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In the Name of God بسم الله
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A ShiaChat Reunion?


Ibn al-Hussain

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:salam:

As the school-term comes to an end, and there was some time that I could spare for my self, I've thought a lot about how my views on life, religion, man's relationship with God, and the world around me, have changed over the years. This is going to be a pretty random rant - but I guess that is what blogs are for :confused:.

As of now, it has been 4 years since I moved to the seminary in Qom, and while there are many brothers and sisters here who spent many years on ShiaChat, many of them have either asked for their accounts to be deleted, with all of their posts, or have completely abandoned the forum all together or visit once in a while. I'm one of the handful of those who have not asked for my account to be deleted. All my posts from my early teenage years to now mid and late-20s are there. Personally, I never felt I had anything to hide - my posts are pretty much who I am. One can clearly see the early phase of an excited teenager learning a thing or two about the religion, with very deep-rooted presumptions about life, to a hyper kid getting accustomed to a some-what celebrity status, loved & hated by so many, to then entering university life and maturing up (some may disagree :blush:), and eventually entering into the work-force, married, moving to a different country, kids etc. While browsing through my earliest posts back in 2004, I was really able to just reflect on not just how much I have changed, but even how much influence (positive or negative) people on this forum have had on me. Of course this was not happening in a vacuum. I was interacting with all sorts of people - albeit behind a screen. There are so many real names, user-names, and names that I don't even remember - all of them - that I can recall, and in hindsight, see how each and everyone of them played a role in the development of my ideas, the stances and decisions I made in life, the open-mindedness I developed, or even the doubts I may have developed over various issues, and the questions that would remain unanswered for months and years.

This is very obvious for me even while I study in the seminary. The questions I may ask, the extent of tolerance I may show, the critiques I may mention, the willingness to really question some of our "famous" theological or historical views - some of these things make other students and at times even teachers really uncomfortable. Nevertheless, I believe this is in part due to what transpired on this forum and I am happy for it. This forum was like a large community center. It wasn't a community center for a specific ethnicity, or a culture, or converts or a specific gender. This forum for a large part was a community for those who either didn't have access to a real community where they lived, or were not satisfied with the communities that they belonged to. I believe it represented quite accurately the state of the Shi'a (primarily in the West) for a large part. It collectively represented the views that persisted and continue to persist amongst the Shi'a. Unfortunately, it is this portion of the Shi'a populous that often gets unnoticed outside of virtual reality. The inability of those leading us (for the most part) to really dissect and decipher the state of an average Shi'a's mindset, has really been one of the major issues for our communities in the West. The ignorance towards the epistemological framework that an average Shi'a growing in the West acquires through the education system or simply by living there, the delusional presumption that somehow a sub-culture contained within the 4-walls of a building will be able to preserve itself and overcome a dominant culture outside, the satisfaction of merely entertaining the audience with shallow lectures & speeches - while not addressing important and crucial matters: the cure for all of this seems to be have been missing in the last few decades, primarily due to ignorance towards it.

On a rare encounter I may have with a lost-long SCer, Its interesting to see how many stayed religious as they were, or were irreligious and become religious, or remained irreligious, or how so many are now going through a faith crisis as they have grown and began questioning and pondering over life's crucial mysteries. 

Reflecting back on what views I held and what views I hold now, nostalgia overtook me and I started browsing through old posts, old pictures, audio and video files that I still have saved from a decade ago (had a seriously good laugh over some audio files of @SO SOLID SHIA I still have with me). It is really weird how all of a sudden around 2012/2013 the forum just died. As if everyone switched off their plugs and disappeared. People definitely have to move on with their lives, no doubt about that. Of course there were some people who left much earlier, but this sudden silence is really absurd and that it wasn't replaced with a new batch of talented, and educated individuals is really hard to explain.

Perhaps those members who are still lingering around from the early 2000s ( @Gypsy @DigitalUmmah @Darth Vader @Abbas. @Haji 2003 @Abu Hadi @Wise Muslim @Qa'im @notme) and are still in touch with those who have left, maybe they can work on a ShiaChat Reunion of some sort. Perhaps get in contact with old members and request them to make a moment's appearance and leave some remarks on what they are up to in life! What changes have taken place in your lives, in your views, in your lifestyle - if any? There were some members I had such a great time with, and it felt as if we would remain friends forever. It would be great to be able to reconnect with them.

@Baatil Ka Kaatil  @Matami-Shah @Zain @Hasnain @Abdulhujjah @Peer @fyst @Syedmed @Nida_e_Zahra @hmMm @SpIzo @venusian @sana_abbas @fatimak @HR @asifnaqvi @Bollywood_Hero @phoenix @blessing @zanyrulez @wilayah @Hajar @Zuljenah @LaYdee_110 @fadak_166 @raat ki rani @Friend of All @queenjafri @Simba @Path2Felicity @3ashiqat-Al-Batoul @-Enlightened @karateka @A follower @hameedeh @lethaldefense @kaaju barfi @Friend of All @Ya Aba 3abdillah ...there are dozens of other members if I keep going.

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17 minutes ago, Zuljenah said:

Posting again.. as requested by HR!

Well, I've met a lot of ShiaChatters. I actually met more ShiaChatters when I briefly visited London in 2005 than I did when I lived there for 2.5 years! I've met ShiaChatters in London, Canada, the US and Australia. I don't think any of the ones I have met are active on ShiaChat anymore.. I can't remember all of their usernames, but just a few were Sweeter than Salsabeel, Path2Felicity, Iman, Bahlool, Baatil ka Kaatil, Curious Infidel.

Anyhow, I'm living in upstate NY and am a practicing attorney. I went from doing my graduate degree in Middle Eastern Studies to a law degree, lived in London for a few years, and now I'm back in the states. And yes, Dobby is still alive, alhamdulillah! Don't know why you all are trying to kill off my masoom cat! :angry:

Salam, you wont remember me because we were never active in the same threads (I was always in the mallang-y threads). I used to be @Maula Dha Mallang I remember you though. you took one of the best names on shiachat I was so jealous lol

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  • Veteran Member
On 31/12/2016 at 8:01 PM, Qa'im said:

(4) Lack of new and unique conversation.

There is more to it than that. Quoting Heavenly Silk because I think she gets it right:

Quote

Could it also be that most of the "popular" topics have been discussed repeatedly

I have a lot of questions in my mind that need answering and I could start a number of discussions, but the people that would be willing and maybe capable of discussing those topics are few in number. I am sure that for you that is also the case. The subjects that you would like to discuss are too specialist for the rest of us.

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30 minutes ago, Muhammed Ali said:

There is more to it than that. Quoting Heavenly Silk because I think she gets it right:

I have a lot of questions in my mind that need answering and I could start a number of discussions, but the people that would be willing and maybe capable of discussing those topics are few in number. I am sure that for you that is also the case. The subjects that you would like to discuss are too specialist for the rest of us.

How do we encourage the excellent minds to return and, better still, encourage those who have never embraced forums to sign up?

Would it be wrong to just say that we need a new English website with a forum which promotes academic discussion (i.e. a site without  the negatives of SC which, for example, put off real scholars)? 

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  • Veteran Member
58 minutes ago, silasun said:

How do we encourage the excellent minds to return and, better still, encourage those who have never embraced forums to sign up?

Would it be wrong to just say that we need a new English website with a forum which promotes academic discussion (i.e. a site without  the negatives of SC which, for example, put off real scholars)? 

They are too drawn away by the other mediums e.g. Facebook. Sunniforum_dot_com (the biggest sunni forum) and freeratio (the best known atheist forum) both dissapeared. These new forms of social media have taken people towards less intellectual discussions. At least now a greater number of people are having discussions, but the quality has decreased greatly.

This site still has some great minds, but too few to engage in the diversity of topics.

I wonder if secularisation (or a lessining of belief) is also having an impact. Are shia now becoming less traditional and more secular for these discussions? I think that if some of the older members returned, we may be surprised at the changes in their views.

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Guest silasun

Posted (edited)

12 hours ago, Muhammed Ali said:

I wonder if secularisation (or a lessining of belief) is also having an impact. Are shia now becoming less traditional and more secular for these discussions? I think that if some of the older members returned, we may be surprised at the changes in their views.

The Shiachat community needs to have focused discussions about the secular spin some of us give to our faith's values and the solutions to this problem. People can't remain Muslim if the methods of teaching are the same as what their parents and communities received in 1980s Iraq or South Asia.

Edited by silasun
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  • Veteran Member

:salam:

All those times I saw this blog popping in 'latest blog comments' and did not want to enter it thinking you guys were arranging a picnic and I wasn't invited... Only to find pearls of nostalgia from old names.

Besides, probably a sensitive topic but... No one mentioned @macisaac ? How long has he been gone ?

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  • Advanced Member

Salaam

Youth of Ali/Socrates 

life catches up with you and then there are more ways to waste time now :) 

in between I got a masters and went to Najaf to study as well and now alhamdulillah have been visiting many different countries for Tableegh 

am in contact with quite a few oldies like @phoenix @Ibn al-Hussain Sana, Nida, Akbar, (Maulana) Hadi Rizvi etc etc 

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  • Veteran Member

Sick post man. 

Came in quite sometime after all of you but few other features of the internet have excited me more than ShiaChat over the years. Made so many friends, met so many inspiring people, found a few distant cousins and relatives. Learned so much. Can't help but feel a bit envious towards the people who conceived the idea of SC for the sawab they probably get from this. 

This was my evening hang-out place for the longest time in school. I really feel discovering SC and being part of this place made me a much better and more educated person and Muslim. Most of us born in Muslim families (like most kids born in other faiths lol) are never taught to question our beliefs and practices. While this may not sound like a good thing to many, but questioning your beliefs and practices, and finding out for yourself why and how they've come to exist is a wonderful feeling. Nothing reaffirms your faith in your madhab better than finding things out things about it for yourself. It lets you connect with your religion and culture on a level you didn't think was possible. 

I've done my fair share of embarrassing things in my time here too. :p None of my social network profiles are as embarrassing as my SC profile I think. 

I've come back to SC this week after a long hiatus. So much as changed (I CAN'T FIGURE THE EMOTICONS OUT, I CAN'T BELIEVE I WAS MODERATOR!!!) I feel like there should be some way to identify people who have gotten their usernames changed. Very confusing when someone says salam and you have no idea who they are. Hehe. 

Salaam. 

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      [al-Aghani] Muhammad b. Yunus al-Anbari – his father  who said: The poet Ibrahim b. al-Abbas al-Suli came in to see al-Rida when he was appointed by al-Ma`mun and made the crown prince and recited the following verse:
      The grief of the heart has receded after enduring  … the repression against the sons of Muhammad
      Al-Rida gifted him ten thousand silver coins which were minted in his name, Ibrahim held on to them and used them as dowry for marrying his wives and left some of them behind to purchase his shrowd and for the carrying of his body [to the grave].
      The wonderful thing is that archaeologists and scholars of numismatics have discovered a few pieces of this coin which is considered a rarefied item.
      Below is an image of the coin:

      General Information
      Period: The Abbasid Caliphate, 132-218 H/750-833 AD,
      Ruler: Abu Ja‘far ‘Abd Allah al-Ma’mun ibn al-Rashid, (194-218 H/810-833 AD)
      Place of Mint: Samarqand in Central Asia (present-day Uzbekistan)
      Date: 202 H (817-818 AD)
      Metal and denomination: Silver dirham
      Weight and measurement: 2.87 g / Ø 25.5 mm
      Legend and Design
      OBVERSE
      Field
      la ilah illa / Allah wahdahu / la sharik lahu / al-mashriq 
      “no god but God, unique, He has no associate, East
      Inner margin
      bism Allah duriba hadha’l-dirham bi-samarqand sana ithnatayn wa mi‘atayn 
      “in the name of God this dirham was struck in Samarqand the year two and two hundred”
      Outer margin
      muhammad rasul Allah arsalahu bi’l-huda wa din al-haqq li-yuzhirahu ‘ala al-din kullihi 
      “Muhammad is the messenger of God who sent him with guidance and the religion of truth that he might make it supreme over all other religions” 
      Sura 9 (al-Tawba), v. 33 (in part)
      REVERSE
      Field
      lillah / muhammad rasul Allah / al-ma’mun khalifat Allah / mimma amara bihi al-amir al-rida / wali ‘ahd al-muslimin ‘ali ibn musa / ibn ‘ali ibn abi talib / dhu’l-riyasatayn 
      “for God, Muhammad is the messenger of God, al-Ma’mun is the Caliph of God, among the things ordered by the Prince al-Rida, Recipient of the Oath of the Muslims ‘Ali ibn Musa ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, Possesser of the Two Headships”
      Margin
      muhammad rasul Allah arsalahu bi’l-huda wa din al-haqq li-yuzhirahu ‘ala al-din kullihi wa law kariha al-mushrikun 
      “Muhammad is the messenger of God who sent him with guidance and the religion of truth that he might make it supreme over all other religions, even though the polytheists may detest it” 
      Sura 9 (al-Tawba), v. 33
    • By Ali in ShiaChat.com Blog
         25
      [This will be a series of blog entries on the history of ShiaChat.com; how it was founded, major ups and down, politics and issues behind running such a site and of course, the drama!  I will also provide some feedback on development efforts, new features and future goals and objectives]
      Part 1 - The IRC (#Shia) Days!
      Sit children, gather around and let me speak to you of tales of times before there was ever high-speed Internet, Wi-Fi, YouTube or Facebook; a time when the Internet was a much different place and 15 yearold me was still trying to make sense of it all. 
      In the 90s, the Internet was a very different place; no social media, no video streaming and downloading an image used to take anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on how fast your 14.4k monster-sized dial-up modem was.  Of course you also had to be lucky enough for your mom to have the common courtesy not to disconnect you when you’re in the middle of a session; that is if you were privileged enough to have Internet at home and not have to spend hours at school or libraries, or looking for AOL discs with 30 hour free trials..(Breathe... breathe... breathe) -  I digress.
      Back in 1998 when Google was still a little computer sitting in Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s basement, I was engaged in endless debates with our Sunni brothers on an IRC channel called #Shia.  (Ok, a side note here for all you little pups.  This is not read as Hashtag Shia, the correct way of reading this is “Channel Shia”.  The “Hashtag” was a much cooler thing back in the day than the way you young’uns use it today).
      For those of you who don’t know what IRC was (or is... as it still exists), it stands for Internet Relay Chat, which are servers available that you could host chat rooms in and connect through a client.  It was like the Wild West where anyone can go and “found” their own channel (chat room), become an operator and reign down their god-like dictator powers upon the minions that were to join as a member of their chat room.  Luckily, #Shia had already been established for a few years before by a couple of brothers I met from Toronto, Canada (Hussain A. and Mohammed H.).  Young and eager, I quickly rose up the ranks to become a moderator (@Ali) and the chatroom quickly became an important part of my adolescent years.  I learned everything I knew from that channel and met some of the most incredible people.  Needless to say, I spent hours and dedicated a good portion of my life on the chatroom; of course, the alternate was school and work but that was just boring to a 15-year-old.
      In the 90’s, creating a website was just starting to be cool so I volunteered to create a website for #Shia to advertise our services, who we are, what we do as well as have a list of moderators and administrators that have volunteered to maintain #Shia.  As a result, #Shia’s first website was hosted on a friend’s server under the URL http://786-110.co.uk/shia/ - yes, ShiaChat.com as a domain did not exist yet – was too expensive for my taste so we piggybacked on one of our member’s servers and domain name.
      The channel quickly became popular, so popular that we sometimes outnumbered our nemesis, #Islam.  As a result, our moderator team was growing as well and we needed a website with an application that would help us manage our chatroom in a more efficient style.  Being a global channel, it was very hard to do “shift transfers” and knowledge transfers between moderators as the typical nature of a chatroom is the fact that when a word is typed, its posted and its gone after a few seconds – this quickly became a pain point for us trying to maintain a list of offenders to keep an eye out for and have it all maintained in a historical, easily accessible way.
      A thought occurred to me.  Why not start a “forum” for the moderators to use?  The concept of “forums” or discussion boards was new to the Internet – it was the seed of what we call social media today.  The concept of having a chat-style discussion be forever hosted online and be available for everyone to view and respond to at any time from anywhere was extremely well welcomed by the Internet users.  I don’t recall what software or service I initially used to set that forum up, but I did – with absolutely no knowledge that the forum I just set up was a tiny little acorn that would one day be the oak tree that is ShiaChat.com.
      [More to follow, Part 2..]
      So who here is still around from the good old #Shia IRC days?
    • By Muntazir e Mahdi in Bayaan e Muntazir
         0
      کتنی بار تو انسانیت کو مارے گا بتا؟
      کب تک تو کائینات کو رلائے گا بتا؟

      کعبة سے تو کرارؑ کو کرپایا نہ ختم
      کب تک تو دیواروں سے مٹائے گا بتا؟

      نامِ حق سے باطل تیرا کام ہے منافق
      کب تک تو حق کو جھٹلائے گا بتا؟

      تیری سیاہ روح، نہ کوئلہ، ہے جہنم کا ایندھن
      کب تک تو جلتے در سے منہ موڑے کا بتا؟

      آتا ہے بقيةللّٰهؑ اور دَورِ عدل و انصاف
      کب تک تو اپنے انجام سے بھاگے گا بتا؟

      تو  نے بہایا نہ صرف آب تو نے بیایا ہے لہو
      کب تک تو منتظر کو اس سے لکھوائے گا بتا؟
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