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In the Name of God بسم الله

StrugglingForTheLight

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  1. Like
    StrugglingForTheLight reacted to Qa'im for a blog entry, st. -1   
    In Bait-al Ma'mur, Azazil-later called Iblis-sitting on a white minbar and holding a tasbih in his hands, was preaching for a crowd of angels and other residents of empyrean. He was deeply happy and proud to see that he had such a special superior status and that the angels listened to him with great interest.
    After he finished his sermon, angels started asking him theological questions and he answered with full confidence. One of the angels asked:
    O God's beloved, we have worshipping God the Almighty for hundreds of years but we have not achieved a status as high as yours. Tell us, please, the secret behind your success in rising to this enormous  dignity and supereminence.
    Azazil, pleased to hear such a joyful acknowledgement but unaware of that what he thought and what he uttered would put him in a difficult imminent test, smiled and replied: "My friends! Listen to me carefully: I don't deserve the status I have been granted but let me reveal the secret behind my sucess to you.
    Of course, I am not going to boast but to offer help to those who desire to approach our Lord and make him pleased.
    Pure intentions! Friends! Pure intentions! Your problem is that you dont worship God purely for himself but you do it for the purpose of achieving a higher status. Such insincere worship is worthless and is never of any benefit to you.
    Another important point is to avoid being arrogant for it is a major obstacle to...".
    Azazil was preaching when suddenly he found some of the angels talking and not listening to him.
    He shouted :"What is up?! Why are you making so much noise?!"
    One of the angels said :"Sorry, sir! Our minds have been occupied with the recent news!"
    Azazil asked: "the recent news?!"
    The angel replied: "Yes. The news about a new unique creature which God the Almighty is going to create. It is said that no other creature will be equl to it and that God has special plans for this beloved creature-to-be".

    Azazil, surprised at what he had just heared, was lost in thought for a few moments and then said:
    "What a good wonderful news! Indeed, every decision our Lord takes, is wise and praiseworthy. Now, it is better to go and prepare yourselves for celebrating the birth of this welcome creature".
    As the angels were leaving, the purple beads of tasbih, one by one, slipped from his lap and the stairs and scattered on the ground; the tasbih that had been pressed and torn among the fingers of its angry owner who tried to show himself happy and satisfied.
     
     
    Footnotes:
    1. Bait-al Ma'mur( بیت المعمور) is a place in 4th or 7th heaven. It is a Ka'ba for angels.
    2. Tasbih( تسبیح) is a prayer beads.
    3. Minbar(منبر) is a pulpit.
    4. Azazil: عزازیل
  2. Like
    StrugglingForTheLight got a reaction from PureExistence1 for a blog entry, Charity?   
    There's a heart-warming story in the news recently.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41587429
    So far so good. Let's look at the background:
     
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41587429
    That's basically the nub of the problem for me. And it is a twofold problem. First of all, you can have an economic system that exploits the vulnerable, as has happened here.
    The second part of the problem is that although the system provides some people with the opportunity to give large sums to charity, even this is not without cost. Because the donors can impose their own beliefs and values in terms of who they give the money to and what it can be spent on. Neither of these may always be consistent with the interests of the State as expressed in a democracy.
    In this specific instance, a tax based healthcare system makes it obligatory on the rich to pay, the obligations are on them an not the masses. Charity, on the other hand, places obligations on the recipient, the power balance is completely altered.
     
  3. Like
    StrugglingForTheLight reacted to Sumayyeh for a blog entry, Reliable Narrations: Intellect and Knowledge   
    A small collection of 82 reliable narrations concerning Intellect and Knowledge translated into English with annotated footnotes. 
    Download PDF: https://www.scribd.com/document/361632457/Book-of-Intellect-and-Knowledge-Mu-jam-1-1
    This is an UNSECURED version to aid copy and paste.
     
    Preamble
    The first book of the first volume is the book of Intellect and Knowledge. Some short words on the Islamic conception of both is in order.
    Aql is the vehicle through which the initial queries about the reality of life and nature of the world is made. It is also an essential component towards the Ma’rifa [recognition] of Allah. Thus it becomes the preliminary ‘inner prophet’ which can lead to ‘outward’ guidance and consequently obedience of Allah. It has been attributed to al-Sadiq that he said when asked to define Aql:
    ما عبد به الرحمن واكتسب به الجنان
    That by which the Rahman [Most Merciful] is worshipped and by which the Gardens are acquired[1]
    Aql is what will be held accountable. The more perfect the Aql of the one doing the deed the more complete it becomes and vice versa. The messenger of Allah is supposed to have said:
    إذا رأيتم الرجل كثير الصلاة كثير الصيام فلا تباهوا به حتى تنظروا كيف عقله؟
    If you see a man who prays a lot and fasts a lot then do not be overly impressed with him until you observe how his Aql is[2]
    Knowledge and its pursuit has been given such importance in Islam that a Western Scholar like Rosenthal could speak of the ‘Empire of Reason’. Knowledge is of many types, but the one which has been obligated is acquiring the knowledge which will make one succeed in this world and hereafter i.e. knowledge of the creator and one’s obligations towards Him.
    It is not enough to gain knowledge in theoretical terms, in fact the very definition of knowledge is the one which is put into practise. This is best summed up in a narration attributed to the Commander of the Faithful:
    حسبك من العلم أن تخشى الله، وحسبك من الجهل أن تعجب بعلمك
    It is enough to be considered knowledge that you be in awe of Allah, and it is enough to be considered ignorance that you feel proud with that which you know[3]
      [1] al-Kafi: 1/11
    [2] al-Kafi: 1/26
    [3] Amali of al-Tusi: 1/62
  4. Like
    StrugglingForTheLight reacted to Hameedeh for a blog entry, Jewishencyclopedia.com got me real Mad   
    Anger and me have a bit of a weird relationship, I get angry pretty easily/fast but for the most part I can keep it in, especially in public.  But there are so few rare times when I get so angry that cheeks burn.  One such recent occasion was because of a website known as jewishencyclopedia.com.  Now let me start off by saying I didn’t get mad when the website said Prophet Muhammad copied things from the Jews, Christians, and some pagans (well I was a little annoyed), the reason why I wasn’t angry with that was because I didn’t make sense for me to be annoyed that people from another religion don’t consider him a prophet. No, I was angry for (many) other reasons.
     
    Let’s start off by setting up the scene.  I should of been doing my homework, I really should of, but ya’ll can see the first word of the blog’s name and indeed I was doing that.  I was doing some research about the Arabs, usually stuff, but then I came upon Hagar’s entry in the jewishencyclopedia.  The first half of it was okay, it talked about Hagar in the Bible and the some positive things about her from the Talmud.
    Then I kept reading.
    And the second half of the article began talking about negative views/things about Hagar from the Talmud.  This was the first and most thing that made me angry. My noble friends, Hagar means a Lut (I know it’s not funny, but I still enjoy it) to me, not only is she the mother and wife of two very important prophets, she is also my many great grandmother. And sir, no one dares talks bad about my family when I’m around.  The second half of the article went on about how Ishmael (I’m writing the English version of his name, deal with it. I’m reading it as the Arab version and you probably are too.) was actually her second son because Sarai (at this time in Genesis Abraham’s and Sarah’s
    names were Abram and Sarai) caused Hagar to miscarriage by giving her the “evil eye.”
     
    (A quick side not, in the Genesis, Sarah is the half-sister to Abraham. I found that out when I was  talking to my Bib Lit. teacher about how one of David’s sons raped his (half) sister, and my teacher said, “Remember Genesis? It mentions how Sarah was the half-sister to Abraham. I got more to say about my Bib Lit. class, I really loved it, probably gonna have a blog about it.)
    And that’s not all! The article also mentions that some Talmud scholars even say that Hagar would make fun of Sarai (again at this time her name is Sarai, God changed their names after he told them Sarai was pregnant with Isaac) for being barren.  The article mentions that some Genesis and Talmud scholars believe that the reason Sarah wanted Abraham to kick out Hagar and Ishmael was because Sarah was scared Isaac wouldn’t get the full inheritance and some even mention Ishmael was sexually deviant when it came to Sarah.  (Just a reminder, the story in the Bible and the Islamic version differ, if you want some clarification just ask, I consider myself a bit of a non-expert expert when it comes to the Bible (mostly the Old Testament/Tanakh)).  Then what made my blood really boil is when I read that some scholars believe that Hagar didn’t really believe in God because she gave Ishmael an Egyptian wife. Oh and just to add a cherry on the anger, they tell the Islamic version of Ibrahim leaving Hagar and Ishmael in the desert and they get the story wrong.
    “That was pretty long,” some of you might be thinking.
    BUT WAIT!
    That was only the article on Hagar, which admittedly got me the most mad, but like an idea, I decided to read some other articles.  The articles about the Arabs/Ishmaelites, Prophet Muhammad, and the Jews of Arabia have many things in common that ticked me off.
    The author(s) of the articles try to distant the relationship between the Hebrews and Arabs as much as they can. They say that Arabs are actually mainly descendants of the Babylonians (I just wanna point out that in the Bible, the Babylonians were viewed negatively and were at one point the opposers of the Hebrew) and with some blood from Ishmael and Esau mixed in.  When they talk about the Jews of Arabia, they mention that these Jews weren’t as “good” (whatever the hell that means, but I think they're referring to  intelligence and spirituality in this context) as other Jews but because they were still Jewish it meant  they were superior to the surrounding Arabs.  They talk about how that Prophet Muhammad went to war with the Jews was because he wasn’t smart enough to convince him that he was a prophet because they were so much smarter than him. They fail to mention the many reasons why it was the Jewish tribes fault for those wars, such as breaking treaties, assassination plots, and making many bad decisions just to name a few.  
    Another thing they do is instead of saying Muslims, they would instead say Muhammadan.  Which is a pretty obvious (and petty) way of putting down Muslims.
    There’s a lot more they get wrong and insulting things they write, but I’m gonna wrap it up with this. In the article about Jesus (I’m gonna skip over most of it, most of it is blugh and the Christians in the comments say more than I care to talk about at this time) they say Sura 3 verse 43 is about Jesus making birds out of clay.
    Quran 3:43: O Mary, be devoutly obedient to your Lord and prostrate and bow with those who bow [in prayer]." (Sahih International)
    I seem to notice a lack of Jesus, clay, and birds. But that could just be me.
     
    I went to bed not long after that, but I stayed awake for a long time because how angry I was.  I don’t have anything against Jews/Hebrews. I’m not anti-Semitic (but I am anti-Israeli/Zionist). But this site made me really mad and I’m gonna avoid it for the time being. When it comes to the Tanahk and the Talmud, these guys are pretty good about their job but when it comes to talking about other religions… Let’s just say they shouldn’t put it in their resume (I wanted to end the blog with that line or “Let’s just say they shouldn’t write home about it”. I don’t know which one to put so I’m leaving them both in.)
  5. Like
    StrugglingForTheLight reacted to Bakir for a blog entry, Misplaced Piety?   
    People like being pious, it makes them feel good. And for atheists, it makes them feel holy in a, "I'm not religious but I am spiritual' kind of way. There are many behaviours nowadays that attract such piety.
    Protesting against animal cruelty is one of them. A lot of this is entirely correctly 'placed.' Cruelty to animals is wrong. But the piety becomes misplaced in my opinion when it goes to the extent of arguing that eating meat per se is wrong.
    The latter involves making up a whole host of ethical and other arguments which are purely a construct of prevailing fashion.
  6. Like
    StrugglingForTheLight reacted to mostafaa for a blog entry, Nationalism & Religion   
    It was Saudi Arabia's national day last week and the event seems to be taking on more significance than in the past.
    http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2017/09/23/Saudi-Arabia-celebrates-87th-National-Day-with-nationwide-festivities.html
    The Arab press don't admit it, but the UK's Guardian newspaper has the following observation:
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/24/saudi-arabia-allows-women-into-stadium-as-it-steps-up-reforms
     
    Ostensibly a religiously charged national identity gave some power to local Saudi clergy. The move towards a more secular national identity will likely be transferring that power to political scientists, public relations agencies, media and entertainment groups outside Saudi.
    The parallel here is the Shah of Iran's attempt at forging a national identity away from Islam and his attempts to link the Pahlavis to the Achaemenid Emperors. That attempt also relied heavily on foreign advisors, experts and consultants.
     
  7. Like
    StrugglingForTheLight reacted to Hameedeh for a blog entry, Spread by the Sword?   
    بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
               
                Not only is Islam the second-largest religion in the world, but it is the world’s fastest growing religion. With globalization and the influx of Muslim immigration to the West, many people are reluctantly meeting Muslims for the first time. Fear of the unknown is common, but that fear is constantly perpetuated by images of violence in the Muslim world. As a visible minority with little political leverage, the Muslim community is an easy target for xenophobes, warmongers, and nationalists. The Muslim world is the needed bogeyman for the military-industrial complex, private security companies, and isolationist politicians to thrive. Rather than trying to understand the complex imperial and economic variables that cause violence in the Muslim world, it is both simpler and more cunning to resort to generalized arguments about Islam. This view, however, overlooks the many scientific and philosophical contributions Muslims have made to Western civilization. More importantly, it distorts the reality of the Muslim civilization’s mostly-tolerant history. The centuries-old narrative that Islam was “spread by the sword” is still popular today, and it causes Muslims living in the West to be looked at as a suspicious Trojan horse waiting to Islamize the world. It is therefore necessary for us to deconstruct this worldview. This paper will briefly explore the rise and expansion of Islam, and demonstrate that tolerance and plurality were founding principles of Islamic ethics.
                Since the early days of the Prophet Muhammad’s ministry, Islam’s relationship with non-Muslim communities has been notable. Shortly after the Muslim migration to Medina (then known as Yathrib) in 622 CE, the Prophet drafted the Constitution of Medina. This charter put an end to tribal infighting in Medina, created a new judicial system, guaranteed the mutual protection of Muslims and non-Muslims, and established a new “Community of Believers (mu’mineen)”. (Gil, 2004, pp. 21) This community would include the Jewish tribes of Medina, while still recognizing their distinct identity and laws. Although Bernard Lewis claims that the Constitution of Medina was a unilateral proclamation by Muhammad, (Lewis, 1993, pp. 22) Muslim sources generally referred to it as a pact between the Muslims and the Jews following the two pledges at `Aqaba. Furthermore, Wellhausen, a German orientalist, regarded this charter to be a multilateral agreement negotiated between all of the involved groups. (Gil, 2004, pp. 22)
                The Prophet Muhammad also ratified writs of protection to other communities. The Ashtiname of Muhammad, which was written by `Ali b. Abi Talib upon the commission of Muhammad, granted privileges to the Christian monks of St. Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt. (Ratliff, 2012, pp. 63) The document guarantees that Christians are not to be overtaxed, plundered, disturbed, or coerced into marriages. (Morrow, 2013) These covenants demonstrate that the Prophet pursued a peaceful and tolerant coexistence with other communities, and made his followers accountable to ethical principles of justice.            
    The Prophet Muhammad very plainly stressed the equality of all people, regardless of tribe, colour, class, or ethnicity. While rights differed among subgroups of society, the Islamic civilization held no concept of the natural subordination of individuals or groups. (Hamid, 1982, pp. 127) Conversion to Islam only required a simple declaration of faith, while becoming a member of the ancient Greek polity was only possible for Greek male property owners. (Hamid, 1982, pp. 127)  The egalitarianism of the Quranic message was attractive to many who sought social refuge from the caste system and other forms of subordination. (Eaton, 1992, pp. 117)
    The Caliphate’s medieval conquests, which occurred after the Prophet Muhammad, are the main source of agitation among those suspicious of Muslims. It should be noted that `Ali b. Abi Talib, who is considered the rightful successor to Muhammad by Shia Muslims, refrained from taking part in these conquests, despite being renowned as a great warrior. There should be no doubt that there were incidents that occurred during early expansion that are not in line with the teachings of the Prophet, especially during the ridda wars and the Battle of `Ulays. The Shia Imams consistently held the Caliphate accountable during mistrials and in moments of nepotism; and they struggled to establish social and economic justice in the Muslim world. But, the frame that the Islamic conquests were wholly or mostly negative is a Eurocentric view that does not account for other pieces of the puzzle.
                Many ancient texts document extensive Judeo-Christian support for the Muslim conquests of Byzantium and Persia. Jews in the Levant had expected a redeemer who would deliver them from the Roman occupiers. (Crone, 1977, pp. 3-6) The Romans had destroyed the Jerusalem Temple in 134 CE, outlawed Jews from living within ten miles of Jerusalem, disbanded the Jewish high court, taxed the Jews heavily, and persecuted them for siding with the Persians. This torment ignited a messianic fervour among medieval Jews, leading to a widespread anticipation of a saviour. One of the earliest non-Muslim references to the rise of Islam is the Doctrina Jacobi, a Greek Christian anti-Jewish polemical text written in 634 CE, just two years after the passing of Prophet Muhammad. The text describes “overjoyed” Jews celebrating the Muslim arrival in Byzantium. (Crone, 1977, pp. 3) Moreover, The Secrets of Simon ben Yohai, a Jewish apocalyptic text written between the seventh and eighth centuries CE, tells of the emergence of an Ishmaelite “prophet according to God’s will” who would save the Jewish people from their oppressors. (Crone, 1977, pp. 4-5)
    The Islamic conquest of the Levant would restore Jewish access to Jerusalem and establish a polity that would include Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike. The Pact of Umar II, a writ of protection extended by `Umar b. `Abd al-`Aziz in the seventh century, promised safety and the right to worship to Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians in exchange for the payment of the poll tax (jizya). (Berger, 2006, pp. 88) While some orientalists have criticized the Pact’s prohibition on riding horses, Muslim clothing and building high structures, these stipulations may have been placed to prevent insurrections against Muslim garrisons, rather than to humiliate or subordinate non-Muslims.
                The Muslim treatment of non-Muslims was similarly commended by Near Eastern Christians. John bar Penkaye, an East Syriac Nestorian writer of the late seventh century, praised the Muslim overthrow of the Sassanid dynasty. In his Summary of World History, he writes, “We should not think of the advent [of the children of Hagar] as something ordinary, but as due to divine working. Before calling them, [God] had prepared them beforehand to hold Christians in honour, thus they also had a special commandment from God concerning our monastic station, that they should hold it in honour … God put victory in their hands.” (Pearse) This early Christian account documents the just conduct of Muslim rulers, likening it to divine intervention. Furthermore, after the Byzantines had seized control of Egypt and put the Coptic Patriarch Benjamin I of Alexandria into exile, the Muslim conquerors restored Benjamin I’s authority and brought order to the affairs of the Coptic Church.
    Many cultures were drawn to Islam’s magnetic social appeal. Indonesia, which is the country with the highest population of Muslims, encountered Arab merchants in the thirteenth century. Along with the arrival of Muslim commercialism, Islamic stories and symbols were introduced to the population through traditional wayang puppet shows. (Hamish, 2011, pp. 46-51) In the Indian subcontinent, Islam provided social mobility to lower castes, giving people equal rights and freeing them from total subservience to the Brahmans. The transformative power of Sufism was also attractive to many Hindus who sought ascetic, mystical brotherhoods. (Lapidus, 1988, pp. 363) Sufi and Shia saints continue to be revered by Hindu and Sikh poets in India.
    Although the Muslim empires had a tumultuous relationship with European Christians over the centuries, sizable Christian and Jewish communities with ancient origins continued to thrive in the Muslim world. Moorish and Ottoman confrontations with Christendom have propelled the misconception that Islam was spread by the sword. The fact is, however, that the conversion of the Near East to Islam occurred very gradually. By 800 CE, only 18% of Iraq’s population was Muslim. (Brown, 2016) Furthermore, Egypt, Spain, and the Levant did not attain a Muslim majority until the eleventh century. (Brown 2016) This means that the Muslims were a minority in the heartlands of their own civilization for hundreds of years. While poll taxes and other social pressures certainly promoted conversion to Islam, ancient churches, synagogues, temples, and other relics were maintained. Judeo-Christian populations even had rights to printing presses and European books in the Ottoman Empire – a privilege rarely granted to Muslims. (Brown, 2016) 14% of the Middle East remained Christian by 1910, with significant populations in Syria, Palestine and Egypt. (Brown, 2016)
    On the other hand, Christendom had a relatively poor record with minorities. Although Iberia was mostly Muslim in the fifteenth century, all Muslims were expelled or forced to convert to Christianity in 1526. (Brown, 2016) In 1609, 3-4% of Spain’s population consisted of Christian descendants of Muslims, who were also expelled under King Philip the Third. Anti-Jewish pogroms were also common in pre and post-Enlightenment European history. While there are many ancient Christian communities in the Muslim world, there are practically no ancient Muslim communities in the Christian world, despite Islam’s long history in Spain, Portugal, Sicily, and Eastern Europe.
                In recent decades, the Muslim world’s relationship with its non-Muslim minority communities has suffered. Colonialism, neo-imperialism, military dictatorships, and poor economies have sometimes caused the alienation and scapegoating of ethnic and religious minorities in the Muslim world. In June 2014, the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which rose out of the destabilization of Iraq and Syria, routed Christians out of Mosul. This genocide marked the end of over a thousand years of continuous Muslim-Christian coexistence in the region. While ISIL’s actions are a black mark on modern Islamic history, ISIL’s main military and ideological opponents are other Muslims in the region and around the world. This paper demonstrates that normative Islam seeks unity under common ethical principles. It is vital for Muslims to revive an equitable, pluralistic and tolerant worldview, not just because diversity is strength, but because it is the ethos of our civilization.           
     
    Bibliography
    Berger, Julia Phillips., and Sue Parker. Gerson. Teaching Jewish History. Springfield, NJ: A.R.E. Pub., 2006. Print.
    Pearse, John Bar Penkaye, Summary of World History (Rish Melle) (2010). N.p., n.d. Web. 9 July 2016.
    Crone, Patricia, and Michael Cook. Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1977. Print.
    Http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4L23Z_agh1qeV_odQfV6Vg. "Dr. Jonathan AC Brown - The Message of Peace Spread by the Sword - UMaine IAW 2016." YouTube. YouTube, 2016. Web. 9 July 2016.
    Eaton, Richard Maxwell. The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204-1760. Berkeley: U of California, 1993. Print.
    Gil, Moshe, and David Strassler. Jews in Islamic Countries in the Middle Ages. Leiden: Brill, 2004. Print.
    Harnish, David D., and Anne K. Rasmussen. Divine Inspirations: Music and Islam in Indonesia. New York: Oxford UP, 2011. Print.
    Lapidus, Ira M. A History of Islamic Societies. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1988. Print
    Lewis, Bernard. The Arabs in History. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1993. Print.
    Morrow, John A. The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
    Ratliff, Brandie, and Helen C. Evans. Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition, 7th-9th Century. New York, NY: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. Print.
    ʻInāyat, Ḥamīd. Modern Islamic Political Thought. Austin: U of Texas, 1982. Print.
  8. Like
    StrugglingForTheLight reacted to Haji 2003 for a blog entry, National Museum Riyadh   
    Spent a nice late afternoon/ early evening at the National Museum in Riyadh. Entry costs 10 Riyals and is well worth the admission. The place is built for large crowds weekday mornings seem to be set aside for parties of school kids. While I was there I only saw one Saudi couple and a party of four Germans and their English speaking guide.
    So a nice and peaceful experience.
    All signage is in Arabic and good English.
    The exhibition starts of with natural history (dinosaurs etc.), with plenty of quotations from the Quran. I walked through that pretty quickly because there did not seem to be anything that isn't done better everywhere else.
    Then the interesting stuff about the Arabian peninsula starts. Lots of early vases and implements, together with photos of excavations of early settlements and also actual mock-ups. The east and Yemeni coasts of the peninsula seem to be almost littered with abandoned towns. Many seem to have served trade routes and there seem to have been times in the peninsula's history when the nomads had the upper hand and times when it paid to be settled.
    The last exhibits on the ground floor deal with the Jahiliya period, before you take an escalator upstairs for the start of the Islamic period.
    The early part of the Prophet's (saw) story is told on posters, together with blow-up maps and copies of real and facsimile Qurans. The narrative is what you'd expect with minimal references to the Ahlulbayt (a.s.).
    The coverage then moves onto the Ummayad and Abbasid periods and after the Ottomans its the Saudi family history. There's a whole gallery about the latter and a mini-cinema that shows a film about how the modern state was founded. The showcases have lots of guns from the early 20th century. 
    Surprisingly there's next to nothing about the oil industry and its history in the Kingdom. 
    There's a tiny cafe (for takeaways) and the souvenir shop does not sell fridge magnets. So there was nothing to keep me and I walked out to the street to find a taxi with an Urdu speaking driver (easy peasy).
    The image is of the bag that is used to hold to key to the house of the Prophet (s.a.w.) in Madinah.

  9. Like
    StrugglingForTheLight reacted to Haji 2003 for a blog entry, Old certainties   
    The election of Donald Trump has been attributed to a number of factors from straight out racism and sexism to economic dislocation and to the social and cultural change that has been taking place in the United States and which has not been welcomed in all quarters.
    The result of these perceived slights has been the election of someone who can at best be described as chauvinistic and at worst a reactionary conservative.
    What is noteworthy, however, is the extent to which this election is accepted as representing generally reasonable grievances. It is claimed that this is a cry for the silent majority to be listened to.
    All this may well be, but it should also be noted that there are peoples and cultures (sometimes Muslim ones) around the world who have suffered far greater hardship over the past several decades and whose cultures have faced far greater assault from without.
    Yet, when they try and reassert themselves they are critcised for being the authors of their own hardship and indeed the cultural sovereignty they aspire to is ridiculed on the basis for having been the cause of their failures to date.
    The very same criticisms could be levelled at Americans. They've passed the torch of economic leadership to other countries and as a result do not have the same opportunities that they once did. They should accept this and look within themselves, their beliefs, reward systems and work ethics.
    The United States has elected a candidate who seeks to reassert America's economic greatness, not by introspction and making America more competitive but by changing the rules of the game in terms of international trade deals. The same economic order that brough America so much prosperity in the past is now being changed because China and India have risen and the old rules no longer serve America as they used to.
    Similarly while the U.S. has been happy to export its culture overseas, when its white, Protestant, Anglo-Saxon culture becomes threatened by a brown Spanish speaking Catholic one, the challenge must be met.
    In the final calculation, there's one set of rules for the U.S. and another set for other countries and cultures.
    https://contemporaniablog.wordpress.com/2016/11/07/test-2/#more-678
     
  10. Like
    StrugglingForTheLight reacted to Abu Hadi for a blog entry, Going Astray Part 3   
    اعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَزِينَةٌ وَتَفَاخُرٌ بَيْنَكُمْ وَتَكَاثُرٌ فِي الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَوْلَادِ كَمَثَلِ غَيْثٍ أَعْجَبَ الْكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُ ثُمَّ يَهِيجُ فَتَرَاهُ مُصْفَرًّا ثُمَّ يَكُونُ حُطَامًا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانٌ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ
    KNOW [O men] that the life of this world is but a play and a passing delight, and an ephemeral amusement, and [the cause of] your boastful vying with one another, and [of your] greed for more and more riches and children. Its parable is that of [life-giving] rain: the herbage which it causes to grow delights the tillers of the soil; but then it withers, and you see it turn yellow; and in the end it crumbles into dust. But [the abiding truth of man’s condition will become fully apparent] in the life to come: [either] suffering severe,or God’s forgiveness and His goodly acceptance: for the life of this world is nothing but a passing self-delusion. -
    Holy Quran 57:20 
    Going Astray Part 3 - The Trap
    In the Holy Quran, as well as hadith from our Imams(a.s), we are taught that this world is nothing but a passing fancy, a very short term thing that we should not give too much importance to. And yet, we are placed in this world, and have to survive. Some of us are faced with great difficulties just to have a roof over our head and food on the table. We live in a world that is mostly chaotic, inconsistent, full of conflicts and tribulation. Enemies trying to destroy us, and so called 'friends' that are insincere and disloyal. Mixed in with this are beautiful passages of poetry, glittering objects that catch our eye, desires that we have that almost rip our hearts from our chest, profound words of wisdom that we hear or read, and a few individuals that we meet or know that seem to rise above all the noise and clamour, staying steady and consistent with decency, morality, and their own internal values. 
    We walk thru forests, look up at the tall trees, we trudge thru swaps, wade thru rivers, sink into desert sands, and we stammer, stare, sit and wait, cough and stammer, trip and fall, and roll down hills and into valleys, and then find ourselves stuck, our foot unable to move, wincing in pain. We look down and see blood gushing from above the ankle. We can feel the cold steel. Rush of heat up our spine. We look down and see the teeth of the trap digging into our flesh. Immobilized. We look up and down, right and left, back and forth. Twisting, writhing. Waiting for relief from the trap. 
    Imam Sadiq(a.s) says. 
    عن ابي عبدالله عليه السلام قال: راس كل خطيئة حب الدنيا
    “Attachment to World is the basis of all sins and transgressions.” Imam Sadiq(a.s)
    Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 3, p-7.
    Some people misunderstand this and related hadiths. He is not saying 'the dunya', this world, or anything in the world is the root of all evil and sins. You cannot point to an object like money, t.v., the Internet, or another human being like a leader, king, or tyrant, or even an activity like sex, or a desire like lust, or a profession, or anything else and say this is the root of all evil. Imam Sadiq(a.s) says 'Hub' or love of this is the root, not the thing itself. 
    We should examine the meaning of 'hub' or love in this context and also in the context of the verses of the Holy Quran regarding this world. 
    'Hub' in this context has to do with 
    1) The value and importance we assign to something
    2) What we are willing to do(or not do) in order to get or achieve it. 
    Let me give an example. 
    Two friends make a deal in their early teens that they are both going to become doctors. They are going to get good grades, then apply to college, do good in college, and hopefully apply to Medical School and graduate. They both do good in School, college, then apply to Med School and are both accepted. One of the friends comes from a wealthy family and the other comes from a poor family. The wealthy friend shows up for Medical School on the first day, after his parents paid a huge tuition bill, and wonders where his poor friend is. The poor friend, having no money to pay the huge tuition bill, starts thinking about what he is going to do. He knows that he is not going to fulfill his dream unless he gets some money. He decides he is going to rob a bank (cause that's where the money is..). He gets a gun, mask, all the robber stuff, makes a plan, and because he is smart the plan works perfectly, gets the money, pays his tuition, and shows up on the second day. 
    His rich friends asks, 'Where were you buddy..'. He answers, 'I had some things to take care of..'. 
    So there is no love of the dunya going on here, up until the point where the poor friend robs the bank (we are assuming he is muslim, and knows it is haram to steal and rob). Going to school, getting good grades, trying hard, becoming a doctor and making a good salary, there is nothing wrong with that as long as you can do all that and not violate the clear laws and ordinances that Allah(s.w.a) has revealed to you. Because when you start to 'love' your goals, plans, and ideas so much that you are willing to violate and do violate the clear rules and guidelines then that is the point where you 'love the dunya', and not before that. 
    Now some people will look at the poor friend and say, 'Well he is poor, so he had to do what he had to do..'. He had to 'take care of business'. From an Islamic perspective, this is wrong thinking. Being poor is not haram or a crime(although it is treated as such by modern society), it is a circumstance, and most of the time a temporary one. The fact of being poor says nothing, either positive or negative about someones character or religion. 
    It is the wrong thinking associated with poverty (that things are hopeless and the only way out is getting wealth by any means) and wrong thinking associated with wealth (because I am wealthy, therefore I am better than other people and have more rightst than they do) that is the trap, not the poverty or wealth itself. The trap is the wrong thinking, whether you are rich or poor, that there is something in this world that is worth risking disobeying Allah(s.w.a) in order to get it. If you know Allah(s.w.a), even on a very superficial level, and you know yourself, even on a superficial level, you will know that there is nothing in this world that is worth disobeying Allah(s.w.a) in order to get it, even if it is the world in it's entirety. Now you see the trap. Be careful not to step into it. 
     
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    StrugglingForTheLight reacted to Abu Hadi for a blog entry, Going Astray, Part 1   
    بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمـَنِ الرَّحِيمِ1:1
    يَا أَيُّهَا الْإِنسَانُ مَا غَرَّكَ بِرَبِّكَ الْكَرِيمِ 
    "Oh Mankind, what has distracted you from your Lord, The Generous"
    Holy Quran 82:6
     
    Noone starts out life with the intention of being a criminal. I have never met a little boy who told me 'I want to grow up to be a drug dealer'. I have never met a little girl who told me 'I want to grow up to be a prostitute'. Noone starts out life with the intention of being an anti social person, or someone with no religion or connection to Allah(s.w.a). It is something that begins as a small things and progresses in stages. 
    Evil is described most often in the Quran as a 'disease in the hearts'. This is not talking about the physical heart, but the 'qalb' or spiritual heart. The physical heart pumps blood to every cell in our body, and with the blood, the oxygen, food, and nutrients our cells need in order to keep on living. The spiritual heart also provides our spirit with the food it needs in order for our spirit, our nafs to sustain itself. When there is a disease in this spiritual heart, it is no longer able to provide us with what we need in order to sustain our spirit, and our spirit undergoes a slow and agonizing death before the death of the body. This is why, many times in our life, we come across individuals who are nothing but a hollow shell, simply living to fulfill their lower, animal desires with no 'spark' in their eyes. How did they get like that ? Were they born that way ? Obviously not. We should take a lesson from this. 
    While it is true that life in this world provides many opportunities for us to grow spiritually and for us to strengthen our connection with Allah(s.w.a), this life is also a minefield. It is full of flowers and springs that hide underneath them or besides them a deadly trap. If we step on that mine or fall into that trap, it could destroy or sabotage all the good deeds we have done and all the effort we have put into our journey toward our Creator(s.w.a). None of us are immune from this, since we all live in the world and are subject to it's rules and conditions. 
    If you look at Islam compared to other religions, it is a complete religion. While there are other religions such as Christianity, Judaism, and others which have very beautiful and wonderful spiritual teachings, homilies, sound advice, and wisdom, these religions are not complete (in their modern forms) because they lack the basic ingredients needed to preserve the spiritual gains that they make thru worship and other righteous acts. These religions, when they are practiced, are like a house in which there is piles of gold, but the doors are left unlocked so that thieves could go in at night and take whatever they want. So the followers of these religions think that they are rich because of all the gold that they have, but when they go and inspect their house (usually after their death) they find there is nothing left inside to benefit them. 
    Once upon a time…a man heard the Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) say that for each time a person recites Subhan’Allah, Allah plants for him a tree in paradise. The man stood up and said if this were the case, then there must be many trees for us in paradise. Upon which the Prophet replied, “Yes, but you must be careful that you do not set fire from here and burn them all down.” (Iddat ad-Dai).
    So Islam, in contrast for other religions, has a way for us to preserve our spiritual gains and rewards. That is the Shariat. The laws which were made incumbent upon us by Allah(s.w.a). The halal, wajib, and the haram. This is also called the Taslim (where the word Islam comes from) or obedience to Allah(s.w.a) by doing what He(s.w.a) loves us to do and refraining from what He(s.w.a) hates us to do. This is the shield that blocks the arrows, and the armour that protects us from the landmines, and the light which helps us to see where the traps are laid for us. 
    اتْلُ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاء وَالْمُنكَرِ وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ 
    Convey whatever of The Book has been revealed unto thee,  and be constant in prayer: for, behold, prayer restrains [man] from indecency and from all that runs counter to reason; and remembrance of God is indeed the greatest [good]. And God knows all that you do.
    Holy Quran 29:45 
    Notice in the above ayat of the Quran the word 'Salat'. The word Salat has a specific meaning in Islam. It is the prayer that is prescribed for us, as muslims, i.e. The Fajr, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, Isha, and the Friday Prayer (Salat Jumaat). The wajib prayers, i.e. the ones that muslims pray, keeps off from the person indecency and loathsome deeds. Prayers has a general meaning in Islam, 'du'a' and a specific meaning 'Salat'.
    But at the same time only following part of the wajib, haram, and halal and not the other parts will not protect us. We must fulfill ALL our duties to Allah(s.w.a), those that are required of us, in order to preserve our nafs against the spiritual diseases and traps. InShahAllah, in the next entries, I will go into more detail about this subject. 
     
     
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    StrugglingForTheLight reacted to Abu Hadi for a blog entry, Going Astray Part 2   
    بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمـَنِ الرَّحِيمِ 
    In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
    أَلَمْ أَعْهَدْ إِلَيْكُمْ يَا بَنِي آدَمَ أَن لَّا تَعْبُدُوا الشَّيْطَانَ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ
    Did I not enjoin on you, O you children of Adam, that you should not worship Satan – since, verily, he is your open enemy
     
    Going Astray Part 2 - The Enemy
     
    In order for us to 'Cross The Rubicon', there are three things we need to know, essential knowledge. We need to know ourselves, we need to know our Lord(s.w.a), and we need to know our enemy. About our enemy, we first need to understand that in fact, there are two enemies, there is the internal enemy, which is our desires which stand in opposition to the will of Allah(s.w.a) for us. These are called sometimes the 'Nafs Al Ammara' in Islamic theology or the lower self. This is the self that invites us to evil, as stated in the Holy Quran
    وَمَا أُبَرِّىءُ نَفْسِي إِنَّ النَّفْسَ لأَمَّارَةٌ بِالسُّوءِ إِلاَّ مَا رَحِمَ رَبِّيَ إِنَّ رَبِّي غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
     
    And yet, I am not trying to absolve myself: for, verily, man's inner self does incite [him] to evil, and the saved are only they upon whom my Sustainer bestows His grace. Behold, my Sustainer is constantly forgiving, and constantly merciful !" - Quran 12:53 
    This is the enemy that is always within us, which flows with our blood. This enemy is normally very weak and docile and has very little power over us. The way that it gets activated and starts to control us is when it is activated or stimulated by forces outside of us, in our environment. It is like furnace with a pilot light. The pilot light is always on, but the furnace doesn't get hot until fuel is added from outside in order to make combustion happen. This fuel comes in a variety of forms. It could be other people, jinn, sound, images, ideas, products, etc that incite us to ignore or go against the clear commands of Allah(s.w.a). All these things that push us in the direction away from Allah, Rasoulallah,Quran, Ahl Al Bayt are collectively known as 'Shaitan' or Satan. The other meaning for 'Shaitan' is an actual being, a jinn, with the name of 'Iblis'. The name of Iblis comes from the root word LaBaSa(verb form) meaning 'he gave up all hope'. LaBaSa became Iblis(noun form) meaning 'The one who gave up all hope', i.e. gave up all hope of being forgiven by Allah(s.w.a). Regarding Iblis, here are a few verses from Quran
    وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلاَئِكَةِ اسْجُدُواْ لآدَمَ فَسَجَدُواْ إِلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ أَبَى وَاسْتَكْبَرَ وَكَانَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ  
    And when We told the angels, "Prostrate yourselves before Adam!"  -they all prostrated themselves, save IBLIS, who refused and became arrogant: and thus he became one of those who deny the truth. Quran 2:34 
    قَالَ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَلاَّ تَسْجُدَ إِذْ أَمَرْتُكَ قَالَ أَنَاْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ 
    [And God] said: "What has kept you from prostrating thyself when I commanded you?" Answered [IBLIS]: "I am better than him: You have created me out of fire, whereas You have created him out of clay." - 7:12 
    قَالَ فَأَنظِرْنِي إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ
    Said [IBLIS]: "Grant me a respite till the Day when all shall be raised from the dead." - 7:14 
    قَالَ فَبِمَا أَغْوَيْتَنِي لأَقْعُدَنَّ لَهُمْ صِرَاطَكَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
    [Whereupon IBLIS] said: "Now that Thou has thwarted me, I shall most certainly lie in ambush for them all along Thy straight way, - 7:16 
    Prior to this event, Iblis, who is one of the jinn, was a great worshipper of Allah(s.w.a). He had reached such a high spiritual stage and closeness to Allah(s.w.a) that he was in the company of the angels. He never disbelieved in Allah(s.w.a), but his jealousy toward Prophet Adam(a.s) led him to disobey a direct order from Allah(s.w.a) and to not seek forgiveness for this disobedience, and then to actually stand in opposition to the truth, thus becoming kafir. And he vowed to misguide all the children of Adam. 
    In the current stage, Iblis and his main followers, the jinn, who live much longer than human beings, have had centuries or millennia to observe human behaviour and to test and see what are the most effective strategies to misguide human beings. They have come up with many strategies to misguide human beings. The main force in their way are the Prophets of Allah(s.w.a), and the Imams of Ahl Al Bayt(a.s) who are the ones who stand in opposition to Iblis and the Satanic forces and attempt to 'undo' these forces of misguidance. They have been given truth by Allah(s.w.a) and have been helped and strengthened by Allah(s.w.a) and Allah(s.w.a) has promised, in the Holy Quran that anyone who follows this clear guidance as conveyed by the Prophets of Allah(s.w.a) and Ahl Al Bayt(a.s) will surely have hearts that will be relieved from the stress and burdens of this world. Although they may be under physical distress, poverty, etc, their hearts and their souls will be cleaned and they will enjoy true happiness and satisfaction in the world as well as the next. 
    قُلْنَا اهْبِطُواْ مِنْهَا جَمِيعاً فَإِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُم مِّنِّي هُدًى فَمَن تَبِعَ هُدَايَ فَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
    [For although] We did say, "Down with you all from this [state]," there will most certainly come to you guidance from Me: and those who follow My guidance need have no fear, nor shall they grieve; - 2:38 
     This is the verse regarding the exit of Prophet Adam and Hawa(Eve)(peace be upon them both) from the Garden. Upon exiting the garden, they were given hope that Allah(s.w.a) would continue to guide them and their children despite the fact that they were now on earth, and that they, and their children, all of us,  had a way back to the Garden by following this guidance. 
    Our Enemy are those individuals and forces that attempt to prevent us from going back to the Garden, which is the embodiment of Allah(s.w.a)'s mercy and compassion for us. We should work to recognize who those enemies are, first, then how to effectively fight against them so they do not prevent us from our goal. InShahAllah, we all suceed. Salam. 
     
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    StrugglingForTheLight reacted to Haji 2003 for a blog entry, My blogs   
    Given the loss of my blogs here, I've had to come up with a more 'reliable' location. So from here on they'll be published here:
    contemporaniablog.wordpress.com
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    StrugglingForTheLight reacted to Reza for a blog entry, Welcome!   
    Welcome to the revitalized Volcano Republic Blog! Feel free to hang around if you like. 
  15. Like
    StrugglingForTheLight reacted to Qa'im for a blog entry, A Condemnation of Terrorism   
    In these trying times, it has become ever more important to teach the world about the Islam of Muhammad (s) and the Ahl al-Bayt.
    The name of Islam has been hijacked by merciless thugs who have killed, maimed, tortured, enslaved, exiled, and silenced others for their views. These thugs are ignorant of the universal principles that undergird the teachings of Islam, and have oppressed many Muslims and non-Muslims alike from all walks of life.
    Islam is the middle way, not the way of extremes. It is about taming one's self, not terrorizing others. Islam is order, and not chaos. It is with the oppressed, and not with the tyrants. It teaches its adherents to be humble, not arrogant. It advances the intellect and it opposes ignorance.
    Islam has taught us to greet everyone with peace, to feed our hungry neighbours, to give a portion of our wealth in charity, to forgive those who harm us, to make excuses for those who trespass us, to seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave, to respect and honour all people, to avoid filling our stomachs with unnecessary foods, to abstain from substances that impair our judgment, to cease gossiping and backbiting, to refrain from judging others, to spend our nights praying to the Creator, and to protect our Earth and its precious resources from misuse and abuse.
    Since the inception of Islam, forces have been trying to destroy the religion's core principles from within and from without. Soon after the Prophet Muhammad (s), our civilization was hijacked by corrupt dynasties that committed unspeakable injustices. The family of Muhammad (s) rose against these horrors in the name of his legacy, but they were brutally killed and persecuted. However, ideas are bulletproof. The Ahl al-Bayt risked their lives, and often fought and died, to protect their ethical ideals from the contamination of wild beasts. Today, it is a miracle that we can talk openly about Imam Ali and Imam Husayn, who shook the thrones of the pre-modern ISIS, al-Qaeda, al-Shabab, and Boko Haram.
    The ISIS of today is nothing new. It is a crystallization of this fringe group of oppressors, who threaten the lives of all people and bask in their massacres. It is the rotten fruit of an ideology that only values the conquering of others.
    We are all in this together. We must not ignore the negative effects of colonialism and neo-imperialism in the Muslim world, which have, in part, created this monster. However, we must also condemn this evil caricature of Islam, which ignores Quranic context, defiles the image of our Prophet, and neglects the role of his Ahl al-Bayt in the interpretation of this religion.
    Our enemy is our own ignorance. The cure is humility and knowledge.
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    StrugglingForTheLight reacted to Qa'im for a blog entry, Sunnism and Islamic Politics   
    There is a developing trend in the Sunni world today which involves the denial of the legitimacy of Islamic states.
    Almost all practicing Sunnis would love to see a proper Islamic state, but they disagree on the criteria and the vision. To them, Islamic vaguely means good, just, and outwardly pious. But beyond this, there are stark disagreements on how an executive is to be chosen, what economic system is to be adopted/created, and how minorities are to be treated. It seems to me that the only aspect of Muslim governance that has remained static throughout history is punishment hudud. While everything mentioned has been subject to change, there is a clinging to these hudud, perhaps because they are so clear cut, while the rest of government is not. Even at that, there are disagreements as to when the hudud are supposed to be introduced, if at all.
    While Sunnis recognize the injustices committed by previous Islamic empires, most Sunnis do not categorize these empires as unIslamic. Even if there were mistakes made during the Rashidun, Umayyad, and Abbasid eras, or if they were not following Islam properly, they were still Muslim governments. Rather than highlighting their shortcomings, Sunnis have been trained to look at their benefits: scientific advancement, social progress, and conquests.
    This brings Sunnism to a dilemma that is unique in their history. Since the fall of the Caliphate, there is this unexplained reluctance among the whole of Sunnis to call any state Islamic. You'll often hear this line of reasoning: Taliban Afghanistan wasn't an Islamic state, because they were partially illiterate and not fulfilling the hudud correctly. Saudi Arabia is not an Islamic state, because it is a corrupt monarchy. The Muslim Brotherhood's Egypt was not Islamic, because it was not implementing the shari`a. ISIL is not Islamic, because it is brutal. etc. Every Islamist group has been marginalized or denied legitimacy by the Sunni world.
    The problem: had they been saying this about past empires, they would be considered Rafida. Their criticisms of modern Islamist movements - from the AKP to IS - are fair. But why don't they hold their empires to the same standard? Most Caliphs were dynastic, they were not implementing the shari`a properly, they were often not learned in a scholastic sense, and they were guilty of some of history's largest massacres. When Sunnis say that ISIL's atrocities are really just ISILated incidents, an aberration of Sunni Islam, khawarij with no overlap, raising an eyebrow is natural.
    Sunni nostalgia for an Islamic state is strange, because while it is easy to get Ottoman nostalgia when walking into a beautiful Turkish mosque with colourful windows on a cloudless summer day, the Ottoman empire was more than just beautiful Turkish architecture and liberal Sufi spirituality. It is an empire than banned the printing press for three centuries, and executed people who were caught with a printed book. It is an empire that massacred 40,000 Shi`a in 1512 in Anatolia. It is an empire that killed scholars like Shahid al-Awwal and Shahid al-Thani. Does it only retain its "Islamic state" status of legitimacy because it is pre-modern?
  17. Like
    StrugglingForTheLight reacted to Qa'im for a blog entry, Jesus and Husayn   
    A man asked Imam Ja`far as-Sadiq [a] said, "May I be your sacrifice! Why were the descendants of al-Husayn preferred over the descendants of al-Hasan when they came from the same line?"
    So the Imam said: I will show you, so take it.
    Surely, Gabriel [a] came down to Muhammad (s) before al-Husayn had been born, and he said to him, "A boy will be born to you who will be killed by your Umma after you."
    So he (s) said, "O Gabriel, I do not need this."
    He addressed him three times, then he called for `Ali, and he said to him, "Surely, Gabriel [a] informs me from Allah that a boy will be born to you who will be killed by your Umma after you."
    So he [a] said, "I do not need this, O Messenger of Allah."
    So he addressed `Ali [a] three times. Then, he said, "The Imamate, the inheritance, and the treasury will come through his descendants."
    So he sent for Fatima [a], [saying,] "Allah brings you glad tidings of a boy who will be killed by my Umma after me."
    So Fatima said, "I do not need this, O father."
    So he (s) addressed her three times. Then, he sent to her, [saying,] "Certainly, surely, the Imamate, the inheritance, and the treasury will be in him."
    So she said, "I am pleased with Allah."
    So she conceived and became pregnant with al-Husayn. She was pregnant for six months, then gave birth to him - and no infant of six months ever lives except for al-Husayn b. `Ali and Jesus the son of Mary [a]. So Umm Salama took responsibility of him, and the Messenger of Allah would meet him every day and put his tongue in the lips of al-Husayn [a], and he would suckle it until he would recite [knowledge], and Allah would give him meat (laHm) from the meat of the Messenger of Allah (s). He would not suckle milk from Fatima [a] or from anyone else.
    So when Allah revealed this regarding it, 'and her bearing him and his utter dependence on her took thirty months, and so, when he attains to full maturity and reaches forty years, he prays: O my Sustainer! Inspire me so that I may forever be grateful for those blessings of Yours with which You have graced me and my parents, and that I may do what is right that will meet with Your goodly acceptance; and grant me righteousness in my offspring.' (46:15) were he to have said, 'rectify for me my offspring', then all of them would have been Imams - however, he specified it in this way.
    حدثنا احمد بن الحسن رحمه الله قال: حدثنا احمد بن يحيى قال: حدثنا
    بكر بن عبد الله بن حبيب قال: حدثنا تميم بن بهلول قال: حدثنا علي بن حسان الواسطي عن عبد الرحمان بن كثير الهاشمي قال: قلت لابي عبد الله " ع " جعلت فداك من اين جاء لولد الحسين الفضل على ولد الحسن وهما يجريان في شرع واحد فقال لا أريكم تأخذون به، ان جبرئيل " ع " نزل على محمد صلى الله عليه وآله وما ولد الحسين بعد فقال له يولد لك غلام تقتله امتك من بعدك فقال يا جبرئيل لا حاجة لي فيه فخاطبه ثلاثا ثم دعا عليا فقال له ان جبرئيل " ع " يخبرني عن الله عز وجل انه يولد لك غلام تقتله أمتك من بعدك فقال لا حاجة لي فيه يارسول الله فخاطب عليا " ع " ثلاثا ثم قال انه يكون فيه وفي ولده الامامة والوراثة والخزانة، فارسل إلى فاطمة عليها السلام ان الله يبشرك بغلام تقتله أمتى من بعدي فقالت فاطمة ليس لي حاجة فيه يا أبة فخاطبها ثلاثا ثم أرسل إليها لابد أن يكون فيه الامامة والوراثة والخزانة فقالت له رضيت عن الله عز وجل فعلقت وحملت بالحسين فحملت ستة اشهر ثم وضعته ولم يعش مولود قط لستة أشهر غير الحسين بن علي وعيسى بن مريم عليهما السلام فكفلته أم سلمة وكان رسول الله يأتيه في كل يوم فيضع لسانه في فم الحسين " ع " فيمصه حتى يروى فانبت الله تعالى لحمه من لحم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله ولم يرضع من فاطمة عليها السلام ولا من غيرها لبنا قط فلما انزل الله تبارك وتعالى فيه (وحمله وفصاله ثلاثون شهرا حتى إذا بلغ أشده وبلغ أربعين سنة قال رب أوزعني ان اشكر نعمتك التي انعمت علي وعلى والدي وان اعمل صالحا ترضاه واصلح لي في ذريتي) فلو قال أصلح لي ذريتي كانوا كلهم أئمة لكن خص هكذا.
    (`Ilal ash-Shara'i`)
     
    Some of you may remember my thread on the sacrifice of Husayn. I wanted to point out some of the parallels between Jesus and Husayn, which this hadith seems to delineate. Both were born miraculously with shortened pregnancies. Mary is called al-'adra, because she was a virgin, and Fatima was called al-Batool, which is a similar title indicating purity (she did not menstruate). Both mothers were the best of women of the world, known for their modesty and spoken to by angels. The angel Gabriel announced the birth of both Jesus and Husayn. When Husayn is born, he suckles meat and nor milk - which is a popular biblical expression which refers to the consumption of higher knowledge. Both were granted knowledge as children. Fast forward to the sacrifice - one hadith says that the divine government was initially promised for Husayn, making him a messiah figure, until bada' took place. When Husayn was beheaded, those who mourn and associate with him are absolved of their sins. The final Mahdi is a descendant of Fatima just as the Messiah is the descendant of Mary.
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