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In the Name of God بسم الله


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Everything posted by mohammad_mahdi

  1. Ali.20, to start off with, don't feel bad in admitting you don't have enough information and conviction in believing Allah, it is much better to realise that then to continue to pray/fast/recite dua when you don't know what the heck ur doing. I have complete respect for the suggestions that others have given you so far in regards to more prayers/duas to feel like you're a better Muslim, but you should be a muslim, and you can only be a true muslim, when you Logically accept Islam's principles. Sister Rose.garden sent some lovely websites your way, but to speak to you like a chap who was at your stage when i was 18, let me very briefly explain the stages before i went through before i reverted to Islam 1) first, make a pledge to yourself that you want to follow the truth, wherever the truth may take you. Accept that in the search for the truth you may end up being an athiest, or a christian or a jew or a bhuddist or a muslim. Only when you have this mentality will your rational mind accept the research you're about to undertake, and oh boy will it be a good deal of research. I can't off the top of my head tell you which resources to look into, but i will mention stages i went through after i accepted to follow the truth when i found it..... 2) i started research into theology. The whole concept of, is there a Creator of this world. It involved looking at the natural world, the cosmos, understanding how things work in it, and whether it could have come into being just by itself. was this all just a big coincidence, or is there intelligent design after all? 3) after that it's about looking into athiest's debates about why the world is the way it is, the concept of evil.. etc. when it came to trying to understand an athiest's viewpoint of the world, i can summarise it like thus: they state that everything in existence is a product of chance. thus according to them, human logic must be a product of chance, and that can't be right, otherwise it means we're all actually crazy. of course there are many other ways i refuted athiest's claims to the lack of proof for God's existence, but i find that realisation the strongest way to tell where the truth lies. 4) looking into world religions is the next step. forget about the small print in the beginning and concentrate on the main core theme of each major world religion. does that core theme agree with logic? A religion i accept must give me answers to the 4 main questions every human being asks: the metaphysical question (is there a God?), the cosmological question (how did this universe/physical world come about) the personal question (what is my purpose?) and the ethical question (how do i interact with people/things around me?). To learn about these in more detail i highly reccomend searching youtube lectures for english speaker sayyed ammar nakshawani Christianity tells me that believing in God in 1 of 3 is a matter of faith, but i don't believe in blind faith when it comes to the core principles of believing religion. Bhuddism states that i have a lot of moral obligations which are good principles, but what about the answers to my questions in regards to metaphysical/cosmological? Research into Islam opened a world of knowledge for me which i never knew was there, even though i was born a muslim! i just never actively looked for it before.. 5) After i reached a conclusion that Islam was giving me an answer to all my questions, i needed to know, who were the men and women who truly taught and implemented Islam in their own lives. Ahlul Bait (as) were the embodiment of human virtue. There is a saying: your words will tell others what you think, your actions will tell others what you believe. The Prophet of Islam and his household (as)'s actions spoke volumes, and it was enough for me to realise this was the truth i was looking for all a long. If you reach to a conclusion that Islam is the truth you are looking for, then and only then, does the true taste of worship, be it prayer, dua, or any other act that Islam teaches, will be felt. From personal experience, it will truly feel as they say, sweeter than sleep is to the drowsy, or than water is to the thirsty And Allah (SWT) knows best
  2. The topic of God's mercy/love is always an interesting debate point between creationists and agnostics. That said, i have a huge respect for agnostics, who have their right to challenge the existence of God, and do so to gain a better understanding, and accept a truth once they are convinced with logical reasoning, and not just debating to prove their viewpoint is correct while others are wrong. I feel, the shortcomings are from the side of us, the Creationists, because we have not found a clear and decisive way to articulate our beliefs. What i will try to do now, is put forward the fundamentals of life on earth, which could be understood on the most basic level of reflection. 1) As for the concept of suffering/disease/death due to natural phenomena, this world was not meant to be a perfect utopia, where every event causes no harm to the physical environment.this world is governed by a set of physical laws. the sun is meant to be a star that emits heat, that's just what it does. if someone finds themselves in the sahara and dies of heat stroke, you can't blame the sun for doing it's job. tectonic plates are meant to slide over one another and this can result in earthquakes, that is how the earth continues remodelling and that is what's sustaining life on earth. people dying in earthquake struck areas is unfortunate, but the earth doesn't pay attention as to who's on it's surface to decide which is a population free zone in order to conduct tectonic shifting, that doesn't make any sense to the rational mind. 2) As for the concept of people getting hurt by other people's actions: i'm surprised kingpomba when you used the example of why God would let a woman being get raped as a sign of negligence from God, i expected you to have answered this question for yourself a long time ago. For the crimes of rape/murder by ted bundy, will you ever find someone take the american government to court for his crimes? because someone can argue, and say the american government gave ted bundy the freedom to live in society and move around. if they kept him and everyone else locked in their homes, then serial murders would not be committed. that case would be as weak as tony blair's so called scathing dossier on weapons of mass desctruction in iraq. Just like a country's government gives it's citizens set freedoms, they expect those very citizens to act responsibly with aforementioned freedoms, and should a person breach the law, they will be punished accordingly in a court of law. the only difference in God's system, is that punishment is usually reserved for the afterlife. Furthermore, if God intervened and stopped people from doing certain actions, how can He reward someone or punish someone else in the afterlife? the whole idea of accountability for our actions would be thrown out the window if God interfered. 3) The amount of back and forth debating about the role of bacteria/viruses in the world, i found a little hillarious. to the point that haemogluttinin was discussed in detail! can i humbly say something, as a medical doctor. guys, it's really simple, bacteria are needed in the world to run the way it is, from contributing to the nitrogen presence in the atmosphere, to providing commensal protection in our guts. some bacteria cause disease, yes. All viruses can cause disease and don't seem to have any other tangible benefit, yes again. Back to the original point, this world was not meant to be a perfect utopia. I'll expand on this concept on point 5. 4) The concept of why children (which Islam states are sinless) would get diseases such as leukemia: again you're going back to the point 1, which is the physical world is governed by a set of physical laws. yes that 9 year old girl with acute lymphoblastic leukemia didn't chain smoke or drink herself to oblivion, but the human body is subject to disease and infection, usually by a dual effect of environmental triggors (eg radiation consumed in food by a pregnant mother living near Chernobyl and passing to her unborn baby) and genetically susceptible individual (the genetics of which we're just starting to understand in science). A virus doesn't look into the back pocket of a teenager to find their age on their driver's license to be 16, and then go 'oops this chappie's too young for me to infect'. No rational scientific mind today would accept such an idea of filtering of disease. The creationist's argument is if God wanted to create the human with perfect genetics and an impregnable immune system, where everyone lives completely healthy lives to 100 and then die peacefully in their sleep, He could have done so. This is not the human being's purpose in this world. again this is a concept i will expand on point 5 5) if God is merciful why would He create evil at all: first of all, i love this point. because it shows, even an atheist, who has no belief in God, can agree with Creationists that God has to be ALL good! He can't be half good or three quarters good... it's amazing, to see that the fitrah (i.e. in built belief system) is similar in each and every human being. This is where i will have to delve in philosophy a little deeper, but please bear with me, because this is where you will realise i am the yet-to-be-discovered cure for intractable insomnia... For a moment, let's forget that i am a Muslim, or that i follow any faith. Let's pretend i'm just a human being suspended in space, and i think to myself, why did God not take my permission to create me? i was once nothing, and now He put me in this world of difficulty and i am burdened, and He did not ask my permission to create me. It goes back to the point, i was once nothing, so how can He take permission from me before i existed?? the question being asked here is wrong. Let's say i accept that He could not have taken my permission when i was nothing, but i'll still ask, why did He create me to begin with? The answer is, existence in itself, is so good for me, there is no need for me to be asked by Him to create me. I think back to my first day in school, with my dad, dressed smartly in his milatary garb, with 5 yr old mohammad (me) holding onto his khaki trousers like my little life depended on it, bawling my eyes out, begging him not to let me go to school. He didn't feel the need to explain in much detail why i needed to go to school, because he knew it was good for me (plus if i left any more wet snot on his pants his mates would have thought he treated waist deep through the amazon river). 21 years later now, and living a comfortable life in the profession i am practising, i see the wisdom behind my dad's decision all those years ago. Right now in this world, we don't see all the wisdom behind God's plans for us, though one day, the Theist's belief dictates, it will make sense. My brother and sister athiests and agnostics, please let me humbly make a statement i believe, as bold as it may sound, but my understanding is, when you see the negative in the world, and you see your existence as a trivial stellar accident, you still see your lives as important. When you demand good, it is your right to demand good, and when you are disgusted with the evils, it is your right to be disgusted with the evils. You SHOULD be disgusted with the evils, let is anger you. But the anger should be brought into the right direction, not in the wrong direction. the anger shouldn't be brought into the One who brought the good in this world, and this is where the problem lies... you know what i feel animates me? when i look at the news, and hear about children being raped, it disgusts me. women being raped, people buried in mass graves in the dark of the night with no justice sought for them, it's disgusting. It's so difficult to be positive, isn't it? There is so much evil around us... but you see, things start to make more sense, when we use terminology correctly. And the terminology i want to use correctly here is the word: EVIL All the negativity starts to fall when the evil is termed incorrectly, and this is where the explanations for the first points on my reply fall into place. In my humble opinion, evil is the wilful rejection of good. Meaning, when i have free will, i can choose to do good, and i can choose to reject good, which brings about evil. my wilful rejection of promoting good, leads me to evil, ANY other event is not evil. For example, a mother carries her newborn in her arms, suddenly gets a tonic-clonic seizure and falls to the ground. the newborn as well falls and due to the impact on it's frail body, dies. Now, no one can blame the mother of committing evil, because there is no WILFUL rejection of good, it is an accident, there is no evil in it. This is different to when someone wilfully rejects good and shoots an innocent person. Thus when you take the notion of free will out, evil doesn't exist. Therefore a natural disaster like a tsunami, or an opportunistic infection or disease in a child, there is no notion of evil for there is no question of choice there, it is an matter of a physical reality taking place. So all of this discussion begs the question, what is the purpose of our existence? Everyone on this thread, who are either my brothers and sisters in faith, or my equals in humanity, delving into this question is where the beauty of life, and indeed existence, is truly comprehended. It is also a lengthy discussion, but one i wouldn't mind touching upon with my little knowledge, if there is interest expression in me doing so. May these topics expand our understanding of the world we live in, and most importantly, create harmony between people regardless of creed or culture.
  3. Masha Allah Ali Musaa, very nicely put, you put a logical argument forward and with a 1-line hadith put the whole idea of dua without work into perspective. Also it is important to keep in mind that that which we ask for may not genuinely benefit it. we don't know that, but Allah (SWT) in His Infinite Knoeledge and Mercy, knows it and protects us from it. Also, let's say for example some of the things we do ask for, would actually benefit us in this world, but Allah (SWT) wants to hold on to it in this world, and give us a much better version of that which we asked for in the next world. It is said in a hadith, when Allah (SWT) shows His obedient servant the reward He has saved for them for not giving them what they asked for in this world, that servant will call out 'O Allah if i knew this is what you were saving for me, i wish You did not grant any of my wishes on the earth and instead saved it for me in Heaven!' Every situation we go through in life, we have to remember that Allah (SWT) is displaying His Infinite Mercy in it, because surely, if He is testing us (and is this life nothing but a trial?), is it not beautiful that Allah has remembered the sinful worthless slave such as me, and has granted me the honour of testing me? This is the attitude with which life's true sweetness is always tasted. Insha Allah myself and others remember that in our lives And Allah (SWT) knows best
  4. Salam Belle.muslima, and yes, i guess you can say in a way i graduated from the Islamic Hawza Seminary of Youtube :P there is a wealth of english/non english speakers over there, and even when work doesn't permit me from reading much, there at times you can benefit from a whole book through a single hour's lecture. My knowledge is but a drop in the sea compared to the knowledge of some of the men and women on these forums, and compared to scholars my knowledge isn't even a drop in the ocean (or a single fat cell from the belly of homer simpson, comparison for dramatical effect) I myself am pretty new to this site, but i paid particular attention to your posts belle.muslima, because you remind me of a younger me. Even though i was alhamduli Allah born into a family who love the Prophet and his Household (as), and a sayyid family at that, i did not take the initiative to delve deeply into the (sometimes murky) waters of theology and religion until the age of 18, when i moved to the land of small men in green coats drinking the black stuff (no not boston, but dublin), and my outlook on life and everything i thought that mattered turned 180 degrees. I consider myself as much a revert as many people on this site, because as The Commander of the faithfuls Imam Ali (as) so eloquently put it, our enemies are not the Jews and the Christians but it is our own ignorance. 2 pieces of advice, if a person with as much little knowledge of anything can give advice, i would like to humbly give to you. It is in relation to when i went through the stage you currently find yourself in. First of all, while you find yourself on this journey of spiritual (and indeed physical) purification, be cautious of people in your old life who still adopt negative influences on your life. When i was making the change, i slowly yet surely cut ties to gatherings and conversations that had nothing to do with increasing one's morals or knowledge. this inevitably caused the drift between myself and old friends, but this was fine, because i replaced those old friends with (and this is the key point i'm trying to make) NEW friends, like minded (not necessarily agreeable to all my thoughts, but like minded in their pursuit for perfection) and having a good influence on me. I found 1 new quality friend was worth a dozen of the old so called friends i had in the past, who really were friends with benefits (not in the way people use that term nowadays of course, but i mean they mainly found how they could gain for themselves from my friendship). So put yourself out there in the community, find 2 or 3 genuine friends who will be a wealth of information for the questions that no doubt engulf your mind every day, and live that sense of social harmony islam was sent in the first place to implement. Also you're pretty lucky to be in sydney, there's about 12 centers dedicated to the school of thought of Ahlul Bait! there's a single Hussainiyyah here in brissy, but to be honest even this simple modest building, between it's 4 cinderblock walls, Allah (SWT) is being remmebered and yearned for with such a fevour. (that said i'm still gonna celebrate 15th Sa'ban this week in a mosque in sydney!) The second point, is if you've implemented a change in your lifestyle thus far, and have yet to find true conviction as to why you implemented it, then focus first of finding that conviction. That's what i did for myself, and in all honesty, it only took the minimum amount of research, coupled with (key points) reflection and contemplation (don't get me started on contemplation, i'd make this post look like a Tweet in comparison) to start following an Islamic principle with the utmost of serenity in heart. I can go on and on, but i don't want people to find out why i am the yet-to-be discovered cure for intractable insomnia. If you have any further questions that i can be of help with, by all means send them my way (on these posts i'm not entirely sure how it works to send questions to other people directly, but you start a new topic and i'll try and keep an eye out). And Allah knows best, and when He said He created us to worship Him, it takes the briefest of reflections to realise by that He meant He created us to Love us and for us to love Him
  5. Hair loss is always a hot topic among people (guys). i'll try to give a bit of a perspective with my medical background and some personal experience. First of all, ask from Allah (SWT) what you want, if keeping hair is good for you spiritually and you have pure intentions for keeping you hair (ie you don't want your face/hair splashed on the next 'Men's health' magazine with your ripped abs on display for the world to see), then Insha Allah He will keep it for you. All the other practical things: having good iron/vitamin levels is good for general health is recommended. Does it help terribly with keeping you hair? perhaps not. Hair foams like minoxodel don't really work Do not try any 'home grown' therapies which have not been tested in laboratories, even if the person swears to you by them. for all you know once you try them your hair can fall in such a way that homer simpson will look like elvis compared to you. Hair loss is mainly due to excess breakdown products of testetosterone, mainly dyhydrotestosterone. medications like finasteride (common generic name of PROSCAR) is used for prostate cancer in 5mg doses, and for hair loss at 1 mg doses. I had some hair loss for a while and tried it, and although i used it for a short period (these medicines are advocated for use for years) i didn't feel the need to continue, i started to become comfortable with the way my hair looked, and then it became all good. Needless to say Proscar slows down hair loss, it doesn't help you grow your hair back. the only definitive treatment is hair implant, and a good friend of mine is in Los Angeles as we speak and had a hair transplant in beverly hills. it's expensive, you have your head shaven, and the new hairs fall after 4 weeks and will take up to a year to get the full effect of the transplant. that said, transplants do work... but is it worth it? At the end of the day, everything in life depends on your outlook. if you think your hair looks good the way it is, then you'll start enjoying life, instead of looking at every guy on the street and cursing them under your breath thinking you deserve that hair. the same concept applies to everything in life (wealth, who we end up marrying, our jobs etc), if we work hard for what we get in life, regardless of what we receive, we should be content. That we did two things, 1)strive for things and 2) Tawakkul on Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì, should make someone feel content with what they get. Also think of the worst case scenario, you became bald, what would that be like? i went through that after my head shaved after Hajj, and you know what, it felt kinda nice. Also i like the brother's advice of getting married before you lose it all : P In the sayings of The Commander of the Faithful in Nahjul Balagha, Contentment is the capital which will never diminish And Allah knows best
  6. One of the Prophet's most famous Hadiths, "khairul umoori awsatuha". "The best of matters (to choose) is that which is in the middle". Ie there is no place for extremist beliefs or behaviours in Islam Another incident was when the wives of some of the new muslims came to the Prophet (sawa) and informed him their husbands took altruistic stances by staying away from relations with their wives, and didn't eat meat or use perfume. To which the Prophet (may my life be a sacrifice for the dust under his feet) got very upset, went up to the pulpit and gave a speech 'I hear there are men in my community that do so and so, i want to remind everyone i go to my wives, and i eat meat and wear perfume' Using logic, the famous english quote 'quality not quantity' when it comes to acts of worship, also makes sense upon even basic reflection And Allah knows best
  7. There's a few interesting points to comment on here. One is the infallibility of anyone who has the task of carrying the message of God, from the first Prophet (Adam) to our 12th Imam (yes he's not a prophet, but he is the living breathing Quran). A man once asked the Imam this very same question, he said oh Imam how can we follow you when you're robots and are infallible and cannot make mistakes. To which the Imam asked the chap 'let me ask u something, can you walk down the street naked?'. to which the man replied 'yes, physically i can do that'. the Imam asked him 'but would you do that?', the chappie said 'no i wouldn't'. The Imam asked 'why not?'. The muchacho (yes i know i keep changing the terms) said 'i wouldn't because people are watching me'. the Imam looked at him and said 'oh man just like you we can commit sins. you fear people seeing you but we Ahlul Bait fear Allah The Lord of the universe Who is always watching from seeing us sin, and that is why we stay away from it'. it's this level of God conciousness (ie Taqwa) that raises prophets, messengers and Imams above the ordinary folk As far as rank in the eyes of Allah, yes Imam is the highest rank achievable, and we know some messengers like our beloved Prophet Abraham (as) reached imamate, but the 14 infallibles of Ahlul Bait are still highest in rank from all others. It is a long and research heavy discussion to dissect this idea, but on the most basic level one just has to look at the lives of Ahlul Bait and the insurmountable odds they have faced, and compare it with the other men and women of God, to know why Ahlul Bait have an even loftier position. In regards to the the qualities of the chosen men and women of God being perfect, shia debater has it correct to say they are perfect humans but not The Perfect, because Allah (SWT) is the only one who deserves this title. It is like the verse in the Quran in which Allah tells people 'Worship Me and I shall make you like Me' (i'm hoping someone can tell me the number of this verse? i can't remember it..). Here my understanding is that the blessed human can express mercy, a small reflection of the ultimate and infinite mercy of Allah. It is a very interesting topic which i always meant to do proper research into...if anyone else can expand on it i'm sure the rest of us will greatly benefit And Allah knows best
  8. A man asked the Imam the very same question about how much of this life is free will and how much is predestination. To answer the man's question the Imam told him 'lift your foot up', and the man lifted his foot up, and then the Imam said 'lift your other foot up' to which the man said he couldn't do that. The Imam said 'this is the ratio of free will to predestination'. our actions are the part we control, and as shia-debator said, which family we're born in, what diseases we'll contract etc are predestination. How about we go back to the theme of the topic. I'll add another point as say all muslims believe in a reformer (under the banner of Al Mahdi) will come at the end of time to reform society and manifest Allah's Word over all others. We always seem to focus on the details which are different
  9. Interesting points there, but there are a lot of assumptions being made by the writer, for example when he says Russia would inevitably enter the war to defend Syria... Russia not agreeing to starting a war doesn't necessarily mean they do it on moral grounds of preventing a country from being attacked. it might just mean that Russia doesn't want to take part in a war. period. I think this idea on a partial level touches a subject which is much grander and dear to the heart of all muslims, and indeed all lovers of freedom and justice, and that is about global events paving the way to the appearence of the Reformer (in Islamic thought otherwise known as the Mahdi, or the Guided one). Although i am all for reading into current events to give an estimate of how soon the Mahdi (may my soul be a sacrifice for the dirt under his feet) will reappear, i am still cautious about reading too much into it. That said, i believe a lot has happened in the world in the last 3 decades to pave the way for his re-appearance. The important point i am trying to make is, what is happening in the world right now, is not nearly as important as what we are trying to do in our personal world, to make us prepared for his government. I have to ready myself spiritually, as well as materialistically, for example, by excelling in my field of work so i could best benefit humanity. People mistake the Imam's reappearance for armegeddon, when in fact he will bring about spiritual and social reform, and lift up society to the pinnacle of knowledge and development. And Allah knows best
  10. Mind you i'm new to this site, but i haven't come across a topic which dealt with the SIMILARITIES that people have. A lot of discussions deal with how dissimilar our points of view can be, and the main air of the convo seems to be to push one's ideology over someone else's. I thought it would be a breath of fresh air to have a thread where people first jotted down the similarities all schools of thought in Islam had with each other. After that we can expand with similarities all schools of thought (period. ie inside and outside Islam) have with each other. I'll start with the first similar in all schools of thought in Islam. I think it's fair to say we all believe in Allah's (SWT) INFINITE Mercy, and that when we say He created us and jinn to worship Him, It is a branching of the concept that worshipping God is Mercy manifested in it's purest form. Right, let's see what else you guys will come up with....
  11. Trick question: how many birthdays does the average human being have. Any takers?.... yup, you guessed it. only one. (you only get born once, unless you count being a revert or a born-again-christian, but biologically speaking, it's pretty tough to come out of a uterus for a second time..) Birthday commemorations should mark the achievements and stands a person has taken up to that point in their life, and remembering those stands and making commitments to grow from them, should be the primary objective. gifts are nice too (the new ipad seems pretty neat, and my birthday is coming soon... hint hint. just messing, my bday's ages away). A lot of muslims have difficulties to understand why followers of Ahlul Bait celebrate their bdays with such fervour. They say, if you celebrate their bday to rememeber them as role models, then you should remember them everyday, and not need an excuse to celebrate a particular day. I don't need fancy powerpoint presentations to explain that remembering certain dates in history is ingrained in human nature, it's just plain logic. Also i am certain there are verses in the Quran that support this, but a particular verse doesn't come to mind. Does anyone out there have an idea which verses i'm thinking of?? And Allah knows best
  12. Haha, you know what i did, i read the first few reply posts about how many varied opinions there are regarding iranians, and then i flipped to the last few pages and lo and behold outside slippers and indoor slippers were being discussed in intricate detail. I love how these conversations evolve : ) I am part iranian, and have a very limited experience of iran from visiting family there over the years. i say my experience is limited cuz i don't speak persian (outside of knowing how to order food in a persian restaurant, but that's a necessity) What my take on iran is, for many years they lived under an oppressive government (the shah) and had no freedom to express their religious ideologies. once they overcame that government, their initial daily worries of how to have religious freedom was replaced by daily worries on how to make a living, get kids through school etc.. basically the shift of focus was moved to the more mainstream lifestyle of people in the world today. but is not a new phenomenon and has happened likely countless times in other countries. the generation today in iran have different priorities to what their parents' generation did, and as vague and general a term as it is, i will use the word 'westernised' when i say that was the change that occured with the new generation. with today's technology, you can clearly understand how it happened Iran does not represent a religion, it has a man made government, which like all man made governments, tries to live up to expectations but inevitably is festering with flaws. festering's such a strong word eh.... riddled. that's it, riddled sounds more PC. there are government stands which are very much not in keeping with Islamic morals (for example many immigrants in iran who come from iraq or afganistan are counted as second class citizens, and it would be fine if they were citizens, but they don't even get any green cards after living there a whole generation! i know people who were specifically under such circumstances). As for the sister who said she moved to tehran to study there and saw the reality of the situation there, i feel your pain. would you believe my parents tried to convince my sister to study medicine there?? thank God that never materialised, and my parents knew it was a fat chance of that happening after we already visited tehran before : ) but the fact that Imam Ridha (as) is in Mashhad, makes it a plot of land which is of the dearest in the world in the hearts of all the lovers of knowledge and free speech, like how their Imam was. And Allah knows best
  13. Yukapuka, thoroughly enjoyed your breakdown and thought process behind what is considered entertainment and what isn't, and it's amazing how the tables can turn on an activity to push it into either category (encouraged vs discouraged act) At the end of the day, like all things in Islam, actions are only worth their salt based on the intention. A good intention for something which ends up in disaster (eg when i cook lamb and invite friends over, ie 'rubber raft delight') is still counted as a good deed (i sincerely hope so, none of those guys ended up in an emergency room...yet) Actions are generally put into 2 categories, 1 which brings us closer to Allah, and one which pushes us away. Usually the best judge for which category our actions fit tend to be ourselves. I remember a funny thing this guy said to this chappie who sorta told him, i have fun by drinking/partying/having relationships, but at the end of the day i have a good heart (how may ppl have u heard say this?), in response to that the guy told the chap that Allah will put his good heart in heaven and send the rest of him to hell! Activities which increases the bond between families and societies (not just between muslims, but all members of societies regardless of creed or ethnicity) including sports, meetings over meals, outreach programs etc should be encouraged. Islam was not sent down to pigeon hole us, but to bring about social and moral reform And Allah knows best
  14. And just to clarify your last question. Absolutely you can make dua, and recite the Quran (except for 4 verse which require obligatory prostration) in menses. It is dua which elevated men like Ali son of Abi Talib to the level of imamate, when he would distance himself from the masses, in the dark of the night, walk into the barren wilderness of the desert, and softly supplicate with his lover Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì, calling out... my Lord, Oh my Lord, You are The Bestower and i am the beggar, and who would show mercy to the beggar save The Bestower? May Allah (SWT) guide us towards that which He loves
  15. Right, another topic muslims relish to sink their teeth into to create more drift and divide between muslims. There is a very lengthy rationalle behind certain muslims being called polytheists (isn't there always a long story?), but first a few points have to be remembered.. Firstly, anyone who testifies to the Oneness of Allah (SWT) and that Mohammad (sawa) is his Messenger, verbally as well as (this is the crucial tid bit) in their actions in their daily life, is automatically a muslim, whether they follow the mainstream sunni schools of though (Hanafi, shafai, handali etc) or the Ahlulbayt school of thought. We have to remember as muslims our similarities FAR exceed our differences. The sorrowful state of Islamic countries and societies today is because we quarrel with each other yet we're the first to preach to followers of other religions about tolerance and brotherly love Different schools in Islam have reach different theological conclusions about certain topics (eg the Infallibility of a person preaching the word of God, the intercession of Ahlulbayt for people who (key point) deserve intercession, etcetera), and reaching different conclusions is fine. No doubt we have to be firm in what be believe in, conduct insightful exchanges of ideas (the word debate has become dirtied these days), and in the end of the day if the other side's information has not been enough to convince us to change our stance, we would agree to disagree, always exercising tolerance. If we are not debating each other because we love for the other side to attain a better understanding of Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì, then what are we debating for in the first place? Usually to prove ourselves right and others wrong, unfortunately in most cases. People who call others polytheists, for the most part, have been mislead by their scholars, because their scholars feel threatened by certain schools of thought, and feel they need to spread rumour and hearsay to prevent their congregation from doing their own research and coming to their own conclusions. Nelson Mandela said the only way to overcome apartheid is not to tell people what to think, but to tell people how to think. Then that person becomes a thinker. Information in various resources are a-plentiful in today's cyber world, everyone should do their own research and come to a theological conclusion that makes THEM sleep with ease at night. Following blindly never led to greener pastures. In regards to why followers of the school of thought of Ahlul Bayt have reached particular conclusions to mainstream topics like Intercession, infalliblity, and Allah's Uniqueness (in the sense that He will never be seen), i can go into further detail should anyone have a particular question about these. And Allah knows best
  16. Good thread going on here... Brother Ali Mohammad, you are correct that a woman cannot be a Marja because it contradicts her role, and you are also right when you said that does not lower her status in the eyes of Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì. However a problem we have these days, is that roles that women should and are meant to take (i'm primarily talking about seats in parliment/goverment) are not being realised. When women are not representing themselves and other women in a community/country, rest assured that is when that country will not have a firm and long lasting foundation to stand on Sister Muslimah, the idea of following a Mujtahid, is because Allah in His Infinite Wisdom knew that most people would not be able to contribute to society if each and every one of us did meticulous research into jurisprudence to come up with religious law that we can follow for ourselves. that is why He has decreed a system of follow a select few (during the occultation of our beloved Imam) who have done all the hard work for us, so we can continue studying/working/helping the underprivilidged (my spelling is hopeless these days) There is a beatiful story about 2 islamic scholars who both gave 2 very different rulings to an issue but were both correct, Insha Allah i will mention it when i get a chance For us, we have to do a basic amount of research to see which scholar (we don't have to research every one of them, just 3 or 4 of the more well known ones would do) is most learned TO US (that's the key point), and once we follow their ruling, on the Day of Judgement, if what we followed was not 1005 accurate, we can point the finger and say "scholar so-and-so told us to do this and we did it", and that would be accepted for us. It is important to mention Allah (SWT) only shows 1 level of mercy in this world, He will show is 100 levels of mercy on The Day of Judgement. We have to remind ourselves we are worshipping and are in love with an Infinitely Merciful Creator. Then the little differences between scholar rulings won't be such a big deal anymore And Allah knows best
  17. Assalamu Alaykum sister, I don't think many men can claim to be experts on this subject, because you can't really get a grasp of what to do in odd scenarios unless you go through them yourself (i learned this quite clearly during my Hajj last year, i thought the jurisprudence would be a breeze, however i noticed i was becoming more doubtful than tony blair musta felt after he started the whole weapons of mass destruction hoohaa in iraq...) Things which are Haram in menses is any act which requires ablution, like prayer, fasting etc. As well things which are haram with any other state of ritual impurity (eg post intercourse) are also haram in state of menses, for example staying in a mosque. A good source for all things regarding menses is in a book a sister has written http://www.al-islam.org/womensissues/ It can get pretty detailed at times, but some parts are quite an easy read It is interesting to compare and contrast the Islamic view of menses compared to other religions such as Christianity, where it is seen as a punishement for Eve and Her daughters for tempting Adam into eating from the apple. In Islam we believe no such thing happened, but that satan deceived both Adam and Eve. It is important when looking at Jurisprudence to not get bogged down with all the nitty bitty's, becuase we are at risk of not seeing the whole, spiritual, soul soaring experience of such acts of worship As for how to ask for forgiveness during state of menses when one is not able to pray, Allah (SWT) accepts the plea of forgiveness of the repentant at ANY time and under any circumstance. I first hand, from personal experience, understood one of Allah's Greatest titles, The One Who is Quick to Forgive And Allah (SWT) knows best
  18. Salam Alaykum I'm usually a rambler, but i'll keep this short and to the point. Every answer can be derived from the Quran, that is why it's called a miracle. If we take the story of Prophet Abraham (as), we see that he was first (i hope i remember this right) a Prophet, and then a Khalil (a close friend of Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì, then Allah tried him and made him an Imam, as this 2:214 states "And remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain commands which he filled. He said, 'I will make you an Imam to the nations." (2:124) Immamate is a station of God conciousness (Taqwa) that not many people have reached, indeed not even most of the 124,000 prophets have. Insha Allah i will expand on this topic another day And Allah knows best
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