Tuesday, January 20, 2009

the ghadir declaration

I haven't written a "Su-shi" (Sunni - Shia) post in a very long time so I'm going to share a link to an interesting free book I found online: The Ghadir Declaration by Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri. The author is a Sunni scholar who brings together different versions of the famous hadith where Muhammad (saaws) says: "One who has me as his master has ‘Alī as his master."

The author frames such hadith by talking about two parallel concepts of leadership, a public political leadership, first held by Abu Bakr as-Saiddiq (ra), and a hidden spiritual leadership, first held by Imam Ali. Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri goes on to explain:

The manifest caliphate is the political office of the religion of Islam.
The hidden caliphate is exclusively a spiritual office.

The manifest caliphate is an elective and consultative issue.
The hidden caliphate is an inherent and selective act.

The manifest caliph is elected by the people.
The hidden caliph is elected by God.

The manifest caliph is elected.
The hidden caliph is selected.

This is the reason that the first caliph Abū Bakr as-Siddīq (RA) was elected on the basis of ‘Umar Fārūq’s proposal and the support of the majority of public opinion. But the election of the first Imām of spiritual sovereignty — ‘Alī al-Murtadā (AS) — required neither anybody’s proposal nor support.

Caliphate was a democratic act, therefore, the Prophet (SAW) did not declare it. Spiritual leadership was an act of designation; therefore, the Prophet (SAW) declared it in the valley of Ghadīr Khum.

The Prophet (SAW) left the election of the caliph to the will of the people, but himself announced his spiritual heir with the divine consent.

Caliphate is established for improving the administration of the earth.
Spiritual leadership is established to beautify it with the heavenly charm and grace.

Caliphate makes men just.
Spiritual leadership makes them perfect.

Caliphate is confined to the floor.
Spiritual leadership extends to the Throne.

Caliphate is ineffective without crowning.
Spiritual leadership is effective even without crowning.

This is probably the reason that caliphate is entrusted to the Ummah, and
Spiritual leadership is entrusted to the progeny.

“Thus we can deny neither the khilāfah (caliphate; political leadership) nor the wilāyah (spiritual leadership). The direct caliphate of Abū Bakr as-Siddīq (RA) was established with the consensus of the people and is categorically proved by the evidence of history. The direct spiritual leadership of ‘Alī al-Murtadā (AS) was announced by the Prophet (SAW) himself and is categorically proved by the evidence of unbroken chain of traditions. The proof of the caliphate is the consensus of the Companions (RA), the proof of spiritual sovereignty (wilāyah) is the declaration of the Prophet (SAW). One who denies the caliphate in fact denies history and consensus, and one who denies the spiritual leadership (wilāyah) denies the Prophet’s declaration. Therefore, both the caliphate and the spiritual leadership are inescapable realities. What is urgently needed is a clear understanding of the reality of the two institutions in order to present them to the people as unity, and not as division.”

It should be understood that just as the manifest caliphate started with the early caliphs and its blessings percolated down to the righteous and just rulers, similarly the hidden caliphate started with ‘Alī al-Murtadā (AS) and its blessings gradually trickled to the members of the Prophet’s family and the saints of the Ummah. By means of the declaration — مَنْ كُنْتُ مَولاهُ فَعَلِيٌّ مَولاهُ (one who has me as his master has ‘Alī as his master) — and — عليّ وليكم من بعدي (‘Alī is your spiritual leader after me) — the Prophet (SAW) pronounced ‘Alī (AS) as the opener of the spiritual kingdom.

For a while I've known that the Zaydis existed (a group of Shias who leaned towards accepting the status of Abu Bakr) but this is the first time I've heard/read from a Sunni scholar who seems to lean so hard towards Shiism.

see also: "i'm sushi"

Thursday, January 15, 2009

1100 to 13?!?!?

I've been reflecting a lot on the basic mathematics of the Israel/Palestine/Gaza situation. The Arab birthrates in Gaza are among the highest in the Middle East. Even within the borders of Israel, the Arab birthrate is higher than that of Israeli Jews. In other words, in a peaceful democratic Israel, the Arabs will become a majority and the Zionist project would eventually, organically, naturally, evaporate in the long term. So if the Jewish character of the state is to be maintained, Israel almost "has to" commit genocide. And in that context, the continual atrocities and illegal actions... bulldozing Palestinian homes, illegal Jewish settlements, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the West Bank, etc. should not be surprising.

Now, in the current Gaza situation, the numerical discrepancies in the casualties are huge, but also shouldn't be surprising. Since the conflict in Gaza began, nearly 1,1000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, about half of them civilians, many of them women and children. On the other hand 13 Israelis have died, almost all of them soldiers, and almost half of them due to friendly fire! (i.e. the Israeli forces themselves have almost killed as many Israelis as Hamas)

There is no way this conflict makes sense in terms of Israel merely defending itself from Hamas. It makes much more "sense" as a low-level genocide against the Palestinians.

Al-Jazeera: The president of the UN General Assembly has condemned Israel's killings of Palestinians in its Gaza offensive as "genocide"
Al-Jazeera: Israel breaking law with Gaza war
BBC: Strike at Gaza school 'kills 40'
Jewish Congress Says World Jewish Population Shrinking

venezuela (and bolivia) cut ties with israel over gaza attacks

Reuters: Venezuela cuts ties with Israel over Gaza attacks
AP: Bolivia breaks Israel ties, claims Gaza genocide

I'm actually a bit surprised that more countries haven't done something similar. Sometimes I feel like I live on a different planet from everyone else.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

sufis in miami

Does anyone out there know of any tariqats which have a presence in the Miami area?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

"catholic" islam

I found out recently that a friend of mine is thinking of converting to Roman Catholicism. As a result I've been thinking more about some of the more "Catholic" aspects of (traditional, orthodox) Islam; the saints/awliya, the litany/dhikr, rites and canon law/schools of fiqh, apostolicity/silsilas and ijazahs, creeds, admiration for Mary, etc. This train of thought has also been helped along by the fact that I've been reunited with a number of my books on Islam with some new ones besides... some friends of mine who helped me moved were holding on to some of my things and also wanted to get rid of some books themselves.

One of the books which they gave me, The Word of Islam by John Alden Williams was interesting to me because it contained a Maturidi creed which, in contrast to what many scholars claim about the sinlessness of prophets, seemed to allow the possibility that before his period of prophethood, David (as) actually committed the sins the Bible ascribes to him involving Uriah and Bathsheba... but more on that in another post.

These days I'm also reading Perfecting Women by Barbara Metcalf which is a partial translation and commentary of Maulana Ashraf 'Ali thanawi's Bihishti Zewar which is a famous resource for Hanafi fiqh (among other things).

return to guadalupe
the radical middle way
protestant islam
more protestant islam
"...being the last one around"

Friday, January 02, 2009

magic negro / que sera lo que quiere obama

It is almost "funny" how much of the criticism against Obama has gotten so racialized. This racialization isn't terribly surprising, it just seems like part of a larger pattern.

Mami Que Sera Lo Que Quiere Obama?

Barack the Magic Negro

I almost wish that Chip Saltsman wins his bid to chair the Republican National Committee because judging by his Christmas album (which in addition to Barack the Magic Negro also includes such "hits" as the Star Spanglish Banner and Ivory and Ebony) because he would lead the Republican Party towards being totally irrelevant to an increasingly diverse United States.

See also:
mami el negro esta rabioso (el africano)
the magical negro
"jose can you see..."