MUJAHIDALI A SHERIFF
Our heartfelt condolences to our living Imam, Imam
al-Hujjah (AJ) and to all the Shia’s on the demise
of our great Mujtahid, Faqeeh and ‘Aarif
Ayatullah al-‘Udhma Shaykh Muhammad Taqi Behjat,
The passing away of such Godconscious ‘Ulama from
this world is certainly NOT a small matter! Allah (SWT)
أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْاْ أَنَّا نَأْتِي الأَرْضَ نَنقُصُهَا
“Do they not see Us coming to the land and reducing
Ayatullah Naser Makarem Shirazi in his Tafseer
, which means ‘land’ in this verse, is in reference
to the people of the land. What Allah (SWT) implies
is: Don’t people realize the fact that societies,
civilizations and rulership – all of them come to an
end? And one of the ways, Allah (SWT) brings an end
to all these is by the death of ‘Ulama (Scholars).]
the meaning of this verse, Imam
Ja’ffar as-Sadiq (as) said,
NANQUSUHAA BI DHIHAABI ‘ULAMAA-IHAA, WA FUQAHAA-IHA
“(It means) We reduce (its frontiers) by taking away
its Scholars; and its people who have deep
understanding of religion; and its best of the
Holy Prophet (saww) has said,
“Whenever Allah (SWT) takes away the soul of any
scholar of this nation, there becomes a gap in Islam
that cannot be filled in till the Day of Judgement”.
Therefore, the death of any great scholar is NOT a
small matter! It is a very big loss!
ARE THE WORTHY ‘ULAMA?
There are many people today who consider themselves
as Islamic Scholars. And indeed, many of us are so
naïve that today:
Whoever comes to us with power of oration
Or wears the garment of ‘Ulama
And gives references to Quran & Hadeeth in his/her
…. We begin to look upon him as an Islamic scholar
and consider him or her as a religious guide. This
naïve behaviour has caused a lot of distress to us
and brought about lot of confusions in matters
related to Islam & Spirituality particularly among
the youths and many adults.
Let us briefly look at some of the many attributes
of worthy ‘Ulama in the light of Quranic verses and
DOES QURAN SAYS?
first attribute is that they shall be fearful of
يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاء
those of Allah’s servants having knowledge fear
Ayatullah Naser Makarem states in his Tafseer:
in this verse, which means ‘fear’ means ‘one is
filled with awe and reverence of someone he knows.
‘Ulama who are Cognizant about Allah (SWT) – their
hearts are filled with His awe and reverence; and as
such, they are fearful of their duties and
responsibilities towards Him.]
this only comes through knowledge and deep
understanding of Quran and Hadeeth! It is mentioned
in a Hadeeth:
A’LAMAKUM BILLAHI AKHWAFAKUM LILLAHI
“One who knows Allah most, fears Allah most”.
This shows that however much a person is seen to
have knowledge by others – as long as he does NOT
fear Allah (SWT), his knowledge is questionable; and
it will neither benefit him nor will it have any
impact on the spirituality of others.
The second attribute of worthy ‘Ulama is that they
shall continue their research in Quran; they shall
act in accordance to their Knowledge; they will
spend their God-given Knowledge in guiding others in
every possible way; and all these they will do for
the pleasure of Allah (SWT).
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ
وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنفَقُوا مِمَّا
رَزَقْنَاهُمْ سِرًّا وَعَلَانِيَةً يَرْجُونَ
تِجَارَةً لَّن تَبُورَ
those who recite the Book of Allah, and maintain the
prayer, and spend out of what We have provided them,
secretly and openly, expecting a commerce that will
never go bankrupt”.
OF THE VERSE
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ
those who recite the Book of Allah”.
Reciting here does not only mean simple recitation.
It implies recitation with thorough understanding –
and the process of which is continuous.
maintain the prayer”.
Maintaining prayers is not only limited to
performance of daily Salaat – it also denotes
continuous link with Allah (SWT) through His worship
and discharging their duties towards Him. In other
words, practicing what one preaches.
وَأَنفَقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ سِرًّا
spend out of what We have provided them, secretly
A true believer spends whatever Allah (SWT) has
given him – in the cause of Allah (SWT).
If one is blessed with wealth, he must spend it in
the cause of Allah of Allah (SWT).
person comes to the Holy Prophet (saww) and asks,
“Why do I dislike death? The Holy Prophet (saww)
“Do you have any wealth?”
The man says, “Yes!”. So the Holy Prophet (saww)
says to him,
“Send it ahead (to the Hereafter) before you go
The man says, “I cannot do that!” So the Holy
Prophet (saww) said to him,
“The heart of man is set on his wealth. If he sends
it ahead, it means he loves to be reunited with it;
and if he withholds it, it means he only loves to be
with it here (in this world)”.]
Similarly, if one is blessed with knowledge, then he
must endeavour to impart it to others for the sake
of guiding them to Allah (SWT).
True and worthy ‘Ulama carry out extensive research
in Islam, practice their findings and preach others.
The method they apply is both:
“Secretly and openly”.
They correct the Mumineen secretly and guide them
openly. And why do they do all these??
يَرْجُونَ تِجَارَةً لَّن تَبُورَ
“Expecting a commerce that will never go bankrupt”.
They don’t do all these so that people marvel them
and their knowledge OR so that they can benefit
material gains out of it. They do all these because
they trust in the rewards of the Hereafter and know
that the rewards of the Hereafter never perish! What
will be this transaction that will never perish?
Allah (SWT) then says:
لِيُوَفِّيَهُمْ أُجُورَهُمْ وَيَزِيدَهُم مِّن
فَضْلِهِ إِنَّهُ غَفُورٌ شَكُورٌ
that He may pay them their reward in full and
enhance them out of His grace. Indeed He is
Allah (SWT) will enhance them out of His grace? When
the Holy Prophet (saww) recited this verse, Ibn
Mas’ood asked as to what it meant? The Holy Prophet
HUWASH-SHAFAA’ATU LIMAN WAJABAT LAHUN-NAAR
“This refers to the right of intercession, which the
‘Ulama shall be given, so that they can intercede
for those who had done good to them in life BUT
through their (other) deeds, qualified for the
MUHAMMAD TAQI BEHJAT
Since we are mourning the death of one of the
greatest personalities of Islam, the Grand Mujtahid,
Faqeeh and ‘Aarif of our time, Ayatullah Muhammad
Taqi Behjat, following are some glimpses of his pure
and noble life extracted from
By his words and deeds, this great Scholar always
directed himself to Allah (SWT) alone. A great
Scholar has said about him, ‘It cannot be just
said about him that he is a man of piety; Infact he
is the true essence and a manifestation of Taqwa’.
Ayatullah Behjat was of the opinion that to
succeed in Jihad al-Akbar (great struggle),
ethical purity (Akhlaaq) and knowledge (‘ilm) go
hand in hand. He considered knowledge without
ethical purity more damaging than anything else.
Agha Behjat was one of the most glowing examples of
these awliya in contemporary times. He was a mystic
and scholar who had always lived a simple life,
without the remotest material attachments. He had
understood the reality of this world and the
worthlessness of its pleasures. Below are some of
his excellent advises to Scholars and Students of
TO HAWZA RECRUITS & MUBALLIGHEEN
Once a student who had only recently joined the
Hawza asked Agha Behjat: "I have come to the Hawza
to attain knowledge. What should I do so that I can
become a proper scholar?" Ayatullah Behjat lowered
his head and remained silent for a while, and then
he said, "There is no difference between a Hawza
student and anybody else. What is important is that
he does not commit a sin”.
Hujjatul Islam Lutfi says: "One day, after the
morning prayers I approached
Ayatullah Behjat and requested him to give me some
advice". He said, "kunu du'atan nasi ilallahi
bighayri alsinatikum Call people to Allah (SWT)
with something other than your speech." I understood
that although as a scholar, my responsibility was to
engage in Tabligh (propagating the faith), Agha
wanted to draw my attention that the best Tabligh
was not that which was delivered from pulpits, but
that which was demonstrated by conduct.
SINCERITY IN WEARING ‘AMAMAH (TURBAN)
"Your criterion in your acts must be Allah (swt)’s
religion. Always ask yourself whether your words and
deeds conform to the Shari’ah or not. You should
make the niyyat that the knowledge ('ilm) that you
possess and will gain in the future will always be
translated into actions. In other words, there
should be perfect harmony between what you know and
what you do. The greatest misfortune is when
scholars act without proper knowledge or possess
knowledge but do not act upon it. So make a firm
resolve that your knowledge and actions will be
harmonious." Another student reports that Agha said
to him about the same matter: "An ‘Aalim who does
not act on his knowledge is like the candle that
illuminates the path for others but itself burns
ON RIYAA (SELF-CONCEIT)
"Riya is only relevant in acts of worship ('Ibadah).
And any act of worship that has riya associated with
it is a sin, and it makes the act null and void.
However, riya itself can become a counter and cure
for riya, by simply changing the focus of who one is
trying to impress! If a man can approach a president
to sort out his problem directly, would he waste
time in trying to convince the president's servants?
In the same manner, if a man has sense, he would
raise his sights from the people, and attempt to
impress and perfect his actions for God, who is the
Creator of man - this attitude would itself become
the cure for his riya." At another time, he said,
"About riya, there is a Hadeeth that says,
tries to impress the people by his manner of prayers
(Salaat), will be resurrected in the form of a
And this is quite true because what can be more
donkey-like than a man trying to impress the slaves
of God instead of directing his attention to God
Himself?! Now, if someone calls us a donkey, we feel
insulted, but why should we feel insulted, if night
and day our acts resemble those of a donkey?"
ON CONCENTRATION ON SALAAT
"This pleasure that you seek in worship has two
prerequisites; one outside Salaat, and one within
Salaat itself. What is necessary before Salaat and
outside of it is that a person abstains totally from
sin, and does not blacken his heart with the
disgrace of disobedience, because sin will rob his
heart of light. As for the second requirement,
within the Salaat itself a man must create a barrier
around himself so that no thought other than the
remembrance of God can enter. He must not allow his
thoughts to stray away from God even for an instant.
[In this manner, you will achieve what you seek." At
other instant, Agha Behjat said, "In order to
achieve absolute control of one's thoughts in Salaat,
and to acquire presence of heart, the groundwork
must begin outside and prior to Salaat. One must
control one's fives senses during the day and be
careful about what he allows himself to observe,
hear, eat etc. This will enable him to achieve
presence of mind and heart in Salaat."
UJOORAKUM WA UJOORANA
May Allah (SWT) elevate the status of Marhum
Ayatullah Muhammad Taqi Behjat and place his noble
soul among the most chosen of His servants, the
Fourteen Ma’sumeen (as); and give us the Tawfeeque
on following his guidance in the path of the Holy
Prophet (saww) and his pure progeny (as) – ilaahi
Mujahidali A Sheriff