A Mumin is like a red ruby (yaqut-e ahmar)! Only found in the treasure vaults of kings!”
We recognize ourselves as “Mumineen” (singular “Mumin”); those who have “imaan” (faith) and those who believe. Particularly, those who believe Rasulullah SA and his successors when they speak of the Hereafter, the unknown (ghayb). We believe in the Oneness of Allah Ta’ala, that Rasulullah SA is His messenger, that Amirul Mumineen Ali SA is his wasiyy. We believe that an Imam in their progeny exists in every age, and the Imam’s Dai in every age during the Imam’s seclusion. As we assert every day in the tashahhud, we believe in “Jannat, fire, death, resurrection, judgment, Siraat-e-Mustaqeem and the imminence of the Day of Judgment” (wa annal jannata haqqun wan naara haqqun wal mowta haqqun wal ba’asa haqqun wal meezaana haqqun wassiraata haqqun wa annas saa’ata aatiyatun la rayba fiha wa annallaha yaba’so man fil quboor). This is the essence of our belief. This is why each one of us is known as a “Mumin.”
But being worthy of this name entails much more. In his Risalat “Mafatih al-Yaqutat al-Hamraa’” Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA narrates a zikr in which Amirul Mumineen asked Rasulullah to describe to him the “traits of a Mumin.” Rasulullah said, “Where can one find a Mumin?! A Mumin is like a red ruby (yaqut-e ahmar)! Only found in the treasure vaults of kings!” Amirul Mumineen then lists the traits of a Mumin. As a Mumin, each of these traits is worth contemplating and reflecting on.
Amirul Mumineen begins, “A Mumin is not truly a Mumin unless he is 1) Rational in learning and 2) Wise in his speech.”
The first trait Amirul Mumineen focuses on is knowledge. Understanding. Rational learning. This forms the foundation of our belief system. The first of Syedna al-Mu’ayyad’s 800 Majalis establishes the importance of the intellect (‘aqal) in religion and in the understanding of scripture. Syedna al-Mu’ayyad declares, that our intellect is what distinguishes human beings from other animals he asserts.
The foundation of all revealed religions and their rituals is on rationality. If anyone, Syedna al-Mu’ayyad says, was told that he was acting or speaking irrationally in a personal matter, he would be very angry and disturbed. Then how can we accept that the Prophets and Messengers prescribed irrational beliefs and practices? Does the Quran not repeatedly address ‘those with intellect’ (ulil-albaab)? Syedna al-Mu’ayyad asserts that each and every ayat of the Qur’an and each and every prescription of Shari’at has a rational explanation. But in order to understand the logic, one must delve deeper than the literal into the deeper meanings. Our Awliyaa’ Kiraam are the keys to these meanings. In the 800 Majalis that follow, Syedna al-Mu’ayyad explains some of the deeper meanings that explain the rationality of statements that are seemingly irrational on the literal level.
This brings us to another point: there is no such thing as blind faith. The human intellect is our greatest asset, as Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA eloquently expressed “The intellect (aql) shines forth as a sun in the human form” (al-‘aqlu fil-insaane a’lal-jawhari * mutalil’un fi nafsihi kal-azhari).
But the intellect alone, without ‘learning’ from the right source is like an eye without light. As Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA eloquently expressed in his qasida on ‘aqal, “Just as the eye needs an outside source of light in order to perceive, the intellect needs—in this context—knowledge, in order for its rationality to function.” He adds, “With the light of the sun of revelation, o mankind, enlighten your mind.”
May Allah Ta’ala grant us tawfeeq to enlighten our minds with the light of revelation “aaqilan bil-‘ilm.” May Allah Ta’ala inspire us with that learning to be “wise in our speech.”
There are many who are rational in all aspects of their life but then switch off that faculty when it comes to religion. Especially in times of confusion and uncertainty, those who do utilize their intellect remain steadfast on the right path.
Insha’allah we will discuss the traits of a Mumin expressed by Amirul Mumineen in beautifully rhyming couplets in future Sijill articles.