Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (P.B.U.H) – part 1

 

Misconceptions & fabrications

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

The two personalities in history with the most fabrications, alterations and misconceptions

against them are the Holy Prophet of Islam Mohammad (P.B.U.H) and his rightful successor Ali Ibn Abi

Talib (P.B.U.H). As discussed in previous articles the notion of fabricating misconceptions and wrong

information about the Prophet is rationally understood, as any tyrant that uses the name and slogan of

Islam must do the following:

 Distort the image of Prophet Mohammad.

 Fabricate brutal and barbaric actions and decisions carried by the Prophet to legitimize crimes.

 Fabricate supressing and crushing freedom of expression must be linked to the Prophet’s

tradition, by fabricating narrations and stories about him doing the same thing.

Therefore, witnessing the barbarism and brutality of today’s self-proclaimed Islamic states and

terrorist organizations is linked to the distorted image of Prophet Mohammad, portrayed by tyrants of

Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties. However, distorting the image of Imam Ali was another method for

altering the image and reputation of Prophet Mohammad as well, since history states that Ali was

raised, nurtured and taught solely by Prophet Mohammad. Ultimately, distorting the image of Ali Ibn Abi

Talib would translates to failure for Prophet Mohammad as a care-taker, teacher and a father in-law.

In addition, to targeting the Prophet of Islam by taking aim at Imam Ali, tyrants and their aides have

been able to accomplish many goals that vary from politically motivated to ideologically, socially,

religiously and even military. Therefore, the hazy vision surrounding the personality of Imam Ali would

never be worthy of assuming the post of Caliphate, or title of most knowledgeable man after the

prophet and other attributes granted to Ali by the prophet himself. The hostility toward Ali Ibn Abi Talib,

his household and followers is undeniable, where slaughtering, displacement and persecution was the

usual end of them. Therefore, it would be beneficial to examine some of the most known and

widespread misconceptions about Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (P.B.U.H) that are completely false and their

falsehood can be proven by an overwhelming consensus in Islamic tradition.

The birth of Imam Ali (P.B.U.H)

According to unanimity of scholars, the birth of Imam Ali happened on the 13th day of Rajab

(Lunar Calendar) on the year 601 AD. However, the miraculous fact about the birth of Imam Ali

according to historians is the events surrounding the birth time, which includes the Ka’ba in the holy city

of Mecca. Upon the time of Ali’s birth, once his mother (Fatima Bint Assad) began to have contractions,

she approached the house of God (the Ka’ba) and ask for the aid of almighty. Witnesses’ testimonies

indicate, the wall burst open and Fatima entered the house of God, then the wall came back together

and anyone attempting to open the door failed to do so. Three days later, Fatima Bint Assad came out of

the Ka’ba from the same split in the wall after it happened again, while carrying a child and that child

was name Ali by his father Abi Talib.

Although during the Umayyad era, many of Ali’s attributes and well characters were denied,

challenged and distorted, yet the consensus among Islamic scholars about the birth of Imam Ali inside

the house of God is undeniable. Here are some of the most respected and known Sunni sources that

affirm the news of Ali’s birth inside the Ka’ba.

 Al-Mustadrak Ala Al-Sahihain by: Al-Hakim Al-Nisaburi

 Kefayat Al-Athar by: Al-Kanji Al-Shafi’ie

 Al-Tafsir Al-Kabir by: Mohammad Al-Alusi

 Moruj Al-Thahab by: Al-Masoodi

 Tathkerat Khawas Al-Umma by: Sibt Ibn Al-Jozi

 Al-Manaqib by: Mohammad Saleh Al-Tirmidhi

Note: all of these famous Sunni scholars have affirmed the authenticity of any tradition that states

Ali Ibn Abi Talib was born in the Ka’ba. There are tens of others sources, yet the mentioned sources in

this article shall be sufficient.

The title: Commander of the Faithful

Among the most famous titles allocated to Imam Ali (P.B.U.H), one title is very special and

outstanding more than others, yet it was the first one taken from him and used by every tyrant that

ruled the Islamic Empire. The title is ‘Commander of the Faithful’. This title holds a great deal of

importance, as it grants the bearer a religious legitimacy alongside his political authority. Although there

are numerous narrations that indicate this title was solely granted to Imam Ali by the holy Prophet, yet

as mentioned all Caliphs and self-proclaimed commanders of the Islamic Empire used this title and

called themselves: Commander of the faithful. The legitimacy of this title for Imam Ali has been

confirmed by several Shi’i and Sunni sources, where either by direct testimony this fact is stated, or by

giving a clear indication the prophet identifies Ali as Commander of the Faithful.

 Kitab Al-Kafi by: Al-Kulayni (Shi’i source)

 Al-Amali by: Sheikh Al-Sadooq (Shi’i source)

 Al-Mustarshid by: Al-Tabari (Sunni source)

 Helyat Al-Awlia’a by: Al-Hafidh Al-Isfahani (Sunni source)

 Tarikh Ibn Asaker by: Ibn Asaker (Sunni source)

 Al-Mujam Al-Sagheer by: Al-Tabarani (Sunni source)

There are tens of other sources that affirm this notion and allocation of the title to Ali Ibn Abi Talib

by the Holy Prophet.

To be continued.

Resolution Methods for Privation & Adversity

Part 14: The economic factors for generating, sustaining and developing wealth to fight poverty (10) (Stimulating wealth flow)
(Based on the thoughts & theories of Ayatollah Sayed Murtadha Al-Shirazai)
By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi
The flow of wealth and funds will result in active and healthy economy, where citizens have access to funds for consumption, transactions are facilitated and inflation is contained and reduced. However, accumulation of wealth and funds, will freeze and prevent them from a healthy flow in the markets, which will also prevent the creation and flow of new wealth and fund generation methods. Therefore, the Islamic system has discouraged accumulation of wealth and the 34th verse of Quran’s 9th chapter indicates: “and those who hoard gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah, give them tidings of a painful punishment”. (Note: the phrase way of Allah would not necessary hold a religious aspect, as other verses of the Holy Quran and traditions of Prophet Mohammad and his holy household, indicate that any action, deed, statement and effort which would benefit the people is considered an action in the way of Allah.)
The prohibition of accumulation in this verse is not bound to gold and silver, but since those two items are the most notable and known examples their names are mentioned. Presently, states around the world have maintained a continuous policy of wealth accumulation under the name of (RESERVE) or (Emergency fund). Unfortunately, billions or hundreds of billions in dollars and precious metals are stashed in reserves and funds, where the entire management process of these funds are granted to administrational bureaucrats.
Nevertheless, the methodology of Imam Ali (P.B.U.H) shows that funds received from taxation or other sources were granted to the masses immediately, as Imam Ali never left any funds in the state treasury at the end of the day. This methodology and policy of Imam Ali would assure that all the funds and wealth of a nation is directed to the masses, including the lower class. Therefore, poverty and privation is minimized vastly, flow of wealth leads to stronger economy and this trend would ultimately benefit the state and its citizens on all levels and aspects. In general, once the consumption ability of the masses is increased, the investment opportunities are available in a broader range, infrastructures, cultivation, manufacturing and mining are sought to be excellent opportunities for wealth growth. Nonetheless, this strong and healthy economy would translate into an ability to pay more taxes, which will also end up in the hands of people in different shapes, services and plans.
Therefore, pouring the reserve funds into the hands of the masses would create and enormous direct and indirect ability to diminish poverty and privation, which would lead to a stronger state and public. This method would also increase the gross domestic production, which is the real reserve fund and power that could support and sustain any currency regardless of the size of an economy.
According to some historians and researchers, the necessity of stimulating flow of wealth and funds was among the primary reasons behind the Prophet Mohammad’s decision to change the goods exchange methods to currency and monetary system. The system considered gold and silver as standard for exchange, comparison and equivalency, where the worth of the currency was set. Therefore, for instance 1 Dinar was equivalent 4.6 g of gold and other measurement.
The shift to this system enabled the consumers to explore various options for trade transactions, as transportation and other related aspects to any trader deal were facilitated. Therefore, exchanging a good for another was not the method to conduct a transaction, which also prevented some goods being kept aside until expire, because the goods exchange method made them unpopular.

SINCERITY OF INTENTIONS

By: Zeinab Alsheraa
During ethical dilemmas the issue of whether something is morally principled can be determined by the ends justifying the means or the idea that “it is the thought that counts.” In all cases, the purpose and intentions are always taken to consideration. Then comes the issue of whether the intention is justifiable or sincere. Without a sincere intention, all actions then become invalid, especially towards God, since it is the pillar of worship and the prerequisite of an action to be accepted.
Types of Intentions
There are three types of intentions that engulf the basic motives of people. They are the underlying reasoning behind any action—for nothing is done simply just because.
1- For Self
This is the merchant of intentions, when actions are calculated specifically to see what outcome would provide the most benefits to oneselves. This is the idea that ‘if I help this person today, then tomorrow they may help me when I am in need.’ People will perform a task if they are bargained a benefit from it. This may be a direct benefit, such as a favor owed, or indirect such as self image. Someone may act in accordance to what will give off a desired appearance towards oneself. For example, a person may help in a nursery to give off an image that they are gentle and loving. Their overall purpose is their self image and pride, despite their actions.
2- For Others
These intentions are to please others. This is where people crave the approval and attention from others, desiring likes on their Facebook posts. This builds upon the idea of seeking validation from others and attempting to please society by “fitting into” its social constructs.
3- For God
This contains the truest form of sincerity. The intention for God can be broken down into a summary by Imam Ali, “a group of people worship God out of desire for reward; this is the worship of traders. Another group worships God out of fear; this is the worship of slaves. Yet another group worships God out of gratitude; this is the worship of free men.”
How to be Sincere
Doing good actions
The more right one does, the closer they will be to God. When one is closer to God then they will be more sincere and will be led to a more sincere path, for a line in the Quran reads “As for those who strive in Us, We shall surely guide them in Our ways” (29:69).
Attaining knowledge
One must first be educated and informed about their actions. They must need to know what their actions will result of so one can be guided by the true faith. Knowing right and wrong and the outcomes of certain decisions, one would be compelled to have a more integral action.
Having honesty
This is where one must admit if an action they have performed is not as it appears to be. If one assumes that another has done a righteous action when they really have not, they must answer truthfully, to leave room for sincerity with their honesty.
Being aware
The clearest way to have sincerity is to be aware of what can affect your sincerity. Three things have the most prominent way of affecting one’s intention:
1- When you known when others are watching
Knowing that someone else is observing you can turn your purpose towards pleasing/impressing that person instead of God. The best way to avoid this is to simply perform certain actions away from the public view.
2- When you want to gain something out of it
This again is being a bargainer, only doing an action in order to attain a result. One should prioritize and not guarantee themselves anything but the pleasure of God from any deed carried out.
3- Self Satisfaction from the action
This is one to be wary of since it is about pride. One might have done something and believed it to be for the sake of Allah but then afterward they feel prideful of their action and carry enigma that they are better than others. This foils any intention a person may have had if their intention in the beginning does not match their motive at the end. The best way to avoid this is to remain humble and not expect any outcome or credit.
Sincerity is a result of certainty. The lack of sincerity and the suffering ostentation relate to the wavering faith of a person. There is a distinction between the awareness of faith and the certainty of it and the latter completes the circle of a believer’s faith by validating their intentions.

HOW THE WORLD WILL ACHIEVE JUSTICE

by: Zeinab Alsheraa

The problems ranging in today’s society stem off the issues of injustice. The world has deviated from Hitler’s Nazi regime to the Ku Klux Klan and other forms of racism. Sexism has come and not left the premises along with prejudice. In the case after 9/11, Muslims still feel the effects of 9/11’s misinterpretations of the whole religion of Islam. Out of fear and to give a false sense of security, people began to generalize and label ‘Muslims’ as terrorists in order to purge their fears onto anything for a feeling of comfort knowing who the ‘bad guy’ is. Is it fair to the 1.6 billion peaceful Muslims to have a group of attackers speak for the faith of Islam at large? These acts of prejudice, racism, and bigotry in general ostracize individuals and in turn demote equity. But God does not leave his servants astray in an environment that hinders fairness. The prophets were first sent to lead the people and now it is the imams that can enlighten the people to the path of due process.

What is Justice?

Intrinsically, it is the ultimate set of virtues encompassing all morals that ultimately lead to peace. Islam has encouraged and exalted it through abundant verses from the Quran.“Allah commands (people) to maintain justice, kindness, and proper relations with their relatives. (16:90)” There are two prominent forms of justice in this life: justice towards God and justice towards society.

1- Justice towards God:

This is the utmost revered concept and title of credibility of justice. It is not possible to achieve justice to Him because Allah does not require anything and is self-sufficient. But this form stands for believing in the Lord and conveying sincerity and love towards Him. This is where the acts of constant worship and rigid obedience come into place, along with the persisting efforts to stray away from any displeasures towards Him.

The injustice of this is self-wronging; the negligence and disobedience to God. The result is humility and disappointment.

2- Justice towards society:

This form can be achieved through the practice of adhering to individuals’ rights, abstaining from mistreating them, have sympathy to those in fragile conditions (such as poverty, weak health,etc.), and treating them with dignity and courtesy. Amir Al-Mu’mineen stated “you should desire for others what you desire for yourself and hate for others what you hate for yourself.”

The injustice of this occurs when the rights of individuals are neglected, their dignities disrespected, and interests disregarded. This behavior leads to social corruption. The lowest point of social corruption is harming a weak individual that has no means of defending oneself except to supplicate to God.

 

Promotion of Justice in this Dunya

The Prophet had stated before his departure of the dunya that he has left behind two things for the Ummah to follow: the holy book and his family. In order today to have equity one must differentiate before right and wrong and what better way to do so then to follow the Ahlul-bayt? They may have been faced with different situations then we may face today but the beauty of Islam is that its teachings transcend all limits. It is a religion for all places, people, and time. Despite any changes that may take place, the principles from Ahlul-bayt are applicable and prevail to any situation. Sometimes a simple issue may be complicated by technicalities and opinions but in remembering the principles of Ahlul-Bayt, the right choice becomes lucid. In order to put things into perspective in any situation, one only needs to ask “Would Imam Ali or Lady Fatima be seen doing this?”

The True Justice

Despite some efforts, some individuals may still find themselves troubled with certain predicaments. This may falter the faith in fairness in the world, but one must remember that true justice isn’t by people, but by the Creator, Allah. We are here to be tested and Allah is the examiner. It is his prerogative to choose which way a person will be tested. The justness of Allah is that he does not burden a person with at test beyond his or her abilities. Allah had not given us wings and therefore does not test us based on flying. We cannot claim that because He had not given us wings that we are wronged. It is not up to us to decide how we will be tested. In the same sense, Allah does not ask a servant to perform wudhu (ablution) that has no hands, because it is beyond their ability. This is the unique belief to Shia Muslims that God is always just—as His name states; Al-Adl or The Just. It is only to Him do we turn to for justice, not to any other creation by Him.

Challenging the traditions

Mainstream Islam & legacy of violence against minorities

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By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi
Majority of observers, researchers, activists and writers have accused the Saudi regime sponsored Wahhabi sect for the contemporary phenomenon of terrorism and use of violent methods. Although, the Saudi family and their Wahhabi branch is responsible for some the most horrific crimes against humanity and free will, yet the root of these actions and ideologies was only capitalized and implemented by Wahhabism. The ideological implementations of Ibn Taymiya and other scholars within this sect are derived from earlier and traditional texts, where minorities like Sufis, Shias, Jews, Mutazilies and others were subjected to ideological and physical elimination.
Throughout previous articles the foundation of a violent trails of actions, statements and decisions was identified in the early post-Prophet Mohammad era, where certain companions carried out terrorizing acts. In addition, other decisions by the first three Caliphs and later on by the Umayyad and Abbasids became the preliminary bases for any ideological theorizing and legitimizing use of violence and force. Therefore, the early stage of Islamic history and the horrific crimes against minorities, the holy household of Prophet Mohammad and Islam itself, were only actions or organized efforts by individuals and groups to gain influence and control. However, the actions of this mentioned era was used by later scholars as mean of general ruling and fatwa extraditing tools and methods.
Early stages of theorizing violence
The early stages of legitimizing use of violence was primarily for political purposes according to many historical findings, since most scholars of those eras were linked and affiliated with political dynasties of the time. For instance the most direct and clear indication of violence legitimization is witnessed during the Seljuk dynasty and its famous Vazir Nizam Al-Mulk, who is the founder of Nizamiya School in Baghdad.
This man is considered a very wise, just, trustworthy and eloquent individual, who counseled the Seljuk king and ultimately wrote a book exhorting kings about the methods of governance and leadership. The book is named ‘Siyasat Nameh’ and has several chapters categorizing the priorities, responsibilities and governance methods for any ruler or king, which urges some historian to think that Siyasat Nameh was a book for the elites only. Regardless, the author of this book launched and initiated a systematic and planned elimination of Shia Muslims inside Iraq and other places, by alerting the king about the danger of leaving Shias alone. Nizam Al-Mulk suggests that Shia Muslims are an element of instability and chaos, and prevailing stability and headache-less rule is achieved by eliminating those rouge elements, alongside other minorities like the Esoteric sects.
The trails of Nizam Al-Mulk and his influence is transferred to individuals effected by him and his political rationale. The use of religious rationalization for political gain is later capitalized and implemented by scholars like Abu Hamed Al-Ghazali, who is considered among the greatest scholars of Sunni Islam. The affiliation of this scholar with the political entity of that time, forced him to develop a religious fundamental for eliminating oppositions and any group of minorities that were considered dangerous. Therefore, sources indicate that Al-Ghazali legitimized and set the foundation for physical elimination and total abandonment of entire groups and sects, in the name of guarding the Islamic Empire and nation.
Unfortunately, the theological rationales of such individuals was used to wage war against dynasties and groups, under the pretense of being an infidel, esoteric, Shia, non-believer, apostate or blasphemers. Saladin Al-Ayoubi used the work of Nizam Al-Mulk and Al-Ghazali and their likes to legitimize his crimes against the Shias of Egypt and other minorities under his rule. Therefore, although radical scholars like Ibn Taymiya were always condemned and challenged by other Sunni scholars, yet the traditional sources and texts of this school is filled with legitimization of hate, violence and use of force against other groups. It might be right to argue that Wahhabism and its famous scholar Ibn Taymiya and Mohammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab have placed the entire world as their nemesis, due to difference in ideology, yet what is considered mainstream Islam is filled with similar claims as well.
Fortunately, the recent years have presented several individuals with a tendency to come in Public and denounce the content of these traditional sources, which are considered as sacred and worthy of being taught. Several Arab and Muslims channels have aired debates and panels with scholars from numerous schools of thought challenging one another upon the substance of those books and their hateful ideology. Although the trend of such challenges is slow and require more time and additional cleansed resources, and alongside the challenge a healthy and complete alternative is require as well. Once contemporary free-minds and Muslim scholars start to question and challenge the content so these books, they must begin to seek answers and alternatives, as they will have to reassess the entire foundation of what is considered mainstream Islam.

History adds another Black page

Genocide in Taza (Iraq)
Shia Wisdom

position-statement
There are numerous dates and events in history’s calendar that will make any human wonder about the viciousness, ruthlessness and barbarism of certain individuals and groups. Unfortunately, these dates mark what the contemporary world considers as (GENOCIDES). The Darfur genocides, the holocaust genocides, the Congo genocides, the Northern Iraqi city (Halabcha) genocide and many others that are a shameful chapter in humanity’s history.
Recently the world was alerted about a new genocide, which took place in Iraq to add to the daily atrocities this country has suffered from for a long time. A small town near Iraq northern city of Kirkuk name ‘Taza’ was subjected to chemical attacks by ISIS, where reports have indicated thousands including women and children are among the dead. The majority of this town’s residents were Shia Muslims, who are considered as infidels and non-believers by ISIS and other Wahhabi groups. In addition, other minorities like the Yazidis and Christians of this town have been reported to be among the victims of this horrific genocide. Earlier, the US state department considered the crime a ‘genocide’ and a crime against humanity, where the secretary called for international legal institutions to investigate the details and trails of this horrendous act.
As mentioned in previous articles and statements by Shia Wisdom, the notion of terrorism will never be beaten by only launching airstrike campaigns and sending possible ground troops. The ideological pool of hatred and fundamentalism these groups are feeding from must be dried and prevented. In addition, all states, groups and individuals who have supported these terrorist groups by any mean (Financial, recruitment, ideology, cyber support and etc.) must be held accountable and persecuted to the full extent of law.
Shia Wisdom and staff send their prayers for the victims and their families, hoping the almighty lord will grant patience and serenity to them and may he bless the souls of all those who have fallen.
SHIA WISDOM

Fatima bint Muhammad… The role model of women

By: Moujtaba Alkhalidi

fatima3
    First and foremost, Fatima bint Muhammad is the embodiment of Surah 24 Verse 31 which states ~
      ” And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, brothers, parents etc…, And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed”.
      If you want to know the true meaning of the hijab in the Quran, look at Fatima bint Muhammad, because of the fact she is the walking Quran. Pure characteristics implemented in her, preserving her chastity, lowering her gaze, covering her adornments. Furthermore, she isn’t just the role model for women in Islam, but for all of humanity. She teaches women to speak against injustice, being humble to your spouse, altruism, and truly fearing Allah.
      Moreover, Prophet Muhammad said: ”The best women in the entire world are four: Maryam, Asiya the wife of Pharaoh, Khadijah, and Fatima daughter of Muhammad.” The reason being is because of the fact Fatima bint Muhammad is the true interpretation of Islam, she teaches humanity through her actions and the definition of true love.
      On the same token, if every female individual followed Fatima bint Muhammad as she is suppose to be followed, there would be no oppression for women, equality would be applied to all females, and empowerment would be taken in place.
      In addition, if everyone implemented Fatima bint Muhammad in their lives, men would not be looking at women as an object of desire, they would be respecting them as a human being.Also, Fatima bint Muhammad was not only the best female individual to walk on earth, but the best mother. She raised her children like no mother has ever raised her children before. Imam Hassan and Imam Hussein were role models for all Shia men and women, she raised them in a way where their actions spoke louder than their words. They sacrificed everything for Islam, went through trails and tribulations to protect the message of their mother. Shia men all around the world look up to these Imams and thousands die towards the way of Allah for Islam just by simply following the teachings of her children and how she raised their attitudes to be towards the religion of Islam. Modern day women should act upon her actions so that they can have there children have her children’s actions.
      If every Muslim women followed Fatima bint Muhammad then many problematic issues would be resolved with ease. She teaches women how to be a perfect wife, mother, and daughter. The fact that Fatima bint Muhammad embodies the Quran, following her as a role model would be no difference than the Quran because both are corresponding.
      More importantly, Fatima delivers rationality, philosophically, and intellectually. If you follow Fatima bint Muhammad, doing some actions that may be makrooh (hated) wouldn’t be put in consideration because of the fact you’ve reached a high state of belief that this situation is considered pointless and rather low to think about.
      Above all, Fatima’s philosophy, and way of life is phenomenal, if Muslim women applied this to their lives all their issues would be resolved. Considering this, Fatima would control her anger, love her enemies, and put herself before others. Now a days, Muslim individuals are too overwhelmed with jealousy, envy and greed. If one lady witnessed her friend wearing a certain type of jewelry, they would run to their spouse and start asking for the same or better type of jewelry, this may in many times cause a bad relationship in the family, a husband may not have enough money to afford that jewelry for his wife and it may cause him to go burrow money and this puts the husband in a bad situation.
      Even more, rationality is a fundamental to women. Thinking objectively rather than subjectively is vital and essential for women to act upon, rather than being effected by their personal feelings. All in all, Fatima bint Muhammad is the best individual to ever walk on the face of this earth. Simply following her is equivalent to following the Quran. She is the embodiment of the Quran, and implementing her in your lives puts your life at ease. She covers every aspect of life, to logic, mindset, emotions, intellect, philosophy, so on and so forth. Following Fatima bint Muhammad is obeying Allah’s commands. World problems will be solved and women will be empowered.

Resolution Methods for Privation & Adversity Based on the thoughts & theories of Ayatollah Sayed Murtadha Al-Shirazi

Part 11: The economic factors for generating, sustaining and developing wealth to fight poverty (7) (Social Symbiosis)

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi
Imam Ali (P.B.U.H) have asserted the pillars of social symbiosis and solidarity, which have been introduced by Islam on various levels, and this notion is considered among the primary methods to fight poverty, and social instability. The holy Prophet of Islam states in a narration: “He doesn’t believe and follow me, he who sleeps full while his neighbor starves”.
Defining social symbiosis and solidarity according to Islamic principles can be summarized as following: Members of a society are collectively responsible for guarding and protecting the public and private interests, and prevent all damages and harms (materialistic & non-materialistic), where each individual feels that he/she has a social obligation toward society. This feeling will also include the obligation toward the needy and deprived ones, where members of a society will protect this group and prevent any harm that might occur to them. Islamic social solidarity and symbiosis is defined in the narration of Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H): “The example of believers in their harmony, mercy and sympathy among each other and for each other is like a single body, as if a body part becomes ill, rest of the body will suffer and feel the pain as well”.
The late Grand Ayatollah Sayed Mohammad Al-Shirazi mentions the following about this topic in his jurisprudence encyclopedia: “This topic is either ethical, where absolute belief and submission is the goal, or it is jurisprudential, where it is accompanied with necessity. For instance, during a starvation (famine) year an individual is permitted take what he/she needs as necessary and if repayment is not possible the public treasury is his/her guarantor”.
The 2nd verse of Quran’s 5th chapter states: “and cooperate in righteousness and piety”, and an example for righteousness has been presented by the Quran as well, where the 14th, 15th and 16th verses of Quran’s 90th chapter state: “or feeding on a day of severe hunger. An orphan of near relationship. Or a needy person in misery”.
Islamic law has legislated the financial obligation of a husband toward his spouse’s expenditures and needs, and the financial obligation of a father toward his children as far as they are unable to provide for themselves. In addition, Islamic law has even legislated the financial obligation of a son toward his parents, as far as they are not able to provide for themselves, and all of these legislations are different methods to contain poverty on all sides and levels, since parents, spouses and children form majority of a society.

Letter to Prophet Mohammad

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

O’ messenger of God, peace be upon you and your holy household. Please accept this letter from a Muslim and a follower of your religion, who has tons of grievances and grumbles about the status of your nation at the current time. Your follower want to tell you, what is your nation has become and how Muslims have repaid your years of mercy, preaching, and enlightenment with ignorance, violence and distorting your name. Your follower wants to tell you that you religion and nation is currently viewed and known as source of violence and instability, when the almighty lord states that you were sent upon this world as a mercy. Although, I truly believe you are fully aware of your nation’s conditions and its failures, but I am writing this letter to you as a fluttering mean, since the ears are sealed and the eyes are shut and apprehension is blocked.

O’ messenger of God, the moment you left this world, some of your companions attacked the house of your successor Ali Ibn Abi Talib and assaulted your daughter, Lady Fatima Al-Zahra and your religion was confiscated by a clan, which doesn’t fear the almighty.  Your holy Household were persecuted and slaughtered in the most vicious ways possible and their followers were labeled as rejecters. What did they reject? They rejected the treason against Islam and its prophet. They rejected the rule of tyrants and they rejected the violence and corruption, which was taking place in the name of your religion and you personally. Your successor Ali, was struck and assassinated during prayer in the mosque of Kufa, and your grandsons were poisoned and slaughtered and the women of your household, were taken as foreign captives to the (Caliph of Muslims) in Damascus.

O’ messenger of God, the rights, liberties and entitlement granted by Islam, which you preached during the 23 years of your prophecy, were stripped and taken away from Muslims. The respect, which granted to any human being was not longer, and humans were treated based on their allegiance to the Caliph and tyrants. The prisons were filled with innocents, the graveyards were filled with innocent souls, allies and roads of Muslim cities turned red from the blood spilled. The tyrants claimed, they were your successors and narrations distorting your merciful years were fabricated. They claim, you revealed to us the religion of slaughter and violence. They claim, you revealed to us the religion of beheading and you smiled every time an enemy was decapitated. They claim, you married a six years old child, and they claim, and claim and claim.

Yet, I read when you entered Mecca and a man shouted: Today is the day of revenge and slaughter, you replied: “No, say today is the day of mercy”. You entered Mecca without spilling a drop of blood and cutting a branch of a tree and demolishing a single brick of a building. You introduced to the world a covenant for co-existence and tolerance, when this world was governed by tyrants and savages, and you protected the rights of others and assured their right to exist and express.

O’ messenger of God, when it comes to intellect and knowledge, your nation has fallen behind and Muslims have become in need of everyone in all aspects of life, and yet no one needs them in any aspect of life. The current leaders of your nation and what are known as Muslim countries, are occupied with wealth accumulation, favoritism and corruption, which has forced Muslims to leave their lands and migrate elsewhere. O’ messenger of God, when other Muslims shut their doors in the face of oppressed Muslims, other have opened their doors and arms and welcomed them into their lands. The soul and life of a Muslim is worthless and your followers are being slaughtered by individuals claiming to be your followers as well.

O’ messenger of God, some of the scholars in your nation have brought more calamities and affliction upon Muslims than the people, who you battled during life. They preach violence, they preach intolerance, they preach ignorance and they have led many of your followers astray and to their doom’s day. These scholars legitimize terrorizing innocent people, and they legitimize violence and they legitimize taking the soul of a human, which God has stated: the dignity of a human’s soul is greater than the Ka’aba. Yet, when soldiers of darkness and terror carry their crimes, they shout the name of Allah and your holy name, and they claim, their actions portray your will and faith.

O’ messenger of God, the Islam that is presented today to the world is far from your Islam, yet it is still introduced as Islam of Mohammad. Therefore, I pledge that every breath of my life will go toward presenting the true Islam of Mohammad, and the righteous principles and values, which you revealed upon this universe. Knowledge and intellect will be my weapon, my belief, which is derived from your essence and principles, will be my strategy and peace, tranquility and prosperity will be my goals. It is said that a person reflects the actions and values of his/her love and affections. Therefore, I state that you are my love, as love and passion was defined by you and I will always reflect the principles you preached and presented to this world. You were sent as mercy to mankind and therefore, I shall be the reflection of that mercy within my world and surrounding.

Arba’een – A detailed outlook

By: M.K.

Following up with our previous article on Arba’een, today we shall explore the topic in a little more depth in order to obtain a broader perspective on it’s purely religious roots. Let us first examine the pedigree of Arba’een in light of its raw Arabic meaning, theosophy as well as its historical narrative constituting Ahlul-bayt (a.s).

Arba’een, meaning “forty” in Arabic represents the forty days that are spent in mourning of a loved one in the Islamic tradition. In the Shi’ite sect in particular, these forty days mark the death anniversary of Imam Hussain Ibn Ali (a.s) and the 74 supporters that were martyred in the Battle of Karbala (680 CE). Theosophically, the number forty is mystic in nature. In the religion of Islam, if a believer engages in acts of worship for a constant period of forty days, it would enable him or her to acquire the inseparable attribute connecting to the mercy and blessing of Almighty Allah (SWT). The evidence of this can be found in the Holy Quran. When Prophet Musa (a.s) engaged in worship of Allah (SWT) for forty nights, he found the ability to hear Almighty Lord’s divine words, “And when We appointed a time of forty nights with Musa, then you took the calf (for a god) after him and you were unjust” (HQ, 2:51). In continuation with this theme, Prophet Muhammad (s) says, “Whoever dedicates himself to Allah (SWT) for forty days will find springs of wisdom sprout out of his heart and flow out of his tongue.”

The fortieth day or Arba’een sets forth an important turning point in the Karbala movement. Holding just as much significance as the day of Ashura, Arba’een solidly untangles the injustice, which the family of Prophet (s) was subjected to in a poignant manner. This is the day when the Ahlul-Bayt visited the body of the martyred 3rd Shi’ite Imam in addition to his loyal family members as well as followers who sacrificed their lives for the sake of Allah (SWT) on the plains of Karbala. In light of historical data, this event of ‘Arba’een’ was thus carried out by Ahlul-bayt themselves in the year 61 A.H (or 62 A.H according to some historians). And the ride to Karbala culminated on 20th Safar after the family of Prophet (s) was put through atrocities in Yazid’s court and captivity.

In accordance with the widely accepted traditions, the Prophet’s family including Lady Zainab (a.s) and the 4th Shi’ite Imam, Zainal Abideen (a.s) in addition to women, and children remained in Yazid’s captivity for a year. Yazid was forced to release them from his captivity when Lady Zainab (a.s) expressed her wishes to her nephew, Imam Zainal Abideen (a.s) that she wanted to travel to Karbala to mourn her brother Hussain and all the Karbala martyrs. Other women in captivity had desired the same and thus, Imam Zainal Abideen (a.s) directed the caravan to deserted plains of Karbala. Here it is important to pay attention to the religious significance of Arba’een in the context of ‘Ziyarat,’ which shall be elaborated shortly. When the caravan reached Karbala, contrary to one’s expectations, the grave of Imam Hussain (a.s) was not found in desolation. Rather, a few people were already seen gathered at the martyred Imam’s sacred grave as the family of Prophet (s) approached.

This group of people included one of Prophet’s (s) companions, Jabir ibne Abdullah al-Ansari as well as his assistant, Atiyya bin Saad. According to historians, al-Ansari (ra) and his assistant had moved out of the way to let the women of Ahlul-bayt express their grief in privacy at the sacred grave of Hussain (a.s). This expression of grief by the Ahlul-bayt is what originates the concept of Ziyarat. The word Ziyarah or Ziyarat in Arabic means “visit.” The family of Prophet (s) therefore performed the Ziyarat of Hussain (a.s) on the 20th of Safar that marked the forty days of Hussain’s (a.s) martyrdom. Accordingly, Arba’een is not just a ritual that sprouted on a platform of conformity. And performance of Ziyarat-e-Arba’een then becomes a compulsory act for every Shi’ite. Religious significance of this ziyarat in addition to its benefits has also been mentioned in hadith. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s) says that, “The heavens wept over Imam Hussain (a.s) for forty mornings, rising red and setting red.” Therefore, as the believers complete forty days of remembrance of their Master, Hussain (a.s), a new pledge of obedience and loyalty is re-asserted to the King of Martyrs.

Sources:

http://www.ezsoftech.com/islamic/arbayeen.asp