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In the Name of God بسم الله


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    Sialkot, Pakistan
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    Shia Islam

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  1. Question : What is the meaning of Shia ? Answer: The word 'Shia' is from Arabic word 'At-Tashayo' which means 'to follow'. This word has been used for the followers of the Prophets of Allah in the Holy Qur'an :- a) "Hadha min Shiatihi wa hadha min aduwwihi Fas-taghathahul ladhi min Shiatihi alal-ladhi min aduwwihi" (Qur'an, 28:15). This is from his Shias (followers) and that from his enemies.And he who was of his (Moses') Shias asked his help against him who was of his enemies. (b "Wa inna min Shiatihi la Ibrahim" (Qur'an, 37:83). And, verily, of his (Noah's) Shias (followers) is Ibrahim. We are called Shia because we follow the Holy Prophet according to the way shown by Hazrat Ali and other sinless members of the family of the Holy Prophet. In fact, it was the Holy Prophet himself who named the followers of Hazrat Ali as 'Shia'. The famous Sunni Scholars, Allamah Ibn Hajar Makki (in his book, 'As-Sawaiqul- Muhriqua') and Allamah Ibn Athir (in his book, 'Nihaya') record that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said :- 'O Ali, verily thou wilt come before Allah; thou and thy Shias, happily, and Allah will be pleased with you.' Another Sunni Scholar, Imam Suyuti, records in his "Tafseer Ad-Durrul-Manthur" that the Holy Prophet said pointing towards Ali : "He and his Shias are those who will be successsful in Quiyamat". For further detail I would like you to read my article "Origin of Shia" in "The Light" (Sep.-Oct. 1967). (See Appendix 'A'). Question : How many Divisions have you ? Answer: At present there are two sects calling themselves Shia : (a Ithna-asheriya, and (b Ismailiya. Ismailiya again are sub-divided between Bohras and followers of H. H. The Aga Khan. It is this later sub-sect which is commonly known as 'Ismailiya' in East Africa. There is one sect in Yemen, called Zaidiyya, which is often grouped under Shia Sects. But they follow Mutazilites in their beliefs and Imam Abu Hanifa in the matters of Sheriat. So they should be grouped under Sunni sects not shia. Question : Why do the other divisions don't exist in East Africa ? Answer: With exception of above mentioned Zaidiyya, all other sects are found here. Question: How do the rest differ from yours ? Answer: This is a question which cannot be fully answered without writing a book of theology. Still, I will try to give here just a glimpse of the main differences. The Shia Ithna-asheriya believe that: i. All the Prophets and their successors (Imams) were infallible (Masoom). ii. Imams must be appointed by Allah and that appointment is known through the announcement of the Holy Prophet or the preceding Imam. iii. There are 12 successors (one after another) of our Holy Prophet. Now : Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã Zaidiya say that it is not necessary for an Imam to be infallible or appointed by God. Any Muslim, calling to Islam by way of Jihad, is an Imam. (b Ismailiya (both sects) believe in more than 12 Imams and both differ from us about the nature and meaning of Imamat, as well as the position of Imam in the religion. Question : Why did you give your Division this particular name - Ithna-asheriya ? Answer: 'Ithna-asher' is the Arabic for 'twelve'. As stated above, we believe in 12 Imams after the Holy Prophet, hence this name. Question : Who can become an Ithna-asheriya ? Answer: Any person, irrespective of his origin, can become Ithna-asheriya, if he sincerely believes in our tenents, Question : Do you agree with the five principles of Islam - that is; i. Believe that there is one God (Allah) and Muhammad (S.A.W.) is His Prophet; ii. Prayer; iii. Fasting in the month of Ramadhan; iv. Paying the Zaka; v. Making the Hijja ? Do you agree with the six principles of Iman - that is, believe in:- i. One God - "Allah"; ii. Angels; iii. Holy Books; iv. Prophets; v. Resurrecction; vi. Will of God (Qudra) ? Do you believe that Quran is a Book from Allah and is free from errors? Answer: Yes. Had you seen Islam', there would have been no need to ask such questions. Question: Do you believe that the "Traditions" (Hadith) of our Holy Prophet is the second important Book in Islam ? Answer : Yes, if a tradition is authentic, it is to be followed and obeyed, without any 'ifs' and 'buts'. For your information, there is no "Book" called "Traditions". Traditions are collected by various scholars in their books. Question: Do you agree that any one who changes the "ayas' or the meaning of any of the two books (Quran and Hadith) is Kafir? Answer: Anybody who 'knowingly' changes any 'aya' of the Holy Qur'an, is Kafir. Also, if he changes its meaning 'knowing it to be false' he is Kafir, or at least 'Munafique' (hypocrite). Here, I would like you to understand what is the sure way of knowing the meaning of Qur'an. Allah has said: "He it is who hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture wherein are clear revelations - They are the substance of the Book - and others (which are) allegorical. But those in whose hearts is doubt pursue, forsooth, that which is allegorical, seeking to cause dissention by seeking to explain it (as they like). But no one knows its meaning except God and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge...." (Qur'an 3:6). So the true meaning and interpretation of the Holy Qur'an cannot be known except from those who are firmly grounded in knowledge and whose knowledge is from the knowledge of Prophet. And the Prophet said 'I am the City of Knowledge and Ali is its Gate'. Also he said : "I am leaving behind among you, two most precious things 1. The Book of Allah.......and 2. My descendants who are my family; and they will not separate from each other until they come to me near Kauther in Quiyamat". Therefore, to understand the Qur'an, it is essential to seek guidance from Ahlul-Bait. Question : Do you also use the other six Books : 1. Sahih of Bukhari ? 2. Sahih of Muslim ? 3. Kitab-us-Sunan of Abu Daud ? 4. Sahih of Tirmidhy ? 5. Kitab-us-Sunan of Nasai ? 6. Kitab-us-Sunan of Ibn Maja ? Answer: I must make it clear that no collection of the Traditions is free from falsified or weak traditions. Therefore, we, like the scholars of Sunni Sect, judge every tradition on its merit. We "use" (to use your own word !) the above-mentioned books of traditions edited by Sunni scholars as well as other books of Shia scholars, applying the same test everywhere without discrimination. Question : Which scholar's books do you use for "Sheria ?" Answer: There are hundreds of books in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Gujarati, Turkish, Bengali, Sindhi, Punjabi, Hindi, Kashmiri, (and recently in Swahili, English, German and French) and other languages, explaining the Shariat of Islam according to the Shia Ithna-asheri madhhab. There are books of Shariat right from the 2nd century of Hijra still extant. Therefore, it is not possible to give you a list of the books of Fiqh (which is referred to in your letter as 'Shariat'). But currently the book most used by Shia scholars in East Africa is 'Minhaj-us- Saleheen' (2 parts) by the greatest Mujtahid of our time, Syed Mohsin-al-Hakeem (Najaf - Iraq). Question: Does your belief allow you to extend the books of Sharia more than your scholars did, to sweet the modern life ? Answer: I could not understand this question. Will you, please, elaborate it ? Question : Why do you think that Seyyidina Ali should be the First Khalifa and not the Fourth as Sunnis believe ? Answer: You may understand some reasons from the article "Origin of Shia" mentioned earlier. Imamat in our madh-hab means succession to the Prophet in Temporal and Spiritual Headship of the Community of Muslims. There are many conditions of Imamat, some of which are given here :- (1) Ismat: It means that Imam must be Masum, i.e., sinless and infallible. The reasons given for sinlessness of the Prophets apply here also. (2) Appointment by God: Never in the history of religions (Judaism, Christianity) public was given the power to appoint the successor of a Prophet. Qur'an declares that even a prophet as great as Hadhrat Musa (a.s.) was not given the power to select his own successor. He prayed to Allah and He appointed Hadhrat Haroon (a.s.)forthatoffice.AlsoAllahsaysinQur'an: "Thy Lord creates whatever He wishes and selects; there is no power of choice for men". (Qur'an 28:68). Therefore, as no Prophet was ever elected by the people, likewise no successor of the Prophet may be elected by the people. It is clear that if he will be appointed by the people, his first loyalty will be towards the people, not towards God. (3) Imam must be above all people in all virtues, like knowledge, bravery, patience, justice, piety, love of God, faith and good deeds etc. Now something about Appointment of Ali by God through our Holy Prophet: The most famous of all occasions when the Holy Prophet declared the Imamat of Ali is the pronouncement at Khum. The facts in full details are given in many Sunni books. For instance, Mishkat-ul-Masabih, Kanzul-ummal (Vol. vi, pp. 390, 397, 399) and Khasaais by Imam Nasai (p. 48). The Prophet's words, as quoted in the last-mentioned two books, contain this declaration "Verily Allah is my Mawla, and I am the Mawla of every believer". Then he took the hands of Ali and said: "Everyone whose Mawla am I, Ali is his Mawla", (i.e. Master). The chain of Wilayat, right from Allah up to Ali, or as is generally said, from Prophet to Ali, does not leave any room for any doubt about the meaning of the word 'Mawla'. The same meaning which can be applied for Allah and the Holy Prophet (i.e., Master) must be applied for Ali. Moreover, in almost all narrations of Khum these words are preceded by the tradition mentioned above, i.e., "I am leaving behind among you, two precious things, The Book of God and my Ahlul-Bait.......". Any unprejudiced person, seeing these arrangements of Khum (the waiting for those who had remained behind, calling back those who had gone ahead, preparing a high platform in the burning sun of Arabian midday, and then delivering a long lecture and making those declarations) must admit that all this could not have been just to say thaht Ali should be loved by the Muslims (as some Sunni scholars want us to interpret the word 'Mawla'). Allah and His Prophet were not just beloved of the Muslims; they were and are their Masters. So is Ali. I have heard some Sunni brethren admitting the meaning of Mawla and then adding, "We accept that it was the 'wish of the Prophet' that Ali should be his successor. But the facts did not conform to his wish; and now we should accept whoever was accepted by the people". There are many fallacies in this argument: a) Qur'an declared that the Prophet never spoke of his own accord. Whatever he told, it was the command and Wahi (revelation) from God. Once you say that it was the 'Wish of the Prophet', you must admit that it was the 'Command of God'. (b People never had, and will never have, any right to cancel, or argue about, any decision made by Allah or His Prophet. The ayat of Qur'an says, "When Allah and His Prophet made any decision, there was no choice left for the believers" (Qur'an, 33:37). c) All the companions of the Prophet were non-Maasum (i.e., they were not sinless). Nobody has any doubt about it, And the Prophet was Maasum (sinless, infallible). Billions of non-Maasums put together have no right to challenge or change the decision of a Maasum. d) To say that when the companions of the Prophet did not follow the announcement of Khum, we also should do likewise, is to say that the companions of the Prophet (and not the Holy Prophet himself) were the real representatives of Allah. e) Some say that what was done at Saquifa (selection of Caliph Abu Bakr) was a manifestation of the Will of Allah. But this trend of thought pre-supposes that whatever is done by man is actually done by Allah. Most of the Muslim scholars refute this thinking. And if anybody believes in such creed, he must accept that rejection of the Khilafat of Hadhrat Abu Bakr by Bibi Fatenm (Lady of the women of Paradise, the daughter of the Prophet) and by the Shias is also an act of God. Question : Is the missing of the Caliphate to Seyyidina Ali after the death of our Holy Prophet the main reason of your break-up, or there are other reasons accompanied by this ? Answer: In a way you may say so. But as the chance to guide the Muslims in a proper way was denied to Hadhrat Ali, the Muslims began to go away in whatever direction they saw fit. As a result, there emerged beliefs that were not Islamic at all. And now we have in Muslim world scores of sects all differing among themselves about Allah, His Prophets, about practices of Sheriat etc. It would have been better if you would not have used the word 'break-up' in this question. Because, as a prominent Indian writer said in this context, "being in a minority does not necessarily mean that the smaller group had 'broken up' from the main stream. Rather it might be that the majority, by involving itself in the politics of power and glamour of wordly success, had deviated from the original teachings, while the minority stuck to the path shown by the founder of Islam". If you want to know more about this subject, please refer to Islam' and to the article 'How Hasan and Husain Saved The Religion From Deterioration' (Light, Sept., 1966). (Now also "Imamat" is recommended).
  2. Aiming to spread the message of the Ahlulbayt (A.S) as far and wide as possible inshaAllah :) FOR SHIA WALLPAPERS http://syedalirj.weebly.com/shia-wallpaper.html

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