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  1. So I want to start reading the Qur'an and Hadith's are there translations (English) written by Shi'a scholars that someone could recommend? And are there books about the Imams also written by a Shi'a in English? I really don't want website links I would rather have a physical book I can take with me places. Books on Shi'a theology would be nice too.
  2. Hi, I live in the UK and I study Law and sociology at university. Can anyone tell me a link to a website or any information on how to get entry to Qom Hawza, I am looking to start full time education at Qom hawza after I finish my Law degree. Also can you tell me if the education and accommodation is free or do I have to pay. I heard it was free and they give you accommodation as well as spending money. the qomicis.org website isn't working for me I don't know why, if you could tell me why I would be grateful. Thanks everyone.
  3. Salam We have all heard that taqlid is in fiqh but not in beliefs (theology), but why this distinction? Can anyone point me to arguments for this distinction? Thanks in advance
  4. Hey, I wanted to create this thread and, as a Baha'i, I am interested in creating a HEALTHY debate about whether or not Baha'u'llah and the Bab are truly prophets. I would request from all those who would like to comment to not insult anyone, including Baha'u'llah, the Bab. This is meant to be a healthy conversation. FYI, I speak perfect Arabic so I have no problem explaining things in Arabic or verses, etc. from the Baha'i writings.
  5. I would like a recommendation for books, outside of the Noble Qur'an, for a non muslim that is considering Islam and becoming a shia in particular. I am particularly looking for good books on Prayer, SHia Spirituality, Lifestyle, and Theology. Is there a good english translation of shia hadith in a hardbound set?
  6. Almost every Thursday night, my parents light a candle, bring some drinks (usually just milk mixed with rooh afza) and we recite Surah Al-Fatihah once followed by Surah Al-Ikhlas three times. We do this once for the 14 infallibles, and again for our deceased relatives. Then, we drink from the milk, and put out the candle. There are some variations to this, but this is usually what we do every Thursday night. My mother calls this "nazr". I have lots of questions about this. Firstly, why is it called "nazr"? Isn't this word based off the arabic word "nadhr", which means a vow? But it doesn't seem like we are making a vow. I have also heard that "nazr" in urdu means black magic, but looking online I can't find anything to confirm this. In fact, on this site it looks like it means a gift, or an offering. This seems more close to what we're doing, I guess we are offering the milk we're drinking as an offering? But to whom? Are we offering it to the 14 infallibles and our deceased relatives? I don't understand that, because it doesn't seem like offering the milk (which we later drink ourselves) would benefit them in any way. 13 of the 14 infallibles are deceased, and the one who is alive never appears to drink the milk. Therefore, it can't benefit them. The deceased relatives hence also cannot benefit from the milk. It then may follow from that that our gift is towards Allah. But Allah does not need our gift, because he is self-sufficient. So now I am confused what our gift is for, if we are using the urdu translation of "nazr". Also, what is the arabic term for this? If "nazr" is not the correct term, then what is? What exactly are we doing? I tried looking on Al-Islam.org but could not find any references to this practice. I guess I'm not really understanding the purpose behind the practice. One explanation could be that we are doing this to remember the 14 infallibles and our deceased relatives. But then why do we need the candle and the drinks? If someone could help clear these questions for me, that would be very helpful. Thanks in advance.
  7. Hello All, I've been stalking the shiachat.com silently for a while and I though it's time I actually get in conversations instead of my ideas eating up my mind in silents. Sorry if my english writing is weird, I'm a native arabic speaker (not that I'm better in writing arabic tho lol) I usually have hard time conveying ideas so I'll just try best. I grew up a Shia muslim in a relativily religious family in SA. We didn't grow up with emphasis on culture but more on religion, so I am grateful for that. Both my parents and my siblings have higher education and my dad is a reader of religion as I could see by our religion books at home. we like moderation in our believe and follow Ayot Allah Ali khamenei. I had the chance to study abroad and experience the world for myself. When I saw diversity in the States so many religion questions came to my mind. slowly I lost my faith and the agnostic believes are creeping in slowly. I'm still a muslim (I think) but not practicing and I'm not looking for perfection in my spirituality. I came to a conclusion that I am very comfortable with: That all religions are mainly in the values before the practice. if I can achieve the core values using different practices than the ones given in islam why do very traditional fiqh? I know islam and other religions gives good guidance toward a functional society and individuals, I do believe it still hold on individual spiritual basis but it does not hold anymore for societies as a whole. We are too far in future - 1400+ yrs, human minds evolve and technology does so. how are we supposed to follow the same fiqh as before. especially with women fiqh. Back then women had 0 rights, I'm sure the prophet could not come to Jahiliah and be like "give them all their rights" because no one would follow him or believe it, back then it was absurd to say a woman is worth as much as a man. Today and many woman out their refuse to believe I'm worth less than a man. A women can do the same mental work as a man with the technology (robots) taking over heavy duty work, the biological differences may play zero rule in future. Women can potentially get paid the same or higher than a man, hence why it is still a man has authority over his wife in islam when both can work and be as independent unlike before. it doesn't make sense in our time.
  8. What are the characteristics of those whom Allah loves and hates? For more than a billion Muslims around the globe, the Qurān reproduces God’s very own words. To find our answer whom are loved and what constitutes their important characteristics, let's turn the pages of the Quran. I searched the Quran with the keywords of یحب [whom He loves] and لایحب [whom He dislikes] and the result is somehow noteworthy. The numbers in the brackets signify the number of Chapters and Verses of the Quran respectively. In the light of the Quranic verses, one can find who are to be loved and who are to be hated by the most merciful Creator. Moreover, his creatures can follow the suit. Allah loves those who have beautified themselves with the following characteristics: 1. Indeed, Allah loves the virtuous. (02:195), (03:134), (03:148), (05:13), (05:93). 2. Indeed, Allah loves the penitent and He loves those who keep clean (02:222), (09:108). 3. Yes, whoever fulfills his commitments and is wary of Allah, Allah indeed loves the God wary (03:76), (09:04), 4. And Allah loves the steadfast (03:146). 5. Indeed, Allah loves those who trust in Him (03:159). 6. Indeed, Allah loves the just (05:42), (49:09), (60:08), 7. Indeed, Allah loves those who fight in His way in ranks, as if they were a compact structure (61:04). Allah does not like the individuals with the following characteristics: 1. Indeed, Allah does not like transgressors (02:190), (05:87), (07:55). 2. Allah does not like corruption (02:205). 3. Allah does not like any sinful ingrate. (02:276). 4. Indeed, Allah does not like the faithless (03:32), (30:45). 5. And Allah does not like the wrongdoers (03:57), (03:140), (42: 40). 6. Indeed, Allah does not like anyone who is a swaggering braggart (04:36), (31:18), (57:23). 7. Indeed, Allah does not like someone who is treacherous and sinful (04:107). 8. Allah does not like the disclosure of [anyone's] evil [ conduct] in speech except by someone who has been wronged, and Allah is all-hearing, all-knowing (04:148). 9. And Allah does not like the agents of corruption (05:64), (28:77) 10. Do not be wasteful; indeed, He does not like the wasteful (06:141), (07:31), 11. Indeed, Allah does not like the treacherous (08:58). 12. Indeed, He does not like the arrogant (16:23). 13. Indeed, Allah does not like any ingrate traitor (14:38). 14. Do not exult! Indeed, Allah does not like the exultant (28:76). A man/woman with primordial and innate nature Loves and Hates whom his Lord likes and dislikes accordingly. May Allah grant us the blessing to fall in the first category. Thanks May Allah Bless Us All
  9. Anyone know about theology Irja or Murji'ah?
  10. Assalamu Aleykum Wa Rahmat Allah Wa Barakatuh I am a Muslim born agnostic, my father is Sunni and my mother Shiite. I have a lot of questions on how Shias view certain topics. My first question is on Fatima bint al rasul, I have heard a lot of claims from Sunnis that according to Shiites, Omar ibn al-Khattab broke Fatima's ribs. Is this claim true? If yes, could I please be informed of the historical text? Moreover, what is the reason behind the conflict between Shiites and Sunnis? My second question is on the Caliphate: Would Shiites live under a Sunni caliphate? The third one is on progressiveness: Would Shiite Islam ever get rid of the Jizya system, or how does Shiite Islam view LGBTs and are the punishments similar to that of Sunni Islam? (cutting the hands in case of stealing, etc.) The fourth question is on economics: How should the economy be regulated under an Islamic caliphate, that is if it should be regulated? I would be very thankful to who answers in a detailed manner stating sources. Jazakum Allah Khayran
  11. Hope you are all well. Hopefully someone can shed light on this topic that I have found elsewhere which I myself would like an answer on too, using Hadith or Quranic verses. My questions are: Why create us to worship him if he doesn't need our worship Why create us to worship him if he doesn't want our worship Why create us to give us him mercy, if he doesn't want to give us your mercy Why create us to give us him mercy, if he doesn't need to give us your mercy That looks like 4 questions, doesn't it? But they all boil down to a single question which is this: Why do anything if you have no wants or needs. According to quran.com/35/15, Allah has no wants or needs, so that means that Allah did not want to give us his mercy and Allah did not have the need to give us his mercy, i.e. if you don't want to do something, why do it? Please note that many who have attempted to answer this question have focused on the "need" part but have neglected the issue of "wanting". Any input would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.
  12. If God created the universe, then who created God? And who created the creator of God? Dear Readers, The question seems mind-blowing and thus has been at the center of the most heated philosophical and theological debates in Islam. To solve the very problem, I would like to draw your kind attention to the following points that can easily solve the problem raised: A) The philosophical principles are always all-inclusive and do not undergo any exception of any kind. Hence, the impossibility of ‘effect without cause’ and ‘infinite regress’ are of those philosophical principles that can never be subject to any exception. B) To the Muslim Philosophers, the proposition “everything needs a creator” is not a true philosophical rule. As mentioned earlier, had this proposition been philosophical, it should have included all cases and examples. Nothing and no one should have remained beyond this philosophical rule. But as we see the proposition is not truly applicable to the Ultimate Cause. At least, from this perspective, Allah, being the Ultimate Cause, seems an exclusion to the rule. C) To solve the very challenging problem we must reword and rephrase the above-mentioned misleading proposition with another alternative. Instead of maintaining “everything needs a creator” we must say that “every contingent and possible existent needs a creator or an efficient cause”. The subtle difference between the two propositions is “everything” and “every possible thing or being”. As a result, It is correct to say that ‘every possible and contingent existent needs its appropriate cause or creator’. This sentence, logically and rationally, does not include the Necessary Being called Allah. For He is not a contingent existent rather He is the Necessary Existent. Thus, Allah or God, the Ultimate Cause of the causes, does not stand in need of any begetter or creator. This concept is harmonious with the Quranic verses as well that says: Say, “He is God, [who is] One, God, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, Nor is there to Him any equivalent”.
  13. If God loves unconditionally, how can sin exist? Indeed, Allah, the Compassionate, loves all His creatures but not unconditionally. If we accept the unconditional love of Allah to all creatures, irrespective their piety, then can we talk of Allah’s wisdom and justice. Allah two different kinds of mercy A) Common, B) Particular. The first category includes everyone but the second is exclusive of the most virtuous and pious ones. For sure, Allah loves the sinner servants to return to Allah and make themselves purified of the major and minor sins. But it does not necessarily imply that Allah’s love towards them is similar to the individual who lived his whole life with purity, sincerity and honesty. Even the Human beings can not have unconditional love to their kids and friends. For unconditional love runs counter to one’s sagacity and wisdom. It can be interred this way that Love can be of different levels. The more competent and honest you are, the more love and blessings you will be enjoying from the Lord. The level of one’s pious character or mean behavior can a game changer in attraction or distraction of Allah’s love. Human’s good deeds and bad actions can make huge differences on how Allah, would love and resurrect us. For he has explicitly said: وَمَا خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاءَ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا بَاطِلًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ ظَنُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ۚ فَوَيْلٌ لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنَ النَّارِ [٣٨:٢٧] أَمْ نَجْعَلُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ كَالْمُفْسِدِينَ فِي الْأَرْضِ أَمْ نَجْعَلُ الْمُتَّقِينَ كَالْفُجَّارِ [٣٨:٢٨] And We did not create the heaven and the earth and that between them aimlessly. That is the assumption of those who disbelieve, so woe to those who disbelieve from the Fire. Or should we treat those who believe and do righteous deeds like corrupters in the land? Or should We treat those who fear Allah like the wicked? To have more information on whom is Loved or Hated by Allah, you can click to the following link. Shuja's answer to What are the characteristics of those whom Allah loves? Thanks May, Allah Grant us His Exclusive Blessings
  14. When we talk about God, we either address His Essence or His Attributes and His Actions. The first category rests beyond everyone’s reach, even the Divine Prophets and Great Saints can never have any access to the Essence of Allah, the Infinite. The reason is clear. To finite beings, it is impossible to surround or encircle the Infinite Existent, thus, they can't and won't have any say about Him! Furthermore, the semantic and linguistic variables play decisive part in this respect, for the human beings are always accustomed of employing finite concepts when they express themselves and their limited surroundings enveloped with material properties. To apply such a literature, appropriate for describing tangible beings, to a Wholly Other and Transcendental Being will have its own unavoidable complexities and challenges. The great theologians, thus, have developed positive and negative theologies to enable human beings to talk about the Divine Essence, His Names and Attributes and finally His Actions. Positive theology is "a theological approach or tradition in which the nature of God is thought to be knowable and is understood through positive statements". To avoid and evade the fatal implications of anthropomorphism in general and the ascription of anthropomorphic properties to Allah, the Omnipotent, in particular "Negative theology" came into being. Whatever one abides by in this respect, he has to be fully aware that subscribing to the either extremes of the two theological inclinations, would imply it's own advantages and disadvantages. The Holy Quran, however, has made use of both kinds positive and negative propositions to prescribe what qualities should be attributed to Him and what characters and features must not be attributed to Allah, the most Exalted. Therefore, the Quran has, on the one hand, described Allah as an Omnipotent, Omniscient and the most Compassionate Existent بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم، إن الله على كل شىء قدير and on the other hand the Quran has depicted Allah as a Wholly Other Being whose incomparability, simplicity and infinity resembles none: ‎لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِير (الشورى/ ١١)؛ Though Allah has been the subject to close studies of a numerous great thinkers and philosophers but less have been successful in revealing the Essence of Allah and that of His Essentially Existent Qualities. Man's inability to have complete and comprehensive knowledge of God, is something intrinsic and thus they are admonished not to think about Allah's Unfathomable Essence; because they would be lost in the utterly abandoned desert of bewilderment and consternation. To wrap up, my definition of God or my blurry image of Allah is: an Absolute, Simple and Infinite Being whose Essentially Necessary Existence is the Ultimate Cause of all apparent causes. May God Bless You, Your Family and Friends. References: 1. The Quran 2. The first sermon of Nahjulbalagha.
  15. There was a question 'Are Shias Muslim? If so what's the evidence?', My humble response was as follows: It is as if one poses questions that Are Sunnis Muslim? Are Catholics and Protestants Christian? Are days and nights parts of time? Do the black and white colors fall in the spectrum of colors? If so what's the evidence? Anyhow, to address the above-mentioned question precisely and to know whether or not Shias are Muslims, one should know in advance what does Muslim literally mean? What does make an individual a Muslim? Or what are the most integral parts of Islamic belief system? A Muslim is he who follows the religion of Islam and surrenders his will to the will of Allah. The most important constituents that make one a Muslim are to bear witness to the Absolute Oneness of Allah, to accept the Prophetic missions of the divine messengers including the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him and his family) as the seal of the Prophets and to confess to the existence of the judgement day. The Shias and Sunnis unanimously accept the very three fundamental principles and thus are entitled Muslims. He who meticulously observes the divine law in his private and public spheres of life and his actions translate his inner feelings and beliefs, is called a practicing and faithful Muslim. One can find a another definition of a Muslim in our Hadith literature that says: الْمُسْلِمُ مَنْ سَلِمَ الْمُسْلِمُونَ مِنْ لِسَانِهِ وَيَدِهِ Meaning that “a Muslim is he who the people are safe from his tongue and hand, i.e. he does not inflict harm to people”. Let me finish it with Allah’s saying: وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ قَوْلًا مِّمَّن دَعَا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا وَقَالَ إِنَّنِي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does righteousness and says, "Indeed, I am of the Muslims." [Fussilat: 33]. Thanks Reference: The Quran. .من لايحضره الفقيه، شیخ صدوق، ج ۴، ص ۳۶۲، ح ۵۷۶۲ .سنن النسائی، المعجم ۴۷- الإیمان، ب ۷-۱۶، ح ٤٩٩٥؛-٥٠٠٨
  16. How can you trust Allah, the Almighty? Sometimes when I ride the motor bike, I have the honor and privilege to be accompanied by many including my little daughter who leans and relies on my chest. There she is as calm and relaxed as if nothing is happening and we are not moving either. She often turns her head back and sends me lovely laughter and giggles. She rarely falls asleep on my chest while I am riding the bike. In such moments, the point that clicks my mind is her unconditional and absolute reliance on her father. Her complete reliance and trust makes her unworried and satisfied. Given that I whisper with myself, I wish I had my little daughter's reliance on me [a limited creature and full of shortages], to Allah, the Almighty [the unlimited and all-Wise Creator and Benefactor]. To feel calm and secure, we have to trust to Allah, the all-Wise.
  17. I cursed and mocked Allah, will Allah forgive me? I was a short-term atheist this summer. Whenever I got angry I cursed Allah and mocked muslims. But now I returned to Islam and I pray him everyday to forgive me. I know it's a very big sin and I regret it so much. Will he forgive me? My humble response to the question is: Why not? Allah, the Almighty, in various verses of the Holy Quran has explicitly promised us all that He will forgive those who commit sins. His all-Inclusive and all-Embracing mercy requires that such sins and even bigger than that are to be forgiven easily and instantly. Let me describe it through an example, when we [human] are a bit kind hearted and in good mood, we can forgive sins that are far greater in size and scale than insulting and slanderous expressions. How is it possible that Allah whose compassion is not a match to His creatures’ should not forgive the minor wrongdoings. You might have come across events in your daily life that when, one violates the rights of faithful and pious Muslims, if he asks them earnestly to forgive him, most of them, most of the time, would forgive him and his misbehavior; because Allah has ordered them to experience the sweet taste of forgiveness. How Allah, the Most Compassionate, would not forgive what His week creatures forgive and forget? Moreover, Allah, the Most Exalted, says I love those who return to Me. Indeed, every returning of a repentant servant to Allah, begins with Allah's return to him. From the Quranic point of view, every repentance of a man/woman is wrapped up with two returns of Allah. When a man/woman feels regret of his/her sins, actually God, the Almighty, has showered blessings upon him/her which made him/her mindful of correcting his/her faults. Then that repentant individual turns his face towards his creator and asks for Allah's forgiveness. Finally, Allah, the Most Merciful, would return to him by accepting his repentance. In such a way, the servants will be cleansed of the dirt of sins and mischievous actions. It is why Allah, the Benevolent, has said that every blessing begins with Him. Your mindfulness and regret of the sin can be a clear embodiment of Allah's limitless grace and blessings. Don't let the feeling of guilt undermine your will of spiritual growth. Thanks May Allah, Bless Us All.
  18. From an Islamic perspective, can you justify a supposed sin expecting God to "understand" the situation? A hypothetical example I can provide is, (e.g) if a person “stole” money that they were owed, and never brought it up again? If a person cheated in a test, but they didn’t want to pursue career related to that subject anyways? If a person lied about something to prevent any unnecessary anger? etc? My humble Response to the above-mentioned question is: Allah, the All-Knowing and the All-Wise, knows best all these possible situations and scenarios the human being will face in their lives. Allah, has put forth his legislative guidelines for the human to educate them how to deal with unlikely scenarios because the human beings are always in constant severe fight from within. The fight between intellect and carnal desires. To win a prosperous life, human beings are ordered to abide by their intellectual commands which are closely in line with the divine revelation. Otherwise, their unconditional surrender to their internal temptations and desires would not avail them neither in this world nor in the hereafter. Yet, the human beings are equipped with free-will to choose either of the good and bad ways or to live a life composed of both decent and indecent acts. Needless to say, there are extremely rare and exceptional cases, not too many, in divine law where one is allowed to skip them. Those exceptional cases have been authorized by the divinity in advance. In other words, those exceptional cases can be termed as logical and legitimate situations where Allah allows one to run against the already set motion. For instance, in ordinary cases none is allowed to tell lie, but in circumstances where a lie can save the life of an innocent man or woman from an imminent danger, then temporarily he is allowed to tell lie only if a human's life is dependent upon that lie. Another example that can suit our case study best is the permissibility of temporal consumption of pork or forbidden meat in emergency conditions: إِنَّما حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةَ وَ الدَّمَ وَ لَحْمَ الْخِنْزيرِ وَ ما أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ باغٍ وَ لا عادٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحيمٌ He has forbidden you only carrion, blood, the flesh of the swine, and that which has been offered to other than Allah. But should someone be compelled, without being rebellious or aggressive, indeed Allah is all-forgiving, all-merciful (Chapter al-Nahl, Verse: 115). Conclusion: Allah, the All-Wise, knows best all actions and intentions. What matters most, our good intentions and actions should outnumber the bad ones.
  19. There is a question: As a Sunni Muslim can you explain what Shia Muslims believe and why? My Humble response to the question is: It is worthwhile to note that the question posed seems loose and general; for it includes too many conflicting issues that cannot be addressed properly and briefly. Anyhow, Islam is the last divinely-sent religion. Shia and Sunni Muslims are the two main and major streams of Islam on the whole. During the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him and his family), all Arab tribes had gathered under the umbrella of Prophet and had relatively forgotten their ancestors' tribal and historical hostile rivalries. Unfortunately, with the sad demise of the founder of Islam, the Muslims got split into two main factions: A) Those companions of the Prophet who supported successorship of Ali b. Talib and saw him the most competent, knowledgeable and pious figure to be the Muslim leader. They were of the view that it was Ali b. Talib who was explicitly designated by the Prophet some 70 or 84 days earlier as his legitimate successor. He was to play the different roles of a spiritual guide, a religious authority and a political leader for the whole Muslim community. B) Those who clustered around the first and second caliphs i.e. Abubakr and Omar assuming that their Prophet did not appoint anyone to be a spiritual and political guide for his community. When the political leadership of the community experienced a major shift to figures other than Ali b. Talib, the family of the Prophet (a.s) and the close partisans of Ali were isolated and the mass were too deprived of their true and precise interpretation of Islamic teachings. Later on, Muslim community went through internecine civil wars which deepened their division extensively and deeply. Anyhow, the issue of leadership and the question as to who should control the political power ignited the flame of discrepancy among the Muslims. Another main reason for the difference between the Shia and Sunni accounts of Islamic teachings is the sources to which their theological, jurisprudential and political answers and perspectives rely upon. To the Shiites, beside the Quran, Sunnah and intellect, it is their infallible Imams' sublime characters that are considered to be the legitimate sources of deducing religious rulings. Whereas to the Sunnites, the case is a bit different because to them beside the Quran and Sunnah, it is the Prophet’s Companions and (Aisha) -one among many wives of the Prophet-, who play a decisive part in forming the structure of their theological, political and jurisprudential teachings. Their theory of "the justice of companions" can be seen closely similar and as a parallel to that of their Shiite counterparts' belief. To the Shiites, their Imams are infallible and can provide inerrant interpretations of the whole Islamic teachings. Those who are interested to conduct comparative studies of inter-faith complicated issues, should master in different fields of studies such as theology, jurisprudence, history and so on and so forth. Moreover, they have to get rid of declaring shallow, outdated and dangerous verdicts that can lead to aimless and endless civil-religious wars in the Muslim World. The internecine wars that would have no winner at all save weakening one another. Thanks May God Bless Us All to Be Resurrected with our Noble Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him, his Family and his Elect Companions.
  20. Do good non-Muslims get sent to hell? First. We must clarify who do we mean by the word 'non-Muslims'? The term 'non-Muslims' includes many groups of people such as 'the people of the book' i.e. the Jews, the Christians, the other adherents of the pre-Islamic heavenly-sent religions, pagans, atheists, disbelievers and etc. Second. To have a methodical and systematic treatment of the issue, the question must be addressed from two different angles: A) 'confessional' and B) 'non-confessional'. By the word confessional I mean from religious [Islamic] point of view and by the word 'non-confessional' a purely 'rational' perspective. Third. Non-Muslims cannot be called ‘good’ if they abide by their own hereditary dogmas and show no flexibility towards the truth. Good non-Muslims should be beautified with the actual qualities. Fourth. To tackle the very question from a non-confessional perspective, we can argue that a wise man has always the will and intention to live a prosperous life, even if he restricts the realm of life to the earthly one. To win a prosperous life, all necessary means and measures must be taken. Theoretically talking, an important part of his worldly prosperity rests on intellectual harmony he should enjoy while explaining the world, the purpose of his life and his status after death. He who -committed to no monotheistic values- lacks a coherent system of beliefs on the purpose of his life in this world and his status in the hereafter, will not be able to experience the sweet taste of success and joyful moments; because the darkness of doubt, sheer ambiguity and pure uncertainty about the aftermath can cause him aggravating pain. To avoid such disturbing thoughts, everyone is expected to conduct reliable researches on the validity or invalidity of propositions pertaining to the afterlife. Finall, a rational agent can never remain indifferent to his destiny particularly if he gives the probability that his destiny might be of a fatal kind. Fifth. To treat the issue from a confessional perspective, to a Muslim it is clear that since Allah is the Creator, Benefactor and Possessor of all, and All-Aware of everyone's intentions and actions, He has the existential power and legitimate authority to put conditions for every one's salvation. According to His final say sent to the prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him and his progeny), only those who meet the two conditions of observing sincere 'faith' and carrying out 'virtuous deeds' will win eternal paradise. Indeed, Allah, the All-Wise, has not meant by the word ‘Muslims’ those who are nominal Muslims. Only the real Muslims whose actions translate their thoughts in the concrete world, will be granted salvation. Those who hold Muslim names and identities but their true interior beliefs are not reflected in the exterior world, will be deprived of a happy life in the hereafter. The true practicing Muslims who absolutely surrender their intentions and actions to Allah, will be awarded or granted eternal paradise. Non-Muslims can follow the suit. The conclusion: What Allah, the Almighty, hates most is his creatures' blatant ingratitude (Chapter al-Isra/ 67,89; Chapter al-Furqan/ 50) and their stubbornness and obstinacy in abiding by sheer falsehood (Chapter Yonus/ 33). Those non-Muslims who find the truth and again defy their Lords' commands obstinately, should wait the grave consequences of their actions and the choices they make. Those non-Muslims who have not found the truth altogether, or are deeply involved in polemic doubts or are in their ways to find the truth in coming days, will not be sent to hell; because Allah, the All-Wise, will act in accordance with the implications of His attributes of absolute justice and mercy. As such, the people of the book will win eternal salvation on condition that they remain committed to their true religious worldview and act upon their religious-moral principles. May Allah, the Compassionate, bless us all a happy life in this world and a happier life in the hereafter. References: 1. The Quran.
  21. https://www.al-islam.org/discursive-theology-volume-1-dr-ali-rabbani-gulpaygani/lesson-6-argument-contingency Can someone explain this to me in a laymen fashion. How does the second law of thermodynamics prove god
  22. This is Seyyed Kamal's view on the importance to differentiate between what he calls tashayu' 'aqaedi (theological shiism), and tashayu' tareekhi (historic shiism): When looking at all the different theological schools that exist today (school of Ahlul Bayt, Ash'ari, Mu'tazali, Zaidi, school of Ibn Taymiyah, etc), we must look at the sources they resort to to deduce their religious concepts, which are: 1) The Quran (the word of God), and the valid hadith/narrations (words and deeds of the Infallibles) 2) The Intellect ('aql): not what we use as a tool to think and understand (even the akhbari accepts this meaning of aql), but as a means to produce new knowledge. => this is what he refers to as theological Shi'ism: When a scholar refers to these sources of scripture and uses his intellect to define religious concepts and derive his theological, ethical, social, fiqh framework. Whereas historic Shi'ism can be defined as: all that which past scholars have deduced and derived over the years. This resulted in differing views and opinions and sub-sects. All these differing opinions came as a result of these scholars understanding of the quranic verses and narrations, and their ijtihad and effort to derive their own religious concepts and juristic rulings. So which is the true Shi'ism? The one that contains the opinions of scholars spanning 14 centuries? If that was the case, then Shi'ism would be filled with contradictions, since nobody can claim that our school of thought contains one united view. The need to differentiate between the two is to make clear that the first (theological shiism) is the main source of reference, and the second has no value. There is no compulsion to be in line with the consensus of past scholars. He might agree or disagree with them (theologically, ethically, fiqhi, etc). The understanding and opinions of scholars is not binding on anybody. You should rely on quranic and valid hadith evidence, and the mind that God gave you to build your worldview, and provide solutions to current problems. All past scholars and their views are respected, but not sacred. There are no red lines, or established facts when it comes to opinions of scholars. The Quran is sacred. The word of the infallible is sacred, nothing else. The reason he brought this up in his private lesson, is because there are some who are tampering with the seminary lectures- where he mostly goes through the opinions of other scholars, and only later on s his own opinion- and are creating clips where they make out his opinion to be that of other scholars, and other shenanigans.
  23. This is one of the oldest theological questions around, but I'm not a fan of any of the solutions I've heard. Assuming there is a God, is an omniscient, omnipotent, and good God consistent with a world where innocent people suffer? Since indisputably innocent people are hurt, get sick, and are killed, (like babies and children), we know that God doesn't stop bad things from happening to good/innocent people. Below are some of the explanations I've heard, but I'd any others that you might have. There are a number of simple ways to explain this: -a) God could be omniscient and good, but be unable to act because he isn't omnipotent. -b) God could be omnipotent and good, but doesn't know all the bad things that happen because he isn't omnipotent. -c) God could be omniscient and omnipotent, but at best just not care what happens to people (because God isn't good). All of these scenarios are incompatible with the theology of abrahamic religions, and the main way I've heard people attempt to resolve this is by justifying/modifying scenario c). For example: -d) Heaven is so amazing it makes up for the suffering good people experience. -e) God cannot intervene because it would interfere with free will. -f) Everything that happens for a reason because it is part of Gods plan, and is better overall. -g) God is by definition good, so everything that happens is good. -h) Without bad things we wouldn't have any reference point for what is good. I have issue with all of these: d) this doesn't explain why there had to be the suffering in the first place, or why it's better to have some suffering. e) It isn't clear why having free will and atrocities is better than no free will and no atrocities f) It is unclear how children dying from cholera makes anything better. g) This implies that bad things are good, which is illogical. h) it isn't clear why we need a reference point for good, and even if why do why the bad has to be so horrific. Anyone have any explanations that are logically sound and fit the world?
  24. The Howza ilmiya of England receives Dr. Shomali for some lectures and lucky for us, the Islamic Centre England has uploaded all of the lectures on Akhlaq, Islamic Theology etc. Please have a visit to ICEL, the YouTube Channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/islamiccentre1998/playlists
  25. My God! What a book! It is a must read!!!! It tackles so many question on God. This is just the first volume! This text deals with a set of ideological and scholastic questions based upon Islamic theology from the perspective of Shī‘ah Imāmiyyah school of thought. Reason and revelation have been the final reference and arbiter in decisions and evaluations. A series of lessons surrounding recognition of God is presented. http://www.al-islam.org/discursive-theology-volume-1-dr-ali-rabbani-gulpaygani
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