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    • W. Salam. Indeed they were. However, these words are spoken by a proto-Sunni Hadith narrator called al-A’mash. This indicates that the `Aimma and their true followers were not doing La’n openly and that Mughira betrayed Taqiyya.
    • Salam brother  Thank you for sharing this, very interesting to read! Just one question regarding this statement:   "The first person I heard abusing Aba Bakr and Umar was al-Mughira b. Sa’id" Weren't the Imams a.s speaking bad about the two themselves before Mughira l.a?     
    • My post is focused mainly on how Western socio-political discourse occurs between two poles: (1) Freedom, and (2) Harm. This is the result of a long, crystallizing history. Islam may have areas of overlap with utilitarians and classical liberals, but overall the Islamic thesis puts God above everything else. Regarding your point about jahiliyya: I can easily say that jahiliyya gave many freedoms to women that Islam removed. Jahiliyya had no penalties for fornicators, it had rights for prostitutes, it allowed women to marry a second husband to conceive a high-status son, it had female prophetesses, and it had female goddesses. Islam restricted all of this. Yes, Islam did give many additional rights to women, but my point is that Islam is not all about freedom and liberation. It is about accountability, responsibility, and duty. It freed some aspects of our lives, but it restricted others. Anyone who reads Islamic literature with feminist glasses will be surely disappointed. As for your point that men in eastern culture "don't lift a finger when they are at home", that sounds like a gross generalization of billions of people and hundreds of cultures. Even if I were to concede that eastern men generally cook and clean less than their wives, they work longer hours, and a lot of the handiwork, lawn-mowing, technology fixing is done by men. Either way, it's not a competition. One shouldn't have a men vs women mindset, or even a victimized mindset. Men too are victims; they are the ones most effected by violence, suicide, work injuries, drugs, prisons, gangs, and dropping out of school... a victim mentality however would not solve these problems. Islam = Submission in Arabic, it's not submission to men, it's submission to Allah. Submission in some cases will be the opposite of freedom, but I would argue that sincere submission to Allah frees you from your fears and your desires, and leads to a good and contented life. I never said women should be slaves to men, or that womanhood is a disadvantage, or being dark-skinned (?) is bad. Men and women are simply different and have different rights and responsibilities in Islam. Islam is a sexually dimorphic religion. Women don't pay mahr, they don't pray/fast during their time of the month, they are not conscripted in wartime, they don't need to work, they don't need to divide their wealth, etc. By the same token, women have some unique laws and responsibilities. Total freedom and equality means removing every gendered law, including the ones that restrict men and free women, and vice versa. This is antithetical to our revelation. Please don't call me dishonest or a male chauvinist just because of one respectful criticism of modern feminism. That type of spiteful namecalling won't get you much sympathy from a neutral reader. State your arguments respectfully.
    • Really? You are implying that during the period of Jahiliyya, women were free and they had power. We have always heard that before islam, women were in bad condition. They were buried alive and Islam gave them more rights. Please learn a little honesty. Where have you seen women who live without any responsibilities? So, in eastern culture, men only do their 40 hour job and don't do anything else. They don't even lift a finger when they are at home and in most cases, men don't even work for 40 hours. But that's okay, no one gives them lectures. While women in west work 40 hours, and I am pretty sure they don't spend the rest of time sitting idle. They are always doing something for someone. But just because they don't want to work 120 hours a week and raise kids while they are working full time, it means they don't want to take any responsibility?  And what do you mean by submission? You sound so much like those male chauvenists who tell women: You are a woman, accept it, don't try to become a man or equal to a man. You can never be equal to man. Do you seriously believe that all women are supposed to be slaves? and being a woman is a disadvantage? Being a woman or being dark skinned is just like being born in a poor family or being in a war. This is a disadvantage which happened to you, now accept the consequences and submit to Allah who made you a woman. 
    • Every time i read these blog-posts i feel my IQ increases a little. May Allah reward you on behalf of sharing this knowledge with us. Eagerly awaiting the release of the Atoms post inshAllah, whenever you deem it appropriate. 
    • I liked this post. I believe it has a solid base to say humanism is a conclusion of individualism, but I somehow think that merely because individualism may result in harm for the soul, it doesn't mean that humanism by itself will, or that it will necessarily lead to the perpetuation of individualism in oneself. I think we naturally develop that individualistic approach in our life, and deciding to take distance from it must be a consequence of our convictions. In this case, these can be religious and spiritual convictions (eg Islamic convictions), but also ones developed by people and the way they understand the meaning of life (humanism). What I am saying is that humanism doesn't necessarily leads to individualism, as far as I can understand.
    • Hobbes and John Stuart Mill cane long, long before Ayn Rand or even Marx.
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The official ShiaChat.com Blog!

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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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