• Arbaeen Walk Photo Exhibition
  • The Third
  • Arbaeen Walk Photo Exhibition

    The Arbaeen Walk is the World's Largest Annual Peaceful Gathering held every year in the holy city of Karbala, Iraq. Millions of people take part in a commemoration of the Prophet Mohammad's grandson Hussain ibn Ali's martyrdom. Toheed Society of Montreal in cooperation with Thaqalayn Muslim Association (TMA) is going to hold a photography exhibition of the Arbaeen Walk to show how people stand for social justice, honor and peace. Our photos include various cultural backgrounds, religions, and health conditions.

     

    ✅ Come and visit our photos that you never see in media!

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  • Tanhavash Wildlife Documentary Screening

    The screening of Tanhavash wildlife documentary took place on Saturday, November 25th 2017. Montreal Toheed Society, in collaboration with WWF McGill Student Club, Sierra Club Quebec and McGill Wildlife Association (MWA), hosted the screening at Concordia University. 

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  • The Third "Street Store"

    Montreal Toheed Society is proud to hold its third Street Store initiative to offer help to the needy during the cold winter of Montreal.

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Hadith-Unwān [ʿInwān] al-Baṣrī

 

Part ONE

 

 

 

The late Ayatullah Qazi had a special instruction to help his pupils on the spiritual path overcome their evil-commanding souls (al-nafs al-ammārah), lusts, angers and carnal desires. He used to order them to make a copy of ʿUnwān [ʿInwān] al-Baṣrī’s narration for themselves and act upon it. This was one of their fundamental and key spiritual practices to follow. They had to have this narration in their pocket and review it once or twice a week.

 

This is indeed a very important and comprehensive narration. It covers a variety of aspects—such social interaction, solitude, quantity and quality of food, seeking knowledge, endurance and tolerance toward foul-mouthed individuals, servitude, submission and satisfaction—that will effectively lead one to the highest pinnacle of gnosis and tawḥīd. It is for this reason that anyone who wanted to be his disciple had to make a commitment to follow this narration.

 

 This narration is by Imām Jaʿfar Ṣādiq (peace be upon him) and Majlisī has reported it in Biḥar al-Anwār. Since it is a comprehensive manual from the Imām, we will present a fluent English translation of the full narration in a series of Toheed newsletters. This edition will present the first part of the hadith:

 

 

 

أَقُولُ: وَجَدْتُ بِخَطِّ شَيْخِنَا الْبَهَآئِيِّ قَدَّسَ اللَهُ رُوحَهُ مَا هَذَا لَفْظُهُ:

 

قَالَ الشَّيْخُ شَمْسُ الدِّينِ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مَكِّيٍّ: نَقَلْتُ مِنْ خَطِّ الشَّيْخِ أَحْمَدَ الْفَرَاهَانِيِّ رَحِمَهُ اللَهُ، عَنْ عُِنْوَانِ الْبَصْرِيِّ؛ وَ كَانَ شَيْخًا كَبِيرًا قَدْ أَتَي  عَلَيْهِ أَرْبَعٌ وَ تِسْعُونَ سَنَةً.

 

قَالَ: كُنْتُ أَخْتَلِفُ إلَي‌ مَالِكِ بْنِ أَنَسٍ سِنِينَ. فَلَمَّا قَدِمَ جَعْفَرٌ الصَّادِقُ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ الْمَدِينَةَ اخْتَلَفْتُ إلَيْهِ، وَ أَحْبَبْتُ أَنْ ءَاخُذَ عَنْهُ كَمَا أَخَذْتُ عَنْ مَالِكٍ.

 

فَقَالَ لِي‌ يَوْمًا: إنِّي‌ رَجُلٌ مَطْلُوبٌ وَ مَعَ ذَلِكَ لِي‌ أَوْرَادٌ فِي‌ كُلِّ سَاعَةٍ مِنْ ءَانَآءِ اللَيْلِ وَ النَّهَارِ، فَلاَ تَشْغَلْنِي‌ عَنْ وِرْدِي‌! وَ خُذْ عَنْ مَالِكٍ وَ اخْتَلِفْ إلَيْهِ كَمَا كُنْتَ تَخْتَلِفُ إلَيْهِ.

 

فَاغْتَمَمْتُ مِنْ ذَلِكَ، وَ خَرَجْتُ مِنْ عِنْدِهِ، وَ قُلْتُ فِي‌ نَفْسِي‌: لَوْ تَفَرَّسَ فِيَّ خَيْرًا لَمَا زَجَرَنِي‌ عَنِ الاِخْتِلاَفِ إلَيْهِ وَ الاْخْذِ عَنْهُ.

 

فَدَخَلْتُ مَسْجِدَ الرَّسُولِ صَلَّي‌ اللَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَ ءَالِهِ وَ سَلَّمْتُ عَلَيْهِ، ثُمَّ رَجَعْتُ مِنَ الْغَدِ إلَي‌ الرَّوْضَةِ وَ صَلَّيْتُ فِيهَا رَكْعَتَيْنِ وَ قُلْتُ: أَسْأَلُكَ يَا اللَهُ يَا اللَهُ! أَنْ تَعْطِفَ عَلَيَّ قَلْبَ جَعْفَرٍ، وَ تَرْزُقَنِي‌ مِنْ عِلْمِهِ مَا أَهْتَدِي‌ بِهِ إلَي‌ صِرَاطِكَ الْمُسْتَقِيمِ!

 

 

 

I [Majlisī] say: I found the following in the handwriting of our sheikh al-Bahāʾī (may God sanctify his soul):

 

Shaykh Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Makkī [al-Shahīd al-Awwal] said: I narrate the following from the handwriting of Shaykh Aḥmad al-Farāhānī (may God have mercy on him), from ʿUnwān [ʿInwān] al-Baṣrī, who was an old man of ninety-four. He said:

 

I used to frequent Mālik ibn Anas for a number of years. But when Jaʿfar ibn Muḥammad, (peace be upon him) came to Medina, I went to visit him and was eager to learn from him just as I had been learning from Mālik.

 

One day he told me, ‘I am a man who is much sought after [by the government, whose spies and inspectors are keeping me under their watch, and thus I am not free to do whatever I want]. On top of that, I have certain litanies for every hour of night and day. So do not hold me back from my litany. Seek knowledge from Mālik and frequent him as you used to do.’

 

I was grieved by that. I left his presence condemning myself, ‘Had he perceived any good in me, he would not have forbidden me from visiting him and seeking knowledge from him.’

 

I then entered the mosque of the Prophet (may peace be upon him and his family) and gave my salutations to him. The next day I went again to his rawḍah [the space between the Prophet’s house and his pulpit], performed two units of prayer and supplicated, ‘I plead with Thee, O God, O God, to incline Jaʿfar’s heart toward me, and to provide me with a share of his knowledge that will guide me to the straight path.’

 

 

 

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Part TWO

 

وَ رَجَعْتُ إلَي‌ دَارِي‌ مُغْتَمًّا وَ لَمْ أَخْتَلِفْ إلَي‌ مَالِكِ بْنِ أَنَسٍ لِمَا أُشْرِبَ قَلْبِي‌ مِنْ حُبِّ جَعْفَرٍ. فَمَا خَرَجْتُ مِنْ دَارِي‌ إلاَّ إلَي‌ الصَّلَوةِ الْمَكْتُوبَةِ، حَتَّي‌ عِيلَ صَبْرِي‌.

 

فَلَمَّا ضَاقَ صَدْرِي‌ تَنَعَّلْتُ وَتَرَدَّيْتُ وَ قَصَدْتُ جَعْفَرًا، وَ كَانَ بَعْدَ مَا صَلَّيْتُ الْعَصْرَ.فَلَمَّا حَضَرْتُ بَابَ دَارِهِ اسْتَأْذَنْتُ عَلَيْهِ، فَخَرَجَ خَادِمٌ لَهُ فَقَالَ: مَاحَاجَتُكَ؟!

 

فَقُلْتُ: السَّلاَمُ عَلَي‌ الشَّرِيفِ.

 

فَقَالَ: هُوَ قَآئِمٌ فِي‌ مُصَلاَّهُ. فَجَلَسْتُ بِحِذَآءِ بَابِهِ. فَمَا لَبِثْتُ إلاَّ يَسِيرًا إذْ خَرَجَ خَادِمٌ فَقَالَ: ادْخُلْ عَلَي‌ بَرَكَةِ اللَهِ. فَدَخَلْتُ وَ سَلَّمْتُ عَلَيْهِ. فَرَدَّ السَّلاَمَ وَ قَالَ: اجْلِسْ! غَفَرَ اللَهُ لَكَ!

 

فَجَلَسْتُ، فَأَطْرَقَ مَلِيًّا، ثُمَّ رَفَعَ رَأْسَهُ، وَ قَالَ: أَبُو مَنْ؟!

 

قُلْتُ: أَبُو عَبْدِاللَهِ!

 

قَالَ: ثَبَّتَ اللَهُ كُنْيَتَكَ وَ وَفَّقَكَ يَا أَبَا عَبْدِاللَهِ! مَا مَسْأَلَتُكَ؟!

 

فَقُلْتُ فِي‌ نَفْسِي‌: لَوْ لَمْ يَكُنْ لِي‌ مِنْ زِيَارَتِهِ وَ التَّسْلِيمِ غَيْرُ هَذَا الدُّعَآءِ لَكَانَ كَثِيرًا.

 

ثُمَّ رَفَعَ رَأْسَهُ ثُمَّ قَالَ: مَا مَسْأَلَتُكَ؟!

 

فَقُلْتُ: سَأَلْتُ اللَهَ أَنْ يَعْطِفَ قَلْبَكَ عَلَيَّ، وَ يَرْزُقَنِي‌ مِنْ عِلْمِكَ. وَ أَرْجُو أَنَّ اللَهَ تَعَالَي‌ أَجَابَنِي‌ فِي‌ الشَّرِيفِ مَا سَأَلْتُهُ.

 

فَقَالَ: يَا أَبَا عَبْدِاللَهِ! لَيْسَ الْعِلْمُ بِالتَّعَلُّمِ؛ إنَّمَا هُوَ نُورٌ يَقَعُ فِي‌ قَلْبِ مَنْ يُرِيدُ اللَهُ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالَي‌ أَنْ يَهْدِيَهُ. فَإنْ أَرَدْتَ الْعِلْمَ فَاطْلُبْ أَوَّلاً فِي‌ نَفْسِكَ حَقِيقَةَ الْعُبُودِيَّةِ، وَ اطْلُبِ الْعِلْمَ بِاسْتِعْمَالِهِ، وَ اسْتَفْهِمِ اللَهَ يُفْهِمْكَ!

 

 I went back to my home deeply grieved. I did not go to Mālik ibn Anas either, for my heart was sunk in Jaʿfar’s love. So I did not leave my house except for the obligatory prayers, until I ran out of patience. When I could not bear it any longer, I put on my shoes and my cloak and headed for Jaʿfar, while it was after the Afternoon Prayer.

 

When I reached the door of his house, I called asking for permission to enter. A servant of his came out and asked, ‘What do you want?’ I said, ‘To say salaam to the noble one.’ ‘He is praying in his praying place,’ the servant replied.

 

So I sat by the doorstep [waiting]. It was not long before a servant and said, ‘Come in by the grace of God.’ So I entered and said salaam to him. He replied my salaam and said, ‘Have a seat! May God forgive you.’

 

So I sat down. He lowered his gaze and paused for quite a while. Then he raised his head and asked for my kunyah (sobriquet), ‘You are Abū…?’ ‘Abū ʿAbd-Allāh,’ I answered.

 

He said, ‘May God establish your kunyah and give you success. O Abā ʿAbd-Allāh! What is it that you want?’

 

I thought with myself, ‘If I were to take away nothing from this visit and greeting except but this supplication, it would more than enough.’

 

He raised his head again and asked, ‘What is it that you want?’

 

I said, ‘I asked God to incline your heart toward me, and to provide me with a share of your knowledge. I hope that that the All-Mighty God has granted my request with regard to you, the noble.’

 

He said, ‘O Abā ʿAbd-Allāh!, knowledge is not a matter of education. Rather, it is a light that shines upon the heart of one whom God, Bounteous and Exalted is He, wills to guide. So if you want knowledge, you should first seek out the reality of servitude in yourself. Seek knowledge by acting upon it. Ask God for understanding, and He will grant you understanding.’

 

 

 

 

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Part THREE

قُلْتُ: يَا شَرِيفُ! فَقَالَ: قُلْ: يَا أَبَا عَبْدِاللَهِ!
قُلْتُ: يَا أَبَا عَبْدِاللَهِ! مَا حَقِيقَةُ الْعُبُودِيَّةِ؟!
قَالَ: ثَلاَثَةُ أَشْيَآءَ: أَنْ لاَ يَرَي‌ الْعَبْدُ لِنَفْسِهِ فِيمَا خَوَّلَهُ اللَهُ مِلْكًا، لاِنَّ الْعَبِيدَ لاَ يَكُونُ لَهُمْ مِلْكٌ، يَرَوْنَ الْمَالَ مَالَ اللَهِ، يَضَعُونَهُ حَيْثُ أَمَرَهُمُ اللَهُ بِهِ؛ وَ لاَ يُدَبِّرَ الْعَبْدُ لِنَفْسِهِ تَدْبِيرًا؛ وَ جُمْلَةُ اشْتِغَالِهِ فِيمَا أَمَرَهُ تَعَالَي‌ بِهِ وَ نَهَاهُ عَنْهُ.
فَإذَا لَمْ يَرَ الْعَبْدُ لِنَفْسِهِ فِيمَا خَوَّلَهُ اللَهُ تَعَالَي‌ مِلْكًا هَانَ عَلَيْهِ الاْءنْفَاقُ فِيمَا أَمَرَهُ اللَهُ تَعَالَي‌ أَنْ يُنْفِقَ فِيهِ؛ وَ إذَا فَوَّضَ الْعَبْدُ تَدْبِيرَ نَفْسِهِ عَلَي‌ مُدَبِّرِهِ هَانَ عَلَيْهِ مَصَآئِبُ الدُّنْيَا؛ وَ إذَا اشْتَغَلَ الْعَبْدُ بِمَا أَمَرَهُ اللَهُ تَعَالَي‌ وَ نَهَاهُ، لاَيَتَفَرَّغُ مِنْهُمَا إلَي‌ الْمِرَآءِ وَ الْمُبَاهَاةِ مَعَ النَّاسِ.
فَإذَا أَكْرَمَ اللَهُ الْعَبْدَ بِهَذِهِ الثَّلاَثَةِ هَانَ عَلَيْهِ الدُّنْيَا، وَ إبْلِيسُ، وَ الْخَلْقُ. وَ لاَ يَطْلُبُ الدُّنْيَا تَكَاثُرًا وَ تَفَاخُرًا، وَ لاَ يَطْلُبُ مَا عِنْدَ النَّاسِ عِزًّا وَ عُلُوًّا، وَ لاَ يَدَعُ أَيَّامَهُ بَاطِلاً.
فَهَذَا أَوَّلُ دَرَجَةِ التُّقَي‌. قَالَ اللَهُ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالَي‌:
تِلْكَ الدَّارُ ا لاْ خِرَةُ نَجْعَلُهَا لِلَّذِينَ لاَ يُرِيدُونَ عُلُوًّا فِي‌ الاْرْضِ وَ لاَ فَسَادًا وَ الْعَـاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ

I said, ‘O, noble one (sharīf)…’ He interrupted me, ‘Say: O, Abā ʿAbd-Allāh!’

I said, ‘O, Abā ʿAbd-Allāh! What is the reality of servitude (ʿubūdiyyah)?’

He replied, ‘Three things: 1. A servant should not see any ownership for himself in what God has bestowed upon him. That is because servants do not have any possessions. Instead, they see wealth as the wealth of God, and they use it as God has ordered. 2. A servant should not make any plans for himself. 3. The sole engagement of a servant should be to observe the prescription and proscription of God, Exalted He is.

Thus, when a servant does not see any ownership for himself in what God has bestowed upon him, it will become easy for him to give charity in a cause that God has ordered. When a servant entrusts the direction and planning of himself to his Director and Planner, the tribulations of this world will become easy for him. And when a servant engages himself in what God has prescribed and proscribed, he will have no time to boast or dispute with the people.

When God honours a servant with these three, this world, Satan and the people will become easy on him [i.e. he will not be troubled by these things]; he will neither seek this world to take pride in, nor [will he seek it] in worldly rivalry with others; he will not seek what the people have for the sake of ascendancy or vainglory; and he will not pass his days in vain.

That would be the first degree of self-restraint. God, Bounteous and Exalted is He, said: That Abode of the Hereafter, We assign it unto those who desire not any ascendancy in the earth, nor any corruption; and the good end is for the self-restrained (28:83).’

 

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 Part FOUR

 

 

 

قُلْتُ: يَا أَبَا عَبْدِاللَهِ! أَوْصِنِي‌! قَالَ: أُوصِيكَ بِتِسْعَةِ أَشْيَآءَ، فَإنَّهَا وَصِيَّتِي‌ لِمُرِيدِي‌ الطَّرِيقِ إلَي‌ اللَهِ تَعَالَي‌، وَ اللَهَ أَسْأَلُ أَنْ يُوَفِّقَكَ لاِسْتِعْمَالِهِ.

 

ثَلاَثَةٌ مِنْهَا فِي‌ رِيَاضَةِ النَّفْسِ، وَ ثَلاَثَةٌ مِنْهَا فِي‌ الْحِلْمِ، وَ ثَلاَثَةٌ مِنْهَا فِي‌ الْعِلْمِ. فَاحْفَظْهَا، وَ إيَّاكَ وَ التَّهَاوُنَ بِهَا!

 

 قَالَ عِنْوَانٌ: فَفَرَّغْتُ قَلْبِي‌ لَهُ.

 

 فَقَالَ: أَمَّا اللَوَاتِي‌ فِي‌ الرِّيَاضَةِ: فَإيَّاكَ أَنْ تَأْكُلَ مَا لاَ تَشْتَهِيهِ، فَإنَّهُ يُورِثُ الْحَمَاقَةَ وَ الْبَلَهَ؛ وَ لاَ تَأْكُلْ إلاَّ عِنْدَ الْجُوعِ؛ وَ إذَا أَكَلْتَ فَكُلْ حَلاَلاً وَ سَمِّ اللَهَ وَ اذْكُرْ حَدِيثَ الرَّسُولِ صَلَّي‌ اللَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَ ءَالِهِ:

 

 مَا مَلاَ ءَادَمِيٌّ وِعَآءًا شَرًّا مِنْ بَطْنِهِ؛ فَإنْ كَانَ وَ لاَبُدَّ فَثُلْثٌ لِطَعَامِهِ وَ ثُلْثٌ لِشَرَابِهِ وَ ثُلْثٌ لِنَفَسِهِ.

 

I said, ‘O Abā ʿAbd-Allāh! Give me some advice.’

 

He said, ‘I advise you to nine things that are indeed my advice to the seekers of the path toward God. I beseech God to help you implement them.  Three of them are concerning self-discipline; three of them are concerning tolerance; and three of them are concerning knowledge. So learn them and beware of taking them lightly.’

 

ʿUnwān said, ‘I cleared my heart [in preparation] for this [advice].’

 

He said, ‘As with the ones concerning self-discipline: 1. Do not eat that which you have no appetite for, because it results in foolishness and unreason. 2. Do not eat except when you are hungry. 3. When you want to eat, eat what is lawful (ḥalāl), name God, and remember the Prophet’s tradition (peace be upon him and his family): “No human being fills up a vessel worse than his stomach. But if he has to fill it anyway, let him fill one third with food, one third with drink, and leave one third for breathing.”’

 

 

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Final Part

 

 

وَ أَمَّا اللَوَاتِي‌ فِي‌ الْحِلْمِ: فَمَنْ قَالَ لَكَ: إنْ قُلْتَ وَاحِدَةً سَمِعْتَ عَشْرًا فَقُلْ: إنْ قُلْتَ عَشْرًا لَمْ تَسْمَعْ وَاحِدَةً!

وَ مَنْ شَتَمَكَ فَقُلْ لَهُ: إنْ كُنْتَ صَادِقًا فِيمَا تَقُولُ فَأَسْأَلُ اللَهَ أَنْ يَغْفِرَلِي‌؛ وَ إنْ كُنْتَ كَاذِبًا فِيمَا تَقُولُ فَاللَهَ أَسْأَلُ أَنْ يَغْفِرَ لَكَ.

وَ مَنْ وَعَدَكَ بِالْخَنَي‌ فَعِدْهُ بِالنَّصِيحَةِ وَ الرَّعَآءِ.
وَ أَمَّا اللَوَاتِي‌ فِي‌ الْعِلْمِ: فَاسْأَلِ الْعُلَمَآءَ مَا جَهِلْتَ، وَ إيَّاكَ أَنْ تَسْأَلَهُمْ تَعَنُّتًا وَ تَجْرِبَةً؛ وَ إيَّاكَ أَنْ تَعْمَلَ بِرَأْيِكَ شَيْئًا، وَ خُذْ بِالاِحْتِياطِ فِي‌ جَمِيعِ مَا تَجِدُ إلَيْهِ سَبِيلاً؛ وَ اهْرُبْ مِنَ الْفُتْيَا هَرَبَكَ مِنَ الاْسَدِ، وَ لاَ تَجْعَلْ رَقَبَتَكَ لِلنَّاسِ جِسْرًا!

قُمْ عَنِّي‌ يَا أَبَا عَبْدِاللَهِ! فَقَدْ نَصَحْتُ لَكَ؛ وَ لاَ تُفْسِدْ عَلَيَّ وِرْدِي‌؛ فَإنِّي‌ امْرُؤٌ ضَنِينٌ بِنَفْسِي‌. وَ السَّلاَمُ عَلَي‌ مَنِ اتَّبَعَ الْهُدَي‌.

 

‘As with the ones concerning tolerance: 1. If one were to tell you, “You dare say one word, and you will hear ten back,” you should tell him, “You say ten words and you will not hear back even one.” 2. If one insults you, then tell him, “If you are right in what you are saying, then I ask God to forgive me; and if what you are wrong in what you are saying, then I ask God to forgive you.” 3. If one threatens you that he will swear at you, then promise him that you will be sincere and considerate toward him. [The last part is also narrated as follows, which is probably more accurate: “If one threatens you by evil, then promise him by sincerity and supplication.”]

‘As with the ones concerning knowledge: 1. Ask the scholars what you do not know, but do not ask them captiously or testingly. 2. Do not ever act according to your own opinion. [Instead,] cling onto precaution wherever possible. 3. Run away from giving legal opinion (fatwá) as you would run away from a lion—do not make your neck a crossing bridge for people.

Now please take your leave, O Abā ʿAbd-Allāh, for truly I gave you sincere advice. Do not ruin my litanies, for indeed I am a niggardly person concerning myself [i.e. my time; every moment and breath of my life]. “Peace be upon one who followeth the guidance” [20:47].’

 

Source: Majlisī. Biḥār al-Anwār, 1:224-226.