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In the Name of God بسم الله


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Everything posted by Photi

  1. answering ansar is a good site for reading the shia response to many of the lies that are propagated against us.
  2. another thing to keep in mind is that 'shias' are not all one. most of us (myself included) are ithna ashari, or twelver shias. that means we follow the prophet, fatima, and twelve imams (peace be upon them). there are also zaydis who can be found in yemen, ismailis (who used to control egypt) who are numerous in the subcontinent, the alewis (the minority sect who controls syria), i think another sect of alewis in anatolia (they may be distinct from the syrians, maybe not), and lastly the bahoras (sp), who might be alewis or a sub-sect of ismailis, i am not sure. i won't say too much about the non-twelver shias as i don't know enough about their beliefs (ismailis are secretive anyway), but i will say that from the twelver point of view, we think we have more in common with the sunnis than we do with the other shia groups.
  3. is islam just about the the mi'raj? the death of hussain is an integral part to our religious experience of islam, but to say that that is all we are about is looking at it from only one angle. We also see 'Ali (as) as our teacher in irfan, Jafar Sadiq (as) as the teacher of the madhab, and the Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) as the watchtower over all of humanity. The Holy Prophet (as) was all of these things, he is without a doubt the head of his household, but his message and teachings were solidified over the course of 12 generations (counting Hasan (as) and Hussain (as) as one generation). They are the Nur of humanity around which the rest of us gather.
  4. ok, this is a copy paste, but it is my own work and it is brief. i wrote it for a class on political islam a couple years back. martydom is especially meaningful for the shias. SHAHID—lit. witness, pl. shuhada; commonly used as martyr There is a general consensus among the various schools of thought in Islam that those who are killed in the service of God, whether that be on the battlefield or through some other means (e.g. those killed for their beliefs, killed while in a foreign land to escape persecution, die from sickness, etc.)--those who are the shuhada, or martyrs, will be rewarded with an afterlife of eternal bliss.1 The believers who give themselves in service to Allah have attained the ultimate purpose of their faith--they have submitted themselves fully and completely to the will of God. Central to the theme of martyrdom is one’s true intention (niyya). In the eyes of Allah, only the person who genuinely offers his or her life for the sake of God will be given the status of shahid in the afterlife. Those whose hearts had the wrong intention, for instance, those who went to battle for the sake of personal pride or for the potential of collecting the spoils of war, will not be counted among the shuhada, and indeed may even be sent to Hell. However, one’s true intentions can only be known to God, and so Muslims do not make this distinction of the apparent shahid upon death, as they don’t know what rests in the hearts of others.2 The True shahid can look forward in the Paradise to the company of the lovely-eyed maidens of an untouched beauty, delighting in food and drink and of the bountiful gardens therein, freed from any vanity or sin, finely dressed and rejoicing in what their Sustainer has given them, with knowledge that they have been saved from the scorching winds of Hell.3,4 The martyrdom of Imam Hussain on the plains of sorrow and misfortune at Karbala, Iraq in 680 CE serves as the most powerful symbol of shahid for the Shi’a Muslims.5 The tyrant Yazid had ascended the throne of the Umayyads, ushering in a period of grotesque injustice in the Dar al-Islam. Yazid sought the abdication of the Caliphate from Imam Hussain, believed by the Shi’a to be the Right and Just Imam of Islam. Realizing the unacceptable nature of Yazid’s rule, Hussain set out to the Iraqi city of Kufa to meet up with his supporters. He was interecepted along the way at Karbala, along with 72 of his family and followers, and was quarantined for a period of ten days without food or water for his people. On the tenth day, Ashura, the Umayyad forces indiscriminately and mercilessly slaughtered Hussain the grandson of the Holy Prophet and the majority of his small group. The Shi’as have remembered this tragedy every year since, through various rituals and speeches served to honor the sacrifice of Hussain. Over the years, due to the conditioning force of persecution by the worldly unjust powers that governed over them, the Shi’as employed the use of taqiyya (precautionary dissimulation), or denial of the Faith (Shi’ism) in order to preserve the Faith. This in turn led to a general “quietest passivism” among the masses and the scholars, a fatalistic attitude of helplessness during the time of absence of the Twelfth Imam, the True and only Rightful leader of their community. Events in the 19th and 20th centuries led to extreme hardship in the lands of the Shi’a, providing forces that necessitated a reevaluation of this quietest attitude. The modern Shi’a ulema, remembering back to the tragedy at Karbala, realized that in Hussain is the example of political activism so desperately needed to combat the morally corrupt westernizing forces of the Modern era. With this newly revived activism, the religious experience of the martyrdom of Hussain provided the necessary modus operandi for the implementation of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, thereby asserting Islam as a formidable and permanent force in the Modern world.6 Peace be upon Hussain and those who are the Holy of his Family.
  5. with all due respect, why would you think i am inferior? i went to school, i drive. maybe it's an outdated prelude, but big deal. and maybe i didn't get one of them fancy computer science degrees, but i got broadband. maybe not cable, but my 3mbps dsl is fast enough for chat and most streaming video. people need to lay off on the flaming. :o B)
  6. i don't want to hijack this thread, so i will just say real quickly that when a sunni says let's just all be muslim, it means let's be sunni and not say so. those same people will be bothered by the when we start talking about the sunnah of the ahl al-bayt (as) i agree with you. we should try to get along despite our differences. our house is burning and we are fighting about where to sit at the table.
  7. ^^^^welcome to shiachat, i see you are 18 minutes old. your profile says you are sunni, so you may or may not be aware of the historical plight of the shias. shias have endured centuries of persecution. because of this we are sometimes pre-occupied with the type of sunni a person is. there are 2 types of sunnis in the world: the oppressive type and the not-so-oppressive type. often the degree to which they are one type or the other depends on the veracity of their knowledge. thus, it is always nice to know what they 'know' about us.
  8. the only ones i'd like to have would be a viper or a vette, but they're too expensive. maybe a cobra and chllenger/charger as well. even then, i'd rather buy a bmw or a honda. suburu wrx and the sti are pretty cool. it is all about how the car handles physics.
  9. quick, run from the world. while i understand wikipedia is a work in progress and biases are inserted that should not be there, over time an article matures and becomes more and more neutral. wikipedia is here to stay, so instead of being afraid of it, i think it is more productive to embrace and recognize wikipedia for the amazing human achievement that it is. to dismiss it as propaganda is baseless and reactionary.
  10. no, your hands are tied without ijtihad. authentic ahadith teach us how to interpret and extrapolate from the quran etc. praying, fasting, wudhu, kindness, war, spously relations, all are elaborated in the hadith to show us the quran in action. getting rid of the hadith would be like getting rid of roadsigns. the road will still be there but you will be more likely take a wrong turn or you might br goinh too fast for the curve up ahead.
  11. is it haram to be friends with non-Muslims? they drink, they fornicate, they eat pork, they do not accept the prophethood of our phrophet (as), and yet i don't think it is haram to be friends with them or to eat lunch with them. i would say hate the sin and not the sinner. Allah's mercy and compassion precede his wrath. otoh, it can be hard for heterosexual men to be around 'flamers.' they exhibit feminine characteristics that are normally associated with women, and so it kind of messes with our subconscious.
  12. and they call us hateful. what's your reason for existence scott? go bother someone else with your venom, it won't work here.
  13. short and to the point, eh? that's called a line drive. i came across the quote in imam khomeni's (ra) Adabus Salat.
  14. you use chrome really? it makes me log-in every time i click to a new page in shiachat. i unchromed, maybe that's the problem, my cookies are enabled. incognito mode even, you got something to hide?
  15. The legacy of Rome rules the West.
  16. thank you for articulating all that. it took me far too long to find sayyid fadlullah. for many years i felt estranged from my culture (i am american convert) and that left an emptiness inside me as well as a resentment towards all the cultural muslims who dismiss my culture as 'kaffir.' at one point persian culture was kaffir too. i never considered leaving islam, but i was estranged from the muslims for a while because i felt like a hypocrite. thanks to fadlallah, i now listen to neil young and radiohead guilt free. and about the conservative/liberal question that someone else brought up. i disagree with the question, i don't think we can characterize the ahl al-bayt (as) as either conservative or liberal in terms of how we use them today. these are relative terms defined within the society we are living. given that, of course the Prophet was 'liberal,' he was very much against the status quo of his society. he brought human and women's rights, he brought arguments against oppression, he freed slaves, he gave hope to the downtrodden. that sounds liberal to me inside the society in which he was living. those who do not follow one of the more 'liberal' jurists often have an attitude that their islam is superior to our 'easier' islam. i thnk that argument is false, because as soul full of harmony said most of that 'conservativeness' is based on obligatory precaution. if the prophet (as) were here he wouldn't have the need to use obligatory precaution, he would tell us with certainty how it is. the reality is we do not know if he would be more akin to fadlallah or sistani. if it were that simple we wouldn't have marjas, or at least we would not have a choice of marjas.
  17. levant=lebanon area. not sure of the etymology of the word, could be ottoman, could be french colonial. old-school orientalists like to use the word. i am not an old-school orientalist (or new school for that matter), but the word is nice. i believe many lebanese feel their culture goes back to ancient phoenicia. 'arab' is one of those catch-all phrases of the modern world; there are many nations of people inside the word 'arab.' i think the problems in the muslim world stem from the militancy of modernity and secularism and the rapid pace with which these ideologies were forced onto society. napolean forward brought modernity with an awfully big stick. in the west, 'modernity' and 'secularism' were indigenous cultural developments. the printing press, liberal ideals and democratic mentalities developed in tandem to the ever-increasing power of the technological state. before the power of these modern states grew too extreme, many revolutions occurred in the west which has resulted in the 'checking' of that power. thus, modern 'democratic' states in the west. on the human side of this equation, civil society developed at pace alongside the power of the state. the cohesion that civil society brings toughens the social fabric of a nation making it resistant to the formation of a police-state. things did not happen this way in the rest of the world. some nations were able to make a smooth transition towards the adoption of the modern state (e.g. japan, not so smooth but their modern culture is distinctly japanese and they are not a police state), some nations have sorely lagged in this transition. egyptian society is quite traditional, so when the western colonial powers installed secular regimes, there became a big disconnect between the powers-that-be and the rest of society. all of a sudden you had european law code being enforced onto a people who had for centuries been living under the sharia law code. in addition to that, egyptian society was not used to ruling itself, the mamluks were not quite so indigenous and the ottomans definitely were not. so the idea that an ordinary person could wield politcal power (as is conceived in the modern democratic state) was at best an absurd notion. thus, the power of the egyptian state far out-paced the development of their civil society, resulting in what we have today, a police-state that has many characteristics of despotism (many argue today that the resurgent islam is the new backbone of egyptian civil society; organized islam there has the power to resist the state). more or less the same thing occurred in iraq, the power of the state out-paced the developement of society. iran, much the same sort of modernization occurred under reza shah (we might vehemently disagree with some of his policies, but i think it can be said that at least he had vision for uplifting his people, whereas his son simply sold his people out). the difference in iran was that the shah (muhammad reza) was unable to disrupt the naturally occurring associational networks within iranian society, like the bizaris and the ulema. so when the social realities in iran began to rot, there were non-state actors therer that were able to bring about an effective revolution. this sort of associational power did not and still does not exist in iraq. they had no chance against saddam. post ww1 turkey benefited from one, a strong and capable charismatic leader Ata Turk, and two, from the remnants of the ottoman ruling establishment. indigenous bureaucracies were already in place and so regular joes did not feel like they were being ruled from without, because they simply weren't. ottoman society had already been modernizing for a century or more, ata turk provided a powerful vision for the new turkey, and so a militant secularism developed and most of the people there backed it up. we can say turkey is democratic, but only if you follow by the rules. ata turk 'successfully' marginalized islam in that country and he was able to eject the imperialists in a post ww1 turkey that prior to his rising had already been portioned out to the victors of the war. turkey was very much a surprise child. they have remained staunchly secular all this time, though as we know islam never fully disappeared there and is slowly making a comeback in the political sense. saudi arabia is a study all its own. that society has never tried to become secular. there has always been the agreement made by ibn saud and muhammad ibn abdul wahab back in the 18th c. the sauds get the riches (it wasn['t always so rich, the hijaz used to be the purse of the state), the wahabbis get the people. therein legitmacy is established. the modernization of that society has occurred, but only at a measured pace and often in conflict with the ulema and definitely not in any democratic sense, although the non-royal elites have formed societies and have pushed for reform. the gulf states were intimate societies prior to the 20th c with long established tribal agreements. with the discovery of oil, gulf state nationals have no financial worries and so there is not a huge social pressue to overthrow the royals. but even there like in kuwait they have a national congress. its power is probably debatable. the interesting thing in the gulf is that there are huge numbers of expats from especially the sub-continent who do not have citizen status. how long before their generations demand equality? when you really look at the 'arab' middle-east, pan-arabism has never really been viable. no one has yet articulated how exactly the 'arabs' are one nation. they simply aren't, not in the secular humanistic sense. a 'pan-islamism' would have more meat in the ideology, but even then it is not like 'islam' is one. there are too many different hues in islam hindering the unification of the mythic ummah. throw into the mix the imperialists, oil and israel and it is all messed up. and so we wait.
  18. the king derives his legitimacy from the wahabbi establishment. the road to reforming his society starts by reforming the ulema. which is ironic if you consider that the wahabbis view themselves as reformers.
  19. salam alaikum, example of an elegant spoiler code example of what happens when i use spoiler tags [insert special item] in shiachat: Does this show up or not? having the ability to use the hide/show box sure comes in handy when posting long quotes from sources or maybe long articles that are part of the discussion but are not part of the members' comments. it's merely a clutter reducing feature, but convenient all the same. in this forum's software, that black bar will show up for each line of text, so it is not real practical except as a genuine hiding of the spoiler. i suppose it has to do with versions of the software. the show/hide box i think would be used quite on a bit on this site, so maybe somehting to think about on the next software upgrade. thanks. everything else seems to work good.
  20. excerpt from a new york times magazine article: i am completely unfamiliar with theories on the source of the qur'an throughout islamic history. it hardly seems like soroush could b ethe first muslim with such an opinion. the way i understand it, from soroush's point of view, muhammad (as) receives the energy of the revelation, and then he puts it into the arabic language in a verse that regular men and women can understand. wasn't there a debate like early in the islamic history? like the qadarites or something. most of you probably have a better picture of this history on this, what are your takes? according to the article, this was Ayatollah Khamenei's response:
  21. these two statements form the wiki arcticle seem to contradict each other, one statement said al-dalal was contemporary of Muhammad (as), and the other says the was contemporary of caliph Sulayman. Suleiman ibn Abd al-Malik was an umayyid caliph in around 96AH. if al-dalal was contemporary with Suleiman, he would have at most been an infant in the time of our Prophet (as). anyone know of any shia hadiths about this incident?
  22. if he was perfectly normal, why would he want a sex change? the Mukhannathun (the effeminate ones) were a presence in the arabia of our very own prophet (as). some men just aren't 'men' (in the typical social construct of masculinity) and some women just aren't women (same, mutatis mutandis). here is a fascinating article from wikipedia:
  23. salam alaikum i started reading this today, it is really good and given your wahabbi background you should find it useful. the mother site, answering-ansar.org is well regarded by many on this site. this book has an excellent account of the activities that went on after the death of the holy prophet (as). remember that truth needs no lie to support its case.
  24. with all due respect brother, they all say that if there is no possibility of haram then it is ok. if there is a fear of haram, then sistani and fadlallah say the relationship is haram. it sounds like khoei (ra) says it is ok as long they are not in a place inaccessible by others. that sounds fishy, maybe it is a problem with the translation.
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