta wa ra-aita mastohfizta wa hafizta mastoo deyta wa hallaa-lallahey wa harramta haraamallahey wa atmamta ahkamallahey wa lam tata-adda hoodoodallahey abadtallaha mookhleysan hatta atakal yaqeen wa sallallaho alaika wa alal as immatey min baadeyka.
Salutations be unto thee, O Successor of the Prophet, and O One Holy and Selected.
Salutations be unto thee, O Support of Religion.
Salutations be unto thee, O Heir of the Prophets, and the Repository of His Knowledge.
Salutations be unto thee, O Pious and Purified.
Salutations be unto thee, O Successor of the Prophet of Allah-the Creator of all the worlds.
Salutations be unto thee, O Proof of Allah for all His creation.
I bear witness that thou art the Chosen of Allah and one very near to Him.
Salutations be unto thee, O Saint of Allah, and 0 one who understands the Secrets of Allah, the Knower of His Commands, and the Treasurer of His Divine Knowledge.
My parents be sacrificed upon thee, O Commander of the faithful,
My parents be sacrificed upon thee, O Trustee of Allah for His creatures,
My parents be sacrificed upon thee, O Gateway to Paradise,
My parents be sacrificed upon thee, O Light of Allah.
I bear witness that thou didst preach the Code of Allah and His Prophet (the Blessings of Allah be upon him and his progeny), and thou didst shoulder the responsibility to guide the people-to safeguard the Faith and to propagate His Religion, and thou didst summon men to goodness and thou didst forbid what was evil, and thou didst conduct for Allah, the kind of steadfastness that needs to be maintained, and thou didst never transgress the limits of Allah, and thou didst pray to Allah with a firm sincerity and wonderous Faith, and may Allah shower His blessings upon thee and the Imams after thee.
Salutation to any of the Imams (Ziarat-E-Jamia)
A prayer for the use of pilgrims to the shrines of any of the Imams is attributed by Ibn Babawaihi to the Imam Ali an-Naqi. Someone asked him, "O Descendant of the Prophet of Allah, teach me the good and perfect word, that I may repeat it whenever I visit the tomb of
any of the Imams." He replied, "When you enter the court of one of these tombs, stand and say:
"I bear witness that there is no god but the one Allah, and He has no partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad, blessing be upon him and his descendants, is the servant of Allah and was sent by Him."
The Imam then added these instructions, "It is necessary that you should have bathed, and when you enter the court and see the tomb, stand and repeat thirty times, 'Allah is great.' Proceed, then pause and repeat again thirty times, 'Allah is great.' Afterwards you may go close to the tomb and repeat forty times, 'Allah is great.' When the one hundredth time will have been completed then pray as follows :
"Peace be upon thee, 0 ye of the Household of the Prophet, of the place of the Prophet, the place frequented by the angels, where revelation was given, where mercy was shown, where learning is kept and wisdom is complete; the place of guidance and where forgiveness is perfect. You are the Lords of all Bounty, the Elements of all Goodness, the Pillars of Virtue, the Governors of the Servants of God, the Supporters of the Cities, the Doors of the Faith, the Trusted of Allah, the Progeny of the Prophets, the Choicest of those sent, the Descendants of the Best of Allah's Creation--may the mercy and blessing of Allah be upon you."
"Peace be upon the true Imams, upon the Lights in Darkness, upon the Manifestations of Piety, the Possessors of Reason, the Masters of Sagacity, the Caves of Refuge, the Heirs of the Prophets, the Exalted Examples (from Allah) those who summon men to goodness, who are the Proofs of Allah upon the Earth, at the beginning and
at the end-may the mercy and blessing of Allah be upon you."
"I testify that there is no god but the one Allah, and He has no partner. He has given witness to Himself, and so have the angels and the learned of those whom He has created borne witness to Him. There is no god except Allah who is mighty and wise, and I bear witness that Muhammad is his servant, the Chosen servant, and the Apostle who has pleased Him, and whom He sent with the true Faith, that he should make it prevail over all religions (Surah xlviii 28), notwithstanding the opposition of those who associate partners with Allah."
"I bear witness that you are indeed the Imams, who indicate the true way, the ones who have found Guidance, who are Sinless, the Noble, the Near to Allah, the Pious, the Upright, the Elect, the Obedient to Allah, who are firm adherents to His commands. You are those who fulfil His will, and who are saved by His goodness, for God chose to impart His learning to you, chose you to understand what is not revealed and to know His secrets; and God has appointed you to exercise His authority, and has made you victorious by His guidance. He has given you His own Proof, His Light, and has helped you with His Spirit. He has designated you to be His Representatives, His Caliphs and the Guardians of His mysteries; the Repositories of His learning; the Trusted with His wisdom; the Interpreters of His revelation; the Standards for His servants; the Minarets for His cities; and the Proofs of His way. Allah has chosen to keep you from errors and rebellion. He has kept you from pollution and impurity (Surah xxxiii 33). Therefore you have exalted Allah's glory and have dignified His name and praised His goodness. You have constantly thought
of Him and have kept His covenant. In your obedience to Him you have received counsel in your outer and inner lives. Thus you have summoned men to Allah by wisdom and good preaching (Surah xvi 126). You have given your lives to please Him and have endured what has happened to you for His sake. You have established the Prayers and the Alms, have commanded the good and forbidden the evil, and you have conducted for Allah the kind of Holy War that needs to be carried on."
When the pilgrim has finished his prayers at the appointed places in the shrine of an Imam and is ready to say "Farewell", he should pray as follows :
"Peace be upon thee, the peace invoked by those who say farewell, not wishing you evil, not deprecating you, and not with envy; may the mercy and blessing of Allah be upon thee, 0 Household of the Prophet, for He is the Glorious and the Accepted. Peace be upon thee, the peace of the friend who does not try to offer anything to thee, and who does not approach thee indirectly, and who does not come reluctantly. May Allah not let this visit to thee be my last, this coming to the place of your martyrdom, the place of your burial. Peace be unto thee, and may Allah include me among your adherents and cause me to arrive at the Hauz-i-Kausar (the "Pond of Abundance" in Paradise), and appoint me among your followers. May you cause Allah to be pleased with me and give me a place in your bounty. Let me live at the time of your returning and have part in your government. Accept my efforts on your behalf, and may my sins be forgiven because of your intercession. Overlook my faults by your friendship and grant me progress by your favour. Let me attain nobility through obedience to thee, and become dear to Allah through your guidance.
Appoint me among those whose hearts are changed and saved. Grant that I may prosper, and may be forgiven and favoured, having found grace in Allah's goodness, having been fortunate in receiving the best of things that are attained by pilgrims who are your friends and followers. Grant that I may have something worthwhile to bring.
May Allah grant me the opportunity to make the pilgrimage again, and the opportunity to return to eternal life by true purposes-by faith, by discipline, by humility. And may Allah grant that I may have daily food that is plentiful and permitted and clean."
"O Allah do not decree that this is to be my last pilgrimage. But wilt Thou keep the Imams reminded of me, and send blessing upon them, and make necessary the forgiveness of my sins! And I may enjoy that mercy and goodness and blessing, self control, salvation, light, faith and high favour-such as Thou hast appointed for those who are their friends, those of whom Thou hast required obedience to the Imams, those who are eager to make pilgrimages to their tombs, and those who are near to Thee and to them."
And then, as he prays directly for the Imams, the pilgrim becomes himself an intercessor on behalf of the several members of the Prophet's family :
"My father, my mother, my life and all that I have are dedicated to thee. Keep me in your regard and cherish me among your followers. Let me profit by your intercession and mention me before your Preserver. 0 Allah, grant Thy blessing to Muhammad and his family, and cause my greeting to reach their spirits and their bodies. Peace be upon thee and upon all the Imams, with Allah's blessing and mercy. And may the mercy of Allah be
upon the Prophet and his family, peace and great mercy, for surely Allah is enough, and what a sufficiency!"
After giving this prayer, Majlisi adds as a personal observation that "this is the best of the general prayers of pilgrimage, both in its text and its authority, and it should be read at every feast of mourning and on every visit to a sacred tomb."
A Shorter Salutation to any of the Imams
A shorter form of Salutation for the use of pilgrims to the shrines of any of the Imams is attributed by Majlisi to Imam Ali Reza. Majlisi quotes "By this salutation which is appropriate for each and every Imam, their help sought, needs may be made known to them, and blessings may be solicited."
"Peace be to the friends of the chosen ones of Allah;
Peace be to the Trusted and Favoured of Allah;
Peace be to the Helpers and Representatives of Allah;
Peace be to the places where Allah has been made known;
Peace be to the places where Allah is remembered;
Peace be to those who have revealed Allah's commands;
Peace be to those who call upon Allah;
Peace be to those who obey what Allah has approved;
Peace be to the tested followers of Allah's will;
Peace be to those who are Proofs for Allah (the Imams);
Peace be upon their friends, for they are the friends of Allah;
As likewise their enemies are the enemies of Allah;
Those who have known them have surely known Allah;
And those ignorant of them are ignorant of Allah;
Those who take them by the hand, and commit themselves to them,
Have given their hands to Allah;
But those who abandon them, have truly abandoned Allah,
I bear witness before Allah that 1 am loyal to whoever is loyal to thee, and I am ready to fight those who are not loyal to thee."
PILGRIMAGE BY PROXY
Definite instructions for the pilgrimage by proxy are given by Shaikh Tusi as follows :
"Anyone who goes on a pilgrimage as a proxy for a believing brother should say (after he has performed his ablutions and attended to the necessary requirements of the pilgrimage), 'O Allah, keep me from weariness or illness or disorder or weakness, and reward 1 ... the son of 2 ... for this pilgrimage, and reward me for completing it.' And after he has made the pilgrimage, at the end he should say, 'Peace be on thee, O my master, from 3 ... the son of 4 ... I have come to thee as a pilgrim on his account, so intercede for him with Allah."
Then he may offer Salutations on his account, or he may offer any of the set Salutations that are written to meet this situation.
1 Here name the person
2 Here name the father of the person.
3 Here name the person
4 Here name the father of the person.
( 278 )
THE HOLY QURAN AND AMIRUL-MOMINEEN ALI IBNE ABI TALEB.
The Holy Prophet has declared :
"Innal Quran onzila ala sab'atu ahrofin ma minha Harfon ilia walahu zaahiron wa batanon Wa inna Ali Ibne Abi Taleb, Indahu minho zaahiro wal batin."
"Verily the Holy Quran has been revealed on Seven* Letters of which there is no letter* which has not a manifest and a latent meaning-And verily Ali ibne Abi Taleb, with him is the manifest and the latent (of it)."
(*Seven phases, or aspects)
THE HOLY PROPHET MUHAMMAD
(may the Peace of Allah be upon him and his Progeny) has said :
"He who dies in the love of my Progeny will be taken to Heaven just as a bride is taken to the bridegroom's house; he who dies in the love of my Progeny, Allah will open two doors of Paradise in his grave; he who dies in the love of my Progeny, Allah will make his grave a visiting place for the angels of mercy." "If you want to sec knowledge of Adam, the piety of Noah, the devotion of Abraham, the awe of Moses and the service and abstinence of Jesus, look at the bright face of Ali." Qualities of a true Muslim.
May God bless the man who has heard His orders and remembered them; who was called by Him and obeyed the commands; who has affiliated himself to His
Messenger and has thus secured his salvation; who has faithfully obeyed the commands and interdictions of his Preserver and Protector and fears the consequences of his sins; who has been sincere in doing such good deeds as will get him rewards in Heaven; who has always acted sinlessly, righteously and honourably; who has tried to earn His blessings and avoided vices and sin; who has discarded false pomp and glory of this world and concentrated in achieving an exalted position in the world to come; who has completely checked and restrained his desires and longings and kept his fancies and cravings under control; who has decided that patience on suffering is the best way to reach Heaven and abstinence from sin as the best mode of securing salvation; who has adopted the best of religions (Islam) as his creed and followed the bright path of truth and justice; who has correctly decided that the span of his life is a period of grace allotted to him to do good before his end and having provided himself for the next world is eager to welcome death.
Sermons of Hazrat Ali from Nahjul Balagha. (Sermon 79)
Those who have faith and do righteous deeds, They are the best of creatures, (Khair-ul-Bareeyya)
The Holy Quran-Sara xcviii : 7.