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In the Name of God بسم الله


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    Ithna Ashari (Usooli)

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Al-Asr's Achievements


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  1. It's been more than a year's delay since the winners were supposed to be announced, but they have finally been announced. Apparently they wanted to time the announcement with the publication of a book of past essay winners, yet the book took much longer to complete than expected. Thank you all for participating.
  2. Salaam all, It appears that there's a new Online English-language Islamic Encyclopedia being launched from Qom, and they're seeking volunteers to help with translating, editing, etc. I just got the e-mail myself so I don't know much about it. This is a link to their google docs page for more info: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2kk9OoFuzr9Uk1IcFZsdVR2czA/edit Wasalaam.
  3. We should still be accepting submissions. Please submit your essays ASAP.
  4. The salad that has been discussed is Salad Olivier, as it was created (or at least popularized) by chef Lucien Olivier. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salad_Olivier As for the difference between Jam and Jelly (in American English, anyway), Jam contains fruit pieces, whereas Jelly does not (although it is still extracted from fruit).
  5. Firstly, I am not a lawyer. If we ignore any Islamic issues with the music and just focus on the pirating issue, I don't think there are any legal problems with this (though it may depend on where you live and local laws), so in this case, I think it would morally sound as well. This is because it should fall under fair use if you're using only a small portion of the copyrighted material and moreover, the purpose is educational in nature (it's for school). See: http://copyright.gov/circs/circ21.pdf
  6. So there is some confusion over this, and I know some people that inquired. First of all, it's not based on something from the late Sayed Khoei's office or representatives. It's only based on his fatwa as applied to North and South America. Moreover, this view isn't unanimous as some other shia groups in Orange County (such as IMAM, which unofficially represents Sayed Sistani and also Sayed Khoei on some matters) are saying that the sighting in Chile is either unreliable or others not sufficient based on Khoei's fatwas on the matter of moon sightings. I don't live in Orange County, so I am fasting today, but I know many shi'a who do live there and they seem to be split; some are fasting today and some aren't. As for following what IECOC issued, you should only do so if you have itminan that they are right based on your own marja (or if you have an educated reason to use different moon sighting criteria than those used by your marja, and your marja allows selectively following different marjas on certain issues with good reason). Were I to live in Orange County, I'm pretty sure I would be fasting today regardless (at least based on the research I've done). I hope that helps clarify things at least a little bit.
  7. I received this e-mail which also references the sighting in Chile.
  8. There are lots of things that are widely recommended, seemingly for everyone (either in religion, general society, etc.) However, I think marriage isn't for everyone; it may be the best option for 90% of us, perhaps as many as (or even more than) 99% of us, but I don't think it's for everyone. Lots of people say they're not really interested in marriage and never plan on getting married (or in case of non-religious people, they say they're never interested in any romantic partners) in their 20s, or even in their 30s, but by the time an otherwise very mature and stable person says they feel this way even in their 40s, they probably just don't desire this companionship or have the same sexual urges that most of the population does, nor do they have an interest in starting a family. Sometimes this could be due to an intense fear of marriage, commitment, or even being intimate with someone; these fears or anxieties can come from abuse at an early age. But other times, there's nothing scary in the person's past at all, they just feel comfortable and fulfilled as they are. Among other things, marriage should be a way of bringing us closer to Allah (swt) and strengthening us in our faith. For a small minority of us, it may not be an essential step in getting closer to Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì. If I'm wrong about this, and marriage is really a 100% recommendation, let me know.
  9. If I recall correctly, this isn't exactly true. For example, I believe people in a mutah marriage do not inherit from one another, even if one dies while still in the marriage. I also believe that there is no divorce for mutah (but a near analogue is that you can "gift back time" or something like that). Moreover, the length of the waiting period differs between permanent and temporary marriage.
  10. I'm sure what Ya Aba 3abdillah wrote was a heartfelt compliment and there was no sarcasm in what he said. Although I don't want to put words in his mouth and he can clarify himself, I imagine he was touched by your story or otherwise proud of you. You communicated your personal story very well and although unfortunate events befell you, you showed a true commitment to your faith, Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì, Allah's Prophet (pbuh), and the ahlulbayt (as). You were introduced to the truth, and you held onto that truth even when the person who introduced you to that truth acted in a way that you may have perceived as a betrayal (which is quite possibly what it may have been, especially if he misled you and didn't ensure that you understood the nature of your marriage). Your story was inspiring for me as well, and although I do not have any concrete advice to give you, as I have little, if any, experience with such matters (i.e. living with a spouse who doesn't believe what you believe, and being hurt by someone in the past in the way that you were), I wish you all the best, and insha'Allah you will be in my duas.
  11. (wasalam) It's actually from The Godfather Part II. Misattributions to both Sun Tzu and Nicollo Machiavelli exist, but no published source predates that film (to my knowledge).
  12. Al-Asr! I can see the winners but what about their essays?!

  13. Regarding music on television and in films, we have the following from Ayatollah Sistani's website:
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