Jump to content

Imamology

  • entries
    33
  • comments
    369
  • views
    8,756

Hamza Yusuf and Black Lives Matter

Qa'im

2,283 views

As a Muslim Canadian outsider, the U.S's race problem is blaring and obvious to me whenever I visit. Even in the more liberal states, whites and blacks live in separate neighbourhoods, and the black neighbouroods are poorer and not looked after by the city. Whites and blacks have very different jobs and roles in society.

After over 300 years of slavery, 99 years of segregation, and 52 years of tumultuous race relations, the race issue still dominates public discourse in America. While most of the world has normalized relations with the descendants of former slaves, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade in America was unique in its shear brutality. African Americans were stripped of their names, languages, cultures, and religions, and were deprived of a knowledge of self that other peoples had. "Black" became synonymous with cruelty, ugliness, and bleakness, while Social Darwinist whites put themselves in a position of natural superiority.

African Americans fought long and hard to gain the same civil rights and liberties as ordinary Americans. Since the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964 however, the race issue has remained salient, with spikes in relevance every so often. In general, black people still suffer indiscriminately from police brutality, high rates of incarceration, the breakdown of the family, and lower access to education, health care, and high-paying jobs. Some of these issues stem out of policies that overlook African American issues, while others are more social. Several movements were established to redress these serious issues, such as the NAACP, Urban League, the Rainbow PUSH coalition, as well as the Nation of Islam and other religious organizations. In recent years, Black Lives Matter (BLM) has become the leading activist group on the streets and on social media, bringing awareness to issues in the African American community and seeking to redress them through progressive policies.

Hamza Yusuf recently suggested that Muslims should not join BLM, in fear that more identity politics would exacerbate race relations in America. The Shaykh went on to naively use trigger phrases like "black on black violence", "more whites are shot by police", and "police are not all racist", which had him labelled as a racist by legions of hipster Muslims on Twitter. As many have pointed out, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf comes from a pretty privileged background - he grew up in a wealthy neighbourhood, his relatives were wealthy, his parents were well-educated, and he went to private schools (see here). His family marched with the civil rights movement and against the Vietnam War, and explored different world religions, but like a lot of 60-70s hippies, the Shaykh is probably still a bit more out of touch with the working class than the average person. Still though, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf has actually lived in with bedouins in Africa, and he has spoken about poverty, inequality, and the civil rights movement on multiple occasions. His resume, as a Shaykh that balances the best of Western education with traditional Sunni scholarship, is far more impressive than that of most Western Muslim speakers.

On one hand, Hamza Yusuf could have worded himself better to address the very real race problem in the United States. Yes, there are anti-discriminatory laws in place, but clearly a lot more needs to be done to redress the race issue - body cameras on cops, judicial reform, and affirmative action in police departments in minority communities are a good step. But the onslaught against Shaykh Hamza has a few people scratching their heads - first off, why don't we get the same outrage when a Muslim speaker says something insensitive about Shiites, or when a speaker gleans over racist or sexist injustices in the Muslim world? More pertinently though, is what Shaykh Hamza said wrong? Hamza Yusuf is a Sufi, which attracts a lot of liberal ears to listen to him, but he is a traditionalist and a conservative at his core, and so every now and then he will say something that will get this type of reaction (this time being the climax).

Hamza Yusuf's argument is, if BLM is just an angry rebuke to the system, with few clear policy goals, then it has the potential of making problems worse - more violence against police officers (more police have died in 2016 than in the last 5 years, some during BLM protests), and worse race relations in coming months and years. BLM is more than just the issue of police brutality - it is a living, breathing organization with its own motives and goals. For the purpose of this article, it is important for our minds to mentally separate BLM and police brutality for a moment. BLM in essence is a cadre of identity politics, which highlights one's race or gender as an essential quality in a person (rather than an accidental quality), and very much sees everything through the lens of racism. Hamza Yusuf said that this only helps create the type of "whitelash" we saw with the election of Trump, which will only make things worse for minorities and not better. Hamza Yusuf once said, ethics should be rooted in verbs and adverbs, not nouns and pronouns. I agree with this, and while racism and white privilege is real, we should talk about the *issues* that plague society and not just about identity.

This controversy has caused me to think on multiple fronts. With regards to the Muslim community, it is clear that most Muslim youth identify with leftist politics, since it is multicultural and inclusive. Unfortunately, that comes with baggage: secularism, individualism, naturalism and religious skepticism, identity politics, LGBT rights, hookup culture and the normalization of sex, third wave feminism, body positivism, political correctness, and in general pro-revolutionary sentiments in almost every situation where even mild grievances exist. Balancing this with the Islamic tradition, which can be opposite on most of these issues, is particularly troublesome. The hipster Muslima with a rainbow scarf and a Guevara shirt marching at a Sl*tWalk is becoming increasingly more normal in Western Muslim communities.

I also began thinking about how Black Lives Matter differs from earlier black organizations. There's no doubt that BLM is the cool kid on the block, whom every Muslim revolutionary wants to embrace (Jonathan AC Brown, Linda Sarsour, Suhaib Webb to name a few). However, are their goals the same as the black community, and are they consistent with Islam?

In the 1990s, we saw another spike in relevance of the race issue, and this time, it was the Nation of Islam (NOI) under Louis Farrakhan that was the primary "race communicator" for black people in America. The NOI is a black nationalist American Muslim sect that differed from traditional Islamic views on theology and race. Irregardless of where the NOI may have deviated, the Nation of Islam organized a grassroots movement that brought black civil rights groups, religious groups, and activists together at the 1995 Million Man March. The Million Man March was a historic rally at Washington DC that brought leading African American figures together to demand justice and reproach, including Rosa Parks, Betty Shabazz, Jesse Jackson, Jeremiah Wright, Shaykh Ahmad Tijani Ben Omar, and Minister Farrakhan.

The Million Man March approached the issue of African American suffering in a very different way than BLM. First off, the March was only for black males, who were seen as the major agents of potential change in the Afro-American community. Over 72% of black children are born out of wedlock. Fatherlessness, which Hamza Yusuf mentions in his later apology lecture, is detrimental to any family, and leads to higher rates of poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, and mental health problems. Considering the high rates of gang violence, incarceration, drug abuse, and unprotected sex among black males, any solution to the plight of African Americans must include black men. Secondly, the Million Man March sought to bring all religious organizations together to seek repentance and God's support. As people of faith, we don't see all suffering simply as a result of natural causes; rather some suffering can be a divine trial or chastisement, by which we must seek God's succor. The event's major themes were "Lessons from the Past", "Affirmation and Responsibility", and "Atonement and Reconciliation", and it was believed that the very real injustices that exist in America would only be solved through a return to traditional values. Thirdly, the Million Man March gave the means for thousands of black people to register as voters, making the black community a strong political bloc in the American electoral system. The event ended with a pledge to God that they would be good community members from that day forward.

Black Lives Matter, on the other hand, has a very different vision for black America. It is, of course, absolutely secular, and blames the collective suffering of black people on white supremacy. Furthermore, not only does BLM sideline black fathers, but it ignores them completely on their website. BLM has a lot to say about the LGBT community and [presumably single] mothers, its guiding principles leaves straight black males out completely, despite the documented problems that fatherless homes can cause in the lives of youth. BLM even sees traditional "nuclear families" as somehow white supremacist, even though families in Africa are largely patriarchal and nuclear. Yusra Khogali, the leader of the Toronto chapter of Black Lives Matter (remember, Hamza Yusuf made his comments in Toronto), infamously tweeted about "killing men and whitefolks", and shared articles telling women to avoid conscientious black men. Khogali recently protested against Dr. Jordan Peterson, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, for refusing to use genderless pronouns like "xe" instead of "he" or "she". BLM also hijacked the Gay Pride Parade until their demands on the Pride organization were met, and hijacked a Bernie Sanders event in 2015. Millennial organizations like BLM are the reason why the alt-right exists, who also use the same frame of identity politics to identify as white nationalists to attack Muslims, blacks, women, and others. Contributing to the frame of identity politics can awaken the sleeping white-nationalist giant in Europe and North America, and awaken far right-wing voices that want to push all minorities away.

Not only does BLM stand for things that are totally irreconcilable with Islam, such as the LGBT issue, but it is devoid of the religiosity found in other black movements, the participation of straight black men, and it does not responsibly address issues within the black community. It is focused on "fighting the system", rather than clamping down on a hookup culture that is destined to plague another generation with fatherless households and STDs. Rather than solving the problems related black fathers, it ignores their issues and fails to address them. It is common to find feminist circles that paint black fathers as irresponsible misogynists that are part of the problem and not the solution - this attitude can only make things worse.

At the very least, the Nation of Islam encouraged a self-help approach: they promoted strong family values, they started rehabilitation programs for those affected by drugs and alcohol, they deployed their Fruit of Islam unit to stop riots and gang violence, they established their own schools and curricula, and they rid their community of the social ills that affect other black communities. BLM on the other hand is a Soros-funded intersectional liberal organization with an agenda that does not jive with Abrahamic religion.

When women, Latinos, blacks, Muslims, and homosexuals began popularizing identity politics, it was a natural consequence that right-wing whites would start doing the same. Some people honestly believe that unless you are black, then you aren't capable of commenting on anything to do with the black community. A white person commenting on black affairs, even to defend black people, is considered a racist by liberals because he is "whitesplaining". Franchesca Ramsey recently appeared in a video arguing that very point. The result of this thinking however is potentially devastating. It means that white people will no longer speak up against racism, because they don't want to appear racist or patronizing. It also means that educated people with legitimate views will be silenced simply due to their race. It also limits outsider perspectives, which are always necessary in a democracy, as every group should be critiqued and held accountable by outsiders. Strange enough, it's also kind of contradictory to multiculturalism - by saying only black people can speak about black issues, and women can only be feminists, and males are inherently privileged, you end up segregating society further. A white male like Hamza Yusuf speaking about race relations or women's issues does not contradict the ethics of our religion - I'm not saying he's right or wrong, I'm saying that he has the right to speak on these issues especially as a trained scholar.

Let's keep in mind that the Muslim community in America in the 60s and 70s was largely an organic one (the biggest being Warith Deen Muhammad's movement), made up of working-class African Americans and white converts. The early Muslim immigrants to America even joined these communities and worked closely with them. But the big influx of bourgeois Muslim immigrants in the 80s and 90s, with their foreign funding (from Saudi and elsewhere), established their own separate communities, bought out the existing communities / swallowed them up, then ostracized the native population, until they almost fizzed out completely. Now, some of those same upper-middle class children of immigrants think they can be pro-black because of their liberal arts degree, a Malcolm quote and a BLM march, yet they themselves would never marry a black person, or volunteer with the homeless or at a prison, or mingle with working-class people in general. As someone who has decent connections within the African American Muslim community in the U.S, I can tell you that these second-generation Muslims really mean nothing to them, and often do more harm than good.

Overall, I agree with Mehdi that Muslims need to be doing more outreach with other communities - that includes the black community. We should also address racism in our own communities, which is more outward than in the average white community. In Trump's America, we cannot afford to stand alone; we need to do more for our cities and our Muslim and non-Muslim communities. We can reach out to black churches, support black businesses, and join civil rights organizations. At the same time, we cannot fall into the trap of supporting causes that are antithetical to our tradition.

2a3dfdbc06d8321f23e99f7fa1adb143.jpg



30 Comments




Recommended Comments

Now you should send this post to Mehdi, and Hamza Yusuf, somehow. And post it 'out there' I.e. On so Yusra's Twitter page or some BLMs profile, and let this get retweeted. 

Share this comment


Link to comment

@E.L King That's what I used to think, but now I'm halfway between isolation and outreach. On the one hand I prefer isolation and a sort of "all Muslims getting together and being told the above post and immunising themselves and families against all the tidal waves of LGBT feminism and ant family propaganda", but on the other hand I sometimes feel that might not be enough, if we are to truly protect ourselves we need to 'reach out' and try and attack or change the views of others (seculars, liberals, non Muslims) and perhaps that could lead to an overall change in attitudes/ideaologies amongst "them", and this will then make things much more relaxed and easier for us. We won't have to worry about ourselves or our kids or brothers or sisters being sucked in by any of these ideaologies too much. 

An example I can give is the simple fact that the old generation feminists (70/80s) many of them are now (already have) turned on feminism, and say that they were told a lie about having it all I.e climbing the career ladder, doing the long 'wall street' hours, and maintaining her marriage, and maintaining her house, and raising her kids, and keep relations with her other family. They tried this, failed, and many of them are depressed and the broken families and missed opportunity of loving and raising their kids. I know this specific example because in my office which I work in we have a white British woman in her 40s, and she just blurted out one day ""I READ THIS BOOK TITLED "you can't have it all" AND THIS IS TRUE! WE WERE TOLD A LIE IN THE 80s and 90s THAT YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL!!"" ( we what does Islam say about this all?!? Exactly.) 

Islam is Allah's wisdom. So imagine 'out reaching' to the woman like the one in my office. About what Islam says about marriage and work and wife and husband. And imagine reaching out to millions women like these, and students, and making a major stand against the LGBT feminist and no identity and no nuclear family sillyness. 

But, then sometimes I think isolation is best first simply by how bad the state of the Muslims is. Let's first fix our house and make sure it is water proof, wind proof and proof from all the other satanic crap. 

Edited by YAli

Share this comment


Link to comment
17 minutes ago, YAli said:

@E.L King That's what I used to think, but now I'm halfway between isolation and outreach. On the one hand I prefer isolation and a sort of "all Muslims getting together and being told the above post and immunising themselves and families against all the tidal waves of LGBT feminism and ant family propaganda", but on the other hand I sometimes feel that might not be enough, if we are to truly protect ourselves we need to 'reach out' and try and attack or change the views of others (seculars, liberals, non Muslims) and perhaps that could lead to an overall change in attitudes/ideaologies amongst "them", and this will then make things much more relaxed and easier for us. We won't have to worry about ourselves or our kids or brothers or sisters being sucked in by any of these ideaologies too much. 

An example I can give is the simple fact that the old generation feminists (70/80s) many of them are now (already have) turned on feminism, and say that they were told a lie about having it all I.e climbing the career ladder, doing the long 'wall street' hours, and maintaining her marriage, and maintaining her house, and raising her kids, and keep relations with her other family. They tried this, failed, and many of them are depressed and the broken families and missed opportunity of loving and raising their kids. I know this specific example because in my office which I work in we have a white British woman in her 40s, and she just blurted out one day ""I READ THIS BOOK TITLED "you can't have it all" AND THIS IS TRUE! WE WERE TOLD A LIE IN THE 80s and 90s THAT YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL!!"" ( we what does Islam say about this all?!? Exactly.) 

Islam is Allah's wisdom. So imagine 'out reaching' to the woman like the one in my office. About what Islam says about marriage and work and wife and husband. And imagine reaching out to millions women like these, and students, and making a major stand against the LGBT feminist and no identity and no nuclear family sillyness. 

But, then sometimes I think isolation is best first simply by how bad the state of the Muslims is. Let's first fix our house and make sure it is water proof, wind proof and proof from all the other satanic crap. 

This is to me also a problem. Some Muslims might say the first wave of feminism was good, I say they are all bad. Whether it was in the 1800s or in 2016, very much the same, just more extreme.

Share this comment


Link to comment
7 minutes ago, E.L King said:

This is to me also a problem. Some Muslims might say the first wave of feminism was good, I say they are all bad. Whether it was in the 1800s or in 2016, very much the same, just more extreme.

I didn't say it was good. My view is the same as yours, they were and are all bad. One step which the devil put which only led to step two and step three.  

If anyone wants rights, whether they are a man or woman, look at the Quran, at what Allah has commanded and ordained. And also look at the prophet and his family. That is more than enough, and also more correct. Simple. 

Share this comment


Link to comment

@E.L King BLM and feminist movements are funded by the likes of George Soros. Watch the below video of him and you will see this vampire would only love to play with society like his is some sort of God. 

 

Share this comment


Link to comment
2 hours ago, E.L King said:

I don't believe Muslims should outreach to other people at all. I think isolation is the best thing, we shouldn't be troubled by the problems of the others. 

So I guess we can forget about dawah and spreading the message of Islam; The only way you can accept the prophethood of Muhammad (saws), the wilayah of Ali (as) and the sacrifices of the Ahlulbayt (as) is to be born into it.

No more reverts either, we can't be troubled by people who take the time to explore and accept our deen.

No more speaking out against far-right clowns, Islamophobia and Zionist politicians and their policies. 

After all, we can't be bothered according to you. Isolation is the best policy, right. 

I'm sorry to say but I am offended by what you said. This is nothing more than a slap in the face to me as a revert.

I might make a personal struggle to get rid of ignorant thinking like yours in the Ummah because I didn't convert to Judaism 2.0, I converted to Islam which rejects such nonsense like a chosen race and being born into religion through and through.

Before you accuse me of twisting your words out of their context, reread what you wrote and understand what I wrote above is exactly how I perceived it.

Wording is everything if you don't want to want to be misunderstood, brother. 

I'm very disappointed in you, that's all I can say.

Share this comment


Link to comment
14 minutes ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

So I guess we can forget about dawah and spreading the message of Islam; The only way you can accept the prophethood of Muhammad (saws), the wilayah of Ali (as) and the sacrifices of the Ahlulbayt (as) is to be born into it.

No more reverts either, we can't be troubled by people who take the time to explore and accept our deen.

No more speaking out against far-right clowns, Islamophobia and Zionist politicians and their policies. 

After all, we can't be bothered according to you. Isolation is the best policy, right. 

I'm sorry to say but I am offended by what you said. This is nothing more than a slap in the face to me as a revert.

I might make a personal struggle to get rid of ignorant thinking like yours in the Ummah because I didn't convert to Judaism 2.0, I converted to Islam which rejects such nonsense like a chosen race and being born into religion through and through.

Before you accuse me of twisting your words out of their context, reread what you wrote and understand what I wrote above is exactly how I perceived it.

Wording is everything if you don't want to want to be misunderstood, brother. 

I'm very disappointed in you, that's all I can say.

What does what I said have to do with Da'wah? My post has nothing to do with religious preaching and preaching against sin.

All I said is that Muslims shouldn't be involved in liberal vs conservative battles. 

Pro-police vs pro-BLM is another one of these useless issues that Muslims don't need to be into. IMO

I believe isolation from politics is a good thing for Muslims in the West in the current time. Don't you?

Edited by E.L King

Share this comment


Link to comment
7 minutes ago, E.L King said:

What does what I said have to do with Da'wah? My post has nothing to do with religious preaching and preaching against sin.

All I said is that Muslims shouldn't be involved in liberal vs conservative battles. 

Pro-police vs pro-BLM is another one of these useless issues that Muslims don't need to be into. IMO

I believe isolation from politics is a good thing for Muslims in the West in the current time. Don't you?

No, not really but you should have mentioned that earlier in your comment to prevent people like me from misunderstanding you. 

It's common sense. 

If we want a decent life in the West, we must speak up and not let liberals or conservatives use us or oppress us. Does that make sense to you?  You understand where I'm coming from with this? 

All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing, brother. 

Share this comment


Link to comment
1 hour ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

No, not really but you should have mentioned that earlier in your comment to prevent people like me from misunderstanding you. 

It's common sense. 

If we want a decent life in the West, we must speak up and not let liberals or conservatives use us or oppress us. Does that make sense to you?  You understand where I'm coming from with this? 

All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing, brother. 

I do understand you, but that's not how things have played out. Heck, half the people on this website were all out for Bernie Sanders.

Share this comment


Link to comment
9 minutes ago, YAli said:

@E.L King That's why I said we also need to fix our own house first. All of these liberal pro LGBT feminist Muslims without any wisdom or clue. 

They aren't pro-gay Muslims. They are Muslims with proper beliefs like me and you, Shi'a, and support liberal politicians/policies because they might help the Muslim community. At the same time, many are in solidarity with movements like BLM and what not, even though they are religious Muslims with solid beliefs.

Isolation is the way to go I believe.

Share this comment


Link to comment
5 hours ago, E.L King said:

At the same time, many are in solidarity with movements like BLM and what not, even though they are religious Muslims with solid beliefs.

Are you stating this in a positive or negative way? 

Share this comment


Link to comment
36 minutes ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

Why and how would isolation work

I fail to see how it makes sense or how it would work out. Please explain it to me. 

Comments by brothers @Abu Hadi, @baradar_jackson and @roya1b100d on the following thread is similar to where I stand.

http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235039813-muslims-in-the-west-seperation-vs-integration/?page=1

Edited by E.L King

Share this comment


Link to comment
31 minutes ago, E.L King said:

I see, well I am sorry to say this but there are only two feasible options that I see. 1.) Intergration while keeping the deen,it will save a lot of heartache and frustration  and 2.) Hijrah, although not everyone can go  or willing to adapt to  Iran, Lebanon, Iraq or Kuwait. Can't go to Qatar or Saudi Arabia obviously or really any Sunni majority country. 

Heck, I read a post saying that Western converts are not really wanted in the Middle East. If there's any truth to it, where will we go now? So that would just leave intergration and we can do it while remaining true to Islam.

I really don't see separation working too well for us unfortunately @E.L King

 

Edited by Gaius I. Caesar

Share this comment


Link to comment

I thought I may have missed it, but a quick word search showed no reference to this factor, so I thought I'd mention the role of music.

In addition to all the other issues that Bro Qa'im identifies that afflict Black American culture, their heavy involvement with music in all respects must be a factor contributing to the situation in which they find themselves.

Obviously I take the view that all music is wrong. But even if we go along with a non-Muslim set of values, it's possible to identify research which shows that some of the music to which black people listen can have a negative impact:

Quote

One systematic examination of popular music found six major themes: men and power, sex as a top priority for males, objectification of women, sexual violence, women defined by having a man, and women not valuing themselves (Bretthauer, Zimmerman, & Banning, 2007). 

http://digitalcommons.macalester.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1030&context=psychology_honors

 

Share this comment


Link to comment
15 hours ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

I see, well I am sorry to say this but there are only two feasible options that I see. 1.) Intergration while keeping the deen,it will save a lot of heartache and frustration  and 2.) Hijrah, although not everyone can go  or willing to adapt to  Iran, Lebanon, Iraq or Kuwait. Can't go to Qatar or Saudi Arabia obviously or really any Sunni majority country. 

Heck, I read a post saying that Western converts are not really wanted in the Middle East. If there's any truth to it, where will we go now? So that would just leave intergration and we can do it while remaining true to Islam.

I really don't see separation working too well for us unfortunately @E.L King

 

Why are those the only two options? Maybe in America, but go to Britain and similar countries and you will see Muslims living together, sometimes extremely seperated from non-Muslims.

The Western media sometimes call them "Sharia Zones".

Edited by E.L King

Share this comment


Link to comment
11 hours ago, E.L King said:

Why are those the only two options?

Because either option prevents the media from the vilification of our communities. 

Living separated from the rest of society is exactly what  the media wants so they can rile people up about the "decay" of "Western/Christian/American, etc."

It puts a big target on our backs, it gives the far-right an enemy and someone to blame for society's ills.

11 hours ago, E.L King said:

The Western media sometimes call them "Sharia Zones".

This language is exactly what you don't want the media saying. People have been enough lies to fear "Sharia Zones ", they are afraid of them because the media tells them to be afraid.

You have no idea what I see or hear about Muslims from my friends and family who are Christian or right wing. It's really scary and a ticking time bomb. 

I don't know how I can make it any clearer for you. Why do you think Europe has Pegida or Golden Dawn? Where do you think Britain First  or the English Defence League popped up from? 

They are all opposed to the so-called "Islamification" of Europe.

It's an big societal issue when the media which is more powerful than it has ever been, gives them a reason or justification to attack, spray paint and vandalize mosques, antagonize hijabis and burn Qurans as a political statement.

 If we are separate from society,we make ourselves easy pickings for these people.

And if we remain isolationist, it sends a message of "Go ahead, we're not going to fight back" and then it will get worse from here.

You might not agree with me, but you have to admit,  these are all pretty valid concerns and that we are at a point where we cannot afford to isolate ourselves any longer. We have to speak out.  

Edited by Gaius I. Caesar

Share this comment


Link to comment

Black Lives Matter (BLM), as the writer astutely high-lighted, is a well-funded liberal mechanism to control African-American activism. I don't support the movement, but that does not mean that Muslims shouldn't have anything to say about injustice, oppression, and exclusion from resources and opportunity.

One of the goals of the liberal and BLM, in my opinion, is to relate LGBT with the struggles of Black people. However, the two issues are on opposite poles of the moral compass. Islam is clear on this issue. Their is no inherent superiority of one people over another in Islam, and family - the core family being a married man and woman - is the foundation of the Ummah.

Also, we should speak out about injustice, exclusion, and lack of opportunity in society. Are we afraid of a White backlash? Don't fear men .. fear Allah (swt). People of European descent should understand that their system does not work and is the root cause of the social ills that plague society

Share this comment


Link to comment
On 12/31/2016 at 10:52 PM, Gaius I. Caesar said:

Because either option prevents the media from the vilification of our communities. 

Living separated from the rest of society is exactly what  the media wants so they can rile people up about the "decay" of "Western/Christian/American, etc."

It puts a big target on our backs, it gives the far-right an enemy and someone to blame for society's ills.

This language is exactly what you don't want the media saying. People have been enough lies to fear "Sharia Zones ", they are afraid of them because the media tells them to be afraid.

You have no idea what I see or hear about Muslims from my friends and family who are Christian or right wing. It's really scary and a ticking time bomb. 

I don't know how I can make it any clearer for you. Why do you think Europe has Pegida or Golden Dawn? Where do you think Britain First  or the English Defence League popped up from? 

They are all opposed to the so-called "Islamification" of Europe.

It's an big societal issue when the media which is more powerful than it has ever been, gives them a reason or justification to attack, spray paint and vandalize mosques, antagonize hijabis and burn Qurans as a political statement.

 If we are separate from society,we make ourselves easy pickings for these people.

And if we remain isolationist, it sends a message of "Go ahead, we're not going to fight back" and then it will get worse from here.

You might not agree with me, but you have to admit,  these are all pretty valid concerns and that we are at a point where we cannot afford to isolate ourselves any longer. We have to speak out.  

You have a point here. But the so called integration has gone totally wonky. It has been muslims jumping open arms into western ideals, drinking, smoking, fornicating etc. If you just defined these people by their behavior, it would be hard to call them muslims.  

Instead we need muslims who will integrate and not turn into liberal, kind of muslim, kind of pro LGBT, kind of okay with drinking, kind of fasting ramadan people. So we really need to teach our young generation to be like many of the muslims i see on this forum; good, solid, intelligent humans that don't give a damn about anything if someone or a government were to break the law of Allah. They will stand strong. 

I also want to give you an example; i work for a company that has a head office in the US. They hold meetings and gathering every now and then, and all employees are expected to attend. We have the meetings at places such as hotels etc, and then we go out for dinner, and it is all free mixing, people swear, and morals are very low. They all drink, and talk crap. And we are also expected to fly to the US a couple times a year for meetings, and my last trip there... well daytime at office went by, and then evening time we had a ''office quiz'', They were all drinking, men and women all mixed, sometimes making sexual remarks, and then some guy gets up and starts stripping (luckily not fully naked). And you are really expected to attend these. 

So in terms of integration... honestly... if my wife wanted to work in a corporate company, i would so NO WAY IN HELL. NO. I DON'T GIVE A DAMN. I HAVE SEEN ENOUGH OF WHAT GOES ON. Even today i have heard enough sexual remarks, including a banana being paraded around as a penis by some very very senior colleague. And let me tell you, the company i work for is really, really tame. Really bloody tame. Other companies are much more wild. 

So bro we are stuck in between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand we want to integrate, but on the other how much are you willing to risk. For me, i certainly would never risk my wife working for a corporate. 

It's tough. And it only gets tougher for the more practicing and Allah fearing muslim. The only other way around it is if you have your own business, then you set your own rules. No worries in that case. Especially if you are very wealthy (million/billion). Then no worries. Stop your car and pray in a field. Because you have the flexibility to organise your schedule/timetable and surroundings and tailor them to make your islamic duties very very easy. 

Share this comment


Link to comment

@Gaius I. Caesar btw I want to emphasise again that I do certainly agree that we need to .... Hmm perhaps a better world than integrate is 'engage'. Our scholars and strong knowledgable Muslims certainly must engage the western secular society, and they must do it without being shy and without bending the words of Allah e.g. The sin of homosexuality, Islamic laws, roles of men and women and their respective rights assigned to each of them etc. And they better not changed their words or back down. We need this constant engagement from the higher level such as politicians, and also on the ground with strong Muslims like you, where you engage with your Christian friends and work colleagues etc. 

Again, all without compromising what Allah has made halal and haram. 

Share this comment


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Latest Blog Entries

    • By Abu Nur in Pearls of Wisdom
         0
      Imam Ali (as) asked, "If you knew the meaning of the words of the call to prayer, you would laugh little and weep much. The statement "Allah is the Greatest" has many meanings.   When the muezzin says "Allahu Akbar" it refers to His Eternity, His Sempiternity, His Infinity, His Knowledge, His Power, His Omnipotence, His Forbearance, His Munificence, His Generosity, His Bounty, and His Pride. When the muezzin says "Allahu Akbar" he proclaims that the Creation and the Command belong to Allah. He proclaims that creation came about as a result of His Will. He proclaims that He is the First of the First and He has always existed, and that He is the Last of the Last as He will always exist. He proclaims that He is the Manifest, who cannot be perceived, and that He is the Hidden, who is not subject to limitations of any sort. He proclaims that He is the Ever-Lasting, and that everything but Him will perish.   The second meaning of "Allahu Akbar" refers to the fact that He is All-Knowing, the All-Informed, who knows everything that has occurred and everything that will occur, even before it occurs.   The third meaning of  "Allahu Akbar" is that He is All-Powerful over everything. His power extends over everything. He is powerful due to His Power, and the Potent One over His Creation. He is Powerful in Essence, His Power embraces all things. When He decrees a thing, He only says to it, "Be," and it is.   The fourth  "Allahu Akbar" refers to His Forbearance and Generosity. He forbears as if He were unaware of the sins, pardons as if He did not see the sin, and covers with mercy as if He had not been disobeyd. He does not hasten punishment out of His Generosity, Forgiveness, and Forbearance.   Another meaning of "Allahu Akbar" is that He is Generous, Ample-Giving, and the Most Munificent. The other meaning of "Allahu Akbar" is to negate His Shape, and that Allah is Greater than any of His Attributes. Verily, those who describe Allah describe him on the basis of their own ability and not according to His Might and Majesty. Exalted is Allah, the Elevated, the Great, from what the attributes perceive as His Attributes.    Another meaning of "Allahu Akbar" refers to the fact that Allah is the Most High and Exalted. He is Self-Sufficient from His Servants. He is not in the need of the deeds of His Creation. [When in the end of Adhaan when muezzin recite final two Allahu Akbar, Imam Ali says...]   As for his statement "Allah is the Greatest" [Allahu Akbar] it means: Allah's Kindness towards His Creation is greater than anyone can possibly conceive. It refers to His Kindness towards His Servants through answering their prayers; His Kindness towards His Servants who obey Him, and who obey His Legal Guardians; His Kindness towards His Servants who servers Him, who preoccupies himself with Him and His Remembrance, who loves Him, and who befriend Him; His Kindness towards His Servants who finds tranquility in Him, who trusts Him, who fears Him, who puts his hope in Him, who yearns for Him, who accepts His Commands and Decrees, and who is pleased with Him.   The second time that [Allahu Akbar] is said it means: Allah's Kindness towards His Creation is so great that it cannot possibly be conceived. It refers to His Kindness towards His Friends, His Punishment of His Enemies, the extent of His Pardoning, His Forgiveness, and His Bounty towards those who answer His Call, and the Call of His Messenger. It also refers to the extent of His Punishment and His Humiliation of those who deny Him and who reject Him." from Kitab al-Tawheed.
    • By Intellectual Resistance in The Messenger of Allah ﷺ
         1
      بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
      All are from al-Kafi, Volume 2.
       
      علي بن إبراهيم ، عن أبيه ، عن ابن أبي عمير ، عن حبيب الخثعمي ، عن أبي عبد الله عليه‌السلام قال قال رسول الله صلى‌الله‌عليه‌وآله أفاضلكم أحسنكم أخلاقا الموطئون
      Grading: Hasan-Like-Saheeh
       
      علي بن إبراهيم ، عن أبيه ، عن ابن أبي عمير ، عن عبد الله بن سنان ، عن أبي عبد الله عليه‌السلام قال قال رسول الله صلى‌الله‌عليه‌وآله في خطبته ألا أخبركم بخير خلائق الدنيا والآخرة العفو عمن ظلمك وتصل من قطعك والإحسان إلى من أساء إليك وإعطاء من حرمك.
      Grading: Hasan-like-Saheeh
       
      عنه ، عن الهيثم بن أبي مسروق ، عن هشام بن سالم ، عن أبي عبد الله عليه‌السلام قال قال رسول الله صلى‌الله‌عليه‌وآله لرجل أتاه ألا أدلك على أمر يدخلك الله به الجنة قال بلى يا رسول الله قال أنل مما أنالك الله قال فإن كنت أحوج ممن أنيله قال فانصر المظلوم قال وإن كنت أضعف ممن أنصره قال فاصنع للأخرق يعني أشر عليه قال : فإن كنت أخرق ممن أصنع له قال فأصمت لسانك إلا من خير أما يسرك أن تكون فيك خصلة من هذه الخصال تجرك إلى الجنة؟.
      Grading:  Hasan
       
       
      عدة من أصحابنا ، عن أحمد بن محمد ، عن ابن فضال ، عن عاصم بن حميد ، عن أبي حمزة الثمالي ، عن أبي جعفر عليه‌السلام قال خطب رسول الله عليه‌السلام في حجة الوداع فقال يا أيها الناس والله ما من شيء يقربكم من الجنة ويباعدكم من النار إلا وقد أمرتكم به وما من شيء يقربكم من النار ويباعدكم من الجنة إلا وقد نهيتكم عنه ألا وإن الروح الأمين نفث في روعي أنه لن تموت نفس حتى تستكمل رزقها
       Grading: Saheeh and comes through multiple chains
       
      عنه ، عن أبيه ، عن سليمان الجعفري ، عن أبي الحسن الرضا ، عن أبيه عليه‌السلام قال رفع إلى رسول الله صلى‌الله‌عليه‌وآله قوم في بعض غزواته فقال من القوم فقالوا مؤمنون يا رسول الله قال وما بلغ من إيمانكم قالوا الصبر عند البلاء والشكر
      عند الرخاء والرضا بالقضاء فقال رسول الله صلى‌الله‌عليه‌وآله حلماء علماء كادوا من الفقه أن يكونوا أنبياء إن كنتم كما تصفون فلا تبنوا ما لا تسكنون ولا تجمعوا ما لا تأكلون واتقوا الله الذي إليه ترجعون.
      عدة من أصحابنا ، عن أحمد بن محمد بن خالد ، عن محمد بن إسماعيل بن بزيع ، عن محمد بن عذافر ، عن أبيه ، عن أبي جعفر عليه‌السلام قال بينا رسول الله صلى‌الله‌عليه‌وآله
      Grading: Saheeh and contains multiple chains.
       
       
      عدة من أصحابنا ، عن أحمد بن محمد ، عن عبد العظيم بن عبد الله الحسني ، عن أبي جعفر الثاني عليه‌السلام ، عن أبيه ، عن جده صلوات الله عليهم قال قال أمير المؤمنين عليه‌السلام قال رسول الله صلى‌الله‌عليه‌وآله إن الله خلق الإسلام فجعل له عرصة وجعل له نورا وجعل له حصنا وجعل له ناصرا فأما عرصته فالقرآن وأما نوره فالحكمة
      وأما حصنه فالمعروف وأما أنصاره فأنا وأهل بيتي وشيعتنا فأحبوا أهل بيتي وشيعتهم وأنصارهم فإنه لما أسري بي إلى السماء الدنيا فنسبني جبرئيل عليه‌السلام لأهل السماء استودع الله حبي وحب أهل بيتي وشيعتهم في قلوب الملائكة فهو عندهم وديعة إلى يوم القيامة ثم هبط بي إلى أهل الأرض فنسبني إلى أهل الأرض فاستودع الله عز وجل حبي وحب أهل بيتي وشيعتهم في قلوب مؤمني أمتي فمؤمنو أمتي يحفظون وديعتي في أهل بيتي إلى يوم القيامة ألا فلو أن الرجل من أمتي عبد الله عز وجل عمره أيام الدنيا ثم لقي الله عز وجل مبغضا لأهل بيتي وشيعتي ما فرج الله صدره إلا عن النفاق. 
      Grading: Hasan
       
       
      عنه ، عن عثمان بن عيسى ، عن عبد الله بن مسكان ، عن أبي عبد الله عليه‌السلام قال إن رسول الله صلى‌الله‌عليه‌وآله كان في سفر يسير على ناقة له إذا نزل فسجد خمس سجدات فلما أن ركب قالوا يا رسول الله إنا رأيناك صنعت شيئا لم تصنعه فقال نعم استقبلني ـ جبرئيلعليه‌السلام فبشرني ببشارات من الله عز وجل فسجدت لله شكرا لكل بشرى سجدة.
      Grading: Muwathaq
       
       
      قال رسول الله صلى‌الله‌عليه‌وآله من صدق الله نجا
      Grading: Hasan-Like Saheeh
       
       
       
      محمد بن يحيى ، عن أحمد بن محمد ، عن ابن محبوب ، عن أبي ولاد الحناط ، عن أبي عبد الله عليه‌السلامقال أربع من كن فيه كمل إيمانه وإن كان من قرنه إلى قدمه ذنوبا لم ينقصه ذلك قال وهو الصدق وأداء الأمانة والحياء وحسن الخلق.
      Grading: Saheeh
       
      علي بن إبراهيم ، عن أبيه ومحمد بن إسماعيل ، عن الفضل بن شاذان جميعا ، عن ابن أبي عمير ، عن إبراهيم بن عبد الحميد ، عن قيس أبي إسماعيل وذكر أنه لا بأس به من أصحابنا رفعه قال جاء رجل إلى النبي صلى‌الله‌عليه‌وآلهفقال : يا رسول الله أوصني فقال احفظ لسانك قال يا رسول الله أوصني قال احفظ لسانك قال : يا رسول الله أوصني قال احفظ لسانك ويحك وهل يكب الناس على مناخرهم في النار إلا حصائد ألسنتهم.
      Grading: Marfu’ , however the content is corroborated by many authentic chains, such as: 
      محمد بن يحيى ، عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى ، عن علي بن الحكم ، عن إبراهيم بن مهزم الأسدي ، عن أبي حمزة ، عن علي بن الحسين عليه‌السلام
    • By Qa'im in Imamology
         6

       
      The first creation of Allah is His will (mashi’a). The mashi’a is a created light that operates on the realm of the creation and interacts with the rest of creation. Since the mashi’a is subject to change and affect, it is separate from His Unified and Unknowable Essence.
      علي بن إبراهيم، عن أبيه، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن عمر بن اذينة، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: خلق الله المشيئة بنفسها ثم خلق الاشياء بالمشيئة.
      Imam Ja`far as-Sadiq (as) said, “Allah created the will (mashi’a) by its self. Then, He created the things by the will.”
      The mashi’a is one entity (ذات بسيطة) with four degrees (معلقات). These four degrees are His will (mashi’a), His desire (irada), His determining (qadr), and His actualization (qada).
      3يا يونس تعلم ما؛ المشيئة قلت لا قال هي الذکر الاول فتعلم ما الارادة قلت لا قال هي العزيمة على ما يشاء فتعلم ما القدر قلت لا قال هي الهندسة و وضع الحدود من البقاء و الفناء قال ثم قال و القضاء هو الابرام و اقامة العين
      Imam ar-Rida (as) said, “O Yunus! Do you know what the will (mashi’a) is?” Yunus said, “No.” Imam ar-Rida (as) said, “It is the first utterance (الذکر الاول). So do you know what the wish (الارادة) is?” He said, “No.” The Imam said, “It is the invitation to what He wants. So do you know what determining (qadr) is?” He said, “No.” The Imam said, “It is designing and organizing the parameters from beginning to end. And actualization (qada) is the confirmation and the establishment of the thing.”
      The mashi’a and the desire (irada) both denote the same object. However, when used together, they refer to different degrees within the mashi’a’s process. The first degree is the wish for a thing, the second degree is the assertion of that wish, the third degree is the organization of the parameters needed to bring about that wish, and the fourth degree is its execution. All of these levels are really one process, but in our understanding, it takes place in four stages.
      Mashi’a is a unity of action (fi`l) and reception (infi`al). While irada, qadr, and qada are masculine activities, the mashi’a is feminine in its receptivity to all of these active phases. This way, the mashi’a constitutes both self-acting and self-receiving. This reality is called the Great Depth (العمق الأكبر). Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa’i uses the term “the Kaf that Encircles Itself” (الكاف المستديرة على نفسها) to describe the duality of the mashi’a, because a circled letter Kaf resembles the yin-yang, and a yin-yang represents the complementary nature of contrary forces. The mashi’a is compared to Adam and Eve, the first promulgators of their species, through whose dimorphic reproduction all people came into existence.
      There are two types of divine actions (ja`l ilahi) in the Quran: formative action (جعل تكويني) and designative action (جعل تشريعي). Formative action refers to creating, establishing, and building. Allah says, “[He] who made (ja`ala) for you the earth as a bed and the sky as a ceiling” (2:22). Designative action refers to divine selection and legislation. Allah says, “Allah has made the Ka`ba, the Sacred House, an establishment for mankind.” (5:97) These two actions are further duplicated inversely in a dialectical process, which we will describe later.
      The mashi’a exists on the sempiternal plain (سرمد), which is a created level of infinity that is beyond the rest of creation. Allah, however, is Eternal (أزل), and therefore beyond sempiternity. In Allah’s Essence (ذات), there is no action; and He is beyond understanding. In the hierarchy of creation, the mashi’a is the first barrier (hijab), and there is nothing beyond it.
    • By Islamic Salvation in A Marginalia to Mu'jam
         1
      كان من غلمان أبي شاكر الزنديق، وهو جسمي ردي
      He was a student of Abi Shakir the Zindiq and a wretched corporealist
      - Sa’d b. Abdallah al-Qummi (d. 301) was not a fan of Hisham
       
      A Body Unlike Other bodies
      Would not considering God to be a body be likening Him to his creatures (who happen to be bodies)? It is to avoid this that Hisham formulated his compromise as demonstrated in the report below:
      محمد بن أبي عبدالله، عن محمد بن إسماعيل، عن علي بن العباس، عن الحسن ابن عبدالرحمن الحماني قال: قلت لابي الحسن موسى بن جعفر عليهما السلام: إن هشام بن الحكم زعم أن الله جسم ليس كمثله شئ، عالم، سميع، بصير، قادر، متكلم، ناطق، والكلام والقدرة والعلم يجري مجرى واحد، ليس شئ منها مخلوقا فقال: قاتله الله أما علم أن الجسم محدود والكلام غير المتكلم معاذ الله وأبرء إلى الله من هذا القول، لا جسم ولا صورة ولا تحديد وكل شئ سواه مخلوق، إنما تكون الاشياء بإرادته ومشيئته من غير كلام ولا تردد في نفس ولا نطق بلسان
      Muhammad b. Abi Abdillah – Muhammad b. Ismail – Ali b. al-Abbas – al-Hasan b. Abd al-Rahman al-Himmani who said: I said to Abi al-Hasan Musa b. Ja’far عليهما السلام: Hisham b. al-Hakam asserts that ‘Allah is a body - there is nothing like Him. All-Knowing, All-Hearing, All-Seeing, All-Powerful, Master of Speech, Speaker. Speech, power and knowledge are of the same type (essential attributes), nothing of them is created’. He (the Imam) said: Woe be upon him! Does he not know that a body is limited, and that speech is distinct from the Speaker. I seek refuge in Allah and disassociate to Allah from this doctrine. (He is) Not a body nor a human form. No delimitation (applies to Him). Everything apart from Him is created. The things are brought into existence by His intention and will, without speech, or deliberating in Himself, or intoning by tongue.          This indicates that while Hisham maintained that God was a body he tried to escape the error of Tashbih (likening God to His creatures) by defining God as a body incomparable to any thing else and therefore beyond imagination. While we should affirm that He is a body (because God is something) we cannot describe the body further. This makes it clear that all the lurid anthropomorphic descriptions attributed to him are false.
      In fact, he was a severe opponent of some of the traditionalist among the Shia and the school of Hisham b. Salim which relied on spurious narrations to ascribe Human form (shape) to God i.e. they understood ‘God creating humans in His image’ literally.  
      أبي، عن البزنطي، عن الرضا عليه السلام قال: قال لي: يا أحمد ما الخلاف بينكم وبين أصحاب هشام بن الحكم في التوحيد؟ فقلت: جعلت فداك قلنا نحن بالصورة للحديث الذي روي أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله رأي ربه في صورة شاب! فقال هشام ابن الحكم بالنفي بالجسم. فقال: يا أحمد إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله لما اسري به إلى السماء وبلغ عند سدرة المنتهى خرق له في الحجب مثل سم الابرة فرأى من نور العظمة ما شاء الله أن يرى، وأردتم أنتم التشبيه، دع هذا يا أحمد لا ينفتح عليك منه أمر عظيم
      My father – al-Bazanti – al-Ridha عليه السلام who said: O Ahmad, what is the difference between you and the followers of Hisham b. al-Hakam concerning Tawhid? I (Ahmad) said: May I be made your ransom - we hold the position of ‘the human form’ because of the report which is narrated from the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله that he saw his Lord in the form of a youth! While Hisham b. al-Hakam denies that and upheld ‘the body’. He said: O Ahmad, when the Messenger of Allahصلى الله عليه وآله  was made to ascend to the heaven and reached the ‘Furthest Lote tree’, the veils were rent for him the size of a needle’s eye, and he saw of the Light of sublimity what Allah wished him to see. But you seek by this Tashbih (ascribe an image to him). Leave this O Ahmad, lest something dreadful befall you on account of it.   Hisham’s views came to be summed up in the famous dicta:
      He is a body unlike other bodies (هو جسم لا كالأجسام)
       
      An Example of Hisham’s Argumentation
      None of Hisham’s written works, including his Kitab al-Tawhid (كتاب التوحيد), are available to us. This makes it difficult to speak of his thought as a whole. Instead, we have to rely on fragmentary evidence, such as the report below, to provide insight into his mode of argumentation.
      This is done with the caveat that generalizations must be avoided because the narrators might not be conveying the nuance of Hisham’s complex system accurately. Furthermore, Yunus b. Dhabayn is a particularly unreliable narrator (accused of Ghulu) and could very well be biased against Hisham.
      محمد بن أبي عبدالله، عن محمد بن إسماعيل، عن الحسين بن الحسن، عن بكر بن صالح، عن الحسن بن سعيد، عن عبدالله بن المغيرة، عن محمد بن زياد قال: سمعت يونس بن ظبيان يقول: دخلت على أبي عبدالله عليه السلام فقلت له: إن هشام بن الحكم يقول قولا عظيما إلا أني أختصر لك منه أحرفا فزعم أن الله جسم لان الاشياء شيئان: جسم وفعل الجسم فلا يجوز أن يكون الصانع بمعنى الفعل ويجوز أن يكون بمعنى الفاعل فقال أبوعبدالله عليه السلام: ويحه أما علم أن الجسم محدود متناه والصورة محدودة متناهية فإذا احتمل الحد احتمل الزيادة والنقصان وإذا احتمل الزيادة والنقصان كان مخلوقا قال: قلت: فما أقول؟ قال: لا جسم ولا صورة وهو مجسم الاجسام ومصور الصور، لم يتجزء ولم يتناه ولم يتزايد ولم يتناقص، لو كان كما يقولون لم يكن بين الخالق والمخلوق فرق ولا بين المنشئ والمنشأ لكن هو المنشئ فرق بين من جسمه وصوره وأنشأه، إذ كان لا يشبهه شئ ولا يشبه هو شيئا
      Muhammad b. Abi Abdillah – Muhammad b. Ismail – al-Husayn b. al-Hasan – Bakr b. Salih – al-Husayn b. Sai’d – Abdallah b. al-Mughira – Muhammad b. Ziyad who said: I heard Yunus b. Dhubyan saying: I entered in to see Abi Abdillah عليه السلام and said to him: Hisham b. al-Hakam holds a grave position. I will summarize it for you in a few words - He claims that ‘Allah is a body, because there can only be two things: ‘body’ and the ‘action of a body’. It is not possible for the Maker to be defined as an action, but it is permissible to define him as an actor’. Abu Abillah عليه السلام  said: Woe be upon him - does he not know that a corporeal body is limited and transient (comes to an end), and that a human form is limited and transient. When he allows the possibility of limits (bounds) then he has allowed the possibility of increase and decrease, and if he allows the possibility of increase and decrease then that one is a created. He (Yunus) said: What should I believe? He said: Not a corporeal body nor a human form. He is the embodier of bodies and the fashioner of forms. He has no constituent parts nor does He perish. He does not increase nor decrease. If He were as they say then there would not be any difference between the creator and the created, nor a difference between the originator and the originated. However he is the originator who differentiated between those whom he made into a body, and others to whom He gave form and those He originated, for nothing is like Him nor is He like anything.  To Recap: Hisham’s view was that God is ‘something’ and as such ‘an existent body’. As a body, God can be a carrier of ‘characteristics’, namely His attributes (Sifat) which, are neither He Himself nor are they not He Himself; therefore, they have no independent existence and according to their nature are action.
      Or put somewhat differently: there is nothing except bodies and their action (fiʿl). But action is also always caused (fiʿl); for this reason God cannot be action (fiʿl). Therefore, He is a body. One can also turn this the other way round; action, can only come forth from a body; therefore, God must be a body.
       
      The Influence of Abu Shakir al-Daysani
      The argument above is so close to what is attributed to Abu Shakir al-Daysani that a link between the two cannot be avoided. Consider the words of the latter reproduced below (from Qadi Abd al-Jabbar’s Mughni):
      وحكى عن أبي شاكر انه ... يثبت الحركة ويزعم أنها صفة للتحرك لا هي هو ولا غيره وأنكر ان تكون شيئا او تكون لا شيء وقال ان التغاير والقول بأنه شيء لا يقعان الا على الأجسام والحركة ليست بجسم
      He held that there is action (movement) and maintained that it is an attribute of acting (by the Actor) and is neither identical with the latter (the Actor) nor different from Him. He would neither concede that it is something nor that it is nothing. By way of explanation he said: Mutual difference and being designated as ‘something’ are only valid for bodies; action, however, is not a body. Note the same dichotomy between body and the action of a body, as well as the notion that only a body can be referred to as ‘thing’.
      It is not surprising then to encounter a report that makes their association explicit:
      علي بن محمد، قال: حدثني محمد بن أحمد، عن العباس بن معروف عن أبي محمد الحجال، عن بعض أصحابنا، عن الرضا عليه السلام قال: ذكر الرضا عليه السلام العباسي، فقال: هو من غلمان أبي الحارث يعني يونس بن عبد الرحمن، وأبو الحارث من غلمان هشام، وهشام من غلمان أبي شاكر الديصاني، وأبو شاكر زنديق
      Ali b. Muhammad – Muhammad b. Ahmad – al-Abbas b. Ma’ruf – Abi Muhammad al-Hajjal – one of our companions – al-Ridha عليه السلام. al-Ridha عليه السلام mentioned al-Abbasi and said: He is one of the students of Abi al-Harith, that is Yunus b. Abd al-Rahman, and Abu al-Harith is one of the students of Hisham, and Hisham is one of the students of Abi Shakir al-Daysani, and Abu Shakir is a Zindiq. This example of shared language should not be taken to mean that Hisham was a blind-follower for he was a theologian in his own right. Hisham sought to re-frame the statements of the Imam into a coherent system while interacting with other thinkers of the time. Proof of this can be demonstrated by the fact that he authored the book Radd ‘alal-zanadiqa (كتاب الرد على الزنادقة) refuting Abu Shakir and his peers.
      In fact, the main influence of Abu Shakir on Hisham was confined to his theories on the natural world, what we might label ‘physics’. His theory of the interpenetration (mudakhala) of bodies corresponds, as is known, to the dualist belief in the mixture of light and darkness. Hisham’s support of this theory entailed the rejection of atomism in favour of infinite divisibility of matter and the thesis that bodies may pass from one place to another without moving through the intervening space (tafra).   
       
      Who was Abu Shakir?
      It is appropriate at this juncture to delve a bit more into this enigmatic person. Abu Shakir figures in many debates with Imam al-Sadiq in our literature. The historicity of these encounters cannot be confirmed. He is presented as a proto-Atheist who doubts the createdness of the world. The most popular question he is supposed to have asked the Imam was whether God could fit the whole world in an egg without enlarging the egg or making the world smaller.  
      Abu Shakir has been labelled a Zindiq. The exact connotation of this term is open to debate as it lacks a precise definition and has been used in different contexts over time. The word generally means apostate or freethinker but can also have a much more precise meaning of ‘Manichean’ (followers of Mani). The latter was a religious movement well-known for its Dualist cosmology as a model for explaining the world i.e. the idea of two principles which ‘mixed together’ and caused everything to emerge from them.
      In this case, the latter interpretation seems better supported in light of the fact that Abu Shakir has been referred to with the title ‘al-Daysani’. The Daysanites were distant followers of one called Bardesanes (Ibn Daysan) who died six years before Mani was born. Ibn al-Nadim says that Bardesanes ‘was called Daysan after the river near which he was born’. Bardesanes (d. 223) had indeed lived in Edessa as ‘the son’ of the Daysan which flowed through the city and occasionally overflowed its banks. His school lived on in Edessa into the late 7th or early 8th century.
      Bardesanes was a major influence on Mani and his followers became virtually indistinguishable within the larger Manichean tradition. All these streams subscribed to variations of the same dualist cosmology.
      Abu Shakir lived in a Kufa that was a boiling pot wherein diverse traditions mixed. It was a mileu without rigid boundaries between different sects and where borrowing was rampant. What were seen as heresies and persecuted by certain rulers were tolerated by others. Abu Shakir became infamous for his polemics and was finally crucified in the Khilafa of the Abbasid Caliph al-Mahdi before the year 785.
       
      The Correct Position
      What was the Aimma’s position in this debate? The answer is very clear from the reports presented. They never spoke using Greek-influenced neo-platonic terminologies. They rejected the use of the term ‘body’ for God, pointing out the fact that any ‘body’ would by definition be finite and mortal - qualities which do not apply to God.
      What is not understood is how Hisham answered this charge. How was he able to reconcile between the truism that every body by definition has constraints (limits) with his conception of God? It is possible that he felt his statement ‘a body unlike all other bodies’ was inclusive of transcending the limits inherent in other bodies. But if that were case then what would be the the sense of holding God to still be a body. Does not the term lose significance? God must share one or some aspects with other bodies for the word to retain meaning. What aspect would that be?
      It is possible that his acceptance of the system of Abu Shakir and Jahm was so complete that he felt that the definition of any ‘thing’ (shayy) as ‘existent body’ (jism mawjud) was axiomatic. A starting point which must be accepted before any further theological speculation can continue. God had to be a thing because if He was not then he was nothing, from which follows ‘God was a body’ in his system. What kind of body? A body unlike any other body. But still a body in at least some sense. And that is the rub of the problem. 
       
      To be continued ... 
    • By Abu Nur in Pearls of Wisdom
         1
      Then to Him belongs praise,
      in place of His every favour upon us
      and upon all His servants, past and still remaining,
      to the number of all things His knowledge encompasses,
      and in place of each of His favours,
      their number doubling and redoubling always and forever,
      to the Day of Resurrection;
      a praise whose bound has no utmost end,
      whose number has no reckoning,
      whose limit cannot be reached,
      whose period cannot be cut off;
      a praise which will become
      a link to His obedience and pardon,
      a tie to His good pleasure,
      a means to His forgiveness,
      a path to His Garden,
      a protector against His vengeance,
      a security against His wrath,
      an aid to obeying Him,
      a barrier against disobeying Him,
      a help in fulfilling His right and His duties;
      a praise that will make us felicitous
      among His felicitous friends,
      and bring us into the ranks
      of those martyred by the swords of His enemies.
      He is a Friend, Praiseworthy!
      Al-Sahifat al-Sajjadiyya Supplication 1
    • By Hameedeh in Think Positive
         13
      Two years ago I became a minimalist. I'm not talking about music, sculpture or painting, but minimalism in my life. I read about creating a minimalist home, but I did not buy the book:
      http://zenhabits.net/a-guide-to-creating-a-minimalist-home/
      So, I am thrifty and I buy very little. Whenever I am shopping and see a dozen things I want to own, I question myself. Do I have storage space for this? Is this really necessary? Will I really love it or is it just something that I never had before and always wanted to have one? Just wanting to possess something is not a good reason to buy it. Could I take a photo of it and just look at it, without spending my money? This must be a good reason to join Pinterest, to have all the things you want to look at, but never need to buy, store or move them. 
      As you have seen, my ShiaChat blog is minimalist by nature. I usually say very little, because if there is one thing that I know, it is that I recognize great writing when I see it, but I am not a good writer. I hope to become a better writer some day, and in the meantime, I invite you to my tumblr. Please, if you can, start at the last page which shows my first post (a prayer for the safety of 12th Imam AJ) and then scroll your way up, and over to previous pages in chronological order, the way my brain was working. 
      http://hameedeh.tumblr.com/page/3
      ♥ May your days be sunny, your nights restful, and your heart satisfied with the blessings that Allah has given you. Think Positive. ♥
    • By shadow_of_light in From Earth to Heaven
         0
      "Indeed Allah taught me and He taught me well"*
      *"ان الله ادبنی فاحسن تادیبی"

      During these thousands of years, God tested me frequently until I got permission to return to Him.
      Now, I am going to fly; but how can I do it without my wings?
      Everytime I committed a sin, I lost one of my feathers. I must find the feathers and rebuild my wings.
      I found a feather at the foot of the Rocky Mount and another feather in a rivulet, floating in the water. One feather was close to the Mirror of Truth and many feathers were around the Square House.
      I am going to fly towards paradise... Towards paradise?!... No!...Somewhere higher...much higher than paradise.
      Somewhere that even Gabriel cannot go...I need to make my wings stronger than Gabriel's.
      I am going to fly to Qab-e Qawsain...To Qab-e Qawsain and maybe closer**
       
      Footnotes:
      * a narration from the prophet (s)
      ** surah Najm: 8. Then he came near, and hovered around. 9. He was within two bows’ length, or closer.
       
      ------------------------------
      کاروانی از ملائک تا به عرش
      ردشان کرده فلک را نقش نقش

      میزبان بی نظیری شد بهشت
      از برای مردمان خوش سرشت
       
      تا بیاید بهر دیدار خدا
      کرد روح خویش را از تن جدا
      قیدها و بندها را باز کرد
      تا به اوج آسمان پرواز کرد
      چهره اش روشن تر از مهتاب شد
      آفتاب از خجالت آب شد
       
      اینک از منازل تاریک و ظلمانی نفس عبور کرده و از خود به سوی خدا مهاجرت میکنم...
      *********
      ان الله ادبنی فاحسن تأدیبی؛ خداوند مرا تربیت نمود و چه نیکو تربیت نمود!

      در این چند هزار سال پروردگار مرا به اموری فراوان امتحان فرمود تا اینکه سرانجام توانستم جواز عروج به سوی او را اخذ کنم. آیا رخداد خوشی که بهار خبرش را به من داده بود، همین نبود؟

      اینک عزم پرواز دارم ولی پرنده که بدون بال نمیتواند پرواز کند حتی اگر در قفس برایش گشوده باشد.
       باید چاره ای اندیشید. برای بازگشت به موطنم باید به سوی آسمان پرواز کنم. باید بالهایم را پیدا
      کنم.  
      هر بار که گناهی میکردم پری از بالهایم جدا میشد. باید پرها را پیدا کنم تا بتوانم بالهایم را بسازم.
      پری را در پای کوه سنگی یافتم و پری را در جویباری، روان بر روی آب. پری را در کنار آینه حقیقت و پرهای بسیاری را پیرامون خانه چهارگوش

      میخواهم به سوی بهشت پرواز کنم... به سوی بهشت؟! نه! نه! به جایی بالاتر، خیلی بالاتر، جایی که حتی جبرئیل هم نمیتواند به آنجا راه یابد. باید بالهایم را قدرتمندتر از بالهای جبرئیل بسازم...
      میخواهم به سوی قاب قوسین پرواز کنم... به سوی قاب قوسین و شاید هم نزدیکتر*
       
      * ثم دنی فتدلی. فکان قاب قوسین أو أدنی
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Blog Statistics

    67
    Total Blogs
    291
    Total Entries
×