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  • Ali

    The Story of ShiaChat.com - The IRC (#Shia) Days!

    By Ali

    [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?      
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  • Islamic Salvation

    A Hadith 'Banning' Foreclosure?

    By Islamic Salvation

    The modern economic system and the immoral capitalism that it can engender have given rise to preposterous inequality, greed-based wars and rampant poverty. The two engines for this exploitative system continue to be ‘interest’ and ‘gambling [stock speculation]’ both of which were outlawed by Islam in its quest to build a humane society. Take away both and most of the inflated ‘bubble’ will collapse hopefully to be replaced by a worth-based economy. A pillar of this system is ‘debt’, millions tethered to their credit cards, having to service the seemingly ever-increasing burden on them whilst employed in under-paid jobs. The wealth floods upwards instead of 'trickling down' making a few fat cats richer without having to sweat a single drop. Islam is more generous in its allowance for a grace period to the one struggling and even encouraging full cancellation of the debt as an act of charity. وَإِنْ كَانَ ذُو عُسْرَةٍ فَنَظِرَةٌ إِلَىٰ مَيْسَرَةٍ ۚ وَأَنْ تَصَدَّقُوا خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ ۖ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ “And if the debtor is in straitened circumstances, then (let there be) postponement to (the time of) ease; and that you remit the debt as almsgiving would be better for you if you did but know” (2:280). Sharks give loans to under-privileged and desperate people whom they prey on and then auction off their homes [which was placed as warranty] the moment they default or even before. In under-developed countries, a wide-spread practice is for the house of the defaulter to be putatively sold off at a paltry price – equal to the loan and far below the real value of the house – but that is only as far as records on the books are concerned, everyone knows that in reality a sweet confidential deal has been agreed upon with a pre-selected buyer who pays a large commission for being given the privilege of first dibs. This Hadith which al-Muhsini places in the Bab on Usul al-Fiqh - as it indicates the Hujiyya [authority] of Khabar al-Wahid [solitary report] because Ibn Abi Umayr is citing Dharih’s narration as evidence for his action, reveals another even more important principle in Islam as taught by the Imam i.e. creditors should not demand and take away someone’s home for the sake of recovering a loan. A note of caution: Since the need to fulfill contractual obligations is stressed in Islam, and considering the technical nature of the subject, this narration should not be seen as a ruling [a field which is left to the Maraji who are the experts], however, we can still gleam from it a general spirit encouraged by Islam. [-/11] الفقيه: بإسناده عن ابراهيم بن هاشم ان محمد بن ابي عمير كان رجلا بزازا فذهب ماله وافتقره وكان له على رجل عشرة آلاف درهم فباع دارا له كان يسكنها بعشرة آلاف درهم وحمل المال إلى بابه فخرج اليه محمد بن ابي عمير فقال: ما هذا؟ فقال: هذا مالك الذي لك علي قال: ورثته؟ قال: لا قال: وهب لك؟ قال: لا قال: فهل هو ثمن ضيعة بعتها؟ قال: لا قال: فما هو؟ قال: بعت داري التي اسكنها لاقضي ديني فقال محمد بن ابي عمير: حدثني ذريح المحاربي عن ابي عبدالله عليه السلام انه قال: لا يخرج الرجل عن مسقط رأسه بالدين، ارفعها فلا حاجة لي فيها والله اني لمحتاج في وقتي هذا إلى درهم واحد وما يدخل ملكي منها درهم واحد [11/-] al-Faqih: Via his chain from Ibrahim b. Hashim that - Muhammad b. Abi Umayr was a cloth merchant whose wealth perished and he fell into indigence, he had however loaned out ten thousand silver coins to someone, so the one he owed sold his house which he used to live in at a price of ten thousand silver coins and carried the whole sum to his (Ibn Abi Umayr’s) door, so Muhammad b. Abi Umayr came out to him and said: what is this? he said: this is your money which was due upon me, he said: you have inherited it? he said: no, he said: it has been gifted to you? he said: no, he said: is it the price of a land you have sold? He said: no, he said: then what is it? he said: I sold my house in which I live in so that I can repay my debt, so Muhammad b. Abi Umayr said: Dharih al-Muharibi narrated to me from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام  that he said: "a man is not driven out of his place of residence (home) because of debt" take it away for I have no need of it, by Allah even though I do have a need of even a single silver coin at this time - I will not take a single one of them into my possession.
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Our community blogs

  1. The root ethic in Islam is maintaining a healthy heart. I'm not referring to the pulsating organ in your left chest, but rather I'm referring to the qalb. The heart is the metaphysical mind and conscience that the Quran ties to our thoughts and feelings. It is the locus of our faith, the home of our innermost secrets, the intuitive criterion for good and evil, and the organ through which our Creator is known. In the hadith literature, the heart is connected to all of the senses: seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling, and smelling; and the information that these senses receive are directed to the heart. The heart then identifies and interprets this information. The heart is the Imam of the body that answers the questions of the body and clarifies its doubts. ( قلت أ فلك قلب قال نعم قال قلت فما تصنع به قال أميز به كلما ورد على هذه الجوارح قال قلت أ فليس في هذه الجوارح غنى عن القلب قال لا قلت وكيف ذلك وهي صحيحة قال يا بني إن الجوارح إذا شكت في شيء شمته أو رأته أو ذاقته ردته إلى القلب فليقر به اليقين ويبطل الشك قال قلت فإنما أقام الله عز وجل القلب لشك الجوارح قال نعم قال قلت ولا بد من القلب وإلا لم يستيقن الجوارح قال نعم قال قلت يا أبا مروان إن الله لم يترك جوارحك حتى جعل لها إماما يصحح لها الصحيح وينفي ما شكت فيه ويترك هذا الخلق كلهم في حيرتهم وشكهم واختلافهم لا يقيم لهم إماما يردون إليه شكهم وحيرتهم ويقيم لك إماما لجوارحك يرد إليك شكك وحيرتك )

    The root verb (قلب) means to turn, to flip, and to change. A healthy heart is soft: it fluidly changes from state to state, depending on its surroundings. If it perceives oppression, it expresses hatred for the oppressor and sympathy for the oppressed. If it perceives God's signs, it basks in wonder and amazement. If it perceives love, it loves. It is constantly reflecting and "turning", hence the root word. An unhealthy heart is a hard heart: it is numb, heavy, heedless, stagnant, and does not react to its surroundings. It is desensitized to good and evil, and it does not recognize God's signs. Its hardness impedes its ability to flux, which is what a heart is made to do.

    The goal of Islamic ethics is to remain soft-hearted by practicing humility, by crying over injustice, to curb our arrogance and heedlessness, to be selfless, and to return to our natural order. Yes, having a soft-heart can be painful, but those who turn their heart into a hard shell become bitter, distant, selfish, and absent-minded. Rather than genuinely turning their pain into a lesson, they mentally run away from their problems by locking their heart and letting nothing in. But only through heartfelt contemplation can true progress take place, both within yourself and within your society.

    For some, the family is the basic unit of society. Family is seen as the building block of civilization, and the most basic natural association for the physical and emotional fulfillment of a people. For others, the individual is the basic unit of society, because individuals enjoy their own agency, even if they work towards a common end.

    The basic unit of society in Islam, however, appears to be the heart. Being in a family is an ideal state, but it is not the reality for many people, nor is it wajib, nor does a family have complete agency. But similarly, to say that the individual is the basis is to assume that society is an amalgamation of separate, competing, selfish, and divergent people. The reality is that people are very connected - by blood, by tribe, by religion, by party, and by common interest. The heart in Islam does not deny the agency of the individual, but it is much more than individualism. It connects a person to his surroundings, and a cultivated heart is connected to that universal intellect (العقل الكلي) that is mindful of God and His divine authority.

    And so the goal of a society should not just be productivity, because a productivity that ignores goodness is destructive. Rather, the goal of a society should be to maintain its humanity. A hard heart is vain, greedy, and heedless, while a soft heart is selfless, compassionate, and seeking constant betterment. If the basic unit is cultivated, our societal and political affairs will change overnight (13:11). Everything else in society - our families, our workplaces, our entertainment, our religion, and our social lives - should all be geared towards maintaining and improving the basic unit of our society.

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  2. يا جابر كم من عبد إن غاب لم يفقدوه و إن شهد لم يعرفوه  

                في أطمار لو أقسم على الله لأبره قسمه                    

    O Jabir - how a many a man there is - if he is absent they do not ask about him, and if he is present they do not recognize him,

    In ragged clothes, but if he swears an oath upon Allah - then Allah surely fulfills his oath for him. [Ja’far al-Sadiq]

     

    The Real Wolves of Wall-Street

    A better metaphor for a certain type of ambitious, cut-throat, high level banker than wolf [or other members of the extended canine family for that matter] is not easy to find. This is because they share the same aggression combined with a very low regard for the financial health of the many innocent whose wealth they play around with.

    A narration from the commander of the faithful, which in some variants is attributed to the prophet (via Ali), predicts just such persons in a future age, going on to describe their practices with an accuracy that only prophetic insight can bring.

    The narration is found in Uyun Akhbar al-Rida of al-Saduq (and other sources), and is represented below:

    ن: بالاسانيد الثلاثة، عن الرضا، عن آبائه، عن الحسين بن علي عليهم السلام قال: خطبنا أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام فقال: سيأتي على الناس زمان عضوض يعض المؤمن على ما في يده ولم يؤمر بذلك، قال الله تعالى: وَلَا تَنْسَوُا الْفَضْلَ بَيْنَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ وسيأتي زمان يقدم فيه الاشرار وينسئ فيه الاخيار، ويبايع المضطر – وقد نهى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله عن بيع المضطر وعن بيع الغرر – فاتقوا الله يا أيها الناس واصلحوا ذات بينكم، واحفظوني في أهلي

    Uyun: Via the three chains from al-Ridha from his forefathers from al-Husayn b. Ali عليهم السلام  who said: the commander of the faithfulعليه السلام  addressed us and said: there will come upon people an extremely severe age, the believer will cling on tightly to that which is in his hand while he was not ordered to do that - Allah the Exalted says: “and do not forget liberality between yourselves, verily Allah is aware of what you do” (2:237), and there will come a time wherein evil men will be given precedence and the righteous will be forgotten, deals are conducted with the one in distress, while the messenger of Allah prohibited transaction with the one in distress, and [also prohibited] the deceptive sale, so fear Allah O people and mend the ties between you, and safeguard me through [honoring] my descendants.

    Ref: Muhammad Asif al-Muhsini, Mu'jam al-Ahadith al-Mu'tabara, Bab al-Sakha wa al-Bukhl, Kitab al-Akhlaq (Qum: Dar Nashr Adyan; 1st edition, 1434 H), Vol. 3, Pg. 172, No.6.

     

    Commentary

    « يأتي على الناس زمان عضوض »

    <<There will come upon people an extremely severe age>>

    زمان عضوض  is a key phrase which I have rendered as ‘an extremely severe age’, but it has its subtleties which need to be fleshed out.

    عض  originally means

    العَضُّ الشدُّ بالأَسنان على الشيء

    ‘to bite onto/take hold of something using teeth’

    عَضُوضٌ  is derived fromعض  and primarily used as a descriptive adjective for an animal, and one animal in particular, it is said:كلب عَضُوضٌ  a dog that bites habitually.

    This was extended analogically to derive other meanings (but is still intimately associated with its original meaning):

     

    [I] When applied to rule or dominion it has the special significance of tyranny, as though the subjects thereof are being bitten by a dog.

    It has been used with this meaning in the famous narration of the prophet in Sunni sources:

    إن الله عز وجل بدأ هذا الأمر نبوة ورحمة ، وكائناً خلافة ورحمة، وكائناً ملكاً عضوضاً

    Allah Mighty and Majestic began this affair with prophethood and mercy, and then will be succession and mercy, and then will be aملكاً عضوضاً  (tyrannical kingdom). This is how various annotators defined ملكاً عضوضاً:

    شديد الظلم على الناس، يعضهم كالكلب

    Excessive in tyranny on the people, tearing into them like a dog.

    قال  ابن الأثير في النهاية: يصيب الرعية فيه عسْفٌ وظُلْم، كأنَّهم  يُعَضُّون فيه عَضًّا

    Ibn Athir says in al-Nihaya: The civilians will be inflicted in it with oppression and tyranny, as if they are being bitten in it with bites.

    وهو نص على عدم شرعية حكم معاوية وأنه حكم جائر يعض المسلمين كالكلب

    And this is a clear proof-text proving the illegitimacy of the rule of Muawiya, and that he was an unjust ruler who will bite the Muslims like a dog.

    Very early evidence for this usage is also found in a letter of Talha to the people of Misr (inciting them against Uthman) in al-Imama wa al-Siyasa of pseudo-Ibn Qutayba

    وكانت الخلافة بعد نبيّنا خلافة نبوّة ورحمة، وهي اليوم ملك عضوض، مَن غلب على شي ء أكَلَه

    The Khilafa after our prophet was a Khilafa of prophethood and mercy, but it is today a tyrannical kingdom, whoever over-powers something eats it up.

     

    [II] When applied to a time-period or an age it has the special significance of severe, as though the age is biting those living through it because of various difficulties that it contains.

    It has been used with this meaning in the poem below:

    إليك أشكو زمناً عَضوضاً         مَن يَنْجُ منه ينقلب حَرِيضا

    To you I complain زمناً عَضوضاً  (a severe age)     whoever is saved from it returns back sickened

    A commentator says about this زمناً عَضوضاً:

    أي كلب يقال: كلب الدهر على أهله إذا ألحّ عليهم واشتدّ

    Meaning hard. It is said: the time has become hard on the people if it constantly presses on them and becomes extreme.

    زمان يعضّ الناس ككلب كلب

    Al-Tustari: an age which bites the people like a rabid dog.

    I say: We can see thatعضوض  connotes both unjust rule and an extremely severe [austere] period to come in the future. What is the most common way in which the modern economic system is described? A rapacious and increasingly ravenous dog eat dog world with great wealth owned by a few and austerity for the rest. And all this is alluded to in the narration!

    زمان الضيق و الشدّة على أهله من جهة ضيق المعاش و كثرة القوانين و الحدود الموضوعة من الظلمة و الجبّارين على الضّعفاء و المساكين و غير ذلك

    Mir Habib Allah al-Khoei: This age is characterized by poverty and troubles on its people, this is due to the constriction in their living, and the numerous man-made laws and rules which are enacted by unjust and tyrannic rulers over the weak and poor.

    I say: Global poverty (inequality) is the main scourge of the modern economic system.

     

      « يعض المؤمن على ما في يده »

    <<the believer will cling on tightly to that which is in his hand>> 

    There is surely a mistake in this clause since it is not something we expect a believer to do, sure enough, when we look at the Nahj al-Balagha variant of this same tradition it says:

    « يعض الموسر على ما في يديه »

    <<the well-off will cling on tightly to that which is in his hands>>

    فلا يدع أن يخرج منه خير إلى غيره

    Al-Tustari: so he will not allow any of his wealth to go to anyone else.

    عض الرجل على ماله اذا جمعه لنفسه فلا ينفقه و لا يعطى شيئا منه

    Al-Rawandi: a man clings on to his wealth if he amasses it only for himself and does not give anything of it to anyone.

    و عض فلان على ما في يده أي بخل و أمسك

    Ibn Abi al-Hadid: someone clings to what is in his hands, that is: becomes stingy and withholds.

    I say: Greed is the main driver of this.

     

    « و لم يؤمر بذلك »

    <<while he was not ordered to do that>>

    بل بضدّه قال اللّه سبحانه: وَلَا تَنْسَوُا الْفَضْلَ بَيْنَكُمْ

    Al-Tustari: rather he was ordered to do its opposite, Allah Glorified is He says: “and do not forget liberality between yourselves” (2:237).

    The language used is not of command but encouragement, this shows that what is spoken of here is generosity in giving not the obligatory dues like Zakat.

     و لا تنسوا الفضل بينكم و قال تعالى نسوا اللّه فنسيهم أي تركوا أمر اللّه و طاعته فترك اثابتهم، و اصل النسيان الترك

    al-Rawandi says: “and do not forget liberality between yourselves” in another verse He said: “they forgot Allah so He in turn made them to forget themselves” (9:67), that is, they abandoned the orders of Allah and obedience to Him so he abandoned giving them. And the essence of forgetting is abandoning.

     

    Examples of Liberality in the Hadith

    و عن الصادق عليه السّلام : من يضمن أربعة بأربعة أبيات في الجنّة؟ أنفق و لا تخف فقرا، وأنصف الناس من نفسك، و أفش السلام في العالم، و اترك المراء و إن كنت محقّا

    [al-Khisal]: al-Sadiqعليه السّلام  said: who will guarantee for me these four in exchange of four houses in paradise? Give and do not fear poverty, be just to the people even against your own self-interest, spread peace in the world and abandon arguing even if you are in the right.

    و عن الرضا عليه السّلام قال لمولى له: هل أنفقت اليوم شيئا؟ فقال لا فقال فمن أين يخلف اللّه علينا أنفق و لو درهما واحدا

    [al-Kafi]: From al-Ridhaعليه السّلام  who said to a Mawla of his: have you spent anything on charity today? he said: no, he said: how is Allah going to compensate us (in what we spend - if it is not in charity)? Give in charity even if it be a single silver coin.

     

    Three Main Signs of that Age

      « يقدّم فيه الأشرار، و ينسى ء فيه الأخيار »

    1. << the evil men will be given precedence and the righteous will be forgotten >>

    Let no one be in doubt about the moral decadence of a tax-evading global elite, a handful of whom own the wealth of almost half the earth’s population, or that of politicians who acquire positions of power deceitfully, in fact the lower they debase themselves the higher they rise, while the righteous are shunned, mocked and demeaned, or as is more likely, considered irrelevant, a pathetic remnant of a bygone era where virtue still counted. Relativism and Nihilism are after all what characterize this age.

    To be continued …

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    [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?

     

     

     

  3. Original Post: Time Concepts in the Qur’an – a Historical Perspective

    This is based on my understanding of a recorded lecture posted online a few days ago, of Dr. Ahmad Pakatchi speaking at The International Conference on Interdisciplinary Quranic Studies in Tehran. I hope any written material by him or other researchers will become accessible on this subject, especially given that Dr. Pakatchi is one of Iran's qualified and well known professors.

    ---

    Time plays an important and often times a complicated role in various different fields, and history is definitely not an exception to this rule. One specific discussion pertaining to time and its role in history is with regards to a division of time from two different perspectives. The first division is that of Relative and Absolute - a division that also exists in archaeology and geology, and the second is into Comparative and Structural.

    Absolute time is a numerical measurement that is calculated based on an origin, and by which we can date various events and instances. For example, making the Hijrah of the Prophet (s) or the birth of 'Isa (s) the initial point of our time, we can subsequently give time-stamps to events in history mentioning their date, month or year of occurrence.

    On the other hand, Relative time does not provide any specific date or timestamp, as it is a comparison of two events with one another, and only tells us about their relative order. Saying that the revolt of Mukhtar took place after the event of Karbala is an example of Relative time.

    Based on the second type of division, Comparative time is when we look into a historical event or an event that is considered historical, in relation to other historical events from the perspective of time. For example, when we say that a certain event took place 60 years after such and such event, this is a case of Comparative time. Here we are not looking at our incident on its own, rather in relation to other events.

    Structural time on the other hand, is when we look into a historical instance in it and of itself as a singular structure, without comparing it with any other events. For example, saying that so and so person lived for 70 years is a case of Structural time. We are referring to a time (i.e. the person’s age) whose origin and end is the person himself.

    These divisions can subsequently be combined with one another to produce four separate concepts of time. Each of these concepts will be explained with an example:

    1) Absolute-Comparative: For example, if we say that the event of 'Ashura took place in 61st Hijri, we are applying the concept of time to the day of 'Ashura by comparing it with a specific origin (i.e. the migration of the Prophet) while at also mentioning the date of its exact occurrence within a historical timeline.

    2) Relative-Comparative: For example, if we say that the event of 'Ashura took place after the death of Imam Hasan (s), we are looking into one event while comparing it with another, and then giving it its own relative order. There is a comparison here, and also an indication of what happened first, but there is no numerical measurement which gives us a timestamp for either of the events.

    3) Absolute-Structural: For example, if we say that the duration of Imam Husayn's (s) Imamate was eleven years, we are applying a structural understanding of time as far as we are only concerned about Imam Husayn (s) on his own, yet also giving an exact numerical value to the duration of his Imamate.

    4) Relative-Structural: For example, if we say that Hurr bin Yazid al-Riyahi was the commander of Ibn Ziyad's army before coming to the Imam's side. In this case, we are looking at the life of Hurr as an individual, and giving a relative order to some of his actions based on what he did before and after the event of Karbala. We are not occupying ourselves with the details of any other historical events, rather our concern is the life of Hurr himself.

    Relative-Comparative time is perhaps the most often used concept of time in the Qur'an. It is primarily this specific combination that is used to cite examples of historic recurrence in philosophy of history. Absolute-Comparative cases do not seem to exist in the Qur’an, and coincidently, it is this concept of time that implies that an event has taken place and will not recur. This does not seem to be because the culture and society of the time wasn't aware of such a mode of conveying history – especially given that you can find examples of this in previous books - rather there is Divine Wisdom behind its absence.

    Within the Qur'an, Relative-Comparative cases are often those which make use of words that signify concepts of before and after, such as ba’d (بعد)qabl (قبل), ula (اولي), ukhra (اخرى). In some verses this meaning is also signified through the verb khalafa (خلف), meaning to succeed, and waritha (ورث), meaning to inherit. See for example when the Qur’an in 53:51-52 speaks about the destruction of Thamud, and before them the people of Noah (wa qawma Nuhin min qabl), or when it refers to the appointment of a king for the Israelites after Moses (2:246-247). In both these cases, we have no information about when these events took place on a measurable timeline, but we do know which event occurred first and which occurred second.

    Some Relative-Comparative cases of time in the Qur’an follow a specific style and pattern, where it mentions two events, but does not give us any information about the event between those two. See for example, in 40:5 The people of Noah denied before them and the [heathen] factions [who came] after them. In this verse, we know about the situation of those who denied Prophet Muhammad (s), and the verse tells us that previously the same had occurred with Noah (s). However, based on this verse alone, we are not told any real information about those groups that came between these two events and those historic events are kept vague. This style, along with signifying recurrence and emphasis, seems to also allude to and emphasize the concept of lengthiness and span of time.

    We also find examples of Relative-Comparative usage of time in the Qur’an. These cases are mostly recorded in a narratological manner. Surah al-Kahf is a great example of this, or the story of Dhu al-Qarnayn, or the story of Moses (s) and Khidhr and of course the story of Yusuf (s). In Surah al-Saaffat, we have short stories or rather verses that recall incidents from the lives of various Prophets (s) such that we understand that each Prophet is essentially a continuation of the story of the previous Prophet.

    Absolute-Structural cases also exist in the Qur’an. For example, in 29:20 the Qur’an mentions that Noah’s life was a thousand-less-fifty years until the flood overtook his people. Over here Noah (s) and his life alone is the subject of discussion, but the verse also gives us a numeric value which makes it absolute since his age is being measured from the time of his birth. This verse however, is not Absolute-Comparative because we do not know when Noah lived precisely and neither do we know when the flood took place in absolute terms.

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    I have been meaning to post this theory/analysis for a while now but hadn't to-date for fear of creating an unnecessary controversy. Something that all of us need to ask ourselves and someone did ask me is the question, "What happened to the Ummah that within 50 years of the Prophet's demise, his grandson was brutally murdered?"

    Background:

     

    (From the TV Serial about the life of Caliph Umar)

    During the early days of Islam, the Kuffar of Mecca regularly gathered inside the Kaaba to discuss the issue of the Prophet (saw) and Islam and how to rid Arabia of them.  The gathering included a Who's Who of the Kuffar including personalities such as Abu Sufiyan, Mughayrah, Umar bin Al-Khattab and others. Umar was one of the shrewdest members of this Shura Council as his advice was regularly heeded by others.

    All these personalities actively participated in the persecution of the Muslims as they were staunchly against the new faith. Specifically, Umar's animosity was such that he did not hesitate from beating his slave girl (Labina) until he would tire and then promise her he would continue upon regaining his strength. (Shilbi Nomani - Al-Farooq)

    The Shura discussed several options including bribing the Prophet, threatening him, negotiating with him, etc. One option that was hinted was sending a spy amongst the Muslims to keep track of their plans.

     

    The Conversion:

     

    Umar was enraged when he first heard the words of the Quran. One day (around the 6th year of Islam), Umar decided he had had enough of Islam and was going to end the 'fitna' once and for all by killing Muhammad (saw). A normally careful and shrewd individual who was not known for his bravery somehow decided to brandish his sword in public and was walking over furiously to kill the Prophet (saw) when he stumbled upon Numain bin Abdullah who inquired about his matter. The ever careful Umar told Numain openly that he intended to kill Muhammad but Numain told him to get his own house in order since Umar's sister and her husband had also accepted Islam.

    So Umar went to his sister's house and eavesdropped on them reading some verses of the Quran. He entered their house, accused them of converting to Islam and beat them until they bled. Umar's sister (Fatima) told Umar that no matter what he did to them, they would not leave Islam. BAM!!!

    These words had such an effect on Umar that he asked his sister to recite some words from the Quran. She did so and he immediately decided to accept Islam by declaring his belief in the Oneness of Allah and the Prophethood of Muhammad.

    He went over to Arqam's house with sword in his hand and was received by the Prophet and his friends with caution. He told them he had accepted Islam and the Prophet and those around him rejoiced.

    Conversion to Hijrah:

     

    Fairly uneventful in terms of Umar. He was not informed about the migration plans of the Prophet.

    Migration to the Demise of the Prophet:

    Badr:
    First of many battles between the kuffar if Mecca and the Muslims of Medina. 

    There are some accounts that tell us the Meccans were informed of a Muslim army gearing up and so they gathered to go after them.

    Someone may have alerted them about the army gearing up.

    Uhud:
    The Kuffar and Muslims armies met again a year later at Uhud.
    After initial skirmishes, Ali, Hamza and Abu Dujana rushed into the middle of the enemies ranks and overwhelmed them. Some Muslims started plundering the spoils of war before total victory was gained and the archers proceeded to join in. This gave Khalid Bin Walid an opportunity to attack the Muslims from behind. This created a mayhem in which even the Prophet was injured. At this time, someone raised cry that the Prophet was dead and everyone should retreat or run. There were 3 groups of people. “I) A group ran away to Medina without looking back. II) Some continued to fight thinking it was useless to survive without the Prophet. III) A third group laid down their weapons and shield since there was no point in fighting any longer. Umar belonged to this group.” – Shibli Nomani – Al Farooq.

    Balazuri in book Ansab Al-Ashraf states, “Omar was one of those who fled from the battle-field of Ohod but God pardoned him.

    Towards the conclusion of the battle, a group of Muslims had surrounded the Prophet which included Umar. Khalid bin Walid and Abu Sufyan approached the group and ask, “Is Muhammad in the midst of this group?” The Prophet told everyone to stay quite. Then Abu Sufyan asked if Abu Bakr and Umar were there but received no reply so he concluded aloud, “They must have been killed”. Umar could keep quiet no longer and shouted out by thereby disobeying the Prophet, “We are all alive of enemy of God!” – Shibli Nomani – Al Farooq.

    Why did Abu Sufiyan ask about Abu Bakr and Umar?

     

    More importantly, why did Umar blatantly defy the orders of the Prophet (saw)?

     

    Khandaq:
    A trench was dug around Medina in a defensive battle against the Kuffar of Mecca and Jews from several tribes. The Kuffar army put Medina under siege for about 3 weeks. Then Amr bin Abd Wudd thrusted through the trench somehow. Perhaps someone had not dug a certain portion of the trench wide enough. He threatened the Muslims who praised Amr out of fear rather than fight. Ali leapt to fight Amr and beat him.

    The tribe of Banu Qurayza had made a peace treaty with the Muslims but broke it under pressure from the Kuffar Army. News of the Qurayzah's supposed renunciation of the pact with Muhammad leaked out, and Umar promptly informed Muhammad.

    How did Umar know the pact was broken?

     

    Fear and anguish gripped Medina. So tense was the situation that, for the first time, the canonical daily prayers were neglected by the Muslim community. Only at night, when the attacks stopped due to darkness, could they resume their regular worship.

    The Quran addresses this as follows:

    [Shakir 33:10] When they came upon you from above you and from below you, and when the eyes turned dull, and the hearts rose up to the throats, and you began to think diverse thoughts of Allah.

     

    [Shakir 33:11] There the believers were tried and they were shaken with severe shaking.

     

    [Shakir 33:12] And when the hypocrites and those in whose hearts was a disease began to say: Allah and His Messenger did not promise us (victory) but only to deceive.

     

    …..

     

    [Shakir 33:19] Being niggardly with respect to you; but when fear comes, you will see them looking to you, their eyes rolling like one swooning because of death; but when the fear is gone they smite you with sharp tongues, being niggardly of the good things. These have not believed, therefore Allah has made their doing naught; and this is easy to Allah.

     

    [Shakir 33:20] They think the allies are not gone, and if the allies should come (again) they would fain be in the deserts with the desert Arabs asking for news about you, and if they were among you they would not fight save a little.

     

    Who are the hypocrites in such a small group of Muslims?

     

    Who used sharp tongues against the Prophet (happened elsewhere as well)?

     

    Who have not believed?

     

    Who was constantly created discord amongst the Muslims?

     

    Hudaibiya:
    The Prophet intended to go to Mecca for pilgrimage 6AH. He went without arms but Umar convinced him that they may need arms so the Prophet agreed. The Prophet was informed that the Quraysh were not going to let the Muslims into Mecca so the Prophet wanted to send Umar to negotiate. Umar declined and ‘volunteered’ Uthman instead.

    It took Uthman a few days longer than expected so the Prophet took an oath of allegiance from his companions that they would fight rather than flee. Umar was not part of the initial oath of allegiance. He was apparently already gearing up for the battle and was informed by his son of the Bait-al-Rizwan.

    Why would someone not known for military prowess be so eager for a fight?

     

    The Quraysh insisted upon their refusal to allow the Muslims to enter this year and the Treaty of Hudaibiya was negotiated.

    Out of all the Muslims, it was the primary voice of Umar who was vehemently against the treaty and insisted on fighting in order to perform the pilgrimage. Such was his anger that he had this conversation with the Prophet (saw) – Shilbi Nomani – Al Farooq:

    Umar: “O Prophet of God! Are you not the Messenger of God?
    Prophet: “Certainly, I am.
    Umar: “Are not our enemies idolatrous polytheists?
    Prophet: “Undoubtedly they are
    Umar: “Why then should we disgrace our religion?
    Prophet: “I am the Messenger of God and I do not act in contravention of His Commandments

    Could there be a bigger crime committed than accusing the Prophet of disgracing our religion?

     

    Is the tone of Umar very similar to the people Allah address in Surah Azhab 33:11-20? Isn’t Umar smiting the Prophet with his sharp tongue?

     

    Is it possible that when Allah revealed Surah Fath, verse 48.6 was intended for the people who disagreed vehemently with the truce?

     

    Umar was shrew man so why would he insist on going to war with the Quraysh in Mecca with only 1,400 barely armed men? Did he intended to lead Muslims into a slaughter? Was the annoyance to the Treaty a result of the failure of his plans?

     

    Khaibar:
    Fairly uneventful other than Umar tried unsuccessfully to win the Fort.

    Victory of Mecca:
    Uneventful for the most part other than the issue surrounding Abu Sufiyan. Apparently Umar wanted to behead Abu Sufiyan before he could get a word in but Abbas saved Abu Sufiyan from such fate…as the story goes. One way or another, Umar was involved in Abu Sufiyan’s forgiveness.

    Hunain:
    In similar fashion to Uhud, the Muslims gained the advantage initially, then lost it due to plundering, left he Prophet and eventually re-organized to win. It is reported that only a few soldiers stayed behind and fought, including Ali bin Abu Talib, the standard bearer, Abbas bin Abdullah, Abu Fadl Al-Abbas, Usamah, and Abi Sufyan bin Hirith.

    Divorcing of Wives:
    Due to some wives, including Umar’s daughter Hafsa, sharing the secrets of the Prophet, he separated from them for 30 days. People even thought they had been divorced.

     

    Tabuk:
    No battle was fought but an important incident took place. Twelve hypocrites, out of whom eight were from amongst Quraysh and the remaining four were the inhabitants of Madina, decided to scare the camel of the Prophet from the top of a defile situated on the route between Madina and Syria and to make him fall into the valley.

    When he turned back his head he saw in the moonlit night that some mounted persons were pursuing him. To ensure that they might not be identified they had covered their faces and were conversing in very low voices. The Prophet became angry and challenged them and ordered Huzayfah to turn away their camels with his stick.

    The call of the Prophet frightened them very much and they realized that he had become aware of their plot. They therefore, immediately went back the way they had come and joined other soldiers.

    Huzayfah says: "I identified them from the marks of their camels and said to the Prophet: "I can tell you who they are so that you may punish them". But the Prophet instructed me in a kind voice not to divulge their secret, because it was possible that they might repent. He also added: "If I punish them the non-Muslims would say that now that Muhammad has achieved power, he has made a victim of his own companions".( Mughazi-i Waqidi, vol. III, pp. 1042 - 1043; Biharul Anwar, vol. XXI, page 247 and Seerah-i Halabi, vol. III, page 162.)

    Were these the same hypocrites who had been with the Prophet from Uhud onwards?

     

    Final Pilgrimage:
    The final pilgrimage of the Prophet ended at Ghadeer where he announced Ali (as) as his successor.

    Death of the Prophet:
    Upon his return from the final pilgrimage, the Prophet fell ill. He named Usama bin Zayad as the head of an army unit and ordered virtually all his companions save the Bani Hashim to join Usama outside Medina. However, very few reported for duty thereby ignoring the Prophet’s command.

    The illness of the Prophet lasted from 10 – 13 days. Three days before his death (Thursday), the Prophet asked some companions for pen and paper and said that he would write directions for his people which would save them from falling into error. Umar told everyone around that the Prophet was speaking in agony of pain and that the Quran was sufficient. This created a discord among those present. The word used “Hajir” occurs in tradition which signifies hysteria (Shilbi Nomani – Al Farooq).

    If the insults at Hudaibiya were not enough, now we have someone accusing the Prophet of hysteria.

     

    blog1.png.048cae75ec34d1bcd2dfc868b95b64cb.png

    To his credit, Shilbi Numani does try to present excuses for the behavior exhibited by Umar albeit weak excuses.

    Once the Prophet removed these companions from his midst, there is no proof that they were repentant or returned to the Prophet to apologize. In fact, it would be fair to state that the Prophet died angry with Umar and those that supported him.

    blog2.png.f1de66391c54ffabebfbcd7095fc308e.png

    While I will agree with Shilbi that Umar was not upset at the Prophet’s demise but deem it politic to fake anger/sadness, I disagree with him that this was done for the prevention from hypocrites. More than likely and as evident, this was done to buy time to get his hands on the caliphate as we will soon discover.

    It is evident from the incidences at Uhud, Khandaq, Hudaibiya, Hunain and during the last days of the Prophet that Umar was very critical of the Prophet (saw) publicly. When the Quran talks about hypocrites and those who smite the Prophet, is Umar included in that list?

     

    After the Demise of the Prophet:

     

    Saqifah:

     

    We determined that Umar was not filled with sorrow at the demise of the Prophet but simply politicked to buy time. Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah came to Umar and informed him of the gathering of the Ansar at Bani Sa'ida's saqifah to elect a leader. Umar grabbed Abu Bakr and went there with Abu Ubaidah to intervene. Several Sunni sources state that they went their simply to stop the Ansar from selecting their own leader rather than to be elected.

    Abu Bakr and Abu Ubaidah both deemed Umar suitable for the caliphate but there was great disagreement between the Ansar and them over this issue. Then all of a sudden, Umar just pledged his allegiance to Abu Bakr followed by Abu Ubaidah. The Ansar were divided into 2 camps and rather than let the other camp win, they too swore allegiance to Abu Bakr.

    Throughout all the narrations about Saqifah, there is not a single mention of the Prophet or his demise or the need for his burial. Is this the action of a lover of Prophet (saw)?

     

    Bani Hashim:

     

    Imam Ali (as) and the rest of Bani Hashim held out paying allegiance to Abu Bakr. Umar with his cohorts put tremendous pressure on them to swear allegiance to Abu Bakr including standing at the door of Fatima’s house and either threatened or actually set fire to the door causing severe injuries to Fatima (as).

    Fadak:

     

    As part of the punishment for Bani Hashim, the land of Fadak was confiscated from their possession. Hz Fatima (as) and her family laid claim to it in the court of Abu Bakr but it was denied. At times when Abu wanted to return Fadak, Umar convinced him not to do so.

    Caliphate of Abu Bakr:

     

    Almost all decisions during the caliphate of Abu Bakr were taken by Umar. Abu Bakr was nothing more than a token or puppet Caliph with the strings firmly in control of Umar.

    During the last days of Abu Bakr’s life, he decided to make Umar the next caliph by putting it in writing.

    Why did Umar not raise the issue of Abu Bakr speaking/writing under hysteria?

     

    Caliphate of Umar:

    Coming back full circle, we started the conversation discussing the Shura of the Kuffar that used to take place in the Kaaba in which Umar and Abu Sufiyan were active participants. They had a great deal of mutual respect for each other. From Umar’s conversion until the Conquest of Mecca, Abu Sufiyan and Umar were sworn enemies based on Umar’s refusal to go into Mecca during Hudaibiya.  Between the Conquest of Mecca and the demise of the Prophet, the primary people left from the Shura days were Abu Sufiyan and Umar.

    Something happened between the Victory of Mecca (630AD) and 634AD to where first Yazid bin Abu Sufiyan was chosen, by Abu Bakr, to be one of the generals in the army to invade Roman-Syria and then subsequently chosen to be the governor of Syria by Umar.

    Umar had a policy of rotating governors every 2-3 years. However, he did not implement this policy for Syria. He let Yazid bin Abu Sufiyan rule until his death and then immediately turned over the governorship of Syria to Muawiya bin Abu Sufiyan. Yazid and then Muawiya were given full control of Syria, its riches and armies for them to use as they saw fit. There are traditions that state that Abu Sufiyan was upset the news of his son, Yazid’s, death but then rejoiced when he found out Muawiya was given the governorship of Syria. He is even alleged to have said that the reigns of the Caliphate belong to Bani Ummaya now.

    Umar’s last course of action was to setup a biased shura in which no one but Uthman could have been chosen as the Caliph and thereby fulfilling Abu Sufiyan’s dream of the Ummayad dynasty.

    Conclusion:

     

    Umar’s conversion story is somewhat dubious.

    Umar’s time with the Prophet is full of doubts and disrespect. There are no accounts of any sahaba being as rude and obnoxious towards the Prophet as Umar.

    Umar politicked at the demise of the Prophet showing showing no sorrow whatsoever.

    Umar oppressed the family of the Prophet (saw)

    Umar rekindled old friendships and showed favoritism towards them.

    Umar is the primary reason behind the rise of the Bani Ummayya.

    So was Umar a spy sent by the Kuffar of Mecca to tell them of the Prophet’s (saw) plans and to sow doubts and confusion amongst the Muslims?

     

    You be the judge.

     

  4. I'm starting this series of posts to clarify my position on a few issues, whilst trying to answer some questions @Ibn al-Hussain posed in this thread, God-willing.

    I want to eventually prove this claim: that the rise of Akhbarism, and consequently what I term the 'Lite Akhbaris', has been the cause of death of the Shi'i intellectual, and the death of the Shi'i jurist-theologian in the Quranic sense (not in the conventional sense).

    I will compare the methodologies used by the classic scholars to deduce rulings covering all religious topics (not just 'lesser' fiqh, as it was commonly known then), to the now commonly applied sanad/chain method, institutionalised by S. Al-Khoei (rA). I want to show that this latter methodology has allowed Akhbarism to re-establish itself in the shape of 'Lite Akhbaris', operating under the guise of Usoolism.

    Lastly, I will try to provide a solution on bringing out the living from the dead.

  5. So how’s this whole 21st century thing coming along? Yeah.

    With the passage of time, each new era is forced to carry a higher burden and inherit a larger legacy than the generation before. Time is a double edged sword. On one end, more time can expand the opportunity to build constructive relationships, goodwill, positive institutions, and human progress. Conversely, time can serve to widen the accumulation of baggage, knot tighter the machinations of deceit and derision, and aid in the solidification of deviant ideologies, perverse mythologies, and exploitative institutions. In this regard, time is an empty canvas waiting to be marked by any paintbrush, big or small, with whatever paint along the way. 

    Paint is the (im)moral force that gives purpose and relevancy to this big and blank amoral whiteboard known as time. Paint comes in many colors, and can create many designs. Some are beautiful, enhance the surrounding landscape, and work synergistically with other designs, creating a diverse, but single hearted masterpiece. Other paints give ugly imprints, ones that impose themselves unapologetically, have no concern for the holistic creative vision, and serve as an unwelcome blemish. For those who believe in the holy and natural, we know the righteous paints will never tarnish, while the awful ones will water down and fade in their own impurities. 

    So what’s the 21st century portrait looking like? If time is an ever increasing size canvas, yet more paint has been plastered era after era at a much higher proportion, is there anything left for us to put? Anything we can add, or are we simply overwhelmed handling what’s already been dried on? I think the latter is the case. This is our destiny and burden. Our mission will not be to make history, but rather detoxify and realign what’s been accumulated - the human, economic, social, political, environmental, ideological…and all the rest. To redirect towards a proper moral direction. To clean up the mess of our dead ancestors. To not give birth, but to raise what’s been born. 

    We are being helped by science and technology, growing at a faster pace than ever before. We are helped by a huge explosion in the information sector, ease of travel and communication, and a range of logistical conveniences. We can interpret these things as proof of human accomplishment, but more importantly I would humbly call it a gift from above - to help aid us with our mission, as if our creator knows what we need. Divine guidance and support!

    All of us were chosen and raised in a certain time period for a reason, only known to our creator. We shouldn’t let ourselves get wrapped up in self-importance or arrogance about this. Are we “better” or just “different” than those in other times? I don’t think we have the time to worry about such a question. 

    References to war are rife throughout history, and that’s the case here. Specifically, the concept of “total war”, where every resource down to the minute is involved in the effort. In today’s case, every capital resource - the community, personal, psychological, technological - are essential for our mission, and no individual is beyond the scope of relevance and suitability. We have no choice but to go “all in”, and nothing can be held back, if we want any chance of success of a dignified outcome. 

    So this affects me of course, because it instantly puts me on notice. What can I clean up? What micro changes can I contribute, throw in the pot, to help with the macro efforts? The degree of inward digging should hopefully correlate to outward action. I am proud of living in this era, because it gives me an incentive for spiritual and personal re-examination. 

    What do you guys think?

     

  6. :bismillah:

    :salam:

    Let's spread some light on how life is when you're an introvert. Now, I've seen many people claiming to be introverts when they read about us but just because you can relate to a few of the things doesn't make you one of us, you loser! Everyone's a bit introverted and a bit extroverted. If you're more introverted, you're an introvert and the same for an extrovert. If you're somewhere in between, you're an ambivert and that's no fun at all. Seriously, you're no fun.

    For starters, introverts are pretty selective about who they talk to mostly. For the ones we do care about, we talk a lot, we're chatterboxes! But we're more on the listening side. When with someone new, we listen, we smile, we don't know what would be the right thing to say... Yups! But even after being with friends, it becomes exhausting. Extroverts are like leeches, always ready to feed on energy when it comes to socializing. Poor introverts only give energy when we socialize which makes it really exhausting after some time. So, we want to be left alone for some time so we can recharge. So, keep away!

    Image result for how to deal with an introvert

    See that bubble up there, extroverts? Try not to burst it, you monsters! We feel really safe inside of it. Yeah, you can't see it but you can get an idea of what you're being really annoying. Trust me! We're amazing once we let you in that bubble but try to keep it slow and let us learn if you're our type or not. We're sensitive, you know... Nah! We're not. At least all introverts aren't. We can be heartless too. *wink*

    Image result for cyanide and happiness introvert

    Calls... Oh! Please don't call... We can chat through Whatsapp or how about SMS? :) If you're an introvert, you'll get it.

    Although we don't like to socialize much but getting ignored isn't that great either. We're pretty happy by ourselves too. Unlike extroverts, it's not that easy for an introvert to get bored. Especially when you have shiachat to waste time on... Or reading too. Yes, we do that too.

    Like I said before, we're great listeners but an introvert with a great imagination will get lost in his own fantasy world the moment you start to get boring. Don't believe me? The next time you've been talking to an introvert for too long, when you finish, you'll see him/her smile only. You know why? Cuz s/he has no idea what you said. So, s/he just smiled. I do that a lot too. Extroverts do that too... So rude of them!

    Well, I think that's all for now. I can't really come up with anything else for now. Update complete! Time for gaming!

    Introvert, signing out!

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    Imame zamana ajtf said:-

    Surely I am indeed the cause of security for the inhabitance of the earth just as the stars are the cause of security for the inhabitants of the sky .

    Nature is showering blessings on us .....

    Earth holds us sky covers us

    Water ,food ,air,lify,children,parents, knowledge,..........,endless ne'mats by God

    Have we ever ponder into the reason behind these blessings ??????

     

    All these blessings are from tawassul of imam ajtf  that moon of bibi sa who is waiting occultation

    jiska sadka hai ye duniya

     not only this world but all the worlds 

    Eonlyrearure of this world and all other worlds  

    The biggest ne'mat of lord his last hujjat ajtf himself says he is our cause of security

    Not only for this decade but since he was born since he went in occultation till the day of judgement

    In correspondance to this blessing we give him our manipulated worthless  prayers ,our  gossips,our records of missed prayers , our sins,our friendships with namehrams, our lost dignity from eyes ,zina,accusations and insults of momins ......our gifts are truly precious and endless

    Imam e wali e asr ajtf says :-

    Or meri  ghaibat me mjhse istefada Ki suurat is tarah hai jese sooraj se istefada  kiya jata hai jab badal ussey aankho se ojhal krdeta hai.

    Kamaluddin vol 2

    Sun covered from clouds in winters still people gets light and benefits from it inspire of being covered by clouds likewise imam as says in his occultation his followers will be benefitted the same as from a covered sun

    Decades have been passed not only decades but 100's of years still he is unable to find his 313

    We are waiting but what's wrong in our preparations that Allah is not listening to our prayers ?

     

    Are we only waiting or preparing as well 

    Or this modern world is stopping us from preparing 

    Huge and huge pillars of sins are obstacles between imam ajtf and his followers

    Do we really know our imam as? 

    Inshaallah will try to know our imam ajtf and try to find out the reasons stopping us meeting our imam 

    Let's make this century the last century of pain of our imam ajtf 

     

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    :salam:

    nw9vhOR.jpg
    Obelisks were prominent in the architecture of the ancient Egyptians, who placed them in pairs at the entrance of temples. The word "obelisk" as used in English today is of Greek rather than Egyptian origin because Herodotus, the Greek traveller, was one of the first classical writers to describe the objects. A number of ancient Egyptian obelisks are known to have survived, plus the "Unfinished Obelisk" found partly hewn from its quarry at Aswan. These obelisks are now dispersed around the world, and fewer than half of them remain in Egypt.

    What are these Obelisks and why are they everywhere?

    T75qN3P.jpg


    Almost every city I have been to has one, some sources say that this is the symbol of Freemasons presence in the city. Others say that this is a satanic symbol, representing a phallic symbol of Satan. 

    We know for sure as Muslims this shape represents satan because this is the pillar we stone in Hajj, or at least we used to..

    wt40br6.jpg

    c6TNAR7.jpg


    These Obelisks used to represent satan and we muslims would throw pebbles at it as part of hajj. 

    They are no longer there. The Saudi Arabian authority has removed them and replaced them with walls.

    sex7R2d.jpg
     

    They did this without the consent of anyone. What right did they have to demolish the original obelisks and replace them with walls.

    So why are there Obelisks all over the world? 

    iX1HDIv.jpg

    This is just another conspiracy theory.... But don't you think it has any substance to it?
    In the very least if it does not, are we not supposed to question Saudi Arabia's decision in replacing it with a wall rendering the throwing of the jamarat useless in my opinion. It is as if they are protecting satan.

    Salamat

  7. Salam, Ya Ali (as) Madad, Lanat upon the enemies of the Ahlulbayt (as)

    Aliun Wali Allah Wajib

    BAR MUQASSIRREEN LANAT

    "How do you see the state of mankind in the 21st century? How do you feel it impacts you as an individual?"

    INTRODUCTION

    Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a theory where human beings main motivations are arranged in a pyramid structure, as below:

    maslows-pyramid.gif

     

    If we start from the bottom, a humans main motivation is base survival - what will one eat, drink, and so on. once this is established, their next motivation changes to safety - how will they maintain their living standards, how will they ensure stability and routine. once this second level has been reached, they then seek life partners. who will they find? who will they produce children with? the penultimate level, once all these have been achieved, is the self esteem layer. this is where one has the luxury to choose how they identify themselves as an individual. the final stage, the pinnacle of this, is "self actualisation". this is when is at the most comfortable stage of their life, where they have the luxury to be able to find how to define their time. 

    While this theory has its flaws, and there are some things which I do not agree with, I feel that it is a "good enough" way to look at the state of mankind in the 21st Century. I have long held the theory that the Earth is a living organism. If we remember our GCSE Biology, for something to be classed as "Alive" it must adhere to the MRS GREN principles of life:

    ec611b89afb22593448aee2173539f77.jpg

    The Earth certainly moves, as it rotates around its axis, around the sun, and around the centre of our galaxy. it releases energy in millions of ways using oxygen, it is sensitive to stimuli such as climate change, it grew as it formed from dust, and continues to grow on a tiny scale as more space debris is attracted to it. I would argue that it reproduces in the sense that it is always in a state of change and refreshment and cycle, through the seasons, the shifting plates, the recycling of materials. it excretes carbon dioxide from its green organisms and other waste from other places and finally it consumes energy in the sense that it takes all its nutrition from the sun. 

    I thought to myself - for the purpose of this article and competition, would it be possible to apply Maslow's heirarchy to the planet, as if it were a human being?

    MAIN BODY

    how would we define the "physiological needs" of the planet? certainly the most fundamental would be it relies on the heat, light and gravity of the sun for its basic existence. secondly its ozone and atmosphere, and thirdly its water. since these things are in order, we can safely assume that the "physiological" needs of the planet are met, so we can proceed to the next level. 

    in terms of safety and security, such as homes, employment, property and social stability, I feel that this is not in any way universal. we have areas of extreme wealth (western europe, north america), areas of extreme poverty (multiple conflict zones) and the rest sort of in between. my initial understanding is therefore that if we were to apply Maslows heirarchy to planet earth, it would stall at this level. 

    for the interests of completeness, however, I will now proceed up the pyramid, to argue my case. 

    in terms of love and understanding, I doubt that I will even see this or my children. there are simply too many divides between people. within our own shia we are fractured and segregated. within each segment we bicker amongst each other. we cannot say that there is global love and belonging, or even majority love and belonging across the whole being

    "self esteem" is something which I have long argued is no different to love and understanding. however as this step is a common view held by psychologists, I will leave my arguments for another time. I believe that the "self esteem" stage is something which can only be done under the leadership of a Masum Imam (as). this is the step where all people are united in brotherhood, friendship, family and social security as well as a desirable level of comfort. I see this as the "after the battles have been won" stage. i believe that this stage is not here yet across the earth

    the final stage, the pinnacle, is the stage  I believe reserved only for the true shia on earth. the Likes of Salman, Miqdad, Abu Dharr (peace be upon them all). this is where one is so completely dedicated to muwaddat of the Ahlulbayt (as), and living within the framework and system of a truly islamic sharia, that life is exactly how Allah intended. 

    HOW DO I FEEL THIS IMPACTS ME AS AN INDIVIDUAL?

    I am a cell within the greater body. what happens on the large scale happens to me on this small scale, similar to if I become an old man, my cells too will reflect my age. If I am with cancer aodhobillah, my cells will show it. as such, the Earth is still not raised above the lower levels of the heirarchy. I feel that I too cannot reach the higher levels unless humanity as a whole raises itself too. I feel that the impact of this, is that at the moment I am "surviving" when Allah and the Masumeen (as) want me to "thrive". the earth around me is in chaos, so I feel that I need to stop being passive, like a red blood cell, just circulating through the vessels and routes and pathways that others have defined for me, but to become like a white blood cell, independent, crucial to my community. to be defined as existing to protect the whole organism, if the earth can raise its "immunity" through myself, and those like myself, then maybe InshaAllah we can raise the planet to the next level, which might bring us one step closer to the way we were meant to live on this planet.

    CONCLUSION

    I know there are pockets of good, and individuals on a whole are generally decent, I know that we are living in a time of rapid scientific discovery and advancement and social improvement. the analogy I could use, to describe how I see the world is that of a human body which is suffering from some great disease. its immunity has been compromised, and it is not far off death. sure, there are individual examples of beauty within it, but these become meaningless if it is dying. it is still not too late to save it. I see that my part is to do as much good as I can, with the time and skills that I have. and blindly hope that others will do the same. then, InshaAllah, the total will become worth more than the sum of its parts.

    Thank you for your consideration.  

     

     

     

     

     

  8. NormaL_UseR
    Latest Entry

    I'm still transcribing although had a long gap where didn't do, I want to finish the Hamid Algar series and I am doing another series of 9 lectires which I hope to finish by Ramadhan, i've done the first lecture but it's a secret (not really but I will post when ready) but keep an eye out and hope you benefit

  9. Spent a nice late afternoon/ early evening at the National Museum in Riyadh. Entry costs 10 Riyals and is well worth the admission. The place is built for large crowds weekday mornings seem to be set aside for parties of school kids. While I was there I only saw one Saudi couple and a party of four Germans and their English speaking guide.

    So a nice and peaceful experience.

    All signage is in Arabic and good English.

    The exhibition starts of with natural history (dinosaurs etc.), with plenty of quotations from the Quran. I walked through that pretty quickly because there did not seem to be anything that isn't done better everywhere else.

    Then the interesting stuff about the Arabian peninsula starts. Lots of early vases and implements, together with photos of excavations of early settlements and also actual mock-ups. The east and Yemeni coasts of the peninsula seem to be almost littered with abandoned towns. Many seem to have served trade routes and there seem to have been times in the peninsula's history when the nomads had the upper hand and times when it paid to be settled.

    The last exhibits on the ground floor deal with the Jahiliya period, before you take an escalator upstairs for the start of the Islamic period.

    The early part of the Prophet's (saw) story is told on posters, together with blow-up maps and copies of real and facsimile Qurans. The narrative is what you'd expect with minimal references to the Ahlulbayt (a.s.).

    The coverage then moves onto the Ummayad and Abbasid periods and after the Ottomans its the Saudi family history. There's a whole gallery about the latter and a mini-cinema that shows a film about how the modern state was founded. The showcases have lots of guns from the early 20th century. 

    Surprisingly there's next to nothing about the oil industry and its history in the Kingdom. 

    There's a tiny cafe (for takeaways) and the souvenir shop does not sell fridge magnets. So there was nothing to keep me and I walked out to the street to find a taxi with an Urdu speaking driver (easy peasy).

    The image is of the bag that is used to hold to key to the house of the Prophet (s.a.w.) in Madinah.

    IMG_1764b.jpg

  10. hameedeh
    Latest Entry

    Doctors take an oath to their patients: "First, do no harm." Consider this statement: "Speak the truth, but not to punish." I am making it my goal to show kindness to others, and that includes what I say as well as what I do. Bismillah.

     May your days be sunny, your nights restful, and your heart satisfied with the blessings that Allah has given you. Think Positive. 

  11. Banu Musa

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    Reposting my old post and summarizing some comments to it.

    Quite a few Christians, especially Protestants, claim the following combination of beliefs that I find highly disturbing:

    1) That “pharisaic” Judaism and its central text, Talmud, are “satanic”

    2) That Islam is similar to Talmudic Judaism and therefore, by extension, is also “satanic”

    3) That the entire world must support the state of “Israel” and that Palestinians are bad, because they don't support it.

     

    Since I studied in traditional anti-Zionist rabbinical institutions, I am well familiar with this topic and I would like to say a few words about it.

    Interestingly enough, these beliefs represent in a distilled form the original core idea of Zionism and demonstrate its origins very well. In colonial times, various British and American Protestant theologians of the early 19th century started spreading the idea of the “restoration of the Jews”. Based on their peculiar interpretation of the Christian Bible, they came to believe that if the Jews will gather in Palestine and establish there their own state, such event would trigger the Second Coming of Christ. Apparently, this idea originated from the Catholic Jesuit circles, but found a solid ground among the Anglo-Saxon Protestants, some of whom came to believe to another weird idea that they are the descendents of the original Hebrew tribes and therefore have the right to control Palestine. This website has a large collection of historical articles about these developments within Protestant groups.

    Contrary to Judaism, these people viewed Jews as a race and not a religion. The colonial West in the 18th and 19th centuries was in general obsessed with racial and nationalist theories. The Church condemned the Jewish Talmud since the Middle Ages, primarily because it sharply criticizes the Christian Trinity doctrine and because is written is a style that most Christian couldn't comprehend. After the series of liberal revolutions, more and more assimilated Jews became emancipated in the Western society, but due to the spread of nationalism, new anti-Jewish currents emerged in the West. In contrast to traditional anti-Judaism of the Church, these new currents were based on racial mythologies.

    Some assimilated Jews picked up the “brilliant” solution that early Christian Zionists offered for them: to establish their own state, based on the “enlightened” Western values of secular nationalism and colonial attitudes to non-Western people. Theodor Herzl, the founder of political Zionism, wanted originally to convert all Jews to Christianity, but later modified his views and supported “plain” secularization. Here comes a major paradox: those British and American Christians who supported this idea really wanted the Jews (and everyone in the world) to become Christians, but wished them to move to Palestine, where they could serve as allies of the colonial West. They didn't want anything “Talmudic”; they just wanted to create another “civilized” Western colonial state like South Africa.

    Traditional Talmudic Jews, on their hand, were totally opposed to Zionism, because the Talmud explicitly forbids this idea of gathering in Palestine and establishing their own state. This idea contradicts the basic Jewish belief that only the true Redeemer sent from God can gather them in a miraculous way and even that is not universally accepted. According to some more esoteric Jewish teachings, the future messianic Redemption of universal harmony will transcend state politics altogether.

    This is the real Zionist “conspiracy”: the entire Zionist movement started as a result of cooperation between Anglo-Saxon Protestants and anti-traditional assimilated Jewish nationalists. The Talmud as such plays no role in classical Zionism, except that some isolated concepts from it were adopted as secularized slogans, often in a completely twisted fashion. 90% of Jewish Zionists, let alone the Christian ones, are unable to read the Talmud at all. At best, they may consider it an important historical piece of Jewish literature. Typical high-rank supporters of the Zionist state like bankers and politicians are usually totally secular and have no serious Jewish education. As long as they thinks and acts like their right-wing Protestant Christian fellow ruthless businessmen, they are “cool”. If they would act "Talmudic", they wouldn't fit into the club.

    Since the Zionists captured and twisted the minds of many Jews, new heretical varieties of Judaism emerged from this confusion. Such notorious fascists as Baruch Goldstein or Meir Kahane undoubtedly considered themselves followers of the Talmud. We hear now chief rabbis and famous religious figures supporting Zionism and spreading hatred against the Palestinians and Muslims. How did this happen? Simple enough and in some ways quite similar to Wahhabi currents in Islam.

    The Talmudic corpus and related literature is a very large and complicated collection of texts, which may be compared to the Muslim Hadith collections. The Quran (5:32) contains an explicit quote from the Talmud and affirms the basic traditional Jewish belief that the Talmud contains supplemental parts of Moses' prophecy, which has been transmitted through oral narration. The above verse is found only in the Talmudic literature and not anywhere in the Bible. A number of other verses in Quran also have parallels in the Talmud and not found in the Scripture.

    Besides orally transmitted information from the prophets, the Talmud contains many legal decisions that the Talmudic sages derived using certain logical rules, which were also transmitted from Moses. It also contains historical rabbinical decrees, esoteric interpretations of the Scripture, theological and ethical discussions, various folk legends and even ancient medicinal remedies. Those Christians who tried to study the Talmud and came to hate it didn't get what it is all about. The Talmudic literature is a extremely large and diverse collection of discussions about all sorts of things, recorded during many centuries mostly in Persia and written in a very Persian multilayer story-inside-story style. The largest and most reliable collection is called “Bavli”, which means the Babylonian or Iranian Talmud. It's written mostly in Sassanian dialects of Aramaic, not in Hebrew.

    Practical law or advices comprise only a fraction of the Talmud and are a matter of debates and analysis. Many narrations and interpretations are rejected by the Talmudic text itself, but were still considered worth recording or allowing an esoteric interpretation. In some cases, parallel narrations allow to decide, which variant is more reliable in practice. A number of schools within Judaism, somewhat like Islamic madhhabs, derive various laws from the Talmud by somewhat different rules. One school considers a certain narrator or some text more practically reliable than another etc.

    No one in traditional Judaism, since the Middle Ages, derives any law directly from the Talmud without consulting first classic commentators and existing practical legal literature. Proper understanding of the Talmud requires years of systematic study and reading lots of commentaries.

    Maybe, this link to another Shiachat thread could help the readers to understand where most of these old Christian accusations come from. Anti-Muslim writers use the Ahadith in the same exact fashion, taking things out of context or by amplifying weak rejected narrations.

    Many Talmudic discussions are related to similar theoretical issues. Capital punishment was abolished in Judaism about 2000 years ago, because no one is considered righteous enough to serve as a judge or witness for such serious cases. Even when capital punishment existed, it was very rarely practiced by the line of tradition that became what's known today as rabbinical Judaism. Only very directly committed offenses, with at least two righteous male witnesses and a proper warning, could lead to death penalty. In many cases, the Talmud discusses, whether some weird and disgusting actions could be punished, in theory, by a human court, or whether one who did them may perform certain religious rituals. Such discussions also help to understand the metaphysical, philosophical and esoteric underpinnings of various laws.

    One classic example that Christians constantly use against the Talmud is that a Jew who kills a non-Jew is exempt from death penalty. First of all, some commentators explain that it only applies to people who worship idols and have no morality, and not to Christians and Muslims. Murder of a Jew or non-Jew is a terrible sin, whether punishable by human means or not. Second, the Talmud lists many other situations when a murderer is exempt from penalty. The general line in the Talmud is to find all possible ways and arguments to avoid death penalty. A court who would kill even one person in 70 years would be considered a “bloody court” and some sages provided a logic that, in Islamic terms, avoids “hudud” altogether.

    Another classic example Christians use against the Talmud that it allegedly teaches that sex with a girl below 3 years is permitted. Absolutely not! What it says that if such undoubtedly disgusting act happened, the girl would still be considered a virgin and her honor would not be blemished.

    The main and most famous complaint against the Talmud is its alleged teachings of Jewish supremacy. The Talmud never considers non-Jews “subhuman”. That's simply a fabrication. But it does contain pretty harsh statements about idol worshipers and teachings about the Jews' being a people who receive special and unique blessings from God, if they carefully follow Judaism.

    One main source of controversy and potential misunderstanding is that the Talmudic texts sometimes conflate the terms "goy" (non-Jew) and "akum" (abbreviation of "Star worshippers"), because most non-Jews, when the Talmud was written, were "by default" idol worshippers of various kinds. Careful analysis of parallel narrations shows that all this negative stuff is about idolaters. The Talmud praises non-Jewish monotheists, including some Persian kings and other people.

    Another example. Current standard editions of the Babylonian Talmud (Sanhedrin 37a) contain the following: Therefore, humans were created singly, to teach you that whoever destroys a single soul of Israel, Scripture accounts it as if he had destroyed a full world; and whoever saves one soul of Israel, Scripture accounts it as if she had saved a full world. The oldest version of this Talmudic quote correspond exactly to the Quran 5:32 and don't mention Jews in particular. The Yerushalmi Talmud, the Midrashim and several other parallel transmissions of this quote also don't mention the word "Israel". Even in the case of the common Babylonian Talmud editions, this quote makes a difference between Jews and immoral non-believers, but does not, exclude non-Jews who practice an ethical monotheistic religion, as it is easy to prove by the internal logic of the same Talmudic tract, which praises non-Jewish monotheists and equated them with the Jewish High Priest who served at the Jerusalem Temple (Sanhedrin 59a). In Islamic terms, this is an example of a "weak Hadith".

    The basic practical Talmudic structure of categories of believers/unbelievers, as their are interpreted in Judaism, goes as follows:

    Good people:


    1. Torah-observant Jews, who receive special blessings for following Moses' prophecy. A convert to Judaism is a Jew. According to traditional Judaism, it doesn't matter, whether Jews today are descendents of the ancient Hebrews or Khazars or Romans.

    2. Righteous non-Jews, who follow the prophecy of Noah and receive special blessings. Muslims are usually included in this category or in a somewhat different respected category of people. Trinitarian Christians are included by many opinions, but it's a matter of debate. Some schools of thought completely equate Muslims and Christians with the Jews on social and spiritual level. More liberal rabbinical authorities include all ethical people into this category, including polytheists and atheists, using basic ethics as the main criterion of righteousness. I personally agree with this opinion.

    It's a duty for Jews to support, love, help, treat well, respect all good people.

    Bad people:


    1. Classic idolaters of Antiquity. In times of peace, Jews must treat them well and with hospitality, deal with them fairly, help their poor, but the basic attitude is to stay away from them, not to get too friendly and not to help them too much.

    2. Ex-Jewish outright heretics and non-believers. The worst category in the Talmud. No love, no good treatment here. According to some hardcore opinions, they may be killed even without a court decree. To secular Jewish readers: No, neither me nor most Orthodox Jews today accept this attitude. People get confused and come up with all sorts of ideas. Some atheist definitions of nature or philosophical ground of being are more theologically sound than some other people's weird ideas about God, who may better decide, who is a heretic and who is not.

    The “gray zone”:


    1. Many classic sources of rabbinical law say that the Talmud condemns only the seven ancient Canaanite tribes who practiced human sacrifices or other ancient nations like the Romans who would come to a circus to entertain themselves watching animals tearing people apart or forcing slaves to fight each other to death. So, even someone would erect today a statue, proclaim it as a deity and bow to it, there is still room to disregard this behavior, love and respect such a person. Or, esoterically, one may say that everything is a reflection of God's names and this person in his heart really worships God. On the other hand, because the status of Trinitarian Christianity is a matter a debate in Judaism and because the Church systematically persecuted, killed, tortured and humiliated the Jews until recent times, there are many Orthodox Jews who avoid having close friendship with Christians and have negative opinions of their religion. For Christian readers: No, I don't agree with this attitude and many Orthodox Jews don't. But there is enough room for opposite opinions here. More inclusively minded Orthodox Jews tend to value ethical behavior over religious beliefs, while more hardcore Orthodox tend to regard people as heretics and idolaters for any slight deviation. In any case, traditional Judaism requires to treat everyone nicely and fairly.

    Traditionally, Islam was always considered the closest religion to Judaism. Christianity, on the other hand, was often viewed negatively, although there are many highly positive opinions on it, i.e. by Menachem Meiri, Jacob Emden and Elia Benamozegh. Very many classic commentaries to the Torah and Talmud were written in Muslim countries, often originally in Arabic. Most classical schools of rabbinical law were established in Muslim countries.

    The Zionists turned the Jewish history upside down. They discarded the long history of Jewish-Islamic cultural synthesis and invented the myth of “Judeo-Christian” civilization. Classical Judaism with its Talmud, which explicitly forbids the Jews to create a state in Palestine and which was written in a “politically incorrect” region (Iraq and Iran), has no place in classical secular Zionism.

    But here comes a surprising twist. After the Nazi genocide of millions of European Jews, the Zionist movement captured the attention of most Jews who were well familiar with the long history of traditional Christian anti-Jewish hatred. But the Zionist's best allies and the originators of their ideology were some Protestant sects who don't exactly like Judaism. So the Zionists projected the history of Christian anti-Jewish persecution on the Muslims. To be fair, persecutions did happen under various Muslim rulers, but they were not nearly as common as in the Christian world and they were actions of certain corrupt individuals and not an integral doctrine of religion. The Jews perfectly understood that, but the Zionists seized the moment after the Nazi genocide and managed to confuse many people. Another factor that helped this confusion was that the governments in some Muslim countries made the conditions of the local Jewish communities unbearable after the Zionist state was established and forced them to leave the Arab countries. This was a very bad move, which only popularized Zionism and helped to created this new myth of anti-Jewish Muslim hatred. The final factor is the Salafi/Wahhabi type of Muslims who basically copied the old Christian hatred against the Jews. So, two very anti-traditional and somewhat similar movements, both strangely connected to Anglo-Saxon Protestantism in their ideology - Wahhabism and Zionist pseudo-religion - started fighting each other and polluting the world with their ideas.

    As a result of all that, new forms of “religious” Zionists emerged. All negativity against the idolaters and oppressive types of Christians that one can find throughout the history of Judaism was redirected in a highly amplified and concentrated form to the Muslims. The fact that this negativity has to do with theology (idols and Trinity) was ignored. On the contrary, Muslims became somehow equated in this Zionist twisted version of Judaism with the worst kind of idolaters, who should be normally still treated nicely and without trying to dominate them. But here is a catch: one may kill “even the best of idolaters”, according to the Talmud, during a military combat. The “religious” Zionists declared that their state is in constant war with the Muslims who want to kill all Jews. Such twisted logic basically gives a license to kill. The same exact logic is used by Wahhabis who removed the concept of “Ahl Al-Kitab” from their version of Islam and consider everyone at permanent war with Muslims.

    There is a good book written by Yakov Rabkin, A Threat from Within: A Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism, which explains how traditional Judaism and Zionism are totally incompatible. The author is an Orthodox Jew and a history professor. I strongly don't recommend books written by anti-religious authors (Israel Shahak) or fanatical right-wing Christians (David Duke, Israel Shamir), because such authors usually have no serious knowledge of Judaism and often promote hatred against both Jews and Muslims under a mask of “anti-Zionism”.

    I hope this rough introduction is clear enough. If people here will find these topics interesting, we could go into more detailed discussions. There also also esoteric trends in Judaism, kind of similar to Bektashis or Alawites, who tend to emphasize things like personal devotion and non-literal interpretations over fixed rules.

    My main interest on this forum is not battling Zionism. I am trying to apply Henry Corbin's methodology to Jewish philosophy and esoterica, and I find studies of Hadith and Irfan in comparison to Talmud and Kabbalah very refreshing and important.

  12. :bismillah:

    "Allah the Exalted ordered Musa [Moses] (a.s.) and Harun [Aaron] (a.s.) to go to Pharaoh. Well, it was a big task for two individuals to go and confront – on their own – a great power that existed at that time: Pharaonic power was a great power in terms of politics and social affairs and even in terms of his influence on the people and his bureaucratic resources. There are many things to be said about the Pharaonic power. Pharaoh was an shocking phenomenon. He was a tyrannical power who did whatever he liked with abundant resources at his disposal."

    "Allah the Exalted entrusted two individuals with the task of confronting and fighting against that person. Hazrat Musa (P.B.U.H) said“If we go, they might kill us and thus our task will remain half-finished.” They were not afraid of being killed. They said that their task would remain half-finished. “He said, ‘Fear not for I am with you. I hear and see everything” [The Holy Quran, 20: 46]. God said that He was with them. Notice that this is divine assistance: “For I am with you. I hear and see everything.” When God says, “God is with those who observe piety” – as I said, if we have piety, God is with us – this divine assistance and accompaniment means that one can send two individuals empty-handed so that they fight against a Pharaoh."

    "Elsewhere in the Holy Quran – of course, this has been repeated in the Holy Quran many times and I am narrating another part of it – when it came to public confrontation and challenge and when Hazrat Musa (P.B.U.H) gathered Bani Israel so that they would get out of the city at dawn, very early in the morning or at midnight, and get rid of Pharaoh, Pharaoh’s spies said to him in the morning – when the sun had risen a little –  that Bani Israel have evacuated the city and that all of them have gone. Pharaoh became agitated as he thought that they would go somewhere else and would create a nucleus. He ordered his army to gather. They gathered the army and chased Bani Israel."

    "I do not know the interval between Bani Israel’s departure and the gathering of the Pharaoh’s army. Perhaps, it took that army one, two days – more or less – to advance. Well, Bani Israel were walking on foot without enough resources. They were a bunch of ordinary people comprised of women, men and children, but the Pharaoh’s army had military equipment, large troops, horses and everything. They would naturally reach them soon and they did so.
    When Musa’s followers saw them from a distance and when they saw that the Pharaoh’s army was approaching, they became nervous. In the Holy Quran – Sura al-Shuara – God says, “And when the two bodies saw each other” [The Holy Quran, 26: 62]. When the two groups – Prophet Musa’s (P.B.U.H) group, which was ahead, and the Pharaoh’s group which was chasing them – saw each other from afar and when they got so close that they could see one another, “The people of Musa said, ‘We are sure to be overtaken’” [The Holy Quran, 26: 62]. Bani Israel, who were with Musa (P.B.U.H), became terrified. They said, “Oh Musa, they will catch us soon.” The Arabic word “mudrakun” means overtakingreaching. They said that the Pharaoh’s army would capture and massacre them shortly."

    "What was Musa’s (P.B.U.H) answer? Prophet Musa (P.B.U.H) said in response, “He said, ‘By no means.’”. He said that such a thing would never happen. Why? It is because “My Lord is with me.” This is divine assistance. He said that God is with him: “My Lord is with me. Soon will He guide me” [The Holy Quran, 26: 63]. Notice that divine assistance has such significance. When they say, “For God is with those who observe piety, and those who do good” the value of this assistance should be appreciated. If we can preserve this divine assistance, you should know that even if some people in the world have a kind of power which is 10 times more than that of America – let alone the power of America itself – the divine power which accompanies us will overcome them."
     
    (Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei’s speech in a meeting with mobilization units from all over the country - 23/11/2016)


    http://sayyidali.com/viewpoints/with-divine-assistance-you-can-confront-a-pharoah-even-empty-handed.html

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    Sumayyeh
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    :salam:

    :bismillah:

     

    Without a doubt, Lady Zainab (s) plays such a pivotal role in so many ways. According to a famous line of poetry in Farsi,

    "Karbala would have stayed in Karbala,

                              had it not been for Zainab (s)

    The carrier of Imam Hussain's message and reality of what had happened on Ashura is accredited to her.

    Her strength, courage, and confidence--perhaps shown at its peak on the day of Ashura, and in Yazid's court have always been so powerful. In the wake of the greatest of tragedies, Lady Zainab displays such enormous strength, and it speaks volumes as to the role and importance of Women in our history. She came from such a place of strength that when Yazid asked her what she thought of karbala in his palace (as means of taunting), she said "I saw nothing but beauty."

    That's Lady Zainab (s).

    The following passages are from an article from today's Huffington Post:

    Quote

    If ever you truly wish to see the true face of a woman of Islam look no further than Lady Zaynab bint Ali; her grace remains unparalleled.

    ...

    I would argue that her courage has yet to be matched, her strength met, and her grace replicated. And yes, I am most definitely bias … how can I not when she taught women how to be in the face of adversity? How can I not be in awe of such a personality when before the most abject of persecution she projected such absolute determination?

    It is in chains that Zaynab bint Ali entered the Court of Yazid – unveiled, mocked by the crowd of courtiers, she was made to watch as the new Caliph delighted himself in seeing the progeny of the prophet in humiliation before his might.

    Where most would have receded in fear, Zaynab did not; she could not. With all her might she told her persecutor: “…Although calamities have forced me to speak to you, Indeed, your reach is trivial in my eyes and I find your talk big and I regard your berating excessive, and the eyes are tearful, and the chests are on fire. The surprise of all surprises is that those who are “Party to Shaitan [the Devil]” have murdered those who are the ‘Ones near to Allah’. Such hands are dripping with our blood; such mouths are feeding on our flesh, while those who are pure and sacred - their corpses have been offered as food to the wild beasts of the desert and have been desecrated by the brutes. If you regard us as your booty, you shall soon deem us as your opponents—that will be when you find nothing but what your hands had committed.”

    And:

    “… Scheme whatever you wish to scheme, and carry out your plots, and intensify your efforts, for by Allah, you shall never be able to obliterate our mention, nor will you ever be able to kill the revelation (that was revealed to us), nor will you ever exalt to attain our position, nor will your shame ever be washed away. Your vision shall prove futile, your days are limited in number, and your wealth will be wasted on the Day when the caller calls out.”

    "Women of Islam: how the stand of Lady Zaynab defined Islamic History"

     11/27/2016 12:44 pm ET

    By: Catherine Shakdam

    Link to Article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/583b18e3e4b0c2ab94436aa4

    :ws:

     

  13.     Image result for bismillah

    اعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَزِينَةٌ وَتَفَاخُرٌ بَيْنَكُمْ وَتَكَاثُرٌ فِي الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَوْلَادِ كَمَثَلِ غَيْثٍ أَعْجَبَ الْكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُ ثُمَّ يَهِيجُ فَتَرَاهُ مُصْفَرًّا ثُمَّ يَكُونُ حُطَامًا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانٌ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ

    KNOW [O men] that the life of this world is but a play and a passing delight, and an ephemeral amusement, and [the cause of] your boastful vying with one another, and [of your] greed for more and more riches and children. Its parable is that of [life-giving] rain: the herbage which it causes to grow delights the tillers of the soil; but then it withers, and you see it turn yellow; and in the end it crumbles into dust. But [the abiding truth of man’s condition will become fully apparent] in the life to come: [either] suffering severe,or God’s forgiveness and His goodly acceptance: for the life of this world is nothing but a passing self-delusion. -

    Holy Quran 57:20 

    Going Astray Part 3 - The Trap

    In the Holy Quran, as well as hadith from our Imams(a.s), we are taught that this world is nothing but a passing fancy, a very short term thing that we should not give too much importance to. And yet, we are placed in this world, and have to survive. Some of us are faced with great difficulties just to have a roof over our head and food on the table. We live in a world that is mostly chaotic, inconsistent, full of conflicts and tribulation. Enemies trying to destroy us, and so called 'friends' that are insincere and disloyal. Mixed in with this are beautiful passages of poetry, glittering objects that catch our eye, desires that we have that almost rip our hearts from our chest, profound words of wisdom that we hear or read, and a few individuals that we meet or know that seem to rise above all the noise and clamour, staying steady and consistent with decency, morality, and their own internal values. 

    We walk thru forests, look up at the tall trees, we trudge thru swaps, wade thru rivers, sink into desert sands, and we stammer, stare, sit and wait, cough and stammer, trip and fall, and roll down hills and into valleys, and then find ourselves stuck, our foot unable to move, wincing in pain. We look down and see blood gushing from above the ankle. We can feel the cold steel. Rush of heat up our spine. We look down and see the teeth of the trap digging into our flesh. Immobilized. We look up and down, right and left, back and forth. Twisting, writhing. Waiting for relief from the trap. 

    Imam Sadiq(a.s) says. 

    عن ابي عبدالله عليه السلام قال: راس كل خطيئة حب الدنيا

    “Attachment to World is the basis of all sins and transgressions.” Imam Sadiq(a.s)

    Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 3, p-7.

    Some people misunderstand this and related hadiths. He is not saying 'the dunya', this world, or anything in the world is the root of all evil and sins. You cannot point to an object like money, t.v., the Internet, or another human being like a leader, king, or tyrant, or even an activity like sex, or a desire like lust, or a profession, or anything else and say this is the root of all evil. Imam Sadiq(a.s) says 'Hub' or love of this is the root, not the thing itself. 

    We should examine the meaning of 'hub' or love in this context and also in the context of the verses of the Holy Quran regarding this world. 

    'Hub' in this context has to do with 

    1) The value and importance we assign to something

    2) What we are willing to do(or not do) in order to get or achieve it. 

    Let me give an example. 

    Two friends make a deal in their early teens that they are both going to become doctors. They are going to get good grades, then apply to college, do good in college, and hopefully apply to Medical School and graduate. They both do good in School, college, then apply to Med School and are both accepted. One of the friends comes from a wealthy family and the other comes from a poor family. The wealthy friend shows up for Medical School on the first day, after his parents paid a huge tuition bill, and wonders where his poor friend is. The poor friend, having no money to pay the huge tuition bill, starts thinking about what he is going to do. He knows that he is not going to fulfill his dream unless he gets some money. He decides he is going to rob a bank (cause that's where the money is..). He gets a gun, mask, all the robber stuff, makes a plan, and because he is smart the plan works perfectly, gets the money, pays his tuition, and shows up on the second day. 

    His rich friends asks, 'Where were you buddy..'. He answers, 'I had some things to take care of..'. 

    So there is no love of the dunya going on here, up until the point where the poor friend robs the bank (we are assuming he is muslim, and knows it is haram to steal and rob). Going to school, getting good grades, trying hard, becoming a doctor and making a good salary, there is nothing wrong with that as long as you can do all that and not violate the clear laws and ordinances that Allah(s.w.a) has revealed to you. Because when you start to 'love' your goals, plans, and ideas so much that you are willing to violate and do violate the clear rules and guidelines then that is the point where you 'love the dunya', and not before that. 

    Now some people will look at the poor friend and say, 'Well he is poor, so he had to do what he had to do..'. He had to 'take care of business'. From an Islamic perspective, this is wrong thinking. Being poor is not haram or a crime(although it is treated as such by modern society), it is a circumstance, and most of the time a temporary one. The fact of being poor says nothing, either positive or negative about someones character or religion. 

    It is the wrong thinking associated with poverty (that things are hopeless and the only way out is getting wealth by any means) and wrong thinking associated with wealth (because I am wealthy, therefore I am better than other people and have more rightst than they do) that is the trap, not the poverty or wealth itself. The trap is the wrong thinking, whether you are rich or poor, that there is something in this world that is worth risking disobeying Allah(s.w.a) in order to get it. If you know Allah(s.w.a), even on a very superficial level, and you know yourself, even on a superficial level, you will know that there is nothing in this world that is worth disobeying Allah(s.w.a) in order to get it, even if it is the world in it's entirety. Now you see the trap. Be careful not to step into it. 

     

  14. The most satisfying spouse  is the God Fearing Man. He is the one you should look for and he most likely wont be online-he's too busy making a difference in the world.

    You will never be bored with him. The way he is devoted to Allah SWT will fill you up with admiration and respect. His humor will be wholesome and sweet. His shyness and the way he lowers his gaze will make you fall madly in love with him. He will be  truthful. He will be pleased to meet your mother and greet her in the most polite manner as if he were her own son. He might not be a 10, but how he takes care of his body, and the Noor given to him from Allah SWT will be enough to attract you for a life time making him an 11 in your book. 

    He will never put you down. His language will be pure and sweet. You will feel safe and beautiful with him, and he will inspire you to fulfill your Islamic duties as a wife to the best of your abilities

  15. :salam:

    After having many people telling me I should write my story and that it will be beneficial for my shia brothers and sisters, that it would be inspirational for their religious path, I decided to write it.

    Humans from the very beginning of time fight for something to believe in, they struggle with reality as they try to make sense of their world. As I grew up I always felt there was an ultimate truth and knowledge hidden from us, I just didn’t know where and how to look or even What to look for. I used to lead a very very reckless sinful lifestyle, since I was trying to find my place in this world in my own ways so I decided to try everything and live with no boundaries. I always felt this deep Emptiness that was never filled, so I did what I had to do in order to discover what might fill this empty hole. I even experienced the power of love but it was all just temporary, everything in this world is temporary. I loved to try everything, I had neither moral standards nor basics to follow, I used to love life and was living it to its fullest. I felt independent like nothing and no one can stop me because I was free to do whatever I want but in reality I had all these invisible chains around me pulling me back deceiving me to think that I was liberated (that’s one of the tricks of the devil he makes you think you’re free but you’re his prisoner).

    I felt the happiness instantly with the moment and later when I’d go home I would feel depressed and sad like I was missing something, I couldn’t sit alone I couldn’t stand home, my soul was always agitated and unsettled.

    I studied Christianity before but it was all science fiction. Studying Christianity made me even more lost and drove me to doubt the existence of God, which was worse; I would die just to know what can fill this empty space I always had. I asked myself is that it? We came here to eat sleep party have fun work make a family and die...

    One night when I hit rock bottom after I finished this self-discovery journey and I arrived nowhere, I started calling upon God (without even being sure that He existed and listening), I told him God if you were there if you existed please help me find my way, suddenly and out of nowhere there was a man whom I’ve met 4 years ago, he started coming up to my mind which was so weird because I had no interest what so ever to talk to him and see him(because he was a muslim and I didn’t like Islam just like any other brainwashed Christian middle eastern person) so I contacted him, turns out he was a committed Shia who triggered my path into Islam, and in the same time I met a Christian man who was living in France and he converted the same month as I did, this was God telling me that I’m not alone, this was God giving me a kind of motif, I mean what are the odds?

    Whoever wants God, God will answer him, He will not leave him alone, but only few people really want God all they want is this world, they are blinded by it.

    When I found Islam, my ultimate destiny, and when I found God it felt so ecstatic and intense, I felt this deep power and enlightenment, It was entirely uplifting, deeply emotional and pleasurable, I felt a deep joy that finally my existence made sense, that God gave me a purpose to live for to strive for and to fight for, to reach the highest level of existence. He chose me out of all these people who are lost, I had met more than 2,000 people and he just gave me this special gift, showed me the door to his secrets, Our(shias) status To God is special, this is why we should fight this world and fight ourselves and desires and never give up, to be worthy of this privilege that God gave us. When I personally realized this it was time for the hard work. When we understand the power laying behind us we would never have to fear anything ever again in our entire life. 

    I was so afraid to jump into this transition, my faith was weak and I had doubts at some moments. I had to give up my friends, my activities, habits, shut off my desires, change my morals, my rules, my lifestyle, my priorities, my social life, my behavior… I was shifting my core belief which is something very hard for a human to change. I was trapped and afraid at some point; I didn’t know how to do it. I was never home, I was never alone, I was lazy, I never respected my parents, I didn’t prioritize anything except my plans, I’d quite jobs because my work schedule didn’t match my entertaining plans...This is how much I was messed up and attached to the world.

    I seeked happiness and the more you feel happiness the more you want it, it’s like a drug, so you indulge more in dunya activities until you are completely lost.  Happiness wasn’t created to feel here, happiness is for the next world, we should never waste time here getting attached to this world because we will do eventually whatever we want in the afterlife. We are born to pass this test and to return to our original home where Prophet Adam was created. It took me time to realize this.

    My friends were atheists, mushrikin, infidels, and almost all my activities were sinning, I quite them all and now I don’t befriend no one but the lovers of Ahlulbayt. It was very hard and I suffered deeply at some point, washing away your sins purifying yourself from them is EXTREMELY hard, it’s like you’re pulling forward and the devil is pulling you back all the time. But God didn’t let me feel I’m alone, he rewarded me, gave me a steady job where I can be fully committed in, gave me this feeling of security and self-satisfaction, gave me Many privileges that I didn’t possess before. This entire process made me someone else; I became very mentally strong and different. Islam isn’t for sissies; Islam needs strengths, stability, mental toughness, brave hearted individuals who take sacrifices for God, who are ready to face the evil and the challenges of this world.

    The equation is simple, as much as you give God as much as He gives you in return. After I was guided I tested myself, tried doing some things that I did in the past to see if this was a phase in my life, but I felt disgusted ashamed weak and I became afraid of death. Now if I touch a man by mistake or if I eat something from a table that has alcohol on it without paying attention I would think about it for 3 days feeling guilty because I disappointed God. I do not fear punishment as much I fear to fail God, because I love Him, that is the true worshiping. Each time I do something to get closer to God I feel my soul elevating I feel that I’m gaining spiritual power and my perspective towards the world changes… Everyone told me it's just a phase but as each day is passing I'm falling more in love with this religion and with Ahlulbayt. I still have hard time committing to my religion as my parents don't know(or kinda in denial), so i practice everything in secrecy.

    To conclude I want to tell you, brothers and sisters something, this world is evil, you shouldn’t love it nor seek to have fun in it, you should hate it and never ever be dependent on something related to it, even though I know the truth behind my past life how it’s all evil empty and worthless, it still tempts me sometimes till this very day, the love of this world isn’t easy so don’t get yourself trapped because once you’re in it’s so difficult to get out. Don’t go to hell to enjoy life here; don’t sell your soul to the devil.

  16. Salaam everyone.

    I am very nervous about who's going to win. Trump is slightly edging out Hillary Clinton. I fear for the Muslims living in the US. I fear that something bad might happen. I really hope they are ready for when Trump starts his plan of banning Muslims, they need to find a safe place to reside. Luckily, I am in Canada which is a very safe home where I was born. I am fine with Justin Trudeau as prime minister succeeding Stephen Harper (who was going to make things worse for Muslims). Justin Trudeau is not that racist towards Muslims like Trump is, he is actually nice when compared to the racist garbage that Trump spews out. Canada is a good home for Muslims.  I am really worried as I am writing this. I really do not want Trump to win.

     

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    لإمام جعفر الصادق عليه الصلاة والسلام

    السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ أَيُّهَا الإِمَامُ الصَّادِقُ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ أَيُّهَا الوَصِيُّ النَّاطِقُ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ أَيُّهَا الفَاتِقُ الرَّاتِقُ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ أَيُّهَا السَّنَامُ الأَعْظَمُ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ أَيُّهَا الصِّرَاطُ الأَقْوَمُ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا مِفْتَاحَ الخَيْرَاتِ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا مَعْدِنَ البَرَكَاتِ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا صَاحِبَ الحُجَجِ وَالدَّلالاتِ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا صَاحِبَ البَرَاهِينِ الوَاضِحَاتِ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا نَاصِرَ دِينِ اللَّهِ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا نَاشِرَ حُكْمِ اللَّهِ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا فَاصِلَ الخِطَابَاتِ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا كَاشِفَ الكُرُبَاتِ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا عَمِيدَ الصَّادِقِينَ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا لِسَانَ النَّاطِقِينَ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا خَلَفَ الخَائِفِينَ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا زَعِيمَ الصَّالِحِينَ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا سَيِّدَ المُسْلِمِينَ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا كَهْفَ المُؤْمِنِينَ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا هَادِيَ المضِلِّينَ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا سَكَنَ الطَّائِعِينَ أَشْهَدُ يَا مَوْلايَ أَنَّكَ عَلَمُ الهُدَى وَالعُرْوَةُ الوُثْقَى وَشَمْسُ الضُّحَى وَبَحْرُ النَّدَى وَكَهْفُ الوَرَى وَالمَثَلُ الأَعْلَى وَصَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَى رُوحِكَ وَبَدَنِكَ وَالسَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ وَعَلَى العَبَّاسِ عَمِّ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكَاتُه

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    U many be wondering/noticing as to why I insist on the imambargah issue and nothing else. WELL READ ON.....AND U MAY JOIN ME AND AGREE/ACCEPT......

    Throughout my observations of many activities/events/programs/etc that takes place in a community, it mesmerizes/surprises me and I always ponder and saddened me: WHY DOES ALL (BE IT SPORTS/MADRESSA/YOUTH COMMITTEE/ETC) GET THEIR DUE RESPECT AND THERE ISN'T ANY DISTRACTION but come Imambaragh: it's like nothing is happeining/occurring or taking place....

    For example :- 1. Let's start with Madressa : Children come and are instructed by the MADRESSA STAFF to be in the area where the Quran/Duas/Prayers/etc are held. There is a kitchen that needs to be attended to for the lunch/snaks for the children, a yard/ground(s) outside that needs to be maintained; BUT NO ONE CARES BUT WHAT GOES//TAKES PLACE WITHIN THE CLASES/HALL.

    2. The Sports Complex/Gym:- the players are present where the games/activity is taking place and ONCE AGAIN THE KITCHEN IS PRESENT AND NEEDS TO FEED THE PLAYERS/VISITIORS/ATTENDEES/ETC and the yard needs to be maintained BUT NO ONE CARES AND ATTENDS TO IT.

    3. The Youth Committee: Same: RESPECT GIVEN TO THE ACTIVITY/EVEN HELD BY THE YOUTH(S) BUT NO ONE CARES ABOUT THE KITCHEN/YARD.

    4. No here is the most saddest part : IMAMBARGAH : NO ONE CARES ABOUT THE PROGRAMME (SAME THAT OF THE MADRESSA: QURAN/DUAS/PRAYERS THAT THE STAFF/STUDENTS WERE CONCERNED ABOUT AND IN THE RESPECTED PLACES) AND NOW EVERYONE CARES AOBUT THE SAME KITCHEN/GROUNDS/YARD AROUND THE COMPOUND THAT NO ONE CARED DURING THE MADRESSA/SPORTS CENTER/YOUTH COMMITTEE EVENTS.

    So now I ask this question in my subject:- IMAMBARGAH.....????? WHAT/WHICH/WHEN/WHY/HOW/WHO....in re: Imambargah ?

    Should it be a place where just like a 1. Feed my starving children 2. Majide noor feed the homeless kitchen event 3. Salvation army place thus we need not HOLD THE HOLY QURAN/DUAS/NAMAAZ/ISLAMIC TEACHINGS/ETC for it doesn't take place in the 1. Feed my starving children 2. Masjide Noor 3. Salvation army....

    Lets have an open door discussion FOR I COULD BE THE ONE WITH A 1 MINDED BELIEF WEHRE I BELIEVE THAT THE IMAMBARGAH IS THE EXTENSION/COMPLIMENTARY OF THE MADRESSA WHERE THE CHILDREN/STUDENTS ESPECIALLY CAN CONTINUE THE HOLY QURAN/DUAS/NAMAAZ/ISLAMIC TEACHINGS FROM THE MADRESSA INTO THEIR HOMES....

    Thanks in advance.....

  17. Salaam aleikum

     

    I first became acquainted with the program "Last Week Tonight" when a Shiachat member posted a clip from the show talking about Erdogan and his corruption.

     

    Of course I knew the name John Oliver from the Daily Show. I knew he was a liberal and that. But nonetheless, I continued to watch some more of his clips (except for ones that I knew would make my blood boil from start to finish, i.e. the gay and/or abortion ones). I considered him to be entertaining and I liked that he brought to light certain news stories which were relatively obscure, at least for national television.

     

    I always knew what he was, but I was just enjoying the ride I suppose.

     

    Lately, however, he has gone full retard.

     

    It is becoming increasingly obvious that this dude is a one hundred percent Clinton shill, as much as he tries to hide it under the garb of objectivity.

     

    I am sure a lot of y'all watch his show, I just want to warn you: take everything he says with a grain of salt. He's one of those types that mixes truth with falsehood.

     

    The way he ridicules 9/11 truthers as just a bunch of paranoid conspiracy nuts proves he's an establishment shill.

     

    Be smart everyone

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    • good, and yes 95% traders on wall street arent real traders and they just thrive by cheating or manipulating markets, because they lack strategy to make money from real markets.
    • The aim is not to paint all Wall-Street traders with one brush. I have been careful in my word-selection to limit discussion to certain types of people and dealings [whether they are within Wall-St. or beyond]. Maybe the title has confused you. It is mostly a pun based on the movie with the same name. However, it is undoubted that an age which will be dog eat dog in its aggressiveness and ferocity is alluded to in the Ahadith. In any case, if you had read the whole piece you would have seen that it is a commentary on what was said by the Prophet about the signs of the aforementioned age. They include: 1. << the well-off will cling on tightly to that which is in his hands >> i.e. stinginess and greed. 2. << deals are conducted with the one in distress, while the messenger of Allah prohibited the sale of the one in distress >> 3.  << the messenger of Allah prohibited the deceptive sale >> If you do not recognize these three traits as features of the modern economic system then you can choose to benefit us with your knowledge and elaborate on it. 
    • I am one of those successful trader on walls street but I neither see myself as wolf or tiger, I am just a businessman who understands market cycles.   it is clear from your post that you have no understanding of market and how it really works. please do more real research about the real business on walls street and then try to write something on this subject.
    • Most of the Quran is relative-comparative. Its stories usually lack names, dates, places, and chronologies, and are instead filled with archetypal symbols that can be flexibly applied to other situations. It tries to tell the stories in a timeless and universal manner.   The Husayni tragedy in Shii literature is similar - it is mourned by other prophets long before the event, it is mourned by nature (blood rain, blood earth, owls), it is mourned over by millions of angels, and it will be vindicated in the eschatological narrative. Karbala is described in Kamil al-Ziyarat as a piece of heaven on Earth, and as the conduit between heaven and earth (majma` as-samawati wal ard). Its soil is described as a cure, and it is given to the sick, and it is used for prostrations. In Shiism, the visitation of Husayn by one who correctly recognizes his status is considered a Hajj (or seven Hajj, or thousands of Hajj, or more), because the principle of Hajj is total submission and sacrifice, commemorating the sacrifice of Abraham; and Husayn cut his Hajj short to fulfill its end by going to Karbala and willingly giving himself to God. It is said that every grief in Islam is disliked, except for grief over Husayn, and so people forego their personal tragedies to mourn for the primordial epic tragedy. They wear black, abstain from makeup and dye, abstain from laughing, abstain from weddings and festive activities, sometimes for forty days.   Interestingly, there is no record of a relationship between the Imams and the historians, but there is much record of a relationship between the Imams and the poets. The Imams would invite poets to speak on the tragedy, make many supplications for them, add to their poetry, and gift them very generously. This to me says that the aim of the Shii is to find a meaningful and meta-historical route to Husayn, as the horrors of that day were unfathomable, and directed only at those who deserved it the least.   Another thing to keep in mind is that love and suffering are often paired in Islamic literature. There isn't really a concept of "happily ever after" in this world, it is rather seen as a prison of the believer, an abode of trials (dar al-bala'), a fleeting world (dar al-fana'), where the lovers of Ali will suffer the most, so that they may be refined and purified like gold in a furnace. The tradition says that those who suffer the most are the prophets and their successors, then those similar to them, and so on. The constant trial strengthens the faith of a true believer, who learns to lean on God alone.
    •  المسلم أخو المسلم لا يظلمه ولا يخذله، إن كان عندك معروف، فعد به على أخيك وإلا فلا تزده هلاكا إلى هلاكه The Muslim is a brother of a Muslim, he is not unfair with him nor does he cheat him, If you want to make him a good turn then hand it over to your brother, and if not then do not contribute to his financial destruction [The Messenger of God]   The Real Wolves of Wall-Street Pt. II   « ويبايع المضطر – وقد نهى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله عن بيع المضطر »  << deals are conducted with the one in distress, while the messenger of Allah prohibited the sale of the one in distress >> Al-Tusi narrates from al-Sadiq a similar narration: يأتي على الناس زمان عضوض يعضّ كلّ امرئ على ما في يديه ، و ينسى الفضل ، و قد قال تعالى و لا تنسوا الفضل بينكم ثمّ ينبري في ذلك الزمان أقوام يبايعون المضطرين اولئك هم شرار الناس There will come upon people a severe age wherein every man will cling to what is in his hand, and forget giving, while Allah the Exalted said: “and do not forget liberality between yourselves” (2:237), then will arise in that age groups who will conduct business deals with the distressed and they are the worst of the people.   Distress Deals Some scholars have tried to interpret مضطر which I have rendered as ‘distressed’ to be مكره that is ‘compelled’ [to buy or sell]. They claim that it is this latter (compelling someone to buy or sell something) which is forbidden because all transactions must be entered in with full consent. They point out that even if someone is in distress it is still his decision to engage in the transaction.  But I consider this to be a limited definition restricting the range of the narration’s applicability, rather, I would say that the مضطر in the context of the society which these narrations describe and the stinginess they attribute to the wealthy - should  be taken to mean those whom economical forces (completely out of their hands) exploit and make desperate enough to do anything including allowing the sharks to come out and take advantage of them.  In fact they openly brag about finding such deals: “The main reason to buy a distressed property is the price. In most cases, a foreclosure or short sale will be priced below market value, the valuation of the asset is artificial because it was not sold under open and competitive market conditions. From the buyer's perspective, however, property that is sold in a distressed sale can present an opportunity to purchase the asset at a substantial discount to market prices”. Another example which is relevant to our modern age and would fall under the spirit of this Hadith is Big Pharma. Many of these global corporations hike up the prices of important and life-saving drugs to developing countries which cannot afford them. We have psychopathic CEO’s who claim to care only about the balance sheet and answerable only to the shareholders with no shred of mercy in their hearts, while the sick have no option but to pay up. This interpretation is backed up by narrations as the one found below: إسماعيل بن عبد الله القرشي قال: أتى إلى أبي عبد الله عليه السلام رجل فقال له: يا ابن رسول الله رأيت في منامي كأني خارج من مدينة الكوفة في موضع أعرفه وكان شبحا من خشب أو رجلا منحوتا من خشب على فرس من خشب يلوح بسيفه وأنا أشاهده، فزعا مرعوبا فقال له عليه السلام: أنت رجل تريد اغتيال رجل في معيشته، فاتق الله الذي خلقك ثم يميتك فقال الرجل: أشهد أنك قد أوتيت علما واستنبطه من معدنه اخبرك يا ابن رسول الله عما فسرت لي إن رجلا من جيراني جاءني وعرض علي ضيعته فهممت أن أملكها بوكس كثير لما عرفت أنه ليس لها طالب غيري فقال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: وصاحبك يتولانا ويبرأ عدونا ؟ فقال: نعم يا ابن رسول الله رجل جيد البصيرة مستحكم الدين وأنا تائب إلى الله عز وجل وإليك مما هممت به ونويته فأخبرني يا ابن رسول الله لو كان ناصبا حل لي اغتياله فقال: أد الأمانة لمن ائتمنك وأراد منك النصيحة ولو إلى قاتل الحسين عليه السلام Ismail b. Abdallah al-Qarashi who said: a man came to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام and said: O the son of the messenger of Allah I saw in a dream as though I am outside the town of Kufa in a place which I know, and there was something like an apparition made of wood or a man carved out of wood on a wooden horse brandishing his sword while I look on in fright and terror, so he عليه السلام said to him: you are a someone who wants to cheat a man out of his livelihood so be fearful of Allah who created you and will make you to die, so the man said: I bear witness that you have been given knowledge and have derived it from its real source (treasure-mine), I will inform you O the son of the messenger of Allah the background to that which you have interpreted for me, a man from among my neighbors came to me and offered me his walled-up land so I wished to own it at a very low price since I knew that there isn’t anyone else who wants to buy it, so Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said to him: is your fellow someone who follows us and disassociates from our enemies? He said: yes - O the son of the messenger of Allah, he has good insight and follows the religion, and I repent to Allah Mighty and Majestic and to you from what I wanted and had intended to do, but inform me O the son of the messenger of Allah - if he was a Nasibi [a hater of the Ahl al-Bayt] could I have cheated him in this way? He said: return back the trust to whomsoever has placed his confidence in you and expects good-counsel from you - even if he be killer of al-Husayn!     --> Some of the people of Ilm in Ta’wil of Ru’ya claim that the Imam’s interpretation is wholly consistent with their methods. They interpret wooden things in dreams as having association to Nifaq (hypocrisy) because of the Aya from Surat al-Munafiqun “as though they were pieces of wood propped up” (63:4). The sword as an allegory for his evil intention. That this intention harbors some financial aspect can be inferred from the horse which symbolizes “the world” and “livelihood” because it is in of itself a steady source of income and the potential to earn. To be continued …
    •   Dr. Pakatchi mentions this verse in his talk near the end just to argue that this verse cannot even be the subject of typical historical discussion as it is outside its scope. Meaning, these six-days or periods of time are not historical time and the reference to days and periods in this verse are not as we know them to be and what we are typically concerned with in the subject of history (i.e. 24 hour days).
    • Surely your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six periods of time, [7:54] Would that verse be Absolute-structural?