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

Leaderboard


Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 11/09/2015 in all areas

  1. 104 points
    Reza

    A New Years Gift to You!

    Happy 2017 Everybody! Enjoy the largest tag tower ever created, designed by me but created by YOU! Find your personalized enscribed brick of the tower here! @Ali @Abbas. @Ya Aba 3abdillah @repenter @Qa'im @hameedeh @Administrator @Abu Hadi @Dhulfikar @H2O @Haji 2003 @Haydar Husayn @Khadim uz Zahra @magma @Muhammed Ali @notme @starlight @Cake @Heavenly_Silk @ShiaChat Moderator @Gaius I. Caesar @Hamzah313 @baradar_jackson @IbnSina @Martyrdom @kamyar @Pearl178 @Shaykh Patience101 @Abraram @Aabiss_Shakari @Marbles @Ruq @Darth Vader @mina @Ibn al-Hussain @Chaotic Muslem @Ali Musaaa :) @Abu Tufayl @Akbar673 @AnaAmmar1 @Laayla @DigitalUmmah @uponthesunnah @haideriam @shiaman14 @-Enlightened @Propaganda_of_the_Deed @LeftCoastMom @King @Gypsy @Shia_Debater @hasanhh @E.L King @zainabamy @Sapphire @Ali Mahdi @Sumayyeh @narsis @Al-Hassan @Al-Mufeed @Ali-F @Kamranistan @Hasan0404 @Bakir @Brained @Noah- @kadhim @IbnSohan @Maryaam @Wise Muslim @GreyMatter @wolverine @placid @Son of Placid @pwwnd123 @alidu78 @YAli @sidnaq @Fresh-imaan @Shiawarrior313 @Hassan Y @StarryNight @Jimmy Boy @Hussein_Valerio @yusur317 @ErikCartman @j.angel @kirtc @Struggling_onn @LinkZelda @hayaah @Irfani313 @apofomysback @Irfan1214 @Niloofar @sefket83 @ali_fatheroforphans @Zendegi @Islandsandmirrors @Aftahb @Afsaneh14 @Aladin from Azra tribe @Engineer73 @ChattingwithShias @Mansur Bakhtiari @habib e najjaar @Ibn Al-Shahid @HumanForLife @Enlightened Follower @SoRoUsH @The_Bible @Replicant @silasun @Islamic Salvation @coldcow @zeesh_ali110 @Caliguy @Zahra1 @Ali.Isa @A true Sunni @Wahdat @Nader Zaveri @jannahismygoal @Ethics @Rasul @P. Ease @Saintly_Jinn23 @BabyBeaverIsAKit @Miss Wonderful @Jebreil @.InshAllah. @shiasoldier786 @aliasghark @Lover of Ahlulbait (ams) @ireallywannaknow @Basim Ali @Noor al Batul @Inquisitor @alHussein @skamran110 @certainclarity @alirex @Jahangiram @power @Naz_ @reisiger @realizm @Servidor @mesbah @Tonks @beardedbaker @lalala123 @S.M.H.A. @eThErEaL @Ibn Al-Ja'abi @Al-Hussayni @Christianlady @SlaveOfAllah14 @Fatima Hussain @Hidaren @Rohani @amirhosein_88 @ElAhmed @skylight2 @saas @enigma313 @Mahdi servant.01 @hezbul-ghaaleb @iCambrian @Convertible @Logic @Golden-crowned @alisayyed @gentleman. @Murtada @Panzerwaffe @pyaro @RiseOrDie @rkazmi33 @Ozzy @JawzofDETH @tawakkal @Anisa Bandeh Khoda @myouvial @HayderM @Auriba @amr @Jaabir @Shian e Ali @Shia farm girl @iraqi_shia @strength=Abbas @Faruk @abbas110 @Ya_isa (عليه السلام) @Khudayar @maes @David66 @wmehar2 @Amina @Highflyer @Haydar Karrar @sadegh @Journey of Truth @syeduddin @Al Hadi @QiiQii @Jaffery15 @sayedamir2000 @It's me hello @Lordofgemini @000 @forte @Mzwakhe @saeid tavakoli @SO SOLID Shia @Deewan @mostafaa @yam_110 @The Light @Salati AbdulQadir @Quisant @ShiaBwoy @AnotherShepherd @mayf321d @Purged @andres @Ron_Burgundy @Mahdi_theguideforall @aliyah21 @gerashi_mp @diyaa110 @Yasmin P @Nadia. @313 Seeker @shiarevert_1628 @yashia @Fatima NMA @rotten_coconut @Nocturne @shreek @~RuQaYaH~ @ephemeral @yasahebalzaman.313 @Sadat110 @salman1 @JasmineAila @Abdul Majid @ice unicorn @thuglife @sakura1994 @layman @onereligion @Fish @Syed.Dynasty @110_Fatima @Asr @Syed Hussain @Ali Hamieh @Kilij @Inception @humanbeing101 @Alireza Huseini @Shaikh Hakim @Musa Sadr @Jay @Pearl3112 @Mohamed1993 @NormaL_UseR @Janaat @Renaissance_Man @Chipkali @ChristianVisitor @Fahad Sani @Mahdavist @MuhammadXII @Inconsolable @Wisdom007 @Night_Inshallah @Mahdi Mortezapour @Jawid Akbari @Nataly @Learner2526 @Rectify @Jafar moh @Jahangiram @Belle @Kamaaluddeen al-Ismail @Muslim3388 @Amber Saif @MuhammedAli @Al-Qibli @Palabras @Semanta @shia2000 @Habil Ali @Sol 7 @Ali Ruh @Hashasheen217 @Aquib Rizvi @zahraaa1 @Zuljenah@TimeforM @Danish-Ali @ireallywannaknow@Netzari@goldenhawk@Zakariya Ali@Quiet one @mesbah@Peer@chitown@humanbeing101@ElAhmed
  2. 47 points
    Salaam alaykum, I am very proud to present the culmination of nearly ten years of research on the Twelfth Imam, al-Hujja b. a-Hasan, al-Mahdi, al-Qa'im, the Patron of Time, peace be upon him. This is by far the most comprehensive English work on the subject. It is a compilation of the most ancient and most reliable hadiths on the Mahdi from Twelver Shīʿī sources. Learn about the birth of the Twelfth Imam, his occultation, his ambassadors, his inevitable return, Islamic eschatology, and much more. Paperback now available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1790653827 E-book available: https://www.amazon.com/Rise-Qaim-Appearance-Established-Narrations-ebook/dp/B07L2K8GW2/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1543840819&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=the+rise+of+fthe+qa'im Big big thanks and duas for those who helped me in this project. Namely, @Abu Nur @Ibn al-Hussain @Cake @Abu Tufayl @Hannibal May you be rewarded for your assistance. ---------------------------- "... an essential compendium concerning the concept of the Mahdi in the English language ... A highly welcomed effort, it is useful for researchers as well as those wanting to understand the idea of the Mahdi within the context of the classical literature on the subject." -- Sayyid Hussain Makke "... a fresh and insightful approach to the translation of traditions concerning the twelfth Imam and the rising of the Qa’im ... it is my hope that this work will be of benefit to all seekers of knowledge who wish to become further acquainted with the Twelfth Imam (ajt) and his coming." -- Shaykh Vinay Khetia "A long awaited and much-needed work for the English-speaking world. In an age where skepticism regarding religious beliefs is prevalent, the author has collected many of the reliable traditions on the subject of the Mahdi (a) and has made them readily accessible." -- Sayyid Ali Imran "The most comprehensive hadith compilation about the twelth Imam present in the English language." -- Dr. Taymaz Tabrizi "Trained in both secular academia and in the sciences of the seminary Bilal Muhammad combines the very best of both worlds especially when it comes to his methodological rigour in selecting the narrations of this work." -- Dr. Francisco Luis
  3. 41 points
    [This will be a series of blog entries on the history of ShiaChat.com; how it was founded, major ups and down, politics and issues behind running such a site and of course, the drama! I will also provide some feedback on development efforts, new features and future goals and objectives] Part 1 - The IRC (#Shia) Days! Sit children, gather around and let me speak to you of tales of times before there was ever high-speed Internet, Wi-Fi, YouTube or Facebook; a time when the Internet was a much different place and 15 yearold me was still trying to make sense of it all. In the 90s, the Internet was a very different place; no social media, no video streaming and downloading an image used to take anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on how fast your 14.4k monster-sized dial-up modem was. Of course you also had to be lucky enough for your mom to have the common courtesy not to disconnect you when you’re in the middle of a session; that is if you were privileged enough to have Internet at home and not have to spend hours at school or libraries, or looking for AOL discs with 30 hour free trials..(Breathe... breathe... breathe) - I digress. Back in 1998 when Google was still a little computer sitting in Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s basement, I was engaged in endless debates with our Sunni brothers on an IRC channel called #Shia. (Ok, a side note here for all you little pups. This is not read as Hashtag Shia, the correct way of reading this is “Channel Shia”. The “Hashtag” was a much cooler thing back in the day than the way you young’uns use it today). For those of you who don’t know what IRC was (or is... as it still exists), it stands for Internet Relay Chat, which are servers available that you could host chat rooms in and connect through a client. It was like the Wild West where anyone can go and “found” their own channel (chat room), become an operator and reign down their god-like dictator powers upon the minions that were to join as a member of their chat room. Luckily, #Shia had already been established for a few years before by a couple of brothers I met from Toronto, Canada (Hussain A. and Mohammed H.). Young and eager, I quickly rose up the ranks to become a moderator (@Ali) and the chatroom quickly became an important part of my adolescent years. I learned everything I knew from that channel and met some of the most incredible people. Needless to say, I spent hours and dedicated a good portion of my life on the chatroom; of course, the alternate was school and work but that was just boring to a 15-year-old. In the 90’s, creating a website was just starting to be cool so I volunteered to create a website for #Shia to advertise our services, who we are, what we do as well as have a list of moderators and administrators that have volunteered to maintain #Shia. As a result, #Shia’s first website was hosted on a friend’s server under the URL http://786-110.co.uk/shia/ - yes, ShiaChat.com as a domain did not exist yet – was too expensive for my taste so we piggybacked on one of our member’s servers and domain name. The channel quickly became popular, so popular that we sometimes outnumbered our nemesis, #Islam. As a result, our moderator team was growing as well and we needed a website with an application that would help us manage our chatroom in a more efficient style. Being a global channel, it was very hard to do “shift transfers” and knowledge transfers between moderators as the typical nature of a chatroom is the fact that when a word is typed, its posted and its gone after a few seconds – this quickly became a pain point for us trying to maintain a list of offenders to keep an eye out for and have it all maintained in a historical, easily accessible way. A thought occurred to me. Why not start a “forum” for the moderators to use? The concept of “forums” or discussion boards was new to the Internet – it was the seed of what we call social media today. The concept of having a chat-style discussion be forever hosted online and be available for everyone to view and respond to at any time from anywhere was extremely well welcomed by the Internet users. I don’t recall what software or service I initially used to set that forum up, but I did – with absolutely no knowledge that the forum I just set up was a tiny little acorn that would one day be the oak tree that is ShiaChat.com. [More to follow, Part 2..] So who here is still around from the good old #Shia IRC days?
  4. 35 points
    Qa'im

    Karbala: The Supreme Sacrifice

    عدة من أصحابنا، عن أحمد بن محمد، عن علي بن الحكم، عن سيف بن عميرة، عن عبد الملك بن أعين، عن أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: أنزل الله تعالى النصر على الحسين عليه السلام حتى كان [ ما ] بين السماء والارض ثم خير: النصر، أو لقاء الله، فاختار لقاء الله تعالى. Imam al-Baqir said: Allah تعالى sent support for al-Husayn عليه السلام until it filled that which was between the heaven and the Earth. Then he was left to choose: victory, or meeting Allah. So he chose to meet with Allah تعالى. Who is Hussain? I will tell you who he's not. He's not Mahatma Ghandi, he's not Nelson Mandela, he's not Malcolm X. Husayn is Husayn, and I feel that we are misunderstanding the purpose and the meaning of his sacrifice. There are many good, noble people in our history who rose up to fight for rights - Zayd and Nafs az-Zakiyya would be prime examples - but Imam al-Husayn did not stand up to fight for human rights. He did not even fight to gain the Caliphate. The hadiths make clear that Husayn knew exactly what would happen: he and his loved ones were going to die. Allah even gave him the option on the battlefield, saying, I will destroy your enemies if you so choose. However, Husayn chose to meet Allah instead. Had the fight been about human rights, then Husayn would've chosen to destroy his enemies and establish his government. But, he knew that sacrifice was his calling. There is no doubt that Imam al-Husayn's (as) movement was one based on justice. Amr bil ma`roof was the foundation of his decision, and Karbala' was a cosmic battle between good and evil, the Imam of Guidance and the Imam of Disbelief, the Shi`a of Ahl al-Bayt and the Shi`a of the devil. But we know that all ma`sumeen did amr bil ma`roof, and even Husayn's predecessors rose up and were martyred. Had he been fighting for rights, then it begs the question: what differentiates Husayn from Zayd if they were both martyrs of the exact same circumstance? What makes the death of Husayn so pivotal when those better than him were also martyred? Modern society has been separated from the anthropology of sacrifice. Those who understand the symbols of sacrifice will better understand the meaning of Husayn's movement. Those who do not understand Shii Imamology will instead see the Imam as a Guevara or a William Wallace figure, who was killed at the beginning of his social justice mission. We're living in a time where Husayn's movement has become "everyday" and "everywhere" while the classical Shi`a truthfully said that "no day is like your day". The difference between the two is that the former demotes Husayn's sacrifice to everyday struggle, while the latter emphasizes the magnitude of the day. Our job as Muslims is to properly analyze and understand what happened and why it happened, which requires a thorough investigation of the hadith literature on this topic. The sacrifice starts with Isma`il. The Quran says regarding Ibrahim, "And we have ransomed him with a great sacrifice” (37:107) The Ahlul Bayt confirm that it was indeed Isma`il that was chosen for sacrifice, and that he was replaced with a ram. But one authentic narration by Imam ar-Rida [a] identifies that the real sacrifice here was Husayn, who replaced Isma`il and Ibrahim lamented over this. Husayn was dearer to Ibrahim than his own son was, because Husayn would be the grandson of the greatest Messenger and the Master of the Youth of Paradise. After passing this test, Allah made Ibrahim an Imam, and gave the divine covenant to him and his family. This link between sacrifice and covenant is an important one. 94 - في عيون الأخبار حدثنا عبد الواحد بن محمد بن عبدوس النيشابوري العطار بنيشابور في شعبان سنة اثنين وخمسين وثلاثمأة، قال: حدثنا محمد بن علي ابن قتيبة النيشابوري عن الفضل بن شاذان قال: سمعت الرضا عليه السلام يقول: لما أمر الله تعالى إبراهيم عليه السلام ان يذبح مكان ابنه إسماعيل الكبش الذي أنزل عليه، تمنى إبراهيم عليه السلام أن يكون قد ذبح ابنه إسماعيل بيده وأنه لم يؤمر بذبح الكبش مكانه ليرجع إلى قلبه ما يرجع إلى قلب الوالد الذي يذبح أعز ولده بيده فيستحق بذلك أرفع درجات أهل الثواب على المصائب، فأوحى الله عز وجل إليه: يا إبراهيم من أحب خلقي إليك؟قال: يا رب ما خلقت خلقا هو أحب إلى من حبيبك محمد صلى الله عليه وآله، فأوحى الله عز وجل: يا إبراهيم هو أحب إليك أو نفسك؟قال: بل هو أحب إلى من نفسي، قال: فولده أحب إليك أو ولدك؟قال: بل ولده، قال: فذبح ولده ظلما على يدي أعدائه أوجع لقلبك أو ذبح ولدك بيدك في طاعتي؟قال: يا رب بل ذبحه على أيدي أعدائه أوجع لقلبي قال: يا إبراهيم ان طايفة تزعم أنها من أمة محمد صلى الله عليه وآله ستقتل الحسين عليه السلام ابنه من بعده ظلما وعدوانا كما يذبح الكبش، ويستوجبون بذلك سخطي، فجزع إبراهيم عليه السلام لذلك فتوجع قلبه وأقبل يبكى، فأوحى الله تعالى إليه: يا إبراهيم قد فديت جزعك على ابنك إسماعيل لو ذبحته بيدك بجزعك على الحسين وقتله، وأوجبت لك أرفع درجات أهل الثواب على المصائب، وذلك قول الله عز وجل وفديناه بذبح عظيم ولا حول ولا قوة الا بالله العلي العظيم. “When Allah ordered Abraham [a] to slaughter the ram that was brought to him in the place of Ishmael, Abraham [a] had hoped to have slaughtered Ishmael by his hand rather than being ordered to slaughter the ram in his place. This was so that he may regain the feeling in his heart that a father’s heart feels when he slaughters the dearest of his sons by his hand. He wanted to attain the highest of levels from the people of good deeds upon this calamity. So Allah revealed to him, “O Abraham, who is the most beloved of My creation to you?” Abraham said, “O Lord, you have not created a creation who is more beloved to me than your beloved Muhammad .” So Allahrevealed, “O Abraham, is he more beloved to you, or yourself?” Abraham said, “Of course, he is more beloved to me than my own self.” Allah said, “So is his son more beloved to you, or your son?” Abraham said, “His son, of course.” Allah said, “So [what is more painful to your heart:] his son being slaughtered oppressively upon the hands of his enemies, or the slaughtering of your son by your hand in obedience to me?” Abraham said, “O Lord, his slaughter upon the hands of his enemies is more painful to my heart.” Allah said, “O Abraham, a faction that alleges that it is from the Nation of Muhammad will kill his son al-Husayn [a] after him oppressively and with aggression, just as a ram is slaughtered. And by that, my wrath upon them will become obligatory.” So Abraham lamented over that. His heart was pained by that, and he began to weep. So Allah revealed to him, “O Abraham, I have ransomed your lamentation upon the slaughtering of your son Ishmael with your lamentation upon Husayn And so the highest of levels from the people of good deeds has become obligatory for you for this calamity." The Prophet calls himself the son of the two offerings, because both his father Abdullah and his forefather Isma`il had survived their respective sacrificial moments. The Prophet's position as a descendant of two offerings boosts his status as a prophet and a recipient of the divine covenant. حَدَّثَنا أَحْمَدِ بْنِ الحُسَيْن القَطَّانُ قالَ أَخْبَرنا أَحْمَدِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ سَعِيدُ الكُوفِي قالَ‏عَلِيِّ بن الحُسَيْنِ بْنِ عَلِىِّ بْنِ الفَضّال، عَنْ أَبيهِ قالَ سَأَلْت أَبَاالحَسَن عَلِىِّ بْنِ مُوسَى الرِّضا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ، عَن مَعْنى‏ قول النَّبِي صلي اللَّه وَآلِهِ أَنَا ابْنُ الذّبيحين قَالَ يَعْنِي إِسْمَاعِيلَ بْنَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الْخَلِيلِ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ وَعَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ عَبْدِ الْمُطَّلِبِ “I asked Abul Hasan Ali b. Musa ar-Rida [a] about the meaning of the statement made by the Prophet (s), ‘I am the son of the two offerings.’ Imam ar-Rida [a] said, ‘That means that the Prophet (s) was the descendant of both Ishmael, the son of Abraham - the friend of God (s) and Abdullah - the son of Abdul Muttalib. The Hajj itself is a ritual centred around sacrifice. It recounts the story of Ibrahim and Isma`il everywhere. Pilgrims shave their heads, which is an important symbol of sacrifice. To shave your head for someone is to pledge allegiance to that person - you are giving them your head and your neck. When the Prophet took the bay`a of his companions at the Tree of Ridwan, the companions needed to shave their heads to complete the bay`a. Likewise, after the death of the Prophet, Imam Ali asked the companions to shave their heads to express their loyalty to him, but very few did so. The Hajj ends with the sacrifice of life of an animal. These are all important symbols that we belong fully to God, and that our lives are in His hand. Animal sacrifice is a sacrifice of your own ego and your lower, animalistic self. At the end of Hajj, you come out sinless, which is a rebirth after the sacrifice. حدثني ابي رحمه الله، عن سعد بن عبد الله، عن احمد بن محمد بن عيسى، عن محمد بن سنان، عن الحسين بن مختار، عن زيد الشحام، عن ابي عبد الله (عليه السلام)، قال: زيارة الحسين (عليه السلام) تعدل عشرين حجة وأفضل من عشرين حجة (2). Imam as-Sadiq [a] said, "Visitation of al-Husayn [a] is equal to twenty Hajj. Rather, it is more than twenty Hajj." Even the salat has sacrificial symbology in ruku`. Imam `Ali in `Ilal ash-Shara'i` says that the ruku` is gesture where one offers his neck to Allah, saying, "O Allah, I believe in Your Oneness even if my neck is struck." تأويله آمنت بوحدانيتك ، و لو ضربت عنقي Now let's go to Husayn. Sacrificial animals are marked at birth. Likewise, in one hadith, the Imam was marked for sacrifice the day Sayyida Fatima gave birth to him. In return, the Prophet says, Allah will make the Imams from his progeny. Again, we see the relationship between sacrifice and covenant: even though Imam al-Hasan was of a higher status, the Imams would come from Husayn's progeny due to his sacrifice. حدثنا محمد بن موسى بن المتوكل رضي الله عنه قال : حدثنا عبد الله بن جعفرالحميري قال : حدثنا أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى قال : حدثنا الحسن بن محبوب ، عن علي بن رئاب قال : قال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام : لما أن حملت ( 2 ) فاطمة عليها السلام بالحسين عليه السلام قال لها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله : إن الله عز وجل قد وهب لك غلاما اسمه الحسين ، تقتله أمتي ، قالت : فلا حاجة لي فيه ، فقال : إن الله عز وجل قد وعدني فيه عدة ، قالت : وما وعدك ؟ قال : وعدني أن يجعل الإمامة من بعده في ولده ، فقالت : رضيت . Imam as-Sadiq said: When Fatima عليها السلام became pregnant with al-Husayn عليه السلام, the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله said to her: Allah عز وجل has gifted a male to you whose name is al-Husayn. He will be killed by my Umma. She said: I do not need it. He said: Allah عز وجل has made a promise to me regarding him. She said: And what did He promise you? He said: He promised me that He will cause the Imamate after me to come from his loins. So she said: I am pleased. The colour red is also associated with blood sacrifice, and the Prophet receives red mud from Karbala to symbolize the inevitable killing of Husayn. Other narrations describe Imam al-Husayn with a red cloak. In Judaism, a red ribbon was tied around a ram for sacrifice on Yom Kippur. As for Yom Kippur, it is the 10th day of the 1st month of the Hebrew Calendar, while Ashura is the 10th day of the 1st month of the Muslim calendar. The Jewish Yom Kippur is called the Day of Atonement, and the High Priest would make a sacrifice at the Temple, and select the Passover lamb. There is some disagreement on the exact date of Ashura. Abu Baseer says in an authentic tradition that it took place on a Saturday ( قال: أبو جعفر عليه السلام: يخرج القائم عليه السلام يوم السبب يوم عاشورا يوم الذي قتل فيه الحسين عليه السلام ). This was also the position of Shaykh al-Saduq and Shaykh al-Mufeed. But the 10th of Muharram does not take place on a Saturday in 61 AH, which is the generally accepted year of the event. It does, however, take place on Saturday in 62 AH, and according to the historian Hisham al-Kalbi, this is the real year that Ashura took place. If this is true, then Ashura took place on the exact same day as Yom Kippur and on the Sabbath that year. This makes for some spectacular sacrificial parallels between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The Imams constantly compared the death of Husayn to that of a ram, because the two are voluntary sacrifices to God by beheading. ( إن كنت باكيا لشئ، فابك للحسين بن علي بن أبي طالب (عليه السلام)، فإنه ذبح كما يذبح الكبش ) Sacrifices are often performed by initiates of an order. Likewise, Husayn was beheaded by Shimr, who had previously been a Shi`i who fought alongside Imam `Ali. Husayn journeyed to Karbala by cutting his own Hajj short. He left the Hijaz before performing the ritual sacrifice of Hajj. Perhaps he would become that sacrifice himself? He left the holy land and was sacrificed in Karbala, another holy and consecrated land. The narrations say that the best observance of the Day of `Arafat is in Karbala. أبي عن سعد عن النهدي عن علي بن أسباط يرفعه إلى أبي عبد الله (ع) قال إن الله تبارك و تعالى يبدأ بالنظر إلى زوار قبر الحسين بن علي ع عشية عرفة قال قلت قبل نظره إلى أهل الموقف قال نعم قلت و كيف ذاك قال لأن في أولئك أولاد زنا و ليس في هؤلاء أولاد زنا Imam as-Sadiq [a] said: Allah looks at the visitors of the grave of al-Hussain b. Ali (as) the night of `Arafah." The narrator asked: "Before those in '`rafah?" The Imam (as) replied: "Yes." The narrator continued asking: "And how is that?" The Imam (as) said: "It is because there are sons of fornication (awlad al-zina) in the people of 'Arafah, but there are none in these (meaning the ones in Karbala)." From these clues and many others, it is clear to me that Husayn is the true lamb of God, who sacrificed himself on behalf of his Shi`a to receive the covenant and blessing of God. Husayn was the one volunteered to give his head so that the world may have Imams. Our crying, mourning, and visitation is an act of association of Husayn so that we may be recipients of the fruit of his sacrifice. Karbala would become the connection between the celestial world and this one. عن أبي جعفر عليه السلام «قال : أيّما مؤمنٍ دَمَعَتْ عيناه لِقَتلِ الحسين عليه السلام دَمْعَةً حتّى تَسيل على خَدِّه بَوَّأه الله بها غُرفاً في الجنّة يَسكنها أحقاباً. Imam al-Baqir said: Any believer whose eyes shed tears for the murder of al-Husayn till they roll (down) his cheek, Allah will make him dwell in rooms of Paradise where he will there for long ages. The early Shi`a of Iraq certainly understood these symbols, because they were coming from cultures and religions where the anthropology of sacrifice were well known. Our world is far removed from this anthropology, and so our connection to Husayn has been through social justice. The problem is that this is purely a horizontal understanding of Karbala, and not a theologically vertical one. It is not as consistent with the sources, and it makes the Imam into a political reformer rather than the Great Sacrifice. Both Imam ar-Rida and Imam al-Mahdi did takfeer of those who denied that Husayn had died. There were some who believed that Husayn was raised up the same way Jesus was raised up. However, this would constitute kufr, because Husayn's sacrifice was the very foundation of the Abrahamic and Muhammadan covenants. يا بن رسول الله وفيهم قوم يزعمون أن الحسين بن علي عليهما السلام لم يقتل وانه ألقى شبهه على حنظلة بن أسعد الشامي، وانع رفع إلى السماء كما رفع عيسى بن مريم عليه السلام ويحتجون بهذه الآية. ولن يجعل الله للكافرين على المؤمنين سبيلا فقال: كذبوا عليهم غضب الله ولعنته وكفروا بتكذيبهم لنبي الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم في اخباره بان الحسين عليه السلام سيقتل، والله لقد قتل الحسين وقتل من كان خيرا من الحسين أمير المؤمنين والحسن بن علي عليهم السلام، وما منا الا مقتول، وانى والله لمقتول بالسم باغتيال من يغتالني أعرف ذلك بعهد معهود إلى من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم أخبره به جبرئيل عليه السلام عن رب العالمين عز وجل، واما قوله عز وجل: (ولن يجعل الله للكافرين على المؤمنين سبيلا) فإنه يقول: لن يجعل الله لهم على أنبيائه عليهم السلام سبيلا من طريق الحجة. A man said to Imam ar-Rida [a], "O son of the Messenger of Allah! There is a community that claims that al-Husayn b. `Ali [a] was not killed, but rather, his likeness was placed upon Hanthala b. As`ad ash-Shami, and that he was raised to the heavens just as Jesus the son of Mary [a] was raised. And they use this verse to support it, 'and never will Allah give the disbelievers a way over the believers' (4:141)" The Imam replied, "They have lied. The anger and the curse of Allah is upon them. They have disbelieved because they have belied the Prophet's saying that al-Husayn [a] will be killed. By Allah, al-Husayn was killed, just as those better than al-Husayn were killed, such as the Commander of the Faithful and al-Hasan b. `Ali. There is not one from us except that he is killed. I, by Allah, will be killed with poison by the assassins of he who will assassinate me. I know this because of a covenant entrusted to me from the Messenger of Allah . He was informed of it by Gabriel [a] from the Lord of the Worlds. As for His saying, 'and never will Allah give the disbelievers a way over the believers' (4:141), He is saying: Allah will not give them a way over His prophets [a] from the path of the Proof." Remember that many of our major narrators come from these Judaeo-Christian backgrounds: Zurara, `Ali b. Mahzayar, Yunus b. `Abd ar-Rahman, Abdullah b. Ja`far al-Himyari, al-Bazanti, `Ali b. Asbat, most of the Ansar (Abu Sa`eed al-Khudri, Jabir b. Abdullah, etc.) 2 of the martyrs of Karbala: John and Abu Wahab al-Kalbi, were Christians. There were things these people recognized in Husayn and in Shiism that we have unfortunately lost. Imam al-Husayn knew that he and his companions would die, and he even chose this. Allah gave him the option to defeat the empire, but he knew that it was not the time. محمد بن يحيى، عن أحمد بن محمد، عن ابن محبوب، عن ابن رئاب، عن ضريس الكناسي قال: سمعت أبا جعفر عليه السلام يقول - وعنده اناس من أصحابه -: عجبت من قوم يتولونا ويجعلونا أئمة ويصفون أن طاعتنا مفترضة عليهم كطاعة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله ثم يكسرون حجتهم ويخصمون أنفسهم بضعف قلوبهم، فينقصونا حقنا ويعيبون ذلك على من أعطاه الله برهان حق معرفتنا والتسليم لامرنا، أترون أن الله تبارك وتعالى افترض طاعة أوليائه على عباده، ثم يخفي عنهم أخبار السماوات والارض ويقطع عنهم مواد العلم فيما يرد عليهم مما فيه قوام دينهم؟! فقال له حمران: جعلت فداك أرأيت ما كان من أمر قيام علي بن أبي طالب والحسن والحسين عليهم السلام وخروجهم وقيامهم بدين الله عز ذكره، وما اصيبوا من قتل الطواغيت إياهم والظفر بهم حتى قتلوا وغلبوا؟ فقال أبو جعفر عليه السلام: يا حمران إن الله تبارك وتعالى قد كان قدر ذلك عليهم وقضاه وأمضاه وحتمه على سبيل الاختيار ثم أجراه فبتقدم علم إليهم من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله قام علي والحسن والحسين عليهم السلام، وبعلم صمت من صمت منا، ولو أنهم يا حمران حيث نزل بهم ما نزل بهم ما نزل من أمر الله عز وجل وإظهار الطواغيت عليهم سألوا الله عزوجل أن يدفع عنهم ذلك وألحوا عليه في طلب إزالة ملك الطواغيت وذهاب ملكهم إذا لاجابهم ودفع ذلك عنهم، ثم كان انقضاء مدة الطواغيت وذهاب ملكهم أسرع من سلك منظوم انقطع فتبدد، وما كان ذلك الذي أصابهم يا حمران لذنب اقترفوه ولا لعقوبة معصية خالفوا الله فيها ولكن لمنازل وكرامة من الله، أراد أن يبلغوها، فلا تذهبن بك المذاهب فيهم. A man said to Imam al-Baqir [a], "May I be your sacrifice! Have you deliberated regarding what occurred from the rising of `Ali b. Abi Talib, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn? They came out and rose up for the religion of Allah; how much they suffered from their deaths at the hands of the tyrants – they were defeated, murdered and overpowered." So Abu Ja`far al-Baqir [a] said: "Allah had destined that for them; decreed it, approved it, and necessitated it – it was beyond choice. It thus occurred and the knowledge of it had come to them from the Messenger of Allah. `Ali, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn rose whilst knowing [the consequences]. By its knowledge, there were those of us who remained silent. Had they, whilst facing what Allah made them face and suffer defeat at the hands of the tyrants, asked Allah to remove their suffering and implored Him to destroy the kingdom of the tyrants, He would have answered their prayers and granted it for them – then, the decree would have removed the tyrants and their kingdom would end faster than the dispersal of threaded beads under pressure. That which they endured was not because of a sin they committed or a punishment for opposing Allah, rather, it was a deliverance and a bounty from Allah, who wished for them to attain it. Do not allow them (i.e. the people) to take you away from the [correct] path." وحدَّثني أبي ـ رحمه الله ـ وجماعة مشايخي ، عن سعد بن عبدالله ، عن عليِّ بن إسماعيل بن عيسى ؛ ومحمّد بن الحسين بن أبي الخطّاب ، عن محمّد بن عَمرو بن سعيد الزّيّات ، عن عبدالله بن بُكير ، عن زُرارة ، عن ابي جعفر عليه السلام «قال : كتب الحسين بن عليِّ مِن مكّة إلى محمّد بن عليٍّ : بِسم الله الرَّحمن الرَّحيم ؛ مِن الحسين بن عليٍّ إلى محمَّد بن عليٍّ ومَن قَبِلَه مِن بني هاشم ؛ أمّا بعد فإنَّ مَنْ لَحِقَ بي اسْتُشْهِد ، ومَنْ لَم يَلْحَقْ بي لم يُدرِكِ الفَتْح ؛ والسَّلام When he was in Mecca, Imam al-Husayn [a] wrote to his brother Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya. He said the following: "In the name of Allah the Beneficient the Merciful: From al-Husayn b. Ali to Muhammad b. Ali and those who are with him from the Children of Hashim [in Medina]. Verily, one who joins me will be martyred, and one who does not join me will not attain the Victory. Peace." وعنه، عن الحسن بن محبوب، عن أبي حمزة الثمالي قال: قلت لابي جعفر عليه السلام: إن عليا عليه السلام كان يقول: " إلى السبعين بلاء " وكان يقول: " بعد البلاء رخاء " وقد مضت السبعون ولم نر رخاء !. فقال أبو جعفر عليه السلام: يا ثابت إن الله تعالى كان وقت هذا الامر في السبعين، فلما قتل الحسين عليه السلام إشتد غضب الله على أهل الارض، فأخره إلى أربعين ومائة سنة، فحدثناكم فأذعتم الحديث، وكشفتم قناع السر، فأخره الله ولم يجعل له بعد ذلك عندنا وقتا، و * (يمحو الله ما يشاء ويثبت وعنده أم الكتاب) *. قال أبو حمزة: وقلت ذلك لابي عبد الله عليه السلام فقال: قد كان ذاك. And from him from al-Hasan b. Mahbub from Abu Hamza ath-Thumali. He said: I said to Abu Ja`far عليه السلام: `Ali عليه السلام used to say, “Tribulations till 70 AH”, and he used to say, “after the tribulations is prosperity”, and yet 70 AH has passed and we have not seen prosperity! So Abu Ja`far عليه السلام said: O Thabit, Allah تعالى had set a time for this affair in 70 AH, but when al-Husayn عليه السلام was killed, Allah’s anger with the people of the Earth intensified. So He delayed it till 140 AH, and we narrated to you [regarding it] and you publicized the narration, so the secret was disclosed. Allah thereafter has not set any time for it that we know of. And, “Allah erases what He wills and establishes [what He wills]; and with Him is the Original Book” (13:39). We all know the story of the Prophet Salih, and Karbala' is an inner dimension of that story. Like many stories of the Qur'an, this one has parallels with that of the Prophet and his Ahl al-Bayt. Salih was the Arab prophet to Thamud, just as Muhammad was the Arab prophet to his people. The people of Thamud idolaters worshiping a rock/mountain, and the Meccans were worshiping idols in the Ka`ba. As a sign, Salih brought a beautiful pregnant she-camel out of this rock. Likewise, Husayn accompanied the Prophet, and he was beautiful ("husayn" means "endeared beauty"). Salih ordered the good treatment of the she-camel, and the Prophet ordered the good treatment of Ahl al-Bayt. The she-camel provided milk (and ancient symbol for eternal life), and Husayn provided the deen. The camel was prevented from drinking the water of Thamud, and Husayn was prevented from water. The camel was struck and killed by the worst person of Thamud, and Husayn was struck and killed by the worst person of the Umma. The camel was survived by an offspring, and Husayn was survived by an offspring. Both the camel and Husayn were a blessing and a sign to the community, and the community neglected their rights and killed them. حدثني محمد بن الحسين الاشناني قال : حدثنا عباد بن يعقوب قال : أخبرنا مورع بن سويد بن قيس قال : حدثنا من شهد الحسين ، قال : كان معه ابنه الصغير فجاء سهم فوقع في نحره ، قال : فجعل الحسين يأخذ الدم من نحره ولبته فيرمى به إلى السماء فما يرجع منه شئ ، ويقول : اللهم لا يكون اهون عليك من فصيل ( ناقة صالح) Imam al-Husayn [a] was with his young son when an arrow struck his neck. So Husayn took the blood of his neck and his chest and threw it in the air, and none of it returned. He said, "O Allah, do not allow this to be less significant to You than the she-camel of Salih [a]." Allah does not need anything from us - He does not need our salat, zakat, or a`mal. The religion's a`mal are all human expressions to approach the Divine. Sacrifice is a religious expression that is rooted in Islam - it is in the stories of the prophets (Habil and Qabil's offerings, Isma`il's sacrifice and Eid al-Adha, the Baqara, in the bay`a of Ridwan) in the salat, in the Hajj, and elsewhere. It is a demonstration of full submission and full adherence to Allah's will. Sacrifice is done to achieve God's favour and His proximity. The Imams were always addressed with "may I be your sacrifice" or "may my mother and father be sacrificed for you" because true allegiance is only when you are ready to put your life on the line. From this post, we see the connection between the sacrifice and the covenant (mithaq/`ahd): Ibrahim and his righteous descendants become Imams only due to his sacrifice, which was rooted in Husayn taking the place of Isma`il. Even the Prophet's own prophethood was preceded by two offerings to Allah. So, the Prophet marked Husayn for sacrifice at birth, and in return, Allah made the Imams from his progeny - I believe there is an association between these two things, because there is always a connection between (1) sacrifice, and (2) covenants/oaths/allegiances. The Hajj is only complete with an animal sacrifice, after which we are reborn with no sins. These symbols are all over the Husayni literature. Husayn knew and willingly chose to meet his Lord on the 10th of Muharram, because a "political" islah and takeover of the Caliphate was not his mission. Imam `Ali and Imam al-Hasan were Caliphs, but their enemies prevented them from rectifying the Islamic Umma. Husayn's mission was to exemplify Islam in his fight - the full submission to the will of Allah. It was an expression of uplifting divine justice and personal responsibility at any cost. But it was also the ultimate act by which we could have the Imamate. Our mourning of him is our expression of associating ourselves with him (walaya), so that we may be counted among the covenant of Ahl al-Bayt. Once we become Muslims, and submit to our duties, and develop a ma`rifa of Allah through His Imams, and form a strong relationship with them, crying is a strong personal way to demonstrate kinship and love to Husayn. The hadiths promise that even one small tear for the Imam will result in a forgiveness of our sins, and one true visitation of our Imam will result in many Hajj. Considering the connections between Hajj and Husayn, the sacrificial and covenant dimensions here should be obvious. Husayn's movement had two legs: justice and sacrifice. If you cut one out of the narrative, the entire narrative falls. What highlights Husayn's movement is his act of sacrifice, which undergirds the Imamate of Ibrahim (as) and his family. Husayn, in his sacrifice, fulfilled the inner meaning of Hajj, which is full subservience and selflessness towards Almighty God Allah. Again and again, the hadiths present the parallels between Hajj and Imam al-Husayn, whose visitation equals many Hajj, because he is the epicentre of Hajj. And Allah knows best.
  5. 35 points
    Assalam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakathu, So I've had a few members ask me how I became a Shi'a and they have said that I should share it with everyone. So here it goes... get a cup of tea and a biscuit. I first learnt about Islam when I was engaged to a Muslim guy, who wasn't practising. I was intrigued by his religion and began to do my own research. The only things I knew about Islam where things that I had seen in the media and so I didn’t have a very positive opinion on this religion. However, I soon realised that there was so much more to this faith than I could ever have imagined. I realised that everything I knew about Islam was completely false. Instead I was presented with a faith that was logical, beautiful, fair and miraculous. I found a God who was so worthy of worship and so merciful to his creation and a Prophet (pbuh) with a beautiful and pure heart. So after doing a bit of research I decided I wanted to become a Muslim and began to practise. I took things very slowly. I learnt my prayers and began to pray everyday and read Qur’an. I practised fasting, started to be more charitable, gave up pork and begun to give up alcohol among other things. I was very very happy and felt I was nearly ready to take my shahdah. But things happened. The first thing was I left my fiancé. He had started being increasingly abusive to me and it got to a point where I couldn’t take it anymore. This completely shattered me - he and his family were the only Muslims I knew properly. I had tried several times to find a mosque to make friends there as my fiancé lived abroad but every time I went to the mosque, I was treated with disrespect and made to feel like I wasn’t welcome there. This hurt me so much and I didn’t understand why. I always dressed and acted so conservatively when I visited the mosque but I was always excluded. I was so lost and quickly got angry with God about all these things that were happening to me. I panicked because I felt I could not follow Islam anymore. So foolishly I looked for excuses to leave the faith. I ignored everything I had learnt and went back to being ignorant about Islam. Astagfirullah (may Allah forgive me) I did and said some terrible things against God and his Messenger (pbuh). So instead I became a Christian. I had many Christian friends so I decided it made sense to convert. I had this idea in my head that all Muslims were like my ex and the men at the mosque and that Christians were nice and friendly people. I found excuses to make me believe in the Christian doctrines and for almost a year I lived quite happily as a Christian. But yet again things changed. As I fully recovered after a difficult few months, I began to miss Islam. I missed the excitement of Ramadan, learning Arabic and above all I began to miss prostrating to God. I began to contemplate my choices and I realised that I had been completely unfair to God and Islam. I left Islam because of a few ignorant and hurtful people who did not embody the ideal Muslim in anyway. I realised that if the Prophet Muhammad (saw) was alive and spoke to these men, he would have told them that they were doing wrong because he said to never hurt or disrespect a woman for she is special to Allah. And I realised that truly in my heart, I did not accept Jesus (pbuh) as God. From reading the Bible, I loved Jesus with all my heart but truly the idea of him being God is so illogical to me. The only reason why I turned to Christianity is because I felt like I had nowhere left to go, not because I thought it was the truth. So one day after watching an Islamic lecture, I felt the need to pray. So I washed myself and prayed 2 rakats. And after that I called out to God because I fully believed that I had made some terrible mistakes. I asked God to forgive me of not trusting him and of the terrible sins I had committed. And for the first time in a long time, I felt like I was in the right place. I decided to take things really slowly and began by increasing my knowledge. At the time, the only path I considered was Sunni Islam. My ex fiance and his friends had told me all about the Shi'as and said some truly disgusting things about them. But one day I was watching Islamic lectures on You Tube and accidendly started watching a lecture by Dr Sayed Ammar Nakshawani. When I realised that it was a Shi'a video I wanted to turn it off, but a huge part of me refused and I kept watching. The arguments and set up were alien to me, but they did make sense. This sent me on a path where I watched more of his videos. First I watched his series on the misconceptions about the Shi'a and everything I had ever been taught was a lie. I couldn't believe how logical and truthful the beliefs of the Ahlulbayt (as) were. They made more sense to me to anything that I had studied before. After that, I watch his series on the 14 Infallibles and loved learning about the Ahlulbayt (as). I suffer with Bi-Polar and at times get dangerously depressed and managed to find some comfort in learning the difficulties Ahlulbayt (as) went through. It gave me hope that if for example Imam Karzim (as) never gave up on Allah (swt) when we was imprisoned and tortured, then I could do the same with my problems. I think the final straw for me wanted to become a Shi'a was when I learned the fates of Imam Hussain (as) and Fatima Zahra (as). I had heard of Hussain before but every Sunni scholar who had talked about him just said he is just another martyr and nothing special. What they failed to add was Hussain was murdered by so called fellow Muslims and wallahi it is shameful to call him just another martyr when our Prophet (saw) weeped knowing what would happen to Hussain at Karbala. But the thing that shocked me the most was what happened to Zahra (as). When I found out about her land being stolen and her house being attacked, believe me I was disgusted and ashamed that I had believed she had just died from grief. Wallahi the evidence is even in the books of Ahlul-Sunnah. This pain hurt me so much. So this is how I refound Islam and I feel so lucky. My name is Amy and I'm not going to officially change my name but I have adopted the nickname of Zainab. This is because when I heard Lady Zainab's (as) story, I weeped over what had happened to her and I will never forget that moment and even to this day I have such a love for her. And in addition, I want to be a helper to the Imam of our time Imam Mahdi (as), may Allah hasten his return, as Zainab (as) was to Hussain (as). Al hamdulillah. Last time wallahi I wanted to convert for a man. But now I want to do it for God and God alone. Al hamdulillah.
  6. 34 points
    Reza

    Give a Salawat! [OFFICIAL THREAD]

    Salaam everybody: Here's an opportunity to increase blessings throughout this community and throughout the whole world. I remember seeing old threads from years past about salawat pledges, but this thread will be slightly different. The only goal of this thread is to post the salawat as often as we can, and nothing more: اللّهُمّ صَلّ عَلَى مُحَمّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمّدٍ Allahumma salli `ala muhammadin wa ali muhammadin O Allah: (please do) bless Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad Rules of this thread: 1. All members are encouraged to post the salawat as often as they like, English or Arabic (but only once per post please) 2. Like as many posts as possible (reciting it yourself out loud while you like the post) 3. No other discussions or statements please, this is purely for salawat only Let's see how long this chain will go, and how much blessing we can all accumulate from posting and liking. More information on the salawat: http://www.duas.org/salwaat.htm I'll get started: Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammad wa ali Muhammad
  7. 34 points
    As the school-term comes to an end, and there was some time that I could spare for my self, I've thought a lot about how my views on life, religion, man's relationship with God, and the world around me, have changed over the years. This is going to be a pretty random rant - but I guess that is what blogs are for . As of now, it has been 4 years since I moved to the seminary in Qom, and while there are many brothers and sisters here who spent many years on ShiaChat, many of them have either asked for their accounts to be deleted, with all of their posts, or have completely abandoned the forum all together or visit once in a while. I'm one of the handful of those who have not asked for my account to be deleted. All my posts from my early teenage years to now mid and late-20s are there. Personally, I never felt I had anything to hide - my posts are pretty much who I am. One can clearly see the early phase of an excited teenager learning a thing or two about the religion, with very deep-rooted presumptions about life, to a hyper kid getting accustomed to a some-what celebrity status, loved & hated by so many, to then entering university life and maturing up (some may disagree ), and eventually entering into the work-force, married, moving to a different country, kids etc. While browsing through my earliest posts back in 2004, I was really able to just reflect on not just how much I have changed, but even how much influence (positive or negative) people on this forum have had on me. Of course this was not happening in a vacuum. I was interacting with all sorts of people - albeit behind a screen. There are so many real names, user-names, and names that I don't even remember - all of them - that I can recall, and in hindsight, see how each and everyone of them played a role in the development of my ideas, the stances and decisions I made in life, the open-mindedness I developed, or even the doubts I may have developed over various issues, and the questions that would remain unanswered for months and years. This is very obvious for me even while I study in the seminary. The questions I may ask, the extent of tolerance I may show, the critiques I may mention, the willingness to really question some of our "famous" theological or historical views - some of these things make other students and at times even teachers really uncomfortable. Nevertheless, I believe this is in part due to what transpired on this forum and I am happy for it. This forum was like a large community center. It wasn't a community center for a specific ethnicity, or a culture, or converts or a specific gender. This forum for a large part was a community for those who either didn't have access to a real community where they lived, or were not satisfied with the communities that they belonged to. I believe it represented quite accurately the state of the Shi'a (primarily in the West) for a large part. It collectively represented the views that persisted and continue to persist amongst the Shi'a. Unfortunately, it is this portion of the Shi'a populous that often gets unnoticed outside of virtual reality. The inability of those leading us (for the most part) to really dissect and decipher the state of an average Shi'a's mindset, has really been one of the major issues for our communities in the West. The ignorance towards the epistemological framework that an average Shi'a growing in the West acquires through the education system or simply by living there, the delusional presumption that somehow a sub-culture contained within the 4-walls of a building will be able to preserve itself and overcome a dominant culture outside, the satisfaction of merely entertaining the audience with shallow lectures & speeches - while not addressing important and crucial matters: the cure for all of this seems to be have been missing in the last few decades, primarily due to ignorance towards it. On a rare encounter I may have with a lost-long SCer, Its interesting to see how many stayed religious as they were, or were irreligious and become religious, or remained irreligious, or how so many are now going through a faith crisis as they have grown and began questioning and pondering over life's crucial mysteries. Reflecting back on what views I held and what views I hold now, nostalgia overtook me and I started browsing through old posts, old pictures, audio and video files that I still have saved from a decade ago (had a seriously good laugh over some audio files of @SO SOLID SHIA I still have with me). It is really weird how all of a sudden around 2012/2013 the forum just died. As if everyone switched off their plugs and disappeared. People definitely have to move on with their lives, no doubt about that. Of course there were some people who left much earlier, but this sudden silence is really absurd and that it wasn't replaced with a new batch of talented, and educated individuals is really hard to explain. Perhaps those members who are still lingering around from the early 2000s ( @Gypsy @DigitalUmmah @Darth Vader @Abbas. @Haji 2003 @Abu Hadi @Wise Muslim @Qa'im @notme) and are still in touch with those who have left, maybe they can work on a ShiaChat Reunion of some sort. Perhaps get in contact with old members and request them to make a moment's appearance and leave some remarks on what they are up to in life! What changes have taken place in your lives, in your views, in your lifestyle - if any? There were some members I had such a great time with, and it felt as if we would remain friends forever. It would be great to be able to reconnect with them. @Baatil Ka Kaatil @Matami-Shah @Zain @Hasnain @Abdulhujjah @Peer @fyst @Syedmed @Nida_e_Zahra @hmMm @SpIzo @venusian @sana_abbas @fatimak @HR @asifnaqvi @Bollywood_Hero @phoenix @blessing @zanyrulez @wilayah @Hajar @Zuljenah @LaYdee_110 @fadak_166 @raat ki rani @Friend of All @queenjafri @Simba @Path2Felicity @3ashiqat-Al-Batoul @-Enlightened @karateka @A follower @hameedeh @lethaldefense @kaaju barfi @Friend of All @Ya Aba 3abdillah ...there are dozens of other members if I keep going.
  8. 33 points
    During this occultation, there are unique trials, tests, tribulations, confusions and perplexities. Imam ar-Rida (as) said in two narrations that the Shi`a will be "refined (yuftanoon) just as gold is refined; purified just as gold is purified". (يفتنون كما يفتن الذهب، ثم قال: يخلصون كما يخلص الذهب.) When gold is taken out of the ground, it is black. During the refinement process, in order to rid it of excess minerals, it must be burned until nothing remains except pure gold. Likewise, during the occultation, "years will come that will perish them, a sword that will kill them, and a disagreement that will scatter them" (يأتي عليهم سنون تفنيهم، وسيف يقتلهم، واختلاف يبددهم ). In the same hadith, as-Sadiq says this process will continue until 300+ true Shi`a are left. If you read the narrations on what constitutes a true Shi`a of Ahl al-Bayt, it's a very high bar that many of us will never reach. Beyond the 313 companions of the Mahdi, he will have no less than 10,000 others in his army, who will be people of taqwa, but not at the same level of yaqeen as the 313. These are the people that survive the tribulations, which will cause many Shi`as and Muslims to deviate under the heat. Not only are we supposed to "await the relief day and night" (ليتوقعوا الفرج صباحا ومساء), but awaiting the relief is considered a part of the relief (إنتظار الفرج من الفر ). This is a time period where we can gradually develop our relationship with the Imam and be counted from his followers without even fighting alongside him. The reward of one who recognizes him is like that of those who will be in his pavilion (ومن عرف إمامه ثم مات قبل أن يرى هذا الامر ثم خرج القائم عليه السلام كان له من الاجر كمن كان مع القائم في فسطاطه ). Another spiritual instruction given to us for the occultation is to hold our tongues and stick to our homes (حفظ اللسان ولزوم البيت ). This is an indicator to the outward corruption and schism of this time period. The more time spent in the markets/malls, for example, the more likely we are to see/hear/do/buy things that are bad for our relationship with God and His representative. This is becoming increasingly the case with nudity, music marketed towards our desires, and a global culture that maximizes our ego and materialism. Now, if you've read in between the lines, there's a trend here. Recognition of the Imam is not just knowing his name and biography. True recognition is to have an experiential relationship with him; so much so that you begin to take on his characteristics. Imam as-Sadiq (as) says, regarding the true Shi`a, "They are those, whose lives are so simple, whose abodes move from place to another, who, if they are seen they, will not be known, if they are absent, they will not be missed, if they become ill, they will not be visited, if they propose to a woman, they will not be married, and if they die, their funerals will not be attended. It is they, who divide their wealth among them, who visit each others' graves, and who never disagree even if their countries are different.” (أولئك الخفيض عيشهم، المنتقلة دارهم، الذين إن شهدوا لم يعرفوا، وإن غابوا لم يفتقدوا، وإن مرضوا لم يعادوا، وإن خطبوا لم يزوجوا، وإن ماتوا لم يشهدوا، أولئك الذين في أموالهم يتواسون، وفي قبورهم يتزاورون، ولا تختلف أهواؤهم وإن اختلفت بهم البلدان). This isn't an instruction to be aloof, but rather, it's describing the state of the true believers of this time. They will be supporters of one another and have close ties, but to the outside world, it is as if they do not even exist. They are not recognized by their merit, and that's exactly what is happening now. The good is seen as evil, and the evil is seen as good, and so consequently, the Shi`a are despised, rejected, unrecognized, not missed, not visited, and not felt for. Sound familiar? This is a part of the tawalla and tabarra. Anyone can pray, fast, perform Hajj, and give alms, but the true Shi`i is the one who has a direct relationship with his Imam and disassociates from his enemies. During the time of Husayn (as), when he was calling his supporters to come with him to Karbala, it did not suffice to say "I am going to stay in Medina, pray more tahajjud, write up some fiqh manuals". The true supporter had to live Husayn's life and die his death. Those who didn't regretted that, and they became the tawwabun. During the time of as-Sadiq, he became a teacher and educator in theology and jurisprudence, and likewise, his companions were not off joining revolutions - they were students of his and teachers of the people. What I find fascinating is that the 313 live the life of the Hidden Imam. That is, they live simply, they are unrecognized, they are forgotten, they support one-another, and they seclude themselves from the overspreading darkness of this world. They feel the Imam's suffering and fear, and live it. But, their proximity to Imam will allow them to all travel to Mecca prior to his coming. They will be the first to give bay`a to the Imam upon his appearance. Then, they take on the new characteristics of the Imam: utmost strength, courage, initiative, and they abandon taqiyya. Then, with the Imam together, they bring justice and peace to a world fraught with tyranny and injustice.
  9. 29 points
    starlight

    Thank You Everyone!

    Whoa!! What a roller coaster ride this past week's been. Whoops of joy, endless hours of going through member's list screening for potential voters, feeling my heart sink at losing a vote one minute and overwhelmed by the love and support shown by the members the next, countless trips from my office to the bougainvilleas growing outside the Anatomy department to check for new posts(that's the only place at work where phone signals are strong enough to browse web :p)coworkers expressing concern at me being so jittery all of a sudden, a burnt omelette while trying to think of replies :d ,several sleepless nights, thumping in the chest when refreshing page to check for votes..... I never imagined this whole thing would be so intense,so draining on one hand and equally exhilarating at the other... but it was worth it... Every minute of it. I want to thank all those members who put their trust in me by voting for me and also those who didn't because with every lost vote my resolve to win this became stronger. I am grateful to all those who supported me, a very BIG THANKS to Marbles for being with me throughout the campaign, for working with me through member's lists and for providing me with excellent advice all along. I would also like to thank Darth Vader, insearchoflight, Nooralbatul, skamran110, GC, AnaAmmar,Iamhussaini for their support. Thanks to the other candidates for making this such a superb experience. I learned so much from all of you. I learnt the 'Power of Cake' :p who got 10% votes without even trying, Khadim uz Zahra for sticking to the campaign right till the end, Silasun for sprinkling the otherwise grim thread with jokes and of course Magma :d bro that was one helluva of a campaign, Congratulations! SC would definitely benefit from a mod like you. Last but not the least I want to thank the whole Mod team for giving democracy a chance :D especially bro Abbas for putting in time and effort to arrange the elections. Looking forward to working with you! I will always try my best to be of service to the SC members and hopefully will be able to bring some positive changes to this great website. Please keep me in your duas. Thank you again all of you.
  10. 28 points
    Reza

    ShiaChat Member of the Week!

    Every Friday (Eid-e-Jome), during God's most blessed day of the week, Moderators or Administrators will select one member as the "ShiaChat Member of the Week". Throughout the following week, everyone is encouraged to: Show that member general mercy and compassion, and an open, welcoming embrace. Make that member feel special and honored. Like that member's posts whenever possible. Withhold any grudges or divisive arguments with that member, if you have any. Once we pick a member, we'll put up their name, avatar picture, and give a few brief words here on this thread. No other prizes or anything beyond that. Nothing grand here. It's a very simple recognition. This thread will be locked to keep things simple. Stay tuned for this coming Friday, when the first person will be selected. Check the thread often, you could be selected next!
  11. 28 points
    Hameedeh

    ♥ Marriage ♥

    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. ♥
  12. 28 points
    Reza

    We've Made Shiachat Great Again

    Salaam my dear friends, my colleagues, fellow youth, my elders, my fellow believing men and women, my fellow dreamers, future trolls, and alienated masses from the world over: Today is a marvelous day. We've made ShiaChat great again. I want to thank Abbas for initiating and organizing this great exercise of the people's will. I want to congratulate starlight on becoming a fellow colleague, and I'm sure we'll work well together. I want to thank the other participants (Cake, Khadim, silasun) for taking part and putting ideas and perspectives to the table. I want to thank my most vocal supporters (mina, apo, Summayeh, StarryNight, baradar, and others) for helping me out in the frontlines. But above all, I want to thank YOU. In order of increasing importance, there is winning an election, winning an argument, and winning the dream. And we will win. There are things we can do to make this site more engaging, more friendly, more amiable, and into a better community. Be sure about it. Things will happen slowly but surely, with work, patience, deliberation, perspective, and vision. Anticipate great things in our future. I am open to suggestions and thoughts. Whatever your persuasions, viewpoints, thoughts, or beliefs, if you are a genuine, well-intentioned human being who follows and respects the rules of this site, you are welcome here and have my blessing. Peace!
  13. 27 points
    ShiaMan14

    10 Days in Iran

    I had been planning to go to Iran for a long time and finally made it a priority for me in 2016. Since I wanted to mix in sightseeing and pilgrimage in the same trip, I decided to go on my own instead of in a group. As it turned out, getting an individual visa for Iran when traveling from the US is a real hassle. We need to get permission from the Iran Foreign Ministry and then apply for the visa at the Iran Mission housed within the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, DC. After struggling for almost 3 weeks, I was able to find Taha Ziyarat Group (tahaziyarat@gmail.com) based out of Toronto that obtained the necessary approval for me for $90. Once I got my approval, I sent my passport off to the Iran Mission in Washington. I did have to follow up with them almost daily to ensure they processed my visa application expeditiously. I received my passport 4 days before flying out. While I was waiting for the visa approval, I booked my flights on Qatar Airways for a bargain price of $700 return to/from US-Tehran. For in-country arrangements, I know a maulana (NAJ) there who arranged everything for me based on my budget. Finally, the big day came and I left for Iran on Wed Mar 23rd arriving in Tehran late Thu evening (Mar 24th). NAJ had arranged for a driver to pick me up and drive straight to Qum instead of spending the night in Tehran. The drive from IKA (Imam Khomeni Airport) to Qum took about 90 minutes. The driver barely spoke English but knew where to pick me up from and where to drop me. We arrived at Qum International Hotel around 1245am (Fri Mar 25th). The hotel was about a *** US hotel, higher for Iran. Day 1 (Fri): We prayed fajr in our room and went back to bed. Since breakfast was included in our price, we went down for breakfast around 9a – nice long buffet. NAJ contacted me around 10am and picked me up from the QIH around 1030a to take me to the Roza of Masooma-e-Qum. We walked to the roza and were there at 1035a. The hotel is the closet one to the roza. NAJ showed us around the haram and provided us some background about Masooma and her roza. From 1130a – 2p, we were on our own to recite ziyarat, salah-e-jumah and dua. I wandered around the roza and made my way to the masjid adjoining the roza. It is an absolutely beautiful mosque. They had beautiful recitations of the quran and then some speeches followed by Azaan. The Jumah khutba was recited by an Ayatollah in Farsi (of course) and then namaz-e-jumah. Although I did not understand most of the khutba, one thing that was unmistakable was the ‘marg-al-Amreeka’ chants (down with America or death to America). They were loud and boisterous. Shrine of Bibi Masooma Qum (as). After salah-e-jumah, NAJ took us to the Suffrah of Masooma where were had a decent meal of rice with spinach with potatoes. We went to our hotel after lunch for some R&R and then returned to the haram for maghribain. After namaz, NAJ took us around the bazaar outside the haram. The clothing looked like they were from the 70s and 80s. Religious paraphernalia including irani chador were well stocked and affordably priced. Almost evey other shop sold halwa-suhan. Day 2 (Sat): We spent most of this day driving around to the various ziarats around Qum. Bait Al-Noor. Musallah of Masooma (as). This is where she spent time praying. Shrine of an Imamzadeh (Son of an Imam). Shrine of Hz. Hamza bin Musa Kazim (as). Day 3 (Sun): This was by far the most hectic day of the trip. We left around 5am to drive from Qum to Isfahan. It was about a 4-hour drive. I was surprised how much of the Iranian country was desert. The deserts in the Middle East countries (UAE, Saudi) have a lot of fine yellow sand. Iranian deserts are more rocky than sandy. Upon entering Isfahan, we visited the shrine of Masooma Zainab bint Imam Musa Khadim (as) – Masooma Qum’s younger sister. Next stop was the Jameh Mosque of Isfahan. We spent a few minutes here and then walked to Allama Majlisi’s tomb nearby. His house and surrounding are well preserved. Next was the more secular part of the Ishafan visit. We went to Naqsh-e-Jahan (half of the world) which is the main plaza of Isfahan. The weather was great and since the Nawroz holidays were still going on, it was packed with people. Within Naqsh-e-Jahan is the Ali Qapu Palace Panamoric View from Ali Qapu Palace Balcony of Naqsh-e-Jahan Since it was almost lunch time, we stopped by a street restaurant selling A’ash After lunch, we went to the Vank Cathedral. This Christian monastery was established in 1606. It contains some amazing art work. From here, we went to Khaju Bridge for some more sightseeing. At this point, we were too tired to do anything else so we headed back to Qum – 4 hour journey mostly spent napping. Day 4 (Mon): After a hectic day, sleep was going to be the primary thing on the agenda for this day but there was too much to do. We prayed fajr at the mosque next to Masooma-e-Qum’s shrine: Mosque adjacent to Masooma-e-Qum's shrine And then went back to our hotel for more sleep. We had breakfast and got ready for another fun-filled travel day. We started off by going from Qum to Mashad-e-Ardehal. This site contains the tomb of Sultan Ali son of Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) and brother of Imam Jafar Sadiq (as). Sultan Ali was brutally killed here by his enemies. From here we drove to a hilltop/mountaintop with streams running down. We had to walk down about 500 meters and got a great view of a waterfall. The most distinct feature of this area of the smell of rose water distilleries all over the place. You could get rose water for a variety of needs including simple hot rose water tea. The other distinct item being sold was fresh bee hives dripping with honey. And yes, we tried hot rose water tea with honey. From here, we went to the city of Kashan. Our first stop was an ancient archeological site called Tepe Sialk. The Sialk ziggurat Note: Entrance for most places have an Iranian Rate and a Foreigner rate (up to 3X in places). We had our driver buy the tickets and we would walk in with him talking to us in Farsi. Yes – very sneaky indeed. I excused myself by convincing myself that since both my wife and I are of Iranian descent, we qualify for the discount. Final stop of our day trip to Kashan was to the oldest extant garden in Iran known as the Bagh-e-Fin or Fin Garden. Although this was a less hectic day than the trip to Isfahan, we were still pretty tired so we drove back to Qum, had a 12-in falafel sandwich, prayed maghraibain at the haram and went to bed. Day 5 (Tue): The past couple of days had left us tired so we decided to take it easy. We went to the haram for fajr then went back to bed. We woke up just in time to catch breakfast and then went to the local market (wish I took pictures). From there we went for zohrain at the mosque adjacent to Masooma’s shrine. After a quick bite to eat, we left for the Koh-e-Khizr aka Mountain of Khizr. What was supposed to be a light day in terms of exercise became a very intense and steep climb to the top of Koh-e-Khizr. It was well worth it in the end because we got a great view of the entire city of Qum if not the whole province. Got more daunting as we got closer. For the record, the old gentleman in the pic IS NOT ME City/Province of Qum. Needless to say the climb down was nowhere near as arduous as the climb up. There was a small food vendor about half from the top. On our way up, we bought some water from him and then ice cream on the way down. After resting by the car for a few moments, we drove nearby to the Masjid-e-Jhamkaran, located on the outskirts of Qum. A brief history of this grand mosque is that it has long been a sacred place, at least since 373 A.H., 17th of Ramadan (22 February 984 C.E.), when according to the mosque website, one Sheikh Hassan ibn Muthlih Jamkarani is reported to have met Muhammad al-Mahdi along with the prophet Al-Khidr. Jamkarani was instructed that the land they were on was "noble" and that the owner — Hasan bin Muslim — was to cease cultivating it and finance the building of a mosque on it from the earnings he had accumulated from farming the land. As we had been told, the mosque starts getting filled up from about 5pm and gets fuller and fuller as the evening progresses. I am not sure if it was because of Nawruz season but it definitely had a very 'carnival' and festive feel to it. People had spread out their rugs all across the mosque courtyard and were reveling with family and friends. There was hot tea brewing and koobideh with naan being shared by one and all. Quran and then different duas were being recited, followed by maghribain and then more duas. We left around 830p to go back to our hotel. Mosque sparely populated around 4pm. Crowded!!! (730pm). Day 6 (Wed): Today was the big day when we would finally make our way to Mashad. We had packed the previous night so we left right after fajr – and yes, I skipped breakfast!!! First stop was First stop was an almost 2 hour drive to Ayatollah Khomenei’s mausoleum. It is located to the south of Tehran in the Behesht-e Zahra (the Paradise of Zahra) cemetery. Construction commenced in 1989 following Khomeini's death on June 3 of that year. It is still under construction, but when completed will be the centerpiece in a complex spread over 5,000 acres, housing a cultural and tourist center, a university for Islamic studies, a seminary, a shopping mall, and a 20,000-car parking lot. The Iranian government has reportedly devoted US$2 billion to this development. It is definitely one of the largest and most beautiful mausoleums I have come across. Visitors reciting fatiha for Ayatollah Khomenei. Please recite surah fatiha for Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini. Next stop was the Astana Bibi Shehr Bano. On the ground level there is a cave which according to legends was the place where Zuljinah brought Bibi from Kerbala, and she was there until hostile people to Bani Hashim got news of her being there, and they tried to catch her. She climbed the hillock and then vanished in a mountainous wall. Now a zarih has been constructed together with prayer rooms for men and women. Zarih of Hz. Shehr Bano. View of other side of Tehran. who was a fifth generation descendant of Hasan ibn ‘Alī and a companion of Muhammad al-Taqī. A piece of paper was found in his pocket outlining his ancestry as being: ‘Abdul ‘Adhīm son of ‘Abdillāh son of ‘Alī son of Husayn son of Zayd son of Hasan ibn ‘Alī.Shah Abdul AzeemNext stop was the Shrine of Adjacent to the shrine, within the complex, include the mausolea of Imamzadeh Tahir (son of the fourth shia Imam Sajjad) and Imamzadeh Hamzeh (brother of the eighth Twelver Imām - Imām Reza). From here, we drove around the City of Tehran including the famed part known as Rey. I am fairly well traveled but I have to say that Tehran is one of the most picturesque cities I have visited. Situated in close proximity of the Alborz range and its majestic peak Mount Damavand , being the highest in Iran with a height of 18,550 feet ,it is a mega city of about Thirty Million People. You can see hundreds of buildings at the foot of the mountain. Not a bad view to wake up to every morning. After driving around for a couple of hours, our driver dropped us of at Tehran’s Mehrabad Intl Airport which is primarily used for domestic travel. The airport is in the heart of Tehran or at least within the city. The airport has a small cafeteria that serves hot meals of the local variety. They also have a coffee shop and ice cream parlor. After a 2-hour wait, we finally boarded our short (1-hr) flight to Mashad. The flight was as uneventful as all flights can be. I did enjoy a small boxed-meal they offered everyone despite the short flight. It made up for the breakfast that morning J. Naj had arranged a friend of his (Ali) to be our tour guide for the stay in Mashad. Since Ali’s English was a little weak, he brought along his sister (Afsanay) who was quite fluent in English. We checked into our Hotel (Hotel Omid). It is definitely one of the nicer hotels in Mashad. View of shrine from our hotel room balcony. We quickly refreshed and headed over to the Shrine of Imam Reza (as). Much to our pleasant surprise, the shrine was not as packed with zawar as we expected. It could have been the weather or Nawruz. About to enter the main hallway of the Shrine for the first time. Goose bumps. As salaam alai ka Ya Ghareeb Al Ghuraba (as) One of the many courtyards within the Shrine Complex of Imam Ali Reza (as). Day 7 (Thu): Although our intention was to go to the haram in Imam Al-Reza (as) for fajr, it was raining too hard with heavy winds to walk so we prayed in our rooms and went back to sleep. We woke up to this view: After a world class buffet breakfast, we met up with Ali and Afsanay to go to Nishapour. Once again, it was a very scenic drive. The mountain-desert country just has a certain serenity about it. On the way, we saw small villages celebrating nawroz in their own way. Our first stop was at the Qadamgah – where the footprints of the Holy Imam Al-Reza (as) can be found. Adjacent to it is a small stream said to bring benefits of all kinds to the zawar. Panoramic view of the building housing the footprint. Just before entering the area of the qadamgah is a small caravansary which use to house people back in the day. There were probably abour 20-25 room like the one shown above. Very basic room with a hearth in the middle. The rooms were considered high end. Outside the caravansary, there was just the open shelter (pretend there is no room just the outer part). Next stop was to the mausoleum of Bibi Shatitay. The legend goes that Imam himself came there and led the Namaz-e-janaza prayers for her. We made a brief stop at the historic Shah Abbas Inn/Caravansary which has been converted into several small shops selling jewelry or souvenirs. Nishapur is famous for its turquoise stone (firoza). Next stop was the shrines of Imamzade Mahruq bin Muhammad Al-Baqir bin Sajjad (as) and Ebrahim bin Ahmad bin Moosa bin Jafar (as). A short walk from here was the tomb of Omar Al-Khayam – one of the most influential thinkers of the Middle Ages. He wrote numerous treatises on mechanics, geography, mineralogy and astronomy. A short drive from here was the mausoleum of Abu Hamid bin Abu Bakr Ibrahim aka Attar Nishapuri - a Persian Muslim poet, theoretician of Sufism, and hagiographer from Nishapur who had an immense and lasting influence on Persian poetry and Sufism. If memory serves me right, next to Attar’s tomb was an archeological site from thousands of years ago. It was going through extensive renovations at the time. Our last stop was a very famous local restaurant called Emirat Restaurant. Undoubtedly the best lamb koobideh I have ever had!!! My wife and I had some very interesting conversations with Ali and Afsanay. They were both fascinated by our lives in America. They had no qualms about asking me my salary; the size and cost of our house; they were surprised if not shocked that it was okay for my wife to go grocery shopping by herself and it was perfectly safe. They were under the impression that any woman who stepped out of her house by herself was 'asking for it'. I thought it was hilarious. Now that I think about it, everything the Western media does to paint Muslims in a certain light happens in Iran too but backwards. The Western media takes 1 bad Muslim story and tries to apply it to all Muslims. The Iranian media takes a bad Western story and applies it to all Westerners. This was just my observation and nothing more. We had some other interesting conversations but those are for another day and another time. We drove back to Mashad and spent the evening the haram of Imam Al-Reza (as). Day 8 (Fri): We prayed fajr at the haram and went back to bed; then woke up to this beautiful view. Beautiful view of Roza of Ima Ali Reza (as). Since it was Friday, we stayed in our room until 11a or so and then headed to the haram again. Good thing we went early because it was fuller than we had seen since we got there. So I got a good spot in the mosque adjacent to the haram. I heard the Friday sermon (understood bits and pieces) and the “Death to American” chants, then prayed juma followed by Asr. Mosque adjacent to Imam Ali Reza's (as) shrine. Next was one of the most essential parts of the trip. One may not get this opportunity all the time. We had to take our passport to the office of Pilgrims situated in the Haram of Imam Ridha’s (as). They marked our passport and gives us a ticket for the meal. At the restaurant, they feed almost 4000 Zuwar each day. Thousands of Iranians must wait for years before they get a chance to have a meal at this restaurant. Lunch at Imam's restaurant (dastakhawan) Following lunch, Ali and Afsanay picked us up for some sightseeing. We drove around Mashad, saw her university and then went to ziarat nearby Ziarat near Mashad Iranian country side. Notice the marked difference in scenery from the previous pictures. On our way back, we stopped at an ice cream parlor for some traditional Persian ice cream. The last stop was a nearby pewter mountain. I was amazed to see people climbing it without any concern for safety. It was rainy and slick. Mrs ShiaMan14 bought a very nice souvenir. We came back, rested for a bit and then went to the haram for salah. Day 9 (Sat): This was the day to head back to Tehran. We spent the entire night at the haram until fajr. Then came back to get some rest. We got up after a couple of hours, had some breakfast and packed. We took all our luggage downstairs and went back to the haram for zuhrain. We also did the farewell ziarat, rushed back to the hotel since Ali was waiting for us. We got to the Mashad International Airport around 245pm for a 530p flight - plenty of time. Just as Ali left us, NAJ gave me a call informing me that my flight had been cancelled so he booked me on the last flight to Tehran (happened to be the cheapest option). This is when panic set in. If the last flight got cancelled, I would miss my flight from IKA to Doha and the subsequent flight to US. I could see on the monitors that there were several flights from the time now until my new flight time although all of them were on a different airline than mine. I called NAJ to ask if my ticket could be changed and he said it would not be possible. So I saw the flight I wanted about 1.5 hours later and went to their sales office. First, they couldnt understand why I wanted another ticket when I already had one. My farsi and their english were too awful to understand each other but nevertheless they allowed me to buy 2 tickets. Next problem - I did not have any Iranian Rials on me and the INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT did not have a Money Exchange! So I had to call Ali back to see if he had any rials that he could give me in exchange for dollars. By this time, he was about 20 minutes away so we had to wait for him to come back. In the meanwhile, the Sales Agent agreed to take my dollars at a fairly decent exchange rate. Basically, I bought 2 one-way tickets from Mashad to Tehran for about $100. Just as we finalized the transaction, Ali came back and I had to explain the whole thing to him as well. He, too, was confused as to why I would buy another ticket when I already had one. Anyway, we finally put all that behind us, checked-in and were on our way to Tehran. After an uneventful journey to Tehran, we drove all the way to Qum to sepnt about 3-4 hours in Qum at NAJ's house. We freshened up, ate a really nice meal and got ready to leave. Day 10 (Fri): We left Naj's house around 1am and reached IKA by 215am. Since this was the last or day after Nawruz holidays, the airport was jam packed. It took an hour to check-in, the security lines were considerably shorter so in another 15 minutes, we were at our gate. Boarding started just around fajr, so we prayed quickly and boarded our Qatar Airways flight to Doha. I was a bit nervous about returning to the US from Iran but had no problems whatsoever. A very placid end to a very hectic but thoroughly enjoyable trip. Summary: Iranians are a very joyous and happy people. There was no patch of grass where we didn't see a family setting up a picnic be it as a roadside or a courtyard of a shrine. I really wish relations between Iran and the West improves so the people can really experience the rich, colorful and impressive history, geography and culture Iran has to offer. Our entire 10 day trip cost about $1,600/pp. It was money well spent.
  14. 27 points
    Salaam. As someone who has seen a little bit of success in the corporate world, I would like to take this opportunity to offer career advice to college-going and recent graduates of ShiaChat who are about to embark on their careers. 01) Don't start planning and looking for a job when you have less than 2-3 months left of college. Job-hunting begins when you have about a year left to graduate. Identify companies you would like to work for; try to network with people to belong to these companies. 02) Create a LinkedIn Profile and keep it updated. Try to connect with people in Talent Acquisition (TA) within the companies you are interested in working for. 03) Inquire about internship opportunities within these companies even if the internships are unpaid. The experience and networking opportunities should be well worth it. 04) Career planning does not mean looking for your next job. Career planning is planning for your last job before retirement and then working your backwards to your current position. This leads to an important exercise. You have to ask yourself - "Where do I want to be in 45 years?" (45 years if starting career around 22 and working until 67). If you don't know, then work on it - think about it, evaluate your degree and see if it will help you, look at successful people with your degree. How far did they get in their careers? 05) Once you've figured out where you would like to be in 45 years, work your way backwards in 5 year intervals to different positions you will need to hold in order to get to the next level. Let's take an example within IT. You are 22 and graduating today with a degree in programming and plan to retire as CIO. Career planning would go something like: CIO (62 - 67) IT Director (56 - 61) Senior Manager (50 - 55) Department Manager (44 - 49) Project Manager (38 - 43) Team Leader (32 - 37) Programmer Analyst (27 - 21) Programming Specialist (22 - 26) It is important to note that first position and last position should be fixed. You should be flexible about all other positions in between. When evaluating new job opportunities, the first question you should ask is whether the new position will help you get to your end goal or not. If not, look elsewhere. 06) I mentioned 5 year intervals. If you are stuck in the same position for 5 years, then your career has become stagnant. Ideally, you should receive a promotion every 2.5 years or so. This does not necessarily mean a title change as much as increasing and/or different responsibilities. 07) Don't change jobs too frequently (every 18 months or so). It looks bad on a resume. 08) Don't be afraid to move laterally if it will help your end goal. Example, if you are stuck as a PM in a company and you know there is no upward mobility, then it is okay to find a PM position in another company if there is chance for growth. 09) For the most part, your degree will only help you get your first job. After that, it's what you make of yourself. 10) Never leave a position on bad terms. The corporate world is a lot smaller than you think. Most people think of the corporate ladder as a straight ladder bottom to top. A more appropriate description is that a corporate ladder is more like a Donkey Kong Maze: You have to navigate your way through the stumbling blocks to reach the top. "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" is a very common interview question. You are almost guaranteed a job if this question is asked and you tell them that you have planned your career until retirement nad explain how this position would help you get there. I hope this helps. Feel free to reply here with questions or PM me. But my first question back will be "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"
  15. 27 points
    Reza

    If this post gets...

    If this post gets.... 3 likes - I will post a funny emoticon 5 likes - A new Battle! thread 10 likes - Virtual cakes for everyone 20 likes - I will respond to EVERY tag. No questions asked. For one day. 40 likes - I will change my profile pic to anything you want for one week, selected among proposals here. 50 likes - SC will automatically give this topic Popular status (see Hameedeh's post below). 70 likes - I will change my forum name to anything you want for one week, selected among proposals here. 100 likes - I will shave off my hair on my head, try any food you guys want, and run outside in the freezing cold with no coat for 30 minutes
  16. 26 points
    As Salam Aleykum Hello everyone I am an Australian Christian who two years ago wanted to learn more about Islam because of the climate of terrorism which unfortunately we have a problem with still today. I have read the Qur'an and as I read more of it I believed it to be the words of god. I researched the prophet's life, his teachings and courage all inspired me to believe that his characteristics were that of a true prophet. When I met some Sunni Muslims and asked about Ali and Karbala a event that frequently popped in my research. I was told Shi'a were pagans that believed Ali was a god which these people were my friends so initially I believed them until I researched myself. I found an Islam after the prophet's death that had already strayed off the path of islam. The Arab elites quickly established themselves on top, contradicting the Qur'an with racism and greed. I saw a man named Ali who fought this until he was assassinated and his sons Hussain, Hassan and Abbas had continued to do the same which led me to conclude that Ali and Ahlulbayt were the true successors to the prophet. Now that you know my story I would like to know what steps an individual has to take to convert and confirm his belief in Islam. Thanks you for reading my story, I look forward to your answers.
  17. 26 points
    Hameedeh

    Thinking Positive

    Stress is always there and everyone has it. I know you are stressed out, because that is how life is. It is always like that. It seems so intense when you are going through something stressful. Later when you look back, you will marvel at how you survived. Stay strong. Allah is always with you. ♥ May your days be sunny, your nights restful, and your heart satisfied with the blessings that Allah has given you. Think Positive. ♥
  18. 26 points
    Reza

    Congrats Veteran Members!

    Everybody: The Admins, Mods, and Developers at ShiaChat would like to acknowledge the active members of SC who have stood by the site for ages. They have been bestowed the title of "Veteran Member". It's a title of honor only, and doesn't give any other special privileges. For now, to qualify, a member must be: 1. An Advanced member in good standing who joined before Dec. 31, 2013. 2. Has a relatively high post count. 3. Is still presently active. The full list of inductees are here: http://www.shiachat.com/forum/search/?&type=core_members&joinedDate=any&group[21]=1 @.InshAllah. @A true Sunni @Aabiss_Shakari @Akbar673 @Ali Mahdi @baqar @Darth Vader @eThErEaL @haideriam @Ibn al-Hussain @iraqi_shia @Islamic Salvation @Laayla @lalala123 @Marbles @Muhammed Ali @NormaL_UseR @P. Ease @Panzerwaffe @realizm @Renaissance_Man @Son of Placid @SoRoUsH @hasanhh @placid @abbas110 @Abu Tufayl @abuzahra @Ali_Hussain @AliSaleh @Bakir @BaqiyatullahY @Basim Ali @beardedbaker @Christianlady @doobybrother @Fatima NMA @Fink @Hassan- @Inconsolable @ireallywannaknow @Last Chance @Lion of Shia @Murteza @Noah- @power @Quisant @RiseOrDie @Rohani @rotten_coconut @Ruq @Saintly_Jinn23 @Syed Demanding @Syed.Dynasty @Wise Muslim @ZhugeLiang @yam_110 @Mohammed-Mehdi @shadow_of_light @husainshahid @Fink @skylight2 @myouvial @Martyrdom @Wahdat @Ayuoobi @Chaotic Muslem @AnaAmmar1 @David66 @coldcow @rkazmi33 @Ali-F @monad @Jahangiram @Ibn Al-Shahid @kamyar @Sumerian @forte @sayedzeeshan @Greg Potemkin Thanks, SC Team
  19. 26 points
    Abu Hadi

    Hajj 2016 by Abu Hadi

    Salam Alekum, I am now coming to you live from the Holy City of Mecca. This is my first time. We have done Umra Tamattu and are going on Friday to Arafa to begin the Hajj. I have done the first tawaf and here are my thought on this. There are some things I can say now and some I can say later. The things I can say now are that just seeing the Kaaba for the first time was something I cannot describe. It is nothing like on T.V., for those of you who have been to Mecca know what I am talking about. The best words I can use to describe it are awe inspiring. The Kaaba is radiating a spiritual energy at an intense level. It pulls you in like a moth being pulled into a flame. When you approach for tawaf you become dissolved in it. Time stops, any thoughts of the outside world stop, pain stops, hunger stops, fear stops. You realize that only love, goodness, happiness, peace, and brotherhood / sisterhood are real. You feel like everyone around you is your close family, sister, brother, aunts, uncles, although they may look different, speak different, and be from a different country. This happens in an instance, and it is not the results of any actions by any person or any structure or any group. You realize that Allah(s.w.a) is real, and everything else is from Him(s.w.a). He has no partners and associates, and noone to compete with him for power or glory. He(s.w.a) is completely in control of everything, and every step you took in your life and every action you did had a purpose and a plan, and it is part of a larger plan from Allah(s.w.a) to draw you close to Him(s.w.a). You have realized this in the past but it become a certainty then. That is the best I can describe it, though I cant describe it. It is something to be experienced, not to be talked about. Words fail completely when it comes to this. I did two rakats at Kaaba for my friends on SC. InShahAllah, every one of you can go and have same beautiful, wonderful, majestic experience, soon. I will post more as I progress thru the Hajj.
  20. 25 points
    1.Psychosomatic disorders- Use of cold water Take a bath with cool water, and especially pour it over the head; Imam Ali (a.s.) says, ‘Whoever has grief that he is unable to identify, let him wash his head. Imam Ali (as) Bihal ur Anwaar Caloric vestibular stimulation (CVS) is a technique which has recently been proven as an effective method to treat psychiatric and neurologic disorders(conversion disorder, thalamic syndrome and spinal pain to name a few) In CVS the outer ear is irrigated with cold water. This results in stimulation of the vestibular nerve which goes to the brain and stimulates areas of the higher brain centres which then alleviate the patient's symptoms. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4040883/ https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/truth-through-cold-water https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18521097 2. Depression-Cure with grapes Imam Sadiq (‘a) has said: “Nabi Nuh Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã complained to God about feeling sad. Allah revealed to him, eat of the black grapes for it removes sadness.” [Makarimul Akhlaq, Vol. 1] Grapes are rich in a chemical known as "Resveraterol" which has anti depressant properties which are comparable to popular anti depressant medication 'flouxetine'(Prozac). Contrary to what most people are made to believe reseveratrol is found in both red and white grapes. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1110093114000350 https://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-03-resveratrol-depression-related-behaviors-rats.html 3. Grief - get rid of bad smell from clothes and body Imam Ali (a.s.) says, ‘Washing one’s clothes takes away grief and sorrow. There is a strong link between odor and emotion and washing the clothes and removing bad smells can bring about a change in the emotional state of a person. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3794443/ 4. Melancholy and sadness -Remember Allah. Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, ‘If grief increases, you should mention “there is no power save in Allah. - Bihar ul Anwaar. At least two randomized clinical trials have found that psychotherapy supplemented with teachings from the Koran and Islamic prayer was effective in treating depression and bereavement among religious Muslims in Malaysia, compared to traditional therapy. http://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/288954 "Verily, in the remembrance of Allah, do hearts find rest''. Quran 13:28 Recitation of the verses of the Holy Quran even without understanding the meaning leads to an increase in the Alpha waves in the brain. Alpha electrical activity in the brain is indicative of relaxed and restful awareness. http://ojie.um.edu.my/filebank/published_article/8893/Final_9 ZH.pdf http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7478752/?reload=true http://www.patheos.com/blogs/scienceonreligion/2012/05/muslim-prayer-may-increase-alpha-waves-in-the-brain/
  21. 25 points
    Qa'im

    Spread by the Sword?

    بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم Not only is Islam the second-largest religion in the world, but it is the world’s fastest growing religion. With globalization and the influx of Muslim immigration to the West, many people are reluctantly meeting Muslims for the first time. Fear of the unknown is common, but that fear is constantly perpetuated by images of violence in the Muslim world. As a visible minority with little political leverage, the Muslim community is an easy target for xenophobes, warmongers, and nationalists. The Muslim world is the needed bogeyman for the military-industrial complex, private security companies, and isolationist politicians to thrive. Rather than trying to understand the complex imperial and economic variables that cause violence in the Muslim world, it is both simpler and more cunning to resort to generalized arguments about Islam. This view, however, overlooks the many scientific and philosophical contributions Muslims have made to Western civilization. More importantly, it distorts the reality of the Muslim civilization’s mostly-tolerant history. The centuries-old narrative that Islam was “spread by the sword” is still popular today, and it causes Muslims living in the West to be looked at as a suspicious Trojan horse waiting to Islamize the world. It is therefore necessary for us to deconstruct this worldview. This paper will briefly explore the rise and expansion of Islam, and demonstrate that tolerance and plurality were founding principles of Islamic ethics. Since the early days of the Prophet Muhammad’s ministry, Islam’s relationship with non-Muslim communities has been notable. Shortly after the Muslim migration to Medina (then known as Yathrib) in 622 CE, the Prophet drafted the Constitution of Medina. This charter put an end to tribal infighting in Medina, created a new judicial system, guaranteed the mutual protection of Muslims and non-Muslims, and established a new “Community of Believers (mu’mineen)”. (Gil, 2004, pp. 21) This community would include the Jewish tribes of Medina, while still recognizing their distinct identity and laws. Although Bernard Lewis claims that the Constitution of Medina was a unilateral proclamation by Muhammad, (Lewis, 1993, pp. 22) Muslim sources generally referred to it as a pact between the Muslims and the Jews following the two pledges at `Aqaba. Furthermore, Wellhausen, a German orientalist, regarded this charter to be a multilateral agreement negotiated between all of the involved groups. (Gil, 2004, pp. 22) The Prophet Muhammad also ratified writs of protection to other communities. The Ashtiname of Muhammad, which was written by `Ali b. Abi Talib upon the commission of Muhammad, granted privileges to the Christian monks of St. Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt. (Ratliff, 2012, pp. 63) The document guarantees that Christians are not to be overtaxed, plundered, disturbed, or coerced into marriages. (Morrow, 2013) These covenants demonstrate that the Prophet pursued a peaceful and tolerant coexistence with other communities, and made his followers accountable to ethical principles of justice. The Prophet Muhammad very plainly stressed the equality of all people, regardless of tribe, colour, class, or ethnicity. While rights differed among subgroups of society, the Islamic civilization held no concept of the natural subordination of individuals or groups. (Hamid, 1982, pp. 127) Conversion to Islam only required a simple declaration of faith, while becoming a member of the ancient Greek polity was only possible for Greek male property owners. (Hamid, 1982, pp. 127) The egalitarianism of the Quranic message was attractive to many who sought social refuge from the caste system and other forms of subordination. (Eaton, 1992, pp. 117) The Caliphate’s medieval conquests, which occurred after the Prophet Muhammad, are the main source of agitation among those suspicious of Muslims. It should be noted that `Ali b. Abi Talib, who is considered the rightful successor to Muhammad by Shia Muslims, refrained from taking part in these conquests, despite being renowned as a great warrior. There should be no doubt that there were incidents that occurred during early expansion that are not in line with the teachings of the Prophet, especially during the ridda wars and the Battle of `Ulays. The Shia Imams consistently held the Caliphate accountable during mistrials and in moments of nepotism; and they struggled to establish social and economic justice in the Muslim world. But, the frame that the Islamic conquests were wholly or mostly negative is a Eurocentric view that does not account for other pieces of the puzzle. Many ancient texts document extensive Judeo-Christian support for the Muslim conquests of Byzantium and Persia. Jews in the Levant had expected a redeemer who would deliver them from the Roman occupiers. (Crone, 1977, pp. 3-6) The Romans had destroyed the Jerusalem Temple in 134 CE, outlawed Jews from living within ten miles of Jerusalem, disbanded the Jewish high court, taxed the Jews heavily, and persecuted them for siding with the Persians. This torment ignited a messianic fervour among medieval Jews, leading to a widespread anticipation of a saviour. One of the earliest non-Muslim references to the rise of Islam is the Doctrina Jacobi, a Greek Christian anti-Jewish polemical text written in 634 CE, just two years after the passing of Prophet Muhammad. The text describes “overjoyed” Jews celebrating the Muslim arrival in Byzantium. (Crone, 1977, pp. 3) Moreover, The Secrets of Simon ben Yohai, a Jewish apocalyptic text written between the seventh and eighth centuries CE, tells of the emergence of an Ishmaelite “prophet according to God’s will” who would save the Jewish people from their oppressors. (Crone, 1977, pp. 4-5) The Islamic conquest of the Levant would restore Jewish access to Jerusalem and establish a polity that would include Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike. The Pact of Umar II, a writ of protection extended by `Umar b. `Abd al-`Aziz in the seventh century, promised safety and the right to worship to Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians in exchange for the payment of the poll tax (jizya). (Berger, 2006, pp. 88) While some orientalists have criticized the Pact’s prohibition on riding horses, Muslim clothing and building high structures, these stipulations may have been placed to prevent insurrections against Muslim garrisons, rather than to humiliate or subordinate non-Muslims. The Muslim treatment of non-Muslims was similarly commended by Near Eastern Christians. John bar Penkaye, an East Syriac Nestorian writer of the late seventh century, praised the Muslim overthrow of the Sassanid dynasty. In his Summary of World History, he writes, “We should not think of the advent [of the children of Hagar] as something ordinary, but as due to divine working. Before calling them, [God] had prepared them beforehand to hold Christians in honour, thus they also had a special commandment from God concerning our monastic station, that they should hold it in honour … God put victory in their hands.” (Pearse) This early Christian account documents the just conduct of Muslim rulers, likening it to divine intervention. Furthermore, after the Byzantines had seized control of Egypt and put the Coptic Patriarch Benjamin I of Alexandria into exile, the Muslim conquerors restored Benjamin I’s authority and brought order to the affairs of the Coptic Church. Many cultures were drawn to Islam’s magnetic social appeal. Indonesia, which is the country with the highest population of Muslims, encountered Arab merchants in the thirteenth century. Along with the arrival of Muslim commercialism, Islamic stories and symbols were introduced to the population through traditional wayang puppet shows. (Hamish, 2011, pp. 46-51) In the Indian subcontinent, Islam provided social mobility to lower castes, giving people equal rights and freeing them from total subservience to the Brahmans. The transformative power of Sufism was also attractive to many Hindus who sought ascetic, mystical brotherhoods. (Lapidus, 1988, pp. 363) Sufi and Shia saints continue to be revered by Hindu and Sikh poets in India. Although the Muslim empires had a tumultuous relationship with European Christians over the centuries, sizable Christian and Jewish communities with ancient origins continued to thrive in the Muslim world. Moorish and Ottoman confrontations with Christendom have propelled the misconception that Islam was spread by the sword. The fact is, however, that the conversion of the Near East to Islam occurred very gradually. By 800 CE, only 18% of Iraq’s population was Muslim. (Brown, 2016) Furthermore, Egypt, Spain, and the Levant did not attain a Muslim majority until the eleventh century. (Brown 2016) This means that the Muslims were a minority in the heartlands of their own civilization for hundreds of years. While poll taxes and other social pressures certainly promoted conversion to Islam, ancient churches, synagogues, temples, and other relics were maintained. Judeo-Christian populations even had rights to printing presses and European books in the Ottoman Empire – a privilege rarely granted to Muslims. (Brown, 2016) 14% of the Middle East remained Christian by 1910, with significant populations in Syria, Palestine and Egypt. (Brown, 2016) On the other hand, Christendom had a relatively poor record with minorities. Although Iberia was mostly Muslim in the fifteenth century, all Muslims were expelled or forced to convert to Christianity in 1526. (Brown, 2016) In 1609, 3-4% of Spain’s population consisted of Christian descendants of Muslims, who were also expelled under King Philip the Third. Anti-Jewish pogroms were also common in pre and post-Enlightenment European history. While there are many ancient Christian communities in the Muslim world, there are practically no ancient Muslim communities in the Christian world, despite Islam’s long history in Spain, Portugal, Sicily, and Eastern Europe. In recent decades, the Muslim world’s relationship with its non-Muslim minority communities has suffered. Colonialism, neo-imperialism, military dictatorships, and poor economies have sometimes caused the alienation and scapegoating of ethnic and religious minorities in the Muslim world. In June 2014, the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which rose out of the destabilization of Iraq and Syria, routed Christians out of Mosul. This genocide marked the end of over a thousand years of continuous Muslim-Christian coexistence in the region. While ISIL’s actions are a black mark on modern Islamic history, ISIL’s main military and ideological opponents are other Muslims in the region and around the world. This paper demonstrates that normative Islam seeks unity under common ethical principles. It is vital for Muslims to revive an equitable, pluralistic and tolerant worldview, not just because diversity is strength, but because it is the ethos of our civilization. Bibliography Berger, Julia Phillips., and Sue Parker. Gerson. Teaching Jewish History. Springfield, NJ: A.R.E. Pub., 2006. Print. Pearse, John Bar Penkaye, Summary of World History (Rish Melle) (2010). N.p., n.d. Web. 9 July 2016. Crone, Patricia, and Michael Cook. Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1977. Print. Http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4L23Z_agh1qeV_odQfV6Vg. "Dr. Jonathan AC Brown - The Message of Peace Spread by the Sword - UMaine IAW 2016." YouTube. YouTube, 2016. Web. 9 July 2016. Eaton, Richard Maxwell. The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204-1760. Berkeley: U of California, 1993. Print. Gil, Moshe, and David Strassler. Jews in Islamic Countries in the Middle Ages. Leiden: Brill, 2004. Print. Harnish, David D., and Anne K. Rasmussen. Divine Inspirations: Music and Islam in Indonesia. New York: Oxford UP, 2011. Print. Lapidus, Ira M. A History of Islamic Societies. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1988. Print Lewis, Bernard. The Arabs in History. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1993. Print. Morrow, John A. The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print. Ratliff, Brandie, and Helen C. Evans. Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition, 7th-9th Century. New York, NY: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. Print. ʻInāyat, Ḥamīd. Modern Islamic Political Thought. Austin: U of Texas, 1982. Print.
  22. 25 points
    هلك الناس أجمعون قلت: من في الشرق و من في الغرب؟ قال: فقال: إنها فتحت على الضلال All the people were destroyed. I said: whomever was in the east and the west? he said: it (the whole earth) was opened up to misguidance هلكوا إلا ثلاثة ثم لحق أبو ساسان و عمار و شتيرة و أبو عمرة فصاروا سبعة All were destroyed except three - then they were joined by Abu Sasan, Ammar, Shatira and Abu Amra, so they became seven [Ja`far al-Sadiq] Did the Sahaba Apostatize? There are narrations which indicate that all the companions were destroyed except three, these were then joined by four others, so they became seven who were saved. However, most of the scholars have understood this Halak [destruction] to be that of Dhalal [misguidance] i.e. perished in Salvific terms, not Kufr [disbelief] - which is the opposite of Islam. Who are the three? They are the pillars of the Madhhab. They are explicitly named in some of the narrations below: أبي بصير قال: قلت لأبي عبد الله عليه السلام: ارتد الناس إلا ثلاثة: أبو ذر، و سلمان، و المقداد؟ قال: فقال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: فأين أبو ساسان، و أبو عمرة الأنصاري؟ [al-Kashshi] Abi Basir said: I said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام: all the people turned back except for three - Abu Dhar, Salman and Miqdad? Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: so where is Abu Sasan and Abu Amra al-Ansari?! أبي بكر الحضرمى قال: قال أبو جعفر عليه السلام: ارتد الناس إلاثلاثة نفر سلمان وأبو ذر والمقداد. قال: قلت: فعمّار؟ قال عليه السلام: قد كان جاض جيضة ثم رجع ... ثم أناب الناس بعد فكان أول من أناب أبو ساسان الانصاري وأبوعمرة وشتيرة وكانوا سبعة فلم يكن يعرف حق أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام إلاّ هؤلاء السبعة [al-Kashshi] Abi Bakr al-Hadhrami said: Abu Ja`far عليه السلام said: the people turned back except three individuals - Salman, Abu Dhar and Miqdad, I said: what about Ammar? He عليه السلام said: he wobbled a bit then he returned [to the truth] … then the people repented after that, so the first ones to return [to the truth] were Abu Sasan al-Ansari, Abu Amra, Shatira, and they became seven, none recognized the right of the commander of the faithful عليه السلام except these seven. 'then the people repented after that, so the first ones ...' This shows that it was not just these seven, rather, these were the foremost of them. علي بن أبي طالب عليهم السلام قال: خلقت الارض لبسبعة بهم ترزقون وبهم تنصرون وبهم تمطرون منهم سلمان الفارسي والمقداد وأبو ذر وعّمار وحذيفة رحمة اللّه عليهم. وكان علي عليه السلام يقول: وأنا إمامهم وهم الذين صلوا على فاطمة صلوات الله عليها [al-Ikhtisas] Ali b. Abi Talib عليه السلام said: the earth was created for seven, because of them you are given sustenance, and because of them you are assisted, and because of them is rain made to fall on you, among them are Salman al-Farsi and al-Miqdad and Abu Dhar and Ammar and Hudhayfa - may Allah have mercy on them. Ali عليه السلام used to say: and I am their Imam, and they are the ones who prayed [Salat al-Mayyit] upon Fatima صلوات الله عليها The Three had a higher status than the Four حمران قال: قلت لأبي جعفر عليه السلام: ما أقلنا لو اجتمعنا على شاة ما أفنيناها قال: فقال: ألا أخبرك بأعجب من ذلك قال: فقلت: بلى قال: المهاجرون و الأنصار ذهبوا إلا (و أشار بيده) ثلاثة [al-Kashshi] Humran said: I said to Abi Ja’far عليه السلام - how few we (the Shias) are! if we gather to eat a sheep we will not be able to finish it, he (Humran) said: so he عليه السلام said: should I not inform you of something even more bewildering? he (Humran) said: I said: yes (do so), he said: the Muhajirun and the Ansar all diverted (i.e. went astray) except for - and he gestured with his hand - three. In al-Kulayni’s variant the narration continues: قال حمران: فقلت: جعلت فداك ما حال عمار؟ قال: رحم الله عمارا أبا اليقظان بايع وقتل شهيدا، فقلت في نفسي: ما شئ أفضل من الشهادة فنظر إلي فقال: لعلك ترى أنه مثل الثلاثة أيهات أيهات Humran said: may I be made your ransom - what is the status of Ammar? He said: may Allah have mercy on Ammar Aba al-Yaqdhan, he pledged allegiance and died a martyr, I said in my heart: what thing is better than martyrdom, so he [the Imam] looked at me and said: perhaps you think that he [Ammar] is like the three [in status], how far! how far! [from truth that opinion is]. Does this mean all others became apostates? The crux is the meaning of Ridda (ردّة) in these narrations. Whether it is to be understood in a linguistic sense or the technical sense of apostasy. If the latter is taken then it means all the Sahaba became Kafir [out of Islam] for not sticking to Ali. Irtidad in the linguistic sense refers to ‘turning back from something’. It has been used with this meaning in a number of verses such as: فَلَمَّا أَن جَاء الْبَشِيرُ أَلْقَاهُ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ فَارْتَدَّ بَصِيرًا قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُل لَّكُمْ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مِنَ اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ (i) So when the caravan herald [fore-runner] came he threw it on his face so he returned to seeing, he said: did I not say to you that I know from Allah what ye do not (12:96) قَالَ الَّذِي عِندَهُ عِلْمٌ مِّنَ الْكِتَابِ أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَن يَرْتَدَّ إِلَيْكَ طَرْفُكَ (ii) The one who had knowledge of a part of the Book said: I will bring it to you before your glance returns back to you [i.e. you blink and open your eyes again] (27:40) مُهْطِعِينَ مُقْنِعِي رُءُوسِهِمْ لاَ يَرْتَدُّ إِلَيْهِمْ طَرْفُهُمْ وَأَفْئِدَتُهُمْ هَوَاء (iii) Racing ahead, their heads bowed down, their glances not returning back to them [i.e. unblinking] and their hearts void (14:43) Whenever Irtidad from the Diin - ‘turning back’ from the Diin i.e. apostasy in the technical sense is meant, the Qur`an qualifies it by explicitly mentioning Diin. يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مَن يَرْتَدَّ مِنكُمْ عَن دِينِهِ فَسَوْفَ يَأْتِي اللّهُ بِقَوْمٍ يُحِبُّهُمْ وَيُحِبُّونَهُ (i) O you who believe, whoever turns back from his Diin from among you then Allah will bring about a people whom He loves and they love Him (5:54) وَمَن يَرْتَدِدْ مِنكُمْ عَن دِينِهِ فَيَمُتْ وَهُوَ كَافِرٌ فَأُوْلَئِكَ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ (ii) And whoever among you turns back on his Diin and dies whilst being a Kafir then those are they whose deeds have been nullified in the world and the hereafter (2:217) It is clear that the narrations about the Irtidad of the Sahaba are not qualified by Diin. To understand that meaning from it would require further proof. The Chosen Interpretation The Irtidad in the narrations should be understood [in light of other narrations] as people turning away, after the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله, from what they had made incumbent on themselves in his صلى الله عليه وآله lifetime, when they gave the Bay`a to Ali b. Abi Talib as the leader of the believers i.e. Irtidad from Wilaya not apostasy from Islam. Instead, they decided to give the Bay`a to someone else because of expediency and other reasons. This was a betrayal of epic proportions that opened up the door of misguidance and innovation in the Diin, however, they had not exited the apparent Islam, nor were all on the same level of liability for this. This interpretation is aided by the following texts: أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: كان الناس أهل ردة بعد النبي صلى الله عليه وآله إلا ثلاثة. فقلت: ومن الثلاثة؟ فقال: المقداد بن الأسود، وأبو ذر الغفاري، وسلمان الفارسي، رحمة الله وبركاته عليهم، ثم عرَف أناسٌ بعدَ يسير. وقال: هؤلاء الذين دارت عليهم الرحا وأبوا أن يبايعوا، حتى جاؤوا بأمير المؤمنين مكرَهاً فبايع، وذلك قوله تعالى: وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلاَّ رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ أَفَإِن مَّاتَ أَوْ قُتِلَ انقَلَبْتُمْ عَلَى أَعْقَابِكُمْ وَمَن يَنقَلِبْ عَلَىَ عَقِبَيْهِ فَلَن يَضُرَّ اللّهَ شَيْئًا وَسَيَجْزِي اللّهُ الشَّاكِرِينَ (i) [al-Kafi] Abi Ja`far عليه السلام said: the people were the people of Ridda after the prophet صلى الله عليه وآله except three. I said: who are the three? He said: al-Miqdad b. al-Aswad, Abu Dhar al-Ghiffari and Salman al-Farsi, may Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon them, then the people came to know after a while [the truth], these [three] are those around whom the banner revolved and they refused to give Bay`a [to Abu Bakr], until when they brought the commander of the faithful عليه السلام by coercion and he gave the pledge of allegiance, and that is His words the Elevated - “Muhammad is not but a messenger, messengers have come and gone before him, if he dies or is killed, will you turn back on your heels, and whoever turns back on his heels then he will not harm Allah a thing and Allah will recompense those who are grateful” (3:144). The narration indicates that the uniqueness of the three was that they did not give the Bay`a to the usurper because of knowing the true status of Ali, it was only when Ali was forced to give the Bay`a, and he did [for the Masliha which Allah willed], that the three also agreed to do it. The meaning of 'then the people came to know after a while ...' is that some people recognized their fault, and acknowledged that the commander of the faithful was the most rightful person to assume leadership. That all the others apart from the three were paralyzed by fear is shown in the narration below: أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: جاء المهاجرون والأنصار وغيرهم بعد ذلك إلى علي عليه السلام فقالوا له: أنت والله أمير المؤمنين وأنت والله أحق الناس وأولاهم بالنبي عليه السلام هلم يدك نبايعك فوالله لنموتن قدامك! فقال علي عليه السلام: ان كنتم صادقين فاغدوا غدا علي محلقين فحلق علي عليه السلام وحلق سلمان وحلق مقداد وحلق أبو ذر ولم يحلق غيرهم؛ ثم انصرفوا فجاؤوا مرة أخرى بعد ذلك، فقالوا له أنت والله أمير المؤمنين وأنت أحق الناس وأولاهم بالنبي عليه السلام عليه السلام هلم يدك نبايعك فحلفوا فقال: إن كنتم صادقين فاغدوا علي محلقين فما حلق إلا هؤلاء الثلاثة قلت: فما كان فيهم عمار؟ فقال: لا؛ قلت: فعمار من أهل الردة؟ فقال: إنّ عمارا قد قاتل مع علي عليه السلام بعد ذلك (ii) [al-Kashshi] Abi Ja`far عليه السلام said: the Muhajirun and Ansar and others came after that [the coup at Saqifa] to Ali عليه السلام and said to him: you are by Allah the commander of the faithful, and you are by Allah the most rightful person and closest to the prophet, put forth your hand so that we can pledge allegiance to you, for by Allah we are going to die in front of you [in your defense], Ali said: if you are truthful then come to me tomorrow having shaved your head [which would visually identify the ‘rebels’ to the authorities], so Ali shaved, so did Salman, Miqdad and Abu Dhar, and no one else did, then they came a second time after the first and said: you are by Allah the most rightful person and closest to the prophet, put forth your hand so that we can pledge allegiance to you, and they swore an oath, he said: come to me tomorrow having shaved your head if you are truthful, so no one shaved except three. I said: Ammar was not among them? He said: No, I said: Ammar is from the people of Ridda? He said: Ammar fought together with Ali after that. This reaffirms that the uniqueness of the three is related to them not giving in and remaining with Ali to the end as far as his right is concerned. Note also how Ammar is not included among the Ahl al-Ridda, even in a historical sense, because of his later support for Ali. In fact, one of the reasons behind Ali accepting to give Bay`a after his show of dissent was so that the masses do not renounce the faith totally. Recall that the Islamic polity was still unstable and there were a lot of Arab tribes whose allegiance had been personally to the prophet and not the Diin per se, the Jahiliyya was not far from their psyche. أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: إن الناس لما صنعوا ما صنعوا إذ بايعوا أبا بكر لم يمنع أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام من أن يدعو إلى نفسه إلا نظرا للناس و تخوفا عليهم أن يرتدوا عن الاسلام فيعبدوا الاوثان ولا يشهدوا أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وكان الاحب إليه أن يقرهم على ما صنعوا من أن يرتدوا عن جميع الاسلام وإنما هلك الذين ركبوا ما ركبوا فأما من لم يصنع ذلك ودخل فيما دخل فيه الناس على غير علم ولا عداوة لامير المؤمنين عليه السلام فإن ذلك لا يكفره ولا يخرجه من الاسلام ولذلك كتم علي عليه السلام أمره وبايع مكرها حيث لم يجد أعوانا (iii) [al-Kafi] Abu Ja'farعليه السلام said: When the people did what they did - when they gave allegiance to Abu Bakr, nothing prevented the commander of the faithful عليه السلام from calling to himself (i.e. gather support to rival them publicly) except his fear for the people - that they would apostate from Islam, and begin worshiping the idols anew, and reject witnessing that there is no God but Allah, and that Muhammad is his messenger; and it was more beloved to him to acquiesce to what they had done rather than them apostatizing from the whole of Islam. Verily, those who clambered upon this (opposing Ali for rulership) have been destroyed. As for the one who did not contribute anything to that (opposing Ali for rulership) and entered into what the people entered into without knowledge (about his status) nor enmity towards him then this act of his does not make him a disbeliever, and it does not remove him from Islam, and this is why Ali kept quiet about his matter (status), and gave allegiance while displeased, when he could not find any supporters. The narration makes it clear that had the Imam fought for his leadership i.e. a civil war it would cause irreparable damage, this is because of the tenuous position that Islam had, even the outward Islam (the Islam of the Shahadatyn) would have been wiped out. There were a lot of external and internal enemies waiting for this infighting to make sure that the whole foundation of Islam crumbles. Conclusion The Umma became, for the most part, misguided after their prophet. This is something that had also happened to the communities of past prophets. But this misguidance should not be understood to have taken all of them out of Islam as a whole, rather, by ignoring a central commandment of the prophet they have done a great sin which struck a blow to the pristine Islam. Furthermore, the protagonists differ relative to their role in the fiasco. Some were quite unaware of the whole thing and lacked full knowledge of the Haqq of Ali and his Ma`rifa, this could be because they were blind to the order of the prophet (total ignorance); had some doubts; did not have the ability to influence the outcome because of some constraints [swept away by the wave of events]; or because they showed cowardice and faltered in coming to Ali’s aid. Others later acknowledged their mistake and made up for it in the following years. All these in their different categories can be said to be the majority. Their fate in the next world of “realities” is left to Allah On the other hand, there were those who administered the whole thing. They had full knowledge of what the prophet had ordered them and what the divine commandment required them to do. They also knew the position of Ali. Despite this, they fought against this explicitly. These are those who should be treated as apparent Muslims in the daily life in this world [according to most scholars]. This is, after all, how Ali himself treated them, praying in their mosques, visiting them in sickness, helping them out when they faced challenges, eating with them etc. part of which is Taqiyya and safeguarding the greater principles of Islam, but they are undoubtedly people of the fire in the next world. Note that this interpretation is dependent on the position of differentiating between the Dharuriyat of the Diin and that of the Madhhab and considering the Shahdatayn alone to be enough in making someone a Muslim [unless taken out for some other reason]. Whilst this is a popular position among scholars today, it has had its detractors among the scholars of the past, one of them being someone like Shaykh Yusuf al-Bahrani, who considered the rejectors of the Wilaya as Kafirs with the fullest implication this has [even in this world].
  23. 25 points
    Abbas.

    Welcome Magma: New Admin

    Hi All There comes a time when us oldies have to let the younglings decide the future of the forum. Not that I am quitting yet but it is always a roller coaster ride trying to manage family, work, studies and SC at the same time. Therefore, I see having young blood with passion and commitment as an essential element to the long-term survival of this forum. We have to continue to pass the torch. Which is why the Admin team has decided to select @magma as part of their team. I would like to make specific mention of our other senior mods in the team who are also well deserving of the title. But I didn't bother them with the responsibility at this stage in consideration of the fact that they are for the most part in my situation (if not worse). In comparison, Magma has plenty of energy and time to devote to SC. So please join me in welcoming Magma as our new Admin. The brother has earned this title with his sheer commitment and devotion to the forum. Before making him an admin, my advice to him was as follows. This standard applies to all Admins so please free to let us know if you feel that we are falling short of these characteristics. Always align your decisions with our vision and mission statement. Avoid decisions reflecting a conflict of interest and personal vendetta. Think of the greater good of the Shia community (specifically) and the Muslim community (in general). Ignore personal attacks from members as well as mods. Always base your decisions on merit and principles that can be equally applied in other similar situations.
  24. 24 points
    I work in a package central. We sort all kinds of packages and parcels and ship them away. I was happy that I found a halal job.... I thought. After some months I saw that we received wine parcels. Meaning that we had to sort this wine in cages. This is obviously haram. My mood went down yet I was afraid to tell my boss about it. What would he think? Maybe that I was too extreme. You can't imagine how afraid I was. So, instead of saying it to my boss I used various ways to avoid the wine. When it came, I'd go to the toilet or I would tell a person to help me and I would leave (two persons sort these wine parcels and I was constantly one of them). I hated it. I really feared Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى that I may commit sins. Today I saw the wine again. I had successfully avoided it for a long time but I knew today would be the day I couldn't escape. I tried really hard to avoid being there but nope this was my place. I had one last option: Tell my boss. I have more than one boss and today a second one saw me and said "You have an alcohol problem" (he said it jokingly). I knew he knew. I couldn't bear it. I said to my boss that I had an issue with alcohol. His reaction? Wow, I was shocked. He said it was very good that I said it. He would not let me work with this wine anymore. I was so happy. Alhamdulillah. Face your fears brothers and sisters. God is with you.
  25. 24 points
    Salam alaykum all, To help the Shia community more readily access our own books' information, I made a website with the four major Shia Hadith books. The site allows you to browse, search and share Shia Hadith. Please check it out and let me know any feedback. http://www.fourshiabooks.com
  26. 24 points
    (bismillah) Dear brothers and sisters. Lately I have noticed that Shiachat and it's members, including me have changed for the worse. Shiachat in itself is just a website, but it is also the biggest shia community. Granted that it is digital, but in todays day and age, it is equally reflective and mirrors what shias believe and how they behave than it does in physical life. Perhaps even more. However, we are in a bad spot here. I am talking about the behavior and conduct of shiachat members, and their lack of understanding the effects of their words. Both how it affects other shias and how it looks in the eyes of our enemies. I am saying shiachat member, because I myself am a member and take equal part in this act. Some points: 1. Issue: We are constantly criticizing the Ulama. Now this in itself is ok, but everyone knows by now that it has gotten way out of hand. We all have different marjas, and we all have different opinions on their actions. But that does not give us the right to cause turmoil in public. Shiachat, is public, and the worst thing we can do is to show the enemies of AhlulBayt that we have such low opinions about each other. It often turns into personal insults and really bad behavior in the name of criticizing. What this does is create hatred towards each other, and nothing.....NOTHING, pleases the wahabis more than this. I have witnessed now from a discussion that i had with a wahabi that we are in bad shape. He specifically pointed out shiachat, and i had nothing to defend our behavior with. It truly broke my spirit, hence me making this thread. 1. Solution: No matter how the Marjas behave and how much we disagree, we must remember we are in the same camp. Marjas are our generals and we are the soldiers. The generals might disagree, and some generals might misbehave. But that does not give us the right to disrupt the peace between ourselves. The only thing we have in this world is Allah, Ahlulbayt and our brothers and sisters in faith. Let us now focus on creating threads that show the unity we have. Let us create threads that are intellectual and smart in purpose. Let us create posts and threads that promote Shia Islam, not tare it down. This is what discomforts the wahabis and whoever is against the Ahlulbayt. This is what causes their despair and strikes fear in their heart, our strong unity. If we happen to create threads that show sings of getting out of hand, it is the responsibility of every shia to respond with respect and behavior that the Ahlulbayt has taught us. Speak gently, and if someone disagrees, then respond respectfully and with dignity. If someone does go out of hand, let's all join in and stop such behavior. I am certain, that when Imam Mahdi looks upon our behavior as of late, and i am sure he does, he is extremely disappointed. There is nothing wrong with holding back and controlling what you want to say. Let us respect each others marjas and ulama, no matter how much we disagree, and show the world that we stand united regardless. I know it might sound cheesy, but this is the way it should be. If you don't believe in the Marja of your fellow brother or sister, at least believe in the brother or sister themselves and love them mainly because they love AhlulBayt. This is the code of Ziyarat Ashura! 2. Issue: Nationalism! Even though we perhaps never mention the nationality that we have a problem with, the undertone is there. What is this nonsense? Since when did Allah or Ahlulbayt love anyone for their passport and place of birth? It is clear as day that we have issues with nationalities, and sometimes it comes off as a joke, but any sane person that understands linguistics and how it is used, will see that there is a nationalistic tension between members. 2. Solution: Again, it is the responsibility of shia members to stop this. Everyone must join in and firstly correct their on behavior, secondly be smart and noticing such things, and finally speak out in a proper manner about it. 3. Issue: The urge to answer. We can see that sometimes someone creates a thread about Yasser Habib, or Nasrullah, or Shirazis, Khamenei, Hezbollah, Iran, Iraq, etc etc. And we have this urge to show our disgust with the article or case that the thread starter is presenting. 3. Solution: Control your urge as much as you can. You don't have to answer negatively to it every time, there is no purpose to it other than starting a big mess. I am not ordering, i am merely asking in the name of Allah and everything that we hold dear, namely the AhlulBayt whom are dearer to us than our parents and our lives that we start changing. Pitch in and be constructive. Our main enemy is wahabis whom are killing Shias day in and day out, and they laugh and point their dirty fingers at us. This is the platform we can use to do our part in showing that no matter how much we disagree on certain issues, we won't let them have the pleasure of seeing it or taking joy from it. I hope you take this into consideration. Wasalam
  27. 24 points
    The Coin of al-Rida Historical accounts and reports in our books of Hadith confirm that al-Ma`mun had coins minted in the name of al-Ridha after appointing him as his crown prince. These became a collectors item among the Shia being considered portents of Tabarruk especially to be carried during a journey. The Imam would bestow this as a memento to some of the believing Shia who came to visit him. The Shia were pacified by this move of al-Ma`mun and many of them had expectations that the rule will finally revert back to its rightful place after more than a hundred years of usurpation. حدثنا محمد بن الحسن بن أحمد بن الوليد رضي الله عنه قال: حدثنا محمد بن الحسن الصفار، عن يعقوب بن يزيد، عن أيوب بن نوح قال: قلت للرضا عليه السلام: إنا لنرجو أن تكون صاحب هذا الامر وأن يرده الله عزوجل إليك من غير سيف، فقد بويع لك وضربت الدراهم باسمك، فقال: ما منا أحد اختلفت إليه الكتب، وسئل عن المسائل وأشارت إليه الاصابع، وحملت إليه الاموال إلا اغتيل أو مات على فراشه حتى يبعث الله عزوجل لهذا الامر رجلا خفي المولد والمنشأ غير خفي في نسبه [Kamal al-Diin] Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. Ahmad b. al-Walid – Muhammad b. Hasan al-Saffar – Ya`qub b. Yazid – Ayub b. Nuh who said: I said to al-Ridha عليه السلام: we hope that you are to be the man of this matter (the promised ruler from Ahl al-Bayt), and that Allah عزوجل returns it to you without fighting - for you have been given allegiance to, and the coins have been minted with your name on them. He said: there is not one of us to whom letters have been written, questions have been asked, fingers have been pointed at, and monies have been sent to, except that he will be killed or will die on his bed until Allah عزوجل will send for this matter a man of hidden birth and origin whose lineage is not unknown. طاهر بن بن عيسى، عن جعفر بن أحمد، عن عليّ بن محمّد بن شجاع، عن محمّد بن الحسين، عن معمّر بن خلاد قال: قال لي الريّان بن الصلت بمرو و كان الفضل بن سهل بعثه إلى بعض كور خراسان فقال: احبّ أن تستأذن لي على أبي الحسن عليه السّلام فاسلّم عليه و اودّعه، و أحبّ أن يكسوني من ثيابه و أن يهب لي من دراهمه الّتي ضربت باسمه ... [al-Kashshi] Tahir b. Isa – Ja`far b. Ahmad - Ali b. Muhammad b. Shuja` - Muhammad b. al-Husayn [b. Abi al-Khattab] – Muammar b. Khallad who said: al-Rayyan b. al-Salt said to me in Marw after al-Fadhl b. Sahl [Ma`mun’s vizier] had dispatched him to some of the villages in Khurasan: I would like you to seek permission on my behalf from Abi al-Hasanعليه السّلام [to allow me to meet him] so that I can greet him and bid him farewell. I would also like it if he could give me a piece of clothing from among his clothes and gift me a few of his silver coins that were minted in his name … أخبرني محمد بن يونس الأنباري قال حدثني أبي: أن إبراهيم بن العباس الصولي دخل على الرضا لما عقد له المأمون وولاه العهد، فأنشده قوله: أزالت عزاء القلب بعد التجلد ... مصارع أولاد النبي محمد (صلى الله عليه وسلم) فوهب له عشرة آلاف درهم من الدراهم التي ضربت باسمه، فلم تزل عند إبراهيم، وجعل منها مهور نسائه، وخلف بعضها لكفنه وجهازه إلى قبره [al-Aghani] Muhammad b. Yunus al-Anbari – his father who said: The poet Ibrahim b. al-Abbas al-Suli came in to see al-Rida when he was appointed by al-Ma`mun and made the crown prince and recited the following verse: The grief of the heart has receded after enduring … the repression against the sons of Muhammad Al-Rida gifted him ten thousand silver coins which were minted in his name, Ibrahim held on to them and used them as dowry for marrying his wives and left some of them behind to purchase his shrowd and for the carrying of his body [to the grave]. The wonderful thing is that archaeologists and scholars of numismatics have discovered a few pieces of this coin which is considered a rarefied item. Below is an image of the coin: General Information Period: The Abbasid Caliphate, 132-218 H/750-833 AD, Ruler: Abu Ja‘far ‘Abd Allah al-Ma’mun ibn al-Rashid, (194-218 H/810-833 AD) Place of Mint: Samarqand in Central Asia (present-day Uzbekistan) Date: 202 H (817-818 AD) Metal and denomination: Silver dirham Weight and measurement: 2.87 g / Ø 25.5 mm Legend and Design OBVERSE Field la ilah illa / Allah wahdahu / la sharik lahu / al-mashriq “no god but God, unique, He has no associate, East Inner margin bism Allah duriba hadha’l-dirham bi-samarqand sana ithnatayn wa mi‘atayn “in the name of God this dirham was struck in Samarqand the year two and two hundred” Outer margin muhammad rasul Allah arsalahu bi’l-huda wa din al-haqq li-yuzhirahu ‘ala al-din kullihi “Muhammad is the messenger of God who sent him with guidance and the religion of truth that he might make it supreme over all other religions” Sura 9 (al-Tawba), v. 33 (in part) REVERSE Field lillah / muhammad rasul Allah / al-ma’mun khalifat Allah / mimma amara bihi al-amir al-rida / wali ‘ahd al-muslimin ‘ali ibn musa / ibn ‘ali ibn abi talib / dhu’l-riyasatayn “for God, Muhammad is the messenger of God, al-Ma’mun is the Caliph of God, among the things ordered by the Prince al-Rida, Recipient of the Oath of the Muslims ‘Ali ibn Musa ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, Possesser of the Two Headships” Margin muhammad rasul Allah arsalahu bi’l-huda wa din al-haqq li-yuzhirahu ‘ala al-din kullihi wa law kariha al-mushrikun “Muhammad is the messenger of God who sent him with guidance and the religion of truth that he might make it supreme over all other religions, even though the polytheists may detest it” Sura 9 (al-Tawba), v. 33
  28. 23 points
    Haji 2003

    Unlimited pleasure

    There are arguments given by atheists challenging religious beliefs, and resulting practices that science does not support and which atheists argue should be abandoned by believers. In this essay, I want to look at one example, where I think science is catching up with religion. The industrial farming of sugar by Europeans in the West Indies, starting from the eighteenth century, is a good example of improving the supply of something that was supposed to vastly improve the pleasure of significant numbers of people at little cost. Almost suddenly the population of Europe discovered how to sweeten their diet. It took many many decades to realise that, of course, there were health costs and the realisation that industrial production on this scale and such limited cost required unacceptable human sacrifices as well. The story for tobacco is a similar one. Relatively more recently we've cracked the problem of industrially producing foods that were hitherto a luxury, such as chicken. But at least in this instance, the knowledge that the welfare costs borne by the chicken are unacceptable has come much more quickly than was the case for the slaves producing sugar and tobacco. In the case of the chicken attempts to improve the situation have happened more quickly as well. We could list similar examples wherever man has acquired the technical knowledge that the hitherto expensive and difficult to manufacture could be made more cheaply in many instances this has come with a high cost to the human workers and animals involved in the production process. But what is also noteworthy is that in many instances there has also been an unacceptable cost to the consumers who had originally assumed that a source of cheap pleasure had been discovered. A high sugar diet kills, low tobacco consumption kills and meat produced with little regard for animal welfare is not healthy either. What are the implications for today? Just as improvements in shipping, various agricultural practices and refining processes allowed us to produce sugar, so various technical advances have allowed us to produce far higher and better 'quality' levels of entertainment for far lower cost than was previously ever the case. In a matter of 50 year years, television has gone from something that could only realistically be watched for a few hours a day to something that can deliver a variety of entertainment 24 hours a day, seven days a week for entire years. And we now realise the health costs of a sedentary lifestyle. But television also provides a good example of another risk that we are facing. The passive consumption of such entertainment nevertheless requires on the part of those being entertained some variety and on the part of those providing the entertainment there are advantages to reducing costs. Adding to this toxic mix is the realisation that although the original goals for entertainment may have been lofty, without a strict ethical and moral framework imposing restrictions the result is all too easily entertainment that appeals to the lowest common denominator and that is sex and we have the 21st century equivalent of sugar, which is pornography. There is a growing, but still limited, understanding of the effect of the consumption of porn, and in the case of children the science is still in its infancy. Also, the longer-term effects on entire societies are not well understood, because the experiments necessary to understand the impact are still being done, in real-time on actual societies. We are the guinea pigs because even people who do not consciously watch pornography are affected by people who do. The producer who makes a 'racy' drama for mass family audiences, could likely have had their ideas on what is acceptable shaped by their consumption of pornography. Gender relations, how men interact with women are all influenced by the communications to which they are exposed. The impact can therefore be in terms of how ubiquitous (pervasive) the impact is and also how insidious. Without stretching the point, the parallel with sugar is again interesting. Sugar consumption has become pervasive, we consume it even when we do not think we are, it is present in all manner of unlikely foods. Because, once marketers recognised our preference - including it in a wide range of offerings (in order to be customer focused) was the normal reaction of the market place. Like sugar, pornography held the promise of unlimited pleasure, at very low cost. Religious and moral objectors have appeared to have little science to back their reservations. If you combine the morality of the market with the assumption that anything adults (in this case the actors who perform) do out of their free will, for a fair wage, is acceptable, then there appear to be no restrictions at all as to what is done. Porn becomes a guilt-free pleasure. Initially, with what vestige of moral scruples remained, there were restrictions on supply and limitations on what children could watch. But in the case of children the advance of technology has meant that those restrictions have become difficult to enforce and regarding moral limits these have become more lax, as each passing generation has become more liberal in its tolerance of what is acceptable, having been conditioned by what they were exposed to. But just as our experience with sugar and tobacco and other products has shown us over the past few centuries, our being able to deliver pleasure at an industrial scale for low cost for the 'benefit' of large sections of society never ends well. At least with these offerings, the long-term costs paid by consumers were purely physical, with more recent products subject to industrialisation the costs are more likely to be psychological. An Islamic society that adheres to its principles would likely not have affected the growth trajectories of sugar and tobacco, other than perhaps slow down their initial establishment. The fair treatment of slaves would have imposed higher costs. However, in the case of pornography restrictions on what people are allowed to see of others should provide clear limits as to what can and cannot be consumed. Bear in mind that Islam does not have some vague restrictions on what people can and cannot see, the restrictions are explicit and formalised. This approach has a clear advantage when it comes to something like porn, whose non-religious definition has clearly changed over the years. What is now healthy family viewing was porn for previous generations. This is a product whose very consumption affects how we define it. Yet the Islamic injunction is very clear and is intended to hold for all time. This is a clear case of where science catches up with orthodox, traditional religious morality. https://contemporaniablog.wordpress.com/2016/10/12/unlimited-pleasure/#more-535
  29. 23 points
    Qa'im

    A Guide to Sunni Trends

    The Sunni Muslim world, as I see it, is divided up into the following social categories. Below are the major trends that run through this segment of the Umma. - Madhhabi Sunnis: Anyone belonging to the traditional Hanafi, Shafi`i, Maliki, and Hanbali schools, including both conservative and nominal Muslims. Madhhabi Sunnis usually express their religion through devoted worship, spirituality, and traditional law-abidance. Many sub-movements fit in this category, including most Sufis, the mystical Barelvi movement, the Deobandi movement, and those who are simply culturally Muslim. Madhhabi Sunnis are usually suspicious of Salafi, Shia, and modernist ideas and traditions, but still advocate for Muslim unity; agreeing to disagree with competing trends. Some nominal Madhhabis are influenced by Salafi revivalism and conservatism. Sufis in particular are often politically quietist and pacifistic, and have a balanced but positive view of classical Islamic civilizations. Popular examples: Hamza Yusuf, Yahya Rhodus, Timothy Winters, Zaid Shakir, Umar Abd-Allah, Shabir Ally, Usama Canon, Suhaib Webb, Faraz Rabbani, Amjad Tarsin. Salafis: Those who try to pursue a literal interpretation of Sunni Islam based on its most established primary hadith sources. Salafis are suspicious of secondary sources, philosophy, mysticism, traditional Sunni schools, saint-reverence, forms of religious expressions that are not explicitly supported by "sahih" Sunni hadiths, and other sects and religions. Salafis usually express their religion through theological discourse, worship, strict adherence to early practices (including having a "Muslim appearance"), and clamping down on "innovations" in Islamic practice (i.e. anything in a hadith they consider "weak", or not found in their most literal interpretations). Salafis have three noticeable sub-movements: (1) the Wahabis, who follow the Najdi Saudi theologians; (2) apolitical non-Wahabi Salafis, who follow non-Najdi figures, are focused mostly on theology and law, and are critical of Saudi Arabia's royal family and state-sponsored scholars, and (3) Militant Salafis, who seek to revive the Caliphate, establish puritan Islamic states, resist Western imperialism, and punish deviant and nominal Muslims. Salafis are very critical of Sufis and Shias, and often push for the destruction of their relics. Popular examples: Bilal Philips, Abu Khadeejah, Yasir Qadhi, Abdur Raheem Green, Zakir Naik, Feiz Mohammed, Abu Musab Wajdi Akkari, Abu Isa Niamatullah. Liberal Reformists: This includes Quranists and other reformists, who have a modernist humanist worldview, and see many Islamic laws and practices as outdated or obsolete. Liberal Reformists are focused on social justice and ethical principles inspired by the Quran. They are skeptical of hadith literature, Islamic scholarship, mysticism, sectarianism, and some jurisprudence. Liberal Reformists are especially critical of traditional penalties (hudud), extremism, radicalization, and laws related to gender and sexuality. The Quran is viewed as a flexible, progressive document that mostly lacks the rigidity of Islamic laws. Popular examples: Mona Eltahawy, Irshad Manji, Maajid Nawaz, Tarek Fatah, Amina Wadud, Asra Nomani, Michael Muhammad Knight, Khalid Abou El Fadl Muslim Brotherhood Types: They are often unaffiliated with the actual MB, but hold the same pragmatist and anti-imperialist sentiments. They are a middle-upper class educated movement that focuses on social conservatism, harmonizing modernism and traditionalism, international politics, and social justice. The MB types believe in family values, scientific/technological progress and development, and quasi-Marxist-Leninist domestic and international policies (big welfare governments and anti-Western imperialism). They are critical of Salafi puritanism, Sufi mysticism, and Shia Iran's encroachment of the Arab world. The MB types often admire the Turkish, Tunisian, and Malaysian Islamic models, which are pluralistic yet respect Islamic tradition. They are often nostalgic of Islamic civilization's golden age. Popular examples: Tariq Ramadan, Jamal Badawi, Dalia Mogahed, Anas al-Tikriti, Jonathan Brown - Most Sunni Muslims are not very conscious of these divisions. They usually don't identify themselves with one of these labels, and all 4 trends coexist in most Sunni nations and communities. The trends also have some overlaps, and there are people that are a blend of multiple trends. Sunni scholars are more aware of the red lines due to their epistemological significance. But many Sunnis are subject to the influence of Gulf petrodollars, and therefore will take on some Salafi cliches without noticing it (or just seeing it as becoming "more religious"). I call this "Casual Salafism" - speakers like Nouman Ali Khan, Yusuf Estes, Ismail Menk, or Omar Suleiman, who are more laid-back and popular with the youth, but still have a Salafi epistemology and Salafi influences in their material. Being conscious of these trends will allow us to better understand whom we can work with and whom we should best avoid.
  30. 23 points
  31. 22 points
    Hameedeh

    Minimalism

    Two years ago I became a minimalist. I'm not talking about music, sculpture or painting, but minimalism in my life. I read about creating a minimalist home, but I did not buy the book: http://zenhabits.net/a-guide-to-creating-a-minimalist-home/ So, I am thrifty and I buy very little. Whenever I am shopping and see a dozen things I want to own, I question myself. Do I have storage space for this? Is this really necessary? Will I really love it or is it just something that I never had before and always wanted to have one? Just wanting to possess something is not a good reason to buy it. Could I take a photo of it and just look at it, without spending my money? This must be a good reason to join Pinterest, to have all the things you want to look at, but never need to buy, store or move them. As you have seen, my ShiaChat blog is minimalist by nature. I usually say very little, because if there is one thing that I know, it is that I recognize great writing when I see it, but I am not a good writer. I hope to become a better writer some day, and in the meantime, I invite you to my tumblr. Please, if you can, start at the last page which shows my first post (a prayer for the safety of 12th Imam AJ) and then scroll your way up, and over to previous pages in chronological order, the way my brain was working. http://hameedeh.tumblr.com/page/3 ♥ May your days be sunny, your nights restful, and your heart satisfied with the blessings that Allah has given you. Think Positive. ♥
  32. 22 points
    As the Orientalist and civil servant Sir William Muir (1819–1905) served in India for the British government, it was not long before he realized the significance of Prophet Muhammad's (p) sunnah for the day-to-day practice of Islam for the Muslims. Much of the sunnah is derived from the ḥadīth literature which constitutes one of the most significant bodies of work within the vast sea of Islamic disciplines. The majority of Muslims since the rise of Islam have relied heavily on aḥadīth to acquire religious knowledge pertaining to different aspects of their lives, be it theology, jurisprudence or ethics. As such, 8 online sessions are being offered via Skype to introduce students to the development of ḥadīth sciences within a Shī’ī Imāmī context. By the end of the sessions, a student would ideally be acquainted with the basic discussions and sub-discussions that take place within Shī’ī Imāmī ḥadīth discourse. Please note, these lessons will be introductory in nature and if one already has a decent grasp of the subject it is advised they do not signup. There will also be an opportunity for questions and answers. Fees: The course is being offered for $10 USD and payments can be made through Paypal http://paypal.me/AliImranSC/10USD - if you are in Canada and want to pay through Interac, please private message me and I will share my e-mail address with you and we can agree on the details of a security question & answer. Deadline to sign up is July 14th, 2018. When making the payment, please mention your name and ShiaChat username or e-mail address so that the private link to the Skype conversation can be sent to you. Timing: The 60-minute sessions will take place on Sundays, via Skype. My personal suggestion for time is 12 PM EDT (Toronto), which is 5 PM EST (London). They will be recorded so those who paid but missed a session for whatever reason, can access it later. Course Outline Session 1: July 15, 2018 Definition, Significance & Branches Brief History of Development & Compilation Role of the Shī'a in Ḥadīth Development Session 2: July 22, 2018 Major Books of Ḥadīth Akhbārī & Uṣūlī Views on Ḥadīth Books Session 3: July 29, 2018 'Ilm al-Rijāl Session 4: August 5, 2018 'Ilm al-Dirāyah Session 5: August 12, 2018 Fiqh al-Ḥadīth Session 6: August 19, 2018 Fiqh al-Ḥadīth - Case Studies Session 7: August 26, 2018 Muslim "Reformists" and Ḥadīth Session 8: September 2, 2018 Orientalists and Ḥadīth Studies About Me: I am one of the senior members of ShiaChat and much of the ShiaChat moderator and administrative team knows me and can surely vouch for my trustworthiness (). I received my BCom in 2010, from York University, Toronto and then went on to work as an internet marketer. I began my seminary studies in Qom in November 2012 and completed my undergraduate degree there in January 2018. I intend on beginning my post-graduate degree in Qom after the summer and am also concurrently finishing off an MA in Islamic Studies from the Islamic College of England. I regularly blog on http://www.iqraonline.net Wasalam
  33. 22 points
    Asaalaalaikum, Im glad to say that im now a SHIA! Alhamdulillah! Why did I take this decision? Because I've been reading and contemplating and reflecting about Islam and my beliefs. One thing I have especially been thinking about is Islamic history. I look at the lives of the sahaba and I realize there are many virtues in their lives, however the sahaba in general are clearly not healthy examples to follow and I believe that the Ahlulbayt is the clearest and PUREST path to the true sunnah of Rasoolullah (saw)! This is because although the sahaba such as Umar ibn al Khattab and Abu Bakr did many good things and made genuine efforts towards Islam, it is clear that they are not the best examples for me to follow. For example, Abu Bakr was the first person to do Takfir as he declared war on those not willing to pay zakat, Its clear that the sahaba have categories: I believe that many sahaba had flaws in their character but were still overall good people as they strived for Islam with everything they had. However there are some sahabas that are just very bad in character. For example Khalid Ibn al Walid was the commander of the muslim army for many years and many sunnies glorify him because of his military accomplishments, but clearly he had no morals. He killed many innocent people and even killed a muslim man and raped his wife. DISGUSTING! I cant follow someone like that! I think that If someone takes Khalid Ibn AL Walid as a role model they will end up joining ISIS, Al Qaeda or the Taliban. Another example of a despicable sahaba is Muawiya which I'm sure I don't need to talk about. ON THE FLIP SIDE..... The Ahlulbayt are cleary of a higher status,and the division of the ummah from the start is very clear. Now I'm a follower of Ali (as), Hassan (as), Hussain(as), Zain UL abadeen (as) and Zayd ibn Ali (as)!!!! By following these individuals I truly believe that I will be a follower of MUHAMMAD RASOOLULALH (saw). However one may ask the question, why do I need to be shia to love the ahlulbayt?? My answer is that yes, sunnies do also love the ahlulbayt, but the problem of sunnism is that they dont condemn sahabas who committed oppression! I will never be a supporter of ANY tyrant and oppressor! the following hadith payed a big part in me becoming Shia: "The Messenger of God sent Khalid b. al-Walid to the people of the Yemen inviting them to Islam, and I was among those who went with him. He persisted in the matter for six months, but they did not respond, so the Messenger of God sent 'Ali b. Abi Talib and ordered him that Khalid and those who were with him should return, but if any of them would like to follow him he should allow them. Al-Bara' said, "I was one who followed 'Ali, and as we reached the borders of the Yemen the people got the news. They gathered around him and 'Ali led us in the morning prayer. When he had finished [the prayer], he lined us up in one row. Then he moved before us, praised and extolled God, then read to them the letter of the Messenger of God. All of Hamdan embraced Islam in one day, and he wrote to the Messenger of God about it. When the Prophet read 'Ali's letter he fell down, prostrating himself to God. Then he sat up and said, 'Peace be upon Hamdan, Peace be upon Hamdan' [After the conversion of Hamdan] )he people of the Yemen followed in succession with their acceptance of Islam" - narrated by Tabari. alhamdulillah! Its time to take a stand, to take my own path! The iranan author Ali Shariati says: "My father chose my name, my ancestors chose my last name, thats enough. I myself choose my way!". I was born a hanafi sunni but now im a Shia. Furthermore, the Quran says: "(53:38) No soul shall bear the burden on another" (Wa La tazitru waaziratu wizra ukhra).
  34. 22 points
    Salam, Almost 6 months since I joined Shiachat and it has helped me a lot, looking back now. I randomly came across this site out of nowhere when I was researching about Shia faith, and after some time I decided to join the forum. I joined the forum in order to be connected to the Shia community and learn more about our sect. I also wanted to stay away from sins and thought this site would help. I actually have more non-muslim friends, so it is very refreshing and nice to connect with like-minded Shias around the world who have similar life goals through this website. Before joining Shiachat I wouldn't really have that urge to develop my iman due to the environment I was in. Since then I have had an urge to learn more about Islam and it has really helped me to stay away from sins. The thought of sinning doesn't come now compared to before because, I don't want to be giving people advice and on the other hand be sinning. Shiachat is a community and what I got out of it is just amazing. So yeah, I would like to formally thank all the Administrators here and also the users who are making this experience. You all are part of this great cause and don't underestimate how many people's life it can change. How has Shiachat helped you?
  35. 22 points
    Qa'im

    Love and Suffering

    Love and suffering is a match made in heaven. Love is breathlessly heart-wrenching, as it snares the mind of the lover and controls his actions. Any loving relationship will be filled with trial and tribulation, selfless sacrifice, selfish protectiveness, and frequent heartbreak. We both live and die for even a moment of true love. It is thus no coincidence that suffering is a component of many Arabic words for love. `Ishq (عشق), which is a fervent type of love, was originally a vine that winds itself around a tree, squeezing it until it withered. Shaghaf (شغف), which was the passion that Zulaykha had for Yusuf (12:3), was a form of heart disease. Muhjata qalb (مهجة قلب), an expression used to describe a lover, is actually the blood of the heart. Huyum (الهيوم), meaning passion, is a type of insanity. The Persian poem of Layla and Majnun comes to mind. Most of the Quran is relative-comparative. Its stories usually lack names, dates, places, and chronologies, and are instead filled with archetypal symbols that can be flexibly applied to other situations. It tries to tell the stories in a timeless and universal manner. The Husayni tragedy in Shii literature is similar. It is mourned by other prophets long before the event, it is mourned by nature (blood rain, blood earth, owls), it is mourned over by millions of angels, and it will be vindicated in the eschatological narrative. Karbala is described in Kamil al-Ziyarat as a piece of heaven on Earth, and as the conduit between heaven and earth (majma` as-samawati wal ard). Its soil is described as a cure, and it is given to the sick, and it is used for prostrations. In Shiism, the visitation of Husayn by one who correctly recognizes his status is considered a Hajj (or seven Hajj, or thousands of Hajj, or more), because the principle of Hajj is total submission and sacrifice, commemorating the sacrifice of Abraham; and Husayn cut his Hajj short to fulfill its end by going to Karbala and willingly giving himself to God. It is said that every grief in Islam is disliked, except for grief over Husayn, and so people forego their personal tragedies to mourn for the primordial epic tragedy. They wear black, abstain from makeup and dye, abstain from laughing, abstain from weddings and festive activities, sometimes for forty days. The love of Husayn is not just lip-service. It is the intense gallantry that a mother has over her child, the undying loyalty that a person has for their spouse, the forsaken mourning of a widow, and the adoration of a boy for his father. It is a bond closer than family and thicker than blood. His tragedy is the quintessential love story, with Abu Fadl al-`Abbas, Qasim b. al-Hasan, `Ali al-Akbar, `Ali al-Asghar, Habib b. Muthahir, and many other gems bravely followed their beloved into the engulfing abyss. Interestingly, there is no record of a relationship between the Imams and the historians of the tragedy, but there is much record of a relationship between the Imams and the poets. The Imams would invite poets to speak on the tragedy, make many supplications for them, add to their poetry, and gift them very generously. This to me says that the aim of the Shii is to find a meaningful and meta-historical route to Husayn, as the horrors of that day were unfathomable, and directed only at those who deserved it the least. Love and suffering are often paired in Islamic literature. There isn't really a concept of "happily ever after" in this world, it is rather seen as a prison of the believer, an abode of trials (dar al-bala'), a fleeting world (dar al-fana'), where the lovers of Ali will suffer the most, so that they may be refined and purified like gold in a furnace. The tradition says that those who suffer the most are the prophets and their successors, then those similar to them, and so on. The constant trial strengthens the faith of a true believer, who learns to lean on God alone. The timelessness of Islam's symbols emphasizes the finality of its message and the universality of its principles. Our religion uses relatable similitudes that resonate with our very core, making Islam not a seventh century Arabian phenomenon, but an expression of the nature in which we were created.
  36. 22 points
    yasahebalzaman.313

    Define Happiness

    Brothers and sisters. What words you use nowadays to define happiness in this life? Do you seek to achieve it? What do you do to achieve it? This concept have made people go astray just to obtain it, they have quit their religion and commitment and have fallen into this trap that the western culture always point at. This topic is a reminder for all of us, including me, to remember the very Purpose we came here for. Before I became a Shia i met many individuals who always wanted to hear about the truth and always wanted to acquire this ultimate feeling that we call happiness. Only they don't understand that they can't have it in this life. A friend of mine used to always talk about owning a house next to a lake, work in a job that she likes, that is true happiness she says, but yet this lifestyle is temporary. She doesn't think well okay after I've done all that what is next? What is the meaning behind it? Or another one that used to always tell me she wants to travel the whole world and camp in every mountain, forest, valley, beach, or any outdoor place she could ever find. Imagine you have the whole money in the world and you went on to do this endless trip you talk about and then after you almost discovered every country, every civilization, you'd probably feel that life has no purpose now and you'd decide to end it. Because simply there is nothing new for you to do anymore, everything is repetitive in this life and everything is temporary. I had friends who quit their jobs and went on a 6months trip to India living like homeless people. When they came back they claimed that this trip changed their life, but i just didn't see it, it wasn't genuine to me. Many people go to places now, pretend to do things or even feel like they Have to do certain activities just to show the world how cool and happy they are. But trust me behind their smile they are miserable. Happiness is overrated, it's just some other weapon that they use against us. It's normal that we slip sometimes but it's important to get back up, because True happiness comes from religion and from God, and the ultimate happiness is founded in the hereafter, not here.
  37. 22 points
    This is an open statement to the admins and a direct threat to them: Make me a chat admin now or a revolution will happen. Since 2012 I have not been blessed by the beautiful sight of being a chat admin. Therefore: I dare you not to make a chat admin today. Thank you for very much, and jazakumullah khayral jazza!
  38. 22 points
    zainabamy

    Me on Ahlulbayt tv Reborn!!!

    I've just seen this trailer on Twitter and I'm pretty much in tears. I'll let you know the date that my full interview will be shown inshallah. I'm the girl in the gold hijab btw.
  39. 22 points
    Ali

    ShiaChat.com Outage (July 10 - 21, 2016)

    Salam Alaikum everyone! First off, we’d like to welcome you all back to ShiaChat.com. It’s been a hectic 10 days of trying to restore service but we’re excited to be back online. As some of you may know, and for those who are technically inclined, we had a secondary hard drive failure that had been lurking for a few weeks unnoticed and then ended up with a primary hard drive failure which also resulted in a RAID failure – so for a moment, we had no data except for an old backup. It took a few days to salvage backups and live data, a couple of days for our service providers to rebuild the server, and another couple of days to install the forums, restore backups and perform a complete test to see what data loss, if any, we encountered. Luckily (yet to be confirmed), it seems like the data loss is very minimal and localized with the blogs which is why you only see 18 blogs instead of the 60+ from before. We’re also addressing a few small technical glitches with the vendor, we don’t expect these to be serious. For the time being, please continue to use the site as usual and report any new unreported issues in our “Test” thread: In the past 15 years that ShiaChat has been serving the online community, we’ve been through many challenges including crashes, technical glitches, hacking, attacks and even a well organized domain theft but we continued to come back stronger. We are working on multiple risk assessments and mitigation strategies to ensure what happened will never be repeated again and we thank you for your ongoing support. We as Admins are not completely free of blame since we can always do a better job in monitoring the site and ensuring optimal performance and reliability but at the end of the day we are all volunteers with busy personal lives and are only trying our best with your support. As always, a special thanks to brother Ya Aba 3abdillah for working behind the scenes once again to bring us back to life. ShiaChat.com Administration Team
  40. 21 points
    Ashvazdanghe

    forgive me for Ziarat

    Salam I will go to Ziarat of Karbala & other holy site about a week from this Thursday please forgive me
  41. 21 points
    If anyone needs a dua or prayer to be said for specific cause - plz let me know either in this thread or inbox me. I will be late making duas today at night and for tomorrow evening as well. I wish to help out because I know if more people assist in dua then inshAllah it will be powerful.
  42. 21 points
    Salaam everyone who is reading this blog. I thought I might recreate my first blog post which has been lost due to the server errors during the summer time of this year. I would like to share once again the reasons on why I am proud to be a Muslim. I hope this post is very inspiring. I am proud to be a Muslim because Islam is the only religion in the world that makes the most amount of sense. It's also a very structured religion that has laws on hygiene, eating, drinking, and what is good for us and what is bad for us, and why we should stay away from certain things. Islam is not just any religion. It's also a way of life. The Quran has got explanations as to why certain things are forbidden, why certain things are good for us, and it has some great scientific information which came before the modern scientists discovered them centuries later. It also talks about the nutritional benefits of certain edibles like milk, honey, olives, and figs and how they are good for us. The ahadith of our prophet contains good advice for us to use in our daily lives, it has great meanings and values, it also gives us news of future events and so on. The ahadith also contains the keys on understanding the Quran and is required to get the true meaning to some of the verses in the Quran. In conclusion, I am proud to be a Muslim because Islam makes the most amount of sense out of all religions, it is a very structured with great values from the Quran and ahadith, and it is also a way of life.
  43. 21 points
    Islandsandmirrors

    I’m married!

    I got married last night to my best friend!! I’m SO happy! I can’t believe I’m officially a married woman now!!!
  44. 21 points
    Qa'im

    Imamate in the Quran

    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Islam is the straight path and our Umma is the intermediate nation. Our religion was established to satisfy our needs in this world and the next. Out of His infinite majesty and mercy, Allah revealed His religion to humanity to give us a perfected means of organizing our lives and societies. As humans, we require systems in the spheres of politics and legislation, health and sanitation, social and familial relationships, and philosophical and spiritual fulfillment – and Islam has delivered all of that. Throughout the continual development of human civilizations, Allah has steadily built Islam through His communication with the nations. Imamate is a contentious doctrine that has been debated among Muslims since the passing of the Prophet Muhammad (s). Imamate pertains to the issue of perpetual divine guidance and leadership after the sealing of prophethood. In Shiism, Allah selects a vicegerent (khalifa) for every era, who acts as the channel through which one knows his Lord and his religion. This vicegerent represents God's authority on Earth, and his obedience is obligatory. Allah raises such a leader from among us due to His lutf and His bounties. Since the Qur'an is the last and final Book to be revealed to mankind, it must have explicit support for the concept of Imamate. Of course, this Imamate must be congruent with the fact that Allah had sealed His Books with the Qur'an and His prophethood with Muhammad (s). Islam is complete “This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour unto you, and have chosen Islam for you as a religion.” (5:5) At the end of the mission of our beloved Prophet, Allah revealed this verse to convey to the believers that our religion has been completed. Whatever the Prophet made halal will be halal until the Day of Resurrection, and whatever the Prophet made haram will be haram until the Day of Resurrection. The word for “perfected” here is akmaltu, which means that the religion has been finalized and it cannot further be perfected or completed. A full moon cannot be more than full – when full, it has reached its maximum potential. However, the completion of our religion does not amount to cosmic despair. Allah has not cut Himself off from the creation and never will. He continually blesses us with favours (ni`am). The end of revelation (wahi) does not equal the end of appointed leadership (imamah), inspiration (ilham), and miracles (karamat). The word for “completed”, in reference to the verse above, is atmamtu, which refers to a favour that is given, but can be given again. If I pay a sum, I can still increase that sum thereafter. The order of Imamate is a further ni`ma that Allah has left amongst us so that we can better understand the Book and the Sunna. If you believe that Allah will send the Mahdi in the End Times, then you have already accepted the Imamate, because the Mahdi is a divinely-appointed leader of the Muslim Umma, who is protected by Allah, who comes after the Seal of Prophets, who comes from his family, who interprets the religion of Allah and miraculously overcomes all injustices. The Imam's authority is divinely mandated "O you who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the messenger and those of you who are in authority (ulil amri minkum); and if you have a dispute concerning any matter, refer it to Allah and the messenger if you are (in truth) believers in Allah and the Last Day. That is better and more seemly in the end." (4:59) Notice how both the Messenger and the Wali al-Amr share the same "obey" (obey the messenger and those in authority). This expression means that the obedience we give to the Wali al-Amr must be the same as that which we give to the Messenger (s). The Messenger has more rights over us than we have over ourselves (33:6), so someone with that same authority over the Umma cannot simply be a ruler, or a scholar. Allah would not make us follow something unless it was failsafe, and always on His path, much like the Prophet (s). This leader would be the universal leader of the Umma, just as the Prophet was. The term ulil amr shows up again in the same Surah: "Will they not then ponder on the Qur'an? If it had been from other than Allah they would have found therein much incongruity. And if any tidings, whether of safety or fear, come unto them, they noise it abroad, whereas if they had referred it to the messenger and those of them who are in authority, those among them who are able to think out the matter would have known it. If it had not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy you would have followed Satan, save a few (of you)." (4:82-83) Here, we see that the Messenger (s) and the Ulil Amr are tied directly to the tidings of safety (heaven) and fear (hellfire), and given authority in the interpretation of the Qur'an. Again, a Wali al-Amr is not just a man with a crown - it is someone with a spiritual significance in the religion. So he heads the government, and he is the uppermost scholar in the religion. Are these leaders selected by the people or by God? In the Qu'ran, individuals are appointed to divine ranks by divine mandate (ja`l ilahi). A prime example is the leadership of Talut (Saul), who was not a prophet, but a divinely-appointed king of the Children of Israel: "Their prophet said to them, ‘Allah has appointed Talut as king for you.’ They said, ‘How can he have kingship over us, when we have a greater right to kingship than him, as he has not been given ample wealth?’ He said, ‘Indeed Allah has chosen him over you, and enhanced him vastly in knowledge and physique, and Allah gives His kingdom to whomever He wishes, and Allah is all-bounteous, all-knowing.’" (2:247) The example above demonstrates that Allah elects whomever He wills to the seat of leadership. The people do not have a choice, and the mandate of Allah superior even if the people are averse. From the ayah above, we also know that there is a connection between the vicegerent and knowledge, as Talut would only be suited for this position had his knowledge been superior. Rewind to the khilafa of Adam: "When your Lord said to the angels, ‘Surely I am going to set a vicegerent (khalifa) on the Earth,’ they said, ‘Will You set in it someone who will cause corruption in it, and shed blood, while we celebrate Your praise and proclaim Your sanctity?’ He said, ‘Surely I know what you do not know.’ And He taught Adam the Names, all of them; then presented them to the angels and said, ‘Tell me the names of these, if you are truthful.’They said, ‘Immaculate are You! We have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Surely You are the All-knowing, the All-wise.’ He said, ‘O Adam, inform them of their names,’ and when he had informed them of their names, He said, ‘Did I not tell you that I indeed know the Unseen in the heavens and the earth, and that I know whatever you disclose and whatever you were concealing?’And when We said to the angels, ‘Prostrate before Adam,’ they prostrated, but not Iblis: he refused and acted arrogantly, and he was one of the faithless." (2:30-34) These verses demonstrate a number of key points: (1) The khalifa is mandated by God (ja`l ilahi). (2) The verse indicates no clear specificity to Adam. (3) The verse does not distinguish between political and spiritual authority. Rather, the two are intermingled. (4) Like the verse about Talut, this verse again makes a connection between the khilafa and knowledge, which implies that this position is only applicable to he who has the best knowledge. (5) Even after Adam taught the angels the names, the angels remained below the rank of Adam, due to his divine mandate. (6) There is an important connection between submission to Allah and subservience to His vicegerent, as the angels prostrated to Adam and sought his counsel in their service to Allah. Imam as a rank The actual rank of 'Imam' has been mentioned explicitly in the Qur'an. "And when his Lord tested Abraham with certain words, and he fulfilled them, He said, ‘I am making you the Imam of mankind.’ Said he, ‘And from among my descendants?’ He said, ‘My covenant does not extend to the unjust.’" (2:124) Again, there is a clear divine mandate in this verse. In other verses, Abraham is identified with prophethood (nubuwwa), messengership (risala), friendship (khulla), but in this verse, Imamate is a separate station. There is also a link between the Imamate and a covenant (`ahd), which belongs to Allah and not the people. Abraham asks about a continuity of this Imamate among his progeny, which partially occurs, on the condition that it does not reach the unjust (thalimeen). This means that injustice and Imamate cannot be combined (thulm is a mani` of khilafa), and therefore an Imam cannot be a doer of evil. "The day We shall summon every group of people with their Imam, then whoever is given his book in his right hand —they will read it, and they will not be wronged so much as a single date-thread." (17:71) All people will be raised on the Day of Resurrection with their leader and rolemodel. Whether the person is one of the Imams of Guidance, or one of the Imams of Disbelief, all will be raised in groups and sent to Paradise or Hell (see verses 39:71, 39:73, and 99:6). The verse is an allusion to the continuity of Imamate, as each people will have their Imam. While some will translate the word "Imam" here as "book" or "record", the verse says that every group will have a singular Imam. If the verse said "Imams" (a'imma), there would be a stronger case for "records", because every individual will receive their own personal record. However, this is not the case - the people will be gathered with whomever they followed in this life. The Prophet Muhammad (s) and the Imams do not just play a role in this world, but rather, they are advocates and intercessors in the next world. Those who follow the obligations of Islam and fulfill the directives of the Imam of their time will be granted this intercession by Allah's mercy. The Imam is a guiding sage "It is He who has revealed the Scripture to you, wherein are clear revelations - they are the substance of the Book - and others [which are] allegorical. But those in whose hearts is a disease pursue that which is allegorical, seeking [to cause] dissension by seeking to explain it. None know its explanation except Allah and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge (rasikhuna fil `ilm). Say: We believe therein; the whole is from our Lord; but only men of understanding really heed." (3:7) The verse above indicates that only Allah and those delved into knowledge have a firm understanding of the Qur'an. To argue that only Allah understood the Qur'an is to suggest that Allah would accompany His final messenger to humanity with an ambiguous message. It is imperative that the Prophet had full knowledge of the Qur'an, but this verse says that he shares this comprehensive knowledge with others. An investigation into history will conclude that no companion (sahabi) other than `Ali b. Abi Talib Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã claimed to know the interpretation to the entire book. He explicitly claimed and demonstrated that he had knowledge of every ayah, where it was revealed, and more. This article has already established that the khalifa is he who is superior in his knowledge, and as the phrase suggests, the rasikhuna fil `ilm are not just learned scholars (`ulema'), but individuals plunged into knowledge. “So ask the People of the Reminder if you do not know.” (16:43, 21:7) Furthermore, on the same theme of knowledge: Allah ordered the Muslims to ask the People of the Reminder about religious affairs. The alternative interpretation to this verse is that it is referring to the rabbis and priests, but would Allah ask the Muslims to seek religious knowledge from those who call to another religion? The Qur'an says that those who know are never equal with those who do not know (39:9). "You are only a warner, and for every community there is a guide”. (13:7) Every community will have its guide. The Messenger of Allah (s) was the one sent to the world as a warner, but there are communities and generations that would flourish after the passing of the Prophet from this world. There is absolutely no indication in the Qur'an that the sealing of prophethood would result in the cessation of divine guidance through vicegerents. "And amongst them We appointed Imams to guide [the people] by Our command, when they had been patient and had conviction in Our signs." (32:24) This verse refers to the leadership of the twelve sons of Israel. The Qur'an puts clear emphasis on the divine mandate of leaders in many verses, including this one. Furthermore, this verse establishes a relationship between the Imams and guidance (huda). Allah appoints a leader through whom He provides counsel and enlightenment to His subjects. "Surely Allah chose Adam and Noah, and the Family of Abraham and the Family of Imran above all the nations" (3:33) It is not the believers who uplifted and chose the families of Abraham and Imran above all people, but Allah. The chosen ones are not only the prophets, but other members of these divine families - and this will be made clear later in this article. Note the importance of familial succession in the stories of many prophets (Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, Imran, Zecharia, John, and Jesus, peace be upon them all). Sainthood in the Qur'an "Whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger —they are with those whom Allah has blessed, including the prophets and the saints (siddiqeen), the martyrs and the righteous, and excellent companions are they!" (4:69) A point pertinent to this verse is the presence of the saints (siddiqeen). A siddiq in Arabic is one who believes everything that a trustee has given to him. In the context of Islam, it would be one who has infallible certainty in the message. This ayah distinguishes the siddiq from the righteous (saliheen), which implies that these are two separate ranks or categories. All of the other groups referenced are distinct, and so it would be redundant if a siddiq and a salih were virtually the same. Perhaps a better way to understand the Qur'an's usage of this word is to find other references to it. The word is never applied to ordinary believers. "The Messiah, son of Mary, was no other than a messenger. Messengers had passed away before him. And his mother was a saintly woman (siddiqa)" (5:75) This verse identifies Mary as a siddiqa. As a non-prophet, Mary had special qualities, including being chosen (istafa) above all the women of her time (3:42), being protected from the devil (3:36), giving birth to Jesus miraculously, and communicating with the angel. The siddiqeen therefore are not ordinary righteous believers, but protected, chosen believers with supernatural qualities - saints. There are other appointed non-prophetic figures in the Qur'an who were given miraculous qualities, such as al-Khidr (whom the Qur'an only calls an `abd), Dhul Qarnayn, Luqman, and the Sleepers of the Cave. This protection from Satan is significant, as it is also mentioned in the following verses: “He said, ‘My Lord! As You have consigned me [Satan] to perversity, I will surely glamorize [evil] for them on the Earth, and I will surely pervert them, except Your pure ones (mukhlaseen).’” (15:39-40) Satan's misguidance will reach all people except those whom Allah has selected. A noteworthy detail is the Qur'an's usage of the word mukhlas rather than mukhlis, which implies that these servants will be innately pure by design. Since Mary fits this description, this form of ikhlas (absolute protection from evil) cannot be exclusive to the prophets. "And We have already written in the Psalms after the Reminder that the Earth will be inherited by My righteous servants." (21:105) This verse is one of the few direct references in the Qur'an to the previous revelations, which plainly say that "The meek shall inherit the Earth" (Psalms 37:11, Matthew 5:5). The verse makes the most sense when it is combined with the concept of Imamate, who inherit the stewardship over Earth one-by-one. The khilafa is a divinely-mandated agency over the world, and inheritance is a trust that is passed down continually from one generation to the next. Without this doctrine, it begs the question: who is the righteous servant that inherited the Earth after the Prophet, and who is this person today? Love of Ahl al-Bayt The love and the authority of the Ahl al-Bayt is decreed explicitly in several places: "Say: 'No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin'" (42:23) When looking at this ayah, compare it to other similar verses in the Qur'an. No other prophet asked for a reward from his community for relaying the revelation - on the contrary, the prophets explicitly asked for nothing at all: see 10:72, 11:29, 12:104, 25:57, 26:109, 26:127, 26:145, 26:164, 26:180, and 34:47. This formula was only changed in this verse for the Prophet Muhammad (s), adding that his reward is the love of his family. The word for love in this verse is muwadda, which implies a mutual love and not just a one-way love (hub). For one to have muwadda with the Ahl al-Bayt, the Ahl al-Bayt must be pleased with that person. This relationship cannot be half-hearted lip service. Loving those who rose up to fight the Ahl al-Bayt is, by definition, dishonouring this verse of the Qur'an. Love for the Ahl al-Bayt is a fulfillment of the supplication of Abraham: “(Abraham said) Our Lord, I have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley near Your sacred House, our Lord, that they may establish prayer. So make hearts among the people incline toward them and provide for them from the fruits that they might be grateful.” (14:37). Abraham settled Ishmael in the valley of Mecca, and prayed that the people would love his descendants. Of course, this would not apply to all of his descendants, as Allah's covenant does not encompass the thalimeen (2:124). Hence, the verse must refer to a select group of individuals from the descendants of Ishmael, including (but not limited to) the Prophet (s). "Or do they envy people for what Allah has given them of His bounty? But we had already given the family of Abraham the Scripture and wisdom and conferred upon them a great kingdom (mulkan)." (4:54) Continuing on the theme of familial succession, the mulk belongs to these chosen descendants of Abraham, who have been given the final revelation and the wisdom necessary to lead the Umma. Lastly, there is the verse of purification: "And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance. And establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity, O Ahl al-Bayt, and to purify you with [extensive] purification." (33:33) The grammatical inferences of this ayah must be noted. The first two sentences concern the wives of the Prophet, and they are written in the feminine form. The last sentence, however, is written in the masculine plural form. This means that the individuals in the third sentence are not the same as those in the first two sentences, who are exclusively female. A masculine plural can include women as a part of the group, but several sahih ahadith infer that the wives of the Prophet are not included in the Ahl al-Bayt. The verse therefore sets the inner circle of the Prophet's blood relatives (his bayt) as a pure example that his wives' households (buyut) should look up to. Allah actively wishes to remove all impurity from the Ahl al-Bayt. One of our ahadith indicate that the chief impurity that the Ahl al-Bayt have been guarded from is doubt (shak). This ties to the idea that the Ahl al-Bayt are the mukhlaseen of 15:39-40, whom Satan can never deviate. Conclusion There are many other ayat, exoteric and esoteric, that establish the concept of Imamate in the Qur'an, alongside the many proofs in the hadith literature. The purpose of this article is to understand the Qur'an's intricate logic regarding leadership. Leadership in the Qur'an is intimately tied to knowledge, appointment, purity, family, supernatural qualities, and love. Future articles will explore more primary sources on the topic of Imamate, God-willingly. May Allah grant the readers with the intercession of the Ahl al-Bayt. Part 2: The Virtues of Imam Ali
  45. 21 points
    @LeftCoastMom, @12reasons4truth. @Bakir @zainabamy @Khadim uz Zahra @Noor al Batul - this is my story Well I was baptized Catholic but was never raised in it, but I always believed in a sense of Tawhid but I didn't there was a name for it, I remember struggling with the Trinity growing up and I remember telling my parents and my neighbors that I thought the Trinity was a joke at the tender age of ten on Easter. (I didn't quite understand why everyone was upset though at the time though. Now, I know.) Then when I was twelve years old, I studied Islam in history and I was impressed with Muhammad (as) and an ayah I read in the history book. Considered the idea for a bit but decided to forget after I told my cousin and his hate in his voice scared me away from further entertaining the idea of being Muslim. So I decided to stay Christian and yes I did consider at one point of being Pope or a monk at some point at age 13. Plus, I tried, I really tried to read Bible and be Christian, I mean I went to the Bible Club in my middle school, I wanted to connect but I was so let down. I couldn't follow what the woman in charge was talking about and overall, it was too touchy-feely as I saw it. Plus, no one gave a darn about the OT, I was the only one quoting Old Testament verses, that was rather isolating for me. I did express my disappointment to my scribe bot kept going anyway in hopes that it would turn around for me. Instead I learned that South Carolina was a dark place no matter where you went and that my spiritual needs were unfulfilled. I knew was something was wrong when they brought in an ex-convict and whole time he was speaking, I was thinking "I'm glad you're Christian now but you still need to be in prison, not parole". He did some crazy things, I don't remember what exactly but it was pretty bad. However, what was really annoying was that he talked more about fried chicken than anything else, making it utterly useless for me. The other guy that spoke worked at Camp Tracy (or Tracy's Camp), it was a camp south of Sumter and apparently the guy and Tracy started this camp and two years later Tracy was walking a path from the camp to the forest and some kids appeared out of a forest. Naturally thinking they were lost , he came up to them and they just shot him. The guy also told a really exaggerated version of Balaam and the donkey. Whatever generic and "Christian" message they told us, I don't remember it, all I remember is an ex-con had a terrible childhood and liked fried chicken and Tracy got shot trying to help random kids hiding in a forest. I grew frustrated and tried Wicca for a bit, that was just stupid and dangerous really, Hinduism with a pointy hat and even more touchy-feely and vague. Funny enough around that time, I remember reading about Shia Islam and wishing that I could follow Islam but I talked myself out of it, telling myself that my parents would be really upset. Finally, after my great-grand aunt died whom I was very close to, I rejected religion, I was 14 years old. But I was haunted by dissatisfaction, thoughts, life seemed meaningless. Come around high school, I had Western Civ. and they studied Islam and again, I was impressed again with Muhammad (as), reading about his leadership skills and how the Qur'an was revealed. Still, I did nothing, I carried on with my life. Read Night by Elie Wiesel in English twice and one day as I was reading and reflecting, I said to myself "If I ever follow religion again, I can't ever be Christian, I can't imagine a God dying for the sins of the guards or Kapos at the camps." Eventually I started searching for truth and God again, but in a sporadic way. Finally, I had my heart broken when I was seventeen, one day I just woke up and told myself "I am tired of being angry at the world, I think I'll read the Quran" and that's what I did... Eventually, as I read the Qur'an, this was indeed God speaking to me, and I got hooked. It was interesting timing as my parents were going through a divorce and eventually I went to live with Dad. And we started going to my uncle's church and it was okay at first but I didn't believe they say and I was in the church band for a bit and some of the songs were really off, like the kids were singing "I don't need life, give me Jesus" and these people were letting Joe Schmoes from the audience to preach and that got under my skin, finally the revival was the straw that broke the camel's back. The speaker tried to give me the Spirit and was basically was using hypnosis and was pressing a nerve on my wrist like crazy and I started feeling dizzy, he kept telling me "Do you accept Christ" and I kept saying "I don't know" and I was afraid of what would I said "No" and another guy kept telling me that I had the hand of a "holy man" and I just said "Oh wow, really?" I didn't know what was going on but my right hand hasn't been the same since then. All these things accumulated and pushed me towards Islam, at this I was like "I'm going to do it" and I had a friend who a friend who was Muslim and I said Shahada to the friend and I became Muslim but I had to hide my faith from my Dad because he told me that he hated Muslims and wanted to "kill them all". So I was under a lot of pressure and stress, seemed like he was always breathing down my neck. Eventually, I revealed to Dad that I was in fact, Muslim. Mash'Allah , nothing severe happened but I had to move out after a big fight, where he physically abused me. I told that tyrant that I had enough. Didn't speak to him the whole ride up north... Ever since I lived with my mother and I did more research on Islam, after seeing nasty hadiths from Sahih Bukhari and Muslim, I ended up foolishly rejecting hadiths and hung with the Qur'anist but that was short-lived. They rejected so much of the tenets of Islam that it was no longer. Plus, that was the point of pride for them, they wanted to bomb the Kaaba, said saying Ya Allah is a sin and disputed over very basic facts over the Prophets (as). It was a mess ,really. I don't know what I saw in them, so I searched for the real Islam and here I am, Shia and Shiachat has very very helpful and welcoming to me. I feel very safe here and everyone here has my deepest respect .
  46. 21 points
    Reza

    ShiaChat Member of the Week!

    Marbles @Marbles "Poetic Pakistani Proustian Paragon of Livid Liberal Longevity"
  47. 21 points
    Salaam everybody: As part of my promise of making this site more inclusive and personable, I have decided to create a thread that is dedicated to YOU. The rules of the thread are as follows: 1. Pick one member to dedicate. Please type their name in bold along with the "@" with their name, so we can visit their profile if we wish. Please include their profile picture as well. 2. Discuss why you like the member, their positive attributes, and anecdotes of reflection. 3. A member can only be dedicated ONCE. So you have to check to make sure they haven't been covered already. 4. You can't dedicate someone who has dedicated you. Pick someone else! 5. Like all posts! To prove we all appreciate that member. 6. Make sure nobody gets left out! Preference should be given to more current, relatively active members, but anyone is welcome. With all that said, I will go first. And my obvious choice (sorry guys, but he's taken): baradar_jackson @baradar_jackson Baradar is a very dear friend of mine, and one of my closest over all these years. We share similar viewpoints, mentalities, and personal characteristics. He's the only member (so far) that I'm "following" on the forum. But that's not what makes him special. It's his invaluable contributions to the life and spirit of this forum. The raw emotion and genuineness he puts into every post and communication. What you see is what you get. You get things unfiltered, but with a purpose. He's not a dramatist for dramatist sake, nor is he a rebel without a cause. He puts the value of feeling at the forefront, shattering the obfuscating walls of double speak, false intellectualism, and unbridled egotism. He's made many mistakes in most facets, but these only serve to educate us on the fragile but growing spirit within us all, and in the human race. He's our mirror. Sure, he can be stubborn at times. There are games I wish he would play, and some things I wish he was more open minded towards. But he's a young man, and he never lets you forget that. He can be rough at times, he can be too direct at times, and you wish he would tone it down on occasion, but he is who he is. And that kind of authenticity is a valuable commodity, especially in this cold, depressing, virtual world of keyboard trolls and warped souls. I salute you.
  48. 21 points
    Hameedeh

    Give a Salawat! [OFFICIAL THREAD]

    Allah Humma Salle Ala Muhammadin Wa Aal-e-Muhammad, Wa Aj'jil Faraja Hum
  49. 21 points
    _Fatima

    Give a Salawat! [OFFICIAL THREAD]

    Wa'alaykum Assalam wb. Beautiful thread! اللّهُمّ صَلّ عَلَى مُحَمّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمّدٍ Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammad wa ali Muhammad
×
×
  • Create New...