Friday, April 27, 2012
The Path towards the Love of the Promised Savior
The Path towards the Love of the Promised Savior
The path towards the love of Imam Mahdi (A.S.), the Promised Savior is strewn with thorns. It is an examination for those who claim to tread the path of his love. It is a path with many temptations and distractions. It is slippery and beguiling. It has dangerous twists and turns. However, Imam (A.S.) has not deserted his lovers. His help and guidance always helps them negotiate the perils of this path. A small ray of his light is sufficient to ease the murkiness and gloom of this path. The strong bond of love can help the lovers overcome every hurdle on the path. The treaders of this path must understand the prerequisites and conditions of love so as to reach Imam (A.S.). We have only briefly outlined a few of those pre-requisites.
1. Seeking favors only from the beloved
One of the most important prerequisites of sincere love is that one does not go to anyone else to seek his demands. He only approaches the beloved in this regard.
2. To maintain contact
We must maintain close contact with our beloved ones - our relatives, our friends, our immediate family members, our brethren-in-faith. A companion of Imam Sadiq (a.s.) asked him, 'One believer is drowning and another is being deviated by some people. Who should we rescue?' Imam (a.s.) replied,
'Go to the rescue of the one who is being deviated.'
Then Imam (a.s.) elaborated,
'Keep close contact with the one whose faith is exposed to danger, always maintain close relations with him. Rescue his hereafter.'
This is the need of the hour today - to keep in contact with the believers in distant areas and to introduce the Imam of their time (A.S.) to them. This is our most important duty today. It is not a difficult task, provided we work with dedication and an unshakeable spirit of sacrifice.
3. Patience and forbearance
Love is the greatest test of patience and forbearance. Even death does not act as a hurdle for the person. Love is such a powerful force that it takes a person towards his beloved, step by step, ignoring all obstacles in the path.
4. Maintaining relations
Maintaining relations with the relatives is an important duty and benefits the society as a whole. It is a crucial responsibility in this period and a fundamental proof of love for Imam (A.S.).
5. Acquiring knowledge
Love for Imam (A.S.) and ignorance about him are two opposite events. It is not possible for both these events to occur simultaneously in a person. Imam (A.S.) is the pillar of knowledge and invites others towards knowledge of Allah and His religion. If we call ourselves his Shias, it is critical for us to acquire this knowledge. If we fail in this duty then we run the risk of being termed as “they don't perceive, they don't comprehend’. And the element of love will subside. Moreover our actions lose their significance as to act without recognition (marefat) is futile. Even our love for Imam (A.S.) will amount to nothing. Therefore we should struggle and endeavor constantly in our quest for knowledge. The thirst for this knowledge can be quenched only at the doorstep of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) otherwise love will be injured and the pain will be unbearable.
Laziness, negligence and lethargy are detrimental to love. To reach towards the object of our love we must be active and energetic. We must fulfill our religious obligations. We must be cautious of Satanic whisperings and be vigilant of his devious charms. A believer must fast in the days and maintain vigil in the nights. Indeed this is the ascension (Meraj) of a believer.
7. Struggle (Jihad)
One who loves Imam (A.S.) must be prepared to struggle and labor with his self, his pen and his wealth in the way of Imam (A.S.).
8. Constant remembrance (Zikr)
Traditions highlight that remembrance is the key that increases love and affection. We should remember and discuss about Imam (A.S.) excessively that even if our tongues tire, our hearts should not be satiated and our thirst should not be quenched.
To present the beloved with gifts is a proof of love and attachment. The gift must be presented keeping in mind the stature, position and preferences of the person. For instance, we should perform recommended namaz, fasts, recite Quran, etc. for Imam (A.S.) with utmost sincerity and devotion.
10. Charity and supplications
We should constantly pray for the protection and security of Imam (A.S.) and invoke divine help for his affairs. We must give charity on his behalf to ensure his safety. To supplicate for his earliest reappearance must be a part of our daily schedule. We must complain to Allah about his prolonged absence and must re-affirm our pledge with him.
11. Awaiting the reappearance (Intezar)
Imam (A.S.) shall spread justice and equity across the length and breadth of this world. We must await this era eagerly and always endeavor to be included among the true and sincere awaiting ones. We must never despair of Imam's (A.S.) reappearance, as despair and despondence are satanic traits.
There are other obligations and duties to be discharged to fulfill the demands of love and affection, but we have sufficed with the few mentioned above. Finally we plead with Allah and beseech Him to bestow us with true recognition of Imam (A.S.). This recognition alone will inspire sincere love and attachment for Imam (A.S.) in our hearts. We pray to Allah to make steadfast our faith, which is the root of love as the Quranic verse proclaims
'Those who believe are intense in their love for Allah.'