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In the Name of God بسم الله


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  1. Salaam, i have always been fascinated by the human mind, and would love to pursue a degree in psychology. Unfortunately, since i reside in a 3rd world country, going to study abroad isn't an option due to the financial constraint. I have been searching for viable online options, but to my dismay most of the ones i have found are also quite expensive for foreign students. I was wondering if anyone here knows any online bachelor degree courses for psychology that are affordable.
  2. Oh wow, my knowledge is very limited and I had never heard of this story before. It's mind boggling to think that Prophet Ibrahim was a polytheist at one point in time. Thank you for sharing the story. Anyway what I fail to understand is if shirk is just like any other sin, that if done in ignorance and repented for sincerely can be forgiven, why are there so many verses in the Quran talking about it being the unforgivable sin?...isn't that like some sort of contradiction? Cause it explicitly states in one of the verses that every sin can be forgiven EXCEPT shirk. I was reading this from al Islam.org, let me quote it: The first of the Greater Sins is to associate anyone or anything with Allah (S.w.T.). That is to attribute partners to Allah (S.w.T.). Regarding Shirk we have received clear traditions from the Holy Prophet (S) as well as Hazrat ‘Ali (a.s.), Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.), Imam al-Kadhim (a.s.), Imam Riďa (a.s.) and Imam Jawad (a.s.). Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says: “The greatest of the Greater Sins is to attribute partners to Allah.”1 The following verse of the Holy Qur’an asserts: “Surely Allah does not forgive that anything should be associated with him, and forgives what is besides that to whomsoever He pleases, and whoever associates anything with Allah, he devises indeed a great sin.” (Surah an-Nisā’ 4:48) It means that whoever dies as a polytheist, there is no chance of his salvation. Although Allah (S.w.T.) may forgive any of those who have committed any other sin. Allah (S.w.T.) says: “Surely whoever associates (others) with Allah, then Allah has forbidden to him the garden, and his abode is the fire; and there shall be no helpers for the unjust.” (Surah al-Mā’ida 5:72) Also the Holy Qur’an states: “Do not associate aught with Allah; most surely polytheism is a grievous inequity.” (Surah Luqmān 31:13). “And whoever associates anything with Allah, he devises indeed a great sin.” (Surah an-Nisā’ 4:48) The above leaves me scratching my head, sorry if my question sounds repetitive, hopefully you can shed more light into it. Edit: here is the link if you're interested. http://www.al-islam.org/greater-sins-volume-1-ayatullah-sayyid-abdul-husayn-dastghaib-shirazi/first-greater-sin-shirk#shirk-polytheism-associate-anyone-or-anything-Allah-swt
  3. Thank you for responding. From my limited understanding, the above quoted verse is a generalized verse that applies to the vast categories of sins out there. So for instance if I listen to music and drink alcohol but later find out it is prohibited, I have committed a sin out of ignorance and if I repent sincerely after finding out I will be forgiven. However, nowhere in the Quran do we see it explicitly mentioned that listening to music or drinking alcohol is a sin that can NEVER be forgiven. If God mentions a particular sin as the only one that can never be forgiven, and then you use the verse quoted above which is a generalized verse,I think it's a faulty analytical conclusion to say that the verse also applies to the sin that is explicitly mentioned as one which will not be forgiven. "Verily, Allah forgives not the sin of setting up partners in worship with Him, but He forgives whom He wills sins other than that. And whoever sets up partners in worship with Allah, has indeed strayed far from the path." (4:116) If you join others in worship with Allah, then surely all your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers." (39:65) Verily, Allaah forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases" (Quran 4:48).
  4. In regards to the hadeeth from the sixth imam, what about shirk being the only sin God cannot forgive, something well established in Quran and Hadeeth?? The hadeeth makes worshipping the sun and fire sound as if it's something insignificant?????
  5. Good cannot exist without evil but evil can exist without good Just an interesting thought that popped up in my mind as I read this thread. In order for your statements to be true, you will need to objectively disprove the changes I have made in your statements above. Looking forward to the discussion. Salaam
  6. ^sorry, I do not speak Arabic. I would appreciate it if you could translate your post.
  7. I'd like to thank everyone for their contribution to this thread. Brother aliali, I have to disagree when you say why make suicide a big deal...if you read my previous post you will see the sources I have quoted which state that people who commit suicide will be eternally damned. So you cannot equate suicide to natural death as suicide in Islam is one of the greater sins. One of the core tenents of Islam is divine justice and this is embodied by the verse in the Quran that states a soul will never be given a burden it cannot bear. This is the reconciliation that I have been referring to; if the number of people committing suicide were a few hundreds or thousands I myself wouldn't have an issue believing the verse, but as previously stated the number of people committing suicide is way way more than a few hundreds or thousands. No one would want to take their own life unless they are In extreme agonizing pain. It's the hardest thing anyone can do. Yet suicide is quickly becoming one of the leading causes of death and one can't help but question the role of an omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient God in giving life to people who see it as a curse and wish they never existed. To make matters worse, if this higher power is the one preached by abrahamic faiths then the poor souls have not only suffered in this transient world, but will also suffer in the hereafter!
  8. ^very well written Ruq, this question has also been haunting me for years now and my thought process regarding this issue follows a similar pattern to yours. I think the well eloquently piece written by you begs more questions than it does answers, as the verse in the Quran says a soul is never given a burden it cannot bear, however I can't help but wonder if I can get myself to believe this. It requires a great leap of faith to assume that all the people who committed suicide did not sincerely call upon the creator before the fatal moment, I mean if we were talking a few numbers then there might be a way to justify it, but out of the millions of people who commit suicide I am pretty certain a considerable amount will have called upon God to help them. Contrary to what people believe (suicide is an act of cowardice), I am inclined to believe that it requires a great deal of courage to end your life. The mental preparation, and carrying the act out is no easy task...I can't even imagine the pain one must be going through to be able to mentally and physically prepare themselves to jump off a cliff or hang themselves. However I have to disagree with you when you say you're unsure if suicide being a greater sin is established by the sources. I think it's very well established that suicide is one of the greater sins, let me share with you a few of the sources. I will also quote the verse of the Quran that you are referring to in your post. 4:29- O you who have believed, do not consume one another's wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful. 4:30-And whoever does that in aggression and injustice - then We will drive him into a Fire. And that, for Allah , is [always] easy. Here are two Ṣaḥīḥ (Authentic) ḥadīth about the punishment for those who do intentionally kill themselves (i.e. suicide). The ḥadīth start with the same chain of narrators, but as they get closer to the respective compiler they branch off in different chains which is why I mentioned two chains. مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنِ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ مَحْبُوبٍ عَنْ أَبِي وَلَّادٍ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ع يَقُولُ مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسَهُ مُتَعَمِّداً فَهُوَ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِداً From Abī Walād said, I heard Abā `Abd Allāh (عليه السلام) say: “Whoever kills himself, intentionally, he is in the fire of hell (jahannam), eternally!” Source: 1. Al-Kulaynī, Al-Kāfī, ed. `Alī Akbar al-Ghaffārī, 8 vols., (Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmiyyah, 3rd Edition, 1388 AH), vol. 7, pg. 45, hadeeth # 1 Grading: 1. Al-Majlisī said this hadeeth is Ṣaḥīḥ (Authentic) à Mir’āt Al-`Uqūl, 26 vols., (Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmiyyah, 1410 AH), vol. 23, pg. 76 حدثني محمد بن موسى بن المتوكل قال حدثني عبد الله بن جعفر الحميري عن أحمد بن محمد عن الحسن بن محبوب عن أبي ولاد الحناط قال سمعت أبا عبد الله ع يقول من قتل نفسه متعمدا فهو في نار جهنم خالدا فيها From Abī Walād al-Hanāt said, I heard Abā `Abd Allāh say: “Whoever kills himself, intentionally, he is in the fire of hell (jahannam), eternally!” Source: 1. Al-Sadūq, Thawāb al-`Amāl wa `Iqāb al-`Amāl, (Qum: al-Manshūrāt al-Sharīf al-Raḍī, 2nd ed., 1406), pg. 276, ḥadīth # 1 Source: http://www.revivingalislam.com/2012/01/suicide-in-shia-islam.html
  9. Many times the preachers from the pulpits drill into the masses the importance of being thankful to the creator for giving us the opportunity to exist, to live in his kingdom, breath his air, enjoy his bounties. Yet believers in a personal God do not take into account the number of people who feel life is the biggest curse. Every forty seconds one person commits Suicide, and for every successful suicide completion there are 25 unsuccessful ones. Just ponder over this statistic for a while, it is mind boggling. Heck by the time you finish reading my post, a fellow human being somewhere in the world has just taken his own life, and numerous others have attempted but failed to end their misery. How can a believer reconcile his beliefs in an omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient God when it seems millions and millions of people who are given the 'blessing' of life see it as the biggest curse and take the agonizing step to end their own life? (And let's not forget that suicide is one of the greater sins according to the abrahamic faiths which will lead to eternal damnation.)
  10. As suggested previously, making more people aware of this site is key in order to to get more members to join it. In terms of finance, with the right contacts you might even be able to get adverts for a cheap subsidized price. Advertising it on channels such as ahlulbayt tv, who have a global audience of not only Shias but Muslims and believes of other denominations can greatly boost the number of members. Plus, since this is a not for profit site, if you are able to get hold of the right person in ahlulbayt tv, they might even agree to run an ad free of charge!
  11. You raise some excellent questions.. What I enjoy the most is talking to people, regardless of their religion or race, and helping them and advising them in anyway I can...however at the same time I love philosophy, studying different religions and beliefs, appreciating different cultures, so it's hard to pick. And this is why I want to choose the psychology/counseling path over hawza. The Shia community here is blessed with many many scholars, and we also have people going to Iran, especially the young Muslim women, while on the other hand I am yet to know a person who is passionate about tackling this problem or pursuing a career that can make them a professional in regards to dealing with the depressed and suicidal. The formal education required is what is really confusing me. Counseling is something I had never thought of before...I am confused as to what specific career path will give me the necessary skills to address this prevalent and ever growing problem. Isn't counseling something you study after you already have a degree? If you can share with me any details on counseling I'd appreciate it. I think you hit it on the nail when you say becoming a scholar does not make you a jack of all trade. Most of the people who offer advice here to the depressed are these scholars, and I feel they do not have the sufficient expertise to really understand the root cause of the concern. Yes, they can empathize, give spiritual aid but at times this itself isn't sufficient. I think this is a problem in Muslim communities everywhere, and I don't blame the Muslims as they probably feel the scholars will be best suited to give them advice, but hopefully with the emergence of more Muslims studying psychology or counseling, this paradigm will be broken down. I am fairly certain that I have made up my mind, I think it is more necessary for me to pursue a career (as you elegantly put) that can help me understand peoples problems, to see the roots and causes and to offer proper non-generic advice. Now what confuses me is what career pathway will give me this training. Maybe if you can provide me with more details in counseling it will help clear this doubt. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread, I appreciate your time.
  12. Unfortunately I am one of those typical parrots around...I can read Arabic perfectly, read the Quran with all the rules but when it comes to understanding----zilch. :( Again i feel with Islamic knowledge such as Duas to be recited, aamals and other forms of worship I will be able to cater just for the Shia community, but if I were to pursue something in science, I would be able to cater for the wider community around me majority of which comprises Christians and Hindus. Do some of the hadeeth involve general principles that can also cater for non-Muslims and non-Shias? If there are such hadeeth, if you could quote one or two here, and maybe if someone well versed in Arabic can translate it I would be forever greatful to you. Regardless, happy to know the ahlulbayt have left us a wealth of treasure :)
  13. Yes I do agree with you to a certain extent, the only time a person would commit suicide is if they lose hope (in God or humanity), and according to Islamic theology losing hope is one of the greater sins. However, when it comes to mental ailments religion and faith itself sometimes may not suffice. I know of a lady in my community who recites all sorts of Duas for a long time now, goes to mosque frequently, yet she still suffers from depression and every living moment is a torture for her. I think this global phenomenon that is the rise of depression and other mental disabilities is greatly influenced by this cultural narrative that we see all around us: the importance of the individual over society..me, myself and I. The lack of empathy and compassion, the greed, the inequality, the injustice, are amongst some of the factors that cause people to lose hope. Yes, religion has a great role to play in solving these ailments, but science too has valuable insights to offer. If a psychologist is able to tap into both these areas, i.e use the beliefs of the patient to help motivate and give them hope, whilst at the same time use modern scientific techniques of therapy, the likelihood of the patient recovering is enormously increased.
  14. So, fellow brothers and sisters on SC..I really need your advice on the following. I have always had the passion of helping out the people around me, hence I had decided I would go to Iran for hawza and come back to serve my community. Partly due to selfish reasons too, for i am the sort of person who needs to study deeply in order to believe, to consider all the viewpoints before making a conclusion. So I thought it would be a win win for me, I get to strengthen my belief and also help my community once I am well versed in Islamic knowledge. However, after careful evaluation of the environment I live in, I have come to the realization that depression is very prevalent amongst the members of the community.. And I guess this is the bitter reality everywhere in the world. Not a night goes by that I do not think of this appalling statistic: every forty seconds one person commits suicide. Can you imagine the pain the family members, friends and community go through when they realize that their loved one chose to end their own life? It cannot be described in words. Research also shows that around 90 percent of the people who commit suicide have an underlying mental disease that is curable. Since talking about depression and mental illness is very taboo in the community I live in, many of these people who suffer from depression and other ailments do not seek professional care. Also add to the fact we hardly have any well qualified professionals in this particular field here, I feel it is incumbent on me to pursue a career that can help address this prevalent problem that is not only affecting my community, but it's a global epidemic. Now, I'm confused. What specific career path needs to be taken? Is it a psychological therapist? I would prefer to have an approach that doesn't prescribe anti depressants and medication, unless it is extremely necessary. I would like to study an approach that mostly deals with giving advice and different insights to the client based of the knowledge I have, and try to change their lives just by the power of words. Obviously this will not work in all the cases, hence anti depressants and other medication can be the last resort. If anyone here has any expertise in the field of dealing with the mentally ill and depressed, or has anything valuable to share I will greatly value your input. Thanks for your time!
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