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Islam in a nutshell

Meeting 1

abstract
The Islamic Greeting
Assalamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahé Wa Barakatoh
Salaam is one of the divine attributes & names of God the Almighty, meaning the source of peace.

Salaam is also one of the names of Paradise

Dar As Salaam – the place of peace and tranquility.

The Islamic greeting “Peace be upon you” means that you are offering the person you are meeting, peace not harm.

This greeting is the most important amongst Muslims and comes before anything else.

What is Islam and What is a Muslim?
The literal meaning of ‘Islam`- Submission to God and is therefore the name of the religion.

A ‘Muslim` is a believer of Islam and a follower of its doctrines.

The term “Mohammedan” is not a title for a follower of Islam.
Islam is not the religion of Prophet Mohammed as Mohammad was not the founder of Islam, as Moses was not the founder of Judaism and Jesus was not the founder of Christianity. All previous prophets too, were only messengers of God.

From the Islamic perspective, all prophets before Mohammad were preaching the religion of Islam , in the sense of absolute submission to the will of God.

The name “Islam” was not given until the seal of the Prophets, Mohammad, had delivered the whole package of divine revelation completed and perfected.

How Does One Become a Muslim?
Firstly one should bear witness that “There is no god but Allah”. Care must be taken to be aware that it is not the name being worshipped – the important issue is that we are worshipping only one God (Monotheism), the concept of the unity of God . Allah is the Arabic term for God, just as Khodah is in Persian and Urdu and God is in English.

Secondly one should bear witness that Mohammad is the last and seal of the Prophets sent to mankind.

One cannot call himself a Muslim without fully believing in these two concepts.

What are the Major Doctrines of Islam?
The bedrock of Islam stands on two main principles:

Theory – a Muslim should have faith and believe in God, the Hereafter and Prophethood.

Practice – Righteous Deeds; now that the Muslim believes in the theoretical aspects, this belief should have some impact on his daily life in terms of his relationship with God and fellow humans, i.e., worshipping, doing good deeds etc.

Faith in Islam
Generally speaking, theoretical aspects are the fundamentals of Islam and form the trunk of the tree, whilst the practical aspects of the religion develop into the tree`s branches.

Belief in Islam must be through one`s own independent research. Islam is not a religion where faith is based on inheritance.

Fundamentals of Islam
· Belief in the Existence of One and Only One God (Monotheism) , Monotheism or the unity of God is the most fundamental concept in Islam. It means God cannot be compared or likened to any other thing or being in our universe. He does not beget nor is he begotten. He has no limits nor does he have any human image. He is The Creator, The Source of Life and One is His essence.

· Belief in the Hereafter including:

a. The Day of Great Judgment
b. Hell
c. Heaven

Muslims believe that their existence continues after death. Death is nothing more than a transition from one type of life, which is lower, to another. Approximately one third of the Holy Quran is dedicated to life after death and the Hereafter.

· Belief that God due to His absolute mercy has sent Prophets as messengers from among human kind to guide us on the Right Path. Our life is a one-way journey, which requires guidance and direction towards our destination.

It is important to note that Muslims do not distinguish between the different prophets. Muslims believe in all as mentioned in the Old Testament, New Testament and the Final Testament (the Holy Quran), the most heard about being Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jacob, Jesus, with Mohammad, being the final prophet.

Prophets themselves would not, if all on earth at the same time contradict each other in anyway. Each successive prophet confirmed the message of his predecessor and gave more of the same message until the final prophet, Mohammad, completed it.

· Belief in the Justice of God . God is just, most compassionate, most merciful. Muslims believe that He is not unfair to people, and whatever outcomes people experience are due to their own good and bad actions and deeds.

· Belief in Successors of the Prophets . Muslims believe that some prophets appointed infallible successors to carry on with their teachings, thus safeguarding the religion. This is known as Imamate.

Practical Aspects of Islam
There are 10 branches a Muslim must believe in practice:

1. Al-Salaat Daily Prayers
2. Al-Saum Fasting in the holy month of Ramadan
3. Az Zakaat Alms or charity giving
4. Al Khums 20% Annual Savings
5. Al Hajj Compulsory Pilgrimage to Mecca
6. Al Jihad Holy War-Defence of Islam & Muslims
7. Amr bil Ma`roof Enjoining what is good
8. Nahy an al Munkar Forbidding what is evil
9. At-Tawalli Loving those God loves
10. At-Tabarri Disliking those God dislikes

Sources of Islamic Knowledge
Holy Quran – which literally means the book of reading and recitation. Very first and main source, The very first words revealed to the Holy Prophet were “Iqra” which means, “read”, “recite”. Muslims must recite the words of this book in order to learn lessons from it. All Muslims, regardless of sect are unanimous that the Quran is the word of God.

Sunna – Second main source is the words of the Holy Prophet to deduct any Islamic thought and or issues.

Sunni /Shia Issues
Despite so many similarities all Muslims have about the concept of God, Day of Judgement, prophethood, praying to one God and praying in a unified direction (Qibla), there are differences, mainly practical, which create the two main schools of thought known as Sunni and Shia.

Sunni – followers of traditions of the Prophet as well as the three main caliphs after him, who take jurisprudential issues from leaders they follow. Sunnis follow the traditions of the Prophet not as taught by the Household of the Prophet but through teachings of the Khalifs.

Shia – means follower. They follow the traditions of the Prophet and his successors, being the 12 Imams from his household.

Outline of Introduction to Islamic Studies Course I
Importance of Knowledge from the Islamic Perspective
Sources of Knowledge – the Holy Quran, The Sunnah, The Traditions
Taking a tour, Glancing at the Islamic Sciences, in terms of:
Studying the Holy Quran
Jurisprudence
Islamic Philosophy
Islamic Theosophy

Meeting 2

1) Is there any external world around us or is it all a dream?
2) If yes, how possible is it for us to know the world?
(possibility of knowledge)
3) If yes, what are the sources of knowledge?
4) What are the tools of knowing?
5) What can reinforce the ground of knowledge in man,& what will prevent him/her from doing that?
(predisposing factors & obstructive factors)

The above questions are the first primary questions budding in the minds of all seekers for Truth, dealing with which is the purpose of this crash course.

Regarding the first question, there are two schools in Philosophy: Idealism (Sophism), and Realism.

The easiest answer to Sophists is to tell them that when they are hungry or thirsty, they should not worry about their stomachs since it’s a mere dream. Or tell them not to care for the signals at a traffic light when they are crossing the road, for no real accident occurs in a dream. In fact, all Idealists are Realists in practice; otherwise, they are suffering from a mental disease.

The Holy Quran in many different Ayat proves this world as external reality and introduces it as the Sign of Allah (s.w.t).

No Boundary for Knowledge:
Providing the Importance of Knowledge with four noble Hadiths:
1. “ Striving for knowledge is compulsory for each & every
Muslim.” (no gender limit)
2. “ Strive for knowledge from cradle to the grave .”(no time limit)
3. “Strive for knowledge even in China .” (no space limit)
4. “ Wisdom is the lost property of a Muslim, hence collect it from whoever you find it with, even a hypocrite.”
(no teacher limit )

Types of Seekers of Knowledge:
1.Ant: one who collects data without ever giving a unifying structure to them.
2. Spider: spins out
ones ideas in solitude.
3. Bee: spins ideas but not only
it’s own, rather societal and community aspect with sharing and evaluating all the data.
The third is the true type and way of seeking knowledge.
The Holy Quran &
Knowledge : (40 Points)
1 . Necessity of learning. (“E’lamoo” 27 times)
2. Repeatedly blame on forsakers of knowledge.(e.g.6:50, 2:219, 7:176)
3 . Emphasis on education. (e.g. 9:122 )
4 . Knowledge, the goal of creation. (65:12)
5 . Education, the goal of all the prophets’ missions. (2:151)
6 . Reflection, the goal of the descending of the Quran. (e.g.38:29)
7 . Insight, the goal of the Prophet’s ascension. (e.g.17:1)
8 . ‘Read’, the first word of Allah in Islam. (96:1-5)
9 . Knowledge, is light & brightness. (13:16)
10 . ‘The Learned’ only know the secret of the universe. (e.g. 30:22)
11 . ‘Allah’, the first teacher. (2:31)
12 . Knowledge, human’s privilege. (2:33)
13 . The more you know, the closer to God. (58:11)
14 . ‘Prophets’ were seeking more knowledge. (e.g.20:114)
15 . ‘Knowledge’ man’s salvation key. (e.g.34:46)
16 . Knowledge is a pride. (27:15-16)
17. Knowledge, the main condition of leadership.(eg.12:55)
18 . Knowledge, the spring of faith. (e.g.34:6)
19 . Knowledge, the spring of piety. (e.g.35:28)
20 . Knowledge, the spring of Zohd (type of self-control). (28:80)
21 . Knowledge, the spring of technological achievement. (28:78)
22 . Knowledge is might. (27:40)
23 . Knowledge is the spring of purification. (e.g.2:129)
24 . Knowledge is the spring of patience. (e.g.18:68)
25. Knowledge, an abundant benefit. (2:269)
26 . The hellish are the ignorant. (7:179)
27 . Ignorance is the source of declination. (8:22)
28 . Ignorance is blindness. (13:19)
29 . Living with ignorance is the lowest level of life. (22:5)
30 . Ignorance is the source of blasphemy (Kofr). (e.g.7:138)
31 . Ignorance the main reason of failure. (8:65)
32 . Ignorance is the source of publicizing corruption. (e.g.27:55)
33 . Ignorance is the source of prejudice & stubbornness. (48:26)
34 . Ignorance is the source of seeking excuses. (e.g.2:118)
35 . Ignorance is the main reason of blindly mimicking.(21:52-54)
36 . Ignorance is the main reason for disunity and conflicts. (59:14)
37 . Ignorance is the main reason for pessimism. (3:154)
38 . Ignorance is the source of rudeness. (49:4)
39 . Ignorance is the main reason for social disasters & regret. (49:6)
40. Ignorance changes true evaluation. (2:216)

The Main Sources of Knowledge in Islam- Meeting 3

There are five sources of knowledge acknowledged in Islam.

1. Sense Experience
To obtain knowledge by the senses through experience.
The Holy Quran recognises the five external senses as one of the elementary sources of human knowledge. The entire universe, from the simplest species to the huge and astonishing galaxies are named in the Quran as Signs of Allah , and hence it draws the attention of people to know the universe and discover its secrets as a means of knowing God.

The most important subject in Islam is the issue of monotheism, and the best proof to that is the ‘ principle of the order of the world` , and the best source of this principle is sense, observation and experience. Therefore, experience is undoubtedly a source of human knowledge in Islam. However, Islam whilst recognising this source of knowledge disagrees with the doctrine of Empiricism, which legitimise the external senses as the one and only source of human knowledge.

2. Reasoning
Reasoning is another true source of human knowledge recognised by Islam, in which, different aspects of human nature are paid attention to, and believed to be different sources of human knowledge. True reasoning is acknowledged in Islam as the best capital of mankind. Numerous Ayat and Ahadith admire this great blessing of God to the extent that it is introduced as an inner prophet for each and very human being.

3. Innate & Instinct
Innate knowledge is also another true source of knowledge recognised in Islam. There are some types of elementary knowledge that all humans know when they are born, without learning from any other person. We all know that ‘Justice is good and injustice is bad`, ‘Beauty is pleasurable`, ‘there is a transcendental being called God`, etc. This type of knowledge that all human beings are born with, and is a base for other sorts of knowledge, is in Islam called Innate Knowledge.

Branches of Innate Knowledge :
1. Understanding Good & Evil (Moral Conscious):
All humans instinctively know most of the moral do`s and don`ts. We all know without being taught that righteousness, justice, forgiveness and honesty are good on the one hand, and injustice, jealousy, revenge, lying and treachery are evil, on the other. (When you lie, your conscious of guilt will hurt you, if you are a healthy human.)

2. Understanding Self-Evident Knowledge : Man`s knowledge is divided into two parts: Self-Evident and Theoretical. The first is a foundation for the latter. The easiest example could be sighted in mathematics. Theorems such as ‘Total is bigger than each one of its parts`, ‘combination of two contradictory objects is impossible`, need no proof and are acknowledged by all humans after quick attention.

3. Transcendental Belief : Believing in God, as a transcendental being is an innate knowledge of all humans. Belief in a Holy Source is found common in all periods of mankind`s history. The best proof for that is when you are in an extremely dangerous situation, and unconsciously seek the help of a transcendental power to save you.

4. The Court of Conscious : There is a court of conscious inside all humans, that, when we do something good we feel happy and satisfied, whereas, after committing a immoral action we feel our conscious of guilt hurting us. Committing suicide, paranoia, and similar decisions are the result of the conscious of guilt.

4. Intuitive Knowledge
Many people may not know of this source of knowledge. In fact, on principle there are two types of beings in the world: one, which is understandable with our external senses, and the other, which is hidden from the senses.

Human beings have been given the talent of exploring invisible worlds and gaining some sort of knowledge through certain exercises. This type of knowledge is called intuitive knowledge. The most common and understandable example is real dreams that many of us have experienced at least once in our lifetime. In any case, this source of knowledge is also acknowledged in Islam although it is not open to everyone and is not a common source to all people.

5. Revelation
Revelation, in the religious sense, is an insight into divine reality. Revelations may take various forms such as visions, inner voices, or a combination of these (for example, Moses` experience at the burning bush, or Prophet Mohammed`s revelations, which he said were sometimes like the ringing of a bell that later resolved itself into words). In the Judo-Christian tradition, especially, revelations may be historical events that are understood to yield an interpretation of history as a whole (eg, Israel `s deliverance from Egypt and the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ).

Revelations in the religious sense are encounters in which God discloses truths, to His selective people called Prophets, that would otherwise be unknowable. As Muslims, we believe that the Holy Quran was dictated verbatim to Prophet Mohammad (saww). We also hold with no single doubt that the Quran is the only existing Words of God , which has not and will not ever be altered. Judaism and Christianity also hold their holy book, the BIBLE, was divinely inspired, although most modern Theologians interpret its propositions as deriving from, rather than constituting, revelation (the contents of the latter being understood as a fundamental experience of the divine rather than as a series of verbal statements). Among Christians, Protestants believe that the Bible, with latitude of interpretation, is the sole source of revelation, whereas Roman Catholics and Orthodox find the authority of revelation in apostolic traditions as well. [5] Basically, revelation is the most important source of knowledge in all divine religions, since this is a boundless divine source, whereas the rest belong to man with all its limits and deficiencies. If other sources of knowledge are rays of light, revelation is the world – illuminating sun.

The simile of the cave suggested by Plato is the best explanation of revelation and exploration of types of reality which are beyond man`s sources of knowledge.

THE SIMILE OF THE CAVE

This is a more graphic presentation of the truths presented in the analogy of the Line; in particular, it tells us more about the two states of mind called in the Line analogy Belief and Illusion. We are shown the ascent of the mind from illusion to pure philosophy, and the difficulties, which accompany its progress. And the philosopher, when he has achieved the supreme vision, is required to return to the cave and serve his fellows, his very unwillingness to do so being his chief qualifications.

As Cornford pointed out, the best way to understand the simile is to replace ‘the clumsier apparatus` of the cave by the cinema. It is the moral and intellectual condition of the average man from which Plato starts; and though clearly the ordinary man knows the difference between substance and shadow in the physical world, the simile suggests that his moral and intellectual opinions often bear as little relation to the truth as the average film does to real life.

 

I want you to go on to picture the enlightenment or ignorance of our human conditions somewhat as follows. Imagine an underground chamber, like a cave with an entrance open to the daylight and running a long way underground. In this chamber are men who have been prisoners there since they were children, their legs and necks being so fastened that they can only look straight ahead of them and cannot turn their heads. Behind them and above them a fire is burning, and between the fire and the prisoners runs a road, in front of which a curtain-wall has been built, like the screen on puppet shows between the operators and their audience, above which they show the puppets`.

‘I see.`

‘Imagine further that there are men carrying all sorts of gear along behind the curtain-wall, including figures of men and animals made of wood and stone and other materials, and that some of these men, as is natural, are talking and some not.`

‘An odd picture and an odd sort of prisoner.`

‘They are drawn from life,` I replied. ‘For, tell me, do you think our prisoners could see anything of themselves or their fellows except the shadows thrown by the fire on the wall of the cave opposite them?`

‘How could they see anything else if they were prevented from moving their heads all their lives?`

‘And would they see anything more of the objects carried along the road?`

‘Of course not.`

‘Then if they were able to talk to each other, would they not assume that the shadows they saw were real things?`

‘Inevitably`.

‘And if the wall of their prison opposite them reflected sound, don`t you think that they would suppose, whenever one of the passers-by on the road spoke, that the voice belonged to the shadow passing before them?`

‘They would be bound to think so.`

‘And so they would believe that the shadows of the objects we mentioned were in all respects real?`

‘Yes, inevitably.`

‘Then think what would naturally happen to them if they were released from their bonds and cured of their delusions. Suppose one of them were let loose, and suddenly compelled to stand up and turn his head and look and walk towards the fire, all these actions would be painful and he would be too puzzled to see properly the objects of which he used to see the shadows. So if he was told that what he used to see was mere illusion and that he was now nearer reality and seeing more correctly, because he was turned towards objects that were more real, and if on top of that he were compelled to say what each of the passing objects was when it was pointed out to him, don`t you think he would be at a loss, and think that what he used to see was more real than the objects now being pointed out to him?`

‘Much more real.`

‘And if he were made to look directly at the light of the fire, it would hurt his eyes and he would turn back and take refuge in the things which he could see, which he would think really far clearer than the things being shown him.`

‘Yes.`

‘And if,` I went on, ‘he were forcibly dragged up the steep and rocky ascent and not let go till he had been dragged out into the sunlight, the process would be a painful one, to which he would much object, and when he emerged into the light his eyes would be so overwhelmed by the brightness of it that he wouldn`t be able to see a single one of the things he was now told were real.`

Certainly not at first,` he agreed.`

‘Because he would need to grow accustomed to the light before he could see things in the world outside the cave. First he would find it easiest to look at shadows, next at the reflections of men and other objects in water, and later on at the objects themselves. After that he would find it easier to observe the heavenly bodies and the sky at night than by day, and to look at the light of the moon and stars, rather than at the sun and its light.`

‘Of course.`

‘The thing he would be able to do last would be to look directly at the sun, and observe its nature without using reflections in water or any other medium, but just as it is.`

‘That must come last.`

‘Later on he would come to the conclusion that it is the sun that produces the changing seasons and years and controls everything in the visible world, and is in a sense responsible for everything that he and his fellow-prisoners used to see.`

‘That is the conclusion which he would obviously reach.`

‘And when he thought of his first home and what passed for wisdom there, and of his fellow-prisoners, don`t you think he would congratulate himself on his good fortune and be sorry for them?`

‘Very much so.`

‘There was probably a certain amount of honour and glory to be won among the prisoners, and prizes for keen-sightedness for anyone who could remember the order of sequence among the passing shadows and so be best able to predict their future appearances. Will our released prisoner hanker after these prizes or envy this power or honour? Won`t he be more likely to feel, as Homer says, that he would far rather be “a serf in the house of a landless man”, or indeed anything else in the world, than live and think as they do?`

‘Yes,` he replied, ‘he would prefer anything to a life like theirs.`

‘Then what do you think would happen,` I asked, ‘if he went back to sit in his old seat in the cave? Wouldn`t his eyes be blinded by the darkness, because he had come in suddenly out of the daylight?`

‘Certainly.`

‘And if he had to discriminate between the shadows, in competition with the other prisoners, while he was still blinded and before his eyes got used to the darkness – a process that might take some time – wouldn`t he be likely to make a fool of himself? And they would say that his visit to the upper world had ruined his sight, and that the ascent was not worth even attempting. And if anyone tried to release them and lead them up, they would kill him if they could lay hands on him.`

‘They certainly would.`

‘Now, my dear Glaucon,` I went on, ‘this simile must be connected, throughout, with what preceded it.

For instance see: (50:6), (7:185), (88:17-20), (30:50), (86:5-6), (80:24-28), (26:7),
(41:53) and (16:78).

For instance see: (2:242), (3:190), (16:78), (50:36-37), (6:50), (2:154), (7:201),
(31:34). It is recorded from the Prophet (saww) to have said: “The one with no
reasoning is the one with no faith.”

For instance see: (91:7-8), (21:64), (31:25), (29:65), (2:138), (55:3-4), (96:5), (30:30).

For instance see: (6:75), (9:105), (53:11-14), (102:5-6), (25:22), (8:48), (12:94), (19:17). It is recorded from the Prophet (saww) to have said: “Had it not been your overindulging in speech and the freedom of your mind in committing sins, you would have observed what I see, and would have heard what I hear.”

For further information see: Dulles, A., Models of Revelation (1983; repr. 1985); Gans, E., Science and Faith (1990); Mavrodes, G. I., Revelation in Religious Belief (1988); Moran, Gabriel, Theology of Revelation (1966); Niebuhr, Richard, The Meaning of Revelation (1967; repr. 1983);

The Simile of the Cave: Plato-The Republic Book VII

Meeting 4

The Main Source

abstract

Ten facts about the Holy Quran
1. The word ‘Quran`
The word Quran literally means ‘recital` a word with which the revelation began. Allah (swt) gives the name Quran to this Book in different sentences of the Book itself. The Holy Quran is the main source in Islam and the eternal miracle of the Prophet of Islam (saww).

2 & 3. The Author of the Quran, and the time it was compiled:
This divine Book is the actual words of God, revealed to Prophet Mohammad (saww) over the last 23 years of his life, which coincided with his prophetic mission. The Holy Quran is the collection of 114 chapters called Surah (meaning Section), which consists of 6205 sentences called Ayat (meaning Signs) .

The Holy Prophet (saww) had some secretaries known as the Scribes of Revelation , whose duty was to write down the Ayat, which were revealed, to the prophet under his supervision. Therefore, the Holy Quran as it is at our hand today, was compiled during the time of the Prophet (saww). However, there is a general belief that the standard text of the Quran was adopted during the reign of Uthman (644-56). This general belief was injected in Islam through some fabricated Hadiths and blown up by Orientalists. Yet, there are many reasons rejecting this idea. Firstly, the Quran is called ‘Book` in many Ayat, which implies its compilation. Secondly, the first Surah in the Quran is called, since the time of the Prophet, Surat-ul-Fatiha (Chapter of the Beginning). Thirdly, in so many Ahadith it is quoted from the Prophet that he ordered Imam Ali to compile all the skins and papers on which the scriptures were written, on one cloth and seal it. And finally, Allah (swt) in the Quran (ch.75:17) has promised that He is looking after the compilation of the Quran so that it will not follow the same destiny of the previous scriptures. However, what was done during the reign of Uthman was the uniting of the accent of recitation of the Quran according to the accent of the tribe of the Prophet, i.e. Qoraysh. Also, what Imam Ali narrates regarding the compilation of the Quran after the Prophet`s death, was the compilation of the Quran with the interpretation he had heard and read by the dictation of the Prophet.

4. Proofs on the Truth and Authenticity of the Holy Quran “ It is Allah who has sent down the Book in truth and the balance .”(42:17)

4/1: The Quran was already introduced and its appearance was predicted by the previous scriptures. (26:192-197) Despite the disastrous human interference in the holy writings of the Torah and the Gospel, the scriptures still contain a goodly portion which can lead those who truly believe in the Bible to Islam, as the two Christian tribes of Ous and Khazrage converted to Islam in the appearance of Islam due to signs they found in their scriptures for Mohammed (saww). As an example, just compare Deuteronomy 18:15, 17-19; John 12:49; 16:12-14; with the Holy Quran 73:15.

4/2: Lack of Contradiction: “ Do they not consider the Quran (with care) ? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy. ” (4:82)

Lack of contradiction or discrepancy as Quran states from a Book, which is compiled throughout 23 years, by an illiterate man, is a living sign of being the true word of God. Whereas, the present copies of the previous Scriptures contradict themselves in many instances.

4/3: Confirming the previous Scriptures in general:

“ This is a Book which we have sent down, bringing blessings, and confirming (the revelations) which came before it .” (6:92)

Of the proofs for the truth of the Quran as the word of God is that it stands alongside the previous Scriptures acknowledging them in general, and correcting their altered stories which distinguish it from man made books such as Veda and Tripitaka.

4/4: Such abundant knowledge from an illiterate man?! “And you were not able to recite a book before this, nor are you able to transcribe it with your right hand. In that case, indeed, would the talkers of vanities have doubted.” (29:48)

Historically, there is no dispute that Prophet Mohammad (saww) never had a teacher and hence he was not able to read or write. In fact, the number of literate people in the Arabian Peninsula at that time was so few that they were well known to everybody and Mohammad was not among them. Therefore, one should ask himself, how can an illiterate person utter such a variety of abundant knowledge?

4/5: Thinkers acknowledge the truth of the Quran:

“ Nay, here are Signs self-evident in the hearts of those who are endowed with knowledge, and none but the unjust rejects our Signs.” (29:49)

As the study of cosmos, being a natural sign, leads man to acknowledge the reality of the world and that there is a creator behind this astonishing system, the study of the Divine Signs of the Quran is the best proof for those who carefully and with no pre-assumption study it.

5. The Miracle of the Quran
All prophets raised by Allah were endowed with a kind of extraordinary power by means of which they worked one or more miracles to prove the truth and divinity of their messages and missions. The Holy Quran is the everlasting miracle of the Prophet of Islam. The Holy Quran is a Book beyond the thinking of mankind. It is unique in its style. It is neither poetry nor prose. The history of Arabic literature has never seen such a great Book, which stands on the peak of eloquence. Therefore, the Quran in four different Ayat is inviting all mankind as well as other creatures, irrespective of time and place, to a challenge of producing something like unto the Quran.

Of the miracle of the Quran is its comprehensiveness. The Quran does not belong to a particular group of people, age or gender. The Quran is introducing itself with the two titles of ‘truth` and ‘balance` (42:17). Truth is a term, which covers all types of knowledge and beliefs, which are in harmony with the natural and social desire of human beings. Balance is the scale of evaluating the authenticity and truthfulness of everything. Such a Book, which is, always the true balance for everything else cannot be made by an illiterate person being from one of the most backward nations.

For instance see: 15:1, 36:69, 9:111, 4:82, 6:19, 2:185, 85:21.

For instance see: 5:15, 6:92, 6:155, 11:1, 41:3.

Al-Itqaan, J.Soyooti, vol.1 p.99; Beharul-Anwaar, M. Majlisi, vol.19 p.11

For instance have a look at the creation story and compare Gen 1:11-13, 20-23, 26-27; with Gen 2:7, 9, 19, 21-22). Also compare the last words of Christ in the Gospels. Also The New Testament quotes the Old one dozens of times and hardly a single quote is accurate. For example compare matt 27:46 with Luke 23:46 and John 19:30

They were 17 people in Mecca .

See : 17:88, 52:34, 2:23, 11:13.

Meeting 5

The Main Source

abstract

Ten facts about the Holy Quran
1. The word ‘Quran`
The word Quran literally means ‘recital` a word with which the revelation began. Allah (swt) gives the name Quran to this Book in different sentences of the Book itself. The Holy Quran is the main source in Islam and the eternal miracle of the Prophet of Islam (saww).

2 & 3. The Author of the Quran, and the time it was compiled:
This divine Book is the actual words of God, revealed to Prophet Mohammad (saww) over the last 23 years of his life, which coincided with his prophetic mission. The Holy Quran is the collection of 114 chapters called Surah (meaning Section), which consists of 6205 sentences called Ayat (meaning Signs) .

The Holy Prophet (saww) had some secretaries known as the Scribes of Revelation , whose duty was to write down the Ayat, which were revealed, to the prophet under his supervision. Therefore, the Holy Quran as it is at our hand today, was compiled during the time of the Prophet (saww). However, there is a general belief that the standard text of the Quran was adopted during the reign of Uthman (644-56). This general belief was injected in Islam through some fabricated Hadiths and blown up by Orientalists. Yet, there are many reasons rejecting this idea. Firstly, the Quran is called ‘Book` in many Ayat, which implies its compilation. Secondly, the first Surah in the Quran is called, since the time of the Prophet, Surat-ul-Fatiha (Chapter of the Beginning). Thirdly, in so many Ahadith it is quoted from the Prophet that he ordered Imam Ali to compile all the skins and papers on which the scriptures were written, on one cloth and seal it. And finally, Allah (swt) in the Quran (ch.75:17) has promised that He is looking after the compilation of the Quran so that it will not follow the same destiny of the previous scriptures. However, what was done during the reign of Uthman was the uniting of the accent of recitation of the Quran according to the accent of the tribe of the Prophet, i.e. Qoraysh. Also, what Imam Ali narrates regarding the compilation of the Quran after the Prophet`s death, was the compilation of the Quran with the interpretation he had heard and read by the dictation of the Prophet.

4. Proofs on the Truth and Authenticity of the Holy Quran “ It is Allah who has sent down the Book in truth and the balance .”(42:17)

4/1: The Quran was already introduced and its appearance was predicted by the previous scriptures. (26:192-197) Despite the disastrous human interference in the holy writings of the Torah and the Gospel, the scriptures still contain a goodly portion which can lead those who truly believe in the Bible to Islam, as the two Christian tribes of Ous and Khazrage converted to Islam in the appearance of Islam due to signs they found in their scriptures for Mohammed (saww). As an example, just compare Deuteronomy 18:15, 17-19; John 12:49; 16:12-14; with the Holy Quran 73:15.

4/2: Lack of Contradiction: “ Do they not consider the Quran (with care) ? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy. ” (4:82)

Lack of contradiction or discrepancy as Quran states from a Book, which is compiled throughout 23 years, by an illiterate man, is a living sign of being the true word of God. Whereas, the present copies of the previous Scriptures contradict themselves in many instances.

4/3: Confirming the previous Scriptures in general:

“ This is a Book which we have sent down, bringing blessings, and confirming (the revelations) which came before it .” (6:92)

Of the proofs for the truth of the Quran as the word of God is that it stands alongside the previous Scriptures acknowledging them in general, and correcting their altered stories which distinguish it from man made books such as Veda and Tripitaka.

4/4: Such abundant knowledge from an illiterate man?! “And you were not able to recite a book before this, nor are you able to transcribe it with your right hand. In that case, indeed, would the talkers of vanities have doubted.” (29:48)

Historically, there is no dispute that Prophet Mohammad (saww) never had a teacher and hence he was not able to read or write. In fact, the number of literate people in the Arabian Peninsula at that time was so few that they were well known to everybody and Mohammad was not among them. Therefore, one should ask himself, how can an illiterate person utter such a variety of abundant knowledge?

4/5: Thinkers acknowledge the truth of the Quran:

“ Nay, here are Signs self-evident in the hearts of those who are endowed with knowledge, and none but the unjust rejects our Signs.” (29:49)

As the study of cosmos, being a natural sign, leads man to acknowledge the reality of the world and that there is a creator behind this astonishing system, the study of the Divine Signs of the Quran is the best proof for those who carefully and with no pre-assumption study it.

5. The Miracle of the Quran
All prophets raised by Allah were endowed with a kind of extraordinary power by means of which they worked one or more miracles to prove the truth and divinity of their messages and missions. The Holy Quran is the everlasting miracle of the Prophet of Islam. The Holy Quran is a Book beyond the thinking of mankind. It is unique in its style. It is neither poetry nor prose. The history of Arabic literature has never seen such a great Book, which stands on the peak of eloquence. Therefore, the Quran in four different Ayat is inviting all mankind as well as other creatures, irrespective of time and place, to a challenge of producing something like unto the Quran.

Of the miracle of the Quran is its comprehensiveness. The Quran does not belong to a particular group of people, age or gender. The Quran is introducing itself with the two titles of ‘truth` and ‘balance` (42:17). Truth is a term, which covers all types of knowledge and beliefs, which are in harmony with the natural and social desire of human beings. Balance is the scale of evaluating the authenticity and truthfulness of everything. Such a Book, which is, always the true balance for everything else cannot be made by an illiterate person being from one of the most backward nations.

For instance see: 15:1, 36:69, 9:111, 4:82, 6:19, 2:185, 85:21.

For instance see: 5:15, 6:92, 6:155, 11:1, 41:3.

Al-Itqaan, J.Soyooti, vol.1 p.99; Beharul-Anwaar, M. Majlisi, vol.19 p.11

For instance have a look at the creation story and compare Gen 1:11-13, 20-23, 26-27; with Gen 2:7, 9, 19, 21-22). Also compare the last words of Christ in the Gospels. Also The New Testament quotes the Old one dozens of times and hardly a single quote is accurate. For example compare matt 27:46 with Luke 23:46 and John 19:30

They were 17 people in Mecca .

See : 17:88, 52:34, 2:23, 11:13.

Meeting 6

abstract

6. Fundamental Ayat & Ambiguous Ayat
(Al-Mohkamat & Al-Motashabehat):
Language generally is ambiguous and this ambiguity is a natural phenomenon in all languages

Problem of ambiguity also exists in the Holy Quran, but there also exists a method of overcoming this ambiguity through the study of one of the sciences of Islamic Studies, which provides very profound knowledge about interpretation:

Study of Al Muktemaat – those Ayaat with very clear meaning
Study of Al Muteshaabehaat – those Ayaat, which are ambiguous
Deducing the meaning of Al Muteshaabaehaat

Chapter 3, Ayah 7 of the Holy Quran advises us of the two types of Ayaat. The first type Al Muktemaat are the foundation of the book (i.e. the knowledge) and the second type, Al Muteshaabehaat are more difficult to interpret. Best way of interpretation of these Ayaat is to do so through the first types, which are established.

Branches or sects of Islam have been brought about by the use of ambiguous Ayat alone in interpretation, leading these followers astray.

Examples of Established and Ambiguous Ayat in the Holy Quran

Chapter 112 – Surat al Ikhlaas, considered very well established.
Chapter 75 verses 22-23, considered ambiguous. Do we really “look” at Allah on the Day of Judgement?
Chapter 6 Verse 103 – considered well established “ No vision can grasp Him… .” So if we look at this ayah to help us interpret the previous mentioned Ayat in Chapter 75, we can deduce that we will not be able to see Allah on Judgement Day or in the Hereafter. This is a good example of interpreting the meaning of Quran through the Quran.

Why Does the Quran have such Ambiguous Ayat?

Nature of language

Quran needs true interpretation, which was received from the Holy Prophet, his companions and the Ahlul Bait.

9. The Quran is not Altered.
“ We have without doubt, sent down the Remembrance (the Quran) and We will assuredly guard it.” (15:9)

It is well known among all Muslims, irrespective of their different sects, that the present Quran is the exact word of Allah revealed to the Prophet of Islam. No single word or letter is added or omitted. Hence, no-one has ever found or claimed the possession of any other version of the Quran throughout Islamic history. It is only the Quran, which has had only one version in its history. The following are some of the reasons for this fact:

9/1: It is the fulfillment of Allah’s promise in the above mentioned Aya that He has sent His own words to the Prophet and He will guard it from whatever which may corrupt the Book.

9/2: The history of the Quran: The Holy Quran since it was revealed up to the present time, has been everything for Muslims. It is part of their daily Prayers. Many know and read it by heart. Their children start literacy with learning the Quran.

9/3: The Scribes of Revelation: As mentioned earlier, the Prophet had appointed some of his companions, whose number varied from 14 to 43 at different times, to write down the revelations. This is a very significant point never found regarding the previous Scriptures.

9/4: All Muslims refer to the Quran: Despite the numerous sects created in the Islamic history, some of which still exist, and their disagreements on many points, however, all with no exception do believe in the same Quran.

9/5: The Quran is the last Message: As Islam is the last religion prescribed for mankind and its Scripture is the last Message of Allah, the Almighty, it must be saved from any sort of alteration or tampering, or the mercy of God is not fulfilled to the people. Hence, lack of alteration is essential for the finality of Prophet-hood.

However, there are unfortunately a few Muslim scholars in both Shiite and Sunni schools of thought, who mistakenly believed that some parts of the Quran are omitted. All distinguished scholars, of course, reject this false idea. The only reason, on which the adherents of the idea of omission from the Quran have based their idea, is some fabricated Hadiths, which are scattered in the books of Hadiths, among both Shiites and Sunnis.

10. A Quick Comparison between the Holy Quran & the Bible
10/1: The Hereafter and the Torah: Believing in the Hereafter is an essential part of all divine religions. However, this fact is ignored so much in the present Old Testament that one can say there is no belief in the Hereafter in Judaism. The Holy Quran in 6:154 expresses that the Torah, which was given to Moses was for the sake of believing in the Hereafter, is another reason for alteration and omission of the present Torah.

10/2: The Ten Commandments: The Ten Commandments are the fundamental ethical code of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. However, it appears in the Old Testament in two different versions. The Third version of it is also found in the New Testament. Also, it is mentioned in the Holy Quran in 6:151-153.

Alteration of the Bible will be acknowledged more, after a comparison between the Quranic version of the Ten Commandments and that of the Bible.

10/3: Creation of Woman: According to the present Old Testament the Lord God took one of the ribs of Adam and filled up the place with flesh, and from that rib He formed a woman. (Gen2:21-23). Needless to say that every primary school student will be laughing at this story, which means one of every man’s ribs must be missing. On the other hand, according to the Holy Quran, the creation of woman as well as man is from one source and one soul. “ O people, observe your Lord; who created you from one soul, and created from it its mate, then spread from the two many men and women .” (4:1)

10/4: The Forbidden Tree: The story of the Forbidden Tree is mentioned in both the Bible and the Quran with the difference, that according to the Bible it is the tree of knowing good and evil (the tree of knowledge). But according to the Quran and the saying of the Prophet of Islam, is the tree of jealousy and such things, which go back to the animosity of humans.

10/5: The Stories of the Prophets: The stories of many of the prophets are mentioned in the Bible in an insulting and dreadful way to the extent that if it were illustrated, it would have looked like a porno book! Most of such fabricated stories are corrected in the Quran.

Compare the following:

Book of Job (Old Testament) with Chapter 38 verse 41-44 in the Holy Quran

Book of Jonah (Old Testament) with Chapter 37 verses 139-148 of the Holy Quran

Book of Samuel Ch 11 (Old Testament) with Chapter 38 verses 21-25 of the Holy Quran

See: Exod. 20:1-17 & Deut. 5:6-21.

See: Mark 12:28-31

For instance compare: The Book of Job in the Bible with 38:41-44 of the Quran; and the Book of Jonah in the Bible with 37:139-148 of the Quran; and Samuel 11:2 with 38:21-25 of the Quran.

Meeting 7

abstract

10 main points about the Sunna
1. What is ‘the Sunna’?
The Sunna literally means: way, method and style; and in Islamic terminology it stands for: the words of the Prophet, the actions of the Prophet and the confirmation of the Prophet.

2. What do we need the Sunna for?
The Holy Quran is the Book of guidance. However, it only contains the outlines of Islam and description and explanation of details are left to the Prophet of Islam. Hence, the authority of the Prophet comes next to the Quran. Allah describes His Prophet’s position in Soora 16:44: “ And We have sent down to you the Remembrance (the Quran); that you may explain clearly to people what is sent for them, and that they may give thought .” Therefore, the Prophet is the expounder of the Quran, appointed by Allah. Hence, the slogan of following the Quran without the Sunna is but a fraud and will be misleading, as the Prophet himself declared this fact in a most authentic Hadith named ‘the Hadith of Thaqalayn’. Ref: Termedhy 2:329, Muslim 2:362.

3. The Prophet (saww) recommends the writing of his words:
Based on the previous explanation, the Prophet (saww) on different occasions has encouraged Muslims to learn his Sunna, write it down and teach others. The following are some examples:

3/1: “ May Allah make bloom the face of a Muslim who listens to my words, understands it and delivers it to those who didn’t listen to it.” Termedhy 5:34, Ibn-Majeh 1:84.

3/2: “ Whoever Muslim learns 40 Hadiths, Allah (swt) will raise him/her up in the Hereafter as a Faqeeh.”

3/3: A man from Yemen named Abu-Shat came to the Prophet (saww) when he was delivering a sermon for the Muslims. When the sermon was over he asked the Prophet if the lecture could be written down for him? Upon hearing that, the Prophet (saww) ordered one of his scribes to write it down for him. Ref: Al-Bokhari 1:33-34

3/ 4 : Abdullah Ibn Amr Aas asked the Prophet if he was allowed to write whatever he may hear from the Prophet? ‘ Yes’ , the Prophet replied. He asked again: ‘Whether you may be angry or happy?’ ‘ Yes , answered the prophet, because I will never say but the truth .’ Ref : Ahmad 2:162.

3/5: Hadith of Thaqalayn: “ I have left two precious things with you, the Book of Allah, and my Ahlul-Bait. Should you hold unto them, you will never go astray after me.” Ref: Termedhy 2:329, Muslim 2:362.

4. The Fate of the Sunna in the First Century of Islam:
Despite all the recommendations of the Prophet regarding the importance of his Sunna, unfortunately the first century of Islam has experienced the conspiracy of the catastrophe of the prohibition of narration of Hadith, which starts from the last hours of the life of the Prophet. The outlines of the tragedy are as follows:

4/1: “This man (the Prophet) speaks in delirium!”

4/2: A campaign against the narrators of Hadith such as Ibn-Masoud, Abu-dhar, etc.

4/3: The books of Hadiths were collected and set on fire in the reign of the Second Caliph.

4/4: Some of the narrators were exiled to deserts, such as Abuu-Dhar, in the reign of the third Caliph and many others were badly beaten.

4/5: Some of the narrators bodies were mutilated in the reign of Moawia.

4/6: At the end of the first and the van of the second century, the prohibition of the narration of Hadith becomes nullified.

5. Why Narration of Hadith was Prohibited?
Firstly, I believe there is no accepted reason for that mistake, since it is against the recommendation of the Prophet himself. However, the supporters of the idea of prohibition tend to justify the mistake by saying that the prohibition was done in order to prevent the spread of fabricated Hadiths. To this end, Abu-Bakr set all his books of Hadiths on fire, lest there might be a fabricated Hadith among them.

6. The Factory of Hadith Fabrication?!
This factory was basically established during the reign of Moawia (between the years 40-60 AH). He issued a circular letter to all his governors stating that: Whoever narrates any Hadith, which may be in favour of Abu-Torab (the tittle of Imam Ali a.s.) his blood is not respected.

7. Why Hadiths were Fabricated?
Upon realising the above-mentioned charter, many greedy people fabricated all types of Hadiths, which had a good market value for selling, and satisfaction of the Governor General! Among which, there were enemies of Islam who appeared to the Muslims with an Islamic mask. Altering Islam was the common goal of all seemingly different groups of fabricators.

8. The Fabricators?
Although they were many in number, there are some main figures to point at. Before naming them you should bear in mind that literacy was considered a big privilege at that time and was found on the highest scale among Rabbis.

8/1: Tameem Addari: A Christian Monk who embraced Islam in the last year of the Prophet’s life. He fabricated numerous Hadiths on Biblical grounds. Abu-Horayra who has quoted more than 5000 Hadiths! and Anas Ibn Malik with quoting more than 2000 Hadiths, were two students of Tameem.

8/2: Ka’bul-Ahbar: A Jewish Rabbi from Yemen who embraced Islam during the reign of Abu-Bakr and came to Madina in the reign of Omar. He has also fabricated many Hadiths on the grounds of the explanation of the Quran. Abu-Horayra was also one of his students.

8/3: Atheists: In the beginning of the Second Century, when the narration of Hadith was allowed, some atheists whose aim was but to destroy Islam, joined this campaign. Saif Ibn Omar is one of those figures. He has quoted 28 places, which never existed, 11 Islamic triumphs, which have never taken place, hundreds of killed people who never existed, and many false miracles. His narrations, unfortunately, are scattered in about 72 historical books.

9. The Fate of the Sunna in the School of Ahlul-Bait:
The above tragedy was the fate of Hadith on an official surface. On the other hand, in the School of Ahlul-Bait (who were introduced as one of the two precious things) the Sunna of the Prophet is safeguarded. This task was initiated by Imam Ali, the first man who embraced Islam and the last with whom the Prophet had a meeting prior to his passing away.
It is quoted on the authority of Kolaini, from Imam Ali (a.s.) who said: “ I had regular private meetings with the Prophet every day and night. All the companions were aware of the meetings and that I was the only one with whom the Prophet had such meetings. The meetings were usually held in my house and sometimes at the Prophet’s house… No Ayah was revealed to the Prophet but he dictated it to me with a thorough explanation on it. He was asking Allah, the Almighty, to increase my talent of understanding the Quran and not to forget what he had taught me.” The outcome of those meetings was the compilation of a book by Imam Ali, called,Al-Jame’a (Comprehensive) which was handed over from one Imam to another.

Meeting 8

Abstract

· Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence)
The Shiite Fiqh is basically divided into four main categories:

1. Al-Ebadat (Worshipping)

2. Al-Oqood (Contracts)

3. Al-Iqaat (Cancellations)

4. Al-Ahkam (Issues)

The details of each category is as follows:

1. Al-Ebadat :

1/1: Purification (At-Tahaarat)

1/2: Prayers (As-Salaat)

1/3: Alms (Az-Zakaat)

1/4: One-fifth tax (Al-Khoms)

1/5: Fasting (As-Som)

1/6: Seclusion ( Al-E’tekaaf)

1/7: Pilgrimage (Hajj)

1/8: Omrah (type of Hajj)

1/9: Holy war (Al-Jihad)

1/10: Rejoicing Good Deeds & Prohibiting Bad Deeds

(Al-Amr Bil Ma’roof and Annahy Anel Monkar)

2. Al-Oqood :

2/1: Business (At-Tejaarat)

2/2: Mortgage (Ar-Rahn)

2/3: Bankruptcy (Al-Moflese)

2/4: Disallowance (Al-Hejr)

2/5: Guarantee & Insurance (Adhamaan)

2/6: Agreement (Assolh)

2/7: Company (Asherkat)

2/8: Joint venture partnership: labor & capital(Al-Modharaba)

2/9: Agriculture & Watering (Al-Mozaare’a & Al-Mosaaqaat)

2/10: Deposit (Al-Wadeeah)

2/11: Borrowing (Al-Areeah)

2/12: Rent (Al-Ejarah)

2/13: Agency (Al-Wekalat)

2/14: Endowment & Charity (Al-Waqf & As-Sadaqah)

2/15: Bequest (Assokna )

2/16: Gift (Al-Hebah)

2/17: Racing & Archery (Assabq & Arremayah)

2/18: Last will (Al-Wasiah)

2/19: Marriage (An-Nekah)

3. Al-Iqaat:

3/1: Divorce (At-Talaq)

3/2: Pre-Islamic divorce (A-Dhehar)

3/3: Oath in marital life (Al-Ila’)

3/4: Bilateral cursing in marital life (Al-Le’an)

3/5: Liberation of slave (Al-Etq)

3/6: Types of liberation of slave (A-ttadbir, Al-Mokateba, Al-Estila)

3/7: Confession (Al-Eqrar)

3/8: Personnel hiring (Al-Joaleh)

3/9: Oaths (Al-Ayman)

3/10: Vow (An-Nadhr)

4. Al-Ahkam:

4/1: Hunting & Slaughtering (Assayd & Adhebaha)

4/2: Eating & Drinking (Al-Atemah & Al-Ashrebah)

4/3: Usurpation (Al-Ghasb)

4/4: Right of preemption (A-Shof ‘a)

4/5: Cultivating a land (Ehyaul-Mawat)

4/6: Foundling (A-Loqatah)

4/7: Inheritance (Al-Earth)

4/8: Judgment (Al-Qadha)

4/9: Eye witnessing (A-Shahadah)

4/10: Fixed punishment by the lash & unfixed punishment (Al-Hodood & A-Ta’zirat)

4/11: Retaliation (Al-Qesase)

4/12: Fiscal penalty (A-ddyat)

Theology
Main topics:

1. ORIGIN: Knowing God

2. Prophet-hood

3. Succession

4. Justice

5. DESTINATION: Hereafter

Theosophy

Four Spiritual Journeys:
1. The Journey from Nature to the Truth:

Main Topics:

1/1: The Nature of Existence

1/2: Divisions of Existence

1/3: Essence

1/4: Cause & Effect

1/5: Movement & Time

1/6: Epistemology

1/7: Natural philosophy

2. The journey by Truth within the Truth: Knowing God

3. The journey from Truth to Nature with the Truth:

3/1: God’s Attributes: Knowledge, Might, Life, etc.

3/2: Free-Will & Determinism

3/3: Good & Evil

4. The journey in Nature with the Truth :

4/1: Knowing the Soul

4/2: Reincarnation

4/3: Eschatology

Theoretical Ethics:
1. Individual Morals

2. Family Morals

3. Social Morals

4. Bio-Ethics

Moral Codes :
Moral Vices Moral Virtues

( example cases ) ( example cases )

1. Despair 1. Hoping in God

2. Injustice 2. Justice

3. Dissatisfaction 3. Satisfaction

4. Ungratefulness 4. Gratefulness

5. Harshness 5. Mercy

6. Arrogance 6. Humbleness

7. Impatience 7. Patience

8. Revenge 8. Forgiveness

9. Enmity 9. Friendship

10. Betrayal 10. Loyalty

11. Lying 11. Truthfulness

12. Treachery 12. Trustworthiness

13. Hypocrisy 13. Sincerity

14. Being harsh to parents 14. Being kind to parents

15. Slandering, Backbiting, etc. 15. Tongue safeguarding

16. Cursing 16. Praying (for others)

17. Stinginess 17. Generosity

18. Immodesty 18. Modesty

19. Indecency 19. Chastity

Practical Ethics (Practical Gnosticism)
General Stages:

1. Tahlia (Self-Purification): Performing Obligatory as well recommended rites.

2. Takhlia (Spiritual Evacuation): Refraining from forbidden as well as unrecommended actions.

3. Tajlia (Spiritual Decoration): Through practicing moral virtues.

4. Fanaa-Fellah (Dissolving in Allah): To think of, see and act for no-one but Allah.

Meeting 9

A Tour of the Faculties of Islamic Universities
The Basic Faculties are

Arabic
Logic
Fundamentals of Fiqh
Fiqh, Islamic Jurisprudence can be divided into four main categories listed in meeting 8. Meeting 9 takes you in-depth from the second Fiqh category of Al-Oqood
Worshipping – Al Ebadaad
(previously discussed)

Theoretical Gnosticism – Al-Irfaan Al-nathari

Similar to Islamic Philosophy except that the tool of an Arif (Mystic) is intuition – i.e. is free from all reasoning and proofs.

Founder of Theoretical Irfaan – Ibn Arabi or Sheikh Al Akbar

Texts for Islamic seminary:

First “Tamheed ul Qawa’ed”– Preparations of the Principles – Ibn Torke Isfahani

Second “Fusoos ul Hekam” – Gems of Wisdom – Sheikh al Akbar, plus its commentary “Sharhe Fusoos ul Hekam” by Al-Qoonavi
Third “Misbah ul Ownse” – Light of Friendship – Ibn Fannari

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