URGING PEOPLE TOWARDS PIETY (TAQWA)
Praise be to Allah who made praise the Key for His remembrance, a means for increase of His bounty and a guide for His Attributes and Dignity.
O’ creatures of Allah! Time will deal with the survivors just as it dealt with those gone by. The time that has passed will not return and whatever there is in it will not stay for ever. Its later deeds are the same as the former ones. Its trouble try to excel one another. Its banners follow each other. It is as though you are attached to the last day which is driving you as rapidly as are driven the she camels which are dry for seven months.
He who busies himself with things other than improvement of his own self becomes perplexed in darkness and entangled in ruination. His evil spirits immerse him deep in vices and make his bad actions appear handsome. Paradise is the end of those who are forward (in good acts) and Hell is the end of those who commit excesses.
Know O’ creatures of Allah! that piety is a strong house of protection while impiety is a weak house which does not protect its people, and does not give security to him who takes refuge therein. Know that the sting of sins is cut by piety and the final aim is achieved by conviction of belief.
O’ creatures of Allah! (fear) Allah, (fear) Allah, in the matter of your own selves, which are the most beloved and dear to you, because Allah has clarified to you the way of truthfulness and lighted its paths. So (you may choose) either ever-present misfortune or eternal happiness.
You should therefore provide in these mortal days for the eternal days. You have been informed of the provision, ordered to march and told to make haste in setting off. You are like staying riders who do not know when they would be ordered to march on. Beware, what will he, who has been created for the next world, do with this world? What will a person do with wealth which he would shortly be deprived of while only its ill effects and reckoning would be left behind for him?
O’ creatures of Allah! the good which Allah has promised should not be abandoned and the evil from which He has refrained should not be coveted. O’ creatures of Allah! fear the day when actions will be reckoned; there will be much quaking and even children will get old.
Know, O’ creatures of Allah! that your own self is a guard over you; limbs are watchmen and truthful vigil-keepers who preserve (the record of) your actions and the numbers of your breaths.
The gloom of the dark night cannot conceal you from them, nor can closed doors hide you from them. Surely tomorrow is close to today.
Today will depart with all that it has and tomorrow will come in its wake. It is as though every one of you has reached that place on earth where he would be alone, namely the location of his grave. So, what to say of the lonely house, the solitary place of staying and the solitary exile. It is as though the cry (of the Horn) has reached you, the Hour has overtaken you and you have come out (of your graves) for the passing of judgement. (The curtains of) falsehood have been removed from you and your excuses have become weak. The truth about you has been proved. All your matters have proceeded to their consequences. Therefore.you should (now) take counsel from examples, learn lessons from vicissitudes and take advantage of the warners.
Maulana Salman Al-Farisi RA
As the name suggests Maulana Salman al-Farisi (RA) hailed from Faris (Persia) and was born into a Zoroastrian family. His parents were landowners and once, whilst passing through his father’s lands Maulana Salman (RA) chanced upon a monastery and was enthralled by the lofty virtues of the Christian monks. He thought to himself that their faith is superior to mine and started spending more time with them. His father was displeased with his leaning towards Christianity and a series of events followed.
He left his home to live in the service of the last few true disciples of Eesa Nabi (SA). On his deathbed the last of these sages said that there are none left on the true path of Easa Nabi (SA) that I could direct you towards, but the time has now come for the last of the messengers of Allah. He was told that this messenger would be from the Arab lands, that he would accept gifts but not charity and that he would have the seal of prophethood upon his shoulder.
From hereon began Maulana Salman’s (RA) quest to find RasulAllah (SAW). A hadith of RasulAllah (SAW) alludes to him when he says, “If this faith was as far-flung as Suraiyya (name of a constellation) a man from Faris would have grasped it.
Maulana Salman (RA) joined a caravan belonging to the Kalb tribe to take him to the Arab lands but they treacherously sold him as a slave to a Jewish trader who, subsequently, sold him to his cousin. That cousin then took Maulana Salman (RA) along with him to his place of residence in Madinah.
In Madinah Maulana Salman (RA) heard the Jews talking amongst themselves about the advent of “the new prophet in Makkah.” Upon hearing this he set off to ascertain the truth of this rumour.
He approached RasulAllah (SAW) with some dates that he had set aside for charity saying that he knew RasulAllah (SAW) and his companions were in need. RasulAllah (SAW) immediately declined his offer.
The next day he presented some dates to RasulAllah (SAW) as a gift. RasulAllah (SAW) accepted them and invited his companions to partake of them with him. Finally, believing he had witnessed beyond doubt that RasulAllah (SAW) was indeed Allah’s last messenger, Maulana Salman’s (RA) joy knew no bounds, his quest was over and he knelt down and performed sajda shedding tears of joy.
RasulAllah (SAW) later asked him to negotiate a mukatabat with his master; that is that after a given number of chores or payments achieved through work, the master agrees to set the slave free. The conditions of mukatabat laid down by the Jewish master were arduous including the planting of of 300 date palms and for them to bear fruit. RasulAllah (SAW) and his companions helped plant the 300 palms and by the barakat of RasulAllah`s (SAW) hand, they all bore fruit in a very short time. Maulana Salmanul-Farisi (RA) was a free man once again. RasulAllah (SAW) would often say that, “Salmano minna ahle-l-bait” “Salman is one of us, the ahle-l-bait (people of the house)”.
Huzurala (TUS) mentions in a waaz that once RasulAllah (SAW) sent Salman (RA) on some errand to Maulatena Fatema’s (SA) house. When he knocked on the door there was no answer. Salman noticed that the grinding stone is rotating on its own. In a corner Imaam Hasan (SA) and Imaam Husain (SA) were asleep in their cradle being rocked but no hand could be seen rocking it. Maulatena Fatema (SA) was resting as well. In amazement Salman rushed back to RasulAllah (SAW) and narrated what he had seen. RasulAllah (SAW) replied, “As my daughter Fatema (SA) had nobody to assist her in her household chores Allah sent angels from heaven to help her.”
Maulana Salman-ul-Farisi (RA) was foremost amongst the Shias of Maulana Ali-ibn-Abi Talib (SA).He was the Ameer of Madain, a town close to Baghdad in Iraq when his end drew near. His companions asked him about his wishes regarding his last rites and Salman replied, “My ghusl, kafn, dafn and salaat will be performed by the same person who undertook these duties for RasulAllah (SAW), namely Maulana Ali (SA).” People wondered how it would be possible since Maulana Ali (SA) was in Madinah a month’s journey away from Mada’in. They marvelled at his unshakeable faith and said respectfully that, you are in Mada’in and Maulana Ali (SA) is in Madinah! How will it be possible? There was a month’s journey between these two cities. Salman (RA) replied that his soul would not forsake his body till Ameer-ul-Mumineen (SA) was by his side and so it happened. It is a matter of great honour for Maulana Salman that Ameer-ul-Mumineen (SA) conducted his last rites. His qabr mubarak is in Mada’in near Baghdad. May Allah`s rehmat and peace be upon him.
– by Nafeesa M. Hassan Rasheed (Hyderabad)