Friday, 10 August 2018

Qurbaani, Dabiha or Sacrifice in Shia Islam

Topic 49:

Qurbaani, Dabiha (Zabiha) is among the highest form of devotion to God as per Shia Islam, and thus is also highly recommended. Hajj (Pilgrimage) is the fifth branch of religion (Furu ad Deen), and Qurbaani is essential part of it.

Patriarch Prophet Ibraahim (Abraham) as devotion to God’s command had offered his son Prophet Ismaail (Ishmael) for sacrifice, the son was miraculously replaced with a ram. This devotion of him is where the concept of Qurbaani takes root from. His action became the basis of abolish of the custom of cruel human sacrifices which was quiet rampant during those times.

Opponents of sacrifice always propose a stupid question that does God need food etc? Holy Qur’an has specifically answered this stupidity by saying that neither the blood of animal nor its meat reaches God, it is only the intentions of the person who sacrifices the animal and the person’s sincerity that reaches God. 

Apart from Hajj (pilgrimage), Shia Islam also promotes sacrifices upon those who are not on pilgrimage, thus, around the world Qurbani is practiced, on the 10th, 11th and 12th day of Islamic last month Dhul Hajja. Sacrifice is essential for a pilgrim but for others it is recommended.

Shia Islam has set up conditions and requirements for Qurbaani with great details:

Only permitted animals, only animals not birds are allowed for Qurbaani,

Only domesticated animals are allowed, wild animals are not allowed for Qurbani,

Camels (both male female), Bulls, Cows, Buffaloes (both male female), Goats (both male female), Sheep (both male female) etc are animals which can be offered for sacrifice,

According to Shia Islam, the sacrificial animal should not be a personally domestic or personally pet animal,

It is narrated from 6th Shia Imam Ja’far Saadiq that the animal should be purchased after the month of Dhul Hajja has set in or started,

The female animal should not be visibly pregnant, nor should the animal have a milk feeding baby,

The male animals should not be castrated; castrated animals are recommended by Sunni but are not fit for sacrifice in Shia Islam,

Animals should not have any defects like damaged eyes, lame, broken legs, broken teeth, broken horns, cut ears, cut tails, damaged testicles or any other damages or defects,

Camels should be at least five years old,

Cows, Bulls, Buffaloes, Goats should be at least two years old (when two front lower teeth are grown out),

Sheep should be at least one year old,

After purchase highest amount of care should be given to such animals as in food, water, shelter, medicine and comfort,

Animals should not face any trauma before their slaughter, not even a knife should be shown to such animals,

Each Haaji (pilgrims) has to offer one animal, but non-pilgrims can do collective sacrifices,

Animals should be comfortably bought at sacrificial place,

No animal should be sacrificed in front (no visibility) of another animal,

Water should be given to animal before sacrifice, its drinking water is not necessary,

Animals should be lied upon swiftly and be faced to Qibla (Ka’aba, Makka),

Iron or its alloy knife should be used, knife should be very sharp and very smooth, serrated knife is prohibited,

Person who offers sacrifice, should try to slaughter the animal himself, if not then by other competent person,

Bismillaah, Allahu Akbar should be recited by the person who slaughters, the person should have niyyaah (intention) for slaughter while the recitation and slaughter,

All other animals except camels should be slaughtered (Dabiha or Zabiha) smoothly and swiftly by cutting the neck (esophagus, windpipe, jugular vein, carotid artery) from throat side; spinal cord should never be damaged during slaughter till the animal has totally died,

Camels cannot be done with Dabiha (Zabiha), Dabiha on camels make them haraam (forbidden) and vice versa, Camels are done with Nahr, a sharp knife or spearhead is used to puncture the artery in the lower neck while the animal is facing Qibla (Ka’ba, Makka),

Any further cut or damage to animals should not be done until they are totally dead by natural blood loss; blood flow should naturally stop before any other action,

Skinning or severing the head or any other action can be done only after that the animal becomes totally dead,

Meat should be divided into three parts, only one part can be used for personal consumption, the second part should be reserved for relatives, neighbors, believers etc, the whole third part should be given as charity to poor,

The person who sacrifices should eat at least a little bit from the sacrificed meat.

Above are just a brief information, detail could be had from reliable sources.

O Allah! Salutations be upon Prophet Mohammed and upon Family of Prophet Mohammed.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Good and Virtues according to Shia Islam

Topic 48:

This list is just a brief overlook and a brief list.

  1. Monotheism, worship One True God without any form of idolatry
  2. Loving Islamic personalities, specially Prophet Mohammed and His Family
  3. Contemplation, on various issues, subjects and sciences
  4. Truth
  5. Education acquisition and promotion
  6. Prudence
  7. Observing Justice
  8. Abiding  by the laws of the land
  9. Mercy
  10. Piety
  11. Forgiveness
  12. Remembrance of one's evident death
  13. Modesty
  14. Charity
  15. Sanitation and Hygiene
  16. Nutrition
  17. Moderate Non-Vegetarianism, but only Halaal or Kosher
  18. Fitness and Exercise
  19. Grooming
  20. Prophylaxis and Medication
  21. Rest and Sleep
  22. Marriage, both permanent and temporary
  23. Romance & Sexual intercourse, but only legal
  24. Having children through Marriage
  25. Circumcision
  26. Upbringing Children
  27. Contraception & Family Planning
  28. Guardianship of Orphans
  29. Care for parents, grand-parents etc
  30. Maintaining ties with relatives
  31. Respecting elders and aged ones
  32. Respecting priests of all religions
  33. Care for neighbors, relatives, friends and people
  34. Honoring and entertaining guests via Halaal mode
  35. Taking unsolicited part in others’ sorrows
  36. Maintaining secrecy about others’ short-comings
  37. Advising others, but with good intention
  38. Prohibiting others from evils and crimes, but in the best possible manner
  39. Accepting and taking part in other's legal celebrations etc when invited
  40. Modest Celebrations & Parties
  41. Giving modest gifts with good and legal intentions at legal celebrations
  42. Festivals, where Islamic fundamentals are not compromised
  43. Hobby, legal types
  44. Friendship, legal format
  45. Business and Earnings, legal activities
  46. Tourism, without any Haraam activities
  47. Sports, without any gambling
  48. Keeping valid pets and caring 
  49. Tree Plantation, promotion of forestation and protection of animals
  50. Divorce, when no other option is available

O Allah! Salutations be upon Prophet Mohammed and upon Family of Prophet Mohammed.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Evils and Vices according to Shia Islam

Topic 47:

This list is just a brief overlook and a brief list. Referring Holy Qur’an, authentic books and scholarly articles for any further information is hereby proposed. Evils/Vices are not arranged in manner of their decreasing magnitudes.

  1. Polytheism (associating partners with One True God) 
  2. Idolatry (worshiping idols and images) 
  3. Manufacturing idols to be sold for idolatry 
  4. Witchcrafts, Magic etc (though these subject are bogus, their practice is still evil and vice) 
  5. Astrology, Palmistry etc (though these subject are bogus, their practice is still evil and vice) 
  6. Disclosing one’s sins, evils and vices to others (Aimmah or Imams are reported to have said: never disclose your bad deeds to others, keep it between yourself and God) 
  7. Terrorism (in modern era, Terrorism is being practiced in the name of Jihad, in Shia Islam Jihad currently stands suspended, and thus it is forbidden for Shia Muslims to engage in pseudo jihad) 
  8. Genocide 
  9. Murder 
  10. Suicide 
  11. Female Infanticide 
  12. Theft 
  13. Human Trafficking 
  14. Kidnapping 
  15. Usurpation 
  16. Rape 
  17. Molestation 
  18. Paedophilia (sexual activities with children)
  19. Necrophilia (sexual activities with dead) 
  20. Bribery 
  21. Cheating 
  22. Blackmailing 
  23. Cruelty 
  24. Abortion (unless it causes severe danger to woman, get more details from scholarly pages, by the way Shia Islam allows use of contraceptives) 
  25. Deserting Wives, Children, Parents, Grandparents etc 
  26. Incest 
  27. Prostitution 
  28. Adultery 
  29. Fornication (unmarried person having sexual intercourse, by the way Shia Islam allows temporary marriage) 
  30. Homosexuality 
  31. Sex-change surgeries 
  32. Polygyny (having more than one husband at a time) 
  33. Nudity 
  34. Illiteracy 
  35. Alcoholism 
  36. Manufacturing Alcohol 
  37. Drug Addiction 
  38. Gambling 
  39. Lie 
  40. Begging 
  41. Cremation etc (any mode except burial or sea burial when required) 
  42. Permanent Sterilization 
  43. Adoption (such where adopted child becomes legal heir or replaces biological father's name, however, Shia Islam promotes guardianship of such child)
  44. Replacing biological father's name with someone else's name (using husband's name is different and valid issue)
  45. Uncleanliness 
  46. Anti-prophylaxis Attitude (ie: some people are against Polio Vaccines, Shia Islam promotes vaccinations against diseases and rejects stupid attitudes) 
  47. Maintaining close proximity with unrelated person of opposite sex 
  48. Extravagance 
  49. Using gold or silver crockery 
  50. Men wearing gold or silk 
  51. Being Miser 
  52. Neglecting neighborly or friendly needs (although being capable) 
  53. Keeping inhospitable attitude towards guests 
  54. Back-Biting 
  55. Breaching Trust 
  56. Slangs 
  57. Greed 
  58. Gluttony 
  59. Being sloth 
  60. Jealousy 
  61. Intact Foreskin 
  62. Menstrual Sexual Intercourse 
  63. Post-Partum Sexual Intercourse 
  64. Masturbation (it is a lesser vice if compared to adultery etc, Shia Islam allows temporary marriage. Aimmah (Imams) are reported to have said: if you are must to choose between two evils then choose the lesser evil)
  65. Replacing biological father's name
  66. Celibacy 
  67. Shaving beard and moustache using razor blades (however trimming is allowed even to stubble size)
  68. Hunting for fun or sports 
  69. Hardcore Non-vegetarianism 
  70. Eating un-hooved animals 
  71. Eating blood, spleen, testicles, penis etc (refer to reliable scholarly works) 
  72. Eating Pigs 
  73. Eating Birds which have talons 
  74. Eating fishes which do not have scales 
  75. Eating naturally dead meat 
  76. Eating meat offered to idols 
  77. Eating meat other than Halal or Kosher 
  78. Slaughtering pregnant animals 
  79. Slaughtering animals who have young babies 
  80. Keeping Dog or Pig inside home 
  81. Domesticating Pigs 

O Allah! Salutations be upon Prophet Mohammed and upon Family of Prophet Mohammed.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Shia Islam, Hajr e Aswad (The Black Stone) and Umar Khattab

Topic 46:

As you may be knowing, Hajr e Aswad (The Black Stone) is embedded on corner wall of the Holy Ka’aba near its door. Muslims regardless of being Shia or Sunni kiss the Hajr e Aswad when they circumbulate (Tawaaf) Holy Ka’ba after every circuit, if they can’t manage to kiss the Hajr e Aswad because of overcrowding, they at least make a kissing gesture with their hands.

Muslims differ on the status which Hajr e Aswad owns in the Islamic World. Shia opinion is also quiet aloof from Sunni stand on this issue. Shia many a times are accused as polytheists (Mushrik) by some Sunni, who consider themselves as very factual believers, that is they have reasons for whatever they do, while they think Shia have invalid practices.

Whenever it comes to the issue of Hajr e Aswad, Sunni would instantly talk about the declaration of Umar Khattab, the second Sunni Caliph. Though, Umar Khattab is not a divine authority in Sunni, unlike Imam Ali Murtada who is a divine authority in Shia Islam, yet Sunni project Umar Khattab as a reformist; but, with what authority, political or divine?

In Shia Islam, Imam Ali Murtada has every right to clarify and declare something valid or invalid in Islam, as in Shia Islam, Imam Ali Murtada is a divinely appointed leader with all authority to do so, Shia can’t question him. But in Sunni, since Umar Khattab is not a divinely appointed leader rather is a political head appointed by the Last-will of previous Caliph Abu Bakr, who too was elected, but never divinely appointed. So if divinely appointed Imam Ali Murtada says something, it becomes a religion for Shia, but can sayings of political head Umar Khattab become part of religion in Sunni?

So, opinions of Umar Khattab are worth to be questioned even in Sunni faith, then how can his opinions represent Islamic standpoints? This is where the issue of status of Hajr e Aswad (The Black Stone) arises. Many Sunni project Umar Khattab as reformist, even on issue of Hajr e Aswad. It is reported in Sunni Hadith that Umar Khattab during circumbulation (Tawaaf) of Holy Ka’aba came towards Hajr e Aswad, and before kissing clarified his stand, by saying: O Hajr e Aswad, you are just a stone, you can neither benefit nor harm, had I not seen Prophet Mohammed himself kissing you, I wouldn’t have kissed you.

Here, Sunni proudly clarify their two standpoints, first is that Hajr e Aswad is just a stone, which can’t benefit or harm anyone, second they say, the only reason Hajr e Aswad is to be kissed is solely because Prophet Mohammed had kissed it too. The thing which becomes clear here is that Umar Khattab or Sunni never do anything without any reason, they need solid reasons for them to do something as part of religion. Umar Khattab or Sunni need reason to kiss Hajr e Aswad, and their only reason is that Prophet Mohammed too kissed it.

Now, let us come to the action of Prophet Mohammed. If we go by Sunni logic, Umar Khattab or Sunni themselves have reason to kiss the stone; else Umar Khattab or Sunni wouldn’t have kissed it. So from action of Umar Khattab it could be said that, it is necessary to have a reason to do something, Umar Khattab does something Umar Khattab has reason! Concluding this, having reason is part of Islam.

Let analyze it further, Prophet Mohammed is better in all aspect than Umar Khattab, and if Umar Khattab is so sensitive that he never does anything foolishly and he needs a proper reason to do anything in religion, then Prophet Mohammed too would be knowing this requirement, and Prophet Mohammed too wouldn’t do anything foolishly.

Prophet Mohammed kissed Hajr e Aswad (The Black Stone), this is a fact. Shia Islam deny Umar Khattab’s whims and fancies that Hajr e Aswad is merely a normal stone with no powers in it, the reason Shia deny Umar’s stand is that because Prophet Mohammed had kissed it, it is really a disbelief (Kufr) to think that Prophet Mohammed had simply out of no valid reason kissed a normal stone which had no power to harm or benefit anyone.

If Umar Khattab doesn’t do anything without a reason, can anyone being a Muslim believe that Prophet Mohammed did things without any valid reasons? Umar Khattab himself says that for him the stone had no power to profit or harm someone, so can any Sunni on behalf of Umar Khattab explain to Shia as to why Prophet Mohammed kissed Hajr Aswad? Also can any Sunni on behalf of Umar Khattab explain to Shia as to why if Prophet Mohammed definitely had some undeclared reasons to kiss Hajr e Aswad, then how can Umar Khattab say those words which he had said?

Now, coming to Shia stand, Hajr e Aswad is a sign of God, and ought to be respected, it has spiritual powers too, no Shia ever says that it has spiritual power on its own accord, rather Shia believes that God has exalted the stone and God has put up spiritual powers in that stone, so there is no reason to put up pseudo verdicts of polytheism upon Shia.

Shia Islam states that Hajr e Aswad has such power that if a prophet or any divinely appointed leader approaches it, it will speak, greet and testify the authority. Shia have ahaadith (Hadiths) that Hajr e Aswad testified with voice the prophet-hood of Prophet Mohammed. Similarly, when any of the 12 Imam (Divinely appointed leader) approaches it with question, then too it will testify the divine authority bestowed upon the said Imam.

Shia ahaadith testify that when an issue started up as to who was to be the fourth Imam after the third Imam Husain, some miscreants declared that the fourth Imam must be the surviving son of first Imam Ali Murtada instead of Imam Zainul Aabideen, the son of third Imam Husain. These miscreants named Mohammed Hanafiya, the half-brother of third Imam Husain to be the fourth Imam. Mohammed Hanafiya denied their claim and remained loyal to real fourth Imam Zainul Aabideen, yet confusion prevailed among people. This prompted fourth Imam Zainul Abideen to ask people to gather in front of Hajr e Aswad, while Mohammed Hanafiya too stood beside fourth Imam Zainul Abideen.

There Fourth Imam Zainul Aabideen, asked his loyal half-brother Mohammed Hanafiya, who was victim of the propaganda to send salutation (As salam Alaykum/ Peace Be upon you) upon Hajr e Aswad, which he did, since, he was not the real Imam, Hajr e Aswad remained silent, fourth Imam Zainul Aabideen asked people to bear the coming miracle when he himself send the same salutation upon Hajr e Aswad, it miraculously spoke in voice and returned the proper greeting, when fourth Imam Zainul Aabideen questioned the Hajr e Aswad as to who the questioner is, it spoke and confirmed that the questioner is Imam (Divinely Appointed Leader) of the time. Thus, the matter was settled. Thus, for Shia, Hajr e Aswad is not simple stone with no powers in it, rather it is mean to confirm the true divinely appointed leader.

In conclusion, it must be said, Hajr e Aswad is a spiritual stone. Hajr Aswad affirms the Divinely appointed Leader that too in voice. Prophet Mohammed kissed it with valid reason. Umar Khattab didn’t knew or didn’t wanted to confirm the reason as to why Prophet Mohammed kissed it. This is a request to Sunni, that next time instead of professing words of Umar Khattab, and instead of thinking about why Umar Khattab kissed Hajr e Aswad, try to think about why would Prophet Mohammed kiss a normal stone out of no valid reasons? And when you get two reasons for kissing Hajr e Aswad, accept only the Prophet Mohammed's reason.

O Allah! Salutations be upon Prophet Mohammed and upon Family of Prophet Mohammed.