Poetry Shi'ism

On Ali

Prophet Muhammad said: Those whose master I am, for those too is their master Ali Said Prophet Muhammad: I am the city of knowledge, and the gate is Ali From the heavens above Uhud, came the booming voice of Gabriel: “There is no sword but Dhulfiqar, and there is no hero but Ali.” The radiant daughter of the beloved Prophet, our Fatimah To whom could she be married if not the King of Men, Ali. The Lion of God, tearing down the walls of Khaybar, at the time of need Call out, O Prophet, for the remover of difficulties, call…

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Inter-faith Intra-faith Shi'ism

Navroz Mubarak 2007

Yes, it is a hybrid date format. But the holiday is now hybrid. Little bit of Zoroastrianism, little bit of Iranian nationalism, little bit of Islam, little bit of 21st century style globalization. Here is a good, short history of contemporary Navroz. Just a clarification, the Ismailis don’t recognize Navroz as Hazrat Ali’s birthday, we recognize Yawm-e Ali as a separate holiday. Navroz is also a marker of the solar new year for most Ismailis. The Fatimids marked a celebration of the holiday as well in the 11th century. (see Ritual, Politics and the City in Fatimid Cairo). Here’s the…

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Intra-faith Shi'ism

What is Shi’ism?

In the contemporary period Shi’ah is the standard short form for Shi’ah Ali, the Partisans of Ali. The Shi’ah have a history that goes back as far as the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and form one of the two main schools of thought in Islam; the other group being the Sunni, short for Ahl us-Sunnah wa Jama’ah, the People of Tradition and Consensus. The main division between these two groups relates to questions of religious authority, and who has that authority. In this post I want to give a brief outline of Shi’ah understandings of authority. Rather than cover…

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Last Friday, January 19, 2007 was the first of Muharram, the beginning of the New Year according the Muslim Hijri Lunar Calendar. It is also significant because on the 10th of Muharram the Prophet’s grandson, Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib, was martyred at Karbala. The day is know as Ashura, and while commemorated mostly by Shi’ah, Sunnis take part, and the Nizari Isma’iis, because they have a present Imam, do observe the sanctity of the time, but do not commemorate it in any particular way. The famous Anglo-Indian dictionary, Hobson-Jobson, got it’s name from the author mis-hearing the chanting…

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