Surat al-Tawba: 32
They want to extinguish God’s [guiding] light with their utterances: but God will not allow [this to pass], for He has willed to spread His light in all its fullness, however hateful this may be to all who deny the truth.
This article was written by Dr Shehzada Abdeali Bhaisaheb Saifuddin in 2016.
As we prepare for the onset of winter we remember the many harsh winters that Dawat has faced through its turbulent history. One such winter was the seclusion of Imam Tayyib AS early in the 12th century AD. It was the foresight and preparations of the Imams which held us in good stead for this tumultuous event. Rasulullah SA himself had sent Maulana Ali SA to Yemen to lay the foundations of Dawat there. Later the 10th Imam al-Husain al-Mastur, in preparation for the zuhur of his son Imam al-Mahdi, sent Dai Abu al-Qasim to Yemen also to establish the Dawat there.
In the 5th century Hijri/ 11th century AD Maulana Lamak b. Malik, had come to Cairo to the hazrat of the 18th Imam Mustansir to ask permission for his Dai in Yemen, Syedna Ali b. Mohammad al-Sulayhi to go for Hajj. When Lamak asked for permission to leave, the Imam only replied with these words of hikmat: “Why does Lamak ask for permission (to leave), as winter is coming.”
The Imam put him in the tutelage of Syedna al-Muayyad al-Shirazi, the Imam’s bab al-abwab (highest rank after Imam and his successor), whose knowledge was unsurpassed, and who was a pillar of ikhlas in turbulent and testing times. Syedna Lamak stayed in the tutelage of Syedna al-Muayyad for five years. Throughout the five years, whenever he would ask permission of the Imam to return to Yemen, the Imam would reiterate these same lines: “Why does Lamak ask for permission (to leave) as winter is coming.”
Our Hudaat explain that the Imam was referring to the winter of satr (the seclusion of Imam Tayyib SA), a time of great difficulty for Dawat and Mumineen. Syedna Lamak imbibed the eatest extent of knowledge of the Imams from Syedna al-Muayyad. He later returned to Yemen, taught his son, Maulana Yahya, who taught Syedna Zoeb b. Musa al-Wadii who was the first Dai al-Mutlaq. Thus the knowledge of the Imams was transferred to the Dais of our time. The foresight of the Imam and his preparation of the satr, the imminent ‘winter’ that he referred to proved providential.
It is the foresight and planning (tadbir) of our Awliya that ensures the flourishing of Dawat through the summer times of plenty and the winter times of difficulty. Rasulullah was shown everything that would happen in his Dawat till Qiyamat. The inheritors of this knowledge are the Imams, which the Dais of satr have also received. “The Dai sees with the light if God.”
Today, we are in the thick of this winter. The night of oppression is dark, and the fog of misguidance and confusion is thick, from those who have usurped control of the Dawat infrastructure. But the foresight of the Dais, Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA, and Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin RA, has proved providential. Syedna Taher Saifuddin stayed up nights preparing Syedna Qutbuddin, imparting the invaluable gems of knowledge that one Dai gives to another. He counselled him in detail to be strong and forbearing in the face of jealousy and attack. Syedna Burhanuddin appointed Syedna Qutbuddin, as Mazoon and Mansoos almost immediately after he became Dai, foreseeing the storms of discontent, and gracing him with gems of ‘ilm and secrets of the Dawat. Despite this winter, Dawat and its Mumineen flourish today.
When he became Dai after the most tragic wafaat of Syedna Burhanuddin RA, Syedna Qutbuddin RA, in spite of overwhelming odds, fought for Dawat and for Mumineen. He put everything on the line to perform what he saw as his primary duty to the Imam and to his predecessors Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA and Syedna Burhanuddin RA. A Mumin muhibb came to him in that critical moment and out of concern did araz that why did Maulana take on so much risk and so much danger upon himself. Syedna Qutbuddin replied, “it is my duty and I must do it, no sacrifice is too great, my forefathers have even given their lives for this cause, and I am prepared to do the same.”
It is with this same foresight, vision, and planning, that Syedna Qutbuddin prepared his son, Syedna Taher Fakhruddin TUS, at a time when he was beset by those envious of his decades of khidmat as Mansoos and Mazoon of Syedna Burhanuddin RA. He laid the foundations for Dawat for the next thousand years.
This foresight, planning, action, and sacrifice ensures that today even in the thick of winter Mumineen are safe in the sanctuary of Allah Ta’ala, and the sunshine and warmth of summer will be returning very soon.
When a visionary does what he does, it is only the courageous and the forbearing who will stand up with him. When Rasulullah SA first gave the call to Islam, only the few who had the courage, the conviction, and the ability to see Rasulullah’s vision, came forward, Maulatuna Khadija AS and Maulana Ali SA being the first of them. Similarly, today, after more than 1400 years, only the courageous and the discerning have been able to see the vision of Syedna Qutbuddin and stand up with him. Today, his dynamic successor is taking this vision, this battle, a test of resilience, of forbearance, of faith, forward with energy and vigour. The courageous, the strong, those who have the ability to discern the vision, stand up with him. They will endure. They will persevere. And ultimately, they will be rewarded in the hereafter. This is the Dawat of Allah Ta’ala, of which He says, “They want to extinguish God’s [guiding] light with their utterances: but God will not allow [this to pass], for He has willed to spread His light in all its fullness, however hateful this may be to all who deny the truth.” (Surat al-Tawba: 32).
May Allah Ta’ala give Afzal al-jaza to Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA, to Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin RA and to Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin RA, for ensuring the perpetuity of Dawat, and for paving the way for the prosperity and well-being of Mumineen for generations to come. And may Allah Ta’ala prolong the life of their successor Syedna Taher Fakhruddin TUS till the Day of Judgement, to carry forward this mission and fulfil that for which his predecessors persevered.
May Allah Ta’ala give Maulana Fakhruddin Nasre Aziz and Fathe Mubin very soon, and may He give us Mumineen the courage to further his vision, standing strong with him, unflinching in faith, just as the Ansaar and Muhajirin stood with Rasulullah SA, just as the Shi’a stood with Ali SA, with Hasan AS and with Sayyidush-shuhada Husain AS.