We believe that a true and comprehensive
understanding of Islam would not be possible without careful recognition of the
Prophetic Tradition and the Prophet's Household. And Allah is the Source of Strength.
Usool e Deen, Froo e Deen
Islam according to Shias is divided into two basic foundations, The Usool e Deen or Rules of Religion and Froo e Deen or the Duties To The Religion. Both are equally important but Usool e Deen matter more.
Usool e Deen is to be followed by Dalayil, or References. This part of the religion should not be followed blindly but logical reasoning should be looked for, for example, if Allah is one, then one should search for logical reasons, why is allah one, not just blindly follow it. However faith in the unseen is crucial. Usool e Deen are the roots of the religion, without them, religion is incomplete. They include Tawheed, Adl, Nabuwat, Imamat and Qiyamat.
Froo e Deen on the other hand come in later. For Froo e Deen, references are to be followed, such as the Quran, the sunnah, the ahadith, the teachings of the Prophet (SAW) and his authentic successors, the analytical opinions of a a learned scholar etc, on what they say regarding Haraam and Halal, and ones duties towards Religion. For example, if Quran says keep rozas, we have to keep them at all costs, though there are some exceptions. However, to reach this point, one must determine the authenticity of the Quran, and if proven to his logical thirst, he must abide by it at all costs. If the belief in Usool e Deen is weak, then Froo e Deen are of no use. Froo e Deen includes Kalmah, Namaz, Roza, Haj, Zakat, Khums, Jihad, Amr Bil Maruf, Nahin Anr Munkir, Tawwala and Tabbara which will be discussed later on.
If we look at the great sacrifice of Imam Hussain on the hot soil of Kerbala, we can see that he had saved Islam, he had saved the shariat of his Grandfather, Prophet Muhammad. He had not only saved the efforts of the last prophet but the efforts of 124000 Prophets and Nabis sent by Allah to guide us. If he would have given Bayat to Yazeed, would Islam remain on the face of the earth? In general, Imam Hussain saved Usool e Deen, not Froo e Deen. Why do I say that? I say it because Yazeed and his men prayed Namaz, kept Rozas, gave Zakat, performed Haj, but they didnt have faith in Tawheed, Adl, Nabuwat, Imamat or Qiyamat. Pisr e Saad or the Commander of Yazeeds army announced on the 10th of Muharram, to kill Hussain (AS) quickly because it was time for Friday Prayers. The murderers of Hussain and his fellow men were none other than Namazis and Hajis, who had recited the Kalimahs. But they had no faith in Qiyamat, for if they had, Kerbala would not take place. They would have feared the end before brutally killing the grandson of their prophet. They had no faith in Imamat, for if they had, Kerbala would not have taken place. They would have accepted him as their Imam. Similarly, they didnt believed in Adl, that is Allah is Just, for if they did, they would remember that justice would be brought at the end.
To make it short, Usool e Deen are crucial. It is possible to enter heaven with the firm belief in Usool e Deen alone, but only Froo e Deen cannot save a person from the hell-fire. Why do i say this? We have had two examples in the Quran. The example of Iblees where his worship (froo) were rendered useless when he disobeyed Allah and thus failed to understand the essence of Tawheed (Usool). Another example is that of the People of Cave or Asahab al Kahf as we know them, who had faith in Tawheed (Usool) but had never fasted or performed Salat or performed any forms of Froo as we know it. Usool e Deen and Froo e Deen are equally important for our salvation, but without understanding the actual essence of the Usool, Froo will be rendered useless.
- Usool e Deen; Rules/Roots Of Religion
Tawheed: Oneness of Allah
As said earlier, logical reasoning should be approached in this field. If Allah or God was not one but two, then it would mean that there was a possibility that both of them would differ on different matters. One could be a Good God and one could have been the God of evil. Both punishing men for if one did good, the God of Evil would punish and if one did evil, The God of Good would punish. Mankind and this universe could not have existed with more than one God. God can not have parents, for if he had parents, he would not have been the God, his parents would have been as they were there before the God. And if his parents were Gods, then their parents should have been Gods, which is again not possible as the chain goes on. Thus God is one with no parents who existed before the beginning and will remain after the end. God can not have parents also because parents are 2, and as said earlier, 2 Gods can not possibly exist. Similarly, God can not have consorts as if God is the sole creator, then his consorts are his creations. It is not logical that the creator marries his own creations. And so, God has no blood relation with any one. No human in this world is related to God through the blood. We are all his children, Yes! His children spiritually, his creations.
As far as the existence of a God is concerned, the flaws in the theories of the Big Bang and Evolution are proof enough that they are designed on purpose to deny a fact. Taking a theoretical approach, if there are three balls in a bucket, a red ball, green and blue. If you are blindfolded and told to take out an exact color sequence, let's say first green, then red and then the blue ball, the probability of this success would be [1x1x1]/[3x2x1]=16%. This is a random experiment and with three balls, an exact sequence blindfolded has a 16% chance of success. If we repeat the above random experiment with 10 different colored balls, then the success rate reduces greatly to, [1x1x1.......x1]/[10x9x9x7x......x1]=1/3628800 which is about 0.0000275%. This is theoretically impossible, to take out an exact sequence of ten balls from a bucket with a blindfold will have success rate of 0.0000275%. Thus it means it will take you atleast 3.5 million attempts to take out the exact sequence and that too is uncertain. If you repeat the above random experiment with 100 balls, the level of impossibility for it's creation will be so great that it will never happen with a blindfold on. But if you take the blindfold off and you can see the colors of the balls, you will take out the balls in any sequence, any number of the balls in first attempt and perfectly. It will occur always. This universe is made of many many probabilities, everywhere around you, the processes going on have infinite number of probabilities. If they are infact occurring randomly, then their probability of occurrence is next to impossible (as proved mathematically that a probability containing 10 balls is next to impossible). For example the existence of DNA, each having a pattern of 1200 chromosomes. Calculate the probability yourself if the pattern of the chromosomes would attach themselves to each other randomly. The occurrences of such complicated processes are a proof enough in itself that someone is doing them without a blindfold on. That someone, is what many call a God.
Wonderful Originator of the
heavens and the earth! How could He have a son when He has no consort, and He
(Himself) created everything, and He is the Knower of all things.
And your Allah is one
Allah! there is no god but He; He is the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Never did Allah take to
Himself a son, and never was there with him any (other) god-- in that case would
each god have certainly taken away what he created, and some of them would
certainly have overpowered others; glory be to Allah above what they
Adl: Justice of Allah
Allah is Just. He cannot and would not be unfair, in this world or the hereafter. Where man can err as judges, God will not as he is the all-knower. If Allah was not Just, then we would not be sure that we will enter Heaven even after we did Good. If Allah was not just, he could put an evil sinner in Heaven and a Pious in hell. If this was the case, we would not be sure what to do, good or bad, for it was Allah who puts men into their eternal abode randomly. Allah is Just in this world too. He has provided us with the five senses, with water and air, with gravity. This is the justice of Allah. Allah also punishes in this world. Search history and you will know what happened with Firaun, the people of Noah, the people of Lut. Allah has not given power to the wrong-doers in this world, but a time limit for them to repent and if they fail, Allah surely does his justice.
Is not Allah the best of
And We will set up a
just balance on the day of resurrection, so no soul shall be dealt with unjustly
in the least; and though there be
the weight of a grain of mustard seed, (yet) will We bring it, and sufficient
are We to take account.
These are the
communications of Allah which We recite to you with truth, and Allah does not
desire any injustice to the creatures
Surely Allah does not do
injustice to the weight of an atom, and if it is a good deed He multiplies
it and gives from Himself a great reward.
Nabuwat: Guidance Of Allah Through Prophethood
It is the belief in Adl that logically proves prophethood. Allah is just, and has created Heaven and Hell. How would man know what is Right and wrong if he has no guidance, a divine guidance? It is through prophethood. Allah had sent prophets, one by one, to all communities, at all times, to guide mankind. Thus at the end, no one can complaint that he was not guided.
And every nation had a
messenger; so when their messenger came, the matter was decided between them
with justice and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.
And certainly We raised
in every nation a messenger saying: Serve Allah and shun the Shaitan. So
there were some of them whom Allah guided and there were others against whom
error was due; therefore travel in the land, then see what was the end of the
Imamat: The Successors OF Prophethood, The Belief In Imams
This is the most delicate, and controversial issue amongst the Shias and Sunnis. Sunni Hadith have predicted the coming of 12 Caliphs, the coming of Mahdi. Shia history has strong proofs for Imamat, but logical reasoning should be approached here. So we have concluded that Allah is Just. He had to guide mankind. For this reason, he sent Prophets, who were infallibles and could not falter. After Prophet Muhammad, the guidance had been completed. So why not end the world just there? Why is there such a huge gap between Nabuwat and Qiyamat? If he was just, he would have continued Prophethood till Qiyamat or he could have brought Qiyamat just after Prophethood ended. This would have been justice. Why leave the world without any further guidance for more than 1400 years? We have the Quran, a book, but no divinely appointed teacher to grasp its meaning? Once the religion was completed, why leave the whole message without a guide for 1400 years? If we say the Khalifas (the FOUR) were the successors and were fallible, how is it possible that the key of such a perfect religion lie in the hands of such not-so-perfect men who could falter and so misguide the whole of the Ummah? Such questions force us to believe in the doctrine of Imamat.
A separate article deals with the issue of Imamat.
And when his Lord tried
Ibrahim with certain words, he fulfilled them. He said: Surely I will make
you an Imam of men. Ibrahim said: And of my offspring? My covenant does not
include the unjust, said He.
Thus we do not see the termination of the office of Imamat anywhere in the Quran. Will it continue till the end then? Read Imamat: The Perfection of Deen for a detailed analysis. The keys of a perfect religion should be in the hands of perfect men in order to preserve the "complete" message.
Qiyamat: Resurrection And The Day Of Judgement
It has been established that Allah is Just. The world began one day and anything which begins must end one day. Thus this world will end one day and Men will be judged according to their deeds. It is the fear of this day which forces a man to do good and stop evil.
And be on your guard
against a day when no soul shall avail another in the least neither shall any
compensation be accepted from it, nor shall intercession profit it, nor shall
they be helped
They believe in Allah
and the last day, and they enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong and
they strive with one another in hastening to good deeds, and those are among the
On the day when it shall
be heated in the fire of hell, then their foreheads and their sides and their
backs shall be branded with it; this is what you hoarded up for yourselves,
therefore taste what you hoarded.
- Furoo e Deen; Duties Towards Religion
Kalimah And Namaaz; To Testify And Pray
This is our duty to Islam. We should be a witness to Allah's Tawheed, Prophet Muhammad's Nabuwwat (and Imam Ali's Imamat, which is not neccesarily a farz in Kalimah). Quran has ordered us to Keep up Prayers. The Prophets Sunnah Shows us to Pray 5 times a day to Allah for what he has bestowed on us. The prophets Sunnah also shows that these Prayers can be combined togethor, and allows the five prayers to be performed at 3 times.
Namaz or Salat makes us realize our own weakness, Allah's strength and his glory.
Recite that which has been
revealed to you of the Book and keep up prayer; surely prayer keeps (one)
away from indecency and evil, and certainly the remembrance of Allah is the
greatest, and Allah knows what you do.
(To) those whose hearts
tremble when Allah is mentioned, and those who are patient under that which
afflicts them, and those who keep up prayer, and spend (benevolently) out of
what We have given them
But hymn the praise of thy
Lord, and be of those who make prostration (unto Him).
And keep up prayer in the
two parts of the day and in the first hours of the night; surely good deeds take
away evil deeds this is a reminder to the mindful.
Saum: Fasting In The Month Of Ramadan
We are ordered to Fast in the Month of Ramadan. Why fast? Because we are ordered to do so. And also because it purifies our soul, it teaches us patience in everything and it makes us realize how do the poor feel when they are hungry or thirsty.
O you who believe!
fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so
that you may guard (against evil).
For a certain number of
days; but whoever among you is sick or on a journey, then (he shall fast) a
(like) number of other days; and those who are not able to do it may effect a
redemption by feeding a poor man; so whoever does good spontaneously it is
better for him; and that you fast is better for you if you know.
Hajj: The Pilgrimage To Kaaba
We are ordered to make a holy Pilgrimage to Kaaba, atleast once in a life-time, but if time does not allow it due to certain problems, this code can be relaxed. Hajj reminds us of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his submission to Allah. Hajj is the ultimate experience of the remembrance and glorification of Almighty himself.
Surely the Safa and the
Marwa are among the signs appointed by Allah; so whoever makes a pilgrimage
to the House or pays a visit (to it), there is no blame on him if he goes
round them both; and whoever does good spontaneously, then surely Allah is
The pilgrimage is
(performed in) the well-known months; so whoever determines the performance
of the pilgrimage therein, there shall be no intercourse nor fornication nor
quarrelling amongst one another; and whatever good you do, Allah knows it; and
make provision, for surely the provision is the guarding of oneself, and be
careful (of your duty) to Me, O men of understanding. There is no blame on
you in seeking bounty from your Lord, so when you hasten on from "Arafat", then
remember Allah near the Holy Monument, and remember Him as He has guided you,
though before that you were certainly of the erring ones.
Zakat: Pay The Poor-due
It has been ordered to pay the Poor-Due which is about 2.5% of your assets. Zakat is a very important part of Islamic society. Islam promotes circulation of wealth and it provides an ultimate solutiion to eliminate poverty. If everyone fullfils their duty perfectly and give the required amount of Zakat to the right people annually, the Islamic society will be free from all economic turmoil. But we do not take Zakat seriously. We must note that when ever and wherever Salat has been mentioned in the Quran, Zakat has been mentioned along with it.
And keep up prayer and
pay the poor-rate and bow down with those who bow down.
Jihaad: Fight In The Cause Of Allah/Good
Jihaad is to fight against evil, to Protect the religion of Islam, fight against the enemies of Islam. Jihad is not necessarily a war, to stop yourself from evil is also termed as Jihad.
Surely those who
believed and those who fled (their home) and strove hard in the way of Allah
these hope for the mercy of Allah and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
What! do you think that you
will be left alone while Allah has not yet known those of you who have
struggled hard and have not taken any one as an adherent besides Allah and His
Messenger and the believers; and Allah is aware of what you do.
Infact, Jihad has been misused by many Muslim rulers and dynasties for their own personal gains. For example, what sot of a sane mind can believe that killing nonmuslim women and children will make you noble in the eyes of Allah?
It should be clarified that diversity is a will of Allah himself. If he willed, he would make all nations alike, but he did not. Man has the power to choose and we should respect that. If some one doesn't believe in what you believe, it doesn't mean you kill him in the name of Jihad. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) when migrated to Medina, he made peace treaties with the Jews of Medina. The Jews were not forced to accept Islam, for the very reason that there is no compulsion in religion. The Jews were only penalized once they acted against a mutual agreement.
Jihad is only against those powers who are intending to destroy Islam, who act treacherously against Islam and it's followers. Killing a Jewish or a Hindu woman, who has not acted in anyway to harm Islam, except that they were following their own laws etc, is not Jihad. What do you think we have Jizya for?
Protecting the rights of non Muslims is as important as protecting the rights of Muslims. Threatening people to convert to Islam or die is not the way of the Prophet (SAW) and is definitely no where near Jihad. Being a Muslim, its your duty to portray your nobility and character in such a way which reflects the true spirit of Islam, which forces the nonMuslims to consider you as their own role model. This is the greater Jihad, which the Prophet has emphasized at many places.
It is very easy to kill some one with a bullet, and it is very hard to kill your own evil, your own un Islamic habits.
Amar Bil Ma’roof Wa Nahy Anil Munkar: Promote Good And Stop Evil
This froo is a universal belief and is a part of every religion. No religion, no sect promotes evil. They all emphasize on helping others, doing good, helping the society etc. The only difference, if there maybe any, is the definition of what is good and what is evil.
You can achieve this task through three different ways;
- Through Actions, being the strongest and most desirable way
- Through Speech
- Through your intentions and thought process, being the weakest and the least desirable way
So next time you come across anything you consider an evil and cruel, make efforts to stop it, no matter how insignificant your try is, because it is the efforts and intentions that count.
Take to forgiveness and
enjoin good and turn aside from the ignorant.
And (as for) the believing
men and the believing women, they are guardians of each other; they enjoin
good and forbid evil and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, and obey
Allah and His Messenger; (as for) these, Allah will show mercy to them; surely
Allah is Mighty, Wise.
They who turn (to Allah),
who serve (Him), who praise (Him), who fast, who bow down, who prostrate
themselves, who enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, and who keep
the limits of Allah; and give good news to the believers.
Those who, should We
establish them in the land, will keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and
enjoin good and forbid evil; and Allah's is the end of affairs.
Khums: Poor-Due To The Syeds, AhlulBayt, Kith And Kin
Zakat and charity is Prohibited on True Syeds and The prople of the Household of Prophet Muhammad. For them, is Khums, which is 20% of your assests.
And know that whatever
thing you gain, a fifth of it is for Allah and for the Messenger and for the
near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, if you believe
in Allah and in that which We revealed to Our servant, on the day of
distinction, the day on which the two parties met; and Allah has power over all
Tawwala and Tabbara
[Tawalla and Tabbara; Do Shias Curse the companions] covers this issue in detail.
Tabarra literally means to disown. Tawalla literally means to pay. In Islamic terms, Tawalla is to pay the Prophet (SAW) his due. Which due are we talking about?
That is of which Allah gives the good news to His servants,
(to) those who believe and do good deeds. Say (Muhammad): I do not ask of you
any reward for it but love for my near relatives; and whoever earns good, We
give him more of good therein; surely Allah is Forgiving, Grateful.
All sects believe that love for Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his ahlulbayt is an essential part of one's faith. It is this love which leads us to Tabbara, or dissociation from the enemies of Allah, his prophet (SAW) and his blessed progeny. Because logic dictates that if i love someone, i should hate his enemies. The only difference amongst the shia and the Sunni is over who the enemies are. Whoever the enemies are, is not the point of discussion over here. Who ever transgressed against Allah, his prophet (SAW) and his family are worthy enough to be disowned by us. Who they are is another issue and will be dealt in another article.
So, If we Take Usool e Deen and Froo e Deen to be two weighty things, then one is weightier than the other and Usool e Deen is the heavier one, for without understanding the true essence of the rules and essentials of Islam, practicing the articles of faith are meaningless, just like a parrot talks in English, without truly understanding what he is doing/saying.