Saturday, March 25, 2006

Jesus Christ The Son of Mary and His Blessed Mother (Part 1)

This article is taken from Sunni Path. When I saw this, I thought it'll be an important article to share. It might clear some misconceptions of what we truly believe of Prophet and Messenger Jesus (May Allah be pleased with Him.)

by Shaykh Al-Sayyid Al-Habib 'Ali Jafri
Translated by Shaykh Gibril F. Haddad

Upon our Prophet Muhammad and his House and upon them the blessings and peace of God

Translation of a talk given in Arabic at Dâr al-Fatwâ in Beirut , Lebanon on 10 January 2003 by the Shaykh AL-SAYYID AL-HABIB `ALI JAFRI OF YEMEN

Translated by GF Haddad - - Dhul-Qi`da 1423

Note: Dâr al-Fatwâ in Beirut is the chief Sunni body in charge of giving fatwâ in the Republic of Lebanon and comprises an Islamic University that delivers bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees in the Sharî`a.

[Subheadings and emphases added by the translator]

{Glory belongs to God Who has sent down upon His servant the Book and has not assigned unto it any crookedness} (18:1). I bear witness that there is no god but God alone, without partner, and I bear witness that our liege-lord Muhammad is His servant and Messenger. Allâh bless and greet and lavish His benediction upon him and upon his forefathers and brethren among the Prophets and Messengers - our liege-lords Abraham, Moses, Jesus and all the intervening Prophets, and upon his House and Companions and those that follow them faithfully until the Day of Judgment!


To proceed: God Most High, the Exalted, has granted us immense honor and chosen us for this magnificent Religion, the Religion of Islam which He was well-pleased to make the seal of all religions, the Religion that is right and true for all times and all places. One that belongs to such a Religion prepares himself for a most important task and tremendous mission: excellence in bringing forth to the people of the earth the manifest proofs for the discourses, the directives, and the manifold guidance of heaven.

Thus, the greatness of this Religion is that it has come to prepare its adherents and followers for an immense task, the most important task in this existence: to warn the people of the earth against the errors in which they live and which signify, in this world, great destructive strife and dissension and all sorts of diseases and problems while they signify, in the next world, great hindrance from the convoy of the blessed whom God the Most Glorious chooses for His good pleasure. This is our mission.


When the Muslim and the Believer becomes fully aware and comprehends his mission, he is then able to understand others with that comprehension of his mission. And to the extent that the Muslim and the Believer only dimly understands the greatness of the mission with which God entrusted him exclusively of others, he is hardly able to understand well and widen the scope of his relationship with creatures in all their variety.

When we say "hardly able" we do not only mean the wrong behavior that stems from inflexibility, prejudice, and extremism. We are saying that he is hardly able to understand in all the senses of being hardly able to understand, whether through inflexibility, or wronging others, or harming them without any justification, or, on the other hand, because of a debility he finds in himself which causes him to lose touch with his own mission. >From this debility follows the dissolution of his personality into his connection to his surroundings in this world. He is liquefied just like a liquid. He takes the form and color of his container and cannot have the least influence on others. Both matters are wrong.


However, when the Believer fears God and fully comprehends the gravity of his mission, he realizes that his Religion is the one vast Religion: vast - vast! - and comprehensive. If he comprehends how to inter-relate with it, he becomes vast enough for the folk of the earth and the folk of the heaven in his connection and his relationship.



Every inability that any creature on the face of the earth experiences in fully comprehending [the Religion] in the sense of understanding how to inter-relate with others around him - mostly human beings but also jinn, inanimate forms, vegetation, and animals - every such inability is caused only because such a person has contented himself with his egotism and his exclusive attachment to the demands of his ego. THE STRONGER THE EGO BECOMES IN MAKING ONE DO ITS WILL OR FULFILL ITS DEMANDS AND ITS LUSTS, THE WEAKER DOES ONE BECOME IN UNDERSTANDING HIS SURROUNDINGS WHETHER IN PERCEPTION (FAHMAN) OR ABILITY (TA'AHHULAN).

Thus, the weakening of comprehension is connected with perception; and the weakening of comprehension is connected with ability. Perception is the basis, after which it produces interaction (ta`âmul).


Also among the manifestations of the magnificence, vastness, preparedness (tahayyu'), and suitability (salâhiyya) of this Religion for action in every context of time and place: the fact that this Religion has produced excellence in all of its past ages; guided us to connect us to everything right and good in what has passed; and assigned for us in this a golden rule by which we know how to produce everything right and good in all things to come.

This is why our Religion is the only Religion that comprehends the totality of the Prophets and Messengers in belief, confirmation, loyalty, and love. You do not find any of the other religions believing in all the Prophets. You only find, here, an exception of this Prophet, there, an exception of that Prophet, and there, yet other exceptions. As for us, the Muslims, God has made it religion for us to have complete belief and faith in the message of all the Messengers and the Prophethood of all the Prophets. More than that: the belief of any given believer among us becomes invalid if he does not believe in the Prophethood of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Noah and other of the Prophets whom God Most High mentioned in His Book.

The vastness of acceptance we just mentioned makes our Religion encompassing and comprehensive (jâmi`). It is the quintessence (khulâsa) of what the Prophets have conveyed and enjoined to their respective communities. Anyone of us that reads and recites the Qur'ân with contemplation of and affect from the magnificent greatness of that Book, will find news from our liege-lord Noah; before him, our liege-lord Adam; after them, Hûd; after him, Sâlih; after him, Abraham; after him, Moses; just as the news do come regarding our liege-lord the Christ - upon our Prophet and upon him the best blessings and salutations of peace!


What is the purpose of all this in the context of our receiving our guidance from our liege-lord Muhammad, upon him blessings and peace? Would it not be enough that the news come to us [only] regarding our liege-lord Muhammad? No, because THE ORIGIN OF THE NEWS CONCERNING OUR LIEGE-LORD MUHAMMAD IS A VAST CAPACITY OR RECIPIENCY (SI`A) INTO WHICH WAS POURED THE QUINTESSENCE OF WHAT ALL THE PROPHETS BROUGHT SO THAT IT WOULD BE EMBODIED IN THE PERSON OF OUR LIEGE-LORD MUHAMMAD. The blessings of my Lord and His salutations of peace upon him and his House!

On this basis we can know the high rank of our liege-lord the Christ, upon him peace. On this basis we can know the high rank of his mother - Mary, upon her peace. Thus do we know that the two of them have received an exalted rank in the presence of God Most Glorious and Exalted. We also know that our liege-lord Jesus stands out from the rest of the Prophets, in our relationship with him, with a special characteristic.


Our relationship with the entirety of our liege-lords the Prophets consists in belief, love, faith, and the learning of lessons and wisdoms from their stories, the reports that come from them, and their lives. We may hear, for example, that the father of Prophets, our liege-lord Abraham, upon him peace, stands out in his connection to us, in a way, because Primordial Monotheism (al-hanîfiyya) is ascribed to him; also, because he is one of the forefathers of our liege-lord Muhammad - upon him blessings and peace; and because he actually supplicated for God to send Muhammad at the end of times.

Moses, upon him peace, obtained a special characteristic in his connection to us in the fact that he is the one that advised our liege-lord Muhammad - upon him blessings and peace - to ask God Most Glorious and Exalted for leniency when the prayer was made obligatory - fifty daily prayers.

However, our liege-lord the Christ, upon him peace, stands out in his connection to this Community of Islâm (Umma). Together with the lessons we take from God Most High in the Qur'ân and from the words of the Beloved in the Sunna - God bless and greet him and his House and Companions - in the reports about our liege-lord Jesus, the jihad of our liege-lord Jesus, the high character of our liege-lord Jesus, the values of our liege-lord Jesus, the immense rank of our liege-lord Jesus before his Lord, the superlative knowledge of our liege-lord Jesus which he received from his Lord, in addition, WE, THE MASSES OF THE MUSLIMS, HAVE A SPECIAL CONNECTION WITH A CERTAIN GREAT MISSION OF OUR LIEGE-LORD THE CHRIST.


This great mission is that, among the major signs of the final Hour and among the keys of the huge deliverance that will dawn upon this Community of Islâm, there will come a time on this earth when the call to the pre-morning prayer will be raised in Damascus - at the white minaret East of Damascus; the imâm will want to step forward to lead the prayer when - lo and behold! - the people will watch in astonishment while our liege-lord Jesus descends from the heaven, his two hands resting on the wings of the angels, his head seemingly dripping with water, wearing clothes which our liege-lord Muhammad - upon him blessings and peace - described in great detail. He said that the color of his clothes resembled saffron dye, as if his clothes had been dyed with saffron and wars.

Our Prophet Muhammad - upon him blessings and peace - described for us the very appearance of the clothes in which Jesus would descend! Such vestmentary description signifies nothing other than additional emphasis on reflection, perception, and discernment (dhawq) for the meaning of our connection with this great master who was thus honored by his Lord.


He will descend. When the Imâm Muhammad al-Mahdî - a scion of the Prophetic House - sees him as he was readying himself to lead the prayer, he will move back and say to our liege-lord Jesus: "Step forward, Spirit from God!"

It has been mentioned in the hadîth that the breath of our liege-lord Jesus, the day he descends, does not encounter a disbeliever whose belief is despaired of, except that disbeliever will die on the spot. This is due to the greatness of the spiritual state in which our liege-lord Jesus will descend: a heavenly state for one beloved of God among God's servants whom He caused to perdure in the nearest heaven for more than two thousand years, after which he descends to this earth. Hence, as stated in the hadîth narrated by al-Tirmidhî, he does not breathe one breath except every disbeliever this breath reaches will die on the spot, and his breath reaches the extent of his gaze. That is, when our liege-lord Jesus descends upon this earth, his breath will reach as far as his eyes can see.


When our liege-lord the Mahdî sees him he will move back and say: "Step forward, Spirit from God!" Jesus will say: "The call to prayer was raised but for you, therefore, step forward!" Then our liege-lord Jesus will pray behind our liege-lord al-Mahdî. Because of this, it was said that among the immense merits of this Community of Islâm is that a Prophet beloved of God and brought near Him - one of the Messengers of High Resolve (ulîl-`azm) - will pray behind an individual from this Community.

After the dawn prayer, our liege-lord the Mahdî will step back and hand over the leadership of the Community of Islâm to our liege-lord Jesus. When our liege-lord Jesus receives the leadership of the Community he will take up the flag and prepare the army to march to Jerusalem so as to seize it back and return it to truth and guidance and light.


In that time the Great Deceiver or Dajjâl will have appeared. All the uproar and loud cries of the voices of money and materialism in the world today, in all their manifestations, are only preliminaries for the Dajjâl. Everything that you see in this world producing weak souls and raising entire generations with the most tenuous of links to principles and values - people made into worldly automatons, worshippers of the world, their sole concern the world, their thought the world, their religion the world, their consciences the world - when the people are ripe in this sense, the Dajjâl will emerge onto this world in the form of a missionary - a reformist missionary.

He will appear among the people then he will acquire fame and more fame. Many miracles will show at his hands. He will claim Prophethood. Then he will claim Divinity - our refuge is Allâh! We might very nearly have to envisage or imagine that a Muslim can actually follow some misshapen creature walking this earth and whom he will consider his Divine Lord!

However, the Most Beloved - God bless and greet him and his Family - told us about the Dajjâl. He said he might enter an all-Muslim town and then exit it, all its population now disbelievers! God is our refuge from such a thing! Someone asked, what is the reason? It was said that the reason is that he will go to people whose hearts have grown attached to love of the world and whose entire identities have thoroughly mixed with the world and its train. For such, "whoever pays leads" (man yadfa` yutba`)!

This is what the people are being trained for today. They are being prepared for the Dajjâl and his sovereignty. They are being educated today - in their economy, their politics, their societies, their relationships, their commerce, their undertakings and derelictions - all on the debilitated foundation that is the attachment of hearts to trivial worldly interests.

Whoever pays leads. For this was it related that the Dajjâl will roam the earth. God will permit that people be tried at his hands. He will have control of their sustenance - agriculture, food, water - to the point he will say, "O heaven, rain!" and rain will pour; "O earth, sprout!" and vegetation will grow; "O plantations, bear fruit!" and fruit will ripen; "O living one, die! O dead one, rise!" and the dead will rise. God will grant him these displays and watch those whose hearts have latched upon externalities (mazâhir) be seduced while those whose hearts have latched upon the Hidden and Manifest (al-bâtin al-zâhir) remain oblivious to all but Him.

It was related that the Dajjâl will roam the entire earth. It was related from the Beloved that he said: "Let none of you ever wish to meet the Arch-Deceiver!" In addition to the extreme gravity of the warnings of the Beloved against the Dajjâl, he even said that there had never been any Prophet except he warned his people about the strife of the Dajjâl. Indeed, IN EVERY PRAYER, AFTER RECITING THE FINAL WITNESSING OF FAITH (TASHAHHUD) AND THE BENEDICTION UPON HIS PURE SELF, HE WOULD SEEK REFUGE IN HIS LORD FROM "THE TRIAL (FITNA) OF LIFE AND THE TRIAL OF DEATH AND THE TRIAL OF THE ARCH-DECEIVER MASIKH." May God save us and you from his trial!

He - upon him blessings and peace - insisted so much on the terrible gravity of the Dajjâl's strife before the Companions that some of them said, "We believed he was already among the date-trees of Madîna." They believed he had arrived and would appear any moment among the people because of the fear caused by the reports of the Prophet - upon him blessings and peace - about him.


Despite these incessant warnings and the fear caused by this forthcoming strife, the Messenger of God - upon him blessings and peace - said: "Whoever recites Sûrat al-Kahf the night before Jumu`a and its day, God will protect him from the strife of Dajjâl."

O Messenger of God! You told us of a calamity that would shake the entire earth - a man that would control the world from East to West, roaming the earth, in his hand many of the powers that cause these calamities. The people of faith will experience hunger, poverty, distress. Then you said, after warning us of this terrible disaster that would befall us - so great that the Companions themselves thought the Dajjâl had almost come out - that the remedy is to recite Sûrat al-Kahf the night before Jumu`a and its day? One Sûra of the Qur'ân containing one hundred and ten verses. Are you telling me that if I recite it, I will be safe from this huge disaster?

He says yes! So that you would understand that the greatness of this safety and salvation are linked to God Most High. WE ARE A COMMUNITY OF ISLAM WHOSE SALVATION AND SAFETY AND PRESERVATION DO NOT DEPEND ON SHORT-SIGHTED EXTERNALITIES AND POWERS NOR ON THEIR "MOVERS AND SHAKERS". We are a Community whose paths of salvation in the world and the hereafter consist in the attachment of our hearts to this most glorious Book, in the arousal of feelings in our hearts telling us of the greatness of the message that comes from God. There is no Muslim that regularly reads Sûrat al-Kahf every night before Jumu`a and every day of Jumu`a except he obtains a guarantee from the Beloved Elect - upon him blessings and peace - regarding his salvation from the trial of the Dajjâl.

It was related from both Ibn Mas`ûd and al-Hasan al-Basrî that they received the news or rather heard the rumor that the Dajjâl had come out. Al-Hasan laughed. He was asked "What makes you laugh?" He replied: "If he came out now, the boys of al-Basra would play with him the way they play with a foot ball." Why? Because in the time in which al-Hasan and Ibn Mas`ûd were told of this rumor, the people had a firm foothold in certitude in their relationship with God. The sway of the Dajjâl and his power cannot in the least affect hearts upon which the lights of certitude have dawned. THE SWAY OF THE DAJJAL HOLDS ONLY OVER HEARTS WHOSE CERTITUDE HAS WILTED AND WHOSE ATTACHMENT TO EVANESCENT MATTERS HAVE GROWN STRONG.

To be continued...

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