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In the Name of God بسم الله

Qa'im

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  1. I have read that this is cyclical and it happens every few decades. The core can move independently of the crust. So in theory, this is not apocalyptic news.
  2. I am happy to announce the release of the new book! “The Blue Yonder: The Search for a Shared Horizon” This is an anthology of articles on Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and Confucian themes written by a variety of scholars at the Berkeley Institute for Islamic Studies. This collection uses an interdisciplinary approach to cultivate historical literacy of the world's great religions. The Blue Yonder explores a range of topics from the historical Jesus, to Mariology, New Testament studies, the Early Church, the history of Jahiliyya, the hadith tradition, Muhammad (s) in Judaism, Hindu studies, Islam in the Indian Subcontinent, Malcolm X and the NOI, and Confucianism. This book offers the thorough and exhaustive rigour of contemporary academia whilst engaging moral questions from a confessional perspective. All proceeds go to the non-profit organization for further Islamic and interfaith research Table of Contents 1. Some Thoughts on Academic Language and the Cult of Neutrality by Dr. Taymaz Tabrizi 2. Hail Mary, Mother of Christ by Bilal Muhammad 3. A Green Christmas: Jesus’ Birthdate in the Islamic Tradition by Bilal Muhammad 4. Muslim Perspectives on St. Paul by Bilal Muhammad 5. The Apostles, the Early Church, and Islam by Bilal Muhammad 6. The Didache: A First Century Witness to Non-Pauline Christology by Paul Williams 7. The Evolution of Christology in the New Testament by Paul Williams 8. St. John Chrysostom and Sexual Disobedience in Early Christian Marriage by Dr. Taymaz Tabrizi 9. The Lord’s Prayer in Islam by Dr. Taymaz Tabrizi 10. Glimpses of Christ in ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib by Bilal Muhammad 11. Positive Accounts of Muḥammad in the Jewish Tradition by Bilal Muhammad 12. Planting a Tree in the End Times by Bilal Muhammad and Jesse Davis 13. Callers to Monotheism and Prophethood in Jahiliyya by Bilal Muhammad 14. Plato’s Academy, the Prophet’s Mosque, and the Future of Education by Bilal Muhammad 15. What Traditional Muslims Should Learn From the Nation of Islam by Bilal Muhammad 16. Malcolm X and the Twelve Imams of the Shiites by Dr. John Andrew Morrow 17. The Past, Present and Future of Muslim Scholarship on Hinduism by Dr. David Coolidge 18. A Community’s Integration Within Regional Folk Tradition by Anwit Shahi 19. Sri Lanka: The Axis Mundi and the Cradle of Mankind by Bilal Muhammad 20. Annotated Bibliography of Neo-Confucianism by Yehia Amin I’m also happy to say that an electronic version of all of the articles are available *for free* on the BLIIS website. Order the hardcover or Kindle version of “The Blue Yonder” on Amazon, available now https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BRJFJGX5
  3. I think you are referring to this interview: Ben Stein is a nincompoop of course, but I'm sure Dawkins regretted this interview.
  4. I think the anthropic principle (weak and strong) and multiverse hypothesis are a response, but not the "inference to the best explanation" with the available data. Meyer also raises some philosophical problems with these - I'd love for you to read those sections of his book and give your take on his arguments. In my opinion: for many folks, a naturalist worldview simply precludes the idea of a designer or god. This mindset is much more satisfied with throwing logic in the bin before arriving at such a conclusion. But increasingly today, scientists and thinkers are talking about simulation hypothesis and panspermia via aliens, which are essentially design arguments.
  5. The physical constants and the initial conditions of our universe - namely, the ratio of electromagnetic force, gravity, mass density, dark energy, and dimensions of space-time - are just right for our universe to exist. In other words, if any of these figures were changed even slightly, planets and stars could never form, much less life. That is not suggestive of a "random" universe, it is suggestive of an intentional one. The atheist response that I’ve gotten is typically: there may be a multiverse, with a high number of universes; and the other universes may have different physical constants, and the success of this universe may be survivor bias. The problem is, there is no empirical reason to believe that there is a multiverse at this point, so resorting to that sounds like a cope. Occam’s razor would suggest that we go with the simpler explanation for the time being - that the universe looks fine-tuned because it is fine-tuned. Otherwise, we’d have to assume that there is a cosmic slot machine that pops out universes, and there would need to be an explanation for that machine’s existence. I recommend reading Stephen Meyer’s “return of the God hypothesis” for more on this.
  6. The honest answer is that not many of our English-speaking shuyukh will give time and expertise to this crucial issue. If you know someone, then please suggest them below and inshallah we can get in touch with them to produce a follow-up.
  7. For this week only it is 9.99 US, the lowest it will ever be
  8. The latest publications from the Berkeley Institute for Islamic Studies (all free, no paywall, no ads): “Yuval Noah Harari, the Gilgamesh Project, and the Science Industry” by Bilal Muhammad https://bliis.org/essay/yuval-noah-harari-the-gilgamesh-project-and-the-science-industry/ "The Past, Present and Future of Muslim Scholarship on the Hindu Tradition" by David Coolidge https://bliis.org/essay/the-past-present-and-future-of-muslim-scholarship-on-the-hindu-tradition/ "The Apostles, the Early Church, and Islam" by Mr. Bilal Muhammad https://bliis.org/essay/the-apostles-the-early-church-and-islam/ "The Didache: A First Century Witness to Non-Pauline Christology" by Paul Williams https://bliis.org/essay/the-didache-a-first-century-witness-to-non-pauline-christology/ "Socrates, Technocracy, and Islamic Governance" by Mr. Bilal Muhammad https://bliis.org/essay/socrates-technocracy-and-islamic-governance/ “Crito and the Islamic Social Contract” by Bilal Muhammad https://bliis.org/essay/crito-and-the-islamic-social-contract/ "Hail Mary, Mother of Christ" by Mr. Bilal Muhammad https://bliis.org/essay/hail-mary-mother-christ/ "On the Disservice of Ṣabr in Modern Muslim Communities" by Dr. Taymaz Tabrizi https://bliis.org/essay/sabr-muslim-communities/ "Towards an Objective Logic of the Categories of Faith and Science" by Dr. Idris Samawi Hamid https://bliis.org/essay/religion-science/ "Some Thoughts on Academic Language and the Cult of Neutrality" by Dr. Taymaz Tabrizi https://bliis.org/essay/academic-neutrality/
  9. In His exalted name. The Beneficent, the Merciful – the One God to whom all praise is due forever, the Lord of all the worlds. He is far beyond the Seat that encompasses heaven and Earth, the Throne that encompasses all intelligible knowledge, and the Will that delivers all sempiternal possibilities. Sight comprehends Him not, yet He comprehends all sight. Imagination comprehends Him not, yet He comprehends all imagination. He has given us names to call Him by, descriptions to recognize Him by, and signs of His truth in the horizons and in ourselves. He was there before there was a “there”, and He existed before there was a “when”. He is apparent in His power, yet He is hidden from comprehension. All things submit to Him, knowingly or unknowingly. He created us, sustains us, nurtures us, takes us to- and-fro, and brings us back to Himself. He is closer to us than our jugular vein, yet the near is not near to Him, and the far is not far from Him. He carries us on the sea and on land. He carries the Throne and those who carry it. Eyes do not recognize Him by way of sight, but hearts recognize Him by the realities of faith. Praise be to Allah. May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon His Servant and His Messenger, Muhammad (s) – the one who found us on the edge of a pit of Fire and delivered us, by Allah’s permission. Allah created the Jinn and the humans so that we may know Him, and none knew Him better than the one for whose sake the cosmos was created. Allah is the Merciful (al-Rahman), so He sealed His message with His mercy to the worlds, the Beloved of Allah (s). He was heralded by the prophets, as his light was transferred from pure loins to pure wombs, generation by generation. He called to the way of his Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation. He patiently forbore persecution and fought in the cause of Allah until he prevailed. May Allah grant us his intercession and that of his Household. May the peace of Allah be upon His Friend and His Comprehensive Argument, `Ali (عليه السلام) – the vicegerent, deputy, and brother of Muhammad (s). He was to Muhammad (عليه السلام) as Harun (عليه السلام) was to Musa (عليه السلام) and as Sham`un (عليه السلام) was to `Isa (عليه السلام). He was the one who was fought in the interpretation of the Quran just as the Prophet was fought in its revelation. He was the one who fought the oath-breakers, deviators, and traitors, just as the Prophet fought the idolaters. Muhammad (s) was the City of Knowledge, and `Ali (عليه السلام) was its Gate. Muhammad (s) was the House of Wisdom, and `Ali (عليه السلام) was its door. May we be divided into his camp on the Day that humanity will be split between his lovers and his haters. May the peace and contentment of Allah be upon all the prophets, saints, martyrs, and righteous men and women. This is a complete translation of the Dictations (Amali) of Abu Ja`far Muhammad b. `Ali b. Babuwayh al- Qummi (d. ~ 380 AH), commonly referred to as al-Shaykh al-Saduq – the Truthful Shaykh. The Amali consists of 97 assemblies (majalis), which were delivered between 367 and 368 AH. Born to another prominent scholar in the holy city of Qum, it is reported that Saduq’s birth was a result of a supplication made by the Mahdi (عليه السلام). Saduq authored some of Shiism’s most seminal works, including Man La Yahduruhul Faqih, Kamal al-Din, al-I`tiqadat al-Imamiyya, Kitab al-Tawhid, Ma`ani al-Akhbar, `Ilal al- Shara’i`, `Uyun al-Akhbar al-Rida, al-Khisal, Thawab al-A`mal, and others. Very little academic attention has been paid to the four Amali books of the Buwayhi period. This particular book mostly contains a compilation of the narrations used by Saduq in these assemblies, rather than the commentary or the discussion that he presumably offered alongside them. Many of the reports in this book are corroborated by other compilations from this era, but many are unique. The Amali was probably penned by an unnamed disciple of Saduq. Most assemblies took place on Tuesdays and Fridays in various places, including Mashhad, Tus, Rayy, and Nishapur. Most of the narrations compiled in this book fall under one of three categories: (1) encouragements for certain meritorious practices (such as special fasts), (2) stories of prophets and saints, often with clear moral lessons, and (3) the virtues of `Ali (عليه السلام) in particular and the Ahl al-Bayt in general. Some reports are thematically organized, and some are topical to the annual occasions of the Shi`i calendar. From the contents of this book, we can only surmise that these assemblies were intended for a public audience. It does not focus on fine legal or doctrinal areas of disagreement, but on exhortations (mawa`ith) and recommended deeds. In the 4th century AH, Iran was incredibly diverse, and most of its population was probably non-Twelver. Unlike most Twelver books of hadith, most of the reports in Saduq’s Amali go back to the Prophet Muhammad (s). This may be due to the universality of his authority; as well as a demonstration of Saduq’s ability to narrate the virtues of `Ali and the Ahl al-Bayt through prominent companions and tabi`in. The sihha and the hujjiyya of many reports seem secondary to who is actually narrating them. The book contains no disparaging remarks against the first two caliphs or the wives of the Holy Prophet. Interestingly, there are many positive reports about Zayd b. `Ali b. al- Husayn, as well as chains that return to Zaydi authorities. Saduq also offers a thorough introduction to Twelver Shiism in the 93rd assembly. The Amali’s focus on character-building, stories, faith, stoicism, and the love of the Ahl al-Bayt makes it a powerful introduction to the core values of Twelver Shiism and universal Islamic principles. I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to those, without whom, this work would not have been possible. I thank Hassan al-Qadri for his constant support and for commissioning me for this translation project. I thank Yahya Seymour for his graceful encouragement and inspiration. His mind demands the absolute best from his peers; and his teachings inspired the diligence needed to give this work the depth and breadth that it deserves. I thank Houda Salih, my superior in classical Arabic, for answering my sporadic translation questions and for assisting me with idioms that escape my imagination. I thank Sajad al-Saadi for elegantly assisting me with translating a sermon in the 90th assembly. I thank Zahraa Rizvi for her preliminary translations of the 27th, 28th, and 29th assemblies, which served as a base for my renditions. I thank William Chittick for his translation of the Treatise on Rights, which also served as a base for my translation of the same report. I thank Idris Samawi Hamid for filling my heart with the love of Ahl al-Bayt and the discipline needed to complete a work of this scale. Lastly, I thank my dear and beloved parents, who introduced me to Allah and His Messenger, the Quran and the `Itra, and to Arabic and English. Their teachings, their love, and their support continue to play a pivotal role in my slow progress on the pathway toward God. https://thaqalayn.net/book/29?fbclid=IwAR1pDX7rjvi6AxykgW_x316oKcc1IqfBM-CMIGw17zmKeb1dHP_AOE8OfS8
  10. The verse says that none lived forever before Muhammad (s), and none will live forever after him. We accept that. Most Muslims believe that Jesus (عليه السلام) is alive, which would make him over 2000 years old. Does that make him more important than Muhammad (s)? No. Length of life does not signify most importance, as there are many ordinary people who live a much longer life. Even the dog in the Quran was kept alive for 309 years. The Mahdi’s role is very well-established in the hadiths. يَمْلَأَ الْأَرْضَ قِسْطاً وَ عَدْلًا كَمَا مُلِئَتْ جَوْراً وَ ظُلْما This is mutawatir. It is also alluded to in the Quran, where Allah says that the righteous will inherit the Earth (also in the Psalms, Enoch, and Gospel), and that islam will overcome every din. I will give you the final word, because I don’t want to derail this topic.
  11. The job of Muhammad (s) was to deliver the everlasting miracle and message in the Quran. The Mahdi’s job is to establish just and peace on Earth, which is not the same mission. Allah can delay or bring forth the Hour whenever He wishes. The Imams in between preserved the message.
  12. I believe he will appear physically in Mecca, as stated in hadith. I do not believe the Mahdi is immortal, he will die a human death. But Allah has extended his life just as He extended the lives of Nuh and the Sleepers of the Cave.
  13. Wa alaykum assalam beloved, long time, For debates, as someone who has been involved in this area for a long time, you may be familiar with the gist of the arguments: why Jesus is not God, response to "Muslims think Jesus is a mere prophet", how he may have avoided crucifixion, etc. The chapter on the Early Church is a pretty unique contribution, with a lot of unique references that would help the Muslim argument. There is a chapter on the meaning of Jesus' messiahood.The chapters written by Jewish authors would also help in engaging with Jews. For friendly dialogues, it is absolutely valuable and unique. There is a lot of bridge-building: cross-references between hadiths and Bible, nuanced and unique references to Paul in Muslim books, a chapter on Mary with a lot of citations, a Catholic author's positive take on Islam. Most of all, there is a focus on zuhd, akhlaq, and spirituality. I hope that is helpful.
  14. With conversions, we have no choice but to judge from what is apparent. A conversion to Islam, on the apparent, is a repentance for past sins, with exception to debts and rights that he owes to others. Will he apologize or change his lifestyle - time will tell. If we see him continuing a problematic lifestyle publicly, then we can criticize that. Basically, we have to cross that bridge once we get there - these mechanisms exist for good reasons. Whether it's Sinead O'Connor, Mike Tyson, etc. we just have to turn the page and start again. Also remember that most converts to Shiism start off as Sunnis first. We can't just assume from the first day that he is doomed to be a Sunni, and furthermore doomed to be a Wahabi. It's also natural that the Sunnis will get the converts, considering the work they put into da`wa, and general Shi'a prejudice toward converts.
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