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Majalis-ul Muayyadiya - by Al Muayyad fid-din Shirazi
Life and Lectures of Al Muayyad fid-din Shirazi
Contents Lectures 1 through 20 of the Majlis - (Lectures Coming soon!)
Lecture 5 - The Real Enjoyment in the World
O Momins, may God help you in making a profitable use of your ears and eyes. May He include in the group about whom He says, "We have selected for the selected Zikr." Bear in mind that knowledge is a powerful light. It can bring about wonderful changes in man provided he is sufficiently receptive. It is like a spark of fire, which changes the dark charcoal into glowing embers burning with brightness.
When a ‘Momin' receives this light, he shows its effect by cutting himself off from this world of vanity. God keeps him aloof from those who are mad after its wealth like hungry dogs after bones. The Prophet says, "He who loves this world loses his love for the next. If a man receives a light of knowledge and yet continues to love this world God increases His wrath on him."
You have been told that God has addressed the people in His Holy Book according their level of understanding. The Prophet did the same thing. He appointed the ‘wasi' to explain in detail what was revealed to him in a compressed form. The Prophet says, "There will come amongst you those who will take as much pain in bringing to you the ‘taweel' as I have done to bring to you the ‘tanzeel', the word of God."
If external meaning of the words of the Holy Qur'an had been sufficient for us, we would not have stood in need of further explanation by investigators of truth to whom we have been ordered by God to refer, to get our difficulties solved and to clear our doubts. The Holy Qur'an says, "If they refer to the Prophet and to the spiritual authorities who derive their authority from him, the investigators of truth from amongst them will know (the real state of affairs)."
We have learned by experience that when raindrops fall on earth, it brings out vegetables and trees bearing fruits of different varieties. Although in reality it is the water, which is responsible for the growth of the vegetables and the trees, still without coming in touch with the land, it is incapable of producing anything. The explanation by the Imams is as necessary as for the elucidation of the original ‘Wahi" as the contact of the land with the water for the growth of vegetables and the trees.
What we have said in our previous lecture and what we are going to add now is intended to refute the arguments of those who want to strike at the root of our mission by insisting on the belief that on the Day of Resurrection the souls will rise encased in their original bodies. They support in this those devils that are satisfied with the external meaning of the ‘tanzeel'. They do not accept the ‘taweel' and they try to falsify the Imams from amongst the descendents of the Prophet. They repeat what their predecessors have said from amongst the ‘Ahl-e-Jahood' and ‘Jahl' i.e. the deniers and the ignorant people who used to tell the Imams; "we see no points of superiority in you over us."
In this connection we are going now to pursue another line of argument. I feel certain that it will have a more than desired effect in the intelligentsia of this audience.
Human beings are made of things which all belong to this earth. Every one of its composite parts is perishable. As soon as the soul leaves the body, everyone of them begin to dissolve, and is reduced to dust.
In short, the body is a mixture of a few earthly things, which have a natural tendency to go down. How can such a body go up and rise to the ‘jannaty' which is in the seventh heaven? How can the body which is fed on the produce of the earth here, find food for itself in the ‘jannat'? How can an earthly go in its earthly form to the highest heaven? This is something, which conveys no sense to one who is gifted with the least intelligence.
Almost all the desires connected with the human body are defensive weapons to fight against the feelings of discomfort. For instance, thirst and hunger, which cause discomfort, are fought by the body by means of food and drink. The pleasure derived from eating and drinking is a relief from hunger and thirst. If we have to go to the ‘jannat' with these very feelings of discomfort and the defensive weapons then what is the difference between our life here and the life in ‘jannat'?
On the other hand if they maintain that our bodies will be free from these defects in the ‘jannat' then why should we be compared to lower animals indulging in eating, drinking and satisfying our sexual lust? Why should we not be compared with the angels who enjoy the proximity with God? The Holy Qur'an says. "You see the angels hovering over the ‘Arsh' and praising God." No position can be higher than that of the angels. The Holy Qur'an says, "I do not tell you that I possess the treasure of God or I know the unseen or I am an angel." Another verse says, Christ does not disdain from acknowledging himself to be the slave of God nor do the nearest angels." These verses show that the angels occupy the highest rank with God.
Had there been a special qualification in the possession of the body which has to eat and drink and clear its bowels, God should have conferred this favour on the angels who are nearer most to Him and who praise Him all the time. He would have provided them with the best of food and the best of drinks.
It is said that "God says, O son of Adam, if you follow Me I shall make you like Me. You will be perpetually alive and death will not effect you. You will be powerful and your power will never decrease. You will be wealthy and you will never become poor." Let us give a serious thought to this Hadees-e-Qudsee. Can a man be perpetually alive with the help of food and drink? Can a man retain his power forever with the help of his kith and kin? Can a man remain wealthy forever because of his possession of gold and silver? How can perishable things help man in becoming imperishable? If this is the case, how will the son of man be perpetually alive if he eats and drinks like ordinary men?
If there had been an iota of sense in the saying of those who maintain that on the Day of Resurrection we shall rise with our bodies then naturally God would have said, O son of man. I shall feed you with the food I take. I shall give you the drink that I take. I shall clothe you with dress that I put on." God is above these things and to expect these from God is nothing short of blasphemy.
The man of ‘Tahqiq', the investigators of the truth, offer for this Tradition an explanation which is entirely different from the rude and crude ways in which such traditions are handled by the ordinary theologians. The explanation is as follows. A thing is said to be similar to another thing only when there are some points of similarity between the two. There is no point of similarity between God and man. In the above Tradition devotion to God stands for devotion to the Prophet, the ‘Wasi' or the Imam and the expression ‘like me' refers to them. For, from the point of view of humanity, there is something common between the son of man and the Prophet or the ‘Wasi' or the Imam.
Let us argue the case from another angle of view. We know that the man is made of the body and the soul. His earthly body cannot rise above the surface of the earth but his soul can rise to the highest regions. We know by experience that very often man lies on earth and his soul, inspite of its being encased in the body, travels in the higher regions and experiences things without the help of the body. This is as clear as light. It is not difficult to understand. It is only those peoiple whose hearts are sealed and whose ears are muffled and whose eyes are blindfolded who will not and cannot understand.
Let us tackle the question from another point of view. In the holy Qur'an God speaks of some living men as dead and of dead people lying in the graves as living beings. This indicates that our animal life on earth devoid of spiritualism is, in reality, ‘death' and apparently physical death of those who have lived a spiritual life on earth is, in reality, ‘life'. God says, "O Momins, respond to God and the Prophet when he invites you to something which will give you life." This throws an additional light on the above verse and makes it clear to us that what is meant in these verses by life is not the physical life on earth but a new form of life. This is certainly a spiritual life and not the animal life, which depends on eating and drinking.
Let us carry the discussion a little further and let me offer you another argument which, I am sure, will not fail to produce, the desired effect even on the most muddle-headed people.
Even in the matter of eating and drinking which are the animal requirements of man, he has to depend mostly on knowledge. He must know how to cultivate the land. He must know how to grind the corn and he must know how to kneed the flour and bake the loaf before he can eat it. The better the knowledge of these things he possess. The better is the quality of the loaf. Similarly he cannot provide himself with clothes which are also more or less animal requirements unless he knows something of spinning and weaving. This kind of knowledge can easily be acquired by man from man. There is no need for inspiration.
Just as man's life on earth depends on his physical knowledge of things, in the same way his spiritual life depends on the spiritual knowledge which he can acquire from the Prophet, the ‘Wasi' and the Imams who are "Arbab-ul-wahi wa taa-ed". In a life of this kind, his body does not count. It is absolutely useless. In fact, it is a hindrance in his spiritual advancement.
I hope I have made the matter clear. I have tackled the problem from all points of view. I have argued out the case so well that there is no room for doubts left now. This is enough for this ‘Majalis'. In the next ‘Majalis' I shall begin with our usual explanation of the inner meaning of the verses where we left.
May God keep you away from the path of error. May He keep you aloof from those "who say we have heard but they do not listen. They are deaf and dumb." Thank God for the favour He has done to us by appointing for us the Imams who are source of our salvation. Happy is the man who submits his life to the Imams and secures his salvation in the akhrat, which is thousand times more important than our life on earth.
Contents Lectures 1 through 20 of the Majlis - (Lectures Coming soon!)
Another article on Al Muayyad by Mohamed Adra
Poetry by Al Muayyad
Al Muayyad's protege Nasir Khusraw
Poetry by Nasir Khusraw
History of the Imams
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