Zahir Ebrahim | Project Humanbeingsfirst.org
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Assalaumu 'alekum. I have a simple even naive question: Why is Eid-e Ghadir, the day Imam Ali (a.s) was appointed and announced as Imam, by prophet Muhammad (pbuh) with the following statement that is recorded in both Shia and Sunni works of history and hadith (first penned 12 centuries ago): "Mun Kunto Maula Fa Haaza Aliyun Maula", not celebrated as Eid by the majority of 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, and mainly only the 20-25% Muslims who identify themselves as Shia Muslims, do so? This is puzzling. Statistically speaking, if one presumes that natural intelligence is uniformly distributed in a given population by the bell curve, then, by the preponderance of numbers alone, the Sunni Muslim population should have 4 times as many people of high IQ and natural intelligence as the Shia Muslim population. Why do these equally intelligent people in 4x large numbers interpret Ghadir differently, if they even know about it; most have never heard of it? Why is Ghadir understanding sectarian? --- My comment left for http://english.khamenei.ir/news/5896/10-facts-about-Al-Ghadir-event-by-Ayatollah-Khamenei
In the United States this year, 18 Zulhijja falls on Thursday, 30 August 2018 (today). Since I have had the pleasure of studying this issue to the best of my limited brain and intellectual capacity, I celebrate this occasion as Eid.
Eid-e Ghadir Mubarak to all Muslims.
If history is to be believed at all, as opposed to being dismissed outright as congeries of big and small lies, then it must be studied minimally as a crime-scene. It must be analyzed forensically in order to understand the motivations behind events, their linkages, and their recordings, all of which are always, but always, beholden to the narrators' pen that informs the generations born after the fact; beholden to the intellectual acumen and psychological predisposition of the narrators; beholden to their own loves and hates, their self-interests; beholden to their own great and small understanding; beholden to their own biases that are both cognitive as well as subconscious; and thus beholden to the myriad forces of historiography and hagiography, psychology and sociology, that characterize the epistemological sources of history.
That academic jargon, perhaps unfamiliar to many, only means how we know what we know. Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that studies knowledge itself. Thus, commonsense tells us that due to all these beholdeness to human imperfections and frailties which tend to corrupt and cripple epistemology with myth amplification and truth attenuation, teasing reality the way it actually is out of the immense noise of documented history, is akin to refining the signal to noise ratio problem in communication and information theory. I explained it rudimentarily in Part-IV of Chapter-1 of my book (pgs. 297...)
Being cognizant of all these limitations and imperfections, my own humble conclusion from the forensic study of Muslim history is that this day is Eid: The Eid-e-Wilayah of Imam Ali.
Joyous felicitations to all human beings once again on this occasion. Its significance to all humanity, not just to Muslims, lies in the personality of Imam Ali and why the Prophet of Islam chose him over all other Muslims present on that occasion.
To those among non Muslims who are unfamiliar with who Imam Ali was, and what the joy is all about, see the biography of Imam Ali by the Lebanese Christian Arabic scholar, George Jordac, who painstakingly put together a holistic picture of this most unusual of men in all of documented history – the one whom Dante, the thirteenth century Italian Christian poet, in his classic book Inferno which depicted Hell, Purgatory and Heaven to the fancy of Western imagination, consigned to the lowest recesses of Hell along with the noble Prophet of Islam – translated and titled in English from Arabic as: The Voice of Human Justice (online).
The fact of this event transpiring at Ghadir-e-khum (some distance from Mecca) on 18th of Zulhijja in 10 A.H. (631 or 632 A.D.), is amply documented, just like the fact that three WTC towers were demolished on 9/11. Beyond that, like the event of 9/11 and belief in officialdom's narrative of whodunit and howdunit, the interpretation put on the event of Ghadir varies depending on whether one is born into a Shia home or a Sunni home. This is true even in the historical narrations and its scholarship itself. While both sects document it as an historic event, they each interpret it according to their respective socialization bias and psychological predisposition. Thus, subsequent generations are informed naturally by their interpretations, because they too are beholden to the same limitations. And this cycle continues as a self-fulfilling silly separation among Muslims.
To extract the truth of the matter, like for any matter that is beholden to power, and to one's own self-interest (conscious mind) and socialization (unconscious mind), requires not just raw intelligence, but shrewd and sophisticated intelligence that I would call “ma'arifat”, wherewithal. It comes from understanding both the nature of political power, and its uncanny ability to control the narrative to make the public mind. Thus, to be able to understand history perceptively takes at least an iota of forensic acumen. That skill, unfortunately, takes rising beyond one's limitations, both the real ones and the imagined ones.
Most people take their histories literally, memorize it, celebrate it, mourn it, teach it to their children, and pass it forward in scholarship, but few analyze it with any degree of sophistication. Truth of history is frozen for them. Rarely is the motivations of history's actors ever the subject of historians.
Indeed, too few learned people have demonstrated any forensic acuity throughout history, especially among the narrators of history, never mind betrayed any understanding that such skill is necessary to parse history, to parse current affairs, and therefore, needs to be developed just like all the other skills of the intellect such as reading, writing, arithmetic, adding two plus two to equal four, logic, etc.
That lament however, as the comment I left to Ayatollah Khamenei's website betrays, still does not adequately explain why this Eid is mainly only celebrated by Shia Muslims. It would be unpardonable hubris to think that there are no men and women of intellect among Sunni Muslims, or that Shia Muslims are also not socialized into this Eid from birth just like all Muslims are socialized from birth into the Eid ul Addha that precedes it by just eight days, and which all Muslims just celebrated with much fanfare throughout the world.
There has always been a preponderance of intellect among Sunni Muslims by sheer number statistics – Sunni Muslims have been the majority mainstream ever since the death of the Prophet of Islam – surely, multiplied by fourteen centuries of Islam, that is a huge intellectual mass. Sunni Muslims should have come to a common understanding with the Shia Muslims (and vice versa) on this subject at least by now. All 1.6 billion of us should be celebrating this Eid together just like we did Eid ul Addha, and Eid ul Fitr before that, and just as we shall be celebrating the birth of our noble Prophet in a few months, the Eid milad-un-nabi.
So, what's the explanation for this anomaly? If religion is mainly socialization, as it appears to be for the vast majority of us Muslims, nay the vast majority of mankind, then Islam evidently failed in its mission of Divine Guidance despite the presence of such a large body of Muslims on earth for over fourteen centuries. The Holy Qur'an has categorically condemned blindly following the religion of one's forefathers, which is what socialization does. The logic of that Qur'anic deprecation indicates that one has to use one's intellect to be able to separate the chaff from the wheat. Commonsense? Duh!
Not surprisingly therefore, ever since I acquired consciousness, I have been under the impression that religion's first predicate is the intellect, its first ally the mind. Belief devoid of intellect is akin to superstition. For some, their intellect takes them to atheism; and to the atheists, all religions are nothing more than superstitions as they deny the notion of Revelation. Islam, like Christianity and Judaism, is predicated on the belief in Revelation. Is that anti-intellectual? I do possess some modicum of brains. After all, MIT did admit me, and I did practice as an engineer for a while, building America's mighty military-industrial complex with hard intellectual labor. Thus I surely must not be entirely bereft of intellect if I am theist and believe in God. Therefore, what does it mean to be an anti-intellectual then, if one has demonstrated that one can think? Oh, it is only in belief systems that one can't think, is that it? Perhaps, and certainly when it is based on indoctrination. However, the same vigor which had previously endeared me to my engineering and science profession, when I applied to the study of religion, has taken me to theism; to the belief in God; to the belief in a Power far greater than my ability to comprehend; and to something that is in me but shall exist without me, my soul. I feel a degree of kinship with all theists irrespective of their religion if they are human beings. But it has not taken me to the gods made by man. In fact, my intellect has helped me get away from them.
Perhaps, it is actually the following of the gods made by man (while being under the delusion that one is following God) that has disunited us as one humanity. Socialization is obviously one such god. So are history books when we believe what's written in the them blindly. So is indoctrination. So is education that instills gratuitous beliefs, indistinguishable from indoctrination. Just take a litmus test: How many believe in what the history books of today describe who did 9/11? I have demonstrated all of these officialdom's narratives to be patently false by sheer intellectual vigor. See if you can spot any fallacies in my deconstruction of the propagandaware of imperial mobilization: FAQ: Prove to me that the 9/11 Narrative is a Big Lie.
If, in my own lifetime, I have come across big lies written in contemporary history books when I am actually living through the times that these history books purportedly describe, and if in my own lifetime I have found imposing and celebrated scholarship full of lies and deceit, even among my own teachers, what of antediluvian scholarship?
Fundamentally, there really ought to be only two macro-social groups among mankind: those who believe in God regardless of religion, and those who don't. The latter usually seeds the social Darwinian ubermensch, the Superman of modernity, who often arise as sociopaths to rule the world with the law of the jungle. The former, one still remains hopeful – and have remained hopeful from time immemorial, ever since Cain unjustly killed Abel – will eventually seed the Ashraf-ul-maklooqa'at, the best of creation. The twain shall forever remain pitted one against the other. And as of now, the ubermensch appear to be winning ---- 'cause the rest of us don't appear to want to use our intellect very much. And the empirical evidence for this among Muslims is this absurd separation on the understanding of this historic event of Ghadir based on which home one is born into.
I am hoping however that there is a better explanation than a dormant intellect, because to imagine that from among us 1.6 billion peoples, there is no intellectual common ground for understanding whether or not Eid-e Ghadir is really Eid, a joyous occasion for all Muslims to celebrate together, or mere myth of history, is absurdity.
Thus, why the majority of Muslims remain unaware of Eid-e Ghadir while a tiny minority, no more than a quarter, is celebrating it, must have a better explanation than mere socialization. What is it?
A concluding explanation of Dante's depiction of both Prophet Muhammad and Imam Ali is in order. Inferno is very revealing of Dante's own predisposition. Dante was at least being intellectually honest when he first defined the absolute criterion for truth and falsehood bearers and the denizens of Hell and Heaven as follows (my paraphrase based on my recollection of Inferno): liars, deceivers and hypocrites are worse than murderers, plunderers, rapists, thieves, etc., and while all of them shall be consigned to Hell, the ones who have deceived the most, misled others the most, moved others away from the truth the most, shall be in the lowest recesses of Hell. Then Dante concluded, based on his own socialization into institutionalized Christianity – which during the Christian Middle Ages, and the Dark Ages that preceded it, and Reformation period through Industrial Revolution that succeeded it, and just as it remains today, was extremely inimical to Islam – that since Jesus Christ and Christianity invited mankind towards truth, and Prophet Muhammad's Islam and his lead lieutenant Imam Ali took mankind away from Christianity proselytizing their new religion, that these two men were the greatest of deceivers among mankind. Thus, based upon the criterion that deceivers should be in the lowest recesses of Hell and truth tellers in the highest reaches of Heaven, and greater the deceiver, lower the level of Hell, and his a priori presupposition that Christianity was truth and Islam falsehood, Dante consigned the noble Prophet of Islam and his lieutenant Imam Ali to the lowest possible level of Hell as these two souls presented the greatest threat to the truth of the Christians.
Dante's handicap? Socialization bias! Otherwise, he had divined the criterion for adjudication quite rationally and objectively!
August 30, 2018
The first passage is my comment left today for: http://english.khamenei.ir/news/5896/10-facts-about-Al-Ghadir-event-by-Ayatollah-Khamenei
Source URL: https://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2018/08/eid-e-ghadir-2018-mubarak-from-zahir.html
Published Thursday, August 30, 2018 11:00 pm 2364
Eid-e Ghadir 2018 Mubarak from Zahir Ebrahim 6/6