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In the Name of God بسم الله
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  2. Mahdi Mortezapour

    Mahdi Mortezapour

  • Latest Blog Entries

    • 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 بہایا ہے لہو
      کب تک تو منتظر کو اس سے لکھوائے گا بتا؟
    • By Warilla in Zaidia the middle path.
         0
      Taken from IRS
      Usually, after discussing the issue of the explicit appointment of Ali (عليه السلام) the next question that usually arises is the Zaydi position on the first three Caliphs. Below is an excerpt from an aqeeda commentary Kitaab al-Idaah fi Sharh al-Misbaah:
      Regarding the judgment concerning those who preceded Amir al-Mumineen (عليه السلام) in the imamate, such as Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthmaan, the consensus of the Prophet’s Descendants holds that they were in error when they preceded him. They are declared disobedient by that. This is because the explicit appointment of ‘Ali’s imamate is established by clear and unequivocal text. Its proof was elucidated.
      Ad-Dawaari said that the majority of the Prophet’s Descendants do not consider them disobedient. Some declared them disobedient and some did not, and they disagreed. Some of them reserved judgment (tawaqqaf). This [i.e. reservation] is the position of the majority of the Zaydis. Some also pray for Allah’s pleasure for them, such as Sayyid Mu’ayyad Billah, al-Kani, Qadi Ja’far, and others.
      I say: This is the position of the majority of later Zaydis.
      They say that due to their preeminence and the Messenger’s praise for them, as well as what has come in the Qur’aan concerning Allah being pleased with them, such as the verse {Verily, Allah was pleased with the believers when they pledged allegiance to thee under the tree} and so forth. We are certain of their true faith, and one cannot speak of them except with true faith.
      I say: This statement does not preclude that they can never be guilty of disobedience. Our knowledge of their true faith is subject to abrogation clearly. Regarding their praise and the declaration of pleasure on them, this applies to them before being guilty of disobedience.
      They say that disobedience is either major sin or minor sin. One cannot apply their act of disobedience to either category with definitive proof.
      I say: Since it is established the imam after Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, was ‘Ali (عليه السلام), it does not apply. This is because they prevented the imam from that which was his right. This is a form of rebellion. Rebellion is a form of disobedience by consensus. It is the root of every other major sin of disobedience like that which can be proven with definitive proof. This is the original doctrine (madhhab) of the Prophet’s Descendants (عليه السلام) as was stated.
      And Allah knows best!
    • By Warilla in Zaidia the middle path.
         7
      Taken from Imam Rassi society
      Among the things that it is praiseworthy to do on Ashura is fast.
      --Imam al-Mutawakkil ala Allah, Ahmed bin Suleiman (عليه السلام) said in his Kitāb Usūl al-Ahkām :
      It is narrated on the authority of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his
      progeny, that he used to fast on ‘Ashura.
      It is narrated on the authority of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his
      progeny, that he said: (There are no days that has as much reward as the month of Ramadan and
      ‘Ashura.) There are two reports that mention the recommendation of fasting on ‘Ashura, which is the tenth
      of al-Muharram. Some of the Imamis discourage fasting because al-Hussein bin Ali (عليه السلام) was killed on
      ‘Ashura. That is not reliable (‘itimād) because fasting does not prevent grief. Also, breakfast is closer to
      the pleasure of fasting. He was killed after the time of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and
      his progeny, and it is not permissible to change something after a Shari`ah law has been established. It is
      narrated on the authority of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny,
      that he fasted on ‘Ashura and encouraged others to fast. It was said to him: “O Messenger of Allah, it is a
      day that is esteemed by the Jews and Christians.” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and
      his progeny, replied: ((Then, next time, we fast on the ninth day.))
      Elsewhere in the book, there are other narrations that state that Prophet, peace and blessings be upon
      him and his progeny, commanded those who ate on ‘Ashura to make it up.
      --Imam Nātiq Bil Haqq, Abu Talib Yahya bin al-Hussein al-Hārūni (عليه السلام) said in his Kitāb at-Tahrīr :
      It is recommended to fast during times where there is no difficulty or detriment to the body. One is to
      break the fast [i.e. not fast] on the days of the 2 Eids and the Days of Tashrīq. It is recommended to fast
      during the months of al-Muharram, Rajab, and Sha’ban. It is also praiseworthy to fast on Mondays and
      Thursdays. It is recommended to fast on ‘Ashura, which is the tenth of al-Muharram. It is also
      recommended to fast on the day of ‘Arafat for those in other cities. [It is also praiseworthy to fast] on the
      13th, 14th, and 15th days of every month.
      --Imam al-Qasim bin Ibrahim ar-Rassi (عليه السلام) said in his Kitab al-Wāfid:
      “The fasts of great reward include: Rajab, Sha’ban, the White Days, ‘Ashura, the day of ‘Arafat, Mondays,
      and Thursdays.”
      --Imam al-Hadi ila al-Haqq, Yahya bin al-Hussein (عليه السلام) says in Kitāb al-Ahkām :
      There’s no problem fasting on ‘Ashura. It is a good thing to do so. It is narrated on the authority of the
      Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, encouraged fasting on that day
      as something special. It is recommended to fast during times where there is no difficulty or detriment to
      the body. This is because Allah, the Exalted, does not desire hardship in acts of worship and desires
      ease for them. Allah says: {Allah desires ease for you and not difficulty} (Q. 2:185). If one is strong, they
      can fast this fast.
      It is not permitted to fast during the days of al-Fitr and al-Ažha, as well as the Days of Tashrīq. This is
      because the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, forbade fasting on
      these days. He also said that eating and drinking are to be done during these days, and one is to break
      the fast. One is not to fast on these days.
      I relate on the authority of my father on the authority of his father who was asked about fasting on
      ‘Ashura, which day is it, and fasting on ‘Arafat: He replied: “Fasting on that day is a beautiful act and there
      is a lot of reward in doing so. There’s no harm in refraining from it. It is also a lot of reward in fasting on
      the day of ‘Arafat. It is expiation for that year. Concerning ‘Ashura, it is on the 10th. There is no
      disagreement concerning that.
      Among the blameworthy things to do is wail and strike oneself out of grief Imam al-Mutawakkil ala Allah, Ahmed bin Suleiman (عليه السلام) says in his Kitāb Usūl al-Ahkām :
      It is narrated on the authority of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny: ((Two
      evil sounds are cursed in this world and the hereafter: the sound of lamenting from one in mourning who
      rip their pockets, scratch their faces, and laments the lamentations of Satan; as well as the sound of one
      who celebrates a blessing with mindless entertainment (lahw) and the flutes of Satan)).
      It is narrated on the authority of Zayd bin ‘Ali—his ancestors—‘Ali, upon them be peace: “The Prophet,
      peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((The one who shaves, lashes, rips, and calls
      out of woe and grief, is not one of us)). Zayd bin ‘Ali said: “‘Shaves’ refers to shaving one’s hair. ‘Lashes’
      refers to cries of the wailers. ‘Rips’ refers to ripping one’s pockets.
      Our comments: The proof of lashing out severely is in the statement of Allah, the Exalted: {But when fear
      departs, they lash at you with their sharp tongues} (Q. 33:19).
      It is narrated on the authority of ‘Ali, upon him be peace, that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon
      him and his progeny, prohibited wailing.
      It is narrated on the authority of ‘Abdur-Rahmān bin ‘Awf who said: I took the Prophet, peace and
      blessings be upon him and his progeny, by the hand and we went with to his son, Ibrāhīm, may Allah
      bless him, who passed away. He buried him and then cried. I then said: “O Messenger of Allah, do you
      cry after prohibiting it?” He replied: ((I did not prohibit crying. However, I did prohibit two types of evil
      sounds: the sound of one who celebrates a blessing with mindless entertainment and the flutes of Satan;
      as well as the sound of lamenting by slapping one’s cheeks (laŧm) and ripping one’s pockets. This [i.e.
      crying] is a mercy. The one who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy)).
      Therefore crying for Imam al-Husswen (عليه السلام) and his family is permissible, but wailing isn't.
      And Allah knows best!
    • By Ali in ShiaChat.com Blog
         26
      [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 starlight in Light Beams
         7
      I will start by giving a very simplified functional subdivision of the human Central Nervous System. Based on function, human brain can be divided into three areas
      1.     Brain stem: Brain stem is an upward continuation of spine. It is concerned with functions like controlling heart rate, regulation of blood pressure, breathing and some digestive functions to name just a few. Some of these are vital functions so an injury to brainstem could mean immediate death. That is why special care is taken to stabilize the neck in road traffic accidents.
      2.     Limbic System: This is a group of structures in our brain which together are involved in controlling behavior and emotions- Anger, pleasure, fear and punishment, reward, rage, curiosity, hunger, satiety, sexual drive, motivation and passivity, all of these come from the limbic system.
      3.     Cerebral Cortex: This is what we call the higher brain in laymen terms. It performs the ‘executive functions’. The prefrontal cortex(PFC) occupies the anterior portion of the frontal lobes and is thought to be one of the most complex anatomical and functional structures of the mammalian brain.
      All living creatures have some system for maintain vital body functions like breathing in place of brainstem. All vertebrates possess a limbic system so dogs, cats and other animals are able to feel and express emotions. Amongst vertebrates the only classes to possess the characteristic cerebral cortex are mammals (and some reptiles, lolz, so the conspiracy theories about the world being controlled by an elite group of reptiles could turn out to be true) Amongst the mammals Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) bestowed the humans with the most highly developed cerebral cortex of all its creations on earth. When I say highly developed I don’t mean size or surface area relative to body, I mean functionally development and intellectual capabilities. Humans are probably intellectually highest of all the earthly species created by Allah.  It is because of this highly developed cortex that humans sit at the top of the hierarchy and have been called ‘Vicegerents of Allah’ on earth. Of course, not any two footed being in human form can be the vicegerent of Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). He also has to manifest divine attributes in both his private and social life.
      So our cerebral cortex is capable of ‘higher mental functions’ like thinking, abstraction, planning, decision making and controlling the limbic system! This last function is probably its most important function.
      The brainstem functions are not under our conscious control. Obviously we cannot tell our bodies increase or decrease the heart rate or blood pressure.
      Higher mental functions are almost always voluntary.
      The limbic system sits on the the borderline between brain stem and cerebral cortex both structurally and functionally (the word limbic means borderline in latin) What does this mean? This means that we can choose to exercise control over our behavior and emotions using the executive powers of cerebral cortex or we can let the limbic system run loose and let it do whatever it wants in which case a human would be expressing a range of unbridled emotions anger, curiosity, sexual drive etc
      Let’s look at some differences in capabilities of humans vs animals which are manifested by virtue of an intellectual cortex and are important from a religious perspective.
       Animals are incapable of differentiating between haram and halal. That’s why Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) didn’t make it obligatory on them to respect these boundaries.  It is the cerebral cortex and its associated areas which give the humans the capability learn this and differentiate between the two in various life situations. But if the humans choose not to utilize the cerebral cortex for this purpose and let their limbic system(emotions) take over, they lose the differentiation and in those instances they are acting like animals. This can easily be observed in the most primal of behaviours like consuming food and copulating and also in advanced actions like earning rizq through unlawful means. Animals cannot be taught moral and ethics. If your pet dog steals a piece of meat you can arouse feelings of fear and punishment in it but you cannot teach him why stealing is wrong. This is again due to the absence of the cerebral cortex that humans possess and probably this is the reason why animals won’t get punished for misconducts in the akhirah like humans.  Animals cannot differentiate between tahara and nijasat. Again this is something which is a function of cerebral cortex. Physical purity is something which is very crucial in Islamic faith. The principles of mahram/namehram can only be comprehended by humans. Looking at the above we can see how intellect elevates humans from the level of animals to vicegerents of Allah. Maybe this is why most of things that are counted as sins in islam are in principle limbic system(emotions) overriding the cortex(intellect)
      Anger- limbic system taking charge, Zina and haram lust – limbic system taking over humans, Consuming haram food and even stuffing yourself with halal food- limbic system satiety centre gone out of control, Curiosity-  Even though the mechanism behind curiosity isn’t very well understood because it is difficult to differentiate curiosity from information seeking but what research has discovered so far is that a part of the limbic cortex is involved in both regulation and reward that is associated with curiosity(1). In Surah Hujraat (49:12) Allah forbids us from spying and ‘Tajassus’ but if limbic system is not controlled the person could be snooping around other people’s affairs, just like an animal would sniff and examine any object in vicinity. Gambling – During gambling intellectual areas of the brain like prefrontal cortex show less activity than limbic areas depicting a link between gambling and limbic system(2) What’s interesting is that in an animal study conducted on gambling ,some species of animal demonstrated the same choices and psychological behavior as pathological gamblers. So, when Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) made gambling haram it was probably to not let humans reduce themselves to animals. Drinking –Alcohol impairs functioning on the prefrontal cortex, disrupts normal pattern of neuronal activity required for decision making and thinking and hence leads to limbic system taking over. This is manifested a as lack of inhibition in people commonly observed in people who has ingested alcohol.(3) If we look at Jihad bil nafs in medical terms it’s just a battle between limbic system and cerebral cortex.
      Looking at the lives of Ahlulbayt (عليه السلام) we won’t find any instance where we see limbic system ruling over them. There is a famous incident where in the battle of Khandaq, where Imam Ali(عليه السلام) was on Amr bin abde Wud’s chest and about to kill him but then he abused Imam Ali(عليه السلام). At this Imam Ali (عليه السلام) moved from Amr’s chest and walked away. After the battle was over people asked Imam Ali(عليه السلام) the reason why he had spared Amr’s life when he had overpowered him. At this he replied,” When I had floored him, he abused me, as a result of which I was overcome by rage. I feared that if I were to kill him in that state of anger, it would be for pacifying my anger. So I stepped away from him till my fury subsided.Then I returned to sever his head from his body only for the happiness of Allah and in obedience to Him.” (Manaqib Al Abi Talib by Ibn Shahrashub)
      In Sahifa e Sajjadiya, Imam Sajjad (عليه السلام) has described three types of worshippers
              i.  Those who worship Allah because of fear of hell
             ii. Those who worship Allah to get to Jannah
            iii. Those who worship Allah because they find Allah worthy of worship.
      He(عليه السلام) says the third is the highest form of worship. Why? Because the first two are worship of punishment and reward (limbic system worships) while the third is the worship of intellect (Prefrontal cortex). 
      So if we learn to control our limbic systems through reflection and worship gradually, we gain power over our nafs and then no amount of worldly temptation and desires can then take us away from out true purpose, that is submission to Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).
      (1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4635443/
      (2) https://neuroanthropology.net/2009/05/23/gambling-and-compulsion-play-at-your-own-risk/#:~:text=For gamblers%2C the gambling references,high” from an emotional response.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3593065/
    • By Muntazir e Mahdi in Bayaan e Muntazir
         1
      سیاہ پوش، سفید عمل، سپاہِ الٰہی
      مقامِ حق، تو سودا دنیاوی تنہائی
       
      گریہِ شاہ پیشِ نظرِ اُلٹ، مگر حملہ
      تو حاضر شاہِ فردوس اور استقبالِ غازی
       
      آنسو و لہو باہم عطا سرِ مصلّیٰ
      اطمینان تآ اختتام، کہ راہ ہے نورانی
       
      ظالم کی صدا صرف پھونک، نہ سدا
      شرط کہ وقت بعدِ ایامِ کمائی
       
      واسطہِ عظیم، مصروفِ سجدہِ دعا
      حاجتِ منتظر ہو قبول یا الٰہی 
    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
         0
      This is a comment often made by the apologists for European slavers.
      Their defence is that the Europeans simply entered into a pre-existing tradition of slaving that existed in Africa and indeed all they did was provide an outlet for people who had already been taken into slavery by their fellow Africans.
      I won't go into the obvious rebuttal that providing a demand for something is obviously going to increase its supply. The latter is the logic for making various goods illegal in consuming countries - so as to dry up the supply.
      My interest is with another issue. 
      If slavery were so prevalent in Africa and the Middle East and after all you'd expect a larger number of slaves in those countries compared to North America, given their geographic proximity, why don't those countries have the same level of social and ethnic unrest as the United States does?
      Or indeed if there was even institutional racism in Muslim countries, you'd expect to see the riots that flare up in the banlieues of Paris?
      Surely we should have an underclass based on race in countries such as Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and so on?
      My assessment is that there was a distinct difference in the nature of slavery as practiced in Africa/Arabia and what was undertaken in the western Hemisphere. In the former countries slaves would be members of a household. They lived worked and worshipped with their masters. In the Western Hemisphere the owners were typically enjoying the proceeds of slavery in countries many thousands of miles away. The slaves were simply machines for industrial production in a pre-industrial era. They were disenfranchised and dehumanised. The basis for this was the ideology of their masters which held that they were inferior.
       

      As I have previously said, it's difficult to assess historical morality from a modern lens, given that we do not really have much idea about the, social, economic, demographic and other factors that were relevant at the time.
      Here's one attempt to add some flesh to that point, sorry no URL. I'll see if I can add more in due course. The quotations that follow, come from the following article and I've tried to keep them short to protect copyright.
      Shatzmiller, M Economic Performance and Economic Growth in the Early Islamic World Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 54 (2011) 132-18
      The impact of plagues was not helped by what I presume was an increased control over reproduction, by women in Muslim countries:
      p.150
      Now we come to the issue of the supply of slaves. Here's one explanation:
      p154
      She adds:
      p.154
       
      OK here's another one. It's a review of the following book: 
      Islam and the Abolition of Slavery. By WILLIAM GERVASE CLARENCE-SMITH. London : Hurst & Company, 2006. Pp. xxvi+293. £26.40 (ISBN 1-85065-708-4). 
      The review is written by Ehud Toledano of Tel Aviv university and was published here: Journal of African History, 48 (2007), pp. 481–5.

      My own strong impression, however, is that a huge and frustrating disconnection exists between serious scholarship and the stuff we see on the Internet ...
       
      1. If Muslim countries historically faced population devastation due to plague and women not having enough kids AND there was also a possible supply of slaves e.g. European countries wanting to buy Muslim products but having nothing to sell them except people - then buying slaves would seem to me to be a legitimate exercise. Couple that with the idea that in Islamic law, manumission (freeing of slaves) was an important element of slavery, then that makes the deal better still. 
      2. But the reality of slavery was that Muslims would often not follow Islamic laws (as in your Khaleej example) and often cultural and other non-Islamic beliefs would drive their behaviour. For example, in Africa, Muslim slaveowners would prefer that their slaves DID NOT become Muslims because of the rights that this would give them. I don't think you can blame the religion for the non-observance of believers.

      Some people may find this text to be useful, if you are too impatient to read it all, the summary is one page long and is on page xxiii. For the really time poor here's a snippet:

      http://books.google....slavery&f=false
      It's a book called, 'The structure of slavery in India, Africa and Asia', it was published in 2004 and although Google restricts how many pages you can see for free, there's more than enough to inform anyone who is interested.
      My take away from what I have read so far and which also reinforce my pre-existing opinions, is that:
      definitions of slavery vary,
      practice of slavery varies between different Islamic schools;
      Muslims often practice slavery NOT in accordance with sharia;
      slavery was at certain times considered preferable to other forms of control e.g. corvee
      one of the reasons for Islamic trade in slaves was the high levels of manumission, which enabled slaves to be freed, and also the relative lack of racial prejudice in Muslim societies which allowed slaves to integrate into society
      But most importantly of all it explicitly reinforces the idea that I have been presenting in all these slavery discussions on Shiachat that if your image of slavery is based Kunta Kinte, you're basically starting off on the wrong premise.
      To have a rational discussion referring to facts can be helpful. From the book I referred to earlier in the thread (emphasis my own):
      "During catastrophes people often entered slavery either voluntarily or propelled by their kin group as a survival strategy p. xxiv...the British in 19th century India even described types of slavery as a form of poor relief" pxxii.
      Perhaps the Muslims on this board who question how Imams ((عليه السلام).) could have held slaves, may reflect on that answer given by non-Muslims?
      To have a rational discussion you also need to be clear about the terms you use and what they mean, as I have repeatedly shown, this can be problematic, as this quotation underlies:
      "In sum, conventional western notions of 'slave' and 'free' are not particularly helpful tools of historical analysis in most of the IOW" p. xxvi
       
      If I think back to the earliest debates on SC that I took part in, on slavery, I could see the hypothetical benefits. My posts are in the archives.
      For this thread I did some digging around amongst academic studies undertaken by Westerners and found evidence backing up my hunch. So there's the quotation I found and posted earlier in this thread that the British colonial rulers who encountered one form of slavery in India considered it to be a form of social welfare.
      These threads go in circles.
      My original hunch and based on actually reading the Islamic materials posted by others and the historical material I have found, my conclusion is that slavery (like any other contract) can be done fairly and it can be done badly. All the critics ever do is give examples of the most abusive kinds of slavery. Similarly it would be easy to find examples of exploitative employment - does that mean anyone who has ever held a job in Human Resources will automatically go to hell?
       
      Another little snippet, to show that some people may not really know the concept that they think they are talking about, this is from one study dealing with a Muslim country:
      Polly Hill. From Slavery to Freedom: The Case of Farm-Slavery in Nigerian Hausaland, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 18, No. 3 (Jul., 1976), pp. 395-426
      Anyone at university should be able to get the above free, or you'll have to pay US$30, here:
      http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=4409608
      BTW Polly Hill is an interesting academic in her own right, here is her obituary:
      http://www.guardian....highereducation
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