Sadiq Meghjee

The Layman and the Principle of Innocence

Reading Level: Intermediate The following is a translation of a section of a lesson from Ay. Shahidīpour’s advanced jurisprudence classes (link here). In this discussion Shahidīpour touches on the difference of opinion that exists on whether or not the layman is able to apply asālat al-barā’a (hereby referred to as the “principle of innocence”) in … Read more

Perennial Impacts of the Akhbari School on the Usulis

By Muhammad Baqir Malakiyan [Source] Abstract Centuries have passed since the downfall of the Akhbari school, yet we find effects and opinions in the books of the Usulis which we do not ever see before the uprising of the Akhbari school of thought. In fact, these opinions and effects were – literally – what the … Read more

Reflections on the Religious Culture of Precaution

By Shaykh Haydar Hobollah [Source]. Question: The idea of precaution that is found within the religion is based on a number of traditions such as “precaution is the path to salvation” and “take precaution in your religion”. However, this type of thinking has dominated over many religious people and has made them excessive in adopting … Read more

Consuming the Meat of the People of the Book (1)

Translators note: The following is the translation of the advanced jurisprudential classes of Ayatollah Mohallāti which started on 14th November 2020. The topic of the discussion pertains to the matter of consuming meat slaughtered by the People of the Book, a subject which generated many vibrant and lively discussions amongst the earlier scholars but gradually … Read more

Reasons for the Different Opinions on Ibn ‘Arabi

Question: How do we explain and understand the contradiction and different opinions our scholars have over the school (madhab) of Ibn ‘Arabi? Some scholars, such as Imām Khomeinī, Allāmah Tabatabai’ī and Syed Kamāl al-Hyderī, praise ibn ‘Arabi and consider him to have a great status. Others, such as Syed Ja’far Murtadha and Syed Murtadha Shirāzī … Read more

Religious Coexistence During the Occultation

The original transcript of the lecture given by Ustad Mahallati in Farsi can be found here. — The discussions relating to Imam Zamān (a) can be split into two categories, one category relating to ideas and the other relating to matters of a more practical nature. One of the discussions that take place within the … Read more

Our Century of Tragedy | Shahid Mutahhari

The following is a translation of the last page in Shahīd Mutahhari’s article titled Ilhāmī az Shaykh al-Tā’ifa, (Inspirations from the Shaykh of the Sect, Shaykh Tūsi) where he vents his frustration at the adverse circumstances facing the Islamic society and the desperate need for a reviver (mujaddid) to solve many of the doubts, questions … Read more

Islam – The Religion of Ease

This is a transcript of a lecture given on the role of ease in Islam and Prophetic practice by Shaykh Mahallāti. The original lecture can be listened to here.  —-  The legal practice (sharī’a) that the Prophet (p) brought has numerous traits and distinctions. For example, one of these favourable distinctions is that this legal … Read more

Reflections on Munajaat Sha’baniyyah

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woXy377zz24 Introduction Supplication is the means through which human beings can connect with the Divine and express their innermost desires and complaints. It is via the process of supplication that God gives attention to His servants, as alluded to in the verse [25:77] Say, “What weight would my Lord give you, were it not for … Read more

Syed Khamena’i on Syed Ni’matullah Jaza’iri and a Scholar’s Need for Humour

The following speech was given by Syed Khamenā’ī in a commemoration for the great Shi’ī and Akhbāri scholar Syed Ni’matullāh Jazā’irī (d. 1701). The original speech can be found here. Syed Jazā’irī was one of the most celebrated students of Allamah Majlisī II (d. 1699) and played a significant and influential role in propagating Shi’ism … Read more

The Two Different Approaches to Living with Sunnis

The following is a translation of a message written by renowned Iranian researcher and scholar Rasūl Ja’fariyān. Syed Ni’matullah Jazā’irī (d. 1112 AH) in his commentary on ‘Awāli al-La’ālī, for the reason that the author of this book was inclined to Philosophy and Wisdom, brings up a very interesting discussion. The subject of this discussion gradually … Read more

Reflecting on the Fundamentals – The Qur’an on Those who are Weak | Sayyid Kamal al-Haydari | Lesson 20

We discussed in our previous talk that the Imams and the Prophets have given us a principle to use when faced with contradictory traditions. And that principle is the necessity of referring to the Qur’ān. This principle that they have left us illustrates that the Qur’ān is the foundation and the pivot of the entire … Read more

Reflecting on the Fundamentals – Every Tradition of Ghuluw in the Shia Hadith Literature are Fabrications | Sayyid Kamal al-Haydari | Lesson 19

Source: https://youtu.be/h6wbO0u5wnc We were discussing our position on the contradicting hadīth on whether or not a person who does not have wilāya will have his actions accepted or not. Is believing in the Imāms a condition to entering Paradise or not? We said that the traditions vary and are contradicting, some traditions clearly saying this … Read more

Reflecting on the Fundamentals – Imam Ridha’s Opinion on the Hadith Circulated at His Time | Sayyid Kamal al-Haydari | Lesson 18

Source: https://youtu.be/sQ3K4zmWE1M In our previous discussion, we stopped at an important question. A question that isn’t just important here but it appears in every discussion, and that is, in the case of a contradiction between traditions of the Holy Prophet and His Family, what is the criteria for preferring one tradition over the other? We … Read more

Reflecting on the Fundamentals – The Traditions that Restrict the Acceptance of Actions with the Acceptance of Wilaya | Sayyid Kamal al-Haydari | Lesson 17

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYsMwIRtVKU After our discussions we have reached this point, and it is very clear to see that this discussion can extend for hours and weeks and it would still not be enough. As I had mentioned in the first episode, it is permissible for a person to act according to any school within Islam, … Read more

Introduction to The Position of Theological Foundations in Ijtihad

The following is a translation of the introduction to Jāyegāh Mabāni Kalāmi dar Ijtihād by Dr. Sa’īd Dhiyāi’far. It is a 1,024-page research work which has surveyed 1,079 different (traditional and contemporary) jurisprudential and theological works exploring the various theological (kalāmī) foundations underpinning ijtihād and jurisprudence. Throughout the work, the author attempts to illustrate the … Read more

Reflecting on the Fundamentals – Syed Khomeini on the Salvation of All Who Follow Religion | Sayyid Kamal al-Haydari | Lesson 16

Source: http://alhaydari.com/ar/2017/08/61083/ We were previously looking at what a few great Imamī scholars had to say on the issue of all Muslims reaching salvation, or more appropriately, the salvation of mankind completely. Yes, everyone, with the handful of exceptions, as the Qur’ān explicitly says: “And they denied the signs, though their souls acknowledged them”[1]. So these … Read more

Faydh Kashani and Commanding the Good

Source: Dāvarīyeh Faydh Kāshanī miyān Pārsā va Dāneshmand, published by Nashriyeh Dānishkadeh Adabiyāt Tabrīz, Vol 9, 1336 (link here). It is also briefly referenced by Michael Cook in his groundbreaking research Commanding Right, footnote 238 on p. 287. The following is a translation of Faydh Kāshānī’s response to a letter sent to him by a … Read more

Slandering in The Name of Religion

The tradition being discussed in the article translated below is as follows: مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ الْحُسَيْنِ عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ أَبِي نَصْرٍ عَنْ دَاوُدَ بْنِ سِرْحَانَ عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ع قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ص إِذَا رَأَيْتُمْ أَهْلَ الرَّيْبِ وَ الْبِدَعِ مِنْ بَعْدِي فَأَظْهِرُوا الْبَرَاءَةَ مِنْهُمْ وَ أَكْثِرُوا مِنْ سَبِّهِمْ … Read more

Reflecting on the Fundamentals – Shaykh Ansari on Sunnis being Believers | Sayyid Kamal al-Haydari | Lesson 15

Source: http://alhaydari.com/ar/2017/08/61074/ In our previous episode, we took a look at the opinion of Faydh Kāshānī and we explained his view that if a person loves someone out of the love for the good that he embodied, he will be rewarded by God for this even if the person being loved was in Hell. And … Read more

Reflecting on the Fundamentals – Faydh Kāshānī on the Salvation of all Muslims | Sayyid Kamal al-Haydari | Lesson 14

Source: http://alhaydari.com/ar/2017/08/61061/ I want to now discuss something else, and that is whether or not any of our scholars from the school of the Ahlulbayt have come to a similar conclusion to that which we have taken on this matter. This isn’t to justify this view, as I have mentioned repeatedly that we should look … Read more

Syed Khomeinī, Chess and Musical Instruments

Syed Khomeinī is a figure widely remembered as the pioneer in bringing about the Islamic Revolution in 1979 yet what is often overlooked is his unique contribution to Shi’ī jurisprudence in his position as a jurisconsult. One of the many distinctions in his jurisprudential outlook was his endeavour to realign jurisprudence from being individually focused … Read more

Ayatollah Ishaq Fayyadh and the Role of Women in Society

Source: Gāmī be pīsh dar fiqh banuvān, by Syed Hādi Tabatabā’ī (http://mobahesat.ir/16349) When the discussion of women assuming ministerial positions arose during Ahmadinejad’s administration, news of opposition to this by Ayatollah Sāfi Gulpaygāni and Makārim Shirāzī came from Qom. It was fair to say that the maraji’ did not agree with the notion that ladies … Read more

The Prohibition of Singing (2) – Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Khamenei

Source: Syed Khamenei, Risāleh yeh Amῡzeshī (v.2), Ahkām e Mu’āmilāt, p. 111 – 116 Second Discussion: The ḥurmat (prohibition/impermissibility) of Singing Singing, if done so in the form that it is deviating (from the Right Path) is forbidden. On this basis, there are two types of singing, one type that is permissible which neither deviates … Read more

Reflecting on the Fundamentals – Imam Sadiq on All Who Haven’t been Guided will go to Paradise | Sayyid Kamal al-Haydari | Lesson 13

Source: http://alhaydari.com/ar/2017/08/61054/ Our discussion was on whether a person who does not agree with the school of the Ahlulbayt will enter Heaven or not. We said that they would do provided they fulfil the one condition that they have evidence for acting in the way they did, irrespective of whether this evidence is in accordance … Read more

Reflecting on the Fundamentals – Imam Sadiq on Non-Shias going to Paradise | Sayyid Kamāl al-Ḥaydari | Lesson 12

Source: http://alhaydari.com/ar/2017/08/61047/ The fourth tradition we will be looking at is from Kitāb Sulaym ibn Qays. As you know the discussions on the authenticity of this book are extensive, and there are a number of different opinions as to whether the book we have today is the same book attributed to Sulaym.[1] My opinion on … Read more

Reflecting on the Fundamentals – Statement of Imam Ali that all Muslims will go to Heaven | Sayyid Kamal al-Haydari | Lesson 11

Source: http://alhaydari.com/ar/2017/08/61039/ We previously looked at two traditions from the Ahlulbayt taken from reliable books, we will now look at the third tradition from Imām Alī where he mentions that all Muslims will go to Heaven. Perhaps someone might take an issue and say that I have mentioned even non-Muslims will gain salvation and gain … Read more

Reflecting on the Fundamentals – The One Who Does Not Recognise His Imam Will Go To Heaven | Sayyid Kamāl al-Ḥaydari | Lesson 10

Source: http://alhaydari.com/ar/2017/08/61032/ In our previous discussion, we began looking at the traditions of the Ahlulbayt specifically to see how they would deal with people who did not accept their Imāmate or their succession to the Prophet. We saw how Sāhib al-Bihār referred to such individuals as disbelievers and polytheists who will reside in Hell for eternity … Read more

Reflecting on the Fundamentals – Traditions from the Imāms on the Impermissiblity of Takfīr of other Muslims | Sayyid Kamāl al-Ḥaydari | Lesson 9

Source: http://alhaydari.com/ar/2017/08/61023/ In the previous discussion, we looked at what the Qur’ān had to say in respect of accepting and condemning the other, and we saw from verse 113 of Sῡrah Baqarah that this logic was not acceptable. In this discussion, we will look at the words of the Imāms to see if they accepted this … Read more

Reflecting on the Fundamentals – The Reasoning of the Qur’ān in Dealing with Others | Sayyid Kamāl al-Ḥaydari | Lesson 8

Source: http://alhaydari.com/ar/2017/08/61017/ We mentioned previously that the biggest affliction and illness to have affected religious thought throughout history has been the issue of tolerating the other and condemning the other with disbelief and polytheism. In other words, the beliefs that you hold which I don’t makes you a polytheist, disbeliever, misguided, apostate etc. And we also … Read more

The Need for a Contemporary Shaykh Baha’i

Source: Shaykh Bahā’ī barāyeh zamān mā by Rasῡl Ja’fariyān in Majmῡ’ eh maqālāt tārīkh islām va īrān, p. 1002 to 1004 400 years have elapsed since Shaykh Bahā’ī passed away yet unfortunately to date no serious research has taken place on him. Shāh Abbās had a special affinity for Shaykh Bahā’ī and held him in … Read more

Ayatollah Jahangir Qashqa’i – From Musician to Philosopher

Jahāngīr Qashqā’ī was a 19th century Shī’ī philosopher, jurist and mystic. He was born in 1243 in the village of Dehāqān, Isfahān. His father Mohammad Khān Qashqā’ī was a scholar and a man of perfection from the Dar Shῡrī clan of the Qashqā’ī tribe. He initially started studying at his birthplace and his intense passion … Read more

The Fate of Mirza Muhammad Akhbari

Below is a translation of an article written by Professor Hassan Ansari (Source: http://ansari.kateban.com/post/1877 ) regarding al-Mīrzā Muḥammad b. ‘Abd a-Nabī b. ‘Abd al-Ṣāni’ al-Akhbārī (1178 – 1233 AH / 1765 – 1818 CE) who was born in the city of Akbarabad in India (today Agra). He moved to Iraq in 1198 / 1784 on his return … Read more

Ayatollah Durche’ī – the Marj’a of Moderation

Below is a translation of Rasul Ja’fariyan’s book review on the life and views of Ayatollah Durche’i, the teacher of many well known 20th century scholars. Source: Syed Mohammad Bāqir Durche’ī marja’ mu’tadil dar urseh andīsheh hā yeh shi’ī by Rasῡl Ja’fariyān in Majmῡ’ eh maqālāt tārīkh islām va īrān, p. 293 to 298 Syed … Read more

The Movement of Ghuluw – Ayatollah Madadī

Source: Nigāhī beh daryā by Ayatollah Madadī, p. 126 to 131 At this stage of the school of Kufa the appearance and outburst of the movement of ghuluw [1] was extremely influential, as this was a school which to an extent had been crystallized and possessed a relatively large amount of cultural heritage. As per … Read more

Muhaqqiq Karakī and Shāh Ismā’īl

Muhaqqiq Karakī travelled to Iran twice. One time during the time of Shāh Ismā’īl and the other during the time of Shāh Tahmasp, and during these visits he stayed for some time. I think during that time he also visited Herāt (in Afghanistan). An incident happened that caused Karakī to scold and disassociate from Shāh … Read more

Mulla Mahdi Narāqi and Bahr ul-Ulῡm

There is a remarkable story narrated in regards to Mulla Mahdi Narāqi, the author of Jāmi’ al-Sa’ādāt. It is narrated that after he finished his precious and valuable book on ethics a copy reached the hands of Syed Bahr ul Ulῡm, the marja’ and great scholar of Najaf. Syed was amazed by the contents of … Read more

Akhund Khorasāni and His Former Student

Translated by Sadiq Meghjee It is narrated[1] that when Khorasāni declared supporting the Consitutional Revolution a religious obligation one of his best students left him and joined the [opposing] camp of Syed Mohammad Kādhim Yazdī. If this wasn’t bad enough, he had also started cursing and insulting Khorasāni. One day a number of people from … Read more

Revisiting Traditional Fiqh in Respect to New Daily Occurrences

Location: Madreseh Fiqhi Imam Baqir (institute of Ayatollah Shubayri Zanjāni) Date: 7th March 2018 Speaker: Ayatollah Dr. Muhaqqiq Damad Transcribed by Sadiq Meghjee. The subject being discussed today is the continuation of Shī’ī ijtihād in daily issues. Ijtihād itself is a sacred institution which explains the ending of Prophethood from a theological perspective. If we … Read more

Reflecting on the Fundamentals – Takfīr in the words of the Shi’i Ulema’ | Sayyid Kamāl al-Ḥaydari | Lesson 7

We mentioned that from among the sicknesses and afflictions that have affected not only the Islamic nation but also the Christian and Jewish nations is the issue of takfīr and condemnation of one another. The notion that the entirety of Truth is with me, and if you don’t agree with me then you are a … Read more

Reflecting on the Fundamentals – Takfīr in the Words of Ahlus Sunnah Scholars | Sayyid Kamāl al-Ḥaydari | Lesson 6

In our previous episode we reached a definitive conclusion and we explained that if a person reaches a conclusion on any doctrinal matter through the means of a sound methodology he will be rewarded for this, and this is the meaning which we have alluded to in the previous discussions to the statement of permissibility … Read more

Reflecting on the Fundamentals – Textual Evidences from the Sunni Hadith Literature | Sayyid Kamāl al-Ḥaydari | Lesson 5

In the previous episode we highlighted certain traditions from the Ahlulbayt which are present in a number of reliable Hadith books from the Shi’i school. These traditions established the three core principles which formed the basis for the edict of permissibility in worshipping according to any Islamic school. The tradition which spoke about the situation … Read more

Reflecting on the Fundamentals – Textual Evidences from the Ahlulbayt | Sayyid Kamāl al-Ḥaydari | Lesson 4

We promised in the previous lesson to look at the textual evidence in support of the edict of permissibility of worshipping according to any Islamic school. These traditions will not prove the edict directly but what you will see from these traditions will support the three core principles at the heart of this matter which … Read more

Reflecting on the Fundamentals – Summary Evidence in the Permissibility in Worshiping in Concordance to any Islamic School | Sayyid Kamāl al-Ḥaydari | Lesson 3

In the previous episode we looked at the important reasons in the ruling of permissibility of worshipping in concordance with every Islamic school. I mentioned briefly that this edict requires elaboration in respect to the nature of evidence and proof upon which it has been established. As is obvious to the dear viewers I do … Read more

Reflecting on the Fundamentals – The Importance of this Discussion | Sayyid Kamāl al-Ḥaydari | Lesson 2

  From this episode we will begin to discuss the verdict we had alluded to previously and that is the permissibility of worshipping according to all of the Islamic schools. As you all know this subject has resulted in a large amount of controversy as many have wanted to find out more about what this … Read more

Reflecting on the Fundamentals – The Absence of Red Lines in Religious Knowledge | Sayyid Kamāl al-Ḥaydari | Lesson 1

In this series of discussions entitled Reflecting on the Fundamentals we plan to respond to a number of questions and clips that have been spread online in relation to our verdict (fatwa) issued regarding the permissibility of worshiping in concordance to all Islamic schools. The feedback as you can imagine has been mixed, some positive … Read more

The Effect of Akhbāri Domination over Shi’ī Thinking – Sayyid Kamāl al-Ḥaydari

Taken from Syed Kamal al-Haydari’s Dars Khārij of Usūl, 4 Safar, 1435 (7th December 2013) Translated by Sadiq Meghjee When the Usūli scholars decided to challenge the Akhbāri school they assumed that Akhbārism only held sway over the furu’ dīn and at the most was linked to jurisprudence. On this basis they gave everything in … Read more