SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Following the increases in the number of attacks and issuing of decrees by Wahhabi muftis for destroying the shrine of Hazrat Zainab (AS) in Syria, Shias from Lebanon and Syria asked the opinion of the Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Sadegh Rohani regarding defending the holy shrine as well as using the Imam’s portion (amounts paid as religious duty) for Syrian Shias. The opinions expressed by the Grand Ayatollah are given below.
Question: What is the decree for defending the Shrine of Hazrat Zainab (AS)?
The Grand Ayatollah Rohani: Defending the shrine of Hazrat Zainab (AS) is one of the most important religious duties for all and will be counted as a divine act.
Question: If Mujahidin get killed during defending the shrine, will they be counted as martyrs?
The Grand Ayatollah Rohani: Without any doubts they are martyrs whom will gain the eternal prosperity.
Question: Is it allowed to spend from Imam’s portion for the needy in Syria?
The Grand Ayatollah Rohani: There is no doubt that spending Imam’s Portion for the needy in Syria who do not have even food and water is one the most appropriate uses. We hope that my brothers and children in Islamic countries support their brothers and sisters in Syria through financial and ethical help. It is our duties to pray for the success of all those who defend the sanctity of Ahlul Bait.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – According to Shia News, Sheikh Ja’afar Ibrahimi the distinguished Iraqi Shia scholar, yesterday in a speech condemned the use of ‘Safawiyyeh (Persian dynasty)’ for political and media attack on Shia Islam. He added that if ‘Safawiyyeh’ means adhering to principles of Ahlul Bait (members of the Prophet’s household) then I am a Safawide. He condemned the abuse of tribal slogans in religious debates and said that Islam is against divisions based on tribes and races. He added that in Islamic societies the only criteria for higher position is piety. Sheikh Ibrahimi rejected the accusation that Shia Islam is a non-Arab or Iranian school of thought and said this is nonsense and waste of time because in Islam there is no difference between Arabs and non-Arabs and the only criteria is piety.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – In a meeting with the members of Shafaqna, Ayatollah Amini said the Islamic awakening is happening around the world but it is not clear that this will benefit Shia Islam. The enemies of Islam feel threatened by the Islamic awakening and they believe that Islam is growing at very fast rate. Islam is now the second religion of the world and in some countries like Britain and France is recognised as the second religion also Americans paying a lot of attention towards Islam. He said it must become clear what types of people are working towards the Islamic awakening awakening.
Ayatollah Amini pointed to a lot of efforts by the Saudis to provide money and facilities to build mosques, send their own trained staffs and publish various magazines to spread Wahhabism all over the world. He said, Islamic awakening is happening but unfortunately is being diverted against Shia Islam and not enough attention is paid to this problem. He stressed the need for Shias to become active in this regard by working on books, translating and sending them for propagating the real Islam. He believes one of the best ways will be to use the internet and the cyber space.
Ayatollah Amini said, in my opinion all Shia sites should consider spreading Shia Islam as their priority. He said the enemies are against Shia Islam and want to stop its appearance in the world with all their powers and abilities. For example they want to portray the Shia beliefs as negative as possible to the world because they want to stop the Shia Islam to flourish. Therefore all the negative points about Shia should be recognised in order to answer all of them logically and this way the youth will be attracted. He said sometimes young people ask me some questions and I realise these are not from them but they have picked them up from other sources like Christian missionaries.
Therefore the priorities must lie on the areas that are more favoured and of course the beliefs as well as ethical issues should be placed on top of subject. Ayatollah Amini said many sources are introducing Shia but the priority is with those who believe in Shia Athna Ashari (believers in 12 Imams after the Prophet). Unfortunately Shia Islam has not been introduced in a way that it should, firstly we must find out what it needs to be done and then ask the help of experts. The Friday prayers Leader of Qom believes that if Shia Islam is introduced in a proper manner, the people of the world including Sunni Muslims will accept it. He added that if the Imamat is explained the way that it should be, the youth and others will accept it.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- Saudi plans indicate that commercial ambitions outweigh the protection of the spiritual and cultural history of Islam.
Wahhabi extremists and property developers affiliated with the Saudi authorities are furthering plans to demolish the oldest sections of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the location to which all the world's Muslims turn in prayer. They apparently intend to remove features of the site dating back many centuries, such as columns placed in the Grand Mosque during the eighth century CE. Also, porticos designed by the legendary Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan (c. 1489/1490-1588 CE), whose achievements, and those of his personal disciples, are found at many places in the Islamic culture area, from Bosnia-Hercegovina to India, are slated for destruction.
Public dismay about the proposed wrecking, to be done under the pretext of renovation and modernization, has been notable. In response, the Imam and Friday preacher of the Grand Mosque, Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, a prominent Wahhabi fanatic and hatemonger, has promised that the areas of the Grand Mosque originating in the Abbasid Arab caliphate (750-1258 CE) and the Ottoman period of rule in Mecca and Medina would not be touched.
Al-Sudais, head of the official Presidency for the Two Holy Mosques, and with the rank of a minister in the royal court, has told the pan-Arab daily newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat [The Middle East] that the remodeling of the Grand Mosque, would be completed over three years, and would be limited to minor expansions intended to make tawaf (circumambulation of the Ka'bah, the sacred structure at the center of the mosque) easier during the annual Hajj pilgrimage. He stipulated that "removal will be limited to (the first Saudi expansion, 60 years ago), without disturbing the Ottoman porticos, except for arches and lights…maintaining the old area, reduced in proportion to align with the zone of circumambulation." However, some of the Abbasid and Turkish area including the portico's have already been demolished, and authorities stated that these portico's will inadvertently have to be removed during expansion work between the two hills of Safa and Marwa.
The Saudi dailies Okaz and Saudi Gazette reported that construction work on the Grand Mosque already commenced in mid-November, with the Saudi Gazette boasting, in the idiom of architectural gigantism favored currently in Saudi Arabia, that the project includes "the two largest tower cranes ever built in the 21st century in the eastern and western parts of the mosque."
A cable-car system has also been proposed to serve old and disabled pilgrims by linking the mataf, at which pilgrims walk around the Ka'bah, with the masa'a, a location where Hajj participants run symbolically between two hills, Safa and Marwa. Again reflecting the Saudi fascination with oversized construction works, the Saudi Gazette asserted that upon its completion the Grand Mosque would accommodate 130,000 pilgrims per hour in the march around the Ka'bah. The current average is 52,000 per hour.
As noted in the Arab News, the top floor of the mataf would be altered to add a moving walkway carrying pilgrims around the Ka'bah. The new plan would provide access to the circumambulation area from outside the walls of the Grand Mosque, without crossing the floor of the mosque. Bridges and pedestrian lanes are to be included in the structure to "reduce crowding" during the Hajj, at the same time as, illogically, the Wahhabis claim they will greatly expand the capacity for pilgrims.
Saudi and other Muslim sources express concern that Al-Sudais and his Wahhabi accomplices are lying about their intentions in the project. Dr. Hatoon Al-Fassi, a female Meccan native, distinguished Sufi, and history professor at King Saud University in Riyadh, who, let it be noted, refuses to cover her face in public with the Wahhabi-imposed niqab or face veil, has accused the Saudi Bin Laden construction conglomerate, which is supervising the rebuilding of the mosque, of seeking to "turn Mecca into Las Vegas." Specifically, Al-Fassi charges that the reconstruction plans include "tearing down the ancient Ottoman-style galleries and rebuilding 'identical' galleries further away." Al-Fassi cites an unnamed official of the Saudi Ministry of Hajj Affairs as the source of this information.
Al-Fassi alleges further that the new galleries would support "new towers… featuring hotels, restaurants, and malls."
The precincts of the Grand Mosque already include new buildings, which house a clock tower and hotel complexes that dwarf the Mosque and the Ka'bah. Saudi plans indicate that commercial ambitions outweigh the protection of the spiritual and cultural legacy of Islam.
In an admission that the grandiose refurbishing of Mecca has harmed the Islamic heritage of the sacred city, Muhammad Abdullah Idris, author of the architectural upgrading study, told the Arab News that demolition blasts during erection of the outsized and overbearing recent structures near the Grand Mosque have undermined the strength of the mosque and, especially, its pillars.
Saudi King Abdullah ordered a halt to a proposed expansion of the Prophet's Mosque in Medina after a major article was published in The Independent (London) by the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, exposing the Wahhabi plans and opposing to the concept. The article was re-published worldwide by other newspapers and generated significant media coverage. The Medina expansion would have involved serious historical vandalism. It is to be hoped that similar opposition will move the King to halt the defacement of the Grand Mosque in Mecca
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – The Shia minority in Indonesia are being assaulted and killed by the extremely violent Saudi backed Wahhabi sect. It is now clear that the Saudi oil money is used to propagate the intolerant Wahhabi ideology in Indonesia and as a consequence the Shia’s are the direct target of this violent sect. Naila Zakiyah, a teacher at a Shia school for girls in the city of Bangil, East Java, recently said to Asia Times journalists that "In light of recent events, we are naturally worried about the safety of our students... We feel discriminated against. Before this year's Ramadan, the Wahhabi controlled mosque across the street broadcasted their sermon twice a week. They had their loudspeakers directed towards our school. They were shouting that Shia teaching is misguided and that spilling our blood is halal [permissible under Islamic law]. It is said that those who are attacking us are being funded by money from Saudi Arabia. In 2007, for example, 500 people demonstrated in front of our boarding school; the Saudis gave each person $2."
When Asia Times reporters visited the neighbouring Wahhabi mosque, Wahhabis showed them anti-Shia pamphlets and said that they couldn't talk to their Shia neighbours "in a subtle way anymore". They added, "If they don't want to convert, then we have to use violence. In our opinion, they are kafir [unbelievers]. We will not be at peace with them until we die, even if our lives are at stake. They have already insulted Islam! If the police do not take action against the Shia’s, we will resort to violence.” According to Asia Times in late December 2011, a mob of over 500 Wahhabis drove 300 Shia’s from their houses in the village of Nangkernang, Madura Island. Countless dwellings, including a boarding school and a mosque were destroyed.
The article revealed that local authorities sided with the attackers. Only one person was charged for the attack on the village and was sentenced to a symbolic three months in prison. At the same time, local Shia religious leader Tajul Muluk was charged with blasphemy and sentenced to two years in prison, despite repeated protests from Amnesty International and other international human rights organisations. After the attack, some villagers cautiously returned, only to face even more devastating terror few months later. On August 26, 2012, around 30 Shi'ites were traveling from Nangkernang village when they were confronted by Wahhabi mob armed with swords and machetes. According to Indonesian press, two people were murdered as they attempted to defend women and children. When journalists investigated, villagers said, members of the mob had taken some Shia children away from their parents. The mob also set fire to several homes, including one belonging to Tajul Muluk.
The journalists visited the village in October, defying an explicit prohibition by the local police. After crossing the rice fields in the middle of the night, they managed to meet representatives of the Shia community. "Now we are afraid to say or to show that we are Shia," said one. "Here, two communities are living side by side. Not all attackers came from the outside; some were from our own village." After the brutal attacks, more than 170 people left central Madura for a refugee camp in the city of Sampang. Even in there, a converted stadium was out of reach for most independent journalists, and it took great efforts to negotiate their entry. Refugees were clearly in despair. They all wanted to return home, but the government insisted that they would be relocated. Indonesia's minister of religious affairs has left little doubt about his sympathies. "Converting Shia Muslims to the Sunni Islam followed by most Indonesians would be the best way to prevent violent outbreaks," he said.
Source: Asian Times
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — A senior Iranian legislator praised the country's remarkable growth in science and technology during the last three decades after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, and said Iran's scientific growth is 11 times more than the world average.
"The average scientific growth in Iran is 11.5 times more than the world," member of the parliament's Budget Planning Commission Jafar Qaderi said in the Southern city of Shiraz on Saturday.
"If Iran keeps moving with the present momentum, it can ascend to the 4th place from the current 16th (in the world ranking of scientific growth and scientific production) in the next 6 years," he added.
Iran has taken wide strides in science and technology, particularly in medical and medicinal fields, in recent years.
In January, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a ceremony in Tehran unveiled 6 new types of home-made medicines used for treating various kinds of diseases.
The Iranian president unveiled 2 new types of drugs and 4 types of raw materials for treating osteoporosis, hemophilia and neurological, skin and muscle diseases and breast cancer.
Iranian scientists had also in 2011 managed to produce a new type of anti-cancer drug using the venoms of reptiles like snakes and scorpions.
"After several years of research and studies on a combination of snake and scorpion venoms, the anti-cancer drug was produced in Iran," Abbas Zare', the Director of the Venomous Animals Department of Iran's Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute, told reporters in October 2011.
"This anti-cancer drug has been produced from snake and scorpion venoms after 10 years of research work and has been extracted from the fat (peptide) of such animals," he added.— www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - Sayyed Abul Hassan Al-Nawab has spoken to SHAFAQNA reporter about Muslim unity and how the Ahlulbayt (A.S.) school of thought is the real face of Islam in front of other religions and beleifs.
Sayyed Al-Nawab has defined unity as “and do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart” (Quran 8:46), meaning we have to discuss and talk and do not attack their beliefs and sacred places or their emotions.
“The world, Churches and Christians today, when wanting to have dialogue with Islam, they turn to the followers of Ahlulbayt (A.S.). Other sects do not have the ability and the big heart to have dialogues and the only ones who really have this character are Ahlulbayt (A.S.) followers.
“Wahhabis and Al-Qaeda followers do not have the ability to show a real face of Islam and they are the ones killing Muslims and Shia in particular. Ahlulbayt (A.S.) school of thought is spreading in the world and we should be proud to be part of it. The message of the Commander of the faithful Imam Ali (A.S.) addresses more than six and a half billion people and our duty is to deliver this message in the best way possible.
Nowadays, seminary studies have become unbelievably popular and people from all around the world are coming to study the knowledge of Ahlulbayt (A.S.). Lately, more than 20 students from Germany have come to Qom (Iran) saying we came with the aim of learning the knowledge of Ahlulbayt (A.S.).
The Islamic awakening that we see today in many Islamic countries has been expected long time ago. When we traveled to these countries, we saw the empathy of the people and their willingness to get hold of us, but their governments never allowed them to do so. They did not even allow us to perform a single prayer with them, but how far can they go with this pressure and continue to prohibit them from their freedom?
This awakening does not only include Islamic countries, but even western countries and in particular the United States and, more precisely the American individual, has turned towards searching for truth and the real belief with the blessings of the Quran and Islam.
SHAFAQNA translation from original Arabic interview
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - The progress of any nation has always been strongly associated with knowledge and learning. King Saud University, the premier institution of higher education in Saudi Arabia, was established in 1957 to enhance the nation’s growth and well-being.
Through strong government support and many highly-qualified professionals and administrators, KSU has supplied the Saudi people and market with years of invaluable service, and served as a traditional source of skilled professionals and academics needed to meet the nation’s growing needs in the areas of medicine, engineering, agriculture, science and development, the humanities and language.
On top of teaching and research, the University extends its practical and vital academic functions to the development of Saudi health care and the needs of the private sector.
Universities around the world are always the leading institutions to condemn human rights abuses and violations of justice. It is normal to see these institutions releasing reports to counter any violations happening around the world.
Considering KSU as being one of the leading Universities in Saudi Arabia and the first ranked Arab University, the question is why it never released a human rights condemnation reports about abuses happening in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere around the world?
That is believed to be a hard question to answer by educational institutions and authorities in Saudi Arabia.
SHAFAQNA (Shia News Association) — Furthermore the incident occurred in Tehsilkot Momin’s Lalu Ali village near Choki bhagat. It is also being said that the brothers held a program at their house on the 2nd of July which the Sipah-e-Sahaba terrorists tried to stop.
Also yesterday the brothers were stopped from praying the Shiite way. After all this they insisted on following the Shiite religion and in the end were beheaded by the extremists. As per the last report there were thousands of Shiites present at the funeral and brothers were being buried under the flag of Hazrat Abbas(a.s.).
Under the supervision of Malik Ishaq and the terrorist-supporting Sharif brothers’ government, the land of Punjab is being roamed by terrorists and therefore becoming a graveyard for Shiites. The Sharif brothers are seen often with the known terrorist leader Ludhyanwi and played a huge role in the release of Malik Ishaq from jail. Yet the award winning Chief Justice of Pakistan is blind to these happenings. — www.shafaqna.com/english/