During the third sermon of the Ashara Mubaraka event, His Holiness Syedna Saifuddin spoke of hope and optimism. Expounding on the sayings of Imam Ali bin abi Talib AS, he counselled the community to never abandon hope even in the most dire circumstances because those who hope and are optimistic are rewarded in due course.
He spoke of how hope can sometimes alleviate pain and even cure ailments, while cautioning against idle hope which is not backed by requisite action, like a farmer who hopes to reap harvest without tilling the land.
Citing a couplet by Syedna al-Muayyad al-Shirazi, one of the most prominent scholars of the Fatimi era, His Holiness expressed that when one door closes there is always another door which the Almighty opens, and indeed even the toughest of circumstances ease away with time for those who stay true to hope.
He recalled a pivotal instance in the history of the community when the 43rd incumbent Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin welcomed thousands of community members to Surat after a severe famine left families in the Kutch District of Gujarat without the basic means to survive. Syedna housed them for over a year and taught them vocational skills while creating opportunities of employment for them.
He also set up a fund for each family which he gave to them as capital before blessing their voyages to faraway lands in search of better prospects. Bohra communities found today in Sri Lanka, East Africa as well as other parts of the world are living testament to the power of hope. When one door was closed, through the guidance and grace of their spiritual leaders throughout history, they have found other doors of opportunity open to them.
Syedna concluded the day’s sermon by highlighting how the remembrance of Imam Husain and his fortitude in the face of persecution can inspire hope even in instances where it would seem that there is none.