Seyed Ali Shobayri

Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the Islamic College of London. He also studied at the Hawza Ilmiyya of England and continues Hawza and Islamic studies with private teachers.

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Seyed Ali Shobayri, Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the... Answer updated 3 weeks ago

Bismaillah, 

Asslamu Alaykom, 

Reading the Quran and famously narrated duas are recommend to be recited in the original Arabic language. This way the meaning stays the same and the real spiritual feeling may be gained by reciting them exactly how they have reached us. 

If however a person isn’t able to read them in the original language, he still may do it in his own language with a pure intention to the best of his ability. 

In Al-Kāfī we find the following narration where the prophet (sawa) states: 

“The non-Arab from my community should recite the Quran by his own language, for the angels will raise it to Arabic” 

May Allah grant you success

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Seyed Ali Shobayri, Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the... Answer updated 3 weeks ago

Bismillah, 

Asalamu Alaykom, 

The verse that you have asked about is often used by some anti-Islam supporters to  portray Islam as a hateful and intolerant religion which goes against peaceful co-existence. 

They use the verse to say that a Muslim isn’t allowed to be friends with non-Muslims. It is correct that some translations have translated the word ‘Awliya’ - the plural of wali’ - as ‘friends’ but the word wali or awliyah, can have various meanings depending on the context. 

Firstly in Islam as we know, marriage is allowed  with the people of the book. Therefore it wouldn’t make sense for Allah to command us not be friends with the people of the book and at the same time, allow marriage with them. Is it possible that one may have a Christian or Jewish wife but not be her friend?! 

Secondly, when we read history, we find that the prophet Mohammad had (sawa) peaceful interactions with the people of the book as well as friendship. 

Extracted from a longer Hadith in Kitāb Al-Tawhīd by Sheikh Saduq, we find the following: 

كان لرسول الله صديقان يهوديان 

“The Messenger of Allah had two Jewish friends” 

This shows us that according to our books, the prophet did in fact have friendship with those from the people of the book. By coupling this hadith with the verse, we would come to realise that the word ‘wali’ must have a different meaning than friend. 

When we look into some books of history, we find that according to some reports, this verse was revealed during an incident relating Jews who had breached a covenant with the prophet. 

Please read the passage below: 

“It is reported that the Messenger of Allah besieged them for six days until finally they surrendered to him. `Abdullah ibn Ubayy came to him and interceded on their behalf saying: “O Apostle of Allah, these are my allies and clients who have defended me against the black and the red (that is, against all kinds of people). They were three hundred armoured soldiers and four hundred without armour. Would you now cut them down all in one morning? By Allah, I can then find no security; rather I dread the turns of for- tunes!” The people of Banu Qaynuqa` were allies of the Khazraj tribe only, and not of the Aws. `Abdullah ibn Ubayy persisted in his entreaties until the Prophet relented and granted him their blood. But seeing the humiliation which they had suffered, the people of Banu Qaynuqa` left Medina altogether and settled in Adhri'at in Syria. Then Allah sent down concerning `Abdullah ibn Ubayy and others of the Khazraj tribe:

O you who have faith, take not the Jews or the Christians as patrons. . . (Qur'an. 5 : 51‐ 52) .”

Source: Beacons of Light: Muhammad, the Prophet and Fatimah az-Zahra’ (the Radiant) a Partial translation of I'lamu 'l Wara bi Alami 'l-Huda of Abu Ali al Fadl ibn al Hasan ibn al Fadl at Tabarsi (c. 468/1076 - 548/1154). 

So we see that from this source, a hypocrite from among the companions, tried to intercede for the Jews of Banu Qaynuqa who broke the peace treaty with prophet which was a betrayal. The Prophet allowed this Jewish tribe to reside in Medina on the condition that they do not help enemies against the Muslims; despite this, they still broke their agreement. 

From this source it shows that Allah revealed this verse to rebuke the hypocrite Abdullah bin Ubay who took these people as his allies and his protective guardians. He relied on them and had a type of attachment towards them over the prophet and Muslims. 

This leads us understand that if we take the verse to mean friends, it would indicate those from them who Muslims  have conflicts with, and not regular people from Ahlul kitab. 

However from the context of the historical report, it seems that the correct translation could be the following: 

O you who have faith, take not the Jews or the Christians as patrons or protective guardians. . . (Qur'an. 5 : 51‐ 52) 

Also it could be possible for a Muslim to be forbidden from friendship with some other Muslims. For example if they would lead him astray or to an immoral path, he must not be friends with them despite them being Muslims. So this isn’t discriminatory and restricted to only people of the book. 

If a Muslim was to have a Christian friend for example, who he may study with or partake in sports with etc, then this would be permitted providing that this person wouldn’t lead him down an immoral path or a deviated path. How many times have we found ourselves around Christians who held better moral traits than Muslims although they are upon Batil? 

Also to mention, it is better for someone to take mu’minin as friends as  this will lead them to become stronger in iman and prevent them from haram things. 

It should be noted that the  book above, also contains reports from non-Shia reported Seerah of the prophet. This is due to the Shia losing many books by having them burnt by the enemies, so the above opinion is a possible exegesis for the verse and not 100% definite. Allah swt knows best and the full explanation of the Quran will be with us when Imam Mahdi (May Allah hasten his reappearance) returns. 

What we do know for certain, is that it wouldn’t mean friends in the absolute sense as the Prophet had two Jewish friends as reported in our sources. As we know, the Prophet Mohammad (sawa) is of course our role model who we try to imitate. If he showed friendship and kindness towards the non-Muslims, we may also take this example. 

May Allah grant you success 

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Seyed Ali Shobayri, Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the... Answer updated 1 month ago

Bismillah, 

Asalamu Alaykom, 

Alhamdulilah you have realized the error of not wearing hijab. It is possible that there will not be a sin upon you for old pictures inshallah. 

You should however try your hardest to get any of these pictures removed. Try to privately message the person who had tagged you and explain the situation.  If they refuse to remove these pictures, then they will be in violation of your rights and they will be also committing a sin if they are Muslims. 

It may also be possible to message the social media platform and request a removal. All you can do is try and if it isn’t successful, you have fulfilled your duty. 

May Allah grant you success

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Seyed Ali Shobayri, Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the... Answered 1 month ago

Bismillah, 

Asalamu Alaykom, 

Yes, some maraja have now come out and are saying that congregational prayers may be held with a certain measurement of distancing between people in the rows. 

May Allah grant you success 

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Seyed Ali Shobayri, Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the... Answered 1 month ago

Bismillah, 

Asalamu Alaykom, 

It is allowed for one to hold paper or a phone if they wish to recite verses of a surah which they haven’t memorised  however it is makruh meaning there is less reward in the Salah. 

May Allah grant you success 

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Seyed Ali Shobayri, Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the... Answer updated 1 month ago

Bismillah, 

Asalamu Alaykom, 

A Muslim man should conduct an Islamic marriage contract with a woman. Scholars differ as to whether someone can marry a Christian woman permanently. All allow temporary marriage and some scholars say that both temporary and permanent are  allowed. 

If however a Muslim man was ignorant and he for example read a marriage contract such as a civil one instead of Islamic (while he thought that this counts as  marriage) then some scholars would say that the marriage wouldn’t be fornication. 

This therefore could make the child one of shubha where they aren’t deemed as illegitimate. 

If he found out his mistake though, then he must do an Islamic marriage as soon as possible. 

Rgearding a Christian marriage contract, this should be asked from one's Marja and it should be stated whether the person was ignorant or not. 

May Allah grant you success 

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Seyed Ali Shobayri, Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the... Answer updated 1 month ago

Bismillah, 
Asalamu Alaykom, 

Yes Imam Sadiq and the imams after him (peace be upon them) would of been from dark complexion as indicated by narrations. 

We even have authentic ahadith which point towards the 12th imam’s mother being dark
أخبرنا أحمد بن محمد بن سعيد ابن عقدة قال حدثنا محمد بن المفضل بن قيس بن رمانة الأشعري و سعدان بن إسحاق بن سعيد و أحمد بن الحسين بن عبد الملك و محمد بن الحسن القطواني قالوا جميعا حدثنا الحسن بن محبوب الزراد عن هشام بن سالم عن يزيد الكناسي قال سمعت أبا جعفر محمد بن علي الباقر ع يقول إن صاحب هذا الأمر فيه شبه من يوسف ابن أمة سوداء يصلح الله عز و جل له أمره في ليلة واحدة

From Yazeed al-Kunaasee said, I heard Abaa Ja`far Muhammad bin `Alee al-Baaqir (عليهالسلام), he said: “Verily, the master of this affair (i.e. al-Qaa’im) in him is resemblance of Yoosuf (عليهالسلام), he is the son of a black bondswoman (female slave), and Allaah (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) will reform his affair in one night”

Source:
1.     Al-Nu`maani, Kitaab al-Ghaybah, ch. 13, pg. 228, hadeeth # 8
2.     Al-Nu`maani, Kitaab al-Ghaybah, pg. 163, hadeeth # 3

Imam Jawad (as) according to narrations would also be insulted for his darkness and given racist abuse. These realities found in our narrations are very different to what people try to depict the imams as in drawings.

Also Sister Amina Inloes has an interesting article about this topic which may benefit you; google and download the following article entitled: 

'Racial ‘Othering’ in Shi‘i Sacred History: Jawn ibn Huwayy ‘the African Slave’, and the Ethnicities of the Twelve Imams'

May Allah grant you success

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Seyed Ali Shobayri, Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the... Answered 1 month ago

Bismaillah, 

Asslamu Alaykom, 

Qasd Al-Qurbah means that the act must be done with the intention of seeking closeness to Allah swt. For example, salah, hajj, sawm, wudu and ghusl etc. All these acts are not valid without the specific intention of doing them for the sake of Allah. 

There are some other actions where you wouldn’t need this intention. For example, making something tahir (purified). It wouldn’t be necessary if someone was removing an impure substance to utter this intention. 

May Allah grant you success

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Seyed Ali Shobayri, Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the... Answered 1 month ago

Bismaillah, 

Asalamu Alaykom, 

God is most powerful and could easily do such an action. However, poverty exists due to man’s greediness. If everyone had paid their Islamic taxes correctly such as zakat and khoms, the situation of poverty would look much different. 

We find that Imam Ali (as)  was strongly against poverty, and gave us an example on eradicating it. This was even towards non-Muslims such as the famous story below which alludes to his conduct towards a Christian beggar: 

‘One day Ameer ul Momineen (Commander of the Faithful) Imam Ali (AS), passed through the lane and saw the beggar in that condition. Imam Ali (AS), out of his concern for others, enquired about the old man. He wanted to know the factors which led him to that condition. “Has he has no son to support him? Or, is there no other way for him to live a respectable life in his old age?”

The people who knew the old man came forward and informed Imam Ali (AS) that he was a Christian and had worked hard so long as he had his eyes, and when young and strong.

Now that he had lost his youth as well as his eyes, he was unable to do any work; also he had no savings, so it was natural for him to beg. Imam Ali (AS) said, “Strange! Till he had strength, you extracted work from him and now you have left him on his own?”

His story shows that he had worked when he had the strength. Therefore, it is the duty of the Government and the society to support him while he is alive. “Go, and give him a life pension from the State Treasury (Baytul Mal).” 

Also regarding the rich and poor, Islam in fact encourages the rich to help the poor and act in a humble manner with them. The Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them) were known for this as well as helping the slaves or servants with hard work. It is the corrupt society and governments which create poverty and enforce a system which discriminates between the rich and poor. Islam has been given to us to deal with this issue in addition to all of society’s problems. 

May Allah grant you success

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Seyed Ali Shobayri, Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the... Answered 1 month ago

Bismillah, 

Asalamu Alaykom, 

A Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim male. Such a relationship will be considered illegitimate. 

May Allah grant you success 

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Seyed Ali Shobayri, Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the... Answered 1 month ago

Bismillah, 

Asalamu Alaykom, 

We don’t have any caste system in Islam. People’s characters and merits are determined by their piety. 

Some people are unfortunately inflicted by Hindu ideas and try to introduce this into our community by saying things such as a Sayeda or alawiyah woman, can only marry a Sayed. We also have those who refuse to let their daughters marry people from the opposite race: sometimes a person is of the same race yet it still  isn’t enough as they are not from their city or village! 

None of this is from Islam. 

“O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is the one who has At-Taqwa(piety)” (49:13)

May Allah grant you success 

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Seyed Ali Shobayri, Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the... Answer updated 1 month ago

Bismillah, 

Asalamu Alaykom, 

Such loan is permissible to take. Some scholars also allowing taking loans with interest if it is absolutely necessary and the person is in much hardship. 

May Allah grant you success