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Categories of Hadith and their Meanings

Question 059: What does ‘hadith’ mean? What are the different categories of Hadith and their Meanings?

Answer 059: The Arabic word ‘hadith’ means, statement or talk. In the Shari’ah, the word hadith means, those things or actions, which the Holy Prophet (saws) said or did.

A collection of traditions containing sayings of the Holy Prophet (saws) which, with accounts of his daily practices (I.e. the Sunnah), constitute the major sources of guidance for Muslims apart from the holy Qur’an.

Hadith is the collections of the teachings, deeds and sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saws) and the infallible Imams (a.s). The term comes from the Arabic: حديث, plural: أحاديث, meaning “report,” “account” or “narrative”.

The hadith literature is based on oral reports. Hadith also refers to the speech of a person.

Hadith is known as the second religious source after the Holy Quran. It is widely known among Muslims all over the world that any specific wording of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) on a given topic or theme of subject is known as a “Hadith”. It is obligatory upon every disciple of Islam to know, act upon and spread the Proverbs of Rasulullah (pbuh) as these are the words full of wisdom which result in one`s success both in this world and in the hereafter.

Hadith, according to the late Shia scholars, divided into two categories: Sahih and non-Sahih. This means that they whether accept a hadith which is known as Sahih or reject it as it is considered as non-Sahih.[1] But, now, Hadith in general is composed of three basic components which are given below:

  1. Matn/Content: It is the main passage which is the actual centre of attraction for the reader. It normally tells about the right way of actions in different circumstances of life.
  2. Isnad/Sequence of Reporters: A series of correspondents through which Hadith has spread.

These are the necessary three constituents which need to be present in any text for naming it as a Hadith.

Categorization of Hadith

The taxonomy of the Prophetic (PBUH) axioms has been very carefully devised according to different sets of classifications along with their further kinds. Following are the five basic arrangements of Ahadiths on the basis of particular grounds:

  1. According to reference to a particular Authority
  2. According to the links of Isnad
  3. According to a number of reporters
  4. According to nature of Matn and Isnad
  5. According to Authenticity of Correspondents

Now let us briefly discuss these classes of Hadith one by one:

  1. i) According to Reference to a Particular Authority

According to careful research, Hadith is divided into four additional kinds under this category:

  1. Qudsi: meaning “Divine”. It is a Heavenly text which was directly sent upon the Holy Prophet (PBUH), Who passed it on to His followers Himself.
  2. Marfu`: meaning “Elevated”. It has got very important status in Islam as it was directly heard from the Messenger (PBUH) of God Himself by His companions and was brought forward.
  3. Mauquf: meaning “Stopped”. It is a kind of command which was directly given by Rasulullah (PBUH) to His cohorts who forwarded it.
  4. Maqtu`: meaning “Severed”. It is a form of Instruction which is plainly described by Successor in his own words.
  1. ii) According to the links of Isnad

Hadith is further divided into six groups under this category:

  1. Musnad: meaning “Supported”. Isnad being reported by a well-known companion of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) although final narrator might not be with Him at that time.[2]

The Hadith Musnad is, according to the existence of the name of Infallible (as) based on its Sanad, divided into two kinds: Mudmar and Musarrah. Mudmar is when the narrator of a Hadith has not specifically mentioned the name of Imam by mentioning only pronoun. Like “Sa’altahu’, ‘Qa’la’ or ‘An’hu’.[3]

  1. Muttasil: meaning “Continuous”. The one with undisturbed Isnad relating back to rightful friend or its heir.
  2.  Mursal: meaning “Hurried”. It missed a connection between the storyteller and the Infallibles (pbuth).[4]
  3. Munqati`: meaning “Broken”. Hadith with a link being absent before it reaches the Successor of the actual narrator.
  4. Mu`adal: meaning “Perplexing”. The one in which narrator misses multiple reported in an order in Isnad of the Hadith.
  5. Mu`allaq: meaning “Hanging”. It fails to spot the complete Isnad of the Hadith.

iii) According to a number of reporters

It is divided into two more sub-groups:

  1. Mutawatir: meaning “Consecutive”. Hadith being reported such a large number of rightful companions that it is agreed upon as authentic.
  2. Ahad: meaning “Isolated”. The one which has been narrated by a countable number of people.[5]

It has been further categorized into these followings sub-types:

  1. Mash’hur: meaning “Famous”. Hadith which is related by more than two individuals.
  2. Mustafidh: meaning that the number of narrators are two or more than three but not as much as Mutawatir Hadith.[6]
  3. Aziz: meaning “Rare yet Strong”. The one having only two reporters in its Isnad.
  4. Gharib: meaning “Strange”. Saying of Holy Prophet (PBUH) with only one narrator in its Isnad.
  1. iv) According to nature of Matn and Isnad

It is split into two major kinds:

  1. Munkar: meaning “Denounced”. A Hadith belonging to a weak reporter.
  2. Mudraj: meaning “Interpolated”. The one having some adding up of words to the authentic Hadith by its narrator.
  1. v) According to Authenticity of Correspondents

It has the following three categories:

  1. Sahih: meaning “Sound”. A hadith reported by a trustworthy reporter known for his truthfulness, knowledge, correct way of narrations and all of them are Just and follower of the Twelve Shia Imams (pbuth). [7]
  2. Da`if: meaning “Weak”. A hadith ranking under that of Hasan because of failing to.[8]
  3. Hasan: meaning “Good”. The one whose reporters are known and is clear-cut and all of them are Just and follower of the Twelve Shia Imams (pbuth).
  4. Da`if: meaning “Weak”. A hadith ranking under that of Hasan because of failing to address the Isnad properly.[9]
  5. Maudu`: meaning “Fabricated”. Hadith having wording opposite to the confirmed Prophetic (PBUH) traditions.

In short, Hadith is an integral part of Islamic teachings through which Muslims all over the world get insight about many aspects of life. Therefore, one must know about its different kinds so as to become able to distinguish the authentic ones from the rest which have weak links in its key constituents.[10]

[1] . Seifi Mazandarani, Ali Akbar, Miqyas al-Rivayah fee Elm al-Dirayah, Pg. 44, Islamic Publication Institution, Qom, 1421 A.H.

[2] . Usul al-Hadith, Pg. 175.

[3] . Usul al-Hadith, Pg. 100.

[4] . Farhang Istilahat Hadith, Pg. 121.

[5] . Al-Fadli, Abdul Hadi, Usul al-Hadith, Pg. 72, Ummul Qura Institution, Beirut, 1420 A.H; Ibid, Pg. 82.

[6] . Farhang Istilahat Hadith, Pg. 123.

[7] . Jabal A’meli, Jamal al-Din Hassan (son of Shahid Thani), Muntaqi al-Jaman, Vol. 1, Pg. 4, Nash Islami Institution, Qom.

[8] . Ibid, Pg. 4.

[9] . Usul al-Hadith, Pg. 108.

[10] . For further information in this regards, please refer to: Al-Fadli, Abdul Hadi, Usul al-Hadith; Farhang Istilahat Hadith.

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Wilayat e-Takwini in Sunni traditions

Question 351: Salam Maulana, Can wilayat e takwini be explained by sunni hadith’s?

Answer 351: Wilayah Takwini means guardianship over all things in this world and to have control over them and to be able to render change in them in any way; such power primarily belongs only to Allah (swt), but can also be attributed to the prophets and infallible imams (pbuth) and complete individuals secondarily.[1]

The word Takwin is derived from “Kawn” meaning “Be” or “Being”. Considering the Saying of Allah is the Act of Him not His Words, Voice and the like, in the Holy Quran the meaning of Takwin is: “Wonderful Originator of the heavens and the earth And when He decrees an affair, He only says to it: Be, so there it is”[2]

بَدیعُ السَّماواتِ وَ اْلأَرْضِ وَ إِذا قَضی أَمْرًا فَإِنَّما یَقُولُ لَهُ کُنْ فَیَکُونُ.

The Holy Quran says: “What is in the heavens and the earth is Allah’s Surely Allah is the Self-sufficient, the Praised”[3]

لِلَّهِ ما فِي السَّماواتِ وَ الْأَرْضِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَميد.

The Holy Quran also says: “Then are they sent back to Allah, their Master, the True One Now surely His is the judgment and He is swiftest in taking account”[4]

ثُمَّ رُدُّوا إِلَى اللَّهِ مَوْلاهُمُ الْحَقِّ أَلا لَهُ الْحُكْمُ وَ هُوَ أَسْرَعُ الْحاسِبينَ.

Wilayat al-Takwini can have three meanings as follows:

  1. Having Wilayat over creation of the world: This means that Allah (swt) gives one of His creation an ability by which he can create or emit a world. Although, it is not impossible for Allah to do so, as He is surely able to do anything and give such ability to anyone He prefer, but verses of the Holy Quran show that Surely Allah has power over all things and He is the only Creator.
  2. Wilayat Takwini is a path towards Allah’s grace: This means that every blessing, grace and power of Allah has been giving to the human by awleyââ­allâh (the friends of Allah) and the special servant of Allah. This type of Wilaya is one of main of belief that Shia believe in.

In forth volume of the book Sharh e Nahjul Balagha Ibn Abi al-Hadid narrated the Lady Fatimah Zahra’s (sa) sermon regarding Fadak in the presence of Muhajir and Ansar in which Hazrat Zahra (sa) under the verse 25 of Surah Maeda has said: “O you who believe! be careful of (your duty to)  Allah and seek means of nearness to Him” She said: I praise Allah that whoever is in the heavens and the earth makes obeisance to Him only, … and We are means among the creations.[5]

و الحمد الله الذی لعظمته و نوره یبتغی من فی السموات و الارض إلیه الوسیله و نحن وسیلة فی خلقه

  1. Having Wilayat in a certain scale like giving life to the dead and curing the sick by the Prophets and the friends of Allah (pbuth). There are many traditions regarding this type of Wilayat al-Takwini in which the Holy Prophet and the Infallibles Imam (pbuth) did so.

The following are some examples of such Wilayat about the prophets (as) that have perfectly mentioned in the Holy Quran:

A: Surah Ale Imran, verses 48 & 49: “And He will teach him the Book and the wisdom and the Tawrat and the Injeel. And (make him) a messenger to the children of Israel: That I have come to you with a sign from your Lord That I determine for you out of dust like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird with Allah’s Permission And I heal the blind and the leprous, and bring the dead to life with Allah’s Permission And I inform you of what you should eat and what you should store in your houses Most surely there is a sign in this for you, if you are believers”.

So, such power primarily belongs only to Allah (swt), but it is attributed to the prophet (as) secondarily.

وَ يُعَلِّمُهُ الكِتابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَ التَّوراةَ وَالانْجيلَ- وَ رَسُولًا الى بَنى اسْرائيلَ انّى قَدْ جِئْتُكُمْ بِآيةٍ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ انّى اخْلُقُ لَكُمْ مِنَ الطِّينَ كَهَيْئَةِ الطَّيْرِ فَانْفُخُ فيهِ فَيَكُونُ طَيْراً بِاذْنِ اللَّهِ وَ ابْرِءُ الاكْمَهَ وَ الابْرَصَ وَ احْيِى الْمَوْتى بِاذْنِ اللَّهِ وَ انَبِّئُكُمْ بما تَأكُلُونَ وَ ما تَدَّخِرُونَ فى بُيُوتِكُمْ انَّ فى ذلِكَ لآيَةَ لَكُمْ انْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤمِنينَ‏.

  1. Surah al-Naml, verse 40: “The one who had knowledge of the Book said,” I will bring it to you in the twinkling of an eye.” So when he saw it set near him, he said,” This is by the grace of my Lord, to test me if I will give thanks or be ungrateful. And whoever gives thanks, gives thanks only for his own sake. And whoever is ungrateful [should know that] my Lord is indeed all-sufficient, all-generous.”

قالَ الَّذى عِنّدَهُ عِلّمٌ مِنَ الّكِتابِ انَا آتيكَ بِه قَبْلَ انْ يَرْتَدَّ الَيْكَ طَرْفُكَ فَلَما رَآهُ مُسْتَقِراً عِنْدَهُ قالَ هذا مِنْ فَضْلِ رَبّى لَيَبْلُوَنى أَاشْكُرُ امْ اكْفُرْ وَ مَنْ شَكَرَ فَانَّما يَششْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ وَ مَنْ كَفَرَ فَانَّ رَبّى غَنىٌّ كَريم

Wilyat al-Takwini according to Ahlul Sunna:  During the Battle of Khaybar, when several attempts by Muslims to capture this citadel in some single combats failed, that night the Holy Prophet (pbuh) proclaimed, “By Allah, tomorrow I shall give it [the banner] to a man who loves Allah and His Messenger, whom Allah and His Messenger love. Allah will bestow victory upon him.” That morning, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) called out for Ali ibn Abi Țalib (as) while His eyes were painful. Ali (as) came to the Holy Prophet (pbuh), who cured him of his ophthalmia, an inhibitive inflammation of the eyes, by applying his saliva in them. The holy Prophet (pbuh) sent him with his flag and Ali (as) attacked the Khaybar and conquered it.

According to the tradition, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) has cured Imam Ali’s (as) ophthalmia by His Wilayat al-Takwini.[6]

The Infallible Imams’ (pbuth) Wilayat al-Takwini according to Ahlul Sunna:

  1. Ibn Abbas narrated: Abdullah ibn Salam along with a few of Muslims went to the house of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) around noon and shared his problems with Him. The Wilayat verse of the Hoy Quran has sent down at that time. When the Holy Prophet (pbuh) recited this verse to them, they said: We are satisfied with the Wilayat of Allah, His Messenger and Believers, then Bilal performed Adhan and the Holy Prophet (pbuh) went to the mosque. People have been offering their prayers, some were at ruku, some sujud and others at the state of qiyam. The holy Prophet (pbuh) saw a beggar circulating around people. The Prophet (pbuh) called him and asked: Did anyone give you anything? Yes, the man said. The Holy Prophet asked: What did he give you? A silver ring, the man replied. Who gave you the ring? The Prophet (pbuh) asked. That man who is standing, the man replied. The holy Prophet looked at that man ad saw He is Ali ibn Abitalib (as). The Prophet asked again: At which state He gave you the ring? He gave me the ring while He was bowing down, the man replied. And then the Holy Prophet (pbuh) recited this verse of the Holy Quran: “Only Allah is your Vali) Friend or Guardian (and His Messenger and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay the poor rate while they bow”.[7]

In Durrul Manthour So’youti narrated this issue and in the end he writes: When the Holy Prophet (pbuh) asked the man, Who gave you the ring? And the mand replied, the one who is at the state of Qiyam and pointed Imam Ali by his hand, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: He is Ali ibn Abi Talib (as), said Takbir and then recited this verse of the Holy Quran:  “And whoever takes Allah and His Messenger and those who believe for a guardian, then surely the Party of Allah are they that shall be triumphant”[8]

وَ مَن یَتَوَلَّ اللهَ وَ رَسُولَه وَ الَّذینَ آمَنوا فَاِنَّ حِزْبَ اللهِ هُمُ الْغالِبُونَ

  1. In Shawahid al-Tanzil Hakim Haskani narrated 24 traditions under the Wilaya verse of the Holy Quran. Some of the people he narrated hadith from are, Ibn Abbas, Ammar bin Yaser, Jaber ibn Abluddal Ansari, Ami al-Momeneen Ali ibn Abi Talib (as), Miqdad ibn Aswad Kenedi and Abuzar Ghifari.[9]
  2. In Tafsir al-Kabir, Fakhr Razi narrated three hadith and he also narrated a hadith from Abuzar in which he has proven the Wilyah al-Takwini by the verse of the Holy Quran that has send down for Imam Ali (as).[10]

For further information regarding other traditions narrated in this regards from Ahlul Sunna sources, please refer to the Book Al-Ghadir by Allama Amini, 52-2/53, Book Ahqaq al-Haq. 409-2/399 and Ruh al-Ma’ani, 6/167.

Index: “Ashhadu anna aliyyan waliyyullah” in Adhan and Iqamah, answer 276.

Index: The differences and similarities between Shia and Sunni, answer 187.

Index: Shia Believe Ahlus Sunnah are Muslim not Kafir!, answer 203.

[1] . Refer to: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AskShia/permalink/631006433717334/

[2] . Surah al-Baqara, verse 117.

[3] . Surah Luqman, verse 26.

[4] . Surah al-Anaam, verse 62.

[5] . Sharh e Nahjul Balagha, Ibn Abi al-Hadid, Vol. 4, Pg. 79. For further information regarding Intercession, please refer to the following answer:

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/510247479126564/permalink/583488091802502/) 

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/510247479126564/permalink/511560225661956/)

[6] . Kamil, ibn Athir, Vol. 2, Pg. 219;  Shia sources: Allama Majlesi, Biharul Anwar, Vol. 21, Pg. 298.

[7] . Surah al-Maedah, verse 55;  Ma Nazala min al-Quran fee Ali (as), n 66.

[8] . al-Durrul Manthour, 2/520;   Surah Maedah, verse 56.

[9] . Shawahed al-Tanzil, Vol. 1, Pg. 209, H 216.

[10] . al-Tafsir al-Kabir, Vol. 2, Pgs. 52-53.

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keeping or hanging pictures ascribed to the Imams

Question 144: What is the Shia view on religious and non-religious pictures (like for creative arts or illustration)? What about depictions of the Prophets (saws), and Imams (a.s)? I want to know the permissibly of these things, as well as whether they are liked or makrooh.

Answer 144: The religious authorities’ (grand jurists) answer in this regards: As per the Islamic law, there is no problem to keep or hang those pictures which are ascribed to the Infallible Imams (a.s) and the Holy Prophet (pbuh) in our houses or Hussainiyah, if it is not considered desecrating or disrespectful according to Urf (custom) nor opposed to the status of them.

According to Ayatollah Sistani, If it does not involve desecration of them, there is no problem.

Note: The jurists have said: Offering prayers is makrooh (abominable) at certain places including “facing the picture or statue of living creatures, unless it is covered. It is makrooh to offer prayers at a place where there is a picture, even if it may not be placed in front of the person who offers prayers”.[1]

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

Index: Rules on drawing according to Islam, answer 226.

[1] . Ajwabat al-Istiftaat (Answers to Religious Queries), vol.2, pg. 38. Tauzihul Masail of Sayyid Roohollah al-Moosavi al-Khomeini (with connotation), vol.1, issue No.898.

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Permissibility of using JJH for the Imams (pbuth)

Question102: Is it permissible to use JJH with Imam’s names whereas it has been always attached with Almighty but nowadays some groups have started this new issue?

Answer 102: Some of these names and attributes are only suitable be applied for Allah (SWT) the Almighty, according to traditions and common law. All Muslims and even our Infallibles (PBUTH) have only applied the JJh (Jalla jalālahu: meaning May His glory be glorified) for Allah (SWT), only. There is no tradition in which our Infallibles have applied it for themselves.[1]

(1) Considering the meaning of such names, there would be no problem to use this name (JJh) for our infallible Imams (PBUTH), however, we are forbidden to exaggerate about them (AS) by using some names and attributes which are specialized for Allah (SWT), only. In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says, “Say [O, Messenger!]: “I am only a human Being like you; it is revealed to me that Allah is the only God to be worshipped.”[2]

(2) According to a tradition, we are recommended not to put ourselves in a position of accusation. Thus, if we use such names and attributes for the Imams (PBUTH) those disbelievers would accuse us.[3]

(3) In this regards, in the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says, “O, you who believe! Do not say: “Raena” to the Messenger, but say: “Unzurna” listen to this admonition And [know that] for the disbelievers There is a painful Torment.” ((Yââ ayyohalladhêna ââmanô lâ taqôlô râ’enâ waqôlônẓor­nâ was­ma’ô Walel­kâferêna ‘adhâbon alêm)).[4]

(4) Since, the word Raena has had a bad meaning (curse) according to Jewish people of that time, Allah (SWT) has said Do not say Raena to the Holy Prophet, Say Unzorna (Watch over us) instead.

(5) In other verse of the Holy Quran Allah, the Almighty says: “Some of Yahudis [the Jews] Deliberately displace words from their Original places] to alter the meaning [And] for example [they say] to The Messenger [:” We heard your word And we disobeyed”] or they say: [” Hear And let you hear nothing!” Or they say:” Raena” with a twist of their tongues And a taunt to Islam; and if] instead [Only they had said:” We hear and obey”, And] had said: [” Do have consideration For us to understand what you recite”, it Would have been better for them and More proper; Allah has cursed Them for their disbelief; so they will Not believe except a few of them.”[5]

(Menalladhêna hâdô yoḥarrefônal­kalema ‘ammawâḍe’ehê wa yaqôlôna same’­nâ w’aṣay­nâ was­ma’­ghay­ra mos­ma’ew­warâ’enâ layyam bel­senatehem waṭa’­nan feddên Walaw annahom qâlô same’­nâ wa aṭa’­nâ was­ma’­wanẓor­nâ lakâna khay­rallâhom wa aq­wama walakella’anahomollâho bekof­rehem falâ yo­menôna ellâ qalêla)

Conclusion: According to above mentioned verses of the Holy Qur’an and those traditions, we are not recommended to use such divine names and attributes for the Infallibles (PBUTH).

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[1] . Al-Kafi, Vol. 2, Pg. 498, H 12.

قال الصادق (علیه السلام): قال الله عزوجلّ يابن ادم اذكرنى فى ملاء، اذكرت فى ملاء خير من ملئك”

[2] . Surah Kahf, verse 110 and Surah Fussilat, verse 6.

قُلْ إِنَّما أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِثْلُكُمْ يُوحى إِلَي

[3] . Biharul Anwar, Vol. 33, Pg. 510.

اتَّقُوا مَوَاضِعَ التُّهَمِ

[4] . Surah Baqarah, verse 104.

يا أَيُّهَا الَّذينَ آمَنُوا لا تَقُولُوا راعِنا وَ قُولُوا انْظُرْنا وَ اسْمَعُوا وَ لِلْكافِرينَ عَذابٌ أَليم.

[5] . Surah Nisa, verse 46.

مِنَ الَّذينَ هادُوا يُحَرِّفُونَ الْكَلِمَ عَنْ مَواضِعِهِ وَ يَقُولُونَ سَمِعْنا وَ عَصَيْنا وَ اسْمَعْ غَيْرَ مُسْمَعٍ وَ راعِنا لَيًّا بِأَلْسِنَتِهِمْ وَ طَعْناً فِي الدِّينِ وَ لَوْ أَنَّهُمْ قالُوا سَمِعْنا وَ أَطَعْنا وَ اسْمَعْ وَ انْظُرْنا لَكانَ خَيْراً لَهُمْ وَ أَقْوَمَ وَ لكِنْ لَعَنَهُمُ اللَّهُ بِكُفْرِهِمْ فَلا يُؤْمِنُونَ إِلاَّ قَليلا.

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The exact date on birth or Martyrdom of Lady Fatima and Infallibles

Question 254: I am having a query that we people do not know the exact date of our imams birthday or martyr as we knew imam al Mahdi (.a.s) is present? Example, the exact date on birth or Martyrdom of Lady Fatima (sa)?

Answer 254: There have been many different reasons why we Shia don’t have an exact date of the martyrdom or birth of our Infallibles (pbuth) as follows:

People didn’t narrate the historical events during the times of our Infallibles (pbuh) as we do, now.  Due to lack of facilities, they didn’t keep such important issues on book or text to be transferred to the next generations. Narrating historical events were verbally at that times. Obviously, no one can claim that all of these narrators were immune to mistakes even about the date of birth of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) as we see different opinions in this regards. The people didn’t also record the date of birth of their children.

Given to the fact that knowing the exact date of martyrdom or birth of our Infallibles (pbuth) was more important according to Shia narrators, most of scholars of this filed have been mentioned a solution by which people can understand it easily. They have been determined a date for such events based on the authenticity attained by scientific researches.

There has been mentioned different opinions about how long has the Lady Fatimah (sa) been alive after the demise of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) in Hadithic or historical books. Some say it was forty days and others mentioned six months.[1]

According to Shia, the most authentic tradition in which mentioned the exact date of martyrdom of Lady Fatimah (sa) is a hadith narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) as He has said: Indeed, the date of martyrdom of Seddiqah Kubra (sa) is three months after the  demise of the holy Prophet (pbuh).[2]

According to Tabarsi (ra) Hadhrat Seddiqah Tahirah (sa) has passed away in Jumada al-Akhira in the eleventh year of the hegira. She had lived 95 days after the demise of the holy Prophet (pbuh).[3]

In his book Dalael al-Imamah Late Tabari narrated a hadith from Imam Sadiq as He has said: Lady Fatima Zahra (sa) has passed away on Tuesday in the month of Jumada al-Akhira, in the eleventh year of the hegira.[4]

Most of shia scholars including Sayyid bin Tawoos have accepted these above mentioned ahatith as authentic.[5]

There is another sahih hadith narrated by Late Kuleini from Imam Sadiq (as) as He has said: Indeed, Lady Fatima (sa) were alive seventy five days after her beloved Father (pbuh).[6]

Probably, the reason why some of scholars say it was ninety five days and others say seventy five days after the Prophet’s (pbuh) death is that the punctuation wasn’t prevalent at that time. Taking the following words into consideration can confirm the reason.

If we delete the spot of the letter “B” in the word “sab­’ôn” (seventy) and add two spots above the first letter of the word it would be pronounced “Tes­’ôn” (ninety).

Arabic version:

«خمسه و سبعون» با «خمسه تسعون»

Note: According to great Shia scholars, the most authentic date of martyrdom of Lady Fatima Zahra (sa) is ninety five days after the Prophet’s (pbuh) death.[7]

[1] . Majlesi, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, Pg. 189, H 19.

[2] . Abul Faraj Esfehani, Maqatel al-Talebin, researcher: Saqar, Sayyid Ahmad, Pgs. 59 and 60, Dar al-Marefat, Beirut, Bita.

[3] . Tabarsi, Fadl bin Hasan, Aalam al-Wara bi Aalam al-Huda, Vol. 1, Pg. 300, Aalul Bayt Institution, Qom, first edition, 1417 A.H.

[4] . Tabari, Muhammad bin Jurayr bin Rostam, Dalael al-Imama, Pg. 79, Be’that, Qom, first edition, 1413 A.H.

[5] . Ibn Tawoos, Ali bin Musa, al-Iqbal bi al-Aamal al-Hasana fima Ya’mal Marrat-an fi al-Sunna, researcher and editor: Qayoumi Esfahani, Jawad, Vol. 3, Pgs. 160-161, Daftar Tablighat Islami, Qom, first edition.

[6] . Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, Pg. 458, H 1.

[7] . Adopted from answer 8086.

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Islam and Democracy / Khilafat is Appointed by Allah’s order

Question 592: Islam and Democracy: 1. Is democracy in consonance or against Islam? And if it is, can Shariah be adjusted in democracy?

2. Is Khialafat (which is demand of a lot of muslims esp in Pakistan we here conventions regarding that) Is it possible in the present world? Seeing that Jamal ud din Afghani and Iqbal talked about one political center for Islam. Is it viable?

Answer 592: First of all, Caliphate or successorship is divinely appointed by Allah’s (SWT) order and the Infallibles (pbuth). So, if you meant having such Caliphate that was appointed at the advent of Islam and the times of the Fourteen Infallibles (pbuth) it would be impossible to have it in the present world. Because, the Twelve Infallibles (pbuth) have already appointed as Caliphate and the last Imam (as) is in occultation now. But, if you meant having an Islamic government in occultation era it would be possible to be functioned with the selection and advocating of the people.

In regards to democracy, we can say that people can determine their own destiny and enjoy their individual and social rights under the Islamic system, according to Islam.

Islam does not accept some features of western democracy where the majority vote contradicts human dignity; however, there are more complete and beautiful facets of democracy present in the Islamic version. In reality, there are no contradictions between religion and democracy and Islam has the most developed form of democracy that exists.

Islam and Democracy: Democracy is a method of organizing society and respecting the majority vote while maintaining individual and civil rights.

Although the majority is not necessarily always right[1], the majority can be determining[2] and can accomplish its goals by accepting or not accepting them. From Islam’s point of view a system cannot exist unless the people and the majority accept it.

Islam believes that people have the right to determine their future and enjoy their individual and social rights in an Islamic system.[3]

Of course Islam does not accept democracy in the way the western world does. In Islam if the vote of the majority contradicts basic human dignity[4], it is considered illegitimate. However Islam accepts democracy in a much more complete and beautiful sense of the word. In Islam, religion and democracy are neither fully contradictory nor fully in agreement. The system which Islam accepts as legitimate is a type of religious democracy.[5]

The system of the Islamic Republic of Iran is a clear example of such a system which coordinates between religion and democracy. Imam Khomeini, as a qualified religious authority and jurisprudent, founded the Islamic Republic of Iran and proved that not only aren’t Islam and democracy not contradictory, but that they are in fact able to work in tandem. Based on the peoples’ vote, Islam has the most democratic way of organizing the society.

We have some verses in the Holy Quran which show that the Prophet (s) consulted with people, allowed them to take part in political and social matters, used their suggestions[6], and gave them freedom of thought and speech. [7]

Furthermore in traditions, the history and the life of Infallible Imams (a) all clearly shows this[8].[9]

Caliphate: According to Shia: Caliphate or successorship to the Holy Prophet (s) is divinely appointed and that at God’s order the Prophet, many a time, introduced Ali (a.s.) as his successor.

The successors of the Prophet (s) are twelve immaculate Imams or “twelve caliphs” as reported in Shiite and Sunni sources. The first of them is Ali bin Abi Talib and the last of them is Hazrat Hujjat bin Al-Hasan Al-Askari (Imam Mahdi) – may Allah hasten his reappearance.

Following the demise of the Holy Prophet (s), a situation came into being as a result of which the Commander of Faithful, Ali (a.s.) who had been appointed by the Prophet (s) as his successor was deprived of his right to the caliphate. Thus, he was made to keep aloof in his house. Indeed, for the good of Islam and Muslims, Ali (a.s.), despite being dissatisfied with the performance of the caliphate, never refrained from giving his advice to the caliphs.[10]

The relationship between government and people in Islam: According to Islam and Quranic verses, people are one of the central factors of a government.  The Holy Quran says: “لقد ارسلنا رسلنا بالبینات و انزلنا معهم الکتاب و المیزان لیقوم الناس بالقسط…” meaning that: “Certainly We sent Our apostles with manifest proofs, and We sent down with them the Book and the Balance, so that mankind may maintain justice;”[11]  According to this verse, Islam, that has guidelines and instructions for the maintaining of justice in society, values such a thing when it is carried out by normal people, not officials and authorities.

We can summarize the relationship between people and the government within the following fields:

1- Choosing the Islamic government by the people:

In the Islamic government, people have chosen an Islamic political structure out of their knowledge, love and free will and long the execution of divine law, and obviously, an Islamic government will not be able to function without the selection and advocating of the people.  It is on this basis that even though Imam Ali was granted Wilayah (Authority) by Allah and was divinely selected to lead the people, he did not carry out this responsibility until they came to him and swore allegiance, because the grounds were not yet ready for him to practice his authority and Wilayah.

But when the grounds existed he did not neglect his responsibility, as the Imam himself says : “لولا حضور الحاضر و قیام الحجة بوجود الناصر و ما اخذ الله علی العلماء ان لایقاروا علی کظة ظالم و لا سغب مظلوم لألقیت حبلها علی غاربها و لسقیت اخرها بکأس اوّلها و لألفیتم دنیاکم هذه ازهد عندی من عفطة عنز…”[12] which means: “If people had not come to me, and supporters had not exhausted the argument, and if there had been no pledge of Allah with the learned to the effect that they should not acquiesce in the gluttony of the oppressor and the hunger of the oppressed, I would have cast the rope of Caliphate on its own shoulders, and would have given the last one the same treatment as to the first one.  Then you would have seen that in my view this world of yours is no better than the sneezing of a goat!”[13]

These statements of the Imam show that even though establishing a government for the execution of justice and getting back the rights of the oppressed from oppressors is a duty that Allah has assigned to the imam, but because carrying out this duty is not possible without the support, allegiance and advocating of the people, until people do not take the required steps in regard to establishing a government, the infallible imam is not responsible to force people to obey him, instead he must guide people and advise them so that they do what is necessary out of free will.[14]

[1]. In another word legitimacy is not determined by the majority vote whereby acceptance is.

[2]. As an explanation we draw your attention to the following example: imagine several jurisprudents are qualified to take over the Islamic government but by the majority vote and public opinion only one jurisprudent is selected for this mission.

[3] Refer to:

A – Hadavi Tehrani, Mehdi, Leadership and Religion, P.117 – 138.

B – Subject: The relationship of people and government in Islam, question: 269

[4]. Refer to subject: Human being and dignity, question 48

[5]. I.e. democracy in a society in which there is a Muslim majority is discussed within the religious and legal principles. They have accepted Islam freely and voluntarily and they have agreed that Islam’s laws and legislative system and moral and religious values should be enforced in society.

[6]. Ale-Imran:159, “So under God’s blessings you have become merciful and kind to them. If you were harsh on them they would keep a distance from you. So forgive them and consult with them in your affairs…”

[7]. Ghashieh:21 and22; Zumar:17 and 18.

[8] Nahj Al Balagheh, p. 207

[9] . Adopted from answer 292 (Index: Islam and Democracy).

[10] . Adopted from answer 1289 (Index: Shia and Successorship to the Prophet (s)).

[11] Hadid: 25

[12] Nahjul-Balagha, sermon 3, Translation, Muhammad Dashti.

[13]. Ibid.

[14] . Adopted from answer 269 (Index: The relationship between government and people in Islam).

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Qama Zani / How the Infallible Imams (pbuth) mourned for Imam Hussain (as)

Question 507: Assalamu alaikum. Ya ali a.s madad. My questions is, would you please tell me that how many from our 12 imams shed blood (Qama Zani) for imam Hussain (a.s) as Azadari and did condolence? If yes then, can you please provide me authentic reference?
Thank you.

Answer 507:  The Shia Imams (A.S.) and Different Ways of Mourning for Imam Hussein (A.S.) are as follows:

Holding Mourning Ceremonies: One of the methods that the Imams used to keep the memory of the rise of Ashura alive was arranging gatherings for crying and mourning and making others cry for the tragic incidents that took place in Karbala and reminding people of those incidents on appropriate occasions.

Imam Sajjad would constantly cry and mourn for what had taken place on the day of Ashura during the years he was the Imam of the Ummah.  He cried so much to the extent that he was known as and called one of the “Bakka’een” (those who cried very much).[1]

Imam Sajjad (as) and Lady Zeynab (sa) have always been trying to hold mourning ceremonies for Imam Hussain (as), even at that disaster time.

Delivering a sermon in the court of Yazeed and the People of Damascus was one of the Imam Sajjad’s (as) methods He used. He (as) said: O Yazid, is Muhammad (sa) your ancestor or Mine? If you say He is your ancestor you would lie and blaspheme, and if you believe that He is my grandfather, why you killed His son and imprisoned His family? Why you killed my Father and brought his family to this city as prisoners”? The Imam (as) then cried a lot and tore off his collar. When the people saw how the Imam is crying they also cried too much.[2]

Alqame Hadrami relates that Imam Baqir (as) would gather people in his house on the day of Ashura to cry and mourn, and the Imam himself would cry for his grandfather.  There was no Taqiyyah involved and he would tell those in the house to cry for Imam Hossein and to express their condolences to each other on the day of his martyrdom.[3]

On one occasion Imam Sadiq told Dawood Ruqi: “I have never drunk cold water without remembering Imam Hossein.”[4]

It is narrated in a hadith that Imam Reza said: “When the month of Muharram would arrive no one would see my father (Imam Kazim) smile and sadness and sorrow would take over him until the day of Ashura. The tenth day of Muharram was the day of sorrow and sadness and tragedy and he would say: Today is the day in which Imam Hossein was martyred.”[5]

Therefore, not only would the Infallible Imams attend these gatherings themselves and cry for Imam Hussein but they would always encourage people to cry and mourn for the Imam.  It has been said in a hadith that: “Whoever cries for Imam Hossein or makes someone else cry for the Imam will be rewarded paradise, and even those who show they are sad and crying [even if they aren’t because of whatever reason] will also be rewarded with paradise”.[6]

The eulogists and poets like Kumit Asadi, Da’bal Khaza’ei and Seyyed Humairi were praised by the Infallible Imams (A.S.) for their reciting elegies and composing poems on the tragedy of Karbala.

Tatbir (Qama Zani): Qama zani has been used as a means of mourning by some Shiahs in some cities and countries like Iraq, Pakistan and India. (It is said that the message of such mourning is that the mourners are ready to sacrifice and give away their lives in the path of Imam Hossein).

The ruling of Qama has always been a matter of dispute among the Ulema and the Maraj’e; there have always been two different opinions, some would allow it while others would forbid it.

The Grand Ayatollah Na’ini was the first to be inquired about the ruling in Islam regarding the usage of Qama, and his fatwa was considered the base of the fatwa of the other Maraj’e of his time and after him.

The Grand Ayatollah Na’ini held that there is not one verse or hadith that relates to Qama in particular, therefore if there is not fear that one might cause notable damage to his body through the use of Qama then it is permissible.  Tens of the Ulema after him did not issue a different fatwa and simply accepted his fatwa.  At the same time there was a group of the Ulema that forbade the usage of Qama due to the negative impact striking the head and making it bleed had on non Muslims and because it was used to misrepresent Shiism and harm it.  For example the Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Abolhasan Isfihani had declared the usage of Qama haram.[7]

It is noteworthy that even those of the Ulema that did not consider the usage of Qama haram would only allow it to the extent that it would not cause considerable damage to the body.

Not only hasn’t this type of mourning been mentioned in the ahadith to make it one of the “Sha’air” (sacraments), it is not even mustahab[8], but today the adversaries of Islam are taking advantage of these ceremonies by showing them to the world and misrepresenting Islam and the Shia school of thought all of which end up in Islam and Shiism being harmed.

This is why the Great Imam Khomeini says in response to a question regarding these ceremonies: “In such a situation they should not use Qama in the ceremonies…”.[9]

It is due to the same reason (the capitalization of the west on the harsh face of these ceremonies and its harming Shiism) that some of the Maraje like Grand Ayatollahs Khamenei, Fazel, Makarem, Noori Hamedani and Tabrizi have declared the use of Qama haram at this time.

According to most of maraja, as it is not held in the common view as manifestations of mourning and grief and didn’t take place in the imams’ time and even after that, and we have not received any tradition quoted from the Infallibles about any support for this act, be it privately or publicly, this practice would, at the present time, give others a bad image of our school of thought, therefore, there is no way that it can be considered permissible.[10] But, according to few of Maraja, Qama Zani is permissible.[11]

It must be noted that Hijamah is a Mustahab act that has its own conditions and rituals[12](10), but even if it is scientifically proved that the use of Qama has the same effect of Hijamah, it will still be haram, because it brings about the harm of Shiism and the adversaries of Islam take advantage of it.

The Philosophy of Azadari (mourning and lamentation) for Imam Husain, according to Ayatollah Sistani is as follows:

There is no doubt that the tragedy of Kerbala, when ascribed to the killers, is a criminal and terrible act. However when ascribed to Husain (A) himself, it represents a conscious confrontation and a courageous resistance for a sacred cause. The whole nation had failed to stand up to Yazid. They had succumbed to his will, and deviation and regression towards the pre-Islamic ways were increasing.

Passiveness by Husain (A) in this situation would have meant the end of Islam as we know it. Thus Husain (A) took upon himself the responsibility of the whole nation. The greatest tragedy was that one who stood up for the noblest of causes, the defense of Islam, was cut down in so cruel a manner.

It is for this reason that the sacrifice of Husain (A) is commemorated annually throughout the Muslim world. Our sorrow never abates as we relive the tragedy.

The commemoration of Ashura on the 10th of Muharram every year serves to remind us of the sacrifices of the family of the Prophet (S). It also makes us aware of the people, then and now, who tried to destroy Islam and the family of the Prophet (S) and all that they stood for – as well as those who watched, listened and did nothing.[13]

Conclusion: The great Shia Imams, peace be upon them, mourned for Imam Hussain (as) and have encouraged us to keep the memory of the event of Karbala alive through different ways namely, holding mourning ceremonies, weeping and making others weep, reciting elegies and visiting the grave of the Chief of the Martyrs, Imam Hussein (A.S.).[14]

None of the Imams (pbuth) shed blood for Imam Hussain (as). They just cried so much to the extent and held mourning ceremonies. So, there would be no problem in crying loudly as well as beating our head and face in mourning for Imam Hussein (as).

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

Index:  Acceptable mourning for Imam Hussain (as), answer 049.

Related Link: Glossary 507.

[1]Wasa’elul-Shia, vol. 2, pg. 922.

[2] . Sirayeh (the Way of life) Chahardah Masoom (the Fourteen Infallibles (pbuth)), Pg. 397.

[3]Wasa’elul-Shia, vol. 2, pg. 398.

[4]Amali (Saduq), pg. 142.

[5]Mafatihul-Jinan, Sheikh Abbas Qummi, the section on the rituals and supplications of Muharram.

[6]Biharul-Anwar, vol. 24, pg. 284.

[7] Farhange Ashura, pg. 215.

[8] Fadlullah, Seyyid Muhammad Husein, Negahi Eslami be Ashura, pg. 44.

[9] Farhange Ashura, pg. 387.

[10] . Risalh Ajwabah, Q. 1461; Imam Khomeini, Istiftaat, Vol. 3, Pg. 581, Q. 37-38; Farhang Ashura, Pg. 354; Ayatollah Fadhel, Jame al-Masael, Vol. 1, Pg. 622; Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, Istiftaat Jadid, Vol. 1, Pg. 158, Q. 571;  Ayatollah Tabrizi, Istiftaat Jadid, Vol. 1, Pg. 454, Q. 2003.

[11] . A similar question has been asked (by phone:) the office of Ayatollah Saafi Golpayegani.

[12] Qummi, Sheikh Abbas, Safinatul-Bihar, vol. 1, root: حجم

[13] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani, rules regarding Azadari.

[14] . Ramz al-Mosibah, Vol. 1, Pgs. 24-25; Kamel al-Ziyarat, Pg. 175; Tarikh al-Niyyahat, Pgs. 123-132, Shahid Karbala, Pg. 80; Maali al-Sibtayn, Vol. 1, Pgs. 153-154.

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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.