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In the Name of God بسم الله

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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/27/2016 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. 46 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. 29 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 26 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. ♥
  6. 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
  7. 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/
  8. 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.
  9. 24 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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).
  14. 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?
  15. 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!
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. 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!!!
  19. 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
  20. 20 points
    Reza

    An Administrator Announcement

    My Fellow ShiaChatters: It has come to my attention that our beloved ShiaChat is under attack. In an unprecedented, never before seen manner in the 20 years of this site, people have decided to disagree on stuff, say mean things to one another, be petty, immature, and self-righteous, and make low quality useless posts. To address this calamity befallen us, ShiaChat administration has developed the below emergency plan for you all: 1. Don't use public discussion topics as an outlet for your private proxy battles. It's not fair to the topic, to other posters, and yourself. 2. If you have an issue with a member, privately contact that member by PM. Additionally, you can add a staff member to the PM as a mediator. Or just ignore. 3. People are free to enter, leave, and participate in a discussion topic in any matter they see fit, as long as it's within the rules. Does anybody bother to read them? 4. Report or respond, but not both. Reporting a post indicates that you want a mod to edit or remove that post. Responding means you're ok with the post being publically viewable, as you're validating it's existence with a response. If you report a post but respond to it anyway, then more respond to it, what do you expect mods to do? Hide lots of posts, then having to deal with the crybabies afterward? 5. If you give an opinion (especially a minority opinion) expect to get challenged from many sides. There are two extremes, those who post useless chickenscratch sentences and others who go on long copy/paste sprees. Just write one good, solid paragraph and cite a few sources. If youre not up for the challenge, then proceed with caution. 6. Stop playing the victim. Even if you somebody says something mean about you, victimhood is your own creation, not theirs. 7. Bots and trolls exist, but it's not the responsibility of vigilantes. Admins and mods look at posting trends, IP addresses, etc to make these determinations. The only bots I see are the mods working tirelessly in a robotic fashion to keep this place running. 8. People need to stop referring to others like they are destroying the religion. 9. If you want a discussion where everyone agrees with you, then start a club or have a PM chat. 10. Stop talking about abstract concepts like love, respect, faith, patience, etc. Prove it with action. Like for example, if mods tell you to stop something, you actually stop. And actually following the rules. 11. ShiaChat mods and admins give no special preference to members, no matter how long they've been a member, or how popular they are. 12. Do NOT describe or argue mod actions in public. Do it by PM. 13. There are certain sensitivities of a Shia majority forum you should follow. 14. Opinions are one thing, but slander is another, and if you worry you're crossing the line, you probably are. 15. Think about the experience of others on the site. And lastly: 16. Let's thank everyone on the site for their participation, good posts, and friendly advice. Also to all the mods for their hard work, despite what they deal with. AND....if behavior doesn't change, I will personally drop the hammer myself. I'm merciful but no pacifist.
  21. 20 points
    TheBalkanicShiite

    Why i Reverted

    Salam Alaykoum ! i am orignally from Romania , having also polish background . I reverted back in the holy Month of Muharram of 2015 in the Iranian Mosque of Montreal Elhamdulilah . I was Christian before taking my Shahada but i studied Every religion before making my choice . I onky knew about Ahlus Sunnah at first but when i started learning the early history i couldn't remain sunni(no disrespect intended to Sunnis ) . i feel blessed to have converted because i feel that some Born Shias do not appreciate fully the beauty and Wisdom of Ahlul-Bayt (As) . My parents being from the balkans associated My Islam to the Turks and their invasion and oppression of Romania. But i explained to them that The Iranians Shias were allied with us against Turks at that time . They did not take it too well but elhamdulilah The persona of Imam Ali (As) kept me strong as i recalled all that he had to go through and all those years of loneliness he endured , truly it breaks the heart so this kept me strong Elhamdulilah
  22. 20 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. 20 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
  24. 20 points
    LeftCoastMom

    I am a grandmother

    DD and SG have a son.
  25. 19 points
    Salam ive been struggling with the last month in keeping my religion i am at the point where I am thinking my life would be that much easier if I just left Islam and be the person everyone wants me to be i have no family that are muslim so it’s hard to maintain a family life as a single mum please make dua that Allah won’t allow me to leave religion
  26. 19 points
    There is a common misconception among modern Muslim men that they will be rewarded with white women in Paradise. This attitude has even caused some to justify their preference of light-skin women and Western women through Islamic texts that describe beautiful women in this world and the Hereafter. They put white skin on a pedestal, which both sidelines women with darker complexions, and objectifies women with lighter skin. I would like to investigate the claim that the heavenly maidens of Paradise are essentially "white girls". Heaven is unlike anything In the hadith literature, Paradise is described as what the eye has not seen, what the ear has not heard, and what the heart has not imagined. ( مَا لَا عَيْنٌ رَأَتْ وَ لَا أُذُنٌ سَمِعَتْ وَ لَا خَطَرَ عَلَى قَلْبِ بَشَرٍ ). You will be an entirely new creation in Paradise, which will cause those who suffered most in this world to completely forget their suffering. Therefore the descriptions of the pleasures of Paradise are, at most, symbols of things that we cannot exactly know. The meaning of abyad The word that modern Arabs use to refer to the colour "white" ( أبيض ) has certainly been used to describe the women of Paradise. In one narration, the Prophet (s) says that the women of Paradise will be every shade of "white" ( ان في الجنة نهرا حافتاه الابكار من كل بيضاء ). In another narration, Imam ar-Rida recites a poem in which he describes beautiful "white" women ( أَرَى الِبيضَ الْحِسَانَ يَجِدْنَ عَنِّي ). Other narrations associate this "whiteness" with pleasure ( سعادة الرجل أن يكشف الثوب عن امرأة بيضاء ). But what does all of this mean? Abyad comes from the root word bayada ( بيض ), which means "to lay eggs". An egg is a bayda ( بيضة ), and eggs can be white or brown, depending on the colour of the feathers of the chicken. In Arabic, there is no special word for either type of egg, both are given the name bayda, which is related to the word for "white". Several Arabic dictionaries have interpreted abyad to mean pure, fair, and without blemish; rather than strictly "white". Here are a few references: In Lisan al-`Arab: إذا قالت العرب فلان أبيض، وفلانة بيضاء، فالمعنى نقاء العرض من الدنس والعيوب لا يريدون به بياض اللون، ولكنهم يريدون المدح بالكرم، ونقاء العرض من العيوب وإذا قالوا: فلان أبيض الوجه، وفلانة بيضاء الوجه، أرادوا نقاء اللون من الكلف والسواد الشائن “When the Arabs say that a man is white or a woman is white, they mean that he has an appearance that is pure and clear from defects. They don’t mean that he has a white complexion, but they mean that someone has an appearance that is pure from defects. When they say that a man or woman has a white face, they mean that their colour is pure from blemish and darkness. ”العرب لا تقول : رجل أبيض من بياض اللون إنما الأبيض عندهم الطاهر النقي من العيوب” The Arab does not say that a man is white in terms of the colour white. Rather, the "white" for them is he who is pure from any defects. Abu Tayyib al-Lughawi says in Kitab al-Idad al-`Arab: ” و انما الأبيض من الناس البعيد من الدنس، النقي من العيب“ The whitest of people are those who are far from impurity, and are purified from defects. Ibn Atheer says in an-Nahaya fii Ghareeb al-Hadith: الغر : جمع الأغر ، من الغرة : بياض الوجه ، يريد بياض وجوههم بنور الوضوء يوم القيامة The innocent (al-ghurr); its plural is al-aghur, from al-ghurra: a white face, meaning, a face whitened by light and illumination on the Day of Resurrection. al-Dhahabi says in Siyar A`laam an-Nubala': “إن العرب إذا قالت: فلان أبيض ، فإنهم يريدون الحنطي اللون بحلية سوداء” When Arabs say a person is white, they mean tawny in colour with black hair. --- So according to these dictionaries, "whiteness" in a person is either: (1) purity in their reputation, (2) purity in their appearance with no blemishes or defects (scars, birth marks, discolouration, wrinkles, moles, bumps), (3) tawny or wheat-coloured skin, (4) light and illumination, (5) a strong contrast between their face and hair colours. The meaning of hoor al-`ayn The Quran describes the houri (hoor al-`ayn) as a heavenly beauty that has been gifted exclusively to a good, believing person. The Quran does not provide much more detail than that. The hoor al-`ayn can be translated as "one with contrasting eyes", and it is often tied to the related word hawra', which refers to a person who has a strong contrast between her dark pupil and white sclera (white part of the eye). If this is the meaning of hooriya, then her "whiteness" may have more to do with her eyes than her skin. The word hawar can also mean "to bleach", but also "to tan". The same word is used in the Quran to refer to the apostles of Jesus, who were "purified" from evil ( فَسُمِّيَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ حَوَارِيِّينَ لانَّهُمْ كَانُوا مُخْلَصِينَ فِي أَنْفُسِهِمْ وَمُخْلِصِينَ لِغَيْرِهِمْ مِنْ أَوْسَاخِ الذُّنُوبِ ). The word therefore may also be an indication to the maiden's spiritual purity and not just her physical beauty. The word hoor also means to change, alter, remodel, and modify, so perhaps one feature of this heavenly beauty is constant rejuvenation and transformation. Another related word means to converse and discuss - it is possible that there is more to the houri than her looks! I have heard that there may be a relationship between hooriya and hayara, which means "to be confused, bewildered, perplexed, baffled, embarrassed", because the believer will be perplexed by the startling beauty of the hoor al-`ayn. Remember that we cannot imagine Paradise, so the skintone of the heavenly beauty would also be beyond comprehension. The word for "pale" in Arabic is actually yellow When Arabs describe a pale complexion, such as a pale face of an ill person, they use the word musfar (مصفر), which means "yellowed", rather than saying he has been whitened. The Prophet's colour Many hadiths describe the Prophet Muhammad (s) as being abyad, but these could be descriptions of the fairness of his skin or the purity of his character. Other hadiths say that the Prophet was reddish. To reconcile both sets of narrations, one can say that he had a tawny or wheatish complexion, which was light in Arabia but unlike the pale western Europeans. While modern Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian, and Germanic peoples have a monopoly on "whiteness" today, most people in the Middle East would have never met such people by the 7th century. White faces on the Day of Resurrection The Quran describes the believers' faces on the Day of Resurrection as "white" (3:106), but this will be due to their illumination. Some hadiths describe that the body parts washed in wudu will glow in the Hereafter, which includes the face, and other hadiths say that the wudu washes sins away from a person. Similarly, other narrations discuss the illumination of the faces of those who stay up to pray at night. These are not references to pigment. "Whiteness" will be due to light, and the colour of light, which was found in the Sun, Moon, and fire, ranges from orange to light yellow. Lady Fatima was a human houri Several narrations describe Lady Fatima (as) as a human houri. Her houri nature in Paradise was a dazzling light ( نورا ساطعا ) - first she was beneath the Throne, and then she resided within a fruit in Paradise - both in the form of a beautiful lady of light. Paradise is much more than this world In conclusion, there is much more to look forward to in the next world than conquering a colonial inferiority complex. Muslims have a very complicated relationship with white folks - from lust, to hatred, to jealousy, to emulation - and our relationships with other races are no where near as complex. The first step to overcome something is to realize and understand it. Allah gave us all of our hues so that we may learn about one another, and understand that the Creator of spectrums is beyond all spectrums Himself. If the hoor al-`ayn is simply a pretty white girl, then she would not be a sufficient reward for the believers, since there are plenty of them in this dunya. Paradise is more than a brothel, open bar, and buffet. It's a chance to gain true proximity to Allah, through His Prophet and Ahl al-Bayt, and to gain gnosis. The journey into timelessness starts in this world, and it culminates in the Hereafter.
  27. 19 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.
  28. 18 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. ♥
  29. 18 points
    Salam alaikum brothers and sisters... it’s been so long since I’ve logged on here and scrolled through the forums. It saddens me because I remember when I reverted I spent so much time on here connecting with other Muslims, learning and sharing - I was filled with inspiration and excitement and LOVE for Allah. I could not help but cry almost daily because I was so grateful to be guided to Islam, I felt whole and new - the world transformed and tears welled up in my eyes just seeing the sky, the earth, the plants, all the things Allah has created and knowing He had the power to create such a perfect world. However things have gone very very downhill... I am an alcoholic and got sober after reverting. I didn’t crave or consume a drop of alcohol for over a year. I relapsed and one thing led to another and I suddenly found myself in the midst of an even stronger and scarier addiction. Methamphetamine. The relapse with alcohol and my current active addiction to meth has DESTROYED my relationship with Allah. I have turned my back on all my duties and responsibilities as a Muslim, I have committed further sins as a result of being under the influence of meth constantly. I have turned away from Allah and instead have tried to seek comfort from meth/my addiction/other sins. I am DEEPLY ashamed and recently have been trying to remember Allah, trying to ask Him for guidance and for forgiveness and the strength to fight my addiction. I have taken full responsibility for my addiction I think. I do not blame anyone for it, I made the choice to try it the first time and seek it out the second time. I was naive and unaware of how powerful it was and I unfortunately met a dealer who pulled all the tricks (that I was ignorant to) to get me HOOKED on this drug very very quickly. However I know he wouldn’t have even had that chance had I not sought the drug out, had I been stronger in my faith and obeyed Allah’s commandments I wouldn’t be in the situation I am now, this addiction wouldn’t have had a chance to begin. I am getting help, going to go into detox and then look into rehab programs. Will Allah forgive me...? What can I do to rebuild my relationship with Allah and use the strength and love and faith Islam teaches/Allah provides, to aid me in my recovery? I am ashamed yes for committing haram acts. But I also do not want to hide my sins especially addiction because I think it’s important to talk about it and encourage all Muslims struggling with addiction to seek help and turn back to Allah immediately... advice would be appreciated. Any inspirational stories of recovery relating to Islam would also be very very helpful. Can I do this? Will I be able to find Allah again and follow His guidance? I’m scared. I am scared to stop using and scared to keep using. Oh Allah please forgive me and help me find my way back to the straight path! Please make dua for me & for all addicts and ALWAYS trust Allah’s judgement and commandments brothers & sisters because He is never wrong. He knew that using addictive substances can lead to addiction and that’s why he made even using them once or a little bit HARAM. Trust our Creator. He knows how weak human mind/human nature can be. Don’t make my mistakes. Strengthen your bond with Allah so that your Imam is STRONG and not susceptible to such evils...
  30. 18 points
    AmirAlmuminin Lover

    I got the job

    Salaam Alaykum This morning I got good news. I got the job in a big company. I've been jobless for two months and half, and I've been spending all this time programming, learning, and applying for the jobs in the library. I'm so happy. Inshaallah it goes well
  31. 18 points
    Sayyida_L

    missing someone

    Salaams All, I am a 25 year old girl, and I lost my dad on the 9th of June 2017. My Dad's death happened at home, His head on my lap, His hand in mine. His final moments with me. It has been so long, I have tried various amaal, various suras, but I still can not take the scene out of my head, nor can I accept the fact, that my dad is no more. I can not sleep, cannot eat. and I cry most of the time. Can anyone advice me what to do? How to stop from hurting?
  32. 18 points
    Salam brothers and sisters! I grew up in a not so religious family, but my whole family identifies as Christians. My grandparents were raised baptists and raised my mom that way, but ever since i Can remember, my mom has taken me and my brothers to a Non-denominational church. We quit going to church much when i was around 9 maybe. And i just never really cared to focus on religion for a few years after that. I believed that something had to create everything, but where did that something come from? How do i worship one God, but that one God is 3 beings? I was very confused. But as the years went by, when i was about 14, i began my own research. I wanted to find the truth. I read about Christianity, i felt some of it was right, but other things didn't sit right with me. I looked into Sikhism, loved how peaceful it was, but Reincarnation is not a belief of mine. Judiasm didn't accept Jesus, and any idol worshiping or magick religion was just too weird for me to really acknowledge, even though i did do some research a few of them. So all that was left for me to really dive into was Islam, i did some research, and unlike Judiasm, Islam accepts Jesus as a prophet and follows his teachings, and there is no story about how Jesus, a man, rose from the dead. Islam didnt claim God to be 3 in 1, which always threw me off in Christianity. And the many proven miracles of the Quran. The Quran says the earth is round, we now know it is. The Quran says that there is a protective sheild in the sky, sience calls this the atmosphere. Just many, many things point towards the Quran being truthful and showing evidence through facts that were not known during the time the book was given to us by Allah. It blew my mind, i felt like i had finally found the truth but i never took the step of converting and less than a month later i was back to doing what I normally do. Not thinking about religion, until a little over a month ago, I am now 17, i would every now and then try to get into islam but i didnt have the drive for it. Until one day, i was feeling alone, weak, lost, and decided to look into Islam more. I began reading the Quran online. I felt at peace every time i read it. So I ordered a physical copy of the Quran, and just the other day i decided to convert. hamdullah! Now i read the Quran multiple times every day. I try to pray on time, but i cant some days because of school, i have been trying to make up my missed prayers though. Really my only struggle now is getting my parents and brothers to accept my conversion, changing their biased view of Islam due to the media and inshallah, hopefully helping to get them to the point of conversion as well. Allah has shown me the truth, hopefully soon my family and friends too.
  33. 17 points
    Salaam alaykum, We are very proud to present the Berkeley Institute for Islamic Studies. The Berkeley Institute for Islamic Studies (BLIIS) is a non-profit organization that was established in 2017 and is based in Berkeley, California. It was founded with the goal of promoting scholarship on Islam and Islamic cultures both historical and contemporary. The institute’s academic research on Islam includes a broad range of academic disciplines from theology to law, and from anthropology to political science. The institute encourages an interdisciplinary approach to the academic study of Islam. Within the Islamic tradition, the institute promotes research on those areas which have had relatively little attention devoted to them in Western academia to date. These include the intellectual and literary expressions of Islam in general. As a new kind of online academic institution, the Berkeley Institute for Islamic Studies is aimed at a high-visibility context and its digital platform makes the institute cost-effective for high-value content compared to traditional academic departments. Our website has been launched. You can access our academic research and essays for free here: http://www.bliis.org/ For general inquiries, please email admin@bliis.org or message our Facebook page. "Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army."
  34. 17 points
    Asslamoalaikum Please suggest a name for my new born baby boy. He born on 01 Muharram (12-09-2018)
  35. 17 points
    Islamic Salvation

    Download My Book [PDF]

    With the Grace of God - I have tidied up the Book of Intellect and Knowledge from Vol.1 of Mu'jam al-Ahadith al-Mu'tabara with footnotes. You can download the PDF of an extract of it by clicking here: Direct Download Link Feedback is welcome.
  36. 17 points
    Salam everyone, The wahabbis have launched a new website for 'discussion and analysis' (apparently) of Nahjul Balagha but in reality to cast doubts about the book in the minds of people and possibly bring changes in it so do not consult this site for study of Nahjul Balagha nor download the book from the link. http://nahjul-balagha.net http://nahjul-balagha.net/english-pdf/ I would especially like the reverts and our young Shia brothers and sisters to be aware of this. Please spread the word if you can. Thank you.
  37. 17 points
    Salam, Just wanted to share something interesting i found at my grandfathers house. Some pages(copies) of our family tree written by Ayatollah Borojerdi. The original is in qom which im getting next week. Also the page containing my part of the tree. The name Ali(next to the blue pencil mark) is my dad: Hopefully i can get it updated next week in qom I'll update it some more.
  38. 17 points
    Reza

    ShiaChat Member of the Week!

    shiaman14 @shiaman14 -------------- haideriam @haideriam -------------- A true Sunni @A true Sunni -------------- DigitalUmmah @DigitalUmmah "One big happy Shia family"
  39. 17 points
    SubhanAllah brother @sunnilove2hussainit feels like Allah swt is directly talking to you here in Surah Hujrat Ayat 6: "O you who believe! if an evil-doer comes to you with a news, look carefully into it, lest you harm a people in ignorance, then be sorry for what you have done" Would you believe the news coming out of Saudi?? The same entity which has killed more than 10,000 poorest of the poor Yemenis in last few months and have been responsible for the murder of more than a few million muslims worldwide and chaos in pretty much every Muslim county where you see taliban, isis, aq, boko etc. Every media outlet picked up the news because it's so spicy.
  40. 16 points
    Salam, There is a limit to how much I can cringe when my little sister wears mini-skirts, no hijab etc. I love my sister, but I just don't want her to dress like that, especially when I go out with her in public. I try to correct her in a calm way, but she makes that eww face, saying "honestly why does me showing skin bother you?". If I correct her, she always replies in a mocking tone. You might say to me, that it's none of your business, but my parents don't seem to care anymore. My mum at times does show her concern, but my dad just accepts her wearing it. When I spoke out in front of my parents, they told me to mind my own business. I know I'm not her dad, but she has a very bad influence, it's like no one is there to guide her. It has gotten to the point that she doesn't even feel like going to majlis of Imam Hussein (as). I can't stand how careless my parents have become. I might not have the skills to bring her to the straight path, but who does? I wish she could have some pious Shia friends!
  41. 16 points
    In modern liberal societies, it's not enough to tolerate homosexuality, rather we have to celebrate it. We have to see it as a good and positive thing, on par with heterosexuality. Here are 2 philosophical arguments against this. The first is that homosexuality is a kind of disability, and the second is that homosexuality requires an internal disharmony. Disability 1. A disability is a physical or mental condition that prevents or restricts normal human activities. 2. Homosexuality prevents or restricts the normal human activity of natural sexual reproduction 3. So, homosexuality is a disability. Disabilities are not good things in themselves that should be celebrated. While we should value and even celebrate the achievements of disabled people, we shouldn't celebrate their disabilities, e.g. we shouldn't celebrate not having an arm, or being wheelchair bound, or being blind, or regard being blind as on par with having sight. Rather we should be looking for ways to cure blindness, to restore mobility, etc. Disharmony If your biological organs are directed at the opposite sex, but your attraction is for the same sex, then your organs and attraction are not in harmony. Your biology and your psychology are not united - they are in a state of disharmony with respect to each other. On the other hand, if your psychology and your biology are both directed at the same sex, then they are in harmony. All things considered it is better to be in a state of harmony than disharmony. Homosexuality is a state of disharmony. People who want us to celebrate homosexuality want us to celebrate a state that is necessarily disharmonious. But such a state isn't worthy of celebration. We should instead be trying to restore the harmony within the individual, not celebrating it. None of this implies that we should hate homosexuals, or that they are evil, and I certainly do not accept either. The point is simply that the state of homosexuality is not the ideal state, and is not something to be viewed positively.
  42. 16 points
    Qa'im

    The Matrix is a System

    If I told you that missionaries were going to your child's school everyday, preaching their religion and teaching that Islam is backwards and evil, you would be deeply concerned, right? Well, libertine missionaries have already infiltrated the schools, the universities, the textbooks, the TV shows, the labour unions, and the HR departments. Their ideology teaches your kids everyday: 1. Naturalism: Everything that exists is material. All that is true must be observable to the five senses, repeatable in a lab setting, and published recently by a secular Western university. This sidelines ethics, metaphysics, and spirituality as unimportant, folkloric, superstitious, metaphorical, or simply mad. All non-naturalistic truths are just perspectives and opinions that are equally valid or invalid. 2. Power and chance control the world. There is no Logos, no dialogue, and no supernatural force. Suffering is meaningless, and comes from individuals, institutions, and nature - it is not a trial, it is not a purification, it is not person-building, and it is not a supernatural punishment. 3. Individualism: Everyone is in constant competition for their own material interests. Society is just an amalgamation of individuals with their own independent goals. Forget the "Umma", the "Church", or even familial or tribal associations. Economic prosperity is more important than family and community. If you decide to get married - if it suits your selfish interests - then "economic independence" must precede marriage, even though Allah encouraged early marriage and promised to give sustenance to couples and parents. 4. History must only be observed through a socio-economic lens. Muhammad (s) was, at most, a "social reformer", military leader, and founder of a global religion. Anything more is just a personal belief and perspective beyond the scope of reason. 5. Religion is a non-rational private conviction, practiced only at home and in a place of worship. It is completely separate from all public affairs, even though politics should never be separated from ethics, and ethics is related to religion. Most religion is mythology, and mythology is no different than storytelling. 6. Your identity is whatever you individually feel. It is not negotiated with your surroundings, nor is it demarcated by anything physical. You can choose your name (first and last), your racial/ethnic/tribal affiliation, your sex, your gender, your style, and your mode of expression. "As long as you're not hurting anyone" (a very relative statement), anything goes. 7. Your sexuality should be celebrated and expressed publicly, no matter how deviant it is from global norms. Thou shalt not judge anyone's sex life or lack thereof. Sexual identity permeates our politics, our associations, and our fashion, and is either just as important or more important than our religious identity. These 7 values are reinforced everyday, and have become the basis of our conscious and subconscious beliefs and actions. Not only is it difficult to transcend this matrix, but it is resilient to change and unyielding to resistance. So, how will our children maintain an Islamic worldview amidst all of this noise? If their schools, universities, and workplaces all operate under these 7 values, then wouldn't they simply see the way of their parents as old-fashioned and socially irrelevant? According to Pew, 77% of children who are raised Muslim in America still identify with Islam as adults. That means 23% leave Islam altogether. How much of that remaining 77% actually maintain an Islamic worldview; how many even practice their religion? What will our communities look like in a few generations? The answer to these looming problems must be in the formation of Islamic re-education. Not a simple reactionary return to dogma, but an intellectual re-evaluation of the problems of modernity and postmodernism, and an intelligent integration of Islamic education and spiritual rehabilitation.
  43. 16 points
    If we said anything close to this about Ali (as) they would've called it shirk.
  44. 16 points
    Reza

    Welcome Heavenly_Silk as Moderator!

    @Heavenly_Silk has been promoted to a blue Moderator. Everyone give their congrats!
  45. 16 points
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-growth/how-complaining-rewires-your-brain-for-negativity/article31893948/ Research shows that most people complain once a minute during a typical conversation. Complaining is tempting because it feels good, but like many other things that are enjoyable -- such as smoking or eating a pound of bacon for breakfast -- complaining isn’t good for you. Your brain loves efficiency and doesn’t like to work any harder than it has to. When you repeat a behavior, such as complaining, your neurons branch out to each other to ease the flow of information. This makes it much easier to repeat that behavior in the future -- so easy, in fact, that you might not even realize you’re doing it. Subhanallah, as each day is passing i feel that the world contributes into proving me that Islam is the only correct path. When i first heard that nagging and complaining have bad consequences for our sustenance and way of life i was surprised because it's just words, but science keep on proving everyday that everything we get taught to do in this religion is nothing but 100% correct, which makes me more committed and steadfast to God and Ahlulbayt. Further more look at what being Grateful and always saying Alhamdulillah, while meaning it, will do to our body: Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the right thing to do; it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23%. Research conducted at the University of California, Davis, found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood and energy and substantially less anxiety due to lower cortisol levels. Islam is indeed perfection.
  46. 16 points
    Abbas.

    A New Years Gift to You!

    Jeez @magma ... how long did it take? Thank you. Happy new year to all.
  47. 16 points
    Qa'im

    Jesus' Wool Garment

    A Muslim account of Jesus Christ's ascension from Tafsir al-`Ayashi: Imam Ja`far as-Sadiq (a) said, "Jesus the son of Mary ascended whilst wearing a rabbinical garment made of wool spun from the yarn of Mary, the weaving of Mary, and the sewing of Mary. When he came to the heaven, it was called, 'O Jesus! Remove the frills of this world from yourself.'" (رفع عيسى بن مريم عليه بمدرعة (4) صوف من غزل مريم، ومن نسج مريم ومن خياطة مريم فلما انتهى إلى السماء نودى يا عيسى ألق عنك زينة الدنيا.) This reference is actually very interesting. This expression, "rabbinical garment", has a very specific connotation in Jewish mysticism. There is a concrete term in Kabbalah, חלוקא דרבנן, precisely "rabbinical garment", which refers to the ethereal body of saints, somewhat similar to the body of people we see in the dream, visible and tangible yet not material in our crude sense. It is linked to Shechinah. Removing the garment may indicate ascension to higher levels beyond. When angels appeared in human form to Abraham, there were also wearing some type of "rabbinical garment". It works as a bridge between physical and spiritual. Of course, Jesus in Muslim hadith literature is linked to themes of asceticism, and in this narration, Jesus is being asked to shed his attachment to this sentimental article of clothing before gaining proximity to God. Removing this rabbinical garment may be a symbol for Jesus' exit from the imaginal realm (which is between the fully material and the fully immaterial) and entry into the divine presence.
  48. 16 points
    Qa'im

    Friends of the Mahdi

    A man said to Imam as-Sadiq [a], "May I be your sacrifice! By Allah, I love you and love whoever loves you. O my master; how numerous your Shi`a are!" The Imam replied, “Would you please mention them?” The man said, “They are too many.” The Imam replied, “Could you count them?” The man said, “They are too many to count.” Imam as-Sadiq [a] said, “If the number [of true Shi`a] reaches a little more than three hundred, then what you desire (i.e. divine government) will happen. Our Shi`a are those whose voices do not pass beyond their ears, nor does their zeal go beyond their body, nor do they praise us openly, nor do they quarrel with anyone because of us, nor do they sit with anyone who criticizes us, nor do they talk to anyone who abuses us, nor do they love anyone who hates us, nor do they hate anyone who loves us." The man said, “Then how do we deal with these different groups, who pretend that they are Shi`a?” The Imam replied, “They will be tried, purified and distinguished. Years come that will perish them, a sword that will kill them and disagreement that will scatter them. Our real Shia are those, who do not growl like a dog, do not covet like a crow, and do not ask people for alms even if they die of hunger.” The man asked, “May I be your sacrifice! Where can I find such a kind of people?” The Imam replied, “You can find them in the far sides of the world. 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.” حدثنا أبو سليمان أحمد بن هوذة الباهلي، قال: حدثنا أبو إسحاق إبراهيم بن إسحاق النهاوندي سنة ثلاث وسبعين ومائتين ((5))، قال: حدثنا عبد الله بن حماد الأنصاري سنة تسع وعشرين ومائتين، عن رجل، عن أبي عبد الله (عليه السلام) أنه دخل عليه بعض أصحابه، فقال له: " جعلت فداك، إني والله أحبك وأحب من يحبك، يا سيدي ما أكثر شيعتكم. فقال له: أذكرهم. فقال: كثير. فقال: تحصيهم؟ فقال: هم أكثر من ذلك. فقال أبو عبد الله (عليه السلام): أما لو كملت العدة الموصوفة ثلاثمائة وبضعة عشر كان الذي تريدون، ولكن شيعتنا من لا يعدو صوته سمعه، ولا شحناؤه بدنه، ولا يمدح بنا معلنا، ولا يخاصم بنا قاليا ((1))، ولا يجالس لنا عائبا، ولا يحدث لنا ثالبا، ولا يحب لنا مبغضا، ولا يبغض لنا محبا. فقلت: فكيف أصنع بهذه الشيعة المختلفة الذين يقولون إنهم يتشيعون؟ فقال: فيهم التمييز، وفيهم التمحيص، وفيهم التبديل، يأتي عليهم سنون تفنيهم، وسيف يقتلهم، واختلاف يبددهم. إنما شيعتنا من لا يهر هرير الكلب، ولا يطمع طمع الغراب، ولا يسأل الناس بكفه وإن مات جوعا. قلت: جعلت فداك، فأين أطلب هؤلاء الموصوفين بهذه الصفة؟ فقال: اطلبهم في أطراف الأرض 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 " There is a reason why Shaykh an-Nu`mani put this hadith near the beginning of his Kitab al-Ghayba. The narration is rich in eschatological content. At the beginning, a distinction is made between those who simply love Ahl al-Bayt (most of us), and the true Shi`a of Ahl al-Bayt. Lovers may be loyal students and devotees, but their faith is not at the level of full yaqeen. The Imam then says that if 300+ of such people were to come up, then this affair (the rise of the Mahdi) would occur. There are similar narrations to this, where Imam as-Sadiq says that if he even had 17 true Shi`a, or 6, he would go out and seek the Caliphate. The true Shi`a are not simply those who pray and fast, but rather they have a special relationship with the Imam. So special, that he is their rolemodel, and they begin to take on his characteristics. So the Imam describes these people: they are in taqiyya, they avoid those who hate the Imams, they will survive all the fitnas and fires of the End times which will only refine their faith, they are rejected and despised by society, they live simply, and they support one and love one another even if their ethnic backgrounds are different. Sound familiar? This is how the Imams were, especially the Qa'im, as well as their truest Shi`a: they hid the divine secrets from the ignorant persecutors, they were the masters of tawalla and tabarra', they held their faith close during the tests, and it often cost them their lives. But they didn't care about the tribe, nationality, or race of their true friends. These are some of the highest spiritual prescriptions in Islam, and they are the keys to making the five pillars great. The Prophet said that each of these people would have the reward of 50 companions due to the patience they must endure (سيأتي قوم من بعدكم الرجل الواحد منهم له أجر خمسين منكم.). He described the believer at the End Times to be like a man holding two burning pieces of coal ( يأتي على الناس زمان الصابر منهم على دينه كالقابض على الجمر ). Imam ar-Rida compared them to gold, who are refined in the furnace of affliction (يفتنون كما يفتن الذهب، ثم قال: يخلصون كما يخلص الذهب.) also see Isaiah 48:10. The true Shi`a of Husayn (as), whom we honour and bless alongside Husayn, were not those who remained in the Hijaz to do Hajj, or those in Kufa who were keeping up their prayers. They were those who lived his life and died his death. Likewise, this narration from Kitab al-Ghayba is about the true believers who will live the life of the Hidden Imam. They are patiently waiting, dissimulating, their hearts hurt for the sin around them, they are hunted, and unrecognized. They themselves are hidden in a way, because they are avoiding the fitna, and their righteousness garners the marginalization of the people at large. Even someone as prominent as Sayyid Sistani lives a simple, distant, devoted life, and despite his prominence, will never be "popular" in the way celebrities are. Likewise, the best people you've met are probably those who do not advertise their humility and their deeds, and actually do their best to conceal it. However, these people are not alone. They are the supporters of one another, they visit one another, they marry one another, they know and recognize one another. These people share an intimate relationship with their Imam, one that will always be far beyond that of an ordinary worshiper and lover. Imam `Ali [a] said, "You will be fraught with a dark, gloomy, blinding schism – none will be delivered from it except the numa." He was then asked, "O Abu’l Hasan, and what is the numa?" The Imam replied, "The one whose self is not recognizable to the people." عنه، عن أبي حاتم (3)، عن محمد بن يزيد الآدمي (4) - بغدادي عابد - قال: حدثنا يحيى بن سليم الطائفي (5)، عن متيل بن عباد (6) قال: سمعت أبا الطفيل يقول: سمعت علي بن أبي طالب عليه السلام يقول: أظلتكم فتنة (مظلمة) (7) عمياء منكشفة (8) لا ينجو منها إلا النومة. قيل: يا أبا الحسن وما النومة ؟. قال: الذي لا يعرف الناس ما في نفسه (9).
  49. 16 points
    After having many people telling me I should write my story and that it will be beneficial for my shia brothers and sisters, that it would be inspirational for their religious path, I decided to write it. Humans from the very beginning of time fight for something to believe in, they struggle with reality as they try to make sense of their world. As I grew up I always felt there was an ultimate truth and knowledge hidden from us, I just didn’t know where and how to look or even What to look for. I used to lead a very very reckless sinful lifestyle, since I was trying to find my place in this world in my own ways so I decided to try everything and live with no boundaries. I always felt this deep Emptiness that was never filled, so I did what I had to do in order to discover what might fill this empty hole. I even experienced the power of love but it was all just temporary, everything in this world is temporary. I loved to try everything, I had neither moral standards nor basics to follow, I used to love life and was living it to its fullest. I felt independent like nothing and no one can stop me because I was free to do whatever I want but in reality I had all these invisible chains around me pulling me back deceiving me to think that I was liberated (that’s one of the tricks of the devil he makes you think you’re free but you’re his prisoner). I felt the happiness instantly with the moment and later when I’d go home I would feel depressed and sad like I was missing something, I couldn’t sit alone I couldn’t stand home, my soul was always agitated and unsettled. I studied Christianity before but it was all science fiction. Studying Christianity made me even more lost and drove me to doubt the existence of God, which was worse; I would die just to know what can fill this empty space I always had. I asked myself is that it? We came here to eat sleep party have fun work make a family and die... One night when I hit rock bottom after I finished this self-discovery journey and I arrived nowhere, I started calling upon God (without even being sure that He existed and listening), I told him God if you were there if you existed please help me find my way, suddenly and out of nowhere there was a man whom I’ve met 4 years ago, he started coming up to my mind which was so weird because I had no interest what so ever to talk to him and see him(because he was a muslim and I didn’t like Islam just like any other brainwashed Christian middle eastern person) so I contacted him, turns out he was a committed Shia who triggered my path into Islam, and in the same time I met a Christian man who was living in France and he converted the same month as I did, this was God telling me that I’m not alone, this was God giving me a kind of motif, I mean what are the odds? Whoever wants God, God will answer him, He will not leave him alone, but only few people really want God all they want is this world, they are blinded by it. When I found Islam, my ultimate destiny, and when I found God it felt so ecstatic and intense, I felt this deep power and enlightenment, It was entirely uplifting, deeply emotional and pleasurable, I felt a deep joy that finally my existence made sense, that God gave me a purpose to live for to strive for and to fight for, to reach the highest level of existence. He chose me out of all these people who are lost, I had met more than 2,000 people and he just gave me this special gift, showed me the door to his secrets, Our(shias) status To God is special, this is why we should fight this world and fight ourselves and desires and never give up, to be worthy of this privilege that God gave us. When I personally realized this it was time for the hard work. When we understand the power laying behind us we would never have to fear anything ever again in our entire life. I was so afraid to jump into this transition, my faith was weak and I had doubts at some moments. I had to give up my friends, my activities, habits, shut off my desires, change my morals, my rules, my lifestyle, my priorities, my social life, my behavior… I was shifting my core belief which is something very hard for a human to change. I was trapped and afraid at some point; I didn’t know how to do it. I was never home, I was never alone, I was lazy, I never respected my parents, I didn’t prioritize anything except my plans, I’d quite jobs because my work schedule didn’t match my entertaining plans...This is how much I was messed up and attached to the world. I seeked happiness and the more you feel happiness the more you want it, it’s like a drug, so you indulge more in dunya activities until you are completely lost. Happiness wasn’t created to feel here, happiness is for the next world, we should never waste time here getting attached to this world because we will do eventually whatever we want in the afterlife. We are born to pass this test and to return to our original home where Prophet Adam was created. It took me time to realize this. My friends were atheists, mushrikin, infidels, and almost all my activities were sinning, I quite them all and now I don’t befriend no one but the lovers of Ahlulbayt. It was very hard and I suffered deeply at some point, washing away your sins purifying yourself from them is EXTREMELY hard, it’s like you’re pulling forward and the devil is pulling you back all the time. But God didn’t let me feel I’m alone, he rewarded me, gave me a steady job where I can be fully committed in, gave me this feeling of security and self-satisfaction, gave me Many privileges that I didn’t possess before. This entire process made me someone else; I became very mentally strong and different. Islam isn’t for sissies; Islam needs strengths, stability, mental toughness, brave hearted individuals who take sacrifices for God, who are ready to face the evil and the challenges of this world. The equation is simple, as much as you give God as much as He gives you in return. After I was guided I tested myself, tried doing some things that I did in the past to see if this was a phase in my life, but I felt disgusted ashamed weak and I became afraid of death. Now if I touch a man by mistake or if I eat something from a table that has alcohol on it without paying attention I would think about it for 3 days feeling guilty because I disappointed God. I do not fear punishment as much I fear to fail God, because I love Him, that is the true worshiping. Each time I do something to get closer to God I feel my soul elevating I feel that I’m gaining spiritual power and my perspective towards the world changes… Everyone told me it's just a phase but as each day is passing I'm falling more in love with this religion and with Ahlulbayt. I still have hard time committing to my religion as my parents don't know(or kinda in denial), so i practice everything in secrecy. To conclude I want to tell you, brothers and sisters something, this world is evil, you shouldn’t love it nor seek to have fun in it, you should hate it and never ever be dependent on something related to it, even though I know the truth behind my past life how it’s all evil empty and worthless, it still tempts me sometimes till this very day, the love of this world isn’t easy so don’t get yourself trapped because once you’re in it’s so difficult to get out. Don’t go to hell to enjoy life here; don’t sell your soul to the devil.
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