Islam

Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God (Allah) and that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24.1% of the global population, known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 1 hour ago

1. Human being was gifted with The Reason (Intellect; Aql عقل) which guides him in all his life to the truth through proper thinking. Those who think properly know that Allah, The Creator Has created us and guided us through proper thinking as well as through His messengers and Prophets and their successors.

2. Allah Knows that with our own thinking we do need to be guided by Him through His messengers and Prophets. That is why, He sent 124000 prophets including 313 messengers.

3. Islam is The Only True religion which is remaining till today after all the previous religious messages were been distorted and changed by people for different reasons. Allah says in Quran: Any one who takes any other religion apart from Islam, it will not be accepted from him, and he will be from the losers in the Hereafter. (Sura 3 : Verse 85).

4. Our evidence is the most authentic evidence with living miracles in Quran and Ahlul Bayt (AS) which can never be denied or ignored by any person who thinks properly. 

5. Our scholars were and are always ready for debate and dialogue and they proved through thousands of debates and books that we are following the real message from Allah (SWT) which was sent to all human beings through Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) and reached to us through His real successors Ahlul Bayt (AS).

We are always ready and willing to face and deal with any question or doubt by clear and authentic evidence based on proper intellect and evidence in Quran and authentic Hadeeths.

If you have any questions about Islam and Ahlul Bayt (AS), from you or others, you are welcome to write so that we can try to provide you with proper answers iA.

Wassalam.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 2 days ago

We have narrations encouraging marrying from other families and not very near relatives especially when is an inherited illness in the family.

Cousin marriages took place among Ahlul Bayt (AS) like the marriage of Imam Ali (AS) and Lady Fatima (AS) , marriage of Imam Zainul Abideen (AS) and Fatima daughter of Imam Hasan (AS) and many other examples. 

Wassalam.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answer updated 4 days ago

We have narrations from Ahlul Bayt (AS) that the Majoos had a prophet named  Damast داماست who was killed by them, and a book  called Jamast جاماست which was burnt by them. (Wasaa'il Al-Shia 5:127) .

In Majma' Al-Faa'idah by Al--Ardabeeli : Zardosht ( Zoroaster) was their prophet. (7:438).

Wassalam,

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 6 days ago

Women are not only allowed but also encouraged to seek knowledge with out any limitation. Women can reach to highest degrees of knowledge which is known as Ejtihad إجتهاد.We have in our Shia history many women reached to the high degree of Ejtihad. When the women becomes highly learned in Islamic sciences up to Ejtihad, she will not be dozing Taqleed for other Mujtahids but she as a Mujtahidah has to act upon her own verdicts.

The post of Marja' of Taqleed has big burden which is not for any woman to bear with her delicate nature as a female and her physical abilities and circumstances e.g. menstruation cycle, pregnancy, breast feeding etc.

Woman can reach to the highest degrees of Islamic knowledge with out making her facing challenges which are beyond her abilities and comfort.

Islam is not a male dominated religion, as Islam teaches that the human beings are created in male and female (Sura 49, Verse 13). Islam granted the woman since more than 1400 years full rights which were never given to her by any other religion or ideology. Europe till recently, treated with women as incomplete human beings and used to give her less than the salary of similar job man. Women were not allowed to study nor to do business or even own. 
Islam put pious women in the highest rank above millions of men. Lady Fatimah (AS) is the best human being after her father Muhammad (SAWA) and her husband Ali (AS).

Wassalam.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 1 month ago

You need to keep in touch with her and treat her nicely being a practicing Muslim so that she will see the great manners of Islam. You should try to invite her to Islam as and when you find a suitable chance. Her being non Muslim does not mean always that she denied Islam deliberately. She might had been a victim of ignorance or misleading propaganda.

You should do your best to give the practical evidence that Islam is the best religion.
Wassalam.

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Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from... Answered 1 month ago

Bismihi ta'ala

According to our esteemed Shi'i jurists, tattoos are makruh. However, one must also take into consideration the 'urfi/social view people have towards it. 

In general, it is not at all appropriate or befitting for a pious righteous person to indulge in such activities and get tattoos, especially to be seen with it in public. Such things are not at all a concern for genuine people of faith who care about their outer religious appearance and also their reputation. 

And Allah knows best.  

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answer updated 1 month ago

Compiling or writing books was not common during that period. No books were compiled during the time of previous prophets as well simply because people at that time did not have the practice of writing books. Nevertheless, the most important facts are documented and mentioned in Quran and in the authentic Hadeeths from the Prophet (SAWA) and Ahlul Bayt (AS). Aftermath the passing away of the Prophet, there were few books like Kitab Sulaym ibn Qays, which has many historic facts about that period.

Wassalam.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 1 month ago

Islam does not allow considerable harm to self. Little harm like drinking tea with little more sugar, eating food with little more of salt or spices, drinking water or drinks which more cold than usual is not good but not Haraam. Haraam starts when the harm is considerable. Smoking was taken by many scholars in the past as not considerably harmful, but after recent medical findings, it has been considered by many of our scholars as considerably harmful, hence, it is not allowed because of the considerable harm which it causes.

You may seek the verdict of your Marje' of Taqleed on this matter.

Wassalam.

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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 2 months ago

Both "yes" and "no". 

It is not prescribed in Qur'an or hadith.

Rather, it is a cultural or regional symbol. The hand as a protective symbol predates Islam and is not limited to Muslims, for instance, Jews also use the hand symbol, and some people call it the "Hand of Mary".

However some Shi'is have given it religious significance by using it to represent the ahl al-kisa'/panjtan (Muhammad, 'Ali, Fatimah, Hasan, and Husayn) and have used it to symbolise the intercession or protection of Hazrat Fatimah (A). In that way, it can symbolise her status and importance. 

Possibly, it acquired this symbolism related to Hazrat Fatimah (A) and the panjtan during the Fatimid (Isma'ili) dynasty in North Africa (c. 10th-12th centuries CE).

Since, from ancient times, the symbol was often worn to protect mothers during childbirth, or to protect young children from the evil eye, this may be one reason why it was associated with a female figure. Maybe associating it with Fatimah also reflects hope in her motherly care since she is also often seen an archetypal mother figure, similar to the Virgin Mary. 

However, some Shi'is also call it the Hand of  'Abbas due to what happened in Karbala and use it to represent similar things, such as honoring him, and seeking intercession and protection.

Some Sunnis also refer to it as the "Hand of Fatimah".

So, in short, the significance of it among Shi'is (or Muslims) is due to cultural practices that have developed over time to reflect religious ideals, in conjunction with the existing regional culture, rather than things that are prescribed in Qur'an or hadith.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 2 months ago

Yes definitely. Husband is required to provide all livelihood needs for his wife including home, food, clothing, medication, etc. Even if the wife is rich, still her husband remains responsible in Islam to provide all her livelihood and housing needs for her.

Wassalam.

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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 2 months ago

Primarily, this is because in the modern secular worldview, religion itself is seen as outdated or, at most, something that should be kept private. In contrast, Islam is a heavily communal and public religion that involves both public and private life.

Also, there are some aspects of the classical Islamic worldview that do not match the current world. For instance, in classical Islamic texts, identity is primarily treated via religious identity, whereas today, one's nationality is considered the primary aspect of one's identity. So there have been some shifts in the world.

Furthermore, one aspect of secular modernity is the belief that human society is always improving, and that modern times are better because we have more scientific discoveries and technology. That is to say, the new is always better than the old, and so anything pre-modern must necessarily be inferior. This belief is perhaps waning, in light of increasing awareness of global inequity surrounding the production of technology, and also environmental concerns, but is not uncommon. 

Perhaps one can also add that after Europe and the West came to power (culturally, politically, economically, and scientifically), a tendency to look down on Islam as backwards developed. This was not found in previous centuries, when Muslim civilization was culturally and scientifically ascendant. 

So these are some reasons why some people see Islam as backwards, although individual people would have to say their own reasons.

It is worth noting that all of these views relate to trends of thought among people today and are not absolutes; for instance, in some eras, classical literature and ideas have been valued, and there wasn't the idea that new things are necessarily better than old things.

As for what to do to counter it, first, one can only control other people's views so much. Although it is good to stand up for one's religion, in the end sometimes the most powerful statement is simply having confidence in your faith and living it. Islam has been a counter-example to the idea that religions will become irrelevant in modernity, because many Muslims hold quite strongly to Islamic teachings in the modern era or in Muslim-minority societies, especially Western countries. When this is seen on a mass scale, it proves that Islam has the ability to flourish in modernity and to provide an alternate path to modernity than secularism.

Also, it is good to keep in mind that every generation has its own ideas of what is new or outdated, but those ideas change quickly. 40 or 100 years ago, some people thought they knew everything, and then came to realize that there were things they were mistaken about, such as quantum physics, the effects of some chemicals, and so on. 

An underlying idea in Islam is that while societies come and go, the underlying human nature does not change, nor does the process of spiritual growth of the human being, the spiritual trajectory of the human being, or the things which nurture the human being versus the things that harm it (that is to say, the halal and haram). It is narrated that human beings from the time of Adam (A) to the end are like teeth on a comb, that is, we are all essentially the same. So, from that angle, the teachings of Islam are relevant in any era. 

Of course there are some matters which are new in Islamic thought, such as how to pray in space, or questions about democracy and political matters, which do relate to new issues and not past issues, and which are discussed via the Islamic sources as well. So from that angle there is room for growth in Islamic thought without deviating from the ideals of the teachings of the Prophet (S).

Lastly, one has to admit that some Muslims hold ideas which could be called "backwards" and ascribe them to Islam. They usually do not have anything to do with the teachings of the Qur'an or Prophet (S) but rather are their own ideas, or else are some very limited interpretations of the Qur'an and hadith. Given that there are over a billion Muslims, it is natural that there is going to be some variation of ideas and some ideas might seem "backwards" (i.e. wrong or unenlightened). Perhaps the biggest form of backwardsness is when some Muslims, perhaps due to feeling defensive in the face of opposition to Islam, do not wish to engage with the intellect in open discussion about Islam, as Allah frequently tells us in the Qur'an to think, reflect, and so on. However, this sometimes results in narrow thinking.

It is a big question - hope that helps! Some others may have some insights as well. 

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 2 months ago

There are many websites dealing with similar subjects related to Quran and science, Quran and health etc.

You can also consult experts in these fields as well as in Islamic teachings. You can contact WABIL office in London to discuss the matter.

Wassalam.