Shia = Islam?

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Shia = Islam?
by Arash Monzavi-Kia
16-Nov-2008
 

Is Shia Islam?

Of course, one can also question the Esmael’i, the Vahab’i and the Baha’i faiths, but as Shia is currently suffocating Iran, it warrants more scrutiny. The mainstream Islam has long grappled with that question, as the Shia schism became the source for centuries of wars between Iran and its neighbors. Again, Islam like all the other Semitic religions, is a patriarchal, forceful and dominating creed, but below are some peculiarities, which make Shia distinctly less appealing.

1. Mohammad not the last messenger: Against the direct utterances of Koran, which declares Mohammad the last prophet and messenger of god, the Shia believe in 12 more saints (Imams) who could not do anything wrong (as Masooms), received direct guidance from god and whose behavior and words (Hadith) are considered as equal to the ways of Mohammad (Sunnite). Through the volumes and volumes of such Hadith and stories, millions of incredible contraptions and idiosyncrasies have been stamped as Islamic.

2. Sunni Muslims apostate: Through the introduction of two extra central believes (Imamate and Adale), into the minimum prerequisite for Islamic faith (Monotheism, Prophets and after-life), Shia has traditionally considered the Sunni to be apostates and infidels. Such divide has been the source of centuries of war in the Middle East.

3. Taghlid of Mullahs: The original Shia Imams required utter obedience from their believers and constant adherence to their edicts. That mandatory pattern of ‘guidance’ then carried through the Shia Mullahs who required the populace to emulate them (Taghlid) on all religious acts and rituals. No act of a Shia Muslim (prayer, fasting or even ebullition) is acceptable, unless he/she fully emulates a certifiable Mullah.

4. Velayat Faghih: As the last Shia Imam is considered to be still in hiding, but ready to jump out any time now (for the last 1,100 years); the other leaders are all unjust and unholy. Only leaders with direct or implicit approval of the 12th Imam can be considered to be worthy; and those are now interpreted as the Mullahs and their lackeys. The laypeople of Iran, who cannot be trusted to wash their bottoms without Taghlid, cannot of course be granted the freedom to elect their own government.

5. Worshipping of the holy dead, the holy soil, the holy water, the holy men, the holy candle, etc.: Islam banned the worship of dead ancestors and their shrines, which was prevalent among the barbaric Arab tribes. Similarly, the worship of ‘holy’ sites and signs (idols) was banned. Neither are Muslims allowed to worship soil, water or candles as ‘holy’, or seek healing and miracles from the holy men. But us the Shia build shrines and go there for pilgrimage, circle them and ask for wishes, bow to them and worship them, under the names of Imams and baby Imams (ImamZadeh). We pray to, kiss and hold reverence for the holy soil of Imams, or water and candles associated with them or their lineage (Seyeds). We seek holy men and touch them for blessing or take our sick kids for miracles, through their touch or even spit.

 6. Self flogging and self harm: Islam forbids harming one’s body, as it is a gift from god to be kept healthy and whole. But the Shia flog themselves, cut themselves and their kids, to show remorse and mourn the dead Imams! There is no mourning in Islam; as a Muslim believer considers death to be just the beginning of an eternal life. Through good deeds, this life can lead to heaven, which requires no mourning. A bad life leads to hell, which again warrants no mourning for the wicked!

7. Temporary marriage (Sigheh): Muslim man, if able and just, like his Jewish cousins, was granted four wives. However, the temporary marriage (Moteh) was only allowed in the extra-ordinary times of war and mass loss of men. Unfortunately, since centuries ago, the Shia Mullahs have turned that possibility into a lucrative loop-hole for legal prostitution, with themselves playing the part of pimps! The regular pilgrimage to the ‘holy’ Shia shrines in Meshhad, Gom and Shiraz, have always been as much about religious rites and seeking redemption, as they have been for obtaining the services of Harem Ladies, who are pimped and peddled by the Mullahs. As the men circle the holy shrine, they are approached by the Mullah who would offer a Sigheh ceremony. Similarly, as the women circle, they are asked by the same ‘holy men’, if they would consider becoming a temporary wife, for a short duration and a handsome pay!

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A Different Look at Things

by Just a Reply... (not verified) on

1. Mohammad pbuh IS the last messenger [in Shia Islam]. The difference between Shi'a and Sunni is that Sunnis follow the 4 Rightly Guided caliphs, whereas Shias follow first Ali and then the other 11 imams as the just ruler and "rightly guided." Stating that Shias believe in a last prophet other than Hazrat-e Mohammad is false and utterly blasphemous. The concept of Nabuwwat is different form the concept of Imamat. As an analogy, would you say that spiritual leaders hold the same authority (if one chooses to believe them to have such authority in the first place) as the messengers who brought the texts to them? Stop perpetrating Wahhabi ideology. Shia and Sunni differ in many regards, but one thing they agree on is the Shahada: There is no god but Allah and Muhammad pbuh was his messenger. Finally, "Masooms" and "Imams" are different categories; "Masooms" includes FIRST THE PROPHET and then Hazrat-e Fatima and then the twelve imams--two different categories. Point is, Prophet Muhammad is the ULTIMATE MASOOM. No Shia would deny that.

2. You are wrong. The minimum requirement (or prerequisite) for faith is the Shahada. Do you believe that there is no god but Allah? Do you believe that Mohammad was his messenger? You do? Ok, then you are Muslim! Sunnis are not considered apostates. They differ in their school of jurisprudence. Have you heard of the Amman Message? How about the al-Azhar Shia fatwa? The same is true for the Shia side: no Shia will or should deny his fellow brother or sister in Islam his/her Muslim identity. That is in fact a REASON for Iran's and Iranians' unity with other Muslim-majority countries across the middle east. This is more Wahhabi propaganda that you are spreading.

3. First of all, it is not taqlid of just any "mullah." The person must be a learned scholar and have undergone years of study and training to become a "marja taqlid." Also, though "guidance" is given, there are many marjas from which one can taqlid. This serve a purpose opposite to what you are purporting--to prevent sectarianism and to provide VARYING opinions so that people can decide for themselves which marja to follow--this is in fact to prevent sectarianism and is a key feature of the Ijtihad that occurs in Shia Islam especially. Finally, no one but God can say who's acts of religion or deeds in life are worthy of acceptance. So to say that everyone is damned unless they follow one, specific particular marja is incorrect and questioning of the authority of the Almighty over any human being, be he a marja, another marja, or one who taqlids.

4. The last Imam is considered to be the Mahdi, who will return on some unknown day. As such, no one, in my opinion, can claim that they have divine power. The laypeople of Iran should have the freedom to choose who to taqlid, or whether or not to taqlid at all, but to make some sort of slippery slope argument like that fails to recognize the nuances between religion and politics.

5. THERE IS NO WORSHIP OF SUCH THINGS IN SHIA ISLAM. Shias do not PRAY to these things. They do not PRAY directly to rocks or the dead or the holy men or the candles, etc. They do not give thanks to these things. They do not ask for forgiveness from these things. There is the concept of tawassul, however. There is the Dua Tawassul, as well, in Shia Islam. What is this concept, you ask? It roughly translates into "intercession," and is accepted to some extent by both Shias and Sunnis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tawassul#Intercession... Here's another good description: http://www.al-islam.org/encyclopedia/chapter6b/5.h... Finally, what small differences exists between Sunnis, Shias and other Muslims with regards to Tawassul is not necessarily an indication that one is right and all others have got it wrong; rather it shows the breadth of the entirety of the religion of Islam and should you choose to engage in Tawassul as defined by your marja or even your sect of Islam is an individual decision.

6. Shia are not supposed to inflict harm on their bodies. In fact, this is considered HARAAM. Many religious authorities have spoken out against this. I cannot justify the actions of the Shia who do harm themselves; however, it is safe to say that that is what they perceive to be the correct thing to do, and whether or not that is reflective of the entirety of the Shia school of thought is questionable. Mourning, when it serves to remind one as a the imminence of death and its potential to occur at any time and place is quite Islamic. Sure, some people take it too far, but who are you to judge? Only God can, and if you consider yourself a Muslim, whether Sunni or Shia (or even just someone who believes in God) you should leave it to that and invoke the Ayah from the Quran that says: "You shall have your religion and I shall have my religion."

7. Sure some people have taken advantage of this. But do you truly believe that they are in the right? Do you think that their intentions will not be questioned by Allah swt on the Day of Reckoning? Surely, because Islam also looks at one's niyaat. Do not judge the entirety of Islam, and Shia Islam, on the basis of a few self-serving sycophants. Beside, who are you to judge their intents anyway? Perhaps there is some other element that you have not discussed...

All I would like to conclude with is that you possibily have some Wahhabi ideologies against Shias which is not even reflective of the true beliefs of the Sunni world, and that before making a judgement about a faith based on the actions of its peoples, you should discover for yourself first what it is about, beyond the traditions and cultures that sometimes obscure the view.

Finally, to the one who posted passages from the Quran: you have truly taken all of those out of context. There are contexts and situations in which those have been stated. They are not to be interpreted as stand-alone statements about the truth of things. You can't pick some phrases and then say, "Oh! This is what that means."

Thanks for reading and I hope that I cleared up some of you all's misconceptions. Peace.


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reply about smiarities with christianity

by sajid (not verified) on

respected brother,
you first should learn the books of islam,
the basic books. then make dicision.
about waiting a man who return soon there are so many sunni and shia hadeeth that imam mehdi will come every muslim have faith on him.
he is not shia who pray except allah subhan w t'ala,
our prophet is same as other muslims the last prophet is only one h. muhammad mustafa sllalahu alyhi w aalihi w sallam. shia never pray anyother exept allah.
the same sunni brothers do that.
the main diffrense is only shia follow the commands after muhammad saww. imam ali and his decendents.
sunni also follow them.
did any sunni brother deny any imam of shia comunity???
no.
ali is the rightly guided khalifa.
there are hundreds of sahih sunni hadeeth in about imam hasan and imam husain.
about imam mehdi alyhisslam also several hadeeth.
you wrote ..............
"But again religion is not my cup of tea these days so I can’t call myself an expert on theology so I am not saying if anyone is right or wrong it is just what I have observed."
so i have a good suggesion for you think again study more your own books don't listen illitrate people.
then you will find the truth. ishallah


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Shia Islam

by Mustafa Kaleem (not verified) on

As you are stated that Shia Islam has so many problem and it is not good, Sunnis are in Majority that mean good? Did you studied the history of Khalifat ul Muslimeen who ruled after Khilafat ar Rashida? what they did, was that Islam where father killed his own son, Son has killed his father, mother killed son, brother killed brother? for Islam No my friend that was for the CHAIR, you are lost if you consider them Khalifat ul Muslimeen, they were dump ruler like rulers of today.
Since Shia Islam is not good, All should join Taleban Islam because it seems Taleban Islam is good, This is Islam teaches that Kill the muslims and non muslims whereever, you get??? If there target is to kill Kuffar, how many they killed and how many muslims killed by suside bombs? Why you are sending young people to Hell? Quran is very clear to save the humanity? Islam came to teach humanity, and unfortunately, our Sunni or Taleban Islam is destoying Humanity, How you expect to you to Heaven? I am sure all such elements will go to hell for ever (Hum fee ha Khaledoon)
Sorry for harsh word but that is reallity, you people are loosing battle against non muslims because you are fighting only to destroy Shia Islam and by declaring Shia Kafir by illitarate Maoulavi will not make them Kafir, Learn the defination of Islam than say them Kafir. Work for unity and fight against common enemy.
I wish all the best for Muslimeen.
Mustafa Kaleem


Mehdi Mazloom

Claim of "Word of God"

by Mehdi Mazloom on

Many Muslims on this forum will have to forgive me for posting these passages. Nonetheless, as long as all sects of Islam - including that of Shi'a,  people being fed these passages from the Quran. Then forced fed to believe them as "word of Allah".

As long as good an honest Muslims do not publicaly condemn these hate filled passages. we will continue to have conflict between all religions - not only Shia-Sunni sects.

Many moderates in Judea-Christian groups  have already done so to similar passages in their respective holy book. It is time for rational and level headed Muslims to take charge and lead the way to a similar path.  

Qur’an 9:5 “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”


Qur’an 9:112 “The Believers fight in Allah’s Cause, they slay and are slain, kill and are killed.” 


Qur’an 9:29 “Fight those who do not believe until they all surrender, paying the protective tax in submission.”

Qur’an 8:39 “So fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief [non-Muslims] and all submit to the religion of Allah alone (in the whole world).”

Qur’an 9:14 “Fight them and Allah will punish them by your hands, lay them low, and cover them with shame. He will help you over them.”

Qur’an 8:65 “O Prophet, urge the faithful to fight. if there are twenty among you with determination they will vanquish two hundred; if there are a hundred then they will slaughter a thousand unbelievers, for the infidels are a people devoid of understanding.”

Qur’an 9:38 “Believers, what is the matter with you, that when you are asked to go forth and fight in Allah’s Cause you cling to the earth? Do you prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? Unless you go forth, He will afflict and punish you with a painful doom, and put others in your place.”

Qur’an 9:123 “Fight the unbelievers around you, and let them find harshness in you.”

Qur’an 47:4 “When you clash with the unbelieving Infidels in battle (fighting Jihad in Allah’s Cause), smite their necks until you overpower them, killing and wounding many of them. At length, when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind them firmly, making (them) captives. Thereafter either generosity or ransom (them based upon what benefits Islam) until the war lays down its burdens. Thus are you commanded by Allah to continue carrying out Jihad against the unbelieving infidels until they submit to Islam.”

Qur’an 2:193 “Fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief) and religion is only for Allah. But if they cease/desist, let there be no hostility except against infidel disbelievers.”

Qur’an 2:246 “He said: ‘Would you refrain from fighting if fighting were prescribed for you?’ They said: ‘How could we refuse to fight in Allah’s Cause?’”

 

Nothing but Rubbish


asefati

some smilarities with Christianity

by asefati on

With all due respect to our fellow Christian hamvatans and Shias, but I see striking similarity between Shias and Christians. especially the Catholics.
Both praise their Saints, their Prophets, and pray to them for help. 
Both believe in central power, and both are expecting a messiah to return soon.

But I still see the Sunni Islam very cold and indifferent toward what Shias called "Ahlul bait" while Sunnies ironically praise people like Abu Baker and Omar.
But again religion is not my cup of tea these days so I can’t call myself an expert on theology so I am not saying if anyone is right or wrong it is just what I have observed.


Arash Monzavi-Kia

Iranianization of Islam

by Arash Monzavi-Kia on

Dear Q - Thanks for your comments. Yes, many people on both sides (pro and anti IRI) say that Iran has shaped (or distorted) Islam into the Shiaism. Some in the 'anti' camp even joke that Shiaism is the retaliation of Iranians who took revenge on Islam by distorting and dividing it!

Nevertheless, I can only think of the following Pre-Islamic aspects that have probably found their way into Shiaism:

1. Hereditary leadership of the society (Shahs vs. Imams);

2. Self beating and mourning the dead, as reported by Herodotus;

3. Final savior who would appear and destroy all the enemies of Zoroastrians.

Arash M-K


Ali P.

Good Points

by Ali P. on

I wonder what the likes of Shariati, Soroush, and others have to say about these points.

Another difference between Shiite and Sunni Islam, is the emphasis Shiite puts on being the family of Mohammad. All kinds of privileges are extended to those who are related to the Prophet.

 I wonder how many Iranians would identify themselves as "Shiite" if there was a open and free debate on it in Iranian media.


David ET

Great Summary

by David ET on

  thanks


behmanchea

lol - New School Shiia-Kung Fu

by behmanchea on

 

 

New School Shiia comming your way.

 

I agree with Q and like to add.

 

New School Shiia can really party and kick ass.

5% discount for early registration.

 


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Other points

by Iva (not verified) on

1) Shiit sect of cult islam has the "middleman" concept where moslems or in this case Shitts, may only get in touch with moon god “Lah” by intervention of a middleman or one of them 12 disciples. In other words, not just the last diciple, but all of them are alive and can hear the help cries of shiits and will pass on the word to moon god "Lah", that is if they can fix the issue themselves like cure someone's cancer, bringing sight to blinds, etc.

2) Good deeds (savab) can be purchased even after one’s death. An example would be, someone pays a person to perform “namaz” for someone else (usually a deceased person) where the good deed of performing namaz will be written NOT for the performer of the good deed, but for the deceased person. In other words, if one is rich and can leave some money behind for such purchases then your acceptance to brothel is certainly guaranteed. Saying that, I wonder what incentives do female shiits have to get into brothel, unless, they change their sexual orientation!

3) According this moft-khoor's sermon (see video clip) only the shiits can get into heaven, moon god “Lah” has shown its big “thumbs up” sign to the rest of population of earth. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubXo9nLy6G0


Q

I agree too

by Q on

the trick is to be respectful. It's all in the approach. Just look at Turkey and Egypt. After over half a century of forced secularism, they are more Islamic than ever.

You can't take religion out of people, and that's why you can't *legislate* separation of Church and State, it must be a gradual cultural change. The level of religion that exists in American politics, for example would be considered criminal in Turkey (until a few years ago, literally).

Also, I believe you can bring Islam itself closer to what you want. Shia Islam in particular is more open to interpretation. Just like some religious scholars have interpreted sex change and evolution in Iran, we could easily imagine a more progressive strain that would move religious people closer en masse.

The worst thing we can do is follow the Tehrangelesi "opposition" model where they want to criminalize Islam and eradicate it from Iran by force. That will never work and its the reason they are so useless as a movement.

I also think it's important to realize how IRanian Islam, especially shiites Islam really is. Many of the major shiite traditions were adopted and popularized by Iranians.


Arash Monzavi-Kia

Khar jaan, you are right

by Arash Monzavi-Kia on

It is very difficult to change the mind of the religious, but it is possible, as you said, to work towards a secular society. However, that aim requires poeple to at least take their religion less seriously, and look at its weaknesses and outrageous claims with an open mind. 

Arash M-K


Khar

Let's work towards separation...

by Khar on

of Mosque and State! Arash Khan as you very well know “you can take people out of the religion but you can't take the religion out of people”!

PS. I do agree with your points!