Saturday, 27 July 2013

Taraveeh, Haraam/ forbidden in Shia Islam

Topic 26:

A request for non-muslim readers is that this topic won’t concern you much, so you may avoid its reading.

Taraveeh prayers are Haraam/ forbidden in Shia Islam; whereas they are important prayers in Sunni, during the nights of month of Ramadan. Shia consider it Haraam/ forbidden because Prophet Mohammed never ordered nor asked to observe Taraveeh. It started a decade after Prophet Mohammed; Umar Khattab the second Caliph started it during his reign.

Umar Khattab didn’t had any divinely appointed authority over him to start something like Taraveeh, Prophet Mohammed had declared that Islam became complete during his very life time at event of Ghadeer, this completion included completion in prayer system as well. What was missing in complete prayer system of Islam that Umar s/o Khattab started this Biddat (innovation) could not be found out. He himself declares it is a Biddat (innovation) in Sahih Bukhari.

Taraveeh are offered like daily obligatory prayers in congregation (Jama’at), congregational prayers are orders of God through divine revelations like 5 daily prayers. Even if you calculate daily prayers they make up to 17 (2+4+4+3+4) cycles/ rakah in 24 hours, Taraveeh exceed this limit also; a caliph has no right to start such prayers parallel to obligatory prayers that too even more than those. Taraveeh are prayed like obligatory prayers in 20 or 36 cycles/ rakah, some perform 8 cycles/ rakah, followed by 3 cycles/ rakah of Vitr; but to perfrom such prayers in congregation is invalid, since only a divinely appointed person can establish such prayers, Umar Khattab didn’t had this authority.

Another point to be noted in case of Taraveeh is that during 29/30 nights of Ramadan complete Holy Qur’an is recited in Taraveeh, it is said Prophet Mohammed himself used to recite Holy Qur’an that too twice during Ramadan. But during Prophet Mohammed’s lifetime there never came any Ramadan wherein Holy Qur’an was complete, last of revelation were declared during month of Dhul Hajja 60 Hijri and Prophet Mohammed got martyred in 61 Hijri (2nd month) but before Ramadan (9th month) came. So how did he openly recite that others even noted it; that which was not even revealed/ declared during previous Ramadan months prior to 61 Hijri to Muslims?

Holy Qur’an is recited at high speed which is usually beyond understanding; this is done to accommodate the recital quota within time frame say an hour. Some more new versions have come up; complete recital in 10 days, 3 days and even 1 night, which is catching fad to save time. This is what Holy Quran asks Muslims in chapter 75 verse 16: La tuharrik bihi lisaanaka lita’jala bihi (Do not move your tongue with it to make haste with it).

Shia are accused since they hate Uthman s/o Affan the third caliph that they are divinely forbidden to memorise Holy Qur’an, since Uthman s/o Affan is attributed as compiler of Holy Qur’an. Shia do memorise Holy Qur’an and there are a lot of Shia who know whole of Holy Qur’an by heart. Their numbers are few since Shia don’t need to recite as there is no Taraveeh, Shia stress more on understanding Holy Qur’an then doing a rote. Also, Shia believe Holy Qur’an was compiled by Imam Ali, but that’s not the topic here.

Salatul Layl/ Namaz Shab or Tahajjud are voluntary prayers not just during the month of Ramadan but throughout the year, one offers it in night, preferably during the last part of night. Sunni hadith state that during Prophet Mohammed’s time once it happened that when Prophet Mohammed was praying alone in mosque in night people gathered behind him and started to pray behind him, it continued for three days and crowd increased. Prophet Mohammed on fourth day didn’t came out, and later said, “your presence was not hidden from me but I was afraid lest the night prayer should be enjoined on you and you might not be able to carry it on”. Holy Qur’an says accept what Prophet Mohammed gives to you and refrain from what he stops you from.

Even if above hadith is accurate, then too Prophet Mohammed stopped it, this was to be enough as reminder that something which Prophet Mohammed didn’t wanted to be enjoined should not have been established on par with enjoined daily prayers. Voluntary prayers are to remain voluntary so congregation could not be made in them, since it’s an individual matter. Umar s/o Khattab converted these prayers in congregational prayers, without any divinely appointed authority to do so.

Reasons are declared that since Prophet Mohammed was no more present there was no fear that any new revelation could come up to make it obligatory, thus Umar s/o Khattab established it. What kind of belief is this; obligatory prayers are taken as burden that a fear remains in mind that any extra burden could have come. These are statements of those companions and scholars who declared they spend whole nights in prayers, self contradictory statements!

Even if there was no so called fear then too when Islam and its prayer system were already complete and declared as such by Prophet Mohammed himself why Umar s/o Khattab started this biddat (innovation) would be interesting to know. Did Umar s/o Khattab knew about Prophet Mohammad’s saying that: Kullu biddatid dalaala wa kullu dalaalati fin naari jahannam/ every biddat (innovation) is dalaala and every dalaala will lead to hell fire. Here, the word ‘kullu/ every’ is to be noted, so no reason left to distinguish between good and bad biddat.

Follower of different Sunni schools of thought (Madhabs) offer different number of cycles of prayers, some offer 20 cycles of prayers, some 8, while other offers 36 cycles along with recommended 3 of Witr. Whereas if Sunni authentic hadith are checked then Aisha widow of Prophet Mohammed declared that Prophet Mohammed never offered more than 11 cycles of night prayers be it Ramadan or any other month. Those who perform 8 cycles and later 3 making it 11 do so as obligatory congregation, congregation itself is controversy and why Shia forbid it. The clashes between numbers of cycles themselves declare controversy. Some Sunni even offer Tahajjud after Taraveeh, which makes whole thing meaningless in eyes of hadith.

Salatul layl/ Namaze Shab or Tahajjud are 8 cycles of voluntary prayers, which are followed by 3 cycles of recommened Witr (2+1). Prophet Mohammed clearly stated that it was obligatory on him not upon his followers, he did meant something.

Shia pray Salatul Layl/ Namaze Shab or Tahajjud throughout the year during night in following pattern (2+2+2+2) then recommended Salatul Shaf (2) and finally Witr (1), total 11 cycles, it confirms Prophet Mohammed’s manner.

1st Imam Ali Murtada who is also 4th and last rightly guided caliph of Sunni didn’t observed nor asked to offer Taraveeh during his reign from Kufa, Iraq, his capital. If an argument is raised that what if it’s prayed after all it’s a prayer, who should have a problem with it? Then, why can’t Muslims fast on Eid or while on journey? Why do Muslims have to shorten their prayers when they travel? Why can’t menstruating ladies fast or offer salah? The answer is when God set a law it must be obeyed we can’t use our own minds and change the law of God. No Shia ever objects to individual voluntary prayers, the problem is with congregation which is only for obligatory prayers.

Oh Allah! Peace and Salutation be upon Mohammed and House-hold of Mohammed.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Shia view on status of Umm Khadija tul Kubra

Topic 25:

Khajida tul Kubra was Prophet Mohammed’s first wife. She was richest entrepreneur of her time; she was referred to as ‘Malikatul Arab’ the Queen of Arabia. She used to send business caravans to distant places to do business, in this business she used to hire agents who worked for her as managers.

Prophet Mohammed in his prime youth became an agent (manager) for her caravan, she also sent an assistant to assist Prophet Mohammed in the journey and business. The caravan returned from Syria with manifold profit, the business reports were crystal clear. She inquired about Prophet Mohammed nature and behavior from the assistant she had sent, she received heart touching reports about the conduct of Prophet Mohammed.

Her cousin brother Waraqa son of Naufil advised her to get married soon since she was in prime age of marriage. Shia literature states she was 28 years old. She had never married before. She rejected several proposals. Later she sent marriage proposal to Prophet Mohammed which he accepted; their marriage was solemnized by Prophet Mohammed’s guardian uncle Abu Talib, who read the marriage sermon and exchanged vows as jurist.

Sunni states that she was a two time widow and was forty years old lady. Sunni literature get the birth year of Prophet Mohammed as ‘the year of elephant’ from the famous book ‘Tabaqaat Ibn Sa’ad’, ironically the same book also states Kadija tul Kubra was born three years before ‘the year of elephant’, which proves that she was just three years older to Prophet Mohammed. Shia also state that Khadija tul Kubra was three years older to Prophet Mohammed. When they married Prophet Mohammed was 25 years old while Khadija was 28 years old. Shia deny Sunni claims that she was two time widowed.

She had three sons and one daughter with Prophet Mohammed; sons were Qasim, Tayyeb, Tahir all three sons died in infancy. Their only daughter was Fatima Zahra. Sunni state that she had three other daughters as well. Shia literature states that Khadija’s sister Halaa had died leaving three daughters as orphans, Khadija took them under her care and when she married Prophet Mohammed they came to live with them, their names are Zainab, Ruqaiyya and Kulsum. They began to be called as daughters of Prophet Mohammed just like Zaid son of Harith (Khadija’s slave boy) who they have adopted began to be called as Zaid son of Mohammed.

When Prophet Mohammed declared his prophet-hood, Khadija was the first person to confirm his prophet-hood. She became the first Muslim. Sunni claim that Prophet Mohammed trembled with fear and asked Khadija to cover him in blanket, later Khadija called Waraqa who informed Prophet Mohammed that he was now a prophet and the angel who came to him was Archangel Gabriel (Jibril), Shia deny all such claims. Shia state that Prophet Mohammed was rather eagerly waiting for Archangel Gabriel and he never feared or trembled, nor did Waraqa inform him about his status, he knew his status.

As converts began to enter Islam, who were down trodden and poor, Khadija spent her riches upon their uplifting, and their conditions improved. She always played the role of a true mother for Muslims. All her wealth was spent on improvement of conditions of Muslims. Prophet Mohammed is reported to have said that once God sent Archangel Gabriel to him and asked him to inform Khadija that God had sent His salutations upon her.

So long as she remained alive Prophet Mohammed never married another lady, they spent 28 years together. She also spent the worst three years of social boycott with Prophet Mohammed which Makkan had imposed upon clan of Prophet Mohammed. When she died Prophet Mohammed cried bitterly, in the same year Prophet Mohammed also lost his guardian uncle Abu Talib, Prophet Mohammed in grief stated the whole year as ‘year of sorrow’, it was only after their death that Prophet Mohammed migrated to Madina.

Later, Prophet Mohammed when he married other ladies; he frequently informed them about Khadija, he frequently said that when all called him liar, Khadija alone confirmed him as truthful and when no one helped with a penny Khadija gave all her wealth, he said he loved Khadija like none other. She was buried in famous graveyard of Makka ‘Jannatul Mo’alla’, her tomb was desecrated by Saudi regime in 1925 AD, and all that remain is her grave. She passed away on 10th Ramadan 1 BH. Photos of her tomb before 1925’s Saudi desecration and present remaining graves are to be noted.

Oh Allah! Peace and Salutation be upon Mohammed and House-hold of Mohammed.

Shia view: Prophet Mohammed & Imams’ Unseen Knowledge

Topic 24:

Shia’s concept on knowledge of unseen ‘Ilme Ghaib’ should be first understood before any prejudice. Shia Islam considers Prophet Mohammed and 12 Imams (Aimmah) as absolute authorities of God on Earth. Prophet Mohammed is the last prophet and messenger of God, with him the series of 124000 prophets came to an end. No prophet or messenger was to come after him; it thus implies that the Law (Holy Qur’an) which was revealed upon him was also the last canon of God to humans.

Holy Qur’an was to remain the canon of Islam up to the last day; it would thus be also interpreted in different times. There could be correct or misleading interpretations. Who can deny misleading interpretations of Jihad the so called holy war which are root causes of terrorism? It is thus obvious that there must be an interpreting source which provides correct interpretation of Holy Qur’an, this is what exactly the concept of Imamat in Shia Islam is all about. 12 Imams (Aimmah) are source of correct interpretation of Holy Qur’an, their teachings are true message of Holy Qur’an. 12 Imams don’t receive revelation rather are official absolute deputies of Prophet Mohammed up to the resurrection.

Being interpreter of Holy Qur’an requires one to be free from error, else the whole religion and its aspect comes under doubt, since no one knows where the error exactly is, thus the concept of infallibility (Ismat) is not a prestige issue rather is requirement of true religion, this is why God has kept saved all His prophets, finally Prophet Mohammed and later 12 Imams (Aimmah) who are guides free from errors, sins and mistakes.

Knowledge is required for interpretation of Holy Qur’an, thus it is obvious that if Qur’an is all comprehending its interpreters should also possess all knowledge, else interpretation becomes prone to errors and mistakes. In that case religion becomes corrupt and whole motive of God to send down revelations becomes absurd, since Holy Qur’an is last revelation and no new revelation is to come to bring diverted religion back to its core. Thus knowledge of unseen by Prophet Mohammed and 12 Imams is also more of a necessity for religion rather that prestige issue.

An example would be a perfect surgeon (all knowing) doing a surgery can’t be said he’s doing right, since he may be manipulating the disease and faking a surgery to make money. Other way round is a layman surgeon (with complete sincerity) treating patient knows accurately that surgery is only option but can’t undertake accurate surgery. In both cases the other thing is missing, thus, complete knowledge and sincerity both are important.

When their knowledge of unseen and infallibility are talked about no one is considering them gods, this is a biased opinion; possibly bought up among minds of many Muslims by self claimed interpreters (Mufassir) of Qur’an on orders of political dynasties of old and current time to suit their motives. These are examples of sources of wrong interpretations of Qur’an and root cause of terrorism as well.

Prophet Mohammed had declared there will be only 12 deputies of him, who would continue up to the last day and Islam would remain perfect under them. His followers for love of money, power and worldly benefits shifted to other sources and result is 73 sects of Islam, this again was prophesized by Prophet Mohammed, who also declared only one sect will remain guided, obviously under genuine guide (True Imam, all knowing and infallible).

Shia are accused of attributing knowledge of unseen to Prophet Mohammed and 12 Imams, the accusations bring up various verses of Holy Qur’an which talks about absolute knowledge of God alone, and on such basis called Shia as heretics. This bias is what rather wrong interpretation is all about. Shia are projected as misled on basis of several hadith from Shia books as well. Like, in several hadith 1st Shia Imam Ali Murtada and later Imams claim to have bought knowledge from God Himself, while in other hadith Imam Ali talks about him receiving knowledge from Prophet Mohammed in a manner in which a bird feeds its chick in nest. These are bought to show contradictions within Shia Islam.

There are three branches of knowledge. First is knowledge of all sciences and all languages. Any branch of knowledge from astronomy, biology, mathematics, electronics, geology, history, management, gynaecology, criminology, logic, genealogy, knowledge of all previous revealed books like Tenakh, Psalms, Gospel, various scrolls, other religious scriptures, to any branch of knowledge is included in it. This branch also include complete knowledge of all languages, their grammar, vocabulary, accents, dialects, all knowledge includes all primitive, archaic, modern and future languages till the last day. This knowledge is God gift to Prophet Mohammed and 12 Imams. They are not taught into this, they possess it from their births. This knowledge is limited although vast but limited.

The second knowledge is knowledge of all events of past, present and future, this again is God gift to Prophet Mohammed and 12 Imams, they are not taught even into this, this too they possess from their births. Prophet Mohammed and 12 Imams all had this knowledge from their birth, they are not taught into this, and no one teaches them into this knowledge. It was for this above knowledge that 1st Imam Ali and other Imams are reported to have said we have bought this knowledge from God. This knowledge is also limited although vast but still limited.

The third knowledge is ‘Maarifat Ilaahi’ that is familiarity with God, the more and more one knows about God, the closer one gets to Him, this knowledge is limitless, it has no limit. Since, God’s identity is beyond the comprehension of any creation, it can never be grasped completely since it has no limit. It is not that yesterday one had incomplete knowledge of identity of God so today one is able to get more knowledge on this, but since this knowledge is limitless; one continues to get more and more knowledge. Suppose if it is said one has complete knowledge of familiarity of God ‘Maarifat Ilaahi’, then God comes within limits which is impossible. It is exactly about this knowledge for which Prophet Mohammed is reported in Qur’an to have prayed: Rabbi Zidni Ilma (Oh Lord! Advance me in Knowledge).

1ST Imam Ali is reported to have said about his licking Prophet Mohammed’s tongue in childhood that Prophet Mohammed gave him knowledge in such a manner as bird feed its chick from beak to beak in its nest. Shia are accused if Imam Ali claimed he bought knowledge from God then what he learnt from Prophet Mohammed and vice versa? It was this knowledge ‘Maarifat Ilaahi’ familiarity with God that Imam Ali talked about he learnt from Prophet Mohammed the knowledge which has no limits. Two previous knowledge talked above was God gift to him and to later Imams.

A particular Sunni sect’s interpreters (Mufassir) of Qur’an translate ‘Rabbi Zidni Ilma’ as: Oh Lord! Give us great (complete) knowledge (all at once), here knowledge is just knowledge not specific definitions just the knowledge of Islam, they claim if they are praying for knowledge why not all at once? This is their folly in Shia opinion since this knowledge is ‘Maarifat Ilaahi’ familiarity with God and is limitless, and could never be complete, this is one more evidence to show how self claimed interpreters (Mufassir) misinterpret Qur’an and bring God under limits of their limited minds. Shia are free from such mentality.

Prophet Mohammed is reported to have said: ‘Inni Taraqam Fikum As Saqalaen Kitaab Ullahi Wa Itrati Ahli Bayti’ I am leaving two weighty things behind me among you, the book of God and my blood relatives. Book and its interpreters the 12 Imams both are required for true religion; Muslims have taken only Qur’an and interpret on their own whims and fancies the result is backward, barbaric and terrorist brand of Islam.

Back to: Prophet Mohammed In Shia Islam

Oh Allah! Peace and Salutation be upon Mohammed and House-hold of Mohammed.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Shia beliefs/ Usul Deen from Holy Qur'an

Topic 23:

In Main topic titled 'Beliefs and Practices in Shia Islam' following is briefed:

Principles/ Beliefs/ Root/ Tenets of Faith (Usul Deen), they are five in number as follow:

1) Tauhid (Absolute Monotheism)
2) Adalat (Concept of Divine Justice)
3) Nubuwat (Prophethood)
4) Imamat (Divinely appointed leadership)
5) Qayamat (Resurrection)

These above beliefs are taken as required beliefs in Shia Islam; simultaneously are sourced directly from Holy Qur'an. In 20th Chapter/ Surah: Taa Haa conversation between God and Prophet Moses (Nabi Musa) is provided.

God calls Prophet Moses and commands him to go to Pharoah with message of God's true religion, the content of message was nothing but what Shia Islam has as fundamental beliefs.

If you read carefully the following verses of Holy Qur'an, chapter 20, Surah Taa Haa, from verse 13 up to 36, you could sum up all Shia beliefs in those verses.

Holy Qur'an, Chapter 20, Surah Taa Haa:

13: And I have chosen you, so listen to what is revealed (3rd Belief: Nubuwat/ Prophet hood)
14: Surely I am Allah, there is no god but I (1st Belief: Tauhid/ Absolute Monotheism), therefore serve Me and keep up prayer for My remembrance
15: Surely the hour is coming-- I am about to make it manifest (5th Belief: Qayamat/ Resurrection]) ........ so that every soul may be rewarded as it strives (2nd Belief: Adalat/ Concept of Divine Justice)

With above commands and assisted miracles God asks Prophet Moses to go to Pharoah, but Prophet Moses is seen feeling a sense of incompleteness, this is exactly where 4th belief Imamat/ Divinely appointed leadership comes up. Prophet Moses asks God to appoint a minister (Wazir) from Prophet Moses' family, who should be Prophet Aaron ( Nabi Haarun), refer following verses.

Holy Qur'an, Chapter 20, Surah Taa Haa:

29: And give to me a minister from my family:
30: Aaron, my brother,
31: Strengthen my back by him,
32: And associate him (with me) in my affair,
33: So that we should glorify Thee much,
34: And remember Thee oft.
35: Surely, Thou art seeing us.
36: He said: You are indeed granted your petition, O Moses (4th Belief: Imamat/ Divinely appointed leadership)

When Prophet Moses' petition was granted it was only then that Prophet Moses walked to preach Pharaoh the command of God, this is the importance of divinely appointed leadership.

That is why Prophet Mohammed had clearly stated, "Ali is to Me as Aaron was to Moses; only difference is that both prophethood and messengership had come to the end upon me". Ali was nominated as Prophet Mohammed's deputy, his minister by Prophet Mohammed himself at event of Ghadeer. It was at Ghadeer that Islam was declared a complete religion as per verse 3 of 5th chapter of Holy Qur'an.

Prophet Mohammed had also clearly declared, "After Me there will be twelve leaders of Islam, all will be from Quraish clan, Islam will remain true under them, Ali would be first Mahdi would be last". These above words clearly shows up Shia beliefs, the most required fundamental beliefs or Usul Deen of Shia Islam.

Oh Allah! Peace and Salutation be upon Mohammed and House-hold of Mohammed.