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In the Name of God بسم الله

Ibn al-Hassan

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Everything posted by Ibn al-Hassan

  1. Don't need an opinion for that. Unless you're a female yourself, it would be haraam to touch non-mahram like that. At most you could shake their hand with a glove on and a gentle shake (though, it would be better to avoid it altogether). (wasalam)
  2. No. My statement was in reference to a person making a decision (it being only the person who would know the ultimate intention and emotional state prior to making it). Your statement was in reference to the subjectivity of morality in a relativistic reality. Those are quite different. Anyways... Well, I'd hate to have to repeat this again, but, I did state that the psychological tendency and emotional state (and whatever else you'd like to be considered prior to a judgement regarding that person's eternal abode) can and ought to be taken into consideration on the part of God. So, I don't see the "straight foward" judgement being espoused here. An important doctrine within the religious tradition itself is that ultimate judgement rests with God alone and for anyone to claim to know the eternal abode of another (unless it's conveyed by the Divine through infallible means i.e. the Qur'an or the Prophet [sawa] or an Imam [as]) is tantamount to kufr (disbelief). That's a fairly basic doctrine (and rightfully so considering the nature of our discussion here). The first is obviously not going to help that person in the afterlife (considering that their intention was evil to begin with, effectively nullifying their "good" action). The second can be rewarded, seeing as how though the act (ignorantly thought of to be good, but in fact "evil") was accompanied with a good intention. If in the second case you're saying the person knew the action to be evil but had a "good" intention. I'd like to ask how that can be? A good intention to commit an evil act? That sounds like an evil intention to me (unless you're talking of, for example, an impoverished man stealing a loaf of bread for his family, that I can see being rewarded). You missed the whole point behind the example... What I meant by the comparison between the accepted notion of justice today (in relation to imprisonment of criminals for the remainder of their lives with no possibility of forgiveness) and Divine Justice was that God can take into consideration all other factors behind the act while we cannot. And the fact that imprisoning a person for the rest of their life for a single act, with a fallible judgement, with no possibility of that person being released whatsoever is somehow accepted as just yet the notion of God weighing in all other factors, with infallible judgement before summoning that person to hell (or heaven) for eternity is somehow glaringly immoral. Thus, if we consider justice to have been served here with the lack of capability on our part to know what exactly happened, the intention behind the act and all other emotional and psychological tendencies of the person then I don't see the objection behind the notion of Divine Justice. I mean is that not what you want? That everything ought to be taken into consideration by God? Well, there wouldn't be an issue for Him to do so, would there? There was no assumption regarding Divine Justice being just on my part. All I raised was the real possibility of those other variables (which you would like to be considered) being factored into a judgement on the person's ultimate destination in the afterlife. In addition, I never made the contention that hell contains an element of mercy. The whole concept behind hell is that it is devoid of mercy. I said that justice can be served whilst still maintaining an element of mercy. And I think I've already gone over that. I'm not claiming that my conceptions are somehow free of any flaws. Though, the flaw I find in your thought process is that you concede to the notion of this all being a relativistic reality. And due to this relativity, any judgement ought to take into consideration all factors and variables that may have influenced the person and the actions they performed. Any judgement that does not do so, is by nature unjust. Okay, all is well. But then you want us to pass a judgement (or our perception of what Divine Justice ought to be) whilst forgetting that we live in a relativistic reality, (where we can't possibly know of all those other externalities and intentions and what have you). Is there not an inherent contradiction here? How could my notion (or anybody's for that matter) possibly satisfy your thirst for justice. And rightfully so, you demand justice. But any conception of justice we have will, again, be subjective. On top of that it would have to attempt to fit that within this dualistic model of heaven and hell (with the notion of nothing in between). I don't know if I can do that. And I wouldn't be surprised considering your own presumptions about human nature and the reality we find ourselves in. I think we differ more so on those presumptions themselves. (wasalam)
  3. Well, actually, that statement was in reference to the subjectivity of the person making the decision (in whether or not it was a real choice, unfettered by the externalities around them). Again, we (from our relative point of view) would not be able to fully comprehend her intention behind the act and the state of her soul. I think what we accept is that there are other variables to take into consideration, so it would be quite strange in that we accept that notion yet we want a relatively straight-foward solution in regards to how she ought to be judged (whilst acknowledging this relativistic reality we live in). I don't see it that way. Our existential states can change within us, through our own will and actions. So, I don't see it as flawed as you might think because it takes into consideration the intention behind an act whilst also considering the action itself. And leaves it to the person to dictate their outlook (i.e. to sincerely repent or what have you). In terms of remaining in a constant state of either regret or satisfaction, I do see that as a real possiblity. Again, because of subject matter we're talking about (heaven and hell) and the lack of actions that can be performed after the fact. That's exactly the point. There is little to no uproar in regards to the secular notions of justice, imprisioning an individual for the remainder of their life (and if one assumes that death is the end of their existence, then I would consider that "eternal" in a sense, that they would be punished the remainder of their life for one evil act). How then can we object to Divine notions of Justice that we assume would be able to take into consideration all those other variables and still maintain the element of mercy? Maybe it can. Though, mercy itself may entail taking into consideration the good deeds of an individual. Perhaps that's what we mean by mercy here, that it's none other than God allowing for a person's good actions to compensate for evil ones. (wasalam)
  4. I understand where you're coming from, just making sure you realized that the hadith was saying the same thing (the first one, not PureEthics'). (wasalam)
  5. Akhi, the hadith went right over your head, didn't it? What part of "...except for a hunting dog or a herding dog" didn't make sense to you? You could have saved yourself some time by actually reading the text. (wasalam)
  6. I would disagree. Of course, there is an internal complexity in the person themselves with regard to their emotions and psychological tendencies. It would be quite difficult (perhaps impossible I would say) to properly judge that person's intention in the various different acts that they commit. And so as such, it becomes something to which only Allah can judge upon (perfectly knowing the internal state of the person at that moment they perform an act). And as I stated before, I don't share a strictly reductionist outlook on these things as many others do. I believe people make real choices at times out of their own free will. I may not have been as clear as I thought I was, but I do agree that things are not necessarily black and white (that there are many factors and variables to take into consideration) while still maintaining the notion that we make certain choices in our lives - and on a daily basis - out of our own free will (where external influences are negligible). I'm not stating that this is the case with every decision we make. I can't really give an example because this is something subjective, something that can only properly be known by the individual making the decision. I'm referring to moments where we understand the situation and make a choice (one that can easily go one way or the other, but that ultimately we choose which one - and are consciously aware of our action and intent). So, yeah, for the first one it would tie right back into what I mentioned earlier about the existential state of the soul prior to death. That whether we feel the pains and horrors of Hell or the pleasures of Heaven would depend on the internal feeling of regret or satisfaction of our actions. The choices we make here would "live" with us for eternity. And so, it's not so much Allah throwing us into the hellfire as it is us throwing ourselves into the it. I guess another question could arise from this, in that couldn't a Merciful God relieve the person from his own distress and misery? I suppose that's a possibility, but I wouldn't necessarily think that Mercy entails Him to have to do so, otherwise we'd have to start all over and ask if a Merciful God ought to create any hardship (even the slightest bit) for His creation or admit everyone into Heaven (regardless of actions or intent or what have you). I obviously don't agree with that. Plus, if you look at human notions of justice and mercy, in general, amongst themselves, it seems quite reflective of what (I think, we intuitively know) to be just. For instance, if a person commits murder with the intent to carry out the act (not that they did so innocently), even secular notions of justice would be to imprison that individual for the rest of their life (and possibly execute them, though, more often than not that person dies whilst in prison). So, if one even assumes that death is the end of our existence as such, we can say that society has punished an individual for "eternity" (from the perspective of the criminal) for a single act, with a finite "amount" of evil. Now, extend that to what we're discussing in relation to Allah and whether His judgement can be just whilst maintaining the notion that He is Merciful. I think here our conception of His Justice and His Mercy has to be more intertwined as attributes that give us an abstract notion of Him, rather than a more dualistic view where we have the attributes of justice and then we have mercy and now we want to apply them Allah (without even being able to fully elucidate what those terms mean, but rather having a relative understanding of them). The second one is a bit simpler for me, seeing as how this manifests itself through my own experiences. I know something is wrong or immoral (or forbidden, according to my own understanding of the religious tradition) but I find myself at times doing it anyway. And this is something I think is fair to say happens to all of us. For instance, you have somebody who knows that lying is evil (in general, excluding cases where not lying would cause severe hardship and poverty, where maybe the person was forced to lie in order to save their life or the lives of others) yet out of desire for wordly gains or what have you, they still choose to lie (seeing in their mind the benefit of lying vs. the "loss" of telling the truth). In other words, I don't think we need to look much further than our own selves in answering this question of why somebody would commit a wrongful act, even if they clearly and undoubtedly knew it to be wrong. (wasalam)
  7. Ha Ha. No, sorry I forgot about this thread. I can't respond now, but later today, insha'Allah. (wasalam)
  8. Thank you brother for this very uninformative and irrelevant post. (wasalam)
  9. As you rightly pointed out, even though some prominent scholars of Sunnism may have learned at a time in their lives from the Imams al-Baqir عليه السلام and as-Sadiq عليه السلام , they certainly did not acknowledge the Imams as being infallible or even appointed representatives of Allah. This is fundamental to understanding any possible differences in fiqh issues between Shi'ahs that claim to follow them, through their ahadith, and Sunnis that only view them as knowledgeable yet flawed experts in religious affairs. So, where a Shi'ah might take a hadith attributed to the Imams as being the final word on a particular fiqh issue, Sunni scholarship - and arguably so at that time - at most took it into consideration when formulating their own ruling on the matter (remember, that ijtihad - and all the methods whereby a jurist might issue a verdict, even mere opinion (ray) - was considered acceptable and understandly so, since unlike the Shi'ahs of the time they did not acknowledge any living Guide or have as many detailed and explicit ahadith). In this way, it could be understood why (from a Sunni perspective) a scholar might differ with an Imam like as-Sadiq عليه السلام , even though they may have considered him to be the most knowledgeable scholar of his era and even saw him perform wudhu or salat in a different way. They would see this difference arising from the Imam's own ijtihad rather than it being transmitted to him from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله through his forefathers عليه السلام or even directly given to him from Allah. (wasalam)
  10. [ 15458 ] 2 ـ وعن محمد بن يحيى ، عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى ، عن يوسف بن عقيل ، عن محمد بن قيس ، عن أبي جعفر ( عليه السلام ) قال : قال أمير المؤمنين ( عليه السلام ) لا خير في الكلاب إلا كلب صيد أو كلب ماشية . 2 – And from Muhammad b. Yahya from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. `Isa from Yusuf b. `Aqil from Muhammad b. Qays from Abu Ja`far عليه السلام. He said: Amir al-Mu’mineen عليه السلام said: There is no good in dogs except for a hunting dog or a herding dog. http://www.*******.org/hadiths/animal-welfare/chapter-43 (wasalam)
  11. Let's see if I can reformulate your questions correctly. Essentially, you are asking about what seems to be an inherent contradication in our conception of the Imamate. Namely, that we see an Imam as a necessary Divine Guide who can properly convey to us our religious beliefs and practices - that he is a leader in all spheres of human existence. If this is a fundamental doctrine in Imami Shi'ism, and if the Imam is commanded to guide the believers, then two questions follow: 1. Why did later Imams (in contrast to earlier ones) employ taqiyyah, effectively misguiding many followers from the right path (contradicatory to their underlying mission and purpose as Imams)? 2. Why is there no current Imam in place directly guiding the believers to the right path (in clearing the confusion regarding issues of fiqh, aqeedah, tafsir, etc) or if we assume him to be hidden or even "dead"? Just want to make sure we address the right questions and maybe have a more fruitful discussion (btw, I think these are valid and important questions for those that uphold this conception of the Imamate to answer). (wasalam)
  12. I'm not necessarily encouraging that young girls ought to marry significantly older men or disagree with some of the advice given, but I am amazed at the way people approach these issues. I would think most of the women who are vehmently against the notion of young girls marrying much older men are quite liberal in their approach to moral agency and believe in some kind of autonomy (particularly for women) when it comes to making decisions in the personal domain. If women should be able to make their own choices and pursue their own agendas, in that they have the intellectual capacity and maturity to do so, then I don't quite understand the condescending tone in the case that a young lady does decide to marry a man many years her senior. It seems quite antithetical to progressive values as a whole if we begin to label young adult women as naive, immature, foolish for making personal choices in the very areas that they have long been excluded from, where women traditionally had little or no say. It seems that many are forced to resort to the same reasoning as those who adopt a more conservative outlook on the issue (i.e. that younger women lack the proper mental capacity and maturity to make their own decisions, that they are somehow prone to irrationality - whatever that may entail). If one is a strong advocate for the rights of women in general, and particularly so when in comes to marital issues, then they ought to respect (not necessarily agree with) the decisions they so happen to make. Of course, any concerned parent should involve themselves in these issues (drawing upon their own experiences or what have you). However, they should refrain from pushing their daughter (and son if they were to desire an older woman) towards one way or another, in that they would be unhappy somewhere down the road. If it is their lives and their choices to make, each young woman pursing their own agendas and fulfilling their own aspirations - some spiritual, some material - then I don't honestly see where this harshness is coming from. (wasalam)
  13. I'd pull out my double-barrel shotgun and show him what's up. Really, though, I'd ask my daughter if she would want to marry the man. If she agrees, then all is good but my son-in-law would be older than me (kinda weird). If she says something like "hell no!", then we'd kindly tell him to leave. Of course, in reality, I'd almost certainly have to ask my wife first if I could even have him in the house to begin with. I might be okay with it but she'll probably go Chuck Norris on him. (wasalam)
  14. May Allah [swt] damn these Nawasib straight to the hellfire. (wasalam)
  15. O, I don't claim to know the answers to these questions. I, like yourself, have much to learn and reflect upon. What I proposed seems to satisfy me in terms of trying to make sense of it all, but certainly I am open to other possiblities. The thing is though that human experience itself is rather subjective and so even if I were to come up with some sort of way to reconcile the apparent conundrum, it might not be so easy to convey it to others. Which is why (although I do consider holding the "correct" beliefs to be essential), I lay more emphasis upon the sincerity of intention (which is then linked to the existential state of the soul). That is that the soul does not necessarily feel that painful remorse when one commits a wrongful act unknowingly, but if one does know a certain act is immoral and yet still commits it, that pain is definitely there (this would be bringing in some of my own experimental experience). Although, it seems that there are a number of issues here for discussion. For starters, I think perhaps I did not properly convey what I intended by the phrase, 'In essence, we dictate our eternal abode.' What I meant here was that our ultimate fate in the hereafter lay in our hands based upon the choices we make in this life (cases in which the choices we make are real), not that they are necessarily subject to a sort of reductionism where we are treated almost as mechanicalistic creatures. Where the choices we make are ultimately dictated by the most irreducible elements (i.e. the social climate, biological processes, psychological tendencies, etc). While I do believe there are certainly other variables to take into consideration (some of them related to these materialistic properties), I also believe that there are choices we make that are real, that we make out of our own free will (without it being affected by other externalities, that there is no preponderance of one decision over the other). Here, again, I take this more so from personal, human experience. But before we go further, it seems to me that you're asking a number of questions. One, is it just for an all-Merciful God to punish an individual for eternity when they commit a finite number of evils which had a limited implication upon the lives of others? Two, do we really have any actual choice in the decisions we make (given all these other influences and variables around us), and if so, why would an individual commit a wrongful act if they actually knew it was so? Am I getting that right? (wasalam)
  16. Well, I'm one of them people who think he was the greatest player, but yes most kids these days no thing about the other great players of the past (who could be argued as being better than him). (wasalam)
  17. No way, the golden era was the mid-80s to mid-90s (Jordan :P , Magic, Bird, Wilkins, Stockton & Malone, etc.) He is pretty much the prophetic figure of basketball, he came to revive the league with his new "message" and laid the ground for his successors to follow. To speak ill of him is like insulting the game and all of its illustrious history, it's blasphemy. Though, to an extent I do sympathize with those that hold this particular outlook. He is one of, if not, the most influential players in NBA history. You either like him or you hate him. (wasalam)
  18. I'd like to see him stay as much as the next guy, but he can't carry the team on his own anymore. It's pretty much either start fresh with a still young big man like Howard and look at going for another sustained championship run for years to come or go all out with these veteran players trying to vy for the title for another year or two (at most three), then seeing yourself with a roster full of old, retiring players with no real propects for the future. Either way, they have to deal with the realities that be, Kobe's not going to be here for much longer (he's mulling an early retirement, he wants to go out on top and probably play in some leagues in Turkey or China so that he can market his brand name). MJ over LBJ any day man, any day... (wasalam)
  19. They barely made their way into the playoffs and got swept by the Spurs in the first round. So, what does it matter if he had another great statistical season? Nobody's doubting that he can put up the numbers. Winning games (and ultimately the championship) is what's most important though. It's just that he clearly can't carry the team to the Finals anymore. Sure, he'll get his numbers but the team will continue to lose. Lakers need to think about their future. Resign Howard, but other than that look towards getting young pieces to fit around him (trading for high draft picks will help too). (wasalam)
  20. You are delusional my young friend. You think Lebron or Bosh will leave Miami anytime soon? Are you seriously putting Deng and Randolph in the list of franchise players over Howard? You won't find very many young, talented big men to build a team around like Howard (they are a rarity). You want to clear up cap space, how about getting rid of Gasol and/or dare I say it, Kobe (provided he agrees to it, seeing as he has a no-trade clause in his contract)? (wasalam)
  21. What's that got anything to do with it? Almost all of the big name stars go around doing foolish things at some point in their careers. Humble and honest players are hard to come by in this league. Plus, there's always crazy stuff happening in La La Land. But yeah, Kobe's on the decline. Time to let go and build around Howard. (wasalam)
  22. Yes, Mac and this forum is all about him too (his secret fan club)... Nah, Harden's beard is better... (wasalam)
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