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In the Name of God بسم الله


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Qa'im last won the day on May 6

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  1. It hurts children who, by default, will lack a father or a mother if they are adopted by a same-sex couple. It hurts boys who are being chemically-castrated by doctors. It hurts teenage girls who think that removing their breasts ("top surgery") will solve their bodily insecurities. It hurts people by promoting a lifestyle that has a greater risk of STDs. It hurts people who are undergoing experimental hormone therapy with long-term consequences. It hurts women who now have to share bathrooms with individuals with penises. It hurts people who are now exposed to public nudity, not for an event, not for a day, but for a whole month every year, and sometimes longer. It hurts people whose gender dysphoria is being affirmed and rationalized by the medical and educational industries. It hurts expression by coercing people by law to use new pronouns and adjectives. It hurts those who are now at a 40% risk of attempting suicide. It hurts 21% of a generation that identify with it (21% of Gen Z now identify as LGBT. Why is it doubling every generation?) It hurts a society through further identity politics and division. It hurts. Stop saying that it doesn't.
  2. I spoke to an astrophysicist about the possibility of a pole switch. She said that a pole switch would not result in a change in the direction of the rotation of the Earth. In other words, even if the poles switched, the Sun would still rise in the East and set in the West. That is, of course, unless we are just going by the compass' "north", which would point south after a pole switch. But whether that will fit the bill would depend on the skepticism of the reader. The astrophysicist confirmed that we are overdue for a pole flip, and that the magnetic north pole movement in the last ~150 years suggests that we may be at the precipice of a flip, I asked, in several different ways, if this would affect the rotation of the Earth, and she flat-out denied any connection. Of course, we humans have not experienced a polar flip before, and a lot of our technology will no longer work. That itself can be a sign of the Hereafter, as some have suggested that the world would return to medieval weaponry. We know that food shortages and such will also be a sign, though that can also happen without a pole flip. If the Earth were to stop rotating for a moment, it would probably end most life as we know it. Earth rotates at a very high speed, and a change in momentum would probably send us flying. This is, unless, the Earth's rotation speed declined very gradually. There is a hadith that suggests that this could happen (Dajjal's first day would feel like a year). But I don't know what natural mechanism can cause this to happen - and I'm not sure if the scientists know either. I wrote about an alternative interpretation to that hadith here: https://www.shiachat.com/forum/blogs/entry/136-the-sun-will-rise-from-where-it-set/
  3. Just some perspective on this issue: According to the 2018 General Social Survey's data on about 660 married people who shared details about how often they had sex in the past year: 5% had sex four or more times per week 16% had sex two to three times per week 25% had sex once a week 19% had sex two to three times per month 17% had sex once a month 7% had sex about once or twice in the past year 10% hadn't had sex in the past year This means that roughly 17% of folks are in a relatively sexless marriage. This includes couples that are elderly or ill. According to other studies, sex decreases with age and children. We should all educate ourselves on this matter This is why it is important to discuss these issues during the courting or engagement process. Some people have unrealistic expectations — whether that is thinking that sex is freely available, or that sex is unimportant and tertiary. Some women may be surprised to know that, had it not been for sex, few men would ever actually marry. One of the big motivations for a healthy man to commit to a life-long marriage is the possibility of regular sex. If it is less than once a month, then most men will question the point of the marriage. Sex is more important than the dishes or the laundry, so if a wife is prioritizing housework over intimacy, then many men will not be happy. In my personal anecdotal experience, ladies are not sexless for no reason. In two sexless marriages that I know of, the man is very unconfident, socially awkward, very vulnerable and insecure. These men are genuinely afraid of their wives. In those two cases, I could see how the women find difficulty feeling attracted to their partner. In another case I know, the woman took very good care of herself, but the man let himself go completely. He also would climax within seconds or minutes, leaving his wife unsatisfied with the overall experience. Unlike what some have suggested here, these things do matter to women. If you are middle aged and only having sex once or twice per month, that’s not bad. That is still within the middle point. But if it is less than that, they you will need to suss out the reason, and the reason may not be something they will openly and directly say. Some people genuinely have a low libido, in which case you can explore aphrodisiacs, scents, and general physical and mental health. Other people may be sexual with the right partner and prudish with the wrong partner. Maybe they are bored with repetition. Maybe they have a history of trauma or abuse. Maybe they don’t feel confident performing. Maybe they don’t feel physically attracted to you. There can be zillions of reasons. In conclusion, understand your partner’s love language and expectations. If sex is important to them but not important to you, then it may not work out.
  4. Hence why I brought up attractiveness. No one else did; but when someone is not having sex, it is worth exploring.
  5. This depends on marja`. Some stipulate that his first wife's permission is needed, which makes it halal.
  6. Yes, seriously. If his wife is not sleeping with him, and if he finds it difficult (at 50) to find women who would be in a relationship with him, then he has to consider his own attractiveness. Yes, "acceptable hygiene and health" and being "capable of communication" are big parts of attractiveness. Where did I say that attractiveness is purely aesthetic? And to say that most women do not care if a man is overweight/obese or lacking in wealth would be absurd. Perhaps you don't care, but most people do.
  7. If you're an attractive man, then finding a mut`a wife shouldn't be difficult. Especially if you are open to Muslim and Kitabi women in their 30s and 40s. If you're not an attractive man, then that may be why your wife is refusing intimacy. Work out, lose weight, work on your personality; do whatever you need to do.
  8. This would be less of an issue if more women would prioritize marriage during the best years of their fertility and youth. There are so many ladies in their mid-30s who are just now realizing that they want a family. It becomes harder to do so naturally, with a good monogamous partner, at that point in time. Yet, from 18-35, all they did was reject men, or give their best years to unserious men. All in the name of “progress”. As man in his early 30s, even I regret not using my university years to meet women. It becomes harder with age, we become less flexible to adaptation, we have less energy for children, and health problems begin to settle in. Many of us have been duped by the promise of prosperity — that we should use our best years writing essays and working low-paying jobs — rather than raising a family. As a man, I have less of a choice there, since I would need to be the breadwinner in a marriage. But for a woman, nothing is stopping you from marrying when you’re 20-25. That’s when you can choose the best quality man. Nowadays, you can even work from home while raising your kids, so you can still not miss a beat in your career while being married. I’m not sure why it takes till 35 for some ladies to “give up the dream”, realize that they’ve been lied to, and start scouring the earth for a man. Most of you will be too busy and too tired and too sick in your 40s to maintain a 9-5 job, young kids, and a husband. I’ve rarely seen someone do all 3 affectively at the same time — 2/3 maybe, but you will either slack at work, neglect your kids, or get totally out of shape. Trust me, I work in a female-dominated field, and I see this everyday. If you’ve somehow made it to 35, dodging every proposal, then you will have to settle in one way or another. Either by marrying a divorced man or a married man. Even you ladies wouldn’t want the 40 year old virgin guys out there, it’s no good for you. So learn from the mistakes of others and marry early. Even if you get divorced at 25, it is better in the marriage market to be a divorced 25 year old than a single 35 year old.
  9. I figured I may as well address a few more points: My position is that (1) Adam existed, (2) he was a prophet, (3) he was the forefather of all modern humans, (4) his creation was de-novo. If someone wants to reconcile that with a process of adaptation and speciation, that is fine and very well possible. Undoubtedly, there are vast similarities between anything living on Earth. A banana shares 60% of our DNA. We would not survive had it not been for our ability to interact with our surroundings. There wouldn't be a medical establishment had it not been for testing on mice. 6:38 confirms the similarity we have with animals as a sign for us. But our differences are also self-evident in the very reading and writing that we are doing now. “The example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, ‘Be,’ and he was.” (3:59) None of us have an issue with Jesus being born without a father, even though this is arguably a greater impossibility than the creation of Adam. As others have said before, we have literally billions of case studies around us of people being born only with a father and mother. We also have millions of examples of people born out of wedlock. Inference to the best explanation may bring us to the wrong conclusion — an accusation against Mary. So if God can create Jesus without a father, then He can surely create Adam de novo, without ancestors. This would be far from the only supernatural miracle in the Quran. Take for example this verse: “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord in that I design for you from clay [that which is] like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird by permission of Allah.” (3:49) Jesus formed a bird from clay, de novo, much like the creation of Adam. There is no indication that this bird was completely different from other birds; it may have been very similar to (or exactly the same as) other species of birds that evolved in the natural process. Scientific sobriety however should not lead us to finding naturalistic explanations to all spiritual phenomena. Someone may say that Mary was a hermaphrodite who impregnated herself, but that’s not supported anywhere, despite the well known existence of hermaphrodites throughout human existence. Some may point to a natural land bridge that exists on the Red Sea. But that’s not the point — Allah could have made Moses cross the Atlantic Ocean if He wanted to. A miracle by definition is God bending the rules to intervene in our lives. They are not just benevolent, well-timed coincidences, they are the result of the mashi’a, irada, qadr, and qada of Allah. The greatest “impossibility” is existence itself, and Allah already created the universe from nothing. Everything else is small potatoes in comparison. Even if there was an intelligent, humanoid, pre-human specie on Earth, that does not contradict the Quran. In a sense, it may even confirm the pre-Adamic nasnās references, which is one of the traditional interpretations of 2:30 (see Tafsir al-Qummi). The nasnās were pre-Adamic humanoids mentioned in some reports; or the multiple “Adams” mentioned in others — both coming from imperfect sources nonetheless. What is undisputed is that humans do indeed have common ancestry, and there are even persons in recent human ancestral history (3,000-15,000 years ago) that all modern humans go back to. This is still subject to more research (see Mitochondrial Eve and Y Chromosome Adam, MRCA/IAP/ACA in genetics). Whether or not an unguided process of random variation and natural selection could account for all these complex changes in relatively short periods of time is a question that I'm not qualified to answer. I've only taken two courses on the subject, and there are people here that are better equipped to answer these questions. But much has changed in the last 12 years of research, and there are valid questions that need to be answered before we can understand where religion fits into all this (continuity/discontinuity theories for example). There are serious, unanswered questions on origin of life on Earth, the existence of information in DNA, the "Darwin-of-the-gaps", and the evolution of language. So, science must continue its work, and interesting questions must continue to be posed, without fear of alienation. That is the only way science can progress. Once we have some more definite answers, we can come to more definite scriptural conclusions.
  10. I remember placid very fondly. We spoke most in 2007-2008. I even had a friend that met him in person. I hope your family finds peace - we belong to Allah, and to Allah we will return.
  11. I am sorry that you have lost your faith. This happens to many people, and most of the people I have met have been able to bounce back from this. I came to Shi'a Islam as an adult, and so I have a different experience than you. Perhaps you coming here and listing your reasons is an attempt to understand these issues in more depth. I will try to answer a few points, at least to provide food for thought. 1. Most of the intimate details that pertain to the life of the Prophet Muhammad (s) have embedded lessons for our daily lives. The Quran acted as a guide for those in his lifetime, but it also mostly deals with realities that are relatable to the average believer. 2. "Trivial things" is subjective. Some may say, "The universe is 93 billion light-years in size, why would a God care about my private life?" By this logic, your public life shouldn't matter either. Murder is an insignificant event in a trillion-star universe with an endless amount of planets. And yet, we all agree that it is morally reprehensible. The size of an offense is also no measurement of its rightness or its wrongness. There are many big permissible things and small impermissible things, and vice versa. God is not someone on a far-away planet looking at us through a telescope. He created and sustains every atom of existence, and has concern over the lives of the smallest of creatures. Any system of morality that He puts in place is for our own benefit and not His. To Him, the dunya has the significance of the wing of a mosquito. And yet, He gave balance to both. 3. Why do you suppose that 5:106-107 would never happen? 4. The question of ethics (wife-beating, free man killing a slave) is very pertinent. What is the yardstick by which we measure good and evil? How are we to derive just laws? We live in a time that is dominated by utilitarian and liberal ethics, and yet there is much disagreement in liberalism on issues related to freedom and harm. For example: can you say with certainty that incest, if practiced safely, is morally wrong? Many secularist philosophers have a hard time answering this question. You believe in a God - that is good - so do you think this God cares about what happens in the universe, or no (Deism)? If the latter, then there would be no such thing as objective morality, because morality would just be a social construct coming out of culture. Murder would just be one group of molecules hitting another. We object to that. Liberalism also has constantly shifting definitions of morality - when I was born, liberal societies had very different views on issues like drugs, gay marriage, marital rape, and even the basic rights of the individual (COVID has changed that significantly). Many of these views are driven by states, markets, and mass media. So, when we analyze Islam through the lens of liberalism, we are really just using a stretchy ruler that constantly differs in size. For example: we have no record of anyone ever leaving or doubting Islam as a whole due to the famous "wife beating" verse until the 20th century. That is because the standard of morality in the 20th century has shifted, enshrining the rights and freedoms of the individual. This isn't always necessarily wrong, but it is, again, subjective and requires justification. What are our first principles and how did we come up with them? In our school, this "beating" is the last step (in a list of steps) in dealing with nushuz. It cannot be injurious, it cannot leave any marks, and it cannot be against the face - if it is, then the wife can go to the judge and hold her husband accountable. One tradition (I believe from Ibn Abbas) even used a miswak (tooth stick) to demonstrate that it is a gentle physical reminder rather than something designed to inflict pain. This today would be the equivalent of a slap on the wrist, shaking someone, pulling someone by the collar, or stepping on their foot, which few of us today would consider to be morally abhorrent. On the contrary, in liberal society, if you break the law, then strange policemen can subject you to any form of violence to contain you. The state has a full monopoly on violence, which comes at a cost. I am not a literary scholar in Arabic, so I cannot comment on specific literary i`jaz that are unique to the Quran alone. However, we can agree that there is no book like it, in that it produced a movement of bedouins that quickly became the largest civilization that the world had ever seen in less than a decade after its completion. It has been memorized word-for-word by millions of people, and it can be preserved and reproduced in a way that no other book can. 1400 years later, we don't know of a book or document that can be compared to that. If you'd like to see what non-Muslim experts of the Arabic language have said about the literary style of the Quran, then you can find the words of scholars like Sir Hamilton AR Gibb, Tor Andrae, or Edward Henry Palmer (Navid Kermani's book "God is Beautiful" compiles many of these). If Islam simply plagiarized the stories of previous religions, then why do the stories differ in key ways? For example, the Quranic Jesus is free from the pagan elements that were attributed to the story of the Christian Jesus. You gave an example about the Flood as well, which the Quran never says is global. It is important to note that Muhammad (s) never claimed to be bringing a new religion altogether. The Quran is mostly reminding people of familiar stories so that they may draw lessons from them. The Quranic stories are full of lessons on human frailty (Adam), economic justice (Shu`ayb), jealousy (Yusuf), standing up to oppressors (Musa), etc, Did the Quran copy the Flood narrative from other texts? The Flood narrative is universal. It is found in ancient Mesopotamian, Indic, Chinese, Greek, Norse, and even Aboriginal (American and Australian) cultures. Some of these cultures have been isolated for thousands of years, and probably didn't just copy the myth from one place to the other. What is likely is that they were all describing a massive event; one worth teaching and documenting on an intergenerational level for thousands of years. Perhaps the most pertinent archeological debate right now is on the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis. It is a debate that could change our understanding of history as we know it. If true, then there would have been a mass flood and extinction roughly 12,800 years ago, wiping out a prior civilization. - This is a lot, so let's start here, unless you think the other issues you mentioned are bigger or more serious.
  12. You are too kind - all praise and thanks is due to Allah. You might be thinking of "All the Perfumes of Arabia", as that one had the perfume bottle. "The Muhammadan Cure" has a green foresty cover.
  13. Thank you for your positive review! I would consider it a personal favour if you put your review on Amazon as well
  14. The Quran says that Maryam (عليه السلام) went "east" to give birth to `Isa (عليه السلام), and Kufa is almost directly east of Jerusalem. That said, a birth in Kufa is not corroborated in Christian, Jewish, or Sunni sources. Not that it needs to be, but Shia sources had their reasoning to uplift Kufa and Karbala, and we don't see strong narrations establishing a Kufan birth. It is more likely to have been made up than not. As for this chain, from what I can tell: al-Qasim ibn Muhammad is majhul, Sulayman b. Dawud is trustworthy, but he was probably a Sunni, and whether a Sunni would narrate this tradition depends on your level of skepticism, Hafs b. Ghiyath is trustworthy, but he was also a Sunni, and a judge of Harun al-Rashid from Baghdad.
  15. Here is my article on a possible birthdate: https://bliis.org/essay/jesus-birth-islam/
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