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A Return to Ignorance?

Printed From: IslamiCity.com
Category: Religion - Islam
Forum Name: Islamic INTRAfaith Dialogue
Forum Discription: Matters/topics, related to various sects, are discussed where only Muslims who may or may not belong to a sect take part.
URL: http://www.IslamiCity.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=1077
Printed Date: 21 September 2014 at 7:24am


Topic: A Return to Ignorance?
Posted By: Ali Zaki
Subject: A Return to Ignorance?
Date Posted: 02 June 2005 at 10:39am

"The Prophet of Islam, peace and blessings be upon him and his family, said: "Whosoever dies without recognizing the Imam of his time dies the death of the Jahiliyyah."[5]

COMMENTARY ON HADITH by the respect scholar Sayyid Mujtaba Musavi Lari

The reason for this is that during the Jahiliyyah pre-Islamic era of ignorance the people were polytheists; they knew nothing of either monotheism or of prophethood. This categorical declaration by the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his family, shows the importance that he assigned to the Imamate, to the degree that if someone fails to place his spiritual life beneath the protective cover of a perfected ruler he is equivalent to one whose whole life was spent in the Jahiliyyah and then went unredeemed to his death."

[5.] Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Musnad, p. 96.

SOURCE: http://al-islam.org/leadership/ - http://al-islam.org/leadership/

If this hadith is accepted, what does it mean to our Sunni brothers? To those who do not accept the Imam of our Age (may Allah hasten his return) to be the leader of all Muslim, then who do you give this exalted leadership position to? Does this refer to the political head of state (i.e., Mr. Mubarak or Mr. Asad)???



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

Imam Ali (a.s.)



Replies:
Posted By: MOCKBA
Date Posted: 02 June 2005 at 8:44pm

Assalaamu'alaikum.

There are various ahadeeth on the concept of Islamic leadership, leaders (Imam, Khalif, Amir etc.), loyalty through allegiance and pledge (bay'ah) etc.    

To those who do not accept the Imam of our Age (may Allah hasten his return) to be the leader of all Muslim, then who do you give this exalted leadership position to? Does this refer to the political head of state (i.e., Mr. Mubarak or Mr. Asad)???

In the question above, you seem to be giving only two options: "Either you are with us or...".  Obviously Muslims cannot and should not accept leadership of someone imaginary and non-existent, on the other hand, that should not also mean that such role is to be asigned to Saddam Hussain or King Fahd. Perhaps we, world Muslims,  just do not have one at the moment.  

Imam Muslim (Rahimahullah) has related in his Sahih (3/4553) a Hadith on the authority of Hudhaifa ibn al-Yaman (Allah be pleased with him), who said: 

"People used to ask the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) about the good times, but I used to ask him about (the) bad times fearing lest they overtake me. I said, 'Messenger of Allah, we were in the midst of ignorance and evil, and then Allah brought us this good (time through Islam). Is there any bad time after this good one?' He said, 'Yes'. I asked, 'Will there be a good time again after that bad time?' He said, 'Yes, but therein will be a hidden evil.' I asked, 'What will be the evil hidden therein?' He said, '(That time will witness the rise of) the people who will adopt ways other than mine and seek guidance other than mine. You will know good points as well as bad points.' I asked, 'Will there be a bad time after this good one?' He said, 'Yes. (A time will come) when there will be people standing and inviting at the gates of Hell. Whoso responds to their call, they will throw them into the fire.' I said, 'Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), describe them for us.' He said, 'All right. They will be a people having the same complexion as ours and speaking our language.' I said, `Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), what do you suggest if I happen to live in their time?' He said, 'You should stick to the main body of the Muslims and their leader' I said, 'If they have no (such thing as the) main body of the Muslims and have no leader?' He said, 'Separate yourself from all these factions, though you may have to eat the roots of trees until death comes to you and you are in this state.'"

Just an opinion. 

 



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MOCKBA


Posted By: Ali Zaki
Date Posted: 03 June 2005 at 7:21am

Salam Mocka,

" Obviously Muslims cannot and should not accept leadership of someone imaginary and non-existent, on the other hand, that should not also mean that such role is to be asigned to Saddam Hussain or King Fahd. Perhaps we, world Muslims,  just do not have one at the moment. "

Does the sun not exist because it is obscured by the clouds? No. It still gives light and warmth, although the physical object cannot be seen. But I don't want to dwell on this point, as this is advanced Calculus and we cannot even agree on the rules of basic mathmatics.

For any group to be effective, it must have an effective leader. The reason that the Muslim Umma can still call itself as such is because of the leadership of the Holy Messenger (p.b.u.h). The reason that we call ourself one Umma in name, however, we cannot accomplish anything is that we have lost that connection with the Prophet's leadership. If you agree with the above, then how do you propose that we re-establish this connection?

The position of the Shia is that the Prophet did nominate his successor. This is a logical position, and is also established by Quran and Hadith that are agreed upon. It is also known that each successive Imam also explicitly nominate his own successor (as Abu Bakr did). This is the "unbroken chain" which returns to the original authority of the Messenger. If you do not accept this, then you must propose and equally acceptable (or better) alternative.

Since their is no evidence to conclude that an election will produce the most competent or qualified leader (i.e., George Bush), then we must return to selection by the previous leader as the appropriate criteria. If this is the case, then who (According to the Sunni view) is our current leader which fulfills the position of "Caliphate"/Imam/Amir Al'Muminin, how was he selected and on what authority does he exercie this position? If this question cannot be answered, then thought should be given to the reason for this.

Salam



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

Imam Ali (a.s.)


Posted By: delight
Date Posted: 03 June 2005 at 10:26am
then who (According to the Sunni view) is our current leader which fulfills the position of "Caliphate"/Imam/Amir Al'Muminin, how was he selected and on what authority does he exercie this position? If this question cannot be answered, then thought should be given to the reason for this.
Ali Zaki

Who is the Imam of our time?
If an Imam can guide without being in power,like the 12th Imam,why do shia fight for the right of succession of Ali?
Ahmad b. Hanbal in his al-Musnad,included hadeeth without first verifying them.That is why it is not in the list of sahih books.
   Hazrat Abubakr appointed his successor because many people wanted Umar as even the first khalif,due to his popularity.
   But Hazrat Umar although wounded for a week,did not appoint his successor,but a selection committee.
   A successor is appointed ,when the leader is in his prime.So that people can get used to him.
    Not,as shia claim,in the last moments of leaders life



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LOGIC IS SIMPLE OTHERWISE IT IS ARGUMENT.


Posted By: Ali Zaki
Date Posted: 03 June 2005 at 11:21am

Salam Delight,

"If an Imam can guide without being in power,like the 12th Imam,why do shia fight for the right of succession of Ali?"

Sorry, I don't understand you're question. What does the question of whether or not the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) selected Imam Ali (a.s.) as his successor have to do with the method used to execute power by Imam Mahdi (May Allah hasten his return)? Clarification is needed.

Again, I would rather not dwell on the subject of the 12th Imam, as we need to establish a basic understanding and agreement to go into this subject (which we have failed to do up to this point, but I am still hopeful )

Regarding the Authenticity of Ahmad b. Hanbal

This is a common problem with discussing these issues, Delight (as you know.) The good old "Yes, we respect him as a Sunni scholar, but he was not very careful. What if I show you Hadith that you will not accept from the Saheeh books? Will this change you opinion? Do you not accept Ahmad b. Hanbal PERIOD? (or just for the many hadith he transmits about the Ahly Al-Bayt). SEE http://al-islam.org/mot/musnad/ - http://al-islam.org/mot/musnad/

How about al-Tirmidhi? (This case study will investigate the allegation that this hadith("I am the city of knowledge and 'Ali is its gate") was included by al-Tirmidhi and used to be in his Sahih till it mysteriously disappeared at some stage in history). http://al-islam.org/tahrif/cityofknowledge/index.htm - http://al-islam.org/tahrif/cityofknowledge/index.htm

How about Sheiks al-Bukhari and Muslim?

http://al-islam.org/ask/7.html - http://al-islam.org/ask/7.html

I have tried to avoid this issue until now, however, I feel that your calling into question the credibility of this hadith has neccesitated addressing this issue. Also, I will say it before you do that there are similar problems among many Shia books of hadith as well. As a result, we must revert to the Science of Hadith for deriving the authenticity of hadith on a CASE BY CASE bais, and not simply dismissing or accepting a hadith based on the author of the collection.

In addition, if only one or two hadith had been narranted regarding the neccessity of having a leader and who the leader(s) are, then one could question the Shia position. However, due to the number hadith and the number of different sources, I find it hard to believe that the importance of the Ahly Al-Bayt (specifically) and the importance of leadership (in general) can be denied.

"A successor is appointed ,when the leader is in his prime.So that people can get used to him."  How about if a successor is appointed numerous times, in public, over many years?



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

Imam Ali (a.s.)


Posted By: MOCKBA
Date Posted: 03 June 2005 at 7:16pm

Assalamu'alaikum Ali Zaki,

I agree with you that the subject of the clouded suns and minds should be put aside for some time.

Today's problem lies in not so much that we have lost connection with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) but in the fact that we have forgotten Allaah. We dedicate time and exhaust ourselves with petty questions, we seek spiritual warmth from the unknown, we seek support and help from the corrupt leaders and we expect implementation of rightful conduct and submission to Islam from our neighbours... rarely reflecting on our own selves. As a result we lay intoxicated with self-pleasing metaphors trying to find a shortcut from the Straight Path. 

Before we, Muslims, establish order on a strong foundation in our personal lives, it is very unlikely that we are going to see a deserving leader or recognise him anytime soon.  

This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah. (02:02)

 



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MOCKBA


Posted By: Ali Zaki
Date Posted: 06 June 2005 at 6:32am

Salam alakum wa Rahmatullah Hewa Barakatu Mockba,

I would like to say that I apprecitate you careful and thoughtful replies. I often hesitate to continue this thread, as I know that many of my Muslim brothers and sisters will misunderstand my motivations for doing so. I continue to post only to try and share my understanding with others, and in the hope that the knowledge will be beneficial to them.

The question of leadership is of vital importance in our Umma today. The reason that the question of successorship after the death of the Prophet is so important is testified to by history. One need only contemplate on why the Muslims were so united during his lifetime, and became divided immidiately after his death. This division is the root cause of our division today.

As a Muslim Umma, we had the choice to follow the guidance that the prophet had intended for us, or to ingore the prophets words. When we ignored the Prophet, here is the type of leaders we got, "

" Among[1] all the people the most detested before Allah are two persons. One is he who is devoted to his self. So he is deviated from the true path and loves speaking about (foul) innovations and inviting towards wrong path. He is therefore a nuisance for those who are enamoured of him, is himself misled from the guidance of those preceding him, misleads those who follow him in his life or after his death, carries the weight of others' sins and is entangled in his own misdeeds.

The other man is he who has picked up ignorance. He moves among the ignorant, is senseless in the thick of mischief and is blind to the advantages of peace. Those resembling like men have named him scholar but he is not so. He goes out early morning to collect things whose deficiency is better than plenty, till when he has quenched his thirst from polluted water and acquired meaningless things.

He sits among the people as a judge responsible for solving whatever is confusing to the others. If an ambiguous problem is presented before him he manages shabby argument about it of his own accord and passes judgement on its basis. In this way he is entangled in the confusion of doubts as in the spider's web, not knowing whether he was right or wrong. If he is right he fears lest he erred, while if he is wrong he hopes he is right. He is ignorant, wandering astray in ignorance and riding on carriages aimlessly moving in darkness. He did not try to find reality of knowledge. He scatters the traditions as the wind scatters the dry leaves.

By Allah, he is not capable of solving the problems that come to him nor is fit for the position assigned to him. Whatever he does not know he does not regard it worth knowing. He does not realise that what is beyond his reach is within the reach of others. If anything is not clear to him he keeps quiet over it because he knows his own ignorance. Lost lives are crying against his unjust verdicts, and properties (that have been wrongly disposed of) are grumbling against him.

I complain to Allah about persons who live ignorant and die misguided. For them nothing is more worthless than Qur'an if it is recited as it should be recited, nor anything more valuable than the Qur'an if its verses are removed from their places, nor anything more vicious than virtue nor more virtuous than vice."

NOTE- I am (certainly) not implying that these descriptions are applicable to any particulart individual.

I invite the members of this forum to read the above words of Imam Ali (a.s.) in speech #17 in Nagul Balagha, and decide for themselves whether or not these descriptions are applicable to any of the "Muslim Leaders" that came after the death of the Prophet until today.

So we have a clear choice today, as we did then on whom we should turn to for guidance and leadership. This issue effects each one of us in our daily lives.

Salam.



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

Imam Ali (a.s.)


Posted By: MOCKBA
Date Posted: 06 June 2005 at 7:14am

Bismillah

Wa'alaikumu Salaam Brother Ali Zaki,

Jazzak Allahu Khair for your comment. May I also add that many answers to our concerns in terms of leadership and unity have been narrated by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in his final sermon. We should go back to its content more often...

Ma'a Salaam



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MOCKBA


Posted By: Ali Zaki
Date Posted: 08 June 2005 at 7:00am

Salam ala kum,

From my research, one of the main (and possibly THE main) reason for dis-unity in the Muslim Umma is a misunderstanding of the meaning of Wilayat after the death of the prophet.

If one reflects on the history of the Muslims, one will surely be amazed at the unity of the Muslims, while under the leadership of the Prophet Muhammad (a.s.). In contrast to this, we see that after the dealth of the prophet the "troubles" began. Some of the prominent companions supported Imam Ali (a.s.), and others supported Abu Bakr as the rightful successor to the Holy Prophet.

One of the reason for this schism was a misunderstanding (among the general Muslim population) of the meaning and dimensions of Wilayat. SIDE NOTE- I find this somewhat surprising, given that the well -established practice of previous prophets of nominating a successor (or Waly, who was sometimes a prophet and sometimes not).

I would like to include some excerpts from the book, " Master and Mastership" from the respected scholar (and Shaheed) Ayatullah Murtada Mutahhari to illustrate this further.

The entire book can be read here: http://al-islam.org/mastership/ - http://al-islam.org/mastership/

" The Holy Qur'an has talked much of Wala, Muwalat and Tawalla (friendship and cooperation). This Celestial Book has discussed a number of questions under these headings. A thorough study of the Holy Qur'an indicates that from the Islamic point of view there are two kinds of Wala; negative and positive i.e. on the one hand the Muslims have been asked not to accept one kind of Wala and to refrain from it, and on the other hand they have been asked to observe another kind of Wala. The positive Wala enjoined by Islam has two forms; general and special. Again the special form of Wala is further subdivided into several categories; Wala of Love, Wala of Imamate, Wala of Leadership and Wala of Control...."

"The believers, men and women are the Waly (guide) of each other; they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong. They keep up prayers and pay zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger". (al-Tauba,9:71)

The Muslims are closely linked together and as such they support one another. They are interested in one another's fate, in reality in their own fate, for they, all together form one compact unit. That is why they exhort one another to do the good and abstain from doing the evil. ..."

The affection toward the Ahl al-Bayt (the Prophet's progeny) is the special form of the positive Wala...

"Say: I ask you no reward for my preaching save love and affection toward my progeny". (al-Shura;42 23).

"Your Waly can be only Allah, His Messenger and those who believe and establish prayers, and pay zakat while they kneel down in prayer". (al-Ma'idah, 5:55); 

was revealed in respect of Imam Ali. Tabari, in his ''Exegesis'' [2] of the Holy Qur'an quotes a number of reports in this connection. Zamakhshari, who is one of the most eminent Sunni scholars, is definite when he says: "This verse was revealed in respect of Ali ibn Abi Talib. Though it refers to a single person, plural form has been used with the intention of exhorting the Muslims to follow the good example set by him, and to emphasize that even prayers may be delayed for doing good to the poor and the needy". ..[3]

This kind of Wala when used with reference to an Imam means religious authority and the right of leadership, and when used with reference to the Muslims means the acknowledgement of this right.

[2] Tafsir al-Tabari Vol. 6, pp. 288289.

[3] Al-Kashshaf Vol.1 p.505 printed in Egypt in 1373 A.D.

Salam,



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

Imam Ali (a.s.)


Posted By: Ali Zaki
Date Posted: 08 June 2005 at 8:09am

Salam ala kum,

I have thought a little more about delights question" If an Imam can guide without being in power,like the 12th Imam,why do shia fight for the right of succession of Ali?" and I think I may understand it.

The Prophet (a.s.) and his purified projeny, or, the Ahly al'Bayt (a.s. to them all) are a the hujjat (proof (of Allah's authority over his creation)) and the Imam whether or not their authority is recognized. In fact, those who sincerly wish to lead the Muslim Umma in an upright manner will have no choice but to refer to them for leadership and guidance (as Abu Bakr and Omar both discovered). In fact, even corrupt Caliph's, such as Haroon Rashid turned to the Imam (of Ahl' Al-Bayt) for guidance and recognized their rightful position (although they were not given their rights, and their guidance was often not followed). Despite this, the Imams did and still do guide anyone who wishes to seek their guidance, and they are the source for those who want to understand Quran, Fiqh, Usool, Hadith, Namaz, etc.

In conclusion, The Imam is not in need of our alligience. If we fail to obey the Prophet (a.s.) in regards to his Alhly Al'Bayt, then we are the losers (i.e., we will become misguided). If we obey the Ahly 'Al Bayt, then they do not gain anything (as it is well-known that they were not concerned with worldly titles, wealth or power), it is only we that gain by being a unified and effective Umma united under the banner of Rasool Allah (a.s.) with Imam Ali (a.s.) as the standard bearer.

Salam



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

Imam Ali (a.s.)



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