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In the Name of God بسم الله


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  1. I read in a book (Moosa, Matti. 1988. Extremist Shiites: The Ghulat Sects. New York: Syracuse University Press; p. 69; it is online) that some Shia, on seeing the clouds, shouted "Jan, Ali Jan." What does "Jan" mean? Many thanks, Richard
  2. I found a similar reference in https://www.hubeali.com/tafseerhubeali/ so I don't need Majma’ al-Bayan anymore.
  3. Hi, i found this reference: And i was wanting to check it out. The Majma’ al-Bayan was written by written by al-Fadl b. al-Hasan al-Tabrisi (d. 548/1153), via WikiShia. I think I have found the Arabic here for 4:34 https://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=3&tSoraNo=4&tAyahNo=34&tDisplay=yes&Page=2&Size=1&LanguageId=1 but there is no reference to Imam al-Baqir anywhere in the three webpages for 4:34. Is this a different tafsir ascribed to Tabrisi or have I made a mistake (using Google Translate to read the web page has its pitfalls!)? Where can I verify the tafsir of Imam al-Baqir? Many thanks for your help, Richard
  4. THank you everyone for your replies. I guess Shaykh Aḥmad al-Aḥsāʾī's views are treated with suspicion, which would imply that (mainstream) Twelver Shia could not accept the belief that the mahdi is not physically on earth but in some heavenly intermediate place. Well, you can be glad that at least I hold an honorific view of the Twelfth Imam to believe in such a thing, or similar, even if it is not quite acceptable to you.
  5. Hi, i was reading an article about the Green Isle where some supposed that the Mahdi lived. I do not want to talk about this now, as I know it is controversial. But a shia writer Shaykh Aḥmad al-Aḥsāʾī (d. 1241/1826) commented on this saying that the Mahdi was not on the physical earth: p154 al-Aḥsāʾī nevertheless offers a metaphorical interpretation of the Green Island as a signifier of the imaginal heaven (samāʾ al-khiyāl) which he situates not in the physical earth but rather as the third heaven of the microcosm that is the human being. He then cites from a well-known ḥadīth ascribed to al-Ṣādiq and narrated on the authority of al-Mufaḍḍal b. ʿUmar al-Juʿfī: “The Imām will go into hiding on the last day of the year 266 (AH) and no eye shall see him until the moment when all eyes see him” - P155 Some twenty years later, in a letter written in 1811, al-Aḥsāʾī reasons that the Hidden Imām is not in the physical world during his ghayba but has rather ensconced himself beneath hūrqalyā in the imaginal realm situated between the realm of the soul and the realm of the body. The Hidden Imām passes the ghayba in this realm with his hūrqalyāʾī body. (from the book Unity in Diversity https://sohalibrary.com/item/download?id=3204 What do you make of his view (independent of the freen island) that the mahdi is not physically on earth but in some heavenly intermediate place. I can accept this, if it helps bring me closer to Shia. Could such a belief be accept by the Shia, albeit as an extreme view? Many thanks, Richard
  6. Thank you for inviting me to watch the video. It was mainly about American-Zionism vs. the world, the money system, and relations between (Orthodox) christianity and Islam. From what I can gather, since World War II, America has been trying to influence the world, mainly initially as anti-Communist and then to promote its own ideology. This is understandable: if the positions were reversed, we/you would probably be doing the same. Instead of promoting a religious ideology, it is promoting a secular ideology. It is not all bad, of course, but what is fundamentally missing is the concept of passionless-ness. This is not only purifying the heart of all sinful passions, but also not being attracted to non-sinful passions. For example, many Christian groups now clap their hands and work themselves up into an emotional state in worshipping God. Their aim is good - to honour God - but those same sinless passions/emotions which they self-generate are a barrier to God getting through to them. The Catholic church has many 'saints' who had the stigmata - sufferings like those of the Cross of Jesus. However, these emotions also are a barrier to God. Neither the 'positive' emotions of the charismatics nor the masochistic emotions of the Catholics are remotely close to passionless-ness. The ancient ascetical world view is just not grasped, even though some monks in the West think they are living the ascetical life, yet they are just drowning in emotions. It is this desire to generate within us positive emotions (or masochistic self-denying emotions but with the ulterior aim of trying to induce emotions which we think are like God's presence) - rather than importantly going beyond all emotions - that has left the West saturating itself with whatever positive emotions/pleasure it can. However, to go against this can seem like taking candy from a child. Let us strive towards self-knowledge of our own emotions and thought (and genuine compassion for al)l as we authentically strive towards God: "watch and pray", Jesus said. Well this is probably not what you were expecting, but you invited me and so I replied. I hope you take something positive from what I wrote.
  7. Just a thought: if the arabic word for "transfer" does mean just "transfer" then it could mean the mahdi being transferred to the city Jabal-sa or Mount Radwa, both of which are stated to be places where he lives. However, given that the other translation quoted above seems to have die in this place then it would be necessary to know what the arabic word is, so thank you for your help.
  8. So what does "transfer me" refer to? Can you find out what is the Arabic word behind this translation? I'm sure you know how to interpret your own hadith better than me, but I just found this curious. And the Sunni translation quoted above seems very clear, implying a different meaning to being hidden. Thanks for your help; I'm just trying to understand. Richard
  9. In 'The Promised Mahdi' part 1 (Biharul Anwar vol 51-53) page 38 we read, "So when Allah hides my person and transfers me, and you see my Shia disputing, inform the reliable ones of them." (This is #25- Ghaibat Tusi: Ibne Abil Jayyid has narrated from Ibne Walid from Saffar from (Muhammad) Ibne Abdullah Mutahhari from Hakima binte Muhammad bin Ali Reza that she said: pdf from https://en.wikishia.net/view/Bihar_al-anwar_(book) ) Here it says that the Mahdi was 'transferred' after his occultation - does this mean that he was taken to heaven? Another translation, from a sunni anti-shia work, has the first part as being, "When Allah makes my body disappear and gives me death" (p1138 of Uṣūl Madh-hab al-Shīʿah al-Imāmiyyah al-Ithnā ʿAshariyyah A Comprehensive Study of the Shīʿah creed, https://mahajjah.com/usul-madhab-al-shia-al-imamiyyah-al-ithna-ashariyyah/ ). I know that there is an Arabic word which literally means 'taken' but is always used to refer to taking in death (except for Jesus in the Quran!). Is this the word which is used in the original Arabic? How is this understood? While not a Muslim, I can easily accept the Mahdi being taken to heaven like Elijah. Thanks for your help. Richard
  10. Hi, I have been studying the occultation of the twelfth imam, and had come to accept that his double occultation had been predicted. However, I found one prediction which seemed to challenge this: The encyclopaedia interprets this as referring to Imam Musa, who was imprisoned twice. The thing is this: this hadith mentions the Mahdi's sons not knowing where he is. Now the 12th imam went into occultation when he was only 5 years old. So any children he would have had (presumably we do not know anything about his having children) would have been born in his place of hiding, and grown up there. Hence it would seem that this hadith cannot be about the 12th imam, and so possibly it was invented about Imam Musa and falsely ascribed to Imam Jafar. What are your thoughts on this? Could this hadith about the Mahdi's sons not knowing his place be about the 12th Imam? Thanks for your help, Richard
  11. THanks for this. I did try to join the forum at this site but am still waiting for authentification. I also emailed them, and another Dohra group, but got no reply. THanks anyway, Richard
  12. Hi - I posted this on an Ismaili forum, but the forum doesn't seem to be very alive - and, for those who don't know, Tayyib is the Imam for a smaller group of Ismailis. But if anyone here can help, or knows someone who might be able to help, then it would be useful. I found this delightful story (by Makrizi) of how the infant Tayyib was smuggled out of the palace: Among the monuments of the Qarafa there is a small fountain and minaret, and it is known as the Masjid of Mercy (al-raḥma). Abu Turab al-Suwwal … was in charge of building it … And it was to this place that Abu Turab brought the son of al-Amir in a basket of reeds in which were dishes of cooked leeks and onions and carrots, and the baby in swaddling clothes was on the bottom with the food above him, and he brought him to the cemetery and the wet nurse suckled him in this mosque, and he concealed the matter from al-Hafiz until the baby grew up and began to be called Kufayfa, “little basket.” Later, after the death of Abu Turab, the boy was slandered to al-Hafiz by Abu ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Jawhari, and he took the child and opened his veins, and he died. Then al-Jawhari went to Damietta where he died in the year 528 [1134]. p47 in https://web.archive.org/web/20150402123014/http://archnet.org/system/publications/contents/3039/original/DPT0868.pdf?1384770478 However, in this version of the story Tayyib is killed by having his veins opened, which seems improbable to me. What do Tayyibis make of this story - is it basically what Tayyibis believe but without Tayyib being killed? Do Tayyibis have any other versions of it, including Tayyib being called Kufayfa, “little basket”? Many thanks, Richard
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