Remembering Imam Jaâfer Al-Sadiq
REMEMBERANCE: Imam Jaâfer Sadiq, peace be on him, was born on the
Seventeenth of Rabi Al-Awal in the year 80 A.H. or in the year 83 (AH).
His grandfather Allahâs Apostle, may Allah bless him, his family,
surnamed him Al-Sadiq.
He was surnamed Al-Sadiq because his speech was truthful. He had
valuable speech about the science of monotheism (tawhid). Imam Jaâfer
Al-Sadiq suffered greatly during the lifetime, he took advantage of the
period following the downfall of the Umayyids and the coming to power of
the Abbassids dynasty to propagate the great religion of Islam and make
Muslims aware of their duties towards Allah.
Imam Jaâfer Sadiq was well known Islamic figure among many schools of
thought. Abu Hanifeh, the leader of the Hanafi school of thought said
that âI did not find anybody more knowledgeable in jurisprudence than
Malik Ibn Ans, the leader of the Maliki School of thought said that
âseveral times I had the opportunity to meet Jaâfer Ibn Muhammad
whenever I saw him he was either praying or reading the Holy Quâran or
fasting. He was among the pious scholars who feared God.â
Ibn Hajar Asghalani, the distinguished Islamic historian said that
âJaâfer Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ali Ibn Hussain Ibn Ali Ibn Abi Talib was the
most honest among Jurisprudents.â
The school of Jurisprudence flourished during the sixth Imam, Jaâfer
Al-Sadiq and was referred to as the âJafari Schoolâ of fiqh. The days of
Al-Sadiq were the days of knowledge and Jurisprudence, theology and
debates, traditions and reports, here-sides and misguidance, and
Jaâfer Ibn Muhammad Al-Sadiq was enormously knowledgeable. He had no
desire for worldly matters and was a very pious person. He resided in
Medina for a while and taught his followers the secrets of the holy
religion of Islam. Then he entered Iraq and lives there for sometime.
He never fought with anybody for âKhilafaâ (leadership). The
Jurisprudential knowledge of Jaâfer Ibn Muhammad Al-Sadiq filled the
Jaâfer Ibn Muhammad al Sadiq was among the âSadatâ and Jurisprudents
of the Abdul-Bait. He was perpetual worshipper and reciter of the Holy
Quâran and perceived the profound meanings of the Book.
There were hundreds of thousands of disciples and companions of Imam
Jaâfer and his father Imam Baqer. Among them were about four thousand
eminent scholars, whose names and accounts have been preserved in
So great was their influence that subsequent traditions like the
founders of the later Sunni schools of jurisprudence, Hanafi, Hanbali,
Shafei and Maliki relied upon them and took traditions from them.
Jaâfer al Sadiq was a noble Imam. His supplications were accepted. If
he asked Allah for something, it was between his hands before he
completed his words. The Imamate of Jaâfer al Sadiq lasted for over
Jaâfer al Sadiq adopted a wise policy to spread sciences, knowledge,
Islamic Commandments, wise sayings and virtues. He suppressed
misguidance through producing evidence in support of his beliefs. He
adopted Taqiya as a shield to carry out his wise policy.
His teachings were a service for the Islamic Law, his worships were
guidance for men, and his debates were war against the heresies. For
this reason he went on jihad till he passed away.
Jaâfer al Sadiq was among the masters of the members of the House (ahl
al Bayt). He died on the twenty-fifth of Shawal. He was buried at al
Baqi in the grave where his father Muhammad al Baqr, his grandfather
Zayn al Abidin, and the uncle of his grandfather al-Hassan Ibn Ali,
peace be on them.
Imam Jaâfer Sadiq said:
Who is the faithful?
The faithful is the one:
who earns âhalalâ income
who has good virtues
and a pure heart
who donates his extra income
for charitable deeds
who refrains from idle talking
who does no harm to people
and who treats all justly.
Third Sri Sathya Sai World
Youth Conference in India
SPIRITUALITY: The Sri Sathya Sai Organization has the honour of
hosting the Third Sri Sathya Sai World Youth Conference. The theme of
this conference is âIdeal Sai Youth-Messengers of Sai Loveâ.
The conference will be held in Prasanthi Nilayam in India during the
week of Guru Poornima on July 26-28.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba, in the second Sai World Youth Conference
declared, âYoung men and women! The prosperity and well-being of the
world depend on the conduct of the youth. Only when their conduct is
good, the world can have an ideal future.
Only young men and women are capable of eradicating the evils
prevailing in society. If we have virtuous youth, all ills of society
can be removed.â Based on this declaration, the objective of the
three-day conference is to inspire and guide Sai youth to serve society
and at the same time to gain a deeper understanding of Bhagawan Sri
Sathya Sai Babaâs teachings. With a strong foundation in Saiâs
teachings, youth today are the leaders of tomorrow.
During the conference, emphasis will be placed on how to realize
oneâs Divine nature through spiritual transformation and Love.
During the conference, various topics of interest to the youth will
Invited speakers will elucidate on ways to selflessly serve society,
practise Human Values in daily life, attain purity of the heart, and
realize oneâs Divine nature. The conference will be composed of plenary
sessions and workshops which are open for all, while the workshops will
be limited to delegates.
Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Minister of Youth Affairs of Sri Lanka, and
over 200 Sai youth from Sri Lanka will be attending the conference in
In recognition of the increasing role and contribution of Sai youth
to the society they live in, the youth wing of the Sri Sathya Sai
Organization was founded.
It has grown over the years to include members from over 100
They undertake service projects in their community committing their
lives to Swamiâs universal teachings of Love for all mankind.
May weapons be silenced
Holy Father speaks on the Anniversary of Conversion of St. Francis of
Peace: Launching a âpressing and heartfelt appeal to stop all the
armed conflict which bathe the earth in blood,â Pope Benedict in his
reflection to mark the 800th anniversary of the Conversion of St. Fancis
of Assisi called for all weapons to be silenced and expressed his
solidarity with âall those whom war and its tragic consequences cause to
weep, suffer and die in any part of the world.â
The Holy Father who was in Assisi on 17th June called St. Francis a
âgreat teacher of our faith and praise,â and went on to say: âMay St.
Francis, a man of peace, obtain for us from the Lord an increasing
number of people who accept to make themselves instruments of peace
through thousands of small acts in daily life: and that all who have
roles of responsibility be motivated by a passionate love for peace and
an indomitable determination to achieve it, choosing the appropriate
means to obtain it.â
Referring to the âconversion of the young Francisâ, Pope Benedict
said that âafter 25 years of a mediocre life full of dreams, spent in
the pursuit of worldly pleasures and success, he opened himself to
grace, came to his senses and gradually recognized Christ as the ideal
of his life. My pilgrimage to Assisi today is intended to recall that
event and to relive its significance and importance.â
Source: Vatican Website
Worldâs only Church dedicated to
St. John Dal Bastone Church
ONLY CHURCH: The feast of St. John Dal Bastone Church, Thalangama
will be held on July 29. The hoisting of the flag will be on July 19.
It is claimed that this unique and magnificent church is the first
and the only church dedicated to St. John Biotteconi or popularly known
as John Dal Bastone hailing from Paterno,in the district of Fabriano,
Italy was a Sylvestro Benedictine monk who lived in the 13th century and
was canonized on August 29, 1772.
The foundation stone for the Thalangama church was laid on October
27, 1872, which year happened to mark the centenary year of the
canonization of Saint. In 1881, the church building was completed and
Sylvestro Benedictine monks looked after the mission and later it was
administered from several parishes.
St. John Dal Bastone...
In 1972, the Franciscan Friars were entrusted with the mission and to
date they serve the spiritual needs of the faithful. Today, St. John Dal
Bastone Church standing high as a pillar of faith of Thalangama people,
marked the 125 year in 2006.
John Botteconi nicknamed the staff (Dal Bastone) was born on 1200
March 24 in Paterno, Fabriano. His father Bonello and mother Superla had
five children and John was the youngest. During his childhood John grew
physically and spiritually and progressed in virtue.
As a boy John was keen and capable of learning. Because of Johnâs
constancy in his studies his parents sent him to Bologna to study
humanities. There he preferred more to care for his soul than for the
studies of humanities. He did not absent himself from the religious
instructions that were imparted in the churches of the religious Orders
of the diocese.
However he applied himself to the study of humanities and soon became
sufficiently instructed. Whilst wrestling in prayer, many things ran
counter to purity thus caused him to be concerned with. God answered his
prayer by afflicting him with a purulent sore on one side of his thigh.
With this sore God inspired John to look for what was better and more
necessary for his soul. Journeying back home, he rode on the back of a
donkey, which made his thigh weaker as to render John lame for the rest
of his life. This forced him to walk only with the help of a staff for
this he was nicknamed âJohn of the staffâ (Dal Bastone).
Attracted by the fame of the sanctity of the venerable Sylvester
Guzzolini, John went to meet him hoping to receive into the Order.
Rejoicing at this holy intention Fr.Sylvester tested him while for a
while and finally received him. John confined himself to fast and pray
and to read spiritual books.He followed closely his spiritual father
that he sooner began to observe the monastic way of life.
Seeing that John had made progress in his holy profession, his
spiritual father caused him to be promoted to priesthood. However, his
whole body was full of ills that gave him great pains and made him
He placed himself in great and distressing poverty and did not want
to keep with him anything beyond his need and without permission from
his spiritual father. He was a sound advisor with natural qualities and
was strong with grace before God and man. Therefore his fellow monks
confidently sought his advice in their difficulties and doubts,
All this and especially following command of his superior, John began
to preach the word of God. After the death of his spiritual father
Sylvester on November 26, 1267, John became more firm in his holy
In imitation and collaboration with his spiritual father, John began
to perform many miracles. Meanwhile, Johnâs sore became worse and he was
brought to Fabriano for treatment. On the vigil of the Lordâs
incarnation, on March 24, 1290 Lord took him to heaven. His body was
laid in the church of St. Benedict.
After his death his soul miraculously appeared to three of his
brethren. Various miracles of St. John grew in number. These miracles
were recorded by public notaries and verified by a commission appointed
by the Bishop. With the passage of years Holy Mother Church set the seal
of approval on his heroic life and virtues.
Catholic Social Teaching & its
contribution to Social Change
Rev. Fr. (Dr) Leopold Ratnasekera O.M.I., Ph.D., Th.D.
SOCIAL TEACHING: The Catholic Churchâs teaching on social questions
is officially over a hundred years old with the first historical social
encyclical âRerum Novarumâ (New Things) of Pope Leo XIII in 1892 written
in the background of the industrial revolution in the late 19th century.
Ever since, the Catholic Church has always kept abreast of the social
currents that brought in many changes in the world of work, economics
Convinced of her duty towards society, she has in the light of the
Christian vision of man and history, expressed in clear terms her
teachings on human dignity, justice and human solidarity that should
rule social change, especially when changes bring about a drastic social
revolution affecting entire cultures, continents and world population in
And so, in the train of âRerum Novarumâ followed successively,
âQuadragesimo Annoâ (40th Year) written by Pope Pius XI, celebrating the
fortieth anniversary of Retum Novarum, âMater et Magistra (Church as
Mother and Teacher) by Pope John XXIII in 1961, âPacem in Terrisâ (Peace
on Earth) by the same Pope in 1963, âGaudium et Spesâ (Joy and Hopes of
the World- the pastoral constitution issued by the Ecumenical Vatican
Council II) in 1966, âDignitatis Humanaeâ (on Religious Freedom) by the
same council in 1966, âProgress of Peoplesâ by Pope Paul VI in 1967,
âOctogesima Adveniensâ of 1971 celebrating the 80th anniversary of the
first social encyclical, and finally the three great social encyclicals
issued by Pope John Paul II of revered memory: namely âLaborem Exercensâ
on the dignity of the worker (1981), âSollicitudo Rei Socialisâ (Concern
for the Social Question) in 1988 commemorating the 20th anniversary of
âProgress of Peoplesâ and finally, âCentesimus Annusâ of 1992
celebrating the centenary of âRerum Novarumâ. An integral humanism and
the ideal of solidarity are hall-marks of all these teachings.
These form the major documentary evidence showing that what is going
on in the secular world is an important concern for the Catholic Church.
The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace (opened in 1967) fulfills
also the prime vision of the Vatican council concerning Churchâs mission
and task in the world.
The Church believes in the basic principle of the social relevance of
the message of the Christian religious Faith and the social implications
of the Gospel message, since the work for the renewal and transformation
of the world is part of its commitment.
Her intention is to help build a more humane and just world operating
in this sphere not only on humanitarian grounds of human justice and
human needs but inspired by her faith and Gospel message that is meant
for giving the secular realities a nobler value and to let them be
ordained according to the will of the Creator and his divine Providence.
We are convinced that it is part of divine providence that man
exercises due responsibility for his world, not however in absolute
freedom but in the light of Godâs will and his law. It is a type of
participatory or dependent autonomy and one that is not absolute.
In all these, the demands of the natural law written in the heart of
man and the voice of conscience that discerns between good and evil
remain the infallible criteria of integral human growth of persons and
which direct the progressive journey of human history through right
moral choices and ethical conduct.
To be continued