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In the Name of God بسم الله


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About WisdomSeeker

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  1. Salam, Dear mods, this retreat is to take place in New Zealand inshallah, but I want it to gain awareness among the international community. I would have liked to have posted it under the local forum as well but as we aren't supposed to cross post, I've kept it here only. Please feel free to move it if you think it would be more appropriate there. Jazakallahu khayran
  2. The Imam Ali Knowledge Foundation (IAKF) is pleased to present its second "Journey in Noor" spiritual retreat in Auckland, New Zealand to be held on December 21-28, 2014. We continue our tradition of enlightening your hearts and enriching your lives through our unique multidimensional and internationally participated retreat "Journey in Noor 2014" . Top renowned scholars will bring you the treasures of the Quran and the knowledge of the Ahlul Bayt a.s. Gaining knowledge and contemplation are the two most emphasised acts of worship in Islam. Some of the planned topics include Islamic Logic (Mantiq), Life after Death in the Quran, the Human in Islamic Mysticism, and Vices of the Soul from the 40 Ahadith of Imam Khomeini (ra). To register or for more information, visit our website: http://iakf.org.nz/retreat2014 The retreat is open to international participants.
  3. ***Please share this with all who may be interested*** The above text for those who can't read what is in the image: The upcoming auspicious months of Rajab, Shaban & Ramadhan (RSR) are granted to us by Allah (s.w.t.) to rapidly strengthen ourselves spiritually, mentally and physically. The aim of RSR2011 is to provide you with a specially designed program to be followed during 12 weeks of Rajab, Shaban, and Ramadhan. The program is compiled from the works of some of our greatest contemporary scholars. It involves learning knowledge passed onto us by the AhlulBayt (a.s.), improving behavioural traits, avoiding sins, and following practical tips and/or a'maal. Each week you are provided with the relevant information by email, which is specialized for your own, particular level. There are three levels in the RSR2011 Program: Star (beginner), Moon (intermediate) and Sun (advanced) . It does not matter at what level you start. The primary goal at every level is to elevate ourselves in order to obtain closeness to Allah during the special period of RSR. The program is open to interested individuals living anywhere in the world. Participants must be at least twelve years old. There is no age limit. DO NOT MISS OUT ON THIS UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO ELEVATE YOURSELF! GET READY FOR AN EXPERIENCE TO REMEMBER. REGISTER NOW AT: www.imamali.org.nz The only cost is a sincere intention. HELP US SPREAD THE WORD. PLEASE SHARE THIS INVITATION WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY. Experience a better Ramadhan by starting your journey in Rajab with RSR. The program begins Saturday June 4th, 2011.
  4. What would I change my opinion about? By the way, I noticed a small error in the original image, so here is a new one. I can't seem to edit my original to just put the new image there.
  5. (bismillah) (salam) You have almost undoubtedly been advised at some point in your life to follow a certain food guide to eat healthy. Probably, this food guide says to eat X servings of grains, Y servings of dairy, Z servings of meat/alternatives, etc. in a day. This is supposedly supposed to be how you ensure you are meeting all your body's nutritional needs. It's bothered me for some time how this advice seems counter to the advice of the Ahlul Bayt. We hear for instance that Imam Ali (as) would eat 2 pieces of barley bread in a day (one in the morning and one in the evening) and unless I'm mistaken, that he occasionally drank milk instead. Imam Ali says, ‘Hunger and disease cannot coexist.’ [Mustadrak al-Wasail, v. 16, p. 222, no. 19652] So what's up with this? Did the Ahlul Bayt not understand the keys to nutrition? Or is the conventional nutritional wisdom flawed? Alhamdullilah, I recently stumbled across an old health book written almost a century ago by a man named Dr. Rasmus Larssen Alsaker. The man was a doctor and a specialist in nutrition at his time. The book is called Maintaining Health and available for free here: http://www.enotalone.com/article/12923.html. You can find the book in many other formats with a little googling. Another book by the same author is called Eating for Health and is also available for free online. Anyway, I started reading these books and was amazed to find how well the views expressed in them synchronized with Islamic teachings. The author goes into a lot of detail on what to eat, how to eat, how to combine foods, etc. The basic premise is that if you want to be healthy, you don't need to eat very much. You just need to make sure that you eat wholesome foods and digest them properly. Ordinary foods contain lots of nutrients but because we prepare them poorly, eat too many things in one meal, and don't eat properly ao we don't get the optimal nutrients from our food. Instead we overeat and cause ourselves health problems in the long run. What was a major plus for me of this book was that the diets of the Imams would be considered to be healthy choices according to the advice given. In fact, Alsaker writes, "Whole wheat bread and milk contain all the nourishment needed. On such a diet we can thrive indefinitely." I presume the same would go for barley bread. Note though, that you can still follow the food guide without going as austere as that. It is possible to eat 3 meals/day on this plan and still be moderate. If you are interested further, I recommend reading one of the above books. You don't have to agree with everything in it, but I feel that the nutritional advice given is very sound. For those who don't want to read the book, and even for those who do, I felt inspired to make a food guide summary based on what the books say. It is the image below. Let me know if you suggest any changes.
  6. Ordinarily, I'm pretty sure that having a regular dental cleaning or filling is not a problem for your fast because you are not required to ingest anything. However, for dental surgery I'm not so sure because it will probably involve either local anesthetics or drugs to put you to sleep during the process. I don't know if the ruling would be different for these two cases either.
  7. (bismillah) Many people are put into this position, especially women. I am curious about 2 things: 1) At what percent the split occurs between people who are willing to move and those who would not. 2) Whether there is a gender difference in willingness to relocate. What would you do? Feel free to discuss why you feel the way you do or any nuances in your position.
  8. Jazakallah. Thanks for sorting through so many old topics to see if they should belong to this subforum. I think this section will be a great new addition to ShiaChat!
  9. Some people are fat. Some people are skinny. Some people are tall. Some people are short. Some people are hairy. Some people have almost no hair. These are natural human variations and what society appreciates varies from time to time and place to place. Just be glad that your particular feature is relatively easy to bring in line with societal standards of beauty. I bet you could think of many traits (warts, moles, acne just to name a few) that are far harder to change! Many of us have no choice but to simply live with how we look and trust that we could not have designed ourselves better than Allah has.
  10. Smoke rising from the west? I'm not familiar with that sign. I thought it was "sun rising from the west" . . .
  11. (salam) As far as I know, at present there is no TMA at McGill (I think there was one in the past). However, Concordia University just started one up this year (they actually just changed over the name of their previous Shia club, SAMA, to TMA Concordia). If you go to McGill, you should be able to easily walk over to Concordia's events. As you mentioned, McGill does have an MSA if you`re interested in participating in events with the Muslim community at large that are not specifically sect-oriented.
  12. (bismillah) The way society talks about intelligence assumes it is something fixed. Questions like "what's your IQ?" assume that intelligence can be quantified and that people can be ranked as having more or less intelligence. In fact, most psychologists today accept that IQ is not a valid concept since it is associated with a host of problems (note intelligence tests were not initially meant to rank people on supposed innate potential as they later came to be used). I prefer to think of intelligence as something flexible that is ever changing. Instead of "How intelligent am I?" a more appropriate question may be "How intelligent were my thoughts/behaviour just now?" Human thinking is too complex to be reduced to a single concept. Intelligence is really a combination of many separate abilities and isn't even defined the same way by all cultures.
  13. Okay, I read through all the posts that Apostate_111 made in this thread and from what I can gather, I do not think the problem you have now is really with regard to how God perceives time or whether God willed you to be an atheist. Rather I think the crux of where your understanding differs with that of the Muslim rests in what you perceive to be the causes of human behaviour It seems to me that you view human behaviour as being 100% caused by a combination of genetics + environmental influence. If two genetically-identical people and were raised identically, would they necessarily behave in the exact same way when faced with an identical set of choices? If I have correctly understood your position, then you would answer yes. Since God was responsible for creating our genetics and responsible for creating our life circumstances (in your understanding of Islam) then God must by extention be responsible for the choices we make. In fact, this issue precisely has been one of the critiques of modern scientific psychology, that it is overly deterministic in attributng causes to behaviour. Anthropology on the other hand has paid more attention to the role of what it terms "human agency." In fact, I doubt that most psychologists would deny that there is a role for human agency either. However, psychology being a scientific discipline has tended to focus upon the dichotomy between the roles of genes and the environment, perhaps because they are better suited to study using the scientific method. My argument then is that the effects of genes and the environment are only as "correlates" with different behaviours. I believe people still play a role in making decisions beyond what is determined by those two and can further come to shape their environment through these choices and thereby have a further effect on their behaviour. In other words, my answer to the question about the identical individuals would be no. I'm not sure whether there is a good philosophical proof either for or against human agency independent of genes and the environment. With the perspective I present though, the "contradiction in Islamic theology" disappears. One final point, since Muslims believe in the justice of Allah, I think it is only rational to say that Allah would only hold us accountable for the choices we make that are not completely determined by biology + the environment. It is precisely His omniscience about the extent of our control over our decisions that would allow Him to do so.
  14. Why do you say that prophets get special protection from jinn?. We know from verses like the one below that certain Prophets were killed by their people. If human Prophets can be killed by humans why shouldn't jinn Prophets (if there are any) be able to be killed by jinns? 2:87 æáÞÏ ÇÊíäÇ ãæÓì ÇáßÊÇÈ æÞÝíäÇ ãä ÈÚÏå ÈÇáÑÓá æÇÊíäÇ ÚíÓì ÇÈä ãÑíã ÇáÈíäÇÊ æÇíÏäÇå ÈÑæÍ ÇáÞÏÓ ÇÝßáãÇ ÌÇÁßã ÑÓæá ÈãÇ áÇÊåæì ÇäÝÓßã ÇÓÊßÈÑÊã ÝÝÑíÞÇ ßÐÈÊã æÝÑíÞÇ ÊÞÊáæä Shakir: [2:087] And most certainly We gave Musa the Book and We sent apostles after him one after another; and We gave Isa, the son of Marium, clear arguments and strengthened him with the holy spirit, What! whenever then an apostle came to you with that which your souls did not desire, you were insolent so you called some liars and some you slew. Anyway, I thought I remember hearing/reading that the last jinn Prophet was killed before Adam (as) and then Allah stopped sending jinn Prophets because no jinn were left who met the criteria but I could be mistaken and I can't remember where I heard/read that.
  15. So you've laid out two possibilities: 1) An act is evil because God does not condone it 2) God does not condone it because it is evil Here's my answer: 1) I don't agree with the first option becuause I don't believe that God is unwise to do things pointlessly. If He were Wise then He wouldn't arbitrarily make some stuff good and some evil; there would be a reason for doing so. 2) Thus I would agree choose the second option. God does not condone the act because it is evil. However, this does not mean we do not need God for morals. You see, since God created all that is in the universe and is Omniscient, He has a perfect understanding of how things interact. He knows what things will interact in positive ways to be beneficial in the long run and those interactions which will be negative in the long run. Since humankind is not omniscient, we do not intuitively know all benefits and all that is harmful since it is possible that something may seem good but actually be harmful or something may seem bad but actually be beneficial. Based on His knowledge of these interactions then, God prescribed some deeds as good for performance by humankind and some things as bad when performed by humankind. Problem solved?
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