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The Blessed Position of Ruku

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Forsaking self-conceit in His nameThe expulsion of self-conceit comes through glorifying the Almighty and recognizing our own humble status. With every Dhikr of the Perfect One that we recite, we acknowledge our own imperfection and beg His help in lessening our faults and in getting nearer to Him. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) has told us, "God Almighty said: 'When I find a servant sincerely engaged in my invocation...and if occasionally negligence dominates over him, I prevent such occurrence. These are my real saints and heroes. If I want to annihilate all the earthly creations, it is because of their distinguished existence that my punishment does not descend towards earth."

Spiritual Aroma Yet to Be Discovered

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Shaikh Muhammad KhalfanPerhaps by stating that a woman is an aromatic plant, Imam Ali wanted to teach us that if she really assumes the role of a woman as guided by the Divine law and path, her entire being would constantly emanate sweet fragrance and she would actually be a Rayhana (an aromatic plant).

Neurotheology: Bridging the Divide between Science and Faith

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How does our brain perceive religion?The team conducted brain scans of the patients and then taught them a specific form of meditation to be practiced for approximately 10 minutes daily. After eight weeks, they ran another set of brain scans and discovered profound differences.

Understanding Niqab in Islam

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Is it merely a cultural practice?History records that Lady Zainab used to be escorted by the male members of her household to protect her honor and dignity whenever she walked outside. We can imagine that with this level of protectiveness over her chastity, Lady Zainab must have had her face covered when she went outside. This thought is confirmed when we hear someone narrating that, before the tragic events of Karbala when the caravan of female captives had their veils snatched away, he testifies that he never saw what Lady Zainab looked like except after her Hijab was confiscated! This only indicates that whenever Lady Zainab left her house, she veiled herself completely such that very few knew her physical features.

Our Perception of Beauty

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Is it all based on externalities?

How does Islam view human beauty? Is physical beauty always looked upon as a positive trait? Needless to say, physical beauty is indeed a blessing – but according to Islamic teachings, beauty is just like any other material and perishable trait such as wealth, rank, and occupation. Physical beauty by itself has little worth and is given no significance in Islam if it does not accompany inner beauty (piety and good moral traits). Real beauty is what we carry with us in our journey to the hereafter: our good deeds. In the Holy Qur'an (3:106) we are reminded of Judgment Day when people's deeds will determine their physical appearance: "On the day when (some) faces shall turn white and (some) faces shall turn black; then as to those whose faces turn black: Did you disbelieve after your believing? Taste therefore the chastisement because you disbelieved."

Lessons from the Will of Lady Fatima to Imam Ali

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The Oppressed One

Studying history and the religion of Islam, one will immediately recognize the status of Lady Fatima as the Prophet's only daughter and the leader of women of all times. No matter how much historical facts are twisted to help glorify those who oppressed the daughter of the Prophet, the fact that she did not approve of them attending her funeral is enough for one to discern the truth. The mere knowledge that the daughter of the Prophet refused certain people to attend her funeral makes the academic researcher investigate those personalities. Her secret burial and hidden grave affirms how angry she was with those who oppressed her. It reflects the oppression brought upon her and as long as her grave is hidden, people will and must continue to question the events that took place after her father's death.

A Warning to King Abdullah

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Ayatollah Saafi Gulpaygani

It is painful for the awake and aware Muslims to see that policies based on one particular sect's beliefs have been established in the Two Holy Sites and that the vast Muslim world is still treated with those crude, stone-age policies. It's a shame that the political situation of Islamic countries and the keeper of the Two Holy Sites are influenced by the west and America.

Lady Fatima: the Manifestation of Kawthar

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We have given you Kawthar.According to the Infallible Imams, Lady Fatima is the Hujjah (Proof) over the Imams themselves! Her origins were initiated in the highest abode which clearly implies that her status is also at a very high stage. From here we begin to understand the secret behind the Prophet's extraordinary care towards Lady Fatima. He used to rise from his seat out of respect for her, he would embrace her hands and he would say, "Welcome, Umme Abiha!" addressing her by the loving title of "Mother of Her Father". In light of the fact that she was created from the clay of Paradise, it is no wonder then that the Prophet comments that when he yearned for Paradise, he would smell the fragrance of Lady Fatima!

What's Your Favorite Sura?

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Incorporating the Qur'an into our daily routines.

Many of us take time out during our day to watch hour-long lectures and Islamic movies and shows. These are all indeed great ways to spend our time, but it seems these lectures and videos have in a way replaced our consistent reading and pondering of the Qur'an, which is one of the main ways Islam was propagated in the first place.

The Superior Sex: Male or Female?

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n Islam, gender equality does not mean uniformity.Martyr Murtada Mutahhari in his book, Women and Her Rights, explains all the necessary rights of women and elucidates the disparities between the two sexes. He states that during the liberation movement of women rights, everybody focused only on the liberty and equality of women as a human being whereas it was forgotten that a woman is a woman too.

Establishing a Relationship with Imam Mahdi

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Are we awaiting him actively, or passively?

It is incumbent upon us to respect the scholars who guide people towards the Imam, and the Maraja Taqleed (Religious Authorities) who are his general representatives during his occultation. Imam Baqir (peace be upon him) relates the following concerning the status of scholars in Islam: "The scholar is like one who has a candle through which he provides light to others. Hence to all those he provides light, pray for him. In the same way, through his candle of knowledge, a scholar removes the darkness of ignorance and perplexity." Regarding our Maraja Taqleed, Imam Mahdi himself has said: "As far as newly occurring circumstances are concerned, you should turn (for guidance) to the narrators of our hadiths, for they are my proof over you just as I am Allah's proof over them." (Ihtijaj Al-Tabrasi, vol. 2, p. 260) For this and many other reasons, respect and obedience to our scholars and Maraja Taqleed is absolutely necessary for any follower of the Imam.