In 1411 H, 27 years ago, al-Dai al-AjalSyedna Mohammed BurhanuddinRA graced Dar es Salaam for the first ever Asharah Mubarakah on its soil. It was an Asharah Mubarakah during which Syedna Mohammed BurhanuddinRA gave another clear indication of his mansoos al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal SaifuddinTUS by directing him to deliver the first three waaz mubarak in Mumbai when he was taken ill.
Seeing the video recording of Syedna Burhanuddin’sRA waaz mubarak on 8thMoharram al-Haram 1411 H in Dar es Salaam allows us to attempt to comprehend the efforts he made to uplift Mumineen on all fronts. The fruits of these efforts are apparent before us as we sit today in and around Hakimi masjid and bear witness to the leaps and bounds Mumineen in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, East Africa and all over the world have made.
The word reflection means the mirror image of an object. Today, like the painters in the presence of Imam MustansirAS, we heard Syedna Mohammed BurhanuddinRA and Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal SaifuddinTUS in the words of Syedna Taher SaifuddinRA. We saw Syedna Taher SaifuddinRA and Syedna Mufaddal SaifuddinTUS while doing the deedar of Syedna BurhanuddinRA, just like we see the 51st, 52nddaisand all previous Duat MutlaqeenRA in Syedna al-Dai al-AjalTUS every day, in every instant.
Syedna Taher Saifuddin’sRA words made it clear that the exhortation to noh and aweel is nothing new, even if the remarkable transformation we have witnessed over the months seems revolutionary. The prayers for prosperity, health and staying true to one’s faithas well as the narration of Imam Husain’s shahaadatAS by Syedna TaherSaifuddin RAisno different from the words, sentences, grief and lamentthat we see and hear today from his name sake, Syedna Mufaddal SaifuddinTUS, more than half a century later. In a microcosm, so to speak, we saw the history of Dawat, and saw the reflection of every Imam and Dai, as well as the continuation of noh and aweel throughout the centuries.
Syedna Taher SaifuddinRA stated that during these auspicious days I am engrossed in ´ibaadat: the remembrance of Awliyaa’ Allah AS.During these auspicious days of Asharah Mubarakah, Syedna BurhanuddinRA remained, and today Syedna SaifuddinTUS remains engrossed in this ´ibaadat by narrating the preeminence of Awliyaa’ Allah and the calamities that befell them. During this waaz mubarak, Syedna BurhauddinRA narrated numerous instances which establish beyond doubt the preeminence of Maulana Ali AS. He explained that were it not for Amirul MumineenASthe universe would not have been created. It was he who came to the aid of Anbiyaa’ KiraamAS. It was also he who explained the meanings of the Quran. Syedna BurhanuddinRA gave an example of the verse in which RasulullahSA was asked to question all previous messengers regarding the directive to not worship any deity but Allah. A person asked him when was RasulullahAS able to put this question to all Anbiyaa’ since they were all before his time. Amirul MumineenAS replied that after RasulullahSA led all Anbiyaa’ Kiraam in namaaz on the night of Israa’, he turned towards them and raised this question.
Syedna Mohammed BurhanuddinRA explained that Amirul MumineenAS is the Kauthar that was bestowed to RasulullahSA. A Kauthar whose grace encompasses all, for even when Ibn Muljim was apprehended, Maulana Ali AS, despite the severity of his illness, directed that he begiven milk and honey, and for him to be properly fed.
Through their bayaans, compilations and compositions Awliyaa’ KiraamAS bestow upon us the blessings of the four rivers of jannat. These rivers convene in Hawd Kauthar, hence it is comprised of all four rivers. It is from this hawdthat the faithful will drink in the Hereafter while the disbelievers will remain parched. In the context of quenching the soul’s thirst, these rivers are analogous to rivers of knowledge.
The first type of river, as mentioned in the Holy Quran, is that of water, water that remains forever fresh. These rivers flow in the Rasaa’il Ikwaan al-Safaa’ (The Epistles of the Brethren of Purity) written in the early 3rd century by the 9thFatemi Imam, Imam Ahmed al-MasturAS. The Abbasid caliph, Mamum, had convened a conference of scholars to deliberate the need for sharia considering the advancement of sciences in his time. He was confident that the scientific community would render the sharia redundant. However, on the morning of the conference, copies of the epistles were placed in venues where the conference participants were likely to be. As they read Imam’s AS words, the participants were left with no option but to affirm that science and religion are in perfect harmony with oneanother, and one does not preclude the other. The Rasaail encompass the sciences, mathematics, geometry, astronomy, music amongst its contents. One remarkable chapter is on the animal kingdom and their contestation of man’s supremacy over all other living organisms. Above all, ImamASestablishesthat every form of knowledge in its true form leads one to the Almighty. In this sense this water is always fresh; timeless;as relevant today as it was yesterday and at any time in the past.
The second river is of milk: milk that does not go sour. This river alludes to the esoteric works of al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Qadi NomanRA.Syedna BurhanuddinRA explained that the children of Dawat have been nourished by this milk, that of Taaweel al-Daaim.
The third river is of khamr, wine, such that is always delectable to its drinker. It does not lead to intoxication or stupor. This river indicates the teachings of al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Moayyad al-ShiraaziRA and includes both his prose and poetry written in the era of the 18th Imam, Imam MustansirAS. His works include the 800 readings of Majaalis Moayyadiyah, numerous qasaaid and munaajaat.
The fourth river is that of honey; pure and full of curative properties: shifaa’. Bees have been divinely instructed to spread far and wide and seek nectar for their remarkable product. Along with honey’s unique capacity of not going bad itself,it is also able to preserve all that is placed in it. In the context of knowledge, this river is the writings of Syedna Hameed al-Deen al-Kirmaani, one of the dai’s of Imam Hakim AS. Amongst his treatises is Raahat al-Aql, one of the books taken in the six cartloads of booksseized by the enemies of Dawat when they came to arrest al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Qutbuddin al-ShaheedQR. Desperate to prove the heresy of the community, they sought to find evidence from dawat texts, but they were unable to even comprehend the texts before them, let alone find evidence for their purpose.
The knowledge of these four rivers flows from the dai of each era. This is seen in the diversity and all-inclusiveness of his sermons, waaz and bayaan which are timeless, unspoiled, delectable, curing of our souls’ ills and preservative of our faith. Syedna BurhanuddinRA stated that the content of these four rivers are found in the rasaail shareefah of Syedna Taher SaifuddinRA, and by that virtue the rasaail shareefah of Syedna BurhanuddinRA and Syedna SaifuddinTUS. Syedna al-Dai al-AjalTUS has meticulously narrated the restoration and revival of Jami´ Anwar in his first risaalah shareefah, a narration that for us is Hawd Kauther for it contains the blessings of all four rivers. Thus, through each waaz mubarak of this year’s Asharah Mubarakah,Syedna al-Dai al-AjalTUS extends towards us the eternalmeanings and timeless teachings and guidance entailed in this restoration.
Syedna BurhanuddinRA stated that East Africa holds a unique place in the history of Dawat. Blessed by the raza mubarak of Duat Mutlaqeen, Mumineen settled on its shores. Syedna Taher SaifuddinRAwas the first dai mutlaq to grace East Africa, visiting in 1384 H.
Yesterday, we all witnessed the remarkable humility and reverence with which the current President of Tanzania greeted Syedna al-Dai al-AjalTUS and expressed his gratitude to him for gracing Dar es Salaam with Asharah Mubarakah. Today, we heard how the then President of Tanzania also extended an invitation to Syedna BurhanuddinRA to conduct Asharah Mubarakah here in Tanzania. Syedna BurhanuddinRA mentioned that he had conveyed an invitation on behalf of Mumineen residing in Tanzania, and one invitation on his behalf. Syedna BurhanuddinRA praised the then president’s efforts for the nation’s betterment and prayed for his health and wellbeing, just as Syedna SaifuddinTUS did yesterday.
There was also extensive praise for the wonders of this country, its peacefulness, natural beauty and favourable location. He also appreciated the uprightness of its citizens. Reiterating Rasulullah’sSA directive that ‘Patriotism is an integral part of faith’, Syedna BurhanuddinRA urged Mumineen to be law-abiding citizens and actively contribute to the nation’s development.
Many years ago, such was the state of many cities in East Africa that a coterie of troublemakers actively sought to prevent the dai mutlaq from visiting. Similarly, they went to great lengths to ensure that the bukaa’ and maatam of Imam HusainAS did not take place. Yet today, we are witnessing a golden age in the history of East African Mumineen. Syedna al-Dai al-AjalTUS graces them on multiple occasions each year, and Asharah Mubarakah majaalis having been convened in Nairobi, Mombasa and Dar es Salaam on multiple occasions. The flow of divine rivers through this region have made it lush and vibrant, and the souls of its Mumineen evergreen.
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