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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Tarawee


Ali bin Hussein

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One of the most blessed practices in the month of Ramadan is the standing in the prayer during the night. It is narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, said:

((Whoever prays 8 units in the night and the odd prayer (al-witr), and continues to do so until they meet Allah, Allah will open 12 doors of Paradise for them and they will be able to enter whatever door s/he wants)).

He, peace be upon him and his progeny, is also reported to have said:

((Whoever increases his prayers in the night, his face will be beautified in the day)).

Of course, this applies to any night but even moreso, the nights of Ramadan.

 

It is in this blessed month that our sincere acts of worship are multiplied in their reward, and our strivings are made witnesses for us on the Day of Judgment. That withstanding, we should want our prayers in the night and our other acts of worship to count for us and not against us. The only way to ensure that our acts of worship are accepted is that they must be in accord with Divine Revelation. There is no other way that the slave can be sure of Allah’s acceptance except that s/he enters through the door of the Qur’ân and the Prophetic Sunnah. Allah has made known to His slaves that which He accepts from them and that which He rejects through these two sources of Divine Revelation. Therefore, how we pray in the night during Ramadan and outside of Ramadan should be weighed against the Prophetic precedent.

 

During this month, we are inundated with questions concerning the voluntary prayer known as tarâwîh. First, we should clarify what is meant by tarâwîh prayer. The tarâwîh prayer refers to “the voluntary prayers prayed in congregation in the mosques during the month of Ramadan.”

 

Regarding the Prophetic precedent as established in the Sunnah, it is that the tarâwîh prayer is invalid. Any voluntary prayer during Ramadan is prayed alone in one’s home and not in congregation in the mosques. This view is supported by the narrations of the Generality, the statements and opinions of the imams of Ahl al-Bayt, and that of the jurists and scholars of the Generality.

 

Regarding the narrations of the Generality, it is narrated in Ŝahîh al-Bukhâri and Ŝahîh Muslim on the authority of Zayd bin Thâbit:

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, constructed a small room (with a palm leaf mat). The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, came out and prayed in it. Some men came and joined him in his prayer. Then, they came for the prayer again the next night, but the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, delayed and did not come out to them. So they began raising their voices and knocking on the door with stones. He came out to them angry (mughďabân) and said: ((You are still insisting until I thought that this prayer might become obligatory on you. The prayer is to be in your homes (‘alaykum bi salâŧi fi buyûtikum), for the best prayer of a person is the one which is offered at home, except the obligatory prayers)).

 

This report is an explicit statement by the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, that the non-obligatory prayers are to be performed at home—this includes what is called tarâwîh prayer. This Prophetic Sunnah was carried out until the death of the Prophet and up until the later part of the Caliphate of ‘Umar bin al-Khattâb.

 

The origin of the congregational tarâwîh prayer in the mosques is mentioned in another report in Ŝahîh al-Bukhâri in which it is said on the authority of Abu Hurayra:

Ibn Shihâb [i.e. az-Zuhri] said: “The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, died and the people continued observing that. It continued like that during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr and in the early days of ‘Umar's Caliphate.” ‘Abdur-Rahmân bin ‘Abdul-Qâri said: “I went out with ‘Umar bin al-Khattâb one night in Ramadan to the mosque and found the people praying in different groups. A man would pray alone or a man would pray with a little group behind him. So, ‘Umar said: “In my opinion it would better to gather them behind one reciter.” So, he made up his mind to congregate them behind Ubay bin Ka’b. Then on another night I went again in his company and the people were praying behind their reciter. On that, ‘Umar said: “What an excellent innovation (bid’a) this is! But the prayer which they do not perform but sleep at its time, is better than the one they are offering now!” He meant the prayer in the last part of the night.

 

So there we have it! The author of the congregational tarâwîh prayer is ‘Umar, not the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny. If something is termed an innovation, it cannot be termed a sunnah, for they are opposites! Not only that; but ‘Umar even admitted that the prayer in the last part of the night [i.e. delaying the prayer to pray it at home] is even better than the congregational prayer in the mosques!

 

The opinion of the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt is very clear concerning this matter. It is narrated in Amali Ahmed bin ‘Isa that Imam al-Hasan bin Yahya bin al-Hussein bin Zayd bin ‘Ali, upon them be peace, said:

((The consensus of the Progeny of Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, is that the tarâwîh prayer is not from the Sunnah of the Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, nor that of Amîr al-Muminîn [i.e. ‘Ali bin Abi Tâlib]. Rather, ‘Ali bin Abi Tâlib used to prohibit that. According to them, it is better to pray it individually. Similar is the case with the other sunnah prayers, except the obligatory prayers which is better to pray in congregation)).

 

In the book Al-Jâmi’ al-Kâfi, which is a compendium of the jurisprudential opinions of the imams of Ahl al-Bayt, it is narrated on the authority of al-Qûmisi:

I asked al-Qâsim bin Ibrâhîm, uhpb, about standing in voluntary congregational prayer during Ramadan, and he said: “It is unknown.” He narrated on the authority of Ali, upon him be peace, that he used to prohibit that.

Also in the same text, it is reported:

‘Abdullah bin al-Hasan, upon him be peace, used to pray with his family in his house during the nights of Ramadan like one would pray tarâwîh in the mosques.

 

Imam al-Hâdi ila al-Haqq Yahya bin al-Hussein, upon him be peace, said:

You asked about what was narrated on the authority of the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, that he prayed tarâwîh one night in Ramadan and then commanded the people to go to their houses. Some of the people have narrated and mentioned this. However, we do not consider any of this authentic. It wasn’t one night or two nights. We do not know of it on his authority nor have we narrated it. It has not reached us that he, peace be upon him and his progeny, prayed tarâwîh with the people one night or two, one hour or two, or one unit or two. Not one of our scholars has ever narrated that. Not one of our ancestors has related that on the authority of the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny. If there was anything to it and it was from him, it would have been narrated from our ancestors on the authority of their ancestors on the authority of their grandfathers. Since they did not fail to mention anything from him, that which they came with is authentic on his authority.

 

We may also add that it is not only the opinion of Imam Ali and the Ahl al-Bayt, upon them be peace, but it is also the opinion of some Companions and jurists of the Muslim Community. Imam al-Bayhaqi narrated in his Sunan that when ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar was asked about praying in the mosques for tarâwîh, he said: “Pray in your homes.” Al-Bayhaqi also narrated that Ibn Umar used to pray the tarâwîh in his house. Ibn Abi Shayma narrated in his Muŝannaf that Ibrahim an-Nikha’i used to not pray along with others during Ramadan. The same opinion was held by al-Hasan al-Basri, al-Alqama and al-Aswad. Badrudîn al-A’ini said in his commentary of Sahîh al-Bukhâri called ‘Umdat al-Qâri:

Mâlik, ash-Shâfi’, and Rabi’a held to the view that the prayer in the house is better than the prayer with an imam [i.e. in the mosques]. This is the view of Ibrâhîm [an-Nikha’i], al-Hasan al-Basri, al-Alqama and al-Aswad.

In the chief book of Mâliki jurisprudence, the Mudawwana, when Imam Mâlik was asked about praying during Ramadan, he said:

If one has the strength, it is preferred to me that one prays in his house. Not everyone has the strength to do that.

 

The proponents seek to justify the praying of tarâwîh by the following report in Ŝahîh al-Bukhâri on the authority of ‘Urwa bin az-Zubayr:

He was informed by A’isha, the Mother of the Believers: “The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, went out in the middle of the night and prayed in the mosque, and some men prayed behind him. In the morning, the people began talking about it and then a large number of them gathered and prayed behind him [i.e. that second time]. On the next morning the people again talked about it, and on the third night the mosque was filled with a large number of people. The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, came out, and the people prayed behind him. On the fourth night, the mosque was overflowing with people and it couldn’t accommodate them. Then, he came out for the Morning Prayer. After completing the Morning Prayer, he faced the people, pronounced the testimony of faith and said: ((As to what follows: I did not fear your place, rather I feared that you may view it as obligatory)). The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, died and it remained that way.”

 

This report does not prove what our opponents surmise. First of all, the report says that the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, came out “in the middle of the night” which is contrary to what most who pray tarâwîh do; rather, they pray it immediately after the Evening Prayer (I’shâ). Second, according to this report, the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, went to the mosque to pray, but it is not narrated that he commanded or encouraged those behind him to pray in congregation. Third, he discontinued praying it in the mosque until he died, which shows something to be abrogated (mansûkh) and not established (thâbit). One is not permitted to act upon something explicitly abrogated unless there is proof otherwise. Fourth, his, peace be upon him and his progeny, statement indicates a connection with the first report that we mentioned on the authority of Zayd bin Thâbit. Although, there are some minor differences—which occur amongst narrators—there is seemingly a connection between the two reports, which shows that the Prophet censured anyone who prayed in congregation, and he stated the preference for prayer alone.

 

We say is that the prayer mentioned in the reports of ‘Urwa and Zayd were actually the obligatory prayers of the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny. As we know, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, had additional obligatory prayers he had to offer and he was simply making them in the mosque and prayer hall. As he noticed that the people started to congregate behind him, he discontinued it to tell them that he did not want them to pray behind him intending obligatory prayers, but rather pray their supererogatory prayers at home. This is because a person praying a supererogatory prayer cannot pray behind someone making an obligatory prayer.

 

The opponents also say that the action of ‘Umar can be considered a sunnah because the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, is reported to have said: ((Follow my sunnah and the sunnah of the rightly-guided successors after me)).

 

We reply with the following points:

- First, there is disagreement amongst the scholars of this hadîth regarding its authenticity.

- Second, even if the hadîth was authentic, it would be problematic because our opponents say that the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, did not specifically name his successor. It would be nonsensical that the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, would command the Muslims to follow someone who he had not specifically designated as his successor! There was mass confusion and disagreement not only regarding who was to succeed the Prophet, but also who could be considered “rightly guided”!

- Third, if the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, established a sunnah, it is not the duty of a successor to come after him and abrogate it with something else. Remember the narration in Ŝahîh al-Bukhâri where ‘Umar referred to tarâwîh as an “innovation.” Did not the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, say: ((Every innovation is deviance and every deviance is in the Hellfire)) and ((Every matter that is not from our matter is rejected))?!

- Fourth, even Umar acknowledged that the prayer later in the night is better than the tarâwîh with his statement: “But the prayer which they do not perform but sleep at its time, is better than the one they are offering now!”

- Fifth, if the tarâwîh was “the sunnah of the rightly-guided successors,” why did prominent Companions, Followers, and jurists refrain from it and encourage others to do so?! Either they did not consider it to be a sunnah or they did not consider the one who instituted it to be a “rightly guided successor”!

 

Our opponents say that the tarâwîh prayer is the practice of Imam ‘Ali, may Allah ennoble his face, because it is narrated in Musnad Imam Zayd in the chapter “Standing in the Prayer during Ramadan”:

Zayd bin ‘Ali narrated on the authority of his father—his grandfather—Ali, upon him be peace, that he commanded that the one who stands in prayer with the people during Ramadan and pray 20 units should give the final salutations after every two units. He should take a break (yarâwah) after four units so one could relieve oneself and repeat the ritual ablution. He should pray the odd prayer (witr) at the last part of the night while leaving.

 

We reply by saying that this report does not prove what our opponents import. The first part of the report says: “he commanded that the one who stands in prayer with the people during Ramadan and pray 20 units should…” This indicates that Amîr al-Muminîn, upon him be peace, was advising someone who was already making the tarâwîh prayer to “give the final salutations after every two units…take a break after four units so one could relieve oneself and repeat the ritual ablution…pray the odd prayer (witr) at the last part of the night while leaving.” He is not advising them to pray the tarâwîh prayer; rather, he was advising them what to do if they prayed the tarâwîh. Perhaps he witnessed that the people used to prolong the prayers without taking a break and so forth. Therefore, he saw fit to advise them regarding their actions to make the prayer easier upon the Muslims. Regardless of the circumstances, this report is not sufficient in proving that Imam ‘Ali, upon him be peace, endorsed the tarâwîh prayer.

 

Our opponents may ask: “If Imam ‘Ali was so opposed to the tarâwîh prayer, why didn’t he advise the people not to do it?”

 

We say that it may have not been possible at that time to discontinue the tarâwîh prayer because it was during the caliphate of ‘Umar. This may have caused unnecessary disorder. So, for the sake of Muslim unity, he simply advised the one who would already pray the tarâwîh. Such an action is not unique to ‘Ali, upon him be peace. There are examples in history where the Companions disagreed with the ruling of the prevailing order but chose instead to opt for unity rather than controversy.

 

One example is that of ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ûd. Imam al-Bayhaqi narrated this incident in his Sunan al-Kubra on the authority of ‘Abdur-Rahmân bin Yazîd:

We were with ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ûd in a group and when we entered the mosque in Mina, he said: “How many units does the Amîr al-Muminîn (meaning ‘Uthmân) pray?” They said: “Four.” So they prayed four units. We said: “Didn’t you narrate to us that the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, prayed two units, as well as Abu Bakr?” He said: “Indeed. I narrate that now; however, ‘Uthmân is the imam and I didn’t want to differ with him because disagreements are an evil.”

 

This report shows that although Abdullah bin Mas’ûd held to the view that the two unit prayer in Mina was the Sunnah, he chose to act on what ‘Uthmân did because the latter was the caliph of the time and Ibn Mas’ûd feared controversy. Similar is the case with Imam ‘Ali, may Allah ennoble his face. He probably felt that during the time of ‘Umar, the issue of praying the tarâwîh was not one that required outcry as to cause a political disturbance. However, as is made clear from the narrations of Ahl al-Bayt that we quoted above, Imam ‘Ali prohibited it from taking place during his caliphate. It is noteworthy that the Musnad Imam Zayd does not report that Imam ‘Ali ever prayed the tarâwîh prayer.

 

Our opponents say that there are some reports in the books of hadîth that Imam Ali, upon him be peace, actually prayed the tarâwîh prayer and/or commanded people to do it. The first one is in the Sunan of al-Bayhaqi on the authority of Arfaja’ ath-Thaqafi, who said:

‘Ali bin Abi Tâlib, may Allah be pleased with him, used to command the people to stand in prayer during Ramadan. He appointed one man as the prayer leader for the men and another man as the prayer leader for the women. [Arfaja’ added:] I was made the prayer leader of the women.

The second report is similarly narrated by al-Bayhaqi in his Sunan on the authority of ‘Ali who said:

I was present with ‘Umar during the prayer in Ramadan. I informed him that over the seven heavens is a pen (haďîra) and on this pen is written: “Holy.” Living in this pen are people, and they are called: “Spirit.” On the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr), they seek permission from their Lord to descend to this world. There is no one who prays or are on the path except that they are showered with blessings. ‘Umar said: “O Abul-Hasan, we will command the people to be present in this prayer so that they are showered with these blessings.” So, he commanded the people to stand in prayer.

The third report is also narrated by al-Bayhaqi in his Sunan on the authority of Ismâ’îl bin Yazîd, who said:

‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, continued to the mosque. There were lamps there during Ramadan. He said: “May the Light of Allah be upon ‘Umar in his grave just as there is light on us in this mosque!”

 

We say that these reports cannot be used as a proof because these reports are considered inauthentic, even based upon the criteria of those held as authorities by our opponents. One of our contemporary scholars, Sayyid Allama ‘Abdur-Rahmân ash-Shâyim addressed these reports in his treatise Ar-Radd al- Jalayi ‘ala Sâhib al-Qawli al-Jaliyi.

 

Regarding the first report, he said:

I say that based upon the conditions of the scholars of hadîth criticism, its chain of narrators contains Arfaja’ bin ‘Abdullah ath-Thaqafi. Ibn al-Qattân said regarding him: “He is unknown.”…Also in its chain of narrators is ‘Umar bin ‘Abdullah bin Ya’la bin Murra ath-Thaqafi (i.e. Abu Abdullah ath-Thaqafi). There is consensus that he is “weak.” Yahya bin Mu’în said: “‘Umar bin ‘Abdullah is weak. I heard Jarîr bin ‘Abdul-Hamîd say: ‘Umar bin ‘Abdullah used to drink alcohol.” Abu Nu’aym said: “I saw ‘Umar bin ‘Abdullah and it is not permissible to narrate from him.” Ahmed bin Hanbal said: “He is weak in hadîths.” Abu Zara’a said: “He is not strong.” Ibn Abi Hâtim said: “He is objectionable in hadîths.” The crux of the matter is that there is consensus regarding his weakness. Refer to Tahdhîb al-Kâmil and you will find this clearly. No one narrated this about Imam ‘Ali except these two men.

 

Regarding the second report, he said:

I say that its chain of narrators contains Sa’d bin Ťarîq al-Iskâfi al-Kûfi and there is consensus that he is “weak.” Yahya bin Mu’în said: “It is not permissible to narrate anything from him.” He said elsewhere: “He is nothing.” Al-A’jli said in his Ma’rifat ath-Thuqqat: “He is weak in hadîths.” Abu Zara’a said: “He is a weak Kufan.” Ahmed bin Hanbal said: “Sa’d bin Ťarîq is weak in hadîths.” As-Su’di said: “Sa’d bin Ťarîq is blameworthy.” Al-Bukhâri said: “Sa’d bin Ťarîq is not strong.” Ibn Hibbân said: “He used to fabricate hadîths on the spot.”

 

Regarding the third report, he said:

I say that its chain of narrators contains Ismâ’îl bin Yazîd as-Sakûni. Al-Halabi said in his Al-Kashf al-Hathîth: “He is an imposter (dajjâl).” Ibn al-Jawzi and Ibn Hibbân accused him of fabrication. It is not permissible to mention Ismâ’îl except in terms of censure.” Ibn ‘Uday said: “He is objectionable in hadîths.” Generally, whatever he narrates cannot be followed by anyone regarding its chain of narrators and regarding its text. This is only one report. We not only stand upon what you witness, but other chains. Ibn ‘Asâkir also narrated it but I say that its chain of narrators contains Muhammad bin Subîh al-Baghdâdi, and he is unknown.

 

Therefore, even based upon the criteria of the hadîth scholars of the Generality, these reports cannot be relied upon. As we mentioned earlier, the imams of Ahl al-Bayt reject any narration or report that implies or states that the Prophet, Imam ‘Ali, or any other imam of the Prophet’s Descendants, prayed tarâwîh or encouraged others to do so.

 

We therefore, call the Muslims who were charged by the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, to adhere to the Book of Allah and the Prophetic Descendants, to base their practices upon these Two Weighty Things and pray the voluntary prayers individually in their homes. It is by this adherence that our actions will be accepted by our Lord, insha-Allah

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         0
      "And your Lord has commanded that you shall not serve (any) but Him...."
      Each and every creation (makhlooq) in this universe has a natural innate attachment with the creator. Every being that is created, itself carries a signature of the creator in every form and shape and also submits to the reality of existence of its creator. This is not something for which a creature needs something from outside his being. His existence itself contains those elements that lead his way towards his creator. If we try to specify those elements within a human being, our first attention goes towards the conscience (fitrah) of a human being. This conscience is captured in our soul and is completely intrinsic to our being. The spirit is the being which is the home of conscience while body is just the outer representation of our being.
      Our conscience is the one which tells us the right and wrong and all such moral principles. Hence, it needs to have an orientation or inclination. Orientation will set a direction for a being and finally a direction will have no end without an inspiration. So, basically, every spirit has a conscience which sets the moral principles and in order to do that, we ultimately and naturally need an ultimate inspiration. The entity that might act as an inspiration can have a scope. But there needs to be one entity, neither more nor less, which needs to be above every entity. To explain this mess, I would like to take an example of a student pursuing a career:
      Let's suppose that a person has an orientation of caring and healing others. A sudden thought comes to his/her mind that he/she should become a doctor. Also, he/she defines certain objectives to achieve his/her career. This is the direction that was taken according to the orientation. According to the scope of final objective, inspiration or motivation is also recognized. And finally, he/she goes to the school and college and studies to become a doctor which is the path to reach the inspiration.
      If we carefully notice this example, everything is clear-as-sky that the career path selected is due to the orientation which acts as a cause and it is pointing towards a direction to become something which is guided by the inspiration. And the inspiration here can be multiple but one, the ultimate is definitely needed. So, that states our point of view that the idea of God is an idea of ultimate inspiration which is undeniable if we have a conscience that is willing to set it's moral principles. Now, because taking care of morality is intrinsic to our conscience, the idea of god is also intrinsic and an innate reality which cannot be denied by our conscience.
      This argument stated above begs a question. What about the conscience of a person who denies the existence of God? The simple answer is that it is impossible. Because it is not our words that testify to the idea of God but it is our conscience and our conscience doesn't work exactly according to us. Every being has an ultimate inspiration within his self. If someone denies that ultimate inspiration, his self will start recognizing something else as an inspiration and if he still denies this new inspiration then his self will cling to something else and so on. So, denying the idea of God means ultimately denying the idea of existence or submitting to something at some point by stopping the loop of denial. My physics teacher in school once said that most of the scientists our athiests and they don't believe in god. But he was forced to conclude his statement by saying that there god is nature. So, one can say that 'his idea of god is different than others' but cannot deny the idea itself. So, we conclude that atheism by definition has no value and it is fundamentally impossible to deny the existence of God. And the Holy Quran states in this context:
      "The seven heavens declare His glory and the earth (too), and those who are in them; and there is not a single thing but glorifies Him with His praise, but you do not understand their glorification; surely He is Forbearing, Forgiving." Al Isra (17:44)
      The above verse shows how the idea of God is within every creation. And another verse which states that how our conscience says opposite to what a proponent of athiesm might say:
      "Read your book; your own self is sufficient as a reckoner against you this day." Al Isra (17:14)
      Our self definitely contains this fundamental idea of god and that is the reason it will be a proof against us finally. Also, Imam Ali (عليه السلام) states, "The one who recognized his self, recognized his lord" implying that ultimately our self consists all those fundamentals we need to understand the idea of God in its entirety. So, now let us go further to address what is left with us.
      We see that ultimately we now have to see what can be the possible reality of God. And we shall only use the most basic rational ways to reach the results inshallah. We can easily think of some possiblilities. Either God is one or more than one. Within these two broad categories of reality of God lies a long list of classifications. We are not going to mention them as it is not at all necessary to ponder on each and every speculation regarding these categories. Definition of more than one gods is followed in the polytheistic systems. This is a possibility but let us match this idea with what our self testifies. It doesn't matter for us over here whether Gods are two, three or more than that but the fact of the matter is that does our pure and perfect self which is the essence of our being accept it? Our self contains the innate idea of God which must be an ultimate inspiration. Can we have more than one ultimate inspiration? If we have many inspirations within our idea of God, those inspirations should either be absolutely equal or they should differ from each other. If they are equal then why are they having multiple forms? There multiple forms is a proof of the fact that they are different. Even if there forms are identical in a way that they are exactly a replica of each other then they cannot be absolute or independent. Because a replica needs to have an original version which means it depends on it's original form and that implies that it is not absolute but rather relative to the existence of the original version. Another proof is there similarlity which itself testifies that they are not unique.
      So, absoluteness with exact equality is impossible and hence we are left with another option that they are different. Now, being different is itself a proof that one inspiration is better than another and one is best of all of them. So, again the multiplicity of the inspiration will finally melt down into a single inspiration which is best of all of them. We see this in the polythiestic faiths where one god is better than other and one of them is best of all. Because establishing such an idea is possible but it will not sustain. It will finally break into a hierarchy. This defeats the argument of multiple gods. As the gods which are different, comparative and have a hierarchy can be an inspiration but not ultimate inspiration. Our soul is traversing on a path which should end up on the absolute, the ultimate inspiration and objective rather than a passer-by-checkpoint or a short term goal. A doctor will never settle alone with a medical science degree. He/she will explore more unless and until he reaches a point where he doesn't need to strive further.
      The Holy Quran challenges the idea of multiple gods or even a lower form of god by stating:
      Do not associate with Allah any other god, lest you sit down despised, neglected. Al Isra (17:22)
      This verse is not neglecting the possibility of a human being to accept multiple gods but rather it is clarifying that one would not achieve and would be finally neglected and despised if they do so. Because, naturally it means lowering the bar of the objective and inspiration which will be problematic for none but the self of the person as his soul will loose the ability to explore, think and ascend further. Finally, submitting to something less than the ultimate inspiration actually means submitting to someone who carries it's own inspiration. As Quran says:
      "Those whom they call upon, themselves seek the means of access to their Lord-- whoever of them is nearest-- and they hope for His mercy and fear His chastisement; surely the chastisement of your Lord is a thing to be cautious of." Al Isra (17:57)
      So, we notice how beautifully these verses state which is extremely fundamental to our souls. How these verses convert the fundamentals of every being into words and negate the reality of polythiestic ideologies. The verses of Quran are definitely speaking the voice of our self here which we don't listen. Concluding the above argument, we stand clear that atheism is impossible and an athiest has a god which he submits but is unaware of his own submission. And polytheism which might be a possible inclination will vanish if we deeply ponder upon the fundamentals of our self. We will understand if we ponder carefully that all the entities that we accidently thought of as gods were short of being an ultimate inspiration.
      Now, if we enter into the realm of monotheism, we again need to deal with several questions. Now, the focus of discussion has shifted from 'what is the suitable idea of god?' to 'how should we define a single inspiration/God?' There can be a few possibilities. But those possibilties are not what we are looking to identify but rather what our soul will find to be the best. We need to understand that we are not forcing our conscience to accept something which is not asked for and is inferior. The concept of a single inspiration is proven but that inspiration should fit into the exact criteria of what our conscience fundamentally wants. It was stated in the above discussion that there must be atleast one ultimate inspiration above all that should suffice the requirement of our final destiny or objective on this journey of our soul. Further, we also stated while having an argument on polytheism that inspiration can be comparative and different but such inspiration cannot be considered ultimate inspiration. It might be the best among all but if it is comparable then it is not unique. Our ultimate inspiration should be one, unique, independent and above everything while being the origin of everything. Can an entity within the realm of creation fulfill such a criteria? Can we call a creation, an origin of other creation? Even if this creation is not known to us or it is something really amazing and out of the box? The problem over here is that, whatever it might be, it is still a creation and hence it doesn't fulfills the criteria of being above all. Because, it lies withing the realm of creation and is remotely comparable to something even if the comparison is not that close. A star we see in the sky might be a million light years apart but the distance is still finite and it can be compared to other stars because it is has all the features of a star. So, this short example shows that our conscience will never settle with an ultimate inspiration which is not unique in all aspects and has nothing remotely similar. One might say, what about this universe as a single entity? Well, this universe is a system which is dependent upon several physical forces and natural phenomenas and if we contemplate the origin of these forces we are left with a question mark. It doesn't suffice the criteria of the self that the inspiration should be independent. So, whatsoever we might imagine and regardless of how much we move ahead, our self searches for more.
      We our left with nothing but to take an option of this ultimate inspiration which is away from all bounds. This process of reasoning to reach the final conclusion is quite clear in the Holy Book (Qur'an) where Prophet Ibrahim (عليه السلام) says:
      So when the night over-shadowed him, he saw a star; said he: Is this my Lord? So when it set, he said: I do not love the setting ones.
      Then when he saw the moon rising, he said: Is this my Lord? So when it set, he said: If my Lord had not guided me I should certainly be of the erring people.
      Then when he saw the sun rising, he said: Is this my Lord? Is this the greatest? So when it set, he said: O my people! surely I am clear of what you set up (with Allah).
      Al Anaam (6:76-78)
      As Imam Ali (عليه السلام) states the definition of that one god, the ultimate inspiration below:
      Praise is due to Allah whose worth cannot be described by speakers, whose bounties cannot be counted by calculators and whose claim (to obedience) cannot be satisfied by those who attempt to do so, whom the height of intellectual courage cannot appreciate, and the divings of understanding cannot reach; He for whose description no limit has been laid down, no eulogy exists, no time is ordained and no duration is fixed. He brought forth creation through His Omnipotence, dispersed winds through His Compassion, and made firm the shaking earth with rocks......
      He is a Being, but not through phenomenon of coming into being. He exists but not from non-existence. He is with everything but not in physical nearness. He is different from everything but not in physical separation. He acts but without connotation of movements and instruments. He sees even when there is none to be looked at from among His creation. He is only One, such that there is none with whom He may keep company or whom He may miss in his absence.
      (excerpts of Nahj ul Balagha sermon 1)
      As Amir al Mumineen (عليه السلام) defines, this is the ultimate destiny and inspiration our self is looking for and this is the only inspiration which can set pure moral standards for our conscience. Hence, this is the best and most beautiful definition of monotheism as it is testified by the soul and it is fundamental and intrinsic within ourselves.
      Concluding this entire discussion now, we reach a conclusion which is solely given to us by our pure soul and our conscience. Similar to this, as described in the above verses, every particle in this entire universe is in complete servitude to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) (the ultimate inspiration). Hence, while setting up moral principles, they should be derived from this inspiration and nothing else. Such should be the fundamental of the religion of our conscience. Therefore, monotheism in theory and in action is our fundamental principle whether we accept it or deny it. As the verse below says:
      "Whoever goes aright, for his own soul does he go aright; and whoever goes astray, to its detriment only does he go astray...." Al Isra (17:15)
      At last, the acting upon this principle just means pure servitude. We end on where we started. Serving the commandment of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is the only way to act upon the principle of monotheism and for this Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has given commandments in his book of principles i.e Quran. Along with this he has brought the guiding inspirations which are not the ultimate inspirations but just the checkpoints on the path. Not the destiny but the bridge that connects to destiny. These are the prophets and Ahlulbayt (عليه السلام). This is just a brief Islamic point of view to elaborate the principle of monotheism and not necessarily the scope of our discussion for now. In this way we conclude our discussion by claiming from the purity of our soul that:
      "Verily, we belong to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and verily to him do we return."
      [Al Baqarah (2:156)]
    • By Muntazir e Mahdi in Bayaan e Muntazir
         0
      کتنی بار تو انسانیت کو مارے گا بتا؟
      کب تک تو کائینات کو رلائے گا بتا؟

      کعبة سے تو کرارؑ کو کرپایا نہ ختم
      کب تک تو دیواروں سے مٹائے گا بتا؟

      نامِ حق سے باطل تیرا کام ہے منافق
      کب تک تو حق کو جھٹلائے گا بتا؟

      تیری سیاہ روح، نہ کوئلہ، ہے جہنم کا ایندھن
      کب تک تو جلتے در سے منہ موڑے کا بتا؟

      آتا ہے بقية اللّٰهؑ اور دَورِ عدل و انصاف
      کب تک تو اپنے انجام سے بھاگے گا بتا؟

      تو  نے بہایا نہ صرف آب تو نے بہایا ہے لہو
      کب تک تو منتظر کو اس سے لکھوائے گا بتا؟
    • By Muntazir e Mahdi in Bayaan e Muntazir
         0
      حوائج

      آؤ ذرا لہر و ہوا دیکھنے چلیں
      ساحل سے ذرا کچھ لینے چلیں
      جیب میں اشیاء نہ کہیں ملیں
      بس آس کا علم ساتھ لے کے چلیں
      آؤ اس راہ پر قدم تو رکھیں
      باب الحوئج سے ذرا ملنے چلیں
      ہاتھوں سے تڑپتی آنکھوں کو ملیں
      کچھ اشک ذرا کوثر تک چھوڑنے چلیں
      دل کھول کر اس کریم کو مخاتب کریں
      واسطہِ عظیم پھر دیتے چلیں
      بےبازو سے ہاتھ جوڑ کے کہیں
      اس چھپے کو سامنے رکھ کے چلیں
      سانسِ سکون لے کر اب آگے بڑھیں
      آؤ منتظر اب سفر طے کر کے چلیں
    • By peace4alltheworld in Book blog
         0
      Hello.First book I would to anyone who is looking to fight with his Nafs is to read book Self Building by Ayatullah Ibrahim Amini.It is published in urdu as well.
      A few words about my experience.I found this book tough to get through.I stopped in the middle two times before finally finishing it.Well worth the time spent.
      The author develops his arguments by going through material and immaterial aspects of our existence.
      After this short introduction the book is divided into three parts namely self refinement, self perfection and finally means of perfection.
      I would prefer you go through it slowly highlighting parts and rereading them at times. Here is link to english edition.
      https://www.al-islam.org/self-building-ibrahim-amini/translators-foreword
    • By ShiaLuma in My Feelings and Emotions About Myself
         9
      Salaam everyone.
      I am very nervous about who's going to win. Trump is slightly edging out Hillary Clinton. I fear for the Muslims living in the US. I fear that something bad might happen. I really hope they are ready for when Trump starts his plan of banning Muslims, they need to find a safe place to reside. Luckily, I am in Canada which is a very safe home where I was born. I am fine with Justin Trudeau as prime minister succeeding Stephen Harper (who was going to make things worse for Muslims). Justin Trudeau is not that racist towards Muslims like Trump is, he is actually nice when compared to the racist garbage that Trump spews out. Canada is a good home for Muslims.  I am really worried as I am writing this. I really do not want Trump to win.
    • By ShiaLuma in My Feelings and Emotions About Myself
         11
      It's been a while since I last posted a blog but I would like to share my thoughts on Joe Biden's first day as president.
      Words cannot describe how great it is to see Donald Trump leave. Donald Trump was one of the worst presidents in American history. He caused nothing but trouble to America. He is the one who resulted in Qassim Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (both men who were responsible for removing terrorism) getting killed which happened early last year. His policies on the Covid-19 disaster were horrible. Joe Biden addressed the Covid-19 matters very nicely on Day 1 and getting rid of the issues Trump caused since he became president. He is going to make America recover from the issues that Trump caused in the last 4 years.
      Edit: I've changed my stance on Biden. He is not that much better than Trump after all. He has caused more trouble than Trump has in the Middle East, in Syria with his strikes. He only has better Covid-19 policies and he is only stopping Trump's racist policies and his border wall for Mexicans.
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