Online Shia Studies offers short courses for busy people who want to know more about Shīʿī Islam (tashayyu’). All you have to do is to book a course and be on-line when the tutor is giving the lecture. You can download reading materials, or access them on your phone, and have the opportunity to ask questions. As well as the tenets of tashayyu’, you can study about esoteric knowledge in tashayyu’; early Shīʿī history; Islam in Africa and world literature from different continents. Online Shia Studies also gives personal on-line tuition for Higher Education students, whether you are taking your ‘A’ Levels, your BA, your MA or your PhD. Our goal is to empower through knowledge.
Who are the Ahl al-Bayt (as)?
The term ‘Ahl al-Bayt’ means ‘People of the House’ and refers to Prophet Muhammad (s) and specific members of his family, namely, his cousin and son-in-law, Imam ʿAlī ibn Abī Talib; his daughter Fatima al-Zahra and his two grandsons, Imams Hasan and Husayn, all of whom are given a special status in the Holy Qur’an. The term ‘Ahl al-Bayt’ was also used by Prophet Muhammad (s) to refer to the nine Imams who came after Imam Husayn. Prophet Muhammad (s) is narrated to have said, ‘I am the chief of the Prophets andʿAlī ibn Abī Talib is the chief of successors, and after me my successors shall be twelve, the first of them being ʿAlī ibn Abī Talib and the last of them being al-Mahdi.’ (Ibn Majah)
He is also narrated to have said, ‘He who wishes to live my life and die my death and dwell in the Garden of Eden which my Lord has planted, let him be a friend to ʿAlī after me. Let him finally be guided by the Imams after me, for they are my progeny. They were created of my clay and have been given knowledge and understanding.’ (Abu Nu’aym Isfahani)
And the most famous Narration of the Two Precious Things (Hadith al-Thaqalayn): ‘I leave you two precious things, the Qur’an, and my progeny, my Ahl al-Bayt. Hold to those two and you will never go astray.’ (Muslim and Tirmidhi)
The Shīʿī Path
Owing to centuries of State persecution of the Imams and their followers (Shīʿa), the profound teachings that Prophet Muhammad (s) transmitted to Imam ʿAlī ibn Abī Talib (as) have not become widely known. Today, many Muslims still risk their lives in following the Shīʿa path; some are obliged to keep their adherence hidden. Nevertheless, this tradition remains as a treasure for those seeking authentic knowledge and beauty.
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