Jump to content
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!) ×
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!)
In the Name of God بسم الله

Imamology

  • entries
    38
  • comments
    387
  • views
    14,458

Karbala: The Supreme Sacrifice


Qa'im

4,418 views

عدة من أصحابنا، عن أحمد بن محمد، عن علي بن الحكم، عن سيف بن عميرة، عن عبد الملك بن أعين، عن أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: أنزل الله تعالى النصر على الحسين عليه السلام حتى كان [ ما ] بين السماء والارض ثم خير: النصر، أو لقاء الله، فاختار لقاء الله تعالى.

Imam al-Baqir said: Allah تعالى sent support for al-Husayn عليه السلام until it filled that which was between the heaven and the Earth. Then he was left to choose: victory, or meeting Allah. So he chose to meet with Allah تعالى.

Who is Hussain?

I will tell you who he's not. He's not Mahatma Ghandi, he's not Nelson Mandela, he's not Malcolm X. Husayn is Husayn, and I feel that we are misunderstanding the purpose and the meaning of his sacrifice.

There are many good, noble people in our history who rose up to fight for rights - Zayd and Nafs az-Zakiyya would be prime examples - but Imam al-Husayn did not stand up to fight for human rights. He did not even fight to gain the Caliphate. The hadiths make clear that Husayn knew exactly what would happen: he and his loved ones were going to die. Allah even gave him the option on the battlefield, saying, I will destroy your enemies if you so choose. However, Husayn chose to meet Allah instead. Had the fight been about human rights, then Husayn would've chosen to destroy his enemies and establish his government. But, he knew that sacrifice was his calling.

There is no doubt that Imam al-Husayn's (as) movement was one based on justice. Amr bil ma`roof was the foundation of his decision, and Karbala' was a cosmic battle between good and evil, the Imam of Guidance and the Imam of Disbelief, the Shi`a of Ahl al-Bayt and the Shi`a of the devil. But we know that all ma`sumeen did amr bil ma`roof, and even Husayn's predecessors rose up and were martyred.

Had he been fighting for rights, then it begs the question: what differentiates Husayn from Zayd if they were both martyrs of the exact same circumstance? What makes the death of Husayn so pivotal when those better than him were also martyred? Modern society has been separated from the anthropology of sacrifice. Those who understand the symbols of sacrifice will better understand the meaning of Husayn's movement. Those who do not understand Shii Imamology will instead see the Imam as a Guevara or a William Wallace figure, who was killed at the beginning of his social justice mission.

We're living in a time where Husayn's movement has become "everyday" and "everywhere" while the classical Shi`a truthfully said that "no day is like your day". The difference between the two is that the former demotes Husayn's sacrifice to everyday struggle, while the latter emphasizes the magnitude of the day. Our job as Muslims is to properly analyze and understand what happened and why it happened, which requires a thorough investigation of the hadith literature on this topic.

The sacrifice starts with Isma`il. The Quran says regarding Ibrahim, "And we have ransomed him with a great sacrifice” (37:107) The Ahlul Bayt confirm that it was indeed Isma`il that was chosen for sacrifice, and that he was replaced with a ram. But one authentic narration by Imam ar-Rida [a] identifies that the real sacrifice here was Husayn, who replaced Isma`il and Ibrahim lamented over this. Husayn was dearer to Ibrahim than his own son was, because Husayn would be the grandson of the greatest Messenger and the Master of the Youth of Paradise. After passing this test, Allah made Ibrahim an Imam, and gave the divine covenant to him and his family. This link between sacrifice and covenant is an important one.

94 - في عيون الأخبار حدثنا عبد الواحد بن محمد بن عبدوس النيشابوري العطار بنيشابور في شعبان سنة اثنين وخمسين وثلاثمأة، قال: حدثنا محمد بن علي ابن قتيبة النيشابوري عن الفضل بن شاذان قال: سمعت الرضا عليه السلام يقول: لما أمر الله تعالى إبراهيم عليه السلام ان يذبح مكان ابنه إسماعيل الكبش الذي أنزل عليه، تمنى إبراهيم عليه السلام أن يكون قد ذبح ابنه إسماعيل بيده وأنه لم يؤمر بذبح الكبش مكانه ليرجع إلى قلبه ما يرجع إلى قلب الوالد الذي يذبح أعز ولده بيده فيستحق بذلك أرفع درجات أهل الثواب على المصائب، فأوحى الله عز وجل إليه: يا إبراهيم من أحب خلقي إليك؟قال: يا رب ما خلقت خلقا هو أحب إلى من حبيبك محمد صلى الله عليه وآله، فأوحى الله عز وجل: يا إبراهيم هو أحب إليك أو نفسك؟قال: بل هو أحب إلى من نفسي، قال: فولده أحب إليك أو ولدك؟قال: بل ولده، قال: فذبح ولده ظلما على يدي أعدائه أوجع لقلبك أو ذبح ولدك بيدك في طاعتي؟قال: يا رب بل ذبحه على أيدي أعدائه أوجع لقلبي قال: يا إبراهيم ان طايفة تزعم أنها من أمة محمد صلى الله عليه وآله ستقتل الحسين عليه السلام ابنه من بعده ظلما وعدوانا كما يذبح الكبش، ويستوجبون بذلك سخطي، فجزع إبراهيم عليه السلام لذلك فتوجع قلبه وأقبل يبكى، فأوحى الله تعالى إليه: يا إبراهيم قد فديت جزعك على ابنك إسماعيل لو ذبحته بيدك بجزعك على الحسين وقتله، وأوجبت لك أرفع درجات أهل الثواب على المصائب، وذلك قول الله عز وجل وفديناه بذبح عظيم ولا حول ولا قوة الا بالله العلي العظيم.
 
“When Allah ordered Abraham [a] to slaughter the ram that was brought to him in the place of Ishmael, Abraham [a] had hoped to have slaughtered Ishmael by his hand rather than being ordered to slaughter the ram in his place. This was so that he may regain the feeling in his heart that a father’s heart feels when he slaughters the dearest of his sons by his hand. He wanted to attain the highest of levels from the people of good deeds upon this calamity. So Allah revealed to him, “O Abraham, who is the most beloved of My creation to you?” Abraham said, “O Lord, you have not created a creation who is more beloved to me than your beloved Muhammad .” So Allahrevealed, “O Abraham, is he more beloved to you, or yourself?” Abraham said, “Of course, he is more beloved to me than my own self.” Allah said, “So is his son more beloved to you, or your son?” Abraham said, “His son, of course.” Allah said, “So [what is more painful to your heart:] his son being slaughtered oppressively upon the hands of his enemies, or the slaughtering of your son by your hand in obedience to me?” Abraham said, “O Lord, his slaughter upon the hands of his enemies is more painful to my heart.” Allah said, “O Abraham, a faction that alleges that it is from the Nation of Muhammad will kill his son al-Husayn [a] after him oppressively and with aggression, just as a ram is slaughtered. And by that, my wrath upon them will become obligatory.” So Abraham lamented over that. His heart was pained by that, and he began to weep. So Allah revealed to him, “O Abraham, I have ransomed your lamentation upon the slaughtering of your son Ishmael with your lamentation upon Husayn And so the highest of levels from the people of good deeds has become obligatory for you for this calamity."

The Prophet calls himself the son of the two offerings, because both his father Abdullah and his forefather Isma`il had survived their respective sacrificial moments. The Prophet's position as a descendant of two offerings boosts his status as a prophet and a recipient of the divine covenant.

حَدَّثَنا أَحْمَدِ بْنِ الحُسَيْن القَطَّانُ قالَ أَخْبَرنا أَحْمَدِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ سَعِيدُ الكُوفِي قالَ‏عَلِيِّ بن الحُسَيْنِ بْنِ عَلِىِّ بْنِ الفَضّال، عَنْ أَبيهِ قالَ سَأَلْت أَبَاالحَسَن عَلِىِّ بْنِ مُوسَى الرِّضا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ، عَن مَعْنى‏ قول النَّبِي صلي اللَّه وَآلِهِ أَنَا ابْنُ الذّبيحين قَالَ يَعْنِي إِسْمَاعِيلَ بْنَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الْخَلِيلِ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ وَعَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ عَبْدِ الْمُطَّلِبِ

“I asked Abul Hasan Ali b. Musa ar-Rida [a] about the meaning of the statement made by the Prophet (s), ‘I am the son of the two offerings.’ Imam ar-Rida [a] said, ‘That means that the Prophet (s) was the descendant of both Ishmael, the son of Abraham - the friend of God (s) and Abdullah - the son of Abdul Muttalib.

The Hajj itself is a ritual centred around sacrifice. It recounts the story of Ibrahim and Isma`il everywhere. Pilgrims shave their heads, which is an important symbol of sacrifice. To shave your head for someone is to pledge allegiance to that person - you are giving them your head and your neck. When the Prophet took the bay`a of his companions at the Tree of Ridwan, the companions needed to shave their heads to complete the bay`a. Likewise, after the death of the Prophet, Imam Ali asked the companions to shave their heads to express their loyalty to him, but very few did so. The Hajj ends with the sacrifice of life of an animal. These are all important symbols that we belong fully to God, and that our lives are in His hand. Animal sacrifice is a sacrifice of your own ego and your lower, animalistic self. At the end of Hajj, you come out sinless, which is a rebirth after the sacrifice.

حدثني ابي رحمه الله، عن سعد بن عبد الله، عن احمد بن محمد بن عيسى، عن محمد بن سنان، عن الحسين بن مختار، عن زيد الشحام، عن ابي عبد الله (عليه السلام)، قال: زيارة الحسين (عليه السلام) تعدل عشرين حجة وأفضل من عشرين حجة (2).

Imam as-Sadiq [a] said, "Visitation of al-Husayn [a] is equal to twenty Hajj. Rather, it is more than twenty Hajj."
 
Even the salat has sacrificial symbology in ruku`. Imam `Ali in `Ilal ash-Shara'i` says that the ruku` is gesture where one offers his neck to Allah, saying, "O Allah, I believe in Your Oneness even if my neck is struck."
تأويله آمنت بوحدانيتك ، و لو ضربت عنقي

Now let's go to Husayn. Sacrificial animals are marked at birth. Likewise, in one hadith, the Imam was marked for sacrifice the day Sayyida Fatima gave birth to him. In return, the Prophet says, Allah will make the Imams from his progeny. Again, we see the relationship between sacrifice and covenant: even though Imam al-Hasan was of a higher status, the Imams would come from Husayn's progeny due to his sacrifice.

حدثنا محمد بن موسى بن المتوكل رضي الله عنه قال : حدثنا عبد الله بن جعفرالحميري قال : حدثنا أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى قال : حدثنا الحسن بن محبوب ، عن علي بن رئاب قال : قال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام : لما أن حملت ( 2 ) فاطمة عليها السلام بالحسين عليه السلام قال لها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله : إن الله عز وجل قد وهب لك غلاما اسمه الحسين ، تقتله أمتي ، قالت : فلا حاجة لي فيه ، فقال : إن الله عز وجل قد وعدني فيه عدة ، قالت : وما وعدك ؟ قال : وعدني أن يجعل الإمامة من بعده في ولده ، فقالت : رضيت .

Imam as-Sadiq said: When Fatima عليها السلام became pregnant with al-Husayn عليه السلام, the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله said to her: Allah عز وجل has gifted a male to you whose name is al-Husayn. He will be killed by my Umma. She said: I do not need it. He said: Allah عز وجل has made a promise to me regarding him. She said: And what did He promise you? He said: He promised me that He will cause the Imamate after me to come from his loins. So she said: I am pleased.

The colour red is also associated with blood sacrifice, and the Prophet receives red mud from Karbala to symbolize the inevitable killing of Husayn. Other narrations describe Imam al-Husayn with a red cloak. In Judaism, a red ribbon was tied around a ram for sacrifice on Yom Kippur. As for Yom Kippur, it is the 10th day of the 1st month of the Hebrew Calendar, while Ashura is the 10th day of the 1st month of the Muslim calendar. The Jewish Yom Kippur is called the Day of Atonement, and the High Priest would make a sacrifice at the Temple, and select the Passover lamb. There is some disagreement on the exact date of Ashura. Abu Baseer says in an authentic tradition that it took place on a Saturday ( قال: أبو جعفر عليه السلام: يخرج القائم عليه السلام يوم السبب يوم عاشورا يوم الذي قتل فيه الحسين عليه السلام ). This was also the position of Shaykh al-Saduq and Shaykh al-Mufeed. But the 10th of Muharram does not take place on a Saturday in 61 AH, which is the generally accepted year of the event. It does, however, take place on Saturday in 62 AH, and according to the historian Hisham al-Kalbi, this is the real year that Ashura took place. If this is true, then Ashura took place on the exact same day as Yom Kippur and on the Sabbath that year. This makes for some spectacular sacrificial parallels between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
 
The Imams constantly compared the death of Husayn to that of a ram, because the two are voluntary sacrifices to God by beheading. (
إن كنت باكيا لشئ، فابك للحسين بن علي بن أبي طالب (عليه السلام)، فإنه ذبح كما يذبح الكبش )

Sacrifices are often performed by initiates of an order. Likewise, Husayn was beheaded by Shimr, who had previously been a Shi`i who fought alongside Imam `Ali.

Husayn journeyed to Karbala by cutting his own Hajj short. He left the Hijaz before performing the ritual sacrifice of Hajj. Perhaps he would become that sacrifice himself? He left the holy land and was sacrificed in Karbala, another holy and consecrated land. The narrations say that the best observance of the Day of `Arafat is in Karbala.

أبي عن سعد عن النهدي عن علي بن أسباط يرفعه إلى أبي عبد الله (ع) قال إن الله تبارك و تعالى يبدأ بالنظر إلى زوار قبر الحسين بن علي ع عشية عرفة قال قلت قبل نظره إلى أهل الموقف قال نعم قلت و كيف ذاك قال لأن في أولئك أولاد زنا و ليس في هؤلاء أولاد زنا

Imam as-Sadiq [a] said: Allah looks at the visitors of the grave of al-Hussain b. Ali (as) the night of `Arafah." The narrator asked: "Before those in '`rafah?" The Imam (as) replied: "Yes." The narrator continued asking: "And how is that?" The Imam (as) said: "It is because there are sons of fornication (awlad al-zina) in the people of 'Arafah, but there are none in these (meaning the ones in Karbala)."

From these clues and many others, it is clear to me that Husayn is the true lamb of God, who sacrificed himself on behalf of his Shi`a to receive the covenant and blessing of God. Husayn was the one volunteered to give his head so that the world may have Imams. Our crying, mourning, and visitation is an act of association of Husayn so that we may be recipients of the fruit of his sacrifice. Karbala would become the connection between the celestial world and this one.

عن أبي جعفر عليه السلام «قال : أيّما مؤمنٍ دَمَعَتْ عيناه لِقَتلِ الحسين عليه السلام دَمْعَةً حتّى تَسيل على خَدِّه بَوَّأه الله بها غُرفاً في الجنّة يَسكنها أحقاباً.

Imam al-Baqir said: Any believer whose eyes shed tears for the murder of al-Husayn till they roll (down) his cheek, Allah will make him dwell in rooms of Paradise where he will there for long ages.
 
The early Shi`a of Iraq certainly understood these symbols, because they were coming from cultures and religions where the anthropology of sacrifice were well known. Our world is far removed from this anthropology, and so our connection to Husayn has been through social justice. The problem is that this is purely a horizontal understanding of Karbala, and not a theologically vertical one. It is not as consistent with the sources, and it makes the Imam into a political reformer rather than the Great Sacrifice.
 
Both Imam ar-Rida and Imam al-Mahdi did takfeer of those who denied that Husayn had died. There were some who believed that Husayn was raised up the same way Jesus was raised up. However, this would constitute kufr, because Husayn's sacrifice was the very foundation of the Abrahamic and Muhammadan covenants.

يا بن رسول الله وفيهم قوم يزعمون أن الحسين بن علي عليهما السلام لم يقتل وانه ألقى شبهه على حنظلة بن أسعد الشامي، وانع رفع إلى السماء كما رفع عيسى بن مريم عليه السلام ويحتجون بهذه الآية.
ولن يجعل الله للكافرين على المؤمنين سبيلا فقال: كذبوا عليهم غضب الله ولعنته وكفروا بتكذيبهم لنبي الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم في اخباره بان الحسين عليه السلام سيقتل، والله لقد قتل الحسين وقتل من كان خيرا من الحسين أمير المؤمنين والحسن بن علي عليهم السلام، وما منا الا مقتول، وانى والله لمقتول بالسم باغتيال من يغتالني أعرف ذلك بعهد معهود إلى من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم أخبره به جبرئيل عليه السلام عن رب العالمين عز وجل، واما قوله عز وجل: (ولن يجعل الله للكافرين على المؤمنين سبيلا) فإنه يقول: لن يجعل الله لهم على أنبيائه عليهم السلام سبيلا من طريق الحجة.
 
A man said to Imam ar-Rida [a], "O son of the Messenger of Allah! There is a community that claims that al-Husayn b. `Ali [a] was not killed, but rather, his likeness was placed upon Hanthala b. As`ad ash-Shami, and that he was raised to the heavens just as Jesus the son of Mary [a] was raised. And they use this verse to support it, 'and never will Allah give the disbelievers a way over the believers' (4:141)" The Imam replied, "They have lied. The anger and the curse of Allah is upon them. They have disbelieved because they have belied the Prophet's saying that al-Husayn [a] will be killed. By Allah, al-Husayn was killed, just as those better than al-Husayn were killed, such as the Commander of the Faithful and al-Hasan b. `Ali. There is not one from us except that he is killed. I, by Allah, will be killed with poison by the assassins of he who will assassinate me. I know this because of a covenant entrusted to me from the Messenger of Allah . He was informed of it by Gabriel [a] from the Lord of the Worlds. As for His saying, 'and never will Allah give the disbelievers a way over the believers' (4:141), He is saying: Allah will not give them a way over His prophets [a] from the path of the Proof."

Remember that many of our major narrators come from these Judaeo-Christian backgrounds: Zurara, `Ali b. Mahzayar, Yunus b. `Abd ar-Rahman, Abdullah b. Ja`far al-Himyari, al-Bazanti, `Ali b. Asbat, most of the Ansar (Abu Sa`eed al-Khudri, Jabir b. Abdullah, etc.) 2 of the martyrs of Karbala: John and Abu Wahab al-Kalbi, were Christians. There were things these people recognized in Husayn and in Shiism that we have unfortunately lost.

Imam al-Husayn knew that he and his companions would die, and he even chose this. Allah gave him the option to defeat the empire, but he knew that it was not the time.

محمد بن يحيى، عن أحمد بن محمد، عن ابن محبوب، عن ابن رئاب، عن ضريس الكناسي قال: سمعت أبا جعفر عليه السلام يقول - وعنده اناس من أصحابه -: عجبت من قوم يتولونا ويجعلونا أئمة ويصفون أن طاعتنا مفترضة عليهم كطاعة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله ثم يكسرون حجتهم ويخصمون أنفسهم بضعف قلوبهم، فينقصونا حقنا ويعيبون ذلك على من أعطاه الله برهان حق معرفتنا والتسليم لامرنا، أترون أن الله تبارك وتعالى افترض طاعة أوليائه على عباده، ثم يخفي عنهم أخبار السماوات والارض ويقطع عنهم مواد العلم فيما يرد عليهم مما فيه قوام دينهم؟! فقال له حمران: جعلت فداك أرأيت ما كان من أمر قيام علي بن أبي طالب والحسن والحسين عليهم السلام وخروجهم وقيامهم بدين الله عز ذكره، وما اصيبوا من قتل الطواغيت إياهم والظفر بهم حتى قتلوا وغلبوا؟ فقال أبو جعفر عليه السلام: يا حمران إن الله تبارك وتعالى قد كان قدر ذلك عليهم وقضاه وأمضاه وحتمه على سبيل الاختيار ثم أجراه فبتقدم علم إليهم من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله قام علي والحسن والحسين عليهم السلام، وبعلم صمت من صمت منا، ولو أنهم يا حمران حيث نزل بهم ما نزل بهم ما نزل من أمر الله عز وجل وإظهار الطواغيت عليهم سألوا الله عزوجل أن يدفع عنهم ذلك وألحوا عليه في طلب إزالة ملك الطواغيت وذهاب ملكهم إذا لاجابهم ودفع ذلك عنهم، ثم كان انقضاء مدة الطواغيت وذهاب ملكهم أسرع من سلك منظوم انقطع فتبدد، وما كان ذلك الذي أصابهم يا حمران لذنب اقترفوه ولا لعقوبة معصية خالفوا الله فيها ولكن لمنازل وكرامة من الله، أراد أن يبلغوها، فلا تذهبن بك المذاهب فيهم.

A man said to Imam al-Baqir [a], "May I be your sacrifice! Have you deliberated regarding what occurred from the rising of `Ali b. Abi Talib, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn? They came out and rose up for the religion of Allah; how much they suffered from their deaths at the hands of the tyrants – they were defeated, murdered and overpowered." So Abu Ja`far al-Baqir [a] said: "Allah had destined that for them; decreed it, approved it, and necessitated it – it was beyond choice. It thus occurred and the knowledge of it had come to them from the Messenger of Allah. `Ali, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn rose whilst knowing [the consequences]. By its knowledge, there were those of us who remained silent. Had they, whilst facing what Allah made them face and suffer defeat at the hands of the tyrants, asked Allah to remove their suffering and implored Him to destroy the kingdom of the tyrants, He would have answered their prayers and granted it for them – then, the decree would have removed the tyrants and their kingdom would end faster than the dispersal of threaded beads under pressure. That which they endured was not because of a sin they committed or a punishment for opposing Allah, rather, it was a deliverance and a bounty from Allah, who wished for them to attain it. Do not allow them (i.e. the people) to take you away from the [correct] path."

وحدَّثني أبي ـ رحمه الله ـ وجماعة مشايخي ، عن سعد بن عبدالله ، عن عليِّ بن إسماعيل بن عيسى ؛ ومحمّد بن الحسين بن أبي الخطّاب ، عن محمّد بن عَمرو بن سعيد الزّيّات ، عن عبدالله بن بُكير ، عن زُرارة ، عن ابي جعفر عليه السلام «قال : كتب الحسين بن عليِّ مِن مكّة إلى محمّد بن عليٍّ : بِسم الله الرَّحمن الرَّحيم ؛ مِن الحسين بن عليٍّ إلى محمَّد بن عليٍّ ومَن قَبِلَه مِن بني هاشم ؛ أمّا بعد فإنَّ مَنْ لَحِقَ بي اسْتُشْهِد ، ومَنْ لَم يَلْحَقْ بي لم يُدرِكِ الفَتْح ؛ والسَّلام

When he was in Mecca, Imam al-Husayn [a] wrote to his brother Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya. He said the following: "In the name of Allah the Beneficient the Merciful: From al-Husayn b. Ali to Muhammad b. Ali and those who are with him from the Children of Hashim [in Medina]. Verily, one who joins me will be martyred, and one who does not join me will not attain the Victory. Peace."

وعنه، عن الحسن بن محبوب، عن أبي حمزة الثمالي قال: قلت لابي جعفر عليه السلام: إن عليا عليه السلام كان يقول: " إلى السبعين بلاء " وكان يقول: " بعد البلاء رخاء " وقد مضت السبعون ولم نر رخاء !. فقال أبو جعفر عليه السلام: يا ثابت إن الله تعالى كان وقت هذا الامر في السبعين، فلما قتل الحسين عليه السلام إشتد غضب الله على أهل الارض، فأخره إلى أربعين ومائة سنة، فحدثناكم فأذعتم الحديث، وكشفتم قناع السر، فأخره الله ولم يجعل له بعد ذلك عندنا وقتا، و * (يمحو الله ما يشاء ويثبت وعنده أم الكتاب) *. قال أبو حمزة: وقلت ذلك لابي عبد الله عليه السلام فقال: قد كان ذاك. 

And from him from al-Hasan b. Mahbub from Abu Hamza ath-Thumali.

He said: I said to Abu Ja`far عليه السلام: `Ali عليه السلام used to say, “Tribulations till 70 AH”, and he used to say, “after the tribulations is prosperity”, and yet 70 AH has passed and we have not seen prosperity! So Abu Ja`far عليه السلام said: O Thabit, Allah تعالى had set a time for this affair in 70 AH, but when al-Husayn عليه السلام was killed, Allah’s anger with the people of the Earth intensified. So He delayed it till 140 AH, and we narrated to you [regarding it] and you publicized the narration, so the secret was disclosed. Allah thereafter has not set any time for it that we know of. And, “Allah erases what He wills and establishes [what He wills]; and with Him is the Original Book” (13:39).

We all know the story of the Prophet Salih, and Karbala' is an inner dimension of that story. Like many stories of the Qur'an, this one has parallels with that of the Prophet and his Ahl al-Bayt. Salih was the Arab prophet to Thamud, just as Muhammad was the Arab prophet to his people. The people of Thamud idolaters worshiping a rock/mountain, and the Meccans were worshiping idols in the Ka`ba. As a sign, Salih brought a beautiful pregnant she-camel out of this rock. Likewise, Husayn accompanied the Prophet, and he was beautiful ("husayn" means "endeared beauty"). Salih ordered the good treatment of the she-camel, and the Prophet ordered the good treatment of Ahl al-Bayt. The she-camel provided milk (and ancient symbol for eternal life), and Husayn provided the deen. The camel was prevented from drinking the water of Thamud, and Husayn was prevented from water. The camel was struck and killed by the worst person of Thamud, and Husayn was struck and killed by the worst person of the Umma. The camel was survived by an offspring, and Husayn was survived by an offspring. Both the camel and Husayn were a blessing and a sign to the community, and the community neglected their rights and killed them.

حدثني محمد بن الحسين الاشناني قال : حدثنا عباد بن يعقوب قال : أخبرنا مورع بن سويد بن قيس قال : حدثنا من شهد الحسين ، قال : كان معه ابنه الصغير
فجاء سهم فوقع في نحره ، قال : فجعل الحسين يأخذ الدم من نحره ولبته فيرمى به إلى السماء فما يرجع منه شئ ، ويقول : اللهم لا يكون اهون عليك من فصيل ( ناقة صالح
)

Imam al-Husayn [a] was with his young son when an arrow struck his neck. So Husayn took the blood of his neck and his chest and threw it in the air, and none of it returned. He said, "O Allah, do not allow this to be less significant to You than the she-camel of Salih [a]."

 

Allah does not need anything from us - He does not need our salat, zakat, or a`mal. The religion's a`mal are all human expressions to approach the Divine. Sacrifice is a religious expression that is rooted in Islam - it is in the stories of the prophets (Habil and Qabil's offerings, Isma`il's sacrifice and Eid al-Adha, the Baqara, in the bay`a of Ridwan) in the salat, in the Hajj, and elsewhere. It is a demonstration of full submission and full adherence to Allah's will. Sacrifice is done to achieve God's favour and His proximity. The Imams were always addressed with "may I be your sacrifice" or "may my mother and father be sacrificed for you" because true allegiance is only when you are ready to put your life on the line. From this post, we see the connection between the sacrifice and the covenant (mithaq/`ahd): Ibrahim and his righteous descendants become Imams only due to his sacrifice, which was rooted in Husayn taking the place of Isma`il. Even the Prophet's own prophethood was preceded by two offerings to Allah. So, the Prophet marked Husayn for sacrifice at birth, and in return, Allah made the Imams from his progeny - I believe there is an association between these two things, because there is always a connection between (1) sacrifice, and (2) covenants/oaths/allegiances. The Hajj is only complete with an animal sacrifice, after which we are reborn with no sins. These symbols are all over the Husayni literature.

Husayn knew and willingly chose to meet his Lord on the 10th of Muharram, because a "political" islah and takeover of the Caliphate was not his mission. Imam `Ali and Imam al-Hasan were Caliphs, but their enemies prevented them from rectifying the Islamic Umma. Husayn's mission was to exemplify Islam in his fight - the full submission to the will of Allah. It was an expression of uplifting divine justice and personal responsibility at any cost. But it was also the ultimate act by which we could have the Imamate. Our mourning of him is our expression of associating ourselves with him (walaya), so that we may be counted among the covenant of Ahl al-Bayt. Once we become Muslims, and submit to our duties, and develop a ma`rifa of Allah through His Imams, and form a strong relationship with them, crying is a strong personal way to demonstrate kinship and love to Husayn. The hadiths promise that even one small tear for the Imam will result in a forgiveness of our sins, and one true visitation of our Imam will result in many Hajj. Considering the connections between Hajj and Husayn, the sacrificial and covenant dimensions here should be obvious.

Husayn's movement had two legs: justice and sacrifice. If you cut one out of the narrative, the entire narrative falls. What highlights Husayn's movement is his act of sacrifice, which undergirds the Imamate of Ibrahim (as) and his family. Husayn, in his sacrifice, fulfilled the inner meaning of Hajj, which is full subservience and selflessness towards Almighty God Allah. Again and again, the hadiths present the parallels between Hajj and Imam al-Husayn, whose visitation equals many Hajj, because he is the epicentre of Hajj.
 
And Allah knows best.

pyblUzy.jpg

14 Comments


Recommended Comments

  • Forum Administrators

حدثنا علي بن أحمد بن موسى الدقاق (رحمه الله)، قال: حدثنا محمد ابن أبي عبد الله الكوفي، قال: حدثنا موسى بن عمران النخعي، عن عمه الحسين بن يزيد، عن الحسن بن علي بن سالم، عن أبيه، عن الصادق جعفر بن محمد، عن أبيه (عليه السلام)، قال: كان للحسين بن علي (عليه السلام) خاتمان، نقش أحدهما: لا إله إلا الله، عدة للقاء الله. ونقش الآخر: إن الله بالغ أمره

كامل الزيارة: حكيم بن داود بن حكيم، عن سلمة، عن علي بن الحسين، عن معمر بن خلاد، عن أبي الحسن الرضا عليه السلام قال: بينا الحسين عليه السلام يسير في جوف الليل وهو متوجه إلى العراق وإذا رجل يرتجز ويقول: وحدثني أبي، عن سعد عن ابن عيسى، عن معمر بن خلاد، عن الرضا عليه السلام مثل ألفاظ سلمة قال: وهو يقول: يا ناقتي لا تذعري من زجري وشمري قبل طلوع الفجر بخير ركبان وخير سفر حتى تحلى بكريم البحر بماجد الجد رحيب الصدر أثابه الله لخير أمر ثمت أبقاه بقاء الدهر فقال الحسين بن علي عليه السلام: سأمضي وما بالموت عار على الفتى إذا ما نوى حقا وجاهد مسلما وواسى الرجال الصالحين بنفسه وفارق مثبورا وخالف مجرما فان عشت لم أندم وإن مت لم ألم كفى بك موتا أن تذل وتغرما

فمنهم العلامة الشيخ أبو جعفر محمد بن علي بن محمد الشهير بعماد الدين الطبري في " تاريخه " (ص 493) قال:
وحدثني العلاء بن أبي عائشة، عن أبيه قال: حدثني رأس الجالوت قال: ما مررت بكربلاء إلا وأنا أركض دابتي حتى أخلف المكان. قال: قلت: لم؟ قال: كنا نتحدث أن ولد نبي مقتول في ذلك المكان. قال: وكنت أخاف أن أكون أنا، فلما قتل الحسين قلنا هذا الذي كنا نتحدث.
قال: وكنت بعد ذلك إذا مررت بذلك المكان أسير ولا أركض.

 

Link to comment
  • Forum Administrators
2 hours ago, Purged said:

salam.alaikum, 

on 'shaving head upon giving oath of allegiance' to the Imam, did everyone shave theirs in ghadeer? or did they have to shave their heads again since the sermon was right after hajj. 

I haven't seen anything on them shaving their heads at ghadeer, their heads would have been shaven for Hajj. But Amir al-Mu'mineen asked his loyalists to shave their heads after the Prophet passed away. This is a symbol of "giving your head" to the Imam.

In our hadiths, the head is shaved for Hajj and `umra (sacrificial symbolism). I have seen hadiths that said that the Prophet would shave his head when he took an oath towards Allah, and that as-Sadiq would shave his head every Friday. It is also permissible for beauty and hygiene.

Link to comment
On 10/5/2016 at 5:16 PM, Qa'im said:

  اللهم تقبل منا هذا القربان

Lady Zaynab [a] said: "O Allah, accept this as a sacrifice/offering from us."

In another tradition, we also have:

هم تقبل منا هذا قلیل القربان

"O Allah, accept this small sacrifice/offering from us."

(referring to the time when Lady Zainab (s) came upon her brother's body )

 علامه بیرجندی، کبریت الاحمر، ص376.

Link to comment
  • Advanced Member

I loved the post. It helped me understand more and also helped clear some questions I was having. Thank you for writing this.

 

P.S. I was trying to give to give the post 5 stars and accidently gave it 4 and now I can't seem to change it. Sorry

Link to comment
  • Advanced Member

^from this questionnaire, can you answer the first one?

reminds me of the time when The Prophet (sawa) was asked whether He wants kingdom or wants to be called Allah's Servant (Abd) to which The Prophet chose servanthood. 

Link to comment
4 hours ago, Qa'im said:

We have to reflect on the following questions:

1. Why did al-Husayn choose to die when he was given the option of defeating his enemies? Had his movement been mainly a social one, wouldn't defeating Yazid and restoring the Caliphate be a more effective way to attain his goals?

2. Why is so much emphasis given to the killing, `aza', and ziyara of Husayn, considering all of the Imams were killed in their own acts of amr bil ma`ruf wa nahi `an al-munkar? Even Imams that were superior to Husayn (Amir al-Mu'mineen and even Imam al-Hasan) fought against the evil powers of their time until they were brutally martyred. While we commemorate their shahada and perform their ziyara, we can all agree that the sources have given special emphasis to Imam al-Husayn.

3. Why is Hajj often compared to al-Husayn's movement in our literature? His ziyara is compared to an X amount of Hajj, as opposed to another good action, such as feeding the poor or giving charity. Being in Karbala for the Day of `Arafat is also given significance. Why was Hajj selected as the measuring stick?

4. Why is Karbala' given a cosmic significance in books like Kamil al-Ziyarat? It is called majma` as-samawati wal ard, and a piece of heaven on Earth. The same status is not given to Kufa, where Amir al-Mu'mineen was killed.

5. Why did al-Husayn replace Isma`il in the authentic report of Imam ar-Rida? What is the relationship between the Abrahamic sacrifice and his elevation to the level of Imam?

6. Why did the Imamate go to the children of al-Husayn and not al-Hasan?

7. What is the relationship between al-Husayn and the Qa'im of Aal Muhammad?

8. Is there a significance to Husayn being slaughtered like sheep? Is this a connection shared by other livestock sacrifices - the Hajj sacrifice, the offerings of Abel and Cain, the sacrifice of the Cow? Why is Husayn called a qurban - a term usually given to sacrificial offerings and livestock?

9. Is there a significance to Ashura possibly falling on the Day of Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement?

10. Should our communities distinguish the movement of Husayn from modernist terminology inspired by the Protestant Reformation, the French Revolution, Marxism, and modern anti-imperialism? I am very critical of translating terms like "islah" to "reform", which is loaded with evoked connotations.

To me, the anthropology and phenomenology of sacrifice ties all of these things together beautifully.

Personally I don't say that I know the answers of some of these questions, but I will try and give the points of view of the other side.

1- Can it not be said that Imam Al-Ridha [as] also had the chance to become a khalifa, yet he declined?

2- I have seen the hadiths about ziyara of Al-Husayn [as]. I have also seen the ones about Al-Ridha [as], and they speak about the same ajr if not more. 

3- Not just about Imam Al-Husayn [as], again, again, it has been compared with ziyara of Al-Ridha [as].

4- Blank.

5- Blank.

6- Blank.

7- Revenge?

8- Blank.

9- Why can't it be a coincedence? Do we have any proof from our literature to prove that this was a Holy Day? It may even be an innovated day that the Jews innovated, and not something that the Prophets [as] have told them to celebrate.

10- Blank.

Link to comment
  • Forum Administrators
12 hours ago, E.L King said:

1- Can it not be said that Imam Al-Ridha [as] also had the chance to become a khalifa, yet he declined?

Yes, but Imam ar-Rida was not fighting a war. If you are fighting a war, and your goal is not to defeat your opponent, then your motive should be reinvestigated. Too often, Husayn's movement is seen as a failed revolution that modern people can pick up and finish on his behalf. This interpretation is unfounded in our literature.

12 hours ago, E.L King said:

2- I have seen the hadiths about ziyara of Al-Husayn [as]. I have also seen the ones about Al-Ridha [as], and they speak about the same ajr if not more. 

Ziyara of all of the Imams is recommended, but we don't do an annual 10-40 days of consecutive mourning for other Imams, even though at least one Imam was superior to Husayn. I have not seen hadiths about crying a single tear for Imam Rida extinguishing all sins, or the creation as a whole mourning for any of the Imams (raining blood, earthquakes, blackened sun, jinn and birds crying, etc.) As for the ziyara of ar-Rida being superior, the hadith you are referring to says that the visitors of ar-Rida are superior to the visitors of al-Husayn - it is referring to the fact that non-Imamis would visit Husayn's shrine (Sufis, Zaydis, Waqifis, etc.) but only loyalists would visit ar-Rida and the succeeding Imams. However this is not a statement about the act of ziyara to ar-Rida being better, it is a statement on the aqeeda of those who visit him vs. the aqeeda of those who ignore him.

12 hours ago, E.L King said:

9- Why can't it be a coincedence? Do we have any proof from our literature to prove that this was a Holy Day? It may even be an innovated day that the Jews innovated, and not something that the Prophets [as] have told them to celebrate.

Yeah it could be a coincidence. But the holiness of the Sabbath for the Jews was mentioned in the Quran, and Yom Kippur is in the Torah and pre-Islamic tradition, so to me there's not much of a chance that it was an innovated holiday.

Link to comment
  • Forum Administrators

The Messenger of Allah (s) was sitting one day when al-Hasan [a] came. When he (s) saw him [a], he wept and said, "Come to me, my son!" and he sat him down on his right leg.

Then, al-Husayn [a] came. When he (s) saw him [a], he wept and said, "Come to me, my son!" and he sat him down on his left leg.

Then, Lady Fatima [a] came. When he saw her, he wept and said, "Come to me, my daughter!" and he sat her down in front of him.

Then, the Commander of the Faithful [a] came. When he saw him, he wept and said, "Come to me, my brother!" and he sat him down to his right side.

So his companions said to him, "O Messenger of Allah! You did not see one of these except that you wept. What is in them that caused this?"

The Messenger replied, "By He who raised me up as a prophet, and selected me above all of the people! I and them are the dearest creatures to Allah, and nothing on the face of the Earth is more beloved to me than them.

As for `Ali b. Abi Talib, he is my brother and my confidant, the Master of the Order after me, the Master of my brigade in this world and the Hereafter, and the Master of my Pond and my intercession. He is the Master of every Muslim, the Imam of every believer, and the leader of every pious person. He is my deputy and my vicegerent over my family and my Nation both during my life and after my death. Love of him is love of me, hatred of him is hatred of me. By his allegiance, my Nation is given mercy, and by opposing him, the opponents were cursed. I wept when he came because I remembered my Nation's betrayal of him after me - he will be betrayed until he is unable to take my seat. Allah has made him after me, and his authority will not fall until the side of his head is struck and his beard is soaked by it [with blood] in the best month, the month of Ramadan, in which the Qur'an was revealed as guidance for the people and elucidations of guidance and a criterion.

As for my daughter Fatima, she is the Mistress of the Women of the Worlds, from the first to the last. She is a part of me, the light of my eye, the fruit of my heart, and my spirit within me. She is a human houri. Whenever she stands at her prayer-niche before her Lord, her light illuminates for the angels of the heavens, just as the light of the stars illuminate for the people of the Earth; and Allah says to His angels, 'O My angels! Look at My female servant Fatima, the Mistress of My female servants, standing before Me. Her chest shivers out of fear of Me, and she has set her heart to worshiping Me. I bear witness to you that I have made her followers safe from the Fire.' When I saw her, I remembered what would happen to her after me. It is as if I am with her, as disgrace enters her home, and her sanctity is violated, and her right is taken away, and she is prevented from her inheritance, and her side (rib) is broken, and her fetus is miscarried as she calls, 'O Muhammada!' and she is not answered. She will call for help, but not be helped. After me, she will always be grieving, distressed, and weeping. In a moment, she will recall the cessation of revelation to her house, and in the next moment, she will recall my absence. She will be lonely when night comes to her and she does not hear my voice reciting the Qur'an in the night prayer. She will see herself become humiliated after being honoured in the days of her father. At that, Allah will give her solace through the angels, and they will call to her what they called to Mary the daughter of `Imran. They will say, 'O Fatima! Surely, Allah has chosen you, purified you, and chosen you above the women of the worlds. O Fatima! Devote yourself to your Lord, prostrate, and bow with those who bow.' Then, her pain will begin and she will become ill, so Allah will send Mary the daughter of `Imran to her, to take care of her in her illness and give her solace. At that, Fatima will say, 'O Lord! I have despised life, and I am discontented with the people of this world, so reunite me with my father.' So Allah will reunite her with me, and she will be the first to follow me from my family. She will come to me grieving, distressed, sorrowful, robbed, and killed. At that, I will say, 'May Allah curse those who oppressed her, and punish those who robbed her, and humiliate those who humiliated her, and put he who struck her side and caused her miscarriage in the Fire forever.' At that, the angels will say 'Amen.'

As for al-Hasan, he is my son and my child. He is from me, the joy of my eye, the light of my heart, and the fruit of my heart. He is the Master of the Youth of Paradise, and the Proof of Allah upon the Nation. His order is my order, and his words are my words. Whomever follows him is of me, and whomever disobeys him is not of me. When I looked at him, I remembered the humiliation he will experience after me. His authority will remain until he is killed with poison in oppression and enmity. At that, the angels will weep over his death, and everything will weep over him, including the birds in the sky and the whales in the sea. Whomever weeps over him will not be blinded on the Day that the eyes will be blinded. Whomever grievs over him will not grieve on the Day that the hearts will grieve. Whomever visits him in his Baqi`, his feet will be firm on the Path on the Day that the feet will falter.

As for al-Husayn, he is from me, he is my son and my child. He is the best of the creation after his brother. He is the Imam of the Muslims, the Master of the believers, the vicegerent of the Lord of the Worlds, the helper of those who seek help, the cave of those who seek refuge, the Proof of Allah upon His whole creation, the Master of the Youth of Paradise, and the Gate of Salvation of my Nation. His order is my order, his obedience is my obedience. Whomever follows him is of me, and whomever disobeys him disobeys him is not of me. When I saw him, I remembered what will happen to him after me. It is as if I am with him when he appeals for help by my sanctity and my grave but he is not helped. So I will come to him in his dream and order him to take a trip to me, and I will give him glad tidings of martyrdom. So he will go to the land of his killing and his demise, the land of suffering and calamity and killing and annihilation. A group of Muslims will support him, and they will be from the Masters of the Martyrs of my Nation on the Day of Resurrection. It is as if I am looking at him as is struck with a spear and falls off of his horse. He will then be slaughtered as an oppressed ram is slaughtered."

Then, the Messenger of Allah (s) wept, and those around him wept, and their voices were raised. Then, he (s) stood, saying, "O Allah, I complain to You regarding what will happen to my Ahl al-Bayt after me." Then, he entered his house.

حدثنا علي بن أحمد بن موسى الدقاق (رحمه الله)، قال: حدثنا محمد ابن أبي عبد الله الكوفي، قال: حدثنا موسى بن عمران النخعي، عن عمه الحسين بن
يزيد النوفلي، عن الحسن بن علي بن أبي حمزة، عن أبيه، عن سعيد بن جبير، عن ابن عباس، قال: إن رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله) كان جالسا ذات يوم إذ أقبل الحسن (عليه السلام)، فلما رآه بكى، ثم قال: إلي يا بني، فما زال يدنيه حتى أجلسه على فخذه اليمنى، ثم أقبل الحسين (عليه السلام)، فلما رآه بكى، ثم قال: إلي يا بني، فما زال يدنيه حتى أجلسه على فخذه اليسرى، ثم أقبلت فاطمة (عليها السلام)، فلما رآها بكى، ثم قال: إلى يا بنية، فأجلسها بين يديه، ثم أقبل أمير المؤمنين (عليه السلام)، فلما رآه بكى، ثم قال: إلي يا أخي، فما زال يدنيه حتى أجلسه إلى جنبه الايمن، فقال له أصحابه: يا رسول الله، ما ترى واحدا من هؤلاء إلا بكيت، أو ما فيهم من تسر برؤيته! فقال (صلى الله عليه وآله): والذي بعثني بالنبوة، واصطفاني على جميع البرية، إني وإياهم لاكرم الخلق على الله عزوجل، وما على وجه الارض نسمة أحب إلي منهم. أما علي بن أبي طالب فإنه أخي وشفيقي، وصاحب الامر بعدي، وصاحب لوائي في الدنيا والآخرة، وصاحب حوضي وشفاعتي، وهو مولى كل مسلم، وإمام كل مؤمن، وقائد كل تقي، وهو وصيي وخليفتي على أهلي وأمتي في حياتي وبعد مماتي، محبه محبي، ومبغضه مبغضي، وبولايته صارت أمتي مرحومة، وبعداوته صارت المخالفة له منها ملعونة، وإني بكيت حين أقبل لاني ذكرت غدر الامة به بعدي حتى إنه ليزال عن مقعدي، وقد جعله الله له بعدي، ثم لا يزال الامر به حتى يضرب على قرنه ضربة تخضب منها لحيته في أفضل الشهور شهر رمضان الذي أنزل فيه القرآن هدى للناس وبينات من الهدى والفرقان. وأما ابنتي فاطمة، فإنها سيدة نساء العالمين من الاولين والآخرين، وهي بضعة مني، وهو نور عيني، وهي ثمرة فؤادي، وهي روحي التي بين جنبي، وهي الحوراء الانسية، متى قامت في محرابها بين يدي ربها جل جلاله زهر (1) نورها لملائكة السماء كما يزهر نور الكواكب لاهل الارض، ويقول الله عز وجل لملائكته: يا
ملائكتي، انظروا إلى أمتي فاطمة سيدة إمائي، قائمة بين يدي ترتعد فرائصها (1) من خيفتي، وقد أقبلت بقلبها على عبادتي، أشهدكم أني قد أمنت شيعتها من النار. وإني لما رأيتها ذكرت ما يصنع بها بعدي، كأني بها وقد دخل الذل بيتها، وانتهكت حرمتها، وغصبت حقها، ومنعت إرثها، وكسر جنبها (2)، وأسقطت جنينها، وهي تنادي: يا محمداه، فلا تجاب، وتستغيث فلا تغاث، فلا تزال بعدي محزونة مكروبة باكية، تتذكر انقطاع الوحي عن بيتها مرة، وتتذكر فراقي أخرى، وتستوحش إذا جنها الليل لفقد صوتي الذي كانت تستمع إليه إذا تهجدت بالقرآن، ثم ترى نفسها ذليلة بعد أن كانت في أيام أبيها عزيزة، فعند ذلك يؤنسها الله تعالى ذكره بالملائكة، فنادتها بما نادت به مريم بنت عمران، فتقول: يا فاطمة (إن الله اصطفاك وطهرك واصطفاك على نساء العالمين)، يا فاطمة (اقنتي لربك واسجدي واركعي مع الراكعين) (3). ثم يبتدئ بها الوجع فتمرض، فيبعث الله عز وجل إليها مريم بنت عمران، تمرضها وتؤنسها في علتها، فتقول عند ذلك: يا رب، إني قد سئمت الحياة، وتبرمت بأهل الدنيا، فألحقني بأبي. فيلحقها الله عز وجل بي، فتكون أول من يلحقني من أهل بيتي، فتقدم علي محزونة مكروبة مغمومة مغصوبة مقتولة، فأقول عند ذلك: اللهم العن من ظلمها، وعاقب من غصبها، وأذل من أذلها، وخلد في نارك من ضرب جنبها حتى ألقت ولدها، فتقول الملائكة عند ذلك: آمين. وأما الحسن فإنه ابني وولدي، ومني، وقرة عيني، وضياء قلبي، وثمرة فؤادي، وهو سيد شباب أهل الجنة، وحجة الله على الامة، أمره أمري، وقوله قولي، من تبعه فإنه مني، ومن عصاه فليس مني، وإني لما نظرت إليه تذكرت ما يجرى عليه من الذل بعدي، فلا يزال الامر به حتى يقتل بالسم ظلما وعدوانا، فعند ذلك تبكي الملائكة
والسبع الشداد لموته، ويبكيه كل شئ حتى الطير في جو السماء، والحيتان في جوف الماء، فمن بكاه لم تعم عينه يوم تعمي العيون، ومن حزن عليه لم يحزن قلبه يوم تحزن القلوب، ومن زاره، في بقيعه ثبتت قدمه على الصراط يوم تزل فيه الاقدام. وأما الحسين فإنه مني، وهو ابني وولدي، وخير الخلق بعد أخيه، وهو إمام المسلمين، ومولى المؤمنين، وخليفة رب العالمين، وغياث المستغيثين، وكهف المستجيرين، وحجة الله على خلقه أجمعين، وهو سيد شباب أهل الجنة، وباب نجاة الامة، أمره أمري، وطاعته طاعتي، من تبعه فإنه مني، ومن عصاه فليس مني، وإني لما رأيته تذكرت ما يصنع به بعدي، كأني به وقد استجار بحرمي وقبري (1) فلا يجار، فأضمه في منامه إلى صدري، وآمره بالرحلة على دار هجرتي، وأبشره بالشهادة، فيرتحل عنها إلى أرض مقتله وموضع مصرعه أرض كرب وبلاء وقتل وفناء، تنصره عصابة من المسلمين، أولئك من سادة شهداء امتي يوم القيامة، كأني أنظر إليه وقد رمي بسهم فخر عن فرسه صريعا، ثم يذبح كما يذبح الكبش مظلوما. ثم بكى رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله) وبكى من حوله، وارتفعت أصواتهم بالضجيج، ثم قام (صلى الله عليه وآله): وهو يقول: اللهم إني أشكو إليك ما يلقى أهل بيتي بعدي، ثم دخل منزله (2).

(Amali of Shaykh as-Saduq, page 174)

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Latest Blog Entries

    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
         6
      Note: I'll be updating the initial entry with additional points over time, as discussions elsewhere on Shiachat help me to flesh out the original arguments.
       
      The popularity of 'do your own research'
      This is a phrase that we are increasingly hearing. It sounds good, since it refers to going out and gathering information in order to make informed decisions. It's part of the consumer capitalist culture we have been brought up with which holds that capitalists should be able to sell whatever they want and people should be free to make their own (informed) choices. The downside for individuals is that should something go wrong, they can be held to blame for their own actions.
      Do your own research and wider capitalist /liberal democratic ideology
      Of course reality does not work that way and capitalists know this and hence their preference for a laissez faire economic  model that emphasises low levels of regulation.
      Why?
      Ordinary people are notoriously bad at gathering information, analysing it and then making use of it. This is why people continue to smoke after the link with cancer has been proven and why the cigarette industry is happy to go along with whatever restrictions are placed on it (except for outright bans). This is why firms that sell fatty and sugary foods are happy to place information on their packaging (the more complicated the better) rather than have taxes imposed or even outright bans.
      Capitalists encourage people to 'do their own research' because they know that most of the time people will get it wrong. Capitalist models of behaviour change are ones that say to people you are ultimately free to choose based on the informed choices that they choose to make. Those of us who live in the West have been sold this model since the Second World War and the ideological battle with countries that choose to have a higher level of government diktat and to this end capitalists have been aided by liberal democrats.
      In reality that worldview works where there is no external threat to a society. When such a threat arises, as in a plague like the coronavirus, the governments have to exercise high levels of control if their priority is the greater public good. Where other priorities exist, such as the economic welfare of elites, governments' messaging may again focus on individual responsibility and open up the field for those who recommend 'doing your own research'.
      What happens when people do their own research
      When anti-vaxxers for example tell others to do their own 'research', they are either being naive or deliberately taking advantage of others. Because what do you research? What papers do you read and do you trust what they have to say?
      People tend to read what is understandable to them and for most people that will be the polemic in a blog rather than scientific papers.
      Reading the latter requires a certain minimum education and indeed patience and time, that most people do not have. So they end up reading material published by conspiracy theorists which is easy to read, but which glosses over technical issues and may just even be wrong. The following quotation is from a scientist who says that his work has been misused by conspiracy theorists and he explains why:
      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/sep/07/virologist-work-anti-vaxxers-covid
       
      So why do people fall for the 'do your own research' baloney?
      Because it makes them feel powerful. Following a comment below I feel I should clarify what I mean by 'powerful', since it's possible to misconstrue what I mean. My usage of the term is closer to what social psychologists may refer to as 'behavioural control'. This term is used to reflect situations such as for example being able to cook with healthier ingredients because someone has taught you how to do so.
      The conspiracy theorists however subvert what is good and noble into something wholly unethical. They encourage people to believe that they have behavioural control by making simple what is complex, by misinforming, using anecdotes where statistics would be more relevant and so on. And the reason for doing this is to make their message easier to understand, more interesting to watch, share and more likely to elicit an emotional reaction.
      This is not dissimilar to the recent growth in investing apps, which have drawn the following criticism (emphasis is mine):
      https://www.ft.com/content/96af6536-6e5e-4a32-b08b-f6bf87aa4d5e
      The above context is wholly different to dealing with a pandemic, but what is common to both is people offering us a false illusion of having control over our destiny.
      Having processed YouTube videos people feel that they have done their 'research' and that they can now make an informed choice. The choice making seems more 'rational' and in a cultural and educational environment where we have been brought up to celebrate rationality this seems like a good thing, in and of itself.  
      So in comparison to following government edicts to wear face masks, the 'own research' crowd watch some videos and consciously choose not to do so on the basis of information that they have gathered. They are therefore exercising behavioural control over their lives in a manner that they could not previously. And when challenged they can cite 'evidence' that supports their position - further enhancing their behavioural control.
      The reality is of course, that wearing a mask costs very little in terms of money and behaviour change. There are many benefits to others in addition to any to the wearer. But the anti-maskers are told that wearing a mask is some kind of subjugation to government control. Choosing not to wear a mask because someone tells you that you'll breathe more CO2 as a result, sounds like an informed decision that gives you control over your own life.
       
      God, nihilism and the human condition
      This new section was inspired by the following post:
      At one extreme then, the individual can feel that there is so much in the way of different perspectives, error on all sides etc. that we simply cannot identify what is the right course of healthy behaviour and what is not. In my opinion that reflects a worldview which questions God's benevolence.
      In my opinion the theist would always believe that God provides us with the critical faculties that enable us to follow the right course of action. The human condition in my view is one where we have to endeavour to find what that right course of action is - and it takes cognitive effort and it requires us not to give in to emotion or laziness.
      And just as the above increasingly become more challenging in a more technologically advanced world, so the tools that we have available to help us increase in their sophistication and effectiveness.
      Technology allows us to keep a record of who said what and when. In the case of covid-19 we know who downplayed the seriousness of the virus from the start (likely because of their need to protect their economic interests) and we also know who recommended an abundance of caution because they knew that in the long-run a healthy population will be better off economically. Those people who took the virus seriously encourage mask wearing, social distancing and vaccinating.
      That information can be used to follow individuals on social media, who have the medical expertise and benevolence to support your interests. Once you follow a reliable expert you can:
      See who else they follow And you can then also follow the health experts they follow Conclusion
      Few if any people are capable of 'doing their own research'. Ultimately it becomes a matter of choosing who you decide to believe. And in that regard it becomes a matter of assessing someone's character, their education, and their track record. People who believe in the concept of taqlid know exactly what the issues are here.
    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
         0
      The background
      The starting point is the Qur'anic injunction (in various places) about the requirements of commerce. Here is some commentary from 'The Study Qur'an', I have previously noted the need to use this resource with discernment, but on this topic it seems to be ok. The following are Qur'an injunctions about buying and selling:
      Nasr, Seyyed Hossein; Dagli, Caner K.; Dakake, Maria Massi; Lumbard, Joseph E.B.; Rustom, Mohammed. The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary (p. 438). HarperOne. Kindle Edition. 
      This post is about the reasons why there is so much imperative in the Qur'an on sellers not taking advantage of their customers, the point being elaborated here is that it can be easy for sellers to take advantage. The Qur'an uses a specific context (weights and measures) but this notion can be extended to other areas of the transaction.
      We can lump together all sorts of decisions that we make everyday. These can be decisions about what products and services to buy and they can be decisions about whether or not to wear masks or get vaccinated. They can also be decisions about haram and halal behaviours. Many (but not all) decisions are underpinned by the information that we have to go on.
      But not all information is the same.
      Predictive value
      The information that we receive about products and services (and indeed about any life decisions) can be divided into two types, that which has high predictive value or low predictive value. The former helps better predict how a product will perform, how a virus works or what the world will be like and information of low predictive value does not do so. It's better for us clearly to rely on information that has high predictive value.
      But there is a problem, not all information is equally easy to understand and use. We all know this to be the case from personal experience. Some information is easy to understand and remember, other information we may find impossible to understand, perhaps because it is too technically complex and we do not have sufficient education. This is why we split information into that with which we have high confidence and that with which we have low confidence.
      If you want a more graphic illustration of what I am talking about watch this 1.5 minute video:
      https://youtu.be/P9-EPhVPIAU
      Morgan Spurlock provides a humorous insight into how the fast food industry 'deceives' its customers. This screengrab from the trailer gives some indication as to how it does this. Each of the labels below carries a 'meaning' for us as consumers, in each instance I think we can agree that these are positive meanings. What Spurlock does in his engaging film is to show how in reality the meanings can be far different to what we think they mean (free range) or in the case of 100% natural the word has no meaning at all, but it still feels good.. 

      Confidence value
      The problem we have in making sense of the world around us is that information which can better predict how products or even events and pandemics will pan out (it has high confidence value) may actually be hard to understand and evaluate (it has low confidence value). This is shown in the top right hand box below.
      The human condition
      An aspect of the human condition is that sometimes we can be a little lazy in our efforts to engage with information that helps us to see how things will be because it is intellectually more challenging.
      The challenge
      This leads us down the dangerous path of following information that is easy to understand (has high confidence value), but which has low predictive value (won't really tell us what the future will be like). This is shown in the bottom left hand box in the diagram below.
      Unscrupulous people will give us the latter in abundance and we will enjoy a false sense of security, but will ultimately arrive at a destination that is considerably different to what we expected. This applies both to the products and services that we buy and the ethical and moral decisions that we make and indeed the health and lifestyle choices that we follow.
      The diagram
      The diagram below illustrates that thought leaders within society are needed to show us those things which are easy to use and can accurately tell us about reality and they're needed to explain to us those things which inform us about reality and which are hard to use. Certainly one thing which we need from societies leaders is the ability to protect us from those things which we think will help guide us and/or inform us about the way the world really is, but which in reality will not do so.
       

       
      Illustrative examples
      This example shows how the above can work in practice:
      https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/mar/11/know-what-you-eat-health-halo
      Here's another example, from the same article above:
      Both of these examples show how consumers can make decisions off very limited amounts of information that do not fully reflect what it is that they are buying and the more important issue here is that marketers can take full advantage of this in terms of how they label products and how they photograph and present them. 
    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
         0
      Western countries are beginning to see what it is to be Palestinian or for that matter any group that they have previously oppressed and then criticised the victims for their response. The problem the oppressed faced was that any choices they made would be bad.
      If the Palestinians did not object to the occupation of their lands the assessment would have been that the appropriation was ok, if they did protest then they were the ones who were breaking the peace.
      When your opponent has the best cards any hand you play will likely be a losing one.
      In the 21st century, it is beginning to look as if the Chinese have the best cards. for example Huawei makes good and cost-effective telecoms infrastructure.
      Western countries may have security concerns, but if they ban Huawei, they could end up with a poorer solution. Other countries that have no such qualms could benefit from the cost advantages that Huawei equipment offers. But if Western countries accept Huawei they risk entrenching the advantages that the Chinese have, as well as the claimed security risks.
      Sanctions have been a preferred Western method of taking action against countries that have fallen out of favour. But this tool only works where you have something the other person wants, when the situation is reversed - you can end up damaging yourself.
       
    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
         0
      Jurassic Park
      Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park says "You were so preoccupied with whether or not you could, you never bothered to ask if you should."
      Are changing attitudes towards transgenderism a function of technology?
      Would it be a fair assessment of human history to say that whenever we have developed the capability to do something we have, and whether or not we should has not really stopped us? The current debates around transgenderism reflect this, I think. It's more than a co-incidence that the awareness and attitudes around this have arisen at a time when the technology exists for individuals to effect gender re-assignment.
      The latter has made more culturally acceptable (at least in the West) an aspect of sexuality that was previously hardly discussed or even visible. In my opinion it was because westerners did not find it culturally acceptable to see transgendered men in everyday life that had been accepted in countries like India for centuries, though their status was marginal at best.
      Genetic modification
      The same issues arise when it comes to technology around genetics for example, where codes of ethics need to evolve to deal with developments about what is now possible. Clearly there will be a concomitant pressure on religious authorities to pass judgements on an increasingly wider array of issues. Some of these religious edicts will need to happen after the technology has developed, in other instances existing edicts will cover future developments, as argued in the following thread that I created about the intimate possibilities with androids.
      Nuclear and biological weapons come to mind as technologies that we can, but don't use. But in both instances it is the threat of retaliation which stops us. But where there has been little prospect of retaliation, people have used them, e.g. Churchil using chemical weapons in Iraq in the early 20th century.
      The implications for ulema
      As new rulings are needed to cater for technological developments that have significant moral, ethical and religious implications surely the power wielded by ulema will increase? There is the possibility that the variations in rulings between mar'je increase or alternatively they remain broadly similar. It will be interesting to see how religion evolves (or does not) as the broader technological environment develops.
    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
         0
      We need proof
      One of the challenges presented to people who believe in God by atheists is the lack of what is considered to be acceptable proof for His existence.
      But what happens when you are given proof? The case of CV19
      I think our experience with covid over the past two years provides a really interesting case study in terms of how people respond to a phenomenon where you could argue that the type of evidence atheists are looking for is available in abundance and yet there are still people who will deny:
      its existence (as happened at the very start of the pandemic) its severity (the old death with cv19 or death with cv19) the need for precautions (whether to socially distance, wear masks, get vaccines, get boosters) the need for any lifestyle changes (travel, socialising, going to cafes etc.) the need to address economic inequality (saying no to patent waivers) Accepting proof can lead to behaviour change
      The above list is interesting since the progression of the bullets shows how acceptance of the earlier points is more likely to lead to acceptance of the later ones. If you believe in the severity of the disease, you are more likely to make lifestyle changes in order to address the risks. But if you believe it is as dangerous as ordinary flu, then why make any change at all? All the way through the progression of the pandemic we have seen that there are people who are very resistant to any lifestyle changes - since these invariably involve prioritising health risks above the need to make money (economic activity) and maintain contemporary lifestyles (having fun).
      But if you don't want change - question the evidence
      And underpinning the difference between accepting the disease and challenging its existence & importance is the issue of evidence. What is the data, how do you interpret it and what inferences do you draw from it?
      Throughout the pandemic we have seen people provide what they felt to be adequate evidence for each of the bullets above and for that evidence to be challenged. And even where the evidence has been accepted, there are the new issues raised, e.g. even if closing schools can be effective in slowing the transmission of the disease, we should not do so because of the impact on children's mental health.
      Why are people resistant to change?
      What the above tells me is that no matter how much proof is provided, you will always get rebuttals and/or people trying to find loopholes even for what is patently something that kills. But why do people do this?
      The two most obvious reasons are that as a result of accepting the disease and therefore agreeing to respond to ti, people will need to make social and economic sacrifices i.e. they will need to give up things that they already have and behavioural economics tells us that loss aversion is an impediment to change - people really don't like losing what they already have.
      [to be edited]
       
       
    • By Last Chance in Poems for the Ahlul Bayt
         0
      An orphan is the name of a child who lost his mother,
       But what is the name of a mother who loses a child? 
       Crushed between the door and the wall along with the souls of Hassanain,
       Robbed of her child, her right, her husband's, she fights through the pain.
       Her name is Fatima. The one whose essence mankind will never reach, 
       For God Himself has shielded her with a protection that none can breach,
       Mistress of my soul and the women of the worlds,
       With her name and her hand the secret of this life unfurls,
       The strength of my heart and the strength of Haidar,
       The strength of the lion who conquered Khaybar, 
       For who else can converse with such beauty and power,
       Fight the usurpers after the loss of Mohsen, the wilted flower? 
       Her name is az-Zahra, the radiant light, illuminating a path,
       For those who want to see and be away from God's wrath,
       For he who angers az-Zahra has evoked the Messenger's displeasure,
       And no doubt, God's own wrath which follows is that beyond any measure,
       For who is so aligned with the will of her Creator,
       Which woman did He create, that other than her there is no greater? 
       Her name is al-Batool, unsurpassed in every way,
       Be it the chastity, the virtue, or the worship she did display,
       No man equalled her strength the day she fought her right,
       Look around you now- see the destruction of Fatima's might.
       For which woman could have such eloquence and knowledge of the Book? 
       Fadak was hers then and now, no matter what they took. 
       Quoting the verses to them that were revealed to her very door,
       Every lie, every plot of theirs and tactic, into shreds she tore. 
       For she is as-Siddiqa, the truthful, no matter who calls himself this too,
       A name is just a name but the truth lies in what we do,
       Ali is with the truth, truly this is no lie,
       And the truth is with Ali, but she will shortly die,
       Leaving behind a house that is both so full and bare,
       Full of Ali's grief, but of a mother's warmth, left bare,
       A homely nest no more, for its mother is no longer,
       A house that used to buzz with life, now remains mourning and sombre.
       Hassan holds her feet and Hussain cries on her chest, 
       An imagine after which the heart of Ali will never find rest,
       Zainab and Kulthum sob as they await the darkness of night,
       One final farewell they crave before facing a new plight.
       And Ali...? A broken man, half a human, dealt his biggest blow,
       He sits with his head in his hands, and tears of anguish now freely flow. 
       The lion, the warrior, the hero that roared with such might,
       Now quietly sobs for her pain and her loss, a flame of grief now alight.
       Two souls intertwined...now world's apart,
       A long journey of loneliness Ali has to start,
       Her orphans, her prayer mat, the memories of her days,
       With these he will survive, and he now says...
       'A flower, nipped in the bud. From paradise it came, and to paradise it went, but has left its fragrance in my mind'. 
    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
         2
      In Shiachat threads many years ago the argument was presented that the sums spent e.g. on the Imam Raza ((عليه السلام).) shrine could be better spent on various social services for Iranians. My counter argument at the time was that visiting the shrines was and is for many ordinary Iranians their only escape from the mundane aspects of everyday life.
      In addition spending such sums on the social space meant that it could be consumed by all, rather than the few.
      The British journalist and commentator George Monbiot has expressed this idea in a more general manner in order to defend sustainable consumption:
      https://centerforneweconomics.org/publications/private-sufficiency-public-luxury-land-is-the-key-to-the-transformation-of-society/
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Blog Statistics

    87
    Total Blogs
    473
    Total Entries
×
×
  • Create New...