May 25 2020
“In my opinion the way Shias live, behave and interact with non-Shias should be propagated on the web (as well as off the web) to both Muslims and non-Muslims. I believe this is the first step in promoting our school of thought and clearing misconceptions. History can be written to please certain audiences; interpretation of Holy verses can differ. But good akhlaq and behaviour is universal, and this was the first goal of our Holy Prophet (to teach proper Akhlaq)”.
Brother Taqi Nakhid is a member of Shia community of Trinidad.
Would you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Asalamu-Alaikum. I begin in the name of Allah the beneficent, the most merciful and I thank Him for allowing us this opportunity. My name is Muhammad Husayn Taqi Nakhid, I was born on the island of Trinidad which is part of a twin-island country (the other island is Tobago) which is located a few kilometers north of Venezuela. After gaining an academic education to master’s degree level, I felt the need to understand Islamic teachings deeper and so I decided to travel abroad to fulfil that need.
Could you please tell us about your Islamic and scientific studies and religious activities?
Before starting on the path of Islamic education, I studied Computer science where I wrote software programs, developed websites and configured networks. Now that I’m in the hawza my current Islamic studies include the sciences of the Holy Quran, Tafsir and Hadith. Apart from these studies I’m striving to memorize the entire Quran as well as become a Qari inshaAllah.
How did you become interested in memorizing and reciting holy Quran? What is special about these activities in your point of view? How it has influenced your social and personal life?
My interest in learning about the Holy Quran came about when I was listening to a lecture online and the speaker referred to verse 30 of Surah Furqan, whereby the Holy Prophet (PBUH) complains to Allah (SAW) saying that His people have taken this great book and abandoned it, that verse really struck a nerve! It felt personal! In addition to this, as part of our introductory hawza classes we had to memorize a few short surahs, it was enlightening when we learnt the translation of these verses and actually felt like Allah (SAW) was speaking directly to us. This also brought me closer to the Holy book and I decided to continue memorizing ever after those classes finished. Activities such as reciting the Holy Quran and memorizing it has spiritual effects that to understand it you have to experience it, the book is such a miracle, that you feel your behaviour and outlook on life change when you reflect on its verses. It has really put my life into perspective, especially the memorizing part because every day you have to practice so basically every other activity revolves around that timetable and I also use those methods of memorizing for my other studies.
What are the most important teachings of the Holy Quran in your view?
The Holy Quran is filled with so many important teachings and stories that we can relate to, that its difficult to pinpoint which ones are THE most important, however for the sake of dialogue I would say in this Holy book the constant reminders of this world being temporary and the need to be prepared for the next life are lessons that we unfortunately take for granted.
You are an expert in computer science. How do you evaluate the available content about Shi’ism on the web? Please introduce us the best samples in this regard.
As you know, the world wide web is vast with content both positive and negative, the content that the average person browsing the internet is exposed to about Shi’ism more times that not is negative, this is due to misconceptions as well as the plots of our enemies. However, having said this I do think that a lot of great work is being done online to promote the school of Ahl al-Bayt (A.S) and there is potential for much more to be done, especially for the English speaking audience. Alhamdullilah websites such as al-islam.org and ahlulbayt.tv provide us with quality resources and content.
In your view what subjects, texts, multimedia and other contents about Shiism are needed on the web for Muslim and non-Muslims in Western countries and for introducing the real visage of Islam to the world?
In my opinion the way Shias live, behave and interact with non-Shias should be propagated on the web (as well as off the web) to both Muslims and non-Muslims. I believe this is the first step in promoting our school of thought and clearing misconceptions. History can be written to please certain audiences, interpretation of Holy verses can differ. But good akhlaq and behaviour is universal, and this was the first goal of our Holy Prophet (to teach proper Akhlaq). When we show people our lifestyle not just at sad gatherings or at the mosque, I think this would leave a lasting impact on hearts and minds and cause people to inquire more about who the Shia really are.
How much do you think young people in Western countries are ready to embrace Islam and How do Islamic teachings can improve the life in West?
I think most young people are drawn towards Islam because of the brotherhood/sisterhood that they see and cause them to embrace, people naturally like the feeling of being part of something or connected in someway, and Islam provides that avenue. The way the lifestyle has been created in the west, it’s a very fast-paced, work-oriented culture and can sometimes take away from placing importance on strengthening family ties or making spiritual gains, hence creating a gap. In this regard I think Islamic teachings bridges that gap and creates that balance in one’s lifestyle therefore improving all aspects.
Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts and express my opinions, please remember us in your duas. JazakAllah khair.