The Divine Transmitters

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When I was in Qom this winter for the BabAlRidha course, we were blessed with the chance to visit Ayatollah Tahriri. He was talking about how lucky we were to be in Qom, and I hope this reminder stays with me forever. He described how the “nest” of all of the Ahlul-Bayt (s) is rooted in Qom and how special Bibi Ma’sumah is, and he advised us, “Throw yourself into the arms of the Ahlul-Bayt (s).” I imagined myself as a young helpless child running towards the open arms of my mother and knowing, by the look of her face, that she loves me and will take care of me; the expression that implies, “I’m here, with you”. The words of Ayatollah Tahriri resonated with me heavily because they made me acknowledge how central the Ahlul-Bayt (s) are in my life; how much I turn toward them for counsel.

Allah (swt) said that He didn’t create this entire universe except in the love of the Holy Prophet (s) and his Ahlul Bayt (s). They are like the sun, and without the sun, the Earth (we) would self-destruct. One way to illustrate this is by taking into consideration the sun’s role in giving heat and light and appraising the consequences of its absence and the absence of its functions: life on this Earth would be no more. Similarly, without the Holy Prophet (s) and his Holy Progeny (s), we would be annihilated.

The Ahlul-Bayt (s) are the means by which Allah (swt) sends His Mercy onto this Earth. In Ziyarat Jamiah Kabeera we acknowledge that it is through them that Allah (swt) sends down rain on the Earth. Does this mean that Allah’s power is limited, and He cannot deliver to us the rain and blessings without their aid? Sheikh Amin Rastani explained this beautifully by saying that Allah (swt) is like a power plant, and we are small light bulbs. It doesn’t make sense to connect a light bulb to a power plant – it will explode! Similarly, we haven’t got the capacity to bear Allah’s Magnificence, s he uses the Ahlul-Bayt (s) as transmission lines that will deliver His Divine Blessings and guidance to us so that we may light up.

Allamah Tabatabai in his exegesis of Surah Baqarah Verse 124 sheds light on Imamah. Prophet Ibrahim is granted the role of Imamah AFTER he had been Allah’s apostle for many years during which he underwent several trials and tribulations that led him to achieve this designation by Allah, the Almighty. Imamah is such an exalted and sublime position that it cannot be given to anyone except to one who is extremely virtuous and has reached a very special position in the scale of ultimate perfection.  The Ahlul-Bayt (s) were granted this position because of their greatness, purity and perseverance.

Because an Ummah’s development depends on personal growth, I cannot move forward  without asking myself how much are the Ahlul-Bayt (s) involved in my life? This problem is deep-rooted, and we may seek the answers to it by contemplating on how much of Islam we truly know; how much we study the Quran and how much we adhere to it. One thing that a teacher during the course mentioned, which brought tears to our eyes, was how much we have neglected the Qur’an. He made us truly question the extent to which we have implemented the Hadith of Thaqalayn in our lives, where the Prophet (s) says, “Verily, I am leaving behind two precious things with you: the Book of God and my household, for indeed, the two will never separate until they come back to me by the Pond of al-Kawthar on the Day of Judgment.” Our teacher said that on the Day of Judgment we might be in a situation where we will be asking the Ahlul Bayt (s) to intercede on our behalf because we are their Shi’as, but they will reply that their whole lives they advocated for the Ummah to learn the book and live by it, but we didn’t even care to read it. They died saving the message of the Holy Scripture but throughout the course of my live, how much trouble have I taken to open it?

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