Jump to content
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!) ×
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!)
In the Name of God بسم الله

Shrimp - Morsel of Shaitan?

Sign in to follow this  


There are two conflicting hadith on shrimp called Irbiyaan in Arabic. One hadith refers to it as a morsel of Shaitaan. Another classifies it as a type of fish and therefore  permissible. In this situation, the Usuli ijtihad applies the principle of al-bara'a al-asliyya, which makes a thing permissible if it can not be conclusively proven to be forbidden and even if there are conflicting indicators. However, in the school of Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام) the preferred approach is to exercise caution (ihtiyaat) and refrain from consuming it. 

Shrimp - Morsel of Shaitaan

وعن محمد بن الحسن عن الصفار عن أبي طالب عبد الله بن الصلت عن عثمان بن عيسى عن سماعة بن مهران عن أبي عبد الله (عليه السلام) قال: لا تأكل جريثا ولا مارماهيجا ولا طافيا ولا اربيان ولا طحالا لانه بيت الدم ومضغة الشيطان
Imam Abdullah ( peace be upon him ) said: DO NOT EAT (1) the eel (jareesa) (2) and the dead floating fish (marmahiga) (3) and the snake fish (taafiya) (4) and SHRIMP (IRBIYAAN) (5) and spleen (tahaala) because these harbor the blood and are THE MORSEL OF SHAITAN. [Reference: Wasailushia Vol-24 Page-185, Bihar Vol-62 Page-177 and 205 Ilalusharia Vol-2 page 562]

Shrimp is a type of fish

وباسناده عن محمد بن الحسن الصفار ، عن محمد بن عيسى بن عبيد ، بن يونس بن عبد الرحمن ، عن أبي الحسن ( عليه السلام ) ، قال : قلت له : جعلت فداك ، ما تقول في أكل الاربيان ؟ قال : فقال لي : لا بأس بذلك والاربيان ضرب من السمك ، قال : قلت : قد روى بعض مواليك في أكل الربيثا ، قال : فقال : لا بأس به
Yunus bin abdurrehman narrates that I asked Imam Musa Kazim (عليه السلام) about eating IRBIYAAN. He (عليه السلام) said: 'There is no problem because Irbiyaan is a type (species) of fish'. The narrator said: 'Some of your followers (mavaali) are also narrating about RIBBITHA (that it is permissible to eat)'. He (asws) said: 'Yes there is no problem with it too'. [Reference: Wasail us Shia Urdu volume 16 page 271]

Hadith on Ribbitha (Shrimp Fish)
Added confusion is caused by several hadith on a type of fish called ribbitha. What exactly is ribbitha? Most likely it is a type of fish that has some physical resemblance to shrimps - possibly Shrimp Fish. From the hadith we can glean that it is a type of fish that has scales. In Arabic, scales are called Qishr. 

ـ محمد بن يعقوب ، عن علي بن ابراهيم ، عن أبيه ، عن ابن أبي عمير ، عن هشام بن سالم ، عن عمر بن حنظلة ، قال : حملت الربيثا يابسة في صرة ، فدخلت على أبي عبد الله ( عليه السلام ، فسألته عنها ، فقال : كلها ، وقال : لها قشر
Umar b. Hanzhala said: I carried a dried ribbitha in a package, and I entered upon Abu Abdillah (عليه السلام), so I asked him about it. And he said: Eat it. And he said: It has a qishr (scales). [Reference: Wasail us Shia H30181]

ـ وعنه ، عن أبيه ، عن حنان بن سدير ، قال : أهدى فيض ابن المختار إلى أبي عبد الله ( عليه السلام ) ربيثا ، فأدخلها عليه ـ وأنا عنده ـ فنظر اليها ، فقال : هذه لها قشر ، فأكل منها ونحن نراه .
And from him from his father from Hanan b. Sadir. He said: Fayd b. al-Mukhtar gave Abu `Abdillah a ribbitha as a gift, so he brought it in to him – and I was with him – so he looked at it. So he said: This has a qishr (scales), and he ate from it and we were seeing him. [Reference: Wasail us Shia H30184]

ـ وعن السياري ، عن محمد بن جمهور ، عن رجل ، عن أبي عبد الله ( عليه السلام ) ، أنه سأله عن الاربيان ، وقال : هذا يتخذ منه شيء يقال : له الربيثا ، فقال : كل ، فانه جنس من السمك ، ثم قال : أما تراها تقلقل في قشرها .
And from as-Sayyari from Muhammad b. Jumhur from a man from Abu Abdillah (عليه السلام), that he asked him about shrimp. And he said: This, something is taken from it, which is called the ribbitha. So he said: Eat, for it is a species of fish. Then he said: Do you not see it quivering in it's qishr? [Reference: Wasail us Shia H30190]

In the above hadith, the person asks the Imam about Shrimp. Imam responds that it is in fact ribbitha (and not irbiyaan). That it is a type of fish and it has a qishr.

Also note that in all the above hadith Imam (عليه السلام) keeps referring to the two characteristics that makes it halal - that it is a fish and that it has scales.

General hadith on seafood
Besides the hadith above on Irbiyaan and Ribbitha, every other hadith on seafood again emphasize the two characteristics that make it permissible:

• It must be classified as a fish
• It must have scales (qishr)

Below are the rest of the hadith on seafood:

ـ محمد بن يعقوب ، عن عدة من اصحابنا ، عن سهل بن زياد ، وعن محمد بن يحيى ، عن أحمد بن محمد جميعا ، عن ابن محبوب ، وأحمد بن محمد بن أبي نصر جميعا ، عن العلاء ، عن محمد بن مسلم ، عن أبي جعفر ( عليه السلام ) ـ في حديث ـ قال : قلت له : رحمك الله ، إنا نؤتى بالسمك ليس له قشر ، فقال : كل ما له قشر من السمك ، وما ليس له قشر فلا تأكله .
Narrated from Abu Ja'far (عليه السلام) in a hadith wherein he said: May Allah have mercy upon you. We are brought the fish that does not have a qishr (scales). So he (عليه السلام) said: Eat that which has a qishr from the fish, and that which does not have scales, then do not eat it. [Reference: Wasail us Shia H30146]

ـ وعن الحسين بن محمد ، عن معلى بن محمد ، عن الحسن بن علي ، عن حماد بن عثمان ، قال : قلت لابي عبد الله ( عليه السلام ) : جعلت فداك ، الحيتان ما يؤكل منها ؟ قال : ما كان له قشر الحديث .
I said to Abu Abdillah (as): May I be made your ransom, the fish, what do we eat of it? He said: Whatever has a qishr (scales). [Reference: Wasail us Shia H30147]

ـ وعنه ، عن أبيه ، عن عبد الله بن المغيرة ، عن عبد الله بن سنان ، عن أبي عبد الله ( عليه السلام ) قال : كان علي ( عليه السلام ) بالكوفة يركب بغلة رسول الله ( صلى الله عليه وآله ) ، ثم يمر بسوق الحيتان ، فيقول : لا تأكلوا ، ولا تبيعوا ما لم يكن له قشر من السمك .
Imam Ali (عليه السلام) would be at Kufa riding the mule of the Messenger of Allah (s) then he would pass by the fish market, saying: Do not eat and do not sell whatever does not have a qishr (scales) from the fish. [Reference: Wasail us Shia H30149]

ـ وعنه ، عن أبيه ، عن حنان بن سدير ، عن أبي عبد الله ( عليه السلام ) ـ في حديث قال : ما لم يكن له قشر من السمك فلا تقربه .
Abu Adillah (عليه السلام) in a hadith said: Whatever does not have a qishr (scales) from the fish then do not come near it. [Reference: Wasail us Shia H30150]

ـ وعنه ، عن هارون بن مسلم ، عن مسعدة بن صدقة ، عن أبي عبد الله ( عليه السلام ) : أن امير المؤمنين ( عليه السلام ) كان يركب بغلة رسول الله ( صلى الله عليه وآله ) ، ثم يمر بسوق الحيتان ، فيقول : الا لا تأكلوا ، ولا تبيعوا ما لم يكن له قشر .
And from him from Harun b. Muslim from Mas`ada b. Sadaqa from Abu `Abdillah (عليه السلام) that Amir al-Mu’mineen (عليه السلام) would ride the mule of the Messenger of Allah (s), then pass by the fish market, and he would say: Indeed do not eat and do not sell whatever does not have a qishr (scales).
[Reference: Wasail us Shia H30151]

Shrimp in Jewish Law

Of the things that are in the waters, you may eat anything that has fins and scales. Lev. 11:9; Deut. 14:9. Thus, shellfish such as lobsters, oysters, shrimp, clams and crabs are all forbidden. Fish like tuna, carp, salmon and herring are all permitted. [Reference: http://www.jewfaq.org/kashrut.htm]

To draw a conclusion we must review all the hadith on a given topic collectively (as opposed to picking one of them in isolation). When there is conflict or confusion in hadith, we must adapt the safest course - ihtiyaat (precaution) and tawaqquf (suspend judgement). Tawaqquf means that we label it neither as halal nor haram. Imam (عليه السلام) on his re-appearance will clarify insha Allah.

Based on scientific classification, shrimp is classified as a crustacean in the same category as crabs and lobsters which are not permissible. Neither does shrimp have scales in the same way that a fish does. Shrimp is outlawed in the Jewish law too. Lastly, and non-religiously it does not appear to be a healthy source of food.

Given all this, there doesn't seem to be a compelling reason to consume it. Therefore, the safest course is to keep away from it.

(Also published on blog: https://ahlulbaytmission.org/2019/05/25/shrimp-morsel-of-shaitan/)

Sign in to follow this  


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Latest Blog Entries

    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
      The painful dawning of an ignored reality
      A sudden realisation of the horrors 
      Carefully curated
      In hidden memory
      The entrance to perdition
      Opens the heart
      To the previously imperceptible
      Of damnable action
      The retribution of an awakened conscience
      Burning the soul of a previously deadened sense
      Of guilt and shame
      Brought to life by excruciating pain
      Satan's temporal deal  
      For corporeal enjoyment
      Now an spiritual debt
      Paid in burning firmament
      Hitherto, afflicting pain 
      Was no problem at all
      The perpetrator’s one way bet
      Without consequence
      Gathering the rewards
      Without any cost
      Cause and effect?
      The tyrant's expert tuning
      Of the independent evil variable
      And blissful ignorance 
      Of it’s dependent consequence
    • By 3wliya_maryam in deep poetry
      When you go through a rough patch in your life
      And you feel that your heart is being stabbed with a knife
      Remember Hussein (as) and the tragedies he went through
      Would you ever endure that kind of pain too?
    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
      I have previously remarked upon how, in some fields of human endeavour where the scientific approach is held to be the ideal, in reality human scientific and technological discoveries has often been the results of luck and even mistakes.
      There is a corollary in the field of the social sciences which also emphasise the value of the scientific approach to generate knowledge. In this domain the anomalies are various frameworks and models that are widely taught and even used, but which have no basis in rigorous scientific research.
      The famous work by Abraham Maslow on motivation and his resulting 'hierarchy of needs' is very widely studied and used. He posits that human motivation at the fundamental level is driven by physiological needs, and once these are satisfied (he did qualify this in later works) people try and address safety needs and then, social needs and self-esteem and finally self-actualisation. 
      But Maslow did not come up with this through any research that would hold up to scientific scrutiny.
      Yet is is productively used by professionals in a variety of industries, managers, MBA students and others in universities. For example people use it to understand why consumers buy certain products.
      The same issue applies to Bloom's taxonomy in the field of learning and also Elmo's buying funnel in the area of marketing. The three laws of robotics have their basis in science fiction and in the area of web searching there is no scientific basis for the information-navigational-transactional categories that are used.
      The implication from this is that while ideas and knowledge may ideally be the result of the scientific approach I.e. hypothesising and then testing, there are many instances where this is not the case. In the area of the social sciences and management the value of some types of knowledge seems to rest on their 'face validity', do they make sense to the individuals who are presented with them and can those individuals make better sense of their external environment as a result of using these tools and if they can, that is good enough.
      The same principle could surely apply to various aspects of religion. There may be no scientific proof underpinning various religious ideas, but if they have face validity, if they help the individual make sense of their external environment and manage it, surely that is good enough?
    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
      Maryam's school is super laid back. This year Abbas started in Year 7 (equivalent to Middle school in the US?, @Hameedeh help), at the age of 11.
      They get a school planner and I found these pages. I've been told the school has a great atmosphere and the kids really love it, and perhaps the written bureaucracy is just to scare them, but whoever put it together is on a real power trip. I think.
      Kids are supposed to set SMART targets for themselves and then self-assess. I work with managers in reasonably responsible positions who don't know how to set SMART targets!

      And these are a FEW of the criteria for discipline, there are three pages of this.

      They record when a kid goes to a toilet in a lesson:

    • By Haji 2003 in Stories for Sakina
      It's taken me nearly 15 years to get to 10,000 posts, so I thought I'd post something special.
      I remember the cold. I think it was the first time in my life that keeping warm was a struggle. Shafts of cold air channelled in through a train not designed to keep it out. Arriving at Amritsar station, there was some relief. I remember the shouts of ‘garam chai’ (hot tea) rising above the cacophony of engines, whistles, and general yells. This trip was the first time that I was allowed to drink tea. At home in London, tea was an adult’s drink, and there simply had been no occasion or need to drink it. Here at Amritsar station, in Indian Punjab, during the middle of the night, I was allowed to drink the strong, sugary hot tea and eat the hard-boiled eggs that the hawkers were selling. It was only many years later that I appreciated the business nous of selling hard-boiled eggs. Pre-packaged and ready to eat, what could be easier for a hawker to sell? 
      Some years later standing in the cold in the school playground would help me appreciate all the more as I read of Ivan Denisovich’s battles against hunger and cold in Solzhenitsyn’s account of life in a Soviet gulag. And many years later still this way of experiencing the novel would prompt me to encourage my daughter to read Denisovich’s account while she was fasting for Ramadan.
      Standing on the platform with my snacks, amongst the flow of passengers and porters, I took in the destination signs on the different trains, heading off to distant parts of a sub-continent. Perhaps my diminutive 10-year-old perspective added to the perceived size of the place; I would not be surprised. The porters wore a uniform, after a fashion. For each one of them, the acquisition of a customer provided a sense of purpose and superiority of status which would be underlined by rearranging their head-covering to better protect themselves from the luggage that would soon be loaded on top. On this trip, I was just a spectator to the rituals of engaging porters. When old enough to be a participant, I’d find it a difficult balance between exploiting and being exploited. 
      At last, it was time to get back in the train and cover myself as best I could with an assortment of clothes, waiting for the morning to bring some respite. Some mornings were awesome, the rising rays of sunshine spread across green fields, punctuated by trees and seemingly in rhythm with the regular beat of the wheels on the track. At some point, I’d have to go to the toilet, which was a balancing act of the toothbrush, toothpaste and some attempt at washing and keeping my distance from the ubiquitous hole in the floor.
      At first, I had distanced myself from the perceived filth of the train and had tried to keep myself to as small an area as possible. But as the hours passed my comfort zone expanded until I was even comfortable lying full stretch on the wooden slats of the third-class benches. As the miles passed the squalor, even that of the toilet, was no longer alien but something to which I had become habituated. Though I still haven’t managed to achieve the level of equanimity displayed by a fellow airline passenger who went into the toilet barefoot. As someone else commented on this practice, the liquid on the floor isn’t water.
      Safety was and still is a distant concept when it comes to Indian railways, best observed by the person at risk. In both my childhood travel and in recent times safety seems to lie, for example, in keeping your distance from the open door of the railway carriage. As a 30-year-old on a train from Chennai to Hyderabad and no parent to hold me back, I was able to lean out to take videos and photos to rekindle childhood memories of fleeting Indian railway stations. The observation stimulated the same sense of passing through and catching the moment in local lives. What I was not able to recapture in a photo was the rising dawn that I had observed in my childhood journey. 
      On that childhood trip, I had brought a couple of books with me, which I still remember. There was ‘Tarka the Otter’ and Joy Adamson’s ‘Home Free’. I can’t remember which one was more boring, but Tarka does stand out as being particularly good for being interrupted by the least remarkable scenery outside. The same can’t be said for the novel I discovered at our destination in Lucknow. Our host had a copy of ‘War of the Worlds’ the title itself was captivating and the story engrossing. I remember sitting in various locations of the house working my way through the invasion.
      A few years before this train trip, aged six, I had seen a book titled ‘War and Peace’ sitting on another relative’s bookshelf in London and that also seemed to suggest excitement within. I wasn’t there long enough to pick it up, but a few years after the Indian trip, when I was about 14 I made a point about buying the novel but the enthusiasm stimulated by the title was very, very quickly dimmed by the story within. I decided to grind down the story by reading a page a day. It took a couple of years, but I managed to finish it. 
      ‘War of the Worlds’ was the starting point, since then I’ve come to associate books with the places where I read them: Sterling Seagrave’s, ‘Dragon Lady’ accompanied me on a trip to Singapore and provided the incentive to visit China. 
      Aged 17, I was transiting between two Paris metro stations, on a trip to Aix-en-Provence when a kindly gentleman took pity on me and helped me with my overweight suitcase containing Lipsey’s tome ‘Positive Economics’. Amongst other books, this would be entirely superfluous to my needs at the French language summer course I was about to attend. Even in adulthood, I have never quite managed to balance taking on travels work-related things that I would use as opposed to those I might regret not having brought with me. Laptops and cloud storage have meant that that personal deficiency no longer has to be addressed.
      This had been a unique trip in some different ways. My mother was a widow, and we did not have a great deal of money. I hadn’t been abroad between the ages of 5 and 10. But travelling third class on Indian railways and staying with relatives wherever we went meant that this trip was fairly affordable. So, it was not unreasonable that my mother was not too impressed with what took place when we arrived at the border crossing between India and Pakistan sometime earlier. 
      When we got off the train for the immigration check, there was a French lady in front of us, and she and my mother started speaking. Quite proudly my mother presented me as someone who could speak French. The unexpectedness and ambition of the challenge meant that I was completely dumbstruck. For a good few hours to follow, I’d hear my mother’s lament about how much she had paid for a French Linguaphone course for me, which was well beyond our means. I had assured her that this would be a great aid to my linguistic efforts, the advertisement promised as much, and I had waited with great anticipation for its arrival. Finally, one day there was a brown rectangular package waiting for me outside our house. But for a 10-year-old to master the use of the different texts and develop some semblance of a study plan was quite an ambition and one for which my abilities and self-discipline fell seriously short. 
      There must have been a subconscious notion that the pursuit of academic endeavours would give access to budgets otherwise unavailable. A few years later I’d decide that photography O’level would offer a greater chance of scholastic success. Once more I was lured in by a mixture of an economy with the truth by the people promoting the offering and my imaginative willingness to fill in the blanks. First, there was a need to buy an SLR camera, and as time passed it became obvious that the necessary skills to process photos could not be acquired in the few minutes, I’d have to be in front of the enlarger at school every week. An investment in a darkroom became a necessity. This time self-discipline wasn’t needed to drive study. I had discovered a subject for which I had a passion. I’d end up spending many happy hours in the darkroom, well past midnight channelling Diane Arbus and Cartier Bresson. By the time a school trip to the Soviet Union took place, I was reasonably competent and still have some of the photos of that visit. 
      Looking back, both the camera and the Soviet trip itself seemed like a judicious investment in an unrepeatable experience, a few years later the USSR would cease to exist. This lesson in political upheaval was to prove particularly useful before a trip with my wife and kids to Syria. My brother had borrowed my video camera and forgotten to return it, and the realisation only came in the departure lounge at Heathrow. Buying a video camera specifically for one trip seemed like an extravagance, but soon afterward the civil war broke out. I have clips of my daughter walking amongst a temple to the Phoenician god Melquart, I wonder whether ISIS have left it standing?
      For the India trip, in contrast, there was no camera at all. As I had left London, I had been given a compact camera, which refused to show any sign of working for the duration of the trip and which it had not been possible to repair either. So, I have no tangible images of the entire trip. Whether that has forced me to try harder to remember over the years or whether I have become better at embellishing the details, I don’t know. I do know that on one review I have left on Tripadvisor, I have commented that the prohibition on taking cameras into a particular museum means that visitors are more likely to pay attention to the exhibits in their own right rather than as fodder for an Instagram feed. 
      From Lucknow, we went to my mother’s ancestral home in Fatehpur. We drove through the potholed roads of Uttar Pradesh, slowed even further by overladen agricultural traffic. We arrived in the evening, and all I could sense was that we entered a courtyard and then another. This was quite different to any home I had visited previously. Morning brought a much better sense of the place. The hallmark of the building was its twin towers, installed a couple of hundred years previously, with permission from the rulers of Awadh, since they were considered a mark of royalty and my maternal ancestor’s position as a tutor to the princely household earned him the favour to use them. These rose above the building and the surrounding town. Beneath them was the building’s mosque entered through several large wooden doors, several steps then led to a large courtyard at the other end of which was a narrow staircase leading to some apartments on the first floor. The men of the family had offices cum bedrooms on the ground floor of the courtyard, and their families slept in apartments on the first floor. Any tangible evidence of conjugal relations, such as a couples’ double bed was considered impolite. There were also apartments on the ground floor. To the right of the towers was the entrance to the building and beyond that the disused stables, a further courtyard and then the exit to the main street of the town.
      In Fatehpur, there were no books, or indeed television, but there was exploring the building, listening to stories, fishing and staring at a night sky whose lights I had never previously seen in such profusion. Frustratingly, the shot guns could only be seen and not touched, in fact, I wasn’t allowed to use the air gun. Even the fishing wasn’t with actual rods, but the sensation of the lightness of a short stick with a bait at the end being replaced with the sensation of something tugging at the end of a line remains vivid.
      Exploring the old building would be an experience for someone who had lived in a terraced house all his life. Playing cricket in its central square meant that we had room for both wickets and the ability to run between them, while back in London the garden lawn barely stretched a couple of metres and in our London suburb kids just didn’t play on the street. And then there was the dungeon. Like quite a bit of what we were to experience the name or prior description didn’t quite live up to schoolboy expectations. The Urdu word they all used was ‘mahal’ as in Taj Mahal, but you could hardly describe it as a palace. The dungeon itself was no more threatening than a basement room.  
      The family mahal stood in contrast to the Taj that we had visited on a side-trip while staying in Delhi with an uncle. The sense of serenity reflected off the colour and curves remains in my mind. The sound track no longer remains, perhaps the size of the place drowned out the chattering throngs. The image is now distilled from the range of different perspectives: the head-on view as captured by those photographers who pictured Princess Diana in the foreground, to my standing under the columns staring up and being up close to the marble.
      While the Taj was glorious enough to represent the nation and thus rose above its religious and ethnic antecedents, this was not the case with the family mahal. The condition of this modest building perfectly reflected the state of the community it housed: elegant decrepitude with only a memory of former glories. While the building’s statelier past was visible from the remnants of the structure, so the stories passed by each generation reminded subsequent ones of the lifestyle they had been denied because of opportunities missed and talents wasted. 
      Such was the problem they were facing that even acts of renovation seemed like destruction, where older styles of building work and decoration were replaced with more functional and cheaper modern ones. My youthful displeasure at the erasure of history would later be tempered by a more mature realisation of the practicalities of habitat when I had the chimney breasts and fireplaces of my Victorian house removed to create more space. 
      Occasionally the person who had hosted us in Lucknow would visit. He was a local politician and would arrive in a stately Ambassador car or even more excitingly a ‘jeep’. Not an eponymous one of course, but I still remember the fact that it had gun racks. Both that vehicle and the Ambassador were made in India. This was India before trade liberalisation. Not as familiar a place as the Pakistan we had travelled through to get here. Pakistan had the welcome familiarity of brands that I had grown up with; the ketchup was Heinz and the coke a recognisably friendly white swoosh on a red background. Billboard and television advertising was reassuring. Here unfamiliar names came across as peculiar. Why would a cola be called ‘Thums Up?’. 
      Such has been the irony of globalisation that a few weeks ago eating at Dishoom restaurant in London’s East End I saw the Thums Up logo once more. A symbol of rejecting western capitalism had itself become a brand, with a consumerist meaning, evoking a carbonated essence of India. 
      Like all children of Asian immigrants on visits to their parents’ country of origin, I was also overwhelmed with the extensivity and density of familial connections. There were first cousins, second cousins, and quite a lot more complicated combinations, for which there are no words in English. Added to this, a matriarchal aunt could also be a cousin. My wife came up with a novel way of explaining one such relationship to me. “If that aunt were Mary Queen of Scots, your mum would be Elizabeth I”. Indeed, an artefact of such complex and inter-related ties was the obvious existence of rivalries, jealousies, and squabbles spanning generations. In England, my younger brother and I had been protected from this aspect of extended family life. The protection came at a price: we didn’t know how to deal with it at all. At the age of 10 this did not matter, but on future visits, it would become more significant and certainly by the time my brother and I reached marriageable age. For the time being, it was just nice that as I wandered from apartment to apartment in the mahal, everyone I met was a relative and I was too young to understand any political dimension of that relationship. It would also be in subsequent visits to the mahal, when I was older, that I’d appreciate the tensions with the communities who lived outside the mahal.
      On my daily walks, I’d see hand powered sewing machines and food being prepared more laboriously than anything I had seen at home. The dirt floor did not afford the comfort of sitting cross legged and sitting on my haunches was not something my leg muscles were prepared for. Unlike the urban homes, I had come across in the sub-continent, the toilet here was a platform raised above the multi-coloured offerings beneath. So large was the place that any smells remained distant from any other rooms.
      The cold had not left us in Fatehpur. At night, they would light braziers which were wonderful for bringing around family members, sitting together on the Indian style wooden beds, sharing each other’s warmth, stories and gossip. 
    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
      Next year, inshallah, Maryam takes her GCSE exams in the United Kingdom, those are taken at 16 years of age.
      Just a heads up for anyone else with kids/relatives of that age. I have been looking at the websites of the exam boards for her different subjects. Googling the name of the board, the subject and the year of the exam will usually get you to the right page.
      There are a lot of free resources they offer, e.g. subject specifications and examiner commentaries. The latter are very useful to get an idea where students typically make mistakes, for example and to understand what examiners are looking for.
      Kids/parents who are at better schools with more clued up teachers may likely not need to do all this themselves. But although Maryam's school is pretty good, there's no harm in using those specification books for example to keep an eye on progress.
    • By shuaybi in Ahlul Bayt Mission
      Needless to say, before we can perform our duty against bid'ah, the pre-requisite step is to be able to see and identify it. How many people are aware of the dangers of bid'ah but due to lack of understanding are nevertheless a victim of it. The reason is that bid'ah is extremely deceptive - it is disguised as a praiseworthy act that promises to earn abundant reward for the performer and bring him closer to Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام). The deception is increased because we see each and every Shia around us performing these acts. To add to this, the popular scholars keep promoting bid'ah as their standing and livelihood depends on it. 
      It is sad to say that bid'ah has been so strongly established in the Shia religion that the actions performed under it are now considered to be pillars and foundation of religion. Anyone who dares speak against these actions risks being ridiculed and ostracized. If a Shia were to give up all the innovations practiced in the name of religion, he would find himself isolated, cut-off and lonely. But such is the path on which a true Shia must tread in order to prove his loyalty to Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام).
      Please refer to our previous two articles on bid'ah:
          Definition and Scope of Bid’ah
          Dangers of Bid’ah

      Scholars must speak against bid'ah

      We must disassociate from the people of bid'ah
      Below is a very strong hadith that highlights the danger of bid'ah.

      Aabid vs Aalim

      An Aalim abolishes bid'ah because of his knowledge of the hadith. His knowledge leads him to limit his actions to those dictated by the Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام) and will never overstep the defined boundaries. Of all the popular speakers today who are quick to jump on to the Mimbar, how many are true Aalims as defined by Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام)?
      (Also published on blog: https://ahlulbaytmission.org/2019/08/24/our-duty-against-bidah/)
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Blog Statistics

    Total Blogs
    Total Entries
  • Create New...