The scattered household – part 2

The Holy Household of Prophet Mohammad

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

Imam Al-Sadiq (P.B.U.H)

The sixth Imam of Shia Muslims and the longest living member of Prophet Mohammad’s holy household lived during an era, which was politically instable and ambiguous. That era marked the emergence of the Abbasid dynasty and collapse of the Umayyad dynasty, which gave a window of freedom to Imam Al-Sadiq. Therefore, he was able to gather hundreds of pupils and teach them numerous sciences and types of knowledge, to an extent where most of today’s modern essential sciences are derived from this man’s school and pupils.

However, the reign of enlightening and knowledge did not last long, as the Abbasids prevailed and crushed the Umayyad, and the amount of oppression against the holy household of Prophet Mohammad was multiplied. According to an Arab poet, he compares the Umayyad and Abbasids dynasty by saying: Swear to Allah, the oppression of Umayyad would not be one tenth of what the Abbasids did to the household of Prophet Mohammad.

This Imam, who lived and was martyred in Medina, suffered the most at the hands of Mansoor Al-Dawaniqi, who actually ordered the house of Imam Al-Sadiq to be attacked and burnt, while there were women and children inside. Finally he was poisoned in Medina by Al-Mansoor and buried beside his father and grandfather.

Imam Al-Kadhim (P.B.U.H)

Another member of Prophet Mohammad’s family who was humiliated, beaten, cussed, prisoned and finally poisoned, and even after his death, his body was thrown at a bridge in Baghdad. Imam Moosa Al-Kadhim, who became the seventh Imam of Shia Muslims, after his father Imam Al-Sadiq, spent over seventeen years in the prisons of Haroon Al-Abbasi. He was transferred from one prison to another, and each prison was another dilemma and affliction for this great man, even in one of the prisons, three hungry lions were entered to his cell, but once the lions came close to Imam Al-Kadhim, they would only lower their heads before him and bow at his feet.

Ultimately, Haroon Al-Abbasi decided to transfer Imam Al-Kadhim to a prison in Baghdad, which was administrated by a man hostile to the progeny of Prophet Mohammad, named Sindi Ibn Shahek. This man constantly beat the Al-Kadhim, humiliated him, cussed at thim, and placed him in a dungeon, where the Imam did not know day and night time. Finally, Haroon Al-Abbasi ordered Sindi to poison the Imam and after that his body was thrown on Al-Rasafa Bridge in Baghdad.

Imam Ali Al-Ridha

The eighth Imam of Shia Muslim and also known as the (Gharib), which means stranger in English, as he was exiled and martyred in a place far from him home town and away from his family members, while having no one from his family beside him. Imam Al-Ridha, who lived during the era of Abbasid civil war between Haroon’s sons (Al-Amin & Al-Ma’amoon), was later on forcibly exiled to Khorasan province in Iran, and forced to the crown-prince of the Caliph, although he was older than Al-Ma’amoon.

Although, Al-Ma’amoon had intended to use the appointment of Imam Al-Ridha as an approach to control his movements and activities, the results were opposite. The Abbasid family were angry with Al-Ma’amoon and the popularity of Al-Ridha was increasing constantly. Therefore, Al-Ma’amoon followed the footsteps of his father and poisoned Imam Al-Ridha and buried him beside the body of his father, Haroon Al-Abbasi in Khorasan Province, in what is known today as Mashhad. In addition, once the Imam Al-Ridha was martyred, the Abbasids started pursuing and punishing the family members of Imam Al-Ridha, as many of them were scattered through different regions and lands, where they lived in hidings and many others were killed and prisoned for years.

Imam Mohammad Al-Jawad (P.B.U.H)

Although, this Imam is considered to be one of the youngest Imams, when he assumed the position of Imamate, his legacy and biography is not different than his father and the previous Imams. Imam Al-Jawad was forced by Al-Ma’amoon to marry Um Al-Fadhl, who was the daughter of Al-Ma’amoon, and he was summoned to Baghdad at a later time, to under close supervision and he was placed under house arrest. Ultimately, Um Al-Fadhl’s brother, who was the next Caliph after Al-Ma’amoon, decided to get rid of the Al-Jawad. The Caliph, used the Imam’s wife (his sister) to poison him and he was left in the house for three days after his death. Imam Al-Jawad was buried in Baghdad beside his grandfather, Imam Al-Kadhim.

Imam Ali Al-Hadi (P.B.U.H)

Imam Al-Hadi lived during the time of one the Abbasid’s most cruel and barbaric caliph, named Al-Mutawakil. This man crushed numerous uprisings, which happened due to severe economic hardships, corruption and favoritism. Al-Mutawakil is known to be one of the most hostile individuals to the holy household of Prophet Mohammad, as tried to destroy the grave of Imam Al-Hussein in Karbala several times. Imam Al-Hadi was summoned by Al-Mutawakil to Samara, and he was placed under house arrest and close supervision, and his contact with the outside world was very limited and minimal.

Finally, Imam Al-Hadi was poisoned by the Abbasid Caliph Al-Mu’tazz, and he was buried in Samara, which was a military compound at the time.

Imam Hassan Al-Askari (P.B.U.H)

The eleventh Imam of Shia Muslims, and the father of Imam Al-Mahdi, who is still alive and in hiding (occultation) according to Shia doctrine. Imam Al-Askari, who spent almost his entire life in exile and house arrest, always criticized the corrupt policies of the caliph and extortion of the wealth by the Caliph and his surrounding circle. The contact with Imam Al-Askari was very minimal and limited to only certain individuals, who were among the close pupils and companions of him. Ultimately, Imam Al-Askari was martyred and poisoned by the Abbasid Caliph Al-Mu’tamid, and he was also buried in Samara beside his father, Imam Al-Hadi.

The scattered household – part 1

The Holy Household of Prophet Mohammad

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

Just browsing through the history of Prophet Mohammad’s household will raise enormous wonderings and questions about the limit of deceit, hypocrisy and brutality that so-called Muslims leaders had. Prophet Mohammad had given tens of narrations about the significance of his household, and the importance of abidance and sincerity to them, where the Prophet had placed the anger of Allah upon angering his household and specifically Lady Fatima Al-Zahra. However, as soon as the Prophet left this world, his household faced some of the vicious atrocities and oppressions and crimes, which makes any observer wonder if those Muslims were really believers of Islam.

Imam Ali (P.B.U.H)

This great man, who has been praised by non-Muslims more than Muslims was cursed in mosques, streets and houses for more than eighty years, by the orders of Muawiya Ibn Abi Sufyan. The first Islamic civil war was waged against him by one of the Prophet’s wives and other companions. He had to witness his wife and children being beaten and humiliated, and he was humiliated, tied and pulled to the mosque to legitimize a codetta.

Finally this man was assassinated and martyred during the month of Ramadan, while praying and yet he delivers one of the most astonishing sermons for humanity before his death, as he was severely wounded.

Lady Fatima Al-Zahra (P.B.U.H)

To trigger the tears of any Shia Muslims, it would only be enough to ask him/her, where is the tomb of Lady Fatima Al-Zahra? Imagine, the grave of Prophet Mohammad’s daughter was hidden and still remains hidden. This calamity by itself, makes any free mind wonder about the reason that makes Imam Ali hide her grave upon her request.

Her door was burnt, she was pushed behind the door, and she lost a child while in pregnancy, she was beaten, she was humiliated and cussed at before (Muslims), and yet no one dared to say: Stop, this is the daughter of Allah’s messenger.

Imam Al-Hassan (P.B.U.H)

Al-Hassan is among the individuals from the Prophet’s household, who was oppressed and personally attacked during his lifetime and after his death. He was cussed and humiliated, and his close companions betrayed him, while preparing for a battle. Imam Al-Hassan was stabbed by one of his soldiers, and later on forced to accept a seize fire with the governor of Damascus (Muawiya).

Finally, this great man’s spouse conspires against him with Muawiya, in a hope to receive prize and status and poisons him in his house. In addition, during his funeral and burial, Ayesha (Prophet Mohammad’s wife) comes out and refuses to let him be buried beside his grandfather, and his tomb gets shot by hundreds of arrows.

Imam Al-Hussein (P.B.U.H)

This great man, who will later makes history in the battle of Karbala, had to witness the calamities his father, mother and brother had to face. In addition, he was threatened in Medina, the city of his grandfather, and gets forced flee to Mecca, where later on he leaves the Haj rituals to save the city and the holy shrine from a possible catastrophe, as he knew Yazid Ibn Muawiya would not hesitate to burn the Ka’aba if he has to.

Although Imam Al-Hussein received thousands of letters and promises from Kufa, to go there and lead the people there to challenge Yazid’s corrupt rule, he was betrayed by majority of the people there. Ultimately, the army of Yazid and thousands of people from Kufa (including some of the ones who had sent letters) faced Imam Al-Hussein in Karbala and slaughtered the entire family of Imam Al-Hussein and his companions. Imam Al-Hussein’s head was decapitated and raised on a spear and taken from one city to another, while his family (women) were captive, and then taken to Damascus to Yazid. Imam Al-Hussein’s infant was also a victim of this battle, as he was shot by an arrow, when the Imam asked for some water for the child.

Imam Al-Sajjad (P.B.U.H)

It is narrated that Imam Al-Sajjad cried for the rest of his life after the battle of Karbala, where he had to witness the martyrdom of his father and his entire family, and if it wasn’t for his severe illness, he would have been among the ones slaughtered as well. Imam Al-Baqir (Imam Al-Sajjad’s son) narrates that every meal and cup of water was mixed with his tears, as he always remembered the calamity of Karbala and what happened on the day of Ashura.

This Imam was un-officially placed under house arrest, as his communication with the outside world was very minimal, and during his era the oppression of Umayyad dynasty had reached its peak. Ultimately, he was poisoned and martyred by Umayyad agents and buried beside his uncle Imam Al-Hassan in the cemetery of Bani Hashim in Medina.

Imam Al-Baqir (P.B.U.H)

This Imam was among the children, who witnessed the battle of Karbala and saw his entire family, including his grandfather, Imam Al-Hussein being massacred and slaughtered on the day of Ashura. According to narrations, he was five years old and he was among the women and children that were taken as captives to Damascus.

Imam Al-Baqir lived through reign of several brutal Umayyad caliphs and he was finally martyred and poisoned by Hisham Ibn Abdul Malek in the city of Medina and buried beside his father.

To be continued.

 

Tasbih-e-Lady Fatima Zehra (a.s) Recitation Benefits

By: M.K.

In the Islamic religion and particularly among Shias of Ahlul Bayt (a.s), reciting tasbih of Lady Fatima Zehra (a.s) has been given significant importance by both the infalliable Imams (a.s) as well as the Shi’ite jurists. This tasbih is in essence, a worship act that is simple, short yet powerful for the reciter.

Tasbih components:

Allahu Akbar– 34x

Alhamdolilah – 33x

SubhanAllah – 33x

A brief historical overview behind the virtues of this Tasbih reveals that the name ‘Fatima’ was given to the daughter of the Holy Prophet (s) by Allah Almighty Himself via an angel who was ordered to have it spoken by Prophet’s (s) tongue. When Ali (a.s) asked the Prophet (s), “Why was she named Fatima?” as narrated by Imam Ali Reza (a.s) who quoted from his Fathers (a.s), “He replied: Because she and her followers (Shi’ites) are protected from Hell.” In addition, Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s) has provided an explanation for the name, ‘Fatima’ as, “She is safeguarded from evil” and for ‘Zehra’ as being “the splendid.” Zehra has also been derived from Zohour, which means brightness.

Let us now shed light on how this Tasbih’s recitation is beneficial to the believers of Lady Fatima (a.s). It’s abundant rewards and merits are depicted from an instance when the Prophet (s) aspired to transfer this worship act to his beloved daughter, Fatima (a.s), he declared, “O Fatima! I have granted you something that is superior to a maidservant and to the world and everything in it.”

Regular recitation of the Tasbih protects the reciter from adversities as well as hardships of both this world and the hereafter. Imam Sadiq (a.s) says, “You adhere to it and be regular about its recitation, for surely one who is steadfast upon its recitation will not encounter adversity.” At every moment of a believer’s life, the Shaytan (devil) is a constant whisperer of misdeeds and reciting Tasbih-e-Zahra is one of the methods of driving the Shaytan away. As Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s) says, “Reciting Tasbih-e-Zehra drives away Shaytan and results in the satisfaction of Allah.”

 

The tasbih is both a source of forgiveness as well as for obtaining prayer rewards. On forgiveness, some traditions have been found from Imam Baqir (a.s) and Sadiq (a.s). Imam Baqir (a.s) says, “One who recited the Tasbih of Lady Fatima Zehra (a.s) and then seeks forgiveness will be forgiven.” Exceptional emphasis for reciting this tasbih for the purposes of seeking forgiveness has however been placed after completion of wajib (obligatory) salaats. As Imam Sadiq (a.s) states in a tradition associated with Tasbih recitation post-salaat, “One who recites the Tasbih of Lady Fatima Zehra (a.s), before even moving his feet, Allah will forgive him” and “One who recites the Tasbih of Lady Fatima Zehra (a.s) after a wajib salaaat, before he stretches out his legs (i.e. recites Tasbih while still being in the Tashahud posture), paradise becomes wajib upon him.” In another tradition, Imam Sadiq (a.s) says, “One who glorifies Allah after the obligatory prayer through the Tasbih of Lady Fatima Zehra (a.s) and then follows up by saying, ‘La ilaha illallaho,’ Allah will forgive his sins. It is valuable to note that, recitation of this Tasbih multiplies in reward if recited on a Tasbih, which has been obtained from Karbala as said by Imam Sadiq (a.s), “One dhikr (recitation) of istegfaar (repentance) recited on the Tasbih made out of the soil of the grave of Imam Hussain (a.s) is equal to 70 such dhikr recited on any other thing. The Imam of Time, al-Mahdi (a.s) has also provided us with a similar narration, “One who just holds the Tasbih made out of the soil of Imam Hussain (a.s) and does not do any dhikr, even then for him will be written the reward of having recited the dhikr.” Quoted from Al-kafi, “Reciting Tasbih of Hazrat Zehra (a.s) everyday after every salaat is liked by me [Imams of the Ahlulbayt (a.s)] more than reciting one thousand rakats of (mushtahab) salaat.” In continuation with the aforementioned theme, Imam Baqir (a.s) yet again says that, “Allah is not worshipped by anything more meritorious than the Tasbih of Fatima Zehra (a.s). Had there been any worship superior to it, most surely the Holy Prophet (s) would have been granted it to Lady Fatima (a.s).” Recitation of this Tasbih before sleeping is also beneficial to the reciter as narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s), “One who recites the Tasbih of Lady Fatima (a.s) at the time of going to bed, he will be accounted amongst those who remembered Allah a lot.”

Finally, as with any act of worship, it is imperative to practice some general etiquettes whilst recitation of Tasbih-e-Fatima Zehra. One must be fully attentive and continuous in the Tasbih’s recitation. Continuity without interruptions in the Tasbih had been a practice of the infalliable Imams (a.s). In accordance with a tradition of Imam Sadiq (a.s), if there has been a doubt regarding the counts during Tasbih dhikr, the dhakir (reciter) must re-start his Tasbih performance.

Sources:

http://www.majzooban.org/en/articles/2263-merits-of-tasbih-of-bibi-fateme-zehra-as.html

http://www.duas.org/tasbihzehra.htm

http://shiastudies.net/article/english/Article.php?id=1056

 

Hadith Al-Kisa – The Event of the Cloak

By: M.K.

Hadith Al-Kisa or the Narration of the Cloak narrates an incident of Prophet Muhammad (saw) and his ‘Ahlul-bayt’ that include both his cousin and son in law, Imam Ali (a.s) in addition to his two grandsons, Imam Hassan and Hussain (a.s.), and his daughter, Lady Fatima (a.s). This incident occurred under Prophet’s (saw) cloak under which he announced the aforementioned family members as his ‘Ahl’ or Family. And essentially, they became known as ‘Ahl al-Kis’ or People of the Cloak, a term reserved for Prophet Muhammad’s family. It was this incident during which the second part of Holy Quran’s verse 33.33 was revealed. This verse is referred to as ‘Ayat al-Tathir’ or Verse of Purification in which Allah Almighty has provided purification for Holy Prophet’s (saw) family (Ali, Hassan and Hussain, and Fatima) to prove their infallible status in this universe.

It is imperative to note that several individuals including Umme Salma, Ayesha and Ibne Abbas have narrated the incident of Cloak. However, Jabir ibn Abdullah Ansari’s hadith adorns the most authenticity according to Shias and the narration adapts a special status due to Lady Fatima (a.s.) being the sole narrator of the entire tradition. This hadith makes up a foundation of Imamate concept within Shia-ism, which addresses Apostle of God’s patrilineal descendants who have got a spiritually divine leadership position amidst the Muslim world.

The hadith or quotation opens up with, “One day, my father, the Messenger of God, entered my house.” Holy Prophet’s (saw) entrance into his daughter’s as well as son in law’s house portrays importance for maintenance of kinship relations that Islam highly values. People are being taught to respect those younger than them in addition to adopting humility. In addition, words “One day” in the narration are not indicative of any special day such as Eid or Friday, rather it is teaching us that visiting our kin does not have to be on a special occasion and instead should occur on regular days. The next line quotes the Prophet (saw) saying, “Peace be upon you, O Fatima,” to which Lady Fatima (a.s) replies, “Peace be upon you.” Here, a few pieces of advice can be derived. Whenever a person arrives in somebody’s house, he or she should greet the residents of that house in a humbling manner regardless of the invitee being young or old. The quote also stresses on the importance of initiating a greeting that brings ten rewards upon whomever has initiated it. And the Arabic word of greeting, ‘Salaam’ introduces an intimate as well as amicable way for conversation in addition to it leading the addressee responding sympathetically.

Going further with a few more quoted lines, next the Prophet (saw) said, “I feel some fatigue in my body.” Her, the narration is referring to one seeking refuge in their abode of protection that they call home during time of hardship or a problem. Comparing that to today’s society, for instance in the West, it can be seen that many individuals choose to go to places where alcoholic beverages are being served such as bars or clubs in an attempt to temporarily sooth their unpleasant emotions. However, this pattern has continuously disrupted familial ties by causing separation between the individual and his family at home.

The hadith continues, “Then I said, I seek refuse from God, O father, from fatigue.” Here, Muslims are being advised to entrust God with their affairs similar to Lady Fatima (a.s) who immediately seeks Allah Almighty as her only refuge. Lady Fatima’s reaction at this stage is in fact being derived from the Quran, “Soon you will remember what I tell you, and I entrust my affair to God. Indeed God is All-Seeing of His worshippers.” (40:44).

Shia and all lovers of Ahlul Bayt who participate in reading Hadith Al-Kisa have been given a guarantee to have their desires fulfilled by Allah Almighty. As this meeting (where Hadith Al-Kisa is read among the believers) is a worship place, it becomes a ground for Allah Almighty’s satisfaction, which consequently causes the desires of a person to be fulfilled. In essence, the overall message being derived from this narration of Cloak is telling us that if we join the company of good people, we will avoid participation in meetings conducted by false doers. And engaging and participating in meetings where Ahlul Bayts’ virtues are being discussed instead of negativity constituting falsehood, backbiting or accusation will then be a solution for avoiding false doers.

Sources:

“Hadith Al-Kisa / The Event of the Cloak.” Hadith Al-Kisa / The Event of the Cloak. Accessed October 5, 2015. http://www.qul.org.au/library/duas-supplications/406-hadith-al-kisa-the-event-of-the-cloak.

Hossein Masoud, Gholam. Hadith Al Kisa. 2-24.

 

 

Islam & Technology

 

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

The discussion whether science and religion are compatible has been around for decades, as some argue that autocracies have not added anything to science and technology, therefore the nature of religious fundamentals is not compatible with science. However, although this discussion still remains very active, the use and benefiting from science and technology is also the subject of many discussions among religious scholars.

Islam’s view on the notion of using modern technology and science is very similar to other religions, as it promotes the use of any modern means to simplify life for better causes and purposes. However, the difference lays in Islam’s consideration for all aspects affiliated with using technology and science, as these facilities come with various complications and twisting struggles that might challenge the faith of a believer. Therefore, Islamic jurisprudence has weighed in and presented many solutions for the proper use of technology and science, to enable Muslims take advantage of them in the best way possible, which doesn’t jeopardizes compliance with Islamic laws.

Primary purpose of Science and Technology

As majority of scientists argue, the purpose of science and technology is to serve people and make their lives simpler and more efficient, which means any negative and wrong use of science and technology was not originally intended.  However, we have witnessed that individuals and groups have taken advantage of technology and science to slaughter people, eliminate races, and endanger humanity. In addition, the same ‘peaceful’ means of technology have been used for socially-ill purposes, like pornographic sites, intra-marital affairs, brainwashing youths and individuals, hacking and cybercrimes and many other technological actions that harm the society. Therefore, Islam’s goal to interfere with use of technology and science is only for the purpose of bringing sanity, rationality, accordance, ethical conduct, respect and compliance with religious and statuary laws.

Islamic Prospect on use of Technology

Islam views the primary use of technology should be in accordance with the original purpose that was behind the creation and development of technology, which is simplification and accommodation. The notion of simplification and accommodation can be affiliated with any aspect of one’s life, which can be personal, public, religious and ideological. An individual can use technology to generate wealth and revenue through legal and legit means, provide services and information for the public, deliver and present his ideologies and religious values and principle to others. Therefore, for instance something like internet can be used for legit on-line business, public information site or it can be used for cyber financial scams and preaching hate and violence.

The role of religion is to identify the threats and dangers of technology and outlining them to believers to prevent them from ever using technology in a way that makes them legally and jurisprudentially responsible. Islam does not place a limit on using technological means, as far as the use of such methods is for legit and legal purposes, especially if such a notion is used for delivering and presenting the true essence of Islam and its peaceful message. However, once technology is used for personal desires that demolish the characteristics of human being and his/her dignity, Islam intervenes and prohibits such use. Once technology is used to spread hateful and violent ideologies, Islam suggests using the same technology to present the opposite ideology and promote peace and tranquility. Once technology is used for generating illegitimate wealth, Islam intervenes and says the wealth generated through such method is Haram and unlawful. Once technology is used breaching people’s privacy through hacking and infiltration, Islam weighs in and states, individual privacy and personal affairs are not be shared in public, and any harm that might occur from such action should be indemnified and compensated.

However, some might argue that the mentioned laws and Islamic principles about use of technology have been addressed through statuary legal avenues, and nothing new is presented. Nonetheless, it should not be forgotten that Islamic principles and jurisprudential law have laid the ground work for these modern methods centuries ago, which means majority of these Islamic laws are extracted and derived from principles that are over centuries old. In addition, Islamic jurisprudence has presented answers and basic ground work for some of the most sophisticated scientific works in the recent years as well. Cloning, Telecommunication, surveillance, stem cell research, residence in space and other planets, property and ownership in space and other planets, natural resources gathering methods, genetic alteration and many other modern technological and scientific discoveries and advancements are subjected to Islamic laws and jurisprudence. Therefore, any Muslim is able to take advantage of these astonishing superiorities and advancements, if he/she comply with the principles and laws outlined by Islamic jurisprudence.

The First Shia State in history: Afghanistan

 

Shia Islam in Afghanistan

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

Inscription of history is conducted for one of the following reasons by historians, as it is either linked to the religious and political affiliations of the historian to conceal some facts or all the facts, or for presenting the true events for future generations to dissect and study them for various purposes. Therefore, many events, facts, struggles, afflictions, victories and losses have been hidden, due to the unethical conduct and decisions of some historians to serve their interests and purposes. One of the historic events and facts, which has been hidden by such historians, is the first Shia state in history, which was formed in modern day Afghanistan.

Majority of historical records and sources, date the presence of Islam in this part of the world to Islamic conquests, and specifically the conquer of Persia, where the Umayyad dynasty introduced Islam there. According to these sources, after the Battle of Qadisiyyah, the Persian Shah Yazdegerd III fled to central Asia, as he was a wanted felon by Muslims. Therefore, the Muslim armies continued their conquest to that part of the world and entered Afghanistan to Herat, where they placed enormous efforts to convert the citizens to Islam. The efforts to present Islam and convert the people of Afghanistan were increased and affectual during the Umayyad Caliphs, Hisham Ibn Abdul Malik and Omar Ibn Abdul Aziz.

However, the reality of Islam’s presence in Afghanistan has nothing to do with Islamic conquest and the Umayyad dynasty, but due to the hostile relation of this dynasty toward Shia Muslims and the followers of Imam Ali, the presence of history’s first Shia state has been hidden.

The first Shia State in history, which was formed in Afghanistan is named the ‘Ghoriyon Dynasty’, which was formed after the Martyrdom of Imam Ali, and due to their hostility toward the Umayyad dynasty and Muawiya specifically, this state was totally abandoned in history. The founder of this state was a man named, Shansab Ibn Khartak, who was the leader of Hazara tribe.

According to Shia sources, this man (Shansab Ibn Khartak) came to the governor of Imam Ali in Iran, who was Jo’ada Ibn Hobaira, along with a large delegation from his tribe, inquiring about Islam. Jo’ada took Shansab and the delegation to Kufa to meet with Imam Ali and Imam Ali hosted them for an entire month in Kufa. During that time, Shansab heard the sermons of Imam Ali and met with his two sons, Imam Al-Hassan and Al-Hussein and many other companions of Prophet Mohammad. Upon his return to his land, Imam Ali presented a very valuable gift, as he gave Shansab the flag of Prophet Mohammad that he carried when he entered Mecca. Along with this valuable gift, once Shansab was back in Afghanistan, he preached Islam to his people and others based on principle he learned from Imam Ali, and the entire Hazara tribe embraced Shia Islam as their faith.

Upon the assassination and martyrdom of Imam Ali in 661 and the failures of Muslims in Iraq specifically, Muawiya became the Caliph of Muslim and he announced the formation of the Umayyad Dynasty in Damascus. Meanwhile, once Shansab heard about the appointment of Muawiya as the Caliph of Muslim and what had happened to Imam Al-Hassan by his followers, he gathered his tribe and narrated everything he knew about Muawiya and how he was an enemy of Imam Ali. Therefore, they decided to seclude large parts of Afghanistan and announce the formation of a Shia state that follows Imam Ali.

Once Muawiya heard about the separation and formation of this state in Afghanistan, he mobilized a large army to Afghanistan to crush them, as he announced them as apostates. The Umayyad army was able to burn the farms and demolish the houses of these people in Afghanistan, but they were not able to completely eliminate them, due to the cragginess and ruggedness of the area.

The resistance movements in that area remained for another eighty years, as guerilla wars from one generation to another, as majority of the people remaining from that state became the core of Abu Muslim Al-Khorasani’s army against the Umayyad dynasty. Once the army of Abu Muslim prevailed and the Abbasid became the leaders of the Islamic nation, those Afghans differed with the Abbasid dynasty, due to their position toward the holy household of Prophet Mohammad (Ahlul Bayt). The Afghans had realized that the Abbasid dynasty was not going to treat Ahlul Bayt with honor and dignity, as they started slaughtering the followers of Imam Ali and oppressing the Imams.

Therefore, the Afghans started reorganizing their regions and formed another state, which was able to present many astonishing services to its people during that era. In addition, that state built many schools and seminaries, which graduated many great scholars, like the famous narrator (Abul Waleed Abu Al-Rajaa), Sheikh Abdullah Al-Ansari and Noor Al-Deen Al-Jami. The new Hazara state was able to perform various outstanding services to its citizens, as they had a superb security system and an executive power entity. The last leader of this state passed away in 1203, while the mosques and schools of this state were filled with scholars and students in Herat and Balkh.

Ultimately, this state was attacked and toppled by the Khawarazmies (The tribes of Khazar). However, the Hazara dynasty was re-established 300 years later, which lasted for another 80 years, as this time the dynasty was able to reach parts of modern India and Pakistan. Majority of the Shia Muslims in today’s Afghanistan are from this dynasty, as they have suffered great deals of hardships and afflictions during the era of the regimes that ruled Afghanistan. In addition, those Shias had a great role during Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and formed many resistant movements against the soviet occupation.

Islamic Taxation System (KHOMOS)

 

Jurisprudential Principles & Implementations in Society

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

The revenue generation method of today’s modern states is conducted through taxation, which varies from a country to another according to the GDP and financial obligations of that specific state toward its citizens. The revenues generated from these taxes enables the state to provide necessary services for its citizens, which include infrastructure, health care, pension, education, security, social welfare and other services. Therefore, taxation in another word is the financial life line of any system, which presents itself as the governing entity to manage the affairs of a state or a nation.

However, one of the principles that is exclusive to Shia Muslims that falls under the category of taxation, is the concept of ‘Khomos’, which translates to one-fifth in English. The direct indication to this concept is found in the 41st verse of Chapter 8 in the Holy Quran, where it says: “and know that anything you obtain, then indeed, for Allah is one fifth of it and for the messenger and for his holy household and the orphans, the needy, and the stranded traveller”. This concept is also legislated through many other narrations from the Holy Prophet and the 12 Imams, where they have clarified the criteria, details, collection methods, deliverance and disbursement methods and means.

According to this principle, Shia Muslims are obligated to pay 20% of their earnings to an Imam or an agent of an Imam, where he will spend those revenues in the fields provided by the Quran and the narrations from the Prophet and his holy household. However, this Islamic obligation considers all the aspects of a Shia Muslim’s life, as Islam acknowledges the various financial responsibilities that each individual carries. Therefore, the actual law goes as following:

    • Each Shia Muslim, who has reached the age of adolescence is obligated to take aside 20% of his/her yearly earnings, after he/she covers all of the debts obligations, shelter, food, transportation and other financial responsibilities. Therefore, if a Shia Person earned $50,000 during a year cycle, he should pay all of his/her financial obligations, then whatever is left from that earning is subjected to that 20% taxation (Khomos).
    • The legal taxation that a Shia Muslim is subjected to, where he/she resides is included in the financial obligations that he/she has to fulfill before taking that 20% aside.

 

  • For Example:

 

$50,000 Yearly Earning

– $9,000 Taxes

– $38,000 Financial Obligations (Shelter, Health Care, Education, Transportation, Food, etc…)

Remaining: $3,000

$3,000 x 20% = $600 (Khomos)

Therefore, whether the remaining balance of the yearly earnings is $3,000 or $1,000,000, the Khomos rate applies and mandatory to be paid before the end of yearly cycle, which is set according to the person’s decision. Note: the start of each yearly cycle can be set on any date, the Shia Muslim chooses, however, it must be according to the Islamic Lunar calendar.

Who Do I give the Khomos to?

The deliverance of Khomos, was not a major issue during the life time of the Imams, as Shia Muslims were either delivering those funds to them directly, or giving them to the agents sent by the Imams around the Muslim world. However, after the occultation of the 12th Imam, many questions about the legitimacy of this concept have been raised, where some scholars have argued that Shias are not subjected to this principle during the absence of an infallible Imam. A specific school of thought within Shia Islam, argued that Shia Muslims are obligated to save aside the khomos during the absence of the Imam, but they should either bury it, or hide far away from ever being found. Nonetheless, these hidden and buried funds will be taken out by the 12th Imam, once he returns and reappears to his followers.

However, majority of Shia scholars and Shia Muslims practice this principle, as this law is considered to be behind the continuous independent Shia scholars have benefited from since the occultation of the 12th Imam. According to this school of thought, jurists (Shia Scholars) are the general agents of the Imam, where Shias are obligated to follow and take the laws and rules of their religion from, as they are considered the narrators of Prophet’s traditions. Therefore, majority of Shia Muslims give their Khomos to the scholars, and scholars distribute these funds according to the guidelines set by the Quran and the traditions of Prophet Mohammad and his holy household.

How is Khomos spent and distributed?

Presently, Shia scholars divide the Khomos into two categories:

  1. Right of the Imam (Imam Al-Mahdi, which falls under the category of: for Allah, his messenger and his household)
  2. Right of the Sadah (Plural of Sayed, which means the progeny and descendants of Prophet Mohammad)

The right of Sadah is allocated to this group, since they are not allowed to receive charity, as charity is forbidden for the Prophet, his holy household and his progeny and descendants. Therefore, this allocation was designated to be a mean for this category to help them in case they face hardships and financial problems, where they are not able to provide for themselves and their families. However, in certain occasions the scholars allow Shia Muslims to deliver the Sadah Right themselves to virtuous individuals and families, who descend from the progeny of Prophet Mohammad. This method is followed in places, where delivering the Khomos to the scholar is hard or harmful for Shias, as they are allowed to distribute this part of the Khomos themselves. In addition, due to other necessities such building a mosque, school, orphanage, shelter house and other means, Shia scholars allow their followers to distribute the entire Khomos on their behalf by themselves. However, this type of exemption require a direct permission and ruling from the scholar himself, as Shia Muslims are not allowed take this decision by themselves.

The first part of the Khomos (Right of the Imam) is usually taken by Shia scholars, and it is spent on issues and necessities sought as important and mandatory by them. The funds allocated to the Right of the Imam category are spent for seminaries, as these religious schools require substantial funds to operate. The necessity of these seminaries come from the desperate need of the Shia communities around the world for Shia Imams and clergies to manage their religious and spiritual affairs.

The other means for spending the right of the Imam, include, helping the needy, the stranded travellers, orphans, sheltering the homeless, marriage allowances for the needy and other means to simplify the lives of those who need such help.

The deliverance of Khomos to Shia scholars has enabled them to stay away from the influence of states and governments, since these political entities view the religious authority of scholars as a great tool for obtaining legitimacy and validity. Therefore, Shia religious authority has been able to mandate its needs and requests upon the governments, during oppression and dictatorships, where the state is very hostile toward them. However, Shia scholars have managed to stay away from politics during this entire time, and never let their financial independence be a mean for interfering with the affairs of the state, whether the state is democratic or coercive.