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Praying for Non-Muslims

Below is a brief summary – not containing any argumentation – of an opinion of Shaykh Haider Hobbollah on the topic of praying for non-Muslims. — Many jurists, exegetes and traditionists, from different Islamic schools, have examined the issue of seeking forgiveness and mercy for non-Muslims. Likewise, they have examined the issue of praying for … Read more

Did Zayd b. Ali Not Know of His Father’s Imamah?

Zayd, the son of Imam al Sajjād (peace be upon them), is a landmark figure in Islamic history. He led an uprising against the government to avenge the blood of his grandfather, Imam al-Husayn (p). A theological school known as the Zaydiah separate from other Shīʿī denominations by their belief in the Imamah of Zayd. … Read more

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

Qiyas: Another Perspective

By Hamid Reza Tamaddon Abstract: In the first centuries of Islam, one of the meanings of the term qiyās is the evaluation of narrations—especially solitary reports (akhbār aḥād)—based on the Qur’ān, Sunna and other evidences. For various reasons, this has sometimes been referred to as qiyās. Therefore, it cannot immediately be considered, as soon 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

Advanced Jurisprudential Discussions on Musical Instruments | Lesson 3

In our previous lesson, we said that the intellect does not directly comment or give a judgement on specific musical instruments. However, if we consider musical instruments under a certain category which the intellect deems to be detested, then it may be possible to deem it impermissible. Nevertheless, we saw that these categories, such as … 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

Advanced Jurisprudential Discussions on Musical Instruments | Lesson 2

Our jurists generally begin their discussions based on the narrations, whereas we have reiterated many times that a discussion should begin with the intellect, then the Quran, and then eventually the hadith. We have explained this order in other discussions. Many jurists think since we have a plethora of narrations on numerous topics from the … 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

Advanced Jurisprudential Discussions on Musical Instruments | Lesson 1

These are transcripts from 12 advanced jurisprudence lessons given on singing (al-ghinā’) by Ustad Soroush Mahallati. These lessons were given during the Norouz holidays of March, 2022. A discussion on singing and musical instruments given by Ayatullah Sayyid Khamenei was also published on Iqra Online in 2018 which can be read here [Part 1, Part … 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

Questions & Answers on Pressing Matters in the Quran (With a Focus on Women)

Questions & Answers on Pressing Matters in the Quran (With a Focus on Women) Compiled, translated and edited by Naseem Meghjee Selected sections were taken from the book: ‘Questions and Answers for Students’ – Exegesis of Selected Verses (Volume 1) by Ali Reza Mustashari Please note: This is a very brief and concise compilation made … 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

Humans in the Era of Awaiting

What is the nature of humans in the era of awaiting (intiẓār), or what ought to be their nature? If we were to describe a human, a believer in particular, who lives in the era of awaiting, what qualities or characteristics would they have? For example, some may say a human living in the era … 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 Superiority of Imam Ali (a) in the Sirah

Shaykh Muhammad Hadi Yusufi Gharawi underlines the unparalleled virtue and station of Imam ʿAli (a) in reference to the historical moments before and after the passing of the beloved Messenger (s) in this segment taken from ‘The Six Decisive Months’ lecture series held by Northwestern University Shia Muslim Association (SMA). The event of the delivering … 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

Syntactic and Morphological Principles | al-Usul al-Nahwiyyah wa al-Sarfiyyah

Below are notes I made from an advanced class on Arabic grammar taught by Shaykh ‘Abid Husayn in Madrassah Imam al-Hadi (a) in Qom in 2020, based on the doctorate thesis al-Uṣūl al-Naḥwīyyah wa al-Ṣarfīyyah by Dr. Muhammad Abdullah Qasim, which is an analysis on the book al-Ḥujjah of Abū ‘Alī al-Fārisī (d. 377). Although … Read more

Mulla Sadra on Spiritual Realisation

While reading through Ṣadrā’s commentary on Uṣūl al-Kāfī, I came across this beautiful explanation of the methods different groups use to attain spiritual realisation. The extract is inspired by al-Ghazālī’s Iḥyāʾ and while Ṣadrā doesn’t recommend the path of the Ṣūfīs be followed exclusively, there are many points of the process that needs to be … 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

Familiarity with the Tradition: A Prerequisite for Reform

A recent public exchange with Shaykh Arif on the topic of Ziyārat ‘Āshūrā’ left me thinking about the importance of familiarity with the religious intellectual tradition before advocating for reform, particularly for those who have positioned themselves or naturally assumed the spot of being on the forefront of a growing reform movement. In this post, … 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

Tawassul and Istighatha: A Holistic Overview

By Shaykh Haider Hobbollah Translated by: Faisal H, Moussa al-Rufayie, Shayan Shirazi Question: I have a great deal of confusion regarding the issue of tawassul through the Prophet, his Ahl al-Bayt, and others. Can you clarify the difference of opinion in this issue for me? This topic has confused many of us, and there is … 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

Umm al-Baneen – From Demise to Martyrdom

This post is a rough translation of a post written by an Iranian researcher and scholar Mahdi Masaeli. 13 Jumada al-Thani is recognized as the day of the demise of Umm al-Baneen, the wife of Imam ‘Ali (a), the mother of ‘Abbas (r). However, books of history and hadith do not record any date for … 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

Imitating the Infallibles (i)

Reflections & Thoughts | For those interested in this new format called “Reflections & Thoughts”, please read the first two paragraphs in this post. For the latter part of my time in the seminary, I was very much grappling with discussions on ethics and law. These discussions took me to all sorts of literature and scholarship being … Read more

The Perseverance of Fatima (s)

Imam ‘Alī (a) said: A lady came in the presence of Fāṭima al-Ṣiddīqa (s) and said, “I have an elderly mother, and she has gotten confused over a ruling in prayers. She has sent me to you to ask about it.” She (s) answered her question, so the lady asked her a second time. She … Read more

“La Uqsimu” in the Quran: I Swear or I Do Not Swear?

In a number of places in the Qurān the phrase lā uqsimu has been used. Consider the following verses: 1) Surah Wāqi‘ah فَلَا أُقْسِمُ بِمَوَاقِعِ النُّجُومِ – 56:75 وَإِنَّهُ لَقَسَمٌ لَّوْ تَعْلَمُونَ عَظِيمٌ – 56:76  [56:75] So, I swear by the setting places of the stars, [56:76] and it is certainly a great oath if … Read more

What is the Islamic Proof for Ilm al-Rijal as the Criterion for the Authenticity of Hadith?

Originally posted on Thaqalay.blog | This is a translation of a Q&A posed to Shaykh Hobbollah, original Arabic here.  Question: I kindly request you, our esteemed Sheikh, to enumerate evidence from the Qurʾān or ḥadīths from the infallibles, peace be upon them, that ‘ilm al-rijāl in its present state is the criterion for the authenticity of ḥadīths. … Read more

Role of Tribes in the Prophetic Seerah

Reflections & Thoughts | To know more about this format called “Reflections & Thoughts”, please read the first two paragraphs in this post. It is quite observable that the general community does not have much of an affinity with the Prophetic Seerah. Historically speaking there have been a few reasons for this, though whether those reasons … Read more

Completion of Religion & Teachings of the Imams

Back in my mid-to-late teenage years, a question would often boggle my mind. If the religion of Islam was completed on the day of Ghadīr, as the verse of the Quran also indicates, then how was it that the traditions of the Imams (a) were seemingly teaching us rulings that were not taught by the … Read more

Mutahhar b. Tahir al-Maqdisi Commenting on the Impact of Storytellers

Storytellers (al-Quṣṣāṣ) have always remained an important segment of any society. Stories are an excellent way to sway people to a certain direction, to admonish them, or to simply pass on wisdom and lessons in the most attractive way possible. Indeed the Quran also narrates stories, though a vast majority of Muslim exegetes have generally … Read more

Part 2: Halo and Horn Effect & Insincerity in Our Critiques

Building off of a previous post regarding the halo and horn effect in the way we observe and interpret historical personalities, another manifestation of this cognitive bias occurs when we wish to engage in academic evaluation or criticism of a person’s views or behaviour. One of the ways opponents and enemies of prophets & messengers … Read more

Film Review: The Lady of Heaven

Alert: there are tons of spoilers in the post. Got an opportunity to watch the recently released film The Lady of Heaven. Given the $15 million spent on it, I was hoping for something far better and meaningful in terms of storytelling. Unfortunately, this film didn’t really live up to the – relatively low – … Read more

The Scope of ʿAql in Political Fiqh

The following is a speech delivered by Ustad Mohammad Soroush Mahallati at a conference in commemoration of the late Dr. Davoud Feyrahi (d. 2020) on the anniversary of his passing. Ustad Mohammad Soroush Mahallati Introduction One year has passed since the death of the beloved professor and distinguished researcher, Ḥujjat al-Islām wa al-Muslimīn Dr. Feyrahi. … Read more

Revisiting Abu al-Khattab and the Khattabiyya (A Response)

كان أبو الخطاب أحمق فكنت أحدثه فكان لا يحفظ، و كان يزيد من عنده Abu al-Khattab was a fool – I would narrate to him so he would not preserve it, and he would add from himself. Imam al-Sadiq Originally posted on Shiitic Studies. Introduction The first installment of a promised multi-part ‘response’ to my … Read more

Specification of the Majority – Takhsis al-Akthar

In the Fiqh class of Food & Drinks, lessons 115-117 on March 21st – 23rd of 2020, the principle of Takhṣīṣ al-Akthar – Specification of the Majority – was discussed. Here I wanted to share some points summarized from those lessons. For more details, see volume 3 of Fiqh al-Aṭ‘imah wa al-Ashribah, pgs. 432-446. The … Read more

Sayyid Sistani: What Is Ijtihad?

Translated by Shayan Shirazi The following is a partial translation of Sayyid Sīstānī’s lectures on al-Ijtihād wa al-Taqlīd wa al-Iḥtiyāṭ, as transcribed by Sayyid Muḥammad ʿAlī Rabbānī[1]. It is hoped that it will provide the reader with a primer to the concept of ijtihād as well as insight into Sayyid Sīstānī’s intellectual approach. Discussion One: … Read more

Refutation of Sayyid Murtada’s Treatise on an Imam’s Ghusl al-Mayyit by Sayyid Abdullah Shubbar

This is a response to Sayyid Murtaḍa’s treatise on Who is Responsible for an Imam’s Ghusl al-Mayyit by Sayyid ‘Abdullah Shubbar (1188/1774 – 1242/1827) in his Maṣābīḥ al-Anwār, vol. 2, pg. 250. What we have transmitted from al-Ṣadūq in his al-‘Uyūn with his chain in a lengthy narration from al-Riḍā (a) who said: “No one washes … Read more

Sayyid Murtada’s Treatise on Who is Responsible for an Imam’s Ghusl al-Mayyit

What follows is the translation of a very short treatise written by Sayyid Murtaḍa (d. 436/1044) on who is responsible for an infallible Imam’s ghusl after their demise. This became a significant issue after the martyrdom of Imam al-Kāẓim (a), when the Wāqifīyya began casting doubt on the Imamate of Imam al-Riḍā (a) by saying … Read more

Conflicts Between Jurists and Ghulat in the time of Imam al-Sadiq (a)

By Muhammad Baqir Malekian Among the Shīʿa, two currents of thought are most prominent. One is the maʿārifī (gnostic) current, which is interested in issues of gnosis, not jurisprudence—as Muḥammad b. Sinān says: من أراد المعضلات فإليّ، و من أراد الحلال و الحرام فعليه بالشيخ، يعني صفوان بن يحيى Whosoever wants mu’ḍilāt [complicated narrations], come … Read more

A Period Of Regress & Imitation Or Clarification & Solidification?

Translation from Mohammad Baqir Malekian with my comments at the end. Books written about the history of Shīʿī Fiqh (which generally face various problems with respect to their structure, content and historical outlook) usually regard the 100-year period after Shaykh Ṭūsī until the time of Ibn Idrīs Ḥillī, as the period of regress of Shīʿī jurpiprudence … Read more

Understanding Repentance And Intercession In The Context Of Embodiment Of Deeds And Psychological Punishment

How can repentance (tawbah) and intercession (shafāʿah) be understood in the context of the theory of embodiment of deeds (tajassum al aʿmāl) and psychological punishment? 1 Introduction What does Hell look like? Why does God punish? These are questions that puzzle the mind of every person who has thought about hell and punishment. Amongst the different answers given, … Read more

The Moderate Shi’i Line vs. The Line of Ghuluw

By Dr. Hassan Ansari Contrary to their appearances, bāṭinī (esoteric) movements have generally been political projects; a kind of opposition and rebellion against the predominant political and theological movement. The premise of these movements is that the religious interpretation (tafsīr) of the predominant movements is only congruent with the ẓāhir (exterior) of the Sharīʿa and … Read more

The Shia, Rafida, and the Martyrdom of Lady Fatima in 2nd Century Hijri

From: Early Ibadi Theology: New Material on Rational Thought in Islam from the Pen of Al-Fazārī (2nd/8th Century) Al-Fazārī’s writings are a unique source of information about Ibadi teachings on ʿilm al-kalām and the early development of this branch of religious knowledge. It is for this reason that scholars of Islamic theology are particularly interested in early … Read more

Did the Early Shia Believe In Tahrif? Insights from a 2nd Century Hijri Work

By Dr. Hassan Ansari  In the important work Kitāb al-Rudūd by ʿAbdallāh b. Yazīd al-Fazārī—one of the prominent and influential Ibāḍī theologians of Kūfa in the mid-second century—there is a section devoted to the belief in addition and omission in the Qur’ān. In this book and his other works, the author repeatedly mentions the Shīʿa … Read more

Reflections on Mutawatir Ma’nawi

Reflections on Mutawātir Maʿnawī By Muhammad Baqir Malekian In the terminology of ḥadīth scholars, a mutawātir report is a narration whose chain of narrators in each generation (ṭabaqa) leading up to the infallible is so numerous that it is typically impossible for them all to have intentionally agreed to attribute a lie to the infallible. … Read more

Shaykh al-Ishraq’s Attitude Towards Mantiq (Logic)

One of the areas in Illuminationist philosophy that has yet to be extensively studied by scholars is the views and attitude of Suhrawardī (1154–1191) towards logic. While some studies have been conducted, they appear to be in their infancy and by a limited number of scholars, as opposed to studies that have been conducted on … Read more

Madhaq al-Shari‘ah (Taste of Shari‘ah) and Ruh al-Shari‘ah (Spirit of the Law)

Madhāq al-Sharī‘ah (Taste of Sharī‘ah) and Rūḥ al-Sharī‘ah (Spirit of the Law) These are transcriptions of lessons 63 to 68 held between December 31st, 2019 to January 8th 2020 in Qom, given by Shaykh Haider Hobollah. These are from the khārij of Uṣūl al-Fiqh on the topic of Maqāṣid al-Sharī‘ah. For a more detailed elaboration … Read more

Istiqbal wa Istidbar al-Qibla

This paper seeks to investigate the legal ruling on using the toilet while facing the qiblah or with your back towards it (istiqbāl wa istidbār al-qiblah). Scholarly Opinions The earliest opinion on the topic is what has been attributed to Ibn al-Junayd (d. 4th century) who opined it is mustaḥabb to turn one’s front or … Read more

Sufficing With a Woman’s Adhan

One of the popular rulings within Islamic law is that if a woman gives the adhan, it does not suffice for a man who is a stranger to her, and most have also opined that this is true even if the man who hears the adhan is related to her (i.e. she is his maram). Amongst the classical scholars, the only exception we find is Shaykh Tusi who writes in his al-Mabsut1 that if a woman does happen to give the adhan for men, they can follow it and subsequently give the iqamah themselves

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Ayatullah Borujerdi & 9th of Rabi’ al-Awwal

Source: Memoirs of Ayatullah Montazeri, vol. 1, pg. 155. Ayatullah Montazeri (d. 2009) writes: ‘I remember when Ayatullah Amini (d. 1970) – author of al-Ghadir – visited Isfahan, we also went to greet him as he was speaking in the Seyed Mosque of Isfahan. During his lecture series, he spoke on the issue of the … Read more

Rivalry between Companions: The Case of Mufaddal b. Umar (Pt. I)

فلما انصرفت إلى الكوفة أقبلت علي الشيعة فمزقوني كل ممزق، يأكلون لحمي ويشتمون عرضي، حتى أن بعضهم استقبلني فوثب في وجهي، وبعضهم قعد لي في سكك الكوفة يريد ضربي، ورموني بكل بهتان So when I reached Kufa, the Shīʿa turned towards me, and began tearing me to shreds, eating my flesh and disparaging my honour, such … Read more

Iqra Companion to Seminary Studies (3): Study Guide for Epistemology, Logic & Philosophy

Epistemology (Ma‘rifat Shināsī, Naẓarīyyat al-Ma‘rifah) Unfortunately, despite its importance, epistemology is typically not formally taught within seminaries at the introductory level, although it may be taught in specific institutes or those doing certain specializations in the seminaries during their masters. Even though this subject is not taught formally, many teachers of logic and philosophy will … Read more

Iqra Companion to Seminary Studies (2): Study Guide for Arabic

Study Guide What follows is a study guide for students who enter the seminaries with the intention of getting a better understanding of the Islamic tradition. Once again, this is not a foolproof guide, rather it should be taken as an advisory guide. Arabic Arabic Morphology (al-Ṣarf) The Arabic language is a language where many … Read more

Ibn Abi al-Hadid and the Prophet’s Demise

Reflections & Thoughts | For those interested in this new format called “Reflections & Thoughts”, please read the first two paragraphs in this post. Popularly, most Muslims seemed to agree that the Prophet (p) passed away due to some sort of illness. A large number of them seemed to have acknowledged this was due to … Read more

Shahadah and Halakah

Reflections & Thoughts  After a number of unforeseen circumstances brought life in the seminary for myself and a number of other brothers to an abrupt end, transitioning back into the Western world and adjusting to the drastically different life has not been easy, to say the least. It also had certain repercussions for Iqra Online … Read more

The Injunction for Salatul Layl: A Case Study for Abrogation (Naskh) As a Changing Concept in Shi’i Literature

The injunction for Salātul Layl: a case study for abrogation (Naskh) as a changing concept in Shi’i literature By Sr. Maleeha Abdullah Introduction The issue of abrogation in the Qur’ān has been one that has been discussed since the revelation of the Qur’ān itself. The occurrence – or lack thereof – of the abrogation of … Read more

The First Creation

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم By Shaykh Zoheir Esmail Mystics have devoted much attention on God’s first creation as within the conception of the first creation lies the answer to the paradox of how sheer unity gives rise to a world of multiplicity. God is without limits and this is why His perfection cannot be fathomed. … Read more

Principle of al-Ilzam and the Practice of the Commoners (Sirah al-Uqala)

The last few weeks, Ustad Soroush Mahallati was briefly covering the qā‘idah al-ilzām (QI) and summarized the evidence for and against it in around thirty sessions. The lessons also covered the views of Sayyid Sīstānī who does not accept this principle and instead offers an alternative theory called al-maqāṣa al-naw‘īyyah and critical observations were also … Read more

Netflix’s Messiah: A Review

IN HIS NAME MESSIAH (THE IRANIAN CONNECTION) By Zahir Davdani There is no doubt that the Netflix series Messiah will be considered blasphemous amongst mainstream Christians and Muslims alike, given its outright bypassing of religious doctrine and laws, such as the divinity of Jesus in the Christian tradition and the absence of performance of the … Read more

Review of “The Crisis of the Imāmate and the Institution of Occultation in Twelver Shiism” by Saïd Amir Arjomand

Crises of succession in the institution of Imāmate were the prime source of division in the early Shiite community, and their affects have remained definitive till this day. The doctrine of Imāmate “evolved gradually” during the first Islamic century, and was given a “definitive shape” by the death of Jāʿfar b. Muḥammad as-Ṣādiq (d. 148 … Read more

Discussions on the Use of Ahadith in Tafasir | The Authority of Akhbar al-Ahad (Solitary Narrations)

DISCUSSIONS ON THE USE OF AHADITH IN TAFASIR The Hujjiyat (Authority) of Akhbar al-Ahad (Solitary Narrations) Preamble Although Qur’anic exegetical literature has not always been rampant amongst Twelver Shiʿis, the last century has experienced an explosion of commentaries and works in the field of Qur’anic tafsīr. As such, the field has developed considerably alongside usūl … Read more

Advanced Jurisprudential Discussions on Ghina – Singing

بسمه تعالى These are transcripts from 12 advanced jurisprudence lessons given on singing (al-ghinā’) by Ustad Soroush Mahallati. These lessons were given during the Norouz holidays of March 2021. A discussion on singing and musical instruments by Ayatullah Sayyid Khamenei was also published on Iqra Online in 2018 which can be read here [Part 1, … Read more

Reliance on Taqiyya in Fiqh from Tusi till Ardabili: Transformation from a Cognitive to Themantic Method

This post was originally published on Shiism and Islamic History blog. Written by Sayyid Muhammad Kazim Madadi al-Musawi – Postgraduate and researcher for the Hawza of Qum Abstract Upon facing contradictory hadiths, Imamite jurists frequently opt for the “taqiyya card,” i.e. labeling hadiths as dissimulative. This hermeneutic, however, has evolved in pivotal ways. The greatest … Read more

The Uprising of Abu al-Khattab in Nusayri Sources

This is an abridged and amalgamated translation of two of four entries written by Ustad Baqir Malekian on the Nuṣāyrīs. Introduction Our study and analysis of history are defective. From the one who believes Saqīfa was merely a historical incident that has no relevance for us today, to the one who thinks the Akhbārī and … Read more

The Reality of Revelation & Religious Experience | Part 4

These are transcripts of lessons on “Reality of Revelation and Religious Experience” delivered by Shaykh Haider Hobbollah once a week in 2021. Lesson 4 – May 4th, 2021 The Sadrians Although Sadrian philosophers borrowed certain similar terms and concepts from the Peripateticc, there are also some substantial differences between the two schools on the discussion … Read more

Nahj al-Balagha – From Tashayyu‘ to Tasannun

By Dr. Hassan Ansari | Originally published on his Telegram channel Unlike what is commonly assumed, Shī‘ī scholars did not pay as much attention to Nahj al-Balāgha in the past as one would hope. The earliest commentaries on it were written by the Mu‘tazalis and other scholars of the Ahl al-Sunnah. One finds them, particularly … Read more

The Night of Qadr – The Night of Value

The land on which a mosque is built is no different than any other piece of land before it is dedicated for worship. These lands are inherently the same until we come and tie the piece of land to God and the servitude of people. The fact that this land then builds a relationship between … Read more

The Reality of Revelation & Religious Experience | Part 2

These are transcripts of lessons on “Reality of Revelation and Religious Experience” delivered by Shaykh Haider Hobbollah once a week in 2021. Lesson 2 – April 20th 2021 2. Another critique on the theologians’ interpretation is offered by the philosophers – particularly Sadrian philosophers and mystics – who say there is a methodological fallacy in … Read more

The Reality of Revelation & Religious Experience | Part 1

These are transcripts of lessons on “Reality of Revelation and Religious Experience” delivered by Shaykh Haider Hobbollah in the month of Ramadhan 1442 AH / 2021. Lesson 1 – April 13th 2021 – Introduction to Revelation In these lessons we wish to engage with the topic of revelation (waḥī), what is it, how was it defined … Read more

The History of Adam & the Case for Prehistoric Humans in the Scripture and Hadīth

Originally posted on Mind In Momentum بسمه تعالى Current scientific literature dates the appearance of modern human species, namely the Homosapiens, to anywhere between 65,000[1]-300,000[2] years ago.[3] Do these findings contradict religious teachings about the creation of Adam (p)? In answering this question, I will present two potential scenarios: Adam as the first member of … Read more

The Historicity of Ziyārat al-Jāmiʿa al-Kabīra

A “visitation text” (ziyāra) is an Islamic liturgy that is recited in dedication to a deceased saint. It can be recited both at the graves of saints and from afar. A ziyāra usually acknowledges the station of a saint and their righteousness before God; whilst requesting the saint’s intercession. Ziyārat al-Jāmiʿa al-Kabīra (“The Major Comprehensive … Read more

Role of a Cause (‘Illah) in Altering the Apparent Meaning of an Obligatory Command & Prohibition

One of the most important disputes in contemporary legal theory discussions revolves around the nature of cause (‘illah) and wisdom (ḥikmah) behind a religious law legislated by Allah (swt). If one can determine the cause for a certain rule, it can have a series of repercussions as changes in time and place can lead to … Read more

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

Another Perspective on the Human Dimensions of the Prophet’s (s) Personality

By Hamid Reza Tamaddon Translated by Shayan Shirazi  The various dimensions of the Prophet’s (s) personality have always been a subject of consideration by Prophetic biographers. In the last century in particular, more attention has been paid to it than ever before, especially in the Arab world where various interpretations of his life have been … Read more

Ali b. Yaqtin: The Imam’s Secret Agent

“He had a great status with Abi al-Hasan Musa b. Ja’far, peace be upon them. A great standing in the Ta’ifa (sect as a whole)” Tusi’s summation of Ali b. Yaqtin[1] Introduction Sometimes, and through a curious mix of dedication and fortune, tangible evidence is found to make what we read in our old and … Read more

Answering Some Objections: On Holding the Beard and Swaying the Finger in the Supplication of Rajab (2)

Originally posted on Mind In Momentum بسمه تعالى My good friend, Sayyid Ali Imran, produced an article providing new insights into the supplication of Rajab as well comments and observations on some of the arguments I made in my earlier writing about this matter. In this piece – with the help of God – I … Read more

Qiyas & The Mysterious Case of Ibn al-Junayd

These are transcripts written over the course of 5 lessons (lesson 118-122 – April 8th to April 14th 2019) from the advanced lessons on Usul al-Fiqh delivered by Shaykh Haider Hobbollah in Qom. As these are transcripts made in class, for those interested in the more detailed format of this discussion, please refer to the … Read more

Reason and Sharia in Sayyid Sistani’s Thought

By Hamid Reza Tamaddon | Translated by Shayan Shirazi Ayatullah Sistani is one of the few jurists who has attracted the attention of researchers due to some of the similarities that exist in his lessons and ideas with discussions on the philosophy of law, as well as his special consideration of general expediency (maṣlaḥa). This … Read more

Dala’il al-Imama: A Fabricated Shi’i Text Attributed to Muhammad b. Jarar al-Tabari

Dalāʾil al-Imāma: A Fabricated Shīʿī Text Attributed to Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-Ṭabarī By Hassan Ansari Translator’s note: This article consists of two posts published on Hassan Ansari’s academic blog, the first of which outlines a summary of his research on the book Dalā’il al-Imāma while the second discusses the topic in greater detail. They will … Read more

Congregational Prayers and the Community in the Prophet’s (p) Sirah

Introduction In a paper published by the recently launched Ayaan Institute, titled Creating a New Civilisation of Islam written by Jahangir Mohammed, the author offers a 12-point plan with practical working principles required to work towards the formation of an Islamic civilization. The very first principle mentioned is the idea of uniting through connectivity. The … Read more

Is God Unjust for Placing People in Different Families & Environments?

(The main ideas of this writing are derived from a lecture given by Sayyid Munīr al-Khabbāz with additions and deletions. The last section was produced after critical remarks brought forth by TheMuslimTheist). Originally published on Mind in Momentum. Why does God place some people in believing families and communities and others in disbelieving ones? More … Read more

Abdallah b. Saba – Man or Myth?

Originally posted on Shiitic Studies. Introduction Whether a man called Abdallah b. Saba existed historically or not has become a fraught question in light of the latter’s relevance in polemics against the Shia. After all, it is this supposed former Jew from Yemen who stands accused of single handedly causing an irreparable schism among early … Read more

The Reasons for the Conversion of Persia to Islam

By Shaykh Rasul Ja’fariyan [Source] Persia converted to Islam much more easily compared to other regions, although naturally it still took some time. The difference between Persians converting to Islam as opposed to people converting in other parts of the world was that almost all Persians converted to Islam over the course of three-four centuries. … Read more

The Historicity or Eternality of the Sharia: Observations on a Narration

Hamid Reza Tamaddon [Source] | Translated by Shayan Shirazi The issue of whether legal rulings (aḥkām) are permanent or temporary has always been a topic of discussion and dispute. In recent years[1], it has received more and more attention, under titles such as “the position of time and place in legal deduction (istinbāṭ)”, as a … 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

The Concept of Superstitions (Khurafa) in Islamic Civilization

By Shaykh Rasul Jafariyan [Source] Kharaf (خرف) linguistically means ‘corruption of the ‘aql (reason) due to old age.’ However, the word has been used in meanings that convey similar concepts, such as stupidity and nonsensical. One of the closest concepts to this meaning is the phrase ‘ḥadīth of Khurāfa’, regarding a man named Khurāfa from … Read more

The Theme of Salvation & Quranic Stories

The following is a summarized transcription of a lecture given by Dr. Ahmad Pakatchi on December 5th, 2020 for Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran. — History has numerous definitions. I prefer to define history as the understanding of the relationship between past events and actions that create a change in humanity, that are worth remembering. Therefore, … Read more

Tasting the Mercy of God

One reason that causes many Muslims today to be so untuned with Islam altogether is their distance from classical Arabic. Perhaps some of my classmates will remember the first day of ‘Ilm al-Balāgha class (the science of eloquence and rhetoric) with one of our favourite teachers a number of years ago. As the class began … 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

The Shi’a Community and the Sultan During Imam Rida’s Imamate

The belief that the caliph and anyone who holds a position on behalf of the caliph is essentially maintaining a role they have no right upon, and that these individuals are illegally managing the wealth and affairs of the community, naturally put the Shī‘ī Imami community during the time of Imam Riḍā (a) in opposition … Read more

The Muhammadan Personality – Have We Neglected It? What is Our Duty Towards It?

By Shaykh Haidar Hobbollah | Translated by Shayan Shirazi and Moussa Al-Rufayie The Prophet Muḥammad b. ʿAbdullāh ﷺ symbolises the greatest personality in Islam, for he possesses the divine message and bears news from God, the Exalted. He is our window to the celestial realm and our path to divine revelation; the one whose Sunna … Read more

The Worldview of the Ghulat (Pt. II)

“Be on the lookout over your children so that the Ghulat do not corrupt them … the Ghali returns to us (i.e. from his heighty beliefs) but we do not accept him, while the Muqassir catches up to us (i.e. our real station) so we accept him …” – Imam al-Sadiq Originally posted on Shiitic … Read more

The Principles of Philosophy and the Method of Realism | Summary of Article 3 [Knowledge and Perception]

Preliminaries 1. The subject-matter of this article is the identification of the substance of knowledge and the soul from the perspective of it being immaterial or material – at all levels of perception (sensory, imaginative, and intellectual). 2. Perception is divided into three: a) sensory (when senses are connected to external reality) b) imaginative (a … Read more

The Biographies of the Infallibles and Theological Presuppositions

This is a summary of a presentation given by Dr. Ahmad Pakatchi on January 25th, 2017 at a workshop organized by the History, Sīrah and Islamic Civilization Department of Madrassah Imam Khomeini in Qom. — One of the discussions that always occupies the minds of scholars is the relationship between the sīrah of the infallibles … Read more

The Worldview of the Ghulat (Pt. I)

A group from our Shia will love us until they will say about us that which the Jews said about Uzayr and that which the Christians said about Isa b. Maryam, so neither are they from us, nor are we from them – Imam al-Sajjad Originally posted on Shiitic Studies. Introduction The original Ghulat did … Read more

The Principle of Justice (Part 2) – Critical Observations on Shaykh Yousef Saanei

Click for Part One. Second Argument: One of the most important arguments for the principle of justice is the intellect itself. The pure rational intellect very clearly attests that all religious laws need to be based on justice, and given that we believe in al-mustaqillāt al-‘aqlīyyah and the ability of the intellect to understand justice … Read more

The Principle of Justice (Part 1) – Critical Observations on Shaykh Yousef Saanei

What follows are transcriptions of 7 lessons from the khārij of Fiqh classes on Jurisprudence of Citizenship Law and Religious Minorities, given by Shaykh Haider Hobbollah. These specific lessons were given between December 30th 2018 to January 8th 2019 – and in my transcription, I have also on occasion made use of the published book … Read more

What is the Meaning of Cursing (La’n) in the Quran?

By Shaykh Haidar Hobbollah | Translated by Shayan Shirazi Question[1]: Many people say that cursing (laʿn) has been mentioned in tens of verses in the Qurʿān and they argue that this is evidence for the religious legality of cursing as well as a striking rebuttal to those who claim that it is forbidden or disliked. … Read more

Salvation of Non-Muslims in the View of Contemporary Imami Scholars

Originally posted on Mind in Momentum. In this writing, I will present the views of Imam Khomeini, Shahid Mutaharri and Sayyid Munir al-Khabbaz on this matter. Imam Khomeini (d. 1989): Deficient disbelievers (qāṣir) are those who did not subscribe to God’s religion because external factors outside their control prevented them from doing so. These factors … Read more

The Imams Against the Ghulat

Originally posted on Shiitic Studies. “We have woken up (i.e. a time has reached) and there is no one who is more inimical (an enemy to us) than those who claim to love us” – Imam al-Sadiq Introduction The most serious challenge to the school of Ahl al-Bayt came from the Ghulat. This is because, … Read more

Stipulation of Choice (Shart al-Khiyar) in the Marriage Contract

By Ustādh Rafi‘īpūr – teacher of baḥth al-khārij in Qom Translated by Sayyid Ali Introduction One of the discussions alluded to in Shaykh Anṣārī’s al-Makāsib is the notion of sharṭ al-khiyār (stipulation of choice) in the marriage contract. As per the general injunction of “al-mu’minūn ‘inda shurūṭihim”, the jurists have argued for the use of … Read more

Book Summary (Part 2): Comprehensiveness of the Shariah

Book Summary (Part 2): Comprehensiveness of the Shariah – Discussions on Extents of Legal Reference Between Intellect and Revelation Click for Part 1 Chapter Three In chapter three, the views of four prominent figures who reject the idea of the comprehensiveness of the Sharī‘ah are discussed and critiqued. The four personalities are Shaykh ‘Alī ‘Abd … Read more

Book Summary (Part 1): Comprehensiveness of the Shariah

Book Summary (Part 1): Comprehensiveness of the Shariah – Discussions on Extents of Legal Reference Between Intellect and Revelation Click for Part 2 Finally got myself to completely read the book Shumūl al-Sharī‘ah (Comprehensiveness of the Shari‘ah – Discussions on Extents of Legal Reference Between Intellect and Revelation) by Shaykh Haider Hobbollah this summer. Though … Read more

Someone Save Ashura from Us!

Someone Save ʿĀshūrāʾ from Us! By Rasūl Jaʿfarīyān Translated by Shayan Shirazi These days, we are witness to an abundance of different socio-political analyses of ʿĀshūrāʾ. We all know that, for years, everyone has been presenting a particular political interpretation of ʿĀshūrāʾ by citing a single statement or action of Imām Ḥusayn—while the majority of … 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

Sayyid Abu al-Hasan Isfahani and Banning a Racist Preacher

Āyatullah Sayyid Shubayrī Zanjānī (Jura’ay-ī az Daryā, vol. 3, pg. 442-444): There was a very famous Iraqi preacher known for his excellence, extra-ordinary qualities and propagation, such that if the Arabs would generally give their speakers 1 Toman, they would give this speaker 100 Tomans. He was a contemporary of Sayyid Abu al-Ḥasan Isfahānī (d. … Read more

The Significance of Watering the Graves of Deceased Muslims

About two years ago, a renowned elderly gentleman from the local community, who had served the community in various capacities, and who was particularly kind and polite to me; ever smiling when he would meet me, suddenly passed away! I had the good fortune to participate in his funeral. At the cemetery, his burial rites … Read more

The Fixed and Changeable in Islamic Legislation (2)

[Originally posted on Mind in Momentum] Click for part 1. The Authority of Reason in Deducing Religious Laws This is a translation of lessons given by Ayatullah Sayyid Munīr al-Khabbāz attended in the year 2019-20. For the sake of comprehensibility, there has been additions, removals and paraphrases. Original transcripts can be found here. 1 Introduction and Recap … Read more

Ma’idah al-Khamr – A Jurisprudential Discussion

What follows is a transcript from lessons 107 & 108 – March 9th and 10th 2020 – of last year’s advanced jurisprudence lessons on Food and Drinks given by Shaykh Haider Hobbollah in the city of Qom. The discussion below is regarding the famous ruling on the prohibiting of eating or drinking on a table … Read more

Commentary on Surah al-Zalzalah – Part 2

This is a transcript of four lessons given by Shaykh Haider Hobbollah on the commentary on Sūrah al-Zalzalah. Click for Part 1. — Verse 3 – Wa Qāla al-Insān Mā Lahā After the earth’s severe shaking, humans will say, “what is wrong with her? What is the matter with it?” This verse is speaking of … Read more

Commentary on Surah al-Zalzalah – Part 1

This is a transcript of four lessons given by Shaykh Haider Hobbollah on the commentary on Sūrah al-Zalzalah. Click for Part 2. — Names, Merits and Reasons for Revelation The chapter has been referred to in five ways in Islamic works: Surah al-Zalzalah – this is what is famous today and it is derived from … Read more

Sayyid Sīstānī on Why Shīʿa Ḥadīth Contradict (Pt. I)

Originally posted on Shiitic Studies. Introduction The presence of contradictions between Ḥadīth (reports) attributed to the Imams within the Shīʿa corpus is an undeniable problem. One that requires explanation. This is especially so because the problem has a long back-history of being weaponised by detractors seeking to expose the inconsistency between it and the theological doctrine of … Read more

Jilsah al-Istirāḥa – A Jurisprudential Discussion

Introduction This paper seeks to investigate the legal ruling on an individual sitting for a brief moment (jilsah al-istirāḥa) after performing the second prostration of the first or third unit in any Ṣalāt, before getting up to continue their prayers. Most Shīʿī, Sunnī and Zaydī jurists when discussing the rulings on prayers have offered an … Read more

Differing Perspectives Regarding Knowledge of the Unseen

By Shaykh Haidar Hobbollah Translated by Shayan Shirazi Question[1]: Is there any rational evidence that proves the necessity of the Imām to know the unseen affairs, considering that the Imāms (upon them be peace) did not use this knowledge in many of their pursuits, but rather they acted according to their human nature? In other … Read more

The Fixed and Changeable in Islamic Legislation (1)

[Originally posted on Mind in Momentum]. This is a translation of lessons given by Ayatullah Sayyid Munīr al-Khabbāz attended in the year 2019-20. For the sake of comprehensibility, there have been additions, removals and paraphrases. Original transcripts can be found here. I will also include comments and questions that have struck my incapable mind along … Read more

Three Contemporary Approaches to Understanding the Imamah

Translation: Shayan Shirazi This is a translation of a response by Shaykh Haidar Hobbollah to a question posed to him which can be found in volume 1 of his collection of questions and answers entitled Iḍāʾāt fī al-fikr wa al-dīn wa al-ijtimāʿ. For the original article please click here. Three Contemporary Approaches to Understanding the … Read more

The German Orientalist & the Prophetic Hadith

I recently came across a book in Urdu called ‘Islāmi Dāstānein’ which is a translation of the Farsi original written by Ali Redha Murtadhawi Karuni and translated by the late Muhammad Fadhl Haq. The book attempts to gather all the different moral anecdotes and stories that have been mentioned by the late Ayatullah Shaheed Mutahhari … Read more

Introduction to the Forties Podcast

This podcast series is brought to you by Mizan Institute | Follow Mizan Institute on Facebook This podcast series is based on the book Arba‘īnīyyāt written by Sayyid Aḥmad Zanjānī (d. 1973). The book belongs to the genre of “forty-ḥadīth” literature and is on the topic of spiritual purification. Unlike most forty-ḥadīth works which only … Read more

From Taqleedi Ilm al-Rijal to Ijtihadi Ilm al-Rijal

What follows is a translation of some of the conclusions reached by Sheikh Haider Hobbollah in his Rijāli discussions whereby he discusses the obstacles in reaching intellectually sounds conclusions in this field and thus proposes a paradigm shift in how we look at the claims of early Rijāli scholars. Our Opinion: From Taqleedi ‘Ilm al-Rijāl … Read more

Divisions of a Day – A Reconstructed Narration

One of the most famous traditions in both Shī‘ī and Sunni books is the ḥadīth of dividing one’s day into multiple parts and allocating a certain portion of it for specific tasks. This narration is found in dozens of primary and secondary sources, with various different chains of transmission, attributed to the Prophet (p) and … Read more

Evaluating the Impact of Taqiyya (Dissimulation) On Shi’i Narrations

Below is a partial translation of the transcripts of Ayatullah Syed Ali Hussaini al-Sīstānī’s bahth al-khārij discussions on the topic of conflicting narrations.[1] Regarding the effects of Taqiyya on the written corpus of narrations, Syed Sistani discusses the various views regarding the extent to which the current narrations we have today can be attributed to … Read more

Sayyid Sīstānī on Why Shīʿa and Sunni Ḥadīth Differ

Originally published on Shiitic Studies What follows is a translation of a small part of the notes of Sayyid ʿAlī al-Sīstānīʾs Baḥth al-Khārij (advance lessons) on Uṣūl al-Fiqh (legal theory) as transcribed by one of his students, Sayyid Hāshim al-Hāshimī, dating back to approximately forty years ago[1]. The discussion concerns a major topic in Uṣūl al-Fiqh, which is, the problem … 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

Mystical Sainthood and the Perfect Man (al-Wilayah al-Irfaniyyah wa al-Insan al-Kamil)

This is an English transcription of three introductory talks given by Shaykh Haider Hobbollah at Jami’at al-Zahra – one of the largest women’s seminaries in the city of Qom. Introduction Though I was asked to speak about al-wilāyah al-ʿirfānīyyah (mystical vicegerency) from the perspective of Imam Khumaynī, and though there may be some areas where … 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

Shaykh Lutfullah al-Maysi and his Treatise on Iʿtikāf

وَإِذْ جَعَلْنَا الْبَيْتَ مَثَابَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَأَمْنًا وَاتَّخِذُوا مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مُصَلًّى ۖ وَعَهِدْنَا إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ أَن طَهِّرَا بَيْتِيَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَالْعَاكِفِينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ [2:125] And [mention] when We made the House a place of return for the people and [a place of] security. And take, [O believers], from the standing place of Abraham a place … Read more

The Relevancy of 5:103 Today

At first sight, the 103rd verse of Sura Maidah seems to be talking about a phenomenon limited to the time of the Holy Prophet (saw). What follows is an initial overview of the various Sunni and Shi’i tafasir that describe the terms of the verse before describing what has been mentioned by the Sunni commentator … Read more

The First Revealed Verses

According to the popular opinion within the Islamic tradition, the first five verses of the 96th chapter (Surah Alaq) of the Qur’an, were the first verses to be revealed upon the Prophet Muhammad (s). The day of the Mab’ath (the appointment of Prophethood) has been narrowed down to either the month of Rajab or Ramadan, … Read more

Principle of Prohibition of Khaba’ith and Permissibility of Tayyibat

One of the principles covered in our advance jurisprudence classes with Shaykh Haider Hobbollah on the topic of Food and Drinks was the Principle of Prohibition of Khabā’ith and Permissibility of Ṭayyibāt (Taḥrīm al-Khabā’ith wa Ḥillīyyah al-Ṭayyibāt). Below is an edited and reorganized version of the transcripts written in class between October 13 2019 to … Read more

Seyyid Abd al-Azim al-Hasani

Seyyid ʿAbd al-ʿAẓīm al-Ḥasanī – His Life, Transmitted Traditions, Milieu, Authorities and Students By Āyatullah al-Shaykh Jaʿfar al-Subḥānī Translation and Detailed Annotations by Afzal Sumar I used to visit the grave of our master ʿAbd al-ʿAẓīm al-Ḥasanī occasionally and whenever good fortune permitted me, for he was one of the descendants of the eldest grandson … Read more

Biʿthat and Guidance

وَإِنَّكَ لَتَهْدِي إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ [42:52] …and indeed you guide to a straight path The 27th of Rajab is considered to be the day the Prophet (p) received the first revelation in the cave of Hira and marks the beginning of his (p) prophethood – the biʿthat. While prophethood is the most important subject of … Read more

A New Approach to Authenticating Shia Hadith – The Bahth al-Fihristi

Originally posted on Shiitic Studies. What is Fihrist? Why Fihrist? Most readers will possess a rudimentary understanding of Rijal (or Ilm al-Rijal), the discipline in which the status of a narrator is studied in order to evaluate whether his reports should be accepted or not. Much less is known about the Faharis (sing. Fihrist) – the name given to works composed by early … Read more

What Islamic Medicine?

Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, proponents of the so-called Ṭibb Islāmī (Islamic medicine – not to be confused with “traditional” medicine) have been actively using it as an opportunity to propagate their misinformation. Just a couple of days ago a certain proponent of Ṭibb Islāmī by the name of Taqīniyā interrupted a meeting … Read more

Plague and Pestilence in Safavid and Qajar Iran

The recent Covid-19 outbreak has caused a lot of discussion and debate amongst Iranians and non-Iranians on the nature of the disease and on the methods of containing it. Amongst the laity, some of these opinions range from extreme conspiracy theory level material to solutions being offered by pseudo-health experts wearing the garb of scholars, … Read more

Tusi and the Tahdhibayn (Pt. I)

Originally posted on Shiitic Studies. Introduction Shaykh Tusi (d. 460) stands out among that famous trio (the other two being Kulayni and Saduq) for having authored two of the ‘Four Books’ of Hadith (i.e. Tahdhib al-Ahkam and al-Istibsar fi ma-khtalafa min al-Akhbar). These books are rightly considered to be the bed-rock of Twelver Imami jurisprudence. Despite the recognition … Read more

Commentary on Surah al-Nasr – Part 2

This is a transcript of the second and third lesson of the commentary on Sūrah al-Naṣr given by Shaykh Haider Hobbollah. Click here for part 1. Verse 2 – Wa Ra’ayta al-Nās Yadkhulūna Fī Dīn Allah Afwājā – وَرَأَيْتَ النَّاسَ يَدْخُلُونَ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ أَفْوَاجًا The meaning of seeing in this verse is certainty, just … Read more

Commentary on Surah al-Nasr – Part 1

This is a transcript of the first lesson of the commentary on Sūrah al-Naṣr given by Shaykh Haider Hobbollah. Click here for part 2. Names of the Surah This chapter has been referred to by the following names: al-Naṣr is the most popular name and this is what you will find in the Qurānic codices … Read more

Shaykh al-Hurr al-Amili’s Dreams and Miracles of the Mahdi (a)

One of the lengthiest and most significant works on the transmitted proofs of Imamate is Ithbāt al-Hudāt bil-Nuṣūṣ wa al-Mu’jizāt, written by Shaykh al-Ḥurr al-‘Āmilī (d. 1104/1693) the author of Wasā’il al-Shī’a. This work is essentially an exhaustive collection of traditions on the prophethood of Muḥammad (p) and each of the 12 Imams (a). In … Read more

Did the Imams Recite Q. 5:95 in a Different Way?

A key verse setting out the prohibition on hunting during the Hajj and its attendant penalty is given below: يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَقْتُلُوا الصَّيْدَ وَأَنتُمْ حُرُمٌ وَمَن قَتَلَهُ مِنكُم مُّتَعَمِّدًا فَجَزَاءٌ مِّثْلُ مَا قَتَلَ مِنَ النَّعَمِ يَحْكُمُ بِهِ ذَوَا عَدْلٍ مِّنكُمْ O you who believe, do not kill game while you are in the consecrated … Read more

19th Century Iranian Reactions to the Phenomenon of Unveiling

Critiques against the hijab in Muslim countries all occurred subsequent to Muslims getting introduced and exposed to Western culture and civilization. The first time Muslims saw uncovered women was when they travelled to Europe or on their own lands when these women would be accompanying Europeans. This is how the Egyptians first saw such women … Read more

The Principles of Philosophy and the Method of Realism | Summary of Article 2 [Philosophy and Sophistry]

Before a summary of the second article in The Principles of Philosophy and the Method of Realism (Usul-i falsafeh va ravesh-i ri’alism) titled Philosophy and Sophistry, a brief overview of three groups is important to note: 1) The Sophists: They have existed since 5th century BC, much before the likes of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. … Read more

The Principles of Philosophy and the Method of Realism | Summary of Article 1 [What is Philosophy?]

The Principles of Philosophy and the Method of Realism (Usul-i falsafeh va ravesh-i ri’alism) is one of ‘Allāmah Ṭabāṭabā’ī’s most important works. It is a result of several private discussion circles organized by ‘Allāmah himself where numerous scholars from different backgrounds would attend. In total, the work is a collection of 14 different articles that … Read more

Kulayni and al-Kafi (Pt. II)

Originally posted on Shiitic Studies. Does He Have a Methodology? Kulayni does not give us the Manhaj (methodology) he follows when selecting reports for inclusion in al-Kafi. The only thing we have to work with is a critical passage towards the end of the Khutba (preface) where he outlines three principles that should be followed in the face of … Read more

The Grudge that Stole Christmas

وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِى صُدُورِهِم مِّنْ غِلٍّ إِخْوَٰنًا عَلَىٰ سُرُرٍ مُّتَقَـٰبِلِينَ [15:47] We will remove whatever rancour there is in their breasts; [intimate like] friends, [they will be reclining] on couches, facing one another. Though Muslims do not generally participate in Christmas celebrations, they do tend to enjoy the winter holiday season, especially the opportunities that … Read more

Kulayni and al-Kafi (Pt. I)

Originally posted on Shiitic Studies. Introduction The Four Books (i.e. al-Kafi, Man La Yahdhuruhu al-Faqih, Tahdhib al-Ahkam, al-Istibsar fi ma-khtalafa min al-Akhbar) are rightly considered to be the bed-rock of Twelver Imami Hadith. Despite the recognition they have achieved in Shi’i discourse, many commit the error of treating them under the same rubric, without considering the vastly different motivations … Read more

Dialogue with Believers

An epidemic harming our communities is the general inability, hesitance & fear of engaging in dialogue with one another. In fact, in recent years, it appears there has been a significant increase in our communities engaging and initiating inter-faith dialogue, yet we do not see this phenomenon within our own communities. This is while we … Read more

When Apologies Becomes Unethical

There is no doubt that apologizing and seeking forgiveness for having done something wrong is an ethical act. It is something we should all do for any of our mistakes and shortcomings that became the cause of harm and nuisance to others. Apologizing shows us that the individual has intuitively realized the flaws of a … Read more

Commentary on Surah al-Fil – Part 3

This is a transcript of the fourth, fifth and sixth lesson of the commentary on Sūrah al-Fīl given by Shaykh Haider Hobbollah. Click here to read Part 1 and Part 2. Purpose of Stories in the Qurān Before we discuss the general purpose of stories in the Qurān, we need to point out two overall … Read more

Imam ‘Askari (a) and the Wakalah System

The 11th Imam (a) was able to remain in contact with the general Shī’ī community over a large geographical area through the Wakālah system. The Wakālah system comprised of a large number of agents and representatives who would serve as the point of contact between the Imam and their respective communities. The foundations of this … Read more

Nurturing Our Best Selves

Many Muslim theologians in their discussions on the Problem of Evil have argued that existence in the material realm and the systems that govern it are the best possible systems (al-niẓām al-aḥsan) that could have been created and that they enjoy excessive good (ziyādah al-khayr) as opposed to excessive evil. Thereafter, Allah (swt) based on … Read more

Reconciliation of Contradictory Traditions Regarding Someone Who Intends to Sin

In his discussion on tajarrī (temerity to commit a crime, or false obedience) Shaykh Anṣārī (1781-1864) briefly deals with two sets of apparently contradictory narrations on the issue of someone who intended to commit a sin, but they did not. I have previously posted a treatment of one of these traditions by Sayyid Shubbar over … Read more

Disobedience of Allah (swt) is Foolishness

إِنَّمَا التَّوْبَةُ عَلَى اللَّهِ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السُّوءَ بِجَهَالَةٍ ثُمَّ يَتُوبُونَ مِن قَرِيبٍ فَأُولَٰئِكَ يَتُوبُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا [4:17] [Acceptance of] repentance upon Allah is only for those who commit evil out of ignorance, then repent promptly. It is such whose repentance Allah will accept, and Allah is all-knowing, all-wise. Repentance (al-tawbah) … Read more

What is the First thing that is Wajib on Humans? The View of an Akhbari Scholar

Originally posted on Shiitic Studies. Introduction Not everyone in the Shi’i scholarly tradition has been on-board with the direction of travel of systematic theology, beginning as it does with the Kalam (rational theology) of the Mu’tazili influenced Baghdadi scholars in the Buyid era, passing by way of the Peripatetic influenced-thinking of Khwaja Nasir al-Din Tusi (d. 1274), and … Read more

Did the Sahaba become Kafir? Pt. I

Originally posted on Shiitic Studies. Introduction There are reports which indicate that all the companions were destroyed except three, these were then joined by four others, and they became seven who were saved. Were the saved companions only seven? Furthermore, if this destruction is taken to be limited to their fate in the next world then we … Read more

Are Shia Hadiths Reliable?

Originally posted on Shiitic Studies. Introduction One of the claims made by those seeking to weaken confidence in our Hadith corpus is that many of the books of the companions of the Imams were affected by the hidden hand of the Ghulat, who were inserting reports into these books, before distributing the tainted material among … Read more

Repulsing the Basis of Moral Vices

There are numerous ways to encourage one’s self to behave ethically. Scholars of all religions and ideologies have debated and offered different analyses on why people should behave ethically and how they can eliminate moral vices from their actions. For example, some argue people should act ethically because society appreciates and praises such behaviour, which … Read more

Commentary on Surah al-Fil – Part 2

This is a transcript of the second and third lesson of the commentary on Sūrah al-Fīl given by Shaykh Haider Hobbollah over six lessons. In the previous lesson we responded to two arguments that propose the event did not take place, namely: the event is against science and hence it did not take place, and … Read more

Commentary on Surah al-Fil – Part 1

This is a transcript of the first lesson of the commentary on Sūrah al-Fīl given by Shaykh Haider Hobbollah over six lessons. Click for Part 2. Names and Place of Revelation This chapter has been referred to by two names: A lam tara or A lam tara kayfa fa’ala rabbuka bi aṣḥāb al-fīl – this … Read more

Divine and Pharaonic Leaders

It is reported that on the 1st of Safar 61 AH, the head of Imam Husayn (a) was brought into Syria.   Imam Husayn (a) was someone who represented divine values and we ought to be mindful of the relationship a leader who represents divine values has with their followers, in contrast to the relationship … Read more

A Righteous Act

‏مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحاً مِنْ ذَکَرٍ أوْ اُنْثَی وَ هُوَ مُؤمِنٌ فَلَنُحْیِیَنَّهُ حَیَاةً‏‎ ‎‏طَیِّبَةً   [16:97] Whoever acts righteously, [whether] male or female, should he be faithful, —We shall revive him with a good life   Imam Khomeini: According to this non-descript, the reason for why the word righteous act (ṣāliḥan) has been used in its … Read more

Commentary on Surah al-Kawthar – Part 2

This is a transcript of a commentary on Sūrah al-Kawthar given by Shaykh Haider Hobbollah over four lessons. Click for Part 1. We will now offer our observations on the fourth and last exegesis which understands kawthar to mean progeny of the Prophet (p), or specifically Fāṭima (s). We will divide the discussion into three … Read more

Commentary on Surah al-Kawthar – Part 1

This is a transcript of a commentary on Sūrah al-Kawthar given by Shaykh Haider Hobbollah over four lessons. The transcripts will be split into two posts – this is part one. Click for part two. Names, Reasons for Revelation  The chapter has been referred to in four ways in Islamic works: Sūrah al-Kawthar – this … Read more

Ways of Discovering ‘Illah (Cause) for Qiyas Amongst Ahl al-Sunnah

During last academic year’s (2018-2019) legal theory class with Shaykh Haider Hobbollah, before beginning discussion on Maqāṣid al-Sharī’ah (Objectives of Divine Law) as expounded by the Ahl al-Sunnah, it was imperative to understand qiyās as explained and applied by the Ahl al-Sunnah jurists. This is because discussions on Maqāṣid began within discussions on qiyās, until … Read more

Two Distinct Interpretations of a Tradition on the Necessity of a Divine Authority

قَالَ أَبُو جَعْفَرٍ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَعْقُوبَ الْكُلَيْنِيُّ مُصَنِّفُ هَذَا الْكِتَابِ رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنِ الْعَبَّاسِ بْنِ عُمَرَ الْفُقَيْمِيِّ عَنْ هِشَامِ بْنِ الْحَكَمِ عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ع‏ أَنَّهُ قَالَ لِلزِّنْدِيقِ الَّذِي سَأَلَهُ مِنْ أَيْنَ أَثْبَتَّ الْأَنْبِيَاءَ وَ الرُّسُلَ قَالَ إِنَّا لَمَّا أَثْبَتْنَا أَنَّ لَنَا خَالِقاً صَانِعاً مُتَعَالِياً عَنَّا وَ عَنْ … Read more

The Grandson of George and Temporary Marriage

Originally published on Shiitic Studies. Introduction A more distinctive feature of the Imami Madhhab is its acceptance of Mut’a (temporary marriage), which it claims was sanctioned by the Qur’an and the Prophet, before being banned by the second Caliph. One would therefore expect to find support for this practice from the early Salaf, before the crystallization of the various theological … Read more

Three Interpretations of the word “Kaaffah” in Verse 28 of Surat Saba

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا كَافَّةً لِّلنَّاسِ بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ – 34:28 Shaykh Adnan Ibrahim, in his daily classes of exegesis held in this holy month of Ramadhan, presented three interpretations of the word kaaffah in verse 28 of Surat Saba. As we shall observe, nearly all the famous translations of the Quran … Read more

Did the Imams praise Abu Bakr and Umar?

Originally posted on Shiitic Studies. ما على وجه الارض شئ أحب إلي من التقية There is nothing on the face of the Earth more beloved to me than Taqiyya – Imam al-Sadiq Introduction: This paper will be considered by some as belonging to the genre of Shi’i-Sunni polemics, but this would be a mis-characterization. It is … Read more

Salman and the Mileu of Ghulu

Originally posted on Shiitic Studies. Introduction It is not hard to account for the presence of Ghulati reports in the Imami corpus in light of the socio-historic contexts of those times. The rapid expansion of the Islamic empire meant that early Muslims came into contact with proponents of other religions. The absorption of non-Arab Mawali … Read more

The Quranic Emphasis on Intentions and the Moral Worth of an Act

Introduction G.E.M. Anscombe once decried, in a seminal piece titled Modern Moral Philosophy, the adoption of a consequentialist form of ethics by many philosophers. This view considered the moral status of an act to be determined solely by its consequences. The piece, based on the famous interpretation of it, appeared to call for a revival … Read more

Al-Fakhr al-Razi on Why Sabeans in Surat al-Maida is not in the Accusative State

There is a common grammatical question raised as to why the word ‘Sabeans’ in two very similar verses appears in two different grammatical states. In Surat al-Baqara, the verse appears in the accusative case (النصب) whilst in Surat al-Maida, the verse appears in the nominative case (الرفع). We observe in Surat al-Baqara Ayah 62: إِنَّ … Read more

Surat al-Inshirah: An Introductory Exegesis of the Meanings and Messages Contained Within

Sūrat al-Inshirāḥ: An Introductory Exegesis of the Meanings and Messages Contained Within By Shaykh Haidar Hobbollah Translated by Ali Jabbar Download PDF General Introduction Before entering our humble series of lessons on exegesis, and before embarking on exegesis of Sūrat Al-Inshirāḥ, it is necessary to draw attention to two foundational topics: 1) Why do exegesis … Read more

Ethical Observations on Hadith of Istishab

Istiṣḥāb is one of the most important practical principles of legal theory used in deriving law. For an introduction on the principle, read: Principle of Istishab and Its Types This brief post is a summary of some ethical observations made by Ayatullah Ali-Doost on the tradition used to derive the principle itself. “…He does not … Read more

Some Notes on the Status of Salman in Early Shi’ism (Pt. 2)

Originally posted on Shiitic Studies. Introduction Occasionally, historical figures transcend the limited planes of their earthly life to become symbols around whom communities polarize and legends grow. One such figure from early Islam is Salman the Persian. Those with an esoteric persuasion (deemed Ghulat or ‘extremists’ by their opponents) were prone to exaggerate his status, … Read more

Commentary on Surah al-Nas

This is a transcript of a commentary on Sūrah al-Nās given by Shaykh Haider Hobbollah over three lessons. Names, Merits and Reasons for Revelation Sūrah al-Nās is the last chapter of the Qurān and there have been five names mentioned for it: Al-Nās – this is what is written in the codices and is famous. … 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

Brief Commentary on Surah al-Takathur

This is a transcript of a brief commentary on Sūrah al-Takāthur given by Shaykh Haider Hobbollah over two lessons. Names & Merits of the Chapter Sūrah al-Takāthur is the 102nd chapter of the Qurān and it has been referred to by five different names: Al-Takāthur Sūrah allatī dhukira fīhā al-takāthur – this is how Sharīf … Read more

Some Notes on the Status of Salman in Early Shi’ism (Pt. 1)

By Ammaar Muslim – Originally posted on Shiitic Studies. أدرك سلمان العلم الاول والعلم الاخر، وهو بحر لا ينزح، وهو منّا أهل البيت Salman attained the knowledge of the First and the Last, and he is a sea which does not drain, and he is from us the People of the House – Attributed to Imam al-Sadiq عليه … Read more

Salat Has Four-Thousand Limits

From Maṣābīḥ al-Anwār fī Ḥall Mushkilāt al-Akhbār written by al-Sayyid ʿAbdullah Shubbar (d. 1242 AH / 1827). Slight edits have been made to the original text for greater readability. — What we narrate from the three Muḥammads – may Allah sanctify their souls – in al-Kāfī and al-Tahdhīb with an authentic chain, and in Man Lā Yaḥḍuruhu … Read more

Ṣalāt al-Ḑuḥā: Debates about the Validity and Origin of a Peculiar Muslim Ritual Prayer

By Afzal Sumar – a researcher in Islamic studies with a particular focus on Shi’ism. He also translates Arabic religious texts into English. He studied both at the university and the seminary in the UK and in Syria. – Ṣalāt al-Ḑuḥā (the ritual prayer of forenoon) is a peculiar ritual prayer. The Shiʿa tradition rejects … Read more

The Intention of a Believer is Better Than His Action

Taken from Maṣābīḥ al-Anwār fī Ḥall Mushkilāt al-Akhbār written by al-Sayyid ʿAbdullah Shubbar (d. 1242 AH / 1827). Slight edits have been made to the original text for greater readability. — What we transmitted from Thiqa al-Islam (Shaykh al-Kulaynī) from ʿAlī b. Ibrahīm from al-Nawfalī from al-Sakūnī from Abī ʿAbdillah (a) who said: The Messenger of … Read more

The World is a Prison for the Believer and Paradise for the Disbeliever

The following translation is taken from the work Maṣābīḥ al-Anwār fī Ḥall Mushkilāt al-Akhbār written by al-Sayyid ʿAbdullah Shubbar (d. 1242 AH / 1827). Two editions of the work exist, one published by Mu’assasah al-Nūr lil-Maṭbūʿāt of Beirut in the late 1980s, and a recent edition was published by Dār ol Ḥadīth in 2011. In … Read more

Reflections on the Daily Du’a of Rajab – Part 3

Click to read part two. The first call in the daily supplication of Rajab says: يَا مَنْ أَرْجُوهُ لِكُلِّ خَيْرٍ وَ آمَنُ سَخَطَهُ من كُلِّ شَرٍّ O He Whom alone I hope for all good things, and I am safe from His displeasure at every instance of evil. Hopefulness and Immunity In all affairs that … Read more

Reflections on the Daily Du’a of Rajab – Part 1

Sayyid Ibn Ta’us in his Iqbal al-A’mal records the popular du’a of Rajab – generally recited after each prayer as follows: يَا مَنْ أَرْجُوهُ لِكُلِّ خَيْرٍ وَ آمَنُ سَخَطَهُ من [عِنْدَ] كُلِّ شَرٍّ يَا مَنْ يُعْطِي الْكَثِيرَ بِالْقَلِيلِ يَا مَنْ يُعْطِي مَنْ سَأَلَهُ يَا مَنْ يُعْطِي مَنْ لَمْ يَسْأَلْهُ وَ مَنْ لَمْ يَعْرِفْهُ تُحَنُّناً مِنْهُ … Read more

Shaykh Hurr al-‘Amili’s Will to His Son

  This manuscript was shared by Ahmad Ali al-Hilli al-Najafi and is available at the Al-Hakeem Library. It is a will written by Shaykh Ḥurr al-ʿĀmilī (d. 1693) the author of Wasā’il al-Shīʿa. —— In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful And from Him we seek assistance Praise be to Allah … Read more

The Correct Method for Studying Philosophy – Ayatullah Ramazani

Translator’s Intro When I first got to the hawzah, I remember jumping around from teacher to teacher, looking for advice regarding the best strategy and plan on how to tackle my future studies.  I’m certain that most other hawzah students did the same when they first arrived and incoming students are still desperately seeking guidance … Read more

Muhammad b. Sinan: A Controversial Narrator (II)

By Ammaar Muslim – Originally posted on Shiitic Studies Was he Praised by the Imam? There exist narrations in which Muhammad b. Sinan is being praised by Imam al-Jawad عليه السلام عن أبي طالب عبد الله بن الصلت القمي قال: دخلت على أبي جعفر الثاني عليه السلام في آخر عمره فسمعته يقول: جزى الله صفوان بن … Read more

A Study of the Fixed Entities in Islamic Mysticism

By Sayyid Waḥῑd ‘Alawῑ The discussion of The Fixed Entities, A’yān ath Thābita, is one of the most important topics in mysticism. This study is an effort to delve into this topic and get introduced to one of the most important topics within mysticism. The writer of this article has comprehensively studied this topic, and … Read more

Muhammad b. Sinan: A Controversial Narrator (I)

By Ammaar Muslim – Originally posted on Shiitic Studies. Introduction Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. Sinan (d. 220) was a descendant of Zahir the Mawla (client) of Amr b. al-Hamiq al-Khuzai, a close companion of Ali who was murdered by Mu’awiya. His grandson, Abu Isa Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Sinan explains that his actual name was Muhammad … Read more

Why Scientism is Not Only Unscientific But Also The Enemy Of Science

By Amir Mahdi Ghafarian Scientism can be defined as the belief that science, and more precisely the natural sciences, has the most authoritative, reliable and authentic means by which humanity can get an understanding of reality and “truth.” There are two forms of scientism: strong scientism and weak scientism. Strong scientism implies that the validity … Read more

The Martyrdom of Lady Zahra (s) and Maintaining Respect on Both the First and Second Fatimiyyah

Historically speaking, amongst the laity, what was famous regarding the martyrdom of Fāṭimah (s) was the First Fāṭimīyyah – meaning 13th Jamādī al-Awwal. However, lately, the Second Fāṭmīyyah – meaning 3rd Jamādī al-Thānīyah has become popular. Perhaps the origin of this popularity goes back to Ḥājī Nūrī (d. 1902) or his students. The reason they … Read more

Does Sheer Quantity of Hadith on a Subject Indicate Its Importance?

The following is an expanded transcript from advance lessons on Expediency (al-maṣlaḥa) and Purposes of Islamic Law (al-maqāṣid al-sharʿīyyah) being delivered by Shaykh Ḥaider Ḥobbollah in Qom. An article comparing the views of Imām Ṭufī and Imām Khomeynī from the same class was posted a few weeks ago. In lesson 67 (January 6th, 2019) and … Read more

Yunus b. Abd al-Rahman: The Salman al-Farsi of his Times (I)

By Ammaar Muslim – Originally posted on Shiitic Studies. سمعت الرضا عليه السلام يقول: يونس بن عبد الرحمن في زمانه كسلمان الفارسي في زمانه  Yunus b. Abd al-Rahman in his times is like Salman al-Farsi was in his times [Imam al-Ridha] Prologue: A Day in the Life كان ليونس بن عبد الرحمن أربعون أخا يدور عليهم … Read more

Legal Age of Bulugh for Girls

What follows is a summary of a number of discussions held by me and three other seminarians, where arguments of numerous jurists on the legal age of maturity (bulūgh) for girls were investigated. Even though we find a classical scholar considering menstruation as the criterion for the obligation of fasting in the month of Ramaḍan, … Read more

Looking at a Woman Being Sought For Marriage

Recently a thread on the popular forum ShiaChat blew up into half-a-dozen pages, as a member posted up this ruling of Sayyid Sīstānī: 368. It is permissible for a man to look at the attractive features of the woman he intends to marry. Similarly, it is permissible to talk to her before proposing. So, it … Read more

Did Imam Khomeini Have the Same View as Imam Tufi?

One of the classes I’m attending this year are lessons on legal theory focusing on Expediency (al-maṣlaḥa) and Purposes of Islamic Law (al-maqāṣid al-sharʿīyyah). These lessons are being delivered by Shaykh Ḥaider Ḥobbollah in Qom. Over the first 50-odd lessons, a general outline of the discussion was covered, followed by an extensive discussion on the … Read more

Intellectual Spheres and Their Impact on the Type of Hypotheses Entertained in a Study

By Shaykh Haider Hobbollah / Translated by Ali Jabbar Original Source For every intellectual framework, there are hypotheses which are considered possible and others which are considered impossible. What I mean by this is that a person who lives within a certain sphere and a framework will not have certain hypotheses. In contrast, if he … Read more

The Principle of “Laws are Subordinate to Benefits & Harms” in Imami Shi’i Legal Theory and its Implications in Non-Ritualistic Law

The Principle of “Laws are Subordinate to Benefits & Harms” in Imāmī Shī’ī Legal Theory and its Implications in Non-Ritualistic Law Click here to read the paper. Acknowledgement Foremost, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my dissertation advisor Dr. Wasti of The Islamic College. His input and important suggestions were highly valuable … 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

Quranic Wisdom – Between Abstract Theory and Practical Conduct

The following is an abridged translation of an article written by Shaykh Ḥaider Ḥobollah on 23rd of April, 2012. The complete Arabic version can be read here. — Many words in any given language change in their meanings over the course of time. On other occasions, meanings may not change, but connotations can change depending … Read more

Muhammad Amin Astarabadi’s Argument Against Probativity of Intellect in Non-Necessary Matters of Religion

In a previous post we looked at the general critique Shaykh Anṣārī (d. 1864) hurls at the Akhbārīs, in his treatise on certainty (qaṭ’). Thereafter, he begins to cite passages from a few major Akhbārī scholars, namely Astarābādī (d. 1623-24 or 1626-27), Sayyid Jazāirī (d. 1701) and Yūsuf Baḥrānī (d. 1772) and offers his critique on them. … Read more

Shaykh Kulayni, Shaykh Saduq’s & Shaykh Tusi’s Paths to Zurarah b. A’yun & Hisham b. Hakam – Part 2

The Path of Kulaynī to Zurārah From the reliable Uṣūl works is the book of Zurārah[1]. He himself is very trustworthy[2] and is from the companions of Imam Bāqir and Ṣādiq (a). Sometimes Shaykh Kulaynī mentions Zurārah without a path in al-Kāfī, such as in Kitāb al-Zakāt, pg. 520 and 526.   Other times he … Read more

Authentication of the Four Canonical Books

By Syedwajee Ul Hasan Shah, student at Imam Mahdi Hawzah of Birmingham This essay will attempt to tackle the question of the authentication of every hadith within the Four Canonical books of the Shi’a by first providing the definitions of the key terms ḥadīth and khabar, whilst also introducing the reader to what content consists within the … 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

Shaykh Kulayni and Shaykh Tusi’s Paths to Sahl b. Ziyad – Part 1

The following is a translation of excerpts from the book Al-A’lām al-Hidāyah al-Rafīyyah fī I’tibār al-Kutub al-Arba’a al-Manī’ah written by Shaykh ‘Alī Namāzī Shāhrūdī. The intent of the author in this book is to prove the reliability of the four canonical books (al-Kāfī, al-Tahdhīb, al-Istibṣār and Man lā Yahḍuruhū al-Faqīh) through the process of analyzing … Read more

Concerning Probativity of Certainty Acquired Through Intellectual Premises – Shaykh Ansari’s Response to the Akhbaris

Translation of the words of Shaykh Anṣāri (d. 1864): You are aware that there is no difference in certain knowledge which is a mere uncovering, with respect to the causes of that knowledge. However, it has been attributed to more than one of our companions from the Akhbārīyīn, that certainty attained from intellectually certain preliminaries … Read more

Analysis of Traditions on the Birth of the Mahdi (a) – 2

The following are notes from a mubāḥatha (study-session) between Br. Yusuf Alsalahi and myself. عَلِيُّ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي مُحَمَّدٌ وَ الْحَسَنُ ابْنَا عَلِيِّ بْنِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ‏ فِي سَنَةِ تِسْعٍ وَ سَبْعِينَ وَ مِائَتَيْنِ قَالا حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَلِيِّ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ الْعَبْدِيُّ مِنْ عَبْدِ قَيْسٍ عَنْ ضَوْءِ بْنِ عَلِيٍّ الْعِجْلِيِّ عَنْ رَجُلٍ مِنْ أَهْلِ فَارِسَ سَمَّاهُ … Read more

The Ijazat of Fathers to Their Sons

By Sayyid Muhammad Mehdi Rafipour Translated by Hadi Rizvi Among the contemporary jurists, there are cases where jurists who were fathers, attested to the Ijtihād of their children, and have confirmed their juristic abilities. Some cases that immediately come to mind are: 1. The ijāza of ijtihād given by the late Allamah Mulla Mahdi Naraqi … Read more

Is Abu Lulu Buried in Kashan?

Fīrūz Abū Lulu was an Iranian captured in the expansion wars after the demise of the Prophet (p). He was enslaved by Mughīra b. Shu’ba and was allowed to live inside the city of Medina due to his work experience and skill set. This is despite the second caliph’s ban preventing freed slaves from residing … 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

Analysis of Traditions on the Birth of the Mahdi (a) – 1

The following are notes from a mubāḥatha (study-session) with Br. Yusuf Alsalhi and myself. الْحُسَيْنُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ الْأَشْعَرِيُّ، عَنْ مُعَلَّى بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ، عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ، قَالَ: خَرَجَ عَنْ أَبِي مُحَمَّدٍ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ حِينَ‏ قُتِلَ‏ الزُّبَيْرِيُ: «هذَا جَزَاءُ مَنِ افْتَرى‏ عَلَى اللَّهِ فِي أَوْلِيَائِهِ، زَعَمَ أَنَّهُ يَقْتُلُنِي‏ و لَيْسَ لِي عَقِبٌ‏، فَكَيْفَ رَأى‏ قُدْرَةَ اللَّهِ؟» وَ … Read more

We Are a Repeat of the Safavids – Rasul Ja’fariyan

This post was written by Rasul Ja’fariyan and originally published on both his Instagram and Telegram accounts. In the discussions leading up to the convention on Taṣawwuf, I had mentioned that conventions like these are, in a sense, a return to the historical experience the Ṣafavids went through to strengthen religious discourse in society, in … 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

The New World Religion

By Bilal Muhammad – Originally posted on his official Facebook page. The New World Religion, being preached to you and your kids in school and in the media. It has 7 tenets: 1. Naturalism: Everything that exists is material. All that is true must be observable to the five senses, repeatable in a lab setting, … Read more

Popular – Unreliable – Accounts Related to Ashura

Recently a booklet of around 50 pages was published, researched and written by Muḥammad Tehrānī (researcher and teacher at the Hawzah) in which he goes over numerous accounts related to Āshūrā that are popularly retold from the pulpits or are part of our eulogies. In this work he mentions just over 90 such reports. Majority … Read more

Levels of God-Awareness | Part 3 – From God-Awareness to Self-Awareness & Its Psychological Effects

Chapter 2 – Levels of God-Awareness & its Psychological Effects Awareness is one of the most sophisticated, elevated, and complex concepts within the human lexicon.  According to Shaheed Mutahhari (q) and Ayatullah Misbah Yazdi (h), knowledge and awareness together make up the core essence of a human being.  Human perfection is dependent upon this constant … Read more

Book of Intellect and Knowledge – Mu’jam al-Ahadith al-Mu’tabara | Ayatullah Asif Muhsini

Download PDF The first section (The Book of Intellect and Knowledge) of volume 1 of Ayatullah Muhammad Asif Muhsini’s 8-volume work Mu’jam al-Ahadith al-Mu’tabara has now been completed and can be downloaded. The work is being translated by brother Ammaar Muslim. For further information about the work, author and translator, refer to the book and … Read more

The Issue of Slavery in Contemporary Islam

Download PDF  Translators’ Note Ever since the abolition of slavery in the 20th century, numerous Muslim scholars have addressed accusations against the immorality of slave laws by explaining their presence in both the Qurān and the traditions. Much of the accusation appears to be rooted in the presumption that if a religion, which claims to … Read more

Is Knowledge of God Gifted Knowledge or Earned Knowledge – Remarks of ‘Allamah Majlisi & ‘Allamah Tabatabai

Two books I was introduced to very early on in the Ḥawzah were Maṣābīḥ al-Anwār fī Ḥall al-Mushkilāt al-Akhbār of al-Sayyid ‘Abdullah Shubbar (d. 1827) published in two volumes, and Ta’līqāt bar Biḥār al-Anwār of ‘Allāmah Ṭabāṭabāī (d. 1981). The first book is a series of traditions which are difficult to understand and comprehend, oftentimes … Read more

Principle of Istishab and Its Types

This article was published on the Shiapedia, a website that was run by Shaykh Abd al-Hakeem Carney (d. 2007). After his demise, the domain and hosting services were not renewed and the website vanished. Soon after his death, someone had backed up his entire website and I had downloaded all the articles – around 60-70 … Read more

What is the Meaning of ‘Anti-Wilāyat al-Faqīh’?

By Dr. Sayyid Abbas Salehi – Researcher and teacher in the seminary and university Original source: http://farsi.khamenei.ir/others-note?id=9793 – this article was published on the official website of Āyatullah Khāmeneī in  2010. After an article in the constitution detailing the Wilāyat al-Faqīh was added (in 1358 SH) and after certain events had taken place between 1359-1360 (revolts by … Read more

Why Al-Nawbakhti is Not the Author of Firaq al-Shi’a

This is a translation of an article written by Hasan Ansari – originally published here: چرا فرق الشيعه از نوبختي نيست . The book Firaq al-Shī’a has been translated by Abbas Kazim and published by The Islamic College. It can be purchased here. Based on the discrepancies seen in what is transmitted from Firaq al-Shī’a of al-Nawbakhtī in al-Fuṣūl … Read more

Introduction to General Legal Principles

This article was written by Shaykh Abd al-Hakeem Carney (d. 2007) and was originally published on a website he was running called Shiapedia. After his demise, the domain and hosting services were not renewed and the website vanished. Soon after his death, someone had backed up his entire website and I had downloaded all the articles … Read more

The Legal Value of Reason in Islamic Law

This article was written by Shaykh Abd al-Hakeem Carney (d. 2007) and was originally published on a website he was running called Shiapedia. After his demise, the domain and hosting services were not renewed and the website vanished. Soon after his death, someone had backed up his entire website and I had downloaded all the articles … 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

What Have We Learned from Ghadir and Wilayat

By Muḥammad Sorūsh Maḥallātī – one of the few jurists in Qom who has been giving advance classes on Islamic politics and governance for a number of years. Recently he published a book on the concept of Wilāyah titled, Wilāyat – Dar Mughālateh wa Muṣādareh. In our communities today, there are two perspectives taken by … 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

The Presence of Metaphors in the Qur’an: Observations on the Linguistic Theory of Ruh al-Ma’ani

Written for the module: Sources of Islamic Knowledge, taken at The Islamic College for a MA in Islamic Studies with professor Amina Inloes. Originally submitted on 12th February, 2018. Qur’ānic hermeneutics have been a challenging area of study amongst scholars of Islam in modern times. With numerous linguistic theories and philosophies springing about, the Qur’ānic text has naturally … Read more

To Say or Not to Say: Justification for a Formless Marriage Contract (Nikah Mu’atat)

Written for the module: Islamic Family Law, taken at The Islamic College for a MA in Islamic Studies with professor Ali al-Hakim. Originally submitted on 5th June, 2017. Introduction With the advent of our postmodern era, Muslims specifically have faced epistemological and practical challenges that they had never encountered before in history. Amongst the various facets of … Read more

Mental Existence, View of Shabah, and Corroboration with Extra-Mental Reality

Written for the module: Islamic Philosophy, taken at The Islamic College for a MA in Islamic Studies with professor Latimah Parvin Peerwani. Originally submitted on 1st October, 2017. Every day humans encounter innumerable entities via the five senses.   How these entities are perceived by the human mind is a discussion both empiricists and metaphysicians have had, and while … Read more

“Be you spurned apes” (Qur’an 2:65): The Dilemma of a Literal and Figurative Reading

Written for the module: Methods and Perspectives in Islamic Studies, taken at The Islamic College for a MA in Islamic Studies with professor Ali Paya. Originally submitted on 23th February, 2017. The verses of the Qur’ān with all their magnificence – as argued by the Muslims – at times have been at the centre of heated inter-faith polemics. … Read more

The Apostasy Ruling and its Justification in Twelver Shi’i Jurisprudence

Written for the module: Human Rights in Islam, taken at The Islamic College for a MA in Islamic Studies with professor Mahboubeh Sadeghinia. Originally submitted on 23th October, 2016. Freedom of speech and thought are deemed to be some of the most fundamental rights humans possess today. The Islamic orthodox tradition has often been open and comfortable … Read more

The Principle of Leniency in Evidences for Non-Obligatory Acts and its Jurisdiction

The Principle of Leniency in Evidences for Non-Obligatory Acts and its Jurisdiction – The View of Shi’a Jurists from the Occultation to the Fourteenth Century After Hijra By Syed Mohammad Hadi Rizvi [vc_custom_heading text=”Abstract” use_theme_fonts=”yes” el_id=”abstract”] This research looks at the highly influential principle that advocates applying leniency in accepting evidences for non-obligatory acts. It … 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

History and Eras of Shi’i Imami Law (4)

The Occultation of the Imām (a) Towards and during the minor occultation we find certain reports that seem to indicate that the Imāms (a) were preparing the Shī’ā community for becoming highly dependant on scholars – more so than before. To this extent, there is a popular statement attributed to Imām al-‘Askarī (a) and there … Read more

The Need for ‘Ilm al-Rijal – Shaykh al-Suwaydan

This discussion is taken from 2 of 166 lessons given by Shaykh Suwaydan. The audios for the lessons were transcribed and translated by Br. Ammaar —————- There existed and still exists great debate amongst our scholars (both the Qudama and the Muta’akhkhirin) over the degree of need for ‘Ilm ar-Rijal. That is, while others swear by … Read more

Problems and Solutions in Da`wa

By Bilal Muhammad Originally written in October of 2016 While we start any da`wa project, it is important to understand our environment. A da`i should not just comprehend this religion, but should have a grounded understanding of the history of Western civilization (its Greco-Roman and barbarian roots, Christendom, the Enlightenment, Westphalia, the Renaissance, the French … Read more

Blood on Hisham b. al-Hakam’s Hands

By Br. Ammaar Was Hisham Responsible for the Murder of al-Kadhim (a)? Hisham Culpable There exist narrations in our sources which hold Hisham responsible (directly or indirectly) for the murder of al-Kadhim عليه السلام by the Abbasid authorities. He stands accused of continuing to engage in public debate despite an explicit order from the Imam for him to refrain from … Read more

Short Course: Introduction to Ḥadīth Sciences (Summer 2018)

As the Orientalist and civil servant Sir William Muir (1819–1905) served in India for the British government, it was not long before he realized the significance of Prophet Muhammad’s (p) sunnah for the day-to-day practice of Islam for the Muslims. Much of the sunnah is derived from the ḥadīth literature which constitutes one of the most significant bodies of work … 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

History and Eras of Shī’ī Imāmī Law (1)

The upcoming series of posts are based on lecture notes taken in classes given by our respected teacher, Ustādh Rafī’īpūr, in the city of Qom. Ustādh Rafī’īpūr is a senior teacher in the Ḥawzah of Qom where he gives advance classes in jurisprudence and legal theory. Introduction The topic of our discussion is Shī’ī Imāmī … Read more

‘Allāmah Ṭabāṭabā’ī’s Treatment of Different Readings of the Qurān

One of the most extensive and important discussions within Qurānic studies is regarding its variant readings (qirā’āt). The readings are generally discussed within commentaries themselves and even within historical discussions regarding the collection and transmission of the Qurān. Utilizing a 25-page research paper titled Rawish Shināsi Ruyikard ‘Allāmeh Ṭabāṭabā’ī Dar Ikhtilāf Qirā’āt by Muḥamad Khāmehgar of … Read more

Assisting an ‘Alawīyyah

Chapter 115, volume 42 of ‘Allāmah Majlisī’s Biḥār al-Anwār is regarding dreams and miracles related to Imām ‘Alī (a) and while the reliability of these reports is extremely difficult to establish, some of the stories are simply interesting to read. Back in 2015 I had gone to Mashhad around springtime and was listening to a … Read more

The Deserted Quran

وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا [25:30] And the Apostle will say, ‘O my Lord! Indeed my people had taken this Qurān as deserted.” There is this understanding amongst some Muslims that if one owns multiple copies of the Qurān and if they are not all read, then that is a … Read more

Two Rulings Regarding Yawm al-Shakk

These are two rulings regarding Yawm al-Shakk (Day of Doubt), which is the day where one is unsure whether it is the 30th of Sha’bān or the 1st of Ramaḍān. Given that the month of Ramaḍān is coming up in a few days, I thought the ruling would be beneficial to share. These are from … Read more

Miraculousness of the Quran – Doctrine of al-Sarfah – A Historical Overview (Part 6)

In our previous post, we went over a brief description of the doctrine of al-Ṣarfah. In this post, we want to see what critiques were established against this doctrine by Muslim scholars. I will summarize some of the major arguments against the doctrine and leave out some of the rebuttals which I felt were repetitive … Read more

Imam Khomeini’s Fearless Attack on Muhaddith Nuri’s Scholarship

On the topic concerning the binding force of the apparent meaning[1] of the Qurān (Ḥujjiyyah Ẓawāhir al-Qurān), Imām Khomeinī (1902 – 1989) in his Anwār al-Hidāyah[2] brings up the subject of corruption (taḥrīf) of the Qurān. In this section, he launches a ruthless and fearless attack on Muḥaddith Nūri[3] (1838 – 1902) especially given he had … Read more

A Prophetic Hadīth Narrated on the Authority of a Muslim Jinn

Some of the most interesting anecdotes and descriptions of historical events, relationships between scholars, how books were transferred from one century to another, and so on, can be found in Ijāzāt given to one scholar by another. The Ijāzāt were a kind of licence permitting one to transmit certain texts or narrations on someone else’s … Read more

How to Develop Affinity with Hadīth

Below is a translated transcript of advice given be Āyatullah Mufīdī Yazdī to seminary students in one of his classes. He is a scholar from Yazd who studied in Qom under scholars like Āyatullah Behjat and Āyatullah Ḥasanzādeh Āmulī. He currently gives lessons on various subjects in the city of Qom and is known for his … Read more

Hisham b. al-Hakam: God = A Body Unlike Other Bodies? – Part 4

By Br. Ammaar كان من غلمان أبي شاكر الزنديق، وهو جسمي ردي He was a student of Abi Shakir the Zindiq and a wretched corporealist – Sa’d b. Abdallah al-Qummi (d. 301) was not a fan of Hisham A Body Unlike Other bodies Would not considering God to be a body be likening Him to his creatures (who happen … Read more

Hisham b. al-Hakam: God is a Body? – Part 3

By Ammaar Hussein Click for Part 2 وأول من عرف في الإسلام أنه قال إن الله جسم هو هشام بن الحكم The First person in Islam known to have said ‘Allah is a Body’ is Hisham b. al-Hakam (Ibn Taymiyya) اليهود أكثرهم مشبّهة وكان بدء ظهور التّشبيه في الإسلام من الرّوافض مثل هشام بن الحكم … Read more

Repeated Chains of Narrations in al-Kafi

By Mohsin Jaffery The original research was conducted by Muhammad Qurbani and published in a 24-page paper titled Asnād Pur-Tikrār Nishānī az Manābi’ Maktūb al-Kāfī. The paper attempts to collect chains of narrations that are most often repeated in al-Kāfī and tries to trace down the works that Shaykh al-Kulaynī (d. 329 AH) was making use … Read more

Personal Testimony of Dhiya Farajallah Regarding the Killing of al-Shaheed al-Sadr

Translated by Ali Jabbar Click for original post by Dhiya Farajallah My personal testimony regarding the killing of al-Imam al-Shaheed al-Sadr I spent my time during the last few months of al-Sadr’s detainment alongside my uncle the martyr al-Shaykh al-Shaheed Abd al-Raheem Farajullah (one of al-Sadr’s closest friends and students). I spent this period at … 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

Solemn Intention to Insult Philosophy

Āyatullah Mīrzā Mahdī Iṣfahāni (d. 1945) is considered to be the founder of Maktab-e Tafkīk (although the term for the movement was coined by Shaykh Muḥammad Riḍa Ḥakīmī). This school of thought continues to exist today in Mashhad, where Mīrzā Mahdī resided during the later part of his life. Today Āyatullah Sayyid Ja’far Sayyidān is considered … Read more

22nd of Rajab and Kūnḍay

Ibn Ṭāūs in his work al-Iqbāl, cites a tradition reported on the authority of the Prophet (p) he comes across in a work called Fatḥ al-Abwāb ila Dār al-Thawāb which says the following: On the night of 22nd Rajab, whoever performs 8 units of prayers, in which al-Ḥamd is recited one time, Sūrah al-Kāfirūn 7 … 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

Miraculousness of the Quran – Doctrine of al-Sarfah – A Historical Overview (Part 5)

From the beginning of revelation up until the end of the 2nd century, the issue of i’jāz (miraculousness) of the Qurān was not a widely discussed topic amongst Muslim scholars. The Muslims before that were in general amazed by the Qurān and the concepts it discussed and expounded on, to such an extent that there … Read more

Maintaining the Rights of the Believers

Muḥaddith Urmawī (d. 1979) in his introduction to al-Fayḍ Kashānī’s al-‘Irfān wa al-Sulūk ‘ind Ahl al-Bayt (a) writes: There is a strong emphasis placed on maintaining the rights of the brothers and fulfilling their needs, and in fact, it has priority over many of the other obligations. Whoever requires further information with regards to the strong emphasis that … Read more

Ahl al-Sunnah & the Merits of Imam ‘Alī (a)

By Hassan Ansari (Original source in Farsi: https://t.me/barrasihayetarikhi/1012) Other than the ‘Uthmāni Shī’as and some movements within the Murji’a and early Mu’tazalīs, the general populace of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamā’ah – including Sunnī Aṣḥāb al-Ḥadīth – all accepted and believed the merits and virtues exclusive to Amīr al-Mu’mineen (a). After Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal accepted the … 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

Miraculousness of the Quran – A Historical Overview (Part 4)

Intellectual-Rational In this approach, the criterion used to establish the miraculousness of the Qurān is intellectualization and reason. One of the things that pushed scholars to take this approach was the significant amount of differences of opinions in the earlier approaches, such as the taste and feel approach, or even the semantic approach, where the … 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

Approaching the Quran

This post is taken from the Light of the Furqan blog. The following is based on a talk I gave at UTSC on March 8th 2018. The talk was entitled, “Approaching the Quran”. Every verse of the Quran can serve as an index to centuries of discussion amongst exegetes. All these discussions occur between various … Read more

Miraculousness of the Quran – A Historical Overview (Part 3)

Semantic – Philological Most Muslim scholars agree that the Qurān was not revealed in the Arabic language without any wisdom.[1] [26:193-195] This is indeed [a Book] sent down by the Lord of all the worlds, brought down by the Trustworthy Spirit upon your heart (so that you may be one of the warners), in a … Read more

Miraculousness of the Quran – A Historical Overview (Part 2)

In this post, we will begin looking into six different approaches scholars have put forth to explain how the miraculous nature of the Qurān can be attested. Taste and Feel This approach says that in order to sense the beauty of a text, one must develop the ability to differentiate between good and bad speech. … Read more

Hisham b. al-Hakam: Founder of a Theological School – Part 2

By Ammaar Hussein Click for Part 1 دعا له الصادق عليه السلام فقال: أقول لك ما قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم لحسان: لا تزال مؤيدا بروح القدس ما نصرتنا بلسانك I say to you what the Messenger of Allah said to Hassan b. Thabit: You will never stop being aided by the … Read more

Hisham b. al-Hakam: Defender of the Madhhab – Part 1

By Ammaar Hussein Click for Part 2 ورفعه الصادق عليه السلام في الشيوخ وهو غلام. وقال: هذا ناصرنا بقلبه ولسانه ويده al-Sadiq عليه السلام elevated him to be at par with the elders while he was still a youth. He said: This is our defender by his heart, tongue and hand [Manaqib of Ibn Shahr Ashub] Hisham … Read more

Some Opinions on Imam Husayn’s (a) Movement

Roughly three-four years ago as I was going through some parts of Insān 250-Sāleh, a work based on the speeches of Sayyid ‘Alī Khāmeneī, it led me to look further into the discussion surrounding Imām al-Ḥusayn’s (a) movement. The work puts forth the idea that all the infallibles were essentially one person who would have acted … Read more

Difference Between al-Shubha al-Ḥukmīyyah and al-Shubha al-Mawḍū’īyyah

Jurists and scholars of legal theory divide uncertainty into two: 1) those that concern a law (al-shubha al-ḥukmīyyah), and 2) those that concern the subject or an instance of a law (al-shubha al-mawḍū’īyyah). Perhaps the simplest way these two uncertainties can be explained is through the following three perspectives: 1. The Root of Uncertainty The … Read more

Dealing with Seemingly Contradictory Ethical Verses & Traditions

The fact that many youth seem to see apparently contradictory ethical and moral admonitions in the Qur’ānic verses and traditions, often becomes the cause of confusion and a barrier to fulfill one’s moral duties correctly. Many traditions and verses concerning ethics appear to be defining general principles, or they may be conveying a causal relationship … Read more

God-Awareness & its Role in Man’s Life | Part 2 – From God-Awareness to Self-Awareness & Its Psychological Effects

Read Part 1 here. God-Awareness & its Role in Man’s Life The Importance of God-Awareness in Man’s life Human beings have an intense connection with God.  We have presential knowledge of Him.  Our soul is divine.  Our theomorphic nature (fiṭrah) has been formed, shaped, and molded by Him.  We are inclined towards Him.  Ayatullah Misbah … 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

Verse 1 – Sūrat al-Ṣaff | Grammatical Analysis

Originally written and posted by the author of the Light of the Furqan blog. Introduction I and a couple of other students, including the author of Iqra Online, have been holding weekly Qurānic grammar discussions and have decided to share our notes from our weekly discussions. The discussions, however, are quite technical, largely because the initial … Read more

Choosing Between Two Equally Knowledgeable Jurisconsults – Sayyid ‘Alam al-Hoda | Lesson 7

Click for previous lesson. Our discussion on a’lamiyyah reached its conclusion in the last lesson, and we said it is only one of the criteria for selecting a jurisconsult, not that it is obligatory to follow the most-learned. A muqallid looks into various different factors when choosing a jurisconsult, some of which are backed up … Read more

From God-Awareness to Self-Awareness & Its Psychological Effects | Part 1

By Mas’ūd Nūr ‘Alīzādeh Edited by Saiyid Hasan Ali Rizvi The following is the 1st part of a series of translations of the book From God-Awareness to Self-Awareness & Its Psychological Effects By Mas’ūd Nūr ‘Alīzādeh.  I have made certain edits, omissions, and additions where I felt appropriate.  These edits have not been reflected in … Read more

Taqlīd of the Most-Learned – Sayyid ‘Alam al-Hoda | Lesson 6

Click for previous lesson. Our discussion is on the obligation of doing taqlīd of the most-learned. The conclusion we arrived at is that there is no evidence that can with certainty establish for us such an obligation. However, ‘almaiyyah is a preferred quality, that a muqallid should factor in when they choose a jurisconsult. But … Read more

Prophet Muhammad (p) in Light of Nahj al-Balagha | Ayatullah Misbah Yazdi – Lecture 1

This is the translation and transcript of the first of 10 lectures given by Āyatullah Miṣbāḥ Yazdī in the city of Qom, in Ramaḍān of 2006. The topic of this series was: Prophet Muḥammad (p) in Light of Nahj al-Balāgha Due to this year being dedicated to the Prophet (p) and especially since the forthcoming days will … 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

Al-Itqān: Meccan and Medinan Chapters

Originally posted on the Light of the Furqān blog. In a previous post I introduced “Al-Itqān fī ‘Ulūm al-Qurān” by al-Suyūṭī. I have recently been reading through some chapters of the book and have found many interesting discussions. What follows is a summary of al-Suyūṭī’s discussion on Meccan and Medinan chapters. Importance of Knowing the … Read more

“Al-Raḥmān” in the Quran

Originally posted on the Light of the Furqan Blog الرحمن على العرش استوى The All-beneficent, settled on the Throne1 I was recently writing an article about the word “al-raḥmān”, particularly focusing on its philological background amongst other discussions. While doing so, I came across a verse that was the source of some interesting philological discussions. … Read more

Taqlīd of the Most-Learned – Sayyid ‘Alam al-Hoda | Lesson 3

Click for previous lesson. We are discussing the necessity of following the most-learned juristconsult. Sayyid Kho’ī says that a verdict of a jurist is from the same category of a solitary report and the narrations that permit taqlīd imply ta’yīn, not takhyīr. However, we said in fact they imply takhyīr, and the itlāq of these narrations … Read more

The Need for Intellectual Sciences | Ayatullah Ghulam Reza Fayyazi

Translated by Saiyid Hasan Ali Rizvi Religion is not just [a set of] rules. The rulings themselves are only useful for someone who has a correct belief system. Otherwise, with an incorrect system of beliefs, none of these rules have any special value, even if performed perfectly. In addition, if someone has [an incorrect understanding] of … Read more

Knowledge by Presence | Introduction to Islamic Epistemology – Part 2

Read Part 1 The Definition of Presential Knowledge* and Acquired Knowledge There are different ways to understand and recognize pain.   You’ve no doubt had these experiences in your life where you got sick or got into a bad accident and felt a lot of pain.  You’ve also probably had friends or family members that have … Read more

Concepts and General Principles | Introduction to Islamic Epistemology – Part 1

Compiled by Saiyid Hasan Ali Rizvi and Sayyid Ali Imran God Willing, we will be posting up a series of posts introducing the subject of Epistemology or Theory of Knowledge – Ma’rifat Shināsi in Farsi, or Naẓarīyah al-Ma’rifah in Arabic. These posts are primarily based off of two works. First of them being Dar Āmadī bar … 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

Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn: The Verse of Purification (33:33)

Return to Table of Contents for Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn في تفسير علي بن إبراهيم وفى رواية أبى الجارود عن أبي جعفر عليه السلام في قوله عز وجل انما يريد الله ليذهب عنكم الرجس أهل البيت ويطهركم تطهيرا قال: نزلت هذه الآية في رسول الله وعلي بن أبي طالب وفاطمة والحسن والحسين صلوات الله عليهم، وذلك … Read more

Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn: Surat al-Fil

Return to Table of Contents for Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn  في كتاب ثواب الأعمال باسناده عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: من قرأ في  فرايضه ألم تر كيف فعل ربك شهد له يوم القيامة كل سهل وجبل ومدر بأنه كان من المصلين، وينادى له يوم القيامة مناد: صدقتم على عبدي قبلت شهادتكم له وعليه، أدخلوه الجنة … Read more

Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn: Surat ash-Shams

Return to Table of Contents for Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn في كتاب ثواب الأعمال باسناده عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: من أكثر قراءة ” والشمس، والليل إذا يغشى، والضحى، وألم نشرح ” في يوم أو ليلة لم يبق شئ بحضرته الا شهد له يوم القيامة حتى شعره وبشره ولحمه ودمه وعروقه و عصبة وعظامه، … Read more

Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn: Surat al-Kawthar

Return to Table of Contents for Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn في كتاب ثواب الأعمال باسناده عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: من قرء ” انا أعطيناك الكوثر ” في فرايضه ونوافله سقاه الله من الكوثر يوم القيامة، وكان محدثه عند رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله في أصل طوبى In Thawab al-A`mal: By its isnad from Abu … Read more

Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn: Surat Quraysh

Return to Table of Contents for Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn في كتاب ثواب الأعمال باسناده عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال من أكثر قراءة لايلاف قريش بعثه الله يوم القيامة على مركب من مراكب الجنة حتى يقعد على موائد النور يوم القيامة In Kitab Thawab al-A`mal: By its isnad to Abu `Abdillah عليه السلام. He said: Whomever … Read more

Taqlīd of the Most-Learned – Sayyid ‘Alam al-Hoda | Lesson 1

These are class-notes taken from Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq ‘Alam al-Hoda’s Bahth al-Khārij on al-Ijtihād wa al-Taqlīd which began on October 11th, 2017 in the city of Qom – and are a continuation from last year. This year the Sayyid is beginning one of the most important rulings within contemporary discussions on Ijtihād and Taqlīd which concerns … Read more

Chronology of Events on the Day of ‘Ashura

Chronology of Events on the Day of ‘Ashura In accordance with the interview held with the deceased Doctor Ahmad Birshak in Gashimari-ye Irani, the event of Karbala falls on the Solar calendar on the 21st of Mehr, year 59 (10th October 680) The Solar calendar is not like the Lunar calendar in the sense that … Read more

How to do Tawheed Better

By Saiyid Hasan Ali Rizvi The way Tawheed exists in the minds of Muslims can be broken down into 2 types.  The 1st type is a concept so simple, so undemanding, and so uncomplicated, that it becomes ‘childish’.  Think about it.  Isn’t that the 1st thing we teach our kids or were taught by our … Read more

Most Narrations on Islamic Medicine Have No Chains

⚡️ 85% narrations on Ṭibb do not have a chain of narration ⚡️From 6000 narrations, only 60 have to do with treatments ✔️- Sayyid Kāzim Ṭabatabā’ī – head of Dār al-Ḥadīth, Qom 🔻 🔹 I am against the term “Ṭibb Islāmi” (Islamic Medicine). Meaning, I do not believe that the purpose of religion and the … Read more

Kitab al-Sawm III – Niyyah (Intention) | al-Fiqh al-Istidlali

We find Shaykh Ṭūsi in his al-Mabsūṭ[1] writing: نيّة القربة أن ينوي أنّه يصوم فقط متقرّبا به إلى اللّٰه تعالى، و نية التعيين أن ينوي أنه صائم شهر رمضان فإن جمع بينهما كان أفضل فإن اقتصر على نية القربة أجزأه Niyyah of qurbah is that one makes an intention that they are fasting only – while seeking closeness through it … Read more

Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn: Surat al-Fatiha

Return to Table of Contents for Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn في مجمع البيان روى جعفر بن محمد عن أبيه عن آبائه عن النبي صلى الله عليه وآله لما أراد الله عز وجل ان ينزل فاتحة الكتاب وآية الكرسي وشهد الله و ” قل اللهم مالك الملك ” إلى قوله ” بغير حساب ” تعلقن بالعرش وليس … Read more

Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn: Surat al-Ikhlas

Return to Table of Contents for Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn في كتاب ثواب الأعمال باسناده عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: من مضى به يوم واحد فصلى فيه خمس صلوات ولم يقرء بقل هو الله أحد قيل له: يا عبد الله لست من المصلين In Thawab al-A`mal: By its isnad from Abu `Abdillah عليه السلام. … Read more

Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn: Surat Yusuf

Return to Table of Contents for Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn في كتاب ثواب الأعمال باسناده إلى أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: من قرأ سورة يوسف في كل يوم وفي كل ليلة بعثه الله يوم القيمة وجماله على جمال يوسف، ولا يصيبه فزع يوم القيمة، وكان من اخيار عباد الله الصالحين، وقال: كانت في التوراة مكتوبة … Read more