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We believe that a true and comprehensive understanding of Islam would not be possible without careful recognition of the Prophetic Tradition and the Prophet's Household. And Allah is the Source of Strength.

Chain of Guidance

The secrets of the universe have always been of great curiosity for man. Many Sufis and saints, peers and pseudo-walis spent their lives in order to understand the purpose of creation, reason the cause of creation.  Many philosophers from all religions and sects ventured on life long journeys in order to find Allah, the one true God and Lord of everything that is.

Even today, people strive and struggle in order to find God for only when they find him, will they understand their purpose of existence. Only if we, the Muslims, reverted back to what Muhammad Rasool Allah (SAW) gave us, the Quran, things would have been easier.

Allah does not reside in forests and deserts, he does no reside in mosques and Imambargas, he resides in the heart and mind of a true believer, who fears him, remembers him, glorifies him and worships him. God was never lost, why then does man want to find him? Allah did not create us so that we could search for him and find him.

Frankly speaking, Allah created us all, being man-specific, billions of us, different races, languages, colors, faces, finger prints; he created us, because he could.

What! do they not consider how Allah originates the creation, then reproduces it?
Surely that is easy to Allah. Say: Travel in the earth and see how He makes the first creation, then Allah creates the latter creation; surely Allah has power over all things. He punishes whom He pleases and has mercy on whom He pleases, and to Him you shall be turned back. And you shall not escape in the earth nor in the heaven, and you have neither a protector nor a helper besides Allah.
Quran [29:19-22]

In simple words, Allah created us because he can create us. However, in stricter terms, we were created for a simple purpose;

And We did not create the heaven and the earth and what is between them for sport
Quran [21:16]

And I have not created the jinn and the men except that they should serve Me.
Quran [51:56]

What intellectuals still cannot figure out or comprehend, Rasool (SAW) told us in a single Ayah 1400 years ago; we are here to Serve Allah.

Our purpose of creation and existence is to serve the Almighty. Serving Allah has its broad meaning and should not be limited to any certain act. Believing in his oneness, prophets, angels, books, imams, day of judgment, Salaat, saum, jihad, kalimah, Zakat, Khums, amr bil maruf, nahi anr munkir, the usoool e deen and froo e deen, every act of kindness and goodness done for the sake of Allah, shunning sins, bowing our free will before the will and orders of Allah are small examples of serving him who deserves it.

Was it possible for me to give a short list of ways through which we can serve Allah if it were not for the chain of Prophet hood? Allah surely destroys the disbelievers and those who transgress the limits, but before he executes his attribute of being just ----

This is because your Lord would not destroy towns unjustly while their people were negligent.
Quran [6:131]

---- He must complete his attribute of being Just.

And had We destroyed them with chastisement before this, they would certainly
have said: O our Lord! why didst Thou not send to us a messenger, for then we should have followed Thy communications before that we met disgrace and shame.

Quran [20:134]

Because man is inherently over-smart, and likes to blame everyone else except his own nafs for the evil he commits, Allah knew if he created mankind and left them alone to serve him on their own, they would be negligent and their excuse would be lack of guidance.

As a matter of fact, this chain of Guidance completes the justice or Adl of Allah. Because we are here to serve Allah, we must be guided as to how to serve Allah.

(All) people are a single nation; so Allah raised prophets as bearers of good news
and as warners, and He revealed with them the Book with truth, that it might judge between people in that in which they differed;
and none but the very people who were given it differed about it after clear arguments had come to them, revolting among themselves; so Allah has guided by His will those who believe to the truth about which they differed and Allah guides whom He pleases to the right path.
Quran [2:213]

And every nation had a messenger; so when their messenger came, the matter
was decided between them with justice and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.
Quran [10:47]

And those who disbelieve say: Why has not a sign been sent down upon him from
his Lord? You (Muhammad) are only a Warner and (there is) a guide for every people.

Quran [13:7]

Allah sent to every nation, his messenger, to deliver his message, in a language that the people understood. Our purpose of creation is to serve Allah. To serve Allah, we have to obey and follow the messengers.

However, the question remains if each messenger brought a different message? We all believe that every Rasool brought his own Shariah, but does it give an impression that the message was conflicting?

And most surely Ibrahim followed his (Nuh) way.
Quran [37:83]

Ibrahim (AS) followed the way of Nuh (AS). Every messenger, every prophet, brought the same message, invited towards the same path, Sirat al Mustaqeem. But the magnitude of the message differed with time and nations, Rasool (SAW) bringing the final and complete message.

You must realize that human intellect has matured and grown with time. What people could not comprehend 2000 years ago, can be found in a child's blackberry today. Let alone the people who lived hundreds of thousands of years ago, our parents and grand parents who lived before the advent of computers, cell phones, the internet and television, lack information and knowledge what a child today possesses.

Each messenger brought the message which was for that nation for that time. This message progressed with time. A crude example, we are taught basic arithmetic in grade 1, 1+1=2. Once we progress, in higher grades, we are taught complex algebraic and geometric functions. This does not mean that the basic principle of 1+1 has been altered. It only means that with the passage of time, as our mental growth continued, we were exposed to the true essence of mathematics. 1+1 remained true, but it was not taught in grade 6. Similarly, with the passage of time, the message of the messengers expanded, matured and finally was completed through the birth and death of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Each messenger built on one another's message, but all conveyed the same message, all were followers of one another! The way of Ibrahim (AS) was not different from the way of Nuh (AS) and the way of Muhammad (SAW) was not different from that of Ibrahim (AS).

Our purpose of existence, today, is nothing other than to follow Muhammad (SAW);

Say: If you love Allah, then follow me (Muhammad), Allah will love you and forgive you your faults, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. Say: Obey Allah and the Messenger; but if they turn back, then surely Allah does not love the unbelievers.
Quran [3:31-32]

What ever the Prophet (SAW) gives us, take it, whatever boundary he (SAW) sets, stop. Every human being, every jinn, every Sahabi of Rasool (SAW), you and me, anyone who disobeys the messenger has ruined his purpose of existence.

However, Allah also gave time and opportunity to man's mortal enemy;

O you who believe! enter into submission one and all and do not follow the footsteps of Shaitan; surely he is your open enemy
Quran [2:208]

Because we now exist, we can either enter into submission / walk on the way of the messengers, or follow the footsteps of Iblees, the cursed. This trial will eventually decide our fate;

So that He may make what the Shaitan casts a trial for those in whose hearts is disease and those whose hearts are hard; and most surely the unjust are in a great opposition,
Quran [22:53]

The trial is in many forms. The Quran lists this trial in the form of hunger, loss of property, fear of life, success, failure, material property, women and children. Good times and bad times are equally trying.

However, the most peculiar form of trial the Quran mentioned is, unique indeed.

And We have not sent before you any messengers but they most surely ate food
and went about in the markets; and We have made some of you a trial for others;
will you bear patiently? And your Lord is ever Seeing.
Quran [25:20]

Prophets try people; People try other people.

And thus do We try some of them by others so that they say: Are these they upon whom Allah has conferred benefit from among us? Does not Allah best know the grateful?
Quran [6:53]

Envy is one of the biggest trials. The trial itself proved sufficient to destroy the purpose of existence of iblees himself, who envied the creation of Adam (AS). However, there are many many iblees' in the cloak of humans.

In the morning Al-Akhnas took his stick and went to house of Abu Sufyan and asked him to tell his opinion of what he had heard from Muhammad. He replied, "By God, I heard things that I know and know what was meant by them, and I head things whose meanings I don't know nor what was intended by them." Al-Akhnas replied, "I feel precisely the same". Then he left him and went to Abu Jahl's house and asked him the same question. He answered, "What did I hear! We and Banu Abdu Munaf have been rivals in honor. They have fed the poor, and so have we; they have assumed other's burdens, and so have we; they have been generous, and so have we, until we have progressed side by side, and we were like two horses of equal speed. They said, "We have a prophet to whom revelation comes from heaven", and when shall we attain anything like that? By God, we will never believe in him and treat him as truthful."
The Life of Muhammad, by A Guillaume, A translation of Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah, page 142

Abu Jahl thought himself to be at par with prophet Muhammad (SAW) (God forbid) and his tribe because he helped the poor "just like Muhammad (SAW) did", he was generous and took other's burdens. Abu Jahl saw no reason for benefit of Allah to be conferred on Muhammad (SAW) because he himself used to do similar things. That is the reason he refused to follow Rasool (SAW) and believed he (SAW) was a liar, as long as prophet hood was not given to Abu Jahl himself.

This is the strength of Jahalat (ignorance), this is the power of trial.

Surely Allah chose Adam and Nuh and the descendants of Ibrahim and the descendants of Imran above the nations. Offspring one of the other; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.
Quran [3:33-34]

Or do they envy the people for what Allah has given them of His grace? But
indeed We have given to Ibrahim's children the Book and the wisdom, and We have
given them a grand kingdom.

Quran [4:54]

Allah had selected nations and descendants and lineages. He had bestowed favors on families. Were these favors a source of tremendous trial for alot of people?

Is it possible that the favors bestowed on the Ahlulbayt (AS) were a source of utmost trial for every one, at that time and today? I understand that the blessed Ahlulbayt (AS), Mawla Ali (AS), Janab Zahra (AS), Imam Hassan (AS) and Hussain (AS), were normal human beings, just like you and me, but some things would always confuse me and force me to think.

Come to think of it, the favors bestowed on the Ahlulbayt (AS) by Allah himself are gigantic. Maybe it is the trial, that many of us still live in denial that "are these they upon whom Allah has conferred benefit from among us", just as the Quran has prophesized?

Maybe this is the reason that these Ahlulbayt (AS) are always compared with companions, many of who used to leave Rasool (SAW) standing alone during Friday sermons, and dessert the Rasool (SAW) alone in battle fields, who used to doubt the Prophet hood of Rasool (SAW), who called him (SAW) delirious, who innovated in the way of Rasool (SAW), who drank alcohol, were adulterers and worshipped idols before accepting Islam.

Maybe this is the reason why such companions competed with the Ahlulbayt (AS) to such an extent that they faced off in battlefields within 30 years of Prophet's (SAW) demise, and within 60 years, two complete generations of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) were wiped off while the third one virtually survived, each member either poisoned, or killed by sword or injuries.

If Muhammad (SAW) indeed made Ali (AS) a Mawla over every believer, then accepting it is an act of worship. Loyalty to Rasool (SAW) and his Aal (AS) is a service to Allah himself, who has bestowed many favors on the Prophet (SAW) and his family, who has tested this family through hunger, fear of life, patience, and tested us through this family and the Prophet (SAW) himself.

I swear by the time, Most surely man is in loss, Except those who believe and do good, and enjoin on each other truth, and enjoin on each other patience.
Quran [103:1-3]

If anyone stands humiliated on the day of judgment, faces black, facing the smoke of hell, all intercessors turning away from him, the purpose of his very existence would be wasted.

Every one, every single human being is wasted, except those, who believe, believe to such an extent that when they sleep at night, their hearts are at ease because they trust Allah in every thing they do; and those who do good, to their own selves and others, helping sincerely and fearing God; and those who enjoin on each other the truth, giving the right to those who own it, who are always truthful and will perish but never adopt falsehood, nor support those who adopt falsehood; and those who are patient and enjoin patience on each other, who thank Allah in good times and glorify him, and are patient in times of trial and smile their way out.

Remember, the chain of guidance starts with our creation and ends with our trial. May Allah help us succeed our trials for the sake of Muhammad (SAW) and his blessed Ahlulbayt (AS).

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