The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him and his progeny) informed Janabe Zahra (peace be upon her):
“Dear daughter! We, the Ahle Bait, have been bestowed with seven things that no one has been granted before us. Our apostle is the best of the apostles, and he is your father. Our successor is the best of the successors, and he is your husband. Our martyr is the best of martyrs, and he is Hamzah, the uncle of your father. From us is the one who has two dyed wings, by which he glides in Paradise, and he is your cousin Ja’far. From us are the two grandsons of this Ummah, and they are your two sons Hasan and Husain (peace be upon them). And from us, by Allah and there is no God except Him, is the Mahdi of this Ummah, behind whom Isa Ibn Maryam (peace be upon them) will pray.”
Then he touched the shoulder of Imam Husain (peace be upon him) and said thrice, “From him.”
[Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 51, p. 76, H. 32 narrating from
Al-Ghaibah of Shaikh Tusi (may Allah have mercy upon him), p. 191]
And Remember the Favour of Allah Upon You…
From every aspect, the above mentioned portion of the verse of the Holy Quran carries an invaluable message from Allah, the Almighty. In every letter of this concise statement, runs the blood of an eternal life. The beauty of it ignites thinking. And when the mind says ‘Labbaik’ (I am here my Lord) to the thought, it opens up windows of delightful perspectives which are spread far and wide and are keen to express itself. The call of Labbaik freshens up the soul and relays the news of an everlasting existence. It is a source and as well as an axis. In its ambit lies the radiance of the sun, the moon and the contracting splendor of the galaxies. This freshness makes an individual worthy of being called a human being. It also adorns him with honour, provides him with grace for praising the Creator. Neither is this grace in anybody’s control nor can consciousness pen down the essence of its fragrance. It is an inspiration which can be inked only through in-depth knowledge and deeds.
The Lord says, “And remember the favours of Allah upon you”. Look at this happiness in the light of intellect and wisdom, which gushes out in an individual when he earns a blessing. The only difference is that – happiness is directly correlated to the worth or value of the blessing. Regardless of the nature or importance of the blessing, the one who is blessed has only one word to say to the One who has granted him that blessing, and that is ‘Shukr’ (Thankfulness).
The one who receives the blessing, expresses his gratitude through thanksgiving. In other words, to let the feeling sink in, an individual thanks the Bestower. Remembering a blessing is the rightful response from the one who has been granted a blessing.
There is no person or a nation which can count the blessings of Allah. Nor can the world of science invent a machine which can claim to enumerate these bounties. When the Holy Quran challenged the disbelievers to bring forth a verse let alone a chapter, it’s not that man — who keeps boasting about his scientific progress — did not make an attempt. But, when they failed, the Holy Quran ratified its stance by saying that even if all the jinn and men got together they would not be able to bring the like of even a single verse of the Holy Quran. It is the remembrance of the Beneficent and a concise discussion about the blessings, which can, on one hand, be interpreted but certainly cannot be analyzed. A poet once said, “Leaves of trees are green in the eyes of the alert.” The Holy Quran indicates towards this, “recognize Allah, the Bestower of favours upon you, who says, ‘And not a leaf falls off its branch but He knows it’.”
[Surah An’aam (6): 59]
The mind takes a pause here and asks: Is Allah pointing towards a specific blessing which needs to be remembered?
A person’s life is divided in two halves – short and long – the length of which cannot be determined and the knowledge of which is only with Allah. The first phase is before death and the other is after death.
In short, the first period is the stage of free-will and compulsion which begins in the cradle and ends in the grave.
Example of compulsion:
A person can stand on one foot but if he tries to raise both feet then he will come crashing down. Or, for instance, one can see through the eyes but if he’s blind then the whole world is nothing but darkness for him.
This is an aspect of life which makes human a human. We are awake, cautious, mindful and thoughtful. So, when we get obliged, we go into prostration, thanking Allah for making us able-bodied. The field of deeds is the training ground for an individual’s character. Character building, beautifies itself in the field of deeds and earns itself an identity. If this character is shaped in the template of good deeds, virtues and goodness, then its status becomes such that – the blessing which Allah has provided through his Friend – Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) – is the trusty of this blessing. Hence, he (peace be upon him and his progeny) announced: Surely I am a faithful apostle to you. Therefore guard against (the punishment of) Allah and obey me.
[Shoara (26): 107-108]
This bounty is so invaluable that the mind cannot comprehend it. But it is the path of edification and Shariat which must be treaded on – as has been commanded and ordained. The light of edification and Shariat reaches up to the Arsh. If it recognises the soul of edification (Tehzeeb) and Shariat, then it should not only establish prayers and fasts but is helped and sheltered by it.
Thus, Allah, the Almighty says: “And seek assistance through patience and prayer, and most surely it is a hard thing except for the humble ones.”
[Surah Baqarah (2): 45]
Allah is The Greatest! How exceptional and important is this blessing which has been granted by the Creator to help his servants. And then He orders to seek help from it. These are bounties which open up the windows to heavens from where the cool breeze from the tree of Tuba nurtured the soul.
The protector of this lofty bounty, the trustee, in charge, one who keeps the enemies away, upholds its purity, splendour and charm unharmed, the one who protects it from any alterations can only be someone appointed by Allah. He is the master of the time. He is the Key to the Unknown. He recognizes his enemies too well and thus He has arranged things in such a way that the chain of Infallibles (peace be upon them) remains intact and the dust of politics doesn’t settle on it nor dull its freshness and life.
Thus, the Greatest Messenger (peace be upon him and his progeny), while bidding adieu willed to Ameerul Momineen Ali (peace be upon him): When the nation turns its back on religion then you, O Ali, protect, the religion (through good morals and Shariat). When Imam Ali (peace be upon him) attained martyrdom in Namaz, he (peace be upon him) said: By Lord of Kaba, I have succeeded.
Imam Husain (peace be upon him) while narrating his will to Imam Zain al-Aabideen (peace be upon him) and confirmed it with Janabe Zainab (peace be upon her) by saying, “O sister, remember me in your night prayers.”
Syed al-Sajjaad (peace be upon him) is that Imam whose prostration raised such a call in the heavens that the Angels must have said Zain al-Aabideen (peace be upon him) is an exemplar of servitude.
In this manner, the chain of the infallibles reached the 11th Imam (peace be upon him), who kept establishing this bounty – that of fasting and praying — in its full glory. When it was the turn of the 12th Imam (peace be upon him), he was shielded from the machinations and deception of the enemies and first, granted minor occultation. Then then as per Divine Will, he was granted a major occultation.
Imam (peace be upon him) protected this bounty, firstly by personally keeping in touch with the first special representative and through him with the masses. The series of letters (Tauqee’aat) continued. He then communicated with the people through different sources.
Imam’s presence in itself can be compared with this blessing — which is the soul of Shariat — meaning he is the guardian of best of blessings like prayers and fasting. The august blessing — Al Qaem (may Allah hasten his reappearance) — the name that sees us place our hand on the head out of respect, besides other important things, calls out I am the forgotten bounty among the Shias.
This statement also carries grief. It reflects acute sorrow and heartache, which only his follower can understand. It is incumbent upon us to deliberate the blessing of our Imam (peace be upon him) upon us. Our Master (peace be upon him) is the greatest bounty of Allah upon us. He (peace be upon him) is a divine treasure and blessing. He (peace be upon him) is connected to the Arsh and earth every moment. He (peace be upon him) is the most dependable among those who can be relied upon. The Messenger (peace be upon him and his progeny) ascended the heavens and descended with blessings as a mercy and graced everyone with his affection and forgiveness. In this last era, and till the time of reappearance, Imam-e-Zamaana (may Allah hasten his reappearance) will be the trustee of bounties brought by the truthful Messenger (peace be upon him and his progeny).
Clamour and Commotion
There is clamour all around and the evildoers are in a majority. There is a flood of evil from all directions. The waves of this flood are busy dislodging the foundations of mountains. On the other hand, the Holy Quran declares the Will of Allah. Nothing can withstand Allah’s Will. His Decree is for the inheritor and the Imam of this earth who has been apparently and erroneously considered weak. “And We desired to bestow a favour upon those who were deemed weak in the land, and to make them the Imams, and to make them the heirs.”
[Surah Qasas (28): 5]
It is indeed sad that a nation and a community which has such a divine treasure and blessing, is deprived of his guardianship and protection. His is teary eyed and complaining that he is the ‘forgotten bounty’ among the Shias.
When he is so kind to us even when we are negligent of him, then it would be impossible to enumerate the unimaginable bounties that he would shower upon us if we were truly attentive towards him.
One needs to be little attentive, aware and a mutual correlation between knowledge and actions is required. A small amount of light acquired through knowledge and wisdom will allow a follower of Imam (peace be upon him) to visualise better. The same Imam (peace be upon him) can see the burning door of Janabe Zahra (peace be upon her), Ameerul Momineen Ali (peace be upon him) being dragged with a rope around his neck, rights of Imam Hasan (peace be upon him) being usurped, the tragedy of Karbala and the patience, prayers, glorification of Allah on the lips of those who faced hardships after Karbala. There is a brief sequence whose sad scenes have enveloped the skyline of Kazimain, Khurasan and Saamarra. The one who will take revenge is not helpless. Rather, he is waiting for Divine Permission else he would have already finished off the oppressors. He is the son of the Lion of Allah. He is the possessor of Zulfiquar. He is the manifestation of Allah’s Power. Now, through this complaint, look at the tears in the piercing eyes of Imam-e-Zamaana (may Allah hasten his reappearance). Which follower will not cry incessantly after hearing this sentence?
“I am the forgotten bounty among the Shias.” This sentence uttered by Imam-e-Zamana (may Allah hasten his reappearance) is not unexpected or out of place. Neither is it a complaint. There is nothing other than this. The one who hears this is at best moved for a few moments and then becomes negligent again.
It is not like that. Imam (peace be upon him) is the representative of Allah, the Almighty on this earth and he is directly in contact with Allah. This statement is an assertion and just a reminder, a wake-up call for the inattentive ones. It is a path which stretches a long way and its final stop is reappearance. The ones who have gone ahead on this path have left footprints behind which are devoid of any pitfalls. This is the very path which the provider of bounties has prepared for his special servants. This sentence of Imam-e-Zamana (may Allah hasten his reappearance) encourages pondering and offers an outlook — to join the caravan moving along this path. The consequences will not be good if one gets deviated. It is the hospitality of our Benevolent Master (peace be upon him) who is gathering his followers individually and inviting them to tread this path. He is not negligent of us even for a moment.
O my Master! O my leader! O the one who keeps an eye on the guards, we the helpless ones request you, “O our Master, we are the weak and lowly ones. Your envoys are Janabe Jibraeel and the other angels. You rank is affiliated to Allah. O Master if your kind support wouldn’t have been with us we wouldn’t have survived in any corner of this corrupt world. Please provide us with the resources to tread the path that leads to you. Give us the courage and resolve.
A Hidden Caller Calls
Break free from the desire of being famous. Stay attached with the Religious Authority of the time. He is our representative. Attend gatherings of scholars who practice what they preach and remember the favours of Allah (upon you).
“Salutations be upon you O My Master! A sincere salutation to you concerning Mastership. I bear witness that you are the Imam, the guided one (Mahdi), in word and deed.”
[Isteghaasa ba Hazrat Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance), Mafaatih al-Jinaan, p. 216]
 Before the martyrdom of Imam Husain (peace be upon him), the title of Syed al-Shohada (chief of martyrs) was ascribed to Janabe Hamzah (peace be upon him). But after the event of Karbala, this title is now specific for Imam Husain (peace be upon him).
 Surah Baqarah (2): 231