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Western fixation on freedom has a long, crystallizing history. In 1215, the Magna Carta was signed in England, which ended the unilateral authority of the King. The King was imposing heavy taxes on the barons, who were wealthy aristocratic men, to fight a failed war. The barons rebelled against the King, and demanded that a committee of barons be established. The King would need to consult this committee before introducing new taxes. Certain legal rights were also introduced to the barons. This was the first big step towards freedom.
Fast forward to the 1500s; a new continent was "discovered" (i.e. Europeans found out about it). A major motivation for men to risk the high seas and migrate to an entirely New World was to avoid taxation and government overreach. They were able to seize vast, fertile properties without much nuisance. Freedom.
Around the same time, the Protestant Reformation was taking place, and most North-Western Europeans were using it as an opportunity to break away from church tithes and indulgences. Freedom.
Fast forward to the 1700s. The American Colonies rebel against the British because of "taxation without representation." Freedom.
Then in the 1800s. The Confederates rebel against the Union to prevent the North from intervening in their textile industry. The Union abolishes slavery. Freedom.
Here, we see a crystallization of yeomanry in White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) culture, which peaks in the American South. They have a strong distrust in government, public programs, and taxation. There is a strong "what's mine is mine" culture, where clichés like "the only things you can't avoid is death and taxes" thrive. "Conservative" to them mostly means "smaller government, lower taxes". In short, they believe that the freer they are, the happier they will be. Debates in American politics, from abortion to gay marriage to taxes, are all based on conceptions of freedom. It is also the theme of so many Hollywood films.
Feminism is rooted in the same freedom-seeking individualist liberalist mindset. Whatever gets in the way of women's liberation - even if it is God Himself - must be cast aside.
Freedom in Islamic literature would be "huriyya", which is really just a legal technicality - you are either a slave, or you are "free". Otherwise, our books do not take much stock in the concept. We do have treatises on "huquq", which is often translated as "rights", but a more accurate translation is "responsibilities towards". For example, the haq of a woman is the responsibilities of an Islamic society towards that woman. It is an onus.
Responsibility and duty often fly in direct contradiction to freedom. Yes, we have free will, but Islam legislates things that we *should* and *ought* to do, and there are consequences to not fulfilling those responsibilities.
Does freedom lead to happiness? It is actually our responsibilities that often make us happy. There is no growth in a care-free life with no schedule, no family, no commitments, and no work. These things tie us down, but they also build us up, fulfill us, and make us better people. No pain, no gain. Likewise, despite the fact that women's rights have increased over the past few decades, women's happiness has decreased according to many studies. Individualism teaches us that self-sufficiency is the key to happiness, when in actuality, success is sometimes found in submission.
Islam literally means Submission, because it is the recognition that we are all imperfect servants. We do not choose which family we are born into, nor our race, nor our health, nor our age, nor our genes, and often, not even our social conditions. None of us are truly free, and the most free of us is not necessarily the happiest. Rather, true, heartfelt contentment is in knowing God. We are born to look for Perfection; we seek it in our looks, our grades, our power, our status, our spouse, our children; but we all - sooner or later - realize that Perfection lies only in Him alone. Trust in Him gives you that true contentment, the ability to let go of the wheel, fear nothing but Him and accept all that He allots for you. Contentment.
If you are a believer, then your worldview should reflect your belief. We cannot import a cultural ideology that convolutes our belief. In many respects, jahiliyya represented what many of us today consider to be "freedom". But the Prophet Muhammad (s) came with accountability, and that turned the entire world around.
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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?
The vegetarian industry holds that killing animals is bad. No doubt killing an animal means that it suffers a premature death. However nowadays, at least, it is because of the human need for meat that millions of animals have a life that they otherwise would not have had - because there would not have been an economic reason for them to be bred.
The issue then, is one of premature death vs. not having a life at all.
If people believe that animals are sentient and have some level of intelligence and should not be slaughtered as a result - surely those very arguments can be used to against denying those animals life as a vegetarian lifestyle would.
So the solution to the ethical/sustainability issues around meat eating is not to ban the practice altogether, rather it is to do with proper animal husbandry and a level of animal protein consumption that is lower than at present.
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اكتب وبث علمك في إخوانك، فإن مت فأورث كتبك بنيك
Write down and spread your knowledge among your brothers. And if you are about to die then will your books to your children [What the Imam al-Sadiq is supposed to have said to al-Mufadhal]
فلما انصرفت إلى الكوفة أقبلت علي الشيعة فمزقوني كل ممزق، يأكلون لحمي ويشتمون عرضي، حتى أن بعضهم استقبلني فوثب في وجهي، وبعضهم قعد لي في سكك الكوفة يريد ضربي، ورموني بكل بهتان
When I reached Kufa and met the Shia, they tore me to shreds, eating my flesh and disparaging my honour, such that one of them faced me and punched me in the face, and one of them lay in ambush for me in the markets of Kufa wishing to beat me up, and they made false accusations against me [Mufadhal in his Last Will and Testimony]
ما يقولون في المفضل بن عمر؟ قلت: يقولون فيه: هيئة يهوديا أو نصرانيا
What do they say about al-Mufadhal b. Umar? They say: He has the appearance and manner of a Jew or a Christian [The General Populace of Kufa was not impressed by Mufadhal]
Who was He?
Abu Abdallah Mufadhal b. Umar al-Ju’fi (d. before 179), a money-changer by profession, was a Kufan companion of the two Imams, al-Sadiq and al-Kadhim. He was charged with performing certain tasks for them.
al-Tusi sees no problem in him. He includes him among the praiseworthy ‘intimate ones’ and ‘managers of the Imam’s affairs’ citing the following report as evidence:
علي بن محمد، قال: حدثني سلمة بن الخطاب، عن علي بن حسان، عن موسى بن بكير قال: كنت في خدمة أبي الحسن عليه السلام ولم أكن أرى شيئا يصل إلى إلا من ناحية المفضل بن عمر، ولربما رأيت الرجل يجئ بالشئ فلا يقبله منه ويقول: أوصله إلى المفضل
Ali b. Muhammad – Salama b. al-Khattab – Ali b. Hassan – Musa b. Bukayr: I was in the service of Abi al-Hasan عليه السلام. Nothing [of the monetary dues] used to reach him [from any other route] except through Mufadhal b. Umar. I would sometimes see a man bringing something to the Imam directly and he [the Imam] would refuse to accept it and say: take it to Mufadhal.
That he was an important figure who exerted considerable influence on the Shi’ite community is undeniable. This can be glimpsed from the number of narrations under his name and the books attributed to him.
A Controversial Narrator
However, there is a controversy about his status. A controversy which probably began in his own lifetime. Some saw him as the bearer of the ‘secrets’ of the Imams who was understandably misunderstood by the laymen who could not bear them, while others saw him as a crypto-syncretist who distorted the teachings of the Imam.
There exists both praise and censure of him attributed to the Imams. Most of the narrations which extol him are narrated by the Ghulat who glorify him as one of their pillars.
The books ascribed to him include partially surviving esoteric manuals like Kitab al-Sirat (‘The Book of the Way’) and Kitab al-Haft wa al-Azilla (‘The Book of the Seven and the Phantoms’) among others. These are treasured by contemporary Nusayri-Alawis but would be considered heretical in the Twelver Madhhab. It is unclear whether this attribution is historical or merely based on the communal memory of his significance for their teachings. Modern academic research sees these books as consisting of many layers, with unidentified authors adding material to the oldest core.
al-Ayyashi encountered some of this suspect literature as he retells below:
وأمّا أبو يعقوب إسحاق بن محمد البصري، فإنّه كان غالياً، وسرت إليه إلى بغداد لاكتب عنه وسألته كتاباً أنسخه، فأخرج إليّ من أحاديث المفضّل بن عمر في التفويض ، فلم أرغب فيه فأخرج إليّ من أحاديث مشيخته من الثقات
As for Abu Ya’qub Ishaq b. Muhammad al-Basri then he was a Ghali. I went to him in Baghdad to write from him. I asked him a book to copy so he took out for me a collection of narrations from Mufadhal b. Umar regarding Tafwidh [that the ‘Aimma are independent beings who run the world after its initial creation] but I did not express any interest in that, then he produced narrations relayed by the trustworthy ones among his teachers …
Traditionalist scholars like al-Najashi and Ibn al-Ghadhairi had a negative assessment of him for this very reason. They went through the works ascribed to him and found them to be unpalatable.
Ibn al-Ghadhairi is scathing when he says:
خطابي، وقد زيد عليه شئ كثير، وحمل الغلاة في حديثه حملا عظيما
‘A Khattabi. A lot of fabricated material has been attributed to him. The Ghulat have launched a full-scale attack on his narrations (i.e. they have invaded his original corpus infiltrating it with their own ideas)’
وقد ذكرت له مصنفات لا يعول عليها، وإنما ذكرنا للشرط الذي قدمناه
‘A number of books are listed as authored by him but they are not to be depended upon. I only include their names because of the condition which we have mentioned before [i.e. to list the titles of all Shi’i authors]’
Even if he is not responsible for what circulates under his name, the fact that the Ghulat considered him one of their own should be reason enough for caution. Anonymous writers are known to have penned material using his name seeking to enhance the authority of their works. It is an arduous task to sift the historical from the forged.
What can be asserted without doubt is that the historical Mufadhal was at one point in time connected to Abu al-Khattab and the Khatabiyya [there is even a splinter-sect of the Khatabiyya which was named after Mufadhal i.e. the Mufadhaliyya]. They are accused of deifying al-Sadiq in some way and of believing in continuation of prophecy. We have some narrations which indicate Mufadhal’s links with such beliefs:
حدثني الحسين بن الحسن بن بندار القمي، قال حدثني سعد بن عبد الله بن أبي خلف القمي، قال حدثني محمد بن الحسين بن أبي الخطاب و الحسن بن موسى، عن صفوان بن يحيى، عن عبد الله بن مسكان قال: دخل حجر بن زائدة و عامر بن جذاعة الأزدي على أبي عبد الله عليه السلام فقالا: جعلنا فداك، إن المفضل بن عمر يقول إنكم تقدرون أرزاق العباد ...
al-Husayn b. al-Hasan b. Bundar al-Qummi – Sa’d b. Abdallah b. Abi Khalaf al-Qummi – Muhammad b. al-Husayn b. Abi al-Khattab and al-Hasan b. Musa from Safwan b. Yahya from Abdallah b. Muskan who said: Hujr b. Zaida and A’mir b. Judha’a al-Azdi entered upon Abi Abdillah عليه السلام and said to him: May we be made your ransom, Mufadhal b. Umar says that you are the ones who allot the Rizq of the slaves …
علي بن محمد، عن صالح بن أبي حماد، عن محمد بن أورمة، عن ابن سنان، عن المفضل بن عمر قال: كنت أنا والقاسم شريكي ونجم بن حطيم وصالح بن سهل بالمدينة فتناظرنا في الربوبية، قال: فقال بعضنا لبعض: ما تصنعون بهذا نحن بالقرب منه وليس منا في تقية قوموا بنا إليه، قال: فقمنا فوالله ما بلغنا الباب إلا وقد خرج علينا بلا حذاء ولا رداء قد قام كل شعرة من رأسه منه وهو يقول: لا لا يا مفضل ويا قاسم ويا نجم، لا لا بل عباد مكرمون لا يسبقونه بالقول وهم بأمره يعملون
Ali b. Muhammad – Salih b. Abi Hammad – Muhammad b. Awrama – Ibn Sinan – al-Mufadhal b. Umar who said: I, al-Qasim al-Shariki, Najm b. Hutaym and Salih b. Sahl were in Madina when we disputed each other over the divinity [of the ‘Aimma]. He [Mufadhal] said: We said to each other - why are we speculating on this when we are nearby to him [the Imam] and he is not in Taqiyya with us [does not answer us in dissimulation], let’s go meet him. He [Mufadhal] said: We headed towards him - by Allah we had not reached the door before he came out bare-footed, without a cloak and all the hair on his head stood on end [in apprehension] saying: No - O Mufadhal, Qasim and Najm, No! “rather mere honored slaves, never preceding Him (Allah) in word, and they always follow His orders” (21:26-27)
حدثني حمدويه وإبراهيم ابنا نصير، قالا: حدثنا محمد بن عيسى، عن علي ابن الحكم، عن المفضل بن عمر أنه كان يبشر أبا الخطاب وفلان أنكما لمن المرسلين
Hamduwayh b. Nusayr and Ibrahim b. Nusayr – Muhammad b. Isa – Ali b. al-Hakam: That he [Mufadhal b. Umar] used to give glad tidings to Aba al-Khattab and one other saying: ‘verily you are messengers’
قال الكشى: وذكرت الطيارة الغالية في بعض كتبها عن المفضل: أنه قال لقد قتل مع أبي اسماعيل يعني أبا الخطاب سبعون نبيا ... وأن المفضل قال: أدخلنا على أبي عبد الله عليه السلام ونحن اثنى عشر رجلا، قال: فجعل أبو عبد الله عليه السلام يسلم على رجل رجل منا ويسمي كل رجل منا باسم نبي، وقال لبعضنا: السلام عليك يا نوح، وقال لبعضنا: السلام عليك يا ابراهيم، وكان آخر من سلم عليه وقال: السلام عليك يا يونس، ثم قال: لا تخاير بين الانبياء
al-Kashshi said: The Tayyara Ghulat say in one of their books that al-Mufadhal said: Seventy prophets were killed with Aba al-Khattab … Mufadhal is also supposed to have said: Twelve of us entered in to see Abi Abdillah عليه السلام. He [the Imam] began greeting each one of us individually and calling each one of us by the name of a prophet, saying to one of us ‘peace be upon you O Noah’ to another ‘peace be upon you O Ibrahim’, he greeted the last one of us saying: ‘peace be upon you O Yunus’. Then he [the Imam] said: do not distinguish between the prophets!
Mufadhal, The Khattabiyya and Ismail
The Khatabbiya seem to have taken Ismail the son of al-Sadiq as their figure-head and pinned their hopes on him as the next Imam. It is hard to discern from the meager sources available whether Ismail’s participation in this was of his own volition or not.
رجال الكشي: حمدويه بن نصير، عن يعقوب بن يزيد، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن هشام بن الحكم وحماد بن عثمان، عن إسماعيل بن جابر قال: قال أبو عبد الله: ايت المفضل قل له: يا كافر يا مشرك ما تريد إلى ابني تريد أن تقتله
Hamduwayh b. Nusayr – Ya’qub b. Yazid – Ibn Abi Umayr – Hisham b. al-Hakam and Hammad b. Uthman – Ismail b. Jabir who said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: Go to Mufadhal and say to him - O Kafir, O Mushrik, what do you want for my son Ismail? Do you want to kill him!?
The narration above has the Imam using very harsh language with Mufadhal in the context of the latter’s ‘grooming’ of Ismail which al-Sadiq felt was dangerous.
On the other hand, there also exists a countervailing narration as below:
الكافي: محمد بن يحيى، عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى، عن علي بن الحكم، عن يونس بن يعقوب قال: أمرني أبو عبد الله عليه السلام أن آتي المفضل واعزيه باسماعيل وقال: اقرأ المفضل السلام وقل له: إنا قد اصبنا بإسماعيل فصبرنا، فاصبر كما صبرنا، إنا أردنا أمرا وأراد الله عزوجل أمرا، فسلمنا لامر الله عزوجل
Muhammad b. Yahya – Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa – Ali b. al-Hakam – Yunus b. Ya’qub who said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام ordered me to go to Mufadhal and condole him for [the death of] Ismail. He [the Imam] said: Convey my greetings of peace to Mufadhal and say to him: We have been tried through Ismail and have remained patient, so be patient the way we have been patient. We wanted something but Allah Mighty and Majestic wanted something else so we have submitted to the command of Allah Mighty and Majestic.
This one is much more warm. The Imam condoles Mufadhal on the occasion of Ismail’s death - the two must have been especially close - and commends him to be patient in emulation of the Imam’s own patience.
How can we explain this difference in tone?
It seems that one way to reconcile between them is to posit that Mufadhal had a period of estrangement from the Imam - because of his involvement with the Khattabis and their intentions for Ismail, however, he later repented from this and broke away with Abu al-Khattab, consequently the relation with the Imam improved.
Evidence for this can be found in the narration below:
جبرئيل بن أحمد قال: حدّثني محمّد بن عيسى، عن يونس، عن حماد بن عثمان قال: سمعت أبا عبداللّه عليه السلام يقول للمفضّل بن عمر الجعفي: يا كافر يا مشرك ما لك ولابني، يعني إسماعيل بن جعفر، وكان منقطعا إليه، يقول فيه مع الخطابية، ثم رجع بعد
Jibrail b. Ahmad – Muhammad b. Isa – Yunus – Hammad b. Uthman who said: I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام saying to al-Mufadhal b. Umar al-Ju’fi: O Kafir, O Mushrik, what do you have to do with my son - meaning Ismail b. Ja’far? - and he [Mufadhal] was loyal to him [Ismail], believing about him [that he is the Imam and much more] together with the Khatabiyya, then he returned afterwards.
That Mufadhal returned back to the truth after deviation can be proved also by the fact that he was not among those followers of Abu al-Khattab who died with their leader when they were attacked by the men of Isa b. Musa [the Abbasid governor of Kufa] after barricading themselves in the central mosque as part of an aborted revolt.
Another piece of evidence for this view is that Mufadhal seems to have a more cordial relation with al-Kadhim after the death of al-Sadiq [indeed there are no censures against him quoted from this Imam, which would tally with his reform in his later years].
محمد بن مسعود، قال: حدثني عبد الله بن خلف، قال: حدثنا علي بن حسان الواسطي، قال: حدثني موسى بن بكير قال: سمعت أبا الحسن يقول لما أتاه موت المفضل بن عمر، قال: رحمه الله، كان الوالد بعد الوالد، أما انه قد استراح
Muhammad b. Masud – Abdallah b. Khalaf – Ali b. Hassan al-Wasiti – Musa b. Bukayr who said: I heard Aba al-Hasan saying when he was informed of the death of al-Mufadhal b. Umar - May Allah have mercy on him, he was a father after the father [al-Sadiq i.e. a second father to him]. Verily he is now resting in peace.
The case of al-Mufadhal is a complicated one. More needs to be done to collect all the relevant evidence and formulate a coherent position, if at all possible. This is obviously not the place for an in-depth study. Such research should also consider the provenance of famous books attributed to him like Tawhid al-Mufadhal, al-Ihlilaja etc. Having said all this, caution must be exercised as regards narrations attributed to him, specifically if the contents have to do with Imamology.
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St. 12 part 4
By the high sky where there are glorious huge palaces;
By the promised day when the creatures will meet the Creator;
By night traveller, that shiny star whose glaring light cleaves the dark.
By all of these that there is a protector, assigned by God, for every soul.
قسم به آسمان بلندی که دارای کاخهای عظیم و با شکوه است.
قسم به روز موعود، به روز دیدار که وعده گاه خلایق است.
قسم به مسافر شب، به آن ستاره درخشانی که نور خیره کننده اش تاریکیها را میشکافد
قسم به همه اینان که هر شخصی را از طرف خداوند مراقب و نگهبانی است
Finally, the promised day came.
Hoopoe again came and sat behind the window. This time, it held a leaf of ziziphus in its beak.
After some hours, I noticed it and opened the window. Hoopoe entered and sat on the table. I patted it and said: What a beautiful bird!
Then I went to bring food and water for it.
But hoopoe didnt eat or drink anything.
I touched the statue and it started singing. I thought hoopoe would like the song but it didnt.
Instead, it put the leaf on the table and looked at me expecting me to remember something.
I said: Maybe you need some leaves! There are many trees is my garden. You can use their leaves as much as you wish
Hoopoe's eyes filled with tears for it realized that I didnt remember it and ziziphus tree.
For a few moments, it remained silent. Then it flew toward the window and left the house.
I stood by the window and watched hoopoe flying in the sky.
Hoopoe flew high and high.
I said: I wish I could fly like it.
Suddenly I remembered that once I had 2 wings which I lost after my fall on the earth; I remembered the seventh heaven, the angels, God, banishment from paradise and my rendezvous.
There was not much time... I left that mansion quickly.
But when I reached there, it was late.
The sun had already set. I had lost the best opportunity in my life.
I sat under ziziphus tree and cried. Hoopoe came. I patted it and said:
You, kind bird, you tried your best. Alas! I remembered too late!
Gabriel appeared and said:....
Whether you are close to the sun or far from it, its light and warmth dont change. But the closer you are to the sun, the more you benefit from its warmth...
God is source of mercy and compassion; How much you benefit from his mercy depends on how close you are to him.
The path which Satan and his friends follow, leads to the darkness. The more they proceed, the darker the path will get. And finally they reach total darkness. They will go astray so much that even if they want to return, it will be very difficult for them.
You are free to choose your path. A path leads to light, to magnificence and grandeur. And a path leads to disgrace, aberrance and regret. You can choose: ascending to A'laa Eleein or descending to Asfal al-Saffelin!*
Gabriel was about to leave. But before he did, he turned his face to me and said: Angels told me that they missed Human a lot. They are still awaiting you. What about you, Human? Do you still remember them?!
The stars were shining in the dark sky. And it meant that there was still hope. Because the stars are torches of the angels who had been waiting in the heavens for many centuries to welcome those who travelling to paradise.
* A'laa Eleein: the uppermost place in the heavens اعلی علیین
Asfal al-Safelin: the lowermost place in the hell اسفل السافلین
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I’m sorry today that your father wouldn’t let you talk to your sister
it broke my heart and I cried for you
I know you didn’t deserve it today and you are not strong enough to speak out
i will always be your voice and I will not stop fighting for your rights
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I shouldn't even have to put juggling religion in the title, because Religion should be the base of everything. Yet, I found myself struggling, when my work schedule became so hectic that I had no more balance in my life. Life just began with work and ended with sleep. I craved to be more spiritual and do more Islamical duties, but I was drained emotionally, physically, and mentally. So I fought for my rights to get at least a couple of days to recharge. Because without religion life becomes empty and boring. This world can zap all of your high spiritual energy and make you into a robot. Dealing with rude customers all day can make you numb to people and harden your heart. It can make the zest for life gone and make you cynical. Allah gives us religion as a blessing to keep us grounded, to give us heart, and to motivate us to do our best in this life so we can have it even better in the next.
If you feel yourself slipping away from the rope of God- start with tsbeh of God's name and do Salawt and Inshallah you will recharge. And the evil spirits will not bring you down nor can they dull your glow.
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Structure of upcoming posts related to this topic:
What is meant by Akhbarism?
It's inception and continuation
Akhbarism and the onset of Salafism
(Intermission - Some general laws that govern human thought/ideologies)
Akhbarism and the decline of human thought
Akhbarism - ideas and behaviours
Usooli doctrines and the Akhbari reality
Akhbarism and Secterianism
The Quran and Akhbari contradictions
The Narrations and Akhbari contradictions
Akhbarism and the creation of (new) religious rites and rituals
Akhbarism, ‘israeli’ narrations and other fabrications
Akhbarism and the cause of decline of Shi'ism
The Quran confronts the Akhbaris
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[Octonauts is a television programme for children on the BBC]
“Abbas are you still watching Hottentots?” asked Abbas’s Dad coming into the kitchen
“But Baba, my breakfast isn’t finished yet!” said Abbas, pointing to the few scraps of omelette left on his plate.
“It’ll soon be lunchtime, so I am taking away laptoppy and you can finish breakfast all by yourself,” said Baba, “and remember to bring the battery-start with you.”
“Baba, why do you call Octonauts Hottentots?” asked Abbas, as his dad took away the laptop.
“Because Octonauts sounds like Hottentots.” came the reply.
Just then the doorbell rang and Baba opened to the door to let in Sakina and Zehra.
“Dot, haven’t you changed your clothes yet?” asked Zehra, pointing to Abbas’s nightclothes.
“I was having my breakfast.”
“And very slowly too, by the looks of it,” observed Sakina. “Where’s Mimi?” She must be on the desktoppy.”
“Because Octonauts sounds like Hottentots.” came the reply.
Just then the doorbell rang and Baba opened to the door to let in Sakina and Zehra.
“Dot, haven’t you changed your clothes yet?” asked Zehra, pointing to Abbas’s nightclothes.
“I was having my breakfast.”
“And very slowly too, by the looks of it,” observed Sakina. “Where’s Mimi?” She must be on the desktoppy.”
“It’s probably an Abujan word, like doogi-doogi.” answered Sakina with an air of authority.
“But Baba said that it was because Octonauts sound like Hottentots, so are Hottentots another cartoon or are they real?” asked a puzzled Abbas.
“I think it’s because the name Octonaut sounds like Hottentot,” replied Zehra resignedly.
“But what is a Hottentot?” asked Abbas.
“It’s definitely a sound,” said Mimi.
“But is that all it is?” Sakina wondered out aloud.
“It’s a special kind of sound,” interrupted Abujan. “Hottentot sounds like the language the southern African tribe the KhoiKhoi speak and that’s why the Dutch, when they entered Africa, called them the Hottentots. It also sounds like Octonaut, so that’s why I called the Octonauts Hottentots.”
It took the four kids a little time to take it all in. In the end Abbas observed, “So, it wasn’t a made-up Baba word?”
“Yes the word wasn’t made up, but I think the explanation was,” smiled Sakina.
Abbas was getting confused, “So the KhoiKhoi aren’t real?”
“Yes they are real and the Dutch did call them Hottentots, but Abujan deliberately calling Octonauts Hottentots because of it, that I am not so sure about.”
“But the explanation sounds good,” added Mimi.
Zehra peered at the screen of the desktop. “What are you doing Abujan?”
“I am writing an email to a friend, princess.”
“What are you writing?”
“After children leave the big, secondary school they go to university and at university they have to do research projects. Sometimes when they write about the projects, they’re told to write how they started with an idea and then explain how they did the project and what results they got. What actually may have happened is that they started with an idea, which got changed half-way through the project. I’m telling my friend that sometimes the story sounds better if you changed what really happened to make it seem as if it was all deliberately planned from the start, even though it wasn’t.”
“You mean a bit like the Hottentot story,” Sakina’s voice came from nowhere, but she’d obviously been listening.
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As some of you know I'm a christian who converted and still living in a christian household practicing my religion in secrecy. Before i discovered islam and before i committed I used to camp in nature and i have this photography hobby. This year i decided to tell my parents i'm going camping in the nature in our country for 6 days and in this way i managed to travel to iraq.
We went me and my friend alone, we had people there in iraq who were having us as guests. The moment we went to the airport the struggling begun, we missed our plane which was in the morning, we waited the whole day for available seats but it was way too crowded. On that day, the last plane had 4 overbooked seats, basically they sold them seats which didn't exist, so Alhamdulillah they fixed us with them, we went from Lebanon to Turkey and from turkey to Najaf, we arrived to najaf at 3 am in the morning without sleep. This was on wednesday and the arbaeen is on friday.
We took a cab to visit imam ali, there was a point where the taxi couldn't go further, so he dropped us and i literally started running with my bag i couldn't believe i'm miles away of My Imam. When i reached it was so overwhelming, WHAT A MYSTERY HE IS! I felt powerful that he is my leader i felt like he's right there looking at me i literally felt his presence i felt the utmost sympathy which was coming from him it felt as if i'm visiting my guardian, my protector. It was very strange and pleasant.
We couldn't stay more, so we went to the house where we were staying at, we ate and we started walking from imam ali's makam to the first pole. I reached the first pole and started feeling the weakness of my body. It is worth to mention here that I'm athletic, I run since almost 4 years everyday and i do some very intense workouts (interval training, lactic acid training, fartlek training, etc). But walking is nothing like running.
First of all No one told me how much it was hard to finish the 100km walk. No one told me i should get some doaa to listen to quran perhaps or latmiyat or whatever else, and all people told me it's very nice it's fun you feel the spirituality, etc... So i went there having this mentality, i wasn't mentally prepared for it. I hit the 200 pole and i seriously started questioning if i can continue or not. I called friends who reached to 950 pole and they started insisting on me that i should take a taxi and go to them. This was at maghreb prayer after 6 hours walking. After they called me several times telling me to come i started thinking if this was my case then what was the case of sayeda zeinab or roukaya or soukayna and the whole household of ahlulbayt?! The thought of me not being able to finish it ached my heart and it made me cry. I rested, my friend told me that she will carry my bag to help me and with the grace of God i started walking. With all the psychological and physical pain, suffering, sleeplessness, shivering (due to the hectic situation), swallowed feet, empty stomach, burning feet, cramps, i reached at 12.30 am to 634 pole. The thing that didn't help was the pace of my friend she was always 10-20 meters ahead of me, so there was no talking or conversations to help me forget about the pain. But she really helped by carrying my bag. So we slept at 1.30 am till 3.30 am the noise and all the snoring didn't help much. We prayed i slept 2 hours after that then continued to walk. The second day i was falling asleep when i was walking, i started having the flu with the fever and when i rested for few minutes I'd fall asleep on the chair. Nevertheless, We continued and we finished with couple of km left which i finished the second day because there were a big number of crowd, more than any other year and i didn't have the energy anymore to withstand all this crowd and walk among them.
We reached the shrines of imam hussein and aba l fadel on saturday in the afternoon, we waited for couple of hours but it was all worth it, you can't exactly feel a lot of spirituality because you can't sit and focus your thoughts and get your head together. Everything was so quick. And if you want to sit for example pray talk to the imam someone comes and hits you.
Of course there is special energy at every makam, you feel something different, for example when i reached the shrine of imam hussein i couldn't believe that i'm standing in front of the one and only man who's earth and skies are created due to his sacrifice. That we exist due to his sacrifice, everything we are everything we have is from Ashura.
The rest of the trip took it's flow, other things happened but alhamulillah we managed everything in the end.
"الأجر على قدر المشقة" It means you get rewarded as much as you tolerate pain and hardships.
When i came back home, I accidentally forgot my ticket in the bag so when mom was removing the clothes to wash them she saw the ticket of course she snapped but she didn't tell my father or else he would have kicked me out of the house, it is the one and only time she didn't mention anything, because before that when she sensed that i was fasting or doing things related to religion she told my dad right away, but this time she couldn't. Everyone of us is protected by the imam of our time, he handles our matters all the time.
I hope this was an inspiration to the readers and i hope everyone will experience this zyara, because after my personal experience i realized that the walk part is very essential for our Akida (creed), it is a kind of training.
I've intended for this post to be a placeholder until I publish my next entry on the linguistic history of the Arabic language until the early Islamic period. I've adapted it from a post I made elsewhere. It represents an early phase in my research on the religions in pre-Islamic Arabia, it's rather informal but so is the nature of my research right now. InshaAllah it'll be added to, corrected, and fixed as time progresses.
The presence of Christianity in Arabia was already centuries old by the time the Prophet was born. Historical Arabia was identified as a region spanning from the Eastern banks of the Nile to the Euphrates and as far north as the Syrian desert. According the Socrates Scholasticus, the Byzantine ecclesiastical historian, not the Athenian philosopher, a Queen Mavia (ماوية) of the Ishmaelites, who reigned from the late fourth century to the early fifth century, converted to Christianity. She went on to appoint a Bishop named Moses, another "Saracen" (Arab) who led a monastic life and was reputed to preform miracles. Eusebius writes about an Arab Monarchian named Beryllus, Bishop of Bostra. He believed that Christ was a distinct divinity but only possessed the Divine nature of God the Father after the incarnation. Origen of Alexandria converted him back to "orthodoxy" (in the lower-case sense of the word, not upper-case sense referring to the Orthodox Churches).
It seems that by the birth of Prophet Muhammad there was a major presence of various "heretical" Christian groups. A misattributed dictum of St. Theodoret of Cyrrhus states that "Arabia hæresium ferax", "Arabia is the bearer of heresies". Scholars have attempt to identify the groups present in Arabia using antique and mediaeval sources and the Qur'anic description of their doctrines.
Theophilos Indus, an Arian Bishop sent by Emperor Constantius II to Asia via Arabia as a missionary. He is reported to have converted the people of Himyar to Arianism. He was Heteroousian, a follower of the theologian Aetius, who denied that Christ and God the Father were of the same substance. It's possible that Arianism survived in the region.
There was also a presence of Severan Monophysites, followers of Severus of Antioch who believed in the "natural union" of Christ's two natures, concentrated on the Red Sea coast (Hijaz and Yemen). The Julianists, a group closely related to the Docetists, are of particular interest due to their rejection of Christ having died on the cross -- a view also found in the Gnostic Apocalypse of Peter (where Christ is in a tree and laughing at whoever is being crucified). Irfan Shahid states Ashab al-Ukhdud (People of the Ditch) that the Qur'an mentions were Monophysites. Their account is also mentioned in text called "The Book of the Himyarites", a Syriac work which was translated into English by Axel Moberg. Their leader was St. Arethas (Harith) was written about in the 7th century text Acta Sancti Arethæ/Martyrium Sancti Arethæ.
There was also a Nestorian presence in Arabia. The Prophet was aware of this and the Qur'an even employs the Nestorian idea of "Isa b. Maryam" to deny that Christ is the Son of God. The aforementioned Book of the Himyarites also has a passage were Dhu-Nuwas employs Nestorian terms to refer to the Christology of the "majority of Christians" (in his realm).
Though Monophysitism did become dominate after the fall of Dhu-Nuwas, Nesotrianism returned with the conquest of South Arabia by the Sassanids. In the lifetime of the Prophet, Nestorian missionaries from Najran would go to Ukadh to preach, and Prophet Muhammad encountered one who left an impression on him, Quss b. Sa'idah al-Iyyadi. He was possibly a bishop of Najran. Irfan Shahid mentions this as a matter of fact in "Islam and Oriens Christianus". However, he's also argued against this position in his entry on Quss b. Sa'idah in the Brill Encyclopaedia of Islam, saying that it was just a conflation of several facts about him and the Episcopate of Najran.
Shahid believes there also might have been an Ethiopic Christian presence. This is based on what seems to be Ge'ez terms being used by the Qur'an, such as Nasara rather than Masihiyyun, Isa rather than Yasu'. Though in the case of the latter Arthur Jeffery demonstrates how this could have also happened as a result of natural linguistic corruption when the word transferred from Syriac to Arabic.
References and Further reading:
Irfan Shahid's article "ISLAM AND ORIENS CHRISTIANUS: MAKKA 610-622 AD" represents a bulk of the research here, I would highly recommend it. You might also want to check out Irfan Shahid's series on Byzantium and Arabia. Gabriel Said Reynold's The Qur'an in its Historical Context (both parts one and two) might also prove useful. And Darren M. Slade's article "ARABIA HAERESIUM FERAX (ARABIA BEARER OF HERESIES): Schismatic Christianity’s Potential Influence on Muhammad and the Qur’an ".
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Whenever the topic of death arises, people try to stay away from the discussion. For many, it is an uncomfortable subject, but Sub7an'Allah Allah always reminds us about it in the Quran.
"Allah does not give any breather (or let up) to anyone for death when its fixed time comes." (Surah 63:11)
Every person (nafs) will taste death, ....." (Surah 3:185)
"... no one knows (where) in what land (or place) he will die". (Surah 31:34)
Wherever you may be, death will overtake you, even if you should be within towers of lofty construction. But if good comes to them, they say, "This is from Allah "; and if evil befalls them, they say, "This is from you." Say, "All [things] are from Allah ." So what is [the matter] with those people that they can hardly understand any statement? (Surah 4:78)
In Lebanon, we are constantly reminded of death. Whether it is the martyrs, family members, or from accidents death is heard about in a daily basis.
I have a vivid image of death. I saw a dead mouse once. First, I didn't notice it, but there was a wretched smell. I was looking to see where it was coming from. I found it hidden between fake flowers. I wanted to dispose it, and I got a metal utensil to put it in a plastic bag. Of course, I wrapped my scarf around my nose, because the stench was unbearable. I saw it's yellow front teeth sticking out. But what was the eye opening image that I was left with? It was the hundreds of white maggots that was crawling out of it.
I was crying and talking to myself at that point. Is this how I will end up? That my grave will be a house of maggots? (bayt al dood)
Oh God have mercy on us.
God sends us so many warnings and signs throughout our life time. We are not for this world. Every living thing will experience death. A fact of life, if only people realize there time in this world is limited, would so many crimes, and evilness exist? Unfortunately, many people see death as far away and live carefree.
If more people would focus about where they will eventually end up, I think this world would be an easier place to live in. But people plan 30, 40, 50 years ahead and will do whatever it takes to reach there goals. But the real question is, "What have you done for yourself for the Hereafter?"
M3 Salamah, FE AMIN Allah
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Carrying on from part 1- http://www.shiachat.com/forum/blogs/entry/311-understanding-negative-thought-processes/
I wanted to speak about the impact cognitive distortions (negative thoughts) can have on us.
The impact of Cognitive Distortions
Psychologists recognise that there is a relationship between our thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and the resultant behaviour. Anyone recognise this vicious cycle?
We are constantly trying to interpret the world around us, sometimes without even realising it. Thoughts are electro-impulses in the brain, not statment of facts, so dont believe everything you think! These interpretations will be a byproduct of our upbringing, previous experiences, culture, religion and many more and some types of thoughts can lead to particular emotions.
Therefore, we shouldn't ASSUME everything because you will make an ASS out of U and ME!
The above is typical of the cycle that takes place once we get a negative thought that we may dwell on. It, then, becomes a habit, so trying to change that thought to a more realistic and balanced one would be beneficial. The question that arises now is how we can achieve that.
Journalising your thought processes
One such way to change our negative thinking style may be documenting your thoughts which is something people find helpful in this regard, as it’s a way of becoming familiar with the negative thought patterns you tend to become fixated on, and is one method of letting out how you feel.
Having a thought diary can be very helpful for many people and can actually be effective for so many conditions, such as feeling socially anxious, OCD, GAD (generalised anxiety disorder), depression and many more mental health problems. You can also add columns where you rate your anxiety/mood from 0%-100%, you would then reframe (change) that negative thought to a more balanced one and rate your anxiety/mood again from 0% -100% to see how much it has decreased.
Thought records like the one below can also be helpful and are less overwhelming if you don’t want to add lots of columns.
Another less intense journaling technique is keeping a gratitude journal. The process is quite simple. Every night, before you go to bed, you write down three to five things for which you are grateful. The trick is that you can’t use the same ideas every day, so you can try to search your soul for what you are grateful for today and then write it down.
If you feel a thought diary is not something that works for you, then think about what might. Using art as a form of art therapy such as colouring, painting or Caligraphy? Audio recording yourself or speaking to yourself in the mirror?
(I know this sounds totally weird but it works for some! No one has to know :p ) Or how about using mind maps? The main thing is finding what works for you as an individual. Hope this helps!
Inshallah in the next part I will be focusing on how to set and achieve goals.
“I only complain of my grief and sorrow to Allah (s.w.t)” [12:86]
Just a little side note, I decided to write this and post this blog entry at this time because I’m currently I wanna do something light-hearted before my next blog entry. I’m currently working on the next blog entry (which is already a little less than three pages in) but because how serious and how much research I need to cover to make sure I don’t make a mistake, I wanna take a break and do something light.
And yeah I even procrastinate while working on blogs, I have one file called Frustrations Watching Muslim Movies, that I made awhile ago and I still haven’t wrote anything in it yet. But to entice you guys (and gals) to come back after this one, here’s a sneak peak of a blog entry coming from a blogger near you:
If you remember in my previous blog entry, I mentioned a Catholic chatroom I like to go to, well during one of our conversations they said the New Testament couldn’t be wrong because of the eye witness recorded, their referring to the Gospels according to Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John. Which it is fair to bring that up, but once you look deeper into it, you begin to see some cracks. Now there is some evidence to suggest that the Gospels were not written by Jesus’ disciples, but by people later on. What I wanna do (for the sake of this blog entry at least) is say for sure 100% the Gospels were written by the disciples and (again for the sake of this argument) say that the books in the New Testament were not corrupted and they’ve always been the way they are.
Okay now let’s get back to the main point of this blog:
So this had been something I’ve noticed for a long time and it always seems to happen to me. So picture this, my dad decides to take the family out to eat and we go to a restaurant. So we order, wait for the food, me, my dad, my little brother (and my big brother if he’s there) fill the cups, get the condiments, etc.. So then eventually the food arrives, and french fries happen to be one of the sides (a quick note to point out is that everyone gets the same order), so my dad being the patriarchal tribal chief of the family gives out the food, and you wanna know what? I always get the least amount of fries.
Now some of you might be (justifiably) saying, “Wow, really? There are starving kids in Africa, there are people who would give a pinkie finger for a single fry, and here you are complaining about getting a few fries less.” But it’s not only fires, we could go out to Dairy Queen or some other ice cream place and get some cones and guess what? It’s the same thing, I always get not as much as everyone else. It isn’t a coincidence, someone out to get me. Or what I consider the more logical conclusion, Allah is telling me to lose weight.
What I wrote above isn’t meant to be serious, it’s true though, I do get a little less than everyone else, but I was just trying to make some humor out of something I’ve noticed. So if you’re mad about it, I’m sorry (but I’m still salty about not getting as much fries, for all of you who were disappointed there was no “a Lut,” pun used in the last entry, that salty pun is dedicated to you).
Do you guys ever look up something weird to see if it exists? Now it’s now always haraam… but it usually kinda is. I don’t get pleasure in discovering they exist, most of the time it’s the complete opposite (I still can’t believe someone would do that with the Rugrats). Now don’t look up things to see if they exist if they would be considered haraam, but if it’s not considered haraam, go for it (it’ll definitely give you an edge when you and your friend(s) play random (historical) trivia. In your face, Trevor!)
I think I hate myself a little bit, so much so that a small part of me likes it when I hurt myself. Now I’m not talking about self physical harm, and please if you do that please seek help and talk to someone (I can’t stress that enough), what I’m referring to is that I’ll go looking for anti-Muslim (and Shia and/or theists) media. Now I get angry and upset when watching/reading these things, so why do I do it? I really don’t know. Do I get any enjoyment out of it? No, the complete opposite in fact.
Well I think that’s enough for today. I gotta say I enjoyed doing this and I think it really fits the theme of the blog, which is much more diverse in topics than I originally intended it to. I feel random drabbles sounds like it would be in a blog called Procrastination Contemplation. By the way, I looked up to make sure drabble was a word and that I was spelling it right, and it turns out that it’s for short fictional stories, so I used the word wrong here because all the things I talked about are true. But I really like the name so I’m not changing it.
Something else I noticed is that I feel my blog is kinda at ends with other blogs. Other blogs talk about happiness, marriage, many of them talk about a multitude of religious and philosophical ideas. And what does my blog talk about? The first one was about why I use the username I use, the next was how about a website made me really mad, the one after that was about being polite when debating, and this one is about me complaining about getting less fries, looking up random and sometimes weird stuff, and about how I can’t seem to stop looking for media that puts me in a really negative mood. I feel like I should stick with a certain topic that’s serious but at the same time, I like making the odd blog entry.
This is the last thing before I post this. You people better appreciate this entry, I wrote this in my second hour/period which is an open/free, I should of been doing my math homework that’s due during 4th Period but no, I go and spend that time writing my longest blog entry up to date (four and a half pages).
Hope you enjoyed!
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When Imam as-Sajjad (as) used to gaze up at the night sky, he would address his Lord saying: O' my Lord! The stars of your sky have set, and the eyes of your creation have closed to rest. Kings have locked their gates, but your gate is always open to those who ask. Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى in the Holy Qu'ran reminds us of how he close is to his servants:
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ
O'Muhammad and when my servants ask you about Me, indeed I am close. I answer the supplication of the one who supplicates.
My dear brothers & sisters, Allah is near, but we have not appreciated the joy of divine proximity. Muslim philosophers maintain that the goal of God's creative activity, is not as some might think for simply to be a World out there, but rather for Allah and his loved ones to come together as we were before creation. This is the underlying message of the phrase:
إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ
We belong to God, and to Him we shall return
The famous persian poet Rumi explains this scheme of love. All of us used to be fish, swimming in the ocean of towheed. Unaware of our difference from the water. Then Allah threw us upon dry land, the realm of seperation, longing, pain and suffering. Only by tasting seperation, can we remember the joy of water and desire to return to it. Once we return, we will swim in the ocean of Towheed again, with full awareness of the joy of consummated love.
In a famous tradition Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى reveals to Musa (a) saying:
ذَبَ مَنْ زَعَمَ أَنَّهُ يُحِبُّنِي فَإِذَا جَنَّهُ اللَّيْلُ نَامَ عَنِّي ، أَ لَيْسَ كُلُّ مُحِبٍّ يُحِبُّ خَلْوَةَ حَبِيبِهِ
O'Musa! The one who claims to love me, speaks a lie. For when night sets, he sleeps and forgets me.. is it not that every lover wishes to be alone with his beloved?
My dear brothers & sisters, let us take advantage of the night and whisper to our Beloved because the night is when the lovers meet and it is imperative that we make Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى the object of our love... Wa sallallahu ala Muhammad wa ala tahirin.
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I know many of us (believers) have been through this, and I personally experienced my boat sinking and I know it is tough getting it back up. But if you won't understand why you have to get back up then you're definitely going to drown.
My point of bringing this topic up is not to scare you away by telling you about the torment of hellfire or the agony in the grave, surely I'll do that by the end of our short exchange, but before everything else I want you to know what benefits and positive change prayers can bring to your life!
BENEFITS OF PRAYING
There are actually a lot; me and you could go on and on about how practicing Islam can benefit you and the people around you, but this once, let me just mention a few of those that I experienced first-hand.
Prayer can be a source of exercise for most people. It keeps check on your physical fitness. All the obligatory acts in prayers benefit greatly to ones health. For example, going to ruku and sajda and tash'had saves one from back pain and knee-joints pain. Prayer also wards off many illnesses.
Down to Earth
When you go down in sujood, it gives you a feeling of how small and insignificant you are in front of all the blessings and creations of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى. He made so much, and still blesses you and showers upon you from good. Prayer kills your ego and brings you closer to Allah and the reality. Focusing on how you're alone in this world, and how only Allah is your supporter and benefactor even in the time of adversity.
Strengthens the heart and the belief
Prayer gives you the strength that you are lacking when facing adversity. It becomes a driving force when met with a lot of short-comings. It strengthens ones resolve to keep moving forward and facing new challenges while knowing that Allah never burdens a soul more than what it can bear.
Closeness to Allah
When we recite the verses sent down to us Humans by Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى, we naturally feel close to Him. His words are the reflection upon our own-selves. When we make dua to Him and kneel down to Him, it shows that we are ready to give in our desires for pleasing Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى. And that: He is the only "one" we can turn to in the time of adversity... There's nobody else, is there?
Countenance and Spiritual Pleasantness
Did you know that prayers make your face and spirit brighter? Who wouldn't want their face glowing with happiness and zeal. This not only allows others to look at you in good light but also brings a smile to their faces (especially your family). And it takes off a lot of tension from their shoulders (for some reason).
Keeps you away from sins and keeps sins away form you
Now this is note-worthy, because both sound just about the same. So where lies the difference? The difference is that there in you will come a sense of responsibility and a sense of accountability once you start praying. You will become more aware of your performance near Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى, and you'd want to please him more and more. Who wouldn't want beautiful reward from Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى?And alternatively, Allah will keep you away from sins with his authority over you if he finds your actions pleasing. And no doubt, he is the most merciful and the most benevolent. Along with oft-forgiving.
Gets rid of laziness and grooms punctuality
Most of the time we are extremely lazy when it comes to our responsibilities and obligations. But once we start being punctual in prayers habitually, we (Insha'Allah) will become more aware of the limited time we have and the utilization of it. Prayer somewhat grooms the instinct of time within you. When you start praying five times a day, you'll begin to realize if you're spending the remaining time the right way. You will have thoughts like: Am I fulfilling my religious obligations correctly? Is Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى going to be pleased enough with the current me? Have I been listening to every words my parents say? Have I done the job that I must in time?
Sense of Accountability
I know I am kinda repeating myself here, but I couldn't just skip this point. Because this one is very significant when it comes to prayers. In our daily life, if we skip a prayer, do you know how many things go wrong then? How many times we attempt sins and bad acts? Have you ever reflected upon them?Prayer gives you a chance of reflection. And in the future it keeps you intact and in-check that you don't fall astray to bad acts from Satan.
Keeps you pure and clean
Before going to prayer, you remember, that you have to be Tahir (pure from any impurity). Thus this single remembrance can keep you more than enough clean and pure. Also, performing ablution three-to-five or more so times a day, protects you from Satan and his devilish whispers.
Takes away nightmares and bad dreams
I am sure many of us had nightmares or dreams that were bad, something you wish you'd never seen. But if you sleep after doing a wudu, and with faith that Allah and His angels will protect you from such dreams (that come from Satan), you'll be protected.
WHAT DOES THE QURAN SAY ABOUT PRAYERS?Quote
[Shakir 6:162] Say. Surely my prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are (all) for Allah, the Lord of the worlds;
[Shakir 62:9] O you who believe! when the call is made for prayer on Friday, then hasten to the remembrance of Allah and leave off trading; that is better for you, if you know.
[Shakir 2:45] And seek assistance through patience and prayer, and most surely it is a hard thing except for the humble ones,
[Shakir 23:1-2] Successful indeed are the believers, Who are humble in their prayers,
[Shakir 2:186] And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way.
[Shakir 2:153] O you who believe! seek assistance through patience and prayer; surely Allah is with the patient.
[Shakir 29:45] Recite that which has been revealed to you of the Book and keep up prayer; surely prayer keeps (one) away from indecency and evil, and certainly the remembrance of Allah is the greatest, and Allah knows what you do.
[Shakir 17:78] Keep up prayer from the declining of the sun till the darkness of the night and the morning recitation; surely the morning recitation is witnessed.
[Shakir 17:79] And during a part of the night, pray Tahajjud beyond what is incumbent on you; maybe your Lord will raise you to a position of great glory.
[Shakir 20:124] And whoever turns away from My reminder, his shall be a straitened life, and We will raise him on the day of resurrection, blind.
[Shakir 2:238] Attend constantly to prayers and to the middle prayer and stand up truly obedient to Allah.
[Shakir 2:239] But if you are in danger, then (say your prayers) on foot or on horseback; and when you are secure, then remember Allah, as. He has taught you what you did not know.
[Shakir 74:42-43] What has brought you into hell? They shall say: We were not of those who prayed;
[Shakir 13:28] Those who believe and whose hearts are set at rest by the remembrance of Allah; now surely by Allah's remembrance are the hearts set at rest.
[Shakir 4:103] Then when you have finished the prayer, remember Allah standing and sitting and reclining; but when you are secure (from danger) keep up prayer; surely prayer is a timed ordinance for the believers.
I hope this thread will open your eyes to the importance of prayers and will bring you closer to Allah. If I made a mistake somewhere in the text, then it is solely from me. Forgive me, as I am only human.Quote
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P.s. Thanks to my brothers and sisters here, they gave me confidence enough to post my material here. lol. I have some serious confidence issues. :P Anyways, thanks to everybody for reading and supporting! Jazak Allah Khair. Hope it will be helpful to at least a single soul!
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
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.
- 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
- 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 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.
Now, I want this part to focus on the philosophy behind Tabarra, the meaning of it. Why do we say "Oh Allah Curse so and so." What benefit does this bring? If any? Let me start with a hadith from our 6th Imam (as)\
"What is religion except love and hate?" (Kitab al Kafi Volume 2 Page 125)
Love and hate. This hadith speaks for itself. People always talk about Tawalla (love) for the Ahlulbayt, but ignore hatred towards their enemies. Don't get me wrong, tawalla is very important, but we have to accept ALL aspects of Islam! How can you accept one Usool ud Deen and ignore another! A famous hadith, again from our 6th Imam:
"The halal of Muhammad is an everlasting halal until the Day of Judgement, and the haram of Muhammad is an everlasting Haram until the Day of Judgement."
So, you can not reject an aspect of Islam, as, just like halal and haram, it is everlasting until the day of judgement. We can hide our belief in a certain aspect if needed (I will talk about Taqiyya in my next part Inshallah) but if we reject it, without coercion, then that is obviously wrong. If the Imam says love AND hate are both aspects of Islam, we should consider them aspects of Islam, and respect them. Now, to start really talking about it's philosophy, I want to elaborate on the first ahadith I mentioned by using the words of scholars. I'm quoting from Philosophy of Islamic Laws by Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi and Ayatollah Jafar Sobhani.
Here the topics of discussion are the last two; Tawalla (to love) and Tabarra (to express aloofness). That is we love some and hate some. We should love the friends of Allah, those who desire truth, righteous people and supporters of truth and justice and we should hate the evildoers, oppressors, lovers of enjoyment and enemies of Allah, His Prophet and humanity.
Why shouldn't we love all of them? Why shouldn't we behave nicely with all of them? Can we forgo the method of living with amity in the present age? However, those who are in favor of having friendly relations with all must be asked:
In the world which has oppressors and oppressed, the unjust and the victims of injustice, the tyrants and the weak, the equitable and the usurpers, the pure and the dirty; shall we love all of them? Shall we remain pleased with all of them? Shall we help all of them? Can any human logic permit us to do so? Can the living conscience permit this mixing up?
Now, on the last paragraph. I want to point to a Quranic verse you are probably familiar with, And do not mix up the truth with falsehood. Let me point, from the same chapter of that book, to the last two paragraphs in that chapter
If instead of acting upon the two principles everyone agrees with every school of thought, every condition is accepted and human society does not get close to useful things and does not keep away from harmful things, the humanity will soon be destroyed.
That is the reason that the Holy Prophet (S) has said: “The strongest support of faith is to love for Allah and to express hatred for the sake of Allah.”
Harmful things. I think we can include, among many harmful things which harm the religion, to be bidah, innovations in the religion. This can drive us down the wrong path. It is wrong to consider figures like, lets say Abu Hurairah, whom we know was a liar, or Sayf ibn Umar, the inventor of "Abdullah ibn Saba," as good, or even to be neutral on these figures. The world, and especially the Ummah, needs to be exposed to the lies of these people. We should make it clear that the Shia reject these figures. Whether it be in books, or whether we openly and publicly say lanat ullahi ealayh after their names (with exceptions of course, which I will elaborate on later), the world should know the reality of these men and women.
But why curse, as in say lanat against them. The easy answer is that the Imams did it. Read Ziyarat Ashura. Allahum al'an awwal adh dhalimi. Who is the first of the oppressors. Along with the innumerable hadith, many of which I mentioned, and I plan to mention more. But that response isn't good enough. Why though? WHY did the Imams curse them? Tell me, when do you curse someone? It is when they have done wrongs to you, when you hate a person, you curse them. Clearly, if our Imams would curse these individuals, then we should hate them as well. If someone wronged a family member, would you have a neutral stance on this individual. The Prophet (saw) is higher than your family. Even in Sunni books there is the famous hadith Fatimah is a part of me. So id Fatimah (sa) was harmed by a certain individual, he has harmed the Prophet. Furthermore, the famous hadith Whoever has angered Fatimah has angered me, and whoever angers me has angered Allah. There is an obvious connection between these hadith and the one quoted by Ayatollah's Makarem Shirazi and Sobhani,
“The strongest support of faith is to love for Allah and to express hatred for the sake of Allah.”
Express hatred. Cursing (lanat) is a way to express hatred. On top of that, it is a practice of the Ahlulbayt (as), and can be found in the Quran. So why has it been rejected? One of the main arguments is that it harms Shia/Sunni unity. It can cause bloodshed, so we should practice Taqiyya in this regard. I will touch on that in Part Three Inshallah.
Ok, so this chapter will be revolving around arguments made in this debate. I want to start with a verse from the Quran
Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a great example.
What does that mean? If we are in a situation similar to where the Ma'sumeen AS were, we should do what they did, because they're the best example for us. How is this related to Tabarra? This is somewhat obvious when you look at another aspect of the philosophy behind Tabarra. Think of how the Muslims destroyed the idols of Quraysh. This was symbolic, so people would know the truth about them, that they would know these are no Gods, but manmade tools of corruption. The same could be said about the later "Sanamay Quraish," who corrupted the religion of Islam. We can actually verify how punished they are through a narration mentioned in this lecture quoted from al Khisal Page 399, which mentions the seven most cursed people in hell. These were the heads of corruption from past religions. The narration is pretty long so I'd recommend anyone who wants to know more to watch the lecture, but these individuals continue to corrupt our religion even today! Think of the situation we are in. So much violence happening in the name of Islam, from Al Qaeda, IS and their kinds. I think a good parable, especially considering much of this violence is towards Shia, is after the Battle of Jamal. If you want, in the first debate I mentioned, go to 24:00, so you can verify this hadith. Its from the book of Sulaim ibn Qais RA, who wrote in his book.
After the Battle of Jamal, he (Imam Ali AS) ended the Taqiyya, and the peoples faces were filled with shock.
This is like the Quranic command, And do not mix the truth with falsehood. We can't use narrations for taqiyya as daleel when it could contradict a Quranic command. All famous scholars, including recent scholars like Ayatollah al Khoei RA, say that you should end the taqiyya when you must expose the truth. And all famous scholars have ended the taqiyya at some point! Shaykh al Mufid RA wrote books exposing Abu Bakr and Umar, so did Allamah Majlisi RA. If you want to verify the words of Allameh Majlisi, you can read his book Haqqul Yaqeen (the certain truth) in english, and it will say on page 591, as I actually mentioned earlier:
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.
What if a Sunni got his hands on this book and killed a Shia because of it? Well, he would be a martyr, to put it bluntly. Quranic commands need to be fulfilled, and doing otherwise is a sin in Islam. Even Sayed Khomeini wrote about Aisha, Hafsa and Muawiya a=in a similar way, though I will not mention that on here. What I'm trying to say is that Taqiyya has a time and place, but so does establishing the truth, and that's something we can't ignore. That's all I want to say, just hoping someone who's unsure on this topic like I was can find some proofs from an Islamic viewpoint that's easier than hours of lectures, debates and reading,
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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.
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).
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)
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:
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?"
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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. ♥
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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
 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.
 Al-Fihrist of Shaykh Tusi, pg. 52
 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.
 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)
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