Understanding Religion Needs Sense (Sha’oor)

As Mentioned Briefly Before, The Manifesto Of Imamat And Wilayat, Compiled By An Infal- Lible, Has Been Coded For Us To Understand That The Secret, Which They Wanted Their Eligible Followers To Receive Was Preserved From Getting Destroyed By The Enemies.

In Its Outward, It Is Just A Simple Ziarat Testimonial For Recitation But Written In Coded Form. These Were Those Essential Points And Sensitive Issues Which The Infallibles Wanted To Inform Their Effective Ummah (nation) About, But Were Experiencing Difficulties In Do- Ing So. Hence The Infallibles Compiled These Points And Issues In The Form Of Encoded Zi- Arat Testimonials Thereby Preserving Them Forever. This Wise Act Proved Effective Because Distortions Had Taken Place In The Narrations Of Infallibles. People Had Carved Narrations Of Their Own And Then Associated Them To The Infallibles Presenting It To Others. Thus In Order To Understand Religion We Need Knowledge, Jurisprudence And Thinking Because Without Knowledge Man Cannot Figure Out What Religion Is Or Is Not. This Tradition Has Been Pre- Sented Several Times That Understanding Religion Is Not So Simple.

Religion Is Finer Than A Single Strand Of Hair And Sharper Than A Sword.

It Is Not Easy To Understand Something That Is So Fine And Thin; A Person Who Has A Micro- Scopic Vision Can Only Understand It. A Person Who Is Well Versed With Some Skill And Talent Does Not Imply That He Also Understands Religion. It Is Not That Every Talented Person Or An Artist Comes Out To Express Religion. A Person Has To Spend His Entire Life Understanding Religion And Those Who Have Little Weakness In Their Vision, Things Which Are Fine And Thin Get Lost From Their Sight; Instead Of Religion He Starts To Gather Something Else Considering It As Religion. There Is A Parable In Arabic Known As “Hatib-ul-Layl” (wood-fuel Collec- Tor). “Hatib” Comes From The Word “Hatab” Which Means Wood And Specifically That Wood Which Is Used As Fuel For Burning. The Holy Quran Has Also Used This Word; In Surah Lahab The Quran Addresses The Wife Of Abu Lahab As The Wife Of Wood-fuel Collector.

“Hammala” In This Verse Is The Lady Who Collects And “Hatab” Means Wood Used As Fuel. “Hatib-ul-Layl” Now Specifically Refers To One Who Goes Out At Night For Collecting Wood For Fuel. Today We Have Gas, Kerosene And Other Means Of Energy But In The Past Only Wood Was Used As The Source For Generating Energy. People Would Collect Wood And Tree Branch- Es And Burn It For Cooking. They Would Go Out At Night To Collect Wood Because It Was Comfortable At Night, Considering The Scorching Heat In The Dessert At Night. There Was One Person Who Would Go Out To Collect Fuel At Night. This Fuel Would Be Camel Dung, Left Over Pieces Of Ropes And Wood Stems From The Bedouins Caravan That Would Have Camped At Some Place. When The Bedouin Caravans Were On Their Long Journey, They Would Halt At A Place And When They Left That Place They Would Leave Behind The Rope Pieces, Mats, Palm Leaves And Wood Etc, Which Would Be Used As Fuel By These Collectors. This Person Would Go At Night To These Halting Places Of Caravans To Collect Fuel. He Would Pick Anything In The Darkness That Resembled A Rope Or A Wood Piece In His Sack And Carry It Home. A Snake Is Also Like A Rope And Specifically During Winter The Body Of The Snake Gets Cold And It Becomes Still. This Person While Collecting Fuel At Night Got His Hand On A Snake, Picked And Dropped It Inside His Sack Carrying It Home. When He Reached Home And Untied The Sack The Snake Came Out With The Other Things. Being Inside The Sack The Snake Has Warmed Up And Got Into Movement. The Moment He Got The Fuel Out Of The Sack The Moving Snake Struck Him, Biting Him To Death And Hence This Parable Is Associated With Him. “Hatib-ul- Layl” Means One Who Collects Fuel At Night. He Could Not Differentiate In The Darkness Of Night Between A Rope And A Snake. He Picked Up A Poisonous Snake With His Own Hand, Resulting With His Death.

This Parable Is Presented For Those Who Without Thinking And Pondering Accept Every- Thing. It Is Presented To Him As Religion In The Dark Nights. From This Same Religion A Poi- Sonous Thing Such As A Snake Will Come Out That Will Assassinate His World. Thus Religion Is Not As Simple, Everything Starts To Express Religion. Those Who Spent Nearly Three Decades Of Their Lives Understanding And Recognizing Religion Should Be Questioned As To Why They Spent Their Entire Life Just Understanding Religion? This Is Because It Has Been Mentioned About Religion That It Is Finer Than A Single Strand Of Hair.

It Is Very Difficult To Find A Single Strand Of Your Own Hair If Dropped On A Floor. If Someone Is Asked To Find A Single Strand Of Hair Dropped On A Carpet It Will Be Very Difficult For Him To Do So. If The Same Hair Is Dropped In A Stack Of Straw And Hay, How Much More Difficult It Will Be To Find It? When Layers Of Straw Have Come Over It, It Becomes Much More Dif- Ficult To Find It. Now You Would Be Thinking What Kind Of Straw And Hay Are These In Which Religion Has Got Lost? These Straws Are Of Culture, Local Customs, Mischief, Evil Habits, Forefather’s Religion; Self Carved Visions Of Man, Superstitions And Innovations (Biddah). When Religion Gets Lost In These Piles Of Straws Even Thirty Years Are Not Enough To Find Religion, Which Is Finer Than A Strand Of Hair, From These Piles Of Straw And Then Present It To People.

Religion Is So Fine And Thin That Understanding It Has Been Resembled With A Hair Strand; Hence What Is Required To Understand Religion Is Sense (Sha’oor). In Arabic “Sha’ar” Means Hair And From It Is Derived The Word “Sha’oor” (sense). “Sha’oor” Is Sense, Which Is A Word Used By The Quran Saying That Some People Do Not Have Sense (Sha’oor)

These People Do Not Possess Sense. What Is Meant By Sense (Sha’oor)? Sense Is That Power Of Understanding Which Can Grasp And Pick Very Fine, Thin And Complex Things. Some People Understand Big, Fat And Clearly Explicit Things But Are Not Able To Grasp Fine, Precise And Complex Things. When The Discussions Are Direct And Explicit They Understand, But When The Same Discussions Turn Into Something Fine, Precise And Complex They Start To Look At Doors And Windows, Which Means They Are Not Able To Understand What Is Being Talked About. Why Does This Happen? This Is Because They Lack “Sha’oor” (Sense). Since Hair Is “Sha’ar” And The Faculty Which Allah Has Given To Understand Things Are Finer And Thinner Than Hair, Is “Sha’oor”; One Who Lacks This Sense Cannot Understand Such Things. Thus We Can Realize That If Religion Is Finer Than Hair, It Won’t Be Understood Without Hav- Ing Sense (Sha’oor).

Why Is A Person Not Bound To Perform Religious Duties Before Puberty And Maturity? This Is Because Till This Time He Has Not Developed Sense (Sha’oor). Religion Has Not Come To Cause You Fatigue With Acts Of Worship. Religion Wants You To Wait Till The Time You Develop Sense (Sha’oor) And Then Deliver Your Rights Of Worship, Due To Allah. But If A Person On Turning Sixty Still Does Not Develop Sense And Remains Senseless, He Will Never Understand Religion. Thus Man Should Have Sense And Using This Sense He Should Find The Right Re- Ligion; And It Is Not Sufficient To Just Find Religion, He Should Then Act Upon It. When He Starts To Act Upon It, He Realizes That It Is Not So Easy To Act Upon Religion. Why? This Is Be- Cause There Are Many Other Ways Other Than Religion; There Are Many Crossroads Through Which Man Has To Travel And Religion Amongst These Roads Is The Path, Which Is Sharper Than The Edge Of A Sword. This Is The Reason Why The Hearts Of Those Who Are Aquainted With The Quran, Shiver, Their Bodies Tremble And They Faint When They Read This Verse. For Those Who Do Not Read The Quran, The Biggest Benefit For Not Reading The Quran Is That They Do Not Develop The Fear Of Allah In Their Heart. If You Want To Develop Fear Of Allah In Your Heart And You Want That Fear And Humbleness To Increase Then You Should Read The Quran. The Verse Listed Below Is Amongst Those Verses Which Develop Fear In The Heart Of Believers And Makes Them Tremble.

The Majority Of Those Who Brought Faith Are Adulterated With Polytheism.

This Implies That Most Of The People Who Brought Faith, Did Not Have Pure Faith, It Was Adul- Terated With Polytheism (Shirk). In Nahjul Balagha, Ameerul Momineen Says That Polythe- Ism Is Not Something With A Heavy Body That Can Be Easily Seen And Felt. The Resemblance Of Polytheism Is Like A Black Ant Walking On A Black Smooth Stone In A Dark Night. Now You Can Imagine; First Of All An Ant As Such Cannot Be Felt And He (a.s) Says That A Black Ant Walking On A Smooth Stone, Means No Sensation At All. So Now When This Ant Passes Over This Smooth Black Stone In The Dark Night It Does Not Leave Any Footsteps Passing Through Without Being Felt By Anyone. This Is How Polytheism Passes Through The Heart Of Man And He Does Not Even Feel, Sense Or Realizes It.

When Someone Heard This Verse He Got Disturbed And Came In The Presence Of Imam (a.s) And Questioned As To What This Verse Is Talking About? If A Majority Of People’s Faith Is Adulterated With Polytheism Then What Kind Of Polytheism (Shirk) Is This That Comes Over Faith Causing It To Be Adulterated And Impure? Imam (a.s) Replied That When People Quote, First He Or She And Then Allah; When They Hand Over Something To Someone Like Leaving Your Child In Someone Elses Custody For Taking Care, You Say, Please Take Care Of Him And Than After Allah I Trust You. Imam (a.s) Said All These Statements Depict Polytheism (Shirk) Because Allah (s) Is Not That First Who Has Someone As Second (or After Him).

He Is The First And He Is The Last, So Do Not Say That First Allah And Then You Or Someone Else. Allah Comes First As Well As Thereafter. So We Know How Difficult This Valley Of Monothe- Ism Is; It Is Sharper Than A Sword. You May Have Seen On Motorways That There Are Tracks Made For Traffic And For Driving Safety Of Yourself And Others. It Is Essential To Drive In Your Track, But The People In India And Pakistan Do Not Understand Why These Tracks Are Made; They Think That May Be The Government Had Extra Money So They Painted These Roads With These White Lines. Hence They Do Not Care About These Lanes And Just Cross Left And Right. For Them It Is Something Very Ordinary To Swirl Around Tracks. Since We Are Used To Go- Ing Left And Right Across These Traffic Lanes We Very Easily Cross The Lines Made By Allah (s) For Religion. Sometimes We Go Left, Sometimes Right And Very Easily Keep On Crossing The Lines Of Religion And This Is Polytheism (Shirk). The Infallible Imams (a.s) Have Expressed And Made Us Understand Religion; They Have Informed Us About The Preciseness Of Religion And Have Coded These Minute And Fine Lines Of Religion In An Encoded Language (of These Testimonials). They Have Established These Codes For Us And Now We Have To Unlock These Codes.

A Point Worth Quoting As An Example To This Would Be About An Egyptian Writer Who Writes In His Book That The History Of Shia Imam’s Have Lots Of Ups And Downs. Then He Talks About What He Implies By These Ups And Downs; And Says. Their First Imam Took Interest In  Politics, Second Imam Also Took Interest In Politics And Their Third Imam Also Indulged In Politics But Was Severely Crushed And Got Out Of Politics Thus Their Fourth Imam Cornered Himself From Politics Living A Solitary Life. Then Came Their Fifth Imam, Who Realized That This Life Of Solitude Is Not Good And Man Should Do Something, Since There Was No Room In Politics, He Stepped Into The Field Of Knowledge. He Made Schools, Universities And Made Students Whom He Taught Islam, Religion, Jurisprudence, History And Other Sciences. The Sixth Imam Also Continued On The Same Path And Broadened The Field Of Knowledge. But When Their Seventh Imam Came He Found Opposition In The Field Of Knowledge As Well And That Was Taken From Him. Thus If You Look At The Seventh Imam Of Shias You Will Not Find Any Political Or Intellectual Field Of Work. After Him Even Political Power Was Presented To The Eighth Imam But He Refused To Accept It. He Says That The Reason The Eightth Imam Refused, Was Because He Had The Memories Of His Forefathers That First When They Entered Politics, They Were Severely Crushed Hence The Eight Imam Also Did Not Wanted To Step Into The World Of Politics. Then After The Eight Imam We See Silence And Stillness; No Intellec- Tual Or Political Activity Is Seen. This Is The Analysis Done By An Egyptian Author Under The Light Of History.

People Think And Ask As About The History Of The Infallible Imams Because Whenever We Talk About Them We Only Talk About The Life Of One Imam; We Don’t Know What The Others Did. Hence When We Are Not Aware Of The History, Such Kinds Of Interpretations Come Out. It Is Evident When A Person Tries To Understand With A Liberal Or A Secular Mind He Cannot Understand Religion. Man Should Not Become So Liberal That He Exits Out Of Religion And Neglects The Criteria’s Of Religion. There Are Some Who Did Historical Analysis, But They Committed Severe Mistakes And Distortions In Their Analysis Which Was Accepted As Truth By Others Who Came After Them; Amongst These Historians Was Ibne Khaldoon. There Is No Doubt That Ibne Khaldoon Is A Famous Historian Who Has Brought A Revolution In History And That Too Specifically In The Philosophy Of History, But At The Same Time It Also Happens That One Who Does Big Things Also Commits Big Mistakes. He Also Committed Mistakes Which Were Accepted By Others Coming From Him As Truth. Since We Are Not Used To Reading Books, We Do Not Reckon Such Blunders Being Made By Famous Historians. We Are Used To Listening To Anything Delivered From The Pulpits And Consider These As Words Carved On Stones, Which Would Never Ever Fade.

Thus At Times, Such Historical Analyses Are Done That Create Big Difficulties In The Future. Ibne Khaldoon Did The Same Thing By His Analysis That The History Of Shia Imams Is Full Of Ups And Downs. If He Had Seriously Pondered With An Unbiased View And Not A Prejudiced Analysis, He Would Have Known How The Shiite Imams Understood Religion. They Made People Understand It, They Defended Religion And Presented It To The World So That It Could Be Transferred To Further Generations In Coded Language.

Ziarat-e-Ashura Is This Coded Manuscript And So Is Ziarat-e-Jame A Coded Testimonial, But It Is Necessary That This Code Gets Unlocked For Us. The Psalms Of Imam Sajjad (Sahifa-e- Sajjadia) Is Not A Book Of Mere Recitation Of Earning Rewards; It Is A Book Of Coded Mes- Sages. What Kind Of Psalms Are These? If These Psalms Are Recited By Man He Will Be Able To Understand The Religion Of Imam Hussain (a.s). How?

There Is A Very Close Interconnection Between These Psalms (Sahifa-e-Sajjadia) And Kar- Bala. We Have Done Very Briefly The Exegesis Of Two Verses Of This Ziarat. Though I Have Not Done Enough Justice With These Statements And Kept It Brief Only, Each And Every Sentence Of This Ziarat Carries A Deep Meaning Inside It. The Messages Embedded Inside The Verses Of This Testimonial Are Very Deep And Precise; Hence We Need To Dive Deep Inside It. It Is Common Principle That Pearls Are Found In The Sea Bed, Hence In Order To Acquire Pearls From The Sea, You Need To Dive And Therefore Just Knowing To Swim Is Not Enough. What Is There On The Surface Of The Sea, Is Only Bubbles Of Foam. These Bubbles Look Like Pearls, But When You Take It In Your Hands, There Is Nothing. So If You Remain On The Surface You Will Only Get Air Bubbles But If You Desire The Pearls, You Need To Dive Deep Down. In Order To Dive Deep You Need Strength, Courage, Perseverance And Long Breath. We Are Not Used To These Things Because We Always Look For Shortcuts. Those Who Use Short Cuts, Run Out Of Breath And Cannot Dive Deep Inside The Ocean Holding Their Breath For Long. For Diving Man Needs Time, He Needs A Strong Self So That He Can Dive In This Ocean. Ashura Is The Name Of An Ocean And We Have Not Even Reached The Shore Of This Deep Ocean.

In The Next Statement Of Ziarat-e-Ashura It Is Mentioned:

Salutations On You And Those Souls Who Sacrificed Their Lives In Your Presence! This Refers To The Companions And Supporters Of Imam Hussain (a.s). These Are Those Seventy Two Companions, But They Were More Than 72. They Were More Than 100, Around 102 Or 103 Who Left Their Homes And Came Along With The Doyen Of Martyrs. The Number Of Seventy Two Has Become Famous Some How But They Were More Than Seventy Two But In Any Case Even If You Consider Them As 72 The Point Over Here Is That They Were Not Ignored In This Testimonial. This Testimonial Sends Salutations On The Blood Of Allah (Thaarallah), Sends Salutations On The Loneliest One (Witral Mautoor) And Then Sends Salutations On

Salutations On Those Souls Who Sacrificed Themselves At Your Feet And Gave Everything They Had On The Path Of Imam Hussain (a.s). Salutations Are Sent On Them Even If They Were 72 Or 102. The Question Which Comes Up Over Here Is That In Such A Big Islamic World Which Had A City Like Medina, Where Big Personalities Were Present, A City Like Mecca Where Big Names Were Present; There Was Egypt, Khorasan And Kufa, All Of Which Were Islamic Prov- Inces; Then How Come Only These 72 Came To Karbala?

Why Did Only These Seventy Two Reach Karbala And Why Not Others? The People Of Medina Instead Of Coming Along With Imam Hussain (a.s) Stopped Him From Going And Expressed Their Sympathies Towards Him. On 8th Zilhajj When People Put On Their Ihram For Hajj, The Doyen Of Martyrs Expressed His Intention Of Going To Kufa. He Informed Them That He Was Leaving For Kufa The Next Day And Asked Them To Join Him, But Also Warned Them That Anyone Who Goes With Him Will Get Martyred. Everyone Remained Busy With Their Hajj Rituals And Did Not Join Him. The Big And Famed Personalities Did Not Join Him And Then On His Journey From Mecca, All Along He Kept Inviting People As And When He Met Them. He Sent Messengers To Some Towns With Invitations To Join Him, Certain Places He Despatched Letters And Invited All Muslims To Join In This Uprising Of Truth. These People Did Not Come With Him Except Those These Seventy Two To Whom This Testimonial Refers To As.

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