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In the Name of God بسم الله

Islam Without Allah? By Colin Turner

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Full title: Islam Without Allah? The Rise of Religious Externalism in Safavid Iran

I've stumbled across the Arabic translation of this book today, and I think everyone should read this if they want an outsider's view of how our school of thought was shaped into the (insert unfavourable adjective here) state it is today. It describes the reshaping and transformation of Religious concepts from being focused on God and the Quran, to Imamate, and in this 4th to 10th century hj case, extremist views of this Twelver Shiite concept. He also touches on how mutazilite thought 'crept'  (it didn't really creep but was whole adopted) into the Shii rational school, another fascinating sociological development which requires further reading and debate. 

The author is an English convert to Islam, fluent in Arabic and farsi. 

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:salam:

I think we need to draw a line between the Safavid dynasty and the entire Shia community. Ismail I actually was an alcoholic and would almost never leave. Why? He would propagate himself as Amirul Momineen, the title Ottoman sultans used as well. So he had an aura of infalliability built around him. When he lost, he simply slipped himself away from society. Not a good example of a pious, God-fearing Shia.

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On 1/19/2017 at 10:30 PM, Qa'im said:

I read the book

Excellent and couldnt have said it better myself mA. You should post everything you wrote as an Amazon review to give others another perspective before they buy the book. 

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On 20/01/2017 at 6:30 AM, Qa'im said:

I read the book, needless to say I don't think the author understood the depth of Islamic monotheism. Many modernist Muslims wrongfully believe that we have a Protestant God, whom everyone can know directly without any institution of divine representation. They'll brag about how their Islam has "no clergy", and that after the Seal of Prophets, the world is more or less naturalistic. The reality is, shirk is not limited to believing in two gods - few people do, and even the jahili Arabs believed in one ultimate Creator. Jews for example are very "monotheistic", but in 9:31 in the Quran, they were described as taking their rabbis as gods besides Allah. This isn't because they prostrated to their rabbis, this was because (according to all tafasir, Sunni and Shia) they obeyed their rabbis at the expense of obeying God and His Messenger. Everyone must follow a guide and a leader, and that guide then leads you either to Allah or to Satan. Following Satan is shirk, period, even if it is done by a monotheist. So wilaya is not just God's oneness, which even deists accept, but it's recognizing God's authority and aligning with it. True tawhid on the day of `Ashura' was not to do tawaf around the Ka`ba, it was to recognize Husayn's role in this world as God's spokesman, know his goodness and his justice in God's name, and to stick with him by any means necessary to achieve God's deliverance. True monotheism forces one to act in obedience to God, who appointed vicegerents (khulafa') to represent Him.

In our theology, God's essence is a mystery. He cannot be seen by the eyes or grasped by the imaginations. His essence is completely veiled from us, and so the only way to know Him is through His ayat. Through this universe, we know there is a cosmological and ontological Creator. But to truly know God more intimately, one must know the hujja. The hujja is a representation of God's goodness, justice, mercy, and leadership. His likes are God's likes, and his dislikes are God's dislikes. Ma`rifa of God is only possible through ma`rifa him. No, he does not replace God, or embody God; he is not an incarnation of God. He is however the highest sign of God in the creation. The hujja is the theophany (mathhar) through whom God is known and obeyed. God connected to us through the creation - the natural signs, the Arabic Quran, the salat - but that highest connection that holistically represents Him is the hujja. The hadiths even say that associating partners with the Imam (making people equal or greater than the hujja of the time) is a form of shirk.

Even Sunnis and non-Muslims have historically connected to God through sanctified people. Sufis have their qutbs and saints after the Prophet, whose presence reminded people of their duties toward God. The word khalifa itself implies divine representation and vicegerency, especially when the khulafa' were regarded as khalifat rasulAllah and khalifat Allah.

So ultimately it's incorrect to pin it all on the Safavids or the Arabs - just read al-Kafi, Basa'ir al-Darajat, Tafsir al-Qummi, Tafsir al-`Ayashi, Tafsir Furat al-Kufi, and other early works, which state these concepts very plainly yet remain very consistent with Quranic principles. The internalism vs. externalism discussion is interesting in the book (he attributes the "ghuluw" and chauvinism of Safavid Iran to non-Persian "external" scholars), but this dichotomy does not mean that non-externalists have the "correct religion" while the Safavids (he attacks Majlisi) got it wrong. If anything, the Buyids played a big role in demystifying and grounding Shiism into fiqh and mantiq in an effort to court the Zaydis and Sunnis of Iran. The Safavids swung the pendulum in the other direction, and modern Iran went back the other way.

Either you haven't read the book, or your pre-conditioned akhbari tribal mentality prevented you from appreciating this valuable academic contribution, and deep understanding of Islam. In fact, his understanding far exceeds the understanding of 99% of Muslims, 'scholars' included.  

He never claimed to be a modernist Muslim, or that there's such a thing as a Protestant God, that's your judgement and has nothing to do with the book. Again, you are throwing baseless accusations at the professor, instead of intellectually critiquing his work. Hence, the remainder of that paragraph is irrelevant.

In YOUR akhbari theology, God's essence is a mystery, which again has nothing to do with the content of the book. The rest of this paragraph is akhbari propaganda, not worthy of addressing.

If you've had read the book, this conversation would have been more informative for other members.   

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1 minute ago, Qa'im said:

I'm a convert, there's nothing pre-conditioned or tribal about me, nor am I an akhbari.

The book woefully compartmentalizes what the author sees as internalist Islam (tawhid, nabuwwa, ma`ad) with externalist Islam (naql and furu`), arguing that externalists have missed the point, and are too focused on ritual and custom rather than essential Islam. The author then attributes externalism to the Safavid empire and the fuqaha' of this period (including those in Lebanon), says that Shiism in Iran was nominal and transient prior to Safavid expansionism, makes stark criticism of `Allamah al-Majlisi, and criticizes raj`a and other core beliefs. It's just a poor way to understand our history, our sources, and our scholars.

The fact that you call Majlisi " 'Allamah" , proves your tribal akhbarism.

The book is not meant to be a complete and comprehensive history of Shii Islam. 

He's an academic and researcher and has rightfully given his unbiased opinion on the rise of akhbarism in safavi Iran, and criticism of the role Majlisi and others played to appease the rulers of their time. Majlisi was THE court cleric of his time, literally grovelling at the feet of the shahs (there's a quote in the book to prove his grovelling).

What woeful compartmentalisation are you talking about? He's not the first to make this distinction. In fact many contemporaries of Majlisi held very similar views, and they suffered the consequences as a result. And his distinction between the two streams of Islam isn't as black and white as you put it. He does mention Mulla Sadra, who was the first to theorise a holistic methosology of burhan, irfan and quran, and the only scholar of his time to intellectually challenge the views of the ghullat and the literalists. 

Bro, the Safavis' only purpose was to secure power. Majority Sunni Iran was converted overnight by TRIBAL instincts of survival. For God's sake,  they shared both ethnic and religious values with the Ottomans, yet decided they wanted to rule over their own lands, so they used the religious and nationalist cards to rally the sheep behind them. They went as far as courting Arab scholars from Lebanon to help theorise pacifist concepts, and fight the ideas of wilayat Al Faqih. 

Again, Majlisi ain't no 'Allamah. 

Raj' a is a core belief? Since when? Since Bihar Al Anwar? 

How about I tell you Imamah in the Shii sense isn't a core Islamic belief? Ask Shaheed alAwwal,etc.

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This last post of yours demonstrates my exact point brother. I have already stated that I am neither Akhbari nor from any tribe, but perhaps those who do come from tribal societies will take your constant labeling of "tribal mentality" to be offensive and maybe even borderline racist.

As for Majlisi being called `Allamah, that is his formal title, and the Sayyid in your display picture gives him taraddi and tarahhum http://www.tebyan.net/newindex.aspx/comment/index.aspx?pid=44679

I did a very quick search to see if Sayyid al-Khomeini referred to Majlisi as `Allamah, and I think he does here: http://www.imam-khomeini.com/web1/arabic/showitem.aspx?cid=1854&pid=2178&h=19&f=20

Here, Sayyid al-Khomeini also criticizes your notion that Majlisi was just a lackey of the regime, saying that he was doing mujahada, and tried to turn the Safavid elites towards religion.

Legitimate criticisms of `Allamah al-Majlisi exist, but it's weird to see you smear him this way, when Bihar al-Anwar, Mir'at al-`Uqul, and Hayat al-Qulub are timeless textbooks used by Usuli scholars and students of knowledge and not just "tribal akhbaris".

As for Imamate not being a core Islamic belief, Imamate is very intimately tied to tawhid, and the problem with separating the two is exactly the point that I made in my earlier post. Shaykh al-Kulayni included many narrations on Imamate in his Kitab at-Tawhid, same with Shaykh as-Saduq and others. Kitab al-Hujja in the Usul part of Kulayni's book rather than in the Furu`.

Even the idea of "Sunni Iran being converted overnight by tribal instincts" is a mischaracterization that makes my head hurt. The author does not appropriately deal with Seyyed Hossein Nasr's take on the issue, which is that Persia had plenty of Twelver and pro-Alid Sunni/Sufi/Zaydi influences (as well as the Buyid state and others) before the Safavids. Yes, the Safavids were unique in their messianism and flamboyance, but "Akhbarism" did not climax until during the decline of the Safavid state and the beginning of the post-Safavid period.

As for raj`a, the books of Kulayni, as-Saffar, Saduq, al-Mufid, al-Murtada, al-Karajaki, at-Tusi, at-Tabrisi, Ibn Shahr Ashub are enough for me. I didn't say it was usul ad-deen, but it's certainly as Shi`i as rafd, and a belief of many of our early narrators and scholars.

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Tribal mentality is not limited to geographical or even blood related collective thinking, certainly no racial slur intended. In this case we are talking about the sectarian mentality of Shias world-wide,  which remains Akhbari no matter what people say.  And you labelling yourself as 'the Hadith' guy, I would expect you to be a proud Akhbari.  

I don't really care about Imam Khomeini's opinion of Sh Majlisi. He had his reasons and circumstances. There are others (within the religious seminary) who criticise him and explicitly proclaim that he is purely a collector of narrations, and has not made any significant academic (or other)  contributions to the Shia school. If anything, socio-politically, his contributions have been damaging almost beyond repair. 

I must add that what I am saying is no longer just based on the research done by Turner. This is research and information at hawza level, and I am pleasantly surprised that I've found an independent western source arriving at the same conclusion. 

You have fallen into the trap of thinking that those who label themselves as 'usooli' and praise the 'timeless'  books you have mentioned, are indeed following usooli methodology. They are as Akhbari as Sh Istarabaadi. 

I didn't say Imamah is separate from tawheed. Like you said you can't separate the two, but that's just a more perfect state of belief, based on your view of the world. You can't claim that someone is not a Muslim if he rejects Imamah as you understand it. If you do, this is no different to the Shia version of salafi takfirism.

The fact you are quoting 4th/5th century scholars proves the point I made earlier.... 

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On 04/02/2017 at 7:10 AM, Ibn Al-Ja'abi said:

salam alaykum

I'm kind of confused by the Majlisi-bashing in this thread.

I can see the author's view point regarding an essential Quranic Islam contrasted with an extremist Shiite Islam as being correct, only if you ignore the millennium prior to Majlisi as well as all the history between AD 630 and AD 1050 and all literature written and theological positions espoused then.

To paint Allamah Majlisi as simply a cleric of the Safavid court is simplistic to say the least, especially to anyone who has studied modern Iranian history. Majlisi clearly believed in what he preached, he abstained from the decadence of the Safavid court and social elite (for example, drinking which was a common vice, even among clerics). He dedicated his life to presenting, what he thought to be, the Shiite religion for the masses which had hitherto been nominally Shia, and prior to this, nominally Muslim -- especially outside major city centers, considering most of Iran was nomadic tribesmen until the 19th century with their pasteurization. He was a prolific author, producing many Farsi works so that the common man might be able to read the Hadiths, which had mainly been in Arabic prior to this point. He used the Safavid court to bring about radical (and puritanical) changes, attempting to reform Iranian society from the various vices plaguing it, albeit these reforms died with him. With his position in the court, he managed to preserve many of our hadiths in his magnum opus, Bihar al-Anwar. His whole tenure in Sultan Husayn Shah's court was only to the benefit of Shiism in Iran, not himself. To reduce him to a mere akhund on the level of those governmental mullas today is ridiculous, his contributions to Tashayyu are innumerable.

Majlisi was 1000 years in the making, not ~200 years. 

When you divorce doctrines from history, only then does the reading of Shiite doctrines as supported in this thread hold true. When the historical context is added, it falls flat on its face.

Well, I guess Sayyid Burujurdi was an Akhbari in that case.

What Majlisi bashing? Kindly refrain from such language, Im trying to be academic in my criticism, don't taint this thread with #fakenews. 

I'll let Majlisi speak for himself (from the book, pg 210): 

'It is only too clear to all men of wisdom and discernment that it is the exalted Safavid dynasty which must be thanked for the continued existence of the glorious religions of their illustrious forefathers in this land. All believers are beholden to them for this bounty. And it is because of the rays from the sun of this sultanate, that this insignificant mote (i.e Majlisi) has been able to bring together the traditions of the Pure Imams into the 25 vols known as Bihar al Anwar. It was while I was engaged in my work that I came across two traditions in which the Imams foretold the appearance of this exalted dynasty and gave to the Shi'ites  the glad tidings that this glorious dynasty would be connected in time to the government of the Hidden Imam of the House of Muhammad (s).'

The dust on the robe of one holistic scholar (Mulla Sadra per esample), is worth more than the entire existence of Majlisi, the likes of Majlisi, and the Usoolis who followed in their path to this day combined, in terms of their scholarly legacy

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18 hours ago, Qa'im said:

If being a "hadith guy" makes a person an Akhbari, then every Usuli is an Akhbari, because their rulings are ultimately derived from nass, no matter what other tools of ijtihad they use. Akhbarism is a methodology and not a label, and most people who call themselves Akhbari today are unrelated to the historical Akhbaris. You need to articulate what you are saying better - most of the Shi`a are neither Akhbari nor tribal; and calling someone "sectarian" needs to be qualified. Would you prefer Nader Shah's approach over `Allamah al-Majlisi's?

Majlisi did not just aimlessly collect narrations, he wrote one of the first complete commentaries of al-Kafi in Mir'at al-`Uqul, which is not just a book of gradings. As for his personal contributions, as Sayyid al-Khomeini argued and as @Ibn Al-Ja'abi mentioned, he steered the elites and the lay people from decadence and frivolity to religion, and wrote works in Farsi for the non-Arabic speaking masses. He was no conqueror, he was someone who wanted to steer the ruling class and the population to Shiism.

As for Bihar, which you brush off: were it not for Bihar, we would have lost countless books which have only survived in Bihar. Hadith is the turath of Ahl al-Bayt.

Turner's downplay the fuqaha' in general (and not just Majlisi) - as ritualistic patrons of tyrannical states who struggled against the mythological "internalists" who had a pure and faithful relationship to God (i.e. protestantism) - is simply a false dichotomy.

And what's wrong with mentioning Kulayni, as-Saffar, Saduq, al-Mufid, al-Murtada, al-Karajaki, at-Tusi, at-Tabrisi, and Ibn Shahr Ashub? These were the most important scholars of our formative period, and they record hundreds of traditions on raj`a. What about Fadl b. Shadhan's lost book on raj`a, who accompanied four Imams, is it worthless? These are the inheritors of those who studied directly under the 14 ma`sumeen, Saduq being born from the du`a' of Sahib az-Zaman (as), why do you dismiss them? Who else did you expect me to quote, a 20th century scholar?

Yes, and what's wrong with that? all Usoolis are akhbaris in their methodology. S Al Khoei being the last in the chain of 'major' contributors in that field, he might have been an usooli in fiqh, but relied on narrations on everything else, including doctrinal concepts in aqaed.  You think I'm that simple minded not to be able to distinguish between a label and a methodology? You can be an usooli in matters of fiqh, and an akhbari in aqaed. The point of the thread was to expose the roots of the pathetic situation we are in today. I will dedicate the rest of my days to correct the damage done by the cult of Majlisi. 

I have an approach that I follow, based on the teachings of a contemporary scholar, but I won't bring it up here. 

Majlisi explicitly requested rare books to be collected from all over the world where Shias lived. And you have to be really gullible to believe he 'steered the elites'. They put HIM in the position of Sheik ul Islam because HE was a perfect match for THEIR agenda! He defenately steered the commoners..towards ignorance and superficial religious practice. 

Bro, I don't just brush off Bihar. I brush off 100 Bihars, 500 Mir'at, 100000 Manla yahdharuhu'ulfaqih....etc. etc. the reference point is always the Quran in my worldview, and the accepted narrations revolve around it. First prove the Imam actually said what he said in those narrations, then claim those books are worthy of referring back to.

And again you put words in Turner's mouth. He clearly states it's not as black and white as you say. There existed extremes on both sides, but there was a third stream of scholars who took the middle ground. Gradation in levels of akhbarism existed as well, as it still does today, albeit under the garb of usoolism.

I don't care if you bring before me 1000 narrations from all these scholars and pseudo-scholars. if it does not conform to the Quranic worldview, they mean nothing to me (meaning, to me as in as a consequence, since I am just following the methodology that I see most logical when dealing with scripture and religious concepts).   

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1 hour ago, beardedbaker said:

Bro, I don't just brush off Bihar. I brush off 100 Bihars, 500 Mir'at, 100000 Manla yahdharuhu'ulfaqih....etc. etc. the reference point is always the Quran in my worldview, and the accepted narrations revolve around it. First prove the Imam actually said what he said in those narrations, then claim those books are worthy of referring back to.

 

1 hour ago, beardedbaker said:

I don't care if you bring before me 1000 narrations from all these scholars and pseudo-scholars. if it does not conform to the Quranic worldview, they mean nothing to me (meaning, to me as in as a consequence, since I am just following the methodology that I see most logical when dealing with scripture and religious concepts).   

And this, my friends, is why you should not read the book. Modernist nonsense. I rest my case.

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Beardedbaker, where is the verse(s) in the Qur'an that states or gives a worldview that a country must be ruled by a Wilayat Faqih who is the representative of the Hidden Imam who is the Successor of the Messenger of God?

 

Edited by ChattingwithShias
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3 hours ago, beardedbaker said:

What Majlisi bashing? Kindly refrain from such language, Im trying to be academic in my criticism, don't taint this thread with #fakenews. 

I'll let Majlisi speak for himself (from the book, pg 210): 

'It is only too clear to all men of wisdom and discernment that it is the exalted Safavid dynasty which must be thanked for the continued existence of the glorious religions of their illustrious forefathers in this land. All believers are beholden to them for this bounty. And it is because of the rays from the sun of this sultanate, that this insignificant mote (i.e Majlisi) has been able to bring together the traditions of the Pure Imams into the 25 vols known as Bihar al Anwar. It was while I was engaged in my work that I came across two traditions in which the Imams foretold the appearance of this exalted dynasty and gave to the Shi'ites  the glad tidings that this glorious dynasty would be connected in time to the government of the Hidden Imam of the House of Muhammad (s).'

The dust on the robe of one holistic scholar (Mulla Sadra per esample), is worth more than the entire existence of Majlisi, the likes of Majlisi, and the Usoolis who followed in their path to this day combined, in terms of their scholarly legacy

I'll just say two things:

1. When phrases like "pre-conditioned akhbari tribal mentality" started being thrown around, this ceased to be an academic discussion.

2. With its main participants not having studied modern Iranian history (from AD 1490 onward), this thread is completely pointless since they wouldn't know about the historical context they're discussing.

 

كتبه كلب استان على ابن الجعابى

Edited by Ibn Al-Ja'abi
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Pre conditioned Akhbari tribal mentality is a valid academic opinion I hold, not an insult or a slurr. Just as 'modernist nonsense'  is an opinion I respect, you should respect other people's views. 

Lol you historians and intellectuals should read the introduction of Bihar, and see for yourself what Majlisi  thinks of those who don't accept his book. I counted 25 insults on one page alone.

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I just like to re-emphesise that the purpose of the book and this thread, is to shed light on the rise of what the author calls 'externalist', ظاهري in Arabic,  vs 'internalist'  باطني,  reading of our scripture. He starts the book with an important analysis of imaan vs islam, and 'how confusion surrounding these terms,  and the collapse of the distinction between them, has facilitated the rise to predominance of the faqih, the gradual limitation of the concept of' ilm to the domain of jurisprudence'... 

Also,  he aimed to show (like many contemporary and classical scholars in the religious establishment), 'how the failure to recognise that there are in fact at least two modalities of islam adumbrated by the Quran has, wittingly or otherwise, diverted attention away from those Quranic precepts which emphasise the acquisition of self-knowledge, divine gnosis, submission and belief over the regulations, rites and rituals of Islamic orthopraxy. '

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On 2/5/2017 at 10:59 AM, beardedbaker said:

brother, I don't just brush off Bihar. I brush off 100 Bihars, 500 Mir'at, 100000 Manla yahdharuhu'ulfaqih....etc. etc. the reference point is always the Qur'an in my worldview, and the accepted narrations revolve around it. First prove the Imam actually said what he said in those narrations, then claim those books are worthy of referring back to.

I don't care if you bring before me 1000 narrations from all these scholars and pseudo-scholars. if it does not conform to the Quranic worldview, they mean nothing to me (meaning, to me as in as a consequence, since I am just following the methodology that I see most logical when dealing with scripture and religious concepts).   

You sound way too confident in your understanding of the Qur'anic worldview. What constitutes an "Usuli" for you? What methodology do you actually promote and support? Please list out the things for us, and let us see what results we get when we apply them on the Qur'an and if the Qira'at you are using to understand and form this world view is even the one that was revealed on the Prophet from Allah.

You aren't realizing that one's utilization of the Imam's words in speculative narrations are based on Hujjiyyah, not any different than establishing the Hujjiyyah of one of the (numerous) Qira'at of the Qur'an and the Hujjiyyah of one's understanding of the Qur'an.

Wasalam

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5 hours ago, Ibn al-Hussain said:

You sound way too confident in your understanding of the Qur'anic worldview. What constitutes an "Usuli" for you? What methodology do you actually promote and support? Please list out the things for us, and let us see what results we get when we apply them on the Qur'an and if the Qira'at you are using to understand and form this world view is even the one that was revealed on the Prophet from Allah.

You aren't realizing that one's utilization of the Imam's words in speculative narrations are based on Hujjiyyah, not any different than establishing the Hujjiyyah of one of the (numerous) Qira'at of the Qur'an and the Hujjiyyah of one's understanding of the Qur'an.

Wasalam

Salam

Will start a separate thread to address your questions. 

The hujjiyah is to the actual words of the Imam, not what is narrated to us. First prove the content of those books are in fact the Imam's words, then use them as an additional piece of evidence to support your opinion.

ثبت العرش،  ثم انقش 

Edited by beardedbaker
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9 hours ago, beardedbaker said:

The hujjiyah is to the actual words of the Imam, not what is narrated to us. First prove the content of those books are in fact the Imam's words, then use them as an additional piece of evidence to support your opinion.

ثبت العرش،  ثم انقش 

There is no discussion amongst the Shi'as that the words and actions of the Imams/Prophet are Hujjah (of course with certain theological presumptions). The hujjiyyah is established for the speculation (dhann) that a person attains after coming across a khabar and that what type of speculations are acceptable or not as evidence for deducing practical matters. If you attain itminan/qat' that these are the words of the Imams, you do not need to establish Hujjiyah for it, since Hujjiyah for itminan/qat' is essential to it (dhaati) and not separable - thus already there as it is.

That being said, what do you mean by "prove" that they are in fact the Imam's words? That is an epistemological discussion that concerns reality (waqi') and nothing to do with Usuli, Akhbari or a tribal-mentality. In fact the rigour most jurists put the ahadith through is nothing like what they do for historical events - which are generally far weaker, yet we often claim to have itminan in many of these historical incidents. In ahadith that pertain to law, we are in most cases dealing with zuhur (prima-facie) and hardly do we concern ourselves with the Waqi' (a jurist would be silly to think they can figure out the Waqi' of most rulings even with the Qur'an and Ahadith) and therefore you have to establish hujjiyyah for it when you intend to use them. Unless there are some very fundamental matters (like actual obligation of Salat or Sawm in religion which is without a doubt a real law established by God, however when there is doubt involved in the subject-matter of a Hukm, like what does one do in the North or South poles, those rulings are based on a jurist's Ijtihad which are all Hukm Zahiri).

We can prove something for you once you inform us of what constitutes proof for you. So far you have only thrown around terms like Akhbari and tribal-mentality without any indication of what you specifically mean by those terms and what methodology you are critiquing and what you are presenting as a solution for it instead. How have you proved that what Majlisi wrote is actually Majlisi's words and not his student's or a fabrication misattributed to him or a later addition by someone? What is the standard of knowledge you are seeking for when you want something to be considered the "words of the Imams"?

I just hope whatever standards you give us, you will be willing to put the Qur'an through the same historical and textual test and scrutiny.

Quote

Will start a separate thread to address your questions. 

Please do - because it can be very easily shown that utilizing the Qur'an the way you want to, can be just as problematic as you make the hadith corpus out to be.

Wasalam

Edited by Ibn al-Hussain
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On 06/02/2017 at 5:39 PM, Ibn al-Hussain said:

That being said, what do you mean by "prove" that they are in fact the Imam's words? That is an epistemological discussion that concerns reality (waqi') and nothing to do with Usuli, Akhbari or a tribal-mentality. In fact the rigour most jurists put the ahadith through is nothing like what they do for historical events - which are generally far weaker, yet we often claim to have itminan in many of these historical incidents. In ahadith that pertain to law, we are in most cases dealing with zuhur (prima-facie) and hardly do we concern ourselves with the Waqi' (a jurist would be silly to think they can figure out the Waqi' of most rulings even with the Qur'an and Ahadith) and therefore you have to establish hujjiyyah for it when you intend to use them. Unless there are some very fundamental matters (like actual obligation of Salat or Sawm in religion which is without a doubt a real law established by God, however when there is doubt involved in the subject-matter of a Hukm, like what does one do in the North or South poles, those rulings are based on a jurist's Ijtihad which are all Hukm Zahiri).

I meant reaching certainty that a narration emanated from the infallible. The actual reality of things could be revealed in the next world, so doesn't concern us here, like you mentioned. 

Therefore, it has everything to do with the various methodologies used to arrive at that certainty. For some, it's enough to use intellectual thinking power to arrive at the conclusion that the four major hadith books are in fact the actual words of the infallible (the same people who insist that 'aql has no hujjiyah....), and deal with contradictory narrations through the famous' Russian roulette' method... Those poor souls live in a world of contradictions...

The same applies to the other methods of extrapolating religious rulings... Sitting in the hawza, you should be privy to the various methods applied over the centuries.. Or do they just teach you the one method, and ignore the rest? 

You will get the complete picture of the method I adopt and follow (and deem to be the correct method)  in the blog thread I started, God willing. 

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I am more than familiar with the various methods, that is why I find your confidence amusing because it seems like you have not been exposed to the various critiques, issues and weakness with your own methodology. I'll refrain from commenting on the other remarks you made (which I find silly) and will wait to comment on your blog.

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You will get the complete picture of the method I adopt and follow (and deem to be the correct method)  in the blog thread I started, God willing. 

When you speak like this, it implies that you are completely outside the fold of taqleed and are speaking from the perspective of your own personal Ijtihad. So therefore, please be willing to respond to some very blunt questions that may attack the base or premises of your so-called correct methodology.

Wasalam

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57 minutes ago, Ibn al-Hussain said:

I am more than familiar with the various methods, that is why I find your confidence amusing because it seems like you have not been exposed to the various critiques, issues and weakness with your own methodology. I'll refrain from commenting on the other remarks you made (which I find silly) and will wait to comment on your blog.

When you speak like this, it implies that you are completely outside the fold of taqleed and are speaking from the perspective of your own personal Ijtihad. So therefore, please be willing to respond to some very blunt questions that may attack the base or premises of your so-called correct methodology.

Wasalam

What's amusing about feeling confident that an opinion one holds is the correct one? All opinions are up for debate and critique, so do your best.. 

I never claimed or implied that I don't follow a marja'. I do, and I adopt his methodology and worldview. 

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11 minutes ago, beardedbaker said:

What's amusing about feeling confident that an opinion one holds is the correct one? All opinions are up for debate and critique, so do your best..

It isn't the confidence, rather the over-confidence which is amusing, to the extent that you have to label others as tribal-mentality. 

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I never claimed or implied that I don't follow a marja'. I do, and I adopt his methodology and worldview. 

I didn't mean ijtihad in Fiqh. I meant in terms of your methodology (meaning the premises you are using you have proven their reliability for yourself through your own Ijtihad). If you adopt and do taqleed of someone in their methodology as well (as you have just claimed) that will change the nature of discussion, as it can't be expected you can answer all questions, because you are not necessarily aware of all their premises. So it is good you pointed that out. Also at that point, it doesn't make you any different than other laymen who decide to do taqleed of other scholars in their methodology and who they feel are more sensible and knowledgeable and who the Hawzah give more value.

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11 minutes ago, Ibn al-Hussain said:

It isn't the confidence, rather the over-confidence which is amusing, to the extent that you have to label others as tribal-mentality. 

I didn't mean ijtihad in Fiqh. I meant in terms of your methodology (meaning the premises you are using you have proven their reliability for yourself through your own Ijtihad). If you adopt and do taqleed of someone in their methodology as well (as you have just claimed) that will change the nature of discussion, as it can't be expected you can answer all questions, because you are not necessarily aware of all their premises. So it is good you pointed that out. Also at that point, it doesn't make you any different than other laymen who decide to do taqleed of other scholars in their methodology and who they feel are more sensible and knowledgeable and who the Hawzah give more value.

My observation on the tribal mentality of Shias worldwide stands, and I said I will address that elsewhere. 

How am I at the same time a layman and am able to differentiate between a valid methodology and a wrong one? 

I didn't claim to have all the answers, so don't jump to conclusions mate. The hawza establishment's opinions are irrelevant to me. 

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9 minutes ago, beardedbaker said:

How am I at the same time a layman and am able to differentiate between a valid methodology and a wrong one? 

Humans in general make such differentiation and base their life decisions on what they deem to be valid or invalid, you are not unique in this.

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I didn't claim to have all the answers, so don't jump to conclusions mate. The hawza establishment's opinions are irrelevant to me. 

You should definitely have all answers pertaining to your correct methodology - that you seem to have figured out (or rather just adapted from someone you felt was making sense to you) and feel so confident about and are willing to label the whole Shi'a world and scholarship as tribal for it.

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السلام عليكم

 

Brother, since you have come to the conclusion that the Qur'aan is the only valid source of religion and that narrations are useless, I would like to invite you to abandon your belief in the 12 Imams, a concept that I'm sure you are aware is not found in the Qur'aan. If you are unwilling to do this, then you may want to reconsider your position. 

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45 minutes ago, Guerrilla said:

السلام عليكم

 

Brother, since you have come to the conclusion that the Qur'aan is the only valid source of religion and that narrations are useless, I would like to invite you to abandon your belief in the 12 Imams, a concept that I'm sure you are aware is not found in the Qur'aan. If you are unwilling to do this, then you may want to reconsider your position. 

Lol. Wot? 

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