A thoughtful comment from fellow reader:
perhaps we can understand the concept of hijab as an ontological marker for the necessity of a medium to negotiate the relationship between a cause and its effects
1) when it comes to Allah, the divine nur muhammadi negotiates between the singular limitless cause and His multiple, limited effects. Hence Muhammad is the Hijab of Allah. Because Allah's essence cannot be perceived, His actions- that is His direct effect (the Ahlul Bayt) negotiate and make possible the rest of mankind's perception of Him such that their purpose of existence can be fulfilled.
2) regarding the female's hijab- perhaps the veil is a marker for the medium of the womb which negotiates contact between the female and the rest of society- where her relationship with society is determined by their contact with her womb (either as offspring or progenitors) - haven't really thought this one out clearly yet.
3) regarding fatima al-zahra: her manifestation on earth as a unique ontological category of hawra al Insiyyah negotiates between her unknowable essence and her tangible and perceivable Worldly effects.
god is not rejecting that Torah was revealed all at once .
And those who disbelieve say, "Why was the Qur'an not revealed to him all at once?" Thus [it is] that We may strengthen thereby your heart. And We have spaced it distinctly.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says: "The Torah, the Gospel, and the Zaboor, all were revealed in tablets and papers." 
↑ شیخ مفید، محمد بن نعمان، الاختصاص، ص۴۴، تحقیق علیاکبر غفاری، نشر جامعه مدرسین.
as yourself said, it’s a “claim”, that can not be verified ! re-written a millennium years after Moses by rabbis, and more than that: it’s false!
God does not talk with anyone directly !
And it is not for any human being that Allah should speak to him except by revelation or from behind a partition or that He sends a messenger to reveal, by His permission, what He wills. Indeed, He is Most High and Wise.
I had been planning to go to Iran for a long time and finally made it a priority for me in 2016. Since I wanted to mix in sightseeing and pilgrimage in the same trip, I decided to go on my own instead of in a group.
As it turned out, getting an individual visa for Iran when traveling from the US is a real hassle. We need to get permission from the Iran Foreign Ministry and then apply for the visa at the Iran Mission housed within the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, DC. After struggling for almost 3 weeks, I was able to find Taha Ziyarat Group (email@example.com) based out of Toronto that obtained the necessary approval for me for $90.
Once I got my approval, I sent my passport off to the Iran Mission in Washington. I did have to follow up with them almost daily to ensure they processed my visa application expeditiously. I received my passport 4 days before flying out.
While I was waiting for the visa approval, I booked my flights on Qatar Airways for a bargain price of $700 return to/from US-Tehran. For in-country arrangements, I know a maulana (NAJ) there who arranged everything for me based on my budget.
Finally, the big day came and I left for Iran on Wed Mar 23rd arriving in Tehran late Thu evening (Mar 24th). NAJ had arranged for a driver to pick me up and drive straight to Qum instead of spending the night in Tehran. The drive from IKA (Imam Khomeni Airport) to Qum took about 90 minutes. The driver barely spoke English but knew where to pick me up from and where to drop me. We arrived at Qum International Hotel around 1245am (Fri Mar 25th). The hotel was about a *** US hotel, higher for Iran.
Day 1 (Fri):
We prayed fajr in our room and went back to bed. Since breakfast was included in our price, we went down for breakfast around 9a – nice long buffet.
NAJ contacted me around 10am and picked me up from the QIH around 1030a to take me to the Roza of Masooma-e-Qum. We walked to the roza and were there at 1035a. The hotel is the closet one to the roza.
NAJ showed us around the haram and provided us some background about Masooma and her roza. From 1130a – 2p, we were on our own to recite ziyarat, salah-e-jumah and dua. I wandered around the roza and made my way to the masjid adjoining the roza. It is an absolutely beautiful mosque.
They had beautiful recitations of the quran and then some speeches followed by Azaan. The Jumah khutba was recited by an Ayatollah in Farsi (of course) and then namaz-e-jumah. Although I did not understand most of the khutba, one thing that was unmistakable was the ‘marg-al-Amreeka’ chants (down with America or death to America). They were loud and boisterous.
Shrine of Bibi Masooma Qum (as).
After salah-e-jumah, NAJ took us to the Suffrah of Masooma where were had a decent meal of rice with spinach with potatoes.
We went to our hotel after lunch for some R&R and then returned to the haram for maghribain. After namaz, NAJ took us around the bazaar outside the haram. The clothing looked like they were from the 70s and 80s. Religious paraphernalia including irani chador were well stocked and affordably priced. Almost evey other shop sold halwa-suhan.
Day 2 (Sat):
We spent most of this day driving around to the various ziarats around Qum.
Bait Al-Noor. Musallah of Masooma (as). This is where she spent time praying.
Shrine of an Imamzadeh (Son of an Imam).
Shrine of Hz. Hamza bin Musa Kazim (as).
Day 3 (Sun):
This was by far the most hectic day of the trip. We left around 5am to drive from Qum to Isfahan. It was about a 4-hour drive. I was surprised how much of the Iranian country was desert. The deserts in the Middle East countries (UAE, Saudi) have a lot of fine yellow sand. Iranian deserts are more rocky than sandy.
Upon entering Isfahan, we visited the shrine of Masooma Zainab bint Imam Musa Khadim (as) – Masooma Qum’s younger sister.
Next stop was the Jameh Mosque of Isfahan. We spent a few minutes here and then walked to Allama Majlisi’s tomb nearby. His house and surrounding are well preserved.
Next was the more secular part of the Ishafan visit.
We went to Naqsh-e-Jahan (half of the world) which is the main plaza of Isfahan. The weather was great and since the Nawroz holidays were still going on, it was packed with people.
Within Naqsh-e-Jahan is the Ali Qapu Palace
Panamoric View from Ali Qapu Palace Balcony of Naqsh-e-Jahan
Since it was almost lunch time, we stopped by a street restaurant selling A’ash
After lunch, we went to the Vank Cathedral. This Christian monastery was established in 1606. It contains some amazing art work.
From here, we went to Khaju Bridge for some more sightseeing.
At this point, we were too tired to do anything else so we headed back to Qum – 4 hour journey mostly spent napping.
Day 4 (Mon):
After a hectic day, sleep was going to be the primary thing on the agenda for this day but there was too much to do. We prayed fajr at the mosque next to Masooma-e-Qum’s shrine:
Mosque adjacent to Masooma-e-Qum's shrine
And then went back to our hotel for more sleep. We had breakfast and got ready for another fun-filled travel day.
We started off by going from Qum to Mashad-e-Ardehal. This site contains the tomb of Sultan Ali son of Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) and brother of Imam Jafar Sadiq (as). Sultan Ali was brutally killed here by his enemies.
From here we drove to a hilltop/mountaintop with streams running down. We had to walk down about 500 meters and got a great view of a waterfall.
The most distinct feature of this area of the smell of rose water distilleries all over the place. You could get rose water for a variety of needs including simple hot rose water tea. The other distinct item being sold was fresh bee hives dripping with honey. And yes, we tried hot rose water tea with honey.
From here, we went to the city of Kashan. Our first stop was an ancient archeological site called Tepe Sialk. The Sialk ziggurat
Note: Entrance for most places have an Iranian Rate and a Foreigner rate (up to 3X in places). We had our driver buy the tickets and we would walk in with him talking to us in Farsi. Yes – very sneaky indeed. I excused myself by convincing myself that since both my wife and I are of Iranian descent, we qualify for the discount.
Final stop of our day trip to Kashan was to the oldest extant garden in Iran known as the Bagh-e-Fin or Fin Garden.
Although this was a less hectic day than the trip to Isfahan, we were still pretty tired so we drove back to Qum, had a 12-in falafel sandwich, prayed maghraibain at the haram and went to bed.
Day 5 (Tue):
The past couple of days had left us tired so we decided to take it easy.
We went to the haram for fajr then went back to bed. We woke up just in time to catch breakfast and then went to the local market (wish I took pictures). From there we went for zohrain at the mosque adjacent to Masooma’s shrine.
After a quick bite to eat, we left for the Koh-e-Khizr aka Mountain of Khizr. What was supposed to be a light day in terms of exercise became a very intense and steep climb to the top of Koh-e-Khizr. It was well worth it in the end because we got a great view of the entire city of Qum if not the whole province.
Got more daunting as we got closer.
For the record, the old gentleman in the pic IS NOT ME
City/Province of Qum.
Needless to say the climb down was nowhere near as arduous as the climb up. There was a small food vendor about half from the top. On our way up, we bought some water from him and then ice cream on the way down.
After resting by the car for a few moments, we drove nearby to the Masjid-e-Jhamkaran, located on the outskirts of Qum. A brief history of this grand mosque is that it has long been a sacred place, at least since 373 A.H., 17th of Ramadan (22 February 984 C.E.), when according to the mosque website, one Sheikh Hassan ibn Muthlih Jamkarani is reported to have met Muhammad al-Mahdi along with the prophet Al-Khidr. Jamkarani was instructed that the land they were on was "noble" and that the owner — Hasan bin Muslim — was to cease cultivating it and finance the building of a mosque on it from the earnings he had accumulated from farming the land.
As we had been told, the mosque starts getting filled up from about 5pm and gets fuller and fuller as the evening progresses. I am not sure if it was because of Nawruz season but it definitely had a very 'carnival' and festive feel to it. People had spread out their rugs all across the mosque courtyard and were reveling with family and friends. There was hot tea brewing and koobideh with naan being shared by one and all.
Quran and then different duas were being recited, followed by maghribain and then more duas. We left around 830p to go back to our hotel.
Mosque sparely populated around 4pm.
Day 6 (Wed):
Today was the big day when we would finally make our way to Mashad. We had packed the previous night so we left right after fajr – and yes, I skipped breakfast!!!
First stop was First stop was an almost 2 hour drive to Ayatollah Khomenei’s mausoleum. It is located to the south of Tehran in the Behesht-e Zahra (the Paradise of Zahra) cemetery. Construction commenced in 1989 following Khomeini's death on June 3 of that year. It is still under construction, but when completed will be the centerpiece in a complex spread over 5,000 acres, housing a cultural and tourist center, a university for Islamic studies, a seminary, a shopping mall, and a 20,000-car parking lot. The Iranian government has reportedly devoted US$2 billion to this development. It is definitely one of the largest and most beautiful mausoleums I have come across.
Visitors reciting fatiha for Ayatollah Khomenei. Please recite surah fatiha for Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini.
Next stop was the Astana Bibi Shehr Bano. On the ground level there is a cave which according to legends was the place where Zuljinah brought Bibi from Kerbala, and she was there until hostile people to Bani Hashim got news of her being there, and they tried to catch her. She climbed the hillock and then vanished in a mountainous wall. Now a zarih has been constructed together with prayer rooms for men and women.
Zarih of Hz. Shehr Bano. View of other side of Tehran.
who was a fifth generation descendant of Hasan ibn ‘Alī and a companion of Muhammad al-Taqī. A piece of paper was found in his pocket outlining his ancestry as being: ‘Abdul ‘Adhīm son of ‘Abdillāh son of ‘Alī son of Husayn son of Zayd son of Hasan ibn ‘Alī.Shah Abdul AzeemNext stop was the Shrine of
Adjacent to the shrine, within the complex, include the mausolea of Imamzadeh Tahir (son of the fourth shia Imam Sajjad) and Imamzadeh Hamzeh (brother of the eighth Twelver Imām - Imām Reza).
From here, we drove around the City of Tehran including the famed part known as Rey. I am fairly well traveled but I have to say that Tehran is one of the most picturesque cities I have visited. Situated in close proximity of the Alborz range and its majestic peak Mount Damavand , being the highest in Iran with a height of 18,550 feet ,it is a mega city of about Thirty Million People.
You can see hundreds of buildings at the foot of the mountain. Not a bad view to wake up to every morning.
After driving around for a couple of hours, our driver dropped us of at Tehran’s Mehrabad Intl Airport which is primarily used for domestic travel. The airport is in the heart of Tehran or at least within the city.
The airport has a small cafeteria that serves hot meals of the local variety. They also have a coffee shop and ice cream parlor.
After a 2-hour wait, we finally boarded our short (1-hr) flight to Mashad. The flight was as uneventful as all flights can be. I did enjoy a small boxed-meal they offered everyone despite the short flight. It made up for the breakfast that morning J.
Naj had arranged a friend of his (Ali) to be our tour guide for the stay in Mashad. Since Ali’s English was a little weak, he brought along his sister (Afsanay) who was quite fluent in English.
We checked into our Hotel (Hotel Omid). It is definitely one of the nicer hotels in Mashad.
View of shrine from our hotel room balcony.
We quickly refreshed and headed over to the Shrine of Imam Reza (as). Much to our pleasant surprise, the shrine was not as packed with zawar as we expected. It could have been the weather or Nawruz.
About to enter the main hallway of the Shrine for the first time. Goose bumps.
As salaam alai ka Ya Ghareeb Al Ghuraba (as)
One of the many courtyards within the Shrine Complex of Imam Ali Reza (as).
Day 7 (Thu):
Although our intention was to go to the haram in Imam Al-Reza (as) for fajr, it was raining too hard with heavy winds to walk so we prayed in our rooms and went back to sleep.
We woke up to this view:
After a world class buffet breakfast, we met up with Ali and Afsanay to go to Nishapour. Once again, it was a very scenic drive. The mountain-desert country just has a certain serenity about it. On the way, we saw small villages celebrating nawroz in their own way.
Our first stop was at the Qadamgah – where the footprints of the Holy Imam Al-Reza (as) can be found. Adjacent to it is a small stream said to bring benefits of all kinds to the zawar.
Panoramic view of the building housing the footprint.
Just before entering the area of the qadamgah is a small caravansary which use to house people back in the day.
There were probably abour 20-25 room like the one shown above. Very basic room with a hearth in the middle. The rooms were considered high end. Outside the caravansary, there was just the open shelter (pretend there is no room just the outer part).
Next stop was to the mausoleum of Bibi Shatitay. The legend goes that Imam himself came there and led the Namaz-e-janaza prayers for her.
We made a brief stop at the historic Shah Abbas Inn/Caravansary which has been converted into several small shops selling jewelry or souvenirs. Nishapur is famous for its turquoise stone (firoza).
Next stop was the shrines of Imamzade Mahruq bin Muhammad Al-Baqir bin Sajjad (as) and Ebrahim bin Ahmad bin Moosa bin Jafar (as).
A short walk from here was the tomb of Omar Al-Khayam – one of the most influential thinkers of the Middle Ages. He wrote numerous treatises on mechanics, geography, mineralogy and astronomy.
A short drive from here was the mausoleum of Abu Hamid bin Abu Bakr Ibrahim aka Attar Nishapuri - a Persian Muslim poet, theoretician of Sufism, and hagiographer from Nishapur who had an immense and lasting influence on Persian poetry and Sufism.
If memory serves me right, next to Attar’s tomb was an archeological site from thousands of years ago. It was going through extensive renovations at the time.
Our last stop was a very famous local restaurant called Emirat Restaurant. Undoubtedly the best lamb koobideh I have ever had!!! My wife and I had some very interesting conversations with Ali and Afsanay. They were both fascinated by our lives in America. They had no qualms about asking me my salary; the size and cost of our house; they were surprised if not shocked that it was okay for my wife to go grocery shopping by herself and it was perfectly safe. They were under the impression that any woman who stepped out of her house by herself was 'asking for it'. I thought it was hilarious. Now that I think about it, everything the Western media does to paint Muslims in a certain light happens in Iran too but backwards. The Western media takes 1 bad Muslim story and tries to apply it to all Muslims. The Iranian media takes a bad Western story and applies it to all Westerners. This was just my observation and nothing more.
We had some other interesting conversations but those are for another day and another time.
We drove back to Mashad and spent the evening the haram of Imam Al-Reza (as).
Day 8 (Fri):
We prayed fajr at the haram and went back to bed; then woke up to this beautiful view.
Beautiful view of Roza of Ima Ali Reza (as).
Since it was Friday, we stayed in our room until 11a or so and then headed to the haram again. Good thing we went early because it was fuller than we had seen since we got there.
So I got a good spot in the mosque adjacent to the haram. I heard the Friday sermon (understood bits and pieces) and the “Death to American” chants, then prayed juma followed by Asr.
Mosque adjacent to Imam Ali Reza's (as) shrine.
Next was one of the most essential parts of the trip. One may not get this opportunity all the time. We had to take our passport to the office of Pilgrims situated in the Haram of Imam Ridha’s (as). They marked our passport and gives us a ticket for the meal. At the restaurant, they feed almost 4000 Zuwar each day. Thousands of Iranians must wait for years before they get a chance to have a meal at this restaurant.
Lunch at Imam's restaurant (dastakhawan)
Following lunch, Ali and Afsanay picked us up for some sightseeing. We drove around Mashad, saw her university and then went to ziarat nearby
Ziarat near Mashad
Iranian country side. Notice the marked difference in scenery from the previous pictures.
On our way back, we stopped at an ice cream parlor for some traditional Persian ice cream. The last stop was a nearby pewter mountain. I was amazed to see people climbing it without any concern for safety. It was rainy and slick. Mrs ShiaMan14 bought a very nice souvenir.
We came back, rested for a bit and then went to the haram for salah.
Day 9 (Sat):
This was the day to head back to Tehran. We spent the entire night at the haram until fajr. Then came back to get some rest. We got up after a couple of hours, had some breakfast and packed. We took all our luggage downstairs and went back to the haram for zuhrain. We also did the farewell ziarat, rushed back to the hotel since Ali was waiting for us.
We got to the Mashad International Airport around 245pm for a 530p flight - plenty of time.
Just as Ali left us, NAJ gave me a call informing me that my flight had been cancelled so he booked me on the last flight to Tehran (happened to be the cheapest option). This is when panic set in. If the last flight got cancelled, I would miss my flight from IKA to Doha and the subsequent flight to US.
I could see on the monitors that there were several flights from the time now until my new flight time although all of them were on a different airline than mine. I called NAJ to ask if my ticket could be changed and he said it would not be possible. So I saw the flight I wanted about 1.5 hours later and went to their sales office. First, they couldnt understand why I wanted another ticket when I already had one. My farsi and their english were too awful to understand each other but nevertheless they allowed me to buy 2 tickets.
Next problem - I did not have any Iranian Rials on me and the INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT did not have a Money Exchange! So I had to call Ali back to see if he had any rials that he could give me in exchange for dollars. By this time, he was about 20 minutes away so we had to wait for him to come back. In the meanwhile, the Sales Agent agreed to take my dollars at a fairly decent exchange rate. Basically, I bought 2 one-way tickets from Mashad to Tehran for about $100. Just as we finalized the transaction, Ali came back and I had to explain the whole thing to him as well. He, too, was confused as to why I would buy another ticket when I already had one.
Anyway, we finally put all that behind us, checked-in and were on our way to Tehran.
After an uneventful journey to Tehran, we drove all the way to Qum to sepnt about 3-4 hours in Qum at NAJ's house. We freshened up, ate a really nice meal and got ready to leave.
Day 10 (Fri):
We left Naj's house around 1am and reached IKA by 215am. Since this was the last or day after Nawruz holidays, the airport was jam packed. It took an hour to check-in, the security lines were considerably shorter so in another 15 minutes, we were at our gate. Boarding started just around fajr, so we prayed quickly and boarded our Qatar Airways flight to Doha.
I was a bit nervous about returning to the US from Iran but had no problems whatsoever.
A very placid end to a very hectic but thoroughly enjoyable trip.
Iranians are a very joyous and happy people. There was no patch of grass where we didn't see a family setting up a picnic be it as a roadside or a courtyard of a shrine. I really wish relations between Iran and the West improves so the people can really experience the rich, colorful and impressive history, geography and culture Iran has to offer.
Our entire 10 day trip cost about $1,600/pp. It was money well spent.
I have been meaning to post this theory/analysis for a while now but hadn't to-date for fear of creating an unnecessary controversy. Something that all of us need to ask ourselves and someone did ask me is the question, "What happened to the Ummah that within 50 years of the Prophet's demise, his grandson was brutally murdered?"
(From the TV Serial about the life of Caliph Umar)
During the early days of Islam, the Kuffar of Mecca regularly gathered inside the Kaaba to discuss the issue of the Prophet (saw) and Islam and how to rid Arabia of them. The gathering included a Who's Who of the Kuffar including personalities such as Abu Sufiyan, Mughayrah, Umar bin Al-Khattab and others. Umar was one of the shrewdest members of this Shura Council as his advice was regularly heeded by others.
All these personalities actively participated in the persecution of the Muslims as they were staunchly against the new faith. Specifically, Umar's animosity was such that he did not hesitate from beating his slave girl (Labina) until he would tire and then promise her he would continue upon regaining his strength. (Shilbi Nomani - Al-Farooq)
The Shura discussed several options including bribing the Prophet, threatening him, negotiating with him, etc. One option that was hinted was sending a spy amongst the Muslims to keep track of their plans.
Umar was enraged when he first heard the words of the Quran. One day (around the 6th year of Islam), Umar decided he had had enough of Islam and was going to end the 'fitna' once and for all by killing Muhammad (saw). A normally careful and shrewd individual who was not known for his bravery somehow decided to brandish his sword in public and was walking over furiously to kill the Prophet (saw) when he stumbled upon Numain bin Abdullah who inquired about his matter. The ever careful Umar told Numain openly that he intended to kill Muhammad but Numain told him to get his own house in order since Umar's sister and her husband had also accepted Islam.
So Umar went to his sister's house and eavesdropped on them reading some verses of the Quran. He entered their house, accused them of converting to Islam and beat them until they bled. Umar's sister (Fatima) told Umar that no matter what he did to them, they would not leave Islam. BAM!!!
These words had such an effect on Umar that he asked his sister to recite some words from the Quran. She did so and he immediately decided to accept Islam by declaring his belief in the Oneness of Allah and the Prophethood of Muhammad.
He went over to Arqam's house with sword in his hand and was received by the Prophet and his friends with caution. He told them he had accepted Islam and the Prophet and those around him rejoiced.
Conversion to Hijrah:
Fairly uneventful in terms of Umar. He was not informed about the migration plans of the Prophet.
Migration to the Demise of the Prophet:
Badr: First of many battles between the kuffar if Mecca and the Muslims of Medina.
There are some accounts that tell us the Meccans were informed of a Muslim army gearing up and so they gathered to go after them.
Someone may have alerted them about the army gearing up.
Uhud: The Kuffar and Muslims armies met again a year later at Uhud.
After initial skirmishes, Ali, Hamza and Abu Dujana rushed into the middle of the enemies ranks and overwhelmed them. Some Muslims started plundering the spoils of war before total victory was gained and the archers proceeded to join in. This gave Khalid Bin Walid an opportunity to attack the Muslims from behind. This created a mayhem in which even the Prophet was injured. At this time, someone raised cry that the Prophet was dead and everyone should retreat or run. There were 3 groups of people. “I) A group ran away to Medina without looking back. II) Some continued to fight thinking it was useless to survive without the Prophet. III) A third group laid down their weapons and shield since there was no point in fighting any longer. Umar belonged to this group.” – Shibli Nomani – Al Farooq.
Balazuri in book Ansab Al-Ashraf states, “Omar was one of those who fled from the battle-field of Ohod but God pardoned him.”
Towards the conclusion of the battle, a group of Muslims had surrounded the Prophet which included Umar. Khalid bin Walid and Abu Sufyan approached the group and ask, “Is Muhammad in the midst of this group?” The Prophet told everyone to stay quite. Then Abu Sufyan asked if Abu Bakr and Umar were there but received no reply so he concluded aloud, “They must have been killed”. Umar could keep quiet no longer and shouted out by thereby disobeying the Prophet, “We are all alive of enemy of God!” – Shibli Nomani – Al Farooq.
Why did Abu Sufiyan ask about Abu Bakr and Umar?
More importantly, why did Umar blatantly defy the orders of the Prophet (saw)?
Khandaq: A trench was dug around Medina in a defensive battle against the Kuffar of Mecca and Jews from several tribes. The Kuffar army put Medina under siege for about 3 weeks. Then Amr bin Abd Wudd thrusted through the trench somehow. Perhaps someone had not dug a certain portion of the trench wide enough. He threatened the Muslims who praised Amr out of fear rather than fight. Ali leapt to fight Amr and beat him.
The tribe of Banu Qurayza had made a peace treaty with the Muslims but broke it under pressure from the Kuffar Army. News of the Qurayzah's supposed renunciation of the pact with Muhammad leaked out, and Umar promptly informed Muhammad.
How did Umar know the pact was broken?
Fear and anguish gripped Medina. So tense was the situation that, for the first time, the canonical daily prayers were neglected by the Muslim community. Only at night, when the attacks stopped due to darkness, could they resume their regular worship.
The Quran addresses this as follows:
[Shakir 33:10] When they came upon you from above you and from below you, and when the eyes turned dull, and the hearts rose up to the throats, and you began to think diverse thoughts of Allah.
[Shakir 33:11] There the believers were tried and they were shaken with severe shaking.
[Shakir 33:12] And when the hypocrites and those in whose hearts was a disease began to say: Allah and His Messenger did not promise us (victory) but only to deceive.
[Shakir 33:19] Being niggardly with respect to you; but when fear comes, you will see them looking to you, their eyes rolling like one swooning because of death; but when the fear is gone they smite you with sharp tongues, being niggardly of the good things. These have not believed, therefore Allah has made their doing naught; and this is easy to Allah.
[Shakir 33:20] They think the allies are not gone, and if the allies should come (again) they would fain be in the deserts with the desert Arabs asking for news about you, and if they were among you they would not fight save a little.
Who are the hypocrites in such a small group of Muslims?
Who used sharp tongues against the Prophet (happened elsewhere as well)?
Who have not believed?
Who was constantly created discord amongst the Muslims?
Hudaibiya: The Prophet intended to go to Mecca for pilgrimage 6AH. He went without arms but Umar convinced him that they may need arms so the Prophet agreed. The Prophet was informed that the Quraysh were not going to let the Muslims into Mecca so the Prophet wanted to send Umar to negotiate. Umar declined and ‘volunteered’ Uthman instead.
It took Uthman a few days longer than expected so the Prophet took an oath of allegiance from his companions that they would fight rather than flee. Umar was not part of the initial oath of allegiance. He was apparently already gearing up for the battle and was informed by his son of the Bait-al-Rizwan.
Why would someone not known for military prowess be so eager for a fight?
The Quraysh insisted upon their refusal to allow the Muslims to enter this year and the Treaty of Hudaibiya was negotiated.
Out of all the Muslims, it was the primary voice of Umar who was vehemently against the treaty and insisted on fighting in order to perform the pilgrimage. Such was his anger that he had this conversation with the Prophet (saw) – Shilbi Nomani – Al Farooq:
Umar: “O Prophet of God! Are you not the Messenger of God?”
Prophet: “Certainly, I am.”
Umar: “Are not our enemies idolatrous polytheists?”
Prophet: “Undoubtedly they are”
Umar: “Why then should we disgrace our religion?”
Prophet: “I am the Messenger of God and I do not act in contravention of His Commandments”
Could there be a bigger crime committed than accusing the Prophet of disgracing our religion?
Is the tone of Umar very similar to the people Allah address in Surah Azhab 33:11-20? Isn’t Umar smiting the Prophet with his sharp tongue?
Is it possible that when Allah revealed Surah Fath, verse 48.6 was intended for the people who disagreed vehemently with the truce?
Umar was shrew man so why would he insist on going to war with the Quraysh in Mecca with only 1,400 barely armed men? Did he intended to lead Muslims into a slaughter? Was the annoyance to the Treaty a result of the failure of his plans?
Khaibar: Fairly uneventful other than Umar tried unsuccessfully to win the Fort.
Victory of Mecca: Uneventful for the most part other than the issue surrounding Abu Sufiyan. Apparently Umar wanted to behead Abu Sufiyan before he could get a word in but Abbas saved Abu Sufiyan from such fate…as the story goes. One way or another, Umar was involved in Abu Sufiyan’s forgiveness.
Hunain: In similar fashion to Uhud, the Muslims gained the advantage initially, then lost it due to plundering, left he Prophet and eventually re-organized to win. It is reported that only a few soldiers stayed behind and fought, including Ali bin Abu Talib, the standard bearer, Abbas bin Abd Al-Muttalib, AbdAllah bin Abbas (Abu Fadl Al-Abbas), Usamah, and Abi Sufyan bin Hirith.
Divorcing of Wives: Due to some wives, including Umar’s daughter Hafsa, sharing the secrets of the Prophet, he separated from them for 30 days. People even thought they had been divorced.
Tabuk: No battle was fought but an important incident took place. Twelve hypocrites, out of whom eight were from amongst Quraysh and the remaining four were the inhabitants of Madina, decided to scare the camel of the Prophet from the top of a defile situated on the route between Madina and Syria and to make him fall into the valley.
When he turned back his head he saw in the moonlit night that some mounted persons were pursuing him. To ensure that they might not be identified they had covered their faces and were conversing in very low voices. The Prophet became angry and challenged them and ordered Huzayfah to turn away their camels with his stick.
The call of the Prophet frightened them very much and they realized that he had become aware of their plot. They therefore, immediately went back the way they had come and joined other soldiers.
Huzayfah says: "I identified them from the marks of their camels and said to the Prophet: "I can tell you who they are so that you may punish them". But the Prophet instructed me in a kind voice not to divulge their secret, because it was possible that they might repent. He also added: "If I punish them the non-Muslims would say that now that Muhammad has achieved power, he has made a victim of his own companions".( Mughazi-i Waqidi, vol. III, pp. 1042 - 1043; Biharul Anwar, vol. XXI, page 247 and Seerah-i Halabi, vol. III, page 162.)
Were these the same hypocrites who had been with the Prophet from Uhud onwards?
Final Pilgrimage: The final pilgrimage of the Prophet ended at Ghadeer where he announced Ali (as) as his successor.
Death of the Prophet: Upon his return from the final pilgrimage, the Prophet fell ill. He named Usama bin Zayad as the head of an army unit and ordered virtually all his companions save the Bani Hashim to join Usama outside Medina. However, very few reported for duty thereby ignoring the Prophet’s command.
The illness of the Prophet lasted from 10 – 13 days. Three days before his death (Thursday), the Prophet asked some companions for pen and paper and said that he would write directions for his people which would save them from falling into error. Umar told everyone around that the Prophet was speaking in agony of pain and that the Quran was sufficient. This created a discord among those present. The word used “Hajir” occurs in tradition which signifies hysteria (Shilbi Nomani – Al Farooq).
If the insults at Hudaibiya were not enough, now we have someone accusing the Prophet of hysteria.
To his credit, Shilbi Numani does try to present excuses for the behavior exhibited by Umar albeit weak excuses.
Once the Prophet removed these companions from his midst, there is no proof that they were repentant or returned to the Prophet to apologize. In fact, it would be fair to state that the Prophet died angry with Umar and those that supported him.
While I will agree with Shilbi that Umar was not upset at the Prophet’s demise but deem it politic to fake anger/sadness, I disagree with him that this was done for the prevention from hypocrites. More than likely and as evident, this was done to buy time to get his hands on the caliphate as we will soon discover.
It is evident from the incidences at Uhud, Khandaq, Hudaibiya, Hunain and during the last days of the Prophet that Umar was very critical of the Prophet (saw) publicly. When the Quran talks about hypocrites and those who smite the Prophet, is Umar included in that list?
After the Demise of the Prophet:
We determined that Umar was not filled with sorrow at the demise of the Prophet but simply politicked to buy time. Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah came to Umar and informed him of the gathering of the Ansar at Bani Sa'ida's saqifah to elect a leader. Umar grabbed Abu Bakr and went there with Abu Ubaidah to intervene. Several Sunni sources state that they went their simply to stop the Ansar from selecting their own leader rather than to be elected.
Abu Bakr and Abu Ubaidah both deemed Umar suitable for the caliphate but there was great disagreement between the Ansar and them over this issue. Then all of a sudden, Umar just pledged his allegiance to Abu Bakr followed by Abu Ubaidah. The Ansar were divided into 2 camps and rather than let the other camp win, they too swore allegiance to Abu Bakr.
Throughout all the narrations about Saqifah, there is not a single mention of the Prophet or his demise or the need for his burial. Is this the action of a lover of Prophet (saw)?
Imam Ali (as) and the rest of Bani Hashim held out paying allegiance to Abu Bakr. Umar with his cohorts put tremendous pressure on them to swear allegiance to Abu Bakr including standing at the door of Fatima’s house and either threatened or actually set fire to the door causing severe injuries to Fatima (as).
As part of the punishment for Bani Hashim, the land of Fadak was confiscated from their possession. Hz Fatima (as) and her family laid claim to it in the court of Abu Bakr but it was denied. At times when Abu wanted to return Fadak, Umar convinced him not to do so.
Caliphate of Abu Bakr:
Almost all decisions during the caliphate of Abu Bakr were taken by Umar. Abu Bakr was nothing more than a token or puppet Caliph with the strings firmly in control of Umar.
During the last days of Abu Bakr’s life, he decided to make Umar the next caliph by putting it in writing.
Why did Umar not raise the issue of Abu Bakr speaking/writing under hysteria?
Caliphate of Umar:
Coming back full circle, we started the conversation discussing the Shura of the Kuffar that used to take place in the Kaaba in which Umar and Abu Sufiyan were active participants. They had a great deal of mutual respect for each other. From Umar’s conversion until the Conquest of Mecca, Abu Sufiyan and Umar were sworn enemies based on Umar’s refusal to go into Mecca during Hudaibiya. Between the Conquest of Mecca and the demise of the Prophet, the primary people left from the Shura days were Abu Sufiyan and Umar.
Something happened between the Victory of Mecca (630AD) and 634AD to where first Yazid bin Abu Sufiyan was chosen, by Abu Bakr, to be one of the generals in the army to invade Roman-Syria and then subsequently chosen to be the governor of Syria by Umar.
Umar had a policy of rotating governors every 2-3 years. However, he did not implement this policy for Syria. He let Yazid bin Abu Sufiyan rule until his death and then immediately turned over the governorship of Syria to Muawiya bin Abu Sufiyan. Yazid and then Muawiya were given full control of Syria, its riches and armies for them to use as they saw fit. There are traditions that state that Abu Sufiyan was upset the news of his son, Yazid’s, death but then rejoiced when he found out Muawiya was given the governorship of Syria. He is even alleged to have said that the reigns of the Caliphate belong to Bani Ummaya now.
Umar’s last course of action was to setup a biased shura in which no one but Uthman could have been chosen as the Caliph and thereby fulfilling Abu Sufiyan’s dream of the Ummayad dynasty.
Umar’s conversion story is somewhat dubious.
Umar’s time with the Prophet is full of doubts and disrespect. There are no accounts of any sahaba being as rude and obnoxious towards the Prophet as Umar.
Umar politicked at the demise of the Prophet showing showing no sorrow whatsoever.
Umar oppressed the family of the Prophet (saw)
Umar rekindled old friendships and showed favoritism towards them.
Umar is the primary reason behind the rise of the Bani Ummayya.
So was Umar a spy sent by the Kuffar of Mecca to tell them of the Prophet’s (saw) plans and to sow doubts and confusion amongst the Muslims?
You be the judge.
As someone who has seen a little bit of success in the corporate world, I would like to take this opportunity to offer career advice to college-going and recent graduates of ShiaChat who are about to embark on their careers.
01) Don't start planning and looking for a job when you have less than 2-3 months left of college. Job-hunting begins when you have about a year left to graduate. Identify companies you would like to work for; try to network with people to belong to these companies.
02) Create a LinkedIn Profile and keep it updated. Try to connect with people in Talent Acquisition (TA) within the companies you are interested in working for.
03) Inquire about internship opportunities within these companies even if the internships are unpaid. The experience and networking opportunities should be well worth it.
04) Career planning does not mean looking for your next job. Career planning is planning for your last job before retirement and then working your backwards to your current position. This leads to an important exercise. You have to ask yourself - "Where do I want to be in 45 years?" (45 years if starting career around 22 and working until 67). If you don't know, then work on it - think about it, evaluate your degree and see if it will help you, look at successful people with your degree. How far did they get in their careers?
05) Once you've figured out where you would like to be in 45 years, work your way backwards in 5 year intervals to different positions you will need to hold in order to get to the next level. Let's take an example within IT. You are 22 and graduating today with a degree in programming and plan to retire as CIO. Career planning would go something like:
CIO (62 - 67)
IT Director (56 - 61)
Senior Manager (50 - 55)
Department Manager (44 - 49)
Project Manager (38 - 43)
Team Leader (32 - 37)
Programmer Analyst (27 - 21)
Programming Specialist (22 - 26)
It is important to note that first position and last position should be fixed. You should be flexible about all other positions in between. When evaluating new job opportunities, the first question you should ask is whether the new position will help you get to your end goal or not. If not, look elsewhere.
06) I mentioned 5 year intervals. If you are stuck in the same position for 5 years, then your career has become stagnant. Ideally, you should receive a promotion every 2.5 years or so. This does not necessarily mean a title change as much as increasing and/or different responsibilities.
07) Don't change jobs too frequently (every 18 months or so). It looks bad on a resume.
08) Don't be afraid to move laterally if it will help your end goal. Example, if you are stuck as a PM in a company and you know there is no upward mobility, then it is okay to find a PM position in another company if there is chance for growth.
09) For the most part, your degree will only help you get your first job. After that, it's what you make of yourself.
10) Never leave a position on bad terms. The corporate world is a lot smaller than you think.
Most people think of the corporate ladder as a straight ladder bottom to top. A more appropriate description is that a corporate ladder is more like a Donkey Kong Maze:
You have to navigate your way through the stumbling blocks to reach the top.
"Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" is a very common interview question. You are almost guaranteed a job if this question is asked and you tell them that you have planned your career until retirement nad explain how this position would help you get there.
I hope this helps. Feel free to reply here with questions or PM me. But my first question back will be "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"
Top 10 Interviewing Tips:
01) Dress professionally - ironed clothes, polished shoes, combed hair, light or no scent
02) Arrive around 10-15 minutes before the interview.
03) Carry a briefcase or padfolio to the interview. Bring 3-5 copies of your resume to the interview and a pen.
04) When you meet the interviewer, be sure to offer your hand for a handshake. The handshake should be firm and look the interviewer in the eye while shaking his/her hand.
05) Memorize everything in your resume so when the interviewer asks about something on your resume, you answer assuredly
06) Be succinct in your answers. Make answer relevant to the position you are seeking
07) At the end of the interview, be sure to ask 2-4 questions.
08) Ask about "Next Steps" once the interview is over.
09) Send thank you email to the interviewer(s) the next day
10) Follow up with interviewer the following week if you don't hear from them.