The revelation (wahy) is the communication of Allah to His prophets. In particular, the Qur'an is the unaltered word of Allah descended to His last Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him and his family, as a reminder and a guidance for mankind. The word of Allah is very important for us because it is His message to His servants. Also, through revelation Allah gives His commands and prohibitions. Human intellect may understand general instructions (like the importance of prayer, the duty of respecting the elders, etc...) but it is not able to grasp all the particulars of the path leading human being to salvation. Therefore he needs a revelation. For example, the intellect cannot tell us the details about prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, etc. and we need the revelation to know them. The words of Allah are a continuous guidance for human beings: the recitation and memorization of the holy Qur'an guide the heart of believers towards awareness, piety, goodness, success in this world and Hereafter. Indeed there are too many benefits derived from the revelation of Allah, "and if you should count the favors of Allah, you could not enumerate them" (16:18).
With prayers for your success.
The Sunni tradition fully confirms the event of Ghadir Khumm and no Sunni scholar to my knowledge has ever entirely denied it.
The Sunni masses, on the other hand, are largely unaware of this hugely important event. When known, it is considered one of many Prophetic merit narrations in favour of 'Ali and the other Companions and not anything specific to succession of 'Ali after the Prophet (a).
The differences come down to the details of what happened in that event and its context and, therefore, implication for the succession to the Prophet Muhammad (s).
You should first read the entire event here - https://www.al-islam.org/ghadir/incident.htm
The Shi'a believe that on the day of Ghadir Khumm, the Prophet Muhammad (s) was commanded to announce the system of his succession and introduce to his followers the first person who will immediately succeed him in that system.
So the system was declared through a segment of his speech that is famously referred to as the Hadith al-Thaqalayn. In that narration he stated that he was leaving behind the Qur'an and his Ahl al-Bayt, and if the people were to adhere to them both they would never go astray after him.
The person as well as the true nature of succession was introduced through the words man kuntu mawlahu fa 'Aliyyun mawlahu. It translates to:
- For whomsover I am master, 'Ali is his master.
The word used mawla was the perfect term to use for the comprehensive authority, walaya, that was possessed by the Prophet (s) and that was being vested in 'Ali as the first member of the chosen Ahl al-Bayt.
'Ali was not simply being made a Caliph nor just an Imam. Each of these labels are open to many interpretations of scope, geography, and timeframe. If designated a khalifa at Ghadir Khumm instead of mawla people could have accepted him as the first one but only for the years he ruled, and only for the area he ruled. If just called an imam, he could have been considered simply a prayer leader in a mosque!
People can get very creative when they want to derail a system, or if they have to explain away a derailed system from history.
So with Divine inspiration the Prophet (s) made clear the scope of the authority that was being vested in 'Ali in multiple ways. He repeated the portion of Qur'anic verse 33:6 as a question and got the public to acknowledge that he was closer to them and had more authority over them than their own souls. The man kuntu mawlahu designation itself tightly coupled his own walaya to that of 'Ali. And the Qur'anic verse 5:3 of ikmal that was revealed immediately thereafter announced the completion and perfection of religion as a result of that declaration.
Every single fact mentioned above is attested by Sunni sources of tafsir, hadith, and history. In all, 110 Companions of the Prophet (s) are documented to have narrated this event in varying levels of detail. And that makes Ghadir Khumm the most widely narrated hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (s) on any topic whatsoever in Sunni sources!
This is quite remarkable given that it was about an issue that divided the Muslim community. Its level of attestation despite that fact is certainly something to think about.
This raises the question of how the Sunni scholars understand the Ghadir Khumm event. Clearly, and by the very definition of being Sunni, they acknowledge the legitimacy of the caliphate of Abu Bakr. And so, for them, Ghadir Khumm was not about authority but about love and friendship towards 'Ali. This was based on taking an alternative meaning for mawla in the context of the event.
And for that context, it was considered to be unhappy soldiers from Yemen who had complained about 'Ali to the Prophet (s). But this theory is full of holes and cannot be reconciled with the full details of the event as documented on the link given earlier in this response.
As just one example, consider the fact that out of 110 Companions who narrated Ghadir Khumm, only 1 Companion - Burayda b. al-Husayb - mentions Yemen as the context. None of the other Companions mention Yemen or the unhappy soldiers as the context for the event.
And he was a Companion who was himself upset at 'Ali and was complaining to the Prophet (s) about him and thereby angered him (s) - all according to his own report!
There are many other holes in this Yemeni red herring narrative, feel free to ask another question about them and I can elaborate further, God-willing.
Salaamun Alaykum neither are technically haram but both lead to haram things or bad situations. What is haram is to engage in any interaction that is lustful leading to something indecent. It is for this reason that Islam has very clear guidelines when it comes to interaction between opposite genders (who are not mahram) and that is it should be formal and not be lustful in anyway nor leading to that situation. This may even include listening to her voice if that becomes something that contributes to lustful feelings and certain imaginations. My advice to you is to get married as soon as possible either permanently or temporarily since interacting with a non-Mahram outside of official work or clearly defined formal work is not appropriate whatsoever as it very often leads to a situation that is not becoming of a mu'min or mu'mina.
If a Muslim woman is in need of marriage and has found a person religiously suitable for her, and there is no other man to propose her while her father/wali unreasonably doesn't consent to the marriage, she can refer the case to an Islamic authority and marry without her father/wali's consent. Some scholars hold the opinion that a "legally mature woman" (rashidah) is not in need of her father/wali's consent although such view is not agreed upon.
With prayers for your success.
It is not permissible for a man to only have beard in his chin as it implies "shaving" which is considered haram. As far as the trimming, the Muslim person should be considered as "having beard" according to common view.
With prayers for your success.
Many answers can be found in the book Kitab al-Mu'min by al-Husayn b. Sa'id al-Kufi al-Ahwazi, published Ansariyan. I think you find it also on this website.
Until around the time of Imam al-Sadiq (as), the term 'Sufi' was not in regular use, and the few that used it as an appellation were of the Mu'tazili and Imami schools, not the Sunni Ash'ari or Maturidi schools, which now dominate the Sufi scene.
Sufism is an amalgamation of Islamic ideas and practices and others that have been integrated into it from spiritual traditions that existed prior to Islam expanding into wider territories.
I have written a paper on this in more detail, if you are interested. Please write to me at email@example.com and I can send it to you.
The story of the monk called Bahira is not considered authentic in the Imami school.
The Sunni schools and Imami schools differ on this with regard to egg donation. Originally, both the Sunni schools and Imami school considered that fertilisation of an egg between non-mahrams is zina and therefore haram. The scholars of the Imami school said that to solve the problem, a man can do temporary marriage with the egg donor, even though there is no physical relationship between them.
Scholars of the Imami school have now changed, and ruled that egg donation and fertilisation between non-mahrams is not haram because zina involves the physical relationship. Therefore egg donation is permitted.
Sperm donation among both Sunni and Shi'i schools was also considered haram because a woman cannot both be married to her husband and to the sperm donor at the same time; the majority of Imami scholars still rule that sperm donation is prohibited because of the importance of the lineage of father in the child's life and most clinics prohibit any information about the identity of the child's father being given until the child is eighteen. However, Ayatollah Khamenei has now permitted sperm donation, as it is not classed as zina.
While sperm and egg donation may be now technically allowed in the Imami school, there are still ethical considerations to bear in mind, the most important being the well being of the child and the child's sense of identity. Islam recommends that a person check the family of a potential spouse carefully, going back, if possible, seven generations. Bearing children with unknown donors is risky. Many children born of unknown donors are now starting to speak out about their anguish and pain at not knowing who their real parents are. Therefore, the Qur'anic injunction about calling adopted children by their real paternal names and not concealing their true identity shows the sensitivity and consideration for the child's sense of identity.
If Muslims are to engage in egg donation, it may be best to seek a donor from a mu'min family who will be known to the child. Donors have to go through health checks with a clinic to clear for donation. Likewise for sperm donation. Children born of sperm donation are now tracing their siblings and meeting them. One man fathered eleven children with different couples and these children have now all traced each other. This shows that blood relations are still considered of huge importance even among non-Muslim children, and that an egg or a sperm is not just a 'bunch of cells' as many clinics claim.
The Qur'an says: "Allah prescribes for your children: for a male is equal the portion of two female" (4:11). Since the husband is obliged to spend for the maintenance of the family, his share of inheritance amounts double of that of the woman. The Qur'an also seems to indicate that such a rule is not subject to change in relation to the wife's job by saying: "These are the limits set by Allah" (4:13). A woman can decide if she wants to work, and if she does, she can spend all of her money for herself without sharing it with her husband because of the obligation of the maintenance. The husband, however, cannot abandon his duty to provide for his family. Therefore it is not unreasonable that sons receive more inheritance than daughters. Obviously a good and pious family is bound also by mutual understanding, love and cooperation, and it is up to the husband and wife to reach agreements and divide their financial support and daily tasks according to their situation.
With prayers for your success.
One may say that the best du'a for forgiveness is the one preserved in the immutable text of the Qur'an 7:23 in the following words:
قَالَا رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ
They said, "Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers."
There are also many other supplications (ad'iya) available to any Muslim seeking forgiveness from Allah (swt) for one's sins and shortcomings. Many beautiful and eloquent expressions have been taught by the Prophet Muhammad (s) and his family the Ahl al-Bayt (a).
For instance, check out this Du'a of Repentance taught by Imam 'Ali Zayn al-'Abidin (a) who was the son of Imam al-Husayn b. 'Ali (a) and the fourth Imam.
If there is no non-mahram man around and women do not attract men's attention by doing so, there is no problem; otherwise it should be avoided.
With prayers for your success.