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In the Name of God بسم الله


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Ibn-e-Muhammad last won the day on June 6

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  1. Wa 'Alaykum Salam, and thank you for the recommendation. Iran is interesting. I can't help but think how exclusive it is, though. There can't be another like it, since it would require a very heavy Shi'ite majority with a particular social fabric and a specific kind of think tank. It's virtually impossible to replicate it the way secular and other socialist democracies have been replicated around the world. Maybe that's a good thing, or maybe not. Personally, I would have liked to see how Iran unfolded under the likes of Mohammad Mossadegh, he was truly one of the lasting images of democracy in that part of the world.
  2. People of Shiachat, what do we think is the best form of government and why?
  3. You may be correct, but the point I was trying to make is how exactly do we argue that Allah does not burden a soul with more than what it can bear - when there are so many children who are not able to bear heinous crimes done against them? How is a child supposed to bear molestation? Or trafficking? They were not designed to bear things that way. It breaks their process of development very early on and they're already at a disadvantage in life, although yes, they can be as successful as anyone else if they worked thrice as hard. And how insensitive is it to link all of this to one's piety. My God.
  4. Al-Iman School (Queens, New York). Established in 1990, it was the first pre-k to 12 Islamic school in North America.
  5. I am a science educator in a constant effort to make my class as fun and interesting as possible. So every day before I begin lecture, I take the attendance roll and instead of simply going around the class asking if each student is present, I make an effort to ask each and every one of my students how they're feeling and if they're happy to be in class. Sometimes, I'll receive a negative response here and there, which I like to take note of and I'll take some time out to speak to the student privately. I don't expect them to share their problems with me, but I am more than happy to have a lively conversation that'll make them feel less than worse. Connecting with Allah's creation, whether it's humans or any other part of nature, ultimately links us to His beautiful names and brings us closer to Him.
  6. What about a child? If a child was molested or abused in any way and ended up taking their life or hurting themselves, would you blame them for not being pious enough? I mean, what is the link between piety and facing difficulties in life, anyway? I really don't see how those two can even remotely be related.
  7. You can take it that way. I guess most tafasir have explained it as such. For me, it just does not hold up against the cases of suffering around the world that (I would argue) are more than what an average human can bear. Allahu 'alam.
  8. It's a very long hadith, you have only quoted a part of it which you felt was relevant in proving your point. If you read the full hadith, it is 'Abbas who calls 'Ali (a) dishonest and treacherous first. In response to 'Abbas, 'Umar actually indirectly defends 'Ali (a) and goes on to say "so you [both] thought of Abu Bakr as a liar, sinful, treacherous, and dishonest" - it's almost like a rhetorical question and if you notice, 'Umar uses the same exact words in an identical order the way 'Abbas did, in verbatim to prove his point that 'Abbas should not resort to personal attacks. If we had to translate it emotionally, it would be something along the lines of 'Umar saying, "'Abbas, do not use these words. Would either of you attack Abu Bakr or myself using these same words, despite knowing both of us are rightly-guided?" It's the way arguments roll in Arabic. I don't disregard 'Ali's (a) feelings towards them, though. I don't believe he (a) was satisfied with them and there were certainly some major differences between them, in which 'Ali (a) most definitely had the correct understanding among all. I agree with you that the community and the rest of the elite had already attached themselves to the others, and 'Ali (a) was smart and quick to realize this and his entire strategy thereafter was to work with the state than to openly oppose them.
  9. The way I have come to understand this verse is that Allah does not burden (i.e. require) a soul more than it can bear, in the shari'i sense - so in terms of worship and in following the Islamic law, Allah does not ask us to do more than what is our capacity. You can take this verse in a motivational quote sort of way, but I don't think this verse applies to agony and/or the challenges that we face during our life, since there are times when there is an abundance of trials upon us which overwhelms us beyond our scope. Major depression is an example. Suicide as well. In fact, death itself is the very overburdening of suffering and pain that we can not afford, hence we are returned to Allah. However, Allah does not intend misery for us. Allah has knowingly provided us with an exceptional free will that we should use to our advantage. Meet with a doctor and seek out new hobbies. Above all, work with yourself as best as you can.
  10. Interesting. You chose to ignore the first part of my answer, and resorted to calling the rest an obstinacy. Alas, one cannot argue with such narrow mindedness. Ma'a Salama.
  11. In the case of Nuh (a), his son was a disbeliever, not just disobedient. He pretended to have faith, but then chose to not aboard the Ark and split from the believers. This is entirely different from 'Umar. Surely, there were points he acted disobediently and I can see that he carried some of the old traits of his polytheistic forefathers, but this did not make him a disbeliever. He remained within the fold of Islam, and we have to judge him as such. I never said I believed 'Umar to be innocent. Stop putting words into my mouth. I only refuse to see history with a black and white sectarian lens that turns every single thing into a Sunni vs. Shia battle. Fatima (a) left the world angry, 'Ali (a) had bitterness towards the way these companions had acted, but at the end of the day, both Fatima (a) and 'Ali (a) endured patiently and kept working for the cause of Islam. We need to stop making 'Ali (a) out to be someone who loathed all the others. He didn't, and he never did anything to prove such a thing.
  12. I never said they (a) did either, in fact I am arguing for the opposite, really. And yes, the Shi'a do follow scholars, and I have not come across any single scholar or any Imam (a) who has outright prohibited naming children 'Umar or Uthman or what have you. None of this is a jurisprudential issue and nor is inspired by the Imams (a). As I said before, it comes from a place of emotion and disassociation that developed over the course of time as the sectarian split became more and more realized. You cannot raise a question at Shi'ism based out of something like this.
  13. There doesn't need to be a condition mentioned explicitly in the Qur'an for there to be one. This is simply a matter of logic and faith: if a human can develop into a good person from a bad one, he can similarly go the other way as well. We are quite literally hardwired in our understanding that Allah's satisfaction is dependent on the sum of our actions, as this is the only just way. Whatever floats your boat, I suppose. I refuse to believe that Islam magically turned a bunch of polytheists into the best of believers overnight that forever earned the satisfaction of Allah. I will never make a judgment about heaven and hell that is Allah's to make, but as a person of reason, I also don't like to sugarcoat people's attitudes and actions when I can clearly see that they could have done better. If you want to choose that path, that is fine by me. Well, literature across the schools of Islam can be very problematic and misrepresentative of personalities. Du'a Saname Quraish doesn't have much of a chain just like many other du'as, so scholars I have spoken to have dismissed it on those grounds. The sermon of Shaqshaqiya only proves that 'Ali (a) endured with patience, despite knowing he had the every right to authority. He says this right off the bat and I think it very well describes the state that 'Ali (a) was in during those years. I am not sure. I assume it's due to there being an unpleasant association with these names and certain emotions in some cultures have just happened to develop this way over time. It could have been anything. I have mentioned this elsewhere, but we tend to think of marriages back in those days with a 21st century yardstick. Marriage entailed far different things back then and relationships between prominent personalities went above and beyond things that we would consider to be deal-breakers today. Maybe it wasn't a sacrifice at all. Perhaps 'Umar desired it. Perhaps 'Ali (a) did it to let the rest of the world know that him and the government were on good terms and he would rather strengthen his ties with other clans and tribes than to sit in protest. Point is, it could have been for any reason or purpose at all. I sure do. I am not answerable for anyone but myself, but it is only right for me to be able to distinguish from right to wrong and from good to evil. This is why we have a system of open critique and Islam has not prohibited this. That's a muddy ocean. The Sunnism we have today did not always exist; it evolved over time, mostly due to the support it had from the state. Shi'ism evolved parallel to Sunnism but very differently, since knowledge stayed with the Imam (a) and their network had no support from the government(s). So when we say "Sunni" or "Shia" versions of history and that we must "research" information to arrive at truth, we are subconsciously thinking of the current structure and principles of analysis we have inherited as knowledge, but when those historical events were taking place, the Sunni and Shi'a did not technically exist in the same way as they do today. However, we do the best to filter out as much as we can.
  14. It depends on what you mean when you say "better". I was married in my early 20s. I divorced just a few years later, and in the past three to four years since, I have realized that I am not cut out for a marriage. It doesn't make me any less of a man. It doesn't mean I haven't loved or am not prepared for a woman to be in my life. It simply means there are certain relationships that I cannot sustain my individuality in. That self-assessment and realization made me feel better. Too bad, it had to come with such a devastating price during the most prime years of my life. Of course, I am not here to say that your realization will be the same, but I will say this much: there is a far greater chance of you ending up in a better place than where you are now. Take your time on this journey and focus on the things you like to do. Time will heal.
  15. You and I don't know that. 'Umar being the reason for the death of Fatima (a) or him beseiging the house of 'Ali (a) and arresting him falls under the category of opinion, not uncontested truth. Many scholars don't take it to be true. In fact, both of these alleged stories and events were not even part of our early Shi'a discourse. Fadak was an issue between Fatima (a) and Abu Bakr, not 'Ali (a) and 'Umar. And even if 'Umar supported the caliph at the time, there were lots of other Muslims who did the same - does that mean that 'Ali (a) should have cut contact and/or relations with each and every one of them? Does that make 'Umar and the rest of the Muslims disbelievers? Ali (a) was described by the Prophet (s) as being the father of the community. Fathers selflessly put aside the past problems of their wives and any personal injustices done towards them for the bigger purpose i.e. the growth of their children. It only takes one good look at the lives of all of the Imams (a) to conclude this.
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