BISMILLAH
MOLANA NABI ABIDI
SABA

Articles

  • shutterstock_593255525

    How To Make A Decision | By Nabi Raza Abidi

    It isn’t always easy to make the correct decision, here are four questions you can ask yourself to help you make the right decisions in life.

    There is a common approach to worldly problems across religious communities – be they Muslim or Christian – that posits that we should leave everything to God and thus withhold any serious decision making. Although in principle the notion of “leaving everything to God” is true, its understanding has often been faulty. Some have understood the concept as meaning that no decision should be taken and that somehow God will do everything ...

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  • 4

    5 Ways To Anchor Yourself In Life And Fight Despair

    The feeling is not irredeemable, here are some useful tips that can help.

    Excerpt:

    One way to remedy this problem is to find meaning and set a goal that is larger than yourself. The goal must not be grandiose but reasonably possible to achieve. Every incremental step towards this goal will give you a dopamine boost, courage and the will to continue on in life. What I am saying here is obviously easier said than done, but I hope that the following five pointers may be of use:

    1) Do not keep your mind ...

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  • Five Tips On On How To Forgive Someone | By Nabi Raza Abidi

    Resentment in the remembrance of wrongs is destructive to our souls. Here are fight tips on how to forgive those who have wronged you.

    Excerpt:

    There is nothing more destructive to your soul, iman (faith) and your spirituality than the constant remembrance of wrongs that were done to you by someone. And by this, I mean the inability to forgive someone and the build up resentment. As I said in a previous article, forgiveness is not forgetting what a person did to you (that is almost impossible), forgiveness is not having resentment towards ...

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    Greetings For The Month Of Rajab 2018

    Excerpt: 

    In Islam, the purpose of a person’s existence is to reach communion with God (liqā Allāh). The month of Rajab is the start of the renewal of a person’s soul and the renewal of one’s quest for union with God. In this sense, Rajab is the month of reseeding our faith and relationship with Allah. We nourish this seed with spiritual water and sun through various recommended ritual practices and by following the example and blueprint which the Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as) both in their teachings and their ...

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  • 2

    Fake Vs. Real Akhlaq

    Real akhlaq is not necessarily about good manners per se, but it is about what intentions you have when you undertake it.

    Excerpt:

    What’s the solution? When dealing with a boss or someone who is in a position of power (or in a position to hurt you), change your niyyah (intention). Instead of being good, patient and showing good manners for the sake of fearing a person in authority, do them for the sake of Allah (swt). You will find that when you do this, all those negative feelings are bottled up much less ...

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  • 1

    Developing A Real Relationship With God Takes Time

    Real faith is not believing in God’s existence, it is building a relationship with Him.

    Excerpt: 

    Most young people struggle with religious questions. I tell parents that this is part of relationship building. It is important to be honest than to pretend that all is ok with our īman (faith) when it really is not. It is important to sit with scholars, join the community and not give up on discovering who God really is as taught to us by the Ahl al-Bayt (as). Many atheists whom I have met reject ...

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  • charity-poor

    On Helping The Poor | By Nabi Raza Abidi

     

    Putting money in the charity box does not lift people out of poverty, we will be asked on the Day of Judgment on how we spent our wealth.

     

    Excerpt:

    Part of the mainstream discourse of the Republican Party is that it is not the government’s job to help the poor. This view originates in certain forms of Protestant Christianity who not only believe that the government holds no such religious mandate and responsbility, but that the rich (at least in the Calvinist view of ...

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  • winning-a-fight-marriage-e1514089900183

    Do You Want To Be Right Or Do You Want To Have A Relationship?

    Winning an argument does not solve your problems in marriage, it often creates resentment.

    Excerpt:

    You will notice that once you solve a major problem in your relationship, a whole host or set of arguments will stop and you will no longer need to be right anymore. The way you solve a problem is not through comparison or moral judgments, but through negotiation and compromise both of which require empathetic listening. Cultivating empathy and seeing things from your spouse’s perspective is VERY difficult, but one method I’ve seen work is trying to listen ...

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  • ikhtilat

    The Dangers Of Taking Gender Mixing (Ikhtilāṭ) Lightly

    Risky gender mixing (ikhtilāṭ) is the doorway to most sexual sins, prevention is  better than the cure.

    Excerpt:

    The Qu’ran says that the purpose of our existence is to worship Him. Worship, or ʿibādah is just another word for submitting our hearts to Him. Reaching union with God is a destination we much reach, but like any destination, we require a map or a set of guidelines. The guidelines Allah (swt) has given us are both individual and societal. How we interact socially directly bears a consequence ...

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    When Intimacy After Kids Goes Downhill And What To Do About It

    Kids are draining and if we don’t handle the situation the right way the first thing to suffer will be the intimacy in your marriage.

    Excerpt:

    After children, I see many couples drifting apart where distance, coldness and lack of intimacy becomes a normal part of life. In our community, the husband will work much of the time and the wife will spend her free time taking care of needy and demanding children, often in addition to her own job. The process, especially after a few years (yes, it takes time for kids ...

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  • bumper-car-e1510517652307

    Fixing Your Marriage Is Like A Bumper Car, Not A Train

    People fail to fix their marriages because they are perfectionists. Martial reform happens incrementally with lots of bumps on the road.

    Excerpt:

    Success in fixing marriage tensions does not come all of a sudden; it is achieved incrementally. After having counseled countless couples at the SABA center and beyond, I’ve come to realize that many of the relationships that end up breaking apart do not do so because they are hopeless (and indeed some can become hopeless due to mental illness, substance abuse, malevolence etc.) but because they have unrealistic expectations of what success ...

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  • thoughts

    Change Begins With Our Own Thoughts

    The quality of our lives depends on our thoughts, by changing our thoughts we change the world around us.

    Excerpt:

    Modern discourse often trivializes the link between our thoughts and the kinds of lives we live. The most obvious example is that of religious belief and how belief as a private enterprise bears little on worldly or even otherworldly salvation. Why should someone go to hell just for a “belief” is the question that is often asked, subtly but dangerously implying that religious belief is a personal taste like the taste we have for ice-cream.Show More

  • mind-2176565_1280

    at You Value The Most Is What Makes You Suffer The Most

    Excerpt:

    Suffering is a mental reaction towards what you value in life. What you value the most is what makes you suffer the most. There are certain kinds of suffering that you can end by changing your set of values. This is why people who value their relationship with God and their state on the Day of Judgment tend to suffer less in this world because what pains most ordinary people pains them minimally. Changing your set of values is not an easy task, it requires restructuring a self that has been built over the years.Show More

  • time-travel

    How To “Time-Travel” And Change Your Marriage’s Past

    Words are not objective, they are expressions of inner emotional states and so is how you view your marriage history.

    Excerpt:

    Much of your spouse’s outlook on your relationship’s history is informed by his/her current emotional state. How he/she views your personal/marriage history is a subjective enterprise and prone to change based on how he/she views the state of your relationship now. If there was a recent fight about something, chances are that you may be blamed for years of misery and for being the biggest mistake ...

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  • young girl with backpack, tourist traveler on background panoramic view of the mountain. Mock up for text message. Female hands using smartphone

    Tips On How To Avoid Improper Relations With Opposite Members Of The Gender At Work

    As members of the opposite gender interact more, incidences of adultery and unfaithfulness have skyrocketed. Here are some thoughts on how to avoid the problem.

    Excerpt:

    Satan does not throw us into a deadly sin like adultery in one shot, he guides us to it step by step. At first, he starts it with something that is apparently permissible, say an innocent conversation between two members of the opposite gender at the office. Slowly but surely, he will lead them into a lesser sin, and then eventually a greater sin. This process ...

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  • lost-nabi-raza-abidi

    Why Do We Fear? By Nabi Raza Abidi

    Excerpt:

    Conquering fear does not seem to come from the lack of fear, but from building up courage in the face of it. In my observation, many of the people who live lives full of anxiety and fear are usually individuals who are lost in the world. They have no grand purpose in their lives, and if they do, they have not set the proper mini or step-by-step goals in life to reach them. It is like being smack in the middle of a city. If you know what you are supposed to do, and you ...

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  • marriage-fix-problems

    The Only Way You Can Truly Fix Your Marriage

    To fix your marriage, you must first begin with fixing yourself. By becoming a noble, compassionate and composed human being, you will be able to influence your spouse into becoming a better person.

     

    Excerpt:

    Your faults can manifest in an infinite variety of ways which can go unnoticed by you. These can be coldness, being unappreciative, ungrateful, or negligent or even resentful of certain duties. It can be prioritizing work, friends, hobbies or even blood relatives over your spouse, dismissing your spouse’s needs and wishes because ...

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  • anger-e1503955611351

    Approaching Troubles With A Peaceful Heart

    By approaching life’s challenges with a peaceful heart, we nurture the value of patience and thereby approach the ideal of the joyful soul.

    Excerpt:

    Not a day goes by where we don’t face some significant spiritual challenge. When our spouses, siblings or children make remarks that anger us, these are the times we need to watch our hearts. When we see people gossiping, it is the time for us to either leave the room or put a stop to it. Drivers honk at us, cut us off, or someone pushes us in ...

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  • violent-video-games-copy-e1503867198603

    How Our Environment Is Making Us Less Religious

    The loss of religious belief is not because people are more intelligent, it is the result of an environment that is devoid of God and saturated with meaninglessness.

    Excerpt:

    The prophets taught us to be concerned with what went into our hearts and the hearts of our youth. The heart is the vessel in which the All-Merciful sits in. If the heart is broken and cannot take in the Light of God, it will remain dark and open to the Satanic influence of the world. We all strive to give our children ...

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  • artificial-copy

    Artificial Islam By Nabi Raza Abidi

    Pretentious religious lives devoted to pleasing others rather than God leads to the death of the human heart. It is only through diligent self-awareness of one’s own consciousness and sins that one can truly serve God. This is artificial Islam.

    The foundation which muḥāsabah lies on – without which it becomes worthless – the practice of tawbah or sincere repentance to God. Without tawbah, our spirituality is false. Our servitude, or Islam, becomes pretentious thereby causing the death of the spiritual heart. It a sincere and honest examination of one’s ...

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  • On Achieving Certainty About God’s Existence

    On Achieving Certainty About God’s Existence

    Excerpt:

    Whether you browse the internet or peruse through books at a bookstore, you’ll be amazed at the amount of literature that exists on the existence of God, both for and against. The plethora of arguments and counter-arguments may be confusing for some even though atheistic arguments don’t stand a chance in the front of a sophisticated theologian.

    Read more by clicking here.

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  • prayer-copy

    Depression: The Cancer Of The Soul By Nabi Raza Abidi

    Depression is the silent disease of the modern days; it wrecks more havoc than bodily cancer because it is the cancer of the soul.

    Excerpt:

    Depression is the spiritual poison of the modern times and destroys the lives of too many people. The pain and suffering that comes with depression spreads to the surroundings of the sufferer. Just like a rotten apple will spread its rot to other apples, so too does depression to those who surround the sufferer. Psychiatrists seem to be struggling with finding a cure but it ...

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  • prayer-copy

    Dryness And Struggling In Prayer Is Not Always A Bad Thing – By Nabi Raza Abidi

    Dryness and struggling in prayer is not always a bad thing. Persisting in prayer despite sluggishness may be a sign of real devotion to God.

    Excerpt: 

    Prayer is a struggle for many people. Dryness and lifelessness are not alien and they can be moods that lead us to the cessation of prayers. When our salāt (prayer) becomes difficult, it is important to remember that God is aware of this struggle. He knows our needs and what we want even when we are not aware of them, or don’t know how to ...

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  • loneliness

    Loneliness – By Dr. Nabi Raza Abidi

    Ending isolation and loneliness is imperative if we are to overcome the epidemic of depression in our community.

    Excerpt:

    Our youth and indeed adults need to learn the importance of speaking directly with their friends and family instead of texting them most of the time. Children should be taken out on the weekends and join other families so they can connect. Grandparents should be taken on picnics where they can share the stories of their youth to today’s youth. Joining SABA Islamic center camps or outdoor annual events are not enough, they ...

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  • i-80_eastshore_fwy

    Seeing Our Cars As Our Monastic Cells. By Dr. Nabi Raza Abidi

    Much of what we see as burdensome is the result of our subjective perspectives. Joy and suffering are not always objective facts, they are often the results of the interpretation of events in our lives.

    Excerpt:

    However, it is important to note that suffering is often not an objective fact. Suffering is an emotional reaction to an external or mental stimulus. In other words, much of our suffering is born out of how we interpret the events of our lives.

    A lot of our joys and suffering depend ...

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  • secularism-islam

    Secularism As A Mental Process. By Dr. Nabi Raza Abidi

    Secularism is not just a political event, it is a mental state where God is isolated and exiled, only popping up from time to time when we require it.

    Excerpt:

    We often think of secularization as political process. It is easily defined as the separation between something we call religion (whatever that is) and government. But everything that manifests itself politically originates in a cultural change, for better or worse. If we are faithful to this principle, then it follows that the secularization of politics is a manifestation of a deeper cultural ...

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  • unnamed

    Eid ul Fitr – Sunday, June 25th

    Eid ul Fitr - Sunday, June 25th

    Dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam,
    Salamun Alaykum Warahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Based on reports around North America there were authentic sightings of the moon. Therefore, we confirm that Eid ul-Fitr will be on Sunday June 25, 2017 .

    The greatest month of the year, Ramadhan, is sadly coming to an end. As the Noble Prophet (S) bid farewell to the month of Ramadhan, he said:

    اَللّـهُمَّ لا تَجْعَلْهُ اخرَ الْعَهْدِ مِنْ صِيامِنا اِيّاهُ فَاِنْ جَعَلْتَهُ فَاجْعَلْني مَرْحُوماً وَلا تَجْعَلني مَحْرُوماً



    O Allah ...

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  • Demonic Suggestions Islam

    The Voices In Our Heads By Dr. Nabi Raza Abidi

    Excerpt:

    Voices in Our Heads: Our greatest enemy is not the physical voices we hear from without, but the dark foreign ones within.

    We all know about those pesky voices in our heads. I don’t mean the good voices, but those really bad and depressing ones. They are anxiety ridden, angry, jealous, envious, sarcastic, and judgmental. Sometimes we get a break from them, but most of often we are simply drowning in them.

    This disturbing voice is not the product of our aql (intellect). It’s not the kind of ...

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  • Nabi Raza Abidi

    Why Despair in God’s Mercy is a Great Sin. By Dr. Nabi Raza Abidi

    Excerpt: 

    "Reaching out to God with a simple prayer can be the beginning of a lifelong relationship with Him as God desires to commune with all His creation. As Muslims, we believe that God permeates all of existence. There is nowhere that is empty of God. If that is the case, then how can we speak of a separation between us and God? How can a relationship begin if God is always there with us?

    When we speak of separation between us and God, we are not referring to an existential separation, ...

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  • hedonism

    When Comfort Ruins Our Spiritual Growth By Dr. Nabi Raza Abidi

    Excerpt:

    Our world places a great deal of emphasis on comfort and avoiding anything that doesn’t bring about pleasure. When Islam is ridiculed, some of us may keep quiet. If prayer and fasting gets in our way of having fun with our colleagues or friends at work, some of us may avoiding fasting and we pray our salat in the last minute, or forgo it altogether.

    Choosing pleasure only and taking the easy way out sets the course for spiritual decline. No one in this world can escape hardship and suffering. ...

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  • religion-of-our-friends

    We Follow the Religion of Our Friends By Dr. Nabi Raza Abidi

    Excerpt: 

    "Our greatest struggle is against our habits. Perhaps the greatest source of our habits come from our friends. Sometimes we think we are moving forward, but our progress is somewhat like a treadmill, we think that we are progressing but what is around us hasn't moved an inch.

    It so happens that the friends we have in our lives are the ones who keep us from growing. As such, it does make a difference who we hang out with. "

    Read more ...

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  • spiritual-heart

    The Scientific and Spiritual Minds

    "The education of the industrial mind is an important facet of our lives. That is how the world goes around nowadays. It is our means for survival and supporting our families and as such, no one is downgrading its importance. However, we put our souls and ultimate salvation in danger when we solely educate our minds without building our spiritual hearts. It is the heart, that is, the core intellective center of our souls that perceives God and sets the platform through which we act in the cosmos. It fashions the way we interact with others, our environment and ...

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  • despair

    On Dealing with Despair and Seeking Validation from Others

    Seeking validation from others is one of the primary causes of our social downfall and the cause of much of our despair.

    Excerpt: The desperate need for validation from others is a symptom of an inner emptiness. In Qur’anic terms, it is a disease of the heart. Where does it come from? My take is that it comes from a lack of that awe-inspiring and loving fear of God called khushūʿ. It comes from the lack of one’s will to please his or her Creator. This empty black hole or spiritual disease has real ...

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  • hijab

    The Islamic Clerical Robe and Hijab by Moulana Nabi Raza Abidi

    Although our Islamic dress code inspires more people than it offends

    A sight that perhaps stands out in Shia Muslim centers are the clerics that work within them. The SABA Islamic Center (Shia Association of Bay Area) which we find ourselves in is no different. We see clerics with elaborate robes and neatly wrapped turbans. For someone living in the West, these features stand out quite a bit...

    Please click here to read the rest of the article.

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  • isaqasim

    Bahraini Shia Cleric Shaykh Issa Qassim Update

    Trial Postponement of Bahrain's  Shia Religious Leader Shaykh Issa Qassim

    ‘The [Bahrain] criminal court postponed the trial of Bahrain’s Shia spiritual leader Shaykh Issa Qasim and two others to the 4th of December, 2016. The authorities are prosecuting Shaykh Issa Qasim in relation to one of Shi'a Muslims’ religious duties. Shaykh Issa Qassim had his citizenship arbitrarily revoked in June of 2016.
    See this and other updates at ADHRB Newsletter 184.

    See below for more ...

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  • mansour

    Bahraini Torturer and Judge To Investigate War Crimes in Yemen

    A Bahraini judge with a history of involvement in torturing human rights activists and journalists is appointed by Saudi Arabia to investigate war crimes in Yemen committed by Saudi Arabia.

    The army officer assigned to investigate alleged Saudi war crimes in Yemen played a key role in the 2011 crackdown on Arab Spring protesters in Bahrain, MEMO can reveal. In the wake of the start of the ongoing 2011 uprising, Bahrain’s military lawyer Colonel Mansour Al-Mansour presided over the First Instance Court of National Safety, a tribunal set up to process the trial and prosecution of hundreds of ...

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  • muharram-image

    Muharram Message From Maulana Nabi Raza Abidi

    Muharram Message: Ambassadors of Imam Husain (AS)

    بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
    اللهم صلي علي محمد و ال محمد و عجل فرجهم
    السلام علي الحسين و علي علي بن الحسين و علي اولاد الحسين و علي اصحاب الحسين
    قال المعصوم: إِنَّهُ عَلَى یَمِینِ عَرْشِ اللَّهِ مِصْبَاحٌ هَادٍ وَ سَفِینَةُ نَجَاة
    قال رسول الله حسین منی و انا من الحسین

    In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    All praise and blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad (S) and his immaculate family.
    Peace and blessings be upon Imam Husain (A), Imam Sajjad, the son of Imam Husain (A), the children of Imam Husain (A), and the companions of Imam Husain (A).
    Indeed, written on the right side of the arsh (throne) is that Husain (A) is the lantern of guidance and the ark of salvation.

    The Prophet (S) has ...

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  • Shia-Rights-Watch_Total-Trend-of-6-month

    Shia Rights Watch Bi-Annual Report

    Shia Rights Watch Bi-Annual Report - Human Rights Violations Towards Shia People

    This Bi-Annual report is based on analysis of monthly reports conducted by Shia Rights Watch. The report summarizes human rights violations toward Shia people in 10 countries beginning in January and ending in June 2016.

    It must be noted that Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, India, Iraq, Kuwait, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria are members of the United Nations. This is important because these countries have all violated the International Bill of Human Rights. Within this bill, citizens of member states pledge to uphold the following ...

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  • Bahraini-Shias-protest-007

    Bahrain Escalates Campaign of Repression

    In the past month, the Government of Bahrain has pursued a sustained campaign of repression. The police arrested Nabeel Rajab on expression-related charges and placed him in solitary confinement. The government forced Zainab Al-Khawaja into exile after threats of re-arrest and indefinite detention, and a week later imposed travel bans on a group of rights activists travelling to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Fifty-three persons were stripped of citizenship, including leading religious figure Sheikh Isa Qassim. The majority of denaturalized persons were native Shia Bahrainis, punished under the terrorism laws for acts of ...

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  • unnamed

    Eid al-Fitr 2016

    Salamun Alaykum Warahmatullah

    Dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam,

    Based on reports around North America there were authentic sightings of the moon this Tuesday night, July 5th, 2016. Therefore, we confirm that Eid ul Fitr will be on Wednesday, July 6th, 2016.

    Alhamdulillah we had a great month of Ramadhan at SABA and in the entire Bay area. May Allah bless both those who tirelessly volunteered and those who attended.

    The greatest month of the year, Ramadhan, is sadly coming to an end. This month did not differentiate between anyone, rather it engulfed ...

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  • after-khurram-zaki-s-killing-i-fear-for-anyone-who-dares-to-speak-out-in-pakistan-1462907704-1995

    The Killing of Khurram Zaki

    We have all heard about Shaykh Nimr al-Nimr. Western media was rife with articles about him and how he stood up against Saudi tyranny and fought for the rights of minorities, and specifically Shias, in the kingdom. Similarly, we also hear much about Shaykh al-Zakzaki, a renowned scholar in Nigeria, who is incarcerated as a prisoner of conscience.

    Around a month ago, Pakistan also lost its own Shaykh al-Nimr. His name was Khurram Zaki. Although he was not a cleric, his fight for human rights and minority rights was of no less significance for the Muslim community ...

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