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  1. This is a response to an article published by iqraaonline, titled: Occultation and Mahdawiyyat in the Writings of Shaykh al-Mufid (Part 1) I will be assessing each epistle, and presenting my contentions, this is by no means a comprehensive treatment. Rather, an abstract which seeks to cover the gist of the implications, inconsistencies, and inaccuracies found within each epistle. The prelude to the writings of Shaykh al-Mufid provides a promising introduction maintaining that it is a treatise which is essentially ‘‘dealing with all the major questions surrounding the issue [of occultation] quite comprehensively,’’ adding that it ‘‘represents one of the most holistic and comprehensive treatments regarding the ghaybah’’. Now, it is correct to say the Imamiya have been subject (unfortunately) to being mocked for holding such a theological position, indeed mockery has no place in sincere discourse that seeks to arrive at truth. Therefore, I assure the respected reader there will be no such mockery, and the arguments provided by the respected Shaykh will be addressed head on, by the will of Allah, the Exalted. The Traditionist Style Based on Narrations Continuing with the prelude, the writer mentions that the traditionist approach is able to present texts which affirm the occultation, and its necessity via mass-transmitted reports, be it from the Shi’i (Imami) corpus, or the Sunni corpus. To expeditiously address this point, I would like to touch on the claims made regarding the Imami, and the Sunni corpus, respectively. With respect to the Imami corpus, the claim that there will be a series of Imams, one succeeding the other, and finally concluding at the seal of the Imams, the Twelfth Imam. We find that upon examination this is a claim which does not corroborate under historical, and internal textual criticism. Namely, the fact that the companions of the Imams themselves, and the mainstream body of the Imami Shia (let alone the remainder of the Muslims) were unaware who each Imam is after each Imam, to the extent that the close confidants of the Imams such as Zurara, Hisham b. Salim, Hisham b. al-Hakam, al-Taq, et al. were unaware of who the Imam is after each Imam. Now, one may retort for instance regarding the point on Zurara, and claim that the reason Zurara said that he does not know who his Imam is, and sent his son to find the matter out, is because he did not receive permission to let the Muslims, or the Shia know who the Imam is. In support of this appeal to Taqiyya, the Twelver interlocutor would cite a narration from our beloved Imam, al-Imam Ali b. Musa al-Rida, and therein he would excuse Zurara. Depending on the methodology that one seeks to follow in hadith scrutiny, if one holds to that of al-Shaykh Asif Muhsini, or the present methodology (not the latter) of al-Sayyid Kamal al-Haydari, they will deduce that this narration is not reliable and henceforth Zurara died without knowing the Imam of his time. Hence, you find such an explicit statement mentioned in Mishr’at bihar al-Anwar by al-Shaykh Asif Muhsini. However, the intent here is to be as decisive, and as all-encompassing as one can be. So, I will cite another tradition which is essentially back-breaking, and it leaves no excuse for Taqiyya whatsoever. Thus shattering the claim of there being any such hadith that designates twelve Imams by name, thereafter, I will address within my another inaccuracy mentioned, not by the writer of the introduction, rather by al-Shaykh al-Mufid himself when mentioning that two occultations were alluded to by the noble Imams. As for the narration which essentially highlights, alongside the point regarding Zurara, we find that al-Taq himself is unaware who his Imam is after al-Sadiq as well! The translated hadith is courtesy of the Thaqalayn hadith library, I will be commenting on particular sections of the hadith by denoting the words ‘I say’ to indicate that this is not part of the hadith, rather it is my commentary: [2/280] Irshad al-Mufid: Ibn Qulawayh from al-Kulayni from Muhammad b. Yahya from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa from Abi Yahya al-Wasiti from Hisham b. Salim who said: Muhammad b. al-Nu’man Sahib al-Taq and I were in Madina after the death of Abi Abdillah عليه السلام and the people had gathered around Abdallah b. Ja’far - considering him to be the Master of the Affair after his father. I say: These people are Imami Shia, some of them were even jurists of the Imamiya, and they clearly did not know who the Imam was after al-Sadiq. Otherwise, what are they all doing gathered around Abdullah al-Aftah? Explicitly, it is because they are unaware of this purported mass-transmitted hadith. Moreover, them considering him to be the Master of the Affair after his father is an indication that al-Sadiq (we expunge this attribution to our beloved Imam al-Sadiq, which unfortunately our Imami brothers support) seemed to have concealed a matter of salvation from the Muslims, while the Messenger himself, nor any Prophet before him was permitted to conceal any matter of salvation from the Muslims, let alone their close confidants. Indeed, our Imami brothers boast about how al-Imam al-Sadiq had thousands of students from the generality, yet seem to ignore the fact that these students were all (far be it from al-Imam al-Sadiq) ill-informed by the Imam regarding a matter which pertains to their salvation, as he went on to touch rather pedantic matters of jurisprudence? Moreover, to retort that the Imam only told those few in number who would have believed, is to go against the example of the Prophets, and the Sunnah of Allah which does not alter, in matters of salvation (see Q. 35:43). The message was universal: {And say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “˹This is˺ the truth from your Lord. Whoever wills let them believe, and whoever wills let them disbelieve.”} [al-Kahf: 29]. Furthermore, let us forget the community of the Muslims, the Shia of the Ahl al-Bayt, and even these acclaimed close confidants of the Imams. Why were their families unaware, the righteous from among them, that is. Indeed, in Epistle Two, the respected Shaykh scoffs at this question, yet it is indeed a question of striking significance in lieu of the Glorious Quran. For, the Imams who are to follow the example of the Messenger of Allah, and the Quran must heed the words of His Majesty to our beloved Messenger, wherein He, the Glorious, states: {Warn your nearest kinsfolk} [26:214]. So, our Prophet, upon him and his Ahl al-Bayt be peace, went on to warn the community of his kinsfolk, before the Muslims, informing Abu Jahl, and Abu Lahab regarding his Prophethood. Indeed, matters of salvation can never be concealed, and interestingly in Epistle Four, the respected Shaykh says: ‘‘It may also be said that for the previous Imāms, if they were to pass away there would be another Imām who would take their place’’. If his eminence finds no fault in maintaining such a position, then we can rightfully object in addition to the Quran, and the example of every single Prophet, and every single instance that salvation was tied to a matter that the matter had to be professed to the people. Otherwise, this is pure injustice; al-Imam al-Sadiq could have informed those thousands of Muslims, hundreds of Shias, and his own family that he was an Imam, and although he may be subject to death, this would be a clear benefit to the Islamic nation in its entirety. However, we also ask those who believe that the Imams have knowledge of the, did not the Prophet say: {Say, “I have no power to benefit or protect myself, except by the Will of Allah. If I had known the unknown, I would have benefited myself enormously, and no harm would have ever touched me. I am only a warner and deliverer of good news for those who believe.”}. Truly, if the Imam had knowledge of the unseen, he can never be touched by harm, for he would know from where it is coming, when it is coming, and from who it is coming, and he would know where to avoid it, when to avoid it, and who to avoid. I can list the infinite ways that a person who possesses knowledge of the unseen could dominate the world, and do so without ever committing a sin. Now, if one would retort that Allah does not permit the Imam to utilize his knowledge of the unseen, save through particular instances - which clearly make no difference whatever example one may give - then, such a person is maintaining that Allah has given a quality to the Imam which is simply arbitrary, and Allah does not do arbitrary things. So, be wary of His Majesty. Finally, it is critical to note that Allah also says: {O believers! Protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones}. The beginning of this, is to inform them that belief in your Imama amounts to salvation, if one says - like al-Taq - that the Imams did not inform them, due to knowing that they would not believe, then they would capitulate via the aforementioned contentions given with regards to the example of the Prophet, and the incoherence of having knowledge of the unseen. The hadith continued: We entered in to meet him while the people were with him. We asked him about the Zakat - at what amount is it to be levied? He said: five silver coins for every two hundred. We said: what about in a hundred silver coins? He said: two and a half silver coins. We said: by Allah this is what the Murjia say! he said: by Allah I do not even know what the Murjia say! He [Hisham] said: So I and Abu Ja’far al-Ahwal came out feeling lost not knowing where to go. We sat down in one of the streets of Madina, with our heads lowered, not knowing where to head or whom to seek. We kept saying to ourselves: Should we join the Murjia, or the Qadariyya, or the Mu’tazila or the Zaydiyya? We were still mulling over this when I saw an old man whom I did not recognize gesturing at me with his hand [to follow him]. I feared that he would turn out to be one of the spies of Abi Ja’far al-Mansur, for he [the Abbasid Caliph] had spies in Madina ready to inform him the identity of the one around whom the people unite after Ja’far so that he [the successor] can be taken and killed. I feared that this was one such spy. I therefore said to al-Ahwal: Depart [from this place] for I fear for both of us, but he only wants me not you, so get away from me to save your life and escape death. He [al-Ahwal] withdrew far away while I followed the old man. I did this because I felt that I could not escape him. I kept following him having readied myself to meet death. He led me until we reached the door of Abi al-Hasan Musa عليه السلام whereupon he left me and departed. Suddenly a servant appeared at the door and said to me: Enter may Allah have mercy on you. I say: Here is the critical point: I entered and found Abu al-Hasan Musa عليه السلام who said to me without being prompted: To me! To me! Not to the Murjia, nor the Qadariyya, nor the Mu’tazila, nor the Zaydiyya or the Khawarij. I said: May I be made your ransom - has your father passed on? He said: Yes. I said: passed away in death? He said: Yes. I said: Who do we have after him? He said: If Allah the Elevated wishes to guide you He will. I said: May I be made your ransom - your brother Abdallah claims to be the Imam after his father. He said: Abdallah wishes that Allah not be worshipped. I said: May I be made your ransom - who is for us after him [your father]? He said: If Allah wishes to guide you He will. I said: May I be your ransom - is it you? I say: There is no room for Taqiyya here, so why is he unaware that al-Kazim is the Imam? He said: I do not say that. He [Hisham] said: I said to myself [in my heart]: I am not putting the question appropriately. Then I said to him: May I be made your ransom - is there an Imam over you? He said: No. There entered me a feeling of awe and reverence towards him which no one knows about except Allah. Then I said to him: May I be made your ransom - can I ask you the way I used to ask your father? He said: Ask and you will be informed but do not publicize it for if you do that then it will be slaughter. [Hisham says:] I asked him and found him to be an ocean [of knowledge] which does not dry up [is not exhausted]. I said: May I be made your ransom - the Shia of your father are lost should I avail them of this matter and call them to accept you [as the Imam] for you have binded me to secrecy? He said: The one in whom you detect signs of receptivity to guidance then inform him of this and bind him to secrecy for if he publicizes it then it will be slaughter - and he pointed with his hand to his throat. He [Hisham] said: I left his presence and met Aba Ja’far al-Ahwal. He said to me: What is behind you? I said: Guidance! and relayed to him the whole story. Then we encountered Zurara and Aba Basir who both entered in to see him [al-Kadim] and heard his talk and asked him and believed in him. I say: Glory be to Allah, so the Imam here just left the matter in their hands? They are the ones who would detect who is deserving of guidance, or not? They would choose who to inform? Again, the point on Zurara is established here where those closest to al-Sadiq are now enlightened as to who the next Imam is. Therefore, the charge that even the close-confidants were unaware of the Imama of each Imam after each Imam by even the elites is established. Hadith continued: Then we met the people in droves, whoever enters in to meet him [al-Kadhim] believes in him, except for the group led by Ammar al-Sabati [who were Fathis], and the people abandoned Abdallah and no one entered in to see him except very few. Concluded. So, to say this is something which ‘mass-transmitted’ even if one is referring to the Imamiya exclusively, is either said out of deceit, or it is said out of ignorance, and we hope that the respected brothers are not seeking to deceive the laity. We have noticed that there seems to be an interesting surge of quotes that are shared by Twelver institutes, such as al-Mizan, and others that seem to promote this idea that the Prophet designated all twelve imams. Again, are these institutions willfully deceiving the laity? If not, then those who take part in these institutions, or promote them should not allow them to deceive the people, for the sake of their afterlife. Indeed, to lie upon the Prophet, and to lie to the people is something quite dangerous. Nonetheless, I digress. Moreover, the second claim, which is that the matter is mass-transmitted in respect to the Sunnis ought to be addressed as well. Firstly, the writer should be clear in mentioning that what is meant by Sunnis is mainstream Sunnis, otherwise, not all those who fall under the classification of Sunni necessarily hold to the narrations regarding the Mahdi to be mass-transmitted. This is from an angle, from another angle, mentioning the point on the Sunnis is mere fluff, respectively, it proves nothing at all whatsoever, and it is non-sequitur at best. The Prophet simply states that the Mahdi will be born in the end times, so what point is the writer seeking to make here? In what way is this even remotely substantive? Furthermore, there are those, for instance Ibn Taymiyya who maintain that the Mahdi, from the sons of the Prophet will be from the lineage of al-Imam al-Hasan. Thus supporting the Zaydi conception which rightfully limits the Imama to the sons of al-Hasan, and al-Husayn, as there is no evidence to limit the Imama to the sons of al-Husayn exclusively, let alone only nine from the sons of al-Husayn, upon them be peace. Now, we will delve into the Epistles themselves, as we have sought to expeditiously touch on the aspect of tradition - which much more can be explicated in its regard - after addressing each epistle, the reader will find that anyone who departs from the Ahl al-Bayt, upon them be peace, and chooses to follow those who are not from the Ahl al-Bayt: {is like that of the spider who takes a home. And indeed, the weakest of homes is the home of the spider} [29:41]. The preamble begins by mentioning the ontological necessity of an Imam, namely the Imam has to be infallible, and perfect so as to be able to guide in matters of religion. Now, let us apply S5 modal logic to this claim of necessity, I will concede the point on infallible guidance - the Zaydis also claim such guidance, and it can also be grasped, and tested. However, more on this elsewhere - the point on ontological necessity, like the point on Sunni traditions mentioning the Mahdi are essentially the same, they are once again non-sequitur. How so, well I have conceded that in all possible worlds there needs to be a source of infallible guidance. However, this does not maintain the Twelver view, as it is not contradictory, nor does the argument of Shaykh al-Mufid apply here, since in another possible world the Imams could have been 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,etc. Therefore, the claim of ontological necessity is negated on grounds of it begging the question. Furthermore, the argument collapses via modus tollens, since there is no guidance to begin with, and guidance is placed in the hands of the Shia of the Twelfth Imam who painfully differ between themselves, so much so - as will be highlighted - that they held beliefs of determinism, and anthropomorphism. So, seeing that ‘‘This paradigm is employed by al-Mufīd in all his other treatises, and Sharīf al-Murtaḍā adopts and expands on this same methodology in his book “Al-Muqni’ fī al-Ghaybah,” according to the writer. I have addressed how the methodology is explicitly flawed. Now, we arrive at the First Epistle: Here, al-Shaykh al-Mufid is addressing the question on how it can be claimed that the eleventh Imam, upon him be peace, hid the birth of his son from all of his other relatives. The Shaykh goes on to provide examples of how some individuals hid the birth of their sons, and then this birth was established, and accepted via testimony by two upright Muslims. He also goes on to mention how these examples indicate that hiding a birth (when justified) is justified by virtue of it being contingent on a greater good. Then, the Shaykh concludes by mentioning that a wide range of pious, and trustworthy companions testified to the existence of the twelfth Imam. In response to the Shaykh, I will begin by mentioning that just because some individuals hid the birth of their sons, this does not mean that the same conditions are viable for the Imam. For example, someone who is tasked with guiding has a greater duty towards guidance, and although person X may be permitted to go on about his life living a pious, and virtuous life, the Imam is not excused to do the same, because the Imam is tasked with actively guiding. The reader is invited to reflect on how the Shaykh, may Allah forgive him, chose to cite kings, and historical figures, as opposed to the Quran, or any Prophet. The reason is because, as I mentioned, they are tasked with guidance, and therefore cannot hide, or conceal said guidance, nor said personages who are linked to guidance. Especially from their righteous kindred, who are righteous by consensus. The only way to avoid this quagmire is to say that salvation is not tied to the Twelfth Imam, of course this wouldn’t solve the implications of Imami theology, however, it would exhibit the expected decorum. In terms of the Shaykh mentioning righteous personages, those who have claimed to have seen the Imam, their case is not like that of the aforementioned case(s) where someone’s lineage would be established by two Muslims, because nobody denied the testimony of those two Muslims. However, in this extraordinary case, you have the kindred of the Imam himself telling these foreigners that what they claim is something which is unfound, and the kindred of the Imam who are negating what these foreigners say are themselves upright, and known for their truthfulness, righteousness, and sacrifice for the religion of Allah. Indeed, our respected scholar al-Kazim al-Zaydi makes a wonderful point, he mentions that the Zaydi Imams in particular would be the most joyous, and felicitous if there was a Twelfth Imam, or Twelve designated Imams. This is because they wouldn’t have to face bloodshed, and persecution. Instead, they could sit in the comfort of their homes, and say the matter is in the hands of the Imam. So, it also cannot be said that they rejected this claim out of worldly desire, god forbid, and may one be wary for the sake of their afterlife in charging the greats from among the Ahl al-Bayt with this. We thank Allah that the works of the Imams such as the Star of the Ahl al-Bayt al-Imam al-Qasim al-Rassi, or al-Imam al-Nasir al-Utrush are extant. The reader is invited to peruse their writings and see the worldly detachment, and absolute fear of Allah which emanates from their noble works. Therein, one can examine such a matter through a psychological lens. The Second Epistle: I find that the Shaykh seems to be attacking a strawman here, as the argument is not expressed in its proper form. The point that is being made, unlike the claims of the Imamiya, is that Ja’far al-Naqi is someone who is righteous, and he is closely related to the eleventh Imam. So, why was he not informed, since he explicitly maintains that the father of the twelfth Imam did not have a son. If the Shaykh does not accept Ja’far al-Naqi, he can easily be substituted by a plethora of righteous personages, namely al-Imam Zayd himself who denied the fundamental theological claims of the Imamiya. The Third Epistle: Yes, if he mentioned that he had a son it would go against the Taqiyya narrative. However, Allah guards, and defends those who carry His message. The message of Allah is never promulgated via occult means, if one, as the Shaykh will mention, seeks to say that there are cases where Prophets, or Imams delegated certain personages this still does not address the contention. The reason is because the Prophet, or Imam being the source of delegation is explicit, it is not something which is dubious. Moreover, never once did Allah link a matter of salvation with occultation. The Fourth Epistle: The Shaykh mentions that the reason for the forefathers Imam being apparent, and not occult is namely, due to (a) they were engaged in Taqiyya, and (b) they did not place themselves under suspicion. In response to the Shaykh, what he is doing is that he is presupposing the matter, and then providing justification. This does not answer the contention, as the Imam could have engaged in Taqiyya as well, and he could also avoid matters which would place him under questioning. Now, one can say that they were after him, as the Shaykh maintains. However, as explicitly demonstrated, and as the Imamiya maintain, only a select few knew of his existence to begin with. So, how can it be said that the Abbasids were hellbent on finding him, and killing him when his only family was perplexed regarding his existence? The only answer to this is that the Abbasids were aware of this to begin with, as they are notorious for their ploys, and tactics of deceit which would make one’s skin crawl after taking some time to look into their deeds. Moreover, if one were to consult al-Fihrist for al-Shaykh al-Tusi, they will find that a wide range of those who the Imamis deem reliable worked in very critical positions in relation to the Abbasids - not to mention the Nawbakhat family. Furthermore, point (b) is simply incorrect, because al-Kazim, upon him be peace, participated in the rebellion of al-Imam al-Nafs al-Zakiyya, upon him be peace, and even when he pardoned them we find that al-Imam al-Sadiq insisted that he, and his brother Abdullah participate. The Fifth Epistle: In this epistle, the Shaykh makes a grand blunder, it is not his circular reasoning for the reliability of the companions of the eleventh Imam which has been addressed already. Rather, it is his saying regarding the deputies of the Imam ‘‘these same individuals were the intermediaries between him and his Shī’ah. Religious teachings and communications were transmitted from him through these individuals. These individuals also became his representatives in collecting the religious tithes of the Shī’ah’’. I will obstruct this claim by mentioning a severe implication that pertains to the deputies. During the time of the deputies, the Qomi school was known for its problematic positions, which today are scoffed at, and rightfully so by our Imami brothers. Namely, it is holding to the belief in Tashbih, and Jabr. In the Rasa’il of Shareef al-Murtadha, he notes that all the scholars of Qom with exception to al-Shaykh al-Saduq were upon this creed of Jabr, and Tashbih. Now, if these deputies, those who were supposedly in communication with the Imam, and also knowledgeable as the Shaykh claims, had sent letters to the scholars in Qom so that they may check their Aqeedah for them, what does this say to you? Does it support that they were in communication with the Imam? Clearly not, forget guiding the Muslims, or even the Shia, the Imam didn’t guide his own deputies away from anthropomorphism, and determinism! Are these really individuals one is to feel safe in accepting their claims with regards to creed? Indeed, al-Shaykh al-Tusi has narrated that Abi al-Qasim al-Husayn b. Ruh sent a book to the scholars of Qom, and he wrote to some of its jurists saying: ((Look into this book, and inform me, is there anything in it that you oppose?)). Then, they wrote back to him, saying: It is all correct, and there is nothing within it which opposes us [in creed]. [Ghaybat al-Tusi: 390, also see Tarikh al-Ghayba: v.1, 513]. Furthermore, Muhammad Hadi al-Yusufi said: ((When al-Shalmaghani wrote Kitab al-Ta’dib, al-Shaykh al-Nawbakhti sent it to Qom)) [Mawsu’at al-Tarikh al-Islami: v.8, 583]. Finally, al-Shaykh Asif Muhsini explicitly negates the claim of al-Shaykh al-Mufid, in terms of the deputies being knowledgeable - although, one would at least expect the representatives of the Imams to have their creed in tact, or instead of asking Qomi scholars who clearly needed guidance themselves, to ask the Mahid to guide them. Rather, if it is too much for the Mahdi to guide them, at the very least he could point his deputy to the Baghdadi school instead. Interestingly, the Qomi school can be revived, seeing that the one who would want to take their problematic positions in creed could easily cite the very own deputy of the Imam! The Shaykh writes: ((The delegation of the deputies is not due to their superior knowledge in jurisprudence, hadith, and exegesis. Rather, it is due to other reasons. This is why al-Husayn b. Ruh was compelled to send a book to the jurists of Qom. For, he himself was able to differentiate, he would have looked into it himself, as usual)). [Mu’jam al-Ahadith al-Mu’tabara: v.2, 354]. What more does one need to say, and how much more does one need to demonstrate when it comes to the incoherence of such a theology? Although Shaykh Asif would also hold oal-Shaykh al-Mufid in question regarding his claim that ‘‘Religious teachings and communications were transmitted from him through these individuals’’. I would also like the reader to note that the excuse al-Shaykh Asif gives is unacceptable as well, when states that: ((The delegation of the deputies is not due to their superior knowledge in jurisprudence, hadith, and exegesis. Rather, it is due to other reasons)). We have to know those reasons, otherwise, why are we being held to accept the claims of representatives of an infallible Imam who have no superior knowledge in jurisprudence, hadith, and exegesis. Yet, have a superior standing among the Abbasids, and SubhanAllah comfortably collect the Khums while the Abbasids are just sitting there and watching this unfold. For, shouldn’t they be panicking? Aren’t they collecting khums so that the Imam can use it to fight against these tyrants, wasn’t this the mainstream early Imami conception - as Sayyid Kamal notes, the Shia would sleep with their swords under their pillows thinking the Imam is going to rise at any moment. Honestly, it is beyond hysteria at this point, and it is unacceptable that one even takes this seriously. The disaster is one can keep on relating contradiction after contradiction, travesty after travesty, the Twelver creed is a creed which fails drastically in light of the Quran, the Sunnah, history, and in light of their own corpus. Keep in mind during the time of Shaykh al-Mufid, the Shia were having problems with an Imam being absent for more than a century. Can you imagine the look on their faces when informed that the Imam is absent for 1189 years, and counting?! Again, the respected Shaykh strawmans this question as well, because the point isn’t that its not conceivable that the Imam can be absent for over a hundred years, I don’t have an issue - and neither do the ones who raise this contention - that the Imam could be occult for a million years. The problem is the absence of the Imam entails the absence of the implementation of the Shariah of Allah, hence Wilayat al-Faqih after a thousand years of waiting. The creed of occultation is disrespectful to Allah, to His Messengers, to the Prophet, and to the Ahl al-Bayt. It is truly heartbreaking to see the name of the Ahl al-Bayt be pillaged in this manner. The Shaykh concludes the fifth epistle by engaging in Qiyas (paradoxically, the Imamis are staunchly against Qiyas, yet seem to use it the most in their theology), he mentions the companions of the cave, al-Khidr, etc, the response to this is that salvation wasn’t tied to them during their absence. Epistle Six: As mentioned, this is a strawman, as the point isn’t to do with the longevity of the Imams age, it is the longevity of the Shariah not being established. For, Allah informs us to implement the Hudud, to lash the fornicators, administer the Zakat, etc. However, the Imami claim is that only the Imam can establish the Shariah, therefore, the objection to his age is an objection to how long the Quran has been set aside, and leeway is given to tyrants, and secularists to rule the Muslims while everyone is to just sit back and read Dua al-Nudba. Epistle Seven: There were dozens who claimed to represent the Imam, to this day we have the followers of Ahmad b. al-Hasan al-Yamani who support their view from a hadith in al-Kafi which mentions two Mahdis after the Twelver. Again, the Shaykh is begging the question, as he is not providing a means to validate who is representing the Imam, since there were false claimants to his deputyship, such as al-Hallaj, and a dozen others. Finally, this argument is inapplicable to this era, since there is nobody who can claim to represent the Imam, and be taken seriously. Therefore, the contention raised by the question that the Shaykh sought to answer in this epistle, which is: There is No Need for a Hidden Imām Because His Existence is Like Non-Existence: No One Is Able to Meet with Him and He Cannot Establish God’s Laws. He Cannot Guide Anyone, Enjoin Good/Forbid Evil, or Call Towards Jihād. Is a contention that is binding, and unanswered. As for the second point which the Shaykh mentions in the epistle, that the Imam fears for his life, and therefore matters of the Shariah not being implemented will be the fault of the oppressors is an answer which needs to be read in the context of the Shaykh. It hasn’t been two hundred years since the purported occultation, not over a thousand years where there were dozens upon dozens of just Islamic governments, as well as Twelver dense communities, and to this day we have Iran, which would give the Imam his seat and sacrifice beyond imagination for his sake. The Eighth Epistle: The Shaykh says that the Waqifites, and others cannot claim their occult personages, because they were perceived to be dead. However, this does not suffice, because they too can take out of context verses, tag them with Qiyas, and say: {And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them} [4:157]. The Ninth Epistle: The Shaykh does not answer the question, and instead appeals to mystery. The Tenth Epistle: There is no significance in raising this as a contention against the occultation. With that, I conclude the rebuttal to the ten epistles, and I invite our dear brothers, and sisters to reflect. ~ Muhammad al-Sharifi
  2. Selam love community, there is apparently a book which should have refuted the arguments of Muhammed Al Tijani. Has anyone ever read this book and can tell if these were really refutations or excuses? Wa sallam
  3. (salam) Ever heard of Jake Neuman? He's an anti-Islamist, not a very famous one. He's written a book against Prophet Muhammad (pbuh): http://www.islamreform.net/user/image/prophetmuhammadmonsterofhistory.pdf I want that book refuted. Can you provide me a link for that? I wanna know whether this book's already been answered or not. Thanks!
  4. Islamic studies professor refutes famous Neil degrasse Tyson video on islam and science
  5. Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah In the name of Allah, all praise be to Him, the most High! May Allah send his blessings upon His messenger Muhammad and His messenger's, Muhammad's family, and hasten their reappearance and withdraw His mercy from their enemies! I'm writing this post in order to refute the accusations against Sheikh Hassan Allahyari (ha) and Sheikh Yasser Habib (ha), portraying them as western agents (I seek refuge in Allah). 1. "US funds Sheikh Hassan Allahyari and his TV channel." I will try to present reasonable arguments why such claims against Sheikh Hassan Allahyari are irrational. If Sheikh Hassan Allahyari has been sponsored by the US government, why is his channel not working (for about 8 to 9 months) due to some financial problems of his? The absence of topics cannot be argued because he has opened a channel in YouTube and has been very active discussing various topics, why does he have financial problems when he can get his money directly from US government (if he was funded by US in the first place)? Most importantly, why has he asked for donations if he can manage to get his money from US or any other NATO country for that matter? Therefore, suggesting that Sheikh Hassan Allahyari serves US's interests, while all his work is supported by the narrations of our Imams, prophet and the clear verses of the Noble Qur'an, is irrational. 2. "Sheikh Yasser Habib and his TV channel are funded by the British, thus he is a "British agent"." The same argument can be addressed regarding Sheikh Habib's TV channel. As far as we are concerned, Sheikh Yasser Habib has asked for donations in order to make a movie in his Fadak TV (about Lady Fatimah sa), by using reason and logic, we will come to know that an unbiased mind will confidently tell, that the (non evident) accusations thrown here and there without proof portraying Sheikh Habib as a Western agent (I seek refuge in Allah) don't make any sense. Some try to use West Funded magazines and newspapers to prove that Sheikh Habib had collected a very big amount of money, which seems ironic because why would West Funded newspapers expose their agent. Even if Sheikh Habib has had a lot of money, how is that proof for his money to come from the government while donations could as well be the case? Furthermore, would the same people accuse Ayatollah Sayed Ali Sistani for an agent (I seek refuge in Allah) when he owns a lot of money (which a result of khums)? 3. "But they live in the west." It is very laughable for someone to use this argument, because this doesn't mean anything at all. Very simple, the oppressive governments don't allow them to speak the truth therefore they stay in countries (don't misunderstand, I don't support any country except that I enjoy some of their rights) that offer them this right (which is daily restricting). What about Khomeini,(since most accusers are Khomeini/Khamenei followers and supporters) this question can be applied in regards to him as well, was he a French agent according to you? Khomeini went to France because the Shah had limited his "freedom" of preaching Absolute Wilayatul Faqih, simple as that. Conclusion Finally I present the conclusion of my topic. Through the information presented and arguments cited above, I state and conclude that Sheikh Hassan Allahyari and Sheikh Yasser Habib are not western agents. For all those who want to have a debate, please message me on my PM, I will most surely respond in sha Allah when I have time. For those who are ready to criticize and respond to my arguments let me know and we will discuss all your points in this topic in sha Allah. Glory be to Allah, we are thankful to Him and praise Him for His mercy and guidance He bestowed upon us! May Allah send His blessings upon His last messenger, and upon His last messenger's family, and hasten their reappearance, and withdraw His mercy from their enemies! May Allah guide the ones who are obedient to Him and open to His guidance! Ameen!
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