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Ajwabat al-Istiftaat: Risalah of Ayatollah Khamenei

Question 192:  Do you know where I can find the risalah of Ayatollah Khamenei online? Is there another name for risalah? Maybe I am searching for it wrong. Any help would be appreciated.

Answer 192:  Ayatollah Khamenei did not publish His risalah yet, but a number of people left him with no other choice. They knew his fatwas and wrote a risalah according to his fatwa and published it.

There are two volumes of the book of Ajwabat al-Istiftaat that have been translated from Arabic to Farsi and English languages.

In order to find his own fatwa you can refer to the following references:

  1. The book Tawzih al-Masael of Maraja’s (where the verdicts of twelve marja’s have been gathered).
  2. The book Ajwabat al-Istifta’at (which are available in Farsi, Arabic and English[1] languages).
  3. A new book called educational risalah (Risala’ye Amoozeshi) which is available in Farsi language.[2]
  4. To ask your question or correspond with him, you can refer to or call his office.[3]
  5. In case you have got any question you will be able to submit it through his Website.[4]
  6. You can also refer to Tahrir al wasilah and the Fiqhi books (which is available in English Language) on his website.[5]

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

Index: Ways to obtain the verdict of a Mujtahid, answer 555.

[1] . English version of Ajwabat al-Istiftaat that is knows as Practical Laws of Islam; PDF version.

[2] . http://farsi.khamenei.ir/news-index?nt=56

[3] . Qom, Shuhada (Safaeeyeh) Street, office of Ayatollah Khamenei, PO Box. 4141.

[4] . http://www.leader.ir/en/istifta.

[5] . For further information in this regards, please refer to “A Guide to Religious Laws, According to the Religious Verdicts of Imam Khomeini with Verdicts of Sayyid Ali Khamenei”.

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Permissibility of a Father giving Daughters Picture to Non-Mahram

Question 084: What’s the ruling about parents giving Daughters Picture to Non-Mahram (suitor) or his family, without asking the daughter for her opinion, if she agrees to marry the boy or not? If the matter is rejected, what would be the ruling of the pictures (of the girl with and without hijab)? What’s the ruling of exchanging pictures with the intention of marriage between families, not caring if the matter would be rejected or not?

Answer 084: There is a right for the father to intervene, like the right of getting married for a virgin girl and the like, then it is quite obvious that his order must be carried out.[1] So, there would be no problem for a father to give his daughter’s picture to a family (covered one) or a boy (with or without hijab) in this regards.

Note: If a girl comes of age, reaching the age of bulugh and obligation, and is rashidah (meaning that she can tell what is to her benefit and what isn’t), she needs to get her father or grandfather’s (in the case of not having a father) permission if she is a virgin. If she isn’t a virgin as a result of legitimate intercourse [with a permanent or temporary husband], there is no longer any need for her father or grandfather’s permission.[2]

The following are some important rules we are recommended to take them into consideration:

Giving One’s Picture to a Non-Mahram

  1. There is no objection to a boy seeing your picture, if he has a genuine intention to marry you. 2. It is haram for him to look at your picture with lust. 3. If you do not want him to keep your picture with him, he must return you the picture and he does not have the right to keep it. 4. If the picture has no hijab, they would commit sin by seeing your picture without your permission.

The grand maraja’ answer in this regards (giving veiled (with hijab) picture to a boy whom he decided to marry you) is as follows:

Khamenei: There is no problem in it per se.

Makarem Shirazi: There is no problem in it in the said case.

Saafi Gulpaigani: If the man intends to marry her, he can see your picture but try not to let the picture remain with a non-mahram.

Rules regarding Looking at a Woman’s Body for Marriage – It is permissible for a man to look at a woman whom he intends to marry provided that:

– It is not with the intention of pleasure.

– It is to find out about her beauty or her defects.

– There should not be any barrier or hurdle to the marriage.

– He considers it problem that the girl will not reject him[3], in which case he can look at a woman’s face, hands up to the wrists, hair and a part of her body (neck and upper part of the chest).[4]

It should be noted that Grand Ayatollah Saafi believes that, “As an obligatory precaution, he must suffice to looking at her face and hands up to the wrists”.[5]

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

Index:  Premarital relation with non-Mahram is impermissible, answer 082.

[1] . See: Wasa’ilul-Shia, vol. 14, pp. 11-120.

[2] . Tawdhihul-Masa’ele of Maraje’, Vol.2, Pg. 387, question 2376.

[3] . Khamenei, Sayyid Ali, Ajwebat al-Istefaat, question 525; Sistani, Sayyid ali, Minhaj al-Salehin, vol.2, Nikah (Marriage), issue No. 28; Bahjat, Muhammad Taqi, Resalah Tawzih al-Masail, issue No.1944; Makarem Shirazi, Naser, Ta’liqat Alaa al-Urwat al-Wuthqa, Nikah (Marriage), issue No, 26; Fazel Lankarani, Muhammad, Ta’liqat Alaa al-Urwat al-Wuthqa, Nikah (Marriage), issue No. 26.

[4] . Makarem Shirazi, Naser, Ta’liqat Alaa al-Urwat al-Wuthqa, Nikah (Marriage), issue No, 26; Ali bin Abi Talib Religious School, Qom; Sistani, Sayyid Ali, Minhaj al-Saalehin, vol.2, Nikah, issue No. 28; Tabrizi, Jawad, Isteftaat, question 1580, p. 355, Sarwar Publications, Sitara Publications, 3rd edition, 1385 (2006); Bahjat, Muhammad Taqi, Resalah, Tawzih al-Masail, issue No. 1944, p. 386, Publications of the Office of the Supreme Leader, Amir Printing Press, 18th edition,Qom, 1378 (1999). Tawzih al-Masail (with annotation by Imam Khomeini) vol.2, p. 485, issue No. 2433; Imam Khomeini, Sayyid Rohullah, Tahrir al-Wasilah, vol.2, Nikah (marriage), issue No. 28, Payam Printing House, fifth edition, 1365 (1986).

[5] . Saafi, Lotfullah, Hidayat al-‘Ibad, vol.2, Nikah (Marriage), issue No. 28. Adopted from answer        26645 IQ.

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Mourning for Imam Hussain (as) while you are grieving

Question 047: Is mourning for Imam Hussain (a.s) while you are grieving allowed?

Answer 047: There are no restrictions limiting the time of mourning for Imam Hussain (as) to the Day of Ashura. When you are grieving for any worldly things and want to forget about them you can remember the tragic incidents that took place in Karbala against Imam Hussain (as) and His family and Followers.

In this regards, Imam Reza (as) said: O Son of Shabib! If you want to cry over something, then do so over Husain bin Ali bin Abi Talib (as). This means that if you are grieving you would be recommended to mourn for Imam Hussain (as).[1]

Arabic version:

يَا ابْنَ شَبِيبٍ إِنْ كُنْتَ بَاكِياً لِشَيْ‏ءٍ فَابْكِ‏ لِلْحُسَيْنِ‏ بْنِ عَلِيِّ بْنِ أَبِي طَالِبٍ ع‏

Also, there is a hadith in which Imam Ali (as) said: If you cannot be patient, then act as if you are patient (i.e. behave like a patient person), because it is very unlikely that a man make himself like a group of people but does not become like one of them.[2] We can find a similar saying suggested by psychologists: Fake it till you make it.

Arabic version:

إِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ حَلِيماً فَتَحَلَّمْ فَإِنَّهُ قَلَّ مَنْ تَشَبَّهَ بِقَوْمٍ إِلَّا أَوْشَكَ أَنْ يَكُونَ مِنْهُم

So, according to the previous mentioned ahadith, you can mourn and cry for Imam Hussain (as) anytime you want even when you are grieving.

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

Index: Cry or Pretend to Cry over our Sins, for Imam Hussain (as) or Fear of Allah (SWT), 048.

Index: Qama Zani / How the Infallible Imams (pbuth) mourned for Imam Hussain (as), answer 507.

[1] . Al-Amali of Sheikh Sadouq, al-Nass, Pg. 130; Uyūn akhbār al-Riḍā (as), Vol. 1, Pg. 299; Wasael al-Shia, Vol. 14, Pg. 502; Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 44, Pg. 286.

[2] . Nahj al-Balaghah, H. 203.

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Every day is Ashura and Every Place is Karbala

Question 071: Is the statement “Every day is Ashura and every place is Karbala” a hadith? How reliable is its chain of narrators (sanad)?
Answer 071: We weren’t able to find such a hadith[1] saying: “Every day is Ashura and every place is Karbala”.[2]

Yet, this sentence is a correct conclusion obtained from the incident of Karbala and the line of movement of our imams and contains some valuable and instructive points; because although another Ashura will never take place, but oppression and tyranny will always continue, until Imam Mahdi (as) reappears and roots out and eliminates all of it.  The culture of Ashura will go on forever and Karbala will remain the symbol of resistance and fighting against injustice and oppression.  Our religious leaders have taught us to stand up against tyranny, and would do so themselves.  Therefore, it isn’t true that Ashura was an incident that took place in a certain time and place and is to be forgotten afterwards.

The sentence “Every day is Ashura and every place is Karbala” signifies that the battle between good and evil is to go on and isn’t limited to any time or place, and that this battle is linked to the ones before, forming a single chain.  The incident of Ashura and Karbala is one of the clearest links of this very long chain.  Good and evil are always face to face, and libertarians are responsible for the guardianship of the good and fighting the evil, thus, being careless regarding this battle is considered turning away from religion.

Imam Khomeini, who was the establisher of the Islamic Republic, a true follower of Imam Husein (as) and fought against the oppressors of his time, refers to this statement (Everyday is Ashura and…) as “The Great Statement” and stresses on keeping the message of Ashura alive and putting it into practice saying: “This statement is a great one…our nation must always pay attention to the fact that even today is Ashura and that we must stand up against oppression and that we are currently in Karbala and must act according to it, Karbala isn’t limited to a specific land.  The incident of Karbala isn’t limited to a group of seventy-something people in the land of Karbala, all lands must play the same role as Karbala did.”[3]

In reality, with the belief that the rise and martyrdom of Imam Hussain (as) must be the guideline for all Muslim social activities, Imam Khomeini made the rise of Imam Hussain (as) the foundation of his movement.  “…what Imam Hussain (as) did, the idea that he had and his way and his victory after his martyrdom and consequently, the victory of Islam.  This statement brings forth a responsibility for us, while bringing about good news as well.  The responsibility is that the oppressed, no matter how little in number, must stand up like Imam Hussain (as) against their oppressors, regardless of their number, how armed they might be and the evil power they might possess.  The good news being that this statement has considered our martyrs (that stand up as a result of following Imam Husein [as]) as part of the martyrs of Karbala.”

During the imposed war on Iran, the great leader of the revolution stated: “Although the battle of Ashura was the shortest one time wise (half a day), it is the longest battle between good and evil as far as length goes , therefore, whenever one wishes that he/she were one of the companions of the imam (as) and one of the martyrs of Karbala (یا لیتنا کنا معکم‏ فنفوز فوزا عظیما)[4], the battle of Karbala is still going on and the clash of Ashura is continuous (so there still is hope to be able to reach such a rank).”[5]

In other words, as Imam Hussain (as) is the inheritor and successor (wareth) of Prophets: Adam, Ibrahim, Nuh, Musa, Isa, and Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon all of them), the followers of Imam Hussain (as) are the inheritors and successors of the red line of Jihad and Shahadah (martyrdom) and will never put down the flag of Karbala, and this is the valuable asset of Shi’ism in its political dimension, as Imam Hussain (as) himself says: “فلکم فی اسوة‏،  در کار من برای شما الگو است  (there is a good exemplar in me for you)”[6].  This viewpoint of Imam Khomeini, rejects theories that say Karbala and Imam Hussain’s (as) movement were all a personal responsibility that were only for the imam himself and others can’t follow him in it.

One writer even says: “We are certain that if Imam Hussain (as) were to be alive today, he would create another Karbala out of Quds, southern Lebanon, and most Islamic regions, holding the same grounds he held against Mu’awiyyah and Yazid.[7]

Index: Cry or Pretend to Cry over our Sins, for Imam Hussain (as) or Fear of Allah (SWT), 048.

Index: Qama Zani / How the Infallible Imams (pbuth) mourned for Imam Hussain (as), answer 507.

[1]  Of course, some quote this statement from Imam Sadiq (as) without any hadithic backup, see: Abbas Azizi, Payame Ashura (The Message of Ashura), pg. 28 and Javad Muhaddethi, Farhange Ashura, pg. 371.

[2] Some have even submitted evidence that this statement isn’t a hadith. See: Ulume Hadith Magazine, no. 26.

[3] Sahifeye Noor (A collection of the late Imam Khomeini’s sayings), v.9, pg. 202.

[4] Ziyarat Ashura

[5] Sahifeye Noor, v.20, pg. 195.

[6] Tabari, v.4, pg304.

[7] Hashem Ma’ruf Al-Hasani, Al-Intifadhat al-Shi’iyyah, pg.387; Adopted from answer 822 IQ.

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Nazr, Religious vows of Imam Sadiq on the 22nd Rajab

Question 343: Assalam o alAikum, I wanted to ask about Nazr (Religious vows) of 22nd Rajab ul Murjib. Which relates with Imam Jafer Sadiq as. In Pakistan and India Sunni and Shia are observing it every year. But, as I came across with some Saudi , Lebanese and Bahraini shia, they are not aware of it. Kindly explain

Answer 343: In Shia sources, there has not been mentioned any hadith related to this topic. Perhaps, the reason why the 22th day of Rajab has been considered as a joyful day unto the believer is that an enemy of Ahlul Bayt (pbuth) had been killed on this day, according to Sheikh Mufid.[1]

So, as a sign of gratitude for the perdition of the enemy (i.e. Muʿāwiyah ibn ʾAbī Ṣufyān), it is Mustahab to fast on this day.[2]

[1] . Sheikh Mufid, Muhammad bin Muhammad, Masar al-Shia, Pg. 59, Sheikh Mufid Congress, Qom, 1413 A.H.

[2] . Sayyid ibn Tawus, Iqbal al-A’mal, Pg. 667, Dar al-Kutub al-Islmaiya, Tehran, 1988; Ibid, Pg. 176.

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Psychology in Quran / Psychological Defense Mechanisms

Question 584: Define Psychology in Quran? What kind of Psychological Defense Mechanisms have mentioned in the holy Quran?

Answer 584: We believe that the Holy Quran is a guidance and mercy for a people who have faith. The final purpose that the Holy Quran has been sent down for is to continuously nurture the human being to evolve it from a lower to a higher stage of existence. This means that the holy Quran nurture the human being unto perfection.

In the Holy Quran Allah, the Almighty says: “We have sent down the Book to you as a clarification of all things and as a guidance and mercy and good news for the Muslims”[1] The meaning of ‘All Things’ is every affairs that a human needs it to reach at the highest level of perfection. These affairs can be of the following: Material, Spiritual, Social and Individual aspects.

In psychology, ‘How to think’ is one of the things which is considered as the most important guidelines aspects of human life that has been explained completely in the Holy Quran.

According to Quran, there are three different kinds of characteristics can be imagined for the human beings: Momen (believer), Kafir (disbeliever) and Munafiq (hypocrite).[2]

A believer has the three following characteristics: Some of them are those who wrong themselves, and some of them are average, and some of them are those who take the lead in all the good works by Allah’s will.[3]

The characteristic by which we can recognize a Kafir is that they are deaf, dumb, and Blind; thus, they do not understand Anything, due to their shortage of Wisdom.[4]

What the tangible characteristic for the Munafiqs is that there is a sickness in their hearts and when they are told Do not cause corruption on the earth,” they say,” We are only reformers!  These are they who buy error for the right direction, so their bargain shall bring no gain, nor are they the followers of the right direction.  Their parable is like the parable of one who kindled a fire, but when it had illumined all around him, Allah took away their light, and left them in utter darkness they do not see.

The Quran has also talked about kinds of grief, sorrows and its solutions in order to get rid of it, two types of fears:

Acceptable fear:  “The faithful are only those whose hearts tremble] with awe [when Allah is mentioned, and when His signs are recited to them, they increase their faith, and who put their trust in their Lord”.[5]

Unacceptable Fear: “When they came at you from above and below you, and when the eyes rolled] with fear [and the hearts leapt to the throats, and you entertained misgivings about Allah; It was there that the faithful were tested and jolted with a severe agitation.”[6]
Kinds of anger in the holy Quran:

Useful rage: “As for him who endures patiently and forgives that is indeed the steadiest of courses.”[7]

Balanced rage: “Good and evil] conduct [are not equal. Repel] evil [with what is best.] If you do so, [behold, he between whom and you was enmity, will be as though he were a sympathetic friend.”[8]

Destructive rage: 1. “And hasten towards your Lord’s forgiveness and a paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the God wary”. [9] 2. “Certainly you were longing for death before you had encountered it. Then certainly you saw it, as you looked on”.[10]

The best solution when you are angry can be found in the following verses of the holy Quran:

  1. “Those who avoid major sins and indecencies, and forgive when angered”.[11]
  2. “Let the well-off and the opulent among you not vow not to give to the relatives and the needy, and to those who have migrated in the way of Allah, and let them excuse and forbear. Do you not love that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is all-forgiving, all-merciful”.[12]

In the Holy Quran there has been mentioned three kinds of Psychological Defense Mechanisms as follows:

Psychological projection: “There is certainly a good exemplar for you in Abraham and those who were with him, when they said to their own people,” Indeed we repudiate you and whatever you worship besides Allah. We disavow you, and between you and us there has appeared enmity and hate for ever, unless you come to have faith in Allah alone,” except for Abraham’s saying to his father,” I will surely plead forgiveness for you, though I cannot avail you anything against Allah.”” Our Lord! In You do we put our trust, and to You do we turn penitently, and toward You is the destination”.[13]

Rationalization (making excuses): ”When they are told,” Do not cause corruption on the earth,” they say,” We are only reformers!”; Look! They are themselves the agents of corruption, but they are not aware.”.[14]

Reaction formation:

  1. “Among the people is he whose talk about worldly life impresses you, and he holds Allah witness to what is in his heart, though he is the staunchest of enemies”; “And if he were to wield authority, he would try to cause corruption in the land, and to ruin the crop and the stock, and Allah does not like corruption”[15]
  2. “When you see them, their bodies impress you, and if they speak, you listen to their speech. Yet they are like dry logs set reclining] against a wall [. They suppose every cry is directed against them. They are the enemy, so beware of them. May Allah assail them, where do they stray?!”.[16]

Psychotherapy in Quran: One of the Useful Psychotherapy has been mentioned in the holy Quran is: “O mankind! There has certainly come to you an advice from your Lord, and a cure for what is in the breasts, and a guidance and mercy for the faithful.”[17]

In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) introduces a Quranic Psychotherapy as follows: “Those who have faith and do not taint their faith with wrongdoing for such there shall be safety, and they are the [rightly] guided.[18]

Also, Allah, the Almighty introduces another Psychotherapy: “Those who have faith, and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah.” Look! The hearts find rest in Allah’s remembrance!”.[19]

Note: The previous mentioned verses are a few psychological examples have been explained in the Holy Quran.

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

Index: Good behavior? Refraining from a bad suspicion, answer 580.

[1] . Surah al-Nahl, verse 89.

[2] . Verses 2 to 20 of Surah Baqarah.

[3] . Surah Fatir, verse 32.

[4] . Surah Baqara, verse 171.

[5] . Surah Anfal, verse 2.

[6] . Surah Ahzab, verses 10 and 11.

[7] . Surah Shura, verse 43.

[8] . Surah Fussilat verse 34.

[9] . Surah al-Emran, verses 133.

[10] . Ibid, verse 143.

[11] . Surah Shura, verse 37.

[12] . Surah Noor, verse  22.

[13] . Surah Munafiqun, verse 4.

[14] . Sura Baqara, verses 11 and 12.

[15] . Surahs Baqarah, verses 204 and 205.

[16] . Surah Munafiqun, verse 4.

[17] . Surah Younes, verse 57.

[18] . Surah An’am, verse 82.

[19] . Surah al-Ra’d, verse 28.

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Death of Asiya Bint Muzahim / Pharaoh ordered her be nailed to the floor

Question 528: Has Pharaoh stitched nails on fingers of his wife Hazrat Asiya Bint Muzahim and has he ordered to remove her skin before her death.

Answer 528:  When Asiya, Pharaoh’s wife, witnessed Moses’ miracle in front of the sorcerers, her heart was lit with the light of Iman (belief in the One God). She started to believe in Moses. She was trying to hide her faith from Pharaoh but faith and love of God is not something to be concealed. When Pharaoh learned about her faith, he forbade her times and again from believing in Moses; he pressured on her to give up his religion and abandon his God but she never surrendered herself to Pharaoh’s demand.

Finally, Pharaoh ordered his men to tie her up under the scorching sun and put a heavy stone on her chest and let her die there. Pharaoh ordered Asiya Bint Muzahim to be nailed to the floor. He put nails through her body to affix her to the floor under the scorching sun.

Again, the Pharaoh has ordered his courtiers to remove the skin of the queen. Due to the kind help of Allah, she still hasn’t died upon removing of the skin from her body, but they’re full of blood on her body. Still the Pharaoh was not satisfied by his severe punishment in this matter, so he ordered his courtier to put a heavy stone on her chest and let her die there.

When she was breathing the last moments of her life, she prayed to God as such: “O my Lord! Build for me, in nearness to Thee, a mansion in the Garden, and save me from Pharaoh and his doings, and save me from those that do wrong.”[1] God, the Exalted, accepted the prayer of this faithful, chaste and devoted woman and put her beside some of the best women of the world like Maryam.[2]

Lady Asiya’s grave is in Egypt.[3] As for the age at which she died, there is no precise information available. We referred to historical sources to find information in this regard but to no avail[4].

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

Index: Four Women Chosen as the Best above the Women of the World, answer 542.

Index: Good women are for good men / Types of Family in Quran, answer 512.

[1] – Tahrim: verse 11.

[2] – Behar al-Anwar, Vol.13, pg.164 and 165; Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, vol.1, Pg. 183 – 185.

[3] – Yaqut Hamvi, Shahabuddin Abu Abdullah Yaqut bin Abdullah, Mu’jam al-Buldan, Vol.5, Pg.142.

[4] – Adopted from answer 14785 (Index: Deaths of Asiya and Maryam and Their Burial Places).

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Good women are for good men / Types of Family in Quran

Question 512: ‘Good women are for good men and vice versa’. What about Asia and Pharaoh or other examples we daily see in our lives. How does one interpret this verse?

Answer 512: As an improvement for their opinions that is behind why ‘Good women are for good men’ some adduce an argument of the Holy Quran in which Allah (SWT) says: “Vicious women are for vicious men, and vicious men for vicious women. Good women are for good men, and good men for good women. These are absolved of what they say [about them]. For them is forgiveness and a noble provision”.[1]

Arabic version:

الْخَبيثاتُ لِلْخَبيثينَ وَ الْخَبيثُونَ لِلْخَبيثاتِ وَ الطَّيِّباتُ لِلطَّيِّبينَ وَ الطَّيِّبُونَ لِلطَّيِّباتِ أُولئِكَ مُبَرَّؤُنَ مِمَّا يَقُولُونَ لَهُمْ مَغْفِرَةٌ وَ رِزْقٌ كَريم‏

But, considering that every general rule has exceptional cases we see many different examples some of which have mentioned in the Holy Quran that are against the rule as follows:

In one hand, Allah draws an example for the faithless: the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. They were under two of our righteous servants, yet they betrayed them. So they did not avail them in any way against Allah, and it was said [to them],” Enter the Fire, along with those who enter [it].

Arabic version:

ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ امْرَأَتَ نُوحٍ وَ امْرَأَتَ لُوطٍ  كَانَتَا تحَْتَ عَبْدَيْنِ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا صَلِحَينْ‏ِ فَخَانَتَاهُمَا فَلَمْ يُغْنِيَا عَنهُْمَا مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيًْا وَ قِيلَ ادْخُلَا النَّارَ مَعَ الدَّاخِلِين‏

As we see, the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot’ relationship with the prophets was of no avail to them and therefore they were told to enter Hell along with other unbelievers.[2] Because, the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most God wary among you.[3]

On the other hand, Allah draws an [other] example for those who have faith: the wife of Pharaoh, when she said,” My Lord! Build me a home near You in paradise, and deliver me from Pharaoh and his conduct, and deliver me from the wrongdoing lot.” [4]

Arabic version:

وَ ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا لِّلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ امْرَأَتَ فِرْعَوْنَ إِذْ قَالَتْ رَبّ‏ِ ابْنِ لىِ عِندَكَ بَيْتًا فىِ الْجَنَّةِ وَ نجَِّنىِ مِن فِرْعَوْنَ وَ عَمَلِهِ وَ نجَِّنىِ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِين‏

Also, Allah (SWT) draws another example: “And Mary, daughter of Imran, who guarded the chastity of her womb, so We breathed into it of Our spirit. She confirmed the words of her Lord and His Books, and she was one of the obedient”

Arabic version:

وَ مَرْيمَ‏َ ابْنَتَ عِمْرَانَ الَّتىِ أَحْصَنَتْ فَرْجَهَا فَنَفَخْنَا فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِنَا وَ صَدَّقَتْ بِكلَِمَاتِ رَبهَِّا وَ كُتُبِهِ وَ كاَنَتْ مِنَ الْقَانِتِين‏

In addition to the above mentioned issues, we need to take the followings into our consideration.

  1. This verse of the Holy Quran (i.e. surah al-Tahrim, verse 10) is the continuation of the story of Ifk “slander” was revealed and which was a proof of chastity. Allah, the Almighty speaks about the fate of the two ladies immediately after He reveals verses denouncing Aisha and Hafsa for their act of hurting the Holy Prophet (PBUH). He (SWT) introduces these two women as ungrateful women who despite being married to noble and righteous people, acted treacherously towards them. They were the wives of the Prophets (as), but their relationship with them was of no avail to them and therefore they were told to enter Hell along with other unbelievers.
  2. The main aim of the word ‘Khabithat’ (Unclean things) mentioned in this verse is unchaste. Meaning that none of the Prophets (as) and the Imams’ (pbuth) wives deviated from the right path and committed such sins. When the holy Quran talks about the wives of the Prophet Noah and Lot that they betrayed the prophets, it means that they spied for the disbelievers. It doesn’t mean that they committed adultery. Because, the houses of the Prophets must be keep away from such sins that people hate. Otherwise, they couldn’t communicate what has been sent down to them from Allah, the Almighty.
  3. Some of the Prophets and Imams’ (pbuth) wives were not infidel or disbeliever at the time getting married to them. They sometimes went astray after nubuwwat (prophet hood), so after that the prophets didn’t continue their relations with them.

When Asiah got married to Pharaoh the Prophet Musa (as) wasn’t born. When Musa (as) raised up among people she acknowledged His faith, but she had no choice except to live with Pharaoh and then she finally had been killed by Pharaoh.[5]

Ju’dah bint Ash’ath, the wife of Imam Hasan (as) is another example we need to know about. This marriage took place in Kufa and she poisoned Him on instigation of Mu’aviya.

Imam Ali (as) asked Saeed bin Qays, the Ash’ath’s brother to marry his daughter to Imam Hasan (as). When As’ath realized he goes to his brother and dissuaded him from marrying his daughter to the Imam and married Saeed’s daughter to his son (i.e. Ash’ath’s son). He then goes to Imam Ali (as) and said: The girl you proposed for Imam Hasan is my son’s wife. After that he married his own daughter to Imam Hasan (as) with much importunity.[6] According to some sources, Imam Hasan (as) hasn’t had any children from Judah.

According to Shia sources, Judah instigated by Mu’aviyah (according to Ibn Abi al-Hadid, she instigated by Yazid bin Mu’aviyah[7]) as he promised her that if you poison your husband (Imam Hasan) you will get married to my son Yazid and be received a lot of money.[8]

According to Tabarsi, when Imam Hasan (as) has become martyr Mu’aviyah gave Ju’dah money but didn’t fulfil the other promise.[9]

What the reason behind why Judah and his father committed such capital sin was that they instigated by Mu’aviah, the caliphate of that time. It wasn’t because she loved yazid.

This may raise a question as to whether or not the Prophets and Imams (pbuth) didn’t use the knowledge of the unseen in such situation to get married to a pious woman but not like the one who poisoned the Imam.

In the Holy Quran Allah, the Almighty says: “In the Apostle of Allah there is certainly for you a good exemplar, for those who look forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remember Allah greatly”.[10](10) So, the answer is obvious as they are our examples we ordinary people follow their sayings, behaviors, and demeanors.

If they use the knowledge of the unseen in this matter how is this thing possible for us that don’t have the knowledge of the unseen to choose a woman we made sure she will never go astray in the future!

According to the above mentioned issues and the following types of families mentioned in the holy Quran we can conclude that however it is a rule that good women are for good men, but there are some exceptional cases are against the rule. Also, this verse of the Holy Quran is about unchaste that comes after verses denouncing Aisha and Hafsa for their act of hurting the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

Therefore, it is not an obligatory rule that we Muslims must act upon it. It is just examples for us to know that the noblest of us in the sight of Allah is the most God wary among us and being wife or husband of the pious persons like the prophets was of no avail to us.

Types of Families in the Holy Quran: there are four types of families mentioned in the holy Quran as follows:

  1. Husband and wife of the same mind in doing the righteous deeds like Imam Ali and Fatimah Zahra (pbuth). “They give food, for the love of Him, to the needy, the orphan and the prisoner”[11]
  2. Husband and wife that are in harmony with each other in malignancy. “Perish the hands of Abu Lahab, and perish he”[12]
  3. A family that man is good but the woman is bad. “the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. They were under two of our righteous servants, yet they betrayed them. So they did not avail them in any way against Allah, and it was said [to them],” Enter the Fire, along with those who enter [it].””[13]
  4. A family that man is bad but the woman is good. “Allah draws an [other] example for those who have faith: the wife of Pharaoh, when she said,” My Lord! Build me a home near You in paradise, and deliver me from Pharaoh and his conduct, and deliver me from the wrongdoing lot.””[14]

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

Index: Essential Requirements of a Successful Marriage in Islam, answer 515.

Index: The holy Prophet’s (pbuh) knowledge of the unseen (Gheyb), answer 393.

Index: Death of Asiya Bint Muzahim / Pharaoh ordered her be nailed to the floor, answer 528.

[1] . Surah Noor, verse 26.

[2] . Tafsir al-Mizan, Vol. 19, Pg. 575.

[3] . Surah Hujurat, verse 13.

[4] . Surah Tahrim, verses 10-11.

[5] . Tafsir Nemooneh, Vol. 14, Pgs. 425-426.

[6] . Abi al-Faraj Abdul Rahman bin Jozi, Pg. 27.

[7] . Ibn Abi al-Hadid, Vol. 16, Pg. 11.

[8] Mufid, Vol. 2, Pg. 16;  Ibn Shahrashoob, Vol. 3, Pg. 202;  Arbeli, Vol. 2, Pgs. 138-139.

[9] . Tabrasi, Vol. 2, Pg. 13.

[10] . Surah al-Ahzab, verse 21.

[11] . Surah al-Insan, verse 8.

[12]. Surah al-Masad, verse 1.

[13] . Surah al-Tahrim, verse 10.

[14] . Surah Al-Tahrim, verse 11.

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Can Sunnis Go To Heaven / Types of Non-Muslims

Question 317: Guys, I am Al-Sunni, Will I go to Jannat? Generally, can Sunnis Go To Heaven?

Answer 317: Those who weren’t Muslim can be divided into two categories:

1- The infidels and rejecters of faith: Those who knew Islam was the true religion, yet refused to accept it out of negligence and other personal reasons. This group deserve to go to Hell and remain there forever.

2- Those who never heard of Islam or what they heard of was a small part of it, making it resemble other religions that they knew were false. Such people will be saved given they were sincere in their own religions.

Islam says these people will have a chance if they had followed their own religions; religions that were in harmony with their human nature.

The same things that were said go for those who were Muslim, but didn’t hear about Imam Ali (as) or heard very little.
In a nutshell, all of those whom the truth hasn’t reached not as a result of shortcoming and not striving for the truth, don’t deserve to go to Hell, because it is the place for the sinners, and those who tried but never found the truth aren’t considered sinners and negligent.

The criterion for going to Paradise and Hell, according to the Quran, are a person’s deeds. A person’s individual profile shall not be taken into consideration because there must be a difference between one who is wholeheartedly believing in Islam and one who is just accepting it. God, the Exalted, says to those who claim to be believing Muslims: “Say, We submit; and faith has not yet entered into your hearts.”

Reciting the Two Testimonies (Shahaadatayn) makes a person Muslim; he enters the pale of Islam by reciting them. That is to say, the two testimonies have something to do with the aspects of his worldly, legal and social life. One who converts to Islam enjoys certain rights which a non-Muslim does not. However, being entitled to Paradise is something beyond this. That is to say, in order for a person to enter Paradise, not only submission to God is necessary but hearty belief and good deeds are also required. That is to say practical backing is essential for gaining divine reward.

Conclusively, if a person is not up to the standards and criteria for going to Paradise as mentioned in the Quran, mere qualification by the term Shia or Islam would not save him from divine punishment or entering Hell.

In conclusion, we must say that man’s deeds have been considered to be the criterion for entering Paradise. Nominal Shi’ism or Islamic identifications do not save a person from Hell fire. Hence, based on Quranic verses and sayings from the Infallible Imams, peace be upon them, Muslims and Shias who do not act upon God’s injunctions and who do not stay away from prohibitions and have not fulfilled His commands will be deprived of divine mercy and blessings and will be subjected to punishment in Hell. When it comes to whether the punishments are eternal or not or what the nature of the rewards and punishments is and how intercession works, all of these should be discussed in their appropriate place.

At the end, it should be noted that our answer to the question does not mean that being Shia has no role in one’s entering the Paradise and that whoever does good deeds, be he a non-Shia, will be entitled to Paradise. Because we believe that thought and good deeds are both important and they are like two wings with which an individual flies to eternal felicity and happiness.[1]

Paradise is an indisputable vow of Allah (swt).[2] The question is, who are those who will go to paradise? Considering the collection of verses on this matter, the answer is[3] meaning that there is one condition and that is being a “Mumin” [believer]. Another question comes to mind; who are the believers and what are their traits? Is it enough to recite the Shahaadatayn to be a believer?[4] Those who go to heaven are those who have completely obeyed Allah (swt) and His messenger (pbuh). How is one to obey them? Once again, taking into consideration the verses on this issue, the things that Allah (swt) and His messenger want from us can be summed up into two categories: beliefs and actions.[5] (Indeed those who have faith and do righteous deeds, for them will be gardens with streams running in them).

So:
– As long as we don’t obey the prophet (pbuh), we aren’t considered obedient.

– Obedience is both in action and in belief

– Obeying the prophet (pbuh) in some of what he has asked us to do isn’t considered true complete obedience!

What is the outcome of faith and good deeds?

According to the Quran, the fruit of these two is “taqwa” (piety), and those who are pious will enter paradise for sure:[6]

Conclusion of what was said till now: The essence of salvation is taqwa which means to completely obey all of Allah’s (swt) and His messenger’s (pbuh) commands.

Although taqwa has different degrees, the least needed to possess it is to perform all wajib duties and refrain from all sins. So a prerequisite to taqwa would be to learn about what things are wajib and what things are forbidden and haram in Islam so that we can perform and refrain from them respectfully.

One of the prophet’s (pbuh) most important commands is to know and obey his true successors (imams).[7] Clearly, anyone who doesn’t believe in them verbally, in the heart and in his/her actions, cannot be considered a true believer and righteous person and lacks taqwa, because he hasn’t obeyed the prophet (pbuh) in one of the most important things he has asked us to do.

Significant Point: According to verse 59 of surah Nisa, obeying “those vested with authority” is obligatory, to the extent that obeying them has been considered equal to obeying Allah (swt) and their disobedience, His disobedience. What needs to be mentioned here is that they must be infallible, making them invulnerable to any form of sin and even mistake. It isn’t true to say that anyone who becomes ruler of the Muslim nation, falls under the category of “those vested with authority”, because if those vested with authority weren’t to be infallible, there would always be chances of their commands not being in correspondence with Allah’s (swt) and His messenger’s (pbuh), hence the discrepancy between the order of obeying Allah (swt) and obeying those vested with authority [for instance, if the imams were mistakenly to say something isn’t mandatory, while Allah (swt) says it is, there is clear contradiction between saying both Allah (swt) and they have to be obeyed; it is impossible!].
Now that we have spoken about how believing in the imams plays a role in our salvation [which was that since it is obedience of one of the prophet’s (pbuh) most important commands, it is part of taqwa], it is good to speak a bit about what role the imams play in the salvation of people and society and in whether one will go to heaven or hell.[8]

The impact of believing in the imam on one’s salvation: Keeping in mind what was said above, here we will speak of the concept of salvation and success; what it is in this world and the next and the role belief in the imam plays in bringing salvation.

  1. a) The concept of salvation: Each and every person has his/her own perception of salvation and happiness, but it seems this variety in views isn’t to the benefit of those who are in pursuit of the truth. So it’s better to seek the true meaning from that who is to divide all people into the two groups of those who have reached salvation and those who don’t and are at loss.
    When Allah (swt) wants to describe one of His successful servants, Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh), this is how He does it:[9] (And verily, Ibrahim was a true follower Of Nuh; He came towards his Creator and Nurturer With a pure heart). He also quotes him saying:

“Do not disgrace me on the day that they will be resurrected; the day when neither wealth nor children will avail; except him who comes to Allah with a pure heart”. [10]

As you can see, a pure heart has been emphasized in these verses. What can be deduced is that one reaches salvation when he/she lives in a way that when the time to part this world and meet Allah (swt) arrives, he/she has a pure heart.
What is interesting is that after verse 89 of surah Shu’ara [that says “except him who comes to Allah (swt) with a pure heart], the verse comes, which means: “[And on the Day of Judgement] Paradise is drawn near to the muttaqin or pious people”. The message this verse conveys is that the outcome of having a pure heart is to have taqwa, and that paradise is the reward of those who bear taqwa.

Conclusion: Happiness and salvation are contingent upon having a pure heart, and a sign if having it is taqwa. The person who has truly reached salvation is one who possesses a pure heart.

  1. b) The role believing in an imam plays in one reaching salvation: Many Sunni and Shia scholars have narrated the following hadith; a portion of it will be narrated here:

The prophet (pbuh) told Ali (as): “Prophet Musa’s (pbuh) nation was split into seventy-one sects in which only one of those sects was delivered while all the others would go to Hell; Prophet Isa’s (pbuh) nation was split into seventy-two groups in which only one of them was delivered and the rest all companions of the Hellfire; my nation will also be split into seventy-three groups in which only one of them will be delivered, while the rest will all go to Hell. Imam Ali (as) asked: “O Messenger of Allah (swt)! Which of them is to be delivered?” He answered: “Those who go your way and the way of your followers and embrace it.”[11]

Baridah Aslami [whom the Sunnis believe to be one of the prophet’s (pbuh) companions] quotes the prophet (pbuh) saying that what is meant by “the straight path” in surah Fatihah that says “guide us to the straight path” is Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his progeny.[12]

The prophet (pbuh) has said: “Whoever wishes to swiftly pass “the bridge of sirat” [on the Day of Judgment] like a typhoon and enter paradise without any reckoning, has to accept my friend, successor, companion and the one to take my place after me over my progeny, Ali ibn Abi Taleb.” If anyone desires to go to Hell, then he should: “disregard his [Ali’s (as)] authority, for by my lord’s glory and magnificence, he [Ali (as)] is the only door to Allah (swt) and the straight path and the one whose authority and imamate will be asked of on the Day of Judgment [from the rest of the people].”[13]

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

Index: Jannatul Firdaus (Garden of Paradise) is the paradise which God has made of gold and silver, answer 338.

Index: Barzakh / Everyone Shall Enter the Hell, answer 326.

Index: Rest, Rain and Snow in the Heaven, answer 325.

[1] . Hujraat, 14.

[2]  . “مثل الجنة التی وعد المتقون” Muhammad: 47.

[3] . Tawbah: 72.

[4] . Nisa’:13.

[5] . Buruj:11.

[6] . Ale-Imran:15.

[7] . Nisa’:59; Shura:23; Al-Mustadrak alal-Sahihain, vol. 3, pg. 109.

[8] . Of course, the subject of the need of people for an imam is one that calls for an extensive discussion, in which isn’t the theme of this article.

[9] . Saffat:83-84.

[10] . Shu’ara:87-89.

[11] . Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyeezil-Sahabah, vol. 2, pg. 174.

[12] . Sayyid Shahabuddin Shafe’I, Rashfatul-Sadi, pg. 25; Sheikh Salman Hanafi, Yanabi’ul-Mawaddah, pg. 114.

[13] . Haskani, Shawahidul-Tanzil, vol. 1, pp. 51 and 90.

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The differences and similarities between Shia and Sunni

Question 187: What is the difference and similarities between (Shia and Sunni) the Ahlul Sunnah and Ahlulbayt (as) followers?

Answer 187: The discussion concerning such a topic is very extensive and this answer cannot incorporate all the details. We shall briefly mention, in two stages (e.g. beliefs and laws), those of the Shiite views which are opposed by Sunnis or a group of them:

  1. A) Beliefs and Tenets of Shiite Religion:
  2. Although Tawhid (oneness of God) is a principle common between the Shiite and Sunnit schools of thought, Shia believes that God’s attributes are the same as His Essence.
  3. According to Shia, God cannot be seen in this world nor can He be seen in the Hereafter.
  4. Unlike the Sunnis, Shia holds that it is not permissible on God’s part to punish an obedient and give rewards to a sinner.
  5. Shia does not believe in determinism and compulsion.
  6. The most important Shiite belief is the belief in Imamat. Shia holds that Imamat is a part of the fundamentals of faith and the successor of the Prophet must be inerrant and infallible and it is precisely because of infallibility, which is known by none other than God, that the imam (leader) after the Prophet should be appointed by God and that the Islamic governments should lead to Wilayah.

  7. Obeying an oppressive and unjust sovereign is not permissible according to Shia.
  8. Shia believes that Ahlulbayt in verse 33 of Chapter al-Ahzab refers to Fatima (daughter of the Holy Prophet (pbuh)) and the pure Imams (a.s.).
  9. Shia is of the view that the prophets are infallible. They do not commit any sin, whether capital or minor.
  10. Bada, Raj’at (return) and intercession are also some of the Shiite beliefs.
  11. Shia does not consider all the companions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) as just. There were different types of people amongst the companions. Some were just and some were hypocrites. Their fatwa (verdict) are not authoritative and valid for anyone.
  12. B) Laws:
  13. Taqiyah (dissimulation) is permissible according to Shia.
  14. Mut’ah (Fixed-time marriage) is permissible according to Shiite viewpoint.
  15. The gate of Ijtihad is open according to Shia.
  16. Shia does not accept ta’sib and awl in inheritance.

Note: The principle of ‘awl (proportionate reduction) is applied by Sunni jurists when the estate of the deceased is ‘oversubscribed’ by Quranic heirs. Ta’sib is applied by Sunni jurisprudence to give priority to male agnates as heirs, and this results in many mathematical complexities in their system of inheritance. The only really significant difference between the Shi’ah and Sunni schools of jurisprudence in the laws of inheritance concerns the principles of “‘awl” and “ta’sib”. The Imamiyah jurisprudents have proved by means of ahadith from the Ahlu ‘l-bayt (a.s.) that there is no ‘awl or ta’sib in the matter of inheritance. This was also the opinion held by the great companions of the Holy Prophet. The well-known statement of Ibn ‘Abbas in which he speaks against ‘awl and ta’sib can be taken as authoritative. There are also other grounds of proof for negating these two principles.[1]

  1. According to Shia, combining between two prayers is permissible.
  2. “Hayya ‘ala Khayril ‘Amal” (Hasten to the best acts) is a part of the Adhan.
  3. It is permissible to visit the Infallible Imams’ graves (we believe that not only visiting graves is not shirk (idolatrous) but it is very much a monotheistic act and there is a lot of reward in it.).

For further explanation, you can refer to some books written in this regard including: Al-Jawame’ wal-Fawareq bayn al-Sunnah wa al-Shia by Muhammad Jawad Mughniyah; Ma’a al-Shia al-Imamiyah fi Aqaedehim, by Ayatollah Ja’far Subhani, Islamic Beliefs in the Light of the School of Ahlalbayt by Ayatollah Ja’far Subhani.[2]

[1] . For further information in this regards, please refer to: Khums: Rules concerning Awl and Ta’sib, answer 324.

[2] . Adopted from IQ (with a few changes has been made on).