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Islamic INTRAfaith Dialogue
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jello
 
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Quote jello Replybullet Posted: 17 May 2005 at 12:09am

Salaam Alaykum

Regarding the declaration of Surah al-Taubah, I don't believe that the Shia point of view is that Imam Ali (a.s.) was sent because of some particular error or oversight by Abu Bakr, but rather it related to the following,

Al is from me and I am from him. My words will not be conveyed except by me or by Al.'

Which is in Ibn Hanbals Musnad published in 6 volumes by Matbaah al-Maymaniyyah, vol. 4, pp. 164-165, 1st edition, Egypt, 1313 AH.

Considering that this is the viewpoint of Ali Zaki, we would need to consider the following:

1. Suffice to say that in other occasions, the Prophet used the phrase "He is from me and I am from him" with respect to other Companions or tribes as well. Perhaps these appear in the Musnad Ibn Hanbal as well, so I am not sure how there can be an exact privilege for Ali based on the first part of the Hadeeth

2. The second portion says about the words of the Prophet, in this case the Quraan.

I would like to ask:

1. Is there any other occassion when Ali was charged with conveying Ayats or Surahs of the Quraan in the same way as was the case here?
2. Even in the case brought forward, we still would have to admit that Ali was not endowed with the commandership of the Hujjaj, and his being sent was specific in nature, related to proclaiming Surah al-Taubah only. If there is some disagreement on this, perhaps we can look into it.

"Burayrah (Aslam) has related:

The Prophet (S) dispatched two regiments towards Yemen, one under the command of (Imam) Al bin Ab Tlib [(a)] and the other led by Khlid bin Wald with instructions that when the two regiments are with each other they should be under the sole command of (Imam) Al [(a)], and when they are separate they will remain under different commanders. We the Muslim forces, encountered the Yemeni tribe of Ban Zayd and fought and defeated these infidels. When their men had died fighting, the families surrendered and from among the captives, (Imam) Al [(a)] chose a maid for himself.

Burayrah continues:

Khlid bin Wald sent me to the Prophet with a letter informing him of this matter. I submitted the letter to the Prophet and when he had read it I saw signs of anger appear on his face. I said:

O Messenger of Allah (S), you sent me with a man instructing me to obey him, and accordingly I performed whatever duty I was ordered to do.

The Messenger of Allah (S) said:

L taqa f Alyyin fa innahu minn wa ana minhu wa huwa waliyyukum bad wa innahu minn wa ana minhu wa huwa waliyyukum bad (Don't try to find faults with Al, he is indeed from me and I am from him, he is your leader after me. He is from me and I am from him, he is your leader after me).

Ibn Hanbals Musnad, vol. 5, 356, Matbaah al-Maymaniyyah.

Now, for this I would like to point out the following:

1. When was the time of this incident of Ali being sent to Yemen ??? It will be of importance once we agree on it.

2. Do Ali Zaki or Abu Hadi have the Arabic edition of the Ibn Hanbal Musnad being quoted ? I consider it highly unlikely that all the wording as presented would be accepted as Saheeeh by Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal considering that a) He is one of the four founders of the Sunni schools of thought and b) He has many Ahadeeth in the Musnad that would obviously contradict this narration's last portion.

Insha Allah I will myself try to find a brother who has it, so that we may clarify the issue.

"In the expedition of Tabuk (in the month of Rajab of the ninth year A.H.) the Prophet left 'A1i as his deputy in Medina. 'Ali exclaimed with dismay: "Are You leaving me behind?" The Prophet asked him: "O 'Ali, are you not satisfied that you have the same position in relation to me as Harun had to Musa except that there is no prophet after me? "

"The Prophet thereby meant that as Musa had left behind Harun to look after his people when he went to receive the Commandments, in the same way he was leaving 'Ali behind as his deputy to look after the affairs of Islam during his absence. "

So the issue about leaving Ali in Madeenah has been brought up before, and I mentioned about Haroon and Musa also, so I do not think repeating it would be good. However, one of the previous questions I had asked was: What were the appointments the Prophet made during his expedition to Tabuk and his return to Madeenah from that expedition ???

O ye who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those vested with authority from among you(Ulu L'Amr); then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Apostle, if you believe in Allah and the last day; this is better and very good in the end (4:59).

al-Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (as) said that this verse was revealed about 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, Hasan and Husayn (as) . Upon hearing this, someone asked the Imam: "People say, 'Why did Allah not mention the names of 'Ali and his family in His Book?'"

The Imam answered: "Tell them that there came the command of salat (prayer), but Allah did not mention whether three or four raka'at (units) (to be performed); it was the Apostle of Allah who explained all the details. And (the command of ) zakat was revealed, but Allah did not say that it is one in every forty dirham; it was the Apostle of Allah who explained it; and hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) was ordered but Allah did not say to perform tawaf ( circumambulation of the Ka'bah) seven times the Apostle of Allah explained it. Likewise, the verse was revealed: Obey Allah, and obey the Apostle and those vested with authority from among you, and it was revealed about 'A1i and Hasan and Husayn (as).


I wanted to point out that had Verse 4:59 been revealed with respect to Ali and Hasan and Husayn as the Ul' il' Amr, then what is the reason for us to refer matters back to "Allah and His Messenger", if the Imaams are infallible in every respect ??? Thus, if they are infalible just like the Messenger, why the need for the extra phrase: "then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Apostle, if you believe in Allah and the last day; this is better and very good in the end" ???

Now also, we need to see about this supposed statement from Imaam as-Sadiq. It presupposes that the Quran does not mention the specific things about the religion, but rather leaves this tihngs out for the Ahadeeth. Now:

1. The Quraanic words "salat", "zakat", "siyam", and "hajj" appear many more times than the word "Imaam" or any other similar terminology. Also, the explanation provided in the Quraan itself  about these aspects is much more lenghty than it is about "Imaamah", even though one would would expect it to be the other way around if Shiism was indeed being taught by Allah in the Quraan.

2. According to some of the Shia Ahadeeth, Imaamah is much more important that all these other issues. As I see it, this is because the belief in Imaamah is an Usul-e-Deen, while prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, and so on are Furu-e-Din...

So I cannot see how this similitude can be made. It is like saying that the Quraan did not mention how many deities there are and it only said you should "worship something", but the Ahadeeth said that Allah should be worshipped and that He is One. There would be a wild number of "Islaamic sects" each with competing numbers and names of deities, since each would interpret the issue differently (and who could blame them, if the Holy Book they agree on is not clear about the matter ???)

3. Actually the Sunni objection is not with respect to the naming of people or lack of it, but that there is no consistency between the Quraanic explanation of the term Imaam and the Shia theological viewpoint of this concept. A simple example is with reference to Verse 4:59 itself, although other issues can also be seen if studied carefully.

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Abu Hadi
 
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Quote Abu Hadi Replybullet Posted: 17 May 2005 at 7:48am

Salams to br. Jello and others,

Quoting Br. Jello

I wanted to point out that had Verse 4:59 been revealed with respect to Ali and Hasan and Husayn as the Ul' il' Amr, then what is the reason for us to refer matters back to "Allah and His Messenger", if the Imaams are infallible in every respect ??? Thus, if they are infalible just like the Messenger, why the need for the extra phrase: "then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Apostle, if you believe in Allah and the last day; this is better and very good in the end" ???

Here is a good explaination of this verse from a shia perspective. They have explained it better than I could, so I have included this link

http://forum.shiasource.com/board/index.php?showtopic=1490

Now also, we need to see about this supposed statement from Imaam as-Sadiq. It presupposes that the Quran does not mention the specific things about the religion, but rather leaves this tihngs out for the Ahadeeth. Now:

1. The Quraanic words "salat", "zakat", "siyam", and "hajj" appear many more times than the word "Imaam" or any other similar terminology. Also, the explanation provided in the Quraan itself  about these aspects is much more lenghty than it is about "Imaamah", even though one would would expect it to be the other way around if Shiism was indeed being taught by Allah in the Quraan.

2. According to some of the Shia Ahadeeth, Imaamah is much more important that all these other issues. As I see it, this is because the belief in Imaamah is an Usul-e-Deen, while prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, and so on are Furu-e-Din...

So I cannot see how this similitude can be made. It is like saying that the Quraan did not mention how many deities there are and it only said you should "worship something", but the Ahadeeth said that Allah should be worshipped and that He is One. There would be a wild number of "Islaamic sects" each with competing numbers and names of deities, since each would interpret the issue differently (and who could blame them, if the Holy Book they agree on is not clear about the matter ???)

Yes, but the Quran does mention , over and over again, (also the bible and the Torah mention over 100 times) that God is One, unique, without partner or peer, etc. It is true that there are many sects in Islam, but none that I know of worship more than one God. As you know, the Quran is explicit about some issues, and implicit about others.

Think about it for a second, the beauty of the Quran lies in its use of few words, ie. explaining so much by using so little words. Even many Western Scholars such as Gibbon and George Bernard Shaw acknowledge that the Quran excels all similar works written in the West in it's beauty and elogance of language. For the Quran to explain all the technical details of the religious duties would be repetative. The Quran says ' Obey Allah, The Messenger, and Ul il Amr'. This is an explicit and unconditional statement, not open for interpretation. This instruction should be enough for us. If the dispute is about, 'Who is Ul' il' Amr', then this is a legitimate quesiton, and InShahAllah we can discuss it further, although I think the link above explains most of it. I think this explaination should address your other points. If not, let me know, I will have some more time to post tomorrow. Salams,

 

.

There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error...
Quran Ch.2 Verse 256
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Ali Zaki
 
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Quote Ali Zaki Replybullet Posted: 17 May 2005 at 9:02am

Salam Jello.

By the way, I would like to say, in advance, that I may not be able to respond to your further postings for a few days because I am in Graduate School (California State University, Fullerton), and I will be having final exams for the rest of this month (May). I say this so that you will not wonder about the delay, as I am very much enjoying our discussion and (inshahAllah) we will continue with it.

RE: The Declaration of Surat Al-Taubah

you said, "I am not sure how there can be an exact privilege for Ali based on the first part of the Hadeeth"

I do not claim that this denotes anything other than the clear statement of the Prophet (a.s.). The Quran was revealed to the heart of the most noble messenger at once (on Laylat Al-Qadr), and he was commanded to recite the relevent portion of the Quran at the appropriate time. If you memorize the Websters Dictonary and recite the exact definition of a word when the word occurs in coversation, the words are yours, however, the SOURCE of the information is not yourself.

So the difference between Hadith of the prophet (a.s.) and the Quran is the source of the information. One is a specific book that was "sent down" on a certain, particular night(i.e. the Quran), and the other are revelations sent to the heart of the messenger that are not part of this book, or given through the angel Gibrail. We know, however, that whether or not the "words" of the prophet are Quran or Hadith the source is the same (i.e. Allah (s.w.a.)) and the method of conveyance is the same, words. Therefore, it does not matter if the words are Quran or Hadith, the decleration still applies.

The Quraanic words "salat", "zakat", "siyam", and "hajj" appear many more times than the word "Imaam" or any other similar terminology. Also, the explanation provided in the Quraan itself  about these aspects is much more lenghty than it is about "Imaamah", even though one would would expect it to be the other way around if Shiism was indeed being taught by Allah in the Quraan.

The purpose of the Quran is not to teach "Shiism", The role of the 12 Imams (Shiism)  is to teach the Quran. The foundation of Islam is the Quran, however, The Quran cannot be properly understood and applied without the guidance of the Prophet (a.s.) and the Ahl'al Bayt, as testified in the hadith of Thaqanayn.

" I am leaving behind two precious things (thaqalayn) among you. The first of the two is the Book of Allah. In it is guidance and light. So get hold of the Book of Allah and adhere to it." Then he urged and motivated (us) regarding the Book of Allah . Then he said, "And my Ahl al­Bayt (family). I urge you to remember God regarding my Ahl al­Bayt. I urge you to remember God regarding my Ahl al­Bayt. I urge you to remember God regarding my Ahl al­Bayt"'" ....

(Sahih Muslim, part 7, Kitab fada'il al­Sahabah [Maktabat wa Matba`at Muhammad `Ali Subayh wa Awladuhu: Cairo] pp. 122-123.)

There are other, more clear versions of this hadith (which you are probably familiar with. I quoted this version because it is in Sahiah Muslim, and is easy to verify.

According to some of the Shia Ahadeeth, Imaamah is much more important that all these other issues.

To say that Imaamah is more important than acts of Ibadah (worship) is not correct, and is not the Shia position. However, if one wants to practice Islam correctly, the words of the prophet must be obeyed. I have included this well known hadith, as well as a relevent explanation which is better then what I could come up with.

"I found the word Bab and its plural Abwaab mentioned in the Quran 27 times. in most instances, it refers to the proper way of entering into a place with permission (2:58); a place of destiny (40:76) and a passage of blessings (39:73).

Symbolically, a bab is the proper way to reach you desired destination. For example, in the famous tradition of the Holy Prophet (S) he said: "I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate (Bab)." Meaning that if you would like to acquire the Prophet's knowledge, the proper way is through Imam Ali (AS)."

SOURCE: http://al-islam.org/organizations/aalimnetwork/msg00593.html

Salam

 

"The structure of faith is supported by four pillars endurance, conviction, justice and jihad."

Imam Ali (a.s.)
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jello
 
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Quote jello Replybullet Posted: 17 May 2005 at 12:47pm

Salaam Alaykum

In view of the current situation that Ali Zaki will be unavailable for some time, I would like to simply leave Abu Hadi (or whichever other Shia knows of this) to answer the following question that I had asked before, concerning the Prophet's appointments:

Who did the Prophet (SAW) appoint as the leader for the Tabuk expedition ?

Of course, during this time I will go through the posts as much as I can, and trying to see what is relevant, etc. so that I can reply appropriately, Insha Allah.

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abdallah
 
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Quote abdallah Replybullet Posted: 22 May 2005 at 5:59pm

Say. Surely my prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are (all) for Allah, the Lord of the worlds;

Salams Jello, Abu hadi and Ali Zaki

Alhamdoillah , I have been observing this scholarly discussion about the Appointments by Holy prophet (PBUH) . Please keep up the good work.

wassalam

Say. Surely my prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are (all) for Allah, the Lord of the worlds;

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Ali Zaki
 
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Quote Ali Zaki Replybullet Posted: 23 May 2005 at 5:42am

Salam ala kum to Jello, Abu Hadi, Abdullah and others.

Again, I wish to assure those who are following this discussion that it is my sincere intention (Inshahallah) to carry this discussion forward. If, by the grace of Allah (s.w.a.) I am still in this world tommorrow, I will continue with my next posting. Thank you for your understanding.

Salam.

"The structure of faith is supported by four pillars endurance, conviction, justice and jihad."

Imam Ali (a.s.)
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jello
 
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Quote jello Replybullet Posted: 24 May 2005 at 12:32am

Salaam Alaykum again,

I wanted to ask, besides the Tabuk appointment question, about the Prophet's speech at Arafat in his final Hajj... Any Shia sources specifying what the Prophet said on the 9th of Dhul-Hijja at Arafat ?

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Abu Hadi
 
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Quote Abu Hadi Replybullet Posted: 24 May 2005 at 2:55am

Salams to jello, Ali Zaki , and others

It has been a while since my last post. I have been ill the past week, but InshahAllah, I am feeling better now.

In regards to Tabuk, I am familiar with the basic incidents of this expeditions. Basically, some hypocrites who lived in the region of Tabuk set up a mosque and invited Imam Ali to come and pray there. The Holy Prophet sent an expedition to deal with these people and destroy the mosque. Here are some sources I found

http://al-islam.org/restatement/34.htm

This is from a post I found on this site

The Prophet left `Ali behind in the campaign of Tabuk. The latter said: "O Messenger of Allah! Are you leaving me behind with the women and children?" The Prophet replied: "Are you not happy to stand next to me like Harun next to Musa, save that there is no Prophet after me?"

The Prophet said: "I am the city of knowledge and `Ali is its gate." Another version states: "I am the house of wisdom and `Ali is its gate."

Main sources: Abu Nu`aym, Hilya al-Awliya 1:100-128 #4; al-Dhahabi, Siyar A`lam al-Nubala 1/2:615-660 #5.

 

I guess your question is, "Why did the Prophet leave Imam Ali(a.s.) behind when he had been at the prophet's side during all the previous military expeditions?" If you look at the link from al-islam.org, it give a good and reasonable explaination as to the "why" of this.  Basically, the reason is because all of the men had been called up to fight in this campaign and the Prophet(p.b.u.h) needed someone to guard the city and act as the leader of the capital of the Muslims (Medina) in his absence.

This is from Sir John Glubb (a western historian)

The Prophet appointed Ali ibn Abi Talib his viceroy in Medina during his own absence. He selected Ali to be his viceroy for the following reasons:

1. He wanted to show to the rest of the world that he considered Ali to be more qualified than anyone else to be the ruler of all Muslims, and to be the head of the Islamic State. He, therefore, appointed him as his representative in his capital.

2. All fighting men were going with the expedition, leavingMedina without any troops. In the event of an attack upon the city by the nomadic predators, Ali could be counted upon to handle the situation by dint of his courage and ability.

3. Many hypocrites had stayed behind in Medina, and many others had deserted the army to return to the city. They were a potential threat to the security of the capital of Islam. The Prophet, therefore, selected a man to rule in his place who was capable of defending Medina against any pagan advance, either by external aggression or through internal subversion.

with Salams,



Edited by Abu Hadi
There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error...
Quran Ch.2 Verse 256
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