Ethics & Psychology

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

Our Century of Tragedy | Shahid Mutahhari

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

Islam – The Religion of Ease

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reflections on Munajaat Sha’baniyyah 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Supplication for the Beginning of the month of Ramaḍān

Attached below is a brief study carried out by Br. Yasar Ebrahim [a student at the Hawzah in Qom], which may benefit its reader. The work provides a practical program for the month of Ramaḍān, which is approaching soon, by focusing on the 44th supplication recorded in al-Ṣaḥīfah al-Sajjādiyah (supplication welcoming the month of Ramaḍān). … Read more

Preliminaries of Reflection by Shahid Qadhi Tabatabai

Preliminaries of Reflection by Shahīd Qadhi Ṭabāṭabāī (d. 1979) Source: اللّوامع الإلهیة في المباحث الکلامیة by Jamal ul-Din Miqdad bin ‘Abdillah al-Asadi al-Suyuri al-Hilli – with footnotes of Shahīd Ṭabāṭabāī Translated by Br. Mohammad Anwar – student at the seminary in Qom ——————————- To think and reflect (correctly) there are certain preliminaries that are necessary … Read more

Don’t Give Your Enemies an Excuse

Below is a translation from an excerpt taken from a book published last month, called The Messenger of Allah and Management of Tensions in Medina (رسول خدا و مدیریت تنشهای مدینه), by Hussain Qadhikhani (a history teacher in Qom), Pages 125-127 This is a really interesting book as it outlines the various phases of the … Read more

Sincerity (al-Ikhlaas): A Pre-Requisite for Religious Speakers

Below is a foreword from a book that was partially translated recently. Details about the translation can be read in the PDF file itself. Download Book: Lu’Lu wa Marjaan (Pearls and Corals): Treatise on the Condition of Sincerity Required by Religious Speakers, by Mirza Husain Noori (d. 1902). — The Shi’i communities in the Western world face numerous … Read more

Self-Conceit (‘Ujb) – What Is It? [Part 1 of 4]

I will be publishing a 4-part series on the concept of ‘Ujb (self-conceit). The content will essentially be relying on the book Jami al-Sadaat, references from other works where relevant and personal comments on the various points that the author of Jami al-Sadaat (Ayatullah Mahdi Naraqi) raises in his work. Part I | Part II | Part … Read more

Self-Conceit in a Flawed Opinion that Appears to be Correct

This is a paragraph translated from the book Jami al-Sadaat by Ayatullah Muhammad Mahdi Naraqi. In the chapter of ‘Ujb (self-conceit), the author goes into detail, first defining the spiritual disease and then expanding on it. Then he goes on to explain the different types of self-conceit a person can do and their cures. He splits the … Read more

Wishing To Be Present In Karbala Sincerely

There is a book written by Ayatullah Mirza Jawad Maliki Tabrizi (d. 1924) titled المراقبات اعمال السنه (Al-Muraqabaatu ‘amaal il-sanah – Observation of the Yearly Devotions). Al-Muraqaba means to watch over, or to keep an eye over something. In Islamic literature and studies, it refers to being watchful of one’s actions and one’s soul and determine whether … Read more

When we get, we give to others; when we do not get, we thank Allah [Tawakkul]

A few personal notes I took from a Dars-e-Akhlaq held by Ayatullah Misbah Yazdi on February 27th, 2013 on the topic of Tawakkul. الشيخ أبو الفتوح الرازي في تفسيره: عن أمير المؤمنين (عليه السلام)، أنه مر يوما على قوم، فرآهم أصحاء جالسين في زاوية المسجد، فقال (عليه السلام): (من أنتم؟) قالوا: نحن المتوكلون قال (عليه السلام): ((لا … Read more