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  1. 13 points
    Halloween was a Celtic and Gaelic festival which would mark the end of the summer harvest and the beginning of the winter. The "darker" half of the year has begun, the frigid season of death. The pagan Celts believed that the dead spirits visited them on this day, and so they gave them an offering of food as an appeasement, so that they may not incur their curse during this season. In the past few centuries, people began dressing up as these dead spirits to pay homage to them. And so when you see a slutty Halloween outfit on your timeline, know that this is just a senseless and ignorant person - a "dead" person; dead in spirit, dead in their heart, paying homage to the darkness within themselves, toiling after the fleeting frills of this world, in need of spiritual resuscitation. Whether they know it or not, they are imitating demon spirits whom they love and fear. "Surely, they had taken the devils as masters instead of Allah while they thought that they were guided." (7:30) We have no reverence and no fear of the dead. We seek protection in Allah and no one else. "But no one believes this anymore, all that's left are these symbols". Yes, and symbols are powerful, and thus we must not internalize symbols that have their lineage in hell. So while people imitate the dead - both the physically dead (zombies, ghouls, skeletons, grim reapers), and the spiritually dead (materialists) - remember that Allah brings life. A person may be heedless today, but when Allah gives the gift of guidance, he will awake to his responsibilities, and be resurrected in faith.
  2. 6 points
    Carrying on from part 1- http://www.shiachat.com/forum/blogs/entry/311-understanding-negative-thought-processes/ I wanted to speak about the impact cognitive distortions (negative thoughts) can have on us. The impact of Cognitive Distortions Psychologists recognise that there is a relationship between our thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and the resultant behaviour. Anyone recognise this vicious cycle? We are constantly trying to interpret the world around us, sometimes without even realising it. Thoughts are electro-impulses in the brain, not statment of facts, so dont believe everything you think! These interpretations will be a byproduct of our upbringing, previous experiences, culture, religion and many more and some types of thoughts can lead to particular emotions. Therefore, we shouldn't ASSUME everything because you will make an ASS out of U and ME! The above is typical of the cycle that takes place once we get a negative thought that we may dwell on. It, then, becomes a habit, so trying to change that thought to a more realistic and balanced one would be beneficial. The question that arises now is how we can achieve that. Journalising your thought processes One such way to change our negative thinking style may be documenting your thoughts which is something people find helpful in this regard, as it’s a way of becoming familiar with the negative thought patterns you tend to become fixated on, and is one method of letting out how you feel. Having a thought diary can be very helpful for many people and can actually be effective for so many conditions, such as feeling socially anxious, OCD, GAD (generalised anxiety disorder), depression and many more mental health problems. You can also add columns where you rate your anxiety/mood from 0%-100%, you would then reframe (change) that negative thought to a more balanced one and rate your anxiety/mood again from 0% -100% to see how much it has decreased. Thought records like the one below can also be helpful and are less overwhelming if you don’t want to add lots of columns. Another less intense journaling technique is keeping a gratitude journal. The process is quite simple. Every night, before you go to bed, you write down three to five things for which you are grateful. The trick is that you can’t use the same ideas every day, so you can try to search your soul for what you are grateful for today and then write it down. If you feel a thought diary is not something that works for you, then think about what might. Using art as a form of art therapy such as colouring, painting or Caligraphy? Audio recording yourself or speaking to yourself in the mirror? (I know this sounds totally weird but it works for some! No one has to know :p ) Or how about using mind maps? The main thing is finding what works for you as an individual. Hope this helps! Inshallah in the next part I will be focusing on how to set and achieve goals. “I only complain of my grief and sorrow to Allah (s.w.t)” [12:86]
  3. 6 points
    In recent times, mental health problems seem to be on the rise and many more people are asking for and wanting help and more so because there is more awareness around these issues. Our negative thought processes can become or should I say do become a vicious cycle that we go deeper and deeper into unless we don't make the relevant changes. Now we can start by taking small steps by making changes to our lives. I just want to stress the importance of actually taking action and doing something about it ourselves, although we may ask for help from others, it’s not until we actually consciously make an effort to try and change things, that we will see results. Is that going to see a medical professional? Receiving some sort of psychological intervention like therapy? Or is that just making sure you have a support network around you? Depends on what you feel you need or what is more likely to help you. Nevertheless, you could try all the avenues out there and sometimes we may need more than one intervention to help us get back on our feet. I also want to mention that giving the advice of “stay positive” isn’t always helpful for people suffering from mental illnesses like depression. Many people know what they need to do but it’s not always easy to implement what we know especially when going though those difficult phases that may be due to a chemical imbalance or social stressors. Core Beliefs and the Cognitive triad Core beliefs include the thoughts and assumptions we hold about ourselves, others, and the world around us. They are deep-seated beliefs often formed at an early age which can go unrecognised, yet they constantly affect our lives. What are some of your core beliefs? -I am unattractive -I am useless -I am hopeless -Everyone else is happier than me -The world is an evil place I am sure there are plenty of positive ones too!! But let’s focus on the ones we may need help with. Please complete these three sentences in your mind: -I am….. -The world is….. -People are….. If the answer to all these were negative statements then this may be problematic. Please see example below: This is known as “The Cognitive triad” and is an irrational and pessimistic view of the three key elements of a person's belief system present in depression/mental health problems. Now maybe you are just having a bad day and that’s fine! We will all have our bad days or go through periods where we feel low so don’t worry….. but, if these are your thinking patterns on a regular basis or if you are going through these phases too often then you may need some help with your psychological wellbeing. I will be writing more in the next part but did not want to overwhelm you guys, have a blessed day! "Allah does not burden a soul more than it can bear" [2: 286].
  4. 6 points
    Haji 2003

    Curiouser and curiouser

    Occasionally there is a piece in the British press about the case of an Iranian lady who married an Englishman and then went on holiday to Iran and has been held by the authorities there. The case has gained some more prominence recently because the British Foreign Secretary has claimed in parliament that she was 'training Iranian journalists', which does seem very suspicious indeed. This has prompted her employer to come forward to claim that she was on holiday and not working for them. This is the first time the identity of her employer has been disclosed. Who is her employer? It's the Thomson Reuters Foundation. A charitable arm of the Thomson-Reuters organisation which includes the news agency. The Foundation is basically a 'soft power' outfit seeking social and cultural changes around the world. Some of it is ostensibly 'good' like the anti-slavery work, they are also involved in work which can have a clear political and propaganda dimension. They claim to, "train reporters around the world to cover news fairly and impartially". People living in the West may be wondering where these principles were when we went to war in Iraq on a wholly false premise and to what extent Reuters challenged the agenda of the imperialists in its endeavours towards being fair. So if she is an employee, it does beg various questions about what she may have been up to. Remember Reuters does not have a glorious history in its involvement with Iran. Its founder Julius Reuter stitched up the Qajar dynasty into handing over a large proportion of the entire nation's mineral rights to him.
  5. 5 points
    I've intended for this post to be a placeholder until I publish my next entry on the linguistic history of the Arabic language until the early Islamic period. I've adapted it from a post I made elsewhere. It represents an early phase in my research on the religions in pre-Islamic Arabia, it's rather informal but so is the nature of my research right now. InshaAllah it'll be added to, corrected, and fixed as time progresses. The presence of Christianity in Arabia was already centuries old by the time the Prophet was born. Historical Arabia was identified as a region spanning from the Eastern banks of the Nile to the Euphrates and as far north as the Syrian desert. According the Socrates Scholasticus, the Byzantine ecclesiastical historian, not the Athenian philosopher, a Queen Mavia (ماوية) of the Ishmaelites, who reigned from the late fourth century to the early fifth century, converted to Christianity. She went on to appoint a Bishop named Moses, another "Saracen" (Arab) who led a monastic life and was reputed to preform miracles. Eusebius writes about an Arab Monarchian named Beryllus, Bishop of Bostra. He believed that Christ was a distinct divinity but only possessed the Divine nature of God the Father after the incarnation. Origen of Alexandria converted him back to "orthodoxy" (in the lower-case sense of the word, not upper-case sense referring to the Orthodox Churches). It seems that by the birth of Prophet Muhammad there was a major presence of various "heretical" Christian groups. A misattributed dictum of St. Theodoret of Cyrrhus states that "Arabia hæresium ferax", "Arabia is the bearer of heresies". Scholars have attempt to identify the groups present in Arabia using antique and mediaeval sources and the Qur'anic description of their doctrines. Theophilos Indus, an Arian Bishop sent by Emperor Constantius II to Asia via Arabia as a missionary. He is reported to have converted the people of Himyar to Arianism. He was Heteroousian, a follower of the theologian Aetius, who denied that Christ and God the Father were of the same substance. It's possible that Arianism survived in the region. There was also a presence of Severan Monophysites, followers of Severus of Antioch who believed in the "natural union" of Christ's two natures, concentrated on the Red Sea coast (Hijaz and Yemen). The Julianists, a group closely related to the Docetists, are of particular interest due to their rejection of Christ having died on the cross -- a view also found in the Gnostic Apocalypse of Peter (where Christ is in a tree and laughing at whoever is being crucified). Irfan Shahid states Ashab al-Ukhdud (People of the Ditch) that the Qur'an mentions were Monophysites. Their account is also mentioned in text called "The Book of the Himyarites", a Syriac work which was translated into English by Axel Moberg. Their leader was St. Arethas (Harith) was written about in the 7th century text Acta Sancti Arethæ/Martyrium Sancti Arethæ. There was also a Nestorian presence in Arabia. The Prophet was aware of this and the Qur'an even employs the Nestorian idea of "Isa b. Maryam" to deny that Christ is the Son of God. The aforementioned Book of the Himyarites also has a passage were Dhu-Nuwas employs Nestorian terms to refer to the Christology of the "majority of Christians" (in his realm). Though Monophysitism did become dominate after the fall of Dhu-Nuwas, Nesotrianism returned with the conquest of South Arabia by the Sassanids. In the lifetime of the Prophet, Nestorian missionaries from Najran would go to Ukadh to preach, and Prophet Muhammad encountered one who left an impression on him, Quss b. Sa'idah al-Iyyadi. He was possibly a bishop of Najran. Irfan Shahid mentions this as a matter of fact in "Islam and Oriens Christianus". However, he's also argued against this position in his entry on Quss b. Sa'idah in the Brill Encyclopaedia of Islam, saying that it was just a conflation of several facts about him and the Episcopate of Najran. Shahid believes there also might have been an Ethiopic Christian presence. This is based on what seems to be Ge'ez terms being used by the Qur'an, such as Nasara rather than Masihiyyun, Isa rather than Yasu'. Though in the case of the latter Arthur Jeffery demonstrates how this could have also happened as a result of natural linguistic corruption when the word transferred from Syriac to Arabic. References and Further reading: Irfan Shahid's article "ISLAM AND ORIENS CHRISTIANUS: MAKKA 610-622 AD" represents a bulk of the research here, I would highly recommend it. You might also want to check out Irfan Shahid's series on Byzantium and Arabia. Gabriel Said Reynold's The Qur'an in its Historical Context (both parts one and two) might also prove useful. And Darren M. Slade's article "ARABIA HAERESIUM FERAX (ARABIA BEARER OF HERESIES): Schismatic Christianity’s Potential Influence on Muhammad and the Qur’an ".
  6. 5 points
    إذا وصلته وقطعني قطع الله أجله If I maintain my ties with him and he cuts me off then Allah will cut off his life-time [Imam al-Kadhim about Muhammad b. Ismail] Introduction We all know of the summons of Imam Musa al-Kadhim to Baghdad in the year 179 by Harun al-Rashid, his subsequent imprisonment and ultimate death in the year 183. But what is less well known is the role of one of the relatives of the Imam, specifically his nephew Muhammad b. Ismail in bringing this tragic event about. Who was Muhammad b. Ismail? Muhammad is the seventh “Imam” of the Ismailiyya about whose life very little is known even in their pitiable sources. Muhammad was the eldest son of Ismaıl b. Ja’far [who died in the lifetime of al-Sadiq]. The Ismailiyya claim that he left Iraq after the recognition of the Imamate of Musa al-Kadhim by the majority of al-Sadiq’s followers, and went into hiding, henceforth acquiring the epithet al-Maktum, the Hidden. He is supposed to have continued to maintain close contacts with the Mubarakiyya, a radical Shı’ı group which followed him. According to the later Ismaılıs, this emigration marks the beginning of the period of concealment (Dawr al-Satr) in early Ismaılism, with no apparent Imam, until the Fatimi Da’wa came and re-established it. What happened to the followers of Muhammad b. Ismail? Most of the followers of Muhammad b. Ismail refused to acknowledge his death. For these immediate predecessors of the Qarmatıs, Muhammad b. Ismaıl was regarded as the last Imam and expected to reappear as the Mahdı or Qaim, ‘riser’. They were also called Sab'iyya [seveners i.e. believed in seven Imams] and Waqifiyya [stoppers i.e. who halted at Muhammad b. Ismail]. Later Ismailis claim that that there was another obscure group of followers of Muhammad b. Ismail who accepted his death and traced the Imamate in his descendants. However, the separate existence of this group is not recorded in any contemporary source, until Abd Allah, the future leader of the movement, publicly claimed the Imamate of the Ismaılıs for himself and his ancestors in the year 297. It is hard to conclude this to be anything other than a back-projection of the Fatimid Imams wishing to to place themselves in one continuous chain of Imams back to Muhammad b. Ismail and the early 'Aimma. His Role in Sending al-Kadhim to his Death The picture that emerges in a reliable narration in al-Kafi shows Muhammad b. Ismail to be quite a worldly and ambitious fellow who was instrumental in heightening Harun’s suspicion towards Musa al-Kadhim. This acts as another reminder that mere blood relation with the purified personalities is not enough to safeguard one from evil inclinations. The Narration الكافي: علي بن إبراهيم، عن محمد بن عيسى، عن موسى بن القاسم البجلي، عن علي بن جعفر قال: جاء ني محمد بن إسماعيل وقد اعتمرنا عمرة رجب ونحن يومئذ بمكة، فقال: يا عم إني أريد بغداد وقد أحببت أن اودع عمي أبا الحسن - يعني موسى بن جعفر عليه السلام - وأحببت أن تذهب معي إليه، فخرجت معه نحو أخي وهو في داره التي بالحوبة وذلك بعد المغرب بقليل، فضربت الباب فأجابني أخي فقال: من هذا فقلت: علي، فقال: هوذا أخرج - وكان بطئ الوضوء - فقلت: العجل قال: وأعجل، فخرج وعليه إزار ممشق قد عقده في عنقه حتى قعد تحت عتبة الباب، فقال علي بن جعفر: فانكببت عليه فقبلت رأسه وقلت: قد جئتك في أمر إن تره صوابا فالله وفق له، وإن يكن غير ذلك فما أكثر ما نخطي قال: وما هو؟ قلت: هذا ابن أخيك يريد أن يودعك ويخرج إلى بغداد، فقال لي: ادعه فدعوته وكان متنحيا، فدنا منه فقبل رأسه وقال: جعلت فداك أوصني فقال: اوصيك أن تتقي الله في دمي فقال مجيبا له: من أرادك بسوء فعل الله به وجعل يدعو على من يريده بسوء، ثم عاد فقبل رأسه، فقال: يا عم أوصني فقال: اوصيك أن تتقي الله في دمي فقال: من أرادك بسوء فعل الله به وفعل، ثم عاد فقبل رأسه، ثم قال: يا عم أوصني، فقال: اوصيك أن تتقي الله في دمي فدعا على من أراده بسوء، ثم تنحى عنه ومضيت معه فقال لي أخي: يا علي مكانك فقمت مكاني فدخل منزله، ثم دعاني فدخلت إليه فتناول صرة فيها مائة دينار فأعطانيها وقال: قل لابن أخيك يستعين بها على سفره قال علي: فأخذتها فأدرجتها في حاشية ردائي ثم ناولني مائة اخرى وقال: أعطه أيضا، ثم ناولني صرة اخرى وقال: أعطه أيضا فقلت: جعلت فداك إذا كنت تخاف منه مثل الذي ذكرت، فلم تعينه على نفسك؟ فقال: إذا وصلته وقطعني قطع الله أجله، ثم تناول مخدة أدم، فيها ثلاثة آلاف درهم وضح وقال: أعطه هذه أيضا قال: فخرجت إليه فأعطيته المائة الاولى ففرح بها فرحا شديدا ودعا لعمه، ثم أعطيته الثانية والثالثة ففرح بها حتى ظننت أنه سيرجع ولا يخرج، ثم أعطيته الثلاثة آلاف درهم فمضى على وجهه حتى دخل على هارون فسلم عليه بالخلافة وقال: ما ظننت أن في الارض خليفتين حتى رأيت عمي موسى بن جعفر يسلم عليه فالخلافة، فأرسل هارون إليه بمائة ألف درهم فرماه الله بالذبحة فما نظر منها إلى درهم ولا مسه al-Kafi: Ali b. Ibrahim from Muhammad b. Isa from Musa b. al-Qasim al-Bajali from Ali b. Ja’far who said: Muhammad b. Ismail [b. Ja’far] approached me when we were in Makka and had just completed the Umra in the month of Rajab - he said: O uncle, I want to travel to Baghdad but first I wish to bid farewell to my uncle Aba al-Hasan - that is Musa b. Ja’far. I would like it if you accompany me to meet him. I came out with him heading towards my brother who was in his house in Huba. We reached a little after Maghrib. I knocked the door and was answered by my brother who said: who is that? I said: Ali, he said: I am just coming - he was someone who took long in making the ablution - so I said: make haste, he said: I will. Eventually he came out wearing a lower garment [waist-wrapper] dyed in an earthish hue, knotted at his neck and proceeded to sit at the threshold [step] of the door. Ali b. Ja’far said: I bent towards him, kissed his forehead and said: I have come to you concerning a matter, if you find it to be appropriate then it is Allah who facilitated it, and if it is not [if you find it disagreeable] then how often do we err [as humans]. He said: what is it? I said: this is the son of your brother, he wishes to bid you farewell and depart towards Baghdad. He [the Imam] said to me: call him [Muhammad b. Ismail]. I called him and he was close by. He [Muhammad b. Ismail] came near him, kissed his forehead and said: May I be made your ransom, advise me, he [the Imam] said: I advise you to fear Allah concerning my blood, he replied to him: May Allah do such to whoever wishes ill for you, and he began supplicating against the one who harbors ill-feeling towards him. Then he kissed his forehead a second time and said: O uncle, advise me, he said: I advise you to fear Allah concerning my blood, he said: May Allah do such and such to whoever wishes ill for you [and He has already done so]. Then he kissed his forehead a third time and said: O uncle, advise me, he said: I advise you to fear Allah concerning my blood, so he supplicated against the one who wishes ill towards him, then he turned away from him [to depart], I too began walking away with him, but my brother said to me: O Ali, [stop] where you are. I halted, he called me and I entered [the house]. He outstretched a pouch which contained a hundred gold coins and handed it to me and said: tell the son of your brother [nephew] to make use of it on his journey. Ali said: I took it and twisted it around the hem of my cloak, then he handed me another hundred and said: give it to him, then he handed me another pouch and said: give it to him also. I said: may I be made your ransom, if you fear him doing what you described then why are you aiding him against yourself [by helping him]? he said: If I maintain my ties with him and he cuts me off then Allah will cut off his life-time. Then he took to hand a tanned leather pillow [hollowed out to store money] in which were three thousand fine silver coins and said: give this to him as well. He [Ali b. Ja’far] said: I came out and gave him the first hundred whereupon he became extremely delighted and supplicated for his uncle, then I gave him the second and the third. He became so happy that I thought he will turn back and not depart [for Baghdad]. Lastly I gave him the three thousand silver coins. Nevertheless, he departed on his mission until he went in to see Harun [the Abbasid Caliph] and greeted him by acknowledging his Caliphate [said: peace be upon you O Commander of the Faithful]. Then he said: I never thought that there could be two Caliphs on earth [at the same time] until I saw my uncle Musa b. Ja’far being greeted with the Caliphate [people referring to him as the Caliph when greeting him]. Harun sent him one hundred thousand silver coins [as a reward for his reporting about his uncle] but Allah afflicted him [Muhammad b. Ismail] with an ailment [in which an ulcer grows and chokes the passage in the throat] and he did not get the chance to even take a look at a single silver coin [that he had been gifted] let alone touch it. Conclusion The death date of Muhammad b. Ismail can be fixed to be the year 179, the year in which he betrayed his uncle to the authorities and was punished immediately by Allah for it. Muhammad sold his Akhera for the Dunya, despite the Imam supporting him from his own wealth to repel his evil and fulfill the ties of kinship. Such a person hardly meets the base requirements of a supposed Imam and the adulation that his followers direct towards him.
  7. 3 points
    السلام على عثمان بن أمير المؤمنين، سمِي عثمان بن مظعون Peace be upon Uthman the son of the Commander of the faithful, the namesake of Uthman b. Madh`un [The Final Imam in Ziyarat al-Nahiya] الَّذِينَ يَظُنُّونَ أَنَّهُمْ مُلَاقُو رَبِّهِمْ وَأَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ نزلت في علي عليه السلام وعثمان بن مظعون وعمار بن ياسر وأصحاب لهم “Those who are assured that they are going to meet their Lord and that they are to be returned to Him” (2:46) was revealed about Ali عليه السلام, Uthman b. Madh`un, Ammar b. Yasir and their fellows [Ibn Abbas in Tafsir al-Hibari] Lineage and Family عثمان بن مظعون بن حبيب بن وهب بن حذافة بن جمح بن عمرو بن هصيص بن كعب بن لؤي بن غالب، الجُمحي القرشي. يكنّى أبا السائب He was Uthman b. Madh`un b. Habib b. Wahb b. Hudhafa b. Jumah b. `Amr b. Hasis b. Ka`b b. Luayy b. Ghalib, al-Jumahi al-Qarashi. His Kuniyya was Aba al-Sa`ib. He had two brothers - Qudama and Abdallah. His sister Zaynab bt. Madh`un was the wife of Umar b. al-Khattab and bore for him Abdallah b. Umar, Hafsa bt. Umar and the two Abd al-Rahman’s. He married Khawla bt. Hakim and had with her Sa`ib and Abd al-Rahman [Siyar A`lam al-Nubala] Physical Description كان شديد الاَدمة، ليس بالقصير ولا بالطويل، كبير اللحية عريضها He was very dark, neither tall nor short [medium-sized], having a beard wide in breadth [Usd al-Ghaba] In Jahiliyya He was considered one of the wise ones even in the period before Islam. Those who were not led astray by their desires but let their pure intellects guide them. It is because of this that he never touched intoxicants and said about them: لا أشرب شراباً يذهب عقلي، ويضحك بي مَن هو أدنى منّي، ويحملني على أن أنكح كريمتي I do not drink a liquid that makes my intellect disappear, causes someone who is inferior to me to laugh at me and can even lead me to perform intercourse with my own daughter! [al-Istiab fi Ma`rifat al-Ashab] Conversion to Islam It is said that Uthman b. Madh`un was the fourteenth man to accept Islam. He relates: كنتُ أسلمت استحياءً من رسول الله صلّى الله عليه وآله لكثرة ما كان يعرض عليّ الإسلام، ولم يقرّ الإسلام في قلبي، فكنتُ ذات يوم عنده حال تأمله، فشخص بصره نحو السماء كأنه يستفهم شيئاً، فلما سُري عنه سألته عن حاله، فقال صلّى الله عليه وآله: نعم، بينا أنا أُحدّثك إذ رأيت جبرئيلَ في الهواء، فأتاني بهذه الآية: إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ ... وقرأها عليّ إلى آخرها، فقرَ الإسلام في قلبي، وأتيتُ عمّه أبا طالب فأخبرته، فقال: يا آلَ قريش اتبعُوا محمداً ترشُدوا، فإنه لا يأمركم إلاّ بمكارم الأخلاق I only accepted Islam because of the embarrassment I felt in front of the messenger of Allah صلّى الله عليه وآله for he used to invite me to Islam constantly [and I could not turn him down], however Islam had not yet settled in my heart. I was with him one day when he turned his eyes to the sky, as though he were listening to something, when he returned to a normal state I asked him about what had happened to him - he صلّى الله عليه وآله said: yes, while I was speaking with you I saw Jibril in the air, he came to me with this verse: “Allah orders you towards justice and doing good …” (16:90) and he recited the verse to its end. This is when Islam settled in my heart [I became fully convinced of it]. I went to see his uncle Abu Talib and informed him of this, he said: O people of Quraysh, follow Muhammad and you will be guided, for he does not invite you except to the most exemplary morals [Majma al-Bayan] The two Hijras When Uthman accepted Islam and announced it, the Quraysh began to persecute him as they did others who had done the same. Banu Jumah used to trouble and beat him despite his honourable station within their clan. When the trials intensified, Allah the Exalted permitted some early Muslims to migrate and make the first Hijra to Abyssinia. They came out secretly and found two merchant ships at the coast which carried them away leaving behind some of the Quraysh who were on their tracks. وآل مظعون ممّن أوعَب في الخروج إلى الهجرة، رجالُهم ونساؤهم، ولم يَبقَ منهم بمكّة أحد، حتّى أُغلِقَت دورهم The Family of Madh`un were among those who left no one behind when they came out to emigrate, neither men nor women, no one among them remained in Makka, even their houses in Makka were locked [Tabaqat of Ibn Sa`d] They took such a drastic step because they trusted the words of the prophet about their being a just king who would give them refuge i.e. Najashi. This attests to their great faith in Islam. Uthman subsequently returned to Makka when the false news spread that the Quraysh had embraced Islam only to find that they were unchanged in their ways and even harsher in their treatment of Muslims. The only thing which helped him at this juncture was the relation of Jiwar [lit. neighbour] which he entered into with al-Walid b. al-Mughira. The Jahili Arabs were very scrupulous in maintaining this institution. It was considered the height of dishonour to let any harm befall someone whom you have accepted as a Jar. لمّا رأى عثمان بن مظعون ما عليه أصحاب رسول الله صلّى الله عليه وآله من البلاء وهو يغدو ويروح في أمان الوليد بن المغيرة، قال: واللهِ إنّ غُدُوّي ورَواحي آمناً بجوار رجلٍ من أهل الشرك، وأصحابي وأهل ديني يَلقَون مِن البلاء والأذى في الله ما لا يصيبني، لنَقصٌ كبير في نفسي! فمشى إلى الوليد فقال له: يا أبا عبدشمس، وَفَت ذمّتُك، قد رَدَدتُ إليك جوارك. قال: لِمَ يا ابنَ أخي؟! لعلّه آذاك أحدٌ مِن قومي، قال: لا، ولكني راضٍ بجوار الله ولا أريد أن أستجير بغيره، قال الوليد: فانطِلقْ إلى المسجد فاردُدْ علَيّ جواري علانيةً كما أجَرتُك علانية. فانطلقا فخرجا حتى أتيا المسجد ... When Uthman b. Madh`un saw what the companions of the messenger of Allah صلّى الله عليه وآله were facing in terms of persecution while he was waking and going to sleep in safety because of the protection of al-Walid b. al-Mughira - he said: by Allah, my waking and sleeping in safety in the Jiwar of one of the men of Shirk - while my companions are facing persecution and mistreatment in the way of Allah which does not extend to me - is a great deficiency in my person! So he walked to al-Walid and said to him: O Aba Abd al-Shams, you have discharged your obligation, I have returned to you the protection you extended to me. He said: Why do you do this O the son of my brother? Has one of my kinsmen mistreated you? he said: no, but I am pleased with the protection of Allah, I do not want to seek protection from other than Him, al-Walid said: then go to the sanctuary [Ka`ba] and announce your repudiation of my protection to all, the way I had announced my protection of you in front of everyone. So they came out together until they reached the sanctuary … [Seera of Ibn Hisham] Uthman began to taste again the difficulties faced by other Muslims as a result of this decision. Later, he and the other Muslims migrated to Yathrib upon the instruction of the prophet. Thus, he is counted among those who made two Hijras. Injury in the way of Allah ومرّ عثمان بن مظعون بمجلسٍ من قريش، ولبيد بن ربيعة بن مالك بن كلاب القيسي ينشدهم: It is said that Uthman b. Madh`un passed by a gathering of the Quraysh in which Labid b. Rabi`a b. Malik b. Kilab al-Qaysi was reciting poetry to them: ألا كلّ شيءٍ ما خلا الله باطل Know that everything apart from Allah is a falsehood فقال عثمان: صدقت Uthman said: you have spoken the truth! فقال لبيد: Labid continued: وكلُّ نعيم لا محالة زائلُ And every delightful thing must without a doubt come to an end فقال عثمان: كذبت، نعيم أهل الجنة لا يزول. قال لبيد بن ربيعة: يا معشر قريش، والله ما كان يؤذى جليسكم، فمتى حدث فيكم هذا؟ فقال رجل من القوم: إن هذا سفيه في سفهاء معه قد فارقوا ديننا، فلا تجدن في نفسك من قوله، فرد عليه عثمان حتى سرى - أي: عظم - أمرهما، فقام إليه ذلك الرجل، فلطم عينه فخضرها، والوليد بن المغيرة قريب يرى ما بلغ من عثمان، فقال: أما والله يا ابن أخي إن كانت عينك عما أصابها لغنية، فقد كنت في ذمة منيعة. فقال عثمان: بلى، والله إن عيني الصحيحة لفقيرة إلى ما أصاب أختها في الله، وإني لفي جوار من هو أعز منك وأقدر يا أبا عبد شمس Uthman interjected: you have lied! the delights of paradise will never cease! Labid said: O assembly of Quraysh, by Allah the one who sits for you [to recite poetry] was never disturbed in the past, when did this change come to pass among you? A man in the group said: this one [i.e. Uthman] is a fool among other fools who have abandoned our religion, so do not give mind to what he says. Uthman defended himself verbally until the argument became intense, then the man stood up, came to him and hit him in his eye such that it blackened. al-Walid b. al-Mughira who was nearby and seeing what happened to Uthman said to him: by Allah O son of my brother, your eye was more worthy than what has been done to it for you were in a secure pact [of protection]. Uthman said: rather by Allah, my healthy eye is less worthy when compared to what has befallen its counterpart in the way of Allah. I am in the protection of One who is mightier than you and more powerful O Aba Abd Shams! فقال عثمان بن مظعون فيما أصيب من عينه: فإن تك عيني في رضا الرب نالها يدا ملحد في الدين ليس بمهتد فقد عوض الرحمن منها ثوابه ومن يرضه الرحمن يا قوم يسعد فإني وإن قلتم غوي مضلل سفيه على دين الرسول محمد أريد بذاك الله والحق ديننا على رغم من يبغي علينا ويعتدي Uthman said about his eye which was injured: So if my eye has been struck in seeking the pleasure of my Lord … by an unbelieving hand unguided in the religion Then the All-Merciful has surely compensated in return for it its reward … and whomever the All-Merciful is pleased with than O people he is sure to be gladdened And I, even though you have described me as misguided, astray … and foolish, am upon the religion of the messenger Muhammad I only desire by that Allah, and our religion is the truth … despite the one who hates on us and becomes an enemy [Hilyat al-Awliya of Abu Nuaym]
  8. 2 points
    towards the Creator, the Lord to the celestial divine abode to the indefinite end of the world to the eternal Jannat-al Ma'va to the boundless Alam-e Kobra an endless journey, he starts for a superior world, he departs from an earthly alam An Adam (Read from down to up) به سوی خالق یکتا به سوی غایت دنیا به سوی جنه المأوی به سوی عالم کبری به سوی عرش افلاکی شود راهی شود عازم از عالم خاکی آدمی
  9. 2 points
    Laayla

    Where Has the Haya Gone?

    Bismehe Ta3ala, Assalam Alikum. One of the many reasons why I love living among the Shias in the Dahiya is some sisters hold majalis at their homes and invite neighbors, friends, and family. Majalis, is a gathering where we listen to a recitor who describes the events that unfolded of the martyrdom of the Ahulbayt. The third narration of the martyrdom of Sayyida Fatymah is taking place now and this specific majalis are entitled "Fatamiyya." Great reverence is given to Sayyida Fatymah. We learn from her how to be the devoted mother, wife and daughter. She perfected how to worship God. She also perfected in haya (modesty/shyness) and 3iffa (chastity). Western culture promotes individualism with attitudes of "mind your own business" and "to each his own." Yet, Prophet Mohammad teaches us كلكم راع وكلكم مسئول عن رعيته “Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock." Time and time again when hijab is brought up you can see so many camps for or against hijab. Even those who do observe hijab, it is not followed by what Allah wants but according to their liking or latest fashion accessory. When Muslim sisters and brothers bring up the topic they are encouraging sisters to complete their hijab. It is not a matter of self righteousness or hypocrisy to advise the sister. Of course the person advising should first know the rules of observing hijab and secondly they themselves are wearing it correctly. Imam Ali said,"Chastity is the zakaat of beauty and grace." (Ghuraral Hekam) The labels "haram" or "moral" police are thrown around too. I can understand why these words would be used for individuals who are belligerent or who make it out to embarrass you, which is not the way we approach anyone about any matter. Both ways are wrong and incorrect! Always approach with kindness, warmth, and gentleness and NEVER in front of a crowd. Finally, I just want to address that we should never look at any sin lightly. Many of the sins we might fall into we see it disparagingly. We should always work on improving ourselves in obeying Allah swt. Don't look at any sin lightly and brush it off as it was nothing. One of those sins is when sisters beautify themselves in front of non mahrams. Yes, God loves beauty and beauty is not a sin, but when a sister enhances her looks by makeup, racy clothing, finger nail polish in PUBLIC (key word, in front of strange men) all this is haram and you are sinning. In closing, a du3a from our beloved Imam al Mahdi. O Allah!· Award dignity and peace of mind to old people,· Confer repentance and turning away from sin to our young people,· Bestow modesty and chastity to our women. وَعَلَىٰ مَشَايِخِنَا بِٱلْوَقَارِ وَٱلسَّكِينَةِ وَعَلَىٰ ٱلشَّبَابِ بِٱلإِنَابَةِ وَٱلتَّوْبَةِ وَعَلَىٰ ٱلنِّسَاءِ بِٱلْحَيَاءِ وَٱلْعِفَّةِ
  10. 1 point
    A small collection of 82 reliable narrations concerning Intellect and Knowledge translated into English with annotated footnotes. Download PDF: https://www.scribd.com/document/361632457/Book-of-Intellect-and-Knowledge-Mu-jam-1-1 This is an UNSECURED version to aid copy and paste. Preamble The first book of the first volume is the book of Intellect and Knowledge. Some short words on the Islamic conception of both is in order. Aql is the vehicle through which the initial queries about the reality of life and nature of the world is made. It is also an essential component towards the Ma’rifa [recognition] of Allah. Thus it becomes the preliminary ‘inner prophet’ which can lead to ‘outward’ guidance and consequently obedience of Allah. It has been attributed to al-Sadiq that he said when asked to define Aql: ما عبد به الرحمن واكتسب به الجنان That by which the Rahman [Most Merciful] is worshipped and by which the Gardens are acquired[1] Aql is what will be held accountable. The more perfect the Aql of the one doing the deed the more complete it becomes and vice versa. The messenger of Allah is supposed to have said: إذا رأيتم الرجل كثير الصلاة كثير الصيام فلا تباهوا به حتى تنظروا كيف عقله؟ If you see a man who prays a lot and fasts a lot then do not be overly impressed with him until you observe how his Aql is[2] Knowledge and its pursuit has been given such importance in Islam that a Western Scholar like Rosenthal could speak of the ‘Empire of Reason’. Knowledge is of many types, but the one which has been obligated is acquiring the knowledge which will make one succeed in this world and hereafter i.e. knowledge of the creator and one’s obligations towards Him. It is not enough to gain knowledge in theoretical terms, in fact the very definition of knowledge is the one which is put into practise. This is best summed up in a narration attributed to the Commander of the Faithful: حسبك من العلم أن تخشى الله، وحسبك من الجهل أن تعجب بعلمك It is enough to be considered knowledge that you be in awe of Allah, and it is enough to be considered ignorance that you feel proud with that which you know[3] [1] al-Kafi: 1/11 [2] al-Kafi: 1/26 [3] Amali of al-Tusi: 1/62
  11. 1 point
    Laayla

    What Now?

    Bismehe Ta3ala, Assalam Alikum. Whenever the topic of death arises, people try to stay away from the discussion. For many, it is an uncomfortable subject, but Sub7an'Allah Allah always reminds us about it in the Quran. "Allah does not give any breather (or let up) to anyone for death when its fixed time comes." (Surah 63:11) Every person (nafs) will taste death, ....." (Surah 3:185) "... no one knows (where) in what land (or place) he will die". (Surah 31:34) Wherever you may be, death will overtake you, even if you should be within towers of lofty construction. But if good comes to them, they say, "This is from Allah "; and if evil befalls them, they say, "This is from you." Say, "All [things] are from Allah ." So what is [the matter] with those people that they can hardly understand any statement? (Surah 4:78) In Lebanon, we are constantly reminded of death. Whether it is the martyrs, family members, or from accidents death is heard about in a daily basis. I have a vivid image of death. I saw a dead mouse once. First, I didn't notice it, but there was a wretched smell. I was looking to see where it was coming from. I found it hidden between fake flowers. I wanted to dispose it, and I got a metal utensil to put it in a plastic bag. Of course, I wrapped my scarf around my nose, because the stench was unbearable. I saw it's yellow front teeth sticking out. But what was the eye opening image that I was left with? It was the hundreds of white maggots that was crawling out of it. I was crying and talking to myself at that point. Is this how I will end up? That my grave will be a house of maggots? (bayt al dood) Oh God have mercy on us. God sends us so many warnings and signs throughout our life time. We are not for this world. Every living thing will experience death. A fact of life, if only people realize there time in this world is limited, would so many crimes, and evilness exist? Unfortunately, many people see death as far away and live carefree. If more people would focus about where they will eventually end up, I think this world would be an easier place to live in. But people plan 30, 40, 50 years ahead and will do whatever it takes to reach there goals. But the real question is, "What have you done for yourself for the Hereafter?" M3 Salamah, FE AMIN Allah
  12. 1 point
    shadow_of_light

    st. 1/1

    به نام روح آفرین زندگی بخش که هر جز جهان دارد از او نقش به یاد عهد و پیمان الستی به بیعت با ره یکتاپرستی به یاد جان در تربت دمیده که تار و پود انسان را تنیده "Read in the Name of Your Lord Who Created You" And you decided to create me. One morning, in the eternity, you began. You mixed the soil with the water, added the spirit and thereby created Human. You, without paying attention to the complaints, chose me as your favourite and ordered everyone to prostrate himself before me. And I, filled with joy and pride, watched the huge crowd of prostrators. You accommodated me in your paradise and how beautiful it was! You ordered everyone to be at my service and take care of me lest any scratch, though very small, should appear on my face; lest I should feel a slight tinge of sadness. By the way, did I know what grief was?! I lived happily in your paradise and didn't know the meaning of trouble and hardship, grief and distress. I didnt know that I had a jealous enemy who couldnt tolerate me being joyful and happy. He- your curse be upon him- was called Satan. He knew that I was an inexprienced naive person and could easily be deceived. So he began...and finally deceived me and then, you got angry. In paradise, you had given me everything but I was driven by greed and disobeyed you. On that day, I was summoned to the court. In the court, you reprimanded me. And I had no excuse. I was extremely frightened. I had never seen your wrath! ...
  13. 1 point
    [This will be a series of blog entries on the history of ShiaChat.com; how it was founded, major ups and down, politics and issues behind running such a site and of course, the drama! I will also provide some feedback on development efforts, new features and future goals and objectives] Part 1 - The IRC (#Shia) Days! Sit children, gather around and let me speak to you of tales of times before there was ever high-speed Internet, Wi-Fi, YouTube or Facebook; a time when the Internet was a much different place and 15 year old me was still trying to make sense of it all. In the 90s, the Internet was a very different place; no social media, no video streaming and downloading an image used to take anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on how fast your 14.4k monster-sized dial up modem was. Of course you also had to be lucky enough for your mom to have the common courtesy not to disconnect you when you’re in the middle of a session; that is if you were privileged enough to have Internet at home and not have to spend hours at school or libraries, or looking for AOL discs with 30 hour free trials..(Breathe... breathe... breathe) - I digress. Back in 1998 when Google was still a little computer sitting in Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s basement, I was engaged in armchair jihadi-like debates with our Sunni brothers on an IRC channel called #Shia. (Ok, a side note here for all you little pups. This is not read as Hashtag Shia, the correct way of reading this is “Channel Shia”. The “Hash tag” was a much cooler thing back in the day than the way you young’uns use it today). For those of you who don’t know what IRC was (or is... as it still exists), it stands for Internet Relay Chat, which are servers available that you could host chat rooms in and connect through a client. It was like the Wild West where anyone can go and “found” their own channel (chat room), become an operator and reign down their god-like dictator powers upon the minions that were to join as member of their chat room. Luckily, #Shia had already been established for a few years before by a couple of brothers I met from Toronto, Canada (Hussain A. and Mohammed H.). Young and eager, I quickly rose up the ranks to become a moderator (@Ali) and the chatroom quickly became an important part of my adolescent years. I learned everything I knew from that channel and met some of the most incredible people. Needless to say, I spent hours and dedicated a good portion of my life on the chatroom; of course the alternate was school and work but that was just boring to a 15 year old. In the 90’s, creating a website was just starting to be cool so I volunteered to create a website for #Shia to advertise our services, who we are, what we do as well as have a list of moderators and administrators that have volunteered to maintain #Shia. As a result, #Shia’s first website was hosted on a friend’s server under the URL http://786-110.co.uk/shia/ - yes, ShiaChat.com as a domain did not exist yet – was too expensive for my taste so we piggy backed on one of our member’s servers and domain name. The channel quickly became popular, so popular that we sometimes outnumbered our nemesis, #Islam. As a result, our moderator team was growing as well and we needed a website with an application that would help us manage our chatroom in a more efficient style. Being a global channel, it was very hard to do “shift transfers” and knowledge transfers between moderators as the typical nature of a chatroom is the fact that when a word is typed, its posted and its gone after a few seconds – this quickly became a pain point for us trying to maintain a list of offenders to keep an eye out for and have it all maintained in a historical, easily accessible way. A thought occurred to me. Why not start a “forum” for the moderators to use? The concept of “forums” or discussion boards was new to the Internet – it was the seed of what we call social media today. The concept of having a chat-style discussion be forever hosted online and be available for everyone to view and respond to at anytime from anywhere was extremely well welcomed by the Internet users. I don’t recall what software or service I initially used to set that forum up, but I did – with absolutely no knowledge that the forum I just setup was a tiny little acorn that would one day be the oak tree that is ShiaChat.com. [More to follow, Part 2..] So who here is still around from the good old #Shia IRC days?
  14. 1 point
    Haji 2003

    Mosque design

    There's been coverage recently in the international press about Vali-e-Asr mosque in Tehran. At issue is the radical design and the criticisms it has received in some Iranian circles. To understand why, it's perhaps easiest to look at the image below and realise that the mosque is the slopey building on the left. No doubt there are internal Iranian political considerations and perhaps those related to Islamic and secular ideologies being played out. But the question remains of what counts as a mosque. Unless there is clear guidance as to the requirements, I sit on the side of the fence which says that there are no rules (apart from the need to face Qibla). In the modern age do we need minarets or domes? The best mosques have been attractive and served as a social and leisure space, but what that means to us can be different to what worked in previous centuries. In fact there is a great risk that in trying to copy the past we end up making a pastiche of it. The Saudi developments to the Prophe's (s.a.w.) mosque in Medina are a great lesson on what not to do. That mosque is clearly the work of some American or European whose frame of reference were the mosques in Grenada and they've achieved a spectacularly brutal result. The challenge for today's designers is to develop a vernacular for contemporary mosque design that is at the same time Islamic, unapologetic and not derivative. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/23/a-modern-mosque-without-minarets-stirs-controversy-in-tehran#img-1
  15. 1 point
    shadow_of_light

    Living is...

    "To be alive is a horizontal movement from the cradle to the grave but living is a vertical movement from the earth to th Heaven. Life is the infinite continuance of present moments. Our mission in life is not to live without problems but to live with motivations" (Dr. Mahmoud Hessabi).
  16. 1 point
    Haji 2003

    Charity?

    There's a heart-warming story in the news recently. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41587429 So far so good. Let's look at the background: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41587429 That's basically the nub of the problem for me. And it is a twofold problem. First of all, you can have an economic system that exploits the vulnerable, as has happened here. The second part of the problem is that although the system provides some people with the opportunity to give large sums to charity, even this is not without cost. Because the donors can impose their own beliefs and values in terms of who they give the money to and what it can be spent on. Neither of these may always be consistent with the interests of the State as expressed in a democracy. In this specific instance, a tax based healthcare system makes it obligatory on the rich to pay, the obligations are on them an not the masses. Charity, on the other hand, places obligations on the recipient, the power balance is completely altered.
  17. 1 point
    yasahebalzaman.313

    Define Happiness

    Brothers and sisters. What words you use nowadays to define happiness in this life? Do you seek to achieve it? What do you do to achieve it? This concept have made people go astray just to obtain it, they have quit their religion and commitment and have fallen into this trap that the western culture always point at. This topic is a reminder for all of us, including me, to remember the very Purpose we came here for. Before I became a Shia i met many individuals who always wanted to hear about the truth and always wanted to acquire this ultimate feeling that we call happiness. Only they don't understand that they can't have it in this life. A friend of mine used to always talk about owning a house next to a lake, work in a job that she likes, that is true happiness she says, but yet this lifestyle is temporary. She doesn't think well okay after I've done all that what is next? What is the meaning behind it? Or another one that used to always tell me she wants to travel the whole world and camp in every mountain, forest, valley, beach, or any outdoor place she could ever find. Imagine you have the whole money in the world and you went on to do this endless trip you talk about and then after you almost discovered every country, every civilization, you'd probably feel that life has no purpose now and you'd decide to end it. Because simply there is nothing new for you to do anymore, everything is repetitive in this life and everything is temporary. I had friends who quit their jobs and went on a 6months trip to India living like homeless people. When they came back they claimed that this trip changed their life, but i just didn't see it, it wasn't genuine to me. Many people go to places now, pretend to do things or even feel like they Have to do certain activities just to show the world how cool and happy they are. But trust me behind their smile they are miserable. Happiness is overrated, it's just some other weapon that they use against us. It's normal that we slip sometimes but it's important to get back up, because True happiness comes from religion and from God, and the ultimate happiness is founded in the hereafter, not here.
  18. 1 point
    إن بيانا تراءى له الشيطان في أحسن ما يكون صورة آدمي من قرنه إلى سرته The Devil appeared to Bayan in the most handsome form that a human can have from the top of the head to the navel [Ja`far al-Sadiq] God caused the holy pre-existent spirit which had created the whole of creation to dwell in flesh that He desired [Shepherd of Hermas] He keeps appearing every now and again ... he takes Adam’s clothes off and puts it on again [Epiphanius] Bayan b. Sam`an and the Bayaniyya The status of the Imam was a question that was fiercely debated in the second century of the Islamic Era before the different positions crystallized. It is important to go back to history to hear the different voices in the debate. This is relevant because we find some unease to this day between what is believed in the popular Shi`i consciousness and our literary sources. One such key figure who participated in developing a peculiar Imamology was Bayan b. Sam`an. Who was Bayan? Bayan b. Sam`an (most likely from the South Arabian tribe of Nahd) was a seller of straw in Kufa. We would classify him as a Ghali and he was indeed cursed by the `Aimma. He is said to have associated himself with Hamza b. `Ammara, a speculator about the divinity of Ibn al-Hanafiyya [heading a splinter of the Kaysaniyya]. Bayan later attached himself to the claim of Abu Hashim the son of Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya. What did the Bayaniyya believe? We do not have any extant documentary evidence that comes directly from Bayani circles, but we have early statements of contemporaries reformulating their beliefs, we also have the entries of the heresiographers whose work it was to classify different sects based on their belief-systems. The concept of a Demiurge In a report in al-Kashshi, Hisham quotes Bayan as saying: إن بيانا يتأول هذه الآية وَ هُوَ الَّذِي فِي السَّماءِ إِلهٌ وَ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلهٌ، أن الذي في الأرض غير إله السماء، و إله السماء غير إله الأرض، و أن إله السماء أعظم من إله الأرض، و أن أهل الأرض يعرفون فضل إله السماء و يعظمونه فقال: و الله ما هو إلا الله وحده لا شريك له إله من في السماوات و إله من في الأرضين 'Bayan interprets this verse “and He is the one who is God in Heaven and God on Earth” (43:84) that the one on Earth is not the God of Heaven, and the God of Heaven is not the God of Earth, and that the God of Heaven is greater than the God of Earth, and that the people of the Earth recognize the merit of the God of Heaven and magnify Him' This is an important piece of evidence, because it shows that the sectarians were influenced by the concept of the Demiurge in their cosmology. I use this word in the sense of a second divine power in heaven. This power could assume many different names like Wisdom of God, Spirit of God, Logos, Metatron etc. It owes its origins to Gnosticism [and Middle-platonic notions], which had a long pre-Islamic pedigree in the melting pot that was Kufa. Gnosticism presents a distinction between the highest, unknowable God and the lesser power that was pre-existing with the unknowable God. The latter is the ilah al-ard [lesser god] in Bayan’s terminology, the site of God's power on the Earth. The real unknown God is so distant and incomprehensible to humans that they can only know him through a lesser being which can interact with matter. Who is the Lesser God on Earth? The Bayaniyya held that the Imam was deified because of housing the indwelling Demiurgic divine-light particle. This particle transmigrated (Tanasukh) i.e. passed down - from the Biblical patriarchs, to the Prophet Muḥammad, to the Shiʿi Imams. قال بيان بالهية علي عليه السلام، وأن جزءا إلهيا متحد بناسوته، ثم من بعده في ابنه محمد بن الحنفية ثم في أبي هاشم ولد محمد بن الحنفية، ثم من بعده في بيان هذا In other words, the bodies of prophets and `Aimma were receptacles to be filled with a divine spark or Spirit. It would at some point leave the body of the Imam when he dies and transmigrate to another. All the supernatural abilities of the Imam derives from being a host to the divine particle, without it the Imam is just an ordinary human. I term this a “possessionist” Imamology. Anyone who has studied early Jewish-Christian Christologies will notice how closely those parallel what has been presented here. This particle is said to have passed through Ali > Ibn al-Hanafiyya > Abu Hashim and potentially Bayan himself. Al-Baghdadi says in al-Farq bayn al-Firaq: ان بَيَانا قَالَ لَهُم: ان روح الْإِلَه تناسخت فى الانبياء والائمة حَتَّى صَارَت الى ابى هَاشم عبد الله ابْن مُحَمَّد بن الْحَنَفِيَّة ثمَّ انْتَقَلت اليه مِنْهُ يعْنى نَفسه فَادّعى لنَفسِهِ الربوبية على مَذْهَب الحلولية Bayan said: the Divine Spirit transfused into the prophets and the `Aimma until it reached Abi Hashim Abdallah b. Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya then it went into me [i.e. he deified himself]. al-Shahristani says in al-Milal wa al-Nihal: قال بيان: حل في علي جزء إلهي، واتحد بجسده، فيه كان يعلم الغيب اذا اخبر عن الملاحم وبه قلع باب خيبر Bayan said: The divine particle transfused into Ali, and united with his physical body, with it [in this divine particle] did he know the knowledge of the Unseen when he used to inform others about the trials [at the end of times] and by it [not his physical body] was he able to uproot the door of Khaybar. What is the Implication of this? In essence, the Bayaniyya and many other Ghulat were marked out from other 'orthodox' Muslim communities in that they did not close the door to prophecy. Prophecy continues because the access to the divine realm did not end with the Muhammad. Since they deified the Imams, anyone who is a legitimate deputy of this Imam-god would be a “prophet”. At first, Bayan saw himself as the “prophet” of the one with the divine spark. Sa`d b. Abdallah says in his al-Maqalat that Bayan sent a letter to al-Sadiq announcing his prophethood and commanding him among other things “to surrender so as to be safe … for you cannot know where God will place his prophethood .. and whoever warns has been excused”. The Imam ordered the messenger who brought the letter, a hapless man called Umar b. Abi Afif al-Azdi, to eat the letter in front of him, and that was his reply. There are clues, however, that he later evolved from this position and claimed to have possessed the spark himself. Consequently, he claimed to have access to special kind of knowledge which enabled him to predict the future [as a corollary] among other powers. Interpretation of the Qur`an The Ghulat in general are characterized by dabbling in Ta`wil [esoteric interpretation of the Qur`an]. The Bayaniyya, in particular, developed a literalist anthropomorphic interpretation of the Qur`an. They considered the unknowable God as being a Man of Light based on Q. 24:35. This Man of Light has various constituent parts e.g. having a hand based on Q. 48:10. In this vein, they considered that all will be destroyed [including God’s other parts] except for His face based on Q. 28:88. Apocalyptic Expectations A key feature of most of the Ghulati groups was the belief in the return of the dead before the day of judgment initiated by the eschatological return of of the expected messianic deliverer. The Bayaniyya believed in the Raj`a of Abu Hashim as the Mahdi. The End In 119/737 AD, Bayan and another Ghali al-Mughira b. Sa`id joined forces and rose in revolt against the Umayyad governor of Iraq, Khalid b. `Abdallah al-Qasri. The rebellion was quickly put down and the leaders as well as some of their followers were executed and then burned. As the Imam says: كان بيان يكذب على علي بن الحسين عليه السلام، فأذاقه الله حرَّ الحديد، وكان المغيرة بن سعيد يكذب على أبي جعفر عليه السلام فأذاقه الله حرَّ الحديد Bayan used to lie about al-al-Sajjad عليه السلام and al-Mughira b. Sa`id used to lie about al-Baqir عليه السلام so Allah made them to taste of the heat of the iron [put to the sword].
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