Your Islamic question answered here

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All edicts are according to the opinion of the late Grand Ayatollah Assayed Muhammad Hussein Fadhlullah.


Q: What is your opinion regarding the saying that Sayyeda Zeinab cut her forehead and cried out in Karbala? Does that suit her elevated status?

A: This is not true, and saying that she hit her forehead with the litter and that blood was spilled on it is a mere lie. Moreover, the investigators in history have proven that this story is not authentic and that in his will to her, Al-Hussein told her to be patient and not to make the enemy gloat about their misfortunes, especially that she had a leading role in Al-Kufa where she reproached and scolded the people of Al-Kufa for letting Al-Hussein down. Supposing she wanted to do that, she would have done it when she was in Karbala upon seeing her brother, Al-Hussein, on the sand in the battlefield. Thus, this story is not true; however, unfortunately, some people deduce from it the legitimacy of performing Tatbeer, on the basis that Zeinab hit her head in Ashura. Moreover, if Zeinab, the sister of Al-Hussein (a.s.) did do that, then it might have been acceptable for her having gone through the dreadful tragedy, yet it must be noted that this does not make it acceptable for us to hit our heads in cold blood.
Besides, this contradicts with reason, for the sword is an element of strength and it must be used against the enemies and not one’s self. For this very reason, some people said that the Shiites who used to take out their swords in the face of their enemies have come to use them on their heads. Moreover, the biggest crime lies in that some people perform Tatbeer on their children, while the father has no authority to cut his son’s head with the razor to make blood spill. If he does so, he will be deemed a criminal and Allah will punish him for that. It must be noted that performing Tatbeer on children to fulfill a vow has no value whatsoever since such a vow brings about Allah’s wrath, knowing that the vow is considered right if the one in whose name the vow is made is mature and if it goes with what pleases Allah.


Q: Is it permissible for me to wear coloured nail polish?

A: Wearing coloured nail polish that will appear before a stranger (nonmahram) is not permissible. This is because it is considered as a form of makeup or ornamentation that attracts the beholder.

Black Magic

Q: Some people believe in Katiba (a kind of black magic) and the like… What is your opinion regarding these issues? I do not believe in such things although it might be sometimes practiced by using the Holy Quran?

A: All that is related to magic, fortune-telling and medical treatment that are not based on science or reality, is considered Batil (falsehood) and we do not believe in it. Besides, the Holy Quran is a book for guidance and it is prohibited to use it in such matters except what has been said in certain authentic traditions about the use of some verses as a kind of protection.


Q: Is cloning permissible in Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh)?

A: In principle, there is no problem in cloning. In practice, the permissibility of cloning or not is subject to the rule of advantage and disadvantage.


Emulation (Taqleed)

Q: How could we know the most knowledgeable Marja‘ (Religious Authority) whom we should emulate? Are there common rules on which all jurists agree?

A: The Marja‘ who should be emulated must be just, able to extract the legitimate rulings, and has already written many researches…etc. But, he should not be the most knowledgeable jurist since, in our opinion; there is no jurist who is most knowledgeable in reality, although as an obligatory precaution, some jurists consider that the Mujtahid should be knowledgeable. Thus, this is a problematic issue because it requires being familiar with the researches of all the existing Religious Authorities in our present time which it is difficult to do so. However, some draw their judgment according to their subjective opinions which is – by definition – not scientific. 


Q: Do all religious authorities deem it obligatory to emulate the most erudite religious authority, or do they consider it a precaution? 

A: Some religious authorities rule that it is obligatory to emulate the most erudite religious authority, others consider it as a precaution, while a third party rule it as non-obligatory. In our opinion, it is non-obligatory to emulate the most erudite religious authority. We also consider that there is no real existence of the most erudite religious authority. Thus, it is enough to resort to the just Mujtahid (jurist) who has a long experience in making researches, teaching and deducing Fatwas. 


Q: What is the difference between Al-Marja‘ Ad-Dini (the religious authority) and Ayatollah Al-Uzma? 

A: It is commonly known to call the religious authority Ayatollah Al-Uzma. Also, it is a term used to describe the person whom the believers emulate. 


Q: Is it permissible to emulate a woman?

A: There is no proof of prohibiting the act of emulating a woman, although prohibiting such emulation is considered as a precaution.


Q: A person who emulates Your Eminence would like to adopt Tabeed in some issues, and thus resort to a living authority; while he heard that you consider such act as impermissible. What is your opinion regarding this issue? 

A: We consider it impermissible to adopt Tabeed as an obligatory precaution, unless in critical situations and urgent needs. Thus, in this case one can rely on the living authority that meets the conditions. 


Q: Do you consider Tab‘id (following more than one jurist simultaneously) as permissible in all cases?

A: Tab‘id is considered impermissible as an obligatory precaution, unless in necessary cases. 

Emulating Sayyed Fadlullah Regarding the Beginning of the Hijri Months

Q: I am an emulator of the late Religious Authority Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah; on what shall I rely with regard to the beginning of the blessed month of Ramadan?


A: The emulators of his Eminence Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah should remain on his jurisprudential opinion with regard to determining the beginning of the month, knowing that the juristic office of His Eminence issues a statement in which it determines the beginning of the month of Ramadan as well as the other Hijri months according to the jurisprudential opinion of his Eminence.


Q: Is establishing the beginnings of the lunar (Hijri) months part of the new issues for which one ought to refer to a living religious authority?


A: Establishing the beginnings of the lunar (Hijri) months, such as the beginning of the month of Ramadan or the first day of the Eid, is not part of the new issues; thus, the emulators of His Eminence Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah can continue to follow his opinion regarding this matter.


Q: Is the Mukallaf allowed to go against the opinion of the Religious Authority s/he emulates regarding the beginnings of the lunar (Hijri) months?


A: No, s/he is not allowed to do so. For establishing the beginnings of the lunar (Hijri) months, s/he has to obey the jurisprudential opinion of the religious authority whose opinion can still be followed even after his/her death.




Q: Does brushing the teeth using a toothbrush and toothpaste break one’s fast?

A: No, it does not break the fast, provided that one does not intentionally swallow some of the paste.


Q: Is it permissible for a person to perform any recommended fasting before performing the obligatory fasting he has missed in the previous months of Ramadan?

A: It is impermissible for a person who is due to make up for any obligatory fasting on his behalf to perform recommended fasting.


Q: Should a pregnant woman fast during the month of Ramadan or not?

A: If fasting harms her or affects her pregnancy, in a way that makes her fear for her pregnancy, then she is allowed not to fast and she has to make up for it and give out a Fidya (compensation).


Q: Is it permissible for he who is making up for missed fasting to break his fast in the afternoon; what is the ruling if he breaks his fast?
A: It is impermissible for he who is making up for missed fasting to break his fast in the afternoon; if he breaks his fast intentionally, then he ought to pay a Kaffaraha by feeding ten poor individuals, and if it was unintentional, then nothing is incumbent on him and he should make up for the missed fasting on another day.


Recommended Fasting




Q: Is it permissible to fast the whole of the months of Rajab, Sha‘aban and Ramadan consecutively?

A: It is permissible, knowing that it is recommended to fast during the months of Rajab and Sha‘aban.  


Q: Is it permissible for a person to perform any recommended fasting before performing the obligatory fasting she/he has missed in the previous months of Ramadan?

A: This is not accepted, and s/he has to perform the missed obligatory fasting first.


Q: What is the time limit during which one can recite the intention of fasting, whether to make up for any missed fasting (Qadha’) or to perform recommended fasting?

A: In the Qadha’ fasting, the time limit for reciting the Niyyah extends until before the Duhr (noon) Adhan, while in the recommended fasting, the time limit extends until before sunset.


Q: What is the reality concerning the invitation of Imam As-Sadiq (PBUH) for somebody to break a recommended fast?

A: The main thing about it is the tradition of Imam As-Sadiq (PBUH) that recommends the one who is performing a recommended fasting to accept the invitation of a fellow Muslim to break his fast, knowing that Allah would grant the one who breaks his fast the reward of fasting, for he has accepted the invitation of his Muslim brother.


Q: If someone was invited to break his fast in a month other than Ramadan, does he receive the same reward of fasting if he broke his fast?

A: This is true if one’s fasting was recommended, and he receives the same reward of fasting if he answers the invitation of his fellow Muslim brother.


Q: If the Mukallaf makes the intention to perform recommended fasting, but during the day he remembers that he still has some fasting days he has to make up for (Qadha’), is he allowed to change his intention to perform the Qadha’?

A: He should change his intention if he remembers so before noon; if not, it is considered as recommended.


Q: Is the intention of recommended fasting deemed valid if it is made just before sunset?

A: The time of the intention of the recommended fasting remains open until before sunset; i.e. just before the sun’s disc disappears, if the Mukallaf had not consumed what could break his fast.


Travelling During Fasting


Q: How should one calculate the ten days s/he intends to stay at a certain place in terms of their beginning and end?

A: What is meant by the ten days are ten days with nine nights included within, and they are the nights between the first and the last day. The day commences at the break of dawn, so the intention to stay in a certain country from the break of dawn of the first day of the month, for example, until the sunset of the tenth day is regarded as Iqamah (staying in one place for ten days). However, if one makes the intention for the Iqamah during the day, whether in the morning, noon or afterwards, s/he has to stay for the same part of the starting day; i.e. if s/he made the intention in the morning, s/he has to stay until the morning of the tenth day and so on. Moreover, the stay should be continuous in the same country. Thus, if one travels to another country, or s/he is not sure that s/he will stay for ten days, then s/he has not met the requirements of the Iqamah, so all its rulings would not apply to this case.


Q: Is it necessary as a condition for the permissibility of breaking the fast by the traveller to maintain for sure the intention of travelling?

A: It is not a condition, and even if one had not made at night the intention of travelling, and s/he had to travel before noon and s/he did travel then s/he can break his fast.


Q: When is the traveller who has to break his/her fast for travelling allowed to break his/her fast?

A: Such traveller is allowed to break his/her fast after reaching Had- At-Tarakhus (the place where the traveller gets so far away from the houses of his/her town or city in a way that if someone views him/her from that town or that city will not recognise him/her anymore). Notably, s/he is not allowed to break his/her fast in his/her homeland if s/he wants to travel.


Q: Is the traveller allowed to remain willingly fasting after passing Had At-Tarakhus; the point from which the traveller is allowed to break his/her fast?

A: If s/he passes Had At-Tarakhus and s/he was intending to cover the distance that requires breaking the fast, then s/he is not allowed to continue fasting, and s/he should make up for this day.


Q: When is a person considered to be someone who travels a lot?

A: The one who is meant by travelling a lot is the person who repeats his/her travel at least four times in a month, whether for work, studies or other purposes.


Q: Is it permissible for someone who is fasting to cover a certain distance for the sole purpose of breaking his/her fast intentionally, knowing that s/he covers the distance by car and without any hardship?

A: It is permissible for a person who is fasting to travel intentionally, even if it is not necessary, and s/he can break his/her fast. The allowance of breaking one’s fast while travelling is not related to the hardships of travel; but rather, it is a gift from Allah, the Most Exalted, to the traveller as narrated in traditions.


Q: Why should the traveller break his/her fast after travelling for a certain distance, knowing that travelling these days no longer causes any hardships?

A: Such conditions are parts of the acts of worship that we should abide by. They have nothing to do with getting tired. It has been stated in the Quran as such: “For a certain number of days; but whoever among you is sick or on a journey, then (he shall fast) a (like) number of other days; and those who are not able to do it may effect a redemption by feeding a poor man; so whoever does good spontaneously it is better for him; and that you fast is better for you if you know” (02:184).

Q: Is it permissible for the one travelling to fast?

A: Fasting while travelling is absolutely invalidated, even if the traveller does not eat or drink. However, if the traveller returns to his/her homeland before (zawal) noon without having consumed what could break his/her fast, then s/he can make the intention of fasting and fast on this day. The same ruling applies if s/he reaches his destination before noon and makes the intention of a ten-day stay, then s/he has to make the intention of fasting and fast if s/he had not consumed what could break his/her fast.


Q: When is the traveller allowed to remain to fast, if his/her travel was not for work or s/he does not travel much (at least four times a month)?

A: S/He can fast on the day of his travel, if s/he is able to return to his/her homeland before noon without having broken his/her fast, then s/he should remain fasting if his/her travel started before noon. 

Q: Is it permissible for someone to make up for the missed fasting days (qada’) while on travel?

A: No, it is not permissible.


Q: What is the ruling if the one fasting travelled before noon or after noon, and what is the ruling if s/he returned home in both cases?

A: If the one fasting travelled after noon, s/he ought to maintain his fast; whereas, if s/he travelled before noon, s/he ought to break his/her fast. Moreover, on his/her way back; if s/he returned and reached home after noon, then s/he ought to break his/her fast and his/her fasting will not be valid, but if s/he reached home before noon and s/he had not yet consumed what breaks his/her fast then he ought to maintain his/her fast; if s/he had consumed what breaks his/her fast, then his/her fast is deemed invalid.


Q: What is the distance that one should cover to break his fast?

A: It is approximately 44 km either one way or back and forth.


Q: From where do we start calculating the distance of travel?

A: Calculating the travelled distance from the beginning of the journey should start from the last house of the village or city from which one leaves, to the first house of the village or city headed for from the side one enters into it at the end of the journey.

Fiqh terms

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Food and Drink

Q: Is it permissible to eat the products that contain gelatin?

A: Yes, it is permissible, since if gelatin is from a vegetarian source, then there is no problem in eating it, and if it is taken from an animal that was not slaughtered according to the Shariah, or if it is taken from a dead animal, then it is also permissible to eat it, because, according to the experts, gelatin undergoes full transformation (Istihalah), which is one of the purifying processes as it is commonly known. Therefore, it is permissible to eat the products that contain gelatin [regardless of their source].


Q: Is there any exception that allows using alcohol in certain pastries, sweets and the like?

A: It is not permitted to use alcohol in the food and drinks industry since it is prohibited to consume whatever contains alcohol, even if in small amounts. But supposing that the alcohol evaporates completely, leaving no trace, then there would be no reason for prohibiting the consumption of the food or drink that contains it. This is according to the jurisprudential opinion of His Eminence, the late Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra) who does not regard alcohol, in itself, impure; thus, it does not render the food and drinks it is mixed with impure. In conclusion, if it evaporates completely, then there is no reason to prohibit eating or drinking what contains it.


Q: What is the religious ruling regarding eating certain kinds of fish, sea food in general, or river fish.

A: It is permissible to eat all that lives in the seas or rivers, be they fish or not, and whether they have scales on them or not, as long as they are not harmful and they die outside the water after fishing them.As for the fish or any other marine organisms that cause significant harm to man, they are forbidden due to the harm they cause. Moreover, it must be noted that some sea animals, such as lobsters, are placed alive in boiled water to kill them, which then makes it problematic; therefore, a new way for killing such animals should be devised to ensure that they die after fishing them without placing them into the water once again.

As for the amphibian animals, such as crabs, frogs, alligators and the like: if they live on the land more than they do in water, as in the case of the frogs and alligators, then eating them is forbidden, whereas those that live more in the water in the sense that they are marine animals that are not harmed by staying for a short while on the land, then eating them is permissible.

Gambling and lottery

Q: I have heard that lottery does not mean to take the money that one gains from participating in competitions, so is lottery permissible?

A: Lottery and competitions are considered permissible. Besides, the gained money is also deemed lawful.


Q: Why do you deem it permissible to play cards, although cards are gambling tools?

A: It was proved that gambling is prohibited, but there is no evidence to prove that playing with the gambling tools without betting is prohibited.


Q: Some players resort to symbolic bets to maker the game more exciting and competitive, what do you say?

A: Any kind of symbolic bet is prohibited, but if it is a token of moral reward for the winner, like the prizes given to the football or chess players, then there is no problem.


Q: Is it permissible to play chess? 

A: It is permissible to play chess just for fun without betting, and it is a recommended precaution not to play it.

Ghusul (Ritual Bath)

Q: When can one perform the Friday Ghusl? Does it replace ablution (Wudu’)?

A: The time specified for performing the Friday Ghusl extends from dawn until Zawal (the declination of the sun), and indeed, the Ghusl replaces Wudu’ in this case.


Q: How can we live the spiritual atmospheres of pilgrimage? How can we prepare ourselves for pilgrimage?

A: Pilgrimage is the path towards Allah, as it is narrated by Imam Ar-Rida (a.s.) and it is the Jihad of the weak that purifies man’s sins and makes him return as if he is born again. Thus, we ought to prepare ourselves for it by invoking Allah for forgiveness, repentance, honest intention, fulfilling the rights of Allah and people on us, performing the rites and duties of pilgrimage well as ordained by Allah and continuously mentioning Allah, so as to experience the atmospheres of worshipping Him and seeking Him and only Him.


Q: What are the acts of worship of Hajj duty? Why was the number of Tawaf’s circumambulations around the Ka’ba determined to be seven? 

A: The obligations of Tawaf are: Ihram (The state of ritual consecration during which the pilgrim should abstain from certain acts, such as not combing, not shaving, not observing sexual intercourse), Tawaf (Circumambulation-Turning seven times around the Kaaba), Tawaf prayer, Sa‘y (A ritual act of Hajj, means walking between Safa and Marwah (two small hills), standing on Arafat mountain and Muzdalifa, Zabeha (fixing, for example, a lamb, a cattle, or a camel), Taqseer (Cutting one’s hair, clipping one’s moustache or beard, or cutting off the nails – hajj rites that heralds the exit from the state of Ihram), Tawaf An-nisa’ (women’s circumambulation). In order to study well the rulings of Hajj in details, you can resort to our book on Hajj acts of worship.

The Tawaf consist of seven rounds according to Hadith and Muslims have agreed unanimously on this number.


Q: Is it permissible to take a loan for performing the duty of Umra or pilgrimage. Will the duty be valid and accepted?

A: One is not obliged to take a loan to perform Umra or pilgrimage; however, if he does take a loan, provided that he can pay it back, then it is deemed valid.


Q: Is it permissible for a person to perform the duty of pilgrimage if he owes any of his relatives, knowing that the creditor approves of that? 

A: It is permissible.


Q: Is it permissible for a person to perform Hajj duty if the government is willing to pay the expenses of the trip, although, the person can afford to pay himself? 

A: Yes, it is permissible.


Q: I have never paid Khmus because I do not have anything to pay Khmus, and nothing remains with me from my monthly salary, I am in debt and I have to pay loans for the government. My wish is to perform Hajj duty, whereas, I am not capable of affording the journey. So, I made a deal with one of Hajj campaigns to go with them and work as a servant in the campaign in order to perform Hajj. Would you please tell me what do I have to do regarding Khums in order to perform Haijj duty? 

A: Khums is payable on the surplus of the yearly provisions. But in case there is no surplus, no Khums should be payable even on loans. So, it is permissible for you to perform Hajj duty.


Q: What is the ruling if one is financially capable of performing pilgrimage, yet he does not as a result of the obstacles created by the authorities?

A: If one cannot go to the sacred lands to perform pilgrimage due to the obstacles placed by some states, he is deemed incapable of performing pilgrimage for the said year. If, in the next year, he remains financially capable to perform pilgrimage the following year, he has to perform the duty of pilgrimage; if not, it is not incumbent on him.


Q: Is it permissible to take a loan to perform the duty of pilgrimage?

A: This is permissible, and it is considered as the pilgrimage incumbent on every Muslim provided that one can pay the loan back.


Q: Should the elder son perform pilgrimage on behalf of his deceased father, if he is financially and physically able?

A: This is not obligatory only on him or from his own money; rather, it is a duty that ought to be financed from the inheritance before distributing it among the inheritors, even if the deceased has not included in his will this duty, provided that in his lifetime he was able to perform pilgrimage yet he did not, whether for a certain excuse or as an act of disobedience.


Q: I am financially capable of performing pilgrimage, but my father will not let me, is pilgrimage obligatory in this case?

A: Since you are capable of performing pilgrimage, it is incumbent on you, even of your father does not agree, knowing that if you go against his will in this case, you are not considered to have sinned.


Q: Is it permissible for one to pay money and have someone mediate for him to get a higher chance to go to pilgrimage? What is the ruling of the pilgrimage duty of he who does so?

A: This is permissible, if it does not harm others, and his pilgrimage is valid in any way.


Q: Is it permissible to perform pilgrimage on behalf of several dead persons?

A: If it is a recommended pilgrimage, then it is acceptable to perform pilgrimage on behalf of several persons; if not, i.e. it is obligatory, then it is permissible to perform it on behalf of one person only.


Q: Am I allowed to perform Umrah Mufrada on behalf of living people, such as my wife and others, without being charged with that?

A: You are allowed to do so as a personal initiative and even if they did not charge you with that.


Q: In what age does it become forbidden on the boys and girls to enter into Holy Mecca except in the state of Ihram?

A: The forbiddance of entering Mecca is restricted to adults; however, it is recommended that the guardian of the child who has not reached puberty, if he/she is not discerning yet, encourages him/her to perform Ihram by dressing him/her with the Ihram clothes and help him/her recite the Talbiyah if possible; if not the guardian can perform the Talbiyah on his/her behalf. As for the discerning child, he ought to do that by himself. 


Q: What is the ruling if a woman performs pilgrimage on behalf of her sister, whether she is alive or dead?

A: It is permissible for the woman to perform pilgrimage on behalf of both men and women, be they relatives or strangers, dead or alive, provided that the one on behalf of which she is performing pilgrimage is physically unable to perform this obligatory duty.

Hayd and Istihada

Q: After my hayd period ended and I was sure of it stoppage, I saw in the afternoon of the following day a yellowish beige color. Is that considered hayd? Should I fast this day? Knowing that I did not consider it as hayd and I fasted it? Besides, I performed ghosl again and went to the market where I walked for a long distance and I also saw a yellowish brown colour. Should I fast this day or not? Knowing that I usually see this material and when I asked about it they told me that I should consider myself as tahir and not najis.


A: If the material you saw is blood of a yellow colour and not any other vaginal secretion, you should render yourself in a state of Istihada after the termination of your fixed hayd term. In this case, you must purify the female organ and then perform wudu’ for praying. Should this blood continue, you must perform wudu’ for every single prayer.


Q: If a girl whose fixed term of hayd is seven to eight days, experienced hayd blood that continue to the seventh day, when it stopped she performed ghosl and soon she saw a blood of light brown colour, are her ghosl and prayer considered right?


A: Her ghosl is considered right and she does not have to repeat it.


Q: If a woman performed ghosl after experiencing hayd blood, then she saw a scarce amount of blood, does she have to repeat the ghosl? 


A: If the blood she saw was after her fixed term of hayd and was of a red or black colour, she must repeat her ghosl. But if it were pink or yellow in colour, she must not repeat it. If she saw blood before she ended the fixed term of her hayd period, she should restore taharah by performing ghosl regardless of the colour of blood.


Q: It is known that there is a difference between the rulings governing the blood of hayd and Istihada and that the woman in Istihada performs the acts of worship. Is it permissible for the woman in a state of Istihada, whether it was a minor, medium or major one, to enter the mosque or the shrines of Ahl Al-Bayt that one exerts great efforts to visit them?


A: Yes, it is permissible for her to do so even if she has not performed ghosl yet and even if it was a medium or major Istihada.


Q: If the woman, whose menstruation is definite and not regular, sees blood that bears both the characteristics of hayd blood and that of Istihada blood and she is used to count the days of her period according to those characteristics, what should she do in this case? 


A: She has to consider the characteristics of blood in order to determine its type. She must treat the blood bearing the characteristics of hayd as hayd blood provided that it lasts for three to ten days and the interval duration between the two menstrual periods should be at least ten days with the continuity of the blood flow.


Q: I am a 17 years old girl. On the first day, I saw a small quantity of brown blood. Then, this blood started to increase having different colours. Sometimes, I saw varied amounts of red blood and this state remained for approximately 10 days. The problem is that I saw this blood a month before the regular time of my period and usually the hayd blood of my period lasts for maximum seven days and it is abundant in the first days. My question is the following: Is this blood considered Istihada, what are the rulings governing the blood in this case?


A: The blood you saw in other than the regular time of your period and that did not bear the characteristic of hayd, is considered Istihada. Besides, the blood you saw and that bore the characteristics of hayd and lasted for three days is considered hayd.


Q: I read many questions and answers concerning menstruation and I feel that I am really suffering from some problems in this regard, because till now I do not know when I should perform ghosl. I see different colours and it is difficult for me to differentiate between them. I perform ghosl as soon as the red or dark brown blood stops. I consider myself Tahir even if I see the yellowish brown colour in the eighth day. That is because I usually see this colour in the eighth, ninth or tenth day and sometimes in the eleventh day. Tell me what should I do in this case?  

A: If you have a definite period, you should consider yourself in these days in a state of hayd and perform ghosl after that. If you do not have a definite period, you should consider the blood that bears the characteristic of hayd as hayd and that which bears the characteristics of Istihada as Istihada.


Q: What is the ruling on blood the woman sees if she had undergone a caesarean operation. Is it considered nifas blood or not?


A: It is considered nifas blood.


Q: Does nifas for all women lasts for ten days whether the fixed term of her hayd is seven days or less?


A: The minimum duration of nifas is few seconds and the maximum duration is ten days.


Q: Some believe that Hijab, which constitutes a legal cover up, is restricted to the cloak (chador or abaya), mostly used in ancient times, and that the modern veil is not adequate. What is your Eminence’s view?

A: Hijab represents a religious concept pertaining to two points:

1- The body that God forbade revealing to non-mahram men (those to whom marriage is allowed).

2- Negation of wanton displays, and arousing desires.

In other words, the outfit of a female who is living in a mixed society, containing both men and women, must cover up her whole body, and must not be sexually provocative, making her immune to indecent looks. Thus, any kind of outfit complying with these two conditions is considered religiously accepted.

We do not stress the “chador” or ‘abaya”. The latter has been brought about by people, as a result of certain conditions pertinent to their environment, or because they believe that it has to do with the way they prefer.

There is nothing wrong in whatever the female wears, as long as it is decent, complies with religious laws, and introduces her as a human being rather than a sexual object.


Q: If there is urine on the clothes with a size less than that of a coin, should it be cleaned?

A: The clothes should be purified before praying while wearing them, for the presence of urine can never be disregarded in terms of purity and the like.


Q: If someone inherits cash money from his parents and it remains with him for a year, is Khums due on it? Does the same apply to land and other properties?
A: Khums is not due on the inheritance, unless the testator had not paid the Khums that is due on it; thus, the inheritors ought to pay the due Khums before distributing the inheritance

Loans and Interest


Q: Could I get the interest from the bank to give it to the poor and needy?


A: It is not permissible if it was stipulated as a condition when the money was deposited. If this was not the case, the interest could be given to the poor and could be even considered legal property.


Q: A person took a loan from the bank to buy a new car; he had to pay for the loan and interests in monthly instalments with the car as a collateral. Later, the person was not able to pay for the loan, so, the bank took the car and sold it to another person. Is it permissible to buy the car from the bank? Is the car unlawfully acquired in this case?


A: It is permissible to buy the car from the bank and it is not unlawfully acquired in this case.

Marriage and Divorce

Q: Does marrying an adult girl require her parents’ approval?

A: For this marriage to be valid (from an Islamic point of view), it is not necessary to obtain the agreement of parents. However, obtaining approval could be necessary from a social and practical point of view in order to maintain family union.


Q: I want to marry a Sunni girl should I tell her that I am a Shiite?

A: You should not cheat her. If you marry her on the basis that you are Sunni she has the right to annul the marriage contract, since it is based on cheating.


Q: Some women argue that the Dower (Al-Mahr – a gift, whether material or moral, the Husband gives to his wife) is an insult to the woman and her feelings; Furthermore, they consider it as a price to the woman paid by the man, what is your answer to them?

A: The dowry is not a price to the woman, however, it is a gift as Allah, the most exalted, said: “And give women their dowries as a free gift, but if they of themselves be pleased to give up to you a portion of it, then eat it with enjoyment and with wholesome result” (4:4). So, the dower could be a copy of the Quran or teaching part of it, or whatever the husband and the wife agree upon.


Q: What is the ruling towards a husband who abandoned his wife in their matrimonial home, and she has to live with him forever for the sake of her children?

A: It is not permissible for him to do so, and she has the right to claim for divorce before the religious authority.


Q: After I divorced from my first husband, I married another one, but our marriage was not (sexually) consummated. Later, I got married again to my first husband, and then I divorced him again. So, what is the kind of the last divorce? Is it an irrevocable or revocable one?

A: It is an irrevocable divorce, since; the intermediate marriage does not annul the previous divorces.


Q: Is it permissible for me to play a musical instrument in front of a group of audience?

A: It is permissible to do so if the music does not arouse the instincts.

Q: Views clash concerning music, and it is the same regarding singing. Is there a juridical view that puts this controversy to rest?

A:When we study legal texts which count as the basis for the prohibition of music, we find that they rely on the verse, “There are those people who pay for mere pastime of discourse, and detract from the path of God without knowledge” (Luqman, 31:6); or, “And shun false talk” (al-Hajj, 22:30)-which are said to corroborate the prohibition on singing. There are also hadiths which classify singing as having no foundation; and another hadith about a man who was listening to some maidservants who were singing at a corner of his house; he was ordered to seek forgiveness.

We understand from the foregoing that the Shariah ruling on singing and music is based on two issues: First, that the singing should be distracting, interrupting the remembrance of God, and having some influence. We do not intend here to present the basic jurisprudential proof because that requires long research. Our view is that music which does not fan the impulses; does not lead to entertainment which alters the normal state of the person; and has nothing which may lead to lust must be seen as permissible, by virtue of all this.

If what is called classical music falls within these parameters, it is permissible; likewise, for symbolic or inspirational music, the kinds that raise spirits, calm the nerves, soothe the mentality, etc.

Perhaps the jurists who had ruled on singing by prohibiting it were referring to the illicitness, wantonness, and evil of the people of corruption.



Q: I always doubt at the beginning of the prayer whether I have performed Takbirat Al-Ihram or not? Can I continue my prayers regardless?

A: You ought to continue your prayer, without considering your doubt, because you are considered a person who doubts quite often (Kathir Al-Shak).


Q: If I arrive Friday prayer at the end of the two sermons, is the Friday prayer valid and sufficient in the sense that I have fulfilled my duty?

A: Yes, it is valid and sufficient; however, if you’re able to, you should make sure to attend at the very beginning of the sermon.


Q: What is the ruling regarding praying with clothes that have animal hair/fur on them?

A:It is permissible to pray with clothes that have animal hair or fur on them even if it is that of an animal that cannot be eaten, such as the cat and the dog, for what actually invalidates the prayer is wearing what is made from the leather or hair of animals that cannot be eaten. It is worth noting that the hair of the dog renders things impure in the presence of a medium of wetness, while the cat does not.


Q: How do we perform Tasbeeh Az-Zahraa (a.s)?

A: Tasbeeh Az-Zahraa is to say: Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest) 34 times, Al-Hamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) 33 times and Subhan Allah (Glory be to Allah) 33 times, counting up to 100 Tasbeehs, knowing that this kind of Tasbeeh can be done after every prayer.


Q: I have always prayed whilst wearing impure clothes, not knowing the correct ruling, should I repeat all my past prayers?

A: In the case were you did not know the ruling, you do not have to repeat the prayers.


Q: Is Qunoot obligatory or recommended in the prayer?

A: Qunoot is recommended, and it is the supplication performed in the second Rak’ah after the recitation before Ruku’. One can recite any supplication he wants, but it is better to recite the renowned Quranic supplication: “Our Lord! Grant us good in this world and good in the hereafter, and save us from the chastisement of the fire.”


Q: I did not use to pray when I became Mukallaf (when a person is obligated to observe the precepts of religion ). I want to know if I should make up for the missed prayers, knowing that I do not know how many years I missed in prayers?

A: You should make up for the prayers which you have missed, but since you are not sure of the number of years, you should observe the number of years which you are sure of.



Q: What are the conditions that ought to be met regarding the prayer clothes?

A: The conditions of the prayer clothes are: Covering, purity, lawfulness, not being a part of the dead animals that feel pain (unlike the hair and nails for example), and not being a part of the animals that are unlawful to eat, and not being made of silk or gold in the case of men.


Q: What is the difference between the Friday prayer and the congregational prayer?

A: The Friday prayer ought to be performed in a congregation; as for the congregational prayer, it can be performed in all prayers. It is the opposite of the individual prayer. In the congregational prayer, the ones performing prayers, no matter how many they are, are led by an Imam. It must be noted that the Friday prayer is obligatory if certain conditions are met; whereas, the congregational prayer is recommended


 Q:At what age should the parents teach their children the religious rulings and acts of worship?

A: Children ought to be taught the rulings of the issues they might come across before reaching the age of puberty so that when they do reach this age they would already be aware of such rulings. They should make sure to teach them the things they might come across the most, such as respecting the others’ money and avoiding backbiting, cursing and saying obscene and filthy words. They should also teach them the basic rulings of purity, Wudu’ and Ghusl, not to mention the general principles of the doctrine, morals and good habits.

Q: Is the age of puberty for males and females based on the Gregorian calendar or on the Hijri calendar (lunar years)? 

A: The age of puberty for males and females is based on the lunar years.


Q: I have a son who is twelve years old and he looks like a young child in his physical appearance and behaviour. I have noticed the growth of hair under his armpit, but his beard and moustache have not grown yet. Is my son considered Baligh (Mukallaf) or not? 


A: Your son does not become a Mukallaf if hair grows under his armpit only, but if also coarse hair grows on his pubis or if he sees a wet dream otherwise, he becomes a Baligh (Mukallaf) when he reaches fifteen lunar years (14 years and 7 months).


Q: Some boys take medicines that increase the growth of hair, and thus they have pubic hair before they reach the age of puberty?  

A: It is permissible to take such medicines, but the growth of hair in this case is not considered a sign for reaching puberty.


Q: I heard some brothers saying that it becomes obligatory for the girl to wear the veil when she reaches puberty by experiencing menstrual period (Hayd) and that is your jurisprudential point of view? Is that true? 

A: Yes, that is true. According to our jurisprudential point of view, the girl becomes a Baligh (reaches puberty) either when she experiences menstrual period (Hayd), or when she reaches thirteen lunar years (12 years, 7 months and 20 days) and she is not considered as a Mukallaf before that.


Q: What is the ruling of he who reads the Quran while in the car if he comes across an Ayah of prostration?

A: He ought to make the gesture that he is prostrating and prostrate when it is possible.


Q: Can we read the Quran without performing ablution?

A: You can do that provided that you do not touch the words in the Quran; however, it is recommended that man be in a state of purity when reading the Holy Quran.

Supplications and Ziyara

At-Tawassul supplication, Ziyarat Ashura and Az-Ziyarah Al-Jamia‘

Regarding the authenticity of Ziyarat Ashura (Ziyarat, transliterated also into Ziyarah, is an Arabic term means a visit), his Eminence, Grand Ayatollah, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra) explains that the chain of authorities of Ziyarat Ashura is weak; however, he finds no problem in reciting the Ziyarah while avoiding the phrases that he has certain reservations on such as those who undermine the unity of Muslims; such as the parts of cursing that was never adopted by the infallible Imams (Peace Be Upon Them). Furthermore, it contains what appears to be a clear contradiction with the Quran. It is mentioned in Ziyarat Ashura that Allah’s creation will turn to them [the Imams] and they will hold them accountable, while the Quran clearly states: “For to Us [Allah] will be their return; then it will be for Us to call them to account.” (88:25-26). Moreover, cursing never was the style that the Imams adopted.

In a similar vein, and Sayyed Fadlullah (ra) argues, the chain of authorities of the collective visit (Az-Ziyarah Al-Jamia‘) is not verified.

Regarding At-Tawassul supplication (At-Tawassul is an Arabic term means intercession), Sayyed Fadlullah (ra) clarifies that this supplication is not established to be authentic, especially in terms of its content, as it is not acceptable to beseech or solicit anyone other than Allah, even if one is asking for intercession. One ought to invoke Allah by the intercession of the Imams.

We say that when one wants to invoke Allah and ask for the intercession of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him and His Family) and Ahl Al-Bayt (Peace Be Upon Them), he has to do so through Allah, according to the following formula: “O Allah, let him intercede for me,” meaning that we ask Allah to make any of them intercede for our sake, and not ask for their intercession directly, for Allah is the One Who has honoured them with the privilege of intercession to whom He pleases.

The Hereafter

Q: How could I answer an atheist who asks me about those who will enter the Heaven as long as each party of all the followers of the divine religions claim that it is the one who will enter the Heaven and not the others?

A: The discord between the people of religions is not about entering Heaven, but, it is about the authenticity of beliefs that this or that party believes in. Thus, if we agree that some of these beliefs are haq (right) and the others are batil (wrong) and that the criteria to distinguish between right and wrong depends on the axioms (rational postulates on which the humanitarian knowledge is based), the search for the haq will be a wajib (an obligatory act) for man to be observed. Hence, if man finds the haq and follows it, Heaven will be the reward that he deserves if he did good deeds in his life.


Q: Is it obligatory for the poor person to pay Zakat (alms giving)? 

A: It is obligatory for him to pay it in case the necessary conditions are met.


Q: I know that Zakat is due after a full year, but supposing I east a sum each month, do I have to pay for the whole year, knowing that the last sum would be earned in less than a month.

A: Each sum has its own Zakat after a year has passed on it.


Zakat Al-Fitra (the alms of breaking the fast)


Q: What is Zakat Al-Fitra (the alms of breaking the fast)?

A: Zakat Al-Fitra (also transliterated into Zakat Al-Fitr) is an amount of money that should be paid on behalf of every person on a given day; the first of the month of Shawwal, marking Eid Al-Fitr, from which the word Fitra is derived. It is also permissible to give it out before this specified date.


Q: On whose behalf should one pay Zakat Al-Fitra?

A: The Mukallaf should pay it on behalf of himself and on behalf of the family members he sustains, and even the children and the ones exempted from fasting, as well as the servants who live in his house and the guests he receives and who sleep over at his house. For those who break their fast in his house but do not stay over, he should not pay the Zakat on their behalf.


Q: Is Zakat Al-Fitra due on a fetus?

A: No, it is not.


Q: At what time should Zakat Al-Fitra be paid?

A:  It should be paid on the morning of the Eid from dawn until before the time of performing the Eid prayer as an obligatory precaution for he who performs it. If he does not perform it, its time extends until before noon, and it is permissible to be paid during the month of Ramadan or the Eid eve.


Q: Is it permissible to pay Zakat Al-Fitra during the month of Ramadan?

A: This is permissible; however, it is preferred as a recommended precaution to pay it in the form of a loan to be considered as the Zakat it is on the day of the Eid.



Q: Should Zakat Al-Fitra be paid in the Mukallaf’s homeland?

A: The Mukallaf has, as an obligatory precaution, to pay Zakat Al-Fitra in his homeland if there are poor people entitled to it there; if not, then it is permissible to be paid elsewhere.


Q: Is it permissible to distribute the Zakat of Al-Fitra among several poor people?

A: This is permissible.


Q: If a person breaks his fast on the eve of the Eid at his parents’ house, who should pay the Fitra?

A: It is not enough for one to break his fast at his parents’ house to have them pay Al-Fitra on his behalf; but rather, he ought to sleep over at his parents’ house as well on the eve of the Eid.



Q: Should the poor give out Zakat Al-Fitra on behalf of himself and his family?

A: Zakat Al-Fitra is incumbent only on he who can provide the provisions for a year; however, even the poor is recommended to give it out on behalf of himself and his family when he can afford it. Moreover, it is recommended for he who can afford paying Zakat Al-Fitra on behalf of one person to circulate the alms on the family members, in the sense that the father gives his alms to one of his family members and that member would give it to another member and so on until the last member would give it to someone who is entitled to receive it from outside the family.


Q: I did not pay Zakat Al-Fitra on my behalf on the specified date on the day of the Eid. Now, I want to make up for what I have missed; what should I do?

A: It is permissible for those who did not pay Zakat Al-Fitra on its specified date although they were financially able to do so to pay it now. As for those who were not financially able to pay Zakat Al-Fitra at the time, they do not have to pay it now.

Organ Donation

Q: What is the opinion of the Sayyed (RA) regarding the donation of organs after death, and should one take the permission of the inheritors to remove these organs?

A: It is permissible for man to donate his organs after death, without the need for taking the inheritors’ permission.

Wudu (ablution)

Q: Does the ordinary bathing replace Wudu’ if it was intended to purify oneself?

A: Nothing replaces Wudu’ except the obligatory Ghusl or the Ghusl that is established as recommended by a trustworthy narration, knowing that the ordinary bathing does not replace Wudu’ even if it is meant to purify oneself.


Q: Should the hair be completely dry when wiping on it during wudu?

A: It is enough to have the area where you wipe dry, and it is acceptable to have slight wetness as long as it not transferable to the hand when you wipe on the dry areas.


Q: Does nail polish invalidate my Wudu?

A: Nail polish does not invalidate Wudu’ and Ghusl, be it on the finger or toenails, for nail polish does not constitute a barrier.

However, it is not permissible to show it before strangers (nonmahram). 

Q: Are contact lenses considered a barrier for water; thus, annulling Wudu’ and Ghusl?

A: They are not considered a barrier since they are inside the eyes and the eyes are not organs that should be washed as part of the process of Wudu’ or Ghusl.


Q: Is the Muslim allowed to work as a waiter/waitress in restaurants that serve alcohol and pork, or is it forbidden to carry them and serve them to the customers?


A: A Muslim is not allowed to work in serving alcohol even if it was to non-Muslims, however, he is allowed to serve pork to non-Muslims who deem eating pork permissible

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