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In the Name of God بسم الله


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Everything posted by Abbas.

  1. May his soul Rest In Peace. My sincere prayers that Allah showers his blessings upon Placid. He served Shiachat well. He will be missed by those who knew him or were fond of him. Thank you for informing us. Stay safe and in touch.
  2. Laws are subject to a variety of exceptions. Quranic verse 16:100 refers to an exception, "He who disbelieves in Allah after his belief in Him, (is the liar) except he who is compelled while his heart remains steadfast with the faith (has nothing worry)..." Quranic verses 3:28–29 also refer to an exception. How did you infer the last bit of your conclusion? i.e. "...no matter for whatsoever reasons"? The Imam did not say that the exception of clothing was the only exception available in every scenario until Qayamah. His answer was relevant to the inquirer's material facts.
  3. Such questions indicate possible issues that may need a review in light of an individual's background, past events, and existing symptoms. Instead of discussing them in a public forum with non-experts, I suggest booking an appointment with a doctor and getting a reference letter to see a relevant professional. W.s
  4. Communicating with or physically touching male patients out of professional necessity is generally permissible, unless it can conveniently be avoided. Scholars may also consider societal norms, law of the land (e.g. gender discriminatory laws + organisational policies), and compulsory or recommended learning requirements and training of individuals within a profession etc.
  5. Assalam u Alaikum @rocephin It hurts to know that individuals suffer because of the lack of awareness, or poor display of attitude, of their society on such issues. It is a difficult journey to help people understand, respect and preserve the rights of one another. But that is nothing new, historically speaking. Issues such as the one in question need to be addressed holistically. Unfortunately, I lack the time and expertise to offer counsel and support tailored to your circumstances. However, I think that the link below may assist you in having a general understanding of this issue from an Islamic perspective. It may also help you address the problem in your individual capacity. The specific answer that you (and maybe other individuals) are probably seeking is at around 25:08 but I recommend that you watch the entire discussion. Ofcourse, I understand your dilemma that the people close to you are less likely to agree with this position. Regardless, it may be of comfort knowing that the religion you subscribe to does not outright condemn you. There are always exceptions to the rule. In fact, there is support and the willingness to accept available solutions needed by individuals in genuine cases. The person responding to questions in this link is not a shia scholar. Most sunni scholars in Pakistan disagree with him too. But I found his explanation on this topic to be reasonable and useful.
  6. Unfortunately, the account was banned for the following reason(s): A post was construed, on balance, as a deliberate attempt of trolling without regard to the sensitivities surrounding Islamic etiquettes and culture. The "gravity of offence" was also high because the question was grossly inappropriate and vulgar for this type of forum.
  7. Apologies for the delay in my response. I will review and get back to you. Thank you
  8. Assuming that the spouse is a female. People go through phases. The last thing we want is to make our spouse feel that they are being judged or burdened by our expectations. This does not mean that there is no room to talk about this issue. We have to find the right opportunity to address our concern in a way that makes them feel supported by us. Stress that we want to help them gain the motivation and enthusiasm they once had. Sometimes, we inadvertently do something that affects them in a way that they no longer feel inspired by us. That may be an area worth exploring and letting them know that we are willing to listen and address an issue of this sort.
  9. Assalam u Alaikum I just checked and your IP is not blocked. Would appreciate if you can forward me your previous account name. Sometimes, using a different browser and clearing temporary files/cache help. Regards, Abbas
  10. Assalam u Alaikum Advanced members can edit their content up to 60 minutes after posting. Regards, Abbas
  11. Assalam u Alaikum There is a controversy surrounding this film. A senior member of Shiachat has shared his thought provoking views on his blog. I found his views to be balanced and well articulated. I encourage others to review the article and share their stance in a respectful manner. Please avoid posting content promoting the movie. This thread intends to raise the bar of intellectual honesty and truth seeking. As such, we expect that members will offer relevant comments with merit. ++++++ By Sayyid Ali @Ibn al-Hussain I’m sure by now many have seen the recent trailer for the film on Lady Fatima (s). Since the trailer's release, a number of people have messaged me personally asking “what I think”. To most of them I simply responded, there is not much to say at this point, it’s too late. The film will be released, and we can only brace for impact. Certain friends from Pakistan are already very concerned at the possible outlash they may face once non-Shi’a – extremists or not - in Pakistan learn about the film and how it depicts the caliphs. My views and approach to these discussions can – generally - very easily be gauged from the type of content I write and publish on Iqra Online. Four-to-five years ago, around the same time that the idea for this film was only just being publicized, I had written an article on the figure of Sulaym b. Qays so a very limited aspect of the discussions around him and the book could be accessible in English and in the hopes that it would generate some conversation regarding the book – which is one of the most important sources for many of the details that will depicted in the upcoming film. Although, I would update the article now with some more findings, as well as generally edit the paper as the writing style has changed a lot in the last few years, I'll share what I had written for those who haven’t seen it: https://www.iqraonline.net/sulaym-bin-qays-the-thin-line.../ The paper is very limited as far as it only concerns the discussion regarding Sulaym himself – whether he even existed or not - and does not deal with the rest of the issues regarding the book’s transmission, interpolations in the text, and as well as general textual criticism that can be done on its bizarre reports. Nevertheless, the problems with this book are well known and affirmed by too many researchers. If it is not the character of Sulaym himself, then there is a plethora of other issues that you still have to address. Ultimately, you have to answer whether such a source can be used as a means to develop a reliable historical narrative or not. — But I think what is more pertinent to address are not the filmmakers and producers. Their views and sectarian agendas have widely been known for years; in fact, they openly acknowledge this. I do not believe they do this all based on whims, rather there definitely exists material in our corpus that they rely on. Those who think otherwise are poorly read and should go and maybe spend some time getting familiar with what is contained in our books, instead of always assuming it is just the books of others that contain problematic material. It was not a coincidence that during the time of Ayatullah Borujerdi when work on proximity with the Ahl al-Sunnah of Egypt was being done, that the Ayatullah had pushed for a ban on a few volumes of Bihar al-Anwar regarding the first three caliphs, because a lot of content exists there. Hence, for a number of years now, whether it be through the writings I’ve published, or through conversations I’ve had, I’ve tried to push for some sort of integrity and consistent standards in how we make use of sources and develop narratives, which we then use to push people to behave in a certain way or alter their understanding regarding religion, tashayyu‘, identity and so on. The issue I have with these groups is not that they are necessarily using material that does not exist, but in fact, the methodology (or the lack of it) they are employing by which they make use of these reports. In this vein, I believe the more important discussion needs to be held with the rest of the community, and where they stand in terms of being coherent and consistent with their beliefs or understanding of history, particularly the history of the Prophet (p) and the Ahl al-Bayt (a). Perhaps, moving forward and when coming up with responses to the very definite lash back we will encounter from the non-Shi’a communities, it may be wise to think about the following points so as to not be caught for being hypocritical and exhibiting double-standards: 1. Those who will be against the film for reasons such as 'it attacks the sensitivities of the Ahl al-Sunnah', or that 'it harms unity', do they not commemorate Fatimiyyah, not once, but twice a year (some places even three occasions)? Often these speeches are uploaded onto YouTube, in various languages. These videos have eulogies at the end which include references to the attack and as well as indirect or direct references to those who attacked the house. Maybe, think about this phenomenon that has been readily accessible by the Ahl al-Sunnah for years, and these videos have been used by anti-Shia polemicists for a long time. If one is ignorant of how aggressively anti-Shia polemicists in the last few years have been thriving on ammo that we have been providing them, then that is even more embarrassing. 2. There are some in the community who often say, "the era of dissimulation is over" (ironically similar to what the producers of this film have been saying for years), but yet will cite the need for dissimulation here for pragmatic reasons (i.e. unity). At the end of the day, they should let us know whether the era of dissimulation is over or not? Need serious consistency on this. If dissimulation is still to be done in some areas, then do not preach such dramatic clichés that "the era" is over when you will conveniently hide behind it elsewhere. 3. While the film will appear to anachronistically pin modern-day terrorism onto an early event in Islamic history, a very naïve approach to understanding historical events, but how much of this rhetoric and these approaches already exist and are spread from our pulpits all year long? All sorts of anachronistic interpretations are being done by different speakers pushing different agendas (perhaps sometimes unintentionally – who knows at this point). Maybe we need to be consistent in calling all these fallacies out. Just because other interpretations are not provocative towards other sects and do not put our lives literally in danger, does not mean they do not do other types of damage to the collective understanding of the community by altering their perceptions of what happened, and then these perceptions are played on to push certain agendas and make people behave a certain way. These could be interpretations that are done to push feminist agendas by portraying Fatima (s) or Zaynab (s) in certain ways, or political agendas by portraying the - exceptional - role of Imam Husayn (a) in a certain way, pushing the “end of times” and “the reappearance is near” rhetoric by using weak sources accompanied with fallacious applications of these reports on events and contemporary personalities, or any other agendas or ideologies that are superimposed onto historical events and personalities to construct a narrative. These narratives are used to hype up people in the communities, make them behave a certain way, when in reality the sources for these ideas are either very problematic or the narratives suffer from an unexhaustive look at as many dimensions as possible to arrive at the best possible understanding. Some of these narratives have been fed to the communities for so many decades that it is suffocating to even think about how to go about correcting them. On top of that, what we hear at times is to not brush these false interpretations and the movements originating in these incorrect explanations because they are good and have supposed benefits for us as a community. This is while on the other hand it is preached that Islam is all about the “method”, it is about “how” you get to your conclusions, and not “what” conclusion you arrive at! Please make up your mind, or at the very least do not attribute these movements and false conclusions to Islam and tashayyu'. I pray we can one day be identified – from the inside and as well as by outsiders - as a community that lives up to some of the more fundamental teachings of the Prophet (p) and of the inheritors of his (a) knowledge, the Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt. When will we make our communities be known as communities that study and engage with the sirah of the final Prophet (p) and know how to apply it in today's times? When will we begin engaging and teaching our communities about Quranic exegesis beyond some rudimentary explanations here and there? How is it possible for a community that claims to follow the Prophet (p) and the Ahl al-Bayt (a) to be so detached from the Quran and have no affinity with it besides being able to just read it? When will we begin exploring and teaching the plethora of narrations regarding Allah, His Attributes and other theological teachings in order to help develop a stronger monotheistic worldview, which is so imperative in today’s day and age? When are we going to start prioritizing the recitation and study of the reliable supplications by the Imams (a), instead of only going to them when engaging in a marathon on Laylatul Qadr? There is too much to explore, but our priorities seem to be in making sure Wikipedia lists us for the largest annual gathering. When an entry on Wikipedia seems to be the greatest concern for some in the community, that is a sign of serious intellectual poverty. 4. While there is no doubt that the vast majority of Shi'a scholars have accepted the event of the attack and burning of the door as well as the subsequent martyrdom of Lady Fatima (s) due to it, and I do not think the popularity of this position will be jeopardized any time soon, I believe communities need to be educated that there does exist an alternative narrative which is - historically speaking - justified. Denying certain details is not grounds for excommunication like we saw in the case of Sayyid Fadlullah - perhaps the worst case of negative propaganda witnessed against a Shi'a scholar, by scholars themselves, in recent times. Coincidentally, I am reminded of similar propaganda campaign that was done against Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin in the 1930s, who was also a victim of a similar onslaught from scholars in Najaf when he wrote a treatise against the practice of self-flagellation when he was calling the practice out for giving a bad impression of our religion. In any case, you can’t preach that historians will arrive at different conclusions because historical study is often subjective and different scholars have different approaches, but then at the same time excommunicate a scholar for then using their right to investigate the sources for an event and arriving at a different conclusion! 5. As alluded to earlier, much of the details for the event come from a single book, the Kitab of Sulaym. Some partial details exist here and there in some other works, often also questionable (for example Dala'il al-Imamah). If any other sect used a similar book like Sulaym’s to establish some historical event, let alone its detail, I believe we would have turned them into a laughing stock. But instead, we have been bringing people up with the notion that the details of the attack are so well established, "all over Sunni books" (even though the Sunni books don't contain any such details, and if any specific detail is indeed found, it is generally a dubious book for them), "they have tawatur (widely transmitted)" and so on, not acknowledging that in fact, the sources for the details are extremely scarce and limited. Please note my repeated mention of the word “details of the event”. No Muslim historian denies the existence of an altercation because Imam Ali (a) had refused to give allegiance after the demise of the Prophet (p). The discussion is on whether the details regarding the burning of the door, being whipped, or slapped, or having a miscarriage etc. can be reliably verified or not - details that will emotionally charge up any Shi'a if proven to be true. Given that the narrative pins the murder of Lady Fatima (s) on an individual or a group of individuals, a good litmus test may be to see whether the evidence we have at hand would be enough to find someone guilty or not even within a Shi’i court. If you were the one who was being charged for murder, and the accuser was using these sources as evidence, please consider what you would hope the judge’s verdict would be. Please consider the ethical implications of accusing someone of murder with such dubious evidence, even if they were usurpers of the caliphate that rightfully belonged to Ali (a). Inconsistent propagation of beliefs and ideas is a tragedy we've been facing for a while now. Unfortunately speaking out and offering alternative narratives and explanations is very difficult in our communities as you will often be shred apart by those whose livelihood is tied to these events and as well as the laity who does not know any better and cannot be blamed. I do pray that this film will actually become the catalyst for not what it intended, rather for us in the community to engage in a more nuanced discussion regarding these matters instead of beating around the bush.
  12. W.s I don't have much to say at the moment. There appears to be an ongoing debate on this matter. But I found the following which may add value to this discussion: "While the prohibition of wine is an agreed matter based on the explicit Koranic forbiddance, references to hashish, cannabis and other hemp derivatives are absent from the sacred text. This void opens up the possibility of interpretation among legal scholars with results that are not always unanimous, as this article discusses...The lack of Koranic reference stimulated the mind of religious scholars in interpreting the status of cannabis. Given the void in the hermeneutical sources, scholars judged the validity (halal) or prohibition (haram) of cannabis use based analogy (qiyas). Wine (al-khamr) is the comparative element taken into account, but most scholars disagree on equating wine with cannabis. A widely accepted account (hadith-e hil) says, ‘Everything is allowed for you [halal lak] until you learn it is forbidden…’. Hence, cannabis does not carry a total prohibition among most Muslim scholars (Safian, 2013). Allameh Helli (1250–1325), a leading scholar, said, ‘for the poison that derives from the herbs [hashish-ha] and the plants, if it has benefits [manfe’at], its sale and trade is not an issue. If it does not have benefits, then it is not permitted’ (Rezapourshokuhi, 2002). In another source, the scholar asked from one of his students whether hashish is intoxicant and harmful and if it is forbidden, Helli responds, ‘What is known among the people is that hashish is intoxicant, so eating it is prohibited not because it is harmful to the body but because intoxicates...Despite the prohibition of hashish, it is not impure [najes] because impurity is specific to alcoholic spirits [musakkerat]’ (Rezapourshokuhi, 2002). Shahid al-Awwal, another prominent Shia scholar from Damascus, states that almost all scholars who have preceded his era or his contemporaries agreed ‘that plants known as hashish have been judged as prohibited’ (Rezapourshokuhi, 2002). Nonetheless social and medical remained unhindered by legal constriction, except for sporadic instances due to the rulers’ changing ideas about hashish (Matthee, 2005). One interpretative category that may be particularly relevant in relation to cannabis use for medical reasons is that of ‘emergency’ (zarurat). Scholars may allow believers to use or to perform generally prohibited substances or acts if these are deemed necessary in situations of emergency, or absolute necessity (Schirazi, 1998). For instance, if a believer founds himself with great thirst in the desert and the only available drink is wine − a forbidden drink for Muslims – then he/she is allowed (indeed he/she is obliged) to drink wine in order to save his/her life. So, if cannabis is useful for the health of a person, especially under serious risk, it can be used even when considered prohibited. This approach is legitimated based on a Koranic verse (al-kul maytah) and an accepted tradition (hadith-e raf‘) which reiterate that forbidden acts are allowed in times of emergency, if they can be useful and save lives (Ghiabi, in press). The primacy of life over religious prohibition is thus generally sanctioned. In practice, however, the use of “emergency” in interpreting the law facilitates the approval of otherwise unacceptable behaviours. In light of these elements, the debate around cannabis in contemporary times has gone through a great dynamism, including with proposals of reform of the current prohibitionist regime..." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6153265/
  13. Self-discipline is a difficult journey but it offers cure to many of our problems. Use your intellect to plan your days, months and years. You will frequently fall. You will face new challenges. But keep fighting till your last breath.

  14. I personally think that "Partially agree" or "Disagree" serve as a good balance against the common reactions of "Like" and "Thanks". We shouldn't expect people to offer a compulsory response after they have reacted to our posts. The number of people agreeing, disagreeing or partially agreeing with our views provide a good measure of the wide spectrum of different opinions. Those reactions do not necessarily make an argument right or wrong. Members who are more active, vocal and interested in your post will of course contribute to the discussion for everyone's benefit.
  15. One of the reasons that I have become inactive on SC is because everytime I try to contribute to an interesting thread/post, I end up realising that I am unclear about the subject matter. So please keep sharing quality information. You give me an opportunity to learn... 

    1. Muntazir e Mahdi

      Muntazir e Mahdi

      We are all students just like you brother.

  16. Despite their shortcomings, our scholars/jurists remain the appropriate authority on such matters. That being said, my personal view is as per below and I advise caution as it is not an expert opinion on religious or other grounds: Understanding Marriage As Muslim males, we are often brought up to believe that one of the primary purposes of a marriage is to cure our sexual desires. No doubt, a marriage restores balance to the hormones of a young individual. But the purpose and primary scheme of a marriage is to establish the institution of a family. And it matters not whether the marriage is permanent or temporary in nature. At its core, this institution fosters a relationship based on respect and preservation of human dignity. Accordingly, it encourages Muslims to select their partners based on their deen and overall character. Therein lies contradiction between the inquired solution to sexual desires and our religious values. And please do not get me wrong. Someone who may have had a poor past deserves every right to be treated respectfully. They also have the right to be considered for marriage according to their present character. However, the inquired solution is focussing on finding a professional sex worker for temporary relief. The Issue In an attempt to save ourselves from one evil (the lustful desires), we try marrying someone only to see or treat them as an object of sexual pleasure. In return, the sex worker intends to gain material benefits with little or no regard to our character, sense of responsibility and overall deen. This kind of a marital contract becomes a sham. It encourages both parties to pursue their selfish and immoral motives in most if not all cases. To avoid generalisation, only rare cases may reflect any regard for God's overall scheme. The Other Perspective Despite above, only a Muslim male teenager or someone who has been in his position may understand what it is like to fight the internal battles in a system that offers no relief to hormonal desires and emotional intimacy. Unfortunately, he lives in a society which, in most cases, practices culture rather than religion. For example, one has to suffer self-imposed unrealistic standards of both his family and his potential in-laws if he ever 'prematurely' thinks about becoming a 'man', earning an honest living and embracing the supposed scheme of God regarding the institution of a family. His culture and overall community standards are not likely to offer him an option to marry while pursuing studies and/or his long term career. In frustration, he constructs a defence in support of multiple opportunities of self-destruction. It is likely that mutah with a sex worker may fall within that category. I can only empathize with the new generation. Change of mindset is a very slow process in many parts of the Islamic world. Constructive thinking and self reflection are frowned upon. In honesty, I am not a fan of the standard advice given in such situations i.e. engage in activities, play sports etc. They are like panadol for kids being prescribed to someone who is already mentally disturbed and no longer sees, hears, or thinks straight. Tackling Difficult Situations Life keeps throwing loops of traps. When you are faced with a difficult situation, try following the principle of at least avoiding the kind of sin that is major or significant in terms of its consequences regarding the rights of Allah, the rights of people and that of your own. This exercise will allow you to explore other options that are less harmful. This, again, is not an expert view. I have shared my thoughts hoping that you may find comfort and receive a practical advice for when you may need it most.
  17. Assalam u Alaikum Most scholars consider shaving haram. Their learned opinion is valuable in giving weight to this topic and their precautionary approach is understandable. However, I am less convinced with the sources (or wisdom) in support of beard being wajib or shaving being haram. You may refer to the following links for insight: https://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235048093-mandatory-to-grow-a-beard/?do=findComment&comment=3034037 https://www.al-islam.org/articles/islamic-perspective-beard-allamah-murtada-baghdadi
  18. W.S Regarding the specific details being shared, I personally treat such information as conjecture/speculation unless supported by Quran and/or other authentic sources of Islam. It is my understanding that our rewards in the hereafter are based on our level of knowledge, intentions, choices and efforts in this life. The suffering and the challenges of this life are personal experiences truly known either to the individual facing them or God Al-Mighty. On one hand, there are people who think that they have got it worse. On the other hand, we may be able to objectively weigh who is worse off based on pre-defined or universally applicable factors. Regardless, the key is to focus on our behaviour when faced with such challenges. Some tests are destined. We identify them as being destined when we have little or no control over them. Others may be based on our (well-intentioned or poor) choices in this life. In either of the two scenarios, we (ought to) seek God's mercy, forgiveness and blessings. We pray to Him so that we may receive patience and opportunities in this life to help us combat those obstacles in a manner desired by God. In this regard, we should focus on fulfilling the rights of Allah and His creations while facing the trials and tribulations of this life. Afterall, the main objective of a Muslim is to ensure that Allah has been pleased with his overall efforts. This is the doorway to all the rewards that one may seek. Regards
  19. Assalam u Alaikum The points raised are reflective of hyperactive emotions and cultural values rather than proper inference from Islamic principles. God Almighty has bestowed aql (intelligence) to human beings. We have used it successfully over time to overcome many physical problems. The primary issue is whether the procedure in question contradicts Islam's primary principles and its vision of Akhlaq for our purification in this world. The burden of proof is on the people shouting out loud but not providing express or implied references from credible Islamic sources.
  20. Assalam u Alaikum It is not a mere matter of publicly or privately cursing the beloved personalities of other Muslims. Yes, there is freedom of expression but we need to understand that such a freedom is not absolute in nature. The concept of 'cursing' that is the norm in our societies nowadays, especially in the underdeveloped countries, encourages cussing more than our dissociation from the act itself. That kind of conduct is plainly unacceptable whether it occurs in public or in private. As for the legitimate criticism, it may occur both publicly or privately as long as it is within the bounds of ethics and mannerism. Ahlaq is the whole point...
  21. Wa Alaikum Salam I recall Imam Reza's saying not to insult the Gods of other people lest they insult your God. I think that this principle applies well in the scenario that you have presented. Moreover, we ought to show restraint (like our Imams) for the purpose of unity among Muslims. Sure, you may academically criticise acts, ommissions, and relevant personalities to make a point. But do so in a manner befitting of a follower of the last Prophet (P.B.U.H) who set the best example of mannerism in his time in Arabia.
  22. Wa Alaikum Salam Most of the loudspeakers in the mosques of Pakistan are pure noise pollution. Let's call a spade a spade. Yes, they disturb people (not all, ofcourse). Personally, I do not sense any spiritual connection with God while listening to the 'call' through those poor-quality speakers that explode all at once. It would help if there were local laws and regulations regarding noise pollution, quality of speakers to be used in the registered mosques, maximum sound allowed, the rule that only the main mosques of the suburbs/colonies are allowed to use the loud speakers etc. This is an administration issue. The state should have the implied authority to introduce regulations that protect its citizens from all kinds of harm. Yes, azaan is a public call. In a democratic country, the people have a say in this and if it is a Muslim majority country they will get their constituency's member of the Parliament to ensure that Azaan from every single mosque of Pakistan (or any similar country) is allowed at any cost. But I remind fellow Muslims that the azaan's asl (sole purpose) is to remind Muslims of their daily obligation five times a day. This purpose can easily be achieved with better management nowadays. Many mosques already publicise their timetables of the daily prayers in different seasons. We have watches which did not exist 1400 years ago. A soft reminder of a beautiful Azaan from a distance will enliven our spirits too. But if the Imams of all the mosques in the neighbourhood are going to shout out loud at the same time, our conduct is causing harm to neighbours who probably can't even protest out of fear of being considered traitors of religion or enemies of Islam. May God guide us. InshaAllah. My apology to Muslims who may consider this as a sensitive issue. I mean no harm. Regards, Abbas
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