Amina Inloes

Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the Islamic College in London and also the Managing Editor of the Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies.

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 1 week ago

In the technical sense of the use of the word "authentic (sahih)", with respect to having a solid, complete chain of narration and solid textual sourcing, Du'a Sanamay Quraysh is not authentic. 

(I say "technical sense" to specify what is meant because there are a lot of ways that people casually use the word "authentic" today.) 

As for whether Imam 'Ali (A) actually said it... God knows best.

In any case, you have the option to recite it if it calls to you and you find benefit in it, and you have the option to leave it aside if you prefer to. 

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 2 weeks ago

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 2 weeks ago

In addition to what has been said, my understanding of this verse is with respect to the meaning of "wali/awliya" as putting one's self under someone else's authority. That is, one should not put one's self under the authority (in the sense of dependence or giving over power of one's self to someone else, e.g. politically, financially, personally) of someone who is not Muslim in such a way that one loses control over one's life or society and cannot easily recover it.

To my understanding, one of the principles of the early Muslim community was self-definition and self-sufficiency. It doesn't mean that one cannot be friends; friendship is different from disempowerment. To see the results of political or economic disempowerment, one can look at what happened during the colonialist era as an instructive example. (I am not saying that European colonialism was a morally Christian act, but just that this is how these dynamics can play out in the real world)

I would like to add that, in this day and age, no one would argue the reverse; that is, none of the Western countries (which are somehow connected to the Christian heritage even if they are not necessarily "Christian") woud put themselves under the political, legal, financial, or cultural authority of Muslims, yet no one says that this is prejudiced. 

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 2 weeks ago

Assalaamu alaykum

Here are some versions of salat al-hajat from Shi'i sources:

https://www.duas.org/hajaat.htm

https://www.duas.org/hajatsalatsr.htm

Best wishes

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 2 weeks ago

This is a big question - many people have challenges in their personalities or temperaments that are long-term projects to work on. However, here is something that you could consider and see if it has any helpful advice ("Imam Ali and Islamic Anger Management by Shaykh Mohamed Ali Ismail")

(I recall he did a workshop some years ago at an Islamic event on practical tips for anger management but I don't know if it is available online; you could try to find it)

Also if you haven't already, you could look through books such as this: https://www.al-islam.org/jami-al-saadat-collector-felicities-muhammad-mahdi-naraqi
 

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 2 weeks ago

Best of wishes on this next stage of your spiritual journey, and, yes, it is enough to have the intention to follow a marja' and to do your best to do so; you do not need to notify the marja'.

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 2 weeks ago

The general understanding of this verse is that things are generally created in pairs (for instance, positive and negative, matter and antimatter, light and dark, or male and female), and that one of the signs of Allah is that human beings marry and form a pair in order to become more whole than they would be individually.

However, it is not usually taken to mean that all human beings are specifically created with a soulmate or "pair" whom they marry in this world. Indeed, some people have more than one happy marriage in their lifetimes; others are miserable in their marriages!

Marriage can be destined and can be a matter of free choice; matters of destiny are not usually clear. Some people misuse the idea of destiny and marriage to cover up socially unjust practices (for instance, not allowing their children to marry someone of a certain race, culture, family, or profession) and then saying these restrictions are "destiny". At the same time, it does seem that sometimes some people are destined to be together or destined not to be together. 

However if you are happy with your husband, I hope you will be able to be together in the Hereafter!

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answer updated 1 month ago

It is nice and humble to focus on service. Some people do feel called to serve communities other than their own, and I have met some people who are not Muslim who dedicated their lives to working for Muslim communities or the Islamic cause. Sometimes it is a lifelong calling, and sometimes it is a temporary calling (for instance, on a specific sociopolitical issue that one feels strongly about, or as a stepping stone to discovering one's identity or beliefs).

That being said, the psychological motivations behind dedicating one's self to service (especially to serving the "other") can be complex. There are psychologically healthy and unhealthy reasons for service. For instance, a genuine desire to help someone in need, versus the desire to feel needed. Wishing to aid those who are marginalized, versus re-living unresolved psychological trauma surrounding feelings of non-belonging. Etc.

For that reason, it doesn't hurt to look deeply at one's motivations for service to be sure it continues to be a healthy arrangement. Also, I could foresee such an arrangement eventually breaking down due to the tension of wanting to serve the Muslim community while at the same time not wanting to be part of the Muslim community, which might strike some Muslims as strange. Not everyone wants an "outsider" to help them; this may be particularly poignant today, given the legacy of European colonialism in the Muslim world, and the way some Western organizations take a paternalistic approach to Muslims and try to "save" Muslims from practices they deem backwards or uncivilized. Basically, while some people want to serve, not everyone wants to be served. 

Anyway, from an Islamic perspective, what is important is the view of Allah. That is, what is important is your relationship to the divine. What is important is the view of the divine on your religious beliefs and practices, and overall actions in life, not the overall view of Muslims or the view of Islam as a faith. 

Similarly, the core teaching of Islam is serving Allah, not serving Muslims. There are many ways to serve Allah; serving Muslims is religiously meritorious when it is done as a way of serving Allah, but it is not the only way to serve Allah.

From a historical perspective, there are some respected figures in Islamic history who were not Muslim but aided Muslims or the Islamic cause. For instance, the Christian king of Abysynnia who protected the early Muslims from persecution. If you go through the account of Karbala, you will see that a number of people who were Christian also stood up for Imam Husayn. Also in the classical era of Islamic history, Muslims and people of other faiths worked harmoniously together on scientific and other projects and also occasionally shared the same site for houses of worship. (That being said, there was more of an equal playing field in those times; there wasn't the post-colonialist or "clash of civilizations" imbalanced power dynamic.)

Overall, despite the stereotypes of Muslims being intolerant, I think most Muslims are comfortable with religious diversity because the Quran gives a place to other religions and doesn't say that all other religions are false or that all other people are doomed. Also, most Muslim cultures have historically had religious minorities. I think some Muslims also secretly like people who are different because it can get a little boring seeing the same type of people again and again. That being said, if you do work within the Muslim community, I am sure some Muslims will encourage you to convert!

Anyway, I certainly don't mean to be discouraging in any of the above; your situation is unique to your own self and surroundings; these are just some thoughts on the overall dynamics that might arise. I wish you the best in whatever paths you take in life!

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 1 month ago

It is not obligatory but it is recommended. It is considered to be an appropriate form of expression on Ashura, and a means of attracting divine blessings and linking the followers of the Ahl al-Bayt to the Ahl al-Bayt.

Here are some hadith that may be helpful: https://www.al-islam.org/forty-hadith-on-azadari/ahadith-traditions

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answer updated 1 month ago

This may be an overly pedantic or literal response, but, in my view, the main reason why you "have" to do something in Islam is that it is prescribed in scripture (Quran/hadith) (and/or other methods of deriving jurisprudence).

Since the Quran and hadith seem to indicate that women should wear hijab, women should wear hijab. Any other explanation - unless directly stated in these sources - is either (a) a guess, and (b) oftentimes just personal opinion or what is popular to say at the time.

Anyway - based on what is in the Quran/hadith - most people would say that the hijab serves the purpose of (a) modesty and maintaining a culture of modesty in society (also, to be blunt, discouraging relationships and hence birth out of wedlock), and (b) social signalling - for instance, identifying a woman as a Muslim, or signifying that one is a practicing Muslim.

Clothing in general, historically and today, has served to communicate a complex set of messages about identity (such as culture, tribe, nationality, religion, occupation, social class, etc), and varying forms of hijab do that as well. 

Also, in most Muslim cultures, it is seen as more dignified or more traditional for men to cover up a fair amount. 

Today some people also point to other possible messages or purposes of the hijab, such as discouraging excessive consumerism regarding beauty and beauty products, emphasizing a woman's right over her own body (versus feeling compelled to show it off), as a political or ideological statement, or as a form of self-motivation to act in a better way (in that wearing hijab often makes one more conscious of one's actions). Some people also say it might promote a stronger marriage or stronger family values. Some people might also say there is a convenience factor or it is better for one's well-being (to avoid sun damage).

Some people argue that hijab isn't necessary for modesty and point out that many cultures have modest dress which doesn't cover the hair. While I agree, now that we have seen the direction of Western culture and, to some extent, the global society, I have personally come to feel there is a virtue in having a minimum dress code in society today because, without it, there is pressure to show off a lot. 

Anyway because it is a very prominent subject in the modern era, you will find a lot of things written about hijab and you can read elsewhere to get a variety of views. 

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 1 month ago

You are allowed to get married for more or less any reason you want. People (both men and women) decide to get married for all sorts of reasons. 

However, it is good for him to think deeply about whether or not he *should* do it since it will affect other people around him. 

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 1 month ago

It is not allowed and could be considered a metaphorical sort of zina or a pathway to zina; for instance, a hadith says that unlawfully gazing at a non-mahram is a sort of zina of the eye.

However the actual law of zina which involves legal consequences refers to the conventional act of coupling through which procreation occurs. 

Anyway, if you are are still in contact with this person and you aren't married to other people, it is good to sort your situation in one way or another to avoid a possibilitly of the formal type of zina.