Ask A Question About Islam And Muslims
Inside some mosques and centres one can see placed pictures of respected Shi'a scholars. What is the reason behind this and is there scholarly consensus on its permissibility?
Majority of our Shia Masjids all over the world do not place pictures of scholars or founders of the mosque, but in some places there are pictures of respected scholars where the culture of that area allows placing pictures. Those who place picture for respected Scholars do so to express gratitude to the great services rendered by them to the community. We don't have any authentic evidence against placing pictures in Masjid as far as it is not for worshiping it and it is just a picture and not a statue. The pictures should not be in the direction of Qibla, means should not be faced by people while performing Namaz because it Is Makrouh (disliked) to face a picture while performing Namaz.
I was told that some early Shia scholars believed that the Quran was distorted which I now know not to be true. However, is it Kufr to believe in Tahrif of the Quran?
Although belief in tahrif of the Qur'an is non-standard, it is better to reserve the word kufr for the things that Allah directly uses it for.
The Qur'an does not directly say that belief in tahrif is kufr. (Rather, some people assert this based on a deduction/interpretation of a verse, not a direct statement.)
The word kufr tends to be thrown around quite casually these days. There is rarely any benefit to accusing people of kufr or labelling Muslims as kafir just because one thinks they are incorrect in their belief. It is quite sad that this intolerance has developed today. The classical Islamic era seems to have been much more tolerant and open to discussing differences of opinion regarding theology. This is not to say that every view was always right, but it is better to be able to discuss things rationally rather than to shut down dissenting views by just labelling and attacking (verbally or sometimes physically).
What are the views of Islamic scholars regarding the theory of human evolution by Darwin? Is there any element of it that is considered valid?
Some scholars have rejected the idea of the theory of evolution as being against the Qur'anic teaching of the creation of the human being, whereas others have accepted it as being compatible with the Qur'an and as being Allah's plan for the human being and how to engage in creation.
It seems that there is some generational factor here - the older generation tended to reject it more, perhaps because they saw the theory of evolution as being associated with colonialism or secularization, and as an attack on traditional Muslim values. This is less of a factor in today's globalized world.
At the same time, the theory of evolution is only a theory and cannot necessarily be said to be true either. It is simply considered an acceptble possibility, pending further evidence, by some scholars.
The idea that life originated from water is supported by the Qur'an.
One could somewhat nebulously suggest that the idea of "nasnas", or prior types of humanoids, which appears in hadith, could also support the idea of evolution, although in my view this may be a stretch in interpreting the hadith.
There is a paper on Shi'i scholars' responses to evolution in the conference proceedings for this conference, if you are interested in reading it. https://www.islamic-college.ac.uk/publications/shiistudies/sixth-shii-co...
Can you recommend me some books authored by prominent Shia scholars to improve my knowledge and understanding of the teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt (as)?
There are hundreds of useful books in many websites e.g. Kitab Al-Irshad by Al-Shaikh Al-Mufeed, The Right Path by Sharafuddin, Then I was Guided by Dr Tijani, Peshawar Nights by Sultan Al-Wa'izeen, and many others.
These websites www.Al-Islam.org
have also many useful books.