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  1. The Holy Quran mentions about the Racism: O mankind! Indeed, We created you from a male and a female and made you nations and tribes that you may identify yourselves with one another. Indeed, the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most God wary among you. Indeed, Allah is all-knowing, all-aware (49:13). "The issue of equality between all human beings, opposition to any type of racial, ancestral and class discrimination, fairness between all the children of Adam in relation to human rights and that no person is better than another due to his skin color, language, lineage or race - is one of the most important societal issues in the Qur’an which has been mentioned in various verses of this Heavenly Book. The Qur’an has denounced all sorts of superiority - whether it be of race, language, or skin color." Likewise, Prophet Muhammad ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) & HP) says: Surely all of mankind – from the time of Adam until our time – are like the teeth of a comb (all equal to one another) and there is no greatness for an `Arab over a non-`Arab and no greatness for a red-skinned person over a black-skinned person, except due to one’s consciousness of Allah (taqwa).” There are numerous verses in the Holy Quran and the teachings of the Holy Prophet ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) & HP) that invite human beings towards brotherhood and equality. Throughout his life, the Holy Prophet ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) & HP) taught people that all humans are one and the only difference that exists is in their God-wariness as mentioned in verse 13 of Surah Hujarat. We learn from the Holy Prophet ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) & HP) and the Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام) that Islam has established equality for the entire human race and struck at the very root of all distinctions based on color, race, language or nationality. According to Islam, Allah has given man this right of equality as a birthright. Thus, no man should be discriminated against on the basis of the color of his skin, his place of birth, his race or the nation in which he was born. Apart from conveying the pure teachings of Islam, the Holy Prophet ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) &HP) was also able to rouse hope in the hearts of the poor and the downtrodden section of his society. In many instances within his practical life, he was successful in eliminating bigotry and racism that was surrounding him. In order for him to reach his aim of equality between all human beings, he married the daughter of his uncle to a slave named Zaid. In addition, he gave Bilal, who was both a non-`Arab and an African slave (at one point in his life), the important religious post of being the Muaddhin, the one who calls to prayer. He also convinced Ziyad ibn Labid who was one of the richest and noblest men from amongst the Ansar to marry his daughter to an African slave named Jubair. This marriage between a nobleman's daughter and a slave, was the beginning of many such marriages that broke mental and social barriers among the followers of Islam. Islam is a practical example of how human beings and societies can fight racial discrimination and create a society based on unity and brotherhood. Martyr Malcolm X Talks about Racism in Hajj The annual ritual of Hajj is an outstanding display of beauty and splendor among the followers of Islam and it is this very beauty of Islam that inspired (Martyr) Malcolm X to write the following letter after he made his first Hajj: "Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and overwhelming spirit of true brotherhood as is practiced by people of all colors and races here in this ancient Holy Land, the home of Abraham, Muhammad and all the other prophets of the Holy Scriptures. For the past week, I have been utterly speechless and spellbound by the graciousness I see displayed all around me by people of all colors.....There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were of all colors, from blue-eyed blondes to black-skinned Africans. But we were all participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood that my experiences in America had led me to believe never could exist between the white and the non-white. You may be shocked by these words coming from me. But on this pilgrimage, what I have seen, and experienced, has forced me to rearrange much of my thought-patterns previously held, and to toss aside some of my previous conclusions. This was not too difficult for me. Despite my firm convictions, I have been always a man who tries to face facts, and to accept the reality of life as new experience and new knowledge unfolds it. I have always kept an open mind, which is necessary to the flexibility that must go hand in hand with every form of intelligent search for truth. During the past eleven days here in the Muslim world, I have eaten from the same plate, drunk from the same glass and slept in the same bed (or on the same rug)-while praying to the same Allah with fellow Muslims, whose eyes were the bluest of the blue, whose hair was the blondest of blond, and whose skin was the whitest of white. And in the words and in the actions and in the deeds of the ‘white' Muslims, I felt the same sincerity that I felt among the black African Muslims of Nigeria, Sudan and Ghana. We are truly all the same-brothers. All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds." Conclusion: The Holy Quran tells us: "Certainly, We have honored the Children of Adam, and carried them over land and sea, and provided them with all the good things, and preferred them with a complete preference over many of those We have created." (17:70) The Holy Quran teaches us that Islam lays down some rights for man as a human being. Every man whether he belongs to one country or the other, whether he is a believer or a non-believer, whether he lives in forest or desert, whatever be the case, he has some basic human rights simply because he is a human being, which should be recognized by every human being. Today, the world is struggling to come to terms with equality in true sense. Racial discrimination continues to be a challenge, even for the most developed nations. However, Islam has shown the way to fight racial discrimination and create a society based on amity, love and unity. InshaAllah, the world will very soon realize that the only solution to racism lies in following Islam.
  2. The word Kaaba means cube in Arabic, and it refers to the square-like building in the holy city of Mecca, which is covered with a silk and cotton veil. It is the most sacred site for Muslims, and millions of people travel to visit that as a pilgrim each year. Many people think that Kaaba was built at the time of Prophet Muhammad ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)&HP) and with the advent of Islam. However, history has a different narration about which we are going to talk in this article. 1. The First People who Built Kaaba The first person who built Kaaba was Adam ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)), and it was remained unharmed until the great flood at the time of Noah ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) [1], which caused it to be partially damaged. Afterward, the structure of the Kaaba was reconstructed by prophet Abraham ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) and his son, Ishmael, under the command of Allah. The Quran has narrated this story in this verse: As Abraham raised the foundations of the House with Ishmael, [they prayed]: 'Our Lord, accept it from us! Indeed, You are the All-hearing, the All-knowing. (2: 127) 2. Kaaba Between Abraham ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) and Prophet Muhammad ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)&HP) The son of prophet Abraham ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)), Ishmael ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)), and a tribe named Jorohom were the guardians of Kaaba after the demise of prophet Abraham ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)). This magnificent building stood upright until that Jarhim tribe, and then a tribe named Amaaleh rebuilt the square-shaped holy place [2]. Years after, one of the predecessors of Prophet Muhammad ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)&HP) named Qusai Bin Kelab, made a wooden structure to protect the building and neighbored it with another building Called Dar-ol Nadvah, which was the governor's state. Then he asked each Quraysh tribe to locate their houses mirroring one side of the Kaaba, to build a circle around it. Some say that Kaaba was once ruined in flood before the time of Prophet Muhammad ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)&HP), but that again is not proven [3]. 3. Kaaba and Prophet Muhammad ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)&HP) When Prophet Muhammad ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)&HP) was chosen as the Messenger of Allah, Kaaba was considered a holy place. Some reference books say that Prophet Muhammad ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)&HP) took part in the reconstruction of the Kaaba after the flood. Also, there was a fight between the Arab clans about where to locate the Black Stone, and Prophet Muhammad ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)&HP) was chosen as the trustee of all clans to locate the holy stone on the eastern side's edge. (4) Kaaba was filled with idols and statues when Prophet Muhammad ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)&HP) left Mecca because of the severe tortures and problems the Arab clans made for him and his followers. Even years before, Kaaba was a place to worship the idols. When Prophet Muhammad ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)&HP) gathered his followers and returned to Mecca, he ruined all those idols with the help of his first follower and friend, Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (عليه السلام). Kaaba became a center of performing Hajj and the Qibla of the Muslims. The Dome of Rocks (Qubbat al-Ṣakhrah ) was the first Qibla of Muslims, but Allah inspired Prophet Muhammad ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)&HP) to change it toward the Cubic Kaaba. 4. Kaaba After Prophet Muhammad ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)&HP) Kaaba has been reconstructed many times after the demise of Prophet Muhammad ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)&HP), but the cubic shape of the building has never been changed. Now, the Saudi Arabian Government is responsible for preserving this sanctuary, though it belongs to all Muslims and all nations. There are many different parts and holy sites around Kaaba, like the Black Stone, the Iraqi corner, the Kiswa, or the black covering, which we are going to discuss in our next articles.
  3. 1. Trust Allah Trusting in Allah is the expense for achieving whatever worthwhile and the ladder toward whatever elevating. al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.78, p.364. 2. The All-Present Feeling Allah in every breath is more advantageous than exhausting your body in worshipping Him. al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.78, p.364. 3. Four Things a Believer Need The believer is in need of Allah's favor, his/her inner guide, and being open to the goodwill of the well-wishers. Ibn Shu'ba al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-'uqul, p. 457. 4. Visiting Friends Visiting your friends, even for a short time, improves your health and elevates your mind. al-Shaykh al-Mufid, Al-Amali, p.329. 5. Do not Trust Unheedfully Trusting someone before making sure [of his/her personality] ends up in pain and catastrophe. al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol.78, p.364. 6. Prosperity The believer prospers in not depending on others. al-Shaykh al-Mufid, Al-Amali, p.109. 7. The Hidden Secret Life reveals the hidden secrets to you, [as it goes by]. al-Shaykh al-Mufid, Al-Amali, p.365. 8. Allah's Supervision Know that you are constantly under Allah's supervision, so beware of yourself. Ibn Shu'ba al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-'uqul, p. 455. 9. Wrong Deeds If you approve of a wrong deed, you will be considered to have a share in committing it. al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol.75, p.82. 10. Ask Your Needs from Allah Whoever turns to anyone other than Allah, Allah will leave his/her matters to that person. al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.68, p.155. 11. Don't Be Pretentious Don't pretend to be Allah's friend while being His enemy in secret. al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.75, p.365. 12. Going through a Deed If you are confused about entering a deed, you'll be desperate in coming out of it. al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.75, p.364. 13. Receiving Affection You receive affection through gaining three characteristics; being fair in your relations, sympathizing [with others] in their hardship and happiness, and keeping your heart unstained [from sins]. Baha' al-Din 'Ali b. 'Isa al-Irbili, Kashf al-ghumma fi ma'rifat al-a'imma, vol.3, p.139. 14. A Mischievous Person Avoid befriending a mischievous person, since he/she is like a bare blade whose look is alluring, while its impact [wound] is hideous. al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.74, p.198. 15. Generosity The good that generous people do for others benefits them more than the ones in need of help since its reward, honor, and reputation belong to them. Therefore, any favor that one does first benefits him/herself. So he/she shouldn't expect to be gratified for what he/she has done. Baha' al-Din 'Ali b. 'Isa al-Irbili, Kashf al-ghumma fi ma'rifat al-a'imma, vol.3, p.137. 16. Sincerity The best worship is sincerity in [intention]. Warram b. Abi Firas al-Hilli, Tanbih al-khawatir wa nuzhat al-nawazir , vol.2, p.109. 17. Listening to Someone When you listen to a speaker, you have turned into his/her slave; if the speaker's words are directed toward Allah Almighty, the listener has glorified Allah, and if his/her words are directed toward Satan, the listener has worshipped Satan. Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni, al-Kafi, vol.6, p.434. 18. Being Thankful The blessing, which is not gratified, is like a sin, which has not forgiven. Hasan ibn Muhammad Deilami, Aalam al-din fi Sifat al-Moumenin, p.309. 19. Relying on a Mischievous Person The least punishment of the one who relies on a mischievous person is depriving of achieving his/her aspiration. Aziz Allah, Atarodi, Mosnad Imam al-Jawad (عليه السلام), p.248. 20. Unwise Words Unwise words cause many disputes. Sabbagh al-Maliki, Al-Fusul al-muhimma fi ma'rifat al-a'imma, p.274. 21. Piety If you stay pious despite being in a chaotic situation, Allah will bestow His mercy upon you and shows you a way out. Sabbagh al-Maliki, Al-Fusul al-muhimma fi ma'rifat al-a'imma, p.274. 22. Death Death is like your sleep at night, except that the fatal sleep is longer, and you won't wake up from it until the Day of Judgement. al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.3, p.134. 23. Hope The needs are requested by hope and answered by divine will. Undoubtedly, the best blessing is well-being. Hasan ibn Muhammad Deilami, Aalam al-din fi Sifat al-Moumenin, p.309. 24. Your Trustee and Guardian The one whom Allah is his/her trustee and guardian will never go astray or get disappointed. al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.68, p.155. 25. Salvation Whoever desires Allah will surely be saved. al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.68, p.155. 26. Foresight Unexpected incidents and calamities will devour the one who lacks foresight. al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.68, p.340. 27. Blaming People Blaming people without any evidence or reason causes anger and distress, and they will never forgive you for this. al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.71, p.181. 28. Your Daughter's Suitor If you are sure about the piety, faith, and trustworthiness of your daughter's suitor, agree to his request; otherwise, it will lead to great misfortune and ruin. Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni, al-Kafi, vol.5, p.347. 29. The Ignorant There will be no dispute among people if the ignorant remain silent. al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.75, p. 81. 30. Consider Different Aspects of a Task Whoever accepts and submits [to a task, command, etc.] without considering its different aspects, has exposed him/herself to destruction and distress. al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.75, p. 364. 31. Dependence and Independence People will be dependent on the one, who by relying on Allah, considers himself independent. And the pious will naturally be favored by people even if they aren't pious themselves. al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.75, p. 79. 32. Learning Strive in gaining knowledge and wisdom, and know that learning is obligatory (Wajib) and discussing [what has been learned] is recommended (Mustahab). al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.75, p. 80. 33. Knowledge Knowledge is the means of helping friends and relatives, the reason for and sign of fairness, a gift and means of entertainment in gatherings, the human's companion in travel, and one's mate in lonely times. al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.75, p. 80. 34. Modesty and Humility Modesty and humility are the adornments of knowledge and wisdom. al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.75, p. 91. 35. Politeness Politeness and being good-natured are signs of reason and forbearance. al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.75, p. 91. 36. Patience, Poverty, Impulses Rely on patience in all your life, see poverty as your companion, and stand against your whims and impulses. al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.75, p. 358. 37. Prayer (Salat) One should perform prayer (Salat) in a modest manner. al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.74, p. 131. 38. Repentance The conditions for your repentance to be accepted by Allah are feeling regret at heart, asking for forgiving by the tongue, compensating for your mistakes, and being determined not to commit those sins again. Baha' al-Din 'Ali b. 'Isa al-Irbili, Kashf al-ghumma fi ma'rifat al-a'imma, vol.2, p.349. 39. Two Kinds of Knowledge There are two kinds of knowledge; one is heard, and the other is practiced [besides being heard]. There is no use in the knowledge that is heard but not practiced. al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.75, p. 80. 40. Injustice The one who does an injustice, the one who participates in it, and the one who is content with it all have a share in it. al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.75, p. 81.
  4. https://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235067218-is-it-permitted-to-marry-a-transgender-in-islam/?tab=comments#comment-3295055
  5. salam alaykum. right. but we're talking about Sharia law.
  6. salam alaykum as you read, its Halal after the operation
  7. Islam considers Praying (Salat) five times a day [1] as one of the most important practical principles. The more times one does something, the more it becomes part of him/her and his/her character; so does prayer. Also, if there were just one prayer a day, people would be more at risk of skipping it by telling themselves: it is only one! Let’s do it tomorrow! But, essentially, why should Muslims perform the daily prayers? Here are some of the answers to this question. Daily Prayers in Islam (Salat) Help to Be Always Clean Of the prerequisites of the prayer is the purity of the body from major impurities , minor ones [ii], and the purity of clothes and place. These conditions need a state of physical and spiritual cleanliness to stand before God. So, praying five times a day bounds Muslims to take a bath regularly, wash the face and hands at least five times a day. These are the practices of personal and public hygiene. According to Prophet Muhammad ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)), the prayers act like a river passes nearby one’s house: “If there was a river at your door and you took a bath in it five times a day, would you notice any dirt on you? That is the parable of the five prayers by which Allah removes sins from one’s soul.”[1]. Moreover, several narrations recommend wearing perfume and brushing the teeth before ablution (Wudu) and prayers (Salat) [2,3,4]. These and other narrations, emphasize the importance of appearing clean in public and private. Daily Prayers in Islam (Salat) Promote Solidarity among Human beings and End Social Rankings Muslims, all, should pray in the same uniform way, and manner, facing the same direction. No matter what their social position is, where they are on this planet, and what language they speak. This, particularly, means that all human beings are the same before God. Moreover, all the identical acts and words during prayer and positioning towards the same direction, are the practices of promoting solidarity among Muslims, especially when repeated at some times every day. Becoming Organized by Praying every day Praying five times a day at certain intervals is an important tool. Since it allows a Muslim to organize his/her day, be aware of time, practice and take the control over his/her daily life. Spiritual Impacts of Daily Prayers in Islam (Salat) Becoming more Confident Much of what we say in our prayers is actually asking for divine help to be righteous in our decisions and actions. And, God has promised in the Quran to respond to whoever that calls him (40:60). This gives a good feeling. Knowing that a kind, wise and superior power hears us and will help us through the hard moments. He also makes us more confident and determined in our decisions. Inner Peace Just as we need food to meet our physical needs, Islam teaches us to pray and worship to get the food for our souls. That is inner peace and tranquility. Fewer Errors and Sins One of the main objectives of daily prayers (Salat) is to remember God. It also helps to purify ourselves and keep away all the evil thoughts and actions. "Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing ... And Allah knows that which you do." (29:45). Prophet Muhammad ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) said that Satan is afraid of the faithful Muslim who performs the prayers (Salat) in their right times. Once a Muslim forgets to do the prayer at the right time, Satan becomes encouraged to tempt him/her to do great sins [5]. If we once do wrong to someone, we will be ashamed of him/her, or we do not even dare to face him/her the next time we meet. Prayer has the same effect. It is the confrontation of one's conscience, knowing that nothing can be hidden from God, whether manifested or concealed. Then, it becomes more difficult to commit evil deeds when we have to stand five times a day in front of God who knows every detail about us. Remembering the Philosophy of Life Another purpose of prayer for a Muslim is to remember. At fixed intervals, no matter how busy a Muslim is, he/she might ask himself, “OK, why am I here, what do I do in this world?” Also, prayer helps Muslims to be accountable for their daily actions which greatly change their perceptions of life. On top of everything, worshiping God is the purpose for which the humankind was created: “And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (51:56). Last but not least, what do we usually do to one who has done a favor to us? The answer is: try our best to compensate, or at least to thank him/her even several times. Now, how can we compensate the blessings that God has given us? It is not possible! Then, we pray to thank Him for all the wonderful, beautiful blessings that He has given us. Although we do not deserve many of them. Notes: Can be removed by ritual bathing (Ghusl) [ii] Can be removed by ablution (Wudu) References:
  8. Transgender marriage is one of the new issues of our era. It does not mean that at the time of Prophet ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) no one was hermaphrodite. But the science of changing the sex into male or female, or curing this disorder to some extent had not been known yet. Therefore there is no verse or narration regarding this issue. But how do we find out if transgender marriage is allowed (Halal) or forbidden (Haram) according to Islamic jurisprudence? Transsexuals and Hermaphrodites People who are known to be transsexual (a person who emotionally and psychologically feels that they belong to the opposite sex) or hermaphrodite (a person having both male and female sex organs or other sexual characteristics) are different from those who decide to be homosexual (lesbian or gay). Nevertheless, some of those who have homosexual tendencies may suffer from hermaphrodite disorders as well. But the improvement of science these days has made it possible for transsexuals and hermaphrodites to go through a sex reassignment surgery (SRS) in which they can change their gender into the one they feel they belong to(obviously according to the physician’s opinion). Since not having the operation and changing the sex may cause the person to commit a sin, or personal and social damages, it would be best if they can go through a sex reassignment surgery (SRS) and reduce these harms. The Pessimistic Look at Transsexuals and Hermaphrodites While transsexuality and hermaphrodites are obvious to be human disorders, most sufferers experience hostile encounters in the society. It is important for the society, especially for Muslim communities, to become familiar with their issues and support them in a way that they can have a normal life alongside others. One of the most offending manners towards them is to accuse them of having immoral sexual behaviors. It should be very well understood by the society that accusing them of adultery is a forbidden (Haram) act according to Islam. We should keep in mind that they are human beings with all the rights and needs of a human. The only difference is that they suffer from a disease, which makes them even more vulnerable. Hence they need special support from the society; such as disability support services provided by the government. Is Marrying a Transgender in Islam Forbidden (Haram)? Since marriage, according to Islam and all the other Abrahamic religions is based on sexual differences, it is clearly false for a Muslim to marry a person with unknown gender. If a Man marries a transsexual with unknown gender, he cannot be sure if he has married a male or a female, therefore, that should become clear before marriage. But if the sufferer has gone through the sex reassignment surgery (SRS) and the gender is now obvious, then there is no problem for a Muslim man or a Muslim woman to marry such a person under the Islamic rules of marriage. However, they should both be aware that people who change their gender, will not be able to have children at all. (We hope that human knowledge can solve this issue in the near future). So, people who have had a sex reassignment surgery (SRS) should inform their “spouse to be” of their surgery and the consequences of the operation. To conclude, we understand that marriage between or to a transgender -after the operation- is allowed (Halal) according to Islam and the couples may be able to shape a great family in which they feel comfort and relief. And if they wish to have children, they could always adopt a child which is strongly recommended in Islam.
  9. Well, one way to answer this question is to consider it by itself and regardless of any side issues. One may thus say that Muslim women –together with the rest of the world– need clothes! women in Islam, too, deserve to wear beautiful and stylish outfits! Muslim women, too, can have a job! And if all that is acceptable, there could be no fault found with designing such clothes or presenting them as a model. As you know, though, Islam generally gives us the liberty to do all that is sensible, necessary, and harmless but always draws our attention to certain limits and red lines as well. Our answer to such questions, therefore, is usually like; “No problem provided that…” So, let’s now have a look at those conditions for women in Islam that might concern fashion designing and modeling? 1. Cover End As you know, Islam has set a certain limit on women’s covering. This certain limit addresses women’s natural charm and attractions for men, and their understandable desire to expose them. So, the big idea for setting such specific measures may be that women do not make a pledge of a special extent of covering for themselves which they would never break. Since, it will end up in what we can see today, where women’s bare body is so widely used as a tool to win men’s attention and pleasure. That’s why Islam has issued special rulings for women (and of course men’s) covering. 2. Modesty for Women in Islam The second thing, which is even more repeated and stressed on in Islam, is modesty [1]. But what is modesty all about? Cambridge dictionary defines it [with regards to clothes and behavior] as “a quality, in women, of dressing or behaving in a way that is intended to avoid attracting sexual interest” . Of course, modesty is not exclusively for women in Islam. Men, too, are bid not to dress up or behave in a way that may attract sexual interest. What’s more, the same term is also metaphorically used to imply protecting all parts of the body from trespasses, such as modesty of the eyes, modesty of the tongue, or modesty of the heart. So, in a broad sense, modesty is the quality of protecting oneself against wrong desires. And that’s exactly what we need in fashion modeling. Now, modesty is somehow different from covering obligations. It means a person (or a woman, as concerns this article) might be well covered following the Islamic principles of covering, but her type of clothes or her manners may still leave room for provoking sexual interest. Moreover, the realization of modesty can be culturally variable. What is considered as an acceptable level of modesty in a cultural background may not be so in another. But in every culture, I guess, women know pretty well what kind of outfit or behavior could attract sexual attention. And that will do! To Come to an End… Finally, I should say that Islam is not opposed to men and women looking neat, good-looking, fashionable, or even attractive. If a woman is especially kind looking, for example, she looks particularly attractive to everybody. Does it mean that she shouldn’t look like that? No way! What Islam tries to avoid is looking SEXUALLY attractive –in the same way that Islam asks men time after time to take care of their sight and never look at any woman –other than one’s spouse- sexually. Because Islam wants all sexual pleasure and satisfaction to be concentrated within wedlock and intended for its strength and persistence, rather than its disruption! So, yes, fashion designing and modeling are acceptable for women in Islam [ii]. And yes, Muslim fashion designers or models are not the same as others who usually intend to be seductive in their manners and their type and extent of covering. Muslim designers and models are required to cover their body (except for the face, hands, and feet) and to look modest. In Muslim countries, therefore, fashion shows are held in segregated places when the kinds of clothes being presented do not go along with Islamic rulings on covering and modesty in public. Notes: dictionary.cambridge.org [ii] You can read more about whether Muslim women can have a job here. References:
  10. One of the motivations of those who convert to Islam may be marrying someone who is a Muslim. In Islam, marriage is a sacred and dear institution to Allah, and it plays a very crucial role in the formation of an ideal society. It is in fact, considered one of the greatest Divine blessings for responding to the natural instincts of human beings. However, according to the Islamic teachings, faith is the first quality to be considered in choosing a spouse. A faithful and harmonious partner plays a crucial role in having a prosperous life. It is on this basis that the Quran, the Holy Prophet ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) and his Ahl al-Bayt (عليه السلام) have laid great emphasis on religion and well mannerism as necessary criteria for marriage. Meanwhile, an important question that comes to mind is that, “can we convert to Islam for the sake of marriage or not?” The Highest Goal of Islamic Marriage Marriage is a natural necessity for every human being and several good outcomes such as procreation, sexual satisfaction, peace of mind, etc. are considered as the purposes of marriage. However, these could not be the ultimate goal of marriage in Islam as the non-Muslims can also achieve these, perhaps in better ways. Humankind is not created solely to eat, drink, sleep, seek pleasure or act lustfully. Thus, the aim of marriage for a religious person should be a means of gaining proximity to Allah and avoiding sins. In this regards, a good and faithful partner assumes a vital role as he/she invites his/her partner to goodness, in the same way as a corrupt person would tempt his/her partner towards corruption. Islam has enjoined its adherents to consider religion and good manners as necessary criteria for the selection of their future partners on different occasions. The Prophet ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) said: “If I were to bestow all the good of both worlds upon a Muslim, I would endow him with a humble heart; a tongue which continuously utters the praises of Allah; a body patient enough to withstand all calamities; and I would give him a pious spouse, who when he sees her becomes happy and protects his property as well as her own honour in his absence”.[1] Convert to Islam for Marriage In the Quran, it is said: “Do not marry idolatresses until they embrace faith. A faithful slave girl is better than an idolatress, though she should impress you. And do not marry [your daughters] to idolaters until they embrace faith…” (2: 221) From the above verse, it is clear that faith and religion is an uncompromised condition for marriage in Islam. It has explicitly prohibited marriage with the infidels except that they embrace Islam, as the statement “until they embrace faith” indicates. Thus, neither is the man allowed to marry idolatress nor a Muslim woman is allowed to marry an idolater. However, there is a separate ruling to the marriage with the people of the Book (i.e., Jews and Christians). Meanwhile, following the Islamic jurisprudence, it is considered permissible for someone to convert to Islam for marriage, as there is not any religion hindrance on that, as far as it is based on the sincerity of intention and a strong determination to act by the Islamic teachings. Although such a conversion might not be the best idea, it might be a perfect chance to think more about converting to the real and true religion. Conclusion In Islam, faith and religion are crucial requirements to be considered in the choice of a future spouse. This is because the ultimate goal of a marriage is the everlasting salvation in this world and the Hereafter. And this cannot be achieved by marrying an idolatress or idolater. However, based on the verdicts of the Islamic jurists, it is acceptable to convert to Islam for the sake of marriage, so far as it is based on the sincerity of intention and a resolution to work in line with the teachings of the religion. Note: Books on the Islamic jurisprudence or the official sites of the religious authorities should be consulted for details of the ruling. References: [1] Hur Amuli; Wasa’il as-Shiah, Vol. 14, P. 3.
  11. The way we look is usually considered as an expression of our character. That’s why it concerns us very much –maybe just a little too much these days. As a Muslim who tries to lead an Islamic life, it might pop into our heads if we are allowed to wear makeup in Islam, use jewelry, perfume, etc. or not. This question concerns both men and women, naturally a bit more women though. Here, we would like to address the issue in a more general sense; what Islam says about wearing makeup in different situations. And to give a general preliminary answer, as our opening, yes, Islam allows us to wear makeup and jewelry as long as modesty is preserved. But let us now have a more detailed look at some specific places where the question has been specially brought up and talked of in Islamic traditions: Makeup in Islam 1. When Praying! It might surprise you to find out that Islam particularly recommends us –though not as an obligation– to be in good shape, wear our best clothes, brush our teeth, wear perfume, and in short, to wear makeup when we stand to pray. And so did Prophet Muhammad ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) prepared himself for every prayer (Salat) since “God is beautiful and loves beauty,” [1] and conforming to this verse of the Quran: “O Children of Adam! Put on your adornment on every occasion of prayer… Say, ‘Who has forbidden the adornment of Allah which He has brought forth for His servants, and the good things of [His] provision?’…” (7:31,32) 2. Wearing Makeup in Islam For One’s Spouse Maybe this is where wearing makeup in Islam is most stressed on. Both men and women are time and again required to appear in the way that looks pleasantest to their better half, especially in their solitary moments. It is considered a great merit for a woman to put on her make-up, wear jewelry and perfume to charm her husband [2], and as great a merit for a man always to look neat, well-groomed, perfumed, and dressed up in the way that gratifies his wife, even though it takes a little trouble, and even though it’s not the kind of outfit he likes best [3]. A man or a woman should never have the impression that their spouse is more concerned with how he or she looks to others than to them! 3. In the Public Here, actually, Islamic Interpretations are varied. On the one hand, all Muslims are repeatedly recommended to look neat and groomed in public [4]. On the other hand, red lines have been drawn where an important Islamic principle is at risk: modesty. Men are generally allowed to wear jewelry, such as rings or necklace (though necklaces are more commonly used by women in some Muslim countries), but they are forbidden from wearing any golden ornaments, maybe because Islam always wants there to be a certain line between men and women’s appearance, in the same way as Muslim men are required to wear a beard. Women, too, are allowed to wear make-up, jewelry, or perfume in public as long as it doesn't make them appear sexually attractive. And of course, the bottom line for sexual attraction could be different from culture to culture. Several verses of the holy Quran ask women to keep a modest look in the public: “… [tell the faithful women] not to display their charms, beyond what is [acceptably] visible… And let them not thump their feet to make known their hidden ornaments.” (24:31) This verse mentions an example of immodesty at the time and culture of early Islam. But the rule applies to any kind of appearance or manner which is intended or is very likely, to provoke sexual interest in anybody other than one’s spouse. Conclusion According to what we said, therefore, Muslims are very much suggested to, so to say, wear makeup in Islam for praying and for one’s spouse. They are also advised to do so in the public sphere so far as one’s appearance is not in a way that could excite unlawful (Haram) sexual temptations. References:
  12. All Abrahamic religions believe in the return of the savior, the liberator of the human beings and redeemer, in the End-Time. Prophets and divine messengers have promised the day that the whole universe will be full of justice and tenderness. Other religions also have similar beliefs, although they differ in some minor aspects, which will be discussed below. We go through references from different religions and faiths to examine their views about the last savior. Kalki: The Last Savior in Hinduism In Upanishads, which is a collection of ancient Sanskrit texts that contain some of the central philosophical concepts and ideas of Hinduism, the last savior is called Kalki. He is believed to be the tenth avatar of Hindu god Vishnu in the last of the four stages in the endless cycle of existence known as "Samsara," which is defined "as the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Or as the world of suffering and dissatisfaction (dukkha)" [1]. He rides a white horse with a fiery sword. He will end the darkest and destructive period to remove adharma and will usher in the Satya Yuga [ii][2]. Another reference talks about a just commander at the end-time who is the leader of angels and humans, who knows the truth and gets hold of everything from deep in the seas too high in the mountains, and no one greater than him will come to earth [3]. Saoshyant: The Eschatological Savior in Zoroastrianism In Zoroastrianism, there are three saviors who each will rise in a thousand years. The last one is an eschatological savior figure who will destroy evil and will bring about the renovation of the world. He is called Saoshyant, which means the beneficent in its single form. Yet, in its plural form, it is considered to mean the redeemer. The Khorda Avesta describes this savior as such: Whose name will be the victorious SAOSHYANT and whose name will be Astvat-ereta. He will be SAOSHYANT (the Beneficent One) because he will benefit the whole bodily world; he will be ASTVAT-ERETA (he who makes the bodily creatures rise up), because as a bodily creature and as a living creature he will stand against the destruction of the bodily creatures, to withstand the Druj of the two-footed brood, to withstand the evil done by the faithful. [4] Accordingly, the Soashyant will rise at the end-time and fight against the vices in the world and spread justice and goodness far and wide. Maitreya: The Future Buddha In some of the Buddhist references, such as the Amitabha Sutra and the Lotus Sutra, we read about the future Buddha of this world, called Maitreya, who will be a successor to the present Buddha. In Sanskrit, Maitreya means kindness and love. According to Buddhist religious texts, Maitreya will be the fifth and last Buddha who will appear on the earth. The arrival of Maitreya is expected at a time in the future when the dharma will have been forgotten by most on the earth. That is when Maitreya will appear on the earth to achieve complete enlightenment and to teach the pure dharma [5]. Li Hong: The Last Savior in Taoism The Taoist last savior, called Li Hong, is depicted as an ideal leader who would reappear to set right heaven (tian) and earth (dì) at a time of upheaval and chaos. Li Hong will appear at the end of the world cycle to rescue the chosen people, who would be distinguished by certain talismans, practices, and virtues [6]. Savior in Abrahamic Religions Moshiach: The Last Savior in Judaism The Jews belief in the savior is manifested in the idea of the coming of Moshiach (i.e., Messiah). This person is believed to be a descendant of King David, who will "gather the Jews from all over the world and bring them back to the land of Israel" [7]. There are many verses in different scriptures and Talmudic [iii] literature which refer to this figure and enumerate his characteristics and manners [iv]. For instance, Isaiah says: And there shall come forth a rod from the stock of Jesse [King David's father], and a branch shall grow from his roots; and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in fear of the Lord; and he shall not judge by what his eyes see, nor decide by what his ears hear. But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and decide with equity for the humble of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. –Isaiah 11:1-4 Those who follow Judaism believe that their savior has not been born yet. Therefore, they are eagerly awaiting the coming of the one who will save them and establish a just dominion in which "there will be world peace, no more wars nor famine, and, in general, a high standard of living" [7]. The Messiah: Jesus Christ ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) the Savior of Mankind Christians believe that Jesus Christ ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) is himself the savior of humankind, and he was born for this purpose. The name Christ literally means "the anointed one" or the Messiah [8]. As the Gospel of Matthew says, Jesus Christ ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) has been sent to "Save his people from their sins" (1:20-21). It is also believed that Jesus Christ ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) had been crucified to atone the sins of humanity and lead them toward salvation. According to Christian sources, Jesus Christ ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) was the savior who was awaited by the Jews as whose coming was predicted in the Torah as the Moshiach. Another point which makes Jesus Christ ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) the awaited savior in Christianity is the idea of his second coming or the Second Advent in the end-time to whose "day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father" (Mark 13:32). This is the belief in "the future return of Christ in glory when it is understood that he will set up his kingdom, judge his enemies, and reward the faithful, living and dead" [9]. Different gospels, including Matthew chapters 24–25; Mark, chapter 13; Luke, chapter 21:5–26, and John, chapter 14:25–29, are mentioned as the evidence for this belief. Moreover, according to biblical verses, there will be many signs indicating the end-time among which the second coming of Jesus Christ ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) and the last judgment. Therefore, like many other religions, Christians also believe in a savior or as they call it the Messiah, who will make this world a better place and free it from oppression and injustice. Imam Mahdi (عليه السلام): The Awaited Savior in Islam In Islam, the belief in the savior is rooted in the fact that Allah never leaves His creatures, especially human beings, on their own and support them through sending His apostles to guide them toward the right path: "and there is a guide for every people" Quran (13:7). He had sent 124000 prophets (PBUT) first, followed by righteous leaders who continued the path of previously chosen messengers of Allah. As the Quran says, "Certainly We wrote in the Psalms, after the Torah: 'Indeed My righteous servants shall inherit the earth.'" (21:105). Therefore, the earth will never become empty of Allah's guide, and people will benefit from these guiding lights either directly or indirectly. Imam Mahdi (عليه السلام), the twelfth leader of Muslims and a descendant of Prophet Muhammad ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)&HP), who is leading a secret life at the time, will ultimately rise and spread peace and humanity throughout the earth. "The Holy Prophet ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)&HP) informed Muslims about his reappearance, telling his names, attributes, appellations, and peculiarities" [10]. The time of his coming is unknown, and it is followed by the preparation of particular circumstances. The signs that indicate his coming include "Widespread injustice and oppression, the advent of Dajjal (Anti-Christ) who would misguide the thinking of the people, the advent of Sufyani who is one of the pillars of mischief and corruption on the earth, the formation of the Islamic army, which would raise up black standards, the voice of the angel of the sky giving glad-tidings of his reappearance, the coming down on earth of Jesus Christ ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) and his paying allegiance to and praying behind in congregation Prayers led by Imam Mahdi (AS)" [11] This belief in the last savior, who would stand against tyranny and injustice and remind human beings of their real value, also, highlights Islam's optimism toward the future of the world. Finally, we have reviewed the belief in the last savior or the person who will save humankind from the evilness and destruction in this world in different faiths and religions. On a more in-depth look, we can find many similarities between these beliefs. However, the Abrahamic religions had a more precise and more tangible attitude toward the idea of the last savior and the time of his coming. Therefore, the concept of the savior is one of the most essential and significant matters regarding the future of human destiny.
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