‘O mankind! Indeed We created you from a male and female, and made you nations and tribes that you may identify with one another. Indeed the noblest [or most honoured] of you in the sight of Allah is the most Godwary among you. (Chapter Hujurat: Verse 13)
It has been reported that Imam Baqir (AS) narrated : A group of the companions of the Prophet (SAWA) were sitting and boasting about their lineages and tribes. Present among this group was Salman. Then one of them asked Salman, ‘O Salman! What is your lineage and origin?’ Salman replied,’ I am Salman son of the Servant of Allah, I was astray and Allah guided me through Mohammed (SAWA), I was needy but Allah made me wealthy through Mohammed (SAWA), I was a slave but Allah released me through Mohammed (SAWA). Hence, this is my lineage and tribe.’
The Prophet (SAWA) then appeared and the above story was related to him, he (SAWA) then said, ‘O People of Qureish, a man’s lineage is his religion, personality his moral traits and origin his intellect. He (SAWA) then recited the following verse:‘O mankind! Indeed We created you from a male and female, and made you nations and tribes that you may identify with one another. Indeed the noblest [or most honoured] of you in the sight of Allah is the most Godwary among you. (Chapter Hujurat: Verse 13)
He (SAWA) then turned to Salman and said, ‘Indeed no one from among them is superior over you except by his godwariness. Therefore, you are only superior over that person whom your godwariness is greater than his.’(1)
Facebook, now you might ask yourself what does Facebook have to do with the present topic? Well, stay with me to find out why. Facebook is an internet social network that has taken the world by storm, it has found old friends and re-united loved ones, and it has destroyed tyrannical governments and caused chaos and riots in others. It has allowed for free flowing communication from all corners of the Globe and opened the doors to a vast range of opinions and ideas. Freedom of thought and Freedom of speech. However, like most things in this transient world, it is a doubled-edged sword, for it has the ability to corrupt minds, promote deviant ideas and create fitna and discord amongst the people. Hence caution and care needs to be practiced while using this social network.
I got the motivation to write this article from this very same site, as a while back, on the Ahlul Bayt Movement of South Africa (ABYMOSA) page I came across something very striking and concerning and felt the need to provide an answer or atleast respond to it. One of the members asked for stories about how others reverted to Islam, one of the other members responded as such,‘…Im now PROUD SHIA AND FIRMLY ROOTED IN NATION OF ISLAM TEACHINGS REGARDING BLACKMANS ISSUES.’
‘Allah has not placed in the chest of any man two hearts…’ (Chapter Ahzab: Verse 3). My dear brother, just like it is impossible for a man to love this world and the hereafter, to love the Ahlul Bayt (AS) and their enemies, a Muslim; hence cannot believe in two contradictory ideas and ideologies. Islam, as proved from the verse and narration that I quoted at the beginning, is an Ideology that came to destroy all boundaries based on race, creed, colour and tribe. It came with a universal unifying force known as Tawheed, which brings with it brotherhood and companionship. Hence, an ideology that has its roots in hatred and discrimination has no right to even be mentioned in the same breathe as Islam, let alone take the identity of an Islamic Movement. However, the argument can be made and it is a valid argument, that ‘…we were oppressed.’ Yes, no doubt what happened in South Africa, America and many other countries throughout the world, because of blatant racism is something that should never stop being condemned, however, even though I am not at liberty to comment, we as followers of the Ahlul Bayt (AS) should learn from the most oppressed of people, that even today when they are physically no more, are still being oppressed, to hold firm onto the rope of Allah and transcend these homemade barriers and soar into the garden of pure Tawheed, that which led to the Holy Prophet (SAWA) forgiving the killer of his uncle, Imam Sajjad (AS) giving sanctuary to one of the killers of his father (AS) and it has also been said that just like Iblis, if Yazeed had to ask for forgiveness, he would have gotten it.
These are examples to follow, but it begins with us for Allah (SWT) says in his Glorious Book, ‘…Indeed Allah does not change a people’s lot. Until they change what is in their souls…’ (Chapter Ra’ad: Verse 11). We as the followers of the Ahlul Bayt (AS) need to first purify ourselves and move towards Allah (SWT), firstly as individuals, by identifying and acknowledging the fact that we are weak and insignificant pieces of clay and only gain humanness and worth once we attach ourselves to the Manifestations of Allah’s Divine Light. Once this is achieved, then and only then can we as a community grow and show others how great and miraculous this Light is, for it took 40 years of self-development, training and purification to enable our beloved Prophet (SAWA) to change the norms of a proud and ignorant Arab nation and in doing so redirecting the destiny of ‘Man’ forever.
Imam Khomeini (RA) famously once said that if all the Prophets and Messengers were put together in a single area, there would not be a single argument amongst them, because they are all working towards a single goal and it doesn’t matter who achieves it, as long as the goal is achieved, but also they have reached such a level that the concept of individualism is a term that is non-existent within them.
Now that we are in the season of Hajj, that sacred pilgrimage and pillar of unity amongst Muslims from all walks of life I would like to conclude with a quote from a man who discovered the truth about the Nation of Islam and I strongly recommend all to read his autobiography, Shaheed Al Hajj Malik Al Shabazz aka Malcolm X, who while on the way to his eye opening experience of Hajj wrote, ’Packed in the plane were white, black, brown, red, and yellow people, blue eyes and blonde hair, and my kinky red hair- all together, brothers! All honouring the same God Allah, all in turn giving equal honour to each other.’ (2)
And finally we end with this dua, ‘O Allah through him [Imam Mehdi (ATF)], set in order our disorder; gather and unite our flock; stitch together our ripped open separation…’ (3)
And all Praise belongs to Allah, Lord of the worlds.
Was salamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu.
From the Holy Proximity of Bibi Masooma-e-Qum.
1) Akhlaaq Ahlul Bayt, Sayyid Mehdi Sadr Pp. 105 (Translated into English By Badr Shahin and Published by Ansariyan Publications under the title of ‘The Ahlul Bayt: Ethical Role Models.’)
2) Autobiography of Malcolm X as told by Alex Haley, Pp 190
3) Dua Iftitah