Necessity of Mourning for Imam Hussein(a) – Video Transcription

Ayatullah Seyed Sadiqh Shirazi, is one of the well known and well versed grand-scholars (marja) among Shia Muslims who currently lives in Qom, Iran. Among his teachings, he emphasizes greatly on events of Ashura and message of Imam Hussein (a), which is about true Islam. In the short video below, he discusses importance of remembering and mourning for Imam Hussein which we are providing the English translation in form of transcription.  The original video is in Farsi.

English Transcription:

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I have been asked by some people (about reason for mourning for Imam Hussein, also called Matam). (They have often said things like )  “Imam Hussein (a) won why are you crying? Why are you wearing black? Didn’t Imam Hussein (a) considered victorious or not? So why mourning and crying for him? “
(My answer to them) has been yes Imam Hussein (a) was victorious. Islam was born by Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) and was reborn again by sacrifice of Imam Hussein (a). If the event of Ashura didn’t happen,  Bani Ummayad (Arab rulers of the time) would have completely eradicated Islam. No one would have been a Muslim today on Earth!

It is very true Imam Hussein (a) was victorious but at what price was that victory? What injustices he (and his near ones) had to go through(to obtain this victory)?

God almighty taught  Angel Gibrael how to Mourn for Hussein (matam) and Gibrael taught prophet Adam (a) how to perform matam (for Hussein). I seek refuge to God Almighty, I beg forgiveness from God Almighty (for what I am about to say), Didn’t God  know Imam Hussein (a) would have been victorious?

(Also it is documented that instead of happiness and ceremony) Prophet Muhammad (saws) recited Matam on night of wedding of Lady Fatima Zahra peace of God be upon her (because she was mother of Imam Hussein).

This is a righteous sunna (tradition) of Prophet; What a great tradition! Try, O Young people, the night of your wedding recite a few words of Matam about Imam Hussein (as). This (great tradition of prophet) will become a blessing (in your life).

Didn’t apostle of God know that Imam Hussein (a) would be victorious? Commander of Faithful Imam Ali (a) wouldn’t know Imam Hussein (a) would be victorious when he was in Karbala he broke down to tears?  The holy Imam said ‘here’s the place here’s the place’. Didn’t he know his son Imam Hussein (a) would be victorious?

The events of (tragedy of martyrdom) of Imam Hussein (a), if an injustice or mistake done against the holy Imam (or his remembered), even if it is a little injustice against Hossein (a) that person will burn a person (in hellfire). Maybe if someone had pure intention and said or did something wrong out of ignorance God would forgive him in hereafter (but we need to understand rank of Imam Hussein). He is who had to face at least 30,000 people. One of the people who was among that army fighting Imam Hussein stood at the end of the army so he wouldn’t have to get involved in the war with Imam Hussein (a) and his companions. That person didn’t rise his sword, didn’t throw an arrow, not even threw a stone or chanted against Hussein (a). He woke up one day from sleep sometime after martyrdom of Imam Hussein (a) found that he was blind, they asked him “what happened” he said “last night I saw prophet Muhammad – saws- in my dream with a bowl of blood in his hand. Prophet ordered the angels to take me to him. Then the holy prophet put his hands in the blood and rubbed it on my eyes and it burnt. I woke up and found out I have gone blind.“

(Addressing a male only crowd) Gentlemen, don’t get deceived. Tell your friends to be careful. Study for yourselves; Observe for yourselves. All these things I just told you is like grabbing a little water from Ocean (of Imam Hussein). It is vast and deep this story of Imam Hussein (and very high is his rank in sight of God). It is much deeper than whatever we think.

Martyrs of Badr (battle during time of prophet), don’t come close to even one of the martyrs of Imam Hussein (a). Martyrs of Saffin that were fighting along with commander of faithful Imam Ali (a) and were killed for sake of nearness of God, don’t come even close to martyrs of Imam Hussein (a).

 

(end of Transcription)

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Summary
The respected grand scholar Ayatullah Shirazi was trying to convey the importance of remembrance and mourning (matam) for Imam Hussein (a). He is teaching all followers and loves of Ahlulbayt (progeny of Prophet) not to get deceived by the new age deviated thinking that mourning is bad or it is unislamic. Mourning for the righteous especially for Imam Hussein (a) is a Sunna (tradition of prophet ) that is ordered by God almighty  according to well documented sources and it has been practiced by the Angeles, Prophets,  Imams and saints. We are not greater than them and we are no exception either so we need to keep the tradition of remembering and mourning for Hussein (a) alive.

Quotes About Imam Hussein by Non Muslims

Imam Hussein (a) is recognized as great figure in Islam by all Muslims. Followers of Ahlulbay (Shia Muslims) consider him a divinely appointed leader hence name of Imam. Sunnis consider him to be a great figure as it is well documented in their books that Hussein(a) was on the right path because prophet Muhammad (saws) praised Hussein (a) many time and warned all Muslims about tragedy of Karbala and Hussein’s sacrifice as we mentioned in our last post.

In addition many praises about Imam Hussein (a) by Prophet himself, and other Muslim leaders and scholars t, there are lots of non-Muslim scholars who have recognized the path of Hussein (a) and the sacrifice he had to make hence they have mentioned of Imam Hussein (a) with respect. Below are some of the short quotes we have collected about respected non-Muslim scholars views on Imam Hussein (a).

Non Muslims About Hussein (a)

If Hussein Had Fought to quench his worldly desires…then I do not understand why his sister, wife, and children accompanied him. It stands to reason therefore, that he sacrificed purely for Islam. 
Charles Dickens, English Writer

I learned from Hussain how to achieve victory while being oppressed.
Mahatma Gandhi, Social Activists and Leader 

The tragedy of Karbala decided not only the fate of the caliphate, but of the Mohammedan kingdoms long after the Caliphate had waned and disappeared
Sir William Muir Scottish scholar and Statesman

In a distant age and climate the tragic scene of the death of Hossein will awaken the sympathy of the coldest reader
Edward Gibbon, British Historian

Hussein fell, pierced by an arrow, and his brave followers were cut down beside him to the last man. Muhammadan tradition, which with rare exceptions is uniformly hostile to the Umayyad dynasty, regards Husayn as a martyr and Yazid as his murderer
Reynold Alleyne Nicholson, English Scholar 

The best lesson which we get from the tragedy of Karbala is that Hussain and his companions were rigid believers in God. They illustrated that the numerical superiority does not count when it comes to the truth and the falsehood. The victory of Hussein, despite his minority, marvels me. The victory of Hussain, despite his minority, marvels me.
Thomas Carlyle, Scottish Philosopher and Write

Of that gallant band, male and female knew that the enemy forces around were implacable, and were not only ready to fight, but to kill. Denied even water for the children, they remained parched under the burning sun and scorching sands, yet not one faltered for a moment. Hussein marched with his little company, not to glory, not to power of wealth, but to a supreme sacrifice, and every member bravely faced the greatest odds without flinching.
Dr. K. Sheldrake, English Writer (who  converted to Islam)

Karbala symbolizes the true face of struggle against injustice – non-violent resistance. Not taking life but sacrificing your life for Islam.
Ignaz Goldziher, Hungarian Scholar

The sacrifice of Imam Hussain (A) is not limited to one country, or nation, but it is the hereditary state of the brotherhood of all mankind
Rajendra Prasad, Indian Scholar
It was possible for Hussein to save his life by submitting himself to the will of yazid. But his responsibility as a reformer did not allow him to accept yazid’s Caliphate. He therefore prepared to embrace all sorts discomfort and inconvenience in order to deliver Islam from the hands of the Omayyads. Under the blazing sun, on the parched land and against the stiffing heat of Arabia, stood the immortal Hussein.
Washington Irwing, American Author

And the list goes on as these are just some quotes mentioned about Imam Hussein (a) that were short enough to fit in this blog post. The history will always testify of Imam Hussein (a) as a great brave man, whom didn’t submit to oppressor of his time but to God. Hossein (a) gave his heart to God despite his sacrifice, God gave him millions of hearts each year who remember and recognize Hussein (a) as a great hero the “immortal Hussein”

 

 

 

Is the Muslim World Cursed?

By: Ali Reza

There are many problems and issues with Islam and the so-called Muslim world today. There are and has been many  conflicts and injustices blamed on Muslims well documented throughout the Islamic history. In addition to wars and conflicts, there are many social issues, political issues, and economical issues  as well as sectarian divisions.

Social, political, economical , and religious leaders have made many attempts to eliminate or at least curb and reduce such issues but all the efforts have gone in vain and have failed. Thestate of  Muslim world has not improved it actually seems to have become worse as if  there are hands of a higher power involved which is preventing the world of Islam from unifying and healing.

For those that believe in God of Moses (a), Jesus (a), and Muhammad (saws),  they would know the God  they were talking about was God of love and mercy but also God of justice. All scriptures clearly indicate that God punishes people after giving them many chances to revert to truth and righteousness. In Quran for example, one can find that God curses a group of people and even entire nations and generations because of their sins, misdeeds, and their arrogance.

“…unquestionably, the curse of God is upon the wrongdoers.” [11:8]

God obviously does not curse people because of their race, nationality, color of skin or appearance . According to the verse above, His curse is often put on people who are the sinner and wrongdoers.

In addition to the sinners and wrongdoers, there are other types of people that can be punished or cursed according to Quran.  For example people can be cursed for deviating from truth after accepting it and committing injustice intentionally;

“But those who break the covenant of Allah after contracting it and sever that which Allah has ordered to be joined and spread corruption on earth – for them is the curse, and they will have the worst home.”  [13:25]

As the verse above shows, God  curses people who deviate or break their promise and spread corruption.

Muslims Who Killed Hussein (a)
Ashura, the 10th of Islamic month of Muharram, has just passed. For those that don’t know,  the month of Muharram is a very holy month especially its first 10 days. In this day, Prophet’s grandson, with his family, close relatives and handful of righteous companions stood against an oppressive so-called Muslim army who brutally killed him, his family and his companions in battle of Ashura in land of Karbala, which is today’s Iraq.

Who Was Hussein (a)?

Words cannot explain who Hussein (a) was. Let’s just say, he was very close to God because he was very close to Prophet of God Prophet Muhammad (SAWS). The Holy Prophet has been narrated to have said the following about Imam Hussein (a):

  •     Hasan and Hussein are the chiefs of the youth of Paradise and Fatimah is the chief of their women.
  •     Hussein is from me and I am from Hussein
  •     (O Hussein) I am in war with those who will fight you, and in peace with those who are peaceful to you
  •     He who loves Hasan and Hussein, loves me, and he who makes them angry has made me angry
  •      I named Hasan and Hussein and Muhsin the names of the sons of Aaron who were: Shubbar, Shubair, and Mushbir
  •     They (Hasan andHussein) are my two sweet- smelling flowers in this world
  •      Hussain is of myself and I am of Hussain. O’ God be pleased with those who please Hussain and hate those who hate Hussain.

These narrations above were just a few of narration of prophet Muhammad (SAWS) about Imam Hussein (a). There are many more where Prophet praised the Imam an warned people to be good to him and Prophet’s family for their own sake. That is because God almighty in Quran orders Muslims to be good to family of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS):

Say (O Muhammad): I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives;  (Quran, 42:23)

As you can read from verses and narrations above, love and fellowship of family of prophet Muhammad (SAWS) and Imam Hussein (a) is extremely important and one could say that it is indeed fundamental of belief and deeds in Islam but it does seem that Muslim world has heeded to any of these. In fact, it was the Muslims who killed him and his family, and it is the Muslim scholars today who fail to teach about events like Ashura where prophet Muhammad’s family were ill treated and killed. Some scholars  in particular among the sunni circles are trying to make it all go awayindicating that days have Ashura have nothing to do with Hussein (a).

Sadly, these Satanic efforts are working as many of Muslims don’t know about Ashura, Imam Hussein (a), or the signifiants of them. The newer generation and converts know almost nothing of Hussein (a) and his sacrifice.  Or any of Prophet Muhammad’s family and their rank and authority for that matter. This is no surprise as the corrupt leaders and tyrants dressed and appeared as Muslims have been arrogantly hiding this painful day for over 1400 years trying to clean it all together. They are afraid if the truth is revealed to people, it would move them to a direction they can’t control.

As the results, Majority of Muslims continue to live in ignorance about this day and know very little about Islamic history and when the such history lessons are told them,  they arrogantly turn away some even mock and write it off as stories and fairy tales.  In some Muslim countries, they even harm and kill those who try to remember this day.

Is the Arrogant Blessed or Cursed?
Claiming God has put a curse on Muslim world is a strong statement we cannot make. But God in Quran tells people to think and rationalize so we leave this up to you the reader. But ask yourself the questions below:

What does an ignorant deserve who purposely and arrogantly fails to learn the truth?
What does a scholar deserve who arrogantly and intentionally fails to teach others about the truth?
What does a society deserve that refuses to learn about the truth  and pass it ?
What do people deserve when they continue committing the similar type of injustice?

Before we answer these questions, let us review the following verse of Quran again and see what God has to say about such people:

“But those who break the covenant of God after contracting it and sever that which God has ordered to be joined and spread corruption on earth – for them is the curse..”  [13:25]

 

Ashura & Sacred Shi’s Rituals; Persistence & Opposition

By: Dr. Hussein Al-Rumaithi

Shiite-Muslims-flagellate-014

Once again, in few days the Shi’a Muslims around the globe will start their mourning ceremonies for the anniversary of Imam Hussein’s martyrdom in the battle of Karbala in 680 AD. The rituals and consolation accompanied with during the mourning gatherings during this time have been a subject for schism within the Shi’a community due to the nature of some of the rituals, which contain graphic scenery. However, the difference in opinion in all matters is a healthy way of expression and dissection mean, but the notion that raises many concerns regarding these rituals is the sever opposition and arbitrary policies of Middle Eastern states against these rituals and all individuals and groups who practice them.

The rituals affiliated with the mourning for Imam Hussein are known as Hussaini Rituals, and the duration of ten days, which the Shi’a Muslims mourn and commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussein is known as Ashura days. The traditional schools within Shi’a sect are very persistence, when it comes to recommending practice of these rituals, and consider them as pleasantry actions, which lead Shi’a Muslims to a closer status to their creator. Nevertheless, the actions of some Middle Eastern States throughout history, and recently show the threat felt from practicing these rituals, which results in their absolute confrontation and opposition against these rituals. Specifically in Iran, the authorities have banned and outlawed different types of rituals under allegations of violent nature, distortion of Islam image, and prohibition of self-harming actions.   However, when dissecting the actual reasons behind banning such rituals in Iran, it shows that political tendencies for the purpose of containment, legitimacy and survival are behind such legislations, not to mention these laws abandon the notion of freedom of expression and religion in the Muslims world itself.

Ashura & Means of Liberating Free Minds:

As discussed in a previous article, the battle of Karbala defined and exemplified the two different natures of universe in its extreme version. The army of Imam Hussein along with his seventy-two companions defined the notion of Good, and the army of Umayyad dynasty defined evil and its followers. Therefore, by commemorating and mourning the legacy of Ashura and Imam Hussein, Shi’a Muslims are presenting a clear statement to all tyrants and oppressor that, they are not ready to accept any concession and they will stand up against all kinds of arbitrations, brutality and oppression.  Although the army of Imam Hussein was slaughtered, and his household were taken as captives, Imam Hussein was able to re-define the meaning of victory, through showing the impact of blood and its role in revival of nation. Imam Hussein showed that no matter how strong and brutal a tyrant might be, there is always the choice of dying standing, and not living while kneeling. Therefore, states have always feared the effect of Ashura, and it rituals on their masses and the awakening nature of them, and this notion has resulted in their massive opposition.

In Iran, the regime have tightened the robe on all organizations and scholars that are active in reviving the Hussaini rituals, and the arbitrary actions of the Iranian regime has resulted in some catastrophic cases, which will be added to the black and shameful file of the Iranian regime. The Iranian regime, have confiscated and demolished many places that were suspected of practicing the Hussaini Rituals, and they have imprisoned many scholars and activists, who are active in this field and sentenced them to long periods of imprisonments.

Refuting the Allegations:

When it comes to dissecting the allegations of the Iranian government toward banning of the Hussaini Rituals, we find that logically, theologically and jurisprudentially, their claims hold no ground and these claims have been refuted by majority of Shi’a scholars and jurist.

  • Violence Nature of Rituals & Self-Harm: according to Shi’a jurisprudence, the permissibility of doing any action is a given right of all humans, unless otherwise stated in a clear narration or an action by the holy prophet or the infallible Imams. The notion of unpermitted self-harm is defined in the following three cases:
  • A harm that shall result in damage or loss of a body part, such as an arm, leg, finger and others.
  • A harm that shall result in damage or loss of body senses, such as vision, hearing, sense of touch or ability to smell and distinguish taste.
  • A harm that shall result in self-termination.

Therefore, according to the Shi’a jurisprudential rulings and laws, there is no reason to prohibit any action that might harm the body, and even result in blood shedding. Nonetheless, if the notion of violence and body harm should be considered to prohibit and permit actions for humans, there are numerous actions and sports, which are considered violent and result in substantial harm. Sports like boxing, Rugby, Car Racing, and even popular sports like soccer might result in body harm, and according to the claim of the Iranian regime, and other oppositions of the Hussaini Rituals, these sports shall be prohibited and banned as well. In addition, the issue of violence should not be used as a mean of deterrence in all matters and aspects, as the dispute to define violence still exist, and whose right is it to label the Hussaini Rituals as violent. Different nations and beliefs around the world mourn their figures and celebrate their holidays in drastic manners that might be viewed as violent or insane. However, these rituals have a goal and purpose behind them, and they hold a greater cause, linked to the event and the tragedy being commemorated.

  • Image of Islam: the third allegation of the Iranian regime and its supporters in opposing the Hussaini Rituals is the notion of degrading Islam, and the way it is viewed in the world. This argument is as weak as its supporter, due to the lack of credibility and legitimacy within the sides that oppose the Hussaini Rituals. Nonetheless, if the world might view Muslims and Islam in a degrading manner due to practice of these rituals, it is the fault and dereliction of Muslims themselves. Shi’a Muslims claim, these rituals have deep meaning and great purpose behind them, and defining them needs thorough dissection of the tragedy of Karbala and at the same time, they have failed to deliver these goals, purposes and definitions to the outside world. Just because the carrier of a purpose is corrupt, the purpose itself should not be neglected and abandoned. To say that Shi’a Muslims will not be able to deliver their ideology in an appealing manner to the world is a bogus claim, since the world is filled with successful Shi’a individuals in all fields. Therefore, they are definitely capable of delivering their customs and defining their rituals to the outside world.

In addition, why the acceptance of others should be considered as a justification and rebuttal mean for such rituals and actions. The followers of all religions and beliefs in the world, might view the customs and rituals of other religions and beliefs as strange, violent, unnecessary or unacceptable, so does that justify neglecting and demising their rituals for sake of pleasing other sects and groups?

Conclusion:

The Hussaini Rituals have been the most challenged rituals and practices throughout history. The Soviet Union banned its Shi’a citizens from practicing the Hussaini Rituals, the Turkish leader Ataturk, banned the Shi’a Muslims in Turkey from practicing the Hussaini Rituals, the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq banned and prosecuted anyone who practiced these rituals, and hundreds of other examples around the world. The entire notion of opposition against these rituals were originated from dictatorships, autocracies and totalitarian regimes, which feared the impact of Hussaini Rituals on their citizens. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the free world and the democratic states to protect  these rituals globally and allocate a day to glorify them, as a mean of liberating people from tyranny and oppression.

Culture of Ghadir

True Shia scholars use the day of Ghadir to talk about importance of that day and Ghadir culture. Below is a 3 part video from Grand Scholar Ayatullah Sadiqh Shirazi that he spoke on “Culture of Ghadir”. The video was uploaded in 2009 so the speech may have been form that or previous year. Nevertheless the message of this great scholar has not changed as it been consistent on culture of Ghadir and teachings of Ahlulbayt so we like to share it for your videos to watch. The video is in Farsi with subtitles in English but for your convenience we have also posted the English transcription of the subtitles below:


 

In the name of Allah, the most Gracious the most Merciful

(Allah) in Holy Quran has said:

And those who dispense their charity with their hearts full of fear, because they will return to their Lord (6) It is these who hasten in every good work. And these how are foremost in them. (61)

Today the world needs the culture of Ghadir more than ever. No matter what we do in this respect it is still too little, It is still not enough to recompense the right of the Commander of the Faithful, ( Imam Ali – a) and it is no adequate to meet the efforts of the evil doers in the world today. In addition it might become instrumental in our regrets on the Day of Judgment that maybe I could have done more, I could have done better.

The believers are those who think in the long term, those who are aware of the next world. They have fear in the pits of their stomachs in that they think what if I haven’t completed my responsibilities, what if I haven’t done enough. (According to Quran they are…) It is these who hasten in every good deed, and these who are foremost in them Therefore these good people, these believers struggle for good deeds to overtake each other in this respect. Meaning that such people dispense so many efforts so as to be more successful to the second and vice verses (in terms of doing good deeds for satisfaction of God).

A man recently came to me who was a pious businessman, and mentioned another business man and started to praise him. Saying that he was a good man and a pious man. ..he went on to say that he had just recently died. The man continued saying; “I had a dream of my friend, I saw that he was very upset, I was expecting to see him happy and joyous, so I called onto him and asked him why are you in this state? “ He replied that when I came here I realized that when I was alive I could have made better use of my opportunities and could have made more sue of them, why didn’t I?!

Just as it is written in the hadith (tradition) that even the believers the good people will feel regret in that why didn’t I do more why didn’t I do better? One of the regrets of all of us is with respect to (not doing enough for) Ghadir, serving the cause of Ghadir, spreading (the message of) Ghadir.

The world should understand what Ghadir means. What was Ghadir and what were the outcomes of Ghadir? These injustices that have occurred and are occurring in the world today, these bases are due to being distant from the culture of Ghadir.

Once I said to some of my friends that my understanding from what I have heard and seen in the traditions and from history…is that if we consider all those who are amongst the lovers of Ahlulbayt (holy progeny of prophet Muhammad-SAWS), not calling them Shia, but those who don’t consider themselves the enemies of Ahlulbayt, and if we consider the tyrants among them, throughout history, whether they are leaders kings or anything else, and if we sup them up all up and sum up all of their injustices it would not equal the injustices committed by one of those who deviated by Ghadir.

Meaning those tyrants who called themselves Shia and didn’t believe in others and they used to commit injustices, if we collect them all together how much injustice did they commit? What kinds of injustices were they, it wouldn’t equal to one Hajjaj…all of these. It wouldn’t equal to one Thahhaak, it wouldn’t equal to one Sadda,, it wouldn’t equal to one Yazid, it wouldn’t equal to one Mu’awia, it wouldn’t equal to one MOtawakil! People who call themselves Shia but in realty they are not the followers of Ahlulbayt and they are tyrants, still their injustices are less compared to others that we have mentioned. The world of today with the readiness that it has with all the possibilities that it has…there were times were it wasn’t possible, it wasn’t possible to say, it wasn’t possible to write, it wasn’t possible to publicize, they would kill a person for (saying) one hadith, they would kill a person because of using the name of (Imam Ali) commander of faithful.

A man came to Hajjaj and said give me a price Hajjaj asked for what reason he replied because in all of my tribe there isn’t a single person with Ali. Hajjaj said this is a great achievement! The man continued to say in all of my tribe there isn’t a single woman with the name Fatima, and then Hajjaj gave him a prize! There was a time where it was like this! It is written that the pillars of Baghdad and other places but more in Baghdad perhaps, they would make these pillars into four walled enclosure and would place a Seyyed or Shia in it and then would pure Sand on him while he was still alive.

There were times in the past wehre one could not say anything! Our Master Sadiq (a), the proof of Allah, the infallible Imam, he was breaking his fast and a person asked him is it Eid today? Imam replied “no” then the man asked “why are you breaking your fast” meaning that because Mansour had claimed that day of Eid, if Imam were to fast on that day they wuld cut his head off. There were times where it was like this! Even a few decades ago. These injustices and nonsense have reduced quite a bit in the world today. Yes in some places these things occur to an extend like Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other places. God willing these occurrences will also cease and they will!

This world, this 6 billion of population, most of them haven’t heard of Ghdair, they don’t know. Who has to inform them? We have to, and people likes us have to. i.e. the Islam that is in essence Islam and no just by name, the Islam that isn’t just a name, it’s the real Islam. It’s the reality of Quran, it’s the actuality of what Prophet of Allah (SAWS) did in actions, in words and in speech. If this reaches the world many of the people of this world will follow the Ahlulbayt. And when they start to follow the Ahlulbayt, this is a culture, this is a culture of justice, a culture of mercy, a culture of virtue. So whatever we do it is still too little, we must lesson our shortcomings. One must compare himself with those who gave blood in the path of commander of faithful (Imam Ali – a) in the path of this culture, in the path of Ghadir…people like Abuthar and lik him that were killed. Abuthar died of starvation in the path of commander of faithful Imam Ali (a). And the friends of Abuthar a portion of the companions of the Prophet (SAWS), people who for ten years for twenty years prayed with Abuthar behind the Prophet, they would sit and listen to sermons of the Prophet. They lived a life of each and luxury whilst Abuthar was striving for the culture of Ghadir and died of starvation in this course. A person does not die quickly from hunger; it is possible that or she might die in 48 hours from thirst, however one does not die quickly from hunger. He will suffer so much till he dies of hunger.

One must compare himself to people who gave their property and wealth in the way of Ahlulbayt. We must make use of our tongues make use of our pens, encourage others. Ibn Abi Omayath was a millionaire in his own time, it is written that when they arrested him they confiscated 500, 000 either dinar or Dirham from him. If it was Dinar it is equal to half a million sheep, if it was Dirham it would equal to 50,000 sheep. He was a millionaire, they imprisoned him and confiscated all of his wealth. They tortured him and when he came out of prison he said “by Allah I am in need of one dirham”. Ibn Abi Omayath who one part of our religion, our worship, our prayers and fasting, our Hajj and Khums and Zakaat reached us from the Ahlulbayt because of him. Ayashi has written that he (ibn Abi Omayth) inherited 300, 000 gold Dinars from his father, you can calculate it; each 300 Dinar is more than one kilogram in weight, this means more than 1000 kilograms of gold.

Sheikh Tusi has written that his man spent it all in the way of Ahlulbayt. He built a school, tens of Scholars graduated from his school or maybe hundreds. What has reached us from them is a lot, their books and the books of those who graduated afterwards from school of Ayashi, there are hundreds of Hadith books that came from their school. One must compare himself to these people. He can become a bit more successful, his regret can become a bit less. These things are compulsory on us when we have resources to do it. One must do what he can, one must encourage others.

There are millions upon millions of young people in the world who have been separated from the Ahlulbayt. They can be guided, and it is much easier and faster today than it was before. This person who is supposed to be guided, why wait ten or twenty years to guide him, why not now?! While he is young. Why not when he is young so that he can serve more and guide others. Oh Mankind I am the Messenger of Allah Upon You all (Holy Prophet said) He is for all mankind, how much of mankind knows about Ghadir? How much of mankind follows the path of Ghadir? How much of mankind who have fallen short of finding the truth if guided will start to follow the path of Ghadir? How many are they, many, most of mankind.

More than 40 years ago I was visiting the Shrine of Lady Zaynab (sa) and the Lady Roghaye (sa) there was a library there, which was quite unique with respect to its inventory. I had visited it many times before; it was called “Maktabat-al Thahiriye”. At that time the deceases Allameh Amini had come there, the library was close to the Shrine of Lady Roghaye (sa) and Allameh Amini had gotten a room close by and he would visit the library collecting notes and information for his book “al Ghadir”. The librarian who was in charge said that I don’t know when this man, Allameh Amini sleeps or eats, 18 out of 24 hours he would be in the library. 18 hours he was in the library and 6 hours he spent in his room resting and eating. The librarian said that every time I would go to the library I would see Allameh amini either standing looking for a book or writing some things down from a book. From what I heard Allameh Amini was there for 4 month.

One must learn from these things, no matter what we do, still “their hearts are full of fear” lets not the fear be great “because they will return to their Lord”. We will return to our lord and he will account for everything. God is “Latif” meaning “exact” or “precise”. Allah has said in the Holy Quran; So he who has done an atom of good shall see it. And he has done an atom of evil shall see it. Not even an a minute part of it will be wasted. I and ou will be in regret with respect to each other with respect to our friends with respect to our teachers with respect to our students, will be in regret in that he was more successful or he serve more, he went through more trouble, he suffered more and they will reward him more.

A man once came to me, he is of those who strives a great deal in the way of Ghadir in the way of propagation and he way busy serving the cause. He came to me complaining that he had some problems with respect to his work in that some people had done things against him, said things against him and so he was feeling a bit feeble at weak. When he finished I asked him in the path that you have taken, in the path of propagation in the path of striving for Ghadir has anyone ever spit on you? He replied “No!”.

 

I told him look in Bihar (the hadith book), people used to spit on the Holy face of Prophet of Allah! I said look inside (book of) Bihar, they spat on the face of Imam Sadiq (a). The Prophet of Allah in striving to save mankind from doing injustice and receiving injustice, look at what he went through, what problems he had to endure. It is not like this any more. (at least not as bad) The culture of Ghadir is connected to the conscience of humanity; it has amenity with the conscience of mankind. If this reaches the people it will change them. The culture of Ghadir is the true Islam, the correct Islam, the Islam that Almighty Allah (SWT) has proclaimed.

In (book of) Kafi, it has been narrated from Imam Sadiq (a) that he said when Prophet (SAWS) announced three of the laws of Islam, that we have in our books of Islam law today, most of the Jews became Muslim on that way. They realized that it was a good religion, someone would accept Ghadir for its so und economic laws another for its sound politics and another for its healthy social laws, every point of it, it’s a culture of light! The Ahlulbayt they themselves are light, their words are light, their way is light, their actions are light, their thoughts are light, their path is path of light! The world needs this light more than before and this light can be delivered to the world more than before.

Before it was required that a person sit before 10 or 1000 people to give a talk. A person once told me a preacher from another religion once gave a speech and it was said that a huge number of people heard him live. It was a speech against Islam. The reason that his man gives a speech against Islam is because he doesn’t know about the culture of Ghadir. He does not know, not everyone is an obstinate person; he may be an extremist but only because he does not know. There were so many of these extremist in the history, if one looks in Montahal Ammal which is a summary of the history of the 14 infallibles, there were so many who were bigots. They would come and try and kill the Imam, sear and say profanity at the Imam, they were brainwashed. When it became clear for them they repented and became good people. Guiding people is much easier today and abstaining from it has much worst implications.

In the old days it was like one or two people would not get guided but today abstaining will prevent millions from being guided. People like us must put in some effort, encourage others and endure the problems even at the level of people spitting on us. So if someone spat on my face or your face as we were working in the way of Ahlulbayut, should we stop? She would say it’s enough, we have completed our responsibilities? One of the incorrect understandings that we have is that some say we must propagate Islam with honor and respect (for ourselves). Which Prophet propagated his message while worry about people disrespecting him? There was divine respect and honor however which prophet was given people’s respect? Was that last prophet given respect whilst propagating Islam?

Look in the book Safinatul Bihar, the house of the prophet in Mecca was such that he had a rock in the courtyard of his house…Some would stand behind it every time he would go home to protect himself form the stones that were being thrown at him. Some threw stones while the Prophet was in his house so that they would not be identified and others threw stones at the prophet when he was out of his house. Which Prophet? Which Imam? And afterwards he was in the valley of Abi Taleb like that if those conditions. And then in Madina while he Prophet was the leader and he had money and men, he was constantly engaged in battle that they enemies would create and the problems he had with the hypocrites (and traitors). Even in his own house they would cause trouble for the Prophet.

This is honor; The thing that the people of the world call dishonor is in fact honor.

If this is called dishonor, Imam Hossains’ holy body was placed under boots of Shimr. Is this honor or dishonor? This is honor, so if this is honor and not dishonor then we must bear it, we must endure our friends, our enemies, the problems. We must not waist our time in things that are of no use so that we can fulfill our responsibilities towards this culture and deliver the culture of Ghadir to the world.

How to end sectarianism?…Criminalization VS Tolerance & Co-Existence

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By: Dr. Hussein Al-Rumaithi

Many political analysts tend to believe that the sectarian tension in the Middle East is and has been the core of all conflicts and complexities in this region, while neglecting some of the main contemporary issues such as the Israeli – Palestinian conflict, and existence of autocracies and totalitarian regimes in this region. Nevertheless, the historic conflicts in the Middle East seem to be unresolvable presently, and major political sacrifices have to made, which apparently are rare and unreachable now. However, the sectarian tensions in the Middle East are directly linked to the will of people to be escalated or downgraded, and this notion gives these tensions a chance to be resolved and minimized. There are several proposals put forward to minimize these tension, which are different in nature and conduct, and need thorough dissection to know where feasible or not. However, the main two proposals are the notions or criminalizing sectarianism, and implementation of tolerance and co-existence.

Ever since the invasion of Iraq, the phenomenon of religious Islamic channels have been widely spread, which includes both Shi’a Channels and Sunni Channels. These TV networks vary in ideology from very lenient to very radical and extreme, which put the Middles Eastern masses in a status of total exposure to new ideologies and views, which were not known before.  In addition, both sides claim they exist to save the followers of their sect from deceiving claims and opinions, and prevent them from going astray. Obviously, all individuals are entitled to express themselves freely, and believe in whatever they desire, but the notable notion among these claims is the allegations and accusations against these channels and entities, to enrage and fuel the sectarian tension. The question that rises among these notions is, are the TV networks and their conduct premeditated actions, or reactions to existing policies and political realities on the ground?

Disregarding the historic roots and foundation of the sects is not something to be disregarded, since these sects have been around for centuries, and will remain as far as there is life on this planet. However, we cannot deny that at some point in history these sects and groups lived side by side in peace, and were able to accept each other regardless of their beliefs. Therefore, just like any other conflict, the sectarian conflict was instigated for the purpose of political gains and influence expansion, which raises the question of ability to stir such a conflict, and the side that benefits from this tension and conflict.

Obviously, no sane mind can claim general masses in the Middle East have the tendency to rage such conflicts, since this notion contradicts the nature of prosperity agenda within human beings and nations, not to mention the inability of random people to regulate and govern such a regional scale conflict. Therefore, the only side left to be blamed for the sectarian tensions in the Middle East are the states themselves, which use different means including the bogey of sectarian conflict as a way to contain their masses and extradite legitimacy. Nevertheless, the tendency to minimize these tensions is evident, and different groups in the Middle East and outside the Middle East are eager to put an end to this tension, and save as much lives as possible. However, the opinion that is gaining ground and momentum in the Middle East is the idea of criminalizing sectarianism, and any action, statement and article that is considered sectarian in nature or leads to sectarian tensions.

The notion of criminalization is legally, morally, socially and technically not feasible and doable in any place on earth, even the places where they have legislated such laws have not been able to set a criterion and a definition for the criminalized action. In American for instance, the blasphemy law limits or prohibits irreverence toward holy figures, religions, customs and beliefs. However, in America, the freedom of expression gives the right individuals to express their views freely, without being prosecuted. The American media if full of programs, which includes direct insults and arbitrary criticism against religions and beliefs and all of these programs are satiated with the notion of freedom, and no standard has been set for them to abstain them from crossing the lines. Even personal actions are guaranteed by the notion of free will, which should be present under all circumstances, but in the case of Florida pastor who wanted to burn Qurans in the public, there was little to be done. Ultimately, in the city of Dearborn an old unused law brought forward a technicality and prevented the pastor from finishing his task, due to the possibility of chaos in public.

Criminalizing sectarianism in the Middle East though, will make the situation even worse, since the presence of religion is much stronger, and legislating such a law will result in a wide range of undesired consequences.

  • The study of theology mandates dissecting, reviewing, criticizing, praising, refutation, verification and many more notions, which can be viewed as insulting conduct toward a belief or a sect. Therefore, the notion of criminalization will abstract the academic nature of any scholarly done research about a specific faith.
  • Criminalization will be an excellent tool at the disposal of states to detain any citizen or groups under the claim of fueling sectarian tensions or causing instability, which adds another mean of containment for states.
  • The sensitivity of religious beliefs and customs in the Middle East will make the masses more agitated toward any kind of criticism toward their belief or customs, and this notion will result in taking advantage of this legislation by the rogue elements of all sides.
  • Criminalization will eliminate any chance of implementing the culture of tolerance and co-existence in the society. Since the criminalization law is an easy alternative, no one will accept sacrifice and concession for the sake of saving the social fabric of the society. Therefore, the result would be an unbearable society, with a tendency to collide at any time.

The Middle Eastern societies have the capability to co-exist and tolerate each other regardless of their beliefs, just like the times of their ancestors, which is not too far ago. Therefore, the concept of co-existence and tolerance will be the best solution to minimize tensions, which gives societies a chance to reach prosperity and stability. No one claims sectarian tensions are inevitable, and will never happen. A small family with five members can face difference in opinion, and in some cases disputes, but the ability to govern disputes and dismiss them in a professional manner is what makes the difference. The notion of co-existence mandates and forces societies to override tensions and possible conflicts for the sake of stability and minimizing losses, which is the nature of all human beings originally.