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SoRoUsH

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  1. Salam Brother, As you know, this narration could be considered majhool. I found this narration, in our books, but with a weak chain, which has مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ حَسَّانَ الرَّازِي‏ in it. So, the second and the third narrations are unacceptable, majhool and dhaif, respectively. This is an excellent narration, with saheeh sanad and clear matn. Considering the sanad problem that brother Ibn-AlHussain raised with the original narration, this narration should be taken as the correct interpretation for Qa'im's age issue. It pretty much dissolves all of my initial questions. Thank you!
  2. Yes. It's problematic for everyone. I don't disagree. At the end, we, subjectively, choose what we'd like to follow. I've chosen to follow a very narrow criteria, such as accepting only narrations with saheeh, Hasan, or mawthaq isnad. Anything else, I don't care for, or I don't pay much attention to, since they could easily be, and most likely are, cultural interpretations of various individuals.
  3. This is of course very problematic. Which norms? Why those? Why not other norms? How can we verify the correctness of these norms? And Mandy more question....
  4. This just seems so arbitrary and random. How can this method be justified? Why not different percentages? If we give the strong sanad 95% chance of being accurate, and the weak ones 2% of being accurate, then you'd need numerous weak ones with the same content to come close in value to the content of the narration with strong sanad. It then all comes down to math and statistics. Are we supposed to accept and learn the message and sayings of Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام) through mathematical calculations? It's more than possible, it's very probable. Tens or dozens of interpretations may be possible, but none of them may be probable. In this case, one is not stuck between two possible interpretations, rather one possible, and one probable. Based on the isnad, these two interpretations do not have the same likelihood of being accurate, and it's a mistake to think of both as equally possible. If you accept this, then you're admitting that you've chosen to follow one set of man-made preferences over others, and it's quite possible, if not probable, that you and these preferences may be wrong. Then the problem comes down to who's interpretation and understanding of the context. Contexts are are outcome of natural and artificial circumstances. And contexts and circumstances can be read and understood differently, according to subjective and cultural biases. In other words, contexts are understood and viewed through the lenses/context of the reader himself. Their religion is universal. Teaching a universal religion, for all times, places, and people, necessitates sayings and traditions that can be understood at all times, in all places, and by all people. I don't believe in this. Conventions are by definition context-based. And universal teachings cannot be learned and understood through narrow contextual lenses. Brother, your posts are quite informative. Thank you. We disagree on certain fundamentalist normative issues, regarding epistemology. And we won't reach agreement anytime soon. I enjoy reading your posts. Soon brother Qa'im will post those narrations, and set the records straight. Wassalam
  5. As a non-Arabic speaker, I find this approach very problematic, since it's, again, very elitist. Ultimately, only one race, one group of people, Arabs, or people who properly speak Arabic, are able to properly and accurately understand Islam.
  6. I've come to and learned that all scholars are situated in time and specific cultures. Their interpretations and understanding heavily rely where they were, who their associates were, and when they lived. In addition, each individual has his)her own specific biases, based on his/her own circumstances. So, I avoid elitism and, instead, focus on norms or rules or a set of guidelines that directly come from the Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام), whose sayings are eternal and transcend culture.
  7. I find this method extremely problematic as it places the value of strong and weak narrations on a similar level. In other words, it de-values ilm al-rijaal. Weak narrations ought not to affect our interpretation of strong narrations. By giving weak narrations such power and force, we, ultimately, allow these weak narrations to provide us with meanings. This is very problematic. Weak narrations could've been fabricated precisely to misinterpret strong narrations. Or to be more positive, they could've been fabricated with good intentions, to simplify complicates narrations. However, such simplification would be quite biased, subjective, time-based and cultural.
  8. Salam, For me to follow a norm or a rule, it must directly come from Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام). So, could you please indicate how the Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام) provided the guidelines for murajjihaat? It's not difficult to see how man-made preferences could be mistaken or incorrect. Such preferences could've emerged to bypass complicated narrations or to interpret such narrations according to specific historical-cultural contexts. In other words, we cannot take such man-made preferences to be universal, for all times and places, unless they directly come to us from the Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام). So, please show me how the teachings of Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام) were used to come with such murajjihaat. Thank you!
  9. Salam, In your opinion, a few weaks narrations are more trustworthy than a saheeh narration? These aren't absurd speculations. They are legitimate questions. Here's another narration, in Al-Kafi, though Majhool, Al-Majlisi has considered it Mutabar in his Uqool: عدة من أصحابنا، عن احمد بن محمد بن عيسى، عن علي بن الحكم، عن زيد أبي الحسن، عن الحكم بن أبى نعيم قال: أتيت أبا جعفر عليه السلام وهو بالمدينة، فقلت له: علي نذر بين الركن والمقام إن أنا لقيتك أن لا أخرج من المدينة حتى أعلم أنك قائم آل محمد أم لا، فلم يجبني بشئ، فأقمت ثلاثين يوما، ثم أستقبلني في طريق فقال: يا حكم وإنك لههنا بعد، فقلت: نعم إني أخبرتك بما جعلت لله علي، فلم تأمرني ولم تنهني عن شئ ولم تجبني بشئ؟ فقال: بكر علي غدوة المنزل، فغدوت عليه فقال عليه السلام: سل عن حاجتك، فقلت: إني جعلت لله علي نذرا وصياما وصدقة بين الركن والمقام إن أنا لقيتك أن لا أخرج من المدينة حتى أعلم أنك قائم آل محمد أم لا، فإن كنت أنت رابطتك وإن لم تكن أنت، سرت في الارض فطلبت المعاش، فقال: يا حكم كلنا قائم بأمر الله، قلت: فأنت المهدي؟ قال: كلنا نهدي إلى الله، قلت: فأنت صاحب السيف؟ قال: كلنا صاحب السيف ووارث السيف، قلت: فأنت الذي تقتل أعداء الله ويعز بك اولياء الله ويظهر بك دين الله؟ فقال: يا حكم كيف أكون أنا وقد بلغت خمسا وأربعين سنة ؟ وإن صاحب هذا الامر أقرب عهدا باللبن مني وأخف على ظهر الدابة. A number of our companions from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. `Isa from `Ali b. al-Hakam from Zayd Abu’l Hasan1 from al-Hakam b. Abu Nu`aym. He said: I went to see Abu Ja`far عليه السلام when he was in Medina, so I said to him: Upon me is a vow [that I made] between the rukn and maqam that I would meet you and that I would not leave Medina until I knew that you were the Qa’im of the Family of Muhammad or not. He did not reply with anything. So I remained [in Medina] for thirty days. Then, he met me on the road and said: O Hakam, are you still here? So I said: Yes – I informed you of what I set for Allah upon myself, and you did not command nor prohibit anything, nor did you answer me in anything. So he said: Visit me early tomorrow. So I visited him the next morning, and he عليه السلام said: Ask what you need. I said: I set upon myself for Allah a vow, fasting, and charity between the rukn and maqam so that I may meet you and not leave Medina until I knew that you were the Qa’im of the Family of Muhammad or not. If you are he I will cling to you, and if not I will go into the land to seek a living. So he said: O Hakam, we are all Risers in the Command of Allah (Qa’im bi Amrillah). I said: Then are you the Mahdi? He said: We are all guiders to Allah. I said: Then are you the owner of the sword? He said: We are all owners of the sword and heirs of the sword. I said: Then are you the one who will kill the enemies of Allah, through whom the awliyya’ of Allah are glorified and with whom the religion of Allah becomes foremost? So he said: O Hakam, how can I be he when I have already become forty-five years of age, while the Patron of this Affair will be much younger than I and lighter for the back of a creature? (al-Kafi) (majhool) (مجهول) Again, same message as the very first narration. No mention of Qa'im appearing less than 45 or 40 years old. Rather Qa'im will be much younger, not appear much younger. This is a very important difference, and something that we cannot simply brush off due to our own biases or lack of understandng.
  10. This is not an option. Sorry! There are numerous narrations with acceptable isnad, confirming the existence of the Imam and his occultation. However, this is not the topic of this thread. So, we won't discuss it. Thank you.
  11. Salam, The interpretation must be justified by the narrations of Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام). We must not rely on our own desires and conjectures to interpret either Quranic verses or narrations. And in this case, related to this issue, it's especially important for the narrations to have saheeh isnad. Fake narrations could've been fabricated to explain this age issue, since the saheeh narration on it seems complicated and hard to understand.
  12. Salam, Yes. There are other narrations. However, their isnad are questionable. Do you know of a narration, with a saheeh sanad, that states he's old but appears young?
  13. Salaam, Here's why all of the provided guesses are incorrect: 1. Imam Mahdi (عليه السلام) is said to be living among us, walking in our markets, and being in this very world. If he's a normal biological human being, he ought to be aging. 2. Nowhere we are told that he appears young. That's a conjecture, and an arbitrary baseless unjustified interpretation. All we're told is that his age will be less than 40. So, to say "he's old, but looks young" is not justified or supported by the narrations of Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام). We are left with three options: 1. Either we examine and re-define the concepts of age and aging. 2. Or we question and examine his state of being in this world. Is he a time-traveller? Is he in a state of hibernation? Or seasonal hibernation? Does he sleep like the Companions of the Cave? 3. Or we question and examine his biological nature. Is he a human like us? If yes, why doesn't he age like us? Bottom line: We shouldn't be intellectually lazy and feel comfortable believing unjustified assumptions.
  14. Salam, حدثنا إبراهيم بن هاشم عن أبي عبد الله البرقي عن أحمد بن محمد بن أبي نصرو غيره عن أبي أيوب الحذاء عن أبي بصير عن أبي عبد الله ع قال قلت له جعلت فداك إني أريد أن ألمس صدرك فقال افعل فمسست صدره و مناكبه فقال و لم يا أبا محمد فقلت جعلت فداك إني سمعت أباك و هو يقول إن القائم واسع الصدر مسترسل المنكبين عريض ما بينهما فقال يا محمد إن أبي لبس درع رسول الله ص و كانت تستخب على الأرض و أنا لبستها فكانت و كانت و إنها تكون من القائم كما كانت من رسول الله ص مشمرة كأنه ترفع نطاقها بحلقتين و ليس هذا الأمر من جاز أربعين. Ibrahim b. Hashim narrated from Abu `Abdillah al-Barqi from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Abi Nasr and other than him from Abu Ayyub al-Hadha’2 from Abu Baseer from Abu `Abdillah عليه السلام. He said: I said to him: May I be your ransom, I would like to touch your chest. So he said: Do so. So I touched his chest and his shoulders. So he said: And for what, O Abu Muhammad? So I said: May I be your ransom, I have heard your father saying, “The Qa’im has a broad chest, upright shoulders, and what is in between is wide”. So he said: O [Abu] Muhammad, my father wore the shield of the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله and it would drag upon the ground, and I wore it and it was [the same], and it will be upon the Qa’im as it was upon the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله – spread as if its belt is held with two rings. And this affair is not for one who has surpassed [the age of] forty. (Basa’ir ad-Darajat) (sahih) (صحيح) Question: 1) How is it possible for Qa'im (عليه السلام) to be younger than forty when he returns? The hadith doesn't mention "appearing less than forty." That would be an unjustified interpretation on the part of the reader.
  15. Any opinions about question #2? How would a woman come to know of this event, when she's at home? And not the men? Do women have better extrasensory perceptions?
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