Muhammad Jaffer

The Poet-Knight Abu Firas al-Hamadani and his Famous Poem Lampooning the Abbasids

Below we have translated the legendary Qaṣīdah al-Mīmīyyah of the Arabian poet-knight al-Amīr Abū Firās al-Ḥamadānī (may God have mercy on him); this poem is also famously known also as al-Shāfiyah (the Gratifier), as it quenched the anger of the Shī’ah against the ‘Abbāsid regime. It was composed in defense of the Ahlulbayt and as … Read more

A Detailed Analysis on the Verse of al-Mawaddah fi al-Qurba

The following is an abridged translation of an excellent article written by a researcher in Qum, Shaykh Rūḥullāh Malekiān, linguistically analyzing Sūrah Shūrā verse 23, the famous verse known colloquially as “Āyah al-Mawaddah.” The original article is entitled, “Kalimah Ḥawl Āyah al-Mawaddah fī al-Qurbā.”[1] The linguistic analysis provided by Shaykh Malekiān is excellent, although we … Read more

On Islamic Irfan (Mysticism): Analyzing its Epistemology and Pedagogic Dimensions

The following is a translation of Shaykh Ḥaydar Ḥubbullāh’s epistemic analysis of mysticism.[1] We found this piece particularly important to translate, especially given that religious discourse in the Shī’ah world on the pulpits today often tends to glamorize ‘irfānī experience. “From one standpoint,  the religious consciousness in general and the Islamic one in particular manifests … Read more

On Contemporary Shi’ah Religious Thought

The following is a translation of some excerpts from an interview that Shaykh Ḥaydar Ḥubbullāh had with the Baḥrainī newspaper al-Ayyām about contemporary religious thought. Although this is roughly a decade-old interview now, the issues discussed continue to be relevant today. We have selected two particularly interesting questions that were asked of the Shaykh with … Read more

The Legendary Ode Inscribed into the Golden Cage of Imam Ali (as)

The following is a translation of al-Qaṣīdah al-‘Ayniyyah of ‘Abd al-Ḥamīd ibn Abī al-Ḥadīd al-Mu’tazilī  (586-656 A.H.). Ibn Abī al-Ḥadīd is widely regarded as the famous commentator of Nahj al-Balāghah. While he was actually a Sunnī Mu’tazilite who followed the Shāfi’ite school of Sunni jurisprudence, he nonetheless believed in the superiority of Imām ‘Alī (as) … Read more

An In-Depth Analysis of the Verse of Tathir: Who are the Ahl al-Bayt? (Part 2)

Part 2: Answering Certain Contentions About the Verse of Purification Given the theological implications of interpreting the verse as we have sought to do in the previous section, critics often raises several contentions that we believe are appropriate to address here. For this section of the analysis, I am again highly indebted to Sayyid al-‘Āmilī’s … Read more

An In-Depth Analysis of the Verse of Tathir: Who are the Ahl al-Bayt? (Part 1)

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَىٰ ۖ وَأَقِمْنَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتِينَ الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِعْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا And abide (oh wives of the Prophet) quietly in your homes, and do not flaunt your charms as they used to flaunt them in … Read more

Abdul-Qadir Jilani bin Salim’s Ode in Praise of Sayyidah Khadija

Below is an Arabic poem by the Sunni Shāfi’ī modern-day scholar and poet ‘Abdul-Qādir Jilānī bin Sālim bin ‘Alawī Khirad regarding Sayyidah Khadījah, which we have translated into rhymed English verse on the rhyme scheme ababcc in the form of six sestains. I dedicate this as a gift to our beloved mother Khadījah bint Khuwaylid—wife … Read more

The Importance of Pilgrimage (Ziyarah) in Shi’ism and Catholicism: Comparing and Contrasting

Below is a precis of an article in the Arabic journal al-Nuṣūs al-Mu’āṣirah (Contemporary Texts), written by Muḥammad Folādī, Muḥammad Jawād Nawrūzī, and Farqad al-Jazā’irī wherein the rite of pilgrimage in both faiths is discussed. The purpose of this investigation is to elucidate on the importance of pilgrimage (al-ziyārah) in Catholicism and Shī’ism while extracting … Read more

Answering the Seven Cascading Contentions of Satan

The following is a translation of a philosophical rebuttal by the grand luminary Shaykh Muḥammad Husayn al-Khorasānī (1336-1406 AH; may God have mercy on him) against the seven theoretical contentions of Satan. We have translated the below excerpt from his Persian work, “An Encyclopedia of Islamic Precepts: In Commentary on The Raḍawī Sermon of Tawḥīd” … Read more

On Approaching Atheism

The below piece is a translation and summary of a lecture given by the contemporary Saudi Shī’a scholar and polemicist, Shaykh Aḥmad Salmān al-Aḥmadī, on the topic of how to approach and dispute with atheists. Among the challenges facing religious thought today is the overshadowing of atheism into our societies and youth. We see that … Read more

Shaykh al-Islam al-Baha’i’s Ode in Praise of the Twelfth Imam (as)

Below, we have translated the famous Arabic qaṣīdah for the Twelfth Imām al-Mahdī (may Allah hasten his reappearance) composed by the Safavid scholar Bahā’ al-Dīn al-‘Āmilī (1547-1621 AD; may God have mercy upon him) also known as Shaykh al-Bahā’ī. Al-Bahā’ī was one of the most illustrious Shī’ah polymath ever known; in addition to being the … Read more

The Famous Ode of Ibn ‘Arandas Reputed to Summon the Twelfth Imam (as)

Below is a translation of the famous al-Qaṣīdah al-Rā’iyyah by the illustrious Imāmī Shī’a scholar, jurist, and poet, Sāliḥ ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhāb ibn al-‘Arandas al-Ḥillī (d. 840 AH). This famous poem is narrated by ‘Allāmah al-Amīnī in his poetic encyclopedia al-Ghadīr. Before narrating the poem, ‘Allāmah al-Amīnī states: “This poem has earned repute among our … Read more

The Eulogy Immortalized in Golden Ink at the Gate of Imam Husayn (as)

Below is a translation of the legendary al-Qaṣīdah al-‘Aynīyyah of the Iraqi poet Muḥammad Mahdī al-Jawāhirī (1899-1997)—may God have mercy on him. Al-Jawāhirī is celebrated as the best Arab poet of the 20th century par excellence. His great grandfather—Muḥammad Ḥasan al-Najafī, wrote the Shī’ah fiqhī masterpiece “Jawāhir al-Kalām” (The Jewels of Discourse), which is still … Read more

The Legendary Poem Inscribed into the Golden Dome of Imam ‘Ali’s Shrine

The following panegyric for Imām ‘Alī (as) is written by a famous 19th century Arab poet and the Sunnī Ḥanafī governor of Mosul for the Ottoman Empire, ‘Abdul Bāqī al-‘Umarī (1790-1862), who traces his lineage back to ‘Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb. It is widely regarded as one of the most astonishing and eloquent tributes to Imām … Read more

Imam al-Hadi’s Poem in the Court of Mutawakkil

It is narrated by Al-Mas’ūdī in Murūj al-Dhahab that al-Imām ‘Alī ibn Muḥammad al-Hādī (as) was called into the court of the Abbasid caliph al-Mutawakkil while the latter was indulging in alcohol and merrymaking. Al-Mutawakkil called him to partake of it, but the Imām abstained stating “My flesh and blood can never mingle with alcohol.” … Read more

Kumayt’s Panegyric

Translated by Br. Muhammed Jaffer. Al-Kumayt ibn Zayd al-Asadi (may God be pleased with him) was among the staunchest in his love for the Ahlulbayt and wrote an entire diwaan, the Hashimiyyaat, in praise for them. He was also a hafidh of the Qur’an, a faqih, a philanthropist, and an archer. He was martyred by … Read more

Abu Talib’s Panegyric

Translated by Br. Muhammed Jaffer. خليليَّ ما أُذْني لأوَّلِ عاذلِ بِصَغْواءَ في حقٍّ ولا عندَ باطل خليليَّ إنَّ الرأيَ ليسَ بِشِركة ٍ ولا نَهْنَهٍ عندَ الأمورِ البَلابلِ ولمّا رأيتُ القومَ لا وُدَّ عندَهُمْ وقد قَطَعوا كلَّ العُرى والوَسائلِ وقد صارحونا بالعداوة ِ والأذى وقد طاوَعوا أمرَ العدوِّ المُزايلِ وقد حالَفُوا قوما علينا أظِنَّة ً يعضُّون … Read more

Di’bil’s Ode for Imam al-Rida (a)

Translated by Br. Muhammed Jaffer. Regarding the life of Di’bil, click here. This is the famous 120 stanza Taa’iyyah of Di’bil al-Khuzaa’i’s (d. 246 AH) translated into rhyming English couplets, adhering to the meter of iambic pentameter as much as possible. This poem is deeply rooted in early Shi’i identity and creed as it was … Read more