Living Islam

Questions and Answers on faith and practice .

 

Answers by

Hujjat-ul-Islam Sayed Mohammad Al-Musavi  

     

Foreword. 4

Namaz (The Ritual Prayers) 8

(B) Mustahab Prayer 68

(C) Doubts in Prayer 78

Supplications. 80

Wuzu/Tayammum/Ghusl (bath) 87

Fasting (Sawm) 96

Hajj and Umrah. 114

Khums. 131

Zakat 154

Taqlid. 157

Death Related Issues. 161

Medical Issues. 162

Quran. 166

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) 190

Taharat/Najasat 206

Hereafter 224

Major Sins. 229

Women’s Issues. 236

Marriage / Muta. 259

Divorce. 302

Dress and Clothing. 305

Music and Singing. 307

Eating and Drinking. 310

Will / Inheritance. 325

Sale / Purchase. 334

Business / Investment 338

Interaction in Social Life. 350

Miscellaneous. 360

Glossary of Islamic Terms. 464

Errata. 471

Corrigenda. 474


 

 

 


Foreword

In The name of Allah, The most Merciful, Most Compassionate and by the remembrance of His Last Proof (a.t.f.s.)

In the present world, Information Technology (IT) is given a lot of importance. To make information available to people in different fields is looked up with respect. Those who are involved in imparting information are accorded reverence and esteem.

The reason for the respect and esteem is that the accuracy of any decision depends upon the accuracy and treasure of the information available. Also, accurate information minimizes probabilities of errors. Therefore, availability of correct and accurate information is a foremost requirement for entering any arena of life.

As per the various verses of the Holy Quran, Allah, the High has created the world for the humans and the humans for His worship. The aim of the existence of humanity is the worship of Allah.

The meaning of worship is:

All those actions which are done as per the command of Allah are worship. Therefore, prayers and hajj done for ostentation are not considered as worship.

When Allah, the High ordered Shaitan, the accursed to prostrate in front of Hazrat Adam (a.s.), he (Shaitan) said, “O Allah! If You excuse me from this prostration; I “will worship You as nobody has worshipped You”. Allah replied to him, “Worship is that what I desire and not what you wish.”

Hence, whatever is done as per the command of Allah is worship.

Islam is a complete and comprehensive religion. The comprehensiveness available in Islam is not found in any religion of the world. This is because there is not a single moment in the life of man i.e. from his first breath till his last breath in this world, wherein Islam has failed to provide any command for his benefit. Islam has explained the simplest and the most ordinary things of life. Islam has provided direction for keeping and clipping nails, manners for entering and exiting the house, the etiquette for sitting on dining cloth, picking up a morsel and even chewing the morsel. Also, it has been explained where a person should look while having his food, while reciting prayers or while walking on the road... In brief, Islam has explained each and every aspect related to human life. There is not a single affair of humans which has been neglected by Islam.

On one hand, Islam has given the explanation of each and every necessity of human beings; on the other hand, the commands are in their simplest form so that they can be acted on very easily. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said: “I have brought simple and easy Shariat (laws).” Therefore, all the rules of holy Islam are easy to act upon. Also, Allah has not put any obligations on man which are beyond his capacity to fulfill.

The question before us is that - when Allah has not made anything binding on a human which is beyond his capacity and Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has brought simple and easy Shariat - then why is it difficult for us to act on the laws of Islam? And why is worship associated to few things?

The most important reason for the above is not being aware of the laws of Islam and the other significant reason being negligence. We have not paid heed to the fact that Islam has provided laws for each and every aspect of human life. This negligence is the cause of our not knowing the laws of Islam.

Islam has condemned heedlessness and ignorance. Islam has ordered people to refer to scholars for things about which they are ignorant. The scholars have been ordered to make the reality of things clear to those who inquire from them. Allah has never kept the earth void of His Proof so that people may contend that if they would have known the command they would have definitely acted on it. When the Imams (a.s.) were physically present among the people they explained the laws to them.

Now when Allah due to disobedience and carelessness of the people has hidden His Last Proof (may Allah hasten his reappearance), the Last Imam (a.s.) has made the scholars a proof of Allah upon the people so that people may inquire about their problems from them and their trustworthy representatives.

Allah, the High had sent Hazrat Hujjatul Islam Wal Muslemeen, al Haaj Aqae Sayyed Mohammad Musawi (May Allah shower His bounties on him) as a bounty to India. In reality, he awakened the people of India and imparted determination and enthusiasm to the youth. He stirred them to act on the truthful religion. He sparked the feelings of religiousness everywhere and brought upon the Shias of India a new era. Many religious organizations, schools and madrasas came into existence due to his guidance. Imaan Foundation, Najafi House and other organizations under it are the result of his leadership and foresight. There might not be any other similar organization which is serving the Shia community on such a large scale.

One of the effects of his efforts in bringing the people towards religion was that people sought replies from him about their daily problems of life. Inspite of his busy schedule, he made it a point to reply to the queries of the people. The system of question and answer from Hujjatul Islam is still continuing.

The book in your hand is a compilation of the questions put forth by people and the replies given by Hujjatul Islam Wal Muslimeen Sayyed Musawi. The questions dealt within the book pertain to many aspects of life. You will easily find replies to questions which are usually not dealt within other books of laws.

May Allah (s.w.t.) hasten the reappearance of Imam Al-Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) and include us among his sincere servants. May He give us taufeeq to act according to the commands of Allah. Aameen

May Allah (s.w.t.) protect Hujjatul Islam from calamities and jealousy of evil people and give him a Iong life and increase his Tawfeeq to serve the holy Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and their followers. Aameen.

Wassalam

Imaan Foundation, Najafi House, Mumbai.


Namaz (The Ritual Prayers)

Q1.         How should one pray in a bus or a train, while on a journey when one cannot stop at a place and face the Qibla?

A.           While travelling in a bus, train, or a plane, or any other vehicle one should always make an effort, as far as possible, to face the Qibla while offering Namaz. If he does not know on which side the Qibla is, then he should face that direction which according to his judgement, he feels is the direction of the Qibla. Also he should maintain facing the Qibla during the Namaz, that is if during the Namaz, the bus, train or other vehicle changes the direction of movement, then the person offering Namaz should also change the direction so as to face the Qibla at all times (of the Namaz). If he does not know, and is unable to have any idea at all about the direction of the Qibla, then he should face any direction for the Namaz. He may offer Namaz in 4 directions as a precaution (Ehtiyat).

Q2.         A person while praying in congregation dozes-off for a moment which makes his Namaz void. Should he continue till the end and again offer the Namaz from the beginning or should he leave the congregation?

A.           The person can leave the congregation (i.e. Jama’at) if he wishes to but if the person is praying in the first row; the person should leave without causing any disturbance.

Q3.         A Muslim lady asks: Kindly tell me if I can wear such clothing in Namaz through which the body is visible from outside in the absence of any Na-mahram? Is it necessary to cover oneself for Namaz even if any Na-mahram is not present?

A.           The body must not be visible through the covering, even if the woman is alone and without any onlooker. It is obligatory that she covers herself with a clothing such that her body is completely covered-except her face, her hands (i.e. the palms and fingers of it) and the feet from the ankles to the toes.

Q4.         A person joins the congregational prayers in the first Rak’at of Namaz by saying Takbeeratul Ehram and directly goes into Sajdah. Is it valid to do so?

A.           The person’s Namaz will be void because one cannot enter the Jama’at Namaz with Sajdah. One can enter with Qunoot or Ruku. Except in the last raka’t of Namaz, where the person who goes directly into Sajdah will stand up again and continue his Namaz without saying any Takbeer. This will be considered as his first Raka’t of Namaz.

Q5.         Will a person’s Namaz be valid if he does not say the Tasbihaat-e-Arba’a in the third and fourth Raka’t of Jama’at Namaz?

A.           If the person intentionally does not say it, his Namaz will be void but it will be valid if he forgets reciting the Tasbihaat-e-Arba’a.

Q6.         Would Namaz become ‘baatil’ (i.e. void) if a person recites intentionally loudly what is supposed to be read quietly, such as 2 Surahs of Namaz-e-Zohrayn, while praying individually?

A.           Yes, Namaz would become baatil (void) if the person recites loudly the 2 Surahs intentionally. Only the phrase ‘Bismillah’ can be read aloud at all times. But if it is done out of forgetfulness or ignorance, the prayer will be valid.

Q7.         What are the virtues of offering prayers in congregation?

A.           Offering Namaz-e-Jama’at carries great reward, especially morning and evening prayers. It has been narrated by Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) that if 10 people form a congregation, all the angels joined together cannot write the complete reward which Allah Ta’ala bestows on the congregation.

Q8.         A person sleeps late in the night knowing fully that he will not be able to get up for morning prayers. Would it be permissible for him to sleep?

A.           If the person intentionally remains awake, unnecessarily, for instance, by watching a TV programme or movie, it will not be permissible for him to go to sleep when it is certain that his sleeping will make him miss the morning prayers. Since it is haram to deliberately forego the Namaz. Even remaining awake till late in the night will not be permissible for such a person.

Q9.         Would it be correct to pray for one’s wishes while crying for Imam Husain (a.s.)?

A.           While crying, the heart is expressing one’s humaneness, thus, taking a person nearer to Allah, so it is appropriate to pray for wishes while crying. The best prayer would be praying for the earliest re-appearance of Imam-e-Zaman (a.s.) for avenging the blood of Imam Husain (a.s.) and that of the martyrs of Karbala.

Q10.       Would Namaz be considered valid where the person’s long hair prevents the forehead from contacting the place of prostration?

A.           In such a case, the sajdah is not correct and Namaz would be considered void. The forehead must touch the place of prostration. If hair or cap comes in between, the person should remove the hair or cap while prostrating. Hair which prevents correct prostration should be shortened.

Q11.       A person joins the congregational prayers, when the congregation is standing for the 3rd or 4th Rak’at, and intentionally goes into Ruku’ with them without reciting Surah Al-Hamd. Will his Namaz be considered valid?

A.           The Namaz will be baatil (void). If the person doesn’t recite Surah Al-Hamd unintentionally and completes his Namaz, it would be valid. Without completing the Surah Al-Hamd, the person should not join the congregation even if he were to lag behind.

Q12.       Will Namaz be considered valid where a woman keeps her hands on her breast in the standing position?

A.           Only the women are permitted to keep their hands on their breasts in the standing position of Namaz. Hands should not be crossed but placed separately. It is one of the recommended acts (Mustahabbat) of Namaz for women.

Q13.       Is it correct to bend the toes of the feet during the prostration (Sajdah) of Namaz?

A.           Bending the toes completely during prostration would make the Namaz void. The correct method is to touch the tips or the sides of the toes.

Q14.       Can a person bypass a mosque at the time of Namaz to go to another mosque?

A.           If it does not constitute an insult or disrespect, the person can go to another mosque. In case of congregation commencing Namaz, it is greatly recommended that he should not leave the place. Similarly, during congregational prayer, one should not offer Namaz separately (Furada).

Q15.       During time of Namaz-e-Zohrayn (noon prayers), a person goes out of town on a journey. There is still time left for Namaz-e-Zohrayn. Will he offer Namaz-e-Qasr or complete Namaz?

A.           The person should pray Qasr. In the event that the prayer time passes and his Namaz was missed during its time at home, even if he goes out of town, he shall offer complete Qaza Namaz. When the person returns from a journey, he will offer the Qaza Namaz of the journey as Qasr. People are not permitted to make their Namaz Qaza on any journey or otherwise.

Q16.       Will it become incumbent upon a person to offer Namaz-e-Aayat when he receives the news of sun or moon eclipses observed at places sharing the same day and night with one’s village or city?

A.           No the condition for Namaz-e-Aayat is that it should be offered at the place where the eclipse has been sighted.

Q17.       During Namaz, the child picks up the ‘Muhr’ (the clay-tablet used for resting the forehead in prostration) and walks away. What should the person do?

A.           If the place of prostration is made of pure stone or covered by a straw-mat, the person can do Sajadah on it. If there is a carpet made of wool, cotton or plastic, the person cannot do Sajdah on them. In the latter case, the person should search in his pocket for a piece of wood or paper. In case it is not available, the person can do Sajdah on a part of his sleeve or clothes that he is wearing. Ultimately if that too is not feasible, the person should do Sajdah on the back of his one hand or the thumb-nails of his hands.

Q18.       Under what circumstances can a Muslim discontinue his Namaz?

A.           The person can discontinue his Namaz if his life or another person’s life is in danger. Also if one realizes that Wuzu had not been done and when there is time, discontinuation can take place. In the case that a person realizes that his clothes are unclean (Najis), if one can remove it such that the necessary condition is observed, the person should remove it. However, if a woman recalls that her clothes are Najis and she cannot remove it, she should discontinue her Namaz.

Q19.       Would Namaz be valid where a person intentionally does not recite the 3 takbeers at the end of Namaz?

A.           Yes, even intentionally not reciting the 3 takbeers at the end of Namaz will not affect the Namaz. The Namaz will be considered valid since it is not part of Namaz. Namaz ends with Salam (salutations). The 3 takbeers are like ‘Ta’qeeb’ (the prayers recited after the Namaz).

Q20.       Can you say a Dua in Qunoot other than in Arabic (i.e. in your own words) in a Wajib (obligatory) Namaz?

A.           In a Wajib (obligatory) Namaz one can say Dua in Qunoot. He can ask Allah Ta’ala anything in his own language.

Q21.       A Mu’min learns that the direction of Qibla which he is facing for offering the Namaz for the last three years was not the correct one. What should he do?

A.           If the Mu’min investigated properly and later he learnt that it is incorrect his prayer would be valid. If the true Qibla is not more than 90 degrees away then his Namaz would be valid. Otherwise, he will have to offer the Qaza (Remedy) of it again.

Q22.       Is it required for a woman to recite Fajr, Maghrib and Isha prayers loudly?

A.           No, it is not compulsory like it is for men but she can, if she is sure no “Namahram” (one other than a close relative) is likely to hear her voice.

Q23.       Can a woman offer Namaz standing ahead of men?

A.           Namaz is not invalidated, but it is better if she offers behind the men.

Q24.       Can one recite Salawat or Isteghfar in any part of Wajib (obligatory) Namaz?

A.           Yes. One can recite and later continue with the Namaz.

Q25.       Is it wrong to pray in the dark?

A.           It is not wrong. It may help increase one’s concentration. Or one may not like to disturb others while performing night prayers. If it helps one to have greater attention and sincerity during Namaz, it may even be preferable. Yet, it is not Mustahab to pray in the dark.

Q26.       Can a Mo’min, whose house is near the mosque, pray at home?

A.           Except out of necessity and emergency, the Mo’min should offer all his Namaz at the mosque. If a thing is worth Rs. 50, would you sell it for Re. 1? At home, there is Sawaab of only one Namaz but the Namaz offered in the mosque carries 100 times more Sawaab. According to a Riwayat, there is no Namaz in the neighbourhood of a mosque but inside it.

Q27.       How should a businessman offer his Namaz & fasting when he regularly makes trips outside where he cannot stay for 10 days?

A.           If the businessman goes now & then, on a regular or irregular basis, he will offer complete (Tamaam) Namaz & observe his Wajib (obligatory) fasting.

Q28.       Can one offer Namaz while travelling in a lorry?

A.           One cannot offer Namaz while travelling in a lorry, train or any vehicle since it is necessary that the people of prostration should be static. Only when the situation is such that, throughout the journey there is no possibility of the vehicle stopping and the time of Namaz is bound to lapse before the vehicle stops at a place, one can offer the Namaz in the vehicle.

Q29.       Is it permissible to play taped Azaan even though persons may be present who can give the prayer-call?

A.           It is permissible provided it is played at the right time of prayer.

Q30.       Will Namaz be considered valid where the person doing prostration has long toe-nails touching the floor?

A.           Namaz will not be valid if only the toe-nails touch the floor in prostration and not the toes. A true Muslim should not be careless about personal hygiene such that his nails remain uncut for so long.

Q31.       Is it permitted to place one’s forehead during Sajdah on written paper?

A.           In the absence of proper material for Sajdah, one can use written or printed paper, provided, the paper is not painted or coloured, because that makes a layer on the paper.

Q32.       Can a person wear a gold-plated watch during Namaz?

A.           Men are not allowed to wear anything of gold or gold plated, not only during prayers, but at all times. This rule does not apply to women.

Q33.       Can a person wear a belt or watchstrap made from snake-skin?

A.           Namaz will be rendered invalid. Even one hair of an animal which is not edible, is not allowed to be carried during prayer.

Q34.       How does one know that the time of Maghrib Namaz has arrived?

A.           A redness appears on the eastern horizon after sunset and it is followed by darkness. When this redness disappears in the sky over one’s head, then it indicates the beginning time for the Maghrib Namaz.

Q35.       What should one do in case of discovering seminal discharge in the morning and there being insufficient time for taking a bath for morning prayers?

A.           When the time left for a prayer is so little that after having ghusl (bath), the whole prayer cannot be finished in time, the person should perform tayammum and then offer his prayers. And the person will offer his later prayers after having ghusl (bath).

Q36.       Some people pray very fast. They don’t even get up after Ruku and go to Sajdah immediately. Is the Namaz right or not?

A.           After “Ruku” it is “Wajib (obligatory) “to stand up before going to Sajdah. It is wrong to go to Sajdah before one stands up straight after Ruku. The Namaz will be considered as (baatil).

               Five things are compulsory (wajib) for ruku:

(1)           To bow upto the extent that your finger tips touch the knees.

(2)           To recite “Subhana rabbial azeemay wa bay hamde” once or 3 times “subhaanallah” i.e. “zikr-e-ruku”. This can also be any other “zikr”.

(3)           To remain steady, and stationary in the bowing position whilst reciting the “zikr-e-ruku”.

(4)           Standing up completely from ruku.

(5)           Standing steadily for a moment before going for sajdah.

               Hence for those who do not stand before going to sajdah will miss two wajib (obligatory) no. 4 and no. 5.

Q37.       Is it wajib (obligatory) to recite Salawaat when one hears the name of Mohammad (s.a.w.a.) during wajib (obligatory) or sunnat (recommended) Namaz?

A.           It is “mustahab” (recommended) to recite Salawaat whenever you hear Mohammad (s.a.w.a.)’s name or whenever any one gives a call even during wajib (obligatory) Namaz. Hence one should recite Salawaat and then continue the Namaz from where he stopped.

Q38.       If someone prays “furada” (separately) in a jamaat Namaz (congregation). What is the position of Namaz for those in the Jamaat?

A.           There is no harm at all for those in the Jamaat Namaz. If two persons adjoining each other are praying “Furada” then they will separate two parts of the line of Jamaat. But if two people adjoining each other are in the first line of the Jamaat then those who are praying away from the Pesh Namaz (person leading the prayer) will be separated from the Imaam’s Jamaat. Those who pray in the second or third lines or further, their Namaz is not effected even if any number of people pray furada because their connection is not broken with the Jamaat. Travellers when praying “Qasr” Namaz generally leave after praying two rakats; it has no effect on the Jamaat Namaz of others in the congregation. If however you are sure that you have been separated from the Jamaat then you will recite Al-hamd & the next Surah.

Q39.       Where should one be looking during the Namaz?

A.           In qiyam (standing), look at the place of prostration; in ruku between the two feet, while prostrating, between the two palms and during tashahhud, between the two folded knees. Looking around would make Namaz void.

Q40.       Would Namaz be valid where the clothes worn by the person has been bought from money who’s Khums has not been paid?

A.           If clothes have been bought by money on which Khums is due and it is not paid, Namaz is void and unlawful. But if the clothes are bought before the date of paying Khums is due, one can perform Namaz with them.

Q41.       Can a person on whom ghusl (bath) ‘Mass-e-Mayyat’ (for touching the corpse) is incumbent, offer his daily prayers with Wuzu alone?

A.           He cannot offer Namaz before performing ghusl (bath) “Mass-e-Mayyat”. It is obligatory to perform ghusl (bath) when a person touches a corpse, after it has become cold and before it has been given the “Ghusl-e-Mayyat”.

Q42.       When we say “Aameen” at the end of supplications (Dua), why can’t we say after Surah al-Hamd in congregational prayers?

A.           To say “aameen” (May He will it) at the end of yours or another person’s supplication is appropriate. But in a congregational prayer, if it is said intentionally as part of the Namaz, the Namaz will become void since it is an innovation (Bid’at). Imam Mohammad al Baqir (a.s.) said in a tradition: “Do not say after qira’at (Ameen). You may say if you want Alhamdo Lillah Rabbil Aalameen”. Another tradition from Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) is that when one mo’min asked him: “Shall I say after Al-Hamd (Ameen)?” Imam (a.s.) said: “No”. Both these Riwayats and others also are mentioned in the famous book Wasail al-Shia of al-Hur Al-Aameli. The reason of not allowing Ameen in Namaaaz is clear from other Riwayat in which Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: “Indeed Christians used to say (Ameen)”. It has been recommended to say “Alhamdo-lillahe-Rabbil-Aalameen”. You may say “Aameen” at the end of ‘Qunoot’ (praying with raised hands in the second Rak’at) but not after Surah Al-Hamd.

Q43.       What should a person do who does not know whether the Namaz he missed on a journey should be offered completely or halved (Qasr)?

A.           If the person had stayed for 9, or less than 9 days, he will offer all the 4 ra’kat Namaz in half. And if the person has stayed for 10, or more than 10 days, he will offer complete Namaz for all the days plus 9 days of Qasr Namaz.

Q44.       Is it necessary that there should be a curtain between a Namahram (one other than a close relative) male and female while performing Namaz?

A.           It is not necessary. When people go for Hajj or to any of the shrines of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), they do not see any strict segregation. It is done only to avoid the chances of sin which arises from inter-mingling. For the same reason, it is better that in an open room or hall, men should pray ahead and women behind.

Q45.       Is it necessary that while saying Takbeeratul Ehram or wherever “Allaho Akbar” is said in the Namaz, one should raise both hands?

A.           It is mustahab (recommended) to raise both hands while saying “Allaho Akbar” during Namaz. But it is not Wajib (obligatory). There are two ways of doing it. (1) By making the thumbs of both hands reach upto the ears, and (2) up to the neck.

Q46.       Can a person suffering from “Burs” (leucoderma) lead a congregational prayer?

A.           The person suffering from “Burs” can be Imaam-e-Jama’at (congregational leader). Only diseases which affect mobility of the body and cause recurrent urinary or stomach disorders can prevent a person from leading congregational prayers.

Q47.       Can one offer Namaz behind a person who is praying a “Mustahab” (recommended) Namaz?

A.           No. The Namaz of both the Imam (the leader) and Ma’mun (the follower) should be of obligatory nature.

Q48.       In Namaz can a person change Niyyat? If he is praying Zohr Namaz and suddenly remembers in the First Rak’at or 2nd Rak’at that his Namaz-e-Subh was Qaza, so can he change his Niyyat from Zohr to Subh Namaz? If yes, then how is it possible? I think Niyyat is Rukn of Namaz and if one adds or subtracts Rukn knowingly or unknowingly, his Namaz is invalid, please elaborate the matter.

A.           In this case his Niyyat of Namaz will not be disturbed, which means he is not actually cancelling his Niyyat of praying Namaz. The only change is the name of Namaz will change. The original niyyat of praying Namaz still holds good. The example you have mentioned is one of the examples in which you can change the Niyyat of Namaz. Since you know that Namaz-e-Subh was Qaza on you, you can change the Niyyat. Thereafter you can pray the Namaz of the time itself.

Q49.       It is permissible to do Sajdah (prostration) on paper but not on glass, although both are not natural elements and tempered by fire. Why this difference?

A.           Although both are manufactured items, Islam has permitted us to do Sajdah on paper, as well as pure sand, natural stone or wood, leaf but not on glass. We have a “nass” (clear verdict) regarding paper’s permissibility from Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), narrated from Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). One reason could be that paper to a large extent, retains the nature of its origin that is wood and leaves. Metals like silver, gold, copper etc. are also not permissible for sajdah.

Q50.       Will the traveller offer complete or halved prayers in the course of the journey in which the person has intention of staying for 10 days upon reaching the destination?

A.           The traveller will offer “Qasr” (halved) prayers in the course of the journey, and when he reaches the place where he intends to stay for 10 days or more, his Namaz will be complete.

Q51.       What should be the correct distance between the two feet while standing for prayers?

A.           It is recommended to have the gap between the two feet equivalent to one span of one’s hand. It is permissible if the gap is more or less.

Q52.       Should a congregational Namaz or a person praying individually abandon Namaz if it starts raining?

A.           The person or a congregation cannot abandon the Namaz. Rain is not fire such that it endangers life. The Namaz should be completed under the rainy conditions.

Q53.       Can one offer one’s Namaz separately at the time of commencement of congregational prayers since the head of the congregation is not a just person?

A.           The person cannot offer his Namaz separately during the congregational prayers. It can be performed after the congregational prayer concludes. The person in such a situation should perform his Namaz in the congregation with the intention of furada (individual) prayer.

Q54.       What should a person do if he mistakenly completes Namaz-e-Maghrib by reciting salaam after the 2nd rak’at?

A.           If the person remembers his mistake after reciting the salaam, he should get up and complete the Namaz. He should then do 2 Sajadah-e-Sahw.

Q55.       Is it necessary to wear a cap while performing the Namaz?

A.           There is increased sawab (reward) for the one praying. Although wearing an Ammama (turban) is better, there is nothing wrong if the person does not cover his head while praying. It is not obligatory.

Q56.       Is it permissible to use a sajdagah for prostration, which has some inscription or verses of the Holy Qur’an or writing or the outline of a mosque on it?

A.           Yes. It is permissible.

Q57.       If a person either on expedition or on service resides in a region such as North or South Pole, where more than 24 hours is either day or night, how can one perform fasting or Namaz in such a region?

A.           For one who lives in a Polar region, it is obligatory on the person to migrate to a place where one can easily observe fasting and offer prayers.

               If possible, the person may follow the time-table of the nearest region having normal days and nights. Otherwise, on the basis of precaution, the person should offer daily prayers five times in every 24 hours and observe fast consecutively for twelve-hour durations every twenty-four hours, for 30 days in a year.

Q58.       Is it permissible to join a congregational prayer being lead by an Imam-e-Jama’at of the Zaidiya sect?

A.           Yes, provided your intention (niyyat) should be that you are reciting this prayer individually (furadah), and the recitation of Surah “Al-Fateha” followed by another Surah is obligatory (wajib (obligatory)).

Q59.       After doing Ghusl-e-Jumah, is it necessary to offer Namaz-e-Jumah, before performing acts, which require Wuzu?

A.           It is not necessary to offer Namaz-e-Jumah before performing acts, which require Wuzu. The person can for instance, offer Namaz before Namaz-e-Jumah after doing Ghusl-e-Jumah.

Q60.       Can a person who has offered his Friday prayers also offer his Zohr Namaz in congregation?

A.           The person can offer his Zohr Namaz in congregation with the intention of seeking Allah’s Pleasure (Qurbatan Elallaah).

Q61.       It is not necessary to touch the toes on bare ground while prostrating in Namaz. So why can’t a person wear shoes in Namaz when he is permitted to wear socks and stand on a covered ground?

A.           There are shoes whose front portions are not covered, allowing the big toes to touch the floor, which can be worn during Namaz. Other than this, it is not permissible to wear other types of shoes during Namaz. One probable reason could be that removing footwear is considered to be a sign of humility, which is one of the main parts of submission before one’s Creator, Nourisher and Sustainer.

Q62.       Would Namaz be valid, where the person does not recite “Allaho Akbar’ other than the ‘Takbeeratul Ehraam’?

A.           The Namaz is valid. Except ‘Takbeeratul Ehraam’, which is obligatory, all other ‘Takbeer’ (recitation of ‘Allaho Akbar’) are only recommendatory in nature.

Q63.       Is it permissible to offer complete Namaz or qasr Namaz anywhere inside the cities of Makkah and Medina if one’s stay is for less than ten days?

A.           It is permissible.

Q64.       During Friday prayer’s sermons, can one recite supplications or Namaz?

A.           It is not permissible to offer Namaz during the course of the sermons of Friday prayer. It is Ehtiyat to listen to the sermons with care.

Q65.       If the Pesh Namaz (leader of a congregational prayer) becomes ill and cannot continue the Namaz, what should be done?

A.           One believer from the congregation, who has all the qualifications of leading the congregational prayer, should step forward and continue the Namaz. If the life of the leader of the congregational prayer is in danger, Namaz can be left incomplete to take care of him. Depending on the need, if, however, one person can take care of him, it would be haram for others to abandon the Namaz.

Q66.       How many people are necessary to offer Namaz in congregation (including the pesh Namaz) for: a) daily Namaz, b) Namaz during unusual natural events, c) Namaz for the dead and d) Friday prayers?

A.           For Friday prayers if five persons (including the Pesh Namaz) are present congregation would be valid. For offering other congregational prayers, it would be sufficient if at least two persons (including the Pesh Namaz) are present.

Q67.       Is it necessary to know all the rules about tackling doubts during Namaz for a person who offers his Namaz individually?

A.           It is Wajib (obligatory) (necessary) for a person to know all the rules about Namaz if he offers it individually, especially those, which are absolutely necessary.

Q68.       Would Namaz be valid if the person while prostrating does not bring all the seven parts of his body to rest on the ground?

A.           If the person intentionally does not rest all the seven parts on the ground, his Namaz will be invalid. But if it is done out of physical compulsions, it would be okay.

Q69.       Is it permissible to raise one’s voice while saying “Allaho Akbar” or make a sign with one’s hand during Namaz to draw somebody’s attention to something?

A.           If making a sign with one’s hand does not change the form of prayers and if “Allaho Akbar” is uttered with the object of recitation, and simultaneously the voice is raised in order to draw another person’s attention to something, there is no harm in it. However, if a person utters a word, consisting of one or more letter like “Oh” intentionally, though it may carry no meaning, his prayers will become void. Although, there is no harm in coughing, belching or sighing during prayers.

Q70.       Can one recite Surah Al-Hamd instead of Tasbihaat-e-Arba in the third and fourth units (Rak’ats) of Namaz?

A.           It is permissible and on the basis of obligatory precaution, it’s “Bismillah” should be recited in a low voice.

Q71.       Is Friday prayer obligatory for women and old men?

A.           Friday prayer is not obligatory for old, sick and blind men, women, travellers and those staying more than 11 kms. away from the nearest place where Friday prayers are being held.

Q72.       Is it permissible to offer Namaz on a sloping land?

A.           If the place, where the forehead of the person offering Namaz is rested is higher than four joined fingers, from the place of his toes, his Namaz is void. On the basis of precaution, even if it is done by mistake, the person should offer the prayers again after completing it.

Q73.       Can Eid prayers be offered individually?

A.           Yes. During the present times, when the Holy Imam (a.s.) is in occultation, Eid prayers are recommended and can be offered individually.

Q74.       How should a woman lead a congregation of women in prayers?

A.           If the Imam (the congregational leader) and the followers are both women, the obligatory precaution is that all of them should stand in a row and the Imam should not stand ahead of others.

Q75.       Can a woman be hired to offer lapsed prayers of a dead man?

A.           A woman can be hired to offer lapsed prayers of a dead man and in the matter of offering prayers loudly or in low voice, she should act according to her own obligation.

Q76.       Can a person recite Surah al-Hamd and Surah in a congregational prayer?

A.           It is necessary for a follower in a congregational prayer to recite all the things of the prayers himself, except Surah al-Hamd and Surah. In the first and second unit of midday and afternoon prayers, it is recommended that the follower should utter some recital (e.g. Subhanallah) And if he does not hear the voice of the Imam in the first and second unit of the dawn, dusk and night prayers, it is recommended that he should recite Surah Hamd and Surah in a low voice. But if he recites them loudly by mistake there is no harm in it.

Q77.       Offering congregational prayers is a highly recommended act but showing-off one’s piety is a major sin. So am I not justified in abstaining from congregational prayers because of fear of committing ‘Riya’ (simulation)?

A.           If a person intends to attend a congregational prayer for the sake of Allah and does so, he need not suspect his own intention and deprive himself of the unlimited rewards of congregational prayers.

               In the first place, the possibility of simulation does not invalidate prayer. Moreover, this kind of fear is one of the devices of Satan aimed at restraining a believer from virtuous deeds.

Q78.       Is it true that a traveller cannot shorten his prayers if he undertakes the journey against the wishes of his parents?

A.           If the travelling is obligatory (e.g. fulfilling a permissible promise or pilgrimage to Makkah) the objection of the parents is not relevant and the prayers should be shortened on the journey. But if the travelling is not obligatory and the person is performing an unlawful act, hence he/she should offer complete prayers on the journey.

Q79.       How should a person, whose forehead is covered by a wound, offer prayers?

A.           If there is a sore or something on the forehead of a person he should, if possible, offer prostration on the healthy part of his forehead. And if this is not possible he should dig the earth and place the sore in the cavity and as much of the healthy part of his forehead on the earth as is sufficient for prostration. If the sore or would has covered the entire forehead, he should on the basis of precaution perform prostration with one of the two sides of forehead and chin.

Q80.       Non Shia Muslims assert that turning one’s back to the Qibla and speaking during Namaz (prayer) is allowed on the basis of narratives in “Sahih” of Bukhari and Muslim, wherein Abu Hurayra relates how Zolyadain (Adb-o-Amr ibn Nazlah) reminded the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) when he forgot that it was a three or four rak’at (unit) prayer and moved away after completing two rak’at. Is this narrative authentic?

A.           The Litmus-test of a narrative’s authenticity is that it should be in harmony with Qur’an’s directives. And Allah informs us that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was safeguarded from forgetfulness: “We will make you recite so you shall not forget”.[1] When Allah affirms that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is not forgetful, then we reject the works of all those who say to the contrary. Next, history informs us that Zolyadain was martyred in the second year of migration in the battle of Badr and Abu Hurayra came to Medina almost five years after Zolyadain’s death.

               You may also judge the credibility of Abu Hurayra as well as the claims to authenticity of these “Sahih” books by what Bukhari quotes in his “Sahih”[2] and what Ahmad ibn Hanbal quotes in his “Musnad”.[3] Both have related that when Abu Hurayra was asked whether he heard what he just quoted from the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) himself, he said: “No, I didn’t hear it from the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), in truth it is from Abu Hurayra’s sack.”

Q81.       What are the main differences between the doctrines of Mu’tazilites and Shi’ites?

A.           Some of the main differences between the doctrines of Mu’tazilites and Shi’ites are as follows:

a)            Mu’tazilites upholds the absolute supremacy of reason while Shi’ites accept the authority of reason with the conditions that it should be guided by the dictates of revelation.

b)            The Shi’ite believes in “Shafa’ah” (intercession) while the Mu’tazilites refutes it in the case of committers of major sins.

c)            The Shi’ite believes that the Imams (a.s.) are divinely appointed by the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) to guide the community in both religious and secular matters. Mu’tazilites, on the other hand, regards the Imam as the head of the community in administrative, military and judicial matters, stripping him of his role of spiritual leadership.

d)            Shi’ites believes in deriving judgements through rational interpretation of existing facts while Mu’tazilites uses ‘Qiyas’ (analogy) in deriving judgements.

Q82.       Can a carpet or ‘Mohr’ (clay tablets for prostration) which has been endowed in a mosque be taken to a Husayniyah (religious place) adjacent to it for offering prayers?

A.           The carpet or ‘Mohr’ which has been endowed in a mosque cannot be taken to the Husayniyah even though it may be near the mosque.

Q83.       What is the position of my prayers wherein the private parts are accidentally exposed while offering prayers?

A.           If a person realizes while offering prayers that his private parts are visible, what is more apparent is that his prayer is void.

Q84.       Is it necessary to offer prayers facing all four directions if one cannot locate the Qibla?

A.           If a person does not possess any means to locate the direction of Qibla, or in spite of his efforts he cannot form an idea about it, it is sufficient for him to offer his prayers facing any one direction. And the recommended precaution is that if he has sufficient time at his disposal, he should offer the same prayers four times, facing every one of the four directions once.

Q85.       Should a person first place his hands on the ground or his knees while going into prostration?

A.           While going into prostration it is recommended that a man should first place his hands (palms) on the ground and a woman should first place her knees on the ground.

Q86.       Does moving hands and feet during prayers invalidate prayers?

A.           When a person is reciting obligatory things in the prayers, his body should be still. And when he wishes to go a little backward or forward or to move a little towards right or left, he should not recite anything at that time.

Q87.       What is the order regarding prayers which are offered before its time or after its prescribed time has passed?

A.           If a person realizes that he has offered the prayers before its time set in, he should offer that prayer again when it is due. And if he offers it and later realizes that its prescribed time has passed before he could offer even one rak’at he should offer it’s Qaza (lapsed prayer) again. Except, of course, when a person does not offer Maghrib (dusk) or Isha (night) prayers till midnight he should on the basis of obligatory precaution, offer the prayers before the dawn prayers, without making an intention of offering the two prayers in time or as lapsed ones.

Q88.       Can a person perform prostration on a carpet if there is danger to his life?

A.           In case the person can perform prostration on a mat, marbled floor or any other thing on which it is lawful to perform prostration, he/she should perform prostration on it, if there is no hardship involved. In that event the person should not perform prostration on a carpet or any other similar thing. But if there is danger from an enemy and there is no alternative, the person can perform prostration on a carpet.

Q89.       Is a traveller, who offers complete prayers and recollects after the time is over, required to offer qaza (remedy) of that prayer?

A.           If a traveller offers a complete 4 rak’at prayers and recollects after the prescribed time is over, it is not obligatory for him to offer qaza of that prayer. If he recollects within the time prescribed for the prayer, he should offer shortened prayers.

Q90.       Can one turn the intention from ‘Qaza’ (lapsed) prayers to ‘Ada’ (in time) prayers?

A.           It is not permissible to turn one’s intention from Qaza to the prayers which are offered within the prescribed time.

Q91.       Is the prayer, which was delayed intentionally and offered with tayammum, when its time was coming to an end, valid?

A.           The prayer which was delayed intentionally and offered with tayammum when it’s time was coming to an end is valid but the person has committed a sin and it is better that the prayers be re-offered.

Q92.       What should a person do, who has offered prayer with dress made impure by the wetness of an unbeliever, without being aware of the rule?

A.           The prayers of a person offered with dress made impure by the wetness of an unbeliever on account of not knowing the rule is void and he should offer Qaza of the prayers if its time has lapsed.

Q93.       Is it necessary to know to whom one is saluting while reciting the Salams at the end of the Namaz? (i.e. Assalamo Alaika ayyohan Nabiyyo wa rahmatullahe wa Barakaato, Assalamo Alainaa wa ala ebaadillahis Salehin, Assalamo Alaikum wa Rahmatullahe Wa Barakaato)

A.           It is better to know the meaning of all the things one recites in the course of a Namaz, including Salam. But the person, who recites the Salams at the end of the Namaz, without knowing its meaning, has discharged his obligations and his Namaz is valid.

Q94.       Is it necessary to offer prayers when one enters a mosque?

A.           It is recommended that a person who enters a mosque should offer a two-unit prayer as a mark of reverence to the mosque and it also suffices if an obligatory or recommended prayer is offered.

Q95.       What does Islam say about reciting Azaan in a musical style?

A.           If Azaan and Iqamah are recited in a rhythmical way so that it becomes music i.e. if he pronounces Azaan and Iqamah like professional singers who sing in pleasure parties to amuse the people it is unlawful and if it does not become music it is abominable.

Q96.       Should a person, whose profession requires him to travel for work, offer shortened or complete prayers when he travels for another purpose to the same place?

A.           Persons who reside at one place and work at another (in connection with business, education, etc.) should offer complete prayers. However, if he travels for another purpose like visiting a relative, for instance, he should offer shortened prayers.

Q97.       What are the prayer orders for a person who travels to take pilgrims to Makkah or other holy places?

A.           If the profession of the person who takes pilgrims to Makkah or other holy places is travelling, he should offer complete prayers. And if his profession is not travelling and he travels only during Hajj days for the purpose of courier ship, the obligatory precaution is that he should offer shortened as well as complete prayers.

Q98.       Does looking at the Holy Qur’an or a ring invalidate prayers?

A.           Looking at the writing of the Holy Qur’an or a ring during prayers is undesirable but does not invalidate the prayers. In fact every such act which disturbs attention and humility is undesirable.

Q99.       Is it wrong to offer prayers at a place where people are walking here and there?

A.           It is not valid to offer prayers at a place where there is no surety of completing the prayers. However, if people are walking here or there it is recommended to place something such as a string or stick before his place of prostration.

Q100.     Are we allowed to pray Namaz-e-Zohr, before the commencement of Friday sermon, confirming the due time of Namaz-e-Zohr which falls earlier during some seasons?

A.           No. Friday prayer is offered in place of Namaz-e-Zohr. According to Ayatullah Seestani, Friday prayer consists of two Rak’at like Fajr prayers. The difference between these two prayers is that Namaz-e-Jumah has two sermons before it. Namaz-e-Jumah is Wajib-e-Takhiri which means that we have an option to offer Jumah prayers, if its necessary conditions are fulfilled, or to offer Zohr prayers. Hence if Namaz-e-Jumah is offered then it is not necessary to offer Zohr prayer.

               The following conditions must be fulfilled for Jumah prayers to become obligatory:

1.            The time for Jumah prayers should have set in. And that means that the midday time should have begun to decline. The time for Namaz-e-Jumah is the earliest part of Zohr. If it is very much delayed, then Namaz-e-Jumah time will be over, and Zohr Namaz will have to be prayed.

2.            The number of persons joining Namaz-e-Jumah should be at least five including the Imam. If there are less than five people, Namaz-e-Jumah would not become obligatory.

3.            The Imam should fulfil the necessary conditions for leading the prayers.

4.            Namaz-e-Jumah should be offered in congregation. It cannot be prayed alone.

5.            The distance between the two places where Namaz-e-Jumah are offered should not be less than one Farsakh (3 miles).

Q101.     What are the qualifications of a peshnamaz (leader of congregational prayer)?

A.           He must be (a) Isna Ashari, (b) Sane, (c) He must be ‘Adil’. It means that he does not commit big sins even unintentionally; & if he commits any small sin (not intentionally) he repents at once & does not repeat it, (e) He must have correct pronunciation of Arabic words, (f) He must be a man (if he is leading in a prayer attended by men), and (g) He must not be praying sitting (if the people behind him are praying standing); also (h) he must know the necessary ‘Masael’ of Taharat and prayers.

Q102.     The views of the Ulema differ regarding the (direction of the) Qibla from New York and similar places in North America. Can you explain in some detail how we are to face the Qibla from there?

A.           Facing the Qibla from distant places which have the curvature of the earth between them and the revered Ka’bah is determined by the parallel lines that commence from the front of the body of the person praying and the lines of curvature that arch around the surface of the earth in the direction of the revered Ka’bah, in such a manner that the lines end there (the Ka’bah), even if it is only by probability. The direction of the lines may be established on a globe by connecting the position of the person praying to the revered Ka’bah by a thread — ensuring that it remains on a direct course, rather than veering left or right. According to our tests, the direction of this thread from areas such as New York in North America is to the East, yielding to the North by the degree indicated by the aforementioned thread. As for those who say that Mecca lies beneath the 22nd parallel, New York falls above the 40th parallel, and this requires that the person in New York must face the direction of the honoured Ka’bah by bearing to the South rather than to the North, the answer to this is as follows: This holds true if one uses a flat map as opposed to a global one. The change in the direction of the abovementioned thread on a global model is a result of the portions lying between the two points, if it is viewed in relation to the North and South poles. The support for this is that, if we neglect and do not take into consideration the four cardinal points on the globe, and we turned around a global map putting Mecca in the summit, as if it were the North Pole, we would observe that the direction of the abovementioned thread (in a situation for a person in New York) would be exactly the same as that obtained by the earlier mentioned thread. The person in New York who wants to face the direction of the revered Ka’bah must take this direction and not veer towards the right. In short, in our opinion, what is more likely in the method of facing the direction is as explained in the foregoing. It is clearly the better position also with regard to the necessity of observing the imaginary line that passes through the earth directly between the position of the person praying and the Ka’bah. Since it is not possible to face the direction of this (imaginary) line during prayer, it is necessary to follow the direction of the line of curvature parallel to it, and which goes over the surface of the earth. The parallel line just mentioned is the same as that which we already pointed out, whose direction from New York is towards northeast. Even so, however, the prayer of a person facing southeast would be valid if he is acting on a firm shar’i proof in his possession to that effect. God knows best.

Q103.     What if he were to travel three or four times a week during the year, not because his job demands travelling, but for other purposes like sight-seeing and tourism or for treating a patient, visiting the shrines of the Imams (a.s.), etc. What is the ruling on his prayers?

A.           He should perform complete prayers and observe the fasts, since given his situation he is considered a frequent traveller according to convention. If he were to travel twice a week and stay five days in his hometown [then it is obligatory for him to offer both the short (qasr) and the complete (prayers); and, in the month of Ramazan, to combine observance of the fasts in it (Ramazan) and their qaza after it].

Q104.     A man is wearing a watch whose strap is made of natural leather imported from a non-Muslim country and he does not know whether the leather is from the skin of an animal slaughtered in the Islamic manner or not. The belt on his pants is made from the same kind of leather. Does he have to remove them when he intends to offer prayer?

A.           His prayer is valid with them as long as there is a strong probability that the strap or the belt is from the skin of an animal whose flesh is edible and that was slaughtered in the sharai manner.

Q105.     What about a wallet placed inside the pocket during prayer if it is made of the same leather as the strap previously mentioned?

A.           One is permitted to offer prayer with it.

Q106.     Suppose that he is confident that the strap or the belt is made from the skin of an animal that was not slaughtered in the Islamic manner but he prays with it due to forgetfulness and then remembers while praying, and immediately removes his watch or belt.

A.           His prayer is valid unless his forgetfulness is due to carelessness and not giving due importance to the matter [in which case he is obliged to repeat his prayer].

Q107.     Sometimes I intend to pray and there are some white pieces of paper in my pocket. Is it permissible for me to perform prostration on them?

A.           Yes, it is permissible for you to prostrate on them if they are ritually pure and made out of wood-pulp or similar material on which prostration is permissible. The same rule applies if they are made of cotton or linen.

Q108.     A mukallaf (person who is to pray) offers Morning Prayer in his city and then travels in a westerly direction. He arrives in a city in which the dawn has not yet appeared and then emerges. Or, he offers noon prayer in his city and then travels by air, arriving in a city where the sun has not begun to go down (noon), and only later begins its descent. Or, he offers the evening prayer in it (city), and then travels to a city where the sun has not yet set, and then sets. Is he obliged to repeat the prayer in all these hypothetical situations?

A.           There are two perspectives. It is a better precaution (to repeat the prayer), although apparently it is not (obligatory to repeat it).

Q109.     There are extended cities with adjoining borders and sides which, in the past, were reckoned to be separate cities, but after prosperous growth, became one city. Do you regard them as one or several cities? A person travels from the farthest point in the East (of the city) with the intention of travelling to another place, and the time for prayer comes when he is at the farthest westerly point (of the city). He wishes to pray. Should he pray qasr or does he pray complete? And similarly, if he returns from a journey to the outskirts (of the city), and the time for prayer comes, does he pray qasr, or complete? What about the person who is fasting, and leaves (the city) or returns to it?

A.           The hypothetical cities all count as one. The rulings of separate cities do not actually apply to this case. True, the rule with respect to computing the distance is from the point at which the term traveller (musafir) becomes applied to someone. Were this city truly one of the larger cities and the term (traveller) is applied upon the exit of a person from his zone or area of residence, even if it is deemed to be inside the city, then the ruling of traveller applies on him. And the distance would be computed from this point, which is considered hadd al-tarakhkhus (the prescribed distance) with respect to that person. If the term (traveller) does not apply to him unless he leaves the (larger) city, then the last region of the city is to be counted as the beginning for distance measurement with respect to him. God knows best.

Q110.     Is one entitled to object to the holding of Friday prayer by claiming that the Marjas of the Muslims in Najaf and Qum do not establish it, while knowing that in the city in which the mukallaf resides, most of the residents perform Friday prayer on the basis of their fiqh?

A.           One is not entitled to do that. As for non-holding of Friday (prayer) by the Marjas, who are of the opinion that it (Friday prayer) is superior to zohr (prayer) and the former replacing it (zohr), may be due to personal excuses or the like. This does not prevent others from establishing it (Friday prayer). God knows best.

Q111.     I was praying behind one of the brothers, and I noticed that he had recited another Surah after Al-Fatihah in the 3rd and 4th rak’at. I told him that he is not supposed to do that. The question is whether all his prayers are void or not, and whether my prayer, behind him, is void as well. Please answer according to Ayatullah Seestani.

A.           In the 3rd and the 4th Rakaat, we are allowed to recite Tasbeehat-e-Arba’ or Surah Alhamd. If the person did it (recited another Surah) purposely, his Namaz is void. If he did not know the Mas’ala nor did it forgetfully, then the Namaz is not void.

Q112.     Will the prayer of a person be valid if one offers it on a property: a) purchased with the money on which Khums was not taken out, b) Or one is living in a house on rent but not paying the rent to the owner of the house, c) Or one is offering Namaz in a house for which the owner of the house has asked him to vacate the house but he does not vacate it.

A.           (a) If the property was purchased with money on which khums was wajib (obligatory) and still not paid, then the person on whom khums was wajib (obligatory) and did not pay, will be responsible. Only his prayer in that property will be doubtful. Some of ulema say it is invalid. (b) It is Haraam (unlawful) to rent a house and not pay the rent. This place will be then Ghazbi and then the prayer of the person responsible (Ghaasib) at this place will be invalid. (c) If the owner has the right to ask the tenant to vacate according to valid agreement or common practice then the tenant has to vacate, otherwise he will become a Ghaasib, whose prayer at that place is not valid.

Q113.     Is it obligatory for the eldest son to offer Qaza prayers of his father and mother both and if so how it should be offered?

A.           Yes it is obligatory for the eldest son to perform the Qaza Namaz and fasting of his father and mother. It can be performed gradually. He also can make somebody else to perform it either by paying him some money (Ijaaraa) or voluntarily. If another son or daughter performed the Qaza of their parents, it will suffice and they will get the reward of it besides releasing their parents from the punishment.

Q114.     Is there a time limit in which Maghrib Namaz has to be completed? E.g. within 10 to 15 minutes from sunset or start of Maghrib? If this time has elapsed then does are have to pray Qaza Namaz or upto what time it will be Adaa?

A.           Maghrib Namaz time starts from 10 to 15 minutes after sunset depending on geographical situation, which is called (Maghrib time) and continues till few minutes before midnight. These few minutes before midnight are for Isha Namaz. This is in the usual cases, while the Maghrib and Isha Namaz time goes further till before Fajr in unusual cases e.g. a person who was unconscious, or a woman who became Paak after midnight etc. they have to pray Maghrib and Isha Namaz as Adaa not Qaza, till Fajr time.

Q115.     What is the exact timing of offering Namaz-e-Shab? How can we calculate the time of midnight, is it 12.00 at night?

A.           Namaz-e-Shab time starts after Midnight which is the moment which falls at the middle of the period between sunset and sunrise. Some Ulema say that it is the mid between sunset and Fajr. It is not always 12.00. It can be before or after depending on the length of night and the time of sunset.

               Namaz-e-Shab time ends just before Fajr. It can be prayed before its time for those who find it difficult to get up during its time. It can also be prayed as Qaza in the daytime or any time if it had not been prayed during its time.

               Those who cannot pray 11 Rakats may pray 3 Rakats (2 of Shaf’a and 1 of Watr) and even one of Watr alone will be good, at least, Namaz-e-Shab is not missed.

Q116.     Is it permissible to offer recommended prayers (Nawafel or Mustahab Namaz) while walking on the road or travelling in a bus? Is it necessary to make signs with fingers? (Irrespective of whether he can offer the same at home or not).

A.           Yes it is permissible, irrespective, of the possibility of offering the recommended Namaz at home or not. Any kinds of sign-say for instance, made by the head or hands are valid. In this case, facing the Qibla is not a necessary condition.

Q117.     A person offers a Salat (Namaz) after doing Tayammum instead of Ghusl-e-Janabat, due to lack of water or shortage of time. If water becomes available for the next prayer, will it be necessary to have ghusl (bath) or the person can offer his Salat (Namaz) with Wuzu only?

A.           Yes, the person will have to immediately take ghusl (bath) when the water becomes available and the person cannot offer his Salat (Namaz) by Wuzu alone in this particular case.

Q118.     If a person has never offered ‘Namaz-e-Aayaat’ in his life, is it necessary to offer the ‘Qaza’ for it? How many should be offered for every year?

A.           It is necessary to offer the ‘Qaza for it. The person should offer Namaz-e-Aayaat twice for every year as Qaza.

Q119.     Can a person perform Namaz-e-Shab after Namaz-e-Isha if he is certain that he will not be able to get up in the night or before dawn?

A.           The person in such a situation can perform his Namaz-e-Shab before going to sleep.

Q120.     Is it permissible to recite ‘Tasbihat-e-Arba’ only once in obligatory prayers?

A.           It is permissible. Reciting Tasbihat-e-Arba’ thrice is Mustahab.

Q121.     How should the eldest son offer the lapsed (Qaza) prayers of his dead mother?

A.           He should act in the matter of offering prayers according to his own obligation. Hence, he should offer the lapsed prayers of his mother in respect of dawn, dusk and night prayers in a loud voice.

Q122.     Is it necessary to recite Surah Ikhlas in every Salah?

A.           It is Mustahab (recommended) to recite Surah Ikhlas at least once in the whole day in one of the obligatory prayers.

Q123.     Can Namaz-e-Mayyat be performed wearing shoes?

A.           It is not necessary to remove shoes in Namaz-e-Mayyat. One does not require any formal purification such as Wuzu, ghusl (bath) or tayammum. Those who are junub and in condition of Haiz can also offer it because in truth, it is only a dua. It is called a Namaz yet there is no Ruku or Sujood in it.

Q124.     A person joins the congregational prayers when they are standing for the 3rd or 4th Rak’at and intentionally goes into Ruku’ with them without reciting Surah Al-Hamd. Will his Namaz be considered valid?

A.           The Namaz will be baatil (void). However, if the person doesn’t recite Surah Al-Hamd unintentionally, and completes his Namaz, it would be valid. Unless one completes the Surah Al-Hamd, one should not join the congregation even if he were to lag behind.

Q125.     Will it become incumbent upon a person to offer Namaz-e-Aayat when he receives the news of sun or moon eclipses observed at places sharing the same day and night with one’s village or city?

A.           No the condition for Namaz-e-Aayat is that it should be offered at the place where the eclipse has been sighted.

Q126.     Can a sister and brother offer prayers in congregation (jama’at) by one of them standing as the imam?

A.           Yes they can offer prayers in congregation provided that the brother is the imam jama’at (congregation leader), if he fulfills the conditions to lead congregation prayer like adalat (justice), piety and avoidance of sins, and having a proper recitation (qira’at). The sister cannot be imam jama’at for her brother or any male, but she can be imam-e-jama’at for females without standing ahead of them, but in the same line.

Q127.     What should a person, who does not know the number of lapsed Namaz he must offer, do?

A.           The person should offer the lesser number of Qaza (lapsed) Namaz since that is near certainty.

Q128.     How long does the prime time of Namaz last?

A.           The prime time for the morning (Fajr) Namaz is from Azan till the time when the reddishness starts in the East. The usual time for this Namaz is upto sunrise.

               The prime time for the noon (Zohr) Namaz is from Azan till the time when the length of the shadow of a thing becomes equal to its real length.

               The prime time for the afternoon (Asr) Namaz is till the time when the length of the shadow of a thing becomes double the size of its real length.

               The usual time for both Zohr and Asr Namaz goes on till before sunset.

               The prime time for the evening (Maghrib) Namaz is from Azan till the time of the vanishing of the reddishness after the setting of the sun (Western reddishness).

               The prime time for the night (Isha) Namaz is up to one-third of the night.

               The usual time for both Maghrib and Isha Namaz goes on till midnight.

               It is always highly recommended to perform Namaz at the beginning of it’s time. That is the time when the Imam-e-Zaman (a.s.) performs Namaz.

Q129.     Is it permissible to recite “Azaan” (call for prayers) for Sunnat (recommended) (optional) and Qaza (lapsed) Namaz?

A.           It is not lawful to say Azaan or Eqamah before optional prayers or prayers other than daily ones. It is strongly recommended to say Azaan and Eqamah for Qaza Namaz.

Q130.     Should the recitations of Namaz-e-Ehtiyat be read loudly or silently?

A.           Namaz-e-Ehtiyat should always be performed silently.

Q131.     In the 3rd Rakat or 4th Rakat if one has inadvertently started praying Surah al-Hamd in Qiyaam and the person then remembers that he is in the 3rd Rakat or 4th Rakat, should he complete Surah al-Hamd or resort back to Tasbeeh Arbah?

A.           He can complete Surah Al-Hamd; there is no harm at all, because in 3rd or 4th Rakat either “Tasbeeh Arbah” or Surah Al-Hamd has to be recited.

Q132.     Please tell me how to recite Namaz Istikhaara and Namaz Istighfaar?

A.           Namaz Istikhara is two Rakats like morning Namaz, but it is not obligatory (not wajib (obligatory)). You can recite any Surah after Surah al-Hamd, and after you complete this Namaz, pray to Allah (s.w.t.) to guide you to the best option when you are not sure about it. Namaz Istighfaar is the same way, but you pray after completing the Namaz for forgiveness for you, your parents and momineen.

Q133.     Is it required for a woman to recite Fajr, Maghrib and Isha prayers in a loud voice?

A.           No, it is not compulsory like it is for men, but she can if she is sure no “Na-mahram” is likely to hear her voice.

Q134.     What are the Nawaafil of the daily prayers?

A.           Nawaafil of daily prayers are as follows:

1.            2 rak’ats before Fajr prayer

2.            8 rak’ats before Zohr prayer. These 8 rak’ats are performed in the form of 2+2+2+2

3.            8 ra’kats before Asr prayer which are performed also as 2+2+2+2

4.            4 rak’ats (2+2) after Maghrib prayer

5.            2 rak’ats sitting or 1 rak’at standing after Isha prayer

               Beside these nawaafil there is the night nafila which is also called salat al-layl or Namaz-e-shab, which is one of the greatest of the recommended prayers to be prayed between midnight and dawn and consists of 11 rakats (2+2+2+2+2+1). It can be minimized to just 3 (2 rakats of Shaf’a and 1 rak’at of Witr). It also can be more minimized to just one rak’at of Witr. If somebody cannot wake up during that period of time then he can perform it before going to bed any time in the night and if somebody misses praying it he or she can perform it in daytime as Qaza. The benefits of praying this night prayer are far greater than can be included in a book or books.

Q135.     Why don’t Shias perform the Namaz (Salat) at all five times when it is clearly mentioned in the Holy Qur’an? Why so much hypocrisy?

A.           The Shias follow the Holy Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.) in each and every part of the religion. They pray Zohr and Asr together sometimes and separately at other times, as they pray Maghrib and Isha prayers, either together or separately. This is exactly what the Holy Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.) used to do without any exceptional situation like travel or rain or so.[4]

               The Holy Qur’an too states the times for the daily five prayers as three times only: “Establish prayers on midday, till the darkness of night, and Fajr.”[5] Also in Surah Hood, Chapter 11, Verse 114.

Q136.     Why are the Shia and Sunni Salaat (prayers) different in some respects? Who is praying correctly and why this variance in the basic duty of a Muslim?

A.           The Shia pray as the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) used to pray. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) ordered all Muslims to pray like Him. (Pray as you saw me praying).

               The Shia do not fold hands during their Salaat (prayers) as it is a bid’at (innovation) started long after the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Folding hands during Salaat is a bid’at added to Salaat by Umar bin al-Khattab. When Persian prisoners of war were brought to Madina and they folded their hands before him, he asked them, why they had done so. They said that it is our habit to fold hands before great people. He liked it and ordered his people to do it in their Salaat before Allah. Those who took that order from Umar are following him, while those who take their religion from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) remained praying as the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) used to pray, i.e. without folding hands. All the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) had stopped people from folding hands during their Salaat and used to tell them not to follow this Zoarastrian and non-Islamic habit.[6]

               Folding hands has no evidence even in the Sunnite books; hence no Sunni sect holds it as wajib (obligatory). Shafi’ee and Abu Hanifa and Bin Hanbal and Sufyan al-Sawri said it is not wajib (obligatory).[7]

               A famous Sunni scholar, Allays Bin Sa’d, said that it is mustahab (recommended) to keep hands open during Salaat and not to fold them.[8]

               Ibn Abi Shayba said that Hasan Al-Basri, Mugheera, Ibn Al-Zobair, Ibn Seereen, Ibn Al-Musayyab, Saeed Bin Jubair and Al-Nakh’ee used to pray open handed and some of them were against folding hands during Salaat.[9]

               The Maliki Sunni sect holds that it is makrooh (disliked) to fold hands during obligatory Salaat.[10]

Q137.     Is it ok to pray in a Sunni mosque? What is the Shia method of offering wajib (obligatory) prayers behind a Sunni imam in a jamat?

A.           Yes, it is highly recommended and very good to pray in any mosque whether managed by Shia or Sunni people, as all mosques belong to Allah (s.w.t.) and every mosque is a house of Allah. If you pray behind a Sunni Imam Jamaat, you must read (silently) Surah Al-hamd and a short Surah after it in the first and second Rak’ats. Qonoot is not Wajib (obligatory), so, you can pray with Sunnis without Qonoot or you may recite it very briefly.

Q138.     In our city, Namaz-e-Jumah is held in masjid A regularly for last more than fifty years. However, there is an exception to this regularity. Whenever Id-ul-Fitr or Id-uz-Zuha falls on a Friday, no Namaz-e-Jumah is held. Is this correct?

               There is another Bait-us-Salaat B located within a radius of less than 5.5 kms from Masjid A. The management of B wants to start Namaz-e-Jumah in B but not able to do it because it is located at a distance of 3 kms. from A. This year, Id-ul-Fitr is likely to fall on a Friday and as per the practice prevailing in A, no Namaz-e-Jumah will be performed in A. If Namaz-e-Jumah is performed in B on the day of Id-ul-Fitr, will they be able to continue it for ever?

A.           1.      There is no point in not praying Namaz Jumah in the usual place of Namaz Jumah when Eid falls on Jumah.

               2.      There is no objection on praying Namaz Jumah in B Bait-us-Salaat when Namaz Jumah is not prayed in A Masjid, but that should not create a dispute in the future between Momineen in these two places on the matter of Namaz Jumah.

               You do not do something which can result in dispute among Mo’mineen.

               Real worship unites the believers and does not disunite them.

Q139.     Is it wajib (obligatory) to raise hand in the 2nd rak’at for Dua-e-Qunoot?

A.           Raising hands for Qonoot is recommended (Mustahab) and not obligatory (Wajib (obligatory)). Qonoot itself is Mustahab and not Wajib (obligatory). Doing any Mustahab act is a cause of great reward, and leaving it without reason deprives us of that reward.

Q140.     I am student of Class 8th who usually does not pray Salat (Namaz). What is the sin for not praying? Also I want some small Dua to recite so that my heart should bend towards Salat and my studies too so that I can accomplish and become what I want to be in my life and also that I should remember whatever I learn, so that I can be successful in both this life and in the Hereafter.

A.           Salat (Namaz) is the pillar of religion which means that without Salat there is no religion. No good deed can be accepted without Salat. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) used to say that Salat distinguishes us (Muslims) from non-Muslims. So, whosoever leaves Salat deliberately will be like a non-Muslim. The punishment of not praying Salat is severe because nobody ignores Salat if he/she respects Allah (s.w.t.)’s orders. Disrespecting Allah’s orders would make the person like one who is outside Islam, and such a person will end up in the fire of hell even if he or she was a Muslim by name. Quranic verses have emphasized the supreme importance of Salat and have stated clearly that Muslims who do not offer Salat will go to Saqar, which a part of the hellfire.[11]

               If a person wants proximity to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and the Ahlul-Bayt (a.s.) he/she must pray Salat, and if he/she does not, he/she shall be gathered with their enemies in the hell fire.

               As regards the Dua requested by you, it is very good to repeatedly recite “Astaghferullaaha Rabbi Wa Atoobo Elayhe” and also “Allahumma Salle Alaa Mohammad Wa Aale Mohammad” and “La Hawla Wa La Quwwata Illaa Billah Al-A’liyy Al-A’zeem” 100 times each daily, at whatever time you can. This will help you in getting your heart cleansed, and your wishes fulfilled.

               May Allah (s.w.t.) bless you and help you to overcome your worst enemy (Shaitan) who wants to destroy you here and in the hereafter, while Allah (s.w.t.) wants to save you. So, it is for you to decide whom to follow.

Q141.     I understand that it is wajib (obligatory) on the eldest son to perform the Qaza wajib (obligatory) Salaat (lapsed obligatory prayers) that were not performed by his deceased father during his lifetime. Can these prayers be performed by the other sons of the deceased too? Are they allowed to do so if they so wish?

A.           Though it is obligatory on the eldest son to perform those Qaza prayers, it will be sufficient if they are performed by anybody else. Any son or daughter can also perform the Qaza Salaat on behalf of their deceased father. Alternatively, any other person can perform the Qaza prayers too, either voluntarily or by taking money from the family of the deceased. The eldest son or any other son or daughter or relative or friend can pay money to any person who can pray the Qaza Salaat on behalf of their deceased father. Such Salaat will suffice to release the dead person from the responsibility of his obligatory Qaza Salaat.

Q142.     We are told that there is no Namaz-e-Janaaza (funeral prayer) for an unborn child or foetus that dies during pregnancy, possibly on the grounds that there is no soul. If this is so, why is there so much hue and cry about abortion? Please explain.

A.           Abortion is always not allowed (prohibited) except when it is necessary to save the life of the mother. No matter what is the duration of the pregnancy - even if it is one day or one hour after the formation of the zygote - it is haraam (unlawful and forbidden) to abort the foetus, simply because it is a beginning of the creation of a human being and no one has the right to terminate it.

               The duration of the pregnancy is considered in calculating the penalty of the crime of abortion as it goes up with the period till the period is four months when the penalty is the maximum.

               There is no link between Salaat al-Janaza (funeral prayer) and abortion. Salaat al-Janaaza is obligatory to be prayed on every Muslim who understands the meaning of Salaat even if he/she was not abiding. Children under the age of six are excluded from Salaat al-Janaaza if they die. There is no funeral prayer for children under the age of six.

Q143.     Is it necessary to pray Salat al-Layl every night, or just a couple of times a week/month?

A.           Salat al-Layl (Night Prayer) is highly recommended every night. It is a great, sincere and tasteful relationship between you and Allah (s.w.t.), the Merciful. Leaving Salat al-Layl at any night with out a serious reason, such as illness etc, means that the person has committed a sin which had a bad effect on his/her heart and spirituality, preventing himself/herself from the bounty of Salat al-Layl.

Q144.     Can we pray in front of a na-mahram? My friend tells me it’s permissible as we pray in Makkah and Madina. Please clarify.

A.           According to the fatwa (verdict) of Ayatullah Seestani, it is precautionally not allowed for a woman to pray side by side a man, even if he was a Mahram. A woman, according to Ayatullah Seestani, is supposed to pray behind the man. According to the fatwa of Ayatullah Khoei, it is allowed to pray side by side or even ahead. Praying in front of na-mahram is allowed as far as woman is wearing her full Hijaab. As Muslim women pray in Makkah and Madina and other holy places in the presence of men, it is allowed elsewhere as far as Hijaab is observed.

Q145.     Why a person is denied the right to lead a jama’at (congregational prayers) in case he is born of an illegitimate union, even though it is his parents who are to be blamed for the sin and not him?

A.           If an illegitimately born person was to lead the congregational prayers, the severity of the sin of adultery would diminish in the eyes of the people and the forbidden act will gain respectability and acceptability. Just as women are not permitted to lead a male congregational prayer, it is merely a condition that illegitimately born persons should not lead congregational prayers. There is no question of injustice or insult involved here.

Q146.     I live in a region that is earthquake-prone. Although a number of earthquakes occur each year, in most cases we do not feel them and come to know of it only in the media the next day. In this situation is it wajib (obligatory) to recite Namaz-e-Aayat?

A.           Namaz-e-Ayaat is not Wajib (obligatory) on you if you did not feel the earthquake. In the event of eclipse, if the eclipse was full, then it will be Wajib (obligatory) on you even if you were not aware of it when it happened. If the eclipse was not full, then it will be Wajib (obligatory) only on those who knew about it when it happened.

Q147.     Can a person say ‘Bismillah’ before the ‘Tasbeehat-e-Arba’ in the third and the fourth rak’ats (units) of the Salaat (prayer)?

A.           It is not wrong to say ‘Bismillah’ before the ‘Tasbeehat-e-Arba’. In fact it is Mustahab (recommended) to say ‘Bismillah’ before starting anything.

Q148.     If we say our niyyat (statement of intention) wrong, e.g. instead of saying ‘Zohr’ if we say ‘Asr ki 4 rak’at’, and we correct it by saying ‘Zohr’, is our Salaat correct or is it wrong? Please clarify.

A.           The Salaat is correct because your intention was to pray Zohr. It is not necessary to say the niyyat. So long as your intention was to pray Zohr for the sake of Allah it is OK.

Q149.     How are the imsak, fajr, zohr and Maghrib times defined?

A.           Imsak is the time when it is good to stop eating and drinking. It is a precaution to do so a few minutes before dawn (Fajr). Fajr is the time when light of day start spreading horizontally in the sky. It is the time of the Morning Prayer. Zohr is the time of mid-day when sun is in the middle of the sky. Zohr is defined as the time when the shadow begins to increase after its maximum decrease. Maghrib is the time of the real sunset. It is defined as the time when the reddish light disappears from the east side of the horizon.

Q150.     I live in a town where my main base for work purposes is also located. On various occasions, I do have to travel to different places for work, which means 1 sometimes go straight from home, and sometimes go to the local base, then travel on to another place for work. I always return home the same day, and always leave home before noon. Can you please advise if my fast is valid for those days that I travel for my work, bearing in mind my main base is in the town of my residence?

A.           If your travelling for work is just sometimes and not regular, you are then a ‘traveller’ and your fasting is not valid if you start travelling before noon. But if your work is travelling or in travelling, you must keep fasting during such frequent travelling.

Q151.     A Muslim becomes a Shia after having been in another sect. He owes some prayer [salaat] and fasts due to his not having observed them at the time these were due. Is it wajib (obligatory) on him to observe those lapsed prayers and fasts?

A.           Yes.

Q152.     A Shia Muslim was not conscious of the importance of prayers and fasting. Is it obligatory (wajib (obligatory)) on him to observe those prayers and fasting once he becomes conscious about it?

A.           Yes.

Q153.     Please explain on what did our Holy Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w.a.) perform sajdah (prostration) when there was no paper or earth available. Also, when we are in a Masjid where the floor is covered with carpets and no paper available what should we use to perform sajdah? We shall appreciate your reply in the context that the sajdagah (mohr) or khake-shefa was only introduced after the event of Karbala.

A.     1.   The Prophetic ahadees mention that sujood (prostrations) must be on earth or anything from the earth except metals, edibles and things that can be worn. Paper is mentioned in the ahadees as an item for sujood.

               If any of the above is not available, then sujood can be done on a part of your own cloth. If this is also not possible, then on the back of your hand which is the last stage of necessity. In usual cases doing sujood on the back of the hand is not allowed.

2.            In the Masjids of the Ahl-Sunnat (recommended) where there are only carpets, you can perform sujood on a small piece of paper. If this is difficult, then you can adopt taqiyyah by doing sajdah on the carpet to avoid harm.

3.            Sajdagah (Mohr) or (Torbah) was not introduced after Karbala, but from the time of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Sayyedah Fatema (s.a.) made a sajdagah or a mohr from the soil of the grave of her uncle Hamza to perform sajdah on. Many of the Companions used to use sajdagah from soil or a small piece of mat. This is mentioned in famous Sunni books like Tareekh Ahmadi. It was known by the name of Khumrah.

4.            Doing sajdah on carpet or on textile willingly is haraam and Bid’at. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) never did sajdah on any carpet or textile. He used to say: ‘Earth was made (by Allah) for me as a place for sujood and a source of cleanliness (Tahoora) (like Tayammum).


(B) Mustahab Prayer

Q154.     How does one offer Namaz-e-Shab (night prayers)?

A.           Namaz-e-Shab is offered after midnight and it is recommended to pray nearer to and before the time of morning prayers. It consists of 11 rak’ats. Firstly, two rak’ats Namaz like the Morning Prayer is offered four times. This 8 rak’at constitutes the first part of Namaz-e-Shab. In each of this rak’at, you may read Surah Al-Hamd alone or with any complete Surah of your preference. Then another two-rak’at Namaz called Namaz-e-Shaf’a should be offered. Preferably, in the first rak’at of it, after Surah Al-Hamd recite Surah Qul A’oozo Berabbil Falaq. In the second rak’at, after Surah Al-Hamd, recite Surah Qul A’oozo Berabbil Naas. When you complete it, get up and offer 1 rak’at Namaz known as Namaz-e-Watr in which after reciting Surah Al-Hamd, recite Surah Tawheed three times followed by Surah Falaq and Surah Naas. Before going into Ruku, raise your hands and say “Al-Afw” 300 times followed by “Allahum-Maghfir – (so and so Mu’mineen, whether living or dead)” forty times. It is recommended to say “Astaghferullaaha wa Atubo elayhe” seventy times. Then in between Salawats, mention your wish. The reward of Namaz-e-Shab is so great and vast that Allah alone knows it.

Q155.     Is it enough to remain silent in the congregation (Jama’at) offering Namaz-e-Mayyat?

A.           No. It is not enough. It is Wajib (obligatory) for everyone to read it. The shortest form of Namaz-e-Mayyat is to have intention then say the first takbeer (Allaho-Akbar) recite it with raised hands: “Ashhado an laa elaaha illallaaho wahdahu laa Sharika lahu wa ashhado anna Mohammadan Abdohu wa Rasoolohu” - then after second Takbeer (Allaho Akbar), recite: “Allahumma Salle alaa Mohammadin wa Aale Mohammad” - say third Takbeer and recite: “Allahummaghfir lil Mo’meneen wal Mo’menaat” - after fourth takbeer, recite: “Allahummaghfir Le haazal / haazehi (male/female) Mayyat (mention the name of the dead Mu’min) and the Namaz is concluded by the fifth Takbeer.

Q156.     What is Namaz-e-Istisqa? How do we pray it?

A.           Namaz-e-Istisqa is Mustahab (recommended). Namaz to be prayed when we need rain, i.e. when rain is required. Istisqa means the request of water and rain. Namaz-e-Istisqa is a two Rakat Namaz. But Namaz-e-Istisqa has got an exception that we can pray it in a gathering i.e. Jamaat Namaz. Generally all Mustahab Namaz has to be prayed individually but Namaz-e-Istisqa can be prayed with Jamaat also.

Q157.     After killing a Lizard is it compulsory to perform Ghusl (bath) for the Namaz-e-Istisqa?

A.           No. It is not Wajib (obligatory), but it is Mustahab (recommended) to perform Ghusl (bath) after killing a lizard. It is not Wajib (obligatory) at-all-also for Namaz-e-Istisqa or any other reason it is not Wajib (obligatory) to have Ghusl (bath).

Q158.     Is it required to offer Qaza Namaz for unusual events like (eclipse, earthquake) which may have been missed by the woman due to Haiz (periods)?

A.           No it is not required.

Q159.     Can one pray the Namaz-e-Mayyat for a person who offered only Eid-Namaz?

A.           Namaz-e-Mayyat can be and should be offered for people, even if they are sinners. Except for those who are enemies of Allah, His Prophet (s.a.w.a.) & the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). If you know of persons who deliberately do no offer daily Namaz and come only for Eid Namaz, you should advise them. If they persist, they should be avoided and left on their own.

Q160.     Can Qaza Namaz of a dead person be performed by someone who offers it in a sitting position?

A.           No, it cannot be done.

Q161.     Who should be obliged to offer the Qaza Namaz of a dead person, in case of the eldest child being a daughter?

A.           The Qaza Namaz of the deceased father is incumbent on the eldest male child, even though, he may have elder sisters. Although, it is permissible for a lady to perform the Qaza Namaz for a dead man, just as it is permissible for a gentlemen to perform the Qaza Namaz of a dead woman.

Q162.     What is Namaz-e-Ziarat?

A.           It is like any other Namaz, but we in this case gift the reward of it to the Imaams (a.s.).

Q163.     My parents hail from Lucknow. But I do not have a business or house over there. Will I have to offer complete or Qasr (halved) prayers upon visiting it?

A.           If your intention is to settle there afterwards, it will be considered your native place and you will offer complete prayers even if your visit is for 1 day. In case, you don’t intend to settle there, even though people may call you a ‘Lucknowi’, you will offer your 4 rak’at Namaz as Qasr unless you’ve decided to stay for at least 10 days.

Q164.     Can one offer the Nawafil (Supererogatory Namaz) of Namaz-e-Zohr any time after sunrise?

A.           Nawafil Namaze Zohr cannot be offered in the morning. It can be offered with the intention of qaza (lapsed) Namaz. The time for Nawafil of Namaze Zohr is from the onset of noontime.

Q165.     A person offers Isha prayers and then realizes that he had not offered his Maghrib prayers. What should he do?

A.           If the person realizes that he has not offered Namaz-e-Maghrib after completing Namaz-e-Isha, and the time of the prayers have not lapsed for the day, the person should offer both the Namaz in its proper sequence. But if he recalls that he has not offered Namaz-e-Maghrib in the course of Namaz-e-Isha, before going into Ruku of the fourth Rak’at, he should change his intention to Namaz-e-Maghrib sit down; recite tashahhud, Salam and two Sajdah-e-Sahw. And in case, the person recalls after going into Ruku of the fourth Rak’at, he will offer Namaz-e-Maghrib & Namaz-e-Isha once again.

Q166.     Does the number of rak’ats of mustahab Namaz change when it is offered in a sitting or standing position?

A.           Mustahab Namaz is basically of two rak’ats. A person offers two rak’ats mustahab Namaz while sitting or standing, in exactly the same manner or he may double the number of rak’ats in the sitting position. Although it is not wajib (obligatory) to increase the number of rak’ats in the sitting position.

Q167.     Can one pray for a non-Muslim who loves Imam Husain (a.s.) and mourns for him?

A.           The name of the person does not matter. As long as he keeps away from shirk (polytheism) and Kufr (infidelity) and believes in Islam’s truth and beliefs, one can pray for him, otherwise one cannot pray for a non-believer. Many converts are told that they can pray for guidance for a non-Muslim.

Q168.     Can a person in the middle of the Mustahab Namaz move away from the Qibla and continue it while going out of the house?

A.           It is permissible to do that because facing the Qibla is not a condition necessary for Mustahab Namaz.

Q169.     Should the onset of night prayer’s time (Namaz-e-Shab) be calculated as the middle of sunset and dawn or the middle of sunset and sunrise?

A.           The onset of Namaz-e-Shab’s time is between sunset and sunrise.

Q170.     Why is it that offering prayers for the dead in mosques is considered undesirable but it is not so in Masjidul Haram (Makkah) and Masjid-e-Nabawi (Medina)?

A.           During Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and Ahlul Bayt (a.s.)’s time, people used to offer Namaz-e-Mayyat in Masjidul Haram and Masjid-e-Nabawi. So it is a clear precedent for Muslims to follow while the undesirability of doing the same in other mosques also remains.

Q171.     Can a person achieve the status of a “Shia” without offering night prayers?

A.           There are various stages of faith for a true believer. One who believes in all the fundamentals of Islam, including the belief in Twelve Imams of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) is a Shia. One who performs all obligatory acts and abstains from sins is a better Shia. And one who offers all recommended acts and helps others and acts according to the ways of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) in all aspects will be a complete Shia.

Q172.     Is it obligatory for women to offer Namaz-e-Aayaat (Signs Prayers) for thundering of the clouds?

A.           Namaz-e-Aayaat is obligatory for men as well as women, except when a woman is in menses (Hayz) or lochia (Nifas). In which case, it is not obligatory for her to offer it or its ‘qaza’ (lapsed prayers).

Q173.     Can one offer ‘qaza’ (lapsed) prayers in a congregational prayer?

A.           Yes. Lapsed prayers can be offered in congregation whether the Namaz of the Imam be that of ‘Adaa’ (the prayer in time) or lapsed. And it is not necessary that both of them should offer the same prayers. For example, there is no harm if a person offers lapsed dawn prayers with the afternoon prayers of the Imam.

Q174.     When a recommended prayer becomes obligatory on account of a ‘Nazr’ (vow) do rules applicable to recommended prayers apply to it, too?

A.           Yes, for example, a recommended prayer which has become obligatory on account of a vow can be performed while travelling in a vehicle or walking just like other recommended prayers. However, as regards some recommended prayers like Namaz-e-Wahshat in which a particular Surah is to be recited, if a person wished to act according to the orders prescribed for that prayer he should recite the same Surah, while it is not necessary to recite the second Surah in recommended prayers.

Q175.     Does increasing the ‘Rukn’ (basic elements) invalidate ‘Naafela’ (recommended) prayers?

A.           Recommended prayers are not invalidated by increasing the basic elements but it is invalidated by decreasing a basic element. For example if a person recollects during prostrations that he has not performed bowing he should stand up, perform bowing and then do prostration again.

Q176.     Is it necessary to maintain the order of prayers while performing the ‘qaza’ (lapsed) prayers of a dead person?

A.           Maintenance of order is not obligatory in the lapsed prayers of a dead person except in the case of ‘Ada’ (regular) prayers in which the order is to be maintained, for e.g. the ‘Asr’ (afternoon) prayers of one day should be offered after ‘Zohar’ (midday) prayers and likewise with other prayers.

Q177.     Can one offer Namaz-e-Mayyat along with non-Shia Imams? What was the practice during the period preceding Maula Ali (a.s.)?

A.           Namaz-e-Mayyat is actually a supplication which can be offered along with non-Shia Imams. It was prevalent as such during the period preceding Maula Ali (a.s.).

Q178.     If anyone commits for a mannat that he would perform Namaz on the fulfilment of his wish then can he perform the Namaz before the fulfilment of his mannat?

A.           If the mannat is for the obligatory (wajib) Namaz then commitment of a mannat is not necessary and it is to be performed in all conditions. If the mannat is for a Mustahab (desirable) Namaz then it is not obligatory to perform it before the fulfilment of the mannat.

Q179.     What are we supposed to do if we have so many qaza (lapsed) prayers, stretching back over many years, that we can’t count them any more and it would take a long time to make them all up?

A.           Recite as much Qada prayers as you can until you acquire satisfaction that you owe no more.

Q180.     My question is in regard to “mannat”. Is it true that we cannot do mannat of Namaz or fasting, if we have any that are qaza? If this is true, I know that as far as Namaz is concerned, we must complete our qaza Namaz ourselves. However, is this also true when it comes to roza (fasting) or is there any other way to make up the owed roza? For example, can we send money?

A.           The word you are looking for is ‘Nazr’ - a vow to recite Namaz or fast upon successful completion of something. This can be done even if we have Qaza (outstanding). Qaza fasts or Namaz cannot be delegated to someone else during ones lifetime. But it should be one’s sincere endeavours to complete all one’s Qaza Namaz and fasts during ones lifetime itself. These can, however, be delegated after death by either leaving a will to that effect or to the eldest son (or any child for that matter) gets the qaza fulfilled by paying people to do it.

Q181.     What is the position with a Muslim committing suicide, particularly in respect of Namaz-e-Janaza; burial rites; praying for the Muslim who committed suicide?

A.           All rituals from Ghusl (bath) to Dafan (burial) and Namaz-e-Janaza in respect of a Muslim who died by suicide is wajib (obligatory) and compulsory. There is no harm in praying for his/her soul.


(C) Doubts in Prayer

Q182.     A lady wishes to know that while performing Namaz, is it permissible to prostrate immediately after Ruku’ without standing up?

A.           If one deliberately goes into Sajdah after Ruku’ without standing up, the Namaz will be void. If it is done unintentionally, it will not affect the Namaz.

Q183.     A person offering Namaz after rising from a Sajdah (i.e. prostration) doubts whether it is his first or second Sajdah. What should he do?

A.           The person should do Sajdah again and after Namaz, have two Sajdah-e-Sahw (Sajdah for mistakes).

Q184.     Does one have to say Taqbeer first in the Namaz-e-Ehtiyaat?

A.           Yes. Namaz-e-Ehtiyaat starts with Takbeer, Surah Al Hamd, and then Ruku’, then two Sajdahs then Tashahhud and salaam. The Namaz-e-Ehtiyaat has to be recited silently i.e. your voice should not be audible to some one besides you.

Q185.     For Namaze-Ehtiyaat and Sajdah-e-Sahv, is it necessary to say Takbeer before starting the Namaz or Sajdatain? And in between the two Sajdah’s can one recite Astagferullah? Also the Salaam? All three Salaams can be recited? Which is the one Salaam that is Wajib (obligatory)?

A.           Yes for Namaz-e-Ehtiyaat “Taqbeeratul-Ehraam” is Wajib (obligatory). But for Sajdah-e Sahv no Takbeer is wajib (obligatory), we immediately go for Sajdah. Yes we can recite Astagferullah in between two Sajdahs. Yes Salaam can be recited but not three Salaams only one Salaam the last one after Tashhahud.

Q186.     What should be done in case of doubt, such that one doesn’t know whether the time of Namaz has lapsed (become Qaza) or not?

A.           You should consider it to be its proper time and offer your Namaz with the intention of the regular Namaz. A Namaz will be considered Qaza only when one is certain about it.


Supplications

Q187.     Generally all Zakirs say that Salawat should be recited loudly. People in congregation have been known to scream at the top of their voices when reciting Salawat. Somehow it sounds like a slogan rather than a prayer for Mohammad (s.a.w.a.) and Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Please give the correct view.

A.           Salawat should be recited loudly and there are many a traditions, which say that it drives away “Nifaaq”. Salawat is a prayer/dua and one should, realizing this, keep up the decorum of a prayer.

Q188.     Is there any necessity of reciting Fateha (Surah Al-Hamd) before distributing any Niyaz?

A.           It is not obligatory to recite Surah Al-Hamd before distributing any Niyaz. It carries reward but there is no harm if not recited.

Q189.     What are the merits of reciting salutations to Imam Husain (a.s.) on the day of Aashura (i.e. 10th of Muharram)?

A.           It has been reliably narrated by Shaikh Tusi (r.a.) in his Misbah that Imam Mohammad Baqir (a.s.) said: “One who recites salutations from far or near to Imam Husain (a.s.) on the 10th of Muharram or weeps near his grave will meet Allah on the day of judgement with rewards of 2000 mustahab Hajj and 2000 Umrah and 2000 Jihad such that they have been performed in the company of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.). One should know that angels and Prophets recite Ziyarat-e-Aashura. Those who mourn with sincerity and deep understanding can derive benefits and rewards which are beyond enumeration.

Q190.     Does it make any difference if the number of time one is required to recite a particular supplication is increased?

A.           If it has been mentioned in a narration of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) or his Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), then the exact number of times should be complied with. For example, Namaz-e-Shab comprises of 11 rakats and if you wish to offer more, then it should be performed with other intentions.

Q191.     What is the significance of Dua-e-Kumail?

A.           Hazrat Ali (a.s.) taught this Dua’ to his very close companion, Kumail Ibne Ziyaad. Allamah Majlisi says that this Dua’ reached Amirul Mo’menin through Prophet Khizr (a.s.).

               It should be recited during the nights of the middle of Shabaan and every Friday night (night between Thursday & Friday). If not possible recite once a month on any Friday night, or once in a lifetime.

               To seek fulfilment of legitimate desires recite it after obligatory prayers till your desires are fulfilled. It keeps you safe from the intrigues of enemies, multiplies means of livelihood and sins are forgiven.

Q192.     May I know the Dua and manner of slaughtering the following animals: Chicken; goat; cow; camel; wild animals; an animal for Aquiqua; an animal for slaying Festival, i.e. Idd ul-hajj?

A.           Chicken, cow, goat and animals like these are slaughtered by knife. Camel is first pierced in the neck by spear, and then slaughtered by knife.

               In all slaughtering, except Aquiqua and Sacrifice of Idd ul-Hajj the only dua which is wajib (obligatory) is ‘Bismillah’.

               In Aquiqua and sacrifice, as mentioned above, it is necessary to have the ‘niyyat’ (intention) that you are slaughtering the animal for that particular purpose Qurbatan Elallaah (i.e., in obedience to the command of Allah).

               Other necessary conditions for the slaughter of any animal are as follows:

1.            The person who slaughters must be a Muslim.

2.            The knife must be of iron or steel.

3.            At the time of slaughtering, the face, hands, feet and stomach of the animal must be towards Qibla. Also, the person slaughtering that animal must be facing towards Qibla.

4.            Before, beginning the slaughter, when the knife is put on the animal’s throat, the person must say ‘Bismillaah’ with intention of slaughtering it.

5.            The animal should move its body or limbs after slaughter before dying. Also it is necessary that as much blood should come out of its body as normally comes out from such animals.

               Aquiqa: Before slaying the animal for Aquiqa, this Dua is Sunnat (recommended):

               Bismillaahe wa billaahe Allaahumma haazehi aqeeqatun an (name of the child and his father) lahmohaa be lahmehi wa damohaa be damehi wa azmohaa be azmehi wa sha’rohaa be sha’rehi wa jildohaa be jildehi Allaahummaja’lhaa waqaan le (name of the child and his father)

               If the child is a daughter, then after taking her name first time, the remaining Dua’s will be recited as follows:

               Lahmohaa be lahmehi wa damohaa be damehi wa azmohaa be azmehi wa sha’rohaa be sha’rehi wa jildohaa be jildehi Allaahummaja’lhaa waqaan le (name of the child and her father)

               Another Du’a:

               Yaa qawme innee bariun mimmaa tushrekoona innee wajjahto wajheya lillazee fataras samaawaate wal arza hanifam muslemawn wa maa anaa menal mushrekeena inna salaati wa nosoki wa mahyaaya wa mamaati lillaahe rabbil a’alameena laa shareeka lahu wa le zaaleka omirto wa anaa menal muslemeena Allaahumma minka wa laka bismillaahe wallaaho akbaro.

               After slaughtering, say:

               Allahumma salle alaa Mohammadin wa Aale Mohammad wa Taqabbal min (name of child and his / her father).

               Sacrifice at Eid ul-Hajj time: Before slaughtering the animal, this Dua is sunnat (recommended):

               Wajjahto wajheya lillazi fataras samaawaate wal arza hanifam muslemawn wa maa anaa menal mushrekin inna salaati wa nosoki wa mahyaaya wa mamaati lillaahe Rabbil Aalameena la sharika lahu wa be zaaleka omirot wa anaa menal muslemeena Allahumma minka wa laka Bismillaahe wal laaho Akbaro.

               After slaughtering, say:

               Allahumma Taqabbal minni.

               Hunting wild animals: If a wild animal, whose meat is Halal, is killed by hunting, it will be Halal on the following conditions:

1.            The weapon must be sharp (like spear or arrow) which pierces the body by its sharp edge. Also, the bullets of a gun are allowed. But small gun like air-gun is not allowed.

2.            The person who uses that weapon must use it with the intention of killing the animal. If, for example, an animal is killed by his bullet accidentally, its meat will not be Halal.

3.            The said person must be a Muslim.

4.            At the time of using that weapon, he/she must say ‘Bismillah’.

5.            The animal, at the time of arrival of the hunter, must be dead because of the wound inflicted by that weapon (or so near to death that slaying it in a normal way is not possible). If at the arrival of the hunter it is alive, and there is enough time to slay it in a normal way, it must be slaughtered accordingly; otherwise, its meat will be Haram.

Q193.     It is said before reciting the ‘Nade-Ali’ dua; one should recite ‘Darood Sharif’. What is Darood Shariff?

A.           Darood Shareef is ‘allaahumma salle ala Mohammad wa aale Mohammad’. It is the greatest Dua’a that we can pray, and the reward of it is greater than what we can imagine. It is recommended to recite it a 100 times a day. This will be a cause of receiving the best in this life and in the hereafter.

Q194.     I want to know the du’a to be recited in a market.

A.           This Du’a is narrated from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) to be read in the market:

               “Subhaanallah wal hamdolillaahe wa laa elaaha illallaaho wahdahu la shareeka lahu lahul mulko wa lahul hamdo yohyee wa yomeeto wa howa hayyun laa yamooto be yadehil khair wa howa ‘ala kulle shayin qadeer.”[12]

                        It is recommended to repeat the name of Allah (s.w.t.) while one is in the market, as saying ‘Subhaanallaah, Alhamdolillaah, Laa elaaha Illallaaho, Allaaho Akbaro’.

Q195.     Is there any Du’a, which can be recited to condemn/punish an oppressor immediately?

A.           It is very good to seek refuge of Allah (s.w.t.) from oppression and injustice of people by reciting any Du’a or repeating ‘Ya Azeezu Ya Muntaqim’ 100 times. It is also useful to recite Surah Al-Nasr in Salaat for victory over enemies. Repeating ‘La Hawla Wala Qowwata Illa Billaah’ is also very useful.

Q196.     How powerful is dua? Can one change one’s life and one’s destiny even if Allah [s.w.t.] has already - when one was in the womb? - decided the length of one’s life? Can dua lengthen one’s life, save one from getting into a fatal accident or in daily life help one to lose weight?

A.           Yes, Du’a can change one’s life and prolong it and help fulfill one’s wishes. Du’a is a golden key given by Allah (s.w.t.) to the people to seek their wishes. By Du’a, great harm and calamities can be avoided, and longer life can be achieved as well as many other wishes. All the prophets used to use Du’a as a weapon and the hadees (tradition) says “Du’a is the weapon of the believer”.


Wuzu/Tayammum/Ghusl (bath)

Q197.     Does Wuzu become void when a person eats food or washes his hands with soap?

A.           No. It does not have any effect on the Wuzu of the person.

Q198.     Would Wuzu of a lady be valid where here nails are covered by nail-polish?

A.           Her Wuzu ghusl (bath) and tayammum are all void because nail-polish forms a layer which prevents water from reaching the nails. Henna or mehndi does no affect in the same way since it leaves behind only the colour. Women are permitted to use the nail-polish but before undertaking Wuzu, ghusl (bath) or tayammum she will have to remove it.

Q199.     Can a person’s Wuzu be valid if Najasat exists on his body, other than the places of Wuzu. And can he thereafter cleanse himself with the same Wuzu for prayers?

A.           Yes. While performing Wuzu if the parts which are not to be used in Wuzu or to be “masaa”, in Wuzu, i.e. in other parts if there is Najasaat the Wuzu is valid. In Wuzu only parts which are involved in Wuzu should be “paak” before using it or reaching to it. Also other parts which are not Wuzu parts, if he makes it paak then his Namaz Wuzu is valid and he can pray with the same Wuzu.

Q200.     Can we apply chemical, synthetic or herbal dyes in the hair of head or beard? Will Wuzu or Ghusl (bath) e all right if the dye is applied?

A.           Yes we can use it, as it is just a Dye and is not a layer, like Henna it is jaiz (permissible). If the dye is not “paak” we have to wash it before doing Wuzu or Ghusl (bath). But usually it is jaiz (permissible), and having dye on body does not make any difference on Ghusl (bath) or Wuzu.

Q201.     Can a person wipe his head or feet more than once during Wuzu?

A.           It cannot be done except, when his hand is dry and the person takes wetness from his face for wiping the feet.

Q202.     How should one perform tayammum?

A.           The person performing tayammum should firstly remove the rings from his or her hands. Then place both the palms firmly on the clean dust, natural stone or wood. With both palms joined side by side, one must wipe the forehead starting from the line above which is covered with hair down to the upper part of the nose and covering both sides of the forehead breadth wise. Next wipe the back of the right hand from the wrist to the finger-tips with the left palm and then wipe the back of the left hand with the right palm. Now, place both palms for the second time firmly on the same substance and wipe the back of both hands in the way described above.

Q203.     What is the difference between the tayammum performed in place of ghusl (bath) or Wuzu?

A.           The person performing tayammum in place of ghusl (bath) is required to place both of his or her palms on the ground twice but it is sufficient to place the palms on the ground once while substituting tayammum for Wuzu.

Q204.     Is it necessary to include the big toe of the feet while wiping it during the Wuzu?

A.           It is not necessary to wipe the big toe of the feet during Wuzu. Any part of the upper portion of the feet will suffice. It is sufficient to wipe with the whole hand or just a finger.

Q205.     Is it wrong to lift one’s feet for wiping it during the Wuzu?

A.           It is not wrong provided there is no movement of the foot while wiping. That is why, it is better to rest the foot on the ground before wiping it.

Q206.     What kind of help offered to facilitate Wuzu is not permissible?

A.           Bringing water for another person wishing to do Wuzu is correct & pouring water for him would be considered as “Makruh” (undesirable). But what is not permissible is literally doing Wuzu of another person with one’s hands.

Q207.     Will Wuzu be affected if the person, after washing his right hand, drinks water?

A.           It will not make the Wuzu void. Care should be taken to see that a big gap does not break the continuity of the Wuzu acts.

Q208.     How should one perform Wuzu when the head is bandaged?

A.           If it is possible to remove the bandage which covers the area to be wiped it should be removed before doing the Wuzu. But if it is not possible to remove the bandage, one cannot wipe on it during the Wuzu. The person should perform tayammum in that case.

Q209.     A person has just washed his face and hands. Now he wishes to do Wuzu. Can he wipe his wet hands over his face and hands without taking any water with the intention of Wuzu?

A.           It would be correct to wipe hands over the wet face and hands if the area required for Wuzu is made wet, with the intention of Wuzu. The person can complete the Wuzu without taking any water.

Q210.     After doing ghusl (bath) with the intention of reciting Ziyarate Imam Husain (a.s.) can a person offer Namaz before reciting the ziyarat?

A.           According to the latest fatwa of Ayatullah Khoei (which was received before Saddam commenced his atrocities) only for those who are in Karbala, the recommended ghusl (bath) for Ziyarat of Imam Husain (a.s.) can suffice for Namaz. But those who are away from Karbala should necessarily also do Wuzu.

Q211.     Can a person wipe his head and feet during Wuzu in downward as well as upward direction?

A.           In wiping the head, it should be only from the top in the downward direction. But for wiping the feet, it can be done in either direction.

Q212.     What should be done regarding Wuzu (ablutions) or ghusl (bath) (ceremonial bath) when there is blood under the nails?

A.           If the blood under the nail has dried-up-such that it cannot be called blood, it is pure. But if it is called blood and it is difficult to purify that spot, for the purpose of ablutions and ceremonial bath, tayammum should be performed.

Q213.     It is necessary to take bath (Ghusl (bath)) separately for the number of corpses one has touched?

A.           It is sufficient to take bath (Ghusl (bath)) once even if one touches several corpses or touches the same corpse a number of times.

Q214.     What should a person do, who, in the course of his prayers, doubts whether or not he has performed Wuzu (ablution)?

A.           His prayer is void and he should perform ablutions and then offer prayers.

Q215.     What if the person doubts whether or not he performed ablutions after finishing his prayers?

A.           If there is a probability of his having been mindful of this condition when he commenced his prayers the prayers offered by him would be in order. But as regards future prayers he should perform ablutions for them.

Q216.     What should a person do in case he has only so much time that he may take bath and offer prayers without its recommended acts or he may perform tayammum and offer prayers along with its recommended acts?

A.           He should take bath and offer the prayers without its recommended acts, even if he does not have time to recite the Surah (second Surah after Surah al-Hamd).

Q217.     Sometimes after urinating, a white sticky fluid is discharged. Do I have to perform ‘ghusl (bath)’ (ceremonial bath) for performing prayers after that?

A.           The fluid which is discharged after urinating, whether before or after istebra is not ‘mani’ (semen) and is know as ‘wadi’ (white liquid), there is no need to perform a bath, because of that Wuzu ablution performed after urinating and before offering prayers would suffice.

Q218.     Do things which nullify Wuzu (ablutions) also nullify the tayammum?

A.           Yes.

Q219.     Can one offer Namaz (prayers) with the Wuzu (ablutions) performed with the intention of reading the holy Qur’an?

A.           Wuzu performed for reading the holy Qur’an or for that matter, with the intention of seeking divine pleasure, suffices for the performance of other acts also.

Q220.     Is it necessary to be with Wuzu for doing obligatory prostrations of Sajdatus Sahw or of the Holy Qur’an?

A.           It is not obligatory to be with Wuzu for Sajdatus Sahw or doing obligatory prostrations of the Holy Qur’an.

Q221.     What should a person do who doubts whether or not he has performed his tayammum correctly?

A.           If the person doubts before he has passed that stage, he should perform tayammum of that part. But if the person doubts after wiping the left hand when it is probable that he was mindful, his tayammum is valid and he should not pay attention to his doubt.

Q222.     Can a person perform tayammum before the time of prayers sets in?

A.           No. The person cannot perform tayammum unless the time for prayers sets in. But if he has performed tayammum for some obligatory or recommended act and his excuse (on account of which his religious obligation is tayammum) continues till the time for prayers sets in, he can offer his prayers with that tayammum. However, if he knows that his excuse will cease to exist by the end of the time of prayers, he should wait and offer prayers with ablutions or bath, as the case may be.

Q223.     Can one perform Wuzu in the state of janabat?

A.           If it is not possible to do ghusl (bath) immediately, one performs Wuzu for earning Allah’s pleasure. Basically this Wuzu is done for eating, drinking or sleeping purpose and Namaz cannot be performed with this Wuzu.

Q224.     A person finds that not enough time is available for performing Ghusl-e-Janabat and the dawn is about to break. Can the person perform Tayammum? Can the person say the morning prayers with that Tayammum?

A.           If dawn is close, the junub must perform Tayammum, have the intention and also manage for the Qaza of the fast, according to Ehtiyat. The person must then perform Ghusl-e-Janabat immediately for the Namaz. If a person ignores Tayammum, he has to manage the Qaza as well as the kaffara (i.e. expiation) for that day’s fast.

Q225.     When performing Wuzu if whilst washing one’s face using the bath-tap, the water from the tap bounces out of the bath onto one’s body/skin does it nullify the Wuzu as a bath is unclean by its nature? Does the position change if Wuzu has already been performed and the water drops splash onto oneself?

A.           Such water is not Najis as it is from the tap, even if it bounces out because it is flowing water (jaari). Such flowing water makes the parts that it touches from the bath clean (taahir), so it does not nullify Wuzu at all. Such water is taahir and does not affect the Wuzu at any stage.

Q226.     Is it permissible to avoid taking an obligatory bath mainly because of the coldness of water?

A.           The obligatory bath cannot be avoided due to the coldness of water. Tayammum can only be resorted to in sickness which will be aggravated by the bath, or lack of sufficient time to take bath and offer the prayers on time, or because of lack of water or when only ‘najis’ (unclean) water is available.


Fasting (Sawm)

Q227.     If a Muslim who is fasting on the 30th of Ramzan comes to know that today is Eid after Zohr, what should he do?

A.           As soon as he comes to know about Eid whether before Zohr or even before Maghrib, he should immediately break his fast. The time of Namaz-e-Eid is from sunrise up to noon-time. Eid Namaz cannot be prayed after Zohr. If he comes to know after Zohr, there is no Namaz-e-Eid for him. Moreover it is not Wajib (obligatory) in the Ghaybat of Imam-e-Zaman (a.t.f.s.). Performing Namaz-e-Eid on the next day is haraam. It is like praying Namaz-e-Jumah on Saturday.

Q228.     Some people say that one should not keep a fast on the day of Aashura while others say that it is the Sunnat (recommended) (tradition) of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) what is the true Islamic view?

A.           It is ‘Makruh’ (undesirable) to keep a fast on the day of Aashura. It is the legacy of the Bani Umayyad rulers who fabricated many traditions proclaiming the day of Aashura as a very auspicious day. The Holy Imams (a.s.) have repudiated this view as inauthentic and forged.

Q229.     Will it be necessary to give Kaffara (expiation) for breaking a Mustahab (desirable) fast?

A.           No. A person is not liable to give any Kaffara for breaking a Mustahab fast, intentionally or unintentionally. Kaffara is due on month of Ramazan’s fast and the Qaza of it when broken after midday.

Q230.     Can one swim during the fasting of month of Ramazan wearing a plastic cap?

A.           Yes. Fasting will not be invalidated.

Q231.     Would seminal discharge in sleep (Ehtelam) render a Wajib (obligatory) and Mustahab fast void?

A.           Ramazan fast does not become void due to Ehtelam. Only Qaza & Mustahab fast becomes void. If seminal discharge occurs in a dream during the day in the month of Ramazan, it is not necessary for him to rush for the Ghusl (bath); he is allowed to urinate, even though semen left in the urinary tract may come out. If he performs ghusl (bath) before urinating, it is Ehtiyat for him not to urinate until after Maghrib.

Q232.     Can a Muslim forgo fasting in the month of Ramazan if the nature of work entails hardship?

A.           The Muslim who cannot work if he observes fasting should abstain from working. He may take a loan, if need arises, but he is not permitted to forego fasting in the month of Ramazan.

Q233.     I cannot concentrate in my studies if I were to fast in the month of Ramazan. My final exams are near. Can I keep Qaza for the Ramazan fasts later on?

A.           The fasts of the month of Ramazan are wajib (obligatory) and the reason you have mentioned cannot justify your not fasting. Your fears are baseless. If you obey Allah Ta’ala, He will help you in your studies.

Q234.     Can Mo’min break his Mustahab (recommended) fast by accepting ‘Paak’ (clean) eatables offered by a non-Muslim?

A.           No, he cannot break his fast. One can break a Mustahab fast only by accepting the invitation from another Mo’min.

Q235.     Can a person returning from a journey observe wajib (obligatory) fast?

A.           If he returns before noon, his fasting will be valid.

Q236.     Is a recommended fast invalidated due to unintentional intake of food or water?

A.           A recommended fast and even obligatory ones are not invalidated by unintentional eating or drinking water. When the person remembers, he should spit out that which is in his mouth. If after remembering, he were to eat too little and throw the rest out, his fasting will be void.

Q237.     A person having vowed to do fast on three consecutive days is unable to fast on the third day. Will he have to fast for three days once again?

A.           If continuity was not a condition and the person had merely vowed to fast for three days, he should observe fast for one more day. But if continuity was part of the “Nazr”, he should fast for three consecutive days once again.

Q238.     Can a person fasting for Kaffara-e-Yameen break his fast after noon-time?

A.           The person fasting for Kaffara-e-Yameen can break his fast before noon but he cannot break his fast after noon-time.

Q239.     What should a person do who had deliberately not kept fast for 3 months of Ramazan?

A.           The person will have to give Kaffara (expiation) for every day of the month of Ramazan fasting which he has deliberately not observed. The expiation for one day is either to set free a slave, feed sixty poor people or fast for 60 days, of which 31 days must be fasted consecutively. The person will also have to keep one day’s fast as Qaza for each day of the Ramazan fast.

               As a precaution, the Qaza of the fasting of Ramazan should not be delayed upto the next Ramazan. If one has to fast the Qaza for two or more complete Ramazan, a fidyah (ransom) will be incumbent on him for each day of the Ramazan month of the year or years before the last Ramazan. The fidyah is three quarters of a kilogram of food or a kilogram & a half for each day.

Q240.     Is it Wajib (obligatory) for a person, to pay for the Kaffara of the fasting before embarking for the Hajj?

A.           If the person has sincere intentions of keeping fasts as Kaffara for the Ramazan & other fasting, he can proceed for Hajj. But if he has intention of feeding the poor as Kaffara, it will be Wajib (obligatory) for him to fulfill the Kaffara first, which is similar to a debt on the person, before embarking for the Hajj.

Q241.     Can one break fast which has been kept due to fulfilment of a vow?

A.           The fast due for a fulfilment of a vow are of two types: (1) Which has no time limit which can be suspended before noon time, and (2) One which is specifically time bound say for example, the vow to keep a fast on 15th Shaaban, such a fast cannot be suspended, neither before nor after noon time.

Q242.     Would fasting of a person be valid if in the month of Ramazan he leaves his home town after dawn and returns before noon?

A.           Yes.

Q243.     A traveller decides to stay at a place for 10 days during Ramazan but after a few days fasting, he leaves that place for another village. Would he be obliged to keep Qaza of the few days’ fasting later?

A.           No, his early fast is valid.

Q244.     Can a person, who has touched a dead body, observe fast without taking the obligatory bath?

A.           Yes, the person can observe fast without taking the bath for touching a dead body and his fast does not become void even if he touches the dead body in the state of fast.

Q245.     Should a wife pay atonement if her husband forces her to have sexual intercourse while she is observing an obligatory fast?

A.           It is the obligation of the husband, who forces his wife to have sexual intercourse while she I observing an obligatory fast, to make atonement for his own fast as well as for his wife’s. If the wife was agreeable to the sexual intercourse one atonement becomes obligatory for each of them.

Q246.     Can a person observe fasting without taking a bath for touching a dead body?

A.           Yes. A person can observe fasting without taking a bath for touching a dead body and even if he touches a dead body in the state of fasting, his fast does not become void.

Q247.     Does the food which remains between the teeth and is swallowed during the day invalidate the fast?

A.           If the person knows that some particles of food remains in between his teeth which will go down into his stomach during the day, it is necessary for him to use a toothpick or dental floss. In case he does not use a toothpick or dental floss and something goes down into his stomach, his fast becomes void.

Q248.     Does a recommended fast become void if a person vomits involuntarily?

A.           If a person vomits by mistake or involuntarily, his fast does not become void. The rule applies equally to obligatory as well as to recommended fasts.

Q249.     What is the position of the fast of a person who breaks it upon the saying of an unreliable person that the sun has set and learns later that the sun had not set?

A.           If a person, who is not reliable says that the sun has set, and a person who is observing fast, breaks his fast on the basis of the statement of the former and learns later that the sun had not set or doubts whether or not the sun has set, it becomes obligatory on him to observe qaza of the fast and also to make atonement for it.

Q250.     Can a person observe fast while journeying on a day which he had vowed to do so?

A.           If a person makes a vow that he will observe fast on a particular day whether he is journeying on that day or not, he should observe the fast on that day although he may be journeying.

Q251.     A traveller intends to stay at a place for ten days, observes fasting and after Namaz-e-Zohrayn learns that he cannot stay for more than a week at that place. Is he obliged to offer complete prayers and observe Ramazan fasts on the following six days?

A.           Yes. If he prays one four rak’at prayer (with intention of staying for ten days) and then changes his plan, he will continue to offer complete prayers and to observe fasting. There is no difference among the Mujtahedeen about this rule.

Q252.     May a person observing a Mustahab fast, break it during the day if a Momin offers him/her something to eat?

A.           If a person observes a Mustahab fast, it is not obligatory on him to complete it. In fact, if one of his brethren-in-faith invites him to a meal, it is Mustahab that he accepts the invitation and breaks the fast during the day time even if it may be after Zohr.

Q253.     How should a person make the niyyat (intention) of a fast?

A.           A person can make niyyat every night of the Holy month of Ramazan that he would be fasting on the following day, and it is better to make niyyat on the first night of the month of Ramazan that he would be fasting throughout the month. The last time for making niyyat to observe a fast is moments before Azan of Fajr prayers.

               As for ‘Mustahab’ fast one can make its niyyat at any time in the day, even moments before Maghrib provided he has not committed any such act which invalidate the fast.

               If a person sleeps before Azan for Fajr prayers in Ramazan or any other day fixed for an obligatory fast without making a niyyat, and wakes up before Zohr to make a niyyat of fast, his fast will be in order. But if he wakes up after Zohr, as a precaution (Ehtiyaat), he should continue with the abstinence with the niyyat of Qurbat and then observe its ‘qaza’ also.

Q254.     What should one do if he is not certain whether it is the last day of Shabaan or the first day of the month of Ramazan?

A.           In such case the fast on that day is not obligatory. If, however, somebody wants to observe fast on that day he cannot do so with the intention of observing the month of Ramazan fast, but if he makes an intention that if it is month of Ramazan then it is the month of Ramazan fast and if it is not the month of Ramazan then it is Qaza fast, his fast will be valid. But it is better to observe the fast with the intention of Qaza fast or some other fast, and if it is known later that it was month of Ramazan then it will automatically be considered as month of Ramazan fast.

Q255.     Which things make a fast void (batil)?

A.           There are nine acts which invalidate fast:

(i)            Eating or drinking.

(ii)           Sexual intercourse.

(iii)          Masturbation or any sexual activity resulting in ejaculation.

(iv)          Ascribing false things to Allah (s.w.t.) Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and Ahlul Bayt (a.s.)

(v)           Swallowing heavy dust or thick smoke.

(vi)          Submerging one’s entire head in water.

(vii)         Remaining in need of Ghusl-e-Janabat, Ghusl-e-Haiz or Ghusl-e-Nifas up to the time of morning Azan;

(viii)        Taking a liquid enema and

(ix)          Intentional vomiting.

Q256.     Will the fast of a person be valid if he/she eats or drinks something unintentionally?

A.           If while eating and drinking, a person realises that it is Fajr, he should throw the food out of his mouth, and if he swallows it intentionally, his fast is void. But if a person eats or drinks something forgetfully during the day time his fast is in order.

Q257.     If someone, who needs Ghusl-e-Janabat in the nights of month of Ramazan sleeps and does not wake up before the time of morning Azan, will his fast be in order?

A.           If a person in Janabat, does not perform Ghusl (bath) intentionally till the time of Fajr prayers his/her fast becomes void and if the time left before Azan is short he/she should perform tayammum and observe the fast. However as a precaution (Ehteyat) its qaza should be observed.

Q258.     Will a woman’s fast be valid if she gets paak from Haiz or Nifas just near the Fajr Prayers, in the month of Ramazan and has no time left for ghusl (bath) or tayammum.

A.           Yes, her fast will be in order.

Q259.     What is the Kaffarah (atonement) of intentionally not observing fast of the month of Ramazan?

A.           In case of intentionally not observing or breaking a fast (of the month of Ramazan), in addition to making up the Qaza (defaulted) fast he may atone for the same by any of the 3 methods given hereunder:

(a)           Free a slave, or

(b)           Observe fast for 60 days. The first 31 days of this fast must be consecutive but if he/she fails to fast on any day in this period without any just excuse, he should commence fasting all over again. However it would not matter if he did not maintain continuity (after 31 days) for completion of the remaining 29 fasts, or

(c)           Feed 60 poor Muslims to their fill. However if it is not possible for him to fulfill any of these he should give Sadaqah (charity) according to his/her status and seek Divine forgiveness.

Q260.     A person fasts in the month of Ramazan for several years and he does not know, due to ignorance, that the ghusl (bath) of janabah is obligatory, so he does not perform ghusl (bath).

A.           His fast is correct and no expiation (kaffarah) is obligatory for him.

Q261.     Is it permissible to offer meals to those who are not fasting, that is those with and without an excuse for not fasting in the month of Ramazan, whether in restaurants or in homes, if this offering is not considered disrespectful to the sanctity of the noble month?

A.           It is permissible (to offer meals) to those who have an excuse (for not fasting) [but not to the others].

Q262.     What is the ruling for a person who travels after noon (zohr) during the month of Ramazan while fasting?

A.           He should complete his fast and there is no qaza on him.

Q263.     And if he travels before noon, having intended to do so and decided on the trip the night before?

A.           There is no fasting for him on this day. He will break his fast after reaching the hadd al-tarakhkhus and he is obligated to offer its qaza after that.

Q264.     Some allergy sufferers use an apparatus which we call an ‘inhalator’ to assist them in easy breathing. After its placement in the mouth and pressing it, this apparatus emits what is like pressurized gas. Can this apparatus be used at the time of fasting?

A.           Yes. One who uses this (apparatus) remains on his fast and his fast is valid.

Q265.     If I attain personal confidence that the astronomical calculations on the birth of the crescent (hilal) announced by the experts are correct, can I, relying on my confidence, confirm the first of the month and fast or for the Eid and break my fast?

A.           Confidence in the birth of the crescent and its visibility is of no consequence; rather, the actual sighting has to be confirmed by yourself or someone else. Yes, it is enough to confirm the actual sighting in another city if it shares the horizon of your city, such that a sighting in that city would necessitate a sighting in your city, if there were no barriers such as clouds, dust, mountains, etc.

Q266.     Can you tell me whether it is permitted to fast on behalf of parents who are still alive, in order to make up for fasts they have missed (i.e. qaza fasts).

A.           This cannot be done for the onus is theirs as long as they are alive. Should they not be able to fast for reasons of disability or handicap, then fast is not wajib (obligatory) on them. Prayers are wajib at all times, albeit could be performed in different positions. If standing is not possible, then sitting; if sitting is not possible, then lying down; and the worst scenario is a person praying with movements of eyelids to show positions of ruku and sajda. Should anyone be unconscious as in coma, then prayers are not wajib (obligatory). Mas’ala of Ayatullah Seestani (From ‘Islamic Laws’): As long as a person is alive, no other person can offer his qaza on his behalf, even if he himself is unable to offer them.

Q267.     Can a person swallow his own saliva while fasting? Can a person taste the salt of a cooked dish?

A.           It is not an offence to swallow the saliva, even if it is intentionally collected or by thinking of juicy things. It is permissible to taste the salt provided, it should not enter the throat. The person must spit out the substance completely.

Q268.     Can married couples perform sexual intercourse in the month of Ramazan?

A.           During the daytime sexual intercourse is not permitted in the month of Ramazan. It is makruh for a person fasting to kiss or play with his wife unless he is sure that there will be no discharge.

Q269.     Will it be necessary to give Kaffara for breaking a Mustahab fast?

A.           No. A person is not liable to give any Kaffara for breaking a Mustahab fast, intentionally or unintentionally. Kaffara is due on fast for the month of Ramazan and the Qaza (lapsed) of it when broken after midday.

Q270.     Before beginning a fast of Ramazan, how much earlier should one stop eating before morning prayers?

A.           Even one second before dawn is sufficient. If one does not know when the dawn breaks, the person should stop eating a few minutes earlier.

Q271.     Is eating before dawn (i.e. Sehri) Wajib (obligatory)?

A.           Sehri is not Wajib (obligatory). It is Mustahab (i.e. recommended) even if it is only water or a piece of date. As far as possible, one should not ignore the importance of Sehri.

Q272.     When we observe that the new moon sighted on the last day of the month of Shabaan is big, what should be one’s intention for next day’s fast - first or second of Ramazan?

A.           If it is the end of the month of Shabaan and the new moon appears to be of the second day, one should keep a Qaza after the end of Ramazan. And it is not necessary to specify whether one is fasting for the second or third or fourth day.

Q273.     I would like to know what is the reason that the Shia Muslims break their fast after the Maghrib Prayers, while most of the Sunni Muslims break their fast before the Maghrib Prayers, i.e. as soon as the sun sets. Are there any Hadees or Tradition of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) in this regard?

A.           The followers of the Ahlul-Bayt (a.s.) break their fast when the real Maghrib takes place. The real Maghrib is not just what some people see as sunset, which is in fact a superficial one, but when it really sets, and that is known by the vanishing of the reflection of sunlight on the opposite side of the sun (Eastern Reddish), which confirms that the sun has set. This happens many minutes after the superficial sunset.

               Even in the Holy Qur’an, you find the verse: “And complete fasting till night” which means beginning of the night and is not just the superficial sunset when nobody can claim that night has started. This shows that the real time of breaking fast according to the Holy Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah is when the night starts, and that is exactly what the Shia practise.

Q274.     Do I have to give fitra in respect of the guest who comes to my house before Id-ul-fitr night although he himself gives his own fitra? Please clarify.

A.           If the guest stayed over the night of Id-ul-fitr at your house, then his fitra will be due on you, but if he had stayed part of night and left, then his fitra is not on you.

Q275.     During fasting, is it allowed to brush teeth to avoid bad smell? Also, can I trim, cut or shave small hair around my beard or any other part of my body or cut my nails during fasting?

A.           Brushing one’s teeth, or shaving, cutting or trimming one’s hair from any part of the body, or cutting one’s nails during fasting is allowed and it does not affect one’s fast.

Q276.     Is a recommended fast invalidated due to unintentional intake of food or water?

A.           A recommended fast and even obligatory ones are not invalidated by unintentional eating or drinking water. When the person remembers, he should spit out that which is in his mouth. If after remembering, he were to eat a little and throw the rest out, his fasting will be void.

Q277.     What are the consequences in case a person cannot fast due to ill-health? What happens if one deliberately breaks his fast or does not keep fasts when he is obliged to do so?

A.           If an ill person cannot fast he/she has to keep a Qaza fast afterwards, but if he/she cannot keep Qaza fast either in the future due to continuous ill health, then he/she has to give Fidya which is feeding one poor person for every day of missing fast. The poor person should be a Mo’min besides being poor.

               Kaffara is a penalty for deliberately breaking fast or not fasting. Kaffara for each day is either freeing a slave or feeding 60 poor persons for each day of not fasting (deliberately) or fasting for two months for each day. Kaffara is just a penalty and the person still needs to keep Qaza fast for the day he missed fasting.

Q278.     Can one accept the tea or eatable offered by one’s mother or wife and break a recommended fast?

A.           It is recommended to accept an invitation extended by a mo’min or mo’mina to consume lawful and clean food or drink. The person will be recompensed for the fast as well as for accepting the invitation. The recommended fast can be suspended at any time of the day but the qaza (lapsed) fast or one kept for a vow which is not time bound can be broken only before noon time.


Hajj and Umrah

Q279.     Can a person who has not performed his own Hajj go on behalf of another?

A.           If the person cannot do it any time, then he can go on behalf of another. A person who can afford to go or earlier delayed going to Hajj cannot go for Niyabat.

Q280.     Can a person do Niyabat for 3 or more persons in performing Mustahab Hajj at one time?

A.           A person can do Niyabat on behalf of more than 1 person in the case of Mustahab Hajj. But Wajib (obligatory) Hajj can be performed by a person as Niyabat for 1 person only at a time.

Q281.     Can a person in the state of Ehram stand under the shade of a tree or a building’s shadow?

A.           After Ehram, there is no objection to take shelter under a shade or shadow for the purpose of taking rest or while residing at a place. But it is not allowed while travelling.

               One cannot travel in a vehicle with a cover over it. There should not be any shadow nor can a person cover his head with any material while travelling.

Q282.     Under what circumstances does Hajj become Wajib (obligatory) on a Housewife who does not have any income of her own?

A.           Hajj does not become Wajib (obligatory) on her in this case. Also it is not incumbent upon the husband, however rich he may be, to send or take her along with him to Hajj. But it would be better if the husband sends or takes her along with him for Hajj.

Q283.     Can a person take bath in the state of Ehram?

A.           It is permissible but the person should not use a soap which is fragrant and should not look into the mirror.

Q284.     Can a person in Ehraam change into some other clothes while resting?

A.           The person while resting can change provided it is unstitched.

Q285.     What is the Kaffara for a person in Ehram who walked under a shade deliberately?

A.           One animal, whether goat or sheep, should be slaughtered as Kaffara. And one cannot distribute among friends, relatives and neighbours. It has to be served to poor Mu’mineen.

Q286.     Is it necessary to offer Tawaf-un-Nisa? Can one perform it in stitched clothes?

A.           It is not Wajib (obligatory) but the person who does not perform Tawaf-un-Nisa at the end of his Hajj rites will not be able to return to conjugal relations with his wife. Similarly, a bachelor will not be able to marry.

               Tawaf-un-Nisa can be performed with stitched clothes.

Q287.     With due respect, I have to state that last year we had been fortunate to perform Hajj. A group of other Mo’mina were with us, we have been staying in one big room at Mecca Sharif. The Masala (question) is that somebody’s dupatta of Ehram has been brought back by us due to oversight, which we discovered after coming back to our place. Now what should we do? We have tried our best to find out its owner, but we did not succeed. The same is lying with us. Could we give it to a poor lady? Or could we put it in a Masjid for use by other ladies to perform Namaz?

A.           If you cannot find the rightful owner, you can give away the clothes in charity to any poor lady or leave it in the mosque where ladies use such apparel to perform their Namaz.

Q288.     Will a person in Ehraam who travelled under the shade give one Kaffara or one Kaffara for each time the person came out of shade and entered it again?

A.           Kaffara (i.e. expiation) will be due only once for one lap of journey. If a breach of prohibition takes place many times, for instance, during the journey from Mecca to Arafat, one Kaffara will be due.

Q289.     Can a person delegate another person to perform the Hajj rites?

A.           A physically able and healthy person cannot delegate this religious obligation to anybody else. If he believes walking will be strenuous for him, there are arrangements for wheel-chairs and palanquins. Only if the person is completely sick and unable to perform Hajj, even with any help and assistance, then he can delegate another person for Hajj.

Q290.     Can one perform one Umrah Mufradah for more than one person at a time?

A.           Yes, you may even perform one Umrah Mufrida on behalf of 100 people or more. After all, it is a Mustahab (recommended) act.

Q291.     Can a lady go with Na-mahram for Hajj?

A.           If the Na-mahram accompanying the lady sees her without hijab and there are chances of committing sin, the lady cannot go for Hajj with a Na-Mahram person. In the likelihood of such an event a woman cannot even go to the market or anywhere else.

               Yet, it is not Wajib (obligatory) for a lady to go with a Mahram. She may go with other women.

Q292.     Can a person perform Umrah Mufradah between Umrah Tamatto and Hajje Tamatto?

A.           The person cannot do Umrah Mufradah between Umrah Tamatto and Hajj-e-Tamatto. He should wait and complete the rites of Hajj-e-Tamatto.

Q293.     A person can either give Kaffara or go for Hajj. Can he proceed for Hajj if the time for Hajj (i.e. from Shawwal onward) has neared, without paying the Kaffara?

A.           The person should pay the Kaffara, irrespective of the fact that the months for the Hajj rites have arrived. It will not be proper to proceed for Hajj without giving the Kaffara.

Q294.     Is Tawaf-un-Nisa obligatory for a person doing hajj on behalf of dead Muslim?

A.           It is wajib (obligatory)

Q295.     What should a person do, when in the course of Namaz-e-Tawaaf behind Maqam-e-Ibrahim, he gets pushed?

A.           The person should return to his position and complete his Namaz. However, if he was in Ruku and then pushed away, he should not return to do Ruku even if he had not said the recitations but instead, continue with sajdah since it is not allowed to increase Wajib-e-Rukni acts.

Q296.     A person has been sponsored by another to go for Umrah and Kaffarah (penalty) becomes due on him. Who is liable to pay the Kaffarah the sponsor or the doer?

A.           The person who had gone for Umrah is liable to pay the Kaffarah.

Q297.     A person performing Hajj on behalf of another fails to perform Tawafun Nisa. Does the wife of the person who hires become unlawful for him?

A.           If a person who has been hired by another person to perform Hajj fails to perform Tawafun Nisa, his wife (i.e. the wife of the hired person) becomes unlawful for him.

Q298.     If some one cannot go to Hajj, and he knows that he does not have the ability or means to go, what should he do?

A.           Grand Ayatullah Sayyed al-Khoei states that this person should send someone on his/her behalf who has not gone on the Hajj before, in his/her place. However, Grand Ayatullah Sayyed Ali Seestani disagrees and states that in order for someone in this situation to complete their Hajj they can send anybody, although it would be better to send somebody who has not been on the Hajj before.

Q299.     If someone is certain that he cannot perform the Hajj and he knows that he will die, how can he complete his Hajj?

A.           In order to complete his Hajj, the person must write a wasiyya, or will, requesting someone to go on his behalf. This person can be a relative or somebody else.

Q300.     If someone dies without performing the Hajj, and at the same time he did not leave a wasiyya requesting someone to go on his behalf, how is it possible for him to go on the Hajj?

A.           This person’s Hajj will only be complete if someone, be it a relative on other wise, performs the Hajj on his behalf using the deceased person’s wealth.

Q301.     If someone dies in debt and has not performed the Hajj but has left a small amount of money should it be used for the Hajj or to pay back the debt?

A.           According to Sayyed al-Khoei, the debt to Allah is greater and the Hajj takes preference, so the money should be used to send someone on behalf of the Hajj. Sayyed Seestani, says that the money should be given in order to may off the debt.

Q302.     Is it permissible to go for Umrah or Ziyarat during the month of Ramazan?

A.           One is allowed to travel during the month of Ramazan even if it is to avoid fasting. It is Makruh (i.e. undesirable) unless it is for Umrah or Ziyarat or to serve in the army of an Islamic government or to save a life or if it is after the twenty third day of the month of Ramazan.

Q303.     When someone comes to Makkah to perform the rites of Hajj on behalf of another (i.e. as a naib), himself lacking the capacity to perform Hajj, and thus acquires the capacity to perform Umrah Mufradah, is it obligatory for him to perform the umrah?

A.           Apparently, umrah mufradah does not become obligatory for the naib, whose duty is to perform umrah tamatto. However, it is better for the naib who thus becomes capable to perform the umrah mufradah for the sake of caution (ehteyaat).

Q304.     Is the wearing of Ehraam necessary for women?

A.           Women may assume Ehraam in any dress, with the exception of clothes made of pure silk.

Q305.     Is it permissible for women who cannot enter the halt in a mosque, on account of menses, to assume Ehraam outside the Shajarah Mosque? What about assuming Ehraam from a parallel point for those women who have no disability?

A.           For those who travel to Makkah by this route, it is not sufficient to assume Ehraam outside the Shajarah Mosque. However, women having an excuse must become mohrim while passing through the mosque, if possible. If they cannot do so, due to the crowd or a similar reason, and they cannot also postpone Ehraam until their disability is over, it is obligatory that they assume Ehraam at Johfah or a parallel point. Also, they can assume ehram from their place of stay in Medina by taking a vow (nazr).

Q306.     Is it valid for women to take a vow to assume ehram before the miqat without her husband’s permission? In general, what is the rule about a woman’s vow taken without her husband’s permission?

A.           A woman can take a vow without her husband’s permission in his absence. But caution lies in her abstaining from taking a vow without his permission when he is present, and if she takes such a vow it would not be valid.

Q307.     What is the rule concerning the use of oil during the state of ehram? Does it entail a Kaffarah, and if it does, what is it?

A.           It is not permissible to apply oil on the body or the head’s hair for the purpose of adornment or relaxation of bodily members and the like, but there is no kaffarah for it unless the oil has been perfumed, as some creams are. In such a case that which is in accord with caution is to sacrifice a sheep, although it’s not being obligatory is not improbable even in this case.

Q308.     What is the rule concerning wearing ornaments during ehram and what is the related kaffarah?

A.           The use of any kind of ornaments by women, as well as applying kohl, wearing finger rings, and applying henna for the purpose of adornment are forbidden for both men and women, but no kaffarah is required. If the use of such things is considered adornment, it is better as an obligatory caution to avoid them even if there is no intent of adornment. It is not improbable that it is obligatory in the state of ehram to abstain from everything that is considered adornment, even if there is no intent to adorn oneself. Thus caution is not to be neglected in this regard. Wearing finger rings for the sake of istehbaab (reward) and the wearing of ornaments by women that they usually wear at home are accepted, provided they are concealed from the sight of even their husbands.

Q309.     Is it permissible for the mohrim to pass through the tunnel on his way from Makkah to Mina, though there is another route which is longer?

A.           There is nothing objectionable in it.

Q310.     Where should one slaughter the sacrificial animal relating to the kaffarahs that become obligatory on a mohrim, and how is it to be used?

A.           The kaffarah may be given to the poor, and the place of sacrifice, in the case of expiation for hunting during umrah, is Makkah, and during Hajj it is Mina. As a matter of caution, one should act in the same manner in relation to other kaffarahs.

Q311.     Is it permissible to interrupt an obligatory or a mustahab tawaf?

A.           It is permissible, although it is more in accord with caution not to break off during an obligatory tawaf in a way that is usually considered a violation of the continuity of sequence (mawalaat).

Q312.     What is the rule applicable to a person who after returning to his hometown comes to know that his tawaf had been defective?

A.           It is obligatory for him to rectify his tawaf, either in person or, when he cannot do it himself by appointing a naib. After performing a complete tawaf with the intention of fulfilling his obligation, the prayer of tawaf should be offered again.

Q313.     Is it permissible to leave a gap of time between tawaf and the prayer of tawaf?

A.           It is obligatory to perform the prayer of tawaf without leaving a time gap, and the criterion of whether there is a gap or not is common judgement. Accordingly, it is not improbable that a gap of few minutes for the performance of a daily prayer would be considered a harmless gap.

Q314.     Is it correct for a woman and a man to pray by the side of one another behind the Maqam (of Ibrahim)?

A.           There is no problem so far as there is a distance of at least a wajab (about 20 centimetres) or the man stands a little ahead of the woman.

Q315.     What is the duty of the one who omits the prayer of tawaf either intentionally or by mistake or due to his ignorance of the rule?

A.           Voluntary omission of the prayer of tawaf invalidates the Hajj. But in case it occurs due to ignorance of the rule or due to a lapse, one should return to the Masjid al-Haram and offer the prayer if one is not far away and can offer the prayer in its place without hardship. But if one has gone far away from Makkah, one should perform it wherever one is reminded.

Q316.     What is the duty of one who remembers while performing the saie that he did not perform the prayer of tawaf?

A.           He should break off the saie as soon as he remembers it and perform the two rak’ats of the prayer at its proper place and then return to complete the saie.

Q317.     What is the duty of someone performing umrah who omits taqsir, intentionally, unknowingly or by mistake and goes on to assume the ehram for hajj?

A.           If the omission was intentional or due to ignorance of the rule of taqsir, and he assumes the ehram of hajj, his umrah is most probably invalid and his hajj changes into Hajj al-ifraad. As a caution it is obligatory upon him to return to perform the Hajj next year. That which is nearer to caution (ahwat) is to perform an Umrah Mufradah this year after the completion of Hajj al-Ifrad. But if the omission of taqsir was on account of a lapse, his Hajj is valid and as a supererogatory caution he should sacrifice a sheep.

Q318.     Should one assume the ehram of Hajj from a point within the old city of Makkah, or can one assume it from any point within the present city?

A.           It is permissible to assume ehram from any point within the present Makkah. But as a manner of caution it should not be outside the limits of the old Makkah, and it is best to assume ehram in the Masjid al-Haram.

Q319.     Is the time of the halt in Arafat from the beginning of noon or later?

A.           The caution in regard to the halt in Arafat lies in making it from the beginning of noontime to sunset, although it is not improbable that a delay amounting to the time that is usually required for making the prayers of Zohr and Asr and going through their preliminaries is permissible.

Q320.     If someone forgets making the rami (throwing of stones) and leaves Mina, should he return to perform it in person or can he appoint a naeb, or should he perform its qaza the next year?

A.           He should return and perform the rami, and he cannot appoint a naeb to do it. And if the Days of Tashriq are over, as a matter of obligatory caution he should return to perform it or appoint a naeb to do it, and he or his naeb should perform its qaza the year after as well.

Q321.     Please explain the rule pertaining to making the sacrifice at the new sacrificial grounds?

A.           To offer the sacrifice in the new sacrificial grounds is valid and permissible.

Q322.     If one delays performing the sacrifice beyond the Day of Id due to incapacity, should he also put off doing halq or taqsir (shaving of head or cutting the hair)?

A.           Yes. As a matter of caution he should delay it until the sacrifice is offered.

Q323.     Is it permissible to perform the halq at night? What is to be done if one were to forget making halq during the day?

A.           From the viewpoint of caution, it is better not to put off halq until the night, and if the delay is due to having forgotten, one can perform it any time after the day of Id al-Azha.

Q324.     What is the obligatory period for spending the night in Mina? Is it sufficient to spend the first half of the night from sunset to midnight? How about spending the second half?

A.           The obligatory period of spending the night in Mina is half of night and the mukallaf has the option between the first half and the second, though spending the first half of the night there is closer to caution.

Q325.     If one does not make the nightly halt at Mina from sunset to midnight, what is his duty? Is there any difference in this regard between having some excuse, or having acted out of ignorance or forgetfulness?

A.           In such a case he should make the halt during the second half of the night if one fails to make the obligatory night halt, he should sacrifice a sheep for every night omitted and, to be on the side of caution, there is no difference in this regard between one who has a valid excuse and someone who acts out of ignorance or forgetfulness.

Q326.     Does the rule that allows the traveller the option to offer the (four rak’at) prayer either fully or with qasr in the Masjid al-Haram and the Prophet’s Mosque apply to the entire city of Makkah and of Medina? Is there any difference in this regard between the new and the old localities?

A.           The rule allowing the option between offering the daily (four rak’at) prayers either completely or with qasr applies to the entire cites of Makkah and Medina and these cities as such are the subject of the rule, without their being a difference between the old and the new localities. However, caution in this matter requires one to confine the option to the old city limits of Makkah and Medina, or, rather, to the two holy mosques.

Q327.     A man who is financially able in a particular year is prevented from travelling because he could not obtain a visa to perform the hajj in that year. Then, he is forced to spend the money, which was set aside for hajj, after the season, to fulfill his living needs. Thereafter, he is not able to obtain the money needed to perform the hajj.

A.           If he acquires the ability in later years, then hajj is obligatory for him, and if he does not acquire the ability, then it is not obligatory for him.

Q328.     From which direction should one throw pebbles at jamratul aqabah (in Mina)?

A.           Stone it from the front [because it is not permissible to stone it from the back].

Q329.     What is the ruling on one who enters the state of Ehraam from Jeddah, instead of Johfah, because of ignorance?

A.           If he made a nazr for the Ehraam in Jeddah, then his Ehraam is valid.

Q330.     Is one permitted after tawaf and saei, to cut the hair (taqsir) of someone else who has requested him to do so, before cutting his own?

A.           It is not permissible for one to attend to the taqsir of others before his own.

Q331.     Can a person do niyabat for 3 or more persons in performing Mustahab Hajj at one time?

A.           A person can do niyabat on behalf of more than 1 person in the case of Mustahab Hajj. But Wajib (obligatory) Hajj can be performed by a person as Niyabat for 1 person only at a time.

Q332.     If a person on whom Hajj was wajib (obligatory), dies before having performed it, is it wajib (obligatory) to first spend, out of the inheritance, on sending someone to Hajj on behalf of the deceased?

A.           If Hajj was wajib (obligatory) on a person, and he dies before performing it, then it becomes wajib (obligatory) on his heirs to set aside an appropriate amount of money from the money or properties he left behind before these are distributed, and to send a person for hajj on behalf of the departed. This Hajj must be performed without delay.

Q333.     It is said that if a person performs Umrah during the month of Ramazan he will get more sawab than if he performs it in any other month. But if one goes for Umrah during Ramazan then one’s fasting which is obligatory (wajib (obligatory)) would become Qasr. So what should one do?

A.           The best month for Umrah Mufrada is Rajab, although Umrah Mufrada is recommended (Mustahab) every month in the year. If you go for Umrah during the month of Ramazan, then you may stay in Makkah for 10 days or more so that you can observe fasting. If you stay for less than ten days in Makkah itself, you cannot observe fast, and you should observe your Qaza fasts later on.

Q334.     Which is the time for performing Umra-e-Mufrada? I am told that if we perform after the 1st of Shawwal then Hajj is Wajib (obligatory) for that year. Please clarify this.

A.           If you have already performed Hajj, then it will not be Wajib (obligatory) again on you to perform Hajj. But if you have never performed Hajj, and you performed Umrah in Shawwal, then this means that you can perform Hajj also. This makes Hajj Wajib (obligatory) on those who did not perform Hajj before.


Khums

Q335.     Can Sahme Saadaat (50% share of saadaat) be given in a form other than money? Is it necessary to inform the person that we’re giving him khums money?

A.           Sahme Saadaat can be given in the form of gifts and lawful articles. According to Ayatullah Khoei (M.D.A.) it should be given to poor, pious and deserving Sayyeds. And it is not necessary to inform the recipient that he or she is receiving khums money just as one gives in charities without saying anything.

Q336.     Would khums be applicable on the jewellery, which has been given by parents to their married daughter?

A.           If one knows that the parents have not paid the khums when it was due, it will have to be extracted from the value of the jewellery. Now if the parents have paid the khums but the jewellery is kept by their daughter in safe deposit after one year’s period, khums will have to be paid. Only if khums had been paid previously and the jewellery is put to use by wearing it, khums would not have to be paid.

Q337.     Is Khums payable on the amount outstanding in a Provident Fund Account?

A.           No, it is yet not 100% in your ownership. At the time when it’s in your ownership only, then Khums is applicable.

Q338.     Would Khums be applicable on eatables like rice, oil, etc. which remains at the end of the year?

A.           Yes. The 20 percent value of the remaining eatables should be calculated for each item at the year end and paid as Khums.

Q339.     A person living at his parent’s house saves money over a period of five years and buys a house where he later lives with his wife. Would he have to pay the Khums on the price of the house?

A.           Every person should have a date for accounting purposes. At the end of one year, whatever savings have been made after making all lawful expenses, 20% of it should be given as Khums. Of this, 50% be paid to poor and pious Saadaat (descendants of Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) and Aale Muhammad (a.s.)) and 50% be given to Naeb-e-Imam or those who have his permission to collect Sahme-Imam.

               If the person did not pay them at the end of every year, he will have to pay the Khums on the total amount saved at the end of 5 years. The amount, which remains after deducting the Khums, will not attract Khums in the next year unless there is an increase. Then, Khums would be deducted from the increased amount only.

Q340.     A person has $2000 after paying Khums. In the New Year $ 1000/- is spent on necessities. Now at the end of the New Year, there is a total saving of $ 3000/- would the person be liable to pay Khums on $ 3000/- or $ 2000/-?

A.           The Khums should be removed from $ 2000/- since that is the savings from the income of the second year.

Q341.     A person wishes to pay Khums on the amount spent for purchasing a television set, years ago. Should he pay according to its original price or the new price?

A.           The person should consider the original price and the price it would fetch on selling it presently. And pay Khums on the amount, which is more.

Q342.     What should a person do, who, at the end of the year finds that if he paid Khums, he won’t be able to buy a house ever in his life?

A.           The person should pay for buying a house in advance as part payment or buy a room before the due date of Khums. But he should use it before the Khums date.

Q343.     A person gets his superannuation dues from his company after retirement and invests the same in a business venture before his date for accounting Khums is due. Will the person have to pay Khums on this investment?

A.           lf the person has no other source of income, then only the savings made from the profit of the business will not attract Khums. Otherwise, the person having another source of income will have to pay Khums on the total amount received as superannuation dues.

Q344.     Will the VCR and Car bought from this year’s profit attract Khums?

A.           lf the VCR and Car are used as necessities and not for show-off or pastime then it will not attract Khums. If they are used for any un-Islamic purpose, Khums will have to be paid on the amount spent on buying them.

Q345.     WilI a lady has to pay Khums from her full income since what she spends on household expenses is her husband’s responsibility?

A.           Yes, she will have to pay Khums on her full income. In case her husband’s income is insufficient, she can spend on household expenditure before the year-end for accounting Khums.

Q346.     Can a married lady give gifts and Sadaqa (charity) from her income without paying Khums?

A.           A married lady can give gifts and charity from her income before the end of the year and if the year is complete, she should first pay Khums from her savings.

Q347.     Can a person re-invest the profit of his business in the same business without paying Khums?

A.           It is not permissible to re-invest the savings without paying Khums when the due-date has arrived. The person should first remove Khums & re-invest the rest.

Q348.     If a person pays Khums and give it away to some person who has proved his authority of doing so, but later finds that what he has done is not right and that the person was not a right one. In this condition what should the Khums payer do? Should he pay the Khums again?

A.           If the person has not done full enquiry before paying then he has to pay his Khums again. If he has done his best in enquiry then he has to ask for his money back to give it to a proper place.

Q349.     What should a person do who has never paid Khums in his life?

A.           The person should sincerely repent, seek Allah’s forgiveness and after calculating the savings made from the time of maturity should pay 1/5th of it as Khums.

Q350.     Is it obligatory for the son to pay Khums from the amount received from his father who never paid Khums?

A.           It is obligatory.

Q351.     A person pays kaffara for his fasts before his khums date. Will khums be due on that amount?

A.           Khums will not be due on kaffara because it is a necessary expense.

Q352.     How does one remove khums of a carpet?

A.           Since actual division is not possible one fifth its value should be calculated and given as khums.

Q353.     What should one reply to the accusation of Non-Shias that if Khums was such an important issue, it would’ve been mentioned many times, whereas it has been spoken of in the Qur’an only once?

A.           It is true that Khums has been clearly mentioned only once in the Holy Qur’an namely verse no 42 in Surah Anfaal. Firstly, there are many verses which refer to Khums without mentioning it by name. Secondly, there are very few verses which refer to Allah’s Oneness and the Prophet’s Last Messenger ship. Does that mean that this truth is of less significance? It is the way of Bani Israel to insist on unnecessary clarifications which only made life difficult for them. Muslims should consider it sufficient that when a command comes from Allah and His Messenger, they obey it unhesitatingly.

Q354.     Some Muslims believe that Khums is not applicable today because the word “Ghanemtum” refers to “spoils of war?”

A.           This misconception is due to the wrong translation of the word ‘Ghanemtum” as “spoils of war”. The word has been invariably used to mean cattles, spoils of war, treasure, mineral and anything which one gains or of value. It has been reliably mentioned in many books of Sunni scholars including Bukhari and Muslim that Khums is due on pearls removed from the sea when the ordinance of Khums was decreed, every Muslim was paying it. In fact, all sects of Islam consider Khums to be applicable on treasure.

               Who understands the Holy Qur’an better than the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) who lived with the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) or those so-called scholars who never met him? Understanding Qur’an by its external meaning alone is not sufficient. The existence of so many sects of Islam is a direct consequence of personal perceptions of Islam. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.)’s famous narrative is well-known, in which he said: “I have fought for the “Tanzeel” (revelation) and Ali (a.s.) will fight for its “Ta’veel” (interpretation) “. That is why we accept the meaning and interpretation of Allah’s commandments only from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).

Q355.     A person receives a costly gift, which is not used, and after a month his date for removing khums arrives. Will he have to pay Khums on it? What if the gift was given from money whose Khums had been paid?

A.           When a person receives a gift, irrespective of the fact that it had been given from Khums-free money, it becomes part of the receiver’s account. When it is not used or its value is in excess of the receiver’s annual expenses, he will have to remove Khums from it.

Q356.     A person buys jewellery for his wife who wears it occasionally. Then for one complete year it is not used and she has no intention of wearing it. Is Khums applicable on it?”

A.           In this case, Khums is applicable on it. As far as a thing is in use, Khums does not become applicable on it.

Q357.     Is Khums due on what a person sets aside every year as dowry for his daughter?

A.           If the person purchases dowry out of the profit made in a year in that year itself and it is not beyond his status, it is not necessary for him to pay Khums on it.

Q358.     A person’s year ends on Eid-ul-Az’ha. Will Khums be applicable on the money he spends for Hajj and Ziyarats (pilgrimages) in that journey?

A.           Yes. Khums is due on the money which the person spends after Eid-ul-Az’ha because he will be spending the savings of the year in the second year.

Q359.     A person owes Khums as well as Kaffarah (atonement) of the Ramazan fasts. Is he free to pay anyone of them first?

A.           If Khums is due on a person and it is also obligatory for him to make atonement and he cannot make both the payments, and if the property on which Khums has become obligatory has not perished, he should first give Khums. And if it has perished, it is optional for him either to pay Khums or to make payment of atonement first.

Q360.     Is it obligatory for a person who gets some property from a person who does not believe in paying khums, to pay khums for it?

A.           It is not obligatory for the receiver to pay the khums. Similarly, it is the not the responsibility of the person who receives a gift or purchases something on which khums has not been paid, to do so.

Q361.     Can a person give the share of the Sayyeds from his Khums to his wife who is a Sayyedah?

A.           On the basis of obligatory precaution, he should not give khums to her so that she may meet her own expenses with it. It would be permissible for the husband to give khums to her so that she may use it on her non-obligatory expenses.

Q362.     Is Khums [religious tax] waajib [compulsory] on a person who has a qarz [dues payable]?

A.           If you are under debt and during your khums year, you have paid out a part of your debt then this payment can be considered as your expense, other wise qarz does not effect khums payment. It still becomes applicable.

Q363.     Is khums applicable on ‘Nazr’ (vow) and Kaffara (atonement)?

A.           Whatever a person spends on vow and atonement is a part of his annual expenditure and khums is not applicable on it.

Q364.     Is it obligatory to pay khums on what is given as gift or prizes?

A.           Giving a gift or a prize is included in annual expenditure and it is not necessary to pay khums on it, provided it is not beyond his (i.e. the giver’s) status.

Q365.     Can a son take Khums out of the property of his father who does not want to pay Khums due on his property, without his knowledge?

A.           The person cannot take khums out of his father’s property without the permission of the religious head.

Q366.     Do housewives need to have a date for themselves for calculating khums, considering the fact that they don’t have any income of their own?

A.           In Islam, women are entitled to own property, conduct business, and receive inheritance and gifts besides saving money from the household expenses. So she is liable to account for her personal possessions and assets. Hence even housewives, or for that matter, all mature and sane men and women should have a date for themselves for calculating khums.

Q367.     Can one take the khums to another town for payment even though deserving persons are present in his hometown?

A.           Even if a deserving person is available in the hometown of a person, he can carry khums to another town and give it to a deserving person. However, he himself should bear the expenses of taking khums to the other town and in case khums is lost, he is responsible for it although he may not have been negligent in looking after it.

Q368.     Can a person give the share of the Holy Imam (a.s.) from his khums to a representative of a mujtahid whom he does not follow?

A.           The person should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, obtain permission from the mujtahid whom he follows or his representative before giving the Sahme Imam (a.s.) to a representative of a mujtahid whom he does not follow.

Q369.     Is the bath of a person in order who pays the water-bill out of money whose khums has not been paid?

A.           If a person pays the water-bill out of money whose khums has not been paid by him, he commits an illegal act but apparently his bath is in order and he remains responsible to pay khums to those persons who are entitled to it.

Q370.     Can a person deduct his losses from the profit made before calculating khums in the same year?

A.           The person can deduct an equivalent amount of losses incurred from the profit made before he sustained the said loss and not from the profit made after he sustained the said loss, be it in the same year.

Q371.     Can a person pool his income from two sources before calculating Khums?

A.           If you have two different professions, you cannot, on the basis of obligatory precaution, make up the loss from one side from the profit made from the other. But, for example, if you receive rent from a property and are also engaged in trade, you should pay Khums at the end of the year on what exceeds your expenses. And if you make profit in one and sustain loss in the other, on the basis of recommended precautions, you should pay khums on the profit made by you.

Q372.     Would unlawful property become lawful to a person once khums is paid from it?

A.           If the real owner of the unlawful property is known. The person should make a compromise with the owner and if the owner is not agreeable to a compromise, the person should give him the complete property. If the owner is not known the person should give it as alms on behalf of its owner and the obligatory precaution is that he should also obtain permission from the Religious Head. Payment of Khums from an unlawful property cannot make it lawful.

Q373.     A person buys a shop by taking a loan which he repays from his earlier business. Will khums be due on it?

A.           Yes. The person will have to pay Khums on the amount re-paid by the year’s end for the purchase of the shop.

Q374.     If somebody does not remember how much he has earned in the past many years and now he wants to take out Khums what he is to do?

A.           He has to make a rough estimate. Otherwise he is to refer to Naeb-e-Imam or his representative to solve his problem.

Q375.     If one puts his money in Fixed Deposits is Khums to be paid?

A.           Applicability of Khums depends on ownership. His ownership does not change and hence he has to pay Khums. Khums is not dependant on any conditions of cash or kind or in hand. If he is the owner he has still his obligation to pay Khums.

Q376.     If one puts his money in Fixed Deposits or buys Unit Trusts etc., on the due date of his Khums he may not have liquid money. Is Khums applicable?

A.           Applicability of Khums depends on ownership. His ownership does not change and hence he has to pay Khums. Khums is not applicable on any conditions of cash or kind or in hand. If he is the owner he has still his obligation to pay Khums.

Q377.     One person took out Khums from Rs. 1000/- and Rs. 800/- was left with him. After one year the same Rs. 800 is still with him. Must be take out Khums again on that money?

A.           If the same amount is left till the next year then it is not wajib (obligatory) to take out Khums.

Q378.     I have purchased a scooter on loan recently for Rs. 17000/-. How much Khums do I have to pay on it? Can I pay the Khums in instalments? If I can pay in instalments, in how many instalments do I have to pay? The loan is to be repaid in 60 months @ Rs. 250/- p.m.

A.           If you have purchased the Scooter from the amount of your current year income and if you have bought it for your use and livelihood and if you are paying from your income in monthly instalments then there is no Khums payable. But if you had the money saved from last year or earlier years, and if Khums had not been paid on that, then Khums will have to be paid out of it. Khums can be paid in instalments after permission from Marja-e-Taqleed or his Vakil.

Q379.     Somebody purchased house from money out of which he did not give Khums. Now the price has gone up, what needs to be done?

A.           If the house is purchased for residence and not for business then he has to take out Khums on original value. But if purchased for investment or business, Khums is applicable on market value.

Q380.     To whom do we give Khums and can we keep it with us for a long time or put it in business till we get chance to pay it?

A.           Khums is two parts, one 50% is Imam’s share and cannot be used even for Masjid or Imambara or any other such purposes without the permission of Naeb-e-Imam. 50% is for the pious Sadaat. The Marjae Taqleed Aqae Khoei gave permission to give Sahme Sadaat directly to the deserving Sadaat.

Q381.     Can somebody give Khums to his needy relatives?

A.           No, Khums has its own rules; he can give from his remaining balance of 80%. However if he is constrained then he should ask the Naeb-e-Imam who may give him permission depending on individual case.

Q382.     Is Khums a wealth tax? What is the percentage payable?

A.           Khums cannot be referred to as a wealth tax because generally wealth tax does not take into account the lawfulness or unlawfulness of its source, the profit or loss incurred in a particular year and whether the land on which treasure is discovered belongs to a Muslim or non-Muslim and so on. While Khums considers legal as well as moral aspects of savings, inheritance, minerals, property, etc. Khums is 20% of the net amount or value of lawful saving which remains after deducting the lawful expenses incurred and the annual necessities of life. At present, one half of the 20% Khums belongs to the Twelfth Imam (a.s.) (called Sahme Imam) and the other half to poor orphans, destitute, and those of the Hashimites who may run out of money (called Shame Saadaat). Sahme Imam should be paid to a qualified Mujtahid or his representative.

Q383.     How is Khums calculated?

A.           Khums is very simple to calculate. From the savings which remain after all one’s annual, lawful and standard expenses are deducted from the income. 20% or 1/5th of this amount is Khums. This should be given with the intention of qurbatan elallah (for the pleasure of Allah ta’ala). Next year on the same date whatever you have saved during that year will attract Khums.

Q384.     Can a person buy things so as to avoid paying Khums before his due date?

A.           Khums is not due on things, which are necessary. If there is no necessity, the things bought will attract Khums.

Q385.     Businessmen take loans from a Bank. On their date of Khums what is to be done?

A.           They must calculate all their assets and pay Khums. This loan cannot be called “to be in debt”. This debt is for business and not for their necessity of livelihood (existence).

Q386.     Some people think that the Khums can be forgiven by Ulemas in some cases, is it so?

A.           No it is impossible to forgive Khums because an Alim or anybody else does not have any right, because the Khums does not belong to him. It belongs to Imam and Ahlul Bayt-e-Rasool. The Marja-e-Taqlid or his Vakeel can consider permission in instalments for those who cannot pay lump sum.

Q387.     Can a parent keep aside some cash or kind for her daughter’s marriage? Will this saving attract Khums?

A.           If a person cannot prepare all the dowry for his daughter at the time of her marriage, and has to do so over a few years, and if it is deemed unbecoming for him not to give away any dowry, Khums will not be liable on what he purchases during the year, provided it is within his means. But if he exceeds his means, or spends the profit of one year to buy the dowry in the following year, he will pay its Khums.

Q388.     A person pays kaffara for his fasts before his khums date. Will khums be due on that amount?

A.           Khums will not be due on kaffara because it is a necessary expense.

Q389.     A person buys a garment for an occasion. After wearing it, he puts it away and a year passes without it being worn a second time. Is khums obligatory on it? Likewise, (is khums obligatory) with respect to jewellery temporarily used and then set aside for more than a year without being used?

A.           If the garment is of the type customarily prepared for similar occasions in the years that follow, then khums is not obligatory. Otherwise, based on obligatory precaution, khums applies to it. The same situation applies to jewellery. God knows best.

Q390.     Is khums obligatory for furnishings that the mother prepares for her daughter (like marital gifts) when a number of years elapse before they come into use?

A.           Khums is not obligatory on them if not preparing (the marital gifts) gradually damages her prestige, because it would not be easy for her to prepare them at the time of her marriage. God knows best.

Q391.     If a person, who has not paid khums fully, dies and the cash money left behind by him is not enough, does his property need to be sold to cover the remaining unpaid khums?

A.           If the estimated amount of khums is more than the cash left by the deceased person, then his property must be sold to pay off the total amount of khums.

Q392.     I owe someone some money, but cannot repay him immediately and I have some savings also. Is khums wajib (obligatory) on me?

A.           Khums is wajib (obligatory) on all your savings, even if you have debts. If you repay your debts before the date of khums, then khums is applicable on whatever remains with you. If you do not repay your debt, then khums is applicable on all you have.

Q393.     Would the Namaz of a person be valid, when he offers it on a property, purchased with the money whose Khums has not been paid?

A.           Possession of that property is unlawful and the prayer, which he offers on it, is void.

Q394.     Every month I remit money to an investment fund to purchase shares. When calculating Khums, in my opinion, I think I should not consider these shares as they only have paper value and are not in my possession at the time of calculating Khums. Also, I feel that when I finally sell the shares, then the cash would be in hand and then Khums should be calculated. Am I right? If not, then how do I calculate the amount I have to pay every year as the value of the shares keeps changing, i.e. it rises and falls?

A.           The money you remit to the investment fund to purchase shares is still your money, even though it is not in cash. On your Khums date, you should calculate the approximate current market value of your investment, and take out the Khums of the value.

               However, if you invest an amount after paying Khums of it, then this particular amount of investment has no Khums again.

               If you pay Khums today for your investments valued at say Rs.1000, and the same investment increases in value next year to, say, Rs.1400 then you do not need to pay Khums of all the value of Rs.1400 of investment, but only of the excess over the Rs.1000 value, i.e.Rs.400.

               If the value becomes less than Rs.1000 or remains unchanged then there is no Khums again on the same investment.

Q395.     My wife has jewellery which she has previously worn. However, the jewellery is sometimes not worn for more than a year. Also some of the items are gifts and the rest are purchased jewellery. Does she (or myself as the bread-earner) have to pay Khums on the jewellery each year that she doesn’t wear a particular jewellery? If Khums is due on unworn items, then once we pay it, if she still doesn’t wear it for another year, do we have to pay again?

A.           If the jewellery was unworn for one year, then Khums is to be paid out of its current market value. This is when you have bought it from your income or gifts before paying the Khums, as jewellery for usual use is included in the expenses. But if you had paid the Khums from the original money before buying the jewellery, then Khums will not be obligatory even if your wife does not use it for a year or more, as far as the value of it is not more than the purchase value, and if it is more, then you should pay Khums for the extra amount, since the original amount was Khums-paid.

Q396.     I have inherited an amount from my mother after the sale of my father’s property. I am a householder and do not work. All my needs are fulfilled by my husband alhamdolillaah. Do I have to pay Khums on the amount I have inherited? I plan to use it in charity. This is the only amount which I can say is mine. I am not sure whether my parents paid Khums on their property. Supposing they did not pay, what action should I take? And if they have paid then what do I have to do?

A.           If your expenses are looked after by your husband and you have no responsibility for spending, then you have to pay Khums on this amount immediately without waiting for one year. If your parents did not pay Khums on their money or property, then Khums must be paid before distributing the wealth left by them.

Q397.     Do I have to pay Khums on the jewellery given to me by my parents on my wedding? Supposing they have not paid it and I do not work so should my husband pay it?

A.           The jewellery given to you by your parents can be in different cases:

1.            Your parents bought it from an income before the date of their Khums, which means that Khums was not Wajib (obligatory) on that money, so you do not need to pay Khums on it as far as you use that jewellery in a usual manner.

2.            Your parents did not pay Khums on the amount of the purchase after Khums was Wajib (obligatory) on it, then Khums remains Wajib (obligatory) on that amount.

               There is no difference whether you pay Khums, or your husband pays on your behalf if you do not have the amount to pay.

Q398.     If the money remaining after paying khums is invested, is it necessary to pay khums on the yearly profit that accrues on the invested amount?

A.           Yes, it is obligatory to pay khums on the savings of the profit.

Q399.     Should khums be paid from the total amount if a person is indebted?

A.           Khums is obligatory on the savings that you own, not on the money which belongs to others which is with you as a loan. You must pay khums out of what you own yourself.

Q400.     I am a salaried person and I pay khums on my annual savings. Do I need to pay Zakat on that income as well?

A.           You do not need to pay Zakat as you do not have in your savings any of the nine items on which Zakat is applicable, namely golden and silver current coins, camels, cows, sheep, wheat, barely, dates, and raisins. The only Zakat which is obligatory on you if you are not poor is Zakatul Fitr (Fitra).

Q401.     I got married last year and I received some gifts – one of them was a watch of significant value. Will I have to pay khums on that?

A.           If you use the gift usually in your life, then there is no khums on it. Khums will be applicable on unused gifts as it is obligatory on any unused items and saved money.

Q402.     Can one pay Khums on the amount which he has just recorded, i.e. the duration of 1 year has not passed nor is that amount the annual savings?

A.           Yes he can pay, but it becomes Wajib (obligatory) only after 1 year of getting the amount or on the due date of his Khums payment.


Zakat

Q403.     Is Zakat levied on currency notes received as income?

A.           No. It is not obligatory to give Zakat of currency notes.

Q404.     Is Zakat due on a person owning wheat and barley if it collectively reaches the taxable limit i.e. 847 kilograms (approx.) and does not reach it separately?

A.           Yes. Zakat will be due on the wheat and barley if it collectively reaches the taxable limit.

Q405.     If the proceeds of farming are 850 Kgs. of wheat and the government takes 50 Kgs. as land revenue, should Zakat be paid?

A.           It is obligatory to pay Zakat on 800 Kgs. only.

Q406.     Can Zakat be given to non-Muslims who may be inclined to Islam?

A.           Zakat can be given to those non-Muslims who may be inclined to Islam or may assist the Muslims with the Zakat money in fighting the enemies.

Q407.     If someone dies and they pay zakat and khums mad have also not performed the Hajj and it is known that they have left a small amount of money behind, should this money be paid towards the khums for the Hajj?

A.           According to Sayyed al-Khoei, the Hajj takes preference. The little money that is left should be used to send someone on the deceased person’s behalf to perform the Hajj.

Q408.     Can Zakat be given to the Sayyed? If not why?

A.           Zakat can not be given to a Sayed.

Q409.     Is it permissible to set aside charity money in a specific place, with the intention of charity, and then to give it to the poor? Can one change it with another currency?

A.           The money does not become a recommended charity by mere separation.

Q410.     Under what conditions is Zakat applicable?

A.           Zakat is of two types:

1.            Zakat-ul-Fitra which is Wajib (obligatory) on every non-poor Muslim on the night of Eid-ul-Fitr for himself and all those who are under his economic responsibility.

2.            Zakat-ul-Maal which is usually known as Zakat. Zakat is Wajib (obligatory) on nine items only, while khums is Wajib (obligatory) on everything. These nine items are:

a.            Golden coins which are currently used as currency.

b.            Silver coins, which are currently used as currency.

c.            Camels

d.            Cows

e.            Sheep

f.             Wheat

g.            Barley

h.            Dates

i.             Raisins

               These last four edible items should be in a quantity of not less than 847 Kgs., which is called Nisab.

Q411.     Out of the total harvest of 1,200 kilograms of wheat, I receive 600 kgs. as my share. How much should I give as Zakat?

A.           847 Kilograms is the Haddun-Nisab i.e. the standard taxable quantity for paying Zakat on it. Nisaab is not complete in 600 kgs. Hence, no Zakat is due.

Q412.     Whom should zakat be paid to? Are family members i.e. grandparents allowed to receive zakat (they are presently in debt to someone)?

A.           Zakat cannot be given to your own grandparents, because of your responsibility to spend on them if they are poor. Zakat is to be given to poor and needy momins and in the way of Allah (s.w.t.) in good cause charity and projects helping people.


Taqlid

Q413.     Can a Mu’min do taqlid (follow the most learned religious scholar in worship and non-worship acts) of a late Mujtahid?

A.           When the person was following the guidelines of the Mujtahid in his life-time, he may continue after taking permission of a living Mujtahid. A person cannot start following the religious rules and regulations of a dead Mujtahid.

Q414.     A person doing taqlid of a Marja who expires faces a new problem. Can he do taqlid of a live Marja completely or in that which concerns new problems?

A.           The person has to do taqlid of the Marja who is alive, concerning new problem.

Q415.     Is “taqlid” (following the ordinances of a specialist in Islamic Law) the peculiar practice of Shias alone?

A.           Everyone in the world follow the instructions, ways and advices of others. Sunni Muslims do taqlid of their four Imams. Wahabis do taqlid of Ibn Abdul Wahab. Even non-Muslim do taqlid. When you’re aware that your child is suffering due to appendicitis, you don’t operate even though you have a knife. It is but reasonable to refer the case to those who are specialists in that field.

               Taqleed is not following blindly behind someone. You are required to investigate and confirm the scholar’s eminence in terms of knowledge, piety and justness before accepting his guidelines. Taqleed is a convenience since everyone cannot devote a lifetime of study to derive precepts from thousands of volumes of Islamic literature. Only a scholar can tell whether a commandment is of specific or general nature, whether it was given out of “taqiyya” (dissimulation) or given unconditionally, and so on. Hence “taqlid” is the most vital institution to preserve the purity of Islamic Law.

Q416.     I follow the taqlid of Ayatullah Khoei A friend and I have been discussing the topic of Muta’. Although we both realize that it is allowed in Islam, there is some disagreement on its application. I contend that once a person has entered a permanent marriage, Muta’ is no longer allowed. My friend feels that muta’ is still allowed as long as the permanent wife knows and does not disapprove.

A.           Both are wrong. Muta’ has no restriction or condition on a man that he must be single. It does for the woman. Nor does it contain a condition of the wife’s approval. Muta’ can be done without the permanent wife knowing.

Q417.     Why is Taqleed necessary?

A.           Taqleed is practising Islamic detailed rules in accordance with the verdict (fatwa) of a highly learned Islamic scholar (Mujtahid). It gives the practice legitimacy since it is then based on a scientific proof, without which the practice will be based on no proof, and thus be invalid, as far as evidence is concerned. That is why the Mujtahid scholars state in their books that deeds not based on taqlid or Ijtehad or Ehtiyat, are invalid. Ijtehad and Ehtiyat are practised by highly learned Islamic scholars, while others who are not professionally trained and qualified in Islamic sciences, especially Fiqh, may not know how to practise Ehtiyat. Hence they have to practise Taqleed, which means following and practising in accordance with the verdicts of the most learned scholar (who is usually called Marja ‘taqlid) to keep their deeds valid, being then based on evidence.

Q418.     I am more than 30 years old but have not done Taqleed of any Mujtahid, Please tell me how to do Taqleed, and whether it is wajib (obligatory) to do Taqleed?

A.           Taqleed is obligatory (wajib (obligatory)) on you because you must have your deeds based on authentic evidences which are best known by the most learned scholars (maraj’e taqlid). Without taqlid your deeds will be without evidence and might be then invalid. It is very simple to do taqlid; it is just following the verdicts of the most learned Islamic scholar, in your day to day practice. It is not necessary to take his permission or to inform him, nor to recite anything; just need to follow the Islamic rules according to the evidences of the most learned scholar and this is the meaning of taqlid. You should ask those who really know about the highly learned scholars to identify the most learned who should be followed. You can easily have details of the Islamic rules from the books written by marj’e taqlid, or by visiting specific websites like www.najaf.org and www.al-shia.com and www.rafed.net and other similar websites.


Death Related Issues

Q419.     When people die in house collapses or accidents, is it correct to presume that they were punished by Allah?

A.           No. Not at all. There might be some ‘Maslehat’ (Measure) of Allah. According to the traditions of our Imams (a.s.) people who die in house collapse or burning, get ‘Sawaab’ (reward) of Martyrdom.

Q420.     Can stitched cloth be used for kafan (Funeral Shroud)?

A.           Yes, stitching cloth is allowed but whilst stitching, it is makrooh to use the mucous (i.e. the saliva of the mouth) in the process of stitching.

Q421.     Is taking a bath mandatory for a medical student who has to touch skeletons and corpses?

A.           Bath becomes obligatory upon a person who touches a dead body containing flesh and bones. If only bones or a piece of flesh is touched, there is no necessity of taking a bath. The student may touch a corpse whilst wearing gloves and avoid the necessity of taking a bath.

Q422.     Does it make any difference if the dead body one touches, is that of a non-Muslim?

A.           It does not make any difference. If a person physically comes in contact with the dead body of a non-Muslim, he will have to take bath.


Medical Issues

Q423.     Is it permissible to donate parts of the body during one’s life-time or after death?

A.           Yes. But after death, it is not permitted without the deceased person’s consent in his life-time. The dead person must leave a Will regarding the same.

Q424.     Is it permissible to allow post-mortem of a dead Mu’min?

A.           It is not permissible to allow post-mortem of a dead Mu’min unless one is compelled and it is beyond one’s means to prevent it.

Q425.     What is the percentage of alcohol permissible in medicinal use?

A.           Alcoholic beer or wine is prohibited in Islam and under no condition it can be permitted as medicine by using any percentage of it. Allah has not placed any curative power in alcohol. But if a medicine has 1 or 2 percent alcoholic content and besides which, there is no other medicine and not taking it might endanger the person’s life, only in that case, it can be administered as far as it is a medicine.

Q426.     The doctor has prescribed brandy for massaging the body. Can I do it?

A.           Brandy can be used for massaging the body provided there is no other alternative. But Namaz can only be offered after making the body “Paak” (ritually clean).

Q427.     Can one visit a non-Muslim dentist who puts impure substance inside a cavity and covers it with a metallic cap?

A.           It is permissible to go to a non-Muslim dentist. What is inserted inside the body is considered as part of the body and it will have no effect on the cleanliness of the body, provided the mouth and external region of the body is made ritually clean.

Q428.     Will a doctor be liable to pay compensation for conducting a post-mortem of a Muslim?

A.           It will be obligatory for the person, who dissects the dead body of a Muslim, to pay compensation (Diyah), according to the relevant rules. However, if the life of another Muslim depends upon dissecting the dead body of a Muslim, the person dissecting it will not be liable to pay compensation in that case.

Q429.     Is it permissible for a lady doctor to treat general cases in which she has to touch Na-mahram men?

A.           Only in the absence of a male doctor and if the life of the patient is in danger can a lady doctor treat Na-mahram men. However, if she can treat the patient by looking through a mirror, she should not touch the Na-mahram man’s body. And if she can treat by touching the body, she should not look at him. The lady doctor must necessarily wear gloves in such cases.

               Nowadays, there are enough doctors of both sexes, hence, ladies should not go to male doctors and men should not go to lady doctors for treatment.

Q430.     There are a lot of substitute drugs containing alcohol. What do you suggest for them?

A.           According to the Fatwa of Ayatullah Khoei, ‘alcohol’ itself is not Najis, because it is not in itself an intoxicant. It intoxicates when it is mixed with some other liquids. And it is then that it becomes Najis.

               Accordingly, a drug which contains alcohol, but does not intoxicate, is not Najis.

Q431.     Food or serum in a plastic bag containing water, sugar and some medication is administered to a patient by injection directly into the blood due to sickness or some other reasons such as to provide nourishment. Is the fasting person obliged to avoid it?

A.           It is not obligatory, although it is more appropriate (for him) to do so.

Q432.     In some situations, the physicians can confirm that the foetus is afflicted with serious physical deformities which will not be treatable after birth, and it may not survive after birth, except for a short while in pain (for the child), causing toil for the parents. Then he will die. Is it permissible for the mother in such a situation to terminate (the pregnancy)? Does it make any difference if it occurs before or after the soul enters? And with the supposition that it is permissible, is diyah obligatory and who pays for it?

A.           Abortion is not permissible in situations similar to the one mentioned, even prior to the entrance of the soul.

Q433.     What is Jabira and what are its rules?

A.           The splint to bandage a wound or a fractured bone and the medication applied to a wound is called Jabira. Usually Jabira is to be wiped instead of washing in Wuzu and Ghusl (bath), but wiping should be on the surface which must be clean and paak. If it is not paak then we should cover it with a paak piece and wipe on it. For more details you may refer to page 57 in Islamic Laws by Ayatullah Seestani.

Q434.     Me and my wife are having difficulties having a child. I have been asked to go to the hospital and provide my semen for analysis. Would it be haram (prohibited) for me to provide this specimen as it would involve the act of masturbation?

A.           Masturbation is always haraam (not allowed). However it is permissible to have an ejaculation if it is done to you by your wife. By this way you can discharge your semen for analysis and save yourself from haraam.


Quran

Q435.     Many times people bring a Holy Qur’an and ask two fighting persons to keep their hands on it and swear on it to decide which one is speaking the truth. Is it permissible?

A.           When there is a dispute between two persons, the one who is making an allegation or claim should give proof. He cannot say, “I swear on the Qur’an that I’m speaking the truth”. The one who denies it can swear. Although legally permissible, it would be better to settle disputes without having both the persons swearing on the Holy Qur’an.

Q436.     A person enquires that he has been living in an environment from childhood, where he never got an opportunity to learn Arabic or Urdu. He asks whether by reading the Quranic translation, he can get the same blessing as he would if he knew Arabic reading.

A.           Those who don’t know Arabic and cannot recite the Quran in Arabic, then they should recite the translation and the meanings of it and they will get Sawaab. Regarding the amount of Sawaab, that depends on the Niyyat and the Sincerity. More sincere intention gives more and more Sawaab.

Q437.     A person experiences seminal discharge while asleep and due to shortage of time performs Morning Prayer with tayammum. Can he read Qur’an in that state?

A.           The person may read the Qur’an except the verses for which prostration becomes necessary. He should read without touching the words of Holy Qur’an. The person should perform Ghusl (bath) as soon as water becomes available. He cannot offer the next Namaz with Wuzu alone.

Q438.     One person does not know how to read Qur’an. He just reads Bismillah Hir Rahmaan Nir Raheem on each line. Will he get the same sawab as that of reading Qur’an?

A.           “Bismillah hir rahmaanir raheem” is the greatest Ayat in the whole Qur’an. To recite it accrues great “sawab.” For those who cannot read Qur’an, reading and repeating this great Ayat does benefit them. In fact one should repeat this Ayat at all times whilst walking, travelling and whenever and where ever one can. A lot of sawab and benefits will be derived.

Q439.     Is the Holy Qur’an complete?

A.           The Holy Qur’an is complete and without any change either for more or for less. The Shia Ulema (scholars) have written many books confirming this fact.

Q440.     Is it sufficient to recite Ayatul Kursi upto “Wa Howal A’liyyul A’zeem”?

A.           It is sufficient. Ayatul Kursi is after all one ayat. Still it would be better to read till “Hum feehaa Khaaledun”.

Q441.     Some people at times, out of distress complain that they would’ve been better-off if they were not born at all. They ask: did Allah gave them a choice before creating them? What should be our answer?

A.           Allah mentions in the Holy Qur’an that the purpose behind creation of human-beings was that they receive His infinite Mercies and Bounties. Man’s creation does not benefit Allah Ta’ala in the least bit. He is Absolutely Needless.

               Asking for a choice brings to mind the case of children who are unsuccessful at their studies and wish to run away. The child is not in a position to choose who is good for him.

               Allah, the Majestic and Mighty, did give each soul the choice of life and of submission. It is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an: “And when your Lord brought forth from the loins of the children of Adam their seed, and made them bear testimony about their souls (He asked): “Am I not your Lord?” They said: “Yes, we bear witness”.[13]

               Due to the barriers of short-sightedness, man does not see beyond the materialistic life. Those who speak in this fashion should be grabbed by the neck to see whether they are really fed up of life. Those who believe in the Unseen, Here-after world face life’s vicissitudes with patience and prayers. They do not despair and pose imprudent questions to their Creator, Glory be His name.

Q442.     Is there a verse in Holy Qur’an which considers offering Namaz before its time as prohibited, say, one week in advance?

A.           The timings of Namaz has been outlined in the Holy Qur’an. For example, the verse: “Establish “Salaat” (Namaz) from the decline of the sun till the darkness of the night, and the recital at the morn; verily the recital of the morn is witnessed.”[14]

               Hence offering a Namaz before its time is a violation of Allah’s commandments which is unlawful.

Q443.     Who should decide whether a ‘Nauha’ (religious elegy) or Qur’an being recited amount to singing - the singer or the listener?

A.           The opinion of pious Mu’mineen who are listeners will be acceptable while deciding whether a recitation amounts to singing. Such recitation (which amounts to singing) is haram.

Q444.     Is it obligatory to recite salawat after verse no. 56 of Surah Ahzab is heard or read or read by one self?

A.           Some Jurist have considered it as obligatory. In the verse Allah Ta’ala is informing Muslims of one of those things which He himself does, i.e. sending blessing on the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). So even if it is not obligatory, a true Muslim won’t remain silent. It is highly commendable for a Muslim to send blessings and salutations on the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), even if he hears this verse in the midst of his Namaz.

Q445.     Do Shias adopt ‘Taqayya’ (dissimulation) when denying ‘Tahreef’ in the Holy Qur’an?

A.           No. The Shias believe that there has been no ‘Tahreef’ (distortion) in the Holy Qur’an and the text of the Qur’an is pure and has not been tampered with.

Q446.     Is it necessary to recite Qul Howallaaho Ahad in every Namaz?

A.           It is Mustahab (recommended) to recite Surah Ikhlas at least once in the whole day in one of the obligatory prayers.

Q447.     Will a person be considered to be a disbeliever if he believes in “Tahreef” (alterations) in the Holy Quran?

A.           A person believing in “Tahreef” of the Holy Quran will not be considered a disbeliever. He will be considered as a misguided person. According to the greatest living Shi’ite Scholar of our time, Ayatullah-ul-uzma, Sayyed Abul Qasim al Khoei, there is no alteration or interpolation whatsoever in the Holy Quran which is in our hands.

Q448.     Can a person touch the translation of the holy Qur’an without having performed ablutions?

A.           It is unlawful on the basis of obligatory precaution, to touch without ablutions, the Name of Allah or His special attributes in which ever language they may have been written. And it is also better not to touch without ablutions the names of the holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), the holy Imams (a.s.) and lady Fatima Zahra (s.a.). However, there is no harm in touching without performing ablutions, the translation of the holy Qur’an in any language.

Q449.     How many verses, words and alphabets are there in the Qur’an?

A.           The Glorious Qur’an contains 6,236 verses, 77,934 words and 3,23670 alphabets. The difference in the number of verses according to different accounts is due to the fact that certain verses are split into smaller verses in some editions of the Qur’an.

Q450.     Is it necessary that all the conditions which apply to prostration during Namaz should be fulfilled for performing an obligatory prostration of the Holy Qur’an?

A.           No. Only the place where a person performs obligatory prostrations of the holy Qur’an should not be an usurped one. And on the basis of obligatory precaution, the place where he’ places his forehead should not be higher than four joined fingers from the place where the tips of his toes rest and should place his forehead on things on which prostration is in order. However, it is not necessary that he should face the Qibla or should have performed ablutions or the pre-requisites in the matter of the dress of a person offering prayers be met.

Q451.     What is the correct translation of the Qur’anic verse ‘Eh din as Siraat al-Mustaqeem”1: 6?

A.           This is the saying of believers on whose heart the light of divine guidance has shone. The preceding verses show that he bears witness to Allah’s Unity, Mercy and Justice. So how can a person who is on Allah’s Path request Him to show or guide him “to” His path? People, who do not know what “Siraat al-Mustaqeem” is, translate this verse wrongly. In “Maani al-Akhbaar”, Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says: “Siraat al-Mustaqeem” is the path towards Allah’s knowledge and that is two paths - ‘Siraat’ in the world and the other in the Hereafter. But the ‘Siraat’ in the world is the Imam whose obedience is obligatory and (the Siraat) in the Hereafter is the bridge of hell; one who doesn’t recognise the Imam in the world will tremble and be destroyed in hell-fire.” As Allah says in the Holy Qur’an: “And for all are degrees according to what they did...”[15] Also, “And Allah increases in guidance those who go aright”.[16] So everybody is not on the same level otherwise it would be meaningless for the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and Imams (a.s.) to pray thus. The verse is a prayer to Allah to continue to bless us with His Grace in future too. Hence the correct translation would be “Guide us ‘on’ the right path”. Even the Wahabi translator Yusuf Ali, who translates it as “Show us the straightway”, writes in his footnotes that: “If we translate by the English word “guide”, we shall have to say: “Guide us to or in the Straight way”. Obviously, both the sayings are not the same.

Q452.     What are the meanings of “Waqf ba Harkat” and “Wasl ba Sukun”?

A.           The meaning of “Waqf ba Harkat” is that we utter different strokes occurring at the end of a word and pause between that word and the succeeding word. For example, while saying Ar Rahmaanir Raheem we recite with stroke below Mim of Ar-Rahim and thereafter allow a pause and then say Maaleke yawmid din. And the meaning of “Wasl ba Sukun” is that we do not utter the different strokes of a word and join with the succeeding word. For example, while saying Ar Rahmaanir Raheem we do not give stroke below Mim of Rahim and at once say Maaleke yawmid din. The obligatory precaution is that while offering prayers we should not resort to “Waqf ba Harkat” and “Wasl ba Sukun”.

Q453.     Is it sufficient to recite the translation of the Qur’an for fulfilling a ‘Nazr’ (Vow) in which the intention was to recite the Qur’an?

A.           Reading the translation of the Qur’an cannot suffice as recitation of the Arabic Qur’an unless, of course, you had intended to read its translation while doing Nazr.

Q454.     Who is the person referred to in the verses, “...We would certainly have exalted him thereby, but he clung to the earth and followed his low desire, so his parable is as the parable of the dog; if you attack him he lolls out his tongue; and if you leave him alone he lolls out his tongue; this is the parable of the people who reject Our communications;...”[17]?

A.           According to an authentic narrative, the person referred to in the above-mentioned verse (7:176) was Bal’am bin Baaur who knew the Greatest Name of Allah (Ism-e-A’zam) but due to his avid transgression had it effaced from the memory. Some scholars hold that it concerns Bal’am bin Abr, Bal’am bin Aamer or Umayyat ibn Abasalt but they agree that he was a Bani-Israeli man.

Q455.     What is the meaning of the word “Masaani” in verse number 87 of Surah Al-Hijr (The Rock)?

A.           We have it from Tahzib on the authority of Mohammad bin Muslim that he asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.) whether the seven verses of Masaani is Surah Al-Fateha (The Opening). Imam Sadiq (a.s.) replied in the affirmative.

Q456.     What is the best thing for increasing one’s economic status and attracting Allah’s ‘Barakat’ (blessings) in one’s business and livelihood?

A.           By reciting Surah al-Waqe’ah every night and by reciting Isteghfar (Astaghferullaah Rabbi Wa Atoobo elayhe) and Salawat as much as possible. Also by taking out Khums and Zakat regularly and giving Sadaqa (charity) continuously.

Q457.     According to Holy Qur’an, Allah told the angels to bow down to Hazrat Adam (a.s.); everybody did except Iblis. Was Iblis an angel or Jinn?

A.           Here are 3 verses which provide the answer:

i.             And when we said to the angels, “Bow down to Adam”; so they bowed down except Iblis. He was from the Jinns, and he broke the command of his Lord. (18:50)

ii.            He created man from sounding clay like earthen pottery, and created jinns from smokeless fire. (55: 14, 15)

iii.           Said He, “What prevented you that you did not bow down when I did command you?” Said (Shaitan), “I am better than him; You created me of fire and You created him (Adam) of clay”.[18]

               These verses clearly show that Iblis was not from amongst the angels he was a Jinn who was created from fire.

               Then why was he condemned for disobeying a command given to the angels? It was because he was amongst the group of the angels who had been ordered to bow down to Adam, and since he formed one of the members of the group, the order also pertained to him as the third ayat clearly shows that he was ‘ordered’. If in a group there are, let us say, more men than women (as in Ayat of Tat-hir), then the whole group is referred to in masculine gender and the women are automatically included in it, even if the pronouns etc. are masculine. This rule is called the rule of ‘Taghlib’ (Rule of Predominance). Likewise, in that group of angels there was only one Jinn (Shaitan); therefore, the order covered the group collectively including Satan. That is why he was condemned by Allah for his disobedience.

               Even Satan understood it perfectly. That is why he did not argue that he had not prostrated because the order was addressed, not to him, but to the angels.

Q458.     What is the interpretation of KafHaYaAinSwad?

A.           Such ayat are called ‘Muqatta’at’ (Separated letters), because they are recited one by one. Their meaning is known only to Allah, His Prophet and the 12 Imams. If anybody tries to interpret them according to his own notion he commits a great sin. So far as the above-mentioned ‘Muqatta’at’ are concerned, there are two interpretations which have been narrated from our Imams:

1.            Each of the 5 letters stands for a divine attribute.

               Kaf - Stands for Kafi (Charitable Giver or Self Sufficient)

               Ha - Stands for Hadi (Guide)

               Ya - Stands for Yad (Hand, i.e. Powerful)

               Ain - Stands for Alim (the All-Knowing)

               Swad - Stands for Sadiq (The True One).

2.            According to another tradition Allah ordered Gabriel to teach Nabi Zakariya the sacred names of the Holy Prophet and his immediate Ahlul-Bait. When Gabriel mentioned the first 4 names (Mohammad, Ali, Fatemah, Hasan) Zakariya felt great joy. But with the mention of the name of Husain, he was filled with grief and sorrow. When he asked Gabriel about this strange phenomenon, the latter acquainted him with the heart-rending tragedy of Karbala. According to that Hadis, these 5 letters - symbols were used to convey to Zakariya the sad tidings of Karbala:

               Kaf - Stands for Karbala

               Ha - Stands for Halakat (Annihilation of the Holy family)

               Ya - Stands for Yazid

               Ain - Stands for Atash (Thirst) of Imam Husain and his companions.

               Sad - denotes their Sabr (patience)

Q459.     Why does not the Holy Qur’an give strong emphasis to support father-in-law and mother-in-law? Because a married women will never be able to support her father and mother if her husband does not like it.

A.           A woman, married or unmarried, is never expected to support any body. She is to be supported by her father or her husband.

Q460.     I listen to a tape recorder, radio or television emitting the voice of a reciter of the Qur’an, reciting a verse which demands prostration. Should I prostrate?

A.           Certainly not. You are not obliged to prostrate yourself except when you hear it (the verse) from the reciter himself, not on his recorded tape.

Q461.     I am 15 years old and have been raised following Sunni interpretations of Islam without adhering to any particular mazhab. I have done much research on Shia interpretations of Islam and I find them to be much more valid than the others. Therefore, I would like to ask whether or not ‘bismillahir rahmanir raheem’ is part of every Surah, or just Surahtul Fateha? Is it necessary to recite it before Surahtul Fatiha during salah? Could you please explain this useful information from any hadis (Sunni or Shia) or any scholar?

A.           Shia scholars are virtually unanimous in their view that the Bismillah (i.e. Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Raheem) is a part of every Surah except Surah Taubah (Chapter 9). As a rule of prayer, Shias must recite it for that reason and to intentionally not recite it while it is known to be part of the Surah will invalidate the prayer. Imam Ali (a.s.) was asked: “Is Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Raheem a part of the opening of the book (i.e. Surah Fateha)? He said: Yes. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) recited it and counted it as a verse (of the Surah) and he says ‘the opening of the Book is seven oft-repeated verses.”[19]

Q462.     Please can you tell me whether it is allowed to recite Sure-Fateha for Ahl-e-Bait in a manner similar to the Fatayhas which are recited for deceased Mo’menin / Mo’menat, i.e. after reciting Sur-e-Fateha for ordinary Mo’menin / Mo’menat we say ‘O Allah please give the sawab / hadiya of this Fateha to X son of Y’. Please note the intention after the recitation, bearing in mind that the Ahl-e-Bait are not in need of our Fatehas, etc. I have heard of situations where the Sur-e-Fatayha is recited for nazar and people say, for example, ‘O Abul Fadlil Abbas please accept our nazar’.

A.           Reciting Surah of Fateha, offering the whole recitation of the Holy Qur’an, praying 2 or more Rakaats for Masoomeen (a.s.) is permissible. Your Niyyat for the purpose will suffice, but it has to be Qurbatan Elallah. The Ahlulbait (a.s.) pray for us in return. Nazar can only be made in the name of Allah. It is a covenant with Allah Almighty.

Q463.     My question is regarding aamals. There are some aamals in which you need to recite such-and-such dua / Surah of the Qur’an. My question is whether you must recite that dua or Surah that many times or will reciting it once suffice? As I do taqlid of Ayatullah Seestani, I would appreciate a reply with respect to his resalah.

A.           In the Aamal which guide us to recite a certain Zikr, Dua’ or Surah for a given number of times, then it should be followed exactly. In that there is a sacred secret which we may not be able to comprehend. At the same time, Aamal are Sunnat (recommended). But when we voluntarily wish to perform them, the guidelines ought to be adhered to.

Q464.     Do Shias adopt ‘Taqayya’ (dissimulation) when denying ‘Tahreef’ in the Holy Qur’an?

A.           No. The Shias believe that there has been no ‘Tahreef’ in the Holy Qur’an and the text of the Qur’an is pure and has not been tampered with.

Q465.     What is Al-Hadees Al-Qudsi?

A.           The Hadees Al-Qudsi is revealed as meanings from Allah Ta’ala to the heart of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) who expressed it in his own wordings. Hadees an-Nabawi is guidance from Allah Ta’ala for all people and are the sayings of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) as far as the meanings and words, though everything said by the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and the infallibles reflect the teachings of Allah (s.w.t.).

Q466.     ‘Waseela’ i.e. asking Allah (s.w.t.) though the Waseela of the 14 Masoomeens (a.s.) and other highly pious people – is this mentioned in the Holy Qur’an?

A.           Waseela is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an in Surah No. 5 (Al Ma’ida) Verse No. 35, “O you who believe! Fear Allah, and seek for him the waseela”

               And also in Surah No. 17 (Al Esraa’) Verse No. 57, “those who pray, seeking a waseela to their Lord.”

Q467.     According to Quran how many Khalifas are declared by Allah (s.w.t.). Please quote references from the Holy Qur’an.

A.           There are 12 mentions of ‘Khalifa’ and its related meanings in the Holy Qur’an:

1.            Surah Baqara, verse 30.

2.            Surah Saad, verse 26.

3.            Surah al-An’aam, verse 65.

4.            Surah Younus, verse 14.

5.            Surah Younus, verse 73.

6.            Surah Faatir, verse 39.

7.            Surah al-A’raaf, verse 69.

8.            Surah al-A’raaf, verse 74.

9.            Surah an-Naml, verse 62.

10.          Surah al-Noor, verse 55.

11.          Surah Hood, verse 57.

12.          Surah al-A’raaf, verse 129.

               This is also an indication that the real successors of the Holy Prophet (khalifa) are 12, as it was mentioned in many prophetic traditions. There are also 12 mentions to ‘imam’ and its related meaning in the Holy Qur’an.

Q468.     I wanted to know the dua for the sajdah that comes across during reading The Holy Qur’an.

A.           Any zikr can be recited in the sajda of reciting the Holy Qur’an or listening to it if the verse recited or listened to is a wajib (obligatory) sajda or a mustahab sajda verse. ‘Subhaanallaah’ or ‘Alhamdolillaah’ or ‘Allaho-akbar’ etc. can be recited.

Q469.     Was the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) ever affected by witchcraft? If not, then for what purposes were Surah al-Falaq and Surah an-Naas revealed? If he was affected by witchcraft, then was the effect physical or spiritual?

A.           The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was never affected by any kind of witchcraft in spite of the attempts made by the enemies, for he was protected by Allah (s.w.t.). Indeed any Mo’min is protected by Allah (s.w.t.) from witchcraft if he really seeks Allah’s protection. Surah al-Falaq and Surah an-Nas are not saying that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was a victim, but are, in fact, teaching all Muslims to seek Allah’s refuge and protection from the much harm mentioned in these two Surahs.

               Witchcraft arises from evil, whereas the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and the real servants of Allah (s.w.t.) are far away from being affected by the work of evil. Allah (s.w.t.) says in the Holy Quran to Shaitan “Surely, you will have no effect on my servants.”[20]

Q470.     I have heard before that some of the Shias say that there is a Qur’an called “Quran Fatimah” where there were some verses that deliver the message for all Muslims about the caliphate of Ahlul-Bayt. Is that true?

A.           There is no Qur’an but one Holy Qur’an, which is available in the hands of all Muslims. The book of Fatemah (s.a.) is not Qur’an, but a book of knowledge written by her taken from her father the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

               The Holy Qur’an mentions the importance of the Ahlul-Bayt (a.s.) in many verses. Even Sunni scholars like al-Shafi’ee said that at least 300 verses in the Holy Qur’an relate to the attributes of Imam Ali (a.s.) and the Ahlul-Bayt (a.s.).

Q471.     A person while reciting the Holy Qur’an reads the Ayah of Sajdah (prostration). He does not perform the Sajdah forthwith intending to perform it after the completion of the Parah (a part of Quran). However when he completes the Parah he forgets about it. Can he perform the Sajdah later when he remembers about it?

A.           The Wajib (obligatory) Sajdah on recitation or on hearing one of the four verses of Wajib (obligatory) Sujood in the Holy Qur’an, must be performed immediately without any delay. It cannot be postponed till the end of the Parah or Surah or anything else. Not performing it immediately will be a sin. Such Wajib (obligatory) Sajdah has no Qaza, so there is no point in performing it afterwards.

Q472.     Please give us logical and scientific proofs (not from Qur’an or ahadees) that the Holy Qur’an is the holy book of God.

A.           The Holy Qur’an is an everlasting miracle, challenging every generation and proving that it can never be anything but the word of Allah (s.w.t.). The Holy Qur’an threw an open challenge to all those who doubt it and claim that it is not from Allah (s.w.t.) to bring any book like it, or even any ten chapters like it’s 114 chapters, or even any one chapter like it’s chapters. In spite of all the efforts of all the enemies of Islam, nobody could come out with anything at all like Qur’an. This itself should be enough to prove that the Holy Qur’an is not from any human source, and it is from Allah (s.w.t.).

               The scientific miracles of the Holy Qur’an are countless, but we may take just few of them as examples:-

1.            In Surah Maryam, Verse 25, Allah (s.w.t.) ordered Maryam (Mary) (a.s.) when she was during labour to shake the trunk of the palm tree so that fresh dates may fall on her. He also ordered her to eat from the fresh dates and drink. Medical scientists have recently found that a woman in labour needs a vital food constituent to have an easy delivery. That constituent is found in many foods, but is best found in fresh dates among all foods in the world.

2.            The movement of the earth is clearly mentioned in the Holy Qur’an (Surah 27, Verse 88). It should be borne in mind that most people of that time including those in Europe till even a thousand years after the advent of Islam believed that earth was stationary.

3.            In Surah 20, Verse 30, Allah (s.w.t.) says “Don’t disbelievers see that the skies and earth were attached, then we detached them?” This Qur’anic fact was confirmed by scientists after advances in scientific research and it is now accepted by scientists. The discovery of the Big Bang which was announced a few years back confirms this Qur’anic fact.

4.            The development of the embryo is mentioned in a miraculous way in Surah Al-Mo’minoon, verses 12, 13 and 14 giving the most accurate details which were recently confirmed by scientists. A Canadian Professor announced after 15 years of research in embryology that he found in his research results as stated in Qur’an which was revealed 1400 years ago. He confirmed that the Holy Qur’an can never be from any human being and it is definitely from God.

5.            In Al-Nahl (Honey Bee), Verse 69, Allah (s.w.t.) states that honey has cure for people. This Quranic fact is confirmed in hundreds of scientific researches on honey. Today, there are scientific research centres in USA specialising in research on honey and its benefits to cure every illness.

               The numerical miracles of the Holy Qur’an are also countless, but we again take just few as examples:-

1.            The mention of ‘Hour’ appears in the Qur’an just 24 times, and that of ‘Month’ appears 12 times, while that of ‘day’ appears Qur’an 365 times.

2.            The mention of ‘man’ appears in the Qur’an 24 times, exactly as much as the mention of ‘woman’ which is also 24 times.

3.            The mention of ‘Aql’ which means intellect appears 49 times in the Quran, as much as the mention of ‘Noor’ which means light which is 49 times.

4.            ‘People’ are mentioned 368 times, as much as ‘messengers’ which is again 368 times. This means that whenever there were people, there was a messenger and a message from Allah to guide them.

5.            ‘Tongue’ is mentioned in the Quran 29 times, just as ‘talking’ is also mentioned 29 times.

6.            ‘Astray goers’ appear 17 times, just as ‘Dead persons’ appear 17 times, because going astray is the real death.

7.            ‘Difficulty’ appears 114 times, just as ‘Patience’ which appears 114 times.

8.            ‘Life’ appears 145 times, while ‘Death’ appears 145 times too.

9.            ‘Dunia’ which means this life appears 115 times, and ‘Aakhirah’ which means the Hereafter appears 115 times.

10.          ‘Sins’ is mentioned 180 times, just as ‘Good deeds’ which too appears 180 times.

11.          ‘Angels’ are mentioned 88 times, while ‘devils’ are mentioned 88 times too.

12.          ‘Imam’ appears 12 times, ‘successor’ appears 12 times, ‘The Best Chosen by Allah’ (Al-Mostafawn) appear 12 times, ‘Most pious’ (Al-Abraar) appear 12 times, and ‘Shia’ too appear 12 times. You find ‘Firqa’ which means a division appears 72 times in the Quran which is the number of divisions in Muslim Ummah that are away from the right path of Islam as the total sects according to the Hadees is 73.

13.          ‘Adam’ is named 25 times and ‘Easa’ (Jesus) is named 25 times. The Holy Qur’an says that “The example of Easa with Allah is like the example of Adam.”[21]

14.          ‘Land’ is mentioned 12 times whereas ‘Sea’ is mentioned 41 times in the Quran, which is the exact ratio of land and sea on the globe which was discovered just recently after the advancement of science and space photography of the globe.

               Finally, I should state with full confidence that every word in Quran has miracles. We may be able to discover some of its facts according to the sophistication of our thought and advancement of our knowledge, no matter which language we understand, because Quran is the everlasting miracle for all worlds, all times. The more we think and conduct research, the more we discover, though Quranic miracles are definitely endless.

Q473.     Regarding Fateha for the deceased, I learned that one should recite Salawat 14 or 3 times then one Surah Al-hamd and then three times Surah Tawheed and then again Salawat 14 or 3 times, but some times people do not recite Salawat. So, please clarify this by giving me the details of correct procedure, what should be recited and what is optional. Are there any different methods if one recites for the benefit of the Holy Masoomeen (a.s.) and for the general people.

A.           Reciting Surah Fateha, which is Surah Al-Hamd is a source of great Sawab (reward). If we gift its reward to anybody, we will earn more Sawab. Reciting Salawat is another source of Sawab. Reciting Surah Tawheed is also a source of Sawab. Reciting all of them will increase the Sawab.

               There is no difference in reciting the Holy Quran irrespective of whom you want to gift the Sawab to. No doubt, when you gift to the Holy Masoomeen (a.s.), the Sawab will be more.

               It is mentioned in Islamic resources that reciting Surah Al-Hamd once, followed by Surah Tawheed thrice, and gifting the Sawab to the deceased, will be a source of great Sawab, both for the one who gifts and the one to whom it is gifted. It is also mentioned that the deceased person will know the name of the person who gifted him this gift.

               In short, any recitation of Surah Al-Hamd, Surah Tawheed, Salawaat, or any Surah or any Tasbeeh will be a source of Sawab for the person who recites and to whom it was gifted.

Q474.     Is the present Qur’an complete? I ask this because some people say that the ayats (verses) which were in the praise of the Ahul Bayt (a.s) are not included in the present Qur’an but Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s) had written the complete Qur’an which is in existence with the Imam of Our Time [Twelfth Imam] (a.s)? Please explain.

A.           The Holy Qur’an is complete and intact. It is the same Qur’an that has been in existence right from the beginning of Islam till today. Nobody can add or omit or change anything in Holy Qur’an. Allah (s.w.t) has promised to preserve Qur’an intact.


The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and Ahlul Bayt (a.s.)

Q475.     Some people use bad language for the enemies of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) what should be the correct, verbal expression of Tabarra (i.e. expressing enmity with the enemies of Allah, of His Prophet and of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.)?

A.           The enemies deserve the strongest kind of condemnation. Tabarra which is dissociating one self from evil-doers is mentioned in the Holy Quran, thus: “Those who hide the proof and guidance which we revealed, after We made it clear in the Book. Such are accursed by Allah and accursed of those who have the power to curse”.[22]

               But to avoid disharmony and conflicts, Tabarra should not be expressed before the followers of these evildoers.

               It is very useful for warding-off hardships. Ulema are known to do nazr (i.e. vow) to curse 100 times if their wishes are granted. But in any case, this cursing should not take the form of abusive or bad language, which is not befitting a Mu’min’s character.

Q476.     Can Imam-e-Zaman (a.s.)’s charity on his behalf be given to Sayyeds?

A.           Yes, it can be given to Sayyeds. Non-Sayyeds cannot give Fitrah or obligatory zakat or obligatory Sadaqa to Sayyeds.

Q477.     Where is the severed head of Imam Husain (a.s.) buried?

A.           It is a well-established fact that the 4th Imam, Hazrat Zainul Abedeen (a.s.) while returning to Madina from Syria brought the holy head of Imam Husain (a.s.) with himself and buried it at Karbala.

Q478.     A Sunni says that Hazrat Ali (a.s.) is “Maula” of Muslims but his status is fourth in the line of caliphate. What should one tell him?

A.           This claim is baseless and wrong. Let them bring just one authentic hadees in which Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) addressed the first three caliphs as ‘Maula’. Incidentally none of the 3 caliphs claimed to be the Maula of the Mu’mineen.

               It has been clearly mentioned in books written by Sunni scholars that the second caliph congratulated Hazrat Ali (a.s.) after the event of Ghadeer-e-Khum, saying, “Greetings be to you, O son of Abu Taleb! You have become my Maula (Master) and the Maula of all Mu’mineen and Mu’minaat.”[23]

Q479.     Is it necessary to point with one’s index-finger while offering salutations to the Fourteen Infallibles (a.s.)?

A.           It is not necessary but since our Imams (a.s.) used to offer salutations (Ziyarat) in this manner, we also emulate this gesture. One should not point in any direction while addressing Imam-e-Zamaan (a.s.).

Q480.     After death, in the grave, during questions and answers, will Hazrat Ali (a.s.) be present or our 12th Imam (a.s.) or both or all Imams. In order to help the Mo’mineen support your answer with Ahaadees?

A.           Many Ahadees are available which say, that every person who dies will see Hazrat Ali (a.s.). A famous hadees of Hazrat Ali (a.s.). “When any body dies he will definitely see me whether he is a mo’min or a hypocrite. The Mo’min will see the good results of his deeds and the other will see the bad results of his Nifaq”

               Other Imams also come to help Mo’min. Details of this can be found in many Ahadees.

Q481.     Wahabis question the propriety of decorating the Shrines of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) when poverty stalks many of Muslim land?

A.           Gold is the ornament of the slave of the slave of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). The Holy shrines are decorated with gold as a mark of respect for what they symbolize and nothing more.

               You think the poverty of Muslims will be removed by the gold which decorates some of the Shrines? If Wahabis are truly pained by the fate of the poor, they should tell their rich rulers to give Khums and Zakat of their wealth because if they were to give Khums of even one year’s saying, no Muslim will remain poor. Actually, what prompts their reaction is not concern for human suffering but their deep-seated animosity towards Ahlul Bayt (a.s.)

Q482.     It is accepted by us that Allah never left any nation any time without a guide. Can you please enlighten us for the period between Eesa (a.s.) and Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w.a.) because the ghaibat of Hazrat Eesa (a.s.) is different in a way from the ghaibat of Imam Zamaan (a.s.).

A.           The period between Hazrat Eesa (a.s.) and Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.) as usual was not left without a guide. Either a prophet such as Khalid bin Hanzala or Ausiyah (successors) existed and father of Abu Talib, Janab-e-Abdul Muttalib according to Riwayat was also successor of Hazrat Eesa (a.s.). At no time people were left without guidance. As regards the difference between ghaibat of Hazrat Eesa (a.s.) and Imam-e-Zamaan (a.s.), it can be understood very simply that Hazrat Eesa (a.s.) ascended and was raised to the heaven and at the moment does not reside on the earth whereas Imam-e-Zamaan (a.s.) is presently residing in this very world but usually cannot be seen or recognized by people at large.

Q483.     Imam Hasan (a.s.) opted for peace while Imam Husain (a.s.) stood up to fight. Why this discrepancy?

A.           Both Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Husain (a.s.) are Imams and infallible. Their different stands were basically for the safe guarding of the religion of Islam. The conditions during their life time were different and demanded different approach so there is no discrepancy as such.

Q484.     Hazrat Sulayman (a.s.) prays to Allah Ta’ala by saying: “Grant me a dominion such as shall not befit any one after me.”[24] Does it mean that Imam-e-Zaman (a.s.)’s kingdom will be inferior to that of Hazrat Sulayman (a.s.)?

A.           On the Contrary, Imam-e-Zaman (a.s.)’s kingdom will encompass the whole world whereas Hazrat Sulayman (a.s.)’s kingdom was confined to one continent only. During the reign of Imam-e-Zaman (a.s.) there will be no Pakistan, India, America or Saudi Arabia in existence. The whole world will be one big Islamic country.

Q485.     How do we refute the allegations that the book “Nahj al-Balaghah” is not completely the utterances of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.)?

A.           No scholar of any denomination questioned the genuineness of Nahj al-Balaghah? For more than two centuries until Ibn Khallikan (d. 681/1282) raised doubts about its attribution of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) without referring to any author or source. Later Sunni Scholars were content to repeat Ibn Khallikan’s conjecture without bothering to substantiate it, which in the course of time, continues to be blindly parroted as a matter of fact. The allegation made is that it has been, to some extent, composed by either of the two brothers, Sayyed Razi or Sayyed Murtaza. Firstly a contemporary, namely Najaashi (d. 450/ 1058), mentions it among the compiled works of Sayyed Razi. And Shaykh Tusi (d. 460/1067-68) who was a student of Sayyed Murtaza does not mention Nahj al-Balaghah as his teacher’s work. Secondly, Sayyed Razi has referred to Nahj al-Balaghah as his own compilation of Hazrat Ali (a.s.)’s sermons, letters and sayings in two of his books, namely, “Haqaiq al-Tanzil” and “Majaazaat al-At’har”. Thirdly the Indian Sunni scholar, Imtiyaz Ali Khan Arshi refers to the earlier sources of 106 sermons, 37 letters and 79 sayings of Hazrat Ali (a.s.), including that of the disputed sermon called “Al-Shiqshiqiyya” which is critical of the first two Caliphs. Similarly, Kazim Muhammadi and Muhammad Dashti have prepared a comprehensive bibliography with a detailed item-by-item list of sources in “AI-Mu’jam al-Mufahras li Alfaaz Nahj al-Balaghah”. Lastly, the Sunni scholar, Safadi in his “Waafi bil Wafayaaf” (vol. 2, p. 375), writes: “People are of the view that “Nahj al-Balaghah’ is not Sayyed Razi’s product.

Q486.     Is there any truth in the story that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) once forgot to say “lnsha-Allah” (If Allah Wills) while promising something, for which reason, revelation was withheld for forty days?

A.           Forgetting is a weakness, especially for a prophet, which can be exploited by his enemies to discredit his whole message. The story surrounds the revelation of the verse: “And do not say of anything; surely I will do it tomorrow unless Allah pleases.”[25] Firstly, Qur’anic verses were revealed solely to the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), when in fact, the message was addressed to the people in general. Nobody believes that the following verses were personally directed to the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) himself: “Abundance diverts you, until you come to the graves.”[26] or the verse, “It is most hateful to Allah that you should say that which you do not do.”[27] Secondly, the Qur’an explicitly declares about the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that ...most surely you conform to sublime morality”[28], that he ...does not err, nor does he go astray, nor does he speak to of desire”[29] and “We will make you recite so you shall not forget”.[30] So it is illogical that Allah should make him forget and deprive him of the blessing of revelation. Thirdly, retention of revelation did occur in the course of his prophetic mission for two reasons: (i) as a test of the believer’s faith and (ii) as a proof that the revelation is not a personal concoction. To infer that the revelation of the verse (18:22-23) after a gap of time means mischievous fabrication. Fourthly, is it possible that prophets Musa (a.s.) and Shuayb (a.s.) should remember to utter the phrase “If Allah pleases” in verses 18: 69 and 37: 102 respectively but the greatest of all prophets, should forget to pronounce the same. Even Allamah Tabatabai, who wrote that “...a man who has knowledge of God’s status and has submitted to God should never consider himself independent in any event or work and should not believe himself to be needless of God”, (thus, remembering to say “If Allah Wills” while speaking about his future course of action), himself unthinkingly quoted the story that the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) underwent such a lapse.” So we conclude that this imputation has been falsely created to discredit the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and make the caliphs comparable to him, which some Shi’ite scholars have blindly copied from Sunni sources.

Q487.     Which is the oldest existing book written by a Sunni scholar about Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.)?

A.           In all probability it is the book called “Fitan Wa Malahem” written by the Sunni scholar Hafez Noaim bin Hammad (died in 227 A.H.), who was the teacher of Bukhari and others. Three copies exist in India, Syria and England respectively.

Q488.     How does one refute the claim by some non-Shia scholars that the fort of Khaybar was conquered by someone other than Amir al-Mu’menin Hazrat Ali (a.s.)?

A.           The fact that Amir al-Mu’menin Hazrat Ali (a.s.) conquered the fort of Khaybar is so well-known that only an ignoramus can deny it. For instance, Sa’d Waqqas has been quoted by Sahih Muslim (Vol. 7, p. 120) to be desirous of possessing at least one of the three virtues of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and one of them pertains to his victory at Khaybar.

Q489.     How does one reconcile the narrative attributed to Imam Sadiq (a.s.) in section eleven of “Hilyatul Muttaqeen” wherein he is quoted to have said: “Do not wear black shoes” while another narrative states that the best colour of shoes in one’s home-town is black?

A.           The abominableness of black shoes and black dress, apart from the amamah (turban), rida (outer robe) and socks (except while mourning the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) or their followers) is well-known and accepted. The wording of the latter statement indicates that it was addressed to someone residing in a town dominated by bigoted enemies of Shias, who could have marked him by his avoidance of black shoes and this could have harmed him.

Q490.     How do you explain the saying of Imam Sadiq (a.s.): “Make your heart bright and wear whatever you want”?[31]

A.           The saying of Imam Sadiq (a.s.): “Make your heart bright and wear whatever you want” emphasizes the pre-eminence of an illuminated heart (reality) over an attractive facade (appearance) and the predominance of intention over action. It does not, however, mean that people should be indiscriminate about what they wear because Islam has well-established prohibitions regarding what can be worn. In any case, an enlightened soul will not dishonour his body by means of inappropriate attire.

Q491.     Did our Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) deliver his message to the Jinnis? If the answer is yes, how did he do this, while the Jinnis are not usually seen by man? And how is Islam maintained among the Jinnis now?

A.           Yes, our Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) preached among the Jinns, and this fact is clearly described in the Surah ‘Al Jinn’. The Jinns are not seen by men, as you have said, usually. But they may make themselves visible if they want. And the power of the eyes of the Holy Prophet was such that he could, and did, see the angels (who also are not seen usually by men); therefore, it is not a serious problem.

               As to the maintenance of Islam among them now, it is described in our books, that they have their own scholars and preachers, as the human beings do. And it has been hinted in many traditions of our Imams that the Jinni Muslims were not misled by those who contrived to mislead the mankind; they are on right path.

Q492.     Did the Holy Prophet pay Mahr for his first wife, Hazrat Khadija? How much?

A.           There are various traditions about the ‘Mahr’ of Hazrat Khadija: 500 Dirhams or 400 Misqal gold or 20 camels.

Q493.     When we mention the apostle’s name, Mohammed, we say (s.a.w.a.) Why? What does it mean?

A.           (s.a.w.a.) after the name of the Holy Prophet is the abbreviation of “Sallallaaho alayhe wa aalehi wa sallam”. It means, “May Allah Bestow His Mercy, Grace and Peace upon him (Mohammed) and his progeny.”

               The Muslims say it in compliance with the command of Allah: “Verily, Allah Bestows His Grace upon the Prophet and His angels pray for him; O you who believe send your blessings on him and salute him as is the proper way.”[32]

               And the addition of ‘wa Aalehi’ (and upon his progeny) is in accordance with the command of the Holy Prophet who said: “Do not send on me an incomplete salawaat”. The companions asked: “What is the incomplete salawaat, O Messenger of Allah!” The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said: “It is incomplete to say ‘O Allah Bless Mohammed” and then to stop. Nay, you should say: “O Allah Bless Mohammed and his Progeny.”[33]

Q494.     How many wives did Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w.a.) have besides Khadija? What are their names, if known?

A.           The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) did not marry any other woman in the life time of Khadija. After her death, he married 12 wives, nine of whom were alive at the time of his death. Their names were Sauda, Aaisha, Umme Salma, Zainab binte Jahash, Safiyya, Hafsa, Maimuna, Zainab Ummul Masakin and Umme Habiba.

Q495.     Does Imam Mahdi (a.s.) appear and disappear like a magical person or is it the fault of people’s eyes?

A.           Imam Mahdi (a.s.) is living on this very earth. Wherever the cause of Islam demands, he reaches there. Sometimes people see the Imam-e-Zaman (a.s.) but do not recognize him. Very few people meet him and recognize him also. It is Allah’s Glory that when He wants them to see the Imam, they meet him.

Q496.     Where should one go to meet Imam-e-Zamaan (a.s.)?

A.           No place in particular in the Ghaibat-e-Kubra. When Allah is pleased with someone, He will make it possible for the person to meet Imam-e-Zamaan (a.s.). The person need not go to search for the Imam (a.s.). What he needs is piety and sincere obedience to Allah’s Commands. This meeting can take place in one’s dream or it could be an actual meeting.

Q497.     Recently on a Friday morning I was near a Sunni mosque early in the morning and I heard they were reciting ‘Laa Hawla walaa Quwwata illaa Billaahil A’liyyil Azeem’. I was a bit surprised because there was the name of Imam Ali (a.s.) in the Dua. Please correct me if I am wrong.

A.           It is mustahab among all Muslims to say ‘Laa Hawla walaa Quwwata illaa Billaahil A’liyyil Azeem’, on hearing in the azaan, hayya alas salaah, hayya alal falaah, hayya ala khairil amal. There is no surprise at all, since al-Ali is one of names of Allah (s.w.t.) which means the High. Imam Ali (a.s.) is Ali, not al-Ali. He is the best servant of Allah (s.w.t.) after the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

Q498.     Should we not be proud of the bravery and resolve of Imam Husain (a.s.) and his followers rather than mourn over their trials and martyrdom? Crying looks like a cowardly act. Should we not be focusing on what we can learn from the incident like never compromising on the principles of Islam and giving importance to the shariah?

A.           This is a baseless claim, i.e. to be proud of the tragedy of Karbala and to stop mourning. The Prophet Yaqoob (a.s.) had cried for long years till he lost his eyesight, when he lost his son [Yusuf (a.s..)] though he was aware of the fact that Yusuf was not killed. The human feeling of mourning any tragedy is a fact which cannot be denied. Why did the Holy Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.) call Muslim women in Madina to cry at the martyrdom of his uncle Hamza after he was martyred in the battle of Uhod? Did he call people to be proud of Hamza’s bravery and not to mourn his martyrdom?

               Mourning for Imam Husain (a.s.) is an expression of one of the noblest of human feelings. It is a sign of real iman (faith) and a sign of faithfulness to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his Progeny the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Those who do not mourn this tragedy knowing that it had happened have no real love for the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

               Mourning for Imam Husain (a.s.) leads to proximity to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and the Ahlul bayt (a.s.) who are the real leaders and guides to the Truth of Islam. This is the way of following the Shariah. Millions of people were attracted to Islam through their noble sentiments for Imam Husain (a.s.). Millions of Muslims today do not attend Masjids on a regular basis, but attend mourning sessions (Majalis) and weep and cry at the tragedy of Karbala. This great tragedy is the strongest link between them and Islamic values. Their participation in the Majalis increases their knowledge about Islam and encourages them to implement the Shariah in their daily lives.

Q499.     How many children did the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) have?

A.           The Holy Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w.a.) had one daughter, Sayyedah Fatima (s.a.) and sons who died during childhood. Their names were - Ibrahim, al-Taahir, al-Qaasim - as is mentioned in some books.

Q500.     Sunnis believe that the Mahdi (a.s.) isn’t born yet. Is the Mahdi (a.s.) born and alive somewhere and will emerge when Allah wills? What are the bases for this belief? Will Isa (Jesus) (a.s.) appear at the same time as the Mahdi (a.s.)? What happens in their time and after it?

A.           The Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.) was born on the 15th of Sha’ban 255 A.H. in the city of Samarra’ in Iraq. He is the only son of Imam Hasan ibn Ali al-Askari (a.s.) who was the Eleventh Imam from the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). The Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.) is mentioned in hundreds of ahadees narrated in Sunni and Shia books.

               The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) informed Muslims that the Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.) will be the ninth descendent of Imam Husain (a.s.) which means the son of Imam Hasan ibn Ali al-Askari (a.s.). All the followers of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) believe in the Imam al-Mahdi who was born on the 15 Sha’ban 255 A.H. in Samarra’, Iraq, and believe in his occultation which was in the interest of the religion and human beings, according to the orders of Allah (s.w.t.), the Absolute Wise.

               Many Sunni scholars admit that Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.) was born, and as many other Sunnis claim that he will be born at the end of time. A number of leading Sunni scholars who admitted that Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.) was born in 255 A.H. in Samarra, and that he is the son of Imam Hasan ibn Ali al-Askari (a.s,) were mentioned in a book called ‘Defending Al-Kafi’, by Zaamer al-Ameedi who mentioned One Hundred and Twenty-eight prominent Sunni scholars. These are just a few examples:

               Al-Khwarazmi in ‘Mafaateeh Al-Oloom’, p.32.

               Yahya ibn Salama Al-Shafi’ee as in ‘Tazkirat Al-Khawaas’ by Sib ibn Al-Jawzi, p.360.

               Sibt ibn Al-Jawzi in ‘Tazkirat Al-Khawaas’, p.363.

               Al-Kanji Al-Shafi’ee in ‘Kifayat Al-Taalib’, Last page.

               Ibn Khillikan in ‘Wafayaat Al-A’yaan’. 4:176.

               Sahl ibn Abdullah Al-Bukhari in ‘Sirril Silsilal Alawiyyah’, p. 39.

               Al-Khusaibi in ‘Al-Hidaya Al-Kubra’, p. 353.

               Al-Jowaini Al-Hamawi in ‘Faraa’id Al-Sibtayn’, 2: 337.

               Ibn Al-Sabbagh Al-Maaliki in ‘Al-Fosool Al-Muhimma’, p. 287.

               Ibn Hajar Al- Haytami Al-Shafi’ee in ‘Al-Sawa’eq Al-Mohriqa’. 3rd Edition. p. 313.

               Ibn Al-Emaad Al-Hanbali in ‘Shazarat Al-Zahab’, 2: 148 in the events of year 260 Hijri.

               Al-Shabrawi Al-Shafi’ee in ‘Al-Ithaaf’, p. 68.


Taharat/Najasat

Q501.     If one’s clothes are stained with blood and one cannot change it, to avoid the Namaz from getting postponed, what should one do?

A.           If the area of the blood-stain is more than one’s thumb-print, it is not permissible to offer Namaz wearing such clothes. Even if the blood is splattered in such a manner that collectively it is more than the thumbprint, offering Namaz with such clothes is not valid. If a change in to clean clothing is not possible without making the Namaz Qaza, the person should remove his shirt if it is stained. It is sufficient to have clean clothes which cover the private parts during prayers. It is Ehtiyat for a male to cover ones body from the navel to the knees.

Q502.     Is there any way of purifying Najis (impure) milk?

A.           If one is sure that the milk is Najis, it cannot be made Paak, (Purified) at all. Even if sweets or other deserts are prepared from Najis milk, it still remains Najis. Also, Najis milk cannot be made Paak by boiling it.

Q503.     What should one believe when a person doubts whether the water in our building’s water-tank is ‘Kur’ or not?

A.           If the original status of water is ‘Kur’, and afterwards one doubts whether it is still ‘Kur’ or not, it can be considered as ‘Kur’.

Q504.     Can a person have a bath with the intention of Ghusl-e-Jumah?

A.           One can combine many intentions while having one Ghusl (bath).

Q505.     Is it enough to wash a saucer with soap, which was licked by a dog?

A.           No, it is not enough. Even if it is washed a hundred times with soap, it will not be considered clean. It is necessary to rub the entire saucer with mud (dry or wet) before washing it once with running or ‘kur’ water or twice if the water is less than a ‘kur’.

Q506.     Is it necessary for a person to be clean before having an obligatory or a recommended ghusl (i.e. bath)?

A.           The whole body need not be clean before taking an obligatory or a recommended bath. If a part of the body is najis (i.e. unclean); when it comes to that part it should be first made clean before continuing with the intended ghusl (bath).

Q507.     Is it necessary for the host to inform the guests if the food which is served or the prayer carpet is Najis?

A.           It is incumbent for the host to inform his guests about the ‘Najasat’ in his food or prayer-carpet. A Muslim neither eats nor gives others to eat unclean (Najis) food.

Q508.     Can one perform Ghusl (bath) Janabat while taking shower bath?

A.           Yes one can! There is no harm at all. But it will be Ghusl-e-Tarteebee

Q509.     I am learning swimming in a swimming pool where non-Muslims also come for swimming? Is it obligatory to take Ghusl (bath) after swimming?

A.           No. Usually swimming pool consists of many “Kur” volume of water, and even if non-Muslims go in the water it remains paak. There is no need for you to take “Ghusl (bath)”. Ghusl (bath) is something quite different. Any part of the body when Najis has to be made “Paak”. For Information only: - One Kur is approximately 384 Litres volume hence this volume and above keeps the water from becoming najis.

Q510.     Is it permissible to use Najis Milk or oil for massaging the body?

A.           It is permissible to use them on condition that the person should wash them off before offering Namaz.

Q511.     Would butter made from Najis milk be permitted for eating?

A.           Whatever that is made from Najis milk is not lawful for eating. It is of no consequence whether the Najis milk is boiled or processed mechanically or collected upto the amount of Kur water or whether the product made from Najis milk comes packed or unpacked. However, if you don’t know that it is ‘Paak’ (clean), you may consider it as paak and use it because originally the milk is clean.

Q512.     Is it obligatory for a 11 years old boy to take ritual bath after touching a corpse?

A.           Bath becomes obligatory for a person who touches a corpse, after the body has become cold and before it has been given the ritual bath. It is obligatory on a boy who has attained 15 years of age and on a girl who has attained 9 years of age or when both have become mature before this age limit. The signs of maturity for boy are growth of hard hair around the genital organs or discharge of semen.

Q513.     Is it permissible to avoid taking an obligatory bath mainly because of the coldness of water?

A.           The obligatory bath cannot be avoided due to the coldness of water. Tayammum can only be resorted to in sickness which will be aggravated by the bath, or lack of sufficient time to take bath and offer the prayers on time, or because of lack of water, or when only ‘najis’ (unclean) water is available.

Q514.     Can a person dry himself after urinating with paper, cloth or stone and offer namaz in that state?

A.           No. The person does not become clean. Use of water is necessary for cleaning the place of urination. Temporarily, he can use it to dry to avoid, the spread of Najasat (Uncleanness) in the absence of water, but before Namaz he should use water if it is available. If it is not possible to find water and the time of prayer is passing, he will offer Namaz in that state. It is Satanic misguidance to postpone Namaz because of uncleanliness. Namaz cannot be abandoned at any cost.

Q515,     Can one touch the names of people which resemble that of the Ma’soomeen (a.s.) without having Wuzu?

A.           According to precaution, names resembling that of the Ma’soomeen (a.s.) should not be touched without having Wuzu. If, for instance, the names are Ghulam Ali and Shabeehul Hasan, one can touch Ghulam and Shabeehul without having Wuzu but not Ali and Hasan. And if the names belonging to people have not been inspired by Ma’soomeen (a.s.), even though they resemble their names, one can touch them without Wuzu.

Q516.     Can one do Wuzu in the state of janabat?

A.           If it is not possible to do ghusl (bath) immediately, one performs Wuzu for earning Allah’s pleasure. Basically this Wuzu is done for eating, drinking or sleeping purpose and namaz cannot be performed with this Wuzu.

Q517.     It is not necessary to touch the toes on bare ground while prostrating in Namaz. So why can’t a person wear shoes in Namaz when he is permitted to wear socks and stand on a covered ground?

A.           There are shoes whose front portions are not covered, allowing the big toes to touch the floor, which can be worn during Namaz. Other than this, it is not permissible to wear other types of shoes during Namaz. One probable reason could be that removing footwear is considered to be a sign of humility, which is one of the main essences of submission before one’s Creator, Nourisher and Sustainer.

Q518.     Is Ghusl-e-Janabnat (obligatory ceremonial bath) affected if the person discharges gas or urinates in between?

A.           If while taking bath, the person discharges gas through the rectum or urinates, he should abandon that bath and take a fresh bath.

Q519.     Are liquid medicines, perfumes, ghee, soap and polish made in non-Islamic countries pure?

A.           If one is not sure of their being impure and there is likelihood of it being pure, they can be considered as pure.

Q520.     Does hydrogenated oil (ghee) becomes ‘najis’ (impure) if excreta of a rat falls in it?

A.           If the hydrogenated oil is in solid state such that after taking out a portion which came in contact with the rat’s excreta, the space remains vacant or fills up gradually later, only that part which acquired impurity will be considered as impure. The rest will remain pure. However, if the excreta of a rat, or for that matter, of any animal whose meat is unlawful for consumption, falls in a syrup or food, such that after removing a portion, the space does not remain vacant, the entire quantity will become impure as soon as the slightest part becomes impure.

Q521.     Are nail, hair, teeth and bones of dead human beings or animals pure?

A.           Those parts of a dead body (other than that of a dog, pig or a disbeliever) which does not contain life, such as nail, hair, teeth and bones are pure.

Q522.     Is it permissible to use perfume or scent which contains spirit?

A.           Yes. It is allowed to use it as perfume.

Q523.     Does the impure sole of one’s foot or shoe become purified by walking?

A.           The impure sole of one’s foot or shoe is purified by walking provided the following three conditions are fulfilled

(a)           The earth should be pure

(b)           The earth should be dry.

(c)           If the original impurity, like blood or urine is stuck on the sole of the foot or shoe of a person, it should be cleared by walking on earth or by rubbing the foot or shoe on it. It is necessary that the earth consists of clay or sand or floor made of stones or bricks. Walking on green grasses or tar or wooden floor cannot serve the purpose.

Q524.     What is the order about the water which splatters on the body while washing impure things?

A.           If the impure thing is washed with ‘kur’ water (about 384 litres) or running water, the water which falls from it or splatters, after the washing with which it becomes pure, will be considered as pure.

Q525.     Is it necessary to find out the legal position about the state of purity of a thing?

A.           It is obligatory for a ‘muqallid’ (follower of a jurist) to learn the judgements about the problems which are faced by him usually. If a person does not know whether a thing is pure or not, he should refer to the relevant book or ask someone reliable to enlighten him. However, if in spite of knowing the legal position, he is doubtful whether or not the thing is pure — the thing is pure and it is not necessary for him to make investigation or inquiry about it.

Q526.     What is the order regarding a person’s purity whose faith is not known?

A.           A person about whom it is not known whether he is a Muslim or not is pure. However, he does not enjoy other rights applicable to Muslims. For example, he cannot marry a Muslim woman and should not be buried in the graveyard of the Muslims.

Q527.     Will the food be considered pure in which a drop of blood falls while cutting onions?

A.           If even a particle of blood falls in the food while it is being cooked, the entire food together with its container becomes impure and boiling cannot purify it. But if blood falls on solid food such that with the removal of a portion of food, blood is completely removed, the remaining food will be pure.

Q528.     Can one employ a non-Muslim servant for washing clothes and utensils?

A.           One may employ a non-Muslim servant for washing clothes and utensils provided you purify them before drying the clothes or using the utensils.

Q529.     Does the sitting of a fly or an insect on a pure thing which is also wet make the thing impure?

A.           If one knows that the fly or insect was carrying impurity with it, the pure thing which is also wet will become impure. But it will remain pure if one does not know.

Q530.     Does the water, regarding which one doubts whether it has become less than a kur (about 384 litres), purify an impure thing?

A.           If the quantity of water is equal to a kur and later one doubts whether it has become less than a kur, it will be treated to be equal to a kur i.e. it purifies an impure thing and does not become impure if an impurity reaches it.

Q531.     Can a person, who has become “Junub” (ceremonially unclean) on account of an unlawful act and performed ceremonial bath or tayammum, perform prayers with the perspiration experienced later on?

A.           The perspiration of a person who becomes ceremonially unclean owing to an unlawful act is pure, but on the basis of recommended precaution, prayers should not be offered with it. Hence it is recommended that he should take bath with cold water.

Q532.     Is it necessary to perform bath after emission of a white, sticky fluid occurs of its own immediately after urinating?

A.           The liquid which at times comes out after urine, of its own accord called “Wadi”, is pure if urine does not reach it and does not require a bath.

Q533.     How does one give bath to a bandaged dead body?

A.           Jabira (Medical cover) bathing is not permissible in the case of bathing of dead body and if there is some valid excuse for abstaining from giving bath, the dead body should be made to perform tayammum for each bathing, and the obligatory precaution is that it should be made to perform a fourth tayammum also in lieu of 3 bathing. If possible, the tayammum should be performed with the palms of the dead body.

Q534.     What should one do when the impurity of dress is realized after completing the prayers?

A.           If you were not aware of the impurity of the dress and came to know about it after completing the prayers, the prayers are in order. But in case you had forgotten about it and recollected it after completing the prayers you should offer the prayers again with pure clothes, and if the time prescribed for that prayer has passed, you should offer its qaza.

Q535.     After washing clothes, one of the child’s clothes is found to contain impurity. Does it make all the other clothes impure?

A.           Only those wet clothes or parts will become impure which has acquired impurity and the remaining part will remain pure.

Q536.     Is the bath for ‘janabat’ (ceremonial uncleanness) obligatory for a person who does not experience seminal emission during intercourse?

A.           Irrespective of the fact that seminal emission has taken place or not, the bath for ‘Janabat’ becomes obligatory upon sexual intercourse.

Q537.     Does bath for ceremonial uncleanness also apply to women?

A.           Yes. If a person has sexual intercourse with a woman and the male organ enters either of the private parts of the woman upto the point of circumcision or more than that, both of them become unclean and should take the ceremonial bath.

Q538.     If any person touches a pig what can he do to become pure?

A.           If both you and the pig are not wet then no need to purify. If any one is wet then after washing three times with water you will become paak.

Q539.     At times one feels wetness at the penis. What should be done?

A.           Just wetness does not mean that it is semen. So, it is not Najis. If one’s doctor tells him, or one himself knows that it is urine dropping, then he needs to wash it before performing Wuzu. If it is not urine, nor semen, one does not need to do anything.

Q540.     Is the skull of a dead man Najis? In Biology Lab we frequently touch man’s skull. If it is Najis is it wajib (obligatory) to take bath (i.e. Ghusl-e-Mass-e-Mayyit)?

A.           Yes, Ghusl (bath) of Mass-e-Mayyit becomes Wajib (obligatory), if one touches the body or the bone of a dead person after the body has become cold (and, in the case of a Muslim’s dead body, after it has become cold and before Ghusl-e-Mayyit has been given). If he/she touches it in the night, Ghusl-e-Mass-e-Mayyit should be performed before morning prayers (if because of unbearable cold or illness, one is unable to perform this Ghusl (bath) even with hot water, tayammum should be done in its place.

Q541.     Some types of soap which are imported from outside contain lard in their ingredients but at the end, only 5% remains in them. In that case, is the ruling of transformation (istehalah) applicable to it and is the soap ruled to be ritually pure, or does it remain ritually impure?

A.           It remains ritually impure. God knows best.

Q542.     What is the ruling on blood that coagulates under the fingernail, being the result of a blow or some other cause? This blood then moves gradually to the outside and it is not possible to remove it. Is this blood ritually impure or ritually pure? And how is it treated if it is considered ritually impure?

A.           If it does not change (into something other than blood), it is to be considered ritually impure, and it is obligatory to remove it if there is not difficulty in doing so. But if it presents a problem, then that which seems apparent is to substitute tayammum for Wuzu and ghusl (bath). God knows best.

Q543.     What is the ruling on someone who performs one of the obligatory ghusls and, after completing the ghusl (bath) or a few hours thereafter, he finds something that prevented the water from reaching a finger of his left hand or a toe of his left foot. Is he obligated to repeat the ghusl (bath) of the entire left part, or is it adequate to wash only that spot with the intention of ghusl (bath)?

A.           It is enough to wash that spot only and, based on obligatory precaution, he should combine it with Wuzu if a hadas (impurity) has taken place during that time. God knows best.

Q544.     What is the ruling on a person who used to pray and fast but committed several mistakes in the major ablution (Ghusl)? He is absolutely sure now that some of his previous ghusls were void, but he does not know how many. As a result he is not aware of how many invalid prayers and fasts he offered with them?

A.           His fasts are valid even if his Ghusl (bath) is invalid. However, it is obligatory for him to offer qaza of all the prayers he offered with the invalid Ghusl (bath). If he is unsure about the minimum and the maximum, he may limit himself to the minimum.

Q545.     It often happens that I shake hands with someone while my hands are wet. I do not know whether the one with whom I shook hands is a Muslim or an unbeliever (kafir), who is not, regarded as ritually pure (tahir). Is it obligatory for me to ask him in order to make sure?

A.           Certainly not. It is not obligatory for you to ask him. You may assume that the hand with which I touched his hand was ritually pure.

Q546.     A university student, businessman, tourist or some such person travels to a non-Muslim country, say, Europe, such that scarcely a day passes without direct contact with its Christian and Jewish inhabitants, with the moisture exchange in the cafe, or at the barber shop, doctor’s office, dry-cleaners, etc. making it difficult to count (the places). What should he do?

A.           He should assume the ritual purity of their bodies as long as he does not know that their ritual impurity (najasah) was acquired from an external source.

Q547.     If I move into a place which was inhabited before me by people who are not judged to be ritually pure, is it correct for me to consider everything ritually pure?

A.           Yes, consider everything ritually pure if you do not know or are unsure of its ritual impurity.

Q548.     Ayatullah Syed Ali Husaini Seestani (May he live long) has ruled that water from a tap shall be treated as “Kur” if the source to which the tap is attached contains kur water. My question is what if the reservoir to which the tap is attached, though it doesn’t contain Kur water but that reservoir is in turn attached by way of an electric motor to an underground water tank containing Kur water. Shall the tap water be treated as Kur when the motor is switched off?

A.           The tap water will cease to be Kur as soon as the motor is switched off and the connection between the underground water tank and the reservoir gets disconnected. This is presuming that the reservoir is of a lesser than Kur capacity. However, the tap water will not be najis unless any najasat enters into the reservoir and tap section after the switching off the water.

Q549.     Sometimes married couples have to ignore the Fajr Namaz for want of performing Ghusl-e-Janabat in cold climates and secondly due to the embarrassment of doing it in the early morning when elders are present in the house. In such conditions can a person do Tayammum in lieu of Ghusl-e-Janabat?

A.           When Ghusl-e-Janabat is Wajib (obligatory) then it must be performed. Cold climate is not an excuse to leave it unless it is harmful or dangerous to the person’s health, in which case Tayammum is to be performed in lieu of Ghusl-e-Janabat. Regarding the embarrassment of doing Ghusl-e-Janabat in the presence of elders, it cannot as well be an excuse not to do it.

Q550.     After doing Ghusl-e-Jumma, is it necessary to offer Namaz-e-Jumma, before performing acts, which require Wuzu?

A.           It is not necessary to offer Namaz-e-Jumma before performing acts which require Wuzu. The person can for instance, offer Namaz before Namaz-e-Jumma after doing Ghusl-e-Jumma.

Q551.     Should vapours which rise from Najis (unclean) ground while draining rice-water, considered ‘Paak’ or Najis’?

A.           Such vapours should be considered as clean since evaporation is a purifying agent.

Q552.     While walking in the rain the bottoms of my trousers become wet from the water being splashed up from the sidewalk/pavement. Do I need to change trousers before I pray?

A.           You do not need to change such cloth for praying because you are not sure that it became Najis, though it became wet from the sidewalk or pavement. Such wetness is not Najis.

Q553.     After cleaning oneself of Najis things on the body, when one is performing Ghusl (bath) for Janabat or periods (menstrual), is it compulsory that water should reach every part of the body? Can I put water in such a way that water flows from upper parts of body, without actually reaching each and every part?

A.           During Ghusl (bath), water must reach every external part of the body. You do not need to make water flow on every external part, but the wetness of the water must reach.

Q554.     Recently, I met with an accident and broke my left hand which is now plastered. Due to this, I am unable to perform ghusl (bath) (janabat) as respects my left-half and right-half of my body. The only place where I can perform it is on my head and neck? Can you please tell me if it is alright if I do not perform ghusl (bath) for a few days until the plaster is removed?

A.           You must perform the ghusl (bath) of janabat whenever you fall into a state of janabat. You pour water on the open parts of your body and wipe with wetness on the plastered parts that you cannot pour water on. It is worth mentioning that pouring water is not wajib (obligatory) in ghusl (bath), but only making any quantity of it reach your body no matter how small it might be. If that is not possible, then you must wipe on the plaster itself as far as it is tahir (paak), and if it is not, then you must put a piece of paak cloth over it and wipe on it with a little of wetness. The same is to be done in case of wuzu if any part of the body where Wuzu is done is plastered.

Q555.     Can a person on whom the ‘Ghusl (bath) Mass-e-Mayyat’ (for touching the corpse) is incumbent offer his daily prayers with Wuzu (ablution) alone?

A.           He cannot offer Salaat (prayers) before performing ‘Ghusl (bath) Mass-e-Mayyat’. It is obligatory to perform the ghusl (bath) (ritual bath) when a person touches a corpse after it has become cold and before it has been given the “Ghusl-e-Mayyat” (burial bath).


Hereafter

Q556.     What is the fate of non-Muslims in aakherat [hereafter] who love Imam Husain (a.s.)?

A.           The primary requirement is to believe in ‘wahdaniyat’ (Unity) of Allah and to accept Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.) as Allah’s prophet. Of course Allah is just and any good done by any one will be compensated by him either in this world or in the hereafter. May be he is compensated in this world for his good action.

Q557.     Do we believe that the resurrection of human beings in the Here-after world will be metaphysical in nature?

A.           It is one of the fundamental beliefs of Muslims that human beings will be bodily resurrected in the Here-after. The Qur’an clearly states: “What! Does man reckon We shall not gather his bones. Yes, indeed, We are able to shape again his fingers”. In theory, science, too, considers the cloning of a living being from its residue a viable proposition.

Q558.     Do people in the hereafter cease to have any memory about this world?

A.           No. The Holy Qur’an informs us of people in Heaven as saying: “A speaker from among them shall say: Surely I had a comrade...” and also about people in Hell as saying: “And they shall say: What is the matter that we do not see men whom we used to count as vicious?”

Q559.     Is it true that the punishment for every sin that I commit will also be borne by my father who is deceased and is in aalame barzarkh now?

A.           The punishment for your sins will be on you and not on your father. You may seek forgiveness and pray for your father and try to do good deeds on his behalf.

Q560.     What is the difference between nafs and rooh? Also in the Hereafter, are we going to arise with the same appearance as we have in this world? I would also like to know whether we can really see those who are dead.

A.           Al-Nafs (self) according to the Holy Qur’an is of three types:

1.            An-Nafs al-Mutma’innah (the Peaceful self): This is the self of the most pious people. Peaceful Nafs is living in peace because of the remembrance and love of Allah (s.w.t.), and when such Nafs leaves this life, it goes back to Allah with satisfaction and happiness as it was always enjoying His love and was longing to meet His great mercy far away from this polluted materialistic life. In Surah al-Fajr, it has been said: “O peaceful self, return to your Lord, pleased with His mercy, He pleased with you, and enter with My servants and enter My Paradise.”

2.            An-Nafs al-Lawwaamah (The Blaming self): This is the self of most believers who blame themselves if they do badly. Blaming self is seeking purification from the dirt of Sins, through repentance and seeking forgiveness (Esteghfaar).

3.            An-Nafs al-Ammaarah Bis-Soo’ (The Evil-ordering self): Which is the self of the sinners, ordering them to do bad and follow satanic whispering and evil desires.

               Rooh is the soul or spirit which is the cause of life. It is from Allah (s.w.t.) and we, humans know very little about it. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an: “And they ask you about Rooh, tell them Rooh is from the affairs of Allah, and you were not given from the knowledge but a little.”

               Rooh is granted to us after the formation of the body in the womb of the mother. It remains with us as far as we are alive in this world. Rooh leaves our body when we die but remains with us after that and enjoys reward of the believer, or suffers the punishment of the sinner.

               Human appearance in Aakherah (Hereafter): People will have same appearance and they will know and recognize each other (Yata’rafoona Baynahum) as is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. The main appearance will be the same but there will also be some changes such as:

a)            The believer’s faces will be brightened, while the sinner’s faces will be blackened (“Yawma tabyazzo wojoohown wa taswaddo wojooh”) (“The Day when faces will brightened and faces will be darkened).

b)            The people of Paradise will appear in their youth.

c)            The people of Paradise will be very beautiful. The wife of a Mo’min will be made in his eyes as the most beautiful woman. He will be also in her eyes the most beautiful man.

d)            The people of Paradise will have Noor (light) moving with them (“Noorohom Yas’a Bayna Aydeehim Wa Be Aymaanehim”) (“Their light moves in front of them and on their right”).

e)            Some sinners will have very bad shapes according to the type of their sins. The arrogant will be like an ant which people will stamp with their feet, while other sinners will be like monkeys or pigs and so on.

               We can see people who are dead in dreams only as far as we are still in this life. We will be able to see them after our death when we are with them in the world of Barzakh, which is the state between death and the Day of Judgement.

               Please pray that we are always prepared for our future which can start any time, by being at all times with Allah (s.w.t.) in our hearts and deeds.

Q561.     What is the possible benefit of punishment in the Hereafter?

A.           Punishment is natural reflection and consequence of a bad deed. Reward is also a natural consequence of a good deed. Punishment of crimes is essential to eliminate evil acts in the society. Without such punishment, life would be catastrophic, as nothing will limit crimes and injustice. The fear from punishment stops many people from committing evil.

               This life will not be peaceful without a punishment here and in the Hereafter. The punishment in the Hereafter is more important as it also controls those sins which are not seen publicly.

               In short, peaceful and perfect life is impossible without a punishment against sins and crimes here and in the Hereafter.

Q562.     What are the eight gates of Paradise? What are their names and who can enter from them?

A.           There are eight gates for Paradise named after important good deeds. Those who perform those good deeds will enter from those gates.

Q563.     What is the possible benefit of eternal punishment in Hell? What purpose does it serve?

A.           The benefit of punishment in the Hereafter is to decrease bad deeds and counter injustice. The punishment is a natural consequence of bad deeds, just as reward is a natural consequence of good deeds. Without the expected punishment, life would have been terrible in this world too.


Major Sins

Q564.     We read that during Me’raj the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) witnessed people undergoing various kinds of punishments in Hell. Does it mean that people enter Hell or Heaven before the Day of Judgement?

A.           People do not enter Hell or Heaven before the Day of Judgement. But in Me’raj, Allah showed the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) examples and samples of the results of good deeds and bad deeds as illustrations for the guidance of the Muslim Ummat.

Q565.     Is it enough to say ‘Astaghferullah’ (May Allah forgive me) after doing Gheebat’ (back-biting)?

A.           Gheebat is a major sin which is worse than Zina (adultery). It makes no sense in committing a sin, whose damage cannot be repaired by saying “Astaghferullah”. Real repentance is done only once, after which that mistake is never repeated.

Q566.     Should one lie for a good purpose?

A.           No. What is permissible is telling an untruth for the sake of bringing about reconciliation among two Mu’mineen. If a lie creates goodwill between two Mu’mineen, it is better than conveying a truth which will lead to discord. For instance, conveying a piece of backbiting to another may be telling the truth, but if it will rupture their relationship then it would be a sin.

Q567.     Will it amount to backbiting if I discuss the behaviour of my brother with other members of the family?

A.           Gheebat is that which is disliked by the person who is being discussed. As long as it does not amount to “Gheebat”, the discussion will be permissible.

Q568.     Masturbating considered as a major or a minor sin?

A.           Masturbating is a disgusting act and a major sin. The Islamic penal code punishes the person who indulges in such an act with the same punishment apportioned for adulterers. According to one ‘hadees’ (narrative) masturbating is a sin bigger than adultery. People who hope to earn Allah’s Grace should refrain from all sins, be they major or minor in nature.

Q569.     What is the difference between ‘Hasad’ and ‘Ghebtah’?

A.           Whenever someone hears of a blessing which Allah has granted another person, he is in either of the two state: he experiences ‘Hasad’, that is, jealousy, which is disliking the fact of another receiving the blessing and favouring the idea of the other person being deprived of that thing even if he is not a beneficiary in the bargain. Or he experiences ‘Ghebtah’, that is he vies for the blessing without having any ill-feeling towards the person who is enjoying it. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) says: “A Mo’min vies for a thing and Munafiq feels jealous”.

Q570.     I have committed a sin for which Islam has prescribed punishment. Should I confess my sin to the learned jurist whom I follow or can confess to his representative?

A.           A person who commits a sin should repent sincerely to Allah alone and remain hopeful of His Forgiveness. And the proof of sincerity is that the person does not commit the sin again. Allah promises something more to such a person in the Holy Qur’an: “Except him who repents and believes and does a good deed; these are they for whom Allah changes the evil deeds to good ones; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful”. So there is no need to confess to any other human being, howsoever learned he may be.

Q571.     Now-a-days wherever one goes you find people indulging in backbiting in one form or the other. What should one do?

A.           Don’t go to a place, where you know for sure, that people commit this sin of backbiting. If you find people back-biting in your presence tell them not to do so. If you can’t or when they don’t heed, leave the place.

Q572.     In case the haram money is mixed with the halal money what is to be done?

A.           If halal property gets mixed up in such a way that it is not possible to identify each from the other, and the owner of the haraam property and its quantity are not known, and if it is also not known whether the quantity of the haraam property is more or less than the due Khums, the person concerned should pay Khums, with the Niyyat of Qurbat on the entire property, to one entitled to receive Khums and such properties whose owners are unknown, and after the payment of Khums the balance will become halal for him.

Q573.     Is there any sin, which God never forgives? If so, what is it?

A.           Yes, first that of ascribing any partner or colleague to Allah. ‘Allah’ says: “Verily Allah forgives not that anything be associated with Him.” Also, He will never forgive a sin, however small or minor, when the sinner does not give up that sin and goes on committing it. Allah says: - “And repentance is not profitable for those who do evil until death comes to one of them, then he says ‘Now surely I repent.”

Q574.     Why is it said that when you steal, all things around there will provide evidence against you before God?

A.           Well, why are you astonished? Even today soulless things give evidence for or against a man in the courts. Finger-prints, tapes, clothes, shoes, things belonging to a thief which are found near the place of theft, these are scores of such things give evidence in courts. So what is strange if the surrounding things were to provide evidence against a sinner on the Day of Judgement?

Q575.     I am very concerned about how sileh-Raham is practised, and to what extent it should be practised. For instance my parents constantly tell me about how I should be practising Sileh-Raham, i.e. being good to my relatives. What if my relatives have really mistreated people or have done other things that are totally against the laws of Islam openly. Do I still practise sileh-raham, knowing full well that it seems wrong? I also want to know what exactly Sileh-Raham is. Please advice soon. I am in the taqlid to Agha Seestaani.

A.           Sile Rahm means to maintain and make amends with blood relations - parents and the relatives who are consanguinal i.e. sharing the womb -like, brothers and sisters etc. The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and our Aimma (a.s.) have repeatedly emphasised upon us this virtue and so does Qur’an-e-Majid. We have been enjoined to maintain Sile Rahm even if the relatives do not reciprocate. Now, what they do by way of evil acts is their responsibility. You are not responsible as long as you do not assist them, directly or indirectly in whatever they do. You are confined to your relation with them only. Sile Rahm confers the pleasure of Allah, averts many adversities, causes increase in Rizq as well as life span.

Q576.     How should I avoid sins? What should I do if I keep doing bad things?

A.           Doing bad things knowing that they are bad means that you are weak before your desires. When your intellect becomes mature and balanced, then you will control your desires. There is a hadees saying that Allah (s.w.t.) has created the angels and put in them reason without desire; while He create the animals and put in them desire without reason. However, He (s.w.t.) created human beings and put in them both reason and desire. So, if the human being keeps his reason controlling his desires, he will then be superior to the angels, and if he keeps his desires controlling his reason, then he will be worse than animals. If we remember the result of bad deeds, we will never commit any sin purposely.

Q577.     In order to fight for my rights, I have to speak some lies, i.e. mix truth with lies. If I don’t do this, I can lose my rights. So in this case, can lies be spoken?

A.           We cannot mix truth with any word of lies because it is Haraam, and it will make us fail both here in this life and in the hereafter.

Q578.     I have been a very big sinner since my young age. I started masturbating at a very young age (12) not knowing that it was a sin. Slowly it became a habit that I could not stop. Although as I grew older I came to know it was haraam. Today, I am 23 and have altogether stopped indulging in this sin. Words cannot describe the extent to which I regret it. I ask for forgiveness from The Most Merciful but still am not satisfied and feel that I have to do more. What more can I do?

A.           Keep on reciting Istighfaar as much as you can, day and night especially at the time of Sahar (the last sixth part of the night). It is also very good to recite Istighfaar during Sujood (prostration). Saying ‘Laa Elaaha illaa anta subhaanaka innee kunto menaz zaalemeen’ is very useful, the meaning of which is: ‘There is no God but You. Glory to You. Surely, I was from the wrong doers.’

               You should not lose hope from the forgiveness of Allah (s.w.t.). Be sure always that Allah is The Forgiver and The Most Merciful.

Q579.     Mention some of the most dangerous sins?

A.           Some of the most dangerous sins are: Polytheism, denying the orders of Allah (s.w.t.), opposing the servants of Allah (s.w.t.), killing the innocent, harming any of the parents, fornication, eating up the wealth of orphans, usury, bribe, ill-treating relatives, false oath, usurping other’s rights, putting allegations on innocent, lying and stealing and many others.


Women’s Issues

Q580.     What is the Islamic view regarding abortion?

A.           It is absolutely Haram even if the Zygote is one hour old or even one minute old since that the zygote is formed, it is haraam to abort. It is a misconception among many people that there is no soul in it so we can abort it. We cannot abort any embryo at all just when the zygote is formed. It is not Jaiz (permissible) at all. If it is aborted the penalty differs, that is if the age is either 20 day, 40 days, 60 days or 3 months. The penalty, which we get deeya, is different but abortion is always haraam.

               Penalty of abortion is different depending on period of pregnancy:

1st 40 days

20

Dinars

2nd 40 days

40

Dinars

If 120 days

60

Dinars

If bones start forming

80

Dinars

If bones are being covered with flesh

100

Dinars

If soul appears, for Male

1000

Dinars

If soul appears, for Female

500

Dinars

               A Dinar is one Misqal of gold

Q581.     Can Women watch men who are doing ‘Matam’ with Zanjeer without their shirts on?

A.           Women should avoid looking at men and they should not watch the ‘Matam’ of Na-mahram (not related by blood) men. At the same time, it is not Wajib (obligatory) for the gents to cover their bodies during Matam.

Q582.     Is discarding wearing of Islamic ‘Hijaab’ in public by women a minor sin or a Gunah-e-Kabeera (major sin)?

A.           It is a Gunah-e-Kabeera (major sin) to discard the wearing of Islamic Hijaab in front of Namahram. There is a Hadees from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that the women who will not cover their hair and body in front of Namahram will never get the smell of the Heaven. In many other traditions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), he cursed women who appear in front of Namahram without Islamic dress (Hijab) and ordered Muslims to curse them because this Gunah is not limited to the individual woman herself but also puts in sin every person who looks at her. The sin of such a woman will increase manifold due to this.

Q583.     Can women spend the money earned by themselves without their husband’s permission?

A.           Women can spend the money earned by themselves without taking the permission of their husbands except that it should not cause damage to the husband’s interests. Otherwise she can do what she likes, according to Islamic Shariat.

Q584.     Some enemies of Islam accuse that although women are considered free in Islam, she is told not to take any steps without her husband’s permission? Please explain.

A.           The area of work, which involves the rights of the husband, requires his approval. Other than that, women do many kinds of work. Will she take permission for every thing? A woman cannot give preference to something, which deprives the rights of the husband. When she fulfils her duties, then she can do other things. For instance, a husband cannot say, ‘leave the book and make me a cup of tea.’

               A woman is free in Islam just as a man. It is incumbent on a man to provide maintenance. Similarly it is incumbent on the woman to discharge her conjugal duties.

Q585.     Some people believe that it is not good for Muslim women to go for higher education or to become doctors or to work outside is this correct?

A.           No, it is not correct. Islam does not prohibit women from getting higher education. It is good to acquire knowledge and in some cases it becomes incumbent to. For instance, it is necessary to have lady-doctors for Muslim Women.

               The Muslim women who go out for their education should abstain from forbidden acts like discarding the hijab, etc.

Q586.     A woman has been advised by her doctors that conceiving a child would be harmful to her life. Can the husband force her to conceive as a matter of right?

A.           If it is dangerous to the life of the woman her husband cannot force her. Islam never condones any act of harm and injustice.

Q587.     Women go near seaside to recite ‘Haq Ali, Haq’. Is it permissible to do so?

A.           Recognizing and remembering that truth is on the side of Hazrat Ali (a.s.), every minute of our lives and with every breath, would not be enough to repay the price of guidance and salvation we owe him. But why the seaside? One can do that wherever one is. And women in particular, should observe Hijab before Na-mahram and avoid any sort of inter-mingling’ with Na-mahram.

Q588.     Will a Mu’min be held responsible if women come to the Majalis (i.e. mourning ceremonies) of Imam Husain (a.s.) without Hijab?

A.           The Mu’min besides other arrangements should also ensure that the sanctity of the majalis is also respected. The organizer should announce the necessity of observing hijab for the women attending the majalis. If the organizer does not speak this condition and women attend it without hijab, he will be held responsible and will get a share from the sin. Women should not insult the memory of Janabe Zainab (s.a.) by attending Majalises without hijab.

Q589.     Girls without hijab and carrying candles are surrounded by men doing Maatam during the ‘Shaam-e-Gharibaan’. Is it permissible?

A.           If the girls are above 9 years of age, it is not at all permissible for them to appear without hijab before Na-mahram men.

Q590.     Do women have to perform Qaza Namaz and Qaza fasts missed during the period of Haiz or Nifas?

A.           It will not be obligatory (Wajib) for women to offer the Namaz missed by them due to Haiz or Nifas. However, the Qaza of the fasting of the month of Ramzan will have to be observed later.

Q591.     Can Muslim women apply “tikka” (colourful dots) on their foreheads for beauty purpose?

A.           Any custom or manner of clothing, appearance or food, which is exclusively identified with the culture of non-Muslims, would not be considered permissible. Muslim women should not copy their non-Muslim counterpart.

Q592.     During her monthly period can a woman handle the Quran, like lifting or shifting it? Can she pray the Ayats of Quran without touching the alphabets? Are the rules same for men in Janabat?

A.           Yes, a woman can handle or shift the Quran during her periods and can recite the Ayats. She should not, however, touch the letters and alphabets. The rule is same for men in Janabat. It must be noted that Ayats which prescribe a wajib (obligatory) Sajdah should not be recited during these conditions.

Q593.     Some women believe that during pregnancy one should not touch scissors and needles because the child will come to harm or injury. Is it true?

A.           These are useless superstitions that have no basis or connection with the Islamic Shariah.

Q594.     Can a lady apply nail polish on her feet, except her toenails?

A.           If this procedure is to facilitate her in performing Wuzu, it is all right. Her Wuzu will be valid but before taking Ghusl (bath) she shall have to remove the nail polish from all the nails.

Q595.     Should a wife remain silent when her husband is known to be earning his income from haram unlawful sources?

A.           The wife should not remain silent but persuade him at first with good arguments and if he still persists, she should continue him in every possible manner until he gives up his wrong ways.

Q596.     Should a wife obey her husband by going out with him without hijab for watching a movie?

A.           The wife should not obey her husband in things, which amounts to disobedience of Allah’s Commandments. She should resist from going to the Cinema for watching anti-Islamic films and from going out without hijab. She should do this in a gentle manner without fighting.

Q597.     Some Muslim women believe that widows and pregnant women should not attend the ‘Niyaz’ organised in the name of Janab-e-Fatema (s.a.) because it causes disrespect? Is it an Islamic view?

A.           The Islamic Shariah says that there is no disrespect involved in the presence of widows or pregnant women during such ‘Niyaz’.

               These are talks, which are rooted in ignorance (jahiliyyat) and infidelity (Kufr). It comes from religion where stones are venerated but human beings are disgraced. It is a sin to insult a Mu’mina just because she is a widow or pregnant or experiencing menstruation. This is oppression and Muslims should discard such practices.

Q598.     Is it permissible for women to look at an Orator?

A.           Looking at the Orator’s face and hands is not haram provided there is no possibility of sin?

Q599.     Is it obligatory for old women to observe “Hijab” (i.e. covering hair and body, except the face and hands from the wrist to the finger-tips)?

A.           Hijab is obligatory for females from the time they become mature till the end of her life.

Q600.     Is it not better for women to sit at home and listen to music rather than going out without ‘hijaab?

A.           Both acts are forbidden (haram). The question of the preference of one over the other does not arise.

Q601.     Is it true that a widow should not wear jewellery and go out of the house?

A.           Immediately after the death of her husband the widow should observe an Iddah (waiting period) of 4 months and 10 days. During this period she should observe mourning by not wearing jewellery and celebrative clothes and refrain from attending marriage or other happy ceremonies, as far as possible. Although, she can go out to meet relatives, for ziarat and other necessary work by observing complete hijaab.

Q602.     Did the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) curse women who go out without hijab before Na-mahram? Is it permissible for a Muslim to publicly curse a lady without hijab?

A.           The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) not only invoked Allah’s curse on women who appear without hijab before Na-mahram but also told other Mu’mineen to curse her. Men should not ordinarily curse such women publicly because they could be ignorant about their Islamic obligation. So they should be informed first. But when they refuse to observe hijab or deny it, they should be cursed.

Q603.     What is the Islamic viewpoint about “Gaud-Bharai” in which ladies put coconut and sweets in a portion of the dress, which the pregnant lady is wearing?

A.           There is no such thing in Islam. Its origin can probably be found in Old Women’s Tales. This is an Indian custom. What is recommended for pregnant ladies is to avoid eating things whose Islamic purity is doubtful, to avoid listening to music, be with Wuzu, do Ehtiyat (precaution), etc.

Q604.     Is it permissible for ladies to drive two-wheelers in complete hijab?

A.           It is undesirable. If there is possibility of sin, it will be forbidden to do so. Out of necessity alone should a lady venture out of her house? Although it is basically not prohibited, it is not desirable for ladies to drive two-wheelers.

Q605.     Is it permissible for ladies to participate in processions on the streets and attract attention of Na-mahram men?

A.           If the lady goes with the intention that men should see her, it will be haram. For Allah’s Pleasure alone, if ladies participate in a procession, it is not only permissible but also akin to worship.

Q606.     Is marriage of a Sayyed girl with non-Sayyed boy permitted?

A.           As far as both of them are following the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), the marriage between Sayyed and non-Sayyed is permissible.

Q607.     Can a Muslim undertake processing of photographs showing Na-Mahram women without proper hijab?

A.           If the processor or his workers do not see the prints of Na-Mahram women then it would be permitted for him to undertake the work. The photographs should not show immoral or un-Islamic acts.

Q608.     Why is it said not to have intercourse on Tuesday night i.e. Wednesday shab?

A.           It is not at all if the wife is not in menses or nifaas. The matter in the question is based on a Riwayat, which does not mean (if proved authentic) forbidding. This can be because of natural factors in that night.

Q609.     Is it permissible for a woman to use contraceptives without her husband’s permission?

A.           It is permissible for a woman to use such contraceptives as are not very harmful, though her husband may not agree to their use.

Q610.     What is the obligation of a woman who doubts whether it is ‘istihaza’ (undue menses) blood or some other blood?

A.           If it does not possess signs of other bloods she should on the basis of obligatory precaution, perform the acts relating to istihaza.

Q611.     Is it permissible to look at the body and hair of non-Muslim women?

A.           If there is no intention of deriving pleasure, a person can look at the faces, hands and those parts of the non-Muslim’s bodies which they do not habitually conceal. It would not be permissible if there is likelihood of getting involved in something unlawful.

Q612.     After the birth of my child, the blood discharge lasted for nearly 25 days and some people told me that women are exempted from prayers till one month after childbirth. Recently one learned lady told me that I should have offered my prayers after the tenth day. What is the correct Islamic position?

A.           The blood which is discharged when the first limb of the child comes out is known as the blood of ‘Nifaas’ (Lochia). It does not exceed 10 days. If blood discharge continues for more than 10 days and you have a habit in the matter of menses, you should consider the days equal to your habit to be ‘Awaas’ and the rest would be ‘Istihaza’ (i.e. irregular menses). For example, if the habit of a woman has been 6 days and her blood comes for more than 6 days, she should treat 6 days to be Nifaas and also abandon the act of worship on the 7th day and on the 8th, 9th and 10th day it is optional for her to abandon worship or to perform the act of Istihaza. And if her blood continues to come for more than 10 days, it will be governed by rules of istihaza. For details regarding istihaza, refer to the ‘Risalah’ (book of Islamic jurisprudence) of your Mujtahid. The obligatory acts of worship, which you did not perform after the Nifas period, should be remedied by performing them with the intention of lapsed prayers or lapsed fasts.

Q613.     Is it advisable for women to visit the graveyard?

A.           It is not advisable for women to visit the graveyard, as it is maqrooh [abominable] for them.

Q614.     What should a woman do who doesn’t know if the blood discharged is of menses or istihaza or a wound?

A.           If blood is discharged for more than 3 days and less than 10 days and she does not know whether the blood is of menses or a sore or a wound, she should not treat that blood to be the blood of menses. If she doubts whether the blood is of menses or istihaza, she should treat it to be menses if it fulfils the condition of menses.

Q615.     Is kaffarah (atonement) due on a woman whose husband compels her to have sexual intercourse?

A.           If a man, who is fasting in the month of Ramzan, compels his fasting wife to have sexual intercourse he should make atonement for his own fast as well as for his wife’s. And if the wife was agreeable one atonement becomes obligatory for each of them. However, if the woman becomes agreeable to it during the intercourse, the man should on the basis of obligatory precaution, make two atonements and the woman should make one atonement.

Q616.     Can a woman suckle the child of her daughter and son?

A.           If a woman suckles the child of her daughter i.e. her granddaughter or grandson the daughter becomes unlawful for her husband. If, a woman suckles the child of her son, the wife of her son does not become unlawful for her husband.

Q617.     I observe Hijab before strangers and while going out of the house but not before my relatives like my maternal or paternal cousins. A person told me that I’m mistaken. Is that person correct?

A.           Yes. The person is correct because you must observe Hijab before ‘Na-mahram” men (those with whom marriage is permissible) and it does not make any difference if the Na-mahram men are related to you or are strangers.

Q618.     Is it permissible for mohrim women to cover their faces? And if not, what is the related kaffarah?

A.           It is not permissible for women to cover their faces during the state of ehram, but there is no kaffarah for it.

Q619.     Can women enter an Imambara in the state of Haiz?

A.           Yes, they can. The state of purification is necessary before entering the shrines of Holy Imams and all mosques.

Q620.     Can ladies sit in Etekaaf in the house? Can we do Etekaaf in other months also?

A.           Allamah Shaikh Saduq quoting Allamah Halbi who referring Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has said that none can sit in Etekaaf unless one fasts and is present in Jame Masjid. Imam further said that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) used to sit in Etekaf in the last ten days of Mahe Ramazan.[34]

               Hasan bin Mahboob quoting Abu Ayyub who quoted Abu Basir who quoted Imam Sadiq (a.s.) who said that Etekaf must be for at least three days and whoever sits in Etekaf must observe fast and the person sitting in Etekaf must observe the restrictions which are bound for one wearing Ehram. (Ibid, H. 2095) Abu Ayyub further quoting Hazrat Imam Mohammad Baqer (a.s.) who said that the person sitting in Etekaf must not smell a flower, nor sees in a mirror nor indulges in any sort of transactions. And if one has already spent three days in Etekaf it is optional for him that on the fourth day he may sit in Etekaf for three more days or may come out of it. But in the second session if one has spent two days in Etekaf then one must not come out until one completes all the three days.[35]

               Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has been quoted saying that any person sitting in Etekaf is not allowed to go out of the mosque without having any vital requirement and if one comes out of the Mosque then he/she should not sit anywhere till he/she returns to his/her previous place. Imam further said that this rule is applicable to women as well.[36]

               Safwan bin Yahya quoting Abdul Rahman bin Hajjaj who quoted Imam Sadiq (a.s.) who said that if a person sitting in Etekaf falls ill or if a woman starts bleeding (menstruate) then he/she should return to his/her house and after recovering should observe fast and sit in Etekaf.[37]

Q621.     A woman has regular periods and on the seventh day she is free of menstrual blood. But after relations with her husband, blood returns and continues until the tenth day and then stops. In this case, is there any sin or is expiation obligatory for her?

A.           There is no sin on her part and no expiation is needed in the hypothetical question. God knows best.

Q622.     If a woman with regular menstrual cycle notices, during 2 or 3 days of her cycle, intermittent blood, which has none of the characteristics of haiz. Then, she sees blood with the characteristics of haiz for 5 days — which altogether makes 7 (days). What is the ruling on her?

A.           The intermittent blood is not haiz because the minimum number of days for it to be haiz is 3 days. However, what she sees in the 5 days is considered haiz.

Q623.     Is a woman with light (qalilah) or moderate (mutawassetah) bleeding (istehaza) obligated to perform the Wuzu between two prayers even if no blood is found between them (the prayers)? How about tawaf and its prayer?

A.           It is not obligatory, assuming that the blood has stopped and the cotton was not stained by it.

Q624.     Is a man permitted to have relations with his wife after nifas period lasting 10 days has ended, while being aware that blood continues, with the characteristic of istihaza, to flow from her for more than 18 days?

A.           It is permissible, although it is preferable to take precautions from the 10th until the 18th day.

Q625.     Is nifas applicable only upon giving birth? Or is it deemed to occur simply because of a delivery, regardless of whether it is full-term or not - such as the miscarried foetus with a soul or without a soul, or the miscarried mudgah (lump of flesh) or ‘alaqah (blood-clot)?

A.           The ruling of nifas between a full-term creation and others to which the term “birth” can be applied do not differ in their implementation. As for the blood that exits with the mudgah and ‘alaqah, applying the ruling of nifas to them is problematic, rather forbidden.

Q626.     Two months after delivering a child and breast-feeding a lady experience some bleeding which is not normal for her menses. This change I suppose is to be expected due to hormonal imbalance. What is the ruling in this case? Should it be treated as haiz or istehaza (she has recovered from Nifaas)? In either case, please elaborate on masaail of taharat and prayers etc.

A.           If it cannot be Haiz, it will have to be Istehaza. As to the degree of Istehaza, the lady will have to determine it herself. It cannot be Haiz as specified that it is not her menses. The rule of a Mustahaaza will apply. Depending on whether it is little, medium or excessive, she will have to perform either Wuzu before every prayer (as in the case of little) or one ghusl (bath) every day before Fajr prayers (as in the case of medium) or perform a ghusl (bath) every time she stands up to pray totalling to three ghusl (bath) for the day (as in the case of excessive).

Q627.     Is conjugal union allowed in Istehaza?

A.           There is no problem

Q628.     My wife is pregnant. We just found out last week that our unborn child has major heart deformities. The child will not survive without three consecutive operations. The first of which are to be carried out during the first few hours of life. These operations have a survival rate of about 50% through the first 24 months of life. They are fairly new, so it is unknown how much longer those children can live to be. It is unclear either what the quality of life for such a child would be even if he survived. I know abortion is Haram in Islam for a healthy pregnancy. Are there any exceptions in cases of such lethal deformities?

A.           Abortion in such case is not permissible. The survival and the quality of life of the child may turn out to be much better than the doctors predict. The only situation in which abortion has been allowed is when the pregnancy endangers the mother’s life.

Q629.     A Muslim woman wears high heel shoes that hit the ground in such a way that it draws attention. Is she allowed to wear it?

A.           It is not permissible, if it is intended to draw the attention of non-mahram men to herself, or if it generally causes temptation (for committing sin).

Q630.     Recently in London, some of the Islamic leaders have allowed Muslim womenþ NOT to observe hijab as a security measure. What does Islam have to say on this?

A.           Hijab is obligatory and compulsory on the Muslim woman. No one can change the orders of Allah (s.w.t.). Those who speak nowadays about leaving hijab due to difficult situations are wrong and their logic is against the Holy Qur’an and the authentic Ahadees (traditions).

               Muslim women and men had faced many difficult situations in the past, but they had never given up their responsibilities. Reza Shah of Iran had banned the hijab and severely punished those who challenged his orders. However Muslim women in Iran preferred to stay at home than leave the hijab.

               Today, the situation in the West is bad, but not as bad as it was during the dark periods of the Bani Omayyah, the Bani Abbas and other tyrants. So there is no reason at all for those who claim that hijab can be left in the current situations, for such situations are not more than harassment and not life-threatening at all. When it becomes really dangerous – Allah forbid – then the Muslim woman should avoid going out as far as she can to maintain her religious responsibility.

Q631.     What is the responsibility of the husband whose wife disobeys him by going out of the house without hijab?

A.           There is no compulsion in religion. The husband cannot beat her. The husband must reprimand her and show his displeasure. And yet if she insists on going in front of na-mahram people without hijab, she will be sinning. If the husband does not even protest, he will also get a share from the sin, which his wife commits.

Q632.     Are there any dua’s that can be recited during pregnancy?

A.           There are many dua’s to be recited before and during pregnancy. Some of them are Qur’anic dua’s, for example:

               Surah al-Imran, verse 38,

               Surah al-Furqan, verse 74,

               Surah al-Saffat, verse 100.

               It is recommended generally to be in the state of purity (tahara of Wuzu) and also reciting as many times Surah al-Qadr.

Q633.     While considering the minimum and maximum age for mother’s feeding a baby, should one consider the age as per solar year or lunar year? Can we continue feeding a baby a little beyond 2 years?

A.           The age must be calculated in accordance with lunar years and not solar years. You can feed the child after completing 2 years, though the usual period is 2 years, but more is not haraam.

Q634.     Does a bald woman or a woman with a shaved head need to observe Hijab?

A.           Hijab is obligatory on every woman. Whether she has hair on her head or not, a woman must cover her head.

Q635.     If women are in their periods, can they apply henna (Mehndi) on their body, viz. hands, leg, hair?

A.           It is allowed for a woman during menses to apply Mehndi, though it is Makrooh (disliked).

Q636.     What is the Islamic viewpoint regarding birth control measures that a woman can adopt?

A.           Birth control is allowed if it is used for temporary effect by adopting means, which usually prevent pregnancy temporarily. If birth control is done through a permanent way, e.g. by an operation stopping pregnancy forever, it will be unlawful.

               If pregnancy is really harmful for the health of the mother, then she can go for birth control. If the harm and danger to her health is permanent, she can go for permanent birth control. If the danger is for a short period of her life, she cannot use permanent control when temporary control can help her avoid the expected harm.

Q637.     Is it necessary that I put on the Hijab when I come before my brother-in-law? Sometimes the weather is hot and humid and it is an ordeal to wear the hijab in such times. Please advice.

A.           It is your responsibility as a Muslim to wear full Hijab before your brother-in-law.

               The hot climate cannot be an excuse to leave this responsibility. Remember the Quranic verse answering those who wanted to make such an excuse: “Say, the fire of Hell is more hot, if they know”. The only way I can advise you is that you avoid coming before your brother-in-law as much as possible - then you will minimize the need for wearing Hijab. Nevertheless, your suffering is a sort of jihad (struggle) in obeying Allah (s.w.t.).

Q638.     Is it permissible for a lady to slaughter a chicken or a goat?

A.           It is permissible. Sex is not a necessary condition for the slaughtering of a lawful animal. The main conditions are basically five:

a)            The person slaughtering must be a Muslim male or female;

b)            The cutting instrument must be made of iron;

c)            The front parts (i.e. the abdomen, feet and chest) of the animal must face the Qibla (i.e. the direction of the Holy Kaaba);

d)            The person must mention the name of Allah (i.e. Bismillah or Allah-o-Akbar) while cutting the throat. The pharynx, larynx and the jugular vein must be cut, leaving the thyroid cartilage to the head;

e)            After the throat is cut, the animal must move. Even the movement of its eyes is sufficient. This is necessary if there is doubt whether the animal was alive or dead before it was slaughtered.

Q639.     Is it necessary to observe hijab before other women?

A.           No, hijab is not necessary before other women as far as your dress is modest.

Q640.     If a woman fails to perform her marital duties, which are wajib (obligatory) on her, canþ dowry be reclaimed back from her? After all, dowry was given with the aim of fulfilment of all marital duties a wife is to perform for her husband, so what does the Shariah say regarding this disobedience of the wife?

A.           Dowry cannot be reclaimed from the wife if the marriage was already commenced. If divorce takes place before commencement of the marriage (i.e. sexual marriage relations), the wife will be entitled to half of the dowry. If the wife does not fulfil her duties, she will be Naashiz (disobedient), and then will not be entitled of expenses from her husband for the period of disobedience.


Marriage / Muta

Q641.     Islam allows polygamy (having more than one wife) and forbids polyandry (having more than one husband) Why is it so?

A.           Islamic Laws governing a society are always beneficial and ever-lasting because they take into account human nature and the reality of life. Islam has permitted polygamy and forbidden polyandry in consideration of the natural functions of man and woman in the ordering of society.

               Islam does not allow polyandry because it leads to an inhuman society. Consider the following disadvantages:

1)            The children will not know as to who their father is. The legitimacy of inheritance is another problem, which will ruin the family structure and subsequently the whole society.

2)            Family life between a wife and her husband cannot sustain if woman adopts polyandry.

3)            Polyandry is against the nature of every man and woman.

               Now polygamy, as a rule, is not a compulsory thing. Islam allows a man to marry more than one wife with a view of easing social and domestic hardships. It is written in the Holy Qur’an: “If you fear that you will not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice; two, three or four. But if you fear you will not be able to deal justly with that number, and then take only one.”

               The husband must not only have sufficient economic means of maintenance but in all matters polygamy should be governed by principles of humanity and equality.

               Polygamy is allowed by Islam in recognition of the following facts:

1)            Men are always fewer in number in the world’s population than women. The reason for this are that men are more prone to illnesses and injuries than women, it is the men who are killed in war and more baby-girls survive infancy. If men are not allowed to take more than one woman, society will be compelling women either to spinsterhood or immorality, which are both undesirable.

2)            Polygamy is an alternative in a situation where the wife is sterile and yet, the husband and wife do not wish to part.

3)            Biologically all healthy women have to pass through a period, every month when their condition discourages establishment of sexual intercourse. But the man does not lose his urge at any time. What is the remedy if a man is unable to resist his sexual urge during his wife’s menstruations? Polygamy prevents men from licentiousness and maintains social harmony.

4)            If the wife falls victim to a chronic disease and the husband does not wish to cast her off in her illness; taking another wife is a natural and reasonable solution. On the other hand, societies, which strictly enforce monogamy, are witness to spiralling rates of divorces and widespread immorality. Moreover, polygamy is not necessarily practiced to satisfy the sexual urge only. It secures shelter and respectability for widows, destitute and orphans too. The aim of polygamy is to ensure maximum fulfilment for both men and women while preventing promiscuity and degeneration of the society.

               All civilized countries of the world prohibit polyandry because no society will permit the spread of moral degradation, illegitimacy and immorality in the name of equality or freedom.

Q642.     Some consider it wrong to marry-off a girl when her elder brother or elder sister is remaining unmarried. What is the Islamic viewpoint about this matter?

A.           There is no condition of serial-wise marriage in Islam. Nobody should impose any limitation if there is a proposal to get a younger sister or brother married first. Whoever gets an early and good opportunity may get married first. It is not good to create barriers for marriages.

Q643.     When a husband commands his wife to do a wrong thing, say for example, to tell a lie, should she obey him in such cases?

A.           No. If the husband asks his wife to do any sinful act, such as, telling a lie, going to a movie, appearing before Na-Mahram without hijab, shaking hands with Na-Mahram, etc., she should not obey him in such forbidden acts. Because nobody should obey anyone by disobeying Allah.

Q644.     Will a marriage be considered valid in Islam where the man and woman sign in the Marriage Registrar’s office in a court?

A.           No. The recitation of the formula of marriage (i.e. Sigha) must take place in which the woman makes the declaration and the man accepts; against the agreed amount or kind of mahr to be paid by the husband to the wife. The marriage will not be valid without performing the Aqd in Arabic, either directly by the man and woman or by appointing somebody on their behalf for reciting them.

Q645.     Is it permissible for men to demand ‘Jahez’ (i.e. dowry) from the bride’s family in Islam?

A.           It is absolutely Haram to demand or ask for dowry (Jahez) from the bride’s family directly or indirectly. Accepting this dowry, paid by the bride’s family out of compulsion or shame, is similar to earning money from the sale of alcohol, pork, etc. It is below the dignity of a man to take money from the woman or her family even if they are giving it willingly.

Q646.     What is the permissible minimum age for men and women to marry according to Islam?

A.           For performing the Aqd, there is no minimum age-limit, but for sexual consummation, physical maturity is a necessary condition.

Q647.     Can a Muslim boy and girl marry against the wishes of their parents?

A.           It is not conditional for the boy to take his parent’s permission for marriage but a virgin-girl must necessarily take the permission of her father or in his absence the permission of the paternal grandfather in particular. In all cases there is nothing better than the parent’s blessings and consent. In the case that the boy is a Muslim, of good moral character, sane and mature and there is no objection according to Islamic Shariah from their getting married, then if the father of the girl acts stubbornly for no genuine reason, then she can get married without his permission.

Q648.     Is it necessary for guardians or those who solemnize marriages to find out whether the boy or the girl has religious knowledge?

A.           No. It is not necessary but recommended for them. It is a must for the boy and the girl seeking marriage to know about ghusl (bath), tayammum, their mutual rights, etc.

Q649.     What is the significance of the engagement ceremony? Boys and girls inter-mingle freely after the engagement (i.e. Mangni) ceremony. Is there any prescribed system in Islam, which will make this inter-action permissible?

A.           Engagement in itself does not alter the relationship of the boy and the girl. Engagement has no significance in Islam except that they intend to get married to each other in future. Both remain Na-Mahram and they cannot go out together or hold hands after the engagement.

               One solution is to perform Aqd-e-Muwaqqat in which the girl puts the condition that there will be no sexual relationship and she will be married to him for a fixed period, say from today for six months (or till the time they intend to get married) against a Mahr of 50 rupees (or any amount for that matter). Hence the dignity of the girl and the boy is safeguarded and they can go out, talk to each other, etc.

Q650.     When a husband earns his livelihood from unlawful sources such as gambling, etc. or is a sinner (by drinking alcohol, etc.) Can the wife refuse to fulfil her duties towards such a husband?

A.           If the husband’s earnings are totally from unlawful sources, the woman should ask here husband to spend on her Halal (i.e. lawful) money or otherwise to give her divorce. If the husband does not accept any of the conditions, the wife must approach the Hakim-e-Sharh (i.e. the highest religious authority) to deal with her husband and if unavoidable, procure divorce for her.

               In the case where the husband has sinful tendencies and habits, the wife cannot refuse to honour his conjugal rights. She must hate the evil-habit and not her husband and try to reform him patiently.

Q651.     A Muslim boy wishes to marry a non-Muslim girl who is willing to convert for namesake only.

A.           Once the girl truly becomes a Muslim, the boy can marry her. By name-sake, if you mean, she will continue to perform non-Islamic rituals, like going to the temple to worship idols, she will automatically cease to be his wife without the divorce.

Q652.     Will it be necessary to take the permission of non-Muslims, girl’s father before marrying her?

A.           If the girl becomes a Muslim, then the Muslim boy can marry her without the permission of her non-Muslim father. In this case, a Kaafir has no right over a Muslim.

Q653.     Is it permissible to marry the woman with the man, who had sexual relationship with her earlier?

A.           If the woman was unmarried, the man can marry her later and if the woman was married, the man can never marry her even after she is widowed or divorced. In both cases, it is a grave sin and Islam strictly forbids men and women from having sexual relationships before marriage.

Q654.     Can a Shia male marry a non-Shia female?

A.           If the faith of the man and his children’s faith will not be jeopardized or fall in danger, he may marry the non-Shia girl.

Q655.     Some Muslims remain unmarried because they cannot marry the girl they love. Is it correct to do so?

A.           It is not at all desirable. Most often, what they call love is the vile of Satan behind them. Devoid of sanity, they follow their desire and sometimes commit un-Islamic acts. A sane person would select a religious, modest and cultured girl. The love, which develops after a marriage, is stronger than the bonds of lust and desire. 80% of these so-called love-marriages fail miserably, ending in disputes and hatred.

Q656.     Can family members and relatives stop a husband from oppressing his wife?

A.           Some husbands believe that they own their wives. They think they can treat their wives in whatever manner they like. Is the husband the creator of his wife? A husband has no right to oppress his wife.

               Any Muslim who is witness to such oppression should prevent it. It is the Islamic responsibility to stop oppression even if two unknown persons are fighting on the street.

Q657.     I have a Sunni boyfriend studying in the same college as mine. When my parents came to know about it they were unhappy. They have arranged my marriage with a Shia boy. The Sunni boy met me and has agreed to become a Shia for marrying me. What should I do?

A.           It is very clear to you, too, that the Sunni boy wishes to become a Shia simply because he wants to marry you, so there is a vast difference between a person who will claim to be a name-sake Shia & a real Mu’min. This difference of faith between you & him may lead to disturbances later on.

               According to Islamic Fiqh, even if there is possibility of being misled or being badly affected, faith-wise, it is Na-jaiz (unlawful) for a Shia girl to marry a non-Shia boy. And love is not the complete criteria for a marriage. It has been observed that majority of love-marriages have disastrously failed. Apply your mind & don’t act under the influence of sentiments.

               We advise you to get married with a boy who is really a Mu’min & not one claiming to be a Mu’min.

Q658.     Is it true that marriage should not be contracted in the month of Shawwal?

A.           There is no such injunction in Shariat. Marriage can be contracted in Shawwal. Moreover, it is considered Mustahab.

Q659.     Should a man wait till the end of his divorced wife’s Iddah before marrying again?

A.           No. Iddah is for women. A man need not wait till the period of Iddah expires.

Q660.     Will a lady who has married but did not go to live with her husband, have to observe Iddah after divorce?

A.           Since consummation did not take place, the lady will not have to observe Iddah after the divorce. Iddah are of two types – for a divorce and for widowhood. If the husband dies even before consummation, the lady will have to observe Iddah-e-Wafat (i.e. as a widow).

Q661.     Can a couple renew the period of Aqd-e-Muwaqqat without any Iddah?

A.           Since the couple are the same they can renew the Aqd-e-Muwaqqat without any Iddah.

Q662.     Can Aqd-e-Muwaqqat be performed between the same couple for more than three periods of time?

A.           It is permissible. In fact, it can be done more than 100 times.

Q663.     A non-Muslim married couple convert to Islam. Does their marriage continue or will they have to perform marriage according to Islamic rites?

A.           If both become Muslims, their original Nikah (marriage) remains and there is no need to remarry according to Muslim rites. But if one of them remains a disbeliever, their marriage is automatically annulled without any kind of divorce, since marriage between a Mu’min and disbeliever is invalid.

Q664.     What is the Sigha for contracting the Aqd-e-Muwaqqat?

A.           The Sigha (formula) consists of a declaration by the lady and the acceptance of the man. The lady should say: “Zawwajtoka Nafsi Fil Muddatil Ma’loomate alal Mahril Ma’lum” (i.e. I marry myself to you for the known period against the known dowry) and the man should say: “Qabilto” (i.e. I accept) or “Qabiltut Tazweeza Fil Muddatil Ma’loomate Alal Mahril Ma’lum” (i.e. I accept the marriage for the known period against the known dowry).

Q665.     Some people believe that marriage should once again be performed once a couple complete 20 years of matrimony or when a woman gives birth to 20 boys?

A.           These are nonsensical beliefs, which do not affect the marriage at all. Even if the couple were to live for 100 years together and have 100 children, renewal of marriage contract is not necessary.

Q666.     A lady has remained separate for 2 years from her husband. Will the marriage automatically get annulled?

A.           No. Separation does not cause annulment of marriage. The marriage cannot terminate unless the husband gives divorce or Hakim-e-Sharh (Authorised Jurist) decides the matter.

Q667.     Would it be lawful for a man to marry a converted wife’s daughter from previous marriage?

A.           It would be absolutely unlawful for them to contract marriage. Irrespective of the fact, that the daughter remained a non-Muslim or embraced Islam, she has become the person’s Mahram, due to his marriage with her mother. She is his stepdaughter and marriage is not permissible in this case.

Q668.     Does not Islam actually want a man to have only one wife because it is next to impossible to treat even two wives equally with justice?

A.           The Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) have clarified that the justice which men should observe with regards to their wives and which is obligatory refers to material and physical provisions. For instance, the person should feed, clothe and visit his wives in equal measure. If a person cannot treat his wives equally then he should restrict himself to only one wife. Even though, a person may not love his wives equally, it should not cause difference in administering practical justice amongst them.

Q669.     Is a stepmother considered “Mahram” (a consanguineous relative)? Will it be permissible for a person to marry his stepmother’s sister or daughter from a previous marriage?

A.           A stepmother is “Mahram” and marriage is forbidden with her even after divorce. On the other hand, the stepmother’s sister or daughter from her previous marriage is Na-Mahram and marriage will be valid.

Q670.     Will the Sigha (formula) of Aqd-e-Muwaqqat have to be in Arabic language? And for the divorce too?

A.           The Sigha of Aqd-e-Muwaqqat has to be recited in Arabic. There is no divorce in Aqd-e-Muwaqqat. It ends when the time expires, or when it is terminated. But the divorce of a permanent marriage will have to be pronounced in Arabic language.

Q671.     If a man performs Muta with a widow, then is this widow’s daughter Mahram for him or Na-Mahram, i.e. can he marry the widow’s daughter later in life?

A.           The Widow’s daughter in the case of an “Aqd” will be haram on him forever.

Q672.     Is it necessary to obey the parents regarding their choice of a marriage partner?

A.           Although it is desirable not to displease one’s parents, it is not obligatory to marry the person chosen by them. You may marry if you like. But if you don’t you are not committing a sin.

Q673.     Some people say that their house or wife has proved to be lucky for them. What is the Islamic viewpoint about this?

A.           The source of all blessings is Allah Ta’ala alone. When the foundation of a house or a marriage is laid on piety, they do become the means of receiving Allah’s blessings. But it does not mean that, for instance when a person experiences loss after marriage, he should blame her by calling her unlucky. It is zulm (oppression) and absolutely wrong.

Q674.     Is it necessary for the person signing as a witness in the marriage ceremony to check whether the girl has truly given her consent of her own free will?

A.           It is not necessary unless he has his doubts. Although witnesses are not required for a marriage they are necessary for a divorce proceeding.

Q675.     Can a married person perform Aqd-e-Muwaqqat?

A.           Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) have commanded that one should not hurt one’s wife. Although it is not necessary to inform the wife if it is contracted for a valid reason and according to shariat. It is permissible.

Q676.     Can Aqd-e-Muwaqqat be contracted with ahlay kitab (people of Book) lady who is agreeable only for the sake of money and is known to be irresponsible about observing Iddah (i.e. the waiting period of 45 days?

A.           Since it is obligatory for a lady to observe iddah and knowing that the concerned lady will not observe it, it would not be permissible to contract aqd-e-muwaqqat with her, Aqd-e-Muwaqqat is a proper marriage after all.

Q677.     Can a girl be married off without her consent?

A.           The girl cannot be forced into marrying somebody she does not like and has not consented to marry.

Q678.     Does the limitation of four marriages include the fixed-time marriage?

A.           No. The four marriages pertain to permanent marriages with the condition of observing justice between the wives.

Q679.     The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said that the person who marries, half his ‘Imaan’ (faith) is perfected. How?

A.           The correct word is ‘Protected’ and not ‘Perfected’, that is, half of the person’s faith will be protected due to marriage. Satan has many ways of inciting people towards sinning. The path of lust is one such path, which an unmarried person is likely to take. In the absence of marriage, if a person satisfies his sexual needs by an un-Islamic act, his sense of shame diminishes and ultimately disappears.

               The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said, “Every religion has its special character - trait of my community is modesty (Haya)”. And according to another Hadees, modesty is half of ‘Imaan’. The married person is protected from losing this trait. Hence, half of his Imaan is secured.

Q680.     Can a man marry the niece of his wife?

A.           A man cannot marry the niece (Brother’s or sister’s daughter) of his wife without wife’s permission. There is, however, no harm in his marring her niece without her permission, provided that she grants such permission later. And if she does not agree to this marriage, the marriage with her niece is void.

Q681.     Can a man marry the daughter of a woman, whom he had earlier married and later divorced?

A.           If the person had sexual intercourse with the women after marriage, he cannot marry the daughters and granddaughters of the woman and their descendants, as the line goes down and it is immaterial whether they existed at the time of his marriage or were born later. They become his ‘mahram’ and divorcing the woman does not alter the relationship.

Q682.     Can a woman get her daughter from an earlier marriage to marry her second husband’s son, who is not from this marriage?

A.           Yes, it would be permissible.

Q683.     People quote the narration of Hammad bin Eesa quoted in Shaikh Saduq’s ‘Hal’ and Shaikh Tusi’s ‘Tahzib’ that Imam Sadiq (a.s.) considered it unlawful for a man to marry two Sayyedah. What is the juridical point of view?

A.           Ayatullah al-Uzma Khoei in his marginal notes on ‘Urwa’ concludes that marrying two Alaviyyah is unlawful although it does not invalidate the second marriage. Although the person would be guilty of committing a sin. Earlier traditionists considered it was unlawful and Ayatullah Kazem Yazdi in his ‘Urwatal-Wusqa’ held the opinion that it is reprehensible to do so. And it does not matter if the women are related to Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA) from the father’s side or the mother’s side.

Q684.     Is it obligatory for Muslims to marry?

A.           Marriage is a highly insisted-upon tradition of Islam, which all sane and physically mature Muslims are required to emulate. It becomes obligatory when a person gets involved in unlawful acts owing to his / her not having a wife / husband.

Q685.     Is it obligatory for a man having two wives to spend equal amount of time with both?

A.           If a man has two wives and spends one night with one of them, it is obligatory on him to spend any one of the four nights with the other as well.

Q686.     Is the vow made by parents, that their daughter or son would marry a Sayyed, binding on their children?

A.           The vow made by the parents has no significance in this regard.

Q687.     Can a man marry the sister of his wife?

A.           If a man marries a woman (whether the marriage is permanent marriage or fixed-time marriage) he cannot marry her sister, so long as their marriage lasts.

Q688.     Do parents have any right over the marriage of their children?

A.           The father and paternal grandfather have full authority over the children who have not yet reached the age of puberty. When a child reaches the age of puberty, then there are three different situations:

a)            A child who is Baligh but not mentally mature: In this case, the father and the grandfather still have their authority over him or her. Such a child cannot take a decision on marriage without the approval of the father or the grandfather.

b)            A male child who is Baligh and also mentally mature: In this case, he has full right to decide about his own marriage.

c)            A girl who is Baligh and mentally mature: Majority of present mujtahids say that in her first marriage, a Baligh and mentally mature girl should marry with the consent of her father or grandfather. And if such a girl had already married before, then she has full right to decide for herself in case of her second marriage.

               On the other hand, if the father or grandfather refuses to give his consent to a proposal of a suitable man, then the girl can approach a religious judge whose decision will supercede that of her father.

Q689.     By considering the issue of hijab in Islam, is a boy permitted to look at the girl before marrying her?

A.           A man is allowed to see without hijab the woman who he intends to marry. However, this permission is just for the man or the woman to see the prospective spouse. It is not a perpetual license to go out together! It is strongly recommended (by Ulema) that seeing the prospective spouse should be done in presence of the parents or the guardians of the girl.

Q690.     When to marry (dates)? Are there any special days in the Islamic calendar when marriage is encouraged or discouraged?

A.           Basically marriage is allowed at all times. However, there are some days on which marriage is not recommended; some of these are based on traditions and some on cultural, historical reasons. There are some traditions, which say that it is Makruh (abominable) to have marriage ceremony on the days when the moon is in the direction of Scorpio (Qamar dar Aqrab). Some traditions, which say that certain days of each month, are ill-omen days (nahas); these days are 3rd, 5th, 13th, 21st, 24th and 25th of lunar months.

Q691.     Getting education compels young men to remain unmarried for a long time, even when their sexual urge does not allow them to remain so. What advice can you give our Muslim young men concerning this problem?

A.           There is no other way. If a man cannot control himself, and is in danger of falling in Haraam, then it is Wajib (obligatory) upon him to get married at once. If he neglects this Wajib (obligatory), for whatever reason, then he should not blame the Shariat.

Q692.     Is permanent marriage in Shi’a Islam allowed without the presence of witnesses? Please provide me with an answer and the source from which it was taken from.

A.           There are no witnesses required for Nikah or Muta in the Shia Fiqh. As for evidence, you do not need evidence for something ‘not’ needed. If at all you ask for evidence, you do so for something required. Perhaps you could ask those who believe that witnesses are required for Nikah where they got it from? If you look up the conditions of Nikah and also look up the condition of Talaq (Divorce) in the resalah of any Marja, you will see that there is no mention of witnesses in Nikah, but there is the mention of two just witnesses in Talaq.

Q693.     I have a question regarding a Shi’ite Muslim man marrying a catholic Christian woman. If they recited the nikah according to Islamic Shariya but she does not follow the rulings in her daily life and got married in the Christian manner also, is that marriage valid. What are the rulings regarding the validity of this marriage.

A.           A Muslim man cannot permanently marry a non-Muslim woman, even if she is Ahlul Kitab. Therefore the marriage to a woman who has not converted to Islam is void. But if the woman converted then the marriage is valid, even if she may not be following Sharia strictly. However, if she reneges, or goes back to her Catholic faith, the marriage will become void immediately.

Q694.     What would happen if the husband did not provide maintenance for his wife?

A.           He shall be indebted with the cost of maintenance. If he insisted on withholding it, despite her demand, she is permitted to take it out of his property, even without his knowledge.

Q695.     It is believed that Muslims should not marry before they are 25 years old because our Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) married at the same age. What is the correct Islamic view?

A.           This is a wrong belief. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) himself used to encourage youngsters to marry as soon as they were physically mature. It is undesirable for young men and women to remain unmarried deliberately.

Q696.     Can there be objections to Muslims for bursting firecrackers while celebrating marriages and festivals?

A.           Muslims should not adopt the ways and habits of non-Muslims. More so, it will be considered as haram, if it leads to wastage of money.

Q697.     Would the presents and gifts given to the bride by the bridegroom’s family become the property of the bride or would have to be returned in case of a divorce?

A.           The gifts, etc. given by the bridegroom, his relatives and friends at the time or after the marriage becomes the property of the bride. All those things cannot be taken back from the bride.

Q698.     I want to know that if there is a dispute between a husband and wife, and it has reached a level that the wife does not want to continue the marriage (she wants Khula), is there any Dua or a’maal so that her heart would become soft and every dispute will settle down.

A.           The husband should make his behaviour with his wife as best as he can. He may also recite “Rabbana hab lana min azwaajina wa zurriyaatina qurrata a’yun waj ‘alna lilmuttaqeena imaama” after every Salaat.

Q699.     Me and my husband have not had any relations amongst us for more than 6 months. Does our nikah break?

A.           The Nikah does not break if there is no relation between husband and wife. It breaks when there is Talaq (divorce) or on death.

Q700.     Can you tell me about the amount of Mehr that the Groom has to pay to the Bride? Is it sunnat (recommended) or wajib (obligatory)?

A.           The Mehr (Mahr) is an obligatory right of the Bride on the Groom. It is her right to fix or agree on the amount of it, and also to take it either immediately or whenever she wants, or under her agreement. There is no minimum or maximum amount for Mahr, though it is Mustahab (recommended) to go for Mahre Fatemi, which is 500 silver dirhams. One silver dirham is about 3 grams of silver, i.e. 500 x 3 = 1500 gms. of silver. It is recommended for the wife not to pressurise her husband for the Mahr if he is in financial difficulty. Though Mahr is her right, and will remain her right till she gets it.

Q701.     We have been married for 10 months and I have now been checked positive for pregnancy in spite of having practised precaution. I am just 23 years and my husband and I have yet to get settled in life before we have a baby. What should I do? Can we terminate the pregnancy? Please advise what the Islamic view is. When is the zygote formed? Can we abort before the zygote is formed?

A.           It is Haraam (prohibited and not allowed) to abort the embryo or the foetus or the zygote even if it be of just one hour after formation. You must leave the pregnancy undisturbed and should not terminate it at any cost as long as it does not endanger your life. Abortion is a sort of killing, murder and it is a major sin.

Q702.     When is it forbidden or not recommended to have sexual relations between husband and wife?

A.           Sexual intercourse between husband and wife are forbidden (haraam) when she is in her menses (haiz) or post-natal discharge (nifas). Any other relation between husband and wife, which is not intercourse, is allowed. It is makrooh (disliked) for husband and wife to have sexual intercourse during any of these times:

a.            When the moon is under Scorpion,

b.            The last night of every lunar month when the moon vanishes totally; it is called the night of ‘mihaaq’,

c.            The first night of every lunar month except the month of Ramazan when it becomes recommended for couples to do so,

d.            Between dawn (Fajr) and sunrise,

e.            Between sunset and the total vanishing of light from the sky,

f.             The nights of eclipse, earthquake or severe wind, which are mentioned in the books as yellow, red or black winds.

Q703.     In two weeks Insha Allah, I shall be getting married to my mamu’s (maternal uncle’s) daughter. Can you advise me of my responsibility as a Shiite and the duty on the night of my marriage? I am nervous about this particular element of consummation and need to know what Allah (s.w.t.) expects from me. Is there any information or knowledge you feel that can assist me? Thank you in advance for guidance.

A.           I am glad that you are getting married Alhamdolillaah. My congratulations to you and your wife, may Allah (s.w.t.) bless both of you and grant you happiness and success in your new life. Getting married makes your religion more complete. Your Salaat (Namaz) will, Insha Allah, now be rewarded 70 times more than that before marriage.

               There are some recommendations for the wedding night such as:

1.            To be with Wuzu.

2.            To pray a two Rak’at Salaat (Namaz) when you enter your bedroom.

3.            To put your right hand on your wife’s head and to pray for your and her happiness and harmony.

4.            Your wife to pray a two Rak’at Salaat (Namaz).

5.            Reciting Bismillah Arrahman Arraheem on touching her and starting your married relationship.

               There are more details that can be taken from some books on the subject of marriage in Islam.

Q704.     At the time of our Muta, neither my wife nor I had kept any conditions. Hence I believe that we are not supposed to avoid sexual intercourse for more than 4 months. But now we want to avoid it and postpone it at least until our marriage (i.e. when we perform our nikah). Is it possible to mutually agree now and not have intercourse? Or is there no other go but to have intercourse every 4 months?

A.           It is allowed to avoid sexual intercourse in Muta.

Q705.     Is it possible to perform muta during the month of Ramazan, and to have a sexual relationship after iftaar?

A.           It is allowed to recite the Aqd of marriage during fasting whether it is for permanent or for temporary marriage (muta). No doubt, sexual relations are not allowed while fasting but after iftaar till before dawn.

Q706.     I know homosexuality is not allowed in any religion. But I think I was born as a gay and from the time I was little, I always liked boys and got tempted by them. I still feel the same way although I didn’t choose to be a gay. I feel I am like this by birth. My family and friends do not know about this and will hate me and won’t keep any relationship with me if they do. I am 34 and they are now asking me to get married. I don’t want to get married because girls don’t attract me. I won’t be able to make any girl happy because of this problem. I don’t want to marry a girl and destroy her life. It is killing me everyday. I am under lot of pressure. I pray and cry to Allah (s.w.t.) all the time to help me solve this problem. Can you advise me, please?

A.           Every human being is born either male or female. There are some abnormal cases with unusual features of the opposite sex, which lead to misunderstanding of the gender. Such cases need medical examinations to determine the genetic structure of the person, which indicates his or her gender. If the structure is ‘XY’ it means that the person is a male, whereas if it is ‘XX’, it will indicate that the person is a female. This genetic examination defines the gender, no matter what the human being looks like. Some females’ look like males because of extra amount of male hormones in their bodies, similarly, some males look like females because of extra female hormones in their bodies. This abnormality can be treated medically. I advise you to take a medical opinion and have a check-up to be sure that the hormones in your body are in order.

               There is nobody created as ‘gay’ as you claim. There can be a problem in identifying the gender or in the hormone balance. Those who do not have any feeling towards females might themselves genetically be ‘females’, or vice versa.

               Nevertheless, harbouring temptations towards one’s own sex is an evil desire just like having temptations towards drinking liquor or beer. Such satanic temptations can never be justified or taken as normal. Every sin is a result of a temptation and a desire, but sin remains sin. Homosexuality is a dangerous sin and a serious crime, because of which Allah (s.w.t.) had destroyed the people of Lut. If you mind your fate, you must avoid such dangerous sins and indeed every sin. Try your best to control your desires and remember Allah (s.w.t.) and your grave and the Hereafter when such sinners will be severely punished. May Allah (s.w.t.) save you and all of us from every sin.

Q707.     In the context of marriage in Islam, is it a problem if the woman has finished her university education while the man is still studying? The woman will therefore become the breadwinner for a while. I ask this because in some cultures people believe that the man has to be ‘higher’ than the woman. What is the Islamic point of view on this matter? How do you define ‘compatibility’ in Islam? Does ‘status’ come into it?

A.           There is no harm at all if the wife willingly wants to spend on or help her husband due to his financial problems. Although it is not obligatory on her to spend on her husband, if she wishes to do so, she will be doing good. Such co-operation from her will strengthen the relationship with her husband and increase compatibility between them.

               Compatibility between husband and wife does not depend on financial situation, but on faith, morals, and mutual respect and understanding.

Q708.     I have heard that if a man has the intention to get married, it is halal (permissible) to see a photo of a girl without her hijab! Is it halal for the man to see her on web camera live and everyday without her hijab? Does he have to get her father’s permission? Finally, can he see her without her knowledge?

A.           A man can see a woman or a girl that he considers for marriage, without hijab, just for one time. He can see her on webcam but again this too can be once only. Seeing her more than once even on webcam is haraam (forbidden). He can also see her photograph for the purpose of marriage only. He can not see her without her permission or knowledge.

Q709.     Can a non-Sayed boy get married to a sayyed girl?

A.           A non-Sayyed boy can get married with a Sayyed girl. Many of the daughters of the Sadaat during the time of many Imams got married to non-Sayyed boys. Imams (a.s.) never stopped or objected to that. The Hadees says “Al-Mo’min Kof’a al-Mo’minah” which means ‘the Mo’min is an equal match to the Mo’mina’. So, the main criterion is just Emaan and not family background. Many Maraj’e-taqleed and great scholars (Ulama) who were sayyeds gave their daughters in marriage to non-sayyed boys, which confirm the practice.

Q710.     Is nikah without the presence of an imam and two Muslim adult male witnesses valid? (There is no marriage certificate.) What if the wali (guardian) has given his consent in writing but during the actual nikah, he was not present? Also, my husband told me that nikah without the presence of an imam and two witnesses are valid if it is recited in the Masjid al-Haram because no place on earth is more holy than that. Is this true?

A.           Nikah is valid even without the presence of a Shaikh or an Aalim, etc. and also without the presence of witnesses as witnessing a nikah is just recommended and not a must. This is valid everywhere, and not only in the Haram.

Q711.     Is it necessary for guardians or those who solemnize marriages to find out whether the boy or the girl has religious knowledge?

A.           No. It is not necessary but recommended for them. It is a must for the boy and the girl seeking marriage to know about ghusl (bath), tayammum, their mutual rights, etc.

Q712.     Is it wajib (obligatory) for a virgin lady who has lost her father and grandfather to seek the consent of her mother or brother before marrying?

A.           It is NOT wajib (obligatory) on a virgin female who lost her father and grandfather to get her mother’s or brother’s consent for her marriage, though keeping the mother happy is very important.

Q713.     I am not able to understand why Mut’a (fixed-time marriage) is allowed in Shia Islam for so many people misuse it. I have also heard that Imam Ali (a.s.) had contracted 99 Mut’a in one night. Is this correct? Does the Holy Qur’an mention anything about Mut’a?

A.           Mut’a in its real meaning is an Islamic marriage with many conditions similar to permanent marriage. Some people misuse Mut’a, just as some also misuse permanent marriage. Misuse of the Islamic marriage – just like misuse of any other law or thing - is wrong, but that does not make the concept of the real marriage or the underlying law wrong.

               The Islamic institution of Mut’a (fixed-time marriage) is the only solution for millions of females and males who need marriage but cannot get married for any reason. They have no choice to save themselves from sin, but to follow the Islamic Shariah of fixed-time marriage (Mut’a). Without the Islamic marriage of Mut’a, millions of Muslim males and females will fall in sin. Nevertheless, the Islamic marriage of Mut’a should not be misused, and those who misuse it in any manner are the only ones who will be responsible of their wrongdoing.

               The claim of 99 Mut’a in one night is nonsensical and baseless. Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) used to spend most parts of his nights in prayer and worship.

               Mut’a is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an in Surah an-Nisaa’, verse 24. It is also mentioned in many ahadees (traditions) narrated in Sunni and Shia references.

Q714.     A person agreed to marry his daughter to me, but later on changed his mind because of the mischievous things told to him by someone else. If I commit sins then who is responsible for those sins - the one who played the mischief or the man who changed his mind to marry his daughter to me? Is that man who broke the agreement of marriage also a sinner?

A.           As far as there is no Aqd (recital of marriage - nikah) between you and the girl, she is free to change her mind. No doubt, it should be based on valid reasons. If anyone commits sin, he will be responsible for it, and he will be entitled for punishment. Nobody can blame others for his sins. If that person refused your proposal for his daughter, you can propose for other suitable girl. The girl whom you wanted to marry is not the only girl, that if you do not marry her you will be left with no choice but to sin.

Q715.     What are the rules and regulations of Muta? What is the complete and precise formula (Dua / Ayat) to make a valid Muta? What is the maximum time limit for the Muta?

A.           Muta is a fixed-time marriage. The husband is not responsible to spend on his Muta wife unless they put it as a condition of the Muta. The children are legitimate just like any marriage. The Idda after Muta is 45 days before the lady can marry somebody else.

               After agreeing on the Mahr and the time-period of the marriage, the lady or any one on her behalf tells the man: ‘Zawwajtoka Nafsi alal Mahr Al-Ma’loom lil muddatil Ma’looma’ [I agree to marry you for the agreed Mahr and the agreed time]. The man replies: ‘Qabilto’ [I accept]. Both must know that it is a marriage with fixed time.

               The maximum time for Muta should not be more than the usual lifetime of the human being. It can be 50 or 60 years, but it cannot be 200 years.

Q716.     Who are Mahrams? Is brother-in-law included in this category before whom a lady is bound to do hijab? Is she bound to do hijab before her brother-in-law (sister’s husband, her husband’s brother-in-law and her husband’s brother)? What if she lives in a joint family system?

A.           Mahrams are the very close relatives with whom marriage is permanently impossible, such as (for females): her father, grand-fathers, her real brothers and their sons, her mother’s real brothers, her father’s real brothers, her sons and grandsons, her sons-in-law, her step-father, and her father-in-law.

               Brother-in-law is not mahram at all. Muslim female must observe hijab before her husband’s brothers as far as they are baligh or even before that if the boy distinguishes between male and female bodies (such boy is called as Mumayyiz in Shariah). Sister’s husband is also not mahram, so, hijab is a must before him.

               Living in a joint family does not cancel your Islamic duty as a Muslim woman who must observe hijab before all Na-Mahrams, whether outside or inside the house.

Q717.     Can one talk to the person whom one is engaged to without Hijab. Is he a Mahram?

A.           Engagement does not make it permissible for a male and female see each other freely. Unless the ‘Aqd’ or Nikah is performed, they are still ‘na-mahram’ for each other.

Q718.     What is the literal translation of “Mut’a”? What are the views of Sunnis and Shias about Mut’a? Please also give references in this respect.

A.           Mut’a can be translated as ‘facility’. There is Mut’a of Hajj (Hajj al-Tamatto’) and there is Mut’a of expenses given to the divorced woman. The time-fixed marriage is called Zawaaj al-Mut’a as it is a facility from Allah (s.w.t.) to save men and women from unlawful sexual relations.

               A majority of the Sunnis follow Umar ibn al-Khattab, who banned Mut’a leaving behind the clear teachings and orders of the Holy Qur’an and Ahadees allowing Mut’a.

               Mut’a is an Islamic rule, which was declared by the Holy Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.). Shia Muslims believe that nobody can change any Islamic rule and it will remain valid till the Day of Judgement.

               Surah Nisaa’, verse 24 is very clear Quranic evidence that Mut’a marriage is lawful according to the Holy Qur’an. You may refer to www.al-islam.org for more details and more evidences.

               Sunni references admit that Umar was the one who banned this marriage, which means that it was allowed before Umar’s ban.

               Umar said: “Two types of Mut’a were (legal) during the time of the Prophet and I forbid them both, and I punish those who commit it. They are: Mut’a of pilgrimage and Mut’a of women.”

Sunni references:

            Tafsir al-Kabir, by al-Fakhr al-Razi, V. 3, p. 201 under verse 4:24

            Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, V. 1, p. 52

               Also both Ibn Jarir al-Tabari and al-Zamakhshari narrated that: “al-Hakam ibn Ayniyah was asked if the verse of Mut’a of women is abrogated. He answered: ‘No’.”

Sunni references:

            Tafsir al-Tabari, under commentary of verse 4:24 of the Holy Qur’an, V.8, p.178

            Tafsir al-Kashshaf, by al-Zamakhshari, under the verse 4:24, V.1, p.519

               Also Ibn Kasir mentioned his commentary: “al-Bukhari declared that Umar used to forbid people on Mut’a.”

               Sunni reference: Tafsir Ibn Kasir, V.1, p.233

               Also in another Sunni commentary it is reported that: “Umar said, while on the pulpit: “O folk! Three were (allowed) during the time of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), and I forbid them, and make them haraam, and punish on them. They were: Mut’a of women, Mut’a of Hajj (pilgrimage), and saying ‘Hayya Ala Khair al-Amal’.”

Sunni references:

            Sharh al-Tajreed, by al-Fazil al-Qoshaji, (Imama Section)

            al-Mustaniran, by al-Tabari

            al-Mustabeen, by al-Tabari

               Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) said: “The Mut’a is a mercy from Allah to his servants. If it were not for Umar forbidding it, no one would commit (the sin) of fornication except the wretched (Shaqi; an utmost wrong-doer).”

Sunni references:

            Tafsir al-Kabir, by al-Sa’labi, under commentary of verse 4:24 of the Holy Quran;

            Tafsir al-Kabir, by Fakhr al-Razi, V.3, p.200, commentary of verse 4:24;

            Tafsir al-Kabir, by Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, under commentary of verse 4:24 with authentic chain of narrators, V. 8, p.178, Tradition #9042;

            Tafsir al-Durr al-Mansoor, by al-Suyuti, V.2, p.140, from several chains of transmitters;

            Tafsir al-Qurtubi, V.5, p.130, under commentary of verse 4:24 of the Holy Quran;

            Tafsir ibn Hayyan, V. 3, p. 218, under commentary of verse 4:24 of the Holy Quran;

            Tafsir Nisaboori, by al-Nisaboori (8th century);

            Ahkam al-Quran, by Jassas, V. 2, p. 179, under commentary of verse 4:24.

               Salama ibn al-Akwa’ and Jabir ibn Abdullah reported: “Allah’s Messenger (May peace be upon him) came to us and permitted us to contract temporary marriage.”

Sunni references:

            Sahih Muslim, English version, V. 2, chapter DXLI (titled: Temporary Marriage), Tradition #3247

            Sahih Muslim, Arabic version, 1980 Edition published in Saudi Arabia, V. 2, p. 1022, Tradition #14, “Kitab al-Nikah, Bab Nikah al-Mut’a”

Q719.     I am a married man having 3 children. My wife is a good woman and a very religious lady. Lately I have noticed she spends a lot of time in prayers, reading the Holy Qur’an, and worship every day and night. Now I am beginning to feel that she is not giving much time to me and the family as she is busy performing prayers, etc. late at night and is very tired and thus I do not want to force her to have love with me. Should I keep silent and let it things be the way they are? As per the Sharia, is it permissible for her to perform good deeds and neglect her husband? I am very disturbed by all this.

A.           It is a bounty on you that your wife is a good and pious lady. She is spending time in prayers and reading the Holy Qur’an, which are, in fact, great acts. You know that many women nowadays while their time watching movies or other wasteful or sinful activities. This bounty from Allah (s.w.t.) on you should be appreciated and thanked for. Nevertheless, your wife should keep a balance between worshipping Allah (s.w.t.) and her duties towards you as her husband. It is not acceptable for the wife to neglect her duties for any reason. So, I would advise you to talk to her very gently, appreciating her attention towards worshipping Allah (s.w.t.), and at the same time reminding her to keep a balance between worship and her duties as a wife. You should not discourage her from her worship, but only remind her about her duties towards you, which must be fulfilled by keeping a reasonable balance.

Q720.     If at some point in a temporary marriage (Mut’a) the wife is not happy with the situation, can she cancel the marriage?

A.           The husband has to agree to cancel and forgive her for the remaining period of the Mut’ah.

Q721.     Are sexual relationships allowed in a Mut’a?

A.           Mut’a is a marriage, but she can put a condition with the agreement to exclude sexual relationships. Then it will not be allowed

Q722.     If a man wishes to enter into a Mut’a with a woman who agrees, can the brother of that woman disagree and stop the process?

A.           The brother has no say in the marriage. If the woman is a virgin, she needs her father’s or her paternal grandfather’s consent.

Q723.     A temporary marriage (Mut’a) was entered into with a condition of not having sex. In what situation can one break this condition?

A.           When the person who put the condition withdraws it.

Q724.     If a woman fails to perform marital duties, which is wajib on her, can dowry be reclaimed back from her, because dowry was given with the aim of allþ marital duties a wife has to perform for her husband, so what the shariat says regarding this disobedience of the wife?

A.           Dowry cannot be reclaimed from the wife if marriage was already commenced. If divorce takes place before commencing the marriage (sexual marriage relation), the wife will be entitled of half of the dowry. If the wife does not fulfill her duties, she will be Naashiz (disobedient), and then will not be entitled of expenses from her husband for the period of disobedience.

Q725.     What are the conditions that must be conformed to when entering into a Mut’a (time-fixed marriage)?

A.           Almost the same conditions as that of a permanent marriage, i.e. the lady should not be married nor should she be in her period of iddah. Both must be Muslims, or the lady can be from the Ahl al-Kitab. The Mahr and the time period of the Mut’a should be agreed to. If the lady is a virgin, then she needs permission from her father or her paternal grandfather.

Q726.     How does one explain the Islamic permission of polygamy?

A.           Polygamy is a vital need for many persons in every human society. All previous religions approved polygamy. The great prophets like Prophet Ibrahim [Abraham] (a.s.), Prophet Dawood [David] (a.s.) and Prophet Sulaiman [Solomon] (a.s.) had many wives. Polygamy not only solves the problem of men who need it for their different reasons, but also solves the problem of millions of marriageable women who do not or cannot have husbands under the monogamy system, as the number of marriageable males is always less than marriageable females for many reasons like wars, accidents, and hazardous work jobs undertaken by men, not to speak of the usual reasons like divorces and widowhood. Without polygamy, illegitimate relationships will spoil millions of men and women, as we already witness in the western societies - a fact repeatedly confirmed by their own statistics and reports. There is no way for unmarried females to fulfil their needs and have children under the unjust and impractical monogamist system – the only option being to enter into illegitimate affairs and relationships and consequently destroy their dignity, besides producing an enormous problem of illegitimate children who have no fathers to look after – not to speak of threatened marriages and a large populace of men and women of loose morals – further menaces for a civilised society. Polygamy is a mercy from Allah (s.w.t.), the Most Merciful, on human beings. This, however, does not mean that all persons should go for polygamy. The Holy Qur’an puts a very important condition (practical justice between the wives) without which polygamy will not be allowed.

Q727.     Can a man enter into a Mut’a with another woman who is already married?

A.           Obviously not, just as he cannot enter into a permanent marriage with such a lady.

Q728.     Can a woman refuse to enter into a Mut’a with a man?

A.           Yes, just as she can refuse his proposal for permanent marriage.

Q729.     If both the man and the woman agree to enter into a Mut’a, can the woman’s brother disagree and stop the process?

A.           The brother has no say in the marriage. If the lady is a virgin, she needs her father’s or her paternal grandfather’s consent.

Q730.     Is not the practice of Mut’a susceptible to abuse, say, by the youth today at universities, colleges, etc.?

A.           Those who abuse Mut’a are themselves responsible for the abuse, just as would be the case if any other facility or benefit is abused or misused. Who is responsible for the abuse permanent marriage itself? Can we blame the institution of permanent marriage when some misguided or corrupt people abuse it or misue it? It is religious consciousness and awareness that make people cautious against abusing Islamic rules.

               If the youth, who attend universities and colleges, are really in danger of falling into Haraam, they can save themselves from it by adopting this Islamic temporary marriage. If Mut’a is banned as Umar ibn al-Khattab had ordered his people, what would be state of those who are in real need but fear indulging in Haraam? That is why we read a saying narrated from Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) that if Umar had not banned Mut’a, no one would fornicate but a very few.

Q731.     Some people contend that Mut’a is a form of ‘legalised prostitution’, while others say that it ‘dilutes’ the importance of the institution of marriage, promoting a loose sense of commitment among the participants. Please clarify.

A.           If one lists the differences between ‘marriage’ and ‘prostitution’, one will realize the difference between ‘Mut’a marriage’ and ‘prostitution’. Mut’a is a serious marital relationship permitted in Islam to save men and women from falling prey to sin. A Mut’a marriage establishes definite rights and obligations amongst the husband and wife, as does the usual Nikah marriage. The Mut’a marriage is a kind of marriage, which saves people from falling into illegitimate relations, besides saving the society at large from numerous social evils that are being faced by promiscuous societies.

Q732.     Can a Shia Muslim girl marry to a non-Muslim?

A.           A Shia Muslim girl cannot marry any non-Muslim. If such a person accepts Islam, then he can get married with a Muslim girl. If that is not the case, it will not be marriage but an illegal relationship.

Q733.     I converted to Islam after having practiced my earlier faith for many years. I have been told that I should adopt a Muslim name. But that would mean enormous difficulties vis-à-vis government work, bank formalities and professional difficulties, not to speak of social problems. Is it necessary for me to go through all that?

A.           Islam is having faith on the Truth and practicing it. Changing name is not obligatory.

Q734.     I fell in love with a Muslim woman before I knew anything about Islam. Although I have converted to Islam and have spoken the truth and told what I want from my wife the woman’s family doesn’t accept me. Is something wrong with Islam or with me or the family when everyone denies me as a Muslim and my right for Islam and my being a Muslim? It hurts me because I lose also my best friend. Can a Muslim revert usually marry a born Muslim? However, I am told that Muslim men can marry a Christian woman. Please explain.

A.           A Muslim revert is just like any born Muslim, and can marry any Muslim woman who agrees to marry him. The family about whom you are talking may need to be sure that you are really a Muslim for the sake of the truth and not for any thing else. They might have cultural ideas which are stopping them from accepting a new Muslim for marriage, but such cultural ideas have no value in Islam as Islam deals with all Muslims (new and born) as equals.


Divorce

Q735.     Can a husband take back the jewellery he had given to his wife, after divorce?

A.           If the jewellery was given as a gift, the husband cannot take it back after divorce. But if it was given specifically for safekeeping as Amaanat, he can take it back.

Q736.     Where will the wife go after divorce if she has no house of her own?

A.           During Iddah, the divorced wife will stay in the husband’s house and her normal expenses are to be given by the husband. There should be no injustice from the husband’s side. A divorced woman is not oppressed in Islam, as some opponents allege. She receives her amount of dower (Mehr) and maintenance. All that she brought with herself and the gifts and what was given to her by the husband and relatives belong to her. The things she bought and spent in the house from her own money also will be returned to her. Hence, it is not correct to say that Muslim women are made to suffer after a divorce.

Q737.     Will the woman be deprived of her children after divorce?

A.           A woman’s relationship with her children is not severed by divorce. The male child up to two years of age will remain with the mother and the female child till she completes 7 years of age. Their maintenance will be borne by the husband. Later, they will return to the father and the mother will have the right to visit them periodically, as per mutual agreement.

Q738.     Should I listen to my father who is commanding me to divorce my wife?

A.           The father’s wish need not be respected in this regard.

Q739.     Should custody of a child be given to a husband after divorce, who does not pray and drinks alcohol?

A.           The father has the right to the custody of the child; if it’s a boy, after 2 years and if it’s a girl after 7 years. The hakim-e-Sharah (religious authority) can pressurize the father to mend his ways and to leave bad habits before giving custody of the child to him.

Q740.     What is the difference between the waiting period (Iddah) of divorce and that following the husband’s death?

A.           The ‘Iddah’ of divorce is three months or two periods of menses and as soon as the lady has menses for the third time her waiting period comes to an end while ‘Iddah’ of a widow is four months and ten days if she is not pregnant. In case, she is pregnant she should observe the waiting period till the birth of the child. But if the child is born before the expiry of four months and ten days from the death of her husband, she should wait till the expiry of that period.

Q741.     Does the wife, who had contracted fixed time marriage, observe ‘iddah’ if her husband dies during the period of marriage?

A.           Yes, she should observe Iddah for four months and ten days.

Q742.     Under what circumstances can a woman marry immediately after divorce without observing the Iddah?

A.           If the girl is under nine or the woman is in menopause (aya’isa one does not experience menses) or when the husband divorces his wife before having sexual intercourse or when causes lead to annulment of marriage, the woman need not observe the ‘Iddah’ of divorce and is free to marry another man immediately.

Q743.     Is there iddah for old women?

A.           Iddah is only for those women who can be pregnant. It is iddah of talaq (divorce), which is not wajib on very old women. However, iddah of wafat (death) is wajib (obligatory) on her (after the death of her husband).

Q744.     Is the talaq (divorce) valid, if there are no witnesses?

A.           Without the witnesses of two pious men divorce is not valid at all.


Dress and Clothing

Q745.     Is it necessary for women to wear burkha? When hairstyles of men can be equally attractive and fashionable, why are men not ordered to wear caps or turbans by Islam; why should only women cover their hair?

A.           A woman must cover herself from the Na-Mahram by wearing burkhas or Chadors-stitched or unstitched.

               Yes, it is not obligatory for men to cover their head. Because the effect of a woman’s exposed hair and body is not the same as that of looking at a man’s hair and body. If this was made obligatory for men, life would become difficult. At the same time, men should not sport fashionable types of hair-styles resembling that of women because it is Haram. This necessity is ordained by nature that women should observe complete hijab and men should remain exempted from this obligation.

Q746.     I am a college-going girl. When I wear complete Islamic Hijab, the majority of the non-Muslim girls who don’t wear it give me strange looks, and even make fun of me. What should I do?

A.           A believer’s main purpose in life is to earn Allah’s pleasure. For a Muslim, other people’s satisfaction doesn’t matter if their desire is that you violate Allah’s command. History is replete with instances where earlier prophets were ridiculed by the disbelievers. So this is not something new. You must observe complete Islamic hijab whether people approve of it or not. You will get the reward of doing Jihad (i.e. for struggling against sin and satanic forces) if you were to bear hardship in the Way of Allah.

Q747.     Are clothes, which retain the smell of soaps after washing considered clean (paak)?

A.           If the clothes are rinsed twice with pure water, it will be considered clean even if the smell of soap or a stain is retained.

Q748.     Is it allowed for a man to wear a silk tie?

A.           It is not allowed for men to wear pure silk. Mixed silk is allowed if it is not called pure silk.


Music and Singing

Q749.     Is singing in a tuneful voice without any musical accompaniment, permissible in Islam?

A.           It is Haram (i.e. forbidden) in Islam to sing in a tuneful voice with or without music.

Q750.     Can we listen to classical instrumental music on Shanai, Sitar etc?

A.           No. Shanai, Sitar, all these instruments, which are musical instruments are usually made for “lahv and la’b” i.e. (lust) and so they are najaiz. (Haram)

Q751.     Some people claim that it is permissible to listen to Qawwali sung in praise of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Is it correct?

A.           No. Their belief is wrong. Qawwali is Haram. For example, would we allow someone to sing the verses of Qur’an? Moreover, it is an insult to drag the holy names of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) in cheap tunes.

Q752.     What can be the means of entertainment according to Islam?

A.           Entertainment in Islam is recommended but it has to be within reasonable limits.

1.            It should not be games of gambling. Even if there is no gambling involved, the games devised originally for gambling purposes cannot be played. For e.g. Chess, playing cards etc.

2.            Entertainment should not consume too much of one’s time because then a human being’s most important asset “time” will be squandered in useless pursuits.

3.            Entertainment should not include any haraam acts like songs, music, etc.

4.            Entertainment should not lure a person away from performing his duties whether it is his “wajib (obligatory) acts,” “Ibaadat” or his work, which he has to do for his livelihood. Even his studies should not be affected.

5.            It is very important to entertain the body and the mind with the intention to be healthy, strong and active and be a successful person according to the orders of Allah and Ahlul-bayt (a.s.).

Q753.     A Muslim has a record-player which he wishes to dispose. If he sells it, it will be used only for listening to music. Should he sell it or destroy it?

A.           He may sell it if it can be used for lawful purposes. It is not permissible to buy or sell prohibited items like musical instruments. If the instruments can only be utilized for playing music, it should be destroyed.

Q754.     I know music and dancing are both haraam. However, are music and dancing haraam within the boundaries of marriage too? In other words do the same rules apply for music and dancing between husband and wife?

A.           It is haraam (unlawful) to listen to music, which is usually used by sinners even within the boundaries of husband and wife.

               The wife can dance for her husband but without music. However, nobody is allowed to see her except her husband. This is according to majority of the scholars, although Ayatullah Seestani does not allow dancing altogether.

Q755.     I am a nauhakhwan (reciter of elegies commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.)) and we go to different villages for nauhakhwani. There are certain villages where they play flute and beat drums when we recite the nauhas (elegies). Does Islam permit us to recite nauhas with drums, flutes and/or other musical instruments?

A.           The music which is usually used with songs and among sinners is not allowed at all. Funeral or marshal music is allowed according to many leading Ulama.


Eating and Drinking

Q756.     If one is compelled to visit a restaurant run by a Muslim and doubts whether all the servants are Muslims, or whether the food is properly served, what should one do?

A.           If the servants are Muslim then he need not act on his doubt. Only in case of certainty that the servants are non-Muslims should he restrain himself from eating or drinking in that restaurant.

Q757.     Do we have any directive of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) concerning beef?

A.           Yes, we have narratives of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), which refers to beef as causative of certain diseases. Of course it is permissible but Makruh, perhaps due to the old age of the animal.

Q758.     Can one give cooked food to beggars who are non-Muslims?

A.           It can be given in charity to non-Muslim beggars, if he is not an enemy of Allah and if he is hungry.

Q759.     Gelatin commonly used in ice creams and kulfis are made from animal bones. Will it be permissible to eat them?

A.           If it is known that the animal is slaughtered lawfully, its bone will be permitted for use. When it is known that gelatin has been made from lawful bones or from vegetarian sources, it is clean. And eating ice-creams which uses such a gelatin would be permissible. If you know that it contains najis material, then it is haraam to eat it.

Q760.     Would it be permissible to slaughter an animal, which has met with an accident and is about to die, but still alive, for eating purposes?

A.           Yes, and the meat will be lawful for use after slaughtering it. In many countries, the animal is electrically stunned and it becomes unconscious. Slaughtering such an animal is also permissible because the animal at that time is alive. If the animal dies after an accident or due to shock, it would not be permissible to use its meat even after slaughtering it.

Q761.     Is camel’s meat undesirable (makruh)?

A.           Camel’s meat is undesirable to eat; yet it is permitted.

Q762.     Is it permissible to eat the food in which a house-fly or cockroach is found?

A.           The food does not become najis. In fact, cleanliness is part of a Muslim’s faith. A true Muslim is one whose heart, tongue, clothes and food are clean.

Q763.     Does eating najis food makes worship invalid for 40 days?

A.           Eating najis food does make the worship of 40 days invalid. Eating najis food and coming to know later, he should not let Satan deceive him to say that it is worthless praying for the next 40 days. What it means is that the person will not get the complete reward and status for his worship acts. The person should not abandon his Namaz at any cost.

Q764.     Why should we differentiate between human beings and say that it is not good to eat from the hands of non-Muslims?

A.           Human beings are all identical and what make them equal are their beliefs and actions. Are people heading for hell similar to the people heading for heaven? Is there no difference between Noor and darkness, belief and disbelief, good and bad? Apparently, we do not see the physical manifestation of Imaan and Kufr in this world. It will become clear in the Here-after world. So, from the point of belief, Islam prohibits a believer from eating the food touched by a disbeliever.

Q765.     Can one consider the food served in a Restaurant as Paak without inquiring?

A.           Yes. Except when you come to know for certain that the workers who touch the food or wash the utensils are najis.

Q766.     Is it jaiz (permissible) to eat crabs?

A.           No. It is haraam to eat crabs.

Q767.     Can we eat the eggs without shells, which are found inside a chicken?

A.           The eggs and milk of all lawful (Halaal) animals will be considered equally lawful. It will be permissible to eat eggs found inside the Halaal chicken whether they are with or without shells.

Q768.     Can one eat a sweet dish in which ants have entered and died such that it is not possible to remove them?

A.           Once the ants are removed, the food can be consumed. But if it is not possible to remove them, the food should not be consumed.

Q769.     Can one lie so as to avoid eating the najis (unclean) food offered by somebody since it is not permissible to eat such food?

A.           You cannot lie. You may say that it is not good for me or that you have been advised to abstain from it. You need not say who has advised you to avoid it. You can also say it is harmful for me after all; unclean food is harmful to one’s faith and health.

Q770.     Can one eat a thing whose chance of probable purity is 1%?

A.           It cannot be consumed because the certainty of it being impure is 99%.

Q771.     Is it permissible to eat or chew ‘Qat’ - a type of leaf which 90% of the Yemenites consume every day and 99% on Thursdays? It is a type of stimulant.

A.           It is permissible provided it does not act as an intoxicant for the consumer.

Q772.     Is sugar made from Najis (impure) sugar-cane juice considered as clean?

A.           No. The unclean sugarcane juice does not become clean due to change in form alone because no chemical transformation has taken place.

Q773.     My non-Muslim friend tells me that Muslims indulge in cruel and inhuman practice for killing animals for eating purpose. How should I reply to him?

A.           If the criteria of ‘True Life’ is to be associated with movement and reproduction alone, then every human being on earth will be guilty of cruelty and inhuman practices. Because many invisible live organisms and microbes are killed in the process of breathing air and drinking water. Even the vegetarians who uproot plants and vegetables cannot deny the fact that they are snuffing-out ‘life’ from them.

               Muslims are permitted to slaughter only a handful of animals like camel, cow, sheep, chicken, etc. for food. And a very large number of other types of animals are forbidden to them. While many non-Muslims communities kill almost every kind of animals for food.

               Human beings are disposed by nature to benefit from all creation without causing any imbalance in the Universe. So Allah, the Omniscient creator alone knows what need to be left untouched and what should be eaten by human beings.

Q774.     What does Islam say about the timings for taking meals?

A.           It is recommended to take one’s meals in the earlier part of the day and in the earlier part of the night and one should not partake meals at midday or midnight.

Q775.     Why is it that we should not eat or drink any substance after having an intercourse without performing the Ghusl-e-Janabat? Is this only for male or for female too?

A.           It is Makhrooh for males and females. If it is difficult to perform the Ghusl (bath) and the need arises to eat or drink one should take water 3 times in his mouth & nose.

Q776.     It is permissible to eat the egg, which contains a small quantity of blood?

A.           Its use should be avoided according to an obligatory precaution. However, if the blood is in the yolk (yellow portion) of the egg, its albumen (white portion) will be pure unless the veil lying between the yolk and the albumen is torn.

Q777.     Are frozen meat and canned fish, imported from non-Muslim countries pure?

A.           If it is not known that these things were prepared according to Islamic law, it would be prohibited to eat them, irrespective of the fact that they were purchased from a Muslim seller.

Q778.     Is it unlawful to eat the meat of a domestic hen, which eats impurities like faeces?

A.           On the basis of obligatory precaution, a domestic hen who is habituated to eating impurities like faeces should be prevented from doing so for 3 days and should be given clean food during that period before slaughtering it for food.

Q779.     Is it permissible to eat a fish, which has been roasted alive or is slaughtered out of water while it is alive?

A.           It is lawful to eat it but it is better to refrain from eating it.

Q780.     Is it lawful to eat the food, which is served in silver utensils?

A.           If the pure food served in silver utensils is transformed to another lawful and pure utensil, there is no harm in eating or drinking in that utensil provided the people do not say that food is being eaten from gold or silver utensils.

Q781.     Is it wrong to admonish children who take a long time while taking meals?

A.           One of the recommended things to be observed while taking meals is to prolong the duration of taking meal, implying that one should chew one’s food well, say Bismillah before eating and to thank Allah after taking one’s meal and so on However prolonging the duration of taking meals should not lead to overeating, which is the worst thing in the eyes of Allah.

Q782.     Is it obligatory to feed a hungry Muslim?

A.           It is obligatory upon every Muslim to save the life of a Muslim, who is dying of hunger or thirst, by providing him something to eat or drink and thus save his life.

Q783.     Suppose a Muslim eats something forbidden in his religion - will he need a special purification? What is it?

A.           There are no special purification rites. The method of cleansing by water, as described in ‘Elements of Islamic Studies’ applies here also.

               But one must ask forgiveness of Allah for disobeying His Shariat.

Q784.     What about imported cheese from non-Muslim countries, if I do not exactly know the way it was made and its ingredients?

A.           It is permissible for you to eat it.

Q785.     Some food items given to poultry are mixed with 30% pig bones, which help the chicken gain weight at the rate of about 2 kg in 40 days. What is the ruling on this and is there any objection to it?

A.           This precludes neither the permissibility of consuming its meat nor its ritual purity, if it is slaughtered in the Islamic manner. But it is preferable to keep animals away from these food items. God knows best.

Q786.     Is it permissible for a Muslim to be present in gatherings where alcoholic beverages are served?

A.           Eating and drinking in these gatherings is prohibited. As for mere presence, its prohibition is based on obligatory precaution. There is no objection to it if the aim is to prevent others from reprehensible actions, if one is able to do so.

Q787.     The bodies of some types of fish are not fully covered with scales. Is it permissible to eat them?

A.           Yes, it is permissible for you to eat them if they have but a single scale.

Q788.     Is it permissible for a Muslim to cook that, which was not slaughtered in the Islamic manner, knowing that he has no connection to selling or serving it? What is the ruling with respect to serving food that is ritually impure [not slaughtered in the Islamic manner] or conveying it to non-Muslims? Is there a difference in this between pork and other things?

A.           There is no objection to cooking that which is not slaughtered in the Islamic manner or serving it to those who regard it as lawful. However, it is problematic to sell it to them. But there is no objection to taking the money in return for the Muslim sellers relinquishment of his right over it (foodstuff). Alternatively, by rescuing (istinqaz) it (i.e. money from a non-Muslim). As for pork, it is problematic to serve to those who regard it as lawful and without a doubt disallowed for sale. God knows best.

Q789.     Is there some recommended timings in Islam for taking meals and how many times can one take meals in 24 hours.

A.           The food timing order helps the health. The main guidelines in Islam about food are: (a) Do not eat when not hungry. (b) Do not eat to a full stomach, 1/3 for food, 1/3 for drinking and 1/3 for breathing is a practice, which is very good for health. (c) Do not delay the lunch or the day meal. (d) Do not sleep with full stomach. (e) Chewing food well helps a lot and gives food the best taste and your body best benefit of it.

               Some Ulema have written that best timing for food is that of Paradise – people get their ‘Rizq’ in the Paradise during morning and evening (Bukratan wa Ashiyya)

               It is harmful to put food on food, i.e. to eat when food is still in your stomach. Although these guidelines are useful but it is more important to emphasize on the cleanliness (Taharat) of food and it should be purchased or obtained from Halaal (Jaaez) source. One mouthful from Haraam food can damage the soul spiritually. For that the Momin should take utmost care about the purity of his food.

Q790.     Please explain whether eating of Mushroom is Halaal or Haraam?

A.           Eating of Mushroom is Halaal. All edible things, which are not flesh of animate organisms or from such origin are Halaal provided they are not intoxicants and not poisonous or harmful.

Q791.     According to Ahadis what types of food should be eaten and Duas to be recited for increase in sustenance?

A.           Every Halaal food has got its own benefit for human being. Bismillaahir rahmaanir raheem is very important to avoid its harm if any. Many details are mentioned in books like Tibbe Imam al-Sadiq.

Q792.     I am staying in Arizona. As I do not get Halaal chicken or mutton here, I am on a total vegetable diet. Could you please let me know what is the provision for Halaal/Haraam meat in such situations? Is there Halal/haraam in case of fish or seafood?

A.           You cannot eat any chicken or mutton or beef or any other meat before being sure that it was slaughtered in the proper way prescribed by Shariat. i.e. slaughtered by a Muslim and directed towards Qibla and slaughtering should take place mentioning the name of Allah (s.w.t.). If you don’t get Halaal non-veg food you must avoid the Haraam and pull on with veg. food till you are able to get Halaal meat or chicken.

               Regarding fish and seafood it should also be Halaal but the way through which fish and seafood becomes Halaal includes two things:

1.            The fish should have scales on its body or it can be prawns as well, which is from the non-fish seafood. All the fish without scales are Haraam. Crabs and shells and other types of non-fish seafood are also Haraam.

2.            It should not die in the water before it is caught. If the fish is poisoned or killed by explosives leading to death in the water then it will be Haraam to eat it too.

Q793.     Please describe which kind of meat of which animals and birds is Halal and allowed to be eaten?

A.           Among the land animals that are halal to eat are: chicken, sheep, goat, cow, camel, horse, mule, gazelle, donkey, antelope, buffalo, wild cow and zebra. It is Makrooh, though not haraam to eat meat of domestic horse, mule and donkey.

               It is haraam to eat meat of carnivorous animals that have claws, such as lion, tiger, cat and fox.

               It is also haraam to eat the meat of rabbit, elephant, bear, monkey, jerboa, mouse, snake, hedgehog and crawling animals and insects.

               Among birds that are halal to eat are pigeon of all kinds, sparrow, swallow, pheasant nightingale, ostrich, peacock etc.

               It is haraam to eat the meat of crow, wasps and other flying insects, apart from locust and also the meat of all birds of prey i.e. that have talons, such as falcon, hawk and eagle. So is the meat of any bird that, during flying, aligns its wings (i.e. glides) more than it flaps its wings.

               If one does not know the way it flies then among the indicators that may identify it as being halal is that it should have one or more of three organs – a craw, a spur or a gizzard.

               Among the marine animals one can eat all species of fish, provided they have scales. It is haraam, however to eat dead floating ones. Among marine animals that are haraam to eat are catfish, tortoise, turtles, frogs, snails, crayfish, lobsters and every amphibious animal.

Q794.     Is it allowed to eat burnt food?

A.           It is not allowed to eat harmful burnt food. And you have to remove the black burnt parts from the food before consuming.

Q795.     Can a Muslim sell beer, wine or liquor if he himself does not drink it?

A.           Dealing with beer, wine and liquor is absolutely forbidden. Manufacturing, distributing, selling serving or any other type of involvement with alcoholic beverages is haram and the participant is cursed by Allah.

Q796.     Some of our community brethren believe that eating fish during Muharram, Safar, and upto the 8th of Rabi-ul-awwal is not permissible. Is this correct?

A.           It is not Haraam at all to eat fish or any permitted food during Muharram and Safar. It is just a matter of not expressing joy according to the social customs in the Indian subcontinent. The Shia brethren there avoid eating fish during these two months on account of mourning. This does not mean at all that it is Haraam to eat fish or other permitted food during these two months.

Q797.     Is it permissible (halal) to eat eel?

A.           Eel is a non-scaly fish. Non-scaly fish are not allowed for eating.

Q798.     In our country frozen meat, turkey and chicken are imported from countries we do not know. Is it permissible (halal) to eat such stuff?

A.           Imported frozen meat needs evidence to be taken as permissible (Halaal). It is Haraam (prohibited) to eat any meat (e.g. turkey, chicken, beef, and mutton) before being sure that it is from an animal, which was slaughtered properly according to the Islamic Shari’a. Frozen meat imported from non-Muslim countries cannot be taken as Halaal, unless and until you have real evidence that it is actually Halaal. Such evidence can be provided by a trusted witness who witnessed the slaughtering process. Writings or marks on the meat or on the boxes claiming it to be Halal do not have any value, because most of the companies now-a-days want to sell more meat by writing the word ‘Halal’. Without really slaughtering every animal as prescribed they claim it as Halal according to Islamic Sharia.

Q799.     Can the parents eat from the meat of the aqeeqa of their children?

A.           It is makrooh (disliked, abominable) for the parents to eat from the meat of the aqeeqa of their children?

Q800.     Is it wrong to eat, drink or go out in the state of Janabat?

A.           It is Makrooh (disliked) to eat, drink or even sleep in the state of janabat. To avoid the harm, it is recommended to wash your mouth and nose three times each before eating, drinking or sleeping.


Will / Inheritance

Q801.     Can a momin disown his own children (born out of a nikah marriage? If so, under what circumstances? If disowning such a child is permitted in Islam will that child inherit the property of his parent or not?

A.           Nobody can disown his own children under any circumstance and the child will get inheritance from his parents. It is haram for parents to refuse or deny the relationship between them and their children. Some children behave very badly with their parents that amount to “Uqooq”. “Uqooq” is a great sin i.e. Gunah-e-Kabira, (Great Sin) but that also does not deprive the child from inheritance.

Q802.     Can a momin child (not baaligh) be debarred from getting father’s/mother’s inheritance, due to any reason whatsoever? If so, under what circumstance?

A.           “Na-Baaligh” child cannot at any cost be deprived of inheritance from his parents. The inheritance would not be given to the children in one of these two cases:

1.            If the child kills or indulges in killing his father or mother.

2.            If he changes his religion from Islam to something else, he will not get the inheritance from his parents. For this matter we do not know any difference amongst Muslims. All Muslims generally believe in this rule.

Q803.     What is Wasiyyat in Islam? What are its Rules and what have our Ma’soomeen (a.s.) said about it?

A.           Wasiyyat in Fiqh means a will of a person, which is made either verbally, or in writing or by any act showing or expressing his will, for something to be done after demise. Wasiyyat (will) sometimes is concerned with belongings and properties, which is called Wasiyyat “Tamlikiyaa”. For example the deceased may have said that so much is to be given to so and so after his death, sometimes it may refer to an act to be performed on behalf of the person who makes the Will. For example that after his demise he should be buried in, say Najaf-e-Ashraf. This is called Wasiyat Ahdeeyah. It is “Mustahab” for every mo’min to have his will written and even keep below his pillow.

               When a person becomes ill and it happens to be a terminal illness and he realises he or she is going to die soon, if he has rights of others on him, it is “Wajib (obligatory)” to make a will. For explanation purpose there are two types of dues:

               What is due on him for others? What is due on him for Allah?

               Khums, Zakat, Namaz, Ha], Roza, Kaffara Radde mazaalim, etc. As far as the implementation of the Wasiyat is concerned. Everybody has full right to make Wasiyat upto 1/3rd i.e. 33% of his whole assets. 1/3rd will then be spent anywhere he wishes or on charities on his behalf if he has so willed.

Q804.     After a man dies, how is his wealth distributed? Does this distribution depend on his wasiyyat?

A.           After a person dies his or her total wealth must be distributed according to Shariat, but if he has willed then only 1/3rd of his wealth can be implemented according to his Will.

               For example if some one has willed that all his assets be given to his wife, or friend or a son, then this person will only be entitled to get 1/3rd of the total wealth and the balance has to be distributed as per the law of Shariat to the rightful heirs. In case the heirs want to forgo, they are free to do so, otherwise it is their right. Obviously the person who was gifted 1/3rd in the will also will be considered for the 2/3rd according to Shariat.

Q805.     What articles of a deceased person belong exclusively to the eldest son?

A.           The eldest son exclusively inherits his deceased father’s clothes, rings sword and Holy Qur’an provided those are not the only things left behind and the deceased is not indebted to others.

Q806.     Does a wife inherit from the husband who had divorced her before his death?

A.           If the husband had died during the waiting period of divorce (Iddah) and the divorce was revocable, his wife inherits from him.

Q807.     A man died leaving behind a wife, 2 married sons, one married daughter, and in his will, the major portion of his property has been given to his sons and a very small portion to his daughter. Stating that he has already spent monies at her daughter’s marriage during his lifetime. In this case, what is the validity of the will as per the Law of the Holy Qur’an and in which way should the will be put to practise?

A.           Any will left by the deceased if not fulfilling the laws of the shariat [Islamic Law] is invalid in Islam. In fact one should exert to disburse the legacy as per shariat law, which permits only 1/3rd of the deceased’s wealth to be given away as he pleases. Out of the balance, 1/8th goes to the wife and the balance is distributed in the ratio of 2:1 for sons and daughters. So that the sons get twice as the daughters.

Q808.     Parents, brothers, sisters, wife and children survive a dead Muslim. What are their shares in inheritance and in what manner would it changes in the absence of one or the other group of relative?

A.           In shariat, blood relatives are divided in 3 categories:

1st           Parents and children: When there are no children at all, then their children take their place.

2nd           Grandparents (both paternal and maternal) and brothers and sisters: When there are no brothers and sisters at all, their children will take their place.

3rd           Paternal and maternal uncles and aunts: If there is none then their children, Husband and wife will inherit each other with all the above-mentioned three categories. As long as there is even one person of first category, the second and third categories will get nothing. In the absence of the first the heirs of the second category will inherit. And if there is no one in the second category, then the heirs of the third category will inherit. Now in the question, brothers and sisters will get nothing in the presence of parents and children. If there is only one heir in the first category (only father or mother or a son or a daughter) he/she gets the whole estate. If there are only the parents, the mother gets one third and the father two-thirds. If there are the children only, a son gets twice the share of a daughter.

               If there are both parents, wife and children, then the share will be as follows:-

               Father-1/6; mother 1/6; wife 1/8; and the remaining 13/24 will be divided among the children, a son getting double of what a daughter gets.

               If there are only brothers, sister, and wife, the wife gets 1/4; and the residue is divided among the brothers and sisters. If there are only brothers and sisters, the estate is divided as in case of children (a brother getting double the share of his sister), for further details, refer to an authoritative book on laws of Islamic jurisprudence. (The reply is kind courtesy of the distinguished Allamah Sayyed Saeed Akhtar Rizvi).

Q809.     What should be done in case of a dead person whose assets are not enough for complying with his will?

A.           The dead person’s assets should be spent, in order of priority, on obligatory acts in the first instance and then on recommended acts and finally on the lawful deeds.

Q810.     Is it permissible to make a will whereby parts of body like eyes, kidneys, etc. be removed after death?

A.           It is permissible for a Muslim to make a Will with regard to amputation of parts of his body after his death so that it may benefit other Muslims. However, amputation of a limb of a dead Muslim in the absence of a consenting Will or a post-mortem where the life of another Muslim is not at stake is not permissible and the person amputating or dissecting under such circumstances are liable to pay compensation (Diyah).

Q811.     Can a persons claim that the dead person has made a Will that so much amount be given to him, be acceptable in the absence of a written Will?

A.           If a person says that the dead person has made a Will that so much amount should be given to him, and two just men confirm his statement or he takes an oath and one just man also confirms his statement, or one just man and two just women, or four just women bear witness to what he says, the amount claimed by him should be given to him.

Q812.     A son dies in the lifetime of his father. The father has other sons and daughters. After the death of the father, would the children of the deceased son inherit along with, their uncles and aunts?

A.           No. Nearer heirs exclude the remoter ones from inheritance. Sons and daughters being nearer to their father, exclude his grandchildren from inheritance because they are one degree removed. However, it is very much emphasized that the grandfather should give them a part of his estate or assets through a Will or as gift. It would be in keeping with the obligation of Sile Rahm and in accordance with Islamic Mercy.

Q813.     What is the Islamic law regarding the share of adopted daughter from the real parents and from the adoptee?

A.           From the real parents she will inherit as per Shariat law but parents who adopt her do not have responsibility i.e. the adopted daughter does not have any rights.

Q814