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General Sunni-Shia / The not-so shia state
« Last post by Adil on February 20, 2021, 01:28:36 AM »

Disenchanted Iranians are turning to other faiths

Repression is spurring alienation from the official creed

For father mansour, Christianity in Iran has all the excitement of the persecuted early church. In homes across the country he delivers his sermons in code, calling Jesus “Jamsheed”. He leads songs of praise in silence. “We lip-synch because we can’t worship out loud,” he says. The risks are great: proselytisation is banned; dozens of missionaries have been jailed. But so too are the spiritual rewards. Local pastors report hundreds of secret churches attracting hundreds of thousands of worshippers. Evangelicals claim Christianity is growing faster in Iran than in any other country.

The spiritual gap between Iran’s Shia ayatollahs and the people they rule is widening. The strictures of the theocracy and the doctrine of Shia supremacy alienate many. So growing numbers of Iranians seem to be leaving religion or experimenting with alternatives to Shiism. Christians, Zoroastrians and Bahais all report soaring interest. Leaders of other forms of Islam speak of popular revivals. “There’s a loyalty change,” says Yaser Mirdamadi, a Shia cleric in exile. “Iranians are turning to other religions because they no longer find satisfaction in the official faith.”

Formally, the ayatollahs recognise other monotheistic religions, as long as they predate Islam. The constitution allocates non-Muslim “peoples of the book”—Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians—five of the 290 seats in parliament. They have their own schools (with Muslim headmasters) and places of worship. Iran hosts the Muslim world’s largest Jewish community.

But the clerics prefer to keep non-Shias separate, cloistered and subservient. Religious diversity, they fear, could adulterate the Shia identity of the state. Since the Islamic revolution in 1979, there has never been a non-Shia minister. The clerics sometimes denounce religious minorities as infidels and spies. Conversion to non-Muslim religions is punishable by death.

The repression isn’t working. The state says over 99.5% of Iran’s 82m people are Muslim. But its numbers are not reliable. A poll of more than 50,000 Iranians (about 90% of whom live in Iran) conducted online by Gamaan, a Dutch research group, found a country in religious flux. About half of the respondents said they had lost or changed their religion. Less than a third identified as Shia. If these numbers are even close to correct, Iran is much more diverse than its official census shows.

Zoroastrianism, Iran’s oldest faith, is perhaps the country’s second-biggest religion. Nowruz and Yalda, two of its holy days, are celebrated as national holidays. Officially, it has only 23,000 adherents (some of whom are pictured). They follow the teachings of Zarathustra, a Persian prophet from the 6th century bc. But 8% of respondents told Gamaan they were Zoroastrian. Some are attracted to the faith’s indigenous roots, Persian creed and hostility to Islam, which they deride as an Arab implant. Such was the popularity of Zoroastrian-style weddings, conducted with Persian prayers around a fire, that the authorities banned them in 2019.

The clerics see Sufism, or mystical Islam, as a bigger threat. Long targeted by the government with harassment and arbitrary arrests, Sufis protested in 2018. Five members of the security forces were killed; over 300 Sufis were arrested. Noor Ali Tabandeh, leader of the Gonabadis, the most popular Sufi order, was then placed under house arrest until his death in December 2019. But Gonabadi mystics say their retreats attract a growing number of Iranians.

Iran’s Sunni population is also growing, in part due to high birth rates. They are thought to be 10% of the population and live mostly on the country’s periphery. The authorities want to keep it that way. They have demolished all Sunni mosques in the capital, Tehran. Still, every Friday thousands of Sunnis spill out of large villas in Tehran which Sunnis use as prayer halls.

Millions more have joined Islam’s other offshoots, such as the Yarsanis, who follow the teachings of a 14th-century holy man, and the Bahais, who follow those of a 19th-century prophet. Their universalism and rites incorporating music, dancing and the mixing of the sexes draw many seeking a respite from the theocracy founded by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who reportedly said, “There is no fun in Islam.”

Many Christian converts like the fact that women may take part in services alongside men. Some draw parallels between the martyrdom of Shia imams and Christ. But some new members of Iran’s minority religions may also be attracted by certain non-spiritual benefits. For example, they can apply for refugee status in America as persecuted minorities, usually leading to quicker approval.

President Hassan Rouhani unveiled a citizen’s charter in 2016 that promised to end religious discrimination. But it wasn’t binding. The ruling clerics still seem to think that theocracy is best protected by persecution. As a result, they may be turning Iran into a less Shia state.
First India and now Pakistan?
General Discussion / Meaning of "thing"
« Last post by Zaidi Madhab on February 18, 2021, 12:34:15 AM »
In Qur'an the word shayin is translated to thing.
In English "thing" can mean a material object or even a more abstract meaning such as an idea or thought.
My question is the word "shayin" is that just for material thing or can it also extend to abstract concepts or does Arabic have a different word for thought and ideas which is exclusive i
Of "thing"
I don't speak any Arabic so please keep it simple
General Sunni-Shia / Re: Ana Zaydi
« Last post by Zaidi Madhab on February 17, 2021, 02:32:32 PM »

"When I left Rafidism, Zaydism appealed to me. I liked how Zaydi Islam felt like a middle ground. Unfortunately, there is little information available on the internet. Although I'm happy as a Sunni, I hope to someday research early Zaydism."

I also left 12er
I've developed a website to help propogate zaidi works in English
It might be of interest to you.
General Sunni-Shia / The Pakistani government comes to the defence of Yasser Al-Habib...
« Last post by Adil on February 17, 2021, 12:50:17 AM »

Recently the pakistani government has banned some youtube videos from the country. From looking at the titles, two of these videos include a video which was against the vile human being Yasser Al-Habib and another video refutes the fairytale that Umar (ra) attacked Fatima (ra). Who the heck is running this operation? Do they want Pakistanis to like Yassir Al-Habib and hate noble sahaba like Umar (ra) and spread fairy tale stories?

Certain twelver shia scholars like to pretend that they are supposed to be "moderate" while only their opponent, the "takfiri-wahhabis" are extremists;
Quran-Tafseer / Learn Quran Onlline
« Last post by Mishary Alafasy on January 26, 2021, 10:45:59 AM »
Assalam o Alaikum Wa Rhmatullah Wa barakatu
My questions to all brothers and sisters of Sunni & Shia.
Learning the Quran is essentials for all Muslims, so in past, we learned it from our Mosques and Muddarasas near to the house. Now the world has changed to Globalize and people are moving to other countries especially Europe and America. So only learning the Quran online possible in some places.
Now anyone who wants to learn it with translations & Tafseer, then should he or she can learn with both schools of thought? As I think both have different Tafseer and translations of some verses.
Please guide me regarding this. Jazak Allah
Ex-Shias / Re: Ex-Shia - 10 reasons that made me Leave Shiism
« Last post by Strange Truths on January 16, 2021, 03:16:52 AM »
can I contact u somewhere?

10 reasons that made  me Leave Shiism

1. Imamah

2. Infalliblity

3. Imams better than Prophets wich made me shocked

4. The Angel Jibril Revealed or something like that Mushaf, Fatimah (as) Mushaf Caliph Ali (as)

5. Imams can predict future or predict the coming signs

6. Imams know when they die

7. And Quran we have today is Caliph Uthman's (Ra) and not the same wich was revealed to the Prophet (saws) or its missing verses

8. Belief in the Shia Mahdi

9. Caliph Umar (as) killing Fatimah (as) and burning her house wich is a big JOKE wich doesnt make sense At ALL

10. Divine Appointment Of Caliph Ali (as) and the 11 Imams

Edited by Admin.
Reason: Corrected the thread title

Interesting talk!
General Sunni-Shia / Re: Reasons for the Occultation of Imam Mahdi (A.S.)
« Last post by Rationalist on January 09, 2021, 06:55:37 PM »
Reasons for the Occultation of Imam Mahdi (A.S.)
1. Free from Allegiance of Every Tyrant
Amirul Momineen Alt (A.S.) said,
"Certainly', when the Qaem from among us shall arise, he will not have the allegience of any one upon his neck. It is for this reason that his birth is secret and his person is in Ghaibat."
(Kamaaluddin Vol.1. Pg.303)
It must be mentioned that all of our Imams had to pledge allegience to every tyrant ruler except for a short period during the rule of Umar ibne Abdul Aziz. This was because, on the face of it, it would seem that they are not against the ruler, In this way they could protect Islam. In the absence of popular support, the Imams were left alone and thus they entered into an understanding with the rulers. Thus even Imam Husain (A.S.) for a particular period did not find it necessary to revolt against the regime of Muawiya.
In this regard Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) says:
"Verily each of my ancestors had the oath of allegience, upon their necks, of their contemporary tyrant rulers. But I will reappear at such a time that I will not have any tyrant's allegience upon my neck."
(Ghaibat Tusi Pg.292, Kamaaluddin VoL2. Pg.485)
2. Test Of The People
Imam al Kazim (A.S.) said,
"My son ! when the fifth descendant of the seventh of the Imams is not visible to you ! It is when Allah will test your belief. Ghaibat is inevitable for the Master of this affair. Till the time when the religion is completely transformed, and only a few people will have belief in him. My son ! That Ghaibat, It is a
trial through which Allah, the Almighty tests His servants."
(Ghaibat-e-Toosi Pg.166 & 337. Al Kafi vol.1 Pg.336. Kamaaluddin vol.2 Pg.359 and 360. Kifayatul Asar Pg.264-265)
3. Fear of the Enemy
Imam Musa al-Kazim (A.S.) said,
"The Qaem is the one who will purify the earth from the enemies of Allah, the High and the Mighty. And he will fill the earth will justice and equity just as it is filled with injustice and tyranny. He is the fifth of my descendants. He will go into occultation due to the fear of his own (life)."
(Kamaaluddin vol.2 Pg.361. Kifayatul Asar Pg.265-266)
According to common sense it is necessary for man not to throw away his precious life without a legitimate aim. Thus, the prophets (A.S.) and the Imams (A.S.) have taught the people that it is their duty to protect their life under every circumstance and should never put their life in danger. Therefore it is the duty of the last of these exalted personalities to protect himself till the time of his reappearance when he will establish the new world order.
4. Weakness and Lack of Co-operation of the People.
Imam Mahdi (A.S.) said.
"If our shias; may Allah help them in His obedience; would have fulfilled their covenant with united hearts then there would have. been no delay in our meeting, and they would have been blessed with our visitation at the earliest, along with the recognition of truth and confirmation of our rights."
(Al Ihtejaj vol.2 Pg.602)

Also here are some more ahadith from Bihar al Anwar which state the same reasons.

Ghaibat Nomani:
It is narrated from Ahmad bin Idris from Ibne Qutaibahfrom Ibne Shazan from Ahmad bin Abi Nasr Bazanti that he said: Imam Musa Kazim(a.s.) said:
“By Allah, that to which you look forward to, will not come about exceptafter you are distinguished and you are subjected to a test till except for a few,none of you Shia will remain… then he recited the following verses:
“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 anyone asan adherent besides Allah and His Apostle and the believers…” (SurahTaubah 9:16)

Shaykh Saduq  has narrated from his father from Himyari from his chains of narrators directly from Ali bin Yaqtin that he said:

I asked Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.): “How come the predictions about youare never fulfilled whereas all the predictions about your opponents are fulfilled?”He said: “The predictions about our enemies, since they are true they are fulfilled. And with regard to us it is not predictions; on the contrary they are your aspirations and hopes. Thus their result is obvious.”   
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