by Ali Abbas Taj
Shia Islam is no stranger to martyrdom. Historically, the retrogressive monarchies in the Arabian peninsula have been carrying out genocidal campaigns against the Shias. In such campaigns, they have been routinely killed Shia scholars whose understanding of Islam was acknowledged by even their Sunni contemporaries. The respected five martyrs of Shia Islam fell to the intolerance and bigotry of fanatical kings ruling the Muslim world.
Is Saudi Arabia guided by the Takfiri-Wahabi ideology going to create another Shia martyr whose knowledge of Islam has inspired generations of Shia and Sunni scholars and ordinary people? Ayatollah Sheikh Nimr’s understanding of Islam inspired people including the very daughter of King Abdullah who wants the Sheikh hanged. In this video, Princess Sahar, a daughter of King Abdullah, praises Sheikh Nimr. She remains under house arrest and the Sheikh faces the gallows:
“We learn determination from Ayatollah Nimr al-Nimr, the Sheikh of free men,” Sahar said referring to Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who was attacked, injured and arrested by security forces in Qatif region over calls for the release of political prisoners. “For this reason, we will press ahead on the path by our own will,” she stated in the VDO message. “And we will become victorious with faith in God. Good luck, you who have honored us by raising the flags of freedom. Your sisters, Sahar and Jawahir,” she added. Al Mana said Sahar, along with her three sisters, is confined in a house in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. – See more at:http://lubpak.com/archives/312822
Here is a historic compilation of the greatest Shia Islamic Scholars and human rights activists killed for freedom of speech and freedom of expression:
Shaheed al Awal
“Muhammad Jamaluddin al-Makki al-Amili (1334–1385) was the First Martyr and the author of Al-Lum’ah ad-Dimashqiya(اللمعةArabic: الدمشقية “The Damascene Glitter”).
He was born in 734 A.H (ca. 1334 ) in Jabal ‘Amel and was killed on Thursday the ninth of Jumada al-awwal, 786 A.H. (ca. 1385), according to the fatwa of a Maliki jurisprudent that was endorsed by a Shafi`i jurisprudent.He was a pupil of the pupils of Allamah Hilli, amongst them Allamah’s son, Fakhr al-Muhaqqiqin. Shi’i schools were banned and almost gone in Jabal ‘Amel. When Muhammad al-Makki was 16 years old, he ventured to al-Hilla in Iraq where he was certified by Fakhr al-Muhaqqiqin the son of the famous al-Hilli.By the age 21, he returned to Jabal ‘Amel and was already certified to narrate hadiths by many other famous scholars of Shi’a and Sunni doctrines of Najaf, Hebron, Makka, Medina, Quds, Damascus, and Baghdad. He also built good relations with Sultan Ali ibn al-Mu’ayyad (Arabic: علي بن المؤيد) of Khorasan.After one-year imprisonment, he was killed by the sword, then crucified, then stoned, and finally his body was set to fire in Damascus in the days of the Sultan Barquq. Due to the crusaders wars the area was suffering from poverty and ignorance was rampant as the Mamlukes took over and established a despotic rule in the region.
The First Martyr came from a very distinguished family, and the generations that succeeded him preserved this honour. He had three sons who were all ‘ulema and jurisprudents, and his wife and daughter were likewise jurisprudents.
Shaheed al Thani
Zayn al-Din al-Juba’i al’Amili (1506–1558) was the Second Martyr, and the author of the first Sharh of Shahid Awwal‘s Al-Lum’ah ad-Dimashqiya (The Damascene Glitter) titled as Ar-Rawda al-Bahiyah fi Sharh al-Lum’ah ad-Dimashqiya (الروضة البهيّة في شرح اللمعة الدمشقيّة ) (The Beautiful Garden in Interpreting the Damscene Glitter).
He was one of the greatest shi’a scholars. He studied under famous Sunni and Shi’a in Jabal ‘Amel, Damascus, Cairo, Jerusalem among many others. He was known and respected by sunnis in Baalabeck for this. He was authorized to teach Muslims in the Nouriyah Islamic school according to the five schools of thought.
He became a Mujtahid at age 33 after his visits to Iraq. Since Ijtihad was forbidden and Shi’ism had a history of persecution in the area, especially that shi’ism was still strong among the people as a result of the not-so-long gone Hamdanid dynasty, some people conspired against him due to petty reasons before being judged in front of the Sultan.
He was a widely travelled man, having visited Egypt, Syria, Hijaz, Tihamah, Baitul Muqaddas, Iraq and Constantinople (Istanbul). Always in pursuit of knowledge, he studied from nearly twelve Sunni Ulama of fiqh. Apart from the proficiency in fiqh, he was well versed in Usool, Philosophy, Irfan, Medicine and Astronomy.
He was a man of piety, known for his austere way of life. His students have recorded in his biography that Shaheed maintained his family by selling the woods cut by himself during the nights, and then sat to teach during the day. While in Ba’lbak, he conducted classes in Fiqh according to five schools, i.e. Ja’fari, Hanafi, Shafei, Maliki and Hambali. His Sharh al-Lum’ah is a part of curriculum in almost every Hawza even today. He studied from Muhaqqiq Karaki before the later migrated to Iran.
In Rajab of 965 A.H. (1558), he was beheaded on his way to see the sultan and a shrine was built by some Turkmens on the site as they realised his stature. The person that beheaded him was killed by the Sultan orders.
Shaheed al Thalith
Qazi Zia-ud-Din Nurullah Shustari, Amir Sayyid (1549–1610) was the Third Martyr and the author of Majalis ul Momineen.
He was an eminent jurist and alim of his time. He was born in 956 A.H. at Shushtar, one of the cities of the present Khuzestan province in South of Iran. He was sayyid by lineage and belonged to the Mar’ashi family. Qazi Nurullah Shustari was the most important Shi’a scholar of the Mughal period.
His father was Sayyid Muhammad Sharif-ud-din and grandfather Sayyid Zia-ud-Din Nurullah. He received his early education at home under the tutlage of his grandfather and his father and other local tutors. In the year 979 AH he went to Mashhad, the holy city in the Khurasan province.
It was during Akbar’s period, on 1 Shawwal 992/6 October 1584, Nuru’llah Shustari moved from Mashhad to India., and by another account in 1587.
He was appointed an emissary by Akbar in Kashmir and was instrumental in pacifying a revolt which was in offing and he obtained the first census of the areas of Mughal Empire during Akbar’s reign. This earned him great respect and trust of the Mughal emperor. On his return he was appointed as Chief Qazi (Qazi Quzaz), position equivalent of Chief Justice, of the Mughal empire.
Under Jehangir‘s reign he continued to hold the same high position as in Akbar’s time. But his position was now threatened because of Jehangir’s more orthodox nature. Other groups which had tried to malign his position during Akbar’s reign had once again become powerful and influential. Moreover he had made enemies from his involvement in settling of disputes in Kashmir and Agra. His book Ahqaq-ul-Haq (Justification of the Truth) was brought as an evidence against him.
Qazi Nurullah Shustari was flogged to death by Jahangir’s order because of his writings and he was seventy years old at this time.
Qazi Nurullah is known since that time as Shaheed-e-Salis (also Shahid al-Thalis) or the Third Martyr.
Shaheed al Rabi’
Mir zah (Means- Mir) Muhammad Kamil Dehlavi was the Fourth Martyr and the author of Nuzhat-e-Isna Ashariya (نزھۃ اثنا عشريۃ). This book was a complete response to Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlavi‘s Tauhfa Ithna Ashari. It was due to this book that he was poisoned by the Ruler of Indian state of Jhajhar.
Shaheed al Khamis
Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Muḥammad Bāqir al-Ṣadr (March 1, 1935 – April 9, 1980) was an Iraqi Twelver Shi’a cleric, a philosopher, and ideological founder of Islamic Dawa Party born in al-Kazimiya, Iraq. He is the father-in-law of Muqtada al-Sadr and cousin of both Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr and Imam Musa as-Sadr. His fatherHaydar al-Sadr was a well-respected high-ranking Shi’a cleric. His lineage goes back to Muhammad, through the seventh Shia Imam, Musa al-Kazim. (See Sadr family for more details.)
His father died in 1937, leaving the family penniless. In 1945 the family moved to the holy city of Najaf, where al-Sadr would spend the rest of his life. Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr completed his religious teachings at religious seminaries under al-Khoei and Muhsin al-Hakim at the age of 25 and began teaching.
While teaching he became a prominent member of the Iraqi Shia community, and was noted for his many writings. His first works were detailed critiques of Marxism that presented early ideas of an alternative Islamic form of government. Perhaps his most important work was Iqtisaduna, one of the most important works on Islamic economics. This work was a critique of both socialism and capitalism. He was subsequently commissioned by the government of Kuwait to assess how that country’s oil wealth could be managed in keeping with Islamic principles. This led to a major work on Islamic banking that still forms the basis for modern Islamic banks.
He also worked with Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim in forming an Islamist movement in Iraq. This attracted the attention of the Baath Party, which resulted in numerous imprisonments for the Ayatollah. He was often subjugated to torture during his imprisonments, but continued his work after being released.
In 1977, he was sentenced to life in prison following uprisings in Najaf, but was released two years later due to his immense popularity. Upon his release however, he was put under house arrest. In 1980, after writing in the defense of the Islamic Revolution, Sadr was once again imprisoned, tortured, and executed by the regime ofSaddam Hussein. His sister, Amina Sadr bint al-Huda, was also imprisoned, tortured, and executed. It has been alleged that Sadr was killed by having an iron nail hammered into his head and then being set on fire. During the execution of Saddam Hussein, chants of “Long live Mohammed Baqir Sadr!” were heard being chanted by some of the Shi’a guards. CNN article
Shaheed al Sadis
Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim (1939- 29 August 2003; Arabic: سيد محمد باقر الحكيم), also known as Shaheed al-Mehraab, was a senior Iraqi Shia cleric and the leader of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq. He was assassinated in a bomb attack in Najaf in 2003. On 30 August 2003, Iraqi authorities arrested four people in connection with the bombing: two former members of the Ba’ath Party from Basra, and two non-Iraqi Arabs from the Salafi sect (a Sunni sect).
According to U.S. and Iraqi officials, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was responsible for Hakim’s assassination. They claim that Abu Omar al-Kurdi, a top Zarqawi bombmaker who was captured in January 2005, confessed to carrying out this bombing. They also cite Zarqawi’s praising of the assassination in several audiotapes. Muhammad Yassin Jarrad, the brother-in-law of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed that his father, Yassin, was the suicide bomber in the attack. Oras Mohammed Abdulaziz, an alleged Al Qaeda militant, was hanged in Baghdad in July 2007 after being sentenced to death in October 2006 for his role in the assassination of al-Hakim.
Shaheed al Sabeh
Shia Islam does not need another Shahid, it maybe argued it is not in the interest of the Saudi despots to have one either. When his own daughter seeks inspiration from Sheik Nimr, King Abdullah should rethink this execution. Let us all take action:
FOR UNITED STATES – BASED SUPPORTERS
FOR SUPPORTERS OUTSIDE UNITED STATES
- Meerza Muhammad Suleman Tankabini, Qasas-ul-Ulema (Stories of Ulema)
- Muhammad Hussain Najafi, Shuhada-e-Khamsa kay Halaat-e-Zindagi
- Stewart R. Sutherland, The World’s Religions (1988) pp. 383
- Saiyid Athar Abbas Rizvi, A Socio-intellectual History of the Isnā Asharī Shīaīs in India (1986) pp. 346
- John Norman Hollister, The Shi’a of India (1953) pp. 140
- Iqtidar Husain Siddiqi, Majmaʻulafkār (1993) pp. 15
- John Norman Hollister, The Shi’a of India (1953) pp. 140
- Annemarie Schimmel, Corinne Attwood, Burzine K. Waghmar: The Empire of the Great Mughals pp. 109
- Jan-Peter Hartung, Helmut Reifeld: Islamic education, diversity and national identity: Dīnī madāris in India (2006) pp. 107
- Arthur Llewellyn Basham: A Cultural History of India (1975) pp. 290
- Muhammad Hussain Najafi, Ahsan ul-Fawaid pp. 38
- Anthony Shadid, Night Draws Near: Iraq’s People in the Shadow of America’s War, (Holt, 2005), p.164