Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Imam Sajjad (as) - Giving Thanks

His Supplication when Confessing his Shortcomings in Giving Thanks

1 O God,
no one reaches a limit in thanking Thee
without acquiring that of Thy beneficence
which enjoins upon him thanksgiving,
2 nor does anyone reach a degree in obeying Thee,
even if he strives,
without falling short of what Thou deservest
because of Thy bounty.
3 The most thankful of Thy servants
has not the capacity to thank Thee,
and the most worshipful of them
falls short of obeying Thee.
4 To none of them is due
Thy forgiveness through what he himself deserves
or Thy good pleasure for his own merit.
5 When Thou forgivest someone,
it is through Thy graciousness,
and when Thou art pleased with someone,
it is through Thy bounty.
6 Thou showest gratitude
for the paltry for which Thou showest gratitude
and Thou rewardest
the small act in which Thou art obeyed,
so that it seems as if Thy servants' thanksgiving
for which Thou hast made incumbent their reward
and made great their repayment
is an affair
from which they could have held back without Thee,
and hence Thou wilt recompense them,
and whose cause is not in Thy hand,
and hence Thou wilt repay them.
7 Nay, my God, Thou hadst power over their affair
before they had power to worship Thee,
and Thou hadst prepared their reward
before they began to obey Thee;
and that because Thy wont is bestowal of bounty,
Thy custom beneficence,
Thy way pardon.
8 So all creatures confess
that Thou wrongest not him whom Thou punishest
and bear witness
that Thou bestowest bounty upon him whom Thou pardonest.
Each admits
that he has fallen short of what Thou meritest.
9 Had Satan not misled them from Thy obedience,
no disobeyer would have disobeyed Thee,
and had he not shown falsehood to them in the likeness of truth
no strayer would have gone astray from Thy path.
10 So glory be to Thee!
How manifest is Thy generosity
in dealing with him who obeys or disobeys Thee!
Thou showest gratitude to the obedient
for that which Thou undertakest for him,
and Thou grantest a respite to the disobedient
in that within which Thou art able to hurry him.
11 Thou givest to each of them
that which is not his due,
and Thou bestowest bounty upon each
in that wherein his works fall short.
12 Wert Thou to counterbalance for the obedient servant
that which Thou Thyself hadst undertaken,
he would be on the point of losing Thy reward
and seeing the end of Thy favour,
but through Thy generosity Thou hast repaid him
for a short, perishing term
with a long, everlasting term,
and for a near, vanishing limit
with an extended, abiding limit.
13 Then Thou dost not visit him with a settling of accounts
for Thy provision
through which he gained strength to obey Thee,
nor dost Thou force him to make reckonings
for the organs he employed
to find the means to Thy forgiveness.
Wert Thou to do that to him,
it would take away
everything for which he had laboured
and all wherein he had exerted himself
as repayment for the smallest of Thy benefits
and kindnesses,
and he would remain hostage before Thee
for Thy other favours.
So how can he deserve something of Thy reward?
Indeed, how?
14 This, my God, is the state of him who obeys Thee
and the path of him who worships Thee.
But as for him who disobeys Thy command
and goes against Thy prohibition,
Thou dost not hurry him to Thy vengeance,
so that he may seek to replace
his state in disobeying Thee
with the state of turning back to obey Thee,
though he deserved from the time he set out to disobey Thee
every punishment which Thou hast prepared
for all Thy creatures.
15 Through each chastisement
which Thou hast kept back from him
and each penalty of Thy vengeance and Thy punishment
which Thou hast delayed from him,
Thou hast refrained from Thy right
and shown good pleasure
in place of what Thou hast made obligatory.
16 So who is more generous, my God, than Thou?
And who is more wretched than he who perishes
in spite of Thee?
Indeed, who?
Thou art too blessed to be described
by any but beneficence
and too generous for any but justice
to be feared from Thee!
There is no dread that Thou wilt be unjust
toward him who disobeys Thee,
nor any fear of Thy neglecting to reward
him who satisfies Thee.
So bless Muhammad and his Household,
give me my hope,
and increase me in that of Thy guidance
through which I may be successful in my works!
Surely Thou art All-kind, Generous.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

some hadith

Thus ease comes from considering this world to be insignificant, giving up one's enjoyment of it, and removing the impurity of what is forbidden or doubtful. A person closes the door of pride on himself once he recognizes this; he flees from wrong actions and opens the door of humility, regret and modesty. He strives to carry out Allah swt's commands and to avoid His prohibitions, seeking a good end and excellent proximity to Allah swt. He locks himself in the prison of fear, steadfastness, and the restraint of his appetites until he reaches the safety of Allah swt in the world to come and tastes the food of His good pleasure. If he intends that, everything else means nothing to him.
Imam Sadiq (as), Lantern of the Path

It is narrated that Imam Zainul Abideen (as) has said:

The richest of people is [one] who is satisfied with
what Allah has
chosen for him.

Tuhaf al-Uqoul
The Masterpieces of the Intellects
Page 327 Hadith Number 5
Compiled by Abu Muhammad al-Hassan bin Ali bin
al-Hussein bin Shuba
Translated by Badr Shahin
It is narrated that Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) has
narrated from Imam Ali (as)

Indeed, he who treats people fairly even though it be
to his detriment, is only increased in worth and
honor by Allah.

Combat with Self
Page 120 Hadith number 20525 
Muhammad b al_Hasan al-Hurr al-Amili
Translated by Nazmina A Virjee

It is narrated that Imam Ali (as) has said:

If a person thinks well of you, make his idea hold

A Bundle of Flowers from the garden of traditions of
the Prophet &
his Ahlul-Bayt (as)
Compiled by Ayatullah Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani
Translated by Sayyid Abbas Sadr-ameli
Page 89

I am as My servant thinks I am.
I am with him when he makes mention of Me.
If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention
of him to Myself;
and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make
mention of him in an assembly better than it.
And if he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw
near to him a fathom's length.
And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.

Hadith Qudsi

It is narrated that Imam Sadiq (as) has said:

Dua is more forceful than a sword.

(Odattol Daee)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Pikes Peak


Lt. Zebulon Montgomery Pike wasn’t sure. But as the explorer stood on a rise in the flat, dry prairie of southeastern Colorado on Nov. 15, 1806, he thought he had spotted something on the horizon with his spyglass.

“At two o’clock in the afternoon I thought I could distinguish a mountain to our right, which appeared like a small blue cloud,” he wrote in his journal.

Pike had been in Colorado four days with his group of soldiers on an expedition to explore the southern reaches of the Louisiana Purchase. He kept quiet about what he saw, talking only to another member of his party. “Yet only communicated it to doctor Robinson, who was in front with me,” he wrote.

But another half hour’s travel brought the party to a hilltop with a clearer view. The group, Pike reported, “gave three cheers to the Mexi- can mountains.”

On this date 199 years ago, Pike’s journal entry about the “small blue cloud” became the first record of the mountain that would someday be named after him.

Throughout the next year, his expedition to the mountain we know as Pikes Peak will be cause for celebration in communities throughout southeastern Colorado. Small towns like Rocky Ford and Las Animas, the cities of Colorado Springs and Pueblo, and such entities as Colorado State Parks, the Santa Fe Trail Association and the Colorado Division of Wildlife have also joined in. The Gazette is planning a year of coverage, including a collector’s edition special section.

Working from old maps and Pike’s journal, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has surveyed the area where Pike camped when he sighted the mountain and will soon set a marker of Pikes Peak granite on the spot.

By the time Pike and his men reached that stretch of land on the banks of the Arkansas River, they had already encountered vast herds of buffalo and signs of Indian war parties. It was a vast, dry prairie cut by rivers that meandered in the shade of cottonwoods.

On Monday, the area still looked like Pike described it, save for the absence of American Indians and herds of buffalo. The prairie was silent except for a constant wind that rustled the remaining leaves on the cottonwoods crowding the banks of the river. Coyote tracks were preserved in the dry clay. Tumbleweeds blew through with little to stop them, and tufts of buffalo grass waved and bent.

And to the northwest, a “small blue cloud” sat on the horizon, topped by bubbly white cumulus clouds. It shimmered, discernible only because an Army Corps of Engineers official pointed it out, changing shape with the angle of the sun or hiding tantalizingly beneath clouds that signaled an encroaching storm.

Looking at that shimmering image from this vantage point allowed a visitor to wonder at the temerity of Pike and his men. The party — 21 men and one interpreter — had set forth four months earlier, on July 15, 1806, from Belfountaine, near modern-day St. Louis.

The group’s mission was to explore the southwestern holdings of the Louisiana Purchase, acquired by the United States from France in 1803. The more famous expedition of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark took a more northerly route across the continent.

In Colorado, Pike and his men followed rivers and creeks, charting their course and noting other geographic features along the way. He followed groups of Spanish cavalry, who may well have seen Pikes Peak, and encountered Indians, who of course already had their own name for it — Taba. But Pike was the first to record an observation of the mountain he first spotted as a blue cloud and later called Grand Peak.

In the week following his sighting, he moved closer to the mountain, and on Nov. 23, 1806, he wrote, “As the river appeared to be dividing itself into many small branches and of course must be near its extreme source, I concluded to put the party in a defensible situation; ascend the north fork, to the high point of the blue mountain.”

Pike misjudged his proximity to the source of the Arkansas, which was still more than 100 miles away. He also misjudged the climb he faced. He thought it would take one day’s march, but after a day he was nowhere near the summit, and by the 27th he realized he had underestimated the climb. He looked at the mountain again.

The first recorded ascent was by the botanist Edwin James in 1820. Nevertheless, the mountain was called “Pike’s Peak” until 1891, when the U.S. Board on Geographic Names took out the apostrophe.