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 The Thaal

In our last issue we had talked about how addressing each other with

يا اخانا ,  O my brother is an integral part of our Thaqaafat. The article ended on this aayat shareefah:

ونزعنا ما في صدورهم من غلّ اخوانا على سرر متقابلين

And we have removed from their hearts any feelings of bitterness (that they may have), (they are like) brothers facing each other on thrones.”

The word اخوان   (ikhwaan) means brothers. It is the plural of اخ which mean brother. Another word that sounds like اخوان  is خوان (khiwaan) which means thaal. Sitting around a thaal and partaking barakat of Allah’s rizq is a cultural distinction of every mumin household. Mumineen seated around a thaal is a perfect reflection of brotherhood and close relationship. Sitting next to each other forming a circle and having food from the same plate, sharing spoons and bowls epitomize harmony and oneness.

Imam Ahmed al-Mastoor AS has highlighted the qualities of a circle saying, “The best of all shapes is the sphere (sphere is a three dimensional representation of a circle). It is the safest and the most secure of all the shapes from dangers.” Mumineen living within the boundaries of da’wat al-haqq are safe and secure from all dangers. When they sit around a thaal, it shows their solidarity and proximity in hearts and minds. This solidarity further gets strengthened and the proximity gets enhanced when they share food from the same plates and bowls.

Our Hudaat Kiraam AS have always encouraged mumineen to sit in a thaal.

  • Panjatan Paak AS sat around the thaal that descended from heavens upon Maulatona Fatema AS.
  • Imam Mehdi AS, Imam Qa’im AS and Imam Mansoor AS were seated around thaal having their meal when a maid offered water to one of the children present in the thaal.

A thaal upon which dishes of food have been placed is called a مائدة  (Maa’idat). When the thaals of ‘Ale Mohammed SA are placed (for mumineen to partake from), firishtah gather around it. They do taqdees and tasbeeh of Allah, and do istighfaar for those mumineen who partake from it.

We mumineen are doubly blessed to partake barakat from Faiz al-Mawa’id al-Burhaniyah.

RasulullahSAW has stated that more the number of persons sharing food from a same thaal, the greater the barakat. Al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Abdulqadir Najmudin RA issued a mithaal sharif declaring that to avoid wastage, each thaal of mumineen should compulsorily have at least five adults and each thaal of muminaat should compulsorily have at least four adults.

Out of respect for the rizq (sustenance) Allah has provided us with, thaals should be kept atop a tarakhti. A sufrah is to be spread below the tarakhti and thaal. Food particles falling off from the thaal should be picked and consumed. Once, a man sought Imam Ja’farus SadiqAS’s counsel for pain in his lower back. Imam AS advised him to pick up and consume food grains that have fallen from thaal. He did as directed and was relieved of his ailment.

The reverence of sitting at a thaal and partaking from a meal is such that mumineen directed to refrain from correcting the manners and etiquettes of their children while at the thaal.

Al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal SaifuddinTUS stresses the importance of adhering to our Awliyaa’ Kiraam’s tradition of eating seated at a thaal. Indeed, mumineen uphold this thaqaafat of thaal across geographical boundaries. This custom endorses our allegiance to the fraternity of mumineen. Sitting around a thaal we proudly announce our unity and oneness.

Al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Mohammed BurhanuddinRA had once said that one should consider it an honour to be granted permission to sit in the thaal of the aamil saheb.

Indeed, blessed is one whom waliyullah grants raza Mubarak to sit in his thaal.

May Allah protect Fatemi Thaqaafat in our generations. May He grant our Maula Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin, the custodian of Fatemi Thaqaafat a long life till the Day of Qiyaamat. Aamin.