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Alavi Heritage and Legacy

   
 
 
Inna Fatahna Laka Fatham Mubeenan - We have opened the Doors of Victory for you in a Clear Success
   
 

Inheritance (wiraasat) means some movable and/or immovable properties, wealth, goods that are transferred from one person to the other without any covenant, promise, agreement or coercion. It is called as inheritance only when the things are transferred from a person who is no more (dead). It is said that, he has got that particular thing in inheritance. It is narrated in a tradition from Rasoolullaah (saws) that, He said, “Be steadfast with your behavior, conversation and custom because you have inherited them from your ancestors, which means that you acquired the traits of your father."
      
Along with the names of the Prophets, Qur’an e Kareem mentions the inheritance of wealth and its rules. Any thing which is obtained without any fatigue, labor and without any efforts is called inheritance, and it is said that, “He inherited it”. It can also be said that, a particular person has willingly given something to another person, or has favored him. Virtue, knowledge, deeds, character and Prophethood are also mentioned along with wealth in the inheritance of Prophets, because wealth and worldly assets are not much regarded by them. Rasoolullaah (saws) specially mentioned the land of Fidak as a sole property for Ma Faatemah (as), his beloved Daughter, because, as Sulaymaan Nabi (as) got the inheritance from his father Dawood Nabi (as), in the same way  Maa Faatemah (as) and Maulaa 'Ali (as) deserved the inheritance from Rasoolullaah (saws), spiritually and temporally.

“The Learned and Wise people are the Legacy of Prophets,” indicates the inheritance of knowledge, in which the sincere and noble-hearted believers are included along with the Imaam (as) of the time who in turn is the centre of Knowledge.  The word “inheritance” is used for such things which are gained without any indebtedness and price.  As Rasoolullaah (saws) said to Maulaa 'Ali (as) that, O 'Ali! You are my brother and the chest is the Treasure of my knowledge. What he meant to say with these words was that, The book of Allaah Ta’aala i.e. Qur’an and Ahl ul Bayt, the members of his household (as) are both eternal inheritance from him to the people of the world.

Allaah Ta’aala, at the beginning of the Surat ul-Muminun, in His book the Qur’an e Kareem says that, “The Believers must (eventually) win through”  till the end “Who will inherit Paradise: they will dwell therein (forever).” Allaah Ta’aala bestows the success to the sincere believers and makes them the inheritors of the Paradise (Jannat ul Firdaus). What is the reason for this?  The Faatemi Imaam Maulaana Mohammad ul-Baaqir (as) answers that, This is only because of the Walaayat of Ameer ul-Mumineen Maulaana Ali (as). Because of him, Allaah Ta’aala uplifts the nature, character, feature, talent and temperament of believers.  As Maulaa is the chief of people of good deeds, likewise the believers with good deeds are the leaders of other people because of their luminous creation, and the place which is reserved for them i.e. Jannat.  At all those places, they lead the people, and other people strive to reach these high ranks. But these people will only get this merit when they acquire such virtues and have to whole heartedly accept Maulaa 'Ali (as) as their chieftain.

Very high standards of virtues have to be acquired to reach such lofty ranks.  The inheritance of Jannat is a magnificent inheritance, and for this, one has to be the inheritor of the Aadaab-manners of each one from Maulaana Aadam Safiyullaah (as) to the master of the Qeyaamat,  Qaa’im ul Qeyaamah. One, who inculcates the holiness, honesty, piety, truthfulness, and trustfulness of the friends of Allaah Ta’aala in himself, his brothers, his relatives and in his family , and then transfers it further, he only can inherit the Jannat.

The fifth Faatemi Imaam Maulaana Ja’far us-Saadiq (as) says that, When Allaah Ta’aala created Jannat, He orderd Jannat to say something.  A voice came from Jannat saying, “The Believers must (eventually) win through” till the end “Who will inherit Paradise: they will dwell therein (forever).”  Similar verses have been sent down by Allaah Ta’aala at the beginning of Surat ul-Muminun, which has been mentioned earlier.  After the birth of Maulaa Ali (as), when Rasoolullaah (saws) took him for the first time in his hands, he said to him that, “QAD AFLAH AL MOMINOONA BIKA YA AMEER AL MUMINEEN, YAA ‘ALI”,  means, O Ali! the Commander of the Faithfuls, the believers succeeded because of you. Because of you the believers inherited the Jannat. 

Every Prophet guarded the Heavenly as well as Worldly Inheritances from the earlier Prophets, as decreed upon them by Allaah Ta’aala and they again willed their People of the household-Ahl ul Bayt (as) to act as a counsel and to preserve them with the core of their hearts even at the cost of their lives. Rasoolullaah (saws) died in Madinat ul-Munawwarah in 11 AH and entrusted the sacred relics of earlier Prophets to Maulaa ‘Ali (as), and emphasized him to safeguard these things and never let any of these to go to any other ineligible person.  Maulaa ‘Ali (as) safeguarded these things and entrusted these to his sons Maulaana Imaam Hasan and Maulaana Imaam Husain (as) at the time of his martyrdom in Kufa in 40 AH. These included the revealed books, scriptures, clothes, weapons, things that are required on the daily basis for Da’wat, things from which the miracles emancipate, the signs which provide the evidences for Allaah and his trusted Friend (wali).

For centuries together, the Imaams from the progeny of Mohammad Rasoolullaah (saws), suffering extreme hardships, safeguarded all these blessed things from the enemies and kept on transferring it to different places maintaining high secrecy.  At last during 532 AH by the orders of 21st Imaam Maulaana Abul Qaasim Taiyeb (as), his Du’aat transferred this magnificent paradisiacal inheritance to the first Da’i ul Mutlaq Saiyedna Zoeb bin Saiyedi Moosa (qr) and since then for the last nine centuries this inheritance has been preserved by the Du’aat al-Mutlaqeen and now the 45th Da’i ul Allaah il Ameen Saiyedna Abu Sa’eed il Khyar Haatim Zakiyuddin saheb has been following in their footsteps.

The four Da’is from the 41st Da’i al-Mutlaq Saiyedna Fakhruddin Saheb, 42nd Da’i al-Mutlaq Saiyedna Badruddin Saheb, 43rd Da’i al-Mutlaq Saiyedna Nooruddin Saheb and the 44th Da’i al-Mutlaq Saiyedna Taiyeb  Ziyauddin saheb (qr), in the span of almost 125 years , all the sanctified historical things, which include among other things, Yemen’s and Ahmedabad’s rare and precious books, have been preserved in their original form in the Devdi of the Da’wat-e-Sharifah.  In 1322 AH/1904 AD i.e. 115 years ago, Saiyedna Fakhruddin saheb started some construction work at the Devdi Mubaarak, and at that time his writings, in the form of Aayats of Qur’an and the traditions of Rasoolullaah (saws) are still now safely  adorning the main room-Ghurfat ul-Jannah (the Chamber of Paradise) and the meeting room.

The 32nd Da’i e Mutlaq, Saiyedna Jivabhai Ziyauddin (qr), migrated  from Ahmedabad to Vadodara 1110 AH/1699 AD along with the mumineen. His 327 years old Badri Mohalla,the remembrance of his Ziyaee Mosque, the Devdi Mubaarak which was his residence, as well as his Eternal Abode-Rawzah at Bustaan e Badri are a marvel, which are unique and unprecedented. These are the pieces of great heritage, inheritance and antiquities. This 3 century history of Da’wat-e- Sharifah and because the Da’i himself is present at the same place makes it eternal and historical.  

Alavi Bohras have achieved a distinct grace, identity and sign.  For the first time in the history of Da’wat-e-‘Alaviyah, people from other faiths had a chance to look closely at the reality of the Jamaa’at and accept that Alavi Bohras are the inhabitants of Vadodara since past few centuries.  The centre of all community activities, Badri Mohalla was a unique garden, which was bequeathed to Saiyedna Ziyauddin saheb by Shi’a Miyan Mahmood, who was very much impressed by his piousness and resplendent personality.  In the past Alavi mumineen used to pray in the mosque of Miyan Mahmood located in one of the extreme corner of Badri Mohalla, that mosque and his age-old grave near Rang Mahal gives the glimpse of his glorious past. 

To bind all these historical pieces together, an Alavi Bohra heritage walk was organized in 1437 AH/2015 AD. The walk included the Devdi Mubaarak, al-Masjid un-Nooraani, Badri Mohalla and Bustaan e Badri.  Many persons from other faiths, who were fond of the historical and heritage facts, whole heartedly and with a deep interest participated in the walk and were much impressed to see and get acquainted with the Alavi Bohras history, heritage buildings, the way of living and the culture. They were very surprised to see a very high degree of discipline in the Jamaa’at.

At the Devdi Mubaarak, under the blessed place of Du’aat, the things which they used were kept for the mumineen and other visitors to feel them closely so as to receive blessings from them. These included the throne (seat of Da’i or takht),canopies, scepter, coconut, wooden clogs, perfume boxes, tasbeeh (chaplet), tucker (dupatta), big embroidered handkerchief, incense pots, hand written manuscripts, pen, stillage, prayer mat, chair, the throne or the crown, the plates of amulate, cloths, turban and book of covenant. The historical photos of the Masjid e Ziyaee were displayed in the courtyard of the Masjid un Nooraani which included among others, the courtyard of the masjid, it’s minarets, Qiblah, the outer door and the arches. Along with this, the specialty of the masjid Noorani and the important features as regards it’s construction were described to the visitors.            All became speechless on seeing the splendour and attractiveness of the mausoleum of seven spiritual Emperor.  All were introduced to a brief history of the these Saiyedna sahebs.

Every where, one can see the new construction with new things in the new era which could be observed in the Badri Mohall too. When the heritage expert came to the Badri Mohalla in this walk, he came to the Devdi Mubaarak and said to Saiyedna saheb that,

“You should thank Allaah Ta’aala that even today  you have 10-12 buildings in this Mohalla which are 75 years old, and at least four buildings which are 120 years old, you being the Saiyedna ask your followers to carefully preserve them.”  

Seventy five years ago, that is around 1940 AD (1360 AH) many buildings were constructed using carvings in the time of Saiyedna Badruddin saheb, but only a few of them survive today. On these buildings the Qur’anic Ayats, in Arabic, were engraved by the hands of Saiyedna saheb himself.  The carved wooden windows and wooden pillars have survived in 120 year old buildings. It is mandatory on every Alavi Bohra member to carefully preserve them.

The Saheb of the Da’wat knows very well that preserving these ancient historical things is not an easy task. But the mumineen, in their homes, should safeguard such rare and historical things which they inherit from their forefathers, and to do this all have to make efforts together.  Mumineen should handover things which have connections to the Saheb e Da’wat, which they fear, they could not preserve themselves. Today many such precious things have been preserved in the treasury of the Da’wat and bear the family names of the donors too. As the time goes nobody knows as to where these things would end up, who will own them and where these will be lost or misplaced. But it will surely remain forever at the centre of the Da’wat and will remind the Da’i ul Allaah of the families of the donors. One should be aware that the name of the virtuous Neknaam Sheikh Ali Alibhai is still fresh and alive in this regard in the records of Da’wat e Sharifah by wholeheartedly donating things made of Silver.

Saiyedna saheb said that,

“O Mumineen , our efforts are not limited to just a few days , but it is an ever lasting one. If there are some historical photos, frames of the Muqaddas Maulaa, handwritten manuscripts, carpets on which Saiyedna had sat, Arabic inscriptions written on ancient wooden or glassware depicting Qur’anic Surahs or the names of Panjatan (as), amulets, ancient prayer mat, anything which is there from your forefathers, tales from the family business which the elders know, but the youngsters have abandoned those businesses, any sayings concerning Badri mohalla, masjid, mazaar and Devdi which they would have heard from their elders, and besides these all those things with which an Alavi Bohra feel to be proud of himself, and which would increase the eminence and glory of the community heritage, history and culture, such mumineen should  meet the Saheb e Da’wat or send the photos or message or request the Da’wat office to come to their houses to see these precious things."

The Inheritance of the Paradise to the Mumineen requires seven preconditions:

1) Humility, devoutness, submission in Namaaz
2) To abstain from absurd and ugly chatting and things
3) To pay the alms
4) Not to indulge in sexual relationship except with the wife
5) Not to exceed limits
6) To be trustful and faithful
7) To pray the daily five prayers regularly at their respective times with utmost care

If any person obeys all these seven conditions, he is called to be a True Mumin and rightly deserves the inheritance of the paradise.  We all should thank Allaah Ta’aala that we belong to this rightful Da’wat , which in fact is the Paradise in itself.  To inherit this paradise, we should safeguard the pure streams of Alavi- Taiyebi culture and manners which flow from our rightful Du’aat.  We should take benefit from them and try to make it everlasting for our sons.  May Allaah Ta’aala bless our Da’i with a very long life and may his kind presence ever remain with the mumineen.

   
 
 
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