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Propaganda_of_the_Deed

Musings Of A "sunni"

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Thanks for the responses so far, and to Kadhim uz Zahra for taking the time to post - I will look at the thread you mentioned for sure inshAllah.

Regarding your question about whether they were supposed to rule simultaneously, no, they were supposed to rule in succession, one after the other. If I am not wrong, someone had recently mentioned to me that in the case where there are two, or more, Imams (peace be upon them all) present at the same time, one of them will be "active", while the other(s) will be silent, even though they are Imams at that moment as well. It is similar to the case of Nabi Musa and Nabi Haroon (peace be upon them all), whereby both were Prophets but Nabi Musa (as) was the more functional Prophet.

I probably wasn't that clear in this case, what I was referring to was whether the political role of Caliph and spiritual one of Imam were meant to be fulfilled by the sucessive Imams. Would the Imams have had the same roles and responsibilities as the first 4 caliphs? Were Hassan and Hussain etc meant to be Caliphs as well as Imams?

Another thing, while I'm on the topic - how was it decided which line of sucession was to be followed - because as you know there are some Shia sects like the Ismailis or Zaidis who disagree on how many Imams there are, as well as taking a different path of sucession - how decided this line of sucession and how did it become known?

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I can tell you this that ismaili's started during the time time of musa alkhadem or Ali alridha and they only reason they seperated was because of the khums if you want more info you can do your own unbiased research :shifty: But remember the 12 khalifhas from the quraish and remember the 12 imams and that the hadith states the world wont end until the all have ruled, also i will provide you this link from shia pen that answeres all the questions that come about immamt http://en.shiapen.com/comprehensive/imamate

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Salaam Alaykum,

I was once in your position OP. Now I can take lessons from anybody without emotion or grudges taking hold of me whatsoever. I have the same amount of respect for Ayatullah Sistani as I have for Yasser Al Habib and even Sunni scholars and followers.

It's just that the reality of it all is that the sunni who takes time to investigate and truly goes on a spiritual journey to find himself and to be closer to Allah... a lot of times comes to the path of Ahlul Bayt.

W/S.

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(salam)

It's always good to see an open minded member, and I noticed that quality in you a while ago. If you ever need anything, I too am an ex-Sunni turned Shi`i, and I can answer any inquiries you have publicly or privately (PM, chat messengers, etc.), or we can point you towards some useful literature.

May Allah guide us to His religion and contentedness in this life and the next.

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Salaams & Ya Ali Madad

Good on you for having the courage to question a lifetime of beliefs & bias, no easy thing. A person genuine in search for Truth will find it by one wasila or another,for you it was the Shi'ah girl who planted the seed in your mind.

It's ultimately futile, frustrating to argue with stubborn people (aside from maybe it giving observers a chance to ponder) over who's right and who is wrong - because of course the Shi'ah of Maula Ali (as) are on HAQ ;-)

Maula keep you on the path of Guidance (as).

ALI

Edited by Kismet110

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what is it that definines a shiite? i know a few shia's who regard themselves as shias but also still hold the same doubts as you do, such as, the extent of the imams infallibility, and the occultation of the 12th imam.

as you already know "shia" can be defined broadly includeing 12er, zaidi, ishmaili, alevi etc. However each of these dont hold the same views on imamah as the others do, not to mention some of them (not 12er) may even violate in belief the very fundamentals of what defines islam, but what these sects do have in common with each other is a belief that you seem to have already adopted and that is, that the rightful sucsesser to the Prophet (pbuhp) was imam Ali (as) and that the ahlul bayt (as) were persecuted along with their supporters and also that the sahabas were not all that they are hyped up to be as ahlul sunnah believe.

maybe you can technically already call yourself a shia?

you made an intresting point about whether imam Ali (as) would of ordered those expansion wars had his rightful succession not been infringed upon, Perhaps we will find out on the day of judgement that if the umah had been governed by the rightful imam and proceeded by his rightful lineage then maybe the whole worlds population would of eventually become muslim without the use of military force but by the force of wisdom and logic, wouldn't that actually make more sense?

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(bismillah)

(salam)

Thanks for the responses so far, and to Kadhim uz Zahra for taking the time to post - I will look at the thread you mentioned for sure inshAllah. I probably wasn't that clear in this case, what I was referring to was whether the political role of Caliph and spiritual one of Imam were meant to be fulfilled by the sucessive Imams. Would the Imams have had the same roles and responsibilities as the first 4 caliphs? Were Hassan and Hussain etc meant to be Caliphs as well as Imams? Another thing, while I'm on the topic - how was it decided which line of sucession was to be followed - because as you know there are some Shia sects like the Ismailis or Zaidis who disagree on how many Imams there are, as well as taking a different path of sucession - how decided this line of sucession and how did it become known?

Yes, I would encourage you to read it because I got it from Allamah Tabatabai's Al-Mizan and the arguement is very good because it incorporates both scriptural evidence and logic. Of course, it is not as clear-cut as one may wish but the way he takes you along, you have to agree with whatever he says. I have also seen other arguements on this topic, which I can also share if you want, but I don't find any of them as good as this one.

If I got you right, you are asking whether the Imams (peace be upon them all), apart from being the spiritual guides and successors of the Prophet (pbuh) , were also supposed to be the political leaders? If so, then, yes, they should have been the political successors of the Prophet (pbuh) as well; according to the Shias, the Imams are supposed to succeed the Prophet (pbuh) both spiritually and politically. Just as Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) was the head of the Islamic State, so too were the Imams (peace be upon them all) supposed to take this position.

As for the line of succession, I am not the best one to comment - I have not looked at this in a lot of depth - but here is a general answer, which, Insha'Allah, will be supplemented by someone who is more knowledgeable than me: some hadith can be found by the Prophet (pbuh) which mention the names of the Imams (peace be upon them all) but I don't know about how authentic they would be. The method was simply that the Imam of the time would declare his successor.

Just direct your feet, to the Shia side of the street... :D

There were other comments which were a lot more informative but this one was just the most.... :donno: .... persuasive, not to mention funny!

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Salaams Propaganda_of_the_Deed,

Just wanted to echo your thoughts on the idealism of Shiism versus the realism of Sunnism. It's interesting how the Shi'i theologians emphasise the Justice of God whilst the Sunni ones don't believe that anything is good or bad per se, i.e. they emphasise God's Command over His Justice.

Like you, I find the former more compelling than the latter. FWIW, as a former Sunni I didn't find the 'technical' (e.g. style of prayer) adjustments difficult. To be honest, the finer points of doctrine and interpretation of history (the injustice of Saqifah, Aisha's role at the Battle of the Camel etc) all of these came to me easily once I'd established a loving, spiritual connection with the Ahlul Bayt (Peace be upon Them). A major part of this was reading the duas, especially of Imam Al Sajjad (as). Of course the impact of Imam Hussein (as) and the sacrifice of Kerbala was another major factor.

I truly 'knew' that I was a Shia (or have to strive to be one) when listening to Dua Kumayl and the subsequent Ziyaraat of Imam Hussein (as) at a Shia mosque.

Now I feel that I have tasted something of Pure Islam, the way of the Prophet (Peace be upon Him and His Family). I feel I have a better connection with Allah because I'm (trying) to hold onto His Rope (Peace be Upon Them).

Good luck with your spiritual journey and may Allah fill it with His Barakah.

Edited by Hagop

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Thanks for writing up your thoughts. It seems that you have been critically thinking about Shia-Sunni differences.

Another thing, while I'm on the topic - how was it decided which line of sucession was to be followed - because as you know there are some Shia sects like the Ismailis or Zaidis who disagree on how many Imams there are, as well as taking a different path of sucession - how decided this line of sucession and how did it become known?

The same reasons why we have soo many Muslim sects; when the community started splitting into different factions due to differences in opinion.

Zaydis believe in the first four of the same Imams as us. Ismails believe in the first sixth of the same Imam as us.

When you were a Sunni, how do you guys justify the presence of four Sunni Imams and a variety of ideas and split within Sunnism?

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Thanks for writing up your thoughts. It seems that you have been critically thinking about Shia-Sunni differences.

The same reasons why we have soo many Muslim sects; when the community started splitting into different factions due to differences in opinion.

Zaydis believe in the first four of the same Imams as us. Ismails believe in the first sixth of the same Imam as us.

When you were a Sunni, how do you guys justify the presence of four Sunni Imams and a variety of ideas and split within Sunnism?

Yes as you said, these 4 factions within Sunni Fiqh were due to differences of opinion - although the consensus is that these 4 muthahib are all legitimate differences of opinions - and they are not differing on fundamentals (I'd assume the path of Imamate would be considered a fundamental) but rather Fiqh issues. There were even more than 4, but others became extinct over the years, these are now the 4 mainstream.

As a matter of fact, the "Jafari mathab" is taught as a 5th mathab at the Al Azhar (originally founded by the Fatimids) in Egypt and is accepted as a legitimate school of thought.

Do the mainstream 12er Shias view the other Shia sects as being somewhat misguided and even in grave error by not accepting the same line of succession? Are they considered legimitate differences of opinion?

Edited by Propaganda_of_the_Deed

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Yes as you said, these 4 factions within Sunni Fiqh were due to differences of opinion - although the consensus is that these 4 muthahib are all legitimate differences of opinions - and they are not differing on fundamentals (I'd assume the path of Imamate would be considered a fundamental) but rather Fiqh issues. There were even more than 4, but others became extinct over the years, these are now the 4 mainstream. As a matter of fact, the "Jafari mathab" is taught as a 5th mathab at the Al Azhar (originally founded by the Fatimids) in Egypt and is accepted as a legitimate school of thought. Do the mainstream 12er Shias view the other Shia sects as being somewhat misguided and even in grave error by not accepting the same line of succession? Are they considered legimitate differences of opinion?

No, the differences between us and, say, the Ismai'lis are not the same as the differences between, for example, the four Sunnis Imams. This is, exactly, because of what you have said: the line of succession of the Imams (peace be upon them all) is a fundamental part of religion while Fiqh is not. The differences between us and the other Shia sects is on theological issues while the differences between, say, Abu Hanifa and Ahmad ibn Hanbal were jurisprudential differences.

Therefore, we believe that, yes, they are also wrong in their beliefs and do not consider them legitimate in the sense that a Hanafi would consider the Maliki Madhab to be legitimate. In fact, we have a hadith in which the Imam (as) says that whoever rejects one of them, has rejected all of them and, therefore, for one's beliefs to be right, he must accept - and believe in - all the Imams (peace be upon them all).

Insha'Allah, I have been helpful! :D

Edited by Khadim uz Zahra

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Yes as you said, these 4 factions within Sunni Fiqh were due to differences of opinion - although the consensus is that these 4 muthahib are all legitimate differences of opinions - and they are not differing on fundamentals (I'd assume the path of Imamate would be considered a fundamental) but rather Fiqh issues. There were even more than 4, but others became extinct over the years, these are now the 4 mainstream.

The four madhahab in Sunnism deal only with fiqh issues, you're right. Though there were also schools of `aqeedah in history, as you may know. Today, most Sunnis are Ash`ari (and some may consider Salafism to be its own school of `aqeedah), but historically there were also the Mu`tazilah, the Murji`a, as well as the Maturidiyya, who still exist today. There isn't enough solid ground in Sunnism, because the four madhahab of fiqh have disagreed on thousands of issues, and the schools of `aqeedah have disagreed on the fundamentals of the religion. Then of course you also have the Sufis, which is another phenomenon within Sunnism.

On the issue of salat, there are 100 differences between the salat of the 4 schools. Salat is one of the most important pillars of Islam, so it's surprising that something so foundational would be practiced so differently by members of the same sect. Up until 100 years ago, Sunnis would only pray behind an imam from their madhhab. We say, Allah is Just, He has revealed 1 clear religion with 1 method of salat, not 4.

Do the mainstream 12er Shias view the other Shia sects as being somewhat misguided and even in grave error by not accepting the same line of succession? Are they considered legimitate differences of opinion?

We believe all Muslims must recognize the 12 Imams (as), because only through them will we perfect our deen. There is a straight path, and certain sects may be closer to that straight path than others, but we don't suggest that Zaydis for example are as correct as Imamis. Ultimately, a person who fulfills the five pillars of Islam is a Muslim. But, how do we understand Allah? How do we pray? What are the rules of fasting? The rules of Hajj? And to find the correct answer, one must go into the city of Islam through its front gate and not by some other means, lest we get hurt. On the day of Judgment, it is better to be praying with the correct method than with the incorrect method, because Allah may not accept the latter prayer.

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^ I see, thanks for clearing that up. I do have another question, and there's no point making a separate thread for it, so I'll just keep them here.

Coming from a Sunni background, Qa'im, et al, what did you make of certain practises that would have been deemed alien to you when you were Sunni? For example, I notice many casually would say "Ya Ali" or "Ya Hussain"... calling out to anyone in this manner other than Allah swt...whereas to say this is frowned upon in Sunni Islam would be an understatement. What's your view on this? or depictions of the Imams? I know this is more of a cultural practise that isn't neccessarily endorsed by the scholars.

Also do you still hold onto some Sunni sentiments or practises.. or have you totally changed your mindframe and attitudes to conform completely with the norms of Shi'ism?

Edited by Propaganda_of_the_Deed

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(bismillah)

^ I see, thanks for clearing that up. I do have another question, and there's no point making a separate thread for it, so I'll just keep them here.

Coming from a Sunni background, Qa'im, et al, what did you make of certain practises that would have been deemed alien to you when you were Sunni? For example, I notice many casually would say "Ya Ali" or "Ya Hussain"... calling out to anyone in this manner other than Allah swt...whereas to say this is frowned upon in Sunni Islam would be an understatement. What's your view on this? or depictions of the Imams? I know this is more of a cultural practise that isn't neccessarily endorsed by the scholars.

I'm sure you've become familiar with the arguments as to why people believe that is permissible. However, it is not a necessary practice - and some may argue the Imams (as) have not taught us to do such things regarding intercessory du`a. Anyway, this is not a uniquely Shi`a practice. Most Sunnis believe in its permissibility - the only real dissenters being Wahabi/Salafis. My personal view on the practice is that it's fine; do it or don't do it...completely up to you. I personally do not do a lot of it, aside from Du`a al-Tawassul. I do it mostly in Ziyaraat (conveying salaam to the Holy Prophet & his Family [as]) which is usually accompanied by me talking to them.

Pictures of the Imams [as] is something contested all around. The fatwaa for depictions of these Holy Personalities vary, not sure totally however. I personally don't like them, especially if they are in Mosques or Islamic Centers. You usually don't find this in the Western world (I think this is because most places are run by Pakistanis who are culturally averse to this practice, at least from my experience).

Also do you still hold onto some Sunni sentiments or practises.. or have you totally changed your mindframe and attitudes to conform completely with the norms of Shi'ism?

This question is way too broad for me to give a real answer for.

I think one sort of a norm is separating prayers. Though I may do this more often than not now due to school and praying with others in congregation, at least during holidays and breaks, I try to separate prayers into their preferred times. Most Shi`ah always combine without exception.

I'm personally not one who is "into" chest beating during Muharram because I do not connect with that. I'll just lightly pat with everyone else for solidarity purposes, otherwise I feel it distracts from the recited elegies where the emotion comes from.

If you had more specific ideas in mind feel free to let us know.

في امان الله

Edited by Dar'ul_Islam

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Yes as you said, these 4 factions within Sunni Fiqh were due to differences of opinion - although the consensus is that these 4 muthahib are all legitimate differences of opinions - and they are not differing on fundamentals (I'd assume the path of Imamate would be considered a fundamental) but rather Fiqh issues. There were even more than 4, but others became extinct over the years, these are now the 4 mainstream.

What do you mean fundamentals? Islam fundamentals are based on the sects themselves. You are aware of Shii Usool and Furu of Deen, 5 Sunni pillar of religion and Ismaili's 7 pillar of Islam.

It's false to say that the Sunni differing on Fiqh is not touching on fundamentals. Salat is one of the Sunni fundamental or pillar of the religion. And that the Sunni differing among themselves in something as crucial as the prayers (salah) which is a fundamental for them just goes to show that there is nothing sacred in Islam and everything is open to interpretation/debatable among the scholars.

And the fact that Imamah is the fundamental for the Shia but not to the Sunni could be further taken as an evidence that Islam's fundamental is open to interpretation.

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^ I see, thanks for clearing that up. I do have another question, and there's no point making a separate thread for it, so I'll just keep them here. Coming from a Sunni background, Qa'im, et al, what did you make of certain practises that would have been deemed alien to you when you were Sunni? For example, I notice many casually would say "Ya Ali" or "Ya Hussain"... calling out to anyone in this manner other than Allah swt...whereas to say this is frowned upon in Sunni Islam would be an understatement. What's your view on this? or depictions of the Imams? I know this is more of a cultural practise that isn't neccessarily endorsed by the scholars. Also do you still hold onto some Sunni sentiments or practises.. or have you totally changed your mindframe and attitudes to conform completely with the norms of Shi'ism?

Well, if you ask me, I would say that this is not the time to be worrying about such things, as in the practices like "Ya Ali" or "Ya Hussain" are not a fundamental part of Shi'ism, although they are seen as some to be very important beliefs. Saying Ya Ali madad does not make you a Shia. Rather, the only yardstick for being called a Shia is that you believe in the Wilayah of Imam Ali (as) and the Imams (peace be upon them all) that followed. These auxiliary beliefs and practices can be kept for later, after you have accepted Shi'ism as a whole. There are many Shias on this forum itself, like Haydar Husayn, who don't believe in Tawassul in the sense that the majority of Shias believe in but this does not make those who do believe in it - which includes me - to say that he is not a Shia. Therefore, I would not suggest that you dwell on these matters so much, not at the moment at least. You must, first, decide on which path you want to take and, then, after you have chosen the path, you can now come and look at these practices and decide whether they are permissible or not.

By the way, this practice is endorsed by many of the Shi'i scholars, including a large majority, if not all, of the Maraje.

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18 minutes ago, Khadim uz Zahra said:

@Propaganda_of_the_Deed It's been 8 years since you joined the site? Damn! Any updates on the evolution of your beliefs since you wrote this thread?

Good question. Well certainly I am no longer Sunni since that post, you could sense I was leaning towards being Shia. Not long after I posted it I gradually became Shia and still am alhamdulillah.

Just noticed today is the anniversary of this thread too.

Edited by Propaganda_of_the_Deed

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On 3/14/2012 at 10:43 PM, Propaganda_of_the_Deed said:

Ok, most of you know that I'm not Shi'ite, by technicality and default, I am a Sunni (although I personally identify with the term "Muslim", as I believe this is the correct and legitimate name for followers of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) - and not the previous two).

Found this amusing, considering the recent topic of yours titled "I'm just a Muslim"... :) 

Amazing (and scary) how things can change over time. This time 7 years ago I was a devout 12er. Now, I'm a Muslim.

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7 minutes ago, Jaane Rabb said:

Found this amusing, considering the recent topic of yours titled "I'm just a Muslim"... :) 

Amazing (and scary) how things can change over time. This time 7 years ago I was a devout 12er. Now, I'm a Muslim.

That is true how we change over the years, but to be fair I still identify as Muslim before anything. I am not, nor was the type to say I am "just Muslim".

If someone asks what religion I am, my first answer in my head would be to say I am Muslim and my religion is Islam, rather than saying I am Shia. That is more an elaboration.

That other post was in reference to those who say they are "Just a Muslim". I still conceded I was Sunni.

Edited by Propaganda_of_the_Deed

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يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ - 3:102

O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims 3:102

وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا ....

And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. .. 3:103

 

I can't guarantee that I'm a Muslim right now as only God knows it, but I hope I die as one .. or get martyred as one in sha Allah.

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