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61) “You will kill my body but you cannot kill my soul”

11 April 2015

 بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

وَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أَمْوَاتًا ۚ بَلْ أَحْيَاءٌ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ  * 

(Surat Aale-Imraan: 169)

Think not of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord. 

In the Rasail of Ikhwanus Safa (the Epistles of the Brethren of Purity), the 44th epistle explains the belief (aqeeda) of the Brethren. It states that our belief is that the soul (nafs) survives even after it leaves the body (jism). Therefore, the body is only a temporary vessel through which the soul can prepare and achieve salvation. This is the core of our belief system. The Rasail then present numerous examples including the example of the shuhadaa’ of Karbala who faced thirst, hunger and slaughter in the face of injustice and tyranny. The Rasa’il state that these shuhadaa’ would not have sacrificed so much had they not been certain that their souls would ascend to the highest heavens, after bearing such severe physical violence to their bodies by swords and spears. 

The 27th of Jumadal Ukhra is the Urus of Syedna Qutbuddin Shaheed RA: the Dai who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of Da’wat because it was his duty towards the Imam and mumineen.  On 21st Jumadal-Ukhra, Syedna Qutbuddin Shaheed was summoned to appear in front of Aurangzeb, the Mughal prince who was then the governor of Ahmedabad. Abdul-Qawi (known in our kitaabs as Abdul-Ghawi)—a high ranking official in the court – said to Syedna Qutbuddin, “Admit that you are Rafzi (blasphemous), repent of your past sins, and the Prince will let you go.” Syedna Qutbuddin roared like a lion and responded, “I am not a Rafzi, my forefathers were not Rafzis. We are the true Sunnis because we are the faithful followers of Rasulullah’s sunnat. I declare that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet. I read the Quran, I pray namaaz, give zakaat, fast in Ramadan, and perform hajj to the Baytullah. I am a Muslim. How is my blood legal for you to shed?!” When Abdul Ghawi heard Syedna Qutbuddin’s fiery and utterly logical response, he threatened Syedna Qutbuddin saying, “Admit you are a Rafzi, otherwise the Prince will have you executed!” Syedna Qutbuddin replied spontaneously—and only a true wali of Allah could give such a reply—he said, “If you kill me, you will kill my body. You cannot kill my soul.” Abdul Ghawi, afraid that Aurangzeb would be persuaded by Syedna Qutbuddin’s magnificent answers, hastily instructed his soldiers to return Syedna Qutbuddin to prison. 

Syedna Qutbuddin Shaheed RA is the ultimate example of the strength of belief of our Du’aat Kiraam. At the time of independence, certain fundamentalist elements threatened Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA with bloodshed if he remained in India. Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA replied that, “do not threaten us with bloodshed, our forefathers have sacrificed their lives for the sake of this Da’wat.” Some years ago, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA repeated these words. 

Today, Syedna Qutbuddin Shaheed’s namesake, the 53rd Dai Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin TUS, holds the same beliefs and is a manifestation of that same conviction. Let us mumineen be conscious of our Dai’s strength of belief in every waking moment, and let us strengthen our convictions in their remembrance, and let the enemies of Dawat beware.