Islamic Iran has survived for 40 years because it adhered to Islamic principles but sectarianism and nationalism are gradually creeping in. These must be guarded against just as the Ikhwan must re-evaluate their conduct over the last 40 years to rectify their mistakes.
In many ways, the results of the recent elections in Iraq have come as no surprise. The United Iraqi Coalition (UIC), the Shi’a Muslim slate sponsored by Grand Ayatullah Ali al-Hussayni al-Sistani, got 48 percent of the 275 seats in the new national assembly; a Kurdish alliance 25 percent; and US-backed interim prime minister Iyad Allawi’s list 14 percent.
The assumption of the caliphate by Imam Ali [AS] took place either on the same day Uthman was assassinated or according to another source some five days later. It would be useful in order to understand what transpires during the exercise of rule by Imam Ali [AS] to go back a little to examine the nature of the opposition to Uthman because many of the factors of political disunity that were operative during the caliphate of Uthman persisted into the caliphate of Imam Ali [AS].1
This lecture look at the Prophet [sAW], and his daughter Bibi Fatima [AS] who constitutes the link in between the Prophet [sAW] and the line of the Imams [AS]. Sometimes it has to be conceded that when an exposition is made of Shi’ism whether by it’s adherents or outsiders, inadequate attention is given to the person and the mission of the Prophet [sAW] only those intimate periods and aspects where the life of the Prophet [sAW] intersects decisively with the life of Imam Ali [AS] – only then is particular importance given to the Prophet [sAW]. However there is no doubt that the person and the accomplishment of the Prophet [sAW] is essential to the Shi’i historical consciousness as it is important to the consciousness of other Muslims.1
Discussion of the importance of the Qur'an in Shi'ism, beginning with the use of the Hadith of Thaqalayn to show the special relationship between the Qur'an and the Ahlul Bayt. A general outline of beliefs about the Qur'an that are shared by all Islamic schools of thought follows, including the revelation, Divine and miraculous nature, preservation and purpose of the Qur'an. More specifically then, the Qur'an in Shi'ism is discussed, as is the role of the Prophet and the Imams as instructors in understanding the Qur'an. Also, a definition of Muhkam (firm) and Mutashabih (metaphorical) verses of the Qur'an, and the differences in Shi'i and Sunni beliefs in the interpretation of Mutashabih verses. Also includes an introduction to specific Qur'anic verses relevant to Shi'ism, beginning with verse 5:55.1