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Greeting with Salam is mustahab responding to it is wajib

Question 062: Why shouldn’t we greet fellow Muslims with Salam on Ashura day? Is it a cultural tradition or there’s an Islamic justification to this?

Answer 062: There is a tradition narrated from Ali bin Ibrahim from his father from al-Nawfeli from al-Sakooni, from Imam Sadiq (as) that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) says: Greeting with Salam (peace) is recommended and voluntary, but responding to it is obligatory.[1] The Prophet (s) also says: Do not give answer to one who doesn’t initiate saying Salaam before his speech.[2]

Arabic version of this hadith is as follows:

السَّلَامُ تَطَوُّعٌ وَ الرَّدُّ فَرِيضَةٌ.

  1. Greeting is one of the desirable acts that have been recommended. It is not makrooh (abominable) to greet someone from this perspective. However, according to some religious authorities (maraje’), if not doing an action such as shaking hands is considered in common view as a way of mourning and expressing grief, it is better not to do it.[3]
  2. Imam Baqir (as) was asked about how we should console each other on the Day of Ashura? The Imam answered: Say: May God increase our rewards as a result of what has befallen us through Hussein’s sufferings. May God make both you and us men who seek vengeance for him together with his great successor (wali), the Imam, the Mahdi from the family of Muhammad (a).[4]

The Arabic version of this recommendation:

“أعظَمَ اللهُ اجورَنابمُصابِنابِالحُسَینِ،وَجَعَلَناوایّاکُم مِنَ الطّالِبینَ بِثارِهِ مَع وَلیّهِ الامامِ المَهدیِّ مِن آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ”

  1. The word ‘Salaam’ has been mentioned 22 times and the word ‘Assalam’ 7 times in the holy Quran. Some of the verses in which the word has been mentioned are as follows:

– When they entered into his presence, they said,” Peace!”” Peace!” He answered,”[5]

– Certainly Our messengers came to Abraham with the good news, and said,” Peace!”” Peace!” He replied.[6]

– Peace is to me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I am raised alive.”[7]

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

Index: Ways to Greet in Islam with Muslims and Non-Mahram, answer 369.

Index:  Lamentation: Normal mourning for Imam Hussain (as), answer 049.

[1] . Kulainy, Muhammad bin Yaqoub, al-Kafi, Vol. 2, Pg. 644, H. 1.

[2] . Ibid, H. 2.

[3] . Tabrizi, Jawad, New Isteftaat, vol.1, p. 454, Qom, first edition (date and place of publication not known).

[4] . Tusi, Muhammad bin al-Hasan, Mesbah al-Mujtahid wa Selah al-Muta’abbed, p. 772, Fiqh al-Shi’ah, Beirut, first edition, 1411 A.H.

[5] . Surah adh-dhariyat, verse 25.

[6] . Surah Hood, verse 69.

[7] . Surah Mariam, verse 33.

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Glossary 505: Delaying Death and Called before its Time

Original Post: Delaying Death and Called before its Time

Related Code: 505

Glossary 505: Ahadith[1], Quranic[2], Ajal[3], Ajal muallaq[4], Ajal hatmi[5], Lawḥ[6], Ithbāt[7], lawh mahw wa ithbat[8], Umm al-Kitāb[9], Pbuth[10], Gheib[11], Imam Sadiq[12], Mulla Sadra[13], Harakat Jowhariyah[14], Tawaffi[15], Ruh[16], Nafs[17], Wafat[18], Faut[19], Mawtehââ[20], Anfos[21], Manameha[22], Imam Hussain[23], Maḥw[24], Ajal musamma[25]

[1] . – Ahadith:  One of various reports describing the words, actions, or habits of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The term comes from Arabic meaning a “report”, “account” or “narrative”.

[2] . – Quranic: It is used to describe something which belongs or relates to the Holy Quran.

[3] . – Ajal: Term. Life Time. Preordained Time. Specified Date.

[4] . – Ajal muallaq: The conditional ajal. Suspended Lifespan.

[5] . – Ajal hatmi: Cannot be changed. Definite Lifespan.

[6] . – Lawḥ: Tablet. The Book of Allah’s Recorded Knowledge.  Tablet of wood or stone used for writing.

[7] . Ithbāt: Affirmation. Writing.

[8] . – lawh mahw wa ithbat: The knowledge which is capable of erasure and substitution; The knowledge which is Liable to change from time to time.

[9] . – Umm al-Kitāb: The Mother Book, The Basis of the Book, The Original of the Book.

[10] . – Pbuth: Peace be Upon Them (The Infallibles).

[11] . – Gheib: The Unseen.

[12] . – Imam Sadiq: Imam Jaʿfar ibn Muḥammad al-Ṣādiq (as), commonly known as Jaʿfar al-Sadiq or simply al-Sadiq, is the sixth Shia Imam.

[13] . – Mulla Sadra: Ṣadr ad-Dīn Muḥammad Shīrāzī. He was an Iranian Shia Islamic philosopher, theologian and ‘Ālim who led the Iranian cultural renaissance in the 17th century.

[14] . – Harakat Jowhariyah: substantial motion.

[15] . – Tawaffi: This word is derived from the root word “وفی” which means to receive something in a complete way. “توفیت المال” means that I received all of the money with no shortage. The Quran refers to death with this term in 14 verses and this means that first: man has a metaphysical aspect and it is because of this aspect that man never ceases and is delivered completely to the angels at the moment of death.

[16] . – Ruh: Spirit.

[17] . – Nafs: Soul.

[18] . – Wafat: complete reception. In Farsi it is وفات.

[19] . – Faut: ceasing. In Farsi it is فوت.

[20] . – Mawtehââ: Death.

[21] . – Anfos: Souls.

[22] . – Manameha: Sleep.

[23] . – Imam Hussain: – Imam Hussain: Al-Ḥussain ibn ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (as), was the grandson of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), and the son of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib and lady Fatimah al-Zahra (pbuth) the daughter of the Prophet.

[24] . – Maḥw: Erasure; Rubbing something out.

[25] . – Ajal musamma: The definite ajal. Specified term. Fixed time. Fixed Term.

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Delaying Death and Called before its Time

Question 505:  Asslamoalikum. I wanted to know can death be delayed or can be called before time, in any way?

Brief Answer 505:  As far as whether one can delay his death or not, one must say that the ahadith and Quranic verses speak of two types of “ajal” (time of death); “ajal muallaq” and “ajal hatmi” which have also been referred to in the ahadith by other names.

The “ajal muallaq” of a person is the time span he is given to live in this world. However, this period may be lessened or prolonged. For example, by giving charity or visiting relatives one can delay his “ajal muallaq”. Similarly, by not visiting them or being cursed by his parents, this period will be shortened. On the other hand, “ajal hatmi” cannot be changed. Therefore, ajal muallaq has been written in the Tablet of Lawḥ and Ithbāt while the latter is written in the Umm al-Kitāb.

Since, death is one of the Unseen nobody knows when he will die, unless the Infallibles (pbuth) except for some messenger whom He approves of

Detailed Answer 505:  In the holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “Knower of the Unseen, He does not disclose His Unseen to anyone, except (a few of the unseen) to an apostle He approves of. Then He dispatches a sentinel before and behind him.  So that He may ascertain that they have communicated the messages of their Lord, and He comprehends all that is with them, and He keeps count of all things”.[1]

As death is one of the Unseen, only Allah, the Almighty knows when our souls certainly taste of death. Nobody knows when he will die except the Infallibles (pbuth), however they knew well that whenever Allah (SWT) wished their souls would certainly taste of death.[2]

Note: The majority of Shi’a scholars argue relying on the above mentioned verse of the holy Quran that the special servants of Allah can be informed of the Gheib on occasions which this knowledge is necessary.  This meaning is also indicated in the ahadith of the imams.  Imam Sadiq says in this regard: “When an imam wills to know something, Allah will teach him.”[3]

The answer to this question that if we realize at the time of death that we are going to die or not is that We all, but the Infallibles (pbuth), don’t know the real time of death until when it overtakes one of us. At that time, those who are not the real believer say: Send us back, my Lord, send us back.[4]

Delaying Death: In Islamic literatures, each description about death explains a certain aspect of it. Before observing the material we find about death in these texts (Quranic verses and the ahadith), we will cite and explain the words of a few philosophers in regard to this issue.

Avicenna says: “Death is no more than the body leaving the tools and means that it used in this world and what is meant by the tools are the different organs that together form the body.”[5]

The great Philosopher, Mulla Sadra said: “Death means that the soul simply leaves the body when the soul reaches a stage in “Harakat Jowhariyah” (substantial motion) that it no longer needs the tools and organs of the body. The body is like a ship that the soul employs in its journey towards God amongst the dryness of objects and the sea of souls. Once it has passed this stage, it is no longer in need of the body, and this is when death comes into the picture. Therefore, contrary to what many doctors and physicians believe one does not die because his physical energy has finished or that he lacks instinct heat. Death is something natural for man, and brings about perfection for it, and anything that promotes perfection for it, is its right, thus death is man’s right.”[6] Along these lines, in deeper discussions it is said that death is: “مفارقة النفس للبدن بانقطاع تعلقها التدبيرى”[7]. At all events, this was the philosophical viewpoint in this regard. Now, we will refer directly to the ahadith and Quran to observe them as well.

1- The Quran explains death as losing life and its effects such as thinking and willing. Obviously, losing life only applies to things that can come to life. The Quran says: “و كنتم امواتاً فاحياكم ثم يميتكم” “You were lifeless and He gave you life, then He will make you die.”[8]

Or about the idols it states: “اموات غير احياء” “They are dead, not living”[9]. Such a description of death is correct in the sense that man is comprised of the body and soul and when the body dies, the physical aspect has died. Thus, one could say that man has died. However, to think that the Quran implies that man’s soul will cease is wrong, it does not imply that angels, which have no physical body will ever cease.[10]

2- Another description mentioned in the Quran is the term “tawaffi”[11]. This word is derived from the root word “وفی” which means to receive something in a complete way. “توفیت المال” means that I received all of the money with no shortage. The Quran refers to death with this term in 14 verses and this means that first: man has a metaphysical aspect and it is because of this aspect that man never ceases and is delivered completely to the angels at the moment of death. This metaphysical/spiritual aspect is referred to in many verses as “ruh” or “nafs”. It is this aspect that will continue to live, and second: the true essence of man is not his body, because the body gradually disintegrates[12] and is not delivered to the angels. Other proof for this claim is that the Quran attributes acts that a live person does, such as speaking with the angels, and yearning and asking after death, to the soul, illustrating that man’s true essence is not his lifeless body. It is the true essence of man that is received by the angels.[13] In short, death is “وفات” (complete reception) and not “فوت” (ceasing).[14] Therefore, death is an existential matter that can be created and this is why the Quran says that even death is a creation of God.[15]

In verse 42 of surah Zumar, the Quran says: “الله يتوفى الانفس حين موتها و التى لم تمت فى منامها”

“Allah takes the souls at the time of their death, and those who have not died in their sleep. Then He retains those for whom He has ordained death and releases the others until a specified time.” The pronouns in the words “موتها” and “منامها” seem to refer to “انفس”, but they actually refer to the bodies of humans; because it is the body that dies and not the soul.

Death is simply a long form of sleep and sleep is a shorter form of death. In other words, death is no different from sleep except for the fact that in sleep the soul is temporarily taken away, meaning that the soul is granted permission to return to the body.[16]

It is also understood from verses 60 and 61 of surah Waqi’ah that death is moving from one home to another and from one stage of creation to another, not ceasing.[17] Therefore, death is a second birth.

In this regard, the Prophet says: “You were not created for annihilation, but rather to remain. You will only go from one house to another (when you die).”[18]

Imam Ali describes death as follows: “Death is leaving the world of annihilation (the world of limited life) towards the world of endurance for eternality Therefore, a wise man must be prepared for the next world befittingly”.[19]

In a very elegant saying by Imam Husayn, he uses the metaphor of death being a bridge that a believer passes to be relieved of all pains and difficulties to reach the great heavens.[20]

As far as whether or not one can delay his death, one can say that Islamic texts mention two types of ajals (times of death) for each person.[21] The Quran says: “قضى اجلاً و اجلٌ مسمى عنده” “then he ordained the term [of your life] the specified term is with Him…”[22] This means that man has an indefinite ajal[23] that can be changed and a definite ajal that cannot be changed. The fact that the second ajal cannot be changed is understood from taking the word “عنده” into consideration, because the Quran also states: “و ما عند الله باق” “What is with Allah shall last…”[24] This is the ajal that the Quran makes reference to in verse 49 of surah Yunus which states: “There is a time for every nation: when their time comes, they shall not defer it by a single hour nor shall they advance it.”

If we consider this point along with verse 39 of surah Ra’d which states: “لكل اجل كتاب يمحو الله ما يشاء و يثبت و عنده ام الكتاب”[25](25) we can conclude that ajal muallaq (the conditional ajal) is that which is recorded in the “Umm al-Kitāb” and ajal musamma (the definite ajal) is in the Tablet of Maḥw and Ithbāt.

The Umm al-Kitab can be identified with stable and unchanging events in essence; meaning events from the perspective of them being related to general causes that inevitably entail their respective effects. The Tablet of Mahw and Ithbat identifies with events from the perspective of their relation with partial causes that will take effect only if no barriers get in their way. Thus, sometimes the non-musamma and musamma ajals are the same and sometimes they differ and the one that eventually takes place is the musamma ajal.[26]

At all events, ajal muallaq can be delayed and if the ahadith speak of performing certain acts and delaying death, it is referring to delaying ajal muallaq.

The hadith says: “يعيش الناس باحسانهم اكثر مما يعيشون باعمارهم و يموتون بذنوبهم اكثر مما يموتون بآجالهم” “People live more by their good deeds than they live by their lifetime (meaning that they can postpone their ajal muallaq with their good deeds) and die more due to their sins and evil deeds then they do by their times of death (meaning that before the time of their ajal hatmi comes, they die on their ajal muallaq because of their evil deeds).”[27]

For example, charity[28] or maintaining family ties have been counted as means of delaying ajal muallaq and prolonging one’s lifespan.[29]

For more information in regards to deeds that may prolong one’s lifetime, please refer to relevant books.[30]

Related Link: Glossary 505.

[1] . Surah Jinn, verses 26-28

[2] . Tafsir al-Mizan, Vol 20, Pg. 83.

[3] Kuleini, Usul Kāfī, vol. 1, chapter on when the imams wish to know something, they know it, hadith 3.

[4] . Surah al-Momenoon, verse 99.

[5] Avicenna, Risalat al-Shifa’ min Khawf al-Mawt, pp. 240-245.

[6] Mulla Sadra, vol. 9, p. 238.

[7] If the connection between the soul and body is lost, such that it loses all control of the body, this is called death.

[8] Baqarah:28.

[9] Nahl:21.

[10] See: Al-Mizan, vol. 14, p. 286.

[11] Nahl:32; Anfal:50; An’am:60; Zumar:42.

[12] Verse 60 of surah An’am reads: “هو الذى يتوفاكم” meaning it is He who receives you. Here, the pronoun کم denotes ‘me’ and ‘the self’ which is always the same and doesn’t change.

[13] See: Shahid Mutahhari, Majmu’eye Asar, vol. 2, pp. 503-511.

[14] See: Jawadi Amoli, Abdullah, Tafsire Mozu’iye Quran, vol. 3, pp. 388-397 and vol. 2, pp. 497-509.

[15] “الذى خلق الموت و الحيوة…” Mulk:1 and 2 (He who created death and life…) (please refer to Payame Quran, vol. 5, pp. 430 and on).

[16] See: Payame Quran, vol. 5, p. 433).

[17] See: Al-Mizan, vol. 19, p. 133 and vol. 20, p. 356.

[18] Majlisi, Bihar, vol. 6, p. 249.

[19] “الموت مفارقة دار الفناء و ارتحال الى دار البقاء” He also says: “خذوا من ممركم لمقركم” meaning take provisions from this temporal world for your eternal world (Nahjul Balaghah Subhi Saleh, p. 493) The world is a place of passing through and the Hereafter is a place of residence and when you are dying, you will be taken there: “الى ربك يومئذ المساق” (Qiyamat:26-30).

[20] Majlisi, Bihar, vol. 6, p. 154; Ma’ani al-Akhbar, p. 274; Mizan al-Hikmah, vol. 9, p. 234 “…فماالموت الاقنطرةٌ تعبربكم عن البؤس و الضرّاء الى الجنان الواسعة…”.

[21] See: Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 5, p. 139.

[22] An’am:2.

[23] The nakirah (indefinite) word here (being اجلاً) implies ambiguity.

[24] Nahl:96: “That which is with Allah is stable and enduring”.

[25] “There is a written [schedule] for every term. Allah effaces or confirms whatever He wishes and with Him is the Mother Book”

[26] See: Tabatabai, Al-Mizan, vol. 7, p. 8-10.

[27] Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 5, p. 140; Mizan al-Hikmah, vol. 1, p. 30.

[28] Muhammadi, ReyShahri, Mizan al-Hikmah, vol. 1, p. 30.

[29] Muhammadi, ReyShahri, Mizan al-Hikmah, chapters 1464 and 1467.

[30] Muhammadi, ReyShahri, Mizan al-Hikmah, vol. 6, p. 549, chapter 2932.

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Looking at non-Mahram Body for Marriage

Question 611: Salam. Is a person allowed to look at the hair of her fiance once before marriage? Need answer from ruling of Ayatollah Khamenei and ayatollah Sistani?

Answer 611: Generally, it is haraam for a man to look at the body or hair of the Non-Mahram women, regardless of whether it is with the intention of pleasure or not, and whether there is a fear of falling into sinful act or not. It is also haraam to look at the faces and the arms, up to the wrists, of such women with the intention of pleasure, or if there is fear of falling into sinful act, and the recommended precaution is that one should not look at their faces or arms even without such an intention. Similarly, it is haraam for a woman to look at the body of Non-Mahram man, except places which are customarily not covered, like, his face, hands, head, neck and feet. She can look at these parts of a man without the intention of deriving any pleasure, or if there is no fear of being entrapped in any sinful act.[1]

But, it is permissible for a man to look at a woman whom he intends to marry provided that: 1- it is not with the intention of pleasure, 2 – it is to find out about her beauty or her defects, 3 – there should not be any barrier or hurdle to the marriage, 4 – he considers it problem that the girl will not reject him[2], 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).[3]

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.[4]

Sayyid Sistani (ha) says: It is permissible for a man to look at the attractive features of the woman he intends to marry. Similarly, it is permissible to talk to her before proposing. So, it is permissible to look at her face, hair, neck, hands and wrists, and legs and other parts of her body, provided that he does not so without sexuall gratification.[5]

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

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

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

Index: Chatting on the internet with non-Mahram, answer 350.

Index: Shaking Hands with non-Mahram Man or Woman, answer 603.

[1] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules regarding Marriage » Looking at non-Mahram.

[2] – Khamenei, Sayyid Ali, Ajwebat al-Istiftaat, 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.

[3] -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).

[4] – Saafi, Lotfullah, Hidayat al-‘Ibad, vol.2, Nikah (Marriage), issue No. 28; Adopted from IQ.

[5] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules concerning Marriage » General Rules.

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Zayd ibn Ali the brother of Imam Baqir according to Shia

Question 056: What is the Ithna Ashari view on Zayd Ibn Ali, brother of Imam Baqir?

Answer 056: According to Sheikh Mofid (r.a), Zayd ibn Ali ibn al-Hussain was the son of Imam Sajjad (a.s), the grandson of Imam Hussain ibn Ali (as), and great-grandson of Imam Ali (as). Zayd was born in Medina in 695 and martyred in Kufa.[1] He was one of the greatest figures and prominent personalities among his brothers after Imam Baqir (a.s), in the School of Ahlulbayt (a.s) and the entirety of the Islamic world.

He was very pious, jurisprudential, generous and brave. He rose with the intention of directing others to enjoin what is lawful and forbid what is unlawful.

He also intended to take revenge on those who killed his grandfather Imam Hussain ibn Ali (a.s). The reason he was called Halif al-Qur’an, was because he was so well acquainted with and continuously recited the Holy Qur’an.[2] Zayd al-Shahid, Zayd the martyr was his another title, because he was martyred in an uprising against tyranny.[3]

Imam Sadiq (a.s) said such things as: “May Allah (swt) bless my uncle”. Imam Ridha (a.s) said such things as: “Zayd ibn Ali was one of the great scholars of the Ahlulbayt (a.s)”.

He was angered for pleasure of Allah (swt), fought in holy war against enemies of Allah (swt) and was martyred in the way of Allah (swt).[4]

[1] . ‘Umraji, al-Hayat al-Siyasat wa al-Fikriyyat Lil Zaydiyyat fee al-Mashriq al-Islami, Pg. 30; Saberi, Tarikh Firaq Islami, Vol. 2, Pg. 64.

[2] .Ibid, Pg. 43; Esfahani, Maqatil al-Talebin, Pg. 127.

[3] . Maqatil al-Talebin, Pg. 127.

[4] . Ahmad bin Ali ibn al-Hussain, (birth 288 A.H), Omdatul Mataleb, Pg. 255. Uyūn akhbār al-Riḍā (Arabic: عیون اخبار الرضا), Vol. 1, chapter 25, Pg. 248. Allamah Tabatabaee, Shia in Islam, Pg. 66.

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Prophet Noah cursed Blacks / The Story of Noah’s Sons

Question 198: Question: What does Islam say about blacks? What is their position among people seeing as they bear the azab of their progenitor Ham?

Answer 198: In book Elalul Sharaye’a, the story of Noah’s sons are mentioned as follows:

One day the Prophet Noah (as) fell asleep in his ship. A wind was blowing and pushed aside his clothes. His private parts became exposed. Ham and Japheth were laughing at him, but Shem forbid them from laughing at their father. Shem covered his fathers private parts, but they pushed the cloth aside again. Suddenly, Noah (as) woke up and saw what happened. He asked, “Why are you are laughing?” Shem replied to his father, the story!

Noah raised his hands and said, “O Allah, change the loins of Ham, and Japheth” and Allah (swt) changed it. This is why why all black people come from Ham’s generation; all Turkish people and Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj (Gog and Magog) come from Japheth’s generation; and all white skinned people come from Shem’s generation. “O Allah, set the children of Ham and Japheth as slave’s for the children of Shem, until the Day of Judgment”.[1]

The Arabic version of this narration is as follows:

عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الْكُوفِيُّ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا سَهْلُ بْنُ زِيَادٍ الْآدَمِيُّ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْعَظِيمِ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الْحَسَنِيُّ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ عَلِيَّ بْنَ مُحَمَّدٍ الْعَسْكَرِيَّ ع يَقُولُ عَاشَ نُوحٌ ع أَلْفَيْنِ وَ خَمْسَمِائَةِ سَنَةٍ وَ كَانَ يَوْماً فِي السَّفِينَةِ نَائِماً فَهَبَّتْ رِيحٌ فَكَشَفَتْ عَنْ عَوْرَتِهِ فَضَحِكَ حَامٌ وَ يَافِثُ فَزَجَرَهُمَا سَامٌ ع وَ نَهَاهُمَا عَنِ الضَّحِكِ وَ كَانَ كُلَّمَا غَطَّى سَامٌ شَيْئاً تَكْشِفُهُ الرِّيحُ كَشَفَهُ حَامٌ وَ يَافِثُ فَانْتَبَهَ نُوحٌ ع فَرَآهُمْ وَ هُمْ يَضْحَكُونَ فَقَالَ مَا هَذَا فَأَخْبَرَهُ سَامٌ بِمَا كَانَ فَرَفَعَ نُوحٌ ع يَدَهُ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ يَدْعُو وَ يَقُولُ اللَّهُمَّ غَيِّرْ مَاءَ صُلْبِ حَامٍ حَتَّى لَا يُولَدَ لَهُ إِلَّا سُودَانٌ اللَّهُمَّ غَيِّرْ مَاءَ صُلْبِ يَافِثَ فَغَيَّرَ اللَّهُ مَاءَ صُلْبِهِمَا فَجَمِيعُ السُّودَانِ حَيْثُ كَانُوا مِنْ حَامٍ وَ جَمِيعُ التُّرْكِ وَ السَّقَالِبَةِ وَ يَأْجُوجَ وَ مَأْجُوجَ وَ الصِّينِ مِنْ يَافِثَ حَيْثُ كَانُوا وَ جَمِيعُ الْبِيضِ سِوَاهُمْ مِنْ سَامٍ وَ قَالَ نُوحٌ ع لِحَامٍ وَ يَافِثَ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ ذُرِّيَّتَكُمَا خَوَلًا لِذُرِّيَةِ سَامٍ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ لِأَنَّهُ بَرَّ بِي وَ عَقَقْتُمَانِي فَلَا زَالَتْ سِمَةُ عُقُوقِكُمَا لِي فِي ذُرِّيَّتِكُمَا ظَاهِرَةً وَ سِمَةُ الْبِرِّ بِي فِي ذُرِّيَّةِ سَامٍ ظَاهِرَةً مَا بَقِيَتِ الدُّنْيَا

It is also said that since the Noah’s Deluge happened in the month Dhil Hijjah and the Ark reached Bayt al-Haram (the temple of Mecca), Noah (as) recommended the people of the Ark not to have intercourse with their wives during this time. He then cursed those who disobeyed and said that Allah changed their loins. Therefore, when Ham did so his loin had been changed.[2]

According to Tabari, Ham had a happy ending, because, the Prophet Noah (as) had mercy on him and prayed for him, that his generations will get affection from their brothers.[3]

Accordingly, a question that may now arise is, “Is it mentioned in the holy Quran that white people are better than yellow, red, brown and black colored races?”

A: The verse mentioned above does not say that white people are better than other races, actually it has nothing to do with the abovementioned issue, the words used in the verse may seem to relate to races but they have a meaning other than being black and white. In Arabic people who reach salvation and prosperity are called “white faced people” and those who do not are called “dark/black faced people”, these sorts of expressions and other similar ones such as “a dark heart” or “the night was pitch black” that have nothing to do with races are not only found in Arabic, but in other languages as well.

In respect to the hadith cited above, aside from the fact that some parts of it aren’t in conformity with Islamic teachings, and its chain of narrators isn’t a decent one, making its authenticity disputable, we must pay attention to the fact that although youth, health and beauty aren’t of Islam does not deny that white skin is more beautiful and attractive, but it denies the notion that being white is a spiritual advantage and value; therefore it makes complete sense for black people to turn white when entering heaven. Add to above that this hadith is not considered authentic.

Actually, there are many verses in the Quran which clearly explain that despite the differences that are found among humans, they are all from the same root and nothing will make one more valuable or respectful other than his righteousness and piety, let it be physical features, family ties or gender, some of these verses are as follows:

1- “O mankind! Indeed we created you from a male and a female, and made you nations and tribes that you may identify yourselves with one another. Indeed the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most God wary among you.”[4]

2- “O mankind! Be wary of your Lord who created you from a single soul, and created its mate from it, and, from the two of them, scattered numerous men and women. Be wary of Allah, in whose Name you adjure one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is watchful over you”[5]

The Arabic version of this verse:

“يا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذي خَلَقَكُمْ مِنْ نَفْسٍ واحِدَةٍ وَ خَلَقَ مِنْها زَوْجَها وَ بَثَّ مِنْهُما رِجالاً كَثيراً وَ نِساء ”

3- “It is He who created you from a single soul”[6]

The Arabic version of this verse:

” وَ هُوَ الَّذی أَنْشَأَکُمْ مِنْ نَفْسٍ واحِدَة”

Imam Ali would equally pay people their share which was three “dinars” from the “Beitulmal” (the treasury). A man from the Ansar came to him and received his three dinars and then a black person came and received the same amount of money.

The man from the Ansar was surprised and protestingly said: “Up until yesterday this black man was my servant, does it make sense for me to get as much money as he does?!” The Imam replied that the argument had no reasoning and that none of the two was higher than the other.”[7]

In a similar story the Imam faced his brother “Aqil” that said: “Do you think my share equals the share of a black man?!” The Imam strongly denied such a notion and replied: “It is only if you are more righteous and have done more for Islam that will make you more respectful and valuable, otherwise you are completely equal to him.”[8]

According to Tabari, Ham had a happy ending, because, the Prophet Noah (as) had mercy on him and prayed for him, that his generations will get affection from their brothers.[9]

Also, all mankind are the same as each other. There is no superiority. They are equal to each other in worshiping Allah (swt) the Almighty, as Allah, the Almighty says: “Surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty) Surely Allah is Knowing, Aware”. [10]

The Arabic version of this holy verse:

“يا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْناكُمْ مِنْ ذَكَرٍ وَ أُنْثى وَ جَعَلْناكُمْ شُعُوباً وَ قَبائِلَ لِتَعارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقاكُم”

In the Holy Qur’an, Allah (swt) has never used the words, O White people! Instead, Allah (swt) has always said, “O mankind! Worship your Lord, who created you and those who were before you, so that you may be God wary.” [11]

Although, the hadith mentioned in Alalul Saraye’a is considered as Sahih in its chain of narration, but it is also said that Ham had a happy ending, because, the Prophet Noah (as) had mercy on him and prayed for him, that his generations will get affection from their brothers. [12]

Therefore, according to the previous mentioned verses of the holy Quran and Ahadith narrated from Infallibles (pbuth) and according to Tabari that Ham had a happy ending we can come to this conclusion that all mankind are the same as each other. And there is no superiority. They are equal to each other in worshiping Allah (swt) the Almighty, as He (SWT) says: “Surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty) Surely Allah is Knowing, Aware”. [13]

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

https://www.facebook.com/groups/510247479126564/permalink/598502863634358/

Related Link: Facebook.

[1] . Elalul Sharaye’a, Vol. 1, Pg. 32.

[2] . Abu Hisham, Book al-Tijan fee Muluk Hamir, Vol. 1, Pg. 34, San’a, 1979;  Tabari, Tarikh (History), Bierut, Vol. 1, Pg. 188;  Abul Fat’h Razi, Rawz al-Jinan wa Rooh al-Jinan fee tafsir al-Quran, Vol. 10, Pg. 270, Muhammad Jaafar Yahaqi, and Muhammad Mahdi Naseh, Mashhad;  Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayat wa al-Nihayat, Vol. 1, Pg. 116, Beirut, 1190 / 1411 A.H.

[3] . Tabari, Masoodi, Beirut, Vol. 1, Pg. 204. Tabari’s name is Muhammad bin Jarir ibn Yazid ibn Kathir bin Ghalib, although he appeared to be Sunni due to Taqiyah and the condition that was obtained there, however he was a follower of the School of Ahlul Bayt (pbuth) and loved them. For more information, please refer to: Rawzatul Jannat; Shahabi, Ali Akbar, Tehran, Tehran University, Publisher Institution, Third edition.

[4] . Surah al-Hojorat, verse 13.

[5] . Surah Nisa, verse 1.

[6] . Surah An’am, verse 98.

[7] . Muhammad ibn Yaqub Kuleini¸ Kafi, vol. 8, pg. 69, hadith 26.

[8] . Ibid, vol. 8, pg. 182, hadith 204.

[9] . Tabari, Masoodi, Beirut, Vol. 1, Pg. 204. For more information, please refer to: Rawzatul Jannat; Shahabi, Ali Akbar, Tehran, Tehran University, Publisher Institution, Third edition.

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

[11] . Surah Baqarah, verse 21.

[12] . Tabari, Masoodi, Beirut, Vol. 1, Pg. 204.

[13] . Surah al-Hojorat, verse 13.

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Praying for non-Muslims in Qunoot of Witr prayer

Question 197: Asslamoalakum! Could we add the names of non-muslim people while mentioning the names of 40 people dead/alive in Qunoot of Witr in Namaz-e-shab (nawafilatu-layl)? Also, could we recite Sura Fatiha while passing through the graves of non-Muslims? This include mentioning name of non-Muslims among 40 names in qanoot of witr too, only if they were harmless towards Muslims right? What if that non-Muslim is alive, could we mention him/her in qunoot of Witr?

Answer 197:  Given the supposition made in the answer, there is no difference between mentioning them in Qunut. 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”.[1]

Our maraja have different opinions in this regards:

Sayyid Sistani: You are not allowed to pray for non-Muslim in order that Allah (swt) don’t punish them.

Makarem Shirazi: There would be no problem to recite surah al-Fatihah and pray for them if they have not fought Muslims on the account of religion.

Khameneni: There would be no problem in it per se.

Safi Golpayegani: Reciting salawat and seeking Allah (swt) for his forgiveness is not permissible.

The qunut of witr prayer is one of the highly rewarded mustahab acts and stress has been laid on prolonging it. It has been narrated from the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him and his family, that he said: “Whoever prolongs the qunut of his witr prayer in the world, will be at ease at the station of judgment.”[2] In Qunut, first pray for forgiveness of forty or more Mu’mineen who are either dead or living in the following manner. For example, you should say:

“اللهم اغفر لفلان

“Allahumma ighfir li-fulan”.

Instead of ‘fulan’, you should mention the name of the individual whom you want to pray for. Or recite:

اللهم اغفر للمؤمنین و المؤمنات

Allahumma ighfir lil-mo’meneen wal-momeenat.

“استغفر الله ربی و اتوب الیه‌”

Then recite seventy times “astaghfirullah rabbi wa atubu elayh.” Then recite:

“هذا مقام العائذ بک من النار”

Haza maqamul a’eze bika minan nar.

Then say three hundred times:

“العفو”

Al-Afw. Then the following dhikr is recited:

“رب‌ّ اغفرلی و ارحمنی و تب علی‌ّ انک انت التواب الغفور الرحیم‌”

Rabbi ighfirli wa irhamni wa tub ‘alayya innka antat tawwab al-ghafoor al-rahim.[3]

 

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

Index: Praying for non-Muslim Parents, answer 516.

Index: Ways to Greet in Islam with Muslims and Non-Mahram, answer 369.

Index: The night prayer or Salat al-Layl (Tahajjud, Night Prayer), answer 234.

Index: Reciting Dua or Dikr in any language during the Prayer, answer 579.

[1] . Surah Mumtahina, verses 8 & 9; Surah Tawbah, verse 113.

[2] . Tabatai Yazdi, Muhammad Kazem, Urwat al-Wuthqa, vol.1, p. 544 – 545, Dar al-Tafsir.

[3] . Adopted from answer: The night prayer or Salat al-Layl (Tahajjud, Night Prayer), answer 234.

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Shia Believe Ahlus Sunnah are Muslim not Kafir!

Question 203: Assalamu Alaikum. Do Shia believe Sunni followers (Ahlus Sunnah) are kafir or nonbeliever?

Answer 203: The first degree and step in Islam, which is the necessary condition to being Muslim, is to admit to the two principles of tawhid (the oneness of Allah (swt)) and nubuwwah (prophethood). The concept of لا اله الا الله (there is no God but Allah (swt)), is the true essence of Islam and its most important doctrine, containing all of the different dimensions of tawhid in it, and admitting to the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), is the acknowledgement that he is the seal of the prophets and that his religion is the final one to come, nullifying all other religions before it (meaning that these religions can no longer be followed, although they might have been the religions to be followed before the advent of Islam). The rest of the degrees of higher faith start from here, which is to follow the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in all of his teachings and decrees without any questioning.

One who bears witness to the two principles mentioned above, has embraced Islam and parted from all other religions. When such takes place, all rulings pertaining to Muslims (such as the permissibility of marrying other Muslims, having transactions with them, the taharah (being pure and not najis) of their bodies and their children’s bodies, will all pertain to him/her as well[1] and his/her life and possessions will be respected and defending him/her will become a responsibility of the Islamic governor and the Muslim society. As was said, this is the least that every Muslim must bear and others can no longer call such Muslims Mushriks or Kafirs anymore, even though their faith is the lowest one can have, but then again, it is faith.

In addition to what was said above, according to the ithna’ashari sect, considering the different verses and hadiths that imply this matter, accepting all twelve individuals as imams, leaders and successors to the holy Prophet (pbuh) after him is one the most important conditions of faith and the acceptance of our actions and worship from Allah (swt), because accepting the holy Prophet (pbuh) and the Quran as the final revelation to the prophet (pbuh) which hasn’t been changed and falsified till today, necessitates the precise and complete practice of the teachings of the Quran and the prophet (pbuh). One of these teachings and guidelines which is of extreme importance, is for us to obey the imams. Therefore, in reality, disobeying them is equal to disobeying the Prophet (pbuh) and Allah (swt) because they are the ones who have ordered us to follow them.

Imam Sadiq (as) recommended his followers to be good and behave nicely toward ahdlul Sunnah, offer their prayers at Ahlul Sunna Mosques, visit their (ahlul sunnah) patients, go to their funeral, and if possible be their Mukabbir (one who pronounces takbir and other Dhikrs in congregational prayers). The Imam (as) says: If you did so they would say, you are the followers of Ja’afari sect. May Allah, the Almighty Ja’afar’s soul rest in peace. How good the Imam educated his followers.[2]

Thus, the Sunni followers are not considered as Kafir. They have only the lowest level of faith! They are not the true believer.

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

Index: The differences and similarities between Shia and Sunni, answer 187.

Index: Ask Islam: How to become a Muslim, answer 527.

Index: Shia answers: The Term Shia in Quran, answer 129.

[1] . Of course, there is a difference of opinion regarding the purity of the bodies of the people of the book, which you can learn about by referring to the different risalahs of various marjas; Sayyid Sistani (ha) says: The Ahlul Kitab (that is, the Jews, the Christians and the Zoroastrians) are ritually pure (tahir) as long as you do not know that they have become ritually impure (najis) by coming into contact with an impure object. You can follow this ruling when dealing with them.

[2] . Man La Yahduruhul Faqih, al-Sadoup, Vol. 1, Pg. 267, H. 1128.

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Mutah and Zina: Shia consider Temporary Marriage permissible

Question 201:  What is mutah and zinah??

Answer 201: Zina denotes copulation with other than one’s legal spouse (permanent or temporary), which the Quran labels as a grave sin, about which Allah has said: “Do not approach fornication. It is indeed obscene and an evil way.”,[1] Temporary marriage refers to a marriage in which a man and woman without any restrictions of getting married, willingly, along with mentioning a specific mahr (dowry) and time length for the marriage, perform a marriage contract. This type of marriage has no talaq (divorce) and the couples are separated when the marriage contract’s time ends.

The reasons for its permissibility: Verse 24 of surah Nisa’ and traditions narrated by the Sahabah (companions of the Prophet [pbuh]) from the Prophet (pbuh) all say that the permissibility of such a marriage was indeed legislated by him.

Doubts and questions on mut’ah:

  1. a) The whole purpose of legislating the permissibility of marriage is for the establishment of a family and the continuation of generations, while temporary marriage defeats this purpose because the only reason for such a marriage is sexual satisfaction.
    Answer: This question comes up because one mixes up the benefits of a specific ruling and its “subject” (In order to see what is meant by the subject of a ruling , pay attention to the following example: “Prayer is wajib” ; This ruling has a ruling and a subject; its ruling is wujub, or in other words, being mandatory. The subject of this ruling is the act that has been made mandatory, which in this case is prayer.). What was mentioned was one of the benefits of marriage, but its ruling doesn’t solely depend on that particular benefit, thus, getting married to a barren or ya’esah woman (one who has reached menopause), or a girl who is still a child is also acceptable (although the abovementioned benefit isn’t possible with them). Many young couples get married only for fulfilling reproductive desires in an Islamically legitimate way and don’t even think of bringing a child (although it might accidentally happen), yet their marriage is right and no one says that such intentions are problematic.

What is strange is that sexual desires are counted as its only benefit, while in many cases like in permanent marriage, one gets temporarily married for other reasons such as bringing a child, managing and taking care of the home, or nursing and growing children etc.

The question we have from those who oppose mut’ah is that if its purpose contradicts that of permanent marriage, then what do you have to say about couples who get married with the intention of getting divorced after two months? Is their marriage correct or not? Clearly, no faqih and alem (scholar) says such a marriage is incorrect unless he wants to say something completely illogical. So what is the difference between the two, other than one being timely and the other, permanent?

The author of al-Minar says: “The strictness of past and present ulema (scholars) and them prohibiting mut’ah, necessitates the prohibition of permanent marriage with the intention of getting separated by divorce afterwards. Yet, they say that if one has this intention at the time of marriage but doesn’t mention it when performing the contract as one of the contract’s conditions, the contract is correct (and the two become husband and wife, although if it is mentioned, it will surely make the contract void), nevertheless, hiding this intention is considered deceit, thus, such a contract deserves to be void (although it isn’t) more than a contract in which such intentions have been mentioned in (because when it isn’t mentioned, it is considered deceit).”[2]

We the Shia believe that if the couple themselves are content (in order for it not to become a form of deceit), and make a time limit one of the contract’s conditions, it is still correct and they are husband and wife.

  1. b) The permissibility of mut’ah contradicts the verse that says: “And those who guard their private parts; except from their spouses or their slave women, for then they are not blameworthy; but whoever seeks (anything) beyond that it is they who are transgressors.”[3] This verse is saying that anyone who goes after anything other than the mentioned instances has crossed Allah’s red line and entered the domain of haram acts. Mut’ah doesn’t cause any legitimate relationship between two people, so one who has intercourse with his mut’ah “wife” has committed a haram act.

Answer: This is merely a claim that has no backup. Such a woman is the man’s wife and has her own rulings. Just because her sustenance (nafaqah) isn’t the man’s responsibility and the fact that she doesn’t bear the qismah right (which says the different wives of one man equally share his sleeping with them, each “owning” the same number of nights), doesn’t make her not be his wife. The nashizah woman (one who doesn’t do tamkin) is considered one’s wife although she lacks the nafaqah and qismah rights, and the same goes with a girl who has become one’s wife while merely being a child.

It is completely wrong to say that since there is no ruling, there is no subject of the ruling. Sometimes the subject is there, but its ruling isn’t. Being husband and wife is a relationship between a couple that is followed by numerous rulings and decrees, if some of them cease to exist, it doesn’t mean that the relationship in its entirety doesn’t exist either. There are chances that some of these rulings exclusively belong to some types of marriage, not all of them.

  1. C) One who performs temporary marriage, isn’t after companionship and a life free of adultery and sin, on the contrary, his/her sole intention is adultery. And although there is a responsibility of the man taking care of his spouse and therefore somewhat causing an obstacle for him committing adultery, there is no obstacle for the woman to commit it and she is able to offer and present herself to other men anytime she desires, becoming one of the instances of the poem that speaks of a ball that is struck back and forth by polo-sticks.[4]

Answer: Who says that being protected only belongs to men? If this marriage is right, both men and women can protect themselves from adultery. Three things prevent young women from wrongdoing:

1- Permanent marriage

2- Temporary marriage with the conditions that were mentioned earlier

3- Controlling and dominating one’s sexual drive

The first choice isn’t a practical one for young girls and boys because of the low salaries that they receive from their families or the government or anywhere else. Taming the sexual drive is also impractical and almost impossible except for a few exceptional individuals. The only option that remains for youth in order not to fall into sin and corruption is temporary marriage.

Islam is Allah’s final religion and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is His final messenger, his book being the final book and his decrees being the final ones. Such characteristics call for this religion to have a solution for every social problem that might occur in order to keep the respect and greatness of Muslims. Sexual problems aren’t an exception and Islam surely needs to provide a solution.

Imam Ali’s (as) voice can still be heard, warning mankind of the negative consequences of not taking this solution serious: “If it wasn’t for him (Umar banning mut’a) no one would ever commit adultery other than the shaqiyy (wretched).”[5]

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

Index: Permanent or Temporary marriage of a married man without the permission of his wife, answer 565.

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

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

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

[1] . Israa’:32 “وَ لا تَقْرَبُوا الزِّنى إِنَّهُ كانَ فاحِشَةً وَ ساءَ سَبِيلًا”. Regarding the impermissibility of adultery, see: Furqan:68 and 69; A’raaf:33; An’aam:151; Kulayni, Yaqub, translated by Mustafawi, Sayyid Jawad, Usul Kāfī, vol. 3, p. 391, Wafaa’ Press, 2004; Najafi, Muhammad Hasan, Hurr Amili, Wasa’il al-Shia, vol. 28, book of hudud; Jawaahir al-Kalaam, vol. 41, pp. 258 and 260, Daar Ihyaa’ al-Turaath al-Arabi, Lebanon, 1981.

[2] . Tafsir Al-Minar, v.3, pg. 17.

[3] . Surah Mu’minoon, verses 5-7.

[4] . Tafsir Al-Minar, Vol. 5, Pg. 13.

[5] . Mustadrakul-Wasa’el, v.14, pg. 478. ” فَلَوْلَاهُ مَا زَنَى إِلَّا شَقِيٌّ أَوْ شَقِيَّة”.

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Betting on Football Horse Riding and Shooting

Question 607: Salaam Sheikh. I want to know if betting on football is halal or haram?

Answer 607: It is permissible to engage in sports games with balls like football (soccer), basketball, volleyball, table tennis, handball, etc. It is also permissible to watch such games at the sports stadiums or on various displays and monitors with payment or without payment as long as that does not entail a harãm act, like looking with lust, or neglecting an obligation like salãt.[1] But, it is not permissible to play it, if it involves betting.[2]

Also, playing in gambling tools, such as chess, dominoes, backgammon, and betting on them is haraam; even playing chess and backgammon [and the like] without betting is haraam.[3]

Note: Shooting or Archery and Horse riding are permissible even if they involves betting.[4] The property gained through the betting is halal. However, betting is allowed for those who take part in the competition only not for the onlookers and owners of the horses.[5]

[1] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules concerning Games.

[2] . Tawzih al-Masael of maraja’ (annotated), Vol. 2, Pg. 962, al-Nashr al-Islami Instirution, al-Tab’ah al-Thaminah (eighth edition), Qom 1424 A.H; Mahmoodi, Sayyid Mohsin, Masael Jadid az Didgah Ulama (new issues from the view points of scholars and maraja’), Vol. 1, Pg. 107, Sahib al-Zaman Cultural and scientific publication , fourteenth edition.

[3] . Ibid, Gambling.

[4] . Refer to: Tawzih al-Masael of maraja’ (annotated), Vol. 2, Pg. 962, al-Nashr al-Islami Instirution, al-Tab’ah al-Thaminah (eighth edition), Qom 1424 A.H; Mahmoodi, Sayyid Mohsin, Masael Jadid az Didgah Ulama (new issues from the view points of scholars and maraja’), Vol. 1, Pg. 107, Sahib al-Zaman Cultural and scientific publication , fourteenth edition.

[5] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules concerning Gambling.

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Quran says: Every Soul Shall Taste Death

Question 461: Salamualekum. Please, what is the Ahlul bayt view on the fact that every soul shall taste death?

Answer 461: In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “Every soul shall taste death. Then you shall be brought back to Us”.[1] According to the Holy Quran and traditions, before the judgment day, all of creatures will die. The holy Quran says: “And the trumpet shall be blown, so all those who are in the heavens and those who are in the earth shall swoon, except those who Allah pleases.”[2]

At first, this verse says that all those who are in skies and earth will die including all of the angels, and then there are some exceptions. So, we realize by this verse that some creatures will not die at sound of the trumpet. Who are they? There is a talk among commentators; some groups believe that there is a group of great angles such as: Gabriel, Michael, Israfil and Israel.

In another narration when the Holy Prophet Mohammad (s) recites this verse, people asked him who the exceptions are. He answered: Gabriel, Israfil and the angel of death and when all spirits was taken, they will die by order of Allah.[3] Another narration adds the carriers of Allah’s throne besides these angels[4].

In any case, by these narrations[5] and others that said: When the time of first horn comes, Israfil will blow on the trumpet and all creatures that have a soul will die except Israfil who will die later by Allah`s order.[6] And also by some verses like: “All things will die except His face,”[7] It is generally said that all things will die except Allah’s face. We can use this verse to show that this rest group will eventually die as there is not any creatures that will remain alive in any part of the world, except Almighty Allah.

How do angels die? It must be said that what we call death (the spirit leaving the body and the material world) does not have any meaning for angels because they do not have bodies for their soul to leave. For this, there are some possibilities about what the essence of their death is:

The first possibility means death by breaking the relationship between their soul and their mithali existence .[8] The second possibility means, ending their continuous activities and losing their perceptual ability.

Therefore, every soul shall taste death, and you will indeed be paid your full rewards on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever is delivered from the Fire and admitted to paradise has certainly succeeded. The life of this world is nothing but the wares of delusion.[9] Everyone on it must pass away, and yet lasting is the Face of your Lord, majestic and munificent.[10]

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

Index: Satan Taste Death / Every Soul Must Taste of Death, answer 217.

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/AskShia/permalink/596059397212038/)

Index: Delaying Death and Called before its Time, answer 505.

(https://www.facebook.com/Ask-Shia-1593139984261577/?ref=bookmarks)

[1] . Surah al—Ankaboot, verse 57.

[2] . Zumar (the companies) verse 68

[3] . Bihar al Anvar, volume 79, page 184

[4] . Ibid, volume 6, page 329

[5]. Ibid, volume 6, page329

[6]. Ibid, volume 6, page 324

[7]. Qasas, verse 88

[8]. Refer to Tafsir Namoneh volume 19 page 541

[9] . Surah Aal Emran, verse 185.

[10] . Surah al-Rahman, verses 26-27.

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Satan Taste Death / Every Soul Must Taste of Death

Question 217: Assalamu aleykum as it written or said innalillahi Wainnailyhi Rajiun. Shall Satan taste death as the rest of the creation will?

Answer 217: In the Holy Qur’an Allah (swt) says, “And certainly we created you, then we fashioned you, then we said to the angels, “Prostrate to Adam.” So they did prostrate, except Iblis; he was not of those who prostrated. He said, “What hindered you so that you did not prostrate when I commanded you?” He said, “I am better than he: Thou hast created me of fire, while him thou didst create of dust.” He said, “Then get forth from this (state), for it does not befit you to behave proudly therein. Go forth, therefore, surely you are of the abject ones.” Satan said, “Respite me until the day when they are raised up.”[1]

Allah (swt), the Almighty says: “So surely you are of the respited ones.” “Till the period of the time made known.”[2]

In some traditions there have been mentioned different interpretations regarding “The Time Made Known” as follows:

Some say, it means when this universe has ended and there will be no taklif (duty) for the human being. All creatures will be died on that day and Allah (swt) will be the only one who is the Ever living who dies not. In this regards, the Holy Qur’an says, “Everything is perishable but He.”[3]

Allama Tabatabaei said: the meaning of “The Time Made Known” is not the Day of Judgment nor the end of the universe when there is no duty. It is during the time when the universe still exist and everyone has Taklif.[4]

According to Tafseer al-Qummi, when Imam Sadiq (as) was asked by Muhammad bin Younes that “What is the interpretation of this following verse of the Holy Qur’an, “So surely you are of the respited ones; Till the period of the time made known?” The Imam (as) replied: “The Satan will be killed by the Holy Prophet (pbuh) on the stone of Baitul-muqaddas at the time made known.”[5]

In Tafseer Ayyashi it is mentioned that the Imam of the time (ajtf) will kill the Satan.[6]

Therefore, the Satan will be killed by the Holy Prophet (pbuh) or the Imam of the Time (ajtf) during the Rajah time, according to the previous mentioned traditions.[7] It is also said in the Holy Qur’an that “Every soul must taste of death then to us you shall be brought back.”[8]

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

Index:  Satans are chained during the Holy Month of Ramadan, answer 061.

Index: Quran says: Every Soul Shall Taste Death, answer 461.

[1] . Surah Aa’raf, verses 11-14.

[2] . Surah Hijr, verses 37-38; Tafseer Nemooneh, Vol. 6, Pg. 109.

[3] . Surah Qasas, verse 88.

[4] . Tafseer al-Mizan, Vol. 12, Pg. 258.

[5] . Tafseer al-Qummi, Vol. 1, Pg. 349.

[6] . Al-Borhan, Vol. 2, Pg. 343, Hadith 7; Ayyashi, Vol. 2, Pg. 242, H 14.

[7] . Rajah literally means ‘to return’, and in Islamic terms it refers to the return of certain people from the dead. These people may consist of dedicated believers and mushrik (polytheists) alike. It has been narrated that after the reappearance of the Twelfth Imam (ajtf) and the establishment his global Islamic government, prior to the Day of Judgment, certain individuals will be raised from their graves and brought back to this world.

[8] . Surah Al-‘Ankabut, verse 57; Surah Namibian verse 35; Surah Ale-Iran, verse 185. Therefore, the Satan will die.

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Usul al-Din and Furu al-Din in Islam

Question 223: Dear Shaykh, would you know when in time the five usul al-din were formalized? When I read the ahadith of the Imams on beliefs or read the reports where the disciples of the Imams discuss or ask the Imams for the constituents of sound belief or present their beliefs to the Imams, I have yet to see a neat five-fold categorization!

Then, I wonder when and how the furu’ al-din became ten in number?! The furu’ al-din refers to the acts – fiqh which are so many in number!

I wonder what happened! I’ll be very grateful for any suggestions. Thank you!

Answer 223: Usul al-Din (Principles of Religion) is a theological term and the set of beliefs that formalize the basis of Islamic religion, and by believing in them we are considered as Muslim, according to scholars.

The reason why scholars named these terms as Usul al-Din is that some of the Islamic sciences like Hadith, Fiqh and Tafsir are based on it. In other words, Islamic sciences are based on accepting the Holy Prophet (pbuh), and accepting Him is based on knowing these Usul al-Din.

There hasn’t been mentioned the name of Usul al-Din and Furu al-Din in the Holy Quran and Traditions. It has came into existence by theologians.[1]

Usul al-Din in Ahadith: It has been mentioned in some ahadith that Islam has some basic Principles, as follows:

The Holy Prophet (pbuh) has said: Islam has been built on five [pillars]: 1) Testifying that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. 2) Performing the prayers. 3) Paying the Zakah. 4) Making the pilgrimage to the House (kaaba). 5) Fasting in Ramadan.[2]

Imam Sadiq (as) has been asked what are the Basic Principles of Islam and what kind of affairs we as Muslim must get knowledge of them, and if a person is shortcoming in perceiving them, his religion and beliefs would be worthless, so that Allah (SWT) would not accept his deeds? The Imam (as) has replied: These are as follows: 1&2) Testifying that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. 3) Admitting what has been sent down from Allah (swt). 4) Paying the Zakah. 5) Wilaya of Aale Muhammad (pbuth) that this one has a special place among them.[3]

Imam Baqer (as) has said: Islam has been built on five pillars: 1) Prayer. 2) Zakah. 3) Fasting. 4) Hajj 5) Wilaya. The Wilaya is more important than the others.[4]

Considering that the above mentioned ahadith are Sahih in Sanad, we can at least conclude that the term Usul al-Din has come into existence during the second century of the Hegira.

When exactly the Term of Usul al-Din came into existence:  When the term Usul al-Khamsa (The Explication of the Five Principles) apparently being applied by Abul Huzail Alaf, the Mu’tazila theologian for the first time, the term of Usul al-Din has probably came into existence. It is said that this term had become more familiar as such term during the earlier third century of Hegira. Because, Ibn Nadeem had attributed a dissertation with the name of Usul al-Din to Abu Musa Mordar.[5]

The Fundamentals and Principles of Islam:  Like all other divine religions, Islam consists of three main domains e.g. beliefs, codes of practice and moral rules. The difference between Islam and other religion is that Islam incorporates all these domains in the most comprehensive and most exhaustive manner as compared to the religions before it. That is because Islam is the only religion that has been sent by God on all the prophets from Adam to the Last Prophet – peace be upon them. All what have been presented in Abraham’s scripture, Dawood’s Psalms, Moses’ Torah and Jesus’ Gospel have been presented in the most comprehensive way in Prophet Muhammad’s Holy Quran.[6] Unlike the previous scriptures which have been tampered with, the religion of Islam is immune to any kind of distortions and alterations.

The Islamic beliefs are the fundamentals of Islam and the roots of Islamic faith. They are Divine Unity (oneness of God), justice (God as the Just Creator), prophethood (guidance of humanity through a prophet), imamate and resurrection.

When it comes to the beliefs, a Muslim must in addition to admitting wholeheartedly the oneness of God, should also testify to the prophethood and messengership of Prophet Muhammad (s); otherwise he will not be a Muslim. There is no doubt that testifying to the oneness of God and prophethood of Muhammad (s) also requires, by extension, believing in the prophethood of other prophets, believing in the Day of Resurrection (Day of Judgment), finality of the religion of Islam, believing in the angels, the unseen and in the truthfulness of the claims of the Prophet of Islam. In addition, it is necessary that one should believe in the conspicuous and self-evident doctrines of Islam. If one does not believe in any of the above, he will go out of the pale of Islam. Since Islam is the religion of fitra (God-gifted nature) and reason, it does not accept imitation in the fundamentals of faith. Therefore, everyone is required in Islam to believe in the fundamentals of the religion with his own insight and understanding.[7]

When it comes to the practical laws of Islam or what is known as “ahkaam” in Arabic terminology, we must say that every act that a duty-bound (mukallaf) does is either wajib (obligatory), or haram (prohibited), or mustahab (recommended) or makrooh (abominable) or mubah (allowable). This part of the religion is also termed or described as the branches or rites of the religion which include the prayers, fasting, Hajj, Zakat, Khums, Jihad, bidding the good and forbidding the evil, Tawalla (loving the Ahlul-Bayt) and Tabarra (detaching oneself from the enemies of the Ahlul-Bayt). Acting upon these and adhering to them guarantee man’s eternal felicity.

The reason judges that either the person himself should be an expert to act according to his own insight and understanding or he should turn to an expert e.g. a qualified Mujtahid to seek his advice and act according to his verdicts.

When it comes to ethical and moral rules also, Islam – as was stated above – has some of the most humane moral instructions. Morality in Islam is so important that the Prophet of Islam (s) announced that the object of his prophetic mission was to perfect the moral virtues.

Furu al-Din:  It is a term versus Usul al-Din that consist Islamic Practical Laws. As Usul al-Din is related to knowledge along with certainty the Furu al-Din is preceded by it. This means, when there is no belief and knowledge (i.e. Usul al-Din), practice (Furu al-Din) doesn’t make sense. That’s why these Islamic Laws have been named Furu al-Din. According to Feyz Kashani, Usul al-Din is like a tree and Furu al-Din is its fruits.[8]

What the reason the Furu al-Din became eight or ten in number is due to the importance of these Islamic Laws in Ibadat (acts of worship), however, there are many rules related to transactions and etc. which are completely related to Islamic Laws, but the following are the most famous ten branches of religion (Furu al-Din). 1) Prayer. 2) Fasting. 3) Khums. 4) Zakah. 5) Hajj. 6) Jihad. 7) Amr bil Maroof (bidding what is right). 8) Nahi Anil Munkar (forbidding what is wrong). 9) Tawalla. 10) Tabarra.[9]

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

Index: Principles of Religion: Usul al-Din in Quran, answer 230.

Index: Ask Islam: How to become a Muslim, answer 527.

[1] . Allamah Helli, Hasan, Sharh e Bab Hadi Ashar, Vol. 1, Pgs. 4-6, Tehran 1991.

[2] . Bukhari, Muhammad, Sahih, Vol. 1, Pg. 8, Istanbul, 1981.

[3] . Kuleini, Muhammad, al-Usul min al-Kafi, Vol. 2, Pgs. 19-20, with effort Ali Akbar Ghifari, Tehran, 1388 A.H.

[4] . Ibid, Pg. 18.

[5] . Ta’ligh Sharh al-Usul al-Khamsa, Pgs. 122-123, with effort Abdul Karim Uthman, Najaf, 1383 A.H; Ibn Nadim, al-Fehrest (contents), Vol. 1, Pg. 207.

[6] – The difference among divine religions in the methods and shari’ah which the Holy Quran describes them as one: “Surely, the religion with Allah is Islam.”; Aal-e Imran, 19, See: Javadi, Amuli, Abdullah, Man’s Expectations from the Religion, pg. 178.

[7] – Tawzih al-Masail of Maraaje’, issue No.1.

[8] . Fayz Kashani, Mulla Musen, Ilmul Yaqin fee Usul al-Din, Vol. 1, Pgs. 4-5, Bidar Publication.

[9] . Majmoe Asar Shahid Motahari, Vol. 17, Pg. 220;  Maaref and Maareef, Vol. 4, Pg. 1715.

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Physiological Motivation in Quran / Kinds of Motivations

Question 606: Can you please mention some verses of the holy Quran in which mentioned about physiological motivations?

Answer 606: Motivation is the reason for people’s actions, desires, and needs. Motivation is also one’s direction to behavior, or what causes a person to want to repeat a behavior. A motive is what prompts the person to act in a certain way, or at least develop an inclination for specific behavior.

Emotions are complex. According to some theories, they are states of feeling that result in physical and psychological changes that influence our behavior. The physiology of emotion is closely linked to arousal of the nervous system with various states and strengths of arousal relating, apparently, to particular emotions. Emotion is also linked to behavioral tendency.

Motivations are divided into two different divisions, according to new psychologists.

  1. Physiological Motivation. 2. Psychological Motivation.

Those motivations that are natural and related to the physiologic needs for our body can guide a person’s behavior toward the way that provide physiologic needs for body.

Psychological motivations can be attained through learning for a person during his social growth.

The followings are some verses of the holy Quran in which Allah (swt) provide these physiological motivations for the human beings in order to be guided on the right path. Some of them are related to those motivations that keep their nature safe and some are related to breathing motivations.

A: Motivations for Keeping Nature safe: Those verses in which mentioned some motivations that keep our nature safe are as follows:

  1. “He said: Our Lord is He Who gave to everything its creation, then guided it to its goal”[1]
  2. “Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High; Who creates, then makes complete; And Who makes (things) according to a measure, then guides them to their goal.[2]
  3. “And the earth We have spread it forth and made in it firm mountains and caused to grow in it of every suitable thing”.[3]
  4. “…and Who created everything, then ordained for it a measure”.[4]
  5. “…And there is a measure with Him of everything”.[5]
  6. “Surely We have created everything according to a measure”.[6]
  7. ” So We said: O Adam! This is an enemy to you and to your wife; therefore let him not drive you both forth from the garden so that you should be unhappy”.[7]
  8. Allah points to some motivations like cold, heat, fatigue: And Allah has given you a place to abide in your houses, and He has given you tents of the skins of cattle which you find light to carry on the day of your march and on the day of your halting and of their wool and their fur and their hair (He has given you) household stuff and a provision for a time.[8]
  9. If we tolerate thirst, fatigue or hunger in Allah’s Way: “It did not beseem the people of Medina and those round about them of the Dwellers of the Desert to remain behind the Messenger of Allah, nor should they desire (anything) for themselves in preference to him This is because there afflicts them not thirst or fatigue or hunger in Allah’s Way, nor do they tread a path which enrages the unbelievers, nor do they attain from the enemy what they attain, but a good work is written down to them on account of it Surely Allah does not waste the reward of the doers of good”[9]
  10. And his hosts of the Jinn and the men and the birds were gathered to him, and they were formed into groups; Until when they came to the Valley of the Ants, one of the ants said: O Ants! enter your houses, (that) Sulaiman and his hosts may not crush you while they do not know.[10]
  11. And We will most certainly try you with somewhat of fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits And give good news to the patient.[11]
  12. ” And Allah sets forth a parable: (Consider) a town safe and secure to which its means of subsistence come in abundance from every quarter; but it became ungrateful for Allah’s favors, therefore Allah made it to taste the utmost degree of hunger and fear because of what they wrought”.[12]
  13. So let them serve the Lord of this House; Who feeds them against hunger and gives them security against fear.[13]
  14. And reward them, because they were patient, with garden and silk; Reclining therein on raised couches They shall find therein neither (the severe heat of) the sun nor intense cold.[14]
  15. And they shall say: (All) praise is due to Allah, Who has made grief to depart from us Most surely our Lord is Forgiving, Multiplier of rewards.[15]
  16. Toil shall not afflict them (those who are in the Heaven) in it, nor shall they be ever ejected from it.[16]
  17. And one of His signs is your sleeping and your seeking of His grace by night and) by (day Most surely there are signs in this for a people who would hear.[17]
  18. He it is Who made for you the night that you might rest in it, and the day giving light Most surely there are signs in it for a people who would hear.[18]
  19. Allah is He Who made for you the night that you may rest therein and the day to see Most surely Allah is Gracious to men, but most men do not give thanks.[19]
  20. And We made your sleep to be rest (to you).[20]
  21. And He it is Who made the night a covering for you, and the sleep a rest, and He made the day to rise up again.[21]
  22. And He it is Who takes your souls at night (in sleep), and He knows what you acquire in the day, then He raises you up therein that an appointed term may be fulfilled Then to Him is your return, then He will inform you of what you were doing.[22]
  23. When He caused calm to fall on you as a security from Him and sent down upon you water from the cloud that He might thereby purify you, and take away from you the uncleanness of the Shaitan, and that He might fortify your hearts and steady (your) footsteps thereby. [23]

B: Breathing Motivation:

  1. And a sign to them is that We bear their offspring in the laden ship; And We have created for them the like of it what they will ride on; And if We please, We can drown them, then there shall be no succorer for them, nor shall they be rescued.[24]
  2. He it is Who makes you travel by land and sea Until when you are in the ships, and they sail on with them in a pleasant breeze, and they rejoice, a violent wind overtakes them and the billows surge in on them from all sides, and they become certain that they are encompassed about, they pray to Allah, being sincere to Him in obedience: If Thou dost deliver us from this, we will most certainly be of the grateful ones.[25]
  3. So each We punished for his sin Of them was he on whom We sent down a violent storm, and of them was he whom the rumbling overtook, and of them was he whom We made to be swallowed up by the earth, and of them was he whom We drowned And it did not beseem Allah that He should be unjust to them, but they were unjust to their own souls.[26]
  4. Therefore (for) whomsoever Allah intends that He would guide him right, He expands his breast for Islam And (for) whomsoever He intends that He should cause him err, He makes his breast strait and narrow as though he were ascending upwards.[27]
  5. And the morning when it brightens.[28]

In the Holy Quran Allah, the Almighty mention two different motivations that are necessary for surviving the human beings.

A: Sexual Motivation:

  1. “O you men! surely We have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other Surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty) Surely Allah is Knowing, Aware”.[29]
  2. “O people! be careful of (your duty to) your Lord, Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same (kind) and spread from these two, many men and women And be careful of (your duty to) Allah, by Whom you demand one of another (your rights), and (to) the ties of relationship Surely Allah ever watches over you”.[30]
  3. “And Allah has made wives for you from among yourselves (to rest in them), and has given you sons and grandchildren from your wives, and has given you of the good things Is it then in the falsehood that they believe while it is in the favor of Allah that they disbelieve?”.[31]
  4. “The Originator of the heavens and the earth He made mates for you from among yourselves, and mates of the cattle too, Multiplying you thereby Nothing like a likeness of Him And He is the Hearing, the Seeing”.[32]
  5. “And of everything We have created pairs that you may be mindful”.[33]
  6. “Glory be to Him Who created pairs of all things, of what the earth grows, and of their kind and of what they do not know”.[34]

B: Motherly motivation: Allah, the Almighty created an important nature motivation for women by which they can do their duties and keep their children safe. E.g. they tolerate the pregnancy periods with love and feeding, taking care of and upbringing their kids.

  1. “And We have enjoined on man doing of good to his parents With trouble did his mother bear him and with trouble did she bring him forth And the bearing of him and the weaning of him was thirty months”.[35]
  2. “” And We have enjoined man in respect of his parents his mother bears him with faintings upon faintings and his weaning takes two years saying: Be grateful to Me and to both your parents; to Me is the eventual coming””.[36]

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

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

Index: Psychology in Qurah / Psychological Defense Mechanisms, answer 584.

[1] . Surah Taha, verse 50.

[2] . Surah Aala, verses 1-2-3.

[3] . Surah al-Hijr, verse 19.

[4] . Surah al-Furqan, verse 2.

[5] . Surah al-Ra’d, verse 8.

[6] . Surah al-Qamar, verse 49.

[7] . Surah Taha, verse 117.

[8] . Surah al-Nahl, verse 80.

[9] . Surah al-Tawbah, verse 120.

[10] . Surah al-Naml, verse 18.

[11] . Surah al-Baqarah, verse 155.

[12] . Surah al-Nahl, verse 112.

[13] . Surah Quraysh, verses 3-4.

[14] . Surah al-Insan, verses 12-13.

[15] . Surah Fatir, verse 34.

[16] . Surah al-Hijr, verse 48.

[17] . Surah al-Room, verse 23.

[18] . Surah Younus, verse 67.

[19] . Surah Ghafir, verse 61.

[20] . Surah al-Naba’, verse 9.

[21] . Surah al-Furqan, verse 47.

[22] . Surah al-An’am, verse 60.

[23] . Surah al-Anfal, verse 11.

[24] . Surah Yasin, verse 43.

[25] . Surah Younus, verse 22.

[26] . Surah al-Ankabout, verse 40.

[27] . Surah al-An’am, verse 125.

[28] . Surah al-Takvir, verse 18.

[29] . Surah al-Hujurat, verse 13.

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

[31] . Surah al-Nahl, verse 72.

[32] . Surah al-Shura, verse 11.

[33] . Surah al-Zariyat, verse 49.

[34] . Surah Yasin, verse 36.

[35] . Surah al-Ahqaf, verse 15.

[36] . Surah Luqman, verse 14.

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Principles of Religion: Usul al-Din in Quran

Question 230: Should pillars of Islam be evidently apparent in the scripture or hidden? If apparent, then why is the Imamah pillar explained in form of ‘batin’ zone? Can you prove this from Prophetic sayings and create a base that is sensible? I have not yet received a proper answer for this.

Answer 230: Although, there hasn’t been clearly mentioned the names of Usul al-Din and Furu al-Din in the Holy Quran and Traditions, but there are many verses of the Holy Quran and traditions in which we can find out the pillars of Islam as follows:

Surah al-Hamd: This Surah includes the three pillars of Islam:

1) Tawhid (Testifying that there is no god but Allah):  Verse 1: “All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds”. This verse of Surah al-Hamd indicates the Dhati (Essence), Sifati (Attributes) and Af’ali (Action) Tawhid.  Verse 5: “Thee do we serve and Thee do we beseech for help”. This verse indicates the Tawhid in Ebadat (monotheism in worship) and Af’ali.

2) Nubuwwat: Verses 6 and 7: “Keep us on the right path. The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors”. According to the holy Quran itself, the real meaning of the word (an­’am­ta  ‘alay­him) is the prophets and the truthful and the martyrs and the good.[1]

3) Resurrection:  Verse 4: “Master of the Day of Judgment”. This verse indicates the third pillar of Islam called Ma’ad (Resurrection).

Note: There are other verses in which the three pillars of Islam are mentioned as the criterion of faith as follows:

Baqarah, verse 4:  “And who believe in that which has been revealed to you and that which was revealed before you and they are sure of the hereafter”.

Yousef, verse 37: “He said: there shall not come to you the food with which you are fed, but I will inform you both of its interpretation before it comes to you This is of what my Lord has taught me Surely I have forsaken the religion of a people who do not believe in Allah, and they are deniers of the hereafter”

Nahl, verse 22:  “Your God is One God So) as for (those who do not believe in the hereafter, their hearts are ignorant and they are proud”.

Nisa, verses 150 and 151: “Surely those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers and (those who) desire to make a distinction between Allah and His messengers and say: We believe in some and disbelieve in others; and desire to take a course between (this and) that. These it is that are truly unbelievers And We have prepared for the unbelievers a disgraceful chastisement. And those who believe in Allah and His messengers and do not make a distinction between any of them Allah will grant them their rewards And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful”

The Quran mainly addresses issues, especially ahkam, from a general perspective, leaving the specifics to the Prophet (sa) and his successors, the true interpreters (as); such as prayer, fasting, zakat, hajj etc…Imamate is also one of these issues which have been generally reflected.

The sha’n nuzul (the circumstances of revelation) of numerous verses in the Quran, such as Ayah of Tabligh[2], Ayah of Wilayah[3], Ayah of Ulul Amr[4], Ayah of Sadeqeen[5] revolve around the issue of Imamate.

It is necessary to mention that Allameh Hilli (ra) has written a book titled Alfain[6], that consists of a thousand reasons in favor of the Imamate of Imam Ali (as) and a thousand answers to the objections made against his Imamate, among which a great number of these reasons are from the Quran and can be referred to if needed.

Also, the eighth section of the seventh volume of Bihar al- Anwar of Imamate has listed the ayahs revealed regarding Imamate under the title “Ayahs regarding revealed about the Imams (as)”.[7]

How to understand the meaning of the verses of the holy Quran:  The majority of the verses of the Quran were revealed for the understanding of the general masses.  From this perspective, the understanding that the masses have from the literal and apparent meaning of the Quranic verses are a proof and it is for this same reason that the ‘Usulis’ believe in the external meaning of the verses.

Of course there are also select verses in the Quran whose understanding and the helping of others to understand was the responsibility of the Prophet (s) and the ‘Rasikhoon Fil Ilm’ (those deeply endowed with knowledge). Without this group’s assistance and help, the understanding of these verses would have been impossible to attain.

In the Quran there are verses with meanings of general and specific, absolute and particular, abrogated and abrogating; in order to understand the Quran it is necessary to have a comprehensive knowledge of all Quranic verses to prevent mistakenly ruling according to the absolute without considering the other verses that might narrow its scope.

There are some sciences, which although they don’t have a direct connection with interpretation of the Holy Quran, have a prerequisitational relationship. Without understanding these sciences it is not possible to interpret and analyze the verses of the Quran. Examples of these sciences are ‘Sarf and Nahw’, Ma’aani and Bayan’, and ‘Luqat’. The commentator must have mastery over all of the sciences which relate to the understanding of the Holy Quran.

Considering the above mentioned reasons, we can figure it out why the five pillars of Islam have not clearly mentioned in the holy Quran, but many verses of it prove them, completely.

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

Index: Usul al-Din and Furu al-Din, answer 223.

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/AskShia/permalink/608324169318894/)

Index: Shia View of the Mutazilah and Wasil ibn Ata, answer 095.

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/510247479126564/permalink/550397965111515/)

[1] . Surah al-Nisa, verse 69.

[2] . Surah Maeda, verse 67.

[3] . Surah Maeda, verse 55.

[4] . Surah Nisa, verse 59.

[5] . Surah Tobeh, 119.

[6] . Hilli, Hasan bin Yusuf, Al-Alfain, Dar al-Hijrah, Qom, 1409 (AH).

[7] . Allamah Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, (the section on imamate, Farsi translation of the seventh volume), Khosravi, Musa, publisher: Islamiyyah.

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Ask Islam: How to become a Muslim

Question 527: Do I have to cut my hair to become Muslim? What are the conditions for one to become a Muslim?

Brief Answer 527:  The first degree, which is referred to as “Islam”, can be reached when one says the shahadatain (the two statements of “There is no God but Allah” and “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah), admitting to its meaning, resulting in that person officially becoming Muslim.  His/her body will be pure (no longer najis) and so will the bodies of his children, marriage with other Muslims will become permissible for him and he/she can have transactions with other Muslims, his/her wealth, life and honor will all be respected etc.  Of course, saying the shahadatain and admitting to its meaning necessitates acting and practicing Islam (e.g. performing the wajib acts such as prayer, fasting, Hajj, Khums and Zakat, and believing in the angels, the hereafter, paradise and Hell and accepting all of the divine prophets as messengers of Allah (swt)), which is the next level of faith which is higher than just plain “Islam” and being Muslim.

Therefore, there is no need to cut your hair in order to become a Muslim.

Answer 527: “Islam” literally means submission and obedience.  This term refers to the religion brought by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) from Allah (swt) as the final divine religion to come, which is a universal and eternal one (meaning that no other religion will come after it that abrogates it until the day of judgment).

The most important thing that sets a difference between this religion and other ones, is the belief of the oneness of the great Lord, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) being the seal of all prophets, and its teachings on true tawhid.  Believing in Islam and having faith in it, has different degrees which are as follows:

The first degree and step in Islam, which is the necessary condition to being Muslim, is to admit to the two principles of tawhid (the oneness of Allah (swt)) and nubuwwah (prophethood).  The concept of لا اله الا الله (there is no God but Allah (swt)), is the true essence of Islam and its most important doctrine, containing all of the different dimensions of tawhid in it, and admitting to the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), is the acknowledgement that he is the seal of the prophets and that his religion is the final one to come, nullifying all other religions before it (meaning that these religions can no longer be followed, although they might have been the religions to be followed before the advent of Islam).  The rest of the degrees of higher faith start from here, which is to follow the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in all of his teachings and decrees without any questioning.

One who bears witness to the two principles mentioned above, has embraced Islam and parted from all other religions.  When such takes place, all rulings pertaining to Muslims (such as the permissibility of marrying other Muslims, having transactions with them, the taharah (being pure and not najis) of their bodies and their children’s bodies, will all pertain to him/her as well[1] and his/her life and possessions will be respected and defending him/her will become a responsibility of the Islamic governor and the Muslim society.  As was said, this is the least that every Muslim must bear and others can no longer call such Muslims Mushriks or Kafirs anymore, even though their faith is the lowest one can have, but then again, it is faith.

Therefore, what some sects such as the khawarij have done by considering Muslims who don’t completely practice their faith and commit great sins as Kafirs, not respecting their lives and blood and allowing their killing, or what the Mu’tazilah have done by not considering the abovementioned neither kafir nor Muslim, or what the Wahhabis have done by announcing those who prostrate on the turbah during prayer or kiss the holy shrines of the imams or prophet (pbuh) mushriks (polytheists), or those who call anyone who differs with them in their beliefs mushriks, are all wrong and in misguidance!

In addition to what was said above, according to the ithna’ashari sect, considering the different verses and hadiths that imply this matter, accepting all twelve individuals as imams, leaders and successors to the holy Prophet (pbuh) after him is one the most important conditions of faith and the acceptance of our actions and worship from Allah (swt), because accepting the holy Prophet (pbuh) and the Quran as the final revelation to the prophet (pbuh) which hasn’t been changed and falsified till today, necessitates the precise and complete practice of the teachings of the Quran and the prophet (pbuh).  One of these teachings and guidelines which is of extreme importance, is for us to obey the imams.  Therefore, in reality, disobeying them is equal to disobeying the Prophet (pbuh) and Allah (swt) because they are the ones who have ordered us to follow them.  In Quranic terms, the degree of iman comes after the degree of Islam.  Thus, the first degree of iman is higher than the degree of Islam.  Iman also has different degrees and all degrees of iman aren’t the same.  The holy Quran says that the least that is needed to obtain the degree of iman is for one to have faith and belief in five things; 1- Allah (swt) 2- the day of judgement 3- the angels 4- the book (the Quran) 5- the prophets.[2]  The Quran also counts hypocracy and shirk (polytheism) as turning away from Islam and the causes of eternal chastisement in the Hellfire[3].  Therefore, one is Muslim who:

1- Has accepted tawhid in all of its dimensions.

2- Believes in the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and him being the seal of the prophets.

3- Accepts all of his commands, including the command to follow the imams and accept their authority.

4- Believes in the hereafter and its details as the Quran, the prophet (pbuh) and the imams have explained (of course, those details that we are sure the Prophet (pbuh) and the imams have described).

Nevertheless, although admitting to all of these things cause one to be considered Muslim, as long as Islam isn’t truly practiced through abiding and acting according to its rulings and teachings, such an Islam won’t do any good to its possessor and will not bring him/her any guidance or prosperity in the hereafter.  That is why the Quran says that reaching the prosperous life in the hereafter depends on faith and good acts together.[4]

One who only has one of the two resembles a bird that possesses one wing while lacking the other.  Clearly, such a bird isn’t capable of flying to high altitudes, and the same goes with such a person; he/she will never be able to reach the high peaks of eternal prosperity through good deeds only or faith only.  The only solution for such an individual is to change his/her course of action and to combine his/her faith and acceptance of Islamic teachings with good actions in order to get nearer to Allah (swt) and abide in His heaven.  As the believer’s knowledge of Islam, faith, and the teachings of Allah (swt) and His prophet increases, and as his/her practice in relation to what Islam has asked him also increases and gets purer, his degree of faith will also rise, taking him to higher levels of faith.

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

Index: Usul al-Din in the Holy Quran, answer 230.

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/AskShia/permalink/611602922324352/)

Index: Usul al-Din and Furu al-Din, answer 223.

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/AskShia/permalink/608324169318894/)

Index: Cut or take care of the hair, answer 213.

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/AskShia/permalink/603012016516776/)

Index: Evidences of the superiority of Shia Islam, answer 383:

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/AskShia/permalink/673875309430446/)

Index:  The differences and similarities between Shia and Sunni, answer 187:

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/510247479126564/permalink/589379637880014/)

Index: Abu Bakr and Umar according to Shia, answer 265:

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/AskShia/permalink/615018671982777/)

Index: Shia consider Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman as Hypocrit, answer 248:

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/AskShia/permalink/615018671982777/?comment_id=616038685214109&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R0%22%7D)

Index: Shia commit shirk by worshiping Ali (as), answer 215:

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/AskShia/permalink/598504176967560/)

Index: Khalifahs according to Shia, answer 214:

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/AskShia/permalink/598504516967526/)

Index: Sahih Bukhari and Muslim according to Shia, answer 068:

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/AskShia/permalink/780675182083791/)

Index: Shia view of Mutazila and Wasil bin Ata, answer 095:

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/510247479126564/permalink/550397965111515/)

Index:  Shia Beliefs about Aisha, answer 180:

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/510247479126564/permalink/586056318212346/)

Index:  Meaning of the Word Shia in the Holy Quran, answer 108:

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/510247479126564/permalink/534626313355347/)

Index:  Abu Hanifah according to Shia, answer 098:

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/510247479126564/permalink/515101085307870/)

Index: The term Shia in Quran, answer 129:

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/AskShia/permalink/780833482067961/)

[1] Of course, there is a difference of opinion regarding the purity of the bodies of the people of the book, which you can learn about by referring to the different risalahs of various marjas.

[2] Baqarah:177 and 285; Nisa:136.

[3] Nisa:140 and 145.

[4] Nahl:97; Baqarah:103; Nisa:57 and 122.