Scholars

Scholars are people who devote themselves to study, particularly to an area in which they have developed expertise. A scholar may also be an academic, a person who works as a teacher or researcher at a university or other higher education institution. An academic usually holds an advanced degree.

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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

No, it is not sufficient to ask one trustworthy person about which Marja to follow. He must be a high caliber 'Aalim (scholar), yet his witness alone is not sufficient because witness should come from two high caliber 'Aalims. 

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 4 weeks ago

Yes, it is authentic and narrated in many authentic books. Allama Majlisi narrated it in Biharul Anwaar, volume 99, page 247. Dua Tawassul was narrated by Mohammad Bin Babawayh from Infallible Imams.

There are always persons who create doubts because of their own misunderstandings or way of thinking, but their doubts are for them only, because our leading scholars who have much more knowledge like Allama Majlisi and leading Maraaji' are the scholars to be followed.

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... Answered 2 months ago

Ideally, and traditionally, religious work should be done first and foremost as a service to Allah. It doesn't not mean that one cannot be paid for it, but just that money shouldn't be the main goal. If someone's main goal is money, there are other professions which are more lucrative. 

Religious work - like art or sports or other endeavors which require a lot of dedication - has the highest quality when it is done out of sincerity and love for what one is doing. When it is done primarily for financial gain, it loses something. Also, when it is done with money as the priority, the speaker or reciter loses their freedom to speak the truth as they see it and can begin to feel compelled to please the people rather than please the Truth. 

There have been some notable scholars throughout history who took no money for their efforts.

However, on the flip side, it is good for communities to assist those who serve them financially. When a community hears a speech or majlis, they only see the hour or two of the program. However, the person delivering it may have had to take time off of paid work to prepare or travel, invest time and money in training and books and developing speaking skills, etc, etc. For instance, if someone takes 2 weeks off of work to travel to give majalis, they are losing a lot of their basic income.

Some people also rely on lectures and majalis for their income, especially because sometimes people who work full-time in the religious community are not in a good financial situation. Often it is the people who are the most reliant on receiving hediyas that are shy to ask for high amounts or specific amounts. So it is good to be thoughtful of that and to be generous within the range of what is possible. 

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 2 months ago

As far as the permissibility, it is permissible just like any lecturer who is allowed to demand his fees but it is advisable for those who serve religion to avoid high charging. Most of our scholars teach people with out any charges. Yet it is not Haraam to charge but reasonably.

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 3 months ago

Most prominent scholars among the students of Ayatullah Sistani or any other Marja' of Taqleed are not announced in public and it depends on the opinions of different leading scholars who evaluate those students and judge who are the most senior among them. 

It might be more suitable to send this question to the office of Ayatullah Sistani maktab@sistani.org or English@sistani.org and see whether they find it appropriate to reply.

Wassalam.

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Abbas Di Palma, Shaykh Abbas Di Palma holds a BA and an MA degree in Islamic Studies, and certifications from the Language Institute of Damascus University. He has also studied traditional Islamic sciences in... Answer updated 7 months ago

as salam alaikum

after Shaykh Yusuf al-Bahrani (died in 1772), who was himself a moderate Akhbari, there were no major and outstanding Akhbari scholars left in the Islamic world.

With prayers for your success.

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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 8 months ago

Wearing a turban (Amama) and Aba Qaba (Religious Robe) is recommended during performing Salah (Prayers). Wearing Amama in public now a days can mislead people that the person is a scholar then his behavior can be taken by lay people as a religious behavior, that is why it should be avoided unless the person is really a religious scholar or religious student.

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 8 months ago

The black turban is the turban of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWA). This fact is mentioned in both Shia and Sunni books.
The Sayyed Ulama wear black turban which is the turban of their great grand father, the Prophet Muhammad (SAWA).

Wassalam.

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Abbas Di Palma, Shaykh Abbas Di Palma holds a BA and an MA degree in Islamic Studies, and certifications from the Language Institute of Damascus University. He has also studied traditional Islamic sciences in... Answered 8 months ago

as salam alaikum

the Akhbari/Usuli discussion is mainly related to the realm of fiqh, specifically to the way of deduction of Islamic laws, although some implications may relate to other than jurisprudence. While Usuli scholars derive Islamic laws from Qur'an, Sunna, intellect and ijma', Akhbaris only accept Qur'an and Sunna as source for Islamic law. Some more radical Akhbaris rely only on the Sunna as per their saying that "the Qur'an should be interpreted exclusively through the Sunna of the Prophet and Ahl al-Bayt".

Practically, Akhbaris cannot overlook some sort of reasoning and Usulis do not discard the transmitted reports. Overall Usuli methodology is more strict on scrutinizing and authenticating the ahadith.

Some prominent Akhbari scholars were Mulla Amin Astarabadi, Mulla Muhammad Tahir Qummi  and Seyyed Hashim al-Bahrani.

With prayers for your success.

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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 8 months ago

The Marja' of Taqleed does not come through election, selection nor appointment. He reaches to this status of knowledge by his own hard work and dedication and sincerity with the help of Allah (SWT). The scholars in the Hawza are the responsible persons to identify and recognize the level of knowledge of the Mujtahid scholar and whether he is entitled to be Marja' or not. Such high level of scholars give witness that this Mujtahid is a Marje' then people can do his Taqleed.

Wassalam.

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1. Imam Al-Mahdi ( AS) during his major occultation meets , teaches, and helps people , but people do not recognize him during the meeting but very few of the very pious believers who have a high degree in faith and know him.

2. Pious believers never claim nor disclose meeting Imam Al-Mahdi (AS). Pious believers know that Imam Al-Mahdi (AS) must be away from the enemies, so they do not disclose any information about him.

3. Those who claim in public that they met Imam Al-Mahdi (AS) or brought a message from him, can never be trusted.

4. Hundreds of very pious Ulama and believers have met Imam Al-Mahdi (AS) in hundreds of occasions. Many books were compiled in this subject by great scholars like Al-Muhaddith al-Noori in his book Dar Assalam and others.

5. We pray in Du'a al-'Ahd دعاء العهد to be granted seeing the face of our Imam Al-Mahdi (AS): اللهم أرني الطلعة الرشيدة والغُرّة الحميدة واكحل ناظري بنظرة مني إليه.

This means that seeing him during the major occultation is possible for certain very pious persons.

Wassalam.

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Rebecca Masterton, Dr Rebecca Masterton graduated with a BA in Japanese Language and Literature; an MA in Comparative East Asian and African Literature and a PhD in Islamic literature of West Africa. She has been... Answered 1 year ago

It may be due to the region in which those scholars live and therefore which types of thought have influenced the idea of spirituality in that region. The term 'irfan' began to be used under the Safavids, to distinguish it from 'Sufism', or 'tasawwuf', which came to be associated with many spurious groups adopting various practices that had little basis in Islam. If we use the term 'Islamic mysticism', it covers a wide range of spiritual trends which have been incorporated into the field. The type of 'irfan' that may be found in Khorasan would differ from that found in Baghdad. Generally, 'irfan' as understood today, includes the thought and practice of mystics, be they Sunni or Shi'i and be their mysticism influence by Platonism or Neo-Platonism. This view of 'irfan' takes an inclusive approach to spiritual tendencies among mystics.

With regard to 'philosophy'  - this term in the Muslim world basically means Platonic-Aritotelian influenced philosophy. There are many other kinds of philosophy also - so the condemnation of philosophy does not mean philosophy per se, but this Greek-influenced trend.

Primarily, both these fields have been disapproved of in narrations attributed to the Imams (as), because both side-line or play down the central pillar of walayah. According to traditional Shi'i narrations, the Imam is the gateway to Allah (swt), the Greatest Sign and the Qutb. Ma'rifah of the Imam = Ma'rifah of God's theophany on earth. There is no greater sign than the Imam (Imam 'Ali (as) says this in Usul al-Kafi). 

The are narrations from the Imams that indicate that certain people used to sit in their circles, learn their doctrines, and then go and attribute those doctrines to themselves. This could be one root of the beginnings of Sufism. Hakim Tirmidhi, in his book Sirat al-Awliya' (The Concept of Sainthood) pretty much repackages the Imami concept of walayah, but replaces the Imam with that of the Saint, or Waliyullah (Friend of God). At the same time, he was writing polemical treatises against the Shi'a. Therefore, those who, in time of the Imams, sat in dhikr circles, or passed on the teachings of the Imams, while effectively breaking their allegiance to the Imam and attributing their teachings to themselves, were condemned. Thus, those who say that 'what it matter where these teachings come from? It all leads back to Allah' overlook the fundamental pillar of walayah and loyalty to the Imam. In effect, if you steal someone's teachings, then those teachings are transmitted on a foundation of betrayal. So there is an ethical problem here.

Some argue that the narrations attributed to the Imams that condemn irfan and philosophy are not authentic. This would require more expert investigation to ascertain their status.

With du'as