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      Attention: Beware of Online Predators - 28 August 2015   11/23/2015

      Dear All Social media (which includes forums, social network platforms, Wikipedia, blogs etc.) is a great way of learning and communication. It is also a means to connect with people worldwide. There is however a risk of young people becoming victims of online predators just as there is a threat in real life. Online predators usually incite teenagers to do things that may be rebellious, ‘cool’, unorthodox and, bluntly speaking, acts of sexual nature. Predators may also look for vulnerabilities of others and prey on the victims in a subtle or direct manner. Shiachat is no exception to such threats and the leadership team treats them seriously. While we do our best to investigate and even inform authorities (if needed), we would like to raise awareness that online predators may be lurking in our community. Things that you need to keep in mind about predators: Just because people are knowledgeable and appear religious does not mean we can trust them blindly. Predators may be wearing cloak of nobility, intellect, religiosity, liberalism and modern enlightenment. Predators may encourage you to do things that may be legal or generally acceptable based on Islamic traditions, but highly controversial and sensitive in your family, community and society. For example, temporary marriage with a view to permanent marriage in the future, or secret meetings/dating e.t.c. Participation in such activities may pose serious risk since the predator may blackmail you in the future, abuse or mistreat you or simply betray your trust. Not to mention guilt and internal conflicts within your family and community. Please be ware. If it helps, create a separate anonymous account to discuss your situation with an admin or a mod before you take any step that may negatively affect you in the long term (You can also refer to our Brothers & Sisters Consultancy Groups) Predators may attempt to establish communication on external platforms (besides Shiachat) Predators may keep most of their discussions in private (It is in your best interest to keep personal communication to a minimum and professional in nature) Predators may ask questions of personal nature in order to prey on your vulnerabilities in the future Predators may share sad stories about themselves and may go as far as claiming that they are suicidal ( please refer them to senior members or mods rather than trying to assist through personal conversations)   Your Cooperation is needed: If there is doubt about someone’s activities on the forum, please collect as much data as you can and forward to the admins. If someone contacts you in private and continues to hassle you despite polite decline, please report him or her to the admins or mods The above mentioned criteria is also applicable to Shiachat Leadership Team. So please report any mod or admin if you have reasonable grounds to believe that he or she is acting strangely or not within boundaries of professionalism. If you wish to discuss personal issue on the forums, please avoid disclosing private information (names, location e.t.c). Avoid sharing information that will make it easier for people to identify you. We also suggest to be cautious when uploading or sharing personal pictures. If you recall posting emotional stuff and confessions, definitely should avoid posting pics. Create a new (clean) profile for that purpose. Regards
      SC Team

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  1. Happy 2017 Everybody! Enjoy the largest tag tower ever created, designed by me but created by YOU! Find your personalized enscribed brick of the tower here! @Ali @Abbas. @Ya Aba 3abdillah @repenter @Qa'im @hameedeh @Administrator @Abu Hadi @Dhulfikar @H2O @Haji 2003 @Haydar Husayn @Khadim uz Zahra @magma @Muhammed Ali @notme @starlight @Cake @Heavenly_Silk @ShiaChat Moderator @Gaius I. Caesar @Hamzah313 @baradar_jackson @IbnSina @Martyrdom @kamyar @Pearl178 @Shaykh Patience101 @Abraram @Aabiss_Shakari @Marbles @Ruq @Darth Vader @mina @Ibn al-Hussain @Chaotic Muslem @Ali Musaaa :) @Abu Tufayl @Akbar673 @AnaAmmar1 @Laayla @DigitalUmmah @uponthesunnah @haideriam @shiaman14 @-Enlightened @Propaganda_of_the_Deed @LeftCoastMom @King @Gypsy @Shia_Debater @hasanhh @E.L King @zainabamy @Sapphire @Ali Mahdi @Sumayyeh @narsis @Al-Hassan @Al-Mufeed @Ali-F @Kamranistan @Hasan0404 @Bakir @Brained @Noah- @kadhim @IbnSohan @Maryaam @Wise Muslim @GreyMatter @wolverine @placid @Son of Placid @pwwnd123 @alidu78 @YAli @sidnaq @Fresh-imaan @Shiawarrior313 @Hassan Y @StarryNight @Jimmy Boy @Hussein_Valerio @yusur317 @ErikCartman @j.angel @kirtc @Struggling_onn @LinkZelda @hayaah @Irfani313 @apofomysback @Irfan1214 @Niloofar @sefket83 @ali_fatheroforphans @Zendegi @Islandsandmirrors @Aftahb @Afsaneh14 @Aladin from Azra tribe @Engineer73 @ChattingwithShias @Mansur Bakhtiari @habib e najjaar @Ibn Al-Shahid @HumanForLife @Enlightened Follower @SoRoUsH @The_Bible @Replicant @silasun @Islamic Salvation @coldcow @zeesh_ali110 @Caliguy @Zahra1 @Ali.Isa @A true Sunni @Wahdat @Nader Zaveri @jannahismygoal @Ethics @Rasul @P. Ease @Saintly_Jinn23 @BabyBeaverIsAKit @Miss Wonderful @Jebreil @.InshAllah. @shiasoldier786 @aliasghark @Lover of Ahlulbait (ams) @ireallywannaknow @Basim Ali @Noor al Batul @Inquisitor @alHussein @skamran110 @certainclarity @alirex @Jahangiram @power @Naz_ @reisiger @realizm @Servidor @mesbah @Tonks @beardedbaker @lalala123 @S.M.H.A. @eThErEaL @Ibn Al-Ja'abi @Al-Hussayni @Christianlady @SlaveOfAllah14 @Fatima Hussain @Hidaren @Rohani @amirhosein_88 @ElAhmed @skylight2 @saas @enigma313 @mahdi servant.01 @hezbul-ghaaleb @iCambrian @Convertible @Logic @Golden-crowned @alisayyed @gentleman. @Murtada @Panzerwaffe @pyaro @RiseOrDie @rkazmi33 @Ozzy @JawzofDETH @tawakkal @Anisa Bandeh Khoda @myouvial @HayderM @Auriba @amr @Jaabir @Shian e Ali @shia farm girl @iraqi_shia @strength=Abbas @Faruk @abbas110 @Ya_isa (as) @Khudayar @maes @David66 @wmehar2 @Amina @Highflyer @Haydar Karrar @sadegh @Journey of Truth @syeduddin @Al Hadi @QiiQii @Jaffery15 @sayedamir2000 @It's me hello @Lordofgemini @000 @forte @Mzwakhe @saeid tavakoli @SO SOLID SHIA @Deewan @mostafaa @yam_110 @The Light @Salati AbdulQadir @Quisant @ShiaBwoy @AnotherShepherd @mayf321d @Purged @andres @Ron_Burgundy @Mahdi_theguideforall @aliyah21 @gerashi_mp @diyaa110 @Yasmin P @Nadia. @313 Seeker @shiarevert_1628 @yashia @Fatima NMA @rotten_coconut @Nocturne @shreek @~RuQaYaH~ @ephemeral @yasahebalzaman.313 @Sadat110 @salman1 @JasmineAila @Abdul Majid @ice unicorn @thuglife @sakura1994 @layman @onereligion @Fish @Syed.Dynasty @110_Fatima @Asr @Syed Hussain @Ali Hamieh @Kilij @Inception @humanbeing101 @Alireza Huseini @Shaikh Hakim @Musa Sadr @Jay @Pearl3112 @Mohamed1993 @NormaL_UseR @Janaat @Renaissance_Man @Chipkali @ChristianVisitor @Fahad Sani @Mahdavist @MuhammadXII @Inconsolable @Wisdom007 @Night_Inshallah @Mahdi Mortezapour @Jawid Akbari @Nataly @Learner2526 @Rectify @Jafar moh @Jahangiram @Belle @Kamaaluddeen al-Ismail @Muslim3388 @Amber Saif @alimr313 @MuhammedAli @Al-Qibli @Palabras @Semanta @shia2000 @Habil Ali @Sol 7 @Ali Ruh @Hashasheen217 @Aquib Rizvi @zahraaa1 @Zuljenah@TimeforM @Danish-Ali @ireallywannaknow@Netzari@goldenhawk@Zakariya Ali@Quiet one @mesbah@Peer@chitown@humanbeing101@ElAhmed
    93 likes
  2. As the school-term comes to an end, and there was some time that I could spare for my self, I've thought a lot about how my views on life, religion, man's relationship with God, and the world around me, have changed over the years. This is going to be a pretty random rant - but I guess that is what blogs are for . As of now, it has been 4 years since I moved to the seminary in Qom, and while there are many brothers and sisters here who spent many years on ShiaChat, many of them have either asked for their accounts to be deleted, with all of their posts, or have completely abandoned the forum all together or visit once in a while. I'm one of the handful of those who have not asked for my account to be deleted. All my posts from my early teenage years to now mid and late-20s are there. Personally, I never felt I had anything to hide - my posts are pretty much who I am. One can clearly see the early phase of an excited teenager learning a thing or two about the religion, with very deep-rooted presumptions about life, to a hyper kid getting accustomed to a some-what celebrity status, loved & hated by so many, to then entering university life and maturing up (some may disagree ), and eventually entering into the work-force, married, moving to a different country, kids etc. While browsing through my earliest posts back in 2004, I was really able to just reflect on not just how much I have changed, but even how much influence (positive or negative) people on this forum have had on me. Of course this was not happening in a vacuum. I was interacting with all sorts of people - albeit behind a screen. There are so many real names, user-names, and names that I don't even remember - all of them - that I can recall, and in hindsight, see how each and everyone of them played a role in the development of my ideas, the stances and decisions I made in life, the open-mindedness I developed, or even the doubts I may have developed over various issues, and the questions that would remain unanswered for months and years. This is very obvious for me even while I study in the seminary. The questions I may ask, the extent of tolerance I may show, the critiques I may mention, the willingness to really question some of our "famous" theological or historical views - some of these things make other students and at times even teachers really uncomfortable. Nevertheless, I believe this is in part due to what transpired on this forum and I am happy for it. This forum was like a large community center. It wasn't a community center for a specific ethnicity, or a culture, or converts or a specific gender. This forum for a large part was a community for those who either didn't have access to a real community where they lived, or were not satisfied with the communities that they belonged to. I believe it represented quite accurately the state of the Shi'a (primarily in the West) for a large part. It collectively represented the views that persisted and continue to persist amongst the Shi'a. Unfortunately, it is this portion of the Shi'a populous that often gets unnoticed outside of virtual reality. The inability of those leading us (for the most part) to really dissect and decipher the state of an average Shi'a's mindset, has really been one of the major issues for our communities in the West. The ignorance towards the epistemological framework that an average Shi'a growing in the West acquires through the education system or simply by living there, the delusional presumption that somehow a sub-culture contained within the 4-walls of a building will be able to preserve itself and overcome a dominant culture outside, the satisfaction of merely entertaining the audience with shallow lectures & speeches - while not addressing important and crucial matters: the cure for all of this seems to be have been missing in the last few decades, primarily due to ignorance towards it. On a rare encounter I may have with a lost-long SCer, Its interesting to see how many stayed religious as they were, or were irreligious and become religious, or remained irreligious, or how so many are now going through a faith crisis as they have grown and began questioning and pondering over life's crucial mysteries. Reflecting back on what views I held and what views I hold now, nostalgia overtook me and I started browsing through old posts, old pictures, audio and video files that I still have saved from a decade ago (had a seriously good laugh over some audio files of @SO SOLID SHIA I still have with me). It is really weird how all of a sudden around 2012/2013 the forum just died. As if everyone switched off their plugs and disappeared. People definitely have to move on with their lives, no doubt about that. Of course there were some people who left much earlier, but this sudden silence is really absurd and that it wasn't replaced with a new batch of talented, and educated individuals is really hard to explain. Perhaps those members who are still lingering around from the early 2000s ( @Gypsy @DigitalUmmah @Darth Vader @Abbas. @Haji 2003 @Abu Hadi @Wise Muslim @Qa'im @notme) and are still in touch with those who have left, maybe they can work on a ShiaChat Reunion of some sort. Perhaps get in contact with old members and request them to make a moment's appearance and leave some remarks on what they are up to in life! What changes have taken place in your lives, in your views, in your lifestyle - if any? There were some members I had such a great time with, and it felt as if we would remain friends forever. It would be great to be able to reconnect with them. @Baatil Ka Kaatil @Matami-Shah @Zain @Hasnain @Abdulhujjah @Peer @fyst @Syedmed @Nida_e_Zahra @hmMm @SpIzo @venusian @sana_abbas @fatimak @HR @asifnaqvi @Bollywood_Hero @phoenix @blessing @zanyrulez @wilayah @Hajar @Zuljenah @LaYdee_110 @fadak_166 @raat ki rani @Friend of All @queenjafri @Simba @Path2Felicity @3ashiqat-Al-Batoul @-Enlightened @karateka @A follower @hameedeh @lethaldefense @kaaju barfi @Friend of All @Ya Aba 3abdillah ...there are dozens of other members if I keep going.
    26 likes
  3. This is an open statement to the admins and a direct threat to them: Make me a chat admin now or a revolution will happen. Since 2012 I have not been blessed by the beautiful sight of being a chat admin. Therefore: I dare you not to make a chat admin today. Thank you for very much, and jazakumullah khayral jazza!
    23 likes
  4. Educate yourself, not just formal education, but generally. Be aware of the state of the ummah at all times. Grow basirah, and enlighten others. What Imam needs is smart, aware and educated (formal and other) people. Mourning and duas and all that is excellent, but worth nothing if carried by unaware people. Heck, the army of yazeed prayed on time too, awareness was lacking. When you do this, you must then help others do the same.
    16 likes
  5. 67 - الغيبة للنعماني: روي عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام: أنه قال: من دخل في هذا الدين بالرجال أخرجه منه الرجال كما أدخلوه فيه، ومن دخل فيه بالكتاب والسنة زالت الجبال قبل أن يزول. Imam Ja`far as-Sadiq [a] said, "Whoever enters this religion due to people will also leave it due to people just as he entered it. And, whoever enters it due to the Book and the Sunna, then mountains would fall before he would ever fall." (Nu`mani's Ghayba)
    16 likes
  6. Qa'im

    Jesus' Wool Garment

    A Muslim account of Jesus Christ's ascension from Tafsir al-`Ayashi: Imam Ja`far as-Sadiq (a) said, "Jesus the son of Mary ascended whilst wearing a rabbinical garment made of wool spun from the yarn of Mary, the weaving of Mary, and the sewing of Mary. When he came to the heaven, it was called, 'O Jesus! Remove the frills of this world from yourself.'" (رفع عيسى بن مريم عليه بمدرعة (4) صوف من غزل مريم، ومن نسج مريم ومن خياطة مريم فلما انتهى إلى السماء نودى يا عيسى ألق عنك زينة الدنيا.) This reference is actually very interesting. This expression, "rabbinical garment", has a very specific connotation in Jewish mysticism. There is a concrete term in Kabbalah, חלוקא דרבנן, precisely "rabbinical garment", which refers to the ethereal body of saints, somewhat similar to the body of people we see in the dream, visible and tangible yet not material in our crude sense. It is linked to Shechinah. Removing the garment may indicate ascension to higher levels beyond. When angels appeared in human form to Abraham, there were also wearing some type of "rabbinical garment". It works as a bridge between physical and spiritual. Of course, Jesus in Muslim hadith literature is linked to themes of asceticism, and in this narration, Jesus is being asked to shed his attachment to this sentimental article of clothing before gaining proximity to God. Removing this rabbinical garment may be a symbol for Jesus' exit from the imaginal realm (which is between the fully material and the fully immaterial) and entry into the divine presence.
    16 likes
  7. 15 likes
  8. Please spare a dua that I get a much better paying job and make my trek to the Holy Sanctuary this year, inshAllah. Then the admins can rename me Haji2017
    15 likes
  9. The whole administration team after Ali F's post.
    14 likes
  10. Jeez @magma ... how long did it take? Thank you. Happy new year to all.
    14 likes
  11. You know, at first I was thinking, wow, LinkZelda is really going off on a tangent here. Then, I realised that the same people shouting Ya Ali are insulting a fellow brother in faith for nothing more than some advice - unsolicited, sure, but not harmful or insulting, just plain advice. So, when he says that we say Ya Ali all the time but don't heed his words, I'm actually starting to see how his post perhaps does belong here.
    14 likes
  12. Qa'im

    Trees are People

    Trees play a prominent role in many religious texts. With their roots in the ground and their branches stretching toward the sky, trees are linked to the heavens and the Earth, the spiritual and the material, and the vertical and the horizontal. They are like an axis or a pole that stands between both worlds. Its greenery is a symbol of life, its shade is a symbol of comfort, and its fruits are a symbol of fertility. As deciduous trees shed their leaves in some seasons, they are resurrected in others, demonstrating God's power to bring life to the dead. Ancient people drew parallels between trees and people. A tree's fruit became a symbol of one's offspring, deeds, or knowledge, and a diagram detailing your family "roots" is a "family tree". There are many Islamic examples where this same parallel is made: The Prophet Muhammad (s) said, "A hypocrite is like the trunk of a palm tree. When its owner intends to use it in construction, it does not fit in the place he wants it to fit. He then tries to fit it elsewhere, but it still does not fit. So in the end, he throws it in the fire." ( قال رسول الله صلى‌الله‌عليه‌وآلهمثل المنافق مثل جذع النخل أراد صاحبه أن ينتفع به في بعض بنائه فلم يستقم له في الموضع الذي أراد فحوله في موضع آخر فلم يستقم له فكان آخر ذلك أن أحرقه بالنار ) The trunk in this example is the hypocrite. The carpenter sees that it is a trunk, and potentially useful, but it does not meet his requirements. Similarly, Allah tests and tries the hypocrite, but when He sees no good and no use in him, He punishes the hypocrite with hellfire. The Prophet Muhammad (s) said, "The believers are like sprouting plants that are swirled back and forth by the winds, as the believers are also turned and bent by pain and illness. The hypocrites are like iron rods that are not affected by anything, until they meet death and are shattered by it." ( قال رسول الله صلى‌الله‌عليه‌وآله مثل المؤمن كمثل خامة الزرع تكفئها الرياح كذا وكذا وكذلك المؤمن تكفئه الأوجاع والأمراض ومثل المنافق كمثل الإرزبة المستقيمة التي لا يصيبها شيء حتى يأتيه الموت فيقصفه قصفا ) Just as the trees and plants are abused by strong gusts of wind, the believer is tried with his desires (hawa, هوى, which also means "wind"). The hypocrite however is not swirled by the wind because he lives in complete heedlessness (ghafla), and is stiffened by his wickedness, until Allah destroys him. “And those who believed and did righteous deeds will be admitted to gardens beneath which rivers flow, abiding eternally therein by permission of their Lord; and their greeting therein will be, "Peace!" Have you not considered how Allah presents an example, [making] a good word like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches [high] in the sky? It produces its fruit all the time, by permission of its Lord. And Allah presents examples for the people that perhaps they will be reminded. And the example of a bad word is like a bad tree, uprooted from the surface of the earth, not having any stability.” (14:24-26) Imam Ja`far as-Sadiq [a] was asked about the verse, "as a goodly tree, its root set firm, its branches reaching into the sky." (14:24) He said, "The Messenger of Allah (s) is its root, Amir al-Mu'mineen is its branches, the Imams from their progeny are its twigs, the knowledge of the Imams are its fruits, and their believing Shi`a are its leaves. By Allah, when a believer gives birth, a leaf sprouts on it; and when a believers dies, a leaf falls from it." ( سألت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام عن قول الله: " كشجرة طيبة أصلها ثابت وفرعها في السماء " قال: فقال: رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله أصلها، وأمير المؤمنين عليه السلام فرعها، والائمة من ذريتهما أغصانها وعلم الائمة ثمرتها وشيعتهم المؤمنون ورقها، هل فيها فضل؟ قال: قلت: لا والله، قال: والله إن المؤمن ليولد فتورق ورقة فيها وإن المؤمن ليموت فتسقط ورقة منها. ) This is an interesting exegesis, and it is crucial to understanding the Quran's analogy. Allah says that a good word is like a good tree. As we know, Jesus (as) was called a "word" (3:45), and in Shi`i exegesis, a word is a person, because Allah summons a person into existence by simply saying a word ("be!", kun faya koon). Allah then compares a goodly word to a goodly tree (shajaratin tayyiba), and this tree may indeed be the Blessed Tree ("shajarat tuba") described elsewhere in the Quran and hadith literature, as the previous verse is describing Paradise, and tuba and tayyiba come from the same root word. The Blessed Tree is one of the best rewards in Paradise, it is said to be in the house of `Ali b. Abi Talib ( دخلت الجنة رأيت في الجنة شجرة طوبى أصلها في دار علي عليه السلام ). After all, a Paradise (jannah) in Arabic is a garden with trees. Either way, the hadith above says that this tree is the Prophet, his Ahl al-Bayt, and their followers. Another hadith compares the Ahl al-Bayt to the trees of Paradise: Allah said to Moses regarding the Prophet (s), "You are from his Nation if you recognize His status and the status of his Ahl al-Bayt. His example and the example of his Ahl al-Bayt in the creation are like that of the trees in the Gardens of Paradise - their leaves do not shed, and their flavours do not change." ( يا موسى أنت من امته إذا عرفت منزلته ومنزلة أهل بيته ، إن مثله ومثل أهل بيته فيمن خلقت كمثل الفردوس في الجنان لا ينتشر ( 3 ) ورقها ولا يتغير طعمها ) The trees in this example are evergreen tree with perpetually fresh fruit, because life in Paradise is everlasting, and taking from the Ahl al-Bayt's knowledge will result in eternal bliss. Just as there is a Blessed Tree in Paradise, there is a cursed tree in Hellfire. “Is Paradise a better accommodation, or the Tree of Zaqqum? Verily, we have made it a torment for the wrongdoers. Verily, it is a tree issuing from the bottom of Hell. Its emerging fruit is as if it was the heads of devils. And verily, they will eat from it and fill their bellies with it. Then verily, they will have after it a mixture of scalding water. Then verily, their return will be to Hell.” (37:62-68) An Umayyad man named Sa`d b. `Abd al-Malik used to visit Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a). The Imam used to call him "Sa`d the Good". Sa`d entered upon Imam al-Baqir [a], and Sa`d began weeping profusely. The Imam asked, "Why do you weep, Sa`d?" Sa`d said, "How can I not weep when I come from the lineage of the cursed tree of the Qur’an?" So Imam al-Baqir [a] said to him, "You are not from them. You are an Umayyad, but from us, the Ahl al-Bayt. Have you not heard the saying of Allah, speaking of Abraham? 'Whosoever follows me is from me.' (14:36)" ( دخل سعد بن عبد الملك وكان أبو جعفر عليه السلام يسميه سعد الخير وهو من ولد عبد العزيز بن مروان على أبي جعفر عليه السلام فبينا ينشج كما تنشج النساء (3) قال: فقال له أبو جعفر عليه السلام: ما يبكيك يا سعد؟ قال وكيف لا أبكي وأنا من الشجرة الملعونة في القرآن، فقال له: لست منهم أنت أموي منا أهل البيت أما سمعت قول الله عز وجل يحكي عن إبراهيم: " فمن تبعني فإنه مني ) This Tree of Zaqqum has fruits that look like the heads of devils. Perhaps this is because the devils, both human and jinn, are the offspring (fruit) of evil. In this hadith, the oppressors from the Umayyads are described as the flesh-and-blood Tree of Zaqqum. They are the family that is juxtaposed to the Ahl al-Bayt in heaven. The Messenger of Allah (s) would kiss Lady Fatima [a] frequently; and he said, "When I was taken up to heaven, I entered Paradise, and Gabriel brought me close to the Blessed Tree (Tuba). He gave me a fruit from it and I ate it. Then, Allah turned it into water in my loins. So when I descended to the Earth and went to Khadija, she became pregnant with Fatima. Whenever I long for Paradise, I kiss her, and I never kiss her without finding the fragrance of the Blessed Tree upon her, for she is [both] a human and a dark-eyed heavenly maiden." ( وعنه قال: كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله يكثر تقبيل فاطمة عليها السلام، فأنكرت ذلك عايشة، فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله: يا عايشة اني لما اسرى بي إلى السماء دخلت الجنة فأدناني جبرئيل من شجرة طوبى، وناولني من ثمارها فأكلته، فحول الله ذلك ماء في ظهري فلما هبطت إلى الأرض واقعت خديجة فحملت بفاطمة، وكلما اشتقت إلى الجنة قبلتها وما قبلتها قط الا وجدت رائحة شجرة طوبى فهي حوراء انسية ) If the Blessed Tree is truly the Ahl al-Bayt, then it would make sense that Lady Fatima would also come from that tree. Imam `Ali [a] said, "The tree whose trunk is soft has thick branches." (وقال عليه السلام : مَنْ لاَنَ عُودُهُ كَثُفَتْ أَغْصَانُهُ.) The person who is haughty and ill-tempered can never succeed in making his surroundings pleasant. His acquaintances will feel wretched and sick of him. But if a person is good-tempered and sweet-tongued people will like to get close to him and befriend him. At the time of need they will prove to be his helpers and supporters whereby he can make his life a success. Imam `Ali (a) said, "Prayer sheds sins like the shedding of leaves off trees" (Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 109) Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a) said, "When a believer meets the believer and shakes hands, Allah looks to them, and sins fall from their faces like leaves fall from trees." ( إن المؤمن ليلقى المؤمن فيصافحه، فلا يزال الله ينظر إليهما والذنوب تتحات عن وجوههما كما يتحات الورق من الشجر ) A man asked Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a) about the verse, "They made for him (Solomon) what he willed: synagogues and statues, basins like wells ..." (34:13) The Imam replied, "These were not statues of men or women, but rather, they were statues of trees and their like." ( قلت لأبي جعفر (عليه السلام): "يعملون له ما يشاء - من محاريب و تماثيل و جفان كالجواب" قال: ما هي تماثيل الرجال و النساء و لكنها تماثيل الشجر و شبهه ) Statues are normally ornaments that are shaped like people. In this exegesis, the statues of Solomon were in the form of trees instead, as though trees can take the place of people. Allah said to Jesus [a], "O Jesus! How numerous are the humans, yet how few in number are the patient. The trees are many, but the good ones are few, so do not be deceived by the beauty of the tree until you have tasted its fruit." (يا عيسى ما أكثر البشر وأقل عدد من صبر، الاشجار كثيرة وطيبها قليل، فلا يغرنك حسن شجرة حتى تذوق ثمرها.) This direct comparison between trees and people is one that can also be found in the New Testament, where Jesus allegedly says, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them” (Matthew 7:15-20) The fruits in this example are the actions of individuals, which are a better indicator to a person's inner nature than his appearance. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a) said, regarding His saying: “So man should look to his food” (80:24). "[He should look] to his knowledge which he takes and whom he takes it from." ( عن أبي جعفر عليه السلام في قوله تعالى " فلينظر الانسان إلى طعامه " قال: إلى علمه الذي يأخذه عمن يأخذه ) This is very pertinent. Just as a person may consume the fruit of a tree, people are also consumers of knowledge. This hadith is a warning to the believers to take their knowledge from the correct source. Taking knowledge from the immaculate luminaries (a) will give them everlasting life in Paradise. Jesus [a] said, "Wisdom is established with humility, not with arrogance, just as plants grow in plain, soft ground but not on hard ground and rocks." ( قال عيسى عليه السلام: بالتواضع تعمر الحكمة لا بالتكبر، وكذلك في السهل ينبت الزرع لا في الجبل ) Just as a tree can only grow on soft soil, the believer can only truly develop if humility is his foundation. Imam as-Sadiq (a) said, "The one you seek and have hopes for will verily rise from Mecca. And he will not rise from Mecca until he sees what he loves, even if it happens that parts of a tree eats [its other] parts." (ابن عقدة، عن حميد بن زياد، عن الحسن بن محمد الحضرمي عن جعفر بن محمد(ع)، وعن يونس بن يعقوب، عن سالم المكي، عن أبي الطفيل عامر بن واثلة أن الذي تطلبون وترجون إنما يخرج من مكة وما يخرج من مكة حتى يرى الذي يحب ولو صار أن يأكل الاعضاء أعضاء الشجرة . ) This narration is describing the rise of the Mahdi, who would come during a great schism between the ruling family of the Middle East. Perhaps this tree eating itself is a description of the infighting between the rulers of that time, which would indeed be pleasing to the Mahdi. There are many other examples that can be applied, from the story of Adam, to the mi`raj, to other stories involving trees in the Quran. Something to keep in mind is that the Ahl al-Bayt do not speak aimlessly - their examples are full of wisdom, and their examples are full of meaning. If one devotes himself or herself to more than a cursory reading of the scriptures, one will better understand the meaning of these symbols and find intricate connections between these examples. May Allah give us the Blessed Tree in Paradise in the Hereafter.
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  13. When I was a new Muslim (converted from Christianity) a hijabi sister gave me a headscarf when I went to her home. A few months later we were at an Islamic meeting and she told me, Let's go sit beside her (non-hijabi) because she might feel lonely. At that time I was only thinking of myself, and she taught me to be kind to other sisters. I pray that all hijabi sisters would realize how important it is to be kind to non-hijabi sisters.
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  14. Happy new year everyone and may Allah (swt) increase us all in faith, knowledge and deeds.
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  15. Withholding important information like previous or ongoing marriage when a man is courting a woman qualifies as dishonest behaviour. Theoretically it's permissible to seek a second wife but he should have made that fact clear right at the outset and see if the woman was willing and ready to accept the situation. Some men think they can trap a woman like this and she, not wanting to destroy the marriage and get the divorce label, would put up with him. Not good. Just not good.
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  16. This will be my last thread before my break, so I thought I could be of helpfulness and a source of empathy for everyone who is struggling with their weight. I lost 50 pounds a little over two years ago, and I want to share my weight loss journey and maintainance. Backstory I, like majority of the US population, needed to lose weight since I had nearly an obese BMI of 29. I was 156 pounds at 5'1 and was the heaviest I'd ever been. Before that, I lost 25 pounds unhealthily and gained all the weight back in less than a year and more. I felt judged every time I ate out with my friends and every time I took pictures. People are so quick to judge overweight individuals as lazy or lacking in motivation and weak-willed to lose weight and make healthy changes when it's far from that. When I lost the 25 pounds unhealthily through extreme restriction, I felt so low on energy (and my hair was falling out despite being at a healthy weight.) that there was only one way to bring my energy levels back to normal again: eating food. I ended up binging the next 11 or so months on whatever I could find. Whole boxes of cookies from Costco would be gone in two days, dairy products would be consumed to no end, pasta. In five months, I had gained all the weight I lost and was back at my starting weight. As I had gained all the weight, my energy levels increased dramatically. But I was overweight, and felt like a failure for gaining all the weight back since I was disappointing those who believed in me. My Breaking Point I grauduated from high school a semester early and entered college at 140-ish pounds. While some woman can look very attractive at this weight, I gain weight mostly in my upper body so finding clothes that would minimize my stomach and breasts and balance my body were a challenge. I started getting back pain from having a bigger chest and mild knee pain. My first semester in college was lonely and depressing, and while I was overweight, guys would try to approach me, and I was never comfortable with having a relationship. Since I wanted to be invisible to guys, I ate to comfort myself and to ensure that men wouldn't pay attention to me. I finished the semester weighing sixteen pounds heavier, with newfound pain in my liver area and in my lower back. Toward the end of the semester, I went dress shopping with my friends and took pictures, (something I avoided) and saw what I looked like. It was then that I felt determined to make a change but didn't know how. I took a nutrition class that semester and played around with the calorie-counting app, so I decided to give it a shot. How I Lost the Weight I started tracking my food, portioning as what I could. At first, I was guess-estimating my portions, and it worked for me. As soon as I lost the first ten pounds, my liver pain disappeared and I knew I could do it. When I lost a total of 25 pounds, I started to count my calories and control portions more diligently. My best friend at the time was very supportive of my weight loss in the beginning, but as the weight dropped so did her support. She started to sabotage my efforts by attempting to enforce bad habits again into me. She became annoyed when I ordered meals in lower calorie option, and went even so far to order me cheesecake to spit (and split the bill.) when I told her three times that I never wanted dessert. I'll never forget taking a bite just to please her when she said, "That's not a lot." She finished half of the cheesecake and our relationship grew strained to the point where we had to cut ties. At that point, I was only five pounds away from my goal weight and finished at 105-ish. The year following my weight loss was a challenge since my manic and depressive cycles were increasingly rapid. My grandfather passed away, and I got heart broken several times and the last one triggered a severe suicidal depressive episode that lasted for several months. I was so emotionally exhausted from feeling either eurphoric or depressed with no periods of normal mood in between, that suicide was the only thing I could think about. All I could think about was wanting to end my pain and I nearly did it, but Alhamdulilah Allah saved me before I could. Due to the depression and overall fear of weight gain, I went from 105 to 98 pounds - boarderline healthy weight for my height. During my depressive episode, my appetite decreased dramatically and I stopped eating proper meals. Since I had a habit of turning to food for comfort, I was afraid of putting on the weight again, and therefore I would deny myself food. Thankfully, this didn't go on for too long since I received treatment and was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, and put on five different medications that all made me gain weight: around 15 pounds but I was healthier and within six months I lost 10 pounds slowly and I'm back at my original goal weight. What I've learned 1. Your life will not become perfect. You will still go through challenging moments. If ever you're feeling down and want to turn to food, post a note on the fridge and the pantry along the lines of if you are looking for comfort or a hug, you won't find it here. 2. Stop obsessing over the scale. Easier said that done, I know. You are losing weight even though it might not show up if you are eating at a calorie deficit. Relax. It took you months to put that weight on, and it will take months to take it off. That said.... 3. Weigh yourself regularly While losing weight, weigh yourself every week to track progress and avoid weighing yourself every day. While you may not lose weight every week, you should track a general downward trend. Studies show that people who never weigh themselves or weigh themselves infrequently tend to put on weight than those who track their weight. 4. Measuring cups and and calculators are your friend To maintain weight loss, you have to eat for the body you've worked for, which, depending on height and activity level, may be a bit higher than mantainance. You can still eat anything you want, like chocolate and pasta, but portion control is key. To this day I measure my food unless I'm out eating. If I eat at a restaurant, I'll either choose a lower calorie option or I'll eat half of the meal and box the rest to save it for the next day. 5. No food is "bad" or off-limits. You want pasta? Then eat pasta. Ice cream? You can have it. Just check the back of the package for serving sizes and adjust and fit it into your calorie intake. My rule is that no meal should exceed 600 calories. My meals are around 450-550, depending on how I feel. 7. Avoid troll websites that emphasize on thinness. It's tempting to check out Return of Kings and Judgey(woman) among others and their hatred for fat people. Stay away from any "pro-skinny" forums. None of them do you any good for your self-esteem, trust me. 8. Cut toxic people out of your life. They are a waste of time. If you can't cut people out who are detrimental to your wellbeing, set boundaries. 9. Do not compare yourself Most people are big, that should not be a standard for you to set. Some people are skinnier, that should not be your standard. Focus on finding a healthy weight for YOU and don't care about people's comments. My mom thinks I look better with ten pounds on. My cousins say I'm at the perfect weight. My dad says that woman look better with a bit more chub. Who cares? Who cares what people think? People are going to comment no matter what. It's much easier (and for some reason more acceptable) in this society to tell a thin person to eat a sandwhich than to tell someone who is overweight to put the fork down, which most people wouldn't dream of doing. As long as you're at a healthy weight and are happy, that's all that matters. Lastly.... 10. Your weight doesn't define you. I'm not more valuable of a person just people I lost all that weight. I'm not unworthy of love if I gain it all back. Weight loss changes the way you view people, and you become either less judgemental or more of overweight people but it shouldn't. Weight loss is weight loss. Weight gain is just that... gaining weight. For everyone struggling with their weight: stop when you are SATISFIED, not STUFFED SILLY, and take it one day at a time.
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  17. May Allah reward him for his good deeds and forgive him for his actions of late.
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  18. Please duas for my mother who is facing a surgery in a few hours.
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  20. So looks like we have a guest for winter! I found this little birdie sitting outside our kitchen yesterday morning as I was making breakfast . It was cold and I thought she looked hungry and lonely so I gave her some bed crumbs. And this evening when I woke up after a nap (having gone to work after sleeping for only a couple of hours last night,I crashed straight into bed on coming home) and looked around there it was sitting on the bookshelf looking at me meekly! I have no idea how she found her way to my daughter's room where I was sleeping. She has made herself at home since then and had been freely hopping all over the room. I don't know what to do with her. It's not that I am not happy to have her but she keeps showing up in the most unexpected places and has even managed to give me a scare a couple of times. I also fear for her life because my son, the little human torpedo, might step over it or accidentally squash it underneath the cushions or quilts. Any suggestions??
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  22. Your problem concerns the apparent change in His State between when He created and before. The solution is rather simple: there was no before and no after. God is not constrained by the physical world and time is simply another dimension of this universe. He is not constrained by this world and, so, He is not constrained by time. While time may seem the most natural of concepts to us, He exists outside of it. So, there can be no change when there is no gradation (i.e. time).
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  23. Salaam friends! As you know, ShiaChat introduced a blog feature for its dear members during the Great ShiaChat Update of 2016, after immense popular request. With 39 blog profiles created so far, members have shared phenomenal stories, insights, articles, and media - all with a dash of enlightenment, humor, tact, and articulation. Each in a special room to call one's own, with a receptive and encouraging audience. With that said, the ShiaChat Development Team, with the help of Moderation and Administration, would like to celebrate your fantastic blogging by setting up a blog competition for the new year. We are asking you all, in the month of January, to create a blog post around the following theme: "How do you see the state of mankind in the 21st century? How do you feel it impacts you as an individual?" Blog posts will be judged on quality of insight, relation to theme, and clarity of presentation. Awards will be given out as follows on the basis of individual blog posts: 1st Place - $60 (and your blog pinned for the year) 2nd Place - $30 3rd Place - $10 Formal submissions are not necessary, and all blog posts that fit the above theme will be automatically put for consideration. You may make as many blog posts as you wish for judging, but only one prize will be handed out per member. Deadline is Jan 31, 2017. Good luck! Regards, ShiaChat Development Team ------- Please remember the blog rules, then scroll down to read how to create your blog: http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235045724-faq-shiachatcom-blog-rules/
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  24. The Google image for MLK day: My first thought was "It's good that they've included a Muslim." Then I started to overthink. "That man has to be her husband or brother or father or son. But then the woman of the other side of him has to be his wife or sister or mother or daughter. Wow, half the group are Muslim!"
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  25. Their rulings are discussed in their books and their classes. These websites give simple answers to questions rather than providing a long discussion involving ayat, hadiths, linguistics, logic, history, rijal, etc. Lay people do taqleed because they're not qualified to assess these arguments, which come from years of study and debate. They're not doing taqleed of just anyone, they do taqleed of the person they believed is the most learned in the world in what has been revealed to us.
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  26. Allah(s.w.a) saved you from making a big mistake, by revealing the true nature of this man before any really bad consequences happened. You should do Salat Shukr. There are many men who are not like him.
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  27. 33, unmarried. In a way I do blame my parents, but at the same time, I know that they tried their best. I cant hate them or call them failures or bad people because they are not - they raised me a shia, an azadar, a (sort of) decent person, educated me, looked after me. my heaven lies under my mothers feet, shall I tell her that she failed me? no man. it sucks so much being unmarried. especially when I see every single - I do mean every single - one of my friends married mashaAllah with 2 or 3 kids each. last month my friend had twin boys. over the years I went from being something to laugh at "oh hahahaha when is DU getting married" whenever we would meet up as a group from whatever circle of friends I was part of (school, uni, neighbours, hussainia, work, gym etc) to slowly fading to no one wanting to mention it when we got together. I am now that awkward topic of conversation. my biggest desire since I was in my mid 20s was to be married, everyone gets lonely. everyone wants a companion. but Allah had other plans. this isnt a case of success or failure in my mind. its just that all of us have to face our own tests. mine is that I never found a wife. Im too old now to realistically find any girl who is unmarried before, but its fine in my mind to marry a divorcee/ widow. I would even be completely fine being a stepdad. in terms of my parents failure, or zulm against me that they allowed me to reach this point, I have forgiven them for the sake of Allah. right now I am just focusing on myself to improve myself as much as I can. if there is no offspring written for me, then I will adopt as many orphans as I can, and give them all the love that they would get from 1000 parents.
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  28. You realize some members here are "white", right? Dont conflate religion and culture. Islam is not a brown man's religion, it belongs to everyone. They aren't always linked together, and to suggest it, is an insult to religion, because you are saying religion can't exist without a dependent and symbiotic relationship with culture and diaspora politics.
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  29. 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.
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  30. One thing that's confusing me is that people keep decrying the lack of "intellectual" members as compared to the early years of ShiaChat. Yet whenever I stumble across a thread from the early 2000's, all I see is "WUTT", "LOOOLZ", "????", ":mad:", and generally lots of caps lock, bad grammar, and short posts. What am I missing here?
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  31. Umar bin Khattab, the 2nd Khalif died as an unbeliever according to Quran 3:91 and his own testimony recorded in Sahih Bukhari. The Quran is a miraculous book indeed. Look how the unbeliever uttered the same words that Allah (swt) reserved for the unbelievers. Furthermore, if Umar was promised paradise as Sunnis claim, then why was Umar terrified of Allah's punishment and why didn't Ibn Abbas remind him that he was promised paradise? either Umar didn't believe or trust in the Messenger (saws) or the hadith of the 10 promised paradise is a fabrication. In any case, here is the evidence that proves Umar died an unbeliever. Quran: https://quran.com/3:91 Hadith: http://bit.ly/2h4b8s1
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  32. Thanks. Mine is less pronounced than that. I'm the off camera adult voice here.
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  33. I sound like a dragon http://vocaroo.com/i/s0aEoe7vt6mr
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  34. (NOTE FROM NON-MOD) - This image needed to be halal-ified. Sorry for the Wahhabi beards.
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  35. Salam, Ya Ali (as) Madad, Lanat upon the enemies of the Ahlulbayt (as) Aliun Wali Allah Wajib BAR MUQASSIRREEN LANAT why don't we use this thread as a personal diary of all the good things that happen to us, no matter how small or insignificant, during 2017? 2016 was a pretty rubbishy year all round, so lets try and spread positivity in 2017
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  37. Salaam Firstly, this issue is not really related to modesty. However, if you are asking which person is more righteous, then it depends on various factors. All we know is: - drinking is among the greater sins - lying is among the greater sins - praying salaat is obligatory This is what we know. We also know that bad deeds nullify obligatory deeds or good deeds. Both of these examples involve individuals who are doing good deeds and then nullifying them with bad deeds. However, we must also know other things: is this drinking person, doing it in public or in private? Does he acknowledge that drinking is a sin or does he claim it is halal? These also affect the severity of the sin. Unfortunately, these type of scenarios are often used by shakkak people who want to spread their doubts (about religion) like wildfire. Islam has all the answers to this. Never does Islam say: as long as you pray, lying is OK. Quran says: woe upon those who pray but are heedless of their prayer. We have narrations about one's salaat testifying against them on the day of judgement. and so on. The Islamic view of deeds is so holistic, so deep and so all-encompassing, it has the answers to all these things. All these shakkak questions have already been answered.
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  38. May Allah grant her a safe surgery brother and a speedy recovery after ilahiameen.
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  39. @sidnaq Since you have said a few times that you don't understand why people are attacking you on this thread, while they don't on threads about liberal Muslims or millennials, or whatever, allow me to explain. The difference between this thread and the other threads is that you have introduced race into the discussion, along with some quite crude stereotypes of 'Western culture'. When I, for example, talk about liberal Muslims, then I'm talking about people compromising in their religion to fit in better with the dominant Western secular worldview. My focus is their religion. I couldn't care less what culture they have. Middle-class White Anglo-Saxon culture (if such a broad category even exists) with the unislamic parts taken away is no worse than Indo-Pakistani culture with the unislamic parts taken away. And there is a lot more to 'white' cultures than fornication, drugs and alcohol. What about their language, literature, science, philosophy, etc? Did the early Muslims become 'whitewashed' when they started studying Ancient Greek philosophy and science? So we need to make a clear distinction here between someone losing their religion, which is a problem, and someone losing their culture, which isn't necessarily a problem at all. Historically you had people moving from Iran to India for example, and over time later generations would have forgotten most of their Iranian culture. As long as they remained Muslim, was that an issue? I don't think so. As for 'white privilege' and the like, complaining about this sort of stuff is part of that very millennial 'white' culture that you are complaining about. Nobody talks more about 'white privilege' than a white millennial liberal. The whole concept can be reduced to two observations: the majority in any country always enjoy certain 'advantages' due to being in the majority, and some people are racist. If you are a Muslim living in a Muslim country, then you have 'Muslim privilege'. If you are a Pakistani living in Pakistan, then you have 'Pakistani privilege'. If you are a Pakistani Muslim living in Pakistan then we are into the realm of 'intersectionality', and you have two forms of privilege. The whole concept is just stupid, as is much of what these ridiculous people insist on calling 'theory' (for example 'critical race theory').
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  40. I'm SC member of the week!
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  41. @magma happy new year to you and to rest of my brothers and sisters. God bless all. Ameen and may make us to do good deeds and be obedient to him and Ahlul bait a.s
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  42. Thank you @magma Happy New Year to everyone !!
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  43. It's only fitting I made the best, grandest thread about the new year! Nobody else compared! No boring reflection or resolution threads from me! I only think big!!!!!
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  44. We've been discussing ShiaChat's decline ever since I became a moderator in 2014, and the main reasons we came up with at the time were (1) Message forums are dying altogether - they're all dying, and people are preferring to use WhatsApp, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Tumbr, Instagram, Snapchat, Telegram, Viber, etc.; (2) Features at that time were not as user-friendly as most social media outlets, (3) Women felt unwelcome due to stalking and messages from guys, (4) Lack of new and unique conversation. We tackled some of these issues by upgrading the forums, fixing the search feature, introducing Facebook integration, creating a blogs feature, making more use of the SC Facebook and making an SC Twitter, bringing the PM and chatroom post requirements down, and increasing our number of female staff. These were good moves, but more needs to be done. I'd like to see us bring visiting guests/scholars, but the people we have asked were unwilling. I also think we should add an IM feature that members can activate, where members can chat 1-on-1 with other online members (like Facebook chat), but still give the option to not get instant messaged and to block users if necessary. There's no real way to bring SC back to its former glory. In the early days, forums were the only form of social media, there were no smart phones, and people were using MSN on their computers. I'm still active on Facebook and Skype, but most of my friends have pretty much moved on from those as well. Twitter, Instagram, and Whatsapp are just not for me.
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  45. Al-Kafi is extremely valuable because it represents the mutawatir contents of over 300 books of hadith. The 300 Usool were available booklets written by students of the 12 Imams and narrators of hadith between the years 95 AH and 300 AH. Most of our hadiths come from the 6th Imam, who passes away in 148 AH, which is around the time that paper mills were established in Iraq and Persia. The time in between the narrating of hadith and the writing of those hadiths would have been relatively short, especially in comparison to the time between the Prophet's passing and the major Sunni hadith books. Our hadith literature quotes about 2,000 students of the 6th Imam, some of whom had their own published books, and others transmitted their hadiths orally for 1-2 generations until they were written. We also have a lot of biographical data on our narrators. Al-Kafi is just a compilation of existing literature that was available by 300 AH or so, transmitted by known sources. Kulayni simply organized this material into chapters, and chose what he believed were the most established traditions. So for al-Kafi to be dubious would mean that thousands of students and companions of the 12 Imams conspired over a 200 year period to teach something opposite to what the Imams were teaching. As a matter of probability, that is very very unlikely, especially considering that many of these narrators (who were Shi`i scholars) accompanied multiple Imams and wrote their narrations. Not to mention that our literature and Sunni literature do have a fair bit of shared hadiths of the Prophet (s).
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  46. Took a beautiful pictures of Imam musa Ibn Ja'afar Al Khadum (AS) and Imam Muhammed Ibn Ali Al Jawwad (AS)
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  47. Thank you for staring this topic. I urge you to re-create this thread with the same title every 3 months so all new comes see it and learn from it. Now here's how to be a man - - Do not be shy. Haya is not equal to shyness. "Keep your head high and gaze lower" - this is from sayings of Imam Ali AS - Be very good at your studies when you are in school. Very very good. There is no substitute of it. Studying hard not only gives you good grades, it also helps you make a good career, gets you in the habit of hard work, teaches you consistency, makes you appreciate your worth, builds you self esteem, and gives you a sense of purpose throughout your academic years. You come seeking had of my daughter with bad grades, I'll shoot you in at least one foot. I'm serious. - Be good at whatever you do. Your profession, your trade, your business, be good at it. Don't do things halfheartedly, don't be lazy, don't be always the sidekick, the junior guy, the trainee. Again the secret is , hard work, and hard work. - Be religious, you are a worthless bug if you do not follow the teachings of Allah swt. If you can't worship your ultimate Rabb, you are lower than the cockroach I just killed out in the barn. - Build your character. Be the man of principals. Secret to do it is fulfill your promises. Never let go of your commitments no matter how benign they seem to you. Be dependable. Be an anchor. - Workout. Pick any sports, Be it just walking for 5 miles daily. Pick a physical activity. Don't be a couch fluff. You will do yourself and your family a favor by doing it. Daily workout of any kind do wonders in all of the above, it tests your commitment, makes you determined, makes you confident, builds your character. - Increase your earning potential. This is called a ibada in our deen. Once people saw 6th Imam working in the fields with his shirt soaked in his sweat. People asked Imam of and his reply was he wanted his Lord to see him toiling for the rizq of his family. - Do not do things to please women, any woman. No, do not do things to please her, or his sister, or his daughter. Never, I repeat, never look at the world from the eyes of a woman. Men who follow women, any woman (including their mothers) are the most mice of men out there. - Do not sit among women too much. Keep the company of men, good religious hardworking men. - Do read a lot. Read everything that is halal. Reading gives special sort of nourishment to your brains. Nothing in this world would open up your horizons like reading. - Do not get impressed by material. Do not care for material possessed by your father, you, or others. Material is your slave, you are not the slave of your material.
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  48. Is it possible that the mods who view the threads in the Jurisprudence forums to get rid of the comments of those who answer based on - 1) their own laymen opinion 2) opinion of other sects and faiths Except if they make it clear these answers are theirs or of the faiths/sects they belong to. This is a Shi'a site and the expectation is to answer questions on Islamic Law based on Shi'i Law, and not of others, unless it is specifically pointed out.
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  49. Last week. السلام عليك يا علي بن موسي الرضا(ع)
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  50. I too would like to apologise for my post, no matter what differences we might have there's no need to get angry about things. Peace.
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