SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – From the important matters, which the Sunni raise and criticize the Shia for on all occasions, is the matter of neglecting and not offering the Friday Prayer. Some of them are so excessive to a degree that they consider the Shia as disbelievers for not offering the Friday Prayer, relying on a Prophetic tradition that they narrate saying, “Whoever gives up the Friday (prayer) three times does turn his back to Islam.” They also narrate another tradition that the Prophet (a.s.) once was asked about one, who gave up the Friday Prayer, and he said, “He shall be in the Fire.”
Regarding the truth, we say that the Shia disagree among themselves on the legality of the Friday Prayer during the age of the Occultation of Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.). The Shia jurisprudents are of two opinions; some say it is obligatory in every time, and others say it is not obligatory except when all its conditions are available, and one of its conditions is that it must be offered by (or under the rule of) the just ruler.
Before I turned a Shia, I truly say that I too much approved Sheikh al-Khalisi who offered the Friday Prayer in the Mosque of Imam al-Kadhim (a.s.) in Baghdad. Sometimes I traveled from Najaf or Karbala to participate in the Friday Prayer there. At that time, I wondered at the courage of Sheikh Mahdi al-Khalisi who
 It is worth mentioning that once Sheikh Muhammad al-Khalisi, the father of Sheikh Mahdi al-Khalisi, went to the religious authority Sayyid al-Khoei in Najaf, talking with him about the matter of the Friday Prayer, relying on this Qur’anic verse, (O you who believe! when the call is made for prayer on Friday, then hasten to the remembrance of Allah…) (62:9). Sayyid al-Khoei pondered for a little, and then said to him, “Who is the caller?”
did not care for the criticism of some ulama who did not think that the Friday Prayer was obligatory. He believed it was obligatory and he offered it in the best way. I noticed at that time (in 1968 AD) the masses of people crowding in his mosque, showing him great reverence and respect.
I also wondered at those, who criticized him for offering the Friday Prayer. I said to myself, “How do these people defame an alim (scholar) who, due to his ijtihad, offers the prayer that Allah the Almighty has ordered it to be offered when He has said:
O you who believe! when the call is made for prayer on Friday, then hasten to the remembrance of Allah…?
I repeated this saying before some of those people, defending Sheikh al-Khalisi and seeking for him different excuses and proofs, but some of them revealed what was inside their hearts. Some of them said to me that Sheikh al-Khalisi did not recite in the azan “the third witness”. I asked what “the third witness” was, and they said that it was, “I bear witness that Ali is the saint of Allah”.
I spent that night asking myself if that required to criticize and defame that man. I researched much in the books, and I read the books of his (Sheikh Mahdi al-Khalisi) father’s books, but I did not find except true knowledge, piety, and concernedness for the unity of Muslims, which some people considered (the concern about the unity of Muslims) as flattery to the Sunni.
Sheikh Muhammad al-Khalisi could not answer and he went back to Baghdad, keeping on offering the Friday Prayer there.
It has been mentioned that Abu Hanifa too thought that it should not be offered except by the availability of a just ruler.
Be it known that it is now offered in the Islamic Republic of Iran that calls for offering it in the other countries and in Syria. Sayyid Fadhlullah calls for it in Lebanon (in fact, it is offered in Lebanon now).
What kind of Friday Prayer is that which is offered under the authority of an oppressive ruler, or when the Friday Sermon is dictated under his supervision, or when the imams of mosques are appointed according to his desire and mood from among those who praise and glorify the regime and its policies?!!
However and despite that some persons tried to make me dislike and keep away from him, whenever I visited al-Kadhimiyyah (in Baghdad where Imam al-Khadim (a.s.) was buried), I offered the Friday Prayer behind Sheikh al-Khalisi and listened to his sermons which I benefited much from. Whenever I sat with him and listened to his talks, I liked him more, but I remained reserved, justifying that the Shia knew him more than I did. On the other hand, I remained confused between the two ijtihads (deductions) that one said the Friday Prayer was obligatory and the other said it was not.
I said that I could not understand that, except when I would reach the degree of ijtihad. However, after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the establishment of the Islamic Republic there, the Friday Prayer was offered since the first Friday after the victory. And since then, the Islamic Republic spared no effort for the sake of the unity of Muslims. Then, I knew the value of Sheikh al-Khalisi and became certain of his loyalty and truthfulness in his mission. I remained until today wishing for seeing him that Allah may make me meet him on a near, happy occasion, and Allah is powerful over everything.
Anyhow, the Shia are still until now on two thoughts; some offer the Friday Prayer, and the others do not, waiting for the Reappearance of Imam al-Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance).
I wish from the deep of my heart that the Friday Prayer is offered in every village and town of the Muslim countries, for it evokes great reward and has many benefits that only Allah the Glorified knows.
In many lectures, I invited the Muslim colonies in the different countries, which I visited, to offer the Friday Prayer, taking the Islamic Republic in Iran and its leader as their example and trying to near the hearts to each other and make Muslims, Sunni and Shia, love each other in one united nation.
We pray Allah the Powerful to help us thank and worship Him well as His due, and to reconcile our hearts with each other to be true brothers by His Grace, He is Hearing, Responding to the prayer
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai has denounced the perpetrators of last Friday’s deadly bombing as enemies of Islam who, he says, are hostile to the wellbeing of the Afghan nation.
Karzai made the remarks on Monday during a meeting with a group of survivors and relatives of the victims of the attack in the town of Maymaneh, the capital of Faryab province.
At least 41 people were killed and dozens of others injured in the bomb attack on a mosque where Muslim worshipers were holding Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) prayers on October 26.
No group has claimed responsibility for the incident, but local officials say Taliban militants are the main suspects.
Human Rights Watch has condemned the attack as a war crime and called on Afghan authorities and the United Nations to conduct a thorough investigation.
Heather Barr, Afghanistan researcher for Human Rights Watch, said that according to international law, all parties to a war are responsible for protecting civilians.
And all those responsible for the attack should be arrested and brought to justice, she added.
Insecurity continues to rise across Afghanistan, despite the presence of about 130,000 US-led forces in the country.
The United Nations announced on February 4, 2012 that 2011 was the deadliest year on record for Afghan civilians. The death toll rose eight percent compared to 2010 and was roughly double the figure for 2007.
Overall, 3,021 civilians died in violence related to the war and 4,507 were injured in 2011.— www.shafaqna.com/English