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Ibn Al-Ja'abi

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About Ibn Al-Ja'abi

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    Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Umar Al-Ja'abi
  • Birthday 11/10/1997

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  1. Ibn Al-Ja'abi

    Arabic Grammar

    No I started in late highschool using some of the books I recommended and studied largely on my own except for tuhfah al-sanniyya which I studied in mubahathāt over the course of a few months last year with a friend who'd done it before. It's very possible to study Arabic on your own and be successful (if I am, surely other people are though), it's a war of attrition, as a friend put it.
  2. Ibn Al-Ja'abi

    Arabic Grammar

    I forgot to include three of the most important references for some reason: Sibawayh's al-Kitab -- Written by the founder of the Basran school of Arabic grammar and one of the most major grammarians in the history of the Arabic language. al-Astarabadi's Sharh al-Shafiya -- One of the most important reference works on morphology. al-Astarabadi's Sharh al-Kafiya -- One of the most important reference works on Nahw. This and the previous one give a near complete and exhaustive treatment of their respective subjects.
  3. Ibn Al-Ja'abi

    Arabic Grammar

    Salams This is an excellent book series for anyone wishing to come out speaking Arabic (or Modern Standard and Classical Arabic) with a high intermediate proficiency. I do prefer the newer edition of the book in 7 (short) books rather than 3 (long) books plus supplementary materials (answer keys), it was a lot more difficult for a student studying on his own and the new edition is better if you're on your own: https://archive.org/details/DrV.AbdurRahim.MadinahArabicReader Other books I like, have used myself, or have considered teaching with: Ebrahim Muhammad's From the Treasures of Arabic Morphology -- A text primarily dedicated to teaching Classical Arabic's verbal morphology (though it does contain essential information on nominal morphology). It's a good a as any as a first text. Schulz, Krahl and Reuschel's Standard Arabic: an elementary-intermediate course (Cambridge) -- Keep in mind that this text is a bit dense but very thorough and filled with helpful exercises and a lot of vocabulary. The course has a focus on teaching Modern Standard Arabic (though any good book teaching MSA will teach you Classical as well), the final reading is from a classical grammatical text from the medieval period. Wightwick and Gaafar's Arabic Verb Tenses (McGraw Hill) -- This only concerns itself with you learning MSA, but it'll teach you verbs very well. There's two other works on Arabic vocabulary and on pronouns and prepositions that are also good but this is the best between them. Alan Jone's Arabic through the Qur'an -- An excellent work that'll teach you enough to be able to read the Qur'an (and the hadith though with a dictionary at hand for that) I'm not a fan of how idiomatic his translations can be but he does teach you to translate with style. Wheeler Thackston's Koranic and Classical Arabic (Ibex) -- This is one of my favourite works, it'll teach you Arabic thoroughly and is good to learn Arabic for the first time or to review and consolidate what you've learned. This text also concerns itself primarily with Classical Arabic with a small reader at the end. However it is very heavy on the English grammatical terms (like enclitic, hallow verbs, substantive, etc.) so this might seem intimidating. If you are able to get past that (looking at examples, looking up what the word means, or googling the concept tends to be enough if you're really stuck) then it is a rewarding text. He also has an excellent grammar for Farsi and for Classical Syriac (and two excellent ones found online for Sorani and Kurmanji Kurdish). Sayyid Muhammad-Reza Tabatabai's Sarf-e Sadeh -- This work is concerned with teaching Arabic morphology (the section on the morphology of verbs is in Farsi and the section of morphology of nouns is in Arabic), it's both an excellent study text and reference grammar, you should study it with the associated workbook that's also been published. Probably the best work to develop a very strong understanding of Classical Arabic morphology. Tashil al-Nahw -- Despite the Arabic name it is, in fact, written in English. It's a book best suited for reviewing syntax (nahw) of classical Arabic after you've learned it once or for study with a teacher. And this should probably be used in tandem with or after studying something like Tuhfah al-Sanniyya. Some Arabic Grammars written in Arabic: Shadha al-Urf -- An Arabic guide to morphology (sarf). al-Hidayah fi l-Nahw -- An Arabic guide to syntax (nahw), in my opinion the best edition is Hasan Shirafkan's which I believe is commonly used in Qom these days. Tuhfah al-Saniyya fi Sharh Muqaddimah al-Ajurumiyya -- A beginner to intermediate grammar, this will give you an excellent understanding of how Arabic syntax works. Some Arabic Reference Grammars in English: Joyce Akesson's The Basics and Intracacies of Arabic Morphology -- Don't let the name fool you, this text isn't a student grammar but a reference grammar of Arabic morphology. Ali Abdul-Rasheed's al-Mujaz fi l-Tasrif -- The name might be Arabic but this text is written in good English, it's an excellent reference work for both the morphology of verbs and nouns, and you'd do well to use it when studying Sarf-e Sadeh. Wright's Arabic Grammar -- A classic text which in my opinion hasn't been surpassed Fischer's A Grammar of Classical Arabic -- Originally written in German and demonstrates German diligence, it's an excellent grammar and a text also yet to be surpassed. Brill's Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics -- This is an encyclopedia and needs to be understood as that, not as a text to learn Arabic using. Some advance study texts and reference grammars written in Arabic: Sharh Qatr al-Nida wa Bal al-Sada Sharh ibn Aqeel ala l-Alfiya -- Arguably the most important commentary on the al-Alfiya of Malik. Sharh al-Suyuti ala l-Alfiya Sharh al-Ashmuni ala l-Alfiya Sharh al-Shatibi ala l-Alfiya Mughni al-Labib -- It also has a summarized and Shia-fied version known as Mughni al-Adib (poetry is replaced with hadiths and quotes from Nahjul Balagha). Rawdhah al-Bahiyyah Sibawayh's al-Kitab -- Written by the founder of the Basran school of Arabic grammar and one of the most major grammarians in the history of the Arabic language. al-Astarabadi's Sharh al-Shafiya -- One of the most important reference works on morphology. al-Astarabadi's Sharh al-Kafiya -- One of the most important reference works on Nahw. This and the previous one give a near complete and exhaustive treatment of their respective subjects. Majmu'ah al-Sarf wa l-Nahw wa l-I'rab -- An Arabic encyclopedia of Arabic grammar. Mu'jam Tasrif al-Af'al al-Arabiyyah -- An amazing work written by a Lebanese Christian conjugating hundreds of different types and categories of verbs, it's an excellent reference (there's an English equivalent known as Barron's 501 Arabic Verbs I saw in a bookstore once, though didn't buy since it's not nearly as good as this Arabic work). Readers and Annotated Works to be used to help start reading Arabic: Munther A. Younes's Tales from Kalilah wa Dimna -- It's a graded reader which initially alters the stories but the final ones presented are unaltered. He annotates it rather than translating it and asks you comprehension questions after the stories. David DiMeo's The Travels of Ibn Battuta: A Guided Arabic Reader -- This is an excellent reader which presents the stories (unaltered I believe) with annotations and a bunch of comprehension and reflection questions afterwards to be answered in Arabic and English. Bonebacker and Fishebein's A Reader of Classical Arabic Literature -- This is an annotated Arabic reader presenting unaltered Arabic reading passages from a variety of classical Arabic texts. This will absolutely help develop your reading skills. Arthur Arberry's Arabic Poetry: a primer for students -- This is a text written by one of the best translators of the Qur'an, he collected an excellent anthology of poems in classical Arabic from various authors. This book presents the Arabic text on the right-hand page and the English translation on the left-hand page with annotations at the bottom, largely concerned with the poem's style. Alan Jones' Early Arabic Poetry -- A text which similarly presents an anthology of poems from various poets and translates them annotating the text and explaining difficult vocab as well as explaining the style of the poetry. Finally, Arabic dictionaries: Hans Wehr's Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic -- This is an absolutely classic work every student ought to have a physical copy of. It's written primarily for MSA but you can get away with using it for Classical Arabic. Edward Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon -- Another classic work that every serious student hopes to own (though the price tends to be eye-watering), this is a work written specifically for Classical Arabic and was written in reference to Classical Arabic dictionaries. Badawi and Abdel-Haleem's Arabic-English Dictionary of Qur'anic Usage (Brill) -- A more recent publication but it is, nevertheless, an excellent tool for the Arabic student. The above works will likely all be found online. You obviously don't need to read all or even most of them, and depending on what your aims are many aren't pertinent, however these are all excellent tools to aid you in your study of Arabic. You'd also do well when you're starting off to use an spaced repetition based system of vocabulary acquisition, Anki is a very good app you can use for Arabic (and any other language you chose to learn afterwards). The best thing to do even as a beginner is to jump into the ocean that is Arabic and read anything, even if most of it goes over your head it'll still help you reinforce what you're learning and remind you why you're learning it. And the more advanced you get, you want to read Shi'i Hadith, Fiqh, and theology works less because they tend to be highly idiosyncratic, idiomatic, and formulaic, and generally refer to history, literature, and early and Sunni Hadith works since they tend to be the least idiosyncratic, idiomatic, and formulaic. As the hadith says: "Whosoever treads a path seeking therein knowledge, God shall make him tread a path towards Eden. The angels surely place their wings before the seeeker of knowledge and are pleased with him. Whoever is in the heavens and on the earths prays for forgiveness for the seeker of knowledge, even the whale in the sea." (من سلك طريقا يطلب فيه علما سلك الله به طريقا إلى الجنة وإن الملائكة لتضع أجنحتها لطالب العلم رضا به وإنه يستغفر لطالب العلم من في السماء ومن في الأرض حتى الحوت في البحر). Good luck and خسته نباشى. Salams
  4. Ibn Al-Ja'abi

    What are your views on Halloween?

    Apparently it's not descended from Samhain but actually tradition that developed in America as a mix-match of Irish Catholic practices of celebrating by banging pots and ringing bells on All Hallows' Eve to keep those in hell from making mischief, French Catholic practices of dressing up to celebrate All Saints' Day, and British Protestant practices of going to the houses of British Catholics on the fifth of November and threatening to burn down their houses if not given beer and cakes (they also had bonfires, costumes, and pranks apparently). Who knew the "trick" in "trick or treat" was going to be destroying someone's property and murdering someone's family if not given your treats.
  5. Ibn Al-Ja'abi

    فقتلو انفسكم؟

    Salams فَاقْتُلُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ A literal translation of the verse: "And kill yourselves". Here is a grammatical breakdown to see how this is arrived at: ف - In this case a particle in this case acting as a conjunction meaning "and". اقتلوا - Imperative indicative form of قتل "to kill" or "to slay", with masculine plural ending, meaning "(Y'all) kill!". أنفس - "Broken" (irregular) plural of نفس meaning "self" or "life" in the accusative case as the direct object of the sentence's verb, it means "selves". كم - Enclitic second person masculine plural possessive pronoun, "your". What exactly this is meant as is a greater question. The Study Qur'an renders it in light of Q.2:85 and Q.4:29: "and slay your own", Ali Quli Qara'i renders it: "and slay [the guilty] among your folks." Both of these are interpreting the Qur'an, in light of itself and traditions. The Shi'i exegetes agree with these renditions that not every single one of the Israelites was to be killed: يقتل بعضكم بعضاً يقتل من لم يعبد العجل من عبده "Some of them kill others, he who did not worship the calf kills he who worshiped it." فان موسى عليه السلام لما خرج إلى الميقات ورجع إلى قومه وقد عبدوا العجل قال لهم { يا قوم إنكم ظلمتم أنفسكم } فقالوا وكيف نقتل أنفسنا فقال لهم موسى اغدوا كل واحد منكم إلى بيت المقدس ومعه سكين أو حديدة أو سيف فإذا صعدت أنا منبر بني إسرائيل فكونوا انتم متلثمين لا يعرف أحد صاحبه فاقتلوا بعضكم بعضاً فاجتمعوا سبعين ألف رجل ممن كانوا عبدوا العجل إلى بيت المقدس فلما صلى بهم موسى عليه السلام وصعد المنبر أقبل بعضهم يقتل بعضاً حتى نزل جبرائيل فقال قل لهم يا موسى ارفعوا القتل فقد تاب الله عليكم فقتل عشرة آلاف وأنزل الله { ذلكم خير لكم عند بارئكم فتاب عليكم إنه هو التواب الرحيم }. al-Qummi writes: When Moses went out to the appointed place and time and returned to his people they were worshiping the calf. He said to them, "O' people, you have wronged (sic) yourselves." They said, "How are we to kill ourselves". Moses said to them, "Every one of you is to go to the Sacred House with a knife, a small piece iron, or a sword. When I ascend the pulpit of Bani Israel, you should be veiled so that no one recognizes who is next to him. Then some of you should kill others. Thus seventy thousand men gathered from those who had worshiped the calf at the Sacred House. When Moses had finished praying with them and had ascended the pulpit, some of them drew near to kill others til Gabriel descended and said, "Say to them, O' Moses, cease the slaughter, God has forgiven relented with you." Ten thousand were killed. And God revealed "That is best for you with your Creator, he has relented with you, he is the Relenting and Merciful." In the view of Allama Tabatabai, the mercy was that only some of those who had apostatized and worshiped the calf rather than all of them was the sign of God's mercy. However, the above quotation from al-Qummi's Tafsir is problematic, firstly it is taken to be a hadith by Allama Tabatabai without al-Qummi actually quoting it as one, it seems to be al-Qummi's own explanation that he is obviously taking from an earlier unnamed work. Whether it is a hadith or not we don't know. Secondly, the numbers seem way to large to be the actual figure of those in Bani Israel at the time, let alone those who would have been killed, the figures of seventy and ten thousand are fantastically large. Finally, this quote refers to Moses and the men going to Bayt al-Maqdis, or Jerusalem, I translated it as "the Sacred House" because that is what this literally means, however it seems to be that this tradition thinks that Jerusalem was already the capital of Jewery when the incident of the golden calf happened. That obviously didn't occur til the time of David. There was however, per the Bible and our sources, a tabernacle erected by Moses where the presence of God as the shekhinah/sakinah resided, it is possible it is referring to this, however as far as I'm aware, there were no pulpits in the tabernacle or in the Temple in Jerusalem. Other interpretations also exist for this verse in other exegeses, since نفس can also mean "soul" some saw it as "kill your souls", or, more appropriately, "kill your egos". Al-Razi in Mafatih al-Ghayb has an interesting view comparing it to doing wudu' before praying. If it is that the guilty were to be put to death the Bible is in agreement with this in Ex.32:26-27. God knows. salams
  6. Ibn Al-Ja'abi

    Who vapes?

    Salams, Note I said to start smoking, Sayyid Sīstānī's ruling that you quoted is as such if it entails harm, and the medical literature of the past century has stated that there is.
  7. Ibn Al-Ja'abi

    Who vapes?

    Salams, Intoxicants (مسكر) are defined legally as ما يذهب به العقل or "what takes away the intellect" in a way that one acts on their شهوى وهوى, or their lust and desires. The irritation which a smoker not getting their nicotine gets is decidedly not that, otherwise not getting your way is apparently an intoxicant. When the smoking of tobacco was introduced to the Islamicate world in the 16th and 17th centuries AD, scholars attempted to make it forbidden using a number of clever arguments, some likely stronger than others. These included counting it as one of the wastes of time or its strong association with the kuffar, and among the weaker arguments were associating the smoke of the tobacco pipes with the smoke of hellfire, or saying that it is among the evil things due to its foul smell (though, admittedly, on the last point I'm inclined to agree with them). However, they just couldn't curtail tobacco smoking and ended up relenting and permitting it, and even engaging in it themselves (Allama al-Majlisi is reputed to smoke a hookah pipe on the minbar while sermonizing). Shaykh Hurr al-Amili said that if there is benefit (نفع) in it, then it isn't bad, if it has harm (ضرر), then it is bad, and if it has neither then it is neither bad nor good but a waste of time and should generally be avoided but he wouldn't be the man to make it haram. At the end Sayyid Ni'matullah al-Jaza'iri and Abd al-Hayy Razawi al-Kashani lamented that it has become so popular that forbidding it is no longer popular (refer to دين و سياسه در دورهٔ صفوى by Rasul Ja'fariyan). It was even thought to be medically beneficial for a while, thinking that pestilence was kept away by it. Additionally scholars in the past centuries themselves became quite the smokers, you can even find videos of Sayyid al-Khoei (rh) sitting in a gathering of Ulama all smoking cigarettes. However, as it turned out, there wasn't نفع (benefit) in it, rather ضرر (harm), and as such it has been ruled as haram to start smoking. While the health major in me hopes that no one smokes, or vapes for that matter, and my nose prays for the day that people stop altogether, it decidedly is not an intoxicant and cannot be given the ruling of intoxicants. wa assalam
  8. Ibn Al-Ja'abi

    Question about MATAM

    Salams brother, The issue is that these acts were not present in the life of the Imams, or the majority of Shīʿī history as far as we know for that matter, as such we don't have a ruling by them on it, however, I think two points need to be understood here. The first is the presumption is that when a marjaʿ gives a fatwā, that this fatwā is what the Imām himself would have ruled had he been asked on the matter. So if the marjaʿ is ruling that that this is muṣtaḥab and you presume him to be the most knowledgeable, then the presumption is the Imām would have said the same were he asked. Second is that there might be an argument to be had here, if you observe the tradition from al-Kāfī, you'll see that the understanding of what's jazʿ is a rather Arab understanding of it, and it's the case that different expressions of jazʿ emerge. If matam has incorporated itself into how jazʿ for the Imām is commemorated, effectively becoming a shaʿīrah for the Imām, and it undoubtedly has, and if the shaʿāʾir al-ḥusaynīyyah are muṣtaḥab, as indeed scholars like Sayyid al-Khūʾī have said, then the argument could be made that matam has, therefore, become muṣtaḥab. والله أعلم salams
  9. Ibn Al-Ja'abi

    Question about MATAM

    Salams You're likely not going to find any mention of "matam" in ḥadiths by the ahl al-bayt because this is the Hindi-Urdu term for the act, it comes from the Arabic word مأتم (maʾtam) meaning "funeral", the Persians call it sīne-zanī and Arabs laṭm. There are some mentions of laṭm in the traditions about Karbala. For example, Šayḵ al-Mufīd records in K. al-Irshād (Lebanon: 1979) pp. 232 that when Imām Ḥusayn recited the poem يا دهر أف لك من خليل (O' time, woe unto thy friendship), Sayyida Zaynab started slapping her cheeks (ولطمت وجهها) and he tells her to have patience. This would be considered is an expression of jazʿ (جزع), what has been defined as the opposite or antithesis of patience (والجَزَعُ نَقِيضُ الصَّبْرِ. جَزِعَ) (Lisān al-ʿArab and K. al-ʿAyn). A ḥadith clarifies what would have been considered acts of jazʿ during the times of the Imams: عدة من أصحابنا، عن سهل بن زياد، عن أحمد بن محمد بن أبي نصر، والحسن ابن علي جميعا، عن أبي جميلة، عن جابر، عن أبي جعفر (عليه السلام) قال: قلت له: ما الجزع؟ قال: أشد الجزع الصراخ بالويل والعويل ولطم الوجه والصدر وجز الشعر من النواصي ومن أقام النواحة فقد ترك الصبر وأخذ في غير طريقه ومن صبر واسترجع وحمد الله عز وجل فقد رضي بما صنع الله ووقع أجره على الله ومن لم يفعل ذلك جرى عليه القضاء وهو ذميم وأحبط الله تعالى أجره. علي بن إبراهيم، عن أبيه، عن عمرو بن عثمان، عن أبي جميلة، عن جابر، عن أبي جعفر (عليه السلام) مثله A number of our companions (narrated) from Sahl b. Ziyād, from Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Abī Naṣr and al-Ḥasan b. ʿAlī collectively, from Abī Jamīlah, from Jābir, from Abī Ja'far (Imām al-Bāqir (as)) saying: I said to him: "What is jazʿ?" He said: "The severest form of jazʿ is shrieking the voice in distress and the slapping of the face and the chest, and cutting the hair from the forelock. Whoever takes up being a mourner (nawāḥah) has abandoned patience and chosen a path other than it, and whoever has patience and recites the verse of rujūʿ (2:156) and praises God, then he is pleased with what God designs for him and gets his reward from God. Whoever does not do so will be proceeding upon destruction, he is reprehensible, and his reward will be thwarted by God." It has been narrated likewise from ʿAlī b. Ibrāhīm, from his father, from ʿAmr b. ʿUṯman, from Abī Jamīlah, from Jābir, from Abī Ja'far. Šayḵ al-Kulaynī, al-Kāfī (Tehran: 1968), v. 3, pp. 222-223 As the above tradition establishes, wailing and slapping the face and chest falls into this category of jazʿ, as a whole a stoic attitude is what is prescribed by the Imams during times of tragedy and misfortune, as the above says, however the following tradition establishes precedence for the exception of jazʿ being applied to Imām Ḥusayn (specifically in regards to slapping the chest): وذكر أحمد بن محمد بن داود القمي في نوادره قال: روى محمد بن عيسى عن أخيه جعفر بن عيسى عن خالد بن سدير أخي حنان بن سدير قال: سألت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام عن رجل شق ثوبه على أبيه أو على أمه أو على أخيه أو على قريب له فقال: لا بأس بشق الجيوب. قد شق موسى بن عمران على أخيه هارون، ولا يشق الوالد على ولده ولا زوج على امرأته، وتشق المرأة على زوجها وإذا شق زوج على امرأته أو والد على ولده فكفارته حنث يمين ولا صلاة لهما حتى يكفرا ويتوبا من ذلك، وإذا خدشت المرأة وجهها أو جزت شعرها أو نتفته ففي جز الشعر عتق رقبة أو صيام شهرين متتابعين أو اطعام ستين مسكينا، وفي الخدش إذا دميت وفي النتف كفارة حنث يمين، ولا شئ في اللطم على الخدود سوى الاستغفار والتوبة، وقد شققن الجيوب ولطمن الخدود الفاطميات على الحسين بن علي عليهما السلام، وعلى مثله تلطم الخدود وتشق الجيوب Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Dāwud al-Qummī in his collection of rarities mentioned saying: Muḥammad b. ʿĪsā narrated to me from his brother, Jaʿfar b. ʿĪsā, from Ḵālid b. Sadīr, the brother of Ḥanan b. Sadīr, who said: I asked Abū ʿAbdillah (Imām al-Sādiq (as)) about a man who would tear his garment for his father, or mother, or brother, or any kinsman. He said: "There is no issue in tearing the collars, Moses son of Amram had torn (his collars) for his brother, Aaron. (However,) a father does not tear it for his son, nor a husband for his wife, rather a wife for her husband. If a husband does so for his wife or the father for his son, then he owes a Kaffārah of perjury, and there is no funeral prayer until the Kāffarah is given and he has repented for that. If a woman scratches her face or cuts or tears out her hair, in the case of cutting her hair, she is to free a slave, or fast two consecutive months, or feed sixty destitute people. And in the case of scratching her face causing bleeding and in the case of plucking is the Kaffārah of perjury. And there is nothing regarding laṭm (slapping) of the except repentance and penance. And the women of Fāṭimah tore their collars and slapped their cheeks for al-Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī, and for those like him you are to slap your cheeks and tear your collars. Šayḵ al-Ṭūsī, Tahḏīb al-Aḥkām (Qum: 1970), v. 8, pp. 325 Additionally traditions exist that when the people of Banī Hāšim and Jābir b. ʿAbdullah al-Anṣārī went to do ziyārah of the grave of Imām Ḥusayn, the women present were hitting themselves and remained in such a state of mourning for three days (Luhūf, pp. 112-113) and the ḥūr al-ʿayn of paradise slapped their chests and face for Imām Ḥusayn (Kāmil al-Ziyārāt, pp. 80). This famous tradition is also used to establish that beating the chest for Imām Ḥusayn is not objectionable: عن أبي عبد الله : «كلّ الجزع والبكاء مكروه، سوى الجزع والبكاء على الحسين » Imām al-Sādiq: "All jazʿ and crying is reprehensible except for the jazʿ and crying for al-Ḥusayn." This particular tradition has been narrated in a number of different books in various iterations. Furthermore it is narrated that Imām al-Bāqir when recounting the tragedy in his home encouraged the manifestation of jazʿ (ويقيم في داره المصيبة باظهار الجزع عليه). So jurisprudentially and linguistically, slapping of the chest when faced with difficulty is considered jazʿ, an unsettled and severe grief, this is generally discouraged as Islām promotes living in a stoic manner when faced with misfortunes, however an exception is made regarding Imām Ḥusayn (as) and if anything jazʿ is to be made manifest for him. It, therefore, stands to reason that the slapping of one's chest and face for Imām Ḥusayn is religiously permissible and valid, as is demonstrated by the hadiths. However, there is a further discussion to be had here, what these traditions intend we know as a phenomenon of slapping oneself having surrendered to one's emotions in a moment of passion, not in an organized and rhythmic manner to the meter of a poem being sung by a rādūd/nawha-ḵān, the former was also traditionally what women did, while the recitation of poetry in a rhythmic manner was masculine. The origins are shrouded in mystery, from what I've seen. Ali J. Hussain (a scholar of Islamic history whose PhD dissertation was on the historiography of Karbala) has suggested in "The Mourning of History and the History of Mourning" (Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Duke University Press, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 78-88) on pg. 81 suggested that the niyāḥah/nawha-ḵānī (recitation of poetry) originated in some form with the tawwābun during their anti-Ummayyad revolt, however this was without the associated laṭm. Per him, the two likely strengthened each other and were eventually, at an unknown point, blended together. We know however that it was being practiced publicly by around 1820 or so. By the recollection of Muḥammad Mahdī al-Qazwīnī, writing around taṭbīr in 1927, these acts had only shown up in Iraq a century earlier. The first recorded instance of laṭm/matam done in the manner we think of seems to be around the same time, it was introduced to the city of Kāẓimayn by one Šayḵ Bāqir b. Šayḵ Asadullah al-Difzūlī al-Kāẓimī¹ (Ṭabaqah Aʿlām al-Shīʿah, v. 2, pg. 170). I haven't found a mention of this practice earlier than him, I would conjecture that the practice itself was imported from Iran as were other methods of mourning. That being said, as has been demonstrated this, this act isn't an innovation (it doesn't even make sense to talk about innovations in this context) and clearly had an earlier base to develop from. It would be interesting to see what further research regarding the history of this method of mourning for Imām Ḥusayn brings up. To conclude, I'll quote the tradition of Imām al-Sādiq: نفس المهموم لنا المغتم لظلمنا تسبيح وهمه لامرنا عبادة وكتمانه لسرنا جهاد في سبيل الله "The sigh of him he is preoccupied with us and is distressed by the oppression faced by us is glorification, and his concern for our affairs is worship, and his guarding our secret is jihād fī sabīl Allah." wa assalam ___________________________________ ¹I'm not mentioning this aside in order to increase his credibility but because I came across it while researching and I thought it was interesting. His father was, as it seems, a very important scholar in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, who, when he died, was eulogized with the following poem: قضى العالم القدسي والعلم الذي إليه المزايا تنتهي والمحامد قضى نور مشكاة العلوم فضعضعت لذلك أركان الهدى والقواعد إمام له في العالمين مناقب تقضي عليها الدهر وهي خوالد ومذ حلّ أقصى السوء قلت مؤرّخاً بكت أسد الله التقي المساجد He himself had studied under the eminent jurist, Šayḵ Murtaḍā al-Anṣārī.
  10. There's nothing to suggest this, and there is no textual evidence for this either. In fact, I contend this goes against the apparent meaning of the Qur'an because it states several times that it is بِلِسَانٍ عَرَبِيٍّ مُّبِينٍ (In a clear Arabic tongue) or إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ (We have revealed it, an Arabic (or clear) Qur'an, that you might fathom it). What you are suggesting is that a number of portions of this Qur'an were sent in what seemed to be "clear Arabic" and that it functioned exactly like that grammatical concept that one would expect to find in "clear Arabic", that any Arabic speaker would have understood to mean one thing, and that it actually meant something else all together that neither the Prophet nor the Imams expounded on. So an invented grammatical concept that is not "clear Arabic" (but in fact very confusing since it works the same way but it intends something different all together) and was never explained or known about by anyone. What we are contending is that the language of the Qur'an is actually the language the Arabs spoke, were familiar with, and understood, as such they would have understood plural pronouns by a singular being to be pluralis maiestatis. What you are suggesting is that there is actually a different meaning to this that was not at all possible to know by speakers of the language because it didn't occur in their language but it works the exact same way as what did occur in their language (namely the pluralis maiestatis). But we are to ignore the more basic assumption that the language being used here is the same that would be used anywhere else for an argument built on what seems to be a misunderstanding of fundamental grammatical concepts, an expectation for the Imams to explain a fundemental grammatical concept while they certainly didn't explain the more fantastical alternative being preposed, and a fantastical alternative proposed to be accepted that is ungrammatical and against a "clear Arabic" like the Qur'an claims itself to be, all while you yourself accepted that you don't have an understanding of Arabic grammar. You can see why this is a bit difficult for anyone who does have an understanding of Arabic grammar to accept. There's a mistake here. The words "I", "love", and "you" all retain their meaning, namely that the speaker has affection for the addressee, however the intention of it is not the same (namely, whether the speaker actually does love the addressee), that has no impact on the meaning and usage of each individual word. We can all together put aside the concept of a robot since humans can suffice. If I said to someone I have no love for "I love you", I haven't presented a sentence with an alternative meaning, I just said a sentence with a meaning that I don't truthfully feel. As far as English is concerned however, I did express the concept. You can't conflate intention with meaning. I think you might have been offended by Ibn al-Hussain's rejection of the speculation, but there's a point here. This entire proposition is incredibly speculative. We have two uncertainties here: 1. An ungrammatical and problematic understanding of the Qur'an's language that aims at saying that there is an alternative grammatical concept, all together unknown but that works the same way as a known grammatical concept that is applicable here, that is being rejected because of a lack of traditions from the Imams (even though assuming it is more primary than assuming anything else) while they certainly didn't tell about this fantastical grammatical category that would in fact need explaining were we to believe it. 2. Speculation on the beliefs and practices of Arabian Christians and how they would have spoken (and presuming that they would have spoken differently than non-Christian Arabs). We have a couple of inscriptions by Christian Arabs (famously the Yazidw al-Malik one found in Jordan), but they aren't enough to tell us everything about their way of speaking and we cannot assume anything from it. These are speculative reasoning that are fallacious in their nature attempting to overturn an established grammatical concept which has never been doubted before and for good reason, there was no reason to doubt it. I might as well take such reasoning to its extreme and say I can never say "rabbi" or "ilahi" since these are both cases of Idhafa (the construct state), and rabb and ilah (God) in both of these cases is the mudhaf (the possessed thing) and -i (my) in both cases is the mudhaf ilayhi (possessor), however I can never possess God, he's not al-Mamluk, he is al-Malik! Therefore this whole construction is unislamic and theologically baseless. In fact any Hadiths that use this must be weak since their matn is objectionable, any anyone who says this has erred! However it's really me who erred because I confused a grammatical practice for a physical fact. God is al-Malik but he can be mudhaf in an idhafah, and God is singular, but in a pluralis maiestatis he can refer to himself in the plural. The reasons to doubt an established grammatical practice are all together too speculative and built on a misunderstanding of how language is supposed to work, and I would go to say even an un-Qur'anic understanding. The famous principle found in the Qur'an is that speculation cannot overturn certainty (وَمَا لَهُم بِهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ ۖ إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ ۖ وَإِنَّ الظَّنَّ لَا يُغْنِي مِنَ الْحَقِّ شَيْئًا).
  11. So the first person plural is being used exactly in the same place you would find the pluralis maiestatis, by a lofty being (God), exactly as you'd expect for the pluralis maiestatis, and has the same usage and meaning as the pluralis maiestatis, a type of plural referring to a singular that has been used in both Hebrew and Arabic (in the exact same way) and in pre-Islamic Arabic, Arabic contemporary to the revelation of the Qur'an, Arabic after the Qur'an, and modern Arabic (with the same idiomatic usage and meaning), but it's different in the Qur'an because the Imams never mentioned this and it can be misconstrued by people who don't know the essentials of Arabic grammar? I honestly have no idea what to say to that.
  12. Salams, Brother, I have to be honest, this was a very confusing thing to say. The Imams had very little to say on grammar and philology all together, let alone commenting on the various types of pronouns. Whether they said it or not, Sunni and Shia have identified that the first person plural can act as a pluralis maiestatis (a plural of majesty) indicating that the speaker of the phrase might be singular, but he is lofty. The plural of majesty is also observed in the Hebrew Bible, e.g. Genesis 1:26: וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ (wəyōmer ʾelohīm naʿśeh āḏām bəṣalmēnū ḵiḏmūṯēnū) "And God said: Let us make man in our imagine, and after our likeness..." Like Br. @Ibn al-Hussain demonstrated in his poetic shawahid, the pluralis maiestatis is an established concept in Arabic used apart from just for God. I'm curious why a hadith mu'tabar from the Imams (as) is necessary to establish this obvious grammatical concept. I don't think we need them to tell us that there is a wāw al-ʿaṭaf and wāw al-maʿiyyah but there obviously is, likewise I don't think their saying is necessary to point out that ʾin has an idiomatic usage in the Qur'an like lā because it's rather obvious. We needed them to tell us about things necessary to our salvation, undoubtedly, grammar hardly seems like it makes that cut.
  13. The problem is that in English "it" is used to refer to inanimate things, with an exception of vessels (which are feminine). "It" is also used for irrational things, with the (weird) exception of people's pets. God is neither inanimate nor irrational so using it doesn't really make much sense. The masculine pronoun "him" has historically been unisex as well used in cases of ambiguities and in reference to God, like in many other languages. So while God might be genderless, "him" seems the most appropriate pronoun to use. The obvious problem with this is that there is no "it" (as a pronoun) in Arabic, it's a gendered language with no neuters so everything is either referred to as "he" (هو) or "she" (هي). The word إله itself though feminine in construction (has a التاء المربوطة) is masculine in gender as you would say إلهنا واحد not إلهنا واحدة.
  14. (Wolff, 2018) The languages of the world can be divided into families and sub-groupings. This means that several groups of languages can be thought to be related due to recurring and predictable patterns observed throughout them. These can be related to both grammar and phonology. What this means is that these languages descend from a proto-language and possible this language descends from a larger grouping. What happened was that the speakers of the proto-language started moving away from each other, and in a time before literacy, let alone wide spread dissemination of printed material and a standardized educational system, before people would leave their homes to work in the big city and return (before towns even!), and before our modern technology which keeps us connected, the speakers of a language just started speaking differently. This could have happened in several ways, sound changes for vowels are some of the simplest, think of how differently British people and North American people pronounce the word "far". Consonantal phonemes (sounds) can be dropped or added, you can also have grammatical innovations which make up for something lacking in the proto-language (e.g. the creation of a definite article) or a simplification of something in the proto-language (maybe a complex case system is dropped, or at the least reduced), though it's important to remember these are sporadic and things are traded off for one another, languages don't just become "simpler". Within no time Group A can no longer understand Group B anymore. A linguist will determine this using the comparative method, this requires looking at the different languages and comparing them for regular patterns to ascertain genetic (in a linguistic sense) relation. There is one limitation to this, the comparative method can only work compare changes made within a few thousand millennia, after 7000-10, 000 or so years it ceases to be very reliable as it cannot account for a change being due to genetic relation or just coincidence. There are some languages which are isolates, meaning they lack genetic relation to any language we know of. This doesn't mean they emerged out of nowhere, rather their relatives went extinct before we could get any record of them. Linguistics today classify Arabic as one of the Afro-Asiatic languages (also called the Hamito-Semitic languages in older literature). This language family is perhaps one of the oldest that we know of, the proto-language, Proto-Afro-Asiatic, was spoken sometime around 15, 000 BCE. This language family includes the Semitic languages (of which Arabic is a member), the Egyptian languages (both Ancient Egyptian and Coptic), the Berber languages, the Cu[Edited Out]ic languages (including Somali), the Chadic languages, and possibly the Omitic languages. Now, when this proto-language was spoken, how exactly it split into its daughter-languages, and in what order that happened is something debated by linguists (a video that shows some possibilities), but the connection between these languages has been observed for a very long time. The first person to observe the similarities between these languages was Judah b. Quraysh (fl. c. 9th century), a Jewish Rabbi with knowledge of Aramaic, Arabic, and Hebrew and noticed their similarity to the Berber languages spoken in Algeria. The eminent 19th century German philologist, Theodore Benfey, went on to demonstrate a systematic relationship between the Ancient Egyptian language and Semitic languages (Rubin, 2013). Such correspondences can be observed in grammatical features, such as several of the Afro-Asiatic languages having a construct state (إضافة, for those of you who might have studied Arabic grammar), this is an exceedingly rare construction indicating possession, it is only found outside the Afro-Asiatic family in a single Nilotic language. In the Afro-Asiatic family, the construct-state is found in the Semitic languages, the Berber languages, and the Egyptian languages. They also share a root system for their morphology, and similar nominal systems for their nouns. We can also compare vocabulary to find a proto-word that developed into cognates across various languages. One such reconstruction is the word "les" (meaning tongue, this root will remain italicized), it appears in the Semitic languages originally as Lišān (and this further developed from there), in Egyptian as ns and later in Coptic as les, in the Chadic languages as ḥalisum, ʾVlyas, and lyas, and in a Cu[Edited Out]ic language as milas (Orel & Stolbova, 1995). Arabic can further be classified as a Semitic language. This language family is believed to be about 6000 years old and is thought to have originated in South-West Asia. There are a number of features common to the language, including shared verb stems (the أبواب), a case system of nominative -u, accusative -a, and genitive -i (found preserved in Classical/Middle Arabic, Ugaritic, and Akkadian), and a root system with shared roots between these languages¹. Arabic fits into these languages as a West Semitic languages, meaning it is excluded from being one of the East Semitic languages (the Akkadian languages or Ebalite). It is also a Central Semitic language, so it is excluded from the South Semitic languages which include the Modern South-Arabian languages, the Ethio-Semitic languages, and the Ancient South Semitic languages. It splits from the other Central Semitic languages, which go on to become the North-Western Semitic languages including Ugaritic, Aramaic, and the Canaanite languages (including Hebrew and Phoenician). What distinguishes Arabic from the other Central Semitic languages are 14-19 linguistic innovations not found in other Central Semitic languages, these include: The loss of the independent first person pronoun "ʾanāku" (Arabic only preserves the proto-Semitic "ʾanā") Replacing mimation with nunation (تنوين), meaning, a nūn is fixed to the end of words (in the form of tanwīn), not a mīm, such as what can be found in Hebrew. The preposition fī (in) is derived from the word for "mouth" (فم). The development of the mafʿūl passive participle. A full list can be found in Ahmed Al-Jallad's forthcoming article, "The Earliest Stages of Arabic and its Linguistic Classification". Now with an understanding of language families and Arabic's Afro-Asiatic and Semitic context you have a foundation for exploring the development of Arabic as we know it. We are left, however, with the need to know who the speakers of this language were and where they lived. We're now ready for the next part of our historical epic. Join me next time! إلى لقاء Footnotes: ¹ A cool resource to look at different Semitic roots is this website. You can search roots and compare cognates across various languages. Citations: Wolff, H. E., (2018, May 14). "Afro-Asiatic languages", Encyclopaedia Britannica, Orel, V. E., & Stolbova, O. V., (1995). Hamito-Semitic Etymological Dictionary: Materials for Reconstruction. Rubin, A. D. (2013). "Egyptian and Hebrew", Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics. Geoffrey Khan (ed.).
  15. Ibn Al-Ja'abi

    A response to Syyed Fadlullah [ra]

    Salams, Though Sulaym b. Qays might not have existed and the book cannot be used to definitely prove whether this event happened or not, couldn't the fact that it reached currency and popularity in the circles of traditionists among the early Shi'a does go to show that there was a belief that there had been such an infraction on Sayyida Fatima? While this book cannot be said to have been written by Sulaym with any reasonable certainty, it is still an early book. Amir-Moezzi writes in The Silent Quran and the Speaking Quran that the oldest copy of it was in Khorramshahr (destroyed in the Iran-Iraq war) and was apparently second century hijri copy written on gazelle skin in Kufic, and around the same time traditions from it were put into circulation in various cities over the Islamicate world by individuals like Ibn Abi Umayr and Hammad b. Isa. He also writes: So while it might be pseudography, it does seem to represent an early Shia memory regarding Saqifa and what happened to Sayyida Fatima.