Twelver or Imamiyyah is the largest branch of Shia Islam. The term Twelver refers to its adherents' belief in twelve divinely ordained leaders, known as the Twelve Imams, their belief that the last Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, lives in occultation and will reappear as the promised Mahdi. According to Shia tradition, the Mahdi's tenure will coincide with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, to assist the Mahdi against the Masih ad-Dajjal. Twelvers believe that the Twelve Imams are the spiritual and political successors to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. According to the theology of Twelvers, the Twelve Imams are exemplary human individuals who not only rule over the community with justice, but are able to preserve and interpret sharia and the esoteric meaning of the Quran; the words and deeds of Muhammad and the Imams are a model for the community to follow. Twelver Shiism is the largest branch of Shia Islam, with about 85% of all Shias, or 150 to 200 million Twelver Shias. Twelvers make majorities among Muslims in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain.
They make significant minorities in India, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Oman, UAE, Nigeria and Tanzania. Iran is the only country with state religion as Shia Islam. Twelvers share many tenets of Shia with related sects, such as the belief in Imams, but the Ismaili Shias believe in a different number of Imams and, for the most part, a different path of succession regarding the Imamate, they differ in the role and overall definition of an Imam. Twelvers are distinguished from Ismailis by their belief in Muhammad's status as the "Seal of the Prophets", in rejecting the possibility of abrogation of Sharia laws, in considering both esoteric and exoteric aspects of the Quran. Alevis in Turkey and Albania, Alawites in Syria and Lebanon, share belief in the Twelve Imams with Twelvers, but their theological doctrines are markedly different; the term'Twelver' is based on the belief that twelve male descendants from the family of Muhammad, starting with Ali ibn Abi-Talib and ending with Muhammad al-Mahdi, are Imams who have religious and political authority.
The Twelvers are known by other names: The Shi'ah is used as a synonym for "Twelvers" since this branch comprises the majority group in Shia Islam. Shia refers to a group of Muslims who believe that the succession to Muhammad must remain in his family for specific members who are designated by a divine appointment. Tabataba'ei states. Ja'fari refers to the Twelver Juridical school, followed by the majority of Shias, it refers to the minority Akhbaris who advocate a distinct juridical approach within Ja'fari jurisprudence. The term is derived from the name of Ja'far al-Sadiq, considered by the Twelvers to be their Sixth Imām. Ja'far al-Sadiq is respected and referenced by the founders of the Sunni Hanafi and Maliki schools of jurisprudence. Imami or Imamiyyah or Imamite is a reference to the Twelver belief in the infallibility of the Imāms. Although the Ismā'īlīs share the generic concept of Imams, this term is used for the Twelvers who believe that the leadership of the community after Muhammad belongs to Ali and eleven subsequent successors that together comprise the Fourteen Infallibles.
Twelver theology, which consists of five principles, has formed over the course of history on the basis of the teachings of Quran, hadiths from Muhammad and the Twelve Imams, in response to the intellectual movements in the Muslim world and major events of the Twelver history, such as the Battle of Karbala and the occultation of the twelfth Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi. It should be noted that mystics and traditional scholars all have diverse opinions about the unity of God, free will, judgment day, as stated by Jafaar Seedaan.". Care has been taken to mention the tradition view first mention other views objectively. According to Hossein Nasr, Ali ibn Abi Talib, the first Shia Imam is credited with having established Islamic theology and among Muslims his sermons contain the first rational proofs of the God's unity. Ali is quoted as arguing that unity of God means that he has no like, he is not subject to numeration and is not divisible either in reality or imagination. On another occasion, he is quoted saying: The first step of religion is to accept and realize him as the Lord...
The correct form of belief in his unity is to realize that he is so pure and above nature that nothing can be added to or subtracted from his being. That is, one should realize that there is no difference between his person and his attributes, his attributes should not be differentiated or distinguished from his person. Traditional Twelvers believe that God is different from his creation, that both are separate entities. However, Sayyid Haydar Amuli a prominent Shia mystic and philosopher defines God as alone in being, along with his names, his attributes, his actions, his theophanies; the totality of being, therefore, is he, through him, comes from him, returns to him. God is not a being next to or above his creatures; the divine unitude does not have the meaning of an arithme
Greater Beirut is the urban agglomeration comprising the city of Beirut and the adjacent over the Mount Lebanon Governorate. Thus, it does not constitute a single administrative unit; the conurbation spreads south and north of Beirut city. To the west, the Eastern Mediterranean sea serves as a natural boundary. There are about 2.2 million people in Greater Beirut. 45% are Muslims, 25% Sunni, 20% Shia. Beirut Dekwaneh Jdeideh Kfarshima Chyah Jounieh Baabda Furn el Chebbak
Demographics of Lebanon
This article is about the demographic features of the population of Lebanon, including population density, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population. About 99 % of the population of Lebanon includes Christian denominations; because the matter of religious balance is a sensitive political issue, a national census has not been conducted since 1932, before the founding of the modern Lebanese state. There is an absence of accurate data on the relative percentages of the population of the major religions and groups; the absence of data and comprehensive statistics concerns all other demographic studies unrelated to religious balance, due to the all but total inactivity of the concerned public agencies. The only recent statistics available are estimates based on studies made by private organizations. There are from descendants of Lebanese worldwide; the biggest study made after the independence on the Lebanese Population was made by the Central Administration of Statistics under the direction of Robert Kasparian and Mgr.
Grégoire Haddad's Social Movement: "L'enquête par sondage sur la population active au Liban en 1970". It was conducted on a sample of 130,000 individuals. Ethnic background is an important factor in Lebanon; the country encompasses a great mix of cultural and ethnic groups which have been building up for more than 6,000 years. The Arabs occupied Phoenicia in the 7th century AD from Arabia; the predominant cultural backgrounds and ancestry of the Lebanese vary from Canaanite, Aramean to Greek and Arab. The question of ethnic identity has come to revolve more around aspects of cultural self-identification more than descent. Religious affiliation has become a substitute in some respects for ethnic affiliation; the cultural and linguistic heritage of the Lebanese people is a blend of both indigenous Phoenician elements and Arab cultures that have come to rule the land and its people over the course of thousands of years. Moreover, in a 2013 interview, the lead investigator, Pierre Zalloua, pointed out that genetic variation preceded religious variation and divisions: "Lebanon had well-differentiated communities with their own genetic peculiarities, but not significant differences, religions came as layers of paint on top.
There is no distinct pattern that shows that one community carries more Phoenician than another". The Lebanese Christians are some of the oldest Christians in the world, preceded only by the oriental Orthodox of Armenia and Copts of Egypt; the Maronite Christians, belong to the West Syriac Rite. Their Liturgical language is the Syriac-Aramaic language; the Melkite Greek Catholics and the Greek Orthodox, tend to focus more on the Greco-Hellenistic heritage of the region from the days of the Byzantine Empire, the fact that Greek was maintained as a liturgical language until recently. Some Lebanese claim partial descent from Crusader knights who ruled Lebanon for a couple of centuries during the Middle Ages backed by recent genetic studies which confirmed this among Lebanese people in the north of the country, under the Crusader County of Tripoli; this identification with non-Arab civilizations exists in other religious communities, albeit not to the same extent. Lebanon's religious divisions are complicated, the country is made up by a multitude of religious groupings.
The ecclesiastical and demographic patterns of the sects and denominations are complex. Divisions and rivalries between groups date back as far as 15 centuries, still are a factor today; the pattern of settlement has changed little since the 7th century, but instances of civil strife and ethnic cleansing, most during the Lebanese Civil War, has brought some important changes to the religious map of the country. Lebanon has by far the largest proportion of Christians of any Middle Eastern country, but both Christians and Muslims are sub-divided into many splinter sects and denominations. Population statistics are controversial; the various denominations and sects each have vested interests in inflating their own numbers. Shias, Sunnis and Greek Orthodox all claim that their particular religious affiliation holds a majority in the country, adding up to over 150% of the total population before counting the other denominations. One of the rare things that most Lebanese religious leaders will agree on is to avoid a new general census, for fear that it could trigger a new round of denominational conflict.
The last official census was performed in 1932. Religion has traditionally been of overriding importance in defining the Lebanese population. Dividing state power between the religious denominations and sects, granting religious authorities judicial power, dates back to Ottoman times; the practice was reinforced during French mandate. This system of government, while intended as a compromise between sectarian demands, has caused tensions that still dominate Lebanese politics to this day; the Christian population majority is believed to have ended in the early 1960s, but government leaders would agree to no change in the political power balance. This led to Muslim demands of increased representation, the constant sectarian tension slid into violent conflict in 1958 and again in the grueling Lebanese Civil War, in 1975–90; the balance of power has
Sufism or Taṣawwuf, variously defined as "Islamic mysticism", "the inward dimension of Islam" or "the phenomenon of mysticism within Islam", is mysticism in Islam, "characterized... values, ritual practices and institutions" which began early in Islamic history and represents "the main manifestation and the most important and central crystallization of" mystical practice in Islam. Practitioners of Sufism have been referred to as "Sufis". Sufis have belonged to different ṭuruq or "orders" – congregations formed around a grand master referred to as a wali who traces a direct chain of successive teachers back to the Islamic prophet, Muhammad; these orders meet for spiritual sessions in meeting places known as khanqahs or tekke. They strive for ihsan, as detailed in a hadith: "Ihsan is to worship Allah as if you see Him. Sufis regard Muhammad as al-Insān al-Kāmil, the primary perfect man who exemplifies the morality of God, see him as their leader and prime spiritual guide. All Sufi orders trace most of their original precepts from Muhammad through his cousin and son-in-law Ali, with the notable exception of one.
Although the overwhelming majority of Sufis, both pre-modern and modern and are adherents of Sunni Islam, there developed certain strands of Sufi practice within the ambit of Shia Islam during the late medieval period. Although Sufis were opposed to dry legalism, they observed Islamic law and belonged to various schools of Islamic jurisprudence and theology. Sufis have been characterized by their asceticism by their attachment to dhikr, the practice of remembrance of God performed after prayers, they gained adherents among a number of Muslims as a reaction against the worldliness of the early Umayyad Caliphate and have spanned several continents and cultures over a millennium expressing their beliefs in Arabic and expanding into Persian and Urdu, among others. Sufis played an important role in the formation of Muslim societies through their missionary and educational activities. According to William Chittick, "In a broad sense, Sufism can be described as the interiorization, intensification of Islamic faith and practice."Despite a relative decline of Sufi orders in the modern era and criticism of some aspects of Sufism by modernist thinkers and conservative Salafists, Sufism has continued to play an important role in the Islamic world, has influenced various forms of spirituality in the West.
The Arabic word tasawwuf translated as Sufism, is defined by Western authors as Islamic mysticism. The Arabic term sufi has been used in Islamic literature with a wide range of meanings, by both proponents and opponents of Sufism. Classical Sufi texts, which stressed certain teachings and practices of the Quran and the sunnah, gave definitions of tasawwuf that described ethical and spiritual goals and functioned as teaching tools for their attainment. Many other terms that described particular spiritual qualities and roles were used instead in more practical contexts; some modern scholars have used other definitions of Sufism such as "intensification of Islamic faith and practice" and "process of realizing ethical and spiritual ideals". The term Sufism was introduced into European languages in the 18th century by Orientalist scholars, who viewed it as an intellectual doctrine and literary tradition at variance with what they saw as sterile monotheism of Islam. In modern scholarly usage the term serves to describe a wide range of social, cultural and religious phenomena associated with Sufis.
The original meaning of sufi seems to have been "one who wears wool", the Encyclopaedia of Islam calls other etymological hypotheses "untenable". Woollen clothes were traditionally associated with mystics. Al-Qushayri and Ibn Khaldun both rejected all possibilities other than ṣūf on linguistic grounds. Another explanation traces the lexical root of the word to ṣafā, which in Arabic means "purity"; these two explanations were combined by the Sufi al-Rudhabari, who said, "The Sufi is the one who wears wool on top of purity". Others have suggested that the word comes from the term ahl aṣ-ṣuffah, who were a group of impoverished companions of Muhammad who held regular gatherings of dhikr; these men and women who sat at al-Masjid an-Nabawi are considered by some to be the first Sufis. According to Carl W. Ernst the earliest figures of Sufism are Muhammad his companions. Sufi orders are based on the "bay‘ah", given to Muhammad by his Ṣahabah. By pledging allegiance to Muhammad, the Sahabah had committed themselves to the service of God.
Verily, those who give Bai'âh to you they are giving Bai'âh to Allâh. The Hand of Allâh is over their hands. Whosoever breaks his pledge, breaks it only to his own harm, whosoever fulfils what he has covenanted with Allâh, He will bestow on him a great reward. — Sufis believe that by giving bayʿah to a legitimate Sufi shaykh, one is pledging allegiance to Muhammad. It is through Muhammad that Sufis aim to learn about and connect with God. Ali is regarded as one of the
Secularism in Lebanon
The secularization process in Lebanon began under a 1920s French mandate, continuing under different governments since independence. Lebanon is a parliamentary democracy within an overall confessionalist framework. However, increasing numbers of Lebanese organize against this confessionalist system and for an installation of laïcité in the national government. In April 2010, Laïque Pride, a secular group co-founded by feminist Yalda Younes, called for “an end to the country's deep-rooted sectarian system” and for a “secular Lebanon.” Laïque Pride supports the enacting of a unified Civil Code for the Personal Status Law. At a march in May 2012 in which 600 participated, Laïque Pride issued demands, four concerning women’s rights and two concerning media freedom. Secular student clubs from Saint Joseph University, the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts, as the American University of Beirut participated in the march. On April 26, 2010, in response to Hizb ut-Tahrir's growing appeal in Beirut and demands to re-establish an Islamic caliphate, a Laïque Pride march was held in Beirut.
Three days 70,000 gathered Martyrs’ Square in Beirut in a march organized by Laïque Pride. In 2011, hundreds of protesters rallied in Beirut on 27 February in a march referred to as "The Laique pride", calling for reform of the country's confessional political system. At the same time, a peaceful sit-in took place in Saida. Student organizations have paid a key role in secular movements in Lebanon those at the American University of Beirut. One such secular origination is the Secular Club, a progressive student organization established after the 2008 conflict. According to former club president Joumana Talhouk, the goal of the club is “to create a political space where people from different social and sectarian backgrounds can unite under common principles.”Another organization is the far-left Red Oak Club. According to former president Theresa Sahyoun, the Red Oak Club and the Secular Club managed to find “common ground” and endorse the August 2016 Martyrs’ Square protest organized by Laïque Pride
Shia Islam is one of the two main branches of Islam. It holds that the Islamic prophet Muhammad designated Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor and the Imam after him, most notably at the event of Ghadir Khumm, but was prevented from the caliphate as a result of the incident at Saqifah; this view contrasts with that of Sunni Islam, whose adherents believe that Muhammad did not appoint a successor and consider Abu Bakr, who they claim was appointed Caliph through a Shura, i.e. community consensus in Saqifa, to be the first rightful Caliph after the Prophet. Unlike the first three Rashidun caliphs, Ali was from the same clan as Muhammad, Banu Hashim as well as being the prophet's cousin and being the first male to become Muslim. Adherents of Shia Islam are called Shias of Ali, Shias or the Shi'a as a collective or Shi'i or Shi'ite individually. Shia Islam is the second largest branch of Islam: as of the late 2000s, Shia Muslims constituted 10-15% of all Muslims. Twelver Shia is the largest branch of Shia Islam, with 2012 estimates saying that 85% of Shias were Twelvers.
Shia Islam is based on the Quran and the message of Muhammad attested in hadith, on hadith taught by their Imams. Shia consider Ali to have been divinely appointed as the successor to Muhammad, as the first Imam; the Shia extend this Imammah doctrine to Muhammad's family, the Ahl al-Bayt, some individuals among his descendants, known as Imams, who they believe possess special spiritual and political authority over the community and other divinely ordained traits. Although there are many Shia subsects, modern Shia Islam has been divided into three main groupings: Twelvers and Zaidis, with Twelver Shia being the largest and most influential group among Shia; the word Shia means followers and is the short form of the historic phrase shīʻatu ʻAlī, meaning "followers of Ali", "faction of Ali", or "party of Ali". Shi'a and Shiism are the forms used in English, while Shi'ite or Shiite, as well as Shia, refer to its adherents; the term for the first time was used at the time of Muhammad. At present, the word refers to the Muslims who believe that the leadership of the community after Muhammad belongs to Ali and his successors.
Nawbakhti states that the term Shia refers to a group of Muslims that at the time of Muhammad and after him regarded Ali as the Imam and Caliph. Al-Shahrastani expresses that the term Shia refers to those who believe that Ali is designated as the Heir and caliph by Muhammad and Ali's authority never goes out of his descendants. For the Shia, this conviction is implicit in the history of Islam. Shia scholars emphasize that the notion of authority is linked to the family of the prophets as the verses 3:33,34 shows: "Indeed, God chose Adam and Noah and the family of Abraham and the family of'Imran over the worlds – Descendants, some of them from others, and God is Hearing and Knowing." Shia Muslims believe that just as a prophet is appointed by God alone, only God has the prerogative to appoint the successor to his prophet. They believe God chose Ali to be Muhammad's successor, the first caliph of Islam; the Shias believe. Ali was Muhammad's first-cousin and closest living male relative as well as his son-in-law, having married Muhammad's daughter Fatimah.
Muhammad invited people to Islam in secret for three years. In the fourth year of Islam, when Muhammad was commanded to invite his closer relatives to come to Islam he gathered the Banu Hashim clan in a ceremony. At the banquet, he was about to invite them to Islam when Abu Lahab interrupted him, after which everyone left the banquet; the Prophet ordered Ali to invite the 40 people again. The second time, Muhammad invited them to join, he said to them, I offer thanks to God for His mercies. I praise God, I seek His guidance. I believe in Him and I put my trust in Him. I bear witness. God has commanded me to invite you to His religion by saying:. I, warn you, call upon you to testify that there is no god but God, that I am His messenger. O ye sons of Abdul Muttalib, no one came to you before with anything better than what I have brought to you. By accepting it, your welfare will be assured in the Hereafter. Who among you will support me in carrying out this momentous duty? Who will share the burden of this work with me?
Who will respond to my call? Who will become my vicegerent, my deputy and my wazir? Ali was the only one to answer Muhammad's call. Muhammad told him to sit down, saying, "Wait! Someone older than you might respond to my call." Muhammad asked the members of Banu Hashim a second time. Once again, Ali was the only one to respond, again, Muhammad told him to wait. Muhammad asked the members of Banu Hashim a third time. Ali was still the only volunteer; this time, Ali's offer was accepted by Muhammad. Muhammad "drew close, pressed him to his heart, said to the assembly:'This is my wazir, my successor and my vicegerent. Listen to him and obey his commands.'" In another narration, when Muhammad accepted Ali's eager offer, Muhammad "threw up his arms around the generous youth, pressed him to his bosom" and said, "Behold my brother, my vizir, my vicegerent... Let all listen to his words, obey him." Sir Richard Burton writes about the banquet in his 1898 book, saying, "It won for a proselyte worth a thousand sabers in the pers
Lebanese Maronite Christians
Lebanese Maronite Christians refers to Lebanese people who are adherents of the Maronite Church in Lebanon, the largest Christian denomination in the country. The Lebanese Maronite Christians are believed to constitute about 25% of the total population of Lebanon. Lebanon's constitution was intended to guarantee political representation for each of the nation's ethno-religious groups. Under the terms of an unwritten agreement known as the National Pact between the various political and religious leaders of Lebanon, the president of the country must be a Maronite; the cultural and linguistic heritage of the Lebanese people is a blend of both indigenous Phoenician elements and the foreign cultures that have come to rule the land and its people over the course of thousands of years. In a 2013 interview the lead investigator of the National Geographic Society's Genographic Project, Pierre Zalloua, pointed out that genetic variation preceded religious variation and divisions: "Lebanon had well-differentiated communities with their own genetic peculiarities, but not significant differences, religions came as layers of paint on top.
There is no distinct pattern that shows that one community carries more Phoenician than another."The followers of Jesus Christ first became known as "Christians" in the ancient Greek city of Antioch, the city became a center for Christianity - after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. According to Catholic tradition, the first Bishop was Saint Peter before his travels to Rome; the third Bishop was the Apostolic Father Ignatius of Antioch. Antioch became one of the five original Patriarchates after Constantine recognized Christianity; the Maronite Christianity derived its name and religious identity from Saint Maron whose followers migrated to the area of Mount Lebanon from their previous location of residence around the area of Antioch, establishing the nucleus of the Maronite Church. More Maron, a fourth-century monk and the contemporary and friend of St. John Chrysostom, left Antioch for the Orontes River to lead an ascetic life, following the traditions of Anthony the Great of the Desert and Pachomius.
Many of his followers lived a monastic lifestyle. Following the death of Maron in 410 AD, his disciples built a monastery in his memory and formed the nucleus of the Maronite Church; the Maronites held fast to the beliefs of the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD. When the Monophysites of Antioch slew 350 monks, the Maronites sought refuge in the mountains of Lebanon. Correspondence concerning the event brought the Maronites papal and orthodox recognition, solidified by Pope Hormisdas on February 10, AD 518. A monastery was built around the shrine of St. Maro after the Council of Chalcedon; the martyrdom of the Patriarch of Antioch in the first decade of the seventh century, either at the hands of Persian soldiers or local Jews, left the Maronites without a leader, a situation which continued because of the final and most devastating Byzantine–Sassanid War of 602–628. In the aftermath of the war, the Emperor Heraclius propagated a new Christological doctrine in an attempt to unify the various Christian churches of the east, who were divided over accepting the Council of Chalcedon.
This doctrine, was meant as a compromise between supporters of Chalcedon, such as the Maronites, opponents, such as the Jacobites. Monothelitism was endorsed by Pope Honorius I of the Catholic Church to win back the Monophysites. Instead, this new doctrine caused greater controversy, was declared a heresy at the Sixth Ecumenical Council in 680-681. Contemporary Greek and Arab sources, claimed that the Maronites accepted monothelitism, rejected the sixth council, continued to maintain a belief in the discredited monothelete doctrine for centuries, only moving away from monothelitism in the time of the crusades in order to avoid being branded heretics by the crusaders; the modern Maronite Church, rejects the assertion that the Maronites were monothelites apart from the rest of the Catholic Church. In 687 AD, the Emperor Justinian II agreed to evacuate many thousand Maronites from Lebanon and settle them elsewhere; the chaos and utter depression which followed led the Maronites to elect their first Patriarch, John Maroun, that year.
This, was seen as a usurpation by the Orthodox churches. Thus, at a time when Islam was rising on the borders of the Byzantine Empire and a united front was necessary to keep out Islamic infiltration, the Maronites were focused on a struggle to retain their independence against imperial power; this situation was mirrored in other Christian communities in the Byzantine Empire and helped facilitate the Muslim conquest of most of Eastern Christendom by the end of the century. The Maronites belong to the Maronite Syriac Church of Antioch is an Eastern Catholic Syriac Church that had affirmed its communion with Rome since 1180 A. D. although the official view of the Church is that it had never accepted either the Monophysitic views held by their Syriac neighbours, which were condemned in the Council of Chalcedon, or the failed compromise doctrine of Monothelitism. The Maronite Patriarch is traditionally seated in Bkerke, north of Beirut. Lebanese Maronite Christians are concentrated in the north Beirut, northern part of Mount Lebanon Governorate, southern part of North Governorate, parts of Beqaa Governorate and South Governorate.
The last Census in Leban