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In the Name of God بسم الله

Christian appreciation (and questions) for Shia and Zaydi


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Hi. I used to be some kind of staunch atheist-materialist-rationalist. Life led me to understand the importance of having God in your life, and an appreciation of how limited our powers as humans are. I went back to my ethnic roots and joined the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church. As an organization it is flawed as this is a fallen world and all members and leaders of the church are flawed humans, but it's a lot better than Catholic.

I spent a year in Saudi Arabia teaching English and learned a bit about Islam. One of my colleagues was an Islamic scholar who appeared to be Shia. He taught me some interesting facts. The relationship between Shia and Sunni has some similarities to the relationship between Orthodox and Catholic (e.g. 4th Crusade).

None of this info is presented to try to convert, convince or argue with any Muslim. I would just like to get your points of view and input. At its best (but in a minority of cases, Orthodox Christianity focuses on getting past religious legalism and a rationalized understanding of God to a direct spiritual connection with the divine through inner prayer. According to us, Jesus is the eternal word of God, the principle by which God orders and animates the universe, and which interceded on Earth in human form to save humanity by revealing his existence and our direct human access to him. I understand that in Islam, Jesus is also uniquely referred to as a prophet who not only gives but is the word of God. Meanwhile, for us, God is understood apophatically, totally beyond human understanding or depiction, probably more similar to Islam than to Catholics. Hell for us is similar to something proposed by the Muslim ibn Arabi, at least according to Wikipedia: Hell is a person's own choice to turn away from and not accept God's unending love.

I can be frustrated with the failings of my religion, but the points in the paragraph above, I have summarized some of the points that personally I feel are indispensable. Btw, we also have nominal equality among all bishops rather than the insanity of papal infallibility and priests must marry in contrast to Catholics, though that has little bearing here. I recently watched a video on the youtube channel Protecting Veil in which one of our priests argued that charity is nice, but it can be demonic because by helping a suffering person you can make them focus too much on this life rather than the next. There is some logic there, but a big problem for Christians is finding excuses not to live like Jesus and his early followers, choosing to give everything and live in poverty to alleviate suffering. It depresses me.

I see Hezbollah and Zaydis much better committed to fighting oppression and alleviating suffering. Besides, it is a shame for us that *we don't even feel shame* that there is riba-free Islamic banking, but no analogous Orthodox Christian banking.

I left Saudi Arabia with a much increased respect for Islam, if not the actual Saudi version. I was in Jeddah and my colleagues were from everywhere, so I was exposed to much more than just the Saudi mainstream version. But here are my impressions, which may not be accurate, which would make it hard for me to accept Islam.

1)  It tries too hard to appeal to reason rather than appealing to the heart. Proclaiming adherence the correct facts should take a far backseat to building a connection between God and one's heart.

2) It is overly legalistic whereas the goal should always be, again, to build and maintain a heartfelt connection with the divine, to embody the divine as much as you can in your life. When your heart is open to god's love, the law comes naturally. Legalism puts the cart before the horse and impedes the path to god.

3) Obviously Shia is the correct, pure, original Islam. Ok, done, now focus on the path it offers rather than spending all one's time justifying the minutiae of history. The religion is there to focus on God, not on the religion's history. I mean, when I hear about Islam or Shia, it's always about justification of their position based on history and not (or let's say, much less, I'm not trying to sound agressive) on the resulting relationship with God. I'm certainly no expert though, that's just my impression.

4) Let's say that from what I've studied and what they have shown through their actions, I believe that the Zaydis are the most correct form of Islam. How could I revert and actually live it? It's not that easy to find a Zaydi individual or masjid outside Yemen and I'm not going there any time soon (tragically, I would love to and I hope they win and bring peace soon).

5) Also, what is the Mainstream Shia relationship with Zaydis? How would most Shia face a Zaydi? As a brother?

Having said that, again, I am really impressed with the Shia and Zaydis commitment justice in action! Thank you for any effort to better inform me on these points.

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Posted (edited)

1) based on my knowledge, Christians get closer to god through their love for him in his human form, Jesus. I can see how much easier it is for Christians since god for them walked and lived amongst them, but its not too hard for Muslims too either. Allah declares his love and compassion for humans and his creations many times, saying things like he loves us more than 70 parents, that he will forgive us even if our sins are high as the sky or as vast as the foam of the sea, and there are many other examples, and every time i read them my heart gets filled with love and thankfulness for him, because he loves me despite me being an unthankful person who doesn't obey many of his orders. 

Apart from god, shias specifically have a very close relationship with the prophet((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) and the 12 imams, and i think the love and appreciation shias have for them is close to the kind Christians have for Jesus. We remember the way they lived, what they all did for Islam and how they ultimately sacrificed their lives for the word of god. 

2) i think 1) somewhat answers this question. Yes it is true Islam is very legalistic, the rules we must follow in our life are very highlighted, and the consequences of what will happen if we don't are also. i think this is because Islam puts lot of importance on the afterlife, Allah doesn't want us to suffer in it and thus reveals and lays much importance on the right way to live.

3)i guess you've been to a lot of Muslims forums, where you'll often see sunni Muslims vs shia Muslims, going on endlessly about how other side is misguided and has a false narrative of history. I think of all religions Islam has the most sectarian hate, but this isn't something natural, politicians of both the past and present are responsible for developing these cracks between Muslims. For ex. You'll never see sunni-shia hate in India, but just across the border in Pakistan, shia Muslims are the most hated minority, they're regularly killed and go through varuous forms of oppressions everyday. 

4)i am not sure what brought you to this conclusion, that zaydi Islam is the correct form. Personally, i think you should study more about islam, complete the Quran with meaning and revert to being a Muslim and then only start researching about sects. 

5) All Muslims face anotber Muslim as a brother, one who doesn't simply isn't Muslim. Im a jafari shia, im 100% sure what i believe and follow is what the prophet(saws) and Allah intended Muslims to follow, so all other muslims are misguided to me; they're still Muslims and my brothers, but misguided. 

But i view  salafis, wahabis and any sect that morphs the core values, principles and practice's of Islam as kafir.

 

Hope my answers help you, and God guides you to the right path brother :)

Edited by smma
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Guest Haidar

Salaam,

I am Zaydi and unfortunately we will be a minority for now anyway. I predict the Twelver sect will die out eventually with the way knowledge is spreading. The interesting thing is that Zaydis have always noted how Twelverism was a result of Ghulat-Abbasid tensions that was taking place in Kufa. The Abbasids first circulated the Twelve imam tradition and that the Mahdi would be from Bani Abbas. Of course when the Tweltfh imam never appeared the Ghulat invented the occultation which has deceived the believers and even themselves until this day. The occulted mahdi said to say it, but as about as real as the so-called virtues of the caliphs that were concocted by Bani Umayya. I hope I don't offend anyone but this is just how the Zaydiyyah see it.

Traditionally Twelver and Zaydis saw each other as deviated forms of Shiism no doubt but in practice I doubt takfir would take place. This is because people themselves are confused and misled, so it is a dangerous game to play branding people as heretics - this is the way of the Salafiyya and Wahhabis not the Shia. I think in the modern day they share the love of wilayah of Imam 'Ali and the progeny of the holy prophet.

I will leave you with the following ahadith about Imam Zayd ibn 'Ali (a) ::

Zayd ibn ʿAlī was asked about the meaning of the prophet’s (s) statement at Ghadīr Khumm of: “Whoever I have authority (awlā)[i] over, ʿAlī has authority (awlā) over”. He said:

He (the prophet Muammad (s)) appointed (nasaba) him (Imam ʿAlī) in a known way so that it can be recognised who is the party of Allāh in case of separation (firqa).”[ii]


[i] Qurʼān 33:6

[ii] Imam al-Mansūr Billah al-Qāsim ibn Muammad, Holding Fast to the Rope of Allāh the Mighty

Ibn Shihāb reports:

We heard that the People of the Book (ahl al-Kitāb) were the first to call ʿUmar al-Fārūq. The Muslims did relate this in their reports, but we have never heard that the Messenger of God (s) made any such reference.[i]


[i] Al-Tabari, The History of al-Tabari – The Conquest of Iran Volume 14

Zaydi Imam al-Kamāl Abū ʿAbd Allāh ibn Al-asan bi Al-asan (a) said:

The standard (fārūq) between us and other people is ʿAlī ibn Abī ālib, and the standard (fārūq) between us and the rest of the Shīʿa is Zayd ibn ʿAlī (a)[i].


[i] The rejectors (Rafida) concocted the will (wasiyyat) doctrine and misled all of the Shia.

Imam Muammad ibn ʿAlī al-Baqir narrates from the prophet Muammad (s):

Take recourse in this slightly bald man for he is the greatest truthful (Siddīq) and the guide to the one who follows him. Whoever holds fast to him has held the rope of Allāh, and whoever abandons him has left the religion of Allāh. Whoever differs from him will be destroyed by Allāh, and whoever abandons his Guardianship will be misled by Allāh. Whoever holds to his Guardianship will be guided by Allāh.[i]


[i] Imam al-Mansūr Billah al-Qāsim ibn Muḥammad, Holding Fast to the Rope of Allāh the Mighty

A point there is a common misconception from Sunni literature that Imam Zayd (a) was asked about the caliphs and praised them. This is false propaganda and the actual narartions from Zaydi sources are quoted below. These are from the finest companions who supported Imam Zayd (a) in his uprising against Hisham. Sunni sources have called them "Rafida" and "Jarudi" because of what they narrate - they are the pure Zaydiyyah:

Fudayl ibn Marzuq narrated: I was with Zayd ibn ‘Ali, peace be upon them and a man [Mu’tazili] asked him about the two sheikhs (Abu Bakr and ‘Umar), and he turned away from him. So they brought him and he said:

The two (Abu Bakr and Umar) are my pushers, they are my killers. So, our blood is on their necks until the resurrection.[i]

And on the authority of Abu Al-Jarud [who joined the uprising of Imam Zayd against Hisham] that the Mu’tazila said to Zayd ibn ‘Ali:

Greetings to those (the Sheikhayn) who passed and we will support you.

Zayd said:

Every brigade held in Islam for others [than the household and their descendants] is a banner of misguidance.[ii]

This was narrated by Imam Imad al-Din Yahya ibn al-Husayn ibn al-Muayyad ibn al-Qasim ibn

Muhammad, peace be upon them, mentioned various paths for his son, Imam Yahya ibn Zayd, peace be upon them both, like the answer of his father, may God’s prayers and peace be upon them, he answered in the war. And he narrated in the pearls of al-Duriya in explaining the honorary verses, on the authority of Imam Yahya ibn Zaid ibn Ali, peace be upon them, that he asked about the two sheikhs, and he answered with the same answer of his father, peace be upon them.

Abu Jafar [Muhmmad ibn ‘Ali al-Baqir] said: It was authenticated on the authority of Zayd ibn Ali, peace be upon them both:

Every banner held is not for us and does not call for us, for it is a misguided banner.[iii]

[i] Sheikh Abu Jaafar Muhammad ibn Yaqoub Al Hosami Al-Nasiri, Fundamentals of Religions

[ii] Imam al-Hasan ibn Badr al-Din, Sharh Anwar al-Yaqin

[iii] Ibid

 

 

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Absolutely based brother. I've always had an affinity for Orthodox Christianity above Catholicism and Protastantism. Orthodox Christians have been allies of the resistance fighting in Syria.

Can you provide some insight, what does orthodoxy teach about trinity? Does it teach that Jesus (عليه السلام) was an incarnation of God. How much shirk would you say it contains from an Islamic perspective of monotheism

If you wanted to be Zaidi you could probably just go to any twelver mosque and just say you're Zaidi and they should treat you as a complete Shia brother. The differences between the two are minimal, the Shia path, ideology, and lifestyle is the same between the two despite some differences of opinion. Zayd ibn Ali is regarded as a honourable martyr by twelvers and the imams after Imam Ali Sajjad are regarded by great and knowledgeable scholars by Zaydis, both Hezbollah and Houthis are on the same path of justice and resistance.

Much love brother.

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Thank you everyone, some very interesting stuff here, I will study carefully.

So, here is what I know about the trinity. There is one god composed of three 'hypostases' which means underlying essences. Catholics translated this word into latin as 'personae' which starts to sound pagan. Of course, even in the original Greek it is a problem for Islam. God the father is unencapturable in words, the ultimate creative principle is still not enough to express it. Jesus is commonly referred to as the son and the word of God. 'Word', or Logos in Greek is a pre-Christian philosophical concept meaning the way, the logic, or the laws of the universe. Unlike the God the father, this 'underlying essence' of the almighty is one that we as humans can glimpse or make contact with, through the eye of the heart, not through rational, ego-driven thought. And not easily but through a lot of prayer and 'catharsis' (purification). As for the holy spirit, it is the breath of god in all things, the life energy or permission to exist. It is based on the Jewish Rauch Hakodesh, and often mentioned in the Gospel as pneuma. So, then there is debate as to how equal the three are. We say that they are co-equal and co-eternal. However, Orthodoxy say that the Spirit 'proceeds from the father' and the Catholics say the spirit 'proceeds from the father and the son'. And although we say that the father and the son are co-equal, I kind of doubt that anyone really feels that way. But here is where it gets tricky. Jesus the eternal word of god and Jesus as appeared on earth are not necessarily exactly the same thing. Jesus who walked the Earth had two natures, human and god, equal and undifferentiated. This was probably the most divisive issue among early Christians, creating a lot of problems. The Schism between most Christians, dyophysites, and the miaphysites (Armenians, Assyrians, Copts, Ethiopians) is probably the biggest sin of early Christianity, putting doctrinal hubris above unity, and earning the punishment of the loss of Jerusalem and Antioch, etc, to you guys. Now we have agreed that 1500 years ago we were saying the same thing but using different words, but still haven't agreed to fully join together again.

You may also be interested in icons, as these are clearly incompatible with Islam. Indeed, when Islam was taking over former orthodox lands and hearts there was a period of iconoclasm, destroying them all, because we had clearly it seemed lost God's favour for some reason, but in the end we kept them. We ban statues and make a sharp distinction between worshiping god and venerating icons. We say an icon is written, not painted. it is scripture written in pictures instead of words, and venerated not really that much differently than how a Muslim venerates the holy Quran. They are great for helping small children or illiterate people understand the religion. But, having said that, for example, in Russia 100 years ago, Muslims had like 5 times as much literacy per capita as the majority and ruling orthodox, probably because everyone is responsible to learn the Holy Quran...

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I would recommend Ismaili Shia theology and Hermes Thrice from what you have said. I do not think the Muslim scholars were agaisnt gnosticism per say and emanation. The Quran certainly speaks about the holy spirit (ruh al-Quddus) and the world spirit (or spirit of the command 'ruh al-Amin'). These are all strictly under Allah's control who is the unique, ineffiable creator of everything. You tend to find Salafi/Wahhabis will avoid this sort of stuff as it gets them confused - they tend to have a weak understanding of Allah and therefore feel intimidated by such beliefs. I believe mainstream Sunni theology (Ashari) does entertain such topics. A classic example is the Quran. The Salafis deem any Muslim who calls the Quran created to be a kafir, which is hilarious because you are giving it the property of uncreatedness, which only Allah has...

Anyhow you may find this link interesting and the website in general good. I believe Khalil Andani has written some of the content who is an excellent academic with some very good papers.

https://ismailignosis.com/2016/01/22/ismaili-teachings-on-the-oneness-of-god-tawhid-beyond-personalist-theism-and-modern-atheism/

We differ however from Ismailis in imamate, in that we Zaydis believe the imamate is not inherited (like kingship), although it is limited to the descendents of prophet Muhammad (s) it must be based on knowledge, ability to establish an imamate and justness etc. Nevertheless the Ismailis have a very interesting history and great legacy.

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Also I'd like to point out. Zaidi madhab is very practical. It has concepts of spiritual purification Tazkiya. But they are based very much on literal evidence and a rational measured improvement in your actions and behaviour in this world.

If you are more into metaphysical and ibn Arabi type stuff. Then I don't think Zaidi is the best option for you.

You will find more similar beleifs to ibn Arabi and metaphysics in arfani 12 er. Beliefs.

I think you should ground yourself in Tawheed and the practicalities of Islam before chasing the whole Sufi irfani stuff.

If you want an evidence based Islam then Zaidiya is the way to go.

 

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Very interesting stuff guys, thanks! i didn't know anything about ibn Arabi, I just quickly checked if there was an analogous concept of hell in Islam. I have visited the tomb of Haji Bektash Veli in Turkey. Bektashism seems interesting, but I've seen videos of them sticking spikes through their own cheeks, I'm not so sure about that kind of thing.

Btw, I made a mistake. The whole 'co-equal' thing among the hypostasies of the trinity is a western christian thing based on a forged document called the athanasian creed. It's not in the Nicene creed and not accepted by orthodox. I knew something was off. For a long time they had all the influence and we have been polluted with many of their mistakes, like, as another example, icons or any depictions of god the father, which should never never be made. You rarely but sometimes see such things in Orthodox churches. Orthodox tradition was a weakened by various instances of foreign domination and communism. Many orthodox people will know what distinguishes it from catholicism even worse than I do, especially if they were born in it and never studied.

So there you go, You can tell me how much Shirk there is here: The trinity means that for us, word of God and the breath/spirit of god are co-eternal with him, but not co-equal. The word of god, the logic and law of the universe, interceded into human history by being born of a woman and thereby taking on a human nature equal and undifferentiated with the eternal divine nature within him, for that time that he walked the Earth.

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Guest Haidar said:

I am Zaydi and unfortunately we will be a minority for now anyway. I predict the Twelver sect will die out eventually with the way knowledge is spreading. The interesting thing is that Zaydis have always noted how Twelverism was a result of Ghulat-Abbasid tensions that was taking place in Kufa. The Abbasids first circulated the Twelve imam tradition and that the Mahdi would be from Bani Abbas. Of course when the Tweltfh imam never appeared the Ghulat invented the occultation which has deceived the believers and even themselves until this day. The occulted mahdi said to say it, but as about as real as the so-called virtues of the caliphs that were concocted by Bani Umayya. I hope I don't offend anyone but this is just how the Zaydiyyah see it.

Brother, you might consider making a full time account here, and members here can point out the flaws in this narrative. Then it's up to you to decide whether to follow it or not. You posted something similar in another thread, and the holes in this narrative were immediately apparent to most readers here.

For one, you do know that none of the Imams of Ahlul Bayt were from Banu Abbas? You do know that they were the ones to assassinate most of the Imams? If not a single Imam was in their line, what's the weight in the argument that Imam Mahdi was supposed to originally come from their line? Absolutely no weight.

If you actually dig in, you'll find that even the Abbasids acknowledged that Imam Mahdi would come from the line of Maula Ali. That's why Ma'mun married his daughter Umm Fadhl to Imam Muhammad Taqi, to try to include the Abbasids in Imam Mahdi's lineage. His plan was foiled of course, when Umm Fadhl bore him no sons; his lineage continued from another pious lady he married.

Btw, you might want to recheck the statistics on the rise of Twelver and Zaydism. The spread of knowledge is actually in favour of Twelvers, and we aren't confined to Yemen.

Nizari Ismailis also thought that Twelvers will eventually die out and they will dominate. It sort of backfired on them, and after the reality of their last two "Imams" has been exposed, they have become indefensible as a sect.

 

Edited by Sabrejet
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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Roman T said:

Orthodox Christianity focuses on getting past religious legalism and a rationalized understanding of God to a direct spiritual connection

Orthodox services are designed this way. To be an aesthetic experience (to encourage the 'good' impulses); while Western and particularly Protestant services are lecture oriented (or were).

Bold Face:

22 hours ago, Roman T said:

to us, Jesus is the eternal word of God, Messenger, John 8:38 [How this is said is why, as was in our church, "father" is an idiomatic expression for 'who you listen to'] The word "eternal" as in 'unchanging' is read in Mark 12:26-30.

the principle by which God orders and animates the universe, and which interceded on Earth in human form to save humanity by revealing his existence and our direct human access to him. No. Why would a 'god' need human form? And it contradicts the Gospels by alleging that everyone is 'save'.

 

22 hours ago, Roman T said:

is understood apophatically, totally beyond human understanding or depiction,

^^There is nothing "negated" in the God of Noah, Allah -(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). 

22 hours ago, Roman T said:

papal infallibility

Like "immaculate conception", these were devised in the 1880s to spur a revival interest in the Roman Church.

Edited by hasanhh
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As a twelver Shia I have found that the Orthodox christians are generally good upstanding people that one can learn many things from. I don't know if you've heard of Jay Dyer, he's probably the most famous orthodox in the US and puts out real interesting and important content about the state of the world and history. (Warning tho, he may seem obnoxious for some, especially his debates lol)

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On 1/5/2021 at 6:51 AM, Roman T said:

Hi. I used to be some kind of staunch atheist-materialist-rationalist. Life led me to understand the importance of having God in your life, and an appreciation of how limited our powers as humans are. I went back to my ethnic roots and joined the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church. As an organization it is flawed as this is a fallen world and all members and leaders of the church are flawed humans, but it's a lot better than Catholic.

I spent a year in Saudi Arabia teaching English and learned a bit about Islam. One of my colleagues was an Islamic scholar who appeared to be Shia. He taught me some interesting facts. The relationship between Shia and Sunni has some similarities to the relationship between Orthodox and Catholic (e.g. 4th Crusade).

None of this info is presented to try to convert, convince or argue with any Muslim. I would just like to get your points of view and input. At its best (but in a minority of cases, Orthodox Christianity focuses on getting past religious legalism and a rationalized understanding of God to a direct spiritual connection with the divine through inner prayer. According to us, Jesus is the eternal word of God, the principle by which God orders and animates the universe, and which interceded on Earth in human form to save humanity by revealing his existence and our direct human access to him. I understand that in Islam, Jesus is also uniquely referred to as a prophet who not only gives but is the word of God. Meanwhile, for us, God is understood apophatically, totally beyond human understanding or depiction, probably more similar to Islam than to Catholics. Hell for us is similar to something proposed by the Muslim ibn Arabi, at least according to Wikipedia: Hell is a person's own choice to turn away from and not accept God's unending love.

I can be frustrated with the failings of my religion, but the points in the paragraph above, I have summarized some of the points that personally I feel are indispensable. Btw, we also have nominal equality among all bishops rather than the insanity of papal infallibility and priests must marry in contrast to Catholics, though that has little bearing here. I recently watched a video on the youtube channel Protecting Veil in which one of our priests argued that charity is nice, but it can be demonic because by helping a suffering person you can make them focus too much on this life rather than the next. There is some logic there, but a big problem for Christians is finding excuses not to live like Jesus and his early followers, choosing to give everything and live in poverty to alleviate suffering. It depresses me.

I see Hezbollah and Zaydis much better committed to fighting oppression and alleviating suffering. Besides, it is a shame for us that *we don't even feel shame* that there is riba-free Islamic banking, but no analogous Orthodox Christian banking.

I left Saudi Arabia with a much increased respect for Islam, if not the actual Saudi version. I was in Jeddah and my colleagues were from everywhere, so I was exposed to much more than just the Saudi mainstream version. But here are my impressions, which may not be accurate, which would make it hard for me to accept Islam.

1)  It tries too hard to appeal to reason rather than appealing to the heart. Proclaiming adherence the correct facts should take a far backseat to building a connection between God and one's heart.

2) It is overly legalistic whereas the goal should always be, again, to build and maintain a heartfelt connection with the divine, to embody the divine as much as you can in your life. When your heart is open to god's love, the law comes naturally. Legalism puts the cart before the horse and impedes the path to god.

3) Obviously Shia is the correct, pure, original Islam. Ok, done, now focus on the path it offers rather than spending all one's time justifying the minutiae of history. The religion is there to focus on God, not on the religion's history. I mean, when I hear about Islam or Shia, it's always about justification of their position based on history and not (or let's say, much less, I'm not trying to sound agressive) on the resulting relationship with God. I'm certainly no expert though, that's just my impression.

4) Let's say that from what I've studied and what they have shown through their actions, I believe that the Zaydis are the most correct form of Islam. How could I revert and actually live it? It's not that easy to find a Zaydi individual or masjid outside Yemen and I'm not going there any time soon (tragically, I would love to and I hope they win and bring peace soon).

5) Also, what is the Mainstream Shia relationship with Zaydis? How would most Shia face a Zaydi? As a brother?

Having said that, again, I am really impressed with the Shia and Zaydis commitment justice in action! Thank you for any effort to better inform me on these points.

1). We believe that there is a direct connection between the state of the 'spiritual heart' called the 'qalb' in Arabic and actions. Also, we believe that the origin of the intellect is in the 'qalb', spiritual heart rather than in the brain. The brain is merely a tool that carries out the actions dictated to it by the spiritual heart. If you want to draw an analogy to a corporation, the 'spiritual heart' is the CEO, the decision maker, and the brain is the COO (Chief Operations Officer), in charge of carrying out the orders of the CEO. 

We believe there is a two way connection between the spiritual heart, belief, and actions. So the actions you take change the state of your spiritual heart, your beliefs change the state of your spiritual heart, and the state of your spiritual hear affects both your actions and beliefs. It's a two way street. So by focusing on your actions, in ways that might seem trivial to you, you are actually moving your spiritual heart to a state that is higher, in terms of nearness to God(s.w.a). The main driver of the elevation and change in state of your spiritual heart is obedience to God thru obeying God's will and not your own will when there is a conflict between the two. This is the definition of the word 'Islam'. It is the only religion that I know of that is named after a technique, rather than a person. It is because this technique is the thing that will ensure our happiness and success in this world and the next. 

So a muslim (one who practices the technique of Islam) is someone who is willing to do what is necessary to obey God, and check their own will when it conflicts with Gods will. For example, to pray every day, multiple times, at specific times and stop everything else you are doing for 10 to 15 minutes is not easy, especially in this modern, non stop world. It is also not extremely difficult or impossible. So God is telling us, in the Quran and hadith, that prayer is important, and this is the way you should pray, and these are the times for prayer. If you do that, the state of your spiritual heart will be elevated, which will affect your belief and your actions. If you don't do that, then your spiritual state will stay stagnant. So the focus isn't on the actions themselves, but on obedience to God, which is manifest thru the actions, and results in elevation of the state of our spiritual heart. 

About Jesus (peace be upon him), yes both Christians and Muslims refer to Jesus as the 'Word of God' but the meaning of this is very different. Christians believe in the concept of 'Logos', i.e. God's word made flesh, but Muslims don't believe this because we believe God exists outside of space and time (because He is the creator of space and time) and has no physical existence as we understand it, so for a muslim to say that God's word or any part of God manifested as flesh would be a nonsensical statement. If it's flesh, it's not God, if it's God, it's not flesh. These things are mutually exclusive. We, as muslims, believe that Jesus is called God's word, or God's spirit because he was created with a word, 'Be', and he was not created thru the normal process of a sexual union between a man and a women. We believe that the mother of Jesus, Mary(peace be upon her) was a virgin and that Jesus didn't have a father. But this is not a proof, as some Christians say, that he was 'God' because Adam was created without a father or mother, and no one claims that Prophet Adam(peace be upon him)  is 'God'. We believe Jesus(peace be upon him) was a Messenger of God, sent to humanity to convey the Message of God to the people of his time, just like Abraham conveyed the Message to the people of his time, Noah to the people of his time, Moses to the people of his time, and Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon them all) to the people of his time up till he Day of Judgement, since he is the last Prophet. 

3) The difference between Shia and Sunni basically boil down to one point, and it has to do with what I spoke about above. If  'Islam' means submission to God's will when there is a conflict between your will and God's will, then a muslim should have no problem submitting to God's will, whatever that entails. If it is made clear that God's will is for the Prophet Muhammad(p.b.u.h) to have a specific person as his successor and leader after him, then a muslim should have no problem accepting that and obeying that leader. We(shia) believe that God chose Imam Ali((عليه السلام)), son of Abu Talib, and the successor to Prophet Muhammad(p.b.u.h) at the famous incident of Ghadir Khum and at other times and that this was made clear to all the muslims. The ones who accept this evidence (which in my opinion is just as clear as the evidence for the Prophethood of Prophet Muhammad) are Shia, the ones that don't call themselve 'Sunni' meaning followers of the Sunna of the Prophet, although we Shia believe that we are actually the Sunnis also because we are followers of the Sunnah (teachings of the Prophet), all of it, not just parts that we like. That is the difference. 

4 and 5) Zayidi are Shia, but they differ from the mainstream Shia in that they accept all the successors to Prophet Muhammad(p.b.u.h), the Imams of Ahl Al Bayt((عليه السلام)) up to Imam Ali, called Zain Al Abedeen (the ornament of the worshippers), the fourth Imam and grandson of the first Imam Ali, son of Abu Talib((عليه السلام)). After that the Zayidis say that the Imam was Zayd, son of Zain Al Abedeen. The mainstream Shia believe that after that the Imam was Muhammad Al Baqir, son of Zain Al Abedeen. Muhammad Al Baqir((عليه السلام)) and Zayd((عليه السلام)) were brothers and all Shia, Zayidi and mainstream love and revere Zayd, and believe he died as a martyr. The Zayidis believe that the Imam is the one who rises with the sword, so they accept Zayd as Imam and not his brother because Zayd made a revolution against the corrupt rulers of the time, the Ummayads. So most of the Zayidi beliefs are the same as the mainstream Shia and we consider them as muslims. They have different Fiqh(Islamic laws) for some issues, but these can be easily found online. So as long as you follow that Fiqh, you can live as a Zaidi. You don't have to be in Yemen. 

 

Edited by Abu Hadi
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hasanhh, I didn't come here to argue or explain Orthodox theology, that was only in response to a question from 'Guest'. I would not come here to lecture anyone, but I guess mutual understanding is good, so I would clarify.

The original point of the liturgy is not just aesthetic. is to put aside your grievances with anyone in the community and confess your sins before God before affirming communion in the church. Liturgy traditionally would have been most people's only exposure to scripture, the bible wasn't traditionally well-distributed among Orthodox, but fully read out in church over the course of the year.

As for Christ as Logos, this is partly based on John 1. Why would God need to take a human form is really the basis of Christianity, to reveal his presence in our hearts and lead us from sin to him. Of course, it is not possible for a Muslim to agree with this. I didn't mean that everyone is saved, though some orthodox like Origen believe that.

Indeed, nothing is negated in God. That is the point of apophastic theology. No words can describe him, so to say 'he is X' is limiting and insulting. Better to recognize his ineffability in how you speak of him.

 

Peace guys!

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4 hours ago, Sabrejet said:

Brother, you might consider making a full time account here, and members here can point out the flaws in this narrative. Then it's up to you to decide whether to follow it or not. You posted something similar in another thread, and the holes in this narrative were immediately apparent to most readers here.

For one, you do know that none of the Imams of Ahlul Bayt were from Banu Abbas? You do know that they were the ones to assassinate most of the Imams? If not a single Imam was in their line, what's the weight in the argument that Imam Mahdi was supposed to originally come from their line? Absolutely no weight.

If you actually dig in, you'll find that even the Abbasids acknowledged that Imam Mahdi would come from the line of Maula Ali. That's why Ma'mun married his daughter Umm Fadhl to Imam Muhammad Taqi, to try to include the Abbasids in Imam Mahdi's lineage. His plan was foiled of course, when Umm Fadhl bore him no sons; his lineage continued from another pious lady he married.

Btw, you might want to recheck the statistics on the rise of Twelver and Zaydism. The spread of knowledge is actually in favour of Twelvers, and we aren't confined to Yemen.

Nizari Ismailis also thought that Twelvers will eventually die out and they will dominate. It sort of backfired on them, and after the reality of their last two "Imams" has been exposed, they have become indefensible as a sect.

 

I appreciate your reply. In our view Bani Abbas began the tradition that there would be twelve imams and the Mahdi would be from Bani Abbas. All I meant is that with time as knowledge spreads people will understand that the Twelve imam tradition was propaganda of its time. It’s no different from the Bani Umayya who circulated the traditions of the Sheikhayn. I mean the whole idea of an invisible imam is just impractical. This is why the twelvers had to rationally develop a leadership model. Of course this issue would never exist if there was no invisible infallible imam. I really do wish twelverism was the truth but unfortunately Shiism became corrupted by Bani Abbas and the Ghulat - the best clue is the preference for the color black today which is the favourite color of Bani Abbas.  Clearly Imamate cannot practically function in the twelver way - yet the representatives are happy to claim khumms... of course I don’t believe they are all corrupt most of them actually believe it like many of the ahl al Sunna whole heartedly believe in the traditions created by Muawiya on the Sheikhayn. There is too much corruption in din but it only ends up coming back to haunt.

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On 1/6/2021 at 11:58 AM, Abu Hadi said:

 . The Zayidis believe that the Imam is the one who rises with the sword, 

 

This is not entirely correct. The Imam is one who openly declares his Imamat.

Eg Imam Razza is an Imam but did not carry out a rebellion or physical jihad.

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Salam @Warillaif you believe  to Imamate  of Imam Reza (عليه السلام) then you must accept  Imamate of Imam Jawad (عليه السلام) & Imam Hadi (عليه السلام) & Imam Hasan  Askari (عليه السلام) & his son Imam Mahdi (aj) that it's Twelver Imamate & contradicts  with Zaydi Imamate .:ko:

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45 minutes ago, Ashvazdanghe said:

Salam @Warillaif you believe  to Imamate  of Imam Reza (عليه السلام) then you must accept  Imamate of Imam Jawad (عليه السلام) & Imam Hadi (عليه السلام) & Imam Hasan  Askari (عليه السلام) & his son Imam Mahdi (aj) that it's Twelver Imamate & contradicts  with Zaydi Imamate .:ko:

No because we don't believe they held any form of political power or rebelled against an unjust ruler. 

There must be an open call to Ummah to obey and follow them.

Also our later scholars have mentioned the lack of evidence of Syed Hassan Al Askari having a son.

Scholars that existed around time of Hassan Al Askari have made no mention of him as far as I know. He was relatively unknown. 

 

Edited by Warilla
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50 minutes ago, Warilla said:

No because we don't believe they held any form of political power or rebelled against an unjust ruler. 

There must be an open call to Ummah to obey and follow them.

Also our later scholars have mentioned the lack of evidence of Syed Hassan Al Askari having a son.

Scholars that existed around time of Hassan Al Askari have made no mention of him as far as I know. He was relatively unknown. 

 

Isn't it still amazing brother, that you will not hear any sub groups formed after the 8th Imam (عليه السلام) upto 12th Imam (عجّل الله تعالى فرجه الشريف). While at the same time, in the time of Imam Baqir (عليه السلام) and Imam Jafar (عليه السلام), even after the great physical presence of Imams, division did took place. 

And, in fact I did hear that spread of Shiism during the time of these 4 Imams always increased and never stopped. 

So, there was no open uprising but internally there was a movement that was constant and consistent.

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33 minutes ago, Zainuu said:

Isn't it still amazing brother, that you will not hear any sub groups formed after the 8th Imam (عليه السلام) upto 12th Imam (عجّل الله تعالى فرجه الشريف). .

If you read Shia sects by Nawbakhti you will see their were splits all the way up to 12th Imam. They are just not as well known as the history becomes vague around your later imams 

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38 minutes ago, Zainuu said:

 

So, there was no open uprising but internally there was a movement that was constant and consistent.

Definitely but hidden leadership or restricted leadership to a few and open leadership are not the same.

Edited by Warilla
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2 hours ago, Warilla said:

If you read Shia sects by Nawbakhti you will see their were splits all the way up to 12th Imam. They are just not as well known as the history becomes vague around your later imams 

They don't exist now. Vagueness in history doesn't reduce a sect or sub sect. And such fringe groups that you're talking about have been therein every time and every period. 

Name me one prominent sub-sect which branched out of shiism during the last 4 shia imams and still exists?

2 hours ago, Warilla said:

Definitely but hidden leadership or restricted leadership to a few and open leadership are not the same.

How was it restricted when it was consistently spreading?

What defines a movement? 

Is it always necessary for a leader to be in front of the people? 

What if he is jailed? Most of the Shia Imams have spent there lives in jails and in extreme oppression.

Versions of history are many brother. So, basically history can never ever be a perfect proof for belief. 

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2 hours ago, hasanhh said:

Salam Bro,

Since Zaidi is often 'classified' under Shi'a, are you a Fiver ?

Not sure it depends on definitions Zaidiyyah is quite broad.  Zaidi have 110 recognised Imams. But you can broadly be Zaidi by accepting the superiority of Imam Ali implicit or explicit. And then following one of the zaidi schools of jusripudence. So 1er ?

I personally state my aqeeda as 

Belief in Allah, Qur'an, Prophet, Angels and Day of judgment.

So I guess I'm sunni :grin:

If you go to ZaidiPortal.com there are few resources on  zaidi aqeeda. Under fundamentals section is a treatise written by Imam Hadi about aqeeda. If you go to resources on fiqh they come under Hadawi (Imam Hadi) school of law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, hasanhh said:

ln a good way . . .

How come 'nobody' ever finishes stating Ayat al-Birr ?

(2:177)

Because multiple ayat contribute to the beleifs I stated. So I purposefully didn't quote any ayat. 

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23 hours ago, Guest Salam said:

Who was the last imam of the zaidiyya?

I think it was Imam Yahya Muhammad Hamid ed-Din https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yahya_Muhammad_Hamid_ed-Din

 

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On 1/5/2021 at 6:51 AM, Roman T said:

I went back to my ethnic roots

Are you Russian?

 

On 1/5/2021 at 6:51 AM, Roman T said:

It tries too hard to appeal to reason rather than appealing to the heart.

Islam appeals to the heart, mind and all the senses simultaneously because man is a multifaceted sentient being (i.e. rational, emotional, spiritual etc.)

On 1/5/2021 at 6:51 AM, Roman T said:

It is overly legalistic

Legalistic yes, but not overly legalistic...Islam places a much greater emphasis on the spirit of the law but maintains that the outward form be maintained..."For most certainly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished." Matthew 5:18

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On 1/5/2021 at 6:51 AM, Roman T said:

God is understood apophatically, totally beyond human understanding or depiction

The way God 'descends' or 'incarnates' is by choosing the most highly ascended spiritual person during an epoch or age and imparting divine knowledge

 

On 1/5/2021 at 6:51 AM, Roman T said:

getting past religious legalism and a rationalized understanding of God to a direct spiritual connection with the divine through inner prayer

You might want to research Sufism and irfan while simultaneously investigating Shi'ism https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irfan

Edited by Eddie Mecca
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While think-tanks in the Western world are attempting to devise new tactics and techniques in order to stamp out the last remaining pockets of religiosity - Vladimir Putin has pursued an opposing path by embracing and celebrating religious diversity...this includes a post-Soviet revivalism of Eastern Orthodoxy in Russia...Putin said, “Russia was built up as a multi-national and multi-confessional state...the state exists to serve the interests of the majority,” he then added, “you know, we have Eastern Christianity and certain theoreticians say that it is much closer to Islam than Roman Catholicism is.”

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Salaam wa alakkum 

Hello everyone brothers and sisters I am very new to this forum thing and I thought I had to jump on this for a shia chat I just wanted to know if any body knows if there are any mosques currently open turning thes silly covid times 

My mask is is in the Golders Green area the Old Hippodrome but it has not been open for a while 

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