Tag Archives: Imam

at-Tajnīn (Jinn-Influence/Possession) vs. Mental-Illness By Gareth Bryant

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Author’s-Note:

The Following-Article is based upon Personal-Research: my Role as a Chaplain/Counselor lead me to author this Research, as per my Professional-Expertise via Chaplaincy. I’ve submitted my Research, for review, to the Dept. of Psychiatry, Michigan State University. Michigan State University not only approved my Research, but also invited me to attend the annual Global Muslim Mental Health Conference, hosted by Clare College/Cambridge University, United Kingdom, where I in turn was also invited to orate/defend my Research.

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Gareth Bryant

1439, A.H./2018, C.E.

The Slander-Games:

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Don’t ever  spy, and never delve into envy…
…you’ll realize your good deeds aren’t any.

When we violate the sanctity of reputation, without proof…
…on Judgement-Day we’ll find our records will be all aloof.

Never try to take what Allah has given someone else…
…the fire of Justice will engulf all of your true wealth.

It’s better for us to speak good or be silent…
…let your desires be humble, your ego quite.

The honor granted to Human beings must be upheld, by all means…
…so do not allow your heart become hardened as solid steel beams.

Allah loves not the Oppressor…
…He’s angered by the Aggressor.

Do not wish for Allah’s mercy, when your hands yearn for His wrath…
…may our Lord keep us upon His most pure as well as righteous Path.

Gareth Bryant/2014

A “Female-Imam”: What is this?!!!

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Pamela Taylor pic

Author’s note:

This article is exclusively based upon finding out that the person whom had wrote the Pro-Homoesxual/Same-Gender-Marriage article for AltMuslim, Pamela Taylor, apparently, has been granted the title of “Imam”. Now, What I plan to do is to simply clarify what exactly an Imam truly is, in both its linguistic, Islamically historical context, and whom has the entitlement to be labeled “Imam” in the 1st-place.

Let’s begin…linguistically:

The word, Imam, inherently, is actually from the Arabic verb “Āmma” meaning to afront/to be in front, to lead, to supersede, to head, etc. So, with that being said, anyone, theoretically/realistically can be a leader.(Lisan-ul-`Arab/The Tongue of the `Arab [Lexicon of the Arabic-Language])

Next, let’s examine the types/categories of Imamah/Leadership:

There are many different, universal types of Imamah/Leadership, such as the following: Parents, Teachers, Sports-Coaches/Owners, Principals, Business-Owners, etc. Any/all of these respective types of Imamah/Leadership, is for anyone/everyone. In other words, any/all Human beings are 100%-entitled to take the reigns of these manifested types of Imamah/Leadership. However, when it comes to specific religious-duties, particularly/especially within Islam, then, now, the rules must change, as to whom are allowed to possess Imamah/Leadership, as well as to which extent that Imamah/Leadership is Islamically allowed to be taken.

Now, let’s investigate the Islamic definition of “Imam” & who is justified to carry this title:

Imam, firstly, is a Masculine-Noun in the Arabic-Language, and just like any/all Nouns within the Arabic-Language, their Natures are exclusive to their Genders. In the Arabic-Language, which is the language which Allah had purposely chosen to reveal the Qur’an in (Noble Qur’an: Chpt.12, V.3), no noun (person, place, thing, concept, idea, etc.) is “unisex” or “unigender”…Every noun, which the word “Imam” is, in the Arabic-Language, has to be either masculine or feminine, exclusive for/to either males or female created-things. Even in referrence to created things which don’t have a gender, at all, like Angels, for example: the name “Khalifah”, meaning caretaker, custodian, ruler, etc., which is most commonly known by its bureaucratic definition, being the recognized global-leader of Muslims…this particular geo-political position can only be held by a Muslim-Man, and even linguistically, even though the word, Khalifah, has an apparent feminine-ending, it is still, in fact, exclusively, a masculine-word.(al-Khulafa’-ur-Rashidun, Jalal-ud-Din as-Suyuti; Lisan-ul-`Arab) We, then, have the word “Malak” (pl. Mala’ikah), meaning Angel, is masculine, by virtue of the fact that Angels were created, by Allah, without a gender. So, because of that, the word in Arabic, Angel, itself, as well as the actual names & characteristics of Angels, are also, by definition/extension, must be masculine. This was a very huge-issue, during the lifetime of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), because, the Pagan-Arabs had a religious-view, that Angels were, female & the “daughters of Allah”. However, when the Qur’an was revealed, it thus clarified this degenerate religious-belief, among all of the beliefs of the Pagan-Arabs.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.37, V.149-156) So, with that being said, it becomes, thus, very clear, that any noun in the Qur’an, must, at all times, coincide with a respective gender.

Now, coming back, full-circle, to the main point of inference, the primary-topic, at hand, concerning the whole “Female-Imam” issue: we can now get our hands dirty, about this issue. The term Imam, relative to what I’m directly referring to, in the context of the claim of Pamela Taylor, as being a “Female-Imam”, we know based upon text, from both the Qur’an & Sunnah/Prophetic-Tradition, as well as simply from the linguisitc-dyanmics of the Arabic-Language, that there is no way that a Muslim-Woman can be an “Imam”, in any religious-context. Before I continue, it’s fair that I go in-depth as to what an “Imam”, in the context of what Pamela Taylor is claiming: it is referring to, directly, leading both Muslim-Men & Muslim-Women in prayers, giving the weekly Khutbah/Sermon, on the day of al-Jumu`ah/Friday. Please, note, that this has never been done, before, from among any members of the Salaf (the 1st-3-generations of Muslims, after the revelation of the Qur’an: as-Sahabah/the Companions of Muhammad [May Allah be pleased with them all-together], as well as the 1st & 2nd-generations of at-Tabi`in/the Followers of as-Sahabah [May Allah mercify them all-together]). And, if anyone from among the Ummah (Nation/MuslimCommunity) of Muhammad would’ve been justified to enact this practice, it would’ve definitely been these Muslim-Women, from among the Salaf & more specifically, the Wives of Muhammad (May Allah be pleased with them), because they were, by-and-large, the most-righteous, as well as the most knowledgeable Muslim-Women, during the lifetime of Muhammad, as well as among the Salaf, and yet, none of them, participated in leading both Muslim-Men & Muslim-Women, in any prayers, nor did any of the give any Khutub (sing. Khutbah) on the day of al-Jumu`ah.

What’s interestingly-ironic is that these “Progressive-Muslim” individuals/groups, whom all co-sign this Bid`ah (Religious-Innovation) never taken into consideration that the best people among the Muslims, relative to the revelation of the Qur’an, never did this. And, it absolutely tickles me, when people reference our (religious) mother, `A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her), whom wielded immense religio-scholastic, geo-political prestige & authority: her husband being Muhammad of course, the last Prophet/Messenger of Allah & her own father, Abdullah ibn Abi-Quhafah…AKA Ab-Bakr as-Siddiq (May Allah be pleased with him), whom religio-scholastically taught mostly Muslim-Men, her entire life, after the death of Muhammad, and even raising an army, against her own cousin-in-law, `Ali ibn Abi-Talib, while he was a Khalifah (May Allah be pleased with him); yet, guess what, folks…yeah…you’ve got it…SHE NEVER LED ANY MUSLIIM-MEN IN ANY PRAYER, NOT EVEN ONE DAY, IN HER ENTIRE LIFE. As powerful as she was, in both religious-academics, as well, as on the geo-political stage, she knew that she had absolutely no justification to lead Muslim-Men in any prayers.

So, for someone to come, not days, years, decades, but, centuries, after her death, whom are clearly not as knowledgeable, Islamically, as she was, nor could they ever be, and proclaim that being a “Female-Imam” is Islamically valid, when the best of Muslim-Women, from among the best of Muslims, never did this, shows a very clear, obvious disease of the heart, which is spreading, like a wildfire with that’s HIV-infected. I, Gareth Bryant, do by, henceforth, dare to challenge, any Muslim, “Muslim-Feminist”, “Progressive-Muslim”, “Reform-Muslim”, regardless of one’s sectarian-persuasions, to provide any proof, even an abrogated-proof, from either the Qur’an, Sunnah, or the documented-practices of the Salaf, which gives any at all justification for a Muslim-Woman to be a “Female-Imam”.

Gareth Bryant/2013

The Perfect-Solution to the whole “Ahl-ul-Bayt” Issue:

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Author’s-Note:
I hear Muslims (all the damn time) debate about this issue, so unnecessarily. So, what I’ve decided to do is the following: do some actual, honest, unbiased, historically true, research as to who the Ahl-ul-Bayt truly are. And, once you embark upon this type of research, you’ll learn so much about the actual Ahl-ul-Bayt, as well as significant aspects of Islam, generally, historically, and, as to why people have been at odds over this one singular issue, for so many centuries.

So, without any further adieu, here’s what I’ve got:
Ahl-ul-Bayt (literally meaning, “The People of the House”, referring to the Prophetic-Household of Muhammad [Peace be upon him]) isn’t just a group of four persons (Fatimah, `Ali, al-Hasan & al-Husayn [May Allah be pleased with them]), and their familial-descendants. Rather, Ahl-al-Bayt, based upon its strongest Islamic understanding, according to as-Salaf (as-Sahabah/the Companions of Muhammad [May Allah be pleased with them altogether] & generations 1 & 2 of at-Tabi`in/the followers of as-Sahabah [May Allah mercify them altogether]), are persons whom were Muslims, during the lifetime of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) & were either related to him through blood or through marriage.

Ahl-al-Bayt are specifically categorized as 3-Tier categories:

1st-Tier-
The actual blood-relatives, both paternal & maternal, of Muhammad, who became Muslims during his own lifetime-Among them are, but not limited to, the following: `Abbas/al-`Abbas ibn-`Abd-il-Muttalib, Hamzah ibn-`Abd-il-Muttalib, Harith/al-Harith ibn `Abd-il-Mutalib (all of them were Paternal-Uncles of Muhammad, the brothers of his father, `Abdullah ibn `Abd-il-Muttalib), `Abdullah ibn-`Abbas, Fadhl ibn-`Abbas, `Ali ibn Abi-Talib, Ja`far ibn Abi-Talib,`Aqil ibn Abi-Talib, `Ubaydah ibn-il-Harith (the first Companion of Muhammad to be killed in battle [the Battle of Badr]), Rabi`ah ibn-il-Harith, Abu-Sufyan ibn-il-Harith (both of whom were among 8-persons whom did not flee during the Battle of Hunayn), Arwah bint-il-Harith, Hind bint Abi-Umayyah & Zaynab bint-Jash (who were both cousins of Muhammad & two of his wives), Waraqah ibn-Nawfal (the Christian-Priest, who died as a Muslim & Companion, on account of him believing in the legitimacy of the Prophethood of Muhammad [a paternal-cousin of Khadijah bint-Khuwaylid, the 1st wife of Muhammad]), etc. This has actually been proven, through a Hadith/Narration of Muhammad in which he was specifically asked, “Who are Ahl-ul-Bayt?”. Muhammad had mentioned that, “Ahl-ul-Bayt are persons whom Zakah (not Saqaqah/Optional-Charity, but the annual Zakah/Obligatory-Charity) is Mahrum for (meaning that it is Islamically-Prohibited for them to be recipients of it). From among them are: `Abbas (ibn `Abd-il-Muttalib) & the descendants of `Abbas, `Ali (ibn Abi-Talib) & the descendants of `Ali, Ja`far (ibn Abi-Talib) & the descendants of Ja`far, and `Aqil (ibn Abi-Talib) & the descendants of `Aqil.”.(Muslim) In addition to this: it’s important to note that all of al-`Asharat-ul-Mubashshirin (the 10-Companions of Muhammad [Peace be upon him] who were promised Paradise in their lifetimes, by name) were all in  fact blood-related to Muhammad via their Common-Ancestor `Abd-Manaf.(ar-Rahiq-ul-Makhtum, Hayat-us-Sahabah)

2nd-Tier-
The Wives of Muhammad, the Mothers of the Believers and his In-Laws (Relatives via Marriage)-We know, for a fact, that these women are among Ahl-il-Bayt, just because, in Surat-il-Ahzab/the Chapter of the Partisans (Chpt.3, V.61 & Chpt.33, V.33), Allah mentions the Wives of Muhammad, as a group, and gives them the honorable title, “Ahl-ul-Bayt”. And, among his In-Laws are, but not limited to, the following: `Abdullah ibn Abi-Quhafah/Abu-Bakr as-Siddiq (father-in-law), `Umar ibn-ul-Khattab (father-in-law), `Uthman ibn-`Affan (son-in-law), `Ali ibn Abi-Talib (son-in-law), Abu-Sufyan ibn-Harb (father-in-law), Hind bint-`Utbah (mother-in-law), Yazid ibn Abi-Sufyan (the brother of Mu`awiyah whom also accepted Islam [brother-in-law]) Hudhayfah ibn-`Utbah (uncle-in-law), Mu`awiyah ibn Abi-Sufyan (brother-in-law), Yazid ibn-Mu`awiyah (nephew-in-law), etc.(ar-Rahiq-ul-Makhtum/The Sealed-Nectar)

3rd-Tier-
The Children & Grand-Children, Step-Children & Adopted-Children of Muhammad-Among the Children of Muhammad are the following: Fatimah, Ruqayyah, Zaynab, Umm-Kulthum, `Abdullah, al-Qasim, Ibrahim-Among his Grand-Children are, but not limited to, the following: al-Hasan ibn-`Ali, al-Husayn ibn-`Ali, Among his Step-Children are, but not limited to, the following: `Umar ibn Abi-Salamah (his mother, Hind bint Abi-Umayyah, had married Muhammad, after his father, `Abdallah ibn-`Abd-il-Asad, had been martyred during the Battle of Uhud), Sakran ibn-is-Sakran ibn`Amr (his mother, Sawda’ bint-Zam`ah had married Muhammad, after her husband, as-Sakran ibn`Amr ibn `Abd-ish-Shams had died when on route to al-Madinah, from the 1st-Hijrah, from al-Makkah, to Abyssinia), etc. The Adoptive-Children of Muhammad were only Zayd ibn-il-Harithah.(ar-Rahiq-ul-Makhtum)

Now, as we can all clearly see, there are at the very least, up to about 50 individuals, who can easily be classified as Ahl-al-Bayt, just from the names of persons whom I’ve already mentioned. Now, with that being said, for someone to say that they “only take knowledge from members of Ahl-il-Bayt”, or that they “prefer to only take from Ahl-il-Bayt”, or that they “trust Ahl-al-Bayt more”, then, they will seriously have to change their perspectives on a lot of individuals, because most of the individuals whom I’ve mentioned most-definitely have the most-rightful claims to being from among Ahl-il-Bayt, yet among certain sectarian-groups, they’re just not acknowledged as such.

And, also, when you observe/study the authentic narrations in which the names of any, some, most of these persons are mentioned in, you find that not only are those narrations are classified as Sahih/Authentic, by the vast majority of well-known/well-trusted Hadith-Scholars, from among the Salaf, but that these same narrations can be & are found within some of the most highly-regarded & respected collections of Prophetic-Statements. And, more importantly, these same persons, most of them, those who could read & write, were in fact persons, trusted & commissioned by Muhammad to document not only the Qur’an itself, but also Prophetic-Statements.

So, with that being said, it’s pretty clear that Ahl-al-Bayt is so much more extensive, than most people give it credit for.

Gareth Bryant/2012

Some Brief Islamic-History (The Rightly-Guided Khalifahs):

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These new posts of mine, which will be posted periodically, which will be labeled “Some Brief Islamic-History” will be, what I hope to be, many educational articles about the history of Islam. And, by history of Islam, I really mean from the time from Adam, to the present-day, because, based upon Islamic-Texts, Islam didn’t begin with Muhammad (Peace be upon him)-Muhammad wasn’t the first Muslim, so in light of that fact, it is a must that I write about other persons, whom were Muslims before his time, whom have made a true difference for Muslims of today. My first post will be about the first set of Islamic-Rulers, who came to power, after the death of Muhammad (Peace be upon him).

Author’s note:
All of what is mentioned in this post is exclusively based upon the classic work, “al-Khulafa’-ur-Rashidun”, by the great Muslim scholar & historian, Jalal-ad-Din as-Suyuti-The era of time, in which great Muslim leaders rose to preside over the geo-political/military affairs of the Muslims, after the death of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) are more relevant because of the era that they came from (the Rashidi-Khilafah era), as opposed to whom they were as individuals. And, their administrations are so intertwined with one another’s, that they have actually fed off of one another, in very important ways, religiously, bureaucratically, socially, politically, and militarily. However, since we don’t have the time to go into that much detail, I’ll just simply highlight what I personally deem as the most significant aspects of their tenures, as heads of the Islamic-State, relative to their years of service.

Let’s start with the term, al-Khulafa’-ur-Rashidin:
The word “Khulafa’” is a plural of “Khalifah”, meaning a successor, inheritor, caretaker, custodian, etc., from the verb, “Khalafa”, meaning to succeed, inherit. And, the word Rashidun is from Rashid, meaning one who guides, from the verb “Rashada”, meaning to guide, direct. The actual concept of Khilafah, a caretaker, custodian, etc., actually begins with the Jinn, before the creation of the Human being. Initially, the Jinn were given the honor of the post of the Khilafah. However, they had begun to oppress & kill one another on Earth. So, Allah had decided to take the Khilafah from them, and banished them from normal life on Earth & subjected them to dwell in desolate forests, deserts, and any all other places in which it would be very difficult for Humans to live normally. Upon that, then, Allah created Adam & Eve (peace be upon them) & placed upon them, as well as their descendants, us, the post of Khilafah.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.2, V.30; Qasas-ul-Anbiya’[Stories of the Prophets], ibn-Kathir)

The Rashidi-Period:
By far, the most distinct, most relevant & most important of all the Khilafah periods, because the Muslim rulers of this era set governmental precedents, which other Khilafah eras had adopted until the end of the Khilafah, after World War I. These individuals in this Khilafah period are also the most unique of any generation of Khulafa’, by virtue of the fact that all of the Muslim rulers of the Rashidi period were Companions of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), and, either knew one another, or knew of one another, personally.

Now, let’s start off with the Khulafa’ from this period:

1. `Abdullah ibn-`Uthman ibn-`Amir (AKA Abu-Bakr, as-Siddiq, as-Sabbaq):
-Initiated Hurub-ar-Riddah (the Wars of Apostacy), a direct result of False-Prophets leading people astray, various communities & Arab tribes refusing to pay Zakah & refusing to pledge allegiance to the Islamic-State, after the death of Muhammad (Peace be upon him).

-Established the basic bureaucratic elements of the Khilafah, which piggy-backed largely off of the Islamic-State which Muhammad (Peace be upon him) had established in al-Madinah, then, in the Hijaz & the rest of the Arabian-Peninsula, after the “Conquest of Makkah”.

-Established the Islamic-State as a significant force in the Mediterranean region.

2. `Umar ibn-ul-Khattab (al-Faruq):
-Initiated the first major wave of geo-political/military expansion, beyond the Arab/Mediterranean-World.

-Established mass bureaucratic adjustments/improvements within the Khilafah, both internally & externally.

-Established mass adjustments/improvements, regarding relations between the Islamic-State & its citizenry.

3. `Uthman ibn-`Affan (Dhun-Nurayn):
-Maintained the geo-political/military stability of the Islamic-State.

-Initiated & completed mass educational projects, which included the completion of what would forever be known as the `Uthmani-Script Mushaf.

-Initiated dealing with the Khawarij, in a diplomatic manner, which costed him his life.

4. `Ali ibn Abi-Talib:
-Intensified dealing with the Khawarij & switching from the passive/diplomatic approach of `Uthman, to a more active/forceful approach.

-Initiated putting a stop to/crushing the first waves of geo-political/military rebellions, against the Khilafah.
5. al-Hasan ibn-`Ali ibn-Abi-Talib:
-Took the reigns of the Islamic-State, from `Ali, after his assassination.

-Abdicated his authority of the Khilafah to Mu`awiyah, in the same year as `Ali’s death.

6. Mu`awiyah ibn Abi-Sufyan:
-Refused to resign from his post, as governor of Syria, after the assassination of `Uthman, which became a direct leading cause of the rebellion he led against `Ali.

-Accepted the abdication of al-Hasan, as the Khalifah, and, thus, becoming a Khalifah, himself, during the same year as the assassination of `Ali, known as the “Year of Unity”.

-Became the last Khalifah of the Rashidi period & the Khalifah of the Umayyi period.

Established the precedent of having a relative (preferably a son) of a former Khalifah, to be a succeeding Khalifah.

-Established the first Navy for the Islamic-State, which made the Maritime power of the Khilafah unparalleled in the Mediterranean-World.

Gareth Bryant/2012