(Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin RA)
Why do you hold back your words?
Compose. Even in the face of blameful criticism
This article was written by Shehzada Dr Aziz bhaisaheb Qutbuddin in 2016.
Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin’s RA stature amongst the Du’aat is that of a shining sun – shamsud-du’aatil-mutlaqeen. In the introduction of his Master’s thesis on Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin’s diwan, Shz Dr. Abdeali Bhaisaheb Saifuddin writes:
“…When Syedna died in 1232/1817 at the age of forty-three, he had been Dai for nineteen years, and during that time had trained hundreds of students now well versed in the tradition of learning and literature of the Fatimid-Ismailis. He had reorganized with great vision, strength, precision and care, the running of the Da‘wat community, and had established, reinforced and revitalized the tradition of learning in the Fatimid-Ismaili community (Click here to read Sijill Article 30 “The Legacy of Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin – Knowledge, Nurture and Structure”)... However, Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin was faced with huge challenges during his time as Dai. A few years into his appointment, his beloved wife died. Shortly after that, his brother, close counsel and trusted friend Syedi Abdulqadir Hakimuddin, whom he had appointed as successor to himself, died, leaving him alone, faced with the challenge of finding a successor. All this time Syedna continued composing…”
After recovering from a long drawn illness, Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin composed a qasida in which he wrote, “My living is the living of truth and piety / My recovery is the recovery of law and jurisprudence.”Someone maliciously remarked that Syedna only spoke of himself in these verses of his composition. It is unthinkable that someone made such an accusation towards Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin, but yet it actually happened. After the spiteful allegation, Syedna stopped composing qasidas for some time.
After this break from composition, Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin began another qasida with this verse: “Why do you hold back your words? Compose. Even in the face of blameful criticism.” In this qasida he explains that his purpose for composing the qasidas is for the guidance (hidaayat) and benefit of Mumineen. Syedna continued to compose, despite the lack of appreciation. It is worth noting that Rasulullah SA said, “I am chief of the sons of Adam, and I say this without boasting.” Rasullulah did not state this description of himself out of pride, but to show us his high position. Our Ai’immat and Du’aat through their bayaans and compositions have done the same. Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin’s qasidas and compositions continue to benefit Mumineen today.
Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin faced immense challenges during his reign and yet remained steadfast in his path and in his faith in Allah Ta’ala’s and His Imam’s ta’yeed. Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin said, “we [Du’at Mutlaqeen] are in the company of the martyrs of Karbala, Uhud and Badar.” The martyrs of Karbala, Uhud and Badar were ready to sacrifice everything and forsake life itself for the sake of Dawat. Each Dai is prepared to do the same. The Dai in every age perseveres in his mission despite blame and rebuke. He is prepared to sacrifice everything for the sake of Dawat.
Syedna Taher Fakhurddin TUS is the successor of Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin and Syedna Qutbuddin. May Allah Ta’ala grant us the tawfiq to recognize his elevated position and maqam. May we live our lives in constant shukur of his innumerable ihasaan. May Allah Ta’ala give Syedna Taher Fakhruddin a long life in his khdimat of Imamuz Zaman and Dawat.