Section 3 : The General Banquet
 

This kind of invitation takes place on specific occasions. It manifests Alla-hs (SwT) special Mercy which despite given to all, is accepted and benefited from, only by the believers. This kind of Mercy is also known as al-rahmah al-rahi-miyyah, which comes in the first verse of Su-rat al-Hamd: Bismilla-h al-Rahma-n al-Rahi-m. Following are some noteworthy extensions (masa-di-q) of the special Divine banquet:

1. Special invitation in the Holy month of Ramada-n

The Holy Prophet (s) is reported to have said:

... ...


It is a month in which you have been called to the Banquet of Alla-h[28]

Ima-m Muhammad al-Ba-qir (a) is reported to have said:

... ...


The month of Ramada-n is the month of Ramada-n, and those who are fasting therein are the guests of Alla-h[29]

2. Special invitation during Hajj and Umrah

Ima-m al-Sa-diq (a) is reported to have said:

...


Surely the guest of Alla-h is the one who performs hajj and umrah until he returns back to his house[30]

3. Special Invitation during Prayer (sala-h)

The above tradition of Ima-m al-Sa-diq (a) mentions the second kind of guest as:

... ...


and one who is in his prayers, and thus under Divine protection, until he leaves his prayer[31]

Ima-m al-Sa-diq (a) is also reported to have said:

...


Whosoever prays an obligatory prayer and follows it with another, then he is a guest of Alla-h, and it is upon Alla-h to venerate His guest[32]

Ima-m Hasan al-Mujtaba- (a) was known to say the following whenever he would reach the door of the mosque:

.


O God, Your guest is at Your door; O Virtuous One, certainly the bad doer has come to you; so overlook the ugliness that I possess with the beauty that is with You, O Noble One.[33]

This perhaps reveals that whenever one is in the mosque, one is in reality the special guest of Alla-h.

4. Special Invitation for those Obedient to Alla-h

Ibn Fahd al-Hilli- in his Uddat al-Da-i- narrates a sacred tradition (al-hadi-th al-qudsi-) in which Almighty Alla-h tells Prophet Da-wu-d (a) the following:

.


The obedient people are My guests[34]

5. Special Invitation to the Rememberers of Alla-h

The Holy Prophet (s) in a sacred tradition is reported to have said:

...


And surely Alla-h, free is He from imperfections, Says: Those who remember Me are My guests.[35]

6. Special Invitation to those who Study the Holy Qura-n in the Mosque

The Holy Prophet (s) is reported to have said:

... ...


No people sit in a house from among the houses of Alla-h studying the Book of Alla-h and exchanging information between themselves, save that the Angels place a shade over them by their wings until they engage in talking about something else[36]

7. Special Invitation for one who Visits His Mumin brother in the way of Alla-h

It is reported in a tradition that the Holy Prophet (s) said:

: ...


Whosoever visits his brother at his home, (in the way of Alla-h), Alla-h, the Invincible and Majestic, Says: You are My guest and My visitor, and I am bound to entertain you; and surely I have made Paradise obligatory on you through your love for him[37]

8. Special Invitation for the za-ir (visitor) of Ima-m al-Husayn (a)

In one of the ziya-ra-t of Ima-m al-Husayn (a), we are taught to address him saying:

: ...


O Aba- Abdilla-h, I am the guest of Alla-h and your guest as well, and Alla-h is my refuge; and you too are my refuge; and for every guest and seeker of refuge there is a banquet; please therefore make my banquet be at this moment that you ask Alla-h to provide me with freedom from Hell Fire; surely He is All-Hearing of Prayer[38]

Notes:

[28] al-Iqba-l, vol. 1, pg. 26.
[29] Fada-il al-Ashhur al-Thala-thah, pg. 123.
[30] al-KhiSa-l, vol. 1, pg. 127.
[31] al-KhiSa-l, vol. 1, pg. 127.
[32] al-Ka-fi-, vol. 2, pg. 241.
[33] al-Anwa-r al-Bahiyyah, pg. 87.
[34] Uddat al-Da-i-, pg. 252.
[35] Irsha-d al-Qulu-b, pg. 58.
[36] Mustadrak al-Wasa-il, vol. 3, pg. 313.
[37] al-Ka-fi-, vol. 2, pg. 176.
[38] Mafa-ti-h al-Jina-n, pg. 292.