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In the Name of God بسم الله

Haydar Amuli

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    Haydar Amuli

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    Taqaddumī Twelver Shi'ism

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  1. Can you restore my message please so that people can make their own judgement between universal values and fiqh values derived from the ḥadīths of the Ahlul Bayt (عليهم السلام) ? Thank you my brother.
  2. So basically you are trying to say that God-given values can go against universal values or humanistic values ? I would rather say that the problem here is not God but the man-made fiqhi values, methodologies and statements that we easily consider as the absolute intention or choice of God. I would like to express my dissatisfaction with your childish and free censorship regarding my message and I am asking you to kindly restore my message unless you are afraid of something. May God guide your steps.
  3. Therefore islamic law (fiqh) doesn't care of humanistic values, universal values ? Sorry to say you that there is a problem here.
  4. New insightful views on Ijtihad and Taqlid by Sheikh Arif Abdul Hussain from an existential perspective. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmPvsBRLFt4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hjITn5KcMc
  5. The KSIMC of Birmingham would like to invite you to a seminar on ‘Ijtihad and Contemporary Issues’ on Sunday the 10th of May 2015 from 9:30am to 4:00pm, at Digbeth Banqueting Hall, 117 New Canal Street, Birmingham, B5 5RA. The program will be chaired by Brother Gulamabbas Lakha and will consist of the following speakers: Ayatullah Syed Fadhil al-MilaniSheikh Mohammed Saeed BahmanpourSheikh Arif AbdulhussainSheikh Murtadha Alidina (TBC)The topics for discussion include: ‘Marja’iyya & Locality: do we need a Marja’ in the West?’‘Reinterpretation of Islamic Law Based in Time and Place’‘Common Sense as a Source of Ijtihad’‘Change & Evolution in Marja’iyyah: do we need new sources of Ijtihad?’Each speaker will be given the opportunity to address the audience for a duration of 30 minutes, which will be followed by a 15 minute Q&A session whereby the audience will get the opportunity to ask questions relevant to the topic.
  6. It is a totally gratuitous statement. The hadith ath-thaqalayn itself tends toward some flaws (#5) and it challenges the general shi'ite thought. The role of the Ahlul Bayt is at stake precisely because many things have changed since the classical period of Islam be it cosmology, espistemology, ontology, anthropology and so on (Do we still need the Ahlul Bayt ? It's a serious and daring question.). And I believe that reason or knowledge can fill the absence of the Ahlul Bayt in a positive way in our century, specially in the West since we are experiencing those changes directly or indirectly through our university curriculum and our social, economic, political and intellectual life.
  7. As I previously pointed out, your entire defense argument is based on classical thinking of Islam.
  8. I beg to differ with your idea of absolute laws of the Ahlul Bayt or the Prophet which has no reasonable basis and I hope you are not serious with this idea, except if you have wahhabi tendencies. Laws are never absolute rather relative and conditional to many parameters bound to time and space: they are supposed to be manifestations of the needs of a society at a given time and a given space. And a holistic study of the Qur'an and the Sunnah draws clearly the pattern of "essence and form" which has its own legitimacy (vid. Sheikh Arif Abdul Hussain series of lectures). Thus your entire defense argument is based on classical or traditional thinking of Islam which begins to be obsolete in our era and particularly in the West for a very simple reason that traditional shi'ite ijtihad is incompetent in dealing with modern problems because of its outdated methods. In brief, the capacity of traditional shi'ite ijtihad does not fit the modern problems. The question that is of our interest is to ask if there is really a need for a change in our way of thinking Islam in modern times instead of relying on traditional thinking. Ijtihad surely needs to be reconstructed with new inputs from western sciences such as philosophy of language, hermeneutics, historicity, critical thinking, experimental sciences, and so on. As far as it concerns the concept of Shari'ah, we genuinely have to redefine it through examining the ultimate goal of prophecy and the expectation of the islamic path (din). Was Shari'ah supposed to bring a set of laws, as we are inclined to believe or rather Shari'ah is about a set of ethical values (?), therefore laws are only secondary and Islam is not about a fixed system of laws because laws are never absolute but relative and always under change of time and space. Laws in the Qur'an were fair, acceptable, virtuous and congruous according to the mentality (social and cultural structures) of the Arabs of seventh century but are we bound to their mentalities ? Laws are never absolute but subordinated to time, space and the structure of a society. Therefore, the theory of "essence and form" is not about taking the place of God, but to attain godliness through such laws that are fitting our time, our space and our societies after all we are the caliphs of God. It is certainly of little importance for our discussion, however I would add that if there is no direct causality in this matter there is surely a correlation.
  9. I absolutely understand your apprehension concerning the misleading illusion that the theory of "essence and form" is giving regarding the restricted importance of the Ahlul Bayt. However, as I mentioned earlier (post #5) things are for a fact not as straightforward as we are inclined to believe in the apparent and literal meaning of this tradition or narration that tends towards some flaws if not reassessed seriously and critically through new interpretative principles. The whole idea of "essence and form" is not to give up the teachings of the Ahlul Bayt, certainly not, and Sheikh Arif Abdul Hussain would be the first to stand up against such a pretentious move. But when you say that "Allah doesn't tell you to follow your intellect above the word of Rasool (pbuh) and Aal-e-Rasool (as) (...) but those personalities are incorruptible and infallible" does it mean in an absolute way that nothing but the aḥadīth of the infallible can serve as authoritative evidence in Islam ? This is precisely what the akhbaris are claiming, and they certainly are the most accurate if the narration is to be interpreted at face value, and that is what you are holding somehow. Though, what we see in usulism is the emergence of a whole new concept that of "ijtihad" based on the relative interpretation of the narration, contrary to akhbarism and yet usulism is legitimate, but not according to akhbaris. Thus what Sheikh Arif Abdul Hussain is trying to do is nothing but to stretch out the same relative interpretation of this narration through the new concept of "essence and form" and yet his move is totally legitimate, but not according to usulis (?) and the "revolution" precisely rests here : in his being able to plead publicly for a new paradigm and an evolution of the shi'ite thought. So are the hardcore usulis playing the same backward game against Sheikh Arif Abdul Hussain that the akhbaris played against the usulis some centuries ago ? (history repeats itself)
  10. Go on here, please and elaborate your thinking gently and respectfully. And don't forget to read this post (#5) of mine first : http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235027085-restricted-weightiness-of-the-ahlul-bayt/#entry2761002
  11. If you rely on mutual agreement or consensus of religious scholars to judge if an idea is controversial or not, then your relying itself is controversial because consensus is never absolute rather relative, so to be honest you are holding a very narrow posture regarding the contextual reading of the Qur'an. With respect to your stance that "Quran itself maintains that this book is the word of Allah meant for guidance of all mankind till the day of judgement" nobody is denying the true value of the eternal words of God however our readings of His words must evolve with time and space for the betterment of our being and our societies which are clearly tied to how we deal with the Qur'an. For example, consider these syllogisms : God is perfect, Qur'an is God's words, therefore Qur'an is perfect :> any application/token of the Qur'an will be perfect = false God is perfect, Islam is God's path, therefore Islam is perfect :> any instance/token of Islam will be perfect = false As you noticed things are not as simple and categorical as you are used to think, there is always a need to put things into perspective on the basis of new parameters which lead to new principles. And if this implies a shift from adaptative fiqh to transformational fiqh, then Sheikh Arif Abdul Hussain embodies the highest aspirations for shi'ite Islam in the West. Interpretation is a certain reading of God's word in a non-absolute way, and the qur'anic interpretations of a'imma were harmonized with their time and space, therefore nothing compels us to be bound to their interpretations otherwise that would be purely incongruous. As for the narrations you mentioned, the contextual (time and space) reading of the Qur'an doesn't contradict them. I could have expected this from a wahhabi not from a shi'ite muslim ! Your thought and creative limitations are those that God has decreed for you, means no-limitation : 16:78 And Allah has extracted you from the wombs of your mothers not knowing a thing, and He made for you hearing and vision and intellect that perhaps you would be grateful. 45:13 And He has subjected to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth - all from Him. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.
  12. The contextual reading of the Qur'an is a rahmah of Allah and not at all a controversy and the pattern itself is clear if you try to ponder a little more on the content of it (vid. Sheikh Arif Abdul Hussain series of lectures). If I have understood rightly the outline of the thought of Sheikh Arif Abdul Hussain, what he is suggesting is to extend the religious duty (taklif al-'aqli, taklif al-shar'i) to even those who are not absolute theologians ('ulama al-nusus) by forming a body of experts ('ulama al-waqi') working simultaneously or independently (?) and much more aware of the real need of Muslims in the West. Thus the authority of qur'anic interpretation (moral, legal and juristic aspects) primarily restricted to the classical theologians (and before them to the Ahlul Bayt, the companions or the Holy Prophet) could/should be shifted to a body of experts. What is coherent and lucid with this approach is that every layman is responsible and answerable (not only the theologians) in front of Allah for the spiritual growth of the whole muslim society or community considering the productiveness of any such rule, regulation or order that control the human and social affairs. In brief, the purpose of re-assessment is to create a rupture with the automatism acquired by the theologians in matters of fiqh and to go back to basics, according to Sheikh Arif Abdul Hussain own owrds. Maybe not a killing but a critical reexamination of actual methodologies and teachings, and this is why I called it a revolution in terms of Kuhn's concept of scientific revolution. Surely according to his knowledge such an achievement should be possible if he already laid the methodological foundations of such a huge project but in my humble view to undertake such a mission is quite impractical for a simple and casual reason that Qur'an has multiple reading frameworks and not a one-to-one correspondance reading framework, thus when he says that "Islamic sciences have not been completely edited/compiled under the light of Quran" I would rather argue that Qur'an has its own intellectual limitations otherwise why would Muslims have felt the need to create a set of disciplines (islamic sciences) as an extension of it except to fill an intellectual vacuum. That being said, if he has a good methodology, then he should succeed, may Allah help him in his valuable efforts.
  13. He can gently help you to grasp his thinking if you ask him directly and I am sure if you express to him your doubts about his lack of any critical thinking skills or his incoherent approach or his use of fallacious logic in his arguments in order to develop his arguments, he will clarify to you everything. Don't forget that he is a mujtahid.
  14. The tradition itself tends towards some flaws if not reassessed seriously and critically through new interpretative principles, a task that Sheikh Arif Abdul Hussain is undertaking quite prudently and this is to his credit. Things are for a fact not as straightforward as we are inclined to believe in the apparent and literal meaning of this tradition or narration, while the same approach of the scriptures (broadly Qur'an and to some extent narrations of the Holy Prophet, his companions and the a'imma) is often set aside preferring interpretations that are more versatile. We surely don't want to play the same game as the wahhabis. Then what compels us to believe in a strict and apparent and literal meaning of this narration refusing any appropriate interpretation of it according to our time and space ? If the basis of our methodology is ambiguous and implemented in a selective manner, then how pertinent could be the overall shi'ite thought and the structure that sustained it ? For instance, consider these narrations and their strict implications in terms of time and space : Task : holding Qur'an and the Ahlul Bayt Time lapse : until the Day of Judgment Space range : no limit Contents bound to time lapse and space range : spiritual, moral, legal and qur'anic interpretations Flaws : first no a'imma are currently living in our time or space so that we can refer to them directly on a ongoing basis, while the literal meaning of these narrations are pretending the opposite ; second the Holy Prophet was restricted to his time and space in matters of qur'anic interpretations (moral and legal) and that is clearly asserted by the fact that a'imma also interpreted Qur'an according to their time and space, thus these narrations are restricted to the time and space where a'imma were alive or present ; third materialization (the form) of the moral and legal precepts are never to be supertime or superspace (above space-time) only the essense is while these narrations are pretending the opposite ; fourth Islam is the product of its own History and its religious design must evolve with time and space and so must its perfectibility (relativity of the perfection) ; and so on Post-ghayba solutions to these flaws : senseless legal opinions (eg. burying the khums, transmission of the amount of khums from one generation to another, and so on) ; akhbarism ; the absence of a'imma put forward the role of fuqaha in religious matters : marja'iyya, wilayat ul-faqih however even these doctrines are full of flaws because the raw material used by them rests on the restricted interpretations of the a'imma (space-time dilemma) Real solution to these flaws : input of new paradigms into the field of qur'anic hermeneutics, concept of essence and form, re-assessment of the whole legal and moral body of current shi'ite Islam and so on (vid. Sheikh Arif Abdul Hussain series of lectures)
  15. Salam alaykum, I was running through the lectures of Sheikh Arif Abdul Hussain of this Muharram which according to me are somewhat briging new paradigms into the field of qur'anic hermeneutics and his ideas within the shi'ite thought are remarkably innovative, specially considering the stagnation of the system of marja'iyya for two centuries. The need of a refreshing revaluation of our qur'anic interpretation and understanding was really necessary as we are already going through major crisis particularly inside Islam. And the efforts of Sheikh Arif Abdul Hussain in trying to satisfy this intellectual gap are valuable specially considering that the new generation of muslims in the West are higly educated and in a constant exigency of orginal and advanced knowledge. The shi'ite thought is certainly at the edge of a new revolution in terms of Kuhn's concept of scientific revolution. However, until now this revolution was not possible primarily because of our coercive dependency to the textual material belonging to the Ahlul Bayt ie. their eternal role in qur'anic interpretation and understanding. The concept of "essence and form" introduced by Sheikh Arif Abdul Hussain within the framework of hadith ath-thaqalayn is the master key that paves the way for the autonomy of qur'anic interpretation and understanding at a private and community level. The problem that could arise from a traditional point of view is certainly that of looking at the Qur'an and the Ahlul Bayt (the two weights) as having the same weight. To support his thoughts Sheikh Arif Abdul Hussain is relying to a certain extent on the tradition also given by Allamah Tabatabai in his tafseer al-Mizan (see 3:7-9) which says : ‘‘Certainly I am leaving among you two weighty things : The bigger one and the smaller (lighter) one. As for the bigger one, it is the Book of Allah; and as for the smaller one, it is my progeny, the people of my house. Therefore, keep me in mind about these two things; because you shall never go astray so long as you hold fast to them." Here we can see that the Qur'an and the Ahlul Bayt have no equal weight, but one is bigger and the other one is lighter or smaller. The religious and pragmatic consequences of this dichotomy are challenging because the tradition itself opens the Pandora's box of multiple interpretations and actions. -their substantial value are not same -Qur'an has a spiritual essence and a form bound to its own context and the Ahlul Bayt are only representative of their time and space, then restricted by their context also -companions are also representative of their time and space, then restricted by their context and the validity of their judgements are not to be questionned if the pattern "essence and form" is valid -same substantial value of the Ahlul Bayt and the companions -disestablishment of the old system of marja'iyya and elaboration of a new system less coercive and more tractable -from what follows, the hawza system is to be revisited and some courses like usul al-fiqh, fiqh, ilm al-hadith and ilm al-rijal are to be reassessed -establishing new disciplines more human-oriented (sciences)
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