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In the Name of God بسم الله

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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/01/2019 in Blog Entries

  1. 5 points
    Salam everyone, One of the most tragic incidences in the history of Islam has been the the martyrdom of the the Lady of light, Our Prophet Muhammad(saw)' daughter, Fatima Zahra(عليه السلام). To date the exact location of her grave is not known. What is even sadder is that most Shias of Ahlebayt(عليه السلام) are not clear about the facts and timeline of events surrounding her tragic death. Ambiguities have been created,some people choose to adopt a defensive attitude when naming people involved in the incident, others shy away from talking about it because of creating discord with people of other sects. However, I believe it is very important that we are very clear about what happened after the death of RasulAllah(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and in the event of a discussion we are able to state the facts objectively, and this is the sole purpose of this post. It is not to curse the caliphs, or offend the Sunnis, so I will request that if anyone replies here he also refrains from doing so. Most of what I have written below comes from Sheikh Abbas Qummi's book "House of Sorrows" . I will try to provide references wherever possible in the post, but since I want to keep it short and concise I would ask you to refer to the book if anyone wishes to read more. The book is available online on al-Islam.org. 1. DEATH OF THE HOLY Prophet The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) departed from this world on 28 safar 11 A.H. For three days Imam Ali(عليه السلام) postponed his burial. Why? Because he wanted to give all the Muslims an opportunity to join his funeral. Sadly, most of the Ansar and Muhajireen were busy choosing the successor of Prophet(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and didn't show up. Seeing this, Imam Ali(عليه السلام) went ahead with the funeral and burial of RasulAllah(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) 2. SAQEEFAH In Arabic, the word Saqeefah literally means a 'tent'.So,while the Bani Hashim were busy with funeral arrangements of RasulAllah(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and had withdrawn from social activities because they were mourning the Ansaar gathered in the tent of the tribe of Bani Sa'idah and started choosing a leader for the Arabs. Upon hearing this Umar told Abu Bakr to quickly rush to the place. After some squabble between Ansaar and Muhajireen Abu Bakr was chosen as a successor for Prophet(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). The first three people to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr were: Bashir b.Sa'ad, Umar b.Khattab and Abu ‘Ubaydah al-Jarrah. 3. DID EVERYONE PLEAD ALLEGIANCE TO Abu Bakr? WHAT HAPPENED TO PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T? Of course, one of the persons to not pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr was our Imam Ali(عليه السلام) but there were people amongst Arabs who refused to swear allegiance to Abu Bakr. Let's just look at two examples. 1. MALIK b.NUWAYRAH: Malik b Nuwayarh was a devout companion of the Holy Prophet(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). Upon his refusal to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr, Abu Bakr told Khalid b. Waleed to prepare an army against him and attack him under the pretext that he had turned apostate and was refusing to pay Zakat and taxes to the Caliph. What Khalid b. Waleed did was attack him during the night in his house, like a coward. They killed him, later raped his wife and they didn't stop there. They cut off Malik's head and cooked it with camel meat and the food from the vessel containing Malik's head was consumed by Khalid b. Waleed's army. 2. SA'AD b. UBADAH: Saad b.Ubadah was from the Ansaar of Medina and a contender with Abu Bakr for caliphate.However, he lost when the clan of al-Khizraj did not side with him. Umar tried to force him to pledge allegiance. However,he refused to swear allegiance to Abu Bakr and to Umar after him and instead lived a life of seclusion. When Umar took over the reins he ordered Khalid b. Waleed to kill Sa'ad. He shot arrows at him which killed him and they later spread a rumour that he was killed by jinns(narrated by Historian al-baladhuri) So now we have some idea what was happening to people who refused allegiance. 4.CONFISCATION OF Fadak Fadak was confiscated and one of the reasons behind confiscating Fadak was to hurt Imam Ali(عليه السلام) economically because Abu Bakr and Umar feared that Imam Ali(عليه السلام) might rise against them so they took away Fadak. 5. WHY DIDN'T Imam Ali (عليه السلام) OVERTHROW THE GOVERNMENT OF Abu Bakr? After Saqeefa took place three hundred and sixty people pledged allegiance at the hand of Imam Ali(عليه السلام) to defend him until his death. Imam(عليه السلام) told them go home and gather in a particular street the next day with shaved heads.Out of of these three hundred and sixty people how many turned up the next day? Only FIVE! Abu Dharr, Miqdad, Hudhayfah, Ammar and Salman. Imam Ali(عليه السلام) saw a flock of sheep, about thirty in number gathered in a pen and looking at them he said, "By Allah! If I had along with me men who were true supporters of Allah, the Mighty, the Sublime, and His Prophet, equaling the number of these sheep, I would certainly have deposed Abu Bakr, from his authority." 6. FORCING Imam Ali(عليه السلام) TO GIVE ALLEGIANCE & THREATENING TO BURN THEIR HOUSE After seeing fickleness of the people Imam Ali (عليه السلام)settled into his house. Abu Bakr sent men to get Imam Ali(عليه السلام) to come out. He turned them down.They went again,this time Lady Fatima(عليه السلام) refused to open the door and sent them away. Next, three men gathered firewood outside the home of Hazrat Ali(عليه السلام) and Bibi Fatima(عليه السلام). Who were these three men 1. Qunfudh 2.Khalid b.Waleed 3.Mughaira b.Shu'bah. Umar came to the door and asked Fatima(عليه السلام) to open it, which she refused once again.They started lighting up the firewood on Umar's instructions. Hazrat Fatima(عليه السلام)cried out and tried to remind them of her position which they ignored and, pushed the door open behind which Hazrat Fatima(عليه السلام),who was pregnant at that time was standin, and she was crushed between the wall and door. Umar entered the house and struck Fatima(عليه السلام) on the arm with his whip which left a bruise there. She sustained injuries which led her to miscarrying the baby Mohsin; and went into an illness from which she did not recover. 7.IS IT REALLY POSSIBLE THAT Umar ASSAULTED Fatima(عليه السلام)? If we look at Umer's life we see that he had an explosive temper a history of abuse against women. The famous incident narrated by our Sunni brothers about his conversion to Islam, where Umar struck his own sister and wounded her. Before going to his Sister's house he was on his way to kill Prophet of Allah(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) 8. Islamic POSITION ON ENTERING SOMEONE'S HOUSE WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION O you who have believed, do not enter houses other than your own houses until you ascertain welcome and greet their inhabitants. That is best for you; perhaps you will be reminded.And if you do not find anyone therein, do not enter them until permission has been given you. And if it is said to you, "Go back," then go back; it is purer for you. And Allah is Knowing of what you do. - Qur'an Surah Nur: 27-28 9. WHY DID Fatima(عليه السلام) ANSWER THE DOOR AND NOT Imam Ali(عليه السلام)? This is one of the points frequently brought up, why didn't Imam Ali answer the door? The answer is, there is nothing wrong per se to a wife answering the door. there are numerous narrations where one of Prophet(saw)'s wives answered the door while the Prophet(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was himself in the house. 10.WHY DIDN'T Imam Ali DEFEND Fatima(عليه السلام)? After Umar had struck Fatima(عليه السلام) Imam Ali(عليه السلام) came out and caught hold of the collar of ‘Umar and threw him down to the ground. He was determined to kill him but suddenly recalled the testimony of the Prophet (to forebear) and called out, ‘O son of Sahhak! I swear by Allah Who exalted Muhammad to the rank of prophethood that if the command of Allah would not have been decreed and the promise (to bear patiently) not have been given to me by the Prophet of Allah, you would have realized how difficult it is to enter my house!’ 11. HAZRAT Fatima(عليه السلام) PASSED AWAY AT LEAST A MONTH AFTER HER SERMON ON Fadak https://www.al-Islam.org/house-sorrows-life-sayyidah-fatimah-al-Zahra-and-her-grief-shaykh-Abbas-qummi/chapter-3-state http://www.askthesheikh.com/can-you-provide-reliable-shiasunni-sources-on-martyrdom-of-lady-Fatima-al-Zahra-a-s/
  2. 5 points
    Originally posted here: https://www.iqraonline.net/riya-a-journey-towards-the-self-ikhlas-a-journey-towards-Allah/ When you do an act that falls under the domain of worship (‘ibādah), you can either perform this action for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), you can do it for someone or something other than Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), or you can do it for both Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and another entity together. The latter two are called riyā’ (showing-off and ostentation) and Islam clearly condemns this. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) says: أَنَا خَيْرُ شَرِيكٍ؛ مَنْ أَشْرَكَ مَعِيَ غَيْرِي فِي عَمَلٍ عَمِلَهُ لَمْ أَقْبَلْهُ إِلا مَا كَانَ لِي خَالِصاً I am the best of partners. Whoever associates others with Me in a deed that he has done, I will not accept it except that which is done for Me sincerely. Hence, riyā’ is to seek a position and status amongst people through an act of worship. All of us want praise and a reputation in the eyes of others, yet we have to fight and oppose this tendency and make our actions as sincere as possible for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). In a tradition attributed to the Prophet (p), it says: Verily, the first people to be judged on the Day of Resurrection will be a man who was martyred. He will be brought, the blessings of Allah will be made known and he will acknowledge them. Allah will say: What did you do about them? The man will say: I fought in your cause until I was martyred. Allah will say: You have lied, for you fought only that it would be said you were brave, and thus it was said. Then, Allah will order him to be dragged upon his face until he is cast into Hellfire. Another man studied knowledge, taught others, and recited the Qur'an. He will be brought, the blessings of Allah will be made known and he will acknowledge them. Allah will say: What did you do about them? The man will say: I learned knowledge, taught others, and I recited the Qur'an for your sake. Allah will say: You have lied, for you studied only that it would be said you are a scholar and you recited the Qur'an only that it would be said you are a reciter, and thus it was said. Then, Allah will order him to be dragged upon his face until he is cast into Hellfire. Another man was given an abundance of blessings from Allah and every kind of wealth. He will be brought, the blessings of Allah will be made known and he will acknowledge them. Allah will say: What did you do about them? The man will say: I did not leave any good cause beloved to you but that I spent on it for your sake. Allah will say: You have lied, for you spent only that it would be said you are generous, and thus it was said. Then, Allah will order him to be dragged upon his face until he is cast into Hellfire. As for riyā’ in non-worship acts, such as someone showing off their calligraphy or sports skills, or some other talent they possess, scholars have mentioned some intricate details that are worthy of note, but to put it roughly, riyā’ in those acts is not always condemned, in fact at times it is praised and necessary. The problematic riyā’ is applicable when an act should be done for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) alone, but instead people become the Qibla and Ka’ba for one’s act. Often times, people in influential positions – whether on a large communal level, or even within their own smaller social circles – fall prey to riyā’ as all their efforts are in trying to acquire the satisfaction of people or both people and Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), as opposed to only Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). Stages of Riyā’ First Stage: The first, most obvious and apparent stage of riyā’ is to practically perform an act for the sake of people – this is the only reason why one performs this act. In fact, if there are no people to look at him, or hear him, they will not do the act. There is absolutely no intention to reach proximity to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) in this act. Second Stage: This is when the first intended audience for the act are people, but at the same time, there is an intention to perform the act for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) as well. Both people and Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) are placed on the same horizontal plane. The individual will not perform the act if people do not see him, but at the time same he also expects Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) to accept his actions. In both the aforementioned stages, one’s act of worship is legally invalidated and incorrect. Third Stage: At this point the riyā’ becomes more hidden in relation to the previous two stages – though it is still defined as a manifested and conspicuous riyā’. The person intends to do an act of worship for both others and Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and this relationship is equal – both have to be there for one to perform the act. If Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is there, but people are not there, he will say, “Why should I bother doing it?” On the contrary if people are there, but Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is not there, he will say, “Why should I burden myself with worship?” Legally speaking, even in this scenario the worship is invalidated. Fourth Stage: This is when riyā’ is defined as hidden and inconspicuous (khafī). The intention is primarily for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), but people should be there as well. If people are not present, he will perform the act for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), but that excitement and delight that would have existed if people were to see him is not present. This is a sign. When people are not present, they are lazy and not very motivated to do the act, but in front of people the worship is more vibrant, longer and so on. قال أمير المؤمنين: ثلاث علامات للمرائي: ينشط إذا رأى الناس، ويكسل إذا كان وحده، ويحب أن يحمد في جميع أموره Imam ‘Alī (a) has said: There are three signs of a show-off, he is energetic when he see’s people, lazy when he is alone, and loves to be praised in all of his deeds. In essence, though his purpose is to pray for the sake of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), but what is really important for him is his own excitement and happiness. Legally speaking, there is no verdict here, perhaps very few jurists have said this also invalidates the action. Nevertheless, it does weaken the worship and there is a discussion on whether it is accepted or not in the eyes of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). Fifth Stage: During the act of worship, the intention is that it is only being performed for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and the person is conscious of this. However, after the act is complete, the person brings it up at a later time – even if it happens to be decades later – so that people get to know about it. Satan’s whispers to not let him off even after the worship is complete and follow him for a much longer time. There are different ways to convey this as well – for example, someone who prayed Ṣalāt al-Layl, but later wants people to know about it, says, “can you please pass me some water, my throat is really dry today as the recitation of my Ṣalāt al-Layl took really long.” It is here where ḥabṭ (fall of a deed) takes place. The act of worship was done correctly, the angels carry the act to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), but later it is declined and falls back. ‘Allāmah Ṭabāṭabā’ī and perhaps other scholars believe that when ḥabṭ occurs, it indicates there was definitely a problem when the action was first done, but it was extremely hidden. This stage is difficult to identify, because sometimes you may want to encourage others around you to worship, but Satan is cunning enough to set up traps for us. أبي جعفر عليه السلام أنه قال: الابقاء على العمل أشد من العمل قال: وما الابقاء على العمل، قال: يصل الرجل بصلة وينفق نفقة لله وحده لا شريك له، فتكتب له سرا ثم يذكرها فتمحى فتكتب له علانية ثم يذكرها فتمحى وتكتب له رياء Imam Bāqir (a): Preserving a deed is more difficult than performing the deed itself. A man said: “What does preserving a deed mean?” He (a) said: “It is when a man maintains good relations with relatives or spends something just for the sake of Allah – who has no partners. This will be recorded for him as a good deed performed secretly. He then mentions it to people, and the deed is erased and recorded as a good deed performed publicly. Then he mentions it to people again and it is erased and is recorded as an instance of riyā’.” Sixth Stage: This is when a person does an act for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and does not mention it himself afterwards either. However, someone else may bring it up and once it is brought up, they feel a sense of happiness and content. If they are happy because of what they see as Allah’s grace in having hidden their deficiencies and having exposed their goodness, using this as an opportunity to strengthen their relationship with Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), then they have not only protected their deed, but rather they have further elevated it. This is very difficult to do since it requires for a person be able to see the Act of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). Satan whispers in many ways causing us to show off. When one learns that showing off and ostentation in one’s act of worship causes deficiencies, Satan further uses that as an opportunity to make you think that you might as well abandon the act altogether. Instead of committing to fighting against the whispers of Satan, one ends up abandoning the act completely. The solution to all of this is developing sincerity (ikhlāṣ), which is nothing but a journey towards Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and it sits in contradiction to riyā’, which is a journey towards the self and Satan. In order to develop ikhlāṣ, one needs to see Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) as Ever-Living (Al-Ḥayy). There is no room for taking into consideration anyone other than Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) in one’s act of worship. All other lives are nothing but mere subordinates of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). هُوَ الْحَيُّ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ فَادْعُوهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ ۗ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ [40:65] He is the Ever-Living; there is no deity except Him, so call upon Him, being sincere to Him in religion. All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds.
  3. 4 points
    3wliya_maryam

    Scrupulosity

    When we think of the term Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, certain thoughts may enter our mind such as the need to maintain hygiene or the need to constantly check, fear of contamination or hurting others. It is much more than that. It also primarily deals with the 'obsession' of thoughts, as I'd like to call it. Being inclined to unwanted thoughts, such as sexual or religious ones and the more you try to push it away, the worse it gets. It is like someone telling you to continue thinking this way even if you don't like it. Although this does not make sense, readers who are able to connect will get the idea. Scrupulosity is the term given for religious OCD and is quite common within the younger generation. Fear of being a sinful human in the eyes of God, fear of constantly repeating one's prayers or rituals, lustful or bad thoughts about religious figures and others. It may possibly stem from genetic factors, but environmental conditions play a major role. Families who have been raised in conservative societies will often intertwine religion and culture, thus leading to confusion. Young adults who try so hard to keep their connection with God on a pure level will surround themselves with fear and worry of not being a righteous Muslim/Christian/Jew. Religious OCD was first termed scrupulosity in the 12th century. It derives from a traditional use of the term 'scruples' in a religious context, which means being obsessively concerned of one's sins and religious devotion. Moreover, the word in fact originates from the Latin word 'scurpulom' meaning sharp stone which implies the stabbing pain one suffers from their own conscience. Many famous historical religious figures would express their obsessional suffering where it became recognised as a mental disorder in the 16th century, being termed as 'religious melachony'. It is now a modern day pyschological problem, with its prevalence as rather speculative. I was born and raised into a religious family whom emphasised on the importance of Islam. When I was consistent on keeping up with my prayers and religious tasks, this is when the major hurdle begun. As much as I loved being a good faithful Muslim, such thoughts that I somehow created within my mind used to intervene every single moment of the day. It used to bother me the moment I started to pray, read Qur'an, or anything that was not religion-based. I'd stay awake all night repeating the same thoughts in my head, and it felt like I was being choked by somebody. I was also scared by the number of sins I would commit, such as angering my parents. Whenever I'd anger them for the slightest thing, it led to me being emotional and apologetic. I didn't want them to stay mad at me as I feared that my prayers won't be accepted. Later on I ended up realising that I was manipulated for most of the time which really hurt me. I was coerced into believing that certain things were forbidden in Islam when it later sounded all very contradicting. This is when I started to lose most of my faith, because of the lies that I have been told. The amount of times I apologised to my parents has led me to even despise the word 'sorry'. It is when I started to realise that Islam is not as complicated as certain people make it seem to be. My point here is not about Islam being the cause of OCD; it is about how others misrepresent the truth. For that reason, we find people either not practising or turning into agnostics. All because of the idiotic cultural taboos within our religion. If we somehow fall out of line in terms of faith, even if it was a small slip, we are suddenly hypocritical disbelieving servants of God. That's what victims of scrupulosity have to deal with, they are constantly under fear that the slightest thing would displease the Lord. Firstly, this life was set as a test; no doubt that human beings are prone to sinning, it is not possible for anyone to reach perfection. The least we can do is try our best and pray sincerely for our guidance.
  4. 3 points
    Who is Ibn Jurayj? Ibn Jurayj, ʿAbd al-Malik b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz, was an early Meccan scholar considered to be from the Taba’ Tabi’ina. According to the sources he was born in the city in 80/699 and died in 150/767. His grandfather Jurayj (George) had been a slave of Byzantine origin who belonged to a woman of the Meccan Khālid b. Asīd clan, part of the Banū Umayya of Quraysh. Either Jurayj or his son was set free, and thus became a client (mawlā) of this clan, a legal status that their offspring inherited. Despite his affiliation with Umayya, there is evidence that he had excessive love for the Ahl al-Bayt, as sometimes happens when a good fruit is borne of an accursed tree. محمد بن إسحاق، ومحمد بن المنكدر، وعمرو ابن خالد الواسطي وعبد الملك بن جريح، والحسين بن علوان الكلبي هؤلاء من رجال العامة، إلا أن لهم ميلا ومحبة شديدة، وقد قيل إن الكلبي كان مستورا ولم يكن مخالفا al-Kashshi says: Muhammad b. Ishaq, Muhammad b. al-Munkadir, Amr b. Khalid al-Wasiti, Abd al-Malik b. Jurayh (sic. Jurayj) and al-Husayn b. Ulwan al-Kalbi, these were men from the `Amma (proto-Sunnis), except that they had an inclination and excessive love (for the Ahl al-Bayt), and it is said that al-Kalbi was hiding (his faith) and was not of the Mukhalifin. Praise for Ibn Jurayj Many famous narrators narrated from him, among them Ibn Ulayya and Yahya b. Said al-Qattan, and the authors of the Sihah included his narrations in their compilations. قال الذهبي: هو الإمام، العلاّمة، الحافظ، شيخ الحرم، وصاحب التصانيف، وأوّل من دوّن العلم بمكّة al-Dhahabi: He is the Imam, the Allama, the Hafidh, the Shaykh of the sacred precinct, the author of works, and the first one to write down knowledge in Makka. I say: the book of Ibn Jurayj has a very good claim at being the first written compilation of Hadith predating the Muwatta of Malik وعن عطاء بن أبي رباح: إنّه: سيّد شباب أهل الحجاز Ata b. Abi Rabah: He is the leader of the youths of the people of Hijaz. وعن علي بن المديني: الإسناد يدور على ستّة، فذكرهم وذكر ابن جريج Ali b. al-Madini: the Isnad revolves around six, so he mentioned them and he included in these Ibn Jurayj. وعن يحيى بن سعيد: كنّا نسمّي كتب ابن جريج كتب الأمانة Yahya b. Said: we used to call the books of Ibn Jurayj “the books of trust”. وعن يحيى بن معين: ابن جريج ثقة في كلّ ما روي عنه في الكتاب Yahya b. Main: Ibn Jurayj was Thiqa in all that which is narrated from him in the book. أضاف الذهبي: الرجل في نفسه ثقة. وقد كان شيخ الحرم بعد الصحابة: عطاء ومجاهد،وخلفهما: قيس بن سعد وابن جريج، ثمّ تفرّد بالإمامة ابن جريج فدوّن العلم، وحمل عنه الناس، وعليه تفقّه مسلم بن خالد الزنجي، وتفقّه بالزنجي الإمام الشافعي Al-Dhahabi concludes: the man is Thiqa in of himself, and the Shaykhs of the sacred precinct i.e. Makka after the Sahaba were - Ata and Mujahid, and after them came - Qays b. Sa’d and Ibn Jurayj, then he assumed sole leadership and wrote down knowledge, and the people carried it from him, and under him tutelaged Muslim b. Khalid al-Zanji and tutelaged under this al-Zanji the Imam al-Shafi’i. وروايات ابن جريج وافرة في الكتب الستّة وفي مسند أحمد ومعجم الطبراني الأكبر، وفي الأجزاء And the narrations of Ibn Jurayj are aplenty in the six books and in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad and in the Mu’jam of al-Tabarani and etc. قال عبدالرزّاق: كنت إذا رأيت ابن جريج علمت أنّه يخشى الله Abd al-Razzaq said: if you saw Ibn Jurayj you could tell that he feared Allah. [Siyar al-A’lam al-Nubala 6/333] قدم ابن جريج إلى العراق قبل موته وحدّث بالبصرة وأكثروا عنه وعن يحيى بن سعيد: كان ابن جريج صدوقاً Ibn Jurayj travelled to Iraq before his death and narrated in Basra and its denizens narrated a lot from him. Yahya b. Said: Ibn Jurayj was truthful. [Tahdhib al-Kamal 12/55] Thus, as we can see - Ibn Jurayj is unanimously considered Thiqa according to the Sunnis, and he was depended upon by the Hadith scholars and the narrators, and he was truthful and God-fearing, despite all that he ruled on the permissibility of Mut’a and acted upon it. قال التستري: وكما روى ـ اى ابن جريج ـ حلّيّة المتعة كالأماميّة، كذلك روى كون الأذان من وحي السماء لا من رؤيا عبدالله بن زيد al-Tustari says: And just as Ibn Jurayj narrated the permissibility of Mut’a as the Imamiyya did, similarly, he narrated that Adhan was a heavenly revelation and not a dream seen by Abdallah b. Zayd [as the common Sunni view holds]. [Qamus al-Rijal 7/12] Proof that Ibn Jurayj permitted Mut’a قال الذهبي: هو أحد الأعلام الثقات... وهو في نفسه مجمع على ثقته مع كونه قد تزوّج نحواً من سبعين امراة نكاح متعة. كان يرى الرخصة في ذلك، وكان فقيه أهل مكّة في زمانه al-Dhahabi: He was one of the most-knowledgeable scholars and from among the Thiqat … and he is in of himself agreed upon as far as his trust-worthiness is concerned despite having married approximately seventy women in Mut’a marriages. He considered it as permissible. And he was the jurist of the people of Makka in his time. [Mi’zan al-I’tidal 2/659] وقال محمد بن عبدالله بن عبدالحكم: سمعتُ الشافعي يقول: استمتع ابن جريج بتسعين امراة، حتى إنّه كان يحتقن في الليل بأُوقية شيرج طلباً للجماع Muhammad b. Abdallah b. Abd al-Hakim: I heard al-Shafi’I saying: Ibn Jurayj made Mut’a with 90 women, such that he would apply in the nights sesame oil to help him in intercourse. [Siyar A’lam al-Nubala 6/333, and in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib 6/360: seventy women instead of ninety]. قال جرير: ... أمّا ابن جريج فإنّه أوصى بنيه بستّين امراة، وقال لا تزوّجوا بهنّ فإنّهنّ اُمّهاتكم وكان يرى المتعة Jarir: … As for Ibn Jurayj then he willed to his son [the names of] seventy women and said: do not marry them for they are your mothers and he used to accept Mut’a. [Ta’rikh Baghdad 7/255, Sharh al-Zarqani 8/76] الذهبي: و قيل: إنّه عهد إلى أولاده في أسمائهنّ لئلاّ يغلط أحدٌ منهم ويتزوّج واحدة ممّا نكح أبوه بالمتعة al-Dhahabi: and it is said: he (Ibn Jurayj) gave his sons the names (of those women) so that they do not fall into the mistake of ever marrying a woman their father had married via Mut’a. [Siyar A’lam al-Nubala 6/331] الماوردي: و حكى عن... وابن جريج والإماميّة جوازه ... al-Mawardi: And it is attributed to … and Ibn Jurayj and the Imamiyya its permissibility … [al-Hawi al-Kabir 11/449]
  5. 3 points
    I've always thought that since British Mandate the Palestinians have been in a no win position. If they accepted the offers the Israelis gave them there would have been an incentive for the Israelis to take more land (if the Pals don't time yielding some they might not mind yielding more) and if the Pals had resisted that would also have given the Israelis a pre-text to take more land (for defensive purposes). In short whatever the Pals decided did not matter, the Israelis were in too dominant a position. Turning now to a totally different situation, the following piece in the FT neatly summarises how I feel about the situation between the U.S. government and Huawei. In a previous FT story about the same subject I posted a comment that this situation is similar to the British attempts to stop Indian technological development by banning the Indians from making their own steam engines, at the start of the 20th century. The British may have delayed Indian development by some decades, but that's all they were able to do. Whether the British took no action to stop Indian technological development or whether they proactively tried to hinder it, ultimately they would lose. There are now far too many Indians with every increasing levels of capability to stop the juggernaut. https://www.ft.com/content/8fc63610-88fe-11e9-b861-54ee436f9768 In summary I think the U.S. government feels a threat to its economic/technological dominance. And the sanctions are its attempt to fight back. But whether the U.S. decides to fight or not, I think in the longer term that dominance will have to be compromised. Huawei and the Chinese are now too far along the technological path of development and they are far further ahead than the India of the early 20th century. The U.S. is now in a similar technological position that the Palestinians have been in terms of geography. Whatever option the US chooses, it will ultimately 'lose'. Loss in this context is not necessarily ceding technological leadership to the Chinese, but it may well involve acknowledging their superiority in certain areas. sic transit gloria
  6. 3 points
    Salam, Growing up we had a poster like this in one of my grandparent's home, handwritten in Urdu by my great grandfather and framed in wood. It was displayed in a prominent place. I remember standing there studying it on many occasions, at others I just stole a cursory glance passing by. Either way it helped me a great deal in acquiring the basic knowledge about the Ahlebayt(عليه السلام). Many of the important dates unconsciously stuck in my memory and other facts,like so many of our Imams (عليه السلام) being poisoned,aroused in me an interest to study more about their lives. For some time now I had been wanting to make a similar table for my children.I made it in English for obvious reasons.I plan to print it out and put in their room and hopefully they will imbibe and memorise or at least be familiar with the basic facts about the lives of Masoomen (عليه السلام). Since this is an area where sadly lots of us grownups are lacking too(from personal experience many of the Shias don't know the names of mothers of Imams(عليه السلام) or where are all of the Imams (عليه السلام) buried) I thought I would share it here. I made it on excel. With the ShiaChat file upload limits the quality might not be very good and since I enlarged it for sharing here,it's in two parts.(if anyone can suggest anything better, you are welcome) Coloured in pink(Imams 6-12) is the era of Abbasid caliphs.All of Imams (عليه السلام) during that time period(except the 12th (عليه السلام)) were martyred through poisoning by their own cousins,the Abbasid Caliphs.
  7. 2 points
    3wliya_maryam

    sensitivity

    The correlation between OCD and being sensitive may apply only to some people. There is no clear evidence that highly sensitive individuals are prone to the disorder, although one of the symptoms indicate sensitivity to be a major factor. For instance, one may begin to obsess over hygiene as they fear being contaminated or infected with bacteria at home, so they start washing their hands repeatedly or attempting to maintain the cleanliness of the house. They are sensitive to any foreign substance present within their surrounding environment. In Islam, we must sustain purity before prayer. That means performing ablution or a full body ritual purification that is called 'ghusl'. Nevertheless, one may start developing doubts as to whether they are truly purified. Women may have doubts about discharge whilst men may begin to worry about excreting semen. Perhaps their clothes were impure, or that they passed gas during prayer. It could lead to repeatedly showering, performing ablution or using the bathroom more frequently. For the individual it is undoubtedly stressful and can lead to physical health problems, such as dry skin and hair as well as acne. The flashback memories of my past childhood always affects me till this day. I was born as a sensitive and naive child. Sensitivity is that one trait people often despise, even the carriers of it. I was faced with difficulties for self acceptance, because not only did I loathe my self for my overreacting personality, I was a victim of fat shaming. I wanted to feel happy, free of worries by claiming my desires. But unfortunately we do not live in a Utopian world; not everything we wish for can be granted, unless we choose to put the effort. I definitely take it to heart if someone still fat shamed me, even if it was merely a 'joke'. It evokes all my memories of self loathe, where I was rather too young to be feeling insecure followed by wasted effort from dieting and physical activity. We dislike being called sensitive despite us being fully aware. We refuse to admit our behaviours because we choose to not be defined by it. We feel weak, with no self control towards our impulses. When these emotions begin to overwhelm us, our mental health deteriorates. We feel violated if one makes a remark, which leads us being defensive. One must also understand that sensitive people can vary. Some are just easily emotional and have deep empathy, whereas others I previously mentioned have the tendency to take everything so personal. Normally these individuals have insecurities followed by low self esteem and hence their weakness is criticism. They are not skilled to ignore varying perceptions because they choose to listen to them and not their own conscious mind. It is the fear of judgement that they may receive. You may be wondering about its relevance to scrupulosity, but in some form it plays a role. Again, it is not necessarily the cause of the disorder and this is only an elucidation of my own personal experience. I investigated within myself and realised that one of the triggers towards OCD was my highly sensitive personality. Followed by the altering chemical changes, my overreactions led to repetitive self harm out of guilt and loathe. My personality may have been a stepping stone towards the disorder; the smallest of things I felt was a grave sin and through time it only had gotten worse. Do not let others define you, a very important lesson that I wish I had grasped years ago. People like to manipulate and make you feel bad, even though you may be the victim. That does not mean you should play its role, rather you should only believe in what your heart feels right. Sometimes we know that our very own mind controls us too and causes us to react or act in ways we regret later, but do not let the past define you. Every now and then I feel hurt from my own levels of faith, because when you have that love and dedication to the Lord, the judgements you receive will become meaningless.
  8. 2 points
    Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IqraOnlineBlog/ Original post: https://www.iqraonline.net/dialogue-with-believers/ An epidemic harming our communities is the general inability, hesitance & fear of engaging in dialogue with one another. In fact, in recent years, it appears there has been a significant increase in our communities engaging and initiating inter-faith dialogue, yet we do not see this phenomenon within our own communities. This is while we need such initiatives perhaps even much more so than inter-faith. We lack the ethics and etiquette of engaging in dialogue with other believers and this naturally weakens, distances and breaks up our communities on various fronts. This is of utmost concern particularly for the diaspora that is already in a vulnerable position – and things do not seem to be getting any better. Dialogue is not simply “speaking” – speaking is not the issue, in fact, many of us speak and have a lot to say, and our pulpits are occupied all year long with trained scholars, untrained lecturers and academics speaking. A dialogue will generally have these three elements: 1) Two or more people 2) A subject of dispute or a subject that needs clarification 3) An expectation that the result of dialogue will either be in favour of you and/or the other party, or not (depending on the conclusion). When dialogue does not take place, the results we observe are usually the belittlement of others, insults, accusations and rumours, swearing, and in fact, a lack of dialogue can even lead to physical confrontations, wars and bloodshed. These are of course all horrible consequences, particularly when the victims are no other than our selves. These consequences show that the subject of dispute was not resolved or there was no capacity to engage in a dialogue to begin with. Why do we not engage in dialogue amongst ourselves? Are those who we disagree with amongst the believers so off the mark that we need to maintain a position against them like we should do with those who are genuine enemies of our belief? This is most often not the case at all and only in extremely exceptional circumstances do we have to encounter such groups of people – at which point it would be difficult to even classify them as believers. In the Treatise of Rights, Imam Sajjad (a) says that people of your creed enjoy the following rights over you: The right of the people of your creed is harbouring safety for them, compassion toward them, kindness toward their wrong-doer, treating them with friendliness, seeking their well-being, thanking their good-doer, and keeping harm away from them. You should love for them what you love for yourself and dislike for them what you dislike for yourself. Their old men stand in the place of your father, their youths in the place of your brothers, their old women in the place of your mother, and their young ones in the place of your children. Neglecting dialogue over matters of contention, more often than not, results in the trampling of some or all of these rights. So what prevents us from engaging in dialogue? Perhaps one or more of the following preliminaries required for dialogue do not exist: 1. The need to recognize other believers as noble creations of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). Verse [17:70] says Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has given the children of Adam nobility and honour. In some of our communities, we see believers giving a lot of respect to Sayyids and this is not for any reason except for the fact that they are connected to the Prophet (p) through a chain of many generations. However, it behooves us to realize that we (and creation as a whole) are connected to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) directly (or as per certain schools of philosophy, we are the very connection itself). Looking at another believer through the lens of dishonour and painting them as ignoble will not lead us anywhere and signifies a much greater spiritual problem. 2. Acknowledging that humans are different from certain aspects – gender, ethnicities, tribes, physical and spiritual capacities, affinities, tastes etc. We have two types of Sunnah (pl. Sunan) – the Sunnah of the Prophet and the Sunnah of Allah. The Sunan of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) are divided into two: there are some Sunan that only become applicable when humans bring them upon themselves through their free-will; for example, the increased bestowal of guidance once we have wilfully chosen to come into Islam - [47:17] As for those who are [rightly] guided, He enhances their guidance. [19:76] Allah enhances in guidance those who are [rightly] guided. There are some Sunan of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) that are absolute, not conditioned to the free-will of man. One of these Sunan is His creating us different. These differences are one of the necessary conditions for trial and tribulation to have any meaning in this world. [5:48] …and had Allah wished He would have made you one community, but [His purposes required] that He should test you in respect to what He has given you… [6:165] It is He who has made you successors on the Earth, and raised some of you in rank above others so that He may test you in respect to what He has given you. As such, it is normal that even within the same worldview, there will be times people reach different conclusions and do things differently. Acknowledging this opens the door to considering certain points of contention worthy of engagement. On the contrary, allowing these contentions to break us apart may very well be a sign that the believers are failing in their trials. 3. The lack of desire to engage in Ṣulḥ - to reach a conciliation and compromise. Ṣulḥ is often discussed in the context of resolving personal disputes and ironing out details of settlements, or as a treaty for halting warfare. But the general principles of Ṣulḥ can also be used to resolve larger community disputes – as was common in the Muslim world in the past and continues to be the case in many rural places. However, this generic understanding of Ṣulḥ only works if parties involved have a desire to discuss their disputes in a sincere manner (the details and mechanisms of Ṣulḥ have been discussed in detail in their appropriate places). One should not see the mere existence of differences as necessarily going against the command of holding on to the rope of Allah [3:103] - these two are reconcilable on many occasions as the scholars have mentioned. The absence of Ṣulḥ breaks and fragments the communities of the believers. 4. Reality is too vast and not all of it is in our hands. At any given point we have only understood certain aspects of it and that as well to a certain degree, not absolute reality – [17:85] and you have not been given of the knowledge except a little. We need to acknowledge that there are other perspectives and there is genuine room for these perspectives to be justified within an Islamic framework. The vastness of reality should alone be enough to humble and soften us to engage in dialogue with another party amongst the believers. The delusion of having uncovered all of the truth regarding a certain matter and behaving as if no one else could possibly say anything that would add anything to our knowledge is a deterrent and barrier for dialogue.
  9. 2 points
    Originally posted here: https://www.iqraonline.net/fasad-and-expectations-for-the-ulu-baqiyatin/ 1400 years ago the Umayyads seized complete power of the Muslim world, ruling for 90 years and came to be recognized as one of the most damaging dynasties to take control of the Muslim world. The Umayyads were able to alter and enforce an interpretation of Islam on the newly developing Islamic nation that dictated the fundamentality of tribalism, the superiority of Arabs, harshness, warfare and geographical expansions. In these 90-years, the Umayyads did not have much to do with Islam, rather they primarily saw it as a means to further strengthen their political power. Hence, we do not even see any significant depth in Islamic scholarship being produced during this period, in fact, on the contrary, some traditions indicate that some groups of Muslims were even unaware of rules concerning the Ḥalāl and Ḥarām during parts of Umayyad rule. The remnants of this enforced interpretation can be seen predominantly in certain theological discussions, the ḥadīth, Qurānic exegesis and jurisprudence, as it deeply embedded itself into the minds of the early Muslim community. Even some later Shī’ī traditions where the Imams (a) respond to individual questions can only be understood when one understands certain trends and ideas inherited by the community from the previous Umayyad dynasty. According to the Umayyad painting of Islam, any movement seeking reform, change and improvement was deemed sectarian and a cause of a split in the Muslim nation – a threat to their power – even if it happened to be one of their own, like the caliph ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Azīz. Hence, 1380 years ago, Imam Ḥusayn (a) was also seen as a troublemaker. Imam Ḥusayn (a) rightly deemed the Umayyad caliphate – still in its infancy – as a source of corruption (fasād) on Earth and described them as those who obey Shayṭān instead of obeying the Most Gracious. The Imam (a) took a stand against their corruption which continues to be remembered till today: So, he (a) called to You (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) flawlessly, gave advices, and sacrificed his soul for You to save Your servants from ignorance and perplexity of straying off. Yet, those whom were seduced by this worldly life, who sold their share (of reward) with the lowliest and meanest, retailed their Hereafter with the cheapest price, acted haughtily, perished because of following their desires, brought to themselves Your wrath and the wrath of Your Prophet. ~ Ziyārah of Arba’īn However, the stand of Imam Ḥusayn (a) was not against any petty corruption. At times you have corruption on the micro-level, perhaps between two individuals in a business transaction, or between a couple where one spouse is oppressive to the other. Fighting against this corruption would not have required him (a) to do what he did and say what he (a) did. He (a) could have given allegiance and remained in Medina to fight against such corruption. Other times you have a macro-level and systematic corruption – a type of corruption that is built into the very systems ruling over you. It can even be argued that the former types of corruption ultimately originate in some aspects of the latter. The Qurān contains examples of both types of corruption. For example: وَلَا تَنقُصُوا الْمِكْيَالَ وَالْمِيزَانَ ۚ إِنِّي أَرَاكُم بِخَيْرٍ وَإِنِّي أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ مُّحِيطٍ [11:84] Do not diminish the measure or the balance. Indeed I see that you are faring well, but I fear for you the punishment of an all-embracing day. This verse is referring to corruption that occurs in matters of transactions and business, asking individuals to not cheat one another – such a person would be a fāsid. In order to understand corruption on the macro-level, we should see who the Qurān describes as a mufsid. A few examples: ثُمَّ بَعَثْنَا مِن بَعْدِهِم مُّوسَىٰ بِآيَاتِنَا إِلَىٰ فِرْعَوْنَ وَمَلَئِهِ فَظَلَمُوا بِهَا ۖ فَانظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُفْسِدِينَ [7:103] Then after them We sent Moses with Our signs to Pharaoh and his elite, but they wronged them. So observe how was the fate of the agents of corruption! The verse asks us to go and investigate the fate of the mufsidīn – the very agents of corruption, those who caused corruption on a macro-level. A fāsid causes corruption on a micro-level which impacts him or herself and perhaps a few around them, but a mufsid impacts society at large. The Qurān repeatedly emphasizes the mufsid aspect of Pharaoh instead of his kufr. إِنَّ فِرْعَوْنَ عَلَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَجَعَلَ أَهْلَهَا شِيَعًا يَسْتَضْعِفُ طَائِفَةً مِّنْهُمْ يُذَبِّحُ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ وَيَسْتَحْيِي نِسَاءَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ مِنَ الْمُفْسِدِينَ [28:4] Indeed Pharaoh exalted himself over the land, reducing its people to factions, abasing one group of them, slaughtering their sons and sparing their women. Indeed He was one of the agents of corruption. This verse further implies that it was the power and authority Pharaoh held which allowed him to cause the corruption that he did. وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يُعْجِبُكَ قَوْلُهُ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيُشْهِدُ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا فِي قَلْبِهِ وَهُوَ أَلَدُّ الْخِصَامِ وَإِذَا تَوَلَّىٰ سَعَىٰ فِي الْأَرْضِ لِيُفْسِدَ فِيهَا وَيُهْلِكَ الْحَرْثَ وَالنَّسْلَ ۗ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْفَسَادَ [2:204] Among the people is he whose talk about worldly life impresses you, and he holds Allah witness to what is in his heart, though he is the staunchest of enemies. [2:205] And if he were to wield authority, he would try to cause corruption in the land, and to ruin the crop and the stock, and Allah does not like corruption. These two verses are describing an individual as the staunchest or fiercest of enemies. The staunchest of enemies is someone whose speech and words will impress you, but when they gain power and take over, they cause corruption and destruction over the lands – this is not a micro-level corruption by any means. It was this type of corruption that the Imam (a) was primarily trying to expose and fight against. Furthermore, not everyone can necessarily fight against this corruption and neither is it expected from everyone and this is for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the Qurān considers this an expectation for the Ūlū Baqīyatin: فَلَوْلَا كَانَ مِنَ الْقُرُونِ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ أُولُو بَقِيَّةٍ يَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْفَسَادِ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا مِّمَّنْ أَنجَيْنَا مِنْهُمْ ۗ وَاتَّبَعَ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مَا أُتْرِفُوا فِيهِ وَكَانُوا مُجْرِمِينَ [11:116] Why were there not among the generations before you a remnant [of the wise] who might forbid corruption in the Earth, except a few. Those who were wrongdoers pursued that in which they had been granted affluence, and they were a guilty lot. وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ لِيُهْلِكَ الْقُرَىٰ بِظُلْمٍ وَأَهْلُهَا مُصْلِحُونَ [11:117] Your Lord would never destroy the townships unjustly while their inhabitants were bringing about reform. As per some works of tafsīr, the Ūlū Baqīyatin have been described as the intellectuals and scholars – in the general sense of the word – of society. They are expected to expose, forbid and fight against this level of corruption. Micro-level corruption can be forbidden by even the laity and in fact they are expected to do so given the right conditions, but macro-level corruption requires more and cannot necessarily be expected from them. It requires knowledge – specialist knowledge of who one is up against, knowledge of the system and how it works – and secondly, it requires purity and righteousness. As the verse implies, only a few special people come forth to forbid this extent of corruption, while the rest themselves are guilty of sins and corruption.
  10. 2 points
    Maryam's school is super laid back. This year Abbas started in Year 7 (equivalent to Middle school in the US?, @Hameedeh help), at the age of 11. They get a school planner and I found these pages. I've been told the school has a great atmosphere and the kids really love it, and perhaps the written bureaucracy is just to scare them, but whoever put it together is on a real power trip. I think. Kids are supposed to set SMART targets for themselves and then self-assess. I work with managers in reasonably responsible positions who don't know how to set SMART targets! And these are a FEW of the criteria for discipline, there are three pages of this. They record when a kid goes to a toilet in a lesson:
  11. 2 points
    ShiaMan14

    Umrah from the US Guide

    Salaam, I had the privilege and honor of going to Umrah a few weeks ago. Having completed my hajj in 2010, it was time to pay Hijaz another visit to pay my respects to the Prophet (saw) and his progeny in Madinah and visit the House of Allah in Makkah. Hopefully the pointers below will help anyone planning on going for Umrah. First, if you haven't been to Saudi before, it is best to go with a registered group. It will make things easier for you because other than following instructions, there shouldn't be much to worry about..Also, if you don't speak arabic or urdu/hindi/bengali, then it would be better to go with a registered group because language can be an issue in some places. Anyway, I decided to go with my family instead of a group. The primary hurdle in going to Saudi is getting a visa. These are things to remember: We had to apply to a local consulate but individual travelers cannot apply on their own. The visa application has to be submitted through an authorized travel agency. Even though the Umrah visa is free, these agencies charge between $175 - $200 per person for visa. Also, note that you can only apply within 30 days of going for umrah. You need to buy non-refundable return tickets before applying. The other mandatory requirement is to get a meningitis vaccination. CVS, Walgreens or RediClinic can do this without a prescription. Without insurance, it will cost between $150-$200. Get the vaccination record from the Pharmacy and submit it with your application. Common sense would dictate that you buy your tickets once visa approval is obtained but not in this case. Visa application usually takes about 1 week to process...might take longer during busy times. Next decision is where to fly in/out from. If you decide to go to Makkah first, you will have to fly into Jeddah. Since Jeddah is inside the meeqat***, you will have to wear your ihram from the point of origin. So we chose to fly into Madinah first. I would recommend either Turkish Airlines or Emirates. We flew Emirates from the US. We had a 5 hour layover in Dubai so we went out of the airport and had a nice dinner. US Citizens do not need a visa for Dubai (UAE).Came back to the airport around 11p for our 105a flight to Medinah. Day One: We arrived in Madinah around 345a, got out of the airport by 445a. Since we were not part of a group, I made arrangements transportation arrangements with or hotel. It took about 30 minutes to get to our hotel right next to Masjid Al-Nabawi (Mosque of the Holy Prophet). We stayed at Hotel Pullman Zamzam Madinah. Fantastic 5* hotel with great rooms and awesome breakfast. The only downside to the hotel is that it is on the opposite end of the Ladies entrance to the mosque so it took the ladies about 15 minutes to walk to the mosque. The hotel did provide a shuttle service for women at regular intervals. After checking-in, we took a quick shower and made our way to the Mosque just in time for Fajr - individual, not jama'ah. After every salah every day, the Saudis open Jana'at Al-Baqi for an hour or so. Much to my surprise, the Saudis were fairly relaxed in letting people get in, recite dua/ziarat albeit quietly and even take pictures. Imam Hasan (as), Imam Sajjad (as), Imam Al-Baqar and Imam Al-Sadiq are buried here. If I am not mistaken, I think Hz Umm-al-baneen is buried where I have drawn the red circle: Went back to our hotel around 7am. We ate breakfast and finally went to bed after a 24 hours journey. We woke up around 3pm and went to the Prophet's mosque for zuhrain. We prayed some other prayers so got back to the hotel around 430p. We rested a bit more and then made our way back to the mosque for maghribain around 7p. Once again, we stayed there for around 2 hours and then had dinner and then back to the hotel. We are recommended to pray full zuhr/asr/isha in Medinah. Day Two: After taking an early night, we headed to the Prophet's mosque around 2am where we prayed salat-e-layl and other prayers. Returned to our hotel just after fajr. Our schedule for the rest of the day was the same as the previous day. However, there are other ziarats in Madinah one can visit: Masjid al-Shams Masjid al-Zul Qibltayn Masjid al-Quba The Saba Saba Masjids Masjid al-Fatah Masjid Salman al-Farsi Masjid al-Ali A.S. Masjid al-Bidi Fatimah Zehra A.S. Ohud – Hazrat Hamza A.S. Day Three: I stayed in the Prophet's mosque from 130am - fajr. I had the honor to pray salat-e-layl in Riyad-al-Jannah (Piece of heaven) - it is adjacent to the Prophet's grave. After salah, I went to Jana'at-al-Baqi for Ziarah al-wida (Farewell ziarah). We rested for a couple of hours, had breakfast and then made preparations to head to Makkah for Umrah. The main thing required is to perform a ghusl with the niyyah (intention) Niyyat: “I am doing Ghusl for the following for wearing Ihram for Umra al-Mufradah Sunnat Qurbatan Ilallah”. You cannot use scented soap when doing this Ghusl. The next step is to wear the ihram. Ihram for men - consists of two pieces of white cloth and for ladies their usual daily wear is their Ihram, but it is highly recommended that it be white as it is the sign of purity. Please not that even though one is wearing the ihram, the niyyah for Ihram is done later. We bought our ihram in Medinah for about $20 (60-75 Saudi Rial). We checked out of our hotel to make our way to masjid-e-Shajarah. I made transportation arrangements while in Medinah. It cost just under $200 for a personal mini-van. We stopped at Ohud for 15-20 minutes for a quick ziarah of Hz Hamzah's grave. Then we made our way to masjid-e-Shajarah. This is a designated point of wearing ihram per sharia. There are 6 other places as well in different parts of Saudi. If you are already wearing ihram, you can take off the top portion and put it on again and make the niyyah (intention): “I am wearing Ihram for Umra al-Mufradah Qurbatan Illallah”. Immediately after making the niyya, recite the talbiya (calling) in arabic: Labbaik, Allahumma Labbaik, Labbaik La Sharika Laka Labbaik, Innal Hamda WanNe’amata Laka Walmuka La Sharika Laka Labbaik This is to be recited as many times as possible until you reach the vicinity of Makkah. After wearing the ihram and reciting talbiya, proceed to the inside of the Mosque and recite 2 rakat salat with the niyyah, "Offering 2 rakat salah for wearing ihram qurbatanillah". Once you adorn the ihram and make the niyyah, there are about 25 things that become haraam upon a person. Once we completed our prayers, we made our way towards Makkah, reciting talbiya as much as we could. One thing to note is that in Shia fiqh, men ar enot allowed to travel under shade during the day while in ihram.so it is advisable to plan your journey such that you arrive in Masjid-e-Shajarah around maghrib. If traveling during hte day, then there is a kafarah (penalty) of 1 sheep. We made a couple of stops on our way to Makkah which was about a 5 hour drive (430km or 250m) Day Three - Arrival in Makkah: We arrived in Makkah around 5pm. Since we had already prayed zuharain en route, we decided to rest a bit in our hotel. We woke up, did ghusl made our way to the Holy Kaaba around 730p. One has to be in wudu (or ghusl) for tawaf. We prayed maghrib and isha and then started our umrah. These are the steps for umrah: 1) Perform tawaf (circumambulation) around the Kaaba 7 times. The niyyah (intention) is: I am going round this Ka’aba seven times for Umra al-Mufradah Qurbatan Ilallah. Since the masjid has several floors, it is important to remember that we can do tawaf on any floor as long as your height is below the top of the kaaba. 2) Upon completion of tawag, recite 2 rakat salat-e-tawaf behind the Maqam-e-Ibrahim (place of Ibrahim) - recited just like fajr I am offering two Rakaat Salaat for Tawaaf of Umra al-Mufradah Qurbatan Ilallah 3) Perform Sa'ae (wudu not necessary). This is where you walk from Safa'a to Marwa 7 times (about 3.5km in total). Niyyah (intention) is: I walk between Safaa and Marwah, seven times for Umra al-Mufradah Qurbatan Ilallah Going from Safa'a --> marwa = 1 Marwa --> Safa'a = 2 Safa'a --> marwa = 3 Marwa --> Safa'a = 4 Safa'a --> marwa = 5 Marwa --> Safa'a = 6 Safa'a --> marwa = 7 So you start at Safa'a and end at Marwa. 4) Once Sa'ae is over, the next step is taqseer (cuting part of mails of hair). Niyyah is: I am performing Taqseer so as to be relieved of Ihram for Umra al-Mufradah QurbatanIlallah It is best to do the 4 steps without too much of a break in between them. At this point, you can take a break and even take of your ihram. 5) Whether you take a break or not, the next step is to perform tawaf-e-Nisa. Everyone has to do this - young/old, man/woman, married/unmarried, etc.). Niyyah is: I am doing Tawaaf-un-Nissa by going round this Ka’aba seven times for Umra al-Mufradah Qurbatan Ilallah 6) Last step is to perform salat tawaf-e-Nisa. Niyyah is: I am offering two Rakaat Salaat for Tawaaf-un-Nissa for Umra al-Mufradah QurbatanIlallah The entire umrah took about 2 - 2.5 hours to complete. This is the completion of the umrah. After completing our umrah, we went back to our hotel, had dinner and went to sleep. Day Four: We went to the Kaaba about 2 hours before fajr to perform Sunnah tawaf (each tawaf is 7 rounds). After each tawaf, reciting salat-e-tawaf is obligatory. You can make the intention of perfomr tawaf for others alive or deceased. This day was spent between our hotel and performing salah+tawaf throughout the day. There are other ziarah to be performed in makkah: Ka’aba Hajr al-Ismail Hajr-ul-Aswad Makaam al-Ibrahim Zam Zam Hills of Safa and Marwa Janatul-Mualla Janab al-Khadijatul Kubra Janab al-Abu Talib Janab al-Abdul Mutalib Hazrat Abdullah Hazrat Amina Bint al-Wahab Masjid al-Jinn Cave of Thawr Cave of Hira Jabal al-Rahmah Muzdhalifa or Ma’shar Munna Masjid al-Kheef - In Munna We were able to perform the green ones above. We also had the opportunity to pray salat in the hateem which is not always open. We were able to touch the kaaba several times including rukn-e-Yemeni (corner from where Hz Fatima bint Assad went inside the kaaba to deliver Hz Ali (as). Pic in hateem under the kaaba Cloth of the kaaba - it is actually pieces of cloth sewn together instead of a very large piece of cloth. Day Five: We performed our final prayers and then checked out of our hotel to go to Jeddah airport. We flew from Jeddah --> Dubai and stayed there overnight, then flew back to the US. Summary: I was pleasantly surprised that the Saudis were pretty lenient this time.People were free to pray and take pictures as they wanted...for the most part. I would recommend taking salah, dua and ziarah information on your phones rather than books. I will also try to upload the guidebook I used for most of the trip. Please let me know if you have any questions. I tried to cover the most important aspects of umrah. Your Personal Guide to Hajj Umrah Ziyarat .pdf
  12. 2 points
    Flying_Eagle

    Manajat for Forgiveness

    Ya Rab! I never claimed that I am your absolute obedient, neither I say that I fulfill rights of my family and those around me. But, at least I keep a heart that hates my wrongdoing and is afraid of your punishment and your rejection. I am faqir in the world of piety, having no wealth to spend except remorse at my disobedience and I have always been keeping my eyes on the rich among the pious with eyes like that of a beggar who looks at the rich only if he pay attention to me and give me some from what you have granted him. I am disaster for myself, sinner who has no hope in himself. Several times you have saved me from my own mistakes yet I am not learning to be obedient. Who will help me if not you, while I have no hope in your creation among whom everyone is a player vying for their vested interests becoming trial for each other to ascertain what is his peer ? Sinner trying to find more sinners to appease his heart that he is not the only sinner and boastful good-doer trying people so that he can boast that no one is more righteous than him. I am one who say that I am absolute sinner mourning over my sins and biting my own hands as to why wasn't I much enlightened at the first place. Will you make me your humble servant, Ya Rab! knowing that I am a sinner yet I repent and feel bad and detest myself. Please forgive me for the sake of Ahlebait (عليه السلام).
  13. 2 points
    As I mentioned previously Maryam asked to take the 5D and the lenses with her on the school trip. It's professional equipment, albeit everyone in Hong Kong seems to have better. Here's some of what she came back with. Oh and all the equipment came back too.
  14. 2 points
    The case against artificial ingredients is well worn in terms of the possible damage to health. The health benefits of foods that are as natural as possible with limited human interference I.e. processing seems compelling. For a couple of decades and perhaps for a couple more going forwards organic foods have given people something to believe in. Organic represents good, wholesome and natural and the opposite - foods that have chemicals added to aid their growth and which have been through a range of processes in order to give them longer-shelf lives represent what is bad. Whatever limitations organic foods may have are, for some people, more than compensated by their health and environmental benefits. Consuming organic is virtuous and whatever sacrifices need to be made in order to do this are similar to those theists are willing to make for their beliefs. Of course the believer in organic may claim scientific evidence to back their behaviour. The question is whether the 'organic faith' is likely to be a permanent state of affairs. I think not. Because natural food production processes are not scalable for an ever increasing global population. In contrast, the ability of humans to interfere productively in food production has been established over millennia and we've been getting better at it. Our interventions raise all sorts of scientific, environmental, moral and economic issues and as a result I don't think God would lead us to a developmental dead-end. So I think the current preference for organic and natural food that is devoid of processing is likely to be a short-term fad, albeit a well-meaning one. We now have better knowledge of how not to process and the costs and risks of different processing methods, and overtime I think we will become better at processing and as the following story highlights the need to develop artificial ie. man-made processes for making foods is likely to increase and so is our ability to do so. Along the way we may well find ways of processing that do still cause health and other disbenefits, but it'll be up to us to find novel solutions. Relying on historical processes won't be an answer. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/29/plan-to-sell-50m-meals-electricity-water-air-solar-foods
  15. 2 points
    Last Chance

    I do not know

    How I must beg, I do not know, Now I've learnt to let these tears flow, For I've begged you and with you I've pleaded, And maybe your nearness, some others have needed, But you know who I am and you know what I need, Is it the pain when I feel my heart bleed? Tell me how to beg, for I do not know, How do I see your golden dome glow? My tears have been shed and my soul has felt sorrow, And desperation has set for news of tomorrow, And disappointments of which I have lost count, Aren't these reasons enough? Too small in amount? But how I must beg, I do not know, So now I beg you to teach me and show. To your love, I've submitted, for how can one not? And of my life's story, I've made you the plot, I've discarded of any beginning or end, For I know that my heart, only you can mend, But to beg you better, I just don't know how, A lifetime's attempts and in shame, I still bow. Regarding my worth, I will not speak, For in you and your service, my own worth, I seek, But tell me what in my pleading is wrong, Is the pain in my love for you not strong? I will not ask you, from me, what you want, For what king can gain from his servant's servant? All I ask is, my emptiness you understand, My craving to weep on Karbala's sand, The heavenly walk, baynol haramayn, To shout with the millions, "Labbaika ya Hussain", To drown in your love and to die in that state, Be worthy of smelling the scent of your gate, To look up into your once-red, blue sky, And have no sense but to helplessly cry, In awe of your beauty and the fact that I'm here, In the hope that I might return in a year, And the realisation that this isn't a dream, Blinded by this love and your dome's golden beam, The heat of the sun striking all those in black, To walk towards your shrine and never look back, Relive your sorrow and make it my own, Watch your black flag in the wind, being blown, To feel a long-lost peace in my heart, Forgetting that from here, we'll all once depart, Engrave these memories deep in my soul, For my emptiness to fill, making me whole. And for the rest of my life, to live on these tears, If you'd just end the waiting I've done for these years. Allahumma irzoqni ziyaratel Hussein ((عليه السلام).)
  16. 2 points
    Imam Jafar al-Sadiq(عليه السلام) said: 'Allah revealed to Dawud(as): " When one of my servants resorts to me and not to anyone of My creation, I know that from his inner intention, such that even if the skies and the Earth and their inhabitants were to conspire against him, I will make an outlet for him in spite of them. And when one of My servants resorts to one of my creatures, I know that too from his intention, such that I cut off the means of subsistence of the skies from him, and I will make the Earth disintegrate from under him, and do not care in which valley he perishes."' al-Kafi,v.2, p.52,no.1. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq(عليه السلام) said: ' Whoever from among the servants of Allah devotes himself towards that which Allah loves, Allah too devotes Himself to that which he loves. And whoever resorts entirely to Allah, Allah protects him, and whoever turns towards Allah, Allah accepts him and protects him, such that whether the sky was falling upon the Earth, or a calamity was to befall all the inhabitants of the Earth, he would in the Party of Allah, secure from all calamities. Indeed,does not Allah say: "Surely those who guard against evil are in a secure place?"' (Qur'an 44:51) al-Kafi,v.2,p.53,no.4
  17. 2 points
    [This will be a series of blog entries on the history of ShiaChat.com; how it was founded, major ups and down, politics and issues behind running such a site and of course, the drama! I will also provide some feedback on development efforts, new features and future goals and objectives] Part 1 - The IRC (#Shia) Days! Sit children, gather around and let me speak to you of tales of times before there was ever high-speed Internet, Wi-Fi, YouTube or Facebook; a time when the Internet was a much different place and 15 yearold me was still trying to make sense of it all. In the 90s, the Internet was a very different place; no social media, no video streaming and downloading an image used to take anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on how fast your 14.4k monster-sized dial-up modem was. Of course you also had to be lucky enough for your mom to have the common courtesy not to disconnect you when you’re in the middle of a session; that is if you were privileged enough to have Internet at home and not have to spend hours at school or libraries, or looking for AOL discs with 30 hour free trials..(Breathe... breathe... breathe) - I digress. Back in 1998 when Google was still a little computer sitting in Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s basement, I was engaged in endless debates with our Sunni brothers on an IRC channel called #Shia. (Ok, a side note here for all you little pups. This is not read as Hashtag Shia, the correct way of reading this is “Channel Shia”. The “Hashtag” was a much cooler thing back in the day than the way you young’uns use it today). For those of you who don’t know what IRC was (or is... as it still exists), it stands for Internet Relay Chat, which are servers available that you could host chat rooms in and connect through a client. It was like the Wild West where anyone can go and “found” their own channel (chat room), become an operator and reign down their god-like dictator powers upon the minions that were to join as a member of their chat room. Luckily, #Shia had already been established for a few years before by a couple of brothers I met from Toronto, Canada (Hussain A. and Mohammed H.). Young and eager, I quickly rose up the ranks to become a moderator (@Ali) and the chatroom quickly became an important part of my adolescent years. I learned everything I knew from that channel and met some of the most incredible people. Needless to say, I spent hours and dedicated a good portion of my life on the chatroom; of course, the alternate was school and work but that was just boring to a 15-year-old. In the 90’s, creating a website was just starting to be cool so I volunteered to create a website for #Shia to advertise our services, who we are, what we do as well as have a list of moderators and administrators that have volunteered to maintain #Shia. As a result, #Shia’s first website was hosted on a friend’s server under the URL http://786-110.co.uk/shia/ - yes, ShiaChat.com as a domain did not exist yet – was too expensive for my taste so we piggybacked on one of our member’s servers and domain name. The channel quickly became popular, so popular that we sometimes outnumbered our nemesis, #Islam. As a result, our moderator team was growing as well and we needed a website with an application that would help us manage our chatroom in a more efficient style. Being a global channel, it was very hard to do “shift transfers” and knowledge transfers between moderators as the typical nature of a chatroom is the fact that when a word is typed, its posted and its gone after a few seconds – this quickly became a pain point for us trying to maintain a list of offenders to keep an eye out for and have it all maintained in a historical, easily accessible way. A thought occurred to me. Why not start a “forum” for the moderators to use? The concept of “forums” or discussion boards was new to the Internet – it was the seed of what we call social media today. The concept of having a chat-style discussion be forever hosted online and be available for everyone to view and respond to at any time from anywhere was extremely well welcomed by the Internet users. I don’t recall what software or service I initially used to set that forum up, but I did – with absolutely no knowledge that the forum I just set up was a tiny little acorn that would one day be the oak tree that is ShiaChat.com. [More to follow, Part 2..] So who here is still around from the good old #Shia IRC days?
  18. 2 points
    Haji 2003

    Lost and found. Forever?

    I had a thoughtful afternoon in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens some years ago and was inspired to write this. One day, many hundreds of years ago, there was a storm in the Mediterranean Sea. And it was no different to all the other storms that happened before or after, but this storm must have been a special storm because it sank a special ship. The ship itself was no different from the many other ships that have sailed before or after this event, but this one was special because it carried a special cargo. And the cargo itself was no different to what has sunk in the Mediterranean either before or after, except that there was just one piece in that cargo that is, so far, unique. It’s unique because the person who put it together thought a lot about what they were doing. Obviously, lots of people think about what they make, but these must have been special thoughts because no one else has yet come across anything so clever that was made so far back in ancient history. And the thoughts were special because unlike many pretty things that you can only look at, this little item can be used for a specific objective and that is what really makes it special. It can be used to tell the positions of the stars and predict eclipses and it does this because it has lots of moving parts that all move very precisely indeed and that is why it can be called a ‘mechanism’. And why was this little item on the sea? Because someone far away wanted to buy it. The people who made it had become famous in other countries for their creations because they were clever and beautiful. But over time the creators had become poor and the people in other countries had become rich. And what the poor people had left were their thoughts and ideas but perhaps they were not so happy when other peoples' appreciation of those ideas meant that they wanted souvenirs and these were often the physical representation of those ideas and the more such souvenirs that were taken away the fewer there were left. Eventually, these rich people (the Romans, inspired by the Greeks) would become known for their own beautiful and clever works and when they became poor their children too would see things their forefathers had made taken away by rich people in other countries. And so it came to be that this little mechanism, was being transported over the sea because someone else could afford to buy it. Perhaps they knew how to use it, or perhaps they didn’t. The storm meant that it never reached its destination. It was a loss for the person who sold it, it was a loss for the person who bought it and it was obviously a loss for the sailors who carried it. And so, it remained a loss for many hundreds of years, except when it was found in the sea and people started to work out what it was and how it worked. And the cleverer people became the more they realized how clever the mechanism was. So what had been a loss for so many years became a discovery and then an important discovery and will remain so, for many more years. And because by this time people had invented all sorts of different mechanisms, they needed to give it a name and they called it the Antikythera mechanism because that’s the island near where it was lost. And this time instead of rich foreign people taking it away, they paid for it to be seen near where it was found. But they wanted their name linked to it because they wanted everyone to see that they were clever and that they knew what was beautiful.
  19. 2 points
    Haji 2003

    Simon says ...

    Simon says This is the new law This is the right law That was the old law It was the wrong law Follow the new law It is the right law Ignore the old law That was the wrong law The new law is the modern law The modern law is the best law The old law was a bad law Don’t follow the old law We believed the old law We upheld the old law But now we have a new law You should follow the new law Our country established the new law We follow the new law We modernised You must modernise Your country must establish the new law The new law is the right law If you follow the old law You will follow the wrong law The wrong law Is a bad law Bad countries follow wrong laws Good countries follow new laws You must follow the new law It is the best law There can never be a better law Than the new law In the past we have superseded old laws In the past we have brought new laws This time it is different This is the best law Our country has made the new law Our country makes good laws Our country is a good country Bad countries follow old laws Good countries sanction bad countries Good countries bomb bad countries Bad countries must follow good countries to be good countries Bad countries must follow good countries not to be bombed to goodness
  20. 2 points
    Hameedeh

    Be Positive

    The Seventh Imam, Musa Ibn Ja'far Al-Kadhim AS was living in the Holy City of Medina, and while he was praying at the tomb of the Holy Prophet SA, he was arrested, then the tyrant Harun ar-Rashid kept him in prison in Baghdad for almost four years in a cell so small he could not stand up tall to say his prayers. On the 25th of Rajab, Harun had Imam Kadhim AS martyred by poison. Even his corpse was desecrated and taken from the prison and left in view on the Bridge of Baghdad. His devotees managed to bury Imam Kazim AS in al-Kazimiyyah (Iraq). Although Imam Kazem AS was living under complete oppression, he kept positive. May Allah SWT keep us all on the straight path and keep us positive. ♥ May your days be sunny, your nights restful, and your heart satisfied with the blessings that Allah has given you. Think Positive. ♥
  21. 2 points
    Qa'im

    The Divine Will

    The first creation of Allah is His will (mashi’a). The mashi’a is a created light that operates on the realm of the creation and interacts with the rest of creation. Since the mashi’a is subject to change and affect, it is separate from His Unified and Unknowable Essence. علي بن إبراهيم، عن أبيه، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن عمر بن اذينة، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: خلق الله المشيئة بنفسها ثم خلق الاشياء بالمشيئة. Imam Ja`far as-Sadiq (as) said, “Allah created the will (mashi’a) by its self. Then, He created the things by the will.” The mashi’a is one entity (ذات بسيطة) with four degrees (معلقات). These four degrees are His will (mashi’a), His desire (irada), His determining (qadr), and His actualization (qada). 3يا يونس تعلم ما؛ المشيئة قلت لا قال هي الذکر الاول فتعلم ما الارادة قلت لا قال هي العزيمة على ما يشاء فتعلم ما القدر قلت لا قال هي الهندسة و وضع الحدود من البقاء و الفناء قال ثم قال و القضاء هو الابرام و اقامة العين Imam ar-Rida (as) said, “O Yunus! Do you know what the will (mashi’a) is?” Yunus said, “No.” Imam ar-Rida (as) said, “It is the first utterance (الذکر الاول). So do you know what the wish (الارادة) is?” He said, “No.” The Imam said, “It is the invitation to what He wants. So do you know what determining (qadr) is?” He said, “No.” The Imam said, “It is designing and organizing the parameters from beginning to end. And actualization (qada) is the confirmation and the establishment of the thing.” The mashi’a and the desire (irada) both denote the same object. However, when used together, they refer to different degrees within the mashi’a’s process. The first degree is the wish for a thing, the second degree is the assertion of that wish, the third degree is the organization of the parameters needed to bring about that wish, and the fourth degree is its execution. All of these levels are really one process, but in our understanding, it takes place in four stages. Mashi’a is a unity of action (fi`l) and reception (infi`al). While irada, qadr, and qada are masculine activities, the mashi’a is feminine in its receptivity to all of these active phases. This way, the mashi’a constitutes both self-acting and self-receiving. This reality is called the Great Depth (العمق الأكبر). Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa’i uses the term “the Kaf that Encircles Itself” (الكاف المستديرة على نفسها) to describe the duality of the mashi’a, because a circled letter Kaf resembles the yin-yang, and a yin-yang represents the complementary nature of contrary forces. The mashi’a is compared to Adam and Eve, the first promulgators of their species, through whose dimorphic reproduction all people came into existence. There are two types of divine actions (ja`l ilahi) in the Quran: formative action (جعل تكويني) and designative action (جعل تشريعي). Formative action refers to creating, establishing, and building. Allah says, “[He] who made (ja`ala) for you the earth as a bed and the sky as a ceiling” (2:22). Designative action refers to divine selection and legislation. Allah says, “Allah has made the Ka`ba, the Sacred House, an establishment for mankind.” (5:97) These two actions are further duplicated inversely in a dialectical process, which we will describe later. The mashi’a exists on the sempiternal plain (سرمد), which is a created level of infinity that is beyond the rest of creation. Allah, however, is Eternal (أزل), and therefore beyond sempiternity. In Allah’s Essence (ذات), there is no action; and He is beyond understanding. In the hierarchy of creation, the mashi’a is the first barrier (hijab), and there is nothing beyond it.
  22. 1 point
    Sometimes we forget to be grateful for many of the blessings God has decreed upon us that if we were to thank him for countless days and nights, it would never be sufficient. Some of us may not realise that despite living in a house where our parents have different mindsets that complicate many aspects in life, perhaps during their time they had it far more worse. We forget that they have gone through immense pressure trying to give us a life far more opportunistic than theirs, yet they fail to realise how a lot of their customs prevents us from seeking opportunities in the first place. Think about the conservative societies they used to live in the past century and how difficult it was to overcome. Perhaps our parents think that their way of upbringing will lure us away from the demonised world, to save our mental stability and hence they carry their past teachings and culture to the next generation. On the contrary, that belief has torn us apart. Our parents have survived war, signed myriad of papers and fought with the Western laws to seek a better environment for themselves and future offspring. We know that our families cannot seem to fathom our changes as we develop. They believe we are steering out of the line of honour and family reputation that if a slight error was committed then it would be spread throughout the entire community. You end up hearing tales and calumnies from storytellers who often find it entertaining to dwell in the affairs of others. The values and customs I have been raised in believe that a family's dignity and privilege is held by the eldest daughter where her wrongdoings mean familial destruction. Whilst having a good reputation at some point is crucial to living a substantial life, parents forget that our unexpressed feelings matter more than pleasing an egoistic community. In Islam, one of the major sins is the displeasing of parents, where their anger is equatable to God's. Surely we must strive to respect them as they become elders, despite the levels of irritability we receive almost everyday. We are taught to maintain patience and that is further learnt more deeply during adolescence. Even so, a lot of the times one has knowledge of what is right yet still choose to divert into the path of wrong. An example is when our parents infuriate us, it results in retaliation rather than remaining quiet and calm. Understandably, nobody wants to hear someone create quite vague assumptions and further jump to the worst conclusions. That is one of the nuisances we normally find within parents. From past personal experience, despite my OCD was likely of being genetic, I discovered that the strategies my parents used to make the entire family adhere to religion were often uncompromising. They believe using threats will make their children stand firm towards God and whilst I partially agree, the end result may be discrepancy. I've always loved being a Muslim. Observing full hijab from a very young age, praying at night outside the backyard beneath His illuminating creation whilst holding the sacred Qur'an in my hands. I thought I felt undeniable peace, but was it truly as peaceful as it sounded like? I was on attack the minute I stood onto my prayer mat or opened a supplication prayer. Those rampaging thoughts destroyed my inner peace. It seemed like I was a saintly servant of God, but the reality was that I was hurting deep down without even figuring out the cause. After recovery, a part of me came to conclusion as to what had led to these doubts and whispers in the first place. It somewhat was in relation towards my parent's upbringing, where I had noticed the number of threatening remarks they used in relation to God made me believe that I was obliged to add in the extra effort and consistency towards my prayers and other obligations. However, a number of times they had caught me in such a state and tried to give me solid advice that I am already pious enough in the eyes of God. And yet I always felt like I did a mistake in my ablution that led to repetitive cleansing. Then again, we are far more mature than to be constantly blaming parents for our actions. I criticise myself for being too naive and turning small situations into extreme ones. The truth is nobody else is at fault but ourselves because we have full control over our own actions. We are willing to blame others for our mistakes in order to escape guilt or responsibility. Parents may have played some role in the way we have turned out to be, yet we know ourselves way too well as adults that most of it is our own fault, Maybe we did not realise that controlling our thoughts and actions could have been taken into our own hands if only we did not let all that negativity consume us.
  23. 1 point
    Haji 2003

    Raising Maryam - Exam boards

    Next year, inshallah, Maryam takes her GCSE exams in the United Kingdom, those are taken at 16 years of age. Just a heads up for anyone else with kids/relatives of that age. I have been looking at the websites of the exam boards for her different subjects. Googling the name of the board, the subject and the year of the exam will usually get you to the right page. There are a lot of free resources they offer, e.g. subject specifications and examiner commentaries. The latter are very useful to get an idea where students typically make mistakes, for example and to understand what examiners are looking for. Kids/parents who are at better schools with more clued up teachers may likely not need to do all this themselves. But although Maryam's school is pretty good, there's no harm in using those specification books for example to keep an eye on progress.
  24. 1 point
    3wliya_maryam

    guilt

    I came across a tragic story of a young man who committed suicide as he convinced himself that he was not a true servant of God. He was well known for his piety and devotion in religious obligations. But such dark whispers led him to believe that Allah was still displeased with him. Whether or not he knew that suicide is a grave sin, perhaps he thought that he would never reach God's satisfaction either way. I was baffled and lost with words. Someone who had such high faith and yet found it hard to battle the demons that propelled him to his downfall. But only He knew precisely what he was going through; it may have been his family, or the community's imagery of Islam. He most likely was suffering from depression or anxiety. Part of me wishes to have helped him drive away his misery as we both share similar grievances. May Allah forgive and have mercy upon him. It is quite scary to even imagine the consequences of any mental illness and where it could lead to. For something as perplexing as this man's story I have never read that OCD could be this severe. Perhaps he had a secret, where he did not choose to end his life on the basis of these thoughts that are linked to the disorder. It may have been something else that was giving him torment. Guilt is an intolerable feeling second to heartbreak. Islamically it is meant to restrain us from sinning and if it were to cease from mankind, we would all turn into vicious and evil beings. However, in some cases guilt can become so vulnerable that it can no longer be tolerated. When this happens individuals may develop a strong fear towards guilt which is termed as "guilt sensitivity" and is shown to be one of the main symptoms of OCD. They feel violated and hence to avoid this unbearable emotion, ritualistic patterns and behaviours are performed to eliminate it. If we relate this to scrupulosity, the individual highly fears God. They will try their hardest to end the guilt by excessively praying or performing other religious obligations, believing that this will please Him. In fact, it only worsens the symptoms and results in pathological guilt that can become distressing. Prior to finding treatment within myself, I was the kind to easily feel overwhelmed with heavy guilt, especially towards my family. It tormented me from the inside, where I would choose to withdraw in my confined space and release my emotions. I loathed feeling this way as it was getting out of hand. When I finally found the means to break free from my compulsions, that feeling went away. And even when I still felt guilty for hurting my parents, I intended to drive it away as I did not want to experience the same kind of hurt again. Parents have a talented skill in guilt tripping their children as a means of attempting to keep them in line. If there is one aspect within our parents upbringing that has negatively impacted our lives of youth would be in terms of religion by using guilt ineffectively. An example would be forcing a child to pray, or forcing them to wear the headscarf. All that force only does more harm than good, but sadly some parents do not realise that. God does not intend to make our religion difficult to pursue, therefore Islam is a religion of encouragement and not force. Each Muslim is on their own journey, their own pathway into seeking the truth and strengthening their will regardless of what stage they are in. If our parents weren't so compromised towards their communities' vile perceptions and clinging onto idiotic cultural taboos then I doubt majority of us would be in such a position. Now that we have identified the truth, we will be the generation to alter the ways we have been taught by them.
  25. 1 point
    Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IqraOnlineBlog/ Original post: https://www.iqraonline.net/when-apologies-becomes-unethical/ There is no doubt that apologizing and seeking forgiveness for having done something wrong is an ethical act. It is something we should all do for any of our mistakes and shortcomings that became the cause of harm and nuisance to others. Apologizing shows us that the individual has intuitively realized the flaws of a certain decision they had made and their regret over it, and so, we qualify it as a moral and ethical act originating in their recognition of this fact. However, we only qualify the act of apologizing as an ethical act when it is within a certain framework and meets certain conditions. If one’s apology does not meet these conditions, the act of apologizing itself becomes immoral and unethical. This is something Muslims at large need to be wary off, particularly the Muslim diaspora in the West. An apology is only ethical when it is offered in response to one’s own mistake or criminal offence. If one apologizes in a situation where they know they have committed no crime nor offence, this is an unethical instance of an apology. Imam ‘Alī (a) has been reported to have said: “One who seeks pardon without having sinned, has imposed that sin upon himself.” This is because by apologizing, one gives the impression of being guilty of something, even though they are not guilty of anything. A very apparent example of this is the initiative taken by some Muslims to apologize for crimes certain other Muslims happen to commit. An even more unethical type of apology is one that is done after fulfilling a religious responsibility and duty. This is an apology one offers after doing something they had to in order to fulfill the commands of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), yet after doing so, they offer an apology because they realized that the other party was unhappy with them for whatever reason. In another tradition, Imam ‘Alī (a) has said, “Do not seek pardon for obeying the commands of Allah – it being a sign of honour for you should suffice.” A simple example of this would be Muslims who refuse to shake hands with the opposite gender, yet still apologizing for their behaviour. Furthermore, one notices that the Islamic tradition is silent on whether one should expect and insist on an apology from someone who causes them harm. On the contrary, what we find are ample traditions on accepting an apology when it is offered. It is not strange then that we do not find any historical reports telling us that Imam ‘Alī (a) demanded an apology during his own caliphate from anyone who caused him trouble. This notion of being expected to apologize is important to note because another instance of an immoral apology is one where one is expected to give an apology by an individual or a community for a wrong ulterior motive – often political. For example, when ‘Uthmān exiled Abū Dharr, he ordered Marwān to take Abū Dharr out of the city and not allow anyone else to accompany them. Despite the orders of the caliph, Imam ‘Alī (a) alongside ‘Aqīl and his sons came to accompany Abū Dharr – their presence also signifying a sign of protest against the exile. Marwān saw this as an insult to himself and the caliph was also angered when he came to know about this. The seniors amongst the Muhājirūn and the Anṣār began pressuring the Imam to apologize to Marwān, implying that he expects an apology, but the Imam (a) responds to them, “As for Marwān, I will not go to him and neither will I apologize to him.” In our own day to day life, we see these expectations being put on Muslims – often with ulterior motives behind them – where one is to apologize for certain positions or views they hold or certain decisions they make while being within their right to do so. In the same light, another unethical apology is one that is to someone who sees you as worthless, denies you your rights, and sees themselves as the possessor of all rights. In one of the wisdom of Luqmān, narrated by Imam Ṣādiq (a), he is reported to have said, “do not apologize to someone who does not ascertain any rights for you.” This is because apologizing to such an individual does nothing but bring humility and shame to you. Finally, one should only apologize if they know they are truly in the wrong. This is the case even if one is found guilty in court after evidence has been established against them. They can be reprimanded according to the law for what they were found guilty of, but despite this, if they themselves know they were not guilty in reality, apologizing in such a situation cannot be considered ethical. We also see that Islamic law is silent on the matter of demanding and insisting the guilty to apologize for their errors.
  26. 1 point
    It's taken me nearly 15 years to get to 10,000 posts, so I thought I'd post something special. I remember the cold. I think it was the first time in my life that keeping warm was a struggle. Shafts of cold air channelled in through a train not designed to keep it out. Arriving at Amritsar station, there was some relief. I remember the shouts of ‘garam chai’ (hot tea) rising above the cacophony of engines, whistles, and general yells. This trip was the first time that I was allowed to drink tea. At home in London, tea was an adult’s drink, and there simply had been no occasion or need to drink it. Here at Amritsar station, in Indian Punjab, during the middle of the night, I was allowed to drink the strong, sugary hot tea and eat the hard-boiled eggs that the hawkers were selling. It was only many years later that I appreciated the business nous of selling hard-boiled eggs. Pre-packaged and ready to eat, what could be easier for a hawker to sell? Some years later standing in the cold in the school playground would help me appreciate all the more as I read of Ivan Denisovich’s battles against hunger and cold in Solzhenitsyn’s account of life in a Soviet gulag. And many years later still this way of experiencing the novel would prompt me to encourage my daughter to read Denisovich’s account while she was fasting for Ramadan. Standing on the platform with my snacks, amongst the flow of passengers and porters, I took in the destination signs on the different trains, heading off to distant parts of a sub-continent. Perhaps my diminutive 10-year-old perspective added to the perceived size of the place; I would not be surprised. The porters wore a uniform, after a fashion. For each one of them, the acquisition of a customer provided a sense of purpose and superiority of status which would be underlined by rearranging their head-covering to better protect themselves from the luggage that would soon be loaded on top. On this trip, I was just a spectator to the rituals of engaging porters. When old enough to be a participant, I’d find it a difficult balance between exploiting and being exploited. At last, it was time to get back in the train and cover myself as best I could with an assortment of clothes, waiting for the morning to bring some respite. Some mornings were awesome, the rising rays of sunshine spread across green fields, punctuated by trees and seemingly in rhythm with the regular beat of the wheels on the track. At some point, I’d have to go to the toilet, which was a balancing act of the toothbrush, toothpaste and some attempt at washing and keeping my distance from the ubiquitous hole in the floor. At first, I had distanced myself from the perceived filth of the train and had tried to keep myself to as small an area as possible. But as the hours passed my comfort zone expanded until I was even comfortable lying full stretch on the wooden slats of the third-class benches. As the miles passed the squalor, even that of the toilet, was no longer alien but something to which I had become habituated. Though I still haven’t managed to achieve the level of equanimity displayed by a fellow airline passenger who went into the toilet barefoot. As someone else commented on this practice, the liquid on the floor isn’t water. Safety was and still is a distant concept when it comes to Indian railways, best observed by the person at risk. In both my childhood travel and in recent times safety seems to lie, for example, in keeping your distance from the open door of the railway carriage. As a 30-year-old on a train from Chennai to Hyderabad and no parent to hold me back, I was able to lean out to take videos and photos to rekindle childhood memories of fleeting Indian railway stations. The observation stimulated the same sense of passing through and catching the moment in local lives. What I was not able to recapture in a photo was the rising dawn that I had observed in my childhood journey. On that childhood trip, I had brought a couple of books with me, which I still remember. There was ‘Tarka the Otter’ and Joy Adamson’s ‘Home Free’. I can’t remember which one was more boring, but Tarka does stand out as being particularly good for being interrupted by the least remarkable scenery outside. The same can’t be said for the novel I discovered at our destination in Lucknow. Our host had a copy of ‘War of the Worlds’ the title itself was captivating and the story engrossing. I remember sitting in various locations of the house working my way through the invasion. A few years before this train trip, aged six, I had seen a book titled ‘War and Peace’ sitting on another relative’s bookshelf in London and that also seemed to suggest excitement within. I wasn’t there long enough to pick it up, but a few years after the Indian trip, when I was about 14 I made a point about buying the novel but the enthusiasm stimulated by the title was very, very quickly dimmed by the story within. I decided to grind down the story by reading a page a day. It took a couple of years, but I managed to finish it. ‘War of the Worlds’ was the starting point, since then I’ve come to associate books with the places where I read them: Sterling Seagrave’s, ‘Dragon Lady’ accompanied me on a trip to Singapore and provided the incentive to visit China. Aged 17, I was transiting between two Paris metro stations, on a trip to Aix-en-Provence when a kindly gentleman took pity on me and helped me with my overweight suitcase containing Lipsey’s tome ‘Positive Economics’. Amongst other books, this would be entirely superfluous to my needs at the French language summer course I was about to attend. Even in adulthood, I have never quite managed to balance taking on travels work-related things that I would use as opposed to those I might regret not having brought with me. Laptops and cloud storage have meant that that personal deficiency no longer has to be addressed. This had been a unique trip in some different ways. My mother was a widow, and we did not have a great deal of money. I hadn’t been abroad between the ages of 5 and 10. But travelling third class on Indian railways and staying with relatives wherever we went meant that this trip was fairly affordable. So, it was not unreasonable that my mother was not too impressed with what took place when we arrived at the border crossing between India and Pakistan sometime earlier. When we got off the train for the immigration check, there was a French lady in front of us, and she and my mother started speaking. Quite proudly my mother presented me as someone who could speak French. The unexpectedness and ambition of the challenge meant that I was completely dumbstruck. For a good few hours to follow, I’d hear my mother’s lament about how much she had paid for a French Linguaphone course for me, which was well beyond our means. I had assured her that this would be a great aid to my linguistic efforts, the advertisement promised as much, and I had waited with great anticipation for its arrival. Finally, one day there was a brown rectangular package waiting for me outside our house. But for a 10-year-old to master the use of the different texts and develop some semblance of a study plan was quite an ambition and one for which my abilities and self-discipline fell seriously short. There must have been a subconscious notion that the pursuit of academic endeavours would give access to budgets otherwise unavailable. A few years later I’d decide that photography O’level would offer a greater chance of scholastic success. Once more I was lured in by a mixture of an economy with the truth by the people promoting the offering and my imaginative willingness to fill in the blanks. First, there was a need to buy an SLR camera, and as time passed it became obvious that the necessary skills to process photos could not be acquired in the few minutes, I’d have to be in front of the enlarger at school every week. An investment in a darkroom became a necessity. This time self-discipline wasn’t needed to drive study. I had discovered a subject for which I had a passion. I’d end up spending many happy hours in the darkroom, well past midnight channelling Diane Arbus and Cartier Bresson. By the time a school trip to the Soviet Union took place, I was reasonably competent and still have some of the photos of that visit. Looking back, both the camera and the Soviet trip itself seemed like a judicious investment in an unrepeatable experience, a few years later the USSR would cease to exist. This lesson in political upheaval was to prove particularly useful before a trip with my wife and kids to Syria. My brother had borrowed my video camera and forgotten to return it, and the realisation only came in the departure lounge at Heathrow. Buying a video camera specifically for one trip seemed like an extravagance, but soon afterward the civil war broke out. I have clips of my daughter walking amongst a temple to the Phoenician God Melquart, I wonder whether ISIS have left it standing? For the India trip, in contrast, there was no camera at all. As I had left London, I had been given a compact camera, which refused to show any sign of working for the duration of the trip and which it had not been possible to repair either. So, I have no tangible images of the entire trip. Whether that has forced me to try harder to remember over the years or whether I have become better at embellishing the details, I don’t know. I do know that on one review I have left on Tripadvisor, I have commented that the prohibition on taking cameras into a particular museum means that visitors are more likely to pay attention to the exhibits in their own right rather than as fodder for an Instagram feed. From Lucknow, we went to my mother’s ancestral home in Fatehpur. We drove through the potholed roads of Uttar Pradesh, slowed even further by overladen agricultural traffic. We arrived in the evening, and all I could sense was that we entered a courtyard and then another. This was quite different to any home I had visited previously. Morning brought a much better sense of the place. The hallmark of the building was its twin towers, installed a couple of hundred years previously, with permission from the rulers of Awadh, since they were considered a mark of royalty and my maternal ancestor’s position as a tutor to the princely household earned him the favour to use them. These rose above the building and the surrounding town. Beneath them was the building’s mosque entered through several large wooden doors, several steps then led to a large courtyard at the other end of which was a narrow staircase leading to some apartments on the first floor. The men of the family had offices cum bedrooms on the ground floor of the courtyard, and their families slept in apartments on the first floor. Any tangible evidence of conjugal relations, such as a couples’ double bed was considered impolite. There were also apartments on the ground floor. To the right of the towers was the entrance to the building and beyond that the disused stables, a further courtyard and then the exit to the main street of the town. In Fatehpur, there were no books, or indeed television, but there was exploring the building, listening to stories, fishing and staring at a night sky whose lights I had never previously seen in such profusion. Frustratingly, the shot guns could only be seen and not touched, in fact, I wasn’t allowed to use the air gun. Even the fishing wasn’t with actual rods, but the sensation of the lightness of a short stick with a bait at the end being replaced with the sensation of something tugging at the end of a line remains vivid. Exploring the old building would be an experience for someone who had lived in a terraced house all his life. Playing cricket in its central square meant that we had room for both wickets and the ability to run between them, while back in London the garden lawn barely stretched a couple of metres and in our London suburb kids just didn’t play on the street. And then there was the dungeon. Like quite a bit of what we were to experience the name or prior description didn’t quite live up to schoolboy expectations. The Urdu word they all used was ‘mahal’ as in Taj Mahal, but you could hardly describe it as a palace. The dungeon itself was no more threatening than a basement room. The family mahal stood in contrast to the Taj that we had visited on a side-trip while staying in Delhi with an uncle. The sense of serenity reflected off the colour and curves remains in my mind. The sound track no longer remains, perhaps the size of the place drowned out the chattering throngs. The image is now distilled from the range of different perspectives: the head-on view as captured by those photographers who pictured Princess Diana in the foreground, to my standing under the columns staring up and being up close to the marble. While the Taj was glorious enough to represent the nation and thus rose above its religious and ethnic antecedents, this was not the case with the family mahal. The condition of this modest building perfectly reflected the state of the community it housed: elegant decrepitude with only a memory of former glories. While the building’s statelier past was visible from the remnants of the structure, so the stories passed by each generation reminded subsequent ones of the lifestyle they had been denied because of opportunities missed and talents wasted. Such was the problem they were facing that even acts of renovation seemed like destruction, where older styles of building work and decoration were replaced with more functional and cheaper modern ones. My youthful displeasure at the erasure of history would later be tempered by a more mature realisation of the practicalities of habitat when I had the chimney breasts and fireplaces of my Victorian house removed to create more space. Occasionally the person who had hosted us in Lucknow would visit. He was a local politician and would arrive in a stately Ambassador car or even more excitingly a ‘jeep’. Not an eponymous one of course, but I still remember the fact that it had gun racks. Both that vehicle and the Ambassador were made in India. This was India before trade liberalisation. Not as familiar a place as the Pakistan we had travelled through to get here. Pakistan had the welcome familiarity of brands that I had grown up with; the ketchup was Heinz and the coke a recognisably friendly white swoosh on a red background. Billboard and television advertising was reassuring. Here unfamiliar names came across as peculiar. Why would a cola be called ‘Thums Up?’. Such has been the irony of globalisation that a few weeks ago eating at Dishoom restaurant in London’s East End I saw the Thums Up logo once more. A symbol of rejecting western capitalism had itself become a brand, with a consumerist meaning, evoking a carbonated essence of India. Like all children of Asian immigrants on visits to their parents’ country of origin, I was also overwhelmed with the extensivity and density of familial connections. There were first cousins, second cousins, and quite a lot more complicated combinations, for which there are no words in English. Added to this, a matriarchal aunt could also be a cousin. My wife came up with a novel way of explaining one such relationship to me. “If that aunt were Mary Queen of Scots, your mum would be Elizabeth I”. Indeed, an artefact of such complex and inter-related ties was the obvious existence of rivalries, jealousies, and squabbles spanning generations. In England, my younger brother and I had been protected from this aspect of extended family life. The protection came at a price: we didn’t know how to deal with it at all. At the age of 10 this did not matter, but on future visits, it would become more significant and certainly by the time my brother and I reached marriageable age. For the time being, it was just nice that as I wandered from apartment to apartment in the mahal, everyone I met was a relative and I was too young to understand any political dimension of that relationship. It would also be in subsequent visits to the mahal, when I was older, that I’d appreciate the tensions with the communities who lived outside the mahal. On my daily walks, I’d see hand powered sewing machines and food being prepared more laboriously than anything I had seen at home. The dirt floor did not afford the comfort of sitting cross legged and sitting on my haunches was not something my leg muscles were prepared for. Unlike the urban homes, I had come across in the sub-continent, the toilet here was a platform raised above the multi-coloured offerings beneath. So large was the place that any smells remained distant from any other rooms. The cold had not left us in Fatehpur. At night, they would light braziers which were wonderful for bringing around family members, sitting together on the Indian style wooden beds, sharing each other’s warmth, stories and gossip.
  27. 1 point
    Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IqraOnlineBlog Follow on Instagram: https://instagram.com/aaleimran/ The 11th Imam (a) was able to remain in contact with the general Shī’ī community over a large geographical area through the Wakālah system. The Wakālah system comprised of a large number of agents and representatives who would serve as the point of contact between the Imam and their respective communities. The foundations of this specific system can be traced back to the time of Imam Ṣādiq (a) and its exponential growth can evidently be seen from the time of Imam Kāẓim (a) onwards. After Imam Naqī (a), control of this complex network was transferred over to Imam ‘Askarī (a). There were a number of reasons why this network was developed. Firstly, to tackle the physical distance between the Imams (a) and their followers. Secondly, in cases where the Imams were imprisoned or under house arrest and were permitted to have very little contact with outsiders, it was more convenient to remain in contact with specifically chosen individuals rather than a large number of people – often for the safety of both the followers and the Imams. For example, since 11th Imam was under surveillance by the government, he would have to visit the officials once or twice a week to announce his presence and report on his activities, but some of his followers would try to use this opportunity to stand on both sides of pathway so they could meet him (a). Imam ‘Askarī (a) instead asks these followers to not talk to him or even point towards him as it would cause problems. It has been reported from ‘Alī bin Ja’far al-Ḥalabī who said: We gathered at the military compound to observe Abī Muḥammad (a) on the day of his visit. However, his (a) letter reached (us) with the warning: No one should say their greetings to me, no one should point towards me with their hand, and no one should signal (towards me), because your lives are not safe. Another reason a number of scholars have mentioned is that the Wakālah system foreshadowed what the Shī’ī community would have to deal with in the near future and allowed them to prepare for a smoother transition into the period of occultation of the 12th Imam. In other words, by the time of the occultation, much of the Shī’ī community was very much used to not having direct contact with an Imam, or rather, having contact with them through chosen representatives. Some of the tasks these agents would perform were the collection and delivery of letters, gifts, khums, zakāt, different types of endowments, and at times even addressing communal issues in their cities. By mid-third century hijrī, the network extended over four large areas: The Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, Iran and Transoxiana – though some reports indicate there were a couple of agents even in some cities in Africa. Much of the communication between the Imam (a) and the communities was occurring through letters. One of the famous agents, Aḥmad b. Isḥāq had to ask Imam ‘Askarī (a) for a sample of his (a) handwriting so that he would be able to recognize it from any possible attempts of forgery by government officials. Aḥmad says: “Once I went to see Abū Muḥammad (a) and asked him (a) to write for me few lines so that whenever I see his (a) handwriting I can recognize it. The Imam (a) said, ‘Yes,’ and then said, ‘O Aḥmad the writing with a fine pen and with thick pen will look different to you. Do not have doubts.” He (a) then asked for a pen and inkpot and began writing. One of these agents was ‘Uthmān b. Sa’īd al-‘Amrī who grew up in the house of Imam Jawād (a) from the age of 11, then became a wakīl for Imam Naqī (a) and ‘Askarī (a). His significance was such that he also became the first nā’ib of the 12th Imam (a). ‘Uthmān b. Sa’īd eventually began residing in Baghdad, disguising himself as an oil seller. If the Shī’a had to deliver that which was obligatory upon them to Imam ‘Askarī (a), they would send it to ‘Uthmān who would put their money or any other items in containers of clarified butter due to dissimulation and fear and carry it to Imam ‘Askarī (a) in Sāmarra. Another important agent was Aḥmad b. Isḥāq b. Sa’d al-Ash’arī, mentioned earlier. He was a wakīl of Imam Naqī (a) and ‘Askarī (a) in Qom and during the occultation he moved from Qom to Baghdad and became a close assistant of the aforementioned ‘Uthmān b. Sa’īd. Aḥmad’s significance was such that he was also the senior-most scholar in Qom during his time, whose narrations can be found in Shī’ī works of ḥadīth. He trained numerous students and had written a number of works. After Imam ‘Askarī (a), Aḥmad was one of the individuals who demonstrated that the brother of the 11th Imam, Ja’far – who at the time was claiming to be the Imam himself – could not have been the Imam and God’s authority on Earth. There is no denying that there was definitely a degree of confusion in the Shī’ī communities after the 11th Imam, but nevertheless, a lot of this confusion was contained and dealt with by these very agents and representatives who had garnered the trust of their communities over the decades. This is true not just in the case of the 12th Imam but as well as when confusion arose amongst some communities after the demise of any one of the previous Imams (a). In a meeting Imam ‘Askarī (a) has with Aḥmad b. Isḥāq after the Imamate had transferred to him from the 10th Imam, he (a) asks him about the people of Qom and whether their confusion regarding who the next Imam was had been dispelled. Aḥmad (a) who was also a wakīl for the 10th Imam in the city of Qom before that, responds to the 11th Imam saying, “O my master, when your letter was received, there was not a man or a woman from amongst us, and neither a young child who had reached a level of understanding, except that they confessed to the truth (of the fact that you are indeed the Imam).” Likewise, when the 12th Imam is born, Imam ‘Askarī (a) sends Aḥmad b. Isḥāq a letter in Qom informing him of the birth of his son. Aḥmad says that a letter was sent in the same handwriting of Imam ‘Askarī (a) in which all of his previous correspondences and letters would be sent, and it said we have been blessed with a child who will remain hidden from people and that the Imam (a) is only informing the closest of his followers. Later when Aḥmad visits the 11th Imam (a), the Imam tells him that if Aḥmad was not seen as a noble individual in front of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and the Imams, he (a) would not have informed him about the birth of his son – who will fill the Earth with justice and equity. The birth of the Mahdī (a) was kept closely guarded and hence many Muslims at the time never came to believe Imam ‘Askari (a) had a son. Few trustworthy individuals – especially from amongst the network of agents – who over the decades had not only gained the trust of the 11th Imam but as well as the trust of their own communities, had been told about the birth and some fortunate enough even had the opportunity to see the 12th Imam. While naturally there was confusion and perplexity in certain segments of the Shī’ī community, this confusion was addressed and dealt with by these agents and as well as Shī’ī scholars over the years. In essence, the Wakālah system and the individual agents themselves paved the path for a smoother transition into the occultation.
  28. 1 point
    Excerpt from: https://www.iqraonline.net/surat-al-inshirah-an-introductory-exegesis-of-the-meanings-and-messages-contained-within There is a question raised in the Quranic sciences, and the answer to it is a starting point that will distinguish the exegetical methodology that a scholar chooses. This question is whether the Qur'an is only a book of information or also a book of moral training and guidance? To clarify the first part of the question, let’s give an example. Suppose you visited a jurist to ask them for a ruling on a jurisprudential matter that concerns you. A jurist, in so far as he is a jurist, doesn’t have a responsibility beyond answering you with a yes or no based on his expert opinion on the matter. The jurist will not usually involve himself in the development of the person and his moral training in order that the person stays away from what is impermissible. Similarly, a mathematician who presents mathematical theories will explain his ideas so that others understand it but is not concerned with anything more than that. As for the second part of the question, let’s also give an example. Suppose you visited a psychiatrist and complained to them of a problem you are suffering from. The psychiatrist will not just suffice themselves with writing a prescription to help cure you. Rather, they will sit you down and have a discussion with you that seeks not to give you information per se, but in order that the very discussion itself acts as a positive help for your situation and improves your psychological state. After these two examples, let us present the question once again: Does the Qur'an play the same role as a jurist, philosopher, physicist or chemist in presenting ideas purely without thinking about a mechanism of ingraining them ideologically within the person’s mind thereby acting as a channel for knowledge that doesn’t have a responsibility beyond delivering information to the other person? Or is the Qur'an – in addition to being a channel for knowledge – a book of moral and spiritual training that seeks to convince its listeners of the ideas it presents, and furthermore seeks through various means to develop a person and deepen their ideas, removing unclarity from them, and thus through itself acting as a cause for human reform and to emphasize ideas that they may have previously known? Undoubtedly, the second option is the correct one. If the Qur'an was merely a book of information, what was the need to bring it down in such disparate stages? It would have been possible for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) to give it all at once to His Prophet (p) and the Prophet can subsequently explain this divine information, whilst comparing all its verses, without the need to bring it down in divided stages. The Qur'an, however, plays an important role in building and reforming the Islamic society. One is mistaken if he expects answers akin to the jurists and scientists or considers it similar to a book that presents scientific theories in a dry mechanical style. The Qur'an, in addition to being a book with information, is a book of moral guidance and spiritual refinement, through its style, mode of presentation and its artistic way. The Qur'an aims through its eloquence, the arrangement of its words, its musical effect and its psychological impact to affect its listeners and to enter deeply inside their hearts, not merely to present them with some information. It is thus akin to an ethical scholar who seeks not to merely place information in the mind of his students, but rather act as a moral guide and exemplar for the information he has given them. If we restricted the role of an ethical scholar to just giving ethical information, the value of such scholars would be diminished. Based on this premise, we can address another question: Why does the Qurān repeat itself? [94:5-6] For indeed, after hardship will be ease. Indeed, after hardship will be ease. In Sūrah al-Inshirāḥ, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) twice repeats the point: there will be ease after hardship. There are many other places where the Quranic verses are repeated, either congruently in their words, or with very minor differences conveying the exact meaning. What is the reason behind the Qur'an containing multiple verses saying the same thing? Exegetes have been divided in their understanding of the secret behind this repetition: a) A group of exegetes held the view that there is no repetition of meaning between any two verses, even though the same terms are used. For example, some advocates of this view argue that the basmalah at the start of Sūrah al-Baqara will indicate a different meaning to the basmalah at the start of any other surah. This is because each basmalah is part of a distinct composition that is exclusive to each chapter. This view is based on the premise that repetition is useless and futile. They went as far as to say that such futility is impossible for a wise being such as God. If the meaning was completed in the first text, what need would the second text be trying to fulfil? This is what caused some contemporary exegetes to refuse the idea of repetition for the purposes of emphasis like in these verses and other verses in the Qur'an. As such, “indeed, with hardship comes ease” in the sixth verse must give a different meaning to the fifth verse “for indeed, with hardship comes ease”. This way, the Qur'an is placed – according to them – in its lofty position and we do not attribute pointless repetition to God. b) In contrast to the first view, the second group of exegetes considered it unnecessary to go to these difficult lengths. Rather, repetition for emphasis amongst Arabs is something acceptable. As such, in the case of Sūrah al-Inshirāḥ for example, the second verse wished to emphasize the principle that ease accompanies hardship. A person who faces a hardship must not be overwhelmed by despondency and anxiety, because the Lord will place ease to accompany this hardship. This group of exegetes reject there being any issue with the Qur'an repeating itself, whether its stories or other concepts if this repetition represents a way to emphasize the moral training present in the Qur'an and if it increases the importance of these concepts in the mind and soul of the listener. This is akin to you repeating a concept dozens of times in front of your children. Your purpose is not merely that they know the concept; this is achieved with you mentioning it once, but that the concept is emphasized in their minds and so that they consider it a priority. This way, they can act accordingly. This is one of the main differences between books of information and books of moral training, especially those which use various rhetorical means and tools of influence like the Qur'an. Perhaps for this and other reasons, many narrations state that when a believer reads the Qur'an, he makes himself sad through it and he lives a state of fear, hope and is impacted spiritually and emotionally. This is because the Qur'an is not merely a book of information that has no ability to ability to impact through its content and style. It’s a book of knowledge that uses all the means of influence that purposeful and upright media would use.
  29. 1 point
    Please let me help you Let me help you get this through We share the same blood And I want you to be loved Look I know that you're depressed And I know that you're in distress But I wish you could open up Instead of always shutting up You choose to conceal yourself And I still don't know why sometimes I hate myself For even having to try To make you fess up I know you don't want my help Maybe I do suck at giving advice But why should I leave you to silently yelp When I'm here for you, but you're just like ice I am always contemplating And always wondering Whether I've done more than enough I want to be there for you But you keep pushing me away So I chose to do the same Please let me help you Let me help you get this through We share the same blood And I want you to be loved.
  30. 1 point
    Haji 2003

    Hanification

    The signs on the Paris metro are now also in Chinese, as are some train announcements. Since the French have a mixed reputation for speaking English I guess it means they have to try a bit harder when it comes to wooing the Chinese. And there are plenty of them. But this is the honeymoon period. This is when the Chinese are awe-struck by French style and glamour. It's hard to imagine that Imperial Russia was similarly besotted by France At the moment France exports its culture (which it has always been happy to do) and in returned is handsomely financially rewarded. It's a great deal. But the French experience in Africa shows that what may be a good deal in the short-term may have longer term consequences. In the African context it has been immigration into France, that's not very welcome. After all if you tout yourself as the font of civilisation it's not a surprise when the people you tried so hard to convince, agree and then decide to pay a visit. Or in the case of the ancient Romans it was the looting of Greek treasures that they admired (and the Greeks had not even promoted their culture to the Romans) And the British did it to both Roman and Greek treasures. In the Chinese context it may not necessarily be immigration into France and it won't be the looting of treasures, but perhaps at some point a Chinese billionaire may decide to buy French brands and admiring young Chinese may decide to work in these organisations and bring their own Han Chinese cultural interpretations to the story. I'm not sure the French will be too happy. Like many other cultures theirs is one embedded in ethnicity. The template is already there. Singapore has its own homegrown luxury brands, that seem English, but they're not. Singapore is small, but there are hundreds of millions of Han Chinese.
  31. 1 point
    shuaybi

    History of the Turban

    Origin of the Turban The first person who wore a turban was Prophet Adam (عليه السلام) after he was expelled from Paradise [1]. A tradition states that the angel Gabriel descended from heaven and dressed him in an amaama (turban). This became a substitute for the crown that he had reportedly worn in Paradise [2]. In the hadith literature, the turban is also projected as a headgear of the angels. Imam Ali b. Abi Talib (عليه السلام) narrates that the Holy Prophet (s) once bound a turban on his head, allowing the ends to hang down in front and behind and said, "The crowns of the angels are thus. [3]" When the Prophet ascended to heaven he saw that the majority of the angels were wearing turbans [4]. The angels sent to assist the Muslims at the Battle of Badr are also recorded to have worn turbans, some yellow and others white [5]. Sheikh Kulayni, in Al Kafi, narrates several traditions which state that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) had sent four angels to destroy the community of Prophet Lut (عليه السلام). When they passed by Prophet Abraham (عليه السلام) he did not recognize them as they wore turbans. It was only when Gabriel removed his turban that Prophet Abraham (عليه السلام) recognized him [6]. Sheikh Kulayni cites another hadith stating that besides the angels, jinns also wore turbans [7]. Other reports indicate that even Satan wore a turban when he came down from heaven [13]. Reports such as these depict the turban as an angelic dress and enhance its importance. Merits of wearing a Turban There are many traditions reported from the Holy Prophet (s) regarding the merits of wearing a turban. He (s) is reported to have said that the "turban is the crown of Arabs [14]. Imam Musa al-Kazim (عليه السلام), reportedly stated that the Holy Prophet (s) called the turban "the authority of Allah" [15]. Other traditions state that it is Allah's dominion (sultan) [16]. Due to the proliferation of hadith about the turbans, the Holy Prophet (s) was known as "sahib ul-amaama" (the wearer of the turban). Both Shia and Sunni texts cite various hadith regarding the significance of wearing a turban at all times. According to a hadith, wearing a turban brings a person closer to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) since it is a sign of angels [20]. The only time it is forbidden is when a person is in a state of ihram during the pilgrimage. Even in that state, Ima Ja'far al-Sadiq (عليه السلام) states that the pilgrim can tie the amaama around his stomach [21]. Traditions such as these underscore the importance of the turban; they also amplify the status of those who wear it and differentiate them from non-believers. Besides the traditions enunciating the merits of wearing a turban, the headgear symbolized, among other things, authority, power, dignity, and respect. When the Arabs wanted to treat someone with respect they adorned him with a turban; preferably with their own turban. In contrast, the removal of a man's turban in public by an authoritative figure was a form of public humiliation and punishment. The turban was so important that people sometimes swore oaths on their turbans [26]. Burial with a Turban The practice of being buried with a turban can be traced to the times of the Imams (عليه السلام) even though the traditions clearly enunciate that the amaama is not a part of the shroud (kafan) hence it is not obligatory to bury a person with it [94]. Before his death, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (عليه السلام) made his last testimony to his son Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (عليه السلام). He (عليه السلام) asked him to shroud him in the cloak in which he used to perform the Friday prayer, to put on him his turban, make his grave square, and raise it to the height of four fingers above the ground [95]. In another tradition, Imam Baqir (عليه السلام) commands Imam al-Sadiq (عليه السلام) to bury him with his own turban which he used during his life [96]. The eleventh Imam, al-Hasan al-Askari (عليه السلام) buried his father in the following manner: "I shrouded my father with two pieces of winter clothes that he had used as the clothes for Ihram […]. Also one of his shirts and the amaama that belonged to 'Ali b. al-Husayn and a gown that he had bought for forty dinars were used" [97]. However, a turban can only be buried with the corpse if a person had willed it before his death. Color of the Turban The Holy Prophet (s) and his companions wore different colors of turbans ranging from white, blue, black to even red [54]. He would sometimes wear a white-colored turban for which he was referred to as Sahab (cloud) [55]. The Holy Prophet (s) wore a yellow turban on the day of Badr [56]. A tradition states that he would sometimes dye his clothes, including the turban, in yellow [57]. The Imams also wore different colored turbans. For example, Imam Zayn al-'Abidin often wore a white turban. Other reports indicate that he would also wear a black turban [58]. When Asbagh b. Nubata went to see Imam Ali (عليه السلام) on his death bed, Imam Ali (عليه السلام) was wearing a yellow turban [59]. Al-Mufid notes that on the day of his coronation to succeed al-Ma'mun (d. 833), the eighth Imam al-Reza (عليه السلام) wore a white turban [60]. During his time, the 'Alids would wear green as that was their preferred color [61]. Al-Ma'mun changed the official color of the 'Abbasids to green after he appointed Imal al-Reza (عليه السلام) as his heir. After the death of Imam al-Reza (عليه السلام), al-Ma'mun changed it back to black [62]. Although the color of the turban is not stated, al-Majlisi states that when Imam Mahdi (ajtf), reappears he will wear the turban of the Prophet [63]. Significantly, although the traditions mention the different colored turbans the Imams used to wear, they do not state what color of turbans their followers should wear. Neither do they tell us what color they should not wear. Stated differently, the color of the turban is left to the followers of the Imams to decide. When did the Shia 'Alids start wearing black turbans to the exclusion of other colors? Given that black was the official color of the Abbasids, where and when did the Shia practice of wearing black turbans by the descendants of the Prophet start from? Without quoting his source, Ibn Anbah claims that Syed Razi (d. 1016) was the first 'Alid to wear black. It was only after him, it is said, that black turbans became a prominent feature among sayyeds (those that claim to be the desendents of the Holy Prophet) and those from the tribe of Bani Hashim [64]. "White is the best color to wear; the next best color is yellow and then comes green. After that are pale red, purple, and brown. Dark red is considered an abominable (makruh) due, especially during prayer. One must avoid wearing it [dark red], and wearing black is loathsome for everything except for the turban, aba (inner robe), and high boots. However, if the turban and aba are not black, it is better [65]. Significantly, in the chapter dedicated to the wearing of turbans, one would have expected Majlisi to discuss the various colors of the turban that should be worn. The fact that he does not mention anything suggests that in his period, the color of the turban was not significant. Safavids and the rise of the Black Turban The significance attached to the black turban probably increased during the Safavid period when turbans became important to identify a person's socio-political affiliations. Given the Holy Prophet's (s) penchant to the color black, descendants of the Prophet gradually came to favor wearing black turbans. It is within this context that we can discern why the sayyeds became especially fond of black. When the Safavids came to power in Iran in 1501 they adopted Shiasm as the state religion. They resorted to different ways to promote their new faith. They popularized Shiasm by encouraging the public cursing of the first three caliphs, enacting public mourning ceremonies to mark the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (عليه السلام) and by pronouncing the name of 'Ali in the adhan (call to prayer) [70]. The political ideology of the Safavids was demonstrated in the headgear of its rulers. They used the turban to enunciate their dissociation from the Sunni Ottomans and to proclaim their religious affiliation. Apart from political affiliation, the color of the turban was used to demarcate different religious groups and social rankings. In Safavid culture, white was the dominant color of the turbans. It is within this context that we may be able to surmise the exclusive use of black turbans by sayyeds [75]. As mentioned earlier, since the time of the Holy Prophet (s), black symbolized power and authority. Amidst the plethora of different colored and types of turbans, in order to enhance their unique status and authority in society, the sayyeds adopted the black turban as their official emblem. Although it is not possible to know exactly when the black turban became an exclusively sayyed insignia, the importance given to sayyeds, especially in the Safavid era, suggests that it probably started in this period. To understand why the sayyeds chose a specific color that differentiated them from the masses, it is important to comprehend the importance given to the descendants of the Prophet in Muslim societies. Sayyeds and religious authority in Shia Islam The social and financial advantages that accrue from being recognized a sayyed can be corroborated from the fact that throughout history there have been many false claimants to Prophetic descent. In fact people devised ingenious ways to fabricate their genealogy. People falsely claimed descent from extinct Prophetic lines in places such as Egypt, Rayy, Hamadan, Khurasan and Kufa [87]. The fact that special punishments had to be invented to expose false claimants (including having their heads shaven and/or being exiled) further demonstrates the extent of fabricated genealogies [88]. Due to the forgeries, an official system of monitoring of genealogies had to be established in many cities [89]. Various groups, agnate descendants claimed to be sayyeds. The descendants of Imam Ali's (عليه السلام) father Abu Talib through his other sons Ja'far and Aqil claimed to be sayyeds through Hashimi descent. Some have claimed that even Zaynabis, the descendants of Zaynab (sa), daughter of Imam Ali (عليه السلام) and Bibi Fatima (sa), should also be considered as sayyeds [90]. In the Shia religion khums is payable on savings, not just on war booty. This means that the share payable to sayyeds was enormous, fifty percent of the khums payable, a sum that not only encouraged people to proclaim their lineage but also enticed some to fabricate their genealogy. Sayyeds are also believed to have inherited the baraka (blessings) of the Prophet. These sacred personages may transmit baraka to the masses, either during their lifetime or after their deaths. Due to the principle of Prophetic lineage, it is also believed that children of holy men become contemporary recipients of the baraka that is transmitted by the saint. The emphasis on honoring the descendants of the Prophet precipitated the cult of the shrines of sayyeds, or imamzadeh as they came to be called. Especially in Safavid Iran, the tombs of many sayyeds became a focus of pilgrimage, a phenomenon widely prevalent in many parts of the Shia world today. It should be remembered that when they came to power, the Safavids claimed Prophetic genealogy. They reportedly forged descent from Imam Musa al-Kazim [91]. This empowered the kings to invoke their noble ancestors in the legitimization of their rule. As Arjomand says, "The rulers possessed great charisma of lineage as descendants of the Imams, and even claimed an attribute of the Imams: infallibility or sinlessness [92]. The devotional attachment to the Imams and their descendants helped the Safavids enhance their own stature as the progeny of these noble figures. The claim to 'Alid descent also helped them win wider acceptance among the masses. Since the Safavids claimed prophetic descent, the sayyeds enjoyed great respect and prestige under their rule. In all probability, the social prestige combined with the financial benefits that accrued to sayyeds led to their public proclamation as the descendants of the Prophet. As previously mentioned, white was the dominant color of the majority of turbans in that period. The sayyeds had to differentiate themselves from the laity by deploying a color that was not in common usage, and, as descendants of the Prophet, a color that could be closely linked to him. In the Islamic world, sayyeds generally wore green turbans. For example, when Mustafa Celebi wore a green turban in Turkey in 1632, people raised questions whether he was a real sayyed. He claimed sayyed descent from his mother's side. The right to wear a green turban was accorded only to those whose father was a sayyed [93]. The Safavids sought a distinctive stratification of the Shia community into believers and sayyeds. It was through Prophetic descent that they sought to legitimize their privileges and superior status. The best way that a person could publicly proclaim himself to be a sayyed and differentiate himself from a non-sayyed was either by adopting the title sayyed or by donning a black turban. Undoubtedly, the turban was the more powerful tool since it conveyed one's nobility without having to verbalize it. It should be remembered that during the Safavid period, the wearing of turbans was not restricted to scholars. On the contrary, the masses wore turbans since these were popular costumes. Thus, the black turban became an important tool of identifying and signifying a sayyed, bestowing him, thereby, the respect, honor, and financial rewards that was due to him. Although a national costume, the westernization policies of Reza Shah in the 1930s forced most Iranians to abandon their traditional headgear in favor of western clothing. Only scholars were exempt from this proscription. With time, the turban became what it is today: a headgear worn primarily by scholars to distinguish them from the rest of society. Within the scholarly elite, color was used to mark Prophetic genealogy. The turban was used not only to differentiate between Muslims and non-Muslims but also between Muslims themselves. The reason for this genealogical distinction was both social status and financial benefits. It is not possible to know exactly when the sayyeds chose to wear black turbans. Majlisi, who died in 1699, does not cite any special merit for wearing a black turban; in fact, he discourages it. It is possible that sayyeds started wearing black turbans after his time or during the Qajar period. Why did the sayyeds choose to wear black turbans? It has to be remembered that when the Safavids came to power, they encouraged the public expression and enactment of various forms mourning rituals for the family of the Prophet in general and for Husayn in particular. These rituals ranged from passion plays to flagellations and self-immolation. It is possible that the sayyeds decided around this time to wear black as it was the color of mourning. They wished to proclaim that they were the descendants of the family that was being publicly mourned and venerated. Another possible reason why the sayyeds switched to black turbans was because, as previously discussed, the Holy Prophet (s) himself had worn a black turban on various important occasions. Gabriel had donned him with a black turban; the Holy Prophet (s) also wore black when he was delivering sermons and when he conquered Mecca. He had put a black turban on'Ali before sending him to fight. Another possible reason for switching from green to black was because of sectarianism. With the increased sectarian tensions with the Ottoman Sunnis and the public cursing of the first three caliphs under the Safavids, it is possible that the Shia sayyeds wanted to differentiate themselves from Sunni sayyeds who wore green turbans. The form (style) of a Turban and how to wear it The turban, its color, form and size impacted one's social and financial standing. The method of wearing the turban is also important. The Holy Prophet (s) is reported to have left the "tail" ('adhaba) of his turban hanging between his shoulder blades. This practice was imitated by the companions, and became a part of the Prophetic sunna [98]. According to the Holy Prophet's (s) companion Abd al-Rahman b. Awf (d. 653): "The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) put a turban on me and let the ends hang in front of him and behind me [99]. The letting down of the 'adhaba was included in the Prophetic injunction on wearing the amaama. Besides letting the fringe down, some traditions also required the tying of the turban under the chin. Sunni scholars are divided on this practice. Jurists like Malik b. Anas favored this mode of dressing but the Shafi'is did not consider the fastening of the amaama under the chin as sunna [100]. This practice was also used as a mark of differentiation from non-Muslims who wore turbans. Hence, it was not only wearing the turban that was important, the method of wearing it was also significant. According to some traditions, the Holy Prophet (s) said: "Disagree with the Jews and do not wear turbans that are not fastened under the chin, or with their fringes not let down, as this method of wearing the turban is the fashion of the Jews [101]. Importance of Tahannuk Within the Shia school, both the 'adhaba and the fastening the under the chin (called the tahannuk) were important in identifying true believers. Sheikh Kulayni narrates in Al Kafi, that <strong>al-Tabiqiyah (a layered turban without tahannak is the turban of Iblees</strong> [102]. Al-Saduq cites a tradition from the Holy Prophet (s) stating that the difference between a Muslim and a polytheist is the hanging down (talahi) of the amaama [103]. This was a Prophetic practise that was replicated by the Imams. When the eighth Imam Ali al-Reza went out in public for his coronation, he hung one part of the turban on his breast and the other between his shoulders [104]. <strong>The Imams also urged their followers to observe the custom of fastening the turban under their chin since this was also considered a mark of a true believer.</strong> The Holy Prophet (s) is reported to have stated: "The distinction between the Muslims and the unbelievers is the fastening of the turbans under their chin [105]. The Shia emphasized the tahannuk even more than the Sunnis did. So important was this practice that disregarding it could lead to incurable ailments. A tradition from al-Sadiq states: "He who wore the amaama and did not fasten it under his chin, let him not blame anyone except himself if he is inflicted with a disease for which there is no remedy [106]. In another tradition, the same Imam is reported to have guaranteed one who travels while observing the tahannuk that he will return home safely [107]. At one point in history, within the Shia circles it was considered detestable to wear the amaama without tying it under the chin [108]. When he discusses the question of how to wear a turban, Majlisi states in Chapter 7 entitled dar bayan-e bastan-e ammameh (on how to wrap the amaama): "To wear an ammameh is a tradition and to wrap it under the chin is also a tradition. Wearing the amaama with one end thrown at the back and one end kept loose in the front is also the tradition of the sadat (I.e. sayyeds)...to wrap an ammameh while in a standing position is also a tradition. According to the Holy Prophet (s), ammameh is the crown of the Arabs. When a man stops wearing his turban Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) will stop honoring him. Imam Reza (عليه السلام) said that the Holy Prophet (s) wrapped his turban with the ends, one in the front and one at the back and Jibrail (Gabriel) did the same.109 Most Shia scholars have recommended that the tahannuk be practiced at all times. The medieval jurist Allama Hilli (d. 1325) states: The tahannuk is recommended by the words of Imam al-Sadiq, "Whoever wears the turban and does not put the tahannuk an ailment has struck him for which there is no cure. Thus, he should blame nobody but himself [110]". Hilli further states: it is abominable to pray in black clothes [...] and to abandon the tahannuk [111]". He concludes by stating, "It appears from these narrations that the tahannuk is recommended at all times, whether one is praying or not [112]". Hilli's ruling is shared by scholars like Muhammad Jamal al-din al-Makki al-Amili (also known as Shahid al-Awwal - d. 1385) who states in his Lum'a Dimishqiyya, "It is makruh to abandon the tahannuk at any time [113]". Baha' al‐Din Muhammad b. Husayn al‐'Amili (also known as Shaykh Baha'I - d. 1621) further emphasizes the point stating that "the tahannuk is recommended for anyone who wears the turban -whether he is praying or not. There is nothing in the traditions to suggest that it is recommended only during prayers [114]. Other scholars like Ja'far Kashif al-Ghita (d. 1812) go even further, quoting al-Saduq (d. 991) as saying: "I heard our teachers say that it is not permitted for one who wears a turban to pray unless if he observes the tahannuk [115]. Although Shia traditions greatly emphasize the tahannuk it is not practiced by most contemporary scholars. In explaining this, the commentator of Majlisi's Hilya al-Muttaqin states that in the past, the tahannuk was observed at all times. However, this is no longer a common practice. Tahannuk Ignored by the Usuli Shias Despite the numerous traditions on the merits and virtues of observing the tahannuk and the negative ramifications for ignoring it, most Shia scholars who wear turbans do not observe it. In all probability, this is because, in the past, tahannuk was performed by the Akhbaris, the dominant school in the medieval ages. Most contemporary scholars are Usulis who consider the Akhbaris as literalists and their nemesis. They have thus labeled the tahannuk as a sign of Akhbarism [116]. Whereas medieval scholars emphasized the importance of observing the tahannuk, later scholars like Fayd al-Kashani (d. 1680) claimed that the changing milieu and custom had dictated that the tahannuk be avoided in public. He states that, in his time, the tahannuk had become an abandoned sunna because it had become a mode of dressing that attracts attention (libas shuhra) and could be an object of derision, which is prohibited. Hence, he argues, it is not necessary to observe it [117]. With time, the tahannuk became symbolic of the ideological battle between the two schools within Shiasm. An act that was highly emphasized by the Imams (عليه السلام) was abandoned by the very scholars who claimed to transmit their teachings. This is further proof of how the turban and the method of wearing it has been used as a tool of differentiation not only between Muslims and non-Muslims but also within the Shia community itself. Conclusion Although a pre-Islamic costume, the turban was endorsed by Islam which subsequently became an important component of Islamic clothing. Shia traditions on the turban are replicated in Sunni hadith literature which also sees the turban as the crown of Arabs. Within the Shia tradition, the importance of the turban was further highlighted by reports which recommended that turbans accompany the dead to their graves. Clearly, the attachment to the turban was so deep that it accompanied the wearer to the hereafter. Subsequently, the turban started to perform various functions in society; one of them was to differentiate Muslims from others. The turban (through its color) was also used in the Safavid era as a tool for social stratification. In order to enhance the status of the sayyeds in Safavid Shiasm, black turbans were reserved exclusively for the sayyeds. White turbans were used for non-sayyeds since this was the norm in much of Safavid society. The differentiation between black and white turbans was thus a historical construct, based on social and financial rather than religious considerations. Wearing a black turban for sayyeds became a customary rather than religious requirement. Also published on blog: https://ahlulbaytmission.org/2019/07/28/history-of-the-turban/ References This article is based on the paper: Black or White: Turbanization of Islam By Liyakat Takim [1] M. J. Kister, "The Crowns of This Community...: Some Notes on the Turban in the Muslim Tradition," in Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam, 24 (2000): 230. [2] Hamid Algar, Amama, http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/amama-or-ammamaarabic-emama-the-turban. [3] Mottaqi Hindi, Kanz al-'Ummal, ed. M.'Abd-al-Mu'id Khan (Hyderabad: Deccan, 1973), 10/45. [4] M. J. Kister, "The Crowns of This Community," 243. [5] Algar, "Amama." Traditions on the color of the turbans worn by the angels. [6] Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi fi 'Ilm al-Din (Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyya, Tehran, 1986), 5/546. [7] Kulayni narrates that: "Ahmad b. Idris and Muhammad b. Yahya narrated from alHasan b. 'Ali al-Kufi from ibn al-Faddal from a group of our people from Sa'd al-Askaf who said: "Once I asked permission to meet Abu Ja'far (Muhammad alBaqir). I found saddles of camels lined up in front of the door and I heard very loud noises coming from inside. Then a people came out with turbans like those of Indian gypsies. I asked Abu Ja'far about them and said, "May Allah take my soul be in service for your cause. Today it took a long time to receive permission to meet you. I saw a people coming out with turbans whom I could not recognize." He said, "Do you know, O Sa'd, who they are?" I said, "No, I do not know." The Imam said, "They were your brethren in religion from the Jinns. They come to us for religious instructions, to learn the lawful and unlawful matters and the principles of their religion." Kulayni, Kitab al-Kafi, 1/394-5; Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Saffar, Basa'ir al-Darajat fi Fada'il Al Muhammad (Qom: Maktabat Ayat Allah al-Mar'ashi, 1983), 1/97, hadith # 18; 1/100, hadith #10. [13] M. J. Kister, "The Crowns of This Community," 227. [14] Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani, Fada'il al-Qur'an al-Karim, (Beirut: 1986), 144. [15] Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni al-Razi, Kitab al-Kafi, translated into English by Muhammad Sarwar, vol. 1-8 (n.p., the Islamic Seminary, n.d.), 453; H 827, Ch. 72, h 14. [16] Muhammad al-Baqir Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar: al-Jami'a Lidurari Akhbar alA'imma al-Athar, 110 vols (Beirut: Dar al-Ihya al-Turath al-'Arabi, 1983), 48/310; 50/26. Kulayni, al-Kafi, 2/82. [17] Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, Al-Musnadu Al-Sahihu bi Naklil Adli known as Sahih Muslim, Converted by Bill McLean, http://www.mclean.faithweb.com. last accessed 6 August 2015, 167-168. [18] M. J. Kister, "The Crowns of This Community," 242-3. [19] On wearing a turban especially in salat, see Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, 80/193. In another tradition, al-Sadiq says "one who offers the prayers on the days of the two eids must wear an amaama. See Muhammad b. al-Hasan al [20] Muhammad Fahad Badri, Al-Imama (Baghdad: Government Publication, 1968), 10. [21] al-'Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi'a, 12/533. [22] Kulayni, al-Kafi, 3/145. [23] Al-'Amili, Wasail, 1/455. [24] In Shiasm, the maraji' are the sources of reference for ordinary believers on issues pertaining to Islamic law. [25] Email communication July 2015. [26] Shelagh Weir, Palestinian Costumes (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1989), 6. [27] See al-'Amili, Wasa'il, 5/57; al-Majlisi, Bihar, 80/199. [28] Al-Mufid, al-Amali (Qom: International Congress of Millennium of Shaykh Mufid, 1992), 318. [29] Al-Mufid, Kitab al-Irshad, trans I. Howard (London: Balagha & Muhammadi Trust, 1981), 67. [30] M. J. Kister, "The Crowns of This Community," 233. [31] John Alden Williams, Themes of Islamic Civilization (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971), 159-60. [32] Bernard Lewis, The Jews of Islam (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984), 15. [33] For other restrictions and acts of humiliation inflicted on the dhimmis see, Majid Khadduri, War and Peace in the Law of Islam (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1955), 197-98. [34] Abu Dawud, Sunan, Book 32: hadith 4067; Hafidh al-Tirmidhi, Jami'I, https://islamfuture.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/jami-at-tirmidhi-6-vol-set/, vol. 3, chapter 42, hadith 1784. [35] M. J. Kister, "The Crowns of This Community," 225. [36] Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Ahkam ahl al-Dhimma (Damascus: 1961), 2/742-44. [37] Ibid., 2/739-40. [38] Muslim, Sahih, The Book of Pilgrimage (Kitab Al-Hajj), Book 7, Hadith 3146; 3148; Tirmidhi, Jami', vol.3, chapter 11; hadith 1735. [39] al-'Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi'a, 5/57. [40] Bukhari, Sahih, Penalty of Hunting while on Pilgrimage Book 3: Volume 29 Hadith 72; Book 5; Volume 59, Hadith 582: Book 7; Volume 72, Hadith 699; Malik b. Anas, al-Muwatta', K. al-Hajj: Book 20: Hadith 20.76.256. [41] Muslim, Sahih, The Book of Pilgrimage, Book 7, Hadith 3149. [42] M. J. Kister, "The Crowns of This Community," 237. [43] Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, 16/250. [44] Ibid., 41/77. [45] M. J. Kister, "The Crowns of This Community," 221, fn. 16. [46] Ibid., 233. [47] See the example cited of Abu Nadra in Muhammad b. Sa'd, Tabaqat al-Kubra. 9 vols. (Beirut Dar Sadir, n.d.), 7/208. [48] Ibn Dawud, Sunan, Kitab al-Libas, Book 32, Hadith #4027. [49] Kulayni, al-Kafi, 3/403; Muhammad b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn al-Saduq, Man La Yahduru'l Faqih (Qom: Jamia Mudarrisin Islamic Publications office, 1992), 1/251. al-'Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi'a, 4/382, 4/387. [50] Nazemian Fard, Vakavi-e Karbord-e Rang-e Siah dar Mian-e Abbasian, 2, 7, (2011): 147-148. [51] Teresa Bernheimer, The 'Alids: the First Family of Islam 750-1200 (Edinburgh: Edinburg University Press, 2014), 43. [52] See the example of Qasim b. 'Abdullah cited by Bernheimer, The 'Alids, 70. [53] al-'Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi'a, 4/385. [54] See the example cited of the famous companion Jabir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansari seated in the mosque of Medina looking for al-Baqir while wearing a black turban. Muhammad b. Ya'qub al-Kulayni al-Razi, Kitab al-Kafi, trans. Muhammad Sarwar, vol. 1-8 (n.p., the Islamic Seminary, n.d.), H 1267, Ch. 118, h 2, p. 664. [55] Abdul-Hussein Ahmad Amini Najafi, Al-Ghadir fil-Kitab wal-Sunnah wal-Adab, vol. 3/290-293. Stillman, "Libas," EI. [56] 'Abd al-Rahman Jalal al-Din Suyuti, al-Durr al-Manthur fi tafsir bi'l ma'thur (Cairo, 1896), 2/70. [57] Ibn Dawud Sunan, Book 32, hadith, 4053. [58] al-'Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi'a, 5/57. [59] Al-Mufid, al-Amali, 352. [60] Al-Mufid, Kitab al-Irshad, trans. I. Howard (London: Balagha & Muhammadi Trust, 1981), 474. Kafi, 686, H 1234, Ch. 121, h 7. [61] Even in Syria in the 1960s, among the Sunni community, the green turban was reserved for the descendants of the Prophet. See Thomas Pierret, Religion and State in Syria: The Sunni Ulama from Coup to Revolution (New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2013), 21. [62] Muhammad b. Jarir al-Tabari, Ta'rikh al-Umam Wa'l-Muluk. 8 vols. (Beirut: Mu'assasa al-A'lami), 1983, 3/1013, 1037. [63] Majlisi, Bihar, 52/302. Ibn Abu Zaynab, Kitab al-Ghayba, trans. Abdullah al-Shahin (Qom: Ansariyan, 2003), 439. [64] http://www.erfan.ir/Arabic/article/view/78723. [65] Muhammad al-Baqir al-Majlisi, Hilyat al-Muttaqin (Tehran: Yas Publication 1993), 5-6. The text is closely studied by Faegheh Shirazi in her article entitled "Manly Matters in Iran: From Beards to Turbans", In Critical Encounters, Essays in Persian Literature and Culture in Honor of Peter Chelkowski. Mohammed Mehdi Khorrami and M.R. Ghanoonparvar eds., (Costa Mesa: Mazda Publications, 2007), 146-166. [66] al-Majlisi, Hilyat al-Muttaqin, 3. [67] Ibid., 10. [68] Ibid. [69] Ibid.Sayyids and the Black Emblem [70] Liyakat Takim, "From Bid'a to Sunna: The Wilaya of 'Ali in the Shia Adhan." Journal of the American Oriental Society 120, no. 2 (2000): 66-77. [71] Yedidah Stillman, "Libas," 749. [72] Cambridge History of Islam. Edited by Peter Holt, Ann Lambton, and Bernard Lewis. 2 vols. (Cambridge: l970), 1/396. [73] http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/safa_f/hd_safa_f.htm. See also http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/clothing-x [74] Faegheh Shirazi-Mahajan, "The Semiotics of the Turban: the Safavid Era in Iran," in Journal of International Association of Costume, 9, 67-87 (1992):72. [75] Pierret notes that the white turban in Syria was a symbol of religious knowledge, and is worn by religious scholars even today. Pierret, Religion and State in Syria, 9 – 10, 41. [76] al-Mufid, Kitab al-Irshad, 296. [77] Bosworth, "Sayyid," Encyclopedia of Islam, 9:115. See also Muhammad b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn al-Saduq, Risala al-I'tiqadat (A Shi'ite Creed), trans. A. Fyzee (Oxford: 1942), 108-9. [78] Bernheimer, The 'Alids, 17. [79] Bosworth, "Sayyid," Encyclopedia of Islam, 9/115. See also Liyakat Takim, [80] Ruya Kilic, "The Reflection of Islamic Tradition on Ottoman Social Structure: The Sayyids and Sharifs" in Morimoto Kazuo ed., Sayyids and Sharifs in Muslim Societies: The Living Links to the Prophet (Routledge: New York, 2012), 123. [81] Ibid., 132-133. [82] Mercedes Garcia-Arenal, "Shurafa in the Last Years of al-Andalus and in the Morisco Period: Laylat al-Mawlid and Genealogies of the Prophet Muhammad," in Morimoto Kazuo ed., Sayyids and Sharifs, 162. [83] Valerie Hoffman, "The Role of the Masharifu on the Swahili Coast in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries" in Morimoto Kazuo ed., Sayyids and Sharifs, 191. [84] Arthur Buehler, "Trends of Ashrafization in India" in Morimoto Kazuo ed., Sayyids and Sharifs, 235. [85] See Morimoto Kazuo, "How to Behave towards Sayyids and Sharifs: a TransSectarian Tradition of Dream Accounts, in Morimoto Kazuo ed., Sayyids and Sharifs, 22-25. Other stories talk of the inviolability of Sayyids, ibid. [86] Abu al-Qasim al-Khu'I, Minhaj al-Salihin, 9th edition, 1:371. [87] Bernheimer, The 'Alids, Ibid., 24 – 6. [88] Ibid., 26 – 8. [89] Arthur Buehler, "Trends of Ashrafization in India" in Morimoto Kazuo ed., Sayyids and Sharifs, 235. [90] Teresa Bernheimer, Genealogy, Marriage, and the Drawing of Boundaries among the 'Alids (Eighth-Twelfth Centuries), in Morimoto Kazuo ed., Sayyids and Sharifs,83-85. [91] This was reiterated under Shah Tahmasp. See Kathryn Babayan, "Sufis, Dervishes and Mulla: the Controversy over Spiritual and Temporal Dominion in Seventeenth-Century Iran" in Charles Melville ed., Safavid Persia (Tauris: London, 1996), 123. See also op. cit. page 135 fn. 26 for details of tampering with Safavid genealogy. [92] Sa'id Amir Arjomand, The Shadow of God and the Hidden Imam: Religion, Political Order and Societal Change in Shi'ite Iran from the Beginning to 1890 (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1986), 211. [93] Ruya Kilic, "The Reflection of Islamic Tradition" in Morimoto Kazuo ed., Sayyids and Sharifs, 130-131. In his descriptions of contemporary Ottoman society Nicolas de Nicolay (d. 1583) discusses the green turbans worn by the emirs (another title for the family of the Prophet). [94] Kulayni, al-Kafi, 3/144. In another tradition, al-Sadiq states that my father told me to bury him with three items of clothing, but the amaama is not a part of the kafn. Kulayni, al-Kafi, 3/144. The donning of the amaama on a male corpse is considered a sunna. Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, 110/342. [95] Al-Mufid, Kitab al-Irshad, 410; al-Kafi, 443; h. 797,ch. 70, #8. [96] al-Kafi, 537.forty dinars were used".97 However, a turban can only be buried with the corpse if a person had willed it before his death. [97] al-Kafi, 672. [98] Tirmidhi, Jami', vol.3, Chapter 12, hadith 1736. [99] Ibn Dawud, Sunan, Kitab al-Libas, Book 32: Hadith 4068. [100] "M. J. Kister, The Crowns of This Community," 227-228. [101] Ibid., 229. [102] Al Kafi V6 Ch 15 - The book of outfits and beautification [103] Al-Saduq, Man La Yahduru, 1/266 hadith # 821. [104] Al-Mufid, Kitab al-Irshad, 474. [105] Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, 83/194. [106] Yusuf al-Bahrani, Hadaiq al-Nadhira (Najaf, 1379), 7/126. Majlisi, Bihar, 83/194. Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Khalid al-Barqi, Kitab al-Mahasin (Qom: Dar alKutub al-Islamiyya, 1951), 378. [107] Al-Saduq, Man La Yahduru, 1/265. [108] Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, 80/193. The tenth century jurist al-Saduq considered that one who wears an amaama has to observe tahannuk. Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, 80/193-4. [109] Majlisi, Hilya, p.7. [110] Hilli, Tadhkira al-Fuqaha' (Qom: Mu'assassa Al-Bayt, 1993), 2/451. [111] Qawa'id al-Ahkam (Qom: Mu'assassa al-Tabi'a al-Jami'a, 1992), 1/257. [112] Hilli, Muntaha al-Matlab, 4/251. [113] Muhammad Jamal al-din al-Makki al-Amili, al-Lum'a al-Dimishqiyya (Qom: Manshurat Dar al-Fiqr, 1990), 2/62. [114] Al-Amili, al-Habl al-Matin (Qom: Manshuurat Maktab al-Basirat, 1999), 187. [115] Al-Ghita, Kashf al-Ghita' (Isfahan: Intisharat al-Mahdawi, 1999), 1/202. [116] Observation of Ayatullah al-Sayyid Fadhil Milani. [117] See al-Saduq, Man La Yahduru, 1/266 fn 2. Also published on blog: https://ahlulbaytmission.org/2019/07/28/history-of-the-turban/
  32. 1 point
    Haji 2003

    Tai Kwun

    I had an afternoon off earlier in the year and spent an enjoyable few hours at the restored Police Station in Central, Hong Kong. It's now been transformed into a heritage museum and art gallery. It has to be said that the art of museum curatorship as a form of communication and dare I say propaganda is one that many people do not appreciate. One form that this takes is making the mundane interesting and engaging: Another aspect of making things more engaging is the introduction of peoples' lived experiences: You're all likely to have heard about the protests in Hong Kong. I can't help but consider how the British legacy in Hong Kong has also been responsible for the sowing of corruption. On the land occupied by the police station is also an art gallery and the exhibition had this warning: Basically female artists emancipating females by getting them to take their clothes off. No I did not take a picture of that. But the following deals with another pet hate of mine: And just in case you did not get it, the artist has thoughtfully written about the meaning of the piece. I hate these explanations, if the art does not communicate its message, then its rubbish and having an explanatory essay just makes that more obvious.
  33. 1 point
    shuaybi

    Animal parts to avoid consuming

    Based on the hadith of Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام), we should abstain from consuming the following parts of animals: Blood All reproductive parts (penis, testicles, vagina, vulva, cervix, uterus, cervix) Spleen Heart (certain parts only, refer to hadith) Gallbladder Glands (small organs found all over the body and in the brain) Spinal chords Placenta Anything in the loins Eyeballs Kidneys Bone marrow Skin (hadith reference pending) The above list is based on the following hadith from Al Kafi: Also published on blog: https://ahlulbaytmission.org/2019/07/21/animal-parts-to-avoid-consuming/
  34. 1 point
    Last Chance

    Ameeri Ali

    The poets have written and the scholars have preached, Yet the value of Ali no understanding can reach, An eternity has passed and another will come, The Earth's ink could diminish and al tongues could go numb, Yet no heart of his lover is able to rest For this love of Ali remains trapped in their chest, No words can unlock it and no action can earn And through a million books, only a fraction they'd learn. What is this mystery that no mind can perceive? What lies in the depths of the souls that believe? What is the reason that they call us insane, When the essence of sanity with his love we gain? It is the man that no man understands, Save the last messenger to all of these lands, The Lion from whom the enemies would flee, The servant who would break his bread on his knee, The man who would cry out into a well, With secrets in his heart and no believer to tell. Which man speaks words like pearls from the heaven? Which light is this, followed by the other eleven? Which prince shares his progeny with a mistress unmatched? To which soul and which mind is all truth attached? This soul is the hero of Siffeen and Hunayn, The nurturing father of the pure Hassanain, The generous slave who bows while he gives, This is the man whose name always lives, Whose enemies' lives are wasted in vain, In countless attempts to have this gem slain. But what is this rarity that circles my mind? Makes me hear nothing and turns my eyes blind, So that his words are the only words that I see, And a servant of these words all hearts want to be. Which man is the line between falsehood and truth? Which warrior's courage stood unshaken since youth? The soldier who did not need his sword to slay, Only his novel of a name he would say, "Know that I am Ali" and the enemy inside would die, One strike and soon after, "Allahu Akbar" he would cry, He, whose shield had shielded his brother, A man like whom there has been no other, The seal of the Prophets and best of all men, …Inseparable now and inseparable then. The hero who lifted the gate of Khaybar, My master, Ali, my leader, Haidar, The half that Our Lady perfectly completed, By whose enemies the fires of hell are heated, The man who one night sold his soul to his Lord, And cried out in victory upon being struck by the sword, Sayyidi, Mawlai, Ameeri Ali, Ni3mel Ameer wa ni3mel Wali.
  35. 1 point
    One of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq(as)'s companions, 'Abdullah b.Sanan once asked him: 'Are the angels better or humans better?' to which he(عليه السلام) replied: ' Amir al Muminin, Ali b. abi talib said:"Allah endowed angels with intellect without desire, animals with desire without intellect and man with both of them. So he whose intellect manages to conquer his desire is better than angels, and he whose desires overcome his intellect is worse than animals.'" Illal al Sharai, p.4, no.1 Imam Jafar al-Sadiq(عليه السلام) narrated on the authority of his infallible forefathers that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said: 'Blessings upon the one who abandons his desires for the sake of a promised place that he has not even seen.' Thawab al-Amal, p.211,no.1 Imam Amir al- Muminin(عليه السلام)said:' How many a fleeting desire that lasts but an hour brings about an enduring sorrow.' Nahjul Balagha,v.3, p.193, no,171 Imam Amir al- Muminin(عليه السلام)said: " How many an indulgent meal prevents several meals.' Al-Mahasin, p.15, no.44
  36. 1 point
    The photo-journalist Cartier-Bresson coined this phrase, with a book of the same name, whose English title was 'the decisive moment'. Capturing such moments can be fun and rewarding. I've been trying to encourage Maryam to see photographic picture taking as being an opportunistic exercise where good shots can be unexpected, unplanned and based purely on the recognition that there might be something there. We were in Regents Park yesterday and she was taking pictures of Abbas cycling on the Broadwalk. I noticed this group and told her to switch her attention. She came up with this. There were, better compositions but they were out of focus etc. Still, as I told her the trick is to practice these situations enough so that when a money shot does happen you know exactly what to do.
  37. 1 point
    Abbas(عليه السلام), undoubtedly was the most valiant companion of Imam al-Husayn. On the 10th of Muharram, on the grounds of Karbala he did not take part in the actual battle with the Army of Yazid(La) yet he fought the greatest battle of all. His battle was with himself, Jihad with his nafs, described in our books as being the best of the three forms of Jihad. The mother of Abbas (عليه السلام) Fatima binte Hizam,popularly known as Umm al Baneen, came from a tribe by the name of al-Kulābīyya that was known for bravery and war skills. Imam Ali(عليه السلام) had asked his brother Aqeel(عليه السلام) to find a woman from such a tribe. He father Imam Ali (عليه السلام) wanted a son that would be a warrior like no other, a companion for Imam al-Husayn(عليه السلام) on the 10th of Muharram. Ummal Baneen brought him up giving him lessons on loyalty and faithfulness to Husayn(عليه السلام). So even before Abbas(عليه السلام) was born he had been marked to be a warrior,a companion of Hussain(عليه السلام).All his life he never left Husayn(عليه السلام) side. His whole life was protecting, defending and fighting for his master Husayn(عليه السلام). On the night of 10th of Muharram Shimr bin dhil jawashan(curse upon him) ,the man who would behead Imam Husayn(عليه السلام) on the day on 10th of Muharram and who’s also the cousin of Ummal Baneen, made an offer to Hazrat Abbas(عليه السلام), ‘leave Hussain, join us, you will be given wealth and a high position’ What did Abbas do? He tore up the letter, ‘this world and its attractions cannot entice me’. Does he even need a second to think? No. When we have to make a choice between our life, wealth, power, position on one hand and loyalty to the Imam of time on the other hand, what do we choose? A person like Abbas(عليه السلام) chooses his Imam(عليه السلام). May Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) make us choose the same when our time comes. So what happened on the day of 10th of Muharram. The water supply had been cut off for three days. The children in camps of Husayn were crying out ‘Al Attash, Al Attash.’ Abbas asked for permission from Imam al Husayn(عليه السلام) to go out and fight but Imam(عليه السلام) refused. As the day passed he repeated his request, Imam(عليه السلام) did not allow him to go. The bravest warrior in army of Husayn(عليه السلام) kept on asking permission to fight, his beloved master kept on refusing. Finally, when Imam Husayn(عليه السلام) did allow him to go in the battlefield it was to fetch water for the children from Furaat, with the instructions ‘Do not fight’! Here is the man who has the bravery of Imam Ali(عليه السلام) and the war skills of al-Kulābīyya in his blood, the man who had been brought into the world to be a companion to Husayn(عليه السلام),the man who had been brought up all his life being told that he has to protect Husayn from the enemies,the son of the man who protected Prophet Muhammad(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) from the Kuffar of Makkah whilst he was still a boy,the man who has been trained in war skills by none other than Haider,the conqueror of Khaybar,the man who had been named Abbas -'the lion other lions feared', the man who had fought alongside Imam Ali(عليه السلام) when he was only twelve- and now that Imam Husayn(عليه السلام) is alone in the ground of Karbala surrounded by the most ruthless,merciless of enemies, he has been told ‘Do not fight’?? A person like you and me would respond by saying ‘what do you mean not fight, I am the best warrior in the Army’ ‘they would be attacking me and I can kill so many of them’ ‘this is a battlefield, what else a person does if not use swords and arrows’. But this was Abbas(عليه السلام) who was a master not only in combat on the battlefield but also in combat with the nafs,hence he submitted without question to what Imam(عليه السلام) had ordered. This was Abbas(as)’s real test. Just take a moment to think what an order like this would do to the soul of a person, a person whose whole life right from the time he was born revolved around defending Husayn(عليه السلام), a person whose is known for his courage, a person whose name alone evoked fear in the heart of his enemies. He has been ordered not to fight at such a critical time in Imam Hussain(as)'s life even though he is being sent in the battlefield surrounded by enemies who will attack him. But when the Imam (عليه السلام) of our time orders us something, we don't ask questions, when? why? how come? We just SUBMIT. Hazrat Abbas(عليه السلام) went out in the battlefield, the soldiers of Yazid(LA) attacked him from all sides,he scattered and repelled the ones who came in his way, reached Furaat, filled the bag with water. He has been thirsty for three days, his tongue is dry and he is exhausted because of being dehydrated. His hands are touching the water. He can take a sip or two before he rides his horse again? Does he? No. He cannot think of drinking water while Husayn(عليه السلام) and the children are thirsty in the camps. Water right in front of Abbas(عليه السلام),the burning plains of Karbala, three days of thirst vs loyalty and servitude to Imam Husayn(عليه السلام). Who wins? Abbas(عليه السلام) wins. He defeated his nafs again. On 10th of Muhrram, Abbas(عليه السلام) fought the battle and won like no other. What does this tell us? Even when you are Abbas(عليه السلام) and the army you are facing is one like Yazid’s,even then your greatest battle is with yourself. Felicitations and greetings to the Imam(عليه السلام) of our time and to all brothers and sisters on the birth of Qamar Bani Hashim.
  38. 1 point
    In a time of ignorance A period of injustice and profanity Where it was filled with insanity Hearts were filled with vanity He sent a true messenger To fulfill a mission that would change humanity To forbid atrocity and spread morality To guide His creatures towards the true message To remove the calamities and wreckage The hypocrites wouldn't stop mocking him Calling him names and throwing dirt He let them do so freely, for he was never hurt 'Cause the Lord was always by his side Every night he raised his hands and cried Praying that his people would follow the truth A man of respect and dignity A man who preached unity He who gave women their rights He who gave the nation its might The Holy Book and the Holy Progeny The two things that held the nation together But he still knew about the bad prophecy He could already sense the wild weather Ya Rasullulah, Can you see how your nation tore apart When it used to be only one Can you see the amount of bloodshed Leaving thousands of your Muslims dead Can you see the amount of hatred and sedition Leaving thousands of your Muslims in a heartless condition Waiting for your chosen ancestor To free the Earth from the oppressors To fill it with justice and remove the tyranny You were the chosen one to mankind An immaculate soul that He designed. السلام عليك يا رسول الله ❤️ اللهم صلي على محمد و آل محمد
  39. 1 point
    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. ♥
  40. 1 point
    Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) quoted his infallible forefathers as having narrated on the authority of the Prophet (saw) that He said: 'One who, when an evil thought or carnal desire comes to him, shuns it because of his fear of Allah, Mighty and Exalted. Allah will forbid the Fire from touching him, and will protect him from the Great Terror, and will bestow on him what He has promised him in His book: "And for him who fears to stand before his Lord are two gardens." - Quran 55:46 As for one who, when this base world and the Hereafter both occur to him, chooses this world over the next, he will meet Allah on the Day of Judgment without any good deed to protect him from the Fire. And he who chooses the Hereafter and abandons this world, Allah will be pleased with him, and will forgive him according to his deed.' al-Faqih, v.4, p.2, no.1
  41. 1 point
    Qa'im

    Respect Words

    We often mumble, curse, use slang words, and say anything that comes to mind, but Allah and His Messenger continuously gave words their needed reverence. The Quran starts with the command to read (iqra'). Allah could have revealed the teachings of Islam directly to our minds, but instead, He chose to present these teachings in the form of speech and written word. Allah brought about the creation with the word "be!" When Allah created Adam, He taught him all of the names (2:31), and Adam thereafter taught the names to the angels. Allah distinguishes humans with their ability to articulate their thoughts and feelings (55:3-4). While some animals share some characteristics with humans, nothing can be compared to the complexity of human speech. When Moses became a prophet, he first prayed for the ability to speak clearly (20:25-28), and Allah granted that to him so that he may succeed in his mission. Allah's favour on Moses was that He spoke directly to him. Lady Mary vowed to fast from words (19:26), yet we feel comfortable running our mouths all the time. The Messenger of Allah (s) said that he had been commissioned with "succinct language" (جوامع الكلم); expressions that are comprehensive yet condensed, designed to deliver full meanings with few words. As a Prophet with a weighty assignment, he made sure that his words were unambiguous and direct, yet eloquent and nuanced at the same time. Imam `Ali [a] said to his scribe, "Put cotton flake in the inkpot, keep the nib of your pen long, leave space between lines, and close up the letters, because this is good for the beauty of the writing." 315. وَ قَالَ عليه السلامة لِكَاتِبِهِ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ أَبِى رَافِعٍ: أَلِقْ دَوَاتَكَ وَ أَطِلْ جِلْفَةَ قَلَمِكَ وَ فَرِّجْ بَيْنَ السُّطُورِ وَ قَرْمِطْ بَيْنَ الْحُرُوفِ فَإِنَّ ذَلِكَ أَجْدَرُ بِصَبَاحَةِ الْخَطِّ . Imam Ja`far [a] said, "Write 'In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful' with your finest handwriting, and do not extend the ba', so that the seen may be lifted." Meaning, make the seen visible, and do not extend the ba' to the meem as done in shorthand. اكتب بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم من أجود كتابك ولا تمد الباء حتى ترفع السين Imam Ja`far also said, "Express our words clearly, for we are an eloquent people." أعربوا كلامنا فإنا قوم فصحاء Words constitute the shahada, words constitute salat, and words constitute du`a'. Since Allah has honoured the spoken word, it's time that we do the same: Think before you speak. Speak the truth. Maintain your promises. Practice silence. Keep the tasbeehat and salawat on your tongue. Give each vowel, letter, word, and sentence its haq. Write your words legibly. Beautify your expression. Your mouth is like a womb that gives birth to meaning, so take care of your offspring, because they will represent you in your absence.
  42. 1 point
    (Wolff, 2018) The languages of the world can be divided into families and sub-groupings. This means that several groups of languages can be thought to be related due to recurring and predictable patterns observed throughout them. These can be related to both grammar and phonology. What this means is that these languages descend from a proto-language and possible this language descends from a larger grouping. What happened was that the speakers of the proto-language started moving away from each other, and in a time before literacy, let alone wide spread dissemination of printed material and a standardized educational system, before people would leave their homes to work in the big city and return (before towns even!), and before our modern technology which keeps us connected, the speakers of a language just started speaking differently. This could have happened in several ways, sound changes for vowels are some of the simplest, think of how differently British people and North American people pronounce the word "far". Consonantal phonemes (sounds) can be dropped or added, you can also have grammatical innovations which make up for something lacking in the proto-language (e.g. the creation of a definite article) or a simplification of something in the proto-language (maybe a complex case system is dropped, or at the least reduced), though it's important to remember these are sporadic and things are traded off for one another, languages don't just become "simpler". Within no time Group A can no longer understand Group B anymore. A linguist will determine this using the comparative method, this requires looking at the different languages and comparing them for regular patterns to ascertain genetic (in a linguistic sense) relation. There is one limitation to this, the comparative method can only work compare changes made within a few thousand millennia, after 7000-10, 000 or so years it ceases to be very reliable as it cannot account for a change being due to genetic relation or just coincidence. There are some languages which are isolates, meaning they lack genetic relation to any language we know of. This doesn't mean they emerged out of nowhere, rather their relatives went extinct before we could get any record of them. Linguistics today classify Arabic as one of the Afro-Asiatic languages (also called the Hamito-Semitic languages in older literature). This language family is perhaps one of the oldest that we know of, the proto-language, Proto-Afro-Asiatic, was spoken sometime around 15, 000 BCE. This language family includes the Semitic languages (of which Arabic is a member), the Egyptian languages (both Ancient Egyptian and Coptic), the Berber languages, the Cu[Edited Out]ic languages (including Somali), the Chadic languages, and possibly the Omitic languages. Now, when this proto-language was spoken, how exactly it split into its daughter-languages, and in what order that happened is something debated by linguists (a video that shows some possibilities), but the connection between these languages has been observed for a very long time. The first person to observe the similarities between these languages was Judah b. Quraysh (fl. c. 9th century), a Jewish Rabbi with knowledge of Aramaic, Arabic, and Hebrew and noticed their similarity to the Berber languages spoken in Algeria. The eminent 19th century German philologist, Theodore Benfey, went on to demonstrate a systematic relationship between the Ancient Egyptian language and Semitic languages (Rubin, 2013). Such correspondences can be observed in grammatical features, such as several of the Afro-Asiatic languages having a construct state (إضافة, for those of you who might have studied Arabic grammar), this is an exceedingly rare construction indicating possession, it is only found outside the Afro-Asiatic family in a single Nilotic language. In the Afro-Asiatic family, the construct-state is found in the Semitic languages, the Berber languages, and the Egyptian languages. They also share a root system for their morphology, and similar nominal systems for their nouns. We can also compare vocabulary to find a proto-word that developed into cognates across various languages. One such reconstruction is the word "les" (meaning tongue, this root will remain italicized), it appears in the Semitic languages originally as Lišān (and this further developed from there), in Egyptian as ns and later in Coptic as les, in the Chadic languages as ḥalisum, ʾVlyas, and lyas, and in a Cu[Edited Out]ic language as milas (Orel & Stolbova, 1995). Arabic can further be classified as a Semitic language. This language family is believed to be about 6000 years old and is thought to have originated in South-West Asia. There are a number of features common to the language, including shared verb stems (the أبواب), a case system of nominative -u, accusative -a, and genitive -i (found preserved in Classical/Middle Arabic, Ugaritic, and Akkadian), and a root system with shared roots between these languages¹. Arabic fits into these languages as a West Semitic languages, meaning it is excluded from being one of the East Semitic languages (the Akkadian languages or Ebalite). It is also a Central Semitic language, so it is excluded from the South Semitic languages which include the Modern South-Arabian languages, the Ethio-Semitic languages, and the Ancient South Semitic languages. It splits from the other Central Semitic languages, which go on to become the North-Western Semitic languages including Ugaritic, Aramaic, and the Canaanite languages (including Hebrew and Phoenician). What distinguishes Arabic from the other Central Semitic languages are 14-19 linguistic innovations not found in other Central Semitic languages, these include: The loss of the independent first person pronoun "ʾanāku" (Arabic only preserves the proto-Semitic "ʾanā") Replacing mimation with nunation (تنوين), meaning, a nūn is fixed to the end of words (in the form of tanwīn), not a mīm, such as what can be found in Hebrew. The preposition fī (in) is derived from the word for "mouth" (فم). The development of the mafʿūl passive participle. A full list can be found in Ahmed Al-Jallad's forthcoming article, "The Earliest Stages of Arabic and its Linguistic Classification". Now with an understanding of language families and Arabic's Afro-Asiatic and Semitic context you have a foundation for exploring the development of Arabic as we know it. We are left, however, with the need to know who the speakers of this language were and where they lived. We're now ready for the next part of our historical epic. Join me next time! إلى لقاء Footnotes: ¹ A cool resource to look at different Semitic roots is this website. You can search roots and compare cognates across various languages. Citations: Wolff, H. E., (2018, May 14). "Afro-Asiatic languages", Encyclopaedia Britannica, Orel, V. E., & Stolbova, O. V., (1995). Hamito-Semitic Etymological Dictionary: Materials for Reconstruction. Rubin, A. D. (2013). "Egyptian and Hebrew", Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics. Geoffrey Khan (ed.).
  43. 1 point
    I'm starting this series of posts to clarify my position on a few issues, whilst trying to answer some questions @Ibn al-Hussain posed in this thread, God-willing. I want to eventually prove this claim: that the rise of Akhbarism, and consequently what I term the 'Lite Akhbaris', has been the cause of death of the Shi'i intellectual, and the death of the Shi'i jurist-theologian in the Quranic sense (not in the conventional sense). I will compare the methodologies used by the classic scholars to deduce rulings covering all religious topics (not just 'lesser' fiqh, as it was commonly known then), to the now commonly applied sanad/chain method, institutionalised by S. Al-Khoei (rA). I want to show that this latter methodology has allowed Akhbarism to re-establish itself in the shape of 'Lite Akhbaris', operating under the guise of Usoolism. Lastly, I will try to provide a solution on bringing out the living from the dead. Update (02/01/18) Structure of upcoming posts related to this topic: What is meant by Akhbarism? It's inception and continuation Akhbarism and the onset of Salafism (Intermission - Some general laws that govern human thought/ideologies) Akhbarism and the decline of human thought Akhbarism - ideas and behaviours Usooli doctrines and the Akhbari reality Akhbarism and Secterianism The Quran and Akhbari contradictions The Narrations and Akhbari contradictions Akhbarism and the creation of (new) religious rites and rituals Akhbarism, ‘israeli’ narrations and other fabrications Akhbarism and the cause of decline of Shi'ism The Quran confronts the Akhbaris
  44. 1 point
    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.
  45. 1 point
    shadow_of_light

    st. 17: Satan's death

    در عالم حشر, تابنده رخش هر که نکرد گوش, بر اهریمن زشت کاخی است بهر او, فاخر, باشکوه پرده اش از حریر, وز طلایش خشت باغ آن پر گل, فصلش همیشه بهار در کنارش هیچ است, ماه اردیبهشت ... Part 2: This was Satan's last trick which didnt work. He said disappointedly: do you remember that once I gave you some helpful advice? I replied: yes. He said: so you owe me a lot! Now, ask God to forgive me! Gabriel appeared and told Satan: If you wish God to forgive you, prostrate before Human. Satan said: I will never do it. When Human was not my enemy, I didnt agree to prostrate before it. How can I do it now while it is my enemy?! Gabriel said: Once, when you lived in heaven, you heard that, in the near future, one of the worshippers would be punished and cast out of heaven. At that point, you prayed for everyone but yourself. You were so proud that you didnt think that you yourself could be the worshipper who would be cast out of heaven. Satan began crying. And I remembered him laughing while I was crying in the court. Satan became weaker and weaker until he died among the ruins of his palace. Then his corpse, as those of his followers, caught fire and burnt to ashes. And the earth swallowed the ruins of his palace. Satan died; on that day when I decided to never sin; on that moment when he became completely disappointed in me.
  46. 1 point
    I've intended for this post to be a placeholder until I publish my next entry on the linguistic history of the Arabic language until the early Islamic period. I've adapted it from a post I made elsewhere. It represents an early phase in my research on the religions in pre-Islamic Arabia, it's rather informal but so is the nature of my research right now. InshaAllah it'll be added to, corrected, and fixed as time progresses. The presence of Christianity in Arabia was already centuries old by the time the Prophet was born. Historical Arabia was identified as a region spanning from the Eastern banks of the Nile to the Euphrates and as far north as the Syrian desert. According the Socrates Scholasticus, the Byzantine ecclesiastical historian, not the Athenian philosopher, a Queen Mavia (ماوية) of the Ishmaelites, who reigned from the late fourth century to the early fifth century, converted to Christianity. She went on to appoint a Bishop named Moses, another "Saracen" (Arab) who led a monastic life and was reputed to preform miracles. Eusebius writes about an Arab Monarchian named Beryllus, Bishop of Bostra. He believed that Christ was a distinct divinity but only possessed the Divine nature of God the Father after the incarnation. Origen of Alexandria converted him back to "orthodoxy" (in the lower-case sense of the word, not upper-case sense referring to the Orthodox Churches). It seems that by the birth of Prophet Muhammad there was a major presence of various "heretical" Christian groups. A misattributed dictum of St. Theodoret of Cyrrhus states that "Arabia hæresium ferax", "Arabia is the bearer of heresies". Scholars have attempt to identify the groups present in Arabia using antique and mediaeval sources and the Qur'anic description of their doctrines. Theophilos Indus, an Arian Bishop sent by Emperor Constantius II to Asia via Arabia as a missionary. He is reported to have converted the people of Himyar to Arianism. He was Heteroousian, a follower of the theologian Aetius, who denied that Christ and God the Father were of the same substance. It's possible that Arianism survived in the region. There was also a presence of Severan Monophysites, followers of Severus of Antioch who believed in the "natural union" of Christ's two natures, concentrated on the Red Sea coast (Hijaz and Yemen). The Julianists, a group closely related to the Docetists, are of particular interest due to their rejection of Christ having died on the cross -- a view also found in the Gnostic Apocalypse of Peter (where Christ is in a tree and laughing at whoever is being crucified). Irfan Shahid states Ashab al-Ukhdud (People of the Ditch) that the Qur'an mentions were Monophysites. Their account is also mentioned in text called "The Book of the Himyarites", a Syriac work which was translated into English by Axel Moberg. Their leader was St. Arethas (Harith) was written about in the 7th century text Acta Sancti Arethæ/Martyrium Sancti Arethæ. There was also a Nestorian presence in Arabia. The Prophet was aware of this and the Qur'an even employs the Nestorian idea of "Isa b. Maryam" to deny that Christ is the Son of God. The aforementioned Book of the Himyarites also has a passage were Dhu-Nuwas employs Nestorian terms to refer to the Christology of the "majority of Christians" (in his realm). Though Monophysitism did become dominate after the fall of Dhu-Nuwas, Nesotrianism returned with the conquest of South Arabia by the Sassanids. In the lifetime of the Prophet, Nestorian missionaries from Najran would go to Ukadh to preach, and Prophet Muhammad encountered one who left an impression on him, Quss b. Sa'idah al-Iyyadi. He was possibly a bishop of Najran. Irfan Shahid mentions this as a matter of fact in "Islam and Oriens Christianus". However, he's also argued against this position in his entry on Quss b. Sa'idah in the Brill Encyclopaedia of Islam, saying that it was just a conflation of several facts about him and the Episcopate of Najran. Shahid believes there also might have been an Ethiopic Christian presence. This is based on what seems to be Ge'ez terms being used by the Qur'an, such as Nasara rather than Masihiyyun, Isa rather than Yasu'. Though in the case of the latter Arthur Jeffery demonstrates how this could have also happened as a result of natural linguistic corruption when the word transferred from Syriac to Arabic. References and Further reading: Irfan Shahid's article "ISLAM AND ORIENS CHRISTIANUS: MAKKA 610-622 AD" represents a bulk of the research here, I would highly recommend it. You might also want to check out Irfan Shahid's series on Byzantium and Arabia. Gabriel Said Reynold's The Qur'an in its Historical Context (both parts one and two) might also prove useful. And Darren M. Slade's article "ARABIA HAERESIUM FERAX (ARABIA BEARER OF HERESIES): Schismatic Christianity’s Potential Influence on Muhammad and the Qur’an ".
  47. 1 point
    Qa'im

    Halloween is for the Dead

    Halloween was a Celtic and Gaelic festival which would mark the end of the summer harvest and the beginning of the winter. The "darker" half of the year has begun, the frigid season of death. The pagan Celts believed that the dead spirits visited them on this day, and so they gave them an offering of food as an appeasement, so that they may not incur their curse during this season. In the past few centuries, people began dressing up as these dead spirits to pay homage to them. And so when you see a slutty Halloween outfit on your timeline, know that this is just a senseless and ignorant person - a "dead" person; dead in spirit, dead in their heart, paying homage to the darkness within themselves, toiling after the fleeting frills of this world, in need of spiritual resuscitation. Whether they know it or not, they are imitating demon spirits whom they love and fear. "Surely, they had taken the devils as masters instead of Allah while they thought that they were guided." (7:30) We have no reverence and no fear of the dead. We seek protection in Allah and no one else. "But no one believes this anymore, all that's left are these symbols". Yes, and symbols are powerful, and thus we must not internalize symbols that have their lineage in hell. So while people imitate the dead - both the physically dead (zombies, ghouls, skeletons, grim reapers), and the spiritually dead (materialists) - remember that Allah brings life. A person may be heedless today, but when Allah gives the gift of guidance, he will awake to his responsibilities, and be resurrected in faith.
  48. 1 point
    Qa'im

    Karbala: The Supreme Sacrifice

    عدة من أصحابنا، عن أحمد بن محمد، عن علي بن الحكم، عن سيف بن عميرة، عن عبد الملك بن أعين، عن أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: أنزل الله تعالى النصر على الحسين عليه السلام حتى كان [ ما ] بين السماء والارض ثم خير: النصر، أو لقاء الله، فاختار لقاء الله تعالى. Imam al-Baqir said: Allah تعالى sent support for al-Husayn عليه السلام until it filled that which was between the heaven and the Earth. Then he was left to choose: victory, or meeting Allah. So he chose to meet with Allah تعالى. Who is Hussain? I will tell you who he's not. He's not Mahatma Ghandi, he's not Nelson Mandela, he's not Malcolm X. Husayn is Husayn, and I feel that we are misunderstanding the purpose and the meaning of his sacrifice. There are many good, noble people in our history who rose up to fight for rights - Zayd and Nafs az-Zakiyya would be prime examples - but Imam al-Husayn did not stand up to fight for human rights. He did not even fight to gain the Caliphate. The hadiths make clear that Husayn knew exactly what would happen: he and his loved ones were going to die. Allah even gave him the option on the battlefield, saying, I will destroy your enemies if you so choose. However, Husayn chose to meet Allah instead. Had the fight been about human rights, then Husayn would've chosen to destroy his enemies and establish his government. But, he knew that sacrifice was his calling. There is no doubt that Imam al-Husayn's (as) movement was one based on justice. Amr bil ma`roof was the foundation of his decision, and Karbala' was a cosmic battle between good and evil, the Imam of Guidance and the Imam of Disbelief, the Shi`a of Ahl al-Bayt and the Shi`a of the devil. But we know that all ma`sumeen did amr bil ma`roof, and even Husayn's predecessors rose up and were martyred. Had he been fighting for rights, then it begs the question: what differentiates Husayn from Zayd if they were both martyrs of the exact same circumstance? What makes the death of Husayn so pivotal when those better than him were also martyred? Modern society has been separated from the anthropology of sacrifice. Those who understand the symbols of sacrifice will better understand the meaning of Husayn's movement. Those who do not understand Shii Imamology will instead see the Imam as a Guevara or a William Wallace figure, who was killed at the beginning of his social justice mission. We're living in a time where Husayn's movement has become "everyday" and "everywhere" while the classical Shi`a truthfully said that "no day is like your day". The difference between the two is that the former demotes Husayn's sacrifice to everyday struggle, while the latter emphasizes the magnitude of the day. Our job as Muslims is to properly analyze and understand what happened and why it happened, which requires a thorough investigation of the hadith literature on this topic. The sacrifice starts with Isma`il. The Quran says regarding Ibrahim, "And we have ransomed him with a great sacrifice” (37:107) The Ahlul Bayt confirm that it was indeed Isma`il that was chosen for sacrifice, and that he was replaced with a ram. But one authentic narration by Imam ar-Rida [a] identifies that the real sacrifice here was Husayn, who replaced Isma`il and Ibrahim lamented over this. Husayn was dearer to Ibrahim than his own son was, because Husayn would be the grandson of the greatest Messenger and the Master of the Youth of Paradise. After passing this test, Allah made Ibrahim an Imam, and gave the divine covenant to him and his family. This link between sacrifice and covenant is an important one. 94 - في عيون الأخبار حدثنا عبد الواحد بن محمد بن عبدوس النيشابوري العطار بنيشابور في شعبان سنة اثنين وخمسين وثلاثمأة، قال: حدثنا محمد بن علي ابن قتيبة النيشابوري عن الفضل بن شاذان قال: سمعت الرضا عليه السلام يقول: لما أمر الله تعالى إبراهيم عليه السلام ان يذبح مكان ابنه إسماعيل الكبش الذي أنزل عليه، تمنى إبراهيم عليه السلام أن يكون قد ذبح ابنه إسماعيل بيده وأنه لم يؤمر بذبح الكبش مكانه ليرجع إلى قلبه ما يرجع إلى قلب الوالد الذي يذبح أعز ولده بيده فيستحق بذلك أرفع درجات أهل الثواب على المصائب، فأوحى الله عز وجل إليه: يا إبراهيم من أحب خلقي إليك؟قال: يا رب ما خلقت خلقا هو أحب إلى من حبيبك محمد صلى الله عليه وآله، فأوحى الله عز وجل: يا إبراهيم هو أحب إليك أو نفسك؟قال: بل هو أحب إلى من نفسي، قال: فولده أحب إليك أو ولدك؟قال: بل ولده، قال: فذبح ولده ظلما على يدي أعدائه أوجع لقلبك أو ذبح ولدك بيدك في طاعتي؟قال: يا رب بل ذبحه على أيدي أعدائه أوجع لقلبي قال: يا إبراهيم ان طايفة تزعم أنها من أمة محمد صلى الله عليه وآله ستقتل الحسين عليه السلام ابنه من بعده ظلما وعدوانا كما يذبح الكبش، ويستوجبون بذلك سخطي، فجزع إبراهيم عليه السلام لذلك فتوجع قلبه وأقبل يبكى، فأوحى الله تعالى إليه: يا إبراهيم قد فديت جزعك على ابنك إسماعيل لو ذبحته بيدك بجزعك على الحسين وقتله، وأوجبت لك أرفع درجات أهل الثواب على المصائب، وذلك قول الله عز وجل وفديناه بذبح عظيم ولا حول ولا قوة الا بالله العلي العظيم. “When Allah ordered Abraham [a] to slaughter the ram that was brought to him in the place of Ishmael, Abraham [a] had hoped to have slaughtered Ishmael by his hand rather than being ordered to slaughter the ram in his place. This was so that he may regain the feeling in his heart that a father’s heart feels when he slaughters the dearest of his sons by his hand. He wanted to attain the highest of levels from the people of good deeds upon this calamity. So Allah revealed to him, “O Abraham, who is the most beloved of My creation to you?” Abraham said, “O Lord, you have not created a creation who is more beloved to me than your beloved Muhammad .” So Allahrevealed, “O Abraham, is he more beloved to you, or yourself?” Abraham said, “Of course, he is more beloved to me than my own self.” Allah said, “So is his son more beloved to you, or your son?” Abraham said, “His son, of course.” Allah said, “So [what is more painful to your heart:] his son being slaughtered oppressively upon the hands of his enemies, or the slaughtering of your son by your hand in obedience to me?” Abraham said, “O Lord, his slaughter upon the hands of his enemies is more painful to my heart.” Allah said, “O Abraham, a faction that alleges that it is from the Nation of Muhammad will kill his son al-Husayn [a] after him oppressively and with aggression, just as a ram is slaughtered. And by that, my wrath upon them will become obligatory.” So Abraham lamented over that. His heart was pained by that, and he began to weep. So Allah revealed to him, “O Abraham, I have ransomed your lamentation upon the slaughtering of your son Ishmael with your lamentation upon Husayn And so the highest of levels from the people of good deeds has become obligatory for you for this calamity." The Prophet calls himself the son of the two offerings, because both his father Abdullah and his forefather Isma`il had survived their respective sacrificial moments. The Prophet's position as a descendant of two offerings boosts his status as a prophet and a recipient of the divine covenant. حَدَّثَنا أَحْمَدِ بْنِ الحُسَيْن القَطَّانُ قالَ أَخْبَرنا أَحْمَدِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ سَعِيدُ الكُوفِي قالَ‏عَلِيِّ بن الحُسَيْنِ بْنِ عَلِىِّ بْنِ الفَضّال، عَنْ أَبيهِ قالَ سَأَلْت أَبَاالحَسَن عَلِىِّ بْنِ مُوسَى الرِّضا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ، عَن مَعْنى‏ قول النَّبِي صلي اللَّه وَآلِهِ أَنَا ابْنُ الذّبيحين قَالَ يَعْنِي إِسْمَاعِيلَ بْنَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الْخَلِيلِ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ وَعَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ عَبْدِ الْمُطَّلِبِ “I asked Abul Hasan Ali b. Musa ar-Rida [a] about the meaning of the statement made by the Prophet (s), ‘I am the son of the two offerings.’ Imam ar-Rida [a] said, ‘That means that the Prophet (s) was the descendant of both Ishmael, the son of Abraham - the friend of God (s) and Abdullah - the son of Abdul Muttalib. The Hajj itself is a ritual centred around sacrifice. It recounts the story of Ibrahim and Isma`il everywhere. Pilgrims shave their heads, which is an important symbol of sacrifice. To shave your head for someone is to pledge allegiance to that person - you are giving them your head and your neck. When the Prophet took the bay`a of his companions at the Tree of Ridwan, the companions needed to shave their heads to complete the bay`a. Likewise, after the death of the Prophet, Imam Ali asked the companions to shave their heads to express their loyalty to him, but very few did so. The Hajj ends with the sacrifice of life of an animal. These are all important symbols that we belong fully to God, and that our lives are in His hand. Animal sacrifice is a sacrifice of your own ego and your lower, animalistic self. At the end of Hajj, you come out sinless, which is a rebirth after the sacrifice. حدثني ابي رحمه الله، عن سعد بن عبد الله، عن احمد بن محمد بن عيسى، عن محمد بن سنان، عن الحسين بن مختار، عن زيد الشحام، عن ابي عبد الله (عليه السلام)، قال: زيارة الحسين (عليه السلام) تعدل عشرين حجة وأفضل من عشرين حجة (2). Imam as-Sadiq [a] said, "Visitation of al-Husayn [a] is equal to twenty Hajj. Rather, it is more than twenty Hajj." Even the salat has sacrificial symbology in ruku`. Imam `Ali in `Ilal ash-Shara'i` says that the ruku` is gesture where one offers his neck to Allah, saying, "O Allah, I believe in Your Oneness even if my neck is struck." تأويله آمنت بوحدانيتك ، و لو ضربت عنقي Now let's go to Husayn. Sacrificial animals are marked at birth. Likewise, in one hadith, the Imam was marked for sacrifice the day Sayyida Fatima gave birth to him. In return, the Prophet says, Allah will make the Imams from his progeny. Again, we see the relationship between sacrifice and covenant: even though Imam al-Hasan was of a higher status, the Imams would come from Husayn's progeny due to his sacrifice. حدثنا محمد بن موسى بن المتوكل رضي الله عنه قال : حدثنا عبد الله بن جعفرالحميري قال : حدثنا أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى قال : حدثنا الحسن بن محبوب ، عن علي بن رئاب قال : قال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام : لما أن حملت ( 2 ) فاطمة عليها السلام بالحسين عليه السلام قال لها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله : إن الله عز وجل قد وهب لك غلاما اسمه الحسين ، تقتله أمتي ، قالت : فلا حاجة لي فيه ، فقال : إن الله عز وجل قد وعدني فيه عدة ، قالت : وما وعدك ؟ قال : وعدني أن يجعل الإمامة من بعده في ولده ، فقالت : رضيت . Imam as-Sadiq said: When Fatima عليها السلام became pregnant with al-Husayn عليه السلام, the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله said to her: Allah عز وجل has gifted a male to you whose name is al-Husayn. He will be killed by my Umma. She said: I do not need it. He said: Allah عز وجل has made a promise to me regarding him. She said: And what did He promise you? He said: He promised me that He will cause the Imamate after me to come from his loins. So she said: I am pleased. The colour red is also associated with blood sacrifice, and the Prophet receives red mud from Karbala to symbolize the inevitable killing of Husayn. Other narrations describe Imam al-Husayn with a red cloak. In Judaism, a red ribbon was tied around a ram for sacrifice on Yom Kippur. As for Yom Kippur, it is the 10th day of the 1st month of the Hebrew Calendar, while Ashura is the 10th day of the 1st month of the Muslim calendar. The Jewish Yom Kippur is called the Day of Atonement, and the High Priest would make a sacrifice at the Temple, and select the Passover lamb. There is some disagreement on the exact date of Ashura. Abu Baseer says in an authentic tradition that it took place on a Saturday ( قال: أبو جعفر عليه السلام: يخرج القائم عليه السلام يوم السبب يوم عاشورا يوم الذي قتل فيه الحسين عليه السلام ). This was also the position of Shaykh al-Saduq and Shaykh al-Mufeed. But the 10th of Muharram does not take place on a Saturday in 61 AH, which is the generally accepted year of the event. It does, however, take place on Saturday in 62 AH, and according to the historian Hisham al-Kalbi, this is the real year that Ashura took place. If this is true, then Ashura took place on the exact same day as Yom Kippur and on the Sabbath that year. This makes for some spectacular sacrificial parallels between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The Imams constantly compared the death of Husayn to that of a ram, because the two are voluntary sacrifices to God by beheading. ( إن كنت باكيا لشئ، فابك للحسين بن علي بن أبي طالب (عليه السلام)، فإنه ذبح كما يذبح الكبش ) Sacrifices are often performed by initiates of an order. Likewise, Husayn was beheaded by Shimr, who had previously been a Shi`i who fought alongside Imam `Ali. Husayn journeyed to Karbala by cutting his own Hajj short. He left the Hijaz before performing the ritual sacrifice of Hajj. Perhaps he would become that sacrifice himself? He left the holy land and was sacrificed in Karbala, another holy and consecrated land. The narrations say that the best observance of the Day of `Arafat is in Karbala. أبي عن سعد عن النهدي عن علي بن أسباط يرفعه إلى أبي عبد الله (ع) قال إن الله تبارك و تعالى يبدأ بالنظر إلى زوار قبر الحسين بن علي ع عشية عرفة قال قلت قبل نظره إلى أهل الموقف قال نعم قلت و كيف ذاك قال لأن في أولئك أولاد زنا و ليس في هؤلاء أولاد زنا Imam as-Sadiq [a] said: Allah looks at the visitors of the grave of al-Hussain b. Ali (as) the night of `Arafah." The narrator asked: "Before those in '`rafah?" The Imam (as) replied: "Yes." The narrator continued asking: "And how is that?" The Imam (as) said: "It is because there are sons of fornication (awlad al-zina) in the people of 'Arafah, but there are none in these (meaning the ones in Karbala)." From these clues and many others, it is clear to me that Husayn is the true lamb of God, who sacrificed himself on behalf of his Shi`a to receive the covenant and blessing of God. Husayn was the one volunteered to give his head so that the world may have Imams. Our crying, mourning, and visitation is an act of association of Husayn so that we may be recipients of the fruit of his sacrifice. Karbala would become the connection between the celestial world and this one. عن أبي جعفر عليه السلام «قال : أيّما مؤمنٍ دَمَعَتْ عيناه لِقَتلِ الحسين عليه السلام دَمْعَةً حتّى تَسيل على خَدِّه بَوَّأه الله بها غُرفاً في الجنّة يَسكنها أحقاباً. Imam al-Baqir said: Any believer whose eyes shed tears for the murder of al-Husayn till they roll (down) his cheek, Allah will make him dwell in rooms of Paradise where he will there for long ages. The early Shi`a of Iraq certainly understood these symbols, because they were coming from cultures and religions where the anthropology of sacrifice were well known. Our world is far removed from this anthropology, and so our connection to Husayn has been through social justice. The problem is that this is purely a horizontal understanding of Karbala, and not a theologically vertical one. It is not as consistent with the sources, and it makes the Imam into a political reformer rather than the Great Sacrifice. Both Imam ar-Rida and Imam al-Mahdi did takfeer of those who denied that Husayn had died. There were some who believed that Husayn was raised up the same way Jesus was raised up. However, this would constitute kufr, because Husayn's sacrifice was the very foundation of the Abrahamic and Muhammadan covenants. يا بن رسول الله وفيهم قوم يزعمون أن الحسين بن علي عليهما السلام لم يقتل وانه ألقى شبهه على حنظلة بن أسعد الشامي، وانع رفع إلى السماء كما رفع عيسى بن مريم عليه السلام ويحتجون بهذه الآية. ولن يجعل الله للكافرين على المؤمنين سبيلا فقال: كذبوا عليهم غضب الله ولعنته وكفروا بتكذيبهم لنبي الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم في اخباره بان الحسين عليه السلام سيقتل، والله لقد قتل الحسين وقتل من كان خيرا من الحسين أمير المؤمنين والحسن بن علي عليهم السلام، وما منا الا مقتول، وانى والله لمقتول بالسم باغتيال من يغتالني أعرف ذلك بعهد معهود إلى من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم أخبره به جبرئيل عليه السلام عن رب العالمين عز وجل، واما قوله عز وجل: (ولن يجعل الله للكافرين على المؤمنين سبيلا) فإنه يقول: لن يجعل الله لهم على أنبيائه عليهم السلام سبيلا من طريق الحجة. A man said to Imam ar-Rida [a], "O son of the Messenger of Allah! There is a community that claims that al-Husayn b. `Ali [a] was not killed, but rather, his likeness was placed upon Hanthala b. As`ad ash-Shami, and that he was raised to the heavens just as Jesus the son of Mary [a] was raised. And they use this verse to support it, 'and never will Allah give the disbelievers a way over the believers' (4:141)" The Imam replied, "They have lied. The anger and the curse of Allah is upon them. They have disbelieved because they have belied the Prophet's saying that al-Husayn [a] will be killed. By Allah, al-Husayn was killed, just as those better than al-Husayn were killed, such as the Commander of the Faithful and al-Hasan b. `Ali. There is not one from us except that he is killed. I, by Allah, will be killed with poison by the assassins of he who will assassinate me. I know this because of a covenant entrusted to me from the Messenger of Allah . He was informed of it by Gabriel [a] from the Lord of the Worlds. As for His saying, 'and never will Allah give the disbelievers a way over the believers' (4:141), He is saying: Allah will not give them a way over His prophets [a] from the path of the Proof." Remember that many of our major narrators come from these Judaeo-Christian backgrounds: Zurara, `Ali b. Mahzayar, Yunus b. `Abd ar-Rahman, Abdullah b. Ja`far al-Himyari, al-Bazanti, `Ali b. Asbat, most of the Ansar (Abu Sa`eed al-Khudri, Jabir b. Abdullah, etc.) 2 of the martyrs of Karbala: John and Abu Wahab al-Kalbi, were Christians. There were things these people recognized in Husayn and in Shiism that we have unfortunately lost. Imam al-Husayn knew that he and his companions would die, and he even chose this. Allah gave him the option to defeat the empire, but he knew that it was not the time. محمد بن يحيى، عن أحمد بن محمد، عن ابن محبوب، عن ابن رئاب، عن ضريس الكناسي قال: سمعت أبا جعفر عليه السلام يقول - وعنده اناس من أصحابه -: عجبت من قوم يتولونا ويجعلونا أئمة ويصفون أن طاعتنا مفترضة عليهم كطاعة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله ثم يكسرون حجتهم ويخصمون أنفسهم بضعف قلوبهم، فينقصونا حقنا ويعيبون ذلك على من أعطاه الله برهان حق معرفتنا والتسليم لامرنا، أترون أن الله تبارك وتعالى افترض طاعة أوليائه على عباده، ثم يخفي عنهم أخبار السماوات والارض ويقطع عنهم مواد العلم فيما يرد عليهم مما فيه قوام دينهم؟! فقال له حمران: جعلت فداك أرأيت ما كان من أمر قيام علي بن أبي طالب والحسن والحسين عليهم السلام وخروجهم وقيامهم بدين الله عز ذكره، وما اصيبوا من قتل الطواغيت إياهم والظفر بهم حتى قتلوا وغلبوا؟ فقال أبو جعفر عليه السلام: يا حمران إن الله تبارك وتعالى قد كان قدر ذلك عليهم وقضاه وأمضاه وحتمه على سبيل الاختيار ثم أجراه فبتقدم علم إليهم من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله قام علي والحسن والحسين عليهم السلام، وبعلم صمت من صمت منا، ولو أنهم يا حمران حيث نزل بهم ما نزل بهم ما نزل من أمر الله عز وجل وإظهار الطواغيت عليهم سألوا الله عزوجل أن يدفع عنهم ذلك وألحوا عليه في طلب إزالة ملك الطواغيت وذهاب ملكهم إذا لاجابهم ودفع ذلك عنهم، ثم كان انقضاء مدة الطواغيت وذهاب ملكهم أسرع من سلك منظوم انقطع فتبدد، وما كان ذلك الذي أصابهم يا حمران لذنب اقترفوه ولا لعقوبة معصية خالفوا الله فيها ولكن لمنازل وكرامة من الله، أراد أن يبلغوها، فلا تذهبن بك المذاهب فيهم. A man said to Imam al-Baqir [a], "May I be your sacrifice! Have you deliberated regarding what occurred from the rising of `Ali b. Abi Talib, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn? They came out and rose up for the religion of Allah; how much they suffered from their deaths at the hands of the tyrants – they were defeated, murdered and overpowered." So Abu Ja`far al-Baqir [a] said: "Allah had destined that for them; decreed it, approved it, and necessitated it – it was beyond choice. It thus occurred and the knowledge of it had come to them from the Messenger of Allah. `Ali, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn rose whilst knowing [the consequences]. By its knowledge, there were those of us who remained silent. Had they, whilst facing what Allah made them face and suffer defeat at the hands of the tyrants, asked Allah to remove their suffering and implored Him to destroy the kingdom of the tyrants, He would have answered their prayers and granted it for them – then, the decree would have removed the tyrants and their kingdom would end faster than the dispersal of threaded beads under pressure. That which they endured was not because of a sin they committed or a punishment for opposing Allah, rather, it was a deliverance and a bounty from Allah, who wished for them to attain it. Do not allow them (i.e. the people) to take you away from the [correct] path." وحدَّثني أبي ـ رحمه الله ـ وجماعة مشايخي ، عن سعد بن عبدالله ، عن عليِّ بن إسماعيل بن عيسى ؛ ومحمّد بن الحسين بن أبي الخطّاب ، عن محمّد بن عَمرو بن سعيد الزّيّات ، عن عبدالله بن بُكير ، عن زُرارة ، عن ابي جعفر عليه السلام «قال : كتب الحسين بن عليِّ مِن مكّة إلى محمّد بن عليٍّ : بِسم الله الرَّحمن الرَّحيم ؛ مِن الحسين بن عليٍّ إلى محمَّد بن عليٍّ ومَن قَبِلَه مِن بني هاشم ؛ أمّا بعد فإنَّ مَنْ لَحِقَ بي اسْتُشْهِد ، ومَنْ لَم يَلْحَقْ بي لم يُدرِكِ الفَتْح ؛ والسَّلام When he was in Mecca, Imam al-Husayn [a] wrote to his brother Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya. He said the following: "In the name of Allah the Beneficient the Merciful: From al-Husayn b. Ali to Muhammad b. Ali and those who are with him from the Children of Hashim [in Medina]. Verily, one who joins me will be martyred, and one who does not join me will not attain the Victory. Peace." وعنه، عن الحسن بن محبوب، عن أبي حمزة الثمالي قال: قلت لابي جعفر عليه السلام: إن عليا عليه السلام كان يقول: " إلى السبعين بلاء " وكان يقول: " بعد البلاء رخاء " وقد مضت السبعون ولم نر رخاء !. فقال أبو جعفر عليه السلام: يا ثابت إن الله تعالى كان وقت هذا الامر في السبعين، فلما قتل الحسين عليه السلام إشتد غضب الله على أهل الارض، فأخره إلى أربعين ومائة سنة، فحدثناكم فأذعتم الحديث، وكشفتم قناع السر، فأخره الله ولم يجعل له بعد ذلك عندنا وقتا، و * (يمحو الله ما يشاء ويثبت وعنده أم الكتاب) *. قال أبو حمزة: وقلت ذلك لابي عبد الله عليه السلام فقال: قد كان ذاك. And from him from al-Hasan b. Mahbub from Abu Hamza ath-Thumali. He said: I said to Abu Ja`far عليه السلام: `Ali عليه السلام used to say, “Tribulations till 70 AH”, and he used to say, “after the tribulations is prosperity”, and yet 70 AH has passed and we have not seen prosperity! So Abu Ja`far عليه السلام said: O Thabit, Allah تعالى had set a time for this affair in 70 AH, but when al-Husayn عليه السلام was killed, Allah’s anger with the people of the Earth intensified. So He delayed it till 140 AH, and we narrated to you [regarding it] and you publicized the narration, so the secret was disclosed. Allah thereafter has not set any time for it that we know of. And, “Allah erases what He wills and establishes [what He wills]; and with Him is the Original Book” (13:39). We all know the story of the Prophet Salih, and Karbala' is an inner dimension of that story. Like many stories of the Qur'an, this one has parallels with that of the Prophet and his Ahl al-Bayt. Salih was the Arab prophet to Thamud, just as Muhammad was the Arab prophet to his people. The people of Thamud idolaters worshiping a rock/mountain, and the Meccans were worshiping idols in the Ka`ba. As a sign, Salih brought a beautiful pregnant she-camel out of this rock. Likewise, Husayn accompanied the Prophet, and he was beautiful ("husayn" means "endeared beauty"). Salih ordered the good treatment of the she-camel, and the Prophet ordered the good treatment of Ahl al-Bayt. The she-camel provided milk (and ancient symbol for eternal life), and Husayn provided the deen. The camel was prevented from drinking the water of Thamud, and Husayn was prevented from water. The camel was struck and killed by the worst person of Thamud, and Husayn was struck and killed by the worst person of the Umma. The camel was survived by an offspring, and Husayn was survived by an offspring. Both the camel and Husayn were a blessing and a sign to the community, and the community neglected their rights and killed them. حدثني محمد بن الحسين الاشناني قال : حدثنا عباد بن يعقوب قال : أخبرنا مورع بن سويد بن قيس قال : حدثنا من شهد الحسين ، قال : كان معه ابنه الصغير فجاء سهم فوقع في نحره ، قال : فجعل الحسين يأخذ الدم من نحره ولبته فيرمى به إلى السماء فما يرجع منه شئ ، ويقول : اللهم لا يكون اهون عليك من فصيل ( ناقة صالح) Imam al-Husayn [a] was with his young son when an arrow struck his neck. So Husayn took the blood of his neck and his chest and threw it in the air, and none of it returned. He said, "O Allah, do not allow this to be less significant to You than the she-camel of Salih [a]." Allah does not need anything from us - He does not need our salat, zakat, or a`mal. The religion's a`mal are all human expressions to approach the Divine. Sacrifice is a religious expression that is rooted in Islam - it is in the stories of the prophets (Habil and Qabil's offerings, Isma`il's sacrifice and Eid al-Adha, the Baqara, in the bay`a of Ridwan) in the salat, in the Hajj, and elsewhere. It is a demonstration of full submission and full adherence to Allah's will. Sacrifice is done to achieve God's favour and His proximity. The Imams were always addressed with "may I be your sacrifice" or "may my mother and father be sacrificed for you" because true allegiance is only when you are ready to put your life on the line. From this post, we see the connection between the sacrifice and the covenant (mithaq/`ahd): Ibrahim and his righteous descendants become Imams only due to his sacrifice, which was rooted in Husayn taking the place of Isma`il. Even the Prophet's own prophethood was preceded by two offerings to Allah. So, the Prophet marked Husayn for sacrifice at birth, and in return, Allah made the Imams from his progeny - I believe there is an association between these two things, because there is always a connection between (1) sacrifice, and (2) covenants/oaths/allegiances. The Hajj is only complete with an animal sacrifice, after which we are reborn with no sins. These symbols are all over the Husayni literature. Husayn knew and willingly chose to meet his Lord on the 10th of Muharram, because a "political" islah and takeover of the Caliphate was not his mission. Imam `Ali and Imam al-Hasan were Caliphs, but their enemies prevented them from rectifying the Islamic Umma. Husayn's mission was to exemplify Islam in his fight - the full submission to the will of Allah. It was an expression of uplifting divine justice and personal responsibility at any cost. But it was also the ultimate act by which we could have the Imamate. Our mourning of him is our expression of associating ourselves with him (walaya), so that we may be counted among the covenant of Ahl al-Bayt. Once we become Muslims, and submit to our duties, and develop a ma`rifa of Allah through His Imams, and form a strong relationship with them, crying is a strong personal way to demonstrate kinship and love to Husayn. The hadiths promise that even one small tear for the Imam will result in a forgiveness of our sins, and one true visitation of our Imam will result in many Hajj. Considering the connections between Hajj and Husayn, the sacrificial and covenant dimensions here should be obvious. Husayn's movement had two legs: justice and sacrifice. If you cut one out of the narrative, the entire narrative falls. What highlights Husayn's movement is his act of sacrifice, which undergirds the Imamate of Ibrahim (as) and his family. Husayn, in his sacrifice, fulfilled the inner meaning of Hajj, which is full subservience and selflessness towards Almighty God Allah. Again and again, the hadiths present the parallels between Hajj and Imam al-Husayn, whose visitation equals many Hajj, because he is the epicentre of Hajj. And Allah knows best.
  49. 1 point
    Abu Hadi

    Overcoming Destructive Desires

    In the view of Islam, desire is not by its nature, destructive. It is merely a tool that human beings use to attain their needs. Whether it is a positive or negative / destructive force in one's life depends on how it is used and channeled. Most every activity that we do in life is motivated by some sort of desire. Why do we get up in the morning, drag ourselves out of bed, into a car or train or bus, travel across town or across multiple towns, leave our family and home, talk to people that we have no interest in talking to, and put ourselves in uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous situations. It is because we desire something. Maybe it's money, maybe it's fame and reputation, maybe its desiring to please Allah(s.w.a) or to help others, but we definitely desire something. Without this desire, it is doubtful whether we would do all this work and spend all this effort that makes us tired, and that most of us get up and do every day. Why do we pray 5 times a day, fast during Ramadan, give away our hard earned money, undertake the rituals of Hajj, Umrah, and Ziyarat ? Is it just because we are bored and need something to do ? No. It's because we desire something, i.e. we desire closeness to Allah(s.w.a) and Paradise, hopefully this is the desire that motivates us. But the hypocrites do the same things, why do they do it ? They also are driven by desire, but their desires are not centered around Allah(s.w.a) but around some benefit they hope to get from the dunya like reputation, fame, praise of the people, etc. The Sexual Desire The sexual desire, like all other desires, is a desire that was given to us by Allah(s.w.a) and is hard wired into our brain. In other words, there is no practical way to get rid of it. When we reach a certain age, it starts, and although it may start to diminish when we get into the later part of our life, it never really goes away. Some religions, such as Christianity, say the sexual desire is inherently evil, and if it has any use, it is only for the reproduction of children. But if that is the case, then why do women have sexual desire even after childbearing age, is God simply tormenting them ? And if it is inherently evil, why would God create something that is inherently evil, and why would God(s.w.a) bring the most miraculous of his creation (i.e. us) as a result of an act (sex) that is inherently evil ? In Islam, the sexual desire, like all other desires is a tool for us to use. It is the prime motivation, at least in the initial stage, for men and women to marry. It is the bond that holds a marriage and thus a family together despite the fact that men and women are different in fundamental ways. Allah(s.w.a) knew that because of these differences between men and women, there would be arguments and disagreements so He(s.w.a) created sexual intercourse as a way to reconcile between spouses after these disagreements had occurred. It is of the many mercies of Allah(s.w.a) upon us that he allowed us to enjoy this and gave us wide latitude in this so that between husband and wife almost everything is halal and this activity can be enjoyed at almost any time (with a few exceptions that probably everyone knows) and almost any place (with those few exceptions of course). This is in contrast to most of the other creation. Many other creatures, for example, can have this experience once, followed by death. Others can only engage in this for a few days during the year. Others have to fight to the death for it. So we are very fortunate in what Allah(s.w.a) has given us. At the same time, like all desires, it is meant to be practiced only between spouses. If the desire is move out of the environment that Allah(s.w.a) intended for it, it can be a very destructive force. If we compare this desire to stomach acid, it would be like stomach acid in the stomach vs stomach acid on the skin. If stomach acid is kept in the stomach, it is a very good thing, in that it can digest our food for us and help our bodies to extract the nutrients from food so that we can survive. But if stomach acid is placed on the skin or anywhere outside the stomach it will eat a hole in tissue and lead to disease and finally death. It is the same stomach acid, only the context is different. Allah(s.w.a) has arranged the creation in such a way that every part has a purpose and a context. When used for an alternate, unintended purpose or taken out of context, that part goes from being constructive to being destructive. In the West, in modern times, the sexual desire has been used by the government and different businesses for the purpose of deception and selling products and ideas. The wanton and irresponsible use of sexual imagery in order to sell products and influence people toward certain ideas has reached a point today in which the taboo that used to exist against using these images has almost totally disappeared. And at the same time this is going on, the chances for youth to fulfill their desires in a halal way are getting less and less. The 'minimum' requirements for a marriage proposal to be accepted is being pushed higher and higher and youth, due to exposure to this irresponsible and wanton use of sexual imagery, have expectations for their spouses that are being pushed higher and higher to an unrealistic and unattainable level. Muslim women are forced to compete with airbrushed, photoshopped, perfectly lit pieces of silicon, and men are forced to compete with airbrushed, perfectly tanned, steroid chugging Hollywood / Bollywood stars. While we can't solve the social part of it, not by ourselves anyway, we can try our best to stick to what our Imams(a.s) and Rasoulallah(p.b.u.h) has told us. Put very simply, avoid that which is vain and that which pushes you toward misusing your desires, and marry, and marry early, as this will give you a good chance to avoid misusing this desire, and thus get you closer to the culmination of desires, which is Paradise. But don't take this lightly, the sexual desire is such a potent force, that it has the potential to drag you to hell as well as take you to Paradise, depending on how you use it.
  50. 1 point
    in5iyaha

    WHAT IS GHAM E HUSSAIN?

    Gham E Hussain is when you wake up in the morning thinking, how the AhlulBayt (A.S) must have slept in Karbala. Gham E Hussain is when you think that how they must have done their Wuzu to pray Salatul Fajr without water. Gham E Hussain is when you sit for breakfast you get tears in your eyes thinking how did the AhlulBayt (A.S.) survive the entire 3 days without food. Gham E Hussain is when you dress up for work and you are wearing your ornaments and you remember how they were snatched from Sakina (A.S.) how she must have cried in pain. Gham E Hussain is when you wear your hijab and you get tears thinking how did Bibi Zainab (A.S.) go to Shaam without it. Gham E Hussain is when you drop your child to school and think, how did Banu (A.S.) sleep that night without her children. Gham E Hussain is when you look at your husband and think, how did Sakina (A.S.) bear the separation from her husband just some minutes after her wedding. Gham E Hussain doesn’t come only by sitting in majlis, it comes from within you, it comes from your heart. Gham E Hussain happens everyday, I repeat, every single day. Labbaik Ya Hussain (A.S.) -In5iyahA
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