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Our Belief - Part III

Our Belief - Part III
(A Brief Description of Islam as the Shi'ites Believe)

By : Ayatullah al-Uzma Naser Makarem Shirazi

CHAPTER FIVE
IMAMAT LEADERSHIP

44- THERE IS ALWAYS AN IMAM


WE BELIEVE that as God has decreed to send His Apostles with divine Guidance, so also for any age or time, God Has appointed an Imam to look after the people, leading them to the righteous path, and to guard the divine Law against ay deviation. Imam has to know clearly, the necessities of the ages, and lead the people to the true path of God. He invites and teaches the people to obey the prophets and to follow the LAW. If not so, man will fail to obtain the goal for which he is created i.e. prosperity and perfection. Then the LAW will be abandoned, and people have to wander! This is why we believe that after our prophet, in any age or time there has always been, and there will be, an Imam to teach and to lead.

"O,You who believe! Fear Allah and be with those who are truthful."

THE HOLY QURAN _ S9: 119

This verse of QURAN does not point a certain time or a distinct age. It rather unconditionally orders the people to be the followers of the truthful Imam. All the famous commentators have taken the word:_ TRUTHFUL to mean an innocent Imam who is free of guilt and sin.

45- THE REALITY OF IMAMAT

WE BELIEVE that Imamat is not only the apparent rulership or leadership of a caliph, but rather a high spiritual or religious position. Besides ruling and governing the Islamic society, an Imam has the overall leadership of this mortal life of people as well as that of Hereafter. He guides the Soul and Mind of people, and guards against any deviation to occur in the LAW, meanwhile he drives at the targets assigned by the prophet. This is the same high rank that God gave to ABRAHAM after passing the stages of prophethood and the steps of apostleship and many other exams. When ABRAHAM asked his Lord to assign the position of Imamat to some of his near kins, he was answered that this title or position will not be given to the oppressors or SINNER. "And remember when ABRAHAM was tried by his Lord with certain commandments which he fulfilled. God said to him,"I will make you an Imam to the people." He said," What about making Imams out of my offspring?" God answered, "No! My covenant is not within the reach of the oppressors."

THE HOLY QURAN _ S2: 124

It is evident that such a high moral and religious position cannot be abridged or lowered to the apparent rulership or leadership, or else the verse will not hand over a reasonable meaning or sense. WE BELIEVE that all the Arch Prophets had the dignity and grade of Imamat through their prophethood. This is because whatever they decreed by their prophethood they put it to ACTION as an Imam. So was the great prophet of Islam, when at the beginning of his mission he conveyed the messages of God to His servants, and meanwhile he carried on his leadership teaching people and leading them to the path of truth.

WE BELIEVE that after the prophet Mohammad, his mission was continued by the innocent Imams who succeeded him from among his nearest kins and their offspring. By the definitions given above, to reach the high rank of an Imam, very difficult and heavy conditions are to be observed, such as piety to the level of innocence, having the highest level of knowledge of religion and the LAW, and also full acquaintance with the human needs in any age or time.

46- IMAM MUST BE INNOCENT

WE BELIEVE that an Imam should be free of guilt or SIN. As a matter of fact one who is not innocent, can not be trusted to teach the realities of the LAW and the tenets of a divine Religion. It is for his innocence that we hold an Imam's word or deed as a religious proof.

47- IMAM IS THE GUARDIAN OF THE LAW

WE BELIEVE that an Imam has to know all about the roots and branches, and the commandments of Islam. He has to know the full meanings and the EXEGESIS of QURAN, and that he takes his knowledge from the prophet or the previous Imam; and it is such a knowledge which is trustworthy among our people.(THE SHIITE)

48- IMAM MUST BE APPOINTED OPENLY AND CLEARLY BY THE PROPHET

WE BELIEVE that Imam who is the successor of the prophet must be clearly and openly appointed by the Messenger of God. Imam's appointment also is like that of the prophet and has to be decided by God Himself. This is because the distinction of piety at the level of innocence, and such that high level of knowledge needed to make some one an Imam, is at the power of God and His Apostle, and no one else. We therefore know not our Imams to be elected by the vote or choice of people.

50- THE SHIITE IMAMS ARE APPOINTED BY THE PROPHET HIMSELF

WE BELIEVE that the prophet of Islam appointed all the twelve Imams as his successor's one after the other.

In SAHIH MUSLIM, (A FAMOUS SUNNI REFERENCE BOOK) We read:_
"In a place between Mecca and Medina which is named KHUMM GHADIR, the prophet made a speech for thousands of Muslim, through which he said,
"I am near to leave you for good. I am leaving two heavy things among you after me:_ QURØN is the first one in which you may find light and guidance; and my nearest kins are the second. I advice you all not to forget God in relation to my Kins. not to forget God in relation to My Kins."
The same tradition is also written in SAHIH TIRMIDHI, (ANOTHER FAMOUS SUNNI'S REFERENCE BOOK). The prophet added then:_ "If you grasp the two heavy thing that I leave among you; you will never go astray."
The above mentioned incident is brought and found in so many famous Islamic books such as:_
SAHIH MUSLIM_ VOL.2 _ P.1873
SAHIH TIRMIDHI_ VOL.5 _ P.662
SUNAN DARMI_ VOL.2 _ P.432
KHASAES NESAIE P.20
MUSNAD AHMAD _ VOL.5 _ P.182

Therefore, No Muslim can deny this tradition which is related by successive witnesses and important writers. WE RELY also on another famous tradition which is narrated in the SAHIH MOSLIM and SAHIH TERMAZI, SAHIH ABIDAWOOD and other famous books that our prophet has said,

"Islam will stand up to the resurrection day and until twelve Imams all of whom are from Quraish; rule over you as my successors."

WE BELIEVE that there is no acceptable commentaries for such traditions as mentioned above except that belief which is found among our sect; the SHIITE.

51- IMAM ALI'S DESIGNATION BY THE PROPHET

WE BELIEVE that the prophet, in several occasions has introduced and designated Imam Ali as his successor by the decree of God, an instance of which was in the GHADIR KHUMM somewhere near JOHFEH. When the prophet was returning from his last pilgrimage (HAJJ) he made a speech for a great gathering of his companions and followers, saying:_

"Do I not have priority over your souls?" "Yes, of course" they all answered. "Then all of you know that," continued the prophet. The MASTER of whoever I am, Ali shall be his master.(This tradition is narrated by more than 110 companions of the prophet and by 84 men from their second generation, and it is written in 360 famous Islamic books). Here we do not intend to go deep through reasoning to prove our ideas; we also do not intend to insist upon our assertion. We may only add here that such an important TRADITION is not something to be ignored easily, or changing what it means, as by taking the MASTER=MOWLA to mean a friend particularly when we see that the prophet has put so much stress and emphasis upon the word, so as to make it known to all! Is this not the same case that; IBN ASIR has brought in his important history book saying:_

"At the beginning of his prophetic mission, the prophet was ordered by God:(QURAN _ S26: 214) to admonish his nearest kindred. He invited some forty men of them to a dinner, and by a miracle, he fed all of them from a single portion of food! He then made a speech and finally said to them: `which of you is willing to give me a truthful hand in this Divine Mission of mine, and become my brother and successor among all?"( KAMIL IBN ASIR VOL.2 _ P.63)

No one answered him there, except Imam Ali, who said, I will be your companion and minister: and the prophet pointed at Imam Ali and said, He is my brother and my successor among you. Thus we see the prophet to designate his VICEGERENT and Imam, from the beginning of his mission. The same case also happened at the end of his mission when the prophet was at his death bed. He asked those who were round him to get him a pen AND paper to write an order which would prevent them from going astray. One of them rejected and refused to provide pen and paper and even accused the prophet of uttering delirious speech! To repeat again, we hereby only declare our belief in brief and a little reasoning.(SAHIH BOKHARI_PAR5_P.11 AND SAHIH MUSLIM_VOL.3_ P.125q)

52- EACH IMAM EMPHASIZES HIS SUCCSSOR

WE BELIEVE that each one of the twelve Imams are introduced and emphasized by the previous ones. The first of them was Imam Ali the son of ABUTALIB, who was succeeded by Imam Hassan his first son, and Imam Hussain the Master of the Martyrs his second son. The third Imam was Ali the son of Imam Hussain then it came to his son Muhammad al-Bagher_ He Appointed his son Jaafar, who was succeeded by Musa, then his son Ali Ibn Musa al Reza. The ninth of them was Muhammad Al Taqi- then his son Ali al-Naqi. After him was his son Imam Hassan Askari who was the father of Al-Mahdi the twelfth and the last of all whom we believe to be already living. The idea of a SAVIOUR who has to come to fill the world with justice, when it has been full of oppressions is accepted almost by all the Muslims of different sects, and many of the SUNNI scholars and men of knowledge have cited that in their books. A few years ago, in answer to A question about the existence of AL-MAHDI, the Islamic World Relations Society, issued a pamphlet to emphasize that of a surety he will come, and in that pamphlet many evidences and documents were presented to prove that. Many of the Muslims believe that Al-Mahdi will be born in future, but the SHIITES believe that he has already been born, and so far he has lived a long life, and by the decree of God, he shall appear one day to fill the world with justice.

53- NONE OF THE PROPHET'S COMPANION COULD EXCEL IMAM ALI

WE BELIEVE that none of the prophet's companions did, or could excel Imam Ali in any respect; and that Imam was at the highest religious position other than that of the prophet's. Of course we know it unlawful to mispresent the Imam by overstating him and by exaggerations. Those who prove for him the position of deity or something like that, are all heretics in our sight, as are those who undervalue him, and we are absolutely disgusted with their belief, although they might call themselves the SHIITE of Imam Ali and mingle their names with ours. The leading SHIITES and the orthodox have always rejected the two groups who overvalue or undervalue the Imam, and have called them, and taken them as heretics, for going to extremes.

54- THE PROPHET'S COMPANIONS AT THE COURT OF WISDOM AND HISTORY

WE BELIEVE that there were many great men of devotion and chastity among the companions of the prophet; but all of them were not so, because the HOLY QURAN declares many among them as being hypocrites!(1)

There were also men who broke their allegiance with the VICEGERENT OF GOD, after the prophet, and made wars and shed the blood of thousands of Muslims upon the soil.

.- (THE VERSES IN: Sq _ S29 and S63 WHICH IS CALLED THE HYPOCRITES)

In other word, how can we judge that both of the two parties who made the battles of Siffin and Jamal were rightful and, on the righteous path? How can both of the two groups of combatants be honest and truthful? Some bring forth the foot of religious researches and self exegesis on the ground by saying that:_ `Surely one of the two parties was wrong and oppressive, but as they were taking their decisions by their EXEGESIS, both parties were on righteousness in the sight of God! This we cannot accept easily. How could one with his own exegesis and self comprehensions break his allegiance and loyalty to the VICEGERENT OF GOD, who is entitled to obedience, and create such fearful wars between Muslims, grouping them and shedding streams of their blood. with the justification that his exegesis and self researches have decreed him to do so!? What else then can not be justified by such personal comprehensions and self commentaries? Let us be more frank, that every one, even the nearest companions of the prophet are held in pledge of their deeds and are responsible for what they have done and have to answer for it:_

"The most honoured of you in Allah's sight, is he who is the most virtuous (chaste) of you."

THE HOLY QURAN _ S49: 13

The above holy verse is true for all even for the nearest companions of the prophet. We therefore have to judge them by their deeds, and we should have a reasonable definition for them all. Those who were truthful at the presence of the Apostle, at his absence too, did their best to guard the religion and to observe his commandments. They remained faithful to their covenant and respected their promises. On the other hand, those among his companions who were hypocrites and vexed him, did the same after him. Whatever they did, was against Islam and Muslims. "You shall find no believer in Allah and the last judgement to love those who oppose Allah and His Apostle, even though they be their father, their sons, their brothers, or their nearest kindred. Allah has inscribed the faith in their hearts and Has strengthened them with a SPIRIT OF HIS, God will admit them to the GARDENS OF BLISS, beneath which streams flow, wherein they shall live for ever. They are the PARTY OF ALLAH, and Allah's party shall achieve felicity."

THE HOLY QURAN _ S58: 22

We believe that those who harmed the prophet in his presence or absence do not worth admire. Of course we must not forget that some of the companions of the prophet showed the utmost truthfulness and sincerity with the greatest self sacrifices and have been admired by God Himself and so were a group who followed them later:_

"The vanguard of Islam; the first of those who forsook their homes, and of those who gave them aid; and also those who followed them in good deeds:_ Well pleased is Allah with them and they with Allah. For them is prepared GARDENS OF BLISS, under which streams flow. They dwell therein for ever. That's the Supreme Felicity.

THE HOLY QURAN _ S9: 100

This was our belief in brief about the companions of our prophet.

55- IMAM TAKES HIS KNOWLEDGE FROM THE PROPHET

According to the order of our prophet:_ `To observe QURAN and HIS NEAREST KINS': and also to the innocence of the Imams, our jurisprudence of divine Law, is also based upon the words, deeds and consents; (doing something in front of them without having their objection) of the innocent Imams. The three factors, i.e. words, deeds, and consent of our Imams are accepted proofs for us. We have to note also that whatever an Imam says; it is a narration of the prophet through his fathers. This is to say what ever an Imam says it has been said by the prophet. Imam Baqir told one of his students named Jabir:_ "That which we convey to you is what we have taken out of a treasure that belongs to our Prophet Muhammad." .(Jami al-Ahadith, VOL.1 _ P.18)

Through another tradition from Imam Jaafar Sadiq we read:_ "Some one asked him a question and the Imam answered him. The man began to dispute about the answer. Imam told him: `The answer I gave you was that of the prophet and you have no right to dispute."

Another remarkable point to note is about the important books on collected traditions such as; KAAFI _ TAHZIB ESTEBSAR_ and MAN LA YAHZAROHOL FAGHIH, that we have and we use. Although these books are much trusted in our sight, but still it doesn't mean to us that whatever is written in them is true and acceptable by us.

Besides the above mentioned tradition books we also have the books of WHO IS WHO About personalities, (ALREJAL=THE MEN) Through such books we investigate about the personalities of the narrators of the tradition and also about their chains of documents and references so as to make sure if a tradition is true and correct. Therefore, however important and trustworthy a book might be, to accept a tradition from it has to convince us that it reads and is compatible with our standard, or else we shall reject it.

Some Islamic sects have their own collection of traditions (HADIS) which they know them to be correct. (SAHIH) The authors have named their book, `THE CORRECT=SAHIH and some men of importance might have admitted that these are CORRECT, but in our sight, that tradition is correct which is reasonably proved to have been said by the prophet.

CHAPTER SIX
MISCELLANEOUS SUBJECTS


Besides what was said in the previous chapters about our BELIEF; there are other specialties in our ideas that will follow in this chapter.

56- THE RATIONALE GOODNESS AND BADNESS

WE BELIEVE that human wisdom can appreciate many good things to distinct from the bad ones, and the right from wrong; by his blessful power of distinction, which God has given him. Even before coming of the prophets with the LAW, Man could rationally distinguish many good and bad. For instance he could easily understand that justice is good and oppression is bad. Man could know that some ethics like: truthfulness, honesty, bravery and generosity are good deeds; and that, lying; betrayal and jealousy are bad morals. But as the wisdom is not able to comprehend all that is good or bad, and his knowledge, whatever, is limited, The prophets were sent with book for guidance and the LAW to improve man's faculty and morals, helping his wisdom in that.

Of course we deny not the value of the independent WISDOM which comprehends the facts. If so; the Monotheism, the prophetic missions, and the Divine religion, will all be futile! For all these important tenets are basically proved by the reasoning of the wisdom. It is evident that the LAW and the commandments are only acceptable when the principles which are Monotheism and prophethood have been proved to us through wisdom, and by the religion itself.

57- GOD'S JUSTICE

So do we believe in God's JUSTICE, and we say it is impossible for God to oppress any creature of His at the least amount, or to punish His servants without any reason or to forgive them without a reason. It is also Impossible that God may leave His promises unfulfilled. We also know it to be impossible that God may abandon His servants without giving them necessary guidance. All these are ugly and indecent, of which the Omnipotent God is far and clear.

58- MAN'S FREEDOM

So do we believe that God has created Man free? He has given us FREE WILL, and we have options to do what we may do. If not so, why should He punish a sinner who is supposed to be compelled to do so.? To make it short, rational good and bad as mentioned above, and independent wisdom are bases for the acceptance of divine Religion, Scriptures, and the prophets, but not enough, because we have a limited wisdom, by which we can not grasp all that we need. So we have to have divine guidance for improving our WISDOM and understanding.

59- WISDOM SERVERS AS A REFERENCE IN OUR RELIGIOUS JURIS-PRUDENCE

Following what we mentioned above, one of the principle references in Islam is wisdom's reasoning. The wisdom comprehends something definitely and then judges. For instance; if we find no reason or proof in the book or in the prophet's methodical way, (SUNNAT) to show us that OPPRESSION, BETRAYAL, LYING and committing MURDER, are too bad and unlawful deeds, We would certainly reject them by the reasoning of our wisdom, and we make sure that God never likes us to do such things. This is why we conclude that the wisdom too, is a DIVINE BASE of our religious judgements. The Holy QURØN is full of verses showing the importance of the wisdom as a base or reference for the judgements in religious researches.-

"In the creation of the heavens, and the earth, and the alternation of DAY and night, there are indeed SIGNS for men of wisdom and understanding."

THE HOLY QURAN _ S3: 190

Some reveal the aim of sending the scriptures to improve the power of wisdom and understanding of Man:_

"See how we have explained our SIGNS variously so that they may understand."

THE HOLY QURAN _ S6: 65

"We have sent it down as an Arabic QURAN, in order that you may use your wisdom."

THE HOLY QURAN _ S12: 2

Some of the verses urge people to use their minds so as to distinguish good of bad_

"..... Say can a blind be held equal to one who can see? Why don't you then think?"

THE HOLY QURAN _ S6: 50

And the worst of the moving creatures in the sight of God are those who do not use their common sense so as to understand:_

".....For the worst of BEASTS in the SIGHT OF GOD, are those who are deaf and dumb, not using their wisdom to under stand!"

THE HOLY QURAN _ S8: 22

So how can we ignor the importance of the wisdom, understanding, and thinking in Islam?

60- MORE ABOUT GOD'S JUSTICE

As we have already mentioned we BELIEVE that God is JUST and He never oppresses; because cruel acts are indecent and unbecoming to Him:_

".....And thy LORD will treat no one with injustice."

THE HOLY QURAN _ S18: 49

If some people are punished in this world or in the Hereafters, it is due to their own deeds:_

"It is not God who oppresses them, but they wrong their own soul."

THE HOLY QURAN _ S9: 70

Not only Man, but rather no creature in the world is ever oppressed by God:_

"Allah wants no injustice to any of His creatures."

THE HOLY QURAN _ S3: 108

All these verses are some how a guidance towards making use of our wisdom.

REJECTION OF WHAT YOU CANNOT DO

WE BELIEVE that God will never oblige a duty to any one who cannot do it:_

"Allah will not charge a soul with a duty that cannot be fulfilled by him."

THE HOLY QURAN _ S2: 286

61- THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE PAINFUL ACCIDENTS

WE BELIEVE that the painful accidents that sometimes occur, such as the earthquakes, calamities, and misfortunes, might be that of God's punishment, as it was with the case of the people of LOT:_

"When our decree was issued, we turned (THEIR CITIES) upside down, and rained down on them brimstones, hard as baked clay, spread layer on layer."

THE HOLY QURAN _ S11: 82

And about the ungrateful and rebellious people of SABA, GOD says:_

"But they turned away (FROM THEIR LORD) and we sent against them the flood from the DAMS."

THE HOLY QURAN _ S34: 16

Some other painful incident are to admonish people and to teach them lessons:_

"Mischief has appeared on land and sea by what the hands of MAN have earned, that Allah may give them a taste of some of their deeds, in order that they may return back from evil.

THE HOLY QURAN _ S30: 41

Other pains are what our hands make it and are due to our ignorance and carelessness:_

"Whatever good (O Man) Happens to you is from Allah: but whatever evil happens to you; is from yourself."

THE HOLY QURAN _ S4: 79

62- THE EXISTENCE IS RULED BY THE BEST OF ORDERS

WE BELIEVE that the created world or the world of creation is the scenery on which the bests of orders act. In other word, the existing order that controls the world is the best one that can possibly exist. Here, every thing has an account of its own. There is nothing in contrast to justice and goodness; and if bad is seen, it belong to people, or the creatures. We repeat again that God's justice is one of the most important bases of Islamic insight, without which the tenets such as the MONOTHEISM, PROPHETHOOD and DOOMSDAY will be endangered. We have a tradition that Imam Sadiq has emphasized on Monotheism and God's justice as the main principles of the religion and then he adds:_

"Whatever is becoming and fit for you, is not allowable to God. Justice is that you do not relate something to God, which doing it puts a blame upon you." (Bihar al-Anwar VOL.5 _ P.11)

63- THE FOUR SOURCES OF OUR RELIGIOUS JURIS PRUDENCE

Our religious jurisprudence and researches are based on four sources:_

FIRST:_ QURAN, the BOOK of Allah is the Main Source and the principle document of all the Islamic commandments.

SECOND:_ The prophet's Methodical way, the so called SONNAT, and also that of the Innocent Imams.

THIRD:_ Agreeing in opinion or determination, formed by UNANIMITY of all the jurisprudents, and the learned, supposing to be COMPETENT to Imam's views.

FOURTH:_ It is the WISDOM, by which absolute reasons of the wisdom we intend, and not conjectures and surmises.

When the teacher of LAW believes on some thing to be done which is not found in the scripture or Sunnat, he cannot propose his ideas as a divine decree. So also grasps to analogies and conjectures in relation to religious laws is not accepted by us. But in cases where a man is quite sure of some thing, as we are all sure that theft, lying, betrayal and offence are bad and evil; here we can accept that,. What is lawful by wisdom is also lawful by religion scriptures and tradition, in all fields; such as economical, social, political, ethical and other matters. THAT makes us free of want to go here and there and to do this way and that way by our fancies and conjectures, forming an opinion without good means of knowledge or sufficient evidence. As for some newly appeared problems we can also find general commandments in the book and sunnat, by which we need not to use our imaginations.

64- THE DOORS OF RESEARCH ARE ALWAYS OPEN

WE BELIEVE that the doors of research are permanently open to all our religious problems and inquiries; and all the jurisprudents and scholars may deduce their commandments out of the four above mentioned sources, so as to convey it to those who are weak in comprehension even thou their newly extracted VIEWS be different to that of the previous ones. WE BELIEVE that those who are not expert in the religious jurisprudence should refer to an alive expert who is also aware of the world affairs, and the problems of our age. Those who know not should imitate those who know well. We do not admit primary imitation of those who are dead, and people have to imitate some religious experts who are alive.

65- THERE IS NO VACANCY FOR LAW

WE BELIEVE that in Islam there is no vacancy for LAW. That is to say: `Until doomsday, all that might be needed, have been stated, sometimes especially and some times generally, therefore, an Islamic jurisprudent has no right to legislate. Their duty is to deduce and extract the necessary commandment from the Afore mentioned four sources and convey to the believers. DOES not QURØN say through the last chapter that was revealed to the prophet: (MAAEDEH=S5):_

"To day I have perfected your religion for you, and completed my favour to you, and have chosen for you, Islam, as your religion."

THE HOLY QURAN _ S5: 3

How can Islam be called perfect if it has no adequate and proper law to satisfy all ages and times? DID not our prophet say, in his speech that was made in his last PILGRIMAGE OF FARE WELL; that:_

"I have enjoined all that might approach you to the PARADISE, and I have forbidden you all the evils which might take you nearer to the HELL."(Usul Kafi VOL.2 _ P.74)

"Imam Ali left nothing unwritten, of the commandments dictated by the prophet even the mulct (blood money) for a small scratch."

With all that, there is no room for imaginations and opinions with no sufficient evidence.

66- PRECAUTIONS IN RELIGIOUS MATTERS (DISSEMBLANCE)

WE BELIEVE that when a man lives among a group of fanatic, stubborn, and obstinate people; and if he reveals his ideas, he may fell in danger of losing his life, such a man has to hide his faith, not to lose his life in vain. In our religious jurisprudence to this sort of precaution the term `TAQIYYAH has been given that can be translated to: (DISSEMBLANCE).

We extract this commandment from two verses in QURØN. One of them is about the believer in PHARAOH'S court who was hiding his faith to Moses. QURAN says:- has:_

"And a believer from among the PHARAOH'S people who was concealing his faith said, "Will you slay a man because he says" My LORD is Allah? When he has indeed come to you with clear signs:"

THE HOLY QURAN _ S40: 28

Here, the phrase:_ `CONCEALING HIS FAITH' shows the believer's DISSEMBLANCE. Was it right for him to reveal his faith and get killed for that, without doing anything useful? So also some of the first believers in Islam who lived under the cruel pressure of the heretics, were permitted to hide their belief and be cautious.

"The believers do not take for friends or helpers, in preference to the faithful. He who does this, has nothing to hope from Allah, except by way of PRECAUTIONS, so that you may GUARD yourselves from them.

THE HOLY QURAN _ S3: 28

Therefore precautions such as concealing the belief is permitted, when a believer is in danger of losing his life or property for the sake of his belief. In such cases one should not endanger his life and power in vain. This is why we read in traditions that:_ "DISSEMBLANCE" is shield of a believer." That is to say: `Such precautions are the defensive weapons of the faithful.

The story of AMMAR YASIR, a near companion of the prophet, who pretended to have renounced Islam, is of a wide fame among all groups of Muslims. For a soldier, to hide arms and even himself in the battle fields is something customary, and similar to the religious DISSMBLANCE.

Such precautions are decreed by wisdom as well as by religion which is observed by all Muslims and has nothing to do with SHIITE in particular. Strange enough that some have taken it as a SHIITE instruction, using it as an objection to us, while it is a clear cut matter in QURAN and SONNAT.

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