21 June, 2018 | 7 Shawwal, 1439 H

"What corrupts generosity is mentioning it."

- The Prophet Muhammad (s)

Learning
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Core Curriculum

Section 1 - God, Religion and Islam: An Introduction
  • Topic 1.1 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 1.2 - God, Allah and Religion

  • Topic 1.3 - Introduction to Islam

  • Topic 1.4 - What is “Religion” and What’s the Point of it Anyways?

  • Topic 1.5 - A Brief Introduction to the Prophet Muhammad (s), the Prophet of Islam

Section 2 - Foundations of Islam - Theology
  • Topic 2.1 - Entering Islam: The Shahada

  • Topic 2.2 - The Usūl al-Dīn: The Fundamental Beliefs of Islam

  • Topic 2.3 - Tawhīd: The Unity and Oneness of God in Islam

  • Topic 2.4 - Adala: Divine Justice in Islam

  • Topic 2.5 - Nubuwwa: The Purpose of Prophethood in Islam

  • Topic 2.6 - Imāmah or divinely guided leadership in Islam after the Prophet Muhammad.

  • Topic 2.7 - Maʿād: The Day of Judgment in Islam

  • Topic 2.8 - The Sharīʿa: Purpose and Practice

  • Topic 2.9 - The Islamic Concept of the Nafs: Battling the Human Ego

  • Topic 2.10 - Satan, Jinns and Angels: Their Influence in the World

  • Topic 2.11 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

Section 3 - Foundations of Islam - Obligatory Acts
  • Topic 3.1 - Accepting Islam: Putting Faith into Action

  • Topic 3.2 - Jihād in Islamic Law and Spirituality

  • Topic 3.3 - Salāt: Obligatory Ritual Prayers in Islam

  • Topic 3.4 - Ritual Purity in Islamic Law: Understanding Tahāra and Najāsa

  • Topic 3.5 - The Five Categories of Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.6 - Tawalla and Tabarra, its Basics and Purpose

  • Topic 3.7 - The Purpose of Zakat and Khums in Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.8 - The Hajj Pilgrimage

  • Topic 3.9 - The Furūʿ al-Dīn: The Fundamental Practices of Islam

  • Topic 3.10 - Fasting in Islam, its Purpose, Dos and Don’ts

  • Topic 3.11 - Other Obligatory and Forbidden Acts in Islam

  • Topic 3.12 - Niyya: Religious Intention as the Foundation of Islamic Practice

  • Topic 3.13 - Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil in Islam

Section 4 - Prophethood in Islam
  • Topic 4.1 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Childhood (PART I of III)

  • Topic 4.2 - Bio: The Prophet Muhammad as a Prophet of God (PART II of III)

  • Topic 4.3 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Character (PART III of III)

  • Topic 4.4 - The Prophet Muhammad (s) as Messenger and Teacher

  • Topic 4.5 - The Prophet and his Relationships

  • Topic 4.6 - The Prophet’s Sunnah and Hadith

  • Topic 4.7 - Ghadīr and Arafah: The Two Last Sermons of the Prophet

  • Topic 4.8 - Jesus and Mary in Islam

Section 5 - The Qur'an and Hadith
  • Topic 5.1 - Islam and Other Religions

  • Topic 5.2 - What is the Qur’an? A Short Introduction to Islam’s Holy Book

  • Topic 5.3 - The Structure of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.4 - The Quran and Islamic law

  • Topic 5.5 - The Qur’an, Allah and Humankind

  • Topic 5.6 - Hadith and Sunnah, difference and variations

  • Topic 5.7 - The Reliability of Hadiths

  • Topic 5.8 - A Reflection on Verses of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.9 - Hadith al-Thaqalayn

  • Topic 5.10 - Imam Ali (as) and Nahj al-Balagha.

  • Topic 5.11 - Taqlid and Tawḍih Al Masail Genre of Literature

Section 6 - Measuring Good and Bad in Islam
  • Topic 6.1 - The Effects of Our Actions in this World

  • Topic 6.2 - The Gray Areas of Islamic Law and Morality

  • Topic 6.3 - Heaven and Hell in Islam

  • Topic 6.4 - Life and Death in Islam

  • Topic 6.5 - Guidance According to Islam

  • Topic 6.6 - Fate and the Consequences of our Choices in Islam

  • Topic 6.7 - The Effect of Culture and Environment in Shaping our Religious Choices

  • Topic 6.8 - Major Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.9 - Why Allah Allows People to Sin

  • Topic 6.10 - Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.11 - The Three Kinds of Rights in Islam

  • Topic 6.12 - Sinning Against Others and their Delayed Punishment

  • Topic 6.13 - Kufr in Islam

  • Topic 6.14 - Trivializing the Harām

  • Topic 6.15 - Benefits of Islamic Law in this World

  • Topic 6.16 - Good and Bad Deeds: The Spiritual Consequences of our Choices

Section 7 - The Legacy of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as)
  • Topic 7.1 - Islam and Knowledge: the Importance of Islamic Education

  • Topic 7.2 - The Ahl al-Kisa

  • Topic 7.3 - Imamah in the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.4 - Fatima al-Zahrah (as)

  • Topic 7.5 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam al-Hasan until Imam Muhammad al-Baqir)

  • Topic 7.6 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam Jafar al-Sadiq until Imam Hasan al-Askari)

  • Topic 7.7 - A Brief Look at the Life and Importance of Imam al-Mahdi (aj)

  • Topic 7.8 - Salawat and Atonement in Islam

  • Topic 7.9 - The Companions (Sahaba) of the Prophet According to the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.10 - Clerical Hierarchies in Muslim Communities

  • Topic 7.11 - Mosques in Islam

  • Topic 7.12 - The Philosophy of Karbala and Majalis

  • Topic 7.13 - A Brief Biography of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)

  • Topic 7.14 - The Battle of Karbala: A Brief History

Section 8 - Islamic Relationships, Sects and Conflicts
  • Topic 8.1 - Misconceptions about Shi’ism

  • Topic 8.2 - Major Sects of Islam

  • Topic 8.3 - Islam and Religious Conflicts

  • Topic 8.4 - Islam and Rights

  • Topic 8.5 - Sunnism and Shi’ism, beginnings and historical developments.

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Special Topics

Section 9 - Independent Topics
  • Topic 9.1 - Muslim Converts – Welcome to Islam!

  • Topic 9.2 - Basic Dos and Don’ts of Being a Muslim

  • Topic 9.3 - Halal Food and Zabiha

  • Topic 9.4 - Family, Parents and Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.5 - Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.6 - Islam and Sex

  • Topic 9.7 - Modesty in Islam

  • Topic 9.8 - Women’s Menstruation in Islam

  • Topic 9.9 - Music, Alcohol, Drugs and Pork in Islam

  • Topic 9.10 - Islam and Science

  • Topic 9.11 - A Reading List of Islamic Knowledge

  • Topic 9.13 - Ritual Prayers and Supplications in Islam

  • Topic 9.14 - Death & Burial Rituals in Islam

  • Topic 9.15 - The Battle of Armageddon: An Islamic View

  • Topic 9.16 - The Muslim Calendar

  • Topic 9.17 - Muslims and non-Muslims in the Shariah

  • Topic 9.18 - A Timeline of Major Events in Islamic History

  • Topic 9.19 - Introducing the Qur’an: Why it is the way it is

  • Topic 9.20 - The School of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq

  • Topic 9.21 - Major Fields in Islamic Studies

  • Topic 9.22 - The Caliphate in Sunni and Shia Islam

  • Topic 9.24 - Islam, Racism and Anti-Semitism

Section 10 - Islam, Religion, and Modern Controversies
  • Topic 10.1 - Modern Fallacies about God: where Theists and Atheists Agree

  • Topic 10.2 - Tawhīd: The Muslim God according to the Prophet Muhammad and the Ahl al-Bayt (as)

  • Topic 10.3 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Being (Wujūd)

  • Topic 10.4 - God’s Existence: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

  • Topic 10.5 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Design

  • Topic 10.6 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 10.7 - Why did God Create Us? The Purpose of our Creation

  • Topic 10.8 - Why Humans Need Religion according to Islam

  • Topic 10.9 - Jahl and Spiritual Ignorance in Islam

  • Topic 10.11 - Do Non-Muslims Go to Hell?

The Philosophy of Karbala and Majalis

Abstract

The purpose of Karbala was to instill a spiritual revolution in mankind and bring about the spiritual virtue of humility.

INTRODUCTION

 

Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm, As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. Peace be upon you brothers and sisters.

 

Welcome back to the Muslim Converts Channel! In this lesson, we’re going to look at the philosophy and lessons we can learn from the tragedy of Karbala. We are also going to look at how we can apply these lessons to our daily lives.

 

The themes we will be looking at are humility and friendship. We will also be looking at the modern commemoration of Karbala and its significance.

 

BODY OF TEXT

 

Philosophy of Karbala and the Goal of Imam al-Husayn’s Martyrdom

 

We have lots of different accounts as to what the goal or philosophy of Imam al-Husayn’s (as) sacrifice was. But who is better to ask than his own son, an Imam himself, who witnessed the event?

 

Imam Zain al-Abidin, also known as Imam as-Sajjad (as), was one the longest serving Imāms. His Imāmah spanned 34 years in total. By virtue of his direct relationship with Allah (swt) and his own father Imam al-Husayn (as), as well as his presence during the tragic event of Karbala, Imam al-Sajjad (as) was the best candidate for conveying the goal of Imām al-Ḥusayn’s (as) martyrdom.

 

The following are quick pointers on why Imām al-Sajjād (as) is the best source available on the tragedy of Karbala:

 

  •  He was a divinely appointed Imām and son of Imam al-Husayn.
  • He received divine knowledge from Allah directly as well as from his father
  •  He witnessed the entire tragedy of Karbala.
  •  No man had the courage to deliver the message of Karbala at the time but him.
  • Imam al-Sajjad: delivered this message in the following ways:
  1.  Duʿās
  2. (al-Sahifah al-Sajadiyah) (pronounced al-Ṣaḥīfah al-Sajjādīyah)
  3.  Interactions with people

 

Our fourth Imām’s compendium of supplications, al-Ṣaḥīfah al-Sajjādīyah, is one of the best and most credible sources available to us delineating the true message of Karbala. Perhaps one of the most poignant stories of Imām as-Sajjād (as) tragic life was the initial phase of his captivity. The Imām was deprived of food, ridiculed and dragged around even after seeing his family slaughtered.

 

Humayd ibn Muslim was an individual tasked by Yazīd’s army to guard over Imām al-Sajjād and the remaining members of the Ahl al-Bayt (as). Despite his harsh treatment, Ḥumayd expected anger from the Imām. But instead, he saw him humbly looking down and crying whilst reciting the following supplication to Allah (swt):

 

Let good flow out of my hands upon mankind and dissolve it not by having them feel indebted. Give me the highest of moral dispositions and protect me from haughtiness. (supplication #20 in al-Ṣaḥīfah al-Sajjādīyah)

 

Imām al-Sajjād (as) was not concerned with revenge or destroying Yazid. He knew that by destroying one Yazīd at that moment, three more would replace him. Instead, he was concerned with the moral improvement and spiritual self-building of humankind. Any crime that takes place in this world is rooted in a deficiency somewhere in one’s akhlāq or moral disposition.

 

Fakhr, or haughtiness, is a moral shortcoming in which one feels superior to others by perceiving them to be his or her inferiors. Fakhr is dangerous because it is the first step to a sense of entitlement through which one justifies his or her own misdeeds.

 

Imām as-Sajjād, having experienced the tragedy of Karbala, is teaching us that even in the darkest of moments we should strive for the greater good, not seek rewards from people and above all, maintain inner humility.

 

Imām as-Sajjād thus teaches us that the purpose of Karbala and Imām al-Ḥusain’s (as) mission was to impart on humankind the importance of maintaining integrity, proper spiritual and moral disposition even in the darkest of times.

 

In other words, just because things go bad, even when they are as bad as Imam al-Sajjad’s case where he witnessed the murder of his entire family, one should not lose one’s morals, temperament and good upbringing. Improvement in akhlāq or one’s moral and ethical life should be our goal in life. Without good akhlāq, we cannot reach spiritual perfection.

 

Philosophy of Majalis

 

One of the most distinct practices in the Shia world are the majalis of Imam al-Husayn (as) during the Islamic month of Muharram where the tragedy of Karbala occurred. The word majalis comes from the word majlis. Majlis is a place of sitting or gathering or more specifically in this case, a religious gathering where Muslims come together to commemorate the death of Imam al-Husayn (as) and the overall tragedy of Karbala.

 

The Majalis have a number of prominent features. They include the following:

 

  1. Poetry recited in honor of Imam al-Husayn (as) and his family
  2.  Chest beating in order to demonstrate grief at that tragedy
  3. Imam al-Husayn (as) blood drives where Muslims donate blood
  4.  Food offered to the community after commemoration processions
  5. Husayn Day Peace Walks where Muslims walk through the streets in order to mark the tragedy of Karbala and promote peace vis-à-vis the injustices that happen in the world.

 

The Majalis are therefore a practice to keep the memory of Karbala alive in the minds of Muslims. They are a reminder of the sacrifices the Imam made in order to save the moral message of the Prophet Muhammad (s). This moral and spiritual message is:

 

  1.  Seeking the greater good, even if it be against our selves
  2. Maintaining inner humility and not having fakhr.

 

What is inner humility? Inner humility is not only getting rid of the illusion that we are superior to others, but it is also a deep sense of selflessness, love of others and wanting to serve them. In this sense, it is less about thinking less about yourself and thinking more about others.

 

It is no wonder that God only descends to humble hearts and not hearts that are full of pride. As salt is needed for all kinds of food, so is humility for spiritual virtues.

 

Until Next Time, Thank you for watching. As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh

Fakhr

Haughtiness

Akhlaq

spiritual ethics, Godly and moral disposition

Majalis (sing. Majlis)

gatherings that commemorate the various tragedies that befell the Ahl al-Bayt (as), especially Imam al-Husayn (as).

Q1

What was the goal of Imam al-Husayn’s (as) sacrifice at Karbala?

To instill humility and moral behavior in humankind

Q2

Who is the best source to tell us about the goal of Karbala?

Imam al-Sajjad (as)

Q3

What is the best source for Imam al-Sajjad’s message?

Al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyah

Q4

What was the primary purpose of Imam al-Husayn (as) fighting in Karbala?

To get rid of haughtiness and pride in human beings

Muslim
God
Allah
Ahl al-Bayt
salvation in Islam
Muslim Community
Yazid
Imam Zayn al-Abidin
Imam al-Sajjad
Fakhr
Akhlaq
Philosophy of Karbala
Goal of Karbala
Humayd ibn Muslim
Philosophy of Majalis

Excellence of Muharram & Imam-e-Hussain by Shakir Ali Noorie

Karbala and Beyond by Yasin al-Jibouri