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In the Name of God بسم الله


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  1. Assalamu alaykum, I would just do a masters in Islamic studies. Then you can look to try and secure a doctorate so you can go into research and make it your career. You can start reading and listening to academic lectures very easily - plenty of lectures on youtube, and as for books - just look at Islamic studies courses at some universities and have a look at their reading lists.
  2. It does sound like you're suffering from wiswas, brother. Everyday Fiqh isn't supposed to be such a heavy burden.
  3. It's just a common pigeon.
  4. They're relatively small but still a sizeable group, certainly a good few thousand of them.
  5. Ah yes, I always suspected the same actually. Well remembered! Hmmm whatever happened to @baradar_jackson...I was really very fond of him.
  6. Shows an extremely poor breadth of reading around the development of Islamic thought. Salah Al-Din, the great defender of Islam against the crusaders, drank alcohol and killed Muslim scholars (see Suhrawardi). The (latter) Ottomans collaborated with the Nazis and alienated their subjects by centralising power and restricting it along ethnic lines. Your arguments on the majority are a waste of time. There is no monolithic Sunni 'sect'. There is a beautiful, colourful Islamic canvas of ideas with a broad spectrum of beliefs - this includes the Shia. There is no real majority, and besides it's very well documented that scholars often, and still do, artificially attempt to find consensus so as not to violate the concept of Ijmaa'. I won't bother reading/replying to the rest of your drivel because anything other than the most superficial and cursory reading of history would highlight how misguided and poor your arguments are.
  7. Whatever happened to DPRK Guy on the forum?
  8. Al-Ayn - charity run under the office of Seyyid Sistani, run by competent and lovely people. All the donations go to the orphans too as operations costs are covered by the Seyyid's office. Some others: Noor Orphans Fund Lady Fatemah Trust
  9. Nope, because running water (from a tap, say) cannot be made najis.
  10. Assalamu alaykum, Lots of very familiar comments here! I was the same as many of you - I wanted to skip university and go straight to Hawza. Now, I work full-time in a professional career and study part-time. I would like to do a stint in a traditional Hawza (Najaf or Qom) at some point InshAllah, but we'll see what Allah has planned for me. At times, I've thought back and wondered where I'd be if I'd spent a few years in the Hawza, but there is something sweet in knowing that ten or so years later, that motivation is still there. Lots of excellent points from @Imomali which I'll try not to repeat, but here are a few of my humble suggestions to the younger brothers and sisters who are this way inclined: I would recommend trying, if possible, to spend a month or two, perhaps over the summer, in a Hawza. This is becoming easier and easier and there are programmes that facilitate this. You'll get an insight into whether it's really for you. If you decide it is, I would absolutely not recommend skipping university and going to Hawza. Get your degree, try and get at least a couple of years or so of work experience under your belt - in anything - and then if you still want to go, you can either study part-time or go full-time in Najaf or Qom. I have friends who are now senior clerics and have regretted not doing that first - some of them are starting careers now and doing well, Alhamdulilah, but none of them would advise others to go straight to Hawza. A number of reasons why I'd advise against it: 1) Motivations change. 90% of your friends who are keen on going to Hawza will not go, and in 5 years time have absolutely no interest in going. I have friends who sacrificed their career prospects and spent years floating in the Hawza system only to become disillusioned, come back and struggle to start careers. Some with great success, others without. Furthermore, your intentions change. When I was 18, I wanted to become a cleric so I can serve the community. Now, it's more of a spiritual and intellectual pursuit (with a desire to help others, of course). 2) Providing for family. It is a noble thing to provide well for one's family and it is your duty (if you're a man). 3) Offer a better perspective. When you have real world experience, experience in the world of work, the world of secular study, not only are your horizons broadened, your soft skills developed and your personality developed, but you are able to much better serve communities by truly understanding the contexts in which most people live. Your advice and perspectives become far more practical, not simply theoretical. Furthermore, you will be a better version of yourself and better equipped to serve this community. As for studying remotely - yes, you miss out on the experience of being face to face with your peers - but there is nothing stopping you from engaging in Mubahathat (study circles) with your peers, meeting others who are studying, visiting centres, etc etc. I would add - study in Qom or Najaf is not necessarily the most efficient or the most beneficial. Yes they are the great centres of learning, but some of the Western institutions are not without their own merits and advantages. @Mahdavist has given an excellent suggestion - trying to combine your Hawza studies with secular studies. A number of scholars have done this with great success, and it is something our community and the academic world is in dire need of. Without a shadow of a doubt, there is more thawab here than there is becoming just another cleric answering basic fiqh questions and giving dull talks on repetitive topics. Remember, this inclination is a blessing from Allah and it is a beautiful thing. Try to focus your intention and make sure it is what you really want and be honest with yourself - what is it you really want out of it.
  11. اللهم صل على محمد و آل محمد As this blessed month draws to a close, I pray that all Shiachat members, old and new, are blessed with peace, happiness and serenity.
  12. A number of scholarly opinions on this matter. The most prevalent view is that maghrib is indeed sunset (i.e. same as the Sunnis), but as an obligatory precaution you must wait for the redness to disappear Not all maraji' require this obligatory precaution, but most do. You don't need to pray before opening fast - it's recommended (mustahab), but actually it's even more strongly recommended that you eat with others if they choose to break their fast first.
  13. Logically, you need to follow an expert on jurisprudential matters unless you are capable of deriving rulings on a given matter (i.e. you are a Mujtahid yourself). The sources used to derive rulings are highly complex. Just like any other science, really. If you're questioning the need for the taqlid of one sole Marji', identifying the most knowledgeable etc etc, that's a different discussion.
  14. You're fine, the washing machine is cleaning both the initial najis substance and purifying it by rinsing it with a substantial amount of water. Touching semen does not cause janaba, washing your hands is fine.
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