Once Mu’aviah, the first Umayyad Caliph, ordered Sa’d ibn Abi-Waqass -a famous companion of the Prophet (PBUH & HP)- to insult Imam Ali (AS). Mu’aviah was the enemy of Imam Ali (AS) and would order people to say bad things about him in public. But Sa’d refused to do that.Mu’aviah said: why don’t you insult “Aba-Turab” (Imam Ali)? Sa’d replied: I won’t insult Aba-Turab because I remember him in three events that if those had happened to me it would be better for me than having so many red camels (symbol of richness) Sa’d narrated three stories about Imam Ali (AS) but, here, we mention the third one:
… Once this verse was revealed to the Prophet (PBUH&HP):
فَمَنْ حَاجَّكَ فِيهِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ فَقُلْ تَعَالَوْا نَدْعُ أَبْنَاءَنَا وَأَبْنَاءَكُمْ وَنِسَاءَنَا وَنِسَاءَكُمْ وَأَنفُسَنَا وَأَنفُسَكُمْ ثُمَّ نَبْتَهِلْ فَنَجْعَل لَّعْنَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَى الْكَاذِبِينَ ﴿٦١﴾
Should anyone argue with you concerning him (Jesus), after the knowledge that has come to you, say, ‘Come! Let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, our souls and your souls, then let us pray earnestly, and call down Allah’s curse upon the liars.’ (61) (The Holy Quran, 3:61)
The Prophet (PBUH & HP) called Ali, Fatimah, Hassan and Hussain and then said: “O God! These are my family” (1)
When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH & HP) sent messages to the kings around the world and invited them to Islam, he also wrote a letter to the bishop of Najran’s church (a city in Arabia).
They sent a group of priests and Christian scholars to talk with the Prophet (PBUH & HP) and discuss with him on the Message of Islam. They discussed on the question: Is Jesus the son of God or not?
Each side insisted on their beliefs and the Christians wouldn’t accept that their belief is wrong. Then this verse was revealed to the Prophet (PBUH & HP):
Indeed the case of Jesus with Allah is like the case of Adam: He created him (Adam) from dust, then said to him, ‘Be,’ and he was. (59) This is the truth from your Lord, so do not be among the skeptics. (60) Should anyone argue with you concerning him (Jesus), after the knowledge that has come to you, say, ‘Come! Let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, our souls and your souls, then let us pray earnestly, and call down Allah’s curse upon the liars.’ (61) (The Holy Quran, 3:59-61)
So Allah said to the Prophet (PBUH & HP) that the only way to clarify which side is telling the truth is Mubahala.
When two groups of people have an argument with each other, after so many discussions with no results, they come to a place and call down Allah’s curse upon the liars. They pray that Allah punishes the ones who tell lies right in the time. This is called Mubahala.
So, both sides agreed and promised to be present on a specific day (Du al-Hijjah the 24th) in the desert for Mubahala. In the morning of Mubahala day, the Messenger of Allah came to Imam Ali’s house and took Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain’s hands. The Prophet, Imam Ali, Lady Fatimah, Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain went to the desert.
When the Christians saw them, asked: who are those people with Muhammad?
They were answered: that man is his cousin and son in law. He loves Ali the most. Those children are his grandsons and that woman is his lovely daughter.
The Christians said: Muhammad is sitting there like the real Prophets. If he wasn’t right, he wouldn’t bring the closest ones with him for Mubahala. He must be so sure about his message. If we participate in this Mubahala, there will be no Christian left in Najran till next year.
So they refused to participate in the Mubahala and went back to Najran.
• Hakim an-Neisaboori, one of the most prominent Sunni scholars, says:
“There are so many historical records concerning this event that the Messenger (PBUH & HP) brought Ali, Fatimah, Hassan and Hussain in the Mubahala day and then said: “these are our sons and our souls and our women so you (Christians) bring your sons and souls and women for Mubahala so that we call down Allah’s curse on the liars” (2)
• Ibn Kathir, another great Sunni scholar also admits that this verse is about Imam Ali, Lady Fatimah, Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain. He says that Jabir ibn Abdullah al-Ansari (one of the most important companions of the Prophet) said:
“By ‘our souls’ Allah means the Prophet (PBUH & HP) and Imam Ali (AS)” (3)
Here soul, in Arabic culture, means that Imam Ali (AS) is so close to the Prophet (PBUH & HP) that there is no difference between him and the Prophet; it’s like they are one soul in two bodies. Obviously, the only difference is that Imam Ali is not a prophet but on the other levels Imam Ali and the Prophet are the same.
Sheik Mufid, one of the greatest Shiite scholars, narrates a dialogue between Imam Reza (AS) and Ma’moon (an Abbasid Caliph):
Once, Ma’moon asked Imam Reza (AS) about the best privilege of Imam Ali (AS) that the Quran has mentioned.
Imam Reza (AS) said: it is the event of Mubahala. In that day when the verse was revealed to the Prophet (PBUH&HP), he called Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain, who were his sons, Lady Fatimah, who was the woman mentioned in the Quran, and finally Imam Ali which was the soul mentioned in the Book.
Imam Reza (AS) also said: clearly the Prophet (PBUH & HP) is the most supreme person in the world. So it is obvious that his soul which is Imam Ali is also the most supreme creature.
Ma’moon said: why don’t you think that here soul means the Prophet himself and no one else?
Imam Reza (AS) said: because it doesn’t make sense to call yourself and bring yourself for Mubahala. When you call somebody or order somebody to come with you, it is obvious that the person is not yourself. And we all know that the Prophet brought no one except Imam Ali; so undoubtedly, Imam Ali is his soul.
Ma’moon said: with this answer, there is no question left! (4)
- Sahih Muslim, vol.4, Pg.1871
- Ma’rifah al-Olum al-Hadith, Hakim an-Neisaboori, vol.1, Pg.50
- Tafsir al-Quran al-Azim, Ibn Kathir, published by dar al-Kotob al-Elmiyah, vol.2, Pg.47
- Al-Fosul al-Mukhtarah, Sheik Mufid, vol.1, Pg.38
While we are waiting for Christmas to come, it seems impossible to ignore Halloween in the meantime. It is full of fun and excitement which is why it is so popular among many people around the world. But, have you ever thought about why you are celebrating this day? Or, as a Muslim is it compatible with your Islamic values? Let’s find out.
Halloween which is held on 31st of October annually marked “the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter”  for the pagan Celts of Samhain. They also believed that on this day “spirits from other worlds (such as the souls of the dead) were able to visit earth…and roam about” .
Therefore, they would wear some costumes and light bonfires to keep the ghosts away. They would also worship their idols and pagan Gods on this celebration.
Just the same as Celtics who worshipped their pagan Gods on this day, the Christians who entered the British Isles, tried to adopt this celebration with their tradition and replaced the pagan Gods with their Saints. So, Halloween turned into the day on which the Christian saints were commemorated, and became the All Saints Day. However, “the customs of Samhain survived anyway, and eventually became intertwined with the Christian holiday” .
In 1966, Anton LaVey who founded the false cult of “Satanism” declared Halloween to be one of its official holidays. Besides, the inappropriate and sometimes horrifying costumes that are used on this celebration include signs or symbols that are identified with Satanism.
However, since Halloween has been practiced long before this association was made, we cannot accuse anyone who is celebrating Halloween of being a Satanic. But, it is necessary to be aware of the ones who are taking advantage of this celebration for their ends.
Islam Respects Traditions, not Superstitions
As we have seen above, Halloween roots back to the rites and rituals of ancient pagans of Celtic origin and then continued to be celebrated by Christians along with some adaptations. While nowadays no one thinks about the reason for this celebration or the rituals practiced on it anymore (such as trick-or-treat, wearing scary costumes, etc.), they still represent the superstitions in which Celtic pagans believed.
As Muslims, if we want to find out about Islam’s attitude toward Halloween, we should look at Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUHHP) way of reacting to such traditional celebrations. At the time of the emergence of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (PBUHHP) respected most of the traditions and all monotheistic religions that existed at that time. However, he tried to reject the superstitions that had no rationale behind them and were based on false beliefs. So, he decided to wipe away the superstitious traditions that were practiced by pre-Islamic Arabs through informing them of their falsehood.
Of course not. However, there are three points that we should observe when we are having fun:
Many reports reveal the dangers that threaten people, especially children, on the Halloween’s eve; these include car accidents which have a high rate on this night . As Dr. Rebecca Parker, chairwoman of the American College of Emergency Physicians' board of directors, puts, “ This is a time when we see an increase of kids being hit and killed by cars” .
Also, according to the tradition of this day, people would wear scary costumes to send the ghosts coming from the other world away. But, as a person who lives in the twentieth century, we know that such a belief is entirely superstitious and irrational. So, what is the use of scaring other people and our children with a weird and sometimes disgusting look? Doesn't it result in a psychologically adverse effect?
As Muslims, we should always be observant of our actions, even if we are having fun. It is essential to keep in mind that our activities, whatever they are, do not prevent us from what Allah has commanded (prayer (Salat), fasting (Sawm), etc.). Nor do they invite us toward committing what He has forbidden (e.g., drinking alcohol, dancing, participating in inappropriate parties, observing modesty, etc.)
Islam always recommends us to be aware of what we are doing and think about our intention before any action. Even when we are having fun, there should be something behind it that makes it worthwhile. When enumerating the characteristics of a faithful person in Quran, Allah also mentions those who avoid vain actions (23:3); i.e., those activities that have no use for us and would only waste our time.
As mentioned above, Halloween roots back to Celtic pagan’s worship of their idols and many Gods. It can be argued that today we don’t celebrate Halloween with the intention of worshiping idols or performing a Satanic holiday. The rituals are still the same and still represent the Celtic culture and tradition – as we said Christians had a very limited influence upon Halloween and the way it is celebrated- which was polytheistic.
A Muslim’s life should mirror his beliefs in every aspect. So, if an action even in appearance, represents what is against Islam or far from its teachings, then it should be avoided by Muslims.
So, if you are a Muslim and wonder what to do on Halloween’s eve, make sure that you know enough about the reasons behind this celebration. And make sure it has no danger toward yourself or others, you do not commit any action against Islamic laws (e.g., drinking alcohol, wearing immodest clothes, etc.), you don’t waste your time in doing them, and you won’t contradict your belief in Islam through looking like an atheist.
In the era we are living in today, stress and stress-related illnesses such as depression and anxiety are becoming of the biggest killers, and the effects that they have on our emotional and physical health can be devastating. Stress, as a highly personalized phenomenon, varies between people depending on individual vulnerability and resilience. How could one build up that strength required to beat the stress in Islam?
Here are some of the solutions that Islam proposes.
In Islamic teachings and narrations, the faith in God is known to be the first and the most efficient approach to achieve the inner peace and the control over anxiety and stress in Islam. Imam Ali (AS) said that having faith in God equals being safe and secure  &. Believers know that there is a goal behind every happening. They believe that God is just; hence, they have not been just created and left to live some days in this world and suffer for nothing. But, they are created to pass all the difficulties to reach the perfection that they deserve.
That is why a believer rarely loses hope and even if gets disappointed, knows that he/she has a God who has promised to help him/her: “you who have faith, if you support Allah, He will support you” (47:7); “Whoever is wary of Allah, He shall make for him a way out [of the adversities of the world and the Hereafter]” (65:2). The opposite view on this matter is that life evolved spontaneously. This implies that there is no wisdom or goal behind the actual and future happenings, and this can be stressful by itself.
As stated earlier, the faith in God is the key to the inner peace. To be efficient, the faith should be practiced and manifested in one’s acts. Here are some practices that increase one’s faith in God and also relieve the stress in Islam.
The two possible ways to remember God are prayer (Salat) and invocation (Dua). In Surah R’ad it is stated that the hearts find rest in Allah’s remembrance (13:28). Also, God has promised: “Remember Me, and I will remember you” (2:152). The more consciously and concentrated one does the prayer and invocation, the more relief he\she will experience. During prayers, one spends some moments talking to God as the superior infinite power in the universe. This helps to overcome sorrow, just as talking with another person might do.
Reading the Quran and perceiving the divine messages is another practice that brings considerable relief. The caring advises that exist in Quran and that nice feeling of knowing that the creator of the whole universe is mindful of us, are relaxing. It is narrated from Imam Ali (AS) that the cure for the illnesses can be found in the Quran . Also, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has advised reading Quran regularly as it lightens the heart and makes it alive .
Fasting is known to be an anti-stress practice . One of the reasons that one feels stressful and anxious is the lack of determination. He/she often thinks that he/she is not able to ameliorate such a condition, nor can he/she control his/her confusing thoughts. But fasting is a good chance to strengthen one’s character and to change the attitudes and acts.
In addition to spiritual practices mentioned above, some other activities are known in Islam to heal the stress:
Seeking knowledge and wisdom is believed to enlighten the heart and keeps it alive and active. Imam Ali (AS) said: “Surely the hearts get tired just like the bodies, so seek for them new objects of wisdom” . It is encouraged to seek wisdom, for Allah enlivens the dead heart through the light of wisdom just as He enlivens the dead earth through water from the sky . So, one should dedicate some time every day to read or listen to the wisdom that inspires him spiritually.
Idling the days away and almost doing nothing in life are severely blamed in Islam since it is believed to corrupt one’s mind and body . A corrupted mind might tempt to perverted thoughts and imaginations, evil intentions, laziness, etc. that will ruin one’s life in this world and the Hereafter . Imam Sadeq (AS) has strongly disapproved laziness and apathy &. The reason is that these two characteristics hinder one to profit from this world and the Hereafter  and cause him to be humiliated by the others  which can lead to the isolation of the lazy person and the consequent psychological problems.
- “Ghurar al-Hikam wa Durar al-Kalim”, T. 771.
- “Ghurar al-Hikam wa Durar al-Kalim”, T. 2839.
- “Nahj al-Balagha”, p. 223, no. 158.
- H. al-Bahrani,“Al-Burhan fi tafsir al-Quran”, vol. 1, p. 19.
- M. Reyshahri, "Mizan al-Hikma," T. 10671".
- “Nahj al-Balagha”, No. 197.
- stress in life
- Al-Shaykh al-Mufid, "Al-Irshad", vol. 1, p. 298.
- “Tuhaf al-Uqul”, p. 300.
- M. al-Kulaynī, “Al-Kafi”, vol. 5, p. 85.
- “Tuhaf al-Uqul”, p. 304.