Questions & Answers

 

 

Introduction by praising Allah and Saluting His Prophet and Household.

Many brothers and sisters ask about this question due to their employment in different workplaces in the West. They ask that in governmental departments or, other corporations and general workplaces, sometimes work dinners or some sort of social events are held that all employees are expected to attend; so is this allowed?

The general answer is that if these events did not involve any prohibition or associated acts that may lead to a haram; then attending them is allowed without any doubt.

Another case may happen that the prohibited act is not directly affecting the Muslim, such as a person having alcohol on the same dinner table. Or alcohol can be served in the event, which is a usual practice in these cultures.

First of all, most people recognise that alcohol is prohibited in Islam and that Muslims do not consume it. Therefore, if one can convince them to not introduce it into the function then that is the best solution of course. If not, then the Muslim can set on a different table to where alcohol served. In other words, introduce two tables into the dinner function, where one would be only for people who don’t consume alcohol including the Muslim guest. This is permissible as setting on the same table that alcohol is served is prohibited however sharing the same room is not. This solution will ensure the person participating in work functions as well as enjoying time with their friends without committing any haram act.

Before Birth

–          Salawat 7 times

–          Dua Mashlool

–          Surat Yaseen

–          Surat Mariam

–          Hadith Al-Kissa’

Contractions

–          To repeat Salawat

–          Surat Mariam

–          Surat AlSharh

–          Surat AlInshiqaq

Severe Contractions (As she is giving birth)

–          Surat al Inshiqaq

–          She mentions God Almighty

NO MALE IS ALLOWED TO BE PRESENT AT TIME OF BIRTH. ONLY FEMALES AND HUSBAND.

At Time of Birth

–          Washing of baby

–          Adhan to be recited in the right ear

–          Iqama to be recited in the left ear

–          Tahneek with soil from Imām Hussain (Karbala)

–          Naming of the child after of the Imāms or Prophets

–          The child to be given a Kunya (title) eg. (Abu Al-Qasim after the prophet) or (Abu Al-Hassan after Imām Ali)

–          For the Mother to breastfeed (as she is the best of breast feeders) up to a maximum of two years.

–          For the Mother to have a date after giving birth

7th day after Birth

–          For the child’s head to be shaved and the weight of the hair to be given to charity in gold or silver.

–          To place a hole in the ear of the child

–          Circumcision for Male children

–          Aqiqa – Recommended things for aqiqa are below:

o   Aqiqa can be a camel, sheep or cow. The best is a sheep.

o   To sacrifice a male for a male birth and a female for a female birth.

o   For the animal to be healthy and fat as well as being clear from any disabilities.

o   The aqiqa is to be cut in pieces preferably without breaking or cutting through any of its bones.

o   Parents and Paternal relatives are not to eat from the aqiqa.

o   The Midwife to be given ¼ of the aqiqa.

o   The rest to be given to Mo’mens.

o   Preferably it is to be provided as a supper.

o   To be cooked in water and salt.

o   It is advised that more than 10 mo’mens are to be invited to the supper.

The Arabic language scholars (linguists) have agreed that the root of Eid is “Awd” which means “return”. Also it has been said that it was called Eid because of its honour, from Eid that was a famous respected placed amongst Arabs.

This is because the Eid is rooted form return as we said, The Eid can not be from return except if it came back every now and then and time after the other. Eid unites the views revives the nation activated peoples souls. Moreover every time it returns it will return with the greatness of blessings as it includes millions of people over the earth.

In Eidul Fitr specifically there are a few very important matters, the most important ones are:

1. Having sweets and dates before going to Eid prayer. So we follow his order to break our fast as we follow his order before that by fasting.

2. Putting aside Zakatul fitr, for every soul even the new born baby, that was born before the sunset the night before the Eid. Even one moment before. And this is a way to make the poor happy, and to assist him/her, and Islamic and humanitarian projects.

3. It is recommended to wear better cloths and to put perfume on to show the gifts of Allah his Almighty, on the human, because it has been narrated “Verily Allah likes if he has given a servant that he sees the effect of that gift on him”. Probably some of the sides of the commentary of the Holy verse, “And tell about the gift of your God” can appear here.

4. People gathering together on the same level, Poor and Rich. Old and young. With all of the differences they have and communicating better, greeting each other. That will increase the love and the relationships between them.

5. After that the happiness will be seen on all, with their nice smiles, and with their lovely talks, and compassion that you can feel with them. The deepness of the brotherhood and love between them. So this will push the society towards improving and the right developing.

6. The most significant of this is that it became and Festival for Muslims. Because they have left their sins behind them as they have left his month this month behind them, by obeying Allah (swt). So it is returning him back to him to his Almighty.

The gathering, prayers, Takbir and Tahleel, will be as a thanks to him. Therefore Allah (swt) said

“For you to complete the period and for you to say Allah is greater, for what he has guided you to.”

This is done by reading the following Dua:

 “الله أكبر، الله أكبر ، لا إله إلا الله والله أكبر، الله أكبر ولله الحمد، الحمد لله على ما هدانا، وله الشكر على ما أولانا”

So may all the fasting and worshiping people be pleasant, they whom their deeds were accepted by Allah, and he has given them what he has given them.

Working at this capacity is allowed as long as any direct sale of alcohol is avoided.

Fitrah for a person is given on a weight of three kilograms (one sa’a) on any food commodity like flour, millet, raisins or dates. Please note that the cash given as Fitrah should be intended as equal to the value in lieu of any of the food commodities mentioned above.

Payment of Fitrah becomes obligatory after sunset on the eve of Eid al-Fitr. The Fitrah should be kept aside and paid on Eid al-Fitr before Eid prayers or before midday for those who cannot perform their Eid prayers. It is necessary to have obligatory intention (Niyyah) of giving Fitrah for God’s pleasure only.

If you receive payment from social security then it is not permissible for you to work without informing them. This is because you are allowed to work only in the legal sphere. Also, if you can work then you are not supposed to receive payments from social security anyway. The most important point here is that breaking the law of the land is not permissible.

Injecting medicine or other nutrients via a needle in the muscle or vein does not invalidate the fast. Similarly using liquid drops in the ear or the eye does not invalidate the fast even if it caused an appearance of colour or taste in the mouth. The fast is not invalidated by using the spray that facilitates the respiratory process if the substance goes in the wind wipe and not the food pipe.

Their fast is not void if they were confident in their ability to avoid swallowing during rinsing.

  1. If the crescent is not sighted the eve of the day of doubt, after sunset then the intention for that day will be in the following manner:
    1. If the person has qadha (i.e. lapsed fast) to makeup from a previous Month of Ramadan then the intention should be qadha
    2. If the person does not have qadha then the intention would be either
      1. estehbab (recommended fasting) OR
      2. to fast ma fi althemma

On all accounts, if it is observed to be the first day of the Month of Ramadan during any time of the day till the time of iftar (breaking of the fast) then one must change his/her intention to fast this day as part of the Month of Ramadan, and his/her fasting will be correct.

If it is observed to be from the Month of Ramadan after iftar, then ones fast is correct as well, and there is no confusion about that.

    1. It is also possible for one to not fast during the day of doubt, and if it is observed that it is from the Month of Ramadan after iftar then the person would not have sinned, and he/she will have a day of qadha that he/she has to fast later. More importantly, if at any time during the day this day is observed to be from the Month of Ramadan, then one must fast (from food and other fast breakers) for the rest of the day, and one would be owing one day he/she has to fast qadha, and there is no sin on the person.

An important notice: It is not valid for one to make the following intention:

If it is a day from the Month of Ramadan, then my intention is from the Month of Ramadan;
and if it is from the Month of Sha’ban then from Sha’ban

In other words, it is not permissible for one to have an ambiguous intention. It is also not correct to make an intention that it is from the Month of Ramadan if the crescent was not sighted on at the prior night.

Smoking did not exist during the time of the Prophet S.A.W. and so the scholars followed the same principle of the ruling around ‘thick dust’ invalidating one’s fast. If a person is inhaling smoke from the cigarette or shisha (argeeleh), and is taking in a large amount of smoke, which is made up of dust and particles, they are doing the exact same action as breathing in thick dust, based on the principle of the ruling around ‘thick dust’ their fast is broken. However, there few scholars that are unique in this ruling and went out of the ordinary ruling by saying that smoking does not break their fast, saying there is no evidence, but out of precaution it is advised that one should not smoke during one’s fast. One possible reason for such a ruling is that when a person is inhaling air it is going into the airways and not the digestive system nor the oesophagus and therefore it does not have the same effect as thick dust but we must ask medical professionals if that is the case and then make the judgment, which is to avoid smoking during fasting.

A person is not allowed to break their fast until they are sure that night has fallen, by either checking themselves through the window or asking the pilot whether it is night in the local zone that you are flying over. For example, if a person is flying from Sydney to Indonesia, a person must wait until you see the night falling in the local zone before they can break their fast regardless of whether or not it is night in Sydney.

Inhaling thick dust does break your fast, such measures as covering your mouth should be taken when using or cleaning such objects as dust boards. Dust by itself does not break your fast, but rather thick dust, which is found in large concentrations within the air. This is the case as such dust enters your digestive system.

Yes, as the medication is  taken through the anus and therefore enters the inside of your body.

The insertion of a camera through the oesophagus  would break that your fast even though it is not food and it is not digested by the body.

There are many ways, one of which is using the internet or a reliable broadcast channel that you trust.

Anything that you have to do or that would save your life must be done, for example if you have to eat than you must, you must break your fast and then make it up by fasting on another day during the year. The same rule applies here, if you must jump into the water, then that is what you do and you can make up the qadha on another day in the year. As the principle goes that the most important thing here is life and therefore you should break your fast by jumping into the water. Secondly, most of our scholars have the opinion that sinking into water entirely breaks your fast, however Syed Sistani does not.

Introduction by praising Allah and Saluting His Prophet and Household.

Paying interest is clearly prohibited in Islam, which is commonly known fact amongst Muslims and agreed by all as a principle. This is due to the oppressive nature of this act and the unfair consequences that it brings along.

In the West, there are few matters that present an exception.

Before indulging into this, it is important to note that exchanging interest amongst two Muslim individuals is forbidden in Islam. Therefore, if the two Muslim parties, being individuals or companies, engage in any transaction that involves interest then they are committing a prohibited act. So if the Bank belonged to Muslim shareholders, then it is haram to pay or receive any interest from it.

However, in the West, the question is raised again about the permissibility of receiving interest from the banks with non-Muslim shareholders. In this instant, we accept this transaction even if it involves interest due to respecting the culture of the place and/ or following the laws that they have established for themselves. In this instant, they have allowed us to benefit from their money and the whole system is then based on this premise, which allows us to engage in these transactions as long as we are not breaking any local laws or values. So receiving interest from non-Muslims with their informed consent and based on the local laws is allowed.

This does not apply if the Muslim is paying interest to non-Muslim entity, bank or individual because there is no rational neither religious nor ethical justification for this act in Islam without a business arrangement.

This is an overall answer about the involvement of interest in financial transactions.

Assalamu Alaykom Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh

We received your following questions:

  • What is the meaning of the concept of ‘Irfan’?        
  • Is ‘Irfan’ a specialty of the mujtahid scholars?                      
  • Is ‘vision’ or seeing through the metaphysical dimension, part of Irfan?                 
  • What is the stance for the one who informs the public about special traits of some individuals that only Allah (swt) can confirm?            
  • Is the narration from Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them) that “whoever purifies himself for forty days, then the rivers of wisdom will flow from his heart to his tongue” a manifestation of Irfan?
  • What is the meaning of the statement in Imam Zainul Abedeen’s Supplication of the Knowers             (Aarefeen): “they feed upon the gardens of nearness and disclosure“; and does it mean the people who practice Irfan?    
  • Finally, what do you advise us when encountering such a character who is dressed in the scholarly attire?

Irfan has been defined as ‘a special method to reach the realities of existence and to connect man to truth, which is done through vision, enlightenment, attainment and unifying with the truth‘.

It is stated that knowing God can be achieved through two methods;

1. The first takes place through the heart and vision; and

2. The second takes the path of logic and reasoning.

Irfan concentrates on the first path, which is based on human nature. As humans, we have within ourselves a desire to reach absolute perfection and to be closer to the holy presence of God. With this comes a conviction that the Prophets and Messengers of God had one central aim – that is, to establish the basic foundations and making them accessible for the humans to utilise in order to achieve this goal.

This is different from the extraordinary insight and powers which your question alluded to. This type of extraordinary insight is quite similar to dreams however not entirely the same. The extraordinary powers may have a divine source enabling one to perform super-natural tasks such as healing the sick and so on. However, these concepts can be mixed and misunderstood especially where there is no experimental basis to measure their accuracy.

We emphasise that these concepts can be mixed because there are other types of extraordinary insights. To add, there are acts performed using extraordinary powers by certain individuals who have been under deep meditation and are able to exert some control over their worldly desires. Most of these extraordinary insights and powers can also be traced directly to Satan himself. These extraordinary insights and powers are not exclusive to one religious denomination – that is why you see these powers in certain unbelievers, sinful people, pagan worshippers of stone and wood. The critical point here is that being able to differentiate between extraordinary acts that are devilish and others which are pure is not an easy task and most people will not be able to do so. That is primarily because in order to be able to differentiate between the right and the wrong requires understanding of the unseen and this is a very complicated discipline and domain.

Therefore, we advise our dear brothers and sisters to keep away from such topics and concepts as they cannot be reliably measured, observed or verified experimentally. What is worse is that with a lot of these extraordinary powers and acts they can be used by certain people to claim higher than normal positions and statuses that they are not worthy of at all.

And Allah is the supporter and benefactor!

It is possible to measure this entire concept and its variations with reference to two foundations of religious faith, namely the Quran and Sunnah (narrations and traditions of the Prophet and Ahlul Bayt). It is known that whatever aligns and concurs with these two is correct and whatever does not is of evil and should be avoided. In order to determine whether an act, statement, claim etc does in fact concur with the Quran and Sunnah requires academic rigour – which is best left to learned scholars of faith.

A good reference to complement this discussion is the book titled ‘Islamic Beliefs’ written by Sheikh Ali Al-Korani. The important points that you should be aware of are as follows (with our comments in brackets):

“1. Few holy narrations have been mentioned in commentary of this verse [he means the verse (We shall show them Our signs on the horizons and within themselves until it will be manifest unto them that it is the Truth) as they have used this for dividing Maarefah (knowledge) into knowing the horizons and knowing the self] that it is about the signs of the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (peace be upon him) or about what will be performed by him. It has also been suggested that the horizons are meant to be the corners of Earth that will collapse on the tyrants near the time of our Imam’s reappearance. This notion is backed up by the use of the grammatical structure of the verse in Arabic pointing to the event being in the future. Otherwise, God would have said (We have shown them Our signs on the horizons and within themselves) or (have they not considered the horizons) as He stated in another verse (Have they not considered the dominion of the heavens and the earth).

[Or the meaning might indicate that God intended the great scientific advancements that are being achieved my humanity, which seems to be more fitting as this is clear in our era of technological advancements in all aspects of life – from the microscopic to the macroscopic fields. It is also interesting that many of these discoveries have been touched upon within the verses of the Quran, which can indicate that this Book cannot be of a human origin, rather it has been revealed by the Creator whom has absolute knowledge about everything].

2. It is beyond any doubt that pondering over the dominion of the heavens and Earth and increasing human knowledge about understanding this phenomenon and learning its lessons is a religiously recommended deed, that will lead towards knowing Allah (swt) more and strengthening belief in Him; as God states: (Have they not considered the dominion of the heavens and the Earth, and what things Allah has created, and that it may be that their own term draws near? In what fact after this will they believe?) 7:185; especially that the human self (nafs) is part of this dominion and one of these horizons rather than being another path distinct from other horizons.

3. Their quoted narration, (knowledge of one’s self is the best of the two types of knowledge), has no accredited reference and is even unlikely to be a holy narration. Besides, if it is assumed to be accurate, it still does not convey the meaning that they (may God bless their souls) promote. This is because the other types of higher knowledge are the knowledge of Allah about Himself, knowledge of Allah about His prophets and friends, or knowledge of Allah about His signs other than the self (nafs). So how did they (may God bless their souls) decide that the knowledge is only divided to that of self and of the horizons? And what can indicate the existence of only these two options? Moreover, if the knowledge in an upright manner includes the knowledge of Allah about Himself and His prophets, then how is knowing Allah through the path of one’s self can be better than knowing him through these higher means?

4. The obligatory extent of knowing Allah has been researched well by the scholars of jurisprudence and philosophers but none of them mentioned various pathways or made one better than the other. It has also been agreed that knowledge about Allah is created by Him and invested in the soul of the human involuntarily as a favour from His Almighty.

5. It is established that the suggestion about purifying and keeping one’s self away from sins, desires and worldly matters is the first vital step in achieving the religious goal of worshiping Allah (swt); as His Almighty states: (I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me) and (He it is Who has sent among the people of Mecca a messenger of their own, to recite unto them His revelations and to make them grow in purity). Moreover, Quranic verses and holy narrations concentrate on purifying the self and struggling against it, as well as opposing it in its worldly desires, which are all done through practical deeds other than that which the Sufis and practicers of Irfan promote about the path of self knowledge. Although purifying the self depends on knowing it to an extent.

6. If we assume that purifying, struggling with and opposing the self are the same concepts as knowing the self that the Sufis and Irfan practisers promote, then this might lead us to a dangerous path. This is because promoting knowing the Almighty God and obeying Him through self knowledge by meditation and ignoring own desires might lead to many dangers that are not acceptable at all; as it will eventually include many opposing and conflicting ideas and grey areas that will contain a mix of aims, means and idols…This becomes even a bigger concern when some of these claimed paths to knowing God through knowing one’s self provoke isolation and monk-hood; while some others take the fight to better one’s self as well as society or government. Some will invite followers to follow the rulings of a certain school of thought. Others will ask followers to imitate the head master of the path (Sheikh of Tariqa) or the ethics teacher and their alike without the need of referring to anyone else for religious rulings or principles. Some even might go to the extent of claiming express connection with Allah through knowing Him so that the beliefs and rulings are revealed to them directly; therefore, there is no need for religious law nor prophet-hood. Some also might choose role models from within Companions or worshipers other than those that God and His Prophet have chosen as the true leaders of this Nation. Some even may take non-Muslim spiritual teachers and Sufis as an example to imitate… etc. These varieties of potential means, goals and role models will lead to very problematic outcomes. Therefore, it is difficult for us to invite people to know Allah through knowing self and tell them to follow their teacher until one of them reaches Allah and becomes an all knowledgeable teacher himself! Be aware that it is then very easy for the Devil (Satan) to cross their road and lead them astray. [This is because differentiating between these concepts is a very difficult process as Irfan is a broad set of concepts which is contained within many schools such as Sufism that Imams (peace be upon them) have openly and strongly criticised, and religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and others. Therefore, it is observed with caution because of the potential to confuse concepts some acceptable and others delish].

7. Love of self is the strongest of human desires, therefore, inviting lay people, even the educated ones, to follow the path of Irfan and Sufism without providing the exact guidelines about the means, goals and role models, may lead them to worship themselves and imagine great positions for themselves such as reaching the Almighty Allah and having a direct communication with Him. They may eventually imagine themselves to be a medium of Godly secrets. Basically, the Satan will paint them an imaginary world of self worth and self affection that might lead them to make false claims and lead people astray. May God protect us all from these misconceptions! Therefore, imitating the righteous ones in this path of knowledge and identifying its means and goals are the first vital steps in the whole process. It is obligatory to pay attention to the role model in knowing one’s self and following the practice needed, before inviting people to follow a leaderless path.

8. Knowing one’s self for Sufis is a path to knowing the Almighty Allah and knowing Him is a path to worshiping him. Therefore, the goal is agreed upon by all, which is the worship of Allah alone. This worship is the main aim of this creation and it is the only path for reaching human perfection. This is achieved by obeying Him (swt) and obeying His Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) and Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them), the authority that God and His Prophet have ordered us to obey and follow. Therefore, the invitation to the knowledge of self, Irfan and purifying the soul as well as planting the good characters within it have to all be bounded by obeying the religious rulings to the last extent. It also ought to have the Prophet and the Imams as the role models in all means and practices for it to be a correct path for life that will eventually lead to the acceptance of Allah (swt). On this basis, one of the jurists answered a question about practicing Irfan by stating that (these religious rulings that you practice in your daily life, from praying via performing the obligatory acts to avoiding prohibitory acts are all Irfan. In other words, you are actually gaining knowledge about God through your everyday practice anyway. You are also aware that these practices have levels and gradual statuses. So Irfan can only be achieved through this path that the Prophet, his Progeny and their students have followed and not by any other mean).”.

The above shows us that Irfan is not a speciality of only scholars and mujtahids. It may also contain within its boundaries many extraordinary or unobservable concepts such as metaphysical vision and enlightenment.

Regarding the narration from the infallible Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them) that “whoever purifies himself for forty days, then the rivers of wisdom will flow from his heart to his tongue”. This is one of the manifestations of nearness to Allah (swt) and is different from the overall definition of Irfan, as you may notice in the above discussion.

Regarding the statement in Imam Zainul Abedeen’s Supplication of the Knowers (Aarefeen): “they feed upon the gardens of nearness and disclosure”; and does it mean the people who practice Irfan? This is a high status that no one can posses except the Imams (peace be upon them) and may extend to some of the people who gained knowledge from them. God knows the reality more, but overall, we are not allowed to claim this position for anyone other than the Imams (peace be upon them) and no one is allowed to claim it for himself either. Furthermore, if someone claimed such a status then this is enough to show his falsehood as the people who posses such great position are much higher than to mention it publicly.

May praise and gratitude be to Allah at the beginning and the end.

An istikhara is generally where one uses certain aspects to ask for God’s advice. Generally, an istikhara is taken when one is confused and not able to make a decision. There are many methods of taking an istikhara, one type is making supplication and asking Allah to make the decision for us by leading us to make the right choice based on what is best for us. There are other kinds of istikhara like with the masbaha (a necklace of beads), or with the Quran and using that Al Ruka’a ( withdrawing a paper). One can perform an istikhara by themselves or ask for someone else to perform it for them.

Here are the conditions of taking an istikhara:

(i) Do not make istikhara if see whether you should keep a good and stable relationship with your relatives

(ii) Do not make istikhara on a decision that is not of importance or has no value ,e.g. traveling for no good reason

(iii) Do not keep repeating the istikhara without any of the circumstances being changed to get a satisfactory result

Only make istikhara when you are faced with something very confusing and you cannot reach a decision on your own; if more than one doctor agree on a certain medication for a sickness then istikhara is not needed’ also for marriage of someone suitable where no one else is available or buying something truly needed.

(iv) Do not perform istikhara to try out your luck , for disbelief in what you are doing is a sign of ignorance and uncaring and will result in an invalid result.

(v) Do not make istikhara to find out if something will occur or not , or to evaluate if a person is bad or good, because the purpose of a istikhara is to ask Allah’s leadership and advice in what is proposed on whether to go for it or not.

Note: sometimes the istikhara might be good to go ahead and perform a certain task as in purchasing certain items and exporting merchandise, but due to the ignorance of the merchant or incompletion of conditions required the business fails, at these circumstances the person performing the istikhara cannot be held responsible for the failure of the business.

Finally, the person should ask Allah to lead him or her to their benefit on their life on earth and their heavenly life, for many times unhappiness on this planet will result in great happiness in the Hereafter.

Introduction by praising Allah and Saluting His Prophet and Household.

This question is a constant concern of the Shia in the West who pays Khums as well as Tax. Tax in the West is similar to that of the religious Khums. Some ask that I pay a lot of taxes every financial year. So is it possible to be exempt from paying religious Khums or at least have the amount reduced?

We have to look at what are the expenses of the taxes collected by the Western Governments. It is mostly used for the society and its function, especially for the employment and economic benefits of its citizens; Such as, building transport, improving sanitation and so on.

The other aim of collecting tax is to offer social services to make sure that all citizens are served fairly as well as the whole system survive.

Now, if we look at the religious taxes, we would notice that Khums also serves these two above aims amongst many others. However, it is important to note here that paying Khums is a worship act. In other words, it is an obligation made by His Almighty upon the believers to act as a charity portion of their wealth as well as to teach them sympathy and responsibility towards society.

So Khums is a worship act first and foremost that aims to develop society and offer social services as well.

It is important to understand that Islam does not collect tax immediately on all income. A Muslim is allowed to spend his or her money as they like without any responsibility. Then at the end of the financial year, whatever is in excess and he has not already spent is taxable religiously; which is only 20% of the remaining money that was more than his usual expenditure anyway.

It is also vital to note here that every specific amount of money is only taxable once in Islam. In other words, if one pays the Khums once, then he wouldn’t be required to pay it again if he wants to save this money for the future.

Therefore, the taxes that he pays during his/ her religious financial year are considered part of his/ her expenses and are not khumsable. Similarly, any gifts that he/ she pays are also not khumsable. So after all these amounts been spent, the Khums is payable only on the extra money that is beyond that year’s expenses.

In brief, paying tax to the government is not a valid excuse to refrain from paying Khums because they do not contradict each other. Also, it is important to note that Allah has made this as an obligatory act so it is more important than any other expense one might have in mind. Allah owns all this sustenance and spending some in his way is the most ethical path to take; especially that the collected Khums will be spent on charity and religious projects.

Utility bills are considered as yearly expenditure, and as they are received on a quarterly basis – when received you should calculate the proportion that fell into your previous financial year as ‘khumsable’.

If the person lives in that house and it is not an investment property, they do not have to pay khums for the extra money that they are paying for the mortgage. This is because paying off a loan is part of our yearly expenditure and therefore it is not part of khumsable amount. Also if a person has taken a loan for daily (i.e. personal) living in that financial year, than at the end of the financial religious year even if that person has not paid the loan off they can see how much money they have in their possession and take the same amount that they owe out of the income they have and then calculate the khums they owe.

For example, if one borrows $100,000 for daily living (not for investment or business purposes) and at the end of the financial year had $10,000 left over; they do not have to pay khums on the remaining $10,000.

However, if one has borrowed $10,000 for daily living expenditure but from previous years, e.g. 2-3 years prior. Then a different case applies which is as follows: if they did pay this $10,000 before the end of the religious financial year than one does not have to pay khums for that $10,000. But if that $10,000 has not been paid back by the end of the financial year, they must pay khums for that amount.

If a person who has a mortgage and does not want to pay khums for any extra money left over, they should put this money into their mortgage.

Also if a loan was taken from overseas to pay for a particular mortgage repayment and that amount was deposited but has not reached the lender before the end of the religious financial year than khums must still be taken.

You have the option of giving the Khums when it is due or when the friend returns the borrowed money.

The response will be as a general answer, because the detailed response directly to these questions, without introductions and understanding of the idea of the Islamic religion (about the establishment of the society that is based on the creation of the person) may create some misunderstanding. The ‘family’ is the essential body in society. In our school of thought especially the Ja’fari Shia sect, the woman is free and equal to man in all of her rights and duties in everything in this life and the hereafter. If there was any dissimilarity, it is because of the biological difference and the internal formation of the male and female, as there has to be concentration on this matter for constructing an independent personality for both woman and man.

Based on the natural laws of creation, as all know, there are many dissimilarities between male and female. Based on that concept the fundamental construction of the Islamic society has been built. She has the absolute freedom in any man that she wants. No one has the right to force her to marry any person she does not approve of.

The father has a right to know the person that she wants to marry and he can choose to not approve of him. The marriage of a women in fact will be completed by the approval of the women herself and her father. If one of them did not agree, the marriage cannot proceed. If the father (this rarely happens) was not fit to decide about his daughter’s marriage, or he hated her, then she can proceed with the marriage regardless of his approval.

If she chooses her husband with complete acceptance and absolute freedom than no one can ever interfere with it. Moreover, if she was forced to marry then the marriage is not valid. If she decided and chose her husband then the marriage contract will be established between them, then she does not have the choice of separation except if the husband did not fulfil his duties upon her and he did not follow the contract or he harmed her in any way. For example by physical punishment, then she can take her case to the religious jurist. That will give him two options to choose from; to live and treat her with goodness or divorce her with kindness. If he refused than the religious Jurist will divorce her and the husband cannot interfere or oppose in that ruling.

The woman has the right from the beginning (when the contract is formed) to put herself or any person she likes as a representative of the husband in her divorce, with any conditions that she chooses suitable for her situation, or any conditions she suspects may occur at a future point in time. If the contract is established based on her conditions and the conditions were breached, then the representative can divorce her even without the Husband’s acceptance. Moreover, she can make any condition that she observes as beneficial for her future, and accepted religiously. For example, she can make a condition that the Australian law should be followed in the divorce situation.

If the marriage is established:

The wife has the right over the husband for him to provide a suitable house for her that fits her status. He must also provide for her living and sustenance like food, clothes etc. She is able to ask him to provide and prepare the food for her on a daily basis.

Her duties towards her husband is that she does not leave his house without his permission. He can give her general permission to go out whenever she likes or wants, at the same time he has the right to refuse. She has a duty to allow him when he wants to be with her, anytime that he chooses to (however all of us know that the understanding and the agreement between the married couple is the best solution for every matter, but here we would like to mention the exact religious limits).

In Islam there is no dominant role for Man over Woman, but there are rights and duties between both of the genders, as the most important ones has been discussed. Yet probably the freedom of woman in Islam is more than in any of the other religions, whether heavenly religions or man-made ones. So no one has the right to tread on it or misuse it.

If she becomes a mother, she has the complete right over her children whether they are males or females. Moreover the child (male or female) after reaching his/her maturity age, has the independent right to make the decision to be with whom if the divorce occurred between parents. No one can force him/her in making the decision or prevent him/her from this right. So he/she has the absolute independence.

Islam has encouraged the establishment of family and made its formation as one of very preferred recommendations, and its destruction by divorce an extremely un-recommended and un-liked act.

The woman is completely independent in the financial perspective. The husband cannot interfere at all in the whole issue, just as he cannot interfere with the wealth of a stranger.

Her dowry that is given to her by the husband is her pure right, and no one has any right to interfere with it in any sense. She has the freedom of using her money absolutely as she desires. Yes, if she passed away, her wealth will be distributed based on the inheritance law in Islam. The area of inheritance has many conditions and sub-conditions which we will not go into here. She has a certain right in her husband’s wealth after his death or in her children’s wealth after their death. Similarly, her children have a right in her wealth after her death, based on the Islamic inheritance law.

If the husband divorced his wife, she has complete financial rights after her divorce until the certain period that is called “Idda”. It is compulsory upon the husband to pay all of her expenses during this period, and after that she will become a complete stranger to him. She has the right to choose a husband other than him and so on.

It is prohibited for a Muslim to revert from his or her religion, to another one. This is not because it is an arrogant religion but because the pure right of worship is to Allah (God), as seen by Muslim is contained in this religion only that the creator has liked to be worshiped with.

Say: (It is) the truth from the Lord of you (all). Then whosoever will, let him believe, and whosoever will, let him disbelieve.” (Holy Quran Surah18: Ayah 29)

Verses of Quran about mosques:

“A place of worship which was found upon duty (to Allah) from the first day is more worthy that you should stand (to pray) therein, wherein are men who love to purify themselves. Allah loves the purifiers. Is he who founded his building upon duty to Allah and His good pleasure better; or he who founded his building on the brink of a crumbling, overhanging precipice so that it toppled with him into the fire of hell? Allah guides not wrongdoing folk”. (Surah 9: Verse 108)

“The description of these people: (Triumphant) are those who turn repentant (to Allah), those who serve (Him), those who praise (Him), those who fast, those who bow down, those who fall prostrate (in worship), those who enjoin the right and who forbid the wrong and those who keep the limits (ordained) of Allah – And give glad tidings to believers!” (Surah 9: Verse 10)

“He only shall tend Allah’s sanctuaries who believes in Allah and the Last Day and observes proper worship and pays the poor-due and fears none save Allah. For such (only) is it possible that they can be of the rightly guided”. (Surah 9: Verse 18)

Why have we been ordered to respect mosques?

It has been narrated by Abu Baseer that Imam Jafar AsSadiq (as) was asked about the reason for glorifying mosques. Imam responded that:

“It has been truly ordered to glorify mosques as they are the houses of Allah in Earth”.

Imam Ali (as) has stated that

“sitting in mosque is better for me than sitting in the heavens. Because my soul’s acceptance is in heavens and my God’s acceptance is in mosque”.

Why is all this attention to mosques?

It has been related that Imam Sadiq (as) has said that:

“Allah has never been worshiped in a way like silence and walking to His (Allah’s) house (mosque)”

Why is this emphasis on not leaving it?

It has also been narrated by Imam Jafar Assadiq (as) that Amirul Moamenin Ali (as) received news that some people do not attend prayers in the mosque. So the Imam gave a sermon and stated:

“There are some people who do not attend the prayers with us in our mosques. So these people will not set to eat or drink with us. They will not consult us, marry from us and will not take anything from our wealth, except if they attended the Jamah prayers with us……. Then Muslims stopped eating, drinking and marrying with them until they attended the Jamah prayers with the Muslims”

It has been also related by Razeeq that Imam Sadiq (as) has said:

“Whoever prayed in his house in jamat while thinking low of mosques, it is as he has not prayed at all as well as the people who prayed with him except if they had a barrier from going to mosque.”

The Prophet (sww) has said:

“There is no prayer for the neighbour of mosque except in his mosque”

Why are all of these rewards in building mosques?

Imam Jafar Ben Mohammad AsSadeq (as) has narrated from his fathers that:

“Truly when Allah wills to punish the people of earth says “If there were none of those who love each other because of me and build my mosques and repent in the time before daybreaks, I would have definitely brought down my punishment.”

Why mosques have such great status from Allah? Why is there this level of encouragement to go to it?

Prophet of Allah (sww) has stated that:

“Whoever walked to a mosque of Allah’s mosques then truly he would have for each step ten rewards and ten sins would be deleted from him and he would be lifted ten levels”.

Mosque should have benefits so what are they?

It has been narrated by Fathl Ben Abdul Malek that Imam Jafa AsSadiq (as) has said

“Oh Fathl, No one comes to the mosque from a tribe except their forth comer, nor from a household except their superior. Oh Fathl, the one who goes to mosque will not come back except with one of three characteristics: Either a dua (prayer) that he would read, which enters him into heavens, or a dua (prayer) that he would read, which by it, Allah will protect him from the disasters of the world, or a brother that he would benefit from in the sake of Allah”

Imam Ali (as) also used to say:

“Whoever goes always to mosque, would gain one of eight: a brother that benefits him in Allah, a good knowledge, a solid verse, or he hears a word that would show him the guidance, an awaited mercy, a word that brings him back from a misguidance, or he leaves a sin because of fear or shame.”

Imam Sadiq (as) has stated that:

“three complain to Allah (swt): a distracted mosque that its people do not pray at it, a scholar amongst ignorants, and a hanging Quran that has been covered with dust while no one reading it”

A wise person tries to satisfy both parents. It is up to you to use your wisdom, to figure out a way to please both.

Start by first looking at what Allah’s view of that particular action; so you first apply religious principles to see where you should stand in that case. Once you find that out, you choose the best line of action accordingly.

However, if both are religiously valid, then you give the one that has priority over the other. And in any decision that you choose, you must make sure you don’t hurt any of your parents. By the way, it’s not necessary to tell them both what you have done, if you know it hurts your parent. So you have to try to use all the means without breaking the shari law, in order to avoid hurting your parents.

If one doesn’t get hurt, but does not allow you to do it, and the other does get hurt. Then obviously you try to minimize the pain by not doing the action that hurts any of your parents. This is the way you should look at it.

A wise person tries to satisfy both parents. It is up to you to use your wisdom, to figure out a way to please both.

Start by first looking at what Allah’s view of that particular action; so you first apply religious principles to see where you should stand in that case. Once you find that out, you choose the best line of action accordingly.

However, if both are religiously valid, then you give the one that has priority over the other. And in any decision that you choose, you must make sure you don’t hurt any of your parents. By the way, it’s not necessary to tell them both what you have done, if you know it hurts your parent. So you have to try to use all the means without breaking the shari law, in order to avoid hurting your parents.

If one doesn’t get hurt, but does not allow you to do it, and the other does get hurt. Then obviously you try to minimize the pain by not doing the action that hurts any of your parents. This is the way you should look at it.

This is done through the correct education and understanding of Islam as was revealed by the Prophet Mohammad. It concentrates on building one’s worldview in a peaceful and righteous manner in order to always seek a peaceful path in practice.

It has been narrated that Imam Ali wrote:

“These are the orders issued by the creature of Allah, Ali, the son Abu Taalib (a) to Maalik, the son of Ashtar when he appointed Maalik as the Governor of Egypt to collect Zakat there, to combat the enemies of Islam and Egypt, to work for the welfare of its people and to look after its prosperity.

I order you, Maalik, always to keep the fear of Allah in your mind, to give priority to His worship and to give preference to obeying His Commands over every other thing in life, to carefully and faithfully follow the commandments and interdictions as are given by the Holy Book and the traditions of the Holy Prophet (s) because the success of a man to attain happiness in this world and in the next depends upon these qualities, and a failure to achieve these attributes brings about total failure in both the worlds.

I order you to use your head, heart, hands and tongue to help the creatures of Allah because the Almighty Allah holds Himself responsible to help those who sincerely try their best to help Him. Allah has further ordered you to keep your desires under control, to keep yourself under restraint when extravagant and inordinate yearnings and cravings try to drive you towards vice and wickedness because usually your ‘self’ tries to incite and drag you towards infamy and damnation unless the Merciful Lord comes to your help.”[1]



[1] Imam Ali, Nahjul Balaghah, Letters Chapter, No. 53.

First of all, violence has been defined by Muslim scholars to mean the following:

– “Tearing a concept apart or not treating it with ease; it is an antonym of care”[1].

– “Being hostile or difficult, antonym of care”[2].

Secondly, terror has been defined as:

– “A noun of the verb: terrorise, which means to be made afraid”[3]

– “To annoy someone or to make them afraid”[4]

The holy Quran also mentions the word ‘terror’ in various situations; for instance when relating the story of Prophet Moses when addressing the magicians:

“He said, “Throw,” and when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people and struck terror into them, and they presented a great [feat of] magic.”[5]

Today, terror is a known concept of creating fear for humanity in general including the believers and others alike. This concept is not backed by Islam in any of its forms as Islam does not approve any actions that lead to destruction and/ or random killing of people.



[1] Ibn Mandhor Lisanul Arab, Unf Part.

[2] Turaihi, Majma Albahrain, Unf Part.

[3] Ibn Mandhor Lisanul Arab, Vol. 5, P337.

[4] AlZobaidi, Tajul Aroos, Vol. 1, P28.

[5] Quran, Chapter 7: Aaraf, Verse 116.

Yes, it is the best path as it is the chosen path by both logic and religion. God has stated:

“And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend. But none is granted it except those who are patient, and none is granted it except one having a great portion [of good].”[1]



[1] Quran, Chapter 41: Fusellat, Verse 34-35.

This point is clearly shown by the Holy Quran before any other source, God says:

 

“Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.”[1]

He also says:

“O you who have believed, do not violate the rites of Allah or [the sanctity of] the sacred month or [neglect the marking of] the sacrificial animals and garlanding [them] or [violate the safety of] those coming to the Sacred House seeking bounty from their Lord and [His] approval. But when you come out of ihram, then [you may] hunt. And do not let the hatred of a people for having obstructed you from al-Masjid al-Haram lead you to transgress. And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.”[2]

He further illustrates the point by stating:

“So by mercy from Allah , [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah . Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].”[3]

God even tells Moses and Aaron when sending them to warn the Pharaoh, despite Pharaoh’s absolute disobedience and arrogance to the extent that he claimed godhood:

“And speak to him with gentle speech that perhaps he may be reminded or fear [Allah].”[4]

Imam Baqir (as) mentions that the Prophet of Allah has stated:

“This religion is powerful so promote it with ease and do not force people to worship Allah, otherwise you will become like a stand-still rider who neither travels nor leaves his horse at ease to last him”[5]



[1] Quran, Chapter 16: Nahl, Verse 125.

[2] Quran, Chapter 5: Maadah, Verse 2.

[3] Quran, Chapter 3: Aal Umran, Verse 159.

[4] Quran, Chapter 20: Taha, Verse 44.

[5] Wasael Book, Vol. 1, P109-110.

Islamic view promotes only non-violent means, God states:

“And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend. But none is granted it except those who are patient, and none is granted it except one having a great portion [of good].”[1]

Imam Ali has also written in a letter to one of his employed governors:

“You are one of those persons whose assistance I require in propagating the religion, in strengthening its hold, in defeating the unbelievers and sinners and in guarding dangerous frontiers of this State. Seek the help of Allah in your difficulties and enterprises.

 

In your behaviour with your subjects remember that you should use leniency and tolerance alongside severity. Be kind, tolerant and lenient as far as and as long as possible but when you feel that your purpose cannot be achieved without severity only then can you adopt such an attitude.

But remember always to treat them sympathetically, kindly, courteously and to treat them cheerfully. While greeting them, communicating with them and meeting them equally, whether rich or poor, big or small you should behave as if they are your equals so that important persons of your State may not presume to derive undue advantage out of your uncalled for servile behaviour and poor people may not lose hope in your justice and sympathy. “[2]



[1]Quran, Chapter 41: Fusellat, Verse 34-35.

[2] Imam Ali, Nahjul Balaghah, Letters Chapter, No. 46.

We understand it as a negative concept, because violence is the opposite of wisdom. Similarly, religious law is stemmed from wisdom and hence against violence; as God clearly states:

“It is He who has sent among the Meccans a Messenger from themselves reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom – although they were before in clear error”[1].

God also states:

“Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.”[2].

This is further emphasised in the narration from the Prophet:

“Verily, God is caring and loves being caring. He also rewards for being caring more than for being violent or taking any other means”[3].



[1] Quran, Chapter 62: Jumaa, Verse 2.

[2] Quran, Chapter 16: Nahl, Verse 90.

[3] Muslim, Saheeh, Vol. 16, P362.

Everyone claims that their path is supported by Islam while none of them are as this is not the way that Islam is perceived. It is wisdom that can lead people to reach their aims, because it is the safest and shortest path. God has stated to his Prophet and to all Muslims and humanity:

“So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah (pure nature) upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know. [Adhere to it], turning in repentance to Him, and fear Him and establish prayer and do not be of those who associate others with Allah; those who have divided their religion and become (sects or parties), every faction rejoicing in what it has.”[1]

So the path that can ensure people reach their aims is by staying on the path laid down by Allah as He states:

“And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided.”[2]

The Prophet has also stated in a narration that is accepted as authentic by all Muslims:

“O people! I have left amongst you that which will protect you from going astray as long as you follow it; the Book of Allah and my family”[3].

This puts the foundation for an Islamic approach to being righteous and peaceful as it is the direction that God and His Prophet have set. Furthermore, this is achieved by referring to the knowledgeable and experienced scholars of the rulings of Allah; not by referring to the educated professionals and the creators of those political movements that unfortunately use religion to gain their worldly desires.

I hereby use this opportunity to offer my advice to my brothers and sisters who follow these ways while repeating the great verses of the Almighty God:

“Do they [then] look forward to anything except that the angels, your Lord or some of the signs of your Lord should come upon them? The Day that some of the signs of your Lord come no soul will benefit from its faith as long as it had not believed before or had earned through its faith some good. Say, ‘Wait. Indeed, we [also] are waiting.’ Verily, those who have divided their religion and become sects – you, [O Muhammad], are not [associated] with them in anything. Their affair is only [left] to Allah; then He will inform them about what they used to do.”[4]

 

Let’s finish this answer by sharing what Imam Ali has written in his ruling command to Malik Al-Ashtar:

“Malik! You must create in your mind kindness, compassion and love for your subjects. Do not behave towards them as if you are a voracious and ravenous beast and as if your success lies in devouring them.

Remember Malik that amongst your subjects there are two kinds of people: either your brother in faith or your equal in humanity. Men of either category suffer from the same weaknesses and disabilities that human beings are inclined to, they commit sins, indulge in vices either intentionally or foolishly and unintentionally without realizing the enormity of their deeds. Let your mercy and compassion come to their rescue and help in the same way and to the same extent that you expect Allah to show mercy and forgiveness to you.”[5]



[1] Quran, Chapter 30: Rome, Verse 30-32.

[2] Quran, Chapter 3: A’l Imran, Verse 103.

[3] Termuthi, Saheeh, Vol. 13, P199.

[4] Quran, Chapter 6: Anaam, Verse 158-159.

[5] Imam Ali, Nahul Balaghah, Letters Chapter, No. 53.

Salat alayaat is wajib (compulsory).

The prayer consists of two ruka’ats, each ruka’a has a total of 5 ruku’ (kneeling down).

Ruka’a 1: Each step is separated by a ruku’ (kneeling down)

  • Fatiha + Bismillah and 1st ayah of Surat AlQadr

بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمـَنِ الرَّحِيم إِنَّآ أَنزَلۡنَـٰهُ فِى لَيۡلَةِ ٱلۡقَدۡرِ

  • 2nd Ayah of Surat AlQadr

وَمَآ أَدۡرَٮٰكَ مَا لَيۡلَةُ ٱلۡقَدۡرِ

  • 3rd Ayah of Surat AlQadr

لَيۡلَةُ ٱلۡقَدۡرِ خَيۡرٌ۬ مِّنۡ أَلۡفِ شَہۡرٍ۬

  • 4th Ayah of Surat AlQadr

تَنَزَّلُ ٱلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَةُ وَٱلرُّوحُ فِيہَا بِإِذۡنِ رَبِّہِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمۡرٍ۬

  • 5th Ayah of Surat AlQadr

سَلَـٰمٌ هِىَ حَتَّىٰ مَطۡلَعِ ٱلۡفَجۡرِ

  • Continue to Sujood (Prostration)

Ruka’a 2: Repeat the above + Qunut.

It is very important to pay attention to this point, because your salat could be void. In terms of the takbir, you have to pronounce the full takbir until you finish it. You can not stop at any letter; you have to completely finish it. One of the pillars of prayer is called the ‘standing connection to ruku’ which means you have to be stable and standing even if it is only for a second or two before you go to ruku. An equally important point is that if you say the takbir to the last letter and straight away go straight down to ruku’ then your salat is void (jama’a or furada) because you have missed one of the pillars of salat. Therefore, after the takbiratol Ihram you have to be stable (i.e. stand without moving for a second or two), and then perform ruku.

Yes, that is allowed.

In regards to the wetness on the forehead, as for the first sajda, the skin will touch the soil on the turba (sajda). If the turba is new, when you touch the turba, some of the soil may come on to your forehead. If the soil that comes to your forehead, fully covers it, because as you know during sujud not all your forehead has to touch the sajda. As long as parts of your forehead touch the sajda then that is ok. However, in the case that the full part of the forehead that touches the sajda is fully covered with soil then you have to remove that soil, or part of the soil, in order to have your skin touch the turbah, in order for it to be counted as a sajda, otherwise it won’t be counted as a sajdah. Usually this is a very rare case, however if it happens, this is what you will have to do.

If you prostrate on the turbah and the turbah from the wetness turns into clay you cannot prostrate on clay (but this does not usually occur). If it does happen, and it turns it into clay then you have to prostrate on the particles of the sajda (i.e. the sand or soil that is present on the sajda) not the actual clay as you cannot prostrate on clay. As for the water, usually when you apply pressure from your forehead on the turbah usually the water move to the side of the turbah due to the pressure applied.

If the work place was in public premises, then it is allowed. Otherwise, if it was in a private premises then permission should be sought prior to praying. An exception to this is when there is another indication for permission by the owners, such as dedicating an actual room or space for worship.

It should be noted that prayer can only performed during your own time and not that of the employment. In other words, you are allowed to pray during your lunch time for example but not during the time that you are hired to do work.

First of all, a little explanation about the Basmalah. The bismillah alrahman al-rahim verse is part of every surah, as we believe every surah has bismillah alrahman al-rahim which is part of that surah, except surah al-tawbah. In terms of praying, most Maraje’ say that bismillah alrahman al-rahim is part of every surah. Sayed Sistani’s ruling is that the bismillah alrahman al-rahim is not part of the second surah.

Secondly, If I wanted to read the surah that I intended to, I can read it without reading the bismillah alrahman al-rahim because when I said it, my intention was for that surah. However, if I wanted to read the surah that I accidentally read to continue with that I must repeat the bismillah alrahman al-rahim so that the bismillah alrahman al-rahim that I intended to read with that belongs to that particular surah.

Thirdly, it is a general role that anytime you have said something extra or you have missed something then you do Sajdatol Sahow (two sajdahs of doubt).

Generally speaking the above-mentioned rules apply in most cases, however there are certain surahs that have special requirements that when you do the bismillah alrahman al-rahim for them then you may not change your mind, unless you do not know how to pronounce them properly. These two chapters are Surah Al-Kafiroon and Surah Al-Tawhid. If one intends to read Surah Al-Tawhid and he said bismillah alrahman al-rahim in the second surah then he said Surah Al-Nas here he does not have the option to go back to Surah Al-Nas, he must go back and read Surah Al-Tawhid. Even also if he intended to read Surah Al-Tawhid and he started with Surah Al-Kafiroon he still must go back to Surah Al-Tawhid.

For starters, this is a very important tradition, promoting virtue and discouraging evil. We must be careful in considering it seriously at all times, because there are narrations stating that if people stop promoting virtue and discouraging evil then Allah would allow tyrants rule the world while pious people would pray and their prayers would not be accepted.

There are certain conditions in implementing this tradition:

(i) Firstly, one must know what is ma’roof (virtue) and what is munkar (evil).

(ii) Secondly, one has to know that the person that’s committing the munkar, understands it’s a munkar and that they would understand if you speak to them,

(iii) Thirdly, they have to make sure that they would effect that person if they speak to them, that the other person would listen and act on the advice received, and

(iv) Fourthly, they have to make sure that no harm comes to them if they advise that person, if there is any harm coming to them as a result of that advice, then they are not allowed to offer such an advice; especially if the harm does not only effect them, rather extends to the rest of the Muslims.

The condition for this statement to be satisfied is that the person that is committing the sin must already know that it is wrong when doing it. Moreover, when you tell them not to commit that sin, they know that it’s a sin being committed. It’s not that they are doing it and don’t know that it’s wrong, they know it’s wrong and then when you advice them, then that statement applies that you are forbidding them from committing an actual known sin. Or if they are leaving a ma’roof such as prayer or fasting, they should know that they are required religiously to fast but they purposely do not want to fast. Similarly, they know that they are required to pray but they simply do not want to pray. Now this person is intentionally not doing ma’roof even though he/she knows it’s something wajib. For a person to command him/her to do good, this condition has to be satisfied, that you have to understand that the person that is doing the sin understands that it’s a sin or a person that is doing haram, e.g. drinking alcohol, knows that it is haram to drink alcohol, then this statement applies. However, if he/she did not know it was wrong, i.e. if he/she was doing something that is haram but he/she did not know its haram, then it does not satisfy this statement.

The realm for this can be pretty wide or narrow depending on the circumstances. If a person does a mustahab (recommended action), then it is mustahab to encourage him to do that mustahab. Or if a person does not usually do makrooh (unrecommended action) and is doing a makrooh then it is mustahab to advice him to leave that makrooh. However, if he is leaving a wajib, and he knows he is leaving a wajib, its wajib to advice him. And if he is committing a sin, and he knows he is committing a sin then it is wajib to advice him to stop committing that sin.

One has to also understand that there are ways in dealing with amir bil ma’roof and nahi ala almonkar (promoting virtue and discouraging evil), which come into stages. These stages start with a soft stage, hard stage and a harder stage. And in dealing with this, there is a hadith that says that first you deal with the hand, if you can’t then with the tongue, if not at least with your heart. Each advice, you have to know how to approach, if your advising someone you should know what stage and what type of advice should you chose, should you advice with your hand, your tongue or just be quite and keep it in your heart.

There are stages of approaching a certain advice, whether it’s advising someone to leave a sin or begin a virtue. If you are the person giving the advice, you have to take into consideration the feeling of that person, so you say it in a way that you do not humiliate him or embarrass him or make him feel bad. In other words, you have to start with the softest minimum approach that you may be able to affect him without hurting him in any way. If that does not work then you move to increment a little bit harder and a bit harder until you get the job done with the minimum amount of damage to the sensation of that person and that could go from maybe just a little sign with your hand. If that does not work, then maybe a further sign or a small nice word; and if not then maybe two words then it gets harsher. This may in some circumstances get a more physical action. This is precisely why you have to understand the levels in order for you to apply this particular wajib.

The person that is doing the advice must understand the principle of promoting virtue and discouraging evil quite well; including its limitations. He or she also need to understand and know that humiliating a mo’min (believer) or hurting a mo’min is a sin in itself.

Back to repeating some of the information, first the person doing the advice must understand it , he must be qualified and he starts off with a movement of a hand or a sign, if it does not work, you make a stronger sign or maybe with your face or if its not working then you say a nice word if not a stronger word and so on and it gets farther to the extent you could hit but that needs permission by a jurisprudence judge who gives permission to somebody that is qualified to do that without breaking any bones or anything like that and because this is limited to the judge so the people that are qualified to do that would know what their limits are. In general society, you have to understand what your limitations are, you say with a nice word and the stages we have mentioned before, except for example a parent with a son, there are also other examples such as someone under your supervision and other examples as well that we will not go through.

You cannot go to a more extreme level if you’re able to do the job with a less extreme level. This is a very important point.

The Quran as it is today is accepted as the words of the Almighty Allah that was revealed on Prophet Mohammad. It was collated by the Companions and approved by the Imams.

The reality is that this Holy Month has many benefits because it is like a test tube that the Muslim places himself within from the beginning of the month until the end as a form of experimentation. So he comes out revitalized and reformed as another person and by this all of his sins will disappear, this is the first point.

From the perspective of the Hereafter, one feels that he has obeyed Allah swt with a perfect form of obedience by reading the Quran because this month really is the month of the Quran:

“There is a spring for every thing and the spring of the Quran is the Holy Month of Ramadhan”

Its benefits can also be derived from the plethora of supplications (Dua) that have been narrated especially from the Ahlayl Bayt (A-Immah).

This (Holy Month of Ramadhan) also purifies and washes the human being and makes him Inshallah useful in his community. There are other aspects of one’s fast that contains elements of obedience to Allah swt and this also contributes towards one’s self purification.

The human being will be patient on, of course not only eating, but what he desires and what his self/soul desires.

Also he will sympathise with the feelings of the poor and needy and the Muslim will learn more about the management of his self. In this Month the one engrossed in fasting will find himself placing a greater level of importance on the organization, timing, and etiquette of his eating habits and all of his other actions.

If  we look deeply at the systems of Islamic teaching we would find that it flows from a very accurate source that helps the human being to strive to manage himself.

Also the human being will increase his feeling towards the brotherhood and unity  of Muslims and non-Muslims alike in other countries.

His good manners will be evident not only to Muslims but to those belonging to other schools of religious thought and practice.

The one enveloped in fast will feel their (Ahlayl Bayts) saings (as) that :

“The human is either your brother in religion or your brother in humanity”

One’s personal discipline and attention to their deeds will become apparent and transparent.

This transforms his deeds in making them more accurate and refined, this will protect his daily actions and deeds. This is looking at the Month of Ramadhan from a personal and inner-self perspective, as well as in the area of benefiting society as a whole.

From a health perspective as a whole in fact it has been proven by medical scientists that fasting once a year for a period of a month will help make the stomach relaxed. In addition will help in managing its digestive functions.

This will also help clean the body from the various artificial additives and toxins that are present everywhere in the human body from our food sources today.

In fact, there are a few opinions about this naming. It has been said that it is a name chosen without meaning similar to the rest of the months we have. It has also been said that it was called Ramadhan because it burns the sins of the person, and with the person fasting his sins will burnt away.

It has been said that it has been called the month of Ramadhan because the arabs in fact were using the Gregorian method of determining the months in a year. So this month (Ramadhan) was occurring in these summer months.

For example, the Month of Rabi’ Al-Awal or Rabi’ Al-Thani were occurring in the spring. And Jamad Al-Oola and Jamad Al-Okhra were occurring in winter. So, when the arabs changed from the Gregorian to the Lunar (method of determining the months in the year), this naming convention remained as it was.

However, this opinion ofcourse is very weak and yet to be proven.

It has been said that it was called the Month of Ramadhan not for any of the above reasons. But when they named the months then naming of this month happened in the summer period and hence the month of Ramadhan was called the month of Ramadhan and the month of Rabi’ Al-Awal and Rabi– Athani was called Rabi’.

It has been narrated not only from our school of thought but I believe from my own research that it has been narrated both schools of though in Islam that our Prophet (s) has said:

“Do not say Ramadhan has come, because Ramadhan is one of the names of Allah Tagala”

Indeed, All Knnowledge rests with Allah swt and the important thing is that it is obligatory for every Muslim to follow the Quranic naming conventions. In fact from the honour of the Month of Ramadhan it is evident that the book of Allah swt (Quran) no month has been mentioned by its given title except the Month of Ramadhan. Where Allah swt mentions:

“The month of Ramadhan is that in which the Quran was revealed…” (2:185)

We as Muslims follow the Quranic naming so it is better to say the Month of Ramadhan than to say Ramadhan.

In reality, there are many events in the Month of Ramadhan and they are not related only to the Islamic religion, but probably are related to other religions. I will mention them briefly:

  • In the 3rd day of the Month of Ramadhan, the Sohof were revealed on the Prophet Ibrahim (as)
  • In the 6th day of the Month of Ramadhan the Torah was revealed to Prophet Moses (as)
  • In the 7th day of the Month of Ramadhan, Abu Talib passed away based on a narration, 10 years after the revealation of Islam
  • In the 8th day of the Month of Ramadhan, the Gospel (Ingeel) was revealed to Prophet Jesus (as) the son of Mary (as)
  • In the 10th day of the Month of Ramadhan Khadija Al-Kubra passed away in the 10th year after the revelation of Islam based also on a narration
  • The 15th day Imam Hasan Al-Mujtaba (as) the son of Imam Ali bin Abi Taleb (as) and the son of Al-Zahra Al-Batool (as) was born, the 2nd year of Hijra
  • The 17th day marked the Battle of Badr in the 2nd year of Hijra
  • The 19th day marked the assassination of Amir Al-Momineen Ali bin Abi Taleb in the Masjid Al-Kuofa in the 40th year of Hijra
  • In the 20th day there was a conquest over the Holy Mecca in the 8th year of Hijra
  • In the 21st day, it marked the martyrdom of Amir Al Mo-mineen Ali ibn Abi Taleb in the 40th year of Hijra
  • In the 25th day of the Month of Ramadhan it was the Battle of Hunayn, in the 8th year of Hijra

Moreover, we believe based on our narrations that also in the Month of Ramadhan the greatest night of the year is Laylat Al-Qadr which the Surah of Al-Qadr (the following surah – 97) was revealed:

In the Name of Allah the Beneficient the Merciful

Surely We revealed it on the grand night.
And what will make you comprehend what the grand night is?
The grand night is better than a thousand months.
The angels and Gibreel descend in it by the permission of their Lord for every affair,
Peace! it is till the break of the morning.

This blessed night is also present in the Month of Ramadhan. The differences that Muslims have here is in which night this falls within. However the preferred opinion is that it is the 23rd night that is the Holy Night of Qadr.

No. Only blood is najis. even if a liquid comes out of the cut or where the skin area has been taken out, it is not najis. It’s only the blood that is najis.

Introduction by praising Allah and Saluting His Prophet and Household.

There is a difference between two times. One time is when the infallible Imam is present even if he was far away. We can access the real ruling of Allah (swt) by referring to the Infallible Imam either directly or through correspondence. This then does not require any interpretation of religious sources neither deduction of Islamic rulings or referring to anyone else except the appointed divine imam.

The second time started after the Major Occultation of Imam Mahdi, where, unfortunately, he is absent and we cannot access him to take our religious rulings.

Having said this, one should remember that Allah’s rulings still exist and are to be obeyed. Islam was the final religion of God and we should follow it in all our actions even if the Imam is absent.

So what are we ought to do?

The solution that comes to mind is that everyone is responsible for knowing the Islamic rulings for every action he or she may take. This is impractical because it means every individual has to study all the Islamic texts including Quran and hadith to its fine details. Then learn the research methodologies and principles of deducting Islamic rulings. Then build on this knowledge through experience and life commitment.

Such a solution would require everyone to dedicate their life to study only religion and as a result would lead the society to complete paralysis as every professional would not be able to maintain his or her work. The society would be left without labourers, merchants and other professions that are necessary for the society to function.

Therefore, just like any other specialties where society employs some of its members to specialise in that field to help society function. For example, not everyone has to become engineer in order for them to build the needed machinery; rather some people specialise in engineering and solve other society’s member’s problems using their knowledge and tools. Similarly, in all practical professions such as transport, aviation, medicine etc.

Seeking knowledge and knowing the religious ruling is a ‘Wajib Kefaei’, which means it is an obligation upon every Muslim to seek knowledge about their religion, except if they appoint some of their population to be learnt scholars and guide their people to the right path. If society ignores this and does not care about having scholars in religion within them so that they are ignorant of particular prohibited and obligatory acts etc, then they are choosing to disobey His Almighty and will face his punishment in the hereafter. Hence Allah says in the Holy Quran:

“Nor should the Believers all go forth together: if a contingent from every expedition remained behind, they could devote themselves to studies in religion, and admonish the people when they return to them,- that thus they (may learn) to guard themselves (against evil).” (9:122)

So the importance of the people referring to that group of learned scholars is very obvious.

The Infallible Imams have also clearly indicated the status of these scholars by appointing them as their general representatives. The Imams also practically showed their respect to the scholars and appointed them as their representatives amongst people to teach their followers how the system works. This is especially evident through the Minor Occultation of Imam Mahdi, where he appointed four special representatives to guide people and prepare them for the Major Occultation. Imams clearly then state that:

“Whoever from among the jurists protects himself, maintains his religion, goes against his desires and obeys the command of his Master, then the general public must obey him.” (Al-Ihtijaj, 2:511)

This response needs a bit of concentration and thought so please read it carefully and consider it appropriately.

We, as humans, are all a collection of our genetics, experience, environment and interests so everyone will have their own biased opinion and none of us will ever be objective even if we tried our best to do so.

Regardless of who has made the claims, following the scholars is not based on their (scholars) higher intellectual abilities or super-powers! It is neither based on their full understanding of everything in this world or their wise outlook to the political future of the Umma. We do not follow scholars of this type and if we do then we are astray and not following the right path. This point will be made clear if we understand Taqleed in the following way.

Allah created the universe and He organised it all in coherent and relative formulas which make the basis of all its foundations as well as its daily changes. This whole universe is interconnected by these formulas and is made perfect only when all these formulas are applied in the accurate manner. Therefore, changing even an ignorable decimal in a little equation might have severe consequences not only in the immediate future but for many generations to come. Allah created us humans and made us the guardians of this extra-ordinary universe with its greatness. He connected all our actions to the destiny of his creation. In other words, he made us part of the mathematical establishment that has existed before even we do.

He also set individual duties and rights for each of us; for the family that males and females formed and from there to society then humanity. These inter-relationships and complex societal structures then needed governing laws to make sure it falls in harmony with the rest of the nature, as explained above.

Now, whatever words we state and whatever actions we do (even on a very minor scale) will lead to great consequences somehow, although we may not be able to see or measure these results. In fact, no human can ever measure such effects despite the fact we see many of them in our daily lives upon some random reflections.

Based on the above, the only one who knows these formulas as well as the variables placed in them and the possible results is Allah (swt). Therefore, if we are submitting to Him (literal and practical meaning of Islam) then we are to seek His input in every action we take in order for us to maintain a better world for ourselves as well as others. This is further emphasized when we know that we will be held responsible for all our words and actions and should not make assumptions about matters in life with no justification as this will be questioned on the day of judgement.

Allah does not communicate directly with people so it is impossible for us to know (and please concentrate on this word ‘KNOW’) what the best action is to take at any time whether it is small or significant. One can make assumptions, but again these assumptions will be questioned.

So how can one, even the most intellectual or the most influential, ever be sure of what we are ought to do? The simple answer is no one can even if they claimed any title of super heroic powers!. The need for Prophets therefore arises and after them the Imams. So what about us at the time of the absence of the Imam?

Logic derives that we need to make sure that the rulings of God that were delivered through these Special Messengers; i.e. Prophets and Imams are preserved and made available. But given that the last contact was almost 12 centuries ago, how is this possible? How can we access the heritage of the Prophets and Imams which were destroyed by some? How can we make sense of history which changes all the time? And how can we decipher between narrations about sayings and traditions of the Prophets and Imams that are accurate and reliable from those that are unreliable or altered over the course of history?

We need someone who specialises in understanding Allah’s words as well as those of His Direct Representatives who can make sense of these words and wisdom and divine guidance and provide clarity in the form of an ‘educate interpretation’ of the Truth to guide the masses in the absence of the 12th Imam. The scholar who dedicates all of his life to understanding the Quran and the narrations of Ahlayl Bayt basis his rulings on an educated interpretation. It is not that the scholar provides rulings that are deemed ‘the Truth’ but rather the scholar provides rulings that are grounded in the deep analysis of Allah’s laws and Ahlayl Bayts traditions that in their interpretation is better than that of an everyday person. This is true unless the everyday person decides to devote his life to the pursuit of knowledge and attains a greater level of knowledge that the scholar mentioned above, but not more knowledge in physics or chemistry or medicine or finance or philosophy or politics but only and solely in understand God’s commands and words of his representative.

One important reason for us to follow a scholar who is more knowledgeable than us and the most knowledgeable in religion is for the fact that when we are asked on the Day of Judgment about our actions then we can state that “we didn’t know what to do and this scholar was the one who knew better, hence we followed him”. Then and only then, can e be safe from punishment.

Consequently, jurisprudence, legal and judicial systems in Islam are based on divine texts and principles that only can be deducted based on reaching a high level of understanding and professionalism in these regards (called Ijtehad). This is in many ways similar to being a judge in any other legal system. Also, jurisprudence differs to beliefs and philosophy, which one is ought to deduct himself/herself and is not allowed to follow anyone in deriving his/her own convictions. Hence Allah (swt) states:

“O David, We have made you trustee on the earth. So judge between men justifiably, and do not follow your lust lest it should lead you astray from the way of God. Surely for those who go astray from the way of God, is severe punishment, for having forgotten the Day of Reckoning.” Quran, Saad 26.

Imam Sadeq (as) has also stated:

“The judges (scholars) are of four types:

  1. A man who made a wrong ruling while he knew; his destiny is hell.
  2. A man who made a wrong ruling while he did not know; his destiny is hell.
  3. A man made a right ruling while he did not know; his destiny is hell.
  4. A man made a right ruling while he knew; his destiny is paradise.” Then he said:

“There are two rulings, that of Allah and that of Ignorance; so whoever did not make a ruling based on knowledge about the ruling of Allah, then he has given the ruling of ignorance.” Al-Kafi, vol 7,p 407.

Then why don’t we follow different scholars in various issues based on how good or wise they are in that particular field?

This sounds progressive and enticing, and had one been able to directly communicate with Allah we may be able to implement this idea. In the absence of this, the most knowledgeable in understanding what Allah, Prophet Mohammad and the Imams said is the one we need to follow! If he was the most knowledgeable in this then it doesn’t matter what issue is proposed to him or what question may emerge.

That is of course if we want to follow Allah (SWT) but if we want to follow our own desires and agendas then there are much easier ways to be an ‘intellectual’.

Introduction by praising Allah and Saluting His Prophet and Household.

Living in the West has exposed us to this question a lot as it is a priority for the community here. The question is where should we send our children for education and in what type of schooling? For example, should I send my children to private schools such as Catholic schools or Protestant or Anglican or just Public schools? Should I make sure they attend Arabic schools? What about the sect of such schools?

This is an important question for our brothers and sisters here.

Education is an open choice for all humans today. Islam has also encouraged education in its teachings as well as reflection, critical thinking, rationality and understanding. If these schools, to whatever category they belong, share the aim of spreading human values and increase their students’ knowledge and wisdom then they are all equally suitable for the schooling of the children regardless of their titles or sects.

The parents, then, are advised to watch closely at the development of their children; even if they were enrolled in so-called Islamic schools. Because the responsibility falls on both parents to make sure that the ethics that are in line with Islam are embedded in their children.

The most important aim of the parents should be sending their children to a school which enhances the intrapersonal and interpersonal qualities of the child, which can be achieved by ranking the schools on this basis. This can mean that sometimes a non-Muslim school can provide a much better education than a Muslim one; because they are teaching those manners and ethics that are approved and encouraged by Islam.

The parents have to also watch the type of beliefs that these schools teach their children. Preferably, the parents should bring up their children well informed of Islamic values and principles where no external influence is feared as they are capable to distinguish the right approach to all matters. Or if the school was spreading some thoughts that were anti-Islam or may lead the children astray, then a change of school is immediately required. This can apply to any school even if it was Muslim and in any language it might converse. So if one can protect own children from the negative influence of the school by either working closely with the school or by educating the child then great; otherwise a change of school becomes a necessity step.

I have personally observed that some non-Muslim schools can bring up the children to be very ethical, well-mannered and highly educated. So sending the children to school does not left the responsibility of parenting from the family. Because, the parents are required to watch over their children whether they were playing with friends, going out, going to school, watching TV or any other action to make sure that they are not being influenced negatively neither being led to a wrong path.

Anabolic steroids are permissible although we do not encourage their use due to the possible side effects.

The definition of Taqleed is that the “Muqallaf” (Mature person) does all of his deeds based on the fatwa (laws) of the Mujtahid and that he takes his orders based on all aspects of life. Many of the current Mujtahids have chosen to carry the responsibility of serving as Maraje’. Most of them state in their Islamic Law books that to follow the most knowledgeable Mujtahid of the living scholars is compulsory upon every mature person. They draw this conclusion from multiple evidence points in special books of Jurisprudence (Fiqh). Based on that point, the person has to refer to other learned scholars that have reached the level of Ijtihad or that are very close to that very high position to know the most knowledgeable maraja, in order to follow him. However, it is not possible for the ordinary people to recognize the most knowledgeable Marja only by reading many books or listening to many lectures, even if they had beautiful sentences and nice meanings. This specifically has to be done by learned scholars in the respected field. Those scholars recognize the most knowledgeable by studying their books and the productions of all of the scholars, also by being present in their Islamic lectures, and by judging their way of research, understanding and conclusion of the resources of Islamic laws.

What has been publicized between people that “I follow so and so Marja because his laws fit with our time” or because “his laws are easier to do because we are living in a western world” or “he has it that Friday Congregational Prayers are obligatory and therefore he knows more about such matters than other Maraja” or vice versa, or “he is from my city” or “he is from my country” or “because he is Iranian” or “because he is Arab, he will have the ability to understand the text better, because the text has been in the Arabic language”. This is the most strange conclusion that one can draw, and the strange thing is that many arabs are unable to understand the language itself when it is communicated with and to them. Many non-arabs have become masters of Arabic eloquence and speech. This matter as it is apparently obvious for those whom have two eyes (wise person) will be based on studying, reading, investigating and researching. There have been so many scholars in Arabic language there are not Arab in background or language for example—Sayboweh, or a current example, the scholar in the arab language and literature, Dr Mustafa Jawad (may Allah swt bless him). Who was one of the very clear examples to prove this point.

It is obligatory for us to be very very careful in our religious matters, because our worship and deeds are absolutely dependant upon whom we follow. The way of thinking of the wise people, has emphasized us to follow the most knowledable and the narrations have proved this point. From that, it has been narrated from Salim bin Quais from Imam Hasan (as) in one of his sermons that he has stated: The Prophet of Allah swt (s) has said:

“There is no nation that has given its leadership to a man that there is someone more knowledable than him (within that nation), except that their matters (of leadership) would go destroyed” (Sheikh At-Toosi in his book al amali Majlis 21, page 566)

In the narration of Barki, from Rasool Allah swt that he has said

“Whoever leads a nation while they have someone more knowledgeable than him, or more learned in Jurispudence, the nation’s matters will be going backwards until the Day of Judgement” (The book Al Mahasin, Volume 1, Chapter 18, Page 93)

It has been narrated through Sheikh Al Moofid, in his book Khabarol Ikhtisas that the Prophet (s) has said:

“The leadership can not be valid except for its people, so anyone who invited people to himself and there was someone amongst them that is more knowledgeable than him Allah swt will not look at him on the Judgment Day” (page 251)

In the Sahiha (that means ‘correct’ narration) of ‘Ees Bin Qasim that he has said that I heard Abu A’bd Allah (as) (Imam Sadiq as) that has stated:

“It is upon us to be God conscious and fear him alone where there is no partner for him, and guard yourself. I swear by Allah swt that the man that has sheep and chooses a Shepard where there is someone that knows in his sheep better than the one that he has chosen, he has to remove him and bring that man that is more knowledgeable in his sheep to replace the one before.” (Volume 15, Chapter 13, Hadith 1, Page 50)

There are many other narrations that possibly can benefit us in supporting this point. From all of this the learned scholars have concluded that the most knowledgeable should be the one that the masses have to follow. We all know that a deed without Taqleed is void. Then if the Taqleed was wrong the deed will be without Taqleed. And the deed without Taqleed will not be accepted by Allah swt, except if his/her past deeds match/meet the laws of the person that his Taqleed is obligatory upon, Or met 100% the real law of Allah swt as we have mentioned previously. How can the person know the laws of his Al mighty? It is obligatory to be careful not to make Taqleed based on our desires, race, literature, political parties or nationalism, so that we avoid making the least knowledgeable as the most learned, and the non-Marja’ as a Marja.

May the Almighty Allah swt protect all of us from ignorance and following the wrong that will lead to a bad ending.

The answer to that question is in two parts, you have to make sure one of two cases. First, whether the change of colour on the turbah is due to foreign residue. That is, that a build up of foreign residue has actually formed a barrier on the turbah such that the residue does not form part of the turbah (i.e. a foreign layer on top of the turbah). Where this is the case then obviously that becomes a problem and you have to remove the foreign barrier in order to be able to use it for prayer. Second, where the colour change of the turbah is due to a reaction of certain things and the actual dirt of the turbah changes colour and it’s not a foreign body on the turbah. In this case there is no problem in its use.

In summary, it is better to avoid the use of a turbah which has changed colour as it might be an actual barrier of dirt collected from over use of the turbah, except if the soil itself changes colour, then there is no problem in praying on the turbah.

The basis of all religions is the non-violent path God clearly says in regards to Islam:

“There shall be no compulsion in religion. The right course has been distinguished from the wrong.”[1]



[1] Quran, Chapter 2: Baqarah, Verse 256.

Jihad is clearly defined in Arabic as struggle to achieve a better outcome. It is used in this instance for the Muslims as defending the Faith and the innocent people as well as promoting the Faithful worship. Allah has stated:

“O you who have believed, when you go forth [to fight] in the cause of Allah , investigate; and do not say to one who gives you [a greeting of] peace “You are not a believer,” aspiring for the goods of worldly life; for with Allah are many acquisitions. You [yourselves] were like that before; then Allah conferred His favour upon you, so be enlightened Indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, acquainted.”[1]

Imam Sadeq has also stated:

“When the Prophet of God wanted to send an army to defend the Muslims; he would call their leader in and make him sit next to him; then call in all his companions around him then say: “March by the name of Allah and in the way of Allah and on the Faith of the Prophet of Allah. Do not trick people; treat them as inferiors or over react to them. Do not cut a tree except if you were forced. Do not kill an old person, neither a child nor a woman. Moreover, when a Muslim finds a non-Muslim then he should protect him until he hears the words of God, then if he followed you, he becomes your brother in religion. Otherwise, seek God’s help and accompany him till he reaches his safe place”[2]

God further states:

 

“So if they hold themselves from you and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah has not made for you a cause [for fighting] against them.”[3]

Moreover:

“And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah . Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing.”[4]

Close attention reveals that Jihad has been clearly defined by the following verses:

  • “Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.”[5]
  • “And what is [the matter] with you that you fight not in the cause of Allah and [for] the oppressed among men, women, and children who say, ‘Our Lord, take us out of this city of oppressive people and appoint for us from Yourself a protector and appoint for us from Yourself a helper?’”[6]
  • “If you [have reason to] fear from a people betrayal, throw [their treaty] back to them, [putting you] on equal terms. Indeed, Allah does not like traitors.”[7]

On the other hand, God states:

  • “Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you on account of religion and do not expel you from your homes that you be kind to them and act justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.”[8]
  • “O you who have believed, enter into Islam completely [and perfectly] and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.”[9]
  • “And had your Lord willed, all of those on Earth would have believed entirely. Then, how would you dear to compel the people in order that they become believers?”[10] (Meaning: no one has the authority to force people into faith and it is all a matter of free-will).


[1] Quran, Chapter 4: Nisa, Verse 94.

[2] Majlisi, Beharul Anwar, Vol. 97, P25.

[3] Quran, Chapter 4: Nisa, Verse 90.

[4] Quran, Chapter 8: Anfal, Verse 61.

[5] Quran, Chapter 2: Baqarah, Verse 190.

[6] Quran, Chapter 4: Nisa, Verse 75.

[7] Quran, Chapter 8: Anfal, Verse 58.

[8] Quran, Chapter 60: Mumtahanah, Verse 8.

[9] Quran, Chapter 2: Baqarah, Verse 208.

[10] Quran, Chapter 10: Yunis, Verse 99.

Of course, exposure to violence leads to fear, stress and lack of personal or societal stability. These have negative effects on the character building of the individual and go on to have a negative effect on society as a result. This is because it is not limited to the individual performing the act but goes beyond that to reach the wider society through the actions of the individual and the consequential ripple effects in society.

There are many factors that contribute to the initiation of violence as well as its growth.

The problem is compounded by the significant proliferation of self-proclaimed Islamic preachers, Sheikhs and the like. Unfortunately they are ill-informed and lack the formal scholarly and jurisprudential education and as a result misguide their followers. These individuals are mostly backed and used by oppressive regimes or political organisations supported by an interest based media.

We are living in an age of enlightenment and specialties in which we ought to base our choices in life by referring to the most knowledgeable in every field rather than following our own desires and selfish interests.

Not at all.

It is obligatory to wipe the actual skin under the hair and the limited hair within it. If the wax or gel was oily to the extent that it made a barrier for the water to reach that part, then the wudhu is void. Otherwise, it is fine.

There are different ways of performing the wudhu incorrect, some can be forgiven and others not, so the questions needs to be more specific to yield a specific answer. In short, wudhu is performed as follows; you start by washing your face and the face is from the end of the hair line to the end of the chin, between the middle finger and the thumb (from side to side). Then the right hand, from the elbow to the tips of the fingers, left hand is the same. Then you wipe your head, with more than one finger, to just make sure you have covered the necessities. In an orderly manner you wipe your right foot then your left, from the tip of the toes to the joint. It is recommended (mustahab) were you can to have a second wash to the face and the right arm. As for the left hand side, this is to be performed only once as a precautionary action, do not do it twice. The rest of the washes, you may choose to wash a second time as a mustahab action. In terms of washing the face, one may ask how many times is considered to be one wash or two washes? The answer is that you can put as much water as you want on the face, when you are satisfied that you have covered all the areas of you face, that’s considered the first wash. Then if you start putting water again as much as you want, and when you are satisfied you have completely covered your face, that is considered the second wash. If you do that the third time then the wudhu would become battil (wrong, unaccepted). If you had your hand and your face, already had water on it before you start; it makes it easier for the water to reach the face or the hand to get covered. That is in terms of washing the hands and the face, however, when it comes to wiping your head or feet, it’s another issue. Basically, when you are washing your face for example, while you are in the process of washing your face for wudhu you might get some water on your hand as you are doing it without having the intention that the water on the hands is being part of washing the hand for wudhu. The intention is still washing the face and if you want to do that you have to make sure that you maintain the order of wudhu that you are really washing your face, not your hand, even though water is coming on your hand. The intention is washing your face, when you finish washing your face then you go to the right hand then to your left hand. So you have to make sure that the order of performing wudhu is still maintained.

Before you start wudhu you have to have the intention before you put any water on your face. You have to make within your heart the intention that you are performing wudhu before you actually start washing your face. Then once you start washing your face, water has to fall from the top to the bottom, now whether you start from the side and come down, as long as the waters motion is going down, then that is acceptable, as long as the waters motion is not going up.

The intention of the wudhu, you have to start it once you start from the top of your face when you’re about to wash, that’s when you intend to do it, if you pour any water before that then it is not considered as part of the wudhu because your intention was not made.

As long as you understand in yourself that the intention is my wudhu begins when the water starts to be poured from the tip of the hairline. It is same if you have been to hajj, when you’re about to go around the kabaa, your intention is to start from the hajarol asa’ad (black stone) which is on one of the corners of the kabaa, you may not be able to see it properly because of the amount of people that are there but within your heart you know that the intention is from that section, so usually just before a few meters before you get to there you intend to start the tawaf (cycle around the kabaa) from that line, even though you may not be able to see it, so when you pass that line, that is what your intention was, that form the line wherever it starts. So, the same thing for wudhu, your intention is from the hairline, as soon as the water starts from the hairline that’s when the intention of wudhu starts. As long as you have that in your mind set and then you start then that is alright, you donot really have to worry about it; did I do it right this time? Or not? As long as within your heart you understand that’s the intention.

In regards to wiping your head when you’re about to start the wipe, you have to make sure you don’t put all your hand over your head and leave no room for your hand to move cause you already wet all the part of your hair. So you have to put it and leave a bit of space in order for the wiping to move from one side to the other. So you ca not have your hand covering all of your head, you have to leave some room for the wiping