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In the Name of God بسم الله
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In reading A Shi'ite Anthology, I get the impression that Allah's Oneness transcends attributes and names, but the Sunni tradition lists 99 names of Allah. I am sure that many of these names are found in the Qur'an, for example, ar-Rahman and ar-Raheem. Does this concept of 99 names of Allah exist in Shi'ia teachings? I know that Allah is beyond our comprehension, but He has described Himself in terms that we have some semblance of understanding as humans else the words would be meaningless. Do these various names give us some comprehension of the Uncomprehendable and Incomparable One?
I believe the Quran says --> (2:163) And your god is one God. There is no deity [worthy of worship] except Him, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. In other words... We do not worship or pray to the prophets, imams, khalifa's, scholars, or any human being! JUST GOD!
Here is the part 1 to the recent article I came across.... Are we segregated in our own religion? Are we divided over who should have taken over the spread of Islam after the last Prophet? Do we lack the common sense to realize that the purpose of Islam and a true believer is to worship the one true God? Nonetheless, we have allowed ourselves to fight for thousands of years over the succession of our leaders. We seem to forget that no one owns the throne. We continue to fight over internal theology, land, money, and property. In these times, our religion demands unity and clarity of vision and yet, there still exists much inequality and confusion. Two of the biggest sects in Islam that have been in conflict are Sunni & Shi’ite. Let me ask you three questions: Do you pray to Allah? Do you read the Quran? Do you answer to the Adhaan? If both sides agree on these questions then no further justification is necessary. To be a Muslim means to be unified and not divided. Do not worship prophets, imams, and other greats who were sent to portray the ideal example of a true Muslim. The prophets were sent to prove the existence of God (Al-Lah) and chosen to exemplify the highest qualities a human being can possess. They even forbade their own followers from worshipping or idolizing them for they were only men. They reminded us not to focus on their miracles. Miracles would not exist without the power of the Creator. We pray to the one and only, most merciful, most greatest: God. The Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) who was sent to this world as the final Prophet of God, willed that his remaining materials and clothing be burned after his death. He did so to prevent the ignorance of humanity from idolizing or worshipping those meaningless and temporal material things. We are only meant to prostrate to God. No one else is worthy of worship since we all are human and we all are equal. Islam is unity! Islam is peace. Islam is a religion which teaches us to pray for our enemies and those who wrong us for they are in need of the fear and knowledge of God. Islam teaches us to be pious, generous, humble, loving, and to never disrespect other religions, regardless of our differences. Islam teaches us humility, self-control, and understanding the strength of patience. In Islam, just like other religions, there are good and there are bad. I say this in caps, IT IS THE INDIVIDUAL who chooses to do wrong, or chooses to do right. We are creatures of free will that is given by God according to His wisdom and plan. The mass media quickly and unjustly categorizes all of Islam as hateful due to the actions of a small minority. The media colors the word “Muslim” in such a negative light that it evokes fear and hatred in the masses. There are so many Muslims out there who live in fear of hate crimes and harsh discrimination against themselves and their families. It is truly tragic that these innocent Muslims live as prisoners in their own neighborhoods as if something was wrong with them. In addition, there are Muslims who are afraid to BE Muslim in public. They feel compelled to act in a certain manner and dress a certain way just to fit into their environment. In the post-Jim Crow era, African Americans had to make their best efforts to integrate into a desegregated environment but were still viewed as inferior. The situation of some Muslims living in the West is very similar in the post 9/11 era. I sincerely feel pity for the people who are quick to believe everything they hear and see. There are so many different issues that confront us during life in this world that it can easily fill numerous books and hours of conversation. I want to make two things very clear before I end this statement. The first: Islam is one! We do not need to divide and conquer within our own religion when the end result is the same and the faith we attain along the way is the same. The second point: My brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to be you! You do not and should not have to conform or wear a “uniform” to fit in. I write this to all Muslims that were raised being told that they fall within a certain sect. I urge them to wake up and put these differences aside. I also write this for people who are unaware of the real definition of Islam. Last but not least, I write this for the general public to realize the qualities we should learn to cultivate within ourselves to become more pure human beings. Qualities such as humility, generosity, kindness, gratitude, and patience. At the same time, we must to learn to turn away from the evils of jealousy, pride, egotism, envy, and hatred.
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