Joined: 05 May 2003 Posts: 56 Location: Deerfield, IL, USA
Posted: Sat Nov 01, 2003 3:51 pm Post subject: Dawah - or the Beauty of Nizari Qasim-Shahi Ismailism
Ya Ali madad!
I have studied religions ever since eighth grade. I spend lots of time researching Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, and so on. I never felt the desire to study Islam as much.
Last year, I began thinking I should study more about Islam. I knew quite a bit, from some books I had read and through other studies. It became clear that there was quite a bit of disunity and confusion in Islam, what with different groups arguing with each other about petty issues. Other significant issues also began to come up. Such as: who is right, those that practice Islam according to local traditions, or those who try to practice Islam in an austere and almost puritanical way?
Then I began studying Shiism. Strange - having born a Muslim, I knew next to nothing about Shiism. All I knew was that Shii believe Hazrat Ali (as) should have been the khalifah. Wow, I was in for a surprise.
I actually became distracted.
One day, I put in "Ismailism" in the search box, and a number of websites came up. I was enthralled. Even though one of the main websites I went to was by an enemy of Ismailism, I learned a lot, and began to fall in love with Ismailism. I forgot about Sunnism, Sufism, and other Shii groups. U began spending my time, energy (and money) on learning about Ismailism.
I hope Ismailis notice this. Ismailism is very different from other Muslim movements. Yet, at the same time, it also seems to be one of the truest manifestations of Islam. I might even go so far as to say that Ismailism *is* true Islam. Of course, the other Muslim movements - the Ithna 'Asharis; the Hanafi, Shafii, Maliki, and Hanbali Sunnis - are right in their own way. They are not wrong. But they are "shariati." And in so being, they miss the point of Islam. Ismailism goes beyond the shariah - leading one closer and closer to truth and to Allah.
Amongst the many groups of Muslims, Ismailism is a breath of fresh air. It appeals to the pious aspirations of some and to the intellectual probings of others - it's not one OR the other, it's both. Ismailism gives modern Muslims like me hope for the future. As long as movements like Ismailism will remain strong, Islam will not be inevitably overrun by reactionary or revisionist fundamentalists.
It just sometimes makes me sad that so many Muslims believe Ismailism is non-Muslims and that Ismailis feel they need to hide. I pray for the day when the Hazir Imam - and, yes, I *do* believe that Hazrat Imam Shah Karim al-Husseini (as) is the Maula Hazir Imam - will reopen dawah. I dream for the day when hundreds of Muslims and non-Muslims will joyously make baiyat to the Hazir Imam, strengthening the ranks of Ismailism, making Islam stronger in the world.
Ismailism is like a lotus in a swamp, or a rose among common flowers. It is full of Allah's Nur, of which the peace that pervades its followers is evidence. May the blessings of Allah shower infinitely on the Hazir Imam, and may Maula's blessings and peace be always with His followers.
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