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  • Poll #25   57 members have voted

    1. 1. What is the best of the "Big 3" Universal Food Bases to Make a Meal?


      • Rice-based
      • Noodle-based
      • Bread-based

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    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
         0
      The vegetarian industry holds that killing animals is bad. No doubt killing an animal means that it suffers a premature death. However nowadays, at least, it is because of the human need for meat that millions of animals have a life that they otherwise would not have had - because there would not have been an economic reason for them to be bred.
      The issue then, is one of premature death vs. not having a life at all.
      If people believe that animals are sentient and have some level of intelligence and should not be slaughtered as a result - surely those very arguments can be used to against denying those animals life as a vegetarian lifestyle would. 
      So the solution to the ethical/sustainability issues around meat eating is not to ban the practice altogether, rather it is to do with proper animal husbandry and a level of animal protein consumption that is lower than at present.
    • By Ali in ShiaChat.com Blog
         14
      [This will be a series of blog entries on the history of ShiaChat.com; how it was founded, major ups and down, politics and issues behind running such a site and of course, the drama!  I will also provide some feedback on development efforts, new features and future goals and objectives]
      Part 1 - The IRC (#Shia) Days!
      Sit children, gather around and let me speak to you of tales of times before there was ever high-speed Internet, Wi-Fi, YouTube or Facebook; a time when the Internet was a much different place and 15 year old me was still trying to make sense of it all. 
      In the 90s, the Internet was a very different place; no social media, no video streaming and downloading an image used to take anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on how fast your 14.4k monster-sized dial up modem was.  Of course you also had to be lucky enough for your mom to have the common courtesy not to disconnect you when you’re in the middle of a session; that is if you were privileged enough to have Internet at home and not have to spend hours at school or libraries, or looking for AOL discs with 30 hour free trials..(Breathe... breathe... breathe) -  I digress.
      Back in 1998 when Google was still a little computer sitting in Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s basement, I was engaged in armchair jihadi-like debates with our Sunni brothers on an IRC channel called #Shia.  (Ok, a side note here for all you little pups.  This is not read as Hashtag Shia, the correct way of reading this is “Channel Shia”.  The “Hash tag” was a much cooler thing back in the day than the way you young’uns use it today).
      For those of you who don’t know what IRC was (or is... as it still exists), it stands for Internet Relay Chat, which are servers available that you could host chat rooms in and connect through a client.  It was like the Wild West where anyone can go and “found” their own channel (chat room), become an operator and reign down their god-like dictator powers upon the minions that were to join as member of their chat room.  Luckily, #Shia had already been established for a few years before by a couple of brothers I met from Toronto, Canada (Hussain A. and Mohammed H.).  Young and eager, I quickly rose up the ranks to become a moderator (@Ali) and the chatroom quickly became an important part of my adolescent years.  I learned everything I knew from that channel and met some of the most incredible people.  Needless to say, I spent hours and dedicated a good portion of my life on the chatroom; of course the alternate was school and work but that was just boring to a 15 year old.
      In the 90’s, creating a website was just starting to be cool so I volunteered to create a website for #Shia to advertise our services, who we are, what we do as well as have a list of moderators and administrators that have volunteered to maintain #Shia.  As a result, #Shia’s first website was hosted on a friend’s server under the URL http://786-110.co.uk/shia/ - yes, ShiaChat.com as a domain did not exist yet – was too expensive for my taste so we piggy backed on one of our member’s servers and domain name.
      The channel quickly became popular, so popular that we sometimes outnumbered our nemesis, #Islam.  As a result, our moderator team was growing as well and we needed a website with an application that would help us manage our chatroom in a more efficient style.  Being a global channel, it was very hard to do “shift transfers” and knowledge transfers between moderators as the typical nature of a chatroom is the fact that when a word is typed, its posted and its gone after a few seconds – this quickly became a pain point for us trying to maintain a list of offenders to keep an eye out for and have it all maintained in a historical, easily accessible way.
      A thought occurred to me.  Why not start a “forum” for the moderators to use?  The concept of “forums” or discussion boards was new to the Internet – it was the seed of what we call social media today.  The concept of having a chat-style discussion be forever hosted online and be available for everyone to view and respond to at anytime from anywhere was extremely well welcomed by the Internet users.  I don’t recall what software or service I initially used to set that forum up, but I did – with absolutely no knowledge that the forum I just setup was a tiny little acorn that would one day be the oak tree that is ShiaChat.com.
      [More to follow, Part 2..]
      So who here is still around from the good old #Shia IRC days?
    • By Islamic Salvation in A Marginalia to Mu'jam
         13

       
      A small collection of 82 reliable narrations concerning Intellect and Knowledge translated into English with annotated footnotes. 
      Download PDF: https://www.scribd.com/document/361632457/Book-of-Intellect-and-Knowledge-Mu-jam-1-1
      This is an UNSECURED version to aid copy and paste.
       
      Preamble
      The first book of the first volume is the book of Intellect and Knowledge. Some short words on the Islamic conception of both is in order.
      Aql is the vehicle through which the initial queries about the reality of life and nature of the world is made. It is also an essential component towards the Ma’rifa [recognition] of Allah. Thus it becomes the preliminary ‘inner prophet’ which can lead to ‘outward’ guidance and consequently obedience of Allah. It has been attributed to al-Sadiq that he said when asked to define Aql:
      ما عبد به الرحمن واكتسب به الجنان
      That by which the Rahman [Most Merciful] is worshipped and by which the Gardens are acquired[1]
      Aql is what will be held accountable. The more perfect the Aql of the one doing the deed the more complete it becomes and vice versa. The messenger of Allah is supposed to have said:
      إذا رأيتم الرجل كثير الصلاة كثير الصيام فلا تباهوا به حتى تنظروا كيف عقله؟
      If you see a man who prays a lot and fasts a lot then do not be overly impressed with him until you observe how his Aql is[2]
      Knowledge and its pursuit has been given such importance in Islam that a Western Scholar like Rosenthal could speak of the ‘Empire of Reason’. Knowledge is of many types, but the one which has been obligated is acquiring the knowledge which will make one succeed in this world and hereafter i.e. knowledge of the creator and one’s obligations towards Him.
      It is not enough to gain knowledge in theoretical terms, in fact the very definition of knowledge is the one which is put into practise. This is best summed up in a narration attributed to the Commander of the Faithful:
      حسبك من العلم أن تخشى الله، وحسبك من الجهل أن تعجب بعلمك
      It is enough to be considered knowledge that you be in awe of Allah, and it is enough to be considered ignorance that you feel proud with that which you know[3]
        [1] al-Kafi: 1/11
      [2] al-Kafi: 1/26
      [3] Amali of al-Tusi: 1/62
    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
         0
      Every day there is news of some new aspect of animal intelligence that has been discovered. Whether it is elephants, orcas or lobsters we are finding out about how these creatures manifest different aspects of what we consider intelligence to be.
      Of course, the irony is that whatever intelligence we observe was always there, what has changed is the development of tests on our part in order to measure it. Some of these tests are very simple and elegant, but what they highlight is the evolution in man's ability to identify phenomena and then develop measures to assess it.
    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
         0
      The critics of Islam hold up liberal democracy as a non-religious system of human collaboration that adheres to various ethical and moral tenets, where religion falls down. Chief amongst these is the equality of all people in being able to express their views. This is said to contrast with religious leadership which usually contains elderly men.
      The point about rationality and its link with scientificness is that it allows for the dumping of theories that no longer account for the observations we make of the natural world. In an editorial today the Financial Times identifies a problem the Brexit vote in the UK, which to my mind can be applied to democratic institutions more broadly.
      The FT observes that British parliamentarians are sliding down the slope of leaving the EU, knowing full well that this is economic and political disaster and the only reason they are doing this is the 'mystical status' (the FT's own words) of the referendum whose result started this bandwagon.
      And this is is because for some democrats referendums have an almost holy status. After all they are the purest expression of the will of the people. Of course, they have weaknesses and they can be manipulated, but the rationality of those limitations is overlooked in favour of what referendums represent.
      For me this just emphasises how religious belief is immanent in the human condition. Whether it is the beliefs of the Easter Islanders who continued to build their moai despite the environmental degradation that behaviour and ultimate destruction of their society that this caused or whether it is the national suicide being committed by the UK at the altar of democratic sacrifice. It all amounts to religious belief, no matter how many Greek philosophers you use to justify it.
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