Intra-faith Politics Shi'ism

Getting the Motives Right – Foreign Policy Association

My first piece for the Foreign Policy Association blog. The recent attack against Ismaili Muslims in Karachi, Pakistan, will be read by most as part of a simple narrative of an ongoing Sunni-Shi’ah conflict. Unfortunately, as consistent fear-mongering has demonstrated with Sharia, bandying about non-English words conveys a facade of knowledge without any guarantee of any actual understanding. As is the case with most political violence, here is more to this attack than a simple retelling of a religious clash. There is a deeper history that is masked by using inappropriate vocabulary, and misusing it is allowing the most extreme…

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Intra-faith Poetry Shi'ism

Yom-e Ali – Foundations (Poem)

Two foundations has Islam the Qur’an, and Dhu’l-fiqar. Muslims do agree with that and the pagans do it too. As there is in human speech no light but in Ahmad’s word, thus there is in no sharp sword fire, but in Ali’s sword. Ahmad, Chosen, is the sun, Haydar, ‘the Attacker,’ light Light cannot be without sun, sun cannot be without light. Firmest handle is for all love of Ali’s children dear: Shia are those who are not wav’ring in their bond to him! On the treasure which God High placed in Ahmad’s heart, there is not a treasurer but…

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Inter-faith Shi'ism

Moses At Sinai

The following quote is a commentary on the nature of God by a major Shi’ah thinker, Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (AS), who is also considered an important mystical figure. Moses (AS) is a major figure in the Muslim tradition, and symbolically is used to reference legalism and law. His interaction with the Divine helps to establish our understanding of God. As far as we can tell, the first major development of the concept of divine speech was the work of the sixth imam of the Shi`ah, Ja`far al-Sadiq (d. 148/765). Respected for his piety and wisdom by all Islamic sects, Ja`far…

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