Imam Ali (a.s.) ~ A brief look

By M.K. (Contributor)

Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) is the very first Imam in the Shi’ite sect of Islam. A being of excellent character and merit, he holds several recognized titles such as the ‘The Lion of God’ and ‘Commander of the Faithful.’ A brief biographical paradigm on Ali constitutes his birth on March 17, 599 AD to father, Abu Talib ibn Abdul-Muttalib who at the time was the chief of Banu Hashim and mother, Fatima bint Assad, a woman of great honor in Islamic history. Ali’s birth is of high significance as it occurred inside Holy Kaa’ba – the house of Almighty God where no other before Ali or after Ali has had the honor to embrace their existence from a mother’s womb into the world.

Ali was Prophet Muhammad’s paternal cousin while also being his closest companion throughout his lifetime from birth till Prophet’s death. He also became the Prophet’s son-in-law after marrying Prophet’s daughter, Fatima who is known as the ‘Mistress of the women of the Universe’ among many other honorable titles. Ali and his brothers were from the leading members of the second generation of Hashim’s descendants. Through this way, Ali therefore gained two nobility marks by being connected with the Prophet who cared for him and educated him. Additionally, Ali was the first male to have accepted Islam after being summoned to Islam by the Prophet. A valiant warrior and supporter of justice with eloquent speech and divine intellect, he brought many oppressors to their end while constantly defending the religion against the polytheists.

Ali’s respected character and divine existence is traced back to the times of ancient prophets. One example is of Adam. It is said that when Almighty God bestowed Adam with the knowledge of His names, Ali had the entirety of knowledge through the Book of God. Similarly, when Almighty God entitled Abraham as the ‘Imam’ or ‘Leader of men,’ Ali was entitled as the ‘Imam of all creation’ including men and Jinns.

On Prophet’s death day, the Islamic community of the time differed over Ali’s Imamate. However, his caliphate and right of succession after the Prophet was acknowledged by groups of Shia that included important emigrants such as Banu Hashim, Salman, Ammar, Abu Dharr, al-Miqdad, Khuzayma Ibn Thabit, Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, Jabir Ibn Abd Allah al-Ansari, Abu Said al-Khudri and Ansar. Furthermore, God Almighty Himself nominated Ali’s succession of caliphate (wilaya) due to his qualities that he shared with the Prophet. The preceding evidence of high merit is displayed in the following verse, “Your authority (wali) is God and His Apostle and those believers who perform the prayer and pay alms (zakat) while they are bowing (in prayer)…….” [5:55] It has been known that no one other than Ali paid alms while bowing (in prayer).

A well-known book called ‘Nahjul Balagha’ (Peak of Eloquence) consists of a compilation of Ali’s sermons, quotes and letters, which is worth a read and an eye opener for the faithful.

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Sources:

Imam Ali. (n.d.). Retrieved June 28, 2015, from http://www.al-islam.org/person/imam-ali

Abbas, A. (n.d.). Imam Ali. Retrieved June 28, 2015, from http://www.al-islam.org/articles/life-commander-faithful-ali-ibn-abu-talib#imam-‘ali-and-ancient-prophets
Fatima bint Assad: The Mother of Imam Ali(A.S.). (n.d.). Retrieved June 29, 2015, from http://www.imamreza.net/eng/imamreza.php?id=109

Imam Al-Hassan & Women

When enemy propaganda turns despicable and vile

Media and propaganda has been one of the most important elements in battles, conflicts and struggles among states and non-states actors. This persuasive mean is used through various types to swing the minds and attentions toward a specific angel of the conflict, and makes another angel totally invisible. This notion enable that side of the conflict to take unconventional methods to win the conflict and end it in a time-fashion way. However, the alteration of history and recording to events has been done by the victorious sides, and the propaganda has effected historians as well. Nevertheless, certain events, figures and personalities will remain un-altered and untouched, due to their unprecedented morals and ethical conduct in all aspects of life, which makes them favorable and desired personalities.

One of the Islamic figures that has been intentionally and deliberately distorted and accused of unethical conduct is Imam Al-Hassan, who is the oldest grandson of Prophet Mohammad and the second Imam of Shia Muslims. Imam Al-Hassan, is without doubt one of the most oppressed Islamic figures in the history of Islam, as many of his followers are unaware of his life and the events that occurred during his era. Therefore, the Umayyad dynasty used their power and superiority in Media and recording history to distort the Image of Imam Ali and his son, Imam Al-Hassan. Imam Ali, was cursed and humiliated in speeches and sermon for over 80 years, as two generations were raised with believing that Imam Ali was an apostate and an enemy of Islam. The founder of Umayyad dynasty (Mu’awiya Ibn Abi Sufyan) initiated this action, although he knew the status of Imam Ali in Islam and the heart of Holy Prophet. Mu’awiya ordered his authorities to follow and kill the followers of Imam Ali based on presumption and accusation, as no proof or defence was needed. After the martyrdom of Imam Ali, and the placement of Imam Al-Hassan as the Caliph of Muslims, the internal instabilities that actually divided the Islamic nation into Shia & Sunni were initiated. The legitimacy of Imam Al-Hassan and his authority was challenged by outlaws and people like the Umayyad dynasty, who were only thirsty for prestige, wealth and power. In addition to raging a war against Imam Al-Hassan, Mu’awiya used several distorting methods to alter and fabricate facts about Imam Al-Hassan, and draw away his followers.

Distorting the Image of Imam Al-Hassan

The Umayyad historians, used many of the same methods used against the Holy Prophet to distort the image of Imam Al-Hassan and fabricate the more degrading stories on his behalf. Imam Al-Hassan was known for his generosity and mercifulness, as it is narrated that a Bedwin from Levant came to Medina, and he was very impacted by the propaganda of Umayyad dynasty against the Imam. His intention of coming to Medina, was to see the Imam and abuse him verbally and physically. Therefore, when he saw the Imam, he started with his ruthless and demining verbal abuses. Once he was finished with his words, Imam Al-Hassan replied: it seems you are from out of town and you are tired. If you are in need of shelter, we can provide it for you. If you are in need of food or money, we can provide that as well, and if there is anything else that I can do for you, please do not hesitate to tell me about. It is narrated, the man was shocked and didn’t know how to reply, and he just followed the Imam to his house. Imam Al-Hassan fed the man and took care of his needs and gave some funds for his return and apologized if he had forgotten to do anything else for that man. The man started apologizing and crying and asking Imam Al-Hassan for forgiveness, as he had been influenced by the propaganda of Mo’awiya in Damascus.

One of the most demining fabrications against Imam Al-Hassan and Prophet Mohammad was their relation with the other gender, and their sexual appetite. The holy Prophet was accused of marrying a 6 years old girl, and being sexually super active with his wives, even during menstruation periods, as he was very outspoken about his sexual relation with his spouses. In addition, the same type of allegations and accusation have been pasted to Imam Al-Hassan to distort his pious and humble personality.

Dozens of wives & tens of concubines

The main accusation against Imam Al-Hassan in mainstream Sunni history texts, is the notion of having dozens of wives and tens of concubines for satisfying his own pleasures. These types of allegations and claims are observed mainly in the history books that were written by historians loyal to the Umayyad dynasty.

–          Ibn Katheer, one of the main historians and scholars of Islam, who was a pupil of Ibn Taymiya, was very hostile to the Holy household of Prophet Mohammad and their followers. In his famous book ‘the beginning and the end’ (Al-Bedaya wal Nehaya), he states the following about Imam Al-Hassan: “They say, he was known to be a marrying man, as he never stayed without four females. He was also known to be a divorcer and he paid many dowries. It is said that he married over 70 women.” (8:42)

–          In addition there are other statement by other historian and Hadeeth narrators that suggest Imam Al-Hassan was a man, who loved women and married many of them. Another historian, who is known for his hatred toward the followers of Imam Ali, and the holy household of Prophet Mohammad states: Ali (Imam Hassan’s father) always was telling the people of Kufa: don’t marry your daughters to my son Hassan, he is known to be a divorcer. The reply to Imam Ali was: if he asks us every day for a wife, we would not hesitate to accept, as we are becoming relatives with the Prophet.

These types of allegations and claims against Imam Al-Hassan, are very far beyond bogus and hilarious, as many of the Sunni scholars, have rejected the authenticity of these narrations and statements. The claims that Imam Al-Hassan had hundreds of concubines and he spent a majority of his wealth for buying these concubines, is entirely in contradiction with the biography of Imam Al-Hassan and even with the length of his life, which wasn’t more than 47 years of age.

However, it should be noted that Imam Al-Hassan and many other Imams purchased many slaves and concubines for the purpose of freeing them, as there are numerous narrations by the Prophet and his holy household, about the pity of this business. Many slaves and concubines were bought by the Imams and their pupils and freed after being taught how to write, read and build a respectable life. In addition, it is narrated that many of these slaves, rejected leaving the Imams after witnessing their mercy and generosity, and although they were freed by the Imams, they were spending their entire life alongside the Imam, who freed them.

The other fact that is used in refuting the allegations against Imam Al-Hassan, would be the actual present day progeny of this Imam, as majority of the progeny of Prophet Mohammad in present day are either from Imam Al-Sajjad (4th Imam) or Imam Al-Kadhem (7th Imam).

It is known that during the battle of Karbala on the day of Ashura, the entire family of Imam Al-Hassan were there alongside the Imam of their time, Imam Al-Hussein (Imam Al-Hassan’s brother). The known sons of Imam Al-Hassan, who were killed in Karbala are three, (Amro Ibn Al-Hassan, Al-Qassim Ibn Al-Hassan, and Abdullah Ibn Al-Hassan). These three sons, were martyred in Karbala and it is known that they were not married or at an age to have children. Another son of Imam Al-Hassan, named Abdulrahman, who was a young man as well, died during performing the Haj rituals in Mecca, while he was with his uncle, Imam Al-Hussein.

This leaves two other sons of Imam Al-Hassan and Al-Hassan the second, who are known to be married and lived for many years after the father and uncle, Imam Al-Hussein. Nonetheless, anyone who is familiar with the social foundation of the Shia societies and their classifications, would admit that majority of the SAYEDs (Progeny of Prophet Mohammad, from Imam Ali and Lady Fatima Al-Zahra), are divided into two categories. The first category is the progeny that has its linage rooted to Imam Al-Sajjad and are known to be ‘Hussaini Sayeds’. The second category, which is the bigger one has its linage rooted to the seventh Imam of Shia Muslims, Imam Al-Kadhem, and they are known as the ‘Mosawy sayeds’. These two categories are proved and authenticated trough a detailed and precise genealogy method conducted by experts and known genealogists. Therefore, the allegations of Imam Al-Hassan being a man with dozens of wives and hundreds of concubines stands baseless before historic and traditional facts of Islamic scriptures.

Wave of violence: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait …

And still no clear strategy

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

It is unfortunate that reoccurrence of a tragedy is stronger than the original incident to trigger the wills and the efforts of different sides to seek solutions and prevention methods. In addition, majority of people have forgotten that prevention is a measure taken prior to the tragedy, as actions and measure taken post tragedies are considered re-actions. The suicide bombing of a Shia mosque in Kuwait, was not an isolated incident that can be related to domestic struggles between the radicals and the state. This attack was a systematic step within a strategic plan by ISIS and its affiliates to ravish the social fabric of stable and co-existing societies like Kuwait and other places.

The previous similar terrorist missions that happened in the Eastern provinces of Saudi Arabia against Shia Muslims as well, were the spark of these steps by ISIS, to launch the official expansion plan. The foundation of Islamic State is not excluded to Iraq and the Levant anymore, and including places to Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and even Yemen would be a priority for ISIS. As mentioned in a previous article, the paradigm of this terrorist group, is far from the any similar groups in the past, as they view the notion of state-building more rational and important than fighting infidels.

In addition, the three massacres of Saudi Arabia, showed the fragility of the security forces in these countries, and now it has been evident in Kuwait as well. The authorities in Kuwait share the primary blame in this vicious attack against an important element of the Kuwaiti population. There are several mosques and institutions in Kuwait that have been operating freely and under the supervision of the authorities that were inviting their followers to fight in Syria and Iraq with Al Qaeda and ISIS against the Americans, Iraqis and global coalitions. Many of these organizations were publicly spreading hatred toward Shia Muslims and calling for their physical elimination. Many fund raising events were held in Kuwait and millions of Dollars were raised and sent to the terrorist groups like Al Nusra, Jund Al Sham and other barbaric groups. In addition, some of the Kuwaiti officials were even involved with these organizations, as the United States banned a Kuwaiti official from entering its borders.

Many of the educational curriculums are filled with sectarian and radical ideologies that could brain wash and persuade the youth to adopt such terrorist-like opinions and approaches against other sects and groups. For Example, last week the Kuwaiti Parliament witnessed an incident, which should put the entire state of Kuwait in shame that such an incident could take place on the land. A Shia Parliament member named Faisal Al Duwaisan, was cut off while speaking during a parliamentary session, and the other member who cut him off, said: you go fix your belief and sect. It was reported that Al Duwaisan wrote his resignation after that session, but after the Shia mosque bombing in Kuwait, he pulled his resignation.

Another incident that took place in Kuwait last week, shows the weakness of the Kuwaiti authorities in the face of such radical groups and organizations, which will be catastrophic if a solution is not delivered. Last week, a radical organization in Kuwait, broadcasted an old video of a Shia lecturer, who was stating an opinion about certain figures in Islamic history. The footage was used by these groups and radical organizations to force the Kuwaiti government to ask that lecturer to leave the country and never come back. Imagine, a man was kicked out of a country for stating his opinion, which did not contain any threats and endangering statements against any person in Kuwait or anywhere else.

Without doubt, Kuwait is one of the few places in the Middle East, where co-existence is proportionately viewed and practiced, although it can be advanced on many levels. There are many known Shia families in this country, who have shed blood for the sovereignty and dignity of their land. The loyalty of these people cannot be doubted for their religious belief, and their status should be equal to any other citizen of Kuwait. The Kuwaiti government is now facing an excellent opportunity to implement several reforms upon its social, educational, political and ideological foundations. The pillars and principles of co-existence must be institutionalized and legislated in the constitution to prevent radicalization and brain wash of future generations.

Ramadan: Yearly Chance to Reconcile the Relation with Almighty God

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

The holy month of Ramadan is here once again, and Muslims around the globe are fasting from sunrise to sunset, as part of this month’s primary obligatory ritual that has numerous reasons and goals. The 183rd verse of Quran’s 2nd chapter states: “O’ you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you, that you may become righteous”. This verse along with others in the Holy Quran address the notion of fasting through a wide range of aspects for Muslims. The ritual of fasting as this verse indicates, is not exclusive to Muslims, as God has decreed this ritual upon other groups prior to Muslims as well. Therefore, the benefits and goals of fasting are beyond the religious aspect, as God has intended other reasons for this ritual.

Spirituality

The ritual of fasting during Ramadan or any other time, is not exclusive to abstaining from food and drinks, as some might believe. Fasting of the senses, as Islam states is another part of this holy ritual in the month of Ramadan. During this month, God asks his subjects to abstain from any action or wrongdoing, which might be carried out by one of human’s senses or parts. A Muslim’s eyes, ears, hands and entire existence must abstain from prohibited actions and conducts. However, these responsibilities are not only for the Month of Ramadan, as Muslims are supposed to be like this around the year, but Ramadan is a perfect chance for reconciliation and practice.

Fasting during this month teaches humans the notion of patience, discipline and self-control, piousness and sympathy with the needy. The fact that a human is not allowed to eat and drink for several hours is not a simple task. However, there is no real supervision upon people to see whether they follow the rules or not. Therefore, being able to restrain from food and water and many other accommodations of life during the month of Ramadan, is a perfect method to practice patience and self-control.

In addition, this month is an excellent opportunity to experience the hardships and afflictions of people, who spend majority of their days not being able to eat and drink. Sympathizing with these groups and feeling their pain, help individuals assert their belief and be thankful for their life and whatever they have, as they realize others are deprived from the minimums.

The other source of spirituality in this month is related to the Quran, as Muslims are encouraged to read the Quran during this month and revive their relation with their holy book. Although, some Muslims might not even touch the Quran during the entire the year and only read it during Ramadan, but this notion is another chance for Muslims to renew their relation with this holy book. Reading the Quran has several benefits, as it give calmness, tolerance, eloquence and tranquility to individuals, which are all elements of spirituality.

Social Benefits of Fasting

The sense of unity and equality that Ramadan creates among Muslims is unequal to any other time and place, as the entire nation of Prophet Mohammad practice the same ritual for the same reasons. The spiritual benefit of sympathizing with the needy is also a social benefit, as Muslims rush to do things that they usually don’t do, like helping others, sharing what they have, and inviting others over to share their food and join them in their Ramadan experience. All of these notions are strong factors in strengthening the social fabrics of any society, in a way that no other method is capable of doing so. In addition, the abstaining from other actions and wrongdoings, during the month of Ramadan, adds to the stability and prosperity of the society, as good prevails and evil diminishes.

Jurisprudential aspect of Ramadan

However, the religion of Islam and God have taken into consideration the fact that some groups are not able to fast during this month, or fasting would complicate other important aspects of life. Therefore, numerous solutions and rulings have been presented for the month of Ramadan, than show the mercy of religion of Islam and its flexibility.

  • An ill person is allowed to abstain from fasting during the month of Ramadan, if a physician recommends that fasting is harmful for that person.
  • A pregnant women is allowed to abstain from fasting during the month of Ramadan, if her health or the safety of the fetus is at stake, as Islam prohibits fasting in this case.
  • A traveller is not allowed to fast, if his journey is more than 22.5 kilometres outside the outer limits of his/her city or town. In this case the traveller must re-fast during another time, before the next month of Ramadan.
  • If the menstrual period of a women occurs during the month of Ramadan, she is not allowed to fast, and she is required to re-fast those days during another time.
  • The cases of polydipsia (People than cannot survive without water) are allowed to drink small amount of water that assures their survival, so their life is not in danger.
  • In addition, in the recent years some scholars have presented a new solution for Muslims, who reside in parts of the globe, where daytime hours are very lengthy and exceed 18 hours. According to this new ruling that has been accepted by various scholars in the recent years, a fasting person is allowed to fast according to the daytime hours of a normal geographical zone. For example, if the daytime hours of Mecca are considered normal and less than 18 hours, the fasting person is allowed to finish has fasting according to the daytime hours of Mecca, even if sunset is few hours ahead.

Regardless, month of Ramadan is a chance to reconcile the relation with the almighty, and stop the bad habits and repent from the bad deeds, as God has called this month: Month of Allah. During this month all deeds, prayers, supplications and worships are accepted and God’s mercy pours upon his creations like no other month. Therefore, many Muslims take the opportunity in this month to leave many of their bad habits and repent to God and start a new and fresh beginning.

Shia Wisdom condemned the Suicide Bombing of Shia Mosque in Kuwait

Few weeks ago, when the suicide bombing in the Eastern Provinces of Saudi Arabia targeted the innocent worshippers inside Shia mosques, many political observers suggested the wave of violence will reach other places. Today we stand in sorrow and affliction to mourn the fallen men and children, who lost their lives while worshipping their lord during the holy month of Ramadhan. This time it was Shias of Kuwait’s turn to pay the price of being followers of Shia Islam, and deliberately be slaughtered without any consideration of time, place or justification.

Shia Wisdom strongly condemns the Suicide bombing of Imam Ja’afar Al Sadiq mosque in Kuwait, which consumed the lives of several innocent people and injured many others. Meanwhile, the Kuwaiti government is mandated to re-organize its security forces and intelligence services, as presence of ISIS affiliates is very clear and obvious in Kuwait. Kuwait is one of the few countries in the region, where the social fabric among the different groups of society has remained strong and stable. Neglecting the security needs and requirements of a substantial group of this society, will result in senses of abandonment and internal instabilities that will shake the foundation of co-existence in this country.

Unfortunately, the calamities have happened and there are grievances and afflictions among the masses. The Kuwaiti authorities should dissect and elaborate on the past and current similar events and take advantage of the lessons infolded within them to prevent any future incidents. The Shia Muslims of Kuwait are faced with substantial responsibility, as the entire world in supervising their reactions. Therefore, they are to practice the highest amount of self-control and coordinate new measure with the authorities to ensure the safety and security of Shia Muslims in this country is assured and safeguarded at all times.

Shia Wisdom and its staff send their condolences and prayers to the families of the innocent victims, and ask the almighty to grant them patient, tranquility and peace.

SHIA WISDOM
June 26, 2015

Is Radicalism Terrorism?

Radicalism VS Terrorism

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

Unlike terrorism, the word radical or radicalism has numerous implementations and interpretations, which are used according to the subject discussed and the way a specific notion is presented. Nonetheless, the term terrorism is commonly defined as any violent act, threat, statement against ordinary individuals (Non-Combatants) to create fear (Terror) for a purpose that could be economic, religious, political and ideological. Whether this type of act is conducted by a state, non-state actor, a political entity or any other type of implications the core definition of terrorism remains terrorizing innocent people and threatening their lives. Regardless of religion, political affiliations, ideological, ethnic and racial backgrounds any act of terrorism is condemned and rejected under all circumstances.

However, use of violence shall not be mixed with the concept of terrorism, as all political and philosophical schools have legitimized a certain amount of force and violence to prevent destruction and imminent threat. This notion has been outlined by scholars and philosophers and validated on a common ground, which has been agreed upon by majority of current global political actors. In addition, whether the definition of ‘use of force’ is rational and legitimate is a different story, as political interests and complex relations between states mandate various types of commonalities.

Nevertheless, majority of contemporary interpretations that are used by the media and even academic circles have categorized radicalism with terrorism, which has created a challenge in the face of free speech. Without any doubt radicalism can be dangerous and troubling in many ways, if taken out of context and taken to the next level, which is violence and use of force. However, by dissecting the definition of radicalism, we shall find that this notion is yet far from the label of terrorism.

‘Radicalism’ within political science context is the belief that society needs change, and this change must be accomplished through revolutionary means and return to fundamentals and roots. Therefore, this term can be applied on many groups, individuals, political parties, ideologies and even states, which means one of the above believes in change through unorthodox approaches to accomplish a certain goal. In addition, it must be clear that all terrorists are radicals, but not all radicals are terrorists. A terrorist believes in the necessity of change through violence and terrorizing people to either shock them or force them to choose his/her method of change approach. Nevertheless, many radicals are only assertive, when it comes to their beliefs and ideology, and consider their opinion to be the only righteous, rational and legit one. In addition, majority of them do not believe in the notion of terrorizing innocent lives and causing destruction and casualties among civilians, although some might believe in use of force to some extent.

Contemporary Examples:

Due to misinterpretations and unethical labeling of some radical individuals as terrorists, majority of ordinary masses tend to view any radical ideology as terrorism. As said before, all terrorists are radicals, but not all radicals are terrorists, as many of them have never called for such criminal conduct. However, an alerting notion has been raised among Islamic and even Christian schools of thoughts, which suggests a radical ideology can be harmful and dangerous, since it can be used by terrorists to justify their actions. For example: labeling Islam as a violent religion and claiming all Muslims have the tendency to be violent is without doubt a radical opinion. However, if a terrorist uses this opinion to justify his crimes against westerners is bogus and illegitimate. Unfortunately, some groups are placing both sides of this equation in the same category, by claiming that both sides are causing deaths among innocent lives.

Although, a Muslim might by offended by the claims of being violent and following a violent religion, he must not have the right to terrorize people and cause destruction. A radical opinion (whether right or wrong) fall under the category of free speech and freedom of expression and it shall be answered by the same method. Dissecting the biography of Prophet Mohammad shows that the radicals of his time called him lunatic, magician, liar and many other names, which were very hurtful to Muslims and the follower of Mohammad. However, Prophet Mohammad never answered these claims by sword and violent actions, as his patience, ethics, morals and humanity left the other side speechless.

This notion applies to the current sectarian conflict that is taking place in the Middle East, where some individuals and groups are labeled as terrorists for their radical opinions toward certain historical figures in Islam. For instance, if an individual questions the history of a certain Islamic figure glorified by another sect cannot be labeled as a terrorist, because his statements are used to recruit Jihadists. No matter, what this person might say about any Islamic figure, it falls under the same category of free speech and freedom of expression, which shall be answered in the same manner. Even individuals like Bill Maher, Ayan Hirsi and others have the right to express themselves and claim anything they desire about Islam, and it is the responsibility of Muslims to address their claims with intellect and logic.

What do Muslims Want? – Unknown Needs VS Undesired Solutions

 

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

The Egyptian ambiguity wasn’t exclusive, as the other members of the Arab Spring domino are included in this equation as well and neither of them are aware of what they want and therefore no solution is even available for their current dilemma. The Tunisians, the Libyans, the Syrians and even the Bahraini people are trapped in this whirlpool of ambiguity and loss, which is causing enormous damage to the social and fiscal infrastructure of these countries.

Intellectual Foundation

The second reason behind this ideological and social loss among the masses and specifically among the Muslims, relates back to their intellectual inferiority compare to their own available sources. Comparing the Middle East and Muslims to other nations and civilizations would be unwise and unethical, since each nation and civilization has its own priorities, norms, social foundation and ideological affiliations. Therefore, it would be more feasible and effective to evaluate the Muslims and their current condition with their own historical and ideological realities and foundations.

As said in previous articles, Muslims believe their religion is A WAY OF LIFE and it can present solutions for various needs and necessities of life. In addition, interpretation and deliverance of these teachings and ideas that are presented in Islamic fundamentals needs scholars and experts. Those experts are also subjected to evaluation and close supervision to assure the genuineness of the information they deliver, since their position and status is filled with obstacles and turbulences.  Therefore, a complete system has been established Muslims to manage their affairs and evaluate their conduct accordingly.

Nevertheless, any failure or inability to advance and elevate the condition of the Islamic nation and their Middle East in general, must be rooted back to one of the following reasons:

  • Ignorance of the Muslim masses and their unfamiliarity with their religion and its teachings and their own rights.
  • Unworthy and corrupt scholars, who are not fulfilling their religious duty, which means the religion being delivered to the masses, lacks livelihood, revival and transparency.

These are the only two reasons that can determine the effectuality of a nation’s intellectual foundation, which can lead to either liberation from oppression and destruction or total surrender to tyranny and oppression.

Unfortunately, in the case of the Muslims and their current state of forfeiture and perishing, both reasons are relevant and effective, as their ignorance of the current and past generations has created various unbreakable taboos. In addition, these taboos are becoming more assertive and unbreakable with the help of corrupt scholars, who either have no knowledge, or have been influenced by many factors. Therefore, the foundation of the relation between the masses and the religious, academic and cultural institution has been built upon incorrect methods and foundations. In addition, the ruling elites are fully aware of the situation and they are taking full advantage of this reality, which is benefiting them with their legitimacy and containment means.

 

To be continued

The youth and the philosophy of progress .. Self educating, reading as an example

Mohammed Mustafa Maash
Especially that our lives are going in big steps and big fast jumps in the deferent fields of life, and yet we stand on a side where we only watch, and turn our backs on what is happening and blame ourselves why we are not within the wheel of the progress in life starting from the revolution on our selves and start educating our selves.
We need a mind revolution, starting it with our selves, when the young people get too busy looking for the  basics of daily life requirements this will prevent their ability to be creative and productive and follow-up their lives.
Some youth, as some groups and nations, don’t stand up to progress intellectually, and don’t take practical steps, and thus the young men practically are delayed.
The delay in our progress or being ahead in it arises from our own thought, but It will be accomplished by our own work to progress or not, and in our technological age, technology has become a double-edged weapon, causing delays or make it possible to use them for our advance.
In case of using them for self-educating then it will need to gather all the energies not dispersing them, and at least make a plan for them, and the most important thing for self-educating is the culture, and in this regard the great scholar Ayatollah Seyed Sadiq al-Husseini al-Shirazi says: “the deal of culture is one of the most important issues in every nation and it is true to say that the world is going on by the economy and politics”, and it’s also correct to say that cultures are controlling the economy and politics, and as much as the individual holds culture and knowledge, he won’t lose.
The right culture alone can confront and correct what we see in the philosophy of the delay among youth and as so we see in the Quran more than one thousand and five hundred verses talking about the following subjects: science, knowledge, prudence, remembrance, reflection which all give the meaning of culture.
There are many ways to earn culture, the most notable way is the continuous research and reading, plus a lot of other ways, like listening, expertise and experience, and we see that Allah explained to us in the Holy Quran that no matter how many learning ways we take we must do constant reading, so we must do orderly continue reading, in order to get more knowledge and culture and expanding our knowledge sources, and our learning should be for specific goals and beneficial to us, and useful, to gain experience and knowledge,
Reading is the true face of the reality of our civilized existence, which is the basis of education as known, and it’s the gate of knowledge and expertise, Reading and humans if gathered we get cultural building to accomplish progress, and they give all the values ​​and standards of development in any nation, in deferent degrees together they constitute a measure of creativity and the progress of humans, and the way to the true knowledge to serve civilization is by reading and self-educating, which reflects the intellectual and cultural progress.
And reading is needed for communities as they are needed for youth, the society that reads and its members exchange thoughts and ideas by reading with other communities which produce the books and the publications, these communities will be able to gain experience and knowledge in life, and will be able to progress and earn prosperity in life, because the intellectual connection between communities leads inevitably to a kind of harmony, and these communities will gain new experiences and exchange the interests, as well it’s a kind of cultural heritage, which is considered as the identity of each nation, Which they are proud of as their past and their history, in addition to that reading is a tool of social communication among nations, which connects the individuals to their world.
The communities which has weakness in the intellectual Association or communicate with each other or isolated and its members are spread from each other, or is unaware of the experiences of each other and their ideas, any of these communities will not be able to see his work and compare it to the work of others, and does not benefit from the views and ideas of others and their experience, and in such a case the community affects a state of weakness and decay and stagnation inevitably!
So we need to change our thinking style and exercise daily to read and to educate ourselves, Reading every morning with drinking your hot cup of coffee reviewing your internal energy which is hidden within you with a calm comfortable breath and draw a picture in your imagination of your programs track with delight and see what you expect and see it done, stand in front of the window and see your hopes in the bright future with the light of the sun shining with the dawn and thank  God for these blessings, Start counting them you’ll find them too many top count down like the bless of your eyes and your hands and the strong legs,health, love, there is someone who loves you and waits for you and calls you, you have the amount of living which is enough for your need, and your successful because you made this journey of life, reaching many achievements, given happiness to those around you, you may see others better than you but they see in you something which they miss this is how life is integrated.

 

Al-Mahdi is mercy to mankind (Part2) – Will Imam Al-Mahdi spend his time in battles and destruction?

 

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

The previous part of this article covered few of the misconceptions about Imam Al-Mahdi and the events upon his return to spread justice and equality in this world. However, there are many other stereotypes and misconceptions about Imam Al-Mahdi, which makes his return an undesired notion, for many people. Therefore, it would be beneficial to address the reasons behind such allegations against this Imam and his actions and decisions.

Religious Fundamentalism:

Radicalism and fundamentalism has been an ongoing global problem for the past few decades that has consumed the lives of millions around the world, and confiscated the rights of many others. Unfortunately, the notion of radicalism and fundamentalism is not exclusive to violence and use of deadly force against other faiths and beliefs, as there are many other types of radicalism that can be more lethal. Intellectual radicalism is another type of fundamentalism, which might not even sound rational, as Intellect & radicalism are two extremes that annul each other. However, this type of radicalism has been established by radical theologians and narrators to legitimize their own affiliations and ideological backgrounds.

Obviously, a radical religious scholar would portray and present his/her religious figure as radical as him/herself, as presenting the Imam or the religious figure in any other way, would de-legitimize any notion of radicalization or extremism. Therefore, majority of scholars, who adopted such ideology would present the Imam as a blood thirsty person, who is eager to come back and fill the streets and their river with the blood of his enemies.

Political Interests:

The concept of Imam Al-Mahdi and waiting for a promised saviour has been one of the most used notions by autocracies around the world, as the majority of these systems claim they are either preparing or they are part of plan. These regimes have used religion as a mean to contain and extract legitimacy for their own survival and political conduct, which means coercive means and violence has been a major part of their relation with their subject and populations. In addition, since religion can be a great mean of containment, a systematic establishment of violent Imams or religious figures would be very beneficial.

Presenting Imam Al-Mahdi as a warrior and a military commander is more suitable than presenting him as the SAVIOUR or the HOPE for humanity, as these terms are considered taboo in authoritarian regimes.

Conclusion:

This world has witnessed thousands of regimes and almost all ideological schools of thoughts have had a chance to present their alternatives and ruled on earth. Unfortunately, until this moment the situation is becoming worse and the global system is unable to prevent the atrocities taking place around the world. Feudalism, Enlightenment Age, Age of Revolution, Modernism, Post Modernism and many other eras and schools of thoughts have been the prominent ruling ideologies on earth for thousands of years. Nevertheless, the catastrophes have not been prevented and neither system has been able to prevail and succeed entirely. Therefore, the world needs a saviour and not a military leader.

The saviour of this world, will be an excellent military leader, an excellent diplomat, an excellent problem solver, a persuasive individual, who will use logic and reason for his purpose, not destruction and more blood.