Talk:Najis

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Non-Muslims[edit]

Khomeini believed non-Muslims to be najis. The information can be verified here. AucamanTalk 02:57, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Najis; Dhimmis[edit]

Pecher, could you please let me know if the Dhimmi's were banned not to go out in rain or snow. + was these restrictions at some places and at particular times, or they were global and at all times. Thanks --Aminz 08:28, 4 May 2006 (UTC)


Q #1. "Persian Muslims sought to limit contact with non-Muslims by requiring them to settle in separate parts of the city" In which cities did this happen? everywhere? Some cities? all cities? when?

Q #2. "banning them from public baths"; the same questions as above + Did those separate parts of the city have public baths? I believe most people didn't have private baths at that time so banning from public baths means they didn't take bath at all during their whole life?!

Q #3. "or even demanding them not to go out in rain or snow". Who demanded them? When and where was this demanded? was this demand global and at all times? Was it an obligation? Was it a restriction? + why should the sentence above tries to persuade the reader into thinking that such a DEMAND is worst than other RESTRICTIONS? (using the word "even").

Q #4. "where the belief in the uncleanness of non-Muslims brought restrictions and persecutions to the non-Muslim population of Persia." I am asking about the word "persecutions". Does any restriction by itself imply "persecution"? I think "persecution" has the element of violence in it. Doesn't it?

--Aminz 21:00, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Stop removing sourced material from the article, Aminz. Everything here is sourced, sometimes to several sources, and if you have any doubts, you can check the sources directly. Pecher Talk 21:03, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

No doubt they are sourced material but I just want to have them more precise. Please answer the above questions which will help us improving the article. Thanks --Aminz 21:05, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

The material in the article is as precise as the one in the sources. If you have questions, you can look into the sources themselves or contact the scholars in question. Pecher Talk 21:09, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

The above questions are relevant I think. I know that your sentences are quotes from the sources but the sources should give a more detailed picture. Some of the questions are quite natural I think (like Q#2). I don't have access to the sources but you have so please add some quotes that make the sentences more clear. Thanks --Aminz 21:16, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

While details might be of interest, it's up to the requester to provide what he's interested in. Anyway, the deletion of material sourced by scholars and of undisputed factuality is unwarranted, even if the sources should not yield more information. --tickle me 22:13, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Okay. I understand your argument. I actually just talked about this a persian friend who conceded existence of such restrictions. I just removed the word "even" from the intro; the rest is fine with me. --Aminz 00:37, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

It's so funny to observe your editing pattern, Aminz: citations from scholars cut no ice with you, but a conversation with a Persian friend is a definite proof that something is true. I'm afraid you badly need to re-read Wikipedia policies, and re-think the way you approach Wikipedia. Pecher Talk 08:01, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm afraid you need to do so. I accepted Tickle me's argument and didn't change the article. And yes, my only one reversion of the article was not good and was not repeated. Repeating that comment over and over by other editors here just gives me some impressions.
And pecher, the way you are writing is offensive to me. My understanding of your sentence at that time (as is reflected in my questions above) was that People of the book didn't take bath during their wholelife (specially they couldn't do it in winters for sure). Do you really expect me to believe in such a thing even if it is referenced?! In any case, I don't have to believe in everything I read. Aucuman's answer and my conversation with my friend was illuminating but (Aucuman please note) I added this bit "they had their own private bathhouses. " to dhimmi article long time ago and Pecher reverted it. Aucuman, would you please tell me if the above comment is proper in wikipedia or not.

Everyone, let's not personalize this any more than it has already been. I've answered some of Aminz questions, so hopefully we can move on. AucamanTalk 09:24, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Some answers[edit]

Let me stress that it's not anyone's (certainly not one individual's) responsibility to answer people's questions. You can definitely ask questions, but they're unanswered it doesn't warrant the removal of sourced information. In any case here's an attempt to answer your questions:

  1. I don't know if non-Muslims were required to live in seperate parts of cities, but this was certainly the case wherever religious minorities were present. Even if there was no law requiring it, it certainly would have happened due to social reasons. There should be nothing surprising about this.
  2. Yes non-Muslims were usually not allowed in public bathhouses. In all cases they had their own private bathhouses.
  3. This is mentioned in Bernard Lewis's book, Jews of Islam. Here's a link to the footnote: [1]. See #38. Lewis explains that these rules were specific to the late 19th century Persia.
  4. There have been many cases of violent mob attacks against non-Muslims and their neighborhoods that stemmed from religious intolerance. I don't know of any specific incidents where nijasat played a key role, but non-Muslims being called najis has definitely contributed to the buildup of hatred. I'm reading a book on the forced conversion of Jews of Mashhad (called "Jadid al-Islam"). The book is by Raphael Patai and the title is "Jadid al-Islam". Here's what he has to say about this: "Although these avoidances were observed primarily by the Muslim clergy and the religiously learned and scrupulous persons, they created in the population at large an attitude of contempt toward the Jews that was much more pronounced than what the Jews had to put up with in the Sunni Mulsim environments. [....] One manifestation of this was the repeated occurrence of forced conversions of Jews to Islam in Shi'i Iran." (p. 13 of the text)

This was an attempt to answer your questions. AucamanTalk 02:05, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Aucaman, thanks for your answer. Well, I think I at least had the right to ask some of those questions. My understanding is that the text "Persian Muslims sought to limit contact with non-Muslims by requiring them to settle in separate parts of the city, banning them from public baths, or demanding them not to go out in rain or snow" by default implies that these restrictions were global and at all times. Please let me know if it does not imply so. I asked if the context from which this sentence is quoted makes the situation more specified or not.
Aucaman, Can we please add "they had their own private bathhouses." to the article to make it more clear? Thanks --Aminz 08:47, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
I'll try to make some changes to avoid overgeneralization without censoring otherwise true statements. AucamanTalk 09:24, 5 May 2006 (UTC)


Completely irrelevant and trying to lessen the severity of such oppressive behaviour in readers' minds. Aminz is a muslim who is trying to blackball and censor articles on Islam. Pathetic.

Wrong verses cited[edit]

Sorry, my last edit summary was incorrect - [Quran 9:28] is, in fact, the right verse. All the others were wrong. We need to be more careful about these things.Timothy Usher 04:41, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for correcting the links. Pecher Talk 07:22, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Last changes[edit]

"Designation of non-Muslims as unclean, mostly limited to Iranian Shi'ism, may be the product of Zoroastrian influences"

to

" Designation of non-Muslims as unclean, mostly limited to Iranian Shi'ism, according to Bernard Lewis may be the product of Zoroastrian influences."

Moving my conversation with Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg on this issue:

Hi Aminz, you are possibly right, however on wikipedia we are not supposed to state the author of the source in the articles text unless there is an opposing reference *and* if the original source is considered unreliable. Bernard Lewis however, is considered reputable and reliable enough. Feel free to add another reference so that you can spell out your complaints without it being original research. Usually by virtue of the name of the author of a source appearing most people will assume the article is suggesting that the person is biased.-- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg

I understand your argument, but I think it is a common sense that all shia jurists will reject this idea. Let me think about this more. Thanks --Aminz

Well its not common sense to me. I am admitedly not an expert on shiism or anything, but I think I am probably more knowledgable on it than an average person and I really wouldn't have the foggiest idea that it is common sense to Shiite Jurists.

The reason that I am saying it is common sense is that Shia jurists are expected to merely use Qur'an and authentic Hadiths. That sentence implies that there are some Hadiths that Shia jurists believe are authentic but they are actually forgeries + the forgers were influenced by Zoroastrians. Please let me know what you think. Thanks --Aminz

The reasoning you provided not only doesn't seem like common sense but seems quite esoteric (to me, probably not to you though). I think you are just going to have to provide a reference for this one man. I understand what you mean though, for every culture there are things that have become so ingrained in their collective consciousness and memory from such a young age that it is near impossible to understand how some poeple do not already know it. I guess that is a problem with having such a heterogenous community on English Wikipedia.

Yes, you are right. It is not a common sense. I am sorry for using "common sense". It is not. Can you please let me know if you think we still need to quote from Bernard Lewis or not. If not, you can remove it meanwhile we are discussing it. It has been like this for a long time and we can let it remain like this until we end up in a conclusion. Thanks for your civility. --Aminz 07:10, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, I realized that Pecher has already reverted it back. I'll move our discussion here to the talk page there soon. Thanks --Aminz 07:11, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Thanks --Aminz 07:18, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

There is no need to attribute this opinion, as we say "may be", not "is", so it's clear to anyone reading the article understands it is someone's opnion. THe reference to Lewis is in the footnotes. Pecher Talk 07:32, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

It is important to see who says that "maybe". I think we should say according to some scholars it is maybe. According to Shia jurists it is not even "maybe". They believe their Hadiths to be authentic. --Aminz 07:36, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Pecher, when you don't post anything here, I assume you have agreed with my argument. Silence is a sign of acceptance. Isn't it? --Aminz 09:56, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

I am afraid I may not be able to edit in wikipedia for some time, so if you guys could continue this discussion that would be great. Thanks. --Aminz 10:02, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Factual inaccuracy[edit]

"Designation of non-Muslims as unclean is mostly limited to Iranian Shi'ism" is incorrect. See the view of Sistani who is an Iraqi regarding uncleanness of non-Muslims: Ali al-Sistani states that Jews and the Christians who do not accept the prophethood of Muhammad "are commonly considered najis, but it is not improbable that they are Pak [that is, clean]. However, it is better to avoid them." --Aminz 23:31, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Sistani is Persian, and was born in Iran. I suppose he is also an Iraqi.Timothy Usher 23:47, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes, but he is a jurist for the Iraqi people. Please have a look at his comment: "..are commonly considered najis"; Were this only true in Iran, he would have said so. There are two major Shia schools of religous studies; one is Qom (Iran) and one in Najaf (Iraq). These two schools have a very close relationship. Iranian Shia's and Iraqi Shia's are very close to each other. Had were there a controversy, Sistani wouldn't have said "..are commonly considered najis". I don't say this is a "proof"; but an evidence. Let's assume this is only true in Iran, then "The concept is of particular importance to Shi'a Islam, where the belief in the uncleanness of non-Muslims" will be wrong. These two sentences contradict one another.--Aminz 23:59, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
I see your point.Timothy Usher 00:09, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Aminz, please look up in the dictionary the words "solely" and "mostly" and come back to describe the difference. Pecher Talk 10:00, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
But Pecher, Sistani is no minor figure. My question is whether this is traditional in Iraqi Shi'a or an Iranian-inspired innovation, and second, when Lewis says Iranian, does he mean as opposed to Iraqi and Gulf Shia, or as opposed to Maghrebi and Egyptian Shi'a? I don't know, I'm only asking.Timothy Usher 10:04, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Lewis means that the observation of this commandment was largely limited to Iran. Bat Ye'or mentions Shi'ites in Lebanon limiting contacts with Christians, but that's pretty much all we have. If you know this practice being followed in Iraq, give the sources, as I'm not aware of any. This stands in stark contrast with the memoirs of European travelers to Iran, who unanimously mention the enforcement of the uncleanness custom, including the prohibition to go out in the rain. Apparently, the practice struck the Europeans as something particularly barbaric and noteworthy. Pecher Talk 13:11, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
If that's what the source says, then that's what should be in the article. We're not here to protect anyone's reputation (are we?)Timothy Usher 01:14, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Pecher, who are these "European travelers" who "unanimously mention the enforcement of the uncleanness custom"? Can you reference or name one besides the "unnamed European traveler" who is quoted by Bernard Lewis? --ManiF 06:21, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Help: what is the issue?[edit]

What's the problem with mentioning Bernard Lewis in text? Conversely, why is it necessary, as he's cited either way? I've nothing against him, I just want to hear from both parties why this is a dispute.Timothy Usher 08:59, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Because Shia jurists are expected to merely use Qur'an and authentic Hadiths. That sentence implies that there are some Hadiths that Shia jurists believe are authentic but they are actually forgeries + the forgers were influenced by Zoroastrians. Wikipedia should not mercilessly disqualify shia sources. It is Lewis who is suggesting this theory and this should be made clear. --Aminz 09:04, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Nonsense. Aminz, please learn something about the religion to which you supposedly adhere before making these baseless arguments. There is more than the Qur'an and hadith that can be used to achieve consensus. Pecher Talk 20:49, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Aminz knows quite a bit about Islam. However, he may not know what you'd like to share with him here.
Zoroastrianism was the predominant religion of the Sassanid empire and, ritual cleanliness is very important in Zoroastrianism. So, it makes sense that there would have been some influence.
But, I've no idea how consensus on Najis was achieved, as per your remark. Was it creative interpretation of scripture? Did they just make it up? Who came up with it? Some education on these points might help us arrive at a consensus.
Additionally, the article lacks any discussion of how and when these apparently un-Qur'anic doctrines arose. A brief "Development of Najis" section would be more informative than citing Lewis' assertion that it may have been influenced by Zoroastrianism.Timothy Usher 01:53, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Pecher, you wanted to teach me something. I am waiting for it. --Aminz 22:21, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Bernard Lewis[edit]

Aminz, your last edit summary said "yes but it is not the POV shared by Shia scholars", if that is true then add them using a reputbale and reliable source. We are not allowed to just say the author of a source in the text because we do not agree with it. By doing so you are iinsinuating that he is biuased and unreliable, please don't do that.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 01:33, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg, I am not saying that Bernard Lewis is biased or unreliable. I am saying he has a view which is not shared by all. Of course, I believe that by default when shia jurists prescribe some commandment, it means that they have found evidences for this within their reliable sources. It is the same in all religions, isn’t it? Is it the opinion of all that "maybe this commandment is the due to influence of these external causes; that one is the influence of those external causes etc". This is a secular view of a religon which is okay but it is not a view shared by all. --Aminz 07:07, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
"It is the same in all religions, isn’t it?" Of course it's not! E.g., trinitarianism.Timothy Usher 07:28, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
Okay, but trinitarianism is an interpretation of the text, isn't it? --Aminz 07:36, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
Partly. Mostly, it's just made up. The strongest scriptural support, 1 John 5:7, is widely acknowledged as a latter-day interpolation.
Back to Dhimmi, with the riding restriction and that irrelevant Qur'anic cite. Basically, just a verse mentioning that Muslims will terrify unbelievers with cavalry. Thus, the horse is a noble animal meant for use by Muslims. Thus, ignoble Dhimmis can't ride it.
The main point though, if there is something that you don't like, but it's sourced, I don't think it enough that you say "this is not the Muslim (i.e. your) POV." I don't know the sources at issue, but the attribution of Zoroastrian influence, given what we know of Zoroastrianism, and its place in Iranian history, is on its face reasonable. I see no reason to doubt it beyond your assertion that Shia jurists would never have been influenced by such a thing...but why not?Timothy Usher 09:12, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
Timothy, they may be very well influenced. All I say is that Shia jurists themselves do not believe so. I believe wikipedia should report all views. It is good to discuss the factuality of the matters on the talk page but I don't think we should project our personal judgments on wikipedia. My understanding of your arguments is that they try to prove that “they may have been influenced on this particular subject”. I don't dispute your arguments. All I am saying is that wikipedia should report everything. Please give me a feedback on this. --Aminz 22:08, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
Aminz, like I said before we can't attribute the passage to Bernard Lewis in the text if you don't include another reference with a difference viewpoint, if you disagree with it and want to include a different perspective you are going to have to source it. Think about it, if every reputable source could be treated like this even without an opposing reference, wikipedia would look pretty silly.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 09:26, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
Moshe, Shia jurist have already made their perspective clear by issuing such fatwa's. It is like someone writes in wikipedia that “the commandment of eating kosher meat may be an influence of some other religion”. --Aminz 22:09, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
I doubt that too many Jews would have a problem with that (?), if there was some reason to believe this to be the case.Timothy Usher 00:21, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
"some reason"; how much reason? isn't it subjective? what about monotheism in Judaism? how should wikipedia report this? --Aminz 03:13, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
People can differ, but I don't think that necessarily makes it subjective. What about monotheism in Judaism? I've not even looked at that article. Check out Judaism#Critical historical view of the development of Judaism - every article is different, but this is pretty critical stuff, more so than anything in Islam for example.Timothy Usher 03:30, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
Timothy, note the title of the section:"Critical historical view of the development of Judaism". Timothy, I know this may be rude and I apologize for that, but are you honest?--Aminz 03:52, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
What kind of a question is that? You know what I think is missing from the Judaism article is, a discussion of theories - probably true - that Jewish monotheism was influenced by developments in Eyptian religion. Go look at Christianity where I got rid of similar hedges from Christian editors.Timothy Usher 04:06, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
The section makes a very clear qualification right in the firt sentence that it is the academic opinion that Muslim views on impurity are due to the influence of other religions. There is no need to qualify any further. Pecher Talk 11:08, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

I concur with Timothy, Pecher and Moshe: in the last 200 years, e.g. christendom never had much qualms admitting pagan influence on Christmas or Easter. Such stance is not to be expected by Shia - or Sunni Muslims, which even nowadays could't admit pagan heritage theologically. Just an assessment, no evaluation intended, as the issue is out of focus anyway. As far as we know by the sources given (so far only heavyweight Lewis) it's the authoritative academic opinion, adding a qualifier puts that into doubt. As long as a differing academic opinion isn't cited, that's unwarranted. --tickle me 01:11, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

I don't have any issue with this being the opinion of many or all western academics. I changed the title of the section, per Pecher's comment, that I think now make things clear. --Aminz 02:01, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Aminz, please read the section carefully: it includes both Muslim holy texts and influences of other religions. It is not only academic view, but the views of both Muslim and non-Muslim scholars. Pecher Talk 13:05, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Kafir and Ahl kitab[edit]

I tried to make the Shi'a ideas about this issue more NPOV by using "Islamic low"(Resala Amalya) and I tried to show all of the viewpoints not few of them. --Sa.vakilian 06:24, 29 September 2006 (UTC)