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The Sun Will Rise From Where It Set

Qa'im

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

A famous eschatological expression is that the Sun will rise from the West ( طلوع الشمس من المغرب من المحتوم ). In Muslim, the Prophet Muhammad (s) says, "When three things appear, a person's faith will not avail him if he had not believed before or did not earn goodness from his faith: (1) The rising of the Sun from its setting place, (2) The Dajjal, and (3) The Beast of the Earth." (ثلاث إذا خرجن لا ينفع نفسا إيمانها لم تكن آمنت من قبل أو كسبت في إيمانها خيرا: طلوع الشمس من مغربها، و الدجال ودابة الأرض ).

In my reading of the hadith literature, there is a strong indication that this Sun is not the star that our Earth rotates around, but actually a man. The Sun is a luminous golden object that brings light, clarity, guidance, warmth, and the growth of our crops. A narration about the Mahdi says, "The one whom Jesus the son of Mary will pray behind is the twelfth from the progeny, the ninth from the loins of al-Husayn b. `Ali [a]. He is the Sun that will rise from its setting place." ( إن الذي يصلي عيسى بن مريم خلفه هو الثاني عشر من العترة ، التاسع من ولد الحسين بن علي عليهما السلام وهو الشمس الطالعة من مغربها ).

A careful study of the Quran will show that light represents the religion (61:8, which Allah will always preserve) and guidance (2:257). 33:46 describes the Prophet as "an illuminated lamp" (siraj, a word also used for "Sun"), and 5:15 describes him as a "light". In one hadith, the Imam as-Sadiq describes the Prophet as the Sun in Surat ash-Shams ( الشمس رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله به أوضح الله عز وجل للناس دينهم ), and in another hadith, the "day" in 92:2 that follows the night is the Mahdi who will arise after oppression ( والنهار إذا تجلى قال: النهار هو القائم منا أهل البيت إذا قام غلب دولة الباطل ). The Mahdi's occultation is compared to that of the Sun behind the clouds ( وأما وجه الانتفاع بي في غيبتي فكالانتفاع بالشمس إذا غيبتها عن الابصار السحاب ).

These comparisons between the Mahdi and the Sun is a similitude to the Prophet. The Mahdi is the most similar man to the Prophet, because he is like him in form and in character ( أشبه الناس بي خلقا وخلقا ), and he will openly declare and explain the religion to the world. The Mahdi will take his example until Islam becomes dominant, manifest, clear, and overspreading ( بسيرة ما سار به رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله حتى يظهر الاسلام ). 39:69 says that the "Earth will shine with the light of its Lord", and the hadiths indicate that it will shine by the light of the Mahdi's coming ( وأشرقت الارض بنور ربها " قال رب الارض يعني إمام الارض، ).

This begs the question: if the Mahdi is the Sun, what does it mean to rise from its place of setting? Rather than saying that there would be a change of the Earth's axis, we should consider the root of the word gharb (غرب). It has come to mean "set", but in its most basic sense, it means "to become a stranger, odd, obscure, difficult to comprehend, and to go away and depart". This is because the Sun passes above us, then becomes "estranged" from us and leaves us, setting in the West. A stranger in Arabic is a ghareeb. This brings us to the Prophetic hadith, "Islam began as a stranger, and it shall return as a stranger, so blessed are the strangers" ( إن الاسلام بدا غريبا وسيعود كما بدا فطوبى للغربا ). Just as the Prophet came by himself to an adverse society, Islam would return in the Mahdi, who would be estranged from his community and coming with a call that most people will not be familiar with. It is said that, by the time of his coming, the religion of Islam will be barely recognizable from the principles taught by our Prophet, so much so that it will be as though the Mahdi is bringing a new religion. Imam `Ali said that the Qa'im would recommence Islam just as the Prophet did ( إذا قام القائم عليه السلام استأنف دعاء جديدا كما دعا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله ), and Imam Ja`far repeated the same idea ( يستأنف الداعي منا دعاء جديدا كما دعا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله ).

Just as the Mahdi faded into obscurity, he would return out of that obscurity. He is currently in the clouds, which is to say that the occultation has surrounded him in opaque confusion, but that his affect on the Earth is still present. His companions will also be strangers who are not recognized ( إذا يستغني الناس عن ضوء الشمس ونور القمر ويجتزون بنور الامام ), and they are gathered with him like cirrus clouds ( فيظهر في ثلاثمائة وثلاثة عشر رجلا عدة أهل بدر على غير ميعاد قزعا كقزع الخريف رهبان بالليل أسد بالنهار ). "At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory." (Mark 13:26) When he returns, "mankind shall have no need of the light of the Sun and the light of the Moon, and they shall pass by the light of the Imam." ( إذا يستغني الناس عن ضوء الشمس ونور القمر ويجتزون بنور الامام ). Meaning, they will be able to go directly to the Imam for guidance, and we will no longer need to seek out other sources of light.

May Allah hasten his luminous coming.

w1EKJOJ.jpg



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Bismillah.

Salam Alaykum.

Allahuma sal e alla Mohammad wa all e Mohammad. Allahuma ajalee walaekal faraj. Ya Allah, Ya the Master of the day and night, Ya the Master of the universe, Ya the Master of the day of Judgment, please hasten the return of your proof on earth, our Imam e zaman a.s. and eradicate his enemies and give success and victory to his lovers, Ameen Ya Rabbul Alameen.

Wasalam.

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Another possibility is this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geomagnetic_reversal

We are many hundreds of thousands of years overdue a reversal of polarity, which is when the Earth's magnetic field flips.  When this happens, North on our compasses will be the current South, and vice versa.  And this means that West becomes what is now East, and so the Sun will rise from the West.  Geographically and astronomically, everything will appear the same; its just that East and West change places, because North and South do.

Edited by .InshAllah.

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On 11/12/2016 at 5:18 PM, .InshAllah. said:

Another possibility is this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geomagnetic_reversal

We are many hundreds of thousands of years overdue a reversal of polarity, which is when the Earth's magnetic field flips.  When this happens, North on our compasses will be the current South, and vice versa.  And this means that West becomes what is now East, and so the Sun will rise from the West.  Geographically and astronomically, everything will appear the same; its just that East and West change places, because North and South do.

This isnt necessarily true (the "overdue" part).  If you have been reading up on magnetic reversals lately, feel free to enlighten me, but I would say that, looking at the past few million years is a relatively small data set to work with.  In the grand scheme of things, we could be thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of years away from the next reversal and not overdue at all.

 

Edited by iCambrian

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Not to mention that I think a polar reversal would result in an almost instantaneous extinction of our species. There would be no time for the Sun to rise from the West, we'd all be dead before then lol. Keep in mind that the Sun rising from its setting-place is supposed to be a sign of the End Times, and not the apocalypse itself - that would happen much later.

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6 minutes ago, Qa'im said:

Not to mention that I think a polar reversal would result in an almost instantaneous extinction of our species. There would be no time for the Sun to rise from the West, we'd all be dead before then lol. Keep in mind that the Sun rising from its setting-place is supposed to be a sign of the End Times, and not the apocalypse itself - that would happen much later.

Of course I would have to ask...why do you believe a reversal would kill us?

Here

http://www.livescience.com/18426-earth-magnetic-poles-flip.html

 

Edited by iCambrian

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9 minutes ago, iCambrian said:

Of course I would have to ask...why do you believe a reversal would kill us?

I'm not an expert on the subject, but I heard that it may cause earthquakes or ruin our ozone layer. What are your thoughts?

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37 minutes ago, Qa'im said:

I'm not an expert on the subject, but I heard that it may cause earthquakes or ruin our ozone layer. What are your thoughts?

Well, i think the article i linked seemed fine.  The magnetic field does protect us from radiation form space.  So alterations in the direction its facing probably wouldnt be the best.  But...if you buy into it, if reversals did occur, say every 500k years. If life has been here for several billion years, then...well, you get the idea.  Life has lived through countless reversals. We have survived through countless reversals, though we simply werent recording information back then and probably werent even aware of it.

So, a magnetic reversal alone, i dont think would be a means of extinction.  Even if hypothetically there were ill effects from it, i imagine mankind would work and do what we have to do to get by. As we always have i suppose.

For the planet to become inhabitable by mankind, i think it would have to go through some pretty rugged changes, not that such changes arent unheard of in earth history, but certainly unheard of  since...well i suppose 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs went down.

Edited by iCambrian

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10 hours ago, iCambrian said:

This isnt necessarily true (the "overdue" part).  If you have been reading up on magnetic reversals lately, feel free to enlighten me, but I would say that, looking at the past few million years is a relatively small data set to work with.  In the grand scheme of things, we could be thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of years away from the next reversal and not overdue at all.

 

This  is from the NASA website:  

"Reversals are the rule, not the exception. Earth has settled in the last 20 million years into a pattern of a pole reversal about every 200,000 to 300,000 years, although it has been more than twice that long since the last reversal.''

 

So i would say based on the pattern of reversals over the last 20 million years, we are overdue a reversal. 

 

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2012-poleReversal.html

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9 hours ago, Qa'im said:

Not to mention that I think a polar reversal would result in an almost instantaneous extinction of our species. There would be no time for the Sun to rise from the West, we'd all be dead before then lol. Keep in mind that the Sun rising from its setting-place is supposed to be a sign of the End Times, and not the apocalypse itself - that would happen much later.

From the same site that @.InshAllah. quoted (my bold):

Quote

The science shows that magnetic pole reversal is – in terms of geologic time scales – a common occurrence that happens gradually over millennia. While the conditions that cause polarity reversals are not entirely predictable – the north pole's movement could subtly change direction, for instance – there is nothing in the millions of years of geologic record to suggest that any of the 2012 doomsday scenarios connected to a pole reversal should be taken seriously. A reversal might, however, be good business for magnetic compass manufacturers.

 

 

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2 hours ago, .InshAllah. said:

This  is from the NASA website:  

"Reversals are the rule, not the exception. Earth has settled in the last 20 million years into a pattern of a pole reversal about every 200,000 to 300,000 years, although it has been more than twice that long since the last reversal.''

 

So i would say based on the pattern of reversals over the last 20 million years, we are overdue a reversal. 

 

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2012-poleReversal.html

I don't think their " rule not exception" statement is referring to a 200-300k time phrame.  I think they're just saying that it happens, vs not happening. Especially since they immediately state that the most recent occurred over twice that time ago. 

 

to say something is overdue would be to imply that it is later than expected. But when you would expect it to occur changes based on your data set. So I guess it's subjective. You see what you want to see, you pick the set of data that you want to pick.

 

 

Edited by iCambrian

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6 hours ago, iCambrian said:

ck95.jpg

If we look at a larger dataset, we can see that the current "inter reversal" time isnt uncommon at all (even in the past 30mya as NASA had referenced)

http://deeptow.whoi.edu/text/ck95.txt

Thanks for the picture.   It seems that the overall trend over the last 80million yrs is that these reversals are getting more frequent.  But this trend isnt smooth but rather choppy, and leaves room for the occasional  reversal to take a bit longer.  I guess the next reversal will be one of these that takes a bit longer

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On 11/17/2016 at 9:26 AM, YAli said:

This 'Pole reversal' thing, does this mean the earths magnetic fields will reverse, or does it actually mean the earth will stop rotating around it's axis, and reverse rotate the other way around? 

Earth's magnetic poles will reverse and (probably) nothing will happen to life, this process is underway as we speak. Earth spinning the other way around it's axis would be the result of some catastrophic impact, like the hypothesized impact that reversed Venus' rotation.

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On 11/15/2016 at 7:50 PM, Qa'im said:

Not to mention that I think a polar reversal would result in an almost instantaneous extinction of our species. There would be no time for the Sun to rise from the West, we'd all be dead before then lol. Keep in mind that the Sun rising from its setting-place is supposed to be a sign of the End Times, and not the apocalypse itself - that would happen much later.

No it wouldn't this has happened many times in the past and guess what, a wide variety of animals are still here.  

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The physical Sun may as well rise from the West, this may be possible then. But this does not change what I said - our literature says that the Mahdi is this Sun rising from its setting place, that he is currently behind the clouds, that his companions are like cirrus clouds, that Islam would come back as a stranger (ghareeb, form the word gharb), and that he would light up the whole world. If the future scientists declare that the Sun will physically rise from the West in the year 3000 for example, this does not mean that Qiyama will occur that year, because all of our sources say that it will come unexpectedly. If the poles change place in our lifetime, and nothing happens thereafter, then you'll need to consider alternative possibilities and interpretations. This one, I think, is a very organic interpretation when you put everything together.

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      Hisham said: By Allah no one has defeated me on the subject of Tawhid to this day when I stand in the position I do.   
      That Hisham reached the pinnacle is clear in the incident of the famous debate with the Syrian. It is the young Hisham who speaks last and best despite the presence of all the other major students much older than him garnering the praise of the Imam in the process. Ja’far b. Muhammad b. Qulawayh – Muhammad b. Ya’qub al-Kulayni – Ali b. Ibrahim – his father – a number of his men – Yunus b. Ya’qub who said: I was at Abi Abdillah’sعليه السلام when a man from the people of Syria came and said: I am a man who is proficient in theology, jurisprudence and the inheritance laws. I have come to debate your companions … He [the Imam] said to me: Go out the door and look for any of the experts and bring him in. He [Yunus] said: I brought in Humran b. A’yan who was good at debating, al-Ahwal who was also good, Hisham b. Salim who was good too, and I brought in Qays al-Ma’sir who was the best of them in my estimation. He [Qays] had learnt to debate at the hands of Ali b. al-Husayn عليهما السلام.  
      When the gathering settled down – this was in pavillion which had been pitched on a mountain near the sanctuary (Ka’ba) where Abu Abdillah عليه السلام used to spend a few days before the Hajj – Abu Abdillah عليه السلام peered outside the pavillion and saw a camel ambling.
      He [the Imam] said: It is Hisham by the Lord of the Ka’ba! He [Yunus] said: We thought that ‘Hisham’ was a reference to a man from the descendants of Aqil greatly beloved to him, but it turned out to be Hisham b. al-Hakam whose beard had just sprouted for the first time, and there was no one among us who was not older than him.
      He [Yunus] said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام made room for him … then he said: O Humran debate the man, Humran debated him and defeated him. He [the Imam] said: O Taqi debate the man, al-Ahwal debated him and won. Then he [the Imam] said: O Hisham b. Salim debate him, but they ended in a draw. Then Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said to Qays al-Ma’sir: debate him, so he debated him and Abu Abdillah عليه السلام began laughing at their talk because of what befell the Syrian [of defeat]. 
      Then he [the Imam] said to the Syrian: debate this young man - that is Hisham b. al-Hakam ….
      Yunus said: I thought that he [the Imam] would - by Allah - say to Hisham words similar to what he had said to the others [i.e. the Imam had found fault in all their argumentations] but instead he said: O Hisham, you never fall flat [settle on the ground], everytime it seems that you are about to come to ground [i.e. be defeated] you just bend your legs [to able to leap] and off you fly away again. The likes of you should debate the people. Therefore be wary of slipping and you will find that succor is around the corner if Allah wills.
      al-Sadiq took great pride in Hisham’s achievements, and on at least one occasion asked Hisham to recount the details of a particularly momentous debate to the other disciples. Hisham had developed a decisive argument for the need for an Imam at all times in his debate with Amr b. Ubayd the Mu’tazili using an analogy of the centrality of the ‘heart’ relative to the other body functions to describe the centrality of the Imam to relative to the Umma. al-Ayyashi – Ali b. Muhammad b. Yazid al-Fayruzani al-Qummi – Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Yahya – Abi Ishaq – Muhammad b. Hammad – al-Hasan b. Ibrahim – Yunus b. Abd al-Rahman – Yunus b. Ya’qub who said: There were with Abi Abdillah عليه السلام a large number of his companions. Among them were Humran b. A’yan, The Believer of Taq (al-Ahwal), Hisham b. Salim, al-Tayyar and others among them Hisham b. al-Hakam who was just a young man. Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: O Hisham, he [Hisham] said: at your service O the son of the Messenger of Allah! He [the Imam] said: Will you not inform me how you dealt with Amr b. Ubayd and your questions to him? Hisham said: I revere you and am thus self-conscious in front of you! My tongue does not speak in your presence. Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: If I order you to do something then do it … Abu Abdillah laughed with delight [after Hisham recounted his debate] and then said: Who taught you this O Hisham? He said: O the sone of the Messenger of Allah the words were made to flow through me tongue! He [the Imam] said: I swear by Allah that this is written in the scrolls of Ibrahim and Musa!
       
      His special position with al-Kadhim
      Hisham enjoyed an especially close relation with al-Kadhim عليه السلام
      al-Tusi says:
      كان من خواص سيدنا مولانا موسى بن جعفر عليه السلام
      He was one of the intimates of our master Musa b. Ja’far عليه السلام
      This can be seen in the examples below:
      Hamduwayh b. Nusayr – Muhammad b. Isa – al-Hasan b. Ali b. Yaqtin who said: Whenever Abu al-Hasan [al-Kadhim] عليه‌ السلام wanted some neccessities for himself, or something of a personal nature, he would write to my father Ali: ‘purchase for me this and that or acquire for me such and such, and the one to undertake that should be Hisham b. al-Hakam’. But if it had to do with his [the Imam’s] more general responsibilities he would just write: ‘purchase for me this and that’ and not mention Hisham unless it was personal.
      It is also said that his [the Imam’s] favour towards him [Hisham] and his [Hisham’s] status in his [the Imam’s] estimation reached such a level that he [the Imam] sent him [Hisham] fifteen thousand gold coins and said to him: ‘do business with them and keep the profits thereof returning to us only the capital’. Hisham did as instructed. May Allah bless Abi al-Hasan.    
      Hamduwayh and Ibrahim the sons of Nusayr – Muhammad b. Isa – Zuhl – Asad b. Abi al-Ala who said: Abu al-Hasan the First عليه‌ السلام wrote to those who had come up from his Shia in one of the years during the pilgrimage season [to make the Hajj] about fulfilling a certain need of his, no one took it up [responded positively] except Hisham b. al-Hakam. He [Asad] said: He [the Imam] later wrote to him - that is Hisham b. al-Hakam - ‘may Allah make your reward paradise’.
    • By shadow_of_light in From Earth to Heaven
         1
      ....
      ....
      غمگین, گل یاس
      اشکت چو الماس
      قلب رئوفت
      سرشار از احساس
       
      بانوی خسته
      دلت شکسته
      زیر خاک سرد
      بخواب آهسته
       
      مسافر شب
      برو تا بهشت
      نیست جای تو
      این دنیای زشت
       
      عزم سفر کرد
      رفت تا افلاک
      خداحافظ ای
      دنیای ناپاک
       
      اگرچه هستی
      آرام و خاموش
      هرگز نگردد
      یادت فراموش
    • By Sisterfatima1 in Fatima
         0
      My dear sweet daughter as time goes by I feel more and more we are being disconnected your birth was truly a blessing for me after a difficult time 
      you were my everything watching you grow up and having people around you caring for you and loving you when I can’t be there hurts me alot
      i wish I could be the one holding your hand and helping you during hard times 
      I would give anything to have one more day with you and just play with you like we used to play 
       
      I miss your laughter I miss holding you when you were sad I miss you singing to your brother 
      I’ve missed out on so much in your life I hate living with this 
      i wish daddy would let me know you more 
      if you ever read this one day my sweet girl know that mummy loves you and wants you no matter what anybody says I never abandoned you 
      I hope one day we can be reunited 
      I pray Allah will always keep you safe my precious baby 
    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
         0
      The vegetarian industry holds that killing animals is bad. No doubt killing an animal means that it suffers a premature death. However nowadays, at least, it is because of the human need for meat that millions of animals have a life that they otherwise would not have had - because there would not have been an economic reason for them to be bred.
      The issue then, is one of premature death vs. not having a life at all.
      If people believe that animals are sentient and have some level of intelligence and should not be slaughtered as a result - surely those very arguments can be used to against denying those animals life as a vegetarian lifestyle would. 
      So the solution to the ethical/sustainability issues around meat eating is not to ban the practice altogether, rather it is to do with proper animal husbandry and a level of animal protein consumption that is lower than at present.
    • By Ali in ShiaChat.com Blog
         14
      [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?
    • By Islamic Salvation in A Marginalia to Mu'jam
         13

       
      A small collection of 82 reliable narrations concerning Intellect and Knowledge translated into English with annotated footnotes. 
      Download PDF: https://www.scribd.com/document/361632457/Book-of-Intellect-and-Knowledge-Mu-jam-1-1
      This is an UNSECURED version to aid copy and paste.
       
      Preamble
      The first book of the first volume is the book of Intellect and Knowledge. Some short words on the Islamic conception of both is in order.
      Aql is the vehicle through which the initial queries about the reality of life and nature of the world is made. It is also an essential component towards the Ma’rifa [recognition] of Allah. Thus it becomes the preliminary ‘inner prophet’ which can lead to ‘outward’ guidance and consequently obedience of Allah. It has been attributed to al-Sadiq that he said when asked to define Aql:
      ما عبد به الرحمن واكتسب به الجنان
      That by which the Rahman [Most Merciful] is worshipped and by which the Gardens are acquired[1]
      Aql is what will be held accountable. The more perfect the Aql of the one doing the deed the more complete it becomes and vice versa. The messenger of Allah is supposed to have said:
      إذا رأيتم الرجل كثير الصلاة كثير الصيام فلا تباهوا به حتى تنظروا كيف عقله؟
      If you see a man who prays a lot and fasts a lot then do not be overly impressed with him until you observe how his Aql is[2]
      Knowledge and its pursuit has been given such importance in Islam that a Western Scholar like Rosenthal could speak of the ‘Empire of Reason’. Knowledge is of many types, but the one which has been obligated is acquiring the knowledge which will make one succeed in this world and hereafter i.e. knowledge of the creator and one’s obligations towards Him.
      It is not enough to gain knowledge in theoretical terms, in fact the very definition of knowledge is the one which is put into practise. This is best summed up in a narration attributed to the Commander of the Faithful:
      حسبك من العلم أن تخشى الله، وحسبك من الجهل أن تعجب بعلمك
      It is enough to be considered knowledge that you be in awe of Allah, and it is enough to be considered ignorance that you feel proud with that which you know[3]
        [1] al-Kafi: 1/11
      [2] al-Kafi: 1/26
      [3] Amali of al-Tusi: 1/62
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