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Uthman the ‘brother’ of Ali?


Islamic Salvation

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ذهبت ولم تلبس منها بشيء

The prophet when the body of Uthman passed by: “You have gone without involving yourself in any of it (the Dunya)”  
 

A Monastic Life?

Uthman loved to worship Allah, this reached such an extent that he decided to lead a monastic lifestyle and disengage himself from all the fleeting things of this world including conjugal relations. The prophet intervened to explain to him why that would be against the Sunna.

- Abi Abdillah عليه السلام said: The wife of Uthman b. Madh`un came to the prophet صلى الله عليه وآله and said: O messenger of Allah, Uthman b. Madh`un fasts in the day time and spends the whole night standing in worship, so the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله came out whilst angry and carrying his slippers [in his hands] until he reached Uthman and found him praying. When Uthman saw that it was the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله he cut-off his prayer. He [the prophet] said to him: O Uthman, Allah the Exalted did not send me with monasticism rather he sent me with a simple and lenient Hanifiyya. I fast and pray but also interact with my wives, so whoever loves my character should follow my Sunna, and marriage is part of my Sunna.

- Sa`ib b. Abi al-Waqqas said: When the affair of Uthman b. Madh`un - who was one of those who abandoned women - occurred, the messenger of Allahصلى الله عليه وآله  sent for him and said: O Uthman, I have not been ordered to lead a monastic life, do you seek something else apart from my Sunna? He said: No, O messenger of Allah. He [the prophet] said: part of my Sunna is to pray and then sleep, I sometimes fast and at other times eat, I marry and divorce, so whoever seeks something apart from my Sunna then he is not from me. O Uthman, your wife has a right over you, and your own body has a right over you. Sa`d said: by Allah, there was a group of Muslim men who were ready and willing to castrate themselves and become celibate if the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله had allowed Uthman to continue in what he had done.

- Uthman b. Madh`un said: O messenger of Allah - I desire to to become celibate, the prophet said: wait Uthman, the celibacy of my Umma is fasting and prayers. Uthman said: I desire to lead a wandering life [like some monks], the prophet said: wait Uthman, the wandering life of my Umma is to remain in the Masjid and wait for the next Salat after the last one finishes. Uthman said: I desire not to eat meat [to become a vegetarian], the prophet said: wait Uthman, for I myself do eat meat and enjoy it, if I could have it every day I would, and if I were to ask Allah for that He would give it to me. Uthman said: O prophet of Allah, may my father and mother be sacrificed for you - I desire not to use perfume ever, the prophet said: wait Uthman, for I do use perfume and I like fragrance, and it is my Sunna and the Sunna of the prophets before me.

 

The Prophet’s Grief

Uthman participated in the battle of Badr in the year 2 AH and went on to die soon after, becoming the first Muhajir to die in Madina and the first to be buried in Baqi. The prophet grieved at his death.

- Aisha said: I saw the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم kissing the dead of body of Uthman b. Madh`un until I saw his tears flowing.

- Abi Abdillah عليه السلام said: the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه kissed Uthman b. Madh`un after his death.

 

How do you Know?

There is an interesting exchange which happened between the prophet and a woman after Uthman's death.

- Abi Abdillah عليه السلام said: the prophet صلى الله عليه وآله heard a woman saying after the death of Uthman b. Madh`un: glad tidings of paradise to you O Abu al-Sa`ib [i.e. Uthman]! so the prophet said to her: and how do you know [that he is in paradise]? it is enough for you to say: he used to love Allah Mighty and Majestic and His prophet … 

The prophet rebuked the woman to teach us to avoid complacency and a false sense of security.

 

A Gravestone

The prophet did not leave the grave of Uthman without marking it so that he can recognize its location and come visit him.

- Ali b. Abi Talib عليه السلام said: when Uthman b. Madh`un died, the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله kissed him, and when he had buried him he sprinkled water on top of the soil of the grave and stretched out a piece of cloth over the grave. He [Uthman] was the first person over whose grave the prophet stretched out a cloth. The prophet went on to level the soil of the grave, then he called for a stone, it was said: O messenger of Allah - what will you do with it? he said: I will mark his grave by it so that I can bury my relations near him, then he placed the stone near the head of the grave.

- al-Muttalib said: when Uthman b. Madh`un died, his body was taken out in a procession and was buried. Then the prophet صلى الله عليه وآله ordered a man to bring him a stone, but the man was not able to carry it, so the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله stood himself, went towards it and rolled up his sleeves - [al-Mutallib said: the one who reported this to me about the messenger of Allah said: it is as though I can still see the whitness of his forearms when he rolled up his sleeves] - then he carried it and placed it at the head and said: I mark with it the grave of my brother so that I can bury next to it those who die of my family.

What a great status Uthman must have had for the prophet to want to bury his family members next to him. Note also that the prophet called him ‘his brother’, some have explained this by noting that Uthman was the foster-brother of the prophet because they both suckled from the same woman. It is also possible that he used this as a term of endearment with an eye to his elevated kinship in Islam.

 

Righteous Predecessor

The prophet did indeed go ahead with his wish to bury his relations near the grave of Uthman. First when his daughter Ruqayya died and then when Ibrahim his son passed away. He also uses the enigmatic term سلف الصالح which has been rendered here as righteous predecessor but which can also mean righteous ancestor. Perhaps it the latter which is meant keeping in mind that if Uthman was the foster-brother of the prophet then his children would be related to him in some manner.

- One of the two [al-Baqir or al-Sadiq] عليه السلام said: when Ruqayya the daughter of the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه  وآلهdied, the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله said: meet up with our righteous predecessors Uthman b. Madh`un and his fellows

- Ibn Abbas said: when Uthman b. Madh`un died a woman said: congratulations to you O Ibn Madh`un for you have entered paradise! So the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله looked at her angrily and said: what made you know? for by Allah I am the messenger of Allah but do no know what is going to be done with me, she said: O messenger of Allah he was your warrior and companion. This conversation weighed heavy on the minds of the companions of the messenger of Allah because of what he had said about Uthman while he [Uthman] was the best of them. It went on like this until when Ruqayya the daughter of the messenger of Allah died and he [the prophet] said: meet up with our goodly predecessor Uthman b. Madh`un [i.e. this is when they knew that Uthman must have had a good destination].

The women cried [when Ruqayya died] so Umar began hitting them with a whip, the prophet said to Umar: let them cry! but beware of the screeching of the Shaytan. Then the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله said: whatever issues from the heart [grief] and the eyes [tears] then it is from Allah and it is a form of mercy, whetever issues from the hand [like beating oneself] and the tongue [like words of despair] then it is from Shaytan.

The messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله stood at the edge of the grave while Fatima was at his side crying, so the prophet صلى الله عليه وآله began to wipe away the tears of her eyes with the side of his clothes in sympathy for her.

- Aba Abdillah عليه السلام said: … when Ibrahim the son of the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله died the eyes of the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله overflowed with tears and he said: the eyes tear-up and the heart grieves but we do not say that which may anger our Lord, we sure are saddened because of you O Ibrahim. Then the prophet صلى الله عليه وآله saw a disparity in his grave so he levelled it out with his hand and said: when one of you does any work then he should do it well, then he said: meet up with you righteous ancestor Uthman b. Madh`un …

 

Ali Remembers a Brother

Recall that the prophet is said to have said “I will mark with it the grave of my brother …” referring to Uthman as his brother. He also buried both his blood relations Ruqayya and Ibrahim near this brother of his and said at the time “meet up with our righteous Salaf …” where Salaf can mean ancestor.

A pattern emerges when we note that Ali, who is himself well-known as being the brother of the prophet, also referred to Uthman as a brother.

- Abu al-Faraj said: Uthman b. Ali about whom it is narrated from Ali that he said: I name him with the name of my brother Uthman b. Madh`un.

This Uthman b. Ali went on to sacrifice his life to defend Aba Abdillah al-Husayn عليه السلام in Karbala.

It comes as no surprise then that one of the candidates for the anonymous ‘brother’ Ali speaks of in his famous words has been taken refer to Uthman b. Madh`un.

- Ali عليه السلام said: In the past I had one I considered a brother in the way of Allah, he became prestigious in my eyes because of how lowly he considered the world to be in his eyes, the needs of the stomach did not have sway over him, he did not long for what he did not get; if he got a thing he would not ask for more; most of his time was spent in silence, but if he spoke he silenced the other speakers and quenched the thirst of questioners, he was weak and considered weak, but at the time of seriousness he was like the lion of the forest or the serpent of the valley, he would not put forth an argument unless it was decisive.

He would not reproach anyone in an excusable matter unless he had heard the excuse, he would not speak of any ailment except after its disappearance, he would do what he says, and would not say what he would not do, even if he could be excelled in speaking, he could not be excelled in silence; he was more eager to listen than to speak, if two things confronted him he would see which was more akin to the longing of the heart and would then oppose it [do the other].

Betake yourself to these and implement them and try to compete with each other in them. even if you cannot do it fully then know that acquiring a part is better than giving up the whole.

 

What Could Have Been

It is not a stretch to say that had Uthman been alive at the time of the Fitna (sedition) after the death of the messenger of Allah - when the Umma betrayed his testament for the Ahl al-Bayt - he would have sided with Ali in the events to come.

One circumstantial evidence for this is that when the prophet paired together one Muhajir with an Ansar in the so-called Ukhuwwa, he paired Uthman b. Madh`un with Abu al-Haytham Malik b. Tahiyyan. We know that this pairing was not random, but a bond which the prophet made using his special insight. He would gather two men who were closest to each other and had an affinity even in their spiritual states.

Abu al-Haytham went on die fighting on the side of Ali at Siffin.

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The Arabic for the narrations incorporated above [arranged in order of appearance]

 

1. al-Kafi

عدة من أصحابنا، عن سهل بن زياد، عن جعفر بن محمد الاشعري، عن ابن القداح، عن أبي عبدالله عليه السلام قال: جاءت امرأة عثمان بن مظعون إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وآله فقالت: يارسول الله إن عثمان يصوم النهار ويقوم الليل فخرج رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله مغضبا يحمل نعليه حتى جاء إلى عثمان فوجده يصلي، فانصرف عثمان حين رأى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله فقال له: ياعثمان لم يرسلني الله تعالى بالرهبانية ولكن بعثني بالحنيفة السهلة السمحة، أصوم واصلي وألمس أهلي، فمن أحب فطرتي فليستن بسنتي ومن سنتي النكاح

2. Sunan al-Darimi

حدثنا محمد بن يزيد الحزامي حدثنا يونس بن بكير حدثني ابن إسحق حدثني الزهري عن سعيد بن المسيب عن سعد بن أبي وقاص قال: لما كان من أمر عثمان بن مظعون الذي كان ممّن ترك النساء، بعث إليه رسول اللّه صلى الله عليه وآله فقال: يا عثمان: إنّي لم أوَمر بالرهبانية، أرغبتَ عن سنتي؟ قال: لا، يا رسول اللّه، قال: إنّ من سنتي ان أُصلِّي وأنام، وأصوم وأطعم، وأنكح وأطلق، فمن رغب عن سنتي فليس مني، يا عثمان إنّ لاَهلك عليك حقاً، ولنفسك عليك حقاً قال سعد: فواللّه لقد كان أجمع رجال من المسلمين على أنّ رسول اللّه صلى الله عليه وآله إن هو أقرّ عثمان على ما هو عليه ان نختصي فنتبتل

3. Miskhat al-Anwar

قال عثمان بن مظعون للنبي صلى الله عليه وآله: اني قد هممت يا رسول الله بأن اختصى فقال: مهلا يا عثمان فان الاختصاء في امتي الصيام والصلاة، قال: فانى قد هممت بالسياحة فقال: مهلا يا عثمان فان السياحة في امتي لزوم المساجد وانتظار الصلاة بعد الصلاة قال: فانى قد هممت ان لا آكل لحما فقال: مهلا يا عثمان فانى آكل اللحم واحبه ولو وجدته كل يوم لاكلته، ولو سألت الله لاطعمنيه، قال: فانى يانبي الله بأبى أنت وامي قد هممت ان لا اتطيب ابدا قال: مهلا يا عثمان فانى اتطيب واحب الطيب الطيب من سنتي وسنة الانبياء قبلي

4. Sunan Abi Dawud

حدثنا محمد بن كثير أخبرنا سفيان عن عاصم بن عبيد الله عن القاسم عن عائشة قالت رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقبل عثمان بن مظعون وهو ميت حتى رأيت الدموع تسيل

5. al-Kafi

محمد بن يحيى، عن أحمد بن محمد، عن الحسين بن سعيد، عن فضالة بن أيوب عن إسماعيل بن أبي زياد، عن أبي عبدالله عليه السلام قال: إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله قبل عثمان ابن مظعون بعد موته

6. al-Kafi

عدة من أصحابنا، عن سهل بن زياد، عن جعفر بن محمد، عن ابن القداح عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: سمع النبي صلى الله عليه وآله امرأة حين مات عثمان بن مظعون وهي تقول: هنيئا لك ياأبا السائب الجنة، فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وآله: وما علمك حسبك أن تقولي: كان يحب الله عزوجل ورسوله ...

7. al-Ja`fariyat

أخبرنا عبد الله بن محمد قال أخبرنا محمد بن محمد قال حدثني موسى بن إسماعيل قال حدثنا أبي عن أبيه عن جده جعفر بن محمد عن أبيه عن جده علي بن الحسين عن أبيه عن علي بن أبي طالب عليهم السلام قال لما مات عثمان بن مظعون قبله رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله فلما دفنه رش على تراب القبر الماء رشا و بسط على قبره ثوبا و كان أول من بسط عليه ثوبا يومئذ و سوى عليه تراب القبر ثم قال ص علي بحجر فقيل يا رسول الله و ما تصنع به قال أعلم به قبره حتى أدفن إليه قرابتي فوضع الحجر عند رأس القبر

 

8. Sunan Abi Dawud

حدثنا عبد الوهاب بن نجدة حدثنا سعيد بن سالم ح و حدثنا يحيى بن الفضل السجستاني حدثنا حاتم يعني ابن إسمعيل بمعناه عن كثير بن زيد المدني عن المطلب قال لما مات عثمان بن مظعون أخرج بجنازته فدفن فأمر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم رجلا أن يأتيه بحجر فلم يستطع حمله فقام إليها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وحسر عن ذراعيه قال كثير قال المطلب قال الذي يخبرني ذلك عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال كأني أنظر إلى بياض ذراعي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حين حسر عنهما ثم حملها فوضعها عند رأسه وقال أتعلم بها قبر أخي وأدفن إليه من مات من أهلي

9. al-Kafi

حميد بن زياد، عن الحسن بن محمد بن سماعة، عن غير واحد، عن أبان، عن أبي بصير، عن أحدهما عليه السلام قال: لما ماتت رقية ابنة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله: الحقي بسلفنا الصالح عثمان بن مظعون وأصحابه قال: وفاطمة على شفير القبر تنحدر دموعها في القبر ورسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله يتلقاه بثوبه قائما يدعو قال: إني القبر تنحدر دموعها في القبر ورسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله يتلقاه بثوبه قائما يدعو قال: إني لاعرف ضعفها وسألت الله عزوجل أن يجيرها من ضمة القبر

10. Ziyadat Abdallah ala Musnad Ahmad

حدثنا عبد الله، حدثني أبي، ثنا عبد الصمد وحسن بن موسى، قالا: ثنا حماد، عن علي بن زيد. قال أبي: حدثناه عفان، ثنا ابن سلمة، أنا علي بن زيد، عن يوسف بن مهران، عن ابن عباس قال: لما مات عثمان بن مظعون قالت امرأته: هنيئا لك يا ابن مظعون بالجنة، قال: فنظر إليها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم نظرة غضب، فقال لها: ما يدريك؟ فوالله إني لرسول الله وما أدري ما يفعل بي - قال عفان: ولا به - قالت: يا رسول الله فارسك وصاحبك، فاشتد ذلك على أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حين قال ذلك لعثمان وكان من خيارهم، حتى ماتت رقية ابنة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال: الحقي بسلفنا الخير عثمان بن مظعون، قال: وبكت النساء فجعل عمر يضربهن بسوطه، فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لعمر: دعهن يبكين، وإياكن ونعيق الشيطان، ثم قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: مهما يكون من القلب والعين فمن الله والرحمة، ومهما كان من اليد واللسان فمن الشيطان. وقعد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على شفير القبر وفاطمة إلى جنبه تبكي، فجعل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يمسح عين فاطمة بثوبه رحمة لها

11. al-Kafi

عدة من أصحابنا، عن سهل بن زياد، عن جعفر بن محمد، عن ابن القداح عن أبي عبدالله عليه السلام قال: ... فلما مات إبراهيم ابن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله هملت عين رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله بالدموع ثم قال النبي صلى الله عليه وآله: تدمع العين ويحزن القلب ولا نقول ما يسخط الرب وإنا بك ياإبراهيم لمحزونون ثم رأى النبي صلى الله عليه وآله في قبره خللا فسواه بيده ثم قال: إذا عمل أحدكم عملا فليتقن، ثم قال: الحق بسلفك الصالح عثمان بن مظعون

12. Maqatil al-Talibiyyin

وعثمان بن علي الذي روى عن علي أنه قال أنما سميته باسم أخي عثمان ابن مظعون

13. Nahj al-Balagha

قال أمير المؤمنين عليّ بن أبي طالب عليه السّلام: كان لي فيما مضى أخ في الله، وكان يُعظمه في عيني صِغرُ الدنيا في عينه، وكان خارجاً من سلطان بطنه، فلا يشتهي ما لا يجد، ولا يكثر إذا وجد، وكان أكثر دهره صامتاً، فإن قال بدّ القائلين ونقع غليل السائلين، وكان ضعيفاً مستضعفاً، فإن جاءَ الجِدّ فهو ليثُ غابٍ وصِلُّ وادٍ، لا يدلي بحجّة حتّى يأتي قاضياً، وكان لا يلومُ أحداً على ما يجد العذر في مثله حتّى يسمع اعتذارَه، وكان لا يشكو وجعاً إلاّ عند برئه، وكان يفعل ما يقول ولا يقول ما لا يفعل، وكان اذا غلب على الكلام لم يغلب على السكوت، وكان على ما يسمع أحرص منه على أن يتكلّم، وكان إذا بدهه أمران نظر أيّهما أقرب إلى الهوى فخالفه. فعليكم بهذه الاَخلاق فالزموها وتنافسُوا فيها، فإن لم تستطيعوها فاعلموا أنّ أخذ القليل خيرٌ من ترك الكثير

Edited by Islamic Salvation
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  • Veteran Member

This is some deep insight bro

Abul Haitham Malik b tayyihan is mentioned in nahjul balagah too with khuzaima and ammar as martyrs of siffin( inferred not directly ofcourse) .Where do you see his loyalty to Imam Starting?  in yaqubi he is mentioned as lecturing companions on loyalty towards Ali As early as time of saqifa.

How do you see his role prior to siffin ?

Edited by Panzerwaffe
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he women cried [when Ruqayya died] so Umar began hitting them with a whip, the prophet said to Umar: let them cry! but beware of the screeching of the Shaytan. Then the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله said: whatever issues from the heart [grief] and the eyes [tears] then it is from Allah and it is a form of mercy, whetever issues from the hand [like beating oneself] and the tongue [like words of despair] then it is from Shaytan.

Beating oneself in grieve is from shaitan?

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      [This was originally written on November 25 2017 and was updated on Sept 13 2023, to include the graphic, headings and a summary, further updated on 27 May 2024 to include references to Artificial Intelligence]
      Summary
      There is an inverse relationship between human labour for any activity and the moral and ethical issues related to it. The less we work, because we have automation, for example, often the more we need to exercise moral and other consideration related to that work. As a result automation and AI won't necessarily make people unemployed, they'll simply free us up to do more philosophising.
      For people who believe in a benevolent God who seeks to perfect man, this makes eminent sense.
      Introduction
      There's an interesting piece about AI and robots in today's London Guardian:
      https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/nov/25/cobot-machine-coming-job-robots-amazon-ocado#comments
      It's a fair piece because it includes opinions along the lines of "we're doomed with robots doing everything" through to the other end of the spectrum where the argument runs that "no previous innovation killed us off and neither will this one".
      I am in the latter camp, for what it is worth.
      An atheistic concern
      An atheist may well believe that an outcome where robots replace us in for every imaginable activity will make us redundant and worthless. And in a world without a benevolent God, that outcome is entirely possible. 
      The theistic angle
      In a more theistic perspective on this issue, I believe that human development so far has been one where we have increasingly had the capability to indulge in exercising freewill, as standards of living and technological capabilities have risen. Going hand in hand with that capability has been the ability to think about our actions and pay more attention to moral judgements. I am using the shorthand of moral judgements to refer to issues related to what is considered to be ethically right or wrong, just and equitable. included in this discussion are issues to do with sustainability and the greater awareness that the decisions we take need to take into account their future costs (e.g. on the environment) as well as current benefits (e.g. to consumers).
      An inverse relations between human labour and attendant moral issues
      Fewer people now work the land in the agricultural industry, as mechanisation and the use of chemicals have taken over, but there are more people being employed to investigate our impact on that environment, understand its implications and then research remedial action. Employment has not fallen, it has risen, but the tasks we perform are more cerebral and more of them involve making moral judgements.
      We can even map this as an inverse relationship, this is illustrative only and there's no specific relationship implied by the curve.

       
      The same process applies to the raising of farm animals and their slaughter. Affecting all of this is the entirely new industry of people making moral judgements about what is (morally) right in agriculture and what is wrong. Some of those judgements are informed by a theistic perspective, and some are not. In the latter instance we may question the validity, for example, of policy-makers in the West focusing on the last few seconds of an animal's life (as is the case in the debate about halal slaughter, as opposed to their accepting what are improvements but still cruel aspects of the husbandry of animals during the much longer period of their lives.
      There are similarly eye-brow raising moral considerations such as the most humane form of capital punishment. Nevertheless, the reality is that moral judgements are being made in all aspects of our lives and more and more time and resources are being devoted to them. 
      Perfecting man
      For a theist then, I believe the trajectory that we are following is proof of a God who desires to perfect man. He gives us the increasing opportunity to exercise moral judgements, both in terms of the time available to us with which to do this and secondly in terms of the situations to which those analyses can be applied. The latter are becoming ever more complex and challenging.
      The pastoral farmer of a few centuries ago obviously had the need to exercise moral judgements and take issues of sustainability into account when making decisions, but my point is that given smaller population sizes prevailing at the time and the more limited technologies available the nature of those judgements was necessarily more simple and straightforward than is the case, for example with the use of genetic modification.
      That perfection I believe helps us understand some of the issues around artificial intelligence. Like other disruptive technologies it enables people to have machines do what was previously done by humans. One difference is that whereas previous technologies made menial word redundant, how it is more cerebral work and this has an entirely new class of people very worried. What happens to their jobs? To some extent I think they are right. Indeed there will be machines doing more and more white-collar jobs and people who thought that a high level of education would keep them in employment forever may get a shock. 
      There is however a difference between how a theist would approach this problem and how an atheist would. The latter only has available to him the argument that all previous disruptive technologies have simply led people to do more value added work. Employment has continued to rise. The theist, who believes in God's desire to perfect man would likely add a spin on this and say that artificial intelligence enables people to focus on moral and ethical issues related to all fields of human endeavour.
      Until now we have always been limited in terms of how we make ethical judgements because of the limitations in terms of the quality and quantity of information that we have. Those limitations are now going to be removed.
      So if we want to judge the environmental costs and benefits of a course of action we will likely be able to do with with the help of AI. What choices we actually make will need to be made by humans who have a soul. That's where the employment opportunities will exist
      Conclusion
      As living standards continue to rise and societies become more complex, we will face an increasing number of situations of increasing complexity which will need moral solutions. And that is something which robots can never do, they don't have a soul. They are not prone to temptation and nor do they have to deal with it.
         0 comments
      This was co-written with chatgpt4o
      In the bustling city of Uthmaniya, where the skyline is dominated by minarets and modern skyscrapers, Ahmed was the unchallenged king of signs. His business, "Visionary Signs," was the go-to for creating grandiose displays for conferences, exhibitions, and governmental offices. Ahmed’s workshop was a hive of activity, always buzzing with the latest projects commissioned by the government.
      Every new initiative, every plan, no matter how nebulous, required a sign. These signs were not mere informational boards; they were masterpieces, adorned with resplendent images of the rulers, their eyes looking far into the future, with slogans that promised greatness. The text, always laudatory, spoke of unprecedented progress and prosperity, though specifics were conspicuously absent.
      One day, Ahmed received a call from the Minister of Public Enlightenment. "Ahmed, we need a series of signs for the new initiative. The Global Vision 2030 Summit is next month, and we must impress our international guests."
      Ahmed knew the drill. He listened patiently as the minister outlined vague goals of development, innovation, and cultural enrichment. “Of course, Excellency. Leave it to Visionary Signs. We will ensure that every sign conveys the magnificence of our vision.”
      In his workshop, Ahmed gathered his team. "Alright, folks, we need to design signs for the Global Vision 2030. Remember, it’s all about grandeur. The words must sing praises, the images must captivate, but as always, we keep the details fuzzy."
      His designers got to work, crafting enormous signs with majestic images of the rulers. The captions read: "Towards a Brighter Tomorrow," "Innovation at its Peak," and "Cultural Renaissance for All." The wording was eloquent but evasive, avoiding specifics like timelines or measurable outcomes.
      As the summit approached, international guests began arriving, and Ahmed’s signs were strategically placed throughout the city and the grand conference hall. The guests, impressed by the splendor, often paused to admire the signs. They would nod appreciatively, making polite comments about the visionary leadership and the ambitious goals.
      During the opening ceremony, the rulers themselves mingled with the attendees. Ahmed found himself face-to-face with the Emir. "Ahmed," the Emir said, a faint smile playing on his lips, "your signs are quite impressive. They speak volumes to our guests about our aspirations."
      "Thank you, Your Highness," Ahmed replied, bowing slightly. "We strive to capture the essence of your vision."
      The Emir’s gaze was steady. "It is important that our international friends see the progress we are making, even if we are still in the planning stages. A good message is key, Ahmed. It is the impression that counts."
      Ahmed nodded, understanding the unspoken directive. The real work, the actual implementation of the grand plans, was secondary to the portrayal of ambition and vision. As long as the signs were convincing, the world would believe in the progress of Uthmaniya.
      The summit concluded with numerous accolades and polite applause. The international guests left, carrying with them memories of impressive signs and lofty promises. Ahmed, back in his workshop, received another order for a new initiative, equally grand and equally vague.
      In Uthmaniya, Visionary Signs continued to flourish, a testament to the power of perception. Ahmed knew that as long as his signs could speak of greatness, the city’s image would remain untarnished, even if the ground beneath them changed little.
         20 comments
      Most of us struggle with purpose in our life when we are young. However, even older people, who thought they had direction and purpose, find their life has changed and they must think about it again. Purpose is our 'reason for being' or called Ikigai in Japanese. Purpose is important and I pray that everyone contemplates their purpose and stays on the straight path. See the image below:

         0 comments
      Take:
      Everyday   ,   Every second,         Every situations,         Every difficulties,           Every achievements 
      Take all these a test and trials where your patience is tested, your faith is tested, your ability to control your desires and emotions are tested, family relations is tested etc.....
      Focus on passing these tests with patience, faith in God, doing religious obligations, praying to God, always seeking help from God, seeking forgiveness and thanking him in every situations we are in.  
      Remember God has something better waiting for you in the after world so try and somehow put a smile on your face every now and then...
         5 comments
      قال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: رحم الله زرارة بن أعين لو لا زرارة و نظراؤه لاندرست أحاديث أبي عليه السلام
      Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: May Allah have mercy on Zurara b. A`yan, if it was not for Zurara and his peers the narrations of my father عليه السلام would have perished
      سمعت أبا عبد اللّه عليه السلام يقول: لعن اللّه زرارة!
      I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام saying: may Allah curse Zurara!
       
      Did the Imam Curse Zurara?
      Zurara is such an important narrator in the Madhhab. No one has narrated more narrations than him. There are more than two thousand surviving Hadiths attributed to him in our books. No surprise then to find that we have a lot of reports of praise from the `Aimma confirming his esteemed status. A bit more difficult to explain away is the not insignificant number of narrations that portray him in a negative light. These have been latched onto by polemicists who believe that they can damage the Madhhab by weakening this man who transmitted such a lot of knowledge from the `Aimma that he became a cornerstone of our Fiqh. How do we defend him? There is a reliable text preserved by al-Kashshi in his book which I believe is useful in explaining this phenomenon preserving as it does a candid assessment by the Imam of the real situation.
      The words of the Imam are indented and a relevant commentary is provided directly below each section. The  text can be accessed in its entirety here https://sites.google.com/site/mujamalahadith/vol1/book-of-narrators/zurara-b-ayan [See No. 17/172]
       
      Abdallah b. Zurara said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said to me: convey my salutations of peace to your father and say to him …
      The letter that the Imam dictates to this son of Zurara is done in confidence and with the expectation that no one else will come to know of its contents. It seems to have been prompted by Zurara’s grief, conveyed directly to the Imam, for censuring him to fellow companions and others, such that word reached back to him. Zurara seeks to clarify what the Imam’s true opinion of him is.
       
      I only defame you as a way of defending you, for the masses and the enemy hasten to whomever we draw near and praise his station so as to cause harm to the one we love and bring close. They accuse such a one because of our love for him and his closeness and intimacy with us, and they consider causing him harm and even killing him as justified. On the other hand, they praise every one whom we fault even if his affair is not praiseworthy. Thus, I fault you because you have become notorious as a result of your association with us and your inclination towards us, which have caused you to become blamable in the eyes of the people and your works to be looked upon unfavourably, all this because of your love for us and your inclination towards us. So I wished to fault you so that they can praise your religious stand as a result of my denigrating and diminishing you, and this becomes a way of warding off their evil from you. 
      This narration is important because it is the lens through which all the negative narrations about Zurara should be seen. The Imam explains his rationale for publicly cursing Zurara i.e. the Imam is defending his companion through Taqiyya.  As he notes, the enemy wishes to bring down everyone they draw near, a fate which he does not wish for Zurara. Zurara was particularly at risk because of how many narrations he had from them and how closely he was associated to them.
       
      Allah Majestic and Mighty says: “as for the boat then it belonged to the poor working at sea so I wished to damage it because there was a king after them who seizes every good boat by force” (18:79) … No by Allah! he did not damage it except that it be saved from the king and is not ruined in his hands. It was a ‘good’ boat which had no question of being defective Allah be praised, so comprehend the parable, may Allah have mercy on you!
      The Imam likens his act of criticizing Zurara to Khidhr damaging the fisherman’s boat, both seem ostensibly cruel on the surface but they are ultimately done to secure the very person they seem to hurting.
       
      … this is a revelation from Allah [including the word] ‘good’ …
      The Qira’a of the Ahlulbayt includes the word صالحة in the verse which is not there in our existing copies. This can be seen as an interpretive addition which happens to be quite straightforward and does not go against conventional understanding. This is also how Ibn Mas`ud and Ubay b. Ka`b read the verse [See Tafsir al-Tabari].
       
      You are by Allah! the most beloved of people to me and the most beloved of the companions of my father in my estimation both in life and after death. Indeed you are the best boat in that tumultuous and stormy sea, and there is a tyrannical and usurping king after you, keeping watch for the crossing of every good boat returning from the sea of guidance so that he can take it for himself and seize it and its owners, so may the mercy of Allah be upon you in life and His mercy and pleasure be upon you after death.
      This is the true status of Zurara in the eyes of the Imam. It becomes very clear that Zurara is the principal companion of al-Baqir and al-Sadiq and the closest to them. This tallies with the Madhhab’s conception of his status where he is seen as the greatest of their companions barring Muhammad b. Muslim which is arguable.
       
      Let not your heart constrict in grief if Abu Basir comes to you with the opposite of that which you were instructed by my father and by me, for by Allah! we did not instruct you and him except with an instruction that is fitting to act upon both for us and for you, and for each [instruction, even if seemingly contradictory] we have diverse expressions and interpretations which all agree with the truth. And if we were allowed [to explain] you would come to know that the truth is in that which we have instructed you.
      The Imam acknowledges a second problem which Zurara seems to have raised which is the Ikhtilaf [differences] of instructions which are attributed to them. The Imam accepts that these may indeed go back to them but notes that they have a reason for every instruction they give even if the companions cannot fully comprehend the reasons behind them. However, the Imam is very clear that despite the seeming diverse answers there is a way to reconcile them and all agree with the truth. 
       
      The one who has divided you is your shepherd who has been given authority by Allah over His creation. He [the shepherd] is more aware of what is in the interest of his flock and what can corrupt it. If he wishes he divides between them to safe-guard them, then he unites them once more so that it is secure from destruction and the fear posed by its enemy, in such a time as Allah permits, bringing it thereby safety from His place of safety and relief from Him. Upon you is to submit and to refer back to us and to await our affair and your affair and our relief and your relief. 
      The significance of these words of the Imam cannot be overstated. It reveals that the `Aimma would purposely teach different things to different Ashab aiming to purposely divide them. Elsewhere it is explained that they saw Madhhabic uniformity among their followers especially in rituals as being a distinctive marker that would make them a target. What the companions have to understand is that answering differently to different people is the prerogative of the Imam. No one can question this practice. What the companions have to do is submit fully to whatever they receive from the `Aimma and know that it has an explanation behind it for which the time is not ripe. All will be finally revealed when the time comes.
       
      However [if you do not submit wholly then], if our Riser were to rise and our Speaker speak and he recommences teaching you the Qur’an, the Laws of religion, the rulings and inheritance shares the way Allah revealed them to Muhammad the ‘people of insight’ among you will repudiate it on that day a bitter repudiation, then you will not remain steadfast upon the religion of Allah and his path except under the threat of the sword over your necks!
      If the companions cannot submit now, when they have lived through a chain of living Imams, then it augurs badly for the reaction of the self-appointed ‘people of insight’ who will be the first to line up against the One al-Sadiq calls ‘our Riser’ and alternatively ‘our Speaker’. When he comes back after a long period of occultation and recommences teaching them the religion as it is supposed to be the opposition to him from the Shia themselves be deafening! Those scholars who have cherished their dusty books will still cling to them even though the Imam who is the living embodiment of the Sharia is himself telling them otherwise.
       
      The people after the prophet of Allah were left to embark by Allah the same example as those who came before you, so they changed, altered, distorted, and added to the religion of Allah and reduced from it, consequently there is not a thing which the people are upon today [following] except that it is distorted when compared to that which was revealed from Allah. Respond then my Allah have mercy on you away from what you are calling for to what you are being called to, until comes the one who will renew the religion anew.
      Why did it have to come to this? This is the unfortunate consequence of the Umma betraying the will of the prophet. It has become utterly divided. Not having the correct leaders has meant that the authentic message of Muhammad has been irredeemably altered. There is not a single act of worship or belief that has been left un-corrupted because every middling scholar can peddle his interpretation. The temporal rulers are also more than happy to take advantage of the confusion and extend patronage to scholars whose interpretations were power friendly. The Imams themselves cannot openly propagate the actual version without repercussions.
       
      To be continued ...
         0 comments
      In the shadowy conference room of the Athena Institute, a right-wing think tank in the heart of Washington, D.C., key policymakers and intellectuals gathered around a gleaming mahogany table. Dr. Helen Mercer, the chairwoman, wasted no time addressing the stark issue at hand.
      “The crisis is clear,” she announced. “Birth rates in the West are in freefall, primarily because many are choosing AI companions over human partners. Our data shows a troubling trend: these robots are not just partners, but replacements, diminishing the human connection essential for family growth.”
      Behind her, the projector screen displayed distressing graphs, but one statistic stood out: Muslim communities in Europe were not following this trend, their birth rates were stable and even rising.
      John Reynolds, a sociologist at the table, nodded in agreement. “Muslim communities are largely insulated from this trend, not out of disdain for technology, but due to religious and cultural frameworks that do not condone intimate relationships with robots. This prohibition supports human-only unions, which naturally supports their higher birth rates.”
      Dr. Susan Choi, the institute’s technology expert, proposed a potential solution. “What if our AI could promote values that reinforce human bonds over robotic relationships?” she suggested tentatively.
      Helen considered this, then highlighted the inherent contradiction. “That's a creative approach, Susan, but we face a fundamental disconnect. Expecting AI to promote human-human relationships contradicts their design as companions. It’s like asking a candle to promote darkness.”
      The room fell silent, digesting the irony. Michael Hart, a political strategist, was the first to break the silence. “And there's another layer—legally and ethically, can we justify manipulating AI in such a way? What are the implications of using technology to direct personal choices so intimately?”
      Dr. Liu, an ethicist, weighed in, her tone cautious. “We’re on precarious ground. It's one thing to guide, quite another to coerce. We need to ensure that our solutions respect individual autonomy and ethical standards.”
      Helen steered the discussion towards a broader horizon. “Let’s draw from these observations about Muslim communities. Their cultural and religious practices naturally sustain human relationships and birth rates. Instead of relying solely on AI, we should explore how to cultivate these values more widely in our societies.”
      She proposed an initiative to study and integrate these communal and family-oriented values into Western societies through education and public policy, without overstepping ethical boundaries.
      As the meeting concluded, there was a consensus to revisit the AI strategy, with a new focus on enhancing community bonds and human connections. The group agreed to meet again, armed with more research and a clearer ethical framework, aiming to weave technology with tradition in a way that supports, rather than supplants, the human experience.
         1 comment
      Summary
      Buying and selling in the market place may provide advantages to minority groups at the expense of the majority. A State that represents the majority may need to act in order to address the imbalance in a manner that may seem on the face of it to be discriminatory.
      The impact of buying and selling in the market place
      The problem with money and markets is that they strip exchanges between people of all social and cultural content. In market-based exchanges, you can buy/sell with complete strangers. This has its benefits and particularly for social/cultural/ethnic/ religious minorities within a society, the market provides an almost anonymous means of interacting with the majority.
      The impact of social networks
      In fact, the story can even become worse for the majority because the denser social links/networks between members of a minority may mean that they can exploit higher levels of trust between each other and thereby compete more effectively in the market-place.
      Over time, of course, this economic disadvantage may lead to significant differences between the wealth of the majority and minority communities.

      In the diagram below is your multiculti, fully assimilated, and integrated, fully equal nirvana. Everyone interacts with all others regardless of their colour or other distinguishing characteristics. There is one group (pink) who are the majority, and the others are minorities.

       
      The reality

      One group of people (coloured brown) realise that they come from the same village back home, they have a shared culture, heritage and so on, they start to spend more time together.
      Trust within minority groups
      These commonalities enable this specific minority to establish bonds of trust between themselves that are stronger than the ones that exist between people of different groups. So they decide to interact with each other more than they do with other groups.
      Role of religion
      The issue is even more acute when they share the same religion because then they are more likely to share the same values - which are even more important when it comes to building trust.
      Boundary spanners
      Accidentally, I drew the first picture in a way that helps illustrate another point. The minority group accrues another advantage, where it can become a 'boundary spanner' e.g. between two different societies (the red line). That advantage is less likely to be open to the majority groups in the two countries in which this minority lives.

      The economic impact
      There is an obvious economic angle to these social relations, since the bonds of trust help reduce the friction of doing business, in fact, trust is more valuable in some industries (the ones with more risk and potentially more rewards).
      Minorities outperforming majorities
      A social aspect to their interaction therefore has economic repercussions. Left unchecked a minority group will gain an advantage over others. Societies can persist with the multi-culti fantasy for years.
      Payback
      But at some point there will be a reckoning, there always is. Obvious trigger points are when the majority face economic dislocation and see how much better minority groups are doing. You can 'hope' that this time there won't be -  but that has not been the case over the previous millennia.
      Longer term implications
      Historically there are lots of examples of this all around the world and the end is never a happy one - with the majority usually seeking to address the problem via physical force. The challenge for societies is for them to offer minorities certain rights but at the same time put in place restrictions on the extent of their participation in the economic life of society so that they cannot dominate the majority.
      Islamic solutions
      In an Islamic society where distinctions between groups are not based on race, but rather of belief, this means that there has to be what seems like discrimination against non-Muslims, but which, is in fact, a sensible means of avoiding longer-term conflct between the majority and minority.
      An illustration of the problem in terms of resources
      The picture below illustrates the above idea. 
      The blue circles represent the majority in a society, each person gives an item of resource to the person immediately to their south and also one to their south-west. And they do so without regard to the 'colour' of the other person. Let's assume this is a very egalitarian society where the affiliations of individuals are completely ignored. The pink circles represent a minority and they behave in the same manner. However the yellow circles behave slightly differently, they give one item of resource without any discrimination to whoever is to their south, but instead of giving one item to the person to their southwest, they give instead to someone of their own tribe/religion/ethnicity/language group/cult or whatever other basis of commonality that they have established. Such an arrangement can be informal and communicated only to the group members - something which is helped by their being a minority in a society. Members of the yellow circle are able to identify each other due to their going to the same places of worship or gentlemen's clubs or 'lodge'. Such interaction may legitimately lead to higher levels of trust between members of the yellow group and their discriminatory behaviour could be argued to be inherently rational i.e. it makes sense from a business perspective.
      Economic performance of members of the yellow group may, as a result of this behaviour be better than that of other groups. It may seem to them that their accumulation is due to their greater intelligence, business acumen or another positive trait. There may well be elements of those present, but their discrimination in favour of their own group could certainly be an important factor.
      Such discrimination on their part can mean greater rewards for members of their own group and it may not be visible to outsiders, other than the realisation that this group of people are relatively better off than others.
      Is discrimination by the State a valid response?
      Any response by the majority to address this imbalance, e.g. by imposing restrictions on the economic or other activities of the yellow minority group is likely to attract charges of discrimination.
      Because such communications cannot be done discreetly, communicating with the whole of society requires broadcasting to everyone rather than taking the narrowcasting approach the minority group pursued when they decided to discriminate in favour of their own group. Such narrowcasting is possible because the minority group are able to communicate with each other discreetly and in a manner that excludes everyone else.
       

       
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