Creekstone Farms, Explanation


Creekstone Farms, Explanation

Living in the West, one of the most pressing issues is obtaining ḥalāl food, and specifically ḥalāl meat. So, having general knowledge on the slaughter process is incumbent upon all communities residing here. Now when it comes to slaughtering animals the (minimum) end goal is to sever the animal’s two jugular veins and its windpipe, to accomplish this there are two methods, the first is dhabḥ and the second is naḥr.

The dhabḥ method involves a clean horizontal cut, whereas the naḥr method involves a stab into the lower neck of the animal; the former is allowed for the vast majority of permissible animals while the latter method, according to the Ja’fari school, is only permissible for camels. This directs our attention to Creekstone Farms and their beef, which they via the certifier Halal Transactions of Omaha admit to using the naḥr method.

As stated above the naḥr method is not permissible for cattle according to Ja’fari jurisprudence, the confusion regarding the istiḥlāl of the beef lies in the fact that there is an ikhtilāf among the schools. While the Ja’fari school disallows the naḥr method, some of the Sunni schools allow it, and on this basis the Halal Transactions of Omaha certify it ḥalāl.

However, all is not lost, as the meat provided by Creekstone seems to be highly desirable there are ways that even a naḥr-applied cow can be deemed ḥalāl, for explanation a brief consultation between a student (the writer of this piece) and his Ustādh Ayatullah [Dr.] Hossein Modarressi-Tabatabai is worth reading.


(Questions were asked in manner of the layperson as to make widely understandable, and the blacked out portion deals with an unrelated inheritance inquiry)

So, as the Ayatullah explains naḥr is considered ḥarām unanimously according to the Ja’fari school, but if the animal wounded by the naḥr method is still alive the dhabḥ method can still be applied to make it ḥalāl, but the condition for the dhabḥ is that the cut has to be made properly.

Now from previous public correspondences with the Halal Transactions of Omaha, of respected individuals like Mufti Hussain Kamani from the Hanafi school, it seems that Creekstone have made some slight adjustments to their slaughtering method to incorporate a horizontal cut. But appeasement on the horizontal cut for the Hanafi school [of Mufti Kamani] is not necessarily proper for the Ja’fari school, hence to attain more clarity on this issue, the writer of the piece decided to also correspond with the Halal Transactions of Omaha.

The entire correspondence is as follows:

Now, what we arrive at based on the email correspondence is that the Creekstone Farms undeniably applies the naḥr method, and the Halal Transactions of Omaha admit that the method employed is not agreeable to all schools of Islam. Secondly after further questioning, they explain that they include a horizontal cut but by the ‘definition’ of the naḥr method in one ‘motion.’ This wording is confusing, do they mean that the stab itself makes a horizontal wound or that a separate and proper horizontal cut according to the dhabḥ method is being applied? By definition, the naḥr method only involves stabbing, and the cow being stabbed horizontally or vertically doesn’t make a difference, it remains ḥarām; even if the horizontal stab mimics the results of the dhabḥ. Whereas if a separate and proper dhabḥ cut were to be applied while the cow were still living, as explained by the abovementioned Ayatullah, the slaughtered cow would be considered ḥalāl, but how can a separate cut be performed in one ‘motion?’ Naḥr followed by the horizontal dhabḥ are two motions, if two separate and distinct motions are being applied only then can Creekstone beef be considered ḥalāl for the Ja’fari school.

Thus, as confusion remains abound, we suggest to the Halal Transactions of Omaha to fly out a Shi’i scholar* to the Creekstone Farms to ascertain [by eyes] the matter once and for all. This would not only set a precedent to the honesty and integrity of the Halal Transactions of Omaha, but could also benefit the Creekstone Farms as well. Muslims of the Ja’fari school are just as yearning of high quality beef as any other group, maybe even more, and verifying the ḥalāl-ness of the meat would only increase the clientele of the company by hundreds of thousands in the US alone.

Until then, it is recommended that Shi’i Muslims refrain from eating Creekstone beef as the danger of eating ḥarām, even unknowingly, is too severe.

(*In the midwest region where the Creekstone Farms and the Halal Transactions of Omaha are based, there are a plethora of qualified Shi’i scholars whom can be brought to inspect, the writer of this piece suggests Sayyid Sameer Ali of Wisconsin and Sayyid Sulayman Hasan of Illinois)

Writer: Agha Shabbir Abbas (Researcher, MA in Islamic Studies (Rutgers), specialization in Islamic Jurisprudence, continuing further graduate studies at Columbia University)

Knowledge is Power; Muslims Powerless?


Knowledge is Power; Muslims Powerless?
By Agha Shabbir Abbas

Nearly 400 years ago, the English philosopher Francis Bacon proclaimed ‘Knowledge is Power’ (scientia potentia est); the veracity of this maxim is unquestionable as the nations wielding the most power today too are home to the best of universities, the foci of global learning. It is more than evident that the power and might of a people is directly related to their attachment to education. So, in a time when Muslims and Muslim-majority nations seem powerless, the question to be asked is does Islam forgo the importance of knowledge and education?

The truth is to the contrary, the Prophet Muhammad (ṣ) a millenium prior to Francis Bacon not only exhorted to the merits of education but also that striving for it is an obligation.

طلب العلم فريضة على كلّ مسلم
“It is the duty of all Muslims to seek knowledge”
(Kitāb al-Shihāb, 1.138)

Like the other compulsory rituals (ṣalah, ṣawm, etc) imposed by the religion, seeking knowledge too is incumbent for all Muslims, and when the Prophet declares all he includes both genders. So either Muslims are absconding from their duties or they are terribly mistaken as to what knowledge is. Without having to delve into an investigation, the simple fact is Muslims feel powerless today because as a community they are far from education, far from learning.

There are many valid reasons as to why this is so, colonialism and imperialism definitely factor in this, and so does political tyranny and corruption, but at the end of the day ‘the pen is mightier than the sword.’ No political force in the history of man has ever succeeded in stopping the strokes of the pen, many have tried and all have failed. Why, because the Almighty in the Qur’an has attributed writing, the spread of scholarship, as one of His own doings, “It is He [Allah], who taught by the pen” (ٱلَّذِى عَلَّمَ بِٱلۡقَلَمِ), and truly there is no power nor might except for Allah.

So in response to oppression the Muslim must double-down on their faith and respond by writing and studying to even greater extents, and the result of this would be that the Almighty Himself would guide them through their pens onto salvation. This is not a personal interpretation or a rhetorical statement, it is instead affirmed by the teachings of our beloved Prophet:

إن الفتنة تجيئ فتنسف العباد نسفا وينجو العالم منها بعلمه
“Seditions appear and crush believers – your only salvation is your learning.”
(Kitāb al-Shihāb, 7:56)

This post-colonial era, when confusion is rampant, can only be described as a time of sedition (fitnah) and according to the words of Ḥabīb al-Muṣţafa (ṣ) nothing, not even ʾīmān (correct belief) can save the Muslim. He informs his followers that the only lifeline from sedition is the route of knowledge and learning, so what should be the course of action for Muslim communities? The answer is threefold, Muslim communities must utilize their resources, especially wealth, to empower scholars, to invest in students, and to build schools.

1. Righteous scholars, those who wield true knowledge, must be empowered by their communities. Quite simply, as the shipmaster cannot steer if his hands are tied, a scholar cannot guide the community if disempowered.
2. In this day and age when college tuition is near astronomical, communities must financially support students, especially those in need and those who show promise. Wealthy community members need to establish scholarships and endowments towards this aim.
3. Last and most important, Muslims need to disrupt the status quo of knowledge by establishing their own schools and universities. Seizing the means of education more than guarantees a position within the circles of power.

These goals are not unattainable, for Muslims have accomplished much more in the past. Historians unanimously declare the 8th to 14th AD centuries as the Golden Age of Islam; that Islamic civilization at that point was by far the strongest and most influential group on this planet. They were the strongest and most influential then not because the Abbasid dynasty [or others] were specially enlightened, instead it was because the average Muslim realized the worth of knowledge. Hence, it was at this moment in time that the Muslims erected the very first universities, Bayt al-Hikmah in Baghdad, Dar al-’Ilm in Cairo, and the Jāmiʻat al-Qarawiyyin in North Africa; all putting the likes of Oxford and Princeton to shame in historical comparison.

Muslims need to reawaken this heritage of academic excellence, for heritage should be lived and not just written about on the pages of history. Therefore, the only way forward for the Muslim community is investing in education and proactively seeking knowledge. Until this course of action is adopted, the feelings of powerlessness will remain.

(This piece was originally written for the Masjid-e-Ali Newsletter)

Ramadan Reflection, Abu Hamzah al-Thumali


Ramadan Reflection, Abu Hamzah al-Thumali

Some of the great companions of the Prophet (s) as well as the companions of the Imams (‘a) were people whom if alive today we would point fingers at and condemn. One such historical figure is Abu Hamzah al-Thumali, whose Ramadan supplication many of us are reciting (Du’a of Abu Hamzah al-Thumali), which he received from Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin.

Abu Hamzah al-Thumali is remembered as one of the greatest companions of the Imams, from ‘Ali b. al-Husayn to Ja’far al-Sadiq, yet it is reported that he was a known drinker of nabidh (alcohol). His reported drinking of nabidh [which he later stopped] didn’t restrict his companionship with the Ahl al-Bayt, they welcomed him and guided him to the revered position he now holds eternally.

Likewise, when we see sisters not wearing hijab [or wearing it improperly] or brothers engaging in sin we must give them the benefit of doubt and not rush to judgment. We must kindly correct each other, and pray for each other’s forgiveness and hidayah [understanding that hidayah is ultimately from the Almighty alone]. The sinners in our view, may have the potential to become another Abu Hamzah, our eyes do not see what His ‘eyes’ see.


Du’a of Abu Hamzah al-Thumali:

(When nabidh is mentioned here, we are discussing the fermented maskar which is haram.
حدثني علي بن محمد بن قتيبة أبو محمد : ومحمد بن موسى الهمداني ، قالا : حدثنا محمد بن الحسين بن أبي الخطاب ، قال : كنت أنا وعامر بن عبدالله بن جذاعة الازدي وحجر بن زائدة ، جلوسا على باب الفيل ، إذ دخل علينا أبوحمزة الثمالي ثابت بن دينار ، فقال لعامر بن عبدالله : يا عامر ، أنت حرشت علي أبا عبدالله عليه السلام ، فقلت : أبوحمزة يشرب النبيذة . فقال له عامر : ما حرشت عليك أبا عبدالله عليه السلام ولكن سألت أبا عبدالله عليه السلام عن المسكر . فقال لي : كل مسكر حرام . فقال : لكن أبا حمزة يشرب . قال : فقال أبوحمزة : استغفر الله من الآن وأتوب اليه)

The Nakbah: Israel’s Extermination of Indigenous Palestinian Shi’ism


The Nakbah: Israel’s Extermination of Indigenous Palestinian Shi’ism
By: Agha Shabbir Abbas

When the tense history of Israel and the Shi’i world is discussed, either the brutal Israeli occupation of Southern Lebanon (1985-2000) is mentioned and the resulting rise of the Hezbollah militia, or the bitter regional rivalry between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Israel is stressed. However, this history is not limited to just international disputations, it is also utterly and entirely local, it stretches back to the origins of the Palestine conflict itself.

In 1948, 70 years ago, the colonial project now known as Israel embarked on a mission to depopulate Palestine of its people, hundreds of villages were sacked and over 700,000 Arabs [both Muslim and Christian] were violently expelled from their homes. This great tragedy is commemorated by Palestinians and their supporters worldwide on the 15th of May as يوم النكبة (Nakbah Day), or the Day of Catastrophe; for this forceful expulsion was a نكبة, a catastrophe of unseen proportions.

Of the many villages sacked by the Israeli forces, many in the north were populated by Shi’i Muslims, and of those villages seven were majority Shi’i.

The Seven Majority Shi’i Villages of Northern Palestine:
تربيخا‎ (Tarbikha)
صَلْحَة‎ (Salihah)
المالكية‎ (al-Malikiyah)
النبي يوشع(al-Nabi Yusha)
قدس‎ (Qadas)
هونين‎ (Hunin)
آبل القمح‎ (Abil al-Qamh)

The Israeli forces depopulated these villages fully, thus in effect they accomplished the full extermination of indigenous Palestinian Shi’ism. Some of these Shi’i villages were inhabited for thousands of years by the same families, Abil al-Qamh is mentioned in II Samuel of the Hebrew Bible as Avel Beit-Maakha. Of similar historic importance was the village of al-Nabi Yusha where the local Shi’i Palestinians maintained a gravesite for the village’s namesake prophet, additionally they buried respected scholars and community elders from Jabal ‘Amil therein.

This once rich Shi’i heritage of Palestine was completely wiped off the map by the Israelis in 1948, therefore when Palestinians rally to commemorate the Nakbah it is imperative for the Shi’i community to join with them. Their demanding the right of return should too be a Shi’i demand, their call for Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) of the Israeli state should also be a Shi’i call, their resistance should be our resistance, for the Palestinian cause intrinsically is a Shi’i cause.

(Henceforth, this should give greater meaning to Imam al-Khomeini’s declaration of al-Quds Day which is to be marked in the coming month of Ramadan)

“Stand Up for the Sake of Allah…” (34:46)


Stand Up for the Sake of Allah
By: Agha Shabbir Abbas

Imam al-Khomeini during his exile in Najaf al-Ashraf would advise his students (including my own teacher who similarly advised me) to reflect upon the following verse of the Qur’an and to apply it to their lives:

قُلۡ إِنَّمَآ أَعِظُكُم بِوَٲحِدَةٍۖ أَن تَقُومُواْ لِلَّهِ مَثۡنَىٰ وَفُرَٲدَىٰ ثُمَّ تَتَفَڪَّرُواْۚ

“Say (to them O Muhammad): ‘I exhort you on one thing only: that you stand up for the sake of Allah either in pairs or individually, and then contemplate (within yourselves)…’” (Qur’an 34:46)

In the verse, the Almighty commands the beloved Prophet (s) to exhort his community, to press them on doing one thing alone, تَقُومُواْ لِلَّهِ, standing up for the sake of Allah. He then refines the exhortation of standing up by saying مَثۡنَىٰ وَفُرَٲدَىٰ, in pairs (plural) or individually, meaning if the believers en masse are taking part in this action, then join them, but if none are then one must stand up – even if it means going it alone. This verse of the Qur’an colored the view of Imam al-Khomeini, it was the driving factor in his success as a revolutionary; the reason why he did not back down after years of torture, exile, and threats of execution.

To comprehend the depth of this verse we must first understand what تَقُومُواْ means, what it means to stand up for something, and to understand it we must first understand its opposite. The opposite of standing is sitting, and sitting is passive, hence to stand up for something means to do the opposite of passivity, to act when the majority are submissive and acquiescent to the state of affairs; and when the state of affairs is antagonistic to the way of God – the way of righteousness, one must stand up and present a challenge.

As this is the month of Sha‘bān, the birth month of the master of martyrs, Abi ‘Abd Allah al-Husayn (‘a), our minds naturally gravitate towards him, for he in his entirety represents the personification of this given verse. In the year 60 AH, when Mu’awiyah appointed his son Yazid as his successor, the vast majority of Muslims – including the many living companions of the Prophet (s) who may not have been happy with such designation but it was only a few who realized their disapproval into action, and of those few it was only Husayn and his small band of supporters who risked leaving the safety of Makkah and Madinah. While others took to the house of Allah for protection, Husayn left it for its protection; his every action was for the sake Allah, لِلَّهِ.

So, when the image of standing up alone, فُرَٲدَىٰ, is drawn, what will be depicted is Husayn standing alone on the battlefield of Karbala facing ten thousand swords all thirsty for his blood. On the 10th of Muharram, facing an enemy of insurmountable numbers, he stood with full composure and declared the following magnificent line:

إن كان دينُ محمّدٍ لم يستقم إلّا بقتلي، فيا سيوف خذيني

“Verily, if the religion of Muhammad (s) cannot survive except by my slaughter, then gather all your swords and strike upon my neck.”

Imam al-Husayn at this moment personifies the verse by declaring that if the moral, ethical, and just system of Godliness were in danger, one must not hesitate to offer themselves. We must learn from the beloved grandson of the Prophet, and we must reflect on the given verse, for these lessons are timeless. There are many ills in society, some that are totally neglected, we for the sake of Allah must stand up, be it to to protect the environment, or to fight against economic inequality, or any other issue affecting our fellow created beings [especially the innocent], for whatever our lives are worth righteousness is worth more.

When all is said and done, we are then granted the greatest of honors, for we are commanded to then contemplate, ثُمَّ تَتَفَڪَّرُواْۚ. Meaning, we contemplate on our standing up for the sake of Allah, that by taking part in this action we aligned ourselves completely with the, مشيئة, will of God, which is the ultimate objective of all believing men and women.

(This piece was originally written for the Masjid-e-Ali Newsletter)

Young Muslims Need to be Radical, Capitalism is Jāhilīyah


Young Muslims Need to be Radical, Capitalism is Jāhilīyah
By Agha

In the study of the Prophetic life, not much emphasis is given to Muḥammad (s) in his youth. This may derive from the fallacy that his prophethood only began after the age of 40, for that is the advent of revelation. In fact the very first creation of the Almighty, before the angels, was the Nūr (light) of Muḥammad (s). Thus every deed of the Prophet, from cradle to grave, was divinely inspired and a sunnah (practice) for us to emulate. Therefore, as jāhilīyah makes its resurgence, it is imperative that we learn and then espouse the methodology of our beloved Prophet, what he did in those first 40 years in preparation of establishing Islam.

Pre-Islamic Arabia was a land of godlessness – consumed in idolatry, but this is not why it was called the jāhilīyah. The term jāhilīyah may literally mean ‘state of ignorance,’ not knowing the divine truth, but in essence jāhilīyah refers to the supremacy, the domination of a few men over other men. Is this not the current state of affairs? The Almighty created humankind free with no distinction of one over the other, the spirit of monotheism is such that it is God, creation, and nothing in between. Disastrously, in the name of greed man has enslaved the other, rebuking the divine order.

Muḥammad (s), the young man, pointed to the source of corruption in Arabia; economic inequality. Makkah was a center of trade and in it he witnessed how the majority (Arabs) abused the minority (non-Arabs), how there was no equal pay for equal work, how women and children were treated as commodities. These injustices were all tolerated by that jāhilī society for it was ‘good’ economically, unfortunately these are all normative to present-day capitalist societies as well.

He, alongside his uncles Zubayr and Abū Ṭālib ibn ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib, decided no more. They gathered allies, unconcerned with religious or tribal differences, and created an organization that would defend the defenseless, that would fight economic injustice. They called this alliance Ḥilf al-Fuḍūl (حلف الفضول), and concerning it, Ibn Hishām in his Sīrah (Biography of the Prophet) records:

فَتَعَاقَدُوا وَتَعَاهَدُوا عَلَى أَنْ لَا يَجِدُوا بِمَكَّةَ مَظْلُومًا مِنْ أَهْلِهَا وَغَيْرِهِمْ مِمَّنْ دَخَلَهَا مِنْ سَائِرِ النَّاسِ إلَّا قَامُوا مَعَهُ وَكَانُوا عَلَى مَنْ ظَلَمَهُ حَتَّى تُرَدَّ عَلَيْهِ مَظْلِمَتُهُ
“The allies promised and pledged that they would not find any oppressed person among their people or among anyone else who entered Makkah except that they would support him. They would stand against whoever oppressed him until the rights of the oppressed were returned.”

The formation of the Ḥilf al-Fuḍūl was so important to the Almighty, that He made it a prerequisite to the establishment of Islam. It was these very efforts that compelled the non-Muslims, the enemies of the Prophet (s), during the early years of Islam to all testify, that even though they violently disagree with his religion, in character they have no choice but to state that he is al-Sadiq (honest) and al-Amin (trustworthy).

Furthermore, this alliance was not just a stepping stone for the religion, but when asked many years later in Madinah on its validity, the Prophet (s) responded:

لَوْ دُعِيتُ إِلَيْهِ فِي الْإِسْلَامِ لَأَجَبْتُ تَحَالَفُوا أَنْ تُرَدَّ الْفُضُولُ عَلَى أَهْلِهَا وَأَلَّا يَعُزَّ ظَالِمٌ مَظْلُومًا
“If I were called to it (Ḥilf al-Fuḍūl) now in the time of Islam, I would respond. Make such alliances in order to return rights to their people, that no oppressor should have power over the oppressed.”

This pre-Islamic pact between the Prophet (s) of Islam and justice-oriented pagans of that time was not only not abrogated, but it was affirmed and strengthened for future generations of Muslims to adhere to. This tells us two things, firstly that Muslims can and should ally themselves with non-Muslims especially when it is concerned with social justice, and secondly in importance economic rights in the eyes of God and the Prophet (s) are second to none.

Hence, Muslims, especially young Muslims, must emulate the Prophet (s) and fight the good fight, by immersing themselves in the labor struggle and civil rights movements of today; standing up to the rich and powerful, exposing their greed. Be it unionization, or the fight against the gender pay gap, or the rights of migrant Hispanic and Latino workers, if Muslims are not participants in these efforts they are not following the prophetic way.

In the form of capitalism, jāhilīyah, has arisen to heights not seen before. Thus, as the young Muḥammad (s) alongside the Ḥilf al-Fuḍūl fought till the jāhilīyah of his time came crashing down, we as young Muḥammadans must bring the jāhilīyah of our era to heel.

Eve an Equal to Adam: Not Created by the Rib


Eve an Equal to Adam: Not Created by the Rib
By: Agha Shabbir Abbas

According to the United Nations nearly 35% of women worldwide are subjected to gender-based violence during their lifetime, this statistic is not only saddening but also quite shocking. How is it that every third female is a victim, yet we rarely hear of this issue being discussed? Such staggering numbers if related to any other subgroup, be it that of ethnicity, race, or religious background, would most definitely be the focus of societal interest, where the great thinkers and leaders would rush towards solving said issue [whether they find a resolution is irrelevant]. Yet, we find none of that here, and it is only now due to social media that the issue of gender-based violence has started to receive notice.

It is unfortunate to state that such violence is rampant throughout the world without exception, more so within Islamic countries wherein Muslims tend to claim moral superiority. The reasons and explanations given for the problem of violence against women are numerous, but one such reason is the assumption that women are somewhat less human than men. In the Abrahamic community, specifically those who follow Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, many believe that the first woman, Eve, was created from the rib of Adam. Therefore, it is postulated that since Eve was created from Adam, she must have been created to serve Adam and thus women are subjects of men, in importance just above livestock.

Both creation story and hierarchical concept are rejected vociferously by the school of Ahl al-Bayt. We find in Man lā yahduruhu al-Faqīh, one of the major Imāmi hadīth compilations, that the companion Zurārah asked Imām al-Sādiq (‘a) whether Eve was created from Adam’s rib or not? The Imām responded as such:

“سبحان الله وتعالى عن ذلك علواً كبيراً! يقول من يقول هذا : إن الله تبارك وتعالى لم يكن له من القدرة ما يخلق لآدم زوجة من غير ضلعه..”
(من لا يحضره الفقيه 3 : 379)

“Glory is to Allah! He is far above such statements! What, did Allah not have the power to create a spouse for Adam from anything other than his rib?”

Here the Imām, the inheritor of divine prophetic knowledge, not only rebukes said notion but also labels it as illogical and insulting to the position of the Almighty. Furthermore, his father, Imām al-Bāqir (‘a), answered in detail as to how Eve was created:

عن عمرو بن أبى المقدام عن أبيه قال: سألت أبا جعفر (عليه السلام) من أي شيء خلق الله حواء: فقال: أى شئ يقولون هذا الخلق؟ قلت: يقولون: ان الله خلقها من ضلع من اضلاع آدم، فقال: كذبوا أكان الله يعجزه أن يخلقها من غير ضلعه؟ فقلت: جعلت فداك يا بن رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله): من أى شئ خلقها؟ فقال أخبرنى أبى عن أبائه قال: قال رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله): ان الله تبارك وتعالى قبض قبضة من طين فخلطها بيمينه ـ وكلتا يديه يمين ـ فخلق منها آدم وفضلت فضلة من الطين فخلق منها حواء
(تفسير العياشي مخطوط ، عنه البحار : ج 11 ص 116)

On the authority of ‘Amr b. Abi Miqdām on the authority of his father, who said:
“I asked al-Bāqir from what material was Eve created?”
He responded: “And what do they (the people) say about this creation?”
I said: “they say from one of Adam’s ribs”
Then he responded: “they lied, was Allah unable to create her except out of Adam’s rib?”
Then I said: “May I be sacrificed for you O son of the prophet of Allah, from what did He create her?”
He said: “My father told me on the authority of his fathers that the prophet of Allah said: God, blessed and exalted be He, held some clay and mixed it with his right hand (metaphorical), and both of His hands are right, so He created out of it Adam and part of it which was left untouched He created Eve from it”

Thus, according to the school of Ahl al-Bayt, Eve was not created from the rib of Adam, but she was created from the very same substance that Adam was, which is clay. Hence, in creation she is not at all inferior to Adam but an equal. Therefore, other schools of thought may oppress women by maintaining the fallacy of subservience based on Adam’s rib, however the followers of the Ahl al-Bayt should be far from this error. Ergo the followers of the Ahl al-Bayt must be exemplary in their mannerisms towards women, they must lead the charge in combating gender-based violence, they must be on the forefront of defending the rights of women.

Lest we forget, there is also historical imperative for us to fight violence against women, to stand up for their rights. After his departure from this temporal world, Muslims who had yet to understand Islam, threatened the daughters of Muhammad (s) be it at their door or at the plains of Karbalā’. They wanted them silent, yet their voices live on through our remembrance; let us add this angle to their remembrance, that after Fātimah, after Sakinah and Ruqayyah, no man dare raise his hand to strike, for we will break that hand and much more.

Picture: (Folio from a Falnama (Book of omens) Angels bow before Adam and Eve in Paradise mid Safavid period Opaque watercolor and gold on paper H: W: cm Qazvin, Iran)

UN Facts and figures: Ending violence against women