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

Zainuu

120 views

The first month of Islamic calendar (the most 'violent religion' in the eyes of some people) starts with love. Love for the master of martyrs. Love for mothers and motherhood of Karbala. Love for brothers and brotherhood in Karbala. Love for Namaz. Love for the greatest sacrifice for the sake of humanity ever done in the history of mankind. 


It doesn't start with fancy wishes, roses and hearts. It doesn't start with celebrations, singing songs, dancing in happiness. It doesn't start with tours and trips. Neither it starts with any form of celebration in Islamic context nor does it start with anything remotely related to celebration. It starts with the moon sighting and tears. It starts with the slaps on faces and beating of chests. It starts with thirst and imagination of thirst. It starts with unity and imagination of unity. It starts with a sign of muslims reaffirming to their faith and when one reaffirms to something, at that moment he or she follows that with true heart. So, this is the time when faith is at it's peak. It starts with sacrifice and eagerness for sacrifice. It starts with a new season of Islam where the spirits are going to change their levels. If they ignore this time, their faith will degrade. If they utilize these moments their faith will upgrade. The new year of muslims starts with a welcome note to the most crucial and magnificent reality which is truth/Haq. This welcome note is emotional but it's essence is a call to faith. It starts with the Adhaan of Ali Akber (رضي الله عنه) to the call of help (Halmin Nasirin Yan Suruna) by Imam Husayn (عليه السلام). This is the peak of the beauty of Islam.


Muharram starts with the arrival of Imam Husayn (عليه السلام) in the desert of Karbala, a hot place near the banks of Euphrates river or one of it's canals. Imam is met by the first group from the Army of Yazeed led by Hur. I would only emphasize on necessary history as each and every point of history is just out of scope. Hur and his men are badly thirsty. Not only they but even their horses. But as I said, Muharram starts with a welcome note. Here is the first welcome note of mercy, love and humanity. Imam Husayn (عليه السلام)  provides them with water (as much as they want to drink). This was a message, a welcome note towards mercy and guidance of Allah to the bewildered. 


Hur kept on noticing this. But as he was an employee of Yazid along with others, He did what he was asked by Ibn Ziyad. He stopped Imam Husayn (عليه السلام) from going to Kufa and removed their camps from the banks of Euphrates and didn't allow them any further access to water. He asked Imam Husayn (عليه السلام) about the objective of going to Kufa. Imam Husayn (عليه السلام) replied that they don't want war and have come for the guidance of the Kufans who have called him. Again, this was the Jihad of Imam Husayn (عليه السلام) — Love, mercy and guidance of people towards Allah and Islam — and resisting the tyrants and evil in this way. 


Hur — who caused all the initial trouble and because of whom the children of Husayn (عليه السلام) stayed away from water — found himself guilty. This was the real sword of Imam Husayn (عليه السلام) that was struck on Hur and started to show it's impact since he met Imam and kept on growing until it became unbearable on the night before 10th of Muharram (Ashura). Here is a message. As, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has said that the greatest jihad is jihad-un-Nafs (Jihad with the self). The real battle that Hur fought in Karbala was against his own self. He fought against his desires on the night of Ashura. His weapon was the voices of thirsty children in the camp of Husayn (عليه السلام). His weapon was the mercy Imam showed to him. But what was he confronting. Hur was confronting an employee of Yazid in his self. An employee that said that 'somehow Yazid is your Emir and you have to follow his order.' The cancer of neutrality penetrated in his self which said 'What do you have to do with politics. You have a family and friends. Think about them. Stay out of this hassle. You are a soldier of an Army and a commander. Do your duty. Yazid is a drunkard, who cares? Husayn is the son of Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) , but who cares?' All these fearful, short-visioned, selfish and self-centered arguments were surrounding Hur and making him stay on the side of Yazid.


This is a big lesson. Every soldier in the Army of Yazid was facing an enemy like this within their soul. Every human being on earth, more or less, faces this enemy. We might say a thousand words of truth, we might agree with everything right but our ill-self always confronts us with these arguments and stops us from understanding Haq. Hur had enough weapons. He successfully broke this siege and killed his enemy and with purity, humility, recognizing the truth with the eyes of heart went this time towards the rightful leader of the Ummah. He didn't go to Husayn to sympathise the children. He didn't go their to advice Husayn (عليه السلام). He didn't actually go to Husayn (عليه السلام). He travelled towards freedom. From a fake tyrant to the rightful leader. From a payed employee of Yazid to a self-seeking slave of Imam Husayn (عليه السلام). From ignorance and arrogance to awareness and humbleness. Imam Husayn (عليه السلام) accepted him and all people along with him. He himself became the 'leader of mujahids' in my eyes. It's better to call Hur (رضي الله عنه) Imam ul Mujahid (lesder of the Jihadis) because jihad was done by everyone in Karbala, but he provoked others too (atleast thirty people came to the camp of Imam Husayn from the other side). And he had a very less amount of time to decide on his fate. He certainly fought the most fierce battle against his nafs (self). 


Imam Husayn (عليه السلام) was calling and testing. He was testing his companions and calling his enemies. These calls happened in many ways. With speeches and with actions. One of the ways among all these (for me) was even the Adhaan recited by Hazrat Ali Akber (رضي الله عنه) in the morning and everytime when it was the prayer time. Who matched the face of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)? Their were many good voices in Karbala. Many great scholarly people were their.  Each one of them was capable of reciting Adhan. Glittering beautiful faces as well as wonderful voices. So, why only Hazrat Ali Akber (رضي الله عنه)? Because the face of Ali Akber (رضي الله عنه) was like Prophet Muhammed (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). They were so similar that Imam Husayn used to say, "When I want to see my grand father. I see Ali Akber." Imam Husayn (عليه السلام) made Ali Akber's presence a reminder for the enemies that they are not fighting Husayn (عليه السلام) but rather they are fighting the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) himself. Adhan of Ali Akber (رضي الله عنه) was a signal to remind the calls of Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) towards faith. This holds a lesson for us that faith should be above everything. Call of every wali/guide/Imam towards Islam is a call of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)  himself. Imamat is not an inch separate from Prophethood. As said by Dr. Ali Shariati, "Islam without Justice and Imamat is an Islam without Islam". Each and every call to prayer had two indicators. One was the visual indicator. Other was the vocal indicator. Call by the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) towards Salaat. Call towards peace, justice and Islam: 'Hayya Ala Khairil Amal - Come towards the Good'. This was the mission of Husayn (عليه السلام) and the objective of Karbala.


As I acclaimed, the master of martyrs was testing his companions again and again. Checking their faith and strengthening it minute by minute. At more than one moment, Imam Husayn (عليه السلام) asked his companions to leave him. More than once he told them about their fate if they stay with him. More than once, he told the purpose of his journey. Such that each and everyone of them became clear about it. Answers to these statements from the companions were mind blowing. This is what Imam said :
"It is a fact that I am not aware of any companions more faithful and honest than my companions and any relatives more righteous and kind than my relatives. May Allah grant all of you a good reward. I think that the day of our fighting with this army has arrived. I permit all of you to go away. You are free to depart without any restriction and should take advantage of the darkness of night."
I won't go in detail. But he gave them the certificate of Jannah. He even endorsed their piety. He declared them as the best companions. He even told them how to escape. But except a very few, none of them moved. How can they even leave? How can they love life or death or even Jannah with a thought that they left their Imam to get slaughtered in the hands of beasts? Imam Husayn (عليه السلام) was testing them. He was trying to debug even a single confusion in their heart. He was trying to eliminate even the thought of Jannah from their mind so that they only think of sacrifice for Allah. What a spirit! What can we say! Ask yourself what Imam Husayn(عليه السلام) asked to his companions in Karbala each and every time.


Will you leave your Imam while difficulties have surrounded him? Will you leave him if he grants you Jannah? Will you leave him if he himself asks you to leave? What does wisdom say? Ask yourself. Are you so firm in faith that whatever might happen, you are standing behind your Imam (عليه السلام) and doing your duty? Ask yourself. Are you an employee of Allah, who is paid with happiness, security, health and wealth and promise of Jannah so that he can forget his divine duty if all his payments are delivered irrespective of his stances?  Or are you a slave of only Allah and follower of only his leaders and commanders appointed on you such that even if they themselves ask you to leave for your lives, you will not. What if, Allah is asking blood from you? Are you ready? Who can be more free in this world then the companions of Imam Husayn (عليه السلام)? Take a lesson here. Follow Islam irrespective of anything. We get into doubt: Our prayers are not accepted, our desires are not fulfilled, calamities keep on falling on us etc. Is this our vision of life? No. Our only mission and purpose of life is to obey Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). Stay where he wants us to stay and refrain from something which Allah has asked us to refrain from. Allah will test you to see how much firm you are in following his commandments. 


We see warriors, with all capabilities to break the largest armies in a battle alone, shying and controlling themselves in Karbala. Sayyed ush Shuhada (Imam al Husayn (AS)) stopped Abbas at every step from battling with the enemy. He even brought Hazrat Zaynab (SA) at one point for the same purpose. I won't mention the reason why Imam Husayn (عليه السلام) stopped Hazrat Abbas (رضي الله عنه). But how difficult it would be for a warrior like Abbas (رضي الله عنه) to control himself from attacking the enemy. How difficult it would be to obey the master of Martyrs (عليه السلام) and understand the fate at this moment. More difficult then understanding was accepting. Acceptance and understanding that made Abbas a Saqqa (water carrier) from an Alamdaar (flag-bearer). This was the time when Al Abbas (رضي الله عنه) became the symbol of patience. He changed his being and kept down his sword to obey his mawla and his brother. This proves how critical and crucial weapon is patience and endurance. How important it is to remain patient in order to sustain yourself on the path of Allah. The will of Allah can be for us or against us. We should put our heads down in front of Allah's will.  Ghazi Abbas (رضي الله عنه) teaches us how to contemplate on what Allah wants from us and then not only refraining from our own will but submitting to Allah's will in the best of ways. How he managed to take a broken spear on the battle ground while he had a sword with him? How he managed to only try to bring water to the camps and not breaking the other enemy fronts? How he managed to protect the water and gave his hands in doing so? What patience a person needs to refrain from drinking a drop of water even after his lips are dry and throat dying from thirst. This patience led Al Abbas (رضي الله عنه) to become the symbol of loyalty (Sarkaar-e-Wafa) in the history of mankind. Hazrat Abbas (رضي الله عنه) was not even an infallible but still he made himself so strong that whatever his brother and leader demanded from him he delivered. Only one thing that remained was water. Which led Abbas to such a level of regret and emotion that he denied his body to be taken to the camps. If we can't learn patience, perseverence, submission and loyalty from Hazrat Abbas (رضي الله عنه). This history is useless and just as important as a novel.


Karbala startles us at every step. Their was even a child as young as 6 months. When Imam Husayn (عليه السلام) called for help, no one was their to answer except a 6 months old Ali al Asghar (رضي الله عنه). He fell on ground after this call. He was taken to ask for water by Imam Husayn (عليه السلام). Imam knew that he will be martyred. But another reality of Karbala is a father taking his own son to sacrifice for Allah and become an example in history. Imam Husayn (عليه السلام) never needed help so what was the reason of this call? It was nothing but a reminder to everyone. Imam (عليه السلام) warned humanity that 'don't let a time come upon your leader when no one will accompany or support him'. Imam was calling people to Islam, to guidance. But only a 6 months old could understand. It is a call that echoes in our ears every year to move towards Karbala and to move towards religion and guidance. Not only Ali al Asgher answered but his mother answered it. All the woman answered it. Bibi Umm Rabab (SA) became a symbol of motherhood in Karbala. This is how a mother should be. Woman should teach their children to become the pure and free servant of Allah because this is the greatest honor and they should be so strong and firm that if Allah asks them their dearest sons for sacrifice, they should deliver and content themselves with patience and thankfulness towards Allah. If mothers become like mothers of Karbala, every child will become a servant of Allah and fighter of Islam which would pave the way towards an ideal Islamic society. 


At the end, before his sorrowful martyrdom, Imam Husayn (عليه السلام) addressed the faithless and inhumane army of Yazid. He introduced himself not as a warrior but as a divinely appointed Imam, who has got the highest honors in the eyes of Allah. He was introducing himself like this in order to guide them so that they refrain from what they are about to do and understand the path of Allah. So that they understand that what all rewards they will recieve after this act will be nothing in comparison to what they will loose. Their was a lot of wisdom and beauty in each word but cursed were those who were blinded by the pleasures of this world. 


Imam said: "Even if you don't believe in religion, atleast be free in this world." Imam Husayn (عليه السلام) wanted people to become free from everything, even their soul and then choose according to reason because truth cannot be imposed. It is not necessary to deceive someone to follow the truth. If we remove all the veils of falsehood, evil and deception, the only thing left will be truth. Freedom is not to remove your hijab or even wear it to make people admire you. Freedom is not to pray because your parents will kick you or Allah will send you to hell. Choose religion not because you are born in such a family but because you are a human being and Allah has given you the right to think, contemplate and ask the best for yourself independent of anything. Choose anything in life on the basis of free will that only submits to Allah (the absolute). This is the perception Imam Husayn (عليه السلام) wanted us to work upon. Karbala if followed and read in a right way should change a person.  If it doesn't then the message is not delivered. It was a battle between free will and imposed will. Battle between freedom seeking revolutionaries and employees of evil. A battle between 'I stand with Husayn and condemn Yazid and I know what I'm doing' vs 'Husayn is good and Yazid is bad but we are employees of Yazid so do the duty.' It shows that evil is everything except truth and not even the companions of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) are immune from it. Even taking neutral grounds is a sign of ignorance and part of evil. 


This takes us to the Zaynabi revolution. The start of the new year. The pledge and commitment to change our 'self'. The pledge to fight the evil within us to a level that only Allah's manifestation remains. Azadaari (mourning for Imam Husayn (AS)) is resistance. It is not a mere custom in which some people come, cry, beat their chests and go away as if nothing happened. It is not a majlis that starts with lamentation and comes to end with gheebah (backbiting). It is not a show-off place where you show the standards of food you serve in the form of tabarruk. It is not a place to compete that who will gather the maximum audience and who will provide the best in tabarruk. Neither it is about how many slogans of 'Yaa Ali' will be raised or how many people will faint during Masaaib (sorrowful happenings in Karbala). Tears are natural and not man-made. Only that person can cry on Imam Husayn (عليه السلام) who has the maarefat (wisdom) of Imam Husayn (عليه السلام). The people who do all that I said above except azadaari are making fun of Hazrat Zainab (عليه السلام) and her revolution. They are equivalent to those Kufans and Syrians who mocked and taunted the Ahl Haram when they were taken captive and dragged in the streets of Kufa and Damascus. Shame on such people and shame on the show-off they do in the name of Mourning. Shame on those who do politics in the name of azadari. Shame on those reciters and orators who do business in the name of Azadaari. This is the worst of insults that AhlulBayt (عليه السلام) have to bear. We sell our souls so cheap that we fight on some bits of food that we recieve after majlis. We are making a joke of ourselves and also a joke of our religion and our Imam. Azadaari is a custom of purity started by the Great Sister of Al Husayn (عليه السلام) and Imam Sajjad (عليه السلام) as a form of resistance to tyranny and cruelity. A person who is a true azadaar of Imam Husayn (عليه السلام) and has percieved his revolutionary message will not sit down until he purifies himself and brings society towards Islam. He will not settle unless he becomes a pain in the gut for the tyrannic rulers. Who is the real mourner of Imam Husayn (عليه السلام)? The one who brought down the forts of oppressors and stood for the oppressed. As an example, Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah is the true mourner. His army are the true mourners of Imam Husayn (عليه السلام). It is not possible that a mourner beats his chest, cries on Imam of the oppressed but remains quiet in supporting 'The Husayn' of this time. It is impossible for a mourner of Imam Husayn (عليه السلام) to curse Yazid while stay quiet on the crimes committed by 'The Yazid' of the time or be supportive of it. Azadaari is not a dead custom and Imam Husayn (عليه السلام) is not a dead hero. It is indeed a living revolution that flows in our body and pumps through our hearts in the form of martyrs of Karbala and becomes manifest when we stand for justice and haq in the present time. 
Our duty is to take the message of Husayn (عليه السلام) and implement it on our own lives. Our duty is to be kind, humble, firm, down-to-earth, tough in front of the world, soft in front of Allah. Our duty is to put up sacrifices in the path of Allah whenever needed. Our duty is to unite and set aside our differences. We should unite under the banner of Allah the great. This is what Azadaari teaches us. This is what Karbala teaches us. When only a few people who stood as one in front of the most powerful enemy of the time and defeated him, why can't we? When people celebrate new year, they take pledges. We have the most appealing history remembered just on the start of the year. We should also take a pledge.

Commit yourself: you will practice taqwa, pray on time, practice patience and base your life on knowledge and faith.

0 Comments


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.

Guest
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 Ayuoobi in The Muslim Theist
         0
      بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
      A brother recently raised a shubhah (doubt) to me regarding the the following ahadith. He thought that it contradicts modern science.
      The issue here is the word تسيخ which has the following definitions:
       


      This phrasing also occurs in other ahadith.
      Before we come to ask if the hadith contradicts modern science, we have to know what modern science says on the issue and the degree of confirmation/confidence we can place on what modern science says, since not all hypotheses/theories are equal in their inductive support.
      We also have to ask how much confidence we want to place on a given hadith, because, once again, not all ahadith are equal in their inductive support. Is it mutawatir, does it at least have a reliable chain, or not? These are important questions to ask when assessing the degree to which our two sources of information (natural sciences and hadith sciences) might clash. You can read more about induction here.
      Let's start off with step 1: what does the science say?
      Let's take a cursory glance on YouTube and see what pops up, just to get a basic understanding.
      See the first part of this children's video:
      You can also see this video for a more wild version whereby the tectonic plates are kept perfectly still (although such a situation would be impossible practically.) There would still be massive destruction. However, around ~3:00 in, he says something of particular note: when 2 tectonic plates smash into one another, the more dense of the two plates sinks underneath the other plate, causing mountains to be formed. If mountains are not formed, it would seem, as the first video indicates, that lava would simply engulf the earth, and that one plate would literally swallow another, causing the earth (and the inhabitants on it) to sink.
      Let's see if we can't find some more academic sources to back this claim. Let's look at Wikipedia to begin with, before getting a proper academic source:
      On page 77 of "Plate tectonics: A very short introduction" we read:
      This is an authoritative Oxford University publication; if this point was controversial for whatever reason, we'd have to delve further into primary literature. As it stands, however, we have no reason to think subduction as described above is anything other than established science, and so this is the end of the road as far as my interest is concerned. If someone can credibly contest the point, then further research would have to be done.
      Conclusion and Naseehah
      My point in this exercise was to demonstrate to you, my readers, how to begin to research doubts. When you have a doubt in mind, it is not sufficient to simply assume what the science says, or the degree of confidence we can have in a particular scientific theory. We need to delve into the details and see what is actually factual and what is not. It may turn out, as in this case, that modern science actually confirms that hadith with a high degree of confidence, and in fact, this may be seen as an example of a prophetic miracle. How could the Prophet have known that without mountains the earth would sink 1400 years ago? If anything, this is a confirmation of his prophecy (s).

      I invite you to extend this skepticism to "common knowledge" or the inherited wisdom of secular society. There are many myths which we take for granted without even taking a second to think "wait a second, is my presumption even factual?" It is for this reason we often have faith-shattering doubts about a whole host of issues such as slavery, homosexuality, science, etc. without taking a moment to do even a cursory amount of research into the factual premises of the shubhah. One of the first things you should do when investigating a shubhah is not only to see what the Islamic position on an issue is, but to investigate the thing you take to be in conflict with the Islamic position. "X Islamic thing contradicts human rights!" Okay, why don't you read up on the foundations of human rights and especially the specific item that you take to be in conflict with Islam. "X Islamic position contradicts scientific theory Y." Okay, go and research scientific theory Y and go and see how solid it actually is.

      If you make this a habit, you will see in reality how frail the shubuhaat really are, and how many of our modern assumptions are utterly baseless or even contrary to reality.
    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
         5
      Note: I'll be updating the initial entry with additional points over time, as discussions elsewhere on Shiachat help me to flesh out the original arguments.
       
      The popularity of 'do your own research'
      This is a phrase that we are increasingly hearing. It sounds good, since it refers to going out and gathering information in order to make informed decisions. It's part of the consumer capitalist culture we have been brought up with which holds that capitalists should be able to sell whatever they want and people should be free to make their own (informed) choices. The downside for individuals is that should something go wrong, they can be held to blame for their own actions.
      Do your own research and wider capitalist /liberal democratic ideology
      Of course reality does not work that way and capitalists know this and hence their preference for a laissez faire economic  model that emphasises low levels of regulation.
      Why?
      Ordinary people are notoriously bad at gathering information, analysing it and then making use of it. This is why people continue to smoke after the link with cancer has been proven and why the cigarette industry is happy to go along with whatever restrictions are placed on it (except for outright bans). This is why firms that sell fatty and sugary foods are happy to place information on their packaging (the more complicated the better) rather than have taxes imposed or even outright bans.
      Capitalists encourage people to 'do their own research' because they know that most of the time people will get it wrong. Capitalist models of behaviour change are ones that say to people you are ultimately free to choose based on the informed choices that they choose to make. Those of us who live in the West have been sold this model since the Second World War and the ideological battle with countries that choose to have a higher level of government diktat and to this end capitalists have been aided by liberal democrats.
      In reality that worldview works where there is no external threat to a society. When such a threat arises, as in a plague like the coronavirus, the governments have to exercise high levels of control if their priority is the greater public good. Where other priorities exist, such as the economic welfare of elites, governments' messaging may again focus on individual responsibility and open up the field for those who recommend 'doing your own research'.
      What happens when people do their own research
      When anti-vaxxers for example tell others to do their own 'research', they are either being naive or deliberately taking advantage of others. Because what do you research? What papers do you read and do you trust what they have to say?
      People tend to read what is understandable to them and for most people that will be the polemic in a blog rather than scientific papers.
      Reading the latter requires a certain minimum education and indeed patience and time, that most people do not have. So they end up reading material published by conspiracy theorists which is easy to read, but which glosses over technical issues and may just even be wrong. The following quotation is from a scientist who says that his work has been misused by conspiracy theorists and he explains why:
      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/sep/07/virologist-work-anti-vaxxers-covid
       
      So why do people fall for the 'do your own research' baloney?
      Because it makes them feel powerful. Following a comment below I feel I should clarify what I mean by 'powerful', since it's possible to misconstrue what I mean. My usage of the term is closer to what social psychologists may refer to as 'behavioural control'. This term is used to reflect situations such as for example being able to cook with healthier ingredients because someone has taught you how to do so.
      The conspiracy theorists however subvert what is good and noble into something wholly unethical. They encourage people to believe that they have behavioural control by making simple what is complex, by misinforming, using anecdotes where statistics would be more relevant and so on. And the reason for doing this is to make their message easier to understand, more interesting to watch, share and more likely to elicit an emotional reaction.
      Nevertheless having processed such YouTube videos people feel that they have done their 'research' and that they can now make an informed choice. The choice making seems more 'rational' and in a cultural and educational environment where we have been brought up to celebrate rationality this seems like a good thing, in and of itself.  
      So in comparison to following government edicts to wear face masks, the 'own research' crowd watch some videos and consciously choose not to do so on the basis of information that they have gathered. They are therefore exercising behavioural control over their lives in a manner that they could not previously. And when challenged they can cite 'evidence' that supports their position - further enhancing their behavioural control.
      The reality is of course, that wearing a mask costs very little in terms of money and behaviour change. There are many benefits to others in addition to any to the wearer. But the anti-maskers are told that wearing a mask is some kind of subjugation to government control. Choosing not to wear a mask because someone tells you that you'll breathe more CO2 as a result, sounds like an informed decision that gives you control over your own life.
       
      God, nihilism and the human condition
      This new section was inspired by the following post:
      At one extreme then, the individual can feel that there is so much in the way of different perspectives, error on all sides etc. that we simply cannot identify what is the right course of healthy behaviour and what is not. In my opinion that reflects a worldview which questions God's benevolence.
      In my opinion the theist would always believe that God provides us with the critical faculties that enable us to follow the right course of action. The human condition in my view is one where we have to endeavour to find what that right course of action is - and it takes cognitive effort and it requires us not to give in to emotion or laziness.
      And just as the above increasingly become more challenging in a more technologically advanced world, so the tools that we have available to help us increase in their sophistication and effectiveness.
      Technology allows us to keep a record of who said what and when. In the case of covid-19 we know who downplayed the seriousness of the virus from the start (likely because of their need to protect their economic interests) and we also know who recommended an abundance of caution because they knew that in the long-run a healthy population will be better off economically. Those people who took the virus seriously encourage mask wearing, social distancing and vaccinating.
      That information can be used to follow individuals on social media, who have the medical expertise and benevolence to support your interests. Once you follow a reliable expert you can:
      See who else they follow And you can then also follow the health experts they follow Conclusion
      Few if any people are capable of 'doing their own research'. Ultimately it becomes a matter of choosing who you decide to believe. And in that regard it becomes a matter of assessing someone's character, their education, and their track record. People who believe in the concept of taqlid know exactly what the issues are here.
    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
         1
      In Shiachat threads many years ago the argument was presented that the sums spent e.g. on the Imam Raza ((عليه السلام).) shrine could be better spent on various social services for Iranians. My counter argument at the time was that visiting the shrines was and is for many ordinary Iranians their only escape from the mundane aspects of everyday life.
      In addition spending such sums on the social space meant that it could be consumed by all, rather than the few.
      The British journalist and commentator George Monbiot has expressed this idea in a more general manner in order to defend sustainable consumption:
      https://centerforneweconomics.org/publications/private-sufficiency-public-luxury-land-is-the-key-to-the-transformation-of-society/
    • By Ayuoobi in The Muslim Theist
         1
      The following is an article written by an educated uncle in the community. He requested I post it on here for others to benefit.
       
      بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
       
       
      Preamble
      Away from tales and stories reported by narrators (humans) where we find contradictions and confusion, we will first talk to our minds in the light of the Quran. Many people that I have talked to were unaware that certain beliefs actually entail unacceptable consequences that sometimes lead to blasphemy (kufr) without them realizing it. We take lessons from the Quran. The best lesson is that of Iblis (Satan).
       
      ·         What did Iblis (Satan) do to deserve Allah’s stern wrath and to be called Kafir by the Quran?
      ·         Did he deny the existence of Allah?
      ·         Did he refuse to worship Allah?
      ·         No, none of the above.
      ·         He only refused to fall prostrate to Adam? But it actually was the refusal of Allah’s command. He preferred his opinion to Allah’s command. He wanted to worship Allah the way he wants, not the way Allah wants.
       
      The Quran says in Chapter 7 (Al-A’raaf), Verse 12:
      قَالَ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَلَّا تَسْجُدَ إِذْ أَمَرْتُكَ ۖ قَالَ أَنَا خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ
      [Allah] said, "What prevented you from prostrating when I commanded you?" [Satan] said, "I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay."
       
      ·         We are free in this world to chose to obey Allah’s commands or disobey them.
      ·         Those who knowingly refuse the commands of Allah, particularly the major commands that constitute the pillars of faith, and die with it, are likely to be treated in a similar manner.
      ·         It is very serious. The consequence is rather dire.
       
      The Quran says in Chapter 33 (Al-Ahzaab), Verse 36:
      وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ ۗ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُّبِينًا .
      It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error.
       
      The Quran says in Chapter 10 (Yunus), Verse 44:
      إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَظْلِمُ ٱلنَّاسَ شَيْـًٔا وَلَٰكِنَّ ٱلنَّاسَ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ
      Indeed, Allah does not wrong the people at all, but it is the people who are wronging themselves.
       
      Things We All Agree Upon
       
      To have a proper understanding of what happened after the death of the Prophet, and the truth about the Sahabah, we need to keep in mind few points. We all agree about these points. Hence, we will reference them when necessary and when required.
       
      1.      Islam is a complete religion. No additions are allowed under any pretext or justification. We only require the right interpretation of the Qur’an, which was given by the Prophet himself who explained everything. The question remains is: in the midst of contradictions and confusion, who actually carries this right interpretation of the Qur’an?
       
      The Quran says in Chapter 5 (Al-Ma'idah), Verse 3:
       
      الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الإسْلامَ دِينًا
      This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.
       
       
      2.      The Quran tells us that it has given the answers to every question we may ask. The Quran says in Chapter 14 (Ibrahim), verse 34:
       
      واتاكم من كل ماسألتموه 
      And He giveth you of all ye ask of Him
       
      -        Is governing not an issue that we may ask about?
      -        Shouldn’t we find it in the Quran? And in a very clear way.
      -        So that as Allah says in the Quran says in Chapter 8 (Al-Anfaal), verse 42:
       
      وَلَٰكِن لِّيَقْضِيَ اللَّهُ أَمْرًا كَانَ مَفْعُولًا لِّيَهْلِكَ مَنْ هَلَكَ عَن بَيِّنَةٍ وَيَحْيَىٰ مَنْ حَيَّ عَن بَيِّنَةٍ ۗ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَسَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
      But [it was] so that Allah might accomplish a matter already destined - that those who perished [through disbelief] would perish upon evidence and those who lived [in faith] would live upon evidence; and indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing.
       
       
      3.      Allah sent the Prophet and Quran to manifest justice. The Quran says in Chapter 14 (Al-hadid), verse 25:
       
      لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلَنَا بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَنزَلْنَا مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْمِيزَانَ لِيَقُومَ النَّاسُ بِالْقِسْطِ
      We have already sent Our messengers with clear evidences and sent down with them the Scripture and the balance that the people may maintain [their affairs] in justice.
       
      Also, in Chapter 3 (Aal-Imran), verse 18:
       
      شَهِدَ ٱللَّهُ أَنَّهُۥ لَآ إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ وَٱلْمَلَٰٓئِكَةُ وَأُوْلُواْ ٱلْعِلْمِ قَآئِمًۢا بِٱلْقِسْطِ ۚ لَآ إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ
      Allah witnesses that there is no deity except Him, and [so do] the angels and those of knowledge - [that He is] maintaining [creation] in justice. There is no deity except Him, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
       
      Also, in Chapter (Al-aaida), verse 44:
       
      وَمَنْ لَمْ يَحْكُمْ بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ 
      And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed - then it is those who are the disbelievers.
       
      4.      Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has given us hands, legs, tongs, eyes etc. He told us how to use them in the right way and get rewarded, and refrain from using them in evil ways.
       
      5.      Likewise, Allah also has given us the brain/mind and thinking power to differentiate between right and wrong. Furthermore, He told us to use the mind in the proper way to get to the truth of things. There are tens of verses in the Holly Quran in this regard. If we do not use our mind in the right way, and make mistakes or sins, we will be questioned about them by Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). This is a very serious matter that most people do not pay attention to. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) sent the Prophets and holy books so that people obey his orders. Allah does not play games.
      It is also noted that when people are prejudiced towards some opinion (or persons) and are not fully objective in their treatment of any subject, in particular that of religion, the mind will be clouded and will not be able to arrive at the truth. The prejudice acts like a wall or barrier preventing the mind from reaching the truth. In most cases people are unaware of this barrier.
       
      Questions
      We now ask some questions and try to find answers to them in the light of the Quran and the above verses. Let us see what the questions below entail (while people are oblivious of it).
      Q1.
      From point 3 above, Allah sent the holy books so that justice is served and preserved. This justice is Allah’s justice, not a human interpretation of justice. Worshiping Allah the right way (the way He wants, not the way we want) is the ultimate justice. Other things stem from this, since obeying all Allah’s Commands is part of this justice. Justice is paramount. Everything is related to justice and hinges on it.
       
      Q2.
      Is governing part of this justice? Absolutely. Governing in a just Islamic way is what Allah ordered us to do. He sent all his Prophets, including our Prophet, for the sole purpose of justice.
      Q3.
      Did the Prophet leave a will, or did he not?
      To say he did not, implies that he disobeyed the Quran and Allah. It also implies that he ordered people to make their wills yet he did not. This further implies that the Prophet was a hypocrite and disobedient to Allah, which no Muslim can accept, or even dares to entertain.
      Hence, he must have left his will.
      The Prophet had two wills to make:
       
      ·         One as a Muslim leaving his will to his family. We will not indulge in this here now because it is not our current discussion.
       
      ·         The other is his will as the head of the Islamic state (or Islamic community) and this will is for the well being of Muslims. This will must have been obvious to all Muslims. It is the Command of Allah. The Prophet must have told the Muslims abundantly and in a very obvious way how to govern themselves after his death to maintain justice and to protect Islam and themselves. This is so important for Islam (the last and complete religion) to continue to the end of time. Also, it must have been a direct order from Allah, whose revelation included everything people need, and should be found obvious in the Quran if Islam is a complete religion. So, what is this will? And where is it?
       
      ·         Furthermore, one may contemplate the question: Didn’t any of the Muslims ask the Prophet how they are to govern themselves after him? What about the Sahabah who are held at such a high status? Didn’t any of them ask the question?
       
      ·         Questions we as Muslims may ask:
      -        Did the Prophet appoint a person as his successor? If so, who is he?
      -        If not, did he appoint a counsel to select the ruler? If so, who are they?
      -        Did he set up an Islam method of how to elect the ruler?
      -        If he had left choosing the ruler to the Muslims (and the Sahabah) to decide, did he tell them how to do it?
      -        Did he tell them the proper Islamic system of election? Or did he leave them to be confused about such a paramount issue?
      -        Why would he leave them without clarifying to them what to do?
      -        Is this expected of a wise person, let alone the last Prophet of Allah?
      -        If there is Islamic system of election, where can we find it?
      -        Are there any hadiths on this issue, since it is so important, and the Muslims were divided because of it?
      -        Since governing is paramount in Islam for justice to prevail (as we mentioned above) why can’t we find proper and abundant fiqh derived directly from the Quran and hadiths about it?
      -        If none of the above, then it would appear that Islam is not a complete religion as the Quran, and the Muslims claim.
      -        Is this acceptable?
      -        Why is this subject so unclear and engulfed by so much confusion, while the Prophet told us everything else, even how to wash when we go to the toilet?
      -        Is this confusion deliberate?
      -        Why?
      -        Who is behind it? And who benefited from it?
       
      ·         What about Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)? Did He leave this important issue without clarification to the Muslims (who are humans and can make mistakes) without telling them what to do, and how to do it?
      ·         If so, then if there is injustice due to the wrong choice of ruler, we should blame Allah for not showing us the way.
      -        Is this acceptable?
      -        Isn’t it kufr to believe that?
      ·         If this is not acceptable, and we believe it is not, then we should categorically claim that the solution is available somewhere. And in a very clear way.
       
      Every Conceivable Probability
       
      Every conceivable probability, reasoning and justification are acceptable, no matter how illogical they are, except the one probability that the Prophet named a person to be after him. This probability is never logical, never included, and never accepted. As if the Prophet had no right, or did not know how, to select a good Sahabi to succeed him.
       
      The Sunnah of the Prophet
       
      The Sunna of the Prophet is everything he said, did or gave tacit approval to.
       
      For those who believe that the Prophet left choosing the ruler to the Muslims (and the Sahabah) to decide, then it is a sunnah, and should be followed and abided by. Also, this sunnah must be Allah’s order and command, because the Prophet applies the Quran to the letter. It should not be disobeyed.
       
      ·         Why did Abu Bakr not abide by this Sunnah when he appointed Omar to rule after him? Is this not disobeying the sunnah?
      ·         Is this a new phenomenon that was not part of the Islam of the Prophet (i.e. a bid’ah) that Abu Bakr invented?
      ·         Is disobeying the sunnah, not disobeying Allah?
      ·         Also, when Omar accepted to be appointed, is this not disobeying the sunnah, and the command of Allah?
      ·         Omar, in turn, appointed a group of 6 people to choose the successor after him:
      -        Is this not disobeying the sunnah and the command of Allah?
      -        Where did this number 6 come from?
      -        Is this number 6 available in the Quran or sunnah?
      -        How were these 6 people selected out of the rest of the Sahabah?
      -        From an Islamic point of view, what are the virtues and abilities of these 6 people to be eligible as rulers?
      -        Is there anything about that in the fiqh books?
      -        Were there no other Muslims worthy of including in this group?
      -        Where is this information available?
       
      ·         The Imam Ali was the leader of the Muslim army during the time of the Prophet. Is this not a sunnah?
      ·         Why is it that the first three Kalifas did not abide by it?
      ·         Where is the military role of Imam Ali during their reign?
       
       
      Justification
      For those who say that Abu Bakr appointed Omar because the situation required it. We may ask:
       
      ·         Abu Bakr’s actions major decisions should all be Islamic. Is appointing a ruler after his death Islamic?
      ·         Is it in the Quran?
      ·         Is it a Sunnah?
      ·         Did the Prophet give Abu Bakr this right?
      ·         When the Prophet died, was the Muslim situation so good that they did not need the Prophet to appoint a successor for him? Or at least an advice for them as to what to do?
      ·         What about the fact that the Ansar and Muhajireen (who assembled in Saqifat Bani Sa’ida and were discussing who should be the ruler for three days) drew their swards and almost killed each other due to the fact that the arguments and disagreements between them were so high, while the Prophet’s body was still not buried?
      ·         Did this situation not warrant the Prophet to advise them about it?
      ·         Did the Prophet know this would happen?
      ·         Did Allah not tell the Prophet that this would happen, and what to do to evert it?
      ·         Was is it proper for the Sahabah to meet for three days to argue about this issue (meeting and arguing for three days means there was a big disagreement between them), leaving the Prophet body not buried?
      ·         Imagine the Sahabah meeting for the first whole day. During this day they would go home to eat then come back to the meeting (perhaps more than once). They go to the toilet. They pray etc. They go home to sleep, then come back to the meeting. They did this for three days, and the body of the Prophet is left without them attending to it (except Imam Ali, the Prophet’s family, and a few notable Sahabah who did not attend the meetings).
      ·         Was this proper of the powerful Sahabah to do?
      ·         Is this a show of respect to the Prophet, who is the beloved of Allah, the Creator of all things?
       
      The Guardianship of Islam
       
      Guardianship goes beyond ruling. In fact, ruling is part of this guardianship, and the guardian must be the ruler, otherwise how can he have the required influence and authority to protect Islam and the Muslims?
       
      ·         Who was the guardian of Islam?
      ·         Naturally the Prophet himself was the guardian.
      ·         Who made him the guardian?
      ·         Allah did, since Allah is the ultimate guardian. Islam is Allah’s religion.
      ·         Did Islam need a guardian after the Prophet?
      ·         Who is the guardian after the Prophet death?
      ·         Who appoints him? Shouldn’t it be God since it is His religion, and He is the one who knows the best person for the task?
       
      Most Muslims at the time of the Prophet were new to Islam. Some entered into Islam only few years before the Prophet died. Most people did not know how to read or write, and needed someone to explain the Quran and the rules to them. Understanding the Quran and its explanation is not a simple matter that one can take lightly. Even at our present time, with the high education available, we still need someone specialised to explain the Quran properly. There has to be one person, or a group of Sahabah, who should have been able to do that.
       
      But there is a problem:
       
      What about if the Sahabah make a mistake? Is the correct interpretation lost forever? In other words; the real Islam is lost for ever.
       
      For the person, or group of Sahabah, to be such that they don’t make a mistake,
       
      ·         This person, or a group of Sahabah, must be chosen by the Prophet himself because he is the only one who knows the eligible person, or persons, for the task.
      ·         But how does the Prophet know?
      ·         He must be told by Allah. In other words, it is the command of Allah.
      ·         Then, the guardian, or guardians, must be chosen by Allah who knows the eligible ones to guard his accepted religion.
      ·         Hence, guardianship is Allah’s appointment. This point is of paramount importance that we need to pay attention to.
      ·         It cannot be perceived that Allah leaves such an important issue to humans, who can make mistakes, to decide.
       
      Some may say that a group of Sahabah will make sure that they tell each other and make sure that Islamic rules are preserved.
       
      The question, then, becomes:
       
      ·         How may Sahabah are required to make sure that Islam is preserved?
      ·         Who choses these Sahabah?
      ·         And who are these Sahabah?
      ·         Some say if ten Sahabah (as a minimum) agree on a verse in the Quran, then it is right, and that how the Muslims put the Quran together during the time of the Khalifah Uthman.
      ·         Why ten?
      ·         Is this an infallible number?
      ·         Who decided on the ten?
      ·         Where did this magic number come from?
      ·         Is it in the Quran? No.
      ·         Is it the order of Allah? No.
      ·         Did the Prophet say it? No.
      ·         This also entails, for us Muslims, that the number ten should be acceptable for any other subject. Is this acceptable?
      ·         If none of the above, then we discard the tales related to this number, particularly with regards to putting the Quran together during the time of the Khalifah Uthman.
      ·         Furthermore, these people are telling us the number of people is more important than one actually knowledgeable person. Shouldn’t the level of expertise be more important than the number of people?
       
       
      The Companions:
       
      The Quran says in Chapter 62 (Al-Jumu’a), verse 11:
       
      وَإِذَا رَأَوْا تِجَارَةً أَوْ لَهْوًا انفَضُّوا إِلَيْهَا وَتَرَكُوكَ قَائِمًا ۚ قُلْ مَا عِندَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ مِّنَ اللَّهْوِ وَمِنَ التِّجَارَةِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ
      But when they saw a transaction or a diversion, [O Muhammad], they rushed to it and left you standing. Say, "What is with Allah is better than diversion and than a transaction, and Allah is the best of providers."
       
      Surat Al-Jumu’a was revealed to the Prophet on the sixth year of Hijrah. That is 5 years before the Prophet died. Even then, most Muslims (except few, and it is said 12 of them) used to leave him while he was delivering the Juma’a speech of the Juma’a prayer to go to worldly things, to the extent that necessitated Allah to dress them down.
       
      People say all the Sahabah maintain justice and piousness. So, whoever you follow, you will be guided. This is in direct contradiction to the above verse.
       
      This is also in direct contradiction to Chapter 63, in the Quran: المنافقون Al-Munaafiqoon (The Hypocrites). This chapter clearly says that there were hypocrites who were part of what we now call Sahabah (since Sahabah are defined as anyone who saw the profit even once).
       
      The Quran says in Chapter 9 (At-Tawba), verse 101:
       
      وَمِمَّنْ حَوْلَكُم مِّنَ ٱلْأَعْرَابِ مُنَٰفِقُونَ ۖ وَمِنْ أَهْلِ ٱلْمَدِينَةِ ۖ مَرَدُواْ عَلَى ٱلنِّفَاقِ لَا تَعْلَمُهُمْ ۖ نَحْنُ نَعْلَمُهُمْ ۚ سَنُعَذِّبُهُم مَّرَّتَيْنِ ثُمَّ يُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ عَذَابٍ عَظِيمٍۢ
      And among those around you of the Bedouins are hypocrites, and [also] from the people of Madinah. They have become accustomed to hypocrisy. You, [O Muhammad], do not know them, [but] We know them. We will punish them twice [in this world]; then they will be returned to a great punishment.
       
      Prophet Moses and the Israelites
       
      The events of the Prophet Moses with the Israelites that the Quran tells us are eye opening examples.
       
      The Israelites saw with their own eyes how Prophet Moses split the sea with his stick. They crossed the sea to safety while the water was high around them. No one told them the event as a story. It happened to them first hand. Only a few days later when Moses left them to converse with Allah, they gathered the gold from women. Every woman donated her gold to make a calf, and worship it.
       
      The Quran goes on about other stories of the Israelites with Prophet Moses.
       
      Most people think that this behavior is a characteristic of the Israelites. They forget that the Israelites are humans like everybody else, and that this behavior is a human behavior of those who are either not believers, or they are new to the belief and don’t fully understand it.
       
      The Quran tells as many stories about the people of the Prophets.
       
      Why do Muslims think that the new Muslims during the time of the Prophet Muhammed are any different while the Quran, and the Prophet himself told them that they will behave no different from the people before them.
       
      The Quran says in Chapter 3 (AaL Imraan), verse 144:
       
      وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلَّا رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ أَفَإِنْ مَاتَ أَوْ قُتِلَ انْقَلَبْتُمْ عَلَى أَعْقَابِكُمْ وَمَنْ يَنْقَلِبْ عَلَى عَقِبَيْهِ فَلَنْ يَضُرَّ اللَّهَ شَيْئًا وَسَيَجْزِي اللَّهُ الشَّاكِرِينَ
      Muhammad is not but a messenger. [Other] messengers have passed on before him. So, if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels [to unbelief]? And he who turns back on his heels will never harm Allah at all; but Allah will reward the grateful.
       
       
    • By Abdul-Hadi in Chasing Islam
         3
      I am alone at home for the week. Mom has gone to visit my aunt & uncle in New York state. I'm happy for her because she hasn't gone on a vacation since before COVID19 began it's rampage through America; so it's good that she's getting to visit them. She'll be visiting with my cousin Hannah as well. However, it's just me here with the cats (after all someone had to stay around to feed, water, scoop, and spend time with them). I have the house to myself for a week. Just me, completely alone and that got me thinking about my progress in Islam.

      There is a masjid here in town. A Sunni masjid but a masjid nonetheless. I have gone there before when I was first investigating Islam, but not since I have decided to follow the Shia. I wanted to attend Jummah today, but the masjid is still closed because of COVID19. Unfortunately, even if the masjid was open, I can only think that I would be castigated by nitpicking brothers for how I pray, the way I perform the wudhu, and have to get into debates that I am not prepared for (and don't want to get into) as to why I "pray the wrong way" and how I am a heathen, so on and so forth. There is no Shia Islamic Center anywhere remotely close to my hometown. The closest one is 120 miles to the north of me and that's simply too far to drive for a Jummah service every week with the price of gas being what it is and me not even working at the time being (as well as not being able to leave the county without permission, but we won't get into that).

      It makes me lonely as a revert. A revert who is the only Muslim in his family, let alone his household. I read through the Quran, sure but a lot of brothers and sisters have and many of them many more times that I already have. I have no background with the Hadith and don't know how to determine which are reliable, which I am allowed to use, and how to read them. I have no older brothers who can mentor me in Islam, as I feel like I am the only Shia in the area even if that is not true. What I liked about being a Christian, despite the glaring theological problems with Christianity, was the community and fellowship that was available to me at any of the hundreds of churches in the area. There were older Christians who could mentor me in the faith, Bible studies that were run that I could attend, service work in the community I could participate in... the communal aspect of religion is very important; but sadly I do not have any of those luxuries right now whether it's because of the town I live in or whether it's because I'm in the minority of an already minority religion in America. On one hand, I find myself wishing that Islam in America was like Christianity while on the other hand, for reasons I'll not get into here that I've already outlined in numerous threads, I thank Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) that it is different entirely. Shia Islam, despite being the minority of a minority in America, has yet to become infected and corrupted the way that Christianity has and inshallah, it never will. Inshallah, Islam in America will truly grow in to the "fastest growing religion" and will bring about a revival of traditional values and morality that this country desperately needs.

      But before that day comes, what is there that can be done?

      The answer: cling closely to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), the example of the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and the Glorious Quran. Read it every day without ceasing, when you finish the final surah-- go back to the beginning and start over again. Make your five daily prayers wherein you spend time with Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and for those five wonderful times throughout the day, spend time before Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). Recite the Tasbih. Renew your Wudhu always. Read Islamic literature and watch Khutbas, and offer dua that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) might bring you some upright brothers to fellowship and pray along with, who encourage you as you encourage them. Perfect your prayers (which can be quite the challenge for Westerners with no background in Islam or Arabic). Enjoin good and forbid evil. Do the little things for family and friends to let Allah's (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) light shine through you and make this world a better place.

      Being alone in your deen can be rough, it can certainly test your resolve to stay on the right path. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) never tests you beyond what he knows that you can handle and like steel in a furnace, these tests are to refine you into something more beautiful. Alhamdulillah.
    • By 3wliya_maryam in spoken words/poetry/ deep thinking
         4
      The correlation between OCD and being sensitive may apply only to some people. There is no clear evidence that highly sensitive individuals are prone to the disorder, although one of the symptoms indicate sensitivity to be a major factor. For instance, one may begin to obsess over hygiene as they fear being contaminated or infected with bacteria at home, so they start washing their hands repeatedly or attempting to maintain the cleanliness of the house. They are sensitive to any foreign substance present within their surrounding environment.
      In Islam, we must sustain purity before prayer. That means performing ablution or a full body ritual purification that is called 'ghusl'. Nevertheless, one may start developing doubts as to whether they are truly purified. Women may have doubts about discharge whilst men may begin to worry about excreting semen. Perhaps their clothes were impure, or that they passed gas during prayer. It could lead to repeatedly showering, performing ablution or using the bathroom more frequently. For the individual it is undoubtedly stressful and can lead to physical health problems, such as dry skin and hair as well as acne.
      The flashback memories of my past childhood always affects me till this day. I was born as a sensitive and naive child. Sensitivity is that one trait people often despise, even the carriers of it. I was faced with difficulties for self acceptance, because not only did I loathe my self for my overreacting personality, I was a victim of fat shaming. I wanted to feel happy, free of worries by claiming my desires. But unfortunately we do not live in a Utopian world; not everything we wish for can be granted, unless we choose to put the effort. I definitely take it to heart if someone still fat shamed me, even if it was merely a 'joke'. It evokes all my memories of self loathe, where I was rather too young to be feeling insecure followed by wasted effort from dieting and physical activity. We dislike being called sensitive despite us being fully aware. We refuse to admit our behaviours because we choose to not be defined by it. We feel weak, with no self control towards our impulses. When these emotions begin to overwhelm us, our mental health deteriorates. We feel violated if one makes a remark, which leads us being defensive.
      One must also understand that sensitive people can vary. Some are just easily emotional and have deep empathy, whereas others I previously mentioned have the tendency to take everything so personal. Normally these individuals have insecurities followed by low self esteem and hence their weakness is criticism. They are not skilled to ignore varying perceptions because they choose to listen to them and not their own conscious mind. It is the fear of judgement that they may receive.
      You may be wondering about its relevance to scrupulosity, but in some form it plays a role. Again, it is not necessarily the cause of the disorder and this is only an elucidation of my own personal experience. I investigated within myself and realised that one of the triggers towards OCD was my highly sensitive personality. Followed by the altering chemical changes, my overreactions led to repetitive self harm out of guilt and loathe. My personality may have been a stepping stone towards the disorder; the smallest of things I felt was a grave sin and through time it only had gotten worse.
      Do not let others define you, a very important lesson that I wish I had grasped years ago. People like to manipulate and make you feel bad, even though you may be the victim. That does not mean you should play its role, rather you should only believe in what your heart feels right. Sometimes we know that our very own mind controls us too and causes us to react or act in ways we regret later, but do not let the past define you. Every now and then I feel hurt from my own levels of faith, because when you have that love and dedication to the Lord, the judgements you receive will become meaningless.
       
       
    • By Hameedeh in Think Positive
         21
      Marriage is not easy. You have to get to know each other. You are used to doing everything your own way. Now you need to compromise. Share with each other. Give and take. If you take more than you give, it won't be as sweet. Do not expect more from your spouse than your spouse will need from you. Life is good. It's better when you are together. If you both do your best. 
      ♥ May your days be sunny, your nights restful, and your heart satisfied with the blessings that Allah has given you. Think Positive. ♥
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Blog Statistics

    87
    Total Blogs
    466
    Total Entries
×
×
  • Create New...