Hawza & Reform

Every now and again, the topic of “reform” within the Hawza, for some peculiar reason, finds its way to social media. Sometimes it is raised by students and other times by outsiders, who can make bold allegations without having the smallest of interactions with the Hawza. I don’t know what the intentions of these individuals are, but I will assume they are not ill. Nonetheless, I have two observations to add. Before that though, let me make two introductory points:

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A Period of Regress & Imitation or Clarification & Solidification?

Translation from Mohammad Baqir Malekian with my comments at the end 

Books written about the history of Shīʿī Fiqh (which generally face various problems with respect to their structure, content and historical outlook) usually regard the 100-year period after Shaykh Ṭūsī until the time of Ibn Idrīs Ḥillī, as the period of regress of Shīʿī jurpiprudence or the era of muqallidīn (imitators) of Shaykh Ṭūsī. Books that usually recount the biography of Ibn Idrīs also emphasize this point. 

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The History of Adam and the Case for Prehistoric Humans in the Scripture and Ḥadīth

بسمه تعالى

Current scientific literature dates the appearance of modern human species, namely the Homosapiens, to anywhere between 65,000[1]-300,000[2] years ago.[3] Do these findings contradict religious teachings about the creation of Adam (p)?

In answering this question, I will present two potential scenarios:

A. Adam as the first member of the Homosapiens.

B. Adam as the first member of a subgroup of the Homo sapiens. That is, the father of the current generation of humans present today.

In each scenario, I will assess its conformity with religious texts of the Bible, Quran and Ḥadīth – with a heavier focus on the Shīʿī tradition.

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Answering some objections: On holding the beard and swaying the finger in the supplication of Rajab (2)

بسمه تعالى

My good friend, Sayyid Ali Imran, produced an article providing new insights into the supplication of Rajab as well comments and observations on some of the arguments I made in my earlier writing about this matter. In this piece – with the help of God – I will cover his comments and try to defend my earlier positions while adding new points. You can read my original article here and his here.

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On holding the beard and swaying the finger in the supplication of Rajab

In this writing, I will discuss:

  1. whether swaying the finger is part of the supplication of Rajab
  2. whether the gestures should be performed from the beginning or only at the end
  3. provide explanations for these symbolic gestures

Before the above, I present a short introduction on the nature of taʿabbudiyāt[1] in religion and our interaction with them. 

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Further Thoughts on “The Halal of Muhammad Will be Halal Until the Day of Judgement”

Introduction:

Statements and laws issued by the Prophet (and for that matter any another of the maʿṣūmīn) fall into at least three categories:

Hukm Sharʿī (religious laws, laws of Islam): what was issued from him qua the Messenger of God, such as the issuance of the obligation of prayers and fasting.

Hukm Wilāyī (governmental laws): what was issued from him qua the authority (walī al-ʿamr), leader and commander; like his prohibition from eating the meat of domesticated donkeys on the day of Khaybar, as has been transmitted in an authentic tradition:

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Is God unjust for placing people in different families and environments?

(The main ideas of this writing are derived from a lecture given by Sayyid Munīr al-Khabbāz with additions and deletions. The last section was produced after critical remarks brought forth by TheMuslimTheist)

Why does God place some people in believing families and communities and others in disbelieving ones? More generally, why does He place some humans in highly prosperous families and environments whilst He places others in highly disadvantaged families and environments? Is this compatible with His Justice?

We can answer this question from five different aspects: legal, philosophical, theological, environmental, and mystical.

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Why do Prophets and Imāms ask for forgiveness if they are infallible from sin?

This dilemma puzzled me as a child: from one side, we are taught that Prophets and Imams did not commit any sins and from the other we read of their conversations with God that are filled with deep regret, sincere repentance and heart felt desire for the Almighty to forgive their sins. They are either infallible and did not commit sins, or these supplications and historical recounts must be false; surely, I thought, it cannot be both. To make the problem worse, I came to know of verses of the Quran that command the Prophet to repent! I could have convinced myself to reject the historical reports, but how can one reject the explicit verses of the Quran? We read in the 47th chapter of the Quran, named after the Prophet himself, Sūrah Muhammad (p), verse 19: “And know there is no God but Allah, and repent for your sins, and for the believing men and women.”

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Salvation of non-Muslims in the view of contemporary Imami scholars

In this writing, I will present the views of Imam Khomeini, Shahid Mutaharri and Sayyid Munir al-Khabbaz on this matter.

Imam Khomeini (d. 1989):

Deficient disbelievers (qāṣir) are those who did not subscribe to God’s religion because external factors outside their control prevented them from doing so. These factors range from living in a closed environment in which the message of Islam did not reach them to not having the right means to investigate the truth. Naturally, they are excused from punishment on the day of Judgement.

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Can we use Reason to deduce religious law?

The fixed and changeable in Islamic Legislation (3)

Click for Lesson 1, Lesson 2

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم و صلی الله علی محمد و آله الطیبین الطاهرین

This is a translation of lessons given by Ayatullah Sayyid Munīr al-Khabbāz attended in the year 2019-20. For the sake of comprehensibility, there has been additions, removals and paraphrases. My comments will be italicized. Original transcripts can be found here.

In continuation of the previous lesson, Sayyid will analyse and critique the second argument raised against the authority of theoretic reason in the deduction of Islamic laws.

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