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In the Name of God بسم الله

forgeforth

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  1. W/Salaam. He is deceased since several years. The book of his that you are looking for, has been translated into English by the title: SHI'AH: A Critical Revision Apparently there is no electronic version. However, it can be purchased from Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/SHIAH-Critical-Revision-Conflict-Between/dp/1930279027/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375729667&sr=8-1&keywords=musa+musawi
  2. Salaam. Regarding the moon-sighting for Eid-ul-Adha, I got an email from the "Council of Shia Muslim Scholars in North America" saying that: - the southern part of USA (they drew a line according to certain mentioned cities) will have Eid on Sunday November 6th, and - the nothern part of USA (plus Canada) will have it on Monday November 7th. Is there anyone else who sees a problem with this picture? Why cant ALL Shia Muslims in USA have the same day for Eid? And what happens to those people in the center (living in the towns in the middle USA)? And while the Scholars split our country like this, will they ever accept a horizontal cut through Iran in case the "horizon line" cuts halfway through it? I think never ever. In fact this condition happened in Iran two years ago in Ramadan. But did they split the Country into North and South for different Eids? No! So what is this fuss about splitting our country?! Is it just me, or does anyone else see politics in this (such as perhaps appeasing southern centers for seeing the moon and making Eid, and appeasing northern centers for not seeing the moon and so making it next day)? Just in order to present a fake semblance of normalcy, instead of fixing things and brainstorming on how to best resolve the chaos such a ruling (splitting the country) is bound to cause. May Allah (swt) help us. They want people in our country to have two different Eids (North and South) as if we are two countries! Was-salaam.
  3. S/a my brother. (1) I think you still do not comprehend that we do NOT have the "exact same" book, we only have a reflection (repeat) of the words. After all, do we have a book in our hands that was some "exact same" binding delivered from Angel Jibril to P.Muhammad (s)? Nope. All we have is transmissions. Did we actually hear the Prophet recite the book? Did we hear his words? Did the Prophet even compile a book? What we have today is a Mushaf compiled in the time of the 3rd Caliph, with the agreement of the Companions on its veracity. (2) Seen from another perspective, Who was the Prophet (s) talking to when he said he is leaving them with the book and the itra? He was clearly talking to the Medinites who were present. So why must we stretch the meaning to assume that they must be alive today? He left the two heavy-weights with those to whom he was conversing with. And they had them (Thaqalayn) for their life-spans. In fact what is important is not the ahadith as much as the "action" (and transmission thereof). Because in transmitting the hadith, the Ahlul-Bayt (a) did the same as others did - transmit the teachings. But their specialty was in implementing - showing the practical face of the hadith - such as in Karbala. And that aspect does NOT exist today (given the ghayba argument). We do not see any "action" from the 12th. Imam Husain gave us a model, Imam Ali gave us a Model, Imam Hasan gave us a model. Where is the model of the 12th? What is there to understand from it? Ghaybah means "absence". Literally! What is there to understand from his absence? Please explain. I do not understand how one seeks from "within absence"? Perhaps you can clarify. Then what does it mean? The possible contextual synonyms for ghaybah are: Absence, Missing, Hollow, Void, Darkness, Unknown. What leadership exists in a vacuum? What guidance of the 12th exists from his void? Allah (swt) is ghayb but He gave us the Quran to understand Him. What did the 12th give? Not even a book of narrations. First of all, you should not compare the two because Allah (swt) has guaranteed al-Quran. Allah (swt) has not guaranteed the Sunnah and Ahadith of the Prophet (s) - let alone Ahlul-Bayt (a) - hence we have "authenticity issues". Actually it would fail the bill. Because an "absent" successor is no successor. The idea of an "absent successor" does not even make any lingual or logical sense. Whatever gives you the idea, dear Br., that the Angels descend on a "particular human being" or "single entity"? Was-salaam.
  4. My dear Br., I am not interested in "winning debates" or "mincing words" or "representing others positions". I have no shame in "re-considering" my own position since I am a "seeker". But for now I stand with it. This is because IMHO you have not yet provided me anything that I find worthwhile for "re-consideration". My consistent position, in slightly different words - that might provide more clarity for you, Insh'Allah - is as follows. 1- The Quran remained for a while in the hearts (memorized), then it was preserved to paper (Mushaf). 2- The Ahlul-Bayt remained guiding for a while, then their guidance were preserved to paper (Ahadith). Was-salaam.
  5. The book that we have in our hands, is it some exact book that came from the heaven into the hands of the Prophet (s)? No. It is words that were passed on by mutawatir transmission and then recorded, and those recordings have reached us. Similarly with the itra, their words and seerah was passed on as transmissions. Their teachings are with us. Even just the "incident of karbala" by itself serves as a great lesson from the itra of the Prophet Muhammad (s). Because we have daleel for Shaytaan's ghayb-guidance in the Quran, not for Imam Mahdi's ghayb-guidance. Also, we cannot depend on possibilities. A million possibilities are possible, but "just being possible" is not sufficient. Side-Note: We however have daleel in the Quran for Allah's ghayb-guidance.
  6. This is qiyas to determine a community's status. And not a good one either.. it has many holes. There is a hadith of Imam Sadiq (a) where he was upset with a companion who had won a great theological debate against an opponent, but the Imam chastised him because he used wrong ways in his debate, and said that we have nothing to do with you because you arrived at the right conclusion using the wrong method. And he asked him not to engage in debate because he did not follow the ethics of debate. Was-salaam. ps: Irrespective of whether the answer is right or wrong, a vigilant teacher will give zero to a student who used a defective method.
  7. If you intend to ask that do I (personally) believe in the fadilat or importance of the Thaqalayn, then I definitely do. The book needs no mentioning for its virtues are clear. As for the Ahlul-Bayt (s) they are honored and graced several times. Verses such as Tatheer, Mubahila, etc. attest to their superior status. Especially Imam Ali (a) who has been mentioned in several ahadith attesting to his superiority, such as in the hadith of Bab-ul-Madinatil-Ilm, and likening of Haroon to Musa... But most importantly - He demonstrated his courage, dedication, knowledge, sincerity, justice and wisdom throughout his life as is seen in his seerah. Was-salaam.
  8. Salaam. We have daleel and sultan about Iblis from the Quran. Otherwise there was no reason to believe in him. Unfortunately we do not have any such daleel or sultan from the Quran in regards to the 12th Imam's Imamate. The Quran and Hadith exists. So the guidance is there. The Quran and Hadith is also what all schools of thought use. So the guidance is present and is used. According to the Quran, the whole creation is Allah's hujjah. Allah proves His existence in the Quran via his immense innumerable creations. IMHO, Allah (swt) has no need for the Imam to be His proof. Every creation is a sign of His. The whole universe is His proof. Likewise, the Imam has no need for the Faqih to be his proof. For example, the ahadith of the Prophet and the Imams from the Ahlul-Bayt are sufficient proof for them. Was-salaam.
  9. Salaam Br., Possibilities are innumerable. However, we can only work with that which we know, and I for one do not know of any knowledge being imparted. Furthermore, no Marja claims that they have knowledge from the Imam. And the late Sayyid Fadlallah even stated that the 12th was for the end time only. Irrespective, if one reads the last letter that is claimed from the minor occultation, it says that no one will meet the Imam because he will return at the end of time, and so anyone who claims to meet him is a liar. This should be sufficient for the point that he is not imparting any guidance. The Marjas work mostly with ahadith from 5th and 6th Imam, then from others. Not from the 12th.
  10. Agreed. In this sense "of having their teachings" we are not Imamless. It will also mean that in the same way, even the Sunnis, Zaydis and Ismailis are not Imamless. And it makes sense. The one who is closest to Allah (swt) is the one who has the highest rank with Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì. God knows who that is. We are told that the 11th Imam had a hidden son who is to return as the Mahdi. If this is true, then it is him. One can only testify about the piety of those whom one knows, in proportion to what one knows. Was-salaam.
  11. I'll buy this argument. It makes a lot of sense. However, the argument is used for the 12th Imam, not the Prophet and 11 Imams, and its application for the 12th Imam does not make sense. Some scholars have even suggested that the 12th Imam should be considered as the one who will appear in the end as the Mahdi and no more (i.e. not as a guiding Imam for today's time). And this position is very close to the Sunni position - only difference being on whether the Mahdi is born or not. The reason that tey say this is because they do not see evidence of Imamate (i.e. guiding) by the 12th Imam. In over a millenium, we'd have expected hundreds of books, yet Islamic guidance from the 12th is barely anything. We do not see it. Even in the ghaybah-period, we did not see the 12th Imam clearing the false hadith of al-Kafi from the true ones - which if he had been in position of Imamate (rather than position of Mahdi) would have been his duty. We also see that al-Kulayni did not refer to the 12th Imam even though he lived in that period. We also see that questions related to guidance were being deferred by the naibs in the minor ghaybah to the scholars, under the claim that the 12th has ordered this re-direction. The point is: All evidence points in the direction that the 12th barely left guidance like his predecessors, and so this hadith of "like the Sun behind the clouds" cannot be applied to him on the basis of the "Scholar's Ink". Was-salaam.
  12. I cant recollect the exact ayah, but it is something along the lines of those who belief in one God, the day of Judgment, and do good deeds. As for unity within the ummah, this is not an option but a fard. This is why people (IMHO) must attend Salat-ul-Jumuah, because it is a fard for Muslims to congregate together, whether they like it or not. And slowly by slowly that getting-together will Insh'Allah yield results. I'm witness to it. Was-salaam.
  13. A suggestion: Perhaps you should say "the generality of the Shia" or "what is known about the Shia", etc. in order that you do not lump ALL the Shia into one boat because the Shia have different opinions on different matters. For example, the Zaydis, Ismailis and Ithna'ashaeris differ on several matters, and even within these groups new intellectuals are arising with questioning minds and they cannot be grouped under the same umbrella. Was-salaam. As far as I know the Sunnis, for the most part, consider Yazid a bad person. Their classical scholars were grouped between those who cursed him and those who said he was very bad, without cursing him because they were afraid of how far up this trend would go. Also, classical Sunni scholars had great respect for the Ahlul-Bayt (a) and knew them very well. For example Imam Shafi'i composed poetry honoring the Ahlul-Bayt (a) and Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal respected them a great deal. As for Imam Malik and Abu-Hanifa, they studied (for a while) under the house of the Ahlul-Bayt. Many later Sunni scholars and even contemporary Sunni schools express great respect and honor for the Ahlul-Bayt, such as the renowned Sunni scholars of Morocco (the Ghumari brothers) as well as several Sunni and Sufi scholars in India-Pakistan. Was-salaam.
  14. But if they don't know about it, then how can it be their belief? Perhaps that was the belief of old Wahhabis, and maybe the new ones have dropped it, and hence made their madhab more appealing. After all, the more negative elements a madhab drops, the more appealing it becomes. Is this the reason why wahhabism is becoming more popular i.e. that they are dropping the more extreme negative elements? This is something we need to do as well to make our madhab more appealing, and also for the sake of unity. For example, we removed the "blood-letting" element in Muharram ceremonies and that helped! We could do more such things. For example, maybe we can drop anything that was not done in the Prophet's time - perhaps like the 3rd Shahadah in the Adhan, and the concept of Ziyaraat immediately after the salah in masajid? Just some ideas. Was-salaam.
  15. It is not just me, brother. No one knows. Do you know? Do you at least know someone who knows? or even someone who claims to know? So then, what is the point of an Imam IF no one knows him? Do you know anyone who can draw the continuous line? Did Prophet Muhammad (s) talk about any chain in between? Did he mention himself being the next leader after someone that passed away recently? Apparently the Imam appoints his successor... so since we say that the Prophet (s) was an Imam.. then who appointed him? Was-salaam.
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