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Reflections of Sermon 109
It is duly appropriate to learn some lessons from Imam Ali (as) when aiming to become a better person. This sermon will allow us to expand our knowledge where it shapes our future in an attempt to make a victory of something we know nothing about.
In the 109th Sermon of the sermons given by the First Imam, he gives us several pieces of advice that we should consider and ponder over during any point in our lives and consider making them a permanent part of our life. Some of these pieces of advice, and their practical application to our daily life, are listed below for all of us, to ponder over.1
In the sermon the Imam lists a number of things that are the best way in which the beggar, ourselves, can beg with to Allah (swt), and he starts with faith in Allah (swt) and his Prophet (s), and his Purified Household and the struggle in His way as it is the climax of Islam. He also mentions prayers, zakat, and fasts and the pilgrimage, each having a function to the worshipper which is concisely mentioned. This is a reminder that we should renew our pledge to do the following:
Prayers – Make the pledge to pray on time from here on end.
Zakat – Ensure every debt that you owe Allah (swt) is paid.
Fasts – Ensure no debts for our fasts are outstanding, and continue to fast throughout the year. The recommended fasts of the first and last Thursday of each lunar month and the first Wednesday after the 10th of the lunar month are so highly recommended, you should make them up if you could not fast them and if one cannot – should pay the penalty for these recommended fasts.2
Pilgrimage – if you can afford it and have not been yet, it is an obligation upon you that you do so. Pilgrimage in itself annihilates poverty and cleanses sins.
No one can guarantee when we be alive until. Around us, many people have left this world this very month. Young, healthy, fit brothers and sisters that fell ill suddenly and perished. Unfortunately, regret is not a currency we can use in the hereafter.
The sermon also mentions the following:
The visiting of families – which increases wealth and lengthens life. Brothers and sisters, if our lives are short and its ending is uncertain, that is one thing. But so are the lives of our loved ones. And when these probabilities and certainties are added together, the chance of regret due to inaction is multiplied exponentially. Our mothers and fathers especially, for those fortunate enough to still have them alive and to be living close to them, our brothers and sisters, our wives and husbands, our sons and daughters. Make this month the one where you pick up the phone and contact family you have not reached out to for some time. Ignore the past or whoever may be at fault… for Allah (swt) has on numerous occasions advised us to forgive in the Holy Qur’an, for it is closer to piety and the reward will be with Allah (swt). Be kind to them, speak softly.3
In the Holy month of Ramadan, we at least attempted to recite more Holy Qur’an than usual. Some of us managed to recite one chapter a day. Some more, some less. But the target was to at least recite one chapter per day. However far you were able to get through in a day, we must try to maintain at least some of that for the rest of the year.
Then he, peace be upon him, says this in his sermon – One who knows and acts contrary to his knowledge is as the ignorant - who knows not what to do and nor will he wake up from the ignorance he is drowning in.
Our priorities have unfortunately changed, and we need to claim them back. The advice from the Imam, the Divinely Guided, should not be taken lightly. Many of us question why Prophet Adam peace be upon him, despite the advice to stay away from the tree, ate from it when Satan whispered to make him believe it would grant him eternity in paradise.
The best means by which seekers of nearness to Allah…
THE ETERNAL WOUND
The trip to Iran was a unique experience of its own, a journey unlike any other. It was a journey that left me in awe as I visited Bibi Masuma (AS), prayed under the stars in Jamkaran, sat by the wall of Imam Ar-Redha (AS), and slept in the Jamia, the House of Bibi Masuma (AS).