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In the Name of God بسم الله

Imamology

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Freedom!

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Qa'im

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Freedom!

Western fixation on freedom has a long, crystallizing history. In 1215, the Magna Carta was signed in England, which ended the unilateral authority of the King. The King was imposing heavy taxes on the barons, who were wealthy aristocratic men, to fight a failed war. The barons rebelled against the King, and demanded that a committee of barons be established. The King would need to consult this committee before introducing new taxes. Certain legal rights were also introduced to the barons. This was the first big step towards freedom.

Fast forward to the 1500s; a new continent was "discovered" (i.e. Europeans found out about it). A major motivation for men to risk the high seas and migrate to an entirely New World was to avoid taxation and government overreach. They were able to seize vast, fertile properties without much nuisance. Freedom.

Around the same time, the Protestant Reformation was taking place, and most North-Western Europeans were using it as an opportunity to break away from church tithes and indulgences. Freedom.

Fast forward to the 1700s. The American Colonies rebel against the British because of "taxation without representation." Freedom.

Then in the 1800s. The Confederates rebel against the Union to prevent the North from intervening in their textile industry. The Union abolishes slavery. Freedom.

Here, we see a crystallization of yeomanry in White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) culture, which peaks in the American South. They have a strong distrust in government, public programs, and taxation. There is a strong "what's mine is mine" culture, where clichés like "the only things you can't avoid is death and taxes" thrive. "Conservative" to them mostly means "smaller government, lower taxes". In short, they believe that the freer they are, the happier they will be. Debates in American politics, from abortion to gay marriage to taxes, are all based on conceptions of freedom. It is also the theme of so many Hollywood films.

Feminism is rooted in the same freedom-seeking individualist liberalist mindset. Whatever gets in the way of women's liberation - even if it is God Himself - must be cast aside.

Freedom in Islamic literature would be "huriyya", which is really just a legal technicality - you are either a slave, or you are "free". Otherwise, our books do not take much stock in the concept. We do have treatises on "huquq", which is often translated as "rights", but a more accurate translation is "responsibilities towards". For example, the haq of a woman is the responsibilities of an Islamic society towards that woman. It is an onus.

Responsibility and duty often fly in direct contradiction to freedom. Yes, we have free will, but Islam legislates things that we *should* and *ought* to do, and there are consequences to not fulfilling those responsibilities.

Does freedom lead to happiness? It is actually our responsibilities that often make us happy. There is no growth in a care-free life with no schedule, no family, no commitments, and no work. These things tie us down, but they also build us up, fulfill us, and make us better people. No pain, no gain. Likewise, despite the fact that women's rights have increased over the past few decades, women's happiness has decreased according to many studies. Individualism teaches us that self-sufficiency is the key to happiness, when in actuality, success is sometimes found in submission.

Islam literally means Submission, because it is the recognition that we are all imperfect servants. We do not choose which family we are born into, nor our race, nor our health, nor our age, nor our genes, and often, not even our social conditions. None of us are truly free, and the most free of us is not necessarily the happiest. Rather, true, heartfelt contentment is in knowing God. We are born to look for Perfection; we seek it in our looks, our grades, our power, our status, our spouse, our children; but we all - sooner or later - realize that Perfection lies only in Him alone. Trust in Him gives you that true contentment, the ability to let go of the wheel, fear nothing but Him and accept all that He allots for you. Contentment.

If you are a believer, then your worldview should reflect your belief. We cannot import a cultural ideology that convolutes our belief. In many respects, jahiliyya represented what many of us today consider to be "freedom". But the Prophet Muhammad (s) came with accountability, and that turned the entire world around.

 

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Every time i read these blog-posts i feel my IQ increases a little. May Allah reward you on behalf of sharing this knowledge with us.

Eagerly awaiting the release of the Atoms post inshAllah, whenever you deem it appropriate. 

Edited by Intellectual Resistance

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Really? You are implying that during the period of Jahiliyya, women were free and they had power. We have always heard that before islam, women were in bad condition. They were buried alive and Islam gave them more rights. Please learn a little honesty. Where have you seen women who live without any responsibilities? So, in eastern culture, men only do their 40 hour job and don't do anything else. They don't even lift a finger when they are at home and in most cases, men don't even work for 40 hours. But that's okay, no one gives them lectures. While women in west work 40 hours, and I am pretty sure they don't spend the rest of time sitting idle. They are always doing something for someone. But just because they don't want to work 120 hours a week and raise kids while they are working full time, it means they don't want to take any responsibility? 

And what do you mean by submission? You sound so much like those male chauvenists who tell women: You are a woman, accept it, don't try to become a man or equal to a man. You can never be equal to man. Do you seriously believe that all women are supposed to be slaves? and being a woman is a disadvantage? Being a woman or being dark skinned is just like being born in a poor family or being in a war. This is a disadvantage which happened to you, now accept the consequences and submit to Allah who made you a woman. 

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My post is focused mainly on how Western socio-political discourse occurs between two poles: (1) Freedom, and (2) Harm. This is the result of a long, crystallizing history. Islam may have areas of overlap with utilitarians and classical liberals, but overall the Islamic thesis puts God above everything else.

Regarding your point about jahiliyya: I can easily say that jahiliyya gave many freedoms to women that Islam removed. Jahiliyya had no penalties for fornicators, it had rights for prostitutes, it allowed women to marry a second husband to conceive a high-status son, it had female prophetesses, and it had female goddesses. Islam restricted all of this. Yes, Islam did give many additional rights to women, but my point is that Islam is not all about freedom and liberation. It is about accountability, responsibility, and duty. It freed some aspects of our lives, but it restricted others. Anyone who reads Islamic literature with feminist glasses will be surely disappointed.

As for your point that men in eastern culture "don't lift a finger when they are at home", that sounds like a gross generalization of billions of people and hundreds of cultures. Even if I were to concede that eastern men generally cook and clean less than their wives, they work longer hours, and a lot of the handiwork, lawn-mowing, technology fixing is done by men. Either way, it's not a competition. One shouldn't have a men vs women mindset, or even a victimized mindset. Men too are victims; they are the ones most effected by violence, suicide, work injuries, drugs, prisons, gangs, and dropping out of school... a victim mentality however would not solve these problems.

Islam = Submission in Arabic, it's not submission to men, it's submission to Allah. Submission in some cases will be the opposite of freedom, but I would argue that sincere submission to Allah frees you from your fears and your desires, and leads to a good and contented life.

I never said women should be slaves to men, or that womanhood is a disadvantage, or being dark-skinned (?) is bad. Men and women are simply different and have different rights and responsibilities in Islam. Islam is a sexually dimorphic religion. Women don't pay mahr, they don't pray/fast during their time of the month, they are not conscripted in wartime, they don't need to work, they don't need to divide their wealth, etc. By the same token, women have some unique laws and responsibilities. Total freedom and equality means removing every gendered law, including the ones that restrict men and free women, and vice versa. This is antithetical to our revelation.

Please don't call me dishonest or a male chauvinist just because of one respectful criticism of modern feminism. That type of spiteful namecalling won't get you much sympathy from a neutral reader. State your arguments respectfully.

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On 1/19/2018 at 3:04 PM, Qa'im said:

Please don't call me dishonest or a male chauvinist just because of one respectful criticism of modern feminism. That type of spiteful namecalling won't get you much sympathy from a neutral reader. State your arguments respectfully.

While lots of the time I agree with what rkazemi says, I have to say I’m not seeing what she sees in terms of your blog post. I don’t see you telling woman to go back to the kitchen or any of those disrespectful slogans. Not even implied. 

what I see in your blog posts and responses to others is a very balanced, respectful individual. Many people on here look-up to you as inspiration as to how to be a better Muslim, and for your contributions to this forum, we greatly appreciate it and thank you. 

You are definitely not a male chauvinist. 

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      إِنَّمَا التَّوْبَةُ عَلَى اللَّهِ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السُّوءَ بِجَهَالَةٍ ثُمَّ يَتُوبُونَ مِن قَرِيبٍ فَأُولَٰئِكَ يَتُوبُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا
      [4:17] [Acceptance of] repentance upon Allah is only for those who commit evil out of ignorance, then repent promptly. It is such whose repentance Allah will accept, and Allah is all-knowing, all-wise.
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      Mullā Ṣadrā in his commentary on Uṣul al-Kāfī says that the word jahālah in the verse is either grammatically indicating a state of being – meaning they commit evil deeds while they are mindless, or it is an accusative of specification (tamyīz) – meaning they commit evil deeds which originate from foolishness and mindlessness, because committing a sin itself is foolishness and a feigning of ignorance. Hence some scholars have said, anyone who disobeys Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is jāhil (foolish).
      As for the subsequent verse [4:18] But [acceptance of] repentance is not for those who go on committing misdeeds … these are people who have exceeded in their sins and are accustomed to it. Therefore Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) rejects the repentance of both those amongst the immoral ones who postpone their repentance till the time of their death and those who die upon disbelief. As such, what is meant by [4:17] those who commit evil (al-sū’) are the sinners from amongst the Muslims whose repentance is accepted and [4:18] those who go on committing misdeeds (al-sayyiāt) are the hypocrites whose repentance is not accepted.
      Furthermore, [4:17] says that the acceptance of repentance is “upon Allah” – the phrase generally indicating a type of obligation. Is the acceptance of repentance rooted in Allah’s (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) Justice, or His (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) Kindness? If He (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) decides not to accept someone’s repentance, does that mean He (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has been unjust? The scholarly opinion on the matter is that His (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) acceptance of our repentance is rooted in His (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) Kindness, not His (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) Justice. After Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) granted us capacity, knowledge, innumerable blessings, sent forth Prophets (p) and made all the necessary preliminaries available to us, He (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) established His (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) argument and evidence upon us – leaving us with no excuse. If despite this a person commits a sin and Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) does not accept their repentance, then this is not inherently and initially unjust – it is against his Kindness.
      Though it can be argued it is also against His (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) Justice from one perspective, and that is because Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) out of His (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) Kindness promised to accept our repentance, then not fulfilling this promise would be an act of injustice. In other words, not accepting one’s repentance is not directly against Allah’s (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) Justice, rather His acceptance is a fulfillment of His (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) promise, which if unfulfilled is an act of injustice. The Qurānic verse acceptance of repentance “upon Allah” is also indicative of the fact that it is something He made necessary for Himself – not that His (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) initial Justice necessitated it.
    • By Ibn al-Hussain in Just Another Muslim Blogger
         8
      Originally posted here: https://www.iqraonline.net/riya-a-journey-towards-the-self-ikhlas-a-journey-towards-Allah/
      When you do an act that falls under the domain of worship (‘ibādah), you can either perform this action for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), you can do it for someone or something other than Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), or you can do it for both Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and another entity together. The latter two are called riyā’ (showing-off and ostentation) and Islam clearly condemns this. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) says:
      أَنَا خَيْرُ شَرِيكٍ؛ مَنْ أَشْرَكَ مَعِيَ غَيْرِي فِي عَمَلٍ عَمِلَهُ لَمْ أَقْبَلْهُ إِلا مَا كَانَ لِي خَالِصاً
      I am the best of partners. Whoever associates others with Me in a deed that he has done, I will not accept it except that which is done for Me sincerely.
      Hence, riyā’ is to seek a position and status amongst people through an act of worship. All of us want praise and a reputation in the eyes of others, yet we have to fight and oppose this tendency and make our actions as sincere as possible for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). In a tradition attributed to the Prophet (p), it says:
      Verily, the first people to be judged on the Day of Resurrection will be a man who was martyred. He will be brought, the blessings of Allah will be made known and he will acknowledge them. Allah will say: What did you do about them? The man will say: I fought in your cause until I was martyred. Allah will say: You have lied, for you fought only that it would be said you were brave, and thus it was said. Then, Allah will order him to be dragged upon his face until he is cast into Hellfire.
      Another man studied knowledge, taught others, and recited the Qur'an. He will be brought, the blessings of Allah will be made known and he will acknowledge them. Allah will say: What did you do about them? The man will say: I learned knowledge, taught others, and I recited the Qur'an for your sake. Allah will say: You have lied, for you studied only that it would be said you are a scholar and you recited the Qur'an only that it would be said you are a reciter, and thus it was said. Then, Allah will order him to be dragged upon his face until he is cast into Hellfire.
      Another man was given an abundance of blessings from Allah and every kind of wealth. He will be brought, the blessings of Allah will be made known and he will acknowledge them. Allah will say: What did you do about them? The man will say: I did not leave any good cause beloved to you but that I spent on it for your sake. Allah will say: You have lied, for you spent only that it would be said you are generous, and thus it was said. Then, Allah will order him to be dragged upon his face until he is cast into Hellfire.
      As for riyā’ in non-worship acts, such as someone showing off their calligraphy or sports skills, or some other talent they possess, scholars have mentioned some intricate details that are worthy of note, but to put it roughly, riyā’ in those acts is not always condemned, in fact at times it is praised and necessary. The problematic riyā’ is applicable when an act should be done for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) alone, but instead people become the Qibla and Ka’ba for one’s act. Often times, people in influential positions – whether on a large communal level, or even within their own smaller social circles – fall prey to riyā’ as all their efforts are in trying to acquire the satisfaction of people or both people and Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), as opposed to only Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).
      Stages of Riyā’
      First Stage: The first, most obvious and apparent stage of riyā’ is to practically perform an act for the sake of people – this is the only reason why one performs this act. In fact, if there are no people to look at him, or hear him, they will not do the act. There is absolutely no intention to reach proximity to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) in this act.
      Second Stage: This is when the first intended audience for the act are people, but at the same time, there is an intention to perform the act for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) as well. Both people and Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) are placed on the same horizontal plane. The individual will not perform the act if people do not see him, but at the time same he also expects Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) to accept his actions.
      In both the aforementioned stages, one’s act of worship is legally invalidated and incorrect.
      Third Stage: At this point the riyā’ becomes more hidden in relation to the previous two stages – though it is still defined as a manifested and conspicuous riyā’. The person intends to do an act of worship for both others and Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and this relationship is equal – both have to be there for one to perform the act. If Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is there, but people are not there, he will say, “Why should I bother doing it?” On the contrary if people are there, but Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is not there, he will say, “Why should I burden myself with worship?” Legally speaking, even in this scenario the worship is invalidated.
      Fourth Stage: This is when riyā’ is defined as hidden and inconspicuous (khafī). The intention is primarily for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), but people should be there as well. If people are not present, he will perform the act for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), but that excitement and delight that would have existed if people were to see him is not present. This is a sign. When people are not present, they are lazy and not very motivated to do the act, but in front of people the worship is more vibrant, longer and so on.
      قال أمير المؤمنين: ثلاث علامات للمرائي: ينشط  إذا رأى الناس، ويكسل إذا كان وحده، ويحب أن يحمد في جميع أموره
      Imam ‘Alī (a) has said: There are three signs of a show-off, he is energetic when he see’s people, lazy when he is alone, and loves to be praised in all of his deeds.
      In essence, though his purpose is to pray for the sake of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), but what is really important for him is his own excitement and happiness.
      Legally speaking, there is no verdict here, perhaps very few jurists have said this also invalidates the action. Nevertheless, it does weaken the worship and there is a discussion on whether it is accepted or not in the eyes of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).
      Fifth Stage: During the act of worship, the intention is that it is only being performed for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and the person is conscious of this. However, after the act is complete, the person brings it up at a later time – even if it happens to be decades later – so that people get to know about it. Satan’s whispers to not let him off even after the worship is complete and follow him for a much longer time. There are different ways to convey this as well – for example, someone who prayed Ṣalāt al-Layl, but later wants people to know about it, says, “can you please pass me some water, my throat is really dry today as the recitation of my Ṣalāt al-Layl took really long.”
      It is here where ḥabṭ (fall of a deed) takes place. The act of worship was done correctly, the angels carry the act to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), but later it is declined and falls back. ‘Allāmah Ṭabāṭabā’ī and perhaps other scholars believe that when ḥabṭ occurs, it indicates there was definitely a problem when the action was first done, but it was extremely hidden. This stage is difficult to identify, because sometimes you may want to encourage others around you to worship, but Satan is cunning enough to set up traps for us.
      أبي جعفر عليه السلام أنه قال: الابقاء على العمل أشد من العمل قال: وما الابقاء على العمل، قال: يصل الرجل بصلة وينفق نفقة لله وحده لا شريك له، فتكتب له سرا ثم يذكرها فتمحى فتكتب له علانية ثم يذكرها فتمحى وتكتب له رياء
      Imam Bāqir (a): Preserving a deed is more difficult than performing the deed itself. A man said: “What does preserving a deed mean?” He (a) said: “It is when a man maintains good relations with relatives or spends something just for the sake of Allah – who has no partners. This will be recorded for him as a good deed performed secretly. He then mentions it to people, and the deed is erased and recorded as a good deed performed publicly. Then he mentions it to people again and it is erased and is recorded as an instance of riyā’.”
      Sixth Stage: This is when a person does an act for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and does not mention it himself afterwards either. However, someone else may bring it up and once it is brought up, they feel a sense of happiness and content.
      If they are happy because of what they see as Allah’s grace in having hidden their deficiencies and having exposed their goodness, using this as an opportunity to strengthen their relationship with Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), then they have not only protected their deed, but rather they have further elevated it. This is very difficult to do since it requires for a person be able to see the Act of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).
      Satan whispers in many ways causing us to show off. When one learns that showing off and ostentation in one’s act of worship causes deficiencies, Satan further uses that as an opportunity to make you think that you might as well abandon the act altogether. Instead of committing to fighting against the whispers of Satan, one ends up abandoning the act completely.
      The solution to all of this is developing sincerity (ikhlāṣ), which is nothing but a journey towards Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and it sits in contradiction to riyā’, which is a journey towards the self and Satan. In order to develop ikhlāṣ, one needs to see Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) as Ever-Living (Al-Ḥayy). There is no room for taking into consideration anyone other than Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) in one’s act of worship. All other lives are nothing but mere subordinates of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).
      هُوَ الْحَيُّ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ فَادْعُوهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ ۗ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
      [40:65] He is the Ever-Living; there is no deity except Him, so call upon Him, being sincere to Him in religion. All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds.
    • By Ibn al-Hussain in Just Another Muslim Blogger
         0
      Originally posted here: https://www.iqraonline.net/fasad-and-expectations-for-the-ulu-baqiyatin/
      1400 years ago the Umayyads seized complete power of the Muslim world, ruling for 90 years and came to be recognized as one of the most damaging dynasties to take control of the Muslim world. The Umayyads were able to alter and enforce an interpretation of Islam on the newly developing Islamic nation that dictated the fundamentality of tribalism, the superiority of Arabs, harshness, warfare and geographical expansions. In these 90-years, the Umayyads did not have much to do with Islam, rather they primarily saw it as a means to further strengthen their political power. Hence, we do not even see any significant depth in Islamic scholarship being produced during this period, in fact, on the contrary, some traditions indicate that some groups of Muslims were even unaware of rules concerning the Ḥalāl and Ḥarām during parts of Umayyad rule. The remnants of this enforced interpretation can be seen predominantly in certain theological discussions, the ḥadīth, Qurānic exegesis and jurisprudence, as it deeply embedded itself into the minds of the early Muslim community. Even some later Shī’ī traditions where the Imams (a) respond to individual questions can only be understood when one understands certain trends and ideas inherited by the community from the previous Umayyad dynasty.
      According to the Umayyad painting of Islam, any movement seeking reform, change and improvement was deemed sectarian and a cause of a split in the Muslim nation – a threat to their power – even if it happened to be one of their own, like the caliph ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Azīz. Hence, 1380 years ago, Imam Ḥusayn (a) was also seen as a troublemaker. Imam Ḥusayn (a) rightly deemed the Umayyad caliphate – still in its infancy – as a source of corruption (fasād) on Earth and described them as those who obey Shayṭān instead of obeying the Most Gracious. The Imam (a) took a stand against their corruption which continues to be remembered till today:
      So, he (a) called to You (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) flawlessly, gave advices, and sacrificed his soul for You to save Your servants from ignorance and perplexity of straying off. Yet, those whom were seduced by this worldly life, who sold their share (of reward) with the lowliest and meanest, retailed their Hereafter with the cheapest price, acted haughtily, perished because of following their desires, brought to themselves Your wrath and the wrath of Your Prophet. ~ Ziyārah of Arba’īn
      However, the stand of Imam Ḥusayn (a) was not against any petty corruption. At times you have corruption on the micro-level, perhaps between two individuals in a business transaction, or between a couple where one spouse is oppressive to the other. Fighting against this corruption would not have required him (a) to do what he did and say what he (a) did. He (a) could have given allegiance and remained in Medina to fight against such corruption. Other times you have a macro-level and systematic corruption – a type of corruption that is built into the very systems ruling over you. It can even be argued that the former types of corruption ultimately originate in some aspects of the latter.
      The Qurān contains examples of both types of corruption. For example:
      وَلَا تَنقُصُوا الْمِكْيَالَ وَالْمِيزَانَ ۚ إِنِّي أَرَاكُم بِخَيْرٍ وَإِنِّي أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ مُّحِيطٍ
      [11:84] Do not diminish the measure or the balance. Indeed I see that you are faring well, but I fear for you the punishment of an all-embracing day.
      This verse is referring to corruption that occurs in matters of transactions and business, asking individuals to not cheat one another – such a person would be a fāsid. In order to understand corruption on the macro-level, we should see who the Qurān describes as a mufsid. A few examples:
      ثُمَّ بَعَثْنَا مِن بَعْدِهِم مُّوسَىٰ بِآيَاتِنَا إِلَىٰ فِرْعَوْنَ وَمَلَئِهِ فَظَلَمُوا بِهَا ۖ فَانظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُفْسِدِينَ
      [7:103] Then after them We sent Moses with Our signs to Pharaoh and his elite, but they wronged them. So observe how was the fate of the agents of corruption!
      The verse asks us to go and investigate the fate of the mufsidīn – the very agents of corruption, those who caused corruption on a macro-level. A fāsid causes corruption on a micro-level which impacts him or herself and perhaps a few around them, but a mufsid impacts society at large. The Qurān repeatedly emphasizes the mufsid aspect of Pharaoh instead of his kufr.
      إِنَّ فِرْعَوْنَ عَلَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَجَعَلَ أَهْلَهَا شِيَعًا يَسْتَضْعِفُ طَائِفَةً مِّنْهُمْ يُذَبِّحُ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ وَيَسْتَحْيِي نِسَاءَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ مِنَ الْمُفْسِدِينَ
      [28:4] Indeed Pharaoh exalted himself over the land, reducing its people to factions, abasing one group of them, slaughtering their sons and sparing their women. Indeed He was one of the agents of corruption.
      This verse further implies that it was the power and authority Pharaoh held which allowed him to cause the corruption that he did.
      وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يُعْجِبُكَ قَوْلُهُ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيُشْهِدُ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا فِي قَلْبِهِ وَهُوَ أَلَدُّ الْخِصَامِ وَإِذَا تَوَلَّىٰ سَعَىٰ فِي الْأَرْضِ لِيُفْسِدَ فِيهَا وَيُهْلِكَ الْحَرْثَ وَالنَّسْلَ ۗ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْفَسَادَ
      [2:204] Among the people is he whose talk about worldly life impresses you, and he holds Allah witness to what is in his heart, though he is the staunchest of enemies.
      [2:205] And if he were to wield authority, he would try to cause corruption in the land, and to ruin the crop and the stock, and Allah does not like corruption.
      These two verses are describing an individual as the staunchest or fiercest of enemies. The staunchest of enemies is someone whose speech and words will impress you, but when they gain power and take over, they cause corruption and destruction over the lands – this is not a micro-level corruption by any means.
      It was this type of corruption that the Imam (a) was primarily trying to expose and fight against. Furthermore, not everyone can necessarily fight against this corruption and neither is it expected from everyone and this is for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the Qurān considers this an expectation for the Ūlū Baqīyatin:
      فَلَوْلَا كَانَ مِنَ الْقُرُونِ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ أُولُو بَقِيَّةٍ يَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْفَسَادِ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا مِّمَّنْ أَنجَيْنَا مِنْهُمْ ۗ وَاتَّبَعَ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مَا أُتْرِفُوا فِيهِ وَكَانُوا مُجْرِمِينَ 
      [11:116] Why were there not among the generations before you a remnant [of the wise] who might forbid corruption in the Earth, except a few. Those who were wrongdoers pursued that in which they had been granted affluence, and they were a guilty lot.
      وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ لِيُهْلِكَ الْقُرَىٰ بِظُلْمٍ وَأَهْلُهَا مُصْلِحُونَ
      [11:117] Your Lord would never destroy the townships unjustly while their inhabitants were bringing about reform.
      As per some works of tafsīr, the Ūlū Baqīyatin have been described as the intellectuals and scholars – in the general sense of the word – of society. They are expected to expose, forbid and fight against this level of corruption. Micro-level corruption can be forbidden by even the laity and in fact they are expected to do so given the right conditions, but macro-level corruption requires more and cannot necessarily be expected from them. It requires knowledge – specialist knowledge of who one is up against, knowledge of the system and how it works – and secondly, it requires purity and righteousness. As the verse implies, only a few special people come forth to forbid this extent of corruption, while the rest themselves are guilty of sins and corruption.
    • By Ibn al-Hussain in Just Another Muslim Blogger
         0
      Originally posted here: https://www.iqraonline.net/repulsing-the-basis-of-moral-vices/
      There are numerous ways to encourage one’s self to behave ethically. Scholars of all religions and ideologies have debated and offered different analyses on why people should behave ethically and how they can eliminate moral vices from their actions. For example, some argue people should act ethically because society appreciates and praises such behaviour, which eventually leads to worldly benefits. Speaking the truth is good because people will trust you more, it will give you a good reputation in society, it will increase your business sales. If you are known as a liar, not only will society not trust you, you will hurt your reputation and your business will not make any money.
      Some others argue one should act ethically and abstain from vices as this will result in benefits in the Hereafter. If you are patient in this world and endure its hardships, you will receive your reward in heaven. If you are generous in this world and spend from your money to help people, you will be given innumerable reward in heaven. This does not necessarily have anything to do with what people will think or say about you or what worldly benefits you will attain by acting ethically.
      Despite many other proposed reasons for why one should act ethically, according to ‘Allāmah Ṭabāṭabā’ī, the Qurān offers a reason no other book – not even the previous Divine Books – offer. He says, through the Qurān:
      “Man is trained in character and knowledge, and the knowledge is used in a way that does not leave room for the very basis of vices. In other words, this system removes the vile characteristics, not by eliminating them, but by repulsing all motives other than Allah.”
      The Qurān says [10:65] Indeed, honour belongs to Allah entirely; and [2:165] All power belongs to Allah. Why does one do any action for other than Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)? It is because man is either seeking honour and power, or they fear someone else’s honour and power. Both become a basis from which moral vices emanate. However, if we were to truly understand and act on the meanings of these two verses, there would be no basis, no foundation, from which moral vices could originate.
      What would be the source of someone’s riyā’ (ostentation and showing-off)? Riyā’ is when one shows off to gain something for themselves or out of fear of what others might say about them if they do not see them behaving in a certain way. Would there be any basis left for committing this moral vice when one recognizes that all power and honour belongs to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) – who would one fear other than Allah and what honour would one seek through showing-off when all of it belongs to Him alone? Others do not have anything to give to us for us to show off to them in the hopes of receiving something.
      What would be the source of stinginess? One is stingy when they do not want to give that which they believe is their own, in a situation where they should be generous. This is because they believe spending from their wealth will cause a dent in their power, authority and honour. Would there be any basis of being stingy when one recognizes all power belongs to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and He (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is the Owner of all things? One does not own anything in reality for them to believe spending from it will result in a deficiency or loss.
      Such is the case with the rest of the moral vices. Essentially this is nothing but a different way of rendering the Tawḥīdī worldview. Thus, the Qurān does not fundamentally tell humans to behave ethically by telling them about the worldly benefits that will be achieved or the rewards of the Hereafter – a method which generally results in the selective elimination of certain vices after one has already attained them. Instead, the Qurān primarily trains humans to repulse away the very basis from where absolutely any moral vice could originate.
      قَالَ عَلِيُّ بْنُ الْحُسَيْنِ ع لَوْ مَاتَ مَنْ بَيْنَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَ الْمَغْرِبِ لَمَا اسْتَوْحَشْتُ بَعْدَ أَنْ يَكُونَ الْقُرْآنُ مَعِي
       Imam Zayn al-‘Ābidīn (a) said: I will have no fear or anxiety even if everyone between the East and West were to die, as long as the Qurān is with me.
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