Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Benefits of Brushing Teeth

The Prophet (SAWA) said in his advice to Imam Ali (AS), 'One must brush his teeth at every ablution. O Ali, one must brush his teeth as frequently as possible, for verily a single prayer that one performs after having brushed his teeth is better than forty days worth of prayers performed without doing so. 
(Bihar al-Anwar, v.76, p.137, no.48) 

He also said: "Jibra'il continuously advises me about brushing teeth, that I really thought he would lay it down as an obligation (WAJIB)." 

Imam al-Sadiq (AS) said, 'You must brush your teeth for it removes 
whisperings of the heart.
(Bihar al-Anwar, .76, p.139, no.52) 

Imam al-Sadiq (AS) said,

'There are twelve distinctive features to brushing one's teeth: it is a recommended prophetic practice, it purifies one's mouth, brightens one's eyesight, pleases the Beneficent Lord, whitens the teeth, does away with wretchedness, strengthens one's gums, whets one's appetite for food, takes away 
phlegm, improves one's memory, multiplies one's rewards for good deeds, and gives pleasure to the angels.
(al-Khisal, p.481, no.53) 

The Prophet (SAWA) said, 'Freshen your mouths by brushing, for verily they are the means to the Qur'an.
(Kanz al-Ummal, no.2753) 

Imam al-Sadiq (AS) said, 'You must brush your teeth for it removes 
whisperings of the heart.
(Bihar al-Anwar, v.76, p.139, no.52) 

Imam al-Rida (AS) said, 'Brushing one's teeth brightens the eyesight, increases hair growth, and removes the tendency for frequent weeping.
(Bihar al-Anwar, v.76, p.137, no.48) 

Imam al-Sadiq (AS) was answering someone's question about the verse of the Qur'an (25:44): "Do you suppose that most of them listen or apply reason? They are just like cattle; rather they are further astray from the way. He was asked, 'Do you consider all of these people (around us) as being real human beings [true to their nature]?' to which he replied, 'Exclude from them the one who does not brush his teeth, ... 
(Bihar al-Anwar, v.176, p.128, no.11) 

So the Imam went as far as to say that those who do not brush their teeth might as well be like cattle! 

Subhanallah! Islam gives us directions and guidance for even the most mundane, routine acts, that other 'religions' simply do not think about (let alone have answers for!) 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Imam Ja'far As-Sadiq's (a.s.) Discussion With A Physician

Once a Physician asked Imam Ja'far Sadiq (a.s.), 

“What is your opinion regarding the sneeze?” 

Imam replied, 

“Though apparently it comes out through the nose, actually it comes out from all over the body. Have you not observed that the whole body shakes during a sneeze? Remember! The person who sneezes, is assured of health for seven days.”

The Physician asked, “What do you say about rice?”

“It widens the intestines and it is beneficial in piles,” replied the Imam.

“What is your opinion about grapes and raisins?”

“They strengthen the muscles of the body, maintain the strength in the eyes, and the heart remains healthy.”

“What things are harmful to the body?”

“Firstly, dry and smelly meat, secondly, taking a bath on a full stomach. Thirdly, copulating with an aged woman. Sometimes, these even cause the death of man.”

“Please inform us about some cure.”

“Wash the hands thoroughly after eating and rub them over the eyes.”

Ref: Akhlaq e-A’imma

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ayatollah Behjat gives advice on concentration in Prayers

Here are a few thoughts from His Eminence Ayatullah Behjat (One of the great Alims and Mystics of our time) on the issue of concentration during prayers.

Sheikh Muhsin Gharavian was once granted audience in the presence of Ayatullah al-Udhma Shaikh Muhammad Taqi Behjat (may the Almighty prolong his blessed presence amongst us) and asked him: “O Scholar! Despite our advanced age we haven’t have yet experienced the pleasure of worship especially the sweetness of communication with God in salaat. According to your opinion what should we do to experience even a little pleasure of what our Infallible Imams have promised us?”

His eminence nodded his head and said: (Dear son) “Actually this is a universal problem. All of us are plagued with this ailment.”

The Sheikh was not satisfied with the answer and requested him for more
concrete advice: “Our status differs from that which you have achieved; you’ve attained the heights of spirituality while we are the beginners! what should we do?”

His Eminence said: “May be I also wish I could acquire your status!”

Not contented with the self-effacing answer, he requested for more clarification. His Eminence replied: “In order to acquire the necessary concentration in Salaah one should observe

a) certain pre-requisites before Salaah and

b) certain discipline during Salaah.

a) Before Salaah one should observe Taqwa (God consciousness) and one should abstain from all sins that lead to darkening of the God-given purity of heart. SINS POLLUTE THE PURITY OF THE HEART and therefore reduce the luminosity of the heart.

b) During Salaah one should erect a “high security wire” around one’s heart such that no unwanted trespasser (distracting devilish thoughts) is allowed inside the holy sanctuary of the heart. One’s thoughts should be intensely directed towards God and none other than Him should be allowed in. And if one’s thoughts start straying, immediately the moment one comes to know, one should guide these towards the right direction.

Once His Eminence was asked as to how to increase concentration in one’s daily prayers?

Initially His Eminence put his face down and then raised his head and responded: “The oil in the lamp seems to be low!”Meaning that the Ma’refat (awareness) of the All- Magnificent One is not enough (as to experience the sweetness of spiritual communication) and therefore needs to be enriched and one’s Imaan (faith) is weak and hence needs to be strengthened.
Ustad Khusro Shaahi quotes: “Once His Eminence was asked how can we create in ourselves concentration during prayers?”

His Eminence replied: “One of the factors which help create concentration is by excercising control over our physical senses (i.e. EYES, EARS, TONGUE etc.) throughout the day since concentration can only be created through proper preliminary requirements which include the close monitoring of the physical senses.”

On one occasion His Eminence Ayatullah al-Udhma Behjat was asked:
“What should we do in order to obtain the state of total obedience to God’s commands especially His command that states in Sura Muminoon, Verses 1-2 - “Indeed successful are the Believers, those who humble themselves in their prayers” How can a believer acquire this lofty state of humility?”

His Eminence replied: “At the beginning of prayers one should sincerely seek intercession of the Awaited Imam of the time (May the Almighty hasten his re-appearance and include us from his helpers) and perform the prayers in its required manner.”

And finally when His Eminence Ayatullah Al-Udhma Behjat was asked: “How does one achieve a presence of mind in Salaat and obtain control over one's thoughts and feelings?”
His Eminence wrote back in reply:
“In His Name, the Exalted the moment when you acquire attention (towards your Lord) do not allow it to disappear.” 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Eid-e-Zahra (s.a.)

Eid-e-Zahra is a day of celebration, a day in which even the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) rejoiced! This day holds importance due to numerous events that transpired on this day in history.

One of the events which is marked on this day is the beginning of the Imamate of our 12th Imam, al-Hujjah ibn al-Hasan (may Allah hasten his return). His father, Imam Hasan al-Askari (AS) left this world on the 8th and, immediately after, his son took over the mantle of leadership. His leadership has spanned over 1,160 years, and as he is the living and present Imam, we have the potential of being his ‘companions’ just as great personalities such as Bilal, Salman, Abu Dharr, Maitham and countless others were companions of their living Imams. However, we need to strive to emulate such individuals and work towards being our Imam’s chosen helpers and assistants.

The day also marks the first time that our 4th Imam, Imam Zainul Abedeen (a.s.) smiled and rejoiced after the tragic events of Karbala in which he saw his entire family and loyal friends murdered in cold blood by Ibne Ziyaad, Umar ibne Sa’d, Yazid ibne Mu’awiyah and the others who were responsible for the crimes.   History notes that it was on 9 Rabi’ul Awwal the year 67 A.H. when Mukhtar sent the head of Ubaydallah Ziyad to Imam Zainul Abedeen who was in Makkah at the time.

It is noted that the Prophet of Islam himself was seen smiling and ‘celebrating’ on this day while in the presence of Imams Ali, Hasan and Husain and said, “It is on this day that Allah will destroy your enemies and the enemies of your grandfather and it is on this day when Allah will accept the actions of your Shi’a and those who love you. This is the day when the words of Allah came true where He said (in the Qur‘an): ‘So those are the houses fallen down because they were unjust.’ (27:52) And this is the day when the Pharaoh (Firawn) of the time of the Ahlul Bayt was destroyed ...”

Warriors of Imam Mahdi (atfs)

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