Women’s Right in Islam

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

As said in previous articles, there are specific exclusiveness surrounding the status of women in Islam, as they are considered among the most important portion of society. Therefore, any aspect and notion relating to women must secure their rights, exclusiveness and moral codes, which are linked to her obligatory religious duties. Among those important aspects of a woman’s life is work and her choice to adopt a professional career in society.

Islam does not prohibit women to attain any job or position if it does not violate and contradict their obligations and codes. Becoming an elected official, university professor, physician, consultant or any other professional expert is a legitimate right of any woman. Muslim women have held high political, academic and social posts in the modern era which shows the acceptance of Muslim nations toward having female leaders. In addition, Islamic history is filled with honorable examples of women being glorified in history as legends and unforgettable figures.

Continue reading Women’s Right in Islam

Abu Talib: The Guardian of Prophet Mohammad

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

Within the first ten days of Month of Ramadhan, Shia Muslims around the globe commemorate the death of Prophet Mohammad’s uncle and guardian, who is also the father of Imam Ali. The personality of Abu Talib is among the most oppressed in the early Islamic era, as his high status in Mecca among the Quraysh tribe was jeopardized for his defence on behalf of Prophet Mohammad. Defending his nephew and announcing his submission to the religion of Islam led to him being exiled alongside Prophet Mohammad and other Muslims in the Valley of Abu Talib, on the outskirts of Mecca. Continue reading Abu Talib: The Guardian of Prophet Mohammad

THE ROLE OF WOMEN

Zeinab Alsheraa
In some countries there is very little attention given towards the rights of women. While it is true that it occurs in some Muslim countries, it is also true that it occurs in non-Islamic countries as well. This has happened in times before Islam where women were treated as property, transferring from one property to another. Women were even buried alive at birth, giving no merit to their value of life. Then when the dawn of Islam approached, it brought an equal look of both man and woman, granting them both respect. The rights of women were guaranteed and placed for by Islam when first revealed. Today, women may be brought back to a time of ignorance with the woman’s modesty and personality prone to misuse by those with evil intentions. The true value of women, nevertheless, should always be one equal in soul to that of men and empowered as such.
Women in Islam
In a hadith, a man is reported to have asked the Prophet Muhammad, “Who is the one most worthy of my care?” The Prophet then responded, “Your mother.” Again the man asked, “And then whom?” The Prophet repeated, “Your mother.” The man asked a third time and the Prophet still said, “Your mother.” The fourth time the man asked, “And then whom?” The Prophet finally responded, “And then your father.” This signifies the responsibilities and values a women is cherished upon placed by God. The status of a woman as defined by Islam is as a mother “Heaven is beneath her feet” as said by the Prophet.
Women are looked as blessings and members of equality. As wives, she is the source of comfort to her husband as he is to her. A line in the Quran states “And among His signs is this, that He created wives from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts)” (30:21). Women take on many roles as mothers, wives, daughters, etc. and have the responsibility of imbuing principles and faith within the souls of the nation as mothers. They are given the noble and significant task entrusted by God of being the bridge between worlds carrying souls into life. They are a clear necessity for humankind raising and nurturing generations. These sense of care and motherhood remain long with sons and daughters after they have left the mother’s arms.
Misconceptions
There is no decree stating women are of lesser value than men or are seen as a “second class citizen.” Islam differentiates by faith, not gender. In actuality, a woman’s duties in faith are exactly like that as a man. She is expected to have morals and act justly just the same and will be held accountable for her actions similarly. She must guide and teach herself of faith and will be punished and retributed as such.
In regards to marriage, women cannot but placed in a forced marriage, for then the matrimony is not valid. There are rules regarding marriage in Islam that comply with the harmony with upright human nature. In the physiological and psychological make-up of man and woman, both are equal with the same claims on one another. The man, however, has claims of another responsibility: leadership. This is a matter which is natural in any collective life and is consistent with the nature of man. This does not mean men are to be more superior over women, it implies that natural differences between the two and that the man must protect the woman; just as the woman protected the man as a mother.
Women also are not limited in Islam, they have rights of liberty. They can buy and sell to their heart’s content as long as there is nothing unIslamic being done. Women should not be put down, for they are equals with the same basic rights. They can even be of certain posts and responsibilities in the body of the Islamic government.
The Strive for All Women
Women have came from the time before Islam where ignorance was prominent and rights were not given, then Islam had stated them as equals. Over the years, women still faced an equality issue and endured a long struggle with many sacrifices. Their status has been achieved through their struggles and only when society needed their contribution and work, especially during World War I and II.
The compassionate and dignified status of women was decreed in Islam because of its intrinsic truthfulness, not because of the era.
This indicates that the divine and truthfulness of the message of Islam was far from proceeding its human environment, which only gave women equality and rights through the course of time after many centuries. Through all this, the message of God and wisdom and knowledge and conveyed to be far beyond the ultimate in human thought and progress.

Miraculous Mathematics

The Arba’aeen Ziyara and its miraculous mathematical & Physical aspects

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

History has witnessed numerous gatherings, where millions of people were gathered at a certain place and a certain time to celebrate, commemorate or present solidarity with a specific notion. The historic march toward Washington DC, and the famous (I have a dream) speech of Martin Luther King Jr, marked the presence of over 250,000 civil rights supporters. There are also tens of marches, parades, funerals, spiritual rituals, concerts and other gatherings, where the crowd has reached millions, but all of these gatherings are entirely different than one specific march and gathering in the world. A march and a gathering, where millions are fed, sheltered and treated like royalties, and to make this more interesting the host of this gathering is country, which is not considered politically stable.

The name of this country is IRAQ, and the name of this occasion, where millions march to and gather in one place is Al-Arba’aeen. The term Al-Arba’aeen is an Arabic term, which means ‘the fortieth’, and this term marks the 40 days after the martyrdom of Imam Al-Hussein during the battle of Karbala on the day of Ashura. In addition, during this day, the household of Imam Al-Hussein, who were taken as captives to Damascus before the Umayyad Caliph (Yazid Ibn Muawiya), returned to Karbala on their way back to Medina. According to historic sources and narrations by Shia Imams, the family of Imam Al-Hussein stayed in Karbala for three days, and mourned their lost ones, and finally aimed for Medina. However, on that specific day one of the most famous companions of Prophet Mohammad named Jabir Ibn Abdullah Al-Ansari also visited Karbala and mourned the Imam alongside his family. The march of this man toward Karbala with the family of Imam Al-Hussein turned to be symbolic ritual, which aims to announce that followers of Imam Al-Hussein, will renew their allegiance every year with their master, and his commemoration will never lessens. Therefore, from that day and on, each year before the 40th, which is the 20th day of Month of Safar in Islamic lunar calendar, Shia Muslims march on their feet toward Karbala, and arrive there on Al-Arba’aeen to renew their oath with Imam Al-Hussein.

The march of Al-Arba’aeen has been subjected to persecutions, punishments and sever reactions by the authorities throughout history, as majority of the dynasties that ruled the region were hostile to Shia Muslims. Therefore, Shia Muslims have sacrificed lives, wealth and time to keep this ritual alive and revived with the years, and never stopped no matter how brutal the tyrants became. However, in the recent years and especially after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, this ritual had a turning point, as the number of people marching toward the city of Karbala surged dramatically, to a point that in the past couple of years, Karbala has registered hosting the largest gatherings in the history of mankind. According to the numbers released by Iraqi officials and other global observers in 2014, the numbers of people in Karbala on the day of Al-Arba’aeen was between 25 and 27 million. Therefore, the mathematical and physical calculations of this event will be based in the number 25 million, which will still show astonishing facts about this event and its secrets.

Reality VS Math and Physics

Whether the visitors to Karbala are from Iraq or outside of Iraq, the march to Karbala is either initiated from Baghdad or from the southern city of Basra. Therefore, the first thing any visitor will notice during his/her way walking to Karbala is the tents and buildings called (Mawkeb), which provide service for their visitors of Imam Al-Hussein. These Mawkebs, which are not more than 50 meters away from each other the entire distance from Basra of Baghdad to Karbala will blow any mind, when it comes to hospitality and treatment of their visitors. However, let’s only consider the mathematic that is affiliated with the meals these stations provide for absolutely no charge.

  • Obviously each visitor needs three meals per day, therefore:

25,000,000 visitors x 3 meals / day = 75,000,000

  • The march to Karbala, takes anywhere between 10 to 20 days depending on the originating point, where a visitor starts his/her march. Therefore, by taking a number between the two, 15 days would be a rational choice, which means:

75,000,000 meals x 15 days = 1,125,000,000 meals

  • The cost of each meal varies, as the financial ability of these stations also varies depending on the people managing them. Therefore, one station might be able to prepare very fancy meals for the visitors and others might only be able to prepare humble meals, which doesn’t matter at all, as everyone tries to present the best he/she can offer. Therefore, considering the economic conditions and cost of living in Iraq, taking an average cost per meal would be used for exploring the cost of this enormous amount of meals. An expensive meal in Iraq can cost around $20, and a humble meal in Iraq can cost about $4, which will mandate using a cost of $11 / meal for this calculation. Therefore:

1,125,000,000 meals x $11 / meal = $12,375,000,000

  • The number above only includes the meals and excludes beverages and deserts, but for the sake of rounding off this number and staying away from exaggeration, we’ll assume the entire cost of water, beverages and deserts will be $625,000,000. Therefore, an estimating total cost for feeding the visitors not including miscellaneous costs, will be rounded to $13,000,000,000.
  • In addition, these numbers don’t include other services that are provided for visitors and marchers to Karbala, such as:
  • Mobile calling balance, as many stations offer to buy Mobile gift cards for the marchers, in case they want to contact their families at home. The average cost of each card is between $4 to $10, which is distributed for free to marchers and visitors of Imam Al-Hussein. Therefore, figuring a cost estimate for this service would be very difficult, since there are no clear statistics from Mobile service providers in Iraq. However, considering the number 25 million marchers, means even if 1/5 of these people use this service and take an average cost of $7 / gift card, the cost would be around:

5,000,000 marchers x $7 / gift card = $35,000,000

  • Other miscellaneous include things like blankets and pillows for these marchers, when they spend the night for rest at those stations along the road to Karbala. Therefore, assuming only 1/5 of the 25,000,000 would require new blankets and pillows, and assuming a brand new blanket in Iraq cost $2 and a brand new pillow costs $1, the total will be:

5,000,000 marchers x $2 / blanket = $10,000,000

5,000,000 marchers x $1 / pillow = $5,000,000

(REMINDER: THESE TYPES OF SERVICES ARE STILL PRESENTED AND OFFERED IN IRAQ, AND BY IRAQI PEOPLE, A COUNTRY THAT IS CONSIDERED TO BE POLITICALLY AND ECONOMICALLY INSTABLE AND VIOLENT)

In addition, these services and estimates only include, what is offered and presented during the way to Karbala, and don’t include what is offered in Karbala itself, as the entire city of Karbala and its houses transfer to free shelters, hotels, restaurants and service providers for the visitors of Imam Al-Hussein. Many visitors, who have had the honor of marching to Karbala narrate that all the house doors of Karbala are wide open and a sign at the door says: WELCOME TO YOU, VISITOR OF IMAM AL-HUSSEIN.

Therefore, to conclude the mathematical aspect of this peaceful march and gathering, and based on the numbers and estimates provided it would mean that the total cost of servicing the visitors of Karbala is:

  • $13,000,000,000 (cost of meals & beverages) + $35,000,000 (cost of Mobile gift cards) + $15,000,000 (cost of blankets and pillows)  = $13,050,000,000 (NOTE: This cost is covered by the citizens of Iraq for the visitors of Imam Al-Hussein, as the government of Iraq is only responsible for security, surveillance and border administration)

The Physical aspect of this march and gathering becomes astonishing once this mass (25,000,000) gets to Karbala and gathers there, which can only be called a miracle considering the geographical and other facts of Karbala. The actual size of the entire city of Karbala is 2397 square kilometer, but the center of the city, where all the masses head for, is the place, where the Shrine of Imam Al-Hussein and his brother Al-Abbas Ibn Ali are located. Therefore, the size of that geographical zone inside Karbala would not exceed 100 square kilometers at best. This fact would raise the question that how is it possible to fit 25,000,000 inside a geographical zone that is not bigger than 100 square kilometers?

According to Population density experts, every 80 people live in each 1 square kilometer in Iraq, which means in the 100 square kilometers of Karbala’s center, there would typically be 8,000 people. Therefore, the number 25,000,000 is 3,125 times more than the usual population density of Iraq. In addition, the highest population density in the world belongs to Monaco, where every 37,000 people in 1 square kilometer, and by considering the number 25,000,000, the number is still 6.75 times more than density capability of Monaco, if Monaco was 100 square kilometers in size. DOES THE CITY ACTUALLY EXPANDS, OR DO THE STREETS OF KARBALA WIDEN DURING THE ARBA’AEEN SEASON?

In addition, another astonishing fact about Karbala lays in the absence of a world class sewer system, as the current available one is severely outdated and old, and has been built to suit the old population of Karbala, which did not exceed 250,000 at most. Therefore, by only considering the average urine volume of a normal person during one day, the following numbers can be astonishing as well.

  • According to scientific facts, an average person urinate about 2 liters of urine / day. Therefore:

25,000,000 x 2 L (urine) = 50,000,000 L of urine / one day

(ANY SANE PERSON, WHO KNOWS A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE CITY OF KARBALA WOULD BE ABLE TO FIGURE OUT THAT THE SEWER SYSTEM OF KARBALA IS NOT ABLE TO TAKE THIS AMOUNT EVEN IF THE SEWERS ARE DRY EMPTY.) In addition, this number doesn’t include the volume of waste water that passes through the sewer system of Karbala as well, and anyone, who has been to Karbala during the Arba’aeen will be able to certify that no sign of over flow or flood has ever been witnessed during the gathering. (NOTE: DURING MOST RAIN SEASONS, THE ENTIRE CITY OF KARBALA IS USUALLY FLOODED AND THE STREETS ARE FILLED WITH OVERFLOWN WATER, WHICH THE SEWER IS NOT ABLE TO PASS.

There are many other astonishing facts about this gathering, which will leave any observer speechless, but these facts alone are sufficient to drop the jaw and make the mind wonder about the miracle of Al-Arba’aeen and its secrets.

Chaos, Genocides, homicides, abuse & oppression.

 

Where is God and why doesn’t he intervene?

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

Where is God and why doesn’t he intervene? Doesn’t he see what is happening on earth? All the wars, genocides, crimes, child abuses and catastrophic chaos, if he is the absolute power and justice, why doesn’t he prevent bad things from happening? These are questions that are not asked exclusively by atheists and anti-religion activists, as many believers of the major religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) are putting forward similar questions. Therefore, it has become a necessity to address such wonderings in an academic and logical approach, which leaves no doubt for any free mind. However, it must be noted that such questions when asked by atheists, are rhetorical questions, which are intended for weakening the notion of a divine entity rather than presenting a solution or an alternative. An atheist person has to adhere to the rules of engaging in a theological discussion, which mandates solving the notion of a divine entity within the principle and attributes presented by theologians, rather than his/her own illusions and illustration of a God or a creator.

Therefore, these types of questions require a primary believe in God and his divinity prior to addressing them, as the question itself, suggests that the person asking the question apprehends God’s powers and attributes. However, due to lack of knowledge, social and academic struggles, he/she has developed certain doubts due to enormous amount of pressure and exposure to doubtful claims and wonderings.

Therefore, based on the question, the person asking the question acknowledges God’s wisdom, power, justice and all of the attributes affiliated with his divinity and existence.

As mentioned in previous articles and similar pieces about this topic, the obligation and the power, which has been given to mankind is free-will and the ability to comprehend and acquire intellect. Therefore, the notion of God’s intervention in preventing crimes and genocides neglects the notion of granting free-will, as this power will hold no value and humans are subjected to pre-destiny, fatalism or what theologians call necessitarianism. Individuals are responsible for the actions and decisions, and they should acknowledge that each decision and action have consequences, which they should be willing to face. Therefore, when a tyrant decides to commit a genocide against a specific race or group of people, other equally share the responsibility to prevent him/her and save the lives of those facing the danger. Free-will is the strongest power that has been granted to humans, which enables them topple regimes, diminish civilizations and introduce new norms and values. Therefore, this strong and astonishing power should be utilized to prevent crimes and genocides as well.

In addition, if under any circumstances God decides to intervene and prevent a certain action, the notion of justice has been lifted from God and his attributes. This notion means, if God decides to prevent a bad or corrupt individual from committing a specific crime or action, he should do the same for all humans. (Why is God preventing X from committing a wrong action and saving him/her from facing the consequences, and he is not doing the same for Y?) Nonetheless, this type of argument also annuls the legitimacy of equality and judgement, as God shall not be able to judge humans, if he decides to intervene in certain cases and prevent atrocities from happening.

God has granted humans with free will, and although evil is also present to deceive and alter people’s intention, the righteous path has been presented and paved by messengers and prophets. Therefore, the excuse has been lifted and all humans hold equal opportunities to accept their obligations and responsibilities toward themselves and others. There is a verbum in Arabic that states, Pharaoh was asked: how did you become pharaoh (tyrant)? He responded: I found to one to stop me.

Ignorance and surrendering to corruption and deceitful tendencies itself is a crime that should be primarily prevented by the individual him/herself, as no one holds the authority and the power to force a specific position upon another. Therefore, instead of accusing God and requesting his intervention, the presence of conscience and intellect is always necessary to make the right decisions through free-will and save humanity from any sort of atrocities and calamities.

How did Imam Ali interact and deal with the three Caliphs? Part -3

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

The previous part of this article identified some of the most direct and clear statements and actions adopted by Imam Ali toward the Abu Bakr and Omar to express his refusal and rejection to their policies and position in Islam. Especially the sermon of Imam Ali that is known as ‘the Shaqshaqiya Sermon’ was a speech, where Imam Ali directly expressed his opinion and position about the three Caliphs without any allegories or illusions that might be misused in the future. Therefore, this part will continue in presenting the other incidents and cases Imam Ali expressed his rejection to the rule of the three Caliphs.

Moving to Kufa

Although, the transfer of Islamic Empire capital to Kufa is viewed as a strategic decision by Imam Ali, as he intended to secure smooth mobilizing for any possible battles and confrontations. Securing the Northern borders (Constantinople), Eastern borders (Persia) and Western borders (Syria) was the primary intention of Imam Ali, as he knew the situation in Mecca and Medina is stable and will remain stable for many obvious reasons.

However, the other reason behind Imam Ali’s decision to transfer the capital to Kufa lays within the fact that this city was resided by some of the most loyal tribes to Imam Ali and the holy household of Prophet Mohammad. In addition, majority of these tribes were considered rejecters of the three Caliphs, as their loyalty to Imam Ali was known and public to all and without any hesitation. Therefore, Imam Ali wanted to be surrounded by people that he could trust and have at his disposal in case he needed them for greater purposes.

In addition, Imam Ali’s moving to Kufa is viewed as a statement, which indicates, he does not want to be shadowed by the legacy of the previous Caliphs, as Mecca and Medina were filled with sympathizers and loyal groups to the three Caliphs. The Umayyad Clan in Mecca and Medina, the presence of Ayesha (daughter of Abu Bakr) in Medina and the fact that Othman was assassinated in Medina, made this city an unbearable place to consider for governing the Islamic Empire. In addition, Imam Ali wanted to show Muslims, what it would be like to implement his plans and just policies, as Kufa was the perfect ground-zero for the initiation for these plans.

The four years and eight months, which Imam Ali had as the Caliph of Muslims, is known to be the most prosperous and transparent era, Muslims have ever experienced. Sanitation, welfare system, housing projects, equal share from the treasury, excellent and unequal justice system and many other services or privileges, which humanity had never experienced, were among the accomplishments of Imam Ali. According to many historians and narrations from that period, the era of Imam Ali was one of the only times, where the Islamic nation did not witness homelessness and other social struggles. Therefore, if Imam Ali, had decided to stay in Medina, these goals would not be witnessed and experienced, as Imam Ali would not have enough loyal manpower and personnel to implement these reforms and programs on the ground.

Burial of Othman Ibn Affan

It is unanimously agreed by all historians that Othman’s era was labeled with corruption, favoritism and disqualified administration, which overexerted the Muslims around the Islamic Empire. Unsecure loans and grants to individuals from the Umayyad clan, appointing incompetent individuals from the Umayyad clan as governors and Emirs in various provinces and cities, was the primary discomfort of the majority. In addition, rumors about some governors having multiple concubines for their pleasure was met with displacement and rejection in places like Kufa and Basra. For instance, the governor of Kufa during the time Othman, who was his half-brother, was a man named Walid Ibn Oqbah. Historians narrate that Walid came to Morning Prayer on several occasions while being completely drunk, or in another occasion he thought it would be humorous to send one of his concubines instead of him for prayer.

Therefore, these accretions built up and finally the citizens of Egypt and other marginalized provinces raided Medina and ultimately, Othman was assassinated by a group of them inside his palace. However, the action of Imam Ali in regard of Othman’s burial is very interesting and counts as another example for Imam Ali’s rejection of his predecessors.

Once Imam Ali was unanimously chosen by the Muslims as the Caliph, he ordered the body of Othman to be buried in graveyard of non-Muslims, and he did not allow Othman to be buried among Muslims in their graveyards. Othman’s grave remained outside of Muslim’s graveyards until the Al-Saud family took over the Arabian Peninsula and redesigned the entire places, where the entire graveyards were made into one massive one.

In addition, there are numerous other narrations and statements by Imam Ali, were he disapproved the previous Caliphs and considered them as illegitimate tyrants and rulers. According to one narration: a man came to Imam Ali and told him: I pledge allegiance to you based on the tradition of messenger of Allah and the legacy of the first three Caliphs. Imam Ali replied to him: I do not wish to have your allegiance, as the three Caliphs altered the tradition of messenger of Allah, and displaced the will of Allah, and extorted what was not theirs. In other narrations, Imam Ali answers a question about Omar by saying: May Allah punish Omar, as he oppressed stones and civility.