Theology

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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