By Mumtaz Ali Tajddin S. Ali
Time and Knowledge Nazrana
According to the Koran, “You will never come to piety unless you spend out of what you love.” (3:91)
Nothing will buy redemption for a person if he has wasted his best opportunity here, and to hunt the best of that opportunity, a person must spend here what he loves most, which are nothing but his wealth, knowledge and time.
Imam Mustansir billah II said, “O’believers, be all in love with the pure religion of the Imam! Be ready to comprehend the meaning of his word and knowledge.” (Pandiyat-i Jawanmardi, p. 34)
1) “Ibn Shariq daily sat in the mosque at evening in Medina to guide the visitors the routes of their destinations and the weather condition of desert as well.” (Ibn Hisham, 2nd vol., p.66).
“The Prophet assigned Suhail bin Harith to watch at the entrance of the mosque to drive away the dogs coming inside during prayer time. He volunteerily rendered his service for 18 months and died. The Prophet prayed for him.” (Ibn Sa’d, 4th vol., p.157).
[ These are early Islamic examples relating to NAZRANA OF TIME ]
2) “Harith bin Uthman offered Holy Prophet that he would give few time daily to teach Arabic to the girls of the clan of Najjar in Medina, which was accepted.” (Tabari, 3rd vol., p. 233).
“Sa’d bin Talha knew many languages spoken in Arab and non-Arab territories. He served as the interpreter between the Holy Prophet and foreign guests for two years.” (Ibn Khaldun, 4th vol., p. 114)
[ These are early Islamic examples relating to NAZRANA OF KNOWLEDGE ]
God has gifted us talent, the area in which we are skilled. Suppose, we are the doctors, engineers, or architects, God has given us these skills, so we should return a part of our knowledge to Him. We must commit and look for creative way to use it for the good of others. On the other hand, time is the rarest and most precious factor. God gives us 168 hours each week, asking to use it wisely and generously. Do we surrender our time for highest purpose?
Millions of Ismailis around the world pledged a nazrana of Time and Knowledge (TKN) to their beloved Shah Karim al-Husayni Hazar Imam during the glorious celebration of his Golden Jubilee on 11th July, 2007. Numerous Ismaili individuals have since dedicated their precious time and knowledge for the institutional service and humanity at large absolutely volunteerily.
Qurtubi writes (op.cit., 10th vol., p. 48) that after conquest of Mecca, Qarath bin Rabiah was among the pagan Meccans who embraced Islam. He offered the Holy Prophet for a special gift (nazrana). Instead, the Prophet advised him to put a new wooden door in Kaba, which would be reckoned his special gift. Later, it was learnt that the door could not be installed. When asked, he told the Prophet that the door was costly and beyond his capacity. The Prophet told, “You purchase it and I will tell the seller that you will pay its price in instalments. Are you ready and happy?” He accepted and the new door was fixed in Kaba. The seller also agreed to take its amount in pieces. The Prophet pray Qarath bin Rabiah for his generous gift (nazrana) and also the seller for his co-operation.
The above cited concession reveals that we can also share our nazrana as per our circumstances in instalments, which is effective from 21st March, 2017 to 11th July, 2023.
Speaking importance of TKN, Mawlana Hazar Imam said, “Thanked for Nazrana both of Time and Knowledge and of material Nazrana. Why is this important? Democracy is fragile in parts of the world, economic conditions may be bad, natural hazards which causes loss of life and its assets. It is difficult time in the world and by the end of the Jubilee Year, we can use this Nazrana to address these issues.” (California, 15th April, 2008)
In his address to the Parliament of Canada on 27th February, 2014 at Otawa, Mawlana Hazar Imam said about the Time and Knowledge Nazrana (TKN) that, “During my Golden Jubilee – and this is important – six years ago, Ismailis from around the world volunteered their gifts, not only of wealth, but most notably of Time and Knowledge, in support of our work. We established a Time and Knowledge framwork, a structural process for engaging an immense pool of expertise involving tens of thousands of volunteers.”
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Mumtaz Ali Tajddin S. Ali has authored several articles and books, including Encyclopedia of Ismailism, 101 Ismaili Heroes and Ismailis through History. For several decades, he has been involved with Ismaili Tarqiah and Religious Education Board (ITREB) in Pakistan as an Honorary Missionary and lecturer of religious education classes on history, ginans and other educational topics.
Karachi: April, 2017
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