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In the Name of God بسم الله

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  1. Arba’een or the fortieth, marks the passage of forty days after the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (as) – the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and his seventy two friends and family, in the plains of Karbala. The fortieth day after the demise of someone, is observed, particularly by Muslims from the Shi’a school of thought. In Iran which the majority is Shi’a, the fortieth day after the death of a beloved one is commemorated as much as the first anniversaries. The forty days are calculated from the burial night which should normally take place within 24 hours of death. In Iran it is an observed tradition to reduce these forty nights by the numbers of the children of the deceased person. After forty days, people usually come out of their dark mourning clothes. Relatives and friends out of respect to the grieving family get together and bring gifts, new bright colour items of clothing to each member of the grieving family, by doing so the grieving family are asked to come out of the state of mourning and sadness. This tradition in fact has two functions. Firstly it will ease the situation for the friends of the grieving family, helping them to go back to their normal life. On the other hand, as the grieving family are asked to take their dark (black) mourning clothes off and replace them with bright new garments, they found themselves, obliged to accept it, as it is a request from their friends and relatives. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish whether in fact a tradition starts on the basis of a manmade culture or whether it is originated from a prophetic tradition. In general performing or arranging Tarhim (mourning ceremonies) or even shedding tears at the loss of a beloved one, is to remind us of his/ her good deeds or even to give charity on their behalf. This is one of the practices not much disputed among the Muslim scholars. Remembrance rituals are sometimes considered to be Mustahab (recommended) especially if the dead person is a person of knowledge. Some scholars believe that mourning in the way that makes sadness is not permitted, but narrations from Prophet and Pure Imams give us a different view. There is no indication that Prophet Muhammad (s) had ever stopped or disagreed with his followers to mourn or lament for their loved ones. On the contrary, it is said when Hamza (the Prophet’s uncle) was martyred, there were no one to cry over him. Prophet Muhammad (s) addressed the ladies who were crying over their men and told them: “does my uncle Hamza have anyone to cry over him too?” Another time when the Prophet (s) heard about the death of his cousin Jafar, he cried and mourned and asked others to do the same. He also mourned over the death of Um-ul- Momenin Khadija (a) and his uncle Abu Taleb. http://www.islamportal.net/article/what-arbaeen
  2. Ayatollah Khamenei: Arbaeen is not only for Shi'as, it also belongs to Sunnis this year, the millions of people who were brought together on Arbaeen. This great movement was preformed by a group of Muslims—it was not only for Shias, Sunnis had joined in, too—and it’s reflection stretched throughout the world; everyone bowed down before this event, for they admired it. They called it the greatest gathering of the world. Who called it so? Those who follow the issues of the Muslim world. . This Arbaeen of Karbala is an astonishing event. The enemies of Islam and Ahlul Bayt vainly thought that they had blocked the path of Muslims. Notice what a great movement was launched. When even bodies stay together, it has such a reflection. If we stay together, if Islamic governments and Muslim nations - whether Shia or Sunni or different denominations of Shia and Sunni - are honest with one another, if they are not suspicious of one another, if they do not insult and have malevolent intentions against one another, notice what will happen in the world and what great dignity will be brought about for Islam. Unity, unity! http://english.khamenei.ir/news/4309/Arbaeen-is-not-only-for-Shi-as-it-also-belongs-to-Sunnis-Ayatollah
  3. The story of that Angel (which in some narrations is named ‘Fotros’) runs contrary to a number of Ayaat of the Quran: 1. Ayah 6 Surah 66 confirms that Angels do not disobey Allah. 2. Ayah 164 Surah 37 confirms that each Angel has a set position and status. Thus no ascension or fall of status is applicable to them. Therefore, the late Allamah Tabatabei considered such narrations odd and ambiguous and hence not suitable to be relied upon. If one insists on holding on to those narrations, I would say that Fotros may be a Jiin – not an Angel – and it is possible that he may have been referred to as an Angel due to his spirituality, which he then lost due to sinning, similar to what we read in Surat al-Baqarah about Iblis (Satan), such that he was a Jinn who was elevated to the rank of the Angels. As for the wings of Angels, the Almighty God in the beginning of Surah 35 states that “He made Angels messengers with wings, two or three or four, He increases in creation what He wills” 1. Angels are not physical beings to need physical hands or wings. 2. The above Ayah confirms the number of their wings ‘2, 3, or 4’. Note that all birds or insects who have wings have wings in pairs, whether 2, 4, or more. In the above Ayah the Almighty God confirms the existence of 3 wings for (some) Angels! Furthermore, the rest of the Ayah implies that some Angels may have more wings. According to some narrations there is an Angel called ‘Hezqaaeel’ (حزقائیل) who has 18,000 wings, and the distance between each wing is 500 years! There are other angels with 600,000 wings! All the aforementioned points help to prove that the wings of Angels are not of the type that we understand i.e. they are not physical. 3. We propose that the term ‘wings’ – as used for Angels – refers to their spiritual status and different abilities for ascension and descent. Thus, the number of their wings determines their ranks. 4. Therefore, the term is used for them metaphorically, with reference to their different abilities and statuses. 5. A similar usage is found in our traditions for Ja’far, the cousin of the Prophet (s) who was martyred in the battle of Mo’tah. The Prophet (s) said: “In lieu of his lost arms, the Almighty God granted him two wings to fly in Paradise wherever he wishes.” In addition, there is a Hadith from Imam Baqir (a.s) that God has created for Surah al-Tawhid 100 wings of Noor! http://islamportal.net/ askthesheikh.com
  4. The major difference is that the Shia believe that there is no book of Hadith which is 100% authentic, and that all hadiths must be checked against the Qur’an and the established principles of Islam. In contrast, Sunnis believe that certain books, such as Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, are 100% correct and unquestionable. These books, however, obviously contain some Hadiths which go firmly against the principles of Islam and cannot be justified in any way, and therefore their claim is proven false through the content of the books themselves. For more information, you can refer to Sheikh Mansour Leghaei’s course on the ‘Science of the Hadith’.
  5. A man said in the presence of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s), a great grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and the 6th holy Imam within Shia Islam: “Allahu Akbar (God is Greater).” The holy Imam said: “Do you know what He is greater than?!” The man said: “He is greater than everything.” The Imam said: “Then you limited him (as you compared Him with everything).” He said: “So what should I say?!” The Imam explained: “Allahu Akbar means: God is greater than being described.” Reference: (al-Kaafi vol 1. P.117) http://www.askthesheikh.com
  6. The authors of Sunni Sihah (authentic books for Sunnis) have very often narrated from people who were known for their hatred and enmity for Ahlul-Bayt (a.s). Such people undoubtedly are sinners and their narrations should not be accepted. The following are only a few examples: 1. Abu-Horaira. He converted to Islam only about 20 months prior to the demise of the HolyProphet of Islam (p), yet, Sunnis have narrated over 5000 narrations from him, but only 58 narrations from Imam Ali (a.s) who had lived with the Prophet (P) from his childhood! Isn’t this strange?! Bukhari even narrated a Hadith from Abu-Horira that he has confessed it’s his fabrication! (Bukhari, vol.6 p.190, the Book of Nafaqat, chapter 1) 2. Umran Ibn Hattan: He was the head of al-Khawarij. His praising poem for Ibn Moljam who assassinated Imam Ali (P) is very famous. Yet, Bukhari very often narrated from him. 3. Umar Ibn Sa’d; the chief of the army of Yazid in Karbala. 4. Hariz Ibn Uthman: He would not leave the mosque after his prayers until he curses Imam Ali (a.s) 70 times! Ismaeil Ibn Ayyash narrated: “I accompanied Hariz from Egypt to Makkah. On the way he kept cursing Ali Ibn Abi-Tali (a.s). I said to him: How can you curse someone about whom the Prophet (P) has said: “You are to me as Aaron to Moses.” He (shamelessly) said: the narrator has misheard th eProphet. He had said: You are to me as Qaroon to Moses!!! Yet, Bukhari, Termethi, Nasaei and others have narrated from him. For more information, you can refer to Sheikh Mansour Leghaei’s course on the ‘Science of the Hadith’.
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