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How to cure the Evil Eye

Question 176: Hi. I’ve been afflicted by evil-eye. My left eye is swollen. I’ve done self ruqyah, but it didn’t helped me. I am going to do the wudu method. Now, I don’t know if I am afflicted by the evil eye or my cousin? Can I pour my own wudu water over myself?In case I request my cousin’s wudu water, do I have to reveal her the truth of evil eye?
1. How do I pour and collect the wudu water? 2. Should I pour over the entire body or on the swollen place? 3. What do I say before? Finally let me know How to cure the Evil Eye according to the holy Quran and traditions?

Answer 176: The evil eye is a part of the influence of the soul. There is no reason to negate it as it has occurred repeatedly in the concrete external world. There are some traditions which explicitly state that the influence of an evil eye is real. It is narrated from Durr al-Manthur that the Holy Prophet (saws) said, “The influence of an evil eye is a fact…” He also said, “An evil eye puts a healthy man into the grave and a perfect camel into the cauldron.”[1] Read More

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Rules on eating Sea Creatures: Shrimp and Prawns are Halal

Question 647: Salaam. Are prawns and shrimp same or different? Which one is halal? I want to know the rules on eating Sea Creatures and made sure if Shrimp and Prawns are Halal?

Answer 647: It is not permissible to eat from marine animals anything except fish that has scale; shrimp is considered from that category [of permissible sea animals]. But other than fish that does not have scale is forbidden.

No marine animal is halal, except fish that has scales, amongst which are prawns. As for other animals, other than fish, like carp as well as other kinds of fish that have no scales, it is not permissible to consume. [1]

When it comes to the general guidelines about halal and haram animal, there are many criteria and standards stated in the narrations of the Infallible Imams (a.s.); for instance, certain rules and guidelines have been explained for terrestrial animals, birds and aquatic animals. The criterion mentioned for halal aquatic animals is that they should have scales. It has reported[2] that Muhammad bin Muslim asked Imam Baqir (a.s.): “They bring us fish without scales (what should we do)?”

Imam Baqir (a.s.) replied: “Eat the fish that has scales and do not eat the fish that does not have scales?” Scales are the small, thin horny or bony plates protecting the skin of fish and reptiles, typically overlapping one another.[3]

It should be noted that the fish should be from the category of scaly fish and there is no objection, if the fish have lost their scales due certain environmental factors or the way the fish live as stated in the narrations.[4]

As for shrimps, we have special narrations according to which “eating shrimps is allowed and that shrimps are a kind fish.”[5]

As for the philosophy of the permissibility of eating shrimps, there are different probabilities which are enumerated as under:

  1. Shrimps are from the category of scaly fish though we do not see the scales with naked eyes.
  2. Shrimps have had scales in the beginning but they have lost their scales over time.
  3. Despite the fact that, essentially shrimp don’t have scales, from the legal perspective it is set within the category of fish that have scales. In other words, for reasons we are not aware of, it has been considered as an exception and consequently halal, although it does not have scales.[6]

In addition, we have a hadith that states the impermissibility of crab: “Eating jerī (type of fish), turtle and crab is haram.”[7] It is clear that crabs are not from the category of scaly fish.

Note: The terms shrimp and prawn are common names, not scientific names. They are vernacular or colloquial terms which lack the formal definition of scientific terms. It seems the both are amongst fish that have scales. If so, there would be no problem to eat them.

For further information on this matter, please read the following answers:

Index: Halal and Haram Meat / The impermissibility of eating rabbit meat, answer 418.

Index: Ruling on foods and drinks containing alcohol / Vanilla Extract, answer 578.

Index: Cheese and Walnuts / Eating cheese in the morning is Makruh, answer 593.

[1] Tawzih al-Masael of Maraja, Vol. 2, Pgs. 590-591, issue 2615; Imam Khomeini, Tahrir al-Wasilah, vol. 2, pg. 137, book of foods and drinks, issue 2; Ibid (translation), Vol. 3, Pg. 274, issue 2; al-Mukhtasar al-Nafi’, pg. 251; Sharayi’ al-Islam, pg. 169; Tawzih al-Masael (annotated by Imam Khomeini), Vol. 2, Pg. 593, special issue according to Ayatollah Makarem, issue 2255; Majma al-Masael, Ayatollah Golpayegani, Vol. 3, Pg. 64.

[2] . Wasail al-Shi’ah, vol.16, pg. 397, and 398, hadith 1, chapt.8.

[3] . Ibid, hadith 3 & 7.

[4] . Ibid, chap.10 (Haram Foodstuffs), pg. 405.

[5] . Wasail al-Shi’ah, pg. 408, hadith 5 & 12 (Haram foodstuffs).

[6] . Footnote of Wasa’il al-Shia, pg. 408.

[7] . Wasa’il al-Shia, vol. 24, pg. 146, book of foods and drinks, chapter 16, hadith 1.

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How to get rid of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Question 643: Salam un alaikum wa rahmatullahi wabarkatuh. I am 19 year old girl suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder. I keep getting weird blasphemous thoughts about my faith and beliefs.i fear excessively of losing my faith ,dying as a kafir or going against the holy prophet Muhammad saw and the holy imams as .I want to know what is the cure for this disease islamically and also I tend to keep getting back to the sins i had once left…I feel extremely uneasy at heart and feel like my heart has hardened..I feel away from Allah SWT and feeling the love of ahlulbayt decreasing in my heart…I try to pray daily …but it’s just become an excercise without any khushu. However, such is not the case always…I keep oscillating between spirituality and feeling distanced from my Deen… please help me out,it seems like I’m not making any progress in life and am getting farther away from my Deen…I don’t want to loose my Deen and wilayat of ahlulbayt ever… please guide me as to how to keep a balance between wordly and spiritual life and also help me with my OCD ,will Allah punish me for such thoughts…or is it a punishment or a test ?So, please tell me how to get rid of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Answer 643: We must know that one who is serious about his relation to God and is submissive in his heart to the will of Allah, he will not be affected by any doubts concerning religious issues even if those doubts are very serious. In fact, as the Holy Prophet (S) says, the emergence of such a condition can be a sign of his sincerity and religiosity.[1] That is because only a pious and practicing individual gets concerned about his spiritual situation. Read More

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Cut ties with family who constantly commit sins

Question 138: I am a Muslim who has a relative that is an admitted alcoholic. According to Ayatollah Sistani what are the laws about keeping a relationship with this relative in this state? Is it permissible to tell others that he is a medically documented alcoholic? What are my rights to him as he falls under the category of a sibling to one of my parents?

Answer 138: It is obligatory to temporarily cut ties with family who constantly commit sins and that pay no attention to what Allah (SWT), the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the Infallible Imams (pbuth) have said. If discarding this relationship can possibly cause him to avoid committing sins. This is a type of al-amr bi-l-maʿrūf (bid what is right) wa-n-nahy ʿani-l-munkar (forbid what is bad). Otherwise, you are not allowed to do so.[1]

There is a hadith of Imam Zain al-A’bedeen (a.s) as He recommended His son Imam Baqir (as) to avoid establishing communication with those who commit sins and Islamic laws don’t make sense to them.[2]

However, he committed such sin, but try all your best to help him find the right path and leave drinking alcohol, if you can. Also, try not to abandon him and leave him in this situation where he stymied.

It is recommended to restrict your relationship with him in a way that you just say Salam to him and let him know why you make such decision.

Imam Baqir and Imam Sadiq (pbuth) said, “Maintaining good relations with the relatives (Arham) purifies the deeds, increases the wealth, prevents calamities, makes the accounting easy (on the Day of Judgment) and delays death.[3]

For further information, please read the following answer:

Index: Estrangement from people or being with them, answer 060.

[1] . Tawzih al-Masaiel of Maraja’, Vol. 2, Pg. 772, question 1058; Ibid, Vol. 1, Pg. 76.

[2] . Al-Kafi, Muhammad ibn Ya’qubal-Kulayni, Vol. 2, Pg. 376, H 7.

[3] . Usul al-Kāfī, vol. 2, pg.150 & 151.

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Going for Hajj or Ziyarat of Imam Hussain or Imam Reza

Question 124: Has anyone heard that you have to go for Hajj before you go for ziyarat? Someone advised me of this and I’ve never heard it before. So, tell me sholud I Going for Hajj or Ziyarat of Imam Hussain or Imam Reza?

Answer 124: If a wajib hajj become obligatory upon you, you would have to go for Hajj, first. If you are dubious whether to go for Hajj or visit the holy shrine of the Infallibles Imams (pbuth) you are supposed to act based on the few traditions, as follows: Read More

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Definition of Dua, Means and Intercession

Question 148: Sometimes when I’m looking up or finding dua’as to be said for special reasons, I get frustrated. I don’t get why shia dua’as are so different than Sunni dua’as. They aren’t including caliphates or anything, they are all just supplications to God. Like I was looking up dua’as to remove worry and anxiety. There was no common one between Sunni and Shias. The Sunni dua’as are said to be told by the Prophet (SWT) and some Shia dua’as are said to be done by the Imams (AS). Does it really matter if its a supplication just between you and Allah?

Answer 148: Dua or supplication is a relationship out of need between the servant and his lord, for worldly and otherworldly needs. Just like every other phenomenon, the answering of one’s supplication has conditions and formalities that when met and observed, will result in the answering of the dua, and in the case of the dua lacking them, or in the case of other barriers not allowing the dua to be answered that we aren’t aware of, even the best duas known for being answered quickly and certainly can be ineffective.

Means: When it comes to the meaning of ‘means’ in the holy verse “O you who believe! Fear Allah and seek means of nearness to Him” Allamah Tabatabai explains the term as such, “The reality of the means of nearness to Allah is to comply with demands of His path with knowledge and worship, pursuit of virtues and fulfillment of recommended acts. It is a sort of joining together, (i.e.) a spiritual joining which connects the slave with his master; there is no link that connects man with his Lord except the submissiveness of worship and veneration. Therefore, the means of nearness means ensuring the reality of veneration and turning the face of humility and poverty to His direction – therefore, Wasilah (means) in the above verse refers to the link that joins the servant to his Lord.

Intercession: The concept of imploring or interceding with the Prophet (SWT) or Imams (AS) or Allah’s saints is to make recourse to the high position of these great people because they are dear and near to God and if their intercession is sought, God will, for their sake, grant His servants the position of proximity.

We can’t bring the text of the duas here, but here we will only list them without mentioning their texts:

(1) The dua of Tawassul. (2) The dua of Faraj. (3) The dua of Ism A’dham. (4) The dua of Muqatil bin Suleyman from Imam Sajjad (AS). (5) A dua with the name of “Sari’ul-Ijabah” (which literally means ‘quickly answered’) by Imam Kadhim (AS) which reads, “اللهم انی اطعتک فی احب الاشیاء الیک و …”

(6) A dua from Imam Sadiq (AS); the imam (AS) says whosoever says “Ya Allah” (یا الله) ten times, will be told [by Allah (SWT)]: “Here I am! What is your wish?” (7) Imam Sadiq (AS) has been narrated saying: “Whosoever repeatedly says “Ya Rabb Ya Allah” until he runs out of breath, will be told: “Yes! What is your wish?!”

These duas have been mentioned in the book of Mafatihul-Jinan, under the title of “Quickly Answered Duas” or “Sari’ul-Ijabah Duas”.

It is said we can make dua without interceding with the Holy Prophet (SAWS) and the infallible Imams (AS) (i.e.) just between us and Allah (SWT).

How to make Dua: There are some conditions for one who wishes to make dua’a should observe, in order that Allah (SWT) will grant his\her dua as follows: things we ask God mustn’t be haram; recite salawat before and after each dua’a, we shouldn’t hurry up, so that Allah (SWT) grant our duas anytime He wants; all dua’as that are not in contrary with the Shia belief, are considered as valid.

We ought not to accept all Sunni dua’as nor to reject them. There is a rule which says those dua’as that aren’t in contrary to the Shia belief are accepted, whether or not it is narrated or not. This means, if it doesn’t include haram things and other conditions that have been mentioned above, there would be no problem to apply it.

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

Index: Evaluating the chain of narration of Dua Muqatil bin Sulaiman, answer 150.

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

Index: Seeking one’s need from someone other than Allah, answer 005.

Index: Intercession and calling Imam Musa al Kadhim Bab al Hawaij, answer 159.

http://duas.org/

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Spiritual and Material Beauty and the Light of Faith

Question 245: There are hadith that state that you can recognize a mumin by characteristics of his face. Are these physical characteristics or more of the metaphysical realm that only one on the same level could recognize? I have heard that praying fajr prayer on time causes a light/glow to emit from one’s face. Is this referring to the energetic attraction we feel towards others as their spirit uplifts ours?

Answer 245: According to Islam, beauty is divided into two divisions: Spiritual and material. Getting the spiritual beauty has been more emphasized by Islam, though the material beauty has also been recommended.

An important thing that should be taken into consideration is that the spiritual beauty can be accessible by spiritual affairs like prayers and the material beauty would be available by some material affairs.

The following are some recommendations our Infallibles (pbuth) have suggested us to observe:

– Imam Ali (as) has said, “The beauty of a man can be seen in his patience, because, the patience gives our soul tranquility by which our ethics and behavior would become beautiful and brilliant if it is faced with afflictions and difficulties.”[1]

– Imam Ali (as) has said, “The beauty of a believer is his\her self-restraint, virtue and piety.”[2]

– The Holy Prophet of Islam (saws) has said, “Whomever offers Salatul Tahajjod, his\her face would become brilliant in the day.”[3]

– Imam Ali (as) has said, “Night prayer (salatul tahajjod) makes the face brilliant.”[4]

– Imam Sadiq (as) has said, “The night prayer can make our face look bright.”[5]

– Imam Sadiq (as) has said, “The repetition of performing wudu, upon the last wudu is like the light (noor) upon light.”[6]

– Imam Ali (as) has said, “If you sleep less at night and worship Allah (swt) the Almighty during the night, your face would become brilliant.”[7]

– The Imam (as) has also said, “The believers brilliant face is because of the kindness that Allah (swt) has given him. If you seek Allahs (swt) goodness, you have to worship Him by doing the righteous deeds and avoiding forbidden acts.”[8]

Note: The Holy Qur’an says, “Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly [white] star lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire. Light upon light. Allah guides to His light to whom He wills. And Allah presents examples for the people, and Allah is knowing of all things.”[9]

There is a special light that Allah (swt) gives believers in order to become brilliant if they do the righteous deeds. This light is the light of knowledge. The method in which we can get such divine light, is to do what Allah (swt), the Almighty bids us and avoid of what Allah (swt) forbids us.[10]

When Muslims want to describe the spiritual characteristics of a believer, they say we see the light of faith in his face. According to this definition, it doesn’t matter which color your skin is, if you are white or black, red or yellow, if you act based on the above recommendations, your face would get the light of faith.

This is not physical light that we can see easily. This is the light of knowledge that anyone with any skin color can have, if given by Allah (swt), the Almighty. Anyone, even those who have the lowest level of faith, can recognize it.

As you know, Hazrat Adam and the Holy Prophet (pbuth) had tawny skin. Luqman Hakeem from Ethiopia was a black man and Imam Jawad (as) had dark-colored skin, however all people became captivated when they saw them. It’s because of the light of faith.

Let’s mention some recommendations of Practical Irfan that Imam Ali (as) has suggested us to observe:

– Imam Ali (as) explained the concept of spiritual wayfaring with such words, “The true arif is the one who has enlivened his intellect and who has mortified his desires, till the point where his coarseness has become broken and his severity has been softened. A luminous light is lit for him which illuminates the path towards God for him and under its guidance he goes forward…”[11]

– Imam Ali (as) has also said, “O’ creatures of Allah! The most of Allah is he whom Allah has given power (to act) against his passions, so that his inner side is (submerged in) grief and the outer side is covered with fear. The lamp of guidance is burning in his heart. He has provided provisions for the day that is to befall him.”[12]

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

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

Index: Whoever knows himself knows his Lord / Man Arafa Nafsahu, Faqad Arafa Rabbahu, answer 274.

Index: Making Wudu when you are going to bed, answer 032.

[1] . Tamimi Amedi, Abdul Wahed bin Muhammad, Ghurarul Hikam, Pg. 285, H. 6392, office of Tablighat publication, Qom, 1987.

[2] . Ghurarul Hikam, Pg. 269, Hadith 5862.

[3] . Toosi, Abu Jafar, Muhammad bin Hasan, Tahdhib al-Ahkam, Vol. 2, Pg. 119, Hadith 217, Darel Kutub al-Islamiyah, Tehran, fourth edition, 1407 A.H. «مَنْ صَلَّى بِاللَّيْلِ حَسُنَ وَجْهُهُ بِالنَّهَارِ».

[4] . Shaeeri, Tajuddeen, Jame’ al-Akhbar, Pg. 72, Radhi Publication, Qom, 1984.

[5] . Hurr Ameli, Muhammad bin Hasan, Wasael al-Shia, Vol. 8, Pgs. 151 – 152, Hadith 10278.

[6] . Ibn Babawayh, Muhammad bin Ali, Man la Yahdhuruhul Faqih, Vol. 1, Pg. 41, Office of Islamic Publication, Qom, second edition, 1413 A.H.

[7] . Mustadrak al-Wasael, Vol. 6, Pg. 340.

[8] . Ghurarul Hikam, Pg. 346.

[9] . Surah Noor, verse 35.

[10] . Tafseer al-Mizan, Vol. 15, Pg. 168.

[11] . Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 210.

[12] . Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 86.

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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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Getting Married on Wednesday / Praised or Condemned Days

Question 077: Asalamu Alaikum. Is getting married on Wednesday allowed in Islam? I read something that said it is makrooh to have sex or approach wives on Wednesday. Is that an authenticated hadith? Please let me know, as soon as possible. Thank you.
Answer 077: There is a tradition narrated from Imam Ali (as) in which certain days of the week have been praised while other days have been condemned. These are: Saturday is the day of beguilement and deceit, Sunday is good day for constructing, planting and wedding, Monday is the day of travel and business, Tuesday is the day of war and bloodshed, Wednesday is a sinister day, Thursday is the day of visiting the ruler and getting needs fulfilled and Friday is a good day of proposal and marriage. [1] Read More