Why this course?
Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) narrates from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) through his forefathers (a.s.),
“One who is distant from his Imam and is unable to reach him is more distressed than an orphan who has lost his parents. He does not know his religious obligations and is unaware of his day to day (religious) duties. Then the learned who have acquired our knowledge are the guardians of these orphans. Those who guide these orphans to the right path and teach them the Islamic laws, will be in the highest stages of paradise in the group of the Prophets (a.s.) along with us.”
(Al-Ehtejaaj by Shaikh Tabarsi, v.1, p. 16)
There are numerous traditions on the above subject which have laid immense emphasis on the fact that during the occultation of Imam-e-Zamana (a.s.), to teach the ignorant the knowledge and teachings of the Ahle Bait (a.s.), to make the people aware of their religious responsibilities, to instil religious sentiments and emotions, to dispel doubts and ambiguities from their minds, to grant mental and intellectual solidity and steadfastness in religion and beliefs, all these are those holy tasks which are greatly loved and desired by Allah, His Messenger (s.a.) and the holy Imams (a.s.). These are the reasons for good fortune both in this world as well as the hereafter.
Today’s era is the era of several modern inventions and discoveries. All these advances have thrown open new vistas and horizons. Though these advances have provided man with flashier gadgets, they have simultaneously robbed him of his peace and security.
This era has not only given us new discoveries, but a host of new problems as well. The modern man finds himself addicted to a number of vices as a result of these problems. In his quest for peace and security, he has only found more problems. Perhaps he was under the impression that by abandoning the belief of Allah and the Holy Prophet (s.a.), he would achieve deliverance. Alas! He was mistaken. Tired and disillusioned, the youth in particular, are now seeking solace in religion. Their approach is marked with enthusiasm and sincerity. What is more astonishing is the fact that it is not only the destitute and the uneducated who throng towards religion, but a considerable number comprise of the affluent and the learned. They acquire a profound understanding of religion and try to observe its tenets with sincerity. The youth especially, are willing to dedicate their invaluable time and effort in the service of religion. They have found satisfaction, not in material pleasures, but in the service of faith. It is for this reason that all the creeds of the world are very focused in training the youth.
Imam Jafar-as-Sadiq (a.s.) explains the reason for this,
“It is necessary for you to pay attention to the youth because they are faster to good deeds”.
(Behar al Anwaar, vol. 23, p. 236).
Another tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) says,
“Teaching a youth is like inscribing on a stone”.
(Ibid, vol. 1, p. 222)
Thus, the need of the hour is to enlighten the youth who are drawn towards religion, with the wealth of teachings of the purified Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). For only their teachings can rescue the society from the pitfalls and entrapments of the Satan.
The pursuit of livelihood coupled with domestic problems leaves man with little opportunity for anything else. Whatever scarce time he can muster, is unfortunately squandered in television and other distractions. In such a situation, it is hardly practical for one to undertake a detailed study of the religious books to derive knowledge and learning one’s obligations. And if one cannot do this on his own, he can hardly be expected to instruct his family members in this regard.
In view of the above scenario, it was felt imperative to impart religious knowledge to the masses in a correspondence course or distance education. ‘AL MUNTAZAR’ has been designed with this objective in mind. It has been structured to facilitate comprehension and hence lucidity in language was lent considerable significance. This course has been segregated under five sections, viz.
||The principles of Islamic doctrine shall be discussed in this section.|
||This part deals with the history of Prophets (a.s.) and Imams(a.s.).|
||Practical tenets of religion will be defined under this topic.|
||In this section we shall undertake a detailed discussion of the twelfth Imam, Hazrat Mahdi(a.t.f.s.).|
||This will include ethical and moral issues that have been emphasised by Imams (a.s.).|
Every effort shall be made to complete this series with the blessings of Allah and help from Imame Zamana (a.t.f.s.). To enable those who compete to gain a comprehensive insight about Islam and its tenets, endeavour has been made to make this course as concise as possible lest the reader loses interest and abandons the course.