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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 Zainuu in Deen In PracticeFor his sake, there are angels following one another, before him and behind him, who guard him by Allah's commandment, surely Allah doesn't change the condition of the people until they change their own condition; and when Allah intends evil to a people, there is no averting it, and besides him they have no protector.
—[Ar-R'ad verse 11]
This verse in the holy Qur'an states that Allah is the protector of human beings and he has commanded angels to protect us. No one else is protecting human beings. Even if someone says that I will protect you, I will defend you then he can only do so by the consent of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). So, no one has any authority to protect a person and the command belongs only to Allah.
But it doesn't mean that everything what you do, Allah will protect you. It doesn't mean that a human being cannot do anything about his destiny and in his defence. Here this topic becomes complex.
If Allah is protecting us through angels and he is our lord, the greatest, the mighty; that doesn't mean Allah is handling all our affairs and we are free to sleep in a corner, and all will be in place automatically by the command of Allah. Allah has given us two hands, two legs, a brain, a face and (the most important) a self (soul) that he has perfected for us.
"Wa Nafsinw Wamaa Sawwahaa"
"And the soul and him who made it perfect" [Surah Ash Shams 91:7]
Now, we have to make use of all this. Isn't it enough to live a good life or to identify the Truth? Isn't it enough to forbid evil and practice good?
True that Allah is our protector and Allah is our guide and no one is guided except the one guided by Allah. True that, all are poor and paupers except the one who is provided by Allah. As it is said by Maula Ali (عليه السلام) in his Munajaat:
"Mawlaya Ya Mawlaya, Antal ghaniyu wa Anal Faqeer wa hal yarhamul faqeera illal ghani"
"My Lord, O my Lord, you are the rich and I am a pauper and who is merciful to a pauper except the rich."
So, does that mean we should stop planning, stop working and just ask Allah and move ahead. Does that mean we should accept what our vibes say and make decisions instead of making decisions through logic and reason and far-sightedness? No. Why would Allah grant us with the gift of different elements of the body if we have to close them off and just go with the flow.
Imam Ali (عليه السلام) says in Nahj ul Balagha:
"All the illnesses and defects are in the soul itself and the cure to all our problems is also present in our 'self' only."
Also, "The one who identifies his self (soul) has identified his lord." — Imam Ali (عليه السلام)
So, all this talk that 'All is written and we can't do anything and that which has to happen will happen etc' are not completely true. To say rightly, these are fake spiritual talks. As, Imam Ali (عليه السلام) clearly says that All is clearly within us. What are we searching for? What else do we need?
Now, arises the question of fate. If all what I said is true then what about fate? I am not a denier of fate. I agree that it exists. Existence of fate cannot be denied but it is not the ultimate reality. Our fate is in our own hands.
We can change it through our actions, supplications, good and bad deeds. When Allah sees what we are doing and how we are living and behaving, Allah changes it accordingly. My statement is an opinion but it can be easily verified through Qur'an, Hadith and also the views of Arifeen.
Don't sit idle and don't think you are divine and you will hear a voice from unseen. Act according to your state and stay patient for the rewards. If you fail try again instead of saying that, "It is my fate. what can I do?" How do you know it is your fate!
Imam Ali (عليه السلام) says, "A wise man is the one who thinks before he speaks whereas a fool is the one who speaks before he thinks." So, this is simply foolish to say that you failed or lost because Allah has destined that for you. You get what you sow. A person's actions, his quest for something is itself a tool to change his fate and destiny. And that is what the verse I stated above says. Definitely, Allah is our protector but: '...Allah doesn't change the condition of the people until they change their own condition....' [Part of the verse stated in the start]. This clearly means that Allah is protecting us but Allah has made us incharge of our own affairs and it's only we who can change our own condition. Accepting the destiny is wise if we know our destiny. But who knows his destiny except Allah, The Great, The All Knowing.
Instead of getting into this querrel of fate, human being should try to focus upon action. As Ayatullah Taqi Behjat (May Allah be pleased with him) says: "May God give us the tawfeeq to perform our duties, that we don't be deprived of [performing] actions, not from within ourselves, neither from outside of us." Performing actions doesn't mean denying fate or denying the authority of Allah. Rather, it means accepting the blessings and opportunities provided by Allah, exploring them and exhausting them in the best way possible. We should understand that when we pray, Allah wants that we would ask him about something huge which a person is really deprived off and feels it as his necessity. Rather than asking that which Allah has already provided. Besides asking from Allah we should pray that "May Allah give us the tawfeeq to see what Allah has already blessed us with." We should explore within ourselves.
"You presume that you are a small entity, but within you presides an entire Universe."
The verse I started with is an excuse to explain this relationship between fate and action. Aim is not to discuss the correct interpretation of the verse itself but just a part of it. My aim is also not to do a detailed discussion on fate and action but rather to only address the confusion between the two things. Normally, we notice in our society that this discussion is quite prevalent. Like many big conflicts in the world, the conflict of fate and action also ends up into two extreme parties. One (which I might call a pretend-saint) that says Fate is everything and nothing is in our hands. Whereas other which denies every role of fate and destiny completely and declares actions to be the only basis of different events occurring in life. While both have their reasons, both are wrong. This conflict is important to be addressed because it has a psychological effect. Obviously, a person who thinks that all is written and he is powerless will do nothing. He will sit and keep on denying on the blessings Allah has bestowed him with. He will act like a hopeless lazy person who is deemed to deviate from his path. This notion even if small in quantity is an evil notion and will cause problems in ones life.
On the other side, the people who deny Fate and destiny. Such people are in true denial of god. This idea that only actions are the player behind what happens in life is also problematic because it cannot answer the many mysteries of life. Who can you blame for a natural disaster? The Japenese people, the Iranians; who are considered to be the most intelligent among the mankind live in those regions of the world where a lot of natural disasters occur. If we say that Japenese suffer because they are infidels then it would be the most lamest answer to the question. What about Iranians? So, actions matter but fate has it's own part. It is their to prove that Allah is the absolute and above everything. It doesn't mean that actions will not bear any fruit. Every action taken will have a reward or punishment but who knows when?
So, let us harmonize this. Let us end the blind beliefs occurring in our society due to the notion that 'Fate is everything and all depends on fate'. As is stated in Surah Al Asr:
"By the passage of time! Surely humanity is in grave loss, except those who have faith, do good, and urge each other to the truth, and urge each other to perseverance." 
So, it is certainly important to act without thinking about the fate. Removing all these blind beliefs about fate will lead us to passivity. Though, it seems small but in our traditionalist society, this idiocity is a huge problem. It has even entered the mentality of the educated and literate people because naturally it has nothing to do with education. It is because of overthinking and wrong mindsets and understandings about fate and destiny. It is because of ignorance and being illiterate is not a bad thing but being ignorant is equal to infidelity. To clarify, I am not calling anyone infidel but rather calling ignorance as infidelity.
Let us also tell the arrogant human beings that whatever they might do, the destiny finally belongs to Allah. As is said in the above stated verse, in the last: '...and when Allah intends evil to a people, there is no averting it, and besides him they have no protector.'
Fate is something that already exists like some fundamental basis of events, while action is something that we build upon our fate. If they are weak, they won't change our fate. If they are strong with a true devotion, they will change our destiny according to their nature. If it is an evil action, our destiny will become worse then what it was. If our action is good, our destiny will become better than what it was.
"So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it."
[Surah Zalzala 99:7]
"And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it."
[Surah Zalzala 99:8]
By Muntazir e Mahdi in Bayaan e MuntazirI absolutely love this piece of poetry in praise of Imam Ameer ul Mu'mineen (عليه السلام) by Nadeem Sarwar, Jawad Jafri, Ali Shanawar, and Ali Jee in Urdu. It is perfect in giving the Shi'a morale, hope, and dignity as well.
مَا شَاءَ ٱللَّٰهُ۔۔۔
میرا مرشد میرا آقا میرا سلطان علیؑ۔۔۔
By Islamic Salvation in A Marginalia to Mu'jamThe Coin of al-Rida
Historical accounts and reports in our books of Hadith confirm that al-Ma`mun had coins minted in the name of al-Ridha after appointing him as his crown prince. These became a collectors item among the Shia being considered portents of Tabarruk especially to be carried during a journey. The Imam would bestow this as a memento to some of the believing Shia who came to visit him.
The Shia were pacified by this move of al-Ma`mun and many of them had expectations that the rule will finally revert back to its rightful place after more than a hundred years of usurpation.
حدثنا محمد بن الحسن بن أحمد بن الوليد رضي الله عنه قال: حدثنا محمد بن الحسن الصفار، عن يعقوب بن يزيد، عن أيوب بن نوح قال: قلت للرضا عليه السلام: إنا لنرجو أن تكون صاحب هذا الامر وأن يرده الله عزوجل إليك من غير سيف، فقد بويع لك وضربت الدراهم باسمك، فقال: ما منا أحد اختلفت إليه الكتب، وسئل عن المسائل وأشارت إليه الاصابع، وحملت إليه الاموال إلا اغتيل أو مات على فراشه حتى يبعث الله عزوجل لهذا الامر رجلا خفي المولد والمنشأ غير خفي في نسبه
[Kamal al-Diin] Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. Ahmad b. al-Walid – Muhammad b. Hasan al-Saffar – Ya`qub b. Yazid – Ayub b. Nuh who said: I said to al-Ridha عليه السلام: we hope that you are to be the man of this matter (the promised ruler from Ahl al-Bayt), and that Allah عزوجل returns it to you without fighting - for you have been given allegiance to, and the coins have been minted with your name on them. He said: there is not one of us to whom letters have been written, questions have been asked, fingers have been pointed at, and monies have been sent to, except that he will be killed or will die on his bed until Allah عزوجل will send for this matter a man of hidden birth and origin whose lineage is not unknown.
طاهر بن بن عيسى، عن جعفر بن أحمد، عن عليّ بن محمّد بن شجاع، عن محمّد بن الحسين، عن معمّر بن خلاد قال: قال لي الريّان بن الصلت بمرو و كان الفضل بن سهل بعثه إلى بعض كور خراسان فقال: احبّ أن تستأذن لي على أبي الحسن عليه السّلام فاسلّم عليه و اودّعه، و أحبّ أن يكسوني من ثيابه و أن يهب لي من دراهمه الّتي ضربت باسمه ...
[al-Kashshi] Tahir b. Isa – Ja`far b. Ahmad - Ali b. Muhammad b. Shuja` - Muhammad b. al-Husayn [b. Abi al-Khattab] – Muammar b. Khallad who said: al-Rayyan b. al-Salt said to me in Marw after al-Fadhl b. Sahl [Ma`mun’s vizier] had dispatched him to some of the villages in Khurasan: I would like you to seek permission on my behalf from Abi al-Hasanعليه السّلام [to allow me to meet him] so that I can greet him and bid him farewell. I would also like it if he could give me a piece of clothing from among his clothes and gift me a few of his silver coins that were minted in his name …
أخبرني محمد بن يونس الأنباري قال حدثني أبي: أن إبراهيم بن العباس الصولي دخل على الرضا لما عقد له المأمون وولاه العهد، فأنشده قوله:
أزالت عزاء القلب بعد التجلد ... مصارع أولاد النبي محمد (صلى الله عليه وسلم)
فوهب له عشرة آلاف درهم من الدراهم التي ضربت باسمه، فلم تزل عند إبراهيم، وجعل منها مهور نسائه، وخلف بعضها لكفنه وجهازه إلى قبره
[al-Aghani] Muhammad b. Yunus al-Anbari – his father who said: The poet Ibrahim b. al-Abbas al-Suli came in to see al-Rida when he was appointed by al-Ma`mun and made the crown prince and recited the following verse:
The grief of the heart has receded after enduring … the repression against the sons of Muhammad
Al-Rida gifted him ten thousand silver coins which were minted in his name, Ibrahim held on to them and used them as dowry for marrying his wives and left some of them behind to purchase his shrowd and for the carrying of his body [to the grave].
The wonderful thing is that archaeologists and scholars of numismatics have discovered a few pieces of this coin which is considered a rarefied item.
Below is an image of the coin:
Period: The Abbasid Caliphate, 132-218 H/750-833 AD,
Ruler: Abu Ja‘far ‘Abd Allah al-Ma’mun ibn al-Rashid, (194-218 H/810-833 AD)
Place of Mint: Samarqand in Central Asia (present-day Uzbekistan)
Date: 202 H (817-818 AD)
Metal and denomination: Silver dirham
Weight and measurement: 2.87 g / Ø 25.5 mm
Legend and Design
la ilah illa / Allah wahdahu / la sharik lahu / al-mashriq
“no god but God, unique, He has no associate, East
bism Allah duriba hadha’l-dirham bi-samarqand sana ithnatayn wa mi‘atayn
“in the name of God this dirham was struck in Samarqand the year two and two hundred”
muhammad rasul Allah arsalahu bi’l-huda wa din al-haqq li-yuzhirahu ‘ala al-din kullihi
“Muhammad is the messenger of God who sent him with guidance and the religion of truth that he might make it supreme over all other religions”
Sura 9 (al-Tawba), v. 33 (in part)
lillah / muhammad rasul Allah / al-ma’mun khalifat Allah / mimma amara bihi al-amir al-rida / wali ‘ahd al-muslimin ‘ali ibn musa / ibn ‘ali ibn abi talib / dhu’l-riyasatayn
“for God, Muhammad is the messenger of God, al-Ma’mun is the Caliph of God, among the things ordered by the Prince al-Rida, Recipient of the Oath of the Muslims ‘Ali ibn Musa ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, Possesser of the Two Headships”
muhammad rasul Allah arsalahu bi’l-huda wa din al-haqq li-yuzhirahu ‘ala al-din kullihi wa law kariha al-mushrikun
“Muhammad is the messenger of God who sent him with guidance and the religion of truth that he might make it supreme over all other religions, even though the polytheists may detest it”
Sura 9 (al-Tawba), v. 33
By Ali in ShiaChat.com Blog[This will be a series of blog entries on the history of ShiaChat.com; how it was founded, major ups and down, politics and issues behind running such a site and of course, the drama! I will also provide some feedback on development efforts, new features and future goals and objectives]
Part 1 - The IRC (#Shia) Days!
Sit children, gather around and let me speak to you of tales of times before there was ever high-speed Internet, Wi-Fi, YouTube or Facebook; a time when the Internet was a much different place and 15 yearold me was still trying to make sense of it all.
In the 90s, the Internet was a very different place; no social media, no video streaming and downloading an image used to take anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on how fast your 14.4k monster-sized dial-up modem was. Of course you also had to be lucky enough for your mom to have the common courtesy not to disconnect you when you’re in the middle of a session; that is if you were privileged enough to have Internet at home and not have to spend hours at school or libraries, or looking for AOL discs with 30 hour free trials..(Breathe... breathe... breathe) - I digress.
Back in 1998 when Google was still a little computer sitting in Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s basement, I was engaged in endless debates with our Sunni brothers on an IRC channel called #Shia. (Ok, a side note here for all you little pups. This is not read as Hashtag Shia, the correct way of reading this is “Channel Shia”. The “Hashtag” was a much cooler thing back in the day than the way you young’uns use it today).
For those of you who don’t know what IRC was (or is... as it still exists), it stands for Internet Relay Chat, which are servers available that you could host chat rooms in and connect through a client. It was like the Wild West where anyone can go and “found” their own channel (chat room), become an operator and reign down their god-like dictator powers upon the minions that were to join as a member of their chat room. Luckily, #Shia had already been established for a few years before by a couple of brothers I met from Toronto, Canada (Hussain A. and Mohammed H.). Young and eager, I quickly rose up the ranks to become a moderator (@Ali) and the chatroom quickly became an important part of my adolescent years. I learned everything I knew from that channel and met some of the most incredible people. Needless to say, I spent hours and dedicated a good portion of my life on the chatroom; of course, the alternate was school and work but that was just boring to a 15-year-old.
In the 90’s, creating a website was just starting to be cool so I volunteered to create a website for #Shia to advertise our services, who we are, what we do as well as have a list of moderators and administrators that have volunteered to maintain #Shia. As a result, #Shia’s first website was hosted on a friend’s server under the URL http://786-110.co.uk/shia/ - yes, ShiaChat.com as a domain did not exist yet – was too expensive for my taste so we piggybacked on one of our member’s servers and domain name.
The channel quickly became popular, so popular that we sometimes outnumbered our nemesis, #Islam. As a result, our moderator team was growing as well and we needed a website with an application that would help us manage our chatroom in a more efficient style. Being a global channel, it was very hard to do “shift transfers” and knowledge transfers between moderators as the typical nature of a chatroom is the fact that when a word is typed, its posted and its gone after a few seconds – this quickly became a pain point for us trying to maintain a list of offenders to keep an eye out for and have it all maintained in a historical, easily accessible way.
A thought occurred to me. Why not start a “forum” for the moderators to use? The concept of “forums” or discussion boards was new to the Internet – it was the seed of what we call social media today. The concept of having a chat-style discussion be forever hosted online and be available for everyone to view and respond to at any time from anywhere was extremely well welcomed by the Internet users. I don’t recall what software or service I initially used to set that forum up, but I did – with absolutely no knowledge that the forum I just set up was a tiny little acorn that would one day be the oak tree that is ShiaChat.com.
[More to follow, Part 2..]
So who here is still around from the good old #Shia IRC days?
By Muntazir e Mahdi in Bayaan e Muntazirکتنی بار تو انسانیت کو مارے گا بتا؟
کب تک تو کائینات کو رلائے گا بتا؟
کعبة سے تو کرارؑ کو کرپایا نہ ختم
کب تک تو دیواروں سے مٹائے گا بتا؟
نامِ حق سے باطل تیرا کام ہے منافق
کب تک تو حق کو جھٹلائے گا بتا؟
تیری سیاہ روح، نہ کوئلہ، ہے جہنم کا ایندھن
کب تک تو جلتے در سے منہ موڑے کا بتا؟
آتا ہے بقيةللّٰهؑ اور دَورِ عدل و انصاف
کب تک تو اپنے انجام سے بھاگے گا بتا؟
تو نے بہایا نہ صرف آب تو نے بیایا ہے لہو
کب تک تو منتظر کو اس سے لکھوائے گا بتا؟
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