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.

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.

Allah & Freedom of Speech

Tolerance of the almighty in the Holy Scripture

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

Among the most intense discussions between philosophers, thinkers, politicians and even ordinary people is freedom of speech and its entitlements, limitations, benefits and drawbacks. Apparently, history has witnessed battles and wars being waged for the sake of this sacred right, which has been seized from many through the course of history. In addition, regardless of today’s technological advancements and various triumphs accomplished by some bright individuals, freedom of speech and tolerance is still debated and requested for many groups, who lack it. The United States, which is considered leader of the free world and other western nations are still suffering from racism, intolerance of certain ethnic, racial, sexist and religious groups. Therefore, if freedom of speech is such an important and crucial matter for the survival of humanity, then the best examples for implementing this notion must exist as well.

Dissecting the verses of the Quran will reveal the most tolerant and accepting existence in the universe is the almighty lord himself. However, it might be argued that conducting an analogy between the creator and the created might not be a suitable comparison, but considering the core nature and essence of the holy book will present the following notions:

  • The almighty narrated and presented narrations and stories for the sake of presenting a guideline for his subjects.
  • The verses and the examples given in the scripture are not taken out context, as the literal interpretation of the words and terms is used to derive conclusions.

The Quran holds astonishing examples of Allah’s tolerance toward opposition, challenge and questioning, as his reply toward many such cases can be discussed as a case of accepting freedom of speech. In addition, browsing through historical sources and narrations of different monarchies, dynasties, regimes and governments we’ll witness the history written by them always marginalize the oppositions and in some cases even eliminates their existence. Nevertheless, in the case of Allah the story is entirely different, as he narrated the details of many oppositions, challenges and questionings that were placed before him.

1st case of challenge & questioning

  • Creation of Adam & Eve: The story of Adam & Eve is among the many stories narrated by the Quran, which presents several details about the beginning of human race in this universe. The Quran narrates that once Allah created Adam, he told the angels: “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority”. The reply of the angels to this statement by Allah was: “will you place upon it (earth) one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare your praise and sanctify you”.

Knowing the role of the angels and the nature of their existence will raise the question of, why would they question the will of their lord, if angels were created to only abide and cohere to the orders of Allah. However, the fact that concerns us from this 30th verse of Quran’s 2nd chapter, lays in the tolerance of Allah toward the notion of questioning him, when he replies: “Indeed, I know that which you do not know”. Then Allah certifies his intent to the angels and proves to them, his absolute wisdom and will. The 31st verse of Quran’s 2nd chapter continues the story and states: “And He taught Adam the names, all of them. Then he showed to the angels and said: inform me of the name of these, if you are truthful”.

The discussion between Allah and his angels continues in the 32nd and 33rd verses of Quran’s 2nd chapter: “They said: exalted are You. We have no knowledge except what you have taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the knowing, the wise”. “He said (Allah), O’ Adam, inform them of their names. And when he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I not tell you that I know the unseen aspects of heavens and the earths? And I know what you reveal and what you have concealed”.

Supposedly, this conversation is between the master of this universe and the angels, which he has created to cohere to his orders and wills. Nonetheless, although Allah was questioned about his intention to place a successive authority on earth by those coherent creations, he replied in calmness and proved his intention with certification and clarity. Therefore, aside from any internal interpretation that might exist about these verses by Islamic scholars, the verses reveal that Allah was very tolerant toward his subjects and freedom of speech was clearly practiced in that encounter.

  • Satan challenges Allah: Once the previous encounter between Allah and his angels is sealed, he commands his angels to prostrate to Adam. The 34th verse of Quran’s 2nd chapter states: “And mention when we said to the angles, prostrate before Adam. So they prostrated, except for Iblees (Satan). He refused”. The exact narration of this encounter between Allah and Satan is stated in the verses 71 – 84 of Quran’s 38th chapter: “so when I have proportioned him and breathed into him of my created soul, then fall down to him in prostration”. “So the angels prostrated – all of them entirely”. “Except Ibleed (Satan), he was arrogant and became among the disbelievers”. “Allah said: O’ Ibleed, what prevented you from prostrating to that which I created with my hands? Were you arrogant then, or were you already among the haughty?” “He said: I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay”. “Allah said: then get out of paradise, for indeed, you are expelled”. “And indeed, upon you is my curse until the day of Recompense”. “He said: My Lord, then reprieve me until the day they are resurrected”. “Allah Said: so indeed, you are of those reprieved”. “Until the day of the time well-known”. “Iblees said: by your might, I will surely mislead them all”. “Except among them, Your chosen servants”. “Allah said: the truth is my oath, and the truth I say”.

Considering the literal translation of this conservation between Satan and Allah, Satan is challenging the authority of Allah and his command to cohere to a specific order. Note, Allah enquires about Satan’s action and demands explanation for his refusal to follow an order, which others abided by. In addition, Satan replies to Allah and makes an analogy about the material, which he was created from and from, which Adam was created from. Ultimately, Allah expels Satan from the place, where he had been elevated to many years ago and tells him that he is not to return there anymore. Then Satan makes a demand to be reprieved until the day of resurrection and he challenges Allah again and promises to allure and mislead humans. In return, Allah grants Satan, what he demanded and he is granted leave.

This conversation itself portrays a perfect example of tolerance and freedom of speech being practiced by the created before the creator, not to mention Satan being compensated for his years of worship, by being reprieved until the day of resurrection.

There are hundreds of examples and cases, where individuals and tyrants challenge Allah and disobey every single order of his, but yet they are granted remorse and time. However, some thinkers believe that the power of will and choice, which God has granted to humans is a form of tolerance and freedom of expression itself. Humans commit wrongdoings, misdeeds and sins and yet God is generous and tolerant to a point that he grants the mercy of repentance. Allah’s tolerance goes to an extent, where he will willing to erase the entire misdeeds of a subject if he/she repents and asks for forgiveness. Well, if this is not tolerance and freedom of expression, then what is?

 

Geography & Social perspective

How religion is viewed according to geographic regionalism

By: Hussein Al-Rumaiti

Humans tend to generalize about how a specific ideology is viewed by the followers of that ideology, neglecting many aspects that influence the formation of individual and collective perspective on matters. Perspective formation of any individual is affiliated with economic status (pleasure VS necessity), political affiliation, education, social class, interaction and many other aspects that shape the daily life of a human being. However, one of the most influential aspects that develop the perspective of an individual about an ideology and more specifically on religion is geographic regionalism, which simply translates to where someone actually lives.

It would be safe to say that Christianity and view of Jesus is drastically different from someone, who lives in New York than someone who lives in Latin America, even though both these individuals might be catholic or protestant. The same notion applies to a Jewish person, who resides in North Toronto compare to another one who lives in Jerusalem. Although one might argue that political realities vary from one region to another, and the comparison might be unjust on many levels, but the fact that both individuals carry a common belief entitles us to develop such an analogy.

In addition, on a diminutive scale the same comparison exists between the followers of one faith in one specific region or even a country, as for instance, the view upon Islam to a Muslim might be entirely different between a Muslim, who resides in Austin Texas and a Muslim who resides in Dearborn Michigan. The existence of such phenomenon is derived from various aspects, as the priorities, necessities, interaction, education and the demographic of each region are outlined by the nature and the regionalism of that specific geographic destination.

Applying the same analogy for Muslims around the world also, should enable an observer in distinguishing between the various ways and perspectives the religion of Islam is viewed and practiced. Therefore, it should not be a matter of complicated science to determine that a Muslim residing in the west, who has been accustomed to western liberalism and secularist nature of life, influences his/her perspective of Islam and how Islam is portrayed. In addition, a Muslim who resides in Saudi Arabia’s closed society, whether he/she supports the political authority or not, is influenced by that society, when it comes to portraying his/her belief and expression of opinion. Nonetheless, these regionalist implications influence the practice of Islam, as anyone can witness the Islam practiced in Turkey is entirely different than the Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia. Although it should be noted that, the aim of this argument is not about the obligatory practices and rituals of Muslims, like the daily prayers, fasting and pilgrimage, as this comparison addresses the social and even the legislative aspects of Muslims countries.

Therefore, in a place like Bangladesh that is known to be among the world poorest nations, the Muslim majority of this country have elected more female heads of state than many Muslim and western countries. Nonetheless, in Saudi Arabia the country that is considered the heart of Islamic nation, women are stripped from many of their most simple rights and entitlements. Although, the regionalism perspective of Islam in Saudi Arabia is absolutely absurd and unacceptable by rationality and Islam itself, yet the status of women in this country is derived from its historic and regional fundamentalist perspective on Islam.

A similar analogy can be made for countries that have a Christian majority in Africa, where in Eritrea and Ethiopia the rates of female gentile mutilation are very high and worrying. However, these types of practices are fully rejected and even outlawed in other parts of the world, where Christians are the majority of population. Therefore, it would be safe to say that regional and geographic aspects, which consist of social norms, principles, values and even tribal practices are very influential in developing the perspective on religion.

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.

Islam condemns Terrorism

By: M.K

Terrorism in any form is a despicable action and whoever indulges in it is undoubtedly defying human values universally. A terrorist is neither defined by color nor religion but rather a sordid mindset that only seeks one objective: disservice whomever follows a different way of living than his own. And these differences may constitute political or doctrinal views and economic or social status. Radicalism, extremism, philistinism and psychical disturbance are in essence, some common elements contorting a terrorist’s ideology. Following this theme, let us look at recent world events that have unfortunately disseminated grief worldwide. On November 12, two suicide bombers massacred at least 43 people with more than 200 wounded in the Shi’ite dominated southern region of Beirut, Lebanon. And not soon after, the night of November 13 brought upon a similar tragedy in the beauteous city of Paris, France. With 129 people murdered, another 352 were left injured.

At Shia Wisdom, we condemn this raw act of barbarous terrorism that has undoubtedly taken innocent lives and mercilessly razed the hope of families that have lost their loved ones. Our condolences go out to all in Lebanon and France for their loss and our hearts are with all who suffered in cold blood. These tragedies are in no way solitary and affect us all globally. Therefore, we sincerely pray for survivors and families of lost ones, and souls that are no longer with us. Additionally, we offer our prayers to all in the affected regions to remain strong in this difficult time. We would also like to take this opportunity to shed some light on the causation behind these deplorable events.

As may already be the case of news headlines, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has admitted responsibility for the vile actions this past week. Despite using the term ‘Islamic’ within their title, ISIL in simple words is a terrorist organization with ancient roots that deviated from the true Islamic teachings and formed its own credo of carnage and annihilation since the times of Umayyad regime (644-656 CE). Terrorism, murdering, disservicing and oppressing innocent is against the religion of Islam that has been practiced by the Holy Prophet (s) and his Ahlul-bayt. Evidence of this can be found in the Quran that says, “And do not kill a soul that God has made sacrosanct, save lawfully” and that, “Whoso kills a soul, unless it be for murder or for wreaking corruption in the land, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind and he who saves a life, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind” [HQ: 6,151; 5,53].

Sources:

http://www.juancole.com/2013/04/islamic-forbids-terrorism.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/sayed-mahdi-almodarresi/arbaeen-pilgrimage_b_6203756.html

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/11/isil-claims-suicide-bombings-southern-beirut-151112193802793.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11995541/Paris-terror-attacks-isil-suspects-arrests-victims-live.html

 

Humanity without Borders

United We Stand In The Face Of Terror

Official Statement by Shia Wisdom

Beirut, Baghdad, Afghanistan and Paris are in mourning and sorrow following the deadly attacks on innocent people, which took the lives of many in these countries. These ruthless attacks and barbaric crimes had one thing in common, which assured us terrorism knows and recognizes no borders and boundaries. Terrorism doesn’t distinguish between religions, ethnicities and races. Therefore, it is time for humanity to prevail and announce that it has no borders either and doesn’t distinguish between faiths, ethnicities and races either. The forces of terror and barbarism have united against humanity to spread fear and hatred, which mandates the humanity to unite and give a clear statement: Humanity, peace, tranquility, co-existence and hope will prevail and terror will parish, as this world will always place its differences aside, when it comes to violence.

Once again terrorism has struck its dagger in the back of humanity and left the world in a state of shock. However, the past few days must be a reminder for the entire humanity that sources of violence and terrorism are known and still operate in full scale. The sponsors of terrorism and radicalism are still considered as legitimate political entities, with global acknowledgement.

Whether, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra Front, ISIS or any other terrorist group around the world, who are carrying these vicious acts of terrorism, it must be acknowledged that as long as the ideological and financial sources are operative, these actions will continue. Therefore, now it has become the responsibility of entire humanity to condemn the Wahhabi school and its state-sponsors, which have only brought sorrow, pain and instability for this world. States like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other terrorist sponsoring regimes must be held responsible for their actions and sponsorship of radicalism and terrorism.

It is time for humanity to demand their governments to boycott these regimes and mandate immediate and fundamental change and reforms. Humanity and global governments must acknowledge that as long as these states are ideologically and financially supporting and sponsoring these terrorist groups, the fight against terror is meaningless and endless. How many more innocent lives must be taken, how many more children and women must be violated, how many more victims are needed to take action?

The fight against tyranny, oppression and terrorism can not only be won through military battle, as these groups have derived their philosophy and approach from an ideology, which seeks to eliminate anything and anyone, who is different. Therefore, prior to militarily marching against these groups, we must begin the ideological battle against them, and show them that logic, intellect and justice is only compatible with peace and acceptance of others. Imam Ali (P.B.U.H) states in a beautiful narration: “the ultimate ignorance lays in hostility toward people”.

In addition, it is important for western societies, western scholars and governments to employ all means for distinguishing the difference between the Islam and the cult of Wahhabism, as this ideology relates to Islam in no way and manners. However, Muslims are faced with an increasing necessity that mandates introducing the true essence of Prophet Mohammad and his holy household’s principles. Muslims are responsible for introducing humanity to true meaning of peace, acceptance, justice and co-existence under the teachings and principles of Mohammad and Ali. Prophet of Islam rejected violence and physical elimination, as he states in a narration: “if the entire humanity and residents of the skies are partners in spilling an innocent life, God will take them all to hell”. Therefore, if Muslims are truly determined to end Islamophobia and hatred toward them, they must start with themselves and eliminate the slightest indication that their religion legitimizes terror and violence.

Finally, Shia Wisdom and its staff send their thoughts and prayers to the families of those, who have fallen in Beirut, Baghdad and Paris, and may we all live to see the day that peace and tranquility prevails in this world and no innocent live is even taken.

SHIA WISDOM.