Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi

Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi went to the Hawza-e ‘Ilmiya-e Qum, Iran where he attended the dars-e kharij lectures of Ayatullah Wahid Khurãsãni. He also obtained an MA degree in History in 1991 from Simon Fraser University (Vancouver).

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Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi went to the Hawza-e ‘Ilmiya-e Qum, Iran where he attended the dars-e kharij lectures of Ayatullah Wahid Khurãsãni. He also obtained an MA degree in History in 1991 from Simon... Answer imported 2 months ago

1. Zayd bin 'Ali ash-Shahid:

Among the children of Imam 'Ali Zaynul 'Abidin (a.s.), after Muhammad al-Baqir, Zayd was the most outstanding and the most learned. Shaykh Mufid describes him as "a devout worshipper, pious, a jurist, God-fearing and brave." (al-Irshad, p. 403) It is worth mentioning that he is also the first narrator of the famous as-Sahifah as-Sajjădiyya of Imam Zaynul 'Abidin (a.s.).

Zayd led an armed rebellion against the Marwanid (the Umayyid clan which came  to power after Yazid) ruler, Hisham bin 'Abdul Malik; and was calling people towards "the accepted person from among the descendants of the Prophet". He led the uprising in Kufa but was killed on 2nd Safar in 120 A.H. at the age of forty-two by Yusuf bin 'Amr ath-Thaqafi (the Umayyid governor), his body was taken out of the grave, put on a cross for four years, then it was burnt and his ashes were spread in the wind. (See al-Mufid, al-Irshad, p. 404; al-Mas'udi, Muruj adh-Dhahab; al-Qummi, Muntahal Amăl, p. 36).

Because of his jihad and his claim for the Ahlul Bayt, some Shi'as, however, thought that Zayd was claiming imamate for himself and therefore started believing in him as the Imam.

The Ithna-'Ashari sources do not believe that Zayd claimed imamate for himself. For example, Shaykh Mufid, one of the earliest Shi'a theologians says, "However that was not his intention because he knew of the right of his brother, peace be on him, to the Imamate before him, and of his bequest of trusteeship (wasiyya) at his death to Abu 'Abd Allăh (i.e., Ja'far as-Sadiq), peace be on him." (al-Irshad, p. 404).

Even the way Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) reacted to Zayd's martyrdom shows the uprightness of the latter in his faith in the Imams of Ahlul Bayt. When Imam as-Sadiq was informed about Zayd's martyrdom, "he was very sad...and he set apart a thousand dinars of his own money for the families of those of (Zayd's) followers who were killed with him." (al-Irshad, p. 405) For other such narrations by Shaykh as-Saduq, see Muntahal Amăl, p. 36.

In conclusion, we can say that Zayd bin 'Ali was an outstanding Shi'a, a mujăhid and a shahid who was loyal to the line of the Imams of Ahlul Bayt, including his own brother, Muhammad al-Baqir, and, his nephew, Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.). This leaves us with no choice but to reject the statement made by the late 'Allamah Tabătabă'i that Zayd himself "considered the first two caliphs, Abu Bakr and Umar, as their Imams." (Shi'a Islam, p. 77)

2. The Zaydiyya Sect:

Among the three sub-sects of the Zaydiyya, al-Jărudiyya is extinct. The other two sub-sects, the Sulaymăniyya and the Batariyya, cannot be technically considered as "Shi'a". Both believe that the Prophet did not appoint anyone as his successor; both believe in the caliphate of Abu Bakr and 'Umar but not in the caliphate of 'Uthman; they do not believe in the infallibility of the Imams; they believe that it is possible to have two imams at the same time but in two different regions.

According to the Zaydiyya, any descendant of the Prophet (i.e., a sayyid) who is a jurist (faqih, mujtahid), pious, courageous, and calls people towards Allăh by the "sword" (i.e., jihad) can be the imam. (On this account, the late Ayatullah al-Khumayni was definitely fulfilling all these requirements for the imamate of the Zaydis! I wonder what the Yemeni Zaydis have to say about this? But, on the other hand, they might say that this would apply to the Zaydis in Iran only!!)

All historians of religion, Shi'ahs and Sunnis, say that the Zaydis follow the Mu'tazila school in their beliefs, and the Hanafi school in their laws. As such, the Zaydis are more closer to the Sunnis than the Shi'as. (For details, see S.S. Akhtar Rizvi, "Shi'a Sects" published in The Light, and also reprinted in The Right Path [Toronto] in 1995).

3. Zaydi States:

It is true that one of the earliest states founded by the descendants of Imam 'Ali (a.s.) was a Zaydi state, but it was not necessarily a Shi'a state for the reasons mentioned above. Năsir al-Utrush, a descendant of the brother of Zayd ash-Shahid, arose in Khurasan. After being pursued by the 'Abbasids, he fled to Mazandaran (Tabaristan) whose people had not yet accepted Islam. "

After thirteen years of missionary activity in that region he brought a large number of people into the Zaydi branch of Islam. Then in the year 301/913 with their aid he conquered the region of Mazandaran, becoming himself Imam." (Tabătabă'i, Shi'a Islam, p. 77) The Zaydi rule in Tabaristan continued until 1126 C.E. 

The Idrisi dynasty (from 788-985 C.E.) in Morocco was not a Zaydi dynasty. It was founded by Idris bin 'Abdullah, a great-grandson of Imam Hasan bin 'Ali (a.s.).

4. What is our response?

Since the Zaydiyya believe in the caliphate of Abu Bakr and 'Umar, our response and arguments with them should not be any different from our arguments for the Sunnis.

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Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi went to the Hawza-e ‘Ilmiya-e Qum, Iran where he attended the dars-e kharij lectures of Ayatullah Wahid Khurãsãni. He also obtained an MA degree in History in 1991 from Simon... Answer imported 1 year ago

This is an issue hotly debated among the Muslim scholars all over the world. I myself have been following the debate and also observing the scientific method for the last ten years. There are some aspects of the Islamic calendar which can be surely based on the scientific data; however, there still are issues which science has not been able to solve for us as yet.

At this stage, science is able to provide for us all the details about the movement and position of the moon around the earth: it can precisely predict when the birth of the new moon will occur, at what angle and at what location in relation to our earth.

We are also told by the experts that when and where the moon will be visible; and where it cannot not be sighted. For example, we are told that the first sighting of the crescent is possible only sixteen hours after the birth of the new moon. Experts can also give us a graph showing the location where the sighting will be possible.

For the last `idd, we were told that the sighting will only be possible for those who are west of the Atlantic Ocean. This was proved correct by the sighting of the moon in North America (I saw it myself in Dallas, TX) on Monday, the 19th of February, 1996.

I personally have confidence in such predictions based on the scientific data. BUT the problem lies in the following: (a) the 16 hour criterion by the experts is based on the observation done by the scientists in North America and Europe during the last 90 years. (b) reliable witnesses in the Middle East have claimed the sighting of the moon when the new moon was just 9 hours old.

When I look at this situation, I am faced with two possibilities: EITHER the sixteen hours criterion is valid only in the western hemisphere and that it might be possible to sight the moon of an age lesser than sixteen hours in desert areas where the atmosphere is much more clear. OR the reliable people in the Middle East have seen something but not the moon!

In conclusion, although I trust and have faith in the scientic data regarding the sighting of the crescent, we still need further confirmation from the scientific world about the universality of the sixteen hours criterion for moon sighting. When this criterion becomes universal, then it will be definitely possible for us to predict the beginning of the Islamic months well in advance. Insha Allah, we will reach to that stage of certainty sooner rather than later. Amin. 

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Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi went to the Hawza-e ‘Ilmiya-e Qum, Iran where he attended the dars-e kharij lectures of Ayatullah Wahid Khurãsãni. He also obtained an MA degree in History in 1991 from Simon... Answer imported 2 years ago

It is haram for a person who has reached the level of ijtihad to do taqlid for another mujtahid. This applies equally to men as well as women.

However, when the question of a marja` comes (i.e., a mujtahid who is followed by others), then one of the conditions is that the marja` must be a male. For example, the late Ayatullah al-Khu`i, says: "The conditions [necessary] in marja`i 't-taqlid...", before listing the well-known conditions ---like sanity, being baligh, iman, justice and being a male (Minhaju 's-Salihiyn, vol. 1, p. 7).

In short, a woman can reach the level of ijtihad and follow her own views but she cannot become a marja`.

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Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi went to the Hawza-e ‘Ilmiya-e Qum, Iran where he attended the dars-e kharij lectures of Ayatullah Wahid Khurãsãni. He also obtained an MA degree in History in 1991 from Simon... Answer imported 2 years ago

If dental products contain alcohol, then they become najis. If you can use it without swallowing it, then it could be permissible to use for its purpose; but if you feel that it is impossible not to swallow some of it, then it is haram for you to use it.

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Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi went to the Hawza-e ‘Ilmiya-e Qum, Iran where he attended the dars-e kharij lectures of Ayatullah Wahid Khurãsãni. He also obtained an MA degree in History in 1991 from Simon... Answer imported 2 years ago

You have asked hypothetical questions. I will attempt to answer what has been discussed by our `ulama.

1. In the light of the Islamic belief of the end of this world and the death of all living beings, the question of human beings surviving the disintergration of the earth does not arise at all.

2. It is true that the Qur'an talks about "praying/worship" by non-human creatures. However, as far as the concept of "worship -- ibadat" by other beings is concerned, their "worship" is not same as that done by human beings. "Ibadat" is more broader in meaning than the term "salat/namaz". "Ibadat" means the act of submission to the Almighty whereas "salat" means the ritual prayers done by Muslims. It is in salat that one has to face towards the direction of the Mecca as required by the specific order of the Qur'an (2:144). But for other prayers (du`as) you can face any direction you want. Wherever you turn, you will find Allah in that direction.

3. Our mujtahidin have also discussed the issue of qiblah for those who travel in space-crafts or visit other planets (e.g. the Moon). They say that when you are on the earth, your qiblah for salat is Mecca; but when you are in the space, your qiblah for salat is the planet earth.

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Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi went to the Hawza-e ‘Ilmiya-e Qum, Iran where he attended the dars-e kharij lectures of Ayatullah Wahid Khurãsãni. He also obtained an MA degree in History in 1991 from Simon... Answer imported 2 years ago

The choice is yours: either way, it will be considered halal. The main thing is that it should die after coming in control.

Note: The relevant rules about catching a fish are reproduced below from the Masails of Ayat. Seestani, available on the web (see guidelines for URL):

Hunting of Fish and Locust

2624. If a fish with scales is caught alive from water, and it dies thereafter, it is Pak and it is halal to eat it, even if the scales are shed off later due to some reasons. And if it dies in the water, it is Pak, but it is haraam to eat it. However, it is lawful to eat it if it dies in the net of the fisherman. A fish which has no scales is haraam even if it is brought alive from water and dies out of water.

2625. If a fish falls out of water or a wave throws it out, or the water recedes and the fish remains on dry ground, if some one catches it with his hand or by some other means before it dies, it will be halal to eat it after it dies.

2626. It is not necessary that a person catching a fish should be a Muslim or should utter the name of Allah while catching it. It is, however, necessary that a Muslim should have seen or ascertained that the fish was brought alive from the water, or that it died in the net in water.

2627. * If a dead fish about which it is not known whether it was caught from water alive or dead, is bought of a Muslim, it is halal, but if it is bought of a non-Muslim it is haraam even if he claims that he has brought it alive from the water; except when a man feels satisfied that the fish was brought alive from the water or that it died in the net in the water.

2628. It is halal to eat a live fish but it is better to avoid eating it.

2629. If a fish is roasted alive, or is killed out of water before it died itself, it is halal to eat it, but it is better to avoid eating it.

2630. If a fish is cut into two parts out of water, and one part of it falls into water while it is alive, it is halal to eat the part which has remained out of water, and the recommended precaution is that one should refrain from eating it.

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Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi went to the Hawza-e ‘Ilmiya-e Qum, Iran where he attended the dars-e kharij lectures of Ayatullah Wahid Khurãsãni. He also obtained an MA degree in History in 1991 from Simon... Answer imported 2 years ago

Yes we are allowed to keep them as pets, there is no evidence in the Shari'ah which prohibits having cats as pets. But we have to be carefull that we do not pray with the cat hairs on our body or cloths of prayer.

With regards to the cat's hair, see the mas'ala on "dress for prayer" in the risalahs of the maraji`. Ayatullah Khu`i, for example, says: The dress for prayer should "not be from the parts of the animal whose meat is not halal...this would also apply to the hair found on the cloths, etc." (Minhaju 's-Salihiyn, vol. 1, p. 138) Cat is surely an animal whose meat is not halal, and, therefore, its hair should not be on the dress of one who wants to do salat.

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Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi went to the Hawza-e ‘Ilmiya-e Qum, Iran where he attended the dars-e kharij lectures of Ayatullah Wahid Khurãsãni. He also obtained an MA degree in History in 1991 from Simon... Answer imported 2 years ago

According to Ayatullah al-Khu`i: Wearing a dress made of 100% silk is haram for men at all times.

However, he says: "There is no problem in carrying it [an item made from 100% silk] in salat and outside salat or in using it as bed-sheet or mantle --- as long as these items are not identified as `dress'.

"And there is no problem in making the hem of dress with it [100% silk] although it is ihtiyat wajib that the hem should not be more than four fingers in width.

"And there is similarly no problem in using it [100% silk] for waist-band...lace/braid...even the inner-linning of suits, etc.

"But a dress (libas) which is not sufficient [by itself for appropriate covering] in salat, then it is ihtiyat wajib to refrain from it." (Minhaju 's-Salihiyn, vol. 1, p. 139)

& ** In both these cases, Ayatullah Sistani says it is ihtiyat mustahab, not wajib. (Minhaju 's-Salihiyn, vol. 1, p.179)

In the light of the above, the use of a dress with pocket square would be allowed. About the neck-tie, I am still not sure how we would classify it -- as an item of dress or a decorative part of it?