The Sermon of Hammaam

SERMON 193 – NAHJ AL-BALAGHA

 

It is related that a companion of Amir ul-Mu’mineen [‘a.s], known as Hammaam, [1] [a man devoted to worship] said to the Imam [‘a.s]:

“O’ Amir ul-Mu’mineen [‘a.s], describe to me the pious man in such a way as though I see them.”

Amir ul-Mu’mineen [‘a.s] avoided the reply and said:

“O’ Hammaam, fear ‘Allah and perform good acts because ‘Verily, ‘Allah is with those who guard (themselves against evil), and those who do good (to others)'” (Qur’aan, 16:128).

Hammam was not satisfied with this and urged him to speak. Thereupon, Amir ul-Mu’mineen [‘a.s] praised ‘Allah and extolled Him and sought His blessings on the Holy Prophet [s.’a.w.w] and then spoke:

Now then, ‘Allah the Glorified, the Sublime, created [the things of] creation. He created them without any need for their obedience or being safe from their sinning, because the sin of anyone who sins does not harm Him nor does the obedience of anyone who obeys Him benefit Him. He has distributed among them their livelihood, and has assigned them their positions in the world.

Thus, the God-fearing, in it are the people of distinction. Their speech is to the point, their dress is moderate and their gait is humble. They keep their eyes closed to what ‘Allah has made unlawful for them, and they put their ears to that knowledge which is beneficial to them. They remain in the time of trials as though they remain in comfort. If there had not been fixed periods [of life] ordained for each, their spirits would not have remained in their bodies even for the twinkling of an eye because of [their] eagerness for the reward and fear of chastisement. The greatness of the Creator is seated in their heart, and, so, everything else appears small in their eyes. Thus to them Paradise is as though they see it and are enjoying its favours. To them, Hell is also as if they see it and are suffering punishment in it.

Their hearts are grieved, they are protected against evils, their bodies are thin, their needs are scanty, and their souls are chaste. They endured [hardship] for a short while, and in consequence they secured comfort for a long time. It is a beneficial transaction that ‘Allah made easy for them. The world aimed at them, but they did not aim at it. It captured them, but they freed themselves from it by a ransom.

During a night they are upstanding on their feet reading portions of the Qur’aan and reciting it in a well-measured way, creating through it grief for themselves and seeking by it the cure for their ailments. If they come across a verse creating eagerness [for Paradise] they pursue it avidly, and their spirits turn towards it eagerly, and they feel as if it is in front of them. And when they come across a verse which contains fear [of Hell] they bend the ears of their hearts towards it, and feel as though the sound of Hell and its cries are reaching their ears. They bend themselves from their backs, prostrate themselves on their foreheads, their palms, their knees and their toes, and beseech ‘Allah, the Sublime, for their deliverance. During the day they are enduring, learned, virtuous and God-fearing. Fear [of ‘Allah] has made them thin like arrows. If any one looks at them he believes they are sick, although they are not sick, and he says that they have gone mad. In fact, great concern [i.e., fear] has made them mad.

They are not satisfied with their meagre good acts, and do not regard their major acts as great. They always blame themselves and are afraid of their deeds. When anyone of them is spoken of highly, he says: “I know myself better than others, and my Lord knows me better than I know. O’ ‘Allah do not deal with me according to what they say, and make me better than they think of me and forgive me [those shortcomings] which they do not know [of].”

The peculiarity of anyone of them is that you will see that he has strength in religion, determination along with leniency, faith with conviction, eagerness in [seeking] knowledge in forbearance, moderation in riches, devotion in worship, gracefulness in starvation, endurance in hardship, desire for the lawful, pleasure in guidance and hatred from greed. He performs virtuous deeds but still feels afraid. In the evening he is anxious to offer thanks [to ‘Allah]. In the morning his anxiety is to remember [‘Allah]. He passes the night in fear and rises in the morning in joy – fear lest night is passed in forgetfulness, and joy over the favour and mercy received by him. If his self refuses to endure a thing which it does not like he does not grant its request towards what it likes. The coolness of his eye lies in what is to last for ever, while from the things [of this world] that will not last he keeps aloof. He transfuses knowledge with forbearance, and speech with action.

You will see his hopes simple, his shortcomings few, his heart fearing, his spirit contented, his meal small and simple, his religion safe, his desires dead and his anger suppressed. Good alone is expected from him. Evil from him is not to be feared. Even if he is found among those who forget [‘Allah] he is counted among those who remember [Him], but if he is among the rememberers he is not counted among the forgetful. He forgives him who is unjust to him, and he gives to him who deprives him. He behaves well with him who behaves ill with him.

Indecent speech is far from him, his utterance is lenient, his evils are non-existent his virtues are ever present, his good is ahead and mischief has turned its face [from him]. He is dignified during calamities, patient in distresses, and thankful during ease. He does not commit excess over him whom he hates, and does not commit sin for the sake of him whom he loves. He admits truth before evidence is brought against him. He does not misappropriate what is placed in his custody, and does not forget what he is required to remember. He does not call others bad names, he does not cause harm to his neighbour, he does not feel happy at others misfortunes, he does not enter into wrong and does not go out of right.

If he is silent his silence does not grieve him, if he laughs he does not raise his voice, and if he is wronged he endures till ‘Allah takes revenge on his behalf. His own self is in distress because of him, while the people are in ease from him. He puts himself in hardship for the sake of his next life, and makes people feel safe from himself. His keeping away from others is by way of asceticism and purification, and his nearness to those to whom he is near is by way of leniency and mercifulness. His keeping away is not by way of vanity or feeling of greatness, nor his nearness by way of deceit and cheating.

It is related that Hammaam passed into a deep swoon and then expired. Then Amir ul-Mu’mineen said:

“Verily, by ‘Allah I had this fear about him”.

Then he added:

“Effective advices produce such effects on receptive minds.”

Someone [2] said to him: O’ Amir ul-Mu’mineen [‘a.s], how is it you do not receive such an effect?

Amir ul-Mu’mineen [‘a.s] replied: Woe to you! For death there is a fixed hour which cannot be exceeded, and a cause which does not change. Now look, never repeat such talk which Shayataan had put on your tongue.

Footnotes:

[1].According to Ibn Abi’l-Hadid this is Hammaam ibn Shurayh but al-`Allamah al-Majlisi says that apparently this is Hammaam ibn `Ubadah.

[2].This man was `Abdullah ibn al-Kawwa’ who was in the fore-front of the Kharijite movement and was a great opponent of Amir ul-Mu’mineen [‘a.s].

Praise of ‘Allah [s.w.t]

Praise of ‘Allah [s.w.t] – By Muntazir al-Mahdi J. Hussein

In the name of ‘Allah, the Beneficent, [and] the Merciful

Praise belongs to ‘Allah, the First and the Last, the Unseen, and the Unimaginable, the Creator of all [things], the Master, the Leader, the Giver and the Taker, the Punisher, the Forgiver and the Just.

Praise belongs to ‘Allah, the [only] Powerful, the One from Whom strength is manifested to His weak creatures, the Knower, the Aware! The [only] Kind, the [only] Praised – all thanks be to ‘Allah, the Merciful, the Listener.

Praise belongs to ‘Allah, for His knowledge is vast and manifested, for the ability to offer Him our submission, for His Lordship, and for His Guardianship to why we survive in abundantness of His Givings.

Praise be to ‘Allah, the Pardoner, the Excuser, the Hider of our faults, the Adder of blessings and the Increaser of bounties.

Praise be to Him, the excellent of Creator, the Creator of beautiful Angels, the Creator of Heavens, the Creator of Kauthar, the Creator of the Seventh Sky, the Creator of Water – a means of life.

Praise be to Him and only Him Who created us for this world so that we reach to the highest Ranks and Kamaalaat to the Ilaahiyyah.

Praise be to ‘Allah, for His Oneness, for His Rasool, for his Aal, for His Justice and for the Ma’aad.

Praise be to ‘Allah, for all that I am incapable of thanking Him for.

Alhamdulillah, hamdulillaahi katheeran, katheeran wa katheeran.

DOUBTS IN SALAAT

THE DOUBTS OF SALAAT
Prepared and Translated by
Muntazir al-Mahdi J. Hussein J
 
1. If doubt is between 2nd and 3rd rak’at in Salaat (after Sajdatayn): Should take it as 3rd rak’at and after Salaam, should perform 1 rak’at of Ehtiyaat (while standing) OR 2 raka’at (while seated).
2. If doubt is between 2nd and 4th rak’at in Salaat (after Sajdatayn): Should take it as 4th rak’at and after Salaam, should perform 2 raka’at of Ehtiyaat (while standing).
3. If doubt is between 2nd, 3rd and 4th rak’at in Salaat (after Sajdatayn): Should take it as 4th rak’at and after Salaam, should perform 2 raka’at of Ehtiyaat (while standing) and ALSO 2 raka’at of Ehtiyaat (while seated).
4 If doubt is between 4th and 5th rak’at in Salaat (after Sajdatayn): Should take it as 4th rak’at and after Salaam, should (immediately) perform 2 Sujood of Sahw.
5. If doubt is between 3rd and 4th rak’at in Salaat (be in any state): Should take it as 4th rak’at and after Salaam, should perform 1 rak’at of Ehtiyaat (while standing).
6. If doubt is between 4th and 5th rak’at in Salaat (when standing): Should (immediately) sit and take it as 4th rak’at and after Salaam, should perform 1 rak’at of Ehtiyaat (while standing).
 7. If doubt is between 3rd and 5th rak’at in Salaat (when standing): Should (immediately) sit and take it as 4th rak’at and after Salaam, should perform 2 raka’at of Ehtiyaat (while standing).
8. If doubt is between 3rd, 4th and 5th rak’at in Salaat (when standing): Should (immediately) sit and take it as 4th rak’at and after Salaam, should perform 2 raka’at of Ehtiyaat (while standing) and ALSO 2 raka’at of Ehtiyaat (while seated).
9. If doubt is between 5th and 6th rak’at in Salaat (while standing): Should (immediately) sit and take it as 4th rak’at and after Salaam, should perform 2 Sujood of Sahw.

Beautiful Ziyaarah with English Translation

Forty Ahadith on Salaat

Forty Ahadith (traditions) on Salaat (prayers)

By Muntazir al-Mahdi J. Hussein

 

Below are traditions on Salaat from various Shi’ite books.

 

Ahadith are lessons taught by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.w) and His Ahlul-Bayt (a.s) which have been recorded and narrated by their faithful companions for the betterment of mankind.

 

… Hence, I share them with you.

 

“Indeed, there is no prayer like the prayer of prostration towards the al-Mighty God, the-Only God, who is neither seen, nor touched; and the God of our ancestors, and of the Prophets (the ‘Ulul ‘Azm), and the father of all mankind – H. Adam (Blessings of God be on him).” – Writer.

 

Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.w):

 

<1>

The first thing reviewed about a person is his Salaat

-Wasaailush-Shi’ah – Vol. 3, P. 22

 

Writer: It is compulsory for every one of us to praise ‘Allah (Al-Lah – meaning: The-God (One who has no other)), and to prostrate oneself in total submission before Him, testifying His Oneness.

 

<2>

Salaatu Jamaa’ah (congregational prayer) is Twenty Five times more superior to one of Salaatu Furaada (prayer in separation)

-Wasaailush-Shi’ah – Vol. 5, P. 374

 

Writer: Islam emphasizes on Salaatu Jamaa’ah, because it carries countless rewards.

 

In an authentic hadith, we read: “If a person prays behind an Imam (one who leads (here it means: one who is leading Salaat)), every Rakaa’at (Unit of a prayer) has a reward of 150 salaats prayed. If two join with an Imam, the reward is equal to 600 salaats, and “as the number increases, the reward also increases in great thousands.” But when the number reaches to ten, ‘if all the skies were to be papers, and all the seas to be ink, and all the trees to be pen; and if all the angels, men and ajinna (spirits) be the writers, it would still be very impossible to calculate the rewards of a single rakaa’at prayed!’

 

<3>

Salaat is an agreement of ‘Allah (s.w.a)

Kanzul ‘Amaal – Vol. 7, P. 279

 

<4>

Salaat is Noor (Light) of my eyes

Bihaar ul Anwaar, Vol. 77, P. 77

 

<5>

Salaat is in the rank of a flag, and peace, and it is a symbol of the religion of Islam

Kanzul Amaal, Vol. 7, P. 279

 

<6>

The first question, in the Day of Judgment, is on Salaat

Nahjul Fasaha, Sentence 979

 

<7>

Salaat blackens the face of Satan (‘Allah’s curse be on him)

Simaaye Namaaz, P. 48

 

<8>

Salaat is the key to all goodness

Simaaye Namaaz, P. 49

 

<9>

Sickness and polytheism in a person is due to abandoning Salaat

Simaaye Namaaz in Qur’an and Hadith, P. 51

 

<10>

The key to Heaven is Salaat

Simaaye Namaaz in Qur’an and Hadith, P. 50

 

<11>

Salaat is the Light of a true believer, and Salaat is a Light from Allah

Mustadrak Wasaael, 3 – 92- 3098

 

<12>

Two rakaa’ats (units of prayers), of a person who uses Miswaak (a branch used for brushing the teeth), is better then 70 rakaa’ats of a person who doesn’t

Simaaye Namaaz in Qur’an and Hadith, P. 22

 

<13>

Everything has a beginning, and the beginning of Salaat is Takbiratul Ehraam, so be more careful with it

 

<14>

Prolonging one’s Qunoot in Salaat takes away a dead’s difficulties

Simaaye Namaaz in Qur’an and Hadith, P. 32

 

<15>

One who prolongs Qunoot in this world will have ease on the place arrived on the judgment day

Man laa Yahzarul Faqih, 1 – 487 – 1403

 

<16>

Salaat is the only way access of any person to Taqwa (piety)

Simaaye Namaaz in Qur’an and Hadith, P. 50

 

<17>

One who does not pray, has no religion

Simaaye Namaaz, P. 51

 

<18>

One who prays the Waajib (obligatory) Salaat, has an accepted supplication from ‘Allah (s.w.a)

Amaali Mufid, 1/118

 

<19>

Anyone who prays two rakaa’ats (units) of Salaat and thinks nothing of this world, ‘Allah (s.w.a) forgives his sins

Awaali allaali, 59/322/1

 

<20>

One who forgets to pray or stays asleep, his kaffara (expiation) is that whenever it comes to his mind he should repay it

Simaaye Namaaz in Qur’an and Hadith, P. 74

 

<21>

Calamity of worship is weakness

Bihaar ul Anwaar, Vol. 77, P. 164

 

<22>

One who takes Salaat lightly is not from me, and in the pond of Kauthar won’t come on me

Bihaarul Anwaar, Vol. 82, P. 224

 

<23>

To you be Salaatul Layl (prayer of the Night)! To you be Salaatul Layl! To you be Salaatul Layl!

Wafi, Vol. 2, P. 22

 

 

Imam Ali ibn Abu Taalib (a.s):

 

<24>

The biggest thief is one who steals Salaat

Simaaye Namaaz in Qur’an and Hadith, P. 45

 

<25>

O my son! I advice you to pray Salaat on its own time

Wasaaelu Shia’ah, Vol. 2, P. 90

 

<26>

Give the best of your timings for Salaat

Hahjul Balagha, letter No. 43

 

<27>

Salaat is the soap of your mistakes

Sharhe Nahjul Balagha, 598 – 313 – 20

 

<28>

If one doesn’t prepare for Salaat before its time, is not high ranked

Sharhe Nahjul Balagha, 768 – 329 – 20

 

<29>

Salaat is a safety from Satan’s attacks

Gharar al Hukm, 2212

 

<30>

‘Allah (s.w.a) has made Imaan (faith) a purity from shirk, and made Obligatory Salaat to be away from pride

Nahjul Balagha, Hikmah 252

 

 

Imam as-Sajjad (a.s):

 

<31>

When you stand up for Salaat, pray like as if it’s your last

Bihaarul Anwaar, Vol. 78, P. 159

 

 

Imam as-Saadiq (a.s):

 

<32>

Inform our Shi’as about the timings of Salaat and how they should stand up for them in their own timings

Safinatul Bahaar, Salaat Chapter

 

<33>

Salaat is the last advice of the Prophets

Partuya az Asraare Namaaz, P. 82

 

<34>

Salaat is a key to all goodness

Amaali Mufid, 12 – 186

 

<35>

To raise one’s hands (Qunoot) in Salaat is its beautification

Tahdhib al Ahkaam, 281 – 76 – 2

 

<36>

When praying alone, prolong it as it is ibaadat (worship)

Da’aaem al Islaam, 152/1

 

<37>

Two rakaa’ats prayed in perfumed is 70 times better than one without it

Sawaab al A’maal, 1/62

 

 

Imam al-Baaqir (a.s):

 

<38>

One who does ruku (a state of bending before prostration) in its proper form, won’t see the threatening scenes of the grave

Kafi, 7 – 321 – 3

 

 

Imam al-Ridha (a.s):

 

<39>

Wudhoo (ablution) is an act that a person, in Salaat, is infront of ‘Allah (s.w.a), should be pure

Partuye az asraare namaaz, P. 102

 

<40>

May goodness be to you who pray Salaat in its own time

Bihaarul Anwaar, Vol. 83, P. 21

 

 

Supplication

Praise of God

(Mighty and Majestic is He)

 

Praise belongs to God,

the First, without a first before Him,

the Last, without a last behind Him.

 

Beholders’ eyes fall short of seeing Him,

Describers’ imaginations are not able to depict Him.

 

He originated the creatures through His power with an origination,

He devised them in accordance with His will with a devising.

 

Then He made them walk on the path of His desire,

He sent them out on the way of His love.

 

They cannot keep back from that to which He has sent them forward,

nor can they go forward to that from which He has kept them back.

 

He assigned from His provision to each of their spirits a nourishment known and apportioned.

 

No decreaser decreases those whom He increases,

no increaser increases those of them whom He decreases.

 

Then for each spirit He strikes a fixed term in life,

for each He sets up a determined end;

he walks toward it through the days of his span,

he overtakes it through the years of his time.

 

Then, when he takes his final step and embraces the reckoning of his span,

God seizes him to the abundant reward or the feared punishment to which He has called him,

 

That He may repay those who do evil for what they have done

and repay those who do good with goodness – 53:31

 

as justice from Him (holy are His names,

and manifest His boons).

 

He shall not be questioned as to what He does,

but they shall be questioned – 21:23

 

Praise belongs to God, for

had He withheld from His servants the knowledge to praise Him for the uninterrupted kindness with which He has tried them and the manifest favours which He has lavished upon them,

they would have moved about in His kindnesses without praising Him,

and spread themselves out in His provision without thanking Him.

 

Had such been the case,

they would have left the bounds of humanity for that of beastliness and become as He has described in the firm text of His book:

 

They are but as the cattle – nay, but they are further astray from the way! – 25:46

 

Praise belongs to God, for

the true knowledge of Himself He has given to us,

the thanksgiving He has inspired us to offer Him,

the doors to knowing His Lordship He has opened for us,

the sincerity towards Him in professing His Unity to which He has turned us aside;

 

a praise

through which we may be given long life among those of His creatures who praise Him,

and overtake those who have gone ahead toward His good pleasure and pardon;

 

a praise

through which He will illuminate for us the shadows of the interworld,

ease for us the path of the Resurrection,

and raise up our stations at the standing places of the Witnesses

on the day when every soul will be repaid for what it has earned – they shall not be wronged; – 45:21

the day a master shall avail nothing a client,

and they shall not be helped; – 44:41

 

a praise

which will rise up from us to the highest of the ‘Illiyun in a book inscribed,

witnessed by those brought nigh, – 83:20-21

 

a praise

whereby our eyes may be at rest when sight is dazzled, – 75:7

our faces whitened when skins are blackened, – 3:106

 

a praise

through which we may be released from God’s painful Fire and enter God’s generous neighbourhood,

 

a praise

by which we may jostle the angels brought nigh and join the prophets, the envoys,

in a House of Permanence that does not remove,

the Place of His Generosity that does not change.

 

Praise belongs to God,

who chose for us the good qualities of creation,

granted us the agreeable things of provision,

and appointed for us excellence through domination over all creation;

every one of His creatures submits to us through His power and comes to obey us through His might – 14:33 – 16:12 – 31:20 – 45:13

 

Praise belongs to God,

who locked for us the gate of need except toward Him.

So how can we praise Him?

When can we thank Him?

Indeed, when?

 

Praise belongs to God,

Who placed within us the organs of expansion,

assigned for us the agents of contraction,

gave us to enjoy the spirits of life,

fixed within us the limbs of works,

nourished us with the agreeable things of provision,

freed us from need through His bounty,

and gave us possessions through His kindness.

 

Then He commanded us that He might test our obedience and prohibited us that He might try our thanksgiving.

So we turned against the path of His commandments and mounted the backs of His warnings.

 

Yes He hurried us not to His punishment,

nor hastened us on to His vengeance.

 

No, He went slowly with us through His mercy, in generosity,

and awaited our return through His clemency, in mildness.

 

Praise belongs to God,

who showed us the way to repentance,

which we would not have won save through His bounty.

 

Had we nothing to count as His bounty but this,

His trial of us would have been good,

His beneficence toward us great,

His bounty upon us immense.

 

For such was not His wont in repentance with those who went before us – 2:286

He has lifted up from us what we have not the strength to bear, – 2:286

charged us only to our capacity,

imposed upon us nothing but ease,

and left none of us with an argument or excuse.

So the perisher among us is he who perishes in spite of Him and the felicitous among us he who beseeches Him.

 

And praise belongs to God with all the praises of

His angels closest to Him,

His creatures most noble in His eyes,

And His praisers most pleasing to Him;

 

a praise

that may surpass other praises as our Lord surpasses all His creatures.

 

Then to Him belongs praise,

in please of His every favour upon us and upon all His servants, past and still remaining,

to the number of all things His knowledge encompasses,

and in place of each of His favours,

their number doubling and redoubling always and forever,

to the Day of Resurrection;

 

a praise

whose bound has no utmost end,

whose number has no reckoning,

whose limit cannot be reached,

whose period cannot be cut off;

 

a praise

which will become

a link to His obedience and pardon,

a tie to His good pleasure,

a means to His forgiveness,

a path to His Garden,

a protector against His vengeance,

a security against His wrath,

an aid to obeying Him,

a barrier that will make us felicitous among His felicitous friends,

and bring us into the ranks of those martyred by the swords of His enemies.

 

He is a Friend, Praiseworthy!

Powerful Dhikr

Al-Dhikr ul-Yunusiyyah

لا اله الا انت سبحانك اني كنت من الظالمين

A student of Ayatullah Ansari, narrates: “…I went into prostration and contemplated deeply in chanting this verse… after a while, I realized the veils have been removed from my eyes; my eyes and my ears were one and I could hear and see all that is in the skies and on the earth repeating this praise on and on…”

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