[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?
One should not forget the role of Israel in emptying arab countries of their jewish populations.
Jews were never expelled from Lebanon, they themselves decided to go live on the otherside of the border, in an enemy state.
This is how al-Fadhl explains the point you raise.
 و سئل الفضل بن شاذان عن أبي أيوب خالد بن زيد الأنصاري و قتاله مع معاوية المشركين فقال: كان ذلك منه قلة فقه و غفلة، ظن أنه أنما يعمل عملا لنفسه يقوى به الإسلام و يوهي به الشرك و ليس عليه من معاوية شيء كان معه أو لم يكن
 al-Fadhl b. Shadhan was asked about Abi Ayyub Khalid b. Zayd al-Ansari and his fighting together with Mua`wiya against the polytheists - he said: that was a lapse of understanding from him and an oversight, he thought that he was performing an act for its own sake, by which he would strengthen Islam and efface polytheism, and that he would suffer no consequences by way of Mua`wiya - whether he was there [present with him] or not [since it had nothing to do with him].
 و سئل عن ابن مسعود و حذيفة فقال: لم يكن حذيفة مثل ابن مسعود لأن حذيفة كان ركنا و ابن مسعود خلط و والى القوم و مال معهم و قال بهم
 And he [Ibn Fadhal] was asked about Ibn Mas`ud and Hudhayfa - so he said: Hudhayfa was not like [of the same status as] Ibn Mas`ud because Hudhayfa was a pillar [of support to Ali and rejecting the Khulafa] while Ibn Mas`ud became confused and accepted the group’s authority and inclined with them and professed them [as superior].
و قال أيضا: إن من السابقين الذين رجعوا إلى أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام: أبو الهيثم بن التيهان و أبو أيوب و خزيمة بن ثابت و جابر بن عبد الله و زيد بن أرقم و أبو سعيد الخدري و سهل بن حنيف و البراء بن مالك و عثمان بن حنيف و عبادة بن الصامت ثم ممن دونهم قيس بن سعد بن عبادة و عدي بن حاتم و عمرو بن الحمق و عمران بن الحصين و بريدة الأسلمي و بشر كثير
He [al-Fadhl] also said: from among the fore-runners who returned back to the commander of the faithful عليه السلام were: Abu al-Haytham b. Tahiyyan, Abu Ayyub (al-Ansari), Khuzayma b. Thabit, Jabir b. Abdallah, Zayd b. Arqam, Abu Said al-Khudri, Sahl b. Hunayf, al-Bara` b. Malik, Uthman b. Hunayf and Ubada b. al-Samit - then those who were lesser than them - Qays b. Sa'd b. Ubada, Adi b. Hatim, Amr b. al-Hamiq, Imran b. al-Hussayn, Burayda al-Aslami and a large number of men besides.
Hate to keep pestering you brother, but what about Abu Ayyub al-Ansari? If I recall correctly, he initially refused to give bayah to Abu Bakr, but there is the issue of him fighting under a Muslim army commanded by Yazid at Constantinople.
I noticed the section under his name on https://sites.google.com/site/rijalalkashi/vol1/abu-ayyub-al-ansari is empty.
 أبو عبد الله محمد بن إبراهيم، قال حدثني علي بن محمد بن يزيد القمي، قال حدثني عبد الله بن محمد بن عيسى، عن ابن عمير، عن هشام بن سالم، عن أبي عبد الله (عليه السلام) قال : كان بلال عبدا صالحا و كان صهيب عبد سوء يبكي على عمر
 Abu Abdallah Muhammad b. Ibrahim said: narrated to me Ali b. Muhammad b. Yazid al-Qummi saying: narrated to me Abdallah b. Muhammad b. Isa from Ibn Abi Umayr from Hisham b. Salim from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام who said: Bilal was a righteous slave while Suhayb was an evil slave - crying over Umar (i.e. after the latter was assassinated).
ختص: كان بلال مؤذن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله، فلما قبض رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله لزم بيته ولم يؤذن لاحد من الخلفاء وقال فيه أبوعبدالله جعفر بن محمد عليه السلام: رحم الله بلالا فإنه كان يحبنا أهل البيت، ولعن الله صهيبا فإنه كان يعادينا
al-Ikhtisas: Bilal was the Mua`dhin of the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله, so when the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله died, he [Bilal] remained in his house, and he did not give the Adhan for any one of the Khulafa, Abu Abdillah Ja`far b. Muhammad عليه السلام said about him: may Allah have mercy on Bilal, for he used to love us the Ahl al-Bayt, may Allah curse Suhayb for he used to have enmity with us.
يه: عن أبي بصير عن أحدهما عليهما السلام أنه قال : إن بلالا كان عبدا صالحا، فقال: لا اؤذن لاحد بعد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله، فترك يومئذ حي على خير العمل
al-Faqih: From Abi Basir from one of them عليهما السلام that he said: Bilal was a righteous slave, he said: I will not give the Adhan for anyone after the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله so 'Hayya ala Khayril Amal' was abandoned from that day.
يب: محمد بن علي بن محبوب، عن معاوية بن حكيم، عن سليمان بن جعفر، عن أبيه قال : دخل رجل من أهل الشام على أبي عبدالله عليه السلام فقال له: إن أول من سبق إلى الجنة بلال، قال: ولم؟ قال : لانه أول من أذن
Tahdhib al-Ahkam: Muhammad b. Ali b. Mahbub from Mu`awiya b. Hukaym from Sulayman b. Ja`far from his father who said: a man from the people of Sham entered to meet Abi Abdillah عليه السلام so he said to him: the first one to proceed to Janna will be Bilal, he said: why is that? he said: because he was the first to give the Adhan.
NOTE: al-Majlisi says that it could be the Imam who says this about Bilal, as is more likely, but there is an option that it is the Shami who said this, and the Imam responded - 'why do you say that?' [as a form of objecting to it] and the Shami answered, and the Imam remained silent because of Taqiyya.
Also, Bilal being the first to proceed to Janna is not absolute, but could be relative to other Mu`adhins, or his class of the Sahaba who are not Ahl al-Bayt.