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Allama Hilli in his book ‘Qawaidul Ahkam’ counsels his son Fakhrul Muhaqqiqain in the following words:
“You should practise Silet ar-Rahm with the pure descendants of the Sadāt also. The Almighty Allah (S.w.T.) has emphasized upon this duty so much that he has made the love of relatives of the Holy Prophet (S) as a compensation of the prophetic mission.”
“...Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives....” (Surah ash-Shūrā 42:23)
The Holy Prophet (S) said:
“I shall intercede for four types of people even if they carry the sins of all humanity.”
A person who has helped my descendants and progeny.
A person who has spent his wealth upon my descendants when they were in need.
A person who has loved my Progeny with his tongue and his heart.
A person who has considered the wants of my descendants when they were surrounded by enemies and were homeless.”

Does Anyone Have a Right Upon the Holy Prophet (S)?

Hazrat Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) said:
“On the day of Qiyāma a caller will announce, ‘O people, keep silent, because Muhammad (S) is to say something to you.’ Then the Messenger will arise and say, ‘O people! If anyone of you has any right or favour upon me, or if there is any obligation upon my neck then he should stand up. I will see that he is compensated.’ The people will reply, ‘May our parents be sacrificed upon you. What right? What favour? And what obligation? Rather the rights and favours are of Allah and His Prophet upon all the creatures.’

Goodness to Sadāt and Paradise

Then the Holy Prophet (S) shall say:
“No, they do have a right. Whoever has provided shelter and help to anyone from my Ahlul-Bayt (a.s.) or did good to them or gave them clothes in their need or fed them when they were in need, should stand up so that I can recompense him.”
Some people who had performed such deeds will arise. Then the voice of the Almighty shall be heard. “O Muhammad, my loved one! With due regards to your position I have fixed the reward for their deeds. They shall be given whatever position you intend for them in Paradise.” Then Allah (S.w.T.) shall give them a place near the Holy Prophet (S) and his Ahlul-Bayt (a.s.) and there would be nothing to obstruct their view.”
REF: Greater Sin BY Ayatullah Dastaghaib Shirazi

Respect for The Progeny of the Holy Prophet (S)

Son! Give respect and reverence to the progeny of the Holy Prophet (S) because they are from the family of Janab al-Fatema (a.s.) and Hazrat ‘Ali (a.s.). Allah has decreed that you love them. As far as possible give them due respect because Allah’s will and good of both the world lie in it.   Mustadark, p. 400
Remember their respect should not be confined only to ‘saadaat’ with good character. This order of respect is not meant for ‘Alims’ who do not practice Islam. They don’t deserve respect. But here we are talking about descendants of the Holy Prophet (S) Therefore, their respect is a must. However if by not showing respect, there is likehood of their returning to right path. Then don’t respect them. This is one way of ‘Nahi-anil-munkar’.
However, it is better that you respect them in public and advise them in private as in the incident of Ahmed bin Ishak Ashari. Once Husaini bin Hasan Fatemi came to meet him. Since Husain was a drunkard, he refused to meet him. Then, when he was going for Haj pilgrimage, on the way to Samarra, he met Hazrat Imam Askari (a.s.). But Imam did not give him audience. After many request and pleadings when he met the Imam, then Ahmed asked: ‘Son of the prophet, why are you displeased with me?’
The Imam replied: ‘Why did you not meet Husaini bin Hasan?’ Ahmad replied: ‘My intention was to prevent him from drinking wine’. The Imam said: ‘You are right. That is what is meant by ‘Nahi-anil-Mumkar’ but as far as respect for them is concerned, there should be no change.’
Ibne Ishaq kept this is mind and after returning from Haj he gave due respect to Husaini bin Hasan. He got frightened and asked the reason. Ahmed gave him the reason. This made so much impact on him that he asked for Allah’s forgiveness and broke all the wine glasses and threw them. He died in the mosque during ‘Aaiteqaf’15.
Remember, this advice is not meant for non Fatemi ‘Sadat’ though being Hashemi they also deserve respect but they are not family members of the Holy Prophet (S). Whenever in doubt, be cautious. Of course, those who are sayyid from mother’s side also deserve respect because they are children of the daughter. Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Husain (a.s.) are prophet’s children because of this relation. People with this type of relations are not entitled to ‘Khums’. According to one reliable tradition from Jamad bin Isa, only those who are sayyid from father’s side are entitled ‘Khums’. Otherwise, they are equal as far respect is concerned. Both should be respected.

In the name of Allah the Gracious, the Merciful

Spiritual healings by Late Ayatullah Bahjat rh.

For acceptance of the wishes:
1. One should be clean and with Wudu, start with the praises, pay tribute, glorifications and acknowledgment of His favors.
2. Confess sins and being shameful of what has been done which is the status close to the status of Taubah repentance.
3. Seek blessing on Mohammad and his progeny (s.s) who are the source and resource of abundance of Allah (s.w.t).
4. Crying and reaching to the status of meekness.
5. After this invocation Duas should be done with the certainty that Allah will grant the wishes. (if this is done in the prostration status of Sajdah it is much better)

For seeking cure for the sick:
While seeking medical help one should use Zamzam water, and Khake Shifa, giving alms again and again even it could be nominal.

To find somehing/ Someone that is lost:
Constant reciting: أصْبَحْتُ في أمانِ اللهِ. أمْسَيْتُ في جِوارِ اللهِ
(Asbahtu Fi Amanillah, Wa Amsaytu Fi Jawarillah)
Being secure with Allah (s.w.t), I started a day I shall make my night by being in His company.

For increase in sustenance:
At the beginning and at the end recite lots of Salawat on Mohammad and His Progeny (s.s) recite:
اللَّهُمَّ اَغْنِنِی بِحَلالِکَ عَنْ حَرَامِکَ وَ بِفَضْلِکَ عَمَّنْ سِوَاکَ
(Allahumma Aghnini Bihalalika `An Haramika Wa Bi Fadhlika `Amman Siwaka)
O Allah through Your Halal (pure) things make me free from Haram (Forbidden), with Your Bounty make myself away from other than You.

To control anger:
With complete faith one should recite constantly Salawat:
اللھم صل علٰیٰ محمد و آل محمد

To be away from pride:
One has to recite more and more: لاَحَولَ وَلاَ قُوَّۃَ اِلاَّ بِاللہِ العَلیِّ العَظِیم
(La Hawla Wala Quwata illa Billahil Aliyil Adheem)
There is no power no strength but the Power and the Strength belongs to Allah (s.w.t))

To overcome difficulties and problems of life:
The best recitation which has been prescribed by our beloved Prophet (s.s):
لاَحَولَ وَلاَ قُوَّۃَ اِلاَّ بِاللہِ العَلیِّ العَظِیم لاَ مَلْجَأ و لاَ مَنْجَأ مِنَ اللہِ اِلاَّ اِلیَہ
(La Hawla Wala Quwata illa Billahil Aliyil Adheem, La Malja'a Wa La Manja'a Minallahi illa ilayhi)
There is no power no strength but the Power and the Strength belongs to Allah (s.w.t); no one can remove difficulties and problems but Allah (s.w.t)

To remove the malice and calamity:
Keep on reciting:
اللهم صل علی محمد و آله و اَمْسِکْ عَنَّا السُّوء
O Allah bless Mohammad and his progeny and remove malice from us.

To remove differences between husband and wife:
Whoever would likes to remove the differences should repeatedly give alms more and more to the needy; while try to resolve the differences by removing the grudges and beseech to invoke Allah (s.w.t)

To meet the Imam (a.t.f) of our time:
Offering two Rak`at Salat with sincerity and seeking the Wasila source of our Imams peace be upon them is better than trying to meet the Imam (a.t.f) of our time.
(The day one follows Islam completely has met the Imam (a.t.f)

Maulana Zaki Baqri)
Interview with Hujjatul Islam Maulana Zaki Baqri
By Syed Mohammad Masoom

Q 1) SMM: Please say something about "The Role of Religion in World Affairs".

A 1)ZB:  First and fore mostly, it is vital to identify the perspective of religion in the minds of the readers.  Religion in general means:  "A specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects." This definition does not leave room for an effect on world affairs.  Islamic teachings relate that the religion of Islam is not simply a set of beliefs, but also a code of life.  Islam is a complete socio, political and economical system which caters to the needs of all human kind regardless of color or ethnicity.  According to the latter, Islam is a religion which actually does have an impact on the world.  If all Muslim adhere to the teachings of Islam they can change the course of history of mankind and bring forth justice, equity and peace in the masses.   

Q 2)SMM:- Some Muslims argue that America is anti-Islam or anti-Muslim, and see its invasion of Iraq, among other developments, as proof of this. What is your Opinion?

A 2) ZB: When a nation shows hostility towards a particular group of people or nations, it becomes very obvious.  Why doesn't the outlook of the masses point fingers towards other nations like, Japan, China, or Taiwan etc.  The hostility of America towards Muslims and Muslim nations is apparent and does not need discloser, but is an open secret in the minds of not only Muslims but also non-Muslims.

Q 3) SMM: 'America is not a charitable organization - they came to steal from Iraq'... Is it true?

A 3) ZB The political and economic system of America is based on 'capitalism' which means it is an: "Economic system based on private ownership of the means of production, in which personal profit can be acquired through investment of capital and employment of labor. Capitalism is grounded in the concept of free enterprise, which argues that government intervention in the economy should be restricted and that a free market, based on supply and demand, will ultimately maximize consumer welfare."  However:  "The concept of capitalism has evolved over time, with later thinkers often building on the analyses of earlier thinkers. Moreover, the component concepts used in defining capitalism-such as private ownership, markets and investment-have evolved along with changes in theory, in law, and in practice."  

Personal interest without any moral obligations may lead to irrational actions making weaker nations targets.  The obvious point that arises in the minds of thinkers is that Iraq is a nation whose oil reserves can cater amply to themselves and to other nations.  Unfortunately from the time Iraq has been invaded until now, its situation is grave. More than one million human beings have been killed and their infrastructure has been virtually wiped out. Instead of this great nation helping others, four million Iraqi refugees have fled their land to save their lives. The well known Geneva Convention states that 'the invading country has the responsibility of safe guarding the life, wealth and honor the subject nation'.  In the case of Iraq, we see no respect for the lives, wealth or honor of the Iraqis.  People are dying in this country while the invaders are at ease sucking the oil of a nation which is slowly bleeding to death.

Q 4) SMM: what are your views about sectarian conflicts raging Iraq, between Shias and Sunnis?

A 4)ZB  It is a well known fact that in pre-war Iraq, citizens were co-existing for centuries with harmony and peace.  Many Iraqi's have mixed families; it was a common thing for a Shia to marry a Sunni without any religious or customary restrictions.  After the invasion of Iraq suddenly we hear of sectarian feelings emerging and killings attributed to them. Reports suggest that those who are involved in the sectarian killings are not Iraqi's but in fact are non-Iraqi.  The well known expression 'divide and rule' clearly applies here.  The agenda of the invading forces, Zionist regime and their leaders clearly state that 'we are benefiting from this war.'  The idea behind bringing hate amongst Muslims is to move the world's attention from one big problem to another so that they could freely occupy a nation.

Q 5) SMM:  what role do you feel the Ulema could or should play in promoting inter-sectarian and inter-communal harmony in India? 

A 5) ZB: It is the duty of all humankind in general and in particular the scholars to promote peace and harmony in the nations.  None of the religions promote hate and discord; almost all religions promote love and affection among fellow humankind.  As the leader of their followers Ulema, have a great responsibility on their shoulders to promote understanding and love and teach peace and respect among fellow humankind.  

Q 6) SMM:  There is much talk now of America allegedly planning to attack Iran. What do you think the Iranian, or general Shia, response would be if this happens?

A 6) ZB: First of all I believe America is not stupid to do some things which will bring the country to its knees.  There could be chances of doing so, as this kind of stupidity has been done in the past in Vietnam, Cambodia and recently in Afghanistan and in Iraq where millions have been killed and more millions suffering.  Let me say this to all the readers that if a person commits one crime and never regrets it, he will certainly commit a next bigger crime and eventually the time will come for such a person to commit the biggest crime.  Likewise if a minor crime takes place in a society and the people react to that injustice, there is fewer chances of the second time such crime to occur; if the masses are careless then bigger crimes will take place.  If people would have reacted to the atrocities, carnage and injustice of the past it would have been difficult for criminals to commit a crime against humanity.  In such case it is not only a responsibility of a Shia but it is the responsibility of all Muslims to denounce and condemn this violence.  The famous tradition of our beloved Prophet (s) says:  "If a Muslims starts his day without thinking about the welfare of other Muslims he is not a Muslim."

Q 7) SMM: In India today, a growing number of ulema are setting up 'modern' schools, which provide both 'modern' as well as Islamic education. How do you see this? And what role do you feel the ulema should play in the field of education? 

A 7) ZB: Islam itself is modern, so there is no room for new terminology expressed as "modern Islam" Separation of 'modern' secular schools from Islam is not the right approach.  Islam is a system of life, which means it adheres to all the needs of humankind; which could be jurisprudent or scientific subjects.   Thus it is the duty of Ulema to cater to the needs of all aspects of the society and guide the new generation towards the success of this world and the world to come in the Akhirat.  I'm please to know such Ulema and trying to follow their footsteps.   In order to eradicate poverty, hate and injustice it is vital to ensure that no human is illiterate.  The Ulema have a greater role to play in this regard.  It is pleasure to know that Ulema are leading in this aspect of life too. Alhamdulillah.

Q 8) SMM: It is often argued that in their teaching of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) madrasas generally focus on issues that are of little contemporary relevance. What do you have to say about this? 

A 8) ZB: Islamic science of jurisprudence is one of the sciences of the world.  For each and every science there is a need of expertise and specialization.  If a person is specializing in Medical science it is difficult for such person to do be an expert in IT.  Those who take the subject of Islamic jurisprudence they cannot take other subjects. Islamic jurisprudence demands all time and energy to spend to learn and guide.  Alhamdulillah after the Islamic revolution the contemporary issues have been adapted in the curriculum with the science of Islamic jurisprudence.  Like social science, political science, oriental languages etc.  

Q 9) SMM:  Do you agree? Clerics had been fighting among themselves but asking the community to unite? Is it not a absurd situation?  

A 9) ZB: Human psychology states that professional jealousies are part of human behavior.  It is a well known fact that doctors with the doctors, engineers with the engineers, and politician with the politicians usually brawl.  Clerics too are among human species and they might act according to their behavioral pattern; although they should not be like other professions, they should be God fearing, peaceful, kind and compassionate.  They should be ideals for humankind to follow.  One of the traditions of Masoom (a) says:  "Likeness of Ulema is like of the Prophets'.  In such case all those who are in this category should never fight but they should become a symbol of unity.   A great cleric of our modern era Imam Khomeini has said:  "Think of a scenario all the Prophets are in one place at one time, are they going to fight?"   May Allah give us Heavenly inspirations to follow the command of Islam Ameen! 

Q 10) SMM: If the woman wants to marry she has to give up her right over her own body? A woman has no right to say "no" to sex should her husband desire it. In other words, the law aids men in securing usufruct over women's sex by making a legal condition of marriage. What you say?

A 10) ZB: A law is abused when it is not understood.  The biggest problem we Muslims are facing is that we are unaware of our own religion.  Majority of us are uninformed in many important Islamic subjects.  The subject of marriage in Islam is a very important and has thorough guidelines for its followers.  Marriage in Islamic is part and parcel of humankinds needs.  It is not like other religions which preach celibacy and fail to preserve it.  Islam is the religion which caters to all the needs of a human being.  Marriage in Islam is the decision of two matured people, not a force.  Before getting married both the parties should know what their rights and responsibilities are.  It is the right of husband to have sex at the time of his need but it is also the responsibility of a husband to consider the health and mode of his partner.  Before getting married one should know Islamic guidelines in this regard.  Islam has guided humanity towards this subject with minute detail. It is the very reason I have developed the 'pre-marriage' course for the people who would like to get married.  Those who are interested in this regard the link is under 'Family life in Islam'.  In Urdu one can watch it at by searching 'pre-marriage course.

Q 11) SMM:  What Islam says on "Relationships of Muslims with Other Muslims"?

A 11) ZB: As the Holy Quran states:  "You shall hold fast to the rope of Allah, all of you, and do not be divided. Recall Allah's blessings upon you - you used to be enemies and He reconciled your hearts. By His grace, you became brethren. You were at the brink of a pit of fire, and He saved you there from. Allah thus explains His revelations for you, that you may be guided." (3:103) 

The Muslim Ummah today has a duty to promote peace; there is no room for hate and revulsion.  I have a basic question for all those who are the people of reflection.  As per the aforementioned verse of the Holy Quran it was the ignorant and arrogance of the Arabs which make them fight each other for centuries.  It is Islam which has the capacity to unite all the tribes and nations under one banner.  What a pity, the religion which caused the unity of humanity in the early golden days, is now the same religion that becomes the source of discord?  We can easily conclude it is not Islam which is causing discord among Muslims but it is ignorant Muslim who are promoting dispute among each other.  Such people have forgotten the decree of the Holy Quran and the tradition of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah upon him and his progeny). The Holy Quran again stresses the point that:  "The believers are members of one family; you shall keep the peace within your family and reverence Allah, that you may attain mercy." (49:10) With careful examination we can see that the majority of our beliefs are shared and our actions similar to other Muslims.  Understanding the ideology which benefits by dividing us is very important. We Muslims should get united because our aim is common and our enemy is common. 

Q 12) SMM: The majority of Muslims confuse between what is religion and what is culture? What is the solution?

A 12) ZB :The definition of culture according to the literal meaning is: "A particular form or stage of civilization, as that of a certain nation or period".   According to this, Islam is a culture which introduced a system of life which can easily adapt and which is universal; meaning Islam has introduced mankind to a cultural system which is socio, economical and political.   A glance at the world cultures shows that they are slowly dissolving into one pop culture.  To be given an example the Indian culture which is slowly vanishing from its society has been replaced with foreign culture.  Islam introduces unchangeable, adoptable, easy culture for all ages and all societies.  There are many aspects in our day to day lives which have been copied from the non-Islamic culture.  To be given an example the marriage ceremonies we don't see any thing which Islam wanted it followers to do but the culture in which we exist has influenced us severely to the extent that the Islamic culture has been forgotten.  If Islamic culture is established in our society there shall not be any girl left without marriage.  Dowry is not Islamic culture Mehr, or Sidaq 'marriage gift' should be given to the bride from the groom is Islamic culture, which has long been put aside..    

Q 13) SMM: Are women allowed to work, leaving their children at home in Islam?

A 13) ZB: Islam is a social system which guides humanity towards the best path with which one can be prosperous in the worldly life as well the life of Hereafter.  Women are consisting of half or more than half the population of humankind.  Islam has never neglected women in guidance towards the best path of salvation.  The challenging aspect of women is to cater to the needs of the future generation.  It is the natural duty of women to bring up peaceful and good offspring.  That is the reason the burden of finances of a family is on the shoulder of the men.  There are times stages in a woman's life where she is free and has time to work, during such a period she is free to work; provided her modesty and dignity is safe guarded.  

Q 14) SMM: What is azadari and who is the purpose of azadari?

A 14) ZB The literal meaning of Azadari is to mourn for a departed soul; but it is greatly used for the mourning of Imam Hussain (a) the grandson of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (s).  After the tragedy of Karbala it became an engine to motivate the masses.  Azadari motivates the mourners towards truth, justice and equity and compels them to reject and fight against tyranny, injustice and inequity.  As the great leader of the modern times Imam Khomeini once expressed it by saying:  "Ma Her Chizi Ki Dareem As Hussain (a) Dareem", meaning whatever we have today in Iran it is because of Imam Hussain (a)".     

Q 15) SMM: Still there is mass poverty and illiteracy among the Muslims? What is the reason? And what is the solution?

A 15) ZB It is very important for us to know world statistics and exclusively the statistics of our own nations.  It is a fact that the majority of the world population is illiterate and poor.  Muslims also proportionately are illiterate.  Although the very first revelation to our beloved Prophet (s) starts with the command by saying:  "Read, in the name of your Lord, who created." (96:1). The religion whose first revealed verse commanded its followers to read and now those very followers are away from knowledge?  There are many tangible and non tangible reasons which is out of the scope of this interview.  Knowledge is wealth, knowledge is power and knowledge is love, compassion and kindness.  Our beloved Prophet (s) introduced four very famous traditions inviting his followers to reflect.  The First one says:  "Acquiring knowledge is incumbent upon all Muslim (men or women)."  That means there is no gender restriction in acquiring knowledge.  The Second Hadith says:  "Acquire knowledge from the cradle to the grave".  This means there is no time limit for seeking knowledge.  The Third tradition compels us to believe that there is no space limit in seeking knowledge says:  "Knowledge and wisdom is of the Muslims get it back even from a non believer". The fourth Hadis says:  "Knowledge and wisdom loosen by the believers, seek it from whomsoever you can, that may be non-believers."

I believe our scholars have given less importance to this very important subject.  Scholars, preachers and orators have a greater responsibility in changing the course of thinking of the masses; likewise each and every believer has a responsibility and duty to adhere to the teachings of their religion.   I had a glance at a statistic of India where it says that there are more religious institutions than educational ones; which gives us a clear understanding of the results.  If our religious institutions could become the centre of education a new dawn will appear and the future will be bright. 

Q 16) SMM: There is mass poverty among the Muslims and at the same time Islam have beautiful system of giving charity, khums, Zakat, Sadaqah. Where all it goes? 

A 16) ZB Poverty is a part of human society it is not only among Muslims, but the largest portion of the world is poor.  This shows that the distribution of wealth among human society is inadequate and requires a drastic change in this ugly scenario. There are many reasons why the vast majority of Muslims are deprived of their basic needs. 1) Those who take out the religious dues are very small portion of the Muslim population.  If Zakat and Sadaqat is given as it is been prescribed by Islam by our Sunni brothers, Khums is given by our Shia brothers there shall not be a single Muslim who is needy.  2) Centralization of funds is very important in order to organize the distribution of Islamic charity Zakat, Khums and Sadaqat.  3) The centralize distribution has to be done under very committed and God fearing people of the Muslims society whose hearts burns for the poor.  4) Accountability and yearly account presentation has to be done very thoroughly.  5) These distribution organization should be monitored by God fearing inspectors of the centralized organization.  6) The major portion of these charity funds should used for the education of the Muslim Ummah.     

Q) 17) SMM:  As per my knowledge and experience says (if I am not wrong), because of self respect poor sadaat e Fatima do not approach any body to ask help from khums. How to find and help true sadaat?

A 17) ZB:  Islam has guided us in all aspect of our lives, nothing is unclear, and we as Muslims are unaware of our own religion.  Regarding this subject of Khums also the guidance is clear in Islam.  How to take out Khums?  How to disperse it?  To whom it should be given? Etc.  The portion of Sadaat should be distributed in accordance with the condition which has been laid down in Islam.  Those who seek Sadaat portion meaning those who ask for the Khums money are not the eligible (Mustahaq) Sayyids, they in fact are the beggars they should never be let down according to the Holy Quran:  "Nor shall you reprimand the beggar." (93:10) Those who are Mustahaq we need to search for them, they are very honorable people who are struggling for their livelihood yet still could not reach to their basic needs of their lives.  Thus there should be a secret movement consists of the pious and God fearing who desire to serve the Mustahiqeen to seek the pleasures of Allah.  Such group should have a representation in each and every street and area of the town and search for the Mustahiqeen (eligible momineen).  There must be a list of such people and distribution should be done in secret such that their honor and respect should be protected.  The best form of payment is for the education of their children.  If we can educate our future generations we will never face economical, political, and social problems.   

Q) 18) SMM: Please tell us in short about theme and format of Khutba e juma?

A 18)ZB:  Juma prayer is a very important tool for the resolving problems in .  As per the Holy Quran it is a command to the Muslims:  "O you who believe, when the Congregational Prayer (Salat Al-Jumu`ah) is announced on Friday, you shall hasten to the commemoration of Allah, and drop all business. This is better for you, if you only knew." (62:9). There are numerous Ahadith which encourage followers to attend the Juma prayers.  One of which says:  "Juma prayers are Hajj of the needy".  Juma is the weekly spiritual, gathering which we should adhere to resolve the problems of the masses.  Juma prayer has two Sermons (Khutbas) the first one is to discuss Taqwa piousness and purity. The Islamic belief is that without piety, peace cannot be achieved in society.  Purification of souls is the goal of Islam and it can be attained by good advice from each other, and Juma is the best place to talk about it.  The second sermon (Khutba) should be regarding the problems faced by the Muslim Ummah during the past week.  The leader of the Juma prayer should be so bright and well informed that he should be analyzing the situation of Muslims of that area and as well the Muslims of the world.      

Q 19)SMM: It's a regret that some scholars indulge themselves in criticizing other scholars and other Muslim sects in public, in such a way as if the owner of one Product would boasts about his company and criticizes his competitor's products so that people get attracted towards his product and look down to his competitors. What is your opinion?

A 19) ZB :Islam never teaches such a thing; a scholar is the one who pleases only Allah not the masses.  May Allah guide us all Ameen!  All these kinds of activities show insecurity in the person.  A scholar always counters with scholarly work rather than using the pulpit to prove his point of view.  

Q 20) SMM:The capacity to acquire knowledge makes human beings the most superior of creations. But what is knowledge? Who is entitled to be called a knowledgeable person (ulema)? What do you feel should be the role of the 'ulama in Muslim society? What are your own feelings about how the 'ulama functioning today? 

A 20) ZB  Superiority in the eyes of Allah is taqwa with knowledge.  Every field of knowledge is respectable as long as that knowledge becomes a source to serve humanity.  There is famous verse of the Persian poet Saadi Shirazi which says:  'As long as a person is not spoken his/her ability is unknown, one should never think a shadow as it is, and there could be lion laying in front of them'. Hadith says:  "A person is hidden behind his speech".   The Holy Quran says:  "Thus, Allah does not change the condition of any people unless they themselves make the decision to change." (13:11). Every member of the community has the duty to work for the betterment of the future, Ulema are also part of the society; and in fact have a greater role to play.  Ulema have the ability to change the fate of the society at large; they have the power to inject the spirit of life in the people.  Each and every Alim is working for the progress of the community and can improve in their efforts if they realize their power of influence on the public and strive to change the course of the Ummah.  

Q 21) SMM: Although the Quran stresses Muslim unity, Muslims are divided into numerous sects, and some of them see the other sects as enemies. How do you account for this phenomenon of intense sectarianism and the fact that, unlike in the Christian case, there is really no Muslim ecumenical movement to bring the ulema of the different sects on a common platform for serious dialogue?

A 21) ZB: Self and personal interest could over shadow the interest of the masses.  The Holy Quran has given all kinds of examples of this in past history. "They have set up their religious leaders and scholars as lords, instead of Allah. Others deified the Messiah, son of Mary. They were all commanded to worship only one god. There is no god except He. Be He glorified, high above having any partners." (9:31). All Heavenly religions are faced with the same problems, Jews, Christians and Muslims are faced with sectarian divisions. Our goal is to establish the domain of God; but the method of reaching to these goals is different.  If we Muslims educate ourselves that our goal is similar and our obstacle and enemy is common.  Those who are self conceited, arrogant, and love to govern on the globe are the ones who are dividing us.  It is the duty of each and every Muslims to understand this clearly.  If there is problem in understanding Sunni and Shia then why is there a problem within Palestinians between Hamas and Fatah?  The answer is clear that it is due to the colonial inhuman method of 'divide and rule'; which has been practiced for centuries and is still alive today. It is up to us to wake up from our deep sleep and understand the there is no room for us to be divided within ourselves while the worldly hungry powers are enjoying the liberty of affluent lifestyles.     

Q 22) SMM: In several madrasas students are taught to despise and counter other Muslim sects, based on the assumption that their own sect alone is true. How do you see this problem?

A 22) ZB: Islam never teaches us to be divided but on the contrary it teaches us to be united.  The Holy Quran says:  "The believers are members of one family; you shall keep the peace within your family and reverence Allah, that you may attain mercy.  O you who believe, no people shall ridicule other people, for they may be better than they. Nor shall any women ridicule other women, for they may be better than they. Nor shall you mock one another, or make fun of your names. Evil indeed is the reversion to wickedness after attaining faith. Anyone who does not repent after this, these are the transgressors." (49:10-11).  In this command Allah (s.w.t) orders us not to ridicule others.  The traditions of the Prophet (s) is also a clear guide that he never indulged in such divisions.   Madrassas should be centers of education which should promote love, harmony not only with the Muslims but also with the non-Muslims too.  There should be open dialogue which promotes understanding, peace and harmony among humankind. 

Q 23) SMM:  How you see "Multiculturalism" term in muslims?

A 23) ZB: We have mentioned before that Islam is a universal and adoptable culture.  As long as Muslims adhere to their own culture while interacting with other communities there is no harm in it.   When the other culture is added to it in the name of Islam such multiculturalism and pluralism will lead to the failure of the other culture. 

Q 24) SMM: What you say on the need to rely on scientific astronomical calculations instead of human sightings of the moon to decide on when to celebrate Eid. 

A 24) ZB: Islam is the most practical and scientific religion which has given us a clear understanding in each and every aspect of life.  We can adopt scientific knowledge as long as there are no clashes; and there should never be any clashes of thoughts when it comes to the understanding of the first day of the month.  According to majority of the Maraje (meaning highly qualified scalars) 'one can rely upon the scientific calculations regarding the moon sighting if he/she reaches to the certainty.'  

Q 25) SMM: Muslims want to shape society according to the Quran But when they will shape?

A 25) ZB: Where there is a will there is way.  According to the Holy Quran the life of our beloved Prophet is the perfect example to follow.  "In the life of the messenger of Allah there is good example to follow; for those among you who seek Allah and the Last Day, and constantly think about Allah." (33:21) He changed the course of the Muslim Ummah by education, purification of souls and peace and harmony.  If we concentrate on these tools within no time we will be successful in this world and the world to come.

Q 26) SMM: Your message to the Muslim world and Islamic unity…. 

A 26) ZB: My message to all the readers is that the world in which we are living is becoming more and more fragile and there is an urgent need for peace and harmony among humankind.  Peace and harmony cannot be achieved until we are educated and feel the presence of Allah in our lives.  The world is compelling us to become individualistic beings while by nature we are social.  Thus Islam is the only system with which one can attain success in both the worlds.  Take out anger, hatred, and revulsion and bring knowledge, love and harmony among all humankind. Learn total Islam and follow it totally Insha Allah the success is under your feet.

O' Allah give us strength to fight tyranny, oppression, injustice and indecency.

O' Allah hasten the appearance of the maker of Justice to the mankind.

O' Allah give us Tawfeeq (Heavenly inspiration) to follow the best religion Islam.

O' Allah keep us united and make us pious.

Ameen! iLahi Ameen

Maulana Zaki Baqri

Note: -Maulana Syed Zaki Baqri is an interpreter of Islam, representing the true Islam of prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.W) and the twelve Imam's (A.S) after him (S.A.W.W) and in line with the school of Wali e Faqih-A rare combination indeed these days to be found in West . He combines his thorough religious knowledge of Islam and uses it as a guide to show everyone how to lead a balanced life. His approach is very practical and realistic.

Maulana Baqri has written several books and course curriculum ranging from learning Quran to questions about pre-destiny and free will. He combines his acute sensitivity to human nature, in order to understand and explain the complexities of human experiences and explains them all in simple terms which everyone can follow.

Syed Mohammad Masoom 

Identification of the Prophesied Imam Mahdi.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad(SAW) has prophesied about several events that will occur just before the advent of the day of judgment.  Among these, Rasulullah(SAW) has foretold the advent of one of his descendants, Al Mahdi (the guided one), which will materialize when the believers are severely oppressed in every corner of the world.  He will fight the oppressors, unite the Muslims, bring peace and justice to the world, rule over the Arabs, and lead a prayer in Mekkah at which Isa(pbuh) (Jesus) will be present.
Throughtout the history of Islam, a few individuals -- driven either by the desperate state of Muslims in their community or a selfish pursuit of power and prestige -- laid claim to being Mahdi and found a following among the uninformed masses who were looking for salvation from the heavens.  For some of these individuals (like Bab of Iran or Mirza Ghulam of India) the claim to being Mahdi was just a stepping stone to the development of heretic sects which broke away from the fold of Islam.  Thus, it is at least prudent to visit the facts of this prophecy and avoid falling pray to false claimants that will appear from time to time.
As Muslims, we should remember that the prophecy about Mahdi is one that will come to pass. This prophecy, however, does not absolve the Muslim ummah from its duty to strive in the cause of Allah(SWT), oppose injustice, and seek peace and betterment of human condition.  Centuries have passes from the time of the holy Prophet(SAW) and there is a good possibility that many more will expire before the advent of Al Mahdi.  Muslims who are negligent in their duty hoping for a savior are committing a grave mistake and are not following the divine decrees ordained in Quran or taught by Rasulullah(SAW).

The following are the collection of Sahih (authentic) Hadith regarding Mahdi.
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mas'ood(RAreports from the Prophet(SAW), who said:

The world will not come to pass until a man from among my family, whose name will be my name, rules over the Arabs.
(Tirmidhi Sahih, Vol. 9, P. 74; Abu Dawud, Sahih, Vol. 5, P. 207;
also narrated by Ali b. Abi Talib, Abu Sa'id, Umm Salma, Abu Hurayra)
The Prophet(SAW) said:

Allah will bring out from concealment al-Mahdi from my family and just before the day of Judgment; even if only one day were to remain in the life of the world, and he will spread on this earth justice and equity and will eradicate tyranny and oppression.
(Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Vol. 1, P. 99)
Hadhrat Ali(RA) narrates that Rasulullah(SAW) said:

Even if only a day remains for Qiyamah to come, yet Allah will surely send a man from my family who will fill this world with such justice and fairness, just as it initially was filled with oppression.
(Abu Dawood)
Ali b. Abi Talib(RA) has related a tradition from the Prophet(SAW) who informed him:

The promised Mahdi will be among my family. God will make the provisions for his emergence within a single night.
(Ibn Majah, Sahih, Vol. 2, P. 519)
Hazrat Umme Salmah(RA), Prophet's wife, narrates that she heard the Prophet(SAW) say:

The promised Mahdi will be among my progeny, among the descendants of Fatima.
(Abu Dawud, Sahih, Vol. 2, P. 207; Ibn Majah, Sahih, Vol. 2, P. 519)
Rasulullah(SAW) announced:

The Mahdi will be of my family, of the descendants of Fatima (the Prophet's daughter). (Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 2, Tradition No. 4086)
The Prophet(SAW) taught:

Al-Mahdi is one of us, the members of the household (Ahlul-Bayt).
(Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 2, Tradition No. 4085)
Abu Sa'id al-Khudari(RA) narrated that the Prophet(SAW) said:

Our Mahdi will have a broad forehead and a pointed (prominent) nose. He will fill the earth with justice as it is filled with injustice and tyranny. He will rule for seven years.
(Abu Dawud, Sahih, Vol. 2, p. 208; Fusul al-muhimma, p. 275)
Hadhrat Abu Saeed Khudri(RA) relates that Rasulullah(SAW) said:

Al Mahdi will be from my progeny. His forehead will be broad and his nose will be high. He will fill the world with justice and fairness at a time when the world will be filled with oppression. He will rule for seven years.
Hadhrat Umme Salmah(RA) narrates that Rasulullah(SAW) said:

After the death of a Ruler there will be some dispute between the people. At that time a citizen of Madina will flee (from Madina) and go to Makkah. While in Makkah, certain people will approach him between Hajrul Aswad and Maqaame Ibraheem, and forcefully pledge their allegiance to him.
Thereafter a huge army will proceed from Syria to attack him but when they will be at Baida, which is between Makkah and Madina, they will be swallowed into the ground.
On seeing this, the Abdaals of Shaam as well as large numbers of people from Iraq will come to him and pledge their allegiance to him. Then a person from the Quraish, whose uncle will be from the Bani Kalb tribe will send an army to attack him, only to be overpowered, by the will of Allah. This (defeated) army will be that of the Bani Kalb. Unfortunate indeed is he who does not receive a share from the booty of the Kalb. This person (Imam Mahdi) will distribute the spoils of war after the battle. He will lead the people according to the Sunnat and during his reign Islam will spread throughout the world. He will remain till seven years (since his emergence). He will pass away and the Muslims will perform his Janazah salaat.(Abu Dawood)
The holy Prophet(SAW) said:

A group of my Ummah will fight for the truth until near the day of judgment when Jesus, the son of Marry, will descend, and the leader of them will ask him to lead the prayer, but Jesus declines, saying: "No, Verily, among you Allah has made leaders for others and He has bestowed his bounty upon them.(Sahih Muslim)
It is reported from Abu Hurayra(RA) that the Prophet(SAW) said:

What will be your reaction when the son of Mary (Jesus) descends and your Imam is from among yourselves?
(Sahih Muslim, bab nuzul 'isa, Vol. 2; Sahih Bukhari, kitab bad' al-khalq wa nuzul 'isa, Vol. 4)
The holy Prophet(SAW) said:

What would be your situation if the Son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends upon you and your Imam is from among you?
(Bukhari, kitabul-Anbiya, Chapter Nuzul Isa bin Maryam)
According to these reliable, authentic, and universally accepted narrations, Mahdi will:
  1. Be from among the family of Prophet(SAW), among the descendants of Fatima(RA);
  2. Have a broad forehead and pointed noise;
  3. Appear in one night;
  4. Appear just before the day of judgment;
  5. Have same name as hazrat Muhammad(SAW);
  6. Escape from Madina to Makkah where people will pledge allegiance to him;
  7. Receive pledge and help of Iraqi people;
  8. Fight in battles;
  9. Rule over the Arabs for seven years according to Sunnah;
  10. Spread justice and equity on earth;
  11. Eradicate tyranny and oppression;
  12. Lead a prayer in Mekkah which Jesus(pbuh) will follow in;
  13. NOT be the same individual as the Promised Messiah (Jesus).

The following narrations have been taken from books on which there is no consensus among Muslim scholars.  Their authenticity is in question:
The holy Prophet(SAW) said:

The world will not come to an end until a man from my family (ahl al-bayt), who will be called al-Mahdi, emerges to rule upon my community.
(Bihar al-anwar, Vol. 51, P. 75; Ithbat al-hudat, Vol. 1, P. 9)
Umme Salmah(RA), the wife of the Prophet, has related a tradition of the Prophet(SAW):

Mahdi will be among my progeny, among the children of Fatima.
(Bihar al-anwar, Vol. 51, P. 75)
Rasullullah(SAW) said:

The world will not come to an end until a man from the descendants of Hussain takes charge of the affairs of the world and fills it with justice and equity as it is filled with injustice and tyranny.
(Bihar al-anwar, Vol. 51, P. 66)
Abu Sa'id al-Khudari(RA) has related a tradition from the Prophet(SAW) who declared:

The earth will be filled with injustice and corruption. At that time, a man from among my progeny will rise and will rule for seven or nine years and will fill the earth with justice and equity.
(Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, Vol. 3, P. 27)
Abu al-Hujaf(RA) quotes the Prophet(SAW) saying three times:

Listen to the good news about the Mahdi! He will rise at the time when people will be faced with severe conflict and the earth will be hit by a violent quake. He will fill the earth with justice and equity as it is filled with injustice and tyranny. He will fill the hearts of his followers with devotion and will spread justice everywhere.
(Bihar al-anwar, Vol. 51, P. 74)
Ali b. Abi Talib(RA) said, I asked the Prophet(SAW):

"Is Mahdi going to be among our own family or from some other?" He replied: "He will be among us. God will conclude His religion through him, just as He began it with us. It will be through us that people will find refuge from sedition, just as it was through us that they were saved from polytheism. Moreover, it will be through us that God will bring their hearts together in brotherhood following the animosity sown by the sedition, just as they were brought together in brotherhood in their religion after the animosity sown by polytheism." 
(Bihar al-anwar, Vol. 51, P. 84; Ithbat al-hudat, Vol. 7, P. 191; Majma` al-zawa'id by `Ali b. Abi Bakr Haythami (Cairo edition), Vol. 7, P. 317)
I heard the Prophet(SAW) declare from the pulpit:

The Mahdi from among my descendants, from my family, will rise at the End of Time, while the heavens will pour rain and the earth will bring forth green grass for him. He will fill the earth with justice and equity as it is filled with tyranny and injustice.
(Bihar al-anwar, Vol. 51, P. 74; Ithbat al-hudat, Vol. 7, P. 9)
Abu Sa'id al-Khudari(RA) narrated that Prophet(SAW) said:

Severe calamity from the direction of their ruler will befall my people during the Last Days. It will be a calamity which, in severity, shall be unprecedented. It will be so violent that the earth with injustice and corruption will shrivel for its inhabitants. The believers will not find refuge from oppression. At that time God will send a man from my family to fill the earth with justice and equity just as it is filled with injustice and tyranny. The dwellers of the heavens and the earth will be pleased with him. The earth will bring forth all that grows for him, and the heavens will pour down rains in abundance. He will live among the people for seven or nine years. From all the good that God will bestow on the inhabitants of the earth, the dead will wish to come to life again.
(Ibn Hajar, al-Sawa'iq al-muharriqa, P. 161; Yanabi' al-mawadda, Vol. 2, P. 177)
Abu Hurayra(RA) narrated on behalf of the Prophet(SAW):

People will pay allegiance to the Mahdi between rukn and maqam (in Mekkah).
(Ibn Tawus, Kitab al-malahim wa al-fitan, P. 64.)
According to these hadith, Mahdi will:
  1. Be from the Family of Prophet(SAW) and descend from Hussain(RA), son of Fatima(RA);
  2. Appear at the end of time;
  3. Appear when earth is filled with injustice and tyranny and believers are severely oppressed;
  4. Appear when a severe earthquaker will occur and green grass will grow (presumably in Arabia);
  5. Fill the earth with justice and equity;
  6. Spread brotherhood, equity, and devotion among Muslims;
  7. Rule over Muslim community, according to Hadith, for seven or nine years;
  8. Live and act with the qualities of the holy Prophet(SAW).

The following are narrations not attribute to the Holy Prophet(SAW) and only represent second hand narrations attributed to companions of the holy Prophet(SAW). Thus, they are included only for completeness and are unreliable.
Ammar Yasir has related:

At the time when Nafs al-Zakiyya is killed a caller from the heaven will say: 'Your commander is so-and-so.' (announce Mahdi) Following it the Mahdi will emerge and fill the earth with justice and equity.
(Ibn Tawus, Kitab al-malahim wa al-fitan, P. 179)
Abd Allah b. Umar mentioned the name of Mahdi in the presence of an Arab who said: Mahdi is Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan. Abd Allah said:

It is not as you say. Mahdi is a person behind whom Jesus will offer his prayers.
(Ibn Tawus, Kitab al-malahim wa al-fitan, P. 179)
Mujahid said about Mahdi:

One of the Prophet's companions told me that the Mahdi will not appear until that time when Nafs al-Zakiyya will be killed. At that time he will take the command and will fill the earth with justice and equity.
(Ibn Tawus, Kitab al-malahim wa al-fitan, P. 171)
Nufayl's daughter Umayra narrates that she heard Hasan b. Ali's daughter saying:

This affair about which you are waiting will not occur until among you some seek to distance themselves from the others and curse each other.
(Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, Vol. 52, P. 211)
Salma b. Zafar reports that one day people were talking about the appearance of the Mahdi in the presence of Hudhayfa. Hudhayfa said:

If Mahdi has indeed appeared while you are living close to the Prophet's period and while his companions are living among you, then you are truly fortunate. However, that is not the case. Mahdi will not appear until people are devoured by oppression and tyranny and there is no one absent more beloved and more needed than him.
(Kitab al-hawi li al-fatawa, Vol. 2, P. 159)
These narrations are based on opinion of single individuals and are not reliable. However, they indicate that Mahdi might:
  1. Not appear until all Muslims are divided and curse each other (i.e. no brotherhood);
  2. Appear when tyranny and oppression rule and no Muslim is free;
  3. Be announced by a voice from heavens;
  4. Fill the earth with justice and equity;
  5. Lead the prayer which Jesus(pbuh) will follow.

The following narration has not been attributed to the Holy Prophet(SAW). It has been identified as false and has been rejected by Muslim scholars for centuries.
Amr son of Shamer quoted Jabir, who quoted Mohammed bin Ali to have said:

For our Mahdi, there are two signs. Since the birth of Universe, these events have never taken place. Those two signs are that there will be Lunar Eclipse on the first night of Ramadhan and Solar Eclipse in the middle of Ramadhan.
(Dar-e-Qatni, Vol. 1, P.188)
This narration is not attributed to holy Prophet(SAW), but attributed to Mohammed bin Ali. No other person has substantiated this statement attributed to Mohammed bin Ali.Muslim scholars have always rejected this and other narrations of Amr and Jabir, as both have been known to transmit unreliable and forged narrations.

The 15th of Shabaan is also known as Neema-e-Shabaan (middle of Shabaan) and it is also remembered as Shab-e-Barat among Muslims. It is a highly virtuous night during which our last Imam Mohammad Mehdi(a.s.) was born.

Imam Ali(a.s.) relates from the Prophet Mohammad(pbuh) that the 15th of Shabaan is a highly virtuous night and the believers should spend this night offering prayers and should observe fast on the following day. Verily during this night until dawn Allah(swt) inquires Malaik (angels) - is there anyone who repents his sins and I forgive him/her? Is there anyone who asks for increase in earnings (Rizk/Rozi) and I grant so.

Hujjat se yeh duniya qayam hai
Qayam se zamana qayam hai

Hujjat se yeh duniya qayam hai Qayam se zamana qayam haiDil hijr mein jal kar khaak hua par dil ki tamanna Qayam hai

Kis pardah nasheen ne duniya mein qud pardah uthaya hai apna
Kotaahi dast-e-showq he tak mashooq ka pardah qayam hai

Ankhon mein wahi hai dil mein wahi rastey mein wahi mehfil mein wahi
Qilwat mein wahi mehfil mein wahi phir parde ka parda qayam hai

Ghaflat se musalmano chownko kuch ghowr karo soncho samjho
Duniya se shah-e-laulaak gaye kiske liye duniya qayam hai

Quran nahi itrat se juda farmaa gaye hein Mahboob-e-Khuda
jo toote na roze mahshar tak woh dono mein rishta qayam hai

Tum pardah utha dogey jis din duniya ka bharam khul jayega
Haq yeh hai tumhaare pardeh se ek ek ka pardah qayam hai

Inkar jinhen hai ghaibat se ae Qais woh imaan kho baithe
Hum ghaib pa imaan rakhte hein imaan hamara Qayam hai
By: Qais Zangipuri