The Foundation of Monotheism
The scorching heat, the blazing mid-day sun was at its peak. It seemed as if it would burn down the earth with its intense rays. But even the earth was determined to face the blazing sun and its burning heat. Bare-foot, bare-headed, shackled in chains, avoiding royal clothes, he traveled on foot with an army to the shrine of a dervish like a pauper, from Akbarabad to Ajmer. Sometimes his path was a long clean stretch and at other times it was barren land where thorns and filth formed road blocks. But the traveler was adamant. He was perseverant, deeply attached to a desire. He kept saying, ‘today a king is going to the door of a dervish like a destitute’. Leaving royal majesty way behind, poverty-stricken, all he wants is a child. He was none other than the Emperor of India, Akbar – the Great. It was his system and administration which functioned under the ‘Akbari religion’ in every nook and corner of his vast kingdom in India. There was a distinct difference between days and nights in those days. Villages would awakenwith the four-hourly gong’s strike in the morning, people moved around in the markets, practice of sword-fighting, archery and cleavers in the military camps and frequenting of officials could be seen. On one such morning that great personality who was known as Akbar, the Great, left from his harem as a pauper and destitute to the shrine of Salim Chishti. When he reached the shrine, he stood there pleading with open arms, dust over his head, and signs of fatigue on his face, drenched in sweat. “O Khaaja! I have come all the way just for the sake of a child. Today I’m not an emperor, not a ruler but a subject, helpless, poor, destitute and needy. I have come to you that if you wish then recommend my plea to that All-Powerful, One and only God, who has power over all things, that He grant a child to this worthless slave.
Akbar, the Great, was a person whose ‘Nine Jewels’ consisted of knowledgeable personalities like Abul Fazl and Faizi. The level of their knowledge was so high that through the external affairs ministries, other countries considered India as a strong and invincible kingdom. The book ‘Insha-e-Abul Fazl’ is available even today and is a proof of his intellectual proficiency. His father was a great Shia scholar of that time.
Only if Akbar, the Great, who ruled between the 16th and 17th Century, with all his needs, carrying the lantern of intellect and wisdom in a dark night of despair, had humbly sat in front of Abul Fazl’s father. Only if he had humbly requested him, if there was any defender of Islam, if at all there was any incident in history which strengthened the foundation of monotheism on this earth, did there exist any such servant of God who ruled supreme over the people of the heavens along with the earth? Is there anyone who is aware of the destinies of his innumerable servants and also has the permission to bestow upon them? Perhaps he would have got an answer. Listen carefully, O helpless, poor, dejected and needy emperor of India. Just go 1000 years back in time and read history. It is the era of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) and Medina is the legal and divine center of the Muslims. The mosque is filled with worshippers and the beloved Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.a.) is seated in the sanctified courtyard of Masjid-e-Nabavi. His grandson Husain (a.s.) is sitting on his lap. An Arab monk entered the mosque and sat humbly in front of his noble master. He had everything but nothing. He was wealthy, had a big house with many rooms, a courtyard on the front side and a garden on the back side of his house. He had many sources of income and also had employees and slaves. But without an heir, all of this seemed nothing. There was silence in the courtyard and the rooms. Life was dull, there was neither any laughter nor was the heart aggrieved in a child’s love. Life and death seemed insignificant. He would have thought ‘of what use is this painful life?’ Gathering his hopelessness, he was presenting his needs in front of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), the one who would fulfill his desires. ‘O Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.a.), my life is as silent as a desert. Please reform my state. Although I’m a monk but I feel as if some hidden force has brought me here. I want a child. If you are Allah’s beloved and His Messenger and if you pray for me then it will surely be accepted. With a child, my house will become a cradle of happiness.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) unveiled the curtains of the unseen and glanced at his destiny. He (s.a.w.a.) replied, ‘you are not destined to have a child’. The destiny writer has not written any child for you. Husain (a.s.), who was sitting in his lap, looked at his grandfather (s.a.w.a). He (a.s.) would have thought that a needy person is returning empty handed from the one who possesses the long list of those who will be martyred in the way of Allah. I cannot bear this. He (a.s.) said, ‘My dear grandfather, I have bestowed him with a child.’ The grandfather (s.a.w.a.) replied, ‘my son, he is not destined to have a child.’ Husain (a.s.) replied, ‘My dear grandfather, I have bestowed him with two children.’ When this conversation between grandfather and grandson reached up to seven children, the person said, ‘O Husain, this is enough for me’. Time passed by and the seven children grew up.
O great king, ruling over the east and the west of India, you know only about ruling over a small portion of the earth and that too just for a short period of time. What do you know about the place you are heading to as a pauper and destitute, shackled in chains? You know with your limited intellect that the dervish is a pious man and a beloved of Allah. But you do not know that the person whom he seeks from is a human being. After being drenched in the love of that person, he arose in such a way that regal esteem and royal majesty drop their crowns and sweep the floor at his shrine. If you can’t believe then look at his shrine, the love of that person due to which he ascended from rags to riches, the couplet that he used to recite demonstratively is still engraved at his shrine. It would have been sufficient had he only said ‘Husain is religion (Islam)’. But he continues that ‘he is the protector of religion (Islam)’. O Muslims of the world listen carefully, jerk your wisdom and intellect, he didn’t stop at calling him the protector of religion. Inebriated in Husain’s (a.s.) love, aware of reality, a wanderer in heavenly colonies, traveling towards the path of Allah’s satisfaction, a teacher of the book of Husain’s (a.s.) light creation, a masterpiece of the Creator regarding divine cognition and power, when a spark saw the brightness of Wilayat-e-Takveeni (Mastership in the World of Creation) through the light of Husain’s (a.s.) creation, he said in amazement, ‘I swear by the truth that Husain (a.s.) is the foundation of Monotheism’.
It is a pity at the shrine of Salim Chishti (r.a.), groups, one after the other, traveling long distances, come to visit his grave carrying green and red blankets to be put over it. But never do they think that through whose mediation and for what efforts has this honour and position, these marvels, this miraculous power been granted to him by Allah, the Most High. Akbar, the great, the emperor of India had asked only for a child. Had he also asked the continuation of his kingdom through that child, perhaps he would have been granted that too. His wish was granted. But had he asked for the survival of his kingdom through the medium of Husain (a.s.), then the Mughal empire would not have seen a descent in the years to come. Imam Husain (a.s.) mentioned quite a few times in his sermon at Karbala, ‘had you all come to me as beggars then O enemy group, I would have opened your vision with the fragrance of the souls of my servant angels in my house.
There is a place near the grave of Imam Husain (a.s.). If someone offers two rak’at prayers at this place then the first wish that he seeks from Allah, Imam Husain (a.s.) has guaranteed the fulfillment of that wish. Such nobility, esteem, greatness, wonders, miracles, amazing privilege, heavenly connection and the power to change anything which was written on the Tablet (Lauh) and the Pen (Qalam) that Karbala enjoys is common knowledge which every lover of Imam Husain (a.s.) is aware of. It is a well-known fact, be it a king or an indigent person. The only condition being that love of Imam Husain (a.s.) should reside in his heart, a few drops of tears should find a place in the handkerchief of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) mother (s.a.). Today, millions of people are rushing towards the sanctified grave of Imam Husain (a.s.). The first prayer of every believer is answered. No one returns empty handed. It is not required that an emperor walks shackled in chains, handcuffed, bare-headed, bare-foot, wailing, dust over the head and heart-broken, not at all. This is the court of that great master where caravans just flock together.
The sounds of ‘Ya Husain, Ya Husain’ are echoing all around. O our beloved Husain (a.s.), Khaajaa has not just called you religion but also the protector of religion. What is the reason for this? Perhaps we might get a reply, ‘the small tongue of Ali Asghar moving over his dry lips, the burnt cradle which was the motive of Rabab’s life, the burnt garment of Sakina, the dismembered body of Qasim, blood gushing out from Ali Akbar’s chest, severed hands of Abbas, Husain’s (a.s.) head which was raised on spears.’ History tells us that there are sacrifices of many other slaves on the Day of Aashura – the bruised chest of Saeed, martyrdom of Zohair Ibn Qain, the bravery and valour of Habib and Shabeeb, the handkerchief of Janab Zahra (s.a.) on the injured head of Hurr, the prostration of gratitude by Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.) when he was clamped in chains, the torture which blackened the face of oppression in the courts of Kufa and Damascus and the sermons of Ummul Masaaeb, Janabe Zainab (s.a.). There is a long list of people in that army which is enough for the protector of the religion of Islam, till the dawn of Qiyamat. On top of the page of this list, the last will of Imam Husain (a.s.) which he told Janabe Zainab (s.a.) has been written in bold, “My dear sister. Never forget me in your Namaz-e-Shab”.
It is possible that some people might object to the reliability of the incident of the monk but the Leader of Martyrs, Grandson of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), the light of the eyes of Batool (s.a.) is so esteemed in front of Allah that his word cannot be rejected.