Friday, November 9, 2007


[Photo: Ayatullah Jawadi Amuli (right) Meets Ayatullah Misbah Yazdi]
One of the distinguished figures presently living in Mombasa is a Lebanese scholar by the name of Shaykh Baydhun who leads prayer in the Bahman Shi’a Mosque every day. He has a comely disposition, and my first encounter with him reminded me of a dictum I cannot forget: Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said: “Call people [to the truth] without using your tongues.” In other words, our actions should the propagators of truth. When I shook hands with him, he never released his hands until I finally had to release mine. This, I said to myself, is a spirit that should always accompany every believer. Thiqat al-Islam al-Kulayni in his al-Kafi mentions a tradition worthy of consideration: Imam al-Baqir (‘a) is reported to have said: “If a person shakes his hand with his companion, the one who adheres to the shaking receives greater reward than the one who releases his hand first. Indeed know that sins are erased between them, until no sin remains.[v.2, p.181]. On another note, a guest from Iran had recently visited Mombasa. He narrated an interesting incident that he had encountered with the late ‘Allama al-Tabataba’i. He said: Some months prior to his demise, I had the privilege of meeting the great philosopher ‘Allama al-Tabataba’i. After the meeting, We shook hands and he never released his hand from mine, [for he was waiting for me to release mine first]; Despite realizing this, I decided to do the same and kept on shaking his hands for some time, until a thought crossed my mind: “I might not get another opportunity to meet ‘Allama, and thus let me kiss his hands.” He said: “The moment this thought came to me, ‘Allama quickly withdrew his hand!!!’

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