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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Did the Sahaba become Kafir?


Islamic Salvation

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هلك الناس أجمعون قلت: من في الشرق و من في الغرب؟ قال: فقال: إنها فتحت على الضلال

All the people were destroyed. I said: whomever was in the east and the west? he said: it (the whole earth) was opened up to misguidance

هلكوا إلا ثلاثة ثم لحق أبو ساسان و عمار و شتيرة و أبو عمرة فصاروا سبعة

All were destroyed except three - then they were joined by Abu Sasan, Ammar, Shatira and Abu Amra, so they became seven [Ja`far al-Sadiq]

 

Did the Sahaba Apostatize?

There are narrations which indicate that all the companions were destroyed except three, these were then joined by four others, so they became seven who were saved. However, most of the scholars have understood this Halak [destruction] to be that of Dhalal [misguidance] i.e. perished in Salvific terms, not Kufr [disbelief] - which is the opposite of Islam.

 

Who are the three?

They are the pillars of the Madhhab. They are explicitly named in some of the narrations below:

أبي بصير قال: قلت لأبي عبد الله عليه السلام: ارتد الناس إلا ثلاثة: أبو ذر، و سلمان، و المقداد؟ قال: فقال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: فأين أبو ساسان، و أبو عمرة الأنصاري؟

[al-Kashshi] Abi Basir said: I said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام: all the people turned back except for three - Abu Dhar, Salman and Miqdad? Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: so where is Abu Sasan and Abu Amra al-Ansari?!

أبي بكر الحضرمى قال: قال أبو جعفر عليه السلام: ارتد الناس إلاثلاثة نفر سلمان وأبو ذر والمقداد. قال: قلت: فعمّار؟ قال عليه السلام: قد كان جاض جيضة ثم رجع ... ثم أناب الناس بعد فكان أول من أناب أبو ساسان الانصاري وأبوعمرة وشتيرة وكانوا سبعة فلم يكن يعرف حق أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام إلاّ هؤلاء السبعة

[al-Kashshi] Abi Bakr al-Hadhrami said: Abu Ja`far عليه السلام said: the people turned back except three individuals - Salman, Abu Dhar and Miqdad, I said: what about Ammar? He عليه السلام said: he wobbled a bit then he returned [to the truth] … then the people repented after that, so the first ones to return [to the truth] were Abu Sasan al-Ansari, Abu Amra, Shatira, and they became seven, none recognized the right of the commander of the faithful عليه السلام except these seven.

  • 'then the people repented after that, so the first ones ...' This shows that it was not just these seven, rather, these were the foremost of them.

علي بن أبي طالب عليهم السلام قال: خلقت الارض لبسبعة بهم ترزقون وبهم تنصرون وبهم تمطرون منهم سلمان الفارسي والمقداد وأبو ذر وعّمار وحذيفة رحمة اللّه عليهم. وكان علي عليه السلام يقول: وأنا إمامهم وهم الذين صلوا على فاطمة صلوات الله عليها

[al-Ikhtisas] Ali b. Abi Talib عليه السلام said: the earth was created for seven, because of them you are given sustenance, and because of them you are assisted, and because of them is rain made to fall on you, among them are Salman al-Farsi and al-Miqdad and Abu Dhar and Ammar and Hudhayfa - may Allah have mercy on them. Ali عليه السلام used to say: and I am their Imam, and they are the ones who prayed [Salat al-Mayyit] upon Fatima صلوات الله عليها            

 

The Three had a higher status than the Four

حمران قال: قلت لأبي جعفر عليه السلام: ما أقلنا لو اجتمعنا على شاة ما أفنيناها قال: فقال: ألا أخبرك بأعجب من ذلك قال: فقلت: بلى قال: المهاجرون و الأنصار ذهبوا إلا (و أشار بيده) ثلاثة

[al-Kashshi] Humran said: I said to Abi Ja’far عليه السلام - how few we (the Shias) are! if we gather to eat a sheep we will not be able to finish it, he (Humran) said: so he عليه السلام said: should I not inform you of something even more bewildering? he (Humran) said: I said: yes (do so), he said: the Muhajirun and the Ansar all diverted (i.e. went astray) except for - and he gestured with his hand - three.

In al-Kulayni’s variant the narration continues:

قال حمران: فقلت: جعلت فداك ما حال عمار؟ قال: رحم الله عمارا أبا اليقظان بايع وقتل شهيدا، فقلت في نفسي: ما شئ أفضل من الشهادة فنظر إلي فقال: لعلك ترى أنه مثل الثلاثة أيهات أيهات

Humran said: may I be made your ransom - what is the status of Ammar? He said: may Allah have mercy on Ammar Aba al-Yaqdhan, he pledged allegiance and died a martyr, I said in my heart: what thing is better than martyrdom, so he [the Imam] looked at me and said: perhaps you think that he [Ammar] is like the three [in status], how far! how far! [from truth that opinion is]. 

 

Does this mean all others became apostates?

The crux is the meaning of Ridda (ردّة) in these narrations. Whether it is to be understood in a linguistic sense or the technical sense of apostasy. If the latter is taken then it means all the Sahaba became Kafir [out of Islam] for not sticking to Ali.

Irtidad in the linguistic sense refers to ‘turning back from something’. It has been used with this meaning in a number of verses such as:

فَلَمَّا أَن جَاء الْبَشِيرُ أَلْقَاهُ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ فَارْتَدَّ بَصِيرًا قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُل لَّكُمْ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مِنَ اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ

(i) So when the caravan herald [fore-runner] came he threw it on his face so he returned to seeing, he said: did I not say to you that I know from Allah what ye do not (12:96)

قَالَ الَّذِي عِندَهُ عِلْمٌ مِّنَ الْكِتَابِ أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَن يَرْتَدَّ إِلَيْكَ طَرْفُكَ

(ii) The one who had knowledge of a part of the Book said: I will bring it to you before your glance returns back to you [i.e. you blink and open your eyes again] (27:40)

مُهْطِعِينَ مُقْنِعِي رُءُوسِهِمْ لاَ يَرْتَدُّ إِلَيْهِمْ طَرْفُهُمْ وَأَفْئِدَتُهُمْ هَوَاء

(iii) Racing ahead, their heads bowed down, their glances not returning back to them [i.e. unblinking] and their hearts void (14:43)

Whenever Irtidad from the Diin - ‘turning back’ from the Diin i.e. apostasy in the technical sense is meant, the Qur`an qualifies it by explicitly mentioning Diin.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مَن يَرْتَدَّ مِنكُمْ عَن دِينِهِ فَسَوْفَ يَأْتِي اللّهُ بِقَوْمٍ يُحِبُّهُمْ وَيُحِبُّونَهُ

(i) O you who believe, whoever turns back from his Diin from among you then Allah will bring about a people whom He loves and they love Him (5:54)

وَمَن يَرْتَدِدْ مِنكُمْ عَن دِينِهِ فَيَمُتْ وَهُوَ كَافِرٌ فَأُوْلَئِكَ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ

(ii) And whoever among you turns back on his Diin and dies whilst being a Kafir then those are they whose deeds have been nullified in the world and the hereafter (2:217)

It is clear that the narrations about the Irtidad of the Sahaba are not qualified by Diin. To understand that meaning from it would require further proof.

 

The Chosen Interpretation

The Irtidad in the narrations should be understood [in light of other narrations] as people turning away, after the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله, from what they had made incumbent on themselves in his صلى الله عليه وآله lifetime, when they gave the Bay`a to Ali b. Abi Talib as the leader of the believers i.e. Irtidad from Wilaya not apostasy from Islam. 

Instead, they decided to give the Bay`a to someone else because of expediency and other reasons. This was a betrayal of epic proportions that opened up the door of misguidance and innovation in the Diin, however, they had not exited the apparent Islam, nor were all on the same level of liability for this.

This interpretation is aided by the following texts:

أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: كان الناس أهل ردة بعد النبي صلى الله عليه وآله إلا ثلاثة. فقلت: ومن الثلاثة؟ فقال: المقداد بن الأسود، وأبو ذر الغفاري، وسلمان الفارسي، رحمة الله وبركاته عليهم، ثم عرَف أناسٌ بعدَ يسير. وقال: هؤلاء الذين دارت عليهم الرحا وأبوا أن يبايعوا، حتى جاؤوا بأمير المؤمنين مكرَهاً فبايع، وذلك قوله تعالى: وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلاَّ رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ أَفَإِن مَّاتَ أَوْ قُتِلَ انقَلَبْتُمْ عَلَى أَعْقَابِكُمْ وَمَن يَنقَلِبْ عَلَىَ عَقِبَيْهِ فَلَن يَضُرَّ اللّهَ شَيْئًا وَسَيَجْزِي اللّهُ الشَّاكِرِينَ

(i) [al-Kafi] Abi Ja`far عليه السلام said: the people were the people of Ridda after the prophet صلى الله عليه وآله except three. I said: who are the three? He said: al-Miqdad b. al-Aswad, Abu Dhar al-Ghiffari and Salman al-Farsi, may Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon them, then the people came to know after a while [the truth], these [three] are those around whom the banner revolved and they refused to give Bay`a [to Abu Bakr], until when they brought the commander of the faithful عليه السلام by coercion and he gave the pledge of allegiance, and that is His words the Elevated - “Muhammad is not but a messenger, messengers have come and gone before him, if he dies or is killed, will you turn back on your heels, and whoever turns back on his heels then he will not harm Allah a thing and Allah will recompense those who are grateful” (3:144).

  • The narration indicates that the uniqueness of the three was that they did not give the Bay`a to the usurper because of knowing the true status of Ali, it was only when Ali was forced to give the Bay`a, and he did [for the Masliha which Allah willed], that the three also agreed to do it.
  • The meaning of 'then the people came to know after a while ...' is that some people recognized their fault, and acknowledged that the commander of the faithful was the most rightful person to assume leadership.

That all the others apart from the three were paralyzed by fear is shown in the narration below:

أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: جاء المهاجرون والأنصار وغيرهم بعد ذلك إلى علي عليه السلام فقالوا له: أنت والله أمير المؤمنين وأنت والله أحق الناس وأولاهم بالنبي عليه السلام هلم يدك نبايعك فوالله لنموتن قدامك! فقال علي عليه السلام: ان كنتم صادقين فاغدوا غدا علي محلقين فحلق علي عليه السلام وحلق سلمان وحلق مقداد وحلق أبو ذر ولم يحلق غيرهم؛ ثم انصرفوا فجاؤوا مرة أخرى بعد ذلك، فقالوا له أنت والله أمير المؤمنين وأنت أحق الناس وأولاهم بالنبي عليه السلام عليه السلام هلم يدك نبايعك فحلفوا فقال: إن كنتم صادقين فاغدوا علي محلقين فما حلق إلا هؤلاء الثلاثة قلت: فما كان فيهم عمار؟ فقال: لا؛ قلت: فعمار من أهل الردة؟ فقال: إنّ عمارا قد قاتل مع علي عليه السلام بعد ذلك

(ii) [al-Kashshi] Abi Ja`far عليه السلام said: the Muhajirun and Ansar and others came after that [the coup at Saqifa] to Ali عليه السلام and said to him: you are by Allah the commander of the faithful, and you are by Allah the most rightful person and closest to the prophet, put forth your hand so that we can pledge allegiance to you, for by Allah we are going to die in front of you [in your defense], Ali said: if you are truthful then come to me tomorrow having shaved your head [which would visually identify the ‘rebels’ to the authorities], so Ali shaved, so did Salman, Miqdad and Abu Dhar, and no one else did, then they came a second time after the first and said: you are by Allah the most rightful person and closest to the prophet, put forth your hand so that we can pledge allegiance to you, and they swore an oath, he said: come to me tomorrow having shaved your head if you are truthful, so no one shaved except three. I said: Ammar was not among them? He said: No, I said: Ammar is from the people of Ridda? He said: Ammar fought together with Ali after that.

  • This reaffirms that the uniqueness of the three is related to them not giving in and remaining with Ali to the end as far as his right is concerned. Note also how Ammar is not included among the Ahl al-Ridda, even in a historical sense, because of his later support for Ali.

In fact, one of the reasons behind Ali accepting to give Bay`a after his show of dissent was so that the masses do not renounce the faith totally. Recall that the Islamic polity was still unstable and there were a lot of Arab tribes whose allegiance had been personally to the prophet and not the Diin per se, the Jahiliyya was not far from their psyche.

أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: إن الناس لما صنعوا ما صنعوا إذ بايعوا أبا بكر لم يمنع أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام من أن يدعو إلى نفسه إلا نظرا للناس و تخوفا عليهم أن يرتدوا عن الاسلام فيعبدوا الاوثان ولا يشهدوا أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وكان الاحب إليه أن يقرهم على ما صنعوا من أن يرتدوا عن جميع الاسلام وإنما هلك الذين ركبوا ما ركبوا فأما من لم يصنع ذلك ودخل فيما دخل فيه الناس على غير علم ولا عداوة لامير المؤمنين عليه السلام فإن ذلك لا يكفره ولا يخرجه من الاسلام ولذلك كتم علي عليه السلام أمره وبايع مكرها حيث لم يجد أعوانا

(iii) [al-Kafi] Abu Ja'farعليه السلام  said: When the people did what they did - when they gave allegiance to Abu Bakr, nothing prevented the commander of the faithful عليه السلام from calling to himself (i.e. gather support to rival them publicly) except his fear for the people - that they would apostate from Islam, and begin worshiping the idols anew, and reject witnessing that there is no God but Allah, and that Muhammad is his messenger; and it was more beloved to him to acquiesce to what they had done rather than them apostatizing from the whole of Islam. Verily, those who clambered upon this (opposing Ali for rulership) have been destroyed. As for the one who did not contribute anything to that (opposing Ali for rulership) and entered into what the people entered into without knowledge (about his status) nor enmity towards him then this act of his does not make him a disbeliever, and it does not remove him from Islam, and this is why Ali kept quiet about his matter (status), and gave allegiance while displeased, when he could not find any supporters.

  • The narration makes it clear that had the Imam fought for his leadership i.e. a civil war it would cause irreparable damage, this is because of the tenuous position that Islam had, even the outward Islam (the Islam of the Shahadatyn) would have been wiped out. There were a lot of external and internal enemies waiting for this infighting to make sure that the whole foundation of Islam crumbles.

 

Conclusion

The Umma became, for the most part, misguided after their prophet. This is something that had also happened to the communities of past prophets. But this misguidance should not be understood to have taken all of them out of Islam as a whole, rather, by ignoring a central commandment of the prophet they have done a great sin which struck a blow to the pristine Islam.

Furthermore, the protagonists differ relative to their role in the fiasco. Some were quite unaware of the whole thing and lacked full knowledge of the Haqq of Ali and his Ma`rifa, this could be because they were blind to the order of the prophet (total ignorance); had some doubts; did not have the ability to influence the outcome because of some constraints [swept away by the wave of events]; or because they showed cowardice and faltered in coming to Ali’s aid. Others later acknowledged their mistake and made up for it in the following years. All these in their different categories can be said to be the majority. Their fate in the next world of “realities” is left to Allah

On the other hand, there were those who administered the whole thing. They had full knowledge of what the prophet had ordered them and what the divine commandment required them to do. They also knew the position of Ali. Despite this, they fought against this explicitly. These are those who should be treated as apparent Muslims in the daily life in this world [according to most scholars]. This is, after all, how Ali himself treated them, praying in their mosques, visiting them in sickness, helping them out when they faced challenges, eating with them etc. part of which is Taqiyya and safeguarding the greater principles of Islam, but they are undoubtedly people of the fire in the next world.

Note that this interpretation is dependent on the position of differentiating between the Dharuriyat of the Diin and that of the Madhhab and considering the Shahdatayn alone to be enough in making someone a Muslim [unless taken out for some other reason]. Whilst this is a popular position among scholars today, it has had its detractors among the scholars of the past, one of them being someone like Shaykh Yusuf al-Bahrani, who considered the rejectors of the Wilaya as Kafirs with the fullest implication this has [even in this world].  

54 Comments


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  • Veteran Member
1 hour ago, E.L King said:

So basically it was kufr which opposes iman and not kufr which opposes Islam? 

One way of putting it is that Iman is Naqis [deficient]. The other is that one is Kafir in Akhera. Both have been used by scholars who adopt this position. We are to treat them as Muslims on the apparent in our dealings with them.  

Other scholars did not see this nuance, someone like Yusuf al-Bahrani says:

إنك قد عرفت أن المخالف كافر لاحظ له في الاسلام بوجه من الوجوه 

You have known that the Mukhalif is a Kafir, he has nothing to do with Islam [he has no portion in Islam], in any way whatsoever.

See his: Shihab al-Thaqib fi Ma`na al-Nasib

This is an extreme position that we reject for many reasons.

Edited by Islamic Salvation
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  • Veteran Member

Brother are there any ahaadith specifying the position of Malik ibn al-Nuwayrah? He died (according to my understanding, I may be mistaken) for not only refusing to give the zakaat, but for his loyalty to Imam Ali (as). Is his status like the three, or the seven, or below that?

It seems odd to me that he would not be considered among the elite considering he gave blood; during the very early period where confusion was widespread among the people he had baseerah. 

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  • Advanced Member

Umme Salma was steadfast on her Imaan. And as such these traditions talk about men folk and not women. Bani Hashim are also not included in these narratives. Read these narratives with special reference to Last Wish/Will of Prophet saww where he asked Hazrat Ali as to fight for his rights of caliphate if ansaar support him.

Ref. Sulaym bin Qais Hilali

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What about the following:

1. Bilal [ra]

2. Jabir ibn Abdillah al Ansari [ra]

3. Ibn Abbas [ra]

We even find in narrations Az Zubayr was one of the ones to stand by Ali a.s, but then later diverge.

4.Ubay ibn K'ab [ra]

5. Abdullah ibn Masu'd [ra] [i know this is a little bit of a khilaf issue]

6. Umar ibn abi salama [ra]

7. What of Abu Dujana [ra] , a man who even when death faced him stood by the Prophet [saw] ?

This is what the Prophet called out: "I am Muhammed and i am the Messenger of Allah, i am not killed, and i have not died" [words of the prophet from Al Kafi Volume 8] [Reliable hadith]

When the Prophet looked to Abu Dujanah [who was among the few who stayed with the Prophet he said: "O Abu Dujanah,you can also go; you have my permission to suspend your pledge of allegiance" [words of the prophet from Al Kafi Volume 8] [Reliable hadith same as above]

Now, have a look at the faith and Eman of Abu Dujanah [Radiyallahu Anhu! These words might make you shed a tear, and if not, evoke some reaction in your heart:]

"He[Abu Dujanah] turned around and sat before the Holy Prophet [saw] wept, and said: "No by Allah!", he raised his head to the sky and said: "No by Allah, i will not suspend my pledge of allegiance with you. I have pledged allegiance with you, then to whom can i return? Must i return to my wife who will die or the children who will also die or to the house that will be destroyed, or the asset that will vanish and the time of death that is approaching?' He kept fighting until his wounds made him to feel heavy when he and Ali were shielding him [The Holy Prophet.] [ from Al Kafi Volume 8] [Reliable hadith same as above]

 

If i understood this correctly, seven are the foremost, three are above the later four, but there are many others too?

Could it be possible that many feared not giving Bayah? After all, violence was used against those who rejected Abu Bakr. Perhaps some were bewildered and did not know what to do and gave Bayah out of taqqiyah but in their hearts wished they could give it to Ali a.s but know it was just not practical ?

Edited by QuranandAhlulbayt
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  • Veteran Member
9 hours ago, QuranandAhlulbayt said:

What about the following:

Jabir ibn Abdillah al Ansari [ra]

 

[1/135] الكافي: علي بن إبراهيم، عن أبيه، عن ابن أبي نجران، عن عاصم بن حميد، عن محمد بن مسلم، عن أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: حدثني جابر عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله ولم يكذب جابر ...
 
[1/135] al-Kafi: Ali b. Ibrahim from his father from Ibn Abi Najran from A`sim b. Humayd from Muhammad b. Muslim from Abi Ja`far عليه السلام who said: Jabir [b. Abdallah] narrated to me from the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله - and Jabir did not lie - …

https://sites.google.com/site/mujamalahadith/vol1/book-of-narrators/jabir-b-abdallah-al-ansari-and-jabir-b-yazid-al-jufi

These are some of the narrations about Jabir in our books.

https://sites.google.com/site/rijalalkashi/vol1/jabir-b-abdallah-al-ansari

I will post more about the others as their entries come up in Mu`jam or al-Kashshi.

9 hours ago, QuranandAhlulbayt said:

If i understood this correctly, seven are the foremost, three are above the later four, but there are many others too?

Correct.

9 hours ago, QuranandAhlulbayt said:

Could it be possible that many feared not giving Bayah? After all, violence was used against those who rejected Abu Bakr. Perhaps some were bewildered and did not know what to do and gave Bayah out of taqqiyah but in their hearts wished they could give it to Ali a.s but know it was just not practical ?

Furthermore, the protagonists differ relative to their role in the fiasco. Some were quite unaware of the whole thing and lacked full knowledge of the Haqq of Ali and his Ma`rifa, this could be because they were blind to the order of the prophet (total ignorance); had some doubts; did not have the ability to influence the outcome because of some constraints [swept away by the wave of events]; or because they showed cowardice and faltered in coming to Ali’s aid. Others later acknowledged their mistake and made up for it in the following years. All these in their different categories can be said to be the majority. Their fate in the next world of “realities” is left to Allah.

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  • Veteran Member
On 4/19/2017 at 0:38 AM, QuranandAhlulbayt said:

5. Abdullah ibn Masu'd [ra] [i know this is a little bit of a khilaf issue]

Indeed.

[78] و سئل عن ابن مسعود و حذيفة فقال: لم يكن حذيفة مثل ابن مسعود لأن حذيفة كان ركنا و ابن مسعود خلط و والى القوم و مال معهم و قال بهم
 
[78] And he [Ibn Fadhal] was asked about Ibn Mas`ud and Hudhayfa - so he said: Hudhayfa was not like [of the same status as] Ibn Mas`ud because Hudhayfa was a pillar [of support to Ali and rejecting the Khulafa] while Ibn Mas`ud became confused and accepted the group’s authority and inclined with them and professed them [as superior].  
 
On 4/19/2017 at 0:38 AM, QuranandAhlulbayt said:

If i understood this correctly, seven are the foremost, three are above the later four, but there are many others too?

 
و قال أيضا: إن من السابقين الذين رجعوا إلى أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام: أبو الهيثم بن التيهان و أبو أيوب و خزيمة بن ثابت و جابر بن عبد الله و زيد بن أرقم و أبو سعيد الخدري و سهل بن حنيف و البراء بن مالك و عثمان بن حنيف و عبادة بن الصامت ثم ممن دونهم قيس بن سعد بن عبادة و عدي بن حاتم و عمرو بن الحمق و عمران بن الحصين و بريدة الأسلمي و بشر كثير
 
He [al-Fadhl] also said: from among the fore-runners who returned back to the commander of the faithful عليه السلام were: Abu al-Haytham b. Tahiyyan, Abu Ayyub (al-Ansari), Khuzayma b. Thabit, Jabir b. Abdallah, Zayd b. Arqam, Abu Said al-Khudri, Sahl b. Hunayf, al-Bara` b. Malik, Uthman b. Hunayf and Ubada b. al-Samit - then those who were lesser than them - Qays b. Sa'd b. Ubada, Adi b. Hatim, Amr b. al-Hamiq, Imran b. al-Hussayn, Burayda al-Aslami and a large number of men besides.
 
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12 hours ago, Shaykh Patience101 said:

@Islamic Salvation

Hate to keep pestering you brother, but what about Abu Ayyub al-Ansari? If I recall correctly, he initially refused to give bayah to Abu Bakr, but there is the issue of him fighting under a Muslim army commanded by Yazid at Constantinople.

I noticed the section under his name on https://sites.google.com/site/rijalalkashi/vol1/abu-ayyub-al-ansari is empty.

This is how al-Fadhl explains the point you raise. 

[77] و سئل الفضل بن شاذان عن أبي أيوب خالد بن زيد الأنصاري و قتاله مع معاوية المشركين فقال: كان ذلك منه قلة فقه و غفلة، ظن أنه أنما يعمل عملا لنفسه يقوى به الإسلام و يوهي به الشرك و ليس عليه من معاوية شي‏ء كان معه أو لم يكن
 
[77] al-Fadhl b. Shadhan was asked about Abi Ayyub Khalid b. Zayd al-Ansari and his fighting together with Mua`wiya against the polytheists - he said: that was a lapse of understanding from him and an oversight, he thought that he was performing an act for its own sake, by which he would strengthen Islam and efface polytheism, and that he would suffer no consequences by way of Mua`wiya - whether he was there [present with him] or not [since it had nothing to do with him].
 
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On 19/04/2017 at 7:54 PM, Shaykh Patience101 said:

@Islamic Salvation

Hate to keep pestering you brother, but what about Abu Ayyub al-Ansari? If I recall correctly, he initially refused to give bayah to Abu Bakr, but there is the issue of him fighting under a Muslim army commanded by Yazid at Constantinople.

I noticed the section under his name on https://sites.google.com/site/rijalalkashi/vol1/abu-ayyub-al-ansari is empty.

Salam brother, that's interesting, do we have sources that narrate he refused to give bayah to Abu Bakr. Thanks 

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On 4/19/2017 at 3:44 AM, Islamic Salvation said:
 
[79] Abu Abdallah Muhammad b. Ibrahim said: narrated to me Ali b. Muhammad b. Yazid al-Qummi saying: narrated to me Abdallah b. Muhammad b. Isa from Ibn Abi Umayr from Hisham b. Salim from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام who said: Bilal was a righteous slave while Suhayb was an evil slave - crying over Umar (i.e. after the latter was assassinated).
 
 

ختص: كان بلال مؤذن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله، فلما قبض رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله لزم بيته ولم يؤذن لاحد من الخلفاء وقال فيه أبوعبدالله جعفر بن محمد عليه السلام: رحم الله بلالا فإنه كان يحبنا أهل البيت، ولعن الله صهيبا فإنه كان يعادينا

al-Ikhtisas: Bilal was the Mua`dhin of the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله, so when the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله died, he [Bilal] remained in his house, and he did not give the Adhan for any one of the Khulafa, Abu Abdillah Ja`far b. Muhammad عليه السلام said about him: may Allah have mercy on Bilal, for he used to love us the Ahl al-Bayt, may Allah curse Suhayb for he used to have enmity with us.

يه: عن أبي بصير عن أحدهما عليهما السلام أنه قال : إن بلالا كان عبدا صالحا، فقال: لا اؤذن لاحد بعد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله، فترك يومئذ حي على خير العمل

al-Faqih: From Abi Basir from one of them عليهما السلام that he said: Bilal was a righteous slave, he said: I will not give the Adhan for anyone after the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله so 'Hayya ala Khayril Amal' was abandoned from that day.

يب: محمد بن علي بن محبوب، عن معاوية بن حكيم، عن سليمان بن جعفر، عن أبيه قال : دخل رجل من أهل الشام على أبي عبدالله عليه السلام فقال له: إن أول من سبق إلى الجنة بلال، قال: ولم؟ قال : لانه أول من أذن

Tahdhib al-Ahkam: Muhammad b. Ali b. Mahbub from Mu`awiya b. Hukaym from Sulayman b. Ja`far from his father who said: a man from the people of Sham entered to meet Abi Abdillah عليه السلام so he said to him: the first one to proceed to Janna will be Bilal, he said: why is that? he said: because he was the first to give the Adhan.

NOTE: al-Majlisi says that it could be the Imam who says this about Bilal, as is more likely, but there is an option that it is the Shami who said this, and the Imam responded - 'why do you say that?' [as a form of objecting to it] and the Shami answered, and the Imam remained silent because of Taqiyya. 

Also, Bilal being the first to proceed to Janna is not absolute, but could be relative to other Mu`adhins, or his class of the Sahaba who are not Ahl al-Bayt.

Salaam,

Here's a bit of other side perspective:

Sahih Bukhari Hadith Vol.2, Hadith. 375,
Narrated by Abdullah bin Ubaidullah bin Abi Mulaika
One of the daughters of 'Uthman died at Mecca. We went to attend her funeral
procession. Ibn 'Umar and Ibn Abbas were also present. I sat in between them (or
said, I sat beside one of them. Then a man came and sat beside me.) 'Abdullah
bin 'Umar said to 'Amr bin 'Uthman, "Will you not prohibit crying as Allah's
Apostle has said, 'The dead person is tortured by the crying of his relatives?"
Ibn Abbas said, "Umar used to say so." Then he added narrating, "I accompanied
Umar on a journey from Mecca till we reached Al-Baida. There he saw some
travelers in the shade of a Samura (A kind of forest tree). He said (to me), 'Go
and see who those travelers are.' So I went and saw that one of them was Suhaib.
I told this to 'Umar who then asked me to call him. So I went back to Suhaib and
said to him, 'Depart and follow the chief of the faithful believers.' Later,
when 'Umar was stabbed, Suhaib came in weeping and saying, 'O my brother, O my
friend!' (on this 'Umar said to him, 'O Suhaib! Are you weeping for me while the
Prophet said, "The dead person is punished by some of the weeping of his
relatives?" ' Ibn Abbas added, "When 'Umar died I told all this to 'Aisha and
she said, 'May Allah be merciful to Umar. By Allah, Allah's Apostle did not say
that a believer is punished by the weeping of his relatives. But he said, Allah
increases the punishment of a non-believer because of the weeping of his
relatives." 'Aisha further added, "The Quran is sufficient for you (to clear up
this point) as Allah has stated: 'No burdened soul will bear another's burden.'
" (35.18). Ibn Abbas then said, "Only Allah makes one laugh or cry." Ibn Umar
did not say anything after that.

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On 4/19/2017 at 3:44 AM, Islamic Salvation said:

[79] Abu Abdallah Muhammad b. Ibrahim said: narrated to me Ali b. Muhammad b. Yazid al-Qummi saying: narrated to me Abdallah b. Muhammad b. Isa from Ibn Abi Umayr from Hisham b. Salim from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام who said: Bilal was a righteous slave while Suhayb was an evil slave - crying over Umar (i.e. after the latter was assassinated).

Is this reference to Suhayb bin Sinan/ aka Suhayb Ar Rumi RA?  Or a different Suhayb?

I'd be surprised, considering Suhayb Ar Rumi/bin Sinan was close companions of Bilal ibn Rabah RA and Salman e Farsi RA.  As non-Arab Sahaba, they frequently spent much of their time together.

Also, from tafsir, a Quran verse was reveled upon Suhayb's arrival to Medina after being held back by the Qu'raish... he had to give up all of his wealth that he acquired after arriving as a runaway slave of the Byzantine Empire to escape Mecca to Medina after the Hijrah.

"Thereupon, the glorious verse was revealed: ‘And of mankind is he who sell himself, seeking the pleasure of Allah And Allah is full of kindness to (His) slaves’ (Quran 2:201). "

In fact, he's also fought in every battle alongside the Prophet SAW, and never ran from any nor left his side.

Also, Suhayb lived out the rest of his life till old age, spreading for Da'wah until he died (In response to the OP's post). 

These were taken from WikiShia:

He and Imam Ali were the last of Immigrants who joined the Prophet (s) in the first half of Rabi' I.

Some have related the revelation of verse 207 of the sura al-Baqara to him. However, it is famous that it has been revealed about the role of Imam Ali  at Laylat al-Mabit.

Suhayb participated in the battles of Badr, Uhud, Khandaq and other battles of the Prophet (s). About him, the noble Prophet (s) said, "the leaders are four people; I am the leader of Arabs, Suhayb is the leader of Romans, Salman is the leader of Persians and Bilal is the leader of Habesha."

Edited by wmehar2
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1 hour ago, wmehar2 said:

Also, Suhayb lived out the rest of his life till old age, spreading for Da'wah until he died (In response to the OP's post). 

To Elaborate further,

Suhayb spent any and all his wealth to the poor and community, even after the Prophet SAW died, and continued to spend his stipends for the needy and did not partake in corrupt Ummayyad wealth schemes.

This reeks of guilt by association, in a false accusation of a legitimate believing Sahaba  of being evil, all because he was cried over Umar's death and lead prayers after his death temporarily.  That's unfortunately not an academic/scholarly line of thought at all, and most importantly  it's not an Islamic line of logic.

Suhayb in his character was a Greek-Speaking Arab who was kidnapped from a wealthy family and brought up as a slave in Byzantine society, unlike Salman he had no knowledge of the Bible,, Hebrew and other Aristocratic attributes... instead Suhyab only learned directly from the Prophet's SAW Sermons.  His Arabic was harsh/heavy and himself had a difficult time re-learning it.

Contextually, Suhayb was a close companion but never could be in an inner circle of influence that was Umar, Uthman, and the rest of the "higher social ranked" Sahaba.  Instead he chose to act simply and directly in what he perceived was the direct way to please Allah SWT, e.g.(Hadith where he gave food after being questioned by 'Umar why he starved himself, that the Prophet SAW told him the best of people were those who gave food and charity). 

He was innocent to a fault, and perhaps ignorant.  Assuming Shia rhetoric of 'Umar and Abu Bakr is true of their plot to Usurp the Khilafah,  Suhayb was ignorantly in no place to understand with his lacking Arabic speech and distance from that social status (since he was a slave and not Quraish), the ramifications that 'Umar could have been an evil man and he was crying over an evil guy.

He seemed to be a goof ball as well, and is cited for making the Prophet SAW laugh on many occasions, and would never do it at any one else's expense.

Shame on the people who ascribe lies and false sayings to the Imams, AS on them all.

I've read deeply into the sources in al Kafi, and Yasser Habibs hate rhetoric and I find not a single ounce of legitimate nor logical premises of which to condemn/accuse Suhayb by direct actions, words, or speech.

Nearly all sources, even Shia indicate Suhayb as a righteous companion and follower of the Prophet SAW.

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Sometimes the question is asked - who is greater Salman, Miqdad or Abu Dhar?

The narration below goes some way in attempting to answer, though it is not free of some weakness in the chain. It should also be noted that it is limited to how they reacted in response to the order of Ali in the face of the usurping of his right and does not speak of their overall merit.

Furthermore, they did not in fact sin in the conventional sense of the word, what two of them did might be called lapses which arose because of the righteous anger against the injustice done to Ali.

Despite this, what was required in the face of this unimaginable betrayal was to submit totally to the unknown wisdom behind divine providence.

[24] علي بن الحكم، عن سيف بن عميرة عن أبي بكر الحضرمي قال: قال أبو جعفر عليه السلام: ارتد الناس إلا ثلاثة نفر سلمان و أبو ذر و المقداد قال: قلت: فعمار؟ قال: قد كان جاض جيضة ثم رجع، ثم قال: إن أردت الذي لم يشك و لم يدخله شي‏ء فالمقداد، فأما سلمان فإنه عرض في قلبه عارض أن عند أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام اسم الله الأعظم لو تكلم به لأخذتهم الأرض و هو هكذا فلبب و وجئت عنقه حتى تركت كالسلقة فمر به أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام فقال له: يا أبا عبد الله هذا من ذاك بايع فبايع و أما أبو ذر فأمره أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام بالسكوت و لم يكن يأخذه في الله لومة لائم فأبى إلا أن يتكلم فمر به عثمان فأمر به، ثم أناب الناس بعد فكان أول من أناب أبو ساسان الأنصاري و أبو عمرة و شتيرة و كانوا سبعة، فلم يكن يعرف حق أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام إلا هؤلاء السبعة

[24] Ali b. al-Hakam from Sayf b. Umayra from Abi Bakr al-Hadhrami who said: Abu Ja`far عليه السلام said: the people turned back except three individuals - Salman, Abu Dhar and Miqdad, I said: what about Ammar? He عليه السلام said: he wobbled a bit then he returned [to the truth], if you want the one who did not waver and nothing of doubt entered him then it was al-Miqdad, as for Salman then it came to his heart a thought that the commander of the faithful عليه السلام knew the greatest name of God which if he were to intone - the earth would swallow them up, and it is indeed so [it is true], because of this he was pulled by the scruff of his neck and it was stricken until it left a swollen lump [cyst], the commander of the faithful عليه السلام passed by him and said: O Aba Abdillah this [i.e. suffering] is because of that [the thought you had] - so give the pledge of allegiance, as for Abu Dhar then the commander of the faithful عليه السلام had ordered him to remain silent, but he was not one to be affected by the blame of the blamer in regards his duty to Allah, he did not desist until he talked, so Uthman b. Affan passed by him and ordered that he be disposed of [and he was banished], then the people repented after that, so the first ones to return [to the truth] were Abu Sasan al-Ansari, Abu Amra, Shatira, and they became seven, none recognized the right of the commander of the faithful عليه السلام except these seven. 

NOTES:

al-Miqdad obeyed the order of accepting Ali's decision to give the Bay`a unquestioningly, Salman harboured the thought that Ali should use the Greatest Name of God to overpower his enemies once and for all [without being patient about the divine decree], while Abu Dhar was too scrupulous about the truth to remain quiet and had to publicly condemn the usurpers.

Edited by Islamic Salvation
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 [al-Kafi] Abu Ja'farعليه السلام  said: When the people did what they did - when they gave allegiance to Abu Bakr, nothing prevented the commander of the faithful عليه السلام from calling to himself (i.e. gather support to rival them publicly) except his fear for the people - that they would apostate from Islam, and begin worshiping the idols anew, and reject witnessing that there is no God but Allah, and that Muhammad is his messenger; and it was more beloved to him to acquiesce to what they had done rather than them apostatizing from the whole of Islam. Verily, those who clambered upon this (opposing Ali for rulership) have been destroyed. As for the one who did not contribute anything to that (opposing Ali for rulership) and entered into what the people entered into without knowledge (about his status) nor enmity towards him then this act of his does not make him a disbeliever, and it does not remove him from Islam, and this is why Ali kept quiet about his matter (status), and gave allegiance while displeased, when he could not find any supporters.

Al-Salamu Alaykum brother @Islamic Salvation. I have a question, this explains why Imam Ali (AS) chose not to rise, but how does that fit in with Imam Al-Husayn's (AS) revolution against Yazid Al-Khabeeth (LA)? Does this mean the people were already murtadeen when Yazid (LA) became the [false] Khalifa?

Edited by E.L King
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I just recently observed the enemy of Ahlulbait (as) quoted one of these hadiths and made people think that Shias believe that most of the sahaba became kafir. Of course these kind of people never read the rest of the hadiths nor they try to understand the full meaning of the hadith, rather they just want to show that in the Shi'a authentic hadiths we find these kind of beliefs to make us look like kafirs.

Edited by Dhulfikar
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On 30/04/2017 at 4:46 AM, Islamic Salvation said:

al-Miqdad obeyed the order of accepting Ali's decision to give the Bay`a unquestioningly, Salman harboured the thought that Ali should use the Greatest Name of God to overpower his enemies once and for all [without being patient about the divine decree], while Abu Dhar was too scrupulous about the truth to remain quiet and had to publicly condemn the usurpers.

Brother, what is the source of this hadith?

I doubt the negative connotations for Salman because Salman is the ONLY companion about whom the Prophet said that he is from my Ahlul Bayt. 

As for what the hadith says about Abu Zar Ghaffari, I do not see anything negative in it.   

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On 4/18/2017 at 4:38 PM, guest051217 said:

What about the following:

1. Bilal [ra]

2. Jabir ibn Abdillah al Ansari [ra]

3. Ibn Abbas [ra]

We even find in narrations Az Zubayr was one of the ones to stand by Ali a.s, but then later diverge.

4.Ubay ibn K'ab [ra]

5. Abdullah ibn Masu'd [ra] [i know this is a little bit of a khilaf issue]

6. Umar ibn abi salama [ra]

7. What of Abu Dujana [ra] , a man who even when death faced him stood by the Prophet [saw] ?

This is what the Prophet called out: "I am Muhammed and i am the Messenger of Allah, i am not killed, and i have not died" [words of the prophet from Al Kafi Volume 8] [Reliable hadith]

When the Prophet looked to Abu Dujanah [who was among the few who stayed with the Prophet he said: "O Abu Dujanah,you can also go; you have my permission to suspend your pledge of allegiance" [words of the prophet from Al Kafi Volume 8] [Reliable hadith same as above]

Now, have a look at the faith and Eman of Abu Dujanah [Radiyallahu Anhu! These words might make you shed a tear, and if not, evoke some reaction in your heart:]

"He[Abu Dujanah] turned around and sat before the Holy Prophet [saw] wept, and said: "No by Allah!", he raised his head to the sky and said: "No by Allah, i will not suspend my pledge of allegiance with you. I have pledged allegiance with you, then to whom can i return? Must i return to my wife who will die or the children who will also die or to the house that will be destroyed, or the asset that will vanish and the time of death that is approaching?' He kept fighting until his wounds made him to feel heavy when he and Ali were shielding him [The Holy Prophet.] [ from Al Kafi Volume 8] [Reliable hadith same as above]

 

If i understood this correctly, seven are the foremost, three are above the later four, but there are many others too?

Could it be possible that many feared not giving Bayah? After all, violence was used against those who rejected Abu Bakr. Perhaps some were bewildered and did not know what to do and gave Bayah out of taqqiyah but in their hearts wished they could give it to Ali a.s but know it was just not practical ?

Umar b abi salma is mentioned fondly in nah jul balagah and kitab sulaym b qays he attened jamal and later goverened Bahrain for Ali

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On 4/20/2017 at 2:33 AM, Islamic Salvation said:

This is how al-Fadhl explains the point you raise. 

[77] و سئل الفضل بن شاذان عن أبي أيوب خالد بن زيد الأنصاري و قتاله مع معاوية المشركين فقال: كان ذلك منه قلة فقه و غفلة، ظن أنه أنما يعمل عملا لنفسه يقوى به الإسلام و يوهي به الشرك و ليس عليه من معاوية شي‏ء كان معه أو لم يكن
 
[77] al-Fadhl b. Shadhan was asked about Abi Ayyub Khalid b. Zayd al-Ansari and his fighting together with Mua`wiya against the polytheists - he said: that was a lapse of understanding from him and an oversight, he thought that he was performing an act for its own sake, by which he would strengthen Islam and efface polytheism, and that he would suffer no consequences by way of Mua`wiya - whether he was there [present with him] or not [since it had nothing to do with him].
 

Also abu ayyub was governer of medina and general at nahrawan for Ali when he was able to convince a lot of khawarij to return back to Ali

He also was a vocal critic of uthman as well

If abu ayyub was traitor to Alid cause he would have collaborated with bishr b abi artat when he raided medina but abu ayyub left and joined Ali in kufa

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On 4/19/2017 at 0:38 AM, guest051217 said:

What of Abu Dujana [ra] , a man who even when death faced him stood by the Prophet [saw] ?

[1/-] Ilal al-Sharai: Ahmad b. Ziyad b. Ja`far al-Hamdani from Ali b. Ibrahim b. Hashim from his father from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Abi Nasr al-Bazanti and Muhammad b. Abi Umayr from Aban b. Uthman from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام who said:

All the companions of the messenger of Allah ran away on the day of Uhud - no one was left among them except Ali b. Abi Talib عليه السلام and Abu Dujana Simak b. Kharasha. The prophet صلى الله عليه وآله said to him: O Aba Dujana - don’t you see your people? he said: I do, he said: join up with them, he said: this is not what I gave my pledge of allegiance to Allah and His messenger for! he said: you are released [from your pledge], he said: by Allah the Quraysh will never get the opportunity to say that I abandoned you and ran away until I taste what you taste! Then the prophet صلى الله عليه وآله prayed for a good recompense for him.

Whenever a group used to attack the messenger of Allah - Ali عليه السلام would face them and repel them until he had killed a large number of them and injured others. He continued this way until his sword broke so he came to the prophet صلى الله عليه وآله and said: O messenger of Allah – a man can only fight with his weapon but my sword has broken! So he (the prophet) gave him his sword Dhu al-Fiqar and he (Ali) kept on defending the prophet using it until marks [wound traces] were inflicted on him and he became unrecognizable [because of a multitude of injuries]. Jibril descended and said: O Muhammad this is an incomparable support from Ali to you! so the prophet said: he is from me and I am from him, Jibril said: and I am from you both, and they heard a voice from heaven saying: there is no sword but Dhu al-Fiqar and the there is no young champion except Ali.

https://sites.google.com/site/mujamalahadith/vol1/book-of-narrators/simak-b-kharasha

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14 minutes ago, Islamic Salvation said:

there is no sword but Dhu al-Fiqar and the there is no young champion except Ali

I have always heard it said that this phrase is not from our saheeh ahadith. Perhaps I've been incorrectly informed.

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      Two years ago I became a minimalist. I'm not talking about music, sculpture or painting, but minimalism in my life. I read about creating a minimalist home, but I did not buy the book:
      http://zenhabits.net/a-guide-to-creating-a-minimalist-home/
      So, I am thrifty and I buy very little. Whenever I am shopping and see a dozen things I want to own, I question myself. Do I have storage space for this? Is this really necessary? Will I really love it or is it just something that I never had before and always wanted to have one? Just wanting to possess something is not a good reason to buy it. Could I take a photo of it and just look at it, without spending my money? This must be a good reason to join Pinterest, to have all the things you want to look at, but never need to buy, store or move them. 
      As you have seen, my ShiaChat blog is minimalist by nature. I usually say very little, because if there is one thing that I know, it is that I recognize great writing when I see it, but I am not a good writer. I hope to become a better writer some day, and in the meantime, I invite you to my tumblr. Please, if you can, start at the last page which shows my first post (a prayer for the safety of 12th Imam AJ) and then scroll your way up, and over to previous pages in chronological order, the way my brain was working. 
      http://hameedeh.tumblr.com/page/3
      ♥ May your days be sunny, your nights restful, and your heart satisfied with the blessings that Allah has given you. Think Positive. ♥
    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
         13
      Summary
      The theory that the pyramids were built or had their construction guided by extraterrestrials is challenged by the existence of mistakes in the construction of some of them.
      But I think the Egyptians were privy to Divine Guidance, which in itself is interesting because the evidence of a Pharoah moving from polytheism to monotheism supports Qur'anic teaching as I understand it.
       
      The bent pyramid at Dahshur
      There is a populist theory that the pyramids must have had an alien inspiration. This is because of the range of innovations that they represent and knowledge across multiple disciplines and their orientation towards certain constellations.
      My problem with this theory is the bent pyramid at Dahshur. It's bent, because they got the maths wrong (see the picture I took a few years ago below). It's weird that aliens who managed to get to this planet but then got their measurements for a stone structure wrong. Seems pretty clear to me that the pyramids we see represent the refinement and development of Egyptian technology, rather than discrete alien intervention. Also supporting my contention is a landscape literally littered with smaller pyramids, these people were learning, developing and increasing the scale of their creations as they grew more confident.
       

       
      https://www.wonders-of-the-world.net/Pyramids-of-Egypt/Evolution-of-the-pyramids-of-Egypt.php
       
      If not aliens then who?
      Humans.
      My understanding of the Qur'anic references to Pharaoh is that they provide an example of a powerful leader, with immense resources, who was nevertheless brought down by divine intervention. The Pharaohs were representatives of a culture with a level of scientific, organisational, military and communications capability unknown at that time and for a long time yet to come.
      Indeed the very existence of mistakes in their work and subsequent improvements demonstrates that they had the capability to learn. Nevertheless the fact that the Pharoah of the time of Moses was brought down by believers in Allah who were weaker in numbers and military strength, is a sign to subsequent rulers around the world about how weak their position can be.

       
       
      And importantly the Qur'an tells us that the evidence of such civilisations is there for us to observe in order for us to better understand the message that is being conveyed to us:
       

       
      A final thought
      Were the ancient Egyptians privy to Divine guidance? I think there is evidence in the Qur'an that they may have been. Here are some references to Allah communicating with other cultures.

       
       

       

       
      And indeed there is material in the historical record that at least one Pharoah (Akhenaten) tried to promulgate a faith that had similarities to monotheism. The initiative did not last very long and in the reign of the next Pharoah (Tutankhamun) the Egyptians reverted to polytheism. I use the phrase similarities to monotheism because although he removed references to the pantheon of deities that the Egyptians previously worshipped, his new religion nevertheless involved worship of the sun.
      The following extract is from a book published within the last few years that addresses head on the issue of monotheism and Akhenaten's rule.
      Hoffmeier, J.K., 2015. Akhenaten and the Origins of Monotheism. Oxford University Press.
      Perhaps Akhenaten was amongst the many Prophets that we believe have been sent by God at different times and places to different cultures? I am speculating here, but perhaps the message was corrupted? Still, I would like to believe that the archaeological evidence of Akhenaten's rule supports the idea that Allah's message was not restricted to just the children of Abraham.
       
      See Also
       
    • By Qa'im in Imamology
         16
      بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
      A famous eschatological expression is that the Sun will rise from the West ( طلوع الشمس من المغرب من المحتوم ). In Muslim, the Prophet Muhammad (s) says, "When three things appear, a person's faith will not avail him if he had not believed before or did not earn goodness from his faith: (1) The rising of the Sun from its setting place, (2) The Dajjal, and (3) The Beast of the Earth." (ثلاث إذا خرجن لا ينفع نفسا إيمانها لم تكن آمنت من قبل أو كسبت في إيمانها خيرا: طلوع الشمس من مغربها، و الدجال ودابة الأرض ).
      In my reading of the hadith literature, there is a strong indication that this Sun is not the star that our Earth rotates around, but actually a man. The Sun is a luminous golden object that brings light, clarity, guidance, warmth, and the growth of our crops. A narration about the Mahdi says, "The one whom Jesus the son of Mary will pray behind is the twelfth from the progeny, the ninth from the loins of al-Husayn b. `Ali [a]. He is the Sun that will rise from its setting place." ( إن الذي يصلي عيسى بن مريم خلفه هو الثاني عشر من العترة ، التاسع من ولد الحسين بن علي عليهما السلام وهو الشمس الطالعة من مغربها ).
      A careful study of the Quran will show that light represents the religion (61:8, which Allah will always preserve) and guidance (2:257). 33:46 describes the Prophet as "an illuminated lamp" (siraj, a word also used for "Sun"), and 5:15 describes him as a "light". In one hadith, the Imam as-Sadiq describes the Prophet as the Sun in Surat ash-Shams ( الشمس رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله به أوضح الله عز وجل للناس دينهم ), and in another hadith, the "day" in 92:2 that follows the night is the Mahdi who will arise after oppression ( والنهار إذا تجلى قال: النهار هو القائم منا أهل البيت إذا قام غلب دولة الباطل ). The Mahdi's occultation is compared to that of the Sun behind the clouds ( وأما وجه الانتفاع بي في غيبتي فكالانتفاع بالشمس إذا غيبتها عن الابصار السحاب ).
      These comparisons between the Mahdi and the Sun is a similitude to the Prophet. The Mahdi is the most similar man to the Prophet, because he is like him in form and in character ( أشبه الناس بي خلقا وخلقا ), and he will openly declare and explain the religion to the world. The Mahdi will take his example until Islam becomes dominant, manifest, clear, and overspreading ( بسيرة ما سار به رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله حتى يظهر الاسلام ). 39:69 says that the "Earth will shine with the light of its Lord", and the hadiths indicate that it will shine by the light of the Mahdi's coming ( وأشرقت الارض بنور ربها " قال رب الارض يعني إمام الارض، ).
      This begs the question: if the Mahdi is the Sun, what does it mean to rise from its place of setting? Rather than saying that there would be a change of the Earth's axis, we should consider the root of the word gharb (غرب). It has come to mean "set", but in its most basic sense, it means "to become a stranger, odd, obscure, difficult to comprehend, and to go away and depart". This is because the Sun passes above us, then becomes "estranged" from us and leaves us, setting in the West. A stranger in Arabic is a ghareeb. This brings us to the Prophetic hadith, "Islam began as a stranger, and it shall return as a stranger, so blessed are the strangers" ( إن الاسلام بدا غريبا وسيعود كما بدا فطوبى للغربا ). Just as the Prophet came by himself to an adverse society, Islam would return in the Mahdi, who would be estranged from his community and coming with a call that most people will not be familiar with. It is said that, by the time of his coming, the religion of Islam will be barely recognizable from the principles taught by our Prophet, so much so that it will be as though the Mahdi is bringing a new religion. Imam `Ali said that the Qa'im would recommence Islam just as the Prophet did ( إذا قام القائم عليه السلام استأنف دعاء جديدا كما دعا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله ), and Imam Ja`far repeated the same idea ( يستأنف الداعي منا دعاء جديدا كما دعا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله ).
      Just as the Mahdi faded into obscurity, he would return out of that obscurity. He is currently in the clouds, which is to say that the occultation has surrounded him in opaque confusion, but that his affect on the Earth is still present. His companions will also be strangers who are not recognized ( إذا يستغني الناس عن ضوء الشمس ونور القمر ويجتزون بنور الامام ), and they are gathered with him like cirrus clouds ( فيظهر في ثلاثمائة وثلاثة عشر رجلا عدة أهل بدر على غير ميعاد قزعا كقزع الخريف رهبان بالليل أسد بالنهار ). "At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory." (Mark 13:26) When he returns, "mankind shall have no need of the light of the Sun and the light of the Moon, and they shall pass by the light of the Imam." ( إذا يستغني الناس عن ضوء الشمس ونور القمر ويجتزون بنور الامام ). Meaning, they will be able to go directly to the Imam for guidance, and we will no longer need to seek out other sources of light.
      May Allah hasten his luminous coming.

    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
         8
      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.
       
      Summary
      In this essay I discuss why the theory behind 'Do your own research' (DYOR) does not live up to reality and the negative consequences that this can have for those who follow it.
      What I will also do is to examine how the whole notion of informed decision making fits within a broader ideological framework and why some groups of people favour it.
      My conclusion will be that in the case of covid, owners of capital whose prosperity depends on commercial economic activity, rely on individuals exercising DYOR and thereby making choices that sustain economic activity but which have poor health outcomes for those individuals.
       
      The popularity of 'do your own research' (DYOR)
      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. Making sense of information and data, drawing inferences from it and then acting upon them are all activities that should be encouraged. But that conclusion misses a broader set of issues. What are those issues? Here is a hint:
      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/feb/17/quacks-cashed-in-world-quick-fix-covid-ivermectin-social-media-conspiracy-theories
      On the one hand you have public health officials, ostensibly driven by the need to protect the health of the public, who recommend government diktat. On the other hand we have politicians from a political party that favours business challenging these recommendations. In addition the lawmakers recommend alternatives to lockdowns that require consumers to make their own 'informed' choices.
      This leads to the ideological context of DYOR.
       
      Do your own research and the wider ideology
      The debate between personal liberty and the role of the State is an old one. Here is an extract from John Stuart Mills' essay 'On Liberty' written in 1859:
      John Stuart Mill. On Liberty (Kindle Locations 7017-7020). Kindle Edition. 
      So Mill does recognise the occasional need for the freedom's of individuals to be curtailed, but he places a condition on this - the need to prevent harm to others.
      And as we have seen nearly 150 years later the DYOR agenda that is being promoted is very one much one that suggests that covid is not harmful, that (lockdowns and social distancing measures that would affect economic activity) don't reduce the harm and indeed various easily obtainable drugs (that would allow us to carry on as normal) can reduce the harm.
      In summary the DYOR promoters seek to diminish the health impact of Covid, because if they were to admit it, the role of the State to interfere with personal liberty would have to be accepted. Instead of the latter the DYOR promoters want people to make their own risk assessments and then act on them as a result of personal choice. However as we'll see later this is not a long term solution.
       
      Why is DYOR promoted?
      The reason why some groups in society promote DYOR is because it sounds good in principle, but it does not work in practice. If it did work in practice, the people who promote it would no longer do so! This sounds counter-intuitive, (why should someone promote something that does not work) but there is a logic behind it. 
      Based on the view of the economist Oliver Williamson ordinary people are notoriously bad at gathering information, analysing it and then making use of it, something he refers to as bounded rationality. 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.
      Some politicians and businesses encourage people to 'do their own research' because they know that most of the time people will get it wrong. The same groups support models of behaviour change that say to people you are ultimately free to make informed choices from an array of products and services that vary in terms of how good or bad they are for you. 
      However the experience over time has been that when faced with such choices people will invariably make poor ones, which injure their health but which are profitable to the promoters. 
      An illustration of this perspective in action is provided in the following thread on Shiachat. A poster wrote about a medical problem that they were facing and another poster provided a link to a series of YouTube videos that recommended a remedy. However the author of those videos is not a medical doctor and indeed has a commercial angle to their video channel. In response to my hiding those videos I received the following reply:
      This sums up the thinking that I am referring to above. This is the belief that adults should be free to make up their own minds based on the free flow of information and anything that restricts the latter is bad and counts as 'censorship'. The same view disregards the fact that the information could be biased and delivered by someone whose motivation is not benevolent. This view also disregards the fact that many people will not drill deep enough to find out that it is biased!
       
      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 DYOR 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.
      postcript
      1. See the following blog entry I had made for a further explanation about why people can make poor choices:
      https://www.shiachat.com/forum/blogs/entry/579-how-unscrupulous-people-take-advantage/
      2. I am attaching a copy of a paper titled, 'Why is changing health behaviour so difficult', published in the academic journal Public Health. The paper identifies some common mistakes public policy officials make when designing behaviour modification programmes. 
      Why is changing health behaviour so difficult.pdf
    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
         0
      Summary
      When you are in a weak position, all the choices you have are bad ones.
      Introduction
      I've always thought that since British Mandate the Palestinians have been in a no win position. If they accepted the offers the Israelis gave them there would have been an incentive for the Israelis to take more land (if the Pals don't mind yielding some they might not mind yielding more) and if the Pals had resisted that would also have given the Israelis a pretext to take more land (for defensive purposes), the latter has proven to be the case.
      In short whatever the Pals decided did not matter, the Israelis' dominant position ensured that they could respond in a manner that was advantageous to them. The same applies to Native American Indians in the 18th and 19th centuries, whether their response to European settlers was to fight make treaties the outcome would always be the same, their lands would be taken. In both cases there was such an asymmetry between the two parties that there was nothing the colonised could do that would change the outcome.
      In the examples that follow I look at some contemporary examples that illustrate a different dynamic. In these instances non-Western powers have presented the West with situations where however the West responds will lead to an outcome for the West that it does not want.
      Huawei - China
      Turning now to a totally different situation, the following piece in the FT neatly summarises how I feel about the situation between the U.S. government and Huawei. 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.
      https://www.ft.com/content/8fc63610-88fe-11e9-b861-54ee436f9768
      SWIFT - Russia
      This example arose during the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February 2022. The West wanted to sanction Russia by imposing economic sanctions including barring Russian entities from access to western financial systems. But this was not straightforward:
      https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/feb/24/what-is-swift-international-payments-network-russia-sanction
      Sic transit gloria mundi (so passes worldly glory)
      In a previous FT story about the same subject I posted a comment that this situation is similar to the British attempts to stop Indian technological development by banning the Indians from making their own steam engines, at the start of the 20th century. The British may have delayed Indian development by some decades, but that's all they were able to do. Whether the British took no action to stop Indian technological development or whether they proactively tried to hinder it, ultimately they would lose. 
      There are now far too many Indians with every increasing levels of capability to stop the juggernaut.
      Conclusion
      In the context of China, I think the U.S. government feels a threat to its economic/technological dominance. And the sanctions are its attempt to fight back. But whether the U.S. decides to fight or not, I think in the longer term that dominance will have to be compromised. Huawei and the Chinese are now too far along the technological path of development and they are far further ahead than the India of the early 20th century. 
      The U.S. is now in a similar technological position that the Palestinians have been in terms of geography. Whatever option the US chooses, it will ultimately 'lose'. Loss in this context is not necessarily ceding technological leadership to the Chinese, but it may well involve acknowledging their superiority in certain areas. Other countries like Russia also may be able to work their way around sanctions for example, so western attempts to control their behaviour will have limited success.
      In the context of Russia it seems that there is too much at stake economically for sanctions to be effective, the sanctioners stand to lose as much as the sanctioned.
       
    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
         2
      Summary
      Delayed gratification is associated with better long-term outcomes for individuals. Time spent in prayer and other religious rituals are means by which individuals delay the gratification of enjoying worldly experiences and they are an investment in the gratification of rewards to be gained in the afterlife. Moreover time spent in these activities changes what counts as gratification for participants.
      How delayed gratification works 
      One of the ideas that helps explain the economic outperformance of some social and ethnic groups is their ability to practice ‘delayed gratification’. The term accurately sums up the idea of ‘delaying the experience of happiness’.
      This seems counterintuitive, why delay what you could have right now? Surely there is some loss involved in putting off gratification, you may not be around to enjoy it and there could be other uncertainties as well.
      The notion of delayed gratification assumes that if we put off the experience of happiness when we do receive it, the experience will be greater and longer lasting than if we had sought to experience the happiness earlier on.
      Why is this the case? The most obvious example is the delayed gratification occasioned by spending time as a school pupil studying in order to get better grades while that time could have been spent playing or watching television. Later on it’s the same studious group who are at university living in relative penury, while their peers are earning and spending money.
      However, most studies show that although graduates start earning later than non-graduates, once they do so their lifetime earnings are much higher than non-graduates. And it’s not just income, there are a number of other measures such as health going in the same direction.
      The cookie experiment
      All this goes back to the experiments conducted by Walter Mischel in 1970, who offered kids a cookie which they could eat immediately or they could have two if they waited till he came back from an errand. The high delay kids, who waited for the second cookie, did better at school and achieved various other positive life outcomes that the low delay kids did not.
      I’d go on to argue that the process of delaying can change an individual. The kids who are willing to wait for the second cookie will likely prefer the low fat, low sugar offering compared to the tasty version.
      I think this is because when the high delay kids are provided with information about harms and benefits they're better able to make the right choices. As they come across more information these people change what they consider constitutes happiness. This second order effect is important, because it has a qualitative impact not only on lifestyles and employment opportunities of these individuals but also the thought processes of the children of the high delay kids. High delay can be taught and learned.
      So delaying gratification enables the acquisition of quantitatively more happiness, and qualitatively more sustainable happiness.
      Up to this point our discussion has been in terms of purely material gains or losses. You do not have to be a believer in any religion to understand the foregoing argument, there are ample studies involving experiments (often with marshmallows) to back up the idea.
      Religious applications
      The question then, is whether the same principles can be applied in a religious context?
      The theist argument would likely be that religious practice such as prayer, the acquisition of religious knowledge and spiritual experience are all activities that take place at the expense of acquiring immediate material happiness, will likely have a higher pay-off in any after-life.
      However, anyone can understand the cause and effect relationship between, for example, the higher pay-offs associated with education and delayed gratification, because there is ample proof for this. But no one has come back from any after life, so is it the case that all we have to go on is faith?
      I don’t think so.
      One of the ways by which people can improve their self-discipline to improve their ability to delay gratification is to undertake some other task that takes their mind away from whatever gratification they are seeking to delay.
      That’s what the religious activities do. They train us to exercise restraint. They are the wait for the second cookie. If we see prayer and duas etc. as taking time away from the joys of worldly activities, that’s because they are supposed to.
      I also think the second order effects that I talked about regarding the impact of education on gratification also have a parallel with religion.
      Time spent on worship and spiritual activities, I think changes what people consider appropriate sources of gratification. They actually change what we do in this life, we consider whether the ingredients of the cookie are halal or haram.
      The Muslims who avoid weed cookies don’t need to rely on faith to understand the benefits of delayed gratification, they can see it for themselves.
      Notes:
      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-in-world/201207/the-power-delaying-gratification
      http://jamesclear.com/delayed-gratification
      http://ww2.prospects.ac.uk/cms/ShowPage/Home_page/Labour_market_information/Graduate_Market_Trends/Beyond_the_financial_benefits_of_a_degree__Autumn_05_/p!eXeLcmm
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/universityeducation/10246785/Graduate-premium-no-matter-what-you-study.html
       
       
       
    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
         3
      A common Islamophobic complaint is that while Muslims may lobby for rights in Western countries, this is hardly reciprocated in the Middle East. Specifically, attention is drawn to Saudi Arabia where the rights of Christians and Jews appear to be the most restricted. 
      It's worth, therefore, to consider what the situation was like before the arrival of the house of Saud on the scene and the impact of its installation (helped by Wstern powers) on non-Muslims in the Arabian peninsula. The following extracts are taken from the notes of a European traveller. 
      Travels through Arabia and other countries in the East, M. Niebuhr (captain of engineers in the service of the King of Denmark). English translation 1792.
      So, there were Jews in Medina in 1792 and they clearly enjoyed autonomy.
      So Jews also had positions of influence.
       
      The differences in tax rates may offend contemporary sensitivities, but they were clearly no different to the way minorities were treated in many other countries of the time.
      What may merit further investigation is whether the Jews (and Christians) in Arabia suffered the pogroms that were periodically inflicted on the Jews of Europe in that period.
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