SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – In a span of 37 seconds, the once luxurious and futuristic LZ 129 Hindenburg burst into flames and disintegrated, taking 36 lives on its way down.
In that time, the 245-metre long airship created a mystery that stood unsolved for 76 years. Theories of sabotage and possible mechanical errors circulated widely over that period, but a group of researchers claim to have solved the great riddle after all these decades.
It was static.
They’re not the first to float this solution, but aeronautical engineer Jem Stansfield and his South West Research Institute team have a series of explosions to back them up.
In a series of experiments, the team used various methods to blow up or set fire to a series of 24-metre scale models and observed the results.
Based on their trials, paired with eye-witness accounts, they’ve concluded that a thunderstorm ignited an uncontained buildup of hydrogen.
Soon after the airship became charged with static, hydrogen leaked into the ventilation shafts. Then, when ground workers took hold of the landing ropes, they “earthed” the airship by creating an electrical connection to the ground and ignited the hydrogen.
“I think the most likely mechanism for providing the spark is electrostatic,” Stanfield told the Independent. “That starts at the top, then the flames from our experiments would’ve probably tracked down to the centre. With an explosive mixture of gas, that gave the whoomph when it got to the bottom.”
A documentary explaining the sequence of events causing the explosion is set to air on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom on Thursday.-www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Washington: There’s nothing like a political sex scandal to get Washington buzzing: While pundits debated the future of CIA Director David Petraeus, few concerned themselves with the fate of Paula Broadwell.
No surprise there: Powerful men can bounce back from even the most lurid affairs, but the Other Woman rarely survives the firestorm intact. Call it sexism, bad luck or lousy PR — these modern Hester Prynnes live on in Google forever.
Bill Clinton has never been more popular; Monica Lewinsky, despite a degree from the London School of Economics, has never managed to hold down a job. John Edwards’s mistress, Rielle Hunter, is even more despised than the ruined politician after writing a tell-all memoir. Megan Marshack, the former radio reporter who was with Nelson Rockfeller the night he died in 1979, hasn’t worked on-air for more than 30 years.
A rare exception to the rule: Donna Rice Hughes, who rebounded from her liaison with Senator Gary Hart into a happy and relatively public life. “I think it’s harder for the women,” she said. “They’re not as well known and get sensationalised.”
Rice Hughes was 29 in 1987 when her brief relationship with Hart — then the leading Democratic prospect for the 1988 presidential nomination — exploded into public view. Within days, her name and picture were everywhere, and she remained in the headlines for the next 18 months. “It took on a life of its own,” she said.
Now it seems there’s a sex scandal every few months; back then, there was no role model, no map of how to navigate a storm like this. Rice lost her commercial acting and pharmaceutical jobs. “I knew I wanted to take the high road,” she said. “I prayed continually that I would make wise choices and tried to take the long view. I really wanted the pain to count for something good.”
That meant not exploiting the situation for money (she passed on millions from Playboy and others), taking personal responsibility for her role in the affair, and asking for forgiveness from her family, friends and God. A “devastated” Rice went underground for seven years in which she renewed her Christian faith, married, moved to Washington and looked for a job. “People told me I’d never been taken seriously,” she said. But she was hired by the anti-pornography group Enough Is Enough, where she’s now president and an acknowledged expert on internet safety issues — she frequently testifies before Congress.
While Rice Hughes has thrived professionally, other upbeat endings for the Other Woman usually involved marriage. Argentine beauty Maria Belen Chapur is now engaged to former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, despite the fact their affair effectively ended his political career.
Suzy Wetlaufer, The former Harvard Business Review editor had an affair with departing GE head Jack Welch while writing a profile of him — and lost her job, but went on to marry and co-author books. And Broadwell? The first-time author is married with two small sons. She and her doctor husband celebrated her 40th birthday in Washington, But a party for friends was cancelled; she disabled her Facebook account just hours before the affair went public.
— Washington Post
Lust for power
An American woman with whom former US President Bill Clinton admitted to having had an “improper relationship” while she worked at the White House in 1995 and 1996. The affair and its repercussions (which included Clinton’s impeachment) became known as the Lewinsky scandal.
She was an aide to former vice-president Nelson Rockefeller and was with him when he died on January 26, 1979. She worked on Rockefeller’s vice-presidential staff. There was speculation in the press regarding the nature of the relationship between Rockefeller and Marshack.
An American actress and film producer. She is known for having had an affair and conceiving a child with 2004 Democratic Party vice-presidential nominee John Edwards. She is said to be the basis of a character in a Jay McInerney novel.
Suzy Welch, formerly Suzanne Wetlaufer, is a best-selling author and television commentator. In early 2002, she was forced to resign from the Harvard Business Review after admitting to an affair with the then-married Jack Welch, the former chief executive officer of General Electric.
Donna Rice Hughes
She is president and CEO of Enough Is Enough, a non-profit organisation. She became popular as the key figure in a widely-publicised 1987 political scandal that ended the second campaign for the Democratic Party nomination of Gary Hart amid allegations of marital infidelity.— www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Bahrain authorities have launched an investigation into alleged police brutality after officers were secretly filmed beating up an unarmed man.
The film shows a man, believed to be an anti-governement protester, being attacked by a number of officers, who repeatedly kick and strike him whilst dragging him across an open space towards their vehicles. Another officer spits in the man's face before another kicks him into the back of a 4x4.
Protests continued on Monday as the demonstrations focussed on a shopping centre near the village of Makiya, where masked activists set fire to tyres. Press reports have claimed that the paramilitary National Guard has been deployed by the government in an effort to suppress the protests.
The police video was published on YouTube on Friday, but it was not until Sunday that the Ministry of Interior confirmed an investigation had begun:
In a statement to the Huffington Post UK, the Bahrain president's office said: "We want to emphasize that the actions of individual officers are not a reflection of any Government mandate and will absolutely not be tolerated. Anyone breaching the police code of conduct will be held accountable.
"The Ministry of Interior is currently enforcing major policing overhauls in regards to the use of force and implementing disciplinary measures. This is a process and we continue to insist that all security personnel act in accordance to the international conventions the Bahraini Government are part of."
However, the statement added a warning to those in the country protesting against the government, saying: "We encourage all citizens to assist security personnel in restoring law and order, instead of breaching the law and aggravating the already volatile environment created by riotous acts."
Monday's protests have been staged in solidarity with a teenager killed during demonstrations at the end of last week when security forces are reported to have attacked worshippers trying to reach Friday Prayers.
Activists claim all the roads to the Deraz mosque where leading Shia cleric, Sheikh Issa Qassim, gives his weekly sermon, were closed by police and that attempts to find alternaitve routes to the mosque were barred.
Witnesses say a 16-year-old boy, Ali Radhi, was being chased by police when he was hit and killed by a car during the disturbances. The Ministry of Interior confirmed the death, although did not say that he was being chased by police at the time. The Ministry later added that the death occurred seven miles away from the mosque and "had no connection with the security check points or police activity".— www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – There is little chance of finding anyone else alive under the rubble, Guatemalan officials say.
At a 7.4 magnitude, Wednesday's earthquake was the strongest quake to hit the country in more than 30 years, and left 52 people confirmed dead, with dozens more missing, and several thousand homeless, displaced, or without power.
The tremor hit off the country's Pacific coast on Wednesday, leaving many villagers near the Mexican border trapped under rubble, as homes and cars were crushed.
Subsequent landslides blocked roads, making both evacuation and rescue efforts more difficult.
"I talked to rescue workers this afternoon who said they have switched their operations from attempts to find people alive to trying to find those who have died and trying to recover their bodies," said Al Jazeera's Rachel Levin.
"There is little hope here that they will actually find any more survivors. That's the mood here and also throughout other parts of this state, San Marcos, the largest, most populated state in Guatemala with a little over a million people.
"The president did come here yesterday to give his support to people, but people in the community here are saying that they actually haven't seen much help from the government - it's really their neighbours, people from nearby towns, that are pitching in to help out these people in any way that they can."
President Otto Perez said the government would pay for the funerals of all those killed in the mountainous San Marcos region.
"It's very sad to meet people here who are waiting to find their families who are still buried," he said on Wednesday. "It's really a tragedy and we will do all we can to help the families that are suffering."
Hitting 42km below the surface, it was the strongest earthquake to strike the Central American nation since 1976.
In San Cristobal Cochu, ten members of the Vasquez were killed after the rock quarry where they worked collapsed during the earthquake. Only the family's oldest son, 19-year-old Ivan, survived.
Justo Vasquez, his wife Ofelia Gomez, six children and two nephews died in the rubble.
On Thursday, dozens of neighbours and friends came to the Vasquez family home to pay their respects, filing past the ten wooden caskets in the living room.
"I feel sad, because I knew them and the children shouldn't have died like that," said Antonioa Miranda, a neighbour and the children's nursery school teacher.
Mourner Siomara Alfaro added: "You start to let your imagination go. At that moment, what desperation they felt at that moment to save their lives - but they couldn't, it was too quick."
The death toll is still expected to rise, as at least 22 people remain missing.
The quake struck 32km below the surface, 24km off the coastal town of Champerico, 160km southwest of Guatemala City.
In Guatemala City, volunteers were gathering aid and supplies to send to the affected region, where an estimated 1.2 million Guatemalans were affected.
Julio Franco, a volunteer from Aero Club Guatemala, formed a team with many other volunteers in the nation's capital, gathering together aid packages that were about to be flown out to San Marcos.
"We are loading the planes with blankets which we know are needed by our brothers and sisters in San Marcos, and also some medication to treat emergencies," he said.— www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Tens of thousands of New York residents are in urgent need of housing after superstorm Sandy, says New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
According to an estimation provided by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Sunday, 30,000 to 40,000 people in the city alone are in need of housing, following massive flooding caused by the superstorm.
"It is starting to get cold, people are in homes that are uninhabitable," Cuomo said at a press conference.
The governor continued by saying that about 730,000 people in the state of New York, including more than 130,000 in New York City, are still without electricity even though almost a week has passed since the storm hit the city and it could take another week before all residents have electricity.
In addition, it is reported that at least one million people in the state of New Jersey are also without electricity and much of the state is under fuel rationing.
With no power and no fuel, people are becoming infuriated with the slow rescue and relief response.
"When are we going to get some help?" a woman yelled at Mayor Bloomberg before being ushered away by police when he visited the community of Rockaway Beach.
It is reported that the Good Samaritans set up makeshift food throughout the area on Friday, grilling food and passing out water, while the Red Cross and FEMA were nowhere in sight.
City Councilman James Sanders (D-Far Rockaway) said he fears the situation would devolve into anarchy.
A resident, Walter Meyer, told reporters that they are trying to find whatever weapons they can find. Some people are even using bows and arrows.
Another storm is forecasted for Wednesday giving windy and rainy conditions and temperatures dropping to 30s Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius) in the New York area.
The death toll from the storm has reached 110 in 15 US states and Canada, and the damages are expected to be billions of dollars.— www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — The French Muslim Council (CFCM) urged the government on Monday to ban a far-right group that occupied a mosque on Saturday and issued a "declaration of war" against what it called the Islamisation of France.
CFCM President Mohammed Moussaoui said the Council also wanted better protection for mosques and Muslim cemeteries against racist attacks, which he said jumped sharply in 2011 and continued to rise this year.
Some 73 protesters from a movement called Identity Group seized a mosque in the western city of Poitiers on Saturday and unfurled a banner referring to Charles Martel's historic defeat of advancing Muslim troops there in 732.
They stayed for more than six hours before police ejected them.
In a video posted on its website, the movement issued what it called a "declaration of war" on multiculturalism. It also called for a referendum to block further immigration from outside Europe and further construction of mosques in France
"We demand the dissolution of this group," Moussaoui said.
The public prosecutor's office in Poitiers has placed four of the protesters under judicial investigation for spreading racial hate and discrimination.
Moussaoui said the protest, the first time a mosque in France had been occupied like that, represented "a new escalation in violence against Muslims".
Violent acts and threats against Muslims rose by 34 percent in 2011 compared to 2010, and went up again by 14 percent in the first half of this year, he told reporters.
The protesters had come from as far away as Lyon and Nice, near France's eastern borders, he said.— www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Turkey's armed forces fired back over the border into Syria on Wednesday after a mortar shell shot from Syria landed just inside Turkey's Hatay border province, the provincial governor's office said.
Nobody was killed or wounded by the mortar shell, the statement said. The military had returned fire from a base in the Turkish border town of Hacipasa, it added.— www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — In his will to Imam Hasan (peace be upon him), Imam Ali (peace be upon him) said, "My son, know that you have been created for the next world and not for this world, and for annihilation and not for stay, for death and not for life; you are in a transient place, a place which is a path to the Hereafter... You are driving away a death from which no one can run away and which none of its seekers can miss. It has to be experienced, so beware lest it catches up with you while you are in a bad state." (Nahjul Balagha, Letter 31)
As the Holy Infallibles constantly reminded us, our departure from this world is imminent. It is but a transitory place, a mere passage to our permanent abode, while the Hereafter is for eternity – beginning with life in the grave, followed by the stage of Barzakh, continuing on until the Day of Judgment (Qiyamat), until we can finally enter Paradise and/or Hellfire.
Each of these phases of life has different effects, occurrences, and outcomes, all depending on our deeds and beliefs in this short and temporal world. Yet for most of us, the next world is too frightful to even think about, and such fear is often coupled with a general lack of awareness of what exactly we will encounter once the soul disconnects with the material body and enters a whole other dimension of life. The vital question we must ask is: Do we plan to take the life of the Hereafter as it comes when it is our turn to lie some six feet under the ground, or will we, as intelligent beings, acquaint ourselves with its reality before we get there?
Just as we care to make sure beforehand that we know exactly where we are going for any journey we embark upon, let us gain insight into the most important of all journeys that awaits us after we die. Indeed, along with increasing our remembrance of what the Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) called "the demolisher of desires" (death), our Imams have directed us to be aware and reminisce over that which we will experience when we enter the next world, so that we may properly prepare and strengthen ourselves for it: "O son, increase your remembrance of death, of that which overcomes it, and of that which you will return to after death such that when it comes to you, you will have taken heed of it and strengthened yourself for it, and you will not let it overcome you by surprise so that it bewilders you." (Ibid.)
While this article will focus on life inside the grave, it will be followed shortly by an article on life in Barzakh, and a third one on the Day of Judgment and its aftermath.
Terror of the Grave
Imam Ali says, "O servants of Allah! The state in the grave of a person whose sins are not forgiven is more horrifying than death itself. Fear its (the grave's) narrowness, its squeezing, its imprisonment and its loneliness. Verily the grave calls out daily: 'I am the house of loneliness, the house of terror and worms.' The grave is like a garden of Paradise for a good-doer, while it is like a dungeon of hell for the evil-doer. Allah tells His enemies He will send ninety nine serpents in their graves that will tear their flesh and smash their bones, and this punishment will continue till the Day of Judgment. If one such serpent exhales towards this earth, all the plants and trees will be destroyed. O servants of Allah! Your souls are tender, and your bodies delicate; you cannot confront any ordinary serpent of this world, how then will you face them?"
The above tradition is enough to cause one to shudder, but let us not forget that for a good-doer, "the grave is like a garden of Paradise." In fact, the very first good news given to a true believer in the grave is: "The Most Merciful God has forgiven you and all those who participated in your burial."
Sayyed ibne Taoos relates from the Holy Prophet that he said the first night in the grave is the most fearful and difficult night for the dead person, and thus Sadqa should be given for his or her safety. If this is not possible, then two units of prayer should be recited: in the first unit, after Surah al-Fatiha, recite Surah Tawheed twice, and in the second unit after Surah al-Fatiha, recite Surah Takathur ten times. After finishing the prayer, the following du'a should be recited: Allaahumma sallay a'la Muhammadinw wa aale Muhammadin wab atha thawaabaha ilaa qabre dhaalikal mayyite [name of the deceased person]. Allah will immediately send one thousand angels to the grave of the dead person with attires of Paradise, and expand his grave until Qiyamat, while for the one who performs this Salat, Allah will offer him great rewards and exalt his position forty times.
The other Salat to be recited on the first night of burial is as follows: Two rak'at Salat such that in the first rak'at after Surah al-Hamd, recite once Ayatal Kursi, and in the second rak'at after Surah al-Hamd, recite ten times Surah al-Qadr. After finishing the Salat, say: Alla humma salli 'ala Muhammadin wa Ali Muhammad wab'ath thawabaha ila qabri [name of the deceased person].
Squeeze in the Grave (Fishare Qabr)
Shaikh Kulayni has narrated from Abu Baseer that he asked Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him), "Is anybody spared from the squeezing in the grave?" The Imam replied: "May God save. Very few people escape from the pressure in the grave."
Allama Majlisi has mentioned in Bihar al-Anwar and Haqqul Yaqeen that all Muslims have the unanimously agreed belief that the squeezing in the grave and both rewards and punishments therein are true facts. He has shown through reliable traditions that it will be experienced by the same worldly body in which the deceased had lived, as will the questioning in the grave. Of course, this punishment is inflicted only on those who have earned it through their sins, and the degree of pressure will also depend on the severity if these sins.
The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy family) is reported to have said that the squeezing of the grave is the expiation of the sin of wasting and not appreciating the bounties granted by God. Some of the other reasons for this punishment include laziness in purifying oneself after urinating, creating mischief amongst the people, backbiting, bad behavior towards one's family members, and making false allegations.
Questioning in the Grave
Shaikh Abbas al-Qummi has stated in his book Manazelul Akhera that one of the principal factors of Shia Islam, belief in which is obligatory, is the questioning in the grave by the angels Munkar and Nakeer. The questions will pertain to one's beliefs (Aqaid) and deeds (Amaal), and will be put to every believer as well as non-believer; only infants, the mentally disabled, and those of lesser intellect are exempt from it. The two angels with voices like thunder and eyes like lightening will ask the following questions:
Who is your Lord?
Who is your Prophet?
What is your Religion?
Who is your Imam?
The person is also questioned about his prayers, his fasts, the Holy Pilgrimage (Hajj), Zakat, Khums and his love for the Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them all). Imam Zainul Abedeen (peace be upon him) says that after the questioning about the beliefs of Islam, the person is questioned about how he spent his life, and also about the way he earned and spent his wealth.
If the deceased is able to give correct answers, a gate is opened near his head, and his grave is widened as far as he can see. The period of Barzakh (which will continue until the Day of Resurrection) passes with ease and the angels proclaim to him, "Sleep thou like a newly wedded bride." (Al-Kafi) However, if the deceased is unable to give correct replies, a door of the hell of Barzakh will open for him, and a breath from the breaths of hell will fill his entire grave.
The questioning in the grave will therefore be a cause of happiness for the believer, proclaiming an era of eternal happiness. He will confidently give testimony to the Oneness of the One God and the Messengership of His Beloved Messenger, see the beautiful faces of the angels, and smell the fragrance of the gardens of Paradise accompanying them. That is why such angels have been named "Mubashir and Basheer" (announcers of good tidings).
On the contrary, unbelievers in their grave will see the beginning of their pains and divine punishment, opening their eyes to the misfortune and torture that lies ahead of them. The very arrival of the angels will terrorize such deniers, and this is why these angels are named "Munkar and Nakeer" (the abhorring ones).
It is mentioned in Bihar al-Anwar that a man was questioned about his beliefs in the grave. He was able to successfully respond, until one question was put to him: "Do you remember that on such day you had seen a person was being oppressed but you did not go to help him? You saw that his honor was being trampled upon and his wealth taken. You were in a position to help him but you did not do so." The man was silent and unable to reply. Indeed, it is obligatory upon believers to help the oppressed, and as the man failed to fulfill this responsibility, the angels told him a punishment of a hundred lashes has been ordered for him. Then they inflicted the first lash which filled his entire grave with fire.
The story serves to remind us that containing true beliefs in the heart is not sufficient if deeds are lacking, and that we must not take lightly a single obligatory deed commanded by our Lord.
The Only Companion
"Until when death comes to one of them, he says: My Lord, send me back so that I may do some good I did not do (in the world). But Nay! These are mere words which he utters and behind them is a Barzakh until the Day of their Resurrection." (Qur'an 23:100)
We hear it time and again – after a person dies, his/her only companion will be his/her deeds. Shaikh Saduq has narrated from Qais bin Aasim that once he went to the Holy Prophet along with a group of people from the tribe of Tameem. He submitted, "O Messenger of God! Give us some admonition by which we may be benefitted, because most of the time we remain roaming in forests and deserts (and have few chances of visiting your honor)." The Holy Prophet gave them a number of admonitions, one of them being: "O Qais! It is necessary for you to have a companion to be buried in the grave. That companion will be alive whereas you will be dead. So if that companion is a nice and kind person, he will keep you in a respectable condition. If he is a bad person he will leave you there in your grave in total solitude, without any help or assistance. Also remember this companion will be necessarily with you in the grand gathering (Hashir) on the Day of Resurrection. You will be asked only about him, so it is very essential for you to select a good companion. If he is a good person he will make you happy, but if he is a corrupt fellow he will terribly frighten you. This companion is your aamal (deeds)."
Allama Majlisi in his Mahasin quotes Imam Baqir and Imam Sadiq that when a believer dies, six figures enter his grave along with him. Out of these, one is more illuminated, pure, and fragrant than the others. One stands on the right side, the second on the left, the third in front, the fourth near the head, the fifth near the legs, and the one more illuminated shelters on the head. From whichever side the wrath of Allah comes, the figure on that side defends the body. The one who is more illuminated asks these other figures: "May Allah bless you all, who are you?" The one on the right side says, "I am the prayers (Salat) which he recited in his lifetime." The one on the left side says, "I am the charity which he gave while alive." The one standing in the front says, "I am his fasts he undertook." The one near the head says, "I am the Hajj and Umrah which he performed in his life." The one standing near the legs says, "I am the kindness which he performed with his brother believer." Then all these faces turn towards the more illuminated one and ask it as to who it is. He replies, "I am the love for the Ahlul Bayt which he carried in his heart." (Manazelul Akhera)
Some Beneficial Acts
Shaikh Sadooq stated whoever fasts for nine days in the month of Sha'ban, Munkar, and Nakeer will deal with him gently and courteously during questioning.
One of the benefits narrated by Imam Muhammad Baqir for a person who remains awake on the night of 23rd of the month of Ramadan and offers one hundred units of prayer is that Allah removes fear from his heart during the questioning, and a light shines forth from his grave which illuminates the whole world.
The Holy Prophet said applying dye has four benefits, one of which is that Munkar and Nakeer shy away from him in the grave.
A person who recites Surah Yaseen before going to bed and Salaatul Laylatul Raghaib (the first Thursday night of the month of Rajab), will be saved from the terror of the grave.
If a person fasts for twelve days in the month of Sha'ban, Allah will send 70,000 Angels daily to his grave.
If a person visits an ailing man, Allah appoints an Angel for him who accompanies him in his grave until Qiyamat.
Ayatollah Dastghaib Shirazi has listed some of the many Amaals that protect one from the squeeze in the grave:
Imam Ali says a person who recites Surah Nisa every Friday will remain safe from the squeeze in the grave.
It is narrated that if a person recites Surah Zukhruf, Allah will save him from the reptiles of the earth and the squeeze in the grave.
A person who recites Surah Qalam in obligatory or supererogatory prayers will remain safe from this punishment.
Imam Sadiq says if a person dies between the sunset of Thursday and the sunset of Friday, Allah will exempt him from this punishment.
Imam Ali al-Ridha (peace be upon him) says if a person gets up in the last part of the night and recites Salatul Layl, Allah will save him from the squeeze in the grave and grant him immunity from the fire of hell, and will increase his age and sustenance.
The Holy Prophet says if a person recites Surah Takathur before going to bed, Allah will grant him freedom from this punishment.
To put Jareedatayn (two wet sticks or panches) along with the dead body in the grave. It is narrated that so long as the sticks remain wet, the dead person is saved from chastisement.
A person who recites ten rak'at of Salat on the 1st of Rajab, such that in every rak'at after Surah al-Hamd he recites three times Surah Tawheed, he will be saved from the squeezing in the grave.
Reciting Surah Mulk on the grave is an act which saves the dead man from punishment in the grave. Allama Qutubuddin Rawandi relates from Ibn Abbas, who says that once a person pitched a tent on a ground not knowing that there was a grave beneath it. Thereafter he started reciting Surah Mulk. Suddenly he heard a voice saying that the Surah gives salvation. He related this incident to the Holy Prophet, who replied, "Verily, this Surah frees a person from the punishment in the grave". Shaikh Kulayni also narrates from Imam Baqir who said that the recitation of Surah Mulk saves one from the punishment in the grave.
To keep Khake Shifa (the mud of the grave of Imam Hussain) in the shroud (kafan), or to rub it on the parts of prostration (Sajda).
It is highly recommended to visit the shrines of the Ahlul Bayt and to recite their Ziyarats, especially the Ziyarat of Imam Ridha, after each prayer. Shaikh Abbas al-Qummi mentions in Manazelul Akhira that Haji Ali Baghdadi had the honor of meeting with Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance). Among other questions, he said to the Imam, "In the year 1269 AH, when we went for the pilgrimage to the shrine of Imam Ali al-Ridha, we met a nomadic Arab who was a native of Najaf. We invited him for a meal and asked him his views regarding the reward of the love of Imam Ridha. He replied, 'Paradise', and said, 'For the past 15 days, I have been from the wealth of Imam Ridha, do Munkir and Nakeer have the nerve to come near me? The food which I consumed from the table of Imam Ridha has turned into my flesh and blood." He asked Imam Mahdi whether his claim was true. Imam replied, "Yes, it is true. Imam Ridha himself will come and save him from the questioning in the grave. For verily, by Allah! My Grandfather is a Zamin (surety) Imam."— www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) —The United States on Thursday named a new charge d’affaires to Libya following the murder of ambassador Chris Stevens in last month’s militant attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
Veteran diplomat and Arabic speaker Laurence Pope has arrived in Tripoli already, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.
His appointment “emphasizes the commitment of the United States to the relationship between our two countries and to the people of Libya as they move forward in their transition to a democratic government,” Ms. Nuland said.
“We will continue to assist as Libya builds democratic institutions and broad respect for the rule of law – the goals that Ambassador Stevens worked hard to achieve.”
Pope has come out of retirement to take up the post at a time when the State Department is still investigating the September 11 attack in which Mr. Stevens and three other American diplomatic staff were killed.
Mr. Stevens was the first ambassador to be killed on duty since 1979 and the horrific attack on the Benghazi consulate when dozens of armed men stormed the building, bombarding it and torching it, has shocked the US diplomatic community to the core.
But the U.S. administration of President Barack Obama has vowed to stand by the people of Libya as it struggles to build a democracy following the toppling of long-time autocratic leader Moammar Gadhafi last year.
“Pope looks forward to working with the Libyan government and the Libyan people during this historic and challenging time, as we build strong economic, social, political, and educational bridges between our two people,” Ms. Nuland added.
Mr. Pope retired from the Foreign Service in 2000 after 31 years, during which he notably served as ambassador to Kuwait, as well as ambassador to Chad from 1993 to 1996.
He was also director for Northern Gulf Affairs from 1987 to 1990, associate director for counterterrorism 1991 to 1993, and political adviser to the commander in chief of the U.S. Central Command from 1997 to 2000.— www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: The Globe and Mail