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nearlyshia

Nearly Shia

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Assalamualaykum to all - this is my first post.

I would like some help please. I was raised in a sunni household (you could say deobandi or salfiesque) but through friends and one member of my family, over the past 15 years or so, I find myself at this point in my life.

I now believe in the pre-eminence of Ahl-ul-Bayt, tawassul, I believe in the perfection of the 12 imams, the return of the 12 th Imam, the problems around the caliphate (this is historically documented and incontrovertible) and the practice of islam to me via the fiqh of Imam Jafar-as-Sadiq (as). Fiqh issues (such as mutah) and differences are really neither here nor there.

My difficulties:

1) The imamate - I believe that they were perfect. But divinely protected? The prophet (saw) yes.

2) Why is it so (apparently) important to point out the problems with Abu Bakr, Umar and Ayesha (may God forgive them and us all our sins) and the rest. Isn't it better to say that their affair is with God and leave it at that?

3) There appear to be many awliya who are sunni. Is that congruous with Shia thought?

4) Finally, the part of the sunni/sufi path that I really enjoyed was the constant mentioning, yearning, praise and magnification of the prophet (saw) through things like dalail-ul-khayrat, the burda etc. I don't quite see the same among the shia posts and websites that I have read. I do know however that I haven't had a chance to talk to many shia practising people.

I would appreciate any constructive help.

Thank you and may God bless you for your efforts.

Edited by nearlyshia

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I can't answer other points, but for point 2;

If any human being around the time of Abu Bakr's Khalifa, revolted against him and waged war against him from amongst the muslims, wouldn't it be a huge disaster in the Ummah? Wouldn't it have been chronicled by the historians and such? Wouldn't there be great knowledge in how he or any of the Sahaba dealt with such issues after the Prophet's (pbuh) death? Surely it would.

So what if, not just any human being, not just a muslim, not just a sahabi, no, the Mother of Believers, did the same thing against a Khalifa of Allah? Isn't this very important to discuss and be reminded of? Now Ameer al Mumineen (as) treated her with respect afterwards and told his companions to treat her well. So to curse her and stuff, I disagree with that, but to remind muslims of the fact that she did what she did, is of great importance here.

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2) Why is it so (apparently) important to point out the problems with Abu Bakr, Umar and Ayesha (may God forgive them and us all our sins) and the rest. Isn't it better to say that their affair is with God and leave it at that?

Because of who their victims were.

3) There appear to be many awliya who are sunni. Is that congruous with Shia thought?

No one knows the awliya.

4) Finally, the part of the sunni/sufi path that I really enjoyed was the constant mentioning, yearning, praise and magnification of the prophet (saw) through things like dalail-ul-khayrat, the burda etc. I don't quite see the same among the shia posts and websites that I have read. I do know however that I haven't had a chance to talk to many shia practising people.

Take a look at Irfan.

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(bismillah)

1) The imamate - I believe that they were perfect. But divinely protected? The prophet (saw) yes.

I'd like to offer an answer to your first question.

Among other things, this depends on what you’ve understood of the concept of Imamah itself – which you accept. I’ll share my understanding of it and elaborate a little if it will be of any benefit:

As the Most Wise, Allah [swt] executes His Will in the wisest means such that there is no trace of futility to be found in His method. This is a necessary implication of His Infinite Wisdom, which by definition renders His Acts and Decrees free of any futility whatsoever. On this basis the Prophet [pbuh] was bestowed perfection and infallibility via Divine protection and enlightenment – which you accept. This was necessary to ensure, as we said, the perfect execution (via infallibility) of Allah’s [swt] perfect Will (guidance of humanity via the Qur’an). In other words, Islam, through the Holy Qur’an, can only be perfectly conveyed to humanity via a perfect channel of transmission – an infallible Prophet of Islam [pbuh].

It’s clear that while Islam exists and so long as the Qur’an is not exhausted and as long as humanity lives and faces the ocean waves of time-dependant ideological, political, sociological and other challenges then this principle of infallible guidance must remain active to ensure the vessel of Islam is always on the correct and most efficient course towards its destination of felicity, perfection and salvation. Enter the Imamah; an institute which is a direct implication of Divine Wisdom, Mercy and Grace functioning as a continuum of the principle explained. This institute is the Captaincy of the vessel of Islam which the Prophet [pbuh] reminded us about the in famous authentic hadith using a similar analogy:

"Behold! My Ahlul-Bayt are like the Ark of Noah. Whoever embarked in it was saved, and whoever turned away from it was perished."

Sunni references: al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v2, p343, v3, pp 150-151 on the authority of Abu Dhar. al-Hakim said this tradition is authentic (Sahih).

Clearly, if this principle of infallible and reliable guidance is to survive perpetually then the heirs of the Qur’anic and Prophetic knowledge must themselves also possess the same qualities of perfection, infallibility and Divine protection as does the first link in this chain of guidance. What distinguish the Prophet [pbuh] from the Imam is the former's higher station and his ability to receive Qur'anic Revelation.

This was the answer based on simple reason and logic. However, as with every aspect of Shi’i Islamic ideology it must satisfy three criteria; The Qur’an, Hadith and human reason. The evidence from the Qur’an and Hadith can be found in this famous narration, among other sources. The hadith clearly ascribes Divine Protection to the Prophet [pbuh] as well as his Progeny [as]:

In his book entitled ‘Mustadrak Sahihayn’ Hakim quotes from son of Ja’far son of Abu Talib as saying :

'When the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) observed that the Divine blessing was forthcoming he said, ‘Call for me! Call for me!’ Safia asked ‘O Prophet of Allah! Whom should I call for you? He said, ‘Call for me the members of my family, namely, Ali, Fatima, Hasan, and Husain’ (May peace and benediction be upon them). They were thus called to come close to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and when all of them were gathered, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) placed his cloak on them and thereafter raised his hands in supplication and said, ‘O Allah! These are the members of my family. Send your kind blessings on me and my progeny’. In the meantime Almighty Allah revealed the verse: ‘O people of the Prophet’s House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification.’ (Sura Ahzaab : 33)

After quoting this hadith Hakim says, ‘This hadith is authentic and correct as regards its sources.’

http://www.introducingislam.org/info/tatheer/chapter1p1.php

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Thank you so much for your reply. Would you permit me to ask a few more questions or point me to a resource which you think would benefit me with regards to the types of questions that I am asking? I don't accept the ahl-ul-sunna position of the shura principle which is clearly against what our beloved prophet (saw) requested.

1) Why 12 imams only? The progeny of our master, the prophet (saw) goes on until the end of time.

2) Why does it (the imamate or any other principle according to the Shia) have to satisfy human logic?

3) Imam Ali was the first Imam (I agree this point) - why did he not establish his claim as the first Imam of the muslims?

4) The link between the prophet (saw) goes through the imams until Imam Hasan-Al-Askari (as). Who then takes on the mantle in order to transmit the deen to us? Are we then relying on non-infallible people to transmit thus diluting the knowledge?

5) Following on from (4): If it Imam Mahdi (as), then does he transmit his knowledge to people?

Thank you again.

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My difficulties:

1) The imamate - I believe that they were perfect. But divinely protected? The prophet (saw) yes.

2) Why is it so (apparently) important to point out the problems with Abu Bakr, Umar and Ayesha (may God forgive them and us all our sins) and the rest. Isn't it better to say that their affair is with God and leave it at that?

3) There appear to be many awliya who are sunni. Is that congruous with Shia thought?

4) Finally, the part of the sunni/sufi path that I really enjoyed was the constant mentioning, yearning, praise and magnification of the prophet (saw) through things like dalail-ul-khayrat, the burda etc. I don't quite see the same among the shia posts and websites that I have read. I do know however that I haven't had a chance to talk to many shia practising people.

I would appreciate any constructive help.

Thank you and may God bless you for your efforts.

(salam)

I have a couple thoughts too.

2) It is important for us to be honest with ourselves about our history. If we are not honest and up front about what has happened in our past, we are liable to make mistakes or rely on misguidance in the future. Many people nowdays want to re-establish the khilafah on the model of Abu Bakr and Umar but they do not have a clear picture of how they actually ruled. Therefore, they are trying to reform the Muslim ummah in a way that is not sound.

Some other scholars propagate Aishah as the ideal model for women. Perhaps you have read the book which says that women should be like Aishah who fought against Imam Ali at the Battle of Jamal. Again, we need to be honest with ourselves in order to avoid being misguided.

3) There are many people on earth who are close to God from many religions not just Muslims. It is not our place to really say whom God loves.

You know undoubtedly that many Sufi teachers took many of their teachings back to Ahl al-Bayt (as), mostly from Imam Ali (as), but then chose not to follow their path entirely. So Shiism has influenced Sufism in many places.

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Thank you so much for your reply. Would you permit me to ask a few more questions or point me to a resource which you think would benefit me with regards to the types of questions that I am asking? I don't accept the ahl-ul-sunna position of the shura principle which is clearly against what our beloved prophet (saw) requested.

1) Why 12 imams only? The progeny of our master, the prophet (saw) goes on until the end of time.

2) Why does it (the imamate or any other principle according to the Shia) have to satisfy human logic?

3) Imam Ali was the first Imam (I agree this point) - why did he not establish his claim as the first Imam of the muslims?

4) The link between the prophet (saw) goes through the imams until Imam Hasan-Al-Askari (as). Who then takes on the mantle in order to transmit the deen to us? Are we then relying on non-infallible people to transmit thus diluting the knowledge?

5) Following on from (4): If it Imam Mahdi (as), then does he transmit his knowledge to people?

Thank you again.

1) There are some decisions of God which we will never really understand the wisdom of. For instance, why the number of prophets who were sent, or why we pray 4 rakat for zuhr but 3 rakat for maghrib. As for why there are 12 imams, this is what the Prophet said when he said: "There will be 12 khulafa after me and all of them will be from Bani Hashim/Quraysh".

2) It doesn't really, but as human beings we seek out logical explanations for things and do not believe that God acts purposelessly.

3) If you mean, why did he not rise up against the khalifah, he did not want to cause civil war among the Muslims or risk Islam being destroyed due to the power conflict.

4) We believe the guidance of the Mahdi is still present with us in this world although it is not directly obvious to us. Beyond that, the later Imams began accustoming people to answering fiqh and religious question on their own by teaching them to do so to prepare them for the disappearance of the Imam. I suppose we can assume that we have what we need and that 12 generations of teachers after the Prophet (s) was enough to lay the foundation.

5) It will depend on who you ask, and also what you mean by how. We do not believe that the Mahdi comes and visits ulama regularly (although there have been some who have claimed that he visits them and some who are said to have spoken to him regularly, and Allahu a'lam). We do have the inheritance of knoweldge from the Imams that has been passed down in books. That being said, we also do believe that he guides us and there are many stories in history of him intervening in critical moments to prevent misguidance.

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1) There are some decisions of God which we will never really understand the wisdom of. For instance, why the number of prophets who were sent, or why we pray 4 rakat for zuhr but 3 rakat for maghrib. As for why there are 12 imams, this is what the Prophet said when he said: "There will be 12 khulafa after me and all of them will be from Bani Hashim/Quraysh".

2) It doesn't really, but as human beings we seek out logical explanations for things and do not believe that God acts purposelessly.

3) If you mean, why did he not rise up against the khalifah, he did not want to cause civil war among the Muslims or risk Islam being destroyed due to the power conflict.

4) We believe the guidance of the Mahdi is still present with us in this world although it is not directly obvious to us. Beyond that, the later Imams began accustoming people to answering fiqh and religious question on their own by teaching them to do so to prepare them for the disappearance of the Imam. I suppose we can assume that we have what we need and that 12 generations of teachers after the Prophet (s) was enough to lay the foundation.

5) It will depend on who you ask, and also what you mean by how. We do not believe that the Mahdi comes and visits ulama regularly (although there have been some who have claimed that he visits them and some who are said to have spoken to him regularly, and Allahu a'lam). We do have the inheritance of knoweldge from the Imams that has been passed down in books. That being said, we also do believe that he guides us and there are many stories in history of him intervening in critical moments to prevent misguidance.

Thank you BintAlHoda. As a person who followed the sufi path, there are stories abound of Khidr (as) intervening at critical points in time. I take your points on board - thank you for taking the time to reply. I was speaking to one friend yesterday whose father is shia. He told me that the one sticking point he has is as follows: He believes that it is most likely that the Prophet (saw) did not give any clear indication of who was to succeed him, and that everyone at the time did what they thought was best. He really can't bring himself to say that the first three caliphs knowingly went against the direct command of the prophet (saw) - if he (saw) said that Imam Ali (as) was to be the next in line. I don't have enough knowledge to talk on the matter. Thanks again.

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1) Why 12 imams only? The progeny of our master, the prophet (saw) goes on until the end of time.

12 is a significant number in history

For example, the prophet Issac (pbuh) had 12 sons/Imams who became the progenitors of the Jews

His brother, Ismael (pbuh) had 12 sons/Imams who became the progenitors of the Arabs

Jesus (pbuh) had 12 disciples/Imams

And along comes Mohammed (pbuh) who then repeats the same cycle and has 12 Imams whom he leaves as his successors

This is the pattern God swt has been using for centuries with his prophets and Imams. We are powerless to understand the deeper wisdom behind it

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Thank you BintAlHoda. As a person who followed the sufi path, there are stories abound of Khidr (as) intervening at critical points in time. I take your points on board - thank you for taking the time to reply. I was speaking to one friend yesterday whose father is shia. He told me that the one sticking point he has is as follows: He believes that it is most likely that the Prophet (saw) did not give any clear indication of who was to succeed him, and that everyone at the time did what they thought was best. He really can't bring himself to say that the first three caliphs knowingly went against the direct command of the prophet (saw) - if he (saw) said that Imam Ali (as) was to be the next in line. I don't have enough knowledge to talk on the matter. Thanks again.

Salaam,

I read this with interest and would like to believe this. But, if you think about it, why would the Prophet of God (saws) NOT give clear instructions for after his death? Because without instructions, mayhem would obviously follow! If instructions were not give, we have to wonder why. If they were given, then also the question is, why were they not clearer or without question so that what followed would not happen? I can only think that it was all meant to happen for whatever reason. But even though everything that was meant to happen, happened, I still believe those who follow Ahlul Bayt are the ones one the right track and following the correct spiritual successor to Prophet Muhammad (saws).

Allah hafez

Fatimeh

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(bismillah)

Thank you so much for your reply. Would you permit me to ask a few more questions or point me to a resource which you think would benefit me with regards to the types of questions that I am asking?

You're most welcome. I'd recomment the two books below, probably the best available in english on the subject. The first is an excellent but easy to read overview of Shi'i beliefs by one of the most powerful Muslim mystic-philosophers of the 20th century and the second is a comprehensive but comprehensible analysis of the doctrine of Imamah by another esteemed Muslim scholar. I'm confident that between them they should clear the majority of your doubts:

Shi'ah

Imamate and Leadership

1) Why 12 imams only? The progeny of our master, the prophet (saw) goes on until the end of time.

Apologies in advance for the length, although I believe elaborating often offers a more effective understanding. :)

You’re right, the Imamah as a principle based on necessity must naturally continue, this being in accordance with the hadith which states the Imam is a necessary link between the material and spiritual worlds, without which the earth will descend into darkness and humanity will perish. This alone should be sufficient to satisfy the aspect of your question regarding the presence of the Prophet’s [pbuh] Progeny until the end of time. That is, an Imam is always present, even if in some instances his life has to be prolonged – rather than the number it is the presence which is of (more) importance.

However, as to why there have hitherto been only 12 Imams [as] I have to say that I don’t have a certain answer. The number 12 could indeed be of actual significance, as the previous brother points out. Another reason could be that it’s not significant but coincidental and the current number of 12 is a result of historical factors. For instance, had Muslims accepted the Imams [as] rather than persecute and murder them and had the evolution of human civilisation taken a more positive turn then this number could have today reached a different figure, rather than pause at 12 and implement the emergency procedure of occultation and age prolongation (the latter requiring further explanation).

2) Why does it (the imamate or any other principle according to the Shia) have to satisfy human logic?

There are things knowable and things unknowable. Though we’re not discouraged from knowledge and enquiry if it will lead us to truth. It stands to reason that Truth should not shy away from scrutiny, enquiry and logic if it is itself. Rather, the Truth should invite you to it and in it should be a reassurance:

[Quran 29:69] And (as for) those who strive hard for Us, We will most certainly guide them in Our ways; and Allah is most surely with the doers of good.

The Prophet [pbuh] alludes to the use of logic in the hadith where he stated that Allah [swt] has gifted human beings with an external messenger (being the Prophet) and an internal messenger, being the inner faculties of guidance that lead to Truth.

Furthermore, we’re strongly encouraged by our Imams [as] and the ‘Ulama – some say it is obligatory - that the Usool of Deen (doctrines), which are the foundations of the superstructure of Islam, must be arrived at independently via the process of logic and the aid of Revelation to culminate in the state of natural conviction. Some even advise that we study other religions too in order to satisfy our minds and purge it of doubt. Since, without conviction we are naught but ‘passport Muslims’ who have followed in the footsteps of our forefathers. An approach condemned in the Qur’an vis a-vis the polytheists, but which also generally doesn’t guarantee Truth.

A passion for Islam resulting in this way is unreal and bereft of rational and spiritual substance. There are many Muslims today only by name and the root cause is their not realising the transcendence, majesty and beauty of their faith and as such take it very lightly. In a Hadith Qudsi Allah [swt] declares Himself to be a Treasure that created to be known. Therefore knowledge of Allah [swt] and Truth, which is real only when coupled with conviction and therefore application is paramount. There is an objective difference between those whose belief is based on substance and those adhere mechanically:

[Quran 39:9] …Are those who know and those who do not know alike? Only the men of understanding are mindful.

[Quran 35:28] …those of His servants only who are possessed of knowledge fear Allah; surely Allah is Mighty, Forgiving.

I‘ve always made an interesting observation in this connection as regards the converts and reverts to Islam. In my experience these honorable brothers and sisters usually exhibit more understanding, dedication and (real) passion for Islam than many hereditary Muslims due to their acceptance of Islam via investigation and conviction and as such they become a manifestation of the above verses.

We may conclude that: knowledge leads to conviction leads to application. Without conviction knowledge alone doesn’t guarantee application and thus the true worship of Allah [swt], hence the value of logic and rationale in Islam which are the causes of conviction.

3) Imam Ali was the first Imam (I agree this point) - why did he not establish his claim as the first Imam of the muslims?

As the sister pointed out this was due to his awareness of the sensitive political and social conditions and thus his understanding that the timing and circumstances were not ripe for this move. That it would divide the Muslims further and given an already sensitive situation may lead to bloodshed between them, the weakness of the newly born Islamic state and its vulnerabilities to the external empires to its eastern and western flanks. Above all this illustrates his extreme prudence of judgment, his selfless-ness and real concern for Islam and as such proves him to be the most suitable leader of the Muslims.

4) The link between the prophet (saw) goes through the imams until Imam Hasan-Al-Askari . Who then takes on the mantle in order to transmit the deen to us? Are we then relying on non-infallible people to transmit thus diluting the knowledge?

Based on (1), that the Imamah must be continous, it’s evident that an infallible Imam must always exist. The Imam of our Age [AJ] is the 12th and is present but hidden.

5) Following on from (4): If it Imam Mahdi , then does he transmit his knowledge to people?

As of a “hidden” Imam [as], it does not negate the idea of the necessity of his existence. As the Allamah Tabataba'i [qs] explains an Imam has the function not only of outwardly guiding man in the superficial aspects of religion but also of inwardly directing his spirituality. In that case his physical presence is clearly not a necessity! He is in mystic communion with our souls even if he is hidden from our eyes. And this is what is meant when he [as] says:

“As to the benefit of my existence in Occultation, it is like the benefit of the sun behind clouds where the eyes do not see.”

It's well known that Allah’s [swt] Will has often been to execute His plans by delegation. Hence, he has created angels to execute certain orders, Prophets [pbut] to convey His Message to humanity and by the same token Imams [as] to continue the chain of guidance – the perpetual connection between the physical-metaphysical realms. The use of the Hidden Imam [as] is then as the mirror reflecting the Divine Light of guidance. It’s said that whenever we're guided it is by virtue of the inspiration emanating from the Imam’s [as] mystic communion with our souls.

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Salaam,

I read this with interest and would like to believe this. But, if you think about it, why would the Prophet of God (saws) NOT give clear instructions for after his death? Because without instructions, mayhem would obviously follow! If instructions were not give, we have to wonder why. If they were given, then also the question is, why were they not clearer or without question so that what followed would not happen? I can only think that it was all meant to happen for whatever reason. But even though everything that was meant to happen, happened, I still believe those who follow Ahlul Bayt are the ones one the right track and following the correct spiritual successor to Prophet Muhammad (saws).

Allah hafez

Fatimeh

Thank you Fatimeh. You know, I have spent most of my adult life as a sunni with reverence for the Ahl-ul-Bayt. If some of you are familiar with the Barelvi sunni muslim fraternity, you may have some idea of the esteem in which they hold the prophet (saw) and those covered by the cloak. These debates which sunni and shia have been having over the centuries, clearly have not been resolved satisfactorily one way or the other. I am left only to say that my heart inclines towards the shia. Having said all that, if anyone knows where I can get a copy of Al-Murajaat, I would be most grateful (I'm not so good at reading websites and would prefer a hard copy).

Allah Hafez

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Having said all that, if anyone knows where I can get a copy of Al-Murajaat, I would be most grateful (I'm not so good at reading websites and would prefer a hard copy).

Here you go [bookstore name - where they are based - the price of the book]:

Dartabligh - Tanzania - $6 [the 2nd item in the list]

Mihrab - US - $10

Ansariyan - Iran - 16$

Al-Khoie - US - 25$

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Assalamwalaikum,

Well, only Allah (swt) can change your heart, but at least consider the fact that Sunnis also have love for the Ahl-al Bayt. Remember that all of those figures who were directly with the Prophet (sw), such as Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Sa'ad bin Abi Waqqas, Khalid bin Waleed, etc. will not be of particular jubilance towards you. Now, obviously, you will have lot of love for the likes of Hasan al-Askari, Jafar as-Sadiq in particular, and elevated love for Hasan, Hussein, etc.

Not to be completely biased, but it is also a very fair statement to say that Sunni ahadeeth developed along a lot better than Shia ahadeeth sciences. For example, we have a very thorough Science of Men, along with books which we can consider sahih. It is also a fair statement to say that whatever greatness came out of Shia ahadeeth studies came from Sunni ahadeeth sciences.

I am not trying to be offensive, but you should at least consider these types of things. I would speak about other stuff as well, but I don't want to be suspended again :P.

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Assalamwalaikum,

Well, only Allah (swt) can change your heart, but at least consider the fact that Sunnis also have love for the Ahl-al Bayt. Remember that all of those figures who were directly with the Prophet (sw), such as Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Sa'ad bin Abi Waqqas, Khalid bin Waleed, etc. will not be of particular jubilance towards you. Now, obviously, you will have lot of love for the likes of Hasan al-Askari, Jafar as-Sadiq in particular, and elevated love for Hasan, Hussein, etc.

Not to be completely biased, but it is also a very fair statement to say that Sunni ahadeeth developed along a lot better than Shia ahadeeth sciences. For example, we have a very thorough Science of Men, along with books which we can consider sahih. It is also a fair statement to say that whatever greatness came out of Shia ahadeeth studies came from Sunni ahadeeth sciences.

I am not trying to be offensive, but you should at least consider these types of things. I would speak about other stuff as well, but I don't want to be suspended again :P.

yeah that's why your four sunni Imams learned everything they knew from our Imam Jaffer (pbuh)

do a little search on history. Shia hadeeth sciences came about a 100 before sunnis started copying them

btw why do you guys not even agree on something as basic as salat. before there used to be at least 8 sunni schools all of whom had their own ways; and now there's only 4. hmmmmmmm. And yet shias have always agreed on only one way to pray salat? Care to enlighten us on why you guys are so disorganized.

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Assalamwalaikum,

Well, only Allah (swt) can change your heart, but at least consider the fact that Sunnis also have love for the Ahl-al Bayt. Remember that all of those figures who were directly with the Prophet (sw), such as Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Sa'ad bin Abi Waqqas, Khalid bin Waleed, etc. will not be of particular jubilance towards you. Now, obviously, you will have lot of love for the likes of Hasan al-Askari, Jafar as-Sadiq in particular, and elevated love for Hasan, Hussein, etc.

Not to be completely biased, but it is also a very fair statement to say that Sunni ahadeeth developed along a lot better than Shia ahadeeth sciences. For example, we have a very thorough Science of Men, along with books which we can consider sahih. It is also a fair statement to say that whatever greatness came out of Shia ahadeeth studies came from Sunni ahadeeth sciences.

I am not trying to be offensive, but you should at least consider these types of things. I would speak about other stuff as well, but I don't want to be suspended again :P.

Salaams

I'd like to thank everyone for replying to my questions especially Fatimeh and MajiC. Waqas 411, debate amongst people with manners is inoffensive by its very nature. Sunni ahadeeth sciences may have developed along a lot better – I know little about this myself. What I do know however from my affiliation with the mutassawifah (the sufis) is that knowledge is passed down from man to man, in a line, and we must take from that. Taking from books lends itself to error. The proof for this is that God sent his Archangel to deliver the message to His beloved Prophet (saw). We all know that the Prophet (saw) is much higher in rank that Gabriel - but as a means to teach us that we must sit at the feet of the shuyukh. I know that the sunnis love the Prophet (saw) and the Ahl-ul-Bayt. I myself (for the sake of clarification) am (was) a Hanafi by fiqh, Ashari by aqeeda and Qadri by tariqa. Of the sunnis, no-one loves the (as I have spent much time with the deobandis and salafis) Prophet and His house (upon them be peace and blessings) more than they. You talk about elevated love for Imams Hasan and Hussein - therein lies the problem (I believe). There are many paths and I am at a crossroad. Fiqh differences play no part in my decision because once you choose a path, you stick with the fiqh (and you believe that a sound judgement gets two rewards, an incorrect one gets one). I have decided that the best (not the only) way to reach God is via his messenger and his family (upon them be blessings and peace). I believe that anyone who caught sight of the messenger is better than me. I will not curse anyone for their affair is with God - historical analyses are permitted however. The sunni position is that ijmas-sahaba is a sound position from which to derive rulings. Also, to pick fault with the 4 Caliphs is wrong. If they were infallible, yes, that would be a sound position. I have heard many sunni imams (usually salafis and a few deobandis) and ignorants refer to yazeed ibn muawiyah as an imam. Therein lies my problem. Finally, the majority does not imply truth. At Badr, we were in the minority and we will be again at the end. I believe that we need to inculcate love for the 12th Imam, for we need to be his supporter. He is no need of us. Again thank you all for your help. Things become more clear by the day but I would urge all of us (myself first and foremost) to continue to strive for the truth and to ask God to place sincerity in our hearts. Allah Hafez. Very Nearly Shia.

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Not to be completely biased, but it is also a very fair statement to say that Sunni ahadeeth developed along a lot better than Shia ahadeeth sciences.

Do you know who was the mentor of the founder of your madhabs ?

For example, we have a very thorough Science of Men

Irrelevant; but so do we.

along with books which we can consider sahih

Unlike you, we reasonably accept that the people involved in the chain of transmissions of ahadeeth are fallible and so don't consider any book infallible, other than the Holy Qur`an.

In reality, not only do you consider your six sihah infallible (and hence, equal to the Qur`an), but it also occupies a position higher than it for you. And this is proved by way of your abrogation of certain Qur'anic commandments, with material from the sihah..

It is also a fair statement to say that whatever greatness came out of Shia ahadeeth studies came from Sunni ahadeeth sciences.

No - it's really not.

I am not trying to be offensive, but you should at least consider these types of things.

"These things" you have mentioned so far are all baseless claims, without any evidence/support/references..

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yeah that's why your four sunni Imams learned everything they knew from our Imam Jaffer (pbuh)

do a little search on history. Shia hadeeth sciences came about a 100 before sunnis started copying them

btw why do you guys not even agree on something as basic as salat. before there used to be at least 8 sunni schools all of whom had their own ways; and now there's only 4. hmmmmmmm. And yet shias have always agreed on only one way to pray salat? Care to enlighten us on why you guys are so disorganized.

Assalamwalaikum,

1. We do not even believe Imam Sadiq (ra) was even a Shi'a Imam or even claimed to be. Next off, the 4 scholars did not learn everything from one Imam.

2. Shia hadith sciences did not come before Sunni hadith sciences, lol.

3. Maybe because we get different madhabs use different people to get hadeeth. For example, ibn Masud (ra) prayed with his hands below his naval, while ibn Umar (ra) prayed with his hands on his chest, etc. etc. Salaat is not completely absolute. I mean, you can do different surahs and different number of Subhanallahs, and that's not even a problem.

Also, these madhabs are school of FIQH. The beliefs are all still the same. Why are all there all of these offshoots of Shia Islam with different Imam lineages, all with their own set of hadith? Which one is right? This Ithna Ashari Usooli Imami Twelver concept has only been the majority for a while. In fact, I think the Safavid Empire become hugely Shia just because the leaders were Shi'a.

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2. Shia hadith sciences did not come before Sunni hadith sciences, lol

Thats because we had access to the source of Shari'ah for about 3 hundred years. We never needed a science of hadith, we just asked the Ahlul Bayt! Sunnis on the otherhand were faced with a problem once the first couple of generations after the Prophet died.

Secondly, I have no respect for a science of hadith that:

(i) Regards anyone who said the Shahada and saw the Prophet as just and truthful, as if seeing the Prophet automatically made people immune from lying!

(ii) Regards the likes of Umar ibn Saad (la) as truthful:

AlAjli: 'He was the one who killed Hussain, and he is a trustworthy Tabi'e'

Ibn Hajar: 'Trustworthy, but the people have criticised him as he was a leader of the army that killed hussain'

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(salam)

1. You meant divine appointment? All human being have the capacity to commit sins but the infallible (Prophet saw and ahlul Bayt) never committed any sins. In part due to their strong unflinching faith in Allah swt.

2. We don’t ask forgiveness for enemies of God such as Satan, Pharaoh, Hitler, Yazeed (la) or Saddam Hussein. We disassociate ourselves from them.

3. They are many good people who may not even be Muslim. This is not an issue.

4. I am not sure I understand what this is all about. I’ll refrain from commenting.

2. Shia hadith sciences did not come before Sunni hadith sciences, lol.

Yes, you guys did have a head start on the hadiths fabricating business. :lol:

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2. Shia hadith sciences did not come before Sunni hadith sciences, lol.
..Nevertheless, soon after the Prophet's death, the Muslims realized the imminent need of recording the hadith so as to avoid the problems that would arise in the future generations. Accordingly, from the time of the first caliph, the need for recording of hadith was distinctly felt by the Muslim society. It should not remain unsaid that `Ali (A), the first Imam of the Shi`ah Muslims, had with characteristic foresight, pioneered the task of recording the Prophet's sayings during the Prophet's lifetime itself. Word for word, he wrote down what he had heard from the Prophet (S). The author of Ta'sis al-shi`ah writes: 

...Know that the Shi`ah were the first to embark on collecting the records of the acts and sayings of the Prophet (S) during the era of the caliphs. They followed in the footsteps of their Imam `Ali, Amir al-Mu'minin (A), for, he had recorded and categorized the hadith during the times of the Holy Prophet. Al-Shaykh Abu al-Abbas al-Najashi, in the translation of Muhammad Ibn `Adhafar, said: "I was with Hakam ibn `Ayyinah by the side of Abu Ja`far Muhammad ibn `Ali al-Baqir (A). Hakam started asking questions with Abu Ja`far reluctantly answering them. There was a disagreement between them about one thing. Then Abu Ja`far said: "Son, get up and bring `Ali's book." He brought a big voluminous book and opened it. He looked closely in it for a while until he found the problem (which was under debate). Abu Ja`far (A) said: "This is the handwriting of `Ali and the dictation of the Messenger of
Allah
, upon whom be God's peace and benedictions."[11]

This tradition is in agreement with what I found in Najashi's Rijal. In addition, two other sources confirm the contents of the abovementioned hadith.[12] 

Another narration that confirms the attention devoted by the Shi`ah to recording of hadith is that of an incident from the life of Fatimah al-Zahra'(A). One day Fatimah (A) could not find a manuscript in which hadith was recorded. She reportedly urged her housemaid to search for it, saying, "Look for it. It is as precious to me as my sons Hasan and Husayn."[13] 

Among the Ahl al-Sunnah, the recording of hadith started after the Holy Prophet's death, and that too after prolonged controversies between groups who favoured and opposed it.[14] In this connection, `A'ishah reports: "My father Abu Bakr had collected five-hundred hadith of the Messenger of Allah and one day he burnt them all."[15] 

There are several narrations regarding the second caliph which indicate that he stopped people from relating the Holy Prophet's traditions.[16] 

The recording of hadith among the Sunnis started from the early second century when the Umayyad caliph `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz ordered their collection and compilation.[17] As is widely accepted, Ibn Jurayj was the first person to record and compile hadith among the Sunnis.[18] 

Here it is worth mentioning that apart from the Household of the Prophet (S), their Shi`ah followers preceded the Sunnis in their effort to record the hadith. Abu Rafi` was the first man to begin the task along with the members of the Prophet's Household (A).[19] However, there were also several others who took up this task at the time of Abu Rafi`, or after him. Among them were: `Ubayd Allah ibn Abi Rafi`, `Ali ibn Abi Rafi`, Salman al-Farisi, Abu Dharr al-Ghifari, Asbagh ibn Nubatah and others.[20]

http://www.al-islam.org/al-tawhid/hadith-science/

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Dear NearlyShia, congratulations on your recognition of Ahlul Bayt (as) , I was on the same journey as you a couple of years ago, and while thigns were shaky at first I have never regretted making the decision since. May Allah SWT Guide you further. If you haven't already I would recommend the following books to read (if you haven't already) to further strenghten your beliefs

And Then I was Guided by Sayed Mohamed Tijani Smaoui

Peshawar Nights by Sultanu'l-Wa'izin Shirazi

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Dear NearlyShia, congratulations on your recognition of Ahlul Bayt (as) , I was on the same journey as you a couple of years ago, and while thigns were shaky at first I have never regretted making the decision since. May Allah SWT Guide you further. If you haven't already I would recommend the following books to read (if you haven't already) to further strenghten your beliefs

And Then I was Guided by Sayed Mohamed Tijani Smaoui

Peshawar Nights by Sultanu'l-Wa'izin Shirazi

Salaams

I embraced shi'ism on the 28/8/08. Thank you all for your help. My heart is settled.

(Nearly) Shia

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Salaams

I embraced shi'ism on the 28/8/08. Thank you all for your help. My heart is settled.

(Nearly) Shia

^_^ Mashaallah you picked quite fast. I started in Feburary of 08' and officially embraced it this 15th of Shabaan :lol: I had quite a long time in comparison.

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Salaams

I had been thinking about it for a while.

There was no doubt about the primacy of the Ahl-ul-Bayt and after really looking at the historical context of the first 4 caliphs, I concluded that Imam Ali (as) should have been the first caliph. It leads on to counter the sunni claim that the first three caliphs were 'rightly guided'. The issue of Muawiyah and Yazid were sorted out in my head long ago. Fiqh differences such as mu'tah are just that. If you accept the doctrine, then you accept the fiqh. One shouldn't allow fiqh to determine whether or not you accept a doctrine. The issue of imamate confused me slightly (if you look at the first message that I posted, you can see that of the four things that I have cited as "issues", only the first one is of doctrinal importance). MajiC suggested I read Imamate and Leadership , Lessons on Islamic Doctrine by Sayyid Mujtaba Musavi Lari, and it really is a beacon of clarity. So, although it seems fast, I think that it was fairly smooth. Thanks.

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Assalamualaykum to all - this is my first post.

I would like some help please. I was raised in a sunni household (you could say deobandi or salfiesque) but through friends and one member of my family, over the past 15 years or so, I find myself at this point in my life.

I now believe in the pre-eminence of Ahl-ul-Bayt, tawassul, I believe in the perfection of the 12 imams, the return of the 12 th Imam, the problems around the caliphate (this is historically documented and incontrovertible) and the practice of islam to me via the fiqh of Imam Jafar-as-Sadiq (as). Fiqh issues (such as mutah) and differences are really neither here nor there.

My difficulties:

1) The imamate - I believe that they were perfect. But divinely protected? The prophet (saw) yes.

2) Why is it so (apparently) important to point out the problems with Abu Bakr, Umar and Ayesha (may God forgive them and us all our sins) and the rest. Isn't it better to say that their affair is with God and leave it at that?

3) There appear to be many awliya who are sunni. Is that congruous with Shia thought?

4) Finally, the part of the sunni/sufi path that I really enjoyed was the constant mentioning, yearning, praise and magnification of the prophet (saw) through things like dalail-ul-khayrat, the burda etc. I don't quite see the same among the shia posts and websites that I have read. I do know however that I haven't had a chance to talk to many shia practising people.

I would appreciate any constructive help.

Thank you and may God bless you for your efforts.

Salam

your are not nearly Shia. You are one alreay. You don't have to accept all the shia practices.. just take the tenet ou shiism and follow your judgement. You are right on # 4 .. good luck

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salam

Congratulations nearlyshia!

Finally, the part of the sunni/sufi path that I really enjoyed was the constant mentioning, yearning, praise and magnification of the prophet (saw) through things like dalail-ul-khayrat, the burda etc. I don't quite see the same among the shia posts and websites that I have read. I do know however that I haven't had a chance to talk to many shia practising people

Something that you will notice when you go to Shia mosques, is that they always start a lecture, or a dua, or any sort of program by saying Salawat on Muhammad [sawa] and His Ahlul Bayt. And even during lectures, sometimes if the speaker mentions the Prophets name or says something inspirational the whole crowd errupts in Salawat. In Shia Islam there is a very very big emphasis on Salawat on the Prophet and His Household, so you will see and hear it a great deal.

Seeing as we're in the Month of Ramadhan, let me quote part of a famous Dua that is recommended to be read everyday in this month. Its called Dua Iftitah, and in it we say:

O Allah, send blessings on Muhammad, Thy servant, Messenger, confidant, friend, beloved intimate, mercy unto all the created beings, bearer of Thy sacraments, quotient of Thy messengers, the most superior, the exquisite, the most handsome, the most perfect, the upright, the more prospering, the more pleasant, the thoroughly purified, the sublime; who has more and better blessings, advantages, mercies, affections and salutations than Thou made available to any one of Thy servants, prophets, messengers, friends, and those honoured by Thee from among Thy created being.

http://www.duas.org/iftitah.htm

And as its Friday, let me quote part of Dua Nudba which is another famous dua read by many shias around the world every Friday fajr:

Then Thou made plans to bring out the wonderful advent of Muhammad, (Send blessing on him and on his children).

So Thou just as chose him master of Whosoever Thou created, made him (whom Thou Selected), pure, clean and the best, exalted and praised him (whom Thou elected), surpassed in generosity and liberality while bestowing high-mindedness and beneficence upon him (whom Thou took in confidence and relied upon); made him leader-in-chief of (all) thy Prophets, and sent him to the troubled world of men and jinn, among Thy servants, lowered and humbled before him the Easts and the Wests, under his total control was brought all affairs, exalted his soul in Thy heavens gave over to him the knowledge of what took place and what will happen, concerning facts and operation of creation.

Then invested him with awe and majesty, Jibraeel, Meekaaeel, and distinguished Angels stood around; him at his beck and call, gave Thy word to him that Thou would make his religion prevail over all religions, however much the idolaters may be averse.

Thereafter acknowledged his atonement and provided good and perfection for his children, allotted for him and his children the first sanctuary appointed for mankind, at Becca (Mecca), a blessed place, a guidance to the people, wherein are plain and clear signs; the place where Ibraahim stood up to pray, and whosoever enters it is safe.

http://www.duas.org/nudba.htm

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Assalamualaykum to all - this is my first post.

1) The imamate - I believe that they were perfect. But divinely protected? The prophet (saw) yes.

wa `alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah

That belief, even as it currently is, is already on the Shia side of the Sunni-Shia divide. What ideas do you currently have on the concept of divine protection? What is your understanding of the ayah 33:33, and of the situation of Prophet Yusuf? How do you understand the situation of Prophet Adam, and the claims of errors for Prophet Muhammad?

2) Why is it so (apparently) important to point out the problems with Abu Bakr, Umar and Ayesha (may God forgive them and us all our sins) and the rest. Isn't it better to say that their affair is with God and leave it at that?

Many Shia Muslims do. I think that there might even be higher-ranking `ulama who do, but I am not certain. If we are studying tarikh, of course, it is important to investigate certain important persons from the perspective of character analysis. If a person pursues scholarly education, then the issue of character becomes important in terms of the transmission of ahadith. For the most part, though, we hear much more about Prophet Muhammad, Lady Fatimah, and the A'immah than we do about others. At the mosques, we hear about the army of Yazid during Muharram. Others might have had different experiences though, where their jam`at focused intensively on companions whom we consider to have been misguided regarding Imamah. That has not been my experience, though.

3) There appear to be many awliya who are sunni. Is that congruous with Shia thought?

You mean, do we also have high-ranking `ulama who seem to have entered that saintly realm? I think that we do - we have a tremendously high regard for Imam Khumayni; and stories float around about `ulama, such as one who was able to write a letter to some pesky insects telling them to leave a building, and they did, as well as others who have met Imam Mahdi, etc. I don't have much anecdotal experience with this, though.

4) Finally, the part of the sunni/sufi path that I really enjoyed was the constant mentioning, yearning, praise and magnification of the prophet (saw) through things like dalail-ul-khayrat, the burda etc. I don't quite see the same among the shia posts and websites that I have read. I do know however that I haven't had a chance to talk to many shia practising people.

We have several salawat, ziyarat, and even ad`iyat that contain these kinds of praises. Have you stayed overnight for Laylat al Qadr during Ramadan at a Shia masjid? It is an intense experience. People should also be able to mention titles of books that would contain the ziyarat and other supplications, inshallah. I am terribly inexperienced with that.

Mabruk :)

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