Covenant and Promise
Celebrate! For spring has dawned Change the chains of the lovers once again Be it the monsoon rains, the loneliness of the deserts or the roughness of the jungles, life constantly reminds man that there is Someone Who is controlling him. There is Someone Who is perennially changing him. The change is so subtle and slow that till date, humanity has been unable to find a scale to help man measure and observe this progress or otherwise. But can anybody refute that the newly born infant will not remain so for his entire lifetime? The force that brings in these alterations and transformations is that of Allah – the Blessed and the High. When we cannot observe the changes and modifications brought about by Him, it is certainly impossible to see His Being! A Being that is beyond all imaginations and thoughts! Therefore, He has sent Prophets (a.s.) and Messengers (a.s.) for the guidance of mankind. When the series of Prophethood came to an end, Allah the Almighty illuminated the earth by appointing an infallible Imam (a.s.) as His Caliph. He deemed this light of guidance as the protector of the lifestyle of His most beloved servant (s.a.w.a.) and His Book. He appointed him (a.s.) as the master of authority (ulul al-amr) and ordered His servants to make a covenant with him that they will never ever disobey his instructions.
When the devilish forces spread their evil dragnet throughout the world and all the factors and causes to extinguish the lamp of guidance were provided for, Allah the Self-Sufficient obliged and honored those who were willing to accept guidance by shielding this lamp with the glass of occultation. He will reappear when the tyrants and oppressors of the world will have exhausted all what they have of their tyrannies and injustices. Every morning of the faithful begins with the covenant that they have with their master and which they utter in the following words “O Allah! In this morning of my day and the days that I have lived (of my life), I renew the covenant, the promise and the allegiance for him (a.s.) in my neck; I will never remove it nor shall I ever turn away from it.”
(Dua-e-Ahd: Mafaateeh al-Jenaan)
The 15th of Shabaan is the birthday of Imam-e-Zamaana (a.t.f.s.). It is the date of evaluating the covenant and agreement that we have with him (a.t.f.s.). It is the date that has brought the tidings of joys. The morn of this day is assigned to spread the fragrance of Narjis’ flower and the Yusuf of Hazrat Zahra (s.a.). The joys of the heart know no bounds and the beauty of nature reaches the Divine Throne. The innumerable traps of the devilish forces are rendered useless. The caged birds of spirituality are set free. The desires of soaring high are fulfilled in unbridled airspace. The city of intellect and wisdom wakes up. Groups of friends march towards the gatherings of the
manifestation of nature’s beauty and splendor. These are mere words that we utter! What is the value of our words? We are not but weak and helpless creatures! Nay! It’s the Lord of the Great Light, the Lord of the Throne and the Chair, the Lord of tumultuous oceans, the Lord Who has send down the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Holy Quran, the Lord Who is All-Knowing and All-Wise, Who has declared this morn as the dawn of acceptance for all those who seek forgiveness. Today, the doors of His joy are wide open. Today, His Nobility is even more restive. Therefore, on this day, keep asking till all your wants are exhausted.
True! All that is said is true! But when we look at ourselves, we realize that it is easier said than done. It is quite effortless to make a covenant but one has to bear the burden of mountains on one’s heads in order to fulfill it. Those who dared to move forward for the love of their master went on to be in the company of Rushaid Hujari, the companions of Imam Husain (a.s.), Mufazzal- the disciple of the sixth Imam (a.s.), Hisham Ibn Hakam, Allamah Hilli, Shaikh Murtaza Ansari (mercy of Allah be on them all) and so on and so forth. True! Very true! But when the feeling of shame, humiliation and embarrassment dawned on us helpless creatures, the blessings of the Imam (a.s.) born today gave a soft but firm helping hand. A ray of hope broke through the darkness of despair. A phrase from the supplication of his honorable ancestor, Ameerul Momineen (a.s.), infused a new lease of life in us lifeless souls. “O God! How can I call You, while I am what I am (i.e. I am immersed in sins) and how can I can sever my hopes from You while You are what You are!(i.e. You are the all-Forgiving, the all-Merciful) “
Sufficient for us is the obligation that You have created us among the people who believe in Your beloved Caliph, Imam-e-Zamaana (a.t.f.s.) and have given us the opportunity to witness this morning time and again- the morn of his holy birth! O Imam-e-Zamaana (a.t.f.s.)! We love you from the depth of our hearts. When your name is taken, we stand up and place our hands on our heads. Every morning and evening, we send salutations on you. Today, we have come to seek the certificate of forgiveness and mercy from your honorable grandmother, the Queen of Paradise, Hazrat Fatema Zahra (s.a.). We don’t want anything but that you give us the opportunity to tread the path of your love and help us remain steadfast on the covenant and promise that we have made to you. Aameen!