Salaam dear young friends and hopefully you are well by the Grace of God Almighty.
Today is a sad day for us. Yes, you have guessed it correctly. It is the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Ali an-Naqi al-Hadi (AS), the 10th Infallible Heir of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA).
The Imam was born in Medina in 212 AH and was a boy of 8 years when entrusted with the Divine mission on the martyrdom of his father, Imam Mohammad at-Taqi al-Jawad (AS) – in the manner of John the Baptist and Prophet Jesus, regarding whom God says in the holy Qur’an that they were mere boys when granted Prophethood.
His mother was Samana, a very virtuous lady whose nobility of character was beyond an iota of doubt.
Despite his role in guiding humanity towards truth, the 34-year mission of the 10th Imam was cut short on the 3rd of Rajab in 254 AH (868 AD) through a fatal dose of poison given by the tyrant Abbasid caliph, Mo’taz.
Imam Hadi (AS) was only 42 years old when martyred, and was succeeded his son Imam Hasan al-Askari (AS).
Well friends, Monday as you all know was first day of the blessed month of Rajab, the first of the four sacred months. The first day happens to be a very blessed occasion. It is the birthday of the Splitter and Spreader of Sciences, or to be more precise, Imam Muhammad al-Baqer al-Uloum (AS), the 5th Infallible Heir of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA).
A famous statement of the Prophet reads: “Rajab is the great month of Allah. No other month equals it in sanctity and merit. During this month fighting against the infidels is prohibited. Indeed, Rajab is the month of Allah, Sha’ban is my month, and Ramadhan is the month of my ummah. Surely, whoever fasts a day of Rajab secures Allah’s greatest pleasure, distances himself from the wrath of Allah, and one of the gates of hell is shut closed for him.”
As our dear youngsters know, Rajab is the month of spiritual exercise. It is a month in which the mercy and blessings of God rains on His servants. No matter how much is said about the importance of this month, it will not pay due to its true worth. The coming of this month is a blessing of which we must seek to benefit optimally from–not allowing our days and nights to be cloaked by the garb of negligence.
Rajab is a golden opportunity for believers to avail of the special bounties that the All-Merciful has reserved for those who strive to achieve them. Tomorrow, Thursday, is one such occasion that should inspire you youngsters. So don’t miss it. For your information it is the “Laylat ar-Ragha’eb” which occurs on the first Friday Eve of Rajab.
It could be translated into English as the “Night of Desirability”. The word “Desirability” here means the display of the innate desires of dedicated and pious Muslims for attaining the proximity of the Lord Most High. And this is possible only through acts of virtue.
For this auspicious night, a special observance has been narrated from Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), and among the virtues of this observance is expiation of many sins. It is mentioned that when someone who has offered this prayer dies, on the first night of his burial, God Almighty sends the reward for it in the most beautiful of forms, with a bright and gracious face, to greet him.
Please remember us in your prayers. Good-bye and see you all next week.