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Found 47 results

  1. how can god transcend time. Time is defined as: The indefinite progress of existence and events in the past, present and whole. Since god exists does that not mean that time exists as well since time is the progress of existence and since God exists, progress of time also takes place. Furthermore, God bringing time into existence require time. It requires the sucession of two events. God existing along with no time and then bringing time into existence again implies the existence of time. God existing in no time and then bringing time into existence implies time existing. Especially the words and then signify that god bought time into existence within the framework of a bigger concept of time. Can you help me understand how God transcends time Finally if God does not transcend time does that not imply that there wete an infinite number of events and hence and infinite regression can happen.
  2. Salamu Alaykum. Does anyone know if this Hadith is Authentic or weak? Our master Imam al-Askari (peace be upon him) has also been reported to have said to Abu Hashim al-Ja’fari: “O Abu Hashim! There will come a time where people’s faces are laughing and joyous [while] their hearts are dark and indeterminate. The Sunnah amongst them is innovation and the innovation is Sunnah. The believer amongst them is demeaned and the evil one venerated. Their rulers are oppressive and their scholars through the doors of darkness proceed.Their wealthy pillage the provision of their poor. Their young precede their old, and every ignorant to them is an authority, and every assignee to them is poor. They do not differentiate between the sincere and the doubtful, nor do they know the sheep from wolves. Their scholars are the most evil of God’s creation on the face of earth, because they incline towards Philosophy and Sufism. By Allah! They are of the enemies and people of distortion. They exaggerate in their love for our opponents and they misguide our Shi’a and Followers.” (Safinatul Bihar, By al-Muhadith al-Qummi, vol. 2, p. 58)
  3. I like to solicit your constructive comments on the following Idea. Science has penetrated our lives and how important it has become. To the extent that some are using as a the only tool to understand the Higher realities and shunning philosophy/religion. Are we been misled here, by the glamour and newnes of something that we have just started to discover. Are we worshiping Science as new god. When man discovered fire, it was a new discovery, probably started worshiping it. Creation of the Universe(as we know of it), is been described as something out of nothing, our out of a singularity, or a single dot that contained all that we see today, and the process is described as a random process which took place over billions of years and different processed Evolved and formed new elements and stars and galaxies and basically, environment based evolution. Random, with no DNA/Map that it followed. How is it different from these processes> Potential or every thing/building blocks on everything/ existed in the following processes. Process: A fertilized human egg to full grown Human. Process: A seed to full grown giant Sequoia tree Process: Singularity to Current Universe What Science describes with much fanfare and dramatization (if you watch any Bigbang Video) Imagine a video describing the the initial stages of a fertilized human egg and all stages/periods with the development it goes(all subsystems and processes) through till it reach adulthood(full complete body). Or a growth of a Sequoia Tree seed, all steps till its a Giant Tree. We know that all the different stages of development, have a guide and its the DNA, same is true for a Sequoia Tree, it follows a map. Similarly, if you substitute the scientific terminology and fanfare with simple periods of stages and describe each stages from Singularity to what we know of the universe. Its has followed a map, its systems are growing according to a pre defined system(at a Macro level).
  4. Salam, Here's a fantastic article/manifesto for a post-materialist sciences. http://www.explorejournal.com/article/S1550-8307(14)00116-5/fulltext Read it carefully. Some of the scientific findings do not easily fit with Shia ideology or Islam. Let me know what you think. Thanks!
  5. https://newhumanist.org.uk/5128/the-legacy-of-islamic-philosophy Good read!
  6. Which Hawza city (Qom, Najaf, etc.) is best for learning Irfan? Which specific program do you recommend? Are these degrees connected to Academic degrees like Masters and PhD. I want to go to Hawza and focus primarily on the science of Irfan. I know it will take many years to master. I want to focus on theoretical and eventually practical Irfan.
  7. Another version of the Proof of the Sincere given by Sadr al-Muta’alihin occurs in his commentary on the passage from the Qur’an: “Allah witnesses that there is no god but He” (3:17). Mulla Sadra writes: Know that the greatest of proofs and firmest of ways, the brightest path, the most noble and most secure is reasoning to the essence (dhat) of a thing by its essence (dhat). And that which is the most manifest of things is the nature of absolute existence (al-wujud al-mutlaq) in so far as it is absolute, and it is the Truth (haqiqah) of the Necessary Itself, the Exalted, and there is nothing except the First Truth (al-Haqq al-Awwal) which is the Truth (haqiqah) of existence itself, for whatever is other than It is either a whatness (mahiyyah), or an imperfect existence mixed with imperfection, or impotence and nothingness. There is nothing among them to be an instance of the meaning of existence by its essence (dhat). The Necessary Existent is pure existence than which nothing is more complete [more properly an instance of existence]. It has no limit [or definition] and has no end and it is not mixed with any other thing, whether a universality or specificity, nor [is It mixed with] one attribute in contrast to another besides existence. So we say: If there were not a Truth of Existence in existence, there would not be anything in existence, for whatever is other than the Truth of Existence is either a whatness (mahiyyah), and it is obvious that in respect to its essence (dhat) it would be other than existent, or it is an imperfect and incomplete existence, so there would be no alternative but to require composition and specification at a determined level and specific limit of all existence. Then a cause would be needed to complete its existence, and that which limits by a specific limit and brings it from potentiality to actuality and from contingency to necessity, for everything whose truth is not the truth of existence will not in its essence require existence, and neither will its ipseity require a specific limit of existence. So it will need something to dominate and limit it to benefit it with a determinate level. And that is the preponderant that is prior in existence to all, with a priority in simplicity over the composed, over the imperfect, the rich over the poor, and the gracious over the graced. So the Truth of the First Truth is the proof of its essence (dhat) and is the proof of all things. As is said by God: “Is it not sufficient for your Lord that He is a witness over all things?” (41:53) So this is the way of the Sincere, those who rely upon Him by Himself and who reason from Him to Him and who witness by His existence to other things, not by the existence of things to Him.[1] Here again, we find elements drawn from the Muslim peripatetics and from the ‘urafa. The passage begins with an affirmation of the Sufi claim that the sole reality is God, identified with absolute existence: “there is nothing except the First Truth (al-Haqq al-awwal) which is the Truth (haqiqah) of existence itself”. In order to prove that absolute existence must be God, i.e., the Necessary Existent, it is argued that no other candidate is independent, not whatness, not existence mixed with imperfection, and certainly not impotence and nothingness. So, if there is a God, it must be pure absolute existence, and if it can be shown that this Truth of Existence itself exists, is instantiated, this will amount to a proof of the existence of God. The next move is typical of the ‘urafa. It is claimed that if there were no Necessary Existent, no Truth of Existence, then there would be nothing at all. At this point, however, Sadra ceases to follow the line of the Sufis and takes a more peripatetic form of reasoning, claiming that the Truth of Existence is needed by all other existents as a cause. Whatness by itself cannot be responsible for existence, for if we consider merely the properties exhibited by reality, it will be a contingent fact that they are instantiated. If someone claims that there is no pure existence but only mixed imperfect existences, Sadra replies that they rely upon pure existence in two respects. First, the imperfect existent will require a cause, since no imperfect being in and of itself can be responsible for its own existence; and second, a cause is needed for the imperfect to determine its level of limited actuality, for the imperfect will not be able to determine a specific level or grade of being for itself on its own, but needs to be dominated from above, as it were. As in the statement in the Asfar, we find reference to the Sufi theme of the unity of existence, but this comes to be explicated in terms of the major principles of Sadra’s own transcendental philosophy: the fundamentality of existence and the gradedness of existence. Necessary and contingent are defined in terms of causal dependence, as in Ibn Sina, and the ultimate cause is then shown to be the Truth of existence. There is also a discussion of the Proof of the Sincere in the Epilogue to his Kitab al-masha’ir.[2] Here it is first admitted that there are many paths toward God, but that the strongest and most noble is that in which He alone can be the middle term of the argument, and that this direct route is that of the Prophets and of the Sincere. The discussion is punctuated with passages from the Qur’an, including those mentioned regarding the Proof of the Sincere by Ibn Sina. Those who take the route of the Sincere first consider the reality or Truth of existence, haqiqat al-wujud, and understand that this is the principle or origin (‘asl) of each thing, and that this is the Necessary Existent. Contingency, need and privation do not attach to existence because of its haqiqah, but because of flaws and privations external to this original haqiqah. This realization is said to give rise to an understanding of the unity of the Divine Attributes, and then from the Attributes to the qualities of His states and their effects. Then it is confessed that the sun of haqiqah arises from ‘irfan (gnosis), by which it is known that existence is a simple haqiqah, without genus, difference, definition, description or proof. The differences among the particular instances of reality are attributed to differences in grade of perfection, causal priority and independence. Pure existence is identified with infinite intensity of being, ultimate perfection. All other existences are of various degrees of imperfect existence. It is denied that deficiency in existence is implied by the Truth of Existence itself, because deficiency is a privation lacking positive ontological status. Rather, limitation and imperfection are a by-product of creation, since the effect is necessarily inferior to its cause. In his al-Hikmat al-arshiyah we find yet another statement of the Proof of the Sincere by Sadr al-Muta’alihin.[3] This work opens with the definition of the Truth of Existence as pure being without the admixture of generality or particularity, limits, whatness, imperfection or privation. This pure being is identified with God, the Necessary Existent, and it is argued that if the Truth of existence did not exist, nothing would exist. This is taken to establish the existence of the Truth of existence. In order to show that the Truth of Existence possesses necessary existence, it is argued that everything which exists imperfectly depends on being while pure being itself depends on nothing. The imperfect is that which results from the mixture or composition of being with some whatness or particularity. That which is mixed is posterior to and dependent on its simple elements. The element of whatness is really a privation or limitation of being without any independent reality of its own, so the imperfect is totally dependent on the perfect. Mixed being is dependent on the Truth of existence which itself is without need of anything. This statement is followed by another argument which is similar to that given by such ‘urafa as Ibn Turkah and al-Jami, to the effect that true predication presumes being: For to affirm any concept of something and to predicate it of that thing—whether (the concept be) a whatness or some other attribute, and whether it be affirmed or denied of something—always presupposes the being of that thing. Our discussion always comes back to Being: either there is an infinite regression (of predications and subjects) or one arrives in the end at an Absolute Being, unmixed with anything else.[4] The philosophical theology which finds expression here is far from any sort of pantheistic identification of the world or nature with God, but rather is an attempt to strike a balance between extreme immanence and extreme transcendence while retaining both. The pantheistic tendency sacrifices transcendence for the sake of immanence while more traditional theologies do the reverse. In Sadr al-Muta’alihin, divine immanence is maintained by identifying the deity with existence, while transcendence is maintained by insisting that what is meant here is not the imperfect world, but absolutely pure existence. The synthesis discovered by Mulla Sadra has inspired and continues to inspire numerous commentaries and elaborations on the themes of his philosophy. [1]Sadr al-Din Shirazi, Asrar al-ayat, ed. Muhammad Khajavi (Tehran: Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1981), pp. 25-26. [2]Translated by Parviz Morewedge as The Metaphysics of Mulla Sadra (New York: The Society for the Study of Islamic Philosophy and Science, 1992). [3]Translated as The Wisdom of the Throne by James Winston Morris (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981). [4]Ibid., p. 96. Can someone explain this argument to me in simpler words. It seems really hard to grasp
  8. Salam az man! I know I'm not the first Muslim to have these thoughts but in this thread I'd like to explore in depth the reasons why the Islamic world as a whole, whether Sunni, Shia or Wahabi, Sufi or non-Sufi, is so far the Western or developed countries of the world by almost every possible measure of success. When did this rot set in if you consider that at one time the Muslim world were world-leaders in almost every measure of success -- albeit many centuries ago now! So what and when did it all go wrong? Please don't let this become a thread about sectarianism, Sunni vs. Shia etc. unless you feel it is really relevant to the topic! Also can we please avoid the typically bland Muslim answers to this question, "We're not good Muslims anymore -- when we become good Muslims again Allah will grant us victory!" I do think that the fact we've been divided internally for so long is one reason for our lack of success. Isn't it interesting that the most developed Muslim countries with the highest quality of life such as Turkey and Malaysia are also the most secular? Some say it was, in the Sunni world at least, when we closed the doors of ijtihad in the 12th century. Others go back further and say that it was with the rejection of rationalism and the Mutazilites that this problem first started... Also is it a coincidence that almost all of the famous "Muslim" scientists we are so proud of such as Ibn Sina, al Farabi, Ibn Rushd, mathematicians like Khayyam, etc. were considered heretics in their own time by most of the orthodox? I think all this is related. These are just some areas of possible discussion.
  9. way of ahllulbayt

    Logic is the assessment of fallacy in thoughts concerning subjects. Then, who wants to be knowledgeable at the school of human thought, first of all should learn logic. Comprehend what Aristotle and other philosophers specified as a logic, after that enter in a scientific/philosophical issues. It is the false way produced by humans and it won’t work on religious topics. Because the source of each way is different from each other. The method of knowing/worshiping must be defined by God for it to be approved and accepted by him. Is it even possible that our creator would not guide us on how to know/worship him? He has sent prophets and ahlulbayt to teach us how to recognize facts. This all suggests that we can’t move as we please and by our false thoughts. We don’t need to learn philosophy or mysticism to understand the true way because it was not the way prophets taught. They have not come to be just for educated people. God has certainly defined the path. This path is engraved in knowing the chosen ones and to surrender to them. One that claims to be a worshipper of God but does not accept the path defined by Him is, in essence, denying God.
  10. Hope you are all well. Hopefully someone can shed light on this topic that I have found elsewhere which I myself would like an answer on too, using Hadith or Quranic verses. My questions are: Why create us to worship him if he doesn't need our worship Why create us to worship him if he doesn't want our worship Why create us to give us him mercy, if he doesn't want to give us your mercy Why create us to give us him mercy, if he doesn't need to give us your mercy That looks like 4 questions, doesn't it? But they all boil down to a single question which is this: Why do anything if you have no wants or needs. According to quran.com/35/15, Allah has no wants or needs, so that means that Allah did not want to give us his mercy and Allah did not have the need to give us his mercy, i.e. if you don't want to do something, why do it? Please note that many who have attempted to answer this question have focused on the "need" part but have neglected the issue of "wanting". Any input would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.
  11. What is morality according to Islam?

    I would like to know what is definition of morality in Islam. Instead of pure personal views, I would like that everyone shares those Ahadis from Imams a.s which deal specifically with this topic so that one can develop a definition of morality after going through (understanding, analyzing, reflecting upon) those Ahadis. I would also like that the contributors while sharing Ahadis, quote references of those Ahadis. One can also quote sayings of our great scholars but only with reference please. My purpose is to understand how the understanding of 'morality' in Islam is different (if so) from that of what western thinkers have developed over the course of centuries.
  12. Is God Free?

    Salam, Imam Ali says in the first sermon of Nahj al-Balagha that God doesn't have any attributes. Imam Reza reiterates this in Sheikh Saduq's al-Tawhid. Shia Islamic scholars have interpreted this as meaning that all the traditional attributes of God (e.g. omniscience, omnipotence, etc.) are identical with God and are not distinct or "accidental properties" of God. But this creates the problem of mercy and freedom. If mercy is an essential property of God, and not an "accidental property," then that means God must be merciful (or else He wouldn't be God anymore). This seems to contradict with the Shia Islamic traditions which say that God "chose" mercy for Himself (i.e. He could have not been merciful, but He chose to be merciful). This also makes the whole concept of thanking God meaningless, because he had to be merciful to us all the time because reality couldn't have been otherwise (he's a Necessary Being, couldn't have not existed, and couldn't have not been merciful). Why thank God for being merciful to us when things simply could not have been otherwise? It was not possible for God to have not been merciful to us, so why should we thank him for being merciful to us? Unless there is a rational way to solve this problem, this problem demonstrates that the whole concept of a merciful, free, and "worthy of being grateful to" God is incoherent. And hence the Islamic concept of God is logically incoherent and should not be believed in.
  13. https://www.al-islam.org/discursive-theology-volume-1-dr-ali-rabbani-gulpaygani/lesson-6-argument-contingency Can someone explain this to me in a laymen fashion. How does the second law of thermodynamics prove god
  14. Man loves eternal life, this is a basic need of human. anthropological research shows that the any need and desire in human being there is a response to it in reality .For example, human feels hunger and thirst and the need to breathe, in out of the human being food and world and air is prepared to provide his needs.Man loves eternal life and hates death.And this feeling is based on human nature .God created the human desire for survival and eternity,we know Allah never does work in vain because He is generous and ALL-Wise so is far from useless things.So it is necessary eternal life and the Hereafter exist to provide this basic human need. In Islamic theology and philosophy of Kant's philosophy is argued for eternal life after death and its relationship with the desire for immortality and eternity .
  15. The fine tuning argument calls our attention to the fact that the laws, initial conditions and constants of physics are precisely set to allow the existence of conscious life in this universe, and had they been even slightly different then no life would be possible. It is argued that this is evidence of theism, or that theism is the best explanation for this data, as we wouldn't expect it if atheism was true. I want to call your attention to a new development of the fine tuning argument advanced by philosopher Robin Collins (who has a postgrad physics background). This is the fine tuning of the universe for discoverability Not only is the universe fine tuned for conscious life, but it is also additionally fine tuned to allow this conscious life to develop civilisations and to discover the inner workings of the universe. The Fine-Tuning for Discoverability Robin Collins http://home.messiah.edu/~rcollins/Fine-tuning/Greer-Heard%20Forum%20paper%20draft%20for%20posting.pdf One example he gives is the fine structure constant. He points out that if it had been slightly larger then all fires would have gone out, and had it been slightly smaller, then light microscopes allowing us to see the smallest cells wouldn't have been possible.
  16. http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-131-10-apologists-mistakes-trinity/ ^part 1 by a Christian Philosopher
  17. The central paradigm of contemporary psychology and neuroscience is that the mind = the brain. This is taken for granted, but why believe it? The main reason that is given is that changes in the brain seem to correlate with changes in the mind,e.g. put someone in an fMRI scanner and ask them to think about certain things, and parts of the brain 'light up' on the fMRI image. Damage to the brain can cause damage to the mind, e.g. multiple strokes can lead to vascular dementia involving memory loss and personality changes. All this shows an intimate correlation between the brain and the mind, so the mind must be nothing over and above the brain. The fallacy of this argument is that correlation entails identity: If two things occur together then they must be identical. This is wrong. If two things occur together, then they are linked, but not necessarily identical. For example, take a radio. Electrical activity in the circuit board correlates with the sound produced, and if you make changes to the circuit board you also change the sound, but we dont say that the sound is = the electrical activity or the circuit board. Nor is the sound completely explained by the electrical activity, as this would exclude the radio presenter from the explanation when he is the actual cause of the sound. Of course this doesnt prove that the mind is other than the brain, only that the main reason for thinking they are identical is flawed. Here are some other bad reasons for thinking they are identical: http://www.unc.edu/~ujanel/GIVING%20DUALISM.pdf The paper is written by an atheist philosopher.
  18. https://www.quora.com/profile/Abbas-Naderi/all_posts "If we look around us, everything is possible-to-exist (and can exist as well as can not-exist). If everything was so, there wouldn't be anything existing at start, and nothing would follow. So there should be some must-exist to have created all of this." Can someone explain in depth (using easy language and examples) what this post is trying to say
  19. Asalamualaikum, I heard that there is a verse in the quran where certain people are given the qadr of Allah. Before it use to be Rasullulah, but because there is no prophet then there must be an infallible guide to recieve the qadr of Allah in present day. Therefore there must always be a hujja on this earth. Does anyone know the reference to this verse? Also can one provide an article on the verses alluding to ALL 12 imams. Not just Imam Ali(as) or Imam Mahdi(as)
  20. My prayers have been answered. Finally the lectures were posted on youtube, and believe me it is not a disappointment. What profound lecturers they are! I highly recommend watching them. At very least just watch the first lecture posted, I believe it is very beneficial. Before someone asks me to give a summary of each lecture, I will be happy to give a snippet, nothing more nothing less ^_^ I want you to watch the lecture for yourself and find out. (If I do not have a summary it is because I am still watching it or have not gotten to it) (wasalam) 1. Balance of Life & Soul - Br. Hassanain Rajabali -Lecture revolves around purpose of life, trials, certainty pertaining to religion, todays problems of the world: social (vulnerabilities), political, and economic 2. Balance of Life & Soul - Br. Hassanain Rajabali 3. Balance of Life & Soul - Br. Hassanain Rajabali
  21. http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/public/article1634311.ece As a theory of ethics Utilitarianism is very flawed, so yes, it's good to give money to guide dog charities, but the article makes a good point that we need to pay more attention to the impact our charity will have and try and give charitably in an effective way.
  22. After discussing with other members, I have decided to share a chapter I am writing for my enlightenment class. The paper focuses on Karbala, and dissects the events through four main content areas: history, philosophy, art, and science (psychology). Here is the second chapter on philosophy: (I would appreciate advice) Chapter II: The Philosophy of Imam Husayn (as) ————————————————————————————————— Utilizing Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” found within The Republic, as an essential framework for deciphering and illuminating the philosophy of Imam Husayn (as), I will establish the historical and philosophical significance of Socrates’ teachings. Since one’s earliest upbringings, he/she remains stagnant, enraptured and entrapped by the confines of a societally constructed “cave,” compelled to perceive that which surfaces in palpable sight, a “screen” manipulated by “puppeteers,” the domineering figures of a societal submission (Plato 208). Languished in a stupor, entranced by “shadows” of reality, of a fabricated truth, resembling “strange prisoners,” individuals remain incapable of observing existence as it truly abides (Plato 208). Enlightened, the suffering inherent in said goal, “pain” the seeker as he/she perceives “more correctly,” “puzzled” by the obscurity of his/her past conceived truth (Plato 209). The upward ascent, the enlightening experience of Truth, manifests for the seeker in the witnessing of the sun in its entirety, completeness as its “reflection” wanes (Plato 210). Yet, inherent within the seeker’s quest remains the ultimate “suffering” endured by him/her as he/she confronts unyielding, unforgiving “ridicule,” lauded by the unawakened society, tested with physical violence if the distorted cave-dwellers permitted (Plato 210). Therefore, a reality, a counterfeit reality, comprised of and perceived through sight is akin to a “prison dwelling,” where the seeker must witness True reality through an “upward journey of the soul to the intelligible realm”—a pursuit of agonizing enlightenment (Plato 211). Yet, most pertinent to this analysis concerning Imam Husayn (as) remains Socrates’ ultimate philosophical goal, which will be dissected through parallels: in the knowable realm, the last thing to be seen is the form of the good, and it is seen with toil and trouble. Once one has seen it, however, one must infer that it is the cause of that is correct and beautiful in anything, that in the visible realm it produces both light and its source, and in the intelligible realm it controls and provides truth and understanding; and that anyone who is to act sensibly in private or public must see it. (Plato 211) Intrinsic to the liberating of Islam from said insipid desires, remains the concept of martyrdom. The notion of martyrdom, or shahada, is innately connected to the Islamic philosophy of “Holy Struggle,” or jihad (Ezzati 1). In the modern context, erroneously interweaved with militant organizations like ISIS or Boko Haram, jihad has mutated, deteriorated to the barbaric inclination of mass violence, terror, and accumulation of man as mere property—men, women, and children to be manipulated, battered, and disposed for the sake of worldly possessions and power. However, this notion of jihad deviates from its morally disposed doctrine—the notion and strive for “enjoining right and discovering wrong (al-amr bi’l-maruf)” (Ezzati 1). Islam, linguistically, equates to its Arabic derivatives of “surrender” and “peace;” thus, Islam is a manifestation and life of “submi[tting]” to the “will of Allah,” or God (Ezzi 1). Divergent from scholarly, popular, and Islamist conception, jihad does not denote “Holy War,” or arms for the sake of God (Ezzi 1). Martyrdom, therefore, cannot exist without “struggle” in the seeking of God, for the acquisition of Truth amid un-truth (Ezzati 2). From a examination of derivatives, martyrdom (shahada), translates to “see,” to “witness,” to “testify,” to transform into a “model and paradigm” (Ezzati 2). Thus, martyrdom linguistically and precisely denotes the perception of truth for the sake of instilling a paradigm, or exemplar, of absolute, unadulterated Truth. A “shahid,” an individual who perceives and “witnesses,” is compelled to not merely a verbal affirmation, but a physical assertion as well—he must be willing, yearning, to sacrifice his existence wholly for “truth,” transforming into a martyr (Ezzati 2). The emphasis of truth—of haqq—its “recognition” and “declaration,” straining for such, and the “preparedness to die for its sake,” thereby establishes “a model for seekers of truth,” and is the manifestation of martyrdom (Ezzati 2). Muhammad (pbuh), the seal of Islamic prophethood, embodies the “universal Message of Allah,” and the “incarnation,” the “model” (shahid) and “paradigm” (uswa), “attract[ing]” people towards the “truth” (Ezzati 3-4). Inherent within the Shi’ite comprehension of Islam remains the conception of the Immate—the “leading” and “guiding” of the Muslim Ummah (Ezzati 4). Therefore, Imam Husayn (as), reflects the concept of Truth amid un-truth akin to the seekers entrapped within the “cave”—the noble against the ignoble, the just against the tyrant. Rooted heavily in the philosophy of “Every day is Ashura,” and “every place is Karbala,” illustrates the poignant martyrdom of Imam Husayn (as) (Ezzati 5). To more comprehensively understand the intention of Imam Husayn (as), one must construct a parallel among the seeker of Socrates and the seeker Imam Husayn (as). The most eloquent and analogous words of Socrates occurs during his illustration of the ultimate goal of the enlightened to his philosopher companion Glaucon: You have forgotten again, my friend, that the law is not concerned with making any one class in the city do outstandingly well, but it is contriving to produce this condition in the city as a whole, harmonizing the citizens together through persuasion or compulsion, and making them share with each other the benefit they can confer on the community. It produces such men in the city, not in order to allow them to turn in whatever direction each one wants, but to make use of them to bind the city together. (Plato 213) This concept of “harmonizing” the community through “persuasion or compulsion,” to essentially “bind” the collective populace in tandem mirrors the distraught, yet steadfast supplication of Imam Husayn (as). Witnessing the bloodshed, mass calamity of the Battle of Karbala, near the closing of the tenth of Muharram, Imam Husayn (as) invoked the Muslim Ummah of “every generation,” of all victims oppressed by “Yazeedism”—the ideological representative of tyranny, repression of “justice, truth, morality” (Rashid 1): Is there anyone who will come to assist us? Is there anyone who will respond to our call for aid? (Rahim 1). Imploring for the perpetuation of “this jihad at the individual, social, and political levels,” Imam Husayn (as) sacrificed his physical existence for the amelioration of a regime devised on “nepotism and blood relationships” (Rahim 9). Prior to leaving Medinah, Imam Husayn (as) crafted a will delivering such to his brother Muhammad Hanifiya: “My mission is to reform the muslim community which I propose to do by amral bill ma’ruf and nahya anil munkar, inviting them to the good and advising them against evil. It is not my intention to set myself as an insolent or arrogant tyrant or mischief maker” (Rahim 9). Akin to the philosophy of Socrates, the Islamic ideology of shielding “truth,” blossoms from those “bred” to be “leaders and kings of
  23. Salaam brothers and sisters, I've never been very religious even though I've been born into a Shi'a Muslim family. I mostly just follow the basics of Islam because it's what I've grown up around, not because I understand them necessarily. Recently, however, I've been trying to get closer to God and find out answers to some questions I've had my whole life. However there are some questions that I'd like answers for that are more personal than factual, and they are presented below. Some of these questions are to do with facts, but I would really like your own opinion on them. I would highly appreciate if you guys could attempt to answer these to the best of your ability. A little disclaimer: I am not trying to be rude or disruptive or disrespectful, although some of these questions may come off that way. I am just trying to present the questions the way in which they are laid out in my head. I apologize in advance if I have offended anyone. Anyway, here are my questions: 1. Why do we have to pray salah in order to "talk" to Allah? Why does there have to be such a formulated method? Can't we just talk to him as our hearts desire and at whatever time we need instead of at certain times during the day in a certain way? Can't we show our love and gratitude to him in a more personalized/unique way? 2. What is God? (I'm sorry if this question is offensive, I swear I'm not trying to be rude.) I've read somewhere that Allah doesn't have emotions, and that if we say he gets angry it means we have disobeyed him and that when he gets happy we have obeyed him. Doesn't that boil down to him just being a bunch of laws? Or as Agnostics say, is God not something but everything, as in he is in our hearts, he is nature, etc etc? 3. Why must one worship Allah in order to gain paradise? Isn't being a good person enough? Why is salah or reading the quran necessary? 4. Why does Allah have such severe punishments for some presumably small things like not wearing the hijab properly or listening to music? I understand there is some reasoning behind everything, but Allah is all-merciful? 5. Continuing on from the previous question, sometimes it feels like God is trying to catch me/us out (for lack of a better phrase), since he is always testing us. Why? Personally, I feel closer to the Imams than to Allah because he seems too BIG and INTIMIDATING, and I even do things for the sake of the imams than for Allah, which is totally wrong. I hope these questions make sense and that you guys answer them. Thank you for your time and for sharing your knowledge. :)
  24. I want to open a topic on Collages and Technology and link it to philosophy. You post a picture of anything technical made with your hands - called handcraft - and post it here. It Can be a printer, a car, a computer, any other technical issue. Materials can be used - pen, paper or cardboard, glue, ruler, scissors. The rule is, before you post your picture, philosophize in few lines on the picture posted before. Anyone who has created anything technical with paper already, can start, else I post my first technical handcraft.
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