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By Haji 2003 in ContemporaniaI'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 time yielding some they might not mind yielding more) and if the Pals had resisted that would also have given the Israelis a pre-text to take more land (for defensive purposes).
In short whatever the Pals decided did not matter, the Israelis were in too dominant a position.
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 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. They may have delayed development by some decades, but that's all they were able to do.
In summary 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.
By starlight in Light BeamsSalam everyone,
One of the most tragic incidences in the history of Islam has been the the martyrdom of the the Lady of light, Our Prophet Muhammad(saw)' daughter, Fatima Zahra(عليه السلام). To date the exact location of her grave is not known. What is even sadder is that most Shias of Ahlebayt(عليه السلام) are not clear about the facts and timeline of events surrounding her tragic death. Ambiguities have been created,some people choose to adopt a defensive attitude when naming people involved in the incident, others shy away from talking about it because of creating discord with people of other sects. However, I believe it is very important that we are very clear about what happened after the death of RasulAllah(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and in the event of a discussion we are able to state the facts objectively, and this is the sole purpose of this post. It is not to curse the caliphs, or offend the Sunnis, so I will request that if anyone replies here he also refrains from doing so.
Most of what I have written below comes from Sheikh Abbas Qummi's book "House of Sorrows" . I will try to provide references wherever possible in the post, but since I want to keep it short and concise I would ask you to refer to the book if anyone wishes to read more. The book is available online on al-Islam.org.
1. DEATH OF THE HOLY Prophet
The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) departed from this world on 28 safar 11 A.H. For three days Imam Ali(عليه السلام) postponed his burial. Why? Because he wanted to give all the Muslims an opportunity to join his funeral. Sadly, most of the Ansar and Muhajireen were busy choosing the successor of Prophet(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and didn't show up. Seeing this, Imam Ali(عليه السلام) went ahead with the funeral and burial of RasulAllah(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)
In Arabic, the word Saqeefah literally means a 'tent'.So,while the Bani Hashim were busy with funeral arrangements of RasulAllah(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and had withdrawn from social activities because they were mourning the Ansaar gathered in the tent of the tribe of Bani Sa'idah and started choosing a leader for the Arabs. Upon hearing this Umar told Abu Bakr to quickly rush to the place. After some squabble between Ansaar and Muhajireen Abu Bakr was chosen as a successor for Prophet(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم).
The first three people to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr were: Bashir b.Sa'ad, Umar b.Khattab and Abu ‘Ubaydah al-Jarrah.
3. DID EVERYONE PLEAD ALLEGIANCE TO Abu Bakr? WHAT HAPPENED TO PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T?
Of course, one of the persons to not pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr was our Imam Ali(عليه السلام) but there were people amongst Arabs who refused to swear allegiance to Abu Bakr. Let's just look at two examples.
1. MALIK b.NUWAYRAH: Malik b Nuwayarh was a devout companion of the Holy Prophet(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). Upon his refusal to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr, Abu Bakr told Khalid b. Waleed to prepare an army against him and attack him under the pretext that he had turned apostate and was refusing to pay Zakat and taxes to the Caliph. What Khalid b. Waleed did was attack him during the night in his house, like a coward. They killed him, later raped his wife and they didn't stop there. They cut off Malik's head and cooked it with camel meat and the food from the vessel containing Malik's head was consumed by Khalid b. Waleed's army.
2. SA'AD b. UBADAH: Saad b.Ubadah was from the Ansaar of Medina and a contender with Abu Bakr for caliphate.However, he lost when the clan of al-Khizraj did not side with him. Umar tried to force him to pledge allegiance. However,he refused to swear allegiance to Abu Bakr and to Umar after him and instead lived a life of seclusion. When Umar took over the reins he ordered Khalid b. Waleed to kill Sa'ad. He shot arrows at him which killed him and they later spread a rumour that he was killed by jinns(narrated by Historian al-baladhuri)
So now we have some idea what was happening to people who refused allegiance.
4.CONFISCATION OF Fadak
Fadak was confiscated and one of the reasons behind confiscating Fadak was to hurt Imam Ali(عليه السلام) economically because Abu Bakr and Umar feared that Imam Ali(عليه السلام) might rise against them so they took away Fadak.
5. WHY DIDN'T Imam Ali (عليه السلام) OVERTHROW THE GOVERNMENT OF Abu Bakr?
After Saqeefa took place three hundred and sixty people pledged allegiance at the hand of Imam Ali(عليه السلام) to defend him until his death. Imam(عليه السلام) told them go home and gather in a particular street the next day with shaved heads.Out of of these three hundred and sixty people how many turned up the next day? Only FIVE! Abu Dharr, Miqdad, Hudhayfah, Ammar and Salman.
Imam Ali(عليه السلام) saw a flock of sheep, about thirty in number gathered in a pen and looking at them he said, "By Allah! If I had along with me men who were true supporters of Allah, the Mighty, the Sublime, and His Prophet, equaling the number of these sheep, I would certainly have deposed Abu Bakr, from his authority."
6. FORCING Imam Ali(عليه السلام) TO GIVE ALLEGIANCE & THREATENING TO BURN THEIR HOUSE
After seeing fickleness of the people Imam Ali (عليه السلام)settled into his house. Abu Bakr sent men to get Imam Ali(عليه السلام) to come out. He turned them down.They went again,this time Lady Fatima(عليه السلام) refused to open the door and sent them away. Next, three men gathered firewood outside the home of Hazrat Ali(عليه السلام) and Bibi Fatima(عليه السلام). Who were these three men 1. Qunfudh 2.Khalid b.Waleed 3.Mughaira b.Shu'bah.
Umar came to the door and asked Fatima(عليه السلام) to open it, which she refused once again.They started lighting up the firewood on Umar's instructions. Hazrat Fatima(عليه السلام)cried out and tried to remind them of her position which they ignored and, pushed the door open behind which Hazrat Fatima(عليه السلام),who was pregnant at that time was standin, and she was crushed between the wall and door. Umar entered the house and struck Fatima(عليه السلام) on the arm with his whip which left a bruise there. She sustained injuries which led her to miscarrying the baby Mohsin; and went into an illness from which she did not recover.
7.IS IT REALLY POSSIBLE THAT Umar ASSAULTED Fatima(عليه السلام)?
If we look at Umer's life we see that he had an explosive temper a history of abuse against women. The famous incident narrated by our Sunni brothers about his conversion to Islam, where Umar struck his own sister and wounded her. Before going to his Sister's house he was on his way to kill Prophet of Allah(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)
8. Islamic POSITION ON ENTERING SOMEONE'S HOUSE WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION
O you who have believed, do not enter houses other than your own houses until you ascertain welcome and greet their inhabitants. That is best for you; perhaps you will be reminded.And if you do not find anyone therein, do not enter them until permission has been given you. And if it is said to you, "Go back," then go back; it is purer for you. And Allah is Knowing of what you do. - Qur'an Surah Nur: 27-28
9. WHY DID Fatima(عليه السلام) ANSWER THE DOOR AND NOT Imam Ali(عليه السلام)?
This is one of the points frequently brought up, why didn't Imam Ali answer the door? The answer is, there is nothing wrong per se to a wife answering the door. there are numerous narrations where one of Prophet(saw)'s wives answered the door while the Prophet(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was himself in the house.
10.WHY DIDN'T Imam Ali DEFEND Fatima(عليه السلام)?
After Umar had struck Fatima(عليه السلام) Imam Ali(عليه السلام) came out and caught hold of the collar of ‘Umar and threw him down to the ground. He was determined to kill him but suddenly recalled the testimony of the Prophet (to forebear) and called out, ‘O son of Sahhak! I swear by Allah Who exalted Muhammad to the rank of prophethood that if the command of Allah would not have been decreed and the promise (to bear patiently) not have been given to me by the Prophet of Allah, you would have realized how difficult it is to enter my house!’
11. HAZRAT Fatima(عليه السلام) PASSED AWAY AT LEAST A MONTH AFTER HER SERMON ON Fadak
By Last Chance in Poems for the Ahlul BaytAlone, in the dark, a young girl is weeping,
Not knowing what her heart has always been seeking,
So, now, to her Lord, she is finally speaking,
Revealing the secrets she thought she'd been keeping.
Her Lord listens to her with indescribable love,
He watches her raise her weak hands, above.
"My Lord, I beg you to enter my heart,
To you, all my sorrows, I wish to impart,
This emptiness, I can bear it no more,
I feel I am drowning and you are my shore."
She buries her wet face in the palms of her hands,
For she knows that He, alone, understands,
But she wonders if she is worthy of His mercy, so great,
She wonders if forgiveness and love are her fate.
"My Lord, I have neglected my soul,
I never gave heed to my purpose or goal,
And now, I need You to set my soul right,
I have no-one but You in the midst of this night."
Tears flow from her eyes like a thunderous river,
As she awaits the reply from this Generous Giver,
But He waits and He watches as she continues to cry,
So she calls desperately into the night sky,
"My Lord, You are everything I need,
Of any happiness, You are the seed,
I yearn for You to make my heart whole,
To take Your place, this world previously stole."
With nothing more to give, the girl gets to her feet,
As longing for her Lord fills her every heartbeat.
She raises her hands, one final time,
Her soul weighed down by her forgetful crime.
"My Lord, You are my only, last hope,
Without you, I know, I won't be able to cope,
To feel Your presence, my soul, I can sell,
All I want is that in my heart, You dwell.
My Lord, I want You to open my soul's eyes,
And to put an end to my grievous cries,
You said that Your friends feel no sorrow, nor pain,
So befriend me, God, let this night not pass in vain."
As she tires from this begging, her eyes slowly close,
And she feels that her yearning, now surely, He knows,
Her Lord looks lovingly at the slumbering youth,
And knows that her words carried nothing but truth.
So He enters her soul and whispers some words,
Sweeter than the chirping of awakening birds,
"...Call upon me; I will answer you," (40: 60)
And more than this, what else could be true?
By Last Chance in Poems for the Ahlul BaytHow I must beg, I do not know,
Now I've learnt to let these tears flow,
For I've begged you and with you I've pleaded,
And maybe your nearness, some others have needed,
But you know who I am and you know what I need,
Is it the pain when I feel my heart bleed?
Tell me how to beg, for I do not know,
How do I see your golden dome glow?
My tears have been shed and my soul has felt sorrow,
And desperation has set for news of tomorrow,
And disappointments of which I have lost count,
Aren't these reasons enough? Too small in amount?
But how I must beg, I do not know,
So now I beg you to teach me and show.
To your love, I've submitted, for how can one not?
And of my life's story, I've made you the plot,
I've discarded of any beginning or end,
For I know that my heart, only you can mend,
But to beg you better, I just don't know how,
A lifetime's attempts and in shame, I still bow.
Regarding my worth, I will not speak,
For in you and your service, my own worth, I seek,
But tell me what in my pleading is wrong,
Is the pain in my love for you not strong?
I will not ask you, from me, what you want,
For what king can gain from his servant's servant?
All I ask is, my emptiness you understand,
My craving to weep on Karbala's sand,
The heavenly walk, baynol haramayn,
To shout with the millions, "Labbaika ya Hussain",
To drown in your love and to die in that state,
Be worthy of smelling the scent of your gate,
To look up into your once-red, blue sky,
And have no sense but to helplessly cry,
In awe of your beauty and the fact that I'm here,
In the hope that I might return in a year,
And the realisation that this isn't a dream,
Blinded by this love and your dome's golden beam,
The heat of the sun striking all those in black,
To walk towards your shrine and never look back,
Relive your sorrow and make it my own,
Watch your black flag in the wind, being blown,
To feel a long-lost peace in my heart,
Forgetting that from here, we'll all once depart,
Engrave these memories deep in my soul,
For my emptiness to fill, making me whole.
And for the rest of my life, to live on these tears,
If you'd just end the waiting I've done for these years.
Allahumma irzoqni ziyaratel Hussein ((عليه السلام).)
By Last Chance in Poems for the Ahlul BaytThe poets have written and the scholars have preached,
Yet the value of Ali no understanding can reach,
An eternity has passed and another will come,
The Earth's ink could diminish and al tongues could go numb,
Yet no heart of his lover is able to rest
For this love of Ali remains trapped in their chest,
No words can unlock it and no action can earn
And through a million books, only a fraction they'd learn.
What is this mystery that no mind can perceive?
What lies in the depths of the souls that believe?
What is the reason that they call us insane,
When the essence of sanity with his love we gain?
It is the man that no man understands,
Save the last messenger to all of these lands,
The Lion from whom the enemies would flee,
The servant who would break his bread on his knee,
The man who would cry out into a well,
With secrets in his heart and no believer to tell.
Which man speaks words like pearls from the heaven?
Which light is this, followed by the other eleven?
Which prince shares his progeny with a mistress unmatched?
To which soul and which mind is all truth attached?
This soul is the hero of Siffeen and Hunayn,
The nurturing father of the pure Hassanain,
The generous slave who bows while he gives,
This is the man whose name always lives,
Whose enemies' lives are wasted in vain,
In countless attempts to have this gem slain.
But what is this rarity that circles my mind?
Makes me hear nothing and turns my eyes blind,
So that his words are the only words that I see,
And a servant of these words all hearts want to be.
Which man is the line between falsehood and truth?
Which warrior's courage stood unshaken since youth?
The soldier who did not need his sword to slay,
Only his novel of a name he would say,
"Know that I am Ali" and the enemy inside would die,
One strike and soon after, "Allahu Akbar" he would cry,
He, whose shield had shielded his brother,
A man like whom there has been no other,
The seal of the Prophets and best of all men,
…Inseparable now and inseparable then.
The hero who lifted the gate of Khaybar,
My master, Ali, my leader, Haidar,
The half that Our Lady perfectly completed,
By whose enemies the fires of hell are heated,
The man who one night sold his soul to his Lord,
And cried out in victory upon being struck by the sword,
Sayyidi, Mawlai, Ameeri Ali,
Ni3mel Ameer wa ni3mel Wali.
By Last Chance in Poems for the Ahlul BaytYesterday, they sent me a king,
One whose praises they all seem to sing,
He told me he could grant me some wealth,
And if I served well, some more for my health,
But with this king, I was not content,
So him, like the others, away I sent.
I met another who offered me fame,
Said all the world's tongues could utter my name,
All it would take was my obliging hand,
And he'd turn my lowliness into something so grand,
But with this king, I was not content,
So him, like the others, away I sent.
A third one arrived a fortnight before,
Met my humble abode with a knock on my door,
He told me he'd make my children my pride,
And in a house of gold, he'd make me reside,
But with this king, I was not content,
So him, like the others, away I sent.
Like this they kept coming and as always, they went,
And my heart wished not to serve any king the world sent,
And so in this frustration, I sought a way out,
I went on a journey with my luggage of doubt,
Perhaps I was too harsh on the kings that had come?
Should I have listened a little to some?
But now on this journey, it was too late,
And to turn them away, it seemed was my fate.
In the midst of this voyage I still had no goal,
For I knew not where to find the cure for my soul,
So I stopped for a while and stepped onto the ground,
And a scent filled my heart with beauty profound,
And as I walked on the sand to follow this scent,
The weight on my shoulders seemed to relent,
'Til I reached a sight that was ice to my eyes,
In this heat of the sun under heaven's red skies.
I saw a gold light where the sun hit the dome,
And a red flag like a sign on the door of a home,
And masses of servants running to their master inside,
Where I thought the royals of this land would reside,
But I looked again and saw no servants around,
Only kings and queens in their dignity, crowned,
So, confused, I asked where the servants might be,
And one man told me that the servant was he,
But another man came and said, "Servant? That's me,"
Then another and another, and they all said the same,
And soon every royal in that place made that claim.
Finally, a woman told me the truth,
She was the wisest and most modest of youth,
She said that these people were not kings or queens,
Until they had served her son through their means,
She told me that his service turned slaves into kings,
The way a goldsmith turns stones into rings,
She showed me why other kings, I had turned down,
Why each one was simply a slave in a gown-
What king needs his servants and roams the low Earth?
The true king's servants struggle to meet him since birth.
Like a lost orphan who seeks a father's embrace,
I'd serve all my life for the peace in that place,
So here I stand, still waiting outside,
And by his principals, I try to abide,
So that maybe one day, we might finally meet,
And this king of kings, I might humbly greet,
And perhaps he might accept me as his,
Maybe he'll turn my pain into bliss,
For the servants of a king of kings feel no pain,
The cure for their ailments is the love of Hussein ((عليه السلام)).
By Last Chance in Poems for the Ahlul BaytIn this short life I sought virtues and love,
So I asked those who knew and those from above,
They told me to go to a land of blessing and sorrow,
The land in which no soul wants tomorrow,
So I took on this journey and stepped onto this land,
And I saw two shining domes standing upright and grand,
But in my shame and my filth, I spoke just to the sand.
I asked this sand what virtues she carried,
What treasures and gems within her were buried,
She told me that there were too many to count,
The virtues were more than her grains in amount,
So instead I began asking my questions one by one,
From the sight of the moon 'til the rise of the sun.
I asked, 'In all your years, what friendship have you seen?'
She cried, 'Only I have witnessed what true friendship means.
When Habib came sprinting to the side of my master,
Could anyone have come to his aid any faster?
This world knows nothing about the friendship I saw,
For if they understood, they would have wept from its awe,
No friendship exists like that of Habib and Hussain,
Together they grew and together were slain.
Tell me, which others do you know who had such love in their hearts?
Which other man would come from such a distance apart?'
I fell silent for no other name came to mind,
No other such friendship was I able to find,
So I asked her what she knew of the virtue of love,
And she said, 'You see the attachment of a love stricken dove?
That is nothing, for true love is only for Him,
Not these petty desires that come and go on a whim,
The woman who loved was the young newlywed,
Who gave away to her Lord what all women dread,
She bed her husband Wahab farewell as she cried,
And a widow became of this heart broken bride.
Tell me, which other young soul do you know,
Who would give her husband away to a devil's sword blow?'
Again, I fell silent, for I knew not such a soul,
And my river of tears I was unable to control,
I choked back my grief and asked her about youth,
And she said, 'If only you'd witnessed this truth,
The women had wailed when Qasim had gone,
For it was Hassan again who had passed on,
But nobody in this world can truly understand,
Unless they saw Qasim in his new armour stand,
And Awn and Mohammed bidding their mother goodbye,
But if you had seen this, from grief you would die,
And the arrow in the neck of the six month old rose,
The blood that drenched his small, infant clothes,
More blood than the milk he ever drank from his mother,
Yet this soldier was the youngest amongst all of his brothers.
Tell me, which other young men have you seen,
Who sell their dreams for a reward that's unseen?
Silence took over and I had no reply,
Only the sense to lament and to cry,
And then I asked, 'But what of their mothers?
How could they see their sons killed by others?'
Karbala wailed before she started to speak,
Her words filled with sorrow and her voice very weak,
'The mothers...I don't know where to begin,
To put one above another would be a grave sin.
I am no mother and still for years I have wept,
These mothers, never again in peace have they slept,
For which mother can rest when her son lies in a desert?
No shroud and no grave and a bloodied red shirt.
Which mother to weep for, I did not know,
Rubab, who's Abdullah was only starting to grow?
Or Layla who's Ali had been the chest of her dreams,
Or the mother of Qasim, who's face with Hassan's light beams?
Or Zainab who herself had not gotten to weep?
And her tears in her heart, for Medina she'd keep.
I know you know no mothers like these,
So I will not ask you that question of ease.'
My soul was torn between asking or not,
For a spear of grief in my heart had been shot,
But what sorrow was mine alongside of theirs?
What grief do I carry next to what their soul bears?
So I asked her the question that makes all hearts break,
And her sobbing voice had started to shake,
I asked her what loyalty she'd seen in this land,
And she showed me the first dome that stood tall and grand,
'No man has been loyal while Abbas's name lives,
For the meaning of loyalty, Abbas's life gives,
The father of virtues became the guard of Hussain,
His eyes and his arms gone, and his body was slain,
But I swear, oh visitor, this man is alive,
Your Lord through His mercy made his great soul survive,
For I have seen no one who leaves here distraught,
Abbas carries any burden a visitor has brought,
Through his own tears for the children, he wipes away yours,
And the ailments of your life, this warrior cures.'
My tears flowed and I craved to touch his blessed shrine,
But I saw the dome of the king himself shine,
'And tell me, Karbala, about my master Hussain,
For my questions, no words of mine can contain,
Tell me of his greatness, and his mercy and love,
Tell me of the words that come from above,
Karbala, tell me what his visitors don't know,
Tell me those things which no human can show.'
Karbala paused in awe and deep thought,
For it was eloquence to do justice to him that she sought,
'Oh visitor, no words of mine can suffice,
But I will give you some simple words of advice...
Oh visitor, go to him covered in my blessed sand,
Gift him your tears of longing to be in this land,
For Hussain is the king of kings in this world,
The secrets of your soul by him are unfurled,
Nothing you do will repay him a breath,
For no man will see an end like his death.
His death was so holy that God gifted him three,
And yet these three are for this Earth that is temporary.
The first were nine other lights from his line,
Nine other princes of lineage divine,
The second is the cure that my sand contains,
I swear I can cure the worst of your pains,
They say sand is so humble and the essence of low,
But by God, 'til this day, His miracles I show.
And the last and the third is where you should run,
For under his dome his answer is one,
Whatever need you have in your heart,
Go, oh visitor, and to Hussain you impart,
Shed the tears of your life and tell him your sorrow,
I am a liar if your heart does not rest by tomorrow,
Run like you'd run to be saved from a flood,
For the ark of salvation floats on Hussain's holy blood.'
I tried to run but my feet would slow down,
How could a beggar run to touch a king's golden crown?
So slowly I went and I kissed his caged shrine,
And nothing but peace washed this stained soul of mine,
And the rest of this journey can't be contained by this pen,
Or the words of even the most eloquent men,
But only one thing makes me hurt and insane...
The dreams where I see his great shrine again.
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