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Praying for non-Muslim Parents

Question 516: Can I as a Shia Muslim pray for my dead parent who is a non-Muslim? They were Ahl al-Kitab. If so, can you provide sources and scholarly opinions? Thank you.

Answer 516: We have already sent a similar question to the office of grand maraja’, whether it is permissible to solace to non-Muslims who have passed away and send salawat, recite surah al-Fatiha and pray for them?

Our maraja’ have different opinions about it. Some say, it is permissible if they have not fought Muslims on the account of Religion and have not driven us out of our Homeland. Others say, it is permissible to solace, though asking Allah, the Almighty for His forgiveness and pray for them is not permissible.

Ayatollah Khameneni: There is no problem in it per se if they have not fought Muslims on the account of Religion.

Ayatollah Sistani: It is impermissible to ask Allah, the Almighty for their forgiveness and pray for them.

Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani: Sending Salawat and praying to Allah (SWT) to forgive them are not permissible[1].

According to the verses of the Holy Quran, if those non-Muslim who have not fought Muslims on the account of Religion and have not driven us out of our Homeland, Allah (SWT), the Almighty does not forbid us from doing good and regarding justice to them. Therefore, we can visit their graves and ask Allah, the Almighty for His forgiveness and pray for them. However, Allah (SWT) forbids us only from having Friendship with those who fought us on the account of Religion and Drove us out of our homeland; and helped one another in driving us out; We are forbidden to have friendly Relation with them; and whoever among us does so, then he is regarded as One of the disbelievers. Because, in the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “The Prophet and the faithful may not plead for the forgiveness of the polytheists, even if they should be [their] relatives, after it has become clear to them that they will be the inmates of hell”.[2]

It should be noted that the loss of a family member is a difficult challenge to overcome. However, one can overcome this situation by doing the following points:

A: Having patience: Patience is mans’ greatest friend in life.[3] Patience in the face of calamities is one type of patience.[4] The ahadith speak of a great reward for patience in such situations. To pay attention to its results and rewards which are mentioned in the Quran and ahadith is one of the ways to overcome a loss. We will mention some of these Quranic verses and ahadith below:

1- In the Quran, God says: “Peace be to you, for your patience.” How excellent is the reward of the [ultimate] abode!”[5] “We will surely test you with a measure of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth, lives, and fruits; and give good news to the patient. Those who, when an affliction visits them, say,” Indeed we belong to Allah, and to Him do we indeed return. It is they who receive the blessings of their Lord and [His] mercy, and it is they who are the [rightly] guided”[6]

2- Imam Ali says “Having patience when calamities strike stems from one’s wisdom.”[7]

“Amongst the treasures of belief is having patience when calamities befall one.”[8] “Having patience at the time of catastrophes elevates one to lofty spiritual levels.”[9]

B: We must understand that death will take place for all of us: “Every soul shall taste death. Then you shall be brought back to us.”[10] Because all creatures are manifestations of Go Godl’s existence and attributes and they have come from him, they will all go back to him “Indeed we belong to Allah, and to Him do we indeed return.”[11]

One of the results of having belief in God is that when catastrophes strike, a believer reminds himself of the above mentioned verse. The better and deeper one understands the truth mentioned in the verse, the easier he will be able to overcome such issues.

C: The ahadith have mentioned certain acts to be carried out for the dead. Some of them are wajib and some are mustahab. We will mention some examples of these ahadith below:

First: Paying charity; A man from the tribe of Bani Saedah came to the Prophet after his mother passed away and said: “My mother passed away during my absence. If I pay charity on behalf of her, will her soul be rewarded?” The Prophet replied: “Yes.”[12]

Second: Reciting Quran; The Prophet stated: “Whoever passes by a graveyard and recites surah Ikhlas eleven times and sends the reward for the dead, he will be rewarded by the number of people that are buried there.”[13]

Third: Doing good deeds; Imam Sadiq said: “The reward of charity, supplicating and good deeds will reach the dead as well as the one who carried them out.”[14] “Whenever a Muslim does good deeds on behalf of the dead, God will multiply his reward and also give the dead the reward of the good deed.”[15]

Fourth: Performing Wahshat prayer; It is mustahab to pray two raka’ats on the first night of burial.[16] The details of this prayer are mentioned in the law books of the maraji’.[17] Therefore, it is musthab to perform this prayer only on the first night and not all nights. For the other nights, one may perform other acts for his mother to send her the reward and make her soul calm and happy in the other world.

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answers:

Index: Visiting non-Muslim graves and Praying for them, answer 103.

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/510247479126564/permalink/546002345551077/)

[1] . Adopted from answer 35827.

[2] Surah Mumtahina, verses 8 & 9;  Surah Tawbah, verse 113; Adopted from Index: Visiting non-Muslim graves and Praying for them.

[3] For further information, refer to the topic “Increasing Patience”, Question 8418 (site: 9091).

[4] Daylami, Shaykh Hasan, Irshad al-Qulub ila al-Sawab, vol. 1, p. 126, Sharif Radhiyy Press, Qum, first edition, 1412 AH.

[5] Ra’d:24.

[6] Baqarah:155-157.

[7] Tamimi Amidi, Abd al-Wahid ibn Muhammad, Ghurar al-Hikam wa Durar al-Kalim, p. 283, hadith 6299, Islamic Propagation Office Press, Qum, 1366 (solar).

[8] Ibid, p. 282, hadith 6298.

[9] Ibid, p. 262, hadith 6269.

[10] Ankabut:57 “كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ ثُمَّ إِلَيْنا تُرْجَعُون”.

[11] Baqarah:156 “إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَ إِنَّا إِلَيْهِ راجِعُونَ”.

[12] MullaHavish Aal Ghazi, Abd al-Qadir, Bayan al-Ma’ani, vol. 1, p. 203, Taraqi Press, Damascus, first edition, 1382 AH; Qurtubi, Muhammad ibn Ahmad, Al-Jami’ li Ahkam al-Quran, Nasir Khosro Press, Tehran, first edition, 1364 (solar).

[13] Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 368, al-Wafa Institute, Beirut, 1404 AH.

[14] Amili, Shaykh Hurr, Wasa’il al-Shia, vol. 8, p. 279, Aal al-Bayt Institute, Qum, 1409 AH.

[15] Hilli, Ibn Fahd, Uddat al-Da’i, p. 146, Daar al-Kutub al-Islamiyy, Qum, 1407 AH.

[16] Amili (Kaf’ami), Ibrahim ibn Ali, Al-Misbah, p. 411, Daar al-Radhiyy Press, Qum, second edition, 1405 AH, Wasa’il al-Shia, vol. 8, p. 168.

[17] Musawi (Imam Khumayni), Sayyid Ruhullah, Tawdhih al-Masa’il, vol. 1, p. 348, researched/edited by: Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Bani Hashimi Khumayni, Islamic Publications Office, Qum, eighth edition, 1424 AH.

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Good behavior? Refraining from a bad suspicion

Question 580: Assalam o Alaikum, my question is y psychologists cannot behave normal in their own life? My own sister in law is a clinical psychologist and she always behave oddly in matters related to family?

Answer 580: The reason why you think she behaves oddly toward her family can be of the followings:

Each science has its own particular definition about normal behavior.

Researchers have been working on defining normal and abnormal behavior for many years. According to them, abnormal behavior means being deviant or to go astray from natural path. Those who are very tall or short are considered as unnatural according to this definition. Also, one who has the highest level of intelligence is considered as unnatural according to custom. A psychologist examines such behavior using pathology approach.

The following are some different ways by which a psychologist define abnormal behavior:

Mental definition: We judge others based on our own behaviors. This means, we consider our own behaviors as the criterion to judge others. If their behaviors look like ours then we can say such behaviors are normal. Otherwise, it is considered as abnormal.

Normative definition: According to this definition, normal means perfection. Those who go astray from perfection, which has been defined by a political or religious organization, are considered as abnormal. It is said that this approach is focus on “thing which should be” instead of “thing which is logically possible”. If we want to conclude who is normal according to this definition we reach to this conclusion that no one is perfect.

Cultural definition: Culture dictates forms of different aspects of life to us. E.g. How to dress up, social behavior, language, love and etc. that have been determined by culture. Some of behaviors are culturally considered as taboo and others unlawful. Those who avoid such cultural standards are considered as abnormal. The definition of normal and abnormal behavior can be changed along with changing societal standards, norms and cultural traditions. It is enough to compare yourself with your parents. For instance, nowadays, things which have been considered as normal among youth had been considered as abnormal among previous generations.

Statistical definition: Normal distribution has particular features. For example, if you get less than 70 or more than 130 mark in each background you would be odd, but you are not considered as abnormal. This definition can be useful for measuring the capabilities of a person not for sensitive areas like a person’s personality of mental illness.

Clinical definition: Being abnormal usually come with incompatibility and odd behaviors. According to clinical psychologist, the difference between normal and abnormal person is almost mentally. They have been trying to find a way by which can exactly determine the difference.[1]

One of the important criterion for being abnormal is having irrational thoughts, according to clinical psychologists. This means, if a person has irrational belief about the universe is considered as abnormal.

Islamic definition: If you know yourself, nature, abilities, capabilities and the reason why you have created by Allah (SW) you would reach to the welfare goal which is achieving the greatest happiness in hereafter. In other word, if you know yourself you would know Allah, the Almighty. According to Islam, normal behavior is to obey Allah and disobey the faithless and the hypocrites. In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “There is certainly a good exemplar for you in them for those who look forward to Allah and the Last Day and anyone who refuses to comply [should know that] indeed Allah is the All-sufficient, the All-laudable”.[2] So, if we follow the holy Prophet (pbuh) and the Infallibles (pbuth) behaviors we considered as normal person according to Islam. Our behaviors would be accepted by Allah (SW) if they guided us to the straight path.

Note: In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “O you who believe! avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is a sin And do not spy”. So, we Muslims are supposed not to be Inquisitive about other people’s life.[3]

Conclusion: If you think that she behaves oddly in matters related to family she may act based on her own knowledge got from clinical psychology. If you think her behavior is against Islamic Laws you are just supposed to forbid the way she is behaving in a good manner. According to some of psychologists, being optimistic is much better than being pessimistic. The similar issue can be found in our traditions as the Holy Prophet (pbuh) recommended us to refrain from bad suspicion about Allah (SW) and people.[4]

[1] . Bartlett, Steven (2011).

[2] . Surah al-Mumtahinah, verse 6.

[3] . Surah al-Hujurat, verse 12.

[4] . Qadhaee, Muhammad bin Salama, Sharh Farsi Shahab al-Akhbar (Sayings of the Holy Prophet)), Pg. 357; Sajestani, Abu Davood Suleiman bin Ash’ath, Sunnan Abi Davood, Vol. 4, Pg. 298.

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Rules Concerning Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adhã Prayers

Question 143: Why is the Eid prayer led by one person and the Eid qunut dua led by another person?

Answer 143: The Prayers for Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are obligatory during the presence of the Imam, Peace be upon him, and when he has complete freedom of action as well as the fulfillment of other required conditions, but they are approved during the Occultation (Ghaibat) of the Imam, and it is more cautious to offer them individually during the Period of Occultation of the Imam. There is, however, no objection in offering them with Jamã’at with the hope (that it shall be desirable to Allah), and not with intention that it has come down in the Shari’at The time for offering these two prayers is from the rising of the sun to noon. It does not become due if not offered.

They consist of two Rak’ats, in each of the Rak’ats one must recite the Sürat al-Hamd (Chapter 1 of the Quran) and some other Surah of the Quran. It is, however, preferable to recite Surat al-Shams (Chapter 91 of the Quran) in the first Rak’at and Surat aI-Ghãshiyah (Chapter 88 of the Quran) in the second Rak’at, or Surat al-A’la (Chapter 87 of the Quran) in the first Rak’at and Surat al-Shams in the second Rakat. After the recitation of the Surah from the Quran in the first Rak’at, one must recite five Takbirs and five Qunuts, one Qunut being after each Takbir, and in the second Rak’at four Takbirs and four Qunuts, one Qunut being after each Takbir.

In the Qunüt, it is permissible to recite any Dhikr or Du’ã’ like other prayers, and if one recites what is usual, there is no harm; rather, it would be approved, and that is as follows (in Arabic): “Allãhummã ahlal kibriyã’i val ‘azamati va ahlal judi val jabarut va ahlal ‘afwi var rahmah va ahlat taqwâ val maghfirah As’aluka bihaqqi hadhal yowmi ladhi ja ‘altahu lil Musilmeena Eidä va lil Muhammadin sallallãhu alaihi va àlihee dhukhran vasharafan va karãmatan va mazeeda an tusalli ‘alã Muhammadin va Al-i Muhammad va an tudkhilani fi kulli khairin adkhalta feehi Muhammadan va Al-a Muhammad va an tukhrijani min kulli su’in akhrajta minhu Muhammadan va Al-a Muhammad Salawàtuka ‘alaihi va ‘alaihim Allãhummã as’aluka khaira ma sa’laka bihi ‘ibãdukas Salihun va ‘audhu bika mimmasta’ãdha minhu ‘ibãdukal mukhlisun”.

Its English translation is as follows: “O Allah, Possessor of Majesty and Greatness, Possessor of Generosity and Almightiness, Possessor of Forgiveness and Mercy, Possessor of Protection and Pardon, I ask Thee, for the sake of this Day which Thou hast set for Muslims a Day of Rejoicing, and for Muhammad, Blessing be on him and his Progeny, (a source of) treasure, honour, dignity and even more, to send Blessing to Muhammad and his Progeny, and to enter me (or my name) in every good deed, Thou hast entered in it (the names of) Muhammad and Muhammad’s Progeny, and remove me (or my name) from every evil, Thou hast removed from it (the names of) Muhammad and Muhammad’s Progeny, Thy Blessing be on him and them. O Allah, I ask Thee for every good thing asked for by Thy pious Devotees, and seek of Thee for the refuge sought for by Thy pure Devotees.”

If a group of people offers these two prayers with Jamã’at with the intention of hope (that it would be desirable to Allah), the Imam shall deliver two Sermons after offering them with the intention of hope (that it would be desirable to Allah). It is permissible to give up both these prayers during the

Period of Occultation (of the Twelfth Imam). (When these prayers are offered), it is permissible to recite the words loudly by the Imam (when offered with Jamãat), or by the individual (when offered individually). It is also approved to raise the hands at the time of reciting the Takbirs, and offer it in large open spaces excepting Mecca. It is disapproved to offer these prayers under a roof.

Like all other Jama’ats, the Imam is not responsible in these prayers for anything except recitation.

If a person doubts about the number of the Takbirs or Qunuts (in these prayers), and the doubt occurs in its proper place (of compensation), he shall decide in favour of the minimum.

If a person does something entailing the performance of the prostration for error, it is more cautious to perform the prostration for error with the intention of hope (that it would be desirable to Allah), though its non-obligation, when the prayer be considered to be approved, (and not obligatory), is not devoid of force. The same is the case with the compensation for a forgotten Tashahhud or prostration

In the prayers for Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adhà, there is neither a call for prayer (Adhãn), nor a call for standing for prayer (Iqamah). Of course, it is approved for the Muadhdhin (one who calls for prayer) to call (loudly) three times: ‘Assalat’ (i.e., The prayer is ready).[1]

According to an obligatory precaution, it is said that two sermons (khutbas) be delivered after Eid prayer (in regards to the Jummah prayer, another difference is that the khutbah is delivered before prayer and with Eid prayer the khutbah is delivered after the prayer), and it is better the sermons should explain rules regarding Zakatul Fitr.

– If you are going to offer it individually, you must recite the whole Dhikrs by yourself.

– If you want to offer it in congregation, some of its Dhikrs are recited by the Imam and others by you and the Imam simultaneously.

– When the Imam of prayer is reciting Surah al-Hamd and al-Ikhlas (or al-A’la) others just listen and don’t recite these Surahs by themselves.

– Other Dhikrs such as Takbirs, dua in Qunut, Ruku, Sujood and Tashahhod are being recited by the Imam of Prayer and all Mamomeen altogether.

– Since this prayer comes only once a year, there is often difficulties about how to offer this prayer and recite the dua in Qunut. So, a mukabbir (one who pronounces takbir) is usually recite this dua in order to help others recite this dua correctly. However, the Imam of prayer and all Mamoneen are reciting it by themselves.[2]

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Zakat of Fitrah, Zakãt al-Abdan (or Zakãt of Bodies), answer 045.

Index: Zakat and difference between Sayyid and non-Sayyid holms, answer 040.

[1] . Tahrir al-Wasiah of Imam Khomeini, Vol. 1, Rules Concerning Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adhã Prayers.

[2] . Tawzih al-Masail (without annotation), Roohollah al-Moosavi al-Khomeini, Vol. 1, Pgs. 824 & 825 question 1516, 1519 & 1520.

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Reciting Dua or Dikr in any language during the Prayer

Question 579: Hi. I have heard that Muslim can make Dua during Sajdah in his own language while praying. Is this true?

In which position that Dua would be recited. Will it be while saying Subhana rabbi al awla in Sajdah?

Answer 579: The followings are the answers of our maraja’ regarding this issue:

Imam Khomeini (ra), Ayatollah Araki (ra) Ayatollah Noori Hamedani:

There would be no problem to recite dua in any language other than Arabic while praying.[1]

Ayatollah Bahjat (ra):

Reciting dua or dikr in any language which is specialized for the person offering prayer is permissible, though it is against the precaution.[2]

Ayatollah Tabrizi (ra), Khoei, Shobairi Zanjani, Safi, Golpayegani and Vahid Khorasani:

There would be no problem to recite dua while praying, however you are supposed not to recite it in other than Arabic langage, according to a recommended precaution.[3]

Ayatollah Khamenei:

There is no problem to recite dua in any language during the prayer.[4]

Ayatollah Sistani:

Reciting Dua during the prayers is permissible. However, the recommended precaution is that one should not read Duas in any language other than Arabic.[5]

Ayatollah Fazel Lankarani (ra):

Reciting dua during the prayer is permissible, however it should be recited in Atabic language, according to an obligatory precaution.[6]

Ayatollah Makarem:

It is impermissible to recite dua in any language other than Arabic.[7]

Note: It is obligatory to recite Dhikr in prostration as mentioned under Rukü’, the major Tasbih here being: Subhana rabbiyal a’lã va bi hamdihi.[8]

It is mustahab to recite dua in the last sajdah of the prayer. In this regards, Imam Ali (as) says: It is not necessary to recite Surah al-Hamd and Ikhlas in Ruku and Sajdah. You are recommended to at first praise Allah, the Almighty and then make dua.[9]

The followings are duas we are recommended to recite. Although, they haven’t exactly mentioned in traditions, but there are some traditions that are related to these duas.

. Ya Latif irham ‘abdika al dhaeef al-Zaleel.[10]

. Ya Wali ul Aafeeya, As’aluka al-Afyiah, Aafyit al-Dunya wal Akhirah.[11]

For further information in this regards, please read the following answer:

Index: Number of things which invalidate the prayer.

Index:  Perform our prayers in Arabic language, answer 010.

[1] . Tawzih al-Masael, Pg. 154, q. 1135; ibid, Pg. 207, q. 1137; Ibid, Pg. 231, issue. 1136.

[2] . Istiftaat, Vol. 2, Pg. 151, q. 2029.

[3] . Tawzih al-Masael, Pg. 176, q. 1144; Ibid, Pg. 197, issue. 1144; Ibid, Vol. 1, Pg. 270, issue. 1144; Ibid, Pg. 229, issue. 1144; Ibid, Pg. 199, issue. 1144; Ibid, Pg. 408, issue. 1144.

[4] . New Istiftaat, N. 1, Pg. 16, code: 32304.

[5] . Tawzih al-Masael of Maraja, Pg. 232, issue. 1122; The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani, rules concerning Things which invalidate prayers » Introduction.

[6] . Tawzih al-Masael, Pg. 192, issue. 1154.

[7] . Tawzih al-Masael, Pg. 193, issue. 1016.

[8] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini, Vol. 1, Rules Concerning Sajdah (Prostration).

[9] . Wasael al-Shia, Vol. 6, Pg. 310.

[10] . Sheikh Sadouq, Man la Yahduruhul Faqih, researcher and editor: Ghafari, Ali Akbar, Vol. 2, Pg. 165; Sayyid bin Tawus, Radi al-Din Ali, al-Iqbal bil Aamal al-Hasanah, researcher and editor: Qayoumi Esfahani, Javad, Vol. 1, Pg. 395.

[11] . Sheikh Sadouq, Oyoun Akhbar al-Rida (as), researcher and editor: Lajvardi, Mahdi, Vol. 2, Pg. 16; al-Iqbal bil Aamal al-Hasanah, Vol. 3, Pg. 39.

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Ruling on foods and drinks containing alcohol / Vanilla Extract

Question 578: Salaam, I would like to ask regarding the alcohol contain in vanilla essence or medicine. I read once that the pharmacy alcohol is Pak. So it is safe to use vanilla essence or medicine with pharmaceutical alcohol, right? Please confirm. Jazakallah khair

Answer 578: A similar question has sent to the office of grand jurists and the answers that have been received are as follows:

Ayatollah Khamenei:

Generally speaking, the alcohol which is not determined whether or not it is originally intoxicating or not, is ritually clean and is treated as such. There is no problem in using the liquids which contain alcohol and if one doubts whether the alcohol is intoxicating or not, it is treated as clean. So, if the alcohol is not intoxicating and it is not in a liquid form either, it is halal.[1]

Ayatollah Sistani:

All kinds of alcohol whether derived from wood or other sources are pure (tãhir). Therefore, the food in whose preparation alcohol was used is tãhir except for when it causes drunkenness, in which case, the ruling which will apply to it would be different; it would be haram to use it. God knows best.

Considering that vanilla extract contains 35% alcohol, it is not permissible to use its extract![2] But, if the alcohol used in it is so minute that it dissolves in it, there would be no problem to use it.[3]

Q: Alcohol is used in the production of many drugs and medications: Is it permissible to take them? Are they considered pure (tãhir)?

A: They are pure; and since the alcohol used in them is so minute that it dissolves in them, it is therefore permissible to take them also.[4]

Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi:

Considering the high quantity of alcohol in it, it is necessary to avoid it.

Alcohols are divided into two groups: Alcohol that is produced through chemical processes and the one produced through distillation and fermentation. Since ethanol is an industrial alcohol, we will take a look at some facts about industrial alcohol:

The truth of the matter is that industrial alcohol shares the same formula fermented alcohol has (C2H5OH). The difference between the two though, is that industrial alcohol isn’t considered khamr, while distilled alcohol, since it comes from the distillation of khamr, might be considered khamr itself.

The common viewpoint among the ulema is that any intoxicating substance that is originally liquid is najis. The question is, does industrial alcohol fall under this category or not?

According to the common viewpoint here, it seems that industrial alcohol can’t be considered an intoxicant although it is used in intoxicating drinks. The reason that it isn’t considered an intoxicant isn’t that they add poisonous and foul-smelling substances such as methanol to it, but because it is so dense and concentrated that if no additives are added to it, drinking even a little is poisonous, this is why this substance (industrial alcohol) isn’t considered as an intoxicant by the people (urf).[5]

Other Translation:

نمایه: حکم ترکیبات الکل یا ژلاتین در مواد غذایی، سوال شماره 32.

[1] . Tawdzīh al-Masā’il of Marāja‘, Vol.1, Pg.145; Istiftā’āt by Ayatollah Khamenei, q.  302,304,305,306,307(Published by Jameh Mudarrasin).

[2] . For further information in this regards, please refer to IslamQuest Website.

[3] .  The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Question & Answer » Eating & Drinking.

[4] . Ibid.

[5] The Hawza website, the page of the E-library on Alcohol and its products.

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Miracles of the Prophet Noah (as) in the Holy Quran

Question 499: what is the miracle of prophet Noah mentioned in chapter 11 verse 28? I haven’t seen anything in the Qur’an specifically that mentions exactly what it is or in any hadith.

Answer 499: When People of the Prophet Noah told Him: ‘We do not see you to be anything but a human being like ourselves.’ the Prophet (as) answered: “O my people! tell me if I have with me clear proof from my Lord, and He has granted me mercy from Himself and it has been made obscure to you; shall we constrain you to (accept) it while you are averse from it?” When they told Him: “We do not see anyone following you except those who are simpleminded riffraff from our midst. Nor do we see that you have any merit over us. Rather we consider you to be liars”, He said: “O my people! I do not ask you any material reward for it. My reward lies only with Allah. But, I will not drive away those who have faith. Indeed they will encounter their Lord. But I see that you are an ignorant lot”. [1]

In order to call people to salvation, keep them to the right path and prove these missions each Prophet (as) has certainly come to His people with the Truth, Clear Signs and Miracles from Allah, the Almighty.

In the holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “Has there not come to you the account of those who were before you the people of Noah,” Ad and Thamoud, and those who were after them, whom no one knows [well] except Allah? Their apostles brought them manifest proofs, but they did not respond to them, and said,” We disbelieve in what you have been sent with. Indeed we have grave doubts concerning that to which you invite us.””. [2]

Although, Miracles of the Prophet Noah (as) have not clearly mentioned in the Holy Quran, but if we interpret some verses of the Holy Quran and refer to some authentic sources available in this regards we would find miracles some of which are as follows:

  1. Being Signaled and Revealed about the Storm and Saved and delivered from: In the holy Quran Allah (SWT says: “So We delivered him and the Inmates of the Ark, and made it a sign to the nations”.[3] Also, Allah, the Almighty says: “When Our edict came and the oven gushed [a stream of water], We said,” Carry in it a pair of every kind [of animal], along with your family except those [of them] against whom the edict has already been given and those who have faith.” And none believed with him except a few.”
  2. Build the Ark (at a place where there was no sea) that saved Him and those with Him: “In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “Build the ark before Our eyes and by Our revelation, and do not plead with Me for those who are wrongdoers: they shall indeed be drowned.”[4]
  3. Long Life: None of the Prophets (as) have lived a lifetime as the Prophet Noah. He had lived more than 2500 years, though His strength had never decreased through the ages neither His teeth fell out.[5]

Note: The Prophet Noah had been Guided and Preached His People for nine hundred and fifty years[6], but He lived about 2500 years.  [7]

[1] . Surah Hud, verses 27-29;  Tafsir al-Mizan Vol. 10, Pgs. 304-307.

[2] . Surah Ebrahim, verse 9.

[3] . Surah Ankabout, verse 15.

[4] . Surah Momenoon, verse 27.

[5] . According to Tha’labi, living long time (more than 1000 years old) is a Miracle of the Prophet Noah. History of the Prophets (as), Pg. 65.

[6] . Surah Ankaboot, verse 14.

[7] . Biharul Anwar, Vol. 11, Pg. 284, (quoted by Sheikh Sadouq in Amali), Pg. 287;  Majma al-Bahrain, Pg. 1367, second edition, Tehran, office of Farhang Islami Publication.

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The Wilayah of Imam Ali (as) in Ghadir Khumm

Question 470: Did the Holy Prophet (s) mean political authority or religious and mystical authority (Wilayah) in the event of Ghadir Khumm?

Answer 470:  According to Shiites, there is no doubt that the Wilayah (guardianship/authority) of the Commander of the Faithful that was announced and stressed by the Holy Prophet (s) in the event of Ghadir and on many other occasions before and after Ghadir[1] includes all the cases where the Messenger of Allah (s) maintained wilayah (authority). Considering that the Prophet (s) established and led a government, we entertain no doubt that political authority or discretion over political affairs was one of the main aspects of his authority. Read More

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Essential Requirements of a Successful Marriage in Islam

Question 515: Please say that it is a hadith is Islam that you should get you daughter married in a house financially stronger and wealthier than you is that true? What are the Essential Requirements for having a Successful Marriage in Islam?

Brief Answer 515: There is a hadith narrated from the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in which He has said: If one gets married to a woman for her property Allah would leave him to her property, if one gets married for her beauty he would see an unpleasant thing inside of his wife and if one gets married to a woman for her religion Allah, the Almighty would collect all of the values (such as property, beauty and etc.) for him.

Some of the important teachings concerning marriage which must be taken into consideration are: ethical and moral adherence of the boy and girl, honesty and truthfulness, genealogical originality and equality of the boy and girl in terms of their cultural, financial, family, scientific and religious status.

Detailed Answer 515: Marriage is one of the beauties of creation and a tradition of all nations and peoples of the world. Islam also attaches great importance to it; it has been looked at from different angles and aspects in a way such that it is considered to be irreplaceable with anything. The conducts and practice of the imams and noble servants of God who have the highest degree of knowledge about Islam well endorse the above. Imam Baqir (a.s.) narrated from the Holy Prophet of Islam as having said: “There has not been created any institution in Islam which is more favored and dearer to Allah than marriage.[1]

The Commander of Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s) said: “Engage in marriage; because this is the tradition of the Prophet of Allah (pbuh).”[2]

The Prophet of Islam and all of the Imams have laid so much emphasis on the institution of marriage that it has been considered to be equal to safeguarding half of one’s religion. The Prophet of Islam, peace be upon him and his family, stated: “Whoever gets married has safeguarded half of his religion.”[3] That is to say, marriage causes a believer’s personality to reach a stage where he safeguards half of his faith. Imam Sadiq (a.s) stated: “Two Rak’ats (units) of a married person’s Salat (prayer) are better than seventy Rak’ats offered by a bachelor.”[4]

All this emphasis implies the extra-ordinary importance attached by Islam to marriage and formation of family. It is a structure in which the first nucleus of a healthy and divine society comes into being. Islam not only attaches importance to marriage itself but also to the way it is formed and continued.[5]

Islam has presented highly valuable guidelines and models for us, and it has explained the characteristics and features of a good spouse and a healthy marriage as shall be enumerated below:

  1. Having real faith and adherence to Islamic moral codes: Such a person, being in communion with God, is reliable. On the other hand, a young man who is not abiding by such principles is not likely to remain faithful to his commitments. Imam Reza (a.s) said: “If a man seeks your hand for marriage and you are happy with his religiosity and moral characteristics, give consent for marriage with him. Do not reject him because of his poverty.”[6]
  1. Having good moral characteristics which cause the parties to the marriage to be happy and have a prosperous family life. It is said in the traditions that a bad spouse leads a person into pre-mature old age.
  2. Honesty and truthfulness: If a man gives promises while seeking a woman’s hand for marriage but he does not remain committed, there would be no trust in their lives.
  3. Genealogical originality: The Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh) said: “Keep away from the grass that grows on dirt i.e. a beautiful woman in a bad family. The Holy Quran says: He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest in them. According to the verse, the women are a source of comfort and good for men.
  4. Avoiding heavy dowry: The Holy Prophet (pbuh) says: “The best women of my Ummat (nation) are those who are beautiful in face and less in dowry.”[7]
  5. Cultural, financial, family, scientific and religious equality of man and woman: If a girl is not of equal status to man especially culturally, it will lead to serious problems in the couple’s lives. One should try, as far as he can, to marry someone who is considered to be his/her equal. It is only a faithful Muslim who is the equal of another faithful Muslim. The Holy Prophet said: ““If one with whose religion and character you are pleased comes to you (to seek your daughter’s hand in marriage), then marry (your daughter) to him.”[8]

There is a hadith narrated from the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in which He has said: If one gets married to a woman for her property Allah would leave him to her property, if one gets married for her beauty he would see an unpleasant thing inside of his wife and if one gets married to a woman for her religion Allah, the Almighty would collect all of the values (such as property, beauty and etc.) for him. [9]

Conclusion: There is no authentic hadith saying that you are recommended to marry your daughter to one who is wealthier than you or your daughter, whereas the both man and woman who want to get married to each other are supposed to be equal in cultural, financial, family, scientific and religious affairs as well as considering the other important teachings concerning marriage. On the other hand, we can see the marriage of Imam Ali (as) and Lady Fatimah Zahra (sa), the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Lady Khadijah (sa) and the other Imams (pbuth) in order to make sure how they got married!

[1] – Ameli, Shaykh Hurr, Wasail al-Shi’ah,  vol.20, pg.13, Aalulbayt (a.s.) Publications.

[2] – Ibid, pg.15.

[3] – Ibid, pg.17.

[4] – Wasail al-Shia, vol.20, pg.20. رَكْعَتَانِ يُصَلِّيهِمَا الْمُتَزَوِّجُ أَفْضَلُ مِنْ سَبْعِينَ رَكْعَةً يُصَلِّيهَا غَيْرُ مُتَزَوِّجٍ

[5] – Question 2478 (site:2619), index: Abandoning Marriage

[6] – Rayshahri, Muhammad, Mizanul Hikmah, vo.4, pg.280, Darul Hadith Publication.

[7] – Question 1300 (site: 1283), Index: The Philosophy of Marriage in Islam

[8] – Nahjul Fasahah, pg. 37, hadith No.193.

[9] . Man La Yahdhuruhul Faqih, Vol. 3, Pg. 251; Wasael al-Shia, Vol. 20, Pg. 51, H 25008.

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The sign of Laylatul Qadr, the Night of Power

Question 065: Are there narrations that state that the sky should be completely white during sunrise, in order to confirm Laylatul Qadr? If there is, can you provide the narration(s) and its source(s)? And or are there other indications of confirmation?

Answer 065: When Imam Baqir (a.s) was asked, “What is the Sign of Laylat Al Qadr (The Night of Power)”, he replied:

“علامتها ان یطیب ریحها، و ان کانت فی برد دفئت، و ان کانت فی حر بردت فطابت”

Translation: “The sign for the night of power (Laylatul Qadr) is that a sweet smell of this night is spread everywhere. If it is in the winter its weather will be changed to hot and gentle. If it is during the hot summer it will be changed into the cool and temperate weather”. [1]

According to Allamah Tabatabaee, when the sun rose on the following morning, it had no (visible) rays[2].

Imam Sadiq (as) said: Every year we have the Night of Power. Its days are as the same as its nights.[3]

[1] . Wasaiel al-Shia, Vol. 7, Pg. 256.

[2] . al-Mizan, Vol. 4, Pg. 332.

[3] . al-Fusul al-Muhimmah fee Usul al-Aemmah (Takmilatul Wasael), Vol. 2, Pg. 165; al-Tahzib, Vol. 1, Pg. 445; Biharul Anwar, Vol. 95, Pg. 121.

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A Muslim Woman Cannot Marry a Non-Muslim Man

Question 576: Can a Muslim woman marry a Non-Muslim (christian or Jewish) man (interfaith marriage)?

It’s mentioned in Surah Al-Mumtahanah verse 10 “O you who have believed, when the believing women come to you as emigrants, examine them. Allah is most knowing as to their faith. And if you know them to be believers, then do not return them to the disbelievers; they are not lawful [wives] for them, nor are they lawful [husbands] for them. But give the disbelievers what they have spent. And there is no blame upon you if you marry them when you have given them their due compensation. And hold not to marriage bonds with disbelieving women, but ask for what you have spent and let them ask for what they have spent. That is the judgement of Allah; He judges between you. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.”

In this verse, it shows the marriage of muslim women to the disbelievers (Kuffar) is suspended, in which disbelievers doesn’t include the people of the book (Ahel Al Ketab, Christians and Jewish), because many verses in Quran called Christian and Jewish as Ahel Al ketab but not Kuffar (disbelievers).

Note: The maraja showing different opinions in case if a Muslim man marrying a woman from the People of the Book, are these opinions applied on Muslim women who want to marry a man from the People of the Book?

Answer 576: According to the following verses of the Holy Quran, traditions and fatwas of our maraja, a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man.

Verses of the Holy Quran:

  1. As for the unbelievers the holy Quran reject any ways for them to triumph over the believers. “… and Allah will never provide the faithless any way [to prevail] over the faithful.” [1] When it comes to the submission, a woman is supposed to submit unto her husband. If a Muslim woman marry a man from Ahli Kitab the man can influence the wife in the long run. In this regards Imam Sadiq (as) says: A woman is under the influence of her husband. [2] This might be a reason to change her religion.
  2. In other verse of the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “O you who believe! when believing women come to you flying, then examine them Allah knows best their faith Then if you find them to be believing women, do not send them back to the unbelievers Neither are these) women (lawful for them, nor are those) men (lawful for them And give them) former husbands (what they have spent And no blame attaches to you in marrying them when you give them their dowries And hold not to the ties of marriage of unbelieving women and ask for what you have spent, and let them ask for what they have spent That is Allah’s judgment He judges between you And Allah is Knowing, Wise”.[3] In this regards, a man asked Imam Sadiq (as) that my wife has a sister who lives in Basrah city where many people are of religion other than Islam, in this case are we allowed to marry her to one of them? The Imam (as) forbade him according to verse of the holy Quran.[4]
  3. There is another verse of the holy Quran in which Allah, the Almighty says: “… And do not give (believing women) in marriage to idolaters until they believe And certainly a believing servant is better than an idolater, even though he should please you. These (idolaters) invite to the Fire And Allah invites to the garden and to forgiveness by His will And makes clear His communications to men, that they may be mindful”[5]

Traditions:

The followings are some highly valuable guidelines and models presented by the Infallibles (pbuth) for us to have a good spouse and a healthy marriage:

  1. Having real faith and adherence to Islamic moral codes: Imam Reza (a.s) said: “If a man seeks your hand for marriage and you are happy with his religiosity and moral characteristics, give consent for marriage with him. Do not reject him because of his poverty.”[6]
  2. Cultural, financial, family, scientific and religious equality of man and woman: The Holy Prophet said: ““If one with whose religion and character you are pleased comes to you (to seek your daughter’s hand in marriage), then marry (your daughter) to him.”[7]
  3. Being carefree and inattentive to prayers and hijab and drinking wine mean that the boy is not the equal of a practicing and faithful Muslim girl. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) says: “If a drinker makes a request for marriage, do not accept him.”[8]

Imam Baqir (as) was asked if we are allowed to marry Ahle Kitab, He said: You are not allowed to do so. The man asked again, what is the reason behind this prohibition? The Imam (as) replied: According to this following verse of the holy Quran: “And hold not to the ties of marriage of unbelieving”. [9]

Fatwa:

Imam Khomeini: A Muslim woman cannot marry a Kafir whether permanently or temporarily[10]

Sistani: As for a Muslim woman, she is not allowed to marry a non-Muslim man at all.[11]

Fadhil, Safi, Makarem: A Muslim woman cannot marry a man from Ahle Kitab.[12]

If a non-Muslim woman, who got married to a non-Muslim man, converts to Islam:

Khamenei: She must separate from him and there is no need for the divorce contract.

Sistani: There is no need for the divorce contract and she must separate from him as soon as she embraces Islam.

Makarem: In the case asked about, if her husband does not embrace Islam, she will separate from him.

Saafi: [The woman] needs to finish the waiting period; if her husband embraces Islam by then, the marriage will hold, but if he doesn’t, then the wife separates from him without the divorce contract and the marriage is terminated.

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index:  Rules regarding temporary or permanent marriage with people of the book, answer 080.

[1] . Surah al-Nisa, verse 141.

[2] . Al-Kafi, Vol. 5, Pg. 348.

[3] . Surah al-Mumtahinah, verse 10.

[4] . Sheikh Hurr Ameli, Wasael al-Shia, Vol. 14, Pg. 424, chapter 10, Abwab ma Yohramo Bil Kufr, H. 4.

[5] . Surah al-Baqarah, verse 221.

[6] – Rayshahri, Muhammad, Mizanul Hikmah, vo.4, pg.280, Darul Hadith Publication.

[7] – Nahjul Fasahah, pg. 37, hadith No.193.

[8] – Hurr Ameli, Muhammad bin Hasan, Wasail al-Shi’ah, vol.20, pg.79, Aalulbayt Publications.

[9] . Wasael al-Shia, Vol. 20, Pg. 534, H. 4, # 26275.

[10] . Tahril al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini, Vol. 2, Kitab al-Nikah, Pgs. 254-258.

[11] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani, Marriage » Questions and Answers.

[12] . Tawzih al-Masael (annotated by Imam Khomeini), Vol. 2, Pg. 468. The official website of the office of Ayatollah Makarem.