The Family

إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا

ʾinnamā yurīdu-llāhu li-yudḫhiba ʿankumu-r-rijåsa ʾahla-l bayti wa yuṭahhirakum taṭåhırā

Allāh only wishes to remove impurity from you, oh People of the House, and to purify you with a thorough purification.

(Sūratu-l-ʾAḥzābå 33:33)

Muḥammad ﷺ

Prophets, peace and blessings be upon them, are superior to ordinary human beings by virtue of divine inspiration and assistance. Each prophet belongs to the same essence, but they succeed one another in the universal process of seven major cycles of Revelation, expected to lead to an ultimate unveiling and liberation with the full manifestation of the essence in the person of the mysterious seventh figure of the Qāʾim.

The final figure in the hexameron of the Resolute Prophets (أولـو الـعـزم), peace be upon them, is the Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ, the Seal of the Prophets, peace and blessings be upon him and his family, after whom there is no Prophet and no Revelation, as the Qāʾim is not a Prophet as such but, rather, the explainer of all prophecy, the one who clarifies the Truth concerning all that has been revealed in the past.

How to see the Beloved ﷺ or at least how to feel his presence: this booklet contains 33 approaches to that goal in the forms of dḫikr, repetitions of ʾāyāts and Names, and fikr concentrations (contemplative remembrance).

Inasmuch as he ﷺ existed in this world, yet he ﷺ existed before this world was, and before there was any existence in this earthly form. By saying this, in no way do we deny him ﷺ his earthly presence, but we realize that even when he ﷺ walked the earth, many of those who were his own kith and kin never saw anything but the orphan son of ʿAbdullah ibn ʿAbdu-l-Muṭṭalib. Even those who were as close to him as his own beloved cousin, Sayyidinā ʿAli, Allāh cherish his essence, who replied when ‘Uways al-Qarani, Allāh be content with him, asked him, “How many times did you see the Prophet ﷺ?” “Oh ʾUways. I only saw him once in my entire life.” In that one moment he knew forever that, truly and in reality (haqīqah), “Muḥammad ﷺ is the heart of the divine presence.”

It is this dimension of his pre-eternal existence that we must speak of if we hope to more fully understand his blessed being and, in reality, the true meaning of our own being and the Way we have been so generously given. This is the subject of this essay.

Allāh conceived His creation in the darkness of non-existence and with the light of His creative act - kun faya kūn - brought everything into existence. The First Light created was like a shadow appearing against the dark background of non-existence. From this First Light all of creation, with all its many varied forms and meanings, unfolds till the end of time. This primordial light is called Light of Muḥammad - which is the first light against the dark background of non-existence.

Surely a person, even a prophet has only one mother. But Muḥammad ﷺ was blessed by four women whom he recognized as his mothers. The first, obviously, was Muḥammad's ﷺ biological mother ʾAminah (ʿalayhā-s-salām). The second was Ḥalīmah, who as his wet nurse occupied a position which is legally recognized in ʾIslāmic law as the "milk mother". The third was Barakah, an Ethiopian slave and free woman who cared for the Prophet ﷺ all of his life.

But there is still another woman the he considered as his mother, both in the ḍḫāhir and the bāṭin, and for those who are not familiar with his life story this may be the strangest of all.

Educational and religious events known as Mawlid (pl. Mawālid), or the commemoration of the birthday of the Prophet ﷺ have been held across the Muslim world throughout ʾIslāmic history.

Over the last hundred years, however, the psuedo-salafis and the Wahhabis have been working hard to portray it as a wild bidah (innovation) birthday party and a cognate for Christmas, for which the participants are all surely going to hell for sḫirk and polytheism.

Well, if it “ain’t” (and it certainly isn’t) then what is it? First and foremost the Mawlid is a means of educating Muslims, many of whom, in truth, have very little idea of who or what Muḥammad ﷺ was and, perhaps more importantly is.

To quote from the book: "When talking or writing about the Prophet ﷺ, we must understand that we must always see him in two very different dimensions or perspectives; one is of his otherworldly transcendent and even, pre-eternal, being and the other is the immanent or worldly dimension of his blessed being in the sense that he was born, lived, fulfilled his mission and died in this world."

ʿAli and Fāṭimah

In this bayān/essay the Sḫaykḥ shows the natural connections between the Prophet ﷺ , Sayyidinā ʿAlı (ʿalayhi-s-salām) and al-Mahdi (ʿalayhi-s-salām), the Rightly Guided as al-Qāʾim or the “One who Rises” because he shall arise with Truth.

This book contains a collection of 40 ʾaḥaditḫ by the Messenger of Allāh (sawas) about Imām ʿAli (ʿalayhi-s-salām).

In this talk and essay the Sḫaykḫ turns his specific attention to one of the five members of the Ahlu-l-Bayt (ʿalayhumu-s-salām), namely the daughter of the Prophet ﷺ Fāṭimah az-Zahrāʾ (ʿalayhā-s-salām). She was the wife of Sayyidinā ʿAlı (ʿalayhi-s-salām) and the mother of al-Ḥasan and al-Ḥusayn (ʿalayhumu-s-salām), the Leaders of the Youth of the Garden and the two grandsons of the Holy Prophet ﷺ. Find out about her (ʿalayhā-s-salām) ḍḥāhiri dimension as daughter, wife and mother and her more baṭini dimension as the Majmūʿu-n-Nūrayn or the Confluence of the Two Lights, ʿalayhuma-s-salām.

Sayyidinā al-Ḥusayn & Sayyidah Zaynab

Karbalāʾ: Action, Reaction, Action. Remembering the Struggle of Sayyidinā al-Ḥusayn and Sayyidah Zaynab from the perspective of ʾAhlu-s-Sunna wa-l-Jamaʿa

This essay reclaims the life and struggle of the Prophet’s family ﷺ as the birthright of all Muslims, not one sect or another. It recounts in moving words what happened up to, during, and after the fateful journey to Kerbalā by Sayyidinā Ḥusayn (ʿalayhi-s-salām), his 72 followers and family members, which concluded in the tragedy of the massacre and which also concluded in the victory of Truth, summarized in the moving and powerful speech of Sayyidah Zaynab (ʿalayha-s-salām). This journey was one of the greatest acts of bravery and heroism in all history.

To quote from the essay: “Had he not done what he did at Karbalā, the way of life of Yazīd (and the all too many Yazīds who have followed him in the present – and one glance at the so-called Muslim world will reveal just how many Yazīds sit on seats of power in how many lands) would have been the norm, the accepted standard of behavior from Muslims. If al-Ḥusayn, the grandson of the Prophet ﷺ had put his blessed hand in the hand of Yazīd, then surely little would be left of truth, of honor, of nobility, chivalry, selflessness, or decency and grace. The Qur’an would have been stood on its head and the baṭil would be seen to have overcome the ḥaqq.”

This talk/essay The Martyrs of Karbalāʾ: The Legacy of Sayyidah Zaynab (ʿalayha-s-salām) is an exploration of some aspects of the life and the part that Zaynab, the Lady of the Garden (ʿalayha-s-salām) played in the events that led up to and came after the Battle of Karbalāʾ.

ʾImām Jaʿfar aṣ-Ṣādiq

The Fracturing of the ʾUmmah in the time of ʾImām Jaʿfar aṣ-Ṣādiq & the Search for the ʾImām

ʾImām Jaʿfar aṣ-Ṣādiq (ʿalayhi-s-salām) is the last individual to be recognized by all Sḫīʿah (except the Zaydiyyah) as an ʾImām, and is revered by traditional Sunni Muslims as a transmitter of ʾaḥādītḫ, as well as being widely known as both a jurist and a mystic. He (ʿalayhi-s-salām) taught at his school in Madīnah, where he trained upwards of four thousand students, including both Abū Ḥanīfa and Mālik ibn Anās, founders of two major Sunni schools of law, the Ḥanafiyyah and the Mālikiyah. ʾImām Jaʿfar aṣ-Ṣādiq (ʿalayhi-s-salām) is also the sixth Sḫīʿah ʾImām.

Effectively the life and time of ʾImām Jaʿfar (ʿalayhi-s-salām) marks the end of a singular and unified community of ʾIslām and the beginning of its division into different schools and sects, which continue to the present time.

We easily see that both Sunni and Sḥīʿi branch from a single tree: the Tree of ʾImām Jaʿfar aṣ-Ṣādiq. But although we can all agree upon the question of origins, there remains the question as to who or where the ʾImām (ʿalayhi-s-salām) is.