Jump to content
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!) ×
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!)
In the Name of God بسم الله

Studying Shia Islam

Rate this topic


Elihu

Recommended Posts

  • Advanced Member

I am a nontrinitarian non-denominational Christian who is looking to study Islam. I am currently reading out of the Qur'an and have begun reading out of a publication entitled Nahjul Balagha, which I gather is a collection of sermons and letters by Imam Ali. In case it is important, I am using an edition of the text translated by Sayed Ali Reza. I have started on the first sermon, which is entitled as "The Creation of Earth and Sky and the Birth of Adam." Is this an authoritative text? Is it regarded as infallible? If not, then I will not cause myself to stumble on interpreting it. If so, then I will do my best.

Do my studies seem good so far? Are there any other texts I should read before reading Nahjul Balagha? I would also appreciate any recommendations one may have in regard to a good commentary on the Qur'an. I am not terribly familiar with any Islamic scholars, so I would not want to choose a commentary by a "heretic" or something.

Thanks for any input. God bless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member
5 minutes ago, Elihu said:

I am a nontrinitarian non-denominational Christian who is looking to study Islam. I am currently reading out of the Qur'an and have begun reading out of a publication entitled Nahjul Balagha, which I gather is a collection of sermons and letters by Imam Ali. In case it is important, I am using an edition of the text translated by Sayed Ali Reza. I have started on the first sermon, which is entitled as "The Creation of Earth and Sky and the Birth of Adam." Is this an authoritative text? Is it regarded as infallible? If not, then I will not cause myself to stumble on interpreting it. If so, then I will do my best.

Do my studies seem good so far? Are there any other texts I should read before reading Nahjul Balagha? I would also appreciate any recommendations one may have in regard to a good commentary on the Qur'an. I am not terribly familiar with any Islamic scholars, so I would not want to choose a commentary by a "heretic" or something.

Thanks for any input. God bless.

Peace i would suggest divine perspective on right by imam Zain al abi deen (as) Imam Ali's (as) grandson 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member
3 hours ago, Elihu said:

Thank you. Is this the text you are speaking of?
http://duas.mobi/treatise
 

Also, is this text considered authoritative?

Yes that is it but thats just the basic one hereis the actual detailed version http://www.al-islam.org/divine-perspective-on-rights-a-commentary-of-imam-sajjads-treatise-of-rights/right-n1-greatest-right

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member
3 hours ago, LabaikYaHussein said:

Thank you, I will look into it. Is this text revered as infallible, in the same sense as the Qur'an? Or is it revered as an early Islamic writing, similar to that of the Christian Fathers of the Church?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, Elihu said:

Thank you, I will look into it. Is this text revered as infallible, in the same sense as the Qur'an? Or is it revered as an early Islamic writing, similar to that of the Christian Fathers of the Church?

No text of any Islamic sect is considered infallible, except the Qur'an. The Qur'an is the only infallible text. Every book other than the Qur'an contains mistakes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member
3 minutes ago, أبو فاطمة المحمدي said:

No text of any Islamic sect is considered infallible, except the Qur'an. The Qur'an is the only infallible text. Every book other than the Qur'an contains mistakes.

So how should I approach reading other texts such as the one recommended to me by LabaikYaHussein (Divine Perspective on Rights)? How do I know which parts are correct and which parts are incorrect?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators
4 minutes ago, Elihu said:

So how should I approach reading other texts such as the one recommended to me by LabaikYaHussein (Divine Perspective on Rights)? How do I know which parts are correct and which parts are incorrect?

Researching, which is duty for every Muslim for seeking the truth in knowledge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Elihu said:

So how should I approach reading other texts such as the one recommended to me by LabaikYaHussein (Divine Perspective on Rights)? How do I know which parts are correct and which parts are incorrect?

Just hold this in mind: everything you read is authentic, unless it explicitly contradicts the Qur'an. In Islam, the Qur'an is the Criterion of truth and falsehood. Whatever agrees with it is true, and whatever disagrees with it is false:

تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ الْفُرْقَانَ عَلَىٰ عَبْدِهِ لِيَكُونَ لِلْعَالَمِينَ نَذِيرًا

Blessed is He who sent down the Criterion to His servant that he may be a warner to all the nations.  (Qur'an 25:1)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member
2 minutes ago, Dhulfikar said:

Researching, which is duty for every Muslim for seeking the truth in knowledge.

Does that mean different Muslims interpret each text differently? As in one may take a line from a text as reliable and accurate while another Muslim may view it as unreliable and false?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Elihu said:

Does that mean different Muslims interpret each text differently? As in one may take a line from a text as reliable and accurate while another Muslim may view it as unreliable and false?

Muslims are divided into 73 sects, each one interpreting the Qur'an differently from the other. Finding the Truth within Islam is not as simple as it may look.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member
6 minutes ago, أبو فاطمة المحمدي said:

Just hold this in mind: everything you read is authentic, unless it explicitly contradicts the Qur'an. In Islam, the Qur'an is the Criterion of truth and falsehood. Whatever agrees with it is true, and whatever disagrees with it is false:

تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ الْفُرْقَانَ عَلَىٰ عَبْدِهِ لِيَكُونَ لِلْعَالَمِينَ نَذِيرًا

Blessed is He who sent down the Criterion to His servant that he may be a warner to all the nations.  (Qur'an 25:1)

What about something that does not disagree with the Qur'an, but is also outside the reach of the Qur'an? And by "outside the reach," I mean it is simply not addressed directly by the Qur'an.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Elihu said:

What about something that does not disagree with the Qur'an, but is also outside the reach of the Qur'an? And by "outside the reach," I mean it is simply not addressed directly by the Qur'an.

In that case, we look at the mutawatir ahadith. Technically, everything is in the Qur'an. However, the details are oftentimes found only in the ahadith. The mutawatir ahadith are next in line - in terms of authenticity - to the Qur'an. They are more authentic than "sahih" ahadith.

To be honest, I think you should concentrate on studying the Qur'an itself for now. The other aspects (especially those relating to ahadith) are more technical, and a new comer might not understand much of them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Unregistered

Question: In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate the Merciful
To, 
Grand Ayatollah Sistani (may Allah grant him long life)
Salamun alaykum
Your Eminence is kindly requested to let us know your view in a few sentences regarding Nahjul Balaghah. 
May Allah protect you for Islam and Muslims.

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate the Merciful

"What has been recorded in this book from words and sayings of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (A.S) is, without doubt, at the peak and pinnacle of eloquence after the words of Allah, the Exalted, and those of His Prophet (S). ...........

Full Text here

http://www.sistani.org/english/qa/02414/

*****

The Authenticity of Nahjul Balaghah

http://www.al-islam.org/articles/authenticity-nahjul-balaghah-sayyid-fadhil-milani

*****

Nahjul Balagha is not a book of Jurisprudence.

"Peak of Eloquence" (Nahjul Balagha)

Sermons, Letters and Saying of

Amir-ul-Momineen(The commander of the faithful), Imam ul-Muttaqueen(The leader of the Pious) Ali ibn Abu Talib (A.S)

Fuwad Afram Al Basthanee, Professor of Arabic Literature in the Quadese Eusuf College of Beirut, is a Roman Catholic Christian. He has compiled a book containing selections from the works of philosophers, scientists, theologians and essayists. He starts this book with the following words,

"I want to start this work of mine with the selection from the book Nahjul Balagha. It is a work of the greatest thinker of the world Imam Ali-Ibne-Abu-Talib"(a.s)

The famous Christian moralist, author and poet Polos Salamah in his famous book "Awal-lay-Mulhamah-e-Arabia" says

"The famous Book Nahjul Balagha is the work which makes one realize the great mind of Ali Ibne Abu Talib. No book can surpass it but the Quran. In it you will find pearls of knowledge strung in beautiful chains, flowers of language making ones mind fragrant with sweet and pleasing smell of heroism and nobility, and streams of chaste language sweeter and cooler than the famous stream of the Kauser flowing constantly and refreshing minds of readers."

Abdul Maseeh-al-Anthakee, the Christian editor of the Egyptian Magazine, 'Alamran" in his famous book " Sharah-e-Quasa'ed-e-Alwiya" writes:

"It cannot be denied that Ali was the Imam of speakers and orators, and he was the teacher and the leader of writers and philosophers. There is truth in this assertion that his sayings are superior to that of any man and are inferior only to the sayings of God the Almighty. He undoubtedly was the man from writers, speakers, philosophers, theologians and the poets have drawn inspirations, have improved their styles and have mastered their arts. The compilation of his work is named Nahjul Balagha, which should be read often."

Ustad Abdul Wahab Hamodha, an Authority on Arabic Literature and the "Traditions", and a professor of the Fuwad I University of Cairo, in 1951 writes:

"The book Nahjul Balagha contains all that great scholars, professor of ethics, philosophers, scientists, authorities on religion and politicians can say or write. The wonderful force of advices and the superfine way of presenting arguments and the depth of vision prove that it is the work of a super mind like that of Ali"

Ustad Mohammad Mohiuddin, professor of the Arabic language, Al Azhar University of Cairo says that the Nahjul Balagha is a collection of the works of Hazrath Ali. It is compiled by Syed Razi. It contains such examples of chaste language, noble eloquence and superior wisdom that none but Ali can produce such a work because nect to the Holy Prophet, he was the greatest orator, the greatest authority on language and literature and the greatest source of wisdom of the religion(Islam). He was such a philosopher that from his words flow streams of knowledge and wisdom>

Mufti of Egypt, Sheikh Mohammed Abdahoo (1323 A.H) has written a commentary on Nahjul Balagha. He was among those modern thinkers , who made the modern world realise the beauties of the teachings of Islam. In this introduction (commentary of Najul Balagha) he says that everyone who fully understands Arabic Language must agree that the sermons and the sayings of Hazrath Ali(a.s) are next only to the words of God and the Holy Prophet(P). Ali's words are so full of meanings and they convey such great ideas that this book Nahjul Balagha should be very carefully studied, referred and quoted by students as well as teachers. This professor of Arabic Literature and philosophy persuaded the Universities of Cairo and Beirut to include the book Nahjul Balagha in their courses for advance studies of literature and philosophy.

*****

Ayatullah "Khomeini, the great arif, has spoken about the Nahjul Balagha with the following words: “The book of Nahjul Balagha, which are the revelations of the soul of Imam Ali (a), is for our education and training while we are busy sleeping on the bed of ‘I’ness’ and egotism and behind the curtains of selfishness….it is a collection containing so many aspects and facets that it is the breadth of a complete human being or a large human society…and however much societies come into existence and however much nations reach fulfillment and however much thinkers and philosophers and researchers come and investigate into it, they will only drown. Behold! Philosophers and theologians should come and research just the first sermon of this divine book. They should use their lofty minds, and with the help of their colleagues and the masters of Irfan, they should just give an exposition on this one short line. They should attempt to understand the reality of this and with their minds give it its due…Till they can understand the scope of the vision of the ‘son of revelation’ and acknowledge their deficiencies and weakness in front of it. And this is that sentence which says: "مع کل شیءٍ لابمقارنةٍ و غیر کل شیءٍ لابمزایلةٍ". In the original Arabic this means: “He is with everything but not in physical nearness. He is different from everything but not in physical separation.”[3] These words point to the concept of Wahdatul Wujud (the unity of existence) which is explored in Irfan.

http://www.islamquest.net/en/archive/question/fa6913

Edited by S.M.H.A.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member
3 minutes ago, أبو فاطمة المحمدي said:

In that case, we look at the mutawatir ahadith. Technically, everything is in the Qur'an. However, the details are oftentimes found only in the ahadith. The mutawatir ahadith are next in line - in terms of authenticity - to the Qur'an. They are more authentic than "sahih" ahadith.

To be honest, I think you should concentrate on studying the Qur'an itself for now. The other aspects (especially those relating to ahadith) are more technical, and a new comer might not understand much of them.

Alright, I will stick with the Qur'an. I appreciate all the help. God bless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators
23 minutes ago, Elihu said:

Does that mean different Muslims interpret each text differently? As in one may take a line from a text as reliable and accurate while another Muslim may view it as unreliable and false?

That is correct. These difference does occur, because Islam sects have their own definitions and concepts of  what is true Islam. These concepts and definitions comes mostly from hadiths, which are not infallible sources. But what is the truth one? For how I personally derived to right path is to study Allah (swt) Tawheed among the majority sects. Because in the end, when we want to understand and believe in religion, we always start from understanding what God we are worshiping.

Quote

Alright, I will stick with the Qur'an. I appreciate all the help. God bless.

Good decision. 

Edited by Dhulfikar
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member
15 minutes ago, Dhulfikar said:

That is correct. These difference does occur, because Islam sects have their own definitions and concepts of  what is true Islam. These concepts and definitions comes mostly from hadiths, which are not infallible sources. But what is the truth one? For how I personally derived to right path is to study Allah (swt) Tawheed among the majority sects. Because in the end, when we want to understand and believe in religion, we always start from understanding what God we are worshiping.

Thank you for the help, Dhulfolar. I will simply read the Qur'an first and then work from there. God bless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Elihu said:

Thank you for the help, Dhulfolar. I will simply read the Qur'an first and then work from there. God bless.

Study the Qur'an to get the basic principles first. Once you have absorbed these principles, then when you read the texts of the various sects, you will be able to see them better in their true lights.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member

In order to understand the Quran, you have to refer to Ahlulbayt a.s.

As the brother said, there are 73 sects and each contains their own meanings of verses in Quran. In Shia Islam, we follow 2 things like: Quran and Ahlulbayt. One of the most popular saying of Prophet s.a that

 

" I am leaving for you two precious things. First of them is the book of Allah in which there is light and guidance...The other one is my Ahlul-Bayt. I remind you in the name of Allah about my Ahlul-Bayt. I remind you in the name of Allah about my Ahlul-Bayt. I remind you in the name of Allah about my Ahlul-Bayt. (three times)."

 

So, initially, you may go reading Quran as it sole but the time will come where you could find a contradiction in verses. Well, those aren't contradictions but the other perspectives and the ayahs were blessed according to the events and circumstances. Here, you may refer to Ahadith told by Prophet s.a, his truthful sahabas and ofcourse above all after Quran, the direct narrations from Ahlulbayt.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member

@Abrar Ahmed One who comes across hadith Thaqalain without a prior bias will come to accept it wholeheartedly.

On the other hand, one who comes across this hadith through human referral or initially being part of a different sect may not necessarily accept it wholeheartedly.

The hadith speaks for itself and is completely supported by the Quran.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...