post

Do we have to pray in Arabic language

Question in short 010: Why do we have to pray in Arabic language?

Question 010:  I know this has more than likely been ask before, but, here goes. I understand the reasoning that we do certain things like Prophet Muhammad(SAW) especially salah, i read in Ad-Dukhan 44.58 that the Qur’an was made easy in they tongue so we can take heed. I can’t speak arabic very well at all, main salahs and I read transliterations when I pray,I understand that we do this because Prophet Muhammad(SAW) recited them im Arabic, it was his native language, my native language is English(USA), will Allah only honor the obligatory prays if they are only spoken in Arabic? Please forgive my newbiness

Answer 010: In order to give the appropriate answer we need to know what is being asked exactly. If the question is asking about why some other language wasn’t chosen to pray instead of Arabic, the same question will come up for those who don’t speak that other language. But if the question is about why we have to perform prayers only in Arabic and why it isn’t permissible for one to pray in his/her mother language, then we need to pay attention to the following points to get an answer to the question.

1- The main reason behind performing prayers only in Arabic after the fact that it is part of the prophet’s (pbuh) Sunnah and that in general, all forms of worship need to be dictated to us by Allah (swt) the way He wants them to be performed, is to avoid the alteration of the form of prayers throughout the different ages and to be protected from any potential change, and if every individual is to perform prayers in the language he/she speaks there would be a fairly great possibility of the alteration of the prayers by adding or omitting some words or even mixing it with superstition, there were also chances of these changes would leading to other changes in the fundamentals of the prayer and little by little the concept of praying would lose its importance and would be completely forgotten.

Obviously in order to prevent an act from fading away during different ages and eras, there needs to be an unchangeable criteria and measure that it can be judged by. For example, length is measured by the unit of centimeters and millimeters and weight is measured by the unit of kilograms and grams. The units and in other words the criteria never changes with the pass of time and this applies to praying too, meaning that there are certain criteria for prayers which are the wajib acts and the fundamental acts of prayer and among these fundamentals is saying the wajib phrases in Arabic.

2- Islam is a global religion that aims to unite all Muslims and without a language that they can understand each other through, such a goal is achievable. Arabic, which according to the experts, is one of the most comprehensive languages that has the potential to be an international language, one which Muslims can be united by and will remain as a sign of Muslim unity, just like in other aspects of Islam, like praying towards one Qibla and so forth.

3- Some may think that forcing people who aren’t good at Arabic to pray in this language is not fair because of the trouble they need to go through to learn it. In this regard one must say that learning a total of 20 words (without counting the words repeated more than once) that are used in the prayer isn’t considered difficult for those who can easily learn and use tens and hundreds of words and phrases of other languages! Add to that the fact that the simple meanings of the phrases in prayer are easy to learn and understand and all people are capable of learning the simple meaning of (بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم) and other phrases, although these phrases do have profound and deep meanings as well.

4- According to language experts, Arabic is one of the world’s most comprehensive languages that has the capability of conveying deep meanings in short and beautiful phrases.[1]

5- It is not obligatory to perform all acts of worship in Arabic. For example, some Islamic scholars’ fatwas do not say that it is wajib[2] for the marriage contract to be pronounced in Arabic; some great scholars like Imam Khomeini say that if a person isn’t capable of pronouncing the marriage contract in Arabic and is able to get an agent (wakil) to do it in Arabic for them, it isn’t necessary and he/she can do it his/herself in his/her own language.[3]

Also, it isn’t necessary to do supplications and call Allah (swt) in Arabic and is okay to talk to Him in other languages (of course not in prayer) and according to the fatwa of the majority of faqihs (jurists), one can pronounce all phrases of the prayer other than the wajib ones in other than Arabic, especially in the qunut (which isn’t wajib)[4]. What was said of course was not meant to encourage Muslims to ignore the meanings of the phrases in prayers, for all Muslims are responsible of learning the meanings of these prayers and supplications in order to understand what he/she says while speaking to Allah (swt). This gives rise to one’s worship not being a mere formality anymore, giving it life and integrity, helping him/her rise in spirituality.

[1] . Al-Mizan, vol. 4, pg. 160; Tafsir Nemoneh, vol. 9, pg. 300, and vol. 13, pg. 311.

[2] . Mo’allaqate Ayatollah Gerami, vol. 4, pg. 645.

[3] . Urwatul-Wuthqa, vol. 2, page 645.

[4] . Tawdihul-Masa’ele Maraje’, vol. 1, pg. 62.

post

How to make up for missed prayers

Question 009: I am 15 years old and when I was younger I recall missing two isha prayers deliberately as I wasn’t bothered about praying all five prayers. I also missed prayers (all fajr prayers apart from Shahr al Ramadan). How do I make these up and is it permissible for me to make them up? I follow the Shafi method. JazakAllah Khair

Answer 009: Imam Baqir (as) says: Prayer is one of the Pillar of Islam.[1] One who is abandoning his prayer deliberately and without any reason is considered as an unbeliever who defies Allah, according to Imam Sadiq (as).[2]

Prayer cannot be skipped under any circumstances and it is one of the rights of Allah (SWT). If one doesn’t pray he/she has committed a capital sin. Regarding Haqqullah repentance would be to make up for the past and saying Istiqfar. If one repents to Allah (SWT) with sincere repentance! Maybe his Lord will absolve him of his misdeeds.[3]

In the Holy Quran Allah, the Almighty says: “Say [that Allah declares,]” O My servants who have committed excesses against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed Allah will forgive all sins. Indeed He is the All-forgiving, the All-merciful.”[4]

The Arabic version of this verse of the holy Quran:

قُلْ يا عِبادِيَ الَّذينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلى‏ أَنْفُسِهِمْ لا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَميعاً إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحيم‏

In view of the fact that you did not say Subh prayer for a year and the two Isha prayers, it becomes compulsory on you to perform Subh qada’ for a year and the two Isha prayers.

It is not incumbent on you to immediately make up for the prayers you missed out, as delaying compensatory prayer can be tolerated, provided it is not done out of indifference.[5]

Considering the above mentioned issues, from now on try to offer your prayers on time and then make up for the prayers you missed, gradually. So, if you repent from that sin and make all your missed prayers up as soon as you can, then Allah (swt) will forgive you. Insha’Allah.

[1] . Barqi, Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Khalid, al-Mahasin, Vol. 1, Pg. 44, Qom, Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah, 1371 A.H.

[2] Sheikh Kuleini, Kafi, Vol. 2, Pg. 279, Tehran, Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah, 1407 A.H.

[3] . Surah al-Tahrim, verse 8.

[4] . Surah al-Zumar, verse 53.

[5] . For further information, please refer to the official Website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Dialogue on prayer.

post

Possibility of Establishing Relationship with Imam Mahdi

Question 513: Is meeting with the Imam before his re-appearance only spiritual or physical meetings are also possible? Please do cite the examples as well.

Brief Answer 513: A relationship with Imam Mahdi (aj) can be in one of three ways; an inner relationship, an in-person one or in dream.  Although they are possible, yet the latter calls for different “prerequisites”.  Having an inner connection with the imam and living up to this inner relationship can be considered one of the prerequisites for meeting him in person. And recognizing the Imam (aj) in dream is not possible for everyone.

When two individuals know nothing about each other, there is no way they can have a relationship, unless at least one of them knows the other sparking a two way knowledge and awareness that will finally end in a relationship.

As for having a relationship with Imam Mahdi (as), he is one end of the relationship that knows us very well and has affection for us.  What is left for us, the other end, is to know our imam well and become worthy enough to see him, as has been the case with many righteous and pious individuals.

Detailed Answer 513: There are three types of relationships one can have with Imam Mahdi (aj); a) In person b) In the heart. c) In dream. The question is, are these relationships possible?  In order to answer this question, we will analyze each of them separately:

1) Meeting the imam in person: Meaning that the two meet each other physically; this can be in one of two ways:

  1. A) To see the imam but not recognize him

According to hadiths, this is possible for all and takes place as well.  Sheikh Saduq, a great Shia scholar narrates from one of the imam’s “specific” representatives that he said: “Imam Mahdi (aj) participates in the Hajj ceremony every year; he sees the people and knows all of them, yet the people see him but don’t recognize him.”[1]  So not only isn’t seeing the imam possible, but it is also takes place, nevertheless, such a seeing can’t be called having a relationship with him, and this isn’t what your question is about.

  1. B) To see the imam and recognize him:

Is it possible for one to see the imam and recognize him?  Yes, it is possible, and the real question is, if one is righteous and pious enough to be worthy of seeing the imam, why wouldn’t the imam want to see him?!  There is no reason for Imam Mahdi (aj) not seeing anyone until the zuhur [his emergence].  He hasn’t sworn to not see anyone till then.  There is one exception though, and that is that there are sometimes other reasons that make it better for the imam not to meet a certain person who is worth [for instance, sometimes it is for the person’s own good not to the see the imam].

There are many stories of great scholars and individuals that tell us of them meeting the imam.  Some of them recognized the imam while others realized who they had met after they/he had left.

The point that needs to be made here is that meeting the imam doesn’t always have to be in person, although meeting him in person is a very extraordinary and sweet experience.  This type of meeting doesn’t take place for everyone and seldom does the imam meet someone in such a way.  What is important is for all of us to at least have an inner connection with him.

2- Having a relationship with him in the heart:

This means for one to be in touch with the imam through the soul and heart, regardless of whether he speaks and prays for the imam orally or in the heart, without ever experiencing his physical presence.

Is this type of relationship possible?  Of course it is; no matter where we are and how we speak with them, the imams hear our voices and are aware of the situations we are in.  When entering the shrines of the imams, we say: “اشهد أنک تسمع کلامی و تشهد مقامی”,[2] which means “I bear witness that you hear my words and are aware of my standing”.

There are numerous hadiths which tell us that the Prophet (pbuh) and imams (as) are aware of all of us and the situations we are in.  In the story of Uways Qarani [the person who left his old mother to travel to Medinah to see the Prophet (pbuh) with her permission, given that he would return by the end of the night, and after reaching Medinah, realized that the prophet (pbuh) was out of town, and would return at a time that if Uways was to await him, wouldn’t reach home in time, thus breaking his promise to his mother, so he left Medinah without seeing the prophet (pbuh), despite his deep love to see him], we read that he loved the prophet (pbuh) very much and although he longed to see him, he never succeeded, yet the prophet (pbuh) knew of him and his extreme affection for the prophet (pbuh).  In a hadith, the prophet (pbuh) says: “The scent of heaven blows from Qaran’s direction, O Uways, how I long to see you!  [The prophet (pbuh) was very pleased of the fact that Uways had returned to his home without succeeding in seeing him, just to fulfill his promise to his mother and for the sake of Allah (swt)] Send him my salams if you ever see him.”  He goes on to say: “He will never see me, and after me, will be martyred while fighting on Ali’s (as) side in the battle of Siffin.”[3]

So the prophet (pbuh) and imams (as) are aware of us and what we have in our hearts, regardless of whether we verbalize it or not.  Thus, we always have the chance to get in touch and speak with them anytime we want.

  1. Having a relationship with him in dream.

Generally, it is possible to see an Infallible (pbuth) in dream.

There are different types of dreams which can be divided into three categories: one, clear dreams which do not have to be interpreted. Two, dreams which do not have an interpretation due to their being difficult or to another excuse. Three, dreams where the soul uses similes; these dreams can be interpreted.[4]

After this introduction it must be stated that one, in a dream, through the mithali and intellectual existence meet one of the beloved ones. [5]

How to make sure this is one of the Infallibles (pbuth) if we see Him in our Dream? The Holy Prophet (pbuh) says: Whoever sees Me, my Ahlul Bayt or my followers in his dream has certainly seen us, because the Satan is unable to assume our form. [6]

The Arabic version of the Hadith is as follows:

مَنْ رَآنِي فِي مَنَامِهِ فَقَدْ رَآنِي لِأَنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لَا يَتَمَثَّلُ فِي صُورَتِي وَ لَا فِي صُورَةِ أَحَدٍ مِنْ أَوْصِيَائِي وَ لَا فِي صُورَةِ وَاحِدَةٍ مِنْ شِيعَتِهِم‏

According to Ayatollah Javadi Amoli, if one has already seen an Infallibles (pbuth) in person he would be able to recognize the Infallible in his dream. Otherwise, one cannot be able to recognize whether this is the Imam or not. There is a way to make sure if this is Imam or not is to see if He is recommending the one to do the righteous deeds, mustahab act or bid with is wrong. Thus, if the one who claims to be an Imam order his to do the bid what is right he can make sure this is the Imam.[7]

Ways for establishing a relationship with the Imam

Here, we would like to draw your attention to some advice and tips given by The Grand Ayatullah Bahjat [who is known for his high spirituality] for those who want to see and meet the imam:

In response to a question from those who want to meet the imam in person, he says: “Recite salawats frequently, [Allahumma Salli Ala Muhammadin wa Ali Muhammad], adding the wa ajjil farajahum [which means “and hasten their aid [to us]” (aid here refers to the return of Imam Mahdi)] to the end, and offer them [their blessings and rewards] to the imam (aj), go to the Jamkaran mosque on a regular basis and pray the the special prayers there.”[8]

In another place, concerning the ways one can use to establish a relationship with the imam, he says: “Establishing a relationship with Allah (swt) is contingent upon obeying Him and Imam Zaman (aj), and in order to know that we are doing so, we need to act according to what Islam has asked us to do, which calls for us to refer to a risalah [the books in which Islamic marja’s record their verdicts on Islamic law] that can be followed [and apply all of the rules therein to our everyday lives].”[9]

In response to another question about how we can strengthen our relationship with the imams, especially Imam Mahdi (aj), he says: “Obeying Allah (swt) after understanding who He is and getting familiar with him, brings love for Him, and love for those Allah (swt) likes, who are the prophets (pbut) and their successors, in which the most beloved of all of them are the prophet of Islam (pbuh) and his progeny (as), and the closest of them to us is Imam Mahdi (aj).”[10]

Other ways for establishing a relationship with the imam have also been mentioned elsewhere:

2-1 Reciting the dua of اللهم کن لولیک … for his health and well-being.[11]

2-2 Reciting Dua Ahd[12] which Imam Sadiq (as) has said that whosoever recites this dua during the sabah [between dawn and sunrise] will be one of the companions of Imam Mahdi (aj).

3-2 Reciting Ziyarah Ale-Yasin,[13] which Imam Mahdi (aj) has said: “Whenever you want to focus on us, recite this ziyarah.”  It can be found in Mafatihul-Jinan.

4-2 Reciting Ziyarah Jame’ah Kabirah which can also be found in Mafatihul-Jinan.[14]

Therefore, it is possible to establish a relationship with Imam Zaman (aj).  It just depends on how much we want and strive for it.  It is both possible to have an inner connection with him, or, in the case of very hard struggle and effort by being pious and staying away from sins, even see and meet him.  One can even reach a level that the imam himself will come to him!  Of course, we should all keep in mind that if one does all of the things mentioned above and still doesn’t succeed in seeing the imam (aj), he/she shouldn’t lose hope, but should try harder and harder and be more careful of his/her actions.

Finally, there are always chances of a person being totally worthy of seeing the imam, yet other circumstances don’t allow such a thing to happen, such as seeing him not being to the benefit of the individual, and we should be aware of this fact and not lose hope, but continue our way, because we have been brought to this world to serve and obey Allah (swt), regardless of whether we see our imam (as) or not, and that is what being a true servant of Allah (swt) is; to serve Him sincerely, without expecting anything in return [although he never leaves our good actions without any reward].

Hadith: Deny the claims of those who say they have seen the Imam (aj):

A question might come up here which is: “If it is possible to see the Imam (aj), then how come there are hadiths that tell us to deny the claims of those who say they have seen the imam?

The answer to this question is that there are hadiths that tell us whoever claims to have seen the imam before the emergence of the Sufyani and “the cry”[15] is a liar.[16] Regarding these hadiths, our scholars have said: “What the imam means by “seeing” [when he says those who claim to have seen me], is for one to claim to have seen him and say that he is the imam’s “specific” representative, like the four representatives he had during his minor occultation.[17]  In any case, none of these hadiths reject the possibility of seeing the imam, all they say is to deny the claims of those who say they have seen him.  When we read about the lives of some of the great individuals who had seen the imam (aj), we see that none of them neither announced nor took advantage of what had taken place for them; in many cases, they had concealed it until their deaths and after that others had found out.

Without a doubt, being able to see the Imam (aj) takes a lot of hard work and effort.

The final point that needs to be made is the importance of maintaining a relationship with him for his followers, because as we all know, when one has a relationship with those higher than him in spirituality and morality, he strives to become like them or at least more like them than before.  It has been proven in psychology that every person is in need of a “role model”.  For instance, when a youth establishes an inner relationship with Imam Mahdi (aj), it has an impact on his life and he tries to do things that will please his master; this will eventually end in his spiritual progression.  Thus we can say that a relationship with the imam can play the role of an “engine” in one’s life; pushing towards good deeds and morality.

When a youth sees all of the dignity, grace and virtues of his imam, he will try to establish a relationship with him, and of course, such a matter doesn’t necessarily have to be through physically getting in contact with the imam; all people can have a relationship with him by reading about him, his characteristics, attributes, virtues and way of life, and following him in all of them and becoming more like him.  Certainly, the imam’s vast existence is to the extent that whenever one gets in touch with him through the heart, he also pays attention to the individual, as corroborated by different ziyarahs that say: “I bear witness that you hear my words and see my standing”.[18] Therefore, it isn’t our duty to see the imam in person, although it would be a great blessing for such a thing to happen, nevertheless, if one doesn’t ever see the imam, it doesn’t mean that the imam is indifferent and doesn’t care about him/her.

[1] ان صاحب هذا الامر یحضر الموسم کل سنة یری الناس و یعرفهم و یرونه و لا یعرفونه  Man La Yahdhuruhul-Faqih, vol. 2, pg. 520, hadith 3115).

[2] Biharul-Anwar, vol. 97, pg 375, chapter 5, hadith 9.

[3] Biharul-Anwar, vol. 42, pg. 155, chapter 124, hadith 22.

[4] Tafsīr al-Mīzān (Farsi edition), v.11, p.372

[5] Refer to Tafsīr al-Mīzān (Farsi edition), v.11, pgs. 366-373

[6] . Biharul Alnwar, Vol. 49, chapter 19, Pg. 283, Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, 1403.

[7] . Nihad Nemayandegi of the Supreme Leader (ha) in Universities, recommendations, question and answer, Vol. 2, second edtion, Pg. 69.

[8] Seyyid Mahdi Sa’i, Beh Sooye Mahboub, pg. 59.

[9] Ibid, pg. 61.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Kafi, vol. 4, pg. 162, chapter الدعا فی العشر الاواخر (supplications for the final ten days), hadith 4.

[12] Biharul-Anwar, vol. 53, pg. 95, chapter 29, hadith 11.

[13] Biharul-Anwar, vol. 99, pg. 81, chapter 7, hadith 1.

[14] Man La Yahdhuruhul-Faqih, vol. 2, pg. 609, hadith 3213.

[15] These are two of the signs ofZuhur.

[16] Biharul-Anwar, vol. 151, chapter 23, hadith 1.

[17] Allamah Majlisi quotes this interpretation of this hadith under it in Biharul-Anwar from the book Ikmaluddin.

[18] Biharul-Anwar, vol. 97, pg. 375, chapter 5, hadith 9  “أشهد أنک تسمع کلامی و تشهد مقامی”.

post

Tarawih and Row in congregational Prayer

Question 008: I am deeply concerned about some Muslimahs not forming a complete row in congregational prayers. They always stand isolated in 3 or 4 family groups. They do not come forward, however, we tell them every night during Taraweeh. Even if some come forward out of compulsion they quietly split the rows, thus they are invalidating our prayers. Can you please tell me if my prayers are valid if they do not form complete rows?

Answer 008: Tarawih prayer is a recommended (mustahab) prayer. Performing mustahab prayers with a congregation (jama’ah) is not valid, according to some Shia scholars. It should be offered individually (i.e. Furada).

Therefore, if you are a Shia Muslim, you shouldn’t perform it with jama’ah. Otherwise, if performed in congregations, whether or not the rows are connected to each other, your prayer is not valid.
It should be noted that if the distance between the follower and the Imam or between him and another follower, who maintains connection with the Imam, is less than the size one person (one dhera) in the state of prostration, there would be no objection. However, if the gap is more than that, the jurists have different fatwas. Some scholars of the view that others’ prayers turn into individual prayers (furada).

According to the author of Urwatul Wuthqa, if those individuals, who are standing in the first row and have finished their prayers, stand up immediately and offer another prayer, others’ congregational prayers would be in order.[i]

[i]. Tawzih al-Masail of Imam Khomeini (with connotation), vol.1, Pg.774, issue No.1417;  Al-Yazdi, al-Sayyid Muhammad Kazem, al-Urwatul Wuthqa (with annotation), vol.3, pg.148, issue No.15, Islamic Publications Institute, Qom, 1419 A.H.

– Related Link: Tarawih Prayer, answer 013.

post

Mixture of Henna and Depilatory can cure Vitiligo and Leukoderma

Question 541: Salaam, I have a skin condition called Vitiligo and Leukoderma. I have found this hadith on al-islam.org:

Abd Allah and al-Husayn, the sons of Bistam, narrated from Muhammad b. Khalaf from Muhammad al-Washsha’ from ‘Abd Allah b. Sinan that he said; A man complained to Abu‘Abd Allah, peace be upon him, of vitiligo (al-wadah) and leprosy (al-bahaq). He [Abu ‘Abd Allah] said: “Enter the steam hath and mix henna (al-hinna’) with lime and coat your bodywith it. You will not be cured by anything else after that.” The man said; “”By Allah, I did that only once and Allah cured me, and it did not recur after that.”

Can you please explain the first part of the hadith “”enter the steam hath””. I would be be grateful to you for the explanation and details you can provide on this which can help me cure my condition. Jazakallah”

Answer:  Abdullah bin Sinan narrated: A man complained to Imam Sadiq (As) about vitiligo and leukoderma. The Imam (as) told him: Enter the bath and mix henna with depilatory and then rub it onto the place. If you do so would not be suffering from such disease. The man said: I take an oath that I have done it once and Allah (SWT) has cured me in a way that the disease has never returned.[1]

The Arabic version of this hadith is as follows:

عن عبداللّه‏ بن سنان :شَکا رَجُلٌ إلى أبی عَبدِاللّه‏ علیه‏السلام الوَضَحَ و البَهَقَ ، فَقالَ: اُدخُلِ الحَمّامَ وَاخلُطِ الحِنّاءَ بِالنّورَةِ وأطلِ بِهِما ؛ فَإِنَّکَ لا تُعانی بَعدَ ذلِکَ شَیئاً.  قالَ الرَّجُلُ : فَوَاللّه‏ مافَعَلتُهُ إلاّ مَرَّةً واحِدَةً ، فَعافانِیَ اللّه‏ مِنهُ ، و ما عادَ بَعدَ ذلِکَ.

It should be noted that the efficacy of medical treatments and even the intercession of the Infallibles (pbuth), is intrinsically tied to the will of Allah (SWT).

[1] . Mustadrak al-Wasael, Vol. 1, Pg. 437;  Biharul Anwar, Vol. 59, Pg. 212;  Tibbul A’immah, Pg. 72.

post

Shibli Shumayyil Praised the Holy Prophet and Imam Ali (pbuth)

Question 538: Asslam o alikum. Sea of knowledge, I have important question from you, I listen the name of “Shibli Shumayyil”, I only just name that name of philosopher ,who was materialist but he attracted from ali a.s

Please tell about the biography or pic any some data about him please?

Answer 538: Shibli Shumayyil was a controversial Greek Catholic doctor, scientist, journalist, philosopher, poet, social reformer and polymath educated at the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut. He was born in Kafr Shima (Syria).

Shymayyil studied and taught medicine at the College, then traveled to Paris and Istanbul to complete his studies. He practiced medicine in Egypt for about ten years, and founded Al-Shifa Magazine in Cairo in the year 1886 in order to publicize medical advances.

In addition, he lived in the Europe for a short period of time then traveled to Egypt and settled in Alexandria, Tantar and finally in Cairo.

Shumayyil also wrote the program of the socialist party in Egypt. He was the foremost popularizer of Darwinism in the Arab World, considering science the hey to the secret of the universe. Apart from his works on Darwin’s theory of the Evolution, he published many articles on science, history, literature, criticism and politics; a work of Hippocrates; a treatise on the plague; a book on the urgent need for science and liberty in the Ottooman Empire (1895); a novel al-Hubb ‘ala al-fatra; ‘Human Society or Civilization’ that was published in 1885 in Al-Muqtataf, ‘The history of natural society’ (Tarikh al-ijtima al-tabi’i), ‘Physiology of groups’ (fisiologiyat al-ijtima’at). Shumyyil also translated Racin’e Iphigence, and wrote a play on Work War 1. [1]  It is said that Shumayyil had consciously adapted Ibn Khaldun to the intellectual framework of his time and had bent his concepts of society and political authority in significant ways.[2]

It is most noteworthy that although Shumayyil was a Christian and the Arab atheist, but he composed some poetry in praise of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Imam Ali (as).

Shumayyil said about Imam Ali (as): “The leader, Ali bin Abi Taleb, the greatest of the great, is the only exemplar that neither the East nor the West, has never seen the likes of, neither in the past nor the present.[3]

One of the good poetry he composed in praise of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Quran which is available in Arabic language is as follows:[4]

أنی و إن أک قد کفرت بدینه *** هل أکفرن بمحکم الآیات

أو ما حوت فی ناصع الألفاظ من *** حکم روادع للهوی وعظات

و شرائع لو أنهم عقلو بها *** ماقید العمران بالعادات

نعم المدبر و الحکیم و إنه *** رب الفصاحه مصطفی الکلمات

رجل الحجی رجل السیاسه والدها *** بطل حلیف النصر و الغارات

ببلاغه القرآن قد غلب النهی *** و بسیفه انهی علی الهامات

من دونه الأبطال من کل الوری *** من غائب أو حاضر أو آت

[1] . Haroun, G, Sibli Sumayyil, Une Pensee Evolutionniste arabe a l’epopue a’an-Nahda, Beirut (1985) which is available in French language;  Hourani, A., Arabic Thought in the liberal age, 1798-1939, London (1962), 248-53;  Encyclopedia of Arabic Literature, Volume 2, Pg. 716.

[2] . Muhammad Ridha Hakimi, Adabiyyat wa Ta’ahhud dar Islam, Pgs. 250-252.

[3] . George Gordaq, Sawtul-Adalah al-Insaniyyah, pg. 19 (quoted by the translation and commentary of the Nahjul-Balaghah, Jafari, Muhammad Taqi, vol. 1, pg. 171).

[4] . Muhammad Ridha Hakimi, Adabiyyat wa Ta’ahhud dar Islam, Pgs. 250-252.

post

Rules concerning Pirate Video Games from companies

Question 001:  Is it halal to Pirate Video Games from companies whose countries of origin impose embargoes toward your nation and ban your nation’s IP addresses?

Answer 001: If there is a link by which everyone (except nations whom such companies made an order to stop them from downloading) is allowed to download such products you are able to download it.

It is noteworthy to say that those countries such as the US and Israel that don’t have any contract with Islamic countries for observing the mutual rights, their ownership right concerning scientific and cultural works are not valid. As a result, there is no problem to Pirate Video Games and use such products (E.g. film, music, book, software and Pirate Video Games) without their permission.
Related Link: FB

post

Masoom / True Meaning of Infallibility

Question 007: What does Masoom mean? Im a new Shia and trying to get used to the different terms used in the shia traditions as compared to sunni traditions. Need to know the True Meaning of Infallibility?

Answer 007: Allamah Tabatabai states: “Infallibility” means the presence of a quality in the infallible person that protects him or her from doing what is not permissible (e.g. sin or error)”.[1] It should be noted that from his viewpoint God’s prophets (and all of the imams and specially guided people) possess the absolute infallibility which covers many instances.[2] According to him, “infallibility” is the result of the infallible person’s knowledge of the consequences of the sin, that is to say that the infallible person’s knowledge and awareness of the sin’s consequences is such that he/she is never conquered and overwhelmed by the rest of the faculties he/she possesses, but has dominance over them.[3]

Concerning “Infallibility”, there is another theory that says: “As a result of the infallible’s high levels of knowledge towards God almighty and owing to their affection for God’s beauty and perfection, they do not allow themselves to take even a step against His will, and their love and affection for the Deity and the perception of His beauty and glory and their awareness of His endless blessings upon them, brings to their soul such humility and modesty that never allows them to even think of sin let alone committing it”.[4]

These two theories both admit that a certain quality develops in the infallible person which constantly drives away disobedience, insubordination and wrongdoing and protects against sin and mistake.

There are two kinds of infallibility; infallibility in knowledge and practical infallibility.  The infallibility that the prophets possess comprises both. In other words, both their actions are righteous and according with the truth, and their knowledge is in accordance with reality, originating from a source that accepts no mistake, fault or forgetfulness.

That is because one who is infallible has reached a certain level of incorporeal intellect, pure intuition, true vision and spiritual unveiling (In other words, the infallible individual not only knows the truth, he/she sees and witnesses it).  In this stage, all mental and spiritual faculties such as one’s imagination and conjectural faculty follow the mind, and satanic temptations here are helpless.  The reason behind such a matter is that ignorance, satanic temptations, false illusions and the like, are all a result of one’s imaginative or illusive faculty in which both are connected to the materialistic world, but such isn’t the case with the mind and intellect.  In the realm of the mind and intellect, Satan is helpless.

Therefore, if one is able to surpass the stages of this materialistic world and somehow overcome the abovementioned faculties and reach the origin of all truths and realities, he/she will have become infallible and as a result of his/her strengthened existence, will be equal to the angels or maybe even higher.[5]

Conclusion: The infallible individual is one who is free of any sin, mistake and forgetfulness throughout his/her life when it comes to comprehending, conveying, and carrying out divine revelation (wahy).

Of course, one should note that infallibility is divided into voluntary and involuntary infallibility.  The infallible individual is one who voluntarily doesn’t commit sin.  At the same time, in order for it to be absolutely and totally obligatory for us to follow their traditions (actions, sayings, and verifications) without any questioning, and to be able to completely depend on them, an infallibility is granted to them by Allah (s.w.t.) which has nothing to do with their own will and choice and is much higher than the infallibility that they have obtained by themselves.  Of course, they are granted it because they deserve it as a result of their voluntary efforts in Allah’s way[6].[7]

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: The exact date on birth or Martyrdom of Lady Fatima and Infallibles, answer 254.

[1] S. Mohammad Husein Tabatabai, Al-Mizan fi Tafsir-al-Quran, v.2, pg.134 (The infallibility of the imams)

[2] Ibid, v.2, pg. 134-136, v.5, pg. 75-77, Javadi Amoli, Tafsir Mozoo’I Quran Karim, v.3, pg. 197-292.

[3] Ibid, v.5, pg. 78.

[4] Jafar Sobhani, Manshoor-e-Javid, v.5, pg.14.

[5] These points are from Ayatollah Javadi Amoli, Tafsir Mozoo’I Quran Karim, v.3, pg. 199-202.

[6] . Adopted from answer 1738 IQ.

[7] See: Seyyed Mohsen Kharrazi, Bidayat-ul-Ma’arif, pg. 254.

post

Who was the First Idol Worshiper: Yard or Namrud

Question 006: Who was the first idol worshiper?
Answer 006: It is not possible to mention an exact time regarding the start point of polytheism, but there were two kinds of idol worship: open polytheism and hidden polytheism.

  1. Open polytheism – there has been found three reports in this regards by researching throughout narrative and historical resources:

  • The People of the time of Yard ibn Mahlaeel bin Qaynaan bin Anush bin Shees bin Adam (a.s) who built idols and were idol worshippers [1]. The Holy Enoch (Idris) (a.s) was the son of Yard. [2]
  • The people of the time of the Holy Prophet Noah (a.s). He himself fought against idolatry. Some of these idols names that existed at that time have been mentioned in the Holy Quran. The Quran says about the idol worshippers: “They say, “Do not abandon your gods. Do not abandon Wadd, nor Suwa, nor Yaghouth, Ya’ouq and Nasr,” ” [3]
  • Namrud ibn Kanaan ibn Kush bin Ha’m bin Noah, was the first person who tyrannized after Noah’s (a.s) Deluge. He wore a crown and occupied the land of Babel. He assigned Arab and non-Arab people to build an idol-temple, idolatrized and built golden and silver idols, embellished them with jewelry, and followed astrology. He appointed Azar, the idol maker, as his treasurer and idol keeper. There is a great chance that those idols were made based on the form of the stars and were worshipped by them[4].
  1. Hidden polytheism – this means neglect of pure monotheism. (E.g. neglect thanksgiving). This kind of polytheism had been done by the Holy Prophet Noah’s (a.s) children.

[1] . Tabari, Abu Jaafar Muhammad bin Jarir, Tarikh ul-omam wa al-moluk (Tarikh Tabari), by: Abraham, Muhammad AbulFazl, Vol. 2, Pg. 276, Darul-Toras, Beirut, second edition, 1387 ah; refer to: Ibn Asir, Ali bin Muhammad, al-Kamel Fi al-Tarikh, Vol. 1, Pg. 57 and 59, Dar Sader, Beirut, 1385 ah.

[2] . Belazari, Ahmad bin Yahya, Ansab al-Ashraf by: Zekar, Sohail, Zarkoli, Riyadh, Vol. 1, Pg. 3, Dar ul-Fikr, Beirut, 1385 ah.

[3] . Surah Nooh, verse 23. (Waqâlô  lâ  tadharonna  ââlehatakom  wa  lâ  tadharonna  waddaw  wa  lâ  sowâ’w­wa  lâ  yaghôtha  wa  ya’ôqa  wanas­râ)

(وَ قَالُواْ لَا تَذَرُنَّ ءَالِهَتَكمُ‏ْ-p وَ لَا تَذَرُنَّ وَدًّا وَ لَا سُوَاعًا وَ لَا يَغُوثَ وَ يَعُوقَ وَ نَسْرًا)

[4] Tabaqat Nasiri Tarikhe Iran va Islam, Minhaj Siraj, vol. 1, pg. 138, researched by Habibi Abd al-Hayy, Tehran, Donyaye Ketab, first edition, 1984.

– Related Link: FB.

post

Tawassul: Seeking one’s need from someone other than Allah

Question 005: What do the verses in the video tell us to do? Should we call upon Allah (swt) in all times directly? What is the permissibility of seeking the Imams (as) help in such a situation (Tawassul)? The verse seemingly says that from Allah (swt) alone comes help, yet we had the Divine Messenger (saws) seek Imam Ali (as) help during Khaiber. Also Ayatollah Fadlallah used to discourage his followers from saying anything other than Ya Allah (swt)? Please clarify the position in which the Shia should follow.
Answer 005: This video clip belongs to Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Hussaini Qazwini, who was born in the city of Qazvin, in Iran. He is a professor of Hawzah and the head of a Wilayat Satellite Channel under the supervision of Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi (ha).
I have watched this video in which the Ayatollah talking about “Muslims have been excommunicated by Wahhabism”, in Farsi Language References, here: (2).

In reply to the Takfiri, Wahhabi, ISIS and other disbelievers who don’t believe in asking for help from anyone other than Allah (swt) such as the Holy Prophet (saws) or the Infallible Imams (pbuth), he explained that saying or reciting such divine names of Allah (swt) or Tawhidi verses of the Holy Qur’an without believing in recourse (Tawassul) are considered as a serious conspiracy planned by them.

Note: We Shia believe that if one reveres, refers or takes recourse to, or seeks one’s needs from these personages with the intention that these personalities are separate from Allah (swt) and independent of Him in fulfilling our needs, such an intention and notion is polytheistic and contrary to tawhid af’ali (the Unity of actions—the independence of Allah (swt) from all else, and the dependence of all other beings on Him in their actions) and tawhid rububi (the Unity of Lordship—His being the sole Planner and sovereign Lord, with all others, whether angels, prophets, or the natural worlds, being Divine workers). Such an intention constitutes polytheism in one’s understanding of Divine actions or Lordship.

If this same respect, reference, and recourse are with the intention of the following, then there is not contradiction with Unity of actions of Lordship or with the fact that Allah (swt) is the sole (independent) Fulfiller of needs, since the actions,, planning, and fulfillment of peoples desires through these personages are subordinate to Allahs (swt) action, Lordship, and His being the Fulfiller of Needs They are not independent of Him for it to be considered polytheism:

a. Obedience to a Divine command;

  1. Repaying the debt we owe them by virtue of their being the conduit of Divine grace in the creational and legal realms;
  2. Follow their example or benefit from their special attention, without viewing them as independent of Allah (swt);

Thus, the criterion of polytheism in seeking one’s needs from someone other than Allah (swt) is the intention of the individual. If he maintains the Divinity or Lordship of whoever he takes recourse to, or views them as being free of need of Allah (swt), such recourse is considered polytheism because of that belief. If it is in order to obey Allah (swt) and benefit from the honor and esteem, those esteemed people enjoy before Him, so that they implore Allah (swt) for that person’s needs or fulfill them with Allahs (swt) permission, such an action is not only not polytheistic, but the person taking recourse is also worthy of a reward for having acted in accordance with a Divine command.

———————–

References: (1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LL-1VHfMgQs. (2) http://www.velayattv.com/fa/page.php?bank=archive&id=2522.

  • Related Link: FB.
post

Purchasing something from Haram Rizq

Question 004: I am a teenager that knows that my father is earning Haram Rizq (money). If something is purchased from that money does it also become haram?

Answer 004: If you are absolutely sure he is earning haram rizq you are not allowed to buy anything from that money. Otherwise, if you are not sure, there would be no problem to use it.

Therefore, buying anything with money earned in a fashion that is haram rizq, makes the thing itself haram.

Note: forbidding others from haram acts, or enjoining them to do their wajib ones, is wajib (obligatory) upon us, because it falls under the category of amr bil ma’ruf wa nahy anil munkar, and this applies to everyone. Thus, carrying this religious duty is also wajib, given that all the conditions are met and that it certainly applies.

post

Miscellaneous Rules concerning holding positions within an Islamic Center

Question 003: Can Individuals holding positions within an Islamic center, who have been proven to have stolen large sums of its donations for their own personal benefits, retain their positions involving the management of an Islamic Center?

Answer 003: If you become sure with the reliance on trustworthy proofs that they have stolen those donations for their own personal benefits, they can no longer hold such important positions. They have to return all donations back and truly repent from committing such capital sin.

You need to tell the board of trustees and demonstrated them the reliable proofs. Thus, this is a responsibility toward the board whether to let them hold the positions or not.

In the holy Quran Allah (swt) says: “But whoever repents after his wrongdoing, and reforms, then Allah shall accept his repentance. Indeed Allah is all-forgiving, all-merciful. Do you not know that to Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth? He punishes whomever He wishes, and forgives whomever He wishes, and Allah has power over all things.”[1]

Note: There are many traditions in which disgracing a believer has been considered as a forbidden act, according to our Infallible Imams (pbuth). Therefore, you are supposed not to share it with others and let this issue be as a secret. [2]

[1] . Surah al-Ma’idah, verses 39 and 40.

[2] . Kuleini, Muhammad bin Yaqoub, al-Kafi, Vol. 2, Pg. 352, Darul Kotobul Islamiyah, Tehran, 1986; Ibid, Vol. 8, Pg. 107, H 82; Ibid, Vol. 2, Pg. 359, H 2.

post

Giving Bribe for getting one’s work done

Question 002: Is giving bribe for getting one’s work done Jaiz (allowed)?
Answer 002: According to Ayatollah Sistani, bribing is haram unless one has no choice but to do so to get his/her right, but receiving bribes is haram for one who is paid to do work for others.
It should be noted that a similar question has been asked grand Ayatollah Sistani (May Allah grant him long life). His Excellency replied as follows:
Q: What is your ruling on getting one’s work done through bribery?
A: Bribery is haram in Islam.
Although bribery is haram in any way, but if one has become compelled to pay money in order to get his/her own real right there would be no problem to do so.

Therefore, if you are compelled to bribe in order to get your real right there would be problem to do so.

References: Ayatullah Tabrizi, Istifta’at, question 999; Ayatullah Vahid,Minhajul-Salehin, vol. 3, issue 32; Ayatullah Sistani at http://www.sistani.org/english/qa/01143/.

Related Link: FB