When order prevails result is: …

 

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

The title of this article can be presented as a statement or a question and since the answer is unconditionally assented and acknowledged, it would be meaningless to discuss any possible ambiguity of such statement. Abiding by order, rules and guidelines is not only an essence of showing class, it is a path to success and being able to accomplish based on outlined and set goals and progress. The holy Quran grants great importance to order and discipline, where the 4th verse of chapter 61 presents the perfect metaphor for orderly conduct and order. “as though they are a single structure joined firmly”. The holy Prophet of Islam emphasizes on the notion of order in all affairs and actions, where it seems without order the emergence of effectual results are doubtful.

The primary foundation of Islam as a religion and a path of life is solely based on orderly fashion conduct of deeds, decisions and action that includes every aspect of a Muslim’s daily affairs, whether personal, religious or interactional. Among the most repetitive advices by elders and teachers to youth, is the importance of organization and allocating time and efforts accordingly to have successful results. We all remember the famous quote, which has probably been said by majority of teachers around the world (Don’t leave your studying and projects till the last moment). The core of this statement is linked to organization and having order as a way of life, which will reflect on personality, characteristics and someone’s view before the public as well.

Imam Ali (P.B.U.H) has placed order and its importance in second place after being pious, which in addition shows that among the primary signs of being a pious person, being organized and adherent to order is given. Therefore, majority of Islamic scholars have determined that Islamic jurisprudence prohibits breaking the laws and orders of a society, such as speed limits and traffic rules. Failure to adhere with these rules, would destabilize the order and safety of a society and those two aspects are the primary essences of an innovating and smart society.

The notion of order in supplication is also among the important in Islam, where moderation and wise time allocation for supplication and prayer is necessary. Imam Al-Sadiq states in a narration that over-doing supplication would lead to reluctance from prayer and supplication, which means this spiritual and religious aspect of a Muslim’s life must abide by rules and orders of life. The five prayers/day are the obligatory prayers and anything else such as random supplications can be done during other daily tasks, as only repeating certain phrases and words are sufficient to be considered as supplication. In addition, unlike other religions granting total time and self to religion and its institutions has been disavowed by Islam, and the importance of forming family and working to provide for this family is considered among the best deeds and supplications to Allah.

Fortunately, Islam has presented the perfect means of organizing and adhering to orders and feasible rules in society, whereas as mentioned earlier the entire length of an individual can be covered by Islamic order and organization codes. Islam presents advice and solutions in maintaining order for:

  • Social interactional order
  • Personal life affairs, such as personal hygiene
  • Time management
  • Fulfilling covenants and contracts
  • Management of supplication and prayer order
  • Expenditure order and management
  • Military order and organization

There are numerous other aspect, where the lives of Prophet Mohammad and his holy household would present hundreds of examples and models for ordinary humans, where order becomes the essence of any action and decision in their lives.

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.

Setting standards to facilitate final decisions – part 1

(Who to believe when everyone claims to be right?)

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi
Whether deciding about a political candidate, a theory or even personal and private matters, the process of making the final decision is hard and sometimes painful on many aspects. All sides claim to be on the right side, support the right cause, committed to the right approach and finally their statements and actions are RIGHT. Well, according to freedom of speech and personal liberties making such claims is absolutely fine, legal and socially acceptable according to many contemporary social and political behaviors. However, the issue of being morally, politically and socially acceptable is not as important as being able to make a decision that is right based on all principles and standards.
Watching a campaign commercial on TV or an election debate, hearing about an ideology or a theory is similar to a battle, where each side is trying to persuade as many followers to assert its prevalence. Therefore, the necessity to develop a set of standards and principles would prevent from thinking that everyone is right or all sides are equally correct, since correctness and righteousness is proportionate. Unfortunately, the hermeneutical perception of individuals about right and wrong has transformed into personal presumptions and comprehensions of life experiences instead of cognitive, academic, logical and sane sets of rules, principle and standards.
Danger of standards plurality
The deliberate trends to keep all powers only affiliated with human mind might seem a noble cause, yet it can be dangerous if the following notions are taken into consideration.
The ability to create resources and primary records for investigation is not in human’s hand, therefore, the methodology to investigate and dissect the resources and records must be presented and delivered by the creator. The methodology for investigation and dissection will be apprehensible by human minds, since the primary process of finding the resources requires intellect and cognition on many levels. Therefore, a primary non-human made sets of principles and standards for dissection and investigation are necessary to prevent wrong judgements and un-academic presumptions. In addition, the presence of such existing sets of principles and standards would mean the ultimate role of intellect and free mind will be put into test, which is making decision based on correct findings and perfect trails of investigation. Otherwise, if none is offered to humanity, the notion of accepting consequences and punishment is ethically unacceptable and unworthy.
The absence of clear sets of principles and standards to identify and outline right from wrong and correctness from corruption and evil can be due to several factors. The primary factor is human mind itself, since its capabilities are still limited regardless of its advancement and superb analytical powers. The idea of creating standards out of nullity is beyond the comprehension of human intellect and capability, since analyzing the correctness, effectuality and performance level of those sets must have be subjected to a methodology of investigation. Nevertheless, this process is an everlasting circle with no clear result with an assured notion of wasting time and effort.
Basing the development of standards and principles on life experiences, primitive human findings, manmade resources and even semi-cognitive presumptions will not surpass the reality of being ANALYSIS. The best capability of human intellect, is ability to comprehend and analyze information to develop a final decision, which makes intellect in needs of primary information and resources that can’t be man-made.
Human experience and understanding of his/her surrounding is bound to observation and direct interaction. Observation is inadequate since humans are unable to apprehend the past and future, and each observation holds a certain past and an unknown future. In addition, the surrounding facts of each observation are not always evident and clear, as many facts are possible to be hidden unless revealed through narration or future discovery. Therefore, any standard or principle based on observation is bound and limited to momentary findings by observation. In addition, the problem that lays within direct interaction is due to human’s tendency and behavior, which is bound to be either reactionary or pre-emptive. Although both of these behaviors can be based on analytical investigation or cognition, yet the result and consequence is temporal and provisional. Direct interaction and its findings are effected by past experiences, presumptions and the transitory encounter, which can vary from pleasant to violent or acceptable to irreceivable. Therefore, why should any sets of principles and standards created by such emotions and experiences be binding and used as a methodology to judge and determine good to evil?
To be continued

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.

Selective Sympathy

The current refugee crisis

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

The notion of sympathy with a certain individual, group, belief or ideology has been able to shift the outcome of many crisis and conflicts, as the global opinion mandated for affirmative action to be taken in certain cases for resolution. However, the same sense of sympathy that applies to certain cases has marginalized and sidelined many victims of horrendous crimes, which has happened or still happening. Therefore, it is witnessed that certain victims are prioritized and sanctioned due to political reasons, while other are left to suffer continuously under the blade of whomever has oppressed them. The recent case of selective sympathy was witnessed in the past weeks, during the current refugee crisis in the Middle East, when a Syrian-Kurdish child was found drowned and dead on the shore of a Turkish town. Indeed, the picture of that child was heartbreaking, as he summarized the entire afflictions and sufferings of Middle Eastern children, and the amount of violence they have been subjected to. The story of that boy was even more heartbreaking, when news headlines announced that the boy’s mother and older brother had been drowned and dead as well, during their attempt to escape the deadly war in Syria and find safety in Europe.

The global headlines made the story of that Syrian child, as the face of the refugee crisis, which placed enormous pressure on European and other western states to take imminent actions to end the crisis. Ultimately, Germany decided to take thousands of those refugees and other state like Austria, Hungary, Italy and other European states started taken lesser numbers, due to the public pressure.

Primarily, many observers believe the crisis could have been evaded, and none of the current dilemmas were supposed to even happen, as a coordinated political solution to the Syrian crisis, would have resolved the Syrian conflict. In addition, the resolution of the Syrian conflict would have been affected the Iraqi political scenario as well, as ISIS and other terrorist groups would have never been able to mobilize their fighters easily in and out of Syria.

Nevertheless, now that the crisis has happened and millions have been displaced and dislodged, it would primarily be the responsibility of other Muslim countries to host the refugees. It is not a secret that some of the richest countries in the world are in the Middle East, which raises a question that what have they not accepted any of those refugees. Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who were the primary supporters of many armed rebels in Syria, have not accepted one refugee in their lands, and other states like Kuwait, UAE have acted as no crisis even exists.

However, the question that truly requires the attention of all observers and the global masses, is the intention behind creating the selective sympathy that is witnessed regarding certain cases. Even though, the Syrian child’s photo brought tears to the eyes of many people, including state leaders, it must be asked: why are other crisis and cases of child abuses and victimization are not being considered as important? For instance, wasn’t there another children in the same boat that carried the Syrian child and his family? An Iraqi woman appeared on the National TV and narrated how her two children drowned in that boat as well, as the group guide fled and let them alone before the massive sea waves.

The Iraqi scene is filled daily with pictures of students and innocent children being the victims of explosions, genocides and organized crime, as the Iraqi government stays motionless and unable to resolve the matters. The so-called Arab coalition to retrieve Political Legitimacy in Yemen, has been bombing the Yemeni cities for the past few months, and thousands have been killed in those strikes. Among the victims of those strikes are hundreds of innocent children, as one picture showed a Yemeni child losing his skin due to use of prohibited weapons. Another Yemeni child was buried under her house for days, and after few days she was found alive, but taking her out of the wreckage was not possible, therefore, she died before the rescuers, as they could not do anything for her. In addition, the current bombing campaign against Yemen is being supported by majority of western states, which contradicts the notion of acting humanly with the current refugee crisis.

The other victims, who require and deserve immediate attention are the people of Bahrain, as hundreds of women, minors and children are persecuted and victimized daily by the Bahraini regime. There are numerous footages on YouTube and other sites, where Bahraini women and children are being beaten or humiliated by the Bahraini authorities. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other organizations have recorded hundreds of similar cases in that country, which are not receiving any media coverage or public attention.

Therefore, it is a moral obligation upon any free soul to sympathize with these victims and use any possible peaceful and legit mean to help them regain their dignity and the honorable life they deserve. The notion of selective sympathy itself, is a kind of oppression against all of those, who are not being considered as victims and sympathized with.