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My observance of Shi'a/Sunni Islam

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Guest TS1

I will start this post of by saying I am a non denominational Muslim (which means I don't really align myself to a sect but if I had to I would say I'm more zaydi in my beliefs, but I have the upmost respect for the companions of the Prophet) . If you asking why, it's because of my research into both Shi'a and Sunni Islam has given me so much to ponder over that I question a lot of the beliefs and wonder why things are in both beliefs. 

Please comment below if you have anything to add, anything you found interesting or anything you want to challenge or counter.

Mosques: 

When I went to Shi'a Mosques, it felt more closed off if you catch my drift, I know some of you will probably disagree with this, but the Sunni mosques that I went to are more open to outsiders. I went to Shi'a mosques that were run by Pakistanis (which seemed more cultural then religious, maybe it will the language and the way they presented things, but there were far more emphasis on the Ahlul Bayt (particular in regards to Imam Ali and Fatima Zahra, )). I went to an Iranian Shi'a mosque which was a more nice experience but once again it was very culturally designed, unfortunately as I'm not Persian I couldn't really understand what they were saying. The closet thing to a mosque that I grew up was an Arab Shi'a mosque, it wasn't extravagent, just plain bear and just saw people continuously praying. 

My experience at Sunni mosques is quite different, I'm not saying this as a biased point of view but I feel like the Sunni mosques teach the message of the messenger Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) more then the Shi'a mosques which empathise the teachings of the Ah'lulbayt more. It was quite weird hearing people saying Imam Alis name louder then the Prophets ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) name. Sunni mosques also like to focus on previous Prophets and focus on actions more (well from what I've experienced). In my experience the leaders of the Sunnis mosques are more open to talking and interacting then the sheikhs in the Shi'a mosques.

I know it isn't common practice amongst quite a few Shi'as but it'd be quite nice to see a Shi'a mosque which was open for 5 Daily Prayers (at 5 consecutive times). For some praying 5 times a day brings them closer to God, although I don't disagree with hadiths that state that praying 3 times performing 5 prayers is allowed

Beliefs:

  • Prayer

 

Wudhu:

The method of prayer between the Sunnis and Shi'as is quite different. First of all is the matter of wudhu. Being a Shi'a forum I assume you guys probably know your method of wudhu. I find the Sunni version of wudhu makes me feel and more ready for prayer however.

Azaan:

Although it is debated amongst Shi'as and Sunnis that the azaan is altered on both sides. For example the Shi'as argue that the Fajr azaan in Sunni Islam is altered (although I'll be honest I havent looked in this), the athaan for the rest of the prayers seem unaltered, as they pledge the first two statements (There is no God but Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)), and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is the final messenger. Shi'as also add the third to their athaan. I know Shi'as say that it is not mandatory (wajib) but I will say from my observe in the mosques etc, none has dropped the third testimony to the Athaan, which if you growing up as a young person you might start to assume that it is part of the athaan, which it isn't. I found this uncomfortable at time because I have grown up with the belief that the athaan is the athaan and should be unaltered (which is why I think the zaydi athaan is the correct form of athaan). I also questioned if it is optional, why didn't any of the centres I visited omit it from the adhaan, it's not like you have to add it everytime, for Sunnis this is quite controversial, if Shi'as are to add it to the athaan isn't it moving away from the Sunnah?

Prayers:

Shi'as pray with there hands down, Sunnis pray with there hands crossed. Not an issue for me either way sometimes I pray with my hands down sometimes with my hands crossed (I prefer praying with my hands down as it feels more natural). Shi'as use a turbah (which I don't like to criticize as I find it admirable), however there is an issue for me with turbah, because some of them say Imam Hussein or other members of the Ah'lulbayt, this for me is a grey issue, on the one hand you have a turbah made out of clay as it's Sunnah to pray on earthly material, on the otherhand you have members of the Ahlul'bayts name on them to which you're prostrating to, you can start to see my issue right....? Also whether we accept it or not there is no recollection of the Prophet ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) using a turbah in his prayers, although there is hadiths of him using a mat made out of leaves I believe, this is still quite different from a turbah.

The second thing which I observed was that Sunni's were much more observant of praying 5 times at 5 different times then Shi'as in their 5 daily prayers. Most Shi'as do tend to adopt the view that 3 times a day performing all 5 prayers is fine, however it's preferable to pray all 5 at 5 times which isn't encouraged enough in Shi'a centers hence the reason why they are only opened 3 times a day.

Shi'as also ask Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) to bless the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and his family often in ruku and in sajda (although I don't have an issue with this per se, we are praying to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) so we should focus on given the upmost praise to our Lord, which is why I just save it till Tasshahud).

 

Beliefs:

Without going into all the beliefs I have seen I will point out a few that I will say had me questioning Shi'a Islam

  • Imam al-Sadeq was a great scholar, and he had all 4 main Sunni madhabs come from his teachings. But the thing that I find questionable is why is it then the Jafari school of thought is so different to the Sunni school of thought, if all 4 schools derived from Jafar al-Sadeq how comes non of them proclaim that the teachings of Jafer al-Sadeq similar to the Shi'a Jafari school of thought, in regards to stuff such as prayer etc, why are there all so different? Just a side note I'm not sure but apparently Imam al-Sadeq is also a descendant of one of the Sahaba (although I can't remember who), how would he feel to hear his generation criticised?

 

  • Sunnis belief the Prophet saw was the most noble man to work this Earth, the Shi'as say he was infallible, this is also a point of sticking point for me and which I have to do more research on but I don't totally disregard the Shi'a view that our Prophet is infalliable (I say this because of the argument that the Prophet of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has to be perfect for us to believe his message, otherwise people wouldn't be as trusting of his message). But it did  get me questioning, how would an infallible man come to pick companions who wouldn't be loyal to him? Surely he would see people who would betray him, I have respect for the Sahaba (I'm not here to criticise Shi'as), but whether it is liked or not, the Sahaba were with the Prophet during his life and helped the growth of our religion, there are also authentic hadiths in which the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has praised the Sahaba so why turn a blind eye to these?

 

  • However I have read the Hadith al-Thaqlalyn and the story of Ghadir Khums. Because of these two counters, I do believe that Imam Ali was the rightful successor, but not to infallibility which something as big as this should be more clearly defined in the Qu'ran. I believe Imam Ali was the rightful caliphs but due to his merits, not because he was divinely appointed, an issue such as divine appoint would have been made clear in the Qu'ran, we can looks at verse but the tafsir on both Sunni and Shi'a sides could be correct (which is why I have an issue picking a side). For example, 33:33 Sunnis argue that is all the Prophets household including his wives (which would make sense make sense as the whole Surah is on women), however Shi'as argue it is based on the Ah Al-Kisa, whos correct I don't know, but why would something like this be made for us laymen to ponder and then interpret in a different way to how the message seems originally? 

 

  • I still struggle to see viewpoints in Sunni hadiths (the reason I take them more seriously because there is a greater hadith science between it and the verification process is more extensive) that Imam Ali was in direct conflict between the first three caliphs. Also a lot of the hadiths have been translated from the Prophets wife Aisha in Surah Bukhari, which is important in understanding the Sunnah of the Prophet in the Sunni traditions, which is why I don't understand the animonsity Shi'as have towards her. If we are to adopt the traits of the Ahlul Bayt, Imam Ali still showed her respect despite the disputes, so wouldn't it preferable to take the opinion of Imam Ali?

 

  • Just a sidenote, I also find Sunnis beliefs a bit difficult to understand, if they are under one umbrella, lets take an issue like combining prayers, Hanafis say it is not permitted under any circumstance unless at Hajj, whereas Malikis say it is permitted, but during travelling, rain etc, Hanbalis say a distance of 90km. So whos right? The Maliki madhub pray with their hands down, this is because the founder of the madhabs was from Medinah I believe and said that hows people in Medinah prayed which means this is what the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) must have taught. If this is true, why did the other school not do it aswell, we are from the rope of religion. I also have an issue with the way Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is described, for me it's more plausible that the Shi'a view that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is not limited by time or space, and to attribute attribute to our Lord is limiting him.

 

  • Unfortunately what did turn me away from Shi'a Islam was the difference in pilgrimidge etc. Sunnis emphathise visiting Mecca, Medinah and Al Aqsa, as the first three holiest sites, I know this belief is shared in Shi'a beliefs aswell, but unfortunately I just don't thing this was empathised as much as visiting the shrines of Imam Ali, Imam Hussein, Imam Ridha etc. I'm not against visiting shrines, but to make it into a pilgrimidge kind of thing where these things for some take precedent over visiting officially recognised sites was a bit concerning. If I offend you with this I'm sorry but I have noticed it more people do actively talk about visiting Karbala than visiting Mecca for example. 

 

  • The story of the birth of Fatima Zahra. I heard from the Shi'a perspective that apparently that angels or something along these line visiting Lady Khadija and appointed 4 women to the birth of Fatima Zahra, but I never heard of this before anywhere in our religion and I don't see anything from the Prophet pbuhbeing mentioned regarding this

 

  • Tawassul. Tawassul is hugely controversial and difficult for me to understand. When you look into to what they say in Dua Tawassul as a Sunni you'd be forgiven for thinking that Shi'as ask for other for help rather then Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), which is polythiestic. I understand the Shi'a reasoning behind it, but for me it is always strange to ask someone for help, who will then turn to our Lord and ask on our behalf, this is not common in Sunni Islam at all, which then paints a grey area, why not just ask Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) directly, surely it's better and safer to do anyways

 

 

 

  • Mu'tah, Tattoos, Tatbir Zanjeer. Sigh, these things are things that a person like me from a Sunni background has grown up and been told are not allowed. Why? I don't wish to speak bad of Mu'tah incase I may be mistaken, but you guys have probably heard the arguments against it. Tattoos, we've grown up to believe that our bodies are perfect so to modify them artificilly is looked down upon, some reason why we don't agree with Tatbir/Zanjeer, our bodies shouldn't be used to harm ourself, the Prophet didn't do it, so should we?

 

This thread took a long time to write, I'm not hear to bash Shi'a beliefs, I just want a discussion, I'm a layman who is looking to learn (which is an important part of our religion), I was reading a article on how  Khomeini was so adamant and fixed on the idea that Shi'a Islam was the true form of Islam it got me wondering, despite the majority of Muslims being Sunnis why was he so adamant that he was right? These things are so difficult to understand, it would take years to know if you practicing the religion properly and sometimes it hurts my brain thinking about these things. I'm open minded, I believe that Imam Ali should have been successor, but as I said I don't think he was divinely appointed, because I don't think something like this would have been left without being said, why would the Prophet not annouce that the Imam Mahdi has gone into hiding aswell or it being mentioned in Qu'ran. Because of all that I've that I've observed I do not really align myself with a sect, but I would say I'm more general Sunni follower with Zaydi beliefs if that makes sense. Let me know if you guys have anything to add.

Than

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Guest Veteran debater

I don't buy that Sunnis don't see Ahlul Bayt leadership clearly in Qur'an and their sacred position in there. It has become an issue of "they say our hearts are heedless, nay, rather God has sealed their hearts by their disbelief".

It's loaded your question, that this is an ambiguous issue. Just look at 4:54 in connection to 4:59. And 42:23 paired with 25:57.  And I don't buy it anymore, Sunnis read Qur'an, see Ahlul Bayt in there, but trick themselves out of by sheer disbelief. This is the truth that no one has guts to say. They are disbelievers.

 

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Amazing write up!, in Iraq, at least, many mosques include word hussainiya in their name, as "the mosque and hussainiya of [same name]".

and even some have drawing of Imams pasted to their walls .

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Guest TS1

Also I'd like to point out a few more observances. 

  • For some reasons I feel like Shi'a Islam has somehow accepted Zoroastrianism as another monothestic religion (Shi'a leaders say you get blessings if you fast on Nowroz??) I don’t understand this, how do you get blessings for fasting on a day that hasn't been mentioned by the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) or his Ahlul Bayt? The original three Ahl-e-Kitab I understand are Muslims, Christians and Jews.
  • The celebration of so many things and turning them in into an 'Eid'. In Islam we only have two official Eids, which are Eid-al Fitr and Eid al Adha. So I don't get how there how now become Eids such as Eid al Khums, Eid al Zahra etc. 

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Guest TS1
On 3/8/2020 at 4:04 AM, THEMBK said:

Amazing write up!, in Iraq, at least, many mosques include word hussainiya in their name, as "the mosque and hussainiya of [same name]".

and even some have drawing of Imams pasted to their walls .

Thank you for your post! I have looked through your profile and you seem to be a Shi'a Muslim? 

On 3/8/2020 at 6:37 AM, Sirius_Bright said:

Salaam, 

I appreciate that you are researching and trying to study different sects but I find your post focusing on what you align with or what you find appealing or logically correct. Please understand that Islam is not about what we like or dislike but it is about following what Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and his beloved Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has ordered. At times, we might not understand or comprehend wisdom behind Allah ordered or actions performed by Holy Ahlul Bayt (عليهم اسلام) but we should accept the command. 

Also, being a majority isn't a sign of correctness. If it is so, the Christians should be the correct religion today. Birth of Imam Mahdi (عجّل الله تعالى فرجه الشريف) is documented in both Shia & Sunni sources. 

Thank you Sirius_Bright and Guest Veteran debater. This is what I'm trying to do, follow the right path and not be misled. Both Shi'a and Sunnis make strong points, however I came here to put my grievances on both Shi'a and Sunni to try see the truth. There not really Shi'a debators who can show you why Shi'a beliefs are correct. 

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Guest TS1

I would be more inclined to follow Shi'a Islam if it had adhered to it previous teachings, e.g. omitting the Third Testimony in the adhaan, not doing Tatbir etc, encouraging prayers 5 times a day etc. Though I am willing to learn and hence the reason why I came to this forum

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Guest Guest of guests
On 3/8/2020 at 6:37 AM, Sirius_Bright said:

Salaam, 

I appreciate that you are researching and trying to study different sects but I find your post focusing on what you align with or what you find appealing or logically correct. Please understand that Islam is not about what we like or dislike but it is about following what Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and his beloved Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has ordered. At times, we might not understand or comprehend wisdom behind Allah ordered or actions performed by Holy Ahlul Bayt (عليهم اسلام) but we should accept the command. 

Also, being a majority isn't a sign of correctness. If it is so, the Christians should be the correct religion today. Birth of Imam Mahdi (عجّل الله تعالى فرجه الشريف) is documented in both Shia & Sunni sources. 

Oh please do share with us authentic Sunni sources saying Imam Mahdi as is already born please do

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17 hours ago, Guest TS1 said:

omitting the Third Testimony in the adhaan

Anyway it's not recited as wajib, so you have that option but it's recommended near most Shi'a Ulama. 

18 hours ago, Guest TS1 said:

not doing Tatbir

Not wajib either.

18 hours ago, Guest TS1 said:

encouraging prayers 5 times a day

You can pray 5 times a day or 3 times a day as you like, both ways are allowed in Shi'a mazhab. 

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On 3/7/2020 at 7:15 PM, Guest TS1 said:

It was quite weird hearing people saying Imam Alis name louder then the Prophets ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) name.

Salam I never heard or saw such thing in a Shia mosque , it seems you are mistaking cultural matters of some people with Shia belief 

On 3/7/2020 at 7:15 PM, Guest TS1 said:

Sunni mosques also like to focus on previous Prophets and focus on actions more (well from what I've experienced). In my experience the leaders of the Sunnis mosques are more open to talking and interacting then the sheikhs in the Shi'a mosques.

I know it isn't common practice amongst quite a few Shi'as but it'd be quite nice to see a Shi'a mosque which was open for 5 Daily Prayers (at 5 consecutive times). For some praying 5 times a day brings them closer to God, although I don't disagree with hadiths that state that praying 3 times performing 5 prayers is allowed

 I agree Sunni mosques are more open to Da'wa but Shias also pray 5 times a day in three sequences that at the end nearness to Allah is in  quality that is more important than quantity & show off in prayer.

On 3/7/2020 at 7:15 PM, Guest TS1 said:

I find the Sunni version of wudhu makes me feel and more ready for prayer however

in wudu & Namaz & any prayer we must follow Qur'an rules &  teachings of Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام) not our desire & conclusion

On 3/7/2020 at 7:15 PM, Guest TS1 said:

if Shi'as are to add it to the athaan isn't it moving away from the Sunnah?

No ,but I didn't hear Zaydi  Azan until now but if contains  حی علی خیر العمل like Shia Azan we don't have any problem with it & you can find rest of answers here or in Dr..... Tijani books that you can start from his famous book " Then I was guided" 

https://www.al-Islam.org/person/Muhammad-al-tijani-al-samawi

On 3/8/2020 at 5:46 AM, Guest TS1 said:

Also I'd like to point out a few more observances. 

  • For some reasons I feel like Shi'a Islam has somehow accepted Zoroastrianism as another monothestic religion (Shi'a leaders say you get blessings if you fast on Nowroz??) I don’t understand this, how do you get blessings for fasting on a day that hasn't been mentioned by the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) or his Ahlul Bayt? The original three Ahl-e-Kitab I understand are Muslims, Christians and Jews.
  • The celebration of so many things and turning them in into an 'Eid'. In Islam we only have two official Eids, which are Eid-al Fitr and Eid al Adha. So I don't get how there how now become Eids such as Eid al Khums, Eid al Zahra etc. 
  • Allah accepted Zoroastrians in Qur'an beside other people of book like Jews ,Christians & Sabians .
  • just having three Eids is just a Sunni idea because Prophet Muhammad (pbu) rejected rest of pagan Eids & introduced these three Eids  that after conquering Iran Imam Ali (عليه السلام) as true successor of Prophet Muhammad (pbu) that revived Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (pbu) to it's original form after innovations & distortions of three caliphs , he accepted traditions & Eid of new Muslims from Iran & other countries until these two don't have contradiction with Qur'an & teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbu) also Zaydis like Twelvers are celebrating the Eids that you mentioned but Wahabists turned Ashura dday as an official Eid between Sunnis for following way of cursed Ummayids & humiliating Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام) unknowingly by Sunni community.
  • The Culture Of Ahl Al-Bayt

  • An Extraordinary Example of Generosity

    Mansur Dawaniqi (the Abbasid ruler) asked Imam al-Kadhim ((عليه السلام).) to attend the Festival of Nowruz (New Day) to receive the gifts from all walks of life. The Imam answered, “The Nowruz Festival is a tradition for the Persians.” Mansur said, “I observe this festival as a policy for strengthening ties with the army. I ask you by God to attend this festival.” The commanders of the army came to the Imam, congratulated him on the occasion and presented him with gifts.........

  • https://www.al-Islam.org/ahl-al-bayt-celestial-beings-Earth-allama-husayn-ansariyan/culture-ahl-al-bayt
  • Shi’a vs. Iran

    بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

    Some people have fallen victims of confusing Iran with Shi’a. They try to imply that Shi’a were persians who hated Arabs and that is why they oppose Umar and some other companions.

    Iran is a country and Shi’a is a belief, they are two different entities!

    Many people are Shi’a but they are NOT Iranian. There are Shi’a in Iraq, Hijaz (Arabian Peninsula), Syria, Lebanon, and all of them are Arabs. In addition to that, there are Shi’a in Pakistan, India, Africa, America, and all of them are neither Arabs nor Persians.

    More over all of the 12 Imams of Shi’a are Arabs, from Quraish and from Bani Hashim. If Persians were prejudice and hated Arabs, as some people claim, they would have chosen Salman al-Farsi as their Imam since he was a great companion of the Prophet, and respected by both Shi’its and Sunnits.......

    https://www.al-Islam.org/shiite-encyclopedia/Shia-vs-Iran

    Quote
    12-abbas_di_palma-469.jpg?itok=zW9N2VRh
    Abbas Di Palma, Shaykh Abbas Di Palma holds a BA and an MA degree in Islamic Studies, and certifications from the Language Institute of Damascus University. He has also studied traditional Islamic sciences in...Answer updated 11 months ago

    It is not permissible to take part in festivals originated or influenced by polytheism. Muslims should revive the sunna of the Prophet and celebrate Islamic festivals that have been sanctioned for the Umma like Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr and understanding their scope without going beyond it. It has also been said that the Holi festival could be considered a "neutral" festival in relation to the coming of the spring like the Persian Nowruz.  This is not something proven; rather what is proven is the fact that such festivals are not part of the established sunna but often mixed with polytheistic/pagan elements and therefore should be avoided by Muslims.

    With prayers for your success.

    https://www.al-Islam.org/ask/is-it-permissible-for-Muslims-to-take-part-in-the-Hindu-celebration-of-holi-festival-of-colors/Abbas-di-palma

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Guest Love Ahlul Bayt

I'm a passionate and convinced Shia - that is on the fundamentals. Our Tawheed, interpretation of Ghadir and Thaqalayn based on the evidence, among other things.

However, if I am here willing to claim the majority of Muslims, including their highly intelligent scholars have misread, misunderstood or have been trapped by over a millennia of institutional or personal indoctrination or bias, can I really sit here and claim that our own scholars, who are also human beings, can't fall victim to that?

Now, not on fundamental issues, but certainly on other issues.

I have to agree with your findings brother. I hope this post gives you insight into the fact many of these issues are debated even among Shias:

1. As for adding Ali un Waliyullah, this was forbidden by many of our classical scholars, from Shaykh as-Saduq (who some claim was born out of the Dua of the twelfth Imam but this itself is debatable). It only came into popularity a few centuries ago in Safawid Iran, who used it as a political ploy. Shaykh Saduq claims it originated from the accursed Ghulat, a wretched sect of people who went far too extreme in their love for the Ahlul Bayt and attributed claims to them, such as the fact they allegedly provide risq, forgive sins, may Allah free the Ahlul Bayt of these slanders. I don't add it to the Adhan and I never will. Why? Because the Prophet and Ahlul Bayt didn't do it either. Issue? Take it up with them.

2. As for mention of the Prophet, the rationale is that the Ahlul Bayt as the second of the two weighty things preserved the Sunnah and so their Fiqh and jurisprudence and their way is the way of the Prophet. However, unfortunately, many try to counter balance the lack of Ahlul Bayt in the Ummah and neglect the fact that in Shia works, we have more Ahadith about a direct saying of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم), action, behaviour, than we do of even Ali b. Abi Talib (عليه السلام).

3. As for Salah, ask yourself why even Sunnis differ on this issue between their Madhabs. Isn't prayer something so obvious and apparent, that everyone should be in conformity? The reality is, due to the various Caliphs, geopolitics, prayer became weaponised and changed. You found the Malikis traditionally praying with Sadl I.e. their hands down. Why was this? Because they followed Imam Malik, who predominantly was in Medina, the land of the Prophet. The other great Sunni Imams lived a considerable period outside of Medina and became accustomed to another way before coming into Medina. Interestingly, groups who were not subservient to the Caliphs, be it the first three, Mu'awiyah, the Umayyads or Abbasids like the Khawarij also prayed with their hands down. 

4. As for Whudhu, the verse in the Qur'an actually says to wipe the feet. Sunnis claim while this would be the main understanding , the grammar does also allow a secondary meaning to wash the feet, which they say takes precedence because they claim it is supported by Hadith, which overrules the clear apparent verse in the Qur'an.

5. As for Salah, are you aware according to Shia scholars , it is more preferable to separate each Salah? It is far better to separate than to combine them. However, it is permissible to combine, and owing to how busy and populated the world now is, with how large it is, how everything works, difficulty getting to and mosque from work over the large distances, it is more convenient and permissible to combine them, and there is no harm in it, to allow everyone to attend J'amaat. 

6. I would highly recommend going on Iqraonline, which talks about visiting shrines. However, as a Shia I can honestly say that Hajj is incredibly emphasised. There are organised groups, workshops, dedicated teams, and it is something everyone wants to do. Many speakers and scholars go every year with groups. However, because Ziyarah is cheaper, quicker to go and get a Visa for, some people go on this first. I personally won't attend any Ziyarah until I attend Hajj. When I do attend Ziyarah, I certainly will only do it to give my Salams and respect to the Prophet and his family, and not do what you find some doing. 

7. The issue of Fatima (عليه السلام) and the burning house is not a fundamental of Shia Islam. It is a historical dispute. Authentic Shia and Sunni narrations clearly state when Ali (عليه السلام) opposed giving Bayan, with a group of people loyal to him, the second Caliph went to his house and asked them to immediately get out to pay their allegiance. They didn't, and he threatened to burn the house down if they didn't get out. However, whether he did or not is highly debatable and there are no authentic narrations but widely conflicting ones on what happened next. The most honest position is to say the threat itself is worthy of condemnation, and whatever happened next is insult to injury but we don't know 

All I have to say is, compare Shia and Sunni Islam based on the fundamentals, and accept that ever single group and sect unfortunately are not immune to distortion, cultural perversion, and deviating from a better way. I never say current Shia Islam is the truth, only that in its current form, it is closest to the truth and preserves key fundamentals. 

Compare us on Tawheed: Do we believe Allah has a location, ascends, descends, is composed of parts? or that he has no location, is not in time or space, is unified in his essence? 

Compare us on the Muttawattir Hadith: Did the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) clearly say he is leaving behind two weighty things, which if we hold onto, we will never go astray, and that these two will never deviate from one another until they meet him in the highest level of Jannah? Did he after this, hold up the hand of Ali (عليه السلام) and declare Allah as his Mawla, him as the Mawla of the believers, and whomsoever he is the Mawla of, Ali  was the Mawla?

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Guest Love Ahlul Bayt
23 hours ago, Guest TS1 said:

The celebration of so many things and turning them in into an 'Eid'. In Islam we only have two official Eids, which are Eid-al Fitr and Eid al Adha. So I don't get how there how now become Eids such as Eid al Khums, Eid al Zahra etc. 

Nothing beats the two Eids in significance, they are the main two official Eids. However, any day of celebration, including when you don't commit a sin, is a day of 'Eid. I don't celebrate anything , not even the birth of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم), but I do mark the two Eids. However, if it is permissible in Islam, I don't see any issue with marking other days as joy, as long as one does not claim doing so was part of the Sunnah, but rather, it is a permissible act one can do, and an act which contains Ibadah Allah will hopefully accept. 

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Guest observeAndWave

the point of Shia's constant emphasis on Ahlul Bayt is that this is the exact behaviour and mirroring of the Sunnah of the Prophet , whatever the Imams did the Prophet did , its not like the Imams did things their own way or introduced something new, they were protecting the Sunnah of the Prophet making sure it doesnt deviate 

Sunnis revere the Caliphs and specifically the 3 , despite that they did things like introducing bidah practises which they even know and accept as an introduction that the Prophet did not practise such as Taraweeh prayers 

Shia focus on Ahlul Bayt is focusing on the teachings of the Prophet , thats the point , not that we follow some new practise or individual or new political group or interpertation or practise after the Prophet, however the Sunnis do have this in their history such as the difference of policy that Muawiyah took compared to the other 3 and even amongst themselves the 3 had some differences , Muawiyah made people curse Imam Ali, the first 3 didnt and thats quiet a difference because if Imam Ali was curse worthy on the pulpit then it would have been worthy during the Prophet's life and even during the caliphate of the 3 , and none of them did that so it shows a huge difference in policy and 

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On 3/7/2020 at 7:15 PM, Guest TS1 said:
  • However I have read the Hadith al-Thaqlalyn and the story of Ghadir Khums. Because of these two counters, I do believe that Imam Ali was the rightful successor, 

Is it your belief then that Rasulillah ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)&hf) designated Imam Ali (عليه السلام) as his successor at Ghadir Khumm?

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On 3/7/2020 at 5:15 PM, Guest TS1 said:

Mosques: 

My experience at Sunni mosques is quite different, I'm not saying this as a biased point of view but I feel like the Sunni mosques teach the message of the messenger Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) more then the Shi'a mosques which empathise the teachings of the Ah'lulbayt more.

Right I appreciate your effort to bring your observation here. As you have quoted that your are a Zaydi then I like to ask you how do you find that teachings of Ahl alabayt as are different  than the message of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)? It does not seem to make a sense.

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On 3/7/2020 at 5:15 PM, Guest TS1 said:

Wudhu:

The method of prayer between the Sunnis and Shi'as is quite different. First of all is the matter of wudhu. Being a Shi'a forum I assume you guys probably know your method of wudhu. I find the Sunni version of wudhu makes me feel and more ready for prayer however.

This seems your personal version of acceptance instead of any base from the Qur'an or hadith. But in reality wiping off the feet is asked by Qur'an but Sunni practices are against this order of the verses of Qur'an.

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On 3/7/2020 at 5:15 PM, Guest TS1 said:

Azaan:

Although it is debated amongst Shi'as and Sunnis that the azaan is altered on both sides. For example the Shi'as argue that the Fajr azaan in Sunni Islam is altered (although I'll be honest I havent looked in this), the athaan for the rest of the prayers seem unaltered, as they pledge the first two statements (There is no God but Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)), and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is the final messenger. Shi'as also add the third to their athaan. I know Shi'as say that it is not mandatory (wajib) but I will say from my observe in the mosques etc, none has dropped the third testimony to the Athaan, which if you growing up as a young person you might start to assume that it is part of the athaan, which it isn't. I found this uncomfortable at time because I have grown up with the belief that the athaan is the athaan and should be unaltered (which is why I think the zaydi athaan is the correct form of athaan). I also questioned if it is optional, why didn't any of the centres I visited omit it from the adhaan, it's not like you have to add it everytime, for Sunnis this is quite controversial, if Shi'as are to add it to the athaan isn't it moving away from the Sunnah

Just it is considered a so called praise for the Zadys adhan like it is mentioned fro the practice of Wudhu above.

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On 3/7/2020 at 5:15 PM, Guest TS1 said:

Prayers:

Shi'as pray with there hands down, Sunnis pray with there hands crossed. Not an issue for me either way sometimes I pray with my hands down sometimes with my hands crossed (I prefer praying with my hands down as it feels more natural). Shi'as use a turbah (which I don't like to criticize as I find it admirable), however there is an issue for me with turbah, because some of them say Imam Hussein or other members of the Ah'lulbayt, this for me is a grey issue, on the one hand you have a turbah made out of clay as it's Sunnah to pray on earthly material, on the otherhand you have members of the Ahlul'bayts name on them to which you're prostrating to, you can start to see my issue right....? Also whether we accept it or not there is no recollection of the Prophet ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) using a turbah in his prayers, although there is hadiths of him using a mat made out of leaves I believe, this is still quite different from a turbah.

As far as praying with open hands is considered even Sunni do not deny it as there is sect among Sunni called Maliki who keeps hands down in the prayer. The same has acceptance by yourself as mentioned in blue text above.

The sajda is made on turba and it is sunna to make prostrate on Earth or even mud. the rest is spreaded conjectures..

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On 3/7/2020 at 5:15 PM, Guest TS1 said:
  • Imam al-Sadeq was a great scholar, and he had all 4 main Sunni madhabs come from his teachings. But the thing that I find questionable is why is it then the Jafari school of thought is so different to the Sunni school of thought, if all 4 schools derived from Jafar al-Sadeq how comes non of them proclaim that the teachings of Jafer al-Sadeq similar to the Shi'a Jafari school of thought, in regards to stuff such as prayer etc, why are there all so different? Just a side note I'm not sure but apparently Imam al-Sadeq is also a descendant of one of the Sahaba (although I can't remember who), how would he feel to hear his generation criticised?

This part looks to be a confused presentation. Zaydi believe that Imam Ali (عليه السلام) is the true successor of the Prophet Muhamamd s.a.aw and the practices of the first  three caliphs were different than those  of him (عليه السلام). Many Sunni hadith provide its evidence.

Since they are not the same then what gives you logic to write that all the four Imams being follower or students of Imam Jafer Sadiq (عليه السلام) should have same belief and practices? 

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On 3/7/2020 at 5:15 PM, Guest TS1 said:
  • However I have read the Hadith al-Thaqlalyn and the story of Ghadir Khums. Because of these two counters, I do believe that Imam Ali was the rightful successor, but not to infallibility which something as big as this should be more clearly defined in the Qu'ran. I believe Imam Ali was the rightful caliphs but due to his merits, not because he was divinely appointed, an issue such as divine appoint would have been made clear in the Qu'ran, we can looks at verse but the tafsir on both Sunni and Shi'a sides could be correct (which is why I have an issue picking a side). For example, 33:33 Sunnis argue that is all the Prophets household including his wives (which would make sense make sense as the whole Surah is on women), however Shi'as argue it is based on the Ah Al-Kisa, whos correct I don't know, but why would something like this be made for us laymen to ponder and then interpret in a different way to how the message seems originally? 

As you do not know who is correct I write here for your information that here are many aithencticf hadith from the wives of the Prophet that the Ahl alabayt as. include 5 persons known as Panjtan Pak in the tafseer of the verses 33:33. Many threads have this disscussion.

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On 3/7/2020 at 5:15 PM, Guest TS1 said:
  • I still struggle to see viewpoints in Sunni hadiths (the reason I take them more seriously because there is a greater hadith science between it and the verification process is more extensive) that Imam Ali was in direct conflict between the first three caliphs. Also a lot of the hadiths have been translated from the Prophets wife Aisha in Surah Bukhari, which is important in understanding the Sunnah of the Prophet in the Sunni traditions, which is why I don't understand the animonsity Shi'as have towards her. If we are to adopt the traits of the Ahlul Bayt, Imam Ali still showed her respect despite the disputes, so wouldn't it preferable to take the opinion of Imam Ali?

The Qur'an describe the wives of the Prophet s.a. in the following two verses:

وَمَن يَقْنُتْ مِنكُنَّ لِلَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَتَعْمَلْ صَالِحًا نُّؤْتِهَا أَجْرَهَا مَرَّتَيْنِ وَأَعْتَدْنَا لَهَا رِزْقًا كَرِيمًا

And whoever of you is obedient to Allah and His Messenger and does good, We will give to her her reward doubly, and We have prepared for her an honorable sustenance. (33:31)

يَا نِسَاءَ النَّبِيِّ مَن يَأْتِ مِنكُنَّ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ يُضَاعَفْ لَهَا الْعَذَابُ ضِعْفَيْنِ ۚ وَكَانَ ذَٰلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيرًا

O wives of the Prophet! whoever of you commits an open indecency, the punishment shall be increased to her doubly; and this is easy to Allah. (33:30)

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On 3/7/2020 at 5:15 PM, Guest TS1 said:
  • Unfortunately what did turn me away from Shi'a Islam was the difference in pilgrimidge etc. Sunnis emphathise visiting Mecca, Medinah and Al Aqsa, as the first three holiest sites, I know this belief is shared in Shi'a beliefs aswell, but unfortunately I just don't thing this was empathised as much as visiting the shrines of Imam Ali, Imam Hussein, Imam Ridha etc. I'm not against visiting shrines, but to make it into a pilgrimidge kind of thing where these things for some take precedent over visiting officially recognised sites was a bit concerning. If I offend you with this I'm sorry but I have noticed it more people do actively talk about visiting Karbala than visiting Mecca for example.

The Hajj is mandatory only on those who have finances / resources to go there and they can provide sustenence  to their family during they are out for Hajj. the approximate cost of Hajj from Pakistan is about Rs. 500, 000 per person. But the cost of ging to Kerbeal and Najaf for ziarah is about Rs 150, 000 per person. Thats why you may find visists / visitors to there sites and holy shrines.

I hope this clarifies your false thoughts.

Edited by Muslim2010

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On 3/7/2020 at 5:15 PM, Guest TS1 said:
  • Tawassul. Tawassul is hugely controversial and difficult for me to understand. When you look into to what they say in Dua Tawassul as a Sunni you'd be forgiven for thinking that Shi'as ask for other for help rather then Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), which is polythiestic. I understand the Shi'a reasoning behind it, but for me it is always strange to ask someone for help, who will then turn to our Lord and ask on our behalf, this is not common in Sunni Islam at all, which then paints a grey area, why not just ask Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) directly, surely it's better and safer to do anyway

Sunni version of tawassal leads them to aceept saying Ya Muhammad s.a.aw and Shia version saysto accpet saying Ya Ali and ya Imam. Both have their own reasoning and this is according to  their interpretation of Waseela leading to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).

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On 3/7/2020 at 5:15 PM, Guest TS1 said:

This thread took a long time to write, I'm not hear to bash Shi'a beliefs, I just want a discussion, I'm a layman who is looking to learn (which is an important part of our religion), I was reading a article on how  Khomeini was so adamant and fixed on the idea that Shi'a Islam was the true form of Islam it got me wondering, despite the majority of Muslims being Sunnis why was he so adamant that he was right? These things are so difficult to understand, it would take years to know if you practicing the religion properly and sometimes it hurts my brain thinking about these things. I'm open minded, 

I have responded to your most of the parts that needs clarification or response as given above in in this thread .

The Qur'an does not mention that majority is the sign or true followers but the right path is the criterion that should be followed. .

wasalam

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On 3/7/2020 at 7:47 PM, Guest Veteran debater said:

I don't buy that Sunnis don't see Ahlul Bayt leadership clearly in Qur'an and their sacred position in there. It has become an issue of "they say our hearts are heedless, nay, rather God has sealed their hearts by their disbelief".

The verses of Qur'an mentions the examples for following the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and his Ahl labaayt as. The link given below can be seen fro details:

https://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235055112-following-the-Prophet-through-Qur'an-ahl-albayt/

wasalam

Edited by Muslim2010

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Guest Abuahmad

I am Sunni 

you can be very well Shia no problem as long as you supplicate and call upon Allah alone without intermediators and believe that he alone has has control in this universe no one among his creations control anything besides him and he alone knows the unseen and his messenger alone receive revelation and alone is infallible and that the Qur'an is the perfect word of God without anyone added or subtracted anything from it and its verses are meant to be understood and followed it has no apparent and hidden meanings and anyone say anything else about the Qur'an is a disbeliever.

inshallah you will be in the right path

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Guest TS1

Ever since I posted this article I did research and I am now convinced that the path of the Ahlul Bayt is correct, one I create my account I will explain why!

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On 3/9/2020 at 10:22 PM, Guest Abuahmad said:

I am Sunni 

you can be very well Shia no problem as long as you supplicate and call upon Allah alone without intermediators and believe that he alone has has control in this universe no one among his creations control anything besides him and he alone knows the unseen and his messenger alone receive revelation and alone is infallible and that the Qur'an is the perfect word of God without anyone added or subtracted anything from it and its verses are meant to be understood and followed it has no apparent and hidden meanings and anyone say anything else about the Qur'an is a disbeliever.

inshallah you will be in the right path

We agree unttil that 
 

Quote

messenger alone receive revelation and alone is infallible and that the Qur'an is the perfect word of God without anyone added or subtracted anything from it

Prophet Muhammad (pbu) was infallible but after him we need someone like him with his attributes to explain meaning of verses of Qur'an that these persons must be infallible like him & have access to unseen by will of Allah like him but it only limited in 12 Shia Imams that other Shia scholars receive their knowledge through them that now the source of knowledge is 12th Imam by will of Allah .

 

Quote

followed it has no apparent and hidden meanings and anyone say anything else about the Qur'an is a disbeliever.

Everyone understands meaning of Qur'an different than anyone else but it doesn’t make him an unbeleivers but for understand meaning of apparent & hidden meaning of holy Qur'an we need infallible Imam with attributes of Prophet Muhammad (pbu) that such person in our time is 12th Imam that Shia scholars are our vessel to his knowledge.

Edited by Ashvazdanghe

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On 3/9/2020 at 7:52 PM, Guest Abuahmad said:

his messenger alone receive revelation and alone is infallible

I think that the word "infallible" is unfortunate because human beings are fallible by nature. Both the Prophet(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and the 12 Imams(عليهم السلام) was human beings, so by default they would have been fallible. They where not demigods or angles. However, if I am not mistaken, it is perfectly possible for Allah to bestow a blessing on them that will protect them from failing in maters important too delivering and preserving the message.

On 3/9/2020 at 7:52 PM, Guest Abuahmad said:

Qur'an is the perfect word of God without anyone added or subtracted anything from it and its verses are meant to be understood and followed it has no apparent and hidden meanings and anyone say anything else about the Qur'an is a disbeliever.

I think that most tafseer, both Sunni and Shia, presupposes that there is a hidden meaning in the language of the Qur'an. One example is the infamous verse 8:12 from Surat Al-Anfal; "[...] So strike their necks, and strike their every limb joint!"  It does not say with what to strike the neck and fingers. It could be with a Miswak for all we know, but it is generally assumed that it is with a scimitar.  The Qur'an is full of such ambiguous language with hidden meaning.

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On 3/14/2020 at 3:25 AM, Revert1963 said:

It could be with a Miswak for all we know, but it is generally assumed that it is with a scimitar.  

There may be a hidden meaning, brother.

But to say that it could mean "to strike the neck with a miswak" is fooling ourselves.

Without doubt, when the Qur'an asks anyone "to strike the neck", it means "to strike with the intention to kill."

Nothing else!

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10 hours ago, baqar said:

when the Qur'an asks anyone "to strike the neck", it means "to strike with the intention to kill."

Yes the tafsir say so and from the context that is the most plausible, but the word "to kill" or to "do damage" is still hidden and that was the point I was trying to make. (I thought the Miswak thing was quite funny, though) There is a lot of such ambiguities like that in the Quranic text and I think in some cases the hidden meaning is not as clear cut (if I may say so) as this example. That is where we have to rely on the tafsir. We laypeople at least.

Edited by Revert1963

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34 minutes ago, Revert1963 said:

Yes the tafsir say so and from the context that is the most plausible, but the word "to kill" or to "do damage" is still hidden and that was the point I was trying to make

Brother, you can say what you like.

But "to strike the neck" means "to kill" or "to attempt to kill."

It doesn't mean anything else.

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