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Ibn al-Hussain

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About Ibn al-Hussain

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  • Birthday 12/24/1988

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  1. Post- Hawzah ilmiyyah

    I am in my last term at the Amir al-Mu'minin Seminary in Qom. It is difficult to address all your questions over an online forum, maybe you can contact me directly through PM or I can put you in touch with some brothers who are from London studying in Qom (there are many). There are a lot of factors that play a role in deciding to come to Hawzah - my greatest advice would be to first figure out why you want to come in the first place and try to understand all the pros and cons of the current seminary system (particularly the cons, because there are a lot of them and they are something that people aren't told before they make the decision to come, and many end up regretting it and few years down the line realize how their life was wasted). The greatest disappointment majority of the people encounter when they come to Qom is the lack of conformity between what they thought Hawzah and life in Qom would be like, and what they actually end up experiencing. Plus you are from London - we have a joke amongst the Western non-Londoner Hawzah students to "not even touch that place with a 10-foot pole". So you really need to figure out what exactly will you be able to do with your seminary education in a place that has so much politics, challenges, a city that has a scholar on every street with their own store open etc.
  2. Ammar Nakshawani on sex slaves

    Bro, you give me jokes lol... Anyways, it seems like another SC thread - that had the potential to turn into a good quality discussion - has been laid to rest . Wasalam
  3. Ammar Nakshawani on sex slaves

    I never said the notion of consent is a 21st century construct. I was saying, our understanding of where and how consent is applicable has been tainted by a 21st century world, where the same expectations of consent we have today may not have been relevant in the past. I gave examples such as "with her consent" (in a slave-master relationship), "marital rape" (in a husband-wife relationship).There are many cases where consent plays an important role, but we'd be lying to ourselves if we told ourselves there was something known as a master taking consent of a slave (you do find the opposite, a slave requiring consent of the master). You don't need to read too far into Fiqh to realize that such a notion didn't exist in the context we are discussing. I have already mentioned before, slaves were discussed in the section of animals (because they were treated as your property) in Kitab al Bay' - consent has no meaning there. Tell me if 13-14 centuries of traditional Fiqh recognized something known as "marital rape" with your spouse, and if such a thing would have been punishable? No where in any Fiqhi discussion will you come across a term known as "marital rape", or the notion of taking "consent" of the wife before you decide to have sexual relationships with her. The given here was that she was to submit no matter what (except in a very few limited cases), because that is what the marriage contract entailed (at its raw core, the marriage contract is the concept of providing sexual submissiveness in return of the Mahr & Nafaqah). This is a scenario where a slave man forces another slave girl to have sex with her (under the context he was not married to her). In the narration above, if it was consensual, then they both would have been flogged. Thus, this is a completely different scenario and has nothing to do with our discussion, which is that of a master and slave. Wasalam
  4. Ammar Nakshawani on sex slaves

    I was typing up this response below, but my jet-lag kicked in so hard that I fell asleep (at 8:47 PM ) and woke up to see that there are 2 more pages added to the thread . I think quite the opposite actually. I believe the academic solution to the "problem of slavery" (and many other similar concepts that are "hard to digest" in the modern world) is fundamentally rooted in philosophy of ethics. I have a lot to say on this, but my classes have begun and I am running out of time now to participate on this thread unfortunately. I'll just leave with a few questions/comments/food for thought (mostly me thinking out loud to be honest) - but I may not be able to respond, so apologies for that in advance. These are the elements in your definition of slavery: - removes the ability to think: I disagree with this element - unless you can clarify what you meant? I don't see how becoming a slave removes one's ability to think - removes the ability to make willful and conscious decisions: I disagree with this as well. They were very much allowed to make willful conscious decisions, within the limitations that were upon them (all humans live in a similar scenario, just the type of limitations differ) - it clouds human intellect: Need more clarification on what you mean by this As for: forcefully takes away one's freedom and basic human rights, which are probably your two main elements, then these are extremely vague terms with a lot of presumptions you are making (consciously or subconsciously), that others don't have to agree with and are open to debate. Slavery was not found in one form all over the world. In some parts of the world (like in some parts and periods of Egyptian history) many people would sell themselves as slaves (i.e. they would use their freedom, to sell their freedom and become slaves) since the life of a slave was much better than the life of an average free-man. Would you still consider this morally wrong?In any case, terms like freedom, justice, peace, etc. are very vague words with different understandings and definitions, and unfortunately in the present day, Muslims love to use these vague terms to talk about Islam - without really realizing the full implications of what they are speaking about. Some of my biggest pet peeves are statements like "Imam Husayn (s) stood for justice", "The Prophet was a champion of social justice", "The Prophet was a feminist", "Islam means peace", "Islam is all about freedom" - these are very shallow, apologetic and polemical statements (in the current world that we live in) and due to the appropriation that these words have gotten, they have implications that are often times completely contradictory to the teachings of Islam. As Chittick puts it, they are plastic words, and as Geunon calls it, a disease of verbalism. What is inherently wrong about "forcefully taking away one's freedom"? Before you can answer that question, you need to ask yourself if you even believe in inherent morality or not? If you do, what is your evidence for it, and if you don't and believe morality is not inherent to actions (i.e. it is relative/subjective), then that resolves the issue because previous societies could have decided to see slavery as morally okay and we cannot therefore call them immoral or evil (otherwise we would be judging them with our collective, yet arbitrary decision today, which is not necessarily better or worse). If it is objective and inherent, then how did you determine it to be so? If your intellect tells you this, then perhaps the root premise for this claim is that forcefully taking away one's freedom is a form of oppression, and oppression is evil and immoral. If that is the case, then even with the belief in objective immorality of oppression, can you not argue that instances of what is immoral or not can change over time and from culture to culture? Meaning something that was considered oppression in the past is considered perfectly okay today, or what is considered oppression today was not considered oppression in the past. Even though in both time periods, humans still believed in the objective premise: oppression is immoral. God has forcefully taken away man's freedom, existentially and legally. In fact we refer to ourselves as - literally - slaves ('abd) of God and our theology suggests we are completely at His disposal - He is our Owner and Master. We clearly do not find this slave-master relationship as morally abhorrent (although of course, an atheist will and does for this very reason). If we say that this is fine because at the end of the day God is superior to us, then we can move the discussion to the definition of superiority, and what makes us think that God cannot legislate one human to be superior to another? Humans are always in some sort of relationship which are predicated on hierarchy and superiority (one person is higher, and another is lower and subordinate - the latter giving away some sort of "freedom" for the higher), this element on its own surely cannot be considered immoral? When it comes to human rights - what is a right and who gives it? In a monotheistic worldview, God would be the one who dictates what our rights are and we would need to abide by them. What right do we have to make up our own rights? Freedom is one of those rights God has bestowed upon humans, but has He given humans - all humans - absolute freedom or the same degree of freedom? We know man has existential limitations placed upon him by God and we are not absolutely free, because in some cases we do not have the ability or power to do certain things (even if we wish to). Legally speaking, God has placed numerous limitations on our freedom. That being said, absolute legal freedom cannot be something desired if there is a purpose involved, because that would enable one to defeat the purpose. In other words, absolute freedom is absurd and literally impractical. So if there is no such thing as absolute freedom, and all freedom is restricted, then who defines these restrictions? When do these restrictions become "immoral" and how - since clearly, just mere restriction of freedom cannot be inherently immoral, rather one can even argue that it is moral (particularly when it aligns with one's purpose). PS - I am not addressing the issue of slavery in the post above. I am only throwing out questions regarding the terms being used in your definition to illustrate my point that the discussion is not a simple one. Centuries of scholarship - both Muslim and non-Muslim - has gone into these discussions trying to iron out the details and foundations of morality, because of how challenging it is (and I don't claim to have understood it, rather have a lot of questions myself). No one can deny that the Prophets of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى and the Imams participated in slavery, they owned slaves, purchased slaves, and some had even become slaves (like Prophet Yusuf). So we would really need to question our understanding of what it means to be a "beacon of hope and light" here. But on a side note, do you believe child-marriages are an ill today? If yes, then how do you judge the vast majority of human history when this was considered a norm? Wassalam
  5. Ammar Nakshawani on sex slaves

    So you have to now factor into the fact that most people did not just have one wife, and in fact polygamy was normal. So the husband always had access to multiple wives and slaves. This would hardly have been an issue, and if it were the case that the husband only has access to this one wife, then he would simply have to wait for intercourse, but still be able to derive other forms of pleasure. As for why the 'Iddah is shorter, I don't know - other than the fact that we have narrations saying this is how it is supposed to be. The presumption here is if an infallible has said such a thing, then we simply follow it whether we know the wisdom and reason behind it or not. This is how all Islamic law works. When a slave is "married" off, she is never shared with another man in a sexual relationship. No. It was only between the male master and female slaves. As far as I understand (from my reading of history), most male slaves that belonged to female owners were generally castrated. You are right that consent is an important concept in Islam, but there are certain individuals, or certain scenarios where people do not have the right to consent. For example, a child has no right to consent to something his or her parents may wish for them. Slaves in this scenario also do not have the right to consent. Oppression (Dhulm) is considered wrong and evil by all sane humans - that isn't what the dispute is over. The more complicated issues in discussions of morality is who determines what instances are that of oppression and what aren't and in fact, how do we determine in the first place that something is oppression and another act isn't. Two related examples I can think of are child marriages and cousin marriages. Child marriages were a global phenomena and part of every civilization. It was a part and parcel of life, and Islam also had laws permitting it. Today we may consider it immoral, wrong, oppression (due to all the factors and variables that have changed and how at least certain elements of maturity are attained at a later age), and many jurists today have even come out and given rulings that have raised the minimum age of marriage, but would we really say all of humanity was wrong and immoral to conduct child-marriages for the vast majority of human history? Of course not - that would be extremely egoistic and dogmatic (especially since it is likely that future generations will judge us as harshly as we decide to judge those before us). The world was different, and that is how humans lived and it was a part and parcel of life. These things didn't cross people's minds, because they were not an issue to begin with. Another example (perhaps not so shocking as child marriages - but still gives a good indication of how our conceptions can alter) is that of cousin marriages. Cousin marriages were a norm for all of human history, but today in some societies it is pretty much considered incest and immoral. This has even influenced many Muslims who consider it wrong, or they feel detested when it is mentioned - even though Islamic law perfectly allows it and does not consider it incest in any sense. Wasalam
  6. Ammar Nakshawani on sex slaves

    If a slave is married, then yes there is an 'iddah (although it is half of a free-woman's). In other cases (like in Tahleel) the term used in Fiqh is not 'Iddah. It is called Istibra' and it is much shorter (only one menstrual cycle). One thing you have to realize is that, terms such as "with her consent", "against her will", "marital rape", "slave's choice" are 19th/20th/21st century language and way of thinking. These terms and concepts did not exist for the vast majority of human history where slavery existed, and people simply considered these things as part and parcel of life. People had a different attitude to these events occurring around them. It is us who grew up in an era where these things do not exist anymore (at least not in the form we are discussing) and therefore we have a hard time understanding it. Are we really going to call thousands of years of humans as "immoral" and "wrong", especially when you see the greatest religious figures, ethicists, scholars all participating in such phenomena? I agree with @King - this is a topic most Muslims today will not be able to fathom and digest. All I can say is, this was not a "Muslim" phenomenon, rather it was a global world-wide phenomenon. It was something that was considered part of life under pretty much every civilization. As I previously mentioned, you are better off trying to understand the place of slavery in the world historically speaking, then trying to come up with weak apologetic reasons of how Islam was always trying to abolish slavery and what Islam has to say about it today (when it doesn't exist and is something out-lawed). Wasalam
  7. Ammar Nakshawani on sex slaves

    ^ Maaf kar do bhai, damagh kharab na karo mera .
  8. Ammar Nakshawani on sex slaves

    They should have read the rest of the statement of Shaykh al-Tusi: و لا يجوز إعارتها للاستمتاع بها لأن البضع لا يستباح بالإعارة، و حكي عن مالك جواز ذلك، و عندنا يجوز ذلك بلفظ الإباحة، و لا يجوز بلفظ العارية The ruling is just pointing out a technicality, saying you can't make her halal for sexual relations with a third-party by using the Arabic term for 'loaning'. However, you can make her halal for sexual relations by using the verb that relays Ibaha (similar to Tahleel as I mentioned earlier) - because you can't loan out sexual intercourse, but you can still make it permissible for a third-party through other means. It is like saying, you cannot get married permanently to a man by using the term Mat'atoka (though there is a difference of opinion on this), but you can if you use the word Zawwajtoka (because the first formula implies temporary marriage, while the second implies permanent). Wasalam
  9. Ammar Nakshawani on sex slaves

    Thank You. I would also advise the readers to not be judgmental towards me or the Muslims jurists of the past after reading my posts (although it will probably be difficult for some as this is a sensitive issue). Many of these laws need to be understood in a context that is completely alien to us in the 21st century. I have also not expressed my personal opinion on what I think of slavery, rather I am simply pointing out the flaws in the arguments and justifications put forth by Muslim scholars or speakers on the topic of slavery - which I believe are weak and do not make the case for their claims.
  10. Ammar Nakshawani on sex slaves

    The fallacy in this question is that it already presumes slavery is immoral (in absolute terms apparently). I would question this presumption - what are you defining as slavery and what makes it immoral? If we press on this question too far, it will result in a philosophy of ethics discussion, and you will then face an array of opinions and schools of thought (both within Islam and outside of Islam) on what exactly makes something moral or immoral, whether it is objective or subjective etc. Ayatullah Makarem and Ayatullah Ja'far Subhani are known for writing very polemically in their works intended for laymen. Their works may be good for an Iranian audience (although I would even question that at this point in time), or a general Eastern audience, but upon scrutiny you will see that the answers are not that convincing. For example, look at Ayatullah Makarem's book where he tries to explain what Imam 'Ali meant in his sermon where he said women are deficient in intellect (he says it was only about 'Ayesha - this is wrong on so many levels). By the way, I say this with utmost respect to these scholars, but we must learn to differentiate between their verdicts as jurisconsults which laymen can or have to follow, and their opinions on matters outside of that. Let us look at what Ayt, Makarem is doing here. He says Islam had an elaborate program for the freedom of all slaves, and he uses these 4 things (in your quote): 1) This Zakat money can only be used on Shi'i slaves and is just one of the options for using your Zakat. 2) Yes, there is indeed a whole book dedicated to this called Kitab al-Mukatabah with extensive laws, explaining how a slave can purchase their freedom in installments or through a one-time payment. But what is not being mentioned here is that first of all, this is a deal initiated by the master, and he sets the terms of payment. So if the master doesn't want to free the slave, or sets the terms so high that the slave can't afford it, then it is pretty irrelevant and useless. Furthermore, this is restricted to just Muslim slaves, and does not include non-Muslim slaves (the evidence used for this is فَكَاتِبُوهُمْ إِنْ عَلِمْتُمْ فِيهِمْ خَيْرًا from Surah Nur, verse 33). 3) If we want to talk in such vague flowery terms, then we can also make the claim that Islam's mandate is to eradicate global poverty (since one of the penalties is to feed those in poverty), eliminate immodesty and lewd acts from society (by placing deterrents such as death punishment and lashes), to make the whole world Muslim or make the Muslims financially stronger than non-Muslims (by permitting offensive Jihad where the opponents must either become Muslim and if they are Ahl al-Kitab they can choose to just pay land-tax), eradicate all people on the side of Kufr - people who are not Ahl al-Kitab - (because once their lands are taken over, they do not have an option to pay land-tax, rather they must either convert to Islam or are to be killed), and I can keep expanding this list. All these things on the surface sound good: No poverty, everyone is a Muslim, no Kufr in the world, a modest society, and of course no slavery. If you speak in colloquial terms, then you can get away by saying Islam's long term plan was to achieve all these things by considering these laws as precedents. However, when I say that the Prophet (s) did not come with any such mandate for abolishing slavery, I mean there was really no intent on it being abolished because it was not seen as something wrong or immoral to begin with. It was part and parcel of the world they lived in and that is how society functioned (literally). You should also realize, that mainstream Fiqh has not 'abolished' slavery (find me a verdict by mainstream scholars that says slavery is impermissible if it was done under similar circumstances as in the past). What has happened rather, is that the subject-matter of it no longer exists, therefore the laws are merely suspended and irrelevant. At one point, people say that the gradual abolishment of slavery was required because it would not only disrupt society, but would also make life hard for the slave themselves. I don't necessarily disagree with the fact that abolishing slavery would have had these consequences, but how can one say that these penalties in place for freeing slaves were part of some mandate in achieving the eventual freedom of all slaves? If had to pay a penalty for breaking a fast during the time of the Prophet, or soon after him, where I now had to free a slave, what good did it do for the slave if he was now a 'free man', but is left stranded with no home, money or work? 4) This doesn't really prove that there was some master-plan by Islam (that pretty much everyone missed out on for 14 centuries) to abolish slavery. There are other things within Islamic law where if you do something, there are immediate/automatic consequences of it, but we don't need to make such far-fetched conclusions from them (like certain types of divorces). You will also notice that many of these things were optional (for example, freeing a slave as a penalty was just one of the three options people had, or giving Zakat to free a slave was just one out of 8 options). I don't see how optional laws like these can be deemed part of an elaborate plan in eliminating slavery (we also know that slavery in the Muslim world only ever grew - into the millions - and it never decreased or diminished until it was 'immediately abolished' in the mid-20th century). The biggest evidence is that slavery in the Muslim world existed until the mid-20th century, and it was never abolished in the Muslim world due to some jurist citing an Islamic Fiqhi principle. Rather it was eventually outlawed by the different states under Western pressure. How on earth can we come and say Islam already had this on its to-do list, when it took the Muslim 14 centuries and pressure from the modern West to eventually pass (secular) laws banning it? Wasalam
  11. Ammar Nakshawani on sex slaves

    I don't believe the Prophet (p) came with any mandate which sought the gradual abolishment of slavery. This theory is close to impossible to prove (the best one can use are the penalties that exist where one is required to free slaves, but I don't believe this is sufficient). No where in 14 centuries of Islamic discourse do you find such a theory, or ever find any scholars discussing such a notion. These are modern desperate responses to questions raised by the West - you will find these sort of desperate answers being given elsewhere too, like desperately trying to prove that 'Ayesha was older than 9, or there was absolutely no war that was initiated by the Prophet and that all of them were defensive, denying complete incidents such as the execution of the Banu Qurayzah, and many more. I believe these weak responses are not needed (in fact they are a fabrication of our history), and what is needed is proper education of how the world worked 14 centuries ago till even up until a century ago (before the phenomenon of modernity started taking over the West), and how we should not judge these people with our understanding of morality today. Another thing that is required is to understand what slavery actually was - I feel when we say slavery, for most people horrific images from the Atlantic slave trade come to mind or even the much later Arab slave trade, therefore none of these discussions are bearable for people. The analogy Nakshwani makes with ruling of alcohol is highly flawed, because all gradual rulings were still changed and brought to an end or initiated within the lifetime of the Prophet (s). Also there were many other customs that were widespread in the society which were brought to an immediate end and were not abolished gradually. In any case, slavery didn't get abolished in the Muslim world until very recently and it had much to do with how the dynamics of the world altered. From your replies it is blatantly obvious to me that you have not read a work in Fiqh from our Fuqaha, otherwise you would not say such silly things. The fatwa right after this discussion (from Kitab al-Nikah of Sharh al-Lum'a) makes it clear that this is not an 'aqd of Nikah, rather this is allowed because the slave is considered property, and therefore there is no dowry required for such intercourse and neither a divorce Wasalam
  12. Ammar Nakshawani on sex slaves

    I can elaborate, but I fear people do not have the correct historical understanding regarding slavery (as Nakshwani mentions, we evaluate these things with our 21st century lens) and if they get exposed to the actual rulings in our Fiqh works, they would not be able to tolerate and handle it. People are better off reading this article by Jonathan Brown: https://yaqeeninstitute.org/en/jonathan-brown/the-problem-of-slavery/ who I believe did a pretty decent job tackling the issue. Just as an example, besides the complementary discussions on slaves found in Kitab al-Nikah, Kitab al-Talaq, and Kitab al-'Itq, when it comes to Kitab al-Bay'/Tijarah (selling and purchasing), slaves are discussed under animal transactions (literally under بیع الحیوان) because they are considered property (just like one's land or house). Or look up the concept of Tahleel in Kitab al-Nikah, where the slave is merely used for sex by someone else that the master permits (the master recites a formula such as I make it permissible for you to have intercourse with her - احللت لک وطأها). Anyone who knows Arabic can search up these rulings in works of Fiqh themselves - they are pretty extensive and lengthy (which also makes the whole "Islam always wanted to abolish slavery'' theory a joke). As far as the mother of Imam Mahdi being married to Imam 'Askari (I don't know how reliable this is - we barely know anything about the mother of Imam Mahdi), the only way this is possible is if she was "freed" first. Otherwise, many of the slaves of the Imams through which they had children remained slaves, but one of the categories of slaves is Umm Walad - a slave who has a child through her master (like the mother of Qasim ibn al-Hasan, who was a slave of Imam Hasan). Wasalam
  13. Ammar Nakshawani on sex slaves

    The divorce comes from the fact that the slave can marry someone (other than the master/owner) IF the master allows her to get married to begin with. The discussion here is whether there is such a thing as an 'aqd/nikah between the master and the slave herself, and the response to that is a big-fat-NO. Wasalam
  14. Ammar Nakshawani on sex slaves

    Sayyid Ammar is an immensely popular speaker (and no doubt a very good one) and has done a lot of good as well, but majority of his audience are mere sheep - although this isn't limited to just Sayyid Ammar - since majority of the Western Shi'i audience have no ability to research, read or critically think. I blame this largely on the Western scholars/preachers who have presented and taught a very self-contradicting, wishy washy understanding of Islamic history, Islamic law and even Islamic ethics in the last 2-3 decades. I don't usually go around pointing out mistakes from people's lectures (since most lecturers make minor blunders all the time), but this lecture was too much. Anyone who has studied basic Shi'i Fiqh will tell you how flawed this whole speech was and how much of a joke it was. I had a good laugh as the lecture was filled with flawed analogies, blatant mistakes, was highly misleading, but the poor audience of course has no ability to verify anything. Wasalam
  15. #8 Muharram Night Plans

    Interestingly I was given an offer to go to Singapore as well for the 10 days of Muharram - I didn't accept it though. Perhaps it was the same place you were attending? Wasalam
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