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Shaazia's; The Change in Thought Process
This is a personal experience posted to us by one of our visitors. This is her journey from being a claimer of following the Prophet (SAW) and loving and his family, to actually understanding what is the importance for this love in Islam.
You can contact her through her email address [firstname.lastname@example.org]
"I, as a kid was always curious, very curious about Shias. I always wanted to know that what do they do with the blood of children they kidnap every Ramadan. Yes! I was told by someone that the people who come with drums in Ramadan at the time of sehri to wake people up are Shias, carrying their campaign of kidnapping children, so that they can add their blood to their special dishes in muharram. This way I never went out to look at them in cold at the time of sehri. Then when I grew up, I was told by my cousins about Shias, how evil they are, how wrong they are and how they stick to their false beliefs, refusing to even discuss their beliefs with other people. I kept hearing a lot of other rumors about Shias after that too, so my desire to know the truth about shiaism kept increasing with every passing day.
There came a time when I was a complete senseless Sunni (I didn't use the word fanatic, because, according to me, Muslims are never fanatics, as Islam is the moderate religion offering great compliance, one whose a Muslim can not be fanatic) thinking of Shias to be polytheists because they say 'Ya Ali Madad', believing them to be non believers due to the fact that they do matam which was the biggest innovation to me then, and knowing that Shias will be sent to hell because they curse the companions of Nabi (SAW).
When I got to learn about the true shiaism, I found out that actually the people who say such stuff are wrong themselves and they actually disregard clear Quranic orders, because when you say something about someone that is not true, or that you are not sure about, or there's even a slightest doubt in it to you, you are saying something wrong, also without conforming the truth. While Allah instructs us to do otherwise in the Quran, He says;
O you who believe! be
careful of (your duty to) Allah and speak the right word;
O you who believe! if an evil-doer comes to
you with a report, look carefully into it, lest you harm a people in ignorance,
then be sorry for what you have done.
We are thus supposed to speak only the right thing, also we should inform other people of only the things we are sure about. And people who talk against Shias, usually, attribute weird stuff to Shias, stuff that not even an alien would do! Stuff like Shias doing Zina in Muharram!
Coming to the main point now, where did I get my inspiration for shiaism from? Spreading lies and odd news without any truth in it is a great act of sin in itself. And it was lies like this against Shiaism, which convinced me that something was infact strong and real about Shiaism which made people spread lies against them as to discourage us from learning about the true spirit of Shia Islam. It was such lies which kept me away from Shiaism, and increased my curiosity about the "Aliens" at the same time. Fortunately, the bubble of my curiosity burst and I started to learn a few basic things about Shiaism from authentic Shia resources and to my shock, they did not kidnap children in Ramadan, neither did they spit in the water before serving it to Sunnis. I also learned Shias did not have tails and were infact following those verses of Quran which were hidden or overseen by Sunnis.
The thing I like the best about shiaism is that it is based on direct Quranic orders for most of the deeds and patterns of worship. While for the fundamentals of the sect, as it's foundation stone rests the love of Muhammad (SAW) and his highly blessed family members, the Ahlulbayt. I think its amazing that the whole of your life is in accordance with that of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his blessed family, you celebrate when they were rejoicing, you are grievous when they went through troubles. You do things that associate you directly to that blessed family! How well oriented one's life would be, one who celebrates for them, one who mourns for them, erasing off the sense of his own being, one actually lives for them!
I would now go in a sequence, listing down the stuff that I truly like about shiaism, which according to my view gives shiaism a superiority over sunnism in authenticity and being right.
The most decisive stage in turning away from sunnism was knowledge of the timing of opening fasts (iftaari) in Sunnis.
.... and eat and drink until the whiteness of the day becomes
distinct from the blackness of the night at dawn, then complete the fast till
It is something fundamental, second of the five pillars of Deen, still Sunni scholars are unable to give their followers a definitive time for iftaari as extracted from the Quran, they rather follow Ahadith, which, logically, in presence of a clear Quranic order don't have to be followed (if a difference exists between the two) and the followers are credulous enough to believe them without even consulting the Quran. This was very distressing for me! How unreliable your highly respected scholar is when he cant even convey to you the Quranic orders accurately.
Later a friend pointed out another mistake of the same category; divorce issues, in which the Sunnis ignore clear Quranic order in the name of narrations. And this time, its not the messenger's (SAW) so-called sayings, its a caliph's innovation that makes them alter the Quranic instructions about divorce matters! Read more about Innovation in Divorce.
Then I got information about ablution, the Quran tells you to wipe your feet and Sunnis wash them, rather than wiping them. It is a small difference, but it is about something as essential as wudu, and the order being ignored was from the Holy book, so that was again distressing.
One of the bigger difference between Shias and Sunnis is on display in Ramadan, where the Sunnis pray Tarawih while the Shias do not. When I came to know the truth from Sunni history books, i kept asking my self that how could Sunnis pray Tarawih in congregation when it was in direct and explicit contradiction to what Prophet Muhammad (SAW) ordered. Shias did perform their Ramadan prayers and recital of the Quran but they preferred to do so in their own homes, as ordered by Prophet (SAW).
Another thing which made me think of shiaism to be reasonable and unbiased was the difference in descriptions of Islamic historical events by shia and Sunni scholars. I always felt a communication gap while talking to Shias, because I had virtually zero knowledge of Islamic history, and they talked about so many battles, that too between people as 'pious' as Ayesha and Ali. When you ask your elders about it, they would say that it was only a misunderstanding and all of them are equally respectable for us, so don't worry about the battles between them. Sunni scholars do mention the historical events but with a bit of sugar coating for a few companions and wives of Nabi (SAW). And when you compare it to history mentioned in oxford books (I take them as unbiased usually) it does not match them, it rather matches to the shia historians` material and it made more sense.
How could i believe that two blessed people of Islam, both affiliated with the Prophet (SAW) in some way, and both given saintly status in sunnism, both fight against each other and wage wars and battles, which result in killing of hundreds of other companions of Prophet (SAW)? How can two people be good if both have a fight against each other? One of them has to be on the right or both should be wrong, but both cannot be right. Why do Sunnis show neutrality over such important events in Islamic history if they give a lot of importance to all Sahabis? Also, how can all the companions of the Prophet (SAW) be like stars and following anyone of them will lead to the right path, when we read in history that their paths sometimes opposed each other and some of them were innovators in Islam too? Such historical flaws in Sunni Islam were significant in changing my Islamic sense.
When i was exposed to more shia views, I saw the Shias showing loyalty to the Prophet's Ahlulbayt first and foremost. Sunnis always kept all the Companions and family members of the Prophet (SAW) at the same wavelength which seemed unfair as well. When Hz Ali fought Mawiya, where should my loyalty go? Both claimed to be companions? If i kept thinking like a Sunni, i would be neutral and pretend that both of them had misunderstanding but loved each other a lot. But I chose to give my loyalty to the Ahlulbayt of Prophet (SAW).
An important issue for Sunnis always is the wife and companion issue, so it was for me. Careful analysis of history reveals everything. A lot of people have big time problems with Shias dissociating from Ayesha, mother of Muslims. The simple answer to it has a few points, that I would list here, with reference to the Quran:
Ayesha`s attitude in Prophet's (SAW) life is portrayed well in surah al-tehreem;
O Prophet! why do you
forbid (honey) for yourself that which Allah has made lawful for you; you seek
to please your wives; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. Allah indeed has
sanctioned for you the expiation of your oaths and Allah is your Protector, and
He is the Knowing the Wise. And when the prophet secretly communicated a piece
of information to one of his wives (Ayesha)-- but when she informed (others) of
it, and Allah made him to know it, he made known part of it and avoided part; so
when he (Muhammad) informed her (Ayesha) of it, she said: Who informed you of
this? He said: The Knowing, the one Aware, informed me. If you both (Ayesha and
Hafsa) turn to Allah, then indeed your hearts are already inclined (to this);
and if you back up each other against him, then surely Allah it is Who is his
Guardian, and Jibreel and -the believers that do good, and the angels after that
are the aiders. Maybe, his Lord, if he divorce you, will give him in your place
wives better than you, submissive, faithful, obedient, penitent, adorers,
fasters, widows and virgins.
Ayesha, did not obey prophet (SAW), as he asked her not to tell anyone else about what he said to her, but she told Hafsa about it, she did not keep Prophet's (SAW) secrets well.
After Prophet's (SAW) demise, she led an army against Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), who was greatly revered and loved by him (SAW). Firstly, she ignored a Quranic order that Allah had given especially for the wives of Prophet [saw];
And stay in your houses and
do not display your finery like the displaying of the ignorance of yore; and
keep up prayer, and pay the poor-rate, and obey Allah and His Messenger.……
Other than this, fighting against Ali is like going against Prophet Muhammad (SAW) himself, as he (SAW) said 'truth is with Ali'. Fighting Ali is thus fighting with the truth.
These are the points on which Shias base their hatred for Ayesha, one can decide in the light of Quran for himself if they are right or wrong.
Similarly their dissociation from companions is based on the way they (the companions) treated Muhammad Mustafa (SAW) and his family members before and after his (SAW) blessed demise. And the events which Shias quote where certain companions/wives of Prophet (SAW) disrespected the Prophet (SAW) himself, or his Ahlulbayt, are quoted from authentic Sunni hadith books. Anyone can say that it was a matter between Prophet (SAW) and his wives/companions, so we, general Muslims shouldn't comment on it; My answer to them is that love of Muhammad (SAW) demands more than just leaving it as it is.
What is sad is that people, who do have adequate knowledge of religion, think of respecting the month of Muharram to be shia`ish and thus wrong. They think of expressing love for Prophet's (SAW) family to be shia`ish and so wrong, without even trying to know the truth.
I, personally don't call myself a shia or a Sunni, I prefer being a Muslim, one who doesn't divide her religion into sects.
And there still is stuff in shiaism that I don't support.
For instance, The way Shias believe in taqleed; blindly following the ayatollahs doesn't seem right to me. Allah does talk about taqleed in Quran, but there is also a concept of everyone being responsible for their own deeds. So, the taqleed should not be just imitating the ayatollah's acts or just sticking to their decisions without thinking about it by yourself and supporting it by logic. You should follow a scholar if his Fatwa is backed by Quran and satisfies you logically.
Then there is the concept of rajah (reincarnation) in shia`ism, which is totally against the Quran. I would use the most clear verse here;
Then after that you will most
surely die. Then surely on the day of resurrection you shall be raised.
Until when death overtakes one of them
(disbeliever), he says: Send me back, my Lord, send me back; Haply I may do good
in that which I have left. By no means! it is a (mere) word that he speaks; and
before them is a barrier until the day they are raised.
Only once is raising after death mentioned, and that straight away nullifies the concept of rajah.
[NOTE FROM WEBMASTER: Rajah or Rajat is not a Shia Belief. It is a myth, blamed to be a shia myth. People have different opinions about it but Rajah or Rajat is not a part of Shia Islam]
Also the Shias believe in stuff like urf-e-aam, a description of which is that something that has become so common that its now the trend of society, and no one pays much attention to it, is permissible. Like getting your eyebrows shaped is included in beautification, so a Muslim woman is not allowed to do it unless she uncovers her face only in front of her mehrams, but shia scholars now allow it because as everyone gets their eyebrows shaped, so this would not catch anyone's special attention, hence it is not forbidden to get your eyebrows made. While I think that Islam is not a religion that changes with time, if beautifying is forbidden that means it is not to be done.
[NOTE FROM WEBMASTER: What you call Urf-e-aam can be understood as the permissibility to do something which is a common practice in Islamic society. I do not know where did you get this idea from but nothing is greater than Quran and Shariah. If alcohol is a norm of a Muslim society and everyone drinks it, it will still remain haraam and drinking it will still remain a sin. Those who justify the making of eyebrows and displaying your face infront of namehrums are not "Shias" but women who want to look beautiful. People use Ahadith which state how a woman should decorate herself for her husband. Trimming of facial hair is a practice of Muslim men and women. It has nothing to do with Shiaism. It has to do with "looking clean". You are allowed to do any sort of beautification process, as long as you observe proper Hijab.]
And there are other things too, that I would have pointed out, but they are acts of individual Shias, and not a part of shia Islam, hence mentioning them is irrelevant.
This is all about my inspiration for shiaism.
My view of Islam has changed tremendously. I think the way we ,in general, follow Islam is very wrong. How can we give our religion in the hands of some apparently learned men, to let them inform us about the dos and donts of religion while we are accountable for our own deeds and beliefs. Why are we reluctant and lazy to verify the news and fatwas we listen to, the Ahadith narrated from mosques and the authenticity of the Quranic translations done by obviously illiterate men?
I would classify myself amongst the very few lucky ones. By the grace of God I got the chance to know what shiaism actually is. This is fortunate indeed.
My friends often call me a Shia, only because i choose to show my loyalty to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his Ahlulbayt, and i Deny to take hadith over Quran. I also deny the doing of "rituals" which are in direct contradiction with the Quran. It is unfortunate that the love for Prophet's grandson is restricted as a Shia practice only. It is also unfortunate that any Shia practice which is a direct fulfillment of a Quranic or a Prophetic order is discarded as being shia'ish.
I do thank the people who contributed the most to my, not conversion, but rectification of belief and deeds. I wouldn't have been able to get till here without their help, it was a great journey, full of emotions and knowledge. I hope to continue my journey. May Allah bless all."